Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Wow... I have several things to blog about since my last birthday post!

This time of year always gets so crazy busy! It all starts with my birthday, then a week later it's Thanksgiving, Black Friday (the Holidays in retail are NUTS for those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing it first hand), decorating for Christmas, Holiday parties, Christmas, New Years... WHEW!! It's exhausting to just write about!

First things first--- Let's recap my super fun Birthday Party!!

{Really quick-- I'd like to take a moment to say that I LOVE BIRTHDAYS; my birthday, Eric's birthday, your birthday, my parent's birthday, my grandparent's birthday... I love them ALL. I don't understand why some people make birthdays out to be a small occasion that are not worthy of celebrating-- that's just silly. First of all, who needs a more legitimate excuse to celebrate your life or the life of someone else, and secondly, having a birthday to celebrate is much happier than the alternative-- haha!}

With that being said, this year I wanted to celebrate my birthday by having a dinner party with several of my amazing friends! I decided to have the dinner at Javier's in Dallas. {For those of you who are not familiar with Javier's, it's basically a little gem of a Mexican food place right in the middle of Dallas near Highland Park. It's practically famous with Dallas locals and it's been around for over 30 years.} The restaurant offers some really fabulous private dining areas, so I was hoping for a good amount of RSVP's that would allow us to reserve one of the private rooms without struggling to meet the food and beverage minimum of $800.

I made a guest list and Eric sent out email invitations to everyone from Paperless Post... {if you have not used Paperless Post, you need to start. It's amazing. And it has an iPhone ap.} The next step was just waiting for people to RSVP. I think my guest list consisted of around 35 people, with the assumption that probably half or a little less than half would be available to attend. Well, to my very excited surprise, almost EVERYONE was able to attend-- a total of 24 people!! Needless to say, we had no problem filling the private room! Haha!

We had SUCH a great time, and I absolutely LOVED seeing some of my friends that I don't get to see all the time. I'm so thankful for all of the super wonderful people that I have in my life, and I want to thank each person who attended my dinner for helping make my birthday a memorable one!!

Here it goes... Thank you to:
Athena (she told me she wasn't able to come because she lives in Abilene now... And then she came and surprised me!! Best friend ever!!),
Athena's sister Courtney,
Devin and Stan,
Corbin, Jared, Ashley, and Ryan (who all made the hour drive to Dallas from Fort Worth),
Leslie and Keith,
Carly and Ryan,
Kyle, Kellie, and Adam,
Jim, Sean, Bobby, Chelsea, and Ross,
And last but certainly not least,
my wonderful brother, Trevor,
and my amazing husband, Eric!

Speaking of amazing husband, when the dinner was concluding, all of the sudden the lights in the room dimmed and in came the most amazing birthday cake! Eric had the lady who made our wedding cakes (Donna Nino from Opulent Cakes) design a cake that looked like a Louis Vuitton hat box! It was amazing and such a fun and incredibly thoughtful surprise! ...and not to mention, SO YUMMY! It was white chocolate cake with 3 layers of raspberry filling!

After dinner, we went to Corner Bar (walking distance from Javier's) and continued the fun! It was a great night! I'd also like to give a very special THANK YOU to my little brother for being our designated driver! It definitely wouldn't have been as much fun if Eric had to refrain from drinking so he could drive us home.

I'd say my 26th birthday celebration was quite a hit-- I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy of the party invitation from Paperless Post, the private room at Javier's, my fabulous cake, and all of my wonderful friends who attended!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

26 & Fabulous!

Happy Birthday to ME! I'm 26 today!!

I had the most wonderful day today! I feel so blessed to have such loving people surrounding me! Especially my husband-- he took the day off to spend time with me, and that alone made it fantastic!

Here's a play-by-play of my birthday festivities:

First, I was woken up by my little brother around 8am who brought me a card, brownies that my mom baked, and roses! Sooo sweet and thoughtful!! After graciously thanking my brother, he left to go run errands and I went back to sleep! Haha!

Then, I was woken up again by my wonderful husband around 10am when he set my birthday card on my pillow! I'm a big card person, so I got really excited!

After that, Eric and I got dressed and headed to the Gaylord Texan Resort for lunch at the Riverwalk Cantina! We split fajitas and had mimosas! It was so good!! Not to mention, the Gaylord is just so beautiful!

Then comes the unique part-- I told Eric all I really want for my birthday is tons of Christmas decor! This sounds funny, but since we bought our new house in March, we have decided to start over with our christmas decor! Our old tree is too small, and all of our old Christmas decor is purple, silver, and white for TCU! (We lived right by campus, so it was cute and appropriate, but now we want something more traditional.) So, literally, we are starting from scratch. (However, we are still keeping some of the old decor... We'll just put it upstairs in the game room!)

So, after lunch we went Christmas decor shopping! We got a new, 9-foot, pre-lit Christmas tree with white lights. I really like the texture of the tree and it's very full... It looks beautiful! We also bought garland with lights for the staircase, tons of ornaments for the tree, 10 red bows with jingle bells to go on the garland on the staircase, and a tree skirt! We still need a tree topper, stockings, and mantle decor... But we made a really impressive dent!!

When we returned home after shopping, Eric blasted the Pandora Christmas station and we began decorating! We finished the tree in about 2.5 hours-- pretty fast! The staircase garland took me a while, but it looks soooooo pretty!

It might seem a little early for Christmas decorations, but we are hosting thanksgiving at our house and I really want the house to look festive! Plus, working in retail just means I'm going to have less and less time as Christmas gets closer, so I might as well get it done! Besides, Christmas decorations are just so pretty, so I don't mind them being up early! Not one bit! :)

Also, thank you to everyone who took time out of your day to wish me a happy birthday! That means so much to me and put a smile on my face all day long!

If today was any kind of indication as to how amazing my 26th year will be... It should be absolutely fabulous!! :)

Here are some pictures from today-- enjoy!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My life with Louis V!

I think it's about time that I give an update on my job!

For those of you who do not know, I was hired as the Operations Manager for Louis Vuitton at the Dallas Galleria in March 2011. It has been a pretty drastic change from any other company I have worked for, but I am really loving the brand and the potential for growth!

The first challenge was just understanding and embracing my new role as Operations Manager. If you weren't aware, I was a Store Manager in my previous job with Ann Taylor LOFT for about a year and a half... and there are a lot of perks that go along with being the store manager! You can make your own schedule, hire your own staff, develop your people to fit your management style, discipline your staff when you feel it's necessary, set your own standards, etc... The list goes on and on. Now, however, the authoritative hierarchy at the store in which I work is as follows:

A: Store Manager
B: Operations Manager & Leather Goods Manager
C: Shoe Manager
D: Accessories Manager
E: Client Relations Manager
F: Sales Staff

As you can see, I'm no longer the head honcho... And while there are many good things that come along with being in my current role, it is a tough transition.

Basically, my role as Ops Manager encompasses everything EXCEPT sales, hiring, coaching/talent development, product knowledge, and training. That leaves tasks such as preparing for the annual policy & procedure audit, executing full inventories semiannually, managing store budget, supplies, uniform orders, shrink, shipping, receiving, repairs, all things HR related, travel booking/expenses, sales audit reconciliation, housekeeping, contracting labor for any store issues (electrical, plumbing, carpet cleaning, fire extinguisher inspection, etc)... I could go on and on!! It's kind of broad, as you may have gathered. I think the hardest part for me, besides the loss of freedom to run things my own way, is not having numerical figures tracking my success. It used to make me feel really good when the store had a profitable month, or when I trained my staff on something new and I could see an immediate increase in sales... but as Ops Manager, there are very few ways to measure my success. I guess if we aren't receiving collection letters, the toilet isn't overflowing, and the lights are all working, it's a pretty operationally sound day! Haha!

Despite the transition, this is a great role for me because all of my previous managerial roles were sales and talent focused, so this forces me to learn all aspects of the job-- which makes me a much more well-rounded manager! :)

Beyond learning my role, I have been learning a LOT about the company by attending some very amazing training workshops in New York City and Miami! Talk about FABULOUS! I have NEVER worked for a company that invests so much time and money into training... It's unreal! And all trip expenses are put on my very own corporate AMEX (and of course paid by the company). It's pretty sweet to have a card that says "Louis Vuitton" under my name... Not gonna lie! Haha!

In addition to my amazing trainings, I have also traveled to Miami for a "Global Store" opening. (A global store is pretty much the biggest, highest level store in our company that carries all product categories.) The big store at the Bal Harbour shops in Miami closed and reopened in Aventura Mall as a global store! I was part of the crew who helped orchestrate the move of merchandise and supplies, and then helped get everything put away in it's proper place before the grand opening! It was such a wonderful and educational experience, and I got to meet a ton of corporate big-wigs! Bonus!

Ok well, I think that's all the news I have on the job front for now... But here are some super fab pictures from all of my LV adventures thus far... Enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stuff for Sale!

If you are looking for a way to spend some money on some awesome random stuff, you're in the right place!

I have the following things for sale:

1. Sherri Hill Gown

-Absolutely stunning!
-100% silk skirt
-Lace bodice with Swarovski crystal trim around neckline and all over bodice.
-Size 0; I can provide exact measurements upon request.
-Never worn for competition; only worn when I was the reigning National American Miss 2006.
-I also have custom made Swarovski crystal earrings and a bracelet that we're made to match perfectly. I will give them with the dress.
-Original purchase price was $4,000! I am hoping to sell for $500, but make me an offer and we can discuss it :)

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab

-7 inch
-I still have the box and all accessories. It's basically brand new.
-Takes great pictures and video!
-You can purchase this Tab brand new for $499... I'm selling it for $350!!

3. HP Color LaserJet CP2025 Printer!

-Super fast color laser printer.
-Currently sells for $599 brand new... I'm asking $425.
-Perfect condition.

4. Canon MX310 4-in-1 Printer/Copier/Scanner/Fax

-Works perfect!
-Prints super high resolution photos.
-Very compact.
-Currently sells for $150 brand new; I'm selling for $75 (half price).

Eric and I bought a new LaserJet all-in-one Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax tonight, which will be replacing these two printers. Additionally, we have an iPad and we just don't need a Tab and an iPad. Eric uses a particular application to study for the CPA exams, which is not available on the Tab, so the iPad is better for us.

The gown is also amazing and flawless... I've just had a hard time parting with it! But I have come to the realization that it's too beautiful to sit in my closet, and I would love to see someone else feel as beautiful in it as I did!!

Let me know if you (or anyone you know) are interested in any of these things! Just leave a comment :)


Thank Heavens for iPhone Apps!

So, I think I've found a way to help me stay current with my blog posting! Don't make fun of me for just now thinking of this... But I realized that there is probably an app for blogger on the iPhone, so I searched for it and-- voila! My main issue with staying current is that I almost never use my laptop anymore! I do everything on my phone, for the most part, so getting out my computer just to write in my blog always seems like a hassle. Additionally, with the advancement of technology every 10 minutes, my 2008 laptop seems pretty slow and, well, archaic. SO... I believe my problem may be solved with the acquisition of the blogger app for my iPhone! Hooray!

In other exciting news, Eric and I had a fabulous Halloween this year! It was the first year that we were on the adult side of the whole thing, and it was actually a blast!

I started the evening by taking what should have been a 5 minute trip to Walmart. Oh Lord, was that a big mistake. I was sandwiched between carts of oblivious shoppers, run over by children who don't look both ways or respect the rules of traffic flow in public, and I got stuck in the Halloween aisle for about 15 minutes because people literally wouldn't move out of the way. Seriously, how are there so many inconsiderate people in one place, and where do they come from? It's mind blowing.

Anger and inconvenience aside, my trip was a success! I got a cheap, scary costume for Eric, a bunny mask for me, and some of the best candy I could find because I definitely don't want to be the house with the gross candy! I chose Pop Rocks, Ring Pops, Blow Pops, Nerds, Sweet Tarts, and Wonka Laffy Taffy-- Only the best candy at the Cannon Casa! Haha!

When it was just about sun down, Eric and I put on our Halloween attire, grabbed our lawn chairs, poured ourselves a beverage (I had wine, he drank whiskey) and we sat on our front porch with our big bowls of candy, ready to greet the trick-or-treaters of Trophy Club!

There were only a few kids at first, mainly super young ones, but then they started swarming by the dozens! There were SOO MANY KIDS! I literally think we gave candy to AT LEAST 70 kids. No lie! Every time they approached our driveway, they would be walking fast and excited... Then they would see Eric and they would slow down, glancing back at their parents or friends for encouragement! It was soooo funny!!! There was even one group that commented on Eric's scary costume and decided to skip our house all together! We couldn't stop laughing... And we made sure to give more candy to the kids who were extra brave or who had the best costumes!

As a whole, I'd say it was definitely a success, although we have a long way to go if we plan to be the masters of Halloween like our neighbors! Now that we live in a nicer neighborhood, everyone decorates for everything-- Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween... Lord knows what this place will look like at Christmas! I love home decor, but I have never really been into decorating the outside of my house-- although living in this neighborhood will probably help me acquire those skills! We were literally the ONLY house without an ounce of Halloween or fall-ish decor, and when it was trick-or-treat time, our neighbor busted out a fog machine, strobe lights, and music! It was amazing! To compensate, my brother brought us a strobe light from my mom's house and we found some Halloween music to play from YouTube on Eric's iPad... But wow! We were SO lame compared to the rest of Trophy Club! Haha! Good thing we have plenty of time to learn and perfect our skills before we start a family!!

Here are some pictures of our "Good Candy" and Halloween costumes! Enjoy!