Breezy Days: January 2014

Ettika Jewelry Arm Parties

January 31, 2014
I was stoked when I received this beautiful cream braided bracelet from Ettika {along with this thoughtful Christmas gift from my blogger BFF!} in the mail last week. Which, being the blogger that I am...I was practically obligated to take an Instagram "happy mail" picture! Who doesn't love showing off their awesome snail mail?! Ettika is an LA based jewelry company for the "rock & roller, boho lover, and beach goer"...aka their jewelry SPEAKS TO MY SOUL.

I had a blast trying out various arm parties with this gold multi-ribbon & rhinestone braided bracelet because it seriously goes with anything and everything. Not only is it amazing quality, but is great for that extra dash of low-key glitz!

You wanna know the best part of this whole dang post? There is an opportunity to win a $100 Ettika gift card right this very moment {what are you waiting for?!}. Although, if you're impatient like myself...you can head on over to Ettika and snag yourself some arm candy with this 25% off coupon {EXCL25}! Happy Friday my friends!

Weekend Update: Parks & Rec + Awful Waffle + Church

January 29, 2014
This past weekend was a crazy one! I'll start from the top...so for my American Heritage class {yuck, still irked I have to take that class}, I have to do 10 hours of community service as a part of my grade. I emailed my old boss at Provo Parks & Recreation asking if he could use me for any volunteer work? I went in to the new Recreation Center {which was recently built & is insanely gorgeous}, and he said I would be directing traffic at the front desk for Junior Jazz {city basketball program for 1st-8th}. 

I had mentioned that I kinda missed being a referee to the little kids and that I would probably put in my application again...he told me no need and handed over the paperwork to have my job back, gave me a raise, and a shift for this upcoming Saturday. Ummm, can I say pumped much? I had worked there up until basketball season ended a couple years ago, then I started my Francesca's job soon after. So it's been a while since I've reffed, and I'm a tad nervous...but mostly excited. It's always nice to know that your hard work is appreciated and that old employers will take you back in a heartbeat! 

After I volunteered Saturday morning, I made my way to Sodalicious {man, was I craving that dirty dr. pepper/sugar cookie} then ended up at Awful Waffle for Deidre's going away party. She is moving to be with her baseball-player husband in Arizona, and we are so jealous she is moving to warmer weather! She has been such an awesome friend, so of course I'm sad to see her go, but I'm so excited for her new adventure :)

Then on Sunday we were invited by our neighbors to hit up a young married ward in the area, which I was a little hesitant about. I've always heard horrible things about married student wards, specifically that they are: cliquish, drama-filled, and awkward. Yikes! Although, we haven't felt very "at home" in our current family ward, so I was up for trying something new.

In all my years of living in Utah {about 5 years}, I've NEVER had anyone approach me and ask if I was new to the ward. Just because there are so many people moving in and out all the time, the ward members just don't know how to sort out who's new or already a part of the ward. I was honestly stunned when I had a few different people ask me who I was, and was genuinely interested in getting to know me. Everyone was so dang friendly! Luckily we are zoned to be in this ward, so we will be hopping over there soon and I'm stoked to meet other couples who are in the same phase of life as us :)

WHEW! That was a major weekend update if I do say so myself. This weekend is chock-full of more exciting stuff: 2 exams, Superbowl party, and my first shift back as a referee! 

Discount Diva

January 27, 2014
This is what I wore yesterday for church, and it is practically BEGGING spring to show up. I did some color blocking with the orange sweater against the hot pink top of the dress. Pretty snazzy, huh? So, the other day I had my blogger friend Bree text me asking about a particular pair of black boots I had worn in a post. She asked why my links at the bottom don't lead to the product...but instead to other posts where I've worn it? Let me explain my frens'.

I'm a huge bargain fashionista. Meaning that I will wait patiently until a good quality product goes on mega sale before purchasing. Either that, or I don't mind getting the knock off version as long as it's still good quality. This cupcake necklace was $15 off of Jane.com, and it's a total J.Crew knock-off. These heels? $25 on Just Fab...a knock-off of the popular Steve Madden bow pumps. Who the heck would have known though? Or cared that much to point it out?!

{Remixed: Necklace // Shoes // Dress}

I never pick up anything Steve Madden unless it's on sale...and this purse was $30 at Ross. This is why I don't post links to the products, it's because by the time I post the outfit in where I sport my new discounted piece, the product is already gone! Although, I'll work on warning you all via Instagram and Twitter when there are fabulous deals to be had, deal? Deal :)


Influenster: Jolly Vox Box

January 26, 2014

I received this Jolly Vox Box filled with fun goodies from Influenster a couple weeks back, and decided to review them by making my first vlog ever! Hope you enjoy it :)

My Fitness Pal username: brianna_rios



*I received these products c/o Influenster for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.*

I Left My Heart at Jane.com

January 24, 2014
You know that lyric "I left my heart in San Francisco?" Well, I left mine at Jane.com. About a year ago I found this company that offers amazing deals on trendy boutique goods for an absolute steal. A site after my own heart!

This past summer my mom & I would stay up until 11pm California time {midnight UT time}, waiting for the new deals to reveal themselves. We decided on which ones to hurry up and snag before the inevitable "sold out" sign would appear, and which ones to pass until next time {cause they always bring back some of the best deals.} What's nice is that Jane gives you a sneak peek of what they'll be posting the next day on their Facebook account, so you can be prepared! I still get raving compliments on this necklace I bought on Jane for 14 bucks. {It's ok, you're allowed to gasp.}

{Top c/o Jane}

Head on over to my sidebar and Jane is the first button there {kinda like the first friend on those MySpace Top 8 lists from eons ago...}, and go check them out. I promise you that you won't leave Jane without at least one thing in your basket ;)

Chunky Sweater Heaven

January 23, 2014






































Is it just me, or has January just flown by? Not that I'm complaining in the least, the closer we can get to summertime & graduation the happier I'll be! Although, one of my favorite parts of winter is being able to wear oversized sweaters with skinny jeans. I found this super cozy sweater for half off clearance at American Eagle and these olive snakeskin print khakis from Gap for 12 bucks. I'm seriously on a roll with these amazing finds!


While the weather is still dreary outside, I've been trying to hit the gym more than 3 times a week as well as clocking in on My Fitness Pal {username: brianna_rios}. Which not to toot my horn {seeing as how I've been frequenting Sodalicious too much haha}, I've clocked in for a little over two weeks and have only missed a few days of the gym. I'm already feeling stronger and better overall, even though I'm not seeing a huge difference on the scale. The goal is to feel strong & fabulous in my swimsuit at Seven Peaks this summer!

Well my friends, I've successfully put off my American Heritage reading {gag} for another half hour. Now it's time to bite the bullet with Great Gatsby playing in the background {such a good movie}, and finish off this ridiculous amount of reading! Only three more months...sigh.

Weekend Update: Steve Madden + Football + Texas de Brazil

January 22, 2014
I drove up with my best friend Alexa, and blogger friend Rachel up near Salt Lake to the Fashion Place Mall to wait in line and meet the amazing STEVE MADDEN. I am a huge fan of his purses & shoes...ok, I'm obsessed. Although, being the bargain diva that I am, I only purchase his merchandise on sale at Ross or on eBay. I'll let you in on a little secret...Ross almost ALWAYS has Steve Madden purses for $30-$40 when they usually sell for over $100. Crazy!

We waited in line with fellow blogger friends Gentri, Jody, and Jessi for over 2 hours because Steve was just chillin' in his green room, getting ready I suppose? The line was a total party with food, shoes on a platter, a DJ dance party, shoe raffle, and taking pictures with the emcee to post on the Nordstrom Facebook page. So the line wasn't too brutal with the par-tay going on!

When Steve finally came out, he passed right in front of our group and he shook my hand! I was fangirlin' hardcore. I got my purse signed by Steve, we all got a picture with him, and we got a free swag bag. It was pretty dang cool! Definitely worth the drive up & time in line :)

video

{That's me grabbing Steve's hand!! Thanks Jody for the video!}

On Sunday Ryan & I made our way to Kyla's place to watch the Seahawks/49ers game {because Kyla is from Nor-Cal & her husband from Washington} and ate some delish dinner while having a blast cheering for the Seahawks {woot woot}! Then on Monday we drove up to Salt Lake with Benexa to visit our favorite Brazilian Steakhouse, Texas de Brazil, because they are doing 50%  off of dinner prices for the month of January. Oh my gosh, it was soooo worth every bite & penny :) Suffice it to say, it was a super fun & filling weekend!

Nordstrom Employee

January 20, 2014
This past weekend I hit up Nordstrom in the Fashion Place Mall to meet Steve Madden, and it was a complete blast! Although, with all this black on I had random people asking me questions like I worked at Nordstrom. Which is funny because I hardly ever wear black. Soooo, maybe that's a sign that I should apply? 

Rachel from Rachel Sayumi was kind enough to offer to take photos of me, and I'll always jump at the chance for outfit pics! ;) And just so you know, I got this necklace for 40% off of $9.98...um CRAZINESS. Francesca's Collections was doing a major blow-out sale on their accessories, so I got 5 pairs of earrings, 3 necklaces, and a scarf all for 30 bucks. Aka, run to your closest Francesca's and stock up on some jewelry! 

{Remixed: Jacket // Boots}

Above is my blessed Steve Madden purse...signed by the man himself. Can't wait to share more about the Steve Madden experience on the blog with you! Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Eleven Things

January 19, 2014

One of my blogger friends, Nicole from Writes Like a Girl, posted these questions on her blog and they seemed like some fun questions for you guys to get to know me a little better. So here goes nothin! :)

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you're feeling stressed?
// I make sure to swing by the grocery store on my way home to grab a magazine {Instyle or Glamour}, then I draw up a flaming hot bubble bath, drop in my Lush bath bombs, and soak my worries away.

2. It's 2014. What invention are you still waiting for them to come out with?
// Gas-less cars and teleportation.

3. You're in control of the thermostat-what temperature do you set it?
// In the winter time, I love to feel warm...so I'll set the heater to 80 degrees and it drives Ryan up a wall because his body temp runs 10 degrees hotter than any normal person should. We are in constant debate over whether the heater or fan gets to be on. It's just as exciting as it sounds.

4. If you could go back and say something to yourself, what would you say and what age would you say it to? 
// I would tell my 16 year old self that "saving" someone isn't worth it when you get sucked down the drain with them. Being someone's sole reason for happiness isn't endearing, it's scary. And to listen to my parents, because in all your infinite teenage knowledge {HA!}, they really do want you to  succeed in life and be happy.

5. What toppings are on your perfect pizza?
// I am SO boring when it comes to pizza, I love a plain 'ole pepperoni. Although, I'll compromise and get a supreme with cheese stuffed crust to placate you-know-who.

6. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?
// My mom told me that if she had a second girl she would have named her Aubrey Noelle...and then I was instantly irked wondering why that wasn't MY name. I would have loved to be nicknamed Nollie! So now I'm going to steal that name for my future baby girl...Aubrey Noelle Rios. How cute is that?!

7. What actor/actress would play you in the movie of your life?
// Reese Witherspoon...DUH. And Ryan could be played by young Antonio Banderas, love that accent ;)

8. List three things you want to accomplish in the next five years:
// Get out of debt. Have at least one little one. Be settled, always progressing & happy

9.What's the last show you binge-watched?
// FRIENDS! I had only ever seen a re-run here and there growing up and wanted to watch the whole series straight through. So Ryan and I watched all 10 seasons in about a month. Not gonna lie, I was kind of depressed when it was over. Mourning over the loss of my fictional friends!

10. What drink or food item is your go-to guilty pleasure?
// Lately it's been the Sodalicious drive-thru...a "Your Mom" extra dirty {Dr. Pepper, half & half, lime, and coconut} and a sugar cookie make me happy right quick!

11. Do you feel that your current age fits you?
// I always have people mistaking me for being around 25, and I'm told it's because I "act so mature" or "am confident and hold myself well in conversation." But, I have a lot to learn and experience...so I'm ok with being the ripe age of 22.

Comms: Where Hipsters Unite

January 17, 2014
This is pretty typical for what I wear on any given school day. Something comfy for all the hours I sit in class, and for all the walking I do up to campus. Although, I don't like looking like a slob...so flat boots, comfy skinnies, and cozy sweaters are what I'm all about! 


Since all my classes are in the Communications building this semester {Advertising, PR, and Comms Studies majors}, I feel like my ensembles just fit in. Big glasses? Studded booties? Funky pants & sweaters? They totally fly in the Comms building! Everyone tends to wear massive glasses {most of the time they are fake...read my rant about it here}, combat boots, and slouchy beanies. I should start a tally on how many people I see in a day wearing any number of these things, just so I can prove my theory {ohhh research methods class, you are finally good for something.} 


{Remixed: Booties}

Now my bright & colorful outfits don't make me stick out like they did in the Family Studies building {where everyone was extremely conservative...think mom jeans and 80's shirts}, or in the Music building {musical geniuses & actors galore...too busy writing symphonies to care about what they're wearing.} Although, I don't know whether or not I should be touting that I fit in with the hipsters of our campus...haha! Is it a good thing to be considered a "hipster"?!

The Rules of Winter

January 15, 2014
I'm so picky when it comes to winter clothing & accessories. Before moving here almost 5 years ago {it's been that long?!} I had never owned: A. a pair of boots or B. a real coat. I remember looking online with my mom for boots before my freshmen year, and was SO SCARED that boots would make me look like a pirate. I guess that's what happens when you live in sandals year round, other shoe options become extremely terrifying & haunt your dreams.

After a few winters under my belt, I've determined the following...
Boots should have traction, be weather proof, and should decide between being a flat or heel. None of this weirdo sliver wedge business. Scarfs should not be pitiful little strings of fabric hanging around your neck. They should be chunky, warm, and soft {like the one above from To Adorn}; as to keep you warm and to serve as a make-shift blanket/pillow when you're tired during classes. 

{Scarf c/o To Adorn // Coat c/o Sammy Dress // Remixed: Dress}

Finally, coats should be: warm, colorful, of good quality, and well-fitting {so you don't end up looking like the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.} There you have it, my friends. The rules of winter according to Bri. The California girl who has only lived in the cold for a few winters....which obviously makes me the most credible source out there ;)

Currently Drooling...

January 14, 2014
Over this Soubrette Marled Cardigan from Anthropologie! These pictures don't even do this sweater justice. I thought it was an additional 50% off the sale price at the Anthro in SLC {it was only for home goods on sale} and almost bought it, but was extremely sad to hear about the real 70 dollar price tag :/

It is comfy, slouchy sexy, awesome quality, and has sequins sewn into the fabric. Um, AMAZING-NESS. So now I sit & wait...for an additional percentage off of sale items. Oh, the frustrating life of a college student in love with Anthropologie! 

$300 Kate Spade Giveaway {CLOSED}

January 13, 2014
katespadegroupgiveaway_edited-1
Who wouldn't want 300 bucks to Kate Spade?! Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekend Update: Baby Ford

This past Saturday I went to my blog BFF's baby shower for her little girl who's due on Valentine's day! How cute is that?? Everything was decked out in pink & gold by her awesome mom and sisters, and the food was deeeelish. I seriously had 10 of some sausage roll-up finger foods, cause they totally hit the spot. Yummmmm. {Check out Kyla's full post on the shower!}

Ryan and I had a blast picking out adorable little girl outfits for Kyla's little one, and it makes me look forward to that time in my life when I'll be buying little baby clothes up the wazoo. Tutus, baby jeggings, and frou-frou galore! Until then, I'll just spoil my friends babies :)

After the shower, Ryan & I just vegged the rest of the weekend because we are exciting married college students and all. Hooray for sleep & a ridiculous amount of Sodalicious runs! 

Another Sweater Date Night

January 11, 2014
Yesterday the husband & I ventured up to Salt Lake to do a little Christmas gift card shopping. We hit up Nike, Lush, Anthro {where I got the most adorable umbrella ring holder}, and instead of getting stuck in traffic on the way home we ate at Red Robin in SLC. I love that after being married for over 2.5 years, we can still have fun with something as simple as walking around the mall & admiring the gorgeous snow-capped mountains around us.

I will say, that after a couple of years into this marriage gig...it is way easy to knock down your 'date game' a couple notches. What's the point of getting dressed up and trudging around in the snow when I can wear my Wal-Mart sweatpants, eat Pizza Hut, and watch Netflix documentaries? Actually GETTING DRESSED makes a massive difference. Not only in how your spouse views you, but in how you feel about yourself! Granted, I'll take any excuse to dress to the nines {kinda like that one time I wore a sequin skirt to Smiths...} 

Which is why I was super stoked to test drive my new sweater from To Adorn! They sent me a couple of surprise goodies & I was pleasantly surprised when opening the package. This sweater fits like a dream, and while it is something I wouldn't have normally picked for myself, I ended up absolutely LOVING it! Comfy fit, gold thread weaved throughout, and a black lace back with polka dots...could you seriously ask for any more cuteness in one piece of clothing? 

{Sweater: To Adorn c/o // First sweater date night}

To Adorn is daily boutique site which offers awesome prices for trendy & adorable clothing, jewelry, and more! I paired this sweater with black ponte pants {for $13 from Tj Maxx}, Spellbound by Maybelline lipstick, Steve Madden bag {from Ross}, a Bebe druzy stone necklace {for $14, also from Ross}, and olive booties from Sole Society. 

One day I randomly entered an Instagram gift card giveaway that Sole Society was hosting, and I ended up winning! So I patiently waited {with baited breath} for these studded puppies to go on sale, when they did I pounced which presented me with the grand total of $9. Awesome deals just make my day, ok?

4 Ways to Wear Fur {Without Feeling Like a Yeti}

January 9, 2014
I used to be very hesitant about wearing fur, because it seemed so over-the-top and I felt kind of ridiculous wearing it. Although, since moving to Utah I've warmed up to the trend and have collected some furry accessories that make me feel all cozy & fancy! Here are some ways to wear fur, starting from the fur-wearing beginners and ending with you advanced fur ladies ;)

I am loving this cable-knit infinity scarf with some touches of fur from Loft, it is super warm and is a good starter piece for those hesitant about the fur trend. It's a good basic piece to your winter look because it adds a little extra pizazz and personality. 

The next step up from the cable knit scarf would be this all-fur infinity scarf from Target, not only is it affordable but it is also functional. This way, you can test-drive the trend without feeling buyer remorse! The brown & cream shades in this scarf make this piece a good staple that would match anything in your winter wardrobe.

Boots with the fur WITH THE FUURRRRR! Another purchase from Target, affordable and warm snow boots that add a fun touch to an otherwise subdued winter wardrobe. It's just a touch of fur, so your whole outfit won't be too overloaded with it!

This is another fun and essential accessory that has just a dash of fur. As well as the scarf, it's another piece that fur beginners can start off with before diving into the trend. 

This vest is for all you ladies who are well-versed in the ways of fur! It is a pretty bold look and not for the shy or conservative. So, only venture in to this trend once you feel comfortable with looooots of fur! It will not only draw a lot of good attention but will keep you cozy all day :)

How do you feel about the fur trend? What's your favorite piece?