Because I Said So: November 2014
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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!




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Because Josh Said So | Blogger Men Tell All

When I first came across this link up post on Becca's blog, I knew I had to participate--or rather, Josh had to! I was prepared to go in, guns blazing, to persuade him to let me interview him. He was skeptical at first, but in the end acquiesced.

For this post, everything is "because Josh said so."






1. What food do you look forward to most at Thanksgiving dinner?

TURKEY!! I'm a picky eater so..turkey is about it. Just turkey. Plain, boring and simple.


2. Do you ever go shopping on Black Friday?

Yep. But only because I work retail and I'm already out in all the madness. I know where to go because I know what the competitors are offering. 


3. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Umm...watching the NFL after eating the TURKEY! 

4. Do you travel for the Thanksgiving holiday or do you stay close to home?

Always stay close to home. I've been locked into working retail since 06 so I can't go far. 


5. What are you most thankful for this year?

I know you want me to say you...family, well being of my family. What I'm most thankful for? Man, that's a deep question. I'm thankful for my job. Ok final answer: friends and family (and soon to be family) 


Thanks for being a good sport Josh! Now back to everything being because I said so!

Becoming Adorrable



Monday, November 24, 2014

Marley (Lilly) + Me

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  I received the sweatshirt to review as part of Marley Lilly's blogger review program + will be further compensated for my time and effort.  Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions and pictures are my own!




monograms


There's nothing more classic than a monogrammed piece of clothing. 


I've had things monogrammed even before it was super "in" to do so. I remember my "sunday panties" (aka the ones I only wore to church as a child) were monogrammed. Side note: While I don't currently own any monogrammed "panties" at 23 years old, I do own quite a few monogrammed sports bras and other pieces of clothing.

You can really monogram anything! The rule of thumb goes something like this: "If it's not moving, monogram it." Enter the online monogram company, Marley Lilly.



monograms
Sweatshirt c/o Marley Lilly


When I was contacted by Marley Lilly to be part of their blogger review program, I was more than thrilled--it's like a dream come true! The shop has been on my radar for quite a few years: my mom  ordered a few things last year and this year for Christmas and I already have one of their fabulous clutches.



monograms



This sweatshirt is not only cute, it's also cozy. The inside is so super soft and I might not take it off at all today, honestly. It's perfect for lazy weekends where you don't want to leave bed AND for dressing up a little bit if you need to get out and about. It comes in a few different colors and you can even change the color of the monogram!

I've kept the accessories minimal throughout these pictures because the monogram is the focal point of the outfit. For reference, I'm wearing a Medium--I like my sweatshirts to fit a bit loose.



monograms
I've kept it simple in this picture: fuzzy socks, leggings, and the sweatshirt. It's so cozy!


Monograms
Also, this whole fashion blogger thing is harder than it looks. #imawkward


With the holidays right around the corner, Marley Lilly is a no brainer for the women in your life. Moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas--they have something for everyone! Insider tip: they also have tons of flash sales and new arrivals, so follow them on social media to get the inside scoop--because I said so!




Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Fri-YAY!




Cheers to the weekend! 

Can you believe this week is already over? Thanksgiving is next week...hooray! And would you believe, I already have posts all planned out for next week--for every day? This is huge for me y'all, so be sure you check in.

Here's what I've been loving this week:

1. Pure Barre. Duh, who didn't see that coming?  I've only blogged about it twice in the past week and a half (here and here) and instagrammed ALL (follow me here) of the pictures lately. I was skeptical at first, but it really does work. People are telling me they can tell I've been working out--and who doesn't like to hear that? Also, on a related note: these pink tights are everything! 





2. PITTSBURGH! Our 3rd annual trip to Pitts is next Saturday! And the 10 day forecast currently calls for snow. Hello!! What do I wear?? (Any northerners read this?..I really need suggestions).




3. My first sponsored post coming Monday! Stay tuned y'all.  I'm so excited because this is the first I've ever had the opportunity. Here's to many more! 


Happy weekend!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's not your sticky socks, it's YOU.

This is a follow up post from my thoughts as a Pure Barre first timer.




Pure Barre

P.S. I just took 15 Pure Barre classes in 15 days. See what I learned here!

On Monday, I took a breaking down the barre class. In the hour and fifteen minute class, the instructor broke down almost all of the movements that we do in an average pure barre class--and even some I have yet to experience! Oh boy. And most importantly kept us laughing the whole time. It's like I didn't even know I was learning.

Overall, it was a very helpful class and it was good to see that other beginners (and even veterans) struggled with the same moves I did. Also a huge take away was that it's not that my sticky socks don't work, it's that I'm doing it wrong and I'm not strong enough yet. So there's that. But, I'm not alone! Hooray!

A reoccurring theme, is that I clearly have no upper body strength or abs. None whatsoever. I think I semi established it in the previous post, but on Monday night, it was confirmed. I can barely support myself in a push-up and the abs, well, they are laying dormant under years of flab. I can really only go up from here.

Everything I learned from the breaking down the barre class, I applied to last night's barre class and this morning's and what do you know..it was both harder and easier. Easier because I now know where my leg was supposed to be, but harder because I struggled to hold it there for any substantial period of time. Baby steps right? 

I was able to push myself a little harder and tried to embrace the shake instead of coming out of the pose. Like I said, way harder, but I'm getting better! Plus there are pregnant ladies who take this class. Like if they can hold it with another human inside of them, then my little wimpy self can too.
Regardless, I still think my favorite part of class will forever be stretching. You can't be bad at stretching. Middle split here I come! 

If you are a barre goer, go to this class--because I said so. But for real, I might even go to another one! 

Shop my favorite Pure Barre friendly workout clothes below!






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Favorite Seasonal Things + Some Not So Favorites

This is probably my favorite season. Not just Thanksgiving or Christmas, but just the cold in general. So I guess that would be classified as winter?

Most people hate the cold. I love it, but then again I've never had to shovel snow to get to work. It gets kinda sorta cold here, the leaves kinda sorta change colors, but when the temperature gets below 70 degrees it means that the holidays are right around the corner! I have a ton of things I love about the holiday season. Probably WAY to many to list in a blog post, so...

These are a few of my favorites:




Also, how fun is this graphic? I don't want to toot my own horn, but I'm going to anyway. I'm getting better at this whole blog thing!


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The list wouldn't be complete if I didn't add in a few things that completely bug me about the holiday season--let's face it, even these upcoming Holidays can't be all merry and bright.

- Your car starts to shock you when you close/open the door. Nowadays, I just kick my door closed. Don't tell my dad. And sometimes when I don't get the shock out of the way, it gets me later when I go to unlock my door. Nobody wins when the car starts to shock you.

- All of the static in the air. Hence the car shocking and the clothes clinging. Time to invest in some static cling spray.

- You start to take baths to stay warm because you're too cheap to turn on the heat (oh is that just me, ok then). But really, I take considerably more bubble baths/showers when it's cold outside.


The favorites far outweigh the little annoying things. After all, IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!



What are you favorite/least favorite things about the holiday season?








Monday, November 17, 2014

Make Monday Great

No one is a fan of Mondays. It's the end of the weekend, you have to go back to work or school and back to reality...where's the fun in that?
Well today, let's change that way of thinking. While there might not be any fun in your upcoming week, a little bit of positivity can go a long way--especially when it comes to cases of the Mondays.
 
Tip #1: Get up early. I swear it makes all the difference. It's hard and it sucks at first, but you are really kicking Monday where it hurts when you can get up and be productive before work/school. Plus if you get up early, you'll be able to enjoy Tip #2 more.
 
Tip #2: Get your favorite morning beverage (like coffee). Starbucks has launched their red cups and just knowing that its that time of year ALWAYS puts me in a good mood.
 
Tip #3: Think one positive thought when you wake up. When you wake up thinking that it will be a great day, the chances are higher that it will actually be a great day no matter what life throws at you. True story.
 
Combine these three tips and you're off to a great start!
 
Tip #4: Enter this giveaway to win some pretty great things!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Go out there and have a great Monday--because I said so (you can do it)!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Funday

Yay for Sunday! Anyone keeping up? Well if you are, this is my SECOND post this weekend. Two for two y'all. 

Yesterday, I went to a local arts festival with my family (well part of it--Steph forever has to work) and I'm steadily crossing of things on everyone's Christmas list and well before December might I add! Let's see: I've already gotten Stephanie all of her birthday presents AND gotten her and Carol Christmas presents. The only people left are the hard ones to shop for: mom, dad, and boyfriend. Yikes. 

I love shopping at the little shops downtown during the outdoor market. It's never too early to start planning my fall decor for next year, right? This little burlap pumpkin was so cute!
Oh and when I'm downtown I ALWAYS have to get a cupcake! Yum doesn't even begin to describe it--I have quite the sweet tooth.


How many times can you blog about anything Pure Bare before it gets old? The limit does not exist. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait until Monday to go to the "Breaking down the Barre" class which I kind of touched on here. My newest obsession, in case you haven't noticed, is Pure Barre - even though it's a love/hate relationship.

We've been having a cold snap recently and while everyone else is complaining, I am LOVING it. We leave for Pittsburgh in two weeks so this cold front is getting me ready for the real cold! Plus, cold weather means it's ok to get coffee everyday right? Oh and bonfires!



Trying to make smores with this bad boy is virtually impossible. 




Well I'm off to brunch with the little-est sister. Pretending we are on the Upper East side is her new obsession and I'm not sad about it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, because I said so!

Friday, November 14, 2014

15 thoughts during Pure Barre Class (from a beginner)

P.S. I just took 15 Pure Barre Classes in 15 days. See what I learned here!




I started Pure Barre about a week ago and have taken a total of four classes (slept through that 6 AM one) and would definitely classify myself as a true beginner. I've done bootcamps and my fair share of personal training sessions and different workouts. But this is different, this is hard. Very hard. Does it get easier? Do I ever get stronger? Do I ever not want to quit during the first arms sequence? Am I a ballerina yet?

Pure Barre is a combo of yoga, ballet, Pilates, and all things difficult put to peppy music in hopes to distract you from the pain (a fact that I actually like--it kinda works). The veteran class-goers make it look INCREDIBLY easy while wearing super cute outfits mostly from Lululemon (hello life goals).
There are quite a few thoughts that cross my mind during a class, but here are the top few. 

1. Ok. This can't be that hard. I was a cheerleader. In high school. I can do this.

2. Is it supposed to burn here? I thought we were working the other side of the seat. Clearly doing this wrong, oh well at least I'm getting a double workout?

3. I thought these were sticky socks. How come I keep slipping when trying to hold this plank? If my socks were sticky I'd be able to hold it. Yea.

4. Just kidding. I have no upper body OR abs so holding the plank for the entire sequence would be a miracle.

5. Exactly how/what is a tuck?

6. Can someone point out the beginner modifications for those of us who can't stick their leg behind their head AND crunch?

7. Ooo stretching. Maybe I'll get my left split back!

8. That girl is wearing a cute shirt. I wonder where she got it. Probably Lululemon. 

9. I wonder how many classes these people have taken. They're like gymnast barbies. I want to be a gymnast barbie.

10. Ok. Cheerleading in no way prepared me for this. 

11. Please don't let us have the tubes with the velcro today. Please, please, please. Oh great. We get the tubes. Cool.

12. Ok, I really have no abs. Like at all. Fail.

13. Am I the only one suffering here? 

14. I look like a beached whale. I hate all these mirrors.

15. Ok concentrate. You gotta work bitch.

Luckily, I'm taking a "Breaking down the Barre" class on Monday, so I hope to have most of the moves clarified and a better understanding of what the hell I'm doing the terminology. While the class is hard (read: really really really hard) for me, I keep reminding myself that it's only my first week and everyone was a beginner at one point. The barre experts say it takes 10 classes to start seeing results and I've already seen some small improvements in my flexibility! A few people I know swear by barre, so I can't wait to see all of my hard work pay off. 

Shop my favorite workout clothes for Pure Barre below!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where are you....Thanksgiving?




Thanks to the million of commercials cycling through TV everyday, I have Christmas songs stuck in my head (I'm looking at you Target). Hello, it's like the first week of November!

I love love love everything about Christmas. What I don't love, is how it keeps creeping up earlier and earlier every year. It was barely the end of October before shelves were stocked full of tinsel and ornaments.

Don't get me wrong, like I said, I love Christmas. It's actually my favorite holiday. But, aren't we forgetting about Thanksgiving?

The whole purpose of this upcoming holiday season is to be THANKFUL and SELFLESS. Thankful for the life we live and the family we have. Thankful for the small things we take for granted every day. NOT looking so forward to Black Friday and rushing through Thanksgiving dinner to get the best sales. (Josh has to be at work at 5PM on Thanksgiving--like what?)

How selfish. 

And the sad thing is, it's engrained in us. Think back to the commercials I mentioned earlier. They start running earlier and earlier every year, making you think about what you WANT and what you think you need--present and decoration wise. I'm just as guilty of it.

I make it a point each year to not start listening to Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. It's really the one thing I can semi-control and I think waiting makes it more special, and believe me, this year it's hard!

I want to challenge everyone who reads this post to take a second and be thankful for the things in your life. Don't skip over Thanksgiving. Instead, enjoy the holiday--crazy families or not. Let it serve as an important reminder--be thankful in ALL things.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Little Tangents

A little bit about last week a little bit about today. Here we go. 

-Today has literally been the best Monday. And not for any big, huge reasons. I woke up today and said to myself, "it's going to be a great day" and it has been. Crazy how being positive actually changes your whole outlook. #mindblown

-Fact: pretty flowers at work make the day go by faster and make things a bit brighter.



-Starting back up on the diet/exercise train--because well summer bodies are made in the winter.


-And I just started PURE BARRE. Holy amaze-balls! It's hard work, and sometimes I want to quit during the class (literally), but when class is over I feel so accomplished. I highly recommend trying out a class. #lifttoneburn  




-I didn't do half the cleaning I was supposed to this weekend. But I did start a new book...priorities people.

-Also can we just talk about how Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" video is freaking amazing. I just love it. Like, go watch it. Now.

-PSA: you can now change you captions on Insta. This is huge. So go update it!

-I'm so excited to go see the Phantom of the Opera later this week with the whole family! Yay for having show tunes stuck in my head all week!



Have a great week..because I said so!




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday isn't just confined to Instagram--at least not here on Because I Said So! Today I wanted to share a few posts that seem to be super popular still, even though I wrote them months ago.

Ok so, there's:

This post where I confessed to eating baby food--I promise some of it is really good. Oh, and this post when I told the world that I wiped my dogs butt--my life y'all.

Thanks to Pinterest, these two posts get traffic daily...Turns out people really like posts about braces and dogs, even though they are brutally honest, they are relatable.


And then there's this picture that I totally should've included in this post . I debated on sharing this picture since it's not the most glamorous, but whatever, here it is.




The full snapchat was "grrrr.. Did I scare ya?" 

To be honest, I was still on the happy gas and legit thought I looked like a shark. Gotta love braces (said no one ever).