StyledChic

Monday, June 18, 2018

LOFT NEW + NOW SUMMER EVENT


Hey guys!  Welcome back!  Since my last post I've been taking the time to really get inspired offline and discover new found interests.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in the online world; especially when you are a blogger.   I always like to step back when it no longer becomes fun, because for me,  that's what its all about.  Fun!  

Since it's been a little while, I wanted to come back with a recap of event I hosted recently. 
I was so excited when LOFT reached out to me to host their New + Now event that gave clients 40% off all regular priced items in-store and online.  Clients were able to shop while enjoying a few light bites as well as other refreshments.  Of course I was there, helping them style their picks and giving my own personal style advice.


Another fun aspect of this event was I was able to pull a few of my favorite Summer picks! LOFT had so many cute items, it was hard to pick only a few.  I was pretty pleased that these items were available to shop and my pick for the perfect staple summer dress walked out of the store with someone!

In store events have always been an aspect of blogging that I truly enjoy.  It felt great to connect real women right here in Richmond--which is refreshing and a nice change from the usual written or online IG posts.


Since summer is right around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to share some of my favorite items with you from LOFT.  What I love about LOFT is that this brand is for ALL women and offer styles that cater to women of all ages.  While there are pieces that make you feel current, you will also find most items timeless--Something that I've focused on when it comes to adding to my  wardrobe.

Thank you so much to the LOFT team and Rebecca for inviting me out.  If you are local, be sure to keep a close eye out on my social media feeds for the next event!




Thursday, April 5, 2018

Food | Simple Meatless Breakfast


Back in January I mentioned I was limiting my meat consumption for a more healthier diet.  Eating more veggies, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of meat can have a huge impact on your health and I've always loved the idea of having a more plant based diet.

One of my goals is to really start phasing out of meat eating and making it a priority to research more vegetarian dishes that I can prepare.  While I still very much so like meat, at this point, I've limited my options to fish (mostly fresh wild caught Salmon) and chicken (grilled or baked) with the occasional slice of pepperoni pizza or chipotle steak tacos when I visit one of my favorite modern Mexican restaurant downtown 😁!  Those tacos are always so hard to resist to be honest!  Plus I like the idea of taking one step at a time with my meatless journey.  At this point I would say I'm treating meat more like sweets and desserts--every once in awhile.

What's also great is that my husband is also on board with the meatless journey as well!  I think it was the 'What the Health' documentary we saw together that made him more open to a meatless diet.  Within the last 2 years he has changed his diet and lifestyle (consistently in the gym) tremendously, which I am really proud of him for!  So cooking will be so much easier now that I can prepare a dish only one way instead of two 🙌🏾.

 I have also been consuming less diary and eggs as well.  So, naturally, I've been incorporating more Tofu.  Since Tofu does contain soy, I also limit this dish to only a few times a month.  The dish I'm sharing today has become a favorite.

I love eating Tofu Scramble for breakfast!  I actually got this recipe from TheChicNatural on YouTube and it's so delicious!  In my scramble I love having red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and Avocado.  I also discovered the Sweet Earth Hickory & Sage smoked meatless bacon, which is a great bacon replacement.  Definitely not the same in taste, but the seasoning and marinade makes it really good!

Here's the recipe:

Less than 1/2 of a Red onion (Chopped)
1/2 of a small Red Pepper (Sliced)
1 slice of Tofu
Handful of Spinach
Handful of Chopped Mushrooms
1 tsp of Turmeric
Sliced Avocado
Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

1.  Heat 2 tsp of Olive Oil in cooking pan on medium heat.

2.  Sauté onion, mushroom, and peppers for about 1 minute.

3.  Take your sliced tofu and crumble it into the pan.  Make sure you've pressed out the excess water from the tofu with a paper towel before cooking.

4.  Add your handful of spinach and mix it all in until the spinach cooks down.

5.  Sprinkle on your Turmeric.

6.  Once done cooking, plate your scramble and add your sliced avocado and add salt and pepper.


That's it!

This dish is really good you guys!  If you're looking for a super easy meatless breakfast, definitely give this dish a try!  I've already gotten into the mindset that meals will taste different, but the key is always your seasonings!  Are you opposed to a meatless diet?  If you are already meatless, drop a few breakfast recipes down down below!  I'd love to try them!  I'll be sharing more meatless recipes as I continue this journey so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Evening Glow with L'Occitane En Provence


No matter how busy my day is, you guys know I thoroughly enjoy winding down at home after work hours.  I'm making it a habit in sharing all of my "at home spa" rituals with all the luxurious products I use included.  More recently I've created a routine that's quick and to the point.  Allowing for me to have my hair prepped (naturally curly hair routine) and in my pjs in just an hour after getting home.  I figure the sooner I can get my makeup off and get in and out of the shower; the more time I can relax on my computer in bed.  

I find that using the right kinds of products, such as oils and rich body creams, are definitely a huge help to get me relaxed and prepared for a good night's rest.  One of my favorite beauty brands--L'Occitane was kind enough to send over a box full of goodies to help with my down time!  Here's a few ways to help you get your evening glow and have you ready for your evening turn down:


Moisturize

We are still experiencing snow and lots of dry air so I've been using the Almond Shower Oil pretty much every night.  It cleanses, hydrates, and nourishes the skin.  It smells and feels super luxurious.  I often like to pour on extra product for a nice lather.  I  also like to use thicker body creams to set into my skin.  I like to apply my body cream while my skin is still a little damp from the shower.  I feel like doing this really locks in the moisture.  The Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream is such a treat!  It intensely nourishes, helps protect skin from dryness, and moisturizes for up to 72 hours.  The richness of this body cream is a dream and the best part about it is that it isn't greasy!  Take a look at the whipped magic in the photo above.  The scent is also heavenly--soft, yet lingering.  

Face Oil

I moisturize by facial skin twice a day, but at night I like to use a heavier oil to treat my skin while sleeping.  The Immortelle Divine Youth Oil helps to combat signs of aging.  My skin has done really well with this product.  I always get tons of compliments of me looking more like I'm in my twenty's rather than early thirties.  So while I'm not necessarily aging in my skin--I'd like to keep things that way.  This oil is exquisite.  I feel like I'm having a spa experience using it.  The oil really melts into your skin without leaving a filmy greasy feel.




Hand Cream

The Shea Butter Hand Cream has become an essential throughout the day when I'm on the go and especially at night.  It has definitely become my beauty must have.  Normally I climb into bed and reach over to my night stand and apply this product to my hands and wrists.  I love that the formula contains honey, almond extracts and coconut oil along with the shea butter. 

***

I hope you enjoyed this snap shot of how I like to wind down to relax after work.  I truly find peace in   this nightly routine I've created.  Try adding these small little rituals after your shower.  I feel like I'm always saying this but it truly quiets my mind of all the 'noise' from the day.  I'm having fun creating a safe haven of tranquility and peace in my home bathroom.  Using my L'Occitane products made the experience all the better.  Let me know some of your favorites from this line.  Or if you have yet to try--which ones are on your wish list?



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Style At Work | Day In The Life: Full-Time Professional + Part-Time Blogger Schedule


Today's Style At Work look reflects my day to day cold weather office and blogger style.  No heels, no dressy looks--strictly business casual.  I tend to keep things classic during the week with black.  It's easier to get dressed in the dark this way, lol.  However, adding these trousers from French Connection, gave me a little more interest that I wanted for this look.  Remember, just because it's freezing out, doesn't mean you have to compromise your style.  These  Jaynee Platform Oxford shoes make walking downtown that much more comfortable, while keeping things polished.  This look also transitions really well if I have a business meeting after work.

Life as a full-time professional and part time blogger can be quite the balancing act.  I have been dividing my free time outside of my day time job with blogging for almost 6 years now.  I often get questions like "How do you find the time to do it all?"   When your small hobby turns into a part-time job, you start to put more into it.  More time, more effort, more attention, and more work.  It can be challenging every now and again.  A lot of the time, I just want to come home, put on my pjs and watch some Netflix before finally dozing off.  Managing the time to spend with my husband, do day to day house work, cooking, personal errands, all while still running a blog can make for late nights and early mornings.  Here's what a typical day looks like for me:

5:30 AM - Wakeup time.  Normally my alarm goes off and I hit snooze for the next 20 mins.  I normally get myself  out of snoozy mode by turning my phone's backlight up and doing some scrolling on the gram for a few moments.  Once my eyesight has properly adjusted (lol) then I'm up and getting myself dressed.

7:15 AM - Arrive at work.  It probably takes me anywhere from 15-20 mins to settle in at my desk.  I get logged into my computer and immediately check my work emails.

7:30 AM - Eat breakfast.  If it's a really good day I eat breakfast at home.  Realistically, I'm heating something up in the office kitchen.  It's easier.  That way I can take my time to eat rather than scarf down a breakfast burrito in the car while driving.

7:45 AM - Daytime Office Mode.  Job responsibilities and tasks.

I like to get through my work day with music or podcasts.  Podcasts I listen to are:  The Casey Crew, Afford Anything w/ Paula Pant, and Myleik Teele.  I like to keep music flowing depending on my mood and what kind of day I'm having.  My playlist can be gospel, jazz, R&B, all the way to trap music.

10:30 AM- Mid Morning snack.  Normally a handful of blackberries, raspberries, and almonds.  Drinking lots of water to keep me focused until lunch.

12 or 1PM - Lunch.  Depending on how my morning went I'm either eating a packed lunch or grabbing food from one of my favorite spots about a block away from the office.  I love eating at SunTrust Bank's Marketplace.  A lifesaver when you don't bring lunch.  Their salad bar is bomb.

If I have blog deadlines, I will bring my personal laptop and type up a blog post that's due or edit something I'm working on whether it be a post or photos.  I also use my lunch hour to make personal phone calls or appointments.

2 PM - Afternoon Office Mode.

4PM - Out of the office.

4:25 PM - My husband and I normally arrive home within 15 - 20 minutes of each other, which is great.  For the next 30-40 minutes we catch up with each other and talk about how our work day went.  Check the mail, talk about important things to get done, and plan for the weekend.

5PM - I start on dinner while hubby is at the gym.  Sometimes dinner will already be prepped (Normally on Sundays) but about mid week I tend to cook again.  I like making something quick during the week, like Fajitas.  We can eat Mexican food a few times a week so this meal is actually a favorite.  When I make fajitas I love making fresh guacamole to top it off.  If it's a Thursday night I'll add in a margarita to toast to Friday, but I'm normally drinking water with lemon and lime or ginger ale.  Then I tidy up the kitchen.  I really don't like going to bed with a dirty kitchen.  Something about waking up to a fresh space in the mornings puts me in a better head space.

5:45-6:30 PM - Shower + Pjs + me time.  I normally am prepping my hair for the next day.  Planning or ironing my work outfit and winding down.


6:30- 8 PM At this point I head into my office and take a look at blogger deadlines I have for the week.  I check and answer emails, continue to write and edit posts, or upload photos.  Go over looks I want to shoot for the weekend.  Unbox a few PR packages, test out new cosmetics I've received, or share on social media.

8-9:15 PM Wind down before sleep.  I'm normally scrolling the gram or watching YouTube videos until I crash.  I really try to be asleep by 10pm.  Depending on my night I could be up for another hour or two working on a post.

This is very much a rough breakdown of what my schedule normally looks like.  There are weeks of course when it changes--anything from a weeknight blogger event to a random date night with hubby (Always the best!), or tackling laundry mid week.  At the end of the day, I do my best to get my projects done for both my day time and blogger jobs as well as keeping my focus mentally and spiritually, all while spending time loving my husband.  I try to dedicate as much time as I can to the things and people I love.

How do you manage your day?






Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rest & Relaxation with Laxed Home Spa & Bath


 I've always loved a good at home pamper.  I truly believe that taking time even if it's just once week to indulge in your own at home oasis can really do the body and soul good.  I was really excited when  Laxed Home Spa & Bath owner reached out to me with the opportunity to create my own customized  bath milk and massage oil.  I really didn't realize how much I've been missing out on by not taking my at home baths up a notch with these carefully handmade products.  The bath milk I had the pleasure of making is filled with some pretty amazing ingredients like goats milk, rose petals, and lavender!  Once I made my bath recipe, I was inspired to create an over the top bath to indulge in and I did just that.  Complete with rose petals and a good book.


After my bath I used a massage oil that I also made with a special oil blend.  Once I applied it I was totally ready for sleep!  This routine is so relaxing.  I truly believe everyone should take a great soak bath to put your mind  in a relaxing space after all of the hustle and bustle of the week.  It's so easy to zone out and the perfect time to pick up a good book to read.  What's awesome is that it only takes one scoop of this mix to have your entire bathroom smelling like heaven.

It doesn't take much to create rich experiences like this for the soul.  You'd be surprised how one small change during the week can set the tone for your mind and spirit.  It's so beneficial!  For me personally this is a way to practice mindfulness and a great way  to quiet my mind--preparing me for sleep.  Check out Laxed Home Spa & Bath to create your own spa experience at home.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Blogger 411 | How to Find Success In Blogging With A Smaller Audience


The perception right now amongst many bloggers is that you have to be 'popular' and have over tens of thousands of followers on social media in order to find success in the blogging world.  While numbers can definitely play a big role in attracting brands, receiving free product, and getting invites to certain events on a regular basis-- I'm here to tell you that the numbers are NOT the end all be all.  What's also important to think about first and foremost is what you perceive to be success online as a blogger.  One could find that they are successful in just creating their blog, hitting publish on a post, and having the world (or a few family and friends ☺️) simply be able to read it.  Another would deem they have reached success after they've gotten their first check or receive opportunities on a regular basis to make money.    It's really all in how you view it.  In this post, I'll be discussing the latter.

As a blogger with a reach of under 10K, I have still had some of the same opportunities that bloggers with over 100K have had.  I've been able to work with major style and beauty brands, be flown out on location to represent said brand all while still being paid to do so.  Let me be your example in how it is VERY possible to not only attract a major brands attention when you have a small following, but also, generate another stream of income through monetizing your blog.  If you have a small audience and are still growing your readership do not let the false perception of social media discourage you.  It's all about perspective and focusing on what your personal goals are as a blogger.  Your goals and opportunities don't have to look like every other blogger on Instagram.  Here are a few of my thoughts and tips on how you can find success in blogging with a smaller audience.

1.  What's Your Purpose?

Before jumping on the bandwagon of what seems to be working for others, really explore what it is that you like and are passionate about.  Are you wanting a blog for popularity?  To make money?  Or do you just have a desire to share whatever it is that you do?  For me, it's always been about sharing written content, my journey with style, and love for beauty.  Since I were in high school I wanted to have a career in fashion as an editor, buyer, or in fashion merchandising.  Find what it is that really ignites motivation and passion from within.  If you are looking for success in your blog by growing readership and ultimately attracting monetized opportunities, your love for whatever it is that your blogging about will be your fuel during the times when those 'Glow Up' opportunities haven't come your way yet.  If you don't really have a purpose, you'll find yourself doing everything that everyone else is doing trying to 'catch fire' and ultimately giving up because it's not something you really loved in the first place.  Knowing why you're blogging brings clarity and focus.  Purpose and focus are definitely some of the key ingredients you'll need in order to garner the success you're looking for.

2.  Be Intentional

Although I tend to have a relaxed approach when it comes to how I post on my blog and social media, I am still very intentional about how and what I share.  When you look at my feed on social, most posts are of what I'm wearing, where I've been, my natural hair, beauty, and a little lifestyle here and there.  It all ties into the niche of blogging I'd like to be tied to. Therefore, if you look to have your blog taken a little more seriously in the eyes of brands and are using it as a tool to create our own business, definitely take the time to plan.  Plan what you want to share and create content that you can be proud of.  Use specific hashtags certain brands use to increase the odds of having your social posts featured.  Tag companies you love.  Share your content on varies social platforms.  Learn when is the best time to share your work on social and do that.  When you are intentional about the work you are creating and how you promote it, it sets you up so that it isn't by accident that your attracting opportunities.

3.  Be Great

 I really like to focus on becoming really good at what I do.  I often times get compliments on my photos that I take on IG or my outfits and how I applied my make up.  It's because I've practiced and over time learned what works for me.  I take time to plan my written content and what I would like to say.  I do research.  I try not to just slap a post together.  Whatever I share, it's my best.  Whatever kind of post or content you create, it should be your best.  Is that not what this is all about? Especially if you'd like to reach a certain level.   If not, then why bother?  Become a master at what you do.  Don't focus on anything else.  It takes time, patience, and practice. Continue to research to get better--whether it's your writing, photography, editing-- have the mindset and focus of being great.  Although your audience is smaller, your work will always speak for itself.  When you are known for being great at what you do sometimes the numbers won't even matter.  Brands will want you to be part of their campaign simply off the strength that you are the expert in your field.

4.  Reach Out

There are times where it takes a little more than doing the work and expecting a brand or someone you'd like to work with in business to make the first move to reach out.  If there is a certain company you'd like to partner with, research who you need to connect with and send them a quick email.  Ask if there's any way to be part of XYZ or whatever it is that you'd like to do.  Be professional when reaching out as well and also think about what it is that you can offer them so that both parties can benefit from whatever exchange you are trying to have with them.  As the saying goes 'Closed mouths don't get fed.'  

5.  Focus on YOUR work

Quit worrying about the analytics of Instagram.  I've seen a lot of bloggers complain about the changes with Instagram and other technicalities, but guess what?  You should let NOTHING stand in the way of you and what you are trying to do with your blog, business, or in life for that matter.  When you face challenges, take a step back, research, and problem solve.  Continue to focus on what you want to create, your plans, and what YOU want to do!  It is perfectly okay be inspired, but don't become so obsessed in someone else's work that it distracts you from what you do well and have to offer.  When you shift your focus to what you have going on, you'll become better at what you do and that in turn benefits YOU.

If you noticed these tips are not a quick scheme to get you a glow up.  Being a style and beauty blogger right now is tough work if you want to have bigger opportunities to work with brands.  This post is about changing your mindset and perspective so that you set yourself up for the opportunities. I'm here to tell you that it's possible to get what you're looking for, but realize that everything takes time.  Don't give up.

If you are a blogger that would like to meet with me or discuss matters concerning blogger guidance and tips; send me an email so that we can work on a game plan to get clear on why you're here and how to take things up a notch.  I would love to offer my services to you in a more in depth analysis of how I can help you and your blog.  For more information, connect with me at Styledchic2@gmail.com.  Serious Inquires only.




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter Wardrobe | Blush Shaggy Knit Sweater


Notice a trend here?  I just realized that this is the second shaggy piece that I've featured here on the blog this winter, lol.  For me, the shaggy sweater is the easiest way to wear something different that stands out.  Normally once I find something that really works for me, I tend to roll with it for awhile.  We've still got another month or so of winter and I really want to take advantage of that and wear some of my warmer pieces that didn't get much love this season.  Winter has gone by so quickly, I really can't believe Spring is almost here.  While most people are praying the cold temps away, I actually enjoy the cold weather so I'm a little sad to see it go.  



With my busy schedule lately, it’s been really easy for me to throw on darker winter clothing items and go-- especially during office hours.  However, on the weekends and to events around town, I like to have a little more fun.  With New York Fashion Week around to inspire me last week, I thought I'd pull this pretty piece out of the closet to wear downtown for brunch last Saturday.  This piece just makes a fun statement and gets me out of my wardrobe rut.  I absolutely love the blush tone that's giving me all of the spring time vibes and reminds me of Cheery Blossom season!  How are you making a statement with your wardrobe before Winter is up?



 

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