Tuesday, July 31, 2012

happiness versus a hefty savings account {a milspouse perspective}

By now I am sure many of you read this article that went viral. If not it basically gave 12 jobs that were "good" for military spouses. It went viral because the list looks like that of a college students job possbilities.
This article comes out at an intersting time in my life. I do not have a job. Well I take that back I do not have a steady paying job. I totally believe I have a job. I run an etsy shop, I have this blog, I write for other websites, I am working on a second website. But really none of these endveours pay the bills, yet.
Then there is this article by Molly Blake, a very amazing woman {and milspouse} I met last year at BlogHer. This article bascially sums up how I feel {and I am sure how many other milspouses feel}.

heaband: rellasbellas // necklace: charming charlie // top {really a dress/tunic}: old navy // belt & skirt: f21 // shoes: payless via my sweet friend tobi

Last July I quit my job. There were many reasons my husband and I decided this was the best decision for us. We knew it was not a permament thing. We had hoped the lack of work stress would help me to concieve a baby. Not the case as is evident by my lack of a baby bump. My husband is a wonderful man, who works harder than any man I know to provide for his family.  When it comes to things around the house and our life, those tasks are mine. He just does not know how to cook, it isn't something that is going to change any time soon. {if i wanted to eat a pasta dish of bowtie pasta and ramen noodles with alfredo sauce he would be the man for the job!} Therefore I find myself in a bit of a conundrome. I have a degree and am fully capable of finding some corparate job, working 40 plus hours a week and being mirsrable again so we can beef up our savings and buy a cabin on a lake. Or I can find a part time job doing something not so stressful, and allow myself to focus on my other endevours. Neither option is what I want.

I don't want to work full time, and I don't want to work some random part time gig. I wan to find a part time job that makes my heart happy. I want to work with an organziation that is helping to make this world a better place. Ideally I'd love to work for a military organzation to help military families. I want to be challegened in my job, I just can't committ to it being my full time gig. I want to help make this work a better place. I want to believe in what I am doing.

These are clearly big wishes. Some might think I am being picky, or spoiled. Maybe I am. But you know what, life is too short to go around wishing it could be different. I am not just going to wish for a miracle to happen. I am going to get my butt in gear and make my wish a reality. I can sit back and let the world pass me by or I can jump on the train and make sure I live the best possible life I can.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Safari Inspired Style {affordable and fab accessories from World Market!}

I love accessories. If you are a long time reader this is very apparent in all of my what i wore/fashion posts. I fully believe accessories make an outfit. In addition to loving accessories I am constantly searching for AFFORDABLE accessories.

Enter Cost Plus, World Market, they have amazing accessories at affordable prices. $4.99 for earrings, yes please! Their price points for jewelry are totally wallet friendly with prices starting at $1.99!

Their current collection, Kingdom Animailia makes me think of going on an African Safari adventure. World Market is actually giving away a trip to Africa!  So maybe these fun safari inspired looks might actually go to Africa! hehe, a girl can wish, right?

Buying a few new accessories each season is a very easy and affordable way to update your wardrobe for Fall. Their new collection is perfect for Fall! The colors, the chunky pieces, Fall, Fall, Fall!!

I created a few looks with their Kingdom Animailia Collection, looks that would totally rock for an African Safari!

This first look would be fantastic for a long airplane ride. Comfy yet cute skinny jeans, a cotton tank and a scarf to keep me extra warm. {of course I'd also have a sweater for those beyond freezing air cabins.}

earrings: World Market  // scarf: World Market // tank: f21 // skinnies: target // belt: thrifted // shoes: toms // clutch: sew caroline // bracelet: World Market
{close up shot}
For the second look I paired a comfy and soft chambray button up with some cozy linen shorts. This would be the perfect look while snapping photos of all the amazing animals you would be sure to see on a safari adventure.  I would also be sure to have a pair of comfy sneakers close by so I could be ready for anything!

necklace, earrings & bracelet: World Market // top, belt & shorts: f21 // sandals: target // clutch: sew caroline

This coral/salmon beaded necklace adds an amazing pop of color to an otherwise neutral color palette. These earrings are perfect, they go with everything, and at $4.99 I bought both the silver and gold pairs!
{close up shot}
This third look is a bit more playful and would be a perfect for a night of fun! The light fabric of the top would be a perfect piece for the heat. I love pairing the bold necklace with the bold patterned skirt. While a skirt doesn't seem very safari, this one is super comfy and sometimes you just don't want to wear shorts. Of course my cute camera bag would come along for the safari fun!

necklace & earrings: World Market // top, tank & skirt: f21 // shoes: thrifted // bag: jo totes
This forth look is a mix of the last two. I figured I won't have a ton of luggage space on this fun African safari so being able to mix and match pieces is key. This is also a great tip in your every day wardrobe. Being able to mix and match pieces really expands your wardrobe options.

This turquoise necklace at first glance looks very simple, but upon closer examination it has a variety of different beads and the silver hanging pendants add some unexpected bling.

necklace & earrings: World Market // top & skirt: f21 // shoes: toms // clutch: target

{close up shot}
I bought a few necklaces, pairs of earrings and bracelets. The biggest issue I have is deciding which pieces to wear every day!

Wanna see more of their new collection? Check out this video showcasing their new line!

All this talk about heading to Africa for Safari makes me really want to jump on the next plane and get my safari on! Thanks to World Market that might be possible!

Cost Plus World Market is giving away an African Safari Adventure for two, inspired by the new Kingdom Animalia Collection!

**If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can
receive 5 additional bonus entries. This is part of the registration process
when entering. Users can also enter daily for more chances to win.

Don't forget to tweet World Market and show them the fun new accessories you found!

{This shop has been compensated by Cost Plus World Market and Pollinate Media Group, but all my opinions are my own}

Friday, July 27, 2012

praying, sunset, sweet friends, date night and a vlog {coffee date friday}

Happy Friday friends! Grab some coffee {or tea, or coke!} and join me for a coffee date. I'm sharing what I've been up to this week and some exciting news.

I'm also sharing some pics of things I loved from this past week. 

{ingnore the part in the video where I say we found a place, we didn't...que the sad music}
How amazing is this sunset? no filter on this. I love the color so much.

A sweet friend Elizabeth sent me this little care package! I love the friendships I've created from this blog, istagram, twitter and facebook

Moved on to the prayer study with #shereadstruth

On friday night we had planned to go to an arts festival in downtown Pensacola. We got there and the rain decided it was going to get harder. We got back in the car and drove over the bridge to Pensacola Beach, where there was no rain, less people and we found a cute little wine bar to have dinner at.

It was beyond amazing. I had the most amazing parisian panini, the cheese board was amazing and the wine of course was devine.

My sweet friend Jill sent sent me this adorable Sew Caroline clutch! I am so in love with it!

Another sweet friend, Jacky, sent me this little care package. Gosh, I am so blessed!

The #shereadstruth study on prayer is exactly what I need right now!

And of course the re-branding and new shop products

linking up with alissa

life rearranged

Hello Hue Little Things

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tips for attending blogher, or any conference {and an outfit post}

Happy Wednesday! It is hump day yo! that means the work week is close to over. Is it to early to think about weekend plans?

Today I am sharing with you a few tips if you are about to attend Blogher for the first time or a conference this fall. I went to Blogher last year, it was my first conference and I did not know a soul when I arrive. I am also sharing with you an easy outfit I would totally rock at a conference.

1. Don't be afraid to talk to anyone and everyone. Moments after I arrived last year at blogher11 as a newbie, knowing no one I got super scared. I walked over to the Starbucks in the hotel lobby and met a gal standing in line. I ended up spending a lot of time with her at blogher, I made a great new friend i still keep in touch with! and I met so many great women through her.

2 Clothes: wear what reflects you! Not what you think you need to wear. Some people will be dressed to the nines and look like they are a fashion model, some will be in jeans and a tee. Wear what ever will make you feel the most confident. Flats for day time! So much walking, there are so many cute flats our there. Light sweater or scarf, the rooms are always freezing!! {and don't carry too much stuff, I recommend camera, ipad, notepad, biz cards wallet scarf/sweater and water bottle. and your phone of course!}

headband: target // neckace: my shop rellas bellas // earrings: c/o world market dress: kohls  similar dress // belt: came with a shirt // sandals: target

I am loving how my new single rosette necklace is so simple in design yet the color makes it really stand out! I would totally wear this outfit to a conference. I'd carry around a little sweater or scarf in turquoise and be set!

3. Biz cards: Have a marker or pen handy when you get a card so you can quickly write down something about the person so you can remember the interaction. I wish I would have done that from the beginning at blogher11. I literally have 100s of cards from people I met and I can't remember good stuff I wanted to when I met them.

4. If you have a shop, flaunt it. If you make jewelry pouches, etc make sure you wear it/ carry it. It will be a conversation starter and people will remember you for your products!

5. If there is a round table, or birds of a feather meet up you feel like would be beneficial go to it! Last year I went to the milspouse one and I still talk to and have become close friends with 6 of the girls I met there!!!

6. Everyone goes to blogher for different reasons, don't feel the need to go to everything. If you have every hour planned of each day you will get overwhelmed. Some people go for the sessions, some go for the brand networking and some go to socialize with others and the parties. Do what you want, make the best of your time for you. Sometimes chatting with new friends is more important than a session.

{close up of the mint single rosette necklace}

I bought this dress from kohl's two summers ago for my best friends bridal shower. I love it so much. Because Kohl's is so awesome they are offering you sweet readers 10% off your online purchase until August 23rd!

Hope all these tips help. I so wish I was going to blogher again this year. Hopefully 2013!

pleated poppy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

rejection, vanity and progress {shop talk}

wow. I am so overwhelmed and blessed by the responses I received yesterday for my new logo and necklace launch.

Having your own business is weird. I by no means claim to be an expert, in fact, I truly believe I am just starting to figure it out.
headband & necklace rellas bellas // top: Francescas // belt: came with a different top // skirt: Forever21 // shoes: a  gift, payless // clutch: sew caroline {also gifted by a sweet friend}

In past posts I have shared how I don't often believe in myself in the way that I should. I knew I needed to changed that if I want this shop and blog to succeed. I have been making a lot of changes these past few months and these next few months will have plenty more as well.

I knew it was time to change my branding/logo. When I first had it designed over a year ago I had no idea what i was getting myself into, but I new I was going to some blog conferences so I needed to look legit. I was still trying to figure out my shop {that is still the case, it is by far the biggest work in progress.} and so the design I had created was something that was cute and fun. Fast forward to now; I realized I needed a brand that reflected me, my blog and my shop. A big fete to get one design that fully encompasses all three. My wonderful graphic designer Kristen was able to do just that.

I have spend the last month working on changing all the designs, getting the new product photographs listed and the posts created. I also have a handful of new products to still release. My brain has been in over drive. I spent a lot of time while on our road trip across the country avoiding looking too much at etsy so I could come up with some new fresh ideas. I think the ideas are still flowing. Now the hard part is to take the vision and make it a reality, hehe.

All of this work will go no where if it is not shared with others. Since I am not a big huge corporation I am also my marketing department. Selling yourself is hard. It is scary. You don't want to deal with rejection. I dealt with rejection early on. When I first opened my shop it just had simple headbands in them. I contacted a blogger to do sponsorship on her blog, she very politely and sweetly told me no. It was tough, but totally ok. I needed that to keep going. I needed the rejection right away to have it under my belt. Part of me wants to contact her again, but I am also slightly afraid of a second rejection. {I have also experienced a ton of rejection since that first time!}
I have moments where I feel very proud of what I am doing and how far my shop has come. It is no overnight success but I don't have that expectation. Conversely I have moments where I feel very vain. I post a bajillion pics of myself on instagram. But I am trying to create this brand and the brand is me. Plus I live out of a hotel peeps, I need some human interaction and my instagram friends are the best and my favorite! I feel silly shamelessly plugging my shop or blog on twitter etc.
I don't really have an ending to this, no solution.  This is where I am right now. This is what I am working through. I often times think others think having an etsy shop is easy and is successful overnight. It is not. While I first started it as something fun and extra it has turned into something I want to be beyond successful at and hope to continue to grow it and get to the large milestones and goals I have given myself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

re-branding and new necklace launch!

Hello Friends!

I am so excited to reveal to you my new brand re-design and a new product!

If you are reading this in google reader or another app you need to check out my new blog header here.

{new logo}
I have spent the last 5 months working on some new ideas for my shop, Rellas Bellas. I have come up with a series of new necklaces that I will be releasing over the next few months.

I love items that are fresh, modern and flirty. I wanted my brand to reflect the products I make.


Some times less is more. This single rosette necklace is perfect for those days. This fresh and modern necklace will add just the right amount of color to your outfit. It is simple yet the intricate details of the rosette make it just a bit flirty.  

4 single with logo

Every day when I get dressed I don’t feel like I can leave the house until I accessorize. Some people can’t leave the house without make-up, for me it's jewelry. An outfit isn’t complete until I’ve added the final touches.

Some days I like to match my jewelry to my outfit while others days I like to be a bold contrast to what I am wearing. Some days the juxtaposition of the sparkly necklaces with the casual tee just makes me giddy.
I also love to add elements of the unexpected. That is exactly what I did with the whimsical print I added to the back of the single rosette necklace. The grey and white polka dots add that extra hint of whimsy that I oh so much love.

single back w logo

The single rosette necklace is the perfect go to piece for those days when you are running errands, have 800 things to do but still what to look chic and put together.

They are also the perfect understated piece to add a pop of color to a pretty sundress for a night of dinner and drinks with your man or girlfriends.

Be sure to check out the shop to see all the single rosette necklace colors! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

another vlog: {where i ramble on about life}

happy friday loves!

I cannot believe it is friday already. For your viewing pleasure I recorded another vlog! Well, I guess you know what I look like from my endless photos I post, so maybe for your listening pleasure.

I was so floored by the love you all gave me last week I had to record one again this week! I was so enamored by all the lovely comments. Please be sure your email is linked to your blogger profile. Many of you left me sweet comments but there was no email address for  me to reply back to :(

Today's vlog is kind of a hodge podge of thoughts. I hope you like it!

And because listening to me for 7 minutes wasn't enough, I am sharing a few pictures from last week.
Ahhhh, we finally made it to the beach in Pensacola. We went to the beach on base because it would be more private, quite, easy to park and the water is calmer.
This water was so warm and clear. Gulf water is so much better than the pacific ocean!
hubby enjoying the sun and his book <3
post beach pic, legit OG beach waves. And my facial expression...no clue!
after swimming and reading we packed up and headed to the Pensacola beach area where the boardwalk is. We had a beer on the boardwalk. It was lovely.
Sunday was by far a perfect day, went to church and heard a great message, spent a few hours swimming and reading and then had a beer, all with my love. I need to make sure I enjoy these moments we have together before we get back to reality in VA and Scott gets ready for deployment.
We have plans to head to the beach again this weekend. What you plans for the weekend?
linking up with alissa from rags to stitches

life rearranged

Thursday, July 19, 2012

i'm over at along for the ride today...

hi friends!

I just got done recording my vlog for tomorrow, hehe.

Source: bhg.com via Jenelle on Pinterest
{isn't this office space amazing??}
I am working on getting everything together for my re-branding and necklace launch next week. I think I might be making a bit too big of a deal about it all, but I love the new logo design and the next necklaces I am making.

So for now you can head on over to along for the ride's blog to read my post on meal planning made simple!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Listening to God: {really paying attention to his words}

July has turned into a month of very significant dates.

Two years ago in July{9th} we started our journey to start a family, which lead to my long time feeling of fertility issues.

It was a year ago sunday that I left my full time job.

It was this time last year we were headed to Washington DC for a pretty amazing award and honor.

{and who could for get the misters birthday}

This past year as been a journey for me.

A journey with the Lord.

I have seen my faith grow back into where it used to be and then far surpass it.

I have seen my emotions, anxiety and fears dwindle as my walk with the Lord has strenghtened.

headband: my shop rellas bellas // necklace: coming next week to the shop! // top: H&M //
skirt: Forever21 // sandals: nine west via  TJMaxx

A year ago I never imagined I would be where I am. I never imagined I would be living in Florida. The fact that I will be taking a day trip to Mobile, Alabama in the coming weeks makes me chuckle. One because you can't really say Mobile, Alabama with out a bit of a southern twang, and two because I just didn't see that being on my list of things to do.

God is funny like that, he has a plan and regardless of what your plan is his plan will always prevail.

I have found so much comfort in his words this last year.

I am understanding the bible in a ways I never did before. I can feel him speaking directly to me. I can feel him watching over me, guiding me and keeping me calm in many not so calm situations.

He places people in your life when you need them most. this blog has become such an outlet for me to share my feelings and experiences. I have seen it be a help and encouragment to others, which is mind blowing to me. It has also brought so many wonderful people into my life. Some just by one comment and some who have been come friends.

she reads truth has been exactly what my heart, mind and soul needed at just the right time. Every morning when I wake up I am excited to jump into the word. To start my day with the Lord. If I didn't see how each day was also moving tons of other women I would swear the daily devotions were done just for me, hehe.

Every day after I finish the study I want to run to my computer and write a post about how much the word touched me.

On day two of the "Linding the Surrendered Life" study, the author talks about disappointment and things not going our way, "When you take your 13th pregnancy test and still don't see that second line..".


That hit me hard, like a ton of bricks. I have no joke taken well beyond 30 pregnancy tests in the last two years and every time there is one stupid blue line.

That day the scripture was one of my favorites: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" Proverbs 3:5-6.

I love this verse so much, but often times I forget to follow it.

I lean on my own understanding.

I question God.

Two days later the scripture was "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whateverI have." Philippeans 4:11. The most powerful words in the devotional were "YOUR LACK OF GRATITUDE IS NO SECRET TO HIM."


If I cannot be content and grateful for the blessings the Lord has given me why would I think he would give me more?

every.single.day. I have one of these DUH! or BAM! moments.

Monday, July 16, 2012

the weekend {lots of feelings and emotions}

It is Monday yet again.

Today is my "get life organized" day.

I make my meal plan for the week, get laundry done, try and get my blogging done for the week and clean the house hotel. It is my day to get all my ducks in a row. I also try and plan out what I want to do with the shop for the week and plan out any errands I need to run for myself or Scott.

This weekend was a roller coaster of emotions for me. On Friday I posted my first VLOG. Oh.My.Word. I was beyond flabbergasted by the responses I got. I was so afraid to post, so to hear so many kind words made my day. {I will for sure be replying to everyone who left a sweet comment!} I think I will be doing a vlog every Friday! 

Friday night Scott and I went into Pensacola for a romantic birthday dinner. My man turned the big 2-9. We enjoyed some amazing seafood, drinks and quality time together. I really enjoy the nights we go out to dinner and really let it be an experience. I hate when we go to a restaurant, rush through dinner and then pay our bill. If we are going to spend the money we should really make sure it is an enjoyable experience.  

This is the outfit I wore to dinner. I called it my peter pan meets hippie chic look. Also a pop of neon with all the neutral was so fun. This top was a total score from TJMaxx. It was $17 and will totally be a staple piece come fall. This clutch was on clearance at Target for $9. Run out and get yourself one, you can thank me later!

headband: charlotte russe // earrings & ring: forever21 // top: tjmaxx // tank: jcrew outlet // shorts: H&M // clutch: Target // wedges: old navy

Saturday morning was when the roller coaster of emotions kicked in. I realized come tomorrow {Sunday} it will have been a month since we left CA. Life seems so weird right now.

I miss my friends, I miss my fur baby Khloe, I miss our house, I miss the comfort of our old life.

This isn't a post to say that I am miserable, I am not.

I am adjusting.

I am adjusting to being homeless for a few months. I am adjusting to Scott's new job and his schedule. {For now he is in school so it is pretty easy, but things at his next command keep changing so I am preparing for a possible deployment much earlier than July 2013}. I am adjusting to living in a small town. I am adjusting to what feels like a whole new life.

The military is funny like that. It is almost like you get a redo every few years. When you move you kind of have to figure out who you are in this new place. I was a different person in Ventura compared to who I was in San Diego.

Right now life just seems a bit weird.

Florida won't be our permanent home, yet we won't be back in Virginia for a few more months. Life is kind of in limbo. That seems to be the story of my life these days. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. Something I am clearly not hearing.

What do you do when you know God is trying to tell you something yet you can't figure it out?


Friday, July 13, 2012

coffee date friday: my first vlog {happy birthday husband}

Ok friends, I did it. I recorded a vlog {video blog} and actually uploaded it!

It was kinda fun, but I also feel kinda silly about it.

What do you think?

Should I do another vlog next week for coffee date friday?

And because what would a post be without some pictures?!

 More pics of Scott's OCS graduation weekend. 

Happy birthday babe.

I hope you know how much I appreciate you.

How much I admire your amazing work ethic.

You desire to be the best and to work hard is so refreshing.

You know that hard work and God's will is what will make you successful.

I love you.

You're last year as a 20 something, let's make it count! 
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