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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Style, Uncategorized

A Preppy Penny: A Dressy Valentine’s Day

Alright ladies it’s time to break out the LBDs. In true “ballin’ on a budget” style, we’re using your go-to black dress for a night on the town.

If you didn’t know, I work at Banana Republic Factory Store and I love my job! The people I work with are great and the discounts are so helpful! I was working one of the markdown shifts last summer and as soon as I finished all my work I put this on hold.

One of the ways to get clothes on a budget is take advantage of factory stores! They often have the same quality clothes for much cheaper!

The best part of this outfit is that everything I’m wearing I already had (or borrowed from my mom’s closet!) But, while my grandmother taught me everyone should have a LBD I have linked some below incase you need to invest!

Here is the link for the first dress: cute off-the-shoulder This one is much similar to the one I chose to wear and it is $49 at Lulu’s.

Here is the link for the second dress: little black dress- scalloped dress I love the scalloped details on this one, it’s os fun! This one also comes from Lulu’s and is $46. Neither of these photos are mine they come from Lulu’s website!

While both of these are on the more expensive side, I like to look at thing in how many hours at Banana it’s worth and both of these dresses come in at about 4 hours, but they are dresses you can wear again and again. They’re also more expense because they’re made in the U.S.! I’m working on a post really soon about the importance of being mindful while shopping and paying attention to who made your clothes!

To all my high school/college girls: you get an extra 20% off at Lulu’s. Another huge way to save money: flash that student ID! So many retailers will give you a discount for being in school. Always be on the search for discounts, one I just learned about the other day- all restraints at the mall I work at give 10% to employees who work at the plaza. There’s a discount out there for everything you just have to find it!

Accessorizing is always a must! I went with my classic pearls and two pearl bracelets I got from Claire’s forever ago!

And if you’re from New England you’re going to need a coat!

This is the same coat I wrote about in my dressed down Valentine’s Day post. While Old Navy doesn’t have the same exact coat they have a very similar one you can find here on their website and it’s on sale for $45!

Last but not least: the shoes.

Now shoes are definitely my weakness, my first part time job was at DSW and I bought so many shoes while I was there. These shoes are anything but cheap, they’re from Lilly Pulitzer and I’m so lucky my Nana, my mom, and a $25 off coupon helped fund them. Graduation here we come!

Here is a link to the embellished Amber Lynn sandals.

Here is a link to similar, and way more affordable pair from Indigo Rd. called the Sadie Sandal. They’re on sale at DSW right now for $30! The photo below is from DSW’s website!

Well that’s all I have for you! Have a happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait to see what you all wore!

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

Friday Faves

My Friday Faves: Vol. IX

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my Four Friday Faves but the wait is over!

The four feature photos are not mine but you can click on the links below to be brought to the sites where they came from!

Sincerely Seersucker: blog | instagram

Old Navy: Soft-brushed button front coat

Barnes and Noble: The Woman in Cabin 10

Lilly Pulitzer: Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

Cheers to a great weekend!

xox,

Marissa

Travel, Uncategorized

Disney: Hollywood Studios

This is another park where I feel like I don’t know anything anymore! I can talk about the classics all day but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more about Toy Story Land! Here is the soundtrack to Hollywood Boulevard to get you in the spirit!

There are so many changes happening in Hollywood Studios I can’t wait to see everything! While I am disappointed The Great Movie Ride is no longer, it seems like the Imagineers have nothing but exciting things in store.

What to Ride

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  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith: My favorite ride in Hollywood Studios! If you’re an inversion junkie here is the only ride at Disney with a loop! I love this ride so much that one year I went home and learned all the words to Walk This Way so that I could sing it next time, unfortunately the next year when we went back I got a different car which means a different soundtrack! Waiting in line you’ll hear different announcements over the PA system… one of my favorites is, “Phone call for Jude on line one. Hey, Jude! Pick up line one!”
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Another one of my favorite thrill rides! When I was younger we used to go during the first week of school, the best time to go because the lines are so short! One year, there was no wait for this ride and we rode it so much that I had a nightmare about being in The Twilight Zone that night! Looking back, it was so worth it! Another fun story is that one year it was just me and my parents in the whole elevator! So for the photo we all looked scared and then we bought the giant poster version for the shed. The Disney attention to detail is so present here: the ride is only 199′ tall it should have been 200′ but at that height they would have needed to put a light on the top for airplanes and that would have ruined the spooky feel.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania: This is a ride that when paper Fastpasses were a thing I would be in charge of taking all three cards and sprinting to the Fastpass kiosk. This is a ride similar to Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom but you have to work a little harder than just pushing a button. The queue line is so much fun and has an interactive Mr. Potato Head, but don’t let that stop you from getting a Fastpass, this wait can be loooong.
  • Star Tours- The Adventure Continues: As a former rebel spy I highly recommend this ride! This is a ride you should do multiple times as there are several videos that give riders a unique experience.

Where to Eat

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe: a restaurant that takes you back to the 50’s. This is a restaurant full of American comfort food but don’t forget your manners. Keep your elbows off the table, take off your hats, and you better clean your plate. If you want dinner and a show this is definitely the place to go.
  • Backlot Express: I’ve only been here a handful of times but it’s a great quick service option. If you love Star Wars be sure to check out the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles!
  • Hollywood and Vine: If you’re going to Hollywood and Vine I would recommend tying it into the Fantasmic show. You get a really good buffet for dinner and then you get priority seating to Fantasmic, Hollywood Studios’s nighttime spectacular! Honestly, I don’t remember the food here too much but I can tell you the desserts are fabulous! You also get to meet characters here, I’ve met Mickey, Minnie and the gang as well as Disney Junior characters like Jake and Sofia the First.
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant: This is a restaurant styled after drive-ins. You eat lunch/dinner in a table modeled after a car (or a flying saucer table) while watching clips of old black and white movies! You’ll even see the classic intermission reels. I definitely recommend getting the milkshake!!
  • PizzeRizzo: While I have never been there I 100% plan on stopping there on my next visit (only 11 days!). It combines my love of pizza, my love of the Muppets, and my nickname- Rizz. What could be better?!

Extras

  • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular: a super fun show where you can see how movie stunts are done! In my opinion this is what Hollywood Studios is all about. This year I will finally be over 18 (last year I missed it by a few days) and I will be waving my arms wildly to try and be a part of the show! Make sure to stop at the well near the entrance, the sign may tell you not to pull the rope but you should do it anyway!
  • Muppet Vision 3D: I love the Muppets and I love this show! This is a short show that gives you a behind the scenes look at what goes on in a typical day with the Muppets. It all ends with a giant tribute to all nations (but mostly America) led by none other than Sam the Eagle! Insider tip: look under the doormat after going through the turnstiles!
  • Take a moment to stop and watch the Citizens of Hollywood. The Citizens of Hollywood are performers you can find on Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and the entrance to Echo Lake. These are interactive shows and they’re a fun way to take a break during a busy day.

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Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa