Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Texas Style Council Recap

Well, I have returned from my very first blogger conference, Texas Style Council, and what a great weekend it was! It felt a little sad to not be getting ready for another day of bloggy inspiration this morning. If you follow me on Instagram, I apologize for the overload that occurred over the weekend. I just could not help myself! As you know, I met up with one of my first blogging friends, Bethany of Perfectly Coutured. It was so great to finally meet her in person! You may think it's crazy (our husbands did), but I already felt like I knew this girl, so it was the furthest thing from weird when she picked me up from the airport. Bethany was as nice and sweet in real life as she is on her blog. We picked up like old friends getting together for a regular girls weekend! I also met a few other Instagram and blog friends while in Austin, including Lauren of Edit by Lauren and Megan of All That Glitters. Love those girls! It was fun a weekend of workshops, networking and fabulous inspiration from bloggers we adore, like Emma and Elsie of A Beautiful Mess and Kendi Everyday. Hopefully it was fun to follow along! If you're already #TxSC'd out, I apologize, because a full recap is about to begin...

Airport Attire: 
Tee: Target | Denim: Loft | Flip Flops: Tory Burch | Necklace: Gigglosophy | Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs | Sunglasses: Anthropologie | Tote: Michael Kors

Once I met Bethany at the airport and grabbed my bags, we were off to the fabulous San Marcos Premium Outlets for an afternoon of shopping. We had planned to do lunch first, but we were too excited to get to Kate Spade! Would you expect anything less? We were ecstatic to walk into Kate Spade and find out that the entire store was 40% off! Just what we were hoping for! We stocked up on some bangles, a bow ring, a passport holder and a fabulous bag! I also picked up a cosmetic bag and a business card holder (for my new blogger business cards, of course). Thanks to Bethany and her fabulous teacher discount, we also got another 15% off our purchase! Score! We picked up a few more things along the way - we both got the fabulous crystal necklace from J.Crew Factory (currently in stores, but not online), and I picked up the nude Emery flats from J.Crew Factory to replace my Me Too's and ordered the Persimmon color for a shocking $23 (seriously, they are on clearance in some stores). All in all, a great shopping day, if you ask me! We did finally grab some burgers and sweet tea at a charming and nostalgic restaurant called Centerpoint Station, which was recommended by a sales associate - great place!

Outfit Details:
Skirt: c/o 3brunettes Boutique | Top: Ann Taylor | Necklace: Gigglosophy | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Bangles: Kate Spade Outlet
Swap Items (bottom left):
Dress: c/o Ruche | Bag: c/o Lulu's

The first night of the conference was a swap event! Each attendee brought two clothing items and one book to swap. That evening, we all arrived to "shop the swap". There were also many new items from Lulu's and Ruche available. I think I majorly scored with a new dress from Ruche and an adorable bag from Lulu's. I must admit, I had my eye on that bag when I dropped off my swap items earlier, so I was thrilled when I was able to snatch it up later! How cute will that Ruche dress be with riding boots this fall? The swap was a crazy, but fun experience! Afterwards, Bethany and I went to dinner at a cute Italian restaurant across the street. I was excited to wear my new Gigglosophy necklace and my favorite maxi skirt from 3brunettes Boutique for the evening's festivities.

I loved how the Texas Style Council set up the conference like school, where we could choose from different classes to take each day. On my first day of "school", I took HTML 101 from Jen of Purse & Clutch, iPhoneography from Carli of Inked Fingers and Self Photography 101 from the adorable Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky. There were takeaways from each class, but my favorite, and the most relevant for me, was the self photography class. Elizabeth gave us great tips on taking our own photos, but it will definitely take time to get the hang of it. Taking photos of yourself requires A LOT of effort, but in the end it's great, because it gives you more control over your images. So, I think it's time to time to get over feeling awkward. Basically, tripods, self timers and remotes need to become my best friend. If you're interested, she also has some tips on her blog.

Outfit Details:
Bangles and rings: Kate Spade Outlet | Sunglasses: Tory Burch | Top: Forever 21 (similar) | Necklace: Etsy (similar)

After classes, Bethany and I explored Austin. We went to lunch at a Mexican place, went to a couple of local boutiques and got a cupcake at Hey Cupcake! (a very delicious suggestion from an Instagram follower). When we couldn't stand the heat anymore (hey, I'm a midwest gal), we went back to the hotel to start getting ready for Prom night!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Ann Taylor (old) | Necklace: J.Crew Factory (in stores) | Shoes: Banana Republic (old) | Bangles: Kate Spade Outlet | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Prom night continued the "school" theme. There was a dance off and superlative awards given out for Best Pals, Best Local Blogger, Best Newbie, etc. We even crowned a Prom Queen (by pulling a business card from a cup, hehe). There were fabulous brands and companies throughout the ballroom, lots of freebies and prizes, fun photobooths and props everywhere, and just an overall great atmosphere. Hats off to the coordinators of the Texas Style Council for such a fun event!

Dance off time! 

Fun with Ruche!

We ran into Megan of All That Glitters!

Hey, that's Lauren of Edit by Lauren! Such a sweetheart!

School was back in session the next morning! We kicked off the morning by listening to the inspirational Emma and Elsie of A Beautiful Mess tell us what they have learned from blogging. They talked a lot about goals, finding inspiration and staying true to yourself. They encouraged us to have goals so big that it's embarrassing. That's how the best ones start out. Also, just try things. You never know what works until you try. My favorite quote from the morning - "Be as serious as your dreams are." 

After the keynote speakers, we were off to class again! We were only able to take two out of three classes, as I had to get to the airport and Bethany needed to start her drive home. We attended a classes taught by Amber, the co-founder of rewardStyle, and Camille of Camille Styles. Both women ran with their dreams and are highly successful, working with the top brands and companies around the world. It was exciting and interesting to hear their stories!

Overall, it was a great weekend! Austin is such a fun and eclectic city full of cute boutiques, restaurants and food trucks. I left with a ton of great ideas and new friends. I will say, though, that this little Midwest gal can't stand the heat, and I am happy to be home to my 80 degree weather (and my husband and my dog)! But, I had such a fun time with Bethany, and I am already excited for our next girl's trip!

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