Blogging: Starting Fresh

 

Tulips in springHappy Thursday friends! It has been over two weeks since I wrote anything and frankly I’ve been itching to start blogging again. As you can probably tell, my blog has gotten a fresh new face! The installation and design of it has taken roughly 3 months and the blog had to be disabled for a few weeks so that my web designer could implement the changes.

This change has been in the works for over a year, it just took me a little kick in the butt to get started. It’s a massive undertaking and an expensive one! However, every article I read and professional blogger I talked to said that if you want to take your blog to the next level, you need a customized website. I spent several months scouring the web trying to find someone who could do a beautiful job and do it on a budget.

I got the idea to look on Etsy for someone who could at least teach me how to install a new theme and find a hosting company. What I ended up getting was even better! I selected Gatto Creative Design after talking with the brilliant mind behind it- Cat. She understood what I wanted and knew everything I didn’t about web design. Better yet, her prices were well within my budget!

After hiring her, it was several weeks of going back and forth over what I wanted in terms of features and color schemes. She helped me choose colors that would work together and look professional. Before the overhaul, my blog looked rather generic and didn’t do much to showcase my writing or personality. Now, I feel like it captures everything I love and gives me a new start on my blogging adventure.

Like many fashion/lifestyle bloggers, I blog because its fun but I also aim to make a living doing it someday. The scariest part of that statement is the “make a living” part. I have no idea if that dream will ever come true, but everyday I wake up and try harder than the last so I have a fighting chance. I hope you do the same! Enjoy the new design! Leave me comment with your thoughts!

Liz

Valentine’s Day Dreaming!

valentines_dayHappy Friday! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’m happy the day dedicated to pink and red pretty things is finally here! I love watching the guys run into the card stores and pick up their sweet little notes and then dash off to the market to get chocolates and roses. It’s so cute! Gestures like these are what make relationships worth all the times you’d like to give your significant other an earful.

Almost every girl has romantic day dreams about Valentine’s Day and I am no exception to this. Some people like to make a big deal out of it and others don’t. Unfortunately for every man that ever comes into my life, I like to make a big deal out of this holiday. From cute cupcakes and construction paper hearts taped on the windows to the Valentine’s parties at little kids’ schools, I love it all! The romantic aspect of the day is something I’m not all too familiar with though. My dad thought the day was made up by Hallmark (possibly true) and my mom is just a little too practical to enjoy it. In my short little life, I haven’t had a Valentine’s Day that I’d really remember. Each time this day has rolled around I’ve either been too far away from said man in my life or just plain single. Either way, I’ve dreamed up my perfect Valentine’s Day and I’m sharing it with you!

pink_rosesIdeally, it would be in one of these locations: King Street in Charleston, Winter Park in Orlando, State Street in Santa Barbara, or Georgetown in Washington, DC. What can I say? I’m very specific in how I day dream! First and foremost, every Valentine’s Day must start with a cup of coffee. Skinny Vanilla Latte to be exact. While enjoying my latte, a relaxing walk through the local outdoor market would be absolutely lovely! While we’re there I’d want to pick up a few things for a picnic lunch like fruit, cheese, deli meat, french bread, and a light wine. Hopefully when I’m not looking, said man in my life would surprise me with pink roses! I love flowers but roses, peonies, and hydrangeas are my favorites!

After the market, we’d find a sunny spot to eat lunch in and just watch the clouds go by. He’d break out his guitar and serenade me with an old Frank Sinatra song. Just kidding. That’s too corny even for me. Instead, we’d just walk down the street window shopping. I’d walk by a Kate Spade store and he’d either convince me I don’t need whatever it is I want or he’d let me go in and get me the adorable purse I’ve been wanting (ha, that’s really day dreaming!)

After this, we’d go home and binge watch a tv show of some sort while eating my very favorite chocolate covered strawberries. I really prefer these to a box of chocolates from Russell Stover. Nothing says “stomach ache” like a 6 month old box of chocolate. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Later in the evening, we’d find a good place to get dinner and then go dancing either out on the town or back at home. In this case, Frank Sinatra classics would be totally appropriate. What girl doesn’t want to slow dance with her man? The perfect kiss, complete with a dip would then ensue! How’s that for the perfect Valentine’s Day?

Even though there’s no such thing as perfect anything, the best part about life is that we get to dream and hope! Prince Charming may only exist in Disney World but I’m willing to bet there are a few guys in the world that come pretty close. Find these men girls, and appreciate them because they come a dime a dozen as my grandma would say. Regardless of your relationship status right now, there’s a man out there that will someday give you the best Valentine’s Day you’ll ever have!

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Finding my Passion and Making it my Business

hustle_printThe other day I was reminded by someone close to me that every successful person goes through a difficult season in life before they can achieve their success. I found this comforting in this time of doubt and change. I’m two weeks away from holding a Bachelor of Arts degree and I still have no job lined up for after I finish. I’m the type that likes to plan ahead and panics when there’s no plan set in stone. As you can imagine, this time in my life is driving me crazy.┬áIn my time of indecision though, it has come to my attention that there are two kinds of people in this world: the kind that complain and the kind that change.

I am the latter of the two. I’m a do-it-all woman. The best thing I can do for myself is to seek out opportunities. I can’t go anywhere if I’m not trying to move. The same goes for you. Are you seeking the life you want or are you tweeting about how much life sucks right now?

Figuring out what you want in life isn’t hard, but finding a way to make it happen is what stumps most people. For me, I’ve always known I wanted to be my own boss but the thought of opening and running a business didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy. When I started this blog, it was actually for a school assignment. A few months after the project was over, I came back to the blog and kept writing. I realized quickly that bloggers can make a profit from blogging if they become famous enough. I also became fascinated with how really good bloggers style their photos and sell things on their Etsy stores. Boom! I figured out what I wanted and how I could be my own boss and enjoy it.

Planning to become a great blogger isn’t exactly a science. Good content, expert opinion, and marketing seem to be part of the formula though. Consistency is also key. I write almost everyday and then market it so others know it’s out there. This takes about 2-3 hours out of my day at least. I know that it’s worth it though because the best bloggers started out just like me.

The successful Etsy store owners also started out with a dream and vision for their online stores. I absolutely love styling photos focused on a specific item like stationery, for example. This interest led me to the idea of producing my own line of stationery and prints. Knowing that I would need Photoshop to design these things, I began putting money aside so I can buy the programs and other things I need to make this business venture successful.

I’m doing all of these things and more to set myself up for a future full of prosperity. Right now, it feels like I’m stuck. However, I know I’m doing what I can to make sure I end up where I want to be. My motto right now is “#hustle” and it should be yours too.

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Pretty Wallpaper and Big Dreams

Happy Tuesday friends. I’m feeling the November air right now and its rather brisk! I noticed Starbucks has their red cups out now signaling the start of an intense holiday season. Bring on the peppermint mocha coffee drinks. Starbucks gets way too much of my money this time of the year. Regardless, I absolutely love the little things that make each season special.

Speaking of special, when I started this blog I knew I would eventually come up with big plans for it. I didn’t know what those plans were, but I knew they would be amazing. Slowly, I’ve begun to understand what I want to do with this blog and where I want it to go. Here are 5 things I’ve been dreaming and thinking about:

  1. Open an Etsy store associated with what I write and how I live
  2. Do product reviews for boutiques and other companies with products I actually believe in
  3. Create my own coffee mug and stationary line
  4. Design a small collection of accessories
  5. Become the new Lauren Conrad

Am I California dreaming? Maybe so, but it just sounds like so much fun! Girls like me have so many ideas floating around in their heads that we can’t choose one thing to do, we want to choose them all. I think the first thing I’ll start out with is an Etsy store selling cute prints of pretty things and sayings. I’m actually including this little design I configured the other day for you to save and make as desktop wallpaper (it’s super cute!) Let me know what you think of my ideas in the comments below! If you have any tips, then I would love to hear them as well!

girly_desktop_wallpaper

 

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Fall Semester and Big Dreams

coffee_at_starbucksHello loves! This will be a quick little post but wanted to update you on tid bits of my life here and there since I really never share any personal details. As many of you know, I started my final semester of college on Monday. I’m already exhausted looking at the syllabus! Be prepared for a post on late night study sessions probably next week!

I’m hoping and praying this fall is a little easier than summer was. Jobs are hard to come by right now particularly for undergrads with my skill set (essentially I’ve been trained to sit at a desk and enjoy it). Right now, I’m just finishing my degree and writing for you all! I’m seeking freelance writing positions here and there but it seems most businesses are being pretty careful with money so opportunities for young writers like myself are hard to come by.

In the midst of my desperate situation (dramatic usage of words intended for effectiveness), I am still pursuing a few little dreams of mine. Hoping to make it big like Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies and Brighton Keller of Brigthon the Day blogs, I really want to feature my favorite brands and styles on my blog and make commission off of what I sell. However, the brands have to be affordable! Miss Parcell often wears Valentino pumps pretty_stationary that sell for around $600. I can’t afford that and most of you can’t either. I have to stay true to my roots!

I also am really hoping to produce my own line of coffee mugs, stationary (like what you see the right), and jewelry. All of these things make me so happy when I spy something that really is beautiful! I’ll be discussing a new jewelry brand I love tomorrow so watch for that post!

Tell me your dreams and goals in the comments below! Don’t hold back either, no matter how crazy they are!

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