April 23, 2018

Entertain

Cinco de Mayo has easily become one of my favorite entertaining holidays for several reasons. I mean, first off, who argues with tacos? But, my love for Cinco de Mayo comes from more than just my love for tacos. It is also one of the first great holidays of the summer and the perfect opportunity to put together a beautiful outdoor tablescape and host a fun dinner party for your friends and family.

There are so many unique ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and to bring together all of the exceptional flavors, and colors, of this Mexican holiday. We had so much fun pulling together a color palette and designing this table for not only beauty but comfort as well.

One of my favorite things about outdoor entertaining is the ability design a relaxing and inviting environment at the same time.There are so many ways, as well as tips, and tricks for pulling together a Cinco de Mayo tablescape. Just because you are planning to entertain your guests outside doesn’t mean you have to throw out your pretty table for something more makeshift.

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

An Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

Entertaining outdoors often opens up even more ways for you to get creative and curate a unique experience for your guests. Here are a few tips for creating a one of a kind, Cinco de Mayo Tablescape that will excite your guests far past your party!

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo TablescapeHow to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape 

Plants, Flowers, and Greenery

I personally am a flower girl. I love to have fresh flowers in my home and when it comes to entertaining and tablescapes, I see them as a must. When creating an outdoor tablescape, there are few things to keep in mind with your flowers. Selecting flowers is always fun, so take the time browse through your local farmers market or flower market to see the options.

It’s a good idea to stick with one shade of greenery, so try to match up the stems of your flowers with any added greenery that you choose to put into your arrangement.

I love keeping things simple, with a lighter and more organic feel. These ranunculus brought so much life to this table. If you choose to go with a larger bloom, like hydrangeas, peonies or dahlias, I like to choose a shorter vase and skip the greeny. A few blooms should do!

For Cinco de Mayo, we added small potted succulents to the tablescape. These add a variety in height, as well as additional texture. These serve as a beautiful and functional gift for your guests to remember your party for years to come.

It’s always good to have fun with your vase, or pot, especially outdoors. You can switch things up a bit and arrange your flowers in a pitcher or even a small bucket! Anything to add a little texture and personality to your arrangement.

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

Simple Tableware

A simple farm table served as the base of this tablescape. Although a tablecloth is not necessary, it adds a soft texture and solid background to start building on. We then layered in these woven placemats to bring in a little natural texture and a contrast to our soft white and pastel plates. When dining outdoors, fine china isn’t always a good option, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should turn to paper plates. I love having a few basic salad and dinner plates that I can mix together on various occasions. World Market, Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel have great options at good prices.

Go with different patterns for your layered plates to add a little dimension and personality to your table. We also decided to use linen napkins, as the won’t blow away if there is a small breeze. The gold flatware adds a warmth to the setting and I just love using this set!

When it comes to your tableware, keep things simple and comfortable, but not too casual. Your guests will appreciate the thought you put into the setting. Just because you are eating outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful table too. I say have both! Everyone loves comfort and class. 

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

Vary Your Serving Pieces

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect opportunity to switch up your serveware and incorporate different styles into your table. Beautiful wooden or marble cheese boards serve as the perfect base for a spread of Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos or Mexican Street Style Corn (recipes coming late in the week).

If you don’t have a serving board use your cutting board! It not only serves as a function piece in your kitchen but you can use it for serving as well.

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape Paloma Recipe How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

The Menu

The best part of Cinco de Mayo is definitely the menu! Tacos, guacamole, pico de gallo and let’s not forget tequila! Plan out your menu in advance and prep everything you need. The most gracious hostesses are ones who mingle with their guests and aren’t slaving over the food or feeling stressed because everything isn’t prepared and ready to go.

Find recipes that allow you make them in advance or marinate and throw it on the grill. A grill is always a great centerpiece to any outdoor gathering. It’s a perfect spot for the men to hang out and chat. I also have to secretly admit that I love handing off the big task to my husband. It’s a great way to share responsibility and really pump up the flavor of your dishes!

Lastly, a great way to make your Cinco de Mayo, or any dinner party, unforgettable is to surprise your guests. Instead of serving margaritas try out a different tequila drink, such as a refreshing grapefruit Paloma! They are just as tasteful as a margarita and even prettier!


Flowers by Seasons of Williamsburg

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Chairs Williams Sonoma

Napkins Williams Sonoma

Placemats Create and Barrel

Flatware West Elm

Votives World Market

Glasses (short) Williams Sonoma

Dress c/o Goodnight Macaroon

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 20, 2018

Food + Drink

Between the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, a splash of tequila and touch of sugar, to coat the rim, it’s almost nearly impossible to beat a Sweet Citrus Paloma in late Spring. A Paloma might just be my new favorite tequila drink, simply based on its beauty and taste of course!

Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe

Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma RecipePaloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe

Paloma Recipe

Traditionally, a Paloma is three parts grapefruit soda and one part tequila. I personally prefer fresh grapefruit juice, in my Paloma, when available! It generally only takes 1 big juicy grapefruit to make about 2 cocktails. You will need about one half of a juicy grapefruit per cocktail.

What I love so much about this cocktail is that measuring really isn’t necessary. It’s pretty well based on personal preference and you can adapt this recipe to fit your palate. If you like your drinks a little stronger you can always add an extra splash of tequila!  

There are several options for garnishing your Paloma. A beautiful slice of grapefruit or lime compliments this cocktail so well. But, you can always spice things up a bit by adding a little jalapeno around the rim. We decided to add a little sugar to the rim and garnish with a slice of lime and grapefruit for color variety and taste!

Cinco de Mayo is just not Cinco de Mayo without a signature cocktail! Most people automatically assume Margaritas are a must on Cinco de Mayo. However, to switch things up I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. We decided to go with this deliciously simple Paloma. If there were two pieces advice I could give you on entertaining they would be: one, keep things simple and two, doing something shocking.

Imagine something just as tasty, as a Margarita, and even more beautiful. I can’t think of a prettier cocktail. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice does the trick and to make this unique Grand Marnier is the perfect way to really impress your guests!  

These tumblers from Williams-Sonoma have been our everyday drinking glasses for about a year and a half. I adore how simple and durable they are, not to mention how affordable they are! We love these so much that I recently decided to pick up the shorter version for summer cocktails. These are even cuter and are the perfect way to serve this Paloma, or any summer drink you are mixing up!

Ingredients

3 oz of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1.5 oz cup of sparkling water

1 oz tequila

1 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Sugar or salt

Lime or Grapefruit Slices

Instructions

Place a small amount of sugar, or salt, on a plate. Moisten the rim of your glass with lime wedge. Place the glass rim side down into the sugar. Work the glass until the rim is coated.

Add a small amount of ice to a cocktail shaker and to your glass with the rim already coated. To the shaker, add grapefruit juice, tequila, and Grand Marnier. Shake a few times to combine. Pour over ice. Add sparkling water. Stir gently, just until combined. Garnish and serve.

This recipe makes 1 drink.


What will you be serving on Cinco de Mayo? Check out this delicious Lavender Lemonade too!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Sweet Citrus Paloma Recipe

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 16, 2018

Beauty

For me, skincare has always been really important. Because my skin tends to be problematic, sometimes, I really have to pay attention to how I am caring for my skin. A few months ago, I shared my morning skincare routine and I thought it was about time I shared my nighttime skincare routine!

I had originally intended to share these quite close together, however, time just slipped away from me and somehow I am just now finally sharing my nighttime skincare routine with you. My skincare routine is always one of the things I get asked about. Over the years, I have learned a lot about my skin and how it reacts to different products. Unfortunately, most of the time the only way to find out what works is by finding out what doesn’t work. 

Although the condition of your skin isn’t solely based on your skincare, what you put on your skin has a large effect on the overall appearance and health of your skin. Lately, I have been trying my best to do a little research on the products I use and the things I put inside of my body. Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of our body? I didn’t know that until recently! In no way would I consider myself “healthy” but lately my curiosity has really had me infatuated with research the human body and the effect that my lifestyle has on my body. This book has had me more curious than ever and I have to say it has had a huge influence on my lifestyle lately. It’s definitely worth reading.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Like I previously mentioned, our skincare routine is incredibly important in the overall health and appearance of our skin. From the time I was a young girl, my mom taught me the importance of caring for my skin and washing it properly. As I have gotten older I have added in a few different treatments and those will continue to change, and most likely grow, as I age! However, I have to admit that I have been wearing eye cream since I was 17.

I have always admired my mom and watching her do her skincare routine. She always stressed the importance of eye cream and preventing aging, rather than trying to play catch up later. With that said, my skincare routine is mostly focused on keeping my skin clear and healthy, not on anti-aging.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Makeup Remover

The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is removing my makeup. I have used oils, I have used wipes and I have used just a plain cleanser, about 3 times through, to remove my makeup. The one skincare product that I have always been fearful of, rightly because of my oily skin, is a balm. However, this makeup removing cleansing balm is one of my favorite steps in my nighttime skincare routine. This lasts forever, as you only need a little bit, and is unscented which I love. 

I use a penny size amount and massage it into my skin, really well to remove all of my makeup. This balm is great because it is gentle yet strong enough to remove matte lipstick, heavy eye makeup, in addition to foundation. Once I have really massaged everything and dislodged my mascara, I take a warm washcloth and wipe every trace of makeup off my face. The warm cloth always feels so nice and the balm comes right off!

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Cleanse

Cleansing your skin is one of the most popular steps and something that most people do. For so long, because of my acne, I felt like I should be using an acne based cleanser. Something with powerful acne fighting ingredients and all that. One of the biggest changes in my skin came from choosing a plain cleanser that will remove oil and makeup. I personally prefer foams and gels, rather than a cream based cleanser. 

I have been a long time fan of the Murad Daily Cleansing foam and always will be. This removes all of the unwanted oil and grime from my face, without drying it out. If you love a foam based cleanser or something that suds up really nice, you will love this one. I tend to get pump happy so I have been going through these like crazy lately. 

The other day, when I was shopping the Sephora VIB sale, I decided to pick up this cleanser. To say that I have been loving it is an understatement. I was enticed to try the product out after trying the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial. I have never seen a change in my skin like I have with that product. Drunk Elephant may just be my favorite brand based on what they stand for but more importantly how effective their products are. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Treat

After understanding that acne cleansers weren’t helping my skin and decided to opt for just a simple cleanser, my acne treatments actually began to prove that they were more effective. Between the acne cleanser and the treatments, my skin was so irritated that there was no way it could fight and soothe acne. I have two “treatments” that I use as a part of my nighttime skincare routine.

After I cleanse my skin, I use these Peter Thomas Roth Maximum Complexion Correction Pads. I use these in place of a toner and although it is quite strong on my skin, I feel like this really helps to keep my skin clean and clear. These can be considered “cleansing pads” however I use these to exfoliate my skin, remove blackheads and kill an acne-causing bacteria. These are very strong and at first I only used these once a day, at night, however, I have built up my tolerance and now use them morning and night. 

I then go on to apply my Kate Summerville Anti Bac Lotion. Now, I have to say that I fully understand that this is a pretty drying and intense compilation of treatments. My skin really thrives on these two products. The Anti Bac Lotion helps to also kill any bacteria without completely drying out my skin. If your skin is really sensitive, I would say to skip the Complexion Pads and just use Anti Bac Lotion.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Hydrate

The more I learn about my skin, the more I have understood the need for hydration. Because my skin is sensitive and oily in some places and dryer in others, I like to use a small amount of moisturizer all over my face. This also helps to replenish the moisture that my treatments tend to suck out of my skin and help balance everything out. I find that when I don’t moisturize my skin enough, it tends to over produce oil. Even if your skin is oily, hydration is still very important!

For moisturizer, I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator. I started out using the moisture surge intense gel cream, but for some reason, I can’t seem to find that online anymore and it wasn’t available last time I purchased my moisturizer. I think it might be discontinued? But, I don’t see why?! Instead, I picked up the Moisture Surge Intense and have been really loving that. It is probably a little bit heavier of a consistency than what I truly need. However, I just use a little bit and it goes a long way. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Eyes and Lips

For my eyes, I use the Clinique All About Eyes Rich, eye cream. This product is thick and hydrating without being too much. I haven’t found the need to spend too much money on an intense eye cream, thus far. Instead, I really love this one because it hydrates that gentle area around my eye and does not irritate it at all. I use this morning and night and don’t have any issues with applying concealer overtop of it.

There are a few skincare items that I am seriously passionate about. My lip balm is definitely one of those products. I’m not here to tell you that you have to sell your house and use nothing but La Mer, although their products are incredible. However, I am here to tell you that you will never regret purchasing this lip balm. Or at least I highly doubt you would!

The La Mer lip balm is one of my all-time favorite skin care products. I have purchased and repurchased this product over and over again. This lip balm keeps my lips hydrated and plump during all seasons of the year. Although this product is more on the expensive side of things, it is worth every penny.


There you have it, my nighttime skincare routine. Some nights I am exhausted and don’t feel like washing off my makeup, but I always do it. Your nighttime skincare routine is so important. Not only removing your makeup but treating your skin well at bedtime, will leave your skin revived and glowing in the morning.

I would love to know what your nighttime skincare routine consists of and what your favorite products are! Be sure to let me know in a comment below. You can also check out my morning skincare routine here.

Also, if you are a beauty lover, like me, you have to shop the Sephora Beauty Insider sale this weekend. Becuase I am a Rouge member, I was able to get my discount this past weekend and through this week with the code YAYROUGE. If you are a Rouge member don’t forget you can shop exclusively up until this weekend and then it will be open to all beauty insiders! I will be sharing more about the sale later this week!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 13, 2018

Fashion

I’m coming to the conclusion that I own entirely way too many t-shirts. Not that this is a bad thing, but I simply need to add more pieces like this ruffle cami to my wardrobe.  This ruffle cami, from Goodnight Macaroon, is a fun and comfortable way to switch things up. Virginia weather is usually temperamental, but in the summer most days are guaranteed to be a scorcher. We have extremes in VA. It goes from freezing to unbelievably hot in like two weeks or less.

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Finding ways to look cute in the heat is always a challenge and sometimes a simple tank doesn’t feel quite as pulled together as I would like for it to.  This ruffle cami is the perfect piece to help you look cute in the heat. The ruffle detailing adds a feminine touch which helps to balance out having our shoulders very exposed! I’m not generally one who loves to see myself in a tank top, so the flattering cut of this one has me so excited to wear it all summer! If you are someone who is self-conscious, like me,  about the area between your arms and chest, you will love the cut of this cami. It covers everything while still having a thin strap. I wear a size large in this tank!

Ruffle Cami (c/o), Denim, Heels, Bag similar, Sunglasses, Bracelet, Earrings similarLipstick

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Goodnight Macaroon Sale

Also, Goodnight Macaroon is having an amazing sale right now! Use the code APRIL25 to get 25% OFF of your purchase of $100+ and the code APRIL40 for 40% OFF your purchase of $200+! I like to size up in their clothing, as I have found it runs small. Some of my favorite pieces right now are this cami (obviously), this lounge set, this dress, this top, these sandals and this off the shoulder nautical top! See my other Goodnight Macaroon outfits, that are on sale, here, here, here, and here! The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 11, 2018

Fashion

The Shopbop Sale is here and I have rounded up some of my favorite items on sale! To make things a little different, I decided to layout this post different than I usually do. The sale is from today, Aprill 11th, through Saturday, April 14th. Also, don’t forget to check out East Dane to shop the men’s sale!

Shopbop Sale Picks

Shop Sale Picks

20% OFF Everything Under $500

25% OFF Everything Over $500 or more

with code: EVENT18

I decided to break my Shopbop Sale Picks down into the following categories: Closet Staples, Vacation Wear, All White, Loungewear and Accessories. For this time of year, I thought these would be a few great shopping points! I personally love them all! Am I the only wife out there who still wears white like she’s a bride? I will always be on team neutrals! Don’t forget to use the code EVENT18 to receive your discount!

Closet Staples

As a girl who loves the basics, and things that will not go out of style, closet staples is one of my favorite categories. Here you will find everything from the perfect pair of jeans, to cardigans and of course classic bags and heels! Which piece is your favorite? I love these Chanel slingback dupes and this cardigan. 

Vacation

It’s finally almost vacation season which means summer and vacation wear is high on my shopping list! This swimsuit is to die for and I can’t get over how cute these espadrilles are! 

All White 

Whether you are currently a bride or, like me, love wearing white and light colors to keep cool in the summer heat. This section is for you! I love wearing my favorite white jeans, most days, in the summer. This two piece set (1,2) is adorable! 

Loungewear 

I had to add loungewear to my Shopbop Sale picks because I’m truly a pajama girl at heart. Jay always says putting away my clothes is easy because they are all pajamas! Seriously though, this girl loves some loungewear and a good robe. These pants are calling my name! I can see myself in them on Saturday reading a good book. What about you?!

Accessories

Lastly, but certainly not the least is accessories! I always stress my love for a good, classic wardrobe, filled with beautiful accessories. The perfect sandals that go with everything, fun sunglasses to add a little something to your look and of course, a classic handbag that holds your treasures! I still can’t figure out if I’m a sunglass, handbag or a shoe girl. Personally, I think I’m a little of each!


I’m excited about this sale as it is so inclusive of such a variety of items! Don’t forget to check out East Dane for your man, in addition to the Shopbop Sale and use the code EVENT18 to receive the discount! Do you plan on shopping this sale? Let me know in a comment!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Shopbop Sale Picks

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 9, 2018

Lifestyle

I often get asked what my advice or best tips are for starting a blog in 2018. While the answer varies, depending on what your niche is and what your goals are, there are so many articles online that I feel say the same things about starting a blog. I have read numerous blog posts, watched videos, and listened to podcasts sharing resources on starting a blog today.

While there are definitely basics that you need to know, what I want to talk about today are a few different ideas, that I have found give me an advantage, even with a small following. I also wanted to include a few of my favorite resources, posts, and industry leaders that I look to for trusted advice and motivation. I hope that this post will help you and give you some tips for staring a blog in 2018 that you haven’t heard yet!

top, skirt similar, heels, bag, glasses, phone case

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

If you are planning to start a blog or maybe you already have one but are looking to grow it this year, I hope that these 5 Different Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 will help you. Although I don’t have 500,000 Instagram followers, I do have a strong community of women around me that I appreciate more than anything.  I have found that relationships and connection are more important than anything.

Even if you don’t have a huge following, any bit of following is important and you should cherish their trust and confidence in you.

I believe in you!

Invest in a Good Quality Website and Website Domain 

When you are just starting out, with a small amount of blog traffic, purchasing a website domain is a relatively cheap investment. Do yourself a favor and just take the plunge. It will give you credibility and your reader’s confidence in the content that you are producing. Not to mention all of the hidden web benefits of not having a “xyz.blogspot.com” domain.

With that said, I also really wish I would have invested in a custom brand and website design sooner. I cannot tell you benefits that I have begun to see in just a short amount of time of having my website redone. My site is beautiful, easy to navigate and I have been getting so many more page views. While the investment, and wait time, might seem daunting at first, most designers offer payment breakdowns to spread that cost over several months. Even if it seems out of reach, save your money and work towards the goal of having a custom site designed, as soon as you can. I promise this will not be something you regret.

I wish I would have done this sooner!

Video Content is Key

I began my blogging journey in the time of Blair Fowler aka “JuicyStar07.” She was a young, and popular, Youtuber who was gaining traction, earning a large income, and still lived at home with her parents! Naturally, my teenage self-decided I needed a Youtube channel too and that’s how I got started. Today, I still post videos on my Youtube channel and it has many more followers than my blog does.

I have always loved video content, but now more than ever, it’s so important to be creating video content.

Not only does video content create a deep-rooted connection with your followers, by allowing you to show your true personality and talk with them, but I have found it’s much easier to reach a larger audience on Youtube. If your goal is to earn a profit from your blog, I have found that I am able to earn more money on Youtube through adds, than I do on my blog.

Video content can be scary for some people, which is totally understandable! I have always felt more comfortable in front of the camera than I have with my fingers on the keyboard. But I’m learning to love it all. Even though video content can seem a little scary, I promise it is so rewarding. Video content does take a lot of effort. Between, filming, editing and uploading (not to mention linking all of your products and more!) you are sure to be exhausted at the end of the day

Although that seems like a lot, because it is, I think if you are starting a blog in 2018 that you hope will reach a large audience, you need to be on Youtube or creating some sort of video content.

Build a Relationship with Your Audience

The most successful bloggers and influencers build strong relationships with their audience. Have you ever listened to one of Marianna Hewitt’s’ Instagram Stories? It’s like she is talking directly to you. She is a master at creating a community and selling product, all while being her true to herself to her audience.

This topic leads me to the phrase “Your most authentic self” which honestly sometimes makes me a bit frustrated. Here are two reasons why that phrase frustrates me.

Your Most Authentic Self

For a long time in my blogging career, I didn’t truly know who my authentic self-was. I spent so much of my time looking at other influences and trying to mimic what they were doing to create success. I was trying so hard to make someone else path to success my own. Many of us don’t know who our “most authentic self is” especially at a young age. So I personally get a little angry when industry elites preach this authenticity note. Thankfully, one of my favorites, Julie Solomon has begun to break down how we can take a step back and do the work to discover our “most authentic self” in order to deliver with intention.

The second reason is truly just based off of the first issue I have with the term.  I find this term to often feel empty like it’s lacking meaning. Almost like it’s made to sound good but leaves so many people wondering, “Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?” Oftentimes, many people preach to others to be authentic without honestly knowing exactly what that means.

What is it that you truly want to share with the world? I believe that we all have something to share. There is value in your life and you have something to amazing to put into the world that will help others. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited to publish a new blog post. I also find that certain topics flow out of me much better than others.

At the end of the day, the relationship you create with your followers is the most important thing you can do. By being yourself, showing up, and putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t have makeup on and feel like you like a monster, that’s me half of the time! Someone out there might need you to be brave so they can have the courage to love themselves just the way they are. I will gladly take one for the team.

You might just be surprised how many lives you change by being vulnerable and open, even if you are scared.

Personally, I have found the most rewarding moments in my business come from direct messages and comments of someone confessing that they often struggle with something too, or they are insecure about X and are so comforted to hear that they aren’t alone. This is what brings me joy and this is where relationships are built.

When your craft your message from a place of giving and choose to respond to as many comments as you can, reach out to your readers, follow them on social media and take the time to invest in relationships, people will continue to come back to you. They will trust your opinion and purchase your referrals and from you, if you have a product or service you are selling. I can tell you, from personal experience, that the direction and profit of my business changed tremendously when I chose to invest in my audience wholeheartedly.

Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers, none of it will last if you don’t invest in your audience.

Professional Photography 

I waited way too long to invest in professional photography. To this day, I still have to carefully plan and budget photography, as well as shoot some photos myself. Photography can be expensive, but I think if you are starting out you really need a few good pictures of yourself.

If you aren’t ready to invest in photography on a regular basis, that is totally understandable! Instead maybe opt for one, or two, sessions with a photographer to do a brand shoot. Get some great photos of yourself, that are on brand, that you can use throughout your blog and social media feeds. I love this post from Angie McPherson on the benefits of personal branding photography. It’s also a great idea to get some other shots that are also on brand, that you aren’t in. If you a beauty blogger, get a few shots of your favorite products or the space you use to get ready. If you are a food blogger, have some really great photos taken of your favorite ingredients or dishes that you can spread throughout your feed as well.

I think it’s important to have really nice photos. I have seen a clear correlation between adding in some high-quality photography and growth in my business. Not every photo has to be professional, some of my iPhone photos perform just as well or even better. However, I think it’s great to have professional photos that you can post often. This will also let brands know that your work is professional.

Know Your Numbers

Knowing your numbers and analytics is a must. Whether it’s on your blog, social media, affiliate sales account or Youtube, knowing your numbers is essential to knowing your audience and creating a successful growth path. I have to be completely honest when I tell you that this is something I am still working on. Understanding your analytics can be tough. But, taking the time to see what content is performing best, will help you to understand what type of content your audience is interested in seeing from you. It’s also important to know your numbers when working with brands.

There are many online resources that will help you with google analytics and other platforms. I have honestly found that each platform teaches you pretty well how you use it, it might just take some time research how to use that platform to its full potential.

Start an Email List

There is great research on the idea that email marketing is one of the best ways to sell the product. It is also one of the best was to create a personal connection and tap into those followers that aren’t using social media as much. If your audience trusts you enough to give you their email address, they are definitely committed to you. Especially if they choose to stay and participate.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to gain your audience’s trust and really show them your personality and gives you the opportunity to share things that you might not post publicly on your blog. It’s also a great way to share products with them, links to your latest posts and more. See what I include in my newsletter by signing up here.

Use Keynote to Make Collages

This might seem like a simple tip but for so long I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create collages, such as this one, for my blog. However, I have recently found that using Keynote is so much easier and efficient. I don’t have to know how to use Illustrator and Keynote is basically self-explanatory. I can remove backgrounds on product images, arrange things easily, use the color selector to choose what color I want to use in the title box, change the font and so much more. When I’m done I can simply export the file to an image and just like that I’m done!

Somethings are much easier than we lead onto. There are people telling you, need this software and that, and don’t get me wrong some are really important. But, for the most part, things are often more simple than what we make them.

Helpful Resources

I have found that reading books and listening to podcasts have not only helped me learn about myself. But, they have helped me to learn about how to grow my blog as a business. There are so many industry leaders and elites that have morphed their platforms into teaching platforms. They have so much to offer that is worth soaking in. Here are some of my favorite resources and people!

You know how much I love researching business topics, and personal development! If you have any resources on this topic, that you love, please leave them in a comment below. I would love to go check them out. If you have written a blog post on this topic, please leave your link in the comments! 

I would love to support you on your blogging journey and if you have any questions, just let me know!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

CONTINUE READING

T

How to Create an Unforgettable Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

April 20, 2018

Food + Drink

Between the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, a splash of tequila and touch of sugar, to coat the rim, it’s almost nearly impossible to beat a Sweet Citrus Paloma in late Spring. A Paloma might just be my new favorite tequila drink, simply based on its beauty and taste of course!

Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe

Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma RecipePaloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe Paloma Recipe

Paloma Recipe

Traditionally, a Paloma is three parts grapefruit soda and one part tequila. I personally prefer fresh grapefruit juice, in my Paloma, when available! It generally only takes 1 big juicy grapefruit to make about 2 cocktails. You will need about one half of a juicy grapefruit per cocktail.

What I love so much about this cocktail is that measuring really isn’t necessary. It’s pretty well based on personal preference and you can adapt this recipe to fit your palate. If you like your drinks a little stronger you can always add an extra splash of tequila!  

There are several options for garnishing your Paloma. A beautiful slice of grapefruit or lime compliments this cocktail so well. But, you can always spice things up a bit by adding a little jalapeno around the rim. We decided to add a little sugar to the rim and garnish with a slice of lime and grapefruit for color variety and taste!

Cinco de Mayo is just not Cinco de Mayo without a signature cocktail! Most people automatically assume Margaritas are a must on Cinco de Mayo. However, to switch things up I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. We decided to go with this deliciously simple Paloma. If there were two pieces advice I could give you on entertaining they would be: one, keep things simple and two, doing something shocking.

Imagine something just as tasty, as a Margarita, and even more beautiful. I can’t think of a prettier cocktail. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice does the trick and to make this unique Grand Marnier is the perfect way to really impress your guests!  

These tumblers from Williams-Sonoma have been our everyday drinking glasses for about a year and a half. I adore how simple and durable they are, not to mention how affordable they are! We love these so much that I recently decided to pick up the shorter version for summer cocktails. These are even cuter and are the perfect way to serve this Paloma, or any summer drink you are mixing up!

Ingredients

3 oz of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1.5 oz cup of sparkling water

1 oz tequila

1 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Sugar or salt

Lime or Grapefruit Slices

Instructions

Place a small amount of sugar, or salt, on a plate. Moisten the rim of your glass with lime wedge. Place the glass rim side down into the sugar. Work the glass until the rim is coated.

Add a small amount of ice to a cocktail shaker and to your glass with the rim already coated. To the shaker, add grapefruit juice, tequila, and Grand Marnier. Shake a few times to combine. Pour over ice. Add sparkling water. Stir gently, just until combined. Garnish and serve.

This recipe makes 1 drink.


What will you be serving on Cinco de Mayo? Check out this delicious Lavender Lemonade too!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Sweet Citrus Paloma Recipe

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 16, 2018

Beauty

For me, skincare has always been really important. Because my skin tends to be problematic, sometimes, I really have to pay attention to how I am caring for my skin. A few months ago, I shared my morning skincare routine and I thought it was about time I shared my nighttime skincare routine!

I had originally intended to share these quite close together, however, time just slipped away from me and somehow I am just now finally sharing my nighttime skincare routine with you. My skincare routine is always one of the things I get asked about. Over the years, I have learned a lot about my skin and how it reacts to different products. Unfortunately, most of the time the only way to find out what works is by finding out what doesn’t work. 

Although the condition of your skin isn’t solely based on your skincare, what you put on your skin has a large effect on the overall appearance and health of your skin. Lately, I have been trying my best to do a little research on the products I use and the things I put inside of my body. Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of our body? I didn’t know that until recently! In no way would I consider myself “healthy” but lately my curiosity has really had me infatuated with research the human body and the effect that my lifestyle has on my body. This book has had me more curious than ever and I have to say it has had a huge influence on my lifestyle lately. It’s definitely worth reading.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Like I previously mentioned, our skincare routine is incredibly important in the overall health and appearance of our skin. From the time I was a young girl, my mom taught me the importance of caring for my skin and washing it properly. As I have gotten older I have added in a few different treatments and those will continue to change, and most likely grow, as I age! However, I have to admit that I have been wearing eye cream since I was 17.

I have always admired my mom and watching her do her skincare routine. She always stressed the importance of eye cream and preventing aging, rather than trying to play catch up later. With that said, my skincare routine is mostly focused on keeping my skin clear and healthy, not on anti-aging.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Makeup Remover

The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is removing my makeup. I have used oils, I have used wipes and I have used just a plain cleanser, about 3 times through, to remove my makeup. The one skincare product that I have always been fearful of, rightly because of my oily skin, is a balm. However, this makeup removing cleansing balm is one of my favorite steps in my nighttime skincare routine. This lasts forever, as you only need a little bit, and is unscented which I love. 

I use a penny size amount and massage it into my skin, really well to remove all of my makeup. This balm is great because it is gentle yet strong enough to remove matte lipstick, heavy eye makeup, in addition to foundation. Once I have really massaged everything and dislodged my mascara, I take a warm washcloth and wipe every trace of makeup off my face. The warm cloth always feels so nice and the balm comes right off!

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Cleanse

Cleansing your skin is one of the most popular steps and something that most people do. For so long, because of my acne, I felt like I should be using an acne based cleanser. Something with powerful acne fighting ingredients and all that. One of the biggest changes in my skin came from choosing a plain cleanser that will remove oil and makeup. I personally prefer foams and gels, rather than a cream based cleanser. 

I have been a long time fan of the Murad Daily Cleansing foam and always will be. This removes all of the unwanted oil and grime from my face, without drying it out. If you love a foam based cleanser or something that suds up really nice, you will love this one. I tend to get pump happy so I have been going through these like crazy lately. 

The other day, when I was shopping the Sephora VIB sale, I decided to pick up this cleanser. To say that I have been loving it is an understatement. I was enticed to try the product out after trying the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial. I have never seen a change in my skin like I have with that product. Drunk Elephant may just be my favorite brand based on what they stand for but more importantly how effective their products are. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Treat

After understanding that acne cleansers weren’t helping my skin and decided to opt for just a simple cleanser, my acne treatments actually began to prove that they were more effective. Between the acne cleanser and the treatments, my skin was so irritated that there was no way it could fight and soothe acne. I have two “treatments” that I use as a part of my nighttime skincare routine.

After I cleanse my skin, I use these Peter Thomas Roth Maximum Complexion Correction Pads. I use these in place of a toner and although it is quite strong on my skin, I feel like this really helps to keep my skin clean and clear. These can be considered “cleansing pads” however I use these to exfoliate my skin, remove blackheads and kill an acne-causing bacteria. These are very strong and at first I only used these once a day, at night, however, I have built up my tolerance and now use them morning and night. 

I then go on to apply my Kate Summerville Anti Bac Lotion. Now, I have to say that I fully understand that this is a pretty drying and intense compilation of treatments. My skin really thrives on these two products. The Anti Bac Lotion helps to also kill any bacteria without completely drying out my skin. If your skin is really sensitive, I would say to skip the Complexion Pads and just use Anti Bac Lotion.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Hydrate

The more I learn about my skin, the more I have understood the need for hydration. Because my skin is sensitive and oily in some places and dryer in others, I like to use a small amount of moisturizer all over my face. This also helps to replenish the moisture that my treatments tend to suck out of my skin and help balance everything out. I find that when I don’t moisturize my skin enough, it tends to over produce oil. Even if your skin is oily, hydration is still very important!

For moisturizer, I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator. I started out using the moisture surge intense gel cream, but for some reason, I can’t seem to find that online anymore and it wasn’t available last time I purchased my moisturizer. I think it might be discontinued? But, I don’t see why?! Instead, I picked up the Moisture Surge Intense and have been really loving that. It is probably a little bit heavier of a consistency than what I truly need. However, I just use a little bit and it goes a long way. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Eyes and Lips

For my eyes, I use the Clinique All About Eyes Rich, eye cream. This product is thick and hydrating without being too much. I haven’t found the need to spend too much money on an intense eye cream, thus far. Instead, I really love this one because it hydrates that gentle area around my eye and does not irritate it at all. I use this morning and night and don’t have any issues with applying concealer overtop of it.

There are a few skincare items that I am seriously passionate about. My lip balm is definitely one of those products. I’m not here to tell you that you have to sell your house and use nothing but La Mer, although their products are incredible. However, I am here to tell you that you will never regret purchasing this lip balm. Or at least I highly doubt you would!

The La Mer lip balm is one of my all-time favorite skin care products. I have purchased and repurchased this product over and over again. This lip balm keeps my lips hydrated and plump during all seasons of the year. Although this product is more on the expensive side of things, it is worth every penny.


There you have it, my nighttime skincare routine. Some nights I am exhausted and don’t feel like washing off my makeup, but I always do it. Your nighttime skincare routine is so important. Not only removing your makeup but treating your skin well at bedtime, will leave your skin revived and glowing in the morning.

I would love to know what your nighttime skincare routine consists of and what your favorite products are! Be sure to let me know in a comment below. You can also check out my morning skincare routine here.

Also, if you are a beauty lover, like me, you have to shop the Sephora Beauty Insider sale this weekend. Becuase I am a Rouge member, I was able to get my discount this past weekend and through this week with the code YAYROUGE. If you are a Rouge member don’t forget you can shop exclusively up until this weekend and then it will be open to all beauty insiders! I will be sharing more about the sale later this week!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 13, 2018

Fashion

I’m coming to the conclusion that I own entirely way too many t-shirts. Not that this is a bad thing, but I simply need to add more pieces like this ruffle cami to my wardrobe.  This ruffle cami, from Goodnight Macaroon, is a fun and comfortable way to switch things up. Virginia weather is usually temperamental, but in the summer most days are guaranteed to be a scorcher. We have extremes in VA. It goes from freezing to unbelievably hot in like two weeks or less.

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Finding ways to look cute in the heat is always a challenge and sometimes a simple tank doesn’t feel quite as pulled together as I would like for it to.  This ruffle cami is the perfect piece to help you look cute in the heat. The ruffle detailing adds a feminine touch which helps to balance out having our shoulders very exposed! I’m not generally one who loves to see myself in a tank top, so the flattering cut of this one has me so excited to wear it all summer! If you are someone who is self-conscious, like me,  about the area between your arms and chest, you will love the cut of this cami. It covers everything while still having a thin strap. I wear a size large in this tank!

Ruffle Cami (c/o), Denim, Heels, Bag similar, Sunglasses, Bracelet, Earrings similarLipstick

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Goodnight Macaroon Sale

Also, Goodnight Macaroon is having an amazing sale right now! Use the code APRIL25 to get 25% OFF of your purchase of $100+ and the code APRIL40 for 40% OFF your purchase of $200+! I like to size up in their clothing, as I have found it runs small. Some of my favorite pieces right now are this cami (obviously), this lounge set, this dress, this top, these sandals and this off the shoulder nautical top! See my other Goodnight Macaroon outfits, that are on sale, here, here, here, and here! The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 11, 2018

Fashion

The Shopbop Sale is here and I have rounded up some of my favorite items on sale! To make things a little different, I decided to layout this post different than I usually do. The sale is from today, Aprill 11th, through Saturday, April 14th. Also, don’t forget to check out East Dane to shop the men’s sale!

Shopbop Sale Picks

Shop Sale Picks

20% OFF Everything Under $500

25% OFF Everything Over $500 or more

with code: EVENT18

I decided to break my Shopbop Sale Picks down into the following categories: Closet Staples, Vacation Wear, All White, Loungewear and Accessories. For this time of year, I thought these would be a few great shopping points! I personally love them all! Am I the only wife out there who still wears white like she’s a bride? I will always be on team neutrals! Don’t forget to use the code EVENT18 to receive your discount!

Closet Staples

As a girl who loves the basics, and things that will not go out of style, closet staples is one of my favorite categories. Here you will find everything from the perfect pair of jeans, to cardigans and of course classic bags and heels! Which piece is your favorite? I love these Chanel slingback dupes and this cardigan. 

Vacation

It’s finally almost vacation season which means summer and vacation wear is high on my shopping list! This swimsuit is to die for and I can’t get over how cute these espadrilles are! 

All White 

Whether you are currently a bride or, like me, love wearing white and light colors to keep cool in the summer heat. This section is for you! I love wearing my favorite white jeans, most days, in the summer. This two piece set (1,2) is adorable! 

Loungewear 

I had to add loungewear to my Shopbop Sale picks because I’m truly a pajama girl at heart. Jay always says putting away my clothes is easy because they are all pajamas! Seriously though, this girl loves some loungewear and a good robe. These pants are calling my name! I can see myself in them on Saturday reading a good book. What about you?!

Accessories

Lastly, but certainly not the least is accessories! I always stress my love for a good, classic wardrobe, filled with beautiful accessories. The perfect sandals that go with everything, fun sunglasses to add a little something to your look and of course, a classic handbag that holds your treasures! I still can’t figure out if I’m a sunglass, handbag or a shoe girl. Personally, I think I’m a little of each!


I’m excited about this sale as it is so inclusive of such a variety of items! Don’t forget to check out East Dane for your man, in addition to the Shopbop Sale and use the code EVENT18 to receive the discount! Do you plan on shopping this sale? Let me know in a comment!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Shopbop Sale Picks

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 9, 2018

Lifestyle

I often get asked what my advice or best tips are for starting a blog in 2018. While the answer varies, depending on what your niche is and what your goals are, there are so many articles online that I feel say the same things about starting a blog. I have read numerous blog posts, watched videos, and listened to podcasts sharing resources on starting a blog today.

While there are definitely basics that you need to know, what I want to talk about today are a few different ideas, that I have found give me an advantage, even with a small following. I also wanted to include a few of my favorite resources, posts, and industry leaders that I look to for trusted advice and motivation. I hope that this post will help you and give you some tips for staring a blog in 2018 that you haven’t heard yet!

top, skirt similar, heels, bag, glasses, phone case

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

If you are planning to start a blog or maybe you already have one but are looking to grow it this year, I hope that these 5 Different Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 will help you. Although I don’t have 500,000 Instagram followers, I do have a strong community of women around me that I appreciate more than anything.  I have found that relationships and connection are more important than anything.

Even if you don’t have a huge following, any bit of following is important and you should cherish their trust and confidence in you.

I believe in you!

Invest in a Good Quality Website and Website Domain 

When you are just starting out, with a small amount of blog traffic, purchasing a website domain is a relatively cheap investment. Do yourself a favor and just take the plunge. It will give you credibility and your reader’s confidence in the content that you are producing. Not to mention all of the hidden web benefits of not having a “xyz.blogspot.com” domain.

With that said, I also really wish I would have invested in a custom brand and website design sooner. I cannot tell you benefits that I have begun to see in just a short amount of time of having my website redone. My site is beautiful, easy to navigate and I have been getting so many more page views. While the investment, and wait time, might seem daunting at first, most designers offer payment breakdowns to spread that cost over several months. Even if it seems out of reach, save your money and work towards the goal of having a custom site designed, as soon as you can. I promise this will not be something you regret.

I wish I would have done this sooner!

Video Content is Key

I began my blogging journey in the time of Blair Fowler aka “JuicyStar07.” She was a young, and popular, Youtuber who was gaining traction, earning a large income, and still lived at home with her parents! Naturally, my teenage self-decided I needed a Youtube channel too and that’s how I got started. Today, I still post videos on my Youtube channel and it has many more followers than my blog does.

I have always loved video content, but now more than ever, it’s so important to be creating video content.

Not only does video content create a deep-rooted connection with your followers, by allowing you to show your true personality and talk with them, but I have found it’s much easier to reach a larger audience on Youtube. If your goal is to earn a profit from your blog, I have found that I am able to earn more money on Youtube through adds, than I do on my blog.

Video content can be scary for some people, which is totally understandable! I have always felt more comfortable in front of the camera than I have with my fingers on the keyboard. But I’m learning to love it all. Even though video content can seem a little scary, I promise it is so rewarding. Video content does take a lot of effort. Between, filming, editing and uploading (not to mention linking all of your products and more!) you are sure to be exhausted at the end of the day

Although that seems like a lot, because it is, I think if you are starting a blog in 2018 that you hope will reach a large audience, you need to be on Youtube or creating some sort of video content.

Build a Relationship with Your Audience

The most successful bloggers and influencers build strong relationships with their audience. Have you ever listened to one of Marianna Hewitt’s’ Instagram Stories? It’s like she is talking directly to you. She is a master at creating a community and selling product, all while being her true to herself to her audience.

This topic leads me to the phrase “Your most authentic self” which honestly sometimes makes me a bit frustrated. Here are two reasons why that phrase frustrates me.

Your Most Authentic Self

For a long time in my blogging career, I didn’t truly know who my authentic self-was. I spent so much of my time looking at other influences and trying to mimic what they were doing to create success. I was trying so hard to make someone else path to success my own. Many of us don’t know who our “most authentic self is” especially at a young age. So I personally get a little angry when industry elites preach this authenticity note. Thankfully, one of my favorites, Julie Solomon has begun to break down how we can take a step back and do the work to discover our “most authentic self” in order to deliver with intention.

The second reason is truly just based off of the first issue I have with the term.  I find this term to often feel empty like it’s lacking meaning. Almost like it’s made to sound good but leaves so many people wondering, “Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?” Oftentimes, many people preach to others to be authentic without honestly knowing exactly what that means.

What is it that you truly want to share with the world? I believe that we all have something to share. There is value in your life and you have something to amazing to put into the world that will help others. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited to publish a new blog post. I also find that certain topics flow out of me much better than others.

At the end of the day, the relationship you create with your followers is the most important thing you can do. By being yourself, showing up, and putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t have makeup on and feel like you like a monster, that’s me half of the time! Someone out there might need you to be brave so they can have the courage to love themselves just the way they are. I will gladly take one for the team.

You might just be surprised how many lives you change by being vulnerable and open, even if you are scared.

Personally, I have found the most rewarding moments in my business come from direct messages and comments of someone confessing that they often struggle with something too, or they are insecure about X and are so comforted to hear that they aren’t alone. This is what brings me joy and this is where relationships are built.

When your craft your message from a place of giving and choose to respond to as many comments as you can, reach out to your readers, follow them on social media and take the time to invest in relationships, people will continue to come back to you. They will trust your opinion and purchase your referrals and from you, if you have a product or service you are selling. I can tell you, from personal experience, that the direction and profit of my business changed tremendously when I chose to invest in my audience wholeheartedly.

Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers, none of it will last if you don’t invest in your audience.

Professional Photography 

I waited way too long to invest in professional photography. To this day, I still have to carefully plan and budget photography, as well as shoot some photos myself. Photography can be expensive, but I think if you are starting out you really need a few good pictures of yourself.

If you aren’t ready to invest in photography on a regular basis, that is totally understandable! Instead maybe opt for one, or two, sessions with a photographer to do a brand shoot. Get some great photos of yourself, that are on brand, that you can use throughout your blog and social media feeds. I love this post from Angie McPherson on the benefits of personal branding photography. It’s also a great idea to get some other shots that are also on brand, that you aren’t in. If you a beauty blogger, get a few shots of your favorite products or the space you use to get ready. If you are a food blogger, have some really great photos taken of your favorite ingredients or dishes that you can spread throughout your feed as well.

I think it’s important to have really nice photos. I have seen a clear correlation between adding in some high-quality photography and growth in my business. Not every photo has to be professional, some of my iPhone photos perform just as well or even better. However, I think it’s great to have professional photos that you can post often. This will also let brands know that your work is professional.

Know Your Numbers

Knowing your numbers and analytics is a must. Whether it’s on your blog, social media, affiliate sales account or Youtube, knowing your numbers is essential to knowing your audience and creating a successful growth path. I have to be completely honest when I tell you that this is something I am still working on. Understanding your analytics can be tough. But, taking the time to see what content is performing best, will help you to understand what type of content your audience is interested in seeing from you. It’s also important to know your numbers when working with brands.

There are many online resources that will help you with google analytics and other platforms. I have honestly found that each platform teaches you pretty well how you use it, it might just take some time research how to use that platform to its full potential.

Start an Email List

There is great research on the idea that email marketing is one of the best ways to sell the product. It is also one of the best was to create a personal connection and tap into those followers that aren’t using social media as much. If your audience trusts you enough to give you their email address, they are definitely committed to you. Especially if they choose to stay and participate.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to gain your audience’s trust and really show them your personality and gives you the opportunity to share things that you might not post publicly on your blog. It’s also a great way to share products with them, links to your latest posts and more. See what I include in my newsletter by signing up here.

Use Keynote to Make Collages

This might seem like a simple tip but for so long I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create collages, such as this one, for my blog. However, I have recently found that using Keynote is so much easier and efficient. I don’t have to know how to use Illustrator and Keynote is basically self-explanatory. I can remove backgrounds on product images, arrange things easily, use the color selector to choose what color I want to use in the title box, change the font and so much more. When I’m done I can simply export the file to an image and just like that I’m done!

Somethings are much easier than we lead onto. There are people telling you, need this software and that, and don’t get me wrong some are really important. But, for the most part, things are often more simple than what we make them.

Helpful Resources

I have found that reading books and listening to podcasts have not only helped me learn about myself. But, they have helped me to learn about how to grow my blog as a business. There are so many industry leaders and elites that have morphed their platforms into teaching platforms. They have so much to offer that is worth soaking in. Here are some of my favorite resources and people!

You know how much I love researching business topics, and personal development! If you have any resources on this topic, that you love, please leave them in a comment below. I would love to go check them out. If you have written a blog post on this topic, please leave your link in the comments! 

I would love to support you on your blogging journey and if you have any questions, just let me know!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 6, 2018

Entertain

The other day I shared an Instagram poll asking if you still wanted to see a recap of the Ladies Easter Luncheon my mom hosted last weekend and the response was a “Yes!” I never got around to posting any Easter entertain content, which I desperately wanted too! With the launch of the new site, I just didn’t have time. However, I hope that you enjoy this recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon, that my mom hosts every year!

Ladies Easter Luncheon

My mom began hosting this Ladies Easter Luncheon a few years ago as a way to get all of the women in the family together during the Spring. They have quickly become a tradition and something that I look forward to each year. I decided to break things up into two categories: Food and Decor, and Family. I also thought this would be a fun opportunity to introduce you to a few of the special ladies in my life, in addition to sharing a little recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon!

Food and Decor

There is no doubt that my love for food and cooking came from all the delicious meals I enjoyed during my childhood! My mama is the best cook I know and I’m thankful to have her as a teacher and a best friend. She has taught me many things over the years, but I still have some learning to do. I’m excited to share more recipes here this year. Some of these recipes I have already shared so I will be sure to drop a link under the picture. Look out for that!

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

I love these chairs more than anything! Aren’t they beautiful?!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

You can grab my deviled egg recipe here.Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

This coconut cake is to die for! My mom makes it from this cookbook. We stayed at The Planters Inn when we got in engaged in Charleston, SC! I can’t wait to go back hopefully soon.Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

My mom put these adorable gift bags together for all of her guests and displayed this on this beautiful horse bit tray from the Kellogg Collection! I couldn’t find a similar one online!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter LunchLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Family

I always mention that I grew up surrounded by strong beautiful women. I’m so happy that today, I am finally having the opportunity to share a few of those ladies with you! I mean, that’s what this Ladies Easter Lunch is all about right? Anyways, last year this unique and bonded group, that I am so thankful to call mine, lost one of our own. My Aunt Donna, who was strong-willed, full of laughter and the glue that held these lady together left this earth. While she wasn’t there in the flesh, there is no doubt in my mind that she wasn’t there with us. Each time this group gathers, we always honor her by taking a shot of her favorite liquor, Fireball. I hope that you enjoy celebrating her life with us through these photos!

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Me with my cousin Steph and my God Mother, Robin!Ladies Easter Lunch

My Mama 💕Ladies Easter Lunch

Aunt Mavis, Steph and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch Aunt Connie, Aunt Mavis, Aunt Lana, Mom and Aunt JoyceLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt Joyce and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt MavisLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found some inspiration for any spring parties or events you are having! We had the best time, this past week, and I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to share this special day with you. Do you have any holiday traditions or special family gathering just for the girls?!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Ladies Easter Luncheon Recap

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 16, 2018

Beauty

For me, skincare has always been really important. Because my skin tends to be problematic, sometimes, I really have to pay attention to how I am caring for my skin. A few months ago, I shared my morning skincare routine and I thought it was about time I shared my nighttime skincare routine!

I had originally intended to share these quite close together, however, time just slipped away from me and somehow I am just now finally sharing my nighttime skincare routine with you. My skincare routine is always one of the things I get asked about. Over the years, I have learned a lot about my skin and how it reacts to different products. Unfortunately, most of the time the only way to find out what works is by finding out what doesn’t work. 

Although the condition of your skin isn’t solely based on your skincare, what you put on your skin has a large effect on the overall appearance and health of your skin. Lately, I have been trying my best to do a little research on the products I use and the things I put inside of my body. Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of our body? I didn’t know that until recently! In no way would I consider myself “healthy” but lately my curiosity has really had me infatuated with research the human body and the effect that my lifestyle has on my body. This book has had me more curious than ever and I have to say it has had a huge influence on my lifestyle lately. It’s definitely worth reading.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Like I previously mentioned, our skincare routine is incredibly important in the overall health and appearance of our skin. From the time I was a young girl, my mom taught me the importance of caring for my skin and washing it properly. As I have gotten older I have added in a few different treatments and those will continue to change, and most likely grow, as I age! However, I have to admit that I have been wearing eye cream since I was 17.

I have always admired my mom and watching her do her skincare routine. She always stressed the importance of eye cream and preventing aging, rather than trying to play catch up later. With that said, my skincare routine is mostly focused on keeping my skin clear and healthy, not on anti-aging.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Makeup Remover

The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is removing my makeup. I have used oils, I have used wipes and I have used just a plain cleanser, about 3 times through, to remove my makeup. The one skincare product that I have always been fearful of, rightly because of my oily skin, is a balm. However, this makeup removing cleansing balm is one of my favorite steps in my nighttime skincare routine. This lasts forever, as you only need a little bit, and is unscented which I love. 

I use a penny size amount and massage it into my skin, really well to remove all of my makeup. This balm is great because it is gentle yet strong enough to remove matte lipstick, heavy eye makeup, in addition to foundation. Once I have really massaged everything and dislodged my mascara, I take a warm washcloth and wipe every trace of makeup off my face. The warm cloth always feels so nice and the balm comes right off!

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Cleanse

Cleansing your skin is one of the most popular steps and something that most people do. For so long, because of my acne, I felt like I should be using an acne based cleanser. Something with powerful acne fighting ingredients and all that. One of the biggest changes in my skin came from choosing a plain cleanser that will remove oil and makeup. I personally prefer foams and gels, rather than a cream based cleanser. 

I have been a long time fan of the Murad Daily Cleansing foam and always will be. This removes all of the unwanted oil and grime from my face, without drying it out. If you love a foam based cleanser or something that suds up really nice, you will love this one. I tend to get pump happy so I have been going through these like crazy lately. 

The other day, when I was shopping the Sephora VIB sale, I decided to pick up this cleanser. To say that I have been loving it is an understatement. I was enticed to try the product out after trying the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial. I have never seen a change in my skin like I have with that product. Drunk Elephant may just be my favorite brand based on what they stand for but more importantly how effective their products are. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Treat

After understanding that acne cleansers weren’t helping my skin and decided to opt for just a simple cleanser, my acne treatments actually began to prove that they were more effective. Between the acne cleanser and the treatments, my skin was so irritated that there was no way it could fight and soothe acne. I have two “treatments” that I use as a part of my nighttime skincare routine.

After I cleanse my skin, I use these Peter Thomas Roth Maximum Complexion Correction Pads. I use these in place of a toner and although it is quite strong on my skin, I feel like this really helps to keep my skin clean and clear. These can be considered “cleansing pads” however I use these to exfoliate my skin, remove blackheads and kill an acne-causing bacteria. These are very strong and at first I only used these once a day, at night, however, I have built up my tolerance and now use them morning and night. 

I then go on to apply my Kate Summerville Anti Bac Lotion. Now, I have to say that I fully understand that this is a pretty drying and intense compilation of treatments. My skin really thrives on these two products. The Anti Bac Lotion helps to also kill any bacteria without completely drying out my skin. If your skin is really sensitive, I would say to skip the Complexion Pads and just use Anti Bac Lotion.

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Hydrate

The more I learn about my skin, the more I have understood the need for hydration. Because my skin is sensitive and oily in some places and dryer in others, I like to use a small amount of moisturizer all over my face. This also helps to replenish the moisture that my treatments tend to suck out of my skin and help balance everything out. I find that when I don’t moisturize my skin enough, it tends to over produce oil. Even if your skin is oily, hydration is still very important!

For moisturizer, I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator. I started out using the moisture surge intense gel cream, but for some reason, I can’t seem to find that online anymore and it wasn’t available last time I purchased my moisturizer. I think it might be discontinued? But, I don’t see why?! Instead, I picked up the Moisture Surge Intense and have been really loving that. It is probably a little bit heavier of a consistency than what I truly need. However, I just use a little bit and it goes a long way. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Problematic and Sensitive Skin Types

Eyes and Lips

For my eyes, I use the Clinique All About Eyes Rich, eye cream. This product is thick and hydrating without being too much. I haven’t found the need to spend too much money on an intense eye cream, thus far. Instead, I really love this one because it hydrates that gentle area around my eye and does not irritate it at all. I use this morning and night and don’t have any issues with applying concealer overtop of it.

There are a few skincare items that I am seriously passionate about. My lip balm is definitely one of those products. I’m not here to tell you that you have to sell your house and use nothing but La Mer, although their products are incredible. However, I am here to tell you that you will never regret purchasing this lip balm. Or at least I highly doubt you would!

The La Mer lip balm is one of my all-time favorite skin care products. I have purchased and repurchased this product over and over again. This lip balm keeps my lips hydrated and plump during all seasons of the year. Although this product is more on the expensive side of things, it is worth every penny.


There you have it, my nighttime skincare routine. Some nights I am exhausted and don’t feel like washing off my makeup, but I always do it. Your nighttime skincare routine is so important. Not only removing your makeup but treating your skin well at bedtime, will leave your skin revived and glowing in the morning.

I would love to know what your nighttime skincare routine consists of and what your favorite products are! Be sure to let me know in a comment below. You can also check out my morning skincare routine here.

Also, if you are a beauty lover, like me, you have to shop the Sephora Beauty Insider sale this weekend. Becuase I am a Rouge member, I was able to get my discount this past weekend and through this week with the code YAYROUGE. If you are a Rouge member don’t forget you can shop exclusively up until this weekend and then it will be open to all beauty insiders! I will be sharing more about the sale later this week!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 13, 2018

Fashion

I’m coming to the conclusion that I own entirely way too many t-shirts. Not that this is a bad thing, but I simply need to add more pieces like this ruffle cami to my wardrobe.  This ruffle cami, from Goodnight Macaroon, is a fun and comfortable way to switch things up. Virginia weather is usually temperamental, but in the summer most days are guaranteed to be a scorcher. We have extremes in VA. It goes from freezing to unbelievably hot in like two weeks or less.

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Finding ways to look cute in the heat is always a challenge and sometimes a simple tank doesn’t feel quite as pulled together as I would like for it to.  This ruffle cami is the perfect piece to help you look cute in the heat. The ruffle detailing adds a feminine touch which helps to balance out having our shoulders very exposed! I’m not generally one who loves to see myself in a tank top, so the flattering cut of this one has me so excited to wear it all summer! If you are someone who is self-conscious, like me,  about the area between your arms and chest, you will love the cut of this cami. It covers everything while still having a thin strap. I wear a size large in this tank!

Ruffle Cami (c/o), Denim, Heels, Bag similar, Sunglasses, Bracelet, Earrings similarLipstick

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Goodnight Macaroon Sale

Also, Goodnight Macaroon is having an amazing sale right now! Use the code APRIL25 to get 25% OFF of your purchase of $100+ and the code APRIL40 for 40% OFF your purchase of $200+! I like to size up in their clothing, as I have found it runs small. Some of my favorite pieces right now are this cami (obviously), this lounge set, this dress, this top, these sandals and this off the shoulder nautical top! See my other Goodnight Macaroon outfits, that are on sale, here, here, here, and here! The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 11, 2018

Fashion

The Shopbop Sale is here and I have rounded up some of my favorite items on sale! To make things a little different, I decided to layout this post different than I usually do. The sale is from today, Aprill 11th, through Saturday, April 14th. Also, don’t forget to check out East Dane to shop the men’s sale!

Shopbop Sale Picks

Shop Sale Picks

20% OFF Everything Under $500

25% OFF Everything Over $500 or more

with code: EVENT18

I decided to break my Shopbop Sale Picks down into the following categories: Closet Staples, Vacation Wear, All White, Loungewear and Accessories. For this time of year, I thought these would be a few great shopping points! I personally love them all! Am I the only wife out there who still wears white like she’s a bride? I will always be on team neutrals! Don’t forget to use the code EVENT18 to receive your discount!

Closet Staples

As a girl who loves the basics, and things that will not go out of style, closet staples is one of my favorite categories. Here you will find everything from the perfect pair of jeans, to cardigans and of course classic bags and heels! Which piece is your favorite? I love these Chanel slingback dupes and this cardigan. 

Vacation

It’s finally almost vacation season which means summer and vacation wear is high on my shopping list! This swimsuit is to die for and I can’t get over how cute these espadrilles are! 

All White 

Whether you are currently a bride or, like me, love wearing white and light colors to keep cool in the summer heat. This section is for you! I love wearing my favorite white jeans, most days, in the summer. This two piece set (1,2) is adorable! 

Loungewear 

I had to add loungewear to my Shopbop Sale picks because I’m truly a pajama girl at heart. Jay always says putting away my clothes is easy because they are all pajamas! Seriously though, this girl loves some loungewear and a good robe. These pants are calling my name! I can see myself in them on Saturday reading a good book. What about you?!

Accessories

Lastly, but certainly not the least is accessories! I always stress my love for a good, classic wardrobe, filled with beautiful accessories. The perfect sandals that go with everything, fun sunglasses to add a little something to your look and of course, a classic handbag that holds your treasures! I still can’t figure out if I’m a sunglass, handbag or a shoe girl. Personally, I think I’m a little of each!


I’m excited about this sale as it is so inclusive of such a variety of items! Don’t forget to check out East Dane for your man, in addition to the Shopbop Sale and use the code EVENT18 to receive the discount! Do you plan on shopping this sale? Let me know in a comment!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Shopbop Sale Picks

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 9, 2018

Lifestyle

I often get asked what my advice or best tips are for starting a blog in 2018. While the answer varies, depending on what your niche is and what your goals are, there are so many articles online that I feel say the same things about starting a blog. I have read numerous blog posts, watched videos, and listened to podcasts sharing resources on starting a blog today.

While there are definitely basics that you need to know, what I want to talk about today are a few different ideas, that I have found give me an advantage, even with a small following. I also wanted to include a few of my favorite resources, posts, and industry leaders that I look to for trusted advice and motivation. I hope that this post will help you and give you some tips for staring a blog in 2018 that you haven’t heard yet!

top, skirt similar, heels, bag, glasses, phone case

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

If you are planning to start a blog or maybe you already have one but are looking to grow it this year, I hope that these 5 Different Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 will help you. Although I don’t have 500,000 Instagram followers, I do have a strong community of women around me that I appreciate more than anything.  I have found that relationships and connection are more important than anything.

Even if you don’t have a huge following, any bit of following is important and you should cherish their trust and confidence in you.

I believe in you!

Invest in a Good Quality Website and Website Domain 

When you are just starting out, with a small amount of blog traffic, purchasing a website domain is a relatively cheap investment. Do yourself a favor and just take the plunge. It will give you credibility and your reader’s confidence in the content that you are producing. Not to mention all of the hidden web benefits of not having a “xyz.blogspot.com” domain.

With that said, I also really wish I would have invested in a custom brand and website design sooner. I cannot tell you benefits that I have begun to see in just a short amount of time of having my website redone. My site is beautiful, easy to navigate and I have been getting so many more page views. While the investment, and wait time, might seem daunting at first, most designers offer payment breakdowns to spread that cost over several months. Even if it seems out of reach, save your money and work towards the goal of having a custom site designed, as soon as you can. I promise this will not be something you regret.

I wish I would have done this sooner!

Video Content is Key

I began my blogging journey in the time of Blair Fowler aka “JuicyStar07.” She was a young, and popular, Youtuber who was gaining traction, earning a large income, and still lived at home with her parents! Naturally, my teenage self-decided I needed a Youtube channel too and that’s how I got started. Today, I still post videos on my Youtube channel and it has many more followers than my blog does.

I have always loved video content, but now more than ever, it’s so important to be creating video content.

Not only does video content create a deep-rooted connection with your followers, by allowing you to show your true personality and talk with them, but I have found it’s much easier to reach a larger audience on Youtube. If your goal is to earn a profit from your blog, I have found that I am able to earn more money on Youtube through adds, than I do on my blog.

Video content can be scary for some people, which is totally understandable! I have always felt more comfortable in front of the camera than I have with my fingers on the keyboard. But I’m learning to love it all. Even though video content can seem a little scary, I promise it is so rewarding. Video content does take a lot of effort. Between, filming, editing and uploading (not to mention linking all of your products and more!) you are sure to be exhausted at the end of the day

Although that seems like a lot, because it is, I think if you are starting a blog in 2018 that you hope will reach a large audience, you need to be on Youtube or creating some sort of video content.

Build a Relationship with Your Audience

The most successful bloggers and influencers build strong relationships with their audience. Have you ever listened to one of Marianna Hewitt’s’ Instagram Stories? It’s like she is talking directly to you. She is a master at creating a community and selling product, all while being her true to herself to her audience.

This topic leads me to the phrase “Your most authentic self” which honestly sometimes makes me a bit frustrated. Here are two reasons why that phrase frustrates me.

Your Most Authentic Self

For a long time in my blogging career, I didn’t truly know who my authentic self-was. I spent so much of my time looking at other influences and trying to mimic what they were doing to create success. I was trying so hard to make someone else path to success my own. Many of us don’t know who our “most authentic self is” especially at a young age. So I personally get a little angry when industry elites preach this authenticity note. Thankfully, one of my favorites, Julie Solomon has begun to break down how we can take a step back and do the work to discover our “most authentic self” in order to deliver with intention.

The second reason is truly just based off of the first issue I have with the term.  I find this term to often feel empty like it’s lacking meaning. Almost like it’s made to sound good but leaves so many people wondering, “Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?” Oftentimes, many people preach to others to be authentic without honestly knowing exactly what that means.

What is it that you truly want to share with the world? I believe that we all have something to share. There is value in your life and you have something to amazing to put into the world that will help others. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited to publish a new blog post. I also find that certain topics flow out of me much better than others.

At the end of the day, the relationship you create with your followers is the most important thing you can do. By being yourself, showing up, and putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t have makeup on and feel like you like a monster, that’s me half of the time! Someone out there might need you to be brave so they can have the courage to love themselves just the way they are. I will gladly take one for the team.

You might just be surprised how many lives you change by being vulnerable and open, even if you are scared.

Personally, I have found the most rewarding moments in my business come from direct messages and comments of someone confessing that they often struggle with something too, or they are insecure about X and are so comforted to hear that they aren’t alone. This is what brings me joy and this is where relationships are built.

When your craft your message from a place of giving and choose to respond to as many comments as you can, reach out to your readers, follow them on social media and take the time to invest in relationships, people will continue to come back to you. They will trust your opinion and purchase your referrals and from you, if you have a product or service you are selling. I can tell you, from personal experience, that the direction and profit of my business changed tremendously when I chose to invest in my audience wholeheartedly.

Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers, none of it will last if you don’t invest in your audience.

Professional Photography 

I waited way too long to invest in professional photography. To this day, I still have to carefully plan and budget photography, as well as shoot some photos myself. Photography can be expensive, but I think if you are starting out you really need a few good pictures of yourself.

If you aren’t ready to invest in photography on a regular basis, that is totally understandable! Instead maybe opt for one, or two, sessions with a photographer to do a brand shoot. Get some great photos of yourself, that are on brand, that you can use throughout your blog and social media feeds. I love this post from Angie McPherson on the benefits of personal branding photography. It’s also a great idea to get some other shots that are also on brand, that you aren’t in. If you a beauty blogger, get a few shots of your favorite products or the space you use to get ready. If you are a food blogger, have some really great photos taken of your favorite ingredients or dishes that you can spread throughout your feed as well.

I think it’s important to have really nice photos. I have seen a clear correlation between adding in some high-quality photography and growth in my business. Not every photo has to be professional, some of my iPhone photos perform just as well or even better. However, I think it’s great to have professional photos that you can post often. This will also let brands know that your work is professional.

Know Your Numbers

Knowing your numbers and analytics is a must. Whether it’s on your blog, social media, affiliate sales account or Youtube, knowing your numbers is essential to knowing your audience and creating a successful growth path. I have to be completely honest when I tell you that this is something I am still working on. Understanding your analytics can be tough. But, taking the time to see what content is performing best, will help you to understand what type of content your audience is interested in seeing from you. It’s also important to know your numbers when working with brands.

There are many online resources that will help you with google analytics and other platforms. I have honestly found that each platform teaches you pretty well how you use it, it might just take some time research how to use that platform to its full potential.

Start an Email List

There is great research on the idea that email marketing is one of the best ways to sell the product. It is also one of the best was to create a personal connection and tap into those followers that aren’t using social media as much. If your audience trusts you enough to give you their email address, they are definitely committed to you. Especially if they choose to stay and participate.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to gain your audience’s trust and really show them your personality and gives you the opportunity to share things that you might not post publicly on your blog. It’s also a great way to share products with them, links to your latest posts and more. See what I include in my newsletter by signing up here.

Use Keynote to Make Collages

This might seem like a simple tip but for so long I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create collages, such as this one, for my blog. However, I have recently found that using Keynote is so much easier and efficient. I don’t have to know how to use Illustrator and Keynote is basically self-explanatory. I can remove backgrounds on product images, arrange things easily, use the color selector to choose what color I want to use in the title box, change the font and so much more. When I’m done I can simply export the file to an image and just like that I’m done!

Somethings are much easier than we lead onto. There are people telling you, need this software and that, and don’t get me wrong some are really important. But, for the most part, things are often more simple than what we make them.

Helpful Resources

I have found that reading books and listening to podcasts have not only helped me learn about myself. But, they have helped me to learn about how to grow my blog as a business. There are so many industry leaders and elites that have morphed their platforms into teaching platforms. They have so much to offer that is worth soaking in. Here are some of my favorite resources and people!

You know how much I love researching business topics, and personal development! If you have any resources on this topic, that you love, please leave them in a comment below. I would love to go check them out. If you have written a blog post on this topic, please leave your link in the comments! 

I would love to support you on your blogging journey and if you have any questions, just let me know!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 6, 2018

Entertain

The other day I shared an Instagram poll asking if you still wanted to see a recap of the Ladies Easter Luncheon my mom hosted last weekend and the response was a “Yes!” I never got around to posting any Easter entertain content, which I desperately wanted too! With the launch of the new site, I just didn’t have time. However, I hope that you enjoy this recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon, that my mom hosts every year!

Ladies Easter Luncheon

My mom began hosting this Ladies Easter Luncheon a few years ago as a way to get all of the women in the family together during the Spring. They have quickly become a tradition and something that I look forward to each year. I decided to break things up into two categories: Food and Decor, and Family. I also thought this would be a fun opportunity to introduce you to a few of the special ladies in my life, in addition to sharing a little recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon!

Food and Decor

There is no doubt that my love for food and cooking came from all the delicious meals I enjoyed during my childhood! My mama is the best cook I know and I’m thankful to have her as a teacher and a best friend. She has taught me many things over the years, but I still have some learning to do. I’m excited to share more recipes here this year. Some of these recipes I have already shared so I will be sure to drop a link under the picture. Look out for that!

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

I love these chairs more than anything! Aren’t they beautiful?!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

You can grab my deviled egg recipe here.Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

This coconut cake is to die for! My mom makes it from this cookbook. We stayed at The Planters Inn when we got in engaged in Charleston, SC! I can’t wait to go back hopefully soon.Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

My mom put these adorable gift bags together for all of her guests and displayed this on this beautiful horse bit tray from the Kellogg Collection! I couldn’t find a similar one online!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter LunchLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Family

I always mention that I grew up surrounded by strong beautiful women. I’m so happy that today, I am finally having the opportunity to share a few of those ladies with you! I mean, that’s what this Ladies Easter Lunch is all about right? Anyways, last year this unique and bonded group, that I am so thankful to call mine, lost one of our own. My Aunt Donna, who was strong-willed, full of laughter and the glue that held these lady together left this earth. While she wasn’t there in the flesh, there is no doubt in my mind that she wasn’t there with us. Each time this group gathers, we always honor her by taking a shot of her favorite liquor, Fireball. I hope that you enjoy celebrating her life with us through these photos!

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Me with my cousin Steph and my God Mother, Robin!Ladies Easter Lunch

My Mama 💕Ladies Easter Lunch

Aunt Mavis, Steph and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch Aunt Connie, Aunt Mavis, Aunt Lana, Mom and Aunt JoyceLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt Joyce and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt MavisLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found some inspiration for any spring parties or events you are having! We had the best time, this past week, and I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to share this special day with you. Do you have any holiday traditions or special family gathering just for the girls?!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Ladies Easter Luncheon Recap

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 4, 2018

Fashion

First off, I want to apologize for my absence here on Monday! A busy Easter weekend and poor preparation left me exhausted on Sunday night and without a post on Monday morning! Don’t worry though, our posting scheduling will be back to normal from here on out and I’m going to be doing my best to generate good content for you on a consistent basis! Any post requests are welcomed with a big hug! Let me know what you would like to see in a comment below. 

Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces and wishlist items for Spring! Obviously, I have a thing for blush and it is perfect for Spring! However, I really love incorporating more white into my wardrobe during the early spring months to brighten things up, even if it’s still a little chilly outside. This top is the perfect way to add a bit of Spring into your wardrobe while still staying warm during April and early May. It’s also only $35. I’d say that’s a win!

You probably see me wearing these sandals all the time on my Instagram, but I found these that are almost identical and are such a steal from Nordstrom. I also tend to reach for more statement earrings in the Spring and Summer months. I’m not sure why. Maybe it because I tend to wear my hair up more often and want to show them off! Either way, I found two beautiful pairs. One is a splurge and the other a save! Both equally beautiful! Accessories are the perfect way to add a little bit of personality to a simple look. This headband is one of a kind and I just can’t stop staring at how beautiful it is!

There are quite a few beautiful pieces in this collection that have soft, feminine ruffles and a tie around the waist. I love little details like this that are delicate yet detailed. They bring a sense of uniqueness to a timeless piece. I have to say that this dress might be my favorite, but this tank and swimsuit are too good too! Which is your favorite out of the three? Let me know in a comment below!

Blushing for Spring Fashion

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 13, 2018

Fashion

I’m coming to the conclusion that I own entirely way too many t-shirts. Not that this is a bad thing, but I simply need to add more pieces like this ruffle cami to my wardrobe.  This ruffle cami, from Goodnight Macaroon, is a fun and comfortable way to switch things up. Virginia weather is usually temperamental, but in the summer most days are guaranteed to be a scorcher. We have extremes in VA. It goes from freezing to unbelievably hot in like two weeks or less.

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Finding ways to look cute in the heat is always a challenge and sometimes a simple tank doesn’t feel quite as pulled together as I would like for it to.  This ruffle cami is the perfect piece to help you look cute in the heat. The ruffle detailing adds a feminine touch which helps to balance out having our shoulders very exposed! I’m not generally one who loves to see myself in a tank top, so the flattering cut of this one has me so excited to wear it all summer! If you are someone who is self-conscious, like me,  about the area between your arms and chest, you will love the cut of this cami. It covers everything while still having a thin strap. I wear a size large in this tank!

Ruffle Cami (c/o), Denim, Heels, Bag similar, Sunglasses, Bracelet, Earrings similarLipstick

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Goodnight Macaroon Sale

Also, Goodnight Macaroon is having an amazing sale right now! Use the code APRIL25 to get 25% OFF of your purchase of $100+ and the code APRIL40 for 40% OFF your purchase of $200+! I like to size up in their clothing, as I have found it runs small. Some of my favorite pieces right now are this cami (obviously), this lounge set, this dress, this top, these sandals and this off the shoulder nautical top! See my other Goodnight Macaroon outfits, that are on sale, here, here, here, and here! The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

The Ruffle Cami Every Girl Needs in Her Closet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 11, 2018

Fashion

The Shopbop Sale is here and I have rounded up some of my favorite items on sale! To make things a little different, I decided to layout this post different than I usually do. The sale is from today, Aprill 11th, through Saturday, April 14th. Also, don’t forget to check out East Dane to shop the men’s sale!

Shopbop Sale Picks

Shop Sale Picks

20% OFF Everything Under $500

25% OFF Everything Over $500 or more

with code: EVENT18

I decided to break my Shopbop Sale Picks down into the following categories: Closet Staples, Vacation Wear, All White, Loungewear and Accessories. For this time of year, I thought these would be a few great shopping points! I personally love them all! Am I the only wife out there who still wears white like she’s a bride? I will always be on team neutrals! Don’t forget to use the code EVENT18 to receive your discount!

Closet Staples

As a girl who loves the basics, and things that will not go out of style, closet staples is one of my favorite categories. Here you will find everything from the perfect pair of jeans, to cardigans and of course classic bags and heels! Which piece is your favorite? I love these Chanel slingback dupes and this cardigan. 

Vacation

It’s finally almost vacation season which means summer and vacation wear is high on my shopping list! This swimsuit is to die for and I can’t get over how cute these espadrilles are! 

All White 

Whether you are currently a bride or, like me, love wearing white and light colors to keep cool in the summer heat. This section is for you! I love wearing my favorite white jeans, most days, in the summer. This two piece set (1,2) is adorable! 

Loungewear 

I had to add loungewear to my Shopbop Sale picks because I’m truly a pajama girl at heart. Jay always says putting away my clothes is easy because they are all pajamas! Seriously though, this girl loves some loungewear and a good robe. These pants are calling my name! I can see myself in them on Saturday reading a good book. What about you?!

Accessories

Lastly, but certainly not the least is accessories! I always stress my love for a good, classic wardrobe, filled with beautiful accessories. The perfect sandals that go with everything, fun sunglasses to add a little something to your look and of course, a classic handbag that holds your treasures! I still can’t figure out if I’m a sunglass, handbag or a shoe girl. Personally, I think I’m a little of each!


I’m excited about this sale as it is so inclusive of such a variety of items! Don’t forget to check out East Dane for your man, in addition to the Shopbop Sale and use the code EVENT18 to receive the discount! Do you plan on shopping this sale? Let me know in a comment!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Shopbop Sale Picks

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 9, 2018

Lifestyle

I often get asked what my advice or best tips are for starting a blog in 2018. While the answer varies, depending on what your niche is and what your goals are, there are so many articles online that I feel say the same things about starting a blog. I have read numerous blog posts, watched videos, and listened to podcasts sharing resources on starting a blog today.

While there are definitely basics that you need to know, what I want to talk about today are a few different ideas, that I have found give me an advantage, even with a small following. I also wanted to include a few of my favorite resources, posts, and industry leaders that I look to for trusted advice and motivation. I hope that this post will help you and give you some tips for staring a blog in 2018 that you haven’t heard yet!

top, skirt similar, heels, bag, glasses, phone case

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet 7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven't Heard Yet

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

If you are planning to start a blog or maybe you already have one but are looking to grow it this year, I hope that these 5 Different Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 will help you. Although I don’t have 500,000 Instagram followers, I do have a strong community of women around me that I appreciate more than anything.  I have found that relationships and connection are more important than anything.

Even if you don’t have a huge following, any bit of following is important and you should cherish their trust and confidence in you.

I believe in you!

Invest in a Good Quality Website and Website Domain 

When you are just starting out, with a small amount of blog traffic, purchasing a website domain is a relatively cheap investment. Do yourself a favor and just take the plunge. It will give you credibility and your reader’s confidence in the content that you are producing. Not to mention all of the hidden web benefits of not having a “xyz.blogspot.com” domain.

With that said, I also really wish I would have invested in a custom brand and website design sooner. I cannot tell you benefits that I have begun to see in just a short amount of time of having my website redone. My site is beautiful, easy to navigate and I have been getting so many more page views. While the investment, and wait time, might seem daunting at first, most designers offer payment breakdowns to spread that cost over several months. Even if it seems out of reach, save your money and work towards the goal of having a custom site designed, as soon as you can. I promise this will not be something you regret.

I wish I would have done this sooner!

Video Content is Key

I began my blogging journey in the time of Blair Fowler aka “JuicyStar07.” She was a young, and popular, Youtuber who was gaining traction, earning a large income, and still lived at home with her parents! Naturally, my teenage self-decided I needed a Youtube channel too and that’s how I got started. Today, I still post videos on my Youtube channel and it has many more followers than my blog does.

I have always loved video content, but now more than ever, it’s so important to be creating video content.

Not only does video content create a deep-rooted connection with your followers, by allowing you to show your true personality and talk with them, but I have found it’s much easier to reach a larger audience on Youtube. If your goal is to earn a profit from your blog, I have found that I am able to earn more money on Youtube through adds, than I do on my blog.

Video content can be scary for some people, which is totally understandable! I have always felt more comfortable in front of the camera than I have with my fingers on the keyboard. But I’m learning to love it all. Even though video content can seem a little scary, I promise it is so rewarding. Video content does take a lot of effort. Between, filming, editing and uploading (not to mention linking all of your products and more!) you are sure to be exhausted at the end of the day

Although that seems like a lot, because it is, I think if you are starting a blog in 2018 that you hope will reach a large audience, you need to be on Youtube or creating some sort of video content.

Build a Relationship with Your Audience

The most successful bloggers and influencers build strong relationships with their audience. Have you ever listened to one of Marianna Hewitt’s’ Instagram Stories? It’s like she is talking directly to you. She is a master at creating a community and selling product, all while being her true to herself to her audience.

This topic leads me to the phrase “Your most authentic self” which honestly sometimes makes me a bit frustrated. Here are two reasons why that phrase frustrates me.

Your Most Authentic Self

For a long time in my blogging career, I didn’t truly know who my authentic self-was. I spent so much of my time looking at other influences and trying to mimic what they were doing to create success. I was trying so hard to make someone else path to success my own. Many of us don’t know who our “most authentic self is” especially at a young age. So I personally get a little angry when industry elites preach this authenticity note. Thankfully, one of my favorites, Julie Solomon has begun to break down how we can take a step back and do the work to discover our “most authentic self” in order to deliver with intention.

The second reason is truly just based off of the first issue I have with the term.  I find this term to often feel empty like it’s lacking meaning. Almost like it’s made to sound good but leaves so many people wondering, “Great, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?” Oftentimes, many people preach to others to be authentic without honestly knowing exactly what that means.

What is it that you truly want to share with the world? I believe that we all have something to share. There is value in your life and you have something to amazing to put into the world that will help others. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited to publish a new blog post. I also find that certain topics flow out of me much better than others.

At the end of the day, the relationship you create with your followers is the most important thing you can do. By being yourself, showing up, and putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t have makeup on and feel like you like a monster, that’s me half of the time! Someone out there might need you to be brave so they can have the courage to love themselves just the way they are. I will gladly take one for the team.

You might just be surprised how many lives you change by being vulnerable and open, even if you are scared.

Personally, I have found the most rewarding moments in my business come from direct messages and comments of someone confessing that they often struggle with something too, or they are insecure about X and are so comforted to hear that they aren’t alone. This is what brings me joy and this is where relationships are built.

When your craft your message from a place of giving and choose to respond to as many comments as you can, reach out to your readers, follow them on social media and take the time to invest in relationships, people will continue to come back to you. They will trust your opinion and purchase your referrals and from you, if you have a product or service you are selling. I can tell you, from personal experience, that the direction and profit of my business changed tremendously when I chose to invest in my audience wholeheartedly.

Whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers, none of it will last if you don’t invest in your audience.

Professional Photography 

I waited way too long to invest in professional photography. To this day, I still have to carefully plan and budget photography, as well as shoot some photos myself. Photography can be expensive, but I think if you are starting out you really need a few good pictures of yourself.

If you aren’t ready to invest in photography on a regular basis, that is totally understandable! Instead maybe opt for one, or two, sessions with a photographer to do a brand shoot. Get some great photos of yourself, that are on brand, that you can use throughout your blog and social media feeds. I love this post from Angie McPherson on the benefits of personal branding photography. It’s also a great idea to get some other shots that are also on brand, that you aren’t in. If you a beauty blogger, get a few shots of your favorite products or the space you use to get ready. If you are a food blogger, have some really great photos taken of your favorite ingredients or dishes that you can spread throughout your feed as well.

I think it’s important to have really nice photos. I have seen a clear correlation between adding in some high-quality photography and growth in my business. Not every photo has to be professional, some of my iPhone photos perform just as well or even better. However, I think it’s great to have professional photos that you can post often. This will also let brands know that your work is professional.

Know Your Numbers

Knowing your numbers and analytics is a must. Whether it’s on your blog, social media, affiliate sales account or Youtube, knowing your numbers is essential to knowing your audience and creating a successful growth path. I have to be completely honest when I tell you that this is something I am still working on. Understanding your analytics can be tough. But, taking the time to see what content is performing best, will help you to understand what type of content your audience is interested in seeing from you. It’s also important to know your numbers when working with brands.

There are many online resources that will help you with google analytics and other platforms. I have honestly found that each platform teaches you pretty well how you use it, it might just take some time research how to use that platform to its full potential.

Start an Email List

There is great research on the idea that email marketing is one of the best ways to sell the product. It is also one of the best was to create a personal connection and tap into those followers that aren’t using social media as much. If your audience trusts you enough to give you their email address, they are definitely committed to you. Especially if they choose to stay and participate.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to gain your audience’s trust and really show them your personality and gives you the opportunity to share things that you might not post publicly on your blog. It’s also a great way to share products with them, links to your latest posts and more. See what I include in my newsletter by signing up here.

Use Keynote to Make Collages

This might seem like a simple tip but for so long I tried to use Adobe Illustrator to create collages, such as this one, for my blog. However, I have recently found that using Keynote is so much easier and efficient. I don’t have to know how to use Illustrator and Keynote is basically self-explanatory. I can remove backgrounds on product images, arrange things easily, use the color selector to choose what color I want to use in the title box, change the font and so much more. When I’m done I can simply export the file to an image and just like that I’m done!

Somethings are much easier than we lead onto. There are people telling you, need this software and that, and don’t get me wrong some are really important. But, for the most part, things are often more simple than what we make them.

Helpful Resources

I have found that reading books and listening to podcasts have not only helped me learn about myself. But, they have helped me to learn about how to grow my blog as a business. There are so many industry leaders and elites that have morphed their platforms into teaching platforms. They have so much to offer that is worth soaking in. Here are some of my favorite resources and people!

You know how much I love researching business topics, and personal development! If you have any resources on this topic, that you love, please leave them in a comment below. I would love to go check them out. If you have written a blog post on this topic, please leave your link in the comments! 

I would love to support you on your blogging journey and if you have any questions, just let me know!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

7 Tips for Starting a Blog in 2018 That You Haven’t Heard Yet

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 6, 2018

Entertain

The other day I shared an Instagram poll asking if you still wanted to see a recap of the Ladies Easter Luncheon my mom hosted last weekend and the response was a “Yes!” I never got around to posting any Easter entertain content, which I desperately wanted too! With the launch of the new site, I just didn’t have time. However, I hope that you enjoy this recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon, that my mom hosts every year!

Ladies Easter Luncheon

My mom began hosting this Ladies Easter Luncheon a few years ago as a way to get all of the women in the family together during the Spring. They have quickly become a tradition and something that I look forward to each year. I decided to break things up into two categories: Food and Decor, and Family. I also thought this would be a fun opportunity to introduce you to a few of the special ladies in my life, in addition to sharing a little recap of our Ladies Easter Luncheon!

Food and Decor

There is no doubt that my love for food and cooking came from all the delicious meals I enjoyed during my childhood! My mama is the best cook I know and I’m thankful to have her as a teacher and a best friend. She has taught me many things over the years, but I still have some learning to do. I’m excited to share more recipes here this year. Some of these recipes I have already shared so I will be sure to drop a link under the picture. Look out for that!

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

I love these chairs more than anything! Aren’t they beautiful?!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

You can grab my deviled egg recipe here.Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch

This coconut cake is to die for! My mom makes it from this cookbook. We stayed at The Planters Inn when we got in engaged in Charleston, SC! I can’t wait to go back hopefully soon.Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

My mom put these adorable gift bags together for all of her guests and displayed this on this beautiful horse bit tray from the Kellogg Collection! I couldn’t find a similar one online!Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter LunchLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Family

I always mention that I grew up surrounded by strong beautiful women. I’m so happy that today, I am finally having the opportunity to share a few of those ladies with you! I mean, that’s what this Ladies Easter Lunch is all about right? Anyways, last year this unique and bonded group, that I am so thankful to call mine, lost one of our own. My Aunt Donna, who was strong-willed, full of laughter and the glue that held these lady together left this earth. While she wasn’t there in the flesh, there is no doubt in my mind that she wasn’t there with us. Each time this group gathers, we always honor her by taking a shot of her favorite liquor, Fireball. I hope that you enjoy celebrating her life with us through these photos!

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

Me with my cousin Steph and my God Mother, Robin!Ladies Easter Lunch

My Mama 💕Ladies Easter Lunch

Aunt Mavis, Steph and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch Aunt Connie, Aunt Mavis, Aunt Lana, Mom and Aunt JoyceLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt Joyce and Aunt ConnieLadies Easter Lunch

Aunt MavisLadies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch Ladies Easter Lunch

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found some inspiration for any spring parties or events you are having! We had the best time, this past week, and I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to share this special day with you. Do you have any holiday traditions or special family gathering just for the girls?!

Photography by Tiffany Sigmon

Ladies Easter Luncheon Recap

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 4, 2018

Fashion

First off, I want to apologize for my absence here on Monday! A busy Easter weekend and poor preparation left me exhausted on Sunday night and without a post on Monday morning! Don’t worry though, our posting scheduling will be back to normal from here on out and I’m going to be doing my best to generate good content for you on a consistent basis! Any post requests are welcomed with a big hug! Let me know what you would like to see in a comment below. 

Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces and wishlist items for Spring! Obviously, I have a thing for blush and it is perfect for Spring! However, I really love incorporating more white into my wardrobe during the early spring months to brighten things up, even if it’s still a little chilly outside. This top is the perfect way to add a bit of Spring into your wardrobe while still staying warm during April and early May. It’s also only $35. I’d say that’s a win!

You probably see me wearing these sandals all the time on my Instagram, but I found these that are almost identical and are such a steal from Nordstrom. I also tend to reach for more statement earrings in the Spring and Summer months. I’m not sure why. Maybe it because I tend to wear my hair up more often and want to show them off! Either way, I found two beautiful pairs. One is a splurge and the other a save! Both equally beautiful! Accessories are the perfect way to add a little bit of personality to a simple look. This headband is one of a kind and I just can’t stop staring at how beautiful it is!

There are quite a few beautiful pieces in this collection that have soft, feminine ruffles and a tie around the waist. I love little details like this that are delicate yet detailed. They bring a sense of uniqueness to a timeless piece. I have to say that this dress might be my favorite, but this tank and swimsuit are too good too! Which is your favorite out of the three? Let me know in a comment below!

Blushing for Spring Fashion

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

March 31, 2018

Lifestyle

The first quarter of 2018 is quickly coming to a close and March has been such a big month for Timeless Taste. I usually share my monthly favorites on my Youtube channel, but lately, I have been thinking that this post might do better on my blog. This month I am sharing my March Favorites and to be honest, I have really been looking forward to this post.

It’s so exciting for me to have the opportunity to talk about all of the products, articles, books, recipes and even more, that I have been loving. What I love so much about these posts is that not only do I have the opportunity to reflect on my favorites, but I get to hear from you about your favorites too! If you have the time and are willing to share, I would love for you to leave a note in the comments and share your March Favorites with me!

 

March Favorites 

March Favorites 2018

Levis Distressed Denim

I have spoken so much about this pair of Levis that you are probably tired of hearing about them, but they are just so good! If you love distressed denim, you have to get these. They are only $98, which is truly a steal and they are just so classic. I love that the waist is a little bit higher and the coloring is perfect for slaying the distressed denim look. I will definitely be getting some more Levis!

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

This “Babyfacial” product from Drunk Elephant has changed my skin drastically in the past month. I have still been battling hormonal acne, which makes it more important than ever to focus on focus on the tone and texture of my skin. Acne can leave your skin discolored and the texture in poor condition. Combine that with active breakouts and your face looks like a bumpy aggravated mess. The acid in the product helps to gently exfoliate the skin to help create a smoother texture, while other ingredients, such as chickpea flour, helps to improve discoloration. 

At first, you can definitely feel the acid and enzymes working. The first time I used this mask, I thought “How on earth am I going to be able to keep this on for 20 minutes?!” But the time began to pass and the way my skin felt, and looked, after removing this product made the slight discomfort worth it. I have noticed the color of my skin to slowly be becoming more even and less red and splotchy. I do believe this also helps to clear up any active acne spots. 

If you are looking to improve the texture and complexion of your skin, please give this product a try. It’s rare that I come across something that I can actually see the instant results. This is one of those products! Read more about it here.

Tom Ford Illuminating Primer

I have been using this primer for about a month and have really been loving it! It makes my skin appearing glowy without looking oily or greasy. It also helps to keep my foundation, or CC Cream, in place. Becuase this is an illuminating primer, it helps to blur imperfections and large pores, while adding a subtle glow to the skin. This is definitely a must try for Spring. 

Tom Ford Cream Eyeshadow

You already know my obsession and love from Tom Ford cream eyeshadows, however this month I am bringing a new color into the mix. Say hello to Opale! The Tom Ford Cream Eyeshadow in the color Opale has become a new staple in my makeup collection. With the amazing lasting qualities and easily blendable consistency of Tom Ford Cream Eyeshadows and the beautiful pearlescent pigment of the color, this product is sure to be a must-have in your collection too. 

Essie Ballet Slippers

I get a few frequently asked questions, about products, across my social media channels. How do I curl my hair? What lipstick am I wearing? And what color is my nail polish? For basically the entirety of 2018, I have been wearing Essie Ballet Slippers. I purchased this color years ago and it never seemed to paint very well. I believe they must have reformulated this color. Either way, I apply my Mavala Base coat and Nail Shield before applying two coats of this color. It’s a beautiful light pink that goes perfectly with everything and is so natural. I apply this top coat and call it a day! 

If you use regular nail polish but have poor nails, like me, you have to give the Mavala line a try! It is so good and the Nail Shield makes my nails so strong, that way my polish is able to last almost a week!

Cultivate by Lara Casey

I have been working my way through quite a few books lately. This month I read Cultivate by Lara Casey. This book was such an inspiration for living in the present moment, with what you have. I often get impatient with Gods timing and forget to remember all that he does for me. This book is such a good reminder to stay in the present and cultivate your life.

Top Performing Posts

In addition to my favorite products, I thought it would be fun to share the posts you loved the most this month, as well as products and other items you loved, based on my analytics! I have to be honest, for this month’s March Favorites, the analytics are only taken from the past two weeks, because my Google Analytics were down during the launch of the new site. However, I think they stand for the month and next month will be even more accurate! Here were the top posts from the month.

Top Performing Products

These are the products that you purchased most this most, based on my analytics! They are favorites for Timeless Taste readers, so if you have checked them out yet, you might want to!


I hope that you have enjoyed taking a peek at my March Favorites and if you did, be sure to let me know so I can do them every month! You can also sign up for my weekly emails here, to get a smaller version of this with more referred posts! I hope you have a great Easter with your family and a great start to April! I will see you back here on Monday.

Some photos by Tiffany Sigmon

March Favorites

CONTINUE READING

T

Shop

The post

April 11, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Fashion

April 6, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Entertain

April 4, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Fashion

March 31, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Lifestyle

March 28, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Beauty

DECEMBER 10, 2017

CONTINUE READING

HOLIDAYS

Ladies Easter Luncheon Recap

DECEMBER 10, 2017

CONTINUE READING

HOLIDAYS

Blushing for Spring Fashion

DECEMBER 10, 2017

CONTINUE READING

HOLIDAYS

March Favorites

DECEMBER 10, 2017

CONTINUE READING

HOLIDAYS

How I Curl My Hair and Essential Hair Care Products

April 6, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Entertain

Ladies Easter Luncheon Recap

April 4, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Fashion

Blushing for Spring Fashion

March 31, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Lifestyle

March Favorites

March 28, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Beauty

How I Curl My Hair and Essential Hair Care Products

March 23, 2018

CONTINUE READING

Fashion

A Pop Of Pink