Friday, June 28, 2013

We're Buying A House!!

When we last talked, I left you hanging on the fact that we put in an offer on a house we loved.  It had most of all the things on our list - great location, space, nice yard, not right on top of the next house, older house, etc.  It just spoke to us, it felt right.  We could see ourselves really enjoying the place and making it our own.



Built in 1980, this well-maintained ranch style house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a bonus upstairs room, lots of windows, and a great private backyard.  It is in a great neighborhood that seems nice and quiet.  It definitely has some dated fixtures and things we want to work on, but we absolutely love it!


(From the top to bottom, the large front room, dining room, kitchen, and "great room" right off the kitchen.  The Great Room looks out into the backyard and will be our living room area.)



The gorgeous room with the vaulted ceiling will be our office.  I cannot wait to work from that room.  The office is quite large, with built in bookshelves on either side.  It looks out into the backyard as well.

The backyard is beautifully landscaped to include lots of trees and shrubbery.  There is a small potting shed in back as well.  I look forward to planting herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, and cilantro.

The inspection was last week.  We put in what we wanted repaired by the seller.  Most of it was pretty minor, but there is a little bit of water damage and dry rot on a section of siding.  So now we wait and see what/if she is willing to get anything fixed and whether we then agree with her idea.

We aren't out of the woods yet, so I try not to get too excited.  Once we are in the home stretch, I will be more excited about all the possibilities.  We did manage to pack three boxes this week.  (A hundred more to go! lol)  My paint samples arrived today, so I posted those over on Instagram

What do you think?


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

House Hunting Part Two: Excitement Around The Corner

Continuing with my Tale of House Hunting:

If you missed the beginning of the story,  you can find it in Part One.

House Hunting Part Two

When we left off, Sean and I finally chose our agent.  I would say that we are socially awkward creatures, so the idea of talking to some stranger was incredibly difficult for us.  I am guessing normal people just do it.  We think about it for weeks and overanalyze and then make a decision.  I feel good about the decisions I/we have made, so I guess it works for us.

As with most things we I tend to freak out about, everything ended up being fine.  The agents were nice.  The one we chose was easy to talk to.  When we met with her, it was at a house she wanted us to take a look at that she thought met our criteria.  At this point, we had been receiving reports from her for a few days about houses on the market.  It was nice to finally get in a house to look around; we felt rather productive that day.  The yard of this house was spectacular - large and immaculately landscaped.  However, the inside left something to be desired.  It was just all over too small.  We were able to chat with the agent about what we liked and didn't like about it to help her in her quest to find us the right place.

She was leaving that day for a week-long vacation, but continued to send us listings of places we might want to look at. (This was even before we chose her to be our agent.  We liked how much effort she was putting into helping us.)  Half way through the week, we finally sent her an email and told her we wanted to work with her.  From there we compiled a long list of places we were interested in based on the listings she would send us, and the places we would find online through our own searches.  Thank goodness for Google Maps because we were able to check out the exact location, neighborhood, yard size, etc. based on the maps.  We got rid of any houses too far outside of the area we wanted to be in, too close together in a neighborhood, anything with too small of a yard, any house that shared a driveway with other houses, etc. etc.

We easily scrolled through over a hundred homes and whittled the list down to six that we felt met our criteria.

House Hunting Part Two

That Monday, we met up with our agent to go look at the six houses on our list.  It was four hours of fun.  I really enjoyed finally getting out there and fleshing out the details of what I really loved and what I really disliked about the homes we saw.  From those six, two stood out as possibilities.  One for being a lot of square feet for the price and a decent yard, but the kitchen was really small.  The other was smaller overall then we wanted, but the layout was really open.  It was in a great location with a great deck and pretty little yard.  We found out that it already had an offer on it though, so we kept moving along.

I promise I'm getting close to the good part.

The very next day, Sean decided he wanted to get another opinion on the larger house he liked, so we planned on taking a trip to look at it again with his mom in tow.  We made plans with our agent to check out a few more houses on Thursday evening.  On Wednesday, she emailed saying she just found a house that came on the market an hour earlier and thought it would be a perfect fit for us.  She was on her way to look at it and would give us any additional information.  We checked out some pictures of it and agreed to see it.

Thursday arrived.  We visited the previously seen house with my mother-in-law, checked out a larger house that reminded me of my Southern roots (but it needed a LOT of work.  The previous inhabitants did a lot of damage to it as far as wear and tear and not taking care of things.  And the downstairs bathroom smelled like cat pee.  And the kitchen smelled like old fish.  But the GIANT walk-in closet was pretty awesome.   It had great potential, but we aren't rich enough to fix it up.), and then we headed to this new listing that our agent was pretty darn excited about.


And it was pretty great.  So great, in fact, that we put in an offer.  And the offer was accepted.  And it turns out we're buying a house! lol  I'll get a post up tomorrow showing you what it looks like because I can't wait to share the excitement with you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Q & A Monday: Ten Simple Questions

Hey, y'all!
I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun, and restful weekend!  My Saturday turned out pretty awesome.  The weather was way better than expected while I joined my cousins and aunts for a get together.  We sat on our family friend's porch talking, laughing, eating, and drinking.  It was quite a lovely afternoon. Afterwards, Sean and I looked at paint samples and made a trip to Ikea to look at a few other storage options.

Sunday was pretty low-key.  I worked on computer stuff, did some house chores, and played The Last of Us with Sean.  We have been waiting for that game to come out for quite a while!


It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.


Ten Simple Questions


1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?  
"Oh my! I need to brush my hair!" lol  It was a curly, crazy mess.

2. Do you prefer to pay for things with cash or plastic?  
I prefer to use my debit card.  It is just easier than worrying about how much cash I am carrying with me.

3. What is one word that you use too often? 
hahaha Well, I probably say the "F word" a lot.  I have a potty mouth.  I think I say "awesome" too much lately, and often work the word "chihuahua" into every song I sing. lol

4. Who is the last person outside of your family who said “I love you” to you?  
Oh gosh....okay, my husband, my sister, and my cousins have all said it to me lately.  Maybe it was my good friend from high school when she emailed me last week.

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone and mailed it? 
I sent my stepdad a Father's Day card a couple weekends ago.  I need to write letters to my grandmas and send them pictures.

6. Have you ever been called upon for jury duty?  
Yes, more than I care to remember.

7.  How many keys are on your key ring?  
Two, I think.  House keys and mailbox keys.

8.  List two characteristics that you want to change about yourself.  
I wish I was a more laid-back type of person.  I'm very anxious and on edge about a lot of things (and other things not so much), but I worry a lot and overanalyze a lot.  So those things I would love to change.

9.  Do you bring your own shampoo and conditioner when you travel, or do you use what the hotel provides?  
I always bring my own because hotel shampoos and conditioners are normally VERY drying and damaging to my hair.  I can feel the difference immediately and I hate it.  But I always take the little hotel things back with me. lol  I have a big basket full of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body washes, and soaps.

10. What is your birthstone?  Do you like it?
  
It is an emerald.  I absolutely love them!


I can't wait to see your answers to this week's questions!  Link up with Kenlie and let me know you are taking part!  Have a Happy Monday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

House Hunting: Part One

I really thought I would have more time to write a post, or series of posts, on the topic of house hunting while we were going through it all.  That was my intent.  I wanted to document our experience and emotions (as there were bound to be) while they were fresh and new. 

DivineMrsDiva.com - House Hunting

We were pretty quiet about it all when we started the process.  We began by actually deciding we were going to be able to buy a house in the first place.  We had an idea of what we ideally wanted to pay a month and based our budget on that.  It gave us a number we didn't want to go over in our house searches.  Websites like Zillow and RMLS were used to start searching online.  These sites were extremely helpful in giving details, photos, and other info about each house.

Towards the end of April, we were pre-approved and began searching more often on these sites, as well as other real estate companies' sites.  This is when we told our family and friends we were looking for a home.  I asked my friends on Facebook for tips, things to look out for, and other advice they might have.  We took a weekend excursion through neighborhoods in the area to see if any houses had For Sale signs in their front yards.  That action garnered us lots of home flyers and ideas of pricing as well.  We got a feel for each neighborhood and how they were laid out.

May was insanely busy with many previous engagements on our calendar.  No time for much house hunting on a regular basis.  We still managed to take a couple evenings here and there to drive around looking at houses while we formed a better idea of our perfect house and mulled over getting an agent.  In fact, we spent at least eight hours total driving around neighborhoods, driving by houses we saw online, and determining what kind of house types, colors, shapes, yards, etc. we liked.

DivineMrsDiva.com - House Hunting
Rusty and Kiki helping us hunt for a home

I am lucky in that Sean and I agree on most points about decorating and colors of home decor, what we want in a house, home layouts, etc.  We also complement each other well in that the things I am not fully focused on are things he takes charge of (he wants a bigger garage and helps keep us focused on the budget), and vice versa (I long for lots of space, a big kitchen, a dressing room and craft room, a yard with privacy, and more aesthetic things.) It makes the whole process easier.  The whole thing was stressing me out because the houses I loved were way over our budget. I kept thinking we would never find exactly what we wanted.  Thankfully, I only had two crying sessions, but seeing the photos of these places just left me really downtrodden.  The ones we could afford were too small, two crappy-looking inside, the kitchen was too small, or whatever else was wrong.

The last week in May, we decided to make appointments with two agents that were recommended to us.  The morning of our 5th anniversary was spent meeting with these two individuals, seeing how our personalities meshed and how they were in person.  While they were both friendly and helpful, we were more impressed with the way the second agent immediately began sending us listings, asked tons of questions about what we were looking for, was so much easier to talk to, and really seemed to want to help us.  It took us a few days to make our final decision because they both were very capable of doing their jobs, but had very distinct personalities and business styles.  When we made our choice (the second agent!), we both felt pretty good about it and continue to feel like we made the right decision.

We started our sixth year of marriage feeling productive in moving forward with finding the right house for us.  In the next post, I'll give a little rundown of our first couple of weeks working with our agent and how things are going presently!

Stay tuned!




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What I Wore: Sartorial Medley - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue


It is time again for Sartorial Medley, a monthly fashion challenge hosted by myself and Aislynn of Aislynn's World.  (Did you miss the previous posts? Check them out!) We welcome participation from anyone, regardless of your dress size.  From now until the 25th, email me your photo and link to your blog post at diva@divinemrsdiva.com.

Now on to this month's theme: Something Old, Something New, Something Blue.

Sartorial Medley: June - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue  (Kiyonna Trina Top, ASOS Curve Multi-Sequin Pencil Skirt, Avenue Mia Peep Toe Flats)

I had a hard time thinking of what to wear for this month's post.  I happened to still have my Asos Curve sequin skirt from Gwynnie Bee, so I thought I would add "Something Borrowed" to the theme.

Old is the necklace from Eloquii.  I've had it for about a year and don't think I have really worn it yet.  The New is the pair of flats.  I've worn them once before and find them practical, comfortable, and cute.  I just bought the nude pair as well.  Something Blue is obviously the top, which seemed to match the skirt really well. 

Sartorial Medley: June - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue  (Kiyonna Trina Top, ASOS Curve Multi-Sequin Pencil Skirt, Avenue Mia Peep Toe Flats)

The skirt is so pretty in person and quite comfortable. I own two sequined skirts, one of which does not have a comfortable waist band to keep my skin from being scratched up.  This skirt is very comfortable, not scratchy or itchy, and has a soft knit waistband that keeps your waistline abrasion free. (See Below)  I also thoroughly enjoy the multi-colors.  It contains holographic sequins in dark pink, blue, silver, and gold, as well as plain shiny sequins in a very light pink color.

It is hard to capture the true look of it in a photograph, but the light and movement make it shimmer in a rainbow of colors.  It is LOVELY.  I actually want to buy it for my own.  It also fits incredibly well, hugs my curves like it should, and is stretchy and cozy.  I am a 26/28 and tried this skirt in the UK26/US22 size.

Sartorial Medley: June - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue  (Kiyonna Trina Top, ASOS Curve Multi-Sequin Pencil Skirt, Avenue Mia Peep Toe Flats)
Trina Top - Kiyonna
Multi Sequin Pencil Skirt - Asos Curve
Pink Gem Necklace - Eloquii
Mia Peep Toe Flat - Avenue (On sale right now for $23 from $48!)


Sartorial Medley: June - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue  (Kiyonna Trina Top, ASOS Curve Multi-Sequin Pencil Skirt, Avenue Mia Peep Toe Flats)

I had to run to Ulta for shampoo and also managed to walk out with two NYX Roll On Shimmer colors, Salmon and Nude.  In the above photo, I am wearing Nude on the lid.  The Salmon color is a little more pinky and more sparkly.  It is so pretty in person.  Ulta has a Buy One Get One 50% off right now.

We'd love to see your spin on this month's theme!  Don't forget to email me to participate!


Sartorial Medley: Something Old, Something New, Something Blue

Sartorial Medley Aislynn - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue
Aislynn of Aislynn's World

Monday, June 17, 2013

Q & A Monday: Just Wondering

Hey, y'all!

It has been a busy and nerve-wrecking weekend.  I worked on some projects and we spent a lot of time biting our nails and waiting for some important news.  I'll have more info later this week.  (I know.  I hate vague crap like that too, but I want to be able to write everything out and post it together.)

I need to get to bed, so I am going to get right to this week's Q & A (aka Friend Makin' Monday.)

It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.


Just Wondering

1.  Do you wear glasses and/or contacts?  
I do have glasses, but don't wear them too often.  I need them to see far away, so at the movies or playing video games or driving around is when I require them.

2.  Do you have summer vacation plans?  If so, where are you going?  

In less than a month, I am heading out to see two NKOTB concerts (one is in Canada)!  I am really excited because I have been a New Kids fan for 25 years and like to see them every chance I get.  We are really focused on buying a house this summer, so no other plans have been made.  Maybe next summer?

3.  What is your favorite food to eat for breakfast?  
What I actually eat is Greek yogurt with lots of berries and a bit of granola.  What I LOVE for breakfast are biscuits and gravy (white gravy, tomato gravy, cocoa gravy!), chicken fried steak, omelets, hashbrowns, etc. etc. I love breakfast food!

4. Do you enjoy window shopping?  
It usually makes me mad if I don't have money to purchase something.  I like the experience of trying things on and touching the objects and smelling the lotions and all that jazz.

5. What is your favorite candle scent?  
I just bought the Gelato candle from Bath and Body Works.  It smells like a watermelon/strawberry hard candy.

6.  If you had to choose between going to a zoo or an aquarium, which one would you pick?  

I enjoy the zoo because of all the varieties of animals to watch, but I hate when it gets too hot and I hate how so many kids are at the zoo.  No one teaches their kids manners anymore.  It bothers me.  The aquarium usually has less kids and I am fascinated by the sea life, but we don't have a good aquarium nearby.

7.  How many times do you plan to exercise this week?  
lol  I always plan to, it just doesn't always work out that way.  We shall see.

8.  Do you speak another language fluently?  
Unfortunately, no.  I was good at Spanish in high school, but stopped practicing it after that so my knowledge on the subject has declined.

9.  What are you currently reading?  
I am currently reading Attempting Normal by Marc Maron.

10.  What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?  
Spilling the good news, planning, finishing some projects, seeing some movies, and maybe cleaning out my dressing room.


Now it is your turn!  You may answer here in the comments or on your blog.  Please remember to link up with Kenlie and let me know you are participating as well.  I hope you all have a FABULOUS week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What I Wore: Comfy Go-Tos

Our Cinco de Mayo was spent celebrating our good friend Tim's birthday.  We all met up at Cinetopia to lounge in the Movie Parlor room and watch Iron Man 3.  It was my first time checking out the new Movie Parlor room.  It features comfortable seating with ottomans, plus you can order a meal and beverages to enjoy while you watch the movie.  My only complaint is that there was no headrest.  I guess that is what Sean's arm is for. lol


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals


It was one of the first nice weather days in these parts, which I was super excited about.  I wanted to be comfortable for lounging at the movies, so I chose my long maxi and brightened it up with fun colors.  You have probably noticed I am wearing my two colors of Amber shrugs from SWAK quite a lot lately.  I need to get some more colors ASAP!  They are so comfortable and go with pretty much everything.  These are two easy go-to pieces that can be changed up with accessories.  They allow me to be cool and relaxed while being a little more pulled together.


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals


I absolutely love these sandals too; Torrid sold them last year.  Not only do I wish I bought the black ones too, but I wish they sold lots more colors.  I get compliments on them every time I wear them.  At the bottom of this post, I have included a scrolling shopping gallery of similar items.  Let me know if you like this addition to posts.


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals
Black Maxi - Lane Bryant
Amber Shrug - SWAK Designs
Bubble Necklace - Lane Bryant  (Etsy has a TON!)
Tassel Sandals - Torrid
Miche Prima Bag - Gifted from my Mother-in-Law


I have had a few requests to use my handbag in more photos.  I usually don't have it with me for photos because it is giant and heavy. lol  Here is my giant Miche bag my mother-in-law gave me.  I am using the metallic Natasha shell with the Prima base bag.  Miche bags are cool in that you can change up the outer shell without taking everything out of your purse.  However, the base and shells can be quite expensive.  I recommend browsing eBay if you are interested in one.  It was a major undertaking to go from this to my smaller Coach bag.  (However, my shoulders and back thank me!)


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals


DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals

DivineMrsDiva.com - Lane Bryant Black Maxi, Pink Bubble Necklace, SWAK Designs Purple Amber Shrug, Torrid Pink Tassel Sandals
Hanging with the boys!  (The birthday boy is in the green shirt.)



For your viewing pleasure, I have put together this gallery of similar items to include black maxis, colorful shrugs, bright bubble necklaces, and tasseled sandals.




Monday, June 10, 2013

Q & A Monday: How Do You Celebrate?

Another busy weekend has come to an end.  My husband kicked off Saturday by getting up super early so he and his friend could help my mother-in-law take yard debris to the recycle place (or wherever it goes....I have no idea).  Then we were off to my cousin's daughter's very first birthday party.  She was rather dainty with her smash cake. lol  After that it was off to my haircut, and then we spent two and a half hours driving by a list of houses we are interested in.  

Sunday was my mother-in-law's birthday.  We went out to brunch, saw Now You See Me, went to an Open House, and drove by more houses.  Today, we actually get to go inside some of those houses to determine how much we like them.  *fingers crossed*


It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.


How Do You Celebrate?

1. When is your birthday?  
May 12.  :-)
2.  Do you like to celebrate it or do you prefer to keep it quiet?  
My dad died right before my 18th birthday, so celebrating my birthday has become very important to me.  It takes my mind off of the crappy stuff and lends some fun to an otherwise horrible string of days.  I wear my tiara and have as much fun as I possibly can.  Some years are bigger celebrations than others, but I always love to do something special.
3. Have you ever had a surprise party?  
Yes.  My 16th birthday was celebrated with a surprise party at school that my best friend Derek set up for me.  And for my 30th, my husband and awesome friend Nigel set all that up.  They got me really good because I had no idea anything was happening!
4. What sign are you?  Does it represent you well?  
I’m a Taurus and feel that I am true to my sign.  I am dependable, steady, loyal and devoted, love stability, am stubborn, and enjoy the finer things in life.  I'm a Taurus through and through.
5.  Do you tell the truth about your age?  
Usually it isn't a huge deal.  I'm 33 and I am okay with that.  I'm happy with the wisdom my 33 years have given me.  But I like to joke I am 29 or so every year.
6.  Share your best birthday memory.  
I've had a lot of memorable birthdays.  The surprise party for my 30th sticks out because I was speechless.  And my friend Norm even drove up for the day.  My 31st was spent seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson speak at the University of Washington in Seattle. On my 25th birthday, my cousins and aunt came to my job to bestow me with balloons, a tiara, a wand, and dumped glitter all over me. lol  My 21st birthday weekend was spent at Universal Studios in California, hanging out with my friend Shala. For my 22nd, my friend Summer came down from Seattle and spent the weekend with me.  Etc, etc, etc.

My SURPRISE 30th!
7.  Share a few items that could be on your birthday wishlist.  
I received some awesome gifts this year, but I am still in the market for a sewing machine and chubby girl art.
8.  What is your favorite kind of cake?  
German chocolate cake or lemon cake with coconut 
9.  If you could be anywhere on your next birthday, where would you be? 
I like spending my birthday with my friends, but I think traveling somewhere might be a fun way to spend it sometime. I'd want to go to Ireland, Greece, Hawaii, NYC, London, Georgia to visit my sisters, or maybe on a cruise.
10.  Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles?  
Absolutely.
Don't forget to answer the questions here or on your blog.  Also, remember to link up with Kenlie.  I hope you all have an amazing week!  Happy Monday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

What I Wore: Live long and Sparkle

We usually wait until the last minute to use the Cinetopia movie ticket Groupons we buy.  There are so many exciting movies coming out this season, we went ahead and bought three Groupons, which expire in a couple weeks.  With that in mind, it was date night time again to see the new Star Trek movie.


DivineMrsDiva.com - Asos Curve Gold Sequin Tank from Gwynnie Bee, Amber Shrug by SWAK Designs, Belt by Lane Bryant, Old Navy Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans, Avenue Boots

I decided to wear this Asos Curve sequin top I borrowed from Gwynnie Bee.  I am all for wearing sequins any time of day or night, but date night seemed rather appropriate.  The top is cut rather generously, with room for my hips and larger mid-section.  The neck seemed a little low to me as I am not a busty gal, but it wasn't anything too crazy.  The back of the shirt is sheer, so be prepared to wear a shrug or cardigan of some kind with it if you don't like showing all your back business.

In an effort to keep the top in place and give it a bit more shape, I belted it before topping it with an open cardigan.


DivineMrsDiva.com - Asos Curve Gold Sequin Tank from Gwynnie Bee, Amber Shrug by SWAK Designs, Belt by Lane Bryant, Old Navy Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans, Avenue Boots

It was a rainy, chilly mess outside, so I pulled out my boots again.  I wanted to make sure I got some more wear out of them before the weather gets too warm.  The jeans are my brand new Old Navy skinny jeans I decided to try.  They were on sale for $19, so it was a perfect time to give them a go.  They are a nice length, not too heavy, and fit pretty well.  The thighs seems a tad tight, but I am anticipating them stretching out a bit.

DivineMrsDiva.com - Asos Curve Gold Sequin Tank from Gwynnie Bee, Amber Shrug by SWAK Designs, Belt by Lane Bryant, Old Navy Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans, Avenue Boots

Star Trek Into Darkness was a fantastic and fun film, in our opinion.  We absolutely loved it.  I watched reruns of the original Star Trek series as a kid and loved Next Generation, but I don't count myself as a Trekkie.  This movie made me want to be one.  And now I am going to watch all the past Star Trek movies from the beginning.  (I have seen Wrath of Khan already though.)

DivineMrsDiva.com - Asos Curve Gold Sequin Tank from Gwynnie Bee, Amber Shrug by SWAK Designs, Belt by Lane Bryant, Old Navy Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans, Avenue Boots
Asos Curve Sequin Tank (Size 22) - Asos Curve via Gwynnie Bee
Amber Shrug (Size 4X) - SWAK Designs
Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans (Size 26) - Old Navy
Belt - Lane Bryant
Boots - Avenue

DivineMrsDiva.com - Asos Curve Gold Sequin Tank from Gwynnie Bee, Amber Shrug by SWAK Designs, Belt by Lane Bryant, Old Navy Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans, Avenue Boots

Above you can see the sheer back of the top, as well as the back of the jeans.  I have received requests to show the fit of all the jeans and such I wear.   And after I uploaded these photos, I noticed some beads from my earrings are missing. LOL  How did I not notice it in person??  I have no idea.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Portland Blogger Meet-Up: Social Media Strategies

A couple of weeks ago I finally had the opportunity to attend a Portland Bloggers' Meet-Up.  When they announced that this particular meet-up would feature a workshop on social media strategies, I thought it was a great way to learn and try to meet new people.

Even though I was very excited about the event, my anxiety was through the roof that day. I touched on this a little bit in a previous post, but I was just so overwhelmed with being in a new and unknown situation with people I didn't know that I had trouble trying to be myself.  I was so nervous I thought I was going to vomit in the elevator on the way to the meet-up.  Sean was with me (which usually helps me feel calmer), but that didn't help get rid of my urge to hide in the corner and cry.

I pulled myself together in time for the elevator doors to open.  Sean and I approached the office and wrote out our name tags.

Portland Blogger Meet-Up - Photo by Hurtienne Photography
     Photos by Hurtienne Photography


We were greeted by two local bloggers, Jenni of A Well Crafted Party and Bee of The Spicy Bee, who were very welcoming and nice.  It put me a bit at ease.  Sean and I found seats, grabbed some refreshments, and awaited the presentation.

The class was led by Ashley Stuart and hosted at the SwellPath office.  Ashley discussed ways to better use common social media and introduced some newer platforms and how they can benefit bloggers.  If this interests you, you can view the Power Point presentation here.

The coordinators of this event pulled together a delightful array of local vendors who provided the treats.  At intermission, I sipped on tasty coffee from Water Avenue Coffee Company and snacked on a beautiful macaroon from Nuvrei Cafe & Patisserie.  Sean chose a couple tasty Blue Star Donuts to get his sugar fix.


Portland Blogger Meet-Up - Photos by Hurtienne Photography
         Photos by Hurtienne Photography


As I've said, I was going through all kinds of crazy anxiety in my head so I hope I didn't seem stand-offish to anyone.  I found it hard to approach people on my own.  I would think of something to say and go to say it and then second guess myself, not say anything, and the moment would pass.  I will say that the people who approached me were so nice and friendly.  The atmosphere was great.  People were laid-back and cool.  Maybe some of them were as nervous as I was; I have no idea.  I felt dumb for being so scared.  Next time, I am going to try to talk to at least three new people. 


Portland Blogger Meet-Up - Photos by Hurtienne Photography
      Photos by Hurtienne Photography


After the presentation and questions and discussion were over, the photographers, who had been hard at work capturing the afternoon, offered up their services to do some head shots for attendees.  I summoned all my available fortitude, touched up my makeup, and waited in line for my turn at posing for the camera.

Grace and Jaden of Hurtienne Photography (like Martini, but better!) are energetic, kind, and very fun!  For the couple minutes I was in front of their cameras, I could tell they are good at what they do and love it as well.  It actually made me realize that I shouldn't be so "in my head" when I am taking photos for the blog.


Portland Blogger Meet-Up - Photos by Hurtienne Photography
       Photos by Hurtienne Photography


Despite my anxiety attack, I had a great time and am so glad I went.  I learned new things, met new people, and have a better sense of what to expect in going to another blogger meet-up (which I will definitely be doing!).  I'm sure the more I push myself out of my comfort zone, the better I will be at talking to folks.


Portland Blogger Meet-Up - Photos by Hurtienne Photography
       Photos by Hurtienne Photography

If you are a Portland-area blogger, check out the Portland Bloggers website for more information on past and future meet-ups.

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