Happy Weekend Loves ♥ One of my missions when arriving in London was to do a photoshoot with the classic red phone booths by Big Ben. The iconic London sites became my playground for the day as I went in tow with all of my outfits from place to place to capture the perfect outfit shots! In case you ever wondered the amount of work that goes into blogging, here is a little glimpse. Before heading to London I pre-planned every location I wanted to shoot at AND the outfit I wanted to wear at said location (although on social media it looks effortless, I will be the first to tell ya…there is plenty of effort involved haha :p). Since I am one who loves pops of color, red on red made perfect sense in my book 😉
This red coat was my immediate go-to throughout my London trip. I don’t know why, but I felt this red coat was just so London haha
Since I wanted all the red pieces to make a statement (and match the phone booth) I paired the coat with this black + white polka dot dress. It was a clearance find at Old Navy + it is perfect for work or play! It fits great + is flattering on all body types.
This little teddy bear was a surprise Mike packed in my outfit bag before I went out to shoot (talk about #relationshipgoals – yes I am such a mush haha). We got the teddy at the Tower Of London tour where we checked out the Queen’s Jewels + medieval castles which brought me back to my AP European History days in high school 😉
You can never go wrong with a red bag + shoes, they stand out + dress up any look – even for those that are on the more simple side when it comes to color.
I may have just gotten home a week ago, but I am already itching to go back – this city has become one of my favorites + I truly loved it. Luckily, I am heading back in December to spend Christmas + New Year’s in London with my boo ♥
Happy Monday Babes ♥ I feel like I am finally getting back into the groove when it comes to blogging. Between traveling and transitioning into an exciting new job (ICYMI I am finally working at a place where my creativity + ideas are well appreciated + can actually be executed – it is BEYOND thrilling + satisfying hehe) I have been slacking a bit on the blog front – it is hard to balance everything…let me tell ya :p BUT slowly but surely I am throwing myself back into my passion – my blog!
Something I realized while experiencing London with Mike, is that if you told me a year ago I would be traveling outside the country with someone who is the ying to my yang I would never have believed you. I was always stuck in this state of mind of ‘work work work‘ which got me to where I am today however it never made me feel fulfilled. I always dreamed of being at a job that provided me a work/life balance, a place where I was happy and encouraged to speak up + a place where I can let my true talents shine. I thought I found that place at my previous company however I was in for a shocking surprise. In light of all the work place harassment that is coming to the surface in various industries, it is important to know that while a lot of hostile work environments come from sexual harassment (Harvey Weinstein is beyond repulsive + the fact that he got away with his grotesque treatment of women for so long is astonishing) harassment comes in all shapes and sizes…from men + women. Sometimes harassment isn’t an inappropriate gesture or encounter, sometimes it is simply verbal + can really shake someone to their core.
Let me start by saying this (pre-face this is a bit of a personal post), I have been passionate about social media + influencer marketing since I began my career 5 years ago. I worked my a** off to get to where I am today, to build up a network of influencers who always have my back + support every journey I take, a network of colleagues that always jump to help me anyway they can and a passion that has (and still is) my driving force to always do better than the day before. One of the worst moments I have ever encountered in my career was realizing that ‘Mean Girls’ aren’t just an issue teen girls deal with in middle school + high school…the reality is that even as an adult ‘Mean Girls’ are still out there – pretty crazy considering we are in a time all about female empowerment, raising each other up, supporting each other etc.
What I experienced was something that taught me a lot about the type of business woman I am + will forever be…real. For the past year I worked with an amazing team of people that taught me so much, helped me grow + showed me what an asset I am to any team…what I also learned + experienced for the first time was the ‘boss’ who validates themselves by bringing others down – sounds familiar right? (Regina George didn’t remain in high school let me tell ya haha). I didn’t realize this was a common occurrence until I read a few Forbes articles on the subject. Turns out that even though we get older, that doesn’t necessarily mean we grow up.
Maybe some of you have experienced a boss or supervisor trying to bring you down + can relate to my story and if not, I really hope it is something you never have to go through since it feels like a personal attack on your work ethic + passion…it sucks. After being at my last job for a good amount of time, a moment happened that will be stuck in my mind forever – it was a moment where I learned who I was, it was the moment I vowed to work for a team (and boss) that had more respect for me and appreciation for all the work I do, it was a moment I grew. I won’t go into too much detail but I was told that I had to be ‘put in my place‘, amongst other things – taking jabs about the job I have been doing etc. I sat there in shock – here I am an eager, hard working employee whose boss (that preaches female empowerment + being a ‘boss lady’) is telling me that basically there is in fact a ‘glass ceiling’ and there I was hitting it. I never thought much of the other comments + behavior that had been thrown my way since I started there, but it all felt like it has culminating to this moment. I instantly felt a pit in my stomach and sat there not knowing how to react. Still months later I think back to that day + am mad at myself for not speaking up, for not saying this is wrong for one female to tear another female down + for not just walking away right there but instead I pulled myself together, spoke to my family and Mike and it became clear to me that ‘her’ goal was to try and break me…that was something I refused to let happen.
I had watched this boss chew girls up and spit them out, now I have heard plenty of horror stories about Anna Wintour (my idol haha) + other powerful women but at the end of the day it isn’t a personal and vindictive attack, it’s business – what I experienced was different. Over the course of a year I saw various females at this company be spoken to in a condescending manner, told they weren’t ‘good enough’ and basically harassed in order to encourage them to quit or lead them to being joyous when it came to getting fired. Watching this (and living this) day in + day out made me sick to my stomach and I would tell my parents + friends, I don’t understand why someone acts like that, I don’t understand what provokes someone to insist on tearing others down. Well…as they say, you live + you learn, I learned from that boss (who thought the world of herself – let me tell ya haha) that no matter what position I am in, my morals + integrity will stay in tact, I will also treat others the way I would like to be treated (it’s funny – pretty sure I learned that from a ‘Barney’s Best Manner’s’ video as a child haha the saying still rings true no matter how old you are) :p
During that tumultuous time, I was loosing my passion for blogging, my career…everything I cherished so much about myself. It is crazy how one person can have that effect on you, but it happens. Fast forward to the day I walked out that door (knowing that I was off to a new company that fought for me and wanted me) I finally felt free. I got home, began packing for London, called Mike and literally said ‘I am free’. Life is too short to be anything but happy and when that plane landed in London + I saw Mike for the first time in months all the pain I was experiencing from loosing myself for a moment went away. I felt whole again, I felt invigorated again + I felt passion for what I love to do again.
All in all this story (other than getting this off my chest finally) is meant to show that harassment comes in all forms, there isn’t a textbook definition + so many people experience it on a daily basis in their work environments by both men + women. While I am not sure if there is a sure fire way to stop it, a simple start is to treat others with humility + respect…try it, it doesn’t cost a penny extra 😉
This outfit was shot the day after I landed in London, I was carefree, finally happy + couldn’t believe I was actually in LONDON!!!
My dress is from ShopTheMint one of my fav online retailers however I linked to some similar styles since it is currently sold out. As for my moto jacket, it was my go-to throughout my trip since it was easy to layer on any outfit while exploring the various tourist destinations (I even wore it around Paris).
I LIVED in these Yosi Samra ballet flats. I didn’t realize how much walking there was in London (very similar to NYC which I haven’t been back to in over a year haha) so while I wanted to rock my cute heels + boots everyday, these flats were more realistic + the gold color matched with everything!
I also rocked my Louis Vuitton Pouchette Metis daily since it was such an easy crossbody bag to wear around town AND have enough room for my multiple phone chargers haha and makeup :p
Happy Tuesday Loves…and most importantly Happy National Handbag Day! ♥
If I got to come up with all of the national holidays, they would pretty much always center around handbags haha Honestly what holiday is better than one where we get to celebrate handbags in all their glory? Some may think my love for designer bags is a bit crazy (just ask my boyfriend haha when I spent over an hour in Chanel during our recent trip to Paris he was not enthused to say the least haha #oops – I mean come on…it was CHANEL in Paris – how did he expect me not to have a major OMGmoment? hehe :p)
In honor of this special day haha I am sharing some of my favorite bags I have invested in over the years + I am sharing my tips to purchasing the designer bag you have been lusting after (it can happen – trust me!)
The highlight of today’s post is my most recent purchase from my European excursion – my FIRST ever Chanel bag. I have literally dreamed of this moment for years + the fact that it finally happened in Paris of all places was like a fairytale moment for me haha (ok now I really do sound like a handbag addict #sorrynotsorry)
On the subject of dreaming of a certain bag, this brings me to my first designer bag tip…
1.Research + Save!
There are a ton of bags out there by a ton of designers with a ton of different functions. What I find most helpful when contemplating a big handbag purchase is to evaluate when I would wear the bag, what occasion, how often etc. When spending a pretty penny on a bag you want to make sure you get good use out of it. That’s why I typically wait a couple of months before purchasing + if my lust for the bag is still there, then it is meant to be.
I have dreamed of purchasing a classic style Chanel for years (I even set a goal for myself that I would be able to purchase one – without living out of a cardboard box hehe by the time I was 30). Why Chanel? Easy…it never goes on sale, it will always retain it’s value + other than Hermes (which is my next goal haha), it is pretty much the best of the best when it comes to an investment designer bag to purchase ♥
That brings me to this beauty…the Louis Vuitton Pouchette Metis. I have been lusting after this bag for a YEAR, yes no joke a year! When my boyfriend first got to London, I asked him to visit Louis Vuitton to see if it was available anywhere in the UK since I had been on waitlist status at LV in the US for months. Lucky enough…I got lucky in the good ole’ UK + the rest is…well history hehe and a good story!
Why was I lusting after this bag? Easy – it is a classic style that is perfect for everyday wear + because it is such a commodity to get your hands on now-a-days, it retains it’s value (yes ladies + gents, handbags are an investment :p)
This brings me to investing in a designer bag Tip #2…
2.Carefully choose your style!
This may sound silly, but this ties back to tip one…it is quite important to think carefully before picking you color, pattern or print of bag. For example, Gucci has been very eclectic lately…meaning the bags are brightly colored with funky patterns etc. Those styles are a trend, they will not be in style 5 years from now (let alone a year from now) however, a simple black Chanel bag or signature monogram Louis Vuitton will rarely got out of style since they are classic styles that aren’t ‘trendy‘ per say :p
3.Bigger is ALWAYS Better!
Hey now, get your mind out of the gutter hehe I am referring to the size of the…bag! Do you ever go to the movie theater + the person at the concession stand tells asks you ‘Would you like to upgrade your combo to a large for just $.50 more?‘ 9 times out of 10 you say yes don’t ya? Why? Because it’s a no brainer, for a little amount more you get double the serving. Funny enough, that same logic applies to purchasing a designer bag.
I didn’t start buying ‘smaller’ designer bags till this last year – after I already invested in larger bags that have tons of room + functionality. Usually the next size up when it comes to designer bags varies between a few hundred dollars, so if you are iffy on whether you need the extra space or not, I always say GO FOR IT! I have never heard anyone regret going a little bit bigger + having the extra room.
Funny enough – my first job when I was 14 was scooping popcorn at my local movie theater (so I used to have to up sell everyone to a large combo haha) Anyways, with all of those up sells, I would get a $.25 commission added to my paycheck…I saved up all of those checks to purchase my first Dior bag the summer before I started high school! And that brings me to my next ‘tip’ or rather fun fact…
4.Every Bag Has A Story!
My bags always have a story behind them. I can tell you where I purchased it, why, when, etc. I usually buy one new designer bag a year + each bag is a milestone for me. For example, the Dior above was the first designer bag I purchased for myself ever.
Below is the Gucci bag I bought on Rodeo Drive when I first moved to LA…every bag tells a story, which makes them so meaningful to me as corny as that sounds…
Below are some of my current favorite bags I have purchased over the years…What is your favorite bag story?
I have dreamed of visiting Paris ever since I was a little girl. I figured one day I would fall in love and go visit the Eiffel Tower and kiss under the glittering lights…you know something straight out of a romantic comedy…and guess what – IT HAPPENED! Yes, I got to have the most amazing trip to Paris from the moment I landed till the second I took off back for London. Paris is such a magical city. Filled with boutique shops, amazing architecture + delicious food – what made it even better was our amazing stay at the ever so chic Hotel Square Louvois located in the center of all the action (literally just 5 minutes from Musée du Louvre)!
While Paris was busy as ever (it was Paris Fashion Week) when I visited, it still had all the charm + romance I expected. We arrived at Hotel Square Louvois to a bright + cheery staff whom held our bags while we explored the local cafes before our check in. Once we returned, the staff gave us a full tour of the hotel (including their AMAZING spa that looks like an island grotto) + the adorable kitchen area where they serve a delicious breakfast every morning.
Besides the amazing amenities, my favorite part (as usual at any hotel) was the comfy bed + robe. There is nothing I love more than taking a nice long bath + curling up in bed wearing a cozy bathrobe. (I loved it so much, anytime we were in the room, I kept it on – so did Mike hehe :p)
So while I LOVED the bed, we couldn’t spend our entire trip in the room sooo we went out exploring, before which we headed to the kitchen for a yummy breakfast filled with eggs, pastries, meats, coffee + more.
I began taking photos (for this post) + the waiter happened to notice (I guess it is kinda obvious who a blogger is when you see them setting up flatlays on the table hehe). Luckily he LOVED it and made me a pretty cappuccino, provided me macaroons (because every blogger needs them for a good photo duh) + even provided a tray to set up a little breakfast in bed scenario. He was so sweet, supportive + had a great eye for photography let me tell ya haha He was my Paris angel when it came to hotel photography.
What I loved most about Hotel Square Louvois was it’s central location to everything. It took us 15 minutes to Uber to the Eiffel Tower, a 5 minute walk to Musée du Louvre + more. Mike + I visited both of these sites during our stay…they were stunning to say the least, I now know why everyone falls in love with the city of Paris. More outfit shots to come…
Now while I day dream about heading back to Paris for Christmas (I will be back in the UK for the holidays to visit Mike + paris is only an hour plane ride…I mean how could we not haha) it is time for you to plan your PARIS excursion ♥
Click here to learn more about Hotel Square Louvois + all of their amazing amenities, rooms + features!
Happy Thursday Babes!I am off to LONDON + PARIS today! Unreal to think this is my first time to ever head outside the country + the first time I get to see Mike since he headed over to London for work 🙂 In my mind, London will be filled with the best outfit shoot locations, amazing culture + plenty of…you guessed it haha shopping (trust me Mike is super excited about that aspect of my visit jk haha :p #SorryNotSorry) The most exciting part of going on this trip is the fact that it is a brand new adventure outside of my comfort zone – even better, when I return from the UK I am also opening a new chapter with an exciting new role at an amazing company (stay tuned for deets :p *hint hint* it involves cute outfits, stellar photoshoots + kick ass influencers – yay!)
But back to my trip…I will be gone for two weeks + already have all of my outfit shoot locations picked out (be sure to follow me on Instagram to see my InstaStories along the way with my fav places to check out – @MissyOnMadison). From heading to Sketch for afternoon tea to getting photos at the adorable red phone booths, London is sure to be insta-worthy all the way!
In preparation for my trip, I partnered up with one of my favorite brands, Vera Bradley to head out of the country in style!
My little England keychain was actually a present from Kristi when she visited Harrods in London (you know that is my first stop hehe) ♥
From their adorable rolling luggage sets to their colorful passport covers, Vera Bradley has everything you need for a stylish trip ahead. I honestly can’t get enough of their travel essentials – they are bold and bright, making them easy to spot at baggage claim hehe AND they are super functional + are amazing quality (now that is what I call a Win/Win)!
Shop my favorite Vera Bradley travel essentials below + be sure to follow my international adventures on Instagram!
Someone has a case of the MONDAYS…OK, maybe I do haha but this week is going to fly by fast since I am heading to London this week to see my babe who I have missed so much over the past few months! Let me tell ya, long distance is tough and I have had plenty of blue Mondays missing him but this Monday is starting off bright because my first international trip is just days away! I spent the weekend attempting to pack (and try to avoid overpacking) which has been quite the challenge. How can a gal have multiple outfits to shoot and avoid hundreds of dollars worth of checked baggage charges? Ugh…seriously airlines aren’t getting the struggles influencers go through now-a-days 😉 Maybe that will be my newest platform to make a stink about – more free checked baggage 😉 hehe
I have always been one to pair a chic striped skirt with a classic white button down. I packed this entire look for London (hopefully it isn’t too cold but then again I am quite warm blooded, just ask Mike, he freezes in my apartment haha).
A white button down is essential for every gal’s wardrobe. Whether you pair it with jeans for a casual look or with a striped skirt like this for meetings at the office, a classic top like this one is always a good idea.
Since black + white can get a little ‘blah’ every now + then, it comes time to add a ‘Pop Of Color’ to your look – as you all definitely know by now, I am not one to shy away from bright, bold colors, so cobalt blue it is!
My trip to London is quickly approaching + that means time to PACK! So while I am still planning all of my looks for London (and Paris – yes we are going to head to Paris for a few days, yay!) I already have my skincare + haircare essentials down pat since I found the best travel size options to bring abroad from Ulta (my go to place for all things hair, skin + beauty)!
Check out some of my favorites below – travel size options are also a great way to test out a product you may want to buy full size without making the commitment 😉 So if you have commitment issues haha Then travel size hair + skin care work well for year round usage.