It’s All About the Fashion: BBC Dallas Style & Hazel and Olive Boutique

Disclosure: I received products for the conference in exchange for this review. My words and opinions are HONEST and are my own.

Let me tell you- at blog conferences- it’s all about the fashion! Or…at least it is for me. I love going to blog conferences and seeing what everyone wears. My dream is to be back at a size 4 again and actually attend Lucky Fabb like my blog friend, Kelly (I mean…come on…isn’t she gorgeous?!) Although I wasn’t at the fashion-crazy Lucky Fabb last week, I did have the amazing opportunity to go to Bloggy Boot Camp and rock out one of my favorite shops, Hazel and Olive Boutique.

I know I’ve talked in the past about many different boutiques, but here’s the thing- I’ve decided to stay exclusive with Hazel and Olive Boutique. I told y’all in my Making the Most Out of Your Blog with Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition post that if  I’m working with a brand, it’s because I absolutely believe in that company. Taylor, from Hazel and Olive once had a blog, and believes a lot in bloggers, their readers, and their opinions.

She works hard to consistently bring new arrivals to her shop EVERY DAY at 8 pm (and I may or may not spastically “like” each picture on Instagram when they pop up because I want everything). She has FREE shipping for EVERY order, which seriously makes me love the shop even more.

Our first day of Bloggy Boot Camp started Friday, and I made appointments for the girls and I to head to Pouf to get beautified. I wore the Hazel and Olive Boutique Fireside Cardigan which has again and again sold out on her website. Yes, it’s that amazing. This particular cardigan is cream and black. The best part? It is REVERSIBLE! The inside part is black with cream. I love it! She also has a navy version and I am DYING for her to restock it so I can buy that one also.

I decided to pair the cardigan with a hot pink tank for a pop of color, dark denim skinny jeans, and tan riding boots. I felt like it was the perfect conversation starting piece (I may or may not have worn it to work one day to preview and see how much people loved it haha) and it was dressy casual. I ended up getting a TON of people telling me they loved my sweater and it made me feel so good.

After our first day of Bloggy Boot Camp (and learning SO much awesome info), Neely, Ashley, and I decided to miss out on the BBC dinner to spend time with our Dallas friends, Amber, Caitrin, and Taylor (Neely’s neighbor). We all changed and got ready for dinner only to find….

Ashley, Amber, and I ALL were wearing stuff from Hazel and Olive! (and it was NOT planned!)

I couldn’t help but laugh because Ashley had the Safari Leopard Print Dress (another I’d drooled over), Amber had the Dolman Tunic, and I had on the Maroon and White Ruffled Maxi (Gig ’em!). My maxi kept me nice and warm when I paired it with a sweater, and I loved the fit! I am a shorty though so it was about 2 inches too long- but I didn’t care! Paired with wedges, it’s perfect! Plus, I really felt like this made me look thinner because it elongated my body. WIN! Mathew actually picked out this dress off the Hazel and Olive Boutique website because 1) I needed to narrow down all the choices of pretty clothes and 2) he loves A&M. I’d say this look was a complete success and perfect for fried chicken, mashed potatoes, 9 cheese macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. Hey- I split the plate with Amber! Ha!

Saturday I had NO clue what I wanted to wear. I went into Neely’s room several times and asked Ashley and Neely what I should wear from my Hazel and Olive collection. I wanted the BEST to be seen at the conference! I ended up picking out the Catch Her If You Can dress (which unfortunately isn’t listed anymore) to wear with leggings and boots. The bell sleeves were SO much fun and the bright colors just had everyone saying such nice things to me.

I wore the dress again this week to work and even my students told me they liked it. This one was definitely the crowd favorite, and I’m glad I wore it during the day at the conference and not at night like I had originally intended.

At the end of the last day, everyone headed upstairs to the Mirassou wine party (their moscato was probably the best I’d ever had- and I’ve had MANY) where we drank wine, hung out with our old and new blog friends, and had absolutely wonderful conversations with some awesome ladies. Then, it was off to dinner at Mi Cocina! I’m not gonna lie… Mi Cocina is a favorite of mine. I love their Sour Cream Enchiladas, and actually made my own copy cat version because no one in Waco even has them.

We met up with Ricci, Rebekah, and Kim for dinner and spent several hours chatting away like we’d all been friends forever. That’s what I love about meeting bloggers- everyone has known each other online for so long, that once you finally meet in person everything just clicks!

Mambo Taxi from Mi Cocina

(source) Mambo Taxi from Mi Cocina

I may or may not have had a Mambo Taxi at dinner to keep me cozy, which meant to obligatory selfies of my cute Hazel and Olive Wave Too Cute top in the Mi Cocina bathroom. Oops! I loved the crocheted neckline and shoulders with the layered sleeves. As a fan of statement necklaces, the Wave Too Cute top didn’t even need a necklace because of the detail. I paired mine with another pair of skinnies with my Ugg boots to keep me warm.

All in all, my Hazel and Olive clothes served their purpose for Bloggy Boot Camp. I felt amazing, had lots of confidence, and didn’t look like the messy-haired teacher that I can look like at times. Although it isn’t for everyone, blog conferences are all about the fashion- and I am so thankful to Hazel and Olive for making me look nice and presentable!

If you are looking for a great company that has great customer service, free shipping, ships FAST (it took 2-3 days for my orders), and consistently puts out new arrivals, please make sure you visit their website, Instagram, and Facebook pages!

Making the Most Out of Your Blog with Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition

There are so many things I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition that I can’t even begin to describe. My book of notes is so full from incredibly useful information from Blissdom (see recap 1 & recap 2!) and Bloggy Boot Camp, both of which I’m thankful to have attended this year. There are so many valuable things to gain from blog conferences: new friends, old friends, meaningful connections and conversations, inspiration, and how to be more dedicated. Bloggy Boot Camp has given me the time to reconnect and rediscover the focus of my blog and just get to know people that love the same thing as I do.

Some of my wonderful blog friends, old and new: me, Ricci, Kim, Rebekah, Neely, and Ashley

Some of my wonderful blog friends, old and new: me, Ricci, Kim, Rebekah, Neely, and Ashley

Earlier this year I went to Blissdom and felt it was the best conference I could’ve ever been to. I still believe it was amazing, but for a totally separate reason from Bloggy Boot Camp. Blissdom is more about making connections with other bloggers and brands, not so much the content. However, Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition focused less on corporate sponsor connections (although there were two of my favorite companies: LG and Mirassou in attendance) and more of the “meat”/content. It was about taking your blog to a whole other level, which is exactly what I want to do.

Some things I learned:

If it’s not a “Hell yeah!” it’s a no. These words of wisdom come from my newest friend, Danielle Smith. I actually met her at Blissdom, and took her advice for a video interview earlier this year with the Huffington Post. This woman knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she is incredibly honest and I loved having a honest conversation with her, Neely, and Ashley at BBC Dallas. These words really made me take a look at the partnerships I am considering forming and really put them into perspective. Bottom line? You probably won’t see as much sponsored content around here..and if you do, you better believe that it’s because I’m working with a brand that I absolutely believe in and not half-heartedly care about.

Danielle Smith and I- she's such an encouraging woman!

Danielle Smith and I- she’s such an encouraging woman!

Content is KING! Weave in your own stories. Sounds simple, right? I think many times bloggers get caught up in the “free stuff” and forget about content. Heck, I’ve done it before!  BUT no one will read your blog if you just post a bunch of sponsored stuff that has zero meaning to you. I plan on weaving in more of our stories (which means Mathew and I are going to make it our mission not to be boring married people all the time!)  so you can really get down and get to know us…if you don’t already.

What’s your end game? I’m still wondering what my end game is, but I know this- I want my blog to be meaningful, full of a strong readership with tons of friendships that have stemmed from it, and I want it to be successful. As for the rest? I’m not certain and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be certain what I want my end game to be.

Google + is important. It’s an internet COMMUNITY that can help your blog in a ton of different ways! If you’re not following me on Google +, please do! I’ll make sure to follow you back on my circle.

Your reputation matters! You better believe that companies are watching you on social media. It’s POOR TASTE to bash or complain about a company online. If you feel the need to do it, text a friend instead to rant. You’ll be happy you did.

Celebrating a great end of BBC Dallas with Mirassou wine!

Celebrating a great end of BBC Dallas with Mirassou wine!

Tell your story. I’m a BIG fan of Lisa Leonard (I feel like such a nerd around her and just about died that she remembered me) and her story…well, her son David’s story. Her story is what draws me to her. Sure her jewelry is amazing, her thrifted clothes are far cuter than I could ever put together, and I have NO idea how she gets her curls so perfect (mine never cooperate!), but at the end of the day, I am in such admiration over her story. I want my friends…my readers…to connect with me as I tell my story. There are so many times I want to be raw, real, and honest with you all about things. I realize that many people I know in “real life” read my blog, however, and I feel like I need to shelter myself from telling certain things. Likewise, I feel as though my story is so small because I don’t lead an amazing and adventurous life, I’m not a mom, and I pretty much work, spend time with Mathew, and sleep. I’m going to work harder to break out of my shell and delve into the things that make me, ME, and begin to interpret whatever my story is.

Me, Lisa, Neely, and Ashley

Me, Lisa, Neely, and Ashley

Power down and be present. Sure, social media is important to just about everyone nowadays, but it isn’t EVERYTHING. It’s important to step away from the text messaging, Instagramming, Tweeting, and Facebooking and get to the heart of conversations in your daily life. Pay attention to your loved ones and live your life. You don’t have to be on your phone or computer every second of the day. Because…at the end of the day, do you want to say “I lived my life” or “I lived my life always on my iPhone”? Something to ponder. Besides, how could I adore this handsome face that I got to come home to after Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas was over?

Mathew at lunch when I finally got home from BBC Dallas

Mathew at lunch when I finally got home from BBC Dallas

So there you have it- Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition in a nutshell. Trust me, I’ve barely skimmed the surface and have 25 pages of notes, but there’s just too much good information! I really encourage you to attend BBC Dallas next year. Tiffany and Fran know how to throw an awesome blog conference full of laughs, tears, and a whole lot of knowledge. Psst- I’ll be there!

Stick around on the blog tomorrow because I’ll be talking all about the hair and fashion from Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition!

Never Ever Ever (will I EVER understand…)

It’s the 24th week of Never Ever Ever! Thank you so much for participating this week! It always makes us feel so good when y’all link up! We know you could be writing something else today, so we’re really appreciative of you!
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The info on Never Ever Ever:

1. The Never Ever Ever link up will be posted EVERY Tuesday at Midnight CST . Tell us about the things you’d “never ever ever” do!

2. Please put our button on your post for the link up.

3. Please follow your hosts. We won’t make it mandatory, but we appreciate the love 4. If you tweet about your post, feel free to tag myself, Neely, and Shelley and use the hashtag #nevereverever

I Never Ever Ever….

– can believe that it took me so long to meet Ricci, Rebekah, and Kim! I had so much fun with them (and Ashley and Neely) at dinner on Saturday night.

– can believe that I snagged such an awesome guy. BBC was such a fun experience, but unfortunately for me to go, I had to take a day and a half off of work. Needless to say, Sunday night’s sleep was FULL of anxiety with all the things I knew I needed to do yesterday once I arrived to work, and I pretty much laid in bed for several hours. Once I finally went to sleep, I was up every hour on the hour. It ended up throwing me completely off the entire day yesterday. Mathew kept texting me to check on me, and because he knew I was so stressed, he sent these gorgeous flowers to my work.

– can understand why some people want you to constantly give them affirmation and compliments, but they are always trying to speak negatively or bring you down. Why can’t we just make the decision to support each other and wish for the best for people? Life is not a competition…and if it is for you, then you probably need to reestablish some life goals.

– will enjoy going to the gym alone. It’s never been something I like. I’m so thankful that I have an awesome coworker that goes to the gym with me 5 days a week. Even when we both don’t want to go, we end up going. I’m so glad to know that we support each other and encourage each other to get our butts to the gym!

– will be able to express the insane amount of knowledge I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend. I’ll be doing a recap post tomorrow, but let me tell you, I could sit all DAY and tell you all the things I learned and have already implemented to make my blog and social media outlets better than ever.

So now it’s YOUR turn to link up for Never Ever Ever!