The Air of Somewhere New: A Photo Diary

Today we have Mikayla, from the blog The Taste Tracker, guest posting and sharing her photos from a trip she took to Rockport, Massachusetts! Read on to hear about her adventure and don’t forget to check out her blog!

-Liz

Last weekend, my fam and I packed up our things and quickly scurried up North to the perfectly quaint, beautiful, and scenic Rockport, Massachusetts. Don’t think you know where Rockport is? Don’t worry, you do. Remember the town that Ryan Reynolds brings Sandra Bullock to in The Proposal (cause I know you all have seen it)? Guess what: that’s not “Alaska.” That’s Rockport, Mass.

The 3 days that we spent there were perfect. Wandering around a seaside village in great weather and with great people simply cannot be beat. Rockport was never still. From the people ducking in and out of the little boutiques and bakeries that lined Bearskin Neck, to the faint ocean breeze that was always drifting in the air, a warmed-up version of your laid-back beach look was necessary.

To me, linen pants on the beach are so fashion-forward. On this trip, my sister and I had the best of both worlds–she had a crisp, beige pair of linen pants, while I sported a pair of Aztec-patterened linen pants. As I said before, it was a little breezy, so my oh-so-versatile chambray button-up was a complete life/outfit saver. And of course, my clean-cut, leather pair of Birkenstock-esque sandals topped this nautical look off. Whops, can’t forget my circle lenses that I am completely, totally, and utterly OBSESSED with at the moment.

Enough fashion jibber-jabber. I hope you all enjoy this little peek into my weekend spent in this quaint, little sea-faring village. I want to share this with you all because appreciate is better when shared.

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After checking out this post, I hope it inspired you all to get out of your house/apartment, take a trip up the road and EXPLORE. Taste the taste and smell the smell of somewhere new.

-Mikayla

http://thetastetracker.wordpress.com

Chic Shells: A Beach Theme for Your Home

Chic Shells
I’m so clever with titles aren’t I? I just loved the chicness of all these pieces put together. Beachy themes can either be really classy or really tacky. If you’re hanging anchors and putting sea shells everywhere (complete with crusty sand) I would say it’s a little tacky. However, capitalizing on the natural elements of the beach is a great way to bring the outdoors into your home without literally doing it (think of those sand crusted sea shells).
What’s your favorite style of interior design? Comment below and share with your friends!
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Book Review: Cupcakes and Cashmere

During my short beach/camping trip I brought along some reading material. Since beginning college 3 years ago, I haven’t been able to just sit down and read a book without anxiety. This is the first one I’ve read for pleasure in a long time. Cupcakes and Cashmere by the lovely Emily Schuman, is a delightful book full of color and her personality. Essentially, it’s her blog in a book!

Cupcakes and Cashmere: My Thoughts

Cupcakes_and_cashmereFirst of all, this lady is talented! I admire her zeal for life and willingness to be who she is. Her tremendous success is demonstrated through her new clothing line and endless offers from companies to collaborate with her. This leads me to my next thought: Bloggers who have had so much success have lives and budgets that, for the rest of us, are unrealistic. I cannot afford to add all the little accessories and staple pieces for each season to my wardrobe. It’s just too expensive, especially with the brands she chooses and advertises for.

The book is divided into “seasons” (summer, fall etc.) and within each season she includes on-a-budget-beauty-buys. As much as she tries, Essie is not a “budget buy” and neither is Juicy Couture beauty_on_a_budgetperfume. Maybe for the more established adult it isn’t a big deal, but for Schuman’s younger audience it can be a budget buster.

I really did enjoy her suggestions for creating a beautiful home and entertaining. They were practical and pretty at the same time. She even teaches you how to reupholster a bench! The diversity of topics in the book is nice because there is something for everyone.

home_decorHowever, even though the topics range from food to clothes, her taste in clothes isn’t as broad. To be quite honest, most of the outfits she puts together are not my style or taste. Most of it is “what’s in style at the moment” where as I prefer classic pieces with a new accessory here and there. Again, this is just my preference. She gives some good tips on how to put together an outfit for every season though.

What were your thoughts on the book? What did you like or dislike? Comment below!

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Blogging 101: A Short Intro for Newbies

I was in your position a few months ago and I know how hard it can be. You see all these famous, successful bloggers (think Rach Parcell’s Pink Peonies blog) and wonder how they got there. Truthfully, I’m not sure. I haven’t figured that out yet. What I do know I’m going to share with you and I hope you’ll share it with others.

lilly_pulitzer_agendaThe first thing I learned is that consistency is key. Posting routinely will not only improve your SEO Google rankings but it gives your readers an idea of when you will post. I haven’t always been great about this but recently I bought a Lilly Pulitzer daily agenda to help organize myself (blog to come on this).

The second thing I learned is that it’s important to get involved with other bloggers. Commenting, liking, collaborating (which I love doing), and exchanging ideas is all part of gaining a following and increasing your likability. Eventually, it isn’t just fellow bloggers following you, it’s people without blogs who love you enough to sign up for email alerts every time you post a blog.

The third tip I have for you is to connect your Instagram with your blog. This Instagram_profileis pretty simple because Instagram already has a widget set up in WordPress for you to use. All you need to do is activate it. You can use photos from every post and put them on Instagram to drive people to your blog. Be sure to include the link to your blog in your bio!

Finally, learn to use the “attachment details” every time you insert a photo. Particularly learn alt text. Essentially what this means is tagging your image for Google to index. For example, in my last post I had a photo of my Ann Taylor dress, the alt text I put in the image was “ann_taylor_dress.” Do you see what I mean here?

If there are any questions you all have for me leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them! Hopefully, I’ve helped you somewhat already. Don’t get discouraged that you don’t have thousands of followers and companies aren’t giving you free products yet. That takes a long time. Just be consistent and write about what you love.

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From my Closet: Ann Taylor Inspiration

Outfit of the Day!

This is my first post doing my outfit of the day and I’m excited to share with you more about my style and taste! At first, I thought these types of posts were kind of vain. However, I get a lot of ideas from other girls on cute outfits and little accessories to add to my wardrobe.

ann_taylor_loftMy outfit today consists of a cute little jersey dress from Ann Taylor Loft (I found it on sale several years ago, so here’s a similar version). I love the little belt that goes with it. It isn’t meant to make a statement but it sucks you in at the waist, which is always nice!

I took this picture earlier with the help of my dear mom in my front yard. We live in the woods so the green trees are in abundance and frankly, who doesn’t love a little greenery in a photo?

Here’s a front view of my dress. It’s the perfect outfit for a day when you ann_taylor_loftwant to feel pretty but also want to feel comfy. It’s also a very breathable fabric (cotton) so I love it for hot summer days like today! Did I mention cap sleeves are really cute? Because they are!

Here are my favorite parts of an outfit: accessories! My shoes I found at Burlington Coat Factory for $10 by Rampage. My bracelet is an old Forever 21 find. Here’s a similar bracelet I like even more! My necklace is also a Forever 21 find from last fall and I can’t find it online anywhere. However, they have produced a similar one!

Tell me what you think! I love to hear your opinions!

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Where Have I been? Travel Edition!

ocean_city Hello friends! I didn’t post yesterday because it was a travel day for me. I was on a short road trip back from the lovely beaches of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. My family goes camping in Ocean City, Maryland every summer. Camping is our favorite pastime as my mom’s family enjoyed it too. As you can see in the photo to the left, we had a lovely time taking pictures on the jetty next to the harbor. My sister is on the left and her best friend that came along for the trip is on the right.

We spent one day at Assateague Island enjoying the beach and wild assateague_island horses. Legend has it that these horses are descendants of horses that were shipwrecked off the coast of Maryland/Virginia hundreds of years ago. It is thought that the ship was probably Spanish and was carrying livestock to America. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate for us and it was cloudy with a high of 74. Needless to say I was a bit chilly and sat on the beach in my bikini bottoms and hoodie. The water was like ice!

fresh_fruit Later on that day my mom and I took a little trip to one of her favorite stores called The Barn (colonial decorating and all things country) and then picked up some fresh corn grown locally in Delaware at a little produce store. There’s nothing better than fresh veggies and fruits.

After dinner we went to the campground’s karaoke night where my sister line_dancing and a few other girls sang a Carrie Underwood song and then danced the Cotton Eyed Joe (oh memories of middle school flooding back anyone?) I must say that line dancing takes the wind out of you. I was so tired by the end of the camp_fire night. When we got back to our campsite my dad had lit a fire in the fire ring. We sat around playing charades and telling funny stories. My sister was obsessed with puns all weekend so everything she said had a double meaning. At least it kept her laughing!

On Sunday it was cloudy again and not worth the beach trip. We went to a zoo flamingoin Salisbury, MD for some fuzzy animal sight seeing. I fell in love with the flamingos. A few of them were having a fit about something and kept poking at each other. It was adorable. We also saw this beautiful owl who wasn’t too happy to see us. He swiveled his head around when my sister started talking to it. He blinked a few times and opened his beak a little wanting to say something back.

When we got back to our campsite my sister and her friend engaged in shenaniganstheir typical shenanigans and it ended up with my sister on the ground her camp chair. Silly girls.

Finally, we went to the boardwalk and people watched. It never fails to be entertaining. ocean_city_boardwalk People are crazy, that’s all I can say! The girls had a good time spotting cute boys. Ok, I admit to having fun finding them first and then telling them where to look and when to start flipping their hair to get the boys’ attention. I’m just as bad as they are but it was a good time!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and my weekend recap! P.S. Leave a comment on whether or not you would like it if I started focusing a little more on what’s in my closet” type things! Thanks!

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Church on Sundays and Fashion Faux Pas

Church on Sundays
Sunday mornings (particularly in the south) are reserved for church and then a late lunch following the service. I grew up this way and many of my friends did as well. My favorite part of this tradition as a young teen was picking out what I wanted to wear! It irks me to think of the hideous outfits I wore assuming that I looked super cute. I vividly remember a blue, flowery dress that I was convinced would look amazing with this pink cowboy hat I had (totally Lizzie McGuire style). I cringe at the thought. Luckily, my style is a bit more sophisticated now. I put together this outfit hoping to redeem myself from those days of bad fashion. Most of what you see here none of us can afford but a girl can dream (and duplicate with something cheaper if she must). Tell me what you think! Any funny memories of fashion crimes you committed growing up? Let me know with a comment below!
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How Saturday Mornings Should be

Saturday Mornings
Isn’t this how we all idealize Saturday mornings? Relaxing, beautiful, sophisticated, romantic. For most of us, Saturdays aren’t like that. But for a moment let’s stop and pretend they are. No pups barking for their morning meal, no kids screaming for Lucky Charms, and no loud cars going by the house. Just you, your coffee, soft pajamas, warm bed, and lit candle. Excuse me while I go float on a cloud. Happy weekend!
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What’s in my Beach Bag

Kenneth_ColeThis weekend I will be laying on the beach spending time in the sun and sand! We take a beach trip at least once a summer to get our fix of salt water and sea breezes. Better yet, we get our summer tans that last until late October.

My first vacation was spent at the beach in a cute little swimsuit with a big floppy hat on my head. I hated the water actually and cried when the waves crashed on the beach. But as any born and raised east coaster knows, a beach bag must be properly packed. I’m going to give you a peak inside my beach bag to see what I’m bringing!

 

Not pictured is my sunscreen (spf 30),  iPhone, ear buds, and little pineapple snack.

I can’t wait to show you all vacation photos when I get back! Please tell me if I’ve forgotten anything for my beach bag! There’s nothing worse than forgetting something big!

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A New Love: Inslee Haynes Illustrations!

Right now, I’m loving Inslee Haynes’ watercolor paintings! She’s so talented! I’m usually not the type to get excited about art but these little drawings are the cutest things I’ve seen in awhile. Girls like Inslee remind me that I can be the fabulous and glamorous lady that I was born to be. Like many of the women I admire, Inslee runs her own business and is her own boss.

I pulled a few images from her website (I hope she doesn’t mind) and I linked them to her online store where you can buy the prints! She just has such a way of capturing everyday life and its truly inspiring! Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I do.

Are there any artists you like that draw similar things? Comment below and share with your friends!

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