This month in celebrating turning 40! Wow! So, for my birthday, I decided to give readers a discount on my book, Jack and Ahlia! For the rest of June, get Jack and Ahlia for 40% off!
It’s my birthday wish to get as many FIVE STAR ratings on Amazon as possible. That means more people need to read my book! So, buy it for yourself and buy it for a friends.
Oh yeah, there’s an awesomely curated playlist too! Get the Jack and Ahlia vibe playlist on Spotify and Tidal.
About Jack and Ahlia
Follow the story of childhood best friends, turned high-school sweethearts, as they navigate the ‘Will they won’t they’ of loving each other as adults. Jack and Ahlia starts with an admission of betrayal and a plan to keep a secret. The reader is led on a tour that entwines stories from their past that asks the question, are you, “The one who got away?”Purchase your copy on Amazon
Let’s talk about underwear! Y’all, I’m mad at people wear the WRONG UNDERWEAR at the WRONG TIME! I’m mad at people wearing too small panties, too big panties, and just sad panties. Also, did you KNOW that you are supposed to get new underwear EVERY SIX MONTHS! Yes, girl! Like, throw the daily panties away and start fresh! So let’s talk about the right time, to wear the right panties.
Around the time when Sisqo sung the THE THONG SONG, thong sales just went through the roof. Victoria’s Secret saw such an increase in thong sales, the retailer was brought back to life! Ladies everywhere (all shapes and sizes) decided that they too must be about the business of a thong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t wear a thong I’m saying, you need . Thongs shouldn’t be your ONLY style of underwear you choose, here’s several reasons why: Continue reading “What to Wear: Thongs, Briefs, or Boy Shorts”→
A friend of mine snapped these photos after my gig on the NMAAM red carpet. I had to post because the look is so fly and this is one of my favorite items in my closet. How about, this is the second time I’ve worn this dress?! Crazy!
During this last week in my 30’s (y’all seriously? What!?) I’ve been focusing on staying positive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of negativity when things aren’t going your way.
If you hadn’t noticed the last couple years of my life have been a challenge. But, I’d be dumb to think I’ve not accomplished much. I’ve got two degrees, I write this blog, I’ve won some awards, and I WROTE A WHOLE BOOK! Let me focus on my champion ships instead of my challenges for a moment.
So, the look. Last year, I got this dress from Styles Boutique here in Nashville. I don’t think she has this on sale anymore, BUT I found the exact dress on amazon – BUY HERE.
Remember, I’m 6ft tall, so this dress is super short on me. So I wore this cute skater skirt (that I’ve had FOREVER) to give me a couple more inches. Didn’t want to flash the Celebes at the music gala!
Oh yeah, and I’m like DONE with wearing heels to fancy work events. I’m about to be 40. My face looks young but these knees are OLD! Listen, I gotta keep it real. Keep it real and keep it positive.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve heard me complain about my struggle brows! Girl, my brows are so thin, sparse, and struggly that I hate stepping out the house without filling them in. I used to go to a professional brow tech, but now she only specializes in Microblading (Shala is the best brow tech in the south, go to her!) However, I’m on a budget. Microblading isn’t on the menu, so I did the next best thing, brow tinting
It’s June! My favorite month of the year! Why? It’s my birthday month! This month I’m exploring the art of asking for help. It’s truly an art to figure out the things you NEED then researching places/people to ask for help. You may get rejected, but at least you tried. This is not about begging, this is about strategic moves to improve your life outcomes. It’s scary, but worth it. Continue reading “Hello June: The Art of Asking for Help”→
Last month, I restarted my fitness journey. To keep me accountable, I thought I’d share my monthly updates on the blog. Although I started a bit unsure of my journey, I’m happy to say we are on the right track and getting more for everyday! Below, I share details of my first four weeks of fitness.
Blogger vs. Influencer? It’s a discussion that’s become more prevalent as influencer marketing grows. Everyone wants to be popular online. Everyone wants followers. And, everyone wants to work with brands. But which lane is best for you to achieve that goal? In this post I’ll discuss the difference between the Blogger and the Influencer, and which category is best for you!
In my post, Blogging While Broke, I discussed how most bloggers don’t make money from their endeavors. As I continued this #bloggerlife series, I realized, I needed to make a distinction between BLOGGING and being a social media influencer. Because, if you are trying to operate in the wrong lane, you may be wasting your time and losing money.
Before we get into specifics, let me give it to you simple:
An influencer shows you what they know. A blogger teaches you what they know. A reader can leave fulfilled, from both, only if the influencer or blogger does their job effectively. – @fabglance
A Blogger creates online content about a certain niche. Food, fashion, travel, and entertainment are the most popular blog topics. Blogs are updated regularly and usually garner traffic from readers looking for detailed info about a certain topic. A blog is used to introduce readers to a topic through the eyes of a writer. The average blog post should be 400-1000 words. The best blog posts use sourced content with a unique point of view. Blogging is usually more time consuming than creating a social media post. Often, the pay off is slow. However, blogs help build reader trust in whatever topic is being discussed. Blog authors are often revered higher than traditional journalists IF their content is trustworthy. Brands like working with bloggers because posts can stay live and searchable for years giving their product better SEO rates.
An Online Influencer typically creates content for a social media platform. A blogger can be an influencer, and an influencer can have a blog. But the two have some distinctions. Influencers are usually VISUALLY driven, creating content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr. Rarely, do influencers create blog content. If the influencer does have a blog, it’s a place to deposit additional photos, unused from social media content. Influencers give you THEM, their life, and their viewpoint, in less than 300 words (think Kim Kardashian). Influencers usually have a large following that consumes quick content at high rates. Brands like to work with influencers, because their posts have a quicker turnaround and more immediate engagement.
Whew, that was was alot! But it’s important to understand that bloggers and influencers often cross into each other’s territory, which causes confusion for readers and brands. Easily, if you DO NOT operate A BLOG, you are not a blogger, you are an online influencer. If you run and regularly update a blog, in addition to using social media for promotion, you are a blogger. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch, being ‘just an influencer’ isn’t a bad thing. Neither is being a ‘just a blogger’. And sometimes bloggers become influencers and vice-versa.
I call myself a blogger and a writer because the written word is where I thrive. I love writing stories (I wrote a whole book, Jack and Ahlia) and helping people tell their story (especially working with brands). I’ll never admit to having the best photos, although I’m cute in front of the camera. But writing is my first love. I happen to be a stylish girl who writes really good posts. My social media presence is good, but not perfection.
So, can you be both? Certainly. But if you are, you must rock it in both categories. Update your blog with motivational and informative posts. BE CONSISTENT. Don’t just drop a photo on your website or social media platform and walk away. Give your reader some inside details. Tell us how this photo makes you feel and how we should feel reading your post or viewing your photos. What were you thinking that day and how is this photo important? Brands select bloggers and influencers because of our effect and impact. Can your PHOTO or STORY help sell their product – that’s the real question!
Lastly, expect to get attitude from the old guard – I’m talking about newspapers, magazines, and ‘real’ journalists. Bloggers and influencers are continuously fighting for respect from these organizations. That’s why we must be vigilante in our approach to sharing content. If invited to an event as PRESS, be professional. Complete your blog post and/or social share in a timely manner. Read your contracts thoroughly and always send a thank you note.
Gaining respect as a blogger and influencer is all about the respect you give your chosen topic/task. Don’t call yourself a blogger if you don’t own a blog. Stop it. But be an amazing influencer, if that’s what you’d rather do.
If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been pumping out the blog posts like usual. Why? I’ve hit a blogging plateau. A rut, some might say. Like me, has your blog traffic decreases? Instagram followers not growing? Facebook likes, dwindling? Then this post is for you! Much like writer’s block, a blogging plateau is when the content you create isn’t bringing the readership you desire. Basically, you sit in front of your computer like, “WTF am I doing and why isn’t it working?!” That’s where I am.
With more than 10 years in the game, I’m half tired, a third happy, and kinda disappointed in my success. At one time my blog was ranked NUMBER ONE on Google for, ‘Top Style & Fashion Blog – Nashville’. I know, right?! Then one time i was voted one of Nashville Scene’s ‘Most Interesting People‘; a spot previously held by the UBER-successful blogger, happily grey. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t about to get a million dollar deal! I can speak on many other accolades I’ve received, but that’s not we are here for.
What we are here for is some tips to help you (and me) get out of our slump. Seriously, it’s a frustrated place to be. Especially when you know you want to give the people MORE than a cute look and sponsored post. #NoShade because I got a couple sponsored posts in the pipeline. But what’s the point of soliciting brands if the readers don’t care. SO, I had to do my googles and help myself find some inspiration. Below, I have THREE tips to get you out of your Blogger Funk.
Remember why you started – I know its MAD cliche but it’s real. If we continue to get caught up in the numbers and the popularity you give yourself a heart attack. Yes, I need the readers to read, to like, and to share but not at the sake of my sanity. I started this blog to help women realize fashion is for THEM no matter your size. Sometimes, the goal changes. But your core beliefs should not. No matter what I am blessed to experience, my aim is to share my life with an inspirational and motivational tone. As the internet says, ‘Stay in your lane AND slay in your lane’.
Take tips from your faves – After remembering why I started, I had to research some of my FAVORITE bloggers turned business women. Each of these women encompass traits that I want to improve upon: building nationwide brand recognition, transiting to other forms of media (books, magazines, & podcasts), while being amazingly STYLISH. Claire Summers (Fashion Bomb Daily), has amazing style while operating the TOP 10 style blog on Google. Blogger and Motivational Influencer, Mattie James mixes motivation and style to encourage followers to find success. Franchesca Ramsey has been in the game for over a decade (like me) and is now an author, host, and speaker, but previously a youtuber and graphic designer. And Necole Kane is just the FREAKING GOAT! She went from #gossipblogger to motivational maven all while PUBLICLY losing and internally winning. I read these women like the Bible and hope to build platforms that mirror their success.
Set a goal, and stick to it! – After scouring the Internet for tips and tricks to get more readers to my blog and get more people to follow me on Instagram, the overwhelming advice was to BE CONSISTENT! Yup, good ol’ fashion hardworking is what will help you bring success. I used to blog three times a week. Haven’t kept that schedule. I used to post on Instagram three times a day. Haven’t done that either. What’s the point of asking for more follower if you don’t give them something to appreciate. The hard work will pay off.
Dissect your analytics – Now, not to be too technical, but blogging is a combo of LUCK and science. As much as we can complain about changing algorithms and shady corporate moves, we are still blessed to have access to the NUMBERS. The numbers don’t lie. Take a look at your bounce rate, share stats, and audience engagement across the platforms. See any trends? See something you don’t like? Fix it! Yup, it may be hard, but it’s not impossible. Señora Google and Señor YouTube are always available to give you FREE advice.
The best writers are READERS – Yup, don’t expect for someone to show you love if you don’t show others love. Don’t just follow your faves on Instagram, read their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters (subscribe to mine). You may notice their tone and content make the reader feel a certain way. This may help you update your tone. Also, reading more helps you be more savvy with these paragraphs. BLOGGING isn’t dead, but well-written posts are hard to come by.
So, you’ll be seeing some changes in the next couple of weeks. Make sure to follow me on the socials and subscribe to my blog to get all this new and improved content. Also, drop suggestion in the comments to let me know what you’d like to see on this space. You CAN break the Blogging Plateau and I will too!
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Last week I hosted my very first book signing event for my book, Jack and Ahlia. Oh my, what an adventure! Of course everything that could go wrong, did (outfit change, mistaken haircut, books coming in late). BUT everything that could go right was MORE than perfect! From the location, to the treats, to everyone who brought a friend, I was overwhelmed with love and support!
White Bison Coffee was the spot for the event. The staff at White Bison was amazing! They made amazing treats and coffee drinks for all my guests. Seriously, White Bison is one of my FAVORITE new coffee spots in Nashville. Located in the newly updated Centennial industry area, you’ll get an amazing cup of coffee and delicious homemade treats.
After everyone had their treats and their book we held a Q&A about the characters and the story of Jack and Ahlia. Thank you to fellow blogger, Karla B (Your Truly, KB) for hosting the session. Y’all, she asked all the deep questions. She had me thinking about the themes of love, loss, and friendship (covered in the book). More than a romance novel, I wanted to discuss how/what causes people to make the decision to betray.
Then it was time to sign all the books! Listen, every since I was in the 7th grade I’ve wanted to write a book. My degree in English was obtained just so I could do it. I have to admit that fear caused me to pause my dream. But, no more. After completing this project, I’m ready to start the next book! I’m an author y’all and I’m not afraid to say it.
I guarantee, I’ll make my first million dollars from one of my books. I have so many amazing ideas floating around and I can’t wait to develop these new characters. I’m happy you guys are along for the ride. How many times can I say “Thank you!”? The limit does not exist!
Oh yeah, books are available on Amazon AND I have a couple books available that can be signed and sent out to you. Just send me an email and I got you!
Shout out to my vendors: Draping & Design – Exquisite Appeal, Food and Beverage – White Bison TN, Makeup – ShowMeYourTeeth, and Photography – Patrick Webster.
I’m so excited to have my first feature of 2018 in FabUPlus magazine! Yes! The team at FabUPlus contacted me about their Spring 2018 Issue, ‘Athleisure’ Story. Y’all know I’m the queen of sneakers and dresses! I was more than happy to supply the magazine with a photo in one of my fave looks:
This bomb body con dress & clutch from ASOS (2015) and one of my fave pairs of sneakers, the Airmax 90s are a GREAT example of rocking the ATHLEISURE trend. Seriously, this is my summer uniform and I’m not ashamed. As a matter of fact, let me stock up on more body con dresses for Summer 2018. I’ve already made a commitment to update my sneaker collection, can’t tell me nuthin. Athleisure is all about mixing the glam with the comfy! Can I be the formal representative of this campaign? Because I GET IT!
Anyway, when it comes to #Bloggerlife, this photo is an example of what I posted last week on Blogging While Broke – using photos repeatedly. This photo was taken back in 2015 (maybe 2014). Anyway, I was able to use it again for this story. Get all your money’s worth when hiring a photog. BLOGGER TIP: If the photo is awesome, your readers need to see it at least two times.
So, check out the Spring 2018 Issue of FabUPlus. Denise Mercedes is on the cover and the issue is all about plus-fitness. You can pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million!