Explaining Where I’ve Been & Thoughts for November

Hello everyone! Wow I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve put up a blog post. I can’t remember the last time I’ve waited that long, honestly. I don’t have a specific plan or structure for this blog post, but I thought back to one of my recent Instagram posts. I asked you guys how you stay motivated and positive when it comes to blogging. I got some great advice from one of my followers to simply be honest, especially when you’re feeling unmotivated because a lot of people can relate to it. Well, that’s what I’m going to do tonight. Just be real with you guys.

Ever since I started my full time job as a graphic designer, I’ve set aside most of my time on weekends for this blog, Instagram, and my various social media. I mostly did this because it’s been the perfect creative outlet for me and I genuinely enjoy creating whatever I want or expressing whatever I’m feeling. The other part of me felt an obligation to continue it and treat it like a second job. Because let’s be real we’d all love for our passions to become profitable, however this should never be your sole motivation. Unexpectedly, the past couple weeks have thrown me for some loops. Not in a bad way, and not in a good way. Just learning opportunities that I didn’t see coming. They’ve definitely been taking time out of my weekends though that are usually dedicated to blogging. I wish I could go into detail for you guys, but recently I’ve been realizing what I want regarding relationships and just people in general. Sometimes life just shoves things in your face or makes you jump through hoops, which in the end confirm what exactly you need and what you don’t. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but I hope you understand the point.

Another thing that I’ve been thinking about nearly everyday (along with every other Californian) is the recent shooting in Thousand Oaks and the multiple fires tearing through the state. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions especially the past week. Both the shooting and the fires have hit very close to my heart. It gives you such a different perspective when disasters affect your personal friends or family. Of course I’m always devastated when anything happens in our country but it really hits you in a different way. Here’s to hoping Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Paradise, and so many more cities will recover from these tragedies and rebuild to create even stronger communities than before.

A few posts ago, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do during this fall season (you can find that here if you like). While I’ve done a few things on this list, I’m not quite finished yet. I did end up carving a pumpkin at my work’s mini Halloween party and I most definitely ate too many Kit Kats (but what’s new, LOL). I didn’t have an actual Halloween costume this year, which is so out of the norm for me because I ALWAYS have a costume in mind. This year was very chill for me, which I was slightly sad about but there will always be plenty more Halloweens to celebrate! Next year is going to be full of spooks and Halloween makeup looks for you guys, I promise!

So without this post being too long winded, I’ve kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon but honestly sitting down to write this post has gotten me more motivated. Being honest and real with you guys is all I ever want to be. I have some new posts in mind as well as planning out some posts for Blogmas! I haven’t decided if I want to do Blogmas again this year. I posted everyday last Christmas from December 1st to December 25th and it helped my blog grow SO MUCH, not to mention it was very fun! I also loved seeing what other bloggers were posting everyday for the new festive season. With my job I’d have to schedule posts extremely far in advance, but I want to make it work! Let me know if you guys have any specific Blogmas posts, whether that’s some family recipes, how I decorate, movies to watch, Christmas OOTD’s, etc.

Alright that’s about it. I know my explanation was a bit vague but I hope you all understand! I’m feeling re-energized, so more posts to come. Talk to you soon! xx

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What You Don’t Know About Me! (Music, Pugs, Anxiety, and More!)

Hey everyone! First off, thank you for all the awesome comments on my last blog post! Reading your stories about sleep paralysis, sleep hallucinations, etc. has been so intriguing to hear about! Although it’s such a crazy thing to go through, I’m glad no one’s alone! Anyways, I just put up a new video last night and I wanted to share it here on the blog on this lovely Wednesday. I’m talking about tons of things no one knows about me online. Some small things, and some bigger ideas that are very important to me and I want to be open about. P.S. I love the turtleneck sweater I’m wearing in the video but it was literally 85 degrees outside! But do it for YouTube, right?? LOL

This is my fifth official video on my YouTube channel so I really hope you guys enjoy it! Feel free to drop a like (if you liked) and subscribe if you’ve never seen my videos before! I’ve genuinely been loving the process of filming, editing, and posting (just like on this blog) even though YouTube is SUCH a different platform. But I’d love as much feedback as possible, so comment away!! Anyways, I’ll let you get to the video. I love you guys very much and I’ll talk to you very soon in another blog post! xx

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Creative Tips from a Graphic Designer! (Tricks to Create an Aesthetically Pleasing Composition)

Hey everyone! Wow, I’m so sorry it’s been almost a week since I’ve made a blog post. I’ve been trying to post at least twice a week but unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes. However, this weekend has been filled with filming videos for YouTube and planning Instagram posts, so more content is definitely coming your way, I promise! For today’s post, I thought I’d do something a little different. Since I went to school for four years to study Graphic Design and have now become a working Graphic Designer, I realized I could probably be sharing tons of tips that could help all of you creatively. Whether that be with your blog, Instagram, Canva, YouTube, Tumblr, or whatever other platforms you use! That’s all I ever want to do with this blog: help you guys!!! So let’s jump into it!

The Rule of Thirds

Alright so I want to start off with one of the most important rules when it comes to design or art: The Rule of Thirds. This is a very common idea if you’re an art major or involved in any creative community. This is basically a guideline to follow to produce aesthetically pleasing images that fill the space nicely or allow for white space (empty space). Sometimes, having white space in any of your compositions is actually more aesthetically pleasing than completely filling the space.

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For example, here is my most recent Instagram post. In this photo I have three main objects: my hat, the “Stay Spooky” sign, and the pumpkin. Although there are other elements in this photo, those are the three main objects your eye is drawn to. Your eye is drawn from the sign/text, to the hat, and down to the pumpkin, taking your view through the entire composition. At least, that’s how my brain works, LOL. It is also very helpful to think of your image as a grid.

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Now normally, I prefer to use my own photography in a blog post, but I wanted to illustrate this idea clearly. Here is an image from Google illustrating the grid idea. It is best to place subjects where the grid intersects, which is always off center. Notice how the surfer in this photo is placed in the right hand corner. Having something placed directly in the middle will most likely not create an interesting composition or catch someone’s eye.

Take Your Time

Sometimes when you’re doing something creative, you hit a block or things just aren’t turning out how you wanted. Especially in the design world, this happens quite often. I know when it comes to blog photography for me, sometimes I just can’t get the right shot and it’s definitely frustrating. However, I notice when I take my time on something and not simply rushing through it will create better results. Even if you need to step away for a few minutes, you will come to a solution quicker. This is something even I’m trying to get better at. Being a creative person isn’t always easy, but you still must find solutions.

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Instagram Themes

This is another great way to get creative and focus on beautiful compositions. Personally with my Instagram, I like changing up my photos so my overall theme will have a variety visually. What I mean by this is posting a different photo each time. For example, I will try to post a full OOTD, then maybe a close up of an outfit, and after that a flat lay. While this is sometimes hard to accomplish, I always try to keep it in the back of my mind. My Instagram definitely isn’t perfect, but I have a lot of fun with it! Keeping a consistent color theme and working to be better has been such a fun hobby!

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Visual Hierarchy

Another very important aspect of design is visual hierarchy. I touched on this a bit previously but this is especially important if text is included in your photo. When it comes to posting information, you want the title to be larger, in a bold font, or have some quality that makes it stand out from any other text. Any small details should be in a smaller or less heavy font. For example when I’m promoting a new photo from Instagram on my story, I always include a title and some extra information about it. I create this with the Canva app, and it’s been a great addition to my blog/Instagram!

While all of these are very simple tips that I use everyday, I know most people did not go to school for design. So I genuinely hope this helped any of you! Let me know down in the comments if you have any composition tricks that you can share! I’d love to know what you guys love creating! Talk to you all very soon! xx

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An Autumn Weekend OOTD!

Hey everyone! Guess what?? IT FINALLY RAINED IN SOCAL! I was driving to work the other day (it usually takes me about an hour to get there) and it started pouring rain. I kid you not, it was POURING. I know to most people this is a fairly normal occurrence but to me it was straight up magic. I absolutely love rainy days but they rarely happen here. It was one of the only times I was glad I have a long commute because I could just enjoy the sound of the rain. This weekend has also been slightly chilly. There’s been no rain but I can feel the air is getting cooler. I thought I would bring out another fall OOTD, one that is still quite casual and something I would wear on a weekend during autumn. Continue reading for photos and outfit details!

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As the weather is definitely getting chillier, the sun still pops out once in a while and will literally bake your face if you stand outside for too long. To compensate for the occasional heat, I prefer to mix my summer pieces with fall favorites. I’m a sucker for a giant cozy sweater in the fall (as most people are, LOL) but putting a little California spin on it is my fave. I bought this jean skirt last fall actually and it’s been one of my staples ever since then. It goes with absolutely everything and I love channeling my inner 90’s kid (shoutout to all my 1996 babies). Image.jpgSo with my favorite jean skirt I threw on an oversize auburn sweater. I’m always super into this color when fall begins and it goes well with most outfits (you’d be surprised). My coloring doesn’t do well with anything full on red, so I opt for burgundy, wine, or auburn tones like this sweater. This specific style is tight at the arms and is oversized everywhere else. In order to give my body a little more shape, I tucked in the front of the sweater since the skirt tends to make me look a little square in shape. I’ve been doing this with most of my outfits lately. It’s funny because as a kid I wore uniforms at school everyday and they were very strict about tucking in your shirt. I hated the rule and felt like such a rebel having my shirt untucked. Oh how times have changed!

Since purchasing this skirt, it’s also gotten a little big on me so I usually have to wear a belt. I love this black one because of course it goes with any outfit and this specific design has been super in style recently. I love the silver detailing and how it looks with a shirt or sweater tucked in. I’m learning more and more that with fashion it’s all in the little details, even if that means tucking in your shirt to show a cute belt. So simple but transforms a look!

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As for other accessories, I wore a dainty gold necklace that says “Wish” (even though you can’t see it in the photos) and a long rock necklace. I’ve really been trying to accessorize more, even if it’s with one long necklace. I’m finding it makes an outfit more special, even though I’m one to go for simpler pieces. The earth tones in the rock (or is it a crystal?) pair so well with the auburn sweater and I love it for this season! This necklace is also painted with gold on one side! Next, since this is a casual weekend look, I threw on my classic black vans. As you all know, I love a girly look with something more edgy or even masculine. I like to achieve this vibe with my shoes most times, and you can bet you’ll always be comfortable in Vans! 

That’s about it for this OOTD. We oftentimes forget that being comfortable can also be made very cute. Adding small details or changing the way you wear certain pieces can really help transform any look. So get creative with fashion and have fun with it! It’s such an amazing way to express yourself and if you love something, WEAR IT! Let me know what you guys think of this look down in the comments! xx

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My Fall 2018 Bucketlist (Things to do During Autumn)

Hey everyone! I seriously can’t believe it’s already October! Time seems to be flying quicker and quicker each month but October is such a busy and exciting one. Personally, even though I’m so bummed summer is over, I really enjoy the cooler days and all the fall festivities. Even though I live in a place that never gets extremely chilly, we have a few fun traditions that I look forward to every year. Halloween happens to be my favorite holiday (I mentioned this in my 10 random facts about me on Instagram) and I love every spooky movie or T.V. show. So for today’s post I thought I’d put together a fall inspired activities list, including things I’ve done every year and new things I want to try!

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Traditions Never Die

Let’s start out with some things I’ll definitely be doing to kick off the fall season! These have been some of my favorite things to do even as a kid.

  1. Pumpkin carving (my artsy self loves to go all out with pumpkin designs)
  2. Looking for/putting together a Halloween costume
  3. Falling asleep to the rain (when we actually get rain)
  4. Going to see a movie on a rainy night
  5. Going to a pumpkin patch
  6. Walking through a corn maze
  7. Visiting Julian (near San Diego county)
  8. Decorating the house/my room for fall
  9. Watching psychological thrillers/classic Halloween movies (for example one of my favorites, Nightmare Before Christmas)
  10. Go to Knott’s Scary Farm to get a good spook
  11. Watching (and re watching) classic Halloween T.V. episodes from my childhood
  12. Driving through Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (yes, I do actually really enjoy a PSL once in a while, LOL)
  13. Making a cup of tea or hot chocolate and snuggling up on the couch with a large blanket on a cold/rainy night
  14. Eating too many Kit Kats
  15. Breaking out some Halloween inspired playlists (which always include Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Rihanna’s “Disturbia”, and Shakira’s “She Wolf”)
  16. Layering fall outfits with knee high boots, long coats, and scarves
  17. Watching fall inspired YouTube videos (especially spooky story times)
  18. Going to the beach on a stormy evening. A choppy and dark sea is actually very beautiful even though it’s very cold.

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Trying Something New!

  1. Bake a pie! I absolutely love apple and pumpkin pies (especially around Thanksgiving) but I’ve never attempted to make one before. I’d love to do more baking in general during the holidays!
  2. Try making a homemade pumpkin spice drink
  3. Make a bullet journal
  4. Create some fall inspired videos for YouTube/the blog!
  5. Visit Solvang (a Danish town in California)
  6. Read some Edgar Allen Poe to get in the Halloween mood

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I need more new fall activities on my bucket list! Let me know down in the comments if you have any unique traditions you think I should try. I’m always up for something new! Hope this post gave you some good ideas, new autumn posts coming very soon to the blog! Talk to you soon xx

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3 Quick & Easy Breakfasts for College Students & Workaholics! (Video)

Good morning everyone! I finally have another video up on YouTube. It’s taken me so long to edit this one even though it’s only a few minutes long, LOL. Life just gets crazy, ya know?? Check out my three simple breakfast recipes for when you’re in a rush in the morning. Life can get so hectic at school or if you’re working, so these three simple meals will definitely get your morning going. It’s always a good idea to start your day with something healthy in order to have a productive afternoon so I hope you all find these recipes helpful!

Let me know down in the comments if you tried any of these or if you’ve had something similar! Honestly, I think the protein shake is my favorite, partly because it tastes like a chocolate shake and it’s VEGAN! I’ve only had vegan protein shakes and I love them so so much. I’m a sucker for sweets, even in the morning so it really curbs my sugar craving for the day. I always try to have it before or after I hit the gym as well to help out my muscles.

I also really love a rice cake with peanut butter and jelly. It’s a healthier alternative to a normal PB & J since you remove any carbs that come from bread. The egg dish is another recipe I normally have after the gym. Combined with spinach and salsa, it is extremely flavorful and packed with good things for your bod! Add half an avocado to this for some healthy fats and deliciousness!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you’re new and drop a like! I love finding new bloggers and YouTubers to connect with so don’t be shy! Talk to you all soon! xx

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Why You’re Not Getting Engagement on Instagram (Real Talk About Social Media)

Hey guys, what’s up? As you all know, we live in an age of technology. The world has developed so rapidly within the last 100 years due to so many technological advances. From flip phones (RIP) to iPhones, from dinosaur-like first generation Apple computers to portable MacBooks, we’ve made some incredible strides as human beings in such a short time. Even social media has come a long way only in the last ten years! When I think back to Instagram, I downloaded it simply because I was interested in the fake “film photo” filter. I only posted photos because it was the only way to save them with said filter! How bonkers is that?? Today, it is a social media powerhouse leading the way in the virtual world. Instagram in particular has gone through so many updates, which have been both beneficial to its users but also a little destructive. In today’s post, I want to talk about engagement on Instagram and why maybe you’re not improving as much as you’d like to.

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The Business Side of Instagram

Here is my main point of today’s post right off the bat: Instagram can be a fun, creative place with tons of positivity, but in reality it is now a place of business. As I mentioned above, I downloaded Instagram only to use one of the filters. I mean, I found it through a freaking Facebook comment! What a turn of events. Facebook is now becoming less and less used and I never in my life would touch an Instagram filter, let alone use the app because of one. Social media is very funny that way. Anyways, my point is that Instagram is now a business tool. Whether we like it or not, in order to grow we must treat it as one. The app is used by large companies now to grow their platforms, so can’t small bloggers use it in the same manner? Totally!

Playing the Game

Some may or may not believe this. In my experience however, Instagram has become a bit of a game in many different ways! As in any other board game, you need to know how to play the game and what kind of a strategy to use. Many people take the easy route: buying followers, likes, or comments through sketchy sites. While this may give them a temporary increase in numbers and a short lived social media high, it simply won’t last. Creating a genuine audience that interacts won’t come from dollars, euros, pounds, pesos, or whatever the currency is wherever you are right now. What I recommend: having a true interest in growing a real life audience. What I mean by “real life” audience is people that will interact with you online; real people who love networking too and want to keep coming back to your content.

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Your game plan: find as many accounts that you genuinely enjoy. Like their photos, comment kind things, and of course give them a follow! As for myself, since my niche on Instagram is fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, I normally always follow accounts that have similar content. I also really love finding people that I personally believe would enjoy my content. I don’t find anything wrong with reaching out to lots of people to grow your name and giving some love in return for their follow. And yes, I do try to keep my following ratio down. There are mixed opinions on this. However sometimes if I end up following too many people, it’s hard to sift through all the accounts and my feed gets overwhelmed. If I truly enjoy your content, I will never unfollow. Unfortunately this is the new game of Instagram, so why not be strategic about how you play it?

The Algorithm & My Insta Experiment

The dreaded algorithm. We all know about it and we’ve all felt its effects. Probably the biggest no-no Instagram pulled was creating feeds out of chronological order. I actually heard a rumor they were bringing back the chronological order feeds, can anyone confirm or deny this in the comments? The changed algorithm made it so much more difficult for users to connect with new accounts and expand. They also introduced “promoted posts.” Like any other major business, Instagram is looking for ways to make more money. Promoted posts was the perfect way to do this.

Now guys, I did a little experiment myself. I wanted to see just how much promoting one of my posts would help grow my numbers. I chose one of my photos to promote for a total of 7 days. This cost $7, or $1/day. Not too bad. With this, Instagram promised about 1,400 views on this single post. At first, it was a very slow incline and I didn’t see much difference in my numbers. However, by day 7 the post had reached its goal and Instagram gave what they promised. Did the promotion actually help with numbers? Yeah actually, it did. Have I reached those numbers before, completely on my own? Absolutely! The main takeaway is, there isn’t always a shortcut when it comes to this stuff. Sometimes if you play your cards right, create genuine content you love, and network with as many other bloggers as possible, you can totally do this on your own! I don’t have any promotional posts planned for the future, as Instagram is almost a competition with myself. I’d rather see how far I can get on my own and keep trying to beat myself with each new post. This experiment was very interesting though and showed me just how far you can get on your own if you’re truly passionate about something!

Why You Aren’t Growing

So to sum things up, there’s a few reasons why your Instagram isn’t growing like you want it to. The kicker is: you’re probably not reaching out and getting your name out to other bloggers or Instagramers. Other times it may even be your content! If you don’t care about your photos and you’re throwing one up just to post, odds are that won’t work in your favor. Instagram is also supposed to be fun and creative, so get creative! Create content that you would want to see and would double tap on! Another tip: consistency is key with everything. I’ve tried to get into a habit of scheduling posts or having photos backed up from previous shoots. Having too many photos can come in handy in the future.

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I hope you guys found this post helpful in any way! Let me know down in the comments any social media tips that you may have! Being genuine online is one of the most important things to me, especially when it comes to my content. But remembering that Instagram has become a business platform is necessary for today’s digital age. Talk to you all in the next post!

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