Guest Post on Glitter & Ganache: DIY White Bleached Jeans

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m guest posting over on Glitter & Ganache today while Tabitha is vacationing in Japan. I’ll be teaching you how to give your wardrobe a makeover by bleaching your jeans white for spring!

I hope you’ll check it out, and while you’re there, be sure to look around Tab’s amazing blog – there is so much beautiful inspiration over there! Thanks for having me, Tabitha!

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7 Blogging Topics to Get You Over Bloggers’ Block

Print by Jennifer Ramos on Etsy

Got bloggers’ block? Been there! Here are some suggestions for blog posts to get you back on your feet!

Write a Tutorial

The best way to gain loyal followers is to teach them something! Are you good at crafting? Photography? Cooking? Organizing? None of the above? Write a “faux-torial,” like this one I wrote on How to Have a Fantastic Weekend.

Day in the Life

I love day in the life posts! Take photos throughout your day and show your readers what a typical day looks like for you. Another twist on this could be to take one photo every hour.

Suggest Your Favorites

We all have our favorite products and companies – sing their praises and suggest them to others! If I was writing a love letter to my favorite products, I would include St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub, Celestial Seasonings Rooibos Tea, and basically everything at Trader Joe’s.

Share Some Advice

You learn new things every day, why not share some life lessons with your readers? It doesn’t need to be profound, but sharing events of your life and what they have taught you can help you to connect with your readers on a deeper level. When I wrote about feeling without guilt, I loved the stories people shared – I felt much more connected when my readers showed me they really got what I was saying!

Tour Your Town

If you were hosting visitors in your city, what would you show them? List your favorite restaurants, shops, and sights. Do a little research into your town’s history and share it! I wrote about my city of Venice a few months ago, but my guide is definitely due for an update!

Give Yourself a Challenge

Seven days of home-cooked meals! Two weeks of new outfits! A challenge can be a fantastic way to get your writing back on track. Back in December, I embraced the holiday season by writing a series called the Twelve Crafts of Christmas. It is definitely true that the more you write, the easier it gets, because that challenge motivated me to blog every single day leading up to Christmas!

Get Real

Even if your blog is about food or crafts or fashion, your readers want to know the real you. Share a current struggle or a favorite memory or an experience that changed you. Invite your readers to participate in the conversation. One of the hardest posts for me to write was when I admitted that I don’t love living in LA. I was met with such wonderful support, from both old friends and new, it really made a difference for me at the time. Blogging can be a tool to develop such great relationships!

How do you get over bloggers’ block?

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LA Adventures: Gourmet Food Trucks

Thanks so much for bearing with me last week! My parents and my brother were in town so I spent the week touring around Los Angeles. I love having visitors because it pushes me to see and do new things! I’ve lived in LA for almost two years now, and I still feel like I’ve only seen a fraction of what the city has to offer.

I’m going to put together some posts on my favorite LA adventures – altogether I hope they can serve as a mini guide to LA. Maybe one of you will come visit someday!

One of my favorite things to do with out-of-towners is visit the food trucks! Many cities around the country have their own fleet of gourmet food trucks as well, but I feel like the food truck phenomenon is a true LA experience!

Pork buns and duck fat fries from the Bun Truck

You can find food trucks by following your favorites on Twitter – trucks will tweet out their schedules so you can go grab a bite. I think the best way to enjoy a meal at the food trucks is to find a gathering of a few trucks – that way you can try a few items from different trucks. We caught this food truck rally in Santa Monica, which has some of the best food trucks in LA. There were about twelve trucks serving everything from Indian to sushi to waffles! That’s the fun thing about eating at the trucks – it’s a different experience every time!

Red velvet pancakes from the Buttermilk Truck

Santa Monica Food Truck Lot
2612 Main Street, Santa Monica
Every Tuesday from 5 – 9 pm

Do you have food trucks in your city? What’s your favorite food truck?

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How to Make Guacamole: California Style

My friend Mark took these photos when he came to visit recently – he was fascinated by how we make guacamole! Fresh farmers market ingredients, herbs from the garden, and when we needed a lime or lemon for some tartness, I told him to go pick one from our tree in the yard! You really can’t beat that. ; )

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Instagram Tips and Tricks

I am still obsessed with Instagram – are you? I think it’s a great way to capture small, every-day moments that you might otherwise forget. I love looking back over my photos and remembering when I took them! Here are a few tips for how to make your Instagrams shine.

Use your phone’s camera app to take your photo, then import into Instagram. The built-in camera app has way more capability than the Instagram camera, including zoom, focus, and exposure.

Bonus tip – ever had a photo turn out poorly because your subject was backlit and appeared too dark? On the iPhone, touch and hold your finger on your subject to lock the focus and exposure.

When you bring your photos in from the camera app, you will have the ability to zoom in on your subject – use it! Cut out anything unimportant in the background and showcase the details. Your photos will have so much more interest!

Lux, an enhancement feature represented by a sun icon, enhances the light in your photo. It works best on photos shot outdoors in natural light. It does not work well for indoor photos with artificial light, photos of food, or photos of people.

Tilt-shift, represented by the rain drop icon, places focus on one area of your photo and blurs the rest. You can choose either a circular focus (resize by pinching your fingers) or a rectangular focus (turn it by placing a finger on either end and spinning). Use tilt-shift to highlight one area of your photo or just add a little interest. You can also try blurring your entire photo by making the circular focus as small as you can and sliding it off to one corner.

Once you’ve applied either or both of the above features, you can apply one of the Instagram filters. To preview, tap the filter button at the bottom of your screen. Some filters have a frame attached, which you can toggle off with the frame button in the top left.

• Want to filter your photos without posting them? Switch your phone into “airplane mode” in your settings – any photos you edit will be saved to your phone.

• To quickly “like” a photo in your feed, tap twice on the photo.

• To easily reply to someone’s comment, tap and hold on their username, then click “mention user.”

• Combine the Instagram features with other apps! Check out a few of my favorite iPhone apps.

Fun web tools for Instagram:

  • Statigram: view statistics on your photos, share your photos on other platforms
  • Webstagram: view your photos and your feed
  • Instagrid: view your photos in a neat gallery format

Have any tips to add to my list? I would love to hear them!

Posted in photography, technology | Tagged , , , , | 233 Comments

A Day In the Life

I love to read “Day In the Life” posts on blogs – there’s something about seeing a person’s entire day that is just captivating to me! So last Wednesday on a whim, I decided to take extra photos throughout the day and put them into a post to share them with you.

At 7:30, I wake up to sun streaming through the window. I check my email, Twitter, and Instagram on my phone – I am not a morning person, so waking up is a huge production for me! I finally get out of bed and make breakfast: Greek yogurt, granola, honey, and strawberries. I wonder where the kitten in, since she’s usually snuggling with me when I wake up, and I find that she’s already on bird patrol at her favorite window.

I stop at Starbucks on my way to work to use my coupon that’s about to expire – I got a coffee frappe since it feels like it’s going to be a hot day. I smile when I notice they actually spelled my name right!

I get to my client’s house at 9:00 – it is Spring Break so most of my appointments are at home this week instead of school. I work as a behavioral therapist with children on the autism spectrum. My client’s nanny and I decide to take my client and his brother to a nearby park – since it’s vacation, we take it easy on therapy and work on fun things like play skills and socialization.

After the boys have had enough of the park, we go back home and practice reading, then I record my data and leave. I realize my gas light has come on, and I don’t want to have another gas-related “incident,” so I stop at the gas station. Am I the only one who tries not to look at the price of gas before I fill up? It’s just too depressing!

When I get home, I go out to water my plants. It’s kind of late in the day to do so, but I can never get it together enough to do it before work! I notice that my cucumber seeds have sprouted, which makes me happy. Then I pull some weeds – we have this nasty beach grass that grows in our yard, and it is impossible to get rid of!

I make myself a quick lunch of a thin crust spinach pizza from Trader Joe’s, some crock pot leftovers, and a tiny avocado I got from the farmer’s market. All delicious.

I have a few minutes before I have to leave again, so I say hello to Scout, who is apparently still on bird duty. I switch on the tv and watch the previous day’s Ellen – I watch her almost every day! I check in on Twitter, then Scout decides I have had enough computer time and demands a scratch.

I hop back in the car and head to another client’s house. On Wednesdays we go to a class at My Gym – she’s doing really well today, so I mostly just observe and take notes. That’s the good and bad thing about my job – once my students improve, they don’t need me anymore!

I get home around 4:30 and forgot to take very many photos after that. I check in with work emails, draft a blog post, and watch a few Photoshop tutorials online. When Marcus gets home around 5:30, we have stuffed peppers for dinner, also from Trader Joe’s, also with green onions. I’m obsessed, what can I say? After dinner, we watch some tv and eventually head to bed.

So there you have it, nothing too exciting, just a typical Wednesday!

What does a day in your life look like?

Posted in livin life | 27 Comments

Pastel Spring Easter Egg Manicure

Don’t you love all the fun new nail polish colors this season? I’m really into pastels and I’ve collected quite a few, so naturally I decided to paint myself into an Easter egg.

You guys remember those “Shit ____ People Say” videos that were popular a few months ago? If I was gonna make a “Shit Bloggers Say,” I would definitely include, “Honey? Can you come here and take some pictures of my manicure?,” and “No, in the kitchen, the light’s better,” and “Did you forget to set the white balance?” I’m lucky to have such a sweet boyfriend, he puts up with my nonsense really well. : )

Want to recreate my nail art? The colors are “Cloud” and “Jaded,” both Revlon Top Speed brand, and “Hangover,” purchased at Urban Outfitters.

Any plans for the weekend? Getting your nails did?

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