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Chloe & Isabel Boutique

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High Five For Friday

I'm linking-up for my first High Five For Friday with The Lauren Elizabeth!
The week sure has treated me well, so it wasn't too difficult to choose my favorites.
1. I love being poolside. The weather was gorgeous the first few days of the week so I couldn't pass up an opportunity to soak up some rays.
2. BBQ! I don't know what I love more... BBQ or being poolside...
3. Quality time with my handsome man! Being gone for three weeks (and knowing it would take me 15 hours to get home) sure makes a girl anxious to see her hubby. Thankfully, his work schedule has been pretty great, so we've spent every minute we can together.
4. Blogging. I have more time to plan and share.
5. Spoiling my baby girl. I can't deny that I am probably one of those crazy animal moms.
Next week, I've promised myself to be pick it up a bit. Updating syllabi, reading academic journals and new texts, and designing- all these are on my to-do list. Good thing we have technology that allows me to check off my tasks while still enjoying the summer weather! So, next week's HFFF might be a little different...

Summer Lovin' - Accessory Style

It doesn't get much better than summer style- skin baring tops and bottoms, breezy dresses, sandals, and bright prints.
But, we all need to beat the heat and can't forget about pool lounging must haves.
Hat: Anthropologie
Essie: Neon Collection
I'm blessed to enjoy part of summer poolside. But, after about 40 minutes of relaxation and sun rays, I need advanced sun protection. Hats are a must for me! Thankfully my husband adores me in hats. This hat from Anthro is a nice mid-size floppy. And let's not forget those nails. Essie's neon collection is perfect for summer time.
I have developed a bit of an obsession with sunglasses, Coach sunglasses that is. I've always had a difficult time finding well-fitting glasses but that seems to be solved with Coach! Every pair fits my face perfectly and the hints of color and sparkle are just what a girl needs.
While I love tech toys, what girl doesn't need a notepad/journal? I love writing and still jot notes down with a pen. These tech/paper products from Rifle Paper Company are perfect summer staples.
So, the next time I'm poolside, you'll see me with all of the above!


Birthday Finale

The birthday boy is back to his usual ways, watching his military television shows, drinking coffee, and aggravating Princess. Our birthday weekend celebration concludes today.  
We considered venturing to Charlotte for the weekend, but decided to keep close to home. I don't think our baby girl was up for me leaving her overnight so soon after being gone for three weeks. We headed to Knoxville for a day trip Saturday. Those that know my husband know that he has a "thing" for Oakley sunglasses. So, naturally, his birthday was the perfect opportunity to pick up a new pair.
 We L.O.V.E. to eat (well)! Travis is a sushi fan but I'm not. He's the birthday boy though so we headed to Nama for him, then made our way to Soccer Taco for me (and dessert for us both).
Market Square is the place to be in Knoxville.
Sunday was a beauty and we weren't about to let it pass by without enjoying it. We headed to the local aquatic center which suited us both well as it has outdoor and indoor swimming areas. I burn easily (as you can probably tell) so indoor breaks are nice reliefs for me.
Now to today, which was very low-key. To close out his break, we made our way for the best BBQ anyone will EVER eat.
We took our time leaving... We were both so full that movement didn't come easy.
Back to our shopping day: I couldn't pass up an opportunity to pick up something new for me! You won't believe it though... I only bought a few things, including major sale finds: a J. Crew skirt for $24, Gap tee for $10 and earrings from Banana Republic. Here's a peek at my gifts.

A Birthday (PRELIM) Celebration

Today marks the official first day of summer! Woo hoo! It certainly felt like summer today and now we're enjoying a nice thunderstorm to close it out.
But, today is more than a seasonal event in the Fannon household. Today is my handsome hubby's last birthday in his twenties. I can't believe he'll hit the big 3-0 next year!
The birthday boy is partied out for the day, already asleep with his princess by his side. His sleep schedule is a little off at the moment, so we won't give him too much of a hard time. With that in mind, today was low-key. Breakfast made by me, cards from me, his grandparents, and Essie, followed by lunch at one of his favorite restaurants and a movie. I was shocked when he said he wanted to see World War Z as it seemed to be sci-fi, which he is not a fan of. Well, he didn't like the movie so much, but I did! Afterward, he was treated to a peanut butter/chocolate cupcake with accompanying candle.
More shenanigans are to come for the birthday celebration! Today was just the prelim!
I loved another excuse to dress up a little bit!
Dress: Dillards (Gianni Binni) sold out online
Shoes: TOMS
Necklace: Anthropologie
Shades: Coach

Enjoying his complimentary sundae!
 Essie helping her daddy blow out his candle.

Brights, Peplum & Floral... Oh, My!

Today is a gorgeous one here in Northeast Tennessee! The rain and wind surely made their presence felt a few days ago, but thankfully today couldn't be prettier.
I decided it was time I get back in my routine. You know, the one I was accustomed to just last month. I'm so fortunate to have summers off, but (with the approval of my department) I like to teach a summer course or two. Even with that, my summer schedule is... well, pretty awesome!
But, I treated today like a "regular" work day. Up early (ok, earlier than the last few weeks), hair styled, makeup, and off to the office to catch up on a few things. My fave compliment of the day: "You look way too pretty for summer." Oh so a college instructor comment. : ) Our summer attire is a little more laxed.
I picked up a few things the other day and couldn't wait to wear them. Naturally, I chose today!
What more could a girl ask for? A pop of color, a peplum skirt, and floral! I went light on the jewelry.

Blouse: Express (not available online)
Skirt: Serendipity Boutique (Karlie). Get it soon! Only $43!
Shoes: Dillards (Gianni Binni)
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet: Serendipity Boutique
Necklace: Dillards
Earrings: Express
I also used the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette and my new MAC lipstick in Retro.

I must say... my shopping days just aren't the same... I sure miss seeing the always sweet and stylish Emily from at the boutique.
xo, Megan


Spike It Up

As I wandered the mall the other day, I was shocked to see "Season Clearance" signs bombarding shoppers. This gal loves a sale, but when I learned the mall's version of "season" meant summer (and it's not even officially summer yet!), I was speechless. Large boxes covered Belk floors and those boxes were bursting with fall clothing and shoes waiting to be put on the racks and shelves. Gone are the bright and bold colors and patterns of summer... In their place hang neutrals and animal prints with hints of neon colors.

I'm in NO hurry for cooler temps to come our way. I need days by the pool and evenings on the patio grilling and relaxing. But, I am pleased to see brightness peeking out in fall clothing. More so, studs and spikes are still going strong and even more prominent in "next" season's lineup. It took me some time to come around to the accents, but now I am head over heels in love. Recent perusing of my fave shopping sites has me drooling over adornments in shoe trends!

My heart longs for these to make their way into my closet! As tempting as it is to click the purchase button, in about one month these babies will go on sale... CHA CHING! I will certainly share photos with outfits once they've made the trip to Northeast Tennessee!

2. Gianni Binni (Dillards). Also available in black.
3. Gianni Binni (Dillards). Also available in black.
4. Gianni Binni (Dillards). Also available in sander.
What do you think? The BCBG pair is a MUST! Which other pair can't I pass up on? There are plenty other studded/printed options, unfortunately my 5'11" height puts me at a disadvantage to wear 5" heels...

A Simple Kind of Life

I'm slowly adjusting to being home, and by slowly, I mean turtle-style. I feel like I'm in slow motion when it comes to basically everything: showering, walking, talking, reading... I don't think I've ever been "rushed' as much as I was while in Dubai. And you know what's sad? As fast as I felt like I was going while there, I was almost always bringing up the rear of our group.

The time change took a toll on me. The first few days back in good ole' Northeast Tennessee, I was in bed no later than 5pm and sound asleep shortly after. Yesterday was a breakthrough; I actually stayed awake until after 7pm. : )

I had plans of getting out of the house today, making a visit to the office, catching up on errands, and maybe shop a bit. But, my couch is quite comfortable and little Essie seemed to need her mommy. So, I decided to make today my last day to re-charge before facing the world again. I did shower, but that's the extent of my activities for the day. No makeup and my hair air-dried, I have sat/laid on the couch catching up on missed tv show episodes, watched several Lifetime movies, and updated wish lists on my fave shopping sites. I MAY have done a little online shopping...

I've enjoyed not being in crowds of people standing back-to-back (not shoulder-to-shoulder), rushing to catch the metro, walking what seems like miles in shopping malls just to find stores I can actually afford, and more walking to and from the metro. Don't get me wrong, my experience was incredible, but I am definitely a slower-paced chick and need downtime. However, I think today's downtime takes it to a new level... Oh well!

I prefer a simple kind of life. There were moments while in Dubai that I reflected on my career path and my purpose. I have the knowledge, skills, personality, and degrees for a corporate career, and a high paying one at that. But I couldn't be happier to be me, the young woman who prefers to share evenings and weekends with my husband and family and not my computer, the one who might inspire another to find his/her dream and the courage to pursue it, and the energetic gal who prefers horse playing in grass fields instead of entertaining clients.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with ANYONE living the corporate life. I thought I wanted that and was preparing for that for some time. But, we're all meant for a purpose and I'm blessed to have found mine! So, here I sit on my sectional with my perfect husband, precious baby, and parents only an hour drive away, living a simple kind of life.  My jewelry armoire may be filled with J. Crew Factory instead of J. Crew, but that's fine by me!

The Experience of a Lifetime

Home Sweet Home! There's no place like home, where everything has its place and comfort surrounds me.

After a 15 hour delay from Dubai to Atlanta, a late connection home, and the WORST flight ever, I am so thankful to be in my home updating my blog!

Here's what we did the last week of our trip.

Sunday, the students met with a digital media company, Blue Barracuda. This was an exceptional meeting and we all made a valuable connection. That evening and night, the students were hard at it preparing and putting the finishing touches on their PR campaign for Astro Complex, a realty and shopping complex in Saudi Arabia.

The next day, it was show time! Running on little sleep but a lot of adrenaline, the students nailed the presentation. I couldn't be more proud of their work! That evening, we headed to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Of course, we went on the haziest day of our entire trip, but it was still an amazing experience!

Monday officially marked the end of coursework, so Tuesday and Wednesday were free days! What happens when seven gals have a free day? Shopping, of course! And, oh did we shop! I must say that I am proud of myself as I devoted much of my spending money for gifts for my family. All I really wanted was local-made jewelry. Well, if you know anything about Dubai then you know the wealth has no cap, so "handmade" doesn't really exist... I did, however, find pieces that remind me of the culture.

That evening, a few of the students and I made our way to Festival City and dined at Hard Rock Café. That night goes down as one of the best nights in Dubai! I LOVE music and that night the restaurant featured a local band. We sang, laughed, and even had our own dance party. This gal can still keep up with the youngins'.
The last full day in Dubai we spent at the beach, soaking in the warm rays and enjoying the ocean water. That night we all decided to head to Hard Rock Café for our final dinner in Dubai. We were so looking forward to music, laughter, and good food. We got the good food, but all else was a no go. It was a holiday and music wasn't allowed. So to liven things up, a few of us headed to the carnival at Festival City. Dylan and Michelle rode the slingshot, which certainly was a funny sight!


Thursday morning came quickly, but I felt a new energy as I awaited our departure from our home for three weeks to the airport. Then, bad news came our way. Our flight was delayed. Not once, twice, three times... I lost count after a while, but we finally boarded for the states Friday morning. It was a humbling experience as we realized most on our flight were military and hadn't been home in over a year. Our complaining quickly diminished...
At 11:10pm, I walked hastily from our gate in Tri-Cities Airport to the lobby. My haste steadily turned into a slight run as I finally saw my husband's sweet, smiling face. There's no better feeling than his embrace after being apart for three weeks. It's nice to see his face across from me at dinner again.
And, I can't forget my baby girl. She has loved on me more than ever!

Now that I've updated you on my trip, here are few "lessons learned" from my experience:
1. Don't forget your curling iron! These are a rarity in Dubai and if you do find one, it will cost you over $100. Thankfully, I borrowed one.
2. A large, carry all tote is a BAD idea. I thought I was being smart by carrying a large tote so that I would have everything I need. What I didn't consider was how much walking and standing (on the metro) I would do. So, as you can imagine, the weight of this tote was a little much to handle sometimes.
3. Bring snacks. All who know me know that I pretty much stay hungry. So, I did bring some snacks. Unfortunately, not enough and while American brands can be found, food items were often expired.
4. Lastly, a camcorder is a must! Had we filmed this experience, I think we would have a deal with MTV by now. Oh the things students say and do...
Thanks for following me on this chapter! I shall now return to normalcy. 


One "Hot Mess" of a Trip

The past few days have been go, go, go. Along with that comes fatigue and apparently my students' fatigue manifests as pure hilarity. I've had many days where I laugh so much that my face hurts. The amount of laughter is beyond that point now; I am pretty sure my face is frozen with a smile. The best way to sum up the past few days is by saying what my students say: "one hot mess!" Emphasis on hot... : )

Let me catch you up.

On Thursday, the students once again met with their client for a mid-point review. That night, we dined at her home with her family in their picture-perfect home.
Student, Kraig (AKA the entertainer)

Students, Logan, Tina, and Marcus enjoying their night.

 Students, Hillary and Chloe
It seems as though we keep having these "best experience so far" moments and Friday was no exception. We boarded a boat for a traditional Dhow Dinner Cruise. What happens when nine students and two instructors are on a boat for two hours with a buffet, entertainment and some unusual performances? One hot mess! To fill you in, our night included the ladies being twirled and performers in horse costumes...  The laughter was endless... We were definitely that table all other guests stared at...
Before we even made it to the boat. The good times had already started!
Don't we look good? hehe 
The night went downhill (in terms of uncontrollable laughter) after this performance.
These two (Kraig and Dylan)... so funny!

Today, we made our way to the fabulous city of Abu Dhabi. We toured Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, and a historical village with an incredible view.


Okay. So you are probably wondering why I have a picture of myself in a bathroom. This is not just any bathroom. The fixtures are PURE GOLD! Exquisite!