Establish your presence with branding (+ a big announcement!)

A couple of months ago, I attended the final Texas Style Council blogging and small business “conference”, which was referred to as CAMP (Create A Meaningful Presence). In my recap, I mentioned the sessions I attended, one of them being the session on branding with the ladies of Maiedae. It was one of the early morning sessions, and even though I am not an early riser at ALL, I could not miss out on the opportunity to learn more about branding and everything that is involved with that! (It doesn’t seem like it would be much, but there really was so much to learn!) I was asked if I would consider writing a post about what I learned about branding, so, here it is–and I have a big announcement to share, too (scroll down to the bottom of this post if you’re only interested in the announcement!). 😉

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Branding is made up of your logo, photos, and content, and more generally, it’s the overall look of your site/social media pages and the feeling they give your readers/followers. It is recommended to have a cohesive brand so your readers know what to expect when they come to your site. Traditionally successful bloggers have strong brands that stretch across their blog as well as their social media accounts.

You have three seconds to capture a viewer’s interest. That’s it! Isn’t that crazy?! I was kind of shocked when I heard that, but now I totally believe it. When I visit a new blog, I know immediately whether or not it’s a blog I want to peruse a little more. You want you and your site to be unique and relatable and your site to be visually interesting/”pretty”. Hone what makes you different while still capturing an audience!

We learned a lot about the impact of what can be seen above the fold on your site. “Above the fold” simply refers to the area of your site that a reader sees before they have to scroll. This obviously varies from computer to computer and depends on resolution and such, but it’s still important to consider what people who come to your site see first thing. You want three things to be clearly visible above the fold: your logo, a couple of sentences about you, and a nice profile picture. Having that immediate connection with a new viewer is really important because they realize there is in fact a real person behind your site and that you are relatable!

Having a mobile-friendly website is very important in this day-and-age when we spend so much time on our phones. If a new viewer cannot clearly see what’s going on because your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you can bet they won’t be staying around for long! Also, Google is now penalizing sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, so if you want that SEO…make it mobile!

On all of your social media accounts, use the same profile picture so your readers can easily find you–OR, if someone is browsing, they might recognize you from your blog or a different social media and decide to check you out.

As far as tips for individual social medias go, we discussed those briefly and I didn’t take notes because what worked for some people didn’t work for others and it all depends on what your readers/followers respond to. It was suggested to do one social media well and maybe have other social media accounts just to post links to your content if people want to follow you there. Here’s more on individual social medias (what I can remember from the discussion, at least):

  • FACEBOOK: Decide whether or not to have one. Most bloggers do not see their biggest traffic from Facebook because of  the way FB handles who sees your posts. I have one mostly for friends and family who don’t follow other blogs at all, and I generally only post links to blog posts with random Instagram photos or sales every once in a while. I kind of want to experiment and see what else they might want to see. A great way to do this is to ask questions and see what response you get; some bloggers I follow do this often!
  • TWITTER: Post links to your content and utilize hashtags. It was also suggested to post links to content you love by other bloggers you follow, because if they retweet or recognize you in some way, that’s great exposure! I use it to post random tidbits of my life in that moment as well as blog content, so whoever decides to follow me there gets something different than what I post on FB or Instagram. I don’t want to post only the same content on all of my social media because then there is no incentive for people to follow me on all of them. You do need to be mindful of strong opinions on Twitter, though. If it’s not something you want your followers to see, don’t tweet it!
  • INSTAGRAM: The big one here was to stick to a cohesive photo size (whether you want all squares or horizontal images or vertical images) because when people check out your account, it is calming to see a page with a single photo size. It’s not a lot for the brain to process. Also, stick to a similar kind of editing, whether your have a favorite filter you like to use or like to have colorful, bright images. Use those hashtags to your advantage (but not TOO many or you’ll likely annoy your followers). Some bloggers make up personal hashtags so their followers can see all the photos from a single event or trip.
  • PINTEREST: Pin cohesive content to your boards and keep boards streamlined, i.e. make different boards for specific things you’re interested in (like cocktails, skirt outfits, beaches, etc.) to encourage people to at least follow one board that strikes their fancy. Pin high-quality and visually interesting photos that people want to see in their feeds.

I hope this was somewhat interesting and/or helpful for those of you new to the whole aspect of branding your blog! 🙂


And now, time for my announcement…!

WOOHOO!

It’s true! I mentioned in my TxSC recap that I was working on a rebrand, and I’m so excited to say that I’m ready to launch on Monday! 🙂 Over the weekend, I’ll be copying all of the content from this blog to the new blog. The new blog will have a totally new look and a new name (!). I’m hoping my Bloglovin will be updated on Monday, but I can’t guarantee that since they take a while to respond to emails. For all of you subscribed via email, unfortunately I can’t move you over myself so you’ll have to resubscribe on the new site. Also, to WordPress subscribers: My new site is on Squarespace so you’ll also have to follow via a new method (email or Bloglovin) if you want to stay updated!

It will be really weird leaving twenty-something simple behind, but I’m really excited for this new adventure in a brand new space. 🙂 I hope you guys love it as much as I do! I’ll be publishing a final post here on Monday with a link to the new blog and to say a more formal farewell. (This blog will stay up though, and eventually I’ll likely set up a redirect from here to the new site.) Thank you all SO much for following along and being my friends in this crazy world we call the blogosphere! xoxo

ModCloth’s Stylish Surprise: Spring 2015

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At the end of March, ModCloth offered the Stylish Surprise promotion as it does at the end of every summer (end of September/beginning of October usually) and winter (middle-end of March). For $20 for dresses, $15 for other apparel items, $10 for shoes, or $5 for accessories, jewelry, or apartment items, you get something random picked from the warehouse from leftover stock that wasn’t sold by the end of the season (in your chosen size, of course). Usually these are items that go on final sale and maybe don’t sell by a certain time or returns that were processed and not put back online for some reason or another. They aren’t items that you can currently find on ModCloth, so you usually have to go hunting on Google Images to find the items on the website and see their original retail value and any reviews.

I didn’t participate in the Stylish Surprise last fall, which I’m glad about because from what I read, it was handled terribly and lots of people got multiples or oversell notices. However, I was optimistic that this time they would have figured everything out, so I decided to participate again. I was originally going to buy only dresses and apartment items, but they increased the price of dresses to $20 each (when the original retail value did not increase and still started at $30), and I don’t think it’s worth paying that much for something I may not like and may not be able to resell. I opted instead for a pair of shoes and two apartment items and added a skirt to my order I’ve had my eye on for a while. I ordered before they announced the sale on social media and sent the push notification on the app, so the apartment items were still in stock and I didn’t have problems with checkout. Thank goodness! The best part was that I got a shipping notification only hours after I placed the order. That’s definitely the quickest shipping I’ve ever experienced with ModCloth!

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So, here’s what I got: a pair of slippers and two window drapes. Chris was very excited when he opened the box and saw the blue because it looked like the blue color of the TARDIS from Doctor Who, but it ended up being not that exciting. Haha.

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There are the Where the Slumber Party At Slippers, which originally retailed for $40. I personally do not like the style with the soles being wider than the rest of the shoe, but that ended up being the least of my worries. They are a half size to a full size too small! I could barely get my foot in. I checked reviews and sure enough, they all said they ran small. I wish there was some way ModCloth could mark the Stylish Surprise box with the size it actually fits like so we aren’t disappointed when something ends up running small or large. I wasn’t planning on keeping them anyway after seeing the style, but I definitely can’t even wear them. This was a bummer; since it was the March promotion and likely full of winter items, I had hoped for a nice pair of boots. Heels would have been cool, too. Oh well!

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I received two of the Film Leader of the Pack Curtain, which originally retailed for $35 each. I was bummed to have received two of the same apartment item, though I suppose it makes sense to have two drapes? The problem is that they are way too big for my windows and one would easily cover a whole window…plus they’re too long. The apartment item surprise is always more of a crapshoot when it comes to getting something good because they have such a wide variety: everything from magnets to kitchen utensils to bedding and other knick-knacks. I got lucky the first time I ordered an apartment item and was hoping to get lucky again, but at least I didn’t get something really weird!

All in all, this was a disappointing round. I still might partake in the Stylish Surprise promotion because I cannot seem to resist the surprise aspect of it, but I don’t plan on buying apparel items if they are going to be more than $10 each. It’s just not worth it to me. I hope ModCloth reconsiders and drops the price for the next round (and subsequent rounds). Interested in seeing what I got in previous rounds? Check ’em out here! 🙂

How to use Pinterest to find fashion inspiration

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I’m sure you’re all well aware of Pinterest, but I’m constantly surprised at the number of people I meet who know about Pinterest and don’t use it. (Whaaaaat?! How could that be?!) For some, online pinboards aren’t really their cup of tea–and that’s cool! But I’ve also realized that for those who are into it, Pinterest can be overwhelming if you’re just starting to use it and aren’t aware of how to find useful pins. There’s a lot of junk you probably sort through just to find a few good pins you like–I know this because it happens to me. So, here are a few tips I’ve learned to make Pinterest work for me and to minimize the time I spend scrolling for that one pin.

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Search using specific terms. Have a clothing item that you’re having a hard time styling? Want some general inspiration but don’t want to deal with lots of irrelevant pins? Try searching with relatively specific terms, i.e. “Navy blazer outfit” or “White denim for spring”. The results will show pins with those terms in the caption (not necessarily in the exact order, but in some form) and will likely be much more in line with what you’re looking for. Pinterest tends to show the pins with the most repins near the top of the search results, but you won’t be scrolling for nearly as long as you would on the general “Women’s Fashion” category.

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When you find a pin you like, scroll down to see the related pins. Often times these pins have minimal wording and don’t show up in search results as easily, so it’s easy to miss them, but I’ve found some gems! Also, you can get caught down a rabbit hole by looking at the related pins, clicking on one of those and then looking at those related pins. It’s fun to check out related pins when you’re just looking to browse. (The image above shows the related pins under the “White, grey, and blush look” pin on my “Style: spring / summer” board.)

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Check out the pinboards that have the same pins you like. Find a pin you like? In addition to pinning it to your own board, check out the board it came from! You may have found someone new to follow. Also, just above the “Related Pins” section, there is a section called “Also on these boards”–clicking on those boards may lead you to discover someone new that shares the same style as you! 🙂 (Don’t forget that you don’t have to follow every board a pinner has; if you’re just into their style, follow only the style boards so your feed isn’t too crazy.) Want more? Check out who your favorite pinners follow!

I hope these tips help if you’ve found yourself overwhelmed with Pinterest but want to get into it. It’s super fun and can easily take hours of time if you let it, haha. Let me know if you have any more tips in the comments, and if you’d like, you can follow me here! xo

One bag = one safe birth

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At Texas Style Council CAMP last weekend (feel free to read my recap!), everyone in attendance was fortunate to receive a backpack from TOMS thanks to Bethany Joy Clark, the director of global customer engagement and community. Bethany gave a keynote as we finished up breakfast on Saturday morning, and one thing she really focused on is how TOMS is “a mission with a company, not a company with a mission”. TOMS continues their One-for-One mission with their newest product: bags. For every bag purchased, TOMS gives a birth kit to a mother in need, providing for a safe birth she might not otherwise have. TOMS just released a wide variety of bags–everything from backpacks to crossbody bags, tote bags, and even baby bags. (Or, you can browse all bags they have available!) I love their newest One-to-One and how much they care about giving back. 🙂

In other news, this is the last outfit you’ll see with this skirt, sadly! It’s just a touch too small and I’ve decided not to hold onto pieces that, even though I love, don’t fit perfectly. Life is too short to spend a day sucking in. 😉

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TOMS backpack / J.Crew Factory sweater (color unavailable) and earrings (old) / ModCloth skirt (old; last seen here) and scarf / Minnetonka Moccasin flats via Nordstrom Rack / Anthropologie sunglasses

Three ways to wear a blanket scarf

I know there are countless blog posts that suggest how one should wear a blanket scarf. I wasn’t planning on writing a post like this because of that, but I did get a request for a how-to after the first time I wore my blanket scarf…and now that I’ve worn it a couple more times, I thought I’d explain each way I’ve worn my blanket scarf. Two of the looks are pretty self-explanatory, and I did throw in a couple more resources in case you’re interested in more ways to wear a blanket scarf. So, let’s get to it!

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Scarf beard/bib/neck wrap: I like to call this a scarf beard, my boyfriend calls it a bib, and the only other way I thought to call it was a neck wrap; take your pick! This method is a little more involved than the other two methods, but it doesn’t take long to do–trust me. Start with a square scarf (if your scarf is rectangular, try to fold it into a square first). Fold it half diagonally so it becomes a triangle. Wrap each end around opposite sides of your neck so that the main point of the triangle is below your chin. Make sure each end is wrapped around your neck, and then take the ends and loosely tie them under the main point of the triangle so you can’t see them. Finish by fluffing and rearranging the scarf as necessary. It will look ridiculously giant, but own it! It will keep your neck so warm. You can also wear a modified scarf beard and leave the ends untied, as Joelle wore hers.

Draped over the shoulders: This method is only very slightly more difficult than the final method I’m sharing. I created this look by basically grabbing my scarf off of the floor, making sure I had it bunched in a way that it was long and skinny, and draped it over my shoulders. You can also think about it like this: Make a triangle out of a square scarf as you would above, but then “wring” it together to make a long scarf thing and drape it over your shoulders. If you want a neater look, just make nice, even folds, as Liz did with her blanket scarf.

Poncho: So easy, I hardly need to explain this to you. Create your triangle from your square scarf, then drape it so the main point of the triangle is against your back and the two ends are over your arms. This method kept me surprisingly warm, though I will admit that it’s awkward to wear a coat over a poncho scarf, so this method is probably best for the warmer winter days.

Let me know if you need any clarifications and I’ll try my best to explain more thoroughly! Other ways to wear a blanket scarf include belted and knotted. (I tend to tie regular scarves more “fancy”, such as with criss-crosses; blanket scarves seem to look best when you really embrace the blanket aspect of them and try not to manipulate/fold the scarf too much.) Stay warm, friends! 🙂

Original outfit posts: scarf beard / draped / poncho

Happy New Year!

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Another year has come and gone! I hope you all had fun celebrations last night, whether you were out on the town or cozied up on the couch. 🙂 We went downtown last night, but it was so cold! I think I might opt to stay indoors next year if it’s going to be as cold as it was. Brrr.

As I did last year, I thought of some resolutions. Since I did relatively well with the resolutions I set last year, I decided to follow the same idea with my resolutions this year: keep them simple yet significant and limit the number so I’m not overwhelmed.

  1. Drink more water. I definitely don’t drink enough water. I take a filled water bottle with me to school everyday, but I rarely finish it before the day is over. I think part of the reason why I don’t drink a lot is because I really hate having to go to the restroom. When I’m really busy, it feels like such a waste of time, haha. I know that water is really important for maintaining nice skin, so I need to drink more of it!
  2. Finish projects. I love DIY and fun little projects I find on Pinterest, but I’m really bad at actually doing them. Or, if I do manage to start them, I don’t finish them! So this year I hope to find some fun projects and actually complete them. One of the projects on my list is a mini gallery wall in the living room.
  3. Purchase garments with higher quality materials. As much as cheap, synthetic fabrics have their place (or not, depending on how you feel), I’m ready to spend my money on fabrics that feel nice on my skin. I’ve accumulated a fair amount of merino wool over the past year or so, and I’m ready to dive into the world of cashmere. I’m already constantly checking the care tags when I’m out shopping and learning more about which brands have better materials (in my budget, of course). This will likely mean that I’ll spend more on individual pieces and purchase fewer of them.
  4. Not go over my clothing budget. With my previous resolution in mind, I know it’s going to be difficult to stay completely within my $500-per-quarter budget (which ends up being $2,000 a year; that seems like a lot when I type it out). With the travelling I have planned for the year, I need to stay focused and not overspend in other areas–especially with clothing purchases!

original photo via cimatti on flickr

2014 reflection & resolution recap

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The last day of 2014 is tomorrow, and I feel like the year just started a month ago. Time seems to fly faster now that I’m older. I’m not even sure that the phrase–“Time flies when you’re having fun”–completely applies to this situation, haha…though I guess I can’t say I’ve had a boring year!

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now. This year, my blog has had quite a bit of growth! I had nearly 25,000 views (which isn’t a LOT, but it’s more than I was expecting) and grew to nearly 100 WordPress/e-mail followers and 80 Bloglovin’ followers. Thanks to Franish, my record number of views in a single day was about 1,700! That was about eight times greater than any other day, haha. Thank you all so much for following along! It truly excites me to know that others are inspired by me. My favorite posts to share were definitely outfit posts, and I hope to create even better outfits and hone my style even more in the new year!

As far as my academic life goes, I finished up my Master’s degree in October, presented my research at a couple of symposiums/conferences, and am gearing up to start my PhD full-time next month (remember when I was considering going on for my PhD?). It has been a busy last few months writing my thesis and working on a paper that will be published in an academic journal next year (as long as the reviewers are satisfied with my edits!). I’m looking forward to diving into my PhD research, though I’m also a bit nervous since I’ll be doing a lot of probability and statistics and that is definitely not my strongest math subject. 🙂

At the start of the year, I made and shared some resolutions and thought I would go through each one and explain how those turned out. In the past, I haven’t been the best at keeping my resolutions. I usually made resolutions that were way too elaborate and required too much of me, if that makes sense. I realized I needed to stay simple for them to have the greatest impact.

My first resolution was to maintain a budget. While I didn’t have an overall budget for all of my spending, I did start a clothing budget and having been budgeting every month since March. It has helped me keep my spending in check, though I can’t really tell if it’s helped me save more. I keep track of bills and grocery spending, but I haven’t done anything with that information. I want to, but I’m lazy. Lol.

But hey, I did happen to go somewhere new this year! In June, Chris and I spent a few days in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his grandparents and extended family. Additionally, we visited two national parks, Canyonlands and Arches, near Moab, Utah. I’m so excited that I fulfilled this resolution.

I did make healthy choices this year…for the most part. I started flossing regularly and fell in love with some healthier meals. I’ve also kept up with ballet. However, I’m still a big snacker; I don’t think I’ll ever not snack on things (potato chips and chive/onion cream cheese is my weakness). And my sweet tooth is still very strong. 🙂

Of course, since I’m writing this post now, I kept up with this blog! Blogging has been a fabulous way to connect with others who share the same interests, evolve my personal style, and keep myself busy when I’m not at work. I’ve made connections with more bloggers than I expected–yay! I love it and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

I wish everyone the best in 2015! xo

Simple Italian with Marovato Italian Imports

A couple of months ago, I won a giveaway through Annie’s Cooking Lab, a wonderful food blog written by a friend of mine. The prize was a bag of pasta noodles, tomato puree, and cookies–all imported directly from Italy and the perfect foundation for a delicious Italian meal! Because I had never heard about Marovato Italian Imports before entering the giveaway contest, I figured I would give a review of sorts on the products I received since you all know how much I love (and miss) Italy!

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The pasta I received was a bag of armoniche tricolore by PMC. These noodles are made of 100% durum wheat semolina; the red noodles have 4% tomatoes, and the green noodles have 2% spinach. The individual noodles are about 1″ by 0.88″, and they have a little curl. They are not available on their website right now, but you can view all the other pastas here.

To go with the pasta was a large glass jar of passata di pomodoro by Dal Podere. This is literally just tomatoes and salt! It’s a very smooth puree and acted as the base to the sauce I made. You can purchase this here.

For a sweet treat following the pasta meal, I received a bag of tarallini icing cookies by Pastificio del Pellegrino. These small, frosted cookies are made up of soft wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, olive oil, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, icing (sugar fondant, egg white, lemon), and sulfites. These are also not currently available, but here‘s the link to the baked goods, including taralli, which are the larger version of tarallini.

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Because the tomato puree is just that, I wanted to add some flavor and texture. I chopped up half a yellow onion and half a zucchini and sauteed those with olive oil. Before adding in the puree, I finely chopped garlic and added that to the pan (Chris helped me chop; he’s much better at it than I am!).

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I tasted the puree before adding it to the veggies. It tastes exactly how you would imagine: very tomato-y! I’m not a big fan of plain tomatoes, so it wasn’t my favorite, but I love how it acts as a base to whatever kind of sauce you want. After adding it to the veggies and garlic, I stirred in a tablespoon of butter and sprinkled in salt and pepper to taste.

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After the noodles were cooked and drained, I added them to the sauce. The noodles expanded a LOT more than I was expecting (I put in about half the bag), so a few of the noodles were put in a plastic container to eat later. I would recommend adding slightly less than you think you need.

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Doesn’t it look delicious?! This dish wasn’t revolutionary by any means, but it’s simple and so satisfying. There was enough for me to have it for lunch the next day!

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For dessert, I munched on the cute tarallini coookies while sipping a glass of moscato d’asti (my favorite type of wine; Trader Joe’s carries my favorite brand: Villa Alena). The cookies are crunchy (read: messy), tart thanks to the lemon, and sweet due to the icing. They have a wonderful balance!

I would definitely recommend Marovato Italian Imports if you are looking for real Italian food at a reasonable price. I’d especially be interested in trying their olive oils–mmm! They are definitely on my list next time I need a taste of Italy. 🙂 It’s also worth mentioning that they packaged the items very well; the box was large given the size of the items, but they were spread out and the box was filled with packing peanuts, so everything arrived in perfect condition.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Monday with a new outfit post. 🙂

ModCloth’s Stylish Surprise: March 2014

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Many of you have heard of ModCloth, I’m sure! If not, it’s a vintage- and retro-inspired online retailer and one of my favorite places to pick up unique clothing items. At the end of summer and again at the end of winter, they host their “Stylish Surprise” promotion. You pay a set price, pick your size (if applicable), and they’ll send you something random! They have apparel, shoes, accessories, and apartment items available. Apparel and shoes are $10 per item (down from $15 in previous promotions; I hope this is a permanent change!), and accessories and apartment items are $5 each. The catch is that you don’t get to tell them what you want or your style. They basically have stacks of older items not really organized in any way that get shipped out, and they’re final sale. I think it’s brilliant for cleaning out their warehouse, because they still make a little bit on the items even though they’re old and no longer on the website (in most cases), and the element of surprise really excites people (including me!).

There are actually still some Stylish Surprises apparel items left in size small, which is surprising! Normally they sell out very quickly. They must’ve had a lot this time around. If you’re interested in placing an order and never have before, you can use this link to get $15 off your order of $50+ (and I get $15 also!). If you’re interested in reading about/seeing what I got in past Stylish Surprise promotions, you can read about my November haul here and my October haul here!

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As usual, Melody inspected my box to make sure everything was a-ok! The girls love it when I open a new box on the floor.

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This time around, I bought four apparel items and one pair of shoes. I wanted free shipping (min. $50 purchase), so purchasing five things at $10 each seemed the most logical way to do that. (The apartment items were already sold out and I didn’t want any accessories this time.) Here’s what I got!

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My first thought when I saw the sequins and fabric: I got a prom dress. After seeing the length, it seems more like a homecoming dress to me, but it’s still a party dress nonetheless. Sadly, at this point in my life I don’t really have a use for a dress like this, so this one won’t be staying around. This is the Sterling Showers Dress, and it originally retailed for $94.99.

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I saw this dress and immediately recognized it. It’s not often that I recognize my Stylish Surprise items, but I guess I’ve been on ModCloth enough the past few months to finally recognize one! (Normally I’ve never seen it or heard of it until I have it, haha.) I was most excited for this dress, but it’s too tight in the waist for me and does not have stretch. I am so bummed out. This is the Cheery Cordials Dress and was originally $99.99.

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I love navy, so I was looking forward to this dress, until I held it up. I’ve never really been a fan of wrap-style dresses on me, and this one was a tad large in the bust and too long to look good on me. Sigh. This is the Demure All I Want Dress in Navy and was originally $104.99.

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My last apparel item is yet another dress! This is my fifth time participating in the Stylish Surprise promo and all of my apparel items have been dresses. Can’t say I’m complaining, though! I was indifferent with this dress. Chris really liked this one when I tried it on, but I decided that I wouldn’t buy it if I had seen it on the website, so this is also a no. This is the Graphite for Your Right Dress, and it originally retailed for $74.99.

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My one shoe Stylish Surprise turned out to be these pink and floral oxfords with some crochet detail over the floral pattern. They’re not really my style, unfortunately. These are the A Study in Scenery Flat and were originally $34.99. The interesting thing about these shoes, if you go to the item page, is that the price shown is the original price with no reductions. That means these shoes sold out before they had a chance to go on sale! That surprised me, but hopefully it means it won’t be too hard to find a new home for them.

All in all, it was a disappointing haul for me. Nothing was really my style, and the one item I was really excited about doesn’t even fit! Everything came to a total of about $410, which is not bad at all! I spent only 12% of their total original retail prices. I’ll probably still participate in future promos because it’s so fun to see what I get. I was really holding out for a nice coat or boots this time since we are coming right off of winter (and I’m tempted to order more to see if I can get a coat because by some miracle they haven’t sold out yet)!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to check out my previous Stylish Surprise posts if you want more! 🙂 xo

Talking is dead with these fake conversations

Image(Image courtesy of Fueled by Ramen.)

Young the Giant, an alternative rock band based in Irvine, California, is releasing their sophomore album, Mind Over Matter, this Tuesday the 21st. If you like Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, Neon Trees, Foster the People, and/or Grouplove, you should definitely check this band out. I was first introduced to their debut album two summers ago and fell in love! (I saw them in concert only a week after listening to their album and they are AWESOME live!)

I’m obsessed with Mind Over Matter and can’t wait for the release. For the next two days, you can listen to the entire album free on iTunes, and I highly recommend you do so. I’ve listened to it every day since last Tuesday and can’t get enough. Chris and I are going to see them on their upcoming Mind Over Matter Tour, and we are SO excited! It’s going to be incredible.

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In other news, this is how I look almost every time I’m blogging (yes, including the silly faces). Melody is my moral support. She is so sweet! I hope you all are having a wonderful (and long) weekend! And let me know if you listen to Mind Over Matter! xo

Title lyrics and currently playing: Eros by Young the Giant