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You're the Pom

I've been all about the POPS of color as of late.
If you've been following along on my blog for a while now, you probably know that I'm a sucker for matching items. Remember this post?

I shot this neon look at the beginning of summer, and looking back, I can't believe just how fast this summer flew by. To really take advantage of my time left in New York City, I've decided that I want to head to the beach for some sun and me time. However, the weather isn't looking too promising, but this is something that I've been anticipating ever since the madness and chaos of last weekend. I love that this pom pom tote is perfect for the beach and is spacious enough to carry all my beach essentials.

Anyone else have fun plans this weekend?

Wearing: top: Lilly Pulitzer via Palm Avenue | pom pom tote: via Charlotte's | hat: via Uniquities | shoes: via Uniquities | shorts: via Uniquities | earrings + ring: via Bailey's | necklace: Impressions Boutique (old) similar style heresunglasses: Karen Walker |

[ the items marked with 'via' can be found in the Cameron Village shopping center located in Raleigh, NC ]

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This is a partnership with Cameron Village Shopping Center. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Black At It // Park Avenue

Anyone else feel like it's been Monday for the past two days? Same.
I wore this dress to an important meeting a few days ago, and received so many compliments on it. I love how it has the classic collar, but adds a unique twist to the dress with the open-slice down the middle. Forewarning: the white is a bit see-through, so be sure to wear something underneath! 

P.S. I've already whipped out the felt hat, but I know I'll be wearing it regularly in the cooler months to come. It's still in stock here, for those who want to get ahead of the game and make the purchase.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wearing: dress: ℅ SheIn | bag: ℅ Henri Bendel (available in new colors here) | booties: ℅ American Eagle (old) similar here + heresunglasses: Karen Walker | watch: Marc Jacobs | lipgloss: Gypsetter's 'Bohemian Glow' | rings:  7 Charming Sisters | earrings: ℅ 7 Charming Sisters | hat: H&M | necklace: identical here |


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Thank you to SheIn for partnering on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Her Conference Weekend Recap

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Ulta Beauty, Vera Bradley, Juicy Couture, Amtrak and Her Campus Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you were following me on Snapchat (bygracelee), Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, then you probably saw that I attended Her Conference this past weekend. The speakers on Saturday included Rebecca Minkoff, Andi Dorfman, James Nord, and a ton of other social media strategists ranging from Victoria's Secret to Cosmopolitan, etc. Pretty much a wide range of innovative people in one building, to say the least.

I'm sharing key tips from speakers and a recap with photos of my day at the event below.

We started the morning off with an interview with Rebecca Minkoff and how she came about starting her brand. #GirlBoss

In our gifted bags from Vera Bradley, we received these notebooks with schedules and information on all the speakers.

I had to pop by the Ulta Beauty Bar during lunch break for a little touch-up.

It was love at first swipe. Ha! Loved this 3,000 rose-adorned Tinder wall.

There were several panels after the morning keynote speaker Rebecca Minkoff, so Lauren and I decided to focus on social media and branding and attended the Business of Blogging panel. The speakers were Bianca Posterli, Keeley Patterson, James Nord, and Holly Wagner and they focused on what brands and publishers really looked for in influencers. A few things that stood out to me was how the bigger you get as an influencer, the less control you have over your content. 

The key things I noted were how brands seek engagement with Instagrammers rather than their following number or "likes" or "comments." It's about how engaged the influencer is with their audience and how the brand can benefit with the influencer. Another thing that I took away from this panel was that brands want to see that you work with other brands and that you know how to stay updated in this digital age. Meaning, being able to migrate your following to whatever new social medium comes up. 

They finished off on selling yourself first, business next, and then your brand.

I still have a few more notes from this panel, if anyone is still interested in hearing more about the business of blogging. You can always leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
Breakfast was served with Suja and Chobani.

Love this 'Firebird' Urban Decay lipstick from Ulta Beauty from my gifted bag.

My favorite speech of the day was from Andi Dorfman. 
I'm going to be completely honest. I don't want the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. *gasp* I know. I've seen one or two episodes in the past, but was never really a fan of reality TV. With that being said, I had heard of Andi Dorfman, but never really knew her background or her situation. 

Andi's speech was on perseverance and it hit close to home for me.
I didn't realize her situation with all these "failures," as you call it, with her love life and her job in the past years, and for some of it, I felt like I could relate. 

Her keywords were: "Happiness is the ultimate success." 
When it comes to perseverance, it all comes down to the mindset. Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset. It was all about acknowledging limitations and choosing and seeing what you needed to improve on. Acknowledging that we are not all perfect. There's areas you're great at and areas that you're not, and having a growth mindset is the mindset to have. The question is... is it easy to persevere? It's hard to persevere because it's scary. It's scary because challenges are scary. But it's also easy in the sense that it's up to you. You have to decide whether you want it or not. When you embrace change, you see a bigger world. The changes that come with it ultimately, are a gift. 

You don't stand a chance between life and change. It's bound to happen. 

And lastly, she mentioned how everyone portrays happiness differently. Your friends might be married with kids and they might be happy, and you might be single, living in New York City with a job that you love and still be happy.

It's not about how you see happiness, it's about how you feel it.

She was incredibly sweet and I really needed to hear her speech that weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!
Like I mentioned, if you have any questions about the conference or any questions about the panels, please shoot me an email or leave me a comment!

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Rain or Shine

Happy Monday! 

I'm still in the process of accepting the fact that this is the last Monday of July.
Basically reminding me that summer is almost over. It's crazy to believe August is just around the corner.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was chaotic with having a friend back home visiting me and the Her Conference, but fun, nonetheless. 

It rained a lot at the beginning of summer when I was back home in North Carolina, so I wanted to style a summer look with rainboots. I'm all about that pop of color, so I went with these Lisi Lerch earrings from Charlotte's, which are ON SALE by the way, to add some color to a gloomy day.

What's your favorite way to spruce up a rainy day look?

Wearing: top: via Uniquities | shorts: Frame via Uniquities | earrings: Lisi Lerch via Charlotte's (MARKED DOWN!) | bracelet: via Charlotte's | sunglasses: Karen Walker | rainboots: Hunter Boots (more colors here) | clutch: Gigi New York via Bevello | panama hat: old, identical here |

 [ the items marked with 'via' can be found in the Cameron Village shopping center located in Raleigh, NC ]
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This is a partnership with Cameron Village Shopping Center. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Her Conference - NYC


I have a lot going on this weekend. 
For starters, I'm so excited to be attending as a correspondent for the Her Conference here in New York City. I always feel like my schedule coincides with all the blogger conferences that come up, and I'm thrilled that I will be able to attend one. Finally.

Not only that, but one of my best friends McKenzie is staying with me this weekend and I'm going to show her my favorite spots in the City. Not to mention, we have tons of girls nights planned and lots of catching up to do!

As for Saturday's plans... here's a little information about the Her Conference. It's a two-day event that focuses primarily on media, journalism, and marketing. There's tons of keynotes, panels, workshops, contests, and giveaways involved. This year's sponsors are Ulta Beauty, Vera Bradley, Juicy Couture, and Amtrak. I'm honestly so excited about the goodies we'll be receiving at the events... not to mention, I heard the breakfast is catered by Chobani and I pretty much start my mornings off with a Chobani greek yogurt. So good.

The speakers are amazing this year, and I cannot wait to share more of the conference with you all. 
Make sure you follow along on snapchat (bygracelee), Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see all the behind-the-scenes and a peek at the conference this weekend.

Anyone else attending the conference?! If so, I'll see you there!

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This is a sponsored post in partnership with Ulta Beauty, Vera Bradley, Juicy Couture, Amtrak and Her Campus Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Breakdown Of My Favorite NYC Parks

I have this thing for parks. 
It's funny actually, that I find myself wandering to a new one every other day or weekend here in the City. 
For those of you who have only been to Central Park, I wanted to share a few more that you'd like based on my observations (scroll down for my list!). Of all the parks I've been to... (Central Park, almost Gramercy Park, Washington Square Park, Madison Square Park, Stuyvesant Square Park, Union Square Park, and Bryant Park), Bryant Park has to be one of my top favorites. I recently went last weekend when my girl Casey Fallin was in town, and we were able to get some photos among the hustle and bustle. 

This $22 dress is yet another tassel dress, but it's definitely fun and eye-catching for the summer. It does run a bit big for me and I'm wearing a size small. I would go down one size!

The breakdown (below) is randomly listed and not in order based on preference.

1. Bryant Park - very scenic and has a beautiful view of the city. Also here. It's located between 5th and 6th Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan. 

2. Central Park - a classic. It's obviously the most visited and located in middle-upper Manhattan. It's great for walking around, biking, playing, shooting, eating, and even running. There's always something fun going on in the Park and lots of films and shows are filmed there. 

3. Gramercy Park - I've seen this Park in several photos on Instagram, but I wish someone would've told me that you need to have a key in order to get into the Park. It's guarded with tight security and a key is required in order to get in and out. The only way to get a key is if you're a resident or live in the area. It's located in Gramercy, but you can still see inside the Park from the gated fence. 

4. Washington Square Park - I always stumble across this Park when I'm on my weekly runs. It's located in Greenwich Village and has a beautiful arch with a fountain. A lot of people play in the fountain, and you sometimes stumble across beautiful chalk art in front of the arch, and I must say... flowers. Flowers everywhere. 

5. Madison Square Park - I work near the Flatiron Building and pass by this Park every other day. I always see it in the afternoon when it's most crowded, but there is a Shake Shack and tons of kids playing around the Park. It's not my absolute favorite because it's so crowded, but still a great park. You can also see it here. It's located at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street. 

6. Stuyvesant Square Park - this Park isn't as special as the others and is pretty small, but I really like it. I go there mainly to read a book on the weekends. It's quiet and pretty close to where I live. It's located at 15th Street, 17th Street, Rutherford Place, and Nathan D. Perlman Place.

7. Union Square Park - two words: always crowded. It's located in Union Square on 14th Street on the south, but there's always the Union Square Market which has tons and tons of food vendors and trucks that are packed with people. It's a great place to socialize and eat.

Wearing: dress: ℅ SheIn | earrings: ℅ Zaful | sunglasses: Karen Walker | booties: old, similar here
rings:  7 Charming Sisters | watch: Marc Jacobs | lipgloss: Gypsetter's 'Bohemian Glow' | 


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Thank you to SheIn for partnering on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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