As unique as every person is, we all share at least one thing in common:  we all have goals in life and we all desire to make them a reality. Today, I’ve teamed up with my friends at Dallas Community Colleges to talk about how I made my dreams come true (and no, it doesn’t involve wishing on stars — as much as I would love that!)

Trust me, I still have my good and my bad days, but at 26 years old, I truly feel as though I am living my dream, and I can trace it all back to one defining moment in my life: pursuing higher education. My four years at the University of Texas at Austin (with the help of several online courses I also took at Dallas Community College) truly transformed my life and what the future had in store for it. Read on to read the story of how I got to where I am today and the role that my higher education played in that.

Pursuing My Passion

Since my childhood days of playing dress up with my little sister (we literally called our play room our “dress up room” in our house), I’ve known that fashion was something I adored. Then in fourth grade, I was introduced to another of my passions: writing. A few years later, I learned there was a way to combine these two passions and make a career out of it, and I was sold! When I grew up, I was going to become an editor for a fashion magazine. To get there, I knew the first thing I’d need to do is pursue a journalism degree. Flash forward to 2008 and I was a student in the Journalism program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Knowledge is Power

There’s absolutely no way I’d have a self-made business of my own, AKA this bloggy blog of mine, without my pursuit of higher education. Throughout my journalism courses in college, I not only became a better writer, but I learned powerful communication skills that later became amazing assets in the corporate world and help me now everyday in my own business. Each of my professors offered different tidbits of knowledge that helped me develop my skill sets, but I remember a few professors in particular who preached that the future of journalism was no longer in the newspaper or magazines. It was in blogging and social media.

The Intern

My first college internship was with a small home decor magazine in Austin. It was my sophomore spring semester and by the end of it, the magazine was cancelled. That same summer, I received an email through my sorority list serve about a small jewelry designer in Austin who needed a few interns. I interviewed for the marketing intern position, where I learned I’d be taking over the writing and content for the blog the brand had just started and starting the social media outlets. The brand was called Kendra Scott. The entire team of women consisted of about 8 people, Kendra included, and the marketing team was just one person. I’d be her assistant. She saw that I was a journalism major and had a love for fashion, and I landed the internship. I enjoyed what I was doing so much, I came back for the next semester, and the next.

Landing the Dream Job

After two semesters of interning for Kendra Scott and one summer spent with the PR team that represented the brand in NYC, I returned for my senior year where the company offered me a part-time position that would turn full-time immediately upon my graduation. By that time, the company had grown tremendously and had their sights set on even more exponential growth. It was the opportunity of a lifetime! As a 22-year-old, I was sitting in and giving reports in weekly VP meetings. I frequently met with Kendra herself for projects of all kinds. I managed interns who were older than I was. I even went through the interview process of over 90 applicants, all on my own, for the first addition to the social media and copywriting team. I didn’t know it then, but I was soaking up more knowledge about business and developing skill sets than any 20-something year old could have dreamed, and that was all thanks to one thing. Kendra Scott needed a writer to help with her blog and social media, and I walked into the design studio as a journalism student.

Defining My Drive

The moment I decided I wanted to start a fashion blog wasn’t because I needed to find a way to feed my true passion or because I had ample amounts of extra time on my hands and simply wanted a side project (they kept me quite busy at Kendra Scott). In fact, I already had a career I was passionate about:  writing and doing social media for an amazing up-and-coming fashion brand. It was truly a dream job! My decision to start Vandi Fair came from something bigger I wanted for myself and my future. The one thing I’d always dreamed of is to have the ability to be a stay-at-home mother like mine was, but still pursue a career I was passionate about. My job at Kendra Scott introduced me to the women who were doing just that – fashion bloggers, and I knew the answer to my dreams was sitting right in front of me. That is the motivation that drove me to start Vandi Fair.

Taking Action

I’ll save the story of how I started Vandi Fair for another post, but what I will share is that I was able to start this blog without the help of anyone, thanks to the skills that I learned while pursuing my degree and the internship/dream job that my degree helped me land.

Continuing Education

Whatever it is that drives you – if you seek a high paying career to provide for your family or want to pursue a career that feeds your passion – the way to realize that dream is through higher education. You don’t have to travel to another city or enroll in a major university to pursue that dream. Dallas Community Colleges has a number of campuses right here in the DFW area as well as online courses in 100’s of programs. You can start by browsing a list of all of their 15 program areas here and if you have a more specific program you’d like to pursue, you can see each of their more-than-100 programs here.

What’s even better is their amazing tuition prices. There’s no need to break the bank when pursuing your career dreams – tuition at Dallas County Colleges is totally affordable! Whether you’re interested in fashion or interior design, or want to pursue a career as a nurse or accountant, or you simply want to further your education to move up in your current career or take a leap of faith and start your own business, there are so many programs at Dallas County Colleges to help you make your dreams come true.

To apply for admission to Dallas County Community College, click here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dallas County Community College District. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fair-well xx,



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It’s no secret that I’m a major fan of color. Mint green has been one of my favorite hues to wear lately, so when I saw this strappy, wear-anywhere dress in the color, I immediately had to add it to my wardrobe. Featuring the most flattering silhouette that can be worn as a casual beach dress or dressed up for a night out, this little mint green dress is a perfect staple, and it also happens to come in several other pretty hues.

Read on to find out how I teamed up with Nordstrom to style the dress for an easy summer-fall transitional outfit idea.

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I already spilled the deets on why fall-summer transitional looks are so important for us southern girls in this post, so today I’m bringing you another transitional outfit, also from Nordstrom. Every girl needs a few go-to dresses she can wear all season long like this mint one I’m wearing today, and Nordstrom has endless options at super affordable prices.

Like I mentioned before, the thing I love most about this dress is its versatility, but the gorgeous minty green color comes in at a close second. One of my fave colors to pair with mint is blush pink, and since it happens to be a big color for fall, this leather jacket in the hue was perfect for creating a transitional look. Since pastel colors always seem to have an ultra-feminine feel, I juxtaposed it with the edgy leather and some cool girl accessories like this black leather choker necklace and a gorgeous beaded clutch.

I topped the outfit off with my go-to nude strappy sandals and I had the perfect look for a September date night.

**Thanks so much to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Fair-well xx,





If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably know that I recently went on the BEST.TRIP.EVER with my side of the family and Cole on a true California Adventure. My family has always been a road trip kind of clan. I have endless memories of making the 15-ish hour drive from Dallas to Colorado with my Gigi and Poppy and all of my cousins, uncles and aunts in between to go on our annual family ski trip since I was in diapers. There’s something about exploring the beauty of our nation from the window from your car with those you love that feels so authentically American. As if the endless conversations, games, snack stopping and music playing is enough to want to go on a road trip every now and then, this drive was absolutely breathtakingly stunning.

From LAX to San Fransisco, read on to hear about each of our stops on our California road trip adventure.

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While making the drive from Dallas through Arizona (ahem, the Grand Canyon) all the way up California would have also been amazing, we didn’t have quite that much time on our hands. We flew from Dallas to LAX where we picked up our two rental cars. My parents got the convertible mustang (don’t worry – we convinced them to switch with us a few times) and we got a larger suburban that could carry us four “kids” and all of luggage too. Our first stop: we couldn’t think of a better place to start our California adventure than in Disneyland’s California Adventure park in Anaheim.

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The highlights of this park: the gorgeous Paradise Pier where you can ride the California Screamin’ rollercoaster and Carsland is a picture perfect replica of Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie Cars (you have to see it both during the day and at night when the neon lights are lit). Also, the new musical Frozen is at this park and it’s AMAZING. My little sister Tiffany and I wore Frozen-inspired t-shirts by Once Upon a Mickey Tee (how adorable are they?!) since the musical was at the park and got so many compliments on them!



We couldn’t leave Anaheim without a day in the original theme park that started it all: Disneyland. There’s a certain magic that you can feel throughout this entire park – knowing that Walt Disney himself designed the park and walked the streets of it and riding the attractions that were there on opening day…it’s always a little more special! This little dress was perfect for twirling down Main Street.

Confession: you’ll see that I wore more than just one outfit to each park even though we were only there for two days. Don’t judge – it was so I could take photos for a little project I’m working on with Misfit and Run Disney – stay tuned, but in the meantime, you can enter their sweepstakes for a chance to win a free trip for two to run the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in November. 





After two days at the happiest place on earth, it was time to hit the road and head north to explore some of the nation’s most beautiful national parks, starting with Sequoia National Park.



A few notes on California National Parks – first of all, these parks are BIG, like huge. I was thinking we’d drive through a few miles of mountains and trees but it was so much bigger than that. Driving through Sequoia took no less than 8 hours with the few stops we took for photos. Oh and I should also mention, there’s no phone service or wifi, like, NONE. Once I got over this horror, I was able to fully enjoy the beauty of these national treasures. The winding roads up the mountains of Sequoia were absolutely gorgeous (and also terrifying – they are narrow and have no railing and the drop is far). We had to stop to take a look at the beauties that gave the park it’s name: the giant Sequoia trees that are so big you can drive your car through them! The one pictured above is the world’s largest tree named general Sherman.



Here’s a little peek inside my suitcase for the road trip. I went with primary colors and a little Southwestern, tribal flair.  A hint to anyone planning to go as far North as San Fransisco, pack warm clothes – it’s SO cold out on the bay!



The next stop on our California adventure was a drive through another one of America’s most beautiful national parks – Yosemite. One of the landmarks of this park is Half Dome, which you can see here in this photo. My parents swapped the convertible mustang with us for most of the day and it was so amazing seeing the gorgeous waterfalls, rivers, mountains and trees with our hair in the wind and the music turned up loud.



Our drive through Yosemite took us right to our next stop, which was probably my favorite of all – Lake Tahoe. This was my very first time to visit Lake Tahoe, and I’ll definitely be back. My family loves food, so our first mission was to find a good lunch spot and Basecamp Pizza was amazing. With their wide selection of unique, amazing pizza’s, this spot is a must whether you’re here for the summer for the lake or the winter for skiing.



I’d heard about the clear water, but seeing it in person was magical. The giant lake has endless white sand beaches and water that varies from emerald to turquoise. The best part – it’s all surrounded by gorgeous tree-topped mountains.



The first day, after we enjoyed pizza, we drove all the way around the lake in the convertible (half of it is in Nevada and the other half is in California). We stopped a few times to check out the gorgeous views of the lake from the mountains. I should also mention how perfect the weather is – sunny and 75! I didn’t miss the Texas heat a bit.



After exploring Lake Tahoe, we went for dinner at a delicious spot for margaritas and Latin American food – Azul Latin Kitchen.



The next day, we rented a boat and spent the entire day out on the lake. I’m not gonna lie, the water was pretty cold, but it was the most beautiful lake I’ve ever been on, so I absolutely loved relaxing on the boat and taking in the view.



Here’s a peek at some of the lake beachy stuff I packed for the trip. Seriously obsessed with this little scallop trimmed bikini from Wala Swim.




Our final stop of the California trip: San Francisco. My only regret was that we had just one night and one full day here, because there’s so much to do! The first night, we took a stroll down Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoyed a San Fran staple: chowder in a bread bowl at the Blue Mermaid – SO yummy!



A definite must-do while in San Francisco is going to see Alcatraz. We took a cruise ship to do the audio tour through the infamous island-prison and chilling as it was (literally – it was so cold!), it was so cool to walk through this historical site. The cruise ship also offered up some amazing views of San Francisco.



Of course, my Disney-loving family and I simply had to stop at the Walt Disney Family History Museum. This is an absolute must-do for anyone who has any interest in Disney. SO many amazing things to see here, from Walt’s Disneyland model to the famous, one-of-a-kind Oscar he received for Snow White.



And that’s a wrap! 8 days through California and we were spent – but there was still so much to explore! My parents actually stayed three days later to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and had an amazing time! 

I hope I convinced you to put a California road trip on your bucket list. Stay tuned for more of my traveling adventures here on Vandi Fair.

Fair-well xx,



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TOP  //  JEANS  //  BAG

Yellow….it’s me (sorry I had to guys!) Today I’m super excited to team up with a brand you may or may not be familiar with (but I promise you will LOVE) – Marks & Spencer to bring you another summer-fall transitional look. The cropped, flared pants trend is a new one this season that I wasn’t on board with at first, but after snagging this pair for just $51 from the brand, I was a new fan!

Before I talk deets on this outfit, let’s talk about the brand behind it, Marks & Spencer. This UK-based brand features staples and trendy must-haves for amazing prices, not only for women but also for kids and men too! I’m also a huge fan of their home goods section, but I’ll save that for another time.

So back to this look – the cropped flared jeans are a must-have for every fashion girl this fall and I’m loving the 70’s vibe this pair carries. It has a high waist fit too, so you can wear them now with your crop top and is made from that cozy, stretchy kind of denim. To style the jeans, I went with my usual – another off-the-shoulder top. But this was was too pretty to turn down (and the price is too good too – on sale for just $19!) I love the gorgeous yellow hue and the feminine embroidered details. It’s also made from the softest material and the length is just perfect!

Marks & Spencer also offers up lots of fun accessories like this little cheeky woven “Wish You Were Here” bag. Y-all – this bag is just $14 and you need it in your life – it’s such a cute, casual carryall whether for the beach or a weekend shopping trip.

Shop more of Marks & Spencer’s must-have women’s clothes and accessories at amazing prices here!

**A huge thank you to Marks & Spencer and Shopping Links for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Fair-well xx,



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CANDLES: Votivo   //  BARCART: Target  //  BANANA LEAF PAINTING: Kimberlee Artworks  //  FLAMINGO ART PRINT: CatCoq  //  DALMATION ART PRINT: Etsy  //  MIRRORED TRAY: Macy’s  //  MATCHES: Anthropologie  //  PINEAPPLE TRAY: Anthropologie  //  PINEAPPLE CANDLE HOLDER: similar Anthropologie  //  PITCHER: Anthropologie

Confession: this Southern girl loves candles as much as the next, but my husband Cole is absolutely obsessed with them. When we were registering for our wedding, the number one thing he cared about was which candles we would register for (I’m serious!) All this is to say that my husband and I (but mostly Cole) are very particular about our candles, and after burning these beauties in our home for the last few weeks, we’d like to introduce you to our new favorite brand: Votivo Candles. Make your way to the bottom of this post to find out why and find out how you can win a candle set featuring the brand’s newest fragrance!

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Firs things first, let’s talk about how you can enter to win an aromatic candle, reed and travel tin in Caipirinha Lime (their newest fragrance and an $84 value!) Tonight, August 16th, I’ll be posting a photo on my instagram where you’ll find the simple steps to enter the contest. I’ll be selecting three winners and you’ll have one week to enter the contest. The contest ends at midnight CST on Tuesday, August 23rd and the winner will be announced later that week. Good luck loves!

Now back to why we love these candles so much. We had the pleasure of trying several of their amazing scents – all of them are oh-so-yummy and have that amazing effect of spreading their beautiful aroma throughout your home! My personal favorite was their new scent, Caipirinha Lime. I expected your typical citrus-smelling scent, but it was so much more than that! Inspired by the flavors and rhythms of Rio, the city where the 2016 Olympics is currently being held, this scent is so flavorful and perfect parts sweet and zesty. The scent is created with hints of citrus and lime peel mixed with muddled sugar cane and mint sprigs (umm can I also have those ingredients in an adult beverage please?!) It’s hard to describe scents in words, but I can promise you this is one of those candle scents that anyone would enjoy. SO amazing!

A few of our other favorites – Youthful Yellow is a fresh, clean blend of vanilla, orange blossom and jasmine – perfect for any season in any room of your home. Our favorite for the fall/winter was the Red Currant – a warm blend of lush, earthy green notes, tart citrus, cassis, tropical fruit and musk. My personal favorite (besides the Caipirinha Lime) was the Pucker Up Pink, which we tried in a reed diffuser (which I’m a huge fan of). This is a bright, girlie scent that combines strawberries, gardenia, mimosa, and sandalwood – it’s the perfect gift for your best gal pal.

**A huge thank you to Votivo for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Fair-well xx,



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