Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Piece | Four Ways: Love, Blackbird Boutique

Here at Midwest Bloggers, we love supporting and highlighting small businesses like Love, Blackbird Boutique. Especially when one offers such adorable and stylish pieces at affordable prices. Each founder selected an item to style from Love, Blackbird Boutique and put their own spin on it! 



 Samantha: Navy Dress | Maya: Pink Bubble Necklace
Katelyn: The Cara Romper | Lauren: Piko Top - Army

We've also teamed up with Love, Blackbird Boutique to offer you a discount - simply use MIDWEST20 and you will always get 20% off your order! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Developer Tools

I haven't covered this issue yet on Techie Tuesday's, but I've gotten a lot of questions in which this preliminary information is needed, so I thought I would outline it. You can use developer tools to extract information about your site. Today we are going to focus on a very basic and small element of it - finding the colors and fonts used on your site. We will also use it to see how you can test your website on multiple devices within your browser

1. Go to View < Developer < Developer Tools. A window will appear at either the bottom or right side of your browser. This window shows you the code used to run this website.

2. At the top-left corner of this new window, you will see a magnifying class. select it.


3. Now hover over elements of your mouse. As you hover over them, they will highlight. In the Developer Tool Window, you will see "style" information change and update.


4. You can now find out the specific fonts and colors of your site by hover over the elements. In the style dashboard, you will see the same format - "color: #number" or "font-family: "font name"" 


Here's the example - Finding the exact hex color for the pink background of Charmingly Styled's Site - #ffe7ee. See if you can find it on your own! 


 There's a few things I want to note here:
+ This can get very confusing depending on how much you know with code and how your designer developed your site. The element you are highlighting should have the same color and font as you see in CSS window, if not scroll up or down.
+ You will also see elements with lines struck through them. This means that in the CSS stylesheet a subsequent style overruled what is struck out.


 VIEWING BLOG ON MULTIPLE PLATFORMS: This method does not work if you have the responsive functionality disabled from your blogger site. I'm using 312Beauty as an example.

1. Next to the magnify class, you will see a smartphone looking icon. Click it.

2. For "Device" select the device you'd like to view your site on.

3. You can use the swap icon to switch views from horizontal and vertical layout.


 If your site looks messed up on a mobile version (i.e. cell phones), check it with your phone. If it is messed up on  your phone, in most cases, you can assume it is messed up on a majority of smart phones. To fix it, you have a few quick (and free options), by enabling Blogger or WordPress versions or use a third-party plugin to make it responsive. I believe that these are short terms solutions. With these solutions, one loses his/her individual branding of the site, and it is not the most curated experience. As more and more blog readers are coming from mobile, this might be a big reason you want to address. 

 Firefox has a similar developer tool, but Safari does not.


To read more about developer tools, I recommend these links: Developer Tools Tutorial from Google Chrome // Youtube Video for the Visual/Experiential Learners // HTML5 Rocks


Do you have tech or design questions you would like answered? "Techie Tuesdays" is a weekly series written by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative. In order to make this series as beneficial to Midwest Bloggers, you can email your specific questions to Lindsay at hello@whiteoakcreative.com, and she will answer them in her weekly series.

Friday, October 17, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V31


Hi! I am Ana and I have blog called Mrs. American Made  I love clothes and accessories, and one of my favorite places is my closet of wonderful things. Some days I try on many outfits and I plan them from head to toe. Some days I just throw on something that I already know works. I feel like I am not easy to dress because I am petite at 5’3” and “curvy” but I have slowly accepted those facts and figured out some things about what to wear. I am not a model. I am not a super-duper high-end fashionista. I am just a mom trying to look cute on an everyday basis.


In 2006, my husband and I and our two (now teenaged) children moved from Miami to Boulder, Colorado, and our lives changed in many ways. We started becoming more aware of the environment, we started eating more carefully, we started caring about sustainability. As a natural progression “Made in USA” products became important to me. It turns out that only 2% of the clothing sold here is made here. In 1960, 95% of clothing sold in the United States was made in the United States. And it turns out that if consumers spent just an extra 1% on U.S. goods, it would create 200,000 jobs. 

So I have decided to commit to wearing more “Made in USA” outfits and I post photos of them on my blog http://www.mrsamericanmade.com

I'd also love for you to keep up with me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and on instagram


 I was looking for examples on how to style my new plaid flannel shirt and I thought these four were great examples. La Petite Fashionista does a classic look in a new color scheme with the pop of hot pink hat and lipstick; The Kissing booth layers it under a jacket but tones down the plaid with girly ruffles and movie star shades; Pretty & Fun has no embellishment - a classic like this needs none - and I love the ice cream!; And Lily Love Affair glams up the plaid with the trendy hat, cool shades and a great cardigan. Now I have some great options for mine! 

Make sure to link up below! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Piece | 4 Ways: Knee High Socks

This time of year we love a look that's cozy & chic. We love the look of skirts & dresses paired with tall boots. A pair of knee high socks are the perfect finishing touch to a fall ensemble. We've teamed up with Chrissy's Knee High Socks to show off 4 ways to style a pair of knee high socks in perfect autumn style.
 
We're also teaming up with Chrissy's Knee High Socks for a $50 gift certificate so you can stock up on cozy chic socks this fall too!
 
 
 
One Piece | 4 Ways: Chrissy's Knee High Socks
 
We're each styling a pair of knee high socks (Samantha, Maya & Katelyn in the graphite thigh highs & Lauren in the thick maroon socks). The key to pulling this look off is to pair with a knee high boot for the perfect pop of color- and choosing a sock in a complementary shade to your outfit. We're absolutely obsessed with this trend for fall!
 
Want to win a $50 gift certificate to Chrissy's Knee High Socks? Enter our giveaway below:

 
We can't wait to see how you'll style your socks!
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Setting Your Gravatar

Today's question comes from Christina Solomon of Chritiques, "How do I upload a gravatar image to my wordpress profile?"

Before I begin, I want to note two things. One, this is not as intuitive as one would think; and two, even though most blog sites have trended to using DISQUS for comment management, there are still a good portion of WordPress blogs that don't.

Even if you don't have a wordpress blog, you can have a WordPress username which I would recommend. If you setup a wordpress username with a profile picture, whenever you leave a comment on a wordpress blog, your profile picture will be visible.

To sign up for a WordPress username, simply complete this form.

Also, I should note that the Gravatar is the little profile picture - it is seen at the top right of your dashboard, on any comments you leave and on your subscribe emails. I've included a few examples from Megan Jedlinski's blog Stylish & Scatterbrained.
 An example from the comments. 
 Example of the Dashboard




Example from emails people receive when they subscribe to get posts in their email.

1. Register your wordpress account with Gravatar: https://en.gravatar.com. You want to make sure that the email that is associated with your blog is listed with Gravatar.

2. After you've registered your account and added a picture, you need to make sure that your own blog is listed under "my websites". To do this, you need to go to the Gravatar Dashboard and select websites. If your website is not there, add it. Within 10-15 minutes, your picture should be showing up.

Do you have tech or design questions you would like answered? "Techie Tuesdays" is a weekly series written by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative. In order to make this series as beneficial to Midwest Bloggers, you can email your specific questions to Lindsay at hello@whiteoakcreative.com, and she will answer them in her weekly series.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Techie Tuesday: Centering Third-Party Media Ads

Today’s question comes for Audrey of Audrey Salutes, “how do I center my third-party media ads in my widget?”  

Third-party media ads are ads you would use from Rewardstyle, Glam or Blogher. Most bloggers express a lot of frustration when trying to set them up. Ads. Often, everything in the sidebar will be centered besides it.

First, you want to make sure you’ve selected an ad that fits your widget sidebar. Most sidebars fit ads that are 300x200px or 160x60px. Pixel height of your ad doesn’t matter as much as width. You don’t want to put an ad that is wider than your sidebar. I should note: if your blog is not built responsively to images and videos, you are going to have a bad time, especially for mobile and tablet versions. You are making these edits in the following areas. If you have WordPress, Appearances < Widgets  (see image below for reference). If you have blogger, in the html/javascript gadgets of Layout in the dashboard.

Most bloggers try to use this method to center their ad:
<center>
AD CODE
</center> 

While it is accurate, it is not the best practice. Your ad is interactive and functioning feature. It needs to be placed in a <div>. This option works most of the time:
<div style="text-align: center;">
AD CODE
</div>




Occasionally, ads can be extremely strange and center some of the time. One way to prevent is this is to assign a "display:block" to your <div>. Thus, you would have:
<div style="display: block; text-align: center;">
AD CODE
</div>

What is “display: block”? Without getting too complicated, assigning a block level display to an element (your ad) means that the browser will display line breaks before and after the . The will take up the full-width of the available space, and the elements in it with be now centered. If you want to align your elements left or right, simply replace “center” with either/or.

Do you have tech or design questions you would like answered? "Techie Tuesdays" is a weekly series written by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative. In order to make this series as beneficial to Midwest Bloggers, you can email your specific questions to Lindsay at hello@whiteoakcreative.com, and she will answer them in her weekly series.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Love From Wisconsin!

We're excited to feature new business from one of our Midwest Bloggers, Jennifer! She recently started Love From Wisconsin, a subscription box full of local Midwest goodies from Wisconsin! We wanted to share & support her new endeavor.


Love from Wisconsin Boxes

She recently started a kickstarter campaign. Here's how it works:


Missing your Midwest roots? Need a monthly Wisco-pick-me-up?
At the beginning of every month, we will create a unique and charming box filled with Wisconsin’s seasonal best and ship it to you or a recipient of your choosing. Subscribe for Annual*, 6-month, 3-month or monthly recurring delivery! *Enjoy a 20% discount with your Annual subscription to Love From Wisconsin.

Place Your Order We will share a select few of our subscription box goodies – on the website and our social media platforms – the month before they ship, so you have an idea of what you’ll be receiving. But ultimately, it will be a surprise every time! Head over to the shop to order your Annual, 6-month, 3-month or monthly recurring delivery!
We Ship The Goods Your first box of Love From Wisconsin parcel will be delivered to your home the month after you place your order; our cut off is the 28th of every month.  All Subscription boxes are shipped between the 10th and 15th of the following month.

Check out & support Jennifer's kickstarter campaign!

Are you a fellow Midwest business owner? Email us for a chance to be featured on the blog!