4 tips to plan ahead for vacation

Ibiza in off season

As I sit here and begin this blog post, I have about a million things going on in my head. I leave to teach my private lessons in an hour … I still need to look up exactly what I want to and need to see in Lisbon this weekend … I should probably post a photo to my Instagram. Now is a good time as my American followers are likely all waking up and starting their days while my European followers are going about their days. More eyes to see … oh and have I done laundry? … oh and my room is a mess.

I think we all know this feeling well. We have a lot to do and then we’re going on vacation. This coming weekend is what they call a “puente” here in Spain. Puente literally translates to bridge in English. However in this context, it means having several days off of work or school usually in regards to a holiday. This puente means I have next Monday and Tuesday off work. So I decided to take a trip to Lisbon, Portugal. Since Lisbon involves a bit more travel time, I figured a four-day weekend would be best.

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A reflection on 5 months and linkup

reflection on 5 months

Hi everyone! Today I’m very excited to be co-hosting the Thursday Fashion Files with Carrie from Curly Crafty Mom and Jill from Doused in Pink. I have been following their blogs for at least a year now and have linked up with them countless times. As I have transitioned from just blogging about to fashion to blogging fashion and travel, the times I can link up are less frequent. But I, of course, am always excited to when I can!

So for this post, I thought I’d do a little reflection on how I’m doing. I thought it would be fun to mix some photos in from the different shoots and outfits I’ve worn over the past five months.

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3 ways to celebrate Galentines day far away

celebrate Galentines day far away

Long-distance relationships suck at times. You spend lots of time on the phone or Skype. You send lots of messages back and forth. And you absolutely cannot wait until you’re together again. And no, I’m not talking about a long-distance romantic relationship. In fact, I’ve never been in a long-distance romantic relationship, so I may not even have the right picture of what that looks like (sorry is it’s totally wrong!). No, I’m talking about your best female friends. Living life abroad for me means that my best friends live many miles away from me. With Galentine’s Day approaching on February 13th, I know I’ll be thinking of all kinds of ways that I can show them how awesome they are and how glad I am that they are a part of my life! It just gets a little trickier with an ocean in between. So I’ve rounded up five different ways to send them some Galentine’s Day love.

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My year in dresses part 2

wore in Portland

Earlier last week, I had recapped my year in dresses. As many of you already know, I wear a lot of dresses. In fact, that’s what inspired the name of my blog. I think that as we end one year and begin another, it’s good to do a little reflecting. Even if we think our year was not the best, we usually have made progress. Reflecting can help us see that. I know I for one made lots of leaps with the blog.

Reflecting also allows us to see where we are and where we want to go. I know that for me, this is the year that I give the blog my all. I’m going full force with it. So to those of you who are new, welcome! I hope you stick around because I have lots of great ideas for the year to come. And those loyal readers out there, thank you for all your support. You all are amazing.

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A year in dresses part 1 and StyleWe Giveaway

year in dresses

It has been quite a year in dresses for me. As I think back to last year at this time, so much was different. My mother was about to go into hospice after a six-month stay in the hospital after having a brain aneurysm. I was nearing the end of Dressember, a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. While I was 3-months in, I was such a baby blogger.

Now one year later, I think it’s fitting that this post includes a giveaway. In this year since, I’ve seen a growth in traffic and engagement on both the blog and my social media platforms. I’ve worked with some brands and small businesses, and continue to have people reaching out for collaboration. I feel like I’m in my solid sophomore year of blogging and there is nowhere to go but up. And it could not have been possible without you all. So thank you for reading, liking and commenting. It always brings me joy!

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Closet space in the US and Europe

There’s no doubt that many things are different between the US and Europe. In addition to different languages (except for a few countries of course), different food and different customs, the spaces are quite different. Things are just bigger in the US. In Europe the buildings are older and there’s just less space in general. Plus I’ve noticed that people in Spain like to live near each other more. You see that everyone not only lives right in the cities, but also they choose to live in the center of towns and villages too. That, however, is a topic for another blog post.

I recently came across a company called MakeSpace and it prompted me to think about about my dream closet. After all, I really do love my closet space that I lucked into here in Spain. Is it my dream space? No. But we will get into that later. Also for those who are not aware, MakeSpace is a self-storage service that moves your unwanted stuff and stores it for you. They have several self-storage locations throughout the United States.

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5 ways I’ve experienced culture shock in Spain

culture shock in Spain

Friends, I’ve experienced culture shock in Spain. In fact, I’m experiencing it now. All of my close friends and family members already know that I’m an open book. I like to talk about my struggles and as a highly sensitive extrovert (God that’s the weirdest combo, by the way. You have overwhelming feelings and aren’t afraid to verbalise them … sometimes not in healthy ways either), I always feel the need to talk out my feelings with at least 10 people. You add in the fact that some of these people speak only your second language, and it can feel isolating.

So instead of posting one of my fun travel posts, I’ve decided to push that one back a few days and write about what is actually happening. I promised you all that I would paint an accurate picture of what life in a foreign country is like. And culture shock is a part of that experience. Everyone experiences culture shock, we just all experience it in different ways. And some don’t want to or need to talk about it. However that’s not that case for me. So I figured I would share my experience here for several reasons.

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My wedding style: a collaboration

wedding style

New fashions added daily at SheIn.com

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself at plenty of weddings and also in several weddings over the last several years. I suppose it’s because I’m 29 and everyone but myself (okay that’s an exaggeration) is getting hitched. The thing is, I’m not one of those bitter people. I really, REALLY love weddings. I love wearing dresses and love any excuse to wear one! Furthermore, when my friends ask me to be their bridesmaid, I’m overjoyed. I love being there for my friends and helping them in any way I can.

So when Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood approached me about a wedding style collaboration, I of course said yes. In fact, there are six of us collaborating today! This dress is absolutely perfect for a wedding and in a less-expected color: green! I love dark green and feel like I look best in it, so I had to order this from Modcloth. In fact, I had been eyeing it for about a year before purchasing it.

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4 tips for Lularoe shopping success

LuLaRoe shopping has been all the rage lately. I feel like I get invited to a new LuLaRoe party every week. And I must say that as someone who almost exclusively wears dresses, I love LuLaRoe. In fact not one but two LuLaRoe dresses came with me to Spain. However unless you happen to stumble upon a LuLaRoe booth at a fair, festival or event (which is more likely in the summer anyway) and find something you like, LuLaRoe shopping seems to exclusively be on Facebook. Unlike other companies, there’s not really a central website where you can shop. But not to fear! I’ve complied my 4 tips to ensure you some LuLaRoe shopping success.

LuLaRoe shopping

1. Join LuLaRoe groups on Facebook

So first, let me explain to you how LuLaRoe shopping works. Independent consultants each have their own LuLaRoe business (think the Mary Kay or Pampered Chef of ridiculously cute dresses, skirts and leggings). Each one I’m sure has her own style of running her business, but I find the majority of them have Facebook groups. In these Facebook they’re always posting about new products, new parties where you can shop and fun discounts.

In order to shop you have to be online when their shop is “open” which usually means during a party. You have to comment on the photo(s) of the items you want. When the party is over, your lovely consultant sends you an online form to fill out with payment and shipping information, and then she e-mails you your invoice. Once that’s been processed she either ships you the item(s) or you can arrange to pick it up if you live closely. Each consultant works from her own inventory and most likely does this to keep control of everything.

Unlike other companies, I’ve found that LuLaRoe consultants are not at all offended if you shop with them and other consultants too. In fact both dresses I own came from two different consultants. So start by joining a Facebook group or two. Don’t know any LuLaRoe consultants? Luckily these ladies are all over social media. You will find hundreds of them on Instagram and Facebook. All of these ladies would gladly let you in because well … it is a business after all. I am a part of these three Lularoe groups: Shop LuLaRoe with Krista McClelland, LuLaRoe by Lauren Yinger and LuLaRoe Mandy Cavanaugh. I’m sure any and all of these ladies would love to have you as a part of their group!

LuLaRoe shopping

2. Make note of days/times for parties and open shops for best LuLaRoe shopping

So I actually learned this one the hard way. I was super excited when I got invited to my first online LuLaRoe party several months back. I had discovered LuLaRoe while at an event last Spring. So I was excited and ready to shop. Unfortunately my busy schedule made me forget that I had a LuLaRoe party to attend. Fail.

Normally when a consultant is having an online party or open shop, she lets you know in advance so that you can plan. I’d suggest making an event on your calendar on your phone with a nice little reminder. Then either ensure that you are at home or in a place with working Internet. And if you make my mistake, just stay tuned for the next party. Just join a few groups and I’m sure there will be another one happening soon!

3. Develop a relationship with your consultant

When I bought my first LuLaRoe dress, the consultant didn’t actually list that particular dress at the party. I had already done a little LuLaRoe research of my own and knew I wanted the Amelia dress the most. I loved the material and the pockets. So I was a little bummed when my consultant Lauren Yinger didn’t list any Amelia dresses. So I decided to ask her if she had one. She did not but contacted some of her consultant friends and found me several Amelia dresses to pick from. That level of customer service really impressed me. This is said dress. I LOVE the cassette tapes.

LuLaRoe shopping

These ladies want to help you be the most happy you can be with LuLaRoe. So if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask them!

4. Wear your LuLaRoe out!

So this is another cool story! Before I left for Spain, I had a job where I’d run a display table for two different companies at fairs and festivals. It was good weekend work and probably too much funnel cake. One day, I decided to wear this cassette tape dress to work. A woman walks up to me and silently hands me a little coupon. It said “spotted in LuLaRoe … you get $5 off” or something along those lines. This consultant apparently keeps those with her as she’s out and about, and hands them out to women wearing LuLaRoe. So you never know … you could get a sweet coupon if you wear your LuLaRoe out.

Have you done any LuLaRoe shopping? What has your experience been?

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

Photos were shot in Gatlinburg, Tennessee by my best friend. You can read all about our Gatlinburg adventures in these two blog posts here and here.

Also here are my fantastic blogger linkups!

 

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The Granada story and leaving

Granada story

Hi everyone! I have not written as many posts as of late. That is because I am moving to Spain tomorrow! Like tomorrow in the early afternoon, I board a series of flights which will eventually land me in Málaga, Spain. I am currently staying in a hostel in Chicago with my bags all packed. And let me tell you … it was hard to figure out what to take and what to leave behind. A fashion blogger preparing for a year of living overseas … that’s some entertainment. But I made it and am happy with what I brought.

I also realized that I never told you guys why I made the switch from living in Jaén to living Granada. So here goes.

My Granada story

I am teaching English in Spain for a year (and maybe a few more) through a program sponsored by the government. They take everyone on a first come first serve basis and placed you at a school all year long. You give them your preferences on where and how big of a city, but they kind of just do what they want anyway. So I ended getting my first choice location: Andalusia. I however got placed in a small town rather than a big city like I had asked. I’ll admit that I was crushed and also just worried about how I’d get to work and out of the town if I wanted to travel. So I e-mailed my school.

They responded right away and told me it’d be best to live in Jaén, a city of like 115,000 about 35 minutes away. So it was doable. I began keeping an eye on apartments and in general was thinking about life in Jaén.

Then in August my ride to and from school changed because the one teacher I was going to ride with switched schools. Another teacher was commuting from Granada, so that became an option and I jumped on it! Here are some reasons I’m excited to live in Granada

  • Many bars offer free tapas if you’re drinking
  • Flamenco dancing
  • It’s 250,000 vs. 115,000
  • It’s closer to the beach
  • It’s beautiful
  • EVERYONE says amazing things about it

So folks … I’m living in Granada. Yes, this will mean a longer commute but that’s okay! More time to practice Spanish. And … guys … I’m going to live in Granada!

The last days

I wanted to round up some photos from my last days here. It’s been fun and real.

Granada story
mmm Eli’s bbq

Granada story Granada story

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My best friend!
Granada story
quick Tennessee trip

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I’ll have a whole weekend in Tennessee post coming soon folks! The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Spain!

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