Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Sessions: 5 Things You Have to do When Visiting San Antonio

Hello all! My name is Brittany; I blog over at Your Friend, Brittany and I'll be taking over Alanna & Company today! Before I get started on my post I just wanted to say a quick hi and give you a bit of info about my blog. Your Friend, Brittany is a lifestyle blog where I discuss any and everything I'm interested in. I wanted to have a space where I could discuss books, pop culture, my personal life, and anything else I wanted to share. My hope was that the space would be fun, inviting, and interesting and that it would spark conversation with readers and that the conversation would be an easy one, just like with friends; hence the name. I also have a street style/fashion blog on Tumblr called BritBritLand. If you get a chance I hope you'll stop by one of the blogs and say hi! Now let's get to my post! 

5 Things You Have to do When Visiting San Antonio: Kid Free Edition

The Pearl Brewery

There is lots of history about The Pearl  but the short version goes like this: The Pearl was a brewery, it shut down, then San Antonio decided to be awesome and turn into a wonderful space with shops, restaurants, a soon to be opening hotel, and condos and it's WONDERFUL. You can find a list of all the places in The Pearl here but my favorites are Southerleigh, Blue BoxArcade Midtown Kitchen, and Cured (for Saturday brunch). Southerleigh is the newest addition and I don't know if it's even on the list of places yet but it's amazing!! And they have wine on tap; the end.

The wine on tap at Southerleigh

Float the River
OK, neither of these is technically in San Antonio but it's less than 30 minutes away and floating the river is one of the best things about summer in TX. People drive from all over the state to come float either the Guadalupe or the Comal.  You drink, you float, you make friends with strangers who offer to share their cooler of alcohol with you and you get to stop at Buc-ee's on your way to and from the river; you basically live the dream.

Eat, Eat, and Eat Some More

You can have the GIANT pizza at Big Lou's, the giant cinnamon roll at Lulu's, amazing breakfast at Magnolia Pancake Haus, some fine dining at The Cookhouse or Cured or Boiler House or Southerleigh or anywhere in The Pearl really, have BBQ have Smoke Shack or Coopers (go here after river floating) or eat your weight in Mexican food. Basically this is Texas and in Texas we love our food and we've got lots of great options here in San Antonio so do not waste your time eating at chain restaurants; there are too many other options to try!

If You Need a Food and Drink Break
If you're looking for something a bit more cultured or at least need a break from drinking and eating there are tons of other options! Obviously you can visit the Alamo but you can also check out river boat tours through downtown SA! There's also the San Antonio Museum of ArtThe Witte, and The McNay for museums. If you want a bit more fun there's a Ripley's Believe It or Not right across from the Alamo (strange I know). We've also got the Natural Bridge Caverns (super fun but not for anyone who may be claustrophobic!) and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, the Historic King William District, and more! I've included a pretty extensive list of historical places in San Antonio below.

A margarita float, y'all!

And now we're on to the important stuff! Drinking! OK, maybe not the important stuff but a good part of any trip is having a few cocktails! San Antonio has so many wonderful places you can try but for the sake of not making this entire post about alcohol I'll only list a few.

Beer Lovers: 
The Friendly SpotAlamo Brewing CoThe CoveBig HopsStella Public House, Southerleigh
*All of these except Alamo Brewing and Big Hops serve wine as well and Stella has a small liquor selection.
Craft Cocktails: Blue Box, 
Stay Golden Social HousePark SocialThe Last Word and Juniper Tar
This is Random but it Works: 
Halycon-a coffee house that also has brunch on the weekends and serves alcohol. They have an amazing brunch margarita!
Restaurants with Good Bars: 
Taco Garage (this is the place where I got a margarita flight!), La GloriaHofbrau (they have like 20 something versions of a margarita with something in it, see photo below), Arcade Midtown Kitchen

San Antonio is one of those places that people tend to forget about when talking about Texas. You've got Dallas, Houston, and Austin so why visit San Antonio but I've got to tell you, San Antonio is great! I have lived in a few places around the state and I have to say that San Antonio is one of my favorites. It's also worth noting that I've heard from friends with kids that this is also a really kid friendly place to visit (both The Cove and The Friendly Spot allow kids and have playgrounds) so if you have kids you should definitely look into some of those options. Now that you know a little about me and a lot about San Antonio I hope you'll consider visiting both my blog and this great city! 

*All photos, unless otherwise noted, are my own.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

A Tourist's Guide to DC + Giveaway!

Happy Friday, my loves. So I shared this post over at Life with Lolo earlier this week but it's too good not to had to share with you all too! Anyways, if you didn't know, I live and have lived in the DC area for over ten years now and I absolutely love it! So if you're ever visiting the DC area, I'll tell you what I love to show off about my city.

The Touristy Spots

Ok, honestly, I'll just briefly touch on this. DC is a HUGE tourist town. I'm actually a crazy fan of the hop-on, hop-off buses so you can take your time at one place that interests you or skip other sights entirely. If you don't have tons of time, the main place you have to go is the National Mall! You can hang out with Lincoln at his memorial, see the reflecting pool, walk up to the Washington Monument and observe it in all it's beauty and glory. But honestly, if you have the time, go see all the memorials, they're beautiful and you'll get a great workout! Check this out if you want to do a walking tour. 


The Museums

I don't know how many big cities can say this, but we have world-class museums that are FREE to enter. So, yes go to these too! The Smithsonians are huge so one museum can literally take an entire day if you want to. My top two favorites are the National History Museum (hello, who doesn't want to see the Hope Diamond?) and the Air and Space museum.

Another neat thing, if you're going anytime during the summer, the National Gallery of Art offers free jazz concerts every friday! You can bring a blanket, camp out, and listen to some jazz. Pro tip: you can buy pitchers of sangria there!

What else to do?

Fine, you don't like touristy things or the museums? Well there is always the zoo (again free!), you can go to a Nationals Game for as little as $5. If you go see a Nat's game, definitely go sit at the Red Loft bar, it's better than the nosebleed seats and the bar is RIGHT there! Or you could also enjoy a stroll down the street of Georgetown if you like to shop.

The Restaurants

So, by now you'll definitely be hungry right? Here's some of my top picks around different neighborhoods of DC. Ted's Bulletin serves good american cooking and also breakfast all day. They even make their own pop-tarts! They're out in Eastern Market but also on 14th St. If you like Tapas, definitely check out Jaleo in Penn Quarter. They have over 70 options and most are pretty reasonably priced!

Heading over to Capitol Hill, you can also try out Good Stuff Eatery (I actually ate at another location in Virginia but I'm sure it's the same food) where you can try out Spike Mendelsohn's hand crafted burgers. P.S. Spike Mendelsohn is a Top Chef finalist!

Want something a bit fancier, try out Le Diplomat for classy french cuisine. Since it's nice weather out, you can sit on their adorable patio, too! If you like meat, definitely go to The Partisan in Penn Quarter. They have amazing charcuterie that's provided by the butcher right next door! And as a perfect segway, they have an awesome brunch menu there too! Oh for the love of brunch! But I'll let the bitches speak to that. They're the pros.

The Bars!

My favorite part! So unless you want to relive your college days I would suggest staying away from the ultra-preppy Georgetown and rowdy Adams Morgan neighborhoods. But no judgement, if you want that type of night, by all means go for it!

You'll typically find me around H or U St. There's H St Country Club if you want to play a little bit of games while you're drinking, there's also the Biergarten Haus, which keeps a dozen German brews on tap.

Around U St, a new favorite of mine is the Fainting Goat or Marvin's. The Fainting Goat is big 2-level bar with great prices and awesome craft cocktails. Bar Charley is a nice new place that I've been going to. It's great for a date night and with economical prices, that's a bit of a rarity in the area.

Then two places get noteworthy mentions because of their views: The POV and Brixton. Brixton is on U St and has three different floors, but their top rooftop level has an amazing view of the city. POV is in the W Hotel and it's more club like than a typical bar scene. You'll be paying about $11 for a gin and tonic and you'll have the best view of the city. Definitely somewhere to go to at the beginning of the night and then head somewhere else for cheaper drinks. Beware, you'll most likely have to wait in line for both of these...


If any of you are in the area or visiting, seriously, hit me up, I love to show people around the town and am always happy to give suggestions! Happy travels.

Lastly, a giveaway!

Uncustomary Art // Small Towns and City Lights // SEDiva Abroad // Kate the (almost) Great // Sweet Magnolia // Venus Trapped in Mars // Lot 48 // Alanna & Company //  Seeking Sunshine

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Most #EpicFail Weekend of My Life

Let me start off by saying that Richmond, VA is a really beautiful and eclectic city. However, I was totally traumatized there one weekend a few years ago.

It all started when me and my two best friends decided to go to and help one of our friends move down to Virginia Commonwealth University. So we packed ourselves up in a mini-van and piles of clothes, furniture, and knick-knacks and took the two hour trip down to Richmond.

After we unpacked the van and hung out for a little bit we decided to venture down the James River a beautiful, rocky river, where ton's of people hang out. Like the classy college students that we were at the time, we brought some wine and cheese with us (boxed wine and cheeze-its).

At this point our friend who was moving down there, Anna, told us "Yes, everyone just swims in this river! Even dogs swim in it!" so what do we do, jump right in to the river, of course.

Here's photo evidence of me (don't mind the fact that my eyes are closed in 75% of all of my photos) about to make a terrible decision in my life. Did I even notice those rapids behind me?!

So I go into the calm part of the river and Marian and Jason follow behind me. Soon after, I could feel my legs being swept out from under me and I was quickly taken down the rapids. Panic ensues. I heart Jason and Marian shrieking behind me and all I could think of was, "SWIM!" Well Jason and Marian were the lucky ones, probably because Jason used to be a lifeguard, and they swam back over to a rock on the shore side. I, on the other hand, swam to the closest rock to me which just happened to be in the middle of the river

At this point, I climbed up onto a rock, and decided I am just going to cry until the helicopter comes to pick me up. 

Anyways, Jason, ends up being my knight in shining armor and plotting his way along the rocks about a mile up and then holding my hand the entire way back to safety.

I obviously needed to celebrate my near-death encounter, so what better to do than go to a hipster house party? Of course, as most recently 21 year old girls do, I proceed to get really really drunk. We ended up getting at least 10 random people to use a Ouija board with us. #SuperFreaky. As I'm walking downstairs to find the bathroom, the owners of the house have two huge pieces of sheet metal propped up against the wall. #TotallySafe. As I'm walking past it, and being a wobbly drunk girl, I accidentally kick the sheet metal as I'm walking. Everyone blamed Jason who was walking behind me for knocking them down. Whoops. 

About two minutes later, someone points out to me that I'm bleeding all over the house and that I should probably go check it out. My toe was completely sliced open and bleeding everywhere. So I run outside and freak out a little bit and end up just sitting down in the back yard to assess the situation. Little did I know that I sat right down in Poison Oak and got it all up my ankles and legs. 

Needless to say, this weekend was easily the most #EpicFail of my lifetime. The following week, I my nursed wounds silently in shame but on the bright side, it's now a hilarious story to tell. 

Have you ever had an #EpicFail day or weekend? Tell me your stories!!

Linking up with #Hashtag Humpday, and Humpday Confessions.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

My Summertime Health Goals

So the last week I went to the doctor. Had the typical blood pressure taken, got weighted, temperature taken, the usual. Anyways, once I look at all my results it says I'm pre-hypertensive! I was shocked. I'm in my twenties, eat fairly healthy, I exercise, and I'm close to having high blood pressure?!

This revelation has kicked my butt into gear and I've decided that I need to make some goals to keep me on track this summer.

Get 10,000 steps every day. 

I typically get like 8,000 a day or 9,000. So I need to make sure that I look at the end of the day and go for an evening walk with Starla to get my few thousand steps to make it. Also, be my friend on Fitbit!

Drink three bottles (~60 oz) of water a day.

I'm pretty good with this when I'm sitting at my desk all day at work but I am awful at it on my telework days or weekends. 


I apologize for the all caps, but I really need to yell at myself for this one. I say every week that I go to the gym three days a week and I'm lucky if I make it twice. I will however count outside runs with Starla as one gym trip, but I really need to start lifting. I can barely lift my carry-on into the overhead storage. That's a problem for someone who travels as much as I do. 

Snack healthy.

Stop eating potato chips and pistachios for snacks and grab a mango or an apple instead. Pretty straight forward. 

Limit my wine habits.

So I may or may not enjoy about two glasses a wine every other evening. Or every evening, I don't know, who's counting anyways? So I should really limit it to only one glass of wine a night and probably not every night either. I'm also going to tell myself no wine on nights that I've worked out. A work out does not equate to an allowance of one extra glass. I'll just cry silently and pout in the corner about this one. 

These sound like enough for now. I promise I will check in with you next week about how this went. Can someone please yell at me if I don't check-in? 

Do you have any health goals for this summer (or forever, I guess...)?


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Sessions: Find the Workbag That Fits Your Life

Happy Saturday ladies! Today I want to welcome Brittany from The Lady Lawyer! Today she'll be sharing with us the best work bags to fit your lifestyle. Hope you enjoy!

I like to think of the workbag as the little black dress of handbags for the working lady. Your diaper bag for the office. The minivan of handbags. I'll stop with the analogies now because I think you see where I'm going with need one. But not just any workbag..the RIGHT workbag. You will use it endlessly. It has to be sturdy, dependable, but cute. If you're like me you will have everything from your wallet, snacks, files, books, makeup, planner, and about 2 more pounds of absolute junk piled into your bag.

The workbag that I need for my office desk job won't necessarily be the right fit for a teacher, writer, nurse, etc. I've put together my favorite bags that will fit every lifestyle and job!

The bags below are made for the office gal. Perfect for storing files and your laptop, but also stylish enough to head to dinner or drinks after work! I'm currently carrying the Street Level Reversible Vegan Leather tote (below furthest right) and love it! It's a great size and the reversible option is so fun. 

These bags are for the creatives of the world. Teachers, bloggers, writers, and the like---I'm looking at you! If you want a bag to store your stuff but also showcase your personality these fit the bill.

We're all busy. But some of our jobs cause us to constantly be on the go. Whether you're an event coordinator, shuffling PTA meetings, or running to meetings throughout the day these bags will help you sail through your day with everything in tow.

What is your favorite type of workbag?

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Stitchfix #2 Review

So I finally got my second fix and it seemed like I was waiting for it forever. Have you tried Stitchfix yet? For this fix I requested day to night blouses, skirts, or dresses. My stylist did a great job!

Here's what I got this month:

Isabelle Crochet Tank Top - Kept.
What a cute top and very easy to dress up or dress down. It flowed really well and fit my style perfectly.

Brixon Ivy Crochet Skirt - Sent Back
 I really loved the idea of the skirt, but the lace didn't lay flat on my stomach and ended up making me look a lot wider than I am. It was also my priciest item and since I wasn't so sure about the dress, I didn't feel like it was 100% worth it.

Pixley Hanneli Polka Dot Swing Skirt - Sent Back
Again, cute skirt, but it was a bit tight around my waist. I also don't have that many blouses that could work with the skirt so this was sent back too. 

McQue Solid Lace Sleeve Blouse - Kept
Loved the top. Easy to wear with jeans but also great to dress up with a nice black business skirt. Also blue is my favorite color for clothes.

 Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress - Kept
Adorable! It is a V-shaped cut in the back of the dress and an exposed zipper. I wore this dress the first day I got my box and dressed it up with a petite belt. Nice and light for the summer.

Have you tried out Stitchfix yet? What do you think about what I kept and sent back?

Linking up with: Friday Favorites, Little Friday, Oh Hey Friday, Five on Friday

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why I Love D.C. + Secret Blogger Club Link-Up

I know, the DC area can be expensive, overcrowded, busy, and filled with politicos. But there are so many awesome reasons to live in the nation's capital!

There are tons of activities to do

For whatever reason, people think D.C. is a stuffy city with no fun to be had. Wrong! Yes, there's tons of monuments to go see, amazing (and free) Smithsonian museums, but also lots of fun activities that aren't super touristy. You can kayaking (or booze cruise) on the Potomac, you can walk down the streets of Georgetown and go shopping, you can go to Nationals games, there are amazing bars, and more. Also during the summer, there's a food or beer/wine festival pretty much every week.

There's a new bar or restaurant popping up every day.

Like seriously, I'm not joking. So many options and so many types. Do you want hole-in-the-wall? Craft cocktails? Upscale? Trendy? Re-living your college days? We got it all.

There are tons of opportunities

Yes, I know. D.C. is expensive! But that is paralleled by tons of career opportunities (that pay very well I might add). I'm always jealous when my friends from other states tell me that they pay about half the rent that I do. At the same time, they get paid half the salary I do. So it all evens out. Another huge perk, is that I've never had any issues finding jobs straight out of college. It's a booming area for job growth in tons of different fields!

It's full of beauty at every corner

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

It's centrally located

It’s centrally located to a whole ton of great places: Philadelphia, New York, Ocean City, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Baltimore. Planning a weekend trip is super easy! Just the fact that I can take an hour drive and be in either wine-country, beach, or a whole other metropolis is amazing.

Hello, Patriotism!

You can't go anywhere without seeing at least 489123840 flags. But honestly, there is just so much history in DC that you can't find anywhere else in the country. It'll make you feel proud to be American (even if you are a dual citizen like me)!

What do you love about your city? Have you ever visited DC?

And now for the link-up! I'm co-hosting my favorite link-up The Secret Blogger Club with Kels today.

The rules: There are no rules!! (j/k mostly)

-Display the badge in your post or link back to the link-up

-Link-up, click around, share each other’s posts, and be friendly 

The Blonder Side of Life
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Monday, May 18, 2015

What You Should Know about Offering Sponsorship for your Blog

Hi lovelies. So I know I promised another post about PicMonkey for my series a little while ago and I haven't followed through. I apologize for that! I had a tip that didn't end up panning out and I haven't figured out any new tricks lately. So I thought I could give you some blogging tips while I'm at it!

What You Need to Know About Offering Blog Sponsorships

I just started offering sponsorships at the beginning of April and so far it's going very well. A huge shout out to all my girls who have sponsored me. Seriously, check them out, they are all awesome! Anyways, here are my tips for if you want to start offering sponsorships on your blog.

Start off organized!

First thing I do is add them to a spreadsheet that I developed. Their name, contact email, blog URL, start dates, end dates, and I also include payment so I can track the total income I'm receiving. Since I am google-based, I just use a google spreadsheet so I can access it on any computer or my phone. Looks something like this:

What You Need to Know About Offering Blog Sponsorships

Stay in contact

The blogs I like sponsoring are the ones who reach out to me to let me know what I've signed up for and how to contact them if I have any questions. Again, you're working for your sponsors, you don't want them to feel neglected if they spent their hard-earned money on you. 

Start out small

I would highly suggest only offering 2-4 ad spots to begin with. Trust me, even four sponsors at one time is very hard to keep up with! So start out small and once you feel like you can handle more sponsors then add more spots available for purchase. 

Don't over promise and under deliver

Remember, your sponsors are paying for exactly what you advertised. If you offer that you will tweet about each and every new post they have, you need to follow through, Make a calendar reminder every day to check their sites and re-post their updates. If you don't think you can do this, then don't offer it. Simple, right?

Having a bad month/week?

Let's say you have a busy week and you're not able to follow through with what you promised, extend their ad a week. Easy enough for you. For example, I had a week where I was going on vacation and had a sponsor buy an ad spot right before I went on vacation. I added an extra week to her sponsorship to make sure that she got the coverage that she deserved.

Hope these tips help! Do you offer sponsorship options on your blog? Any tips you've picked up along the way?

Lastly, just to brag, I made this rocking media kit the other day and I'm super proud. Like it?!?!

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