Guest Post: Shades of Gray

Happy Monday! Today I have one of my favorite bloggers, Amira, guest posting for me today! I absolutely LOVED this post and I know you will too. Make sure to go to the website she provided, it's amazing. Andddd check out Amira's blog, I know you will become an instant follower :)


Hello gorgeous readers of Hollie Takes Notes!
I'm Amira from Shades of Gray
and I am taking over Hollie's blog for the day while she's in NYC
{lucky girl.}
With summer quickly approaching,
the thought of getting into a bikini anytime soon is frightening.
Months of hibernation have not left me feeling my best.
And while I definitely want to make healthier food choices
and get off my butt and exercise more often
I often think about how hard women are on themselves
when it comes to their bodies and the way they look.
{But mostly their bodies.}
I blame society for that.
I heard a statistic once that the models on tv
represent only 3% of the women in this world with the same body type.
This means that 97% of us will never look like the images
of the women we are bombarded with daily
in movies, tv, and magazines.
97% will feel like they've fallen short.
And that makes me sad.

In a college course we watched the documentary
{If you have 4 minutes, watch this clip.}

A friend of mine on Facebook shared the link to this really great project:
You get to choose your dimensions:
height, weight, shirt size and shape,
and see real photographs of women
with the same measurements. 

This might help to put into perspective what you actually look like
{and not what you picture in your head}
And if you're brave enough,
maybe you'll post your own.

I think curves are beautiful
and I want to feel more comfortable with mine!


Vacation here I come!

Welp! Today I am off to NYC for a vacation with the boyfriend!! I'll be back in America's Finest City on Tuesday! Make sure to stop by next week though I have some fabulous guest posts for you all :)

In honor of my trip to NYC, I thought I'd let you all know what you won't see this trip. I've been to NYC about five or six times so I've done a lot of the tourist stuff. I've also had those crazy girl trips. You won't see me taking pictures with random people. That doesn't fly when you're 25. And you won't see me drinking gross mixed drinks. I'd like to think my drink tastes are a little more refined these days ;)

RIP Fire department pictures...and RIP bright blonde hair...ick!

RIP pictures with guy who had a butcher knife fall out of his pocket on the subway.

RIP taking pictures of my friend's not-so beautiful feet next to the words "beautiful feet."

RIP making this face....okay actually...not yet ;)

RIP learning how to dance from security looking characters.

RIP Police department pictures.

RIP pictures with guys with braids.

RIP driving around bicycles...and the people that normally drive them.

Yeah, yeah, this is fun but...

I'm pretty sure this might be the best trip yet! :)

FYI~I'm guest posting about my trip to Hawaii over at Messy Dirty Hair Sunday! 

Have a great weekend!


There's something sweet about a lady-like lace dress. But with the popularity of Mad Men (love the concept but I watched a few episodes and found it kind of boring) and the general concensus of going back to a more simple time, wearing an old-fashioned but updated style this is stylish and fashionable. I'd love a dress like this for a summer day party or even a nice dinner.

What do you think?
all image credits can be found here

Wednesday Friends.

Meet Some Wednesday Friends!

Danielle and I are the coolest people ever because we both take notes ;) HAR HAR. Excuse my cheesiness. But really, Danielle is gorgeous and her blog is filled with fabulous pictures and great stories. Make sure to go say hi! She has something for everyone to enjoy :)

Hello Hollie Takes Notes readers! I'm Danielle, a former West Virginian who now resides in Seattle. I packed up my things and switched coasts to take a chance at love with some random dude....just kidding. Seriously though, I moved to Washington State to be with my boyfriend who is now my fiance! In the past 8 months not only have I changed coasts but I've also gotten my first "big girl" job, moved into a charming little lake house, bought the cutest Golden Retriever puppy ever named Huckleberry, got engaged, and just recently bought a new home! Needless to say, these last 8 months have been quite busy. My life is far from perfect, but it's the small things that make this journey so worthwhile --and that's usually what I blog about. I hope you'll join me in my adventure at Taking Notes...Coast to Coastwhere you'll be sure to read about wedding plans, DIY projects, the occasional recipe, and (of course) my adorable pup, Huck! ALSO, Hollie and I both have the phrase "taking notes" in our blog's names. Just throwing that out there...

Laura is a shop owner who sells vintage finds and pieces that are truly one of a kind. I feel like these days you really see a lot of the same old same old on Etsy...but not with Montana Snow Vintage. If you're looking for something special to add to your wardrobe or even your home go browse her shop. I promise you won't be disappointed!

hello, i'm laura - a wife , mom to two handsome boys , vintage lover , sucker for chihuahuas and a vintage shop owner. i run two amazing vintage shops on etsy - montanasnowvintage (clothing and accessories) and montanasnowvintage2 (for the home). come on in visit , relax and enjoy my shops!

This one claimed she didn't know what to write about her blog even though I've been hounding her for the past two months to send me something. And a picture. Last night she gave me the liberty to write whatever and pick whatever picture off her facebook. So I picked the one that reminded me the most of her personality. This is my homie g, Lauren.

Lauren is not your typical young mom/lifestyle adventures/baking another bun in the oven blog. She's HILARIOUS, genuine, sweet,...and oh, she dresses her kid to the nines. Her little one, B, has more Toms shoes than anyone probably even the CEO, the cutest rompers, and pretty much a better wardrobe than me. Lauren can make the most seemingly mundane things interesting and fun to read. It doesn't matter what she posts about it's ALWAYS a good time. And to be honest, that's truly the best kind of writer! One that can make you relate no matter the topic. She's a dear friend of mine so check her out!

Enjoy your day friends! 

Livin in California

Blogger deleted? (booo!) my original post today so I thought it'd be fun to share this post I wrote for Meg awhile back. Both Meg and I live in sunny old California! It's absolutely lovely but there are definitely some serious culture quirks about those of us who live here.

I thought it'd be fun to show you all just exactly what it means to live here ;)

We dress like this when it's 55 degrees outside:

We sit through this most days:

At some point we ALL will say the words:


We treasure this:

(Yes, this is food! It's called "Mexican")

We can't get away with being this pale:

 My feet may be sparkling they're so pale. I promise I'm not a vampire.

We complain on Facebook when it rains:

We generally try to show the rest of the country we don't all act like the celebrities and reality stars you see on television that live in Hollywood. Some of us don't spend every waking hour trying to change our status solely by how others perceive us. (Some of us actually call it Hollyweird.) Instead, most of us are just trying to be happy. Happy with how we live, happy with who we are, and happy with the unknown of the future. But aren't we all?

What does it mean to live in your state?

A Lovely Little Giveaway

Happy Monday friends!

I had the laziest most beer infested weekend ever.  It was great. I basically went to breweries, watched half a season of Homeland, ate good food, watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones and napped...A LOT.

It was an epic weekend to say the least.


I've got an amazing giveaway to make Monday a good one...

Want to win an ad space for the month of May over at Lovely Little Things? 

Here's where you think to yourself  "oh heck yes!"

I knew you'd want to ;)

Jess is wonderful and I'm mildly obsessed with her blog.

Okay mildly is an under statement.

Today she's giving away an ad space on my blog!

And I'm giving away an ad space on my blog for the month of May over at her blog :)


You only have to enter on one of our page's to be entered for both!

Easy peasy :)

The giveaway will run til Thursday night with the winners announced Friday April 28th! :)

Enter here (click read more in yellow!):

Friday's Letters


Dear Schedule-I'm starting to get a little anxiety about the amount of projects I HAVE to do and still do all of the things I WANT to do like get my hair done, work out, cough pretty little liars cough. I like me time with my discipline, OKAY!? The beginning of the week was so peaceful doing whatever I pleased after work. Looks like that time is OVER.

Dear Shopping Freeze-It's been 10 days since I've purchased anything that falls into the clothing or accessories category. I'm not a full on spending freeze just a shopping halt. It's actually been nice just having everything I need. Living a simple life is a happy life.

Dear Pilates-You REALLY kicked my ass on Monday! I am so out of shape. We will be doing this again soon.

Dear Beach-You and I are meeting up this weekend. It's going to be amazing to feel the sun on parts of my body that haven't seen the light of day in forever.

Dear Yogurtland-I'm gonna go ahead and say I've mastered the perfect yogurt/topping concoction.

Dear Emma Stone-I REALLY want your newest strawberry blonde hair.

Dear Blog Readers (Friends)-Thank you for putting a smile on my face almost every day. I can't imagine not blogging and not doing so in such a wonderful positive environment. I have some exciting stuff in store for you all in the next few weeks!!

Dear Callie- You won the ombre nail polish giveaway! Email me lady! :)

LOTW #1.


Because every blog outfit post needs an acronym.

(Look Of The Week)

I love this look. Mostly because I feel like everyone has something similar in their closet and can easily recreate this look. It's definitely a reinvention of pieces she already has and that's what I'm all about right now on my shopping freeze. The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is those overly shiny bangles. Am I alone with that?

 Printed top? Check. Cozy knit loose sweater? Check. Belt? Check. Skinny jeans? Check. Okay, except not everyone has a Gucci clutch ;)

Can you recreate something similar?

Wednesday Friends

It's hump day! Or "the day before Thursday which is the day before Friday" as I like to call it ;)

I've got some lovely blogs for you to check out today! Who doesn't want to make a new friend on hump day?

Wait...that sounded weird....

Meet Alli. She's one of the sweetest bloggers out there, I'm sure of it. And she takes really fabulous pictures which I am totally jealous of. Her pictures really do tell a thousand words. I promise she's a great blog friend to have!

Hey sweet blog friends, my name is Alli and I blog over at Life on LeRoy.  I live in Wisconsin with my sweet, energetic 2-year old, Dayton, and my handsome, amazing husband, Tony. We enjoy the simple things in life like snuggling, taking long walks, having random dance parties in our living room and tickle fights.  On my blog you'll find updates on our life, recipes, DIY's, photography and a "week in photos" link up party every Friday!! Stop by and say hello, I would LOVE to meet you!

Next up is the lovely Marissa who has the greatest pin collection of home decor, delicious food, and other beautiful things. You can count on her to share some of these ideas each week too! You definitely don't want to miss out on what blogs about!

Hi everyone! I'm Marissa & I blog over at Everyday Lounge Act. I am a wife, mother, & student @ Boise State University. I'm a big fan of home decor, DIY, crafts, fashion, beauty, cooking, travel & photography. You'll find all of it organized on my Pinterest page which is my second addiction. My first is sweet tea. I started blogging as a way to express what's happening in my life & have an outlet where my creative energy can run wild! I also want to help other blogs & businesses get their voice heard. I love cats & vicariously adopt them through some of my blogger friends. I've been truly blessed to have met some inspiring young women through blogging & I hope you will join me on this amazing journey through life!

Last but not least is Natalie. She's really is an open book blog. When I read her blog, I feel like I'm reading an honest diary. She's such a pleasure to have in the blogging world, no doubt about it. Her blog is like having a cup of coffee with your best friend.

Hello Lovely Ladies!  I'm Natalie and I blog at Adventures as Mrs. Janney.  I started blogging as a way to capture some of the crazy and HILARIOUS things that seem to happen to me in my newlywed life.  Like seeing a motorcycle dog or being harrassed at the hair salon.  Things were champagne and roses in our newlywed bliss until life decided to smack us with the reality stick.  Within a little over a year, we found out my father-in-law has Liver Cancer, my husband and I are fertilly challenged, and I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.  But we are still doing our best to be positive.  Now some of my posts have a little more medical flair, like picking out underwear for the doctor.  And being sick really really helps put marriage into perspective.  One thing is for sure, this isn't your typical newlywed blog.

Ten Things You Probably Don't Care About

1. I pretty much am obsessed with the teacher on Pretty Little Liars. Google him. Hubba hubba.
Source: via Clyde on Pinterest

2. I haven't worked out besides the occasional hike in......oh yes...get ready for a year. Last night I went to a machine pilates class for abs and the buttox region. I had a groupon. I'm pretty sure I was laughing the whole time so I wouldn't get mad at myself for my shaking body. The rest of the class probably didn't appreciate my hysterics. But they'd better get used to it...I'm coming back ;)

3. By writing this in a blog post, it will make me more accountable. I'm BRINGING my lunch the rest of the week. (This is a big deal for me.)

4. It looks like we're finally going to have a warm and sunny weekend! I'm hoping for a laid back beach day with my manfriend!

5. Last week I convinced myself I needed a face peel for my mild-ish adult acne. Homegirl said it would just be flakey. My face has been peeling for three days. YAY. I bought SPF 70 for my face. Never thought that would happen.

6. Blueberries need to go into mass production so they aren't $5 for a small case that I eat in five minutes.

7. Newcastle beer is delicious.
Source: via Lindsay on Pinterest

8. Apparently my bathroom is "where yankee candles go to die" (credit: Jeff) since all of the candles that are almost burnt out sit in there eternally.

9. I recently realized I don't own an iron. So I bought a handheld steamer. More on this later.

10. I really want to get some southwestern plants for my room & kitchen! Anyone know where to find them inexpensively? I want to get a few!

Weekend Photos.

This sums up my Sunday:

And now for my weekend in pictures:

I flew in a four seater plane from San Diego to Catalina Island for the day with my bf, his sister, and her bf who just got his pilot's license. I've always been a careful goody little two shoes but in the past year I've been trying new things...Snorkeling (I'm scared of fish?), Zip lining, and now flying in a small plane. It was such an easy flight and I got to experience a whole new view of my city. It was such a great opportunity and a great weekend.

How was your weekend?