My Little Saving Grace.

It's not often that I come across products that I immediately rave about. I usually like to give a few weeks of usage before I go, "Ok, you all need to check this out." This is an exception. I'm in love. 

As you may or may not know, one of my very first blog posts on this site in 2014 was about what helps me deal with my anxiety. I can link it to you right here. I mentioned the fact that I use essential oils when I'm feeling anxious or I simply just need a boost to help feel relaxed without the use of alcohol because well, I don't drink. Now, I'm a total newb when it came to this, but I had no idea that essential oil aroma diffusers existed in this world. Why didn't anyone tell me this?! 

Holy shit you guys. 

I give you... my little saving grace, my baby dinosaur space egg, my glowing beam of hope, my "you make me feel like leo did when he finally won an oscar" container. 

Now, know this, you don't need to struggle with anxiety to enjoy the effects this little lady will bring into your life. Yes, she's a lady. Essential oils help you sleep better, breathe better, help when you're sick and feeling congested, when you're emotionally drained, needing an extra energy boost or dealing with the struggles of being a fucking female once a month...

I use Lavender when I need help going to sleep, especially if I have anxiety. Eucalyptus or Peppermint when I'm feeling sick and need to unplug my entire head. Lemongrass or Orange when I'm just cleaning around the house or needing some extra energy. It just instantly helps. I have a few oils from DoTerra like I mentioned in my older post but if you don't wanna break the bank, I got a cute little starter set for not much from Radha Beauty, I'll give you a link right here.

It runs consistently for 120 minutes (or less if you choose) and all you need to do is refill it with distilled water, add a few drops of any essential oil and turn it back on. Boom. No batteries, no nothing. What's the best part? This will not break your wallet. That's what's so amazing. Lean back and breathe it all in. You feel that? Fuuuuuuuck. That's relaxation, baby.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE from Vanity Planet. 

Use the code: AROMASCOUT for 50% off. 

Take A Moment. {unplug}

I came across this video the other day that sparked something inside of me. That sounded like something from Disney, wow. Anyways, I've had this feeling time and time again to cover this subject on here but I could just never find the right words. Well, I dug real deep and found some, so let's give this a shot. 

As a photographer, I shoot a lot of newlyweds, couples, families, etc. People that have been around the world and back together and don't get me wrong, I fucking love what I do, but it's rare when I come across a couple that's just dating and they just want rad photos together. You don't see that very often. People get their photo taken when something big happens, an engagement, a baby on the way, a wedding, an anniversary, but never just because. 

The fact that Spencer and I are both photographers, it's somewhat rare we have professional photos of us together that aren't taken on an iPhone. We recently took a road trip with a few friends into the Imperial Sand Dunes to take some photos. There was no sponsorship behind this shoot, there was no secret meaning, rhyme or reason - it was just to have knock-your-socks-off photos of my man and I and hangout with some good people. Why the fuck not? Of course, the second we post a few on Facebook, everyone and their mother had assumed we got engaged. I mean, there's clearly no picture of a ring here people so I was a little confused but that just proves my point.. why else would we drive 3.5 hours east to take some epic photos together, we MUST be engaged or something, right? Wrong.  I mean... not yet. ;) 

Photo by Chris K Photos

Photo by Chris K Photos

Photo by Chris K Photos

Photo by Chris K Photos

Something people don't know, or I guess don't find out until they do it is... when you're posing during a photo session you are forced to honestly just stand there and stare at the other person. Obviously someone you love, but how often do you do this in every day life? Now, I know that sounds sorta awkward, I can assure you it isn't. But honestly, you have a moment together. You're just looking at each other, no phone screens, not even talking, you're just... there, together. I have to tell you, that shit lights you on fire. Every single time we do a photo shoot, those quiet moments I have where I'm just looking at him.. I fall deeper in love with him. I leave that shoot feeling so warm and fuzzy inside it's indescribable. It's almost like it recharges your batteries as a person and as a couple.

Photo by Chris K Photos

Photo by Chris K Photos

Couples and relationships aside, even photos aside, the video below is the one that inspired me to actually sit down and write this. I felt like the two subjects go completely hand in hand. You don't need to schedule a photo session to take time for this, it just happened to be my personal example. It is SO powerful to put everything else aside and just look at someone you care about. I feel like people tend to get caught up in technology and forget that. Says the blogger who's career is based on the internet. Spencer and I still make sure to make that time and have weekends where we unplug and put our phones on airplane mode to be with each other. It's extremely important and more impactful than you know. Try it.

I shouldn't have watched this in public, now I can't stop crying !"Can simply looking at someone for 4 minutes improve your relationship?" Share it with your loved ones and give it a try. How did you feel?

Posted by pindaPanda on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wipe your tears. I know this is a very off-the-wall post for me to do but it hit me pretty hard and I had to share it with you guys. Even if it's just something to take a step back and think about. The relationships you have in your lives are so important and it's amazing that something so small can be so impactful. Take a moment to see. Love those close to you. Look them deep in the eyes and don't forget to tell them. Hell, make it awkward and whisper. haha. 

I love you all so much, in the most awkward way possible because, that's all I know. 

Budget Yourself In Order To Treat Yourself.

This has been something I've wanted to cover on here for quite some time. It has also been one of my most frequently asked questions, which, is so odd yet so awesome. My parents will throw their fists in the air with pride when they see this like, "hell yeah! we fucking did it!". Allow me to explain how I personally budget my money and have successfully never been late on bills or rent in YEARS. Keep in mind, I am no accounting expert, this is just the shit that works for me. 

Let me take you on a field trip, which unfortunately involves numbers EW, but hear me out...

I was introduced to this budgeting app called Good Budget in 2011 and I haven't looked back. Keep in mind, there are tons of other budgeting apps similar to this, I am fully aware, this just happens to be the one that I use and would recommend. It takes a good minute to set it up, but once you have everything put in place... it's easy as pie. I never really understood that reference...

First things first, download the app. It's free, hell. yeah. The icon should look like this little dude. --->

Once it's downloaded, put your phone down and hop on the computer (real quick, JUST REAL QUICK) and go to www.goodbudget.com. Set up an account, again, fuckin' free. From there you will create "envelopes" which represent your monthly expenses. For example: I have an envelope for my Phone Bill, Car Insurance, Credit Card Bill, Health Insurance, etc etc. Whatever you pay for on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, make a friggin' envelope for it.

Personal preference: Once you do the things, create an envelope called "Spending" and one called "Savings". These, obviously, represent spending money and your savings. I personally don't have a separate savings account, I just have a virtual one that lives in my mind. If you have an entirely separate Savings account, then there's no need to create an envelope for it .

Next, figure out how much you get paid monthly at your job. Whether you get paid once a month or twice a month or every week, it doesn't matter, it all works. 

Wait until it's your pay day to start this process, it's much easier and less confusing I promise. Let's say I get a paycheck twice a month for $1000. Let's click "Fill Envelopes" and get ready to create a quick fill. Don't worry, I'll explain this weirdo lingo. This is basically saving the settings that you're about to make so check the box that reads "Remember Quick Fill As..." and name it whatever the hell you want and begin.

Step 1. Enter in your paycheck amount. For this example, it's $1000. The Payer can be whoever as well, whether you want to name it Paycheck or not is up to you. 

Step 2. This is where you're spreading your $1000 around to all of your bills. For this example, I get paid twice a month, therefore, I need to cut all of my bills in half. I have a $300 car payment, therefore, I take $150 from this paycheck and $150 from the next paycheck to equal $300. Easy math. Even if you get paid every week, just divide your bills by fourths. Make sure you also take into account WHEN your bills are DUE to make sure you have enough money in your envelope by that date. This is important. 

Once you're done with the important stuff, you'll see off to the side there's a little box talking about sweeping. Step 3. This is any money from the original $1000 that didn't get put into an envelope. Your last nights leftovers basically. Sweep that shit into spending, savings, wherever the hell you want it to go.

After these 3 steps, you're done. It's saved. Whenever you get a paycheck, all you have to do is refer to your quick fill and all of your bills will be accounted for and whatever is left is yours to spend or save. It's seriously such a fool proof way to make sure the important stuff is taken care of before you go spending money on shit that makes you happy. I've trained my brain over the years to literally only see what's in my spending or savings as WHAT I HAVE and ignoring every other number. I no longer look at how much I actually have in my bank account as a whole because it's really not there. In my mind it's already spent. It's gone. Bye. 

I run into too many people, Spencer being one in the beginning, where they get their paycheck, "sweet $1400!" and boom it's gone and they are left to scramble for bill money at the last minute and constantly over drafting their accounts. Ever since I started this method and kept myself in check, I have never had a late payment on a bill nor have I ever had to scramble for money last minute. 

I can't even believe that I'm sitting here writing about fucking budgeting but god damn, it has saved my life. I have successfully converted Spencer to the process about a year ago and he hasn't had one late payment since. He can vouch.

So hey, I know adulting is tough as fuck and we're all basically wingin' it in life but I wouldn't be sharing this information if I didn't think it would be helpful. It is absolutely possible to not suck at budgeting, I am living proof, I used to be terrible. I hope my explanation wasn't too confusing, I swear it's easier than it looks and once you get the hang of it... you're solid, man. You got this. 

Go out into the world and fly, fly away from over draft charges and pissy landlords. I hope you all learned something cool today, no matter how nerdy it is. xo

Photo by: Baldwin Media // Tee by: Passive Juice Motel

Photo by: Baldwin Media // Tee by: Passive Juice Motel

P.s. This blog post is not sponsored by GoodBudget, they have no idea who the hell I am. 

DIY T-Shirt Bodysuit

This has been a DIY I've been dreaming about for years.. YEARS. I somehow knew a size XXL tee would fall into my lap in the year 2016 and be perfect for such a easy dreamy craft. Literally somebody at my mom's work gave her this t-shirt and she immediately handed it over to me because she knows me so well. Fate, I tell you, fucking fate.

This project was probably the easiest one I've done so far, so prepare yourself for not that many steps. 

What you need.

  • Oversized t-shirt
  • Good pair of scissors
  • Needle and thread 
  • At least 4 sew in sew-on snaps
  • A very good friend (optional)

Step 1. Cut the sleeves off of your t-shirt, however thick or thin you want them, it's completely up to you. Obviously you can opt out of this step if big sleeves are your thing. I ain't here to judge your style, girl. 

 

Step 2. Put the t-shirt on and safety pin the crotch to what is most comfortable for you. Find a good friend who's willing to help you cut out the hip shape and the back, or you could simply chalk out some lines for yourself and do this solo. I personally found it easier to get these lines perfect while standing straight up and having someone else cut. The struggle of having a long torso is so real. 

ps. thank you ashley, i love you so.

Step 3. Once you have the basic front and back shape cut out, take it off and finish the job. Again, this comes down to personal preference and how Bay Watch you wanna expose those hip bones. 

Step 4. Taper in the sides to your personal body shape/comfort with some pins. You can either cut and pin or fold and pin. I chose to fold, as it's the easiest for me. Flip the t-shirt inside out and sew them shut to your liking. I honestly didn't even use a sewing machine for this, I just did it quickly by hand in less than 30 minutes. It could just be because I am extremely lazy, but it doesn't matter either way works. Do you.

Step 5. As for the crotch, don't sew this. I had a very white girl moment and sewed it shut, stood in my living room ready to try it on and looked at it like, "Yeah, I didn't really think this one through" because I had no way to put it on. Good job, Michelle. Don't do that.

Step 5 Plan B. Find some sew on snaps, that they typically use for baby onesies. You can find them anywhere, Michaels, Joanns, etc. Sew 4 on. You've got a snap crotch, baby. 


Boom. Quick and easy t-shirt bodysuit sewn perfectly to your shape. Slip on some high waisted jeans and you're good to go. Or strut around your house like a god damn boss.

Either way, I support it. 

Every Day Valentine.

It's been awhile since Spencer and I collaborated on a blog post for you guys; it's long overdue, I'm sorry. We're going to write this one together, as a unit, as a collaborative force. 

Now, I don't ever want to come off like we know it all or we're telling you what you should do. That's not how I do things and frankly, that's not how I feel one learns. We're going to share how WE do things and what we feel has helped shape our relationship along the way. We're all still learning here, as I always stress. Alright, let's dive into it.

Photo by: Anna DeMarco

Photo by: Anna DeMarco

Every so often we get asked how we keep our relationship interesting and constantly growing, that's not to say we don't have our set backs every once in awhile just like every other couple.. but we feel along the way we've figured out certain things on how to keep things alive, thriving and healthy. 

First things first, it takes a lot of effort from both parties in order to sustain a healthy/growing relationship after the "H-OMG THEY LIKE ME!" phase. That whole saying, "it doesn't take 50/50 from each party, it takes 100/100" is extremely important. Write that down. 

Secondly, we wake up and choose one another and make a conscious effort to make sure the other person feels loved, encouraged, and important. Effort not only stems from reassurance and let's say, gift buying... it also means making the effort to learn about the other person: How do they receive affection? Also how do they show affection? Everybody does these two things differently, most of the time. It is important to realize that. Communication and speaking up is also so important when it comes to establishing that base line. I mean, it's important regardless, but you know what we mean. Speak up. Asking these types of questions is so key in any relationship; fuck... asking ALL THE QUESTIONS is key. Don't ever stop learning, don't ever stop continuing to grow with each other.  

We also get asked how we keep things spicy and fresh as time goes by; one major thing we do is we make an effort to step out of our routine. We go eat somewhere new, go on a spontaneous road trip, plan a vacation, hangout with people we haven't seen in awhile, get all dressed up and go out on the town for no reason; JUST PLAN STUFF. We make a note to have a fancy date night once a month, no matter what. It's so important to do this and not get stuck in a rut and these things most definitely do not all require large amounts of money. We're not millionaires, we don't have the money to jet set around the world frequently, but that doesn't mean your life/relationship can't be adventurous. Write that down, too.   


While we have many similarities when it comes to interests like photography and such, please don't assume that includes ALL of our hobbies. Both of us are into different shit, but we both make sure we are there to support said hobbies/interests/passions regardless. Whether or not you understand it, being a supportive counter part goes farther than you think it does. 

Sustaining a relationship is hard work and it only succeeds if both parties are giving it their all, like we stated before I know I know haha. We've both been put through the ringer when it comes to past relationships but it has done nothing but shape and prepare us for handling anything and everything that is thrown our way. I mean, this goes for everyone as well, we know bad eggs exist and we believe they are there for a purpose. This purpose. Don't ever let assholes from your past hold you back from loving someone as hard as you fucking can. There are people in the world that don't suck. There are people in the world who are looking for the same kind of love and companionship as you are and don't give up on them. They won't give up on you.

Like we stated in the beginning, this post is not meant to come off like we have the answer to everything and we have a picture perfect relationship. That is far from the truth, nothing is ever perfect. It is perfectly imperfect. Every relationship is different but they are more similar than we think - we are all one big family and we can all learn from each other. To be just as good at listening rather than shelling out advice is important. Stay humble and stay eager to learn, that is how we all can achieve what we want when it comes to love and frankly, when it comes to just, life. 

We appreciate every ounce of love and support we receive from you guys and we want nothing more than to shove it right back at you. In your face. I mean, you know, in an affectionate way. I hope everyone, whether you're in a relationship or not, has a great weekend full of love. It doesn't need to be Valentine's day for you to spread love to people you care about. Happy February 12th. We love you today and we'll love you tomorrow and you see where this is going... 

Cheers,

Michelle & Spencer

Confidence.

One thing you need to know diving into this, is that I was never this confident person that I am today. Frankly, I still have bad days where I feel off or intimidated by life or not pretty for whatever reason. It happens, that's life, just don't let it set you back is what's important.

Over the years I've learned a lot while figuring shit out and downloading the 101 on being authentically myself. As I stated before in my college post, I learn best from trial and error. I'm stubborn, I'll admit, and I'd rather fail and figure it out the hard way than go forward not knowing first hand, that's how I've always been, ask my parents. I need experiences! Well with that mentality, I've had a fuck ton of them so far and embracing those experiences as lessons instead of trials that hold me back has changed my life INDEFINITELY. Some days are harder than others and it's not something that just happens, you have to make a conscious effort to see things this way, but it's 100% worth it.

Photo by: Baldwin Media

Photo by: Baldwin Media

This is not something I've discovered overnight, keep that in mind. Finding confidence in yourself and who you are is not a race to the finish line and it is not something that can ever be compared to anyone else's journey. This is so fucking important. I've had a heap of wrong turns in order to learn who I am, what I want out of life, what I want in a relationship and how to stick up for myself but that's my story. The biggest mistake that I see people making, that I made myself at one point in time, is thinking everyone around me "has it all together" and I must be doing something wrong. What other people do with their life has NOTHING to do with you and yours. Remember that. People can be getting married, having kids, traveling all around you - that does not mean your life has derailed and you're a failure. You're doing great. That's what they are doing; focus on what you are doing. 

We were born to be real, not to be perfect.
— a friendly reminder

I'm still learning. Nothing feels better than looking back at the things you were upset about and thinking "I'm glad that happened because look at me now, fuckers!" Let yourself embrace the process. I swear to god the second you start giving yourself some credit for how far you've come year after year, you'll never be disappointed. The second I stopped comparing my life to the lives of others around me, that's the second I started living. The moment I stopped caring what other people assumed about me or about what has happened in my life, I started living; fully. Opinions only matter if you let them. They don't matter, just sayin', a personal tip from me to you. 

When it comes down to it, nobody knows you better than yourself. You have a story to tell and it can only be told by you. Own it all, own every fucking second of it and confidence follows.

Shit I Don't Want To Do Next Year.

Around this time of year all I see are blog posts about goals they want to achieve in the new year. I figured, while that is helpful to some.. that's pretty cliché and that's not who I am, I don't feel like that's a form of growth... I'd rather switch it up, focus on the shit I DON'T want to do so I know better for next time. I highly recommend it.

Hell, every DAY is a new opportunity to grow but for the sake of the New Year fast approaching, we're gonna go with the year thing. I definitely learned a lot about myself this year and I personally find this backwards method to be far more therapeutic than focusing on things you'll probably do for a month and then go back to eating pizza every weekend because that's what I usually do. Focusing on the things you need to work on, the things that went wrong this year, what you gained from them and how you can grow from here on out. It doesn't all have to be emotional shit either, keep that in mind, this list is entirely up to you. Personalize it. You'd be surprised how much more motivating it is than a regular list of "I'm gonna eat healthier" goals. I find it makes you dig a bit deeper, y'know?

So, humanize with me for a second, here's my personal list for 2016:

  1. I don't want to overthink as much as I do sometimes. I want to focus on how to better keep my mind occupied and focused on things that matter and not things that only live in my mind.
  2. I don't want to harbor any deep rooted anger towards anything or anyone. I must remember only I have the ability to confront or let go of any situation that takes up too much of my brain space. It's not worth it.
  3. I don't want to focus any of my energy on what's NOT happening. I need to focus on what IS happening in the present moment because that's what matters most. Sometimes that slips, I'm only human however.
  4. I don't want to give anyone else control over my own happiness. It is completely up to me to be happy, not anyone else. 
  5. I don't want to neglect my car and it's needs, I must treat it like it's my child. I'm sorry baby.
  6. I don't want to invest time in people that don't respect me enough to just be honest with me. Be real with me, I get shit, I can take it.   
  7. I don't want to be so hard on myself. Just chill, Michelle, you're doing good.
  8. I don't want to let the appearance of my skin effect the way I carry myself or live out my day. Bad skin days happen and I should never let that stop me from gaining every experience from those 24 hours I am blessed with. 
  9. I don't want to overanalyze every thing I say 5 seconds after I've said it. Or at least I want to try harder not to. Struggling with anxiety it tends to come as a package deal. I'm constantly working on bettering myself at that.
  10. I don't want anyone to ever think that I have a picture perfect life. I want to continue to be as authentic, gritty and messy as I truly am. I'm pretty gross you guys.

I urge you, whether it's for New Year's or just a random Wednesday night, to sit down and analyze the lessons you've learned. I promise you, it helps. But also remember to not be so hard on yourself. You're learning, I'm learning, we're all just slowly inching our way to the top of wherever and whoever we want to be. 


If you're going into the new year with zero advice, let me leave you with what always helps me. I know I've said this before but... every bad situation can always be turned into something positive. Everything, no matter what the circumstance, can motivate you to go harder, be better or be stronger than you were before. Now I sound like my mother, huh. I'm okay with it, I like her. 

These are things I tell myself every day. Let me get personal with you guys for a moment here. This year I got laid off from a steady job I had for almost 3 years. That wasn't in the cards, but shit happens. I knew that wasn't the direction I wanted my "career-life" to go. So, a bit sooner than I expected to leave, I took it as a sign that I should focus all my energy on what DOES make me happy and somehow create a career out of that. It's seriously all about perspective, I'm telling you... that whole mom thing I said before. It's also all about surrounding yourself with the right people and the right support system. Someone to smack you in the ass and say go fucking get 'em right when you need it. If you don't have one of those, I volunteer as tribute.

When you get knocked down, sooner or later you’re going to have to get back up but the amount of time you lie in the dirt is entirely up to you.
— unknown

This year has been full of crazy opportunity, adventure, self love and acceptance and I bet it won't be the only year that is. I can't wait to see what the future holds. I have a feeling it's gonna be a great 2016. ok, too cliché, i have to go wash out my mouth with soap now.

I love you guys, I hope every single one of you has a great holiday season. See you next year.

xo Girrlscout

P.S. I apologize it's been so long since I've blogged, this month has been insanely busy, in a great way. But I assure you, I'm not going anywhere, I don't think anything could stop me from writing. I'm afraid you're stuck with me, we're in a relationship, that's it. wannafightaboutit?

I Didn't Go To College, So What?

More often than not, I get asked "Where did you go to college?", "What's your major?" as normal conversation starters or just curious how I got to where I am today.. but then comes the awkward, "I didn't go to college". Sometimes I'll get a response of, "Hey, good for you!", but there's always gotta be that "adult" in the room that does a subtle head shake (kids these days...) thinking that me having a college degree and an outstanding loan on my shoulders for the rest of my natural born life somehow makes me deserving of their approval. What am I even doing on this earth? How dare I breathe the same air you and your diploma do. 

YAWN.

Let's back it up. I was never a kid that excelled from sitting through lectures in school. I need to get my hands dirty and I need to make mistakes and learn things myself. If I am ever eager to learn something, I'll ask questions or I'll just research it myself. My parents will fully vouch for me.

I don't believe it's necessary to have a college degree to score a job that you're completely passionate about. You'll learn the skills one way or another. College isn't the ONLY means to an education. I mean, unless it's something like healthcare and you want to become a doctor and slice people open; I'd prefer you take some courses before you dig into me with a knife, but you know what I mean. 

Story time. When I was interviewing for my last job as a Tech Support Specialist, I had to do an interview + a written HTML test.  After completing it, my former boss was surprised at how well I did saying I even did better than the people who RUN the tech department.  "There's no college degree on your resume, how did you learn HTML so well?" I smiled, "Myspace." I taught myself when I was younger. It fascinated me and I eventually learned how to read it. Simple as that.

I've had STRANGERS attempt to half ass lecture me on how I'm not ever going to have a job to support a family without a college education. "I have my Master's in Mind Ya Business." It's like when people say I won't ever be able to get a respectable job with tattoos. I'm sorry, what year do you live in?! 

I'm not saying going to college is wrong. Absolutely not. If you excel in school, by all means go. Never stop learning. But, I do believe there are some people in this world who don't excel by sitting in a classroom for 4 years and that really needs to be acknowledged. I have applied for jobs that say "Bachelors Degree Required" at the bottom and still got a call back. If I go into a job interview and have all of the capable skills required for the position, the skills, the drive, the attitude, the experience... and they don't hire me based solely on the fact that I don't have a degree with my name on it, well then I don't really want to work for a company like that anyways. nahhhh bye.

I'm 25 going on 26 and I never chose that ivy league path and THAT'S OKAY. Don't feel like less of a citizen because you didn't study your art at an institution. Some people learn differently. It doesn't make either party smarter than the other. It's almost 2016, I think parents need to wake up and smell the fact that going to college isn't everything. It is possible to be completely successful with or without it. 

DIY Lace Up T-Shirt

This whole DIY idea came to me at 4:00am this week, while I was forcing myself not to fall back asleep because I had a horrific dream and didn't want it to continue. Anybody else have those nights? The. Worst. So I found myself surfing the internet on my phone and I came across a regular t-shirt but it had a laced-up center. Whaaaaat?! Two of my favorite things. I must have it! I kept searching and searching to find the source, of course, just my luck, a PLAIN lace-up tee was $108. Yes, I'm not even kidding you. Do people really drop that kind of money for a t-shirt? Uh, not in my world, I like to eat and pay my rent on time thank you very much.

The more I looked at it and the more screenshots I took... I was determined, "I can totally fucking do that and not spend $108." I woke up the next morning, thrifted two tees from Salvation Army, picked up what I needed at the craft store and went to town. Well no, I went home but you know what I mean. 


I made 2 lace up tees and spent a total of $31.00. Yup. That happened. 

Now, here's what you need:

  • Any tee/sweater/whatever of your choice.
  • A pack of silver or gold metal eyelets. 
  • Matte black trim. (I got 2 yards.) 
  • Matte black string of your choice. (make sure it's small enough to fit through the eyelets!)
  • A hammer.
  • Scissors.
  • Black thread & a needle. (I chose to sew these by hand because I don't own a sewing machine, but this can easily be done either way.)

Step 1: Lay out your shirt. I put a flat surface inside of it, (Example: I used a random flat rate shipping box I had lying around.) Please note: I was not aware this was a band, I found it in the children's section of the Salvation Army for $2.15... so... sorry guys, whoever the hell you are.

Step 2: Mark how low you want the cut-out to be and make sure it's straight. Use anything as a straight line, even season 5 of The Walking Dead.

Step 3: Cut it out as best as you can. Nobody is perfect, we ain't here to judge. 

Step 4: Hand sew (or use a machine) the black trim around the edge of the shirt right where you cut it. Make sure both laters are on top of each other. It doesn't have to be pretty, you can't even see it, mine is super messy. I chose to leave the collar, whether or not you want to cut it out or leave it is entirely up to you. 

Step 5: Place the metal eyelets where you want them. You can do however many you want, I just knew I didn't have much string so I went with less than the reference picture above. Besides, you don't really need THAT many, they went a little string crazy if you ask me.

Side note: I bought 1 set of eyelets and 1 "starter kit" of the same eyelets. It came with a tool to help pound them in better. I highly suggest getting it. Though, these things were a royal pain in my ass to put on, I can't even imagine how difficult it wouldn't been without these little helpers. (you can see them on the righthand side of each photo above.)

Step 6: Cut tiny holes/slits where you want to place the eyelets and pound those suckers in. Trial and error is key here, folks. You want to make sure it goes all the way through both materials until you can see all the way through it. Also, when you pound them in with the hammer, make sure your tool is straight or else they will get pounded in all crooked and the hole will be half it's intended size. (see below to know what the hell I'm talking about.)

After awhile you do get into a rhythm with it and it gets much easier. My second shirt took me half the time than my first did but that doesn't mean I didn't yell "oh my god! WHY!" every time I messed one up and had to take it out. But we must persevere because the end result is so badass.

If it makes you feel better, here's how many I fucked up while doing both tees. 

Step 7: Lace 'em up! It's just like lacing your shoes. Nothing fancy or difficult about it. When you get to the top, you can either have them hanging out the front or you can make them go inside and tie a knot at the end. (which is what I chose to do.) but hey, you do you girl.

Aaaaaand you're done! It's literally that easy. 

Congratulations, you just saved $71.00 and you'll have the pleasure of telling people "oh, I made it myself" when they ask where you bought it. Mwahaha. Or I guess, you could link them here. That's probably the most neighborly thing to do. ;) 

I'd rather get my hands dirty and chip a few nails and feel proud of myself than not have enough money to put gas in my car for the sake of one t-shirt. I mean, we've all got bills to pay here. Pizza doesn't just order itself OKAY.

Felt good to get crafty again with you guys, let's do it again sometime soon. 

xo Girrlscout

What Kind Of Music Do You Listen To?

One of my most frequently asked questions is "what kind of music do you listen to?" Now, to be honest with you, I mega-loathe this question. I'm a big fan of music, don't get me wrong, but I have never had a simple answer to it. I avoid it at all costs. I would sometimes just chalk it up to, "I don't know, a little bit of everything except EDM I guess.

I'll throw some songs in my posts on here every once in awhile and you can usually tell what I'm diggin' if you watch my videos on YouTube, but that's about it. I never know how to answer, it's so frustrating! Which brings me to this post, my ultimate answer to this seemingly popular question. My. Music. Choices.

35mm film: Baldwin Media Photography

35mm film: Baldwin Media Photography

What I've done for you, readers, Spotify users, is I threw together a playlist of basically all of my current favorite tunes + tons of nostalgia and any song I feel defines me as the weird little human I am. Some remind me of certain memories, times, and people in my life. It's basically me in a playlist.

Creating this was surprisingly therapeutic. I recommend you do it yourself. Right after I created it, I hit shuffle in my car while I drove to Spencer's and never changed a song once. I stopped and was like, "...Shit, this is the fucking greatest mix of all time!" Hahaha. 

If you have Spotify (if not, download it, it's free). Please enjoy some of my tunes. I hope you learn about a new artist while doing so. Jam out to what I jam out to. That was a really fun sentence to say. Anyways, I hope this soothes your drive home from the office or gives you something to dance to.

If you have any music suggestions that you think I'd like, comment them below. I'll never say no to checking out new artists. :)

I know it's Monday but I hope you kick it straight in the balls,

xo Girrlscout

The Best Pair Of Jeans, Ever.

This post is way overdue but it is necessary. I came across these jeans months ago and since then have purchased 5 more pairs. When I am in love with something, I buy one in every color, that's just what I do, that's how I roll. I never know where they might go so I have to snag them up before they disappear. 

Luckily for you, they haven't disappeared yet. I found these in the most unlikely of stores... American Eagle. I know, right? I mean, perhaps these stores are more prominent in other states, but here in Southern California there's literally only one left that I know of. I remember wanting to work there when I was in junior high because they all had super cool head sets. Dream big. But anyways, a friend of mine wrote a post about how amazing their jeggings were. Now... I've always been skeptical about jeggings, they are usually so-so quality and more often than not their pockets are fake. I HATE fake pockets.

I happened to be in the one mall within a 100 mile radius of my house that had an American Eagle... and decided to give them a whirl. Tried them on. Holy shit. 

These jeans or technically "jeggings" are as durable as regular jeans but as comfortable as jeggings. The most perfect combination AND they have real pockets! Halle-fucking-lujah.

Me having child bearing hips went straight to the high waisted, picked up 2 that day. I'm not even kidding you, within a few weeks I had ordered 3 more pairs in different styles and had literally thrown out all of my other skinny jeans. I had no use for them anymore. They are pretty damn true to size and stretchy. I did fucking lunges in these things.

I'm gonna keep this post short and sweet. For a size reference, I'm usually a 5 or a 27 in jeans and I'm 5'5"... and I wear a 6 Regular. Aaaand now you all know what size I am. Not that I'm embarrassed but I mean, if you ever want to buy me pants, you now can't use that excuse. ;) 

This post was not sponsored by American Eagle, I do not work with them I just love wearing their jeans.. jeggings.. I hate calling them that... blaaaahGo pick up a pair, I swear to god you will not be disappointed. You can quote me on that. You're welcome.

I Don't Have Many Girlfriends.

I've never been one to be in a girl clique. A constant group text of together-ness, nail appointments and slumber parties. Some might find that surprising considering the vast number of girls who follow this blog. But, internet friends aside, when we're talking about real life, it's true.

Growing up I always had a constant best friend, 1 girlfriend who was my side kick and we'd be together every weekend if we could. I mostly hung out with the boys because they were simple, they didn't mind playing in the dirt and they got my jokes. In elementary school I had one best girl friend, junior high I had a few, and in high school I had one for about 10 years straight. Besides those select few, I was always the friend who was the "floater." I'd like to think I'm pretty easy to get along with and I am definitely not shy when it comes to meeting new people and fitting in with my surroundings; I admire myself for that. But, planning girls nights out and having weekend getaways in Palm Springs was never something that I've ever wanted to do. That was okay with me. 

It wasn't until after high school when my sister got married that I started feeling like "Okay, maybe something is wrong with me." Nothing personal against my sister, her and I are just complete opposites but being constantly surrounded by it when I was little I figured that's how every girl should be. She has had the same group of girlfriends since elementary school and here I was, 17 years old trying to plan her bachelorette party with all of her friends realizing, "Who the heck would I have in my wedding? I don't even KNOW that many girls, let alone ones I'm that close with."  

Some girls are wired to have a lot of girlfriends, but some are wired to only have a few select close ones. Some say it has to do with being an extrovert or an introvert but I don't really think that's true. Some girls really connect with other women; that girl bond is sacred to them and is vital in their life. They treasure it. It's a community. Others, like myself, are more wired for an intimate connection with maybe one or two girlfriends perhaps, but even more so in a relationship with a guy. That is just a more comfortable connection. (Just choose them wisely) What I've learned? Both ways are OKAY. There is nothing wrong with either party.

I get messages sometimes asking why I don't post photos on Instagram of me "out with the girlfriends" and I, like I have been my whole life, get immediately judged for it. Assuming that I don't have many friends in real life and maybe I just fake my personality for my internet persona. I gotta be honest, that sounds like a lot of work. Ain't nobody got time for that, haha. Also for the record, just because someone doesn't post a photo of them doing something, doesn't mean it never actually happened. Oh internet...

My point is, we shouldn't be judging other girls based on whether or not they have a group of girlfriends or not. We should be on each other's team, not acting like there are two different teams. There are no sides, there is no right or wrong. We are wired different for a reason, so we can learn from one another. Let's focus on that instead. 

I wanted to write this post for all of the girls who are like me, to tell you that there's nothing wrong with you and you aren't defective. I've learned to love the way I am and you should too. 

Girl clique or not, I consider all of you my friends and I wouldn't have it any other way. *group hug*

Blogger's First Birthday!

It's officially 1 year since my very first blog post on this site and holy crap, I never expected any of this. Last October I just simply felt like expressing my thoughts and silly little craft projects with whoever was willing to listen and here I am... blown away by everyone's support and love. *runs and gives you all a hug*

I know it's typical to receive gifts on your birthday but I'm feeling like I'd rather give you guys goodies instead...

As much as I'd love to sit here and reflect and/or blabber on and on about what has happened in the last 365 days, the things I've learned, etc etc. I'm afraid my mind is too jazzed on the future that I cannot contain myself. There are so many amazing things in the works right now that I can no longer keep you in the dark.

So here's my present to you, my followers, my lovelies...

If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr you'll know that I've been recently making random t-shirts and crafts on the fly. Such as these two: 

"Face Shit" Cosmetic Bag

"Face Shit" Cosmetic Bag

"But It's For Me" Tee

"But It's For Me" Tee

Combining the brilliance of my other half Spencer + my wacky ideas, we're creating these two products and selling them here on this site SOON! 

Plus OTHER rad goodies.

The second I posted these I immediately got flooded with requests to sell. I had so much fun making them that I can't say no.. plus, look how cute your faces are.. I can't say no to you guys. C'monnnnn.

I'm so stoked for what the future holds on this little web-home of mine and I can't wait to see my creations on your bodies and in your homes. That sounded way less creepy in my head.

So if you don't already, follow me on Instagram or Tumblr if you want to stay in the loop for when I'll be announcing their arrival. Ahhh! This is the best birthday present EVER. I get messages saying I've inspired people but the truth is, you guys truly inspire ME. Thank you for your constant support and flash floods of love that come my way, you all do not go unnoticed and I appreciate all of you.

All my love,

The birthday girl.

What's 'Out Of Stock' Isn't Always Gone Forever.

As much as I do like the rare opportunities I have time to roam around a shopping mall by myself with actual money to spend; I prefer to shop behind my computer screen. It's much more convenient and I can do proper research before making a final decision. I always feel pressured to "quick, make a decision!" when I'm standing in a store staring at one item like Uhhhhhhh. Plus, the rush of bookmarking tracking numbers is undeniable, no? Just me? Probably. 

One thing I've noticed when shopping at places like Forever 21 is that they switch styles in and out SO quickly. You could snag a coat on their site one day and 3 weeks later it will be sold out and no longer exist and never come back. *poof. It's very rare I actually get that email, "Your item is back in stock!" I never hold my breath with that shit. 

My quick tip to you: If you see something on their site that strikes your fancy, buy it. I wouldn't wait longer than a week. You might never see it again. Most of the comments I get on Instagram are, "You got that at Forever 21? I don't see it on the site." It's probably because I purchased it over a month ago. 

And then I'm like, 

...this also goes for sites such as GoJane and Boohoo.

But if for some reason you're not fast enough and what you wanted is now gone, there are other solutions. Listen to this.

+Story time.

A little over a week ago I was on a serious hunt for these Jeffrey Campbell Tripoli boots I found in a photo online. Completely sold out on every shoe website I could find. There was a pair I spotted on Depop but they weren't in my size. I did google image searches, Polyvore, you name it, I couldn't find a pair anywhere. I saw that Kohl's was selling a knock off version for half the price but here we are again, not in my size. I started googling how they looked, searching every adjective you could think of. "Black, cutout, buckle, boot, pointed toe, distressed, ankle" EVERYTHING.

Finally, a few days later I came across a pair on Poshmark that looked perfect, obviously a knock off brand, labeled under "super cute open back boots". How did I even find that?! Anyways, my color, my size, I had to have them... and I saved $242. Can you see the difference? Yeah, neither can I.

Jeffrey Campbell: $259.00

Jeffrey Campbell: $259.00

Sacred Heart Dupe: $17

Sacred Heart Dupe: $17


Just when you think something is unfindable... Boom. This is why I love Depop, Poshmark and all those other second-hand selling apps. It gives you that ounce of hope that what you want may still be out there and will be even more affordable than you could imagine. I'm definitely not one to be whiney about name brand items. Oh, you made the same looking sweater for a quarter of the price? Give it to me now! 

*Some people don't like shopping second hand... but I have one question for you - WHY? You're buying directly from a human and even better, you're helping another human make some extra money. You're adopting. You're adopting cute things from other cute people and c'mon, who doesn't like to do that? 

Dress: Depop Purchase

Dress: Depop Purchase

Depop: @Girrlscout

Depop: @Girrlscout

This post is not sponsored by anyone - I've just been extremely impressed with Depop as a seller and as a buyer in the past few weeks and I wanted to share my thoughts and feels. It's always nice to have a win when you're on the hunt for a specific item and everyone loves a comeback story. So don't ever have a panic attack when that item you had in your shopping bag is no longer in stock, there is hope and it's probably cheaper.

If you wanna check out my Depop closet, click here. 

Happy Hump Day, loves. ;) 

How To Make Your Home Look Better.

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet; straight to the point. So, if you follow me or Spencer on social media, you'll know he's been selling some signed prints to you guys just in the last few weeks. Blown away by the overwhelming response he received, he amped it up a bit to give you guys more options! 

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.38.33 AM.png

You can now choose a size & material on any print you want whether it be lustre grade photo paper, metal (wall mount included) or wrapped canvas. If you purchase one he's taken of me, I'll be sitting down and personally signing each photo with a little love note for ya. I love connecting with you guys cause you know, we're really good friends by now. 

You're gonna want these images hanging in your home, I already have too many to count in mine. ;) 

Prints start as low as $25 and go up as you size up. You don't need to break the bank in order to support local artists; we're not here to rob you. I sincerely believe you all need one of his art pieces in your living room. Undeniable talent. Do yourself a favor.

Anyways, I felt the need to write a small blog and completely gush about my boyfriend's killer talents. He's gonna go so far and I can't wait to take this journey with him.


Follow us on Instagram if you don't already, we're always announcing fun little things. :)

Me: @girrlscout // Spencer: @deejaybm

I want to thank everyone who has supported us as a team throughout this kick ass blogging journey. We read every comment, every tagged post and every email. Ugh, we are so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. Our hearts are full. 

Happy Hump Day, we love you! 

 

Makeup Refresher.

I've been really diggin' my makeup routine lately you guys. It's been hot as mother fucking hell in California this summer but whether it's a highlighter or literal sweat on my face, I strive to be a glowy/dewy son of a b at all times. 

If you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you've probably seen my Makeup Routine video from a few months ago. I still use some of those products but I feel like I've just upgraded lately. Once you get sucked into that vortex that is "the YouTube black hole"... you end up watching makeup tutorials for multiple hours straight and you pick up on a few things. Let's go step by step.

Foundation: IT Cosmetics Illuminating CC Cream (my shade: medium)

One of the best foundations I've ever used. It lasts forever and it doesn't cake up on my face. If you want glowy skin, get this shit. I'm seriously in love. 

Foundation/Setting Powder: IT Cosmetics "Your Skin But Better" CC Airbrush Perfecting Powder

I use this with a big fluffy brush for a light/sheer coverage just to set the foundation in the places I want. Avoiding my cheeks and nose for optimum glowy-ness!

Bronzer: Tartè Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Rockateur Blush Box

One of the best blushes I've used to date, which also smells like heaven or some sort of heavenly fruit. 

Eyebrows: Anastasia Dip Brow (dark brown)

Highlighter: NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator & Makeup Forever Sculpting Duo (pink highlighter only, the bronzer that comes with it isn't my favorite at all*)

I apply the Liquid Illuminator to my cheek bones and my cupids bow and then actually use the pink highlighter on a brush over the liquid to intensify it. Kind of acting as a highlighter setting powder. I also do the sides of my forehead, bridge of my nose and my chin.. and BAM.

Prime/Setting Spray: MAC Fix Plus

I use this before and after my makeup routine, as a primer & setting spray. I've literally never been a huge fan of MAC... but I tried this after seeing everyone and their mother use it on YouTube tutorials. They were definitely on to something because it's amazing. 

As far as mascara goes, you already kinda know my deal with that - and if you don't, click here.

I still don't consider myself the girliest person on the planet, but makeup has always been fun for me. I feel like I've been kicking ASS at highlighting ever since my skin improved so much, so I needed to share these products with you. I'm sure I'll do another tutorial video here in the next few months, but in the meantime, these are my MUST HAVE makeup products for sure. 


For your entertainment pleasure, here is a video on how NOT to do your daily makeup routine... courtesy of the man that has my heart. Enjoy. ;)

How To Deal With Negative Messages

I've been wanting to do a post on this for awhile now and being only 5'5" I have a lot stored up inside me that I just need to unleash. So, I'm sorry? You're welcome? You can decide at the end. I'm just going to vomit what I've learned all over this site because it's mine, mwahaha. 

I get asked a lot about how I deal with negative messages/comments/people and it's time I just spill out a fair answer. There's only so many words you can say when responding to emails and Tumblr messages from your phone while you're out and about to really feel like you've comforted someone, but I always try my best. Dealing with negativity is more of an art form; something that takes time and you need to train your brain. No, I did not mean for that to come out like Dr. Seuss, this is awkward. Unfortunately negative people will always exist, there's nothing anyone can do about that. They are here to challenge us, people.

www.chriskphotos.com

www.chriskphotos.com

One thing I have learned in the social media world is that outwardly responding and publicly posting negative messages can be a good OR bad thing. It's all about selection. For example: Sometimes I will receive a "hate mail" message that is frankly too funny and too inaccurate not to post because let's be honest, ignorant people are hilarious, liiiike "You think you own the rights to having an undercut, you didn't invent it!" God damnit they obviously figured me out...  But if I receive a message that is literally straight up "You suck", "I don't like you", "I think you're fake", why on earth would I give you air time on MY blog? Nah, man. Delete. 

I feel like the people who shell out negative comments are 1) looking for attention, obviously not caring if it's positive OR negative and 2) are struggling with something that's deeper than they want to admit, whether it has to do with you personally or not. For whatever reason, putting someone down makes them feel better. Which I will never understand, but that's beside the point. 

It's all about how you respond, which more often than not means not responding at all. They want you to post these messages, they want to get a rise out of you and they like to see you squirm. If you don't respond, they have no fuel to their fire to send you another. That's just my logic. Especially if it's coming from someone who knows you personally because no matter how you respond, pleasant or not pleasant, they're clearly not in the right state of mind to accept anything you have to say with the right heart. You learn over time to pick and choose your battles, what to post and what not to post and what is considered constructive criticism and what is straight up "that sounds like a fucking personal problem, dude." 

www.chriskphotos.com

www.chriskphotos.com

You were not put on this earth to please everybody. You cannot change how people feel about you but you do have total control on how you handle it and how you don't stoop to their level. People can poke the bear all they want but don't ever give them the satisfaction that they made any sort of impact on your life - they don't deserve it. You betta' than that, man. I think you're stellar. 

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
— Dita Von Teese

With love,

Girrlscout

P.S. Please send all hate mail to the following address (and write this out carefully):

666 What Am I Doing With My Life

I Should Re-Evaluate, CA 69420

My Skin Food: Osmosis Skincare

I talk about skin quite frequently on here and if there's ever been a major insecurity of mine: it's been my skin. I've struggled with problematic skin since I was in 7th grade. I've spent ... well, my mother has graciously spent ridiculous amounts of money on anything we could find to try and solve it. Being a teenager is rough when you're just getting into makeup and your skin literally rebels against it. It didn't stop me from going out, but it stopped me from being comfortable in my own skin (no pun intended) 90% of the time.

I tried ProActiv, Dermologica, literally everything at the drug store, going on birth control (which helps a little but not 100%) to prescription solutions and nothing worked. I was never comfortable enough to go out and get my mail without some form of foundation on my face. I would get bullied in high school, ruthless kids telling me to "just wash my face" was probably thee most unbearable comment, like it was just so easy and I must be stupid. 

Recently, and I mean, this year recently, my friend Amanda introduced me to the line Osmosis SkinCare. She sold me on the fact that her sister had far worse skin problems than I had and she was 100% clear within a few weeks. I reached out to the company with hopes they would recommend the right products for my skin type. Might I add, thee most helpful group of people I've ever encountered. I quickly received my products that I ordered and was so excited as I saw this clear skin oasis not too far out of my reach. 

Within a short amount of time, I noticed my skin was improving... in the beginning I still had some breakouts on days when I was hormonal (as it always does) but I did notice when I got into months 3 and 4, that was no longer even an issue. My skin stayed clear even while being a raging hormonal nutcase. It was a miracle.

BEFORE: March 2015 

BEFORE: March 2015 

CURRENT: August 2015

CURRENT: August 2015

I made sure I took before/after photos right when I woke up, no makeup, same lighting to show you the drastic difference in my skin. Takes a lot of girl balls to post that before photo but I'm just so proud of the results I have to suck it up. Not only are their products effective, but they all smell wonderful! I was so used to products that were harsh and almost borderline unbearable because of all the chemicals... but this stuff smells like fruit. It's glorious. All of their products are also gluten-free and mostly vegan - and they do NOT test on animals. *hooray* 

I know this particular skincare line is a bit on the pricey side, but I can assure you, it's worth every single penny if you struggle with problematic skin like I did. I know they all say that but I'm hoping that me sharing my experience can lean you towards the hopeful side. I never thought that my skin would ever look this clear, let alone have such a soft and pretty texture to it. Spencer can vouch for this when I say my confidence has skyrocketed.

I would normally post the specific products that I use, but I feel like this line definitely needs to be personalized to you and yours. I wouldn't want people going out and purchasing the same cleanser, toner, moisturizer that I use and have it not work on their skin because we are not the same. Their website is very helpful in breaking down each product so it's easy for you to match and put together a regime that's all your own.

To purchase product CLICK HERE.


Please note: This post is not sponsored by Osmosis Skincare. I am not getting paid to write this review, this is something I'm doing on my own free time because I legitimately think others will see great results from this line. It's seriously changed my life and I'm forever grateful I took the plunge.

If any of you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

That said, cheers to happy healthy skin! Enjoy your Tuesday, my loves. 

Fashion Blogger Assumptions

Being a "fashion blogger" people tend to assume you're all about dresses/rompers with thigh high socks, 24 necklaces at one time, as many rings as Johnny Depp, garter belts, and platforms. While that might work for some girls every day, that just isn't what I've ever been about. Sure, dressing up and feeling sexy sometimes makes me a happy little clam, but so does having your favorite jeans and tee fit perfectly out of the dryer... throw on a hat and Vans and you're feeling like a solid 10. I can do both and feel great.

Truth be told I'm most happy in the most simplest of outfits. Which then forms the frequent question, "why be a fashion blogger?" Well fuck, why not? Just because I don't enjoy jingle jangling down the street carrying tons of trinkets doesn't mean I'm not into fashion. I know girls that thrive off of that shit, and that's okay too. You should always do you!

I grew up as a little tom boy: high top Converse, camouflage pants and every single lion king t-shirt you could imagine. I had dresses but I only liked them with my cowboy boots or when I had to dress up for a holiday or family function. I danced to the beat of my own drum I guess you would say.

The last situation I want to put myself in is having to adjust my outfit 30 times in one night because I thought too hard about making a statement and just ended up looking uncomfortable the whole time. You gotta stick true to yourself. 

You don't need to go above and beyond with fashion in order to be a "fashionista"... I feel like that just happens to be the ones who blog about it these days. The big Jeffrey Campbell 6" platforms with the high waisted shorts and crop tops. It looks killer in photographs but more often than not, I feel like that's not what they wear on an every day basis. It could be for some, I have no idea, this is just my assumption.

But I personally feel like fashion blogging is about sharing relatable, affordable fashion tips, tricks and every day outfits. Things everyone can afford. It irks me when I'm on a blog and think "Ugh I love this outfit but there's no way I can afford your $300 shoes and $500 Free People dress" *shrug* That's just my perspective on the situation. 

The point I'm trying to drive home is don't feel pressured by some of today's fashion bloggers who like to go above and beyond with their style - that's the way THEY express themselves and that's great. But that doesn't mean you need to make yourself uncomfortable in order to "get on their level".

You're on YOUR level and that's fucking great too. 


Photos by: Baldwin Media Photography

Acid Wash crop top: Desert Rose Apparel

Boyfriend Jeans: Forever 21

Backwards snapback hat: Forever 21 Mens 

Custom Flannel: 1994 Brand

Blogger Life: Social Media Marketing pt. 2

This is where the fun stuff is. 

Going along with what I mentioned in pt. 1, knowing your audience and who you want to reach out to is important when marketing yourself. For obvious reasons. 

Put yourself first though, don't try and fit and conform to what you think will get you more followers, stay true to yourself. Sure I like posting outfits, random good-makeup days but I also like to post photos when I'm out adventuring. Spice it up and make it personal every once in awhile. I have no shame connecting with my followers on that raw level. I'm human too. 

Different social media platforms have very different rules when it comes to marketing yourself. 

Instagram: Hashtags do nothing, unless you're hosting a giveaway or promoting a company who asks you to use certain tags, I rarely use them at all. This is just what I've found to be true over time. Also, posting too many photos a day can be excessive, you don't want to clutter up your follower's feed. Keep them wanting more and make each post something different. Post what you love and whatever you want, just don't go overboard and piss everyone off, haha. Also, stay active with your followers, comment every once in awhile and like photos you like. If I only post one photo in a day that doesn't mean I wasn't online multiple times. Make yourself known and spread love. Everyone loves to be loved. 

TumblrHashtags are your friend. I find myself making sure every photo/text I personally post is tagged with at least SOMETHING. I use hashtags when searching tumblr so naturally, others do too. There's no way you'd see me caught dead doing #girlswithtattoos on Instagram, but Tumblr it's a must. (Although THIS is how my photos get stolen and end up on Buzzfeed, but... what can you do, it's the internet) Also, contrary to Instagram rules, posting a lot is a good thing. You can either set up a queue which is what I used to do, but now I just find myself browsing and posting whenever I get a free moment during work or at night. That way, when you see me posting a lot at once, you'll know I'm currently on my computer or phone and it's an opportune time to shoot me a message if you want a prompt response. Also, same goes with making yourself known. Comment on peoples posts, be active and have conversations with followers. Spread love. #themoreyouknow

Twitter: Hashtags are also your friend, although I don't use them as much. I tend to tweet quotes I love and/or random shit that happens during my day. It's my go-to outlet for thoughts that pop into my head and I need to write them down before I forget them. I don't really have a filter when it comes to Twitter. I also find that linking Instagram photos to Twitter when you post them is a little annoying... if there's a photo you want me to see on Twitter, upload it, don't make me click a link. Maybe this is just me being me, I like to keep those two platforms separate. Sue me, haha. Sometimes I do this anyways when I'm promoting something, but mostly I try to avoid it.

YouTubeI just recently dove into the world of youtube and it's hard. I told myself in the beginning that I wouldn't make a youtube account. I'm not a makeup artist or hairstylist so naive me didn't really see the point. I kept getting messages asking me to start making videos until I finally gave in. It started off rough, I think my first video was literally filmed on my iPhone. But I slowly upgraded the more I got into it and I think it really has helped me grow.  People like to SEE you and what you sound like and how you speak. As creepy as that sounds, it's true. I'm glad I started it halfway through my blogger lifespan though, I will admit that. This isn't something you HAVE to do as a blogger, but it does help.

Facebook: I actually don't really like Facebook these days. I use it 99% to repost funny videos and repost links when I publish these blogs. As far as promoting myself goes, I don't really use Facebook as a main outlet. It's mostly personal and I very rarely accept friend requests from followers. I do know bloggers that have a fan page, which is totally fine, I just feel like it's not something I personally would want to keep up with. Personal preferences. 


When I first started this blog, I told myself "I'm gonna do 3 posts a week, monday wednesday friday." Well fuck, that was ambitious. I kept up with that cycle for about 2-3 weeks surprisingly until it became too much. Especially while having a life and a full time job, I learned quickly not to set that bar too high for myself and just go at my own pace. I will admit it was good in the beginning to have a good handful of posts published so that it wasn't totally barren for awhile. It was good to have a lot of material for people to read while I was still writing newer entries. So I can't say it was a total mistake. 

Right now I think I'm down to 2-3 posts a month, which works for me. Everyone is different. I'm sure if I didn't have such a busy life or maybe could afford to have a part time job I would blog a hell of a lot more often, but alas, California and their damn living expenses will be the death of me. I have to work. 

Don't feel pressured to post a lot or often. Do what works best for you and the steady subscribers will still follow you. If anyone expects you to shell out top notch blogs several times a week... they fucking crazy. Just relax, breathe and write. 

Make sure you have fun with the process of creating your "brand" and putting yourself out there. Know that not everybody will like you and that's okay. You're here to express yourself, not to be a people pleaser. Don't take anyone's shit and just focus on doing what makes you happy.

This all has been a huge learning experience for me and I don't regret the journey along the way. I'm still growing every single day and I like it that way. That rhymed. If this is something you want to get into, I encourage you to dive in. I'm all for girls helping girls. We're all in this together. 

All the best and good luck,

Girrlscout

P.S. I don't say this enough but I love you guys and I really appreciate all the love and support I've received since day one. Our love is the real thing, baby.