Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vintage Summer Glamour

Wearing: Forever 21 hat, AMI Clubwear sandals, Thrifted hat + bag, ZeroUV sunglasses, Vintage necklace.

This light and airy navy polka dot dress from Forever 21 makes me think of an old hollywood summer for some reason, so of course I felt it was necessary to dress exactly that. I wore my favorite thrifted summer hat and sunglasses from ZeroUV, and paired it with my adorable red ankle strap sandals from AMI Clubwear. I was a little worried that the sandals might not look right with the dress since there isn't any red in the dress to be brought out by the red in the sandals, but when I looked at the outfit in the mirror I realized that it didn't matter! I felt so colorful and girly, and perfect dressed for a vintage summer day!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Miami Travel Style Challenge

      Hello everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far, I know I am! Today I've got a new little something here on the blog, a Miami Travel Style Challenge that I'm doing to help the lovely travel advocate Kendra Thornton plan some outfits for her trip to Miami that she planned with Gogobot! She emailed me a few weeks ago telling me all about her plans for a summer getaway to Miami with her husband, and that since she loved my blog so much, she wanted to challenge me in helping her plan her swim look for this vacay! How sweet is that?! Anyways, when she emailed me this, I checked out her Twitter and got a good idea of her style and it instantly came to mind what would be perfect for her swim look!


River Island bikini swimsuit, $27 / River Island bikini swimsuit, $20 / Chiffon kimono / Dolce Vita wedge shoes / Topshop leather sandals / Diane Von Furstenberg leather shoulder bag / Gold bangle / R.J. Graziano r j graziano earrings / Boohoo ankle cuff jewelry / Oscar de la renta glasses / Reger by Janet Reger sun hat, $33

      My idea for a perfect stylish Miami swim look would be a modern take on a glamorous 70s beach style. A great way to put this together would be to pair some classic 70s pieces like the oversized sunglasses, floppy sun hat, sheer kimono, and cork sandals, but mix it up with more modern pieces like the modern version of a high waisted bikini, like the above bikini from River Island with a vibrant tropical print. Also, wearing this seasons jewelry trends, which are coin accessories (the earrings) and simple arm cuffs (gold cuff and turquoise stone cuff) can really keep the outfit looking modern and vintage-inspired at the same time. 

      This look is perfect for Kendra's Miami getaway because it is glamorous and not only are the accessories good for a swim look, but good for pairing with any outfit worn in Miami. Being a Floridian myself, I know that it can be quite a challenge to accessorize during the summer when it's scorching hot and you don't even want to think about clothes, but pieces such as airy kimonos are the perfect summer layering piece and can effortlessly add so much to any look. Floppy sun hats are another great piece, because they really keep you cooler as the sun beats down on you on hot sunny days! 

      Hopefully this challenge not only helps Kendra, but to all of you planning a nice summer vacay as well! I had a lot of fun putting together these inspiration boards, as styling is truly my favorite thing to do! Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Clean and Casual

Wearing: Forever 21 hat, Thrifted blouse + shorts, AMI Clubwear sandals, Banggood bag

Today I was in the mood for a more minimal yet casual outfit, so I went for a clean color palette of white, black, and brown, with a pop of color and pattern in my little floral bag. It might be hard to tell from the photos, but I was feeling a little inspired after watching season 3 of American Horror Story (I literally watched all three seasons of AHS in only 6 days....this is a new record for me oops) to do a middle part with my hair and wear my oversized black fedora, and I felt it looked nice with the outfit, so I switched it up a bit for a day! I actually found that I like my hair in a middle part though, but still not enough to start parting it that way all the time. Anyways, I was really loving my little simple outfit here, sometimes I forget how stylish simpler outfits can be!  


Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Summertime Uniform

Wearing: Aeropostale (c/o) crop top (buy here!), Banggood skirt, Thrifted hat, bag + heels, Vintage necklace.

Summer weather has only been around for a few weeks, and I can already have been seeing a certain pattern in my wardrobe. I just cannot stop wearing this straw hat, layered pearl necklace, or my straw bag. All usually with my white cat eye sunglasses from ZeroUV, also. Together, they create this summery, vintage, girly look that I'm always trying to achieve, so please forgive me as I will probably be wearing these same pieces all summer long out of habit. Today was super hot, so I wore this cute black and white floral crop top from Aeropostale with an adorable fluorescent pink skirt from Banggood, all paired with these adorable t-straps that sort-of have that saddle oxford look that I found at a thrift shop not too long ago. They seriously hurt my feet because they are a bit small, but they were so cute I just couldn't pass them up! Sometimes I just can't help but choose style over comfort.

On another note, I would like to mention that yesterday was my last day of high school, and it still hasn't hit me yet. I feel like I should be crying and sad, but I can't help but not be. I am so excited to see what the future holds for me, and while I'm still staying in Jacksonville for the next few years and attending community college, I know that I'll be soon be attending Parsons and hopefully living in NYC for long after I'm done with college. I feel that not only is it my dream to live there, but it is only necessary for being a stylist (or working in fashion PR) and I'm just hoping that that's what I'll end up doing. So yes, I am just happy to graduate in two weeks so I can work towards my future goals, and also hopefully have a little more time on my hands to work on my blog as well. Thanks to all of you for being such awesome readers, and definitely look forward to some new stuff here on my blog in the near future! 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stylish Films: Blue Jasmine

I've been making many trips to Redbox lately in an attempt to watch all of the Oscar nominated films of this past year. I've been especially wanting to see Blue Jasmine, even though I never really could seem to tell what it was about, but because Woody Allen (duh), and because I haven't been able to help but to notice how classy and elegant Cate Blanchett's red carpet looks have been lately. She's really gotten my attention with her timeless beauty and style looks lately, so of course I wanted to see what this film was all about. 

I have to say it definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but it was one of the best from this year's Oscar nominations. I'd have to say it was my second favorite in fact, after The Wolf of Wall Street. It was such a unique story and it definitely stayed interesting throughout the whole film. But enough with the general film review, and on to the fashion.

The fashion in this film wasn't that "out there", but Cate's character Jasmine was once wealthy and so she had a lot of designer things, like her chic Louis Vuitton luggage and that beautiful Birkin bag. She had a very classic style as she was an older woman, and wore a lot of lighter tones and neutral colors. It didn't stand out much like I said, but of course that doesn't matter. I couldn't help but to notice how lovely the clothes and accessories were. She especially wore a lot of very nice cardigans,  like the jewel-embellished one in the top photo. That was probably my favorite outfit from the entire film. Oh, and along with the fashion, the music was so wonderful! Lots of great classics from the greats like Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and Frank Sinatra. That's mostly the kind of music I'm enjoying right now. Maybe I'm just an old soul. But that sort of music is just so romantic, and when I listen to it I picture myself strolling through Manhattan? I don't know. But it's nice. This whole film was perfection, and if you haven't seen it I really think you should go watch it! 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Grandpa on Vacay" Chic!

Wearing: Thrifted top, PB&J Boutique pants (buy here!), AMI Clubwear sandals, Thrifted bag

Today I wanted to switch things up a little bit and go for a summery "grandpa on vacation" look (lol). I love wearing tropical printed button-up tops during the summer (guilty pleasure I guess?) so I try to use every opportunity I can to fit them into my wardrobe. I love stripes and florals together so I figured it would be the perfect mix to pair one of my tropical tops with these awesome railroad stripe cropped trousers from PB&J boutique. I'm not much of a pants in the summer person because it gets extremely hot here in Florida, and I can already say these are the perfect summer pant, because it was probably about 90 degrees when I took these photos and I felt perfectly fine!  

To break this look up a bit and create an equal balance between a menswear-inspired and feminine look, I tied my shirt in the front and let a bit of midriff show (found my inspiration of this from Carrie Bradshaw, she did this with so many random outfits and made it work perfectly so I thought I'd give it a shot), and I also wore some heeled sandals and my big straw bag. Definitely a bit of a different look for me, but of course I always love messing around and seeing what kind of different looks I can create!


My Deux Lux giveaway ended yesterday, and I promised I would announce the winner today! After using the random selector on Raffecopter, the winner of the contest is Saila I.! Be looking out for an email in your inbox, because you will be receiving the details of your winning soon! Thanks everyone for participating, I will hopefully be posting giveaways up more frequently soon!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lately on Instagram...

1. At Epcot, where I usually love to spend my summer days. Definitely my favorite Disney park...
2. After two mom and I are at it again! So excited to be going back to the lovely Atlanta and seeing my favorite band!

3.Summer is here for us Floridians, which in my world basically means crop-tops and rock 'n' roll...
4. Another photo I took at Epcot in the World Showcase Morocco pavilion... loving those beautiful tiles!

5. Mother's day just passed, and I put this one up on my Instagram, and of course just had to share here. This is my mom looking super stylish back in the 80's. In case anyone didn't already know, she's where I got my love of fashion from! It's funny because every time I tell her that I want a certain piece of clothing or any type of shoes or accessories, she always says, "I use to have one of those! I'd wear it with this and that...but I gave it away a long time ago. If I would've known I'd be having a fabulous and stylish daughter, I would've kept it." I laugh, but when she mentions things she's given away like her 80s Fendi and Gucci bags, then it's not so funny anymore. Sorry mom, but you just don't do that.
6. A photo from my little mini-trip to New York back in November. Easily the best three days of my life. It makes me so sad looking at my pictures, because I just want to go back so badly. 

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you should! Follow me @carlymaddox


Friday, May 16, 2014

9 Tips For Self Designing Your Blog!

The way your blog is designed can really have an impact on your blog and the views it receives. Since it is the first thing a person notices when they visit your blog, it can really effect their decision on whether or not they feel that your blog looks appealing enough to scroll down the page and actually read the posts. While the design itself isn't an active contribution to your content and what your blog has to offer, it's a given that someone will find an organized, well-designed more appealing than a messy, boring, all-over-the-place design. But, designing your blog requires some knowledge of HTML + CSS coding, and a lot of people don't know how to do this, that's why paying someone to professionally design your blog is a possible option. Unfortunately, some may find that this is a bit pricey, including me! That's why I've put hours and hours into learning basic coding and finding out what makes a blog's design look most appealing, so I can share 10 tips for self designing your blog here with you all who are either just starting your blog, trying to find a way around paying expensive prices to have your blog professionally designed, or simply just needing a few pointers!

Before you begin anything else, always back up your blog and your template, that is so important in order for you to not lose anything important. After this, before you start designing, make sure you pick a theme for your blog that fits your you and content. For instance, if you have an urban style, design your blog around that, with more "urban" features, which may mean more monochrome colors and bolder, simplistic fonts. If you have an urban style and your content on your blog reflects that, it wouldn't be the best idea to design your blog with a rustic or vintage style. That will mislead whoever is viewing your blog, and it will seem like you're confused on what you're trying to show on your blog. If you don't have a certain specific style or content type, designing your blog with just a simple white background and a black font for your header is always a good go-to, because it keeps things looking clean and organized, putting more of a focus on your content.

Blogs like The Sartorialist and Native Fox keep a very clean, simple, and organized design and layout going on their blogs. These styles can fit just about every blog, and it offers for the reader to pay special attention to the features included in your blog. I think these are especially good if you're main focus is street style and outfit posts. 


Another blog design that I love is WishWishWish's design. It's cute and colorful without overdoing it, and it's perfectly Carrie. I've been following her blog for quite a long time now and she's definitely one of my favorites. While she had someone put together her design layout and it would probably be pretty hard for someone with very limited knowledge on designing a blog layout to do something like this, it can still inspire you, and you can create your own style with some of your favorite blogs' design elements in mind.

 In order to keep a good consistent theme and flow going throughout your blog's design, it's good to keep your amount of colors and fonts limited, so your blog will have a clean, organized, professional look. When choosing your colors, I recommend keeping it limited to 2-3 colors, keeping 1-2 a neutral or monochrome color, so that your other 1-2 will be your main "pop of color" on your blog. If you're unsure of what colors to pick or just want to keep a black and white look, that's completely okay! If anything, I think that can sometimes be better, because this way your main color and focus will be shown through your photographs and posts, which should be ultimately the main focus of your readers' attention. Same goes for fonts, it's good to pick only 2-3 fonts, one font being for your header and bigger titles used on your blog, one font for your sidebar, and the last one for your text. It's important for any well designed blog, newsletter, magazine, or anything else to have clear, legible fonts that complement each other well, and it can sometimes be tricky to decide which fonts look best together, so I found this helpful chart which I placed above to help aid you when choosing your blogs fonts.

This step may be a little difficult if not familiar with how to create graphics on programs like photoshop. Your header is a very important part of your blog and can also be looked at as your blog's logo if it doesn't already have one. It doesn't have to be complex, but just your blog's name with a good font of your choice over a white background should be fine in most cases. Along with your header, you should have a navbar underneath with links to your blogs different sections and most important spots, like your about, contact, and blog's different sections. This could be the different posts that you publish put into their categories, like "DIY" or "Outfits". This is useful for readers who want to look back on certain posts of yours, or just are interested in browsing through one specific category of posts or another. I didn't know how to make navbars for the longest time, and I was so confused on how it was even possible to create an image with links in it that go to certain pages and sites. But, with a little bit of googling, I found the website where you can make them here, and it is honestly the easiest thing ever. Just create the image of the navbar itself in Photoshop, then upload it to this site and create the links! It generates a HTML code at the end that (for Blogger users, not sure about Wordpress or any other site) you'll insert underneath your headers code in your custom HTML box at the top of your blog. It is so simple, and something that you must have on your blog!

Having some type of sidebar (or multiple, if you prefer) is key in the spread and success of your blog for so many reasons. For starters, it is the place where your readers, new and old, can access the many other features of your blog besides the homepage, like your different sections and also your archive. It's also the place where readers can see a short bio of what your blog is for and a short line about who you are, along with your social media buttons so they can keep up with you and your blog all the time. So when your setting your sidebar up, its very important to keep your contents in order by your personal importancy. It's always good to start with your short bio and your social media buttons/links, but after that, it's up to you to decide where your followers, sponsors, and everything else you have on your sidebar should fall. I say the order of importancy is so important, because when you think about it, it's sort of like a piece of artwork. You have a main focal point in which you're eye is automatically drawn to, and then it's surrounding parts. Keep in mind that your blog is your unique piece of artwork!

In your content area, if your background color isn't white, then keep it at a very light neutral color, like a pastel color or a very light shade of gray. Keep a black font as well, to keep it easy as possible for people to read your text. If you have a black background and white font, or a distracting zig-zag pattern going on, or maybe some neon colored background, etc., it may be easy for you to see because you know what you post, but it's going to be quite a challenge for everyone else. So it's very important to keep your content area free of anything distracting to the eye!

I've seen a few blogs (usually very popular blogs) with ads all over the place. Like, you can't even see the actual content of the blog due to the ads covering every bit of the screen. You don't want to do this. It's a distraction, and it's definitely tacky. If you're going to display ads on your blog, have a designated area for them in the sidebar. I've also seen ads on blogs where one will be displayed in between each post, and I think those are pretty neat too. But if you've got 5 ads flashing in your face over and under the Just no. Depending on the person, this may also drive away readers and frequent viewers, which is not what you want!

Do you like how large or small the photos are on their blog, and you want your photos to be the same size on your blog also? Do you like the social media sharing options at the end of each of their posts? Write it all down, and try searching how to do each of the things you're wanting on your blog. There are tutorials all over the internet on how to do everything, so go find them! They're so helpful and I know they've helped me do so many things I was curious on how to do on my blog. Consider your options before you start paying outrageous prices for professionals to do it for you. And chances are, if you read through some tutorials and apply those desired changes to your blog, so much new information will stick in your head from it, which will help you later on if you decide to re-design your blog! 

Yes, you have your social media buttons included in your sidebar at this point, and your pages are all linked up in your navbar. But there's always room for extra when it comes to unique and user friendly pages on your blog. It's more of an optional thing to add, but I've seen quite a few blogs put links to pages on their blogs that said "New Reader? Start here!" as ways to greet and welcome new blog readers on a more personal level. While not for all blogs, I definitely think it's great to add little buttons on your blog that link to pages like this. If you're looking for an interesting way to add something new to your blog, I would definitely recommend that!

Whether the images are in your sidebar, or part of your latest post, it's best to re-size your photos the way you want prior to uploading, because it makes everything look so much better. Having 5 ads in your sidebar of all different widths is going to look a bit sloppy, unless it's a deal where you have one ad with a width of 250 px for example, and then two underneath that are 125 px side by side. That would add up to 250, and the widths would all be the same. And I don't really know exactly why images all look the best re-sized to the same widths, but in my opinion I think it's another big contributor to the whole organization thing. It looks more professional, and it's just something I've noticed to look nice on a blog over the last few years. 

If you're wanting to do some further reading on blog design tips and are looking for some good sites that guide you towards putting together your perfect blog look, here are a few recommended sites that I use and that I've found while in the process of putting together this little write up:

Also, if you're interested in purchasing a (blogger) premade blog layout instead of putting in a lot of work on your own, here are a few sites with some super nice templates that will make for an eye-catching blog!
While these tips may not help you become a blog designing pro, they're definitely helpful if you're wanting to quickly put together a well presentable blog, or maybe if hiring a professional is a little out of your price range at the moment. Whatever the case, I hope these 9 tips really have helped you all in some way or another, and if you have any questions on anything that has to do with blog design that I may not have covered, please feel free to send me an email! I reply to all of my emails and will try to do my very best to help you, as I have done others in the past!

 Hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading!

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