Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blogger Tip Thursday {Instagram}

Social media platforms are one of the biggest, and best ways to market your blog (or anything really). Instagram is easily my favorite social media platform, followed by Pinterest. I still have not gotten the hang of Twitter. I love photography, and making storyboards, which is where I think my love of Instagram comes from. Instagram is a great place for sharing pictures of friends, what you ate for dinner, and pictures of your pet. But when you are trying to brand your Instagram, you can't just post any picture, it needs to fit your theme. I am going to share with you 5 easy steps in improving your Instagram.

Theme// It is very important to decide on a theme for your Instagram feed, some are more narrow then others. I would say my theme is bright, colorful, and girl. I occasionally end up with pictures that I really like but, they just don't fit my theme. The picture is too dark, maybe there is a really ugly shadow, or some other reason that makes the picture not fir the theme. Sometimes in order to have a great consistent theme, you occasionally have to sacrifice a picture or two. Also themes can revolve around your activities; like food, fitness, or travel.

Variety// I run into this problem sometimes, I find myself posting pictures that are too similar. We are all on a budget here, I can't afford to buy different flowers every week or have dozens of fashion books, which is FINE. But I try to arrange what I do have differently, and space out the posts, so that they don't look too similar. I find a great way to mix things up is to change your background: buy cute wrapping paper and lay your items on it.

Time// When and how often you post is very important. Sometimes I feel like I have the cutest picture in the world, but if you post it during a slow time, you won't get much interaction. But the "hot times" for when to post, really depend on your unique followers. So this is just something you have to learn with trial and error. You need to post at least one picture a day, two or three is recommended. Don't worry that you are not going to fill up someone's feed with just three pictures a day. Most of your followers follow hundreds of people.  If you post three pictures a day, you are lucky if they see one or two of them.

Planning// I personally spend a lot of time planning my Instagram pictures. Don't get me wrong, at least half are impromptu, "this would make a great Instagram" moments, but let's face it we are busy. On the weekends I will take extra pictures and keep them saved to post throughout the week. I do this for many reasons, on a Saturday afternoon I have plenty of free time, the sun is out, and it is a great time to get some pictures in. I then have plenty of time to edit the pictures and get them ready to be posted.

Editing// This is crucial. Editing helps your feed look consistent. I honestly never, ever, use filters, but I do adjust the individual levels (brightness, highlights, shadows, sharpness, contrast, and so on). I occasionally will edit my Instagram pictures on my computer in Lightroom, but that is a rare occasion. I do most of my editing in Instagram itself.  Their adjustments are easy to use. I have Afterlight on my phone, but honestly prefer to use Instagram. Remember when editing your pictures though your goal is to be as consistent as possible so all of your pictures complement each other.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Channeling My Inner Blair Waldorf

Sweater: Ralph Lauren (similar, similar) | Bow: similar | Skirt: Gap (similar
 Bag: Tory Burch | Tights: similar | Shoes: similar 

A few of my beautiful blogging friends are hosting a Gossip Girl linkup, and I just couldn't resist a good excuse to dress as Blair. It is no secret that I love the show Gossip Girl, and find myself watching it all to often on Netflix.  The show quickly became more popular for the main characters fashion, then the actual plot of the show. Last year for my social psychology of dress class, I wrote a paper on how Blair's style evolved though out the show. I have chosen a classic Blair "school girl" look, from her early days of the show. Which is your favorite characters style?XOXO

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blogger Tip Thursday {Pictures}

Pictures are one of, if not the most, important part of a blog post. The first thing your readers see is a picture, and you want it to be one worth seeing. We are visual people. When scrolling though Facebook, or Pinterest, a small 12pt font title doesn't catch our attention, the picture does. Today I am going to share with you a few things I have learned over time about choosing which pictures to post, and which to toss to the side. Quality is better then quantity when it comes to pictures.

Choosing your pictures// First you want to weed out any pictures that are blurry, not focused correctly, or just don't look right. Now that you have chosen a core group of pictures, it is time to get picky. Sort your pictures into "alike" categories: full body shots, bottom half, and top half of your body. You want to have a mixture of all three so that people can see all the details of your outfit. Now that you have them sorted into those groups, you might find that you have a few very similar pictures, but you really need only one of them. Look closely at the details, and choose one of each category to move onto the editing stage. I usually upload anywhere between 40-80 pictures, send 20 into editing and finish up with 8-14.

Editing your pictures// I have both Lightroom and Photoshop, but for most of my photo editing needs I prefer to use Lightroom because it is just so user friendly. I like my pictures to look very light and bright and I achieve this look though editing. Also during the editing stage I do any resizing and cropping of my images, I try to choose mostly tall images because they are more eye catching. Below I have a before and after of a picture I edited on a sunny day, so there were a lot of shadows. 

I usually add more highlight, but I did not in the case of this picture because it took away from the detail in the very light colored sweater. As you can see, I took away some of the shadows and black, and added more white to the image. I personally just like the look of a bright white photo, so this is the look I go for with my blog. If you prefer a different style that is fine, but it is important to try to be consistent throughout your blog.

Resizing// This is the simplest thing to do but makes such a huge difference in the appearance of your blog. You need to resize all of your photos so that they are the same width, that way as you scroll down the page, all of your pictures perfectly line up. I usually adjust my widths to 600.

Adding Text// adding text to your picture can be very eye catching, especially when on Pinterest. You want to choose fonts that go with your topic, and that complement each other. Don't use a western type with a floral dress, or a fancy script when you're talking about what to serve at a football game.

Pinterest// When it comes to Pinterest make sure, MAKE SURE, that your pictures can easily be pinned from your blog at no inconvenience to your readers. The ideal pictures for Pinterest and long, bright, and have text.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I was inspired by a beautiful blogger/photographer Maria to create a few of my own "Pantone" colors. So if there was a Stylish Sassy & Classy section in your local Lowe's paint department this is what you might find.  I love bright, fun colors. I feel that wearing or being around something so bright and fun, makes your day reflect your surroundings. I had so much fun creating these 10 colors, I hope you enjoy them also.

Macaron// YES macaron can be a color! It is a pretty, pastel, french, tasty, amazing color.

Glitter// Everyone needs sparkle in their life. Your glitter should shine as bright as you do.

Hermes Orange// I am sure Hermes has already trade marked/patented this color and declared it to be known to the world as Hermes Orange, but I felt like adding it anyway, because it is a color to aspire to be.

Essie// Oh how a woman loves her nail polish... I can not afford $20 a week to get a manicure so, a DIY Essie is always my color.

Tartan// As far as I am concerned tartan is a neutral and goes with everything, especially more tartan.

Starbucks Green// Starbucks green is to a preppy girl what John Dear Green is to a country boy. They can't live with out each other.

Lilly Pulitzer// Is the color of summer!! I don't think of Lilly Pulitzer as the color of "preppy" but as the color of fun, bright smiles, laughter, and sunshine. Who doesn't love all of those things?

Polka-Dot// Also a neutral and goes with everything. I love to mix patterns. At first you might shy away but it quickly grows on you.

Gingham// My love affair with gingham comes from its clean crisp white lines, I just love it.

Washi Tape// Because what is an arts and craft project with out washi tape, I mean really?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter White + Giveaway

Sweater: J.Crew Factory | Pants: J.Crew | Clutch: GiGi NewYork ON SALE | Boots: similar | Watch: Fossil 

Winter white is such a classic look, and can be styled in so many ways. I was very excited when I found this sweater at J.Crew Factory, they only had two left, thankfully one was my size! I knew the sweater was just what I needed to complete my winter white look.

I have been waiting very patiently, to share with y'all my new GiGi New York clutch I got for Christmas, and, I am obsessed! First off I could not decide on a color, I think I changed my mine three or four times, but finally landed on purple. The leather is so soft, and high quality, this is a must have clutch for every women's wardrobe. One of my favorite things about the entire collection of GiGi New York is how well all of their items pair together. Because everything is made of their high quality leather and in complementing color tones, you can mix and match their totes, clutches, day planers and much more. Most important of my clutch is ONE SALE right now for only $87!! What is one of your favorite winter white pieces you own?


A new year is all about new beginnings, and if you're trying to create a new and improved YOU in 2015, then the ladies of The Blogging Elite have exactly what you need! 
Nina | Tiffany | Pauline | Farrah
Amy | Llinos | Taylor | Fariha
Lauren | Emily | Laura | Bobbie
Alexandra | Melissa | Lix | Sarah
Amna | Vicky | Giselle | Abria
Kylea | Emily | Dana
We're giving away an amazing prize package so you can start off the new year on the right foot. Included in the prize package are:
// $100 PayPal cash
// $25 Old Navy gift card
// $25 Container Store gift card
// Fitness planner
// Resistance band
// Insulated water bottle
// Kate Spade thank you cards
// A cute notepad
// £30 design credit to Lix Hewett Designs
// $30 design credit to Designs by Emily F
// Handmade Kindle case
// Ad space on four blogs
// Snacks!
Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below. There are tons of ways for you to enter, and you definitely don't want to miss out on these prizes! The giveaway is open from Monday, January 19th until the end of the day on Monday, January 26th. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blogger Tip Thursday {pages}

Having attractive and user friendly pages on your blog is essential, your readers can easily find key information about you and your blog. There are a few key pages every blogger should have, but many are specific and change upon your blog topic. Two pages every blog should have: an "About Me" and "Contact Me" page, and then add additional pages that you feel are needed. As a style blogger, I have a style guide, collaboration, and photography page.

First off you want your pages to be easily seen and accessible, most blogs have their pages featured on the top of their home page. I wanted to change things up a little on my design, and have my pages placed on the right sidebar towards the top. Wherever you choose to place your pages, you want to make sure they stand out, but also go well with your design. Place your about me and contact information pages first, because they the two most important pages you will have on your blog.

I like lists, I can process and understand them much better then long wordy paragraphs. I started off writing this post as a bunch of paragraphs, and I even started to get confused, and I was the one writing it. So I decided to compile a list of things you want to check off, while making each page for your blog.

About Me Page
1. Have a great picture of yourself (large and centered), if you want to get really fancy you can write your name or about me over the photo. This picture is very important, because for most blogs (style being an exception) this is one of the only times your readers will get to put a face with your name.
2. Include general information about yourself // where you're from, married, what you do for a living, kids, and so on....
3. You want to state why you are a credible source for your blog topic // I am a fashion consumer behavior major writing a style blog // Some people leave this part out of their about me page, and it is very crucial for your readers to be able to believe what you are telling them.
4. If you wish you can include a question and answer area.
5. Any other random information you want your readers to know about you.

Contact Me Page
1. Your blog email, not you person one // I also recommend making sure your email is text and not a picture so it is easy for someone to copy and paste. 
2. Links to all of your social media pages here, you want to include links to your social media account anywhere and everywhere you can.
3. If you are good at coding, you can embed a contact me by email option into your page. Then all your readers have to do is enter in their information and message, all on the page.
4. If you get a lot of emails with small questions, you can easily create an ask me area, and then include the questions and answers in your about me section.

Those are the two most important pages to have on your blog, the others are up to you. My three additional pages consist of a style guide, collaboration, and photography page.

Style Guide Page // I add a new style guide for each season. Each season has its own large pictures featuring items that I deem my essentials, underneath I go though item by item, telling why I think each is a seasons essential. I do not currently have, but plan on adding, go to outfit to the style guide. Explain which core pieces you need to create a weekend, nighttime, or work appropriate outfit.

Collaboration // I have listed the names of all the companies I have worked and collaborated with. I have all of their names linked to their website, along with any special discount codes offered for my readers.

Photography // This is the perfect place, for you to give some much needed credit, to those who take your amazing blog pictures. Include links and information about their photography company if they have one.You can also include information about what type of camera you use, and photo editing software.

Add any pages to your blog that you think your readers would enjoy. Another great page would be for any series you have on your blog, I will probably add a Tip's page when I am done with this series.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015



I am beyond excited to get to talk to y'all about RocksBox and share with you an incredible exclusive discount! RocksBox is the perfect way to get designer jewelry on a budget, as a college student I look for any way to save money.  Above are the first 3 items I received in my RocksBox, all equally gorgeous. As you can see, RocksBox sends high quality designer jewelry that is very current and stylish. They send you 3 pieces of jewelry valued over $200 that are styled specifically for you. You keep them as long as you want, and send them back (for free) and they send you 3 new pieces. RocksBox also allows you to purchase any items that you fall in love with, at a 20% off retail price discount. RocksBox is being supper generous and is offering all of my readers their first month for FREE, YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY I SAID FREE, with code:Sarahxoxo4 this discount is good until January 31st. I hope you all take advantage of this opportunity, and please share with me what you receive in your first RocksBox!!

Monday, January 12, 2015


shirt: L.L.Bean | vest: c/o Marley Lilly on sale $35! | jeans: American Eagle | bag: Tory Burch | boot socks: similar
 boots: Lane Bryant (similar) | watch: Michael Kors | sunglasses: Tory Burch
I spent some much needed time with family at our mountain house over the holidays, and I pretty much lived in the flannel plaid shirt from L.L.Bean. It comes in several different color waves and is very, I mean very, comfortable, as you would expect. If you have been on the hunt for the perfect plaid flannel, look no further this is the shirt for you. I have also gotten much use out of my monogrammed fleece vest from Marley Lilly, I find myself wearing it with everything. What is one of your favorite things to wear while you are up in the mountains?