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

What It’s Like Being A Full Time Blogger

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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

Hauser Wirth and Schimmel

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

I went to see the Jason Rhodes installation at the Hauser With and Schimmel, and it was amazing!

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Blazer (similar) | Sweater Dress (similar) | Bag | Boots

Eat Crateful

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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.

xo

Rebecca Minkoff x GE Lighting

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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.

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Ok, now for the best part!

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!

Because I love you all, I will be hosting a giveaway. So be sure to keep an eye out for the image above on my Instagram to find out how you can win a Rebecca Minkoff x GE Lighting Glow selfie phone case.

xo

 

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat Stories

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat Stories, snapchat, insta stories, instgram, snapchat stories, snaps, social media, bloggers, influencers, blogger, influencer, Facebook, social, media, ig, trending,

 

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…

Instagram Stories:

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

 

Snapchat Stories:

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

xo

Vital Proteins Giveaway

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If you follow me on Instagram, snapchat or view my insta stories, you know that I always add Vital Proteins to my drinks (hot or cold). In case you are not familiar with their product, here are the Collagen Peptides benefits:

  • Promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails
  • Contributes to deeper sleep
  • Increases athletic performance and helps achieve a lean body
  • Helps keep bones healthy and strong
  • Supports joint health
  • Promotes healthy immune, digestive, and central nervous systems

Vital Proteins believe that whole-food-based nutrition containing collagen is essential for one’s overall health, fitness, and wellbeing. However, our bodies require an abundant amount of collagen and modern food processing has removed this natural, healthy nutrient. Supplementing our diet to ensure that our bodies are enriched with collagen is an important key to good health and a full life.

With that said, I have partnered with Vital Proteins to give one of you lucky boos one of their newest product – Vanilla Collagen Peptides. Yay!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow @VitalProteins on Instagram HERE
  2. Follow me (@melrodstyle) on Instagram HERE
  3. Find the photo above on my Instagram & leave a comment telling us why you would like to try Vital Proteins.
  4. Tag a friend or two.

*** Please note: this giveaway is open to US residents only.

Winner will be announced on Friday February 3, 2017 via Instagram, so be sure to keep an eye out.

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

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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