Monday, August 15, 2016

Off-White Trousers + Earth Tones

Off White Linen Wide Leg Trouser Green Yellow Tank Top Velver Pumps
Well hello there. I had an awesome back at home in Charleston, SC (as you can see on my IG page). As always, the scenery was beautiful and I had a ball with my siblings and their families. Over the last few days, I have been under the weather and totally out of sync- which is why I wasn't updating as much. If you have me saved on any of my socials, you may have seen a few updates here and there because I'm eager to engage with you all. With the vow of updating as much as often, I managed to swing out one of my favorite spreads for you... featuring transitional Fall colors I don't see why there should be any explanations about this spread... just look at it, lol. It's nearly a perfect outfit for anyone to wear.

Seriously, today I decided to feature one of my favorite pairs of pants for next season season. I really wanted to substitute in for culottes, but these linen trousers were screaming my name. While working on the set, my homework was to pair this look with a cropped top or something that shows off the collar bone, like strapless or deep V cut. I decided both were would look awesome in warm, earthy hues. Remember that just like in decor, TEXTURES and METALLICS are what's trending.
I've picked out two green tanks. One being of metallic fabric and the other in cotton. The mustard (yellow) tanks are also of cotton and flowy spandex blend material. Tucking these tops in will complete this look, but because of the nice hem lines on all four tops, leaving them out books just as nice. Knowing myself, I'd tuck them in to show off the buttons on the trousers. For the POP of color, I selected this colorful floral printed handbag with gold hardware. Finding accessories for this look is simply easy. Think metallic (gold or antique gold) and suede or velvets. Wearing your hair up in a high bun or styles thats away from the necklace, gives this wrapped choker necklace a little less competition. I really look these new pieces because of it's versatility. You can wrap them around and make a bow or you may even draped it over your necklace with a simple slip knot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Leopard Print Shorts

Blazer: H&M (Similar)  //  Top: TopShop (Alternative Look and Similar) // Shorts: H&M (Similar) // Shoes: Steve Madden, sold out (Alternative Look and Similar) // Satchel: Francesca's (Similar)

When it came to choosing a great outfit to wear back home when attending my mother's graduation ceremony, I wanted something fun, flirty and comfortable. While in my home city of Charleston, I knew there had to be several choices in my bag. Due to the high humidity its known for, I didn't go wrong with wearing this pair of shorts from H&M. The material is really slinky and sat quite comfortably. For some odd reason, my aunt kept tugging at my shorts not realizing that they were high waisted. When she noticed they didn't budge and stayed exactly where they should be, she laughed and said, "I give up..." Selecting a light weight top wasn't too much of a challenge either. While on one of my Me Days, I decided to hit up Lenox Square (in Atlanta) and TopShop was the "Places to Visit" list. I found this top on sale for $9.99 and grabbed it up. I wanted it slightly oversized because of it's high-low hem line. I also, grabbed it in Ivory (which was going to be my first choice, but with 5 nieces/nephews and a little brother, I knew that wouldn't have been a great idea). The shorts and the top are made up of the same soft, breathable fabric. I didn't break a swear while wearing this outfit, which I'm pretty sure I may have looked like it. Can you see the beads of sweat on my forehead LOL  My blazer is from H&M. Would you believe I purchased this blazer on one of my Thrifty Thursday outings at Goodwill Retail and only paid $5.99? Later that day, I went H&M to see if they had the same blazer on the floor. They did! The original price being $34. I'm not sure how I lucked out, but it was definitely a great find. To brighten up the outfit, I added my taupe fringe heels, my favorite satchel, my semi-precious crystal necklace and watch.

Friday, August 5, 2016

6 Things You Must Know When Starting Your Blog

Desk with flowers free people magazine model Alek autobiography book gold accent decor

When I tell you I've been in the blogging game for just over 12 years, you would probably look me up and down and say "Get out of here... Yep! I began blogging in the Winter of 2003/2004 on a blogging platform site called Live Journal... and I even started a fashion blog there as well. Can you remember what you were doing in 2004I totally forgot about that one...

Old Live Journal Fashion Blog Posts Old Live Journal Blogger Posts

These were some of the best times in my life and I recorded every minute of it. lol. After reading it and revisiting all my old entries, I'm now seeing my growth. It really started back on the dating websites BlackPlanet and Migente, if anyone remembers those sites, lmao. I met sooo many people while blogging and it's even how I learned web design. Back then, it was kind of a "just do it" kind of thing and there weren't people there to explain to you the ends and outs, what to expect, how to earn money or even how to take it seriously. Around 2009, I put blogging on the back burner to focus on modeling and acting. Seriously leaving all that to the side and loosing new and existing followers. That was a huge mistake because picking up where you left off is absolutely hard. I just wish someone would have told me, "DIYAH... DON'T DO IT SWEETIE !!! STAY CONNTECTED!!!" I would have totally listened if I knew where I'd be within the next few years. Well guess what... I'm going to share these tips with you that I had to learn when it came to starting and restarting my blog.
Know Who Your Target Audience Is
... better known as your Avatar. When I first heard the word "avatar", I seriously thought it had something to do with photos or graphics, lol. My mentor at the time laughed and said, "Good try, but NO!" Honestly, being that I started blogging early in 2004 and no one seemed to mind the fact that we didn't label anything... I felt that it was kind of unnecessary to even start labeling things now, all of a sudden, lol. For those who do not know, an avatar is your TARGET READER/VIEWER. Let's make this a little more realistic. Let's say you are a food blogger and you have a reader by the name of Ramona. She is a wife and mother of two. Her days are usually busy and she spends most of her time searching for ways to create meals in the kitchen. She hasn't had much practice when it comes to cooking, so she needs all the help through videos, recipes and tutorials. Her ultimate goal is to prepare 30-minute meals for a family of four. What's great is that you are the perfect teacher and have all the necessities she's looking for. Ramona, is you're avatar... your ideal viewer who you're directing your information to. As long as you're providing information and tutorials, she will continuously return and follow your every move because she needs you. and ultimately... you need her. When it comes to your blog, at some point, figure out who you're talking to. My avatar is a cool, eclectic woman (or man) between the ages of 18 - 45ish, who's either fashion forward or not quite hip to fashion trends, but interested in learning current fashion trends and curious about how fashion "works". (Side note, I use to word, works because there is not standard way of making fashion work. It's just a little play on words, lol. But back to the topic at hand). Do you understand? So ask yourself, who's your avatar?

Start Off And Stay Original
As if there aren't hundreds of thousand of bloggers out there as it is, finding original content can be a bit... hard at times. There are times when you think you've come up with a great idea, but someone's already spoke on this topic. It's not the end of the world. It happens quite often. It may sound stupid, but think of your next move as a tree. With the content you already have (the tree), add on a sub topics (the branches) to set it apart from everyone else. The perfect thing about branches or sub topics is that they are plentiful and there a many to choose from. For example, your original topic can be, How to Prepare an Excellent Meal in Under 30 Minutes. By adding on an extension, you can make this topic stand out further by adding something like, "... with only three ingredients" or "... that's gluten-free". That doesn't seem hard at all does it? I seems too easy, but it works. You'd be surprised how many people search the web for specific topics like this and usually don't find exactly what they're looking for. 

 It Takes Time... And A Half
If you're searching for something that you'll gain instant fame from, this isn't where it's at. I mean, if you're already a public figure and already have a following, clearly this one isn't intended for you. As you start out and get your feet wet a little, you will see that your followers will come... as long as you're starting off with original, informative and consistent topics. You know the old overused saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day". When starting out, we all start at zero and want to be at 100 by the time the day ends. We all want to skip JV and start at the Varsity level. Give your blog time to manifest into something great, but it takes time, practice and consistency. 

Network, Engage and Connect
Ahhh... some good old networking never hurt anyone's business. In order to make yourself known and to share with the world that you really have a great product, you must get out there and make sure you're seen. Be all up in everyone's face, lol. Not so much in an annoying way.  Make sure when it comes to social media, you are engaging with everyone... even if you know them or not. When you are visiting another blogs for the first time, try using the Hopscotch Method. When you're leaving a comment on a bloggers article, scroll and see all the different types of blogs from readers like yourself. Then click their account. After engaging with them, find two more blogs that you find interest in and engage. One each of those blogs you've visited, search for one blog that sparks your interest and visit them. I call this the Hopscotch Method. As you are visiting these new blogs, the idea is to engage and connect and genuinely get to know who you're talking to and building a rapport with. I still have great friends to this day because I used the method while blogging. 

Making editorial fashion style pages post it notes on models outfits fall 2016

Find Your Inspiration Elsewhere
While some remain online and research what's happening in the fashion world through forums, social media or from other blogs, being ORIGINAL and using what's already in your face is a surefire way come coming up with the best material. If you live in the city, it shouldn't be hard to gain fashion inspiration or tips from locals walking the streets (speaking from a Fashion Blogger stand point). I love to go into boutiques and shops to pick up any editorial pages/magazines and glance at how they paired each piece. I love to see what the model are wearing, see how they matched pieces that probably would never be paired. When looking through books and magazines, I tag my pages with ideas and substitutions on how I can change it into my style and what have you. I love reading books geared towards fashion and design. When I'm working with different clients, I also get  the opportunity to step into their home and see their decor and see their wardrobes. It's all about being observant and writing about what you see on a daily basis. Remember, go for what you know

Be Disciplined
I'd be lying if I said finding material and writing great blogs are simple and doesn't take long to do. Listen, as I type and while you read, I am typing with both eyes closed and my head nodded to the right, lmao. I'm so glad I know where my home keys are and that I can type 72wpm, lmao. Just 15 minutes ago, I had to convince myself to walk back to my seat (and not upstairs), to stay seated and finish what I started. It is an exhausting task, at first. Don't get me wrong, there will be nights that you'll pull all-nighters because you want your content to be published the next morning exactly at 10am... on the dot. I'm not complaining because I know after all is said and done, I absolutely enjoy blogging more than working an 8 to 4. If you have one or multiple jobs and intend on writing daily content, you will learn that it can be a bit of a challenge and you have to be disciplined in order to complete each task. There are weeks where everything goes as planned and you'll have everything mapped out. However, there will be times where nothing goes as planned. Expect long hours of coding, editing and spending time on social media engaging and connecting. Before you know it, when you start working with brands and have to be out on location, having some sort of discipline in order will help you stay focused and on track. One of the best ways to start is by being organized with editorial calendars and schedulers. A great calendar I now use is Co Schedule. When I first started using a calendar, I used an app that's available in the iTunes store called Work Time by Nick Fanger. It kept me organized with my content material, notes and links and also helped with assigning which days I'd work. When I starting using these calendars, I noticed I was becoming much more organized and could actually see how I was spending my time (and if I was doing it wisely). I saved this one for the end because with our busy schedules, you can never be too disciplined when it comes to branding yourself and your brand.

I really hoped this list helped out if you're thinking of or are now starting you blogging experience. There are tons of What You Should Know About... topics out there and I hope I added some additional tips you have seen before. At the end of the day, when it comes to blogging, you are in control of what content you put out there and how big your following grows. It isn't as hard as it seems in the beginning. Just know that all of us have been through it and have our own opinions on how to execute through. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to contact through email or through social media.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mauve Tank + High Waisted Light Washed Jeans

 high waisted style  mauve tank with high waisted jeans  light washed jeans with tucked tank

Top and Necklace: Windsor (Similar) Jeans: River Island Jeans Shoes: Jessica Simpson (Similar) Clutch: Bebe (Lower Similar | Higher Similar Bangles and Watch: Charming Charlie (in store SALE)
I seriously think I was wanting to wear this outfit right before Fall comes upon us. This look captures my style to a T. I've always loved the flowing tops, deep cuts, earthy and gold tones and hammered-styled jewelry in the Spring and end of Summer seasons. I love wearing these form fitting skinnies from River Island because the fit is fantastic and the fabric is really forgiving (great on hiding those "grooved in" areas us ladies love to conceal, lol). I'm starting to become a huge fan of RI, the brand now more than ever, if you couldn't tell from my selections alone. Now, I do have a similar pair from H&M that is the same style, but fits differently... especially around my derriere. The best part is that in both my butt and calf muscles look phenomenal. What do you think of the envelope clutch? Last year, I had an pleasure of merchandising with Bebe in Lenox Square Atlanta and when I saw the python print accessories... I few in love. There was also a satchel handbag, wallet and 4 inch pumps. If I knew better, I'd think because of the fast sales, this bag or print will come around again. Since metallics are a running trend, it would be the perfect time to drop it again. If you cannot tell, my bag has hints of mint, coral, beige and tan with golden scaled outlines. My specs are from Francesca's, like most of my sunnies. My watch and bracelets came from Charming Charlie. They have an amazing sale going on right now. Believe it or not, the bracelets dropped down to $4-$5 and the watch was only $8. When I tell you I'm headed back there now, please believe that I'll have a coffee in one hand and hunting with the only, lol. Now, my focus piece is from a store called Windsor. I'm sure you all heard of it by now, lol. At first I was going to go with a piece from H&M, but what sold me was the draped links. With everything put together, I'd say my Bohemian Chic style really came through and it was the perfect outfit to wear for my birthday celebration out with the girls.

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Want to see the runway style video? Find me on IG @sheheartsthat.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dusty Pink & Yellow Maxi Skirt

Fall 2016 Trend: Blush & Yellow
Happy new week. Well for me, this is the first actual day after my birthday 🎂​ (which was on the 31st of July). Usually, I begin my content for the week on Saturday mornings and have my shoots on Sunday mornings. Today, I had the perfect outfit for you ladies, but as I was headed to my photo shoot, it started to storm. Atlanta seems to attract all the storms in the world which then messed up my plans together. It tis all good though... I've always got a Plan B up my sleeves. My birthday was great though. I didn't mind the rain, plus I spent time with friends who took me out for brunch to the Tuscan Grill restaurant called BRIO here in the city. I really enjoyed the scenery and my Mimosas. Maybe next year, I'll do something much better and specular. We are going to skip over how old I turned and fast-forward to a really cute trend that's headed our way this Fall. You may have already caught on the color trend, but if you haven't... this Fall's color trend is DUSTY PINK or BLUSH & YELLOW !!! Yeah, I'm so excited because I've been wearing the heck out of blush for the past two seasons annnnd YELLOW is my favorite color. If you're a runway lover, like myself, you may have already seen this blend used by designers like Marissa Webb and Delpozo. Also trending is floral prints and metallic wear (like shown above). What do you think of the colors? I happen to love the match and think it's not a difficult look to pull off... that is if you use you neutrals correctly. Try incorporating light beige, off-whites, suedes and cognac to warm up this look. This will blend your pink and yellows to give you less "harsh lines", if that makes sense. My artists have an idea of what I'm talking about. These colors will be known as the transitioning colors.

For the first look, this maxi skirt is paired with a blush floral top and warmed with brown and gold toned accessories. The highlighted/pop of color in this look is yellow.

In look 2, the yellow maxi is then pair with a gold embellished crop top with brown and gold toned accessories. Blush is introduced in the handbag and earrings. If you'd like to have more of a neutral look (only focusing on the yellow skirt) while still following the trend, switch out the bag for a gold or tan envelope clutch or wristlet... but keep the earrings for the touch of blush.

I really hope you loved this look. For a late birthday gift to myself, I have to get my hands on the Michael Antonio buckle heels. I've been such a fan of this designer since I can remember. Plus, the price isn't too bad itself.