A List for Fall

It's still in the 80's here. And supposedly low 90's next week. Global warming is REAL!

I'm pining over fall. I just absolutely can't wait for the weather to drop.

I've seen a few fall to-do lists around the blogosphere (i.e. this one and this one) and they're adorable. Since I keep my notepad app stocked with lists that I put lightning bolts as check marks by every day,  I felt this opportunity was one I just couldn't pass up.

Eat apple pie.

Light my yankee candles.

Buy this mint scarf I've been eyeing.

Buy the new mumford & sons cd!

Go to a chargers game.

Put up my gallery wall in my new room.

Sit by the fire and make smores.

Take pictures outside when the leaves are changing.

Make tortilla soup and grilled cheese.

Go wine tasting.

See Carrie Underwood in concert. Again.

Finally make those blog changes I've been wanting to do for the past six months. I've started some design changes but expect the changes to keep comin. Hollie Takes Notes is going bye-bye (the name, not me!!!)

What's on your fall to-do list!?

Friday Faves: Favorite posts of the week.

This post on multimedia dressing.
This fall wishlist post.
This cute link up idea.
This recipe is a must try.

You Know You're Old When...

Situations like these don't occur anymore on the reg.



Aren't you glad we're friends?

I Finally Realized I'm a Beer Snob

Over the weekend we went to the San Diego Festival of Beers to celebrate my best friend's birthday.
It's an annual event in downtown San Diego right by the Hall of Justice and all the bail bonds places...convenient right?
You get ten four ounce tasters and your choice of a ton of beer and breweries.
This was my third time attending this festival.
The first time I finished all my tasters.
The first time I had already tried more than half of the breweries.
The first time I realize "oh no! my tolerance has gone up!"
The first time I realized I'm a giant beer snob.

The 97658768th time our car almost got locked in a parking garage over night.
The first time I paid $4 a fellow taster for a blow up crown for the birthday girl.
The 57856745098th time I finished half a gigantic bag of kettle corn.
My first time eating at a food truck called "The Gooch". Say what? I had pizza egg rolls. Nom.
The last time I pay $42.50 to taste beers I taste every month anyways #beersnob.

To fellow beer lovers, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat is upon us!
Try it, you won't be sorry! It's lightweight and fruity :)

What beers do you like?

ps-I'm making some blog changes around these parts the next few weeks so excuse the mess :)

Twenty Off!

Happy Monday! :)
There are still some advertising spots open for October!
+847 followers friends via GFC
+1077 followers on twitter ((@itsmehollieann))
+339 followers on Instagram ((holliegolightly))
+3-5 new posts per week
+25,000+ pageviews for the month of August and increasing each month!
October is going to be a great month to sponsor because:
+first group giveaway (anyone can join!)
+new blog name
+new layout/blog design
+sponsoring 3-5 blogs which will in turn increase traffic to those who sponsor
+project inspire link up is happening
I'd love to have you!
Want to participate in the group giveaway? Email me @ hollietakesnotes.blogspot.com
Have a great day :)

The Number One Thing You Need For Fall.

If you buy one item for fall it should be a neutral colored bold statement necklace!
It will go with almost everything and update almost any outfit.
I'm a firm believer you can update basics you have with accessories.
I've had this dress for two years and it feels new with a necklace.
Here's five ways to wear it.
1. White t-shirt, cuffed jeans, and fun flats or ankle boots.
2. Over a long sleeved dress, tights, and boots.
3. To work with a tank and a blazer.
4. Over a knit crewneck sweater and skinny jeans. Update your cozy cabin look!
5. An off the shoulder tunic and leggings.
How do you wear statement necklaces?

I believe

I believe in a side of ranch for almost every food group.
I believe in ride karma. Yes, I will take you to the airport.
I believe in surprises big and small.
I believe in yelling at the tv during sporting events.
I believe in having role models.
I believe in "good morning" texts.
I believe in trying new things even when they're scary (except foods).
I believe in a good pedicure from time to time.
I believe in choosing to be happy.
I believe in paying for car washes.

I believe in saying I'm sorry.
I believe girlfriend talks are irreplacable.
I believe in calling some Forever 21 shirts "too expensive" but spending twice the amount at Nordstrom.
I believe in the power of a hug.

I believe in traveling.
I believe in baking cookies as often as I want.

I believe in nice guys (they don't finish last in my book).
I believe in texting someone again if they don't answer.

I believe in the power of makeup.

I believe in making an effort.

I believe in unicorns. ;)

Linking up with Living In Yellow today!


I'm a name nerd.
(Hangs head in shame)

Maybe it started when I wanted to change my name to "Crystal" in elementary school.
I thought it was pretty. Shiny. Princesses sure do know about crystals.
I told my mom I absolutely would legally changing my name to Crystal when I was 18.
Seeing as this blog name isn't Crystal Takes Notes, I didn't do it.

After watching too much Breaking Bad, I'm really glad my name isn't Crystal...


Every book I read with a character who represented their name in every thought and in every action, I adored.
A girl named Sawyer? Who was strong and soft at the same time?
I fell in love with that name once upon a time.
I suddenly wanted to know meanings of names.
The reasons why I liked that name.
How people embody and change a name's perception for you.
The social aspect and interpretation of a name.

It's not my fault I'm a name nerd.
I blame it on the literary geniuses and not so geniuses of their own times.

I used to love the name Christian.

Fifty Shades of Grey has ruined that.
That name now represents...well...lets not go there.

Good book or bad book if a character has impact I ponder their name with their story.

A few years ago I came across the website Nameberry.
It's a blog all about name popularity, meaning, and feeling.
Which means I spend too much time on there.

However, there's definitely some wackos on there.
People's who have lives that are over because the name they picked for their child is "on the rise".
People are P-O-ed that Twilight brought the name Jacob to the top of the baby names list.
I think it's awesome!
Those who want to spell their child's name Genyfur or Mykuhl.
As a HollIE, I feel their future child's pain. (Kidding! Kind of...)

What names do you love or hate?

Sign up to card swap! (Project Inspire)

I am so excited for today! 
Chelsea from Life is a Sunset and I have been brainstorming on a fun mail swap for the past few weeks and today is the day I can finally announce all of the details to you!

I love getting mail. Cards, magazines, packages of Reeses...I mean...anything (except jury duty, IRS audits, and bills...and I've gotten all three in the past three months)! I've participated in blogger swaps before and have had so much fun! It's a blast getting to know another blogger and surprising someone! 

The only downside is the money coming out of my bank account. With Christmas around the corner (yes, really!) I know it's hard for some of us to let go of $20-$30 even for something so fun. So in lieu of a specific gift swap, Chelsea and I decided to do a CARD snail mail swap! 

The catch? 
You must write something inspirational inside. That's it.

So, what kind of card?

Buy a card? Sure!
Hand make a fancy card? Sure!

This swap should cost you less than $5. In fact, if you want it could cost you the price of a stamp. 
What's inside the card is priceless though! Pass forward your own motivations and inspire someone else :)

Hollie Takes Notes

Some ideas I have are...
Inspirational quotes
A time you overcame an obstacle
A positive lesson learned
A kind word

Be creative, make your card unique...like you! :)

And now for the logistics...

*Please sign up once on either Chelsea or my blog as it will show up in BOTH places!

Serious inquiries only ;)

True Life: I clicked the wrong email address.

A picture tells a thousand words, right?
How about a thousand words that you don't want?
Yeah, this picture probably does JUST ABOUT THAT.
The other day I was going through my facebook pictures and found this little gem of myself and a friend from a few years ago.
We went to Vegas for spring break with another girl and got a hotel room at the Palms.
The first night we get there we built our own "luxury" jacuzzi in our tiny bathtub in our room.
We get in our bathing suits, make cocktails, and pretend like we're big leaguers.
It was us three girls. ONLY.
((Might I add after this we took pictures jumping on the bed. Harmless things 12 22 year olds do.))
Anyhow, I melted when I saw it, saved the picture and quickly clicked email so I can send to my friend.
I "quickly" sent it to the wrong person.
A person I had been emailing about selling something on Craiglist.
Can we talk about how creepy this email is?
Hi, I'm not a prostitute. Promise.
What does this picture tell you???
On another note, I want to give the girl with me in this picture a little shout out.
We've been bestbestbestbest friends, regular friends, good friends, friends that don't talk much, and friends that would drop everything for eachother. The past ten years we've always been friends no matter what kind of "friends" that is. Thank you for listening to every thought that's crossed my mind lately from everything absolutely mundane like I'm tired to friends that aren't there anymore to advice on my boyfriends birthday present. You're a gem and since you're probably the only one of my "real life" friends who frequents my blog you deserve a little hello & I love you :)

Next Friday....Wait this Friday.


Dear This Weekend, HOLY HOTNESS! San Diego is finally catching up to the rest of y'alls summer. It's 108 today and tomorrow does NOT look any better.

Dear Next Week, I am pumped for you. I'm going to see TWO plays and a beer festival for my best friend's birthday. How did you all end up in the same week!?

Dear People Saying "You Look Tired Today", Don't you know that is not polite? And I thought I was doing a fabulous job managing my time this week. Oh and I got eight hours of sleep last night....

Dear Sunflower Seeds, Apparently I'm not digesting you...if you know what I'm saying. ;) (People can blog about placenta but I can't blog about sunflower seeds? Come on people ;) haha)

Dear Fashion Bloggers I Followed On Instagram During Fashion Week, BIG mistake on my part. Don't make me want to shop, PLEASE. Please use this post as your official notice of eviction from my instagram newsfeed. Regretfully, Hollie.

Dear Readers, There's a snail mail card swap signup happening on this blog on Tuesday! Have a fabulous weekend and can't wait to read all about it Monday!

Blogging Secrets with And Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

Megan has one of those blogs that is so honest and well written that you want to just reach through the computer and give her a hug for helping you just by being herself. She's never afraid to put everything out there on the table even if it's real. I love that she is absolutely herself and she will inspire you to think differently about your own life. Seriously! It's a pleasure to have her here today. Make sure to go say hi here after you read her interview :)

What do you blog about?

I guess my blog is a little bit of everything. But I think everyone says that maybe? ha. So to be more specific, my blog is about my life as a wife, mother, dreamer, and an insecure, anxiety-ridden woman [which, what woman isn't a little insecure and filled with some kind of anxiety?]. Basically, it's about my real life, all the ups and downs and the lessons I {try} to learn from it. I like to share my stories in hopes that I can not only look back and remember something that has happened, but also to be able to relate to and inspire other women who may be looking for some much needed support. I believe we all have something to share that will uplift and encourage others. It doesn't have to be anything huge, just your perspective. That's what I hope to do with my blog!

Why did you start blogging?
I initially started blogging {like most people} to keep my family and friends updated with my life. I'm not good with journal keeping or family update emails. So blogging was the easier way to stay in touch and show my family that I was actually being safe & responsible in college. :) After I had my son, I started to really struggle emotionally with all that was going on in my life. I felt really alone and didn't really know what to do. So I started reaching out to others and realized there were a lot of other women who have felt the exact same way. I thought how silly it was that so many of us were struggling yet no one seemed to be talking about it. I decided I wanted to change that and started blogging my story. I wanted to be open and honest about every part of my life. It has been an absolutely amazing journey and I have met so many awesome & inspiring people along the way. I have seriously loved every minute of it! 

What's something your readers know about you?
Hm... good or bad? I'm probably a little afraid of what they know haha. They know that I have a crazy, cute little boy named Elijah who I absolutely love but also drives me up the wal. They also know that I am married to my husband Adam who just started dental school and we basically have the most perfect marriage. {Not! That was sarcasm. I am definitely very open that our marriage goes through ups and downs like any normal couple}. What I hope they know is that I am the same person on and off the blog and that I really do care. I hope they know that I will always be honest and I will always be myself. And I hope they know that even if I had a bad day, I am always learning and progressing {and I hope I don't scare them off :)}. 

Describe your personal style in five words. 
[can it be six?] Whatever makes me feel like me :)

What can't you live without? 
Besides the obvious answer of "my family," I also can't live without Oreo milkshakes. I cannot stress to you enough their importance in my life!

What inspires your blog posts? 
A lot of my posts come from when I just learned a hard, much-needed lesson about my life. After reflecting on an experience, my eyes are sometimes opened to something I didn't notice before or needed reminding. Those are some of my favorite posts when I can share my experiences with others.

What about when you feel uncreative? 
I go out and live life! It is hard to write about a topic, any topic, if you are sitting around and not actually experiencing and enjoying life. So when I'm in a bind, I go out with my family and friends and just get away from the pressure of writing and that's when I get most of my inspiration.

How has your blog changed over time?
I think my blog has changed a lot and in a lot of different ways. There's an ebb and flow of I think. I can look back and tell what month I was feeling less inspired and other months when I couldn't stop writing. I think for the most part it has changed into me not being worried as much about what others think of what I have to say. I used to be so afraid of offending people by being too open. But after a while {and after some kind, positive feedback from others} I have gained more courage to share my stories. That's not to say I don't care about what people think altogether, there are still a lot of things I'm insecure about in regards to my blogging. But in terms of topics and writing style I have grown a lot more confident. 

How has blogging changed you?
Going along with the last answer I think in turn blogging has made me more confident. I seriously feel like I am possibly the most sensitive, insecure person ever. I know I'm not, but there are days where just everything gets to me and I feel so out of place with everyone. But blogging has really helped me to get out of my shell and own up to myself. I used to be a lot more outgoing than I am now and a lot more carefree & confident. Blogging has helped me remember that I am important, that I do have something to say, and that I really am worth it. Seriously, the blogging community has become this amazing blessing in my life!

What advice do you have for new bloggers? 
I have three things I would say to new bloggers.
1. Be yourself {and don't care what anyone else says!} and don't stray from the reason you started blogging.
2. Be proud yet humble of your blog and your accomplishments
3. Be kind 
If you can do those three things, you are golden! 
{I wrote a post kind of about it here, actually if you want to check it out :)}

Last but not least! What blogs inspire you? 
This is a hard one cause so many blogs inspire me for so many different reasons. I love After Nine to Five because I'm pretty sure we share the same brain and she inspires me to always be myself. I love Enjoying the Small Things because she always helps me see the good and absolutely amazing things this world has to offer, even in the everyday little moments. I love Little Miss Momma because she helps me feel like I'm not alone when I get frustrated and overwhelmed with all this motherhood stuff. I love Tatertots & Jello and The Idea Room for all their amazing amazing craft ideas and I wish I could be as creative as them. I love The Langs because it is always so hilarious and witty and hey are basically my heroes in life. And I could go on and on and on.... there's so many I love! :)

Life Lately

1. Last Friday we went to Petco Park to see the Padres play the Diamondbacks. It was craft beer night so all of our favorite breweries had booths there BEFORE the game. With traffic and trying to make it downtown after work before the game started we missed the breweries! Boo. On the upside, Petco still sells Ballast Point and Kona Brewing Company so we were fine in the beer department ;)
2. Us! Jeff wore enough SD/Padres gear for the both of us so I was able to slide with a gray racer back tank and accessories.

3. IKEA. I freakin love this place! I bought a new dresser, a glass peice for the top, and a new mirror. See #9!
4. Me trying new parts for my hair/making awkward faces. Let's just say the average side part is my best look. Not the deep side part ;)

5sI tre`Ped myself to a new Ess{E coral nailpolish at Target last thursday. It's the little things that keep me from a shopping blow out. I've spent under $100 in clothes/makeup/etc. in the past 40 days. Holla!
6. Fall Starbucks treats are among us! I'm a HUGE huge fan of the salted caramel anything so I settled for a frap before my Tuesday night class. I normally hate cold coffee but I needed the caffeine and I was SWEATING profusely. Gross.

7.No one but Jeff calls me I swear. It's all texting these days!
8. My new MUCH softer mattress that gave me an insane back ache for two days. Now I'm sleeping like a baby :) I also bought risers and my bed is high enough for a king. I need that extra storage space!

9. My new dresser with a lamp, fake plant, and my new ikea mirror. With roommates and sharing a bathroom I learned real quickly I need to do my makeup in my room in the mornings.

That Time I Started a Fashion Blog

Fifteen months ago I started a fashion blog.

Called Hollie Takes Notes.
I posted about my love for mary kate & ashley, my girl crush on Olivia Wilde, a mismash of favorite fashion trends...and even my very first outfit post.
I admired the fashion bloggers who posted daily on their outfits.
And then I realized a few things.
I LOVE fashion and when I put in time I can put together a killer outfit. Yes, I am tooting my own horn here. I went to FIDM in LA and worked at Nordstrom for three years. Those two things together can make you a brand whore and outfit obsessive.
My current job is VERY casual. As in people wear sweats/basketball shorts here sometimes. And it's no big deal.
So I'm a t-shirt and jeans girl 9-5 and a yoga pants/t-shirt girl at home.
The fact is, unless you're a fashion blogger, or work in fashion...you don't look blogworthy every day.
And if you do, I'm ENVIOUS.
I hate being overdressed as much as I hate being underdressed.
Oh, and I'm awkward about taking pictures of myself.

So slowly I drifted away from a fashion blog because I never did find my groove with it. And that's okay.

I could never come close to some of my favorite fashion bloggers.
My blog has transitioned into a lifestyle blog, with some beauty how-tos and reviews, and occasionally some fashion love.
And that's okay too.
I get more excited to post a funny post I worked hard on than a collection of my pinterest boards and a list of all the things I want and can't afford. That's ME. That's where my blog is headed. Although I must give a shoutout to Kate Spade. Thank you for dominating my thoughts lately.
I hope that my blog somehow grows into its own (yes, it's still growing and changing) and becomes somewhere along the likes of Megan's blog. I mean she's funny, I'm sometimes funny. So we're like the same. Except that part where she's a former model, kills the fashion posts, lives in the UK, and is engaged to a Northern Ireland guy. I hope someday my blog is as entertaining as Christin's. She's still the real mean girl to me. It's those kinds of blogs that make me laugh, inspire me. It's those posts that I love to write.
The point of this post is it's totally okay to change your blog. Find your blog strengths. And be yourself.

Whatever you are. Be that.

Blog Hop With Follow Friday!

What #FF is.
Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter allows you to shout out your favorite twitter accounts in hopes that others will follow them.

What this is.
A way to find new blogs to follow AND gain some new followers.

Follow Friday happens the first Friday of every month (TODAY!!!)
You have one whole month to check out the other blogs til the next one. And you're in luck as 100+ of you have linked up each week! Blog finding mania, yo!

Plus, I'll make sure to link up to the Follow Friday periodically so everyone can check out the directory easily and new readers can get in on finding your blog.

How to participate.
There are no minimum requirements to what you need to do to link up! However, I would appreciate it if you found atleast 3-5 new blogs you'd LIKE to follow and follow them via Google Friend Connect (GFC) Comment and let them know you found them thru Follow Friday! This way, the purpose of this  project actually works! Leave me a comment that you're a new follower and I WILL follow you back :)

Fashion Bloggers Link Up Here!

Lifestyle Bloggers Link Up Here!

ps--don't forget to enter the erin condren gift card giveaway from yesterday! :)

Erin Condren Giveaway

Follow Friday is tomorrow people! I hope you'll link up for some blog hoppin'. Tell all your friends (like Taking Back Sunday says).

Wanna know more about Follow Friday #FF? Click here!

Since I started school this week (oh, and I love you guys) I decided to give away a $25 Erin Condren gift card to one lucky reader :)

To enter you MUST be a follower of my blog via GFC.
Please leave a comment saying you did so.

Additional Entries:
-Follow me on instagram @holliegolightly and comment saying so
-Follow me on twitter @itsmehollieann and comment saying so
-Tweet about this giveaway to me!
-Follow me via bloglovin and comment saying so

Please comment separately for each additional entry. So if you did the mandatory entry and all four additional entries you should have five total comments.


This giveaway will run until September 16th at 11:59 PM PDT with the winner announced September 17th.

Best of luck! 

Just in case...Erin Condren is not affiliated with this giveaway...I'm paying out of my own pocket! ;)

Smooth Operator.

I’m a product junkie with hair products because my mane is naturally a frizzy beast. 

True statement.

I have a never ending supply of expensive hair and beauty products. I recently moved and had a trash bag FULL of product I don’t use. I realized how much money is spent on product that just sits…and sits…and sits. Stuff I tried once and decided it wasn’t for me. 

So recently, I’ve decided to try products that cost a lot less…and get the job done! There’s no need for me to “try” $30 of shampoo and conditioner when something else will work similar. Because that’s the brutal truth on a lot of the high end beauty market—it’s over priced.

The damage from bleaching has taken a toll on my hair. The havoc my hair has seen this summer between the constant sun and heat appliances hasn't helped either. I’ve noticed that my dry, frizzy and damaged hair responds best to conditioner, shampoo, and any sort of product with oil in it. It nourishes it on a level that is borderline miraculous for my hair type.

So, I’m about to let you in on a conditioner that has oils, makes hair smooth AND is under $4.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner.

I swear by Dove for my body wash and have always wondered what their hair care line is like. I was really excited to try this conditioner!

This stuff smells AMAZING. I don’t wash my hair every day since it’s so dry and it STILL smelled amazing the next day. I straightened it, and it smelled just as good after I wacked it with the iron. You all know the burnt hair smell? It masked that, swear. Honestly, I couldn’t stop smelling my own hair all day.

And on top of it, it made my hair had a lot more moisture yet didn’t weigh it down. Some of the high end products I love leave moisture in my hair but seriously weigh it down. I can’t have my hair looking greasy or like it has no body especially if I don’t wash it daily. Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner left my hair feeling smooth, soft, and controlled my frizz. The fiber active technology used in the conditioner helps rebind damaged proteins in each strand and nourished my rough hair.

I love a good smoothing product and this is the best bang for your buck. I can't believe this stuff is under $4. It's a bank account's dream come true.

For smooth and shiny hair, I would absolutely recommend this conditioner.

If you're a product junkie/beauty lover like me (okay what girl isn't) go enter the $1000 Spafinder giveaway! I can't imagine the kind of pampering someone is going to get! SO. JEALOUS.

Enter to win a $1,000 Spafinder gift certificate!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 9/4/2012 - 9/30/2012

Be sure to visit Dove®Hair.com to get a coupon for $1.50 off Dove Hair Therapy products.