Best of 2016

31 December 2016

Woah.  This year flew by way too fast.  I can't even believe it's already time to ring in the new year!  I would definitely have to say that 2016 was such a positive year for me.  It honestly felt like this was only the beginning to everything I want and could've ever prayed for.  I mean from my personal life, to my career to this many things panned out accordingly I can't even begin to say how lucky I've felt all year long.  I sat down and reflected on some of the best moments I experienced this year and decided I'd share a recap of my favorites with you guys.  If 2017 is anything like what 2016 was to me, I would say I'm in for (God willing) another really positive one *crossing fingers*.  Also, this isn't a post to brag about all the positives because trust me, I had some sad moments this year too.  But the point of this is to inspire you guys to reach the goals you REALLY want to reach.  It sounds cliche but when you hit rock bottom, the only way out is up.  Wherever you are in your lives, know that you are in control and all you want to do is on the other side of fear <3  Okay okay, let's countdown my best 2016 moments!

1. Coachella 2016

This festival has been on my bucket list for well over a decade now and if there was a year to go, this year was THE most perfect one.  Aside from all the art, music and thrill of getting to play in the desert in my best bohemian outfits, there was one huge reason why I NEEDED to go this year.  That reason was the reunion of my favorite band in the entire world, Guns N' Roses.  As soon as the rumors of a possible reunion began circulating, I felt a little discouraged because I didn't care to watch new GNR.  It would only mean something to me if the original members were there.  On the day that the lineup was announced, Slash (like one of the greatest guitarists ever) posted his own Guns N' Roses at Coachella picture and I FLIPPED.  The day of their set, I just knew I was going to cry at some point & I did...I totally happy cried lol.  It was honestly a moment of pure satisfaction, not to mention Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio was rocking out to Paradise City right next to me!  Overall, the festival was everything I thought it was going to be.  I was definitely tired of all the walking I did and passed out like a baby as soon as I got home.  However, I can truly say that I have never felt so darn free and in love with such a place.  I love all types of music and this experience will definitely make me the coolest mom when I recap my stories to my kids one day.

2. Melissa-Victoria Mazariegos, MA

I finished my Master's degree this year (MA in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations) and LET ME TELL YOU!  I am STOKED...but I'm kind of missing school already haha.  I began my journey in the fall of 2014 and just knew that it was going to consume a lot of my life & boy did it really!  Grad school is so different compared to undergrad.  It's like you TRULY need to love what you're studying because you will be stuck until you're finished.  I can honestly say I loved my program and every single class I took.  If you know me personally, you know I value education tremendously, so finishing this advanced degree meant the entire world to me.  I worked SO hard to finish this degree in18 months and honestly, all the sacrifices I made were worth it.  This has definitely been a high high moment for me and something I'll always be grateful for.

3. Career Move

In the beginning of 2016, I found myself doing what I loved.  My job was really cool, aligned well with my field of studies and it gave me the kick I needed to move forward in my career.  As much as I loved being surrounded by luxury cars, writing social media and blog posts, I just simply wanted more.  I worked hard at my desk and was very passionate about my career, but my surrounding just wasn't up there with all the good.  I made a major move when I woke up one Sunday and decided I was going to move on.  After confiding with some of my peers and those in my field, I was more than excited to send my resume out to multiple companies.  Flash forward a week and a half after I decided I was moving on, I was hired by a new company and gladly put my two week notice in.  Something I learned about this change was that life is constantly moving faster than we even know.  I would have never known that I was going to be working for a completely different company by the end of 2016!  It's mind blowing but you know what, God has his ways of placing you in the most perfect spot at the most perfect moment.

4.  New Friends

There is nothing more I love than to meet new people and to make people feel welcomed.  You know when you're new to a crowd and you hope someone will come up to talk to you and take you out of that loner status?  I strive to be that person!  I simply hate seeing people by themselves, like it breaks my heart.  When I was assigned to be part of a project at the company I work for, I feared that I was going to be a loner on my first day haha.  However, I had no idea that I was going to find myself a part of a company that is SO friendly and crazy fun.  Like, the people I come into contact with every day want to talk to you and get to know you and it feels like heaven being in such a positive atmosphere.  It drives me bonkers to think I almost didn't meet the people I met this year and to think I went my entire life without them makes me so grateful to have them now.

5. Family Matters

This year I got a lot of family time and I'm not complaining. I love my family so much and love when the entire clan gets together.  A family highlight was definitely my sisters' wedding where 300 loved ones attended to celebrate the new couple.  While my entire year was full of Maid of Honor planning, witnessing the final product and enjoying 8 hours alongside my family and friends filled my heart with so much love.  I can't even begin to describe what an amazing day that was for me personally. There really isn't anything like watching your only sibling marry the love of her life and start a brand new journey.  This isn't even the end of all this family time either!  My cousin gets married next year and I'm so stoked to reunite with my family once again to celebrate a new marriage and many times in between and after that with our random get togethers.

6. Sponsored Blogger

A high for my blog was to become a sponsored blogger by several brands this year.  It began with Banana Republic and then took off from there.  I remember receiving my first Banana Republic collaboration email and feeling on top of the world excited over it.  It was definitely the beginning of more to come and I had no idea what was even coming my way!  I mean, I've been blogging for almost 4 years now and I can definitely say the first 2 were just a test and something I liked to do on the side while trying to find myself.  The last two have been insanely full of inspiration that I'm SO excited to work on all year long.  For the first time since I created Brocade Closet, I don't have homework or a career to find and get used to.  This is my passion and my biggest project to work on here on out.  I hope for more collaborations this year and honestly can't wait to see where this blog takes me next year!

To a new year full of health, love, milestones and many travels...cheers!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Old Navy Gifts | $10 & Under!

18 December 2016

Happy Sunday, everyone!  Just in case you're lost in time, we have a week left until Christmas *yikes*.  I just barely finished my shopping and I'm starting to think I probably should've waited.  The reason why I say this is because it seems as though some of my favorite clothing stores are marking down their products day by day!  This year, I did a lot of my shopping at Old Navy because it has not only become one of my go-to stores, but also an awesome place to shop and get more bang for your buck.  Needless to say, I did a lot of my Christmas shopping there and it inspired me to write this totally worthy post.  I know this time of year can be super tough budget wise, but don't worry!  Old Navy has a bunch of REALLY cute items for under ten bucks.  Their current sale is so major, how could I not share my picks?  All images are in the collage up top but you can directly shop them by clicking on the links below.  Happy shopping!

1. Who doesn't need a basic long sleeve?  Shop all three colors for $8.00 here.
2. These sweaters come in several colors.  Shop them for $6.99 here.
3. Accessorize the waist with this belt in cognac and black.  Shop for $10.00 here.
4. These flannel drawstring sleep pants are everything.  Shop them for $4.97-$6.00 here.
5. These gloves are flying off the racks. Shop them for $1.49 here.
6. Don't miss out on these slippers!  Shop them for $9.99 here.
7. This flannel top is selling out fast.  Shop it for $4.97 here.
8. This favorite basic tee comes in a few colors.  Shop them here.
9. Okay I LOVE these so much. Shop them for $10.00 here.
10. Socks for work anyone? Shop them for $3.00 here.

Xo..Melissa Victoria 

Casual Holiday Outfit

13 December 2016

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Top: Banana Republic (Shop similar here + here + here ) // Jeans: Express (shop similar here + here) // Heels: DVF (shop similar here + here

Hey friends!  Can you even believe it's already halfway into December and that much closer to the new year?  My goodness how does time fly by SO fast?  I know I've personally been super busy with holiday functions lately, but it's so comforting to always know I'm definitely not the only one.  No matter how busy I am though, I'm definitely making it a point this year to be holiday ready whenever I need to.  The amount of red in my closet is ridiculous - I'm sure my co-workers are wondering why I've been wearing shades of red so much lately!  How can I not though...?  I was recently invited to two different events in one day (one of which was a holiday party) so I was faced with trying to look casual holiday chic if that makes sense.  I didn't want to go in a full dress, but I still wanted to be festive.  A few thoughts later, I pulled out some of my favorite heels, a matching necklace (that you can't really see in these snaps) and some holiday plaid.  BAM.  Hello effortless festive look!  It was so easy and I felt super comfortable all day.  The moral of this styled look is it's so easy to get caught up in the mentality that you need a huge puffy holiday dress.  Ditch that and go for an effortless look with items already in your closet.  You guys can thank me later, I'll be back soon!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Holiday Product Spotlight with JORD Wood Watches + Giveaway

27 November 2016

*Thank you, JORD Wood Watches for sponsoring this post.
To view the entire JORD collection, click here.  To shop the watch Martin is wearing, click here.  

Well guys, it's the officially the season to shop hard.  First of all, how did the year fly by so fast and second, have you guys gotten a head start on your gift lists yet?  It's always super easy for me to shop for the women in my life, but if you ask me what I'm gifting my men, I will literally look at you for the answers.  I never get it right and I don't know how many more years I can continue to gift my dad sweaters or Martin shirts for work haha.  If you're on my same gift trend, this one's for you.  Let me fill you in on a secret that's seriously a no brainer.  Men like accessories too!  Wait what?  Yup, did your brain explode?  There are so many timeless pieces that serve as amazing gifts, but none like a cool watch.  Enter, Wood Watches by JORD.  JORD creates luxury hand-crafted all-natural wooden watches for men and women and let me tell you guys, these are amazing.  My very first obsession is the attention to detail every style has that makes them all so unique.  For example, every watch style is made from wood found all around the world.  The watch seen here in my post is Zebrawood, which is native to West Africa.  Tell me that isn't a gnarly feature?  My second obsession is how incredibly lightweight these pieces are.  I once held one of Martin's watches and it was so heavy I wondered why he didn't just wear weights on his wrist.  It's so rare to find accessories that are so fashionable, sophisticated and lightweight all at the same time.  I really REALLY appreciate these gems when I find them.  Finally, I love the versatility of this collection.  From shape to color, there are several men and women watches to choose from that totally makes it hard to remember you're shopping for someone else - UGH.  Lucky for you guys, the JORD team and I are running a contest and basically...everyone is a winner!  Just for entering, we are gifting all participants a $25 e-gift code. The grand prize winner will receive a $75 e-gift code to use towards the purchase of your very own JORD Wood Watch!  To enter, click on the link below and feel free to share this contest with your friends too!  The contest will close December 18th at 11:59pm. The $25 code will expire on February 28th, 2017.  Good luck!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Warm To The Core | Uniqlo HEATTECH Collection

20 November 2016

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Leggings: Uniqlo (Shop here) // Top: Uniqlo (Shop here + here) // Beanie: Uniqlo (Shop here)

Hey guys!  Quick question.  Am I the only one who shivers uncontrollably in 70 degree weather!?  Feeling cold has always been a struggle of mine and there's honestly nothing more I hate than having to pack a thousand layers on everywhere I go.  Basically, I'm just not made up for anything below 70 degrees! However, I feel pretty confident in saying I might have found a solution.  In a fun campaign with Uniqlo, I was able to try out the brand's new HEATTECH collection and it honestly couldn't have been more perfect.  I can truly review this line and say IT WORKS.  The HEATTECH collection is composed of innovative knitted fabric that features heat retention properties to keep you warm and a soft texture for pure comfort.  I do have to say I was stoked when I read the line's description, but when I first touched my leggings, I wondered how in the world I would be kept warm off of what felt like a super thin piece of fabric.  It just didn't make sense to me and maybe I don't know a thing about science, but I can vouch and say I went on a long walk last night in my HEATTECH leggings and did not feel cold at all.  The fact that this collection's fabric is SO incredibly thin is probably my favorite part because it's literally an overall benefit to layering up without the chunk.  There have been so many times where I've had to "ruin" an outfit by layering on a jacket and it feels so incredibly cool to now have a product to cheat the system with!  Whether you want to wear a HEATTECH item as an undershirt or to just wear it as is like I'm wearing here,  you can definitely bet you will stay warm.  Maybe I'm not too scared to travel into colder cities anymore guys!  Anyway, the collection is made up of socks, t-shirts, long sleeves, leggings, body shapers for men and women and comes in several different colors.  Are you ready to stay warm to the core?  Shop the collection by clicking on any of the links above in the details and don't forget to let me know how you liked this line!  Talk to you soon!

Xo..Melissa Victoria 

**This post is sponsored by Uniqlo. All opinions expressed are my own.

Fall in Orange County | My Style

16 November 2016

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Top: Forever 21 Bodysuit (Shop similar style here + here + here ) // Jeans: HM (Shop similar here + here + here) // Shoes: Urban Outfitters (shop similar here + here) // Felt Hat: Forever 21 (Shop similar  here + here) // Sunglasses: Ray Ban (shop here)

You guys, I'm stuck in limbo over here! We're half way into November and it's literally 80 degrees out.  A few years ago, I worked for a small company that operated out of both California and Virginia.  I'd often call the Virginia receptionist and talk all about the weather because I was so fascinated with how cold it was out there and how hot it was here.  While she talked about her 50 degree weather, I kind of felt horrible telling her I spent the first few hours of Thanksgiving at the beach *insert palm to face here*.  Still, I enjoyed conversing with her and painting an image of what fall looked like somewhere else and all I'd wear if I lived in a place like Virginia.  That's the thing about fall in Orange County though!  Because our weather is so warm 75% of the year, we lose out on pretty coats but we do gain the creativity of establishing our own kind of fall style.  Who's to say we can't wear felt hats when it's 80 degrees out!?  It's fall!  I like to say my fall style is all about transitional items and making the basics work.  If you can look like fall without causing yourself heat exhaustion - do it. Check out my fall look below for a little more inspiration and don't forget to shop my look above in the links.  Talk to you guys soon!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Maid of Honor Duties : Where To Start Guide

04 November 2016

Photos by Vincent Gomez (book him & his team here)

So your best friend, sister or family member has designated you as the Maid of Honor of her wedding and basically, you're about to faint.  Brace yourself.  The next several months of your life will be full of planning and you're going to love it because you have no choice.  As a now experienced MOH, I definitely learned a thing or two about getting started on this journey that almost might seem like your own wedding!  When I was assigned the role for my sister's wedding, I had no idea where to even begin and literally scrolled through wedding blogs for any tips I could find.  I mean it's a huge honor to be the head maid of the wedding so you obviously want to be the best MOH out there! However, I'm not going to lie, it's a tough job even for the best party planner out there.  Are you ready to take notes?  Grab your party planning book and a bottle of champagne ladies, this is NOT a drill.

1. First thing's first - GET REAL.

Your duties now include coordinating dress shopping, any bridal events, the bachelorette party and the bridal shower.  Of course you have these super high expectations and want to wow the bride and all her girlfriends to prove why you were asked over any other friend.  That's cool but let's get real for a second, this isn't your wedding so whatever you want isn't the final say.  Sit down with the bride and ask her what she wants.  Some brides will want something much less extravagant than what you were thinking of, which is cool!  Other brides may already have their own plans and ideas of what they want, so take advantage of this and take major notes.  If you're stuck with a bride who has no idea what she wants, DO NOT throw the responsibility on yourself.  This is how people become stressed haha.  You'll want to sit down with the bridesmaids to discuss and throw out any ideas!  It should be a fun process.

2.  Lock those dates down.

Dates are important and you want to make sure you choose something far in advance to accommodate everyone.  On average, people make plans at least 2 months ahead of time, so you definitely want to be ahead of the game.  My sister had her dates locked down pretty much within a month after she formed her bridal party, which really helped.  If you're lost, here's a quick mock list of what should go in order:
  • Dress shopping
  • Bridal events like stuffing envelopes, writing addresses, wedding shopping for miscellaneous props, etc. 
  • The Bachelorette Party
  • The Bridal Shower
Of course this order is optional but I do think these are all main events to be discussed and talked about with all bridesmaids.

3.  Plan ahead.

As soon as my sister started throwing themes out for her Bach and Bridal Shower, I hit Pinterest HARD for inspiration.  I made detailed excel sheets for each event to track what I needed and what had already been completed.  You guys should have seen the spreadsheet I made to track every girl down for the Bachelorette party lol.  I had their email addresses, phone number, ride information, payment method, what events they'd be all that was missing was emergency contact info for each girl haha.  It's okay to plan ahead though!  It honestly makes things SO much easier because it feels like a prolonged party planning process instead of a rushed and stressful process.  The best advice I can share with you guys is to map out what each event should look like.  For example, I looked up images of our room for the Bachelorette party and I drew out where I wanted each decoration to "practice" my vision rather than get there and just throw things anywhere.  Call me a crazy planner, but I'm super detailed so planning ahead doesn't hurt.

4. Save save save.

This is why planning ahead is so crucial because you get an idea of what your budget will look like and an estimate of how much each girl will be spending.  Since you're the head maid, it's up to you to decide what extra details you're going to spend on and not rely on the bridesmaids for.  This doesn't mean go save a million dollars, but like, just be prepared for anything the bride requests that you can potentially make happen.  They will have so much fun and be so excited when you surprise them with even the smallest details!  I had a surprise party bus waiting for us one night at my sister's bach and Snapchat filters that followed us around Vegas for the weekend and they were all a total hit.  Even just putting aside $100 a paycheck makes a world of a difference - trust me!

5. Have patience.

Every MOH should have a silent freak out moment.  Mine was pretty mild lol.  There was most definitely a moment where I was about to explode out of frustration and I'm so happy I didn't because like I said earlier in this post, it's not your wedding therefore the bride doesn't need any extra stress.  Spilling frustrations onto someone else is so useless.  You can talk about it, but there is totally a difference between letting it out and dragging it out.  If it has to do with the bride, talk to your distant friend who isn't in the wedding about it.  If it has to do with the bridesmaids, talk to the bride but be mindful of your approach.  I was lucky because my sister and I were on the same page the whole time and it was easy for me to express my concerns and receive support.  Ultimately, you need to do what's best for the party so if you need help, reach out to the appropriate person.

Trust me when I say this is only the beginning and you have a long way to go haha.  It's honestly not supposed to be a stressful time.  You should be so excited to explore your inner creative side for one of the most important events of your life.  Good luck my fellow maids!  Please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions or if you just need inspiration.  I'm here for you babes <3

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Stacked Breakfast Parfait Recipe

01 November 2016

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I love a quick breakfast!  Anytime I can prep my morning breakfast the night before is a huge win to me.  I work in a corporate setting where the cafeteria is literally heaven on earth, but super dangerous to my finances and overall health haha.  It's pretty easy for me to stay away from food that doesn't do the body good and because I genuinely care about health, I'm always looking for new ways to improve the health of those around me with easy and tasty recipes.  For those of you who can't manage to grab a quick, hearty meal in the morning, this one's for you!  There's not much to this recipe but a cupful of your favorite fruits and Greek yogurt.  See below for all the details and have a great rest of your day!

You'll Need:

2-3 Spoonfuls of Yogurt - I chose Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt in Nonfat Plain
Handful of blueberries
Diced mangos

**fruit is optional! Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own liking.

Royal Blue Dress | Banana Republic

20 October 2016

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Dress: Banana Republic (Shop the exact dress here + similar style here) // Jacket: Nordstrom (Shop here + similar here) // Bag: Kate Spade (Shop here) // Shoes: Diane von Furstenberg (Shop similar here + splurge here)

With the warmer seasons behind us, does color seem like something of the past?  It's like an unwritten rule or something where maybe florals and bright colors might not be fashionably accepted- who comes up with these things!?  I do have to say that although my favorite color is black, I do naturally gravitate towards every bright color in front of me.  When I received my latest collaboration package from Banana Republic, I freaked out when I saw this royal blue dress.  I immediately thought nude shoes would be the best way to style this dress, but then I thought about how cute it would be to make it look a little edgy!  I had just purchased a new leather jacket from Nordstrom that I was dying to wear, so on top of this dress it went.  If there is a way to combine seasonal wear with off-season colors, I'm all about it.  You guys know I love transitional clothing so you can definitely bet this dress is going to come back out on the first day of spring!  Anyway, don't forget you can shop my look by clicking on the links above in the details.  See you guys later!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Music Monday | Weekend Recap

17 October 2016

Hey guys, happy Monday!  Over the weekend, Martin and I went to The Offspring and Sublime with Rome concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater and had such a great time.  Martin and I are music opposites so it was super fun to enjoy a show together since I'm such a concert junkie!  I've been trying to wrap up as many concerts at this particular venue because it's my favorite EVER and sadly, in just two weeks,  Irvine Meadows will shut its doors forever.  Ahhhhh I've been trying to forget this is actually happening because I have several memories there and have seen so many artists at this venue that it actually hurts!  I'm not completely ready to say goodbye and will only believe it's not there when I don't see it anymore *insert ugly cry face here*.  Anyway, The Offspring played a majority of their hits that made me feel SO nostalgic!  I remember listening to them when I was like 12!  The Offspring is always a fun band to watch because you will always have such a great time singing along to their hits.  I'd say the highlight of their set was watching two mosh circles convert into one HUGE circle and then fans making a big fire in the middle of the circle lol.  You gotta love these shows!! Sublime took the stage last and played an awesome blend of old and new music.  I have a huge heart for Sublime because I love love love Bradley Nowell, so it's always bittersweet to listen to Sublime w/Rome.  I do have to give Rome credit for signing up to help fill in such big shoes but hey, he does a great job.  Anyway, below is one of my all time favorite Sublime songs to kick start your week.  Talk to you guys latuhhh!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

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