Ask Away...: June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Blogger

The more and more into blogging I've become I've noticed so many things that only other bloggers can relate to.  So I decided to make a post about some of those things!


Here's a look at what it's like to be a blogger.
You get the urge to blog at the most inconvenient times.
Before buying something you think "Wait, can I get this through my blog?"

Everyone and their mom wants you to blog about their stuff (for free apparently).  "Hey you're a blogger, why don't you write about this."

Everyday is Christmas when it comes to packages in the mail.
You feel the need to defend the term "blogger."
You get frustrated with lame and generic pitches.
At any given moment your phone has notifications for your email, texts, Instagram, Facebook, personal Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Selfies are totally acceptable.


You can't go anywhere without seeing an opportunity to network.

You fill the need to explain how much work it actually is (a part time job at least!) for you as a blogger.
Spam comments are all too familiar "Hey this is a great post here is a link to my website: Largeandincharge.com"!


A simple outfit photo is exhausting.
Crap, when's the last time I updated my media kit?
Another blogging conference? Sign me up!
In mid conversation with a friend you realize "This would be a great blog post topic!"
You may never know who left that rude insulting anonymous comment on your blog, and it's gonna piss you off for a few weeks!
When you discover another blogger in your area you're ecstatic.
You justify large purchases with " It's okay, I need this for some blog photos".
Your point and shoot will never be good enough it seems so keep saving for that DSLR!


Neighbors and passerbys are ALWAYS around when you're posing awkwardly for OOTD photos. (I wonder if they think I'm vain?)


Did I miss anything?????






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Saturday, June 28, 2014

How I Come Clean with Chihuahua-Themed Soap

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I already own every type of Chihuahua themed item known to man but now this tops it off! The Come Clean line of pop culture soaps features different dog breeds, including a chihuahua! They are hand poured in NYC and made with a plant based glycerin and 100% pure essential oils.   Aside from dog breeds, there are other cute collectibly vinyl toys inside.



come clean soap, chihuahua soap, beauty products


I love the rich soapy lather this soap makes and the smell is amazing.   It doesn't dry out my hands but it also doesn't irritate my skin! The little chihuahua figurine is sooo cute I can't wait to get through the soap so I can actually hold it!!  These soaps would make a great gift idea for anyone in your life.  All you have to do is find a soap in the theme your friend enjoys!  



Love it!






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Friday, June 27, 2014

ModCloth Summer Picnic Outfit


Summer is a great season especially with all the home cooked BBQ meals and the ability to see everyone that's home on break for college.  But you know what else I love about Summer..... the fun outfits. 

ModCloth Fruit & Flowers





Here I styled the ModCloth Coach Tour Dress in Navy Stripes with some fun summer-themed accessories.   Watermelon is a great Summertime snack so I chose the Watermelon Wristlet to add some fun to this classy dress.  I also thought the yellow rose earrings were fun and added some more color to the outfit.  To finish it off, I added sandals to show off a pedicure and a hat to protect your skin from the sun. 


All of these accessories are from ModCloth and are perfect for any fun Summer occassion! 


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ModCloth Fruit & Flowers

My Chihuahuas Stay Flossin'

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I really just need to tell you how cool Flossies are!  I found them on Chewy.comMerrick Flossies are grain-free dental chews for dogs that help clean their teeth and freshen their breath.  And dog owners will love Flossies because they are digestible for your dog! 

chihuahua teet, pet products, cleaning your dogs teeth, flossies


Flossies are also gluten-free and only have all-natural ingredients.  My chihuahuas loved the taste and it kept them busy for an hour!  The awesome spiral shape and texture helps fight plaque and tartar.  These are proudly made in the USA so have no fear!

These are great when you need to keep your pooch occupied or just for help with routine dental cleaning since some dogs don't like to have their mouths touched!

Another great product for my pups that I'm proud of! Thanks Chewy!







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Outfit of the Day: Vineyard Florals

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After a really long week, I decided to go to the Vineyard at Hershey last weekend so I wanted to dress in an upbeat floral outfit.  This summer dress from Get Dressed



Get dressed, summer dress, vineyard outfit, outfits, fashion

Get dressed, summer dress, vineyard outfit, outfits, fashion

Get dressed, summer dress, vineyard outfit, outfits, fashion

The material of this dress is so comfortable and stretchy. It's very breathable which is great for the summer heat. I paired it with a pair of black wedge sandals.

So What I Wore:
Wedge Sandals - Just Fab; Dress - Get Dressed.





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Thursday, June 26, 2014

You Will Love The Icky Stick + Coupon Code

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The name may sound unappealing but trust me, you will love this thing regardless! It's call The Icky Stick Toilet Bowl Ring Remover.  It's an amazing way to clean your toilet bowl and the Icky Stick will do all the work!


Here's a little video to show you how it works:
 
See? It makes the dreaded bathroom cleaning tasks less terrifying.   The Icky Stick is basically a pumice stone with no toxic chemicals so it's safe on your skin.  It's safe on porcelain and it will remove stains and rings instantly.  It's also fantastic for pools, tiles, and hot tubs. 

I can't believe how quickly and effectively it worked in my bathroom.  It made cleaning so much easier.  It's like I have a brand new toilet bowl!   This thing is a MUST HAVE in everyone's home!

Also I have a coupon code that you can use on www.groomindustries.com to get an Icky Stick for $1 with shipping and handling (around $4.99). The code is "ICKY$1".


 




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10 Tips on Blog Design from iRetreat2014



blog design, tips on blog design, iretreat2014, blogging tips

I had a wonderful time at iRetreat2014 and one of my favorite things I took away were some amazing tips on blog design and layout.  I decided to make them into a list and share them.

Some of these I already do and some of these I still need to work on but I can tell you that if your blog's traffic isn't growing and people don't seem impressed, maybe you should take a long hard look at what your blog really looks like to others.

1. Put badges on the BOTTOM of your blog instead of the sidebar.

Dan Morris spelled it out quite clearly when he said that your sidebar should look clean and organized so any blog badges or awards that you currently display there should be moved to the bottom of your page in the footer.

2. Make sure your site is mobile friendly.
Since a lot of traffic comes from people on their iPad or phone, you want to make sure your page looks nice that way.  Mel Lockoff did a great job explaining this!

3. Make sure your blog design has a smooth flow.
Are there two many columns that if confuses people when they come to your page? Try to keep it down to 2 or 3. 

Is it easy to navigate the home page of your blog?   Will it take people less than a minute to find what they are looking for (Contact Me, About, etc.)?  

 
If not, you should look at some blogs you enjoy and see how theirs flows.





blog design, tips on blog design, iretreat2014, blogging tips

4. Keep your header small and simple.
Since your header will appear before the fold, you want to make sure it doesn't take up half the page or else people may not feel like scrolling down to get to your content.

Also, make sure you keep it professional by getting it designed by someone or using PicMonkey.  An unprofessional header is a turn off when I visit blogs.   Trust me, you won't regret investing some money in a professional one.

And always remember, less is more!

5. Keep your categories organized and simple.
Instead of having different category buttons for, say closet organization and bedroom organization, just put them in one category of ORGANIZATION.

It should be easy to find the category your reader ones to browse.    And only make category buttons for topics you can commit to blogging about.



blog design, tips on blog design, iretreat2014, blogging tips


6. Make sure your have the important pages on your blog.
Important pages include: About Me, Contact, Disclosure, Press, Advertising, etc.

7. Have an attractive About Me page.
On your About Me page you want to give a  brief bio about yourself that gives your name, location, personality, and some experience.  I just revamped mine if you'd like to take a look.  Make sure you are clear and concise and don't ramble.

Also, make sure you include photos to help tell your story. 

Including a contact email and your social media links on this page is also a great idea.

8. Give information on your Advertising page and include a Disclosure Page.
If you want brands to work with you , make sure you list what services you offer not only to brands but to other bloggers.  

Make sure you reference that a Media Kit is available by emailing you at your specific address.

Keep the details of your services offered simple and leave the details for in your Media Kit. 

Try to imagine what YOU would want to see if you were a PR person visiting your blog for a possible collaboration. 

You can also list some past work you've done as well as any press exposure you've received or guest posts on other blogs.

If you review any kind of products or run any giveaways make sure you have a disclosure page.  You can get a disclosure policy at http://disclosurepolicy.org/.



blog design, tips on blog design, iretreat2014, blogging tips


9. Have an attractive sidebar.
Your blogs sidebar should contain a short bio with a photo, social media links, and a subscribe/follow box.   You can also have a search bar, a list of popular posts, and your advertisers.

Always cut out clutter.

10. Yes, you need a footer.
If people do get to the bottom of your blog, where do you want them to go when they get there?   Include your contact info, your category buttons, social links, and any groups or networks you belong to. 








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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fancy 4th of July Drink Ideas from Jim Meehan and American Express Centurion Lounge

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What are YOU doing for the 4th of July this year?   If you are travelling the country keep in mind American Express’ new Centurion Lounge’s where PDT Mixologist Jim Meehan created signature craft cocktails based on both local and seasonal inspiration. They are available at both Dallas Fort Worth and Las Vegas’ McCarran International, and are a great way to kill time between flights. 
 
American Express is bringing more premium dining experiences to the airport, adding new executive chefs toThe Centurion Lounge culinary team. Chef Christopher Kostow and Chef Cedric Vongerichten will lend their signature styles and culinary inspiration to the menus at The Centurion Lounges in San Francisco Airport (SFO) and New York LaGuardia International Airport (LGA), respectively, both of which are slated to open later this year. Entry to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for Platinum Card® and Centurion® Card Members. Other American Express Credit and Charge Card Members may purchase a One-Day Pass at The Lounge for $50.

And if you AREN'T travelling, you can still make drinks with these recipes!
Bison & Bear
 
Bison & Bear
1.75 oz. Zubrowka Vodka
.75 oz. Contratto Bianco Vermouth
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Barenjager Honey Liqueur
Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe
Garnish with a smacked mint leaf



Flor de Oaxaca
 
Flor de Oaxaca
1.75 oz. Vida Mezcal
.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz. Small Hand Foods Pineapple Gum Syrup
1 dried jasmine pearl
Muddle the jasmine pearl and pineapple gum, then add the rest of the ingredients
Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe
No garnish


George & Ginger
 
George & Ginger
2 oz. Dickel #12 Tennessee Whisky
.75 oz. Cocchi Americano
.5 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
2 Dashes Miracle Mile Bergamot Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe
Garnish with a lemon twist


Centurion Spritz
 
Centurion Spritz
2 oz. Prosecco
.75 oz. Beefeater Gin
.5 oz. Cocchi Rosso
.5 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo
Build in a rocks glass filled with ice
Garnish with half an orange wheel



Nicol Cup


Nicol Cup
2 oz. Viognier/Full bodied wine
.75 oz. La Diablada Pisco
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
.25 oz. Small Hand Foods Pineapple Gum Syrup
Build in a wine glass filled with ice
Garnish with half a lemon wheel and a stick of cinnamon

Safe travels everyone!



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See the Horizon + A Giveaway

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Protecting your eyes from the sun is a great way to keep your skin looking healthy for years to come.  The skin around your eyes can burn easily and squinting can cause wrinkles and fine lines so it's always important to have sunglasses with you at all times.   A great website that has lots of sunglasses in different colors and designs is Horizon!  You can see some of them on their Instagram!



Not only can you design your own custom sunglasses  but their website makes it so easy!

This tortoise design is classic and I love the little studs on the front and the thick side bands. 


horizon sunglasses, fashion, eyewear, affordable sunglasses

horizon sunglasses, fashion, eyewear, affordable sunglasses
Here's the pair I custom designed.  I really liked the color pink on front and I think the blue on the sides goes so well with it.  It's awesome because it's my own unique preference.
horizon sunglasses, fashion, eyewear, affordable sunglasses

horizon sunglasses, fashion, eyewear, affordable sunglasses


These sunglasses are so comfortable and lightweight.  While they securely in place, it's still easy to slip them on and off in a rush.
And if you head over and like Horizon Sunglasses on Facebook, you can use the coupon code "fb15off" for 15% off!



One winner will receive a pair of sunglasses that they customize from Horizon!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Outfit of the Day: All Black Everything + A Giveaway

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Even though black fabric tends to make me hot in the summer, it's great for overcast days, which is why I decided to go all black in this OOTD.  I did spice it up with some leopard wedge shoes! 

Glamour amour, belted dress, empire waist, outfit, fashion, leopard shoes
 This Empire Waist Top from Glamour Amour is nice and light but I love how flowy it is. It comes with a super cute dark green braided belt as well as a bronze one.   I love the button and chain detail to offset all the black and the inner lower lining helps make it more comfortable, especially with leggings! 



Glamour amour, belted dress, empire waist, outfit, fashion, leopard shoes

Glamour amour, belted dress, empire waist, outfit, fashion, leopard shoes



You can find Glamour Amour on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

So What I Wore: 

Empire Waist Top- Glamour Amour; Leopard Shoes - Hotter Shoes, Leggings Kohls.  

But wait... one winner will get a $50 gift card to Glamour Amour!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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