December 29, 2011

Three Ways to Wear: New Year's 2012!

Whether you're ringing in the New Year this weekend by keeping it low-key with friends and family, hitting up your favorite restaurant for a fancy dinner and some drinks, or going all out and partying the night away, the three looks I've put together below will definitely have you right in the spirit of a brand spankin' new year!

Sure you can play it safe by wearing that LBD in your closet that's always staring happily back at you, but this time around, spice it up and add some color, print, or interesting details like sequins, fringed shoulders, or metallics. Even if going that bold isn't your thing, think of New Year's Day as a time to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone - you won't be disappointed. Also, don't worry if you think it's too late to shop because it certainly isn't! Some of the best deals are out right now with stores having amazing after-Christmas deals, but hurry, it is this weekend after all!

Go ahead: start perusing your own closet to plan your killer entrance! After all, this could definitely set the tone for all of 2012 and I'm sure you want to start it off with a bang to look forward to a new year!

After styling these looks, I feel like even I need to step up my outfit and deck myself out some more. It's a new year, which can definitely mean a new you! What are you doing this weekend and more importantly, what are you wearing?! Share in the comments below!

Also, In-case you missed my post yesterday, check it out - a list of blogging resolutions for this upcoming new year!

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December 28, 2011

New Year's Wishlist: Blog Edition

This past semester was the first time I've had such a heavy load of schoolwork at a brand new school where I finally started focusing on my major all while working at Betsey Johnson 20-30+ hours/week. It was hectic and unfortunately didn't allow me to stick to the goals I had for my blog. Although I had a great year in blogging, I definitely strived to do better, and would like to do so even further for 2012. For this upcoming New Year, I, like many of you I'm sure, have set up a detailed list of resolutions that I plan on being very persistent towards, all while keeping myself busy, focused on school, working, and somehow finding time to still socialize! 

The new year is one of the best times to look back on your previous times, whether it be blogging, your education, your career, or yourself in general. What did you find yourself doing too much of? Was there something that didn't occur enough? What did you not make a priority that you now believe you should have? In general, I love looking at the New Year as a chance to change things, even though I'm constantly thinking about how I can improve on a daily basis. Nonetheless, here are ten resolutions that I've set - and you can to - for making my blogging journeys better than ever before. 

❤ Focus on quantitative goals rather than qualitative goals. I definitely need to dive into the blogging world more when it comes to building relationships with other fellow bloggers, which will, in turn help me out, too. For instance, goals like leaving 200 comments a month, adding 5 new pages to my blog roll per month, and hosting a kick-ass event to celebrate my blog - these will only motivate me to keep going even further and will leave me with a great feeling of accomplishment. 

❤ Make your resolutions time specific. Set smaller, short term goals instead of unrealistic ones that can actually stress you out. Just as I mentioned above, leaving 200 comments a month is much more achievable than driving yourself to leave 500+ comments.

❤ Stick to the motivation behind why you began to blog. Whether it's self-inspirational or you feel the need to share your interests and/or fashion knowledge with others - no matter what the reason may be, take time to reconnect with it. This will definitely help keep you motivated; after all, if we have little or no motivation to work on something, well, it won't get done!

❤ Don't ever compare your successes or failures to other bloggers - this is YOUR work! It's very easy as a blogger to compare your work to others, especially considering the amount of blogs and articles we read per day. But they aren't you! When thinking about all of your ambitions, only take into account yourself and who you are writing for (even if you are only writing for yourself - that's completely fine!) Don't ever feel the need to have a thousand ads because another does and especially don't feel obliged to showcase your statistics - who is asking!? 

❤ Don't feel obligated to join every single new social media site. It's important to know where your traffic is coming from. I'm definitely guilty of this - this past year alone, I'm pretty sure I've joined every single fashion networking site and I only find myself going back to a few of them. Know which ones you feel most comfortable in, you will use the most, and can reach out to others in the greatest way to better impact you and your blog. This way, you can actually put your energy and full devotion into building up those relationships in a genuine way. 

❤ Build sincere relationships. Blogging is an activity or job that we do on our own, so it's definitely very easy to feel like you are isolated and disconnected from others, especially since we mostly sit on our computers to do it all! Building up relationships with other bloggers, local boutiques, PR companies and readers can be quite the challenge but is very rewarding when doing so. 

❤ Conquer and master your fears. The blogging world is rapidly growing, especially in the styling sense. I'm sure we are constantly obsessing over bloggers who showcase their daily outfits with extensive details on what they are wearing, all shown off in high-quality photographs. Remember, for the most part, these fashion enthusiasts aren't professional photographers, they just practice! Get over your fear by finding tutorials and practice until you've perfected it! We have to be mini-experts in many fields as bloggers, so go on and start learning! 

❤ Learn the boring, yet important, things. You may know absolutely nothing about web design, HTML, CSS, or coding, but these factors can play a huge role into readers coming back to your site. I've taken the time to learn the basics that can make my blog stand out from others, whether it's knowing how to center my header perfectly, choosing a shade of pink that isn't too blinding regardless of what web browser you use, or what font is pleasing to my audience. Grab a tech-savvy friend, have them teach you the ins and outs and you'll notice a difference! 

❤ Put yourself out there with someone you want to work with. It's obviously easy to sit back  and wait for people to come flocking to you and your amazing blog. But you need to pitch yourself to that blogger, brand, company, or designer that you've been dying to work with. Shoot them an e-mail - say who you are, how you can work together, and why you would be a good fit. The worst they can say is they are not interested and the best that can happen is a brand spankin' new connection, internship, or job! 

❤ Take time off when you really need it. And tell your readers. Burning out from blogging is normal, as it's easy to fill every free moment of our lives with it. It's important to give ourselves credit, a pat on the back, and sit back to enjoy life for a bit. Enjoy a night out with friends, go on vacation to forget about your site for a day or two, or simply take up another hobby or interest that you can fill up your time with. This isn't to say blogging is negatively strenuous, but it's definitely tiresome! Just don't forget to let your readers know if you go on a hiatus - this is something I definitely need to do more often. 

Look out for my next post featuring looks to wear for this New Year - whether you're keeping it low-key by relaxing with friends or partying the night away, I've got you covered! Along with some tweaks to my page and more to come in 2012, stay tuned (:

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December 21, 2011

Mini Holiday Wishlist

As we all know, it's the holiday season which is partly why I haven't posted in quite some time. Not only do we have extended hours at work - open an hour early and close an hour later - but I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing in the Spring for school (right after the semester just ended, I know!), all while finding time in between to spend with my family and friends! You all feel me on that, right?! I'm sure.

It's been a bit of a chaotic (but surprisingly nice, being busy and whatnot) feeling but I feel like everyone is this way towards the end of the year! Nonetheless, I have an entire list of New Year's resolutions that I'm hoping to definitely stick to this upcoming year. One is to find a good balance between blogging, schoolwork, and social life. This is a non-negotiable! More on that list later, though.

Below is a mini compilation of my wishlist for the holidays - trust me, it can go on forever so I narrowed it down to a few random choices from the infinite list!

  • I always love staying in during the holidays partly due to the fact that I fill my room with scented candles that go along with the season. This time around, it's all about cinnamon and gingerbread; but of course, I always include cupcake/vanilla all-year-round!
  • Ever since single collars became quite the little trend this year, I've fallen in love! When looking for a jacket or coat, I always need the option of having the collar be detachable; and with this new invention of your own singular collar, there's no need to fuss about finding a jacket or coat with or without one!
  • I love pajamas. I'd like a good pair though, since mine tend to shrink a lot. Plus, being tall, I feel that Victoria's Secret has lengthier options that will last me a while. Slippers are always a must in the winter, too! I'm currently obsessed with my reindeer pair that I received last year (:
  • Anyone who has seen Breakfast at Tiffany's can instantly recognize this sleeping mask worn by Holly Golightly aka Audrey Hepburn! It's probably the cutest mask I've ever seen and it's back in stock at fredflare - I need to have it! 
  • Obsessing over seam-back and garter hosiery for the longest time now and still haven't snagged myself a pair. Why? I have no idea. I've seen several cute pairs at asos, too - I'd pretty much like them all.
  • Lip gloss/tinted lip balm is my new love! I carry different colors in my cosmetic bag which goes with me just about everywhere. Still haven't found my perfect match, though, so I'm definitely open to trying new ones. I've heard only good things about korres (which can be found at Sephora), so I'm thinking of trying out their products soon!
  • To me, hats can instantly sophisticate any outfit, especially if a cloche or beret is worn. Blair Waldorf pulls them off beautifully on Gossip Girl and ever since seeing her always look so put together with her various styles, I'm thinking I need a few pairs in my life, aside from the several berets I've collected over the years.
  • Disney is purely magical and the fact that it's in jewelry form with the Disney Couture collection just makes me so much happier and makes it that much more magical. It's the perfect gift to give and receive during the holidays. Who wouldn't want a gold-plated Mickey Mouse adorning their neck or a ring that says "believe?" I do...
  • About a year ago, I lost my favorite pair of leather fur-cuff gloves. I was so devastated! You know when you find that IT item - whatever it may be - and you'd be absolutely crushed if something ever happened to it and feel as if nothing could replace it? That's how I feel with these gloves. I'm hoping I can find a pair just as lovely as the ones I use to have!
What is on your wishlist for the holidays? I'm sure we've all done so much
 holiday damage in shopping already as well as continuously adding
 items to our list to make it that much more difficult for others to shop
 for us. At least we're prepared for endless holidays, right?!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a unique Three Ways to Wear post - I promise I'm going to do my absolute best to keep this more updated. It's quite embarrassing (and frustrating on my end) going on such a sudden and long hiatus - sorry! 

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December 6, 2011

work on your art.

When it comes to gloomy weather, there's nothing more that I would like to do than... sleep. I know, it's terrible! I've decided to make an early New Year's resolution to not waste time - no matter what - and to be the most productive I can possibly be. There are a number of distinctions that separate each blogger - and person, of course - from the next, and one thing I find to be on the top of that list is musical taste. IFB's 24th project is all about that - creating a playlist of your top songs that fill you with motivation, inspiration, or simple joy. I thought this would be a great post to do after this long and unannounced hiatus I've taken (which I'm seriously so embarrassed about and sorry for!). I'm definitely one to pump up music loud when I get dressed to go out and I've found myself choosing the music I play in relation what I'm going to do that day. That's not the case exactly with this feature, though; rather, I've compiled a list that simply motivates me into... pretty much following the message below:
Listen to Batman - he's right! It's really hard to go through over 4,000 songs in my iTunes and narrow this list down to under 20... so I most likely forgot a bunch that I otherwise wanted to include, but oh well! The ones I've chosen today are nothing but motivational, inspirational, and/or positive mood-lifters. Hopefully they will pump some energy into you as well because I know that there are some hermits out there right now that need a boost as much as I do!
  1. Aaliyah - Try Again
  2. Carolina Liar - Show Me What I'm Looking For
  3. Coldplay - Paradise
  4. Coldplay - Lost!
  5. Hilary Duff - Why Not?
  6. Kris Allen - Live Like We're Dying
  7. Lights - Lions
  8. Modest Mouse - Float On
  9. Tinie Tempah - Written in the Stars
  10. The Veronicas - 4ever
  11. Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
  12. Lupe Fiasco - Daydream
  13. Lupe Fiasco - Superstar
  14. Nsync - Celebrity
  15. T.I. - Dead and Gone
Finals are eating me alive right now so I'm hoping to get really energized from here on and forward - I can't stop now! When it comes to music, what are your favorite songs that you can always count on when you're in need of motivation, inspiration, up-lifiting, or all the above?! Share with me!

I mentioned a while back that I will be doing a review on some beauty products I received from Maybelline (which I am absolutely in love with!) along with an exciting giveaway, and I definitely still plan on doing so - just after finals are over! In the mean time (and to get a head start on entering), get subscribing to my blog and 'like' my Facebook page, as those are two of the three requirements to enter the contest! Stay tuned... you don't want to miss out - the prize package is fantastic! 
*Note - once I reach 100 followers on my blog and/or Facebook page, then the contest will begin!

I'm going to do my best to update in-between this hectic two weeks of finals; so bear with me some more, please! Trust me, I know nobody likes a long hiatus (or one at all, really), and I hate being away from my blog for this long - I feel so lost without writing and sharing my fashion finds with everyone. I still update my Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook though, so do follow those if you don't already! As always, submit any suggestions and/or questions you have regarding fashion, style, & beauty (or anything of the like) to my formspring - I'll answer all and pick my favorite(s) to feature in a 'Saturday Secrets' post!

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are making the best of the last month of this year - I cannot believe it's almost over! Not sure about you, but I'm looking forward to some major New Year's resolutions. 

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