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My favorite NY fashion bloggers

I think my favorite part of the blogging world is all the amazing people you come across! I remember when I first discovered blogging and quickly fell in love with the unique styles of so many bloggers and through them came to know more delightful souls that inspired me daily. One of the best parts about following other bloggers is learning about their lives, seeing their cities, and noticing how they are all so unique and different in their personal style, but how they each have something I LOVE!

The Decision That Changed My College Experience Forever

Shirt: c/o Four:Eight Shop
Skirt: The Skirtery 

Everyone goes into college with ideas of what it will be like. Sometimes those ideas are lofty and far reaching into great achievements, new friend groups, on campus organizations, and a boat load of fun. However, I was never one of those typical college bound girls....my ideas of what college would be like consisted of classes, studies, projects, surviving without my family, traveling home on the weekend, the uncertainty of new friends, and no real desire to get connected with on campus happenings or Thursday night shenanigans. Nevertheless, college proved to be so much more than I had imagines. Not so much in the way of it being to much to handle, but rather that God had another plan of what he wanted me to accomplish in an unfamiliar place and boy is he the craziest!

If you have been around here for awhile you probably can recall me mentioning that I was an RA (Resident Advisor) while at college. I got the job half way into my second semester and kept it up until my last semester of college (this fall) when I moved home for my student teaching. However, while that might not seem like that big of a deal to you, it was a HUGE deal to me because I never could have foreseen getting a job on campus, and much less being in charge of students who lived on campus.....the whole timeline and occurrence was truly ordained and destines by God to grow me in more ways than I could have known and put me in the midst of the biggest opportunity for witness I had ever experienced!

I still remember the day I received the email which said "We are pleased to offer you a Resident Advisor position beginning immediately!" And while getting the job wasn't all that much of a shock it was the process that was CRAZY! You see I randomly decided that I should apply for an RA position on campus (I think I just took a leap of faith and didn't even know what I was doing) which meant submitting an application and going through two rounds of interviews which included a panel interview with 3 people and a group interview for half a day (that in itself was not a typical Madison thing to do...talking to people I didn't know.....WHAT!). If that didn't push me out of my element enough, the fact that I immediately got one of the vacant mid semester openings a week later did.....oh, and did I mention that my RA placement was in a sorority house (insert wide eyed and shocked face emoji here)!

Here is the background on all of this:
1) I was (and still am) the person who didn't understand the need for sororities. I thought they were a waste of money, changed and conformed girls, sometimes put them in bad situations, and thought the idea of hand signs and chants was bit ridiculous. 
2) The RA positions I was interviewing for were for the next spring, but I was offered a position to start IMMEDIATELY which meant skipping all the training that new RA's typically go through to prepare them for the job and just being thrown into the midst of it! 

Now that you know a few facts, you can see how getting the job and then finding out where my job would be were all HUGE surprises and pure humor on God's part. So after completing my paperwork I started the job, which in itself had a lot of responsibilities, but responsibilities that nonetheless helped me grow:

RA Job Responsibilities:
1) Hold daily office hours.
2) Enforce the university rules and policies and make sure all resident follow them. If they fail to do so you are required to document and/or fine them based on the policies broken. 
3) Attend staff meeting ever week and all staff meetings once a month. 
4) Plan events with your staff team for all of the residents in your area. 
5) Complete rounds on your assigned night(s) with another RA. Rounds consist of walking through ever house in your area (our area had 8 houses....4 of them were sorority houses), both upstairs and downstairs. Rounds during your assigned shift were at 9:00pm and 12:00am. 
6) Respond to any calls on the duty phone while you were on call (this means 2:00 am phone calls about broken toilets).
7) While on call you must report any major policy violations (drugs or alcohol) or unsafe situations to the University Police, wait for them to arrive on scene, and stay close by to write a report. 
8) Handle roommate, suite mate, or resident complaints and disagreements. 
9) Complete safety and maintenance checks every month within your house. 
10) Hold floor meetings two times a semester for residents to go over policies and checkout procedures. 
11) Make fun and creative door decks with your residents name every month
12) Design and make a fun and creative bulletin board for your house every month. 
#11 & #12 were my personal favorite parts of being an RA :) 

Maybe you are still curious about how this decision changed my college experience forever? Here's the thing, getting the job as an RA put me in a place where I was daily outside of my comfort zone. I was no longer just the random college girl who lived two doors down, I was the RA of the house and knew all 25 girls who lived under my roof. I had to daily challenge myself to say hi to my resident, talk to my co-workers, and acknowledge the many faces I now knew.

Not only that, but I joined a staff team, surrounded by over 9 people that I didn't know, and for this introvert that was something I never had worked through before. I had to learn to work with new people, get to know them, plan events with them, back them up when they were on call, ask for help when need be, express my opinions, and at the same time be completely different than everyone else around me. I don't think I ever expected to know that many people at college, but after becoming an RA I not only knew people on my staff team, but I got to know other RA's who worked across campus.

I no longer walked to class seeing faces I didn't recognize or know, because I now actually knew people.....by name (I think my mom is still shocked by this). I knew my fellow staff members, my residents, and even my team members residents. I actually hung out with people other than my ONE friend at college because as an RA we would have "staff bonding" days, dinners, all staff events with all the RA's on campus, and random grocery store runs.

With all of that being said, I still today believe that this all happened for ONE reason! God ordained this to do something in me that I never would have allowed him to do otherwise. He ordained it to STRETCH my introvert self beyond my limits, instill the confidence in myself that I really could do hard things, gave me the courage and strength to talk to new people, the wisdom to deal with difficult and hard circumstances, and the boldness to share my faith. I think if anything he allowed me to become an RA to give be a platform to be a positive influence. He took me (Madison), this quiet and old fashioned, high value, strong moral girl and placed her in a Sorority house where I daily had contact with girls who lived much differently than me. He took me (Madison), this quiet and sometimes ridiculously nervous girl and placed me on a staff team of which there was only one person who shared my same faith (until another girl joined us two semesters in) and thus gave me the BIGGEST stage for witness......whether that witness was in sharing my faith with fellow staff members and my boss, praying with a resident, sharing my relationship views with the girls in my house, or even just living a different life in the choices I made and expressing my views on a few occasions. Through being an RA I learned BOLDNESS and I learned how different I was from the world and nearly every other college student on campus, but I also learned that as an Introvert I could still thrive in an environment filled with people.

If my decision to become an RA taught me anything, it taught me about the REAL MADISON. It showed me the courage, strength, and boldness I possessed that I didn't even know I had. It showed me that God can do the unimaginable in your life and grow you exponentially more than you could have ever foreseen. It showed me that by being yourself, people respect that as being a unique part of who you are and that being yourself is the best thing you can ever offer the world (or college for that matter)!

Sure, I was exposed to more "college life" than I had originally expected by becoming an RA (I will forever be able to bust people for smoking marijuana....yes, you read that right), but I also got to do a lot of cool stuff and use my creative skills as part of my job. And sure, there were times that I didn't make the most of the opportunities that I had, but in the midst of it all I know that the opportunities I did take were defining moments in my life that forever changed me and changed my college experience. I could seriously write an entire book on this topic (as you can tell from this long post) but I will end it here, because through it all God taught me to see the open doors of opportunity around me, muster the courage to walk through them, and trust that he would keep them open for more of his crazy plans.

I always believed God has had CRAZY plans for my life and college was just many of those plans rolled up into one that reminded me that when I think I have control over the future, it is never really me, but God who succeeds!

- Madison

A Day At The Corn Maze

Overalls: Forever 21
Sweater: Thrifted
Cardigan: c/o Tobi
Neck Scarf: Vintage
Boots: Thrifted
Socks: Kohls 
Lipstick: Revlon Color Stay Matte

Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner!!! Its CAZY, and what is even crazier is that my birthday is in less than a week!!! This fall has definitely been one of my favorites since being in college, specifically because I have been able to do a lot of things I wasn't able to when I was living on campus. Remember the Fall Bucket List I created, well I have been working my way through it and it has been so much fun! Sadly, Texas once again can't make its mind up about the weather, we have had both record breaking cold weather for October and at the same time record breaking warm weather for November, talk about a bipolar atmosphere. However, even with the lacking crisp air and fall scented breezes I have still been able to enjoy this autumnal season and have gone on many fun outings.

On this particular day, I was finally able to go to my church's corn maze! While the corn wasn't as lush as I am used to seeing in the country, it was still fun to wander through it with one of my good friends. Like pumpkins, corn is another one of those basic fall attributes for which it is known, so spending an evening wandering through the corn maze was such fun:) Afterwards we headed back home to check two more things off of my bucket list: pumpkin carving and roasting pumpkin seeds!

For my evening at the corn maze I decided to go back to my country rooms with a hint of 1940's Land Girl vibes and put together this fun look. I have always loved these overalls, so I decided to pair them with a dark forest green sweater, my favorite fall neck scarf, a jumbo rust colored cardigan, lace up ankle boots, and a pop or red lipstick.......it definitely turned out to be the perfect outfit for exploring a corn maze and carving pumpkins. 

What has been your favorite thing this fall?

-Madison 

Dear Younger Me,


Dear Younger Me,
            You have NO CLUE the crazy path and journey life is about to take you on, so hold tight and get ready for the unimaginable, the unexpected and the sheer hilarity of God's plan for your life! So you just graduated high school, closing one chapter of your life and turning the page to another with untold stories waiting to be explored. So much has already happened in your life and yet so much hasn't happened.....you have no absolutely no clue what the future ahead hold, but just know without God the future is going to be impossible.
             You have dealt with you fare share of trials and test of faith, but nothing thus far can measure up to the journey and utter tests of faith that God will give you in the next four years. College is a whole other world, so remember when you had your own views of what it would be like (based on books and movies, etc.) its about 85% accurate. Sure, you already have the college work load conquered for the most part since you have been taking college classes for the last two years, but juggling a full college load, being away from your family, having no connections and being in a new place is probably something you haven't quite wrapped your head around yet, but just remember "paperclip promises" and trust that God will be with you every step of the way, and you will learn to rely upon him more than you ever have thus far.
              Throughout the next few years you will learn what it means to take sheer leaps of faith....blindly leaping into the unknown, the only thing that keeping you from completely freaking out is the knowledge that God will not let you fall, and with that you will learn that when you take leaps of faith you really can fly! You will learn that nothing happens by accident, because God really does place people in your path for a reason, whether it is to share your faith with them, be a positive influence, or simply be the friend they need (and they become the friend you need also). No neighbor, roommate, coworker, random college students, Bible study member, or professor comes into your life by accident.....they were all ordained centuries ago by God to be there and you were placed on this path in life for such a time as this!
               Attending a college void of any common acquaintances or friends is a leap of faith in itself, but you know that, so just know that God took that into consideration and placed a new bossum friend two doors down the hall from you and both of you will help the other survive college:) However, even with a dear friend to rely upon, at times you will feel alone. Maybe even the most alone you have ever felt in your life, but just know that when you feel alone God shows up and is fully present in your life.....so much so that even though you are alone (and might go an entire week without any real conversations with people) you will always have God to talk to and he will fill you with strength, comfort, and restoration to rely and grow in him for that season.
               Remember when you think that you will never really get to know that many people at college, well think again! Because God will not only place a dear close friend in your life but you will spontaneously apply for a job on campus to be a Resident Advisor, get the job immediately, and join a staff team of strangers who in a few short months turn out to be amazing people you never expected or would have met if you hadn't taken a risk. In that group of coworkers you will meet your small group leader, be invited to a Bible study that helps you grow in God, share your faith, impart different views of life to people from a variety of backgrounds, be a positive influence in the lives of others, talk about God with your boss, give someone a Bible, pray with a resident, be the first to welcome a new member of your staff team with a smiling face, shock people by doing things they didn't expect, and all the while stay true to who you are
               Throughout this journey called "college" you will develop and find yourself....you will find the "true Madison" the girl who can easily laugh and make fun of herself because she knows in here small corner of the world there are not many (if any) girls like her and she is okay with that! You will discover that your differences and "oddities" make you who you are and you will accept that the Madison you see in the mirror every day is exactly the person she was meant to be...with all of her differences, quirks, odd laughs, old soul, party of one, and so much more!
                In some cases, while college might seem every bit as it should, or every bit not what you imagined, in some instances it could let you down. Sure, you aren't going to college to find a new group of friends or get super involved on campus, and while you did meet a number of people you never would have imagined you would meet, you still won't meet "the one" (or at least so far as I know none of the gentlemen you ran across in college have arisen as part of God's plan for your future). Okay, okay, so I know you are not going to college because you are desperate for a boyfriend or husband, but I know you :) and I know that deep within your mind you have thought that "maybe, just maybe I might meet someone at college?" But just know that probably won't happen. Sure, you will come across your fare share of handsome faces, dapper styles, and inspirational + sold out Jesus followers, but none of them will be anything more than that. You will learn that your future (by this I mean a guy) is really in God's hands and you will learn to let go of doubt and thoughts of missed opportunities knowing that the right opportunity hasn't yet presented itself.....but if anything you have simply added more things to your LONG list and know that the future wives of those amazing guys are very lucky:)
                With all this being said, I will close by saying that you will become a dedicated and studious student who tries her best in every class, and because of that your professors will take notice. You will be praised for your dedication, even though you never did it to gain praise or attention. Your professors will see your bright future and because of their strong belief in you, you will be even more determined to do great things.
               The future that awaits you is crazy! If you were to watch the movie trailer to the next few years I'm sure you would be left speechless, laughing, and not believing that you (Madison) would be able to do half the things that you will do.......and that's just it! Your future will be a testament to God's faithfulness and plan for your life and your faith in him will be what sustains you, what carries you through hard time, what comforts you when you feel alone, what allows you to persevere through a test, what gives you the courage to be BOLD and share your faith, to be different than everyone around you, and to daily take leaps of faith into unknown waters knowing God will give you the ability to walk on the waters of a world you never saw yourself succeeding and growing so much in!
             Younger me, you future awaits and with it a sea of endless possibilities and opportunities that will leave you speechless, chuckling, and smiling up at God!!!

xoxoxo
Sincerely,
Older Me
Madison M.
     

Friend Fashion: Preppy in Plaid

Shirt: Talbot's (from Nordstrom)
Vest: Talbot's (from Nordstrom)
Shoes: Payless


Meet Elizabeth (but I call her Libby), "Thing 1" of my bestie duo. If you asked us how we became friends we probably couldn't tell you. One day we were just members of the same Square Dance club, and the next we were best friends (more like sisters), so I guess things that are meant to be just happen! We are the same in so many ways (like chocolate, chick flicks, makeup, and doing nothing together) but opposites in every way when it comes to our personality, however, I think that is what makes us such great friends and fun fact....we are taking a trip to NY in January together!
I don't always get to feature my friends on the blog because usually I take most of my own pictures, but this fall Libby has been such a sport and has accompanied me on a couple of my fall outings and humored me when I asked her to take my pictures :) It helps that she is nearly, just as obsessed with fall as me. Of course I had to return the favor and snap some pictures of her fabulous looks also:) 
With that being said, and because I absolutely LOVE this look of hers, I thought it would be fun to share something a bit more "preppy" which is her specialty! Her look for our trip to the corn maze was absolutely so perfect for fall (even though I might have even texted her before to say we should dress like fall...lol), because what other print is more perfect for this season than plaid! Double plaid at that is an even better pairing and I don't think anyone but Libby could pull it off this well:) You can see how she styled the top and vest with a wool skirt in this post from last fall and it looks just as great!
If you are looking for a styling tip when it comes to prints, always go for pairing similar prints with slight variations: large plaid on small plaid, wide stripes with small stripes, jumbo check with small gingham, etc.

Are you a fan of preppy plaid?

-Madison

Favorite Plaid Skirts + Loafers

Skirt: Vintage (grandmother's)
Top: Thrifted (Cold Water Creek)
Shoes: Thrifted (Old Bass)
Purse: Thrifted (Vintage Coach)
Necklace: Gift



If there is any combo that is my go to in the Fall it would have to be Plaid skirts and loafers! I can't get enough of them! I think I have five different pairs of loafers and I LOVE them all so much:) There is something simply classic about plaid skirts and laofers. Maybe it is the fact that they are such an easy pairing....you can't go wrong with two of the most classic pieces in any wardrobe. They give off classic school girl vibes, preppy styles, and vintage inspired pieces.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite plaid skirts and loafers with you all in case you have been on the hunt for a new addition to your fall wardrobe:) The pieces above are some of my favorites that I have run across or have similar pieces to in my own closet!

As for this style post, I particularly LOVE this vintage wrap skirt because it has so many colors in it and is so cheery and vibrant (plus it goes with everything). I chose to pair it with this rust colored shirt that I picked up at a thrift store and have been wearing non stop because it is so comfortable + so pretty:) Since this look was so simple I paired it with Bass loafers and my vintage coach purse to finish off the look. On days that I don't know what to wear combo's like this are definitely my go to and honestly I think if I could only wear one thing for the rest of my life this is what I would choose:)

Are you a fan of plaids and loafers?
What is your favorite combo?

-Madison 

Minnie Muse is 4 + What I've Learned As a BLogger

**Photos by my bestie Elizabeth**
Skirt: Thrifted
Top: Faded Glory
Boots: Target
6 years ago my dream was to start a blog. I dreampt of creating a place to share my thoughts, my love for fashion and style, and tidbits of my life. One fall 4 years ago that dream became a reality, and I have LOVED every minute of it!
 I remember when I first discovered that there was such as thing as "fashion blogs" and I would spend hours pouring over posts, getting inspiration, finding people who had similar styles as me, and dreaming of one day being just like them. While 4 years really isn't all that long ago (I was just starting college) it seems like so much has happened between then and now, especially with Minnie Muse. 

As a blogger, growth is part of the process. You find yourself through the journey of creating, designing, and publishing a blog, posts, outfits, etc. You change, your style changes, and you find who you are (or at least that was the case for me). Blogging has always been my outlet.....my place to reach an audience I never knew I could have the power to reach! A place to connect, inspire, and meet darling, creative, and dear souls who inspire me with their words, style, and joy of life. 

I have always said this on Minnie Muse, but IT IS YOU....THE READERS who make what I do worth it and make me want to keep creating. 

With all my gushy thoughts out of the way its time to celebrate, because Minnie Muse is 4 years old!!! And with that I thought it would be fun to share some of the random, odd, amazing, and important things I have learned over the years, because since starting a blog it has been a journey of learning and discovery every day!

  1. Blogging is time consuming....whoever thought you could just take pictures and post them on a blog was mistaken.....there have been many a time that I have stayed up well past my beadtime editing pictures, writing posts, and creating content (because I am a full time student and part time blogger). The whole phrase "student/teacher by day and blogger by night" is 100% my life!
  2. Blogging connects you with the sweetest and dearest internet friends! I can't begin to tell you all of the lovely people I have come to know through blogging....many of them people I have never even met in person, yet I feel that we all share a bond because of our common interests. These dear ladies are people who encourage each other (and me), leave comments on things we like that the other person is doing or wearing, and we all share a common passion. I have had the pleasure of meeting a couple of those darling souls in real life (such a treat), but even those who I only know over a screen, I still feel as though we are close friends:)
  3. Don't let my seeminly put together life fool you....my posts might feature me in skirts and dresses with curly hair and a full face of makeup, but what you don't see is me writing those posts, sitting on my bed in an oversized tshirt, yoga pants, no makeup, and a messy bun. Behind the scenes it isn't as glamorous as what is pictured in front of the camera. 
  4. Being a blogger you learn that the parts about yourself that you are often most "insecure about" are sometimes the very things that people compliment you on! Now, let me be clear to state that I am not a blogger because I need praise and compliments (in fact I am horrible & awkward at taking compliments) but sometimes the posts where I was just not feeling 100% or the pictures where I was actually having a bad breakout (partially covered by makeup) are most often the pictures people say sweet things about and it makes you realize that the insecurities don't really matter.....you are perfect just the way you are:)
  5. COFFEE is my creative juice! Seriously, you will very rarely find me writing a post without a cup of coffee (in a cute mug mind you) close by! 
  6. It can be lonely! While I do have blogging friends online and daily am inspired by other bloggers, being a blogger myself can be quite a solitary job.....the terms "me myself and I" and "party of one" are VERY REAL as a blogger! Sure...I am an introvert and LOVE to be alone, but sometimes I just want someone (IRL) who understands my dreams and passions and shares in those same things. Plus Texas isn't your biggest fashion blogger hub, so a lot of my favorite bloggers live in other states. 
  7. I have learned that I create high expectations for myself that are sometimes impossible to reach and when I don't accomplish them I feel as though I have let people down. I set expectations for myself & the blog in regards to posts I want to do, videos I want to shoot, or the number of times I create something new for the blog in a week, but LIFE HAPPENS 99.9% of the time and the things I WANT don't (hardly ever) happen and I have to accept that its life.....and life isn't perfect.....and that people will understand....and that at the end of the day I am not here to please other people because if that were the case I would fail every time! 
  8. The comparison game is real & relevant! Okay, so I really am not one to compare myself to others, but as a blogger it is sometimes hard seeing others who are able to blog full time, etc. and not be able to do that or feel like its able to be accomplished. 
  9. It's a ONE WOMAN show most of the time! A number of fashion bloggers hire photographers or have husbands or boyfriends who are photographers or learn to take their pictures for them (still holding out that the guy I meet one day with be one of those #instagramboyfriends turned husband) which gives them more freedom in pictures, locations, etc. I on the other hand just have a tripod, self timer, and remote, so my visions are not always a reality and taking pictures of yourself with a tripod can be awkward, especially when there are people around. 
  10. It's kind of a full time job I don't get paid for! When I am not in college classes, teaching, spending time with my family, traveling, or studying I am probably blogging. More recently blogging has become a weekend gig, but often times in the past I would spend a part of every day taking pictures, editing, writing, or styling outfits for the blog, so yes.....it can easily become a full time / part time job that you don't get paid for.....except in creativity:) 
  11. For the modest at heart (me) being a blogger tends to get you recognized more frequently by your craft. People will mention that they read my latest post or love the pictures I take, saw my latest YouTube video, etc. My mom is always telling people I have a blog which is always weird for me to hear, but if my style defines me as a blogger I guess that's okay? Friends, acquantances, and family now know I am a blogger and as someone who shares more of herself on the blog than with people in real life that gives people a glimpse of me that they probably wouldn't always get to see. 
  12. I am becoming one of those #basic bloggers who plans her outfits around the places I go and chooses accessories based on what I wear for shoots (insert embaraced monkey emoji). You will constantly see my sister roll her eyes when I walk out of my room in an outfit & my mom will ask if I chose it because it matched the place we were going ("Um....no mom I didn't...JK....LOL")
  13. At the end of the day it is about sharing and connecting! It is sharing about the things you love, opening up about yourself, sharing your passions, and connecting with others who share those same things or understand what you are saying. The blogsphere creates a community of like minded souls who truly listen, share and encourage each other and I love every one of them for it! 

Some of My Favorite Post From This Year:

From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!!! Here's to many more years of Minnie Muse and the adventure that await us!!!


Is there anything you would like to see me share on the blog?
What should I do more of?
What is one thing you enjoy about Minnie Muse?


-Madison