Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Celebrating Two Years!

holding sunflowers
I was going to go to a local cupcake store for these photos but then I realized the sunflower festival was happening, so I grabbed my nearest seersucker dress and took my most “on brand” photos to date!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years now! It feels like I’ve been at this forever but it also feels like I just started yesterday. In this post I’m going to share a little bit about why I started blogging as well as answering questions that you guys had for me, so let’s get started!

Why I Started Blogging

Here’s a little known fun fact: this is actually my second blog! I was inspired to start one because I used to read a blog about physical therapy school and I tried to start one about being a pre-PT but it didn’t last. I wish I could remember what the name of it was but those posts have been deleted and I transformed that blog into Sunflowers and Seersucker.

I started this blog because I was inspired by bloggers like Kate from Lonestar Southern and Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep. I wanted a place to document my style and share my thoughts and I’m so glad I started! Blogging has become such a fun part of my life and I’m glad I have a space where I can document what I’m doing so I can look back on it later!

walking with sunflowers
Probably checking to see if I have any bugs on me.

The Lessons

Something you may realize is that all of these lessons are centered around a common theme. I apologize if you end up thinking it’s repetitive but here we go:

Be authentic.

All of my favorite bloggers show their day to day life alongside the “highlight reel” that is Instagram. From sharing her hair loss and wig wearing journeys to showing viewers her husband’s broken toe, Dani (@daniaustin on Instagram) is the queen of keeping it real.

I personally believe that everyone who blogs should incorporate lifestyle into their pages if you blog/post on Instagram. I think keeps things interesting while also showing people that life isn’t meant to be perfect. We’ve let social media take over so much of our daily lives that it’s time to learn to laugh at ourselves.

Don’t niche down.

If you’re trying to make it big blogging, you probably shouldn’t listen to this piece of advice because every podcast I listen to tells you to find a niche and they have at least 10x the amount of followers that I have, BUT, if you’re blogging as a hobby write about everything that interests you!

People aren’t one-dimensional, so play to all of your interests. I love picking out cute outfits so I started this blog to share my closet, but I also love reading. So once I found out there were book blogs and #bookstagram I wanted to share my reading list too. It’s easy to get caught up in making things fit your niche but you’re still sharing something valuable it just might not be what someone was expecting. For example, I don’t follow any instagram accounts dedicated to making smoothies (although I do love looking at smoothie bowls) but when someone shares a good looking smoothie I usually screenshot it.

The numbers don’t matter.

This is such a hard one! For the past few weeks I’ve been staring at my follower count on Instagram just willing it to hit 1000. But so much of Instagram just isn’t real!

Real talk: when I first started trying to grow my Instagram I joined a Facebook “likes” group. You could comment on a daily likes thread and you and 99 other people would go like each other’s pictures. Sure my likes went up but I didn’t have anything in common with these people, they weren’t interested in my posts and I wasn’t interested in theirs except for the extra like. Not to mention it was stressful. I was always checking to see if a thread had been posted because I wanted to keep up my number of likes. And you had 12-24 hours to complete all the likes. I can’t even tell you how many times I wrote “oops sorry Instagram won’t let me like anymore posts right now” just because I didn’t have the time/energy to go down the list even though it’s a pretty mindless activity.

So next time you find yourself playing the comparing game, tell yourself that whoever you’re comparing yourself to may be using other sources. It wasn’t just small bloggers who are in those groups, some bigger accounts are there boosting engagement too!

Focus on the people.

This is social media we’re talking about. Not thing I want to focus on going forward is making real connections. I’m going to comment on more posts that I find interesting and ask people questions about how they’re doing. I want to find authentic engagement, I want people to comment on my posts because they think it’s interesting or they’re giving recommendations.

I recently joined @bloggersliveboston and I can’t wait to start meeting some New England bloggers! I haven’t been able to make it to an event yet but I’m looking forward to making connections really soon!

girl with her back to camera holding sunflowers, in front of sunflower field
They don’t even look real!

Answering Your Questions

And now to your questions! I had a lot of similar themes so I tried to tie them together but if I missed your question, comment below/send my a DM and I’ll answer it!

How I grew my followers?

I’ve tried a few different ways to grow my followers so here’s the rundown:

  • In the Facebook groups I was talking about earlier I have also participated in follow for follow threads. So I would put my link down and then you would either have to follow everyone or pick a certain number of people per thread and follow them. If this is the route you’re going to try to grow followers I would definitely recommend the latter. While following everyone will get you more followers, it’s better long term wise to pick people that have similar interests to you!
  • I’ve also done a few loop giveaways. I did find these to be beneficial as I always gained a ton of followers and only lost a few in the days after the prize was announced. My advice if you’re trying this method: find giveaways that match your/your followers’ interests and make sure the giveaway account unfollows you before the prize is announced. Matching interests is important with the authenticity factor, for example I don’t think too many of my followers would want to win a gift card to Game Stop but they may want to try to win a gift card to Lilly, especially when After Party Sale season comes around (if anyone wants to do this as a giveaway hit me up it sounds like a good idea!). And as for the unfollowing factor, it’s easier for people to unfollow you if all they have to do is go down a list of everyone that participated in a giveaway 😉
  • I have had some luck recently with my new and improved authentic engagement strategy. It is a slower process than the methods above but I’m okay with that! All that’s required for this one: comment on people’s photos! People that you follow and people that you don’t! Think like Oprah: you get a comment, you get a comment, everyone gets a comment. The important thing here is don’t just say “cute” make it meaningful, make it something you would want someone to comment on your page. Although I’m definitely guilty of throwing some “so cute girl”‘s around too.

Advice for new bloggers?

Have fun with it! This is your corner of the internet so share whatever makes you happy! Think of what interests you and share that. I am a firm believer in “your vibe attracts your tribe” so share what makes you smile and you’ll find people with common interests.

Biggest thing I’ve learned?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely apparent throughout this whole article but it’s important so I’ll say it again: stay true to yourself! At the end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters! I actually just finished a book that is about social media and staying true to yourself and while the post is still being typed up, it was a good reminder that sometimes social media doesn’t feel social at all.

girl in sunflower field
Cheers to 2 years!

And so you have it! What have you learned from having a blog?

This dress is from Banana a few summers ago so here is a similar style from Tommy Bahama! Unlike mine, it has pockets which always seem like the best thing when it comes to dresses. I tried to find cheaper alternatives but it’s the end of the season so you’re best bet is looking on Poshmark!

xox,

Marissa

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College, Style

A Very Lilly Graduation Weekend

Hey hey hey! It’s my first post as a college graduate! I wanted to share what I wore for some last minute ideas for anyone heading to a graduation in June.

Up first is Baccalaureate. At our school Baccalaureate is a senior run program and it’s a chance for students in our class to reflect on their experience at school. At first I didn’t even think I needed to pick out an outfit for Baccalaureate because I was going to be dancing in it.

Oh hey look it’s Allison from peoniesandpilates

As much as I loved the purple costumes, it didn’t look quite right hanging out of the bottom of our robes so I picked another purple dress.

All Lilly everything

I was actually about to put on a black dress and then I realized I had the unique opportunity of getting my grad cap to match my dress.

A grad cap decorating post is coming soon!

While my dress isn’t available on the Lilly website anymore, I have linked a similar style here. The Mila shift is a little more form fitting than the dress I wore but it has the bows on the side!

Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

On to graduation!

For graduation I wore the same white Lilly I wore when I graduated high school. In high school our robes were white so we pretty much had to go with a white dress but I thought it was just such a perfect dress that I had to wear it again.

The only problem? I’ve only worn it a handful of times since then but it actually started to yellow a little bit. The only thing I could think of to fix it was OxiClean, I kept hearing Billy Mays telling me it was the only way to whiten my dress and he was right! After two washes it was back to white!

The Lilly shoes made another appearance

I have linked two different white Lillys here. The first is the Aliza Midi dress, and it has very similar lace. The Maya Shift dress is also lace and it has the nicest neckline.

Let me know what you are wearing to graduation in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vogue’s 73 Questions

I was challenged by my roomie Allison to complete Vogue’s 73 Questions so here it goes!

1. What’s your favourite movie?

The Great Gatsby or Fever Pitch

2. Something I cannot live without?

My family and friends

3. Fictional character I relate with?

Hermione Granger

4. A book you plan on reading?

Too many! Next on my list is The Tattooist of Auschwitz

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Help

6. Favourite TV show?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

7. Favourite Cuisine?

Italian

8. iPhone or Android?

iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram

10. Best Place I’ve Visited?

Disney!

11. What’s your favourite food?

Pasta

12. Least favourite food?

Seafood

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Buffalo chicken

14. Favourite drink?

Water

15. Favourite dessert?

Lava cake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk please

18. Favourite makeup product?

Mascara

19. Dream country to visit?

France

20. Heels or flats?

Heels

21. Favourite song?

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray

22. Favourite Accessory?

Earrings

23. What’s your favourite colour?

Purple

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

Somewhere it won’t be seen!

25. To be or not to be?

To be

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

27. Diamonds or pearls?

Pearls

28. Stairs or elevator?

Stairs

29. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga

30. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint chocolate chip

31. What’s your favourite board game?

The Game of Life

32. Favourite season?

Fall

33. What was the movie that made you cry?

I don’t cry at movies

34. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility

35. Do you like surprises?

No

36. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Of course not

37. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Nutella crepes

38. What do you usually order in Starbucks?

Chai

39. Who is the last person you texted?

our Full House group chat (my roommates)

40. What’s your favourite brand?

Lilly

41. Best way to de-stress?

Reading

42. How do you like your coffee?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk 😉

43. What colour of dress did you wear to prom?

Light blue

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Sunflowers

45. What was the last thing you ate?

A frosted cookie!

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Nah

47. Do you bake?

Yes!

48. Favourite sound?

Water

49. Favourite app?

Instagram

50. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be?

Sarah Vickers

51. Favourite holiday?

Christmas

52. Favourite smell?

Lavender

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mom

54. Jogging or swimming?

Jogging

55. Any regrets?

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday”

56. Hair colour?

Blonde

57. Eye colour?

Blue

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

59. Favourite season?

Fall

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Akins

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. First pet? 

Buddy, Billie, and Annie were all at my house before I was

63. Worst subject in school?

Pharmacology

64. Favourite thing in the world?

Ahhh too hard

65. Sweet or savoury?

Depends on the day

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lipstick

67. Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate chips

68. Favourite city?

Boston

69. Shop in store or online?

In store

70. Plane or boat?

I used to be obsessed with the Titanic so plane!

71. Dream proposal?

The Happiest Place on Earth

72. Morning ritual?

Scroll through Instagram and Facebook

73. Pen or pencil?

Blue pen

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 23: Vineyard Vibes

IMG_0529

Today’s Weekly Style is a look I took to the Vineyard!

I went for last summer’s sailor shorts from Banana Republic Factory. You can’t see them in this photo but they have the cutest buttons on the front for the ultimate nautical look. While they didn’t have navy this summer if you’re looking for something on the nauti side, check out these striped ones! They also come in red (which I also have, oops). If you’re looking to add these to your closet act fast, they’re selling out!

The shirt is a Banana Malibu tee. These are my favorite shirts from Banana, they’re lightweight and perfect for hot summer days.

My bag is the classic Vineyard Vines Tote. It’s bug enough to carry my wallet, my S’well bottle, and whatever books I pick up while I’m on the Vineyard… it’s usually more than one!

My shoes are my go to Kelly&Katie Sandals. While this style is not available anymore here are the Poppie sandals from DSW which are very similar!

My sunglasses are also a summer staple and they come from Old Navy!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 22: #LoveLoft

Hello friends,

Another Friday brings another Weekly Style! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve definitely seen this dress before but I’m so in love with it I have to share!

IMG_0353I bought this dress last summer at the Loft so while they do not have any of the same exact dress here is an adorable blue off the shoulder dress. I love the bell sleeves on this dress so definitely check it out!

Here is a dress from Primark that is extremely similar to the one I’m wearing. I had actually gone into Primark the morning I took these photos and laughed when I saw this dress hanging up. Here is another very similar dress. This one is more of a chambray material but the top looks almost identical!

Once I left the Lawn on D I met up with another friend and we headed over to Acorn Street! I was so excited to go because it’s probably one of the most photogenic spots in Boston!

You can find my sunglasses at Old Navy! They come in tortoise shell and black.

As for the shoes, they are the same ones I wore in my last Weekly Style! While DSW does not have the same ones, Kelly & Katie just released the Poppie sandal which is just as cute!

IMG_0349

Here’s just one more, silly picture I wanted to share with you guys! The reason I was in Boston two weekends ago was so I could surprise my best friend for her 21st birthday! I had so much fun getting to see her and meet some of her friends from school and it was such a nice break from summer school!

Stay stylish,

xox,

Marissa