Instagram Stories vs Snapchat Stories

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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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5 Natural Anxiety Remedies

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Today’s post is not like my usual ones. I decided to share something that I deal with on a regular. Anxiety.

Here are 5 natural anxiety remedies I use when I’m feeling anxious and cannot sleep…

Stress ReLeaf Herbal Soft Gels: Because I refuse to take Xanax. These are completely natural supplements, which help reduce stress, restlessness, nervousness and anxiety.

Meditation: I decided to try this because I’ve heard nothing but positive things. I bought a singing bowl, and did notice how soothing and calm this method is. Taking deep breaths while doing this helps.

Lavender Oils: My sister-in-law is a firm believer of using oils.

Take a Time Out: Remove yourself from your computer, phone and anything related to social media, and take a break. I tried coloring and found it to be very therapeutic.

Earlobe Massages: I know what you’re thinking. That’s crazy!… So weird?… WTF? I thought the exact same. To be honest it’s very relaxing just like meditation.

I hope you find this to be helpful for you or anyone you know that deals with Anxiety. If you or anyone you know gets anxiety like I do, and have any suggestions or tips on how to deal with anxiety, please send my way. I’d love to hear new remedies that help!

xo

Dove Skip A Wash Challenge

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I’ve partnered with Dove Hair to try the #SkipAWash Challenge with Dove Refresh + Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo, and the rumors are true! It’s beyond ah-mazing!!!

I have been wanting to try this for quite some time now, and am so happy I finally did. The Dove Dry Shampoo leaves my hair feeling so fresh and smelling delicious. I don’t wash my hair everyday (I usually go a day or two), and with this dry shampoo, I am able to skip an extra day or two without leaving visible residue. My hair feels clean and purified.

It is super easy to use. Here’s how to use the Dove Dry Shampoo:

Step 1: Shake can before and during use. Spray on lifted sections of dry hair, 8-12 inches from roots, where hair is most oily.

Step 2: Massage through roots to absorb oil evenly.

Step 3: Brush through for hair that is revived and clean.

Done and done!

Join the Dove Hair #SkipaWash Challenge and try Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo and get an extra day (or two!) out of your blowout. 🙂

Xo

Living Room Makeover

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I’ve discovered a new love for interior decorating. It’s funny, really because my entire “career” life, I’ve done nothing but work in the fashion industry.  I realized how much I enjoyed shopping, and finding amazing items at flea markets just recently. It’s very therapeutic to me, honestly. I think enjoy it much more than clothing shopping that’s for sure.

If you follow me on Instagram (@melrodstyle), you know that I have been slowly but surely re-decorating my living room space.

I’m not quite done yet but wanted to share what I have done so far with my living room area. I decided to begin with that room first, since it’s where I spend most of my time with Boo Boo Kitty. 😉

I plan to share more on Instagram and Snapchat.

Pillows: Loloi Rugs

Rug: Rugs USA

Framed Wall Art: Minted

Macrame Wall Hanging Decor: Niroma Studio

Macrame Hanging Nest: Madime Macrame

xo

What To Wear For New Years Eve

Happy almost New Years everyone! For all you last-minute shoppers, I put together a few outfit ideas to ring in the new year with.

If you want to get all dolled up and look extra, then these dresses are totally right up your alley. Here are a few insta-worthy dresses you can wear to say “bye Felicia” to 2016.

Don’t feel like wearing a dress? Don’t worry boo. I gotchu.

Here are a few jumpsuits that will have you slaying all day errrday.

Not planning to turn up or get ratchet for the last night of 2016? Still gotchu boo.

This list of festive-not-thottie-casual-but-oh-so-YAAASSS-worthy looks are perf!

xo

Holiday Gift Guide For Him Under $100

 

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.

xo

Entree Biggie Smalls Dad Cap by: Forever 21

Men Faux Leather Gloves by: Forever 21 

MEN Faux Leather Low-Tops by: Forever 21 

Dock Peacoat by: Nordstrom

The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave Sandalwood Kit by: Nordstrom

Mr. Burberry Set by: Nordstrom

‘Cooke’ Slipper by: Nordstrom

Cashmere Beanie by: Nordstrom

Men Faux Leather Baseball Cap by: Forever 21

Men Canvas Matte Watch by: Forever 21 

Wide-Brim Wool Fedora by: Forever 21

Men Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses by: Forever 21

Snow Days Bundle by: Forever 21

Faux Leather Moto Jacket by: Forever 21

Moto Drawstring Pants by: Forever 21

Men Plaid Flannel Scarf by: Forever 21

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What To Wear For The Holidays Under 100

 

The time has come. Holidays are here, and the real important question is what do I wear for…?

Whether you’re attending a fancy holiday party/event, or going to a company party, Christmas dinner, or anything holiday related, I’ve got you covered boo. I decided to put together a few holiday items that are all under $100 – duh. Because why would you spend more than that?

Scratch that. I’ll speak for myself. I don’t like spending a lot on clothing or accessories because I don’t think you have to in order to look ahmazing!

Velvet Bardot Top – TopShop

Velvet Pleat Midi Skirt – TopShop

ASOS Tulle Prom Skirt with Multi Layer and Trim – Asos

Semelle Pendant – BaubleBar

Black Velvet Seduction Bodysuit – Windsor

Burgundy Intimate Velvet Dress – Windsor

Gold 12 Row Rhinestone Choker – Windsor

Natural Faux Fur Scarf – Windsor

Katie Black Full Sequin Formal Dress – Windsor

Black Pretty Young Thing Blazer – Windsor

Navy Longing Velvet Mini – Windsor

Cressida Natural Sparkling Goddess Dress – Windsor

Black Ombre Sequin Pants – Windsor

Black Star Dust Glitter Romper – Windsor

Rose Gold Holiday Cheer Jumpsuit – Windsor

Black Slit Life Living Midi – Windsor

Burgundy Puppy Love Jacket – Windsor

Gray Velvet Renaissance Booties – Windsor

Natural Buckle Down Heels – Windsor

Black Faux Fur Clutch – Windsor

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

xo

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