I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to brunch. Brunch is such a delightful affair. The workweek is over, and it’s all about enjoying your time off. Plus, there’s food, which is obviously the most exciting part.
This week is all about Easter, so Sunday brunch with girlfriends seemed fitting. I invited my two favorite blogger gals Enocha of Locks and Trinkets and Elizabeth of A Keene Sense of Style to brunch at Manuela – a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Right up my alley. Manuela brings southern charm to the Arts District with their locally-grown produce, and a variety of vintage furniture throughout the restaurant. It was a gorgeous place to take photos. Besides, what’s a blogger brunch without taking a million photos before eating, right?! 😉
No better way to celebrate the holiday than gathered with your best gals over a delicious meal and yummy lattes. Sounds like the perfect way to end the weekend.
I decided to switch things up this Easter. Instead of a pastel color, I opted for a metallic-shimmery lacquer – Worth A Pretty Penne. It has a slight rose-tinted silvery-copper tone that has quickly made its way to my top favorite colors this season.
I hope your Easter is filled with nothing but good memories. Whether you’re meeting up with friends or spending it with your family, the most important thing is to be surrounded by those who mean the world to you.
If you follow me on instagram, you know that Enocha and I were in Catalina Island last week. Catalina is just a boat ride away, and one of my favorite places to visit, especially when I want to get away for just a few days. We had a blast. It was nice to be back, since the last time we were there, was back in 2015, so definitely was due for some Catalina time.
As soon as we arrived, we went to check into our hotel: Hotel Metropole, which by the way is the cutest little hotel EVER! I seriously wanted to take the pillows home. And I don’t sleep with pillows.
Once we checked in, we headed to Descanco Beach for our two hour…but felt more like 10 hours, kayaking adventure. Kayaking is so much, and boy is it a workout!
Lastly, we went to happy hour for $1 tacos and yummy margaritas. Our kayaking instructor recommended this taco restaurant that was just a few blocks away from our hotel. So yummy.
We woke up super early for breakfast, then headed to our parasailing appointment at 8:30am. Yup, super early and super cold, but so much fun. I was being extra by taking my phone up with me to video and take photos… Yeah, I was THAT girl (smh).
We then headed back to the hotel to freshen up and get some OOTDs in before lunch at the Descanco Beach Club. The crab dip was totally my favorite. Also, we sat right next to Carlton (The Fresh Prince of Belair). Enocha was totally being a creeper taking photos, lol. Love that girl. 🙂
And we ended our day with taking last minute photos near the hotel. Bloggers being bloggers… what’s new. 😉
Ok, now for the good stuff! GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
Both Enocha and I have partnered with Catalina to gift one lucky winner a FREE TRIP TO CATALINA ISLAND, KAYAKING FOR TWO, $50 FOOD CREDIT TO DESCANCO BEACH CLUB AND TWO HOUR GOLF CART RENTAL!!!
If you know me you know that I am constantly decorating my home. Whether it’s moving rugs around from one room to another (George is going to kill me one day), or moving accents pieces around.
Warning: Major photo overload. You have been warned.
I decided to share bits and pieces of my living room to my dining table area… that we have yet to properly have dinner on BTW (shrugging my shoulders). It’s still a work in progress – I say this only because I’m probably going to rearrange things again tomorrow. I’m just never satisfied, lol.
By the way, how cute is my cactus candle?! I’m currently obsessed with it.
Hope you enjoyed my little-long tour of my home. I’ve listed all items below to shop and check out.
I cannot believe my blog is turning 7 this year (insert clapping hands emoji here).
I decided to share how I started MelRodStyle in today’s post, plus share a few blog tips.
HOW I STARTED MY BLOG:
I always knew I wanted to do something with fashion. I went to FIDM and worked in the fashion industry. I remember working in a showroom, and how much clothing I would be gifted. I seriously played dress-up all day and put looks together. Ugh, I loved it, but there was no way of me showing these outfits, other than to George or Boo Boo Kitty (true story). There had to be some way I could share my outfits with my friends – I thought. Mind you, social media didn’t really exist.
Then one day, I was sitting in my car looking over a FIDM newsletter I received in the mail, and came across a blogger. It immediately caught my attention, and went online to find out more about this whole blogger thing. That’s when I stumbled upon a few other bloggers, like Cupcakes and Cashmere, Fashion Toast, Sincerely Jules, The Blonde Salad. I knew right then and there that this was it. This was the platform I needed to be on. I could share my outfits. It was perfect. I was so excited, you have no idea!
And just like that, on June 15, 2010, my blog was born. Not a clue in the world as to what I was doing. I was just going with it. My blog was mainly focused on OOTDs and DIYs. Also, my blog was once called Modanista Junkie. Moda is Fashion in Spanish. I thought I was being clever by making up a word (sigh… don’t ask). That quickly changed. Thought MelRodStyle was more fitting, since everyone called me Mel or MelRod anyway.
How to start a blog? Just start.
If you’re new to this blogging world, then guess what, you’re already ahead of the game because any fashion/beauty blogger that began their blog around or before 2007-2010 will agree with me that they had no clue what they were doing and didn’t realize that blogging would be what it is today. All you newbies out there get to see all our trials and errors.
Don’t try to perfect every little detail on your website. Just buy the domain, and start creating amazing content. Make sure you have good quality images though. It’s all about the lens.
Advice to brands: Send straight-to-the-point emails. Make it short and sweet.
Make sure you know the blogger you are reaching out to. I cannot tell you how many emails I receive that read: “Dear Melanie, we’ve been huge fans of your blog for several years now”…. Well if that was the case, then you’d know my name is not Melanie. Also, don’t send out “Dear Blogger” emails (insert eye rolling emoji here).
I created my blog as a hobby. Never in a million years did I think it would be what it is today. I thought I would have my blog as a hobby and continue to work a 9-5 job until I was able to pursue my own business (shoe line and open my own store). Things are so different now. I get to be my own boss. I get to make what I thought was just a hobby a career. Is this real life?
There has been several times where Brands don’t feel that they should pay influencers. My favorite is when they reach out to me to offer content to share on my blog, and provide a list of requirements, and tell me they do not have a budget for this collaboration. Now what do I get out of this? Nothing. What do they get out of it? Free advertisement. Brand exposure.
I think it’s very important for companies to know that some of us bloggers make a living out of this. And although it’s nice to receive free gifts, gifts are not going to pay the bills, unfortunately. Bloggers provide a service just like any other company does, like a spa, a hair salon, the list goes on.
I work with many PR agencies that loan me styles to shoot, however; there is always a mutual agreement of some sort, plus I have amazing relationships with most of these companies.
Is it ok to promote brands for product in trade? Sure, why not. Is it rude to say no? Absolutely not. It is up to you how you wish to proceed with every partnership. Whether it’s kindly declining or agreeing to their terms. I do both gifting terms and paid, depending on the collaboration.
Insert laughing emoji here, here and HERE!!! What people do not understand is that blogging isn’t that simple. There’s a lot that goes into creating content. You don’t just grab a camera, point and shoot. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, your backgrounds, the lighting, the angles, and most importantly that your outfits are on point (or whatever you’re shooting is amazing). There is so much work that is put into creating content.
DO I LOVE BLOGGING?
OMG, yes! It’s so much fun. I love what I do. I love creating content, meeting new people, making new friends, and of course having your support.
You have no idea how blessed and thankful I am for having you all by my side on this crazy-fun journey of mine. Somebody pinch me.
I hate to admit it but with my busy schedule, I often skip meals, which is the worst thing you can do. The worst part is that when I do eat, it’s all junk food.
Being a blogger and always on the go, Eat Crateful has honestly helped me stay on track and make sure I get my meals in between my crazy-busy-days.
If you’re not familiar with Eat Crateful, allow me to fill you in… Eat Crateful is a gourmet meal delivery service created by top chef and celebrity nutritionist Cristina Bowerman. Their program allows you to select from their menu (Chef, Fit, Vegetarian, or Paleo), customize your meal plan, and schedule a delivery time that works best for you. You’re getting healthy and delicious meals delivered right to your doorstep. How amazing is that?!
Check out www.crateful.la for more information. As always, if you have any questions, comment below.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Rebecca Minkoff runway show debuting her Spring 2017 collection, on behalf of GE Lighting, to celebrate the launch of the RMxGE Glow selfie case. It was so much fun. The best part was that it was a see-now-buy-now show, which meant that the audience was able to view the collection off the runway and shop the entire collection right after.
The collection was a mix of floral prints, flirty and whimsical silhouettes, along with statement handbags.
Instagram stories or Snapchat stories? Which platform do you prefer?
As a blogger, it is really difficult to be on both and try to create different content as oppose to sharing every snapchat story onto Insta stories, which I’m guilty of. It honestly makes no sense. What’s the point of following you on both platforms if you’re going to be sharing the exact same content, right?
Here are my thoughts on Instagram stories vs Snapchat stories…
You can see and click on users who view your stories (I see you boo boo).
Hands-free video is awesome.
You can tag a brand/person, which will lead you to their Instagram profile with just a click of a button. Very convenient when working with a brand.
Video seems longer but not really sure if they are.
The Boomerang feature is my favorite.
You can go live.
You can be more creative with the drawing and text tools, especially since you can create multiple text lines.
You get more views.
You can view a photo longer by pressing down on your screen. Love this feature because I am able to read a longer caption if needed.
You can’t see who screen shots your stories, which is annoying.
There are no fun filters.
You cannot control the length of each photo or video.
Once the stories are done, it automatically takes you to the next person, which I can definitely do without.
You don’t have the fast-forward, rewind or slow-motion tool.
You can only upload photos from your camera phone that were taken within 24 hours, otherwise you’ll have to screen shot & crop your photos to appear within the 24hr time frame.
If you save your stories, they automatically appear in your camera roll versus within the app itself.
Geo tags and filters are the best.
You can control the length of each photo and video.
All stories saved are saved within the app and not necessarily in your camera roll, however you do have the option of doing both.
You can upload from your camera roll without any restrictions.
You can see who screen shots and re-plays your stories.
You can create your own geo tag for special events.
Although Snapchat let’s you see who views your stories, you’re limited because you cannot click through their profile to see exactly who they are unless you know them by their screen name.
You can mention a brand, however they will not be notified that they have been tagged or mentioned.
The drawing tools can be better.
Views aren’t nearly as great.
No Boomerang or Live feature.
So, which platform do you prefer?
In my opinion, if Instagram stories had better filters, be able to control the length of each story, and be able to see who screen shots your stories, then I would probably stop using snapchat altogether. Although I find myself more active on Insta stories, I am having a bit of separation anxiety and completely letting go of Snapchat. I do believe that Instagram will be coming out with new tools and features that will convince me to officially cut the Snapchat umbilical cord. Until then, you can still find me on both, but most likely more Insta stories.
“How do you edit your Instagram photos?” “Love your photos?” “What filters do you use?” The most popular questions I’ve gotten. Well, you asked, I answered.
If you scroll a few months down my feed, you’ll notice that my photos use to be very blown out, I would whiten every single background, even moody (love a good moody shot). I used to be very particular with my feed and how every single photo looked. I was OCD with the editing and filter usage. I kept my filters to a minimum (two I think), and it HAD to look perfect. “Now wait a minute… but my life isn’t perfect so why am I trying so hard?!” Yeah, I know. Pretty silly right?… LAUGHING OUT LOUD.
My feed has changed since. Now, I just look at what looks best, which has lead me to use multiple filters. I love more natural backgrounds, still with moody/contrast tones as before. I just love that feel, ya know? I just post whatever looks and feels right to my liking… does that make sense? It’s not that I don’t care about what my feed looks like anymore, it’s more about liking how each individual photo looks rather than stressing if my feed looks consistent or if this photo looks ok next to the previous edited photo. I still think that my feed is cohesive and still remains somewhat of a consistency, however; in a more “go-with-the-flow” kind of way. I guess you can say that. I don’t know, it’s really difficult to explain it but you get the gist of it, right?!..
Anyways, moving on. I listed the apps and a quick rundown of the filters I use.
Want to know my secret? Ok, are you ready? I use EVERYTHING! Lol, just kidding – but I kinda do.
A6: Aaahhh good ol’ A6 – probably the most famous & most used filter bloggers have used or still do. I’ve notice I use this every once in awhile. Not as often as I use to but still great, especially for photos you absolutely think are trash. This filter has saved a lot of my photos that almost never made it to the gram.
C1-C3 & E1-E4: I always play around with these to get the right tones. I can’t really narrow it down because while one will work for one photo, it may not necessarily work for another… Does that make sense?! I hope so… moving on.
J1, J2, J5 & J6: These have been some of my favorites for sure. If you’re like me, and like moody, these are great.
I use this app to control the brightness and exposure of my photos. You can also tap a specific area of the photo to change the tone, which is ah-mazing!
This is what I use to use to whiten out the backgrounds of my photos. I still use it from time to time when necessary. It’s great to smooth out any blemishes. I also use it to remove certain things, people, stains, etc. that are photo bombing my photo… yeah, this app can do that.
I just recently started using this app even though I’ve (for some odd reason) have had this app on my phone for years. It’s great for selfies. 😉
So there you have it ladies & gents. I hope this helped you out, and as always if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below or feel free to email or DM me on Instagram. 🙂
Not sure what to get the mister for Christmas this year? Didn’t realize Christmas was around the corner and need a last minute gift? Don’t worry. I gotchu boo. Get your special someone something special (obvi) but that’s also affordable.
I’ve created a holiday gift guide for him that’s under $100. I hope this is helpful for anyone that is not done shopping for their boo’s.