Showing posts with label blogger of the month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogger of the month. Show all posts

Thursday, October 31, 2013

blogger of the month: Jamie of Petite Panoply

Today I am super excited to introduce to you October's blogger of the month, Jamie from Petite Panoply! What first drew me to her blog was her infectious smile, and it was her awesome sense of style that kept me coming back for more. I swear she is a woman after my own heart with such a colorful wardrobe. I think I would die if I had access to so many fun colors! She kindly let me interview her for the month of October, so be sure to read on to get a peek into this awesome lady's life!

1. First things first, can you tell everyone just a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Jamie: a mass communications graduate student at the University of Georgia (though I’m sick of defining myself by my eternal student status). My creative outlet is putting together non-boring outfits, playing with makeup, and blogging. I’m a Disney animated movie aficionado, nail polish hoarder, donut-lover, ex-theatre & band geek. I live in Georgia but I’m not a southerner. I enjoy tasty craft beer and going to nostalgic concerts. I have way too many shoes for my own good. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’m a bit of a nerd (books! science!). My idea of an excellent fall evening is binge watching TV shows with my sister while drinking boozy coffee and reading blogs. In reality, most of my fall evenings are spent reading academic articles, writing papers, and quickly scheduling blog posts.

2. What was the inspiration behind your blog name?

I was really feeling unique vocabulary words around the time I made my blog. I came across “panoply” which means “an array” and liked how odd it sounded. (I’ve always enjoyed funny-sounding words. And making up my own words too.) My blog name kind of has a dual meaning because it’s both talking about a small array of things and referencing my short height. Plus alliteration is king in the blog name world, right?

3. How would you describe the perfect outfit?

This question is so hard for me! I like wearing and mixing a lot of different styles depending on my mood that day. Usually the perfect outfit for me is: 1. full of color, 2: includes a vintage/retro-looking piece, 3. has polka dots or leopard print, and lately 4. Has a slight edgy factor. I’m happy in any colorful retro outfit but lately I’ve been enjoying darker edgier looks too. Mixing those two styles is always great in my book!

4. The tagline for your blog is "short girl style". Have you had any struggles with finding pieces to fit your height?

Oh always. My struggles were really prominent in my middle school and high school days when I wore jeans all the time. I had to search for stores that carried a short inseam because bell bottoms and boot cuts were in style then and the flare would start at such an awkwardly wrong place if they weren’t jeans made for short people. I still end up with 6-10 inches of extra fabric beyond my foot when shopping for pants in regular sizes. Lately I have problems with the bodices of dresses being way too long for my short torso. My red lace graduation dress had to have the bodice shortened (which was not easy). I also have issues with tops being too long. They usually hit at an unflattering place so I tuck most of my shirts in. The crop top trend is my friend! At least I can buy some things in the kids’ section. Basic tights are much cheaper there and even seem more durable.

5. How do you overcome the fashion industry's inclination towards taller girls?

I figure the majority of the fashion industry styles clothes for 2% of women. These are the tall, super skinny model types, which is a valid body type, but not at all the norm. I make do with the body I have just like any other woman who is outside that 2%. I get inspiration from the industry trends and adjust them to fit my style and body. Luckily there are stores that carry petite sizes and shorter inseams. Plus there’s always tailoring which is a short girl’s best friend. There are some styles that probably won’t ever be flattering on me though (like drop waist dresses). They just weren’t designed for a short frame and it sucks, but that’s life. There are plenty of other styles I can try out instead!

6. What's one style you wish you could emulate?

I really love Zooey Deschanel’s style. Her girly, retro style is exactly how I’d love to dress for work each day when I actually get out of grad school. I really like Emma Watson’s style too. I like that she takes chances with her look.

7. If you were to give one piece of advice to your readers, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to smile in your pictures (if you have a blog, that is)! It’s okay to look happy.

Thank you so much Jamie for letting me get to know you just a little bit. Be sure to check out her blog, Petite Panoply, for even more awesome colors (and a fun Halloween post for today!). I hope you all have a great day, and happy Halloween!

Monday, September 30, 2013

blogger of the month: Katie of Alaskan Weredork

I discovered Katie when we were both starting out on our blogs, after she commented on one of my chictopia looks. I was instantly in love with her sense of style, and while gathering photos for this post, I can see that our style is pretty similar! She is a fellow Alaskan blogger and one of my blogger friends, and it's so awesome to finally have her as September's blogger of the month. So give it up for the beautiful and fabulous Katie of Alaskan Weredork!

1. First things first, can you tell me just a little bit about yourself?

I like pina coladas and long walks on the beach. :)

Well, I do actually like those! I live in North Pole, Alaska however so I'm a little ways away from the nearest sandy beach. Hi everyone, I'm Katie and I'm a bit of a dork. I was born in Palmer, Alaska and have lived my whole life in Alaska aside from living for a short period of time in Washington and Oregon when I was three. We've moved around the state quite a bit, slowly moving farther and farther north but I think Fairbanks is about as far north as I can take, cold weather wise! I'm a pretty outdoorsy person, my family has always done a lot of hiking, camping and we fish and hunt for our food so I'm pretty at home in the outdoors. I jumped horses competitively during high school, I worked full time as a barn manager and taught riding lessons to pay for my own riding lessons and show expenses and because I spent all of my own time and money on it, I was pretty intense about the whole thing. I'm sure there were several shows where I broke down in tears because of working 18 hour days and trying to ride well in my classes, my parents weren't super well off so I knew every show could be my last and it really pushed me to work hard. I'm grateful now for that because I stand up well under pressure and I have a crazy hard work ethic which I've been trying to turn into my own riding business for the past year. My brothers, my husband and I all went in together to buy a large piece of property this past spring so I finally have room now to build my own riding facility and start my own barn which I'm really excited about.

Hah, I'm not very good art this summing myself up! I guess I should mention that I come from a large family, I'm the eldest of six kids and my family's pretty tight, more clannish than anything. I have a husband and two adorable little monsters named Gunnar and Isabel, both who are learning to ride our fat little pony Merrylegs. I mentioned we just bought our first house and a large piece of property so we've been spending all summer ripping apart the house and putting it back together, I'm hoping it'll be done or close to done by the time the snow really starts to fall. We're getting our wood stove this week so I'm looking forward to that.

2. What made you want to start blogging? And how to you balance blogging with raising a family?

I started blogging as a fun thing to do during an especially brutal winter and it was interesting to try to learn how to clothe myself in a way that wasn't just jeans, sweater, boots, baseball cap. I was also extremely shy in front of the camera and I thought it might be a good way to break myself of that and to try out photography which I'd just hadn't had the time for before. I can't really say that I balance blogging with anything as blogging falls to the bottom of my list. I don't blog professionally and I've only done one sponsored gig to date, it's been more something that's really fun and I've learned how much I love photography! (I've managed to get a little better about putting clothes on as well.) I used to take pictures in the evening and then write up a quick post that night while the kids were in bed but since our move, we don't have access to internet at our property so I've been typing up and trying to schedule posts for the once a week when I go to town.

3. What's one of the biggest challenges you've run across while taking outfit photos?

The cold! I got frostbite on my ears last winter trying to take pictures in -50 below without a hat on and I was trying so hard to get some decent pictures that I didn't notice my ears where starting to burn. By the time I got back to the car, I couldn't feel them and when they thawed out, it was like they were on fire! They ended up being okay and healed but I learned my lesson, I kept my Stormy Kramer hat on for the rest of the cold days.

4. How has living in Alaska influenced your personal style?

I think living in Alaska has defined my style, I've noticed that you can always tell an Alaskan apart from the new comers of the visitors and I think part of that is because we do dress for ourselves. (When was the last time you saw a trend salad on an Alaskan?) We don't care if it's all the rage in New York or what the current hot thing is in the blogger world, we will probably wear sweatpants to Walmart to get ice cream and you know what? No one judges. I think at the start of my blog I tried to break away from that and I didn't do a very good job of representing myself, mostly because I was really trying to figure myself out after so many life changes. Over the past few years I've started to figure it out and I've been far more true to myself with the blog, I wear more flats and boots than anything and I wear a lot of pants for being a fashion blogger. I also end up wearing more practical winter gear on the blog such as my Boggs boots, Stromy Kramer hat or just the ugly black puffer coat that keeps me warm. (Sometimes, you just can't be cute in the cold and you wear those snowpants!)

5. Now you own a couple of horses, correct? Can you tell me a little bit about that?

I do have a couple of horses! Well, it's actually one tall Yukon Mustang named Dollar and then we have a little registered Shetland pony named Merrylegs. Izzy actually got Merrylegs for Christmas last year, we'd just gone to the Santa Clause House in North Pole and she's asked Santa for a pony and when we got home, there was a fat little black pony tied up to the fence with a big bow on his tail. (Izzy was pretty impressed with how fast Santa worked.) I've been working with Dollar for the past year and a half on dressage and jumping, he hates the dressage but loves the jumping and I'm looking forward to doing cross-country jumping on him here in the next few years. Him and Merrylegs are the best of friends and sleep all curled up together in their little barn, they're pretty cute standing out in the paddock together because Merrylegs looks like Dollar's mini me. We put on a very small show a few weeks back with Merrylegs and another pony, it was just little walk, trot classes for the younger students and my kids with my brother judging but it was quite a bit of fun. (Dollar tried to join in, he followed the ponies around and even lined up by himself at the end of the classes, he thought he was quite the show pony.)

6. How have you seen your style evolve since starting your blog?

Wow, I've really noticed a change since I first started the blog and even just in the past few months. My style starting off was very hodge-podge and thrown together and alas, not very stylish I'm afraid. Taking pictures did teach me a lot about proportion, colors, fit and all of that stuff that I would before ignore, seeing it really helped me be more mindful. I've noticed that since I cut my hair I favor simpler outfits, I've moved away from the really girlish outfits I favored for a while and I've been slowly trying out some different styles.

7. And because I just have to let you give some love to the best state ever, what's the best thing about Alaska, and what's one thing about Alaska you wish everyone could experience?

I think everyone should experience that -fifty below just once. The joy of dashing to your car, praying it starts while trying to keep your nose from falling off should be experienced by everyone.

Hah, evilness aside, I think if you come to Alaska, get out of the city. They're pretty and fun and stuff but if you want to really see Alaska, either rent a car or take the bus or train and go for a drive along either the Parks Highway or the Richardson and it will just blow you away. I love driving to Valdez because you see such a variety of terrain, from going through the pass and gazing at huge mountains to seeing the coastline. (If you can't, go to Seward and go on one of Kenai Fjords Tours boat trips. They have a great variety of trips for any budget or time frame and you see way more wildlife than you will out of Whittier or Valdez and seeing glacier faces up that close is CRAZY.) It's hard to pick one thing about Alaska because it's home to me. I've been lucky enough to get to travel around and while I have lots of love for the west coast, Canada and Mexico, I will always come back home to Alaska. Even with the cold and the long winters, even with the crazy neighbors who mow (yes mow) their snow and mix R&R with the nightly gallon of ice cream and even with the hellish driving conditions in the winter, I really can't imagine ever living anywhere else. I'm probably just as crazy as the rest of them. :)

Thank you Katie so so much for letting me interview you and get to know you a little bit more! Be sure to check out Katie's blog here for more Alaskan goodness.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

blogger of the month: Ashlyn of Triple Thread

Our beautiful blogger of the month is none other than Ashlyn of Triple Thread! I only recently discovered Ashlyn's blog, and already her gorgeous photography and eloquent writing have whisked me away, making her one of my favorite bloggers and August's blogger of the month! Read on to discover a little bit more about this fabulous girl.

First things first, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I’m Ashlyn from Tennessee and I have my toes dipped in many different waters. I run collegiate cross country, write for my college newspaper (and was promoted to assistant editor this school year!), search for new music constantly, and of course blog about fashion on my blog. In my free time I love driving around the back roads of Maryville, TN, where I live, and exploring the Great Smoky Mountains.

And happy birthday! How does it feel to be turning twenty?

It feels great! I’m not one to fear getting older as my soul feels much older than my body. I know a lot happens in the next decade of my life, but I know I have the power to make it a positive experience.

I've loved exploring your blog and looking back on older posts, and it's really fun to see how your style has evolved. What's the most significant change you've seen with your style?

I think I have stopped relying so heavily on emulating a “romantic” or “vintage” style and have gotten more comfortable with the idea of a casual wardrobe. I still consider myself a classicist in a lot of aspects of style, but I’m not afraid to push the boundaries I once made for myself.

Can you tell me a bit about the meaning behind your blog name?

Sure thing! When I decided on the name of my blog, I was mainly interested in three arenas: writing, photography,and fashion. These categories have expanded since then to include everything from scientific illustrations to book cover designs and everything in between. My blog name is supposed to reflect taking what you are interested in aside from fashion and incorporating that into a unique personal style. And it just so happens that three is my favorite number, making “triple” even more appropriate.

Photography is a big part of your blog. Do you have any future plans for your photography?

I used to be dead set on being a big name editorial fashion photographer; however, after finishing up the photography program at my school, I’ve changed my mind. I still shoot weddings as well as assist other photographers, but I know that’s not where my passion lies. I’m glad to be able to incorporate photography into everything that I do. Being multifaceted really does make a difference so I plan on using photography as a support beam to my other aspirations.

What is your favorite outfit featured on Triple Thread?

One that I think of a lot is when I paired what can only be called a “bro tank” from Urban Outfitters over a classic white shirt dress with some clunky black heels and my vintage Dooney & Bourke purse. I loved combining classic elements that I wear a lot with some more modern, edgy pieces.

A completely non-style related question, but what is your favorite book?

I have several books that have a special place in my heart, but for a favorite it’s a tie between East of Eden by John Steinbeck and Until I Find You by John Irving.

One thing I really love is that you're dedicating 85% of your clothing purchases to thrift, made in US, and small/independent businesses. How has making this goal helped/hindered your purchases? Also, how has it helped in the evolution of your personal style?

I’ve slowed down on my shopping incredibly since I’ve made this promise to myself. Luckily, there are great local second hand and consignment stores for when I do have the itch to add something new to my wardrobe. As far as apparel that is made in America, a lot of bigger retailers are taking notice of the new demand for these products. American Apparel is great, but I can actually still shop at places like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and especially Modcloth to find things made here. Where I run into trouble is with the accessories, but that is really where local stores come through. It’s so hard to find shoes and handbags and even jewelry made in the US. Secondhand is a great option, but there isn’t always the best variety. Fortunately, there are several boutiques that I rely on in the Knoxville area as well as exploring local businesses when I travel. The other 15% of my purchases are usually reserved for trendy items from places like Forever 21 or pieces I truly love from my favorite stores like Madewell.

Do you have any advice for people who wish to convert their wardrobe to these types of companies?

At the end of the day, it isn’t about shopping ethically as much as it is taking the time to appreciate the items that are already in your closet. What my manifesto has taught me more than anything is just to slow down my rate of consumption. I won’t settle for anything less than the perfect version of what I have in mind. Persistence is key and putting an actual percent value with it has helped me the most. It is also beneficial to get very comfortable with the idea of shopping online for new items. Second hand shopping is always a fun, in person way to get your shopping fix, but occasionally that won’t always yield the results you need. Online shopping has been the biggest lifesaver in that regard. Simply searching “Made in the USA” on my favorite shopping websites has given me a surprising number of results!

Thank you Ashlyn so much for letting me interview you!

You can check out Ashlyn's blog and leave her some love here!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

blogger of the month: tieka of selective potential

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Tieka, the beautiful blogger behind Selective Potential! She kindly allowed me to interview her, and it was so fun getting to know a little bit about her, her love of lighthouses and seasons, and of course her personal style! I love how she often incorporates bright colors into her ensembles and loves to be matchy matchy with her surroundings.

First things first, can you tell just a little bit about yourself?

Well, my name is Tieka and I run the blog, Selective Potential! I graduated with my BFA in digital media and I work full-time as a graphic designer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In my free-time when I'm not working or blogging, I spend time with my boyfriend, Eric, and our puppy, Winny. We listen to a lot of music, play music, travel around the state a lot and watch a lot of movies! I also am in love with my mint-green scooter, lighthouses + confetti cake. :)

You've been blogging for a pretty long time (almost four years now!). What has been the craziest or strangest thing that has come from blogging?

I've had some pretty crazy experiences - all good! But one of the oddest ones was... I was checking out at an Urban Outfitters in Chicago. The girl looks at me and smiles and goes, "Tieka, really? Do you really need another one of these cardigans?" I was absolutely stunned! It turned out she was a blog reader and knew I had already owned two of the same cardigan from UO. Haha! I died laughing. It was surreal to be noticed in public, especially in a big city four hours away from home!

I've been loving your lighthouse series! What's your favorite lighthouse you've visited so far?

I absolutely love all of the lighthouses in Michigan. One of my favorite ones has to be Big Sable Point in Ludington, Michigan though. You have to walk two miles to get there (so rare!) and it's black/white striped and so unique. Plus it's on a bay, so it's facing water on the west and north side of it. I love it!

What's your favorite outfit, and why? (hard question, I know. :)

One of my favorite outfits of all time was from a post called "An old silo". It was when the Delightful Dozen was in full swing, and we all styled this adorable floral skirt from Julie of Orchid Grey. I just thought the patterns went together so well + I felt so great wearing it! I ended up spotting a picture of Susan's inspiration board from ModCloth and this outfit was posted to it. I was so flattered!

You're very talented at matching outfits to seasons (such as this one.) Do you have any advice for people who want to dress to match the season?

It's honestly pretty easy! I just think of the best parts of each season and dress for the place I'm going. Like, I knew I was going to be taking photos at the pink trees, so I grabbed pink items from my closet and [saw] how they worked together. Typically if you're dressing to match nature, the outfit will probably go together pretty well. If nature intended it, well then... it must work! When I think of spring, I obviously think of florals, pastels, bright colors. In autumn, I'm constantly dressed in burnt orange, browns, etc. Winter and summer are a bit trickier, but it gives you more freedom to perhaps dress outside the seasonal box?

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you? (Other than Eric and Winny of course.)

Well, if I had Wifi, 1) I'd for sure be bringing my Macbook Pro - ha! Netflix, Internet, The Sims 2? That'd be pretty perfect. I'd be entertained for months! 2) Burt's Bees chapstick. I cannot live a day without it. 3) An unlimited supply of daily contact lenses. I have the worst eyesight in the world and I absolutely loathe wearing my glasses. ;)

What's one style or type of clothing that you wish you could pull off?

Well, this is going to sound odd, but clothes that require small boobs. Haha! Like strapless dresses, or deep v-necks, sweetheart necklines, etc. I've always had such a hard time pulling those off and there are so many items that I've had to put back on the rack because they just don't fit my boobs!

I recently wrote an article on confidence and happiness here on Introvert's Introduction. Do you have any tips for someone to become more confident with themselves?

It's all about accepting yourself, to be honest. And if you aren't willing to accept yourself, you have to be willing to change. And in order to change, you have to accept that you'll be working really hard. I felt completely self-conscious before I lost 35 pounds. I refused to buy any type of cute clothing that'd show off my body in any way, or draw attention to myself. I wasn't willing to accept myself in that way, so I had to work really hard to change. And even after I lost all of the weight, I had to really work hard at finally "accepting" myself! But once I did, I felt confident enough to do anything! It's something I still struggle with ALL the time, but on the days you can accept yourself and who you are (and not compare yourself to others), you'll feel so much happier.

Thank you again so much for letting me interview you! It was so fun getting to know just a little bit about your life and some of your insights.

And be sure to check out Tieka's beautiful blog here and show her some love.

Have a great day everyone!

*photos (copyright 2013 Selective Potential) are used with permission.