Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $50

Can you believe Black Friday is next week? Whew guys. 2014 has flown by! But, everyone's favorite season is right around the corner! I'd love to introduce the first of my many gift guides coming along this season. Today I wanted to highlight some of my favorite gifts under $50. Some of these would make great stocking stuffers, gifts for secret santa, or just be a great option for all of us on a budget!

Oh and P.S., I mean if any of my IRL friends are reading....this leopard bottle stopper has my name written all over it. *hint*

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Say Hello To The Angels

zara blanket scarf, dc blogger, veronica m hacci dress, vince camuto karita, south moon under, northern virginia blogger, fall outfit, fall style inspiration, dc fashion blog
PHOTOS BY: lisa chiu

I feel like I have to put this disclaimer here: these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago. Back when it was, you know, above 30 degrees outside. Remember those days? Anyway, this outfit pretty much describes how I've been dressing lately: in neutrals, maybe a pop of red here and there, and I'm making a valiant effort to wear more lipstick. I guess I'm ~growing up~. 

ALSO, just because I like you guys a lot -- I've got a new giveaway lined up for every week this holiday season. Treat yourself! Make sure to check and see if you won the Mimi's The Look giveaway AND enter this week's $50 PayPal Cash giveaway!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Black Friday Paypal Cash Giveaway

Two posts in one day? Who am I? Anyway, I've teamed up with a few other fabulous D.C. area bloggers (Caroline, Nicole, Dana and Kristyn) and we're giving away $50 cash to help you with your holiday shopping! Best part is you can spend this cash on anything (or anyone) you'd like! Good luck everyone, and happy shopping!

Please note: we will be verifying all entries! All fraudulent entries will be automatically disqualified.

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Blog Tips: Should You Start Your Own Blog?

One of the coolest parts about blogging is that my friends and family (and a few strangers as well!) are now asking me for blogging advice. I'll forever be flattered that people think I'm doing a decent job at this whole blogging thing.

Without a doubt, the question that I most frequently get asked is "should I start my own blog?" Long story short, I say maybe. Blogging is without a doubt one of the best hobbies I decided to pick up. It's opened a lot of doors for me and I've been able to meet a lot of amazing people and learn a ton about the social media world in the process. Read on to figure out if blogging is or isn't right for you!

DO start a blog for the right reasons. As some of you know, bloggers get some pretty nice perks from time to time. From gifted items to media previews and monetary compensation for sponsored posts, it is possible to make your blog a profitable business. While there's nothing wrong with striving toward this goal, make sure you start your blog for the right reasons. Do it because you love crafting posts, not because you're driven by money and product!

DON'T expect to become an overnight success. You're going to have to put in some work to gain a following. I love looking at bigger blogs as a source of inspiration, but don't be intimidated by these major players -- these folks started at the same place you did: from scratch. Work on creating high quality, original content and using social media strategically to promote your blog and you'll start seeing some results over time.

DO have original content. While there's nothing wrong with a reblog here and there or a round up of links to your favorite websites, make sure you're creating your own original content. Take your own photos. Come up with your own blog post ideas. Establish your voice. This is what is going to set your blog apart from the rest!

DON'T be afraid to network. My friends and family love my blog, and I enjoy sharing my posts with them. However, if you want to take your blog to the next level, you're going to need to network with other bloggers, companies and potential readers. Commenting on other blog posts, joining blogging communities, engaging with bloggers and businesses on social media are a few ways you can network and build your following.

DO be prepared to use social media. Yes, you need to be on social media if you're a blogger. Like, have to be. It is incredible how much traffic social media will drive to your website. I highly recommend using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as promotional tools (note: these platforms may or may not work for you. It's all dependent on your niche and audience) . It's a little hard to manage your social media strategy at first, but over time you'll get into a rhythm. Make sure to tag any companies/brands you're mentioning in your posts -- there's a chance that the company will either notice you or share your content with their followers!

DON'T feel you need to stick to one topic. A lot of people say to me that they're not 100% sure what direction they want their blog  to go in, but they know what topics they want to write about. Some topics really compliment each other (ex. fashion and food, etc), so don't feel the need to limit yourself. I started blogging only about fashion, but now that I know my audience and their interests a bit more, I've expanded and have talked about food, fitness and local events as well. Your content will evolve over time, don't think you need a perfect content strategy for your blog right off the bat!

DO have fun. From time to time, I feel uninspired to create posts and would rather lie in bed and not have to deal with it. However, at the end of the day, I know I still love blogging and would feel a little incomplete if I left the digital world all together. Some of you might feel the same as me, others might consider blogging a chore. If you are no longer having fun blogging, it might not be for you. That's okay! It's not for everyone. Different strokes for different folks.

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Than Just Material

The holiday season is right around the corner, and I always like to take a step back around this time of year to appreciate the wonderful life I have. It’s easy to get caught up in petty day-to-day struggles, but when I take a step back and really think about all of the amazing opportunities that I have, I am thankful for my loved ones and everything I’ve been given in my life.

There are millions of other girls my age across the globe who don’t have it quite as easy as I do.  That’s why it is crucial for me to give back whenever I can. When I was searching for a new pair of glasses last year, I opted for a pair of Warby Parker frames. Warby Parker donates a portion of the proceeds of each pair of glasses sold to nonprofits dedicated to training men and women in developing nations to give basic eye exams and sell glasses to their communities at affordable prices. It’s pretty cool that the pair of frames I purchased also helped someone in need get access to their own glasses, right?

When I heard about the launch of TOMS for Target, I was thrilled at the idea of shopping for a cause. Starting November 16th, for every TOMS for Target limited edition gift purchased, Target is giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need. You can view the entire line of TOMS for Target here.

Are you planning on giving back this holiday season?

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