30 January 2013

Linked Up

Thanks for all your feedback on Monday re: blog marketing. Granted most of us are just blogging for the fun of it, but it's interesting for me to learn a bit about how you ladies "run" your blogs.

utility  utility

To continue the conversation, I'd like the turn the topic a bit towards blog monetizing. Monetizing a blog refers to many things, such as taking on sponsors, advertisers and pretty much anything a blogger does on their site to make some moola, but I'd like to concentrate on affiliate linking.

I use affiliate links on my blog - which most of you know, means that when you click on a link for an item on one of my posts, I make a few cents off your click-through. So if you click a link on my outfits details on the bottom of most of my posts, it'll take you to that item via an affiliate (I use ShopSense) first instead of going directly to the site. I make tens of dollars a month doing that, which is just about enough to buy myself something cute on sale and a pizza dinner (ham and pineapple, please).

utility  utility

But it's still more money than I started out blogging with and I personally don't find a problem with using affiliates or clicking through other blogs' affiliate links. Blogging takes a lot of time and work, and my free pizza is a nice bit of compensation. Plus I like to shop, I may want the same shoes I see you wearing, and I am sometimes too lazy to go to Google to find them myself. (I think it can be a hard line to walk for a blogger, though, to find that balance between something that can benefit themselves monetarily without necessarily turning off their readership or becoming too intrusive).

Where I admittedly have a double standard on is when I notice people using affiliate links in places like on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter. I know there's really no difference if I were to click on an affiliate link through a person's blog post or so their Facebook page, but it bothers me a bit and I can't quite put my finger on why exactly.

I know a lot of your ladies have very specific opinions on the use of affiliate links so I'd love to hear from you. What do you ladies think about blogs that monetize? 

utility

utility

Vest: F21 hooded utility (sim, sim, longer)
Sweater: J.Crew tippi (worn here - same cashmere, sim, sim)
Top: J.Crew perfect stripe (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Jeans: BR classic skinny (worn here - sim, sim, steal)
Necklaces: J.Crew factory chandelier (sim, sim) & C.Wonder square stone bling (sim)
Bracelets: J.Crew, Asos, C.Wonder pave initial (sim enamel)
Bag: Coach legacy penny (studded, sim, luxe)
Shoes: Frye jane stitch (worn here - suede, sim, buckled)

28 January 2013

Somewhere Out There

You ladies are all aware, but blogging can be a total time suck. The amount it takes to put together an outfit, take pics, load pics, wrack your brain for words that make up a post, etc. And that's just some of what's involved to get your own blog up and about.

pink & pearls  pink & pearls

But just having a blog isn't enough, is it? If you're going to be brave enough to put yourself on the Internet, there's no point to do it if no one knows you're there, right?

When I started this blog, I didn't have big aspirations for it - in fact, I wasn't sure I was going to be into it enough to last a month or two. I had stumbled on a community of fashionistas interested in the same retailers I was and was attracted to the real-life styles and sense of camaraderie. I wanted to be part of it.

pink & pearls  pink & pearls

Getting people to know I exist in blogdom has taken a long time and hasn't been easy. I don't a whole lot to market my blog, so what have I done to put myself out there? I approach my blog as a fun hobby, but I still try to put together the best style blog I can with the time and "talent" I've got. And I try to be courteous to others by responding to reader comments and visiting new blogs. I think the only marketing-y things I do are also to have FB and Google + pages, but I really only link my posts there - and I'm still naive to the Tweet or Insta worlds, so I guess I am behind the blog-marketing times.

I'm curious, ladies, how do you get your blog "out there" to the world? Are there blogger marketing tactics that you find really helpful - and those you think are kind of annoying?

pink & pearls

pink & pearls

Top: LEC gingham poplin (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Skirt: J.Crew no.2 pencil in double-serge wool (worn here - sim, sim, tweed)
Jacket: J.Crew tweed khaki moto (worn here - contrast, faux leather, all pink, floral)
Necklace: AT pearl & pave cluster (worn here - sim, sim, blingier)
Bracelet: AT pearl & pave cluster (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Shoes: c/o ShoeMint (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)

25 January 2013

Camouflaged

Thanks so much to Ginny and Nicole for passing along the Sunshine Award to me, I'm very flattered! Major props to you both for almost being done with your 30 pieces for 30 days style challenge!

♡    ♡    ♡   

 camo

As a gal who adores fashion, is a bit of a shopaholic and has a daily style blog, I'd like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded person when it comes to trying new things in the name of fashion. Cropped harem pants? Check. Super chunky platforms? Done. Dayglo everything? Yes and un-huh (pay no attention to the  the crazy hair ...).

But when it comes to something I've already made up my mind about? Fuggedaboutit.

For most of my life - literally - I almost never wore skirts or dresses. I was a shy nerdy athlete growing up and always felt self-conscious about my legs because I had pretty muscular calves that were nicknamed "mango calves" by my friends at school. Plus skirts and dresses were "girlie" and "precious" and that's the last thing I was.

  camo  camo

So it was literally not until I started my blog - this blog - that I finally began branching out and started snatching up skirts. My legs, that I wanted to hide when I was younger, was suddenly one of my best personal assets.

What happened? Seeing all you ladies in blogdom looking so good in your frilly skirted frocks. Realizing that it's been years since I've tried baring my legs and maybe it wouldn't be that bad if I did.Thinking that maybe I could look good too. And the worst that could happen?

Enter blogging Lisa, present-day. 

I've conquered skirts, dresses, accessorizing, stilettos, red lips, skinny jeans, colored bottoms. And today I can cross "camo" off my mental sartorial blacklist too.

What are you trying lately that's sartorially new for you? Are there still styles or pieces you're still not ready or willing to at least consider?

camo

camo

camo

Jacket: J.Crew camouflage chino (sim, sim, sim)
Tunic: F21effortless calm (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Tee: LEC (sim, sim)
Jeans: BR classic skinny (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Belt: J.Crew (sim, sim)
Necklace: Personal Jewelry via Etsy (worn here - sim mini, larger, pricey)
Bracelet: Ann Taylor pearl & pave cluster (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Brooch: Broochmaker via Etsy (worn here - sim, sim)
Bag: Brahmin sadie (worn here - sim, sim, plastic)
Boots: Frye jane stitch (worn here - sim, sim, tasseled)

23 January 2013

So Not Sick

olmeda blues   olmeda blues

 It feels like everyone's got the flu or some sort of severe cold lately. And I am scared, because I've been putting off the throat tingle and sniffly nose for the past two weeks now with a combination of hot tea, copious amounts of vitamin C and sheer will (got a big biz trip and meeting coming up - Can't. Be. Sick.).

If I keep going-going-going, I will make it - at least until after the trip. Because once I stop ... wheez, cough, hack. That'll be it for me.

olmeda blues  olmeda blues

As a sick person, things are not pretty for me. About the same time the red chafed nose appears, so does the terrible under-eye circles, the acne (why?!), the general malaise coupled with an uncontrollable urge to eat pretty much every single thing - except the fruits and vegetables - in my kitchen despite having no appetite. And general cleanliness will go right out the window. I will be wallowing in pretty much the same set of fleece jammies layered under an over-sized sweatshirt and Ugg boots for about the duration. 

(I know, getting a cold is glam style blogger business, isn't it? And sure, I could've just written "I am starting to feel sick," but I've got to put my literal arts degree to good use every now and again, don't I? So what's the take-away here? When I get sick, best to just Nyquil my ass out).

Do you ladies have any tips for staying healthy during the height of flu season? And if you do get sick, what makes you feel the most comfortable?

 olmeda blues

olmeda blues

Jacket: J.Crew Robert Noble herringbone (worn here - sim, sim)
Top: Fei by Anthropologie button-down cowl (worn here - sim, sim, long-sleeved)
Skirt: Tabitha by Anthropologie olmeda (sim, black/purple, tiered, pricey)
Tights: Anne Klein
Necklace: C.Wonder square stone (sim, sim)
Ring: BR (sim, sim, deco)
Boots: Vince Camuto bronco (worn here - sim, sim, sim)

21 January 2013

Selfish

I consider myself to be a reserved pack animal. I enjoy being with people and  having them around me, but sometimes I just want them to leave me the heck alone. Things that I can't help but love to do in solitude?

red with stripes  red with stripes

My nails - either doing them myself or getting them done. It's a bit of completely indulging myself time that I savor.

The physical act of shopping. Granted I do most of my shopping online nowadays so I can appropriately hem and haw endlessly over a purchase, but when I go to stores, I actually prefer going without friends and not being helped by sales associates unless I ask for it. Otherwise I am easily coerced in buying things I may not really like - and honestly I don't like to stand around waiting for other people to finish their dawdling.

red with stripes  red with stripes

Cleaning the house. And cooking. Both because it calms my mind as I have to concentrate on whatever the repetitive task is at hand. And because no one else can do certain things right (i.e., my way or the highway - so Type A, I know).

Exercising. Granted, I'd probably be more consistent with the workouts if I buddied up with some friends, but I feel like I can "booty shake" with more determination without an audience.

Watching Downton Abbey. I just saw the entire series one this past weekend. Literally got up at three a.m. on Sunday morning to watch the last episode. The show is just so properly addictive - but to keep track of all the characters and storylines, I need to pay attention!

What do you enjoy doing on your own?

red with stripes

red with stripes

Sweater: Zara striped t-neck (worn here - sim, larger, tunic, grey)
Top: J.Crew selvedge chambray (sim, sim, steal)
Pants: Old Navy rockstar pop-color cords (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Clutch: C.Wonder color block (worn here - sim, pricey, blue)
Bracelets: C.Wonder pave initial (sim script), J.Crew, Old Navy, Asos (sim, sim, sim)
Ring: c/o INPINK turquoise polished stone (worn here - sim, steal, luxe)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson jaide leopard (worn here - sim, slingback)

18 January 2013

Party Girl


quilted paisley

 I'm typically a pretty casual, easy-going gal when it comes to going out. I prefer jeans, tacos and beer on tap out on a back deck as opposed to cocktail dresses, canapés and "signature" tall-stemmed glass drinks in a dark room with gobo lights and low leather couches. I don't need to spend a lot of money or "pre-game" to have a good time.

Though that's not to say I don't enjoy that stuff now and then. Sometimes it's nice to be catered to over a multi-course meal carefully suggested by a waiter dressed nicer than you are from a menu with no prices. It's an experience - just don't look too closely at the final bill.

 quilted paisley  quilted paisley

Variety is part of the fun of going out on dates with my honey. Once in a while we'll get all dressed up (see the outfit?) and go have dinner at a place you need reservations for, some other times we'll run into a diner for burgers and gyros after a random outing to a local auction or hiking trail. Or we'll make a trek out on a cold rainy day to Krispy Kreme for coffee and milk and some fresh-from-the-oven glazed heaven. Any or either way, it's a nice opportunity to try something different and be with the one you adore.

So in an attempt of keeping things new and interesting, I'd love to hear from you ladies. What do you and your honey like to do on date night? And do you have any recs for some fun, unusual date night ideas?

quilted paisley

quilted paisley

quilted paisley

Dress: Asos collection quilted paisley (same as skirt)
Jacket: F21 quilted zip (worn here - sim, sim, pricey, luxe)
Belt: Anthropologie ekbal (sim, sim silver, tonal)
Earrings: Target (steal, sim, sim)
Bracelets: Goodys double wear (sim)
Ring: BR (sim, sim, natural)
Pouch: Rebecca Minkoff (sim, sim, sim)
Shoes: Madewell film noir (worn here - same in peep, sim)

17 January 2013

Timeless

You ever wish you could travel back in time just long enough to stop your younger self from doing something really stupid or awful? Now I'm not sure I'd want to get face-to-face with myself or anything - Current Me would be aghast at my deplorable sense of style and poor personal grooming, Younger Me would get their hopes of growing up to be a 5'9" Amazon crushed to dust.

But if I could drop off little notes along my timeline to myself? That'd be cool. And wise. And may read something like this ...

gingham & pearls  gingham & pearls

Dear pre-school Lisa - Don't let that little boy you go to school with pick on you so much. He will throw your Care Bears lunchbox and break it, then you'll get stuck making up some lame excuse to mom and dad and get in trouble for it. And don't try to steal the Smurf figurines from class - stealing is wrong, you're an awful thief and dad always catches you.

Dear elementary school Lisa - You may want to reconsider all the allowance money you blow on New Kids on the Block stuff. Believe it or not, but Jonathan Knight does not know you exist.

Dear 6th grade Lisa - How come you've suddenly become the bully? Please don't make fun of that new boy in your class. He runs funny because he has braces on his legs, he's doing the best he can.

gingham & pearls  gingham & pearls

Dear high school Lisa - So much here, where to begin? First, get rid of that sheer lace billowy pirate shirt - it looks good on no one. Two, be more appreciative of your teachers who are really trying to help you learn. Three, why bother lying to mom and dad? They know, they always know. Fourth - first time skiing? Do not, I repeat, do NOT bomb the hill your first time out. It'll be funny, but it'll hurt real bad ... And lastly - don't waste precious sleep time by going on Talk City. The only people in chat rooms at midnight are Creeps.

Dear college freshman Lisa - Don't even bother with the premed classes - you suck at science, remember?! And don't stress so much about your classes and papers, it really won't matter when you get out into the real world.

Dear fresh out of college Lisa - Credit is not real money. And don't date a boy who is a total moocher, goes from job to job, and actually believes he will make a ton of money by paying to go to those Make. Cash. Fast. seminars.

For full-time job Lisa - Time passes really fast. Stop putting things off.

Now what about you ladies - are there things you wish you could have told your younger self?

gingham & pearls

gingham & pearls

Blazer: Ann Taylor (buttons replaced - sim, sim, longer, sweater)
Top: LEC gingham poplin (worn here - sim, sim, steal)
Jeans: BR factory (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Belt: J.Crew embossed (sim, sim)
Necklace: Ann Taylor pearl & pave cluster (sim, mini, colored, steal, pricey)
Bracelet: Ann Taylor pearl & pave cluster (sim, sim, brown)
Bag: Pour La Victoire roma (worn here - sim, steal, pricey)
Shoes: Michael Kors hamilton (worn here - sim, simple, peep)

15 January 2013

Helping Myself

green & pinks

Though I like to think of myself as a fairly independent modern working woman with a passable set of "urban assault" skills, I can't help but to turn into helpless girl mush when it comes to certain things and almost always ask for help. Like opening jars. Programming anything that uses a battery or has a remote. Grilling. Assembling items that require a multi-page instructional book. Flipping any sort of switch in the utility room. Things that live under the hood of the car.

green & pinks  green & pinks

However, as "damsel in distress" that I can be sometimes, there are also things that somehow pride overrides and refuses to let me budge on, so I go on alone without a whimper. Like hauling around stuff - packages, groceries, rearranging furniture. Losing my way - men aren't the only ones who don't ask for directions. Making a meal - unless it involves grilling, I'll do everything except that. Doing the laundry - maybe I am a sucker for punishment, or maybe I am so Type A no one else knows the right (i.e., my) way of folding towels.

(What I for sure never need help with? Finding anything on the Internet. I have a black belt in Google kung fu - if it's on the Internet, I will find it somehow).

What things do you often finding yourself asking for help with? And are there things you're too proud to ask for help with? 

green & pinks

green & pinks

green & pinks

Sweater: J.Crew jackie pullover (worn here - same cardi, same striped, sim)
Shirt: Loft henley two pocket (sim, sim, B/W version, solid)
Jeans: J.Crew destroyed vintage matchstick (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Necklace: J.Crew factory chandelier (worn here - sim, sim, modern)
Bracelets: Asos pyramid spike & stone (silver), Target (sim)
Clutch: H&M (worn here - look-alike, sim, sim, solid pricey & steal)
Shoes: KC Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim, sim, platform)

10 January 2013

One Cool Cat

mint & camel  mint & camel

Hey ladies, please check me out today on Franziska's blog! She has featured me in her Behind the Blog series - thanks again, girl, I'm so flattered!

♠    ♠    ♠    ♠

I know I spent yesterday's post talking about the need to do something with my wardrobe so I can give all my clothes a fair shake at being worn - and thanks for all your organization tips, ladies, btw - so in my attempt at being a sartorial egalitarian, I probably shouldn't talk about favorites from my closet.

Meaning my entire outfit today. 

mint & camel  mint & camel

Like this jacket, which is perfect for the mild SE winters and has shiny gold buttons to boot (plus it makes me feel kind of tough - OK, tough in that I-have-a-white-collar-job-and-like-to-eat-lunch-at-Panera-Bread-while-sipping-ice-green-tea-through-a-straw kind of way). Or these pumps, which are new, but are officially unofficially my favorite pair of animal print shoes because of the pointed toe, bow detail and loads of insole padding. This sweater, which is my favorite winter-appropriate pastel shade - and has sparkles. The necklace, which goes with pretty much everything. The skirt, which is nubbly wool warm, in a classic shape and neutral colors - but it's colorblocked, so bam, it's contemporary.

I can't help but loving all these pieces, so I had to gather them together into an outfit. So be prepared to see these guys under different guises again and again pretty soon. And to all the other clothes in my closet waiting to be worn - I still love you guys, I'll be back soon. At least it's warm in there!

What are some of the favorite pieces from your closet that you find yourself reaching to wear again and again?

mint & camel

mint & camel

Jacket: J.Crew downtown field (worn here - sim, cheap, pricey, luxe)
Sweater: Pim & Larkin via Piperlime sequin stripe (worn here - sim, w/navy, pricey, sim peach)
Skirt: J.Crew factory colorblock (sim blue or black, pleated, a-line)
Scarf: street vendor (sim, sim, sim)
Necklace: Anthropologie ampay (worn here - sim-ish, sim green)
Bracelets: J.Crew, Asos (sim, sim, all-in-one)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson jaide leopard (sim, slingback, bigger bow)
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