Five Instagram Pet Peeves

Five Instagram Pet Peeves, melrodstyle, ig, instagram, tips, advice, pet peeves, social media pet peeves, instgram tips, blogger, ootd

Before I share my five Instagram pet peeves, I wanted to explain why I decided to draft this post.

A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a heart-breaking post. Someone recently going through a miscarriage, and while most were sympathizing with her sending love and prayers her way, others failed to read the full post and leave comments like “Where is your blouse from?” and “Love this” and “Congrats” because many assumed that since she shared an ultrasound photo that it automatically meant she was announcing her pregnancy.

Now fast forward to last week, while I was scrolling down my Instagram feed, I came across a post of this beautiful girl in her wedding dress, shared by an influencer I follow – mourning over the recent loss of her dear friend. I know this because – as always I like to not only see pretty inspirational photos, but read the captions as well. Most were replying with “Sorry for your loss”, while others “So obsessed” and “Love this look”. I don’t know about you, but this didn’t sit well with me. It never does. I mean, come on people read the captions! You might as well say GFY.

Sorry. This just really annoys me.

Per usual, while doing my daily blog reads, I read Sivan’s recent My Instagram Pet Peeves post, and decided to add my two cents on this subject, specifically on the robotic comments, because it’s a total eye-twitcher for me.

 

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Without further ado… here are my five Instagram pet peeves.

  1. Read the captions. Especially if you are planning to leave a comment. Know what you are commenting on, and be genuine. Get creative even. Don’t leave comments, like “Fabulous look” or “Maj” or my favorite “Great capture”… Great capture?! WTF!!! Do people even speak like that? I know there’s been times when even I leave generic comments, but it’s never comments I wouldn’t actually say in real life. I always try to leave organic comments. I try to think as if I were running into a friend and she asked me what I thought of her OOTD. I like to leave comments as if I were speaking to a girlfriend in real life. Does this make sense? If you’re not going to leave a genuine comment then maybe don’t comment at all.
  2.  Inappropriate commenting. This ties back to #1. If someone is mourning over the loss of their pet, relative, anything tragic, don’t comment with a happy emoji or make irrelevant remarks. Don’t compliment someone’s shoes when they are clearly talking about a recent breakup. Have some respect. Don’t be rude. Read the post.
  3. Reposting. If you’re going to repost an image, ALWAYS make sure to give credit. While we all love pretty photos, it’s important to tag the account you got the photos from. Don’t be a thief. Lol.
  4. Like / Comment Groups. Oh, yeah this is a real thing. I think they’re great because it allows you to share your content with other influencers that may or may not get to see it other feed and/or get introduced to new influencers you might’ve not known before. It’s another way to support one another in this blogging community, especially since Instagram changed their algorithm. I’m totally apart of them, well was a part of several now I narrow it down to one for the following reason. My only issue with this is the strict rules you have to abide by that no one seems to ever follow. The rules are simple: before sharing your photos, you must be caught up and like/comment on everyone else’s photos. My favorite is when they say they’re caught up but they’ve missed a few photos. Or when they share their photos before catching up, but say they have bad connection or no wifi so they’ll catch up later… Sooooo if you have no service, then how did you manage to post a photo and then share it on the group? I’m confused. 
  5. Do not follow and unfollow accounts. That’s pathentic. It’s lame. Who does that?! This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I know I’m not the only one that has experienced this before. Maybe I’m just the first to speak up about it. This has happened to me multiple times where I notice influencers with larger accounts follow and unfollow me right away. I know it’s only to get my attention to follow them back and once I do, unfollow me. Sometimes I do follow back because my first reaction is “oh cool, ___ is following me. I don’t know them personally but I’ve seen them. I’m going to follow them back.” I’m all about supporting one another. If you’re trying to increase your following, do your research and tag relevant accounts with huge followings that can potentially repost your photos and increase your audience. Don’t be fake. After all, no one likes a shady bishhh. 😉

Before I go, I wanted to say that I hope you all take this as simply me just venting and sharing my thoughts, experiences, and perspective. I hope this doesn’t make anyone upset. I treat my blog like a diary so I hope you understand my reason for publishing this post.

Off topic, I’ve linked and listed all outfit details below. 🙂

 

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Sabo Skirt Top | Shorts | Slides | Sunglasses 

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Hosting Tips for a Successful Party with H&M

Hosting Tips for a Successful Party, hosting tips, backyard bbq, hostess with the mostess, house parties, bbq parties, get togethers, summer party, summer bbq, summer backyard parties, tips, host, hosting, home, backyard, cocktails, summer, melrodstyle, hm, h&m, hm home, pillows, decor, home decor, home inspiration

Backyard parties and BBQs are so much fun. Hosting these parties can be quite the opposite though. Being a host takes a lot of effort and is a lot of work. The good thing is that there is no right way to host a party, and there are no limits to hosting a cool party either.

Whether you love being the hostess with the mostess, or if the idea of hosting a party stresses you out, but are planning a get-together at your place anyway, then don’t worry. I’ve listed a few tips that help me prepare a fun, stress-free party.

 

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party, summer bbq, summer backyard parties, tips, host, hosting, home, backyard, cocktails, summer, melrodstyle, hm, h&m, hm home, pillows, decor, home decor, home inspiration Hosting Tips for a Successful Party, hosting tips, backyard bbq, hostess with the mostess, house parties, bbq parties, get togethers, summer party, summer bbq, summer backyard parties, tips, host, hosting, home, backyard, cocktails, summer, melrodstyle, hm, h&m, hm home, pillows, decor, home decor, home inspiration Hosting Tips for a Successful Party, hosting tips, backyard bbq, hostess with the mostess, house parties, bbq parties, get togethers, summer party, summer bbq, summer backyard parties, tips, host, hosting, home, backyard, cocktails, summer, melrodstyle, hm, h&m, hm home, pillows, decor, home decor, home inspiration Hosting Tips for a Successful Party, hosting tips, backyard bbq, hostess with the mostess, house parties, bbq parties, get togethers, summer party, summer bbq, summer backyard parties, tips, 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home decor, home inspiration

Whether you’re hosting indoors or outdoors, here are just a few hosting tips based from my experience that can help you plan a very smooth party this Summer.

  1. Clean & organize throughout the week leading up to your party. This will help relieve stress, and avoid feeling overwhelmed the day(s) before the big bash.
  2. Prepare cocktails in advance, and always keep wine and/or champagne refrigerated. Options is key.
  3. Avoid serving difficult/messy dishes, meaning try to stay away from dishes that will get all over the place, specially if it’s a kid-friendly party. Stick to tried-and-true recipes because trying something new the day of your party can go really really bad. Or try maybe hiring a taco man or ordering out.
  4. Have enough food and drinks. This is George’s tip by the way. Know approximately how many guest you are planning to expect.
  5. Be ready early. Set aside enough time for you to get ready. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of blow drying your hair while your guest are all waiting around bored AF.
  6. Having an outdoor bathroom is SO CONVENIENT. This will help you keep your place inside clean and have to worry less about cleaning more areas in your home. Trust me, an outdoor bathroom is life changing lol. But don’t worry if you don’t have an outdoor bathroom. This tip doesn’t apply to everyone. Perhaps rent a portable bathroom if you are trying to avoid indoor foot traffic.
  7. Make sure to have enough seating areas in your backyard for your guest to be able to relax. If you’re limited on chairs, maybe lay out blankets, pillows and cushions to create a floor seating. It’s the easiest and perfect way to add extra seating.
  8. Entertainment is very important. Create a music playlist and have it playing before your guest arrive. Have games out for guest to play, such as corn hole or even drinking games. Obviously if you’re hosting a kid-friendly party then have something to entertain them as well. Or if you don’t have any kids (like me), but your friends do, then maybe advice the parents beforehand that you do not have anything to entertain them with, so suggest for them to bring their own toys.
  9. Put away anything valuable or anything you do not want to get ruined, ESPECIALLY if you are expecting kids to attend.
  10. Have a cocktail and relax because you’ve worked so hard. After all, you’ve earned it. CHEERS!

I hope you find these tips very helpful for your next get-together. If anyone has any tips to add on, please feel free to comment as I’m always looking for new recommendations for hosting a successful partay!!!

 

xo

 

All home decor are from H&M and are listed below to shop!

Jacquard-weave Cotton Rug

Knit Cushion Cover Pillow

Crocheted-front Cushion Cover Pillow

Scalloped-shaped Metal Vase

Stone-like Metal Vase

Large Glass Vase

Small Metal Candle Lantern Holder

Large Metal Candle Lantern Holder

Stoneware Toothbrush Mug

Metal Napkin Holder

Jacquard-weave Bath Mat

Jacquard-weave Tassel Bath Mat

Patterned Seat Cushion

Cotton Seat Cushion

Jute Laundry Basket Hamper

Clear Glass Vase

Palm Leaf Coasters

Glittery Placemats

Patterned Cotton Rug

Velvet Cushion Cover Pillow

SHOP THE LOOK:

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SHOP THE OUTFIT:

Dress by Peixoto (similar) | Sandals | Sunglasses | Earrings 

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How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life

 

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How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life….

Really wish I could say “OMG, it’s SOOO easy. All you have to do is this, this, and that!”  Wish it were as easy as snapping my fingers. That would honestly be amazing and make my life easier, LOL.

Balancing work and play isn’t that easy but you have to always keep in mind to find a happy medium, especially with family and friends.

How to Juggle Blog Life and Real Life

This is how I juggle both my blog life and really life, that have actually helped me stay sane….

  • I try to get all my work done before George gets home from work, so that I can be present and give him my full attention.
  • I always work my schedule around his. On his days off, I will make sure to clear my schedule, whether it’s skipping events (unless it’s a campaign) or scheduling my meetings and appointments on days he’s working.
  • I make sure my blog and social media content is scheduled and done at the beginning of the week so that it is less stressful when I’m trying to do real life things outside of blogging.
  • When I get campaigns while I’m traveling with George, I like to get them out of the way by shooting all content early in the morning, so that we can enjoy the rest of the day, and enjoy each other’s company.
  • I often meet with my blogger friends to shoot content together so that when I’m spending time with family and friends, I don’t bother them for a photo.
  • I always make a list of things I need to get done. What’s important and what can wait. Prioritizing is key.

Sure, things come up and don’t always work out the way you expect them to, but what I’ve learned is having a plan is VERY helpful, and makes your life so much easier.

Besides, happy hubby, happy….

Wait, I don’t think that’s how it goes. 😉

xo

Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned

Wedding Tips, The Do's and The Don'ts and What I've Learned, bridal shower, m and g to be, bride to be, melrodstyle, wedding, bridal,

If you’re reading this, then we are officially in Puerto Vallarta celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary (cue the music/happy tears) woohoo!

Shut the front door?! Is this real life? Are we really celebrating our 1 year as husband and wife already? Where did the time go? WTF? OMG! This is CRAZY!… Pretty much what is happening inside my head right now as I’m drafting this post.

Wow, omg, where do I even begin… ummmm, let’s see. There’s just so much that is running through my head right now.

I recently watched my wedding video and went through my camera roll, and watched all the snapchat stories/videos our friends and family sent us. Not going to lie, I got a little teary eyed. The reason why I decided to draft a post around the topic: Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned, is because so many thoughts were running through my head from what I would’ve done differently, the what ifs, if only – to the should’ve could’ve would’ve. I mean, obviously none of this really matters now and regardless, I have no regrets. BUT, I definitely wanted to share my thoughts on a few points in hopes this would somehow help a bride-to-be.

So here it is…

  • DO: Hire a wedding planner. I would’ve been lost without my dear friend/wedding planner Evelyn (@harlowplanning). She was seriously my wedding god-mother/therapist/EVERYTHING.
  • DON’T: This is where things get pricey because you steer away from what a wedding means, and start spending money on shit things you really don’t need just to please your guest. BIG Mistake. HUGE (in my Vivian voice from Pretty Woman)!
  • DO: Instead of gifts, have your guest contribute to your honeymoon. Create a honeymoon fund website. Obviously, this only applies to couples who already live together and don’t need housewarming gifts.
  • DON’T: Keep your wedding favors simple. Ask yourself, would you realistically use this (xyz) if it was gifted to you? Is it a waste of money? The majority of your guest end up leaving the favors behind, so try to get something that is practical to use or something fun/unique. I mean, there’s just so many wine openers a person can own, amirite or amirite?
  • DO: Make sure you hire a really good photographer and videographer. These two are probably the most important of them all and where I would put extra $$ because these are the memories you’ll forever have.  You can never re-do your wedding if you end up being disappointed with your photos and video. And make sure you give them inspiration to look at for the big day. You must be very specific as to what you want them to capture because once the moment is gone and has passed, it’s too late to recreate.
  • DON’T: Please, I repeat, please don’t be a bridezilla. I wasn’t quite a bridezilla, only probably during the time we were planning my bridal shower because I’m very particular aka like to have full control of everything so letting go of some of the responsibilities and pass them down to my bridesmaids was tough. Honestly if I knew then what I know now, then I would’ve been more chill about it, but that’s the thing, you won’t know until you experience it.
  • DO: Make sure you have a good DJ. Music is everything.
  • DO: Create a hashtag and a snapchat filter for your guest to use on social media.
  • DO: Photo Booths are so much fun so I would highly recommend having one at your wedding.
  • DO/DON’T: Do have an open bar (maybe just during cocktail hour), but don’t keep it open all night. Although you want everyone to have a good time, you also don’t want everyone do be s** faced at your wedding, ya know what I’m saying?
  • DO: Write your own wedding vows. I think it’s so special and more meaningful when couples do this.
  • If you’re planning a big wedding but are on a budget, still expect to pay a pretty large amount, because let’s be real, a wedding is so expensive even if you try to cut corners (I tried) or DIY your entire wedding (yup tried this, too). I don’t care what anyone says, it’s expensive planning a wedding. period. the end.
  • This is a no-brainer, but make sure you have an inspiration board or a vision of how you want your wedding to be. Create a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one. If you have no direction, then good lawd! You in trouble… just kidding! But seriously, it’s a MUST.
  • Remember, this is YOUR big day and the wedding should be filled with nothing but love and happiness. The importance of a wedding is that you (the bride and groom) are gathered around the people you love most, and are there to celebrate YOU. Often people forget the true meaning of a marriage. It is not a big party to host your friends and family. It is a time for your friends and family to join YOU to celebrate YOU, and your love together as a couple.

The most stressful part was the guest list. My gosh, I cannot even tell you how stressful this was. Who do we invite? Is it rude if we don’t give them a plus one? I mean, they’re not married so not giving them a plus one is fine, right? My wedding planner did say that 10-15% of your guest won’t show up even if they RSVP’d. When she told me this, I said “Yeah right! All of my guest who RSVP’d will show up.” But she was right. Which leads to the most expensive part of a wedding: the food. This was also a tough one to decide what food.

My wedding planner also did say that you end up losing friends along the way. Psshhhh, I laughed and rolled my eyes. Thought she was crazy, out of her mind. Again, she was right about this one, too. It’s unfortunate that this was true and that it happened, but like they say, “some people are only meant to be in your heart, not in your life.”

If I could re-do my wedding all over again, what changes would I make? Hmmm… I would do a destination wedding for sure. The original plan was to get married in Palm Springs or Hawaii. I knew I wanted a outdoor garden themed wedding, and don’t get me wrong, the location I had my wedding at fulfilled my garden-theme expectations/dreams, but I would definitely change the venue even if it were held again locally. Also, I probably would’ve had a second dress. I did, however have interchangeable sleeves for my dress – one for the ceremony and one for the reception.

Gosh, I’ve learned so much during and after planing my wedding. It was stressful, quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever had to plan. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I need a drank. LOL!

I feel like I covered everything, unless I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to share on Instagram stories (@melrodstyle). If you’re interested to see more about my wedding, then head over to Instagram and type in our wedding hashtag #MandGtobe.

I really hope this information was somewhat helpful for some of you, and as always if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below or DM on instagram.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I share a few fun facts about George and I, along with a fun video. 🙂

In case you missed last year’s video right before our wedding, here it is again.

Ok, now where was I?… Oh, yes soaking up the sun.

Excuse me señor, can I get another margarita, for favor?! Gracias. 

xo

Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway

Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway, packing tips, what to pack, essential, getaway, vacation, trips, travel, travel blogger, melrodstyle, luggage, pack like a pro, what to bring, summer, vacay,

 

As I am just a few hours away from taking off to Puerto Vallarta, still not packed not even a little bit. DON’T PANIC., decided I’d share what I usually pack when I’m headed somewhere warmer.

Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway.

Here are a just a few tips of what I like to pack…

  • I always try on every single piece of item that I plan to bring with me. Trust me, this prevents from over packing. So much easier and less stressful.
  • Pack basics white and black tees and tank tops. These are perfect for day to night outfits, and they make great layering pieces.
  • Pack a few sandals and one pair of sneakers. You really only need 2-3 pairs of shoes plus a pair of flip flops. Honestly, I never pack heels anymore because I noticed every time I do bring heels with me, I never end up wearing them. Lesson learned.
  • Swimsuits, obvi. I always like to bring one for each day. I like to pack one-piece swimsuits as well because you can use them as tops paired with shorts.
  • At last three pairs of shorts and one denim skirt. These double as swimsuit cover ups, too.
  • Pack 1-2 maxi dresses. Dresses are always a must because they’re perfect for either day time or night time.
  • One to two pairs of sunglasses. I always pack cheapy sunnies, just in case they get lost.
  • Bring at least one statement piece of jewelry. For me, I’m really into earrings so I’m definitely packing statement earrings and dainty layered necklaces.
  • If you’re married, I suggest leaving your wedding rings at home. Both George and I never travel anywhere internationally with our rings. You just never know if they get lost or stolen.
  • Pack your beauty products in one bag away from any of your tech accessories, such as chargers, batteries, camera, etc…
  • Don’t forget hair ties and bobby pins, especially if you’re planning to travel somewhere humid.
  • Bring dry shampoo, and anything you need to protect your hair from the heat. HOT MESS HAIR, I DO CARE.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen.
  • Pack little to no makeup. I never pack a lot of makeup because I don’t like to wear makeup while I’m out laying by the pool or the beach. I keep it very minimal. Instead, I pack a tinted moisturizer, anything that already has sunscreen. Pack at least one neutral and one pop of color lipstick, and bring a bronzer.
  • Either carry your hat(s) with you on the plane or pack upside down in your suitcase. Fill it up with either swimsuits, undergarments or socks, and fold/roll your clothes and pack around your hat to secure your hat from moving or bending around. This will help from damaging your hats.
  • Bring a tote bag to serve as a carry-on. It’ll double as a beach bag as well. Also, you really only need one day bag (cross body or backpack) and one clutch for the evening.
  • Pack neutral color clothing. If you want to add a pop of color to your outfits, accessories and shoes are always the way to go. My go-to colors are always neutrals, but I like playing with colors with my shoes and jewelry.

I hope these packing tips are helpful!

Happy traveling, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

xo

SHOP MY FAVORITES:

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What It’s Like Being A Full Time Blogger

What It's Like Being A Full Time Blogger, full time blogger, blogger, melrodstyle, blogger tips, ootd, fashion, beauty, travel, coco tulum, tulum, la blogger, whittier

What It’s Like Being A Full Time Blogger…

Well… it definitely has it’s pros and cons. I love being completely transparent with all of you guys because that’s just the kind of person I am in real life – duh. I thought I’d share the good, the bad and the ugly side of blogging, and what it really looks like.

From an outsider looking in, it seems so glamorous and perfect, free clothes all day everyday, fun trips, fancy brunches… seems like a full time vacation, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all the opportunities and beyond blessed to be where I am today with my blog. I am not complaining nor am I asking for a pity party. What I am saying is that as a blogger (I’ll speaker myself), I will only share positive content on my social media channels – whether it’d be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel related topics to anything that I love sharing, and occasional personal posts. At the end of the day, my job requires me to be on my phone 24/7. It’s a business I’m trying to run, and I need to keep it very professional but authentic as much as possible. So before anyone makes assumptions that our lives are so “picture perfect”, you should really think before assuming because you never know what someone is going through. We’re humans. As much as our social media shows otherwise, it’s not as pretty as you think. It is only natural to think that we live the most amazing and glamorous lives, because no one wants to share anything negative, I mean why would you? I know I don’t. I hate being around negative people.

“Must be nice to be traveling.” “Oh, must be nice eating brunch in the middle of the week.” You’re so lucky.” “Ugh, I wish I had your life. ” 

Must be nice? Yeah it actually is. It’s nice being able to treat myself for working hard. It’s the perks you get for hustling. Lucky? perhaps. Lucky I get to wake up and work hard to do what I love.

Just a few comments I get on social media. I don’t understand why people think that I was handed everything to me. That’s not the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing and get to do what I love to do as a job. I work extremely hard to get to where I am today. You want it so badly? Then go get it. MAKE IT HAPPEN. HUSTLE. You want to start your own business? Then get up and do it. Figure it out. I did. There is no 9-5 for me. I wake up and get on the computer, and start working. And sometimes don’t end my day until past midnight, but guess what? I love it. I love what I do so it doesn’t seem like work to me.

The Good…

Free clothes, meeting new people, attending events, getting paid to do what you love, share your work with your followers… I can keep going on all the good from blogging. I am so thankful for all of my followers/readers who show me nothing but love and support on this platform and social media. You guys are seriously the best!

The Bad…

People think it’s so easy being a blogger. It’s not, you guys. It’s a lot of work. From shooting all day multiple outfits a day, changing in your car (yup that’s normal), trying to have a real life outside of blogging. You never clock out. There’s no off-button. Sacrifices are made constantly.

The Ugly…

Expect people to continuously dismiss your work as a real job. Some companies – even family and friends don’t take you seriously. I think it’s because they don’t get it. They don’t understand what you are trying to build. You’re constantly having to prove yourself and educate people to understand your business and what blogging and social media has evolved to today. It’s a constant battle between being so passionate about something you strongly believe in and often questioning yourself “What am I doing with my life?” – quite possibly start believing “they” who don’t believe in your work, which leads to shutting down.

The struggle is real sometimes.

At the end of the day though, I would not trade anything in the world. I do not miss my 9-5 corporate job. I am forever grateful and blessed to be able to blog full time and share my life and love with you guys. You all mean the world to me, seriously.

I really hope this shed some light to anyone reading, and possibly educate anyone out there that is new to the blogging world or didn’t quite understand it before. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or DM on instagram @melrodstyle.

xo

How I Started My Blog + Blog Tips

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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.

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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.

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BLOG TIPS:

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.

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BRAND COLLABORATIONS:

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.

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

BUT BLOGGING IS EASY… WHAT? LIKE IT’S HARD?!

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.

 

xo

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How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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“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.

VSCO:

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.

SNAPSEED:

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!

FACETUNE:

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.

LIGHTROOM:

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. 🙂

xo

Car Essentials

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Today’s post is a little different but thought it was very important to share. As a blogger I’m always on-the-go, from one photoshoot to another, in between meetings and outfit changes in the car…. yup. Been there done that. Still do that. I realized how important it was to have certain items in my car while working. I decided to compile a list of items I feel are essential to have in my car, and also feel every blogger should as well.

  1. ‘Absolute’ Camisole: A simple camisole is so helpful when you’re constantly changing from one outfit to another, especially in the car.
  2. Cosmetic Makeup Bag Toiletry Travel KitTouching up in between photoshoots and/or meetings are a must. After all, you gotta look your best at all times. 😉
  3. Hair Ties Ponytail HoldersHelps keep your hair out of your face when you’re changing, plus these do not leave any creases in your hair.
  4. Trident Sugar Free GumNo brainer.
  5. ‘In the Wild’ ThrowAgain, very helpful when changing in the car.
  6. Titan Mall Plastic T-shirt BagsGotta keep the car clean.
  7. Band-Aid Brand Comfort-FlexAdhesive BandagesLadies and gents, we all have those shoes that are killer (literally), so having these around are major.
  8. Lil’ Lemon Drop Daily Detangler to Go BrushI cannot tell you how many times I’ve found myself regretting not having a hair brush in handy. There has been countless times when I see photos of myself where I can see all those loose hairs that make my eye twitch (insert eye-rolling emoji here), especially when I’m attending events. Not cute.
  9. ‘Detox’ Dry ShampooLIFE. CHANGING. Because no one likes oily/greasy hair. One of my favorite dry shampoos of all time. May I also recommend Batiste dry shampoo. That one is also my fave.
  10. Deodorant: When you look and smell good, you feel good. And that’s important… plus no one wants to be around someone who smells like onions. Barf!
  11. Mobile Power Charger from Pac2Go Portable ChargerAaaah… probably one of the most important things to carry in your car or purse, honestly.
  12. Travel Size Aloe Vera Spray for Face, Skin & HairYou gotta feel fresh, too.
  13. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing LotionBecause ashy elbows and knees are not cute.
  14. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip BalmSo important to have, especially when changing lip colors for different outfit looks.
  15. Healthy SnacksWe all get super busy and forget to eat, which is so bad. I am guilty of this. We need to stay energize and take a moment to eat something or else we will crash, and feel very yucky.
  16. Dasani Purified WaterThis ties back to #15. Stay hydrated.
  17. Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand and Face WipesI have found myself wishing I had these or hand sanitizer.
  18. Makeup Remove Cloths: This ties back to #17.
  19. WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount HolderHands-free is the way to be.

 

I hope you find this post very helpful. Feel free to share some of the items you carry around in your car.

xo

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The 90’s Look

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Who doesn’t love the ’90s? Many of us grew up in the grunge-soaked decade filled with boy bands, epic sitcoms, and the introduction of mainstream internet. It’s hard for anyone that grew up back then to think of any specific low points or note anything they would look back on and frown.

Just kidding. As with any generation looking back on their youth, some of our fashion choices are enough to make us cringe.

Of course this doesn’t mean all of the decades styles. Some of the trends from the ’90s have come back in full force this year, but there are definitely still some that everyone would like to keep in the past for good. If you want to recreate a successful ’90s look, here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Don’t Wear Tie-Dye Tops; Do Wear Flannel
Unless you’re starring in an episode of Clarissa Explains It All, tie-dye shirts should probably remain exclusively as night shirts/pajama wear, and maybe as a workout shirt if you’re feeling bold.

Instead, if you want a ’90s top, go with flannel. Not only is it an iconic pattern/fabric from the decade, now that the fall weather has arrived, it’s also a comfy shirt for the season. According to this article from Hollywire, the look is great with a pair of classic denim jeans as well as when paired underneath a cardigan and used as an accent piece. You can also tie the bottom of the shirt around your waist for some extra ’90s flair, which brings us right back to Clarissa

Don’t Wear Yin-Yang or Peace Necklaces; Do Wear Chokers
Who among us didn’t have a slew of yin-yang and peace symbol jewelry? Pair one of them with a mood ring and the odd toe ring or ankle bracelet, and your jewelry was on point in the ’90s.

The bad news is that you still probably won’t get much use out of that jewelry. The good news is that if you had a collection of chokers, you can feel proud showing them off again.

Even better, if you already ditched your old chokers, you can achieve the same look with a shoelace. As one post from Elite Daily explains, one girl posted a photo of herself on twitter wearing a shoelace wrapped around her neck in a bow, and everyone went nuts over it. Find a thick, black shoe lace, and you can easily achieve the same romantic look on a shoe string budget…Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Don’t Wear Jellies; Do Wear Dr. Martens
Who thought these shoes were a good idea? They’re not comfortable, fashionable, or practical in the slightest. They’re stiff, sweaty, and downright ugly, and that’s speaking as someone who actually wore them back in the nineties! When preteens saw these shoes in a video from the Scene, they looked at them puzzled, asking nothing more than “why?” I wish I could answer them, but I can’t. Chalk it up to poor shoe judgement.

The same kids, however, gave a nod of approval to Dr. Martens. One girl even went on describing how much she loved the multiple pairs she owned. They’re definitely back, and they’re much more comfortable than a pair of jellies. Pair them with a skirt, dress, or tights, or any top and pair of black leggings.

The ’90s might have come and gone but their fashion will live on forever, for better or worse. Whenever possible, let’s try and make it for the better and skip the embarrassing styles best left in the past.