The Sunday Six

Sunday_Six_Magnolia_Moon.png

Happy October, y’all!

October is my favorite month of the year for countless reasons (it’s my birthmonth for one!) so I thought it would be fun to kick off the month with the introduction of a new series…The Sunday Six! It’s most likely exactly what you think it is, a count of my favorite things at the moment. I’m actually pretty late to the party on this one so let’s just get to it before it comes the Monday Many (not cute).

#BoosAndBows

In case you haven’t heard, Tara from Beaus and Bows and I are hosting a photo-a-day challenge over on Instagram. You can find the prompt and today’s post right here. Feel free to follow along and use the hashtag #BoosAndBows. I can’t wait to see how creative we can get with each day’s prompt. If you join in, you might even find yourself featured right here on Magnolia Moon.

#BoosAndBows (1).png

 

The Catch Up

I went out to celebrate my birthday a little early last night (it’s on Tuesday). Honestly, it was probably the first time I’d been out to a bar with my friends like that since college and at the risk of sounding like the “mom friend” that I am, it was surprisingly fun! We did everything you’d expect from a group of girls in a bar. Group bathroom selfies, the shot wheel, too many mixed drinks, obnoxious flash selfies, we even yelled “Free Bird” at the band. That last one is probably just a Southern girl thing but you get the picture. Later on in the night we met up with a group of guys we went to school with and my best friend and I realized a few of us had known each other for over 23 years. That’s longer than my little sister, who was also there, has been alive! I loved every minute of catching up with everyone and can’t wait to do it again…in a few weeks because, you know, balance.

Lip Paint

Sephora recently had Tarte’s Tarteist Lip Paint on the Weekly Wow for $11 so I snatched up 2 different shades, Deep Nude and Killin’ It. They’re pretty typical as far as liquid lipsticks go but I do feel a slight difference in the level of comfort on my lips compared to a formula like the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. I’m a fan of both but Tarte does feel a bit more comfortable for everyday wear.

Pumpkin Spice on Ice

This is really my first year diving into the whole Pumpkin Spice thing and I have to say…I regret nothing. Currently I’m obsessed with iced pumpkin spice lattes because even if it is October it’s still 80-90 degrees on any given day so ice is necessary. I also hit Trader Joe’s wide open and snatched up Pumpkin Waffles, Pumpkin Crisps, and Pumpkin Ravioli. All were life changing and highly recommended.

22197540_1683447318340651_215240220_o

Louisville

I’ve been traveling to Louisville, Kentucky once a month for about four months now for doctor’s appointments and I’m realizing that I’m pretty much falling in love with the city. So this is more of a call to action than a favorite pick but if you have any travel guides to Louisville or happen to live there, let me know! It’s made it’s way onto my list of possible cities to live in and I want to know all I can about the city.

What’s the Tee

I’ve had a strong love for RuPaul since he played the Witches Council judge on Sabrina the Teenage Witch circa 1997. With that being said, I tend to listen to a lot of true crime or political podcasts that can weigh pretty heavy on the heart sometimes. That’s where RuPaul: What’s the Tee comes in. It’s a laugh every damn time. It’s honestly become my fool-proof, instant pick-me-up method. I’ve even started listening to episodes over again. I’ve probably heard the ep with Katya at least 3 times now. Also, there is no sound more precious than the cackle of RuPaul, it gets me every time.

 

There ya have it, y’all. A little rushed, a little thrown together but that’s the beauty of it. Stay tuned for more of The Sunday Six soon and in the mean time, be sure to follow me on Instagram for the #BoosAndBows challenge.

 

xx

Merisa

 

 

 

My Favorite Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat

My Favorite Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat on Monogrammed Magnolias

Is it just me or has everyone fled from Snapchat in favor of Instagram stories? Personally, I just don’t get it. Then again I am the girl that’s only recently gotten the hang of the whole Snapchat thing anyway. Whatever the deal is I feel like there’s less and less going on in my Recent Stories feed. However, there are some shining stars who deserve many praises and ALL the follows. All me to introduce them to you.

Helene In Between@heleneinbetween

  • Currently settling in to her new home in Heidelberg, GERMANY! — AKA getting to live out an incredible European adventure vicariously through each snap. Plus, I literally squealed with glee when Helene announced that they finally found the perfect place to live! So exciting!
  • Cute dogs frequently featured — I can’t get enough of the Sula kids, Millie & Hugo. They’re adorable.
  • Great blogging tips & BTS — Helene is known for her kickass advice but she offers a bit of an inside view of her blog, Instagram, and Blog Boss Babe network to her Snapchat followers that you can’t get anywhere else.
  • Occasional EDM dance parties — That’s just good old fashion fun, people.

The College Prepster@collegeprepster

  • So relatable! — I’ve been following Carly’s blog since I was in high school so I feel like I’ve grown up with her and getting to see the behind the blog bits of her life makes me so proud.
  • Cute relationship — this goes back to feeling like I’ve grown up with Carly, but I love seeing her and Garret’s relationship! It makes me so happy to see them happy!
  • Cute dogs frequently featured — Carly got Teddy right around the same time I got my dog, Tucker so now even our dogs are growing up together. Oh and we can’t forget (not so) little Hamilton!
  • The fashion — I live for Carly’s OOTDs, even if she’s just running into the city for a meeting or heading up the coast with Sarah Vickers and KJP. I LIVE!

The Stripe@grace.atwood

  • NYC adventures — even when she’s sick Grace still manages to take us along for the ride through some fabulous NYC events.
  • BTBS — in case you haven’t caught on, I’m a big fan of behind the blog scene snaps and Grace truly delivers in that department.
  • Relatable — Zero shade intended but when I see Grace groaning about her messy apart or grabbing a hotel room just to shoot for a campaign I feel 100% better about the awful lighting, judgey neighbors, and clutter that I have to deal with in my apartment. She understand my struggle!
  • Cute cat frequently featured — breaking from the pattern a bit here but I love seeing the fluffy little guy pop up in snaps nonetheless.

Cristina Was Here@cristina.snaps

  • Blog Friend — I’m in a few of the same blogger centric Facebook groups as Cristina so I’ve been following along with her blog for a while and following her on Snapchat just ads a whole new dimension to our blogger friendship!
  • Story Time — Cristina makes telling a story directly to the camera look so easy.
  • BTS – I love seeing bits behind the scenes of Cristina Was Here. In fact, I’m still mesmerized by her blog photo process.
  • Cute dog occassionally featured — Keeping the streak going!

Embracing Twenty Something@embracing20s

  • Branded snaps! — Kelsey’s stories are serious #GOALS! As soon as I see peachy-pink writing or background in a snap I know it’s Kelsey’s! That’s what you want your audience to do, right? The effort she goes into definitely does not go unnoticed.
  • Completely unique — This is kind of a continuation of the whole branded snapchat thing but I’m just so impressed and I don’t follow anyone that does it even close to Kelsey so that’s definitely a plus.
  • Cute little M frequently featured – Honestly, I can’t remember what role Kelsey plays in M’s life, I think she’s her nanny. It doesn’t really matter because they are freaking adorable together and I get such a kick out of it.
  • #ImWithHer — Kelsey is not afraid to go there when it comes to politics. She’s been very open about her political opinions and that’s something that keeps me coming back for more. It’s inspiring!

I love these girls and I think you will too. Go give them a follow! Oh and while you’re at it, you can follow me on Snapchat too by searching @angelmerisa23 or screenshotting the snapcode in the sidebar.

xx

Merisa

 

 

 

 

Five Favorites + A List Greek

Five Favorite + A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

Hello, Magnolias. I had plans to do a March Favorites video earlier this month, I filmed it and everything but when I went to edit it there were whole clips that were way too blurry and out of focus so I thought I would revert back to an oldie but goodie with a look at my five favorites from the week. Sometimes it’s just better to stick with what ya know.

Five Favorites

1. New Espadrilles — I just picked up these perfectly summer ready espadrilles during the Shopbop Friends & Family Sale and they’re scheduled to arrive today! I literally cannot wait! Shoutout to A Mix of Min for pointing them out in her picks of the sale post and everyone who voted in my Twitter poll (LOL) especially Alli from Sparkles & Wine!

 

2. Instagram — I’ve been trying to up my game over on Instagram before I jump back into the Tips & Tricks series again and so far so good. I just hit 400 followers which might seem like a little victory but I’m holding onto it as a huge success and motivation that I’m doing something right with this whole slowburn rebrand. Have you noticed the subtle changes around here? Well, I’m hoping they don’t seem so subtle soon. Keep an eye out and maybe if you’re feeling super nice, hop over to Insta and give me a follow?

3. DryBar Money Maker Hairspray — I’m not a hair girl by any means. You’re way more likely to catch me rocking a messy bun than styled curls…and when you do catch me with curls they were most likely caused by the messy bun the day before. So I tend to forget about the hair products the girls at Sephora have suckered me into buying. At least that’s the story with this hairspray but then one day I decided to try my hand at a sleek top knot (this tweet explains how well that went) and reached for some hairspray. I didn’t think much of it until I got to work. I kept catching this ridiculously good scent even when I was the only one around. That’s when I realized it was my hair! I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a really great flexible hairspray but the smell is what really gets you. It’s like a luxe perfume…just test it out at Sephora or you know, DryBar, to see what I mean.

4. New Suicide Squad Trailer — Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne, Scott Eastwood, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez…the Joker, Harley Quinn, Batman…I’m pretty much a fan of anything and everything dealing with this movie and each new trailer just amplifies that fangirling to a whole new degree.

Five Favorites plus A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

5. Southern Charm and Real Housewives of Dallas — I could write a full blown review of both of these shows but I’ll spare you and just say they are both amazing! I laugh-cried twice last night, if that tells you anything. I’ve been a big fan of Southern Charm since the beginning and loved last night’s ep mostly because it featured two of my fave characters, Cameran and Patricia. Watching Cameran struggle with being the perfect Southern hostess was hilarious because, let’s face it, nobody has it down pat, well, maybe except for Patricia but she a butler so she’s next level. I don’t want to say too much about RHOD because you’ve really gotta see it for yourself but I will warn that the word “charity” was said more than I care to count and there’s a mega awkward confrontation that will make you both cringe and say “bless her heart.” Oh and two pageant voiced stay-at-home-mommas talk about farting more than any other set of grown women on the planet.

Well, there’s my five favorite things from the week but I can’t leave you without talking about something else that happened this week so I’m throwing out the rules and bringing in a bonus favorite…

A List Greek

Five Favorite + A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

When this little package arrived on my doorstep I could barely contain my excitement! First of all, any company that throws in adorable hair ties is automatically bumped up a notch in my book but A List Greek managed to impress me even without that little oomph.

Five Favorite + A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

 

AList_Greek_Monogrammed_Magnolias_2

The packaging was totally adorable but what’s inside really blew me away. I’ve had bar necklaces before, even one that turned on me after only one wear, but none as high quality as this one. The plate is so shiny, it’s an automatic eye-catcher and the engraving is crystal clear which, believe it or not, is actually something I’ve had problems with in previous pieces I’ve owned from other companies. I also really like the small link chain, it’s not a hair grabber, which for me is a huge deal! I’ve pretty much been wearing this necklace non-stop since I opened the package, you can even catch it in my new profile pics here on the blog and across my social media.

Five Favorite + A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

Five Favorite + A List Greek on Monogrammed Magnolias

Curious about what the Roman numerals represent yet?

XI XXVI MMXII is 11.26.2012

Better known in my world as the day I published my first blog post on Monogrammed Magnolias. I can still remember hitting publish for the first time. That was a huge moment for me and now I have something solid to keep that moment alive for years to come.

A List Greek has proved to be a truly awesome company and I’m pretty much in love with everything on their site. You can check out their Sorority Bar Stamp Necklace here and keep in mind they’re not just for sorority women. They’re stamping Roman numerals (like mine), names, initials, coordinates, hashtags, and more in gold, rose gold, and silver color options! I’m also a big fan of their Marquee Lights and sorority themed Metallic Tats, those would definitely set you & sisters apart!

Be sure to check out more of their awesome custom jewelry here whether you’re a Greek or a Chic! Oh and keep up to date on all things A List Greek on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!

Thanks for reading, Magnolias. What’s one of your favorites from the week? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Bloglovin’ | YouTube

xx

Merisa

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: A List Greek was kind enough to send me this piece in exchange for a review.

 

 

My Instagram Tips & Tricks Part One

 

Instagram Tips and Tricks Part One Monogrammed Magnolias

Hello, Magnolias. I’ve had a post like this planned out for a while now but didn’t really know if anyone would be interested in what I had to say on the subject. That’s pretty much a huge blogging 101 mistake, right? Well, if I’m honest, Instagram has quickly become this ridiculous thing in my life since I’ve started utilizing it as a space to promote my blog. There’s actually a lot that goes into it, making it complicated and a little stressful. I don’t always feel like I’ve got the hang of it so when Nicole from Chronicling Home asked me, “How do you take awesome photos like this?” I was totally inspired. So thanks, Nicole! You gave me the push I needed to write this. Hopefully this little series will answer your questions.

In the first part of this series, I’m going to break down all the tools I use when I’m taking my photos because I just don’t get those ladies that want to keep it all a secret. There’s just no point, so I’m spilling the beans.

The Instagram Set Up

So, my actual set up for taking Instagram pics and blog photos is pretty extreme but my house is filled with dark paint, dark wood, and god-awful lighting. I have exactly two windows in my bedroom, both on the same wall, both facing my nosy neighbor. So that pretty much eliminates any chance of natural lighting in my pictures. That’s why I decided to invest in a set of studio lights. In fact, it wasn’t exactly a huge investment, around $50 on Amazon is all. Here is a similar set, it comes with two tall light stands, a tabletop stand, two white umbrellas, three daylight bulbs, and a carrying case for the stands and the bulbs.

Instagram Tips and Tricks Part One Monogrammed Magnolias

Another reason for such an investment is because I had the brilliant idea to make my Instagram theme or whatever you want to call it…”bright + white.” It’ll be easy, I thought. I’ve got a white desk, white bed, white foam board. What more could a girl want? Well, depending on the time of day and what I’m shooting, there can be about a million different shades of white. Who knew? Unfortunately, that deal still happens with the studio lights on occasion but I’m getting better. That’s what I’m holding onto at least, I’m not the best but I’m getting better. My Instagram theme is not perfect and my brand isn’t completely fleshed out but it’s getting there. It takes time so I’m giving myself a little grace in this corner of life.

The Instagram Ready Tools

When it comes to photos I’m setting up deliberately for Instagram I usually just stick with using my iPhone 6 to actually take the pictures. I edit the photos on my phone, upload them to the app on my phone so it just makes sense. If I’m wanting to use an image across a lot of formats and platforms I’ll reach for my Samsung NX mini camera (the same camera I use for my YouTube videos by the way). It has built in wifi that makes transferring the photos easier & but it’s no DSLR.

Instagram Tips and Tricks Part One Monogrammed Magnolias

When I do flatlays, I usually have everything laid out on a cheap foam board from the Dollar Tree to give me that whole “bright+ white” thing. You can paint these boards to fit in with pretty much any theme or brand. They’re also super easy to cut down to size. I’ve even made a lightbox out of foam board before but that got hard to store. What I’m trying to get to is that the possibilities are practically endless with these things and they’re super cheap. Also, stay tuned for a part of this series completely devoted to flatlays!

The Editing Apps

Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail here since I want to do a whole post on how I edit my Instagram pics but I felt like it was only fair to lay out all my tools. I have a few photo related apps downloaded but the two I use regularly are Snapseed and ColorStory. I also use ABM for the fonts and overlays. Keep an eye out for a part of these series all about those apps and how I edit my photos though. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a video on it.

Instagram Tips and Tricks Part One Monogrammed Magnolias

I hope this answered some of your Instagram questions. If not, no worries, there’s still quiet a few parts left to this series but in the meantime you can leave all of your Instagram related questions in the comments or tweet me!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

xx

Merisa

 

 

Blog Planning Tips & Tricks + FREE Worksheet

Blog_Planning_Tips_Tricks_FREE_Worksheet1

Hello, Magnolias

At the risk of sounding cliche…where the hell did January go? Holy cow. I still feel like it’s New Year’s Eve when it’s more like Valentine’s Day Eve now.

Oh well, we’ve still got a little bit of January left to go but that really gets me thinking about what’s to come. Planning ahead and being more productive was a huge goal for me this year and I’ve really tried to tackle it head on this month. Part of that productivity was getting my blog in order, while I still have a long way to go (like I somehow lost my mini-bio under my picture during a layout change, so please, just ignore that for now), I thought I could at least share with you all how I plan out content for my blog and maybe even share my newly designed Blog Planning Worksheet! Eek!

Brainstorming

First things first, obviously you can’t plan out your content without knowing what that content is going to be. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m not exactly a niche blogger. Although I consider myself a creative lifestyle blogger, Monogrammed Magnolias doesn’t really fit into a super specific category and that’s okay. I like it better that way! I like to think I can keep things cohesive without being bogged down by restraints which, in turn, opens brainstorming up to a wide range of topics.

During the day, I run an antiques shop so I find random moments of downtime surrounded by all the fun collectibles a great time for brainstorming. I like to focus on a broad topic at first. For example, I try to sprinkle in beauty related posts through out the month including one or two reviews here and there (like this new foundation review you should totally check out). So I’ll start by thinking about my own beauty routine. Are there any new products I’m interested in? Skin issues? New tips or tricks I’ve discovered? It’s pretty much a snowball effect from there and I do that with any topic I want to write about. That’s not the only way I brainstorm either. Sometimes I get inspiration from Pinterest, Twitter, magazines, Instagram, YouTube videos, a conversation with my mom…the possibilities are endless. Just make sure you’re open to inspiration and ready to lock that idea down.

Speaking of which, I don’t always have pen & paper on hand (which is probably considered high crimes of treason for a writer) so I utilize the notes feature in my phone quite often. However, I love keeping all those random ideas in one place. That’s where the Blog Planning Worksheet comes into play. When I get home, I pull out my worksheet for the week and write down all those ideas I came up with at work. This way, they’re on hand and I’m continuously looking at them, ready for inspiration to strike.

Get Started

Usually if I come across an idea I immediately know I want to turn into a post I try to come up with some headings under the topic to keep myself organized. That’s not all a post needs though, there’s the issue of graphics, links, and dreaded SEO. I’m not an expert at dealing with any of those topics so I like to make a list to keep track of when I’ve completed each step. I’ve created my graphic and taken/edited photos to go along…check! All my links are bolded and where they need to be…check! I’ve implemented SEO as best I know how…check! 

After You’ve Hit Publish

I always get this frantic feeling after I publish a post. Does that happen to anyone else? I feel like I can’t just let it chill…I’ve got to do a million and one things to get it out there. That’s a little exhausting but it sort of helps when I can at least make a system out of the chaos. Ideally, I like to tweet about a post as much as I can. That can mean anywhere from 2-4 tweets a day depending on how early I’ve published. Then I like to tweet again through out the week. The same goes for Pinterest. I’ll post my graphic or any accompanying photos to my blog board, blogging group boards, and anything other relative boards I have. I’ll do that multiple times through out the week too.

I’m new to utilizing Instagram, Facebook, and Bloglovin’ for my blog…actually, that’s probably the root of that franticness I feel when publishing a post. I just haven’t gotten the hang of sharing blog relative content there. My Instagram aesthetic brings a whole new meaning to distraught, Facebook is exhausting in it’s own right, and I don’t see much traffic from Bloglovin’ (which has got to be the laziest excuse ever considering my content automatically shows up, I just have to share it more. Moving on). Now that I’ve gotten that mini rant out of the way let me say that I’m not giving up on those platforms. I just feel like I haven’t found my sweet spot yet, I’m working on it and I’m sure I’ll get there. Keeping them on my planning worksheet helps a lot. I don’t like empty bubbles on my list so usually that’s enough of a motivator to get me to share my content on those platforms too.

Now for the actual worksheet:

You can click here to download the worksheet then you’re welcome to print it out and use it for all your blog planning needs!

Blog_Planning_Tips_Tricks_FREE_Worksheet (1)

Click here to download Blog Planning Worksheet

What do y’all think? Is this design something you could find helpful in planning your blog posts? Is there anything you’d add or take away? Will you be using this worksheet to plan your next blog post? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

xx

Merisa

My Instagram Crushes

Hello, Magnolias.

Last week, I brought you a list of my favorite Instagram hashtags and I thought I’d let some of that Instagram love flow over into this week with a little chat all about the accounts I’m totally crushing on.

My_Instagram_Crushes

Helene / @heleneinbetween // When I was conjuring up this list, Helene was the first person I thought of because she’s an absolute Instagram all-star! I can actually go through a tag and pinpoint a Helene in Between pic before ever seeing her name. That’s the stuff branding dreams are made of. I especially love interacting with some seriously fun peeps through her #photosinbetween tag and she must live by the golden rule of “sharing is caring” because she’s spilling her Instagram secrets through her Instagram for Success e-course. I’ve noticed a huge change in the way I engage with y’all over on my own Instagram and it’s all thanks to this mega babe!

Danielle / @shopdandy // I like to think of Shop  Dandy as the Blanket Scarf Queen! I mean that in the best way possible as Danielle is probably the first person I can remember rocking the big scarf trend way back when you could only find them at Zara. Also, if I’m feeling like I’m in a style rut, I head straight to her IG. #OOTD inspo for days!!!

Sarah Vickers / @sarahkjp // If Instagrams tell stories then Sarah Vickers’ is a fairy tale. Seriously, y’all, if you don’t know her and her fiancé, designer Kiel James Patrick, (I may or may not have teared up when they posted about their engagement. I repeat, fairy tale) then I suggest you go check out them out asap so that you can join me in living out the New England prepster dream vicariously through them.

Anna / @viviannamakeup // Not only is she in my list of top 5 YouTuber beauty gurus but she makes the cut for her Instagram too. Her beautifully themed photos are a makeup addicts’s dream and I love seeing all the best bits of British beauty on my feed thanks to her.

Lora Arellano / @lora_arellano // Alright, quick confession…I have an alter ego…not in the Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce way, so maybe it’s more like an alter universe version of myself. Anyway, long story short, Alternate Universe Merisa is a total badass babe with 10 tattoos, a London flat, and Lora Arellano for a best friend! Too far? It’s okay AUM is not for everyone. Haha But Lora Arellano is so fun & daring that you can’t blame me for wanting to be alternate universe BFFs. She’s one of the co-founders of Melt Cosmetics and can rock black lipstick like nobody’s business, that alone is worthy of being in my IG faves.

Do you follow any of these lovely ladies? Who is you #1 Instagram crush? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Twitter || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Bloglovin’

xx

Merisa

My Favorite Instagram Hashtags + When to Use Them

Favorite_Hashtags

Oddly enough, a friend and I were talking the other day when the conversation switched to hashtags. That’s right, #hashtag hashtags, Instagram hashtags to be more specific. We talked about the ones we use, the ones we creep on, and the ones with the most drool-worthy photos. Now I’m all about finding new and interesting hashtags to connect with people through. I’ve found some pretty awesome peeps just through hashtags and they’ve really opened up a new world of followers for me as well. So consider this my way of extending the conversation.

Let’s talk #favorites first. Using the right hashtags can completely change the amount of engagement you see on Instagram, even from a single post. I use a lot of popular tags like #thatsdarling and #flashesofdelight but I feel like smaller tags get way more interaction, it’s easier for people to find you when you’re not muddled in with a million (literally!) other pics.

My absolute favorite tags now are ones I can use with pretty much anything like #photosinbetween from Helene in Between and #tbloglife from The Blog Life Facebook group. I’m even diving into fashion styling with tags like #stylemenovember from the likes of Hilary Rushford and Dean Street Society. I’ve even taken a note out of their playbook and came up with my own hashtag #MagnoliaMusings. This one fits under the anything goes category. I want this little hashtag to connect us all through the bits and pieces of our lives we share on Instagram so feel free to use it on all your posts.

I’m just getting my feet wet with these tags but I wanted to put together an easy reference list of my top hashtags and when they’re appropriate.

Favorite_Hashtags

That seems like a lot, right? Well, I’ve got a tip for you to keep these handy…other than carrying my little graphic around with you 24/7, of course. I’ve went through and made a ton of keyboard short cuts with these hashtags on my phone.

For iPhone users:

Setting > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement > + (to add shortcut)

Now all you’ve got to do is start typing and your repertoire of hashtags will be right at your finger tips.

Do you have any hashtags that you love using? Leave them in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see these tags in action.

Twitter || Instagram || Facebook || Pinterest || Bloglovin’

xx

Merisa

Around the Web: Ellie Goulding, Scream Queens, and Montage of Heck

Ugh, the internet has been full of some serious gems this week. Here are some of my favorite links, Magnolias. Let’s discuss in the comments!

First of all, not only is there going to be a live action version of Beauty and the Beast but Emma freaking Watson is going to be playing Belle! I’m not even over the excitement of a live-action Cinderella. Oh gosh, how perfect is Emma going to be as Belle? Answer: seriously perfect!

If you know me at all then you probably already know that Ellie Goulding is my Woman Crush for Life but these new Nike ads promoting fitness over “skinny” just put it over the edge. You go, girl!

via Popsugar

I need both that outfit and that sort of flexibility in my life.

I am kicking my own butt for missing the SAG Awards Red Carpet now that I’ve seen all the amazing looks. Lupita Nyong’o is Queen, yet again.

Vanity Fair analyzes the most epic dinner date ever between Adele, Jennifer Lawrence, and Harry Styles that was witnessed by Troye Sivan and his friends in LA.

A BuzzFeed quiz to help you decide what to binge watch on Netflix during The Blizzard of 2015.

Can we just be done with the Mani-Cam? Thank god Julianne Moore, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon have finally taken a stand against it

.

Can Scream Queens just happen already?? I mean the cast is like a dream and apparently Nick Jonas is about to join the mix with Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele, Keke Palmer, and Ariana Grande.

I am dying to see the new Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck. Director Brett Morgen says it’s the best achievement of his career and Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean, is an executive producer. That sounds promising. Then again, it makes me wonder what would Kurt think of all of this?

What it would be like if Dean Winchester had an Instagram. Had me rolling with laughter.

Ooh gosh, I just love it all so much!

Let me know what you’ve enjoyed from around the web this week in the comments down below.

xx

signature1

A Surprise from the Bulls Eye

Have you heard the news?

If not, then you must really have been exiled from social media earlier today because the interwebs were abuzz.

Alright, I’ll just go ahead and tell ya.

Target has announced its latest designer collaboration will be…*drum roll please*…Lilly Pulitzer!

Editors and bloggers across NYC poured into the Four Seasons Restaurant Pool Room (Remember Bethenny Getting Married? Or is that just me?) for the surprise announcement.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my Instagram feed go as bizerk as it did following the announcement…which is seriously saying something. Every magazine account I followed had awesome pictures and inside info followed by Lilly Lovers far and wide begging for the inside scoop (PS: You’ve got to follow @lillyfortarget if you want to stay up to date!).

A fresh addition your closet. #LillyforTarget Available 4/19.

A post shared by @lillyfortarget on

According to A Bulls Eye View, the collaboration will hit Target stores across the US and Canada as well as Target.com on April 19th just in time for us to fall head over heels for some colorful Spring prints.

The collection will include 250 pieces ranging from clothing for both women and girls, home decor, and outdoor accessories such as travel staples, beach and pool gear, and entertaining essentials.

“This spring, we wanted to offer our guests a collection that embraced color, print and pattern in a bold, fresh way,” said Stacia Andersen, senior vice president, apparel and accessories, Target. “As we started to think about the perfect partner to collaborate with, Lilly Pulitzer was the clear choice given the brand’s inspiring heritage, authority with print and pattern and resort-chic aesthetic.”

That’s right, Target. If you want bright and bold for Spring then Lilly Pulitzer is the place to get it.

I must admit though, as a faithful Lilly fan, I had mixed feelings at first.

Let me take a moment to explain. At my small private college a few years back, there was only a few people that actually knew anything at all about the Lilly Pulitzer brand. Danielle and I being two of them. It was fun to walk through the caf or across the plaza and see my friend carrying a brightly, printed accessory knowing that I had a matching one in my bag or something like that.

Then all of a sudden it was like everyone was rocking monograms agendas and shift dresses.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s great. I even like to see it as Dani and I being successful trend setters but it did take away that special air to it somewhat.

But then Dani pointed something out to me. She sent me a screenshot of a comment someone posted concerning everyone’s frustration with Lilly being available to the masses.

I don’t understand why people are upset…Lilly IS something special, but Lilly as a brand and Lilly as a person was not about exclusivity. She was about bringing joy, fun, and color to our lives…I believe she believed that color and joy should be for everyone. She believed life was a party. I don’t believe she would have been someone to exclude anyone from life’s party.

I just loved that. I think it’s true too.

I think Lilly’s whole aesthetic was about living life to it’s fullest in the most colorful way possible. That’s something she would have wished for everyone so why wouldn’t she have wanted her products, designed to inspire that type of lifestyle, to be available to everyone.

I must admit, I like the idea of Lilly being more affordable. The big sale from this season seemed a bit disappointing, which that could be due to my lack of funds in the financial arena rather than a mistake on their part.

I also like the idea of being about to walk into Target and have a collection by one of my favorite brands so easily accessible. Sure beats online shopping or picking through select items at a tiny boutique.

Overall, the collection is set to include 15 exclusive prints inspired by archives. Which, to me, means a throwback to the good ole’ days…maybe even some designs like Jackie Kennedy wore. A girl can dream.

“The Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection marks a new chapter for our brand, and we’re excited to give Lilly fans everywhere, including those who have loved the brand for years and those who will get to know it for the first time through this collaboration, a chance to experience this incredibly chic lifestyle collection.”

I see a lot of Lilly themed pool parties and backyard hangs in my future, folks.

A Lilly hammock? Yes, please!

What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below letting me know. I’d love to hear from you.

xo

Merisa

xo

Lovetober & the Radical Self Love Revolution

Today marks the start of something amazing.

Yes, I know today marks the start of October and that is amazing but that’s not exactly what I was talking about.

Today is also the beginning of #Lovetober.

#Lovetober is an Instagram challenge prompted by the ever fabulous Gala Darling as a continuation of her quest to deliver the badassery of Radical Self Love to the masses.

Direct from Gala Darling herself.

Each day women are encouraged to craft a post that showcases an element of their very own awesomeness. My favorite part, however, is going through the lovetober hashtag and seeing all of the incredible images from everyone else participating.

I know it’s only been one day but I am absolutely, positively loving this challenge.

Flower Power was the perfect prompt for me as I was surprised with a bouquet of beautiful carnations this morning just in time for my birthday this Friday.

Aren’t they great? Audrey looks good too.

I love connecting with other fabulous girls on the journey toward radical self love discovery. I even got a happy birthday wish from a stranger, which is always lovely.

This challenge is proving to be something incredibly inspirational to me and I cannot wait see what the rest of the month has in store.

It’s not too late to join, loves! Take your #ThrowbackThursday you had planned for tomorrow, give it a self loving spin, and join us for #Nostalgia. I can’t wait to see what some of my favorite babes have to look back on.

Leave a comment below with your Instagram name and we can connect all #Lovetober long!

until next time,

xoxo

signature1