The global tag starts below The Classic Brunette: January 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

10 Ways To Save Time And Simplify Your Life

School has finally started for me! It's weird thinking that today is my last first day of school EVER. I only have a few more months to go and then I'm a real adult (kinda). Since I'm still getting back in the swing of things, I really need to get myself into a schedule that will help me be more productive and use my time efficiently. I thought all you students out there are probably in the same boat, so here are my ways to save some time and simplify your schedule!

1. Plan Outfits Ahead Of Time
I know it's sometimes fun to play dress up in the morning before work or class, but sometimes it just eats away at all your free time. This happened to me a lot last semester, and there were a lot of days where I ended up running out the door without eating breakfast or feeling way too crushed for time. Planning out your outfit the night before can take the struggle out of your morning and let you enjoy that morning coffee or your extra minutes of 'me time.' Normally when I do this I plan only one outfit, but I have friends who sometimes plan their whole week's worth of outfits! This also works well for packing your school or work bag the night before so you don't forget something important.

2. Learn To Make One Good Meal
Are you constantly asking yourself "What should I eat?" or saying "Ugh I don't know what to make for dinner." Yeah, me too. I've learned that if you have one meal that you know how to make really well that's simple (I'm definitely not talking about a five course dinner here) it can turn into the perfect go to meal. It doesn't matter if it's a delicious gourmet grilled cheese or a crockpot dump meal that cooks itself, as long as it's delicious and easy. The only issue with this one is that you may get tired of your tried and true meal, but that's when you search Pinterest for your next recipe to master...

3. Meal Prep
Still struggling to find time for food? Don't have time to put together a meal? That's what meal prep is for! When I meal prep I like to plan my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the entire week and cook as much as possible. I put each meal into a tupperware so it's ready to go for whatever I have planned that day. I like to have a few options for each meal of the day (so I don't get bored of the food!) and it works out great for those weeks where it feels like you can't catch a break.

4. Stock Up On Essentials
It doesn't seem like such a time saver, but it definitely is in the long run. This way you aren't taking multiple errand trips a month to get things you constantly need. This includes everything from toiletries like toilet paper and hair care products, and cleaning supplies.

5. Map Out Your Errands
Don't feel like driving back and forth and wasting gas? Run your errands in order of where the destinations are. Seems like a simple tip, but it's easy to forget when you head out the door. Write down all your locations before you go and figure out which route will be easiest. Always leave the grocery store for last though!

6. Break Up Big Projects Into Manageable Pieces
Again, this is great if you're struggling for long periods of time to work on assignments. If you have a few weeks before an assignment is due, you can do work in small intervals to make the work more manageable. Even if you're only taking 20 minutes a day to work on a 10 page paper, that's still a lot of work that's getting done! 

7. Ask Your Friends For Help
I've stressed this in other posts before, but it's okay to ask for help when you're overwhelmed!! Forgot a notebook at home and are freaking out that you don't have time to grab it and make it to class on time? Ask a roommate if they would mind picking it up for you if they have time. Don't forget to return the favor though!

8. Make Lists
I make tons of lists. It's my number one way of remembering what I have to get done, where I have to go, and practically everything else. It honestly saves me tons of time because I tend to easily forget things! For example I make detailed grocery lists to save myself from taking multiple trips to the store. (a huge waste of time!)

9. Sleep-In Hairstyles
One of my favorite ways to style my hair without doing much effort is to braid it while damp and go to sleep. I wake up with nice waves and it literally took 10 seconds. There are a lot of great tutorials on Pinterest for sleep in curls and waves that take no time at all! 

10. Try Eating Foods That Improve Focus And Concentration
Just like eating certain foods can improve your health or overall demeanor, there are certain foods that can help aide in concentration and focus. Here are a few you might want to try: blueberries, green tea, avocados, dark chocolate, leafy greens, and nuts. Although every person reacts to things differently, it could be worth it to test out some of these foods just in case it helps you get in a productive mood! 

What are your favorite time saving tips?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How To Create A Media Kit + Why It's Important To Have One

Hello all you lovely people! I hope your week is going well, and if not, well the weekend is almost here! Today's post goes into one of my favorite things about blogging: connecting and collaborating with brands, specifically through your blog's media kit. 
What Is A Media Kit?
If this term is new to you, then I'm happy to be the one to introduce you to this aspect of blogging! A media kit is a marketing tool that is used to help pitch your blog to brands. Usually in the form of a pdf, a media kit has everything about who you are, what your blog/brand is about, statistics, and past partnerships. It's your blog's resume, and it's important for it to represent your brand in a professional and attractive way so that prospective partners will want to work with you in the future. Depending on the blogger, media kits can be one page or multiple pages. I personally have a four page media kit, as I prefer to separate each page into categories and create simple layout that doesn't seem too crowded. 

Why Is It Important To Have A Media Kit?
Whether you're reaching out on your own or are responding to pitches to you, having a media kit is a simple way to connect with a brand and let them know the basics about your blog. It's how you show your worth to a company, no matter the size of your blog, and why they should work with you. It's also a way to add more professionalism to your own brand. Just like having a resume to show your strengths, a media kit shows the strengths of your blog and why the client should work with you. Your value is in all the hard work you put into your blog, and a media kit is a great way to demonstrate that value into a condensed professional document.

How Do I Make A Media Kit?
This is what you came here for, right?! I made my media kit through PicMonkey, however Canva is also another popular choice. I'm not so skilled with Photoshop, however if that's your forte you may want to take that route! My instructions will mostly focus on PicMonkey, but a lot of it should cross over to Canva as well! (Photoshop people, I'm sorry, but you're on your own!) If you don't have a good eye for placement, I recommend Canva, as they have lines that will guide you to make sure text boxes, graphics, etc are centered where you want them! I have a really good eye for those kinds of things, so I don't mind that PicMonkey doesn't have that tool. I prefer PicMonkey because I can add my own font, but maybe Canva does that as well! (I stopped using Canva because I had issues uploading my own images, so I don't know my way around there anymore.)

The first thing you want to do is make sure you create an 8x10 graphic, so it's big and readable. For PicMonkey, go to design –> blank canvas –> choose 8x10. There's no right or wrong way to make a media kit, just as long as it matches your brand's color scheme and tone of voice. I've added my sample media kit below for example. I added some simple pink graphics, images, and writing. Nothing too complicated, you don't want to draw away from the information!

Looking at my sample media kit above, you can tell that I substituted some areas where my actual stats and information would be! I did that so you can basically see how I organized everything, but also because I don't want you all to get caught up on any stats you see here for some reason. You can see from my media kit (which was inspired by Rachel from Hello, Her's media kit) that it has a lot of colors from my color scheme: light pink, white, and black. I was going to add gold, but it didn't really fit. I also wanted to include some images from my blog/instagram to demonstrate what a potential collab may look like image-wise.

What Do I Need To Include In My Media Kit?
Short Blog Bio:
Shown in the example above, this is where you discuss what your blog is about, why it's unique, who your audience is, and how you connect to them.
Short Personal Bio:
If you want to be concise, you can combine this with your blog bio into one paragraph. I chose to have separate paragraphs in mine as I think it's important to introduce who I am outside my blog as well. I stress that this should only be max three sentences long. Talk about what makes you as a person standout, who you are, some likes, and what you are passionate about.
Always include your blog stats in your media kit, it's practically the most important part! You should at minimum include your monthly pageviews, social media followers (including individual account stats), unique monthly sessions. I also like to include stats about my audience, so brands can see if their audience matches up with mine. These stats include audience gender, age, location (by country), and bounce rate. Everything besides the social media stats can be found on Google Analytics!
Like I said above, I like to have multiple images throughout my media kit as examples of my work. Whether the images are of previous sponsored content, or just photos that I think represent my brand, I want it to almost seem like a portfolio and resume rolled into one. These images should be representative of your brand and showcase your best material.
Make sure brands know your face! If you decide to make a multi-page media kit like me, make sure you have a head shot (not a full body shot) on the first page. I also like to have it next to my personal bio, just because it makes the most sense!
If you have a logo, put it on there! It's another identifier of who you are and what your brand represents! I don't have a logo, so I just used my signature font!
Past Collaborations:
This is a great way to showcase past relevant work to new brands! You don't have to include any actual work, just a list of companies you have worked with in the past will do. Again, make sure these collaborations are relevant, as a fashion brand probably won't see your restaurant review as an accurate representation of the work you will give them!
For some reason this is a touchy subject in the blogging world, but bloggers get paid and it shouldn't be a huge secret! Blogging is a job, and you should be getting paid for all the effort you put into posts! I have a few different rates that I include in mine. I chose to not show these here, however if you have any questions about rates or how to add them correctly into your media kit you can email me! ( I include the different types of blog/social media packages I offer and then singular rates as well!
Contact Information:
Duh! How is a brand supposed to get ahold of you if they don't know any of your information!? Add in your website, your email, and all of your social channels. I like to add my social media handles right next to their own statistics.

I've Made My Media Kit, Now What?
You want to export that beauty into a PDF so it's ready to send out! I took my individual images (pages) and saved them to my desktop. Let's be honest, I'm not sure if there's a better way to do this, but this is what works for me! I highlight all of the images, double click them so they all open in preview(if you have a Mac!), organize them into the order you want and click print. Yes, print. In the bottom left corner there should be a little dropdown option labeled 'PDF.' Click that and click the option 'Save as PDF.' I have tried going straight from preview to 'Export as PDF,' but it didn't work properly, so this is how I do it!

Now you're ready to send it out to companies and get those partnerships going! Also, don't forget to update your media kit as you go along! I like to update mine every month to make sure the statistics are still correct, and add in new partnerships. Sometimes I update the social media stats weekly if they're changing fast enough!

If you have any questions about media kits (or anything else for that matter!) you can ask me in the comments or email me directly! I wish you all the best of luck!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Classic Brunette's Beauty Birthday Giveaway!

Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday! I'm not doing all that much this year besides going to dinner with family, but that's totally fine by me! Birthdays are always fun, no matter how they're celebrated, even the in-between milestone years like 22. I think it's almost like another version of the new year (although my birthday is so close, it's almost the same) and you can see where and who you were this time last year. Anyhoo...

This giveaway was originally going to be a celebration for reaching 10K on Instagram, but I was approached to do a few smaller giveaways right around then, so I pushed it to today. I decided to give some love back to all of you who've supported me and my blog with a fun giveaway! A few weeks ago I set up a poll on my Twitter asking what you all would like to see in a future giveaway, and beauty products was the #1 answer. So here it is, my big beauty giveaway for you all! 
Note two of the items in this photo have been removed from the giveaway since they broke! All things listed below are included.
Here's what you'll get if you're the lucky winner!

Glossier Haloscope Highlighter in Moonstone ($22)
E.L.F. California Baked Eyeshadow Palette ($10)
Que Bella Twin Pack Face Masks in Purifying and Energizing ($3)
Lila Grace French Vanilla Hand Cream ($3)
Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum (full size worth $115, this deluxe size is about half the size so worth about $57.50)
Previse Hydromilk Moisturizing Lotion ($48)
Dove Dry Spray Deodorant ($5.19)
Sachajuan Hair In The Sun Treatment ($32)
Dessange Paris Salon Color Restore ($11.99)

That's over $435 worth of products! Although don't be surprised if I throw in a few other goodies as well. 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FYI this giveaway is in no way sponsored by anyone but myself. This Giveaway is valid in the Continental United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 2/15/17. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will pick another entry. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Orleans: Hotel Maison De Ville Review

You might already be aware of this, but New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. I absolutely love the history, the architecture, the people, and of course, the food. For my senior thesis, I'm writing about one of the things that makes NOLA famous, Voodoo. At Chapman, writing our paper involves us doing some form of primary research. So of course when I was given the chance to go back to do some of this research, I couldn't wait to start planning my trip!

The last time I was in New Orleans, I stayed at a place that was pretty, but also a bit terrifying at the same time. I wanted to choose a place this time around that had a history, but wasn't plagued with stories of hauntings. (Which I firmly decided weren't for me after a bed shaking incident in the previous hotel...) As I was doing my research, I knew I wanted to stay within the central area of the French Quarter, as that's where most of my research was going to be, and also the best activities and restaurants. 

The History
I came across the Hotel Maison De Ville due to the fact that it has one of the oldest existing buildings in the French Quarter, which for a history nerd like me was a huge bonus. The main house was constructed in 1783, and the hotel definitely reflects the old flair of New Orleans with a modern twist. The hotel has a rich history, being home to many essential New Orleans characters including Antoine Amede Peychaud, the creator of New Orlean's first signature cocktail the Sazerac, as well as serving as a working apothecary and the favorite writing place of playwright Tennessee Williams. It's also a favorite of many celebrities who visit the area including Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford, and Julia Roberts.(!!)Let me first start this by saying I was absolutely blown away with how much I loved my stay at the Maison De Ville. Working with Celina on my visit was easy and she was so delightful, making sure everything was planned accordingly. You could tell that she, and everyone else at the hotel cares immensely about the guest and giving them the best possible experience. 

Room Details
When you walk up to the hotel, it looks like a private residence, especially since you can't just walk in the door like any other hotel. To check in you have to ring the doorbell, and then they'll give you a key that works on your room as well as the front door. Like I said earlier, I wanted a hotel that was in the middle of all the action. Hotel Maison De Ville is literally steps from Bourbon street, so you can't get much better than that! But I really liked the fact that we got some extra security with the hotel key, because there are definitely a few crazies on Bourbon, haha! 
Even though we were so close to the rowdy crowds on Bourbon, it's like the hotel was a little soundproof oasis. We could barely hear noise from the street, even during the crazy hours of the night, or if we were standing out on the balcony outside our room. I think there's some kind of magic going on there.
Speaking of the balcony, I think that was my favorite part of the hotel. Each morning was great because we were greeted with live jazz music from the restaurant next door. If you follow me on Instagram you saw and heard a little sneak peak of this! I'm not typically a jazz person, but in New Orleans I definitely am. Maybe it's that you get caught up in the personalities of the performers, the fact that the music matches the area so well, or maybe it's just some more NOLA magic. (There's a lot of that here, btw) Whatever it is, I don't think I want to wake up any other way. 
The one thing I am truly upset about is myself, because my camera was malfunctioning almost any time we tried to take photos inside. No matter what we tried, the photos would be blurry or dark, so I'll have to figure out what's going on with it. I got a few photos that I'll show, but these definitely don't do the room justice!! So if you notice that most of these photos are of the outside, then you know why! When my sister and I first walked in the room we got a personalized message from the hotel with some information, and had a cute little Voodoo doll waiting on the bed (how perfect considering my reason for visiting!) They also had super comfy robes waiting for us in the room as well! And because I'm a snoop and am always into the hotel toiletries, that was what I went to check out next. Y'all. They had L'Occitane toiletries. WHAT. You bet your bottom dollar I took some of those when I left. (Don't worry, I only took the hand cream and some face wipes because #necessary) If you aren't aware, L'Occitane is an amazing brand, with high quality products that smell incredible. The majority of the products in the hotel were verveine scented, which fun fact, is what's historically supposed to ward off vampires! So definitely a dual use product. 😉
The room my sister and I stayed in was a Superior room, which gave us a queen bed and a balcony. We also had a standing shower, an AC unit (which surprisingly was very much necessary for us) and an adorable vintage desk. We ended up spending a good amount of time in the room, because our days were pretty full in the mornings and evenings, but afternoons were empty. We chose to take that time to rest in the hotel, since we are really efficient (probably too efficient) at seeing everything we wanted to see in the morning and at night. This worked out pretty well for us as I got to work on some blog stuff and used the WiFi to look up where to eat next and make plans for the next day. 

Hotel Details
Besides the actual room, we also spent some time in other areas of the hotel. Each morning there was complimentary breakfast (woohoo!!) that consisted of a variety of items. Most were some type of carb: muffins, bagels, cornbread, croissants, but they also had some yogurt that you could help yourself to in the fridge. For beverages they had your regular assortment of breakfast drinks including coffee, juice, and tea. However, they also provide beverages 24/7 in the breakfast area, which was great for our downtime! There was a mini fridge in our room as well, so if we wanted to bring drinks up or stash leftovers we could have done that as well. 

When we didn't take our breakfast to go, we made our way out to the beautiful 2000 sq ft courtyard and listened to the jazz from the restaurant next door. We were actually the only guests at the hotel for the first night, so it was almost like we were actually living in this place! The staff was also incredibly friendly, and greeted us every time we entered or left the building. They were also great for suggestions if we needed guidance on where to go or what to eat. I'm a little biased, but I think Trina was my favorite staff member.

As you can see from my photo, Trina is a snuggly cat! She was SO sweet, and would spend breakfast with us as well. We were calling her a little "ciabatta cat" because she was pudgy and looked like a loaf of bread when she sat down. Honestly the most adorable thing ever! I'm such a cat lady, so even though I was already in love with the hotel from the start, Trina made the experience so much better, and made me feel like I was actually staying in a home rather than a hotel.

Nearby Activities
This hotel is close to everything! As I said, it's only steps from Bourbon street, but in reality it's close to everything in the French Quarter. The Maison De Ville is a less than ten minute walk to Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, Canal Street, and other activities in the area! And if you want to walk down to the business district, you can easily do that from the hotel as well. There's also an incredible amount of restaurants near the hotel, but I think my favorite has to be The Gumbo Shop that's a few streets over! Honestly, this place is the best location for a hotel in the French Quarter, hands down.

Overall Experience
I think the best part about staying at the Hotel Maison De Ville was that I didn't feel like I was staying a hotel at all. I felt very at home during the four nights I was there, and didn't want to leave! I highly recommend this be your go-to spot if you're traveling to the Big Easy and want to stay in style and comfort. I have to agree with their own advertisements, "Guests are treated to true Southern hospitality with that special New Orleans flair." 

If you'd like to connect with the hotel further you can check out their social channels here: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

A huge thank you to the Maison De Ville for having me on a complimentary stay!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas

It's never too early to shop for the perfect outfit for a special event, in this case, Valentine's Day! Although I've traditionally been one to stay home or go out with the girls on V-day, I still like to get dressed up and have some fun! Plus, pink is one of my favorite colors, so why would I give up the chance to wear an outfit that can center around the color? I've put a few different options together just to give you some inspiration, let me know which one is your favorite in the comments!

I wanted to do two different dresses for this look, since there's no right way to wear a red dress. I always think it's fun to mix edgier pieces with feminine ones, so the combination of this moto jacket and the lace screams "cool girl." I also like the idea of mixing chokers with flowy dresses like the one above to give the same feeling. What are your thoughts on mixing fashion styles? 

I'm dying to get one of these lace up sweaters. I think they are so cute, and I'm just waiting until I have enough money in the bank and then one is going into my cart! I think this would make such a sweet outfit for Valentines Day if you're keeping things on the more casual side. I have the non-distressed version of these white jeans, and they are the most comfortable jeans I own! Plus, they aren't see through or expensive, both things I absolutely need to have in my white denim. I think my favorite element of this outfit though has to be the bag, since it's nearly an exact dupe for a Chloé bag!

Do you know what you're doing for Valentine's Day yet? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Favorite Blog Posts of 2016

I promise that this is the last 2016-centered post! I thought it would be fun to look back on my favorite blog posts of the year, and maybe share some ones that y'all didn't get the chance to read. I'll be going over a few of the most popular posts from this year, as well as few of my personal choices.

Most Popular Posts of 2016

The Ultimate College Packing List

This post was a huge hit! I had parents and students asking questions and making comments about the list and how much it covered, and am so excited it was so helpful. I wish I had found a huge comprehensive list before I went to college that didn't over-include. On all the lists I looked at when I went to school there were so many items that I ended up not using at all. I made this list so that it was everything I absolutely used, and parents and students could truly count on when doing their school shopping. This list is great for incoming freshman, but really it's a great thing to double check for every year!

Tips And Hacks To Get The Best Price For College Textbooks

Another favorite from this year, both in numbers and personally. I have spent WAY more money on textbooks than I care to admit, but that's because I was a very naive freshman who thought you could only buy textbooks at the textbook store...After a few years, I've found ways to basically get my textbooks either really cheap or free! This post has ALL my tips that have saved me tons of money since my mistakes in freshman year.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List For 2016

Everyone loves a good bucket list! In fact, my bucket list posts are consistently some of my most viewed, probably because they've gone viral on Pinterest. It's winter now, but definitely keep this post in mind once summer rolls around!

How To Use Instagram Like A Pro

Y'all, my Instagram exploded this year. I don't mean it in a bragging way, but I want to say that hard work seriously pays off! I made Instagram the social media channel I wanted to focus on this year and I'm so proud of myself for how far I've come. This post outlined the actual strategies I used to grow my account. I also wrote a follow up post to this one later in the year that shared how to get more engaged followers on Instagram.

Personal Favorites

Traveling To Ireland And Scotland

This is one of my favorites because the trip I took to Ireland and Scotland was one of my absolute favorites. Dublin is now one of my favorite cities, and I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful place than the Scottish Highlands. There aren't too many photos from the trip on there, but it's one of my most loved posts just because it reminds me of the great memories from the trip.

Behind The Scenes: What Goes Into Making A Blog Post

It feels like forever since I wrote this! I think my number one pet peeve is when someone thinks that blogging is either 1. stupid or 2. ridiculously easy. I could go on entire rant, which, I'll admit this post has a little bit of one. But if you read the post, hopefully those of you who don't blog will learn a little bit more about how the process works!

Blogging Tips From Gossip Girl

Alright, so I've seen Gossip Girl all the way through 5 times. It's one of my favorite shows, and for the longest time I was oblivious to the fact that Gossip Girl was basically a blogger. (I know, I honestly don't understand how I missed it.) So this post is all about my favorite tips that I've learned from watching Gossip Girl that have made me a better blogger.

Top Ten International Travel Destinations You Have To Visit

I've been lucky enough to travel to many places in recent years, with most trips being some sort of study abroad class. These are all my favorite places that I've been to, in addition to a few locations I've visited in my past or recommendations from friends.

Hope you have fun going through these posts! Let me know which types of posts you want to see more of this year in the comments!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Puffer Vest And Tory Burch Riding Boots + A Giveaway

Turtleneck: Similar (under $15!) | Quilted Puffer Vest: J.Crew, Same Style | Riding Boots: Tory Burch | Leggings: Lou & Grey | Monogram Necklace: Brook & York (size large), Similar | Bracelets: Kendra Scott, Kinsley Armelle (use code SAMIMAST15 for discount) | Bag: Gatta Camera Bag, Similar | Lip Color: Winky Lux in Bunny

I keep forgetting it's January, this first week is already going by so quickly! Since I don't start school again until February, I've still got plenty of time to rejoice in the fact that I'm home and have very limited responsibilities. Some of you may be questioning how I got so lucky to have a month and a half off of school, but it's because I'm not doing my school's January term. Apparently this optional term thing is very uncommon, but that's how Chapman is! I've opted-in the last three years of college, but decided I was going to give myself a break during my senior year. Although, were my other January terms really all that bad if I got to go to New Orleans and London?

Although my break isn't all fun and games! I've got an upcoming trip planned that I'm so excited for, and I'll definitely be sharing more on that soon (hint: check my social media next week!) and I've been attempting to content plan for these next few weeks. 

This post was a fun one to shoot with my sister, who I don't say too much about on here, but she's a great sport for putting up with me and my photo shoots! She was only home for a few days for Christmas and I dragged her out to shoot a few outfits, including this one. 

When I come home for winter break, I'm constantly having to pull on my Tory Burch riding boots because of the cold weather. Of course we don't have snow or anything where I am in the Bay Area, but it still gets into the low 50's during the day and down into the 40's when I'm out at night. These are my warmest shoes that I own, well, besides my Uggs which don't see the light of day much anymore! I'm also getting a lot of use out of my favorite navy quilted puffer vest, which I'm constantly throwing on over a long sleeve, or a sweater like this turtleneck one here. 

Also, a few of you were asking where I got my bag since I posted a preview of this look on Instagram last week, and it's actually my camera bag! I got it over the summer and I've been using it so much lately. I had an old camera bag that I was using before, but let's just say, it was NOT cute. So I would normally just forego the bag and take my camera without having any sort of protective case for it which wasn't exactly ideal. But I've been loving this one, and sometimes I'll use it on a day where I'm not even using my camera, but just have a lot of stuff to carry around!

This outfit has essentially been my uniform, since I've been home, and I don't think I'll be changing it up much in the time I have left here! When do y'all go back to work or school, and how did you spend your break?

Before you leave this post though, I have a fun giveaway for all of you! My friend Susana of Susana Cresce Planners and I are giving away 5 of her 2016-2017 planners that are ideal for students who are ready to take on the spring semester. This is the exact planner I use, so I'm so excited to be able to offer a few of you one of your own. Just enter below and I'll be picking the winners on Monday 1/9!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Blogging Goals

What a year it has been! This year was when I decided to take my blog more seriously and treat it more like a business rather than just a hobby, which completely switched my life around. The Classic Brunette has grown so much over the past year, and I have you all to thank for it! So thank you again for sticking around on my little corner of the internet and being a part of this great journey of mine. I am forever grateful, and I hope I can continue this blog for as long as possible, and maybe turn it into a full time career some day.

I was going to expand this post into a reflection of the year, but most of the months would have been boring to go through! I had my huge travels in January to Ireland, Scotland, and London and a few little trips and adventures here and there, but for the most part the year wasn't as exciting. Not that some great things didn't happen, but they were mostly un-noteworthy here on the blog. So I thought I would just spare you all and write about my goals for the year instead, haha! 

Write More OOTD Posts
I've gotten so much better at setting up outfits to shoot, but there's still tons of room for improvement. I'm hoping to eventually increase my posts to 3x a week with one of those being an outfit post, however that probably won't become a reality for a while! But I'm hoping to increase the overall amount of outfit posts I share here with you all!

Increase Social Media And Blog Stats
I've soared with my social media stats over the past year, especially Instagram, and I hope to keep that up in 2017! Here are my goals for each of my platforms:
Instagram: 30K
Twitter: 2K
As for my blog, it's been fluctuating all over the place, but I would like to get it at a steady 20K/month for this year! 

Invest In At Least One Blog Course
I love reading about ways to grow and better my blog, but think it's time I buckled down and got a course that people swear by. I bought a course for Instagram and it changed my whole thought process and turned everything around, so I'm hoping that will happen when I buy one for the blog as well! If you have any courses that you love (preferably about increasing pageviews, monetizing, or growing engagement) please please please let me know in the comments!

Write an E-Book or E-Course
I've been toying with this idea for a while now, but haven't settled on a topic just yet. I believe I'll be writing something along the lines of how to start a blog or how to increase engaged social media followers. Let me know if you have a particular interest in a topic! 

Get Business Cards
My best friend is actually buying me these for my birthday, so this one will be easy to cross off! That is if I get my designs to her soon, haha!

Attend A Blog Conference
This was something I really wanted to do this year, but didn't get the chance! I'm hoping to go to one maybe in the summer or next year after I'm out of school since I'll still be living in the Orange County area. But we shall see what happens.

Set A Content Calendar/Plan Ahead More
I always have a running list of ideas in my head for blog posts, but for some reason forget to write them down. There have been way too many times this year where I'm asking myself what to write about the night before a post will go live, which is beyond stressful! I'd like to start a content planner or calendar and start planning at least 3 posts into the future. It would definitely be less stress on myself, and would make everything easier. I'd also like to do this for my social media posts as well.

What are your goals for this new year? Also, don't forget to comment on your favorite blog e-courses/books you recommend and what you would like to see in a future e-course/book from me!
09 10