What To Gift This Wedding Season

29 March 2017

Shop dispenser stand here + this fun one here 
With spring in full bloom, we can all look forward to fresh flowers, longer days and of season.  I'm in that phase of my life where my friends and family are all starting to make the venture into an everlasting commitment and sealing the deal by tying the knot.  With a few weddings coming up for me this season, two important things are on my mind: What am I going to wear and what am I going to gift?  I was present for my sister's gift opening session and I definitely picked up on a few ideas that I'm so excited to share with you all in today's post!

Something that dawned on me while opening gifts was the need for party hosting items.  Think about this one.  A young couple has just gotten married and now there's so much excitement to visit the newlyweds and see how they're settling into their home.  Alternatively, the couple may want to host their friends and family for a catch-up party where they will need more than one large dish.  Honestly in that honeymoon phase and beyond, you can never have too many party hosting items in your home.  From watching my newlywed sister, I feel like she's spent at least an hour every Saturday before hosting friends at some kind of home store trying to find something new.  Having company over will forever be inevitable for the newlyweds, so help get them party ready for every occasion!

As a little help for you guys, I selected my favorite gifts all from my friends at Pottery Barn and linked them under the pictures in this post.  Now, get to shopping and have a happy wedding season!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Shop drink dispenser here + alternative here + gold one here
Shop my favorite drink accessories here + here + here
Shop this bucket and stand combo here + adorable one here + unique one here

**Thank you Pottery Barn for sponsoring this post.

Spring Cleaning (& shopping) with thredUP

26 March 2017

Hey guys! I've been looking forward to this post since last week because it involves secondhand shopping and I LOVE this kind of shopping.  Honestly some of my fondest memories from when I was a little girl involve developing a love for browsing through secondhand stores to literally find some kind of treasure.  I think I must have been like 7 when I visited my first thrift store and then found myself enjoying the hand-me-down treasures of estate sales.  Online shop thredUP is basically like your local secondhand store you can sell gently used closet items to as well as shop gently used pieces.  With thredUP, you can basically request a Clean Out bag that's fairly large, stuff it with gently used clothing, shoes, accessories etc. you'd like to get rid of, ship it back (using their pre-paid label) and then wait to see if they purchased any of your items.  After the purchasing process, you can then cash out or accept the payment in the form of store credit.  Any items thredUP did not purchase can be returned to you or if you're a super cool person and want to help our communities in need, you can elect to have your clothes be donated to organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Feeding America.  So what's the catch?  Nothing but cheap prices on a huge selection of treasures!  Check out what I ordered from thredUP below and don't forget to order your next Clean Out bag soon because you know, #secondhandfirst.

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Accessorize with Shoppe Her Way

16 March 2017

Shop this choker here
Hey guys! In lieu of this warm weather we're experiencing, I wanted to share an accessories line that I'm currently really into.  It's definitely that time of year where I find myself stripping out of my scarves and baring my neck and shoulders with new jewelry pieces.  It's no joke that I really like accessorizing with basic staples, but when it comes to fun jewelry I don't necessarily wear every day, I like to shop small and local.  Online boutique, Shoppe Her Way carries some of the cutest pieces from necklaces, to rings to a cute clothing collection all for very affordable prices.  Because I love jewelry of all types so much, it's my ultimate favorite thing to find a budget friendly shop that allows me to "splurge" all the while only spending like 20 bucks max on a bunch of items.  These chokers I'm wearing for example are only $5 each...yeah you read that right.  Unique and affordable truly goes a long way in my book!  For those of you heading out to some kind of festival this season, or if you just want to add new jewelry pieces to your collection, definitely head over to Shoppe Her Way's website.  I can't even say enter at your own risk because everything is so affordable, there literally leaves no room for regret lol.  Also, if you do make a purchase, be sure to enter the code BCMELI at checkout to receive an additional 20% off storewide.  Phewwww what's your excuse to treat yourself?  Chat with you guys later!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

Shop pack of rings here
Shop this choker here

Get To Know Me Q & A!

06 March 2017

Photography by Patrick Castro // Contact him here
Hey guys!  About a week ago, I thought about how I never really introduced myself on Instagram and how I might be missing an opportunity to get to know you guys more. It kind of dawned on me that a Q&A would be fun to host and was something I hadn't done yet here.  First, let me tell you my honest feelings.  I was scared that I wouldn't receive a single question, but my support group came through and you guys asked some of the most valuable questions EVER.  Thanks SO much!  I ran through all of them and really did think of making an Instagram story out of it, but I ultimately decided I would risk losing my audience if my story got too long.  So, this is where my Q & A will live and the best part is I don't have to worry about it erasing after 24 hours!  Anyway, I rounded up some questions that I think are very valuable to discuss and basically grouped them by topic.  I'm going to actually break this Q&A up into two parts so that I don't overwhelm you guys with so much content.  This post will answer questions I received about my blog life and all that fun jazz. Okay...let's do this!

1. What made you start blogging?

Sigh, where do I start.  Basically, I created Brocade Closet during my last semester of college to document my experiences in Fashion PR.  The office I reported to was in Downtown Los Angeles and I can honestly say the location played a huge role in the creation of this website.  Every day at work was a brand new adventure and I was simply inspired by the bloggers I was researching and interacting with.  That is ultimately why I created my own and figured I'd fulfill my passion of writing and creating through this platform.  One regret is deleting some old and original posts that documented my Fashion PR life during my blog re-structure, thankfully I didn't delete my very first post!

2. What's your favorite thing about blogging?

The interaction part of it.  I've met some awesome bloggers along the way and even if I've never met them in person, it almost feels like I have.  Some of my oldest followers have become "digital friends" of mine and I just always look forward to the interaction part of it.

3. What do you do when you aren't blogging?

Well I have a full time job aside from this, but job aside, you can catch me watching some of my favorite shows, shooting content or hanging out with friends and family.

4. What is the most rewarding part of blogging?

I would have to say that the most rewarding part is the feeling of creating something for SOMEONE. I never know who is going to come across my blog, but for whoever does, I hope they get lost in it and leave with some kind of inspiration or tip.  It's rewarding when you feel like you've somehow helped someone.

5. What are a few things you wish you knew when you started blogging?

I just wish I knew how to blog haha.  Like, I wish I knew how to brand myself and how to close the loop on social media.  My blog was very secretive the first year and then the second year I didn't pay too much attention to it, the third became what it should have been the first year though!  I feel like I have the hang of things now and really pride myself on creating my own authentic and original content to reach the audience I want to connect with.

6. How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging for 4 years now!  Time flies by so fast.  Like I mentioned above, the first year of my blog was just an innocent test, the second was so wishy washy, then my third became something way more serious.  I feel like my first two years were so consumed with other things where I just simply put my blog second.  However, even through busy times, I always came back to my happy place to create something new.

7. Are you a student? if so what school & major? If not, do you have a 9-5?

No, I am no longer a student and don't plan on becoming a student again in the near future haha.  I just finished my Master's degree last year and I think I'm good with school for now!  I have a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Media Studies and then my MA is also in Communications but with an emphasis in Public Relations.  With that said, I have a background in com and currently work at Taco Bell Headquarters.

Okay quiz time! Just kidding.  But really, I hope you guys were able to pick up on more info about my blog life, why I started, what I enjoy the most, etc.  I'll be back again soon to answer all the fun questions about my style, where I like to shop and all about my favorite wardrobe items.  Talk to you again soon!

Xo..Melissa Victoria

A Trip to Emerald City

01 March 2017

Hey guys and hello March! We’re just inching our way through the year and getting closer to the warmer seasons #yessssss. February was a super fun month full of weekend travels – I literally went somewhere every single weekend. I’m definitely not complaining about this because I love visiting brand new places! In my first travel post ever, I figured I’d recap my Seattle trip because I was actually there all weekend long and there’s so much to cover! First of all, The Emerald City is GORGEOUS. Not sure if I could entirely live there because I’m a sun child and I don’t think I could take a year of gloomy weather haha. Anyway, in this recap, I just wanted to share some spots I visited in Seattle to hopefully help any of you that may be planning a trip there in the future!

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the SpringHill Suites in Downtown Seattle (this one) and couldn’t have picked a better location. We were pretty close to just about everything and to top things off, they offer complimentary breakfast…like not bagel breakfast, I’m talking about eggs, bacon, oatmeal, toast, etc. It definitely came in clutch! We were so close to popular Seattle attractions that on our first day there, we ended up just walking to the Pike Place Market without realizing it was only about a mile away. This was definitely an awesome choice!

Pike Place Market

This is obviously a place to head to if you're visiting Seattle. There is so much diversity and is overall an awesome market for random goods. We didn't purchase anything at the market, but if I lived in Seattle, I would definitely pick up all my groceries there! I did think of purchasing a bouquet of flowers since they were literally all over the place, but given my traveling circumstances, I wouldn't of had a vase to put them in haha.

El Borracho Bar

This is the first bar we visited in Seattle and actually found it on the second floor of the Pike Place Market. It was honestly just our luck to have found this spot because we were FREEZING and were in need of something warm *cough cough tequila*. Martin tried a local beer, that I don't remember the name of, and I had a good old coconut margarita. Aside from drinks, this bar also serves Mexican food, which we were too full to try, but I did have chips and salsa to munch on and the salsa was BOMB.COM. I love spicy salsa and this one definitely turned up the heat.

The Gum Wall

Also within the Pike Place Market area is the famous Gum Wall in Post Alley. I had previously seen pictures of this wall but never imagined it to be a full on gum oasis! Martin and I obviously chewed our gum to make our mark and got a chance to snap a few photos as well. There's not much to see here other than gum, so we didn't stick around for too long. Nonetheless, it's a super cool spot to visit!

Ristorante Machiavelli

If you're looking for a quiet and low-key dinner, head here! For some reason, Martin and I developed this huge craving for Italian food so we immediately searched for the best restaurant in the area. We found this spot and even if the wait was 45 minutes long, it was completely worth it. This place is teeny tiny and has a total mom and pop type of feel to it. We ordered the Bresaola alla Valtinellese as an appetizer, Chicken Parmesan as our main course and topped it off with a slice of cheesecake and coffee to go. We were in such a huge food coma after our time here, but we had zero regrets. Also, this restaurant resides in the Capitol Hill vicinity, which is very close to other nightlife hangout spots.

The Space Needle

I mean if you don't visit The Space Needle did you even go to Seattle? When we arrived, we spoke to a tour guide who directed us to the ticket booth to purchase our Observation Deck passes. If I remember correctly, they were only about $20 a person, so it wasn't too bad. This was quite the adventure and I'll never forget that nervous feeling I got when our journey up began! The view up top was incredible. I can't even believe how beautiful Seattle is you guys! We definitely soaked it all in and completely forgot about how chilly it was up there. Needless to say, you guys HAVE to visit the needle.

Bathtub Gin & Co.

If someone told me I would be hanging out inside the basement boiler room of a former hotel I would have said no way. Bathtub Gin is a speakeasy style bar that I highly recommend if you're into trying something new, but definitely wouldn't recommend if you're slightly claustrophobic. This place is super tiny and you almost feel like you're trapped because of how secretive it is haha. I literally felt like I was hiding from the law in the prohibition era! The music Saturday night was super fun because it was mainly hip hop and I feel like we stayed an extra long time because of the music haha. If you can't find it, search it through Google Maps and then ask someone in the area where this bar is at. Here's a hint: The entrance is in an ally.

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

Again, this is something that I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend if you don't mind an adventure, but would never recommend if you can't take the feeling of being closed in. This is a guided tour that takes you under a few buildings to learn a little about how Seattle was re-built post the Great Fire of 1889. We were able to see pictures of where we were, where our location used to be, spot some historic pieces that were still underground and just soak in all the history. Learning about how Seattle is entirely built over the original first floor was MIND BLOWING. If you're into something spookier, this company also provides a Ghost Hunter's Underground Tour where you basically go underground with no lights and well, you hunt for ghosts with equipment. Yeah, we were good with the regular tour haha.

Anyway, I hope this review gets you guys super excited for a potential trip to Seattle! Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions at all. I didn't include every single spot we visited so if you need any other recommendations just reach out to your girl!

Xo.. Melissa Victoria
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