6.29.2012

{Love You: Megan)

 Hi sweet friends!  I have to be honest with you, I got a little teary eyed putting this post together.  It was one thing to post my own "Love You" feature as I had been thinking about it for a while.  But as some of the features have started to roll in I continue to be inspired by all of the amazing women out their sharing the love.

Today I would like to introduce you to the darling Megan, who is the brains behind a lot of things actually.  You can check out her mad design skills at Hitch Design Studio, her daily inspirations at The Fresh Exchange, or chat her up as one of the founders of the amazing Blog Brunch.  I already knew she was pretty fantastic, but read on to find out what she loves about herself.  
From the desk of Megan:

"Okay my five things I love about myself:

1. I love that I am introverted. Most people find this to be a huge weakness and at times I do, but I love it about myself. It is the reason I love the simple things and why I value home, family, and good friends. It also is much of the reason I am good at what I do. Most people would hate being alone all day, but it is what makes me work well. I create best alone with my music jamming and in the stillness of evening with a glass of wine. This doesn't mean I am not fun or love a good party...get me on the dance floor and you will say "she's introverted?!?" I am wilder than you may expect at times.
2. I love that I can cook anything. There is nothing more that I love to do. You know I am too stressed when I either am baking cupcakes or avoiding the kitchen all together. I love the fact that I have this natural ability and can entertain people and serve my friends and family this way. I just wish I had even more time to do so.
3. I love that I am athletic. Most of the years growing up I hated I could never have this itty bitty little twig body, but I loved that I could beat the boys on the soccer field. Years later I still have a hard time finding the right jeans for my thighs and hips but you know I love the fact that I am curvier and can hold my own when it comes to chores, gardening, and other athletic things. I love still beating my hubby when we kick the ball around in the yard. I can still hit a pretty perfect corner kick and I like that.
4. I love being the nice person. It is true I have been taken advantage of, but I love that at the end of the day I never feel bad about how I treated someone. I will always be the one you can call for anything and I will make you dinner and listen to you about anything then give you the practical advice. I love that I am nice and over the years I have learned to know when I am being taken for granted. I love purely and deeply and I couldn't be happier with that about myself.
5. I love that I take very little for granted. I live in the best place and have some of the most amazing friends and family. Not to mention I feel lucky to be married to my best friend and have two wonderful pups. I feel extremely blessed and every day I wake up and tell myself that I am very lucky and I cannot ever take this for granted. I always know I have those things at the end of the day. I try to always remember how lucky I am and how sweet a blessing life truly is."
 As someone, who is constantly trying to be more thankful, I think #5 was my favorite because it is really important to not take anything for granted.  But I will tell you, it was hard to choose a favorite.  Thank you Megan for sharing with us today, and most of all thank you for being you.  Happy Friday...J
 
P.S. Could the photos Megan sent over be any cuter??  I need to take some posing classes from this lady.

6.28.2012

{Second & Dahlia's Style Steals}




Dress / Bag / Heels / Necklace 1/ Necklace 2
Found this inspiration shot on Pinterest a bit ago, and I just love the pops of color.  Ever since I painted my dining room magenta, I have been really liking the idea of pink and yellow accents, and this is an amazing shot to give me some ideas.  Always amazes me how Michelle can find so many pieces that almost directly replicate the look. Happy Thursday...J
P.S. Thank you so much for all the happy anniversary wishes yesterday.  It was a very special day, and we have a weekend trip planned to Miami this weekend to celebrate.  Will share more details next week...J

6.27.2012

{3 Years and Counting...}

Today I interrupt regular programming because today is a special day.  Three years ago today I said "I Do" to my best friend in the whole, entire world, Mr. Stuart Leader Reasons.  I wanted to share a couple of pictures we took during a Love Shoot the first year we were married.  I mean, "Who could resist those dimples?"  My heart feels like it will burst sometimes for the love I have for this man.  We used to call each other "Baby" until my sister announced it was too sicky, sweet for her to take.  So we switched to calling each other "B."  Don't know that she thinks that is much better:).  B...I love you more than anything, and I thank God every second I have you in my life.  Happy Anniversary...B

6.26.2012

{THIS in THAT: Pretty Hot in Pink}

So today I wish I was lounging in THIS pretty hall gallery in THAT frilly dress.  I mean who doesn't want to lounge around their house in a cocktail dress?  Happy Tuesday Sweets...J

6.25.2012

{Room with a View}

So this past week, my sweet mother-in-law came for almost the whole week to help transform our living room.  This 20 year old wall paper and a wall of dry wall covering an older interior wall.  We finally finished up yesterday, and I am happy to introduce to you our new magenta dining room.  Took this picture right as the sun was going down so excuse the blurriness, but I had to share.  So glad that Stuart's sweet cousin and aunt shared this color with me.  I could not be happier or luckier to have such an amazing family, who is happy to pitch in to help transform our lovely old house.  Lots of more pictures to come as this start to take shape....J
Shoes {Zara} Dress {Target}
P.S. Thank you to all you sweeties out their who showed the loved for DahliaLynn's new "Love You" feature.  Always scary to share something new, but your sweet comments and love really meant the world.  Happy Monday...J

6.22.2012

{Love You}

Dress {Local Honey Vintage}, Heels {Nine West}, Necklace {DahliaLynn}, Sunnies {SEE}
I am so excited to finally be sharing this new DahliaLynn Feature with you today since it has been a dream in the works for a while now.  Since I started DahliaLynn a little over a year ago, writing about style and fashion and taking outfit pictures of myself has been a real education of where I am with my own self esteem.  For a while now, I have really been wanting to do something special here on DahliaLynn to touch on the topic of self esteem, but I just hadn’t been able to think of a way to bring this topic to the blog in a way that I thought could raise awareness and empower individuals to show themselves some self love.  I saw THIS commercial recently and it broke my heart.
So I finally sat down to create a regular DahliaLynn feature that addresses both self love and self esteem.  I have seen a lot of features lately that have also been encouraging bloggers to be honest about their flaws and share them.  I have really enjoyed the honesty that is coming up more and more in the blog world.  I think many of us think about our flaws on the regular {if you are anything like me}, so I also wanted to create a space where we intentionally think about what makes us amazing.  So every Friday at DahliaLynn from here on out, I will be sharing a "Love You" feature.  I have reached out to several of my friends in the blog world, and I have asked them to answer this question, “Why do you love you?”  There are no rules about what they can or can't share, and no specific direction I ask them to go in other than to share what they love about themselves.  My hope is that answering this simple question will encourage all of us to really think about some or even all the things that we love about ourselves. 
So I am here today to kick off the DahliaLynn "Love You" Feature by sharing five of the things that I love about myself....
(1) I love that I am a really empathetic and emotional person.  I have just recently started to embrace the fact that tears are a part of my life.  I am one of those people who cries when they are happy, sad, and sometimes just because it feels good to cry.  I used to be really embarrassed about my crying, but as I have gotten older I have started to realize that a huge part of who I am relates back to my ability to empathize with others and to emotionally connect with so many different types of people.  If shedding a few tears along the way is part of the process, bring it on.
(2) I love that I can make people laugh and smile often by just being me.  Ask any one of my family members, friends, or co-workers, and they can all share stories about the randomness that follows me in life.  Often people close to me will say they wish that I could wear a camera around to tape my daily interactions because they swear that some of my day to day stories do not happen in real life.  Ask me some time about my traveling experiences. 
(3)  I love that I am a really great puppy mom.  Shortly after my husband and I got married we rescued Tucker.  Tucker is a Goldendoodle and Wheaten Terrier mix, who had come from a dog shelter after being found at a truck stop and abused by his first owner.  Though Tucker was the cutest dog I had ever seen, he was an absolute terror.  When he was not in his kennel, he was busy eating shoes, chewing furniture, terrorizing the neighbors, and taking me on walks.  Think "Marley and Me," but worse.  But I never gave up on him.  We enrolled in private puppy lessons, and I spent the better part of my evenings working with him.  I even had a treat pouch that clipped to my pants for easy treat access during training.  I am happy to report today that Tucker is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever had.  He is even allowed free roam of the house when we are at work because he is so well behaved.  Might not seem like a lot, but the dedication, patience, and love I had to have in order to help Tucker become the dog he is today are qualities I really love about myself, and hopefully these qualities will come in handy as I work to introduce, Charlotte, our new pup into our lives. 

(4) I love that I am a good dancer.  On some level, I should be because I took 12 years of dance at a studio and was on dance team all through Junior High and High school.  But you know not everyone has rhythm...right?  I don't get dressed up in spandex and sequins to perform on the regular now like in high school {I usually just wear the sequins to dinner}, but I am never shy on the dance floor.   

(5) I love my crazy hair.  For my entire life I have had this big, curly, unruly hair.  An old friend once said that each of the hairs on my head was like a little Jessica with a mind of its own.  And I love that story because my hair has always been such a good representation of me.  Especially when it reflects my tendency to spice things up by cutting my own bangs or dying my own hair.  Rash decisions, I would not do again, but again reflects the "mind of its own" mentality I take with life.   
So there you have it.  Five of the things that I really love about me.  I will be honest...this exercise is not easy to do because so often we are taught and encouraged to be modest and humble.  As I was typing the words above, I kept thinking am I bragging on myself too much.  Is this silly?  Do I sound full of myself?  And really that is just ridiculous because we all have things that we are really good at and proud of that make us who we are.  Don't get me wrong being modest and humble are good traits, and I am not suggesting we all walk around telling people how awesome we are all the time.  But it doesn't mean we can't shower a little love on ourselves more often.  If you are having trouble giving yourself some self love take a little inspiration from this little sweetie HERE.
 For those of you that are still reading, I hope that you are excited for what is to come with this new DahliaLynn feature.  I have so many amazing bloggers already signed up to answer the question "What do you love about you?"  So I encourage you to take a little time today, tomorrow, whenever, to show yourself the love.  I can't wait for next week when we will be hearing about what sweet Megan at Hitch Design Studio loves about herself.   Happy Friday Sweet Friends....Love...J 

6.21.2012

{Food: The Way to My Heart}


Planter / Chair / Bookends / Hear Print / Dressor

Bag / Skinnies / Specs / Top / Loafers / Bangles

Sorry I am a little late this morning, but I got home late from the most wonderful evening with some of the sweet ladies from my family.  My mother in law is in town helping with some big house changes, so for a break we headed over to my husband’s Aunt’s house {who happens to be an amazing interior designing}.  She was kind enough to talk me through some of the home ideas I have, while Stuart’s cousin, Elizabeth, fixed us the most delicious meal of kale, spinach, and feta pastry pies.  The pies were so delicious I snagged a couple for lunch today. 
And get this, Elizabeth is a fellow blogger.  She has the most amazing food blog, Four and Twenty Blackberries, that I stop to read often to see what she is up to in the kitchen.  She is even going to New York this summer for a culinary program.  The most amazing thing is she is only 15?!  When I was 15 the only thing I was cooking in the kitchen was funfetti cakes, and I certainly was not cool enough to have my own blog.  Elizabeth and I have such similiar tastes we both love bold colors, searching for treasures at flea markets, and the penguin classics fabric books.  We are truly kindred spirits.  Elizabeth and I have already starting brainstorming fun ways for our two blogs to bring our readers some fun features.  Head on over to Four and Twenty Blackberries to see what Elizabeth had in store for dessert last night.  Elizabeth must know that good food is the way to my heart. 
Michelle over at Second Street East was sweet enough to indulge my love theme on the blog this week.  I was having the hardest time finding a room with some heart d├ęcor that I loved, and of course Michelle found the perfect look.  I love everything about these looks because they are clean, fresh, and fun.  I hope you have an amazing day, and I hope you will stop by tomorrow to get the details on DahliaLynn’s new feature….J

6.20.2012

{Young at Heart}

This whole look reminds me of my younger years when my outfits were always a mix and match of my favorite things.  These looks usually included wild prints and bright colors, regardless of the occasion.  {But really...who am I kidding...I still dress like this most of the time, so I guess I should be thanking the young me for the inspiration.}  Top this look off with not one, but two heart balloons, and this look had me feeling like a kid again.  Happy Wednesday...J
Dress {J.Crew}, Heels {Cole Haan}, Bag {Vintage}, Headband {c/o Savoir-Fair}, Jewels {DahliLynn Vintage, Forever 21}
 

6.19.2012

{Eat Your Heart Out}


I can't believe how cute this little heart cut out shirt is.  Buuut.....don't know what bra option would work for me on this top??  Sorry if that is TMI, but I am just being honest.  Happy Tuesday Loves...J

6.18.2012

{Heartbeat}

So there will be lots of loving going on this week at DahliaLynn.  I can hardly keep the surprise I have for you all, but my lips are sealed until Friday.  I will tell you that the heart theme this week on DahliaLynn will fit right in with what I have in store.  So to celebrate, I naturally went to Party City and got myself a bundle of bright balloons for outfit pictures this week.  My husband asked me if balloons were the new flowers?  By the way, did you know there is a National Shortage of Helium?  Happy Monday Sweets...J
Dress {Zara}, Cardigan {Xpress}, Heels {Zara}, Jewels {DahliaLynn Vintage & Forever 21}

6.15.2012

{The Gimmies: Cherry on Top}

Happy Friday sweet friends!!  Today I have major gimmies for this sweet little Asos dress that is honestly a steal, and this amazing Tom Binns necklace that is not a steal.  Hope everyone is grearing up for an amazing weekend.  Happy Friday...J

6.14.2012

{Second & Dahlia's Style Steals}



So I fell in love with this image from Coco+Kelly that I pinned on Pinterest ages ago.  Really loved the mix of elegant and rustic in the room.  I also rarely meet a black and white stripe print that I don't like.  I think Michelle and I did a pretty good job coming up with some great looks.  Just pat myself on the back if you were wondering.  Happy Thursday...J