Lifestyle (Home, Travel, Family),Personal

Ask Anything – Q and A – May 2018

Pinteresting Plans Fashion Blog May 2018 Question and Answer post

I feel honored that when I said I was going to be doing a Q and A post so many of you replied!   I appreciate your support so much and I was so touched that some of you wanted to hear how my husband is doing.    We take so much for granted – I just assumed people knew he was doing great since he’s always around busting my chops.   So anyway, without more blabbering (lots to follow) here are the questions you guys gave me.

Q and A – May 2018

Pinteresting Plans Fashion Blog May 2018 Question and Answer post

  1. Recommendations for teeth whitening?  I don’t whiten my teeth.  Since becoming a blogger I’ve had more than a dozen inquiries to do sponsored posts for teeth whitening systems but I actually just use this charcoal whitening toothpaste and that’s it.  My teeth are not alarmingly white, but my mother in law’s are and she uses hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash in the morning.
  2. Best self tanner that’s not a spray machine?  If I am not doing a home spray tan I most often use the St. Tropez bronzing mousse with a mitt.   I always recommend applying with a mitt for more even coverage.  I prefer tinted tanners so I can see where I applied them, but they do wear off a bit on your clothes.   This brand washes out of my clothes without staining.
  3. How do you wash and dry a cardigan?  I wash almost all my clothes on the normal, cold cycle.   Depending on what the cardigan is made of, I often throw them in the dryer.   Since cardigans pull on hangers I store mine folded in my closet in this hanging shelf system.   I have several of these and highly recommend them if you have space in your closet.
  4. Where do you shop for kids’ clothes? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Old Navy toddler clothes.   Unfortunately their kids items are not as cute for boys.   I accept any and all hand me downs so I don’t buy my kids more than a couple of items each season.
  5. Tips for keeping whites clean? To start, I don’t buy very pricy white items. Most of my white furniture is from Ikea and my white clothes – under $50.   I wash everything on cold – and use this stain treatment for specific spots or spills.
  6. Who did you get your sense of humor from?  My Dad is in the midst of a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s and dementia.    Despite these challenges he still cracks jokes when he’s able.   If I had to say I got my humor somewhere – I’m calling him out!   He likes an inappropriate (or in my case mom boob) joke just like his daughter.
  7. How did you get more comfortable/learn to embrace your height?  It wasn’t going away so I didn’t even feel like I had a choice?   I knew if I slouched or tried to hide my height I would still stand out – but in an awkward way.   With any insecurities I try to face them head on because in college I let them get the best of me and I look back on that time with regret.
  8. Do you do anything besides blogging?  I left my job as a cardiology nurse practitioner last July (2017).   At the time I had plans to take on a per diem position that fell through.   My life is busier than ever blogging full time but the schedule is flexible, and I get to be home more so I really enjoy that.
  9. Any tips for growing an Instagram audience?  I have lots of tips for growing your Instagram audience already on my blog.    At the time I wrote this post Instagram stories didn’t exist – I think stories are a great tool to grow your audience as video is very engaging.
  10. Do I think IG or the blog is more important for success?  Both are super important.   Instagram and Facebook share content for such a short window.   The blog houses it all in one place and serves as a lifelong reference point for your audience and brands.   Social media platforms and trends change so quickly and could theoretically go away overnight.   The blog is the only thing each influencer has complete control over.    So even though it is the most time consuming, I feel it’s super important to maintain a current blog.
  11. How do you balance the blog, Instagram, Facebook, and being a mom?  I hire out for several things that don’t require my personal attention.   In January I hired a full time assistant who I adore.  Unfortunately she is leaving me at the end of the Summer for nursing school.  She helps me with the kids, runs errands for me, and helps upload photos and widgets to my blog.   I also have a cleaning lady who I don’t want to be without and a couple people who do some back end items for my website.      As a business owner my time is valuable and it takes some weight off my shoulders to hire help where I can.   I recently shared on Instagram stories about how I had been feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep up with being a good mom and running a full time business.   It took me awhile to admit that I enjoy working, and don’t want to be a full time stay at home mom.   Hiring help has given me better balance to put more concentrated effort into each roll.
  12. Did you need traffic to your blog to gain affiliate links and collaborations with other companies or does this come mostly from Instagram?  Anyone can apply to join ShopStyle and use their affiliate links on their blog – no matter your traffic.  RewardStyle (who owns LikeToKnow.It) has some Instagram only influencers who don’t even have blogs but they are very limited these days.   Most brands want content on the blog where it has a longer lifespan.   That said – brands DEFINITELY pay/gift for Instagram only sponsorships.    There are a lot of influencer networks where you can apply for these types of campaigns.   Popular Pays and Refluence are two popular places to search for these types of brand collaborations.
  13. I’m in need of the best ivory cami ever for night out with heels and jeans.   You have so many – thoughts?  I love this button front ivory cami (XS) but it’s selling out at the moment.   I also have this popular plunge cami (small) and this basic satin cami (in XS) which are both very good options.
  14. How is your husband doing?  Thank you all so much who asked this.   This made me almost teary.   He’s doing wonderful.   We are lucky that he has a large sober network of friends that are local and he goes to weekly AA meetings in our town.  He’s such a good Dad so he’s really in his element at home.    I don’t know many parents who can PLAY for 2-3 hours at time with their preschoolers and he can…..and well!   My heart is so full of gratitude to see how much he’s turned his (and our) life around.
  15. What was the last gift you gave your husband and/or received from him?  My husband helped my kids to make 2 awesome homemade Mother’s Day gifts.   They planted flowers for me in upcycled colanders that they hung next to our patio and they made me a “MOM” sign out of faux flowers.   Hmmmm…last things I gave my hubby – workout equipment.   That’s his biggest hobby.
  16. Can you go into detail about how you edit and plan your cohesive feed?  I have a section of my blog with “blogging tips” and a post about photo editing.  As far as keeping my feed cohesive, it has a lot to do with color and spacing for me.  It’s not something I really overthink or plan.   I choose light backgrounds to keep my feed bright (I love a distressed white wall!!!) and I wear mostly neutrals.    So as much as editing helps – choosing the background is even more important to me.  I also try to vary my pictures – so flatlays, mirror selfies, detail shots, etc to break things up.
  17. Can you talk about the business aspect?   Do you get most of your clothes for free or buy most of them?   I get a lot of clothes gifted to me and through brand collaboration but I purchase a lot of clothes as well.    In order to continuously put out new content I have to shop every couple days.   Because I shop so much, I tend to just search brands or trends I am keen on rather than browsing aimlessly.  It seems crazy to other people that bloggers go through so many clothes, but that is how we make a living.   If I shared the same shirt 3 times every week I wouldn’t be attracting new interest/buyers.   Read more about how fashion bloggers make money in this post.
  18. Time management – how many hours a day are you putting towards your business?   Oh boy!   A LOT!!!!   My kids are home with me but I have a full time assistant Monday-Friday 9-5 so one of us is always working during those hours.  If I am with the kids, she is doing blog stuff for me.  She (Haley) mails out my Charity Closet Sale items, uploads my photos/widgets for the weekly round up posts, runs to the mall for me, etc so I can spend time with my kids during the day.     Haley started working with me full time in January and I’m so grateful for her.   She is like part of our family (we knew her before she worked full time with me).   When my kids go to bed at 8 pm I work alongside my hubby until I get to bed at 11:30 or so.   Weekends are the busiest time on social media so I put in several hours a day on the weekends as well.
  19. I’m starting an online boutique – what advice do you have for engaging with your followers and providing quality content?   Ask questions to your audience that you really are interested in hearing the answers to!   This helps you connect with people and learn more about what they’re interested in.  Providing quality content is a learning curve.   Continuously try new things and review analytics to see what your audience is responding well to.
  20. Any other advice in growing a business?  Owning your own business is an emotional roller coaster.    Within hours you can go from feeling like you’re killing it to feeling like you’ll never compare to others in your niche.    COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY!    Do your own thing and stand out for what you do well!   There are a million things to learn when you start a business (marketing, finance, social media, etc) and you cannot be doing them all well at once.   When you get to a point where you can hire help – hire people to handle the things you like the least.
  21. Who is a better dancer – you or your hubby?  He has more rhythm, I have more passion.   If I hear a song I like when I’m out in public I start dancing – an uncoordinated dance that is often accompanied by me snapping my fingers.
  22. Favorite white skinny jeans for tall girls?  My favorite white skinny jeans are the high waisted Abercrombie white super skinny jeans.   I have them in my usual size, regular length (which is an ankle fit on me since I am 5’11”).   They fit very snug, but are thick enough that they don’t show through.   They do not have front pockets.   The high rise pair is almost sold out but the low rise pair is well stocked at the moment.
  23. Favorite item or style as a kid?   I was VERY trendy in my middle school days and I remember a short grunge phase in elementary school where I wore black Doc Martins a lot.
  24. Why do you eat more vegan options?   Are you fully plant based?  We are not fully plate based.   My husband was interested in exploring veganism to see if it could impact his workout performance.  He is intolerant of dairy, and I have a mild allergy to eggs so we felt like adding some vegan meals to our diets would benefit the both of us.
  25. Best undergarments for white pants?  I always wear a thong!  Some people are bothered by them but I am not.  I recommend a light pink or nude to be on the safe side, but the white jeans I mentioned above don’t let my black thongs show through.
  26. How do you not get spray tan all over your white clothing?  My sprays tans do rub off on my bralettes and a bit on my white shirts but I haven’t had issues with the tanner not coming out in the washing machine.
  27. How do you get the Free People bralette to not look bunchy under tops?  This is more about the top than the bralette.   Any lace bra will look clumpy under a cotton t shirt – especially one that is form fitting.  I tend to wear the Free People bralette with thicker tops (like knits) and tops that are flowy or looser fitting.
  28. Favorite strapless bra for smaller busted gals?  The thin, yet pretty, straps on the Free People bralette really cut down how often I wear a strapless bra.  My best strapless bra is actually from Target!!  My strapless bra is several years old but I’d recommend checking out some of their options.   I find their online reviews really helpful.
  29. Are your pictures done with a camera, phone, or professional photographer?  Who takes your pictures?  My husband takes almost all of my photos with my iPhone.    Occasionally I meet my friend Christina (of Oh So Glam blog) and we take photos of one another, but again, I almost always use my phone.   I do own a Canon 6D but I don’t even use it once a month.
  30. How do the type of hair extension you have compare to tape ins?   How is it washing them?  The last time I had my extensions switched out for a new set my hairdresser put in 2 tape ins on each side of my face.    She said they may lay flatter than my bonded extensions but I have found they twist out and show the bonds more often than my usual extensions (read more about them here).     I wash my hair as usual with my extensions, but they require styling to look good.   The texture of the hair does not blend with my real hair and I refer to the ends as “frazzled”.   I air dry my hair and then curl it with my T3 wand.   For more aftercare tips check out this hair extensions post I posted last Fall.

 

I’m so thankful for your interest.   If I missed anything it was not on purpose – drop a comment below and I will be sure to answer.   I have a bi-weekly newsletter if you want to keep up with what’s happening on the blog and top items/sales.   Sign up here.

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  • Charity
    May 22, 2018 at 3:30 am

    Any bralettes you’d recommend other than the Free People one you wear? Although super cute, my (also small) boobs don’t stay contained when I’m chasing around my toddler.

    • Rachel
      May 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Hi!!! Yes, I have this one and it’s a more snug fit but still pretty http://shopstyle.it/l/Kohw
      🙂

      • Charity
        May 28, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        Awesome. Thanks so much!!!

  • Kristen
    May 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Please please stop using the charcoal toothpaste ! I am a registered dental hygienist and it is extremely harmful to toe enamel and other tooth structures

    • Rachel
      May 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Kristen!!!
      Thanks for the tip. Any more natural options you can recommend instead?

      • Kristen
        May 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        Unfortunately most natural ways are very damaging. Try talking to your dentist about a professional treatment . It’s not “natural” but at least it’s safe.

        • Rachel
          May 30, 2018 at 2:09 pm

          thanks kristen!!!