One year later (and a giveaway!)

One year ago, I was living here in the north Dallas suburbs with my husband and kids. We had relocated to the area from Des Moines, Iowa, and I was attempting to find my footing in my new neighborhood. I had a few friends in the area, women I had kept in touch with before our relocation, but I couldn't help but feel that something was missing. I loved to thrift, and write, and wanted to challenge myself to do something I'd never done before. So I decided to start a blog.

February 2011

I had no idea then what I'd put into motion. Slowly, through the months that followed, my life started to change. I began to feel more confident. I became more courageous with every outfit I posted. I found myself questioning why I dressed the way I did, why I shopped where I had, and what I really thought about personal style and body image. I started to allow myself to write, really write, more than a few sentences about where my jeans were from. 


June 2011

Eventually, I starting submitting my posts to IFB, and they were accepted into Links a la Mode. I joined a local blogger's meetup and connected with women who share similar interests as I do. I started commenting on blogs I read regularly, and became friends with those bloggers I admired. I learned from them. In March 2011 I attended my first blogging conference, the Texas Style Council Conference, and met bloggers I only dreamed of socializing with. I began to get invited to fashion events around Dallas and made connections with brands. I continued to submit articles to IFB and attended their conference in September, where I learned more about the importance of social media and blogging and began to consider monetization. Oh - and I also wrote a book, which is in the final editing phase and should be published by the end of January.


Julie, Erin, me and Tina at the Texas Style Council Conference

The truth is that putting yourself out there comes with both blessings and pitfalls. When my blog really began taking off this summer, it attracted attention - most good but some negative. No matter what I do, say or wear, there will still be some people who won't like it. There will be people who hate what I wear, or think I talk about my eating disorder recovery too much, or write posts that are too long, or don't share enough outfit of the day pics. This criticism is part of living my life in the public eye. Criticism never feels great, but I accept it and am sometimes able to view it as a learning opportunity.



August 2011

There's a lot to be said about following your dreams and watching them come true. The work put towards making those dreams a reality isn't easy, but it is so worth it. Don't get me wrong - I still have days when I struggle to find inspiration. I don't always feel great about how I look. But I have a much more positive outlook than I've ever had.



October 2011

In the next year I hope to continue feeling as inspired to post as I am now. I want to learn more about blog design, stay educated on social media, and become more involved in the Dallas-Fort Worth fashion scene. I want to reach out more to bloggers I admire. I'm going to publish my book and want to host a fantastic launch party (stay tuned for details on that!) I was just hired as the community outreach and social media coordinator for the Texas Style Council Conference, scheduled for March 9, 10 and 11th, and I'll be extra busy with planning. I want to offer more guest posts from bloggers who inspire me, and continue sharing my passion for thrifting. 


To celebrate my one-year blog anniversary, I'm offering a very special giveaway containing some of my favorite swag from the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference.


 The winner will receive:

  • An Urban Decay Foxy palette, complete with four neutral shadows, a cream eyeliner, and  a mini lip gloss;
  • An Urban Decay Stardust lip gloss in Space Cowboy, a sparkly neutral color; 
  • A travel size Amika straightening iron with carrying case.
The winner will also receive:

  • A $25 gift card to TJ Maxx or Marshalls!
To enter, simply do the following:

  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect.
  • For extra entries, follow me on Twitter (@dresscourage) and add my blog to your reader.
This giveaway is open to US residents only. Please leave a separate comment for each entry, and be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Giveaway ends on December 28th! Good luck!



79 comments:

  1. Wow what a great post! I've recently started a new blog and have been feeling a bit down about not having many comments/views but your experience has been a great help- thanks!
    I'm glad that you're having such a blast after starting the blog and well done for taking the negativity so well
    <3

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  2. Whoo-hoo! Yay for one year of blogging awesomenss. You're kind awesome, in case you didn't know. Duh. :)

    PS: I almost didn't recognize myself in that picture. I got lost in a sea of scary polka dots and bad hair. Le sigh.

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  3. Happy Blogiversary! What a great giveaway to celebrate it with.

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  4. It's been a huge year for you. Congrats!

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  5. I follow via gfc! eclairre(at)ymail(dot)com

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  6. I need to be a better blogger. You inspire me to be more involved with it.

    Great Giveaway.

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  7. I follow you on Google Friend Connect!

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  8. I also follow you on Twitter! Congrats on your Blogaversary!

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  9. I follow via GFC!
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

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  10. No need to enter me in the giveaway since I was at IFB, but I just wanted to wish you a very happy blogiversary! The Internet is a better place thanks to you. :)

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  11. i follow you on twitter
    @aubreyfick
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

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  12. Im following with Google friend connect

    slice.of.life@hotmail.com

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  13. I also follow you on twitter!

    slice.of.life@hotmail.com

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  14. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly. I loved reading this. It is amazing what can happen in just one year. I wish you the best in your continued blogging adventure

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  15. Congrats on your anniversary and your achievements friend! I follow you (and I'm crushing on that pink flat iron big time).

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  16. I'm connected to you through google

    hollyetf (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  17. And I follow you on twitter and have your blog in my reader

    hollyetf (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Happy 1st blog birthday!

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  18. I follow on twitter @julzinha913

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  19. I appreciate your honesty and openness - you don't depict your life as this perpetually amazing entity of perfection (which, if we are perfectly honest, no one's life is...). So, thank you!

    GFC follower

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  20. You're in my reader!

    (forgot my e-mail! brunettewithblueeyes[@]gmail[.]com)

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  21. Hi, I'm following you on GFC. Great giveaway!!

    Can I just say, I'm so happy you made the decision to start blogging! Your posts are always so insightful, and I always look forward to reading what you've written.

    myduskandsummer@hotmail.com
    http://lexi-and-button.blogspot.com

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  22. Oh, and I'm following on Twitter, as LexiAndButton.

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  23. Happy blog birthday! Wow, I can't believe you've only been blogging for a year...what a great journey. Always love your thoughtful, inspiring, and informative posts!

    (And I follow you with GFC. elnajay at gmail dot com)

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  24. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I follow you with Google and enjoy every one of your posts.

    louise dot hornor at cornell dot edu

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  25. What a great giveaway!! Congrats on your one year of blogging. I am finally in Dallas and would love to meet someday soon. I follow you via GFC.

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  26. Happy, happy blogaversary! Thanks for outlining how you did what you've done in just ONE YEAR!!! Very cool. I follow with GFC as katygmorris and follow you on Twitter as @katygmorris.

    Thanks and happy holidays!!! :)

    katygmorris at gmail dot com

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  27. Congratulations on the 1 year of blogging. I enjoy your blog every day. It is thoughtful and well written.
    I follow via Google Friend connect

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  28. I found your blog through a post on facebook by Fashion by Alicia and I am so glad I did! I'm now following with GFC.

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  29. I follow on twitter.
    @shoestringfashn

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  30. Congrats on one year!! I follow your blog via GFC!

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  31. Great post!

    (I follow you on GFC

    larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

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  32. I follow you on Twitter. I am @purplelarkspur

    larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

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  33. Following you on Google Friend Connect...

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  34. I'm your friend on friend connect. ;) Happy blog-iversary!

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  35. And I have you in my blog reader.

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  36. Congratulations on your first very successful year of blogging! Here's to many more! And on a side note - you are one of the coolest people I had the pleasure of meeting this year!

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  37. Following on Google. Love your style!

    W. :)

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  38. Following you on Google now. Happy Blog-versary! :-)

    xo,
    Margaret
    --
    margeincharge(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. I follow you on Google Friend Connect!

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  40. I follow you on twitter-jmwclark (sorry I've falled on the twitaverse lately!...real life has been crazy!!) But I still lurve you bunches. Happy of happiest blogaversaries!!

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  41. And your blog is in my reader. I see it in my top stories on Flipbook every day! Because I put you there!

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  42. Then I thought you were on my GFC group, but when I clicked you weren't. WTF?! Did we miss something? (scratches head) I mean, we both love Anne with an 'e' and sequins. How can this be??!! So I added you. Bam! Happy Happy me!

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  43. Congrats on a whole year!! I'm inspired by your writing and get great laughs and sometimes tears reading your blog....thank you for being you!!
    Happy Holidays to you and yours sweetie!!
    GFC follower MoonRae

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  44. @SharonSiqueiros follows you on twitter

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  45. I subscribe to your blog via google reader
    lunrei(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  46. congratulations on your blogiversary! :) looking forward to seeing much more from you!

    i follow via GFC

    mnjfrey(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  47. I retweeted your giveaway!
    my twitter name is @jacquelinefrey

    mnjfrey(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  48. Following via GFC!

    Happy 1 year blogiversary!! :)

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  49. Following you on twitter (@blue_lanterns) :)

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  50. I follow you on gfc as Dee. Thanks for the chance! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

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  51. I follow you via twitter @deegee13. Thanks again and happy holidays! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

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  52. I'm following you on GFC!

    vandango33 at gmail dot com

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  53. I'm now following you on twitter @egood33

    vandango33 at gmail dot com

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  54. I'm also now following you through reader!

    vandango33 at gmail dot com

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  55. elissa, thank you for your thoughtful and honest posts - they inspire me as I blog myself. I also really appreciate your thrifting tips! I love to thrift, and its encouraging to see how much of your outfits is thrifted, too. and your sunday post always make me smile.

    katyecrawford (at) gmail (dot) com

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  56. I've followed you through Twitter for awhile now actually :) Looking forward to meeting you in March for TxSC!

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  57. I follow you on Bloglovin' which is my "reader" of choice, if that's allowable :)

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  58. I am following you on Google+!

    My Google+ Name: Brielle Dunham
    My Twitter: @Brielle_RaNae
    My E-mail: brielle.dunham@yahoo.com

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  59. I am following you on GFC!

    My GFC Name: Brielle Dunham
    My Twitter: @Brielle_RaNae
    My E-mail: brielle.dunham@yahoo.com

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  60. I am following you on twitter!

    My Twitter: @Brielle_RaNae
    My E-mail: brielle.dunham@yahoo.com

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  61. follow blog jelaws5
    thanks
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

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  62. Follow you on Twitter - rings90

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  63. GFC follower (Elena)

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  64. hey elissa! you know i follow you on twitter and i hope you know you're in my reader!! so glad to have been following along for (almost) the entire year! i am so, so happy to see your blogging success...it is so deserved. you're my fave!!

    carrie
    plumsintheicebox.typepad.com

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  65. I already follow you via gfc: Calli.
    geminicalli at yahoo dot com

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  66. I also follow you via twitter as @freefragments.
    geminicalli at yahoo dot com

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  67. Hello! Okay, I am obsessed with your orange and pink outfit.. adorable! Love this blog.

    I am following on Google!

    sprinkleyourbliss@gmail.com

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  68. I am following you on twitter!

    @sprinklebliss :)

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  69. Happy Blogiversary!! Follow on GFC & Twitter.

    Tinatre at MSN dot com

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  70. Follow on GFC

    charity/cc

    ccboobooy at gmail dot com

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  71. Wow, I am utterly impressed & inspired! I moved to Dallas 11 years ago & wish I had an ounce of your hutzpah. You have accomplised so much in just one short year. I love your story, thank you for sharing. My resolve is to become just as much a dream chaser, with many fulfilled aspirations within 2012.

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I love my readers! Comments are welcomed and appreciated.