Blog Life

Hi friends!

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, or just started one, this post is for you! I’ve recently been asked quite a few questions about blogging and thought I’d compile those questions and give you my insight. Also important to keep in mind, I consider myself a baby blogger. Almost two years at this and I’m still learning every single day. Algorithm changes. Collaborations with brands. Cohesive feed. Solid content. It’s a lot, but I’m happy to impart whatever wisdom I’ve acquired in this short time. Below are the questions y’all have asked; plus if you keep strolling, check out the planner I use to keep That Blonde Rebel rockin’ and rollin’!

Q: How do you get started/How long have you been blogging?

A: Well, first, that’s so exciting that you want to build a platform and share your voice with the world! I started That Blonde Rebel in January 2017 – I started because I felt like I wanted to share my outfit and Inspo with women and girls who looked like me (and who didn’t) to take risks, try the trends, and embrace COLOR! I had my Instagram for about 5 months and launched my blog that June. I would suggest testing with Instagram before investing in your own site.

Q: Any advice for a newbie trying to grow her page?

A: ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE! Identify who the people are that you like to follow. Why do you like to follow them? Tell them! Comment and like and support those in your community. People want to see real life too, so be active with Stories! Use hashtags that are purposeful and tied to what you post!

Q: What sites do you recommend for hosting a blog?

A: Since launching That Blonde Rebel (the blog) back in June of 2017, I’ve rolled with WordPress. It’s user-friendly, I own the domain of my site, and there are tons of templates to make and customize to make your blog exactly what you want. I’m still figuring out the nuts and bolts of my site and have BIG IDEAS for TBR in 2019!

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: Ahh, there’s too much great advice I’ve gotten, so that’s hard to narrow down. I think to be authentic to yourself, honest with your audience, and invest in what you truly believe in.

Q: Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

A: Too many to name! I’m inspired on the regular by amazing women! Here’s just a few: my own mom, @frickspicks, @carriec, @alexmichaelmay, @kerrently, @blaireadiebee, @rachmartino, @apinchoflovely, @kathleen_barnes, @sassyredlipstick, @wannabefashionblogger

Q: How does one get invited to blogger events?

A: This question is tough to answer and I think it goes back to engagement. The events that I’ve been invited to have been because someone knows me directly, or someone found me through That Blonde Rebel. I get invited to something every once in a while, and try to meet and talk to as many people as possible. Get to know the awesome blogging people in your community!

Q: How do I magically gain followers and start making income?

A: Short answer: There’s no magic potion. Longer answer: I mean, yea, there are companies that you can buy followers and likes from, which I think should be highly discouraged. When brands reach out and want to work with you, your engagement should be authentic; they want to see the numbers. If you want to do giveaways, do them! You’re giving treats to the people that support you and other bloggers regularly. Be purposeful with your hashtags. Reach out to brands with a pitch. How and why do you want to work with them – how can you benefit them. What’s the worst they can say? No? Okay. Move on, then! Also, know your worth. I have been verified through Fohr and they go through your analytics and give you a ballpark range of what you should be making in terms of sponsored content (whether that’s in product or money, decide what you are comfortable with). Don’t continue to do things for free. That hurts the blogging community as whole. Like I said before, know your worth, know what you are willing to flex with and what you are not.

Also know that there is room at this blogging table for everyone! If you have an interest, JUMP IN and give it a try!

And on another blogging note, I’m a person who utilizes her calendar like crazy! Not only that, I also use sticky notes, the notes app, etc. I have made a commitment through the rest of this year, to post two blog posts a week, and my Erin Condren planner is holding me accountable to this commitment!

 

Shop: Planner, Sweatshirt, Leggings, Hoops

Thanks for stopping by!

I hope this post was helpful/insightful, and please let me know if there were any questions I didn’t answer!

Xx

To The Girl Who Called me Fat on Instagram

To The Girl Who Called me Fat on Instagram

Welp, the other shoe dropped. It was only a matter of time. Someone said something mean on a photo of me (insert eye-rolling emoji). This wasn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last, but I want to take a moment to discuss. This isn’t a looking-for-sympathy kind of post, but rather, it’s an I am Woman, HEAR ME ROAR (and get out of my way) kind of thing.

I wanted to break down what happened for you to shed some light on the armpit that is internet trolling, and what you can glean from my experience.

Let me set the scene for you. It was Sunday afternoon when a photo of me got reposted by a popular account that I’m affiliated with that has 3 MILLION followers. I was SO EXCITED and had a “Mama, I made it” moment! The love and encouragement came immediately from friends and family, both in real life and virtually! I responded to every comment and engaged with the amazing outpouring of support – it could probably go without saying, but, I was on CLOUD NINE! It wasn’t about the likes and followers I received from this post, it was the feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes, as a curvy gal on a public platform, you can feel overlooked. Change is a’happening though, and it’s been awesome to bear witness and participate in the growing inclusivity among brands and the influencer circuit.

Cut to Tuesday and on the post, one comment stood out among the rest. A conversation between two friends. One said, “still think you’re fat?”, to which the other responded with the laughing emojis and something to the effect of, “you’re right”. Ouch. I mean, great you’re lifting your friend up, but at what expense? Shaming another. Later on, comments popped up telling the girls to buzz off the enormously positive post, and the original commenter posted again and called me “unhealthy” and that we should read about cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Ugh. How easy it is to cast judgement based on an appearance, isn’t it? Nevermind the cute denim dress I had on, or the big smile I was wearing. All she saw was size.

At the end of the day, she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that I’m on thyroid medication trying to find the right dosage, she doesn’t know I get steroid shots every couple of months for a back injury, she doesn’t know the hell I went through 18 months ago and crawled my way out of, she doesn’t know the grief, anxiety, and stress my heart and head endured coming across the deceased body of someone close to my family. Again, she doesn’t know me. I do not list these things out as reasons for my weight, but explaining that even through these struggles, I work at happiness and for the most part, I find it. If I can put on a good face each and every day and influence others to do the same, who honestly gives a shit what the size on my dress says? I have thick thighs and I don’t have a flat stomach. Does that somehow make me less than?

I don’t have to explain myself, my size, or a damn thing really to her or anyone else out there, but she should know this, stranger or not: I am a good person with a big heart who loves to celebrate in others’ joy, who is just trying to live my best life one day (and one fabulous outfit) at a time, just like the rest of us. And I know what kindness costs. NOTHING, it’s FREE. The good thing about this? It’s easy for me (and relatively decent people) to be kind. And I know what I stand for. I stand for finding happiness, staying positive, and leaving a lasting mark of care, humor, and support on the people I encounter regularly. I also stand for embracing ourselves at every stage and every size. And if someone can’t get behind that message, then that’s just too damn bad. I wish them something far more interesting to do in their lives than putting others down with a few keystrokes.

I hope you know I’m not sad about the comment or feeling bad about myself. I’m as confident as always. I want you, reader – whoever you are, if you’ve experienced this too, know that you’re strong. Ugly words from a stranger? Bear them no mind. When we breathe nothing into them, they die pretty quickly.

This experience provided me an opportunity to use my voice to bring awareness to the fact that this happens every. single. day. around the world. Too skinny, too big, too dark, too light. You know you’ve seen it. If we’d just stop tearing each other down, women would honestly run the world. What a powerful thought.

And now, so I’m not a total downer on this reflective post, here’s a new look you haven’t seen yet. Scroll to the bottom to shop.

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Shop: Top, Jeans (similar), Shoes, Bag, Necklace, Earrings

If one person benefited from reading this today, it will have done its job. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Fab in Fabletics

Hey all and happy Tuesday!

Over the last several months, I’ve felt groggy, less energized, and not like myself. I recently went to the doctor and got my thyroid checked (if you didn’t know, I have hypo-thyroid disease) – it was off, and now that my medication has been adjusted, I’m getting myself back on track, in all facets.

Over the last six weeks, I’ve been getting in the gym regularly and it’s been feeling great! I’m up to three days in the gym.

Day 1: 10 minutes of cardio warm-up, 3 sets of arm weights (12 reps each set), 20 more minutes of cardio

Day 2: 10 minutes of cardio warm-up, 3 sets of leg/ab work (12 reps of each set) squats with a 6-8 pound medicine ball, stomach twists with medicine ball, medicine ball toss with squats, 20-second planks (3 for the first set, 2 for the second set, 1 for the 3rd set), 20 minutes of cardio

Day 3: 30 minutes of cardio

Scroll through to see some photos of a collaboration with Fabletics

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Shop: Sweatshirt, Leggings, Shoes

Thanks for stopping by and your support, always!

 

Here’s Looking at you, Houston

Hey y’all and welcome back to That Blonde Rebel!

Last week marked my 1 year anniversary of moving to Houston. It’s been an awesome, wild, and surprising year filled with highs and lows and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about myself and this city.

My last year in San Antonio was one of the hardest, saddest years of my life. Everything at school (former high school English teacher) felt like it was crumbling around me, my mom and I found her best friend passed away, and my anxiety and sadness was sending me into a downward spiral. My family and friends encouraged me to make a change and Houston was the logical place to go as it was close-ish to home, and I had both friends from high school and college here. Within a month of living here, Harvey hit. I was about to start a brand new job in corporate America and Houston was devastated by the flood. If there’s anything I’ve learned since moving here, it is that there is good in the world, we are resilient, and at the end of the day, it will be okay, maybe not right in that moment, but things will be okay. I’ve learned to be strong, to bet on myself, and know that every single day I am growing and learning in some way, whether it’s emotional/mental growth, career growth, or blogging growth, I am proud of the person I see in the mirror today. This city has brought out the best in me, encouraging me to meet new people, try new things, and branch out. I cannot wait to see what this next year has in store. Every experience (both good and bad, happy and tragic) leading up to this big move to humid Houston has prepared me for the hiccups and triumphs this life has to offer. I’ve got to say though, I’m definitely ready for more triumphs!

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That’s all, folks!

The Importance of Showing Up

The Importance of Showing Up

Hey all and happy Monday! Thanks for stopping by!

I came across the following quote the other day and shared it in my Sunday Inspo series on Insta Stories yesterday and it really resonated with me:

“You’ll have good days, bad days, overwhelming days, too tired days, I’m awesome days, I can’t go on days. And every day you’ll still show up.”

I think this is a great reminder that you are absolutely in control of your mindset. I am so guilty of letting one thing that happens completely spiral my day, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Show up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your career. Maybe it’s waking up 10 minutes earlier to grab breakfast on the way out the door. Maybe it’s smiling more at others as you stand next to them in the elevator. Maybe it’s calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and giving them an ear. Here’s to taking control back and putting my best foot forward. Anyone else need to press the reset button on your mindset? Let’s show up and do it together!

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Shop: Top(similar here too), Skirt, Shoes, Ring, Bracelet

(bag, earrings, and sunnies are all sold out)

Keep shining, y’all!

This is Thirty

This is Thirty

Hey party people, and happy Tuesday! And Happy Birthday to Yours Truly!

I cannot believe this new decade is here and I’m so ready for all of it. Thank you for all the messages, posts, and love that has come my way already surrounding this big day. I had a wonderful weekend celebrating with my family and friends.

Scroll down for a bright look I am LIVING for and to read 30 things about me, some of which you may or may not know.

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Shop: Dress (regular here, curvy here), Shoes (here), Pin (here), Bag (here), Jewelry (Earrings, Cuff Bracelet, Multi-Stone Bracelet, Ring)

And now… for 30 facts about moi:

  1. I was actually born on Father’s Day
  2. The first chapter book I ever read was Harry Potter
  3. I hate condiments (no ketchup or mustard for this girl)
  4. I’ve never broken a bone (knock on wood)
  5. I filled up my passport before I went to college
  6. Tim Duncan (hands down, one of the best pieces of the Spurs family) knew who I was in 3rd grade
  7. Sloths are my favorite animal
  8. I was a high school English teacher before moving to Houston
  9. I’ve had the same two best friends since middle school
  10. I’ve been in 11 weddings (and there are probably several more to go)
  11. Large statement earrings are my favorite accessory
  12. My favorite movie is easily Almost Famous (also, download the soundtrack, you won’t regret it)
  13. I am terrified of rollercoasters
  14. I’m a meat-eater through and through (if it didn’t have meat on the plate, it wasn’t a meal) – I love short ribs so much
  15. I’m the youngest of three (they taught me how to ride a bike and how to swim, not out of wanting to, but because they needed to – I was slowing down their games lol)
  16. I rolled my ankle during a football weekend in Oxford and have struggled to wear skinny heels every since (block heels or wedges are about all I can do)
  17. My best family memory was Christmas in Michigan where Santa came on Christmas Eve while we were at church and the restaurant was closed (leaving my mom in her floor length fur jacket and the rest of us eating at a McDonald’s)
  18. I was born in Chicago, lived briefly in Detroit, moved to Texas for ten years, and went to school in Mississippi for six, and then back to Texas (it goes without saying that I have a weird accent)
  19. My favorite clothing item would be an off the shoulder top and/or dress
  20. I have always loved to dance, although I’m not as good as I used to be
  21. Having a fresh mani/pedi is quite possibly my favorite thing to do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon
  22. Likewise, I love a nap any day, any time
  23. I’ve been a true-blue Grey’s fan since high school and sob almost every episode
  24. I rescued a dog in college and he’s the best worst dog you’ve ever met (bless my parents for always taking him and loving him while I’m living in Houston)
  25. One of my favorite places to visit state-side is Miami – solely for the sun, the food, and the photo ops
  26. I’m a total night owl
  27. Flowers can absolutely turn my day around
  28. I absolutely don’t know what life was before the internet
  29. I don’t drink coffee but I am addicted to ice cold coca-cola (I’m trying to introduce more water into my life)
  30. I started this blog as a way to show girls and women who look like me to be confident, take fashion risks, but stay true to yourself and always look for the happiness in every day

Thanks for reading through this one. Let me know in the comments if anything surprised you or if we have something in common!

Xoxo, Liza

(the girl, ahem, the woman, who is now 30, flirty, and living her best life one outfit at a time)

Songs for Sunshine

Songs for Sunshine

This is a different kind of post, y’all.

I absolutely love music and the power of it. I love all kinds and believe that music can absolutely impact your mood.

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Shop: Sunnies (here), Earrings (here), Dress (similar here), Ring (here), Bracelets (here and here), Shoes (here), Bag (here)

Here are five songs I love to listen to

Sunshine (The Knocks Remix) by POWERS

Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit

Take a Chance on Me by ABBA

Beautiful by Carole King

Halcyon Birds by Broken Back

These are a mix of throwbacks, alternative, and just bring me a smile on way into work each day. I hope they can do the same for you!