5 Fall Wardrobe Essentials from Walmart- Under $50
Want to brush up your Fall wardrobe but don’t want to break the bank? Me neither! That’s why I headed to Walmart to find the best Fall looks for a much lower price. Y’all. We cannot sleep on Walmart fashion! Walmart is nailing it with some gorgeous pieces for Fall for a fraction of the price, without sacrificing quality! Check out these 5 Fall wardrobe essentials from Walmart and Walmart.com for $50 or less!
Shop all the pieces in this post now on my LiketoKnowit!
The shacket trend came back around last year and is probably one of the hottest pieces of clothing to have this Fall season. These pieces look like a shirt but can double as a jacket or layering piece over a top or even a cute dress! A shacket is the perfect thing to have in your wardrobe as a transitional piece- especially now when it’s usually too warm for a heavy jacket but too chilly to go without a coat at all. The downfall with shackets? They tend to be SUPER expensive. That’s why I really love these shackets I found from Walmart! One of these shackets is the most expensive item you’ll find in this post- and even then it’s under $50!
A denim jacket is DEFINITELY a staple you should have in your closet almost all year round but especially in the Fall! Similar to a shacket, I love to throw on a denim jacket when I need something not too heavy but not too light! If it’s still pretty warm where you are, throw a denim jacket on over a dress meant for Summer and bam, you’re ready for Fall. Walmart has a ton of affordable denim jackets for just about everyone’s style! These are a few of my favorites from the site, but they come in so many different styles, textures, and patterns!
Sweatshirts are hands down my favorite piece of clothing to wear once Fall hits! I have so many that I’ve recently had to really restrain myself from buying anymore. I’m not kidding when I say half of of the sweatshirts I own are the Time and Tru crewneck sweatshirts from Walmart! They come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles…which is why I own at least 6 of them! You literally cannot beat the price either! I love to dress them down with just a pair of leggings or sweatpants at home or dress them up a bit with a pair of jeans, leggings and a denim jacket, and some cute jewelry to spice it up a bit!
Ask anyone I know, I love to layer in the Fall. Typically, a go-to outfit of mine consists of leggings, sneakers, a t-shirt, and a big ‘ol cardigan to keep me warm! Walmart has a great variety of cardigans from a more traditional style, ones with gorgeous fringe, plaid slouchy-options, and even some cozy ponchos! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE that ponchos are coming back. Whether you’re adding a cardigan to a layered outfit or just carrying it with you in case you get chilly throughout your day, a cardigan is definitely a necessity as we head into chillier days!
Like most people- I hate pants. My closet is FULL of dresses because I’m obsessed-especially with sweater dresses. If you feel like early Fall days are too soon for a thicker sweater dress, these sweatshirt dresses from Walmart are the PERFECT compromise! They are a sweatshirt material, just like the Time and Tru sweatshirts I shared above that are my fav, so you know I had to get a dress, too! I recently wore one with a cute pair of sneakers and it was a perfect, easy outfit for a busy day! P.S. THEY HAVE POCKETS
See something you love?? Click right on any of the pieces to shop directly from my LiketoKnowit!
Which one of these 5 Fall wardrobe essentials is your go-to piece this season?
Olive & June’s Fall 2021 Box: Back to School with Fall Nail Trends
It’s officially Fall which means all the Fall trends are happening in full force! One of my favorite things to follow throughout the change of seasons is changing manicure trends. I love seeing different seasonal colors and designs to fit each time of year. And no one does a seasonal mani better than Olive & June! Their team was so kind as to send me the Olive & June Fall 2021 Box for me to try out! I was able to get my hands on (literally) these six gorgeous shades perfect for the Fall season!
Keep reading for a breakdown of what comes in their Manicure System and of each stunning new shade!
Olive & June
If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen Olive & June products online and in your local Target, but have put off trying yet another nail polish brand…
If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you know that I’m obsessed with doing my nails. Having my nails done (and done well) always makes me feel like I have it together! I like my nails to not only look great but last a long time, too. I’ve previously written about how I do my own gel manicures at home. In recent years, I’ve completely shied away from using “regular” nail polish…until now!
Olive & June’s mission is to help anyone, anywhere have an amazing, long-lasting manicure that makes them FEEL amazing! And let me just say- they succeed! The first time I used Olive & June polish, my manicure lasted close to two weeks! I’ve had gel manicures that have chipped merely hours after getting them done or doing them myself!
They’ve got everything you need for the perfect at-home manicure from tools, polishes, nail accessories and more! Today, I’m going to share with you what comes in their Manicure System boxes and give you a fun review of their new collection of Fall colors!
P.S. Keep reading for a special discount on Olive & June products!
6 Polishes (of your choosing or a curated collection)
Straight-edge Nail Clipper
Dual-grit Nail File
Salon-quality Nail Buffer
Acetone-free Polish Remover Pot
Mani-perfecting Clean Up Brush
A Poppy + Pouch (a Poppy is their patented nail polish handle)
Award-winning Cuticle Serum
Super Glossy Top Coat
My system also came with a limited edition O&J Notebook & Pen and they sent me their Nail strengthener to try!
When I said the system came with everything I truly meant EVERYTHING! The nail file and buffer were the highest quality products I’ve ever had. The nail polish remover pot/clean up brush make taking off polish and cleaning up mistakes such a breeze! I had seen the Poppy all over and it honestly does make all the difference in painting your nails! I felt so much more steady and had much cleaner strokes! And, of course, their cuticle serum is top notch. My cuticles always need some love, especially in the cool and dry months, so it is going to be a life saver!
Shop Similar Products On Like to Know It!
Olive & June Fall 2021 Box: The Polishes
Now, the fun part: The Polish!
The Olive & June Fall Box came with six new shades, perfect for back to school! Which subject will be your favorite?!
Chemistry is described as an almond cream color! I think this is a perfect transitional shade if you’re still hanging on to summer and aren’t quite ready to get into the dark, deep colors of Fall just yet! Almond cream is the perfect way to describe the shade- it’s a fantastic neutral! It went on really easily and looked great with two thicker coats!
Study hall is described as a vintage rose! I love this color because I think it is so versatile. It’s the perfect pink for Fall because it is definitely more subdued. If you’re a pink lover all year round, I think this will be your new favorite Fall shade! This color would also be perfect as a Valentine’s Day pink! It went on super well with just two coats.
World Lit was definitely not a favorite subject of mine, but this color sure is! It is described as a true mauve, and that’s 100% correct! Mauve is one of my favorite transitional colors from Summer to Fall, and this color fits that bill perfectly. It’s a great neutral that still gives you that little kiss of color. This one went on probably the best out of all the colors for me- two quick coats and you’re good to go!
This is my FAVORITE shade in the collection! I mean look at that stunning deep purple. It is described as a muted eggplant. A deep purple is typically my go-to color in October, and I can’t wait to rock this color all month long! I asked a few of my friends to vote on which color form the collection to try first and purple was unanimous! It went on really well too, just like World Lit!
This is by far the most unique shade in the Fall collection in my opinion! It is described as a hunter green. I think it’s a little more bright than your typical hunter green- as you can see it works beautifully with my plant backdrop. I think this color will work as a Fall/Winter color. It gives me Christmas tree vibes, so I will definitely be bringing this one into the holidays with me! It went on really well with two coats, three in some streaky places.
I find this one ironic because I TOTALLY made social studies blue whenever I would pick notebooks and folders! This final shade is described as a sun-bleached navy. I have been in search of a solid navy polish for a long time and this one lived up to my expectations entirely! (In fact, I have it on my nails right now). Deep blues are really in this Fall and this shade is bound to be a fan favorite. This one went on well with two thicker coats.
Have I convinced you yet to give Olive & June a try? Here’s something extra if youstillneed an extra push!
Four Easy Cocktails and Mocktails for Your Fall Festivities with Spiritless Kentucky 74
Happy Fall Y’all! The first day of Fall is this Wednesday, the 22nd, and what better way to get ready for the new season than with some seasonal beverages?! I’ve got four easy Fall cocktails and mocktails for your Fall festivities to share with you today, using Spiritless Kentucky 74!
If you love enjoying fun Fall beverages but don’t love how you feel after one too many, Spiritless is for you! Spiritless Kentucky 74 is a non-alcoholic spirit for bourbon cocktails founded by a team of women who believe that Less is Yes!
Spiritless Kentucky 74 was named Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit and won a gold medal in the 2021 L.A. Spirits Awards. Kentucky 74 allows you to enjoy that final cocktail without those next day less-than-great feelings! This spirit is meant to act as a non-alcoholic option for your cocktails, or you can go “halfsies” and combine it with your bourbon of choice for half the alcohol content and less calories! You’re still going to get full flavor without going full alcohol, full calories or full regret.
Through a program called 2% for the Girls, Spiritless donates up to 2% of Spiritless sales to nonprofits, programs and partnerships that foster entrepreneurialism, mentoring and leadership development among young women!
P.S.- Keep reading for a special discount code on Spiritless Kentucky 74 only for my readers!
The four fall cocktails and mocktails I’m about to share with you all include Spiritless Kentucky 74! Feel free to go completely non-alcoholic, go “halfsies,” or just use your favorite bourbon in any of these recipes!
Four Easy Fall Cocktails and Mocktails
1/3 cup- Spiritless Kentucky 74 or Bourbon of your choice.
3/4 cup- Orange Juice
1/2 bottle of Moscato wine of your choice
1/2 apple, chopped
1 orange, quartered
A handful of halved red grapes
2 cinnamon sticks
Fill a large pitcher with ice. Combine Kentucky 74/Bourbon, orange juice, and Moscato in the pitcher. After cutting the apples, oranges, and grapes to your liking, add them to the pitcher and combine.
Orange French 74
1 oz Spiritless Kentucky 74/Bourbon of your choice
4 dashes of orange bitters
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
Champagne or Prosecco.
In a shaker combine ice, Spiritless Kentucky 74/Bourbon, orange bitters, and orange juice. Shake well. Pour mixture into a champagne flute, top with champagne or Prosecco. Garnish with an orange peel.
Peach Pom Porch Sipper
1 1/2 oz Spiritless Kentucky 74/Bourbon of your choice
Apple cide OR Hard cider
P.O.M Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea
Add ice to an 8 oz glass. Pour in Spiritless Kentucky 74/bourbon and top with equal parts apple cider/hard cider, Pom peach, and add a dash of orange juice if you’d like.
Cran Apple Cocktail
1/2 oz Spiritless Kentucky 74/Bourbon of your choice
1/2 oz Amaretto (optional)
Add ice to an 8oz glass. Pour in Spiritless Kentucky 74/Bourbon and Amaretto (optional). Top with equal parts cranberry juice and apple cider. Garnish with an apple slice.
There you have it- 4 easy cocktails and mocktails to get you in the mood for Fall! Here’s a little something else to get you in the mood for Fall…
Use the code ANGLAROSE10 at checkout today to get 10% off your Spiritless order!
Don’t forget, up to 2% of Spiritless sales are donated to nonprofits, programs and partnerships that foster entrepreneurialism, mentoring and leadership development among young women! Not only are you going to get yourself an amazing, guilt-free non-alcoholic spirit to enjoy this Fall, you will be helping young women reach their full potential in the process!
How to Get in the Mood for Fall + 5 FREE Mood Boards to Get You There
Happy September, babes! I can’t believe we are only a few weeks away from the first REAL day of Fall! This week’s post is all about how to get in the mood for fall!
If you’ve been here with me for a minute, you know that I’m a summer girl through and through! To me, September always marks the end of my favorite season. While I love Fall for all its own reasons, September is always bittersweet. Until the leaves start to change and the weather gets chilly, I have a really hard time getting in the right headspace for fall. If you find yourself feeling the same way, here are a few ways to get in the Fall spirit!
Make a Fall Bucket List
Making a bucket list for the Fall is one of the easiest ways to get excited for the change of seasons! There are so many fun Fall activities to do throughout September-November. There’s apple picking, going to a pumpkin patch, corn mazes, fall wine festivals, pumpkin carving…the list goes on and on! Think about what you want to do most during the season, who you want to do those things with, and write it all out!
No matter where you live, every local spot is bound to have some fun fall activities happening throughout the season! Get online and look up if your area has any fun Fall activities happening. I love to hop on Facebook and scroll through event that are happening locally or in places close to me!
Switch Up Your Wardrobe
Get that closet ready for Fall, babe! Nothing gets me more excited for chilly weather than breaking out my big sweaters and long sweatshirts. Even though the weather likes to play tricks on us through September sometimes, breaking out your Fall basics will definitely get you prepping for those chillier days! Now that we’re post-Labor Day, it may be safe to pack up the swimwear and break out some transitional pieces,
You may be able to get away with keep some Summer clothes out for a bit longer by throwing on hats, denim jackets, shackets, and a cute pair of booties! This is a great compromise- holding on to Summer while slowly working Fall into our lives!
Bust Out the Fall Decorations
Seasonal decor is the perfect way to bring the Fall feeling into your life via your living space! Everywhere you turn in almost every store you go in now is FULL of fun Fall signs, trinkets, and more (they may even have Christmas things out already)! How you choose to decorate is totally up to you and your style! If you just generally love fall, decorate in general Fall decor. Is Halloween your jam? Bust out those Halloween decorations ASAP! If seasonal decorations aren’t really your thing, maybe this just means busting out your Fall scented candles and creating ambiance that way!
Put Together a Fall Mood Movie/Book List
Seasonal movies and books are the perfect way to get in the fall spirit! Freeform does their 31 Nights of Halloween, filling the day with tons of spooky movies to get ready for Halloween. But September is never too early to start if you’re a real Halloween lover! Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, The Addams Family, Tim Burton movies, horror movies- all are the typical movies I think of when I think of this season!
If you’d rather read to get in the fall spirit, check out this list of reads to get you in the mood for Fall by the Perpetual Page Turner!
Enjoy the Outdoors
One of the best ways to get in the mood for Fall is to be in the seasonal change itself! Get outside- go for a walk, hike, take your book or journal outside, picnic, etc. Enjoy being outdoors and witnessing the change of the seasons first hand! As bittersweet as it feel for me personally, it is always really beautiful to have to slip on a jacket and see the leaves changing.
Make a Fall Mood Board
If you’re looking to create a certain aesthetic in your decoration or holiday prep OR are just looking to bring a certain vibe into your life this Fall- make a fall mood board! Or several! I recommend starting on Pinterest. Make a board dedicated to the Fall aesthetic you’re looking to create or embrace. I like to search terms like ‘pink fall aesthetic,’ ‘neutral fall aesthetic,’ or ‘Halloween aesthetic.’ Terms like these are likely to bring up images that will be aesthetically pleasing, cohesive, and easy to piece together.
You can use any photo collage app to put your mood board together. I like to use Canva! On Canva, you can find tons of free mood board templates that will make putting the board together easy and beautiful!
I Have a Freebie For You!
Not into making mood boards yourself? You’re in luck! I’ve made 5 different fall-themed mood boards in Canva to inspire the Fall-lover in you!
HI FRIENDS! Long time, no talk! I hope you have all been eating up every second of summer! Since June, I’ve been a liiiitle MIA on the blog, but I am BACK and ready to get some new posts together for you! I’ve said before, this blog is a personal space for me to connect with the community we’ve created, so before just launching into new blog posts, I wanted to give you a little recap on what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been the last month! SO, read on for my Monthly Minute-June & JulyRecap!
Monthly Minute: June Recap
Where to begin! I haven’t done a Monthly Minute in…well, a minute! Honestly, I don’t think I thought to write a recap post for June because it was pretty uneventful! I had been substitute teaching since December, so I wrapped that up and got to work for my two part-time remote jobs! Really hitting the ground running in my remote jobs was probably the most exciting part of June. School ending did make me feel like it was summer vacation and being able to eat up some time at home while also working was perfect!
Working from home definitely came with a period of adjustment, as I figured out a schedule that worked for me. My biggest problems with working from home have been setting work/life boundaries and distraction. Either I want to stop working early or find myself picking up my computer after 5 o’clock and working after dinner. Figuring out the best schedule for me is something that I’m working on, is ever-changing, and something I’ll be writing a new post on soon!
I spent a week on a ‘stay-cation’ while house/puppy sitting for my aunt! It was the perfect change of scenery. I was able to work from there every day, enjoy some puppy love, and soak up some sun. Some of my best friends came to spend time with me at the pool and going out to dinner, catching up. While I was there, I really kicked up my summer reading which is still going strong (more on that later)!
I also tried my hand at online dating for the first time this month and I CAN confirm, it is the worst.
Monthly Minute- July Recap
In July, I set foot in a theatre and saw a live performance for the first time since the pandemic started! Throughout July, I spent some time going back to my alma mater, DeSales University, that hosts the PA Shakespeare Festival, where I spent three summers as an acting intern! It was really nice to go back, see some of my friends perform, and reconnect with some of the people I had met in my time working there. There is nothing like live theatre and seeing it in a place that is so near and dear to my heart was awesome.
On the topic of theatre, my mom and I went into New York for a day this month! I hadn’t been to the city since December of 2019, so it was really great/strange to be there again. I did some pretty exciting stuff while we were there; my heart felt very full. In addition to working remotely, I’ve also kept up with auditioning and submitting for shows online. Keeping the theatre career alive (trying, anyway)!
I reached my goal of 2K followers on Instagram! 2K may not seem huge, but it was a number I set for myself at the start of 2021. I’m proud to say I’ve surpassed it! Honestly, no, I’m not going to downplay 2K followers. It may seem like a small number in my mind because I follow people with 10K+ followers. But imagine being in a room with all the people who follow you. Whether that number is 50, 100, 1,000 or 10,000- that is impressive.
Once I reached my goal, I took about two weeks off from posting and actively showing up on Instagram. “Experts” say you have to show up consistently and engage, but I truthfully just felt burnt out. I had been creating posts, graphics, captions, etc. nonstop. People don’t realize all that goes in to making a social media space cohesive and successful. I felt like I was glued to my phone, looking to see how many people had watched/seen my posts. I’m thankful that I’m self-aware enough to know when enough is enough and take a break!
Monthly Minute-June & July Recap
Going Forward & Exciting News
We made it through the first week of August! I’m excited to get back on track and find a better balance between work, social media, and blog posting! I started off this month on a much better foot than July and remembered to set goals and intentions for myself.
My university is holding an in-person graduation for the class of 2020 at the end of this week! It’ll be nice to fiiiiiinally close that chapter. Some of my best college girlfriends and I are spending the weekend together, so I can’t wait for that! Annnnd drumroll for the most exciting bit of news I have to share…….
I booked my first show since graduating from college and the pandemic!
A week from tomorrow, I’ll be heading to my first real contract since performing professionally in college and I feel so excited, overwhelmed, and so so grateful!
I can already tell August is going to be an amazing month! Look for some new blog posts coming your way soon, and as always follow along with the day-to-day of it all over on my Instagram!
Summer Skincare Essentials for Your Travel Bag: My Recommendations
Looking to add some new summer skincare essentials for your travel bag? You’re in the right place!
Summer is in full swing, and if you’re anything like me, you are spending all the time you can in the sun! Enjoying the beautiful weather also means your beautiful skin is taking in the sun as well. Getting that vitamin D is very important, but so is protecting and caring for your skin!
I have a handful of skincare products that I use religiously in my daily summer skincare routine that are essential in my life- on staycations and vacations alike! Keep reading to check out my recommendations! XO
Summer Skincare Essentials for Your Travel Bag: The Products
Tula Glow & Get It Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm
I’ve written about this product in so many previous posts and highlighted it in my “Skincare is Self-Care” post, but I just can’t get enough of it! There are 3 different versions of this product, but they all work to de-puff and brighten your under eyes! You can swipe the balm on under or over your makeup- I’ve done both and it works perfectly both ways.
This is my go-to product all summer long! Most days, I’ll put on my moisturizer/sunscreen, swipe the balm on, curl my lashes, and go! You can also swipe it on your cheek bones and the tip of your nose for added highlight! This product is so easy to throw in your bag and is perfect for those long travel days/nights!
Check out my Tik Tok to see how I use this product! Want to try it for yourself? Shop here!
I call this sunscreen my “fancy sunscreen.” When Tula launched this product last year, I ordered it so quickly and I’m so glad I did! This sunscreen will give you the most gorgeous, natural glow while protecting your skin! Even if you’re going to be in front of your computer all day, it’s got you covered with blue light protection as well!
Made with pineapple, papaya, and ginger root, it also smells AMAZING! This product is also perfect for your beach travels because it’s reef safe! Your best deal on this product is from Amazon!
Sun Bum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lip Balm
After years of spending time in the sun and wondering afterwards “why are my lips chapped?” I finally realized they weren’t chapped. They were sunburnt! I’m super picky about my choice of lip balm/chap stick, and I love Sun Bum products! I’m a longtime fan of the Sun Bum Mineral line, so I figured I’d give the lip balm a try.
I love it because it’s SPF 30, while many other lip products with sunscreen that I’ve seen are only SPF 15. Another perfect travel pick because it’s also reef friendly, chemical free, and vegan!
Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C & Tri-Peptide Collagen-Protecting & Brightening Serum
Sunscreen + a vitamin C serum = THE DREAM TEAM for your skin! I love the Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C & Tri-Peptide Collagen-Protecting & Brightening Serum! This serum just scream summer to me. It’s so light and goes on easily under moisturizer and makeup and smells like yummy citrus!
The collagen protecting formula boosts your skin’s elasticity and works to protect skin. It works to lighten dark spots and give you an amazing natural glow! This product is also vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty-free! Amazon is the place to find this product for the best price!
Mario Badescu Facial Spray
The Mario Badescu facial sprays are a summer staple! I’m linking a set of all 4 scents from Amazon, but my personal favorite is the orange blossom! These sprays are perfect for a little extra hydration on top of your moisturizer, or as a mid-day pick me up! I love to take mine with me on beach trips to cool my skin down on hot days! You will definitely feel refreshed after a quick spritz, no matter what scent/formula you choose!
BalmLabs Gentle Foam Cleanser
In the summer, I prefer to use a face wash that is light weight but still gets the job done! The BalmLabs Gentle Foam Cleanser is my new favorite wash that does just that! Not only is it fun because it’s a weightless foam, but it does a really great job of cleaning dirt, oil, and product off my skin and smoothing pesky breakouts!
I’ve got a special code that will grab you a discount on the BalmLabs ClearBalm 3-Step System! Check it all out here!
And those are my Summer Skincare Essentials for Your Travel Bag! See a product that you want to try? Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re excited for!
The ultimate summer 2021 female power reading list
Summer is here! There is nothing I love more in the summer than hitting the beach with a great book! I love to read a pretty wide variety of genres, but books about the stories of women always head to the top of my summer reading list. Unintentionally, my summer reading list has become my summer female power reading list!
Are you looking for a great read to inspire you, tug on your heart strings, or simply make you smile from ear to ear? Then I’ve got some perfect suggestions for you on my list!
These are all books I’ve read, loved, and shared with the amazing women in my life. Some are old, some are relatively new, but their stories are timeless!
Check out my suggestions below!
*While all books are linked below via Amazon, I want to encourage my readers to shop local/diverse-owned bookshops however they can! Check out this list of Diverse-Owned Book Stores to Support Right Now from We Need Diverse Books and see if you can find any of these books in any of the listed stores first! The list goes state-by-state, so you can shop anywhere! XO
Summer Female Power Reading List
The Books On My List
Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer
I picked up this book 2 summers ago, I think after seeing it on another “summer reading list” I happened to Google and ended up loving every second of it! So much so that I felt compelled to email the author and express how much I loved it- and she responded!
The title is really self-explanatory, as this book highlights the evolution of female friendship in mainstream media and our society as a whole. Schaefer interviews countless women from a variety of backgrounds on their experiences with the female friendships in their lives, including her own. She also goes into detail about her own experience in a world that tells us to rely on the men in our lives for support, rather than leaning on the shoulders of our female friends.
This is one I will be adding to my summer reading list again this year! Snag it from Amazon HERE!
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Despite being published in 2018, Becoming by Michelle Obama is my most recent read! Former first lady, Michelle Robinson Obama’s memoir is truly an incredible and inspiring read you will definitely want to add to your summer reading list!
I loved how Michelle made the world of politics so accessible to the average reader. As I read, I felt like I was listening to a personal conversation rather than reading a book. Her writing and storytelling are so grounded and honest; I loved how “normal” she made her family out to be, because the Obama’s are just people too, after all!
Ready for a tearjerker? Then Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah is the book for you! I’ve written about this book in my Monthly Minute posts before, but I love this book. I firmly believe if you are a friend, mother, daughter, etc. that you read this book!
Firefly Lane follows friendship Kate and Tully and the ins and outs of their entire lives together. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel every feeling imaginable. And, if you’re anything like me, when it ends you will be a puddle of tears! Firefly Lane is also a Netflix series as of late, but spoiler alert: it’s absolutely nothing like the book. I would recommend picking up the book and leaving the show behind, just saying!
Get your copy HERE and share it with all the best people in your life!
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Untamed by Glennon Doyle is another book that I picked up a little later than most! My mom read it first, insisted I read it myself, and got me a copy. (I like to write/highlight in my books, and she wouldn’t let me write in her copy!)
Doyle’s memoir is all about taking your power back as a woman, and I think it is a great read for women of all ages. My mom rad it as a woman in her 50’s, I read it as a woman in my 20’s, and I’m excited to return to it in different phases of my life as I get older. Doyle’s own story is so empowering and inspiring, and you can’t help but feel like she is on your side, walking you through the trials and tribulations of life!
Grab a copy HERE and share it with your best babes!
Believe It by Jamie Kern Lima
Clearly my mom wants me to learn from amazing, inspiring women because she bought me this book too! In this book, founder of IT Cosmetics (a brand I LOVE by the way), Jamie Kern Lima, covers the highs and lows of a woman in business making her way to the top.
I have watched Lima on QVC for years but knew nothing about her history. Her writing is so personal, and she makes it a point to make the reader feel like her friend. She covers her life story, her journey to becoming the first female CEO in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history, and her life as a mother, wife, and friend.
If you are a woman in business or are thinking of starting a business of your own, this is the perfect inspiration! You can get it HERE!
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
I read this book last summer and I think I read it in 2 days THAT’S how great it is!
While a good handful of books on this list are nonfiction, In Five Years is a work of fiction that will move you! The story follows a young lawyer who spends an hour of her life exactly five years in the future only to be sent back to the present at midnight. It’s a beautiful, unlikely love story that will warm your heart and make you think!
City of Girls is a also a work of fiction that will transport you to another era!
As a theatre artist, I love a book that is centered on the people in the theatre without actually being about theatre (if that makes any sense). This book will transport you to NYC in the 1940’s. It’s told from the perspective of an aging woman looking back over her life and its pleasures. The themes deal with female promiscuity and sexuality in that era, and I thought the story was very complex and compelling!
I hope you’ve found the perfect summer female power read to add to your own list this summer! Have any other great female power reads you want us to know about? Leave a comment below and spread the word!
How To Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch: The Blogging Basics
Happy Monday, babes! This week, I have something new for you all! The first installment of How To Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch! I’m so excited to share this new series with you all!
A little over a year ago, I decided to take a blind leap of faith and start a blog of my own with absolutely no knowledge on how to do so. I don’t consider myself the most tech-savvy 20-something, so if I can start my own blog from scratch so can you! Since I’m just finishing up my first year of blogging, I will candidly say the information is this post is not gospel! I’m sharing the tips on starting a blog from scratch that worked for me; take what you need, leave what you don’t!
In this post, I am going to lay out the process of starting a blog in 2021 from scratch step by step! I wish I would’ve had a basic outline/timeline for starting a blog when I was starting to put things together, so I hope this will be helpful in your blog planning process! It isn’t as easy as having an idea for a blog/blog post/blog name, that is if you want to be efficient in your process. Planning ahead will be a godsend. Let’s get into it!
Here is How To Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch (Part 1)!
How To Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch: The Blogging Basics
Getting Started: Blog Brainstorming
Congrats, you’re here! You’ve decided to take the leap and start your blog from scratch! Welcome to this crazy, amazing world! First things first, you need to get your ideas in order. Maybe you already have a direction for your content, or you’ve got a name settled on but let me just say BE OPEN TO CHANGE. Let’s get thinking about some key elements before the real fun begins!
What kind of content do you want to produce on your blog?
Before anything else, it’s important to start brainstorming the type of blog you want to create AKA figure out your niche. As I said, allow for some wiggle room because who knows, you may start your blog planning and completely want to change your direction! But it is definitely a little easier if you have a direction.
Some of the most popular types of blogs in 2021 are food blogs, travel blogs, fitness/health blogs, lifestyle blogs (that’s me!), and beauty/fashion blogs. You can also certainly combine 2-3 of these niches to shape your blog!
Based on your chosen niche…
What do you want to call your blog?
Having you niche should guide you towards what you want to call you blog! The name of your blog should be something catchy and fun that will draw people in! Honestly, when in doubt, ask your people for their thoughts! Lay out your thoughts and ideas for your family and friends and see if they come up with anything cute and creative! My best friend actually came up with Beyond the Footlights!
Whatever name you land on, make sure you love it and feel confident saying/sharing it! While branding and niche have some wiggle room, I’d say your blog name should remain a constant!
Choosing your name takes us into the next portion of starting your blog!
How to Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch: The Tech Stuff
Choosing a blog domain
Once you’ve got your list of potential blog names, you’re going to want to check if that domain is available. Your domain is what will take you to your blog (i.e. http://www.beyondthefootlights.com is my domain). There are a number of sites you can go through to purchase a domain for a reasonable price:
To name a few. I choseIONOS by 1 & 1 because they have a great deal- you can get your first year of hosting for only $1, and then you’ll be billed $15 annually. If the blog name you are looking to choose is taken on one of these host sites, it will be taken on all of them. I would suggest going with a name that will allow your domain to end in “.com”
*Some blog hosting sites (like WordPress) will give you the option to take advantage of choosing a custom domain when you choose your plan, but this isn’t really any cheaper than purchasing your domain through a third-party site and linking it to your blog.
Choose your blog hosting site
Now you’ll need to choose where you want to build and host your site! I’m only really familiar with WordPress, Square Space, and Weebly for website building- but I’m sure there are other blog options! While some people have said they found WordPress hard to navigate, I haven’t had any issues with it!
No matter what site you choose to start building, there will be themes and templates provided for you by the site. If you don’t find a theme or template you love, there are external sites you can purchase them from. On WordPress, the fancier the plan you purchase, the more theme options are available to you.
Once you have purchased your domain and chosen your blog hosting site/plan, you will need to connect the domain and your site using domain mapping. This is very straightforward, check out THIS RESOURCE that will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Choose you blog plan
Next, you’ll choose your blog plan. Again, speaking from WordPress experience, there are a few different plan options to purchase: personal, premium, business, and eCommerce.
Because I was unsure about how my blog would pan out after a year, I stuck to the basic personal plan for my first year (about a $56 dollar value for the year). This had pros and cons. I was able to really ease into WordPress and content creation; however, with a personal plan you cannot download any additional plugins or include ads, making SEO and growth strategies a challenge.
As a word of advice to you, I would say take the plunge and start with the business plan on WordPress for your blog if you’re serious about it! I wish I would’ve had the extra tools at my fingertips from the start; it could’ve helped my blog growth a lot more in my first year! With that being said, I felt like I had enough tolls using only a personal plan to get me through the growing pains.
Choose your blog theme/layout & start building pages
As I said previously, once you choose your blog plan you will be able to choose your site’s theme and layout! This is where the creative process really gets started! Whatever hosting site you choose will typically provide you with a variety of theme template options that are already generated for you, and you can edit them to make them your own. Don’t worry if you don’t find a theme you love in the prescribed templates. For WordPress, at least, you can purchase themes from third party sites or places like Etsy!
Once you have chosen your theme, you can start building your site pages! The pages you include on your blog will be dependent on your niche and your blog’s specific needs. The pages I would suggest every blog include are:
Blog Page (you can create separate drop-down pages for grouped blog content later!)
About Me Page
Because you are starting from scratch, a lot about page building is trial and error. I would suggest just getting into your hosting site and playing around with the tools. What better way to learn than to dive right in! This is where YouTube and Google will become your best friends! If there is something you don’t know how to do, someone has answered the question online, I assure you!
You can further customize your page by creating a brand color palette and by adding customized widgets on your pages to add links to your socials, a blub about you, ads, and much more!
How to Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch: Branding
Branding is another important step in the launch of your blog. A very general definition of your branding is your brand’s outward appearance, and a lot of this has to do with color scheme, organization, fonts, and style. Just as with your niche/content, your branding may change over time, and that’s ok! It’s a clear symbol of growth!
An important part of your blog’s branding will be photo content and graphics. I was fortunate enough to have a best friend starting a photography business just as I was starting my blog, and she’s been my resident blog photographer. While I understand we all don’t have that luxury, your digital content will be very important. So- get yourself a tripod and start snapping! You can grab on for a pretty decent price on Amazon!
I personally use Canva for all of my blog & social media graphics, and I love it! You can use it for free or unlock more font/templates/etc. with Canva Pro! I’ve also heard people talk about using Adobe Illustrator for design purposes.
The growth of my blog is clearly visible when looking at my graphics. I would suggest at least finding a color palette you love for the branding of your blog for a cohesive look, and you can always experiment with templates/layout/design!
Once you have created at least a portion of your site (it does not have to be finished or perfect) it’s time to get writing!!!
I would highly suggest running on a timeline that allows you to create at least 2 months’ worth of written content before hitting publish and going live with your site. This will give you a cushion and you won’t be scrambling to write content while also trying to work out the kinks in your new hobby/business venture!
Coming up with topics may be something that comes easy to you, or, if you’re like me, sometimes you struggle! There is absolutely no harm in checking out what other bloggers in your niche are doing/what is working for them- DO THAT! And again, Google will be your best friend! Google familiar topics you may be brainstorming and check out content that is ranking high on Google! (This has to do with SEO, more on that in another installment!)
Choose a publishing schedule that works for you. You can choose to post as often/not as often as you’d like! Building a content posting schedule and sticking to it to the best of your ability will save you! You should also schedule out time to write! I say this to you as someone who is still working on this herself. Having dedicated writing time in your life, whether it be an hour a day or an hour a week, will give you the confidence to know you’re getting sh*t done!
Aaaaand that’s a wrap for Part 1 of How To Start a Blog in 2021 From Scratch! I hope this post helped outline the basic process of starting a blog from scratch, on your own, and on a decent budget!
Look out for Part 2 coming soon that will cover some basic blog SEO, email marketing, blog incentives, and aligning your blog and social media platforms!
Have a question that didn’t get answered? Leave it in the comments or always feel free to reach out on Instagram!
The day is finally here! Beyond the Footlights turns 1! *insert confetti cannons*
On May 18th, 2020, I took a leap of faith and published Beyond the Footlights for all to see! I can’t believe I’ve been working on this little slice of internet heaven for just over a year already! I’ve learned so much, about myself and the world of blogging, in the last year, and I wanted to dedicate this week’s post to a little reflection on the last 12 months at Beyond the Footlights!
My email subscribers (shameless plug to tell you to SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG on the homepage!) received a little love letter in their inboxes from me today highlighting my journey a bit, but I’d like to dive a little deeper into all my first year of blogging has given me and the growth I’ve experienced. So, in typical Sound of Music fashion, let’s start at the very beginning!
How It Started
If you were in my values seminar class first semester senior year of college, you heard the idea for this blog first. Shout out to all of you! Our professor asked us one day “what is something you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I had toyed around with the idea of starting a blog before; I had a list of potential topics/ideas in one of my theatre notebooks. We went around the room to share, and when it got to me, I said I’d start a blog.
I said I wasn’t sure about starting a blog because I didn’t have any time as a theatre student. At the time, I was going to have work throughout the summer months as well, so the idea of having free time for other creative endeavors was nonexistent. I don’t know why I decided to be a little vulnerable in class that day in front of a group of students I wasn’t particularly close to, but I also shared that I feared that whatever I chose to do would have “already been done” and that no one would really care about what I had to write about.
Past Angela, that’s just not true. But we’ll get there.
And we know the age-old tale by now: the pandemic hit giving me too much time and not enough creative outlets. So, I took my lemons and made them into lemonade and decided to go all in creating the blog that had always been a fleeting thought. I learned a few things pretty quickly when I started creating the blog:
The internet is a savior
I knew absolutely nothing about how to start a blog and where to even start (look for a blog post all about starting a blog from scratch soon, wink wink). It took a LOT of researching and planning before I was even able to get to the fun stuff like writing and branding. I had built my actor website a few months prior on another platform, but using WordPress was foreign territory. Little did I know, a lot of the skills I learned while starting my blog would prove to be useful to me in the year to come.
Blogging can mean more than just your blog
At the same time I was launching the blog, I decided to also try to build up my social media presence as a tool to help the blog grow. I started small, trying to rebrand my Instagram in a way and by starting a Facebook page for the blog. I needed to try and streamline my social media/the blog’s for added success. Branding & Influencing on my social media is something that I’ve continued to learn more about now that my stand-alone blog is on its feet.
Investing in your blog will help in the long run
With my blog plan, I wanted to start small and simple in case I discovered after a year that this path wasn’t for me. While I was able to do quite a lot with the little resources I had, I quickly discovered that investing in the proper tools would help me much more in the long run. Investing in things like workshops and creator tools allowed me to keep learning and experimenting with growing my brand.
The reception I got when I officially launched the blog was incredible. I was very fortunate to have a best friend (Kailey Edwards Photography) who was simultaneously building and launching her photography business, and she provided me with creative and gorgeous photos for my site (she still takes the majority of my fabulous photos for blog/influencer purposes).
Each month, two posts have always been the same: my Passion Piece Features and Monthly Minutes. I’ve featured 9 amazing actors and creators in my Passion Piece Features, shout out to those amazing human beings for giving up a slice of their time and energy to help this little ‘ol blog. My Monthly Minute Posts, monthly recaps of my monthly goals & favorites, have now evolved into strictly monthly favorites posts.
Starting this blog and teaching myself the new skills that come with the territory has also opened doors for me that I never would’ve anticipated a year ago. I’ve gotten work doing some freelance writing, landed partnerships with some incredible brands, and have found work as a marketing assistant with my new toolbelt of skills! I’ve clearly found some new passions and some new things I’m good at and it’s exciting to think about how these opportunities will help carry me forward.
As I’ve been recapping the last year on the blog, I think the most amazing thing to note is the growth of the “brand.” It’s been really cool to look at all my blog covers, the graphics I started out with, and my social media posts because there’s a clear shift in the branding of it all. It represents me getting a better handle on this new world I found and finding myself in this new form of artistic expression.
I’ve certainly learned that plans don’t always work out. There have been plenty of weeks throughout the year where pumping out a blog post was just not possible due to conflicts, writers block, or mental exhaustion. In my first year, I felt like it was more important to just get the content on, both here and on my social media. But I’m a believer in quality over quantity. In my second year, I’m hoping to produce content that is helpful, fun, and inspiring and don’t want to sacrifice the quality of my writing to meet a deadline I made for myself.
I’ve learned to take breaks. From working, from creating content, and from scrolling the internet trying to build my brand. It’s all important work but it can be extremely time consuming and mentally exhausting. I’ve learned that I’m not for everyone, and that’s ok. Looking at some of the stats can definitely hurt sometimes. It stinks to see I’ve lost email subscribers or Instagram followers. But, at the end of the day, I don’t need the people who aren’t interested in supporting this journey hanging onto my coat tails.
I’ve learned that I DO have a wonderful little community of people who love and support me, and I’m very lucky for that. Most importantly, I’ve learned that what I have to say DOES matter. I’ve found a part of my voice that was missing and continue to fill my cup every day by working on my own little slice of internet heaven.
My tagline is “All Passions. All People.”
Thank you for supporting me and my newfound passion, you beautiful and amazing people!
I’m forever grateful! Here’s to another incredible year!
Now that we’re into the month of May, one thing is on everyone’s mind. SUMMER! After a year+ of staying home, abandoning the typical routine, it seems like summer 2021 may be our first summer since 2019 with potential! Gearing up for hot girl summer, but feeling a little lost on how to make your 2021 summer vision a reality? Easy fix! Make yourself a summer 2021 vision board!
Back in January, I wrote about “How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board” for the start of a new year! While that vision board may have been broader, looking at 2021 as a whole, creating a summer vision board will allow you to get really specific in your vision for the next 3 months!
Pinterest boards can be great for collecting ideas and inspiration but I’m going to show you a few ways to create a summer vision board that is aesthetically pleasing, inspiring, and is something you can easily look at on the daily! In this post, I’ll walk you through finding inspiration, displaying your board, and ways you can update your vision board according to the season!
Check out How To Create a Summer Vision Board!
How To Create a Summer Vision Board
Brainstorm Summer Aspirations
The first step in creating your summer 2021 vision board is gathering your inspiration! I like to think of this as brainstorming. Think about what you’d like to manifest for your summer months. Happiness, wealth, creative energy, etc. Now, think about what is on your summer 2021 bucket list! Places you want to go, things you want to see, things you want to do. Finally, think about some goals you’d like to accomplish this summer! Given that summer (in most places) is only 3 months, these goals don’t have to be crazy! Get all these ideas down on paper or in your notes!
Once your vision for summer 2021 feels a bit clearer and you’ve got your ideas together, it’s time to start gathering what you’d like to include on your board! This can come from just about anywhere- online, magazines, newspapers, scraps, photographs, etc. If you’d like to keep your vision board virtual, Pinterest is a great place to start! Create a Pinterest board called Summer 2021 Vision Board and get pinning! This way all your ideas, pictures, and quotes can be in one place. AND you can see how your ideas look all together aesthetically!
Choose How To Build Your Vision Board
There are so many different ways that you can build and display your summer vision board! The most standard form of display for vision boards or mood board is a physical collage/print. You can definitely take the time to gather your inspo, print it out, and cut & paste it all together on a canvas of your chosen size!
We live in a digital world and I want to talk about ways to digitally make and display your summer 2021 vision board!
Connect Pinterest and Widgets on Your iPhone
One of the most recent iPhone updates allows you to add widgets to your home screen! Widgets come in different sizes and different displays allow you to show pictures, clock, calendars, and more! You can also link Pinterest boards to your widgets and have the image change hourly! This is the perfect way to display your summer vision board that you might’ve already created on Pinterest!
Here’s how to add a Pinterest Widget:
Download the app ‘Widgetsmith”
Hold down an app until the apps on your home screen start to wiggle
Tap the plus sign in the upper right hand corner of your screen
Scroll down to find the widget that says Pinterest, then swipe left to the ‘boards’ option
Choose the size widget you’d like, then click Add Widget
Once it’s added to your home screen, click it again and tap Choose to add you “Summer 2021 Vision Board” board
Decide if you’d like the image to change hourly or daily
Adding multiple widgets with your 2021 summer vision board attached is the perfect way to have your vision board (literally) right at your fingertips!
Create Your Vision Board on Canva
Want to create a stunning summer vision board to print and hang or use as a screensaver on your phone or desktop? Use Canva! Canva offers design tools for all sorts of platforms and niches- it’s how I make most of my own graphics, bullet journal templates, and vision boards! You can use Canva for free or upgrade to Canva Pro to gain access to more templates! Give Canva Pro a try free for 30 days!
Once you’re on Canva type in ‘vision,’ ‘vision board,’ or ‘collage’ to get you your best vision board templates! There are lots of creative, free vision board template options for you to take advantage of! Here is my summer vision board I created using Canva!
Make a Photo Collage
Make your 2021 summer vision board into a picture collage! You could also do this on Canva, or in other apps like PicStitch! Again, you could make a collage specifically for your phone lock screen, your desktop screen saver, or to print and hang in your room or office!
Check out this article on various apps to use to make a digital vision board!
Still looking for some additional summer inspo? Check out my Pinterest page and while you’re there, feel free to give me a follow!