Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year In Review: Oh the Places I Went in 2014


One of my favorite things to do is to open up my iPhoto and click on 12 months. It's always neat to see what I was doing exactly a year ago. Well, on January 1, 2014 I was on a plane and, honestly, it's only fitting that this year started off on a plane. I really feel like I went places in 2014. Not only did I have a year full of physical traveling but I also had a year of personal changes and life altering opportunities and I'm the proudest, most confident and most happy that I think I have ever been. So 2014, you were great to me and I can't wait to see what happens in 2015. I'm thankful for a day to look back on my 12 months of photos and remember all of the amazing things that this year had to offer. Here is my list of the 20 things that I learned, the memories that stuck out to me and the things that I'm truly appreciative of in 2014.

1. I started the year on a plane and shockingly learned that I actually like flying. Now airports are another story.

2. I learned that there will be people that come in and out of your life. And I learned that this is okay.

3. I realized that I truly picked the best school for me. And that, is a refreshing, humbling and glorious feeling.

4. I learned that I'm addicted to traveling. Seeing new places, new people, new cultures, new artwork and new adventures is something that I have to have. I'm lucky for the opportunity to travel and I can't wait to see where this itch takes me.

5. This was the year that I discovered Oreos. And there's no turning back now. 

6. I'll never forget the first moment stepping out into the Brussels streets. My first steps abroad will always stick with me. And that first sandwich will also always be the best. 

7. I learned how to run, and to keep running and to get up the next day and do it again. 

8. I added more black to my wardrobe and yes, I am proud of that. 

9. I took an Art History class and fell in love. Art will be a subject that I will always strive to continue educating myself in. 

10. I dropped to my knees when I learned that I'll be working in Milan this summer. I've never been more shocked, honored and unbelievably excited in one moment of my life. I didn't know it was possibly to cry so many happy tears. I'll always remember that moment. 

11. I can truly say I know how to study. It's good to know your strengths and your weaknesses and how to use these to learn the most you can. 

12. I've learned to evaluate my investments. It is important to me to recognize and evaluate my rate of return on my organizational involvements, business ventures, relationships and of course clothing. I blame my major but it requires due thanks. 

13. I've worked harder at getting to know my city. Grizz games, new restaurants and trolley nights. I've only got four years in this soulful city of Memphis and 2014 was the year I started making them count.

14. I've learned how to let it go. Some stress isn't worth it. Type A can take a rest every once in a while. 

15. I've learned that I'd rather spend $15 on a dinner out with a friend than a new shirt. Sometimes its okay to put your money where your mouth is.

16. I've learned my limits. Sometimes after a long day it's time to throw in the towel and drive to get a donut. The work will always get done. 

17. My friends and family have found my blog and (although at first I was pretty embarrassed) I'm excited for them to see a different side of me. Welcome aboard guys.

18. I've taken me-time. I know what makes me happy, what calms me down and what inspires me. Taking a few months to figure this out was something that I will be thankful for the rest of my life. 

19. I have selected a subject that I am truly passionate about. Marketing and business makes sense to me and the opportunities that have already opened up in this area only prove that it was the right decision. 

20. To end where this year really did start - Emily and Dot took off. A blog I started on a whim turned into a business venture and a personal place to reflect and share. Thank you to all of my followers. Every comment, Instagram like and page view really makes me proud. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone and everything that made 2014 so spectacular. Here's to hitting the ground running in 2015!
Emily

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Keeping it Simple with Free People







{Dress // Free People (similar, similar), Sandals // Nine West (similar, similar) , Purse // Cole Haan (similar)}

High 70's is something that I definitely can't complain about. Nor can I complain about the breezy dresses that are coming with it. We decided to explore a little bit yesterday and with a few hours of walking around, my favorite Free People dress came in for the win. A simple effortless slip dress is something everyone needs and FP has it on lockdown. I bought this dress a few years ago and it's seen everything from concerts to formals to art galleries. I'm loving the FP layered style but I'm not sure if I'm gutsy enough to pull it off yet. For now, I'll just admire their Instagram {dying over these looks} from afar and keep it super simple with a pair of metallic sandals that never let me down. There's something to say about investing in a great brand of sandals. I love my Target knockarounds from my post yesterday {view here} but these ones really step up the quality a notch and last longer than just one season. I'd say the same goes for a go-to cross body. You can never go wrong with a simple metallic that fits all of your essentials. 

Roaming around we came across this not-so hidden gem of the Ringling family art collection. Their gallery was absolutely beautiful, not to mention the incredible art that was inside! Follow along with what I saw over on my Instagram @emilyanddot {link here} where you can see more pictures of this pink palace and my pink sunburn!

Loving it!
Emily

P.S. Had to include the brother on this post because this kid keeps me on my fashion toes. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Dock Days in Florida




{Dress // Springfield (similar here), Shoes // Target (here), Sunglasses // AJ Morgan (here)}

Well I'm definitely already digging our time spent here in Florida. Salty hair and sandy clothes are a cure for absolutely anything and after a busy week of finals, Christmas and the on-set of winter, escaping to Florida was just what we all needed. The weather is absolutely beautiful, the beach is right outside our door and I have a clear schedule for 7 days. Life. Is. Good. A break from school is always great but there's never anything like the relaxation that you get from the beach. I'm more than happy to be here. 

As you know, I'm a sucker for taking photos of anything and everything and I've actually already taken 697 photos in three days (actually laughing out loud). Make sure to follow along on my Instagram @emilyanddot {link right here!} to see everything I'm up to on the trip! These photos were snapped while we were waiting on the grill to fire up last night for dinner. 

Here I'm wearing one of my favorite dresses I snagged from a store while I was abroad in Belgium. It fits similar to my favorite J.Crew Factory dress and there's even a similar color {here, here}! 
I've been running around on the beach in these sandals but honestly, where haven't I worn these? These are $20 Massimo sandals from Target {here} and they're my absolute favorite. No blisters whatsoever and they have stayed together after the cobblestone streets of Europe, outdoor summer concerts and now walking to and from the beach. I'm not lying when I say that I have four more pairs waiting for me in my closet for when I walk right through these. Love them. 
Last but not least, these sunglasses from AJ Morgan {here}. I grabbed these from my favorite vintage store this past summer and I've been obsessed with the entire brand ever since. AJ Morgan isn't vintage but they make reasonably priced ($12!) glasses in all different shapes and colors. Check them out if you haven't heard of them already!

Hope everyone else is having a great rest of their breaks and stocking up on all kinds of goodies with these post-Christmas sales! What are you all doing for break?!
Emily




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Christmas Eve Playlist!


Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Today officially kicks off the festivities at my house! Our Christmas Eve traditions revolve around a short drive to visit family where we start with an overly-filling dinner and end opening a few gifts! For today's drive I've curated a short Christmas playlist to settle into the Christmas spirit! Click the link here {listen to my Christmas playlist on Spotify} to play directly off Spotify!

Also, I want to Congratulate Rachel from {Seashells & Sparkles}for winning my Marley Lilly Giveaway! Thanks for everyone that participated and I can't wait to show you what I have up my sleeve for the future!

Merry Christmas Eve!
Emily

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here's to Treating Every Day Like Christmas!


 I mentioned in a post {here} about how Christmas always sneaks up on me now that I'm at school and I'm not constantly surrounded by garland, string lights and carols. I've been trying to get into the Christmas spirit while I've been at home by catching up on all of my favorite holiday movies. I recently watched Elf (one of my all-time favorite movies ever) and it reminded me of something really important.

Amidst laughing about syrup covered pancakes or angry elves, there is a short scene about the code of the elves and the number one rule is: Treat every day like Christmas. There's something to be said here and it is this. Getting into the Christmas spirit and preparing for this holiday shouldn't' be as stressful as it inevitably turns out to be. Rushing around trying to find those last minute gifts {hope I can help with this post!}, throwing the baked apples in the oven and scouring the house to find one more bow to throw on top of a gift can really make us forget the real purpose of this holiday. Getting into the Christmas spirit isn't about cramming all of your last minute movies or listening to Jingle Bell Rock for the 300th time, it should realistically mean simply taking a breath and enjoying this time around family and friends. Yes, Christmas is just another day. But it is so special because everyone is relaxed, happy, festive, smiling, full with calories they didn't even try to count, warm off of age-old hot chocolate recipes and giddy because they finally got that present they've been eyeing all year. Christmas is about simply enjoying the day and treating every day like Christmas is about constantly looking for ways to give, things to be happy about and moments to celebrate.

So the conclusion that I've come to. I need to chill with my Christmas-cramming and understand that getting into the spirit isn't about making sure I remember all of the words to Feliz Navidad. It's appreciating the family and friends around me, the fact that we have gifts wrapped under the tree and making sure that I get the most out of my time at home. I really should take my life lessons from Will Ferrell more often.

Here's to treating everyday like Christmas!
Emily

P.S. Only one more day to enter into my Christmas giveaway! Click the Rafflecopter below!!!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide!


It's coming down to the wire to buy Christmas gifts with only three days left! I always have that one person left on my list around this time that I just can't figure out what to get. I put together a gift guide here for those last few people on your list. From a classic Chanel lipstick to C.O. Bigelow body cream to a Rifle Bond Paper Co. calendar these are simple and reasonably priced gifts that will still put a smile on their face! (And they won't even know you picked it up the night before!) Click {the link here} to see where all of these goodies are from!

What are your last minute go-to gifts?
Emily

P.S. Remember you've only got two more days to enter for the Marley Lilly bracelet! {here}



Friday, December 19, 2014

#FridayFinds: Holiday Gems

Finals definitely took a toll on everything including my sleep schedule, regular eating, (overall sanity), and it also took a toll on E&D! In order to make up for dropping the ball, this Friday Find is extra-packed with my favorite holiday links!


These little guys are absolutely adorable! I squealed the whole time reading this!



Bubba Watson is at it again. This video is my nerdy holiday guilty pleasure!



Hey, Officer! I'm happy to be pulled over!



Home Alone, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Story! I didn't know any of these! Great Christmas trivia to have in your pocket!



Last but not least, a minion video! Though they're definitely silly, the minion videos never fail to make me smile. Enjoy this battling of carols!


Which one is your favorite? Have you seen any other holiday gems floating around the web?!
Emily



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Plucked from Pinterest: Holiday Edition!

I always get so wrapped up in finals at school that I genuinely forget all of the holiday festivities going on around me! Trapped in a library for hours on end doesn't give me the time to scout out the best Christmas lights in a car packed with blankets, hot chocolate and my parents' holiday tapes. So to get myself in the holiday spirit (and to take a break from studying) I took to Pinterest! Here are some of my recent holiday pins!


Christmas is the perfect time for plaid and I am head-over-heels for the latest plaid pants trend! Find the pin to these swoon-worthy pants {here}!


I love creative and festive wrapping paper. Look how simple yet chic these gifts are! Want to know exactly how to do it? Check out the pin {here}!


These peppermint cookie dough bars have me absolutely drooling. I always get into a baking kick around the holidays and right now, these babies are first on my list! Recipe {here}!


Ban.do keeps the sparkle all year round and this photo doesn't disappoint. It would look great as a print framed above a mantle to make for some glittery holiday decor or set it as your desktop background and bring some cheer to your computer! Check out the pin {here}!


I'm loving this photo especially. It perfectly captures the holidays: warm, festive clothes with the yearly tree confusion. Love it. See this holiday pin {here}!


Here's to getting in the holiday spirit!
Emily

P.S. There are two cheesy puns in this post. Enjoy!


Monday, December 15, 2014

The "Good' In Goodbye


Mondays are rough. Mondays are especially rough when you're having to say goodbye to your best friend for more months that you would like to count. There is always the inevitable packing after the end of the fall semester. Most students are packing their bags for a trip home for break while other students are packing their rooms to take off across the pond next semester. Studying abroad is an absolutely amazing opportunity that comes with exotic foods, beautiful architecture, lively discotheques, and countless memories but if there is one drawback, it stems from your semester of independence away from friends and family. This is a wonderful thing, and one of the reasons that I would really encourage any student to pursue traveling abroad, however the initial goodbye is not so equally wonderful.

After being in a long distance relationship, I'd like to think I've become a pro at goodbyes, but if I've learned anything, it's that for those who truly matter, the goodbye is never easy. We're not expected to be good at goodbyes, and we're not expected to all handle them the same. You're allowed to freeze up, you're allowed to be silent, and you're allowed to cry like you just got socked in the stomach. It's okay.

For those saying goodbye before a semester abroad, there are a few things to remember. First, remember the reason that saying goodbye is so difficult. Friends and family, and the memories that make goodbyes so bittersweet, will be there forever but also remember that we cannot wait to pick back up right where we left off. Second, find comfort in the technology of the 21st century. With Skype, Facebook, iMessage and Snapchat you are only a button away. The phone works both ways and communication never has to be an issue. Staying up till 4 in the morning to FaceTime will never be a burden. Third, remember that your friends and family will be waiting for you with open arms to hear the stories of your travels and see the photos of every Spanish churro you ate. School will be here waiting for you in the Fall, and your roommates will be more than ready to knock off the rest of your tasks on your college bucket list. Lastly, don't let the goodbye overshadow the amazing experiences you are about to encounter. Everyone truly is excited for your adventures and cannot wait to see where you will go in this world.

So yes, goodbyes are the worst but I would say that there is some "good" in goodbye and it is this. In saying goodbye, we discover how truly lucky we are to have people who are hard to say goodbye to. And I'm lucky that today's goodbye was a hard one. So for my best friend leaving next semester I urge you to take an unreasonable amount of photographs and never forget the pure joy that comes from receiving a postcard. I can't wait to hear about your exotic travels, European men and scroll through Instagram photos of food in the air. I already can't wait to see you in five months in Europe.

Only goodbye for now,
Emily

Friday, December 12, 2014

#FridayFinds: Chicago Bulls Proposal


I'm a sucker for elaborate wedding proposals and this video is one of the best I've seen in a while. Take a break from your end-of-the-year work and watch this Chicago Bulls proposal. The planning that went into this from so many people will make your heart melt and the Bruno Mars song puts the cherry on top.

Happy Friday everyone!
Emily


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Holidays + Giveaway!


Ho Ho Ho! Since it's the holiday season, what better time to do a giveaway! There's nothing better than an arm party so how about a monogrammed one?! This year for Christmas I'm going to be giving away to one of my lucky readers this amazing Marley Lilly bow bracelet! I'll announce the lucky winner on Christmas Eve! Pop on over to the Rafflecopter below and good luck!!!

Happy Holidays!
Emily

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finals, Hang in There!



A busy week of finals and tests have got me feeling pretty overwhelmed, well that might be an understatement. But for anyone else heading into their finals weeks, hang in there! Luckily, the long days and even-longer-nights only last a week. Keep your eyes out for an exciting surprise coming on Thursday! Can't wait to share it with you all!

Counting down the days till break!
Emily


Monday, December 8, 2014

White Hot Chocolate Recipe!


There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with hot chocolate. I have great memories of snow days spent sledding and walking down to the local coffeeshop where I would get the best white chocolate hot chocolate. Today I'm bringing you a super easy recipe to make it yourself! This is a great one to have up your sleeve for a holiday get together or even just a night in with a cozy blanket and your favorite Christmas movie!

So here's what you need:
4 cups of milk of your choice
1tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate chopped
whipped cream & marshmallows or peppermint

Now to make it!
1. Stir together milk, vanilla and chopped pieces of white chocolate in a medium saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasional
3. Continue until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer (don't let it boil!)
4. Remove from heat and pour into mug
5. Top with whipped cream and marshmallows. You can also ring the mug with peppermint crumbles!
6. Cuddle up and sip!

Try out this recipe and let me know what you think! Does anyone else have a great specialty hot chocolate recipe?!
Emily

This post is part of the December #MMLinkUp: Sparkle, Spice & Everything Nice!



Friday, December 5, 2014

#FridayFinds: Frat Boys Take On T-Swift


I can't say enough about Taylor Swift's newest album, I really do love it that much. So what could make her newest album, and my latest favorite song even better? Frat boys. That's right. These boys from Texas Tech did a lip dub for her hit Blank Space and it's spot on. Take a few minutes this Friday to swoon. You deserve it!

Happy Friday all!
Emily


Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Style in a Living Room + Modani


Recently, I was challenged by Modani, a modern furniture store {website here} to channel my fashion sense into a living room! Of course I'm up for the challenge and I'm excited to show you another side of my design taste! You can see all of the links to these pieces {by clicking here}!

When I started, I imagined this living room in a loft with white walls, high ceilings, light wood floors and a large window. Definitely channeled my dream New York City loft! If I were designing the interiors of my own apartment I'd want bright pops of color and pattern mixing, just like I style my clothes! I love statement pieces, eclectic decorations and art.

I started styling this room around this amazing modern silver sofa {others here}. There are so many ways that you could style this, either chic and simple or, like I did, with other quirky and bold items. Next, I paired it with this brilliant orange chair and once I added the pop-art canvas and then it was just adding the final touches! I love the bright pillows and the smaller accessory items for this industrial bookcase. The yellow light fixture and side table compliment the canvas and the zebra rug was a no-brainer! I really love how bright, colorful and eclectic this living room is. Can I have this for a New York Apartment?!

What do you all think of this design? Where would your dream living room be?
Emily


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fall Trends: Love or Leave it?

Today I'm looking back on the recent fall trends. There are definitely some styles that stick out to me because I really love them and others that I silently cringe at. Here are my thoughts on five recent trends!

Dark Lips // LOVE IT
I'm loving these overly dark lips for the Fall. It makes a great contrast to everyone's end of the year pale skin and completes a darker outfit. I'm definitely digging all of these deep reds! Totally Love!

Belted Scarves // LEAVE IT
I've seen this trend amongst multiple blogs recently and I'm not sure I'm a fan. I understand that scarves are a necessity but these really defeat the point of their purpose of keeping your neck warm. The added bulk to the outfit isn't amazingly flattering either. I'm going to leave this one.

Styled Track Pants // LOVE IT
This trend took a while for me to get behind but now I really like it. This definitely isn't an acceptable work attire but I love the contrast between formal and casual. It's the perfect look for those lazy Saturdays and I'm loving it.

Printed Leggings // LEAVE IT
I have really tried to like this trend but I just can't. First off, these leggings do not flatter any body type, the horizontal stripes on your legs is a big no-no for me. Also, they look like pajama pants. I can get behind these if they're for lounging around the house but I don't think these should be a staple piece of your fall wardrobe. I'm leaving this one.

Sweaters over Maxis // LOVE IT
I really love this trend but I have yet to have the guts to pull it off. There is a difficult line to balance here by keeping a slouchy sweater but one that is just fitted enough to lose the appearance of a sack. I'm all about extending the life of your clothes throughout seasons and this is a great way to get the most out of your closet. Love it!

What are your thoughts on these fall trends?!
Emily


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Go To's + Marley Lilly Houndstooth Plaid

                        

I talk a lot about my "go-to's" on the blog. Those pieces that you know you can throw on when you're running late, they will match with everything and they're going to look great every time. Well here are my top five go-tos, all in one outfit and topped off with this fantastic scarf from Marley Lilly!  






Shirt: {J.Crew} Pants: {Gap} Vest: {LandsEnd} Boots: Pink & Pepper {Similar Here} Scarf: {Marley Lilly}

The Go-Tos:
1. Chambray // I love a good chambray shirt. It's one of the best investments you'll make. It can be worn through all season and gives any outfit a casual yet modern twist. 

2. Black Pants // These are my all-time favorite pants. They are Gap city pants and they are a great mixture between structure and stretch. The slight crop allows me to roll them easily for ankle boots or have them fall right above a great pair of flats. 

3. Vest // I'm a firm believer in a great vest. They keep you warm on breezy days and provide a little pop of color over a simple shirt. A cozy down vest goes a long way and LandsEnd did it right here!

4. Ankle Boots // I bought these Pink & Pepper ankle boots about a year ago and I've gotten so much use out of them! A neutral ankle boot will go with anything, a skirt, a dress or jeans and gives you just enough heel to add height but to still comfortably walk around in all day!

5. Scarf // A handful of scarves are always a great resource to have in your closet and I'm so happy to be adding this one to my collection! This Marley Lilly Scarf is so precious! I love the pink contrast with the classic houndstooth print. This little pop of color easily brightened up my neutral look and helped me bear that December wind! Throw this on top of a chambray shirt, a shirt dress or even a t-shirt on the way to the library! These scarves are a great gift idea! Check out more on the {Marley Lilly site here}!

What are your 5 go-to's in your closet?
Emily


Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Cyber Monday!



Well guys, if you didn't get enough on Black Friday, Cyber Monday is here to save the day! It's the time to make a dent in your gift list while all the sales continue. Here are some of the great deals going on around the internet today!

Aerie: 40% Off Entire Purchase {Code: GOBBLEUP}
Ann Taylor: 50% Off Entire Purchase {Code: CYBER50}
ASOS: 30% Off {Code: ILOVEMONDAYS}
Banana Republic: 40% Off {Code: CYBER}
BaubleBar: 20% Off {Code: CYBER20}
Gap: 40% Off {Code: CYBER}
J.Crew: 30% Off Everything {Code: HOLIDAY}
J.Crew Factory: 50% Off Everything {Code: YOU'VEGOTSALE}
Kate Spade: 30% Off {Code: CYBER30}
Loft: 50% off Everything {Code: MONDAY}
Madewell: 25% Off {Code: GIFTON}
Old Navy: 40% Off {Code: CYBER40}
Sole Society: 30% Off All Footwear

Happy shopping!
Emily