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 ūüėČ
  • 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

Make a Statement

pineapple earrings
The cutest pineapple earrings from SUGARFIX by BaubleBar. You can find them here.

Hello friends!

Before we get into today’s style post I just wanted to share something exciting: today is the second anniversary of Sunflowers & Seersucker! While my first blog post went live on August 28th, today is the day I created an Instagram and started sharing on my corner of the Internet! If you have any fun ideas for posts on the 28th let me know!

Statement earrings are always a good idea. While I tend to wear pearls every day, I also don’t shy away from the fact that sometimes you need to grab attention. And while pearls complete most looks, sometimes you just need something flashy.

Today I’m sharing my favorite SUGARFIX earrings because while I love BaubleBar, I am definitely balling on a budget. You can click on any of the pictures to be brought to Target’s website.

palmetto earrings

Nothing screams summer quite like palmettos which makes these a great summer earring. Whether you’re vacationing in the tropics or trying to bring the sunshine to you, these are a must. They also have a cute blush pink which really brings out the heart shape.

lobster earrings

I may just be the only New Englander who doesn’t like lobster rolls but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate these earrings. If you’ll be spending anytime on the Cape, in Maine, or anywhere in between this summer you’ll probably want to add these to your cart.

beach themed hoops

Palm Beach anyone? The bright colors and seashells make these a must for a tropical vacation! My favorite touch is definitely the starfish.

bright fringe earrings

If you’re looking for something bold, look no further. These fringe earrings are perfect to add a pop of color to any look. They also come in lilac and black if you’re looking for something more subdued. While they are a little more laid back in color, they still add the perfect finishing touch.

Let me know which pair is your favorite!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Photos of the earrings are not mine and belong to Target!

Style

A Preppy Penny: A Casual Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday!

Strolling in with my best Valentine’s Day ideas!

If you’re going for more of a casual look, this is for you! One of the best things ways to save money when building your wardrobe is to have some go-tos that you can add statement pieces to, to make it different every time you wear it.

The big statement piece here is the pink coat! Mine (technically it’s my mom’s!) is from Old Navy and while they don’t have the same exact one right now, they still have a very nice pink one!

Find the pink coat here on Old Navy’s website and it’s on sale for $45! This photo is not mine, it belongs to Old Navy!

So what else, you can’t go really go out without anything underneath!

I wore simple dark wash jeans and I paired it with a gray sweater.

I’m going to skip over the jeans, I’m sure you all have jeans at home (dark wash isn’t necessary!). I’m going to skip over the sweater as well because I’m sure you can find this in your closet as well! I would suggest going with a neutral like gray, black, or cream!

You’re also going to need a statement necklace! I’m wearing my favorite one from J. Crew Factory.

The layered circle necklace from J. Crew Factory. It’s on sale for $20 right now! Photo belongs to J. Crew Factory!

The last must have is a simple black purse. I worked at DSW the summer before I went away to college and it’s such a great place to get purses! Kelly & Katie is one of my favorite brands for shoes and purses!

The Kelly & Katie Artemisio Crossbody is on sale for $30! The photo belongs to DSW.

And the last thing: just break out your favorite boots! Whether their higher or ankle booties, they tie this look together!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

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

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 24: Live Love Lilly

If you haven’t seen this dress yet do you even follow my Instagram?? This dress has made its fair share of appearances this summer because it’s so cute!

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So this is the Courtney shift in Multi Sea Salt and Sun! I am so obsessed with the pattern, it’s so fun and summery!

I got the dress during the After Party Sale last August and so as soon as the weather was warm this year I brought it out and I haven’t stopped wearing it!

Here’s the best part of the Courtney though…

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I love the back! This dress is perfect for a day on the Cape! Even though it was cloudy when I went to the beach this dress brighter up my day!

While this dress is no longer on Lilly’s website, I found it on¬†Zappos!

Sorry for such a short post today, you’ve all heard about my sandals and sunglasses a million times by now! If you haven’t heard about them and want the details check out¬†this post… or¬†this one¬†or maybe¬†this one. What can I say, if I like it I like it!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 23: Vineyard Vibes

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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 16

J. Crew Factory just released new spring clothes so here is a round up of some of my favorites!

 

Chambray Ruffle Tie Sleeve Dress

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I fell in love with tie sleeves when I first started seeing them last fall and I am so happy they are here to stay! I also love the chambray and I think it’s perfect for the transition from winter to spring.

Here are some cute earrings from BaubleBar that would look great with this dress! I love the lavender for spring but I think the gold would also look great!

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End on End Ruffle Front Tank Top

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This shirt comes in navy and light blue and it another great transition piece. You can wear it with a cardigan on those colder days and then once it gets a little warmer you can leave the sweater at home! This look wouldn’t be complete without pearl earrings and big sunglasses!

Scalloped Sidewalk Skirt

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I didn’t know I needed this in my life but now I can’t live without it! The sidewalk skirt is my favorite J. Crew ¬†piece and now there are scallops! I need this green color and it also comes in black, red, and blue. This skirt would also look so cute with these¬†wedges¬†from DSW:

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Scalloped Cami

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Sticking with the scallop theme how cute is this top?! I love the simple detail on the top and think it’s perfect for that put together look. This top comes in so many colors: lavender, white, mint, pink, and blue, but the pink and blue are almost gone so act fast! If you’re looking for shoes to wear with this cami those wedges above also come in black!

Tie Front Wrap

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This shirt takes me back to the ballet days! It also comes in gray and black but I definitely prefer the pink! If you’re looking for shoes to go with this top definitely pick out some flats that tie at the ankle.¬†This¬†is a pair from Vince Camuto that I really love!

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Bow Neck Sweater

 

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If you don’t love this sweater you’re crazy! I think it is so cute and I had to include it once I saw it was back in stock! And it would look fabulous with the Vince Camuto flats!!

 

That’s all for today! Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 14

Today’s Weekly Style is one of my favorite preppy brands: Lauren James!

I got my first dress from there during their sale last summer and it ended up being the inspiration behind my logo! Unfortunately the Stratton is all sold out but the Livingston dress is a similar idea and now they have it in solid seersucker!

They just released some new spring clothes so I figured I would do a quick roundup of their new dresses.

Maggie Dress

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How cute is this dress! I think the 3/4 length sleeves make this the perfect spring dress! This was my favorite color combo but they also have pink stripes with a blue collar and blue stripes with a pink collar.

Sullivan Seersucker Dress

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I am obsessed with the back of this dress. If you are graduating this year I think this is such a perfect graduation dress. It would be such a cute photo op to have someone take a picture of you with your gown over your shoulder. This dress also comes in red, pink, and blue but I love how clean the white looks.

Avery Solid Seersucker

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This dress is so adorable! It reminds me of the fit of a Lilly dress but it’s seersucker! This would be the perfect Easter dress and it comes in a variety of colors!

Landry Seersucker

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What preppy girl doesn’t love scallops? And when they’re combined with seersucker it’s a match made in heaven! This dress comes in every seersucker color under the sun and it also has pockets! Could it get any better?

Corbin Solid Seersucker

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This dress is also a classic LJ look that is now available in solid seersucker! The front is a sweetheart neckline and the back is to die for! I am absolutely obsessed with the backs of the LJ dresses there’s such an attention to detail.

That’s it for today’s post! Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

With the exception of the first photo collage, all photos are from the Lauren James website. I do not take credit for owning them!