Feeling Nautical

My bestie, Margaret, gave me this dress for Christmas and I just fell in love with it. Don't best friends seem to know you so well? The colors, the print, and the sassy open-back make it perfect for a date night or brunch with the girls. I paired it with a wide belt, my favorite wedges, and a fun statement necklace.
Funny side-note: I went with one of  my favorite blogger friends, Cortney, to take these pictures. She assured me that no one visited this lakeside location so we wouldn't have to worry about feeling awkward. Anyway, there ended up being so many people out because the weather was perfect, so we had an audience the whole time we were trying to keep a straight face and pose for the camera. Oh the things we do as bloggers... 
You know I'm all about versatility, and believe it or not, this dress is very versatile. Even though it has the open back, you can still make it work appropriate. Just throw on a cute blazer and some flats and you're good to go.
I wasn't able to find this exact outfit for you, but with these links below you can put together something that looks very similar!
 
Blazer: Similar Here Dress: Similar from Old Navy Necklace: Similar Here Wedges: Similar Here

Snow Days

If you've been watching the news then you might have heard that the Southeast was hit with a big snowstorm this week. I'm on day two of being snowed in, and while this winter wonderland is beautiful, I'm starting to go a bit stir crazy.
The last time I was stuck inside with this much snow was during my college days when I was living in the sorority house. I was surrounded by all of my best friends, fraternity boys, and kegs of beer, so being snowed in didn't seem so bad. This time around it's a whole different story. I've been working from home and reading Nicholas Sparks to pass the time.

Plus, my best friend and I are miles apart, and as much as we'd like to lay on the couch and drink wine together, there's no way that's going to happen with the condition our roads are in.

I'm sure you're getting tired of seeing my pink-sweater-wearing-dog, but I don't have kids to torture by making them pose for pictures in the snow, and I haven't gotten out of my pajamas in two days, so pictures of Nina will have to do.
As much as I like to complain about being stuck inside, I really need to see it as blessing. A few days to relax before the race season starts and I'm on the road again is probably exactly what I need, and I kind of think it's God's way of telling my busy-body-self to just stop and breathe.
So friends, I'm off to enjoy this winter wonderland! I hope you're staying warm wherever you may be. 

Please, Choose to be Kind.

Saturday afternoon I had a mini-breakdown. I had just left a bridal shower for a girlfriend I went to college with and I was heading downtown to meet some co-workers. I was busy, and surrounded by people, but I was feeling more lonely than ever. I picked up the phone, called my mom, and just cried.
 
After 30 minutes of letting my emotions and frustrations pour out, I pulled myself together, re-did my makeup, and made it downtown with a smile on my face and a fresh coat of mascara. None of the people I was around that day would have ever guessed the loneliness that I was feeling.
 
I started to think about people, about the things that we hide, the things that we are ALL going through that others never see. It's easier to put a smile on your face and go on with your day, pretending that everything is okay, than it is to be vulnerable and let everyone in on your not-so-perfect life.
 
So here is where I ask you to please, be kind. At the end of the day all anyone wants is to feel loved and accepted.
 
The next time you start to comment about the "ugly clothes" that girl is wearing, stop and consider that she might not be able to afford new clothes. The next time you find yourself judging that guy from another country with the "funny accent", consider how hard he's worked to learn a new language.
 
The next time you find yourself calling that girl a "slut", stop and consider her background, the pain and disappointment that she's experienced, and that deep down inside she's just looking to be loved. The next time you start to call that person "fat", stop and consider the health issues they might be struggling with, or the self esteem problems they face daily.
 
We're all fighting a hard battle. Life is tough, and people can be cruel. The truth is that what you say about others speaks more about your character, than it does about theirs.
 
Don't ever be too busy to ask someone how their day is going, and really listen to them. Take a moment to glance up from your smart phone and offer that stranger a smile. You never know how much a person just needs to feel like someone cares about them.
 
The problem with blogging is that we have the ability to paint a perfect picture. We can add the pieces of our day that are pretty, and edit out the parts that aren't. Life isn't perfect though, and sometimes we need to be raw, and honest, and ugly.
 
So, the next time you start to judge someone, instead please, choose to be kind.

Leather Leggings Dressed Down

Spring keeps trying to poke through, but it hasn't quite made it here yet. We'll have moments of sunshine and 60, but then it drops back down to 30. I figured the weather this weekend was the perfect opportunity to wear my favorite "leather" leggings, but this time I dressed them down.
 
I paired them with a chambray shirt, cozy sweater, and added a touch of sass with some leopard flats. My poor leopard flats, I've worn them so many times that it might be time to invest in a new pair. I can't tell y'all how obsessed I am with these leggings, they really are versatile enough to dress up or down. If you want to see how I dressed them up, visit this post.
Shirt: Zappos Sweater: H&M Leggings: Express Flats: Here
I think I'll enjoy this cool weather just a little bit longer!

Get The Look For Less

Ever since I came across this outfit on Pinterest the other day, I've been on a mission to re-create the look for less. I love this combination, and I think it's versatile enough to wear for so many different occasions. Pair it with cute flats for a weekend brunch, or dress it up a bit with some strappy heels.
Here is everything you'll need to re-create this look for less...
I threw in the heels in case you want to dress the look up a bit, and they're currently on sale! I'm a shoe person, so I might be biased, but I think they're to die for!

Dress: Old Navy, Paisley Scarf: Avenue, Sandals: Old Navy, Heels: Michael Antonio

Marketing & Social Media Moments from Super Bowl XLVIII

If you've been reading "Just Bri" for a while then you know that I'm a bit of a sports junkie. Unfortunately, last night's Super Bowl was anything but exciting. After Bruno Mars killed it at halftime, I found myself switching back and forth between the game and a "Sex and The City" marathon on E!

What the sports marketer in me loved however, was what happened on TV during the commercial breaks and throughout the night on social media. I love watching brands get creative and capitalize on the marketing power that events like the Super Bowl or the Daytona 500 posses. Brands have learned that what they tweet can result to be just as valuable as the TV time they buy, providing great entertainment throughout a less-than-entertaining game. Below is a list of my favorite ad moments from the night.

1. Coca Cola "America the Beautiful"
I'm passionate about multicultural marketing, so naturally this Coca-Cola commercial was an instant favorite for me. I think the commercial did a great job at showing that we are all united, despite language and cultural differences, and that this melting pot is what makes the United States beautiful.

2. Cheerios "Gracie"
Just like the Coca-Cola ad, for someone like me who loves multicultural marketing and diversity, this Cheerios commercial was spot-on. I think it does a great job speaking to the changing demographics of our country.

3. JC Penney #TweetingWithMittens
Sometime during the first quarter, JC Penney released a hardly legible tweet filled with typos. Of course, the twitter world exploded, and most of us thought some careless intern was getting the ax come Monday morning.

Come to find out, those "drunk" tweets were a part of JC Penney's poor Super Bowl marketing stint. I am not a fan of the #TweetingWithMittens campaign, but I do love how Kia and Coors Light responded.
Lesson to all brands out there, if your tweet could pass for an interns drunken mistake, you might want to re-think your marketing plan.

4. Charmin
When you're a toilet paper brand you have to be able to laugh at a little bathroom humor. Their play on words with this "blowout" tweet in reference to the Broncos getting run over by the Seahawks made me laugh. Well played Charmin, well played.

5. Denver  Police Dept. vs Seattle Police Dept.
This twitter exchange didn't go viral like some others, but I thought it was great. The Seattle and Denver Police Departments exchanged jabs over twitter, adding a human element to their normally serious twitter accounts. It was cool to see these accounts taking on a lighter voice with their sense of humor.
What did you think about some of the planned and unplanned marketing that went on during the Super Bowl? What was your favorite?
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