Friday, October 31, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V33


Hello everyone, my name is Emily. I’m a fashion designer by trade from Chicago, who loves shoes, chocolate, animals, and all things girly.  My blog’s name is Baily Lamb                            
There is an interesting story behind my blog’s name. Since I am intrigued by numerology, I knew that the name I chose had to have a deeper meaning. This meant that all the letters of the name had to add up to number 24, and the name had to start with a letter B.  After spending long hours of putting together different letters next to each other, that added up to 24, it was almost impossible to come up with a name. But I was not going to give up, until it finally came together this last summer. After two long years of searching for the perfect name there it was “Baily Lamb”                  
The reason I started this blog was to inspire women to try to look their best, by giving them many different ideas for fun and stylish outfits. In addition, I also believe that women’s looks definitely determines their confidence and outlook on life. So, at the end of the day my ultimate goal with this blog was to empower women to look and feel great, and live their lives happy and confidently through fashion.



Other fellow bloggers that I currently love
Maya from Charmingly Styled. I love her elegant and sophisticated layout of her template. You can tell that she has a clear understanding of blogging as a business, and she treats it as such by having a professional looking site that is easy to navigate. If you want inspiration of what a successful blog should look like you have to check out Charmingly Styled. In addition to the beautiful layout her style and fashion choices are amazing very classically chic.
Livia from Love Always Liv. I discovered Livia just recently through social media and I fell in love with her style instantly. I must admit I stalked her around for a bit on Instagram, because I just couldn’t get enough of her style and then when I discovered her blog, I stayed on there forever reading through all her posts. There is something about her style of writing that is really addicting and soothing at the same time. You can just tell that she is a very positive, uplifting, and sweet person; it just comes across in her writing, and everyone needs a little positivity in their life. So, go and check out her blog I promise you, you will not regret it. 
Ema from Elle Sera Belle. This blog caught my eye right away because of its beautiful photography.  Blogging is all about creating beautiful content, and Ema does an amazing job at doing so with the professional looking photos. Also, I love her blog because it covers a variety of topics, it’s like a one stop shop for me. I get to see beautiful fashion ideas, learn some great recipes, and DIY projects. This Blog has it going on, definitely one of my favorites.

Caryllee from More Pieces of Me I just LOVE Caryllee’s style, she has the most versatile style I have seen so far. She has dressy outfit ideas for going out, casually chic for just lounging around, and very classy work appropriate ones. I also noticed how well she mixes different prints and textures together. Some of the outfits I loved were: striped shirt with leopard handbag, tartan scarf with leopard shoes, and leather skirt with denim shirts. She really has one of the best creative styling ideas. I am a huge fan of her blog and you should check it out as well, because she will give you so many different ideas how to style items that you could have never imagined being paired together. 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Social Media With Style

Today we have a guest post from one of our co-founders, Lauren, of La Petite Fashionista ! She's launching a second session of her Social Media With Style Workshop & has a discount for Midwest Bloggers. Take it away, Lauren!

When I started blogging back in 2007, I had no idea the blogging community would grow to be as large as it is. When I moved to Wisconsin & helped to start up Midwest Bloggers, I was surprised & excited yet again when our group grew to over 500 people. Blogging has seriously changed my life & brought so many wonderful people & opportunities into it!

I'm so thrilled to share that I'll be starting the second round of the Social Media With Style Workshop! The first one was better than I could have even imagined and connected me with so many inspiring bloggers. We just opened up sign-ups & you can save 10% off the course with code MWBloggers for our  workshop starting on November 10th!
 
Social Media With Style Workshop - to help bloggers develop substance, style & strategy for their social media presence!
 
One of my favorite parts was being able to ask/answer questions and see all of the projects everyone was working on in our private Facebook group. It was like having a built in support group of blogging friends! The best part is the group remains active long after the workshop- so it's a perfect, non-judgmental environment to ask questions, share articles & gain feedback.
 
In our 4 week workshop we cover everything ranging from:
  • creating a branding guide & mission statement
  • designing an editorial calendar
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest analytics
  • how to use those analytics to optimize your blog content
  • content scheduling resources to make life easier
  • building a media kit
  • brand partnerships & blog monetization
Each week a PDF gets sent to your inbox & becomes available in a password protected section of our website to read on your iPad/computer or print. Additionally there are worksheets to help you apply each section's learnings to your blog & social media presence.
 
Social Media With Style Workshop: a Workshop for Bloggers

Teaching people about social media & helping them grow their audience truly feels like my calling. I love being able to put all of my years of experience blogging on La Petite Fashionista to work!
 
Check out the entire course outline here & read the testimonials from our workshop alumni here! If you have any questions about the workshop feel free to send me an email. This course is perfect for anyone who's fairly new to blogging &  ready to take things to the next level or a small business trying to step up your social media game!
 
Don't you can get 10% off the course with code MWBloggers when they sign up for the Social Media With Style Workshop!
 
xoxo, lauren

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adding Mailchimp Signup to Your Blog!

Today's question comes from Maya McDonald of Charmingly Styled.

"How do I setup a Mailchimp form to my blog?"

There's several different ways to add a Mailchimp signup for to your blog. To do a pop window or include a signup form within your widget or footer and do it well requires a significant amount of code and css knowledge. Most third-party plugins, even the MailChimp plugin, often don't fit with the overall look and feel of the site. This option is the simplest way to add it to your site.

To setup mailchimp to your blog, you will need the following:
1. Mailchimp Account
2. Header Image
3. Knowledge of the fonts and colors used on your site (you can view last week's post for info on how to get this info).




1. Sign on to your mailchimp account. Go to LISTS. Select CREATE LIST on the top right corner of the browser.



2) List details: Your list name, from email, and from name are all visible to someone who signs up. For Maya's example, we used the following:

List Name: Charmingly Styled Monthly Newsletter
From Email: Charminglystyled@gmail.com
From Name: Maya McDonald
Reminder: You signed up for this newsletter at charminglystyled.com

For notifications, select how you would prefer either daily summary or one-by-one. It's all up to personal preference. Once you've entered all the information. Save

3) You will come back to your list dashboard. Select your new list.

4) Select SIGNUP FORMS. You have the option of choosing from three different forms. The easiest and most accessible form to use is the GENERAL FORM.



5) By dragging and dropping and using the DESIGN IT feature, you can customize your sign up form. This is where you enter your header. Customize how you would like your form to look. You can make edits later!

6) Copy the SIGNUP FORM URL


7) Now go to the dashboard of your site, we are going to the link in the newsletter in the navigation of your site!


BLOGGER: In your dashboard, go to LAYOUT.

If you use PAGES WIDGET for your menu bar...

1) Select EDIT in the PAGES widget box.


2) A new window will pop up, select ADD EXTERNAL LINK.


3) Another window will pop up, for page title, put the title you would like the link to have. I used "Charmingly Styled Newsletter". For the link, place the link you copied. Click Saved. The link will now be visible.



If for some reason, your designer used HTML widget area for your menu bar (like Maya's Designer), you will need to follow the same structure of the links. The structure follows this order:

<li><a href='SIGNUP FORM URL'>TITLE OF LINK</a></li>
So I replaced that info wit the URL of the form and the title.
<li><a href='http://eepurl.com/ZRReD'>NEWSLETTER</a></li>












WORDPRESS:
1) In your dashboard, select MENUS under APPEARANCE

2) Select LINKS from the toggle menu. Copy in your MAILCHIMP FORM URL and your Link Text should be how you would like the text displayed on your menu bar. Select Add to Menu.




3) The link will automatically show up on the bottom of your Menu Structure. Drag and drop it to where you would like it to be in your menu. Select SAVE MENU, the link should now be visible.




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 24, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITES LINK UP, V32


Hi, guys! It’s nice to meet you all. I’m Natalie, the girl behind the life + style blog, CincinNatalie. I blog about everything from fashion, food and DIY, to my favorite places around Cincinnati. If you haven’t been to Cincinnati, then I’m officially inviting you. Our restaurants? They’re pretty great. If you’re a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fan, you’ll know why.  And if not? Just go with me on this one.

I’m a public relations professional by day, and aspiring blogger everywhere in between. Blogging pushes me to challenge myself, try new styles and experiment with patterns. Wearing a sequin maxi skirt and chambray top for an outfit post is just plain fun. Because whoever said “all dressed up with nowhere to go” obviously didn’t have a blog. And guys, I have to admit - my ability to walk in heels has improved tremendously. A major win in my book.


And speaking of "winning," I want to give a major shout out to some fellow Midwest bloggers. They are seriously awesome, and their unique styles provide me with daily doses of inspiration.

1. Out + Outfit: Katie is a fellow Cincinnati blogger whose style can't be beat. She looks absolutely gorgeous in this all-black ensemble

2. Project Soiree:I spotted Sara's shoes on Instagram and fell in love immediately. If one thing's for sure, it's this: she's got it together.

3. My Inner Fabulous:Catherine can wear anything flawlessly, from flannel and scarves to pretty, full skirts. Also, her apartment is adorable. 

4. Hunt + Harvest:Olivia rocks leather like there's no tomorrow. She's fierce, super cool and bakes like a pro. Seriously, can we talk about these samoa pretzel bites? Drool.

Thanks for stopping by! Give your fellow bloggers some love and link up below to your favorite post of the week.


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!