December 18, 2014

What I've Learned About Blogging So Far

Well, first off, it's hard. A lot harder than it looks.

And secondly, I should start this by saying, I am in NO WAY, an expert on any of this,
and just because I've been doing it for a handful of months, this is definitely a baby
beginner's how-to-blog post.

1. Blogging is Harder Than It Looks
That photo of the perfect cake on the marble counter top with just a sprig of mint that
happened to be there. The girl (who looks more like a Victoria's Secret model) standing
on the sunset, wearing a casual, but semi-couture dress. Those things don't just necessarily
happen, unless you're perfect, then hats off to you because you win at life. But for the rest
of us muggles and mere mortals, it takes time and forethought to create posts and content.
Not to mention, doing it on top of a regular 9-5 job, still maintaining something of a social
life, and trying to hit the gym occasionally.

2. Blog Consistently
Only have time to blog 1 or 2 times a week? That's OK! As long as you stick to somewhat
of a routine, your readers will know how often to expect you. I learned this lesson the hard
way and suffered the brutal consequences. I'd create one or two posts, get some traffic and
then get distracted with other things (OK, it was a Netflix marathon or two, I'm only human).
Then I'd create a blog post a month later and be disappointed to see how poorly it was
performing. Consistency is key.

3. Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Blogging well requires a lot of knowledge about a lot of different things. Do you know SEO?
Good for you! How about photography to get all those great pictures? Excellent! And don't
forget website design, google analytics, and above all, actually putting great stuff out there
that you're passionate about. It's a lot and I'm still trying to figure my way out through most
of it. But thankfully, the Internet has a wealth of information and if you're eager to learn,
then enlightenment awaits.

4. Do It Because You Love It
I think every "how to blog" mentions this, and it wasn't until month 4 or 5, that I really
understood what it meant. You really have to enjoy what you're doing to keep at it and I think
it's very easy to get discouraged. Especially after seeing how crowded the blogosphere is! No
one starts off perfectly though and all it takes is time and learning. After I create a blog post
and publish it, I get a small thrill and remember that I'm doing this because I love it.

So, is anyone else there looking to start a blog? What tips or points of advice do you think are
most important to know? What'd I miss?

December 10, 2014

Winter Must Haves

Wait, so for real, it's only like two weeks before Christmas and I've barely gotten any
Christmas shopping done, there's still baking to be left and New Year's resolutions to
be completed. Can someone just hand me the rum-spiced eggnog already?

Whelp! Here's the latest round of things I'm currently loving or in dire need of. Hint, hint

1 // The Martian // The novel is a gripping tale of an astronaut pretty much left for dead on
Mars. It's a definite page turner.
2 // Sweater Dresses //
3 // Sparkly New Year's Eve Dress // I for one, feel like New Year's is always a huge let down
and never turns out quite the way you picture it. Thanks LC and that one Hills episode where
it was just all about perfect. Doesn't mean you still can't get dressed up and have a fun night
4 // Plaid Scarves // 
5 // Eos Lip Balm // Winter essential and these things are straight up addicting.


December 7, 2014

Chicago Travel Diary

It's strange how much I've forgotten what real weather feels like. And Chicago is no
exception to "real weather". In California, it's dangerously easy to get used to living
life in t-shirts and shorts all the time. It actually felt like winter in Chicago, what a

I got to escape to Chicago for a work trip and unfortunately only had a few hours to
play tourist. I'd love to come back when it's just a few degrees warmer! It was a brutal
26 degrees, the night I checked out the Cloud Gate and the top of the Willis Tower.
26 degrees!

The view was absolutely breathtaking. Even, if I couldn't feel my fingers or hands
for most of the viewing experience :p

The Willis Tower has this thing called the skydeck which allows you to step, outside
 of the building, in a big, glass box. It's almost like something out of Willy Wonka's
factory and it's crazy to think that it's only a sheet, of industrial proof glass that's
separating you from 1400 feet of...nothing. Not going to lie, it scared me to walk
out on to the edge of the SkyDeck and sitting down practically terrified me! Still,
completely worth it and as a tourist, I'd recommend it.

We made a quick pit stop to the Cloud Gate structure in Millenium Park as well. It's
absolutely beautiful and the way it's curved, is pretty trippy, to look at your reflection.
Sort of like a fun house, but with more class. And then I headed quickly back to the
hotel to snuggle in for the night and get my body temperatures to normal levels!

Definitely wishing I'd had more time to walk around and check out Chicago, but it was
fun, while it lasted!

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