Part 1: Portland and what we wore

Portland outfits

For those of you new to A World of Dresses, I spent about five days in Portland, Oregon, with one of my best friends last week. It was good to have a little vacation after a year of both good and bad. The year of 28 was definitely an interesting one for sure.

When traveling, you want to have some comfortable outfits. I call these my Portland outfits. My Portland outfits are a mixture of trendy yet cute. I’ve also included my friend Cece’s Portland outfits. I absolutely love personal style. Mine and Cece’s are both very unique in different ways. I packed a lot of dresses and she packed a lot of rompers. I wore sandals and she wore combat boots. All of our Portland outfits were uniquely us and comfortable.

Our Portland outfits

I packed light for this trip for several reasons. First, we were staying at the Portland Hawthorne Hostel. When staying in a hostel, you trade money for space. And honestly, who needs a lot of space when you’re out exploring a city each day? I did not want some big bag that I had to lug up two flights of stairs and store in a room I would share with five other people. A backpack was the perfect thing.

The second reason I took only a backpack is because of my mission to not give any more of my money to Spirit Airlines than necessary. Spirit Airlines is a low cost budget airline with amazingly cheap flight deals. We got both of our round trip tickets Chicago-Portland for something around $400. The catch is that they charge for everything. You pay to check a bag and you pay to carry a bag on. You even pay $10 if you need to print your boarding pass at the airport (what?!?). You pay for any food on board. We even joked that they’ll ask us to pay for our emotional baggage. You just never know.

There is a loophole, my friends. You are allowed one personal item free of charge. It has to be under the dimensions of 16 inches tall, 14 inches wide and 12 inches deep. I have this LLBean backpack from like high school that still functions well. It has all these compartments and fits those dimensions. It was perfect.

So I simply rolled up my Portland outfits and stuck them in. Everything fit quite nicely. When thinking about ideal Portland outfits, sundresses came to mind. So I picked three and packed them in.

The Old Navy Sundress

This is a new find from this past summer season that I was excited to wear. I love how simple it is and I love anything in the color green!

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Outfit details

Dress: Old Navy
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Sunglasses: Sidestreet Gallery
Sandals: Target

One of Cece’s Portland outfits

It was hard to pick which outfit of hers I’d post first. They were all unique and dynamic … just like she is! This one from the first day, though, just seemed fitting. It’s the perfect example of mixing several things together so well … a fun t-shirt, boots, a skirt and some purple lipstick to top it all off!

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Portland outfits

Outfit details

T-shirt: Go browse your local Thrift Shop
Boots: similar
Skirt (can also be worn as a dress): similar

Those were a few of our outfits. What do you like to wear while traveling?

Also have you seen our latest all about our 5 Portland favorites? Check it out here!

I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan HeartShopping My ClosetPumps and PushupsThe Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy ChroniclesCappuccino and FashionPosh Classy MomLiving on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in PinkCurly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion StyleJeans & a TeacupClaire JustineRachel the HatA Poketful of Polka DotsForage FashionFashion Should be FunSincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots,Shelbee on the Edge

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My 5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

I’ll admit that it was very hard to pick just five. Last week, a good friend of mine and I spent some time exploring Portland, Oregon. It was my second time to Portland and her first. We did everything from eating doughnuts to laying out in the sun to visiting a nearby winery. So after much thought, these are my 5 favorite Portland spots from this trip. Portland seems to have something for everyone … museums, doughnuts, swimming, shopping, beer, Indian food and so much more. If you are looking to visit an American city that’s accessible, pretty and friendly, Portland is the place to go. Everyone … literally everyone is nice.

So without further ado, here are my 5 favorite Portland spots:

5. The ScreenDoor Restaurant

Cece and I were looking for a good brunch spot and were recommended the ScreenDoor Restaurant. We were staying at the Hawthorne Hostel over in the South East area of town, so it was not far for us at all. The ScreenDoor was an easy maybe 5-10 minute Uber ride. We were on vacation, so why not take Ubers everywhere?

The ScreenDoor describes itself as “the best southern cuisine in Portland.” I would have to concur. I ordered shrimp n’ grits. My best friend lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and I’ve had shrimp n’ grits many a times while visiting her. I was wondering how it would stack up to what I’ve eaten where shrimp n’ grits originated. I was very pleasantly surprised. It was perfect.

Cece ordered the freshly baked short cake with fruit and whipped cream to start. I had a little bit and it was amazing. You honestly could fill up on just that alone.

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots
Oh she’s ready
5 favorite Portland spots
and SO good

I myself stole a few bites and I have to say that it was AMAZING. If you go to the ScreenDoor, you want to make sure you order this as at least an appetizer to share with your group.

Here are a few photos of my shrimp n’ grits. It had pieces of bacon in it and some vegetables too. It was absolutely perfect.

5 favorite Portland spots

Coffee was very important to us. We kept drinking it and they kept refilling it. A brunch spot that understands my need for coffee is my kind of place.

For the main course, Cece ordered a sandwich that had some curly fries on it. I think it was the beef brisket, but I cannot remember exactly. We laughed that it was as big as her head.

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

If you are planning a Portland trip, make sure you stop at the ScreenDoor Restaurant.

4. Sidestreet Gallery

On our walk home from brunch that same day, we stumbled upon a fun and quirky shop called the Sidestreet Gallery. It was everything you think when you think of Portland being weird. Outside they were selling baby doll heads for 50 cents and sunglasses for $5. That was what initially caught our attention. As we made our way inside the shop, we found all sorts of little trinkets, model sets, Christmas decorations, other decorations, jewelry, masks, costume items and so much more. If Portland were just one shop it would be this shop.

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

I bought these rockin’ sunglasses for only $4!

5 favorite Portland spots

My dress here is from Old Navy, necklace is Charming Charlie and shoes Target. I wore either these or my Chuck Taylors the entire time. I like comfort while still looking cute.

3. Voodoo Doughnut

So if you want touristy, Voodoo Doughnut is your place. There’s literally a line at all times of the day, I’ve heard. We went on I think a Tuesday at like 11 a.m.

The whole idea behind Voodoo Doughnut is that they make ridiculous doughnuts with all sorts of craziness on them. I got one with fruit loops on top, for example. If you have nut allergies, be warned right now. There are a lot of doughnuts with peanuts, peanut butter or other nuts. I myself have a peanut allergy and thus stuck to two doughnuts I knew I’d be absolutely safe with.

These were Cece’s doughnuts. Yummmm.

5 favorite Portland spots

And MINE!

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

The wait was … fun?

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

Life is interesting and fun for sure. While at one of our 5 favorite Portland spots, we ran into the ALS people. Do you all remember the ice bucket challenge a few years back? Everyone was making those videos and posting them to social media where they would get dunked with a bucket full of ice/water. Well that was to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that affects about 5,600 people in the United States and I’m sure many others world-wide. There was a group of people traveling the country to raise awareness. For their Portland stop, they felt that Voodoo Doughnut was fitting. They also felt that dunking the dunkee in icing and sprinkles was even more fitting, so they did just that.

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite spots

If you have interest in contributing to their campaign, you can go here.

2. Swimming/laying out by the bridge

This place just had to be in my list of my 5 favorite Portland spots. Just off of the Hawthorne Bridge, which connected the neighborhood we stayed in to downtown, is a little spot that people go to lay out in the sun and swim. I love that people just swim in the river in Portland. In my hometown of Cincinnati, many people would scoff at swimming in our river.

The flight we took home left at like 11 p.m. at night. So we for sure had a few hours to kill on our last day. This just seemed like the perfect way to spend our early afternoon.

5 favorite Portland spots

Cece can do a bridge …

5 favorite Portland spots

And I wore my Zulily pineapple dress …

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots
Cece looking hot

1. Brooks Winery

Okay, so this technically is not Portland at all. It was a good 30 minutes- 1 hour drive from the city. But it was so amazing that I just had to include it with my 5 favorite Portland spots.

Last year around this time, I spent about a month in Nicaragua doing volunteer work. I befriended Jana who was a Peace Corps volunteer there at the time. When you are overseas, you just have this way of finding people from your culture. It can be comforting and also inhibiting if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture. That, however, is a rant for another time.

Since then, Jana has returned from the Peace Corps and is living back in her hometown of Portland. I just had to see her while I was in town. It turns out that her parents are members of Brooks Winery. They were having a members night our first evening in town and brought us along. It was such a nice treat.

5 favorite Portland spots

The story of this place is fascinating as well. It all started with the founder Jimi Brooks. He spent some time overseas in Europe traveling. Thus when he ran out of money, he found himself with work at a winery in France. After spending time in Europe learning all about wine and how it was made, he returned to Oregon to start his own winery and farm. He sadly passed at the young age of 38. However Brooks remains in the care of his family and they keep his legacy going by producing quality wine and carrying out biodynamic farming practices. You can read the full story here.

We for sure had a great time trying out the different types of wines and appetizers.

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

5 favorite Portland spots

Thanks for reading all about my journey. Have you been to Porland? What were some of your favorite spots?

 

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My 5 Spain worries and woes

Spain worries

Oh. my. gosh. Spain is getting nearer and near each day. For those of you who do not know, in September I’m going to move overseas to Spain to teach English. I plan to spend my off time immersing myself in the Spanish culture, blogging and traveling. Expect some travel posts for sure. I also wrote a post about why I’m moving to Spain at age 29 a few months ago. You should click here to go read it!

However as with any big move come with worries. I in fact have some Spain worries of my own. How could I not? I’m sure everyone who has made a move to another country has experienced worries similar to my Spain worries. So I thought I would write a bit about the things on my mind each day as I make my move.

5. How am I going to sell all my clothes, shoes, accessories, etc?

Friends, it’s no secret that I’m basically always drowning in dresses. I mean it’s kind of why I started this blog. However I plan to pack pretty light come September for several reasons. First, 98% of the things I need I can also find in Spain. Except for some medication and a few other things, everything can be found over there. There is no need to pack a lifetime supply of tampons or every over the counter medication I can think of.

In regards to my clothing, I’ve been going through my stuff and putting it on Poshmark. What is Poshmark, you may ask? Poshmark is a website where you can buy second hand clothing directly from everyday people. I always have a Poshmark button over on the righthand sidebar of the blog where you can browse through my stuff. I have 23 listings and counting. Any purchase you make from me on Poshmark funds my trip to Spain. So click here if you feel like it and take a gander.

4. Money

Okay so if anyone moving overseas says they’re not worrying about money … they’re lying or are ridiculously wealthy. I know that it’s completely normal to worry and that is okay. When I start to worry, I just reassure myself that it’s all okay. A. I’m working two jobs and each week add a chunk to my savings and B. There are so many people who will pay decent money to learn English with native speakers. In fact, I’ve already come across several decent opportunities for next year in regards to teaching English on the side and I haven’t even arrived yet!

It will all be fine, I tell myself.

3. Making friends

Again, this is another thing that I think we all worry about a little bit. Then we add in the language barrier and it at times feels a little scary. I’m such a social person … your classic extrovert.

Spain worries

Do you know what reassures me here? I try to think back to a time when I had no friends and could literally not think of one. I’ve always made friends wherever I go and Spain will be no different. Furthermore, I’ve already found my American travel buddy via Facebook and haven’t even arrived yet. She’ll be teaching English too through my same program and we already have a trip to Ibiza planned to attend a bachata festival.

I’m sure six months from now I’ll think back to this post when I’m out at the bar with my friends and just … laugh.

2. Spanish

I absolutely love speaking Spanish but mine is still nowhere near perfect. There are still times where people speak at a rapid fire speed and I’m like “Que?” “Cual es la pregunta?”

I’m sure I’m going to have more moments like that. I’m sure I’ll forget or not know words all the time. And you know what? I’m just going to roll with it. It’ll challenge me and force me to grow in all kinds of new ways.

1. Travel

This is more of an excitement. I’m going to see so many cool new places. I’ll meet new people and try new foods. I feel alive when traveling and I cannot wait to do it. Expect lots of travel posts, friends.

I’ve also decided to start a bi-monthly Spain update newsletter. It’ll be just like any other blog newsletter except with a focus on my life in Spain. I’ll have all kinds of exclusive content and photos about my new adventures. I’d love for you to be a part of it. You can subscribe to it here:

Today I’m linking up here:

Bright on a Budget, KT Cup of Tea, Della Devoted, The Closet by Christie, Life in LeggingsStyle Elixir, Two Thirty-Five Designs, A little Bit of EverythingLiz Adventures, Hello Happiness, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula, Shelbee On the Edge, Birdie Shoots

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Green is one of my colors and how to find yours

your colors

Green is one of my colors. We all have a set of colors that look killer on us and green just happens to be one of mine. Our colors may be different than our favorite colors. For example, I absolutely loved pink in middle school and high school. In fact my old e-mail address was pinkchica474@fuse.net. And little did I know back then that Spanish would later become my second language. However pink, unless it’s a very dark pink, tends to just wash me out. I have fair skin and blue eyes, so lighter colors like yellow and pink are often a no-go.

So green was never necessarily a “favorite” color like pink, blue or purple. However I look amazing in it. I’m not just saying this because I have some big ego and think I always look amazing (because really, who does?). Whenever I put on green, I get lots of compliments. A royal green tends to be a nice, warm contrast to my fair skin, blue eyes and light hair. So because of this, I’ve sought out more green in my wardrobe over the years.

my colors

Do you know what your colors are? If you are a tad unsure, I’m here to help! When we discover what our perfect colors are, it makes shopping so much easier and worry-free. If we buy a cocktail dress in one of our colors, we are way more likely to wear it over and over again. So in reality, the biggest benefit to discovering our colors is that it makes us wiser shoppers. And more than anything, I’m a huge fan of shopping wisely.

Here are a few of my tips for discovering your colors:

1. Start by looking in the mirror

You’re simply going to want to take a close look at yourself. What is your skin tone? Is it dark? Is it more of an olive? Or is it incredibly light, like me? What color are your eyes and hair? Write all these things down!

2. Let’s look at colors!

Go through your wardrobe and start holding stuff up. For me, for example, yellow or beige just washes me out. Perhaps light green or blue look awful on you. Perhaps pink goes perfectly with your olive skin. Here are a few cheats that generally tend to work:

  • Blue eyes: blue or green
  • Olive skin, dark brown eyes: orange, pink
  • Green eyes: grey, light pink
  • Darker skin tones: yellow, beige, pink

3. Dress accordingly!

So blue maybe isn’t your color and it’s your favorite. That doesn’t mean you have to completely shut all blue out of your life. Perhaps you can add blue accents to your outfits. I personally love adding little pops of color here and there to my outfits.

Overall, no one needs to like buy a whole new wardrobe. That’s ridiculous. However knowing your colors can make shopping for new things a little more easier. I don’t know about you but the older I get, the more cautious of a shopper I become. I really take the time to think about what I’m purchasing and when I’ll actually wear it. I’ve found knowing my colors really helps when doing this.

My look and my colors

Dark green is one of my colors, so I was initially drawn to this dress. This was, oddly enough, the first dress I bought on Modcloth. While I have been a fan of the online shop for years and have spent lots of time looking through all their AMAZING dresses (they have so many), I had never bought anything. Perhaps it was the online plunge? I’ll admit that when buying things online, the sheer fact that it’s the Internet can be daunting. What if it fits funny? What if the pictures are misleading?

Well you know what? I actually had to send this dress back when I first got it. In a way, my fears came true. When I initially got my order in the mail, the slip stuck out from underneath the green lace part by about two inches. It looked awful. However if you’ll take a gander at the pictures below, you’ll see that this is not the case. That’s because their customer support is so ridiculously easy!

I often work in the evenings and return to my house around 8:30-9 p.m. It’s too late to call a call center and I’d honestly probably not have time the next day between the hours of 9-5. However Modcloth offers a customer support online chat feature. I chatted with someone and she right away put in to send me a new dress. It arrived just a few days later and was perfect! I love how easily accessible their customer support is and how friendly they are. I have also bought things from Modcloth since with no issues.

This dress was in one of my colors and it was on sale. I’m glad I bought it! I ended up wearing this dress to my friend Sara’s rehearsal dinner. And this necklace unexpectedly paired so nicely with it. I oddly found this necklace at a craft store for $6! Sometimes some of your most-loved accessories are found in the most unlikely places.

These photos were shot by a lovely photographer named Paige Dunn just as the sun was starting to set.

my colors
Photo cred: Paige Dunn

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

Dress: Modcloth

What colors do you look good in? Are your colors and your favorite colors the same? How did you discover your colors?

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

 

 

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The Zulily Pineapple dress and why you need one

zulily pineapple dress

This Zulily Pineapple dress was the perfect find. Zulily is a website where you can find all kinds of clothing and other neat things at a very affordable price. Several weeks back, I was just browsing through the dresses because that is my life and stumbled upon this pineapple dress. I thought it was adorably cute and looked super comfortable. Recently I’ve noticed that these sort of tank top dresses have become popular. I love it because I’m all about wearing dresses all the time. So today I’m showing you this more casual dress that you can pair with some sandals or chucks.

Zulily Pineapple dress
Photo cred: Paige Dunn

Several weeks ago, I met up with a new photographer friend named Paige. She was recommended to me by my good friend Kendra. She does a little photography here and there, and I thought it could be fun to work together. As some of you already know, I’m always down to collaborate whether it be with other bloggers, writers, creative types, small business owners, brands or what have you. That evening, we met up at Mt. Airy Forest in Cincinnati. I just love that park. You should check Paige’s Facebook page out here.

I met up with Paige in the evening close to sunset. On a whim, I curled my hair with my Irresistible Me Diamond flat iron. It’s so easy to use and creates that perfect beach wave look.

The perfect beach cover up

Several weekends ago, I went to my family reunion at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. In fact, some of you may recall the blog post I wrote about that weekend. If not, you can read it here. Anyway, so we went boating on a pontoon boat that Saturday. I decided to wear this Zulily pineapple dress as a cover up. It was perfect!

You can rock that dress and chucks look … or that dress and heels look

One of our most popular posts is all about how to pair Chuck Taylors with dresses (read it here). Chuck Taylor shoes paired absolutely perfectly with this look!

I also paired them with my favorite heeled boots that slightly remind me of the 1930’s. I wore those things all winter.

Zulily pineapple dress

Zulily pineapple dress

Zulily pineapple dress

Zulily pineapple dress

Zulily pineapple dress

Zulily pineapple dress

The look

Dress: Zulily
Shoes: Chuck Taylors
Necklace: Charming Charlie (similar)

*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.*

Linking up here today:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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The Amway scam: bloggers beware!

Oh ... so this is Amway_

About a week ago I was sitting alone in a Panera eating a salad and drinking an iced tea. You’d think I got stood up on a first date. While that would have been sad, I’d have taken that over the feeling of just having been deceived. I had just met with someone about the Amway scam. Except she didn’t tell me it was the Amway scam until the very end.

Bloggers … pay attention

I’m writing about this experience because many of my readers are fellow blogers. We’re all a nice little community and I’d like to think we all have each others’ backs. I was simply talking about my blog, when my experience with Amway started. We bloggers talk about our blogs a lot, so this could be any one of us.

Now before I get into the story, let me explain to you what exactly Amway is. Amway is a multi-level marketing company (or pyramid scheme, basically), where you make commissions off of building a team. Thousands of companies operate this way (Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Scentsy … just to name a few). Sure you can sell a product in a market already saturated with consultants from that company.

You can also kind of sell the product and heavily recruit others into your “business.” Many are pressured into doing the later, especially since the person who recruited them also gets a commission off of their recruits (and the person above them and the person above them … see how it’s starting to look like a pyramid?). I sold Mary Kay for a short 3-4 months of my life. So I’m already put-off by the term multi-level marketing. Although I have absolutely nothing against buying something from say Pampered Chef at a party. I just never want to do direct selling again (although I’ve like 5% thought about Lularoe only because those dresses are SO cute and I could just set up shop at festivals all summer like gee … a normal business).

Amway scam

Anyway, so the basic premise seems to be that you have a website and sell these Amway products. It has been compared to a cult. This cracked.com story here tells it a little better than I probably can: Amway: 5 Realities of The Multi-Billion-Dollar Scam. Also when you google the word Amway, the next word that comes up is scam. You know that’s not a good sign.

My Amway scam story

So I was at the mall working a table for my side job, the Gutter Shutter. It’s not glamorous, but I’m a show rep for a gutter company on the weekends. I go out to fairs, festivals, home shows, etc. and talk to people about gutters. Several months ago, there was some event at the mall and we had a table set up. I was talking to everyone who walked by and this woman came by. She seemed nice and somewhat interested, so we struck up a conversation. She mentioned that she had a business where she has her own website and she partners with brands like Marshalls and Target to sell products. She said the whole focus was on driving online sales to those sites. Not once did she mention the Amway scam.

To me, that sounded exactly like affiliate marketing. Bloggers, I know most of you not only know about affiliate marketing but are probably also signed up for several programs. I am a part of several affiliate programs and  include affiliate links in my outfit posts. So I told her I was a style blogger and asked her if it was affiliate marketing. She responded with “yes.” “We train you, set you up with a website and then you have your business,” she said more or less (those were not her exact words … this all happened three months ago). I was thinking it was just another affiliate program, so I was interested. I gave her my phone number and we parted ways. Then I never heard anything and assumed that she had lost my number.

A few months later

Last week I got a voicemail from this woman following up. So since I was interested, I called back. I was very upfront with her. “I’m a blogger and I’m really focused on that. I have absolutely no interest in creating a new website. However if I can use the one I already have, I’d be interested.” She did not know the answer to this, which should have been my first clue. Also, I cannot believe I did not ask the name of the company. But I digress …

She is going to have to ask the owners of the company if I can use my own website. But she would still like to meet with me and is willing to come to the Panera by my house. Why not, I think.

The meeting

We start our meeting at the Panera by my house. A third woman who I never met shows up. I suppose she is with the company. But that was another odd tip off. The woman I initially met starts with a brochure. It seems odd to me that a supposed affiliate marketing company wouldn’t just open up the computer and show me how the website works. After all, she told me that it was all about having your own website to drive online traffic to online retailers.

The brochure does not say Amway or at least say it anywhere blatantly visible. She goes through some diagrams, the bogus money I could make (6-figure income … sure), etc. I feel confused. What does her website look like? How does she drive traffic there (social media … Facebook? Twitter?). She also says that she’s unfamiliar with bloggers using affiliate marketing? Well, if this was a legit affiliate marketing company, she’d have been super familiar. It’s kind of our bread and butter.

She hardly ever uses Facebook, she says. “Then how do you drive people to your website?” Family, friends, face-to-face, she tells me. Everything is face-to-face, she tells me. That’s what they prefer. We are about to call the company so I can explain to them what being a blogger is (since she clearly has no idea) when I ask to see her website. Right there … top left corner … Amway. I feel so dumb.

So this is Amway?

I feel so lied to. We make chit chat for another few minutes and I tell her “yeah, I think I’m just happy being a blogger.” I also ask her why she left out the part that it was Amway until now. “The negative connotation,” she tells me. “If you google it, lots of untrue things will come up.” Well that sounds super shady.

Then we awkwardly make small talk about my salad for another two minutes and then she claims to have another meeting in 20 minutes just down the road. Whether she actually did or just wanted me to think she was successful, I’ll never know. Her and that other woman tell me it was nice to meet me and leave. So here I am eating my salad all alone in Panera and processing my thoughts about the Amway scam.

It was a waste of time

That was such a total waste of time. I could have spent that 30 minutes writing blog posts, scheduling social media, updating my pinterest, writing my next e-mail newsletter or doing a whole variety of needed blog things. So here are a few tips to potentially avoid being in this situation:

  1. Find out the name of the company (I feel stupid for not asking).
  2. Do an Internet search and use your judgement. If one bad review comes up, take it with a grain of salt. However if 50 or more come up, then those bad reviews might be making a point.

Do you have an Amway scam story? If so, I would love to hear it! Feel free to share in the comments section.

 

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4 easy cocktail dresses from Kiyonna

4 easy cocktail dress ideas

We all should have a good, easy cocktail dress or two in our closet. We never know when it will be needed. Perhaps work is requiring us to attend some fundraiser. Or perhaps you just got invited to an engagement party. It can be both fun and nerve-wracking to find a good cocktail dress. We want to make sure it is something we can wear again and again. Luckily, I’ve got you covered with 4 easy cocktail dress ideas. These types of dresses are great and can often be worn again and again.

I also love finding new places to buy my dresses. I also especially love finding new plus-sized dress options. While I am not plus-sized myself, I often hear my plus-sized friends complaining that there are not as many options out there. Or that the options they do find often look frumpy. And no one wants frumpy. That’s why I’m glad I stumbled upon Kiyonna, an online women’s clothing retailer specifically offering sizes 10-32. Here are 4 easy cocktail dress ideas as modeled by the lovely ladies of Kiyonna. Even if you’re not plus-sized, these types of dresses are ones to keep in mind when shopping for that perfect cocktail dress.

1. The wrap dress

A wrap dress looks so elegant. The best thing about a wrap dress is that it can double as a work dress. It works in both situations so well!

easy cocktail dresses easy cocktail dresses

2. The lace dress

Lacey dresses are also perfect for dates. And we all need a good date night dress in our closet, right?

easy cocktail dresseseasy cocktail dresses

3. The elegant neckline dress

A dress with a becoming neckline is just perfect. It creates this elegant look and it’s also unique. I don’t know about you, but I love wearing things that not everyone else is wearing. These two dresses are bound to be the only two in the room.

easy cocktail dresseseasy cocktail dresses

4. The classic maxi

I love a good maxi. Like the wrap dresses, maxis are also perfect to wear to work. Here are a few I absolutely love.

easy cocktail dresseseasy cocktail dresses

Finding that perfect cocktail dress can be difficult. I hope this has provided you with some inspiration. Here are a few of my tried and true tips when looking for a good cocktail dress:

  • Buy it in your color. I mean that color you love and know you look great in!
  • Can you think of at least 5 accessories that already go with it?
  • Will it go with black or nude heels? If yes, perfect!
  • Will you be comfortable in it?

What do you want in a perfect cocktail dress?

*This post contains affiliate links*

Linking up here today:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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Why you need a true weekend away … now!!

weekend away

This past weekend away I packed away dresses that had already appeared on the blog. While I had my camera with me, it did not leave the case one bit. On past weekends away, this made me feel anxious. “This place is beautiful,” I’d think. “This backdrop would make for some killer Instagram photos. I just need to go bug someone I came with to play photographer!” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking, it was also nice to take a true weekend off.

The family reunion … my weekend away

Ever since I was little, my dad’s side of the family has taken these trips in the summer. We usually pick a lake-side location and all rent cabins. Some people arrive Thursday night and others arrive Friday. We spend the days on the lake boating, water skiing and swimming. We spend the evenings grilling out, drinking beer and enjoying each others’ company. I used to dread it growing up. My phone would loose reception about halfway down and I’d be bored. Now I really enjoy this weekend away with family.

I just returned from my family reunion to Jamestown Resort and Marina off Lake Cumberland and I feel more rejuvenated than ever. I’m ready to conquer this week of blogging … at least!

I did take a few shots of the lake as it is beautiful. And confession: I did do some small blog things. It’s hard to completely separate yourself. However the tranquility allowed me to breathe and think a little more. It was nice. I made some brainstorm lists and slept in every morning. Bloggers and non-bloggers, we could all benefit from this.

weekend away

Why you need a weekend away

Ladies, I’m specifically talking to you. We often take on so much in our daily lives. I know for example that many of my blogger friends reading this have children and full-time jobs in addition to running their blog. It can get crazy and hectic. I know the feeling well. Others of us may work two and three jobs. Others of us may play large voluntary roles in community organizations. Whatever it is, many of us could keep on going if we allowed ourselves to.

Several months ago, I sat down and wrote an exhaustive list of all the things I needed to be doing for my blog. From scheduling Twitter to growing my e-mail list better to writing blog posts in advance and everything in between, it was LONG. I got overwhelmed.

“Our to-do lists will never end, which is exactly why we need a weekend away.”

weekend away

I’m a firm believer in accepting reality rather than trying to live in unattainable ideals. Once of those ideals is that I’ll do it all. With two jobs on top of my blog, that will never happen. Our to-do lists will never end, which is exactly why we need a weekend away.

Leave it at home and just go. Smell the flowers, swim in the lake and drink the beer. Browse around the gift shop without an end time in mind. Just be … don’t do.

We simply cannot keep going without some time for ourselves. Yet we often forget to love ourselves. Please do me a favor ladies and make time for yourself. Put that list or that phone down. And instead of doing … just be.

Ladies, what are some of your favorite ways to show love to yourself?

Sunday

Beauty 101 by Lisa, The Wardrobe Stylist

Monday

Birth of a Fashion Blogger, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Fizz and Frosting, Still Being Molly, Beauty by Miss L, Michelle’s Paige, Not Dressed as Lamb, Mahogany Closet, Color and Grace, and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly Simple, Sandy a la mode, Two Peas in a Blog, I Do deClaire, The Fashion Canvass, Walking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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Winter farewell

winter farewell

Ah my winter farewell. I remember this day well. This summer at my main job we have a day camp for kids. That means I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. That also means that I schedule photoshoots at 3:30 p.m. like I had done this day. The cold of the early morning told me that I needed to wear this long-sleeved black dress. It wouldn’t be so bad, I told myself. Your work building is overly air-conditioned anyway!

However it was hot. Summer was finally here and more or less, it was here to stay! So while these photos look great, I was sweating a lot. Little did I know that that day would be my unofficial winter farewell. I’m so glad that summer is here because …

  • ice cream
  • swimming
  • sundresses
  • the county fair (which is the most American thing … ever)
  • sun
  • sandals
  • the beach
  • sunglasses
  • the outdoors

winter farewell

Things I will not miss:

  • Waiting for my car to warm up
  • gloves
  • that instant rude awakening anytime you walk outside
  • ice/snow (I don’t work for a school district anymore so I have no reason to like snow)

So black dress it’s been good and real. I’ll probably wear you next in Spain. And my winter farewell …

winter farewell

winter farewell

winter farewell

Dress: Old Navy

Shoes: DSW

Necklace: Premier Jewelry

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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