Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : December 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Life Update and a Look Back

Hey everyone! Apologies for being incognito on my blog for a couple weeks. As I’m sure you all know, the holidays are super fun but also very time consuming! It’s been a little crazy around here too. So I’d better just go ahead and get to my life update!

My big news is that I just got a real, big girl job! Woohoo! Finally, all my schooling and killing myself in retail for the past three years is worth it! #BLESSUP. 🙌🏼 I am officially a Digital Content Producer for one of my local news stations! I’ve actually been working there as an Editor/Prompter Operator since last January and have loved it, even though it was part time.

Funny enough, I was planning on leaving soon because there weren’t any other positions open at the time and I was also working at Dillard’s. I was planning on trying to work my way up in the company there, but then this other opportunity presented itself. Again, I almost didn’t apply but boy am I glad I did! I just finished my two weeks of training and I am already in love. I’m finally getting to do what I’ve wanted to do all along: write.

I spend my day writing and editing and doing social media, all things I am damn good at and love to do! So I’m a happy little clam with a regular schedule and my own desk. Plus I will have much more time to get healthy and blog and other things on my to do list. Which brings me to part deux of of this post!

The new year is coming, and what the hell have I done? Since I made a post last year of all my goals and “New Year’s wishes,” I thought it would be fun to look back and see if I have fulfilled any of them! And then maybe I’ll make one for this year too!

I Gradumawated!

My first wish was to be damn proud of myself for graduating with my second degree! I totally did that and killed it! I graduated in May with my B.A. in Interactive Journalism. Something I probably should have gone to school for in the first place. But I happily and humbly own the fact that I am “hotter by 2 degrees!”

Boss Babe

I had high hopes for my career and I finally got started! I’m happy to be on a career track doing something I love and hope to keep climbing my way up!

Love, love, love! 

I wanted to embrace love from all angles, not just a relationship. I think I did that by making a ton of new friends who I truly care for and love!

Mind, Body & Soul

My last wish was to be my best self. Which I will always wish for, since I always believe there is room for improvement. I’ve let my physical health slip a little, but I really want to focus on that more this coming year. Mental health wise, I’m feeling much more in control. Last year was really difficult for me in this department. I dealt with quite a lot of trauma and my anxiety and depression got pretty dark and twisty. At this point, I feel happy and not nearly as anxious all the time. I said I wanted to read a lot, and I sure did! I set a Goodreads goal to read 12 books this year and I’ve read 11! I’m hoping to maybe fly through one more before the year is gone!

Just a few of my favorite 2017 memories!

So I’d say I did pretty well upholding my wishes for the year. It wasn’t the best year ever, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. I’d say I had some bad and some good moments. But I did make some pretty good memories and those are the ones that stick! Hope you all have a very Happy New Year! Check back in a few days for my new wishes and resolutions!

XO, Briana

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gift Guide!

For the past month or so I've been collecting things for my usual Christmas/holiday gift guide. Last year I did a "beach babe" theme. This year I figured I'd also do something specific, but the theme kind of just came out as "a bunch of stuff I think is rad." And I think that worked out pretty well! You could also count it as a last minute gift guide since this one has come pretty late in the season. However, I know I am one of many who have yet to complete shopping, let alone start wrapping. That's a whole other animal! Well, without further ado, here's a bunch of stuff I like...I mean my Gift Guide!  [Follow from left to right!]

1. North Shore Candle Company Limited Release Heather Brown Collaboration Candle (Surf Wax)- When it comes to gift giving, you can hardly ever go wrong with a candle! This collaboration is super cool because not only does it smell good, but it also showcases awesome art work. Both the company and artist are native to Hawaii!

2. Goldfish Kiss Goods Print (Scenic Set in Bloom)- This one mayyyy be on my personal Christmas list this year! If you know me, you know how much I adore the Goldfish Kiss blog and it's author Rebekah Steen. She also makes lots of cool stuff, like this beautiful watercolor! A great addition to anyone's art collection and a great gift!

3. Hot Dudes Reading (The Book!)- If you haven't already followed the Instagram account, you are totally missing out! Every single post has me in stitches and now they are all complied into one handy book! It would make a great coffee table book and is a funny but practical gift!

4. Souled Out the Label Hippie Crew Mug- A cute mug is always handy, especially as a last minute gift! This one is super cute and I love the saying! Souled Out also makes other really cool stuff, like embroidered denim jackets!

5. Kopari Beauty Coconut Multitasking Kit- Who doesn't love coconut?! This little set is great for travel or just for trying out some new products! It's a cute little gift but also useful! And better than a knock of Bath & Body Works set from Kmart (like every secret santa gift I've ever gotten, lol.)

6. ALOHA Collection Monstera Tote Bag- I love this giant tote bag! It's great for every day or for a trip to the beach! Plus, the black and white palm print will go with just about everything! Perfect for the jetsetter, beach girl in your life!

7. Blonde Shark Shark Tooth Pareo- You could pick anything on this site and end up with something totally rad, however I've personally taken to this little wrap! I love the print and it's a really versatile piece. Use it as a cover up, a shawl, a sash, etc. Definitely a unique present!

8. Soda2Art Surfer Hawaiian Cuff Bracelet- I actually came across this shop on Etsy looking for a gift for my dad! This girl makes some of the coolest jewelry! She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces out of upcycled cans with Hawaiian motif! Plus they are super reasonably priced. Guaranteed one of a kind gift!

9. Billabong Baja Beach Sweater- A beachy spin on the classic go-to gift! This cute hoodie can be worn all year long, and comes in two color-ways.

10. LvcJewelry Nalu Edison Bangle- For your beach lovin' bestie! Or anyone who loves the ocean for that matter! I love the pretty pink freshwater pearl against the golden wave! So unique and something she can wear all the time! Handmade in Hawaii!

Happy Shopping!
XO, Briana

Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Party Etiquette

As we quickly approach the holiday season, I'm sure many of us are thinking about all of the parties and gatherings we will be attending! I know I'm already planning my outfits! However, there is one thing that, I personally feel, people don't often take into consideration anymore: etiquette.

Back in the day, when dinner parties were a weekly occasion and people dressed in their Sunday best just to eat a meal at their neighbor's house, etiquette was held to the highest standard. They even had books dedicated to it and it was taught in schools.

Today, people just kind of do whatever they want and say "screw you" to rules. But I really do think it's a lost art of manners that a lot of people still expect. So as a refresher, and so no one gets offended this holiday season, here is a list of party etiquette standards that should still be followed...if you want to be the perfect party guest that is!


To start, I really dug this quote from Slate: "RSVP abbreviates the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît, which means please reply, as is known by every adult worthy of receiving an invitation to anything good." Well said sir. The phrase has been around for quite some time and it's meaning seems to have become more loosely translated in recent years.

However, proper etiquette dictates that, in the event of receiving an invitation, one must respond in a timely manner. In the olden way of doing things, your lack of response would be taken as an acceptance. So basically, if you plan to come, respond as soon as possible. If you intend not to come, let the host know. The whole point of an RSVP is to get a head count for party preparations. No need for the host to make food for 30 if only 15 decide to show up. Save them the money, and stay on the list for the next party.

I also want to briefly touch on Facebook invitations. These same rules still apply! The only difference is your option to select "maybe." If you choose to do this, you should change your response to a yes or no as soon as you decide.

2. Mind the Dress Code

Some parties you may attend this holiday season may state a dress code. Depending on the venue and style of party, there are certain styles of dress that could be inappropriate.  Brush up on what each dress code means and make sure your are dressed appropriately. Most house/dinner parties will likely be semi-casual, which would be nice jeans and a blouse for ladies and jeans or khakis and a button down for guys (as and example.) Fancier parties will probably be cocktail attire, which is a cocktail (short or tea length) dress for ladies and dress pants and shirt with tie for the guys. Remember, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed! Bonus: if you're struggling for outfit ideas just search "holiday party outfits" on Pinterest! [Side note: Jean Wang of seriously knows how to slay the holiday outfit game!]

3. Actually Show Up

If you let your host know that you intend to attend, actually show up. Unless there is some kind of an emergency (anything important that requires your full attention) you should always stay good to your word. Obviously, if something comes up at the last minute, like your babysitter backing out, your host will understand and not hold you accountable. Deciding not to come at the last minute simply because "you don't feel like it" is totally unacceptable and will get you on the host's shit list real quick. Even if you lie, it's likely the host will see right through it, especially if it's close to the start of the party. Which leads me to another point: if you need to cancel, try to let the host know as early as possible. They're expecting you, so save them the worry by giving them a heads up. It's not the job of the host to have to track you down!

Also make sure you arrive on time! Some parties may have a specific start time and some may not. Make sure you know the answer to this question and arrive at the assigned time. If you must be late, let your host know and try not to be past 15 minutes: fashionably late. Fun fact: arriving more than 10 minutes (or so) early is actually just as unbecoming as being late. Coming too early leaves your host no time for last minute preparations. Best course of action is just to arrive at the start time!

4. DON'T Bring an Uninvited Guest

There are three major rules to this. One, only bring a guest if you are given a plus one on your invitation. Two, if you are invited and want to bring your SO, always ask the host unless you are all friends. Three, never just show up with an uninvited guest. It makes it very uncomfortable for the host, especially if the party is at their home. Also, that's now another person they need to make sure there is enough food and drink for.

5. DO Bring a Gift

When attending a house party, it is appropriate to bring a gift for your host. A bottle of wine is usually standard or bring something they can use for entertaining! Try a cool kitchen gadget or a parlor game! Or, if these aren't your style, ask your host before hand if there's anything you can bring. Finally, if you bring something, do NOT take it back with you when you leave! And don't take anything home (food and drink-wise) unless the host insists.

6. Be Present

The worst kind of party guest is the one who sits on the couch on their phone the whole time! Put your phone away and only break it out for photos or if your showing something as a part of a conversation. The whole point of parties is to get people to spend time together! Enjoy the company of others and spend your time mingling and making memories!

P.S. This links to a great article on what not to do at your office holiday party!!

7. Mind Your Timing

If the party has an end time, you should plan to leave at that time or just a bit earlier. What is appropriate kind of depends on the type of party and the venue. If there is an open ended time, try to feel the room and make your exit when the party seems to have come to a natural end.  If it's an all nighter kind of thing, stay for a couple hours at least and leave when you're ready! Just never leave without saying goodbye to your host!

Another thing to note: don't overstay your welcome. If everyone else has left and you notice your host looks tired, make your way out!

There are a lot of more specifics depending on the type of party, so if your not sure do a quick google search! Also, this is a really great interview with Derek Blasberg, author of Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady and it's sequel Very Classy. Both books are totally worth a read!

XO, Briana