Thursday, July 2, 2015

That Skirt Again

Buffalo Exchange Top, Zara Skirt, Urban Outfitters Belt, Nasty Gal Clogs (similar), Vintage Coach Backpack (similar), Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

It's that skirt again. You may have seen it already in this recent post. What can I say? I know what I can say. I wear this skirt a lot because it's fabulous and I really love to wear it. So I will continue to keep wearing it. A lot. You may even seen it again soon. Hope that's cool. OK, have we I talked about the skirt enough? I think yes. I'll leave you with that. Go back to whatever it was you were doing. Or stop whatever it was you were doing and go buy a skirt like this because you will love it. I promise.

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Fancy Tunes 2015

one, two, three, four, five, six

Happy July! As usual, I've got a little playlist for you. I did really bad last month about discovering new music. I think Bonnaroo wore me out. So I took to my facebook (go give it a "like" if you haven't yet) for help and I got a few great suggestions from my cool musically versed friends. I was also pleasantly surprised that this playlist accidentally turned into almost full on girl power mode with the exception of a few. What can I say? Girls rule! Enjoy the tunes.

Listen on Spotify HERE.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Jumper-ing for Joy

Charm School Vintage Jumper, H&M Kimono,Vintage Coach Backpack (similar), Jeffrey Campbell Heels (old), Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Happy Monday! Don't I look so happy in these photos? I think it's because of the fringe. I love dancing and I especially love dancing when I've got some sort of fringe on my body. Plus I just have so much fun shooting with Chelsea. All smiles over here! With same-sex marriage being legalized in ALL 50 states last week and then this weekend being Independence Day we have a lot to celebrate here in the U.S. This country is changing and it's pretty freaking beautiful, terrifying, exhilarating, amazing, awesome, scary, and wonderful all at the same time. Among the bad there is always some good and I'm so grateful to be able to see that good with my very own eyes. I hope y'all have a great day and rest of your week. Talk so soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Tips: Blog Scheduling

There's no way around it. If you want to increase your blog following you gotta consistently write blog posts. As bloggers we all know how difficult it can be to do that and this is coming from someone who has struggled with it since their blog's inception over 3 years ago. I've gone MONTHS without publishing even one post. Fortunately, there are definitely things we can do to make the process so much easier on ourselves.

Insert blog scheduling! I've tried this a few times and it never really worked. Not because I was doing it wrong, I just wasn't willing to fully commit to it. So that's Step 1. Commit. It's all about figuring out what's going to work best for you personally. Everyone's "life" schedule is different and we all have our own unique commitments. So maybe not all of these tip will apply to your life but I hope at least one of them will help if you're having trouble keeping up.

1. Figure out a happy consistency
How many posts per week are right for you? Once you can figure this out making your schedule and sticking to it might feel much more attainable. I post twice a week, occasionally three times. I lay it all out in my schedule. Of course, how often you post can change over time. For me, two posts per week is just what's realistic right now. I know it's not much but once I was willing to accept that that's all I can handle with my other commitments I was a lot happier.

2. Plan and schedule by month
Schedule your whole month of posts one month prior. For example, I already have my whole schedule for July planned out in a real planner (see ugly black planner above... I need to step up my cute planner game) which I use as my blog calendar. Some people may prefer using a web-based calendar but writing things down has always been more fun to me. It also helps to have a written calendar if you want to brainstorm or write out more specific details for posts. I've accidentally written full posts in my calendar before! But, you know, once the time came to actually type up the post it was already done. This brings me to my third tip...

3. Write your ideas down
Any time I have an idea for a post I write it down immediately or I most likely will forget it. Sometimes those ideas come when I'm working on my schedule so I will just write them there, other times I'll be in the middle of driving somewhere. I use the Notes app on my phone a lot to jot down things. I keep a running word doc on my computer for when I have a random idea in the middle of the work day. Sometimes I'll even see an image online or in a magazine I really like that I'll either bookmark or cut out and attach to my planner to go back to later. Your ideas are valuable, don't loose them!

4. Set "due dates" for publishing posts 
This has been one of the new things I've done and it's helped so much. Adding dates puts a kind of deadline on my posts. Now I'm able to hold myself accountable and I'm also much more motivated to set aside time to write because I want to stay on the schedule I've made. It's sort of like homework but so much more fun.

5. Schedule photo shoots in advance
This last tip is more for style bloggers but it could also apply to anyone that has "professional" photos on their blog and doesn't take them themselves. Whoever helps you with your photos just make sure you schedule these shoots as far in advance as possible and try your best to stick to the commitment you made. I've made outfit shoots a big priority because they need to be. They're a large part of what my blog is all about. This brings us full circle back to committing to make your blog a priority!

Of course, you don't have to always stick to your schedule. Like this post... I was going to post it a while back but something else came up so I decided to save it for later. And actually, today I had an outfit on my schedule but I won't have it ready until later this week so I thought now would be the perfect time to publish this one. So, if you have an awesome idea you want to post right away go for it. The post you were going to publish can be archived and posted at a later date. That's been one of my favorite things about the schedule. You can potentially set yourself up for new content all the time. How awesome is that?!

I hope these tips helped. Are there any that really work for you that I didn't cover? I'd love to know!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

On Anxiety and Progress

I have a story for you. It's about my anxiety. I want to first say that this isn't a sad story, this is a story about progress. Who doesn't love hearing about progress? Isn't that what we're all here for anyway? To make progress? I say yes. So here we go.

I had an amazing time at Bonnaroo, I really did. But, on Saturday something happened. I don't know what exactly was the trigger but once we got to the festival grounds I started feeling super overwhelmed. And disclaimer- I kinda feel like I have to say this, since I was at a music festival and all, I was not on any kind of drug and I hadn't even been drinking when this happened. I was totally sober. Anyway, all of a sudden everything got louder, my heart started racing, my vision even started becoming distorted and my thoughts began flying all over the place, in a very bad, irrational way. It does kind of sound like I was having a bad trip or something, but this is just what a mini-anxiety attack can feel like. Kind of like you're dying, or you may die. It sucked. We were on our way to see My Morning Jacket which was one of the shows I was most excited about and when we got there I wasn't even able to enjoy it.

I think Nicole posted an article on Facebook a while back about defining what your personal hell is. This was mine. Being trapped in a huge crowd of people with nowhere to go. I wanted to get out but in my irrational thought process I felt like I couldn't leave or I'd loose my friends for the rest of the night (or maybe in that moment I felt like I'd loose them FOREVER). Phone service was shit, the grounds were confusing to navigate and the crowds were so big. I just didn't feel like it was possible to leave which made me even more upset. I sat on the ground for a large part of the show trying to push the bad thoughts out. I did breathing exercises, my boyfriend talked to me for a bit to try to help me clear my mind and I did end up leaving to go to the restroom and be alone for a few minutes. Then I just tried listening to the music thinking that might do me some good.

I did all of these things in an attempt to get myself through it and you know what, they worked. This wasn't something that lasted for 5 minutes. I felt this way for about 3 hours. But hey, I was able to work through it and by the end of My Morning Jacket I felt so much better. I didn't let myself dwell on what had happened and the rest of the night was a blast.

I used to let these kinds of experiences ruin my mood for days. I've really learned over the past year to just let it go and move on. I don't beat myself up anymore for being the way I am and I hope that one day these attacks won't happen anymore. But for now, it's OK. No one is judging me and I won't judge myself for being human. I'm OK and I'm proud of me for finding a healthy way to cope. Progress, indeed.