Realness

Blog photo locations. This has been one of the biggest struggles as a blogger. If you are a blogger or have a personal brand, having a great backdrop/location is so important because it brings your aesthetic to life.

Before I go into all of my tips, I have to say that I am not perfect at this because I have a very specific vision for my brand, and I am unwilling to forgo that vision if the background is not right. To get specific, I shoot in front of walls quite often because the area I live in is not a prime place for cool looking buildings etc. Very recently, I have been making an effort to change this by driving to San Francisco, a 20 minute drive, to shoot.

1. VISION BOARDS

Create Pinterest boards for location ideas, whether it’s for a cohesive vision for your brand, or for a specific shoot. What I have found is that my vision boards involve a lot of black, gray, white, and pink. Many have intricate backgrounds.

2. CONSIDER COLORS

As I mentioned above, I always consider what colors will be in the photos. Think about what you’re wearing: will you blend into the background or stand out? Sometimes I’ll find a great place to shoot, but there are touches of a color that I don’t care to use. Don’t let that deter you! I simple desaturation or color fix when editing will do the trick.

4. DEPTH OF FIELD / BLURRED BACKGROUNDS?

Go back and look at your vision board(s). Do the photos you pinned have blurry backgrounds, or are the backgrounds in focus? If they’re blurry, they have a depth of field. If they’re crisp, they do not.

If you LIKE depth of field: You will need to stand at least 3 feet in front of the wall or backdrop that you want to be blurred by the camera. So, do not stand right in front of a wall if you want a blurred effect.

5. KEEP A LIST OF LOCATIONS

When it comes time to shoot, I always refer to my list! I can never remember all of the places I’ve ever shot and loved. So I keep a list and shoot at this spots on rotation. It is the WORST to drive around looking for locations…not efficient at all.

Confession: Sometimes I lie and say that I forgot to put on deodorant, but in truth, I just hate it. Specifically the conventional, unhealthy kind.

I just can’t get down with putting those chemicals on my pits.

I have blogged about deodorants before, and I found some that did work. But that wasn’t enough. I’m always testing, always trying new things. I went back to unhealthy deodorant for a long time (shameful) because nothing was rocking my world. I needed something PERFECT, natural, with no BS ingredients.

The entire time I was using these “bad” deodorants in between, I was fully aware that they pose potential health problems such as: breast cancer, Alzheimers, hormone disruption, among others. Some studies say that the aluminum used in “bad” deodorants is not harmful, however I’d like to play it safe, thank you very much.

Here’s the problem with so many alternatives available: they are less reliable and many times, very weak.

Conventional antiperspirants work by reacting with sweat to create a temporary plug in your sweat glands; conventional deodorants work by killing the bacteria that live on skin (the bacteria break the fats and proteins present in sweat down into b.o., essentially) with compounds like triclosan.

That said, plugging sweat glands and depositing elements like fragrance, aluminum, and powerful synthetic antibacterial agents right where so many of the body’s lymph glands, critical to the body’s immune system, seems foolhardy to many. “I don’t want to use anything with aluminum because it mimics estrogen and I’m already estrogen dominant,” says Jena Covello, founder of Agent Nateur. “Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.”

Back to the story. A few weeks ago, I discovered Kopari’s Deo (that is what it’s called) and I fell in LOVE. Love at first smell. I love everything coconut oil, and Kopari is best known for their coconut oil based products. This deodorant smells just like coconut milk yet it’s very fresh smelling. I did some reading on the ingredients, read some reviews, and then I tested. I tested after running 4 miles on the treadmill, I tested during blistering hot bay area summer days, I tested when I was sitting at home doing work.

The result? NO B.O. I was shocked.

The magic of Kopari Deo is its perfectly calibrated blend of ingredients: coconut oil, plant derived Triethyl Citrate, Sage Oil, and coconut water. These ingredients provide odor protection while simultaneously warding off the bacteria that causes it in the first place. Did you know that coconut oil is antibacterial? Extra WIN.

The icing on the cake? The deodorant is clear, so no white stains on your clothes.

Have you tried Kopari? Let me know your thoughts!

xo, Lynn

 

TEE // SKIRT // SIMILAR SHOES // SUNGLASSES

If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably heard over and over again that you need a niche. The more I hear it, the more annoyed I get. Before I get into that, let’s talk about what a “niche blog” is.

A niche blog is refers to a blog that stays with one specific topic and target market.

Some examples of niche blogs would be a blog that focuses only on affordable fashion, a blog for girl moms, a blog for gluten free recipes, etc.

There is a lot of noise out there on the fact that you can only be successful if you have a niche. I disagree.

Why? Because most people and bloggers are multi-passionate and can experience burnout talking about just one thing.

Blogger burnout is a real thing. I experienced it when I only focused on fashion, because I felt like there wasn’t much else to say other than, “I love these jeans because they’re SO soft!”…not knocking fashion bloggers in the slightest, but I felt so repetitive. Simply sharing my outfits with everyday was just not enough.

I wanted and want you to read my blog to find tips and tricks that bring value to your life.

Putting yourself into this tight little corner vowing to only write about one certain thing from now until eternity will make you feel VERY restricted. At least I felt that way. I felt like I had way more to offer. This leads me to talk about being multi-passionate. I have many passions that include: fitness, style, wellness, cruelty free beauty, and business. My guess is that you, too, have many interests and passions.

If you restrict yourself to one topic, you’re leaving a multitude of other topics behind that could lead to something amazing.

Now let’s get into HOW to have a non-niche specific blog and KILL IT.

Pick your passions

Make a list of everything that you are passionate about. Next, which of these passions could you talk about with your BFF for hours? Once you’ve narrowed them down, you’ve selected your blog topics. Make sure that these topics all relate back to your mission for your blog.

♡ Serve your audience

Think about your audience. Who are they? Why do they show up everyday or every week to consume your content? If you do not know the answer, ask! I have used Instagram Stories for this, and it works great!

♡ Branding

First and foremost, if you have a cohesive BRAND, your niche does not matter. Your ideal readers/customers will come to you if your brand resonates with them. I like to think of blog branding like a magazine. Take Martha Stewart Magazine, for example. The voice is consistent throughout, the colors and fonts are elegant, warm, and pleasing to women with a median age of 52 (this demographic is confirmed in their media kit). You will not read curse words, see jarring designs, or anything beyond a subtle sexy photo in Martha Stewart Magazine. But Cosmo? Different story. You see where I’m going.

Personally, I love for branding to flow like a story.

So…whether you choose to have a niche or not, you can create a successful blog.

If you like posts like this, please let me know because I love sharing these kinds of things.

xo, Lynn

CLOSET CLEAN OUTS. These can be anxiety inducing and refreshing all at the same time. At least that’s how it always feels for me. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have watched my closet clean out that I did on stories. I hadn’t purged and edited my closet for years, and it had been nagging at me for awhile.

There were a few things that I did differently this time, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. So, let’s get right to my top tips for cleaning out your closet!

♡ Get your mindset in check

You might be thinking, “oh, shut the fuck up” about the mindset piece, but this really is an important step before you start the clean-our process. If you’re anything like me, you are easily attached certain clothing items because they were gifts from someone special, or they bring back certain memories. Most of the time, keeping something in this instance doesn’t mean that it’ll ever be worn again. For example, if your grandma gave you a sweater that you think is just hideous, but you feel bad about letting it go. Just let it go. When it gets hard to let something go, remind yourself that when you get rid of something that no longer serves you, you are making room for pieces that do. And: one woman’s trash is another’s treasure. So, think of it as being generous!

Empty your entire closet

Yes, the whole thing, shoes and jewelry included. Don’t worry about sorting yet. Just get it all out. If you store any of your clothes in containers, your dresser, or other areas of your home, get those too. Dump them on the bed.

♡ Make piles

Start 3 piles. Mine are: Sell, Donate, and Keep. As you gather items to sell, I recommend setting up an account on eBay, or taking your clothes to a local consignment shop. My preference is eBay – the process is so easy. I prefer to donate over selling, however my personal rule is that if I want to get rid of a designer or pricey item, I will usually sell it. For nice, non-designer pieces, I donate to a women’s shelter or I ask friends and family if they are interested in any of the pieces. Separating everything into specific piles will help the process flow more smoothly, and the clean up will be a lot quicker once you’re done going through your entire wardrobe.

♡ The 1-year rule

There are certain items that will be hard to decide on which pile they should go in. If I need an extra push, I ask myself if I’ve worn that item in the last year. If the answer is “no”, I put it in the sell or donate pile. If you haven’t worn something in a year, chances are you won’t wear it again.

♡ Wash your closet

Yes, actually scrub, wash, and vacuum your closet while everything is out.

♡ Organize & restock

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to keep, being strategic about organizing makes getting dressed so much easier. I like to color code my closet like this: White to black, tanks to sweaters. For example, I’ll start with all of my white shirts and sweaters. I add them into my closet in order of lightness, so tanks go first, then tees, then light button-ups, then sweaters.

Now the really fun part: take inventory of what is missing from your closet. When I did this, I felt so much anxiety because I had gotten rid of 1/2 my closet. I am still slowly adding pieces back in. Tip: Write a note in your phone of everything that is now missing, and check them off as you add these items back in.

Scalp facials. Yes, you read that right: facials for your scalp. I heard about scalp facials awhile back and have never had one done in a salon, but when I found dpHue’s Salt Scrub and ACV rinse, I decided to try a DIY scalp facial.

Scalp facials are new to the US, but they’ve been popular for over 15 years in Japan. They treat issues such as oiliness and dryness by clearing all of the debris living on your scalp that clogs your hair follicles.

dpHUE’s Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub With Pink Himalayan Sea Salt exfoliates the scalp, removing dead skin cells, product buildup and rebalances pH. It is made with craft-produced Apple Cider Vinegar, its antimicrobial properties gently remove impurities from your hair. The fine grain and coarse grain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, renowned for its detoxifying qualities, work as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and product build up from your scalp and hair follicle. Infused with Avocado Oil and Aloe Vera to soothe and calm the scalp and enhanced with color-locking technology to protect color treated hair. Amazing, right?

The ACV Rinse is a substitute for shampoo or conditioner and contains all natural ingredients: argan oil, lavender extract, and aloe vera. This rinse restores your color and makes your hair vibrant and shiny.

Let’s get into how I give myself a scalp facial with these products:

♡ Before getting in the shower, I apply the salt scrub to my scalp. Separate your hair where you need to so that it can be applied directly to the scalp.

♡ Hop in the shower and scrub your scalp, and give yourself a massage by rubbing in small, circular motions. This feels so good and relieves tension.

Rinse the scrub off, and then apply the ACV rinse on your scalp to the ends of your hair. Leave on for as long or as little time as you’d like. Rinse.

That’s it! I have used this combo 5 times now and would recommend doing so at least once a month to give yourself a good refresh. With psoriasis, I plan to continue doing this treatment twice monthly.

Have you tried a scalp facial? Let me know!

xo, Lynn

 SHOP