Friday, September 15, 2017

{TBScon day 3 | gingham set at navy pier}

Photography by Lindsay
Gingham Two-Piece Set - Top & Shorts // Sandals // Yellow Tassel Earrings // Straw Purse //

Day 3... It's a good thing I had had a lot of pasta the night before because after all of the wine that Laura, Lindsay and I drank at Eataly that night... well, you can guess. However, I was ready for the speakers on Saturday morning - the view of the conference room alone was enough to get me excited for the day! I have been following blogs since wayyyy before I started my own. I love learning advice from other bloggers first hand. 

We kicked it off with Cathy and Jessica giving us some stats about The Blog Societies and then moved on to Dandy and Grace talking about traveling. This topic was what I was hoping for the most. I've attempted to kick off the travel section of my blog this year - it's something that was missing from my life and really brings me great joy. Dandy and Grace are a travel duo that I've been following for awhile - they are true #girlbosses. They gave us the run down on how they pick a location, to how they pitch a brand, and then their game plan when they arrive... scouting out locations, outfits they bring, tripod use, hiring a photographer, etc. Y'all I've never been so inspired to email a PR company! Every bit of info was fascinating.

Then the always gorgeous Rachel Martino took the stage. Can we talk about a more perfect human? She made every girl in the room feel like we were best friends and that her chat was just a catch up session between two best friends. Adorable. She gave us some great life advice along with the story of how she went full-time. I'll let you in on a little secret... almost every blogger wishes they could go full time but can't let go of the ties to their job or are simply too damn scared (seriously. If you're reading this as a blogger and thinking 'nah' then you know you've had the thought at least once). We all love our jobs if we aren't full time but seeing people like Rachel turn her hobby into a career is awe inspiring. She got down to the nitty gritty about money and expenses. So real and still inspiring. Did I mention she's bilingual? She has TWO YouTube channels - one English and one French. And then she followed me... AH! #fangirl

Last but not least was Brittany from Lawyer Lookbook. Can we talk about girl power for a second? Because I was feeling all of the "yas honey" comments when she schooled us about FTC guidelines and how to write your own contracts. Moral of her speech: stop letting brands own you and STOP doing work for free. Now you can understand my "yas honey" comments ;) I love women who empower other women!

We wrapped up the speeches (before an adorable outdoor picnic lunch with Charming Charlie) with a brand panel. Questions such as "how do you stand out in a brand pitch" to "what is the outcome you want from a collaboration" to "how do you find us" were asked. It was insightful to hear the other side of the collaboration give their input. 

After lunch, my roomies and I went to the 3 Arts Cafe (inside the Restoration Hardware store) and sipped on rose while eating grilled cheese and burrata - my favorite stop in all of Chicago. We sat on the roof and reflected on the wild weekend that we'd had and everything that we learned. I love those two girls with all my heart - it was amazing just being able to see them and feel like old times!

That wraps up my TBScon days! I'll be doing a Chicago Travel Guide soon and will share everywhere I ate and my favorite things to see and do! As usual, if you have any question feel free to leave a comment below or email me.

Love Always,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

{my studio apartment tour}

The most requested blog post I've had (for the past year) has been a tour of my studio apartment! It's taken me awhile to get this post up... I knowwww. I'm never 100% satisfied with how I decorate so I'm always changing things around (mainly pillows and my bedding) and rearranging my bookshelf. I also love to style my bar cart differently depending on the season.  After being here for a year I'm finally feeling that my design decisions have made this place feel like home.

I've teamed up with Houzz to show y'all my home and explain how I've chosen to decorate! Be sure to check out my interview here - there are a lot more photos of my studio and I explain the process of decorating and finding my place!

So without further ado... my 525 SF studio apartment in Washington, DC!

Sofa // Palm Print Pillow // Dalmation Print Pillow // Red and White Striped Pillow // Coffee Table // Gold Tray // Emily Ley Coffee Table Book // Floor Lamp // TV Stand // Ikea Vittsjo Bookshelf // Rug // Plant Basket // Herman Miller Eames Chair (Knock-off Version) // Floor Length Mirror // Bar Cart // Gold Champagne Glasses // Yay! Confetti Wine Glass // Hurricane (filled with limes) // Acrylic Tray // Ikea Hemnes Dresser (Knobs are Home Goods) // Ikea Hemnes Bed Frame // Bedding // Beach Picture over Bed // Ikea Hemnes Nightstands // Lamp Base + Shade // "Don't Quit Your Daydream" Pillow

If you have any questions where something in particular is from just leave a comment below! Don't forget to check out my interview on Houzz! Ryan did such an awesome job with the professional photos!
Love Always,

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

{TBScon day 2 | olive maxi skirt + hot pink earrings}

Photography by Lindsay

Day 2 in Chicago was a chilly one! It was so strange to have had a hot, sunny day the day before and then we woke up and the wind was strong and in the 60's. As I mentioned yesterday... I already had my outfit picked out ;) so while I did bring a sweater with me I was grateful to at least have had a maxi skirt on. I've had this skirt for years because I love the olive green so much. I thought it would pair perfectly with these hot pink earrings. I stalked these earrings for months before a) I decided to pull the trigger and b) they became available haha. They are super lightweight and everyone complimented them all day!

We started the day off early with our speakers, each person got to go to 3 information sessions. I started in Lightroom with Stephanie Drenka, she is the sweetest person, where she gave us the low down on the program. Let's just say I have a lot to learn (ha, that's an understatement) and her skills are incredible. I need to step my game up in the photo editing skills! Then I headed to the SEO session with Lindsay Humes.  She gave us some good advice: context is the framework, quality over quantity, use the Pinterest button, and to always use original content. I could go on and on but that would require an entirely different type of post. My last session was for Tailwind - this is a website that helps you post to Pinterest and keep up your presence. Everyone that has used it consistently raves about it and how it increases their page views. I'm looking forward to using it more... Pinterest is just so much fun as well! [If you have any questions in particular leave me a comment below or shoot me an email!]

After our sessions we quickly ran upstairs to drop off our laptops (I'm so glad we were staying in the hotel - it made everything easier) and hopped on a bus to head to lunch with Marc Fisher. The bus got a little lost... it pretty much circled around the city for an hour... but then we arrived at The Boarding House and the whole set up was incredible. The ceiling is covered with wine glasses on the first floor and green wine bottles on the second. It was magical! We got to look at the new Fall collection - velvet and studs, oh my! - and chat with all of the bloggers at TBScon. That's the best part about conferences :) there are so many people you stalk online and get to then chat with in person.

The final part of day 2 was the gifting suite! This is always the best time to meet new brands and get to actually put a face with a name. Hearing what their company stands for and what they're excited about is an added bonus for coming to this conference. I get to learn and help my brand grow so that I can bring YOU new content and companies. I love being able to get to know new brands and then choosing who to work with based on what my followers will want to see. Plus, it's a great time to try new products to review before I give y'all my opinion on it.

Phew... tired yet? The conference day is over but my day wasn't! Laura, Lindsay, and myself went and changed (into jeans and long sleeves) and then headed to Pops for Champagne before spending the entire evening at Eataly. It may have been the best pasta/wine/cheese/charcuterie I've ever ever everrrr had. If there was an Eataly in DC I'd probably go on a million dates there ;) dramatic, I know but it was so good. It was also a wonderful night just hanging out with my Chi-town roomies laughing and telling stories!

Day 3 will come at ya on Friday... there's a special post going up tomorrow that I can't wait to share!

Love Always,
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