Because I Said So: 2014
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best of the Best

It's crazy to think another year has gone by. Yea, that's cliché, but it's true. The older you get, the faster time seems to fly by.
I love having this space to come to and click back through the pages/posts written and just to see what was going on in my life at any given time.
Here's my year in review!
 
January:

I guess I was feeling similar to the way I am now about "engagement season." Literally everywhere you turn, look, or click, someone else is engaged, getting married, or pregnant. And so I wrote this--which still applies to right now.
 


February:
Love was in the air and I wrote quite a few posts about the boyfriend and I, but my favorite is how we met + started dating.
 
 
March:
 
I went to the dentist and he told me I needed braces #rude. Here's to being positive in every situation!

April:
Quite possibly the most monumental thing that has happened this year: I got braces!
May:
I decided to try my hand at being a beer cart girl and boy did I meet some people!
June:
 
Sometimes in the hot summer months, work is hard.
 
July:

One of my best friends is getting married! Only like 7 more months!!
 

 
Also, this was super fun to do. Because not everyone is as perfect as their perfectly staged instagram pictures.
August:
 
I'm guessing a whole lot of nothing happened. Either that, or I was just too busy to write about it all.
September:
 
This is the month that my cousin got married in MAINE and I basically planned and coordinated their whole wedding :) but didn't write about it until later
 

 
October:
 
Gallery walls are my favorite and I used a hodge-podge of random pictures I left over to make this one! Plus, I'd like to think I'm getting better at writing how to's. http://alellzey.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-gallery-wall.html
 
 
November:
 
The month that I started Pure Barre and thought I completely sucked at it. This was also the month of my very first sponsored post!
 

November was a big month. It also happened to be our six year anniversary AND we went to Pittsburgh!
 
December:

I got a jump start on my New Year's Resolutions by taking a second to re-prioritize.
I can't wait to see what 2015 has to offer!

 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Mini Break

If you aren't in high school, college, or super lucky, then you don't get a month and a half off for Christmas break. Most people, myself included, have to work Christmas Eve. Bummer. But I was off at 1:30 and off until Monday (today). It's been a great break, but didn't start off that way.

On Christmas Eve, there was a shooting at the mall that the boyfriend works at. Holy hell what a way to ruin my day. All I wanted for Christmas when I got that call, was for him to get home safely--which he did. With all of that aside, we were able to enjoy the rest of our night with my family. I had a wonderful Christmas filled with the most thoughtful gifts and surrounded by everyone that I love. Santa didn't disappoint either! 





While on this mini break, my high school class had a reunion. It's hard to believe that I graduated high school almost five years ago. Most people dread "class reunions" or class get togethers, but with my ex-high school class (is that a thing?) these "reunions" are actually pretty great. I think it's fun + interesting to see where everyone is in their lives. Someone did some math: about 1/8 of our graduating class is married. Wait..We are still 17 right? 

Anyways...We had the best time. A few broken wine glasses (my fault), spilled gumbo (also my fault), and a failed attempt at cow tipping (PRO TIP: cows don't actually tip over), and I was ready to call it a night. 
Monday morning came a bit early for me, but I'm ready for my next mini break: New Years! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Randoms

The holidays are a time of family, fun, and good cheer. But lately, I've been super stressed. Work has been super busy and the thought of getting in traffic to go to the mall is atrocious. I really just need a break and a breather. (Caution: there's a Vine at the bottom and I couldn't figure out how to make it not play automatically AND not keep playing...sorry!)

So here are some non-holiday + a few holiday funnies to boost your mood (because they lifted mine!):


1.  Back Home Baller. Literally my (and my sister's) life. Also the littlest sister knows all the words.


 


2.  Straight No Chaser. We recently went to see these guys perform live and I am obsessed. All a cappella and all fabulous. Their non-traditional take on Christmas songs are the absolute best and you really can't help but smile.







3. If you haven't seen this workout video from the 80s--its priceless. I just logged back into my Vine account and here's a vine that goes perfectly. 




Have a great few days before Christmas! This break couldn't come fast enough!








Thursday, December 18, 2014

If you have a dog as a child...







If you have a dog as a child, you'll take lots of pictures of him/her. 










If you take lots of pictures, you'll (likely) drag them to take professional pictures at least once.

Yep this really happened.



If you get professional pictures taken, then you're definitely one of those parents that will dress him/her up for Christmas (or just dress them up period).





If you dress your dog child up for Christmas, they'll likely need a treat to sit still.



Blurry--in motion (before the treat)


If you give your dog a treat to sit still, they likely won't sit still at all and you'll be hoping to get at least one perfect shot.





If your dog child won't sit still and you STILL manage to get one good shot, you'll happily spread the Christmas cheer for all to see. 





Merry Christmas from Laney (the reindeer pup) !!



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Prioritizing 101





After reading this post from Rachael (which should totally be a link up!), I've realized I need to do some oh so needed prioritizing--with my life in general.

So, this post may be more for me than for you, but that's ok.

What is prioritizing?
According to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary it means: : to organize (things) so that the most important thing is done or dealt with first /// to make (something) the most important thing in a group.

Yay for lists

(I encourage everyone to make a list of what their best self would be and then work towards it!) 

So here's what I want to accomplish/what I feel like will be my best self:
Be the best I can be at my job (take on new coordination clients) and not leave early (some days 445 looks way better than 500). Go to barre class at least five days a week (because I'm paying a lot for it), keep the apartment spotless, blog consistently/take on new opportunities, spend time with the family, and save money. Oh and look hot doing it all haha. And not all necessarily in that order. That's where the prioritizing comes into play.

Yikes. I'm stressing myself out.


First things first (I'm the realest):

Family/boyfriend time. Not that I struggle with spending time with these lovely people. What I do struggle with, is actually being present. You know, like not always being on social media/watching TV. Actually being present. Sad to admit, but I really need to work on unplugging/carving out a specific couple of hours to be on social media.

Work. Work has been super stressful this month--yesterday in particular (it's our busiest month). But, I'm currently creating event coordination packages to offer potential brides. I'm hoping to grow this segment with both work related clients and non-work related clients!
 
I think these kind of go hand in hand and should really be on the same level.
 
Save money. Working more means more money. Which means I can't go blow it all on the first cute outfit I see. Slow and steady wins the race here. I used to have a saving plan where I'd put a certain amount of money in "Savings", "Retirement", and "Future House Fund" --that's almost scary to think about. Deep breaths. Time to reinstate this plan.

Barre/Health. I'm not going any younger and if I don't take care of myself now, who will. Barre is oh so worth it if I don't end up talking myself out of it during the day. (I haven't been in like a week) Pre-scheduling classes and going in the morning should help with this. 

Blogging. In my December goals, I mentioned that I want to continue to grow the blog. Who doesn't? Last month I had the opportunity to partner with Marley Lilly and I'd really like to get more opportunities similar to that. Things to do: do my homework (check out other brands), see what other top bloggers are doing and take notes, MAKE. A. SCHEDULE. I say I'm going to every month, but never do.

Cleaning. Ugh I wish I could snap my fingers and the clothes would be sorted/organized/washed/put away. I HATE laundry. And doing the dishes. And really just housework in general. *housewife of the year award*. I need to do a mini prioritizing list within the list for housework.


Talk about a LIST of things to do!

Going back to look at what's actually important to me and the order I put them in is surprising. Everyone says that blogging is so important to them (and it is), but it's not over family or my health or saving money. Time to get back on track, just in time for the new year!

What's on your list?? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wait, I have to cook?!

Every year, a good bit of my time is spent trying to figure out what Joshua and I are doing for Christmas. Mostly, which family we are going to see on what day. My mom assures me that it doesn't get any easier after you're married. We usually spend most of this already time consuming conversation trying to remember what we did last year and what would be fair this year.
 
Today, I received a text from the Ryan family about coming to their Christmas lunch. It is requested that everyone bring a dish to the lunch. I kinda sorta disregarded the food part because, I burned soup last week. I don't know how, but it happened.

I imagine the following conversation transpired (after I still haven't replied to the text) between Joshua and his mother:

His Mom: Josh, why doesn't Allison bring something to our Christmas lunch?
Josh: Mom she can't cook believe me. She sucks.
His Mom: Oh, I'm sure it's not that bad. She can make macaroni and cheese, right?
Josh: Well, mom, she has burned Easy Mac in the past. So..
His Mom: Ok...Well she should still bring something. Everyone else is. (And y'all have been dating for 6 years, she had to participate!)
Josh: Fine. I'll see what I can do, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyways, so I wasn't planning on bringing any food nor was I completely sure I was going (his family is ahead on the planning for Christmas Day and mine is behind)

I guess they still have a tiny shred of faith in me (for whatever reason) and now the pressure is on AND I have to impress the future in-laws with my fake ability to cook. Yikes.
    
The problem lies in actually finding something to cook that is "of my skill level". I've been perusing Pinterest and have a few ideas: (I didn't take any of the below pictures. They are all inspiration from my Pinterest!)



1. Maybe some sort of pie/dessert? (Not really all that Christmas-y, but it looks yummy!)


 

2. Hors D'oeuvres (Can I actually make them look as good as they do on Pinterest? I have a feeling mine will end up as Pinterest fails, but hey that's why I'm practicing!)


Like how good does that look??
 
 
 


Leaning towards these! Traditional, yet untraditional!
 

3. Or just show up with some kind of alcoholic concoction so everyone forgets that I didn't actually cook anything. (I'm strongly leaning towards this one if I don't go with the mac)



I have a little over a week to figure out what I'm bringing and will probably do a few trial runs at my apartment. (Follow me on Instagram for those updates). I'll also be planning my family's Christmas Eve Cocktail Party in the meantime.

This Christmas season just got a whole lot more stressful! Have any pointers on what to cook? Comment below--because I said so!

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Excuse Me: I Have an Announcement

I sort of announced it on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, but I feel the need elaborate.
My dreams are finally starting come true materialize in front of me. 
You can now call me Allison: Wedding/Event Coordination Extraordinaire. Yep. I'm even going to have a business card that says so! (Official, I know) 
In what can only be described as a "taking the bull by the horns" moment, I have my first event planning/coordination client! I meet with my first client tomorrow to go over details. And, I'm creating planning packages for future clients to choose from!
I'm a little nervous and since this is my first (kind of second) official client (that's actually paying) I don't really know what to expect. 
What I do know, is that being persistent pays off and that this is just the beginning! Wish me luck--because I said so! (oh and tell your friends--EEK!)


Monday, December 8, 2014

Ghosts of Christmas Classics Past

You wouldn't know it was Christmas time if you walked outside right now. It's pushing 80 degrees one day and closer to 60 degrees another--and this is depressing.
Seriously, dreaming of a white Christmas. Dreaming and wishing and praying for a miracle. At least some CONSISTENT 40 degree weather!


So if it's not the cold weather that marks the season, what does? Here are a few Christmas "classics" that bring back the best memories from many Christmas' past.







1. Manheim Steamroller. The first blast of the electric chords and my spirits soar. There are no words to the songs so you are forced to make your own instrumental sounds. Kind of like Trans Siberian, but less electric guitar.



 
 
2. Along those lines, Christmas music in general, but two songs in particular. My dad sings in a community choir and when they would sing "Pat-A-Pan" and "Fum" at their annual Christmas concert, (I don't really know the name of the song..but it goes "on December five and twenty fum fum fum) that's when you knew the Christmas season had arrived. Side note: They aren't having a Christmas Concert at all this year and I'm so mad. Who do I need to talk to about this??



3. Red Door. My mom hasn't worn this perfume in YEARS. However, recently when in Macy's, I came across Elizabeth Arden's Red Door perfume and was instantly transported to the days when she wore shoulder pads, Santa left us presents (oh wait he still does), and nothing was wrong in the world.



4. The Smell of Christmas Trees. My favorite favorite Holiday/Christmas smell from Bath and Body Works in Fresh Balsam. No, this isn't sponsored, I just love it THAT much. It legit smells like Christmas trees. And since last year I broke out in a rash when I touched my REAL tree, it looks like the fake tree route is the one I'm taking AND my apartment will still smell like a Christmas tree!

Some of these Christmas classics are long outdated and some I try to continue every year. What do you do to get in the spirit of Christmas?


 
 
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wouldn't You Like To Know

Do you ever just wonder. Like truly just question everything around you: how it works, why it works, how to do things, etc?

I go through the day having a ton of questions about the most random things. Most can be solved with a quick trip to Google, but it's more fun to ask/share them this way!

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How do you make those gift guides/outfit ideas? (You know, the ones with the white background) Don't the pictures have copyright strings attached? I could go on and on about questions related to blogging.



When is Joshua going to propose? (6 years and going strong) Ok, obviously J is the only one to know this, but still. I say that I love surprises, but at the same time I don't, you know?


Why does my apartment have horrible water pressure + can you fix this ? (It takes like an hour for my tub to fill up)


Why do fake Christmas trees cost so much???? Hello, they are fake.


Real tree or fake one this year?


How many hours until the weekend?


Can someone clean my apartment for me?


And one final question: What random questions do you have throughout the day?



Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Not to be captain obvious or anything, but it's December y'all. Also known as, the most wonderful time of the year!

November was a great month and I loved wrapping it up with a trip to Pittsburgh and celebrating Josh and I's six year anniversary of dating. Yep, we've made it through high school, college, and now our young professional years. Ok, enough with the mush. Back on topic.

I actually did really well with sticking to my goals last month--if I had to grade myself I'd probably give an 85% plus an A for effort.

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A short recap:

I did not start running. Maybe today after work? But, I did stick with barre class super consistently.

Just under the 3,000 page view mark last month (like by 3) BUT I'm counting it as a win anyway! 

Find a place to live. Well, that would be the apartment I'm currently in. The market is ridiculous. So the best decision: sign a short term lease, slap a budget on my overspending butt, and make it work. 

Buy Christmas Presents! 90% complete guys! All I have left to buy for is Josh, so I'm counting it! Everyone in my family is taken care of and I feel like I have all the time in the world!

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Ok this month's goals:

1. Grow blog. Shooting for the same amount of page views last time, same posting schedule, and not just posting to post. I'd love to throw more sponsored posts in the mix and maybe even join a blogging society!

2. Run! I think this is on the list every month.

3. Enjoy the Holiday season. Take it all in, watch as many Christmas movies as possible, find/decorate the tree, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.



What are you trying to accomplish this Holiday season?


Sunday, November 30, 2014

InVEST in Your Closet

If you follow me on Instagram you'd know two things: I've hit the 500 follower mark (YAY!) and I'm now a rep for Juliana's Boutique (DOUBLE YAY!) I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity!
One of the perks of being a rep is that I can save YOU money! By using my code, you can get 10% off of your purchase! The prices are already affordable, but every little bit helps! My code is "allisonellzey"! 


I'm not quite sure HOW I stumbled across this online boutique based out of Georgia, but I am sure glad I did. They have the cutest clothes that won't break the bank.
Before I was a rep (ok, I've only been a rep for like two days now) I bought two vests. A fur one AND a J. Crew herringbone look alike (because I cannot pay $90 for a vest at this point in my life). 
I literally wear these vests all the time! 
VEST #1:





Pictured: Fifth Avenue Socialite Fur Vest (similar here and here)



VEST #2:





Pictured: Fall Excursions Herringbone Vest 

This vest is sold out, but I have my eye on this one and this one! Give me all the vests! UPDATE: This vest as a twin and it's back and better than ever! (this one is quilted!)



Don't forget to use my code: allisonellzey when you check out to save 10%! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

How To: Pack for Cold(er) Weather

Instead of shopping today, I'm working on fitting my whole closet into a tiny suitcase. 

Yep, it's almost time for our (Josh + I's) 3rd annual trip to Pittsburgh! This year is extra special because it's our SIX year anniversary of dating and the Steelers and playing our hometown team: the Saints. So much excitement!


I struggle with what to wear every year because it's obviously way colder in Pittsburgh than in Louisiana. And because we are flying this year, I'm really going to have to condense my suitcase and not bring 10 different bags. If you're like me and traveling from one extreme weather condition to another, here are some tips for packing that suitcase.

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1. Boots. More specifically, Bean Boots. These are a a lifesaver--as in, versatile. They are warm, water proof, and they have grippies on the bottom so you won't slip. Pack a dressier pair of boots too if you plan on going out!



2. Coat. Or two + a sweatshirt. I like to have options. A black/basic coat and a sweatshirt that is for good for lounging around (or any football games you have to sit through).

3. Leggings. Make that a few pairs. The fleece kind are the best. I wore two pairs of leggings at a time--the thermal kind and the fleece kind last year. Either way, leggings are. a. must!

4. Vests. Perfect for layering and an essential in my suitcase this year. Usually if my legs/feet are warm, I don't like to have too much on top or I'll get uncomfortably hot. Vests are great to throw on-top of your already layered shirts, while still keeping your arms free.



5. Hat/Headband/Gloves/Scarves. The accessories! Pack gloves that you can text in. It's extremely annoying to have to take your gloves off everytime you want to tweet or text. I used finger-less gloves last year and just kept my hands in my pockets most of the time to stay warm--whatever floats your boat.  I'm not much of a hat person, so I prefer to pack those headbands that cover your ears and this year, I'll be packing my new blanket scarf (c/o Marley Lilly) and probably a dozen other scarves. 




The trick to packing for cold weather is to only pack the essentials, because let's face it, winter clothes weigh more than summer clothes and you have to stay under the 50lbs. mark to avoid fees on major airlines. Let's see how well I take my advice. 
So, when it comes to making sure that your suitcase is under 50lbs. with boots and coats and all your winter essentials, may the odds be ever in your favor--because I said so!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

My heart is so full of joy today. The combination of being on vacation for almost a whole week and spending time with my family has me in the best mood ever!

For one, my family is coming to town and I love it when we are all together + we are going to the best little place for a Thanksgiving lunch (it happens to be part of the company I work for :) )
And, no we don't actually cook for Thanksgiving. For the past few years, we've always gone out + this year is no exception!

Secondly, I have so much to be thankful for not just today, but everyday.

My family and all of their crazy shenanigans. They can drive me crazy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Hanging out with them usually results in laughing so hard we can't breathe and dozens of inside jokes.


My dads appreciation of the arts. I love that from a young age we've gone to see plays, musicals, and concerts. So thanks dad, for helping me be well rounded. P.S can we go see Joseph?


Joshua and Laney (my other little family). How can I not be thankful for the boy who has put up with all of my drama for the past six years and never complains?


Having a job in an economy that is less than stellar. And being able to do what I love. Weddings and blogging and all that jazz.


Being able to travel--hello Pittsburgh in T-minus two days.


Having a place to live. Even if it is overpriced, it's safe and it's my little cozy home.


I'm also thankful for friends, coffee, Pure Barre, quiet mornings, and so much more that I couldn't even begin to list. I am truly blessed.


I hope everyone has a great and safe Thanksgiving!




Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Singin' in the Shower

Who doesn't like singing in the shower? It's a judgement free zone where you can belt out tunes to your heart's content (or at least until the hot water runs out). Plus, it makes getting ready so much more fun! I personally like to sing in the shower (duh) and in the car (when people start staring...I've been performing a little too much).



 
 
I use these songs to start the day off on the right foot. Upbeat music and my most favorite songs...#winning

Notes:
-Anything T. Swift goes. Ok, so most of her 1989 track would be on this list if I could fit it.
-Most of these songs I work out to in barre class and fell in love with.
-My "real" shower playlist includes these songs + about 20 more songs.

Enjoy!