Minneapolis

Crazy Color-block Cocktails

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Are you ready to go out with me? It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be funky, it’s going to be crazy! It’s spring, and there are so many beautiful colors in the palette! I love this dress for it’s straight lines, and color combo. It’s an amazing piece that’s perfect for spring and summer. And you never know, there might be some dancing involved, after those cocktails!

I am wearing: Dress: 10 Dollar Mall ~ Shoes: Target ~ Jacket: Vintage thrifted ~Glasses: thrifted

Last week I had an opportunity to do a photo shoot at a local boutique (Dji G’s Boutique) in Northeast Minneapolis. Here is a little behind the scenes for you. And of course I will share pictures once they are ready.

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I know it’s been crazy with A to Z challenge, and all my outfit photos. Plus the local fashion events are popping up left and right and I love covering those! Hopefully things will slow down in May. I do have some exciting tech posts coming up. I am getting an Intel Tablet here soon, and can’t wait to share my experience with you! But enough about me, how have you all been?

For more great cocktail dresses go to: 

Spoolish // Buttons and Birdcages // Sandpaper Kisses // Sincerely Miss J

Alligator Toe // The Two Cent Chick // Snippets with Alex

Eclecticity // Confessions of a Refashionista // sistasfromcali

Erika’s Style Diary

And don’t forget to connect with me on:

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2014 WINGs Flight of Fashion

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I love when fashion meets a good cause. And when it comes to WINGs Flight of Fashion, they don’t call it the most meaningful fashion show in the Twin Cities for nothing. And last Friday I had an amazing opportunity to attend that fashion show.

United Way WINGs is committed to investing in women by providing them with the tools to succeed both financially and professionally. Flight of Fashion helps support the WINGs mission by empowering women through fashion and philanthropy.

They raised over $25,000 to support all the different programs they have for girls and women just that night!

The show took place in a beautiful Radisson Blu at the Mall of America and was hosted by Minneapolis-based style expert Grant Whittaker, and Allison Kaplan from MPLS St. Paul Magazine.

Plus a huge shout out to Haus Salon for the wonderful hair! Totally digging all the braids!

To learn more about United Way Women’s Giving, click here.

Of course on top of seeing new styles and looks from local boutiques like Maha, Minq, Motto, Grethen House, June, Fashion Avenue (my favorite upscale consignment shop) and Arrow, was seeing my wonderful blogger friends from Minneapolis/St Paul area! Aren’t we a great looking group?

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From left to right: Katie from To Live for Style, Yours Truly, Cate and Tammy of Wild Ruffle, Meg and Nora of Two Birds, and Sally of Already Pretty 

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 I am wearing: DKNY sequin pants – thrifted, nude heels – Target, button down – TJ Maxx, Necklace – Wild Ruffle, tote – Free People

And don’t forget to connect with me, I love talking to you:

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I is for Indie {A-Z Challenge}

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I is for Indie, and indie is trendy. I learned that back in 2006, and haven’t forgotten it since. Indie to me means a symbiosis of styles, pieces, and eras. Indie to me is taking time to make (sew, knit, crochet, embroider, …) my own clothes. Indie to me is thrifting and looking for inspiration in the vintage pieces I find.

Indie to me is wearing cowboy boots to work, and being proud of it! What does indie mean to you?

Send your answers through:

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Pink it Up {Thrift Style Thursday}

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Hat-Forever 21, Scarf – Express, Leggins – Pro Skin, Dress – Kookai, Coat – Breakin’ Loose, Heels – Rampage, Purse – Ralph Lauren, Hamsa Necklace – Uncommon Goods

What’s better than thrifted? Free! And in today’s look you will see not one, not two, but a total of five free items! How amazing is that? But I want you to try and guess what they are in the comments!

As you can probably tell by the pictures (which are fresh off the camera by the way) spring is not coming to Minnesota in the next 36 hours! How has your Thursday been?

Let’s connect:

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For more #ThriftStyleThursday ideas and inspirations, check out

Spoolish // Buttons and Birdcages // Sandpaper Kisses // Sincerely Miss J

Alligator Toe // The Two Cent Chick // Snippets with Alex

Eclecticity // Confessions of a Refashionista // sistasfromcali// Erika’s Style Diary

Styling in St Paul

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Coat – Via Spiga, Purse – Forever 21, Jeans – Express, Heels- Unknown, Sunglasses – Lucky Brand

 

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Arena Bikini: Cherry Bomb 2014

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Last Friday, I had an amazing opportunity to attend Arena Bikini: Cherry Bomb 7th Annual Swimwear Show. Did I tell you how much I like Aria? Did I tell you how much I like Swimwear? And a fashion show on a Friday night was just what the doctor ordered. Especially when I got to hang out with beautiful Cate and Tammy of Wild Ruffle! So I 

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Arena Dances is a local dance studio that has been around since 1995. It’s founder Mathew Janczewski shared about his new work “The Main Street Project”, which explores how current attitudes, relationships and habits have changed in an information-driven, technological world by utilizing integrative forms of media – juxtaposing visceral and explosive movement with electro/techno/pop music, folk-inspired songs, and projections of filmed interviews with people from diverse communities and backgrounds. The work illuminates themes of isolation, community and humanity in contemporary society to ask the question: Does “Main Street” still exist? 

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Local fashion designers presented 3 different collections of swimwear:

1. Goody Two-Shoes by Amyanne Alderete of Amyanne Fashions

2. Biker Boyz + Roller Girlz by Tim and Thom Navarro of Tim + Thom 

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3. Bel-Air Beauties by Anita Jensen and Jay Nelson of Perfect Fit Gear.

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With all the fashion and dancing, integrated so organically, Arena Bikini was my favorite local fashion show so far. 

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How was your weekend? 

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Pink Midi

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This pink midi skirt reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw’s Oscar de la Renta dress circa Sex and the City season 6. She wore it out one night on a date with the Russian. And even though my skirt is nothing fancy, in fact it’s made of  neoprene, the material that screams anything, but fashionable to me, I feel like a million bucks in it. 

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Skirt - Choies, Shoes- hand me down, Sweater – The Limited – hand me down,
Hamsa necklace – Uncommon Goods, Lipstick – Sonia Kashuk in Pink Punch

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I also wanted to talk about the shoes today, because without them my look wouldn’t have been complete. One of my coworkers has recently brought me 8 pairs of brand new shoes. She had a foot surgery and now, nothing really fits. But we do wear the same size. #Shoeblessing is exactly what I needed to help me go through this week. Work has been really hard, and stressful. But then there are all the new pairs. My one question now is – how do you store all the shoes? Especially if you have so many pairs? What about boots? Send me your ideas, I would love to make a Pinterest board!

Do you have a piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel special? What is it? Do you wear it often, or is it only for certain occasions?

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Macy’s Prom 2014

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

What can be better than dressing up, getting your hair done and dancing the night away with your friends? Shopping for that prom dress of course! And Macy’s has great prom dresses to offer. I had an opportunity to quickly stop by the Macy’s Prom fashion show on Saturday at the Mall of America. It was one of the most fun fashion shows I’ve ever attended. Probably because it brought back the memories of high school, my own prom, and all the goals and expectations I had as a teen. 

This year Macy’s is focusing on four main trends:

1. Vintage muse - look, inspired by 1920′s and Great Gatsby.

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2. Young Hollywood - think sophisticated look (a la Selena, Emma, young Blake Lively), modern silhouette, and don’t forget that a moto jacket makes a perfect layering piece for a cool night! 

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3. Prom Princess – is a look for those, who’ve always dreamed a dream, but now it’s time to turn it into reality with all the tulle and ruffles, and a little bit of Macy’s magic.

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4. And finally – The Secret Garden Party – beautiful pastels, rosettes, abundance of floral jewelry, pinks, and blues. 

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And of course the day wouldn’t be complete if it wasn’t for running into a couple of my blogger friends: Jasmine of Cute ‘n’ Comfy and Tammy of Wild Ruffle! Ladies, you made the show even more fun!

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Which dress did you like the best? What did you wear to your prom? I wish I could dig out a pic from 2003 to show you. I don’t think I had a digital camera back then. But if I could, I would totally rock this dress

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Working With Brands

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So you want to work with brands? You see other bloggers do it, and you think to yourself – Why not me? Great! If you are one of the bloggers who doesn’t want to work with brands, I would still recommend you read this post, it’s going to be interesting. I promise. We are going to discuss:

What does working with brands do for you as a blogger?

What does working with you as a blogger do for the brand?

How does it affect your readers?

How does it affect you?

Where to begin?

Let’s say you’ve been blogging for a while, and have done several reviews, or outfit posts, or any type of post where you mention a brand, company, etc. I started out like that – I would do reviews on products I bought myself, or made lists of products that worked for me in the past (for example this post). When it came to outfits, I took pictures of what I wore on a daily basis. Now, having been blogging for over 3 years, I do sometimes put together outfits just to shoot. The “brand” (and here I mean the PR/marketing person) will see your blog and think – I like the way s/he is doing that! Maybe she can do it for us? – and will contact you.

But what if you have been doing all the above, and still nothing? Reach out to local brands, smaller brands, indie brands. Don’t be afraid to pitch companies! And consider singing up for networks like iFabbo (their shop has amazing products), Brand Backer, Klout (actually everyone should go sign up for Klout! Right now! Go!), and the like. They are not affiliate programs, but more of a middle man between the brand and you. They pitch to brands, and then offer products to bloggers. Sometimes it can depend on your Social Media following though. 

About the Social Media following… I have met so many people who start blogging, write a post once a month, and expect to go viral overnight. Has anyone read Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy? In the book she goes on Twitter, and is obsessively counting her followers. It’s hilarious and helps you understand that there are wrong and right ways of doing social media. Don’t expect people/brands/companies to follow you. Twitter is about discussion, interaction, meeting people. There are multiple twitter chats that you can join on a weekly basis to grow your twitter circle. 

Brands do pay attention to the number of followers that you have, and while not everyone has (insert your number)K followers on Twitter, or Instagram, it’s good to have some, and keep that number growing. 

About self-promotion… That can be a good or a bad thing. I had people ask me how to stop my updates from showing in their Facebook feed (Burn!), but I still post on Facebook! Why? Because there are groups, pages, communities that actually appreciate my posts and do the same thing. I see nothing wrong with self-promotion. There are millions of people on Social Media, and by the time you post a new update or tweet – the previous one is history.

That email address… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – always have your email available on your blog, some users even put it in their “about me” section of Twitter and Instagram. One of my best friends runs a successful freelance business through Instagram (she is an editorial hair stylist in New York, and her pictures are worth millions of words) 

So you got that email saying brand X loves your blog and is interested in working with you. What now? Here is where the questions I asked in the beginning of the post come in. But before you begin answering them, remember this – Know your worth! Don’t sell yourself short! If a brand offers me a free product, I am going to think twice before agreeing to do the post for them. I don’t do brand giveaways unless I try the product first. I don’t do samples. I don’t do discounts. I will review a product if:

It’s a good fit for me. It’s a good fit for my blog. My readers will enjoy it. I would buy it with my own money!

That’s why I like Social Fabric, Clever Girls Network, and the other websites I mentioned above – they let me pick and choose what I want to try and review on my blog. 

The next step is $$$ I didn’t start getting paid for content right away, I tried running ads for a while, but it wasn’t for me. My blog has evolved so much though, that I see nothing wrong with asking for a certain amount of money per post. Be it $100 or $500, it’s marketing, PR, and as a blogger, you can reach out to audience the brand might not have been able to reach in the first place. 

Great Ideas Sell! In the end of the day, it’s all about ideas. Is there a celebrity look you want to recreate using bran’s X mascara? Are you going to a fashion/style event and want to stand out with brand Y’s necklace? Will you make a video tutorial? A vlog? Be creative, and think outside the box, and you will be successful!

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10 Blogging Tips from Being Zhenya

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Being a style and beauty blogger is wonderful, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve been doing it for over 3 years now, and have been loving and grateful for every opportunity that’s come my way, BUT…

… having a full-time job and being a full-time blogger is a challenge. I am going to be honest with you. I’ve been able to get away with it both at work and at home though. Do you want to know how I do it? Today I will answer some of the most popular questions I get asked and share some blogging tips!

1. Who takes your pictures?

The camera! It really does. Thanks to the voice activated feature in my Samsung Galaxy gadget, all I do is set up the tripod, and say “smile”. No need to set the timer. Though Sam sometimes takes my photos, especially when we are out and about.

Tip 1: Clear and beautiful pictures are a must! Yes I often edit mine, especially in the winter, but learning to play with your camera and finding the right person to take your photo will make fashion blogging so much easier. 

2. How can you afford all the outfits?

It’s simple, I thrift. 75-80% of my wardrobe came from a thrift store of some kind. I also recycle a lot of clothes by refashioning them, or finding something I thought was long lost in the depths of my wardrobe.

Tip 2: It’s not about the trends, it’s about your personal style. You don’t need to post a new outfit 7 days a week, otherwise you’ll go broke. Recycle, combine, mix and match! Styling is fun!

3. When do you find time to blog?

I blog at night after work, in the morning before work, on my lunch break at work, and of course during the weekends. What does my husband say about it? He is busy studying for CPA!

Tip 3: Never let your blogging get in the way of your personal life. Family and friends come first!

4. Where do you find inspiration? 

Usually from fashion magazines, and blogs. My father-in-law just came back from a trip to Japan and Hong Kong, and I got 3 new fashion magazines from that part of the world! I can’t describe how fascinated I am!

Tip 4: It’s all about an open mind and an open heart. Allow new experiences, new friendships, new opportunities in your life.

5. How are you always posting on your social media channels?

I schedule tweets/posts through buffer, and then Instagram pictures that I took beforehand throughout the day.

Tip 5: Lunch breaks and coffee breaks are perfect for a little social media check up. 

6. Do you get paid for anything?

Yes, I write sponsored posts, and I always disclose that. I decided against ads (I used to have them when I blogged on WordPress.com), because they are distracting. I also do social media campaigns for different blogger networks. I also receive beauty and fashion products for free through sites like iFabbo or BrandBacker. 

Tip 6: To be discovered by brands, build relationships with them first on Social Media, Twitter is especially good for that. And make sure to always have your email address on the “About Me” page of your site.

7. What is the best part about blogging?

You are! I love my readers! Did you think I was going to say free clothes?

Tip 7: Never forget why you started blogging. 

8. Would you ever consider blogging full-time?

Yes, and it’s in my plans! But because I don’t want to do ads, it’s definitely going to be challenging. So I need to find ways to make money without sabotaging my reputation.

Tip 8: Set goals for your blog. Know where you are headed. 

9. What is your favorite/least favorite social media channel?

Twitter is definitely number one, Instagram is also in the top 3. But when it comes to Facebook, I am sorry, I just can’t!

Tip 9: Set up a Google + account and start posting, adding friends, creating circles, joining communities. NOW! 

10. What’s one advice you would give to a new blogger?

Don’t start a blog to get FREE stuff, make sure you really have something to say/show/share. And find your niche (I know it’s hard to do, especially for lifestyle bloggers), because it will help you in the long run.

Tip 10: Ask yourself this: If I was a reader, would I read my own blog? Would I comment on it? Like it? Share it? What can you do to make your blog more appealing to others?

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Hello, Moto!
Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream Review
How-to: yesterdays bracelet and Happy Birthday to me!
Love is in the air...
M is for Muumuu {A-Z Challenge}
2014 WINGs Flight of Fashion
About Being Zhenya
N is for Necklace {A-Z Challenge}
Crazy Color-block Cocktails
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