MEET THE GIRL GANG

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My girls. My squad. My #GirlGang. From left to right: Nikki, myself, Brandy, Shay. I’m sure you guys might have seen this post floating on Instagram of us shutting DOWN the streets of Times Square during New York Fashion Week. We were there Thursday-Monday and definitely made the most of our experiences! While we did not attend any shows, we had quite a few brand meetings set up along with many events to attend. Safe to say we were making boss moves, not just trying to get into all of the shows. While we would have love to attend a few shows, we all agreed that creating and building relationships with the people who you need to know in the industry would be more beneficial for us in the long run. When you think of it that way, they will remember who you are and will keep you in mind for future opportunities like collaborations, and personally invite you to their shows, etc. Keep in mind that you have to do the work, too. Always always always follow up and thank them for their time no matter how big or small the opportunity is.

Meet the #GIRLGANG.

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SHAY of @shaymone

Shay and I have been only been hanging out since the early summer, but we have known each other/and following each other a few months before we started hanging out. We also have closer ties because her future sister-in-law and I have known each other since middle school pretty much. It feels like we’ve been friends for a decade even though we haven’t. That’s how strong our connection is. I don’t have too many girlfriends, but I would consider the beginning of this friendship TRUE, REAL, and I can tell that it will be long-lasting. Sometimes, you just know. Out of all 4 of us, Shay is the dominant planner and the organizer. *Insert praising hands emoji here* She definitely keeps us all in line and on our toes with our to-do’s and tasks for the week. Also, she’s a petite mother of 3 and a certified BOSS in everything that she does all while being a boss at her full-time job. www.shaymone.com

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BRANDY of @authentically.b

Where do I start? Brandy’s Instagram handle is exactly what she IS! AUTHENTIC. She’s not afraid to be b o l d and fearless and her personal style reflects that as well. She has the attitude to back it up, all the while she is as nice as can be. Brandy is also the mother of her super handsome son, Grant! If you follow her on Instagram, her stories always reflect how her family brings out her soft side. I love that about her. She is also an elementary school teacher everyday and runs a kick-ass blog www.authenticallyb.com When B came into the picture, this was only in the summer time, too. We finally met in person when I agreed to be on a DIY news segment that she hosted on Houston Life TV. We clicked, and not too long after is when we all linked up!

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NIKKI of @newtexacali

Is she from New York? Nope. Is she from Cali? Nope. Her handle describes her well because she is a wanderlust and an absolute free spirit. Nikki and I met last year at a Create & Cultivate event here in Houston and have been connected ever since. Earlier this summer is when we really started to talk more and hang out. Nikki is also a mother of two gorgeous kids that I call “my fraaandsss” and knows how to balance everything so well! Not only does she talk the talk, but she walks that walk, too. She recently quit her full time job a few months ago to take on blogging full force. I’m so proud for her because all of us in the group aspire to blog full time! ha. (until then, we’re doing the work.) We recently had a conversation about aspirations, goals, and manifestation. It’s like, once she quit quit her job, things started to unfold for her. She’s featured in the LIKE.toKNOW.it book, she was nominated for Houston’s It girl of Instagram, and is/has been working on paid partnerships. www.newtexacaligal.com

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Our Driving FORCE: Each other

Considering that these friendships are new and flourishing, if you have been following along with us you can tell that we have a special bond. It’s like God had this ALL planned out. I was living in Austin with barely any friends that shared the same interest, let alone looked like me. Not saying that matters as much, but it just feels real when you can connect with likeminded people who are on the same level as you, and who just gets you. We love to celebrate each other’s WINS and accomplishments. Always rooting for each other, and helping out with anything when we can while being STRAIGHT UP HONEST. We get things DONE and take names. I’m very observant of behaviors and normally have a guard up when I sense something about someone that would turn off my interest. I don’t feel that when I’m with them. That’s how I knew that we would be the perfect #GirlGang. We all have different personalities, but at the same time we have a lot of similarities. A few of you asked about how we got to do some of the things that we did at NYFW. This is when we put all of our heads together and made those things happen. If one of us got an email from a brand, we responded and included WE and sent off one another’s names, handles, and media kits to everyone that contacted us and vice versa. Four is better than one! We always put things into perspective differently which is how we come up with “The Plan.” We did the dirty work on our own. WE contacted brands, WE contacted PR companies, WE did the following up and made it all happen. And when WE got the opportunities, WE made sure that WE created the hell out of some amazing content which got us noticed for MORE opportunities. The possibilities are truly endless when ideas are bounced around like basketballs. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have some of the connections that I currently have, and some of the knowledge that I have about the blogging game. We’re all still learning and growing in progress and WE are doing it together! I thank God for these ladies and I hope our stories inspire you all. Keep up with us on social because we have some amazing things brewing in the master pot! Thanks for reading <3

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Shop my look below: ALL looks from ASOS

Not shown above: Saint Laurent ChYc bag in black patent from REBAG

Photos by Ahmad Sweeney @sweenshots

 

JULY MOOD

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Oh July, 

When the summer heat is starting to get r e a l  and all you want to do is stay cool by the pool or hang out at the beach...shaded of course. I actually love July because it's right smack in the middle of the summer season and normally I'd be planning a vacation. I won't be going anywhere this summer, but In August I plan to head back to Los Angeles and New York in September for fashion week. I'm so excited for those two trips! If you have been following me along for a while, you know that I am engaged. Our wedding was supposed to happen later this year, but we pushed it back to next year. You know, sometimes your plans don't always line up the way you thought they would - and we decided together that it would be best if we give ourselves more time to plan and prepare. In the last few months we have moved back to a different city, and with us being between work transitioning and such we have no desire to rush our wedding. What I am also happy about is - most of what we got done for the wedding will already be taken care of for next year! Yes God, I trust your timing. *praising hands emoji* Just thought I'd share an update on what's going on with my life on a personal aspect since this is my platform, and you guys are here for a reason. Thank you for reading!

On another note, what styles have you been into this summer? I have been collecting so many accessories which is unusual for me since I normally don't wear a ton of jewelry. I have so many gold layering necklaces now (especially with the medallions) as well as shell and tortoise earrings. I have also been into dainty stackable rings on multiple fingers. Who am I? I even bought a jewelry holder from Ikea that I loooove! I'm also looking forward to wearing more tops with plunged necklines with layered necklaces for as a subtle staple. Layering accessories can easily transition a simple top or dress to complete any look. Feel free to shop some layering necklaces below - including this "Oui" necklace by Natalie B Jewelry that I just bought because, one day I'll be in France. Until then, OUI!

 

SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP - MEMORIAL DAY 2018 SALES

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Firstly, we can't forget why we celebrate Memorial Day. Yes, it is a nice long weekend for relaxing by the pool while enjoying BBQ but we should still pay our respects by saying a quick prayer for families who have lost their loved ones while serving our country. I have military in my family (none of them have lost their lives while serving - thankfully) so I have a great respect for our veterans. 

Since Summer is quickly approaching, I have been shopping so much. Lord help me....and my wallet. In my previous post I mentioned that I have been buying so many dresses, skirts and tops with tortoise buttons. Don't ask why - it just happened that way and I am in love with everything that I Have purchased/ordered. I literally had like 8 packages delivered (no exaggeration) in the past week. Not sure how I avoided my fiancè asking me what the hell I have been buying  but I finessed my way through. Hahaha. 

Take a peek below at what's been in my carts + what's on my Summer wardrobe inspirations list and take advantage of these too-good-to-pass-up sales! 

MANGO

30% OFF EVERYTHING WITH CODE - MNG30

NORDSTROM

HALF YEARLY SALE UP TO 40% THROUGH JUNE 3RD

URBAN OUTFITTERS

SOME ITEMS UP TO 50% OFF

FREE PEOPLE

40% OFF SUMMER ESSENTIALS - DISCOUNT APPLIED AT CHECKOUT

ANTHROPOLOGIE

EXTRA 40% OFF SALE + 20% OFF FURNITURE & DECOR

GAP - 50% OFF EVERYTHING - EXTRA 20% OFF ONLINE + FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS - CODE PARTY

MISSGUIDED50% OFF EVERYTHING - CODE GOBABE

JCREW40% OFF YOUR PURCHASE - CODE GETAWAY

BOOHOO50% OFF EVERYTHING - CODE GIMMIE

RIVER ISLAND20% OFF EVERYTHING - CODE MEMORIAL18

SAM EDELMAN30% OFF SITEWIDE - CODE SAMXMDW30

H&MMEMORIAL DAY DEALS UP TO 60% OFF THROUGH 5/29

 

MAY MOOD

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Thanks for stopping by again! I am back with another mood board post. It seems like a lot of you liked reading my first April Mood post so I am happy to have started this monthly series. If this is your first time reading my mood board post - I decided to create a collage of images that inspire me by my mood, style, and what I'm feeling or getting into that month.

Gosh, where did time go? How are we already almost half-way through the year? That being said, you have 7 months to figure that sh*t out. What are we waiting on? The question that we must all be real about. In real life we all have road blocks that delay us and our plans but that's okay, just as long as you keep going. We all go through different seasons at different times, and if you don't feel like your "time" is now, then it is certainly coming.  If you look at the bottom left quote in the collage, it says "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."  I am not going to sit around and complain about where I am, I'm just going to do me and grow along the way. With where I'm headed, I have no tolerance for negativity and I want to surround myself with like-minded individuals who are on the same page. I have come across some amazing women on Instagram who inspire each other to keep killing it! I love that. 

On another note, Houston has been having some gorgeous weather lately and we can already feel that Summer heat coming! I have started doing a little shopping for the Spring/Summer and everything that I am loving now is either linen, or has a tortoise button down detail (or both.) I recently bought two dresses, two skirts, and a top that I cannot wait to wear. Take a guess? They all have tortoise buttons. Now, I'm thinking that I need some tortoise earrings to go along with my tortoise mood. haha. I can't wait to share these new Spring looks with y'all pretty soon. My style is becoming more and more simple  and I am starting to gravitate more towards elevated basics that work well with versatility. What are you looking forward to wearing this season? Can't forget that staple basket bag! Now, you can find them in lots of different styles! Below, I linked a few of my favorite ones. Also, please check out my new "Shop" page at the top menu of my blog! This Summer style list will make you want to spend it all before your vacation. 

all images via pinterest.

 

APRIL MOOD

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I decided to do something a little different here on the blog. I had this "idea" in mind for a monthly mood board blog post for a while now, and I am finally putting it in motion! Can we say YASSS for ideas = action? My new monthly mood board series will just consist of an array of images that reflect my mood, thoughts, feelings, and overall inspirations for that specific month. Most of these images I find on Pinterest (you should follow me on Pinterest here!and some of them might consist of my own personal photos. But mainly Pinterest because that's where I get most of my visual inspiration from. I am so pleased with how my first mood board for this month of April came out because all of the images I can relate to in some sort of way, and I made this myself in Photoshop. Just by looking at the collage, it just makes me feel....alluring. Certainly a direct reflect of my current emotions. 

Life update: My fiancè and I just relocated back to Houston from Austin so that whole process has been long and busy. It's so exciting to be back closer to family and friends! We also didn't realize how much we had (that we didn't need to take with us) until it was time to pack up and move. With having some time off from work, that gave me the chance to donate a bunch of clothing and things to Goodwill and start fresh. I have also been using my time off to focus my time and energy on wedding planning, spending time with my parents, my two dogs, exercising, figuring out money moves with Des (ha) and lots of self care. April has been great so far, and we're already almost half way through it. I also just picked up Gary Vee's new book Crushing It because I've heard so many good things about it! He's a pretty smart and tenacious guy who knows what the hell he's talking about. So I'd definitely take his advice. New month, new goals. Happy April, friends!

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VALENTINE'S DAY

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The details - Dress: Tularosa // Bag: Zara // Boots: Zara (similar here) // Photos: Vivian Kwan // V-Day Cookies: Bear Necessity Cookies

Happy Monday, y'all! With Valentine's Day being only a couple days away, I guess I'm considering this a "last minute" post for all of your last minute ideas. Wait....I just realized that every time there's a holiday (that we need to shop for) I always always always create a "last minute" post. I promise I'm not always late with everything. Hahaha. I do a lot of things better under pressure and I know that I'm not the only one! Just being realistic. I don't always shop for birthday/Christmas/Valentine's Day gifts months and weeks ahead, I shop the week before..maybe the week of..or a couple days before. *slaps forehead* If you're reading this, you're probably a last minute shopper too (or just reading the blog & I thank you!) so don't worry, I got you.

Although Valentine's Day is not a holiday that I go crazy about, I do still buy a little something for my parents (some sort of couple's thing) and my man. This year, we aren't planning much. I'll be working that day so I'm sure it will be a nice night in with my favorite bottle of Prosecco and I ain't mad at that. Des' birthday is also next week (Lord I still have to buy him a birthday gift) and we will be going on a little fun quick trip so I'm okay with laying low this week/weekend. IF - and that's a strong if we do something for Valentine's Day, I plan on wearing this Tularosa dress because it's so comfortable, casual, yet flirty, which would be perfect for a date night out. And it's on major sale!!!! What are your plans for Valentine's Day? Do you and your significant other normally go all out or just Netflix and chill? If you're still looking for outfit ideas, look no further! You might be cutting it close for ordering + on time delivery but some places have reasonable overnight options, or you can just get your inspiration ideas here and go find them in store. Do your thing, girl!

The Ultimate Gift Guide: 

For Him:

For Your Galentine:

What to Wear:

Night in With Bae:

Casual Date Night:

Hot Date:

Shop My Look:

Were you inspired by any of these outfits/gift ideas? If so - are you going on a hot date, casual date, night out with your girls, or stay in the house kinda date? Whatever you decide to do, have a good time! I hope you enjoyed this post and THANK YOU for reading! <3

 

8 TIPS ON CREATING & MAINTAINING A BALANCED LIFESTYLE

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Before I began writing this post I sat at my computer desk staring at the screen, fiddling with my nails and hands, and scratched my head trying to think of where to even start. This felt like homework but I really want to start incorporating wellness and more positivity to my blog. Balance for sure starts with having a handle on various elements of your life. When you're mentally in a good place, you should feel calm, clear-headed, grounded, and of course, motivated. The elements in life that require the most balancing can be divided into two categories: internal and external. Often, most people focus on one more than the other. 

Internal - Mind: Challenging yourself intellectually vs. creating opportunities for your mind to rest. Heart: Giving love vs. receiving love. Health: Eating, drinking, exercising, vs. resting and treating yourself to extra things you probably don't need.

 External - Work:  Pushing yourself to achieve goals vs. seeing the bigger picture and enjoying the ride (mostly me) Social: Satisfying your social desires (going to that party that you really didn't want to go to) vs. taking the time that you really need for yourself. Family: Fulfilling your familial responsibilities vs. creating healthy boundaries. Fun: Making time for things you enjoy doing vs. making sure don't overdo it. 

Both are pretty positive but if you put all of your energy towards just one, something that is intended to be positive can end up being unfavorable. I personally tend to focus a lot on things that need to be done. Like work (or my job) and that's where most of my energy goes during the week. I used to struggle with taking extra steps to better my personal life that would be fulfilling to me. I would get home from work sometimes and not put in the extra work for my future. When I was stuck in that rut, I didn't have much of a positive attitude at work like I had before. This is really important to me. When I relaunched my blog in October, that was a huge accomplishment. I noticed that when I practiced prioritizing "balance" I saw the benefits. Having a positive mindset can really change how you balance the good in your life. That being said; here are 8 quick tips to help you create and maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.

1. Set Goals:

Make a list of which ways you desire to balance your lifestyle. Decide what you want to accomplish to help you get there. Write these goals down and look at your list daily. Try your hardest to work towards those one day at a time. 

2. Plan Tasks:

Make another list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that you feel that you need to do to help you achieve each of these goals. Block out certain times of your day (each day) to spend time doing at least one thing that will help you get closer to scratching more goals off your list. If you have a really restricting schedule (which that should be no excuse) start your day by waking up an hour earlier to get something done. 

3. Acknowledge:

Take some time to look at your state of mind, your life, and how you're feeling. Be true to yourself and notice the areas of your life that you're neglecting. 

4. Examine:

Figure out if you're leaning more toward an internal or external focus, or if there are some areas within each category that you would like to be more balanced. 

5. Prepare:

Can you figure out what inner thoughts you might have that could be keeping you from sticking to your plans? You need to throw all of the negative self talk, doubts, and worries out the window. See ya later!

6.  Plan:

Decide that you want to take your goals in life seriously and stay on track with working towards them. It takes time and a lot of effort to create better habits and patterns. 

7. Connect:

Have someone in your life that can help you challenge yourself, and that will celebrate your smallest accomplishments with you. Everyone needs someone that can help you keep motivated, supported, and focused during the harder times. 

8. Empower:

Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. I try to start my day each day by reading a list of positive affirmations (and my daily devotional from the Bible) say those positive affirmations out loud. Multiple times if you feel like it. Here's a good one -->  "CREATIVE ENERGY SURGES THROUGH ME AND LEADS ME TO NEW AND BRILLIANT IDEAS."

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Jacket: Zara  (similar below) // Turtleneck: Urban Outfitters // Jeans: Zara (similar below) // Belt: Free People // Faux Fur Bag: Nordstrom // Studded Booties: Treasure & Bond (similar below) 

Which of these tips spoke to you the most? I hope this post helped you out some. We all need to read a little positivity more often and I am so glad that you stopped by! Thank you so much for even clicking the link to my post. You are very much appreciated. <3

Shop The Look:

 

15 RANDOM FACTS THAT YOU PROBABLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME

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While being involved with social media and putting yourself out into the public every day, it could seem like your audience or people who follow you know you and can connect with you personally. To me, that's a really good thing because you will gain trust. If you just put out your work and share your craft without sharing who you really are there could be a disconnect. Not saying anything is wrong with that - but with what I'm doing, I want people to always feel connected to me in a good way. I don't want to just be a blogger that wears and shares cute outfits and tells you where to buy something. I want to be more than that. I'd like to make a positive impact on others and be trusted to share valuable content. In 2018 I am challenging myself to open up more for you to get to know me.  My life isn't perfect and I don't try to make it seem like it is. I want you to get to know the real Meghan a little bit better than you do.

Here are a few random facts about me that you probably don't know just yet: 

1.  I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I love being around and seeing people but I am also kind of quiet and reserved

2. I am the youngest of five kids

3. Los Angeles is my favorite city - I can go many times throughout the year and not get tired of it. If I go anywhere else in California other than LA, I would probably be thinking the entire time "I could be in LA" LOL

4. I have two dogs. A 9 year old Miniature Schnauzer named Armani, and an 11 month old Doberman Pinscher named Zeik

5. I am originally from the small town of Beaumont (Big Money), TX

6. My fiance and I went to high school together, but never dated in high school

7. I absolutely cannot stand hearing people chew or smack gum. Ugh

8. I was on the front page of the newspaper when I was 8 years old because my dad duct taped a huge umbrella to my Barbie jeep and the title was "Meghan stays cool during the Summer by the help of her dad, Jerris" haha

9. My favorite song in the universe is Before I Let Go by Frankie Beverly and Maze. Anytime I hear it I'll blast it and might just start crying from happiness. Anyone who has been knowing me for a while knows that

10. One of my favorite movies to watch is the Temptations

11. I am a true daddy's girl. I am blessed to have a daddy like mine and growing up I always thought that he was the smartest man in the world. I love you too, Mom

12. I love old people. Anytime I see them in the grocery store or wherever I can't stop smiling at them

13. I LOVE  to eat raw carrots

14. I may seem sweet and shy but I can get really hot-tempered if I feel rubbed the wrong way

15. I am getting married at the end of this year :)