Blogger Happy Hour

It's baaaaaaack....

March is quickly upon us which means so is a new round of Blogger Happy Hour. I am super excited about March's co-host which happens to be Bonnie from Life Of Bon. If you know Bonnie at all, you know the girl can write. You would also know that she is very strategic, very smart, and very witty. Bonnie and I have exchanged multiple emails over the past few years working together to think of the best next thing that we could do in this blogging world. 

If you are unsure of what this whole Blogger Happy Hour thing is let me explain--basically it's an hour (which easily turns into an hour and a half, we are women, we know how to talk) in a Google+ hangout with myself, Bonnie, and 8 other bloggers. During the happy hour, each blogger has the opportunity to ask a question pertaining to blogging. Bonnie and I will answer it to the best of our ability, and then open it up to anybody else to give their input. Basically it's an awesome way to get the viewpoints, expertise, and input from 10 bloggers on any given subject. It's fun, it's relaxing, it's informative, and it's a great way to meet and create a community with other bloggers. Feel free to check out #bloggerhappyhour on Instagram to see what people are saying about it! 

Also, if you have participated in a happy hour this year, feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comments section so that others can see if they would find it beneficial or not! 

The dates and times are listed below, grab your spot because they do go quickly! If you have any questions let me know! 

Can't wait to meet, learn, and toast with some of you!



And The Obsession With Maxi Dresses Continues..

dress from the modern tulip // use code YELLOW for 20% off your entire purchase

Just popping in from California with four almost identical photos of me to say the following: 

1. I need to build some sort of plant wall on the side of my house when I get home because I mean, blogger photo opp gold. 

2. I could live in maxi dresses. Forever and ever, amen. 

3. All of our activities thus far in Cali have been centered around eating, drinking, eating and drinking some more. Who hikes when there is HAPPY HOUR!?!?!? 

4. Speaking of happy hour, did you know they are illegal in Indiana? Reason number five hundred and sixty-seven why I belong here and not there. 

5. Speaking of happy hour {again}, tomorrow the dates and co-host info will be announced for March's Blogger Happy Hour. Stay tuned for that ball of excitement to roll out.

7. Today's agenda includes feeding giraffes and watching cheetahs run over 70 mph in front of my eyes, NBD. But for now, it's 7:30 am and I have white truffle mac and cheese waiting for me, brb. Oh and hey, while I go stuff my face feel free to enter your hand at winning this fabulous bracelet from The Modern Tulip. Happy everything. 



He Is Back: An Interview With My Father (A Must Read)

First of all, thanks Erin for putting your good ole Dad up on the chopping block. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to answer the very thorough and thought out questions presented and then have them posted on LIY. I can tell that much time on your behalf went into the thought process. And now for the interview:

Erin: Why haven’t you started a blog yet?
Dad: What for? It seems as if the younger generation has a corner on this market. By younger, I mean 20 to 30 something’s. (Sometimes called people or humans). You guys are doing a great job of keeping the rest of us entertained and informed. I just enjoy reading your blog (LIY) and then getting time on it every now and then. It’s cool. Maybe someday when I get as smart as you and get to know more about technology and get “tech happy”, plus have more time to create, I might consider.

Erin: Tell us a joke.
Dad: Three strings walk into a bar and sit down at a table. The first string walks up to the bartender and says, "Bartender, three beers please." The bartender looks at the string and says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve strings here." Disappointed, the string walks back to his buddies and explains. The second string says "No problem, I'll go get our beers." The second string walks up to the bartender, "Bartender, three beers please." The bartender says, "Listen man, I told your buddy that we don't serve strings here." Empty handed, the second string walks back to his buddies. The third string says, "No problem. Tie me in a knot at one end and fray my ends at the other." He struts up to the bartender, "Bartender, three beers please." The bartender proceeds to get him the beer when he suspiciously turns to look at the string and says, "Excuse me, but are you a string?" The string replies, "I'm a frayed knot!" 

Erin: Have you ever considered turning Amish?
Dad: Not really. The only thing I have ever considered is turning "into" Amish when they don’t get their buggy off the road to let you pass or if 3 or 4 of them are riding bikes and don’t get into single file to let you pass. That’s as close as I have felt like turning "into Amish". Thank the Lord for good old common sense and that hasn’t happen, it’s only a feeling. Let me tell you that the Amish are really good neighbors, have a great work ethic, are productive and have entrepreneurial skills. I sometimes call an Amish entrepreneur, an “Amish manure”.  The two phrases sort of sounds alike if you catch my drift, no their drift. 
Erin: At what age did your hair turn grey?
Dad: I’m guessing at around the age of 27. By the way, how old are you? I have yet to use any men’s hair coloring to hide the grey and don’t plan on it. I like my hair color. Also another question for you, what are you using? (real funny dad, mind your own business when it comes to my hair)

Erin: If you could do anything, what would it be?
Dad: If I could do anything I would like to play on stage with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, the Beatles, Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad, just to name a few. I think it would be something to have that kind of musical talent and I commend anyone who has made it big or is trying to make it big in the music industry. Love music. 

Erin: Who is your favorite daughter?
Dad: Now let me see….. Any female that has ever been born has to be a daughter of someone, right? So, if that’s the case I don’t just have one favorite daughter but five favorite daughters, naming them from oldest to youngest: they are Barb (my mother in law’s daughter), Chelsea & Erin (my mother in law’s, daughter’s, daughters), and last but not least, Claire and Millie (my mother in law’s, daughter’s granddaughters). Sorry Erin, I have 5 not 1.

Erin: What is your secret for marital success?
Dad: Be a good listener and doer of everything she says, travel a lot because she says, do everything she says again, let her do what she wants, when she wants, do more for her when she says, always do what she says. You get the picture. I've always said, “She’s my better half”. It's s a give and take relationship; I give, and she takes.

Erin: What is one piece of advice you would give to bloggers?
Dad: Being somewhat serious here, this is what I came up with, "Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live for the day". It’s probably not an original quote, but I like to think it is. Enjoy each moment and day for what it is. There are good days and bad days. Make the good days better and the bad days gooder. Also I can’t just stop with one piece of advice, so here is another, and Erin you've heard this a million times, “Life is all about choices and living within your means”. Make good choices in your life and don’t get into deep, deep debt. Life is much easier if you only do what you can afford to do, much less stress plus life is way more enjoyable. If you see me doing it, it’s because I can.

Erin: How did you get to be so popular?
Dad: I was a great high school basketball player, smart, nice to a lot of people, got to post on LIY, have a job where I got to know a million people from all over the country and world. For instance, I’m in the airport in Frankfort, Germany walking around and a guy walks up to me and says, “I know you.” Yep he was right. I could tell you lots of stuff like that but I’m not going to. Oh, last but not least, a stud.

Erin: Describe yourself in one word?
Dad: Alive.



Just For Chits And Giggles

Naturally, I have the most ironic thing that happened to us yesterday in California. If I haven't mentioned this before, awkward moments and situations seem to follow me around everywhere I go. So the story goes like this...it was just a normal Sunday afternoon where Shawn and I were playing among seals in the ocean. We love to spend our average Sunday afternoon doing such activities ;) While photographing said seals, I noticed a woman on a rock but could only see her hair so I exclaimed to Shawn "Look! Do you see a woman is standing out on that rock! I feel like that could be dangerous!" He nonchalantly says without looking her direction, "It's just a mermaid..that's what they do." 

Five minutes later as we continue walking along the coast I glance back over to the woman who was on the rock which I can now see in full view...low and behold this is what I see...

Shawn called it. A freaking mermaid. 

And that concludes the weirdest thing that has happened in California thus far.

Speaking of funny stories, the blogger I am featuring today holds the best blog title in the history of all blog titles. You have probably met her before, but if not..allow me to introduce you.

This would be Kristyn from Chits and Giggles. A few things you need to know about this girl--she loves Chick-fil-a (I know, say no more), is currently fixin' to get hitched, and hails from Hotlanta. Her blog is a combination of beautiful, inspiring, honest, and fun. Kristyn knows a thing or two about taking pics, healthy recipes, and one of my favorite recent posts..30 blog post ideas for when you are lacking the inspiration that you know we all do. 

She is madly in love with this guy right here and does a fantastic job of sharing all the deets of the behind the scenes of planning a wedding, making sure she has no regrets along the way, and even talks about the dreaded subject of losing weight before getting in the dress...dun dun dun.

Make sure you get to know Kristyn and after you do, reward yourself by entering to win a $50 Target gift card from K herself. It's just how we roll here in blog land. 

**Use code ChitsandGiggles15 for 15% off all ad spaces**



I Almost Forgot What Sunshine Felt Like

 dress: stitch fix

And we made it! I can't even begin to tell you how good warm air feels, how great the ocean smells, and how bright the sunshine is. There is hope people of Northern Indiana...hope that all of us will get a brain and move to Southern California. I would be lying if I didn't say the first 24 hours of the trip have been spent looking at homes for sale and jobs available online. Somewhere in between our Google searches we have laid out poolside, drank jalapeno margaritas, watched a sunset over the ocean, and fell asleep before 8 pm which would explain why I have been up since 4 am. This three hour time change thing is tricky tricky. 

Today's agenda involves kayaking on the lake we are staying at, dining waterside in San Diego, and sitting in the hot tub for as long as possible in between the two. It's going to be a rough day....

To ensure yours is just as exciting, here is some fun stuff (and cash) for you to win. There are a ton of amaze ladies in this line-up below so make sure to take some time to discover their blogs, you won't be sorry.

Cheers to a great day friends. 

ps. if you would like to be included in next months giveaway, sign up here

Denim and Daydreams (use promo code yellow2014 for 30% off all ads) // Back East Blonde  

Design Your Dwelling (use code LIY10 for $10 off a custom E-Design)

Behind Blue Eyes Blog (use promo code LIY50 for 50% off all ad spaces



I've Got A Case Of Vactionitis.

This whole week has felt off for me, especially when it comes to the blogging home front. To put it frankly, I haven't wanted to be here. I'm not sure if it's because it has just been a busy week in general, because the internet has decided to stop working for 98% of the time at my house, or because California is calling my name in less than 24 hours? Whatever it may be, I'm not feeling it. After some long hard thinking about all of this while laying on the couch in my office (best idea ever by the way) I diagnosed myself with vacationitis. It's a legit sickness minus the snot, throw up, and other disgusting things that come alongside real sickness. To know if you have it or not, plan a vacation, wait for the week of it to arrive, write out a huge to-do list, and then see if you want to do any of the to-do list or not. If the answer is no, you my friend have vacationitis as well.

Moving on though, it's been awhile since I have actually recapped what has been taking up my time in this life of mine. Being that I have a lifestyle blog and all, I should probably try to write about my life once in awhile. A novel concept I know. 

This past weekend was a whirlwind of a great one that started out by celebrating Valentines Day with friends who were home from Nashville. We went all baller status and grilled steaks, made homemade mashed potatoes, ate asparagus to ensure our pee would smell anything but romantic, drank wine, baked an apple pie, played the game of things (obsessed), and burned 29 million candles in the process of it all. Magical I tell you. 

Saturday morning we had the honors of babysitting our nieces which resulted in Shawn saying "I mean I don't get it. This is honestly people's real life?!" repeatedly while we watched the girls jump on the bed, hit the Staples "that was easy" button twenty-six thousand times, and discovering the youngest on top of the kitchen counter after turning our heads for 20 seconds. It's a good thing they are cute and that they like laying under the bed where they can not move for more than four minutes at a time. HALLELUJAH.

We then made the spontaneous decision to head up to make the two hour drive to Chicago to get some much needed afternoon cocktails with the sweetest girl Lauren, her boyfriend, and one of their friends at RPM Italian. Lauren and I have Skyped several times over the past year so being able to meet her face-to-face was incredibly fun. If I haven't said this before, the real relationships that are born out of blogging blow my ever loving mind.

love all around

Shawn and then I proceeded to tear up Chicago with margaritas, food, and fun which resulted in me falling immediately asleep on the drive home. 

Remind me to tell you about the one time I overheard a girl talking to her boyfriend at dinner about my tattoo, how she wanted one on her wrist, and how she thinks she would like a baked potato. My eavesdropping skills may verge on the side of sucking. But seriously, I swear she was talking about my tattoo and not what she was ordering for dinner....

Sunday involved naps in my office (I had every intention to work, not sleep, but you know intentions can go..) and dinner with my family at mi casa.

 recipe coming soon to a blog near you 

This week has consisted of drinks with friends after work, lunch dates with new friends, date nights with my mom/sister/niece, a snowboarding outing with co-workers (I SURVIVED), and tonight photographing Craft Happy for my sister. And I'm wondering why my eyelids want to shut....

And on that note, I just remembered I need to pack.

Peace out and talk to you soon from Cali ;)


I'm The Kind Of Girl Who...

The thing I love about people is that at our core, we are all freaks of nature. The best part of my day is finding out that somebody who I thought is "normal" is totally not. I'm no exception to the rule. I definitely have a few quirks or truths about me that you should all know. In the spirit of my lady love Holly's link-up, the truths are now exposed.....

I am the kind of girl who....

+ Likes to sit naked in buckets of water.

+ Drinks a stiff martini while listening to worship music on Pandora. 

+  Looks through Instagram on Valentines Day and proceeds to cry because I didn't get any flowers like EVERY OTHER FREAKING PERSON ON INSTAGRAM DID. And no, I'm not jealous. Or bitter. Nor do I ever want flowers on Valentines Day..

+ Will admittedly agree that my face is orange. It is what it is peeps, deal. The proof is in the video.

+ Would rather spend my afternoon learning the Harlem Shake than doing something productive. Not that learning the Harlem Shake isn't productive, but you know what I mean.

+ Hugs my daily planner daily. It's a crazy, intense, passionate, love affair that Shawn should be concerned about.

+ Hates when my phone rings unless it is Ellen or Publishers Clearing House.

+ Loves being the center of attention in a group of people, but hates it one-on-one.

+ Dances in my kitchen regularly because YOLO.

+ Overuses the word YOLO.

+ Laughs at nearly everything I say. 

+ Wants to say so many things on this blog that I am not "allowed" to say. Husbands are the best (worst) filters around.

+ Eats constantly. And constantly. And constantly.

+ Takes three hours to write blog posts like this because of the Harlem Shake, martinis, and things like that.

+ Thinks I am going to die tonight while snowboarding. Good riddance.



How I Celebrated National Wine Drinking Day

Do you ever just sit around and wonder what other people look like when they get their hair done?
Good, here is your answer. 

It's called the nerdy mo-hawk. I dig it. So that hair cut today, let's talk about it. I called my bestie this afternoon and as we were talking I informed her I had a haircut this afternoon. Her response was something along the lines of "SO DO I!" This turned out to be a very exciting moment in history because she happens to get her hair done by the person who is in the booth directly next to my hair stylist. Naturally this called for picking up some mini bottles of wine for the two of us to devour while we sat there looking like wet poodles and nerds with mo-hawks. So that's what happened. And that's what you call a good day. Oh and hey, happy national wine day. Cheers. 

Speaking of wine, do you know who else enjoys a glass of merlot every now and again? This girl. 

If that didn't sell you already, allow me to continue. Michelle is just finishing up school to become a vet. Meaning she will know how to take care of your dogs, cats, iguanas, or two peckered billy goats (remind me to tell you a funny story about those sometime) hence where the "vet" portion of her blog title comes from. As far as the eclectic goes--that describes every other aspect of life, which is pretty great considering I've been into the whole eclectic thing lately. Music, cooking, TV, best friends (hers is Anthony Bourdain), she has a wide variety of tastes. 

You know what this means? She will most likely like you. 

Here is another fun fact about Michelle. She loves Target just as much as you do. She loves it so much she wants to give one of you a chance to win $40 plus a goody bag for either your dog or cat. Maggie is begging me to enter into the giveaway now. It's awkward having to tell your dog to stop whining about blog giveaways. Make sure the check out The Eclectic Vet and get to know blogging's finest vet and merlot drinker!



SO FREAKING EXCITED. Blogcation: Join Us!

Today I have quite an exciting piece of something to share with you. And when I say exciting, I mean really exciting. Erin from Two Thirds Hazel put together an amazingly unique opportunity for bloggers that you're surely not going to want to miss out on. She has spent countless hours (and countless glasses of wine) pouring every ounce of hard work into this new venture over the past couple months and she's now finally ready to share it with the blog world.  The best part about the entire thing? She asked me to be a part of it! And that's why I'm here today, helping her introduce this newest blog baby into our amazing blog community. So without further adieu, let me help Erin out in introducing...

A weeklong Caribbean vacation and blog conference, held on a cruise ship (yes a CRUISE SHIP!), ready and waiting for any and all bloggers to hop on board. Literally. 

How freaking exciting is that?!

I'm sure we've all dreamt a time or two about how amazing it would be to get the chance to hang out with each of our favorite bloggers, all at the same time, all in the same place. The only problem with this dream being that we're all spread out across numerous cities, states and countries, making it pretty impossible to see everyone we'd like to. But that's exactly why Blogcation was created. Because what better way is there to finally meet all of the bloggers we interact with so frequently (and get to learn tons of great tips on growing our blogs at a conference) than by being on an amazingly awesome vacation together? The answer is quite simple really; there is no better way.

We'll be tanning our cheeks on some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, five-star dining every evening like the queens that we are, partying our you know what's off with cocktails in hand, dancing the nights away at the club, trying our luck at gambling, hanging out in pools and hot tubs until our fingers prune, exploring four different countries, swimming with Manta rays, snorkeling in coral reefs, eating as much food as we can possibly stomach, and gaining tips on how to grow our blogs from  some pretty amazing speakers... ALL while hanging out with so many of our favorite bloggers.

It really doesn't get any better than that.

Because how could one really say no to a five star hotel cruising around the Caribbean in 80+ degree weather smack dab the middle of winter? Especially when that hotel sails to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Honduras, and the Bahamas all in one week. You can't say no that, you just can't.

And once you see the heck of a pricing deal we've managed to secure specifically for any Blogcation passengers, you'll be in 100% agreement. All you need to get yourself booked today is a $250 deposit, with the rest of your remaining bill due by mid-October. And you'll easily be able to pay it off because Blogcation isn't set to go down until January 10th-17th of 2015! That's a whole lot of months for you to plan vacation time at work and save up enough money to attend; making this blogger meet up one you surely won't want to miss out on.

Oh and about that blog conference portion of Blogcation? We're going to step out on a limb here and say that this isn't going to be anything like your average conference. First and foremost, because there aren't too many conferences out there that are held in the middle of the aqua blue waters of the Caribbean. If any, actually. And secondly, because this conference isn't going to require you to fork over an entire year's worth of paychecks for your admission ticket. It's only $100 to get your early bird ticket! We don't believe in spending a thousand dollars just to attend a blogging function. But we absolutely do believe in combining a relaxed and fun environment with a whole bunch of great advice that you can take home and put to use right away, providing you with a short and sweet yet still insanely beneficial, one of a kind experience. We also apparently believe in run-on sentences. But seriously, there's no stuffy, intimidating, ten hour long, banquet hall conferences here! We're just all about disguising the fact that you're learning by having so much fun together.

Let's meet all of the speakers that are going to make this so successful by in-turn making you successful.

Erin gave birth to Living In Yellow 3 years ago due to a canceled work day from entirely way too much snow. One post in and she knew she was hooked for life. Living in Yellow is a place for Erin to release her inner crazy, daily ramblings, love for macaroni and cheese, the occasional "I got dressed" post, and most importantly, a place to document her obsession/best friend status with Giuliana Rancic. Over the years, Erin has cultivated a community of thousands of readers, started a monthly clothing collaboration named Love, Yellow, hosts a bi-weekly virtual Blogger Happy Hour, was filmed for the American Blogger documentary, has spoken at Elevate Blog Conference, and has successfully grown hundreds of grey hairs in the process. Living In Yellow is a testament of what a lot of hard work, effort, and wine can produce. Erin absolutely loves talking everything blogging related and can't wait to share what has worked (and what hasn't) with you.
Sick of being a corporate desk jockey, Jason quit his job two years ago to build Passionfruit, hoping to in some small way improve the sick and twisted world of online advertising. Fast forward to today and Passionfruit handles millions of dollars in ad sales for thousands of bloggers. Known for his honest and irreverent marketing, Jason designed, built and wrote Passionfruit himself. Jason lives in Atlanta with his beautiful wife and four children, where they homeschool and run Passionfruit from the same crazy house. He’s a little league coach, Red Bull addict, lover of fine charred meats, chronic night owl and serious Minecraft junkie.
Whitney Ellen gave life to I Wore Yoga Pants about 30 minutes after she decided she was ready to start a public blog and, without thinking twice, she glanced down at the yoga pants she was wearing and her brand was born. Since that day, Whitney has managed to grow her blog into not only a place for humorous fun, but also an honest space where readers can relate to a blogger on a deeper and more personal level. In less than two years, Whitney has captured the hearts of thousands of readers, started up her very own t-shirt line, IWYP By: Whitney Ellen, has been interviewed and published by the Washington Post, hosts a popular weekly link-up, and even finds time to maintain her blog designing business along the way. When she's not pouring her heart out into the pages of I Wore Yoga Pants, Whitney is usually continuing on in her quest to maintain her Bagel Bite and boxed Chardonnay diet. She also likes taking long walks… with her four pound cotton ball of a pup, Sir Ellerton.

Lauren Gray is both the founder and creative director of Pearls and Pastries, an Etsy shop famous for its "Original Sequin Hanger". It's a place where sparkle, a hand full of confetti, and dreams come to life. Plus, with over 5,000 online sales and 20,000 Instagram followers, Lauren and her daily dose of sparkle have captured the admiration of many. Along with selling all things gold and glittery to the masses, Lauren also writes over at her Pearls and Pastries blog. It's a place you can drop by to get your daily dose of sparkle, find inspiration, and leave feeling as if you too can conquer your dreams. Lauren’s everyday life consists mainly of picking confetti up off the floor. She is the queen of top knots and feels as if she's saving the world one sequin at a time. 

Pretty freaking great right?

Take all of the knowledge you'll be gaining from each of these amazing speakers, add in one of the best ways to vacation ever, sprinkle in having fun with tons of the bloggers you've been hoping to meet for forever, and boom - you have yourself one of the best recipes anyone could possibly put together. So don't you even think about being the odd man blogger out by missing this. Because you're really going to regret it come next winter when all your friends are gearing up for the best time of their blogging lives while you sit home with pale skin and no blogs to read. Head on over to the official Blogcation website to learn tons more information about cruising/pricing/registering and book your ticket today. Oh and don't forget to pack your bags while you're at it too, because we're going on vacation!

P.S. Be sure to follow Blogcation on all of our social media sites so that you can keep up to date with everything going on. We'll be featuring our speakers and sponsors, hosting a giveaway or two, providing you with more information on cruise excursions, and just plaid old talking about all the excitement!