Outfit: You Deserve Better






This week, a jewelry company emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a collaboration.  They wanted me to design something similar to that fall capsule wardrobe guide I did a while ago, but they wanted me to feature one of their necklaces in it. I said I was down and asked that in return, I wanted to receive the necklace and a fee of $20.  They said no to both requests–it wasn’t in their budget.  They told me that what I could get was maybe a mention on their social media pages.

Wow, the chance to get featured in exchange for several hours of hard work??  That sounds like a great bargain! *Rolls eyes*

The way I see it, they wanted me to advertise for them for free, and I’d be at a loss.  They expected me to put hours of work into something, yet they wouldn’t really have to contribute anything in return.  And it’s not like I was asking for all that much, either.  If top-ranked bloggers can get $50,000 per post, then what was a measly twenty bucks and a piece of jewelry?

I wrote back to them and said I thought this was pretty unfair.  Maybe they didn’t realize this isn’t such a good practice.  Or maybe they did and thought I wouldn’t call them out on it.  Either way, I had to speak up.

At least this is a little better than the time a nail wrap company wanted me to pay for their products and then review them.  Womp womp.


Hat: old, H&M

Cardigan: ModCloth

Top: thrifted

Skirt: thrifted

Socks: old, ModCloth

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Watch: old, Olivia Burton


Links a la Mode: September 29

dsc_0043-2I’ve been featured on Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Links a la Mode again!  My post on how to scout the best spots for photo shoots was included with 19 others by some really talented bloggers.

If you’d like to get featured as well, here’s how it works: submit your post to the IFB Facebook page by Tuesday of each week.  The top 20 will be chosen and rounded up on Thursday.  If you were picked, paste in the roundup on your blog (like I did below).  This means that not only are you featured on the IFB website, but you’re also featured on 19 other blogs!

Here’s this week’s list!

Links à la Mode, September 29th

What’s in my September Ipsy Bag?


Better late than never, right?  Let’s just say that I’ve been testing my Ipsy stuff extra hard this month.  I’ve got a handful of goodies that I can’t wait to share with you, so let’s go!


Eau Thermale Avene

Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum

Wait, this is a hydrating serum?  I couldn’t tell because this stuff dried my face into a raisin.  My skin felt tight and flaky–definitely not the “zen relaxation” for my face that Ipsy promised.


Dr. G.

Daily Safe BB

If the hydrating serum above was a disaster, this BB cream was a godsend.  I’ve been a huge fan of Supergoop’s BB for years, but I’m switching loyalties now.  Seriously, this stuff is amazing: my skin felt soothed, and the coverage is amazing.  I’m planning a trip to Super H Mart to see if I can get some more Dr. G. products!


IT Cosmetics

Superhero Mascara in Super Black

This mascara is touted for its “proprietary elastic stretch technology.”  While I have no idea what that means, WOW did this do wonders for my eyelashes!  I swiped this on and magically all of my lashes were plumped and unclumped.  I’m in love.


Pixie by Petra

Matteluster Lipstick in Rose Naturelle

When I first tried out this lipstick, I absolutely hated it.  Despite the nice way it made my lips feel, the color seemed far too dark for me.  When I put it on to take these pictures, though, I found that I actually really liked it!  I think it depends on what you’re wearing.  This color won’t be good for summer, but I think it’ll work nicely with my dark and muted fall duds.


Living Proof

Perfect Hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

I’ll be honest: I didn’t even try this stuff.  It said on the back that you should blow dry your hair after you massage in a little bit of this…and I never, ever blow dry my hair.  Because I bleach it, I take care not to do much damage to my tresses, which means I’ve given up curling wands, straighteners, and even hair dryers.  Oh well.

Dress: thrifted

Necklace: c/o Vinca

Outfit: Personal Training

dsc_0171Lately, I’ve been feeling so restless, and I can’t quite figure out why.  Maybe the turn of the seasons is somehow influencing me to change too.  Or perhaps I’ve settled into too much of a routine lately, with each weekday going about the same as every other.



I’m trying to do something about it.  These days, I spend more time with my friends than I ever have, and I go out on dates just to meet new people.  For so long, I thought of myself as an introvert, but lately, I need to be around people in order to recharge.  Being alone with a book is no longer as refreshing as it used to be.  I constantly want something to do.

I’ve got plans to travel here and abroad to visit and be with friends, and yet I don’t think that will be enough.  I want something fundamental to change.  Maybe that means moving somewhere new or finding new work.  I don’t know.  In all probability, I’ll just end up changing my hairstyle or buying some new furniture.

Even my clothes feel boring, even though I’ve recently gotten a fair amount of new ones.  I feel like I keep wearing the same stuff over and over again, and I don’t feel very sartorially inspired.

I’m going to turn it over to you guys.  When you start feeling extra restless, what do you do to shake yourself out of a rut?

Dress: old, ModCloth

Sweater: c/o thredUP

Tights: Tabbisocks

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Clutch: old, ModCloth

Necklace: Pendant Emporium

Outfit: Never Been Better





dsc_0288When I was in third grade, my teacher assigned us a journal prompt: “Something I can get better at.”  I was a very bright student and ahead of my class, so I wrote out this smug entry about how I was already doing very well, thank you very much, so I didn’t need to improve on anything.

(I know.  I was kind of an idiot when I was nine.)

Well, my teacher didn’t agree, and she wrote me a response that I’ll never forget.  She told me–not unkindly–that there was always something for me to work on.  I’m not perfect, but I would always have the capacity to grow and improve.  She told me to keep moving forward, always.

That stuck with me, almost twenty years later.

Whenever I’m feeling complacent, I remember what she said.  What’s the point of just getting comfortable with life?  Where’s the fun in that?  Where’s the life in that?

Always explore.  Always learn.  Always grow.

Top: thrifted

Skirt: c/o thredUP

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Bag: old, ModCloth

Belt: vintage

Ring: Foursided

Necklace: The Pendant Emporium

How to Scout the Perfect Spot for a Photo Shoot

mox and socks modcloth paisley dress gold seychelles heels

Scouting for locations has always been one of my favorite parts of blogging.  It usually means a weekly drive out to some new spot with Moxie in tow and discovering some really beautiful sites.  Of all the questions I get about my pictures, “How did you find that place?” is probably the most asked.  I’ve made up a short list of the things I always look out for when I’m hunting for the right spot and I hope you find it as useful as I do!

dsc_0043-2Have a theme in mind.  Think about your style and what types of settings work best to show it off.  I tend to wear a lot of vintage and vintage-inspired clothes, so I love to shoot at old mansions and estates.  I also tend to have a little bit of a fairytale flavor in my outfits, so I play that up by shooting in forests and meadows with lots of color and great lighting.  If vintage isn’t your thing, why not try shooting in the city?  Alleys and urban sidewalks could be great options.

mox and socks modcloth dog dress (4)Match your outfit to the setting.  Of course you don’t have to follow this rule exactly, but I almost always make sure that what I’m wearing makes sense with the location.  I seldom wear heels in a forest; instead, I like to visit mansions when I’m a little more dressed up.

mox and socks modcloth blue bird top pink gingham skirt gray sandals bag (2)Take time to visit beforehand.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of a place where I wanted to take pictures and just went there without planning it out first.  More often than not, I’m disappointed that the site is super busy or doesn’t have a good place for me to set up my tripod.  I’m not saying to never go where the spirit takes you, but it certainly helps to get an idea of your location first.

mox and socks thrift striped shirt modcloth denim shortsThink about the lighting.  If you’re planning on shooting at sunrise, but the spot you have in mind faces west, your pictures are going to be backlit–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (see above!).  Make sure you’re always aware of the position of the sun.

DSC_0587Make lists. In my blogging notebook, I have two long lists: the first is of the places I really liked shooting at and the second is of all the ones I want to try out.  I’m always scanning the Forest Preserve of DuPage County’s directory and looking through nearby towns’ park district websites so I can always find someplace fresh to visit!

What about you guys?  How do you scout locations for your pictures?

Outfit: Getting Better All the Time


Last week, I took a little break from blogging.  I do this every couple of months just to keep myself sane.  A lot of you guys are bloggers, too, and I’m sure you know how stressful it can be to keep up.  A break now and then is a great way to reevaluate and figure out what’s working and what’s not.



For me, I was getting way too overwhelmed with Instagram.  I started spending too much time scrolling through my feed and commenting until my poor, tired fingers could no longer swipe.  I believe that the best way to build up a following is to get out there and reach out to as many people as possible by leaving comments, but when it dawned on me that I hadn’t washed my dishes in a week because I was too busy doing that, I knew I needed to cool it.

On the other hand, I really missed taking and editing pictures.  I felt like I was getting into a good groove with my photos lately, and it was hard to not go out and stage a shoot for a whole week.  More than anything else with this blog, I really love posing for the camera and then going back home to geek out in Lightroom.

What about you? Do you guys take breaks too?  If you do, have you learned something about your blog during your time off?

By the way, if you’re looking for a jacket like the one I’m wearing here, why don’t you mosey on over to thredUP?  When you use the code EAGLE50, you can get 50% your first-time purchase of American Eagle clothes!

Dress: thrifted

Jacket: c/o thredUP

Shoes: old, Seychelles

Bag: old, Gap