Monthly Archives

January 2019

Home Improvement

You Found What in Your Man’s Bathroom?!

Man’s Bathroom
Ladies, we all have our personal go-to beauty products.  From the perfect eye cream to our favorite hair products, the self-care routines we practice help us to feel great from the inside out.  Contrary to popular belief, men practice self-care too! A guy’s section of the bathroom can sometimes feel like unchartered territory, especially if the relationship is just getting started. By entering at your own risk, there’s a chance that you will find some products you are unfamiliar with. Things that will make you say, “huh?” But, have no fear. Men embracing a grooming and/or self-care routine of their own is a good thing and we’re here to give you a break down of some of the most frequent products that are likely to throw you for a loop, but shouldn’t.
Beard Oil
Sometimes it can be labeled as “grooming oil”, which sounds pretty strange, but as long as he’s using it for his beard there is nothing weird about it! But does beard oil mean that he’s one of these hipsters that’s going to style his beard or mustache like it’s 1920? Not at all.
While that scruff might look incredibly sexy, it doesn’t always feel so great when it rubs against your face. Beard oil is the perfect solution for this. Not only does this product tame and smooth your guy’s beard, but it keeps it flake-free, smelling fresh, and can also moisturize his skin! The main ingredient in most beard oils is sweet almond oil which has many health benefits including revitalizing the beard and leaving whiskers visibly healthy from root to tip.
Anti-Aging Cream
Now this is something I bet you never thought you’d see a man use. Let’s face it ladies, you’re not the only ones who want to be wrinkle-free. Men care about those laugh lines a lot more than you think they do. A great way to combat the natural aging process is with an age-fighting product, designed for a man’s skin. Rather than a flowery smelling lotion, men can will normally opt to use an anti-aging serum that’s light and fast penetrating to get deep down into the problem areas of the skin where wrinkles begin. A little goes a long way and you can’t fault him for being preventative, right?
Acne LED
As strange as it may seem to find an odd looking blue lamp in your partner’s bedroom, there could be an easy and practical explanation for it. Those who suffer from acne know how serious of a problem it can be. While there are plenty of treatment options out there, side effects can vary from person to person. Creams and other topical treatments may causes rashes, or other irritations. Or they may only be working on the surface; never actually reaching and treating the root of the problem. If this is the case, our guy’s only source of relief may be something called an LED therapy light. Using the light a few times per week, can dramatically help clear the skin from blemishes. This treatment method helps penetrate pores to get rid of acne causing bacteria.                                         
 Acne LED       
Teeth Whitening Strips
Guys love their coffee and wine just as much as any woman. However, indulging in these beverages can leave unwanted teeth-stains. Whitening strips are a quick and easy way to hide any evidence of those stains and keep that smile shining bright. In only a few a days, you will be able to have a whiter smile that can last up to twelve months. A U.K. study showed that 71% of women found good teeth to be the most important characteristic in a mate.
Hair Care
Women may spend more time caring for their hair than men, but that doesn’t mean men aren’t interested in healthy hair! Since men are more likely to lose their hair as they get older, it only makes sense that a man would have some healthy hair care products in his medicine cabinet. For those men that are already sporting a receding hairline, you may find products like finasteride, which can help stop hair loss and help new hair grow. Men with less immediate issues may only be looking to take some preventative steps.
This could be indicated by the presence of specific shampoos or even biotin gummies that promote healthy hair growth. Some gummy vitamins also nutrients that are good for the heart, nerves and digestion, so it should be no shock to find your man looking to capitalize on a few of these benefits.
While some of these items may leave you feeling surprised, you should feel proud your man is putting time into his grooming routine. If he’s looking good and feeling good, that will only help to elevate your relationship! Remember, next time you stay at his place and you forget one of your beauty products, you may not have to search too far to find a replacement!

5 Ideal Foods for Diabetics to Control Blood Glucose

Ideal Foods for Diabetics
When you have type-2 diabetes, what you eat can enable you to control your glucose, fight off craving, and feel full more.
Your eating plan should concentrate on the sum and kind of carbs you put on your plate for the duration of the day.
But on the other hand, it’s essential to have nourishments you appreciate. According to clinical trials conducted, you need to eat enough so you feel fulfilled and abstain from indulging and taking poor decisions. Here are seven nourishments that can help hold your glucose within proper limits and satisfy you and beneficial to boot.
In spite of the fact that, there aren’t the same numbers of nourishment, alternatives for diabetics as there are for non-diabetics. There is still a considerable amount you can, in reality, live with and appreciate. You might be astounded to realize that there is in truth a lot of nourishment to bring down glucose and they are not flat or exhausting as you may think.

Tips for Diabetics to Select the Right Foods to Keep Blood Sugar Level Low

  • Searching for sugar-free options can be an extraordinary thought. A diabetic dependably continues whimpering about their eating routine. Sugar-rich nourishments more often than not entice them. So as to fulfill our taste buds, we can take sugar-free tidbits like apple pudding, pumpkin bread, nuts and so on.
  • We ought to check with a doctor before picking the correct nourishment to keep glucose levels low. Complete a touch of research on the Internet and ask your companions who are experiencing a similar issue.
  • You can likewise visit your closest departmental store and get some information about the different sugar-free weight control plans accessible. With the coming of such a significant number of various sorts diabetes diet, it is anything but a troublesome errand to pick the correct nutrition to keep your glucose level low.

Foods for Diabetics to Control Blood Glucose

Kidney Beans: Another name for Kidney beans is French beans. On the off chance that these are legitimately cooked, they make an astounding lunch. These beans are brimming with fiber content. They likewise contain proteins and a decent amount of complex sugars. These days the kidney beans are firmly prescribed to the diabetics who wish to control their dimensions normally.
Bean Decoction: One of the best drugs for diabetics is named “been decoction”. This can be set up by bubbling 100 gm new beans in 7 liters of water for right around four hours. The bubbled blend is at last stressed and left in a dry place to cool. It is prescribed to drink one glass of this decoction day by day following 2 to 3 hours for 1 and a half month. The blend ought to be arranged every day as else it will lose its restorative esteem.
Lettuce and Brussels Sprout: An exceptionally celebrated and successful regular solution for accomplishing typical glucose levels is to take the juice of Brussels to grow blended with an equivalent bit of French beans juice. The juice works by invigorating the pancreas to create more insulin. This aids in dropping g down the blood glucose levels.
It has been affirmed by the American Diabetes Association that nourishment things that have normally bring down a measure of cholesterol are of extraordinary help in keeping the diabetics from numerous cardiovascular issues. Lettuce is the best vegetable that isn’t just lower in its cholesterol content yet contains not more than 3 % starches. This blend of cholesterol and starch content has made lettuce a thought vegetable for the diabetics.
Tomatoes: It is another extraordinary sustenance ordinarily found in each kitchen. It is suggested that diabetics ought to get in shape. Tomatoes again are low in their starch content as well as help to keep the pee glucose level in charge.
Soya Bean: Another type of beans that are nutritious and put a keep an eye on the blood glucose level is Soya bean. It additionally controls the lifted the pee glucose dimension of the diabetics. These beans like others are brimming with protein content yet low in its starch content.
Onion: Onion in all structures is useful for diabetics. It decreases glucose. It has been determined that onions are wealthy in an enemy of the diabetic compound. This compound has been discovered like the engineered fixings that are utilized for the assembling of insulin in labs.
A fair eating routine, very much enhanced with vegetables for diabetics, foods grown from the ground ought to be in a perfect world take. One needs to eliminate the admission of fat based nourishment and desserts. Additionally, you ought to enjoy a functioning way of life. Strolling is an unquestionable requirement on standard premise. Smoking and drinking must stay away from. The glucose ought to be estimated at standard interims and body weight ought to be kept up in light of the menu for diabetics kept. This would empower a diabetic to carry on with solid life.

How to Drive Targeted Traffic from Instagram to Your Website

Wondering how to drive traffic from Instagram to your website? 
It’s a great question. While growing a large and engaged following on Instagram is certainly a worthwhile goal, if you really want to get most from your account, you need to have a strategy to get your followers from your profile to your website.
In the following post, you’ll learn strategies for not only driving traffic from Instagram, but driving targeted traffic for your ideal customer. Plus, learn how you can get more leads and tap into influencers to grow your brand: 
drive traffic from instagram

How to Drive Traffic from Instagram to Your Website

Do you want to know the secret to successfully generating traffic from Instagram?
Two words: amazing content.
Instagram is all about publishing the right content. You can have the best strategy behind your posts, amazing copy, and great ideas, but if your content isn’t exciting or compelling none of that will matter — you won’t get any traffic!
Because Instagram is such a visual platform, your content needs to be visually appealing to get people to connect with your brand and potentially become a paying customer.
The good thing is that there are tons of great content ideas out there! For example, you can share inspiring quotes that appeal to your audience and also engage them in a conversation:

If you’re an ecommerce store, your goal should be to post content that engages your audience rather than simply promoting your products.
If you check @lululemon’s feed, one of the leading athletic retailers today, you won’t find any photos of their products. Rather, the photos focus on the way you can enjoy their products — they elicit a visual experience around the life you could have with their products. 

If you sell services, software, or you’re a media company or publisher, your content options are more varied. While you can definitely publish lifestyle photos, you can also use quotes, videos, and many other things.
Take @hubspot for example. The marketing software company uses a mix of fun and interesting posts which helps them create a conversation with their audience.

4 Strategies to Drive Traffic from Instagram

Getting thousands of followers on Instagram is great.
It gives you validation that you’re offering the right kind of content and people like your brand. Unfortunately, building a loyal following is only the first step: you still need to drive traffic from Instagram to your website.
Here are three strategies you can use to get more visitors to your website:

#1: Use Lead Offers to Drive Targeted Traffic from Instagram

Instagram isn’t a business-focused social network like LinkedIn, nor does it have complex advertising options for businesses like Facebook. While this makes lead generation from Instagram harder, it’s definitely not impossible, especially with the help of lead offers.
To use a lead offer, you first need to have a gated piece of content that people can only acquire if they subscribe to your email list.
Then, you need to create a landing page where you share that piece of content. (Tip: to turn Instagram followers into leads, make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly!)
Finally, you’ll share an Instagram post that promotes your content and asks people to visit your landing page to access it.
You can change the link in your Instagram bio to the URL of your landing page, or you can use a tool like to link your Instagram post to your landing page. That way when someone clicks on the link in your bio, they’ll easily be able to find your offer(s). 
It’s also a good idea to use a shortened URL and add UTM parameters so you can track the number of clicks your link gets in Google Analytics. 

In the example from Elise Darma above, you’ll want to take note of three things:
  1. The image is related to the main offer (working on a free email challenge)
  2. The copy is long and detailed, clearly explaining the benefits of opting in to the free challenge
  3. There is a call-to-action to check out the link in her bio 
By creating focused lead offers like a free e-book, course, or video, you can deliver more relevant content and increase your marketing efficiency.
Just make sure to clearly outline the benefit in your Instagram post! Otherwise, your followers might see the link and move on. 

#2: Drive Traffic from Instagram with Shoppable Posts

Imagine you’re browsing through your Instagram feed, when you suddenly come across a pair of sneakers that you’ve been looking to buy for some time.
In the past, you would have needed to find the name of the company who sells those shoes, look them up on Google, and then search for the exact same pair of shoes you saw on your feed.
That’s a lot of investigative work just to buy a pair of shoes — and that’s why social selling has never been a big part of the e-commerce industry.
Instagram has drastically changed this situation. Early this year, Instagram launched their shoppable posts feature, and as the name suggests, it offers an entirely new way for your followers to shop your products directly from your Instagram posts.
drive traffic from instagram
Shoppable Instagram posts reduce the distance between the point of discovery to the point of purchase, making it much easier for people to buy directly from their feeds. 
And since 74% of shoppers use social media to inform their purchase decisions, Instagram’s shoppable posts represent a unique opportunity to increase your sales with a small investment on your end.

#3: Use Instagram Stories to Drive Traffic from Instagram

Social media makes advertising more relatable and personal. It allows businesses to break from their professionally-produced ads and talk directly to their consumers.
Your customers want to buy from a company that they trust, and social media allows them to connect with you on a deeper level.
While most social media looks more human than most advertising campaigns, Instagram Stories makes your ads and brand even more trustworthy.
Launched two years ago in 2016, Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to humanize your brand by creating simple photos or videos that your followers can enjoy if they were being sent by a friend. These stories only last on your Instagram profile for 24 hours, but they can pack quite a punch.
drive traffic from instagram stories
A great strategy is to use Instagram Stories to promote your lead offers. Just make sure that you’re offering something of value that your audience wants from you.
Another big benefit to using Instagram Stories to drive traffic is that your stories don’t need to look professionally designed. The power of stories is that they feel authentic and personal, which makes them more effective in your follower’s eyes. 
You should also use Instagram’s “swipe up” feature if you have access to it. (Don’t have the “swipe up” feature? Click here for more ways to drive traffic from stories!) 
By allowing your followers to swipe up your stories, you can direct them to whatever URL you like, whether it’s a landing page for your gated content or a specific product page. 
Just make sure that you add a call-to-action to your story explaining exactly why they should swipe up. 
traffic from instagram
Want to take your Instagram Stories to the next level? Learn how you can grow your business using stories in our free 30-minute course: 

Free Instagram Stories Video Course!

Learn how to get more followers, direct more traffic to your website, and sell more with Instagram Stories!

#4: Drive Traffic from Instagram with Influencer Marketing

People love shopping for products they like themselves, but they also like shopping products that other people like — particularly people that they look up to, like Instagram influencers.
That’s the main idea behind social proof, a psychology concept that marketers often use to their benefit. 
Influencer marketing, which is extremely popular these days, is based on the idea of social proof. It essentially involves leveraging the authority and audience of an influencer to draw attention to your business or products. 

One way to tap into influencers is by contacting them and asking them to promote your products in exchange for a commission or a flat fee. 
The goal should be to find relevant influencers who have an audience that would be interested in buying your products. Once you’ve done that, you can negotiate a rate for a handful of sponsored Instagram posts and stories where the influencers promote your products to their followers.  

The great news is that many influencers are happy to accept free products in exchange for promotion. Just keep in mind that your aim should be to work with influencers who genuinely love your products. This is important because you want the content they post to come across as authentic!
If your business isn’t generating traffic from Instagram yet, now is the time to shake things up and get started.
Remember, when it comes to driving more website traffic from Instagram, it all boils down to being authentic, relatable, and personal. Your followers will appreciate it and it will help drive more traffic to your website.

Top 15 Valentine’s Day Gifts For A Fitness Lover

V-Day is a great day to show the fitness lover in your life how much you care. There are several gift ideas that will do just that!
1. Yoga mat. Bonus points if it has a fun, unique pattern or type on it!
Yoga Mat
2. Pack of resistance bands. These are great to take with you when traveling and want to be able to work out. You can always find a place to tube walk!
Resistance bands
3. Reusable Water Bottle. There are so many great water bottles out there that can be reused, travel well, and help the environment by reducing plastic waste. 
water bottle
4. Personalized Gym Towels. Show your partner you care by getting them  personalized towels they can keep in their gym bag. 
gym towels
5. Wireless headphones. Everyone knows exercise is way better when there’s great music in the background! 
wireless headphones
6. Sneakers. One can never have to many pairs of sneakers.
7. Fun Workout Leggings. Exercising is way more fun when you feel good about how you look!
8. Run Belt. Perfect for the runner in your life..stash your phone, money, keys and take off running.
Run belt
9. Gym Bag. A stylish, functional gym bag helps getting to the gym that much easier!
gym bag
10. Jewelry pouch. Perfect for keeping jewelry safe when stashed in a gym bag. 
Jewelry pouch
11. Socks! Especially ones with cute messages. You could even design a pair with your own personalized love message. 
12. Healthy Cookbook. Perfect for the two of you to use together to maintain your healthy lifestyle. 
13. Fitness tracker. Any fitness junkie knows how important it is monitor things like heart rate, steps taken, etc. There are so many great options now for fitness trackers!  
fitness tracker
14. Bath salts for recovery. There’s nothing better than a nice, rejuvenating bath after an intense workout. 
bath salts
15. Tiger balm for sore muscles.. and a good back massage!
Tiger balm
These gifts are sure to bring a smile to your fitness lovers face. Happy shopping!

What’s Keto Coffee? 5 Ways To Try Now

What’s Keto Coffee? 5 Ways To Try Now 1
Keto coffee, sometimes called bulletproof coffee, is generally consumed during the morning in place of eating a traditional breakfast. With its high quality fats from butter and/or oils, many have found this drink gives them the fuel they need to take on the morning while helping them with the practice of intermittent fasting. Below we’ve listed out five keto coffee variations that you can try making in your own kitchen.

Basic Keto Coffee

No muss, no fuss. A great way to see if keto coffee might be right for you is to try this rich, creamy beverage. All you need is coffee, butter, coconut oil, some cream and a blender and you energy packed breakfast is done.
Ingredients: brewed coffee, butter, coconut oil, heavy cream
Basic Keto Coffee

Iced Keto Coffee

Try this iced version for a great morning wake me up. With a little vanilla and cinnamon it will put your normal morning latte to shame.
Ingredients: chilled coffee, ice, MCT oil, heavy cream, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, vanilla, liquid stevia, sea salt, xanthan gum
Iced Keto Coffee

Spicy Keto Coffee

This keto coffee with a kick is loaded with super spices like turmeric, macha, cinnamon and chili powder to give your metabolism a little kick.
Ingredients: brewed coffee, collagen, tumeric powder, ground cinnamon, macha powder, chili powder, coconut milk, coconut oil, cacao butter, alcohol-free stevia
Spicy Keto Coffee

Keto milk shake

You had me at milk shake. And it’s gluten-free, keto, and paleo!
Ingredients: full-fat coconut milk, avocado, cacao powder, vanilla extract, pink Himalayan salt, sweetener of choice, ice, water.
Keto Milk Shake

Dark Chocolate Keto

Dark chocolate and egg yolks serve as an indulgent twist for this keto coffee delight. At only 153 calories it’s definitely worth the try.
Ingredients: egg yolk, coffee, coconut oil, extra dark chocolate chips
Dark Chocolate Keto



Bridal Fitness Plan That Will Make Her Fit

Muslim Matrimony Site
Wedding is more of an extravaganza these days in India, People from all over the world loves to look great on the wedding day. In this way, one could understand that getting a bridal fitness plan will make you fit for a long time to come as wedding is very stressful these days.
It is not about the small errands to be done on wedding but it is all the thoughts of looking beautiful and have a well-toned figure at the same time. So, if the person tries to understand the basic fitness mantra in life he or she has to get those diet plan getting into his life and it is not about eating less or more but it is about eating the food according to the basic needs of your body.
The next best thing is to introduce a little or more exercise in your daily routine so that it can give those healthy glow on your skin. It is good to start with little work outs either in the gym or in the open park areas wherever you feel comfortable.
It also takes much more time to get into shape so the better you start the more easy it makes things to happen for a toned figure. It is not necessary to go for the yoga sessions as one has to understand what suits your body types because exercising is as beneficial as yoga rather than puffing out the lungs unnecessarily with no benefits can take your fitness regime to the ways which may affect you in the long run.
The beautiful bodylicious figure of a bride comes out when she has followed the strict diet plans along with enjoying her own body with the workouts. Also, understand that the better a person stays away from too much of alcohol and nicotine the better toxins come out from the body making the body look more of exuding charm and exuberance.
Visit something like Muslim Matrimony Site which might give you the early memories of your childhood or the thought of the place which might excite you in the dreams with no fanfare attached to it and try to keep it a low key affair. It will not only help you to throw away your past in life and never get ashamed to behave the just opposite way you behaved in the remote past.
It will not only increase your confidence but people will get away from you and the solitude will give you much more happiness before you merge more openly with the people around you. So, being abusive at times will not cost you a dime but remember it should never be your earlier place of work or the school, college which you belong to.
Thus, it is all about leading your own life at the hilt before getting married as the after marriage life could be something which maybe not in your own hand and it is always good to start life in a cheerful manner rather than getting more out of it with an attitude of giving scars to your life-partner who maybe expecting love and laughter from your behaviour and attitude.
Digital Marketing Fashion Uncategorized

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging

What makes a great fashion blog? Is it design? Is it content? Is it reader interaction? Chances are, you’ve come across this guide looking for answers. Answers to questions you may not have even thought to ask. There are tons of fabulous guides to fashion blogging out there (IFB is a great resource, as is this one). This guide’s goal is to bring up the subtle features of good, proper fashion blogging that I have picked up, not just over my time as a fashion blogger, but also my extensive years of experience as a web designer and photographer: two elements that go hand in hand when it comes to fashion blogging. In case you were wondering, the answer to that first question is: all three.
The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 2{ I’m so proud. Can you tell? }

Table of Contents

  1. WordPress vs. Blogger
  2. Migrating to WordPress The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 3
  4. FAQ
  5. Contact Forms
  6. Prettify Your Archives
  7. Reward Your Commenters
  8. Reward Your Best Posts
  9. Thank First-Timers
  10. Speed It Up
  11. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
  12. Music The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 3

WordPress vs. Blogger

If you’re considering starting a blog, or even if you already own a blog, chances are you’ve debated which of the myriad blogging platforms to use. Each has its pros and cons, and what you end up choosing, I hate to say, you will never be 100% satisfied. But hopefully my experience with both of the major platforms will help you decide which route suits you better. The king of the blogging platforms is undoubtedly Blogger. It is the most widely used blogging platform on the internet today, and is vastly user-friendlier than it was even just two or three years ago. WordPress comes in at a distant second in terms of sheer numbers, but those who use it (and I do) swear by it. Tumblr is a different type of blogging medium—so different, in fact, that many bloggers who use Blogger or WordPress also have a Tumblr. It will not be detailed in this guide. See this section for details on how to migrate from Tumblr to WordPress.
Blogger WordPress
Cost Free Free
Templates Yes Yes
Support Forums & Knowledgebase Forums & Knowledgebase
Plugins No Yes (Thousands)
Commenting Yes* Yes*
Hosting Free Free ( or Self-Hosted (
Sponsor Ads Allowed Only on self-hosted blogs
Another benefit to using WordPress is that only on WordPress can you find the amazing, powerful, Thesis Theme by DIYThemes. It’s super easy to get started off the bat, with a nice clean look. But it’s also incredibly powerful if you are comfortable with WordPress hooks, filters, and PHP. (But it’s totally unnecessary to use 99% of Thesis to its full advantage.)

A word about the commenting systems on WordPress and Blogger

Blogger’s commenting system is built-in, but the spam control is clunky and a pain in the you-know-what for legit commenters (involving a captcha system that requires 2-3 page loads to complete & submit your comment). While WordPress is infinitely superior regarding spam protection (thanks to the power of Akismet), I do feel it lacking in the sense that your first visit to a WordPress site requires you to type in your name & contact details. This is saved (via a cookie) for subsequent visits, but on any Blogger blog you simply use your Google account login and if you’re already signed in, all you do is type your comment, the captcha, and submit. I think they are essentially evened-out regarding these two issues. Personally, I prefer WordPress commenting due to its speed (and I use a comment form filling plugin that helps with the first-time visit issues).

The bottom line…

If you would sacrifice ease-of-use and ease-of-setup over the ability to customize and design a powerful blog that meets all of your needs as you expand and grow, I would suggest Blogger. If you want the endless capabilities of a super powered CMS (Content Management System) but also dealing with all the risk that comes with such power (you can do a whole lot of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing) I highly recommend WordPress. (PSS runs on WordPress so you can see the bias in my opinion!) For a happy medium between these two, try – it’s just as easy to set up as Blogger, is free, there’s a whole host of support features and plugins – there’s really no downside to it! One major pitfall, however, is that ads/sponsorship is not allowed on blogs. This can be a major deterrent for those starting off looking for sponsors. Personally, I say go with WordPress. The possibilities are so endless and wonderful, they are too numerous to describe here. But just to give you a taste, here are a few things I can do with my blog on WordPress that I couldn’tdo with Blogger: create beautiful archives pages, host unlimited amounts of photos & files (thanks to my awesome webhost), customize the appearance of comments, “cache” my site to make it super fast, create contact forms on the fly thanks to one of WordPress’s thousands of plugins, and host my own completely automated advertising software for my sponsors.

Migrating to WordPress from Blogger or Tumblr

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 5WordPress makes it super easy to migrate from almost any type of blog. Already using Blogger? Dying to switch? You can import your Blogger blog straight into WordPress (because WordPress is awesome). Using Tumblr? This tool or this updated version might be of use to you (it worked for me!).


The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 6Comments are, in my opinion, what define a blog. It’s two-way, it’s feedback, it’s support, it’s advice, it’s…wonderful. So please don’t take it for granted. Commenting on other blogs can be a great way to build friendships – so don’t snow every single fashion blog with pointless, redundant, non-contributory comments like “nice dress” or “love your blog” and include your blog link hoping for some traffic. I add blogs to my blogroll that are well designed, have GREAT content, and more often than not, have commented on my blog in a meaningful and consistent way. It shows me they really care, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know them. I am more likely to reciprocate with comments on their blog, as well.
I believe that comments are a measure of engagement…what better way to show that then to reply to your commenters?
Another great habit to start: reply to your comments. I try to reply to every single comment I receive. And, to help prevent redundancy when being asked a particular question (say, what kind of lipstick I’m wearing in a particular outfit post), I reply in-line. That’s what makes commenting systems that support “threading” so wonderful – you can see the conversation as it was meant to be seen, replies and all. If you have Blogger, this won’t work (sorry). So, I recommend installing Disqus. It works on all blogging platforms, can import your comments automatically (and export them to your original platform as well, for safe-keeping in case you ever uninstall it), and it supports logins from Twitter and Facebook. As an added bonus: comment numbers go up! Purists may nay-say this, but I believe that comments are a measure of engagement, and what better way to show how engaging you are with your readers (and they are with you) than to include your replies as a comment?! It’s madness not to, in my opinion. 

FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions

Say you’ve become very popular. Congrats! You probably get asked via comments or email the same series of repetitive questions. Time to create a Frequently Asked Questions page! You can do this in Blogger or WordPress alike, just make sure your frequently asked question is formatted in a different style than your answer. For example, something like this:

Here is my frequently asked question? Here is my reply. Here is my reply. Here is my reply. Here is my reply. Here is my reply.
You can also use Formspring as a way to question-and-answer with readers. They even allow anonymous questions, which can get lively conversations going…trust me.

Contact Forms – A Must!

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 7Contact forms are so much betterthan an email address. Why? Take it from me: once you do get large enough in the blogging public eye, PR firms may take notice. They may take notice and harvest your email address without warning. They may never send you a personal, one-to-one email—they may instead just add you to a mass email (“blast”) list that you have no method of getting out of. This gets annoying, trust me. But it’s more than just PR madness; it’s about usability. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a plain text email address in a sidebar that is unlinked. Grr! So that means, to email you, I have to highlight, copy your email address, go open my email client of choice, and paste it in? No thanks.
Nothing annoys me more than seeing a plain text email address in a sidebar that is unlinked.
On my website, you just hit contact, fill in your details, type your message, and press send. And I never revealed my email address to you (unless I reply). Some may find contact forms less personal, but I relish them. I would rather type my message to you than open separate tabs or applications just to get my message on its way. Plus, there is that additional layer of privacy regarding your email address. Anything that cuts back on spam is a yay! in my book. 

Pretty Up Your Archives Page

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 8Folks, can we please do away with the drop-down menus of all the months you’ve ever blogged? This is so irritating. If there is a way (and I’m honestly not sure if Blogger has anything other than this) to cleanly, beautifully organize your archives, please do it. Just one year of blogging had me at 295 posts, 21 pages, 44 categories, and 13 tags. Some blog more than once a day and may amass 1000’s of posts in one year. This is nuts! Treat your archives like your closet: organize, clean up, condense, and make it easy to spot things at a glance. I’ve been using a wonderful little plugin to solve my archive organization woes called “Smart Archives Reloaded”. It’s completely configurable, and I use the “fancy” option to display lists of posts by month & year, and it’s really nifty. Check it out in action here

Reward Commenters

So you’ve got people interacting in the form of comments – how to sustain that? How to reward them for taking the time out of their day to send you a little note? There are many ways of doing this: one of my favorites I’ve seen is Profresh Style’s “Reader Appreciation” series in which one day a week she takes the time out to highlight her favorite comments in a separate, dedicated post. The commenter (most often a blogger who no doubt would appreciate the shout-out and link) gets a little pat on the back and possibly some new followers. In turn,  readers themselves want to be considered for the appreciation post, and they leave more (quantity) comments which are more engaging (quality). This is a fantastic method, and one I’m thinking of implementing in a similar fashion. Another way to reward commenters is to maximize the visibility of their blog links. Try including a widget of “Recent Comments” if possible. Also, install the CommentLuv plugin, which automatically pulls the commenter’s latest post from their blog and inserts it into the comment body (without nofollow tags, which gives them some link juice!).

Reward Your Best Posts

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 9Why not highlight (and show potential sponsors) the posts that got you the most feedback (comments)? In doing so you can show the extent of your engagement on the blog, and you can give new visitors a primer on the crème-de-la-crème content on your blog.

Thank First-Timers

Another feature I’ve used here and there on Pretty Shiny Sparkly is a system that sends a quick thank-you note to first-time commenters. This is powered by a plugin for WordPress called Comment Relish. I think it’s extremely useful, but do wish the messages were a bit more customizable with html and such, but I like it, especially since it reminds one-timers of your blog, may increase pageviews as they revisit, and it’s just good manners. Unfortunately, this little plugin has been known to put strain on your web hosts. But there is a workaround: search your commenter’s email address in your comments section of your blogging platform. If they’re a newbie, shoot them a quick thank you email letting them know how much you enjoyed their feedback. Nothing says I love you like a personal thank you note. Recommended WordPress plugin: Comment Relish (use at your own risk)

Increase Pageviews, Decrease Loading Times

The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 10
Guys, this should be a no-brainer, yet I never see it implemented on fashion blogs. Blog home pages (“index pages”) can be so long, so cumbersome, and especially on fashion blogs, so looooooongto load.
If your blog is slow, this is not good.
All too often, I’ve visited blogs (psst…Blogger in particular is notoriously slow) that took so long to load, I just hit the back button and went on my merry way elsewhere. If this is your blog, this is not good. Generally, site pages need to load in under 15 seconds before people will give up on you. You can thank broadband and our worldwide instant-gratification culture for that. So, optimize your loading times. On PSS, I implement the use of excerpts on my index pages. That means that readers get a) faster load times, b) the ability to quickly scroll through my content and scan for any posts they may have missed, and I get: doubled pageviews. This is huge, guys. Increased pageviews show increased interaction, which looks great in stats (and is not inflationary), and decreases “bounce rate” statistics, which also looks great in stats. Nothing about this is artificial. In fact, it’s helping you show in your stats the true interaction you actually have! Some people are fast blog readers. They can scan a page and read a post, without commenting, in under a minute.
Excerpts help your stats tell the truth in a way that increases your numbers!
Then they’ll close the tab or hit the back button, continuing on their blog-reading spree, and in the meantime your stats program has just counted that legitimate visit as a “bounce”. “Bounce” rates measure the opposite of interaction, and a high bounce rate is viewed negatively. We don’t want that! So do yourself and your readers a favor, and implement excerpts. WordPress makes this easy with the use of the <!–more –> tag, just click the “more” button wherever you want the exercpt to end. In Blogger, just follow these easy steps!

Optimize Photos & Graphics

Wherever possible, use Photoshop or some other photo-editing tool to optimize your images for the web. In Photoshop you should save ALL photos (especially those for outfit posts, etc) by going to File→Save for Web & Devices…The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 11There, a window will pop up with a very intimidating array of preferences and things to choose from. Fear not. Select “Jpeg” from the top right menu list (which also includes GIF, PNG-8, PNG24, etc). Select the quality that best portrays what you want to show but at the lowest level possible. For me, and for outfit posts, I recommend a quality of 65. For your blog header, this may be even less, since you want that to load fast. Also, check the “Optimized” checkbox. You don’t need them to be progressive (where they load blurry and slowly get sharper) or embed the color profile, so leave these unchecked. For template/theme images that do not contain photos, I recommend PNG’s. They’re smaller than JPEG’s when used correctly, and that’s the main advantage. You can even make them have transparent backgrounds. Ignore the rest of the settings in the “Save for Web” panel. Don’t worry about blur, matte, or color management. Hit save, and you’re done! This will vastly decrease loading times for your posts if your posts are, like most fashion bloggers, image-heavy.

Music On Your Blog

If it’s on autoplay… please don’t. Some of us browse blogs at work (ahem) and we’d rather not blast Creed or Katy Perry accidentally while our boss is around. If you must share your music, do so tastefully with a jukebox player that we can choose to press play on our own accord.

More to Come

This guide will be continuously added on to when inspiration strikes, so be sure to bookmark and check back often! Better, yet grab the button and link it in your blog to share this knowledge with others, and to avoid having to comb through your browser’s massive list of bookmarks: The Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging 12 

Requests? Corrections? Comments?
I’d love to know what you think, how this guide may have helped you, or any requests or tutorials you may have. Photoshop and photo editing tutorials will be in a separate guide in the future (or in individual blog posts, not entirely sorted on that yet), but all other requests are welcome: just leave it in a comment below!

Tip Your Waitress…Share This Post!

If you enjoyed this resource guide, please feel free to spread the wealth of knowledge by using your favorite social media to share. Or, you can be super cool and embed the button (code above) into your own blog’s sidebar!

5 Tips For Planning a DIY Wine Tasting For Your Bridal Shower

Whether you are a red wine aficionado or finish every “yes way” with rosé, here is everything you need to know about planning your own tasting. Because wine not? 
rose nyc reflection

1. Create (and stick to) a Guest ListThis may seem like an obvious first step when planning an event, but there is always someone who doesn’t RSVP and shows up anyway. Gently remind everyone you invite that you need a definite yes or no answer. The last thing you want is thirsty friends and not enough wine and glassware to go around. 
2. Pick Your Poison 
At BG we love to #roséallyear and we don’t discriminate when it comes to wine. For your tasting party, red, white, or rosé, anything is fine, but for comparison purposes we recommend sticking to one kind (all white, all red, etc). Once you decide the type of wine you want to serve, it’s time to choose the different brands. Choosing four to six different brands is just the right amount to have enough variety and keep your guests sipping pretty. 
Since you don’t have to fill up the glasses completely, an average 750ML or 25.4oz wine bottle is enough for about 8 people. We recommend having an extra bottle of each wine for every eight attendants, so if someone wants a refill of their favorites after the tasting is over, it is readily available. Plus, once a winner is chosen you’ll want to have enough of that wine for a toast! 
gerard bertrand cote des roses
3. Secret Set-Up To keep the identity of each label under-wraps, assign each bottle a number. Then, create a placemat (like the one seen below) for each of your guests. When designing your placemat (or shopping for one on Etsy), you want to add placeholders to show where each glass of wine should go. For our National Rosé Day event with Lauren B. Jewelry, we used a site called Canva to add numbered circles for every brand of wine. After arranging the markers you can then personalize the paper with a hashtag, quote, etc. 
The second component to your set-up is a wine scorecard.  You can either craft or buy; we found the design below on EtsyThis allows your guests to track their notes and assign numerical values to each wine. Lastly, don’t forget enough pens (to write with, duh) and water (to cleanse the palette) for each attendee.
rose tasting placemat and scorecard
4. Execution
Remember the four “s’s” (see, swirl, sniff, sip). Have your gals take the time to really enjoy and savor each sip. Invite them to judge the appearance, aroma, body, taste, and finish of each wine in front of them. Although the responses are based on an individual’s taste, it is a great way for your friends and family who don’t know each other to bond over likes and dislikes. 
5. “Extra” is Just Enough 
Wine is an inherently fun theme for a bachelorette party or bridal shower, but why not make your event as Insta-worthy as possible? Create a fun bar or bar cart, deck your tables out with florals or tossed confetti, or incorporate fun signage or balloons to make your venue really pop! You can also have fun with your food. Cheese and crackers always pair well with wine, but offer your guests something sweet as well like a macaron tower or petit fours.
rose all day bar
Whether you wine a little or a lot, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the moment with your closest family and friends.
—Mary Gillen

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 13
I’m a firm believer that you should always be wearing an outfit that you not only feel confident and comfortable in, but that also shows off your style and personality. Yes, every single outfit, every single day (given the few errand-runs-in-sweatpants kind of days, here and there–I’m not completely unreasonable!). But of course, you’re a busy woman, and you don’t have time to nitpick each and every clothing item in between meetings and carpools.
The secret to showing off your impeccable style on even the busiest of days? Accessories. The secret to finding adorable and affordable accessories? Nordstrom. Imagine this: you throw on a t-shirt and black pants, or boyfriend jeans and a sweater–as simple as an outfit can be. You don’t have to lay out this outfit the night before, and you definitely don’t need to spend more than five minutes putting it together in the morning.
So how do you turn it into not just a plain top and jeans but an outfit that’s good enough to impress your boss, your bff, and yourself? Easy: you grab your crossbody blush bag, classic gold watch, or statement shoes. Just like that, in 30 seconds or less, your outfit went from boring to Blake Lively. Here are our favorite accessories from Nordstrom to update your winter wardrobe:

1. Handbags

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 14
Handbags are the easiest fashion accessory to talk yourself into buying because they are the most functional. Your phone, wallet, and lipstick can’t hold themselves! But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find good, affordable options. Nordstrom not only has a wide variety of every size, color, price point, and style, but all their bags are well made, sturdy, chic, and sure to last you a very long time. Go for a classic option you can wear with anything, or a statement piece that will instantly take a plain outfit to street style level. Never overthink whether or not it’s worth it to buy that blush crossbody–trust me, it will be.

2. Shoes

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 15
The shoes you wear can change your entire look. Take jeans and a sweater, for example–the most basic winter outfit formula. Wear a pair of smart loafers or knee-high boots and you’re ready for work; throw on high heels and you’re fancy enough for date night; or, when you’re really feeling stylish, a pair of chic leopard-print booties that simultaneously show your personality and completely change your outfit–yeah, shoes are that powerful. Give your snow boots a break with weather-appropriate shoes in eye-catching patterns, prints, and styles.

3. Hair Accessories

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 16
Ah, hair accessories–what would we ever do without you!? You make a plain outfit immediately stylish and cover any bad hair day, no matter how bad (well that and dry shampoo). Lucky for us (and our bad hair days) headbands are officially back and more stylish than ever (Blair Waldorf, rejoice!). Try the 2018 version in luxe fabrics and pretty colors to wear to all your holiday parties. 

4. Jewelry

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 17
Now for the most subtle way to show off your style and personality–jewelry! Are you more classic (dainty gold pieces), boho (layered necklaces), or glam (statement earrings)? Whatever your style, you can easily show it through your jewelry choices. Opt for an of-the-moment tassel necklace for the trendy minimalist or a gold watch for the girl who loves a classic. Whatever your preference, jewelry makes any outfit insta-worthy (even jeans and a tee). 

5. Sunglasses

How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 18
Sunglasses are truly the it-girl accessory. They’re what can take your outfit from average to Anna Wintour, and will make you look celebrity-chic on a very low budget. We love sunglasses because you can find any style at any price point, and with a selection as good as Nordstrom’s, it’s hard to pass up–and why should you!? Choose from classic to retro to glam for a small accessory that transforms your whole look. With the right pair, you’ll finally understand why celebrities wear them inside–they’ll look too good to take off!
6. Winter Accessories
How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 19
How to Style Your Winter Wardrobe Essentials Into Versatile Outfits 20
Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that’s warm and sunny year-round, winter accessories aren’t just for style, they’re a necessity. But that doesn’t mean a necessity can’t also be really chic! Opt for an in-style beanie in knit material and fur, or a pretty cashmere scarf that matches your coat–the cozier the better! You’ll stay warm and look darn good doing it.

What To Do When You See That Your Career Is Going Nowhere

What To Do When You See That Your Career Is Going Nowhere
Once you see that your career is going nowhere, or at least not in the direction you hoped it would go, you have three choices in front of you. You can either give up, start building your life outside of the workplace or steer the course of your career. One of the most common misconceptions about passive life choices is that they are the easiest, when, in reality, the opposite holds true. The accumulative effort in terms of mental strain and stress that this approach presents you with is simply too hard to bear. Therefore, this might not be the best course of action.
As for the idea of building your life outside of the workplace, this is a fine idea, as well as something you should definitely do regardless of the direction that your professional life is taking. Nonetheless, it might not be enough. On average, people spend more than 8 hours in their workplace, while there are a lot of those who find that this is not enough (from a financial standpoint), which may force them to work up to 12-13 hours each day. Spending most of your waking hours on doing something you see as pointless can be devastating in every way conceivable. Therefore, here are several tips that can help you deal with this problem.

Try taking a break

The first thing you may want to try out is taking a break from work and focusing your effort elsewhere. It’s sometimes incredibly difficult to know whether your troubles or the sensation of not going anywhere is caused by a simple exhaustion or a deeply rooted problem of a different sort. During this break, you might want to try and cross something minor off your bucket list, acquire a minor skill you’ve always dreamed off and simply blow off some steam. If things remain unchanged after this, you have a more serious problem that may require a more systemic approach.

Change the company

A loyal employee often ignores more lucrative offers from other employers, while putting themselves at a disadvantage. There’s nothing wrong with checking what’s out there for you, even if you’re currently happy with your job. Proactivity is always better than retroactivity but you need to remember that there’s one person you owe loyalty more than anyone else – yourself. Keep in mind, however, that a job market may be particularly hostile to those who are desperate to change their career. This is why you might want to start exploring your options before things become desperate.
Moreover, you could also try to talk to your employer and tell them exactly how you feel. While you may assume they already know, you find yourself staggered at just how oblivious they can be. You may feel like you’re going nowhere but your employee might see you as their most vital employee, which means that they would be willing to renegotiate your terms of employment out of fear of losing you.

Consider relocation

The field you’re currently working in may not be as restricting as the location you’re performing it in. For instance, you might be working at the only company within that particular field in the entire region. The lack of competition might mean that your current employer doesn’t have to fear their star employees getting poached or abandoning them for a more lucrative offer. In other words, with that same set of skills you possess at the moment, you might be able to find more gainful employment elsewhere. Moving to a bigger business hub like Australia and applying for an Australian Work Visa might, therefore, be the solution to the problem.

Acquire a new set of skills

Those looking for a job in a different industry might be unpleasantly surprised to find that their current skills aren’t in that high of a demand. After all, you’ve spent years developing and honing skills that were necessary for your previous job, only to find that your career was heading into a dead-end all along. Luckily, you’re never too old to learn or acquire a new skill, especially with all those online courses and learning materials to be found online. That being said, training yourself in areas that will benefit your future career needs to take a high priority on your to-do list.

Find a second job

One more question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re unhappy with the nature of your work, your chances of advancement or by how much money you make. The latter can, sometimes, be resolved by finding a side-job. Think about it, it would be a shame to quit a job you’re good at and, at which, you might advance in several years, even if the money isn’t that great. This can be solved in other ways like by looking for some side-work online or subletting your current apartment. A prospect of a long-term reward can be a powerful motivator.

Talk to a friend

At the end of the day, you should try talking to someone about your problem. It can be your boss, your co-worker, your HR representative or, better yet, a friend. In this day and age, career changes are a common occurrence, which means that a person you’re talking to probably has a first-hand experience of what you’re currently going through. Even if they aren’t able to offer any valuable advice, sometimes, just verbalizing your problems and concerns may have a therapeutic effect. Either way, you can’t know until you try.
Sticking with a job that you know is bad for your mental health is never a wise choice. At the end of the day, no matter how mentally strong you are, there are still some limitations to what you can endure. In other words, it’s never worth sacrificing your mental health and long-term happiness for some momentary financial gains. Therefore, once you’re 100 percent certain that your career is going nowhere, it’s time to make a stand and start changing things for the better.