My boyfriend’s parents recently bought a beautiful house on a lake outside Orlando, Florida. Last weekend we went down to visit for a fun Florida weekend trip. I’d been to Orlando a couple times before, but only to go to Disneyworld. So it was great to see what other fun things central Florida has to offer.
Throughout the long weekend in Orlando, we explored the lovely town of Winter Park, spent the day at New Smyrna Beach and took in tons of sun by the lake. I even saw my first Florida orange tree. While New York will always have my heart, there’s nothing I love more than exploring new places.
Sometimes the best places to travel to are the ones closest to home. Since flights to Florida from New York are only around two hours, Florida in many ways is super close to home.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, but not exactly hot, it’s time to trade in knee high boots for shorter booties. Luckily, when it comes to shopping for ankle boots, there’s a pair for every budget. Here are my top shortie splurge and steal picks for early spring.
Starting a blog has been one of the hardest and most rewarding adventures of my life. It’s given me a place to express myself like never before. It’s a place where I always call the shots. It’s the ultimate outlet for my creativity. Through blogging I’ve gone to events that I would have never gotten the chance to attend. I’ve also met amazing friends who I never would have met had I not been a blogger. I love what I do and couldn’t be prouder of what I’ve created.
However, knowing what I know about blogging today and getting to the place I am now didn’t happen overnight. It took years to really carve out who I am as a blogger. To this day I’m still working on improving the ways I tell my story through words, photos, hashtags and more. While I’ve come a long way, I know I still have a long way to go and that it might be a bumpy journey from time to time. But my passion for blogging and sharing all things fabulous is what keeps pulling me through to the next level.
That being said, I’d like to use what I’ve learned to help others with the same dream develop their future blogs. Here are my words of wisdom for those of you looking to start your very first blog.
Don’t blog to make money
It seems like almost every day an article comes out about some tween or twenty something who’s making a fortune blogging. While that’s awesome for them, that is absolutely not the case for most bloggers. The truth is being a blogger is a lot more like being a singer or an actress. While there are a lot of talented people out there, most of them earn their livings from other jobs. So don’t quit your day job to start a blog because you’re probably going to need it.
The only reason you should start a blog is pure passion. If you’re not 100% passionate about the content you’re putting out there, don’t start blogging because you’re sure to lose interest quickly. While it’s great to get tons of likes and traffic, validation from your audience can’t be your motivation either. You have to genuinely love what you’re doing and love your posts and photos the same whether one person sees them or a million. Blog for you and others will take notice of your passion.
Starting a blog can be exciting so it’s easy to get carried away when you first start out. Don’t hire an expensive developer or get a big server when you first start your blog. I made this mistake and I am still paying Chase Freedom for it. Start off with a simple theme and let your content lead the way. You can always do the big spending later once you’ve monetized the site.
Put a high value on your time
Even if you’re not making any money on your blog yet, your time is still valuable. Don’t work with brands or partners that aren’t giving you anything back. If you’re not getting value back out of the events you’re going to or the people you’re working with, they are not worth your time. Just politely decline and move on. If they ask why you’re not working with them, tell them the truth. It’s perfectly fine to tell them that you’re not interested in walking down a one way street.
For example, I do not cover events that I was not personally invited to. In the past PR people have sent me photos of events that took place in New York City, but didn’t bother to invite me. I could have easily attended, but they didn’t take the time to include me. In these cases, I have politely responded to the email saying that I never cover events I’m not invited to and not to send me any information on events without extending me an invite. I have also left events early and not covered them when I was treated poorly.
Unless I absolutely love the product and use it all the time in my everyday life, I do not review products without payment or having been sent the product for free. Otherwise there’s really no motivation for me to do so.
Now that you know that you probably won’t make tons of money right away, it’s time to start thinking about what you define as success. I have often attributed success to getting invited to an exclusive event or having a brand I love reach out to me. I also see a lot of my success in the people I’ve met through blogging. Some of them are now my closest friends. Success can also be getting featured somewhere or getting samples of the latest products.
Don’t post just to post
While I’d love to post more often, I refuse to post anything that I’m not 100% happy with. If I don’t love it and think it’s perfect, it doesn’t get posted. If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t post it.
The best way to be original is to be yourself. While there may be tons of fashion and beauty blogs out there, yours is the only one that stars you. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. Both brands and people will see right through a fake persona so being you is the best way to be successful.
You should take your own photos whenever possible. Invest in a DSLR camera such as a Canon Rebel or Nikon D5500. Again you can always upgrade later. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a photographer, you should still try to take your own original photos. When I first started my blog, I thought it was all about my writing and I soon realized that photos were just as important. So my art grew into photography and I’m getting better and better at it.
No matter where you are when you start your blog expect your art to evolve. Your blog will change just as you do and you should embrace this evolution.
Georgine has been one of my favorite designers for a few seasons now. I absolutely love her style and love it even more now thanks to her stunning Fall 2016 collection.
My favorite part about this collection had to be the diversity of the pieces. It included dark lacy/sheer pieces for night along with beautiful dresses and coat separates for daytime or more casual events. It was basically like seeing my entire dream wardrobe go down the runway. I simply can’t get enough of Georgine’s dramatic dresses, trenches and fur details. It’s kind of an obsession.
I’m so honored to have captured this Fall collection and to have been there to see it go down the runway at New York Fashion Week. I can’t wait to see what the talented Georgine comes out with next!
New York Fashion Week may look glamourous on Instagram (and in many ways it is), but for us bloggers, it can be a hectic week of back to back events and absolutely no sleep. Luckily, there’s a part of Fashion Week that’s exactly the opposite. In the New York Fashion Week lounges, coffee and champagne flow freely and you can relax with your BFFs (Best Fashion Friends). Talented hair and makeup artists are often on hand to help you look picture perfect in your street style photos and if you’re really lucky, you’ll be treated to some sweet swag such as makeup, handbags and jewelry. It’s every girl’s dream come true!
When you’re running around all day, lounge time is a must to recharge yourself and your cell phone. While many bloggers use their Fashion Week lounge time to get out posts in between shows, I like to make the most of the branded experiences and catch up with my blogger friends. If you didn’t have time to do your hair or get a manicure before the shows, a lounge can be a lifesaver. Maybe someday we can make New York Lounge Week a thing?
Here’s what my lounge life has been like so far this New York Fashion Week:
I had an amazing time catching up with my blogger friends at the ShopStyle lounge! I even got this monogrammed GiGi New York purse. It’s the
Stylists from R+Co did an amazing job on my hair at the ShopStyle Lounge and taught me how to do modern curls.
The Maybelline Lounge on the top floor of Milk Studios was the perfect way to end the day. They had an awesome deejay and I got to stock up on my favorite Maybelline products.
I walked on a virtual runway in the E! News and TRESemmé Lounge at Skylight at Moynihan Station.