Tagged: Midwest Style Bloggers

Reflecting on 2014

Reflecting on the past can be an important part of moving forward. I often choose to end each year looking back at what has transpired and what I’ve accomplished. When a portion of your life is documented online – through social media or a blog – it’s easy to travel back in time through the past 365 days. Sometimes this is a blessing and a curse. There’s a point at which spending too much time on the past can hinder our journey into the future. There’s such a fine line between constructive and detrimental reflection on the past.

For me, the past year – my first year of freelancing and blogging full-time – has been a lot of learning what not to do. I’ve made a number of poor decisions as I’ve taken total and complete control of carving and shaping my career. While I know it’s all part of the learning process, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking back with a negative mindset – the could-have, would-have, should-have mindset. Of course there are many, many things I could have, would have, should have done differently. The key to reflecting on these moments in a productive way is to acknowledge and examine what can be learned from them as I head into a new year and fresh start.

Whether it be self-imposed or a force from the universe, there’s a lot of pressure on year two of freelancing and blogging from New York City. So, I’m spending the last day of 2014 focusing on my energy – mental, physical, emotional energy – and reflecting on 2014. As cheesy as it sounds, I have this intuition that this is my year. It’s scary to proclaim in writing on such a public forum, but perhaps this is my first step in telling the universe I’m ready!


W I N T E R

1. Happy New Year 2014

2. Styling with Black & White

3. Top 5 Fashion Magazines


S P R I N G

4. Mad Men Fashion

5. A Fusion of Music & Fashion

6. Bathing Suit Guide


S U M M E R 

7. Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee

8. Midwest Style Blogger Happy Hour

9. Exploring the Adventure Issue: Eide Magazine

10. My Best Friend’s Wedding

11. Styling for Men: Amsterdam Station

12. Fan Favorite Look: Styling Singer/Songwriter Erica Bryan

13. Just Knotted ARTicles of Clothing Blog Bands

14. Level 99 Contest Winner

15. Little Black Dress


F A L L

16. Gameyday with Girly Go Garter

17. Styling for Fall ft. Encore

18. ARTicles of Clothing Blog’s First Birthday

19. Go Blog Social Conference Chicago, Illinois

20. Day to Night YouTube Makeup Tutorial with Woo Skincare & Cosmetics

21. Styling for Portraits

22. Activewear Essentials for Fall YouTube Video

23. Elizabeth & James Eyewear

24. Birthday in NYC with blogger GaBrielle Pedriani of Look Sharp, Sconnie

25. Stylish Holiday Wine Tastings at Osteria Mattone

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Go Blog Social Conference Highlights

Last weekend I attended a blogging conference in Chicago hosted by the Kansas City based blogger collective Go Blog Social (GBS), founded by PR expert Kathryn Mansur of Everyday Chic and Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop. GBS was designed to inform, educate, and inspire bloggers, social media experts, and brands through unique networking events and conferences. After attending my first GBS event, I would say they achieved just that!

The line-up of speakers at this Chicago based conference was pretty impressive, and it was a prime opportunity to network with dozens of fellow bloggers. So, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the event, and encourage other bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to attend GBS’s next event in February 2015 – the first ever GBS Workshop, offering a variety of hands-on, interactive courses.


Go Blog Social 1

Photographed by Christina Slaton


SPEAKER 1 – MARITZA BUELVAS of BEAUTY FOR BLOGGERS

Key Piece of Advice:

Put your best face forward. Your hair and makeup are just as important to your brand as your outfit and accessories when styling a look.

P.S. Maritza makes awesome use of videography to share her approach to beauty and teasers for her workshops. Be sure to check them out on her YouTube channel!


SPEAKER 2 – ALISON RAY of SASSY MOMS IN THE CITY

Key Piece of Advice:

It’s never too early to start pitching yourself to brands for partnerships. If you’re new to blogging and don’t have a particularly impressive portfolio or media kit, focus on what you can do not what you’re doing. Constantly, actively create your own opportunities!


SPEAKER 3 – HELENA SWYTER of SWEETER CPA

Key Piece of Advice:

If you’re a blogger gaining money or product from your partnerships, you are a business! Track your income and expenses, know which legal structure is best for your business, and make sure your taxes are in order! Need help? Contact Helena!


SPEAKER 4 – FARISSA KNOX of WHATRUWEARING

Key Piece of Advice:

First, I have to say, this was one of my favorite takeaways from the day: Make a list of every job you’ve ever had (from the first job you had as a teen), and write down the responsibilities and lessons learned from each position. You may feel your professional history is irrelevant to your career, but you will be surprised at how your past experience translates to the role you want if you take a few minutes to do this exercise!


SPEAKER 5 – CAIT WEINGARTNER of PRETTY AND FUN

Key Piece of Advice:

Start a practice each January (or hey, why not right now?) of writing your big goals for the coming year on a post-it note. The size of the post-it allows you to keep the list straightforward and attainable. Keep the note somewhere you will see it every day – your desk, refrigerator, bathroom – and at the end of the year, assess what you achieved and ask why you accomplished the goals (or not).


KEYNOTE SPEAKER – DANIELLE MOSS of THE EVERYGIRL

Key Piece of Advice:

You never know where a partnership might take you. There may not be tangible pay (like money or product) attached, but in some cases, the payoff from an “unpaid” opportunity can have a greater reward.

What’s New in Year 2

By now I’m sure most of you have taken some time to explore the new ARTicles of Clothing blog. In case you missed some of the new features, I wanted to give you a tour!


NEW Logo and Tagline

AOC Fonts Year 2

AOC has a brand new logo and its first ever tagline. I used Google fonts to download and pair easy-to-read fonts for the logo as well as graphics and content. Although AOC’s About page is still under construction, I wanted to introduce a tagline as the first step in more clearly defining AOC’s brand. Year one of AOC lacked some direction and focus, but the concept of style telling a story has always been at AOC’s roots.


NEW Color Story

AOC Colors Year 2

The colors of AOC have not changed drastically. However, the goal of altering AOC’s fonts and slightly modifying AOC’s colors was to create a more crisp, clean, and bold look. I coupled the original AOC orange with a bolder magenta in place of the previously used pink.


NEW Top Menu Bar Items

personal style and styling

AOC’s old menu bar was outdated and ineffective. The original menu items no longer aligned with AOC’s focus, so changing this key navigation tool was essential to refining AOC’s brand. Although AOC is not exclusively a personal style blog, I wanted a section that complied my personal style looks. The next section is one I’m very excited about: the styling section. Over the past several months, I’ve been pursuing styling opportunities, and I’m thrilled to share my work thus far. I’m also proud to showcase my partnerships. I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing regional and national brands that I truly believe in and fully endorse.


NEW Sidebar Items

September 2014 Month of Firsts

In order to cultivate more consistency on AOC, for the next year I’m giving each month a theme, located under the search bar on the sidebar. September 2014 is the Month of Firsts, which kicked off with AOC’s first birthday and AOC’s first YouTube video. Click the “month of” icon to view all posts from the month tagged with the theme. Another new addition to the sidebar is a link to AOC’s new YouTube channel, located next to AOC’s other social media outlets. Finally, I’m proud to showcase my membership in the Midwest Style Bloggers community.


What’s Next?

Year two of AOC is just getting started. So stay tuned for AOC’s all NEW About page – coming soon – and other exciting improvements in the months to come!