Every morning, I drink a smoothie. Plastic straws are a NO-GO due to environmental reasons, and paper straws become so soggy. I ordered metal straws a couple years ago thinking that they were the way to go. They’re reusable, which is what I was looking for.
But then my dentist found out that I was using metal straws every morning and told me to STOP. Why? Because metal can chip your teeth and can lead to metal toxicity.
And then I found glass straws (insert hallelujah music).
At first I was scared that glass straws would be too fragile, especially when it came to washing. But they are so sturdy. And digging deeper into how they serve as a vessel vs. stainless steel, I learned that the resistance of the glass to erosion from acidity from foods is so much higher than with metal straws…this is how stainless steel is prone to heavy metal problems.
The icing on the cake is that since glass straws are clear, you can be sure that they are clean.
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!
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!
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.