Everything to Do in NY This Spring!!

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Spring has officially been here for a few weeks, but it’s finally starting to feel like it! The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, so it’s time to get out and start enjoying the new season. NYC is beautiful this time of year and the energy is so refreshing after what felt like a winter that would never end! Spring is a pretty short-lived season, so get out and make the most of it while you can! 

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Check out the Cherry Blossoms and all the Spring Blooms

Cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere right now! The ones in Central Park are full and fluffy, and the blooms at New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanical Garden are nearing peak bloom. Some people consider Sakura Matsuri the can’t miss cherry blossom moment of the season, but it’s insanely crowded. I prefer to visit on an off day when I can really take my time wandering the garden and enjoying the view, without the hundreds of people. 

NYBG is also home to stunning fields of daffodils and azaleas that are about halfway to peak bloom right now. Keep your eyes on their bloom tracker to best time your visit. And definitely don’t miss the Orchid Show, that is running until April 28th! 

 

Get Reservations at all the Rooftops and Gardens

Dining al fresco is so necessary but getting coveted tables for you and the squad can be tricky! I usually start booking reservations a few weeks in advance, then making plans with friends as I go. Waiting until the last-minute means missing out on prime outdoor seating during the most popular hours. A lot of places do take walk-ins, but I prefer not to be at the mercy of a wait list that can easily be an hour long! Plan a head or pick less popular times to make sure you can have the perfect Spring dining experience while the season lasts. My favorites are Lauduree, Public Kitchen, Jimmy for drinks and Serra at Eataly

 

Visit New Exhibits at all the City’s Museums

A museum day is one of my favorite things to do, especially on days where the weather is not quite nice enough to be outside. The iconic Costume Institute at the Met Museum opens May 9th and Brooklyn Museum has an incredible Frida Kahlo exhibit on now through May 12th. That one requires timed entry passes and they are selling out fast, so make sure you sign up asap! And on May 3rdthey open Nobody Promised You Tomorrow, a collection of work from 22 LGBTQ artists 50 years after Stonewall. 

 

Update Your Wardobe with Some Spring Shopping

Let your closet get a little taste of fresh air with some affordable fashion finds! Check out all your favorite retailers for Spring sales not to miss. You will need some new sundresses, flirty tops, comfy sandals, and standout accessories to get through the season! 

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The Grown Woman's Guide to Festival Style

Festival Season Style Inspiration

Festival season is here! If you aren’t flying off to live your best life at Coachella, at least you can add some festival inspired style to your Spring wardrobe. Most of the festival trends are pretty out there, and hard to pull off if you aren’t a lanky twenty-something year old. I love the festival season trends and try to interpret them in a way that is easy and appropriate for the normal, everyday life of an average woman. Here are a few ways to get a festival inspired look for a grown woman life!

Festival Season Fashion Trends
Festival Hair and Makeup Ideas

 Try a Fun New Hairstyle

 I’ve been rocking these DIY passion twists and they are all the rage! This look is probably one of the biggest natural hair trends I’ve seen this season, and they give you the perfect sophsticated bohemian guide. Check out my quick tutorial if you want to try to do it yourself, or find a salon that offers the style on Style Seat! They are so cute and can be styled long and loose or in fun, oversized buns and updos. I also love playing with different cornrow styles, and the easiest way to spice up your look is throwing on a cute wig! Whether in a bold color or new curl pattern, you can experiement with your look each season without compromising the health of your natural hair.

Go Bolder with Makeup

 Spring makeup can be very fresh faced, dewy, soft and romantic. When going to a festival inspired look, you definitely need to take it up a notch! Think about more intense shimmer or even glitters for your going out looks, and bold lip color like neon orange or hot pink. I also love layering on highlighter in shades of pink, champagne, or even purple! If your outfit is on the simpler side, a bolder makeup look is a great way to make a statement.

Update Some Go-To Pieces in Your Wardrobe 

Festival style is fun, so just pick a few key pieces that hit some of the trends to get the look! Think fringe, crochet, and bohemian patterns in clothing, block heel booties with Western flair, and plenty of accessories.  These are some of my favorite pieces that subtly hit the festival trend, while still being appropriate for every day adult life!

Let me know what festivals you’ll be heading to this Spring and Summer, and of course what you’ll be wearing!

Festival Fashion Tips

6 Ways to Get Ready for Spring

Birthday Celebration

April is the best month! Not just because it’s my birthday month, although that’s a good part of the reason why! Spring is in the air, the city starts waking up, and flowers start blossoming everywhere you look. Here are a few ways I get ready for my birthday and to kick off the Spring season!

Birthday Celebration Ideas
Birthday Celebration Ideas
6 ways to get ready for Spring

If You Haven’t Already, File Your Taxes!

You know what time it is! 2019 taxes are due April 15th this year, so don’t mess around! I usually do them in March because it takes a while to get all my paperwork from assorted blog campaigns together to file. I also like filing in March because I usually get my refund right around my birthday, so it’s always a nice little treat! Obviously I save the majority of it, but I do leave a little bit for me to plan something fun. Which brings me to my next point . . .

Schedule Your Spring Beauty Treatments

There are a lot of treatments I do on a regular basis to keep things in check! Laser hair removal is a big one, and you need to get those touch ups before summer so you don’t risk discoloration due to sun exposure. I always get my touch-ups in April so I have plenty of time to heal and protect my skin before sundress/bikini season kicks off.

I’m not big on facials, but I do indulge them occasionally. Chemical peels are my preferred choice, and I always get them from a dermatologist, NOT a day spa. Not knocking spas as they can be an amazing experience, but when it comes to strong chemicals being applied to my face with the goal of actually burning off the top layer of skin, I want that administered by a licensed medical professional! My go to dermatologist in the city is Dr. Carlos Charles at Derma di Colore, who has been keeping my skin glowing for years. I also love Dr. Sinha at Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery!

I definitely prefer massages to facials, so I make it a point to get one every year the week of my birthday. I actually get them every 3 or 4 months, but usually they are pretty intense massages, aimed at working out tension and helping me recover from my strength building workouts. The birthday massage is designed to be a relaxing one, that just lets me get pampered!

Plan a Party or Social Event

I usually have multiple events the week of my birthday because, well why not! I’m so lucky to have a lot of friends and any excuse to get them all together and eat cake and pop champagne is much appreciated. I made my reservations for brunch and dinner a few weeks ago, so just putting the finishing touches on some small details. If you don’t like planning birthdays or have a group of friends that would love to plan it for you, definitely take advantage! I just tend to take matters into my own hands when it comes to the birthday, and my friends usually love what I come up with so the trend just stuck. This year will be way more low-key than last year’s pajama party, since I’m super busy, but I’m so excited! The next thing to do is take advantage of my Rent the Runway birthday rental and pick out an amazing look! Did you know you get a free birthday rental with an RTR Pro membership? Check out their site for more details!

Try a New Hair Style

New season, new look right? I start playing with my hair more for Spring and Summer, trying out lighter colors, playing with more fun wigs, or trying trendy braided styles. The energy of the season just lends itself to experimenting with a new look! I’m going to be testing out the new passion twists that are all the rage, so stay tuned to my Instagram to see how this look turns out!

Clean out Your Closet for Spring

It’s time to transition your wardrobe from winter to Spring, and before you can take advantage of all the Spring sales, you’ve got to make room in your closet for the new additions! I always go through my closet and audit everything that needs to go and decide whether to sell it on Poshmark or one of the resale stores like Crossroads or donate it to Goodwill. I also usually pull out a few pieces that I want to keep but need some extra love, like fixing minor tears, treating stains, getting shoes polished, etc. Once you know what you are keeping for the new season, you can carefully shop around to round out your looks and options!

Plan a Summer Trip

Give yourself something to look forward to! Summer is a great time to travel, and if you want to find a deal now is the time to start looking. Coordinate with your friends or significant other on a dream destination or affordable little weekends. If you aren’t sure where to go, sign up for fare sale alerts and emails on most of the big booking sites. They will let you know about flash sales and discounted travel that will help give you ideas to start planning!

Let me know how you get ready for Spring and what you are most excited about this season!

fashion and beauty tips for Spring

3 Spring Trends! Get the Looks Under $100

Spring in NYC

Spring is officially here, even though it doesn’t exactly feel like it in NY! I’m sure things will pick up in the next few weeks, but I’m not waiting for the warm weather to get my wardrobe ready. You guys know I’m not a big shopper, and since I didn’t get almost anything new last Spring, my closet is looking a little dusty. Here are a few trends, I’m super excited about for Spring, and don’t worry – none of them include florals! 

Striped Dress Trend for Spring

The Stripe Trend for Spring

Stripes are the new floral this season. Wear bold ones, or neutral like this midi dress from Shop Red Dress. They are just as cute whether they are vertical or horizontal, so work them into your looks with dresses, shirts, and even bottoms or accessories

Striped Ruffle Mini Dress

 

Girly Dresses for Spring

Feminine Detailed Dresses for Spring

Girly is back again, and I’m here for it! Think sweet ruffles, bow detailing, and soft, feminine colors for Spring. Pair a dress that is shorter or has a sexier fit with sneakers or penny loafers to lend a more casual vibe. 

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Hair Accessories Spring Trend

I’ve noticed the hair accessories trend sweeping the blogs and runways so I’m testing it out! I usually keep my hair styles pretty simple, but this season is a fun time to test out a new look. Think bold hair clips, cute headscarves, and piled up bobby pins. 

 

Denim Dress Trend

New Denim Trend for Spring 

Denim is a wardrobe staple, but this season I’ve been playing with more interesting ways to wear it. I fashioned this dress from an oversized trucker jacket and love it! It’s great for days when it’s just a little too chilly and a jacket is necessary. You can get the look with any oversized, boyfriend cut jacket, and just add your favorite belt. 

3 spring trends under $100



Let me know what trends you are most excited about and shop the story below! 

Spring Trend Style Guide

 

 

Oldies But Goodies - 5 Pieces I Wear on Repeat That Still Spark Joy

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As a fashion blogger, you are expected to have a revolving wardrobe of brand new on trend pieces to show off every season. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may have noticed that I don’t post about shopping too often - simply because I hate it! Seriously, I am not a fan of shopping. It takes a lot to get me excited about shopping for new items, and these days I’ve been more focused on spending on travel and exercise, less on clothes. With the exception of a few Savage x Fenty orders, I haven’t almost anything new for Spring yet!

I’ve been doing some KonMari style home reorganization and that got me thinking of some of my favorite pieces that I wear on repeat. Here are some pics of me rocking some old gems that still spark joy! Hopefully this post encourages you to shop your closet and play with fun new ways to rock your favorite oldies but goodies.

Red Knit Skirt

This Alexander Wang knit skirt is so me! It fits perfectly, is sporty and sexy and looks just as great with heels as it does with sneakers. It’s also special to me because it’s the first time I walked into Barney’s and bought something for myself full price. No looking for dupes or scouring the web for discount codes. I don’t splurge on material goods often, but it was kind of a pat on my back for how hard I had been hustling.

Mums Handmade Knit Sweater

This Mum’s Handmade sweater had been on my list for ages! I got one of their amazing pink cardigans over a year ago, and got this baby when they had a summer sale. The knits are pricey and knockoffs are plentiful, but once you see it you will be amazed. It’s the perfect piece that is both trendy and classic, and will last for years with proper care.

Sergio Rossi Furry Shoes

Have you ever seen shoes like this??? These are from my days at Sergio Rossi when we got a glorious product allowance. I definitely don’t wear them a lot because they are sooo extra but they are the most unique thing I own and will be in my closet forever.

Pink Tulle Skirt and Black Blazer

And finally my pink tulle and chiffon skirt and black tuxedo jacket. I picked up the skirt on the High Street in London back in like 2010! And it still looks as good as it did the day I fell in love with it. The jacket is from the H&M/Isabel Marant collab from 2013. It’s so cool and classic and a piece that is still in heavy rotation.

Take a look at your closet and think about the pieces that mean the most to you and new ways to style them! Not only is it friendly to the environment and your wallet, it’s pretty damn fun!

Shopping Your Closet to Spark Joy

Why I Stopped Working with Photographers

What’s the main tool every blogger needs - photos obviously! In order to create content and maintain your schedule you need a reliable way to get photos for your blog and social media posts. I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now and over the past year I have seriously reduced my reliance on professional photographers to generate content. In this post I outline all the reasons why my content strategy shifted, the pros and cons of working with a professional photographer, and how I maintain my content. Keep scrolling, and check out the photos chosen for this post. They are some of my favorites that I created and edited on my own!

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I decided to reduce how much I work with professional photographers for several reasons, but it really all boiled down to one thing - wanting to have more control over my content. I looked at the influencers I admire most, like Asiyami Gold, Mossonyi, Tezza, and Tina from Of Leather and Lace. One thing they all have in common is they are all content creators. Even when they are not taking the photo, they have full creative control over every element of the photo and the final editing process. If you can’t create content without having a pro photographer at your disposal, your creative will always be limited.

Plus the only way to truly maintain a consistent aesthetic is to be in control of all of your visuals. For example, below is a side by side of my feed now, vs in a month when I created and edited all my own images, without using any professional photographers.

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The left is all original work, shot mostly with friends or other blogger girls and edited by me for consistency. And on the right is my most recent look. As you can see, things got a little disjointed! I worked with a few different street style photographers for pictures in between shows, then peppered in some original work for a sponsored project, and then pics from my trip to LA. I’m hoping to get my look back on track in the next few weeks, so will be going back to more of my own work.

The only way to really keep a consistent look and work with a pro is if you always use the same one. Plenty of influencers have a photographer on retainer, which can get expensive! If it’s not in the budget and an Insta-Hubby isn’t an option, take it into your own hands by working with friends or other bloggers in the same situation.

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Creating your own content becomes especially important when you begin doing more brand work. Negotiating sponsored posts with brands can mean they also want rights to use the photos, which technically the photographer would have the copyright to. If you want to truly own your photos and be able to license them to brand partners, you need to either have your photographer sign off on that, or you need to own that content!

I anticipate this year I will create about 65% of my content on my own - enlisting a pro really only on travel when my friends pics may not cut it, or when the wardrobe/location calls for one. And even then I plan on being super vigilant about color, lighting, editing, etc to make sure the my visuals stay consistent no matter who is taking the final shot.

If you are a blogger let me know how you handle getting pictures, and if you plan on taking more content creation into your own hands. And for those who want to take the DIY approach, check out my post on mastering the self-portrait!

content creation tips for bloggers
Working with Blogger Photographers

How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2019!

Pink Tulle Dress

Ever since Instagram implemented the algorithm, there have been countless posts about how to beat it. From quick and easy hacks to complicated, time consuming strategies, everyone is trying to find a way to beat Instagram at its own game. As an influencer, part of your success depends on your reach and the engagement you get on your posts so performance is critical. I’m far from an Instagram expert, but I have learned a few things on my journey as a microinfluencer, so I’m sharing some of my tips for how I’ve managed to maintain my account, get decent engagement, and keep the algorithm from making me crazy!

Pink Tulle Dress
NYC Photo Shoot Locations
Fashion Photo Shoot Styling

Focus on Instagram Engagement

Engagement is everything! You can’t control who sees your posts anymore, and you definitely can’t control who likes or comments on them. Since this post focuses only on things you can control, when I speak of engagement I mean how you are active and engaging on the platform. You can’t just post once a day, disappear, then expect your account to get traction. I spend about an hour a day on Instagram, engaging with new accounts and people that follow me. Yes, I go through my followers list and like, comment, watch and Insta-story or something to let my followers know I pay attention to them! If you are engaging with their accounts they are also more likely to see your posts in their feed and engage on yours!

Create Compelling, High Quality Content

There are so many influencers and brands posting on Instagram these days it’s impossible to stand out if your content isn’t up to par. Focus on creating content that is in line with your aesthetic, is eye-catching enough to make someone pause on your pic not just scroll past, and has an interesting caption. I admit I am not the best at captioning! I typically schedule my images so the visual flow makes sense, but I don’t caption in advance so I usually end up posting on the fly. I’m challenging myself to work on better captions because I firmly believe they help with boosting engagement and beating the Instagram algorithm.

Collaborate with Other Bloggers in Your Niche

Collaborating with other influencers isn’t just for fun! It can help organically expose you to a new audience and help you create new types of content that engage and excite your followers! I had a blast shooting with some of the Exclusively Social babes around NYFW and I hope to do more partnerships with other bloggers to have fun and help each other grow!

Have Fun and Remember Why You Started

I started my influencer journey to have a creative outlet when my corporate job felt stifling. It became my personal passion project, a place for me to challenge my creativity, make new connections, and post about things that excited and inspired me. So whether I’m posting from far-flung destination or frolicking in a tulle dress in a Brooklyn studio that rivals a Victorian mansion, this is my place to create what I want. Think about what you want, and how you can find other people that want to see what you create!

Instagram can always change their algorithm, and probably has by the time you read this post! By remembering the things that motivate you, inspire you, and challenge you as an influencer will make the journey all worthwhile.

Tips to Beat the Algorithm

Let me know how you are surviving Instagram and your life as an influencer!

A Sunny Staycation at Hollywood Hotel

Hollywood Hotel Review

This post is sponsored by Hollywood Hotel. All opinions are my own

Sometimes you need a winter escape. NYC has been freezing so I planned another little getaway to LA to get in some fun in the sun! I love the Hollywood area and Hollywood Hotel was gracious enough to partner with me on this post.

The 130-room Hollywood Hotel is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the city and offers incredible value in a central location. Situated in Hollywood, it’s minutes away from boutique shopping, world-class dining and cutting edge culture, and the closest hotel to The Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park, LA Zoo, Greek theater and Mount Hollywood hiking trails.

The hotel has an on-site fitness center so you can squeeze in a workout when traveling and a beautiful, open-air fountain courtyard, and outdoor pool. Plus they offer a complimentary hot breakfast buffet served daily. A unique feature of the hotel is Hollywood Hotel’s own Comedy Club, which brings all-star comedians to the property on a weekly basis.

Hollywood Hotel Los Angeles
Hollywood Hotel Balcony
Hollywood Hotel Pool
Hollywood Hotel LA Review
Hollywood Hotel Bar

The weather during my visit was pretty wet and chilly so didn’t encourage much exploring, so luckily the hotel was comfy enough for staying in. Make sure you stop by the bar, Route66 for happy hour and check out the vodka tasting!

Let me know if you end up here in LA and how you liked it! And thank you again to Hollywood Hotel for partnering with me on this post.

Hollywood Hotel LA Review

NYFW Outfit Guide - 5 Looks to Slay The Street Style Game

The best part of fashion week is obviously the fashion! Not just taking it in as new looks make their way down the runway and seasonal trends are born. I love seeing the streets of NY turn into a runway, with fashionistas turning up in their most eye-catching looks, and of course getting to show off your most fun looks as well! I had a blast putting together looks for this week, collaborating with Another Man’s Treasure vintage store and Nineteenth Amendement. Check out some of my favorite looks from the week! Since some of my items are vintage and or not widely available, I included links to similar pieces so you can get the look!

NYFW Lookbook: Outfit 1

Street Style New York Fashion Week
Fashion Week Street Style Inspiration

Emerald green is a can’t miss color and since your coat is the first thing anyone sees this time of year, I needed to make it a good one. I gave the playful wrap coat some shape by adding a chunky belt in contrasting gold and burgundy, and added these youthful black tights with a subtle cheetah print. You can’t see the full outfit, but I’m wearing a leather mini skirt and black cashmere sweater – simple, easy, but with just a bit of edge. 

NYFW Lookbook: Outfit 2

New York Fashion Week Street Style
New York Fashion Week Outfit Ideas

For this look, I was channeling a 70’s diva, complete with massive curls, a fluffy sweater, cream leather lace-up pants and a full length suede coat with huge fur collar. Everything is so extra, but because it’s in a monochromatic color palette, it works! Plus I’m super happy to be fitting into these pants again!  They are really old Nasty Gal, but I linked another amazing pair below!

NYFW Lookbook: Outfit 3

Fashion Week Style Guide
New York Fashion Week Trends

I was feeling romantic and edgy for this look. This dress is from Nineteenth Amendment Designer Leetal Platt. It’s got some edgy, sexy, metallic strappy details but a floaty, soft chiffon skirt. The contrast was my favorite thing about it. I played up the pattern on the skirt by topping it with a leopard print car coat. It took the look up just enough to be street style worthy! 

NYFW Lookbook: Outfit 4

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Tiger print is starting to trend, so when I saw this vintage fur jacket at AMT I had to grab it. It’s a classic fit but the print makes it fresh and eye-catching. I intended to keep the look simple, with just a forest green knit dress and nude booties but got this really fun furry swag bag after the Son Jung Wan show so walked out with it! I never thought I would love a fur bag so much! I think this one was specially made for show.

NYFW Lookbook: Outfit 5

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I ended the week with a giant pink bang in this oversized Bianca Zidik coat from Nineteenth Amendment. It’s bright pink, metallic, and a shaggy fur that is impossible to miss! I loved the feeling of strolling down the street in this baby and having heads literally turn! Plus it got lots of attention from paparazzi, so win win!

 

Let me know which look is your fave and what runway trends you are most excited about! And follow me on Instagram to catch up on all my fashion week fun in real time! 

NYFW Street Style Tips

Fashion Week Essentials – What’s In My Bag and How I Power Through

Street Style Fashion Week

Fashion week is here again! I’ve been so lucky to be a part of it for several years, as an industry professional and as a blogger! It really is an adrenaline rush of run, energy, excitement, and inspiration! Although it’s not without drawbacks – being exhausted, feeling the constant sense of FOMO if you have multiple shows and events at the same time and physically can’t make them all, plus trying to look glam when you just feel like a haggard mess. Not to mention in February the weather tends to suck, dashing all of your #streetstyle hopes and dreams. If it is one of your first seasons attending Fashion Week, congratulations! You are in for a treat. Here are the essentials I keep with me all week, and how I sneak in moments of self-care to keep myself sane.

NYFW Street Style
Fashion Week Outfit Inspiration
Fashion Week Outfit Ideas

What’s in My Bag for Fashion Week

On a daily basis I can seriously look like a bag lady, but when it’s time for shows I try to whittle it down so it can all fit into a chic clutch. I always have my unlimited Metrocard because I’m a New Yorker, a portable charger because a dead phone is absolutely not an option, and beauty essentials like lipstick, a mini perfume for touch-ups, blotting papers, and false eyelash glue. I also keep my 2 favorite credit cards and my Soho House membership card with me since it’s a great place to relax between shows. And healthy snacks like power bars, trail mix, or jerky to get you through. 

Because I am a gym rat and am fully committed to my fitness journey as you may have seen on my Instagram stories, I may also carry a second tote with gym gear in it! Depending on your schedule and how many shows you go to, you may have a 2 or 3 hour gap between events. That’s not enough time to run back home but just enough time to be annoyed at having nothing to do. If I know I have a day like that I will head into the city with my gym bag and drop it off at a New York Sports Club location near the shows. If I have downtime in the afternoon I can squeeze in a workout and freshen up before the next event, instead of wandering aimlessly. And when I’m done for the day and heading home I make a pit stop back at the gym to grab the back I left in the lockers, so I don’t have to lug it around all day.. If you are not in #beastmode like me, a better alternative is to just find a bar and day drink. 

 

How I Stay Productive During Fashion Week

As I mentioned before, fitness is one way I take care of myself, so getting it in is a priority. I work out 4-5x a week so at least one or 2 of those sessions need to be squeezed in around fashion week. You also always have to be on top of editing and posting content, last minute RSVPs that may roll in, and sponsored deals that may have deadlines or be in the works. I know I have blog posts due write after NYFW and I’m not about pulling all nighters! In between shows or while I’m waiting for them to start, or even when I’m in the subway or in a Lyft, I’m managing email or editing or drafting content on my phone. I use Evernote to draft blog copy, Snapseed, A Color Story, and Facetune for photo editing, and Unfold to curate my stories. Even if you only have 15 minutes of downtime between shows, you can crank through something on your to do list

 

Making Time for Friends During NYFW

The best part of fashion week is hanging with your glamourous friends! Me and the blogger babes typically share our schedules so we can plan to meet up. Having someone you know to sit with at a show is the best and taking fun group shots outside the shows is the icing on the cake. If you don’t have a lot of blogger or industry friends, a network like Exclusively Social is an amazing resource to find your #GirlGang! They have fun events and photo shoots, plus a world of resources on being an influencer. It’s members only so try to get on the list! 

Let me know how your week goes! And stay tuned to my Instagram to catch all the fun!

Surviving Fashion Week
Fashion Week Guide

Get Ready with Me: Glam Valentine's Day Looks with Upbra!

Glam Night in for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is just 2 weeks away! Hope you guys have your outfits ready to go. Today I’m giving you a little preview into how I get ready for a romantic night out, in collaboration with Upbra!

Upbra is my go to bra when I need to take my look up a notch! This bad boy gives you cleavage that is not for the faint of heart. It’s made in America and features  Upbra ActiveLift® technology and cleavage control straps that move your breasts up and center for maximum cleavage.  Pull the loops all the way out for the most high impact loop. Don’t worry about it getting uncomfortable, this bra is seriously surprisingly comfy!

If you want to keep some attention on your face, balance out the major babe look with glamourous makeup and hair! For this look I went with big voluminous curls and soft romantic makeup. Think a shimmery eyes with a touch of smoke, berry lips, and plenty of highlighter. And definitely don’t forget the lashes! 

I’m planning to wear a strapless dress, so going with the Upbra Strapless Bra in red. It’s just as supportive as the T-Shirt version I also have. It also features super cute heart shaped mini grips to keep your cleavage in place all night long.

Getting Ready with Upbra
Glam Beauty Look
Upbra Product Review
Upbra Product Detail Review

If you are still struggling to figure out what to wear, check out my tips in this post! Whatever you decide, be sure to make the first layer of your look the Upbra! Also, be sure check out their swim collection if you are in the market for a new bikini for summer

Valentines Day Glam Night In

Secure the Bag! How to Make Money as a Small Blogger

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So this has been a highly requested post that I was saving for the end of the year! I am going over all my invoices and making sure my accounting dashboard is up to date, but so far it looks like it’s been a pretty good year for the blog! If you are a new blogger or have been struggling to monetize your blog here is what has worked for me as I’ve established myself. I’m still working on it, so please take all of this as inspiration or my personal tips. You should definitely develop your own strategies and test them as you go on your blogging journey.

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Have a professional media kit and rate card

Before you can start making money, you have to look legit! Make sure you have analytics for your blog set up, and all of your social networks are Business Accounts so you can get insights. Then design a stellar media kit and rate card. I use Canva since the templates are so easy to work with. You should also do your research on what is a reasonable rate for you to charge based on your following/blog traffic.

Join Every Blogger Agency/Network

There are dozens of influencer networks/agencies that you can opt into. Most of them require you to make a profile and connect/authenticate your social profiles. Then you will either be in their database so they can include you in lists when their brand clients request influencers for a campaign, and some even show you a list of sponsorship opportunities you can apply to. It makes getting your profile and pitch in front of brands so much easier, and they are usually clear about the deliverables and guidelines, so you know what will be expected and when.

Here are a few that I have signed up for:

Social Fabric

Activate

Hashtag Paid

Fohr

Collectively

Clever

StyleHaul

Some have different requirements to join so check out each website and get to applying! The beauty of these programs is they connect you to brands that are their clients, and are super streamlined and easy to work with. There are several brands and retailers that I’ve worked with through these platforms on multiple occasions, so it gives you a library of content that you can use to pitch the brand directly! I do a good amount of my business through Social Fabric and Clever and they are super easy to work with. There are some tips and tricks you’ll need for a successful application in these networks, so stay tuned for a follow up post on that!

Use Affiliate Networks to Drive Sales

 Affiliate networks are a great way to generate revenue from your blog. Companies like RewardStyle, ShopStyle and Amazon all have influencer affiliate networks. The process is pretty simple – once you join the network you can create trackable links to use for products you post about. If someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, you get a small commission on it. If the customer returns the item within a certain window, usually 30 days, your commission goes away. The commission you get on each sale is pretty small, around 3-15%, but the awesome thing is you get commission of their entire order, not just if they buy the one item you had in the post! So if you start out clicking on an eyeshadow palette I had in a Sephora beauty post, but end up buying $500 worth of skincare, I get commission on the $500 total! So when you have good traffic , spendy followers, and post regularly in can start to add up.

For example, here is a shopping gallery where you can see the items I’m wearing in the images above. When an item is sold out or no longer available, like the Manolo sandals I’m wearing, I link to something similar.

If you click the slip and go shop on Savage x Fenty, I will NOT get a commission because that brand is not in the affiliate network. But I still included it because I love the brand and think you guys should check it out! However the jacket and shoes are from in network retailers so I will get a commission. This is not a very big stream of income for me just because the payouts are quite low and I never link to things I don’t actually like. 

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Not Every #Ad is a Paid One, and That’s ok!

The fact is not every partnership is going to be a paid one, but free stuff is fun too! The fact is a lot of brands do not have influencer budgets, or only spend on bigger influencers or celebrities. However some companies do very generous gifting or products and experiences! I’ve gotten amazing skin care and beauty sets, clothing, complimentary salon and spa treatments, access to exclusive events, and even free travel! If you are new to brand partnerships, working in exchange for product is a great way to get experience creating branded content. It also really helps to offset the amount you spend on things you will use anyway. Plus there is always pressure on a blogger to have new items to post about or review, so having connections to brands that will gift will enrich your content and expand your reach and experience. If you are still struggling with pitching, here are some networks that specialize in getting you freebies!

Influenster

Octoly 

Bzz Agent

6 ways to make money blogging


Pitch Brands Yourself 

Once you have your banging media kit and successful examples of brand work from agencies or free collaborations you may feel ready to start hitting brands up yourself! The art of the pitch is really something that deserves its own post, so more to come. However, the best way to negotiate your projects and payment on your terms is to work with the brand directly. Typically when you get a gig through an agency, the brand went to that agency with a total campaign budget that also included agency fees. If a third-party isn’t taking a cut, you can definitely get a higher rate! I usually send an introductory email with my stats attached and a description of the project or concept and ask if they would like to work together. I usually pitch about 4 to 6 weeks out, so started holiday in October, Valentine’s Day right after New Year’s and am now working on ideas for Spring Fashion in March. The timing gives me time to get my pitch list and concepts organized and ready to go. Plus, you need to get in front of brands before budgets are allocated! Most brands have an influencer marketing budget that they break up seasonally, so you should get on their radar before plans are locked-up and other influencers cast. 

 Create a Product You Can Sell

A lot of bloggers and influencers also earn money selling products. The most common ones I’ve seen are presets for photo editing or e-courses. Some also do merch like mugs, t-shirts, etc. If you feel like you have a service to offer that your audience would be interested in think about selling it on your blog. I’m personally debating putting together an e-course, so let me know in the comments if you’d be interested! 

And Remember - It’s ok to Say No!

Just because you are new to the game and trying to secure more partnerships does not mean every opportunity is right for you. It could be a question of timing, deliverables, the pay being really low, or it not being a brand you vibe with. Personally, I say no to a lot of projects if the I feel what the brand is asking is taking advantage. Because of my background in marketing and my experience in campaign production, I can easily call bullshit when a brand asks for certain terms. I have said no to brands asking for an unfair exclusivity term, image usage rights I was uncomfortable with, and when they ask me to not disclose our partnership. Every influencer and brand knows the FTC requires disclosure so it’s a dishonest practice that will get you fined for not obliging. Evaluate every offer carefully, and do some research in blogger groups or influencer platforms to get a better idea of what is and is not standard to ask in a partnership.


If you are a new blogger or influencer reading this and are hoping to start cashing in, I hope these tips helped! I’ll be continuing this series with posts like the below: 

 

  • Contract Negotiations with Brands so you can get the most out of all the sponsorships that will be rolling in!

  •  Tax Tips You Need to Know for Your Blog

  •  Content Creation Strategy

  •  Double Duty – Managing a Blog and a Full Time Job

Making Money as an Influencer

 

 

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas for Every Occasion!

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Is anyone starting to feel the Valentine’s Day spirit, or just the urge to binge on candy? Whether you are coupled up or single af, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to spend some time showing appreciation to the ones you love. So whatever you have planned to celebrate that special day, I’ve got your outfit ideas covered! Check out my ideas for looks for any Valentine’s Day evening you may have planned!

What to Wear for a Fancy Valentine’s Day Date

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If you know you are going out on the town in high style, you better bring your A-Game and get ready to get glam! I love a romantic lace dress in a body skimming silhouette. It’s feminine, sexy but not too much, and will be guaranteed to keep your dates eyes on you. Pair it with simple, elegant heels and tasteful classic jewelry for a look that is ladylike glam.

What to Wear for a Casual Valentine’s Date

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The best way to look pretty, stylish and casual but also make sure you stay warm is a sweater dress and boots. Pair a cozy knit dress with high boots so your legs stay covered and throw your favorite coat on to finish the look. The vibe will be cute and fashionable, but still casual cool, so perfect for a low-key date night.

What to Wear for Valentine’s Day Girl’s Night Out

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If it’s ladies night wear something fun, comfy and fashion forward! I like mom jeans, a chunky sweater and a moto jacket. Pair it with some killer heels or booties for the perfect look for girls night out.

Valentines Day Outfit Ideas

Let me know what you think of these ideas and where you will be for Valentine’s Day!

Is Rent the Runway Unlimited Worth It?

rent the runway gown rental

Ever wonder how bloggers seem to have an endless assortment of designer clothes and accessories for the perfect #ootd or glam night out? Well the secret isn’t necessarily an unlimited budget! Rent the Runway has been one of my go to sources for formal events or weddings for years, but I recently decided to give an unlimited membership a try. I was gifted a code for a free month after attending one of their events at WeWork, so decided to give it a test run in December. My schedule was pretty full between holiday parties, photo shoots, and traveling to Art Basel. I definitely needed a collection of Instagram worthy looks at my disposal but was absolutely not going run up my credit card bill for the gram. Here are some of the looks I rented and my thoughts on whether or not Rent the Runway Unlimited is worth it, and getting the most out of your membership!

rent the runway unlimited review

Rent the Runway Unlimited isn’t technically unlimited! You can have 4 items out at a time, and you are encouraged to return multiple items in one shipment to reduce the environmental impact. However you can swap out items as often as you want! The processing time is super fast - usually my items were received the next day and I could order my next round. And if you order before 2pm and ship to store they usually arrive the same day. For the looks below, I ordered them a few days before I had my holiday shoot scheduled and shipped them back when I was done.

Holiday Looks from Rent the Runway
Holiday Gowns from Rent the Runway

The membership also came in super handy before my trips to Savannah and Miami. All my summer clothes were packed away for the season, so renting was a perfect option. Here are some of the fun looks I rented for travel to warm weather destinations.

Miami Art Basel Outfit Ideas
Yellow Dress on the Beach
Outfit Ideas for Savannah Travel
Orange Ruffle Dress

Plus they have more than just formalwear and fancy dresses! I rented this statement coat because I was bored with my winter rotation, and this casual sweatshirt for weekend brunch.

Star Print Faux Fur Coat Rent the Runway
CaliYork Sweatshirt Rent the Runway

So is Rent the Runway Unlimited worth it? I say yes if you are someone who goes to a lot of events on a regular basis, or if you are a blogger and always need fun items to shoot! It’s also great to activate your membership during busy times, like for wedding season or during the holidays when you have a lot of parties. Then you can freeze or cancel for the months when your schedule is lighter and you don’t need to rent as much.

Let me know if you try it, and here are links to the items I had in rotation!

How to Get an Unlimited Wardrobe




The Best Statement Coats to Shop on Sale!

Printed Statement Coat

What was that? Couldn’t hear you over the volume of this coat! Seriously - how loud is this jacket? It’s completely over the top and I love it. I always like to have a few statement coats in rotation for the season. After all, when it’s freezing cold outside your coat is the first thing people see, so why not make it a good one?

Even though it’s January and we are all completely over winter, now is a great time to buy a new coat. You’ll still get weeks of wear out of it, and everything is on sale! And since you won’t have worn it to death it will still feel fresh next year when you pull it out again. If you are in the market or just looking for a deal on a super fashionable new item, check out some of my favorite statement coats all on sale now! Prices range from pretty luxe to under $50, so there is something for every budget.

Shop the trend below and let me know your faves!

Printed Statement Coats on Sale Now

Yellow Faux Fur Statement Coat
Faux Fur Coat Trend

Faux Fur Statement Coats on Sale Now

Shiny Statement Coats on Sale Now!

statement coats for winter

How to Mix Prints and Make it Work!

Print Mixing Tutorial
How to Mix Prints in Fashion
Snakeskin Print Maxi Dress
Print Mixing Fashion Trend

It’s my first post of 2019! I realized I haven’t done an outfit post in quite some time, so wanted to kick off my content for the new year with one of my favorite topics - fashion trends and how to wear them.

Hope you guys are recovering nicely from the New Year’s Eve festivities and are ready to jump into the new year. If you made any 2019 style resolutions, why not start kicking them off? I love experimenting with trends, and mixing prints has always been one of my favorites. It can be a tricky look to pull off, but when done correctly makes your look unforgettable.

There are a few things to know when mixing prints to keep from looking crazy. One thing to remember is to keep the color families similar and not too bold. Mixing both prints and colors can put you in the doing too much zone, and you want to keep it chic and stylish. I also prefer to keep the prints in a similar size/scale for balance. In the look above, I paired a grey snakeskin maxi dress from Zara with a vintage blue plaid coat. The grey and blue play nicely together and both prints aren’t too big or too small, so they work well when paired. Keep the rest of the look clean to let your prints stand out. I went for classic, minimal jewelry and simple black booties with a chunky heel.

Let me know how you feel about the print mixing trend, and shop the look below!

Print Mixing How To Guide
Print Dresses Style Tips

2019 Travel Bucket List - 4 Can't Miss Destinations

2019 Travel Destinations
travel tips for 2019

Something highly unusual is happening for me right now. It’s almost the end of December, and I seriously have ZERO 2019 trips planned at this point. This time last year I had 4 trips planned between February and May, so this is definitely not my style! Granted, I did say I was going to prioritize my savings in an aggressive way, so cutting back on leisure travel is a big part of it. But I’m still completely itching to hop on a plane to somewhere for a few days! Hopefully I’ll drum up some business that takes me somewhere exciting, but in the meantime I’m fantasizing about a few places that are hot on my list this year.  Fingers crossed I make it to a few of these!

 

Bordeaux, France Wine Country

I love spending time in Europe in Spring and summer, and have been lucky enough to explore a lot of the continent since I lived in Italy. Yup, did you guys know I speak Italian? I’ve been to several cities in France, from Paris to the South, but have always skipped over wine country. I’ve been pretty inspired to go since one of my old friends bought a GORGEOUS villa there! It’s the Domaine de Montvert by Sitawi-Bottone in Saint Emilion Bordeaux wine country. It’s unbelievably charming and big enough for a family or group of friends. Bordeaux is supposed to be one of the most stunning regions in France, and since I already have the perfect place to stay in mind, I need to start planning a trip However, for the first trip on my 2019 Travel Bucket List, I'm considering a visit to my friends at JP Linguistics (www.jplinguistics.com) to help me brush up on my French before I go! They offer really fun language classes in French, Italian & Spanish in SOHO, NYC and it might be just the right time to pay them a visit as I prep for the first trip on my bucket list!. France can be a pretty tough country to travel if you don’t speak any French, so taking a few lessons will come in handy!

 Sri Lanka Beaches

 

Another region that has been on my radar all year is Sri Lanka. It’s quite a trip, but the scenery looks so stunning and it’s supposed to be pretty affordable once you are on the ground. 

 

All Over California

 

In 2018 I said I wanted to do more domestic travel, and I’ve had a blast in several new cities in the US. I went to Cali a few times this year, mostly for business, and every time I went I wished I had more time there. So in 2019 I owe myself a true California vacation experience – no work, just beaches, scenery and exploring!

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

I’ve been ready for another trip to Africa since my incredible journey to South Africa a few years ago. Zanzibar has been calling me loud and clear, so WHEN I can afford that long-haul sure to be pricey flight I will be on my way. 

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Let me know what is on your travel bucket list for next year any beyond, and shop this story below!

 

 

 

 

All that Glitters! Bringing the Sparkle for this Holiday Season!

Holiday Dressing Ideas
Holiday Glam Beauty Ideas
Holiday Hair and Beauty
Holiday Season in NYC

Sequins? For holiday? Groundbreaking!

Obviously we all know the holiday season is the time for glitz and glamour and to bring all your sparkle, but seriously! Why not bring ALL THE SPARKLE! It’s the only time of year you can get away with dressing this obnoxiously, so don’t worry about being restrained. Go all out now and save your basics for January. Blazer dresses were a major trend for Fall, and I’m still loving it now!  Mixing two trends can be frowned upon, this one somehow combines the blazer dress trend and the holiday sequins trend and makes it work.  I got it from Rent the Runway, which is my hero this time of year because my Unlimited membership keeps me covered for all the events and parties that pop up. If you have been on the fence about membership, I’ll be posting more about it in a few weeks, but depending on your social schedule this month you should consider taking advantage!

But back to this dress! It’s definitely one to keep all eyes on you, and I love the loose silhouette. It hides all the sins from holiday eating and you can dance all night in it. I paired it with a pair of thigh high boots because it’s just too chilly for tights and heels these days, but if it were just a bit warmer it would look great with high heeled booties as well.  I finished the look with equally glam makeup – a soft smoky eye and deep red lip.

If you are still looking for the perfect standout dresses for whatever your holiday season may bring, shop some of my faves below!

How to Dress for the Holidays

Let me know what you guys have planned to celebrate the season and what you end up wearing to each. And if you want more tips for holiday makeup, check out this post here!

Cyber Week Sales You Can't Miss

Cyber Week Shopping Tips

Happy Thanksgiving guys! I’m getting ready to start stuffing my face, but before I do, I had to share some can’t miss deals you need to start shopping. This is the best time of year to save big on everything from holiday presents, your favorite things to stock up on, and even travel deals for your next vacation! If you are ready to do some serious shopping, here are my favorite sales for Cyber Week!

Fashion Sales and Deals

BB Dakota

Take 50% off Fall 2018 Black Styles starting Friday, 11/23, and starting Monday, 11/26 shop Fall 2018 Outerwear at 50% off. Use code THANKS50 at checkout for both!

Fashion Nova

How’s up to 80% site wide sound? Get some amazing discounts on already affordable items with code BLACK40.

Topshop

Take up to 50% off selected lines, prices already marked down on site!

Revolve

Influencer fave Revolve is also having 50% off select items! Some stuff can still be a bit pricey, so if you are anything like me, sort by price before diving in!

Nordstrom

Black Friday is the best time to shop Nordstrom, maybe even better than the Anniversary Sale! They are offering up to 60% off across categories, including Women’s, Men’s Kid’s and Home!

Cyber Week Beauty Sales

Beauty and Skincare Sales

Nars

One of my go to brands is having a 20% off sitewide sale, including exclusives you won’t see anywhere else! This is the only time of year Nars offers discounts, so stock up while you can!

Ulta

A slew of Black Friday deals, from $10 mascaras $15 palettes, and 40% off beauty faves from Anastasia Beverly Hills!

Sephora

They just wrapped their VIB Sale, but are still offering up to 50% off items in their Beauty Sale section! Take a look, especially if you missed out on the VIB discounts!

Hum Nutrition

My go-to vitamin brand for pretty much anything is offering 50% off site wide with code HUMDAY18. I take about 6 of their vitamins on a daily basis so will be stocking up on my faves!

DevaCurl

Give your strands some TLC with Devacurl! I love their product line and they are currently offering Buy 2 get 1 Free on select products. Not the best deal, but they are pretty pricey and don’t discount often, so take what you can get!

Cyber Week Shopping Sales


Holiday Travel Deals and Steal

Delta

Yes airlines have sales too! Delta is hands-down one of the best and on their limited edition Black Friday sale International Flights are on sale in a big way! I’ve seen fares from several major US cities to European destinations like Paris, Portugal, and the UK. Get to browsing and be prepared to get creative with your dates!

Priceline

The discount travel site is offering a slew of Black Friday hotel discounts for email subscribers, with Express Deal coupons for up to 50% in savings on hotels. Get on their email list so you don’t miss out!

Cathay Pacific

A flight to Asia for $600! Yes please. Cathay Pacific’s Black Friday sale is on, with up to 60% off flights to several Asian destinations.

IHG Hotels

IHG Hotel group is offering 25% off the best available rates on over 5,000 properties in their network, plus additional perks and bonus points for loyalty members. So if you aren’t planning a vacation, now is a good time to start!

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Let me know what you guys are most excited about buying!

Nail the Trend! How to Rock Head to Toe Velvet

Who has a crush on velvet?

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Me, obviously! I can't get enough of the lush fabric, especially when it comes in a lush jewel tone. I got an amazing burgundy velvet jumpsuit from Pretty Little Thing a few weeks ago and have been scouting and shopping for more since then!

I was instantly obsessed with this velvet suit from Zara. Talk about a winning combo! There is something soft and drapey about the pants and jacket, lending a sophisticated pajama vibe to the look. I styled it with a statement belt instead of the coordinating sash that came with the jacket. It adds a little bit of a boss lady feel to the finished look. You could layer a stylish bralette underneath the jacket and let it peek out a bit, or just wrap it tight and go like I did! Just don't forget to add heels!

If a full body velvet look is too much for your taste, you can always style the pieces separately. The jacket would look fab with jeans or a simple black dress,  and you can easily pair the pants with a cozy knit sweater or classic white blouse. Velvet mini skirts or dresses are also adorable with tights and flat loafers. Shop this look and some of my favorite velvet pieces below!


And let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more videos on the blog! I typically share them on Instagram but can definitely post more here as well!