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Shen Dove Style: April 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fashion Events: Earth Day Eco-Fashion Show

Last Friday I attended an Earth Day inspired fashion show featuring eco-designer, Aurelis who showcased her Spring 2011 line in Washington, DC at Carbon, a boutique that offers sustainable shoes, clothing and accessories from companies that implemenet social responsibility practices to create their wares.  Carbon is located in the Woodley Park section of Washington, DC.

Attendees were able to sip wine and munch on food while they browsed around in the store until the fashion show began.  I really enjoyed perusing Carbon before the show started.  Here are a few things that caught my eye.
My little point and shoot camera didn't capture the clothing very well, but there were some nice clothing options that an eco-focused fashionista or fashionisto (is that a word?) might consider purchasing.  

I wish that there had been more items from the collection modeled during the fashion show, but the items I saw seemed practical and easily accessorized with a dash of color. If I were to wear some of the items, I'd add some of the colorful jewelry that Carbon offered.  Overall it was a nice event!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tomato and Orange

Shirt: Lands End (purchased with giftcard c/o Lucky & Lands End; Skirt: Urban Outfitters; 
Shoes: La Dolce Vita for Target; Clutch: Purchased in the Bahamas

As much as I love my prints and patterns, there's nothing like wearing bright colored separates to make your day more cheerful!

Btw, excuse the slightly wrinkled state of my shirt, didn't notice them until I had already taken the pictures.  I've got to work on my extreme dislike of ironing...

Happy Wednesday!

Listening to: 'Hemmy Taught Me' EP by Raheem Devaughn and 'Doo-Wops and Hooligans' album by Bruno Mars
Reading: Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Style Profile: Money Smart Fashion

Money Smart Fashion - Style Profile 1
Photos courtesy of Grace of Money Smart Fashion

For this edition of Shen Style Profiles, Grace of Money Smart Fashion was kind enough to answer a few questions about her style and insight into her dual focus on fashion and personal finance. Grace is a fellow Philadelphian who proves that loving fashion doesn't mean you have to throw your personal finance goals out of the window. So let's get down to the questions!

Grace: First off, I want to say thank you Shen for featuring me on your blog! I’m so excited to be here! Since I’m not very good with small talk we’ll just dive right in…

Shen Dove: You're welcome Grace!  Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. So, what inspired you to start your blog and have a dual focus of fashion and personal finance?

Grace: I first started a blog when I moved from Michigan in 2007. My friends are scattered all over the country and I blogged as a means of keeping in touch. At first I would write about anything… clothes, crazy things that happened to me at work, and the perils of living with SSF. Whatever was on my mind. Then personal finance became a focus for me. I started Money Smart Fashion as a place to talk about personal finance, shopping, and style. I opted for the dual focus because I knew my story wasn’t unique. (girl meets credit card, girl uses credit card to fuel shopping addiction, girl finds herself up to her eyeballs in debt) and wanted to use that story to motivate others to stop the cycle, and get out from under their own debt. Now that I’ve paid off my credit cards it is about finding a balance. I love shopping but I know I can’t spend all of my discretionary income on clothes. How do I make it work? A question I haven’t really found the answer to.

Shen Dove: Do you think being budget conscious has impacted your personal style? Has it been a positive impact?

Grace: It has absolutely impacted my personal style. For a long time, basically my junior year of high school until when I finished college, I was high consumption. I turned over my closet so many times in a year I couldn’t even keep track. If I was ever bored with my clothes or wanted something new I just bought it without any regard to cost. It was great for my ever evolving style, but as you know, it put a real damper on my finances. I never learned to be creative, or to wear items in multiple ways. It’s sounds so basic but it’s true. Now that I don’t allow myself to shop constantly the game has changed. I’ve learned that remixing is not a dirty word. Personally, I think my style now is better than ever because it has consistency. My style has evolved from just a “style” to “my style.” I’ve also started to see my clothing as investments. I spend a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of a purchase more than I ever did.

Shen Dove: Do you have any people (they don't have to be bloggers) that inspire you style-wise? I'm also curious to know who inspires you in the personal financial sphere (again, they don't have to be bloggers)?

Grace: Well, the personal finance one is easy. My fiancé is the one person that inspires me to be better with my money. I want our life together to be amazing. I want to go on trips, live in a house we love, and raise kids. Unfortunately a closet full of clothes is not going to make that happen. It was for our future that I made the commitment to change my ways. I know it sounds cheesy but it’s true. The only thing I regret is waiting so long to think about my future. If you are in a similar situation do not wait as long as I did.

As far as style, my inspiration comes from everywhere. Magazines, people on the street, and of course other bloggers. I wouldn’t say there is one in particular, but of course there are bloggers that just resonate with you. Some of my favorites are Andrea, Tieka, Alyson, Kendi, and Taylor. These ladies have amazing style which tends to be very different from my own. They often inspire me to wear things I wouldn’t normally consider (like skirts and dresses).

Style Profile - Money Smart Fashion - 3

Shen Dove: Please name a film, song or piece of artwork that embodies your current personal style. Can you explain your choice? How have the cities/towns/burbs you've lived in influenced your style? How so?

Grace: I’m not so sure I can name a piece of artwork that embodies my style. Do you guys have any suggestions? As far as my environment I think it has definitely molded my style. I wouldn’t say where I’ve lived but more like the people that have surrounded me throughout my life. In high school I was a jock and hung out with lots of athletic girls. We dressed like tomboys for the most part. I am very good friends with most of those girls and the style I adopted with from being around them persists. I prefer pants to skirts or dresses, structured pieces to flowy, and have been known to steal from my fiance’s closet on occasion. Even now, working for a sports apparel company I’ve seen my style adapt to what I am around every day. I’ve started incorporating some of my work out clothes into everyday outfits.

Shen Dove: What items are you excited about wearing this Spring?

Grace: I don’t think there is necessarily one thing I’m looking forward to wearing but many things that embody spring. I am excited for layering, mixing textures like suede and khaki, and the color palette. I am so excited for the color palette. Have you looked through the April J.Crew catalog? It’s full of taupe, coral, blush, heather gray and earthy greens. I love it all.

Style Profile - Money Smart Fashion 5

Shen Dove: I'll have to check the J.Crew catalog out!  I know that you are aware that looking your best doesn't necessarily mean spending your entire paycheck, do you have any tips for shopping on a budget? Do you have any favorite budget-friendly shops?

Grace: It’s funny you should ask this because just the other day I was thinking about how I never really give out “tips” for saving money. I’m actually curious as to how many people expect that of me, based on the title of my blog. Anyway, there is ton’s of advice out there about how to “save money on shopping” but to be fair the only way to save money is to not shop at all. We all know that’s not happening any time soon so I have three adages I try to stick by:

  1. Buy it on sale. This is not always the easiest rule to follow because it involves being patient. However you probably won’t have to wait that long. Retailers move through merchandise at break neck speeds. They plan items to” live” only certain amount of time on the floor. So chances are if you can wait 4-6 weeks, you can get it at a cheaper price.
  2. Choose quality over quantity for core items. Seriously, if you need a black cardigan, buy one in a quality fabric that will last you many seasons. It is just plain silly to keep buying black cardigans over and over again.
  3. Prioritize your wish list. Just like anything in life you have to know what you want more than anything. Where do you want to spend your money? For example, right now I am obsessed with cognac riding boots. So that is where I am focused. I’m not planning on buying any more shoes until I get those. If it doesn’t happen soon though I will be moving them down on the list until fall comes back around.

Style Profile - Money Smart Fashion 2

Shen Dove: Do you have any style rules you live by? If so, what are they?

Grace: The only rule I really try to follow when it comes to style is “know your body”. For a long time I was in denial about my bust size. I tried to dress my 32DD as a 32 C or B. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty. Nothing ever looks quite right if it doesn’t flatter the body you have (instead of the body you wish you had). Also, if you are in a store, try it on! Make sure it fits before getting it home. (You are less likely to take it back once you’ve bought it) Ok so I guess that’s two rules, but two very important rules.

Shen Dove: Thanks for the interview lady! I'm definitely inspired to keep a closer eye on my finances this spring after learning more about you.

Be sure to check out Grace's unique take on style and finance on her blog!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friend Friday: Inspiration

Happy Friday friends!  This week's Friend Friday questions revolve around inspiration.  Style inspiration can be found everywhere and I love the fact that I can share the things that inspire me through blogging.  So here are my answer to the questions!

  1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?  To be honest, I'm more inspired by the style of bloggers these days than celebrities, but there are some stylish celebrities that regularly inspire me such as actress Kerry Washington, celebrity stylist June Ambrose, singer Shingai Shoniwa, fashion designer/author/reality star Nicole Richie, singer Solange Knowles and actress Audrey Hepburn.  
  2. Images via, via and via
  3. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?  My mother and grandmother's personal style are an inspiration.  I find myself doing things they've been doing for years before it was trendy like "finishing" outfits with belts, mixing prints and pattersn, altering items to give them a different look and "remixing." 
  4. How do you hope to inspire your readers?  I hope to inspire my readers to buy only clothing that you love and to embrace your own personal style and have fun with it!
  5. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?  I can find inspiration almost anywhere; from artwork, films, books, music, interior design...I could go on but I'll stop there. 
  6. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you?  I haven't watched American Idol for years, I think during the last season I watched, Jennifer Hudson was a contestant.... But I am a big music lover, so there are too many songs to name that have inspired me in some way, but the first song that comes to mind at the moment, is "Golden" by my fellow Philadelphian, Jill Scott.

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is a Google group for bloggers to discuss/answer questions on a given topic each week. Visit Katy of Modly Chic if you are interested in participating.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Skirt Collector


Dress (worn as shirt): Forever 21; Skirt: Gap; Shoes: Target; Jewelry: H&M/Jess LC/purchased in Mexico

I can't remember where I saw it first, but I do acknowledge the fact that if it weren't for fashion/style blogs, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to use a dress as a layering piece.  I usually feel like I have a shirt deficit in comparison to my skirt collection, so pretending that my dresses are tops makes me feel like I have more tops to wear with my skirts.

Outfit 4.21.11_2

I never thought of my skirts as a collection until I wrote the previous sentence.  At different points of my childhood I collected rocks, dolls, coins, books, and beanie babies...now I collect skirts.

Outfit 4.21.11_1

What clothing items do you collect?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Maxi Love Continued

Outfit 4.20.11

Jacket: Ann Taylor Loft; Dress: Modcloth; Shoes: Nine West; Necklaces: Jess LC; Earrings: Purchased in Mexico

So I guess spring 2011 I really the season of the maxi for me.  I couldn't resist this maxi dress when I saw it on sale at Modcloth two weeks ago.  I knew it would turn out to be a spring and summer staple.  I was also thrilled to see that it is cut small and I can wear it (with heels) without getting any alterations done! 


I know clothing fit is starting to become a reoccurring theme in my posts, but regardless of your size I really think fit is key to looking your best!  I think most of us can agree on that, right?

Outfit 4.20.11_2

Have a fantastic day!


Monday, April 18, 2011



Trench: H&M (overdyed); Shirt: Banana Republic; Skirt: Target; Shoes: Nine West; Necklace: H&M

I'm feel that it's going to be an excellent week!  It's only fitting that my jacket is as bright as my mood today.


I'm a little behind in comments, I'll get back on track soon!


Happy Monday!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Friend Friday: Gratitude

This week's Friend Friday questions are so timely, because reflecting on gratitude is a practice I want to implement more into my daily life!  So here are my responses!
Image via
  1. When it comes to me personally – I owe a lot of who I am to: My mother.  My Mom is my biggest cheerleader (and first blog reader)! She inspires me to keep plugging away at my goals and thoughtfully answers my incessant random questions about everything under the sun.  Love ya Mom!
  2. When it comes to me professionally – I owe a lot of who I am to: As the African proverb says, "It's takes a village to raise a child," It truly takes a village to inspire a Shen Dove : ) I owe past and present professional inspiration to my family, friends, godparents, teachers/professors and a few informal mentors I've picked up along the way.  I've also learned quite a bit from this awesome lady as well!
  3. When it comes to the art of blogging, I’m grateful to these people for helping me through some rough spots: I don't think I've yet to face any major rough spots in blogging, but I am inspired on a regular basis by bloggers that exhibit creativity, grace, positivity and authenticity.  Some of these bloggers include Grit and Glamour, Gala Darling, Stylish Thought, Modly Chic, Mane and Chic, The Coveted, Fly, Streets and Stripes among many others.  I'm constantly learning new information and gaining inspiration from these bloggers.
  4. One blogging challenge I’m grateful happened because it made me stronger was… As I've said, I don't think I've faced many challenges so far with blogging, but it took me a while to get up the nerve to start this blog in the first place.  Initially, when I started blogging in 2008, I maintained a blog that mostly talked about personal finance.  I didn't discover fashion/style blogs until a little later.  After a while, though I still love the subject, I didn't really feel like I had much to say about money that wasn't already being said.  So I decided to take a different direction and started this blog.  Who knows if I'll revisit blogging about finances and living on a budget on this blog or elsewhere, but Shen Dove Style become such a fun outlet to talk about a subject most people in my real life have little enthusiasm for...fashion!
  5. To my readers, I’d like to say: Thank you to each and every one of you for reading and commenting!  I've enjoyed getting to know some of you through your comments and your awesome blogs. I'm so grateful for my readers and hope that I get to meet some of you in real life in the future.  I can't tell you how much useful information I've learned from my readers over the past year about fashion/beauty, social media, life, creativity, positive thinking and many other subjects.

I'm happy and grateful that I stumbled upon blogging a few years ago and now have a hard time imagining life without it!
    Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is a Google group for bloggers to discuss/answer questions on a given topic each week. Visit Katy of Modly Chic if you are interested in participating.


    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Same trench, new color

    I was going to give away a cream colored trench I've had for several years but decided to give it a new look instead by dying it after being inspired by Jessica and Megan's tutorials.

    Rit Dye (scarlet)

    I used Rit Dye from my local drug store and chose two colors, Sunshine Orange and Scarlet because I liked them both. I decided to use the Scarlet dye for the trench and plan to use the Sunshine Orange for another piece of clothing later.  This is the result.

    Overdyed Trench

    The coat is a little closer to coral than bright red in real life, but I like the color.  I guess I should have left it to soak in the dye a little longer for a deeper color.  

    I'm quick to give away clothing when it doesn't get much wear, but I'm happy I re-thought getting rid of this trench.  Dying wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and I definitely plan to try it again sometime soon.


    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Everybody, Everywear: Maxed Out

    When I discovered the item chosen for this month's Everybody, Everywear, was the maxi, I knew I had to participate!  I love maxi dresses and skirts because of their comfort, style and versatility.  Versatility is really the name of the game with me if you hadn't noticed already! As I've probably mentioned before,  I've been wearing maxi's for years despite the style rule I sometimes see in books and mags that short petites should not wear long dresses and skirts.


    Maxi dress (worn as skirt): Forever 21; Belt: Nordstrom's (Junior's Dept); Shirt: Gap; Scarf: Old Navy; Shoes: Target; Faux Glasses: Urban Outfitters; Earrings: Forever 21


    If wearing maxi dresses and skirts are wrong, I don't want to be right!  

    Want to know a not-so-secret petite style trick?  When your skirt or dress is too long, belt it up to bring the length of the skirt up and wear your highest wedges.  One of these days, I'll make it to my local tailor...


    Maxi Skirt/Dress | Everybody, Everywear

    Labels: ,

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    One Shirt, Three Looks

     I was asked to review this Women's Striped Cotton-Modal Boatneck Tee from the Land's End Canvas Spring Collection and to create three distinct looks with the shirt.  I was happy to do this because it looked like a versatile shirt and a major requirement for additions to my wardrobe is remix potential.  I have no qualms about wearing beloved items over and over (on this blog and in real life)! So here are my outfits:

    Shirt: c/o Land's End Canvas; Skirt: H&M; Jewelry: Borrowed &; H&M; Shoes: Target; Sunnies: Target

    Shirt: c/o Land's End Canvas; Skirt: Forever 21; Belt: H&M; Vest: Forever 21; Jewelry: H&M; Sunnies: Target

    Shirt: c/o Land's End Canvas; Jeans: Gap; Shoes: Nine West; Jewelry: Target and H&M; Sunnies: Target

    I think this shirt is comfortable, stylish and classic!  It's a piece that I can easily see myself wearing for seasons to come.  The shirt runs a little large, so petite ladies that prefer wearing clothing on the fitted side might want to size down.  I am wearing a size small and think this size is perfect because my preference is to wear the shirt tucked in.  You won't find super trendy pieces at Land's End Canvas, but this shirt and some of the others I've seen from the Land's End Canvas Spring Collection are great classic pieces that would make nice spring wardrobe additions.

    Please note that I don’t accept payment for any reviews that appear on my blog or any other sites where I have a presence. I only choose to review/discuss items that fit into my personal aesthetic or items that I think that readers would be interested in learning my point of view on.

    Labels: , ,

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Friend Friday: Spring Trends 2011

    This week's Friend Friday installment revolves around a subject that many ladies have on their minds regardless of whether they maintain blogs or not... spring clothing (and accessories)!  So here are five spring trends that I will be rocking this season:

    1. Maxi Dresses and Skirts.  The maxi dresses and skirts that I own will definitely be in rotation this spring!  I think maxis are a universally flattering piece if you find the right one for your size/height, so I'm happy that they are "on trend."
    2. Color Blocking.  I'd really like to try my hand at color blocking with fun bright colors like orange, green, yellow and pink.  I've seen some great options in my local H&M and would like to take a thrifting excursion to see what I can find to make this trend happen.
    3. Flared Pants and Jeans.  I've been wearing my favorite pair of flare jeans for several weeks and I'll continue to wear them through out the spring.  If I see a great pair of flare pants in either white or a bright color/print that fit in my budget, I'd definitely purchase them.
    4. Prints.  I love prints of all types: floral, animal, ethnic, etc., they never go out of style for me personally, so I plan to wear them as I usually do in the spring time.
    5. Wild card. I couldn't decide what the last spring trend would be that I will try.  I'm thinking along the lines of accessories or make-up.  Some possibilities I've been contemplating include: orange nail polish, lipstick in a pink shade (I'm usually a lip gloss girl), or a neutral colored clutch.

    Images: via, via, via

    What spring trends do you plan to adopt this season? 


    The "It" List: 4-8-2011


    Happy Friday ladies... I hope you have big plans for this weekend!  In the meantime, take some time to visit these inspiring posts from the blog world!
    • shen dove style pairs a floral dress with a simple blazer for the perfect spring look.  We both agree that a blazer can pull an outfit together so easily.  (find shen dove style on twitter!)
    • walking around {where the sidewalk begins} lays out her top restaurants in Chicago.  I always enjoy getting good recommendations for dining in my favorite cities!  (find walking around on twitter!)
    • good clean fun whips up the ultimate summer cocktail... as she says that "conjures up warm summer nights, lightening bugs, and laughter" - I don't know how you can say no to that! (find good clean fun on twitter!)
    • thought and musing remixes one little black dress into three gorgeous outfits!  You have to pop over and see her styling work.
    • strong sense of style has you covered (literally) for the rainy spring weather.  Check out her picks for rain jackets, wellies and umbrellas, oh my!
    • a spot of whimsy recognizes that sometimes you just need a dash of inspiration in the form of Audrey Hepburn. And to that I say, 'Amen, my sister'.  (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
    • rose a la mode features the office she never uses (while looking fab, of course!) - do you have a room in your house you don't use? (find rose a la mode on twitter!)
    • sweetie pie style always posts her recent inspirations on Monday mornings... it's the highlight of my post weekend slump.  The images she finds never disappoint! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
    • capital barbie gets ready to "lace up" for spring... but not like you may think! Check out her new favorite style of shoes! (find capital barbie on twitter!)
    • a little dash of ash pulls together tons of interior inspiration featuring navy blue walls.  A look that I totally love, even more so after perusing all these gorgeous photos! (find a little dash of ash on twitter!)
    • mama loves papa is posing pretty in a super fun bird print dress for spring... her post also features her husband's (aka 'papa') new vintage VW truck - so cool! (find mama loves papa on twitter!)
    • a spoonful of dish manages to put together a fun blog post even when her internet is down - find out how she did it!  I love a resourceful gal!
    • good life for less is color crushing on red + pink + khaki - check out her inspiration! (find good life for less on twitter!)
    • good tots features a very chic nursery inspired by this gorgeous magenta dresser/changing table.  So fun for a sweet baby girl!
    the IT list is compiled each week by Jill of good life for less - for more information, click here!


    Thursday, April 7, 2011


    I guess this is blazer week for me, since I'm wearing yet another one today.

    Outfit 4.7.11_2

    Blazer: Loft; Top: H&M; Skirt: Thrifted; Belt: Urban Outfitters; Shoes: Target; Tights: Target; 
    Jewelry: H&M and Jess LC

    Being the news junkie that I am, I couldn't help but to mention this, but is anyone else distracted by the news these days and the idea that the federal government might shut down on Friday?  *Shaking my Head*  I'm not sure if it's the hot topic of discussion in other cities,  but it certainly is in DC...

    Outfit 4.7.11_3

    On another note (more positive note), it just occurred to me that I wear a lot of Urban Outfitters items...you'd think I worked there or something. I only shop at UO when items go on sale, but some of my favorite staples like this belt were purchased there.


    Okay, I think I'll go back to being distracted by the news now...


    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Rolled up my sleeves

    Blazer: Forever 21; Jeans: Gap; Top: H&M; Boots: Marshall's

    I went through a blazer and jacket phase several years ago and purchased quite a few of them and this is one that I've held on to.  It's funny how adding a jacket or a blazer to can make a difference in an outfit.  The opportunity to wear jackets and blazers are one of my favorite things about spring time.  Blazers are usually too heavy to bother with during the summer and they don't always fit under coats with other clothing layers in the winter, so spring is really the perfect time to wear them.  I'm partial to cropped sleeved versions of blazers during this time of year.  This blazer has an awkward sleeve length and not quite 3/4 sleeve length, but I remedy that by rolling up the sleeves.  One of these days, I'll learn how to sew so I can alter them properly...



    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Kind of Blue (and Red)

    outfit 4.4.2011
    Blazer: Tulle; Top: Urban Outfitters; Skirt: Urban Outfitters; Shoes: Nine West

    I'm short on words for some reason today...

    outfit 4.4.2011 (2)

    Hope your week got off to a great start!

    Currently reading: April and May issues of my magazine subscriptions for inspiration
    Currently listening to:  Outkast's Aquemeni album


    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Keeping it casual

    Jacket: Nordstrom (junior's dept); Jeans: Urban Outfitters (BDG); Sneaker: Converse (purchased with a giftcard c/o Lucky Magazine/Lucky FABB Conference) 

    This outfit was worn a few weeks ago, but I never got around to posting the pics because this outfit is a bit more casual than what I have been posting on this blog lately.  But I decided to post them anyway as some photographic proof that I do indeed wear sneakers occasionally on the weekends.  I'm not much of a sneaker wearer unless I'm participating in some sort of exercise activity, but the fun print of these Converse sneakers with Marimekko print reminded me of why I love Converse sneakers; they are stylish and timeless, which is a good thing because I usually go a few years between buying them so I'm set for a while on the sneaker front!  



    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Friend Friday: Rules of Engagement

    I’ve decided that one of my blogging goals for the month of April is to answer Katy of Modly Chic’s Friend Friday questions consistently each Friday for the whole month! I thrive on goal-setting and love answering Katy’s thought provoking questions when I make the time, so this goal should be one the easier ones I accomplish this month!  I thought this week's questions were interesting and though I don’t think I’m any sort of authority on blogger etiquette, I’m happy to offer my opinion and point of view on these Friend Friday questions.  So here are my responses!

    1. Guest Posts are a good way to gain new exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot? I would suggest before making requests for guest posts or anything else that you first reach out to the blogger through social media and regular commenting to build a relationship before making the request. I think most bloggers are more likely to accept requests of this nature if they are already familiar with you and have had a chance to view your blog and see if your content fits into their personal preferences and aesthetic. Everyone has their preferences, but I think making a guest post request by email is most appropriate. But just in case, you might want to look carefully at the blogger’s contact page to see if they list preferences in the ways that they want to be contacted. I think it’s also important to keep in mind how far of a reach/popularity the blogger has before making a guest post request. If a blogger is highly popular, it might be difficult for the blogger to agree to every guest post request because of time contraints even if the blogger really enjoys your content and would like to support you as a fellow blogger.
    2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as ‘follow me’? You want to remain consistent and authentic in your blog comments as you are in your blog content. It's helpful to stay on topic and say something that offers to the discussion before addressing any personal things like requesting someone to 'follow' you. I don’t mind if bloggers ask me to ‘follow them’ but it’s not really necessary because I really do make an effort to follow you or at least stop by your blog and visit if you take the time to comment.
    3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc. But mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd? Taking the time to build a rapport with bloggers before ‘cold emailing’ them makes you stand out from the crowd in my opinion.  I don't think any blogger at any level really appreciates impersonal 'form' emails.
    4. In interacting with other bloggers, where so you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure? I love the sense of community that blogging usually fosters and as in every community, there is nothing wrong with seeking support. As long as there is a sense of balance and you are not always asking for support/help but also offering it as well, then you are fine.
    5. What’s one rule of engagement error you have made and how have you remedies that? I wouldn’t call it an error, but because of time constraints, I don’t always get to comment on all of the lovely blogs I read. I try to comment as often as possible on blogs I enjoy, but there are only so many hours in the day and as much joy as I get from blogging, I do have other things that require my time and attention.  I've built in time each day to catch up on commenting and blog visiting and that has helped me to be a bit more consistent.  I'm also working to be more consistent with my social media presence because that is also integral to successful blogging these days.  As a frequent subway rider, I sure wish my phone worked on the DC Metro so I could catch up on commenting during my commute!

     If you are interested in participating in Friend Friday, visit Modly Chic for more details.


    The "It" List: 4-1-2011


    It's hard to believe that April is already here... That means that for many of you spring has arrived or is very, very close!  Take some time to be inspired by these amazing blogs today to celebrate!
    • good clean fun whips up the yummy looking sweet potato and black bean empanadas.  These look like they would make a delicious spring meal with a fresh salad! (find good clean fun on twitter!)
    • mama loves papa looks spring chic with this gorgeous pink coat!  It's perfect to help you look and feel like spring is here even if it's a little chilly still! (find mama loves papa on twitter!)
    • turn up the rad is crushing on melamine plates and platters and I am too - these once 'old school' style serving pieces are definitely trending right now! (find turn up the rad on twitter!)
    • rose a la mode rounds up her favorite spring and summer shoes from Target - the prices and styles are definitely right on here ladies! (find rose a la mode on twitter!)
    • walking around {where the sidewalk begins} is blog-crushing.  And I can see why, pop on over to see who her inspiration is! (find walking around on twitter!)
    • shen dove style is looking absolutely gorgeous in sequins and some snazzy shoes - I just adore this outfit! (find shen dove style on twitter!)
    • strong sense of style is loving the tribal trend right now, ohhhh - so am I!  I love that she chose simple items that you can add to your current wardrobe! 
    • thought and musing looks fabulous in this road-trip outfit!  I love that her simple floral top dressed the whole thing up (and what about that hat?!?! LOVE!).
    • sweetie pie style is inspired by shopbop's recent 'road trip' lookbook.  See how she recreates the looks for less!  Score! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
    • keep collected seriously rocks daytime sequins and stripes.  I want/need a sequined skirt after seeing this outfit!
    • a spot of whimsy has some fun with Pantone's colors - always a good time!  Pop on over to see oodles of color inspiration! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
    • capital barbie has an assortment of drawstring bags featured that I love. These are a little retro and I like that they are coming back! (find capital barbie on twitter!)
    • a spoonful of dish takes one simple black dress and dresses it up in four fun outfits - there is something for everyone here. I just love these outfits!
    • good life for less brings you three stylish workout ensembles to freshen up your workout routine.  Be sure to check these out!  (find good life for less on twitter!)
    the IT list is put together by jill of good life for less - click here for information on how you can be involved!