Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Recap of 2016

2016 has been somewhat of a rollercoaster, somewhat of a challenge but definitely filled with its share of blessings. A lot has changed in the blogging world for me since January 1. I opened up my "blogging" Instagram at the end of 2015 and posted my first blog post in April 2016. I have been given opportunities I never dreamed I would have, traveled to places I have never been, and learned so much over the year that taught me things I never thought I would learn. 

I'm using the last day of the year to recap this year and to thank God for everything in my life that I am so undeserving of. I hope that everything I do brings glory to Him and that this blog is something that will encourage you, inspire you, and help you. I can't thank you all enough for following along!

Now that we just upped our emotional level lol, let's get to some of the highlights of 2016:

FIRST BLOG POST


PLACES WE TRAVELED

Colorado (Steamboat Springs, Vail, Beaver Creek)
California (Los Angeles, Laguna Beach)
Phoenix, AZ
Chicago, Ill
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Paris (blog review HERE)
Geneva Switzerland 
France (recap HERE)
Romania
Charleston, SC
Miami, FL
Blowing Rock, NC

MOST POPULAR INSTAGRAM POST


MY FAVORITE INSTAGRAM POST 

Full post HERE

TOP 5 MOST POPULAR BLOG POSTS


MY FAVORITE SPRING LOOK

Full post HERE

MY FAVORITE SUMMER LOOK 

Full post HERE 

MY FAVORITE FALL LOOK 

Full post HERE

MY FAVORITE WINTER LOOK 

Full post HERE

THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2016

Love what you do.
If God comes first, everything else will fall perfectly into place.
You can't please everyone.
Hard work pays off.
Don't underestimate yourself.
Love the person God made you and strive to be the best person you can be.
Stressing out doesn't solve a thing.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Life is so short.
I wouldn't be able to survive without my husband.

THINGS I WANT TO IMPROVE IN 2017

Love more.
Develop a consistent workout schedule.
Read the Bible/devotions every morning.
Stop comparing myself to others.
Be myself & embrace it.
Stop procrastinating. 
Become a morning person.
Wean off espresso shots in the morning.
Learn to eat and cook healthy meals. 

I hope you all enjoyed this little recap of 2016. I would love to know your favorite moments of 2016 and what you look forward to in 2017. Let me know in the comments below. Thank you all so much for following along this year and I can't wait to share more great moments with you in the next year. I hope you all have a great weekend and Happy New Year! XO!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Black Dress & Shop Stevie Rep Program

DRESS c/o || SHOES (old from Steve Madden)

How cute is this statement dress? When I saw the flower detailing I had to get it. You all know how much I love my floral! :) I also love that it's black so I can wear it dressed up or casual year round. A little tip though, I brought a bottle of anti-static spray with me to spray when I shot the pics but it was empty (#struggling lol) but you'll definitely need some if it's nice & dry this time of year where you are too ;)  

This dress is actually from Shop Stevie which is currently my favorite boutique for a while now. You guys are probably familiar with it from some giveways/posts I did with different reps recently. I absolutely love their clothes and they're super affordable. The worst thing about shopping at boutiques is that there is a limited stock and items usually sell out fast, but Shop Stevie is different. Shop Stevie actually created a Rep Program where you can buy items from the boutique at wholesale prices and sell them on your own page. If you have always dreamed of opening up my own boutique this is the perfect opportunity! You get to pick the items you want to sell on your website and do fun things like pop up shops or giveaways with different bloggers, etc. I have actually fallen in love with items from the main Shop Stevie that were sold out in my size and the Reps came to my rescue because they had the item in stock in my size and most of the time with a special discount (yay!) If you are interested in the Shop Stevie Rep Program click HERE to learn more. Also, please feel free to let me know if any of you do join so I can give you shout outs and buy pretty things from you ;) XO!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Shop Stevie Floral Top Outfit

TOP c/o (on sale!) || RIPPED JEANS (sold out similar HERE) || SHOES || BAG (dupe HERE) || LIPS (in woppin' watermelon)  || WATCH

I hope you had a lovely Christmas weekend! To say this Christmas flew by is an understatement! I don't know if it was because I had a lot going on or what, but it literally just passed by at the blink of an eye! I wish it could last a bit longer, but this top honestly has me craving spring.

 I love wearing floral prints all year round. It screams feminine and looks so flattering on anyone. I especially love this one because of the darker color scheme making it a perfect winter floral. I also love the front tie detailing. It's currently on sale and from my favorite boutique ever! You guys have probably seen me wear stuff from Shop Stevie a whole lot on my blog and IG, and it won't end there. I want absolutely everything she ever posts in her store (insert heart eyes!).

***EDIT*** I forgot to add this in here about Shop Stevie when I first published this post! Sorry!! So Stevie's story amazes me. Her shop grew so much so she decided to share the wealth and allow others to take part in her shop. She developed the Rep program where you can actually buy the clothes at wholesale price and sell them yourself which is amazing! Its literally like owning your own boutique! If you are interested in the Rep Program you an click HERE

Also, have you guys been shopping any of these after Christmas sales?! So GOOD! This up to 50% off sale is my favorite so far! I'll have to round up some recent outfits I've worn and favorites I've been eyeing that are on sale sometime this week!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by! XO!!  


Friday, December 23, 2016

White Turtle Neck & Instagram Live Recap

SWEATER (c/o) || JEANS (old, similar HERE) || BOOTIES || LIPS || BAG (dupe for $25 HERE) || SUNGLASSES

My husband and I had a rare afternoon off together earlier this week, so we grabbed lunch while my car oil got changed. Since I got sick last week, nothing I ate really felt great on my stomach but I was finally feeling better so I chose to go to Chick-Fil-A! Shocker haha! I'm obviously not very high maintenance when it comes to food. I wore this outift for our little day date (if you follow me on IG Stories, yes, I wore this sweater two days in a row! No shame!) It's just so cozy and I love the loose fit. It is a one-size fit sweater so be sure to check out the measurements before you buy it. I love it, but I do wish it was just a tiny bit longer.

Now for Wednesday night's Instagram Live Recap. I had so much fun talking to you girls! I loved answering your questions and it felt like we were all just chilling together on the couch catching up like we've been friends forever! I loved it and you guys made my week :) 

Here is the recap if you guys missed it. I also linked a bunch of the products we talked about & went in a little more detail for you girls that did join in. So, grab your morning coffee and enjoy! XO!

WHERE IS MY SWEATER FROM?

It was actually the same one from this post (linked above)

WHAT IS YOUR NAIL POLISH?

Let's Be Friends by O.P.I in gel. It's from the Hello Kitty collection which I love!

WHAT MASCARA DO YOU USE?

I use THIS mascara by YSL ( I usually buy this when it is on sale buy two get one free) and will switch between THIS one. It's cheaper and also works great, it just tends to flake on me so I prefer the YSL. So first, I curl my eyelashes with THIS eyelash curler. It's the best I've found. Use THIS primer  (or THIS one) then apply mascara on top when it is almost dry. I let my mascara completely dry and then curl my lashes again to get that really long lash look. Then I line the inside of my upper waterline with THIS eyeliner. It doesn't fade/run throughout the day and makes the base of my lashes look really full.

WHAT KIND OF HAIR PRODUCTS DO YOU LIKE TO USE?

I'm currently using THIS shampoo & THIS conditioner. I spray THIS on damp hair (it works miracles and makes my hair so soft!). I use THIS heat protectant & it smells amazing! I use THIS hairspray, THIS for my teasing spray (love!), THIS for my teasing brush. I also take THESE Biotin gummies.

HOW DO YOU CURL YOUR HAIR?

I use an old one inch straightener from Sam's Club, but I've used many in the past and all seem to work great. Just make sure the plates curve at the sides and that it heats up high (my hair is thicker and frizzy so I need at least 400 degrees for my hair to stay). When I do curl my hair with a wand I use THESE, they just fall out by the end of the day. Straightener curls last me days.

WHAT DRY SHAMPOO DO I USE?

I currently use Bed Head Oh Bee Hive! dry shampoo. I spray it at night focusing on my roots & underneath the sides of my head and then brush it out in the morning. If I do go an extra dry shampoo day I'll use that dry shampoo and then THIS ONE on top to keep it from being really dry and stiff. I've tried that second one alone and it makes my hair soft, but I don't find it to work as well in the dry shampoo department as the Bed Head one. I did hear the Living Proof dry shampoo was really good, so I need to give that one a try.

WHICH FOUNDATION IS YOUR FAVORITE FOUNDATION?

I don't wear foundation. The only time I ever did was at my engagement party and my wedding. Sorry, wish I could help!

WHAT SKINCARE DO YOU USE?

Currently, my favorite face wash is THIS ONE by Clinique. I do like trying ones I get from other companies or from my Fab Fit Fun Box. I am currently using THIS night serum from the winter box and I feel like my face is so smooth in the mornings. I haven't used it enough to see if it gets rid of sun spots, fine lines, etc so I'll have to keep you updated. I'm using THIS moisturizer and use THIS for spot treatments. I've been using that for years and it really does dry up those unwanted pimples.

WHERE'S YOUR FAVE LIP PRODUCTS FROM?

I love these Chubby Sticks. I have it in a ton of colors. They add just enough everyday color & keep my lips nice and moisturized. 

DO YOU USE EYEBROW FILLER?

I actually got my eyebrows threaded the afternoon and she filled them with their brow powder (mine was medium brown). I didn't buy it at the time because I wanted to see how well it lasted throughout the day, and I loved it. It was just enough to cover the gaps, but it looked super natural. Looks like they have a promotion and it's 50% off making it $7.50. I'm getting this!

WHEN DID YOU START BLOGGING?

I actually started my fashion Instagram December 2015 and started blogging in April 2016. I had someone design my blog website during that period of time, so that's why I never had any actual blog posts up. 

WHAT MADE YOU START YOUR BLOG?

Ok, sorry this is going to be longer than what we talked about on IG Live. Before I transitioned my Instagram into what it is now, it was focused on fitness and keeping me accountable with this BBG workout program. There's a whole community of girls involved and I made great friends that I still keep in touch with, but the few months I had that page, I felt like it didn't fit me. I love fitness, but I felt like my passion for fashion was greater. I kept finding myself wanting to share sales/outfits instead, so I transitioned my page into fashion a few days before leaving to New York City this time last year. I was shopping for outfits for our trip and got really inspired with the sales I found and the different outfits I was putting together in my head.

  Now, I knew I wanted to be a fashion blogger so it would kind of start on our Christmas trip to New York City (you have go for Christmastime at least once in your life!). I really had NO idea what I was in for. I told my husband my idea of focusing on fashion and he's like, go for it! If that's what you love, do it. 

So, kind of background side note, I'll admit, I was a total shopaholic at the time. I bought everything I liked, got something new for any event even if it was just a random lunch date, rarely outfit repeated, and bought a whole new vacay wardrobe every time we went on a trip. Those weren't my proudest days, but I've learned from that period of my life and as ironic as it sounds, blogging was one of the things that saved me from that because now I actually put thought into what I want to buy and invest in rather than buying everything I see. I guess it was one of those "I finally have a big girl job" flings, but I'm healed now haha!

So anyways, a few days after my decision to change my Instagram's theme, I was trying on outfits to pack in my closet with clothes literally thrown everywhere, most of which I had just bought and could not figure out how to put them together. I started stressing out because it was late and we had an early flight. I had just bought a ton of new clothes, so you would think I would just throw them all in my suitcase and move on but I didn't. I started looking up some of my fashion bloggers to get inspiration, see how they put together outfits and just got even more overwhelmed. It was kind of a turning point for me and was like, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to be confident in the outfits I put together and quit the comparing game. Little did I learn months later that this fashion blogging community was huge (for some reason I felt like I was one of the only newbies, LOL!!!), there were so many resources out there, and that this is actually people's jobs/source of income. 

I have learned so much over the past year and have been through so many ups and downs. Blogging has definitely been a lot of work, but my husband constantly reminds me that I do it because I love it so that gets me through the rough patches. Also, getting comments & messages from you guys especially when you say I helped you put together an outfit/inspired you to wear something you thought you could never pull off, etc. literally keeps this blog rolling & makes my day.

I hope that wasn't all over the place lol. I haven't ever talked about that before, so I wanted to kind of give you the whole background story. 

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORKING AS AN RN AND BLOGGING?

This is definitely a work in progress. I work three 12 hour shifts a week as a nurse. So, between emails, taking photos, buying outfits then putting them together, checking and linking items in stock, finding time (and weather) to shoot, searching for collaborations, meeting deadlines, etc it definitely takes up a good bit if not all of my free time. I strive to post 3-5 blog posts a week, so sometimes I end up working on a post when I get home from work. I definitely try to balance my time so I don't take away from time with my husband (because our relationship, and God of course, to me is the most important thing) so I will keep our weekends blogging free. When I am off during the week I try to get up early to get blog stuff done along with wifey duties before he gets home. Also, depending on how busy the week is, we may shoot some outfits on the weekends, but that is rare and we keep it short. This is all stuff I strive for and am nowhere near to having it down. My husband is so supportive and I'm constantly beating myself up for not reaching my goals for the day or week but he's always there to tell me it's ok. My goal in the new year is to be more strict with my time especially since I will be starting school too. Blogging has been my baby, so I don't want to see it be put on the back burner.

IS BLOGGING ANOTHER SOURCE OF INCOME FOR YOU? IF SO, HOW DID YOU GET TO THAT POINT?

At this point, no. To be honest, it isn't even close enough to cover the clothes I buy/post. When I started blogging, I literally had no idea that blogging could be a job. I was months in when I found that out. If I do work with a specific company though, I mostly just do product trade and I always make it a rule that I chose the item. I have had a few paid opportunities, but declined them because they weren't things I would actually buy. I want to stay true to you all & myself. I wouldn't mind turning my blog into a business, but right now it still remains a hobby. 

DO YOU TAKE YOUR OWN BLOG PICTURES OR DOES YOU HUSBAND?

My husband does. He's getting so good at it and loves taking them. My youngest sister has taken them a few times for me too. 

HOW DID YOU GROW YOUR FOLLOWING?

This was tough. Since I transitioned from fitness to fashion, there was a lot of decline in growth before it started to go up. I remember right when we took off from NYC, I hit 1k. I also did quite a few loop giveaways at the very beginning until I reached 5k then one more to get to 10k. I stopped doing them as often because I realized after being pickier with what I posted and posting consistently, growth came. I also took time to engage in what I did have instead of constantly obsessing over my numbers. 

HOW DO YOU GET STARTED AS A LOOPER, HOW DO YOU FIND PEOPLE TO DO IT WITH YOU?

There are several accounts I have done loop giveaways with: @instaloops1, @giveawaysisters, @_l.u.x.e._, @classyloops, @instalooped, @heyitslynneg

Two tips, join one with the highest follower requirement. For example, join a 5K+ only loop if you're around 5K instead of an "open to all" loop. This way you will gain more followers. Also, your goal for joining loops is to gain followers that will engage in your feed. Choose to be part of loops that are majority of what you want your audience to be. If you own a shop, join a loop giveaway with other shop members. If you have a fashion account, make sure there are plenty of similar accounts in the loop.

WHAT ARE YOU CONTINUING SCHOOL FOR?

For my Master's in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner 

WHAT KIND OF RN ARE YOU?

I work in the Emergency Department 

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD THAT YOU LOOK LIKE RACHEL BILSON?

Only one other time, but you're so sweet! I love her!

WHAT CHRISTMAS MOVIES TO WATCH

The Holiday (my favorite), Elf, Christmas Kiss, The Spirit of Christmas, Four Christmases

WINTER VACATION IN UTAH RECOMMENDATIONS

This topic came up because I mentioned we were planning a winter trip to Colorado, but considering Utah. Some of your recommendations were Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Park City for shopping and fun olympic attractions. Someone mentioned something about pizza but my screenshot cut it off :( let me know if you remember. 

This was so fun and hope to do it again soon. We can plan another one like a "Get ready with me" or showing you all how I do my hair, mascara, etc! Let me know what you guys thing or if you have any other questions, let me know below. 

Hope you all have a blessed Christmas weekend! XO!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bell Sleeves & Bow Heels Outfit

BELL SLEEVE TOP (c/o) || BLACK PANTS || SHOES (similar for non JustFab members HERE) || CHANEL BOY BAG (smaller size dupe HERE for less than $200) || LIPS & put a layer of THIS (in Super Strawberry) on top 

I am usually not a "red" person, but this year I can't stop. It's just so festive & gives me so much Christmas cheer. I especially love this look with these bow shoes! They also come in black and black lace. I love them! They are so fun. I actually bought them last year and never wore them, and this year I want to pair them with every outfit. Give me bows and bell sleeves and I'll be a happy girl! 

This top is currently on sale for $16 and seriously such good quality! It also comes in black. I didn't take a picture of the back, but it has a tie at the top, and a deep V. You can see the back on the link I posted above. The top looks more burgundy online, but it's definitely a brighter red like in these pictures.  

You guys made my day on Instagram Live last night! We will definitely need to plan another girl's night again soon! I loved chatting with you girls and loved sharing what you all want to know! If you missed it, we talked about makeup, hair, blogging, what to watch on Netflix, how my husband and I met and lots more! I will have a summary of what we talked about on tomorrow's post. Also, since last night's IG Live was more of a free-for-all I would love to hear suggestions on different specific topics we can talk about next time. We can do a live on how I do my hair, all about my eyelashes, blogging questions, etc. Let me know and we can schedule a time and date. I'm beyond thankful for you all! Thank you so much for following along! XO!!

SHOP THIS POST


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Purple Sweater for Winter


SWEATER (wearing an XS; so many colors available) || JEANS (sold out, similar HERE) || BOOTS (they're the perfect Stuart Weitzman dupes for $100!) || BAG ($25 dupe HERE) | LIPS

I decided to switch up the Christmas-y posts and put together a more wintery look for you all. I love this purple sweater. It is only $40 and comes in every color! I love that it's more of a purple grey, so it makes you crave spring, but still perfect for your winter wardrobe. I also love the loose mock neck so you don't feel strangled (I hate that feeling). I'll definitely be wearing this sweater throughout the winter under jackets or vests because it's so cozy. I have really wanting the black one too because it will go with so much so don't be surprised if you see this sweater again soon!

I officially have one more gift to buy and I will be done with my Christmas shopping! Woo! I always vow to finish my shopping list early every year and well, fail haha! I'll do better next year lol! PS what are you all wishing for for Christmas?

SHOP THIS POST



 

site design by kelly christine studio