I can’t believe I’ve never done a Q&A but I guess there is a first time for everything and also why this post is miles long! I want to start doing these “Chic Chats” with you ladies more often where you are more than welcome to ask me anything or where I can share more personal topics with you or just what is on my heart lately whether that’s about dating, blogging, struggles, finances, or what not! I’m open to it all but I always want this to be a place where you can come chit chat with a best friend from a far. So without further adieu, let’s get started!
General About Me
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I am 26! My birthday is December 7th (Pearl Harbor day).
HOW TALL ARE YOU?
I am just shy of 5’4″! I get told all of the time how I look so much taller on Instagram which is always so funny to me.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL & WHAT WAS YOUR MAJOR?
I went to Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) and graduated with a Finance major and International Business minor. I actually studied abroad my sophomore year all over Europe – London, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Austria, Venice, and more!
WHAT IS YOUR CHICK-FIL-A ORDER?
I get a 3 strip meal with a sweat tea, fries well done (or extra crispy), and 3 Chick-fil-a sauces. Normally I get the sweet tea without ice so that I can take it home and pour it over ice myself! You get way more this way and if you’ve never had CFA sweet tea, well then you know why we need it to fill every square inch of that cup!
WHAT IS YOUR COFFEE ORDER?
I honestly don’t go to Starbucks all too often unless I’m “doing it for the gram”. At home I drink pumpkin spice coffee (all year round because I’m basic like that) with vanilla creamer. I’d also like to point out that I like my coffee white. People tend to ask me if I want coffee with my creamer. Oopsies. If I do go to Starbucks it’s usually on 2 occasions. The first is when I’m sick to order the Medicine Ball drink which is a combination of teas, peppermint, lemon and honey. The second is around the holidays to order a caramel bruleé latte!
WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE LOOK LIKE?
I honestly could do an entire post on this and I think I should. Each day is different. There are pros and cons to being a full time blogger, number one being that you get to make your own schedule. This has definitely been my biggest struggle. That being said, Mondays are always my “get shit done” days. I almost never get out of my pjs and I spend the entire day catching up on emails and content planning. I’d like to say the rest of the week is as organized as Mondays but that would be a lie. I try to always start my day with coffee and answering emails. Beyond that every day is different but some of my other tasks include: shopping (yes that’s a large part of my job believe it or not), going to stores to do try on sessions, planning out outfits, taking pictures (another large part), planning out blog posts, researching for blog posts, interacting with you guys on Instagram, and so much more!
WHY DID YOU HAVE HIP SURGERY?
Long story short, I was born with hip dysplasia. I had two Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO for short) surgeries to correct the deformities. These surgeries were both last year. I had my left hip done March, 24th 2017 and my right hip done October 9, 2017. Both required a two month recovery period and another 2 months in physical therapy. This was a very large part of why I moved home. My parents literally had to do everything for me. You can read more about what that is and my experience here.
HOW DO YOU STAY IN SHAPE?
Ha! And I say that because after you read my next question/answer you are going to think the same thing. Without being too gross, I have a very healthy digestive system. I battled IBS for a good portion of my life and still have flare ups every once and awhile. I’d like to say that I work out regularly but that would be a lie. Ever since working from home I’m honestly even less active than I used to be but I do try to do a few, quick at home workouts. I shared which ones I usually do here. I’ve tried joining a gym or workout classes but I was just throwing money down the drain.
A lot of my body type can be attributed to good genetics, a healthy digestive system, and diet. Yes, I eat a lot of CFA but besides that, I eat pretty healthy. My biggest piece of advice is to eat small portions. You can always go back for seconds but if you fill your plate up to the brim on your first round, you are more likely to overeat. I try never to “stuff” myself. Stop eating when you are full! Eating slowly also ensures this.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH?
Is it too predictable to say Chick-fil-a? Because as much as I eat it that would probably be my request. In fact when I traveled abroad for a month my last meal out of the country was CFA and you can bet it was my first one when I got back! Also does this meal include dessert? Because I’m going to need a large bowl of Cookie Two Step ice cream for dessert please.
DO YOU ENJOY LIVING AT HOME?
Yes! I’d honestly live here forever if it was socially acceptable. My parents and I have a great relationship! You’d think that with all 3 of us being home all of the time (my parents are retired), that we would get sick of each other but for the most part we don’t! I have my own office upstairs that I spend the majority of the day in. Both of my parents have their own offices as well so we don’t see each other too much throughout the day besides meals. We usually cook/eat dinner together and catch up on shows. As far as everything else goes, I come and go as I please. My parents used to be so strict growing up but now we are more like best friends 🙂
ARE YOU LIVING AT HOME BECAUSE YOU ARE UNSURE OF THE FUTURE?
I started out living at home really because of timing. There were quite a few major life factors that played a role in making the decision for me that I talked about in this post. I had NO idea that I would still be living at home a year later but here we are. A large part of why I have stayed is because I have such a great relationship with my parents, I’m happy saving money while I can, and I’m honestly unsure if I want to stay in Houston so I didn’t want to get locked into a year lease and then decide to peace out. I’m staying here until I know my next step and hopefully by then my savings will have grown even more than they already have!
HOW DO YOU MANAGE A SOCIAL LIFE ESPECIALLY LIVING AT HOME?
I really don’t. Besides my blogging buds, I honestly don’t have a ton of friends that I hang out or keep up with. It’s weird how the older you get, the less friends you have but I’ve been weirdly ok with that. I keep up with the friends that I can’t live without and have let other friendships fizzle out that seem forced. I’ve been far more selective with who I give my time to recently. I try to make time for friends and experiences that build me up and make me feel alive! As for going out, I love it! I am a social butterfly on the weekends and I LOVE to dance 🙂 Funny enough, it seems like the only time I run into any of you is when I’m two sheets to the wind. My apologies ladies.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAREER?
Still trying to figure that one out. I have a running list of things I like and don’t like. I’m way too much of a people person for a 9-5 desk job, I know that. I’d love for my next business step to be something in the fashion realm. Possibly in marketing, social media or styling! I love what I do now but is it my end all be all? No.
DO YOU ENJOY BEING SINGLE?
Yes and no. I’m one of the last single ones out of my friend group which kind of sucks because you really don’t realize that you are #singleAF until you are surrounded by people who are all married and/or having kids. But most of the time, yes! I actually did an entire blog post on my feelings about being single and what my season of singleness has taught me here. If you are in the same season, I highly suggest you read it and why I genuinely think that we (all of the single ladies), are the lucky ones.
WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A GUY?
I mean… I haven’t waited this long not to have Prince Charming is all I’m saying. Hehe. In all seriousness I don’t have a list of criteria and honestly I don’t have a “type”. Every guy that I have dated has been SO different. Looks, race, personality, the whole shebang. I usually go for the confident guys. The ones that aren’t afraid to approach me and start a conversation. If they can make me laugh, game over. Yes, looks are important but honestly personality is way more important to me. For that reason, I’ll go on a date with just about anyone! Other factors that are very attractive: success/motivation to better themselves, enjoy traveling, and know how to have a good time. Someone that will go out with me on Friday night and church on Sundays. Is that too much to ask for?
HOW OFTEN DO YOU DATE?
I go through spurts. One minute I’m like “I don’t need no man” and I just enjoy the single train and other time’s I’m all like “maybe it’s time to settle down” and I’ll jump on a few dating apps. I’ve been told a million times that I’ll find someone when I stop looking so that’s pretty much what I’ve done. Stopped looking in the sense I rarely get on dating apps anymore. I still like to think that I put myself in plenty of social situations for the right man to come along. I’ve been on quite a few dates over the past year as well as met plenty of guys out. Almost none have resulted in a second date or me changing their number in my phone to an actual name. After getting burned so bad from my last “relationship”, my perspective on dating has changed. I never fully opened up about this but you can read an open letter to him here.
ARE YOU ON ANY DATING APPS/WEBSITES?
Dating is awkward enough without throwing dating apps into the mix. I don’t particularly like them. Theoretically I’d rather meet someone out or through friends than meet up with a stranger but it’s easier said than done. I’ve been on all of the dating apps. I’ve deleted them, redownloaded them, met up with people from them, been catfished, gone on second dates, even fallen for some of the guys. So yes I’m well versed on dating apps even though I don’t particularly like them. I hate that dating apps have become a way of life because I honestly think that it prevents people from making moves in person. It hinders people’s confidence because it takes the work out of making a connection in person. And with confidence being a major attraction for me, dating apps seem to only bring about men who are lacking in that department unfortunately. I’m not sure what that says about me since I have been on them from time to time but I’m also the first girl at the bar to hit on a guy that I think is attractive so…?
My quick and short analysis if you are thinking about joining a dating app. Bumble sucks. The guys aren’t of high quality and the ones that are just want to message back and forth and never meet up. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Coffee Meets Bagel has plenty of people that want to meet up but none were very attractive to me. I did like the platform better than Bumble since it gave more background information on each guy. Maybe your area might be better? It’s worth a shot. The League is supposed to be for business professionals but you only get 3 matches a day. I used the platform for months and never met up with a single guy. Hinge is probably the most fun. You get funny tidbits about each guy, background info and pics. I’ve probably had the most success with this app and it’s the most user friendly.
DO YOU HAVE EXTENSIONS?
I just took them out last week and already want them back in! You can read all about what type, cost, the process, styling and maintenance here.
WHAT CURLER DO YOU USE?
I go back and forth between my T3 appliances and my Hot Tools wand depending on the length of my hair and what type of curl I am going for. For everyday curls, I love the Hot Tools wand. For tighter curls, I use the T3 1 inch wand. For loose waves, I use the T3 1.5 inch wand.
WHO DOES YOUR HAIR?
I go to Sharon at Trademark Salon for my cut, color and now extensions. I cannot recommend her enough! I have always been more than pleased with my services. In fact, she is the first hair stylist that I have gone to more than once which is saying A LOT because I had never been happy with my hair until finding Sharon. And I tried five Houston salons before finding Trademark! For those that aren’t in the Spring area, she is well worth the drive!
Trademark Salon Location:
10300 Louetta Rd #106, Houston, TX 77070
WHAT SKINCARE PRODUCTS CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
I’ve been using Sunday Riley’s UFO oil at night for the past year and it has dramatically changed my acne prone skin! It’s pricey but works wonders. Also, I’ve used the same eye shadow pallet since high school and constantly get questions about it. I use the Too Faced Natural Eye Pallet. It’s such a great everyday eyeshadow look.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE BLOGGING FULL TIME?
I was a supply analyst for a retail power company for 3 years. I didn’t hate the work but I did not enjoy the company culture and knew it’s not what I wanted to be doing forever.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED BLOGGING?
Like most people it started as a hobby and a creative outlet. I moved home after college and started work. I absolutely hated it at first. Nobody talked to me, I had no friends that moved back to Houston and to top it off I felt like a loser at the time for living at home. I was pretty depressed for awhile. I desperately needed something that I could pour my time into that I enjoyed doing. Insert blogging. I followed a few bloggers and always thought their work was so appealing. My entire life I was the one doing people’s hair and make up at sleepovers. I was also always the one being asked, “Where did you get that cute outfit?!” so it seemed natural to fall into blogging. My sister’s boyfriend at the time offered to set up my website (something I’m still SO grateful for), and the rest was history!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING?
November will make 3 years! I started November 2015. My first blog post, as terrible as it is, is here. Goes to show everyone has to start somewhere. Apparently that somewhere for me was starting every blog post with “Hello Lovelies!”. EW.
WHERE DID YOUR BLOG NAME COME FROM?
I’m honestly surprised I don’t get this question more often. I think most people think it’s just a random, cute name but there was actually SO much thought that went into it. I thought about the name for over 6 months and had over 100 possible contenders. Crazy!! But the real meaning behind the blog name is explained here.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE BEFORE YOU SAW A RETURN?
I joined RewardStyle (an affiliate network) when I had just 1k followers. I didn’t really start making money off of that until months later and even then it was minuscule. I think once I hit 10k is when I started charging for sponsored posts. Even at that point it was very little. At the beginning you definitely have to be prepared to sink a large sum into your blog knowing you might never see a return. I’d say that I didn’t break even until probably a year into blogging. Once I hit 50k on Instagram is really when I saw my sponsorships increase.
HOW MUCH DO BLOGGERS MAKE?
There are so many different factors! The great thing about blogging/working for yourself is that if you put 10% in, you are only going to get 10% out. If you put 110% in, the return is far greater. Since I’ve been blogging full time, my blogging income has quadrupled. When I took the plunge, I was making a quarter of what I make now. I am just shy of making what I made at my full time job. Bloggers make money several different ways. 1) through affiliate links meaning we get a small commission every time a follower purchases something through one of our links. 2) Through advertisements on the blog. I personally do not do any of these. 3) Through sponsorships. A company will pay for a dedicated blog or social post.
Every blogger charges a different amount. There is no “standard” in the blogging industry which is honestly quite frustrating because a lot of bloggers will work for free which ends up screwing the rest of us if companies know that they can get away with not paying. While this is not a written rule, most bloggers charge companies $100 per every 10k Instagram followers. So for instance if I follow this rule, I would charge $100 * 6.74 (67.4k Instagram followers)= $675 per Instagram post. A blog post is more expensive! I know that doesn’t give you a straightforward answer but I know some bloggers that make way over 6 figures and some that barely make anything.
HOW DO BLOGGERS TRAVEL SO MUCH?
Once you have a decent following, it is very easy to work on a trade basis when it comes to traveling. When I travel, I will reach out to hotels, restaurants and brands that I want to work with and ask if they will let give me a room, meal or clothing for free in exchange for a feature on my social channels. This doesn’t always work but a lot of times it does considering they would normally have to pay for this type of exposure! Bigger bloggers can get paid to travel. Also, sometimes I will line up several paid brand sponsorships during a trip so that it pays for my flight and then some! Usually if you tell a brand that wants to work with you that you can shoot for them in say Hawaii, they are more on board to pay you than your average backyard pool pic:)
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING?
O goodness. Probably the inconsistency. Some months I make 4X what I make in another month. There is no set paycheck. Like I said it’s dependent on how much you put into it as well as luck. Some months you receive more collaboration opportunities than others. Season is also a big factor. A lot of companies have bigger budgets during the holidays to push holiday promotions. After the new year is usually a “slump period” because everyone is recovering from spending so much during the holidays!
HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS IN THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY?
I wrote a blog post only 4 months into my blogging journey about how to meet other bloggers and it is still 100% accurate! I guess I really did know a thing or two back then 🙂 You can find that post here.
HOW DO YOU AFFORD ALL OF THE CLOTHES FOR YOUR BLOG?
You have to keep in mind that I do this for a living! My job is literally to show you the newest trends. It’s not to buy a bunch of clothes and wear them 500 times (like a normal person lol). I wear most things one time which is to show you how to style an outfit! If I showed you the same outfit more than once it really isn’t doing anyone a service. Instead, I try to show you new ways to style different pieces as well as how to bring in new styles each season. I am gifted quite a bit of clothing and what I do buy comes out of a monthly budget that I allow for my business.
Also, keep in mind I do not keep everything that I show you ladies. A lot of times I buy clothes to do at home try on sessions and then return what I do not forsee wearing for more than one Instagram photo. I know it’s hard to compare your closet with bloggers’ closets but you can’t do that! Our clothes are our money makers. If we don’t have new, “linkable” clothes, we don’t make money. But it takes money to make money!
HOW HAVE YOU GROWN A FOLLOWING ESPECIALLY LATELY WITH THE ALGORITHM CHANGES?
It has taken me 3 years and SO many hours to grow my Instagram to what it is. I am on Instagram almost 24/7 and that’s not an exaggeration. I have been affected by the algorithm just like everyone else and it sucks but I’ve chosen not to harp on it. Instead, I’m focusing my energy on creating the best content that I can which is all we really can. While it is a lot harder than it used to be to grow, I did an entire post here on how I have successfully grown my Instagram following.
Keep in mind that nobody is an overnight success and that there is no magic formula. I am very proud to say that I have never bought followers or likes which has unfortunately become the normal in our industry. If you are just starting out, my biggest piece of advice to grow your audience is to be genuine and true to yourself from the beginning! People want to follow and connect with someone that they have a connection with. You can’t have a connection with someone who is trying to be someone completely different.
If you have any more questions or have a topic you want me to cover in the next Chic Chat please leave a comment and let me know!