One year ago today I launched ARTicles of Clothing Blog. I can’t believe it.
A successful one-woman business is a myth. If I’ve learned one vital thing over the past year, it’s that you can’t do anything alone. As a blogger and freelancer, most days it’s just you and your computer. It can feel lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be. The minute I started connecting with others, particularly fellow artists, entrepreneurs, and creative spirits, my work improved drastically. I could not have pressed forward day after day and continued to compose this blog without the support and contribution of many, and to those invaluable people, I want to say THANK YOU and CHEERS TO YOU!
Thank you to…
I met Jessica at a seminar at AmericasMart in January 2013. She was the first style blogger I connected with, and over coffee she told me one of the most important things an aspiring blogger can hear – you just need to sit down, and do it!
Angie Webb, Suburbanite Photography
Angie started a blog in college, and through it, I grew to know and love her. In the spring of 2013, Angie and I sat down over dinner to catch up and discuss my desire to establish my own blog. She gave me a great deal of advice and encouragement and, most importantly, a branding questionnaire that was vital to my creation of AOC. Since then, she has contributed to AOC as my primary photographer and an avid supporter.
Over the years Denise has had many roles in my life – dance teacher, Pilates instructor, mentor, friend. Since venturing out as a freelancer and blogger, she has taught me about being an entrepreneur, helped me make meaningful connections in my industry, and always been there at the right time with a piece of advice, encouraging word, or relevant music video.
Erica Bryan, Singer/Songwriter
When Erica reached out to me about working with her as a stylist, I could never have imagined what an impact she would have on me and my career. From the moment we partnered together, Erica became my advocate. I truly believe Erica and I are kindred spirits, placed in each others’ lives at this point in time for a specific purpose. Erica’s passion is contagious, and I’m continually inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment to her artistry.
Catie has been my hair stylist for the past five years and over that time has become a close friend. Earlier this year, Catie connected me to her longtime friend, Nikki, owner of an upscale boutique, Encore. I partnered with Encore for the first time for a feature on their spring 2014 look book, and since then, Nikki has continued to be a dedicated supporter of AOC.
Tova Gelfond and the Eide Team, Eide Magazine
For years I’ve admired Eide for their dedication to narrative voice and carefully curated aesthetic. In June, they reached out to me about reviewing their summer issue, and I had the opportunity to interview the magazine’s founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief, Tova Gelfond. Speaking with and learning from Tova and working with Eide is an undeniable milestone in my career and highlight of year one of AOC.
Jocelyn Negron, Must Love Sparkle
Jocelyn is the founder of Must Love Sparkle, a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. She has a keen eye for buying and her own collection has a stunning design. Jocelyn has contributed jewelry for a personal photo shoot and for styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan. Throughout our partnerships, Jocelyn has been a meaningful advocate AOC.
GaBrielle Pedriani, Look Sharp, Sconnie
GaBrielle was the first blogger I connected with in the Midwest. After visiting her blog, my perception of personal style bloggers completely shifted. Gabby defies the typical personal style blogger aesthetic ,and she’s a skilled writer. Although I only got to know her for a short time before she relocated to NYC, Gabby made a profound impact on me as a blogger and my Midwestern fashion experience.
Pamela Wilson, Iona
Pamela has been key influence in my Midwestern fashion journey. Upon meeting Pamela at a fashion event, she immediately welcomed me into the local fashion community. I’ve learned a great deal from her approach to fashion and entrepreneurship, and I’ve made some invaluable connections through events hosted at her boutique.
Amsterdam Station, Alternative Rock Band
Amsterdam Station approached me this summer while in the process of re-branding. As part of creating their new look, they enlisted me as a stylist. The band has an invigorating energy that translated into our work together. Amsterdam Station not only furthered my styling career but also broke me into the world of styling men.
Sonali Prabhu, So Narly
I connected with Sonali through mutual friends and was immediately impressed by her social media presence and following. Sonali is wise beyond her years and, in my opinion, represents the future of social media. She’s innovative, committed to her brand, and confident yet humble. While composing my first YouTube video, Sonali was a take charge director and brought a fun energy to the shoot.
Ryan Pernice and Micki Kimberly, Osteria Mattone
Ryan and I went to high school together, and he’s now the owner of two successful restaurants in our hometown. I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot on location at his Italian restaurant, Osteria Mattone. A portion of the shoot was dedicated to today’s celebration, AOC’s one year birthday. Pastry chef and personal friend, Micki, composed a special dessert for the occasion: Budino Caramellato with Fior di Latte Gelato (yes, we ate it after the shoot, and yes, it was as good as it looks and sounds).
Midwest Style Bloggers, Community
I’ve connected with a number of the founders and members of the Midwest Style Bloggers at various events. They have welcomed me into the Midwest fashion community and have been invaluable to the growth of AOC.
My friends, family, and the AOC Blog Focus Group
Despite the fact that most of my friends and family are far more traditional and practical than I am, they have offered me unlimited love and support over the past year. I could not have launched this blog and continued to grow and improve it without the feedback of my Focus Group. I want to express my particular appreciation for the following people: My boyfriend, who has no interest in fashion whatsoever but has never failed to listen, lend a hand, or provide a second opinion; My mom, who has fueled my creativity from a young age by enrolling me in my first dance classes, buying me countless notebooks, and exposing me to art in various forms; My Kitty Kat, for serving as my co-stylist on my first photo shoot; and My Boo, for setting the foundation for my reader spotlight series.
YOU, My Readers
I only make up 50% of this blog, the other 50% is YOU, my readers. Without your loyal readership, this blog would just be words and images floating around cyberspace. ARTicles of Clothing blog is both by you and for you.
CHEERS TO YOU ALL!
For the past three days we’ve all been basking in the glory of the first festivities of the summer. The Memorial Day holiday kicks off the first of many extended summer weekends, vacations, and holiday get-togethers to come over the coming summer months. It was a fantastic three-day weekend, but… we’re feeling out of shape from overindulging… we’re feeling exhausted from overextending ourselves… we’re feeling pain from overexposure to the sun. Gearing up and getting back to the grind after a holiday weekend can be difficult. Don’t let summer adventures dull your productivity! Check out my 3 cures for a post-holiday hangover.
Cleanse Your Palate
Summer festivities always seem to consist of salty food and an abundance of alcohol. These refreshments in combination with the summer heat leave us deeply dehydrated and feeling bloated and lethargic. Before you head to hot yoga or out for a run to detox from overindulging, cleanse your palate by replenishing nutrients and hydrating. Smoothies are a social butterfly’s best friend in the summer months. There are endless seasonal ingredient options for smoothies in the summer, so it’s easy to have the necessary ingredients on hand. Smoothies are super refreshing and satisfying – they’re a surefire way to energize yourself after an extended summer holiday! New to smoothie-making and need some help pairing ingredients perfectly? Follow MyBOD Wellness on Facebook and Twitter for weekly recipe inspiration!
Master the Summer Up-do
When you’re heading back to work after a holiday, you’re likely feeling exhausted from travel and endless activities, parties, and events. You don’t particularly FEEL GOOD, so the last thing you care about is trying to LOOK GOOD. By now you probably know my theory that feeling good and looking good have a cyclical relationship. So, if you’re able to put in a little effort to LOOK GOOD before you head back to work, you will FEEL GOOD and hopefully be more productive post-holiday. The key to looking good when feeling lazy is mastering the summer up-do. There are endless summer hair tutorials out there, many of which seem complicated and unattainable without the help of a celebrity stylist. However, I found two with realistic options for the everygirl: Easy Summer Hairstyles by Self Magazine and Fresh DIY Ponytails by Refinery 29.
Sooth the Sunburn
I was fortunate enough to get a base tan on my Mexico getaway back in April. However, I’m a pale girl with Irish blood, so for those of you who stepped into the sun for the first time this season over Memorial Day, I feel your pain, literally. If you’re fair skinned like me, you know that no amount of sunscreen can truly prevent you from getting burned during the summer when we spend significantly more time outdoors. My northern girls also have particularly sensitive skin come summer after being bundled up in a parka for the past six months. It is essential that you have some remedies to sooth the sunburn on hand. Refinery 29 to the rescue again! Just in time for Memorial Day, R29 Beauty Director Megan McIntyre shared four Homemade Cures for Burnt-to-a-Crisp Skin.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! So, there’s still time to get mom something special. Whether your mom is into food, fitness, or fashion, I’ve got seven gift ideas for you to suit your mom’s unique style PLUS a bonus Mother’s Day idea for daughters on a serious budget!
Where better to get some stylish items for your fashion forward mom than from Hot Mama. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you might not be familiar with this boutique chain, but they have a website you can shop that ships to all fifty states! Hot Mama is a concept boutique created by a mom for moms. From the design of each store to their buying techniques, Hot Mama keeps moms in mind. Needless to say Hot Mama is gearing up for the holiday honoring moms with 10 Must-Haves for Mom, one each day in May. So, you’ll have to stay tuned to their Facebook page for picks 7-10, but here are their first six must-haves for mom!
1. AG Middi Ankle, $215
2. Summer Scarves, $28-$48
3. Graphic Tees, $38-$68
4. Ray Ban Sunglasses, $115-$160
5. Sanctuary Shorts, $69-$79
6. Prairie Underground Sweatshirt, $199-$268
If your mom loves to cook and entertain, there’s a brand new cookbook that just hit the shelves in time for Mother’s Day: Extra Virgin – Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen ($20). I’ve been watching Extra Virgin with actress Debi Mazar and her Tuscan hunk of a husband Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Channel since its debut three years ago. Finally this gem of a show is getting the recognition it deserves! The couple just released their first cookbook, and I imagine every recipe is sinfully good given I can’t help but swoon over every single dish they prepare on the show.
What mom doesn’t love a day at the salon to make her FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD? Get her a gift certificate to her favorite salon so she can enjoy a day of pampering and beautification! Not sure which salon your mom loves? If you live in the Atlanta or Athens area, I recommend Salon Dm3. They’ve got an amazing deal going on for Mother’s Day Gift Certificates! Buy a $50 gift certificate for $40, a $100 gift certificate for $75, or a $200 gift certificate for $150! Salon Dm3 offers cuts, colors, blowouts, extensions, waxing, and other treatments. Visit my amazing stylist of over six years, Catie McWhirter! Head to their site to purchase and book. Offer is good through this Saturday, May 10!
Is your mom into fitness? Does she travel frequently for work or play? Does she live across the country from you? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I might just have the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you. You may have seen me feature my favorite online fitness program, MyBOD Wellness, in a post or on social media. MyBOD offers Personal Training, Pilates or Yoga sessions via Skype or Google+. Simply set up a computer, smart phone, or tablet in your living room, office, hotel room, or anywhere on your time, and one of Mybod’s certified instructors comes to you over Skype or Goggle+ for a personalized workout session. Needless to say this gift is ideal for busy, jet setting moms. MyBOD believes consistency is crucial for good health, and their online mindful fitness allows an activity plan to be maintained on the go. Better yet, MyBOD offers semi-private sessions, so even if mom lives across the country, you could have a duet session together! Please visit MyBOD’s site for a FREE 20-minute consultation before purchasing and booking
Recently I realized my mom and I haven’t had our pictures taken together since the days when we wore matching outfits, so I decided to gift her a photo shoot for the two of us. You may have seen me dote on my all time favorite photographer, Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography in previous posts. While Angie’s specialties are senior portraits, boudior, and wedding photography, she is up for any challenge and has the creative mind and talent to tackle any shoot, which is evident throughout her amazing photography featured on this blog! Contact Angie for scheduling and pricing!
Mom’s love lingerie just as much as any girl, and of course my all time favorite lingerie brand is Hanky Panky. They’ve got an exclusive Mother’s Day pack of two V-Kini panties for $54, and while supplies last, you can get a beautiful, limited edition, hand pressed Mother’s Day card with the code MOMSDAY for FREE with any purchase. If mom’s not into lacy lingerie, Hanky Panky has lovely tanks and sleepwear to suit any mom’s style.
If your mom likes the finer things in life, gather your siblings and your dear old dad to go in on a gift together. Buy her a luxury timepiece for Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of ten fabulous ladies watches that would be perfect Mother’s Day gifts for Crown & Caliber, the premier place to buy and sell high-end luxury timepieces. As you skim through this gift guide and find something that catches your eye, head over to Crown & Caliber’s “Watches for Sale” to find a stunning pre-owned timepiece to purchase for your mom!
BONUS: For a Daughter on a Serious Budget
If you’re on a super tight budget this Mother’s Day, remember when it comes to mom, it’s truly the thought that counts. Get mom a great card, like the ones featured in this post on Hello Giggles. Make your own Mother’s Day brunch by trying a new recipe like this one for Cream Scones with Currants from the Food Network. Give mom a mani/pedi by creating an at-home spa treatment like the one I featured in this post back in March. If you get creative and infuse it with love, it will be the perfect Mother’s Day gift!
As you all know, one of my resolutions for 2014 is to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD. So, this Wednesday I’m sharing my Wellness + Workout Wednesday routine. You may have seen me feature an awesome online fitness company called Mybod Wellness in previous posts. In case you missed it, let me tell you a little bit about Mybod.
Mybod Wellness offers one-on-one Personal Training, Pilates or Yoga sessions via Skype or Google+.
So, what does this mean? You set up your computer in your living room, office, hotel room, or anywhere on your time and one of Mybod’s certified instructors comes to you over Skype or Goggle+ for a personalized one-on-one workout session.
Beginner, intermediate, or advanced, Mybod caters all levels. Whether you’re looking for an intense workout that makes you sweat or a mindful and relaxing stretch that clears your mind, your Mybod instructor will create a session just for you and your needs at that very moment.
Ready to book your first Mybod session? Visit their site for pricing and booking, and be sure to mention you’re an AOC Blog reader to get a 20-minute FREE session or 10% off your first session or package!**
Still not sure if a Mybod session is for you? Denise Posnak, the founder of Mybod has partnered with BK Nation for their 28-Day Fitness Challenge and is offering LIVE Google Hangout Pilates sessions each Monday in February from 12:00 – 12:30 PM EST. Can’t make the session? You can watch a recorded version at a later time that’s convenient. Here’s the first Hangout from this past Monday. All future recordings can be found on Mybod’s Google+ page.
P.S. If you’re a New Yorker, you can attend Mybod’s Refresh Your Resolutions event in Brooklyn on Saturday, February 15 from 1:00-3:30pm. To register and learn more details about the workshop, visit the event page on Eventbrite.
**AOC reader discounts exclude the Intro Sessions for New Clients.
Hello, readers! I could never have imagined how busy 2014 would be, and I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of January! Thank you for bearing with my absence! Without further ado, let’s dive right back in by kicking off my new series for 2014: FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD.
Looking good starts with feeling good, and the New Year is the perfect time to reassess, restart, and rejuvenate. Feeling good involves two key components: physical health and mental health. From achieving goals to fitness and food, there are a lot of ways to modify your daily routine to FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD, and have a better year! A lot of people are overwhelmed by the pressure of the concept “New Year, new you.” They believe they have to make major, life altering changes to achieve a better year. Don’t set yourself up for failure, disappointment, and unrealistic expectations. Big goals require a big commitment, intense dedication, and a lot of work. If you’re up for the challenge, set a big goal to feel good and look good in 2014! However, if you’re just looking to have a better year in 2014 than you did in 2013, set a goal of making small changes in your everyday life. These small changes will add up and produce results!
I’ve also been promising reviews on AOC, so today I’m giving you a double dose of NEW ARTicles with a look inside Shape magazine’s Jan/Feb 2014 issue. Let’s take a peek at five highlights from the issue!
GOALS: How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Lose weight? Exercise more? Spend less, save more? Quit smoking? Stress less? Eat more healthfully? No matter what you’re trying to accomplish in 2014, the Shape Jan/Feb issue has got you covered with simple solutions to stick to your resolutions. In this article, Rock Your Resolutions, it’s as easy as “never clean your plate” or “follow the 2-day rule” to curb impulse buying to achieve your 2014 goals. Always remember it’s small changes that make a big impact!
NEW: It’s never too late to start or revisit your resolutions to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014! Read more about Rock Your Resolutions!
HOME: Let Your Living Space be a Solace, Starting with the Bedroom
According to Shape’s Assistant Editor Mallory Creveling, getting enough sleep is essential to feeling good! Sufficient sleep can protect against obesity, chronic disease, and even wrinkles! In this article, Give Your Bedroom a Checkup, set your sights on big or small changes to revamp your sleep sanctuary. Whether it’s setting a bold, long-term goal of investing in a new mattress to a simple, short-term goal of purchasing a relaxing sound machine for white noise, you can make your bedroom better and you can feel good and look good this year!
NEW: Read more tips about How to Give Your Bedroom a Better-Sleep Makeover!
PLAY: Whether You’re Single or in a Relationship, Start off the New Year with Good Vibrations
Hoping to spice up your sex life in 2014? According to Shape more than half of women admit to enhancing their sex life with “good vibrations,” either alone or with a partner. From beginners to girls on the go to couples looking to supercharge time in the bedroom, this article, Good Vibrations, is your guide to the right toy for you. And, don’t worry, amping up your sex life doesn’t have to break the bank. With prices ranging from $28 to $160, there’s a device for any budget!
NEW: Check out the slideshow to find the right toy to supercharge your sex life!
FITNESS: De-stress with this Winter Workout
Shape is packed with a number of workout routines to suit any skill level and lifestyle. This issue’s Get Fit Workout of the Month caught my eye for it’s promise to effectively “erase tension and cultivate calm.” Stress Rx is part of the Rx Series by fitness trainer Jill Miller and is comprised of just 6 moves using rubber balls to “stimulate your muscles and their surrounding tissues.” Other workout benefits of this 10-minute routine include an increased range of motion and a speedy recovery for those recuperating from a muscle injury.
NEW: For more on the Rx Series, check out Jill Miller’s book!
FASHION: Look Hot Even When it’s Cold with these Athletic Ensembles
From staying chic on the slopes to daring to bear your mid drift at the studio, the fit fashion in this issue of Shape is seriously swoon-worthy. Most looks are geared toward those of you looking to be fashionable while partaking in winter sports. However, if you simply love to rock a sporty look while jetting around town, these ensembles feature stylish pieces for a casual, everyday outfit! The Cold Play spread also features beauty tips on keeping your skin, lips, teeth, and more looking their best this winter!
BONUS: Must See Extra!
If you pick up this issue, you must turn to the Get Fit News on page 92 and check out the spotlight on my favorite at home personal training site, MyBod Wellness. You’ve seen me feature MyBod before, and I’m so excited to direct you to their feature in Shape!
For more from this issue of Shape, get it on the newsstands now for just $4.99!