I’ll be honest, I’m cheating a little. I’m technically not done with my no buy yet, I still have 3 more weeks to go, but I am proud to announce I’ve been at if for a solid 6 torturous weeks. I say torturous because that’s the least of the worst words I could use to possibly describe it. It has been the hardest thing ever! But before we get into that let’s start with why a perfectly sane person would even put themselves through this in the first place…

Why I put myself on a no buy

As you all may know by now I’m currently contracting at my job, and my contract is unfortunately coming to an end. I’ve been working for 6 months and I’ve been spending money left and right. I started the job in March, saved and bought my iPad in May, went to LA in June, traveled to Vegas in July, and now its august and I’m trying to save my last little pennies while I’m looking for my new gig. So I decided –in an attempt to save money– that it would be smart to put myself on a “no buy”. A no buy, by my definition is when you don’t purchase anything outside of your daily needs. For example no new beauty products, no clothing shopping, nada! The most exciting thing I’ve bought were some bobby pins and hair gel (which by the way I was in desperate need of). Aside from that I haven’t picked up a single thing from Sephora, Ulta, or any of my favorite places to shop. Now onto why I think it didn’t work…

Why being on a no buy totally sucks

Not purchasing, or as I like to say “giving myself weekly treats” make’s you more susceptible to spending money on dumb things and/or racking up a huge wishlist of items you probably can’t afford. I’ve sort of lost perspective on what I can afford. I keep thinking 50 bucks here and 50 bucks there and I will totally be able to afford this 200 mirror that I want. It never dawns on me that I’m 100 bucks short and that just because saving sucks doesn’t mean you save more. I also think everyone deserves little pick me ups and for me that always involved purchasing something. Some people prefer a glass of a wine, or a trip to the gym..I prefer buying a Mac lipstick. Not having my weekly dose of something new and pretty has made things really stressful.I know I know..cue the violin.

But this is serious O.K! And I promise there is a point to all of this…

Anywho not buying things on a weekly basis has also caused me to overspend on the things I can buy. I buy soda when I go to the grocery store to get milk, and I’ve been on snack overload since food is my only way to really splurge without breaking my no-buy. I’m tellin ya…life has been rough.

What I learned from being on a no buy

Now on to the good part eh! What I did actually gain from doing all of this. I learned that my beauty habits and shopping addiction is not the source of why I can’t save. My money is entirely spent, and sometimes wasted on food. Food is the way to my heart, and apparently the way to eat my wallet. I know most people can look at a bank statement and still get this same information, but for me it really became evident during my no-buy. As much as I’ve missed my weekly trinkets, I realize that my budget needs to be readjusted to incorporate my eating habits. I spent about $10 bucks on lunch during the work week, roughly $15 a week on Starbucks, plus whatever I eat while out for dinner (sometimes my lovely mother cooks). You throw in a few Mac lipsticks and the stuff I actually need for the week you can rack up $100 quick. I definitely have to be more conscious of what I spend on food so I’m currently brainstorming on ways to meal prep for the week so that I can not only eat healthier but also save money. I have a long way to go, but at least I know the source of what’s causing my debt.

In the meantime I have 3 more weeks of my no-buy, and so far my wishlist keeps growing (currently swooning over this and this) If you’d like a play by play be sure to follow me on twitter! I’ll be doing the biggest haul of my life on my birthday coming up!

3 more weeks!!!! Pray I make It!

kierra again

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while blogging

I am quite the perfectionist. I’m very careful with what I choose to invest my time and energy into, but once I’ve chosen something I dive full force, and it’s been no different when it comes to this blog. I started this as a creative outlet because college was starting to weigh on me. I studied fashion and it took all the fun out of shopping. I see clothes and retail stores totally different than I did before; shopping is now more of a chore than it is enjoyable. So I thought starting a blog would be a great way to get back into why I loved fashion in the first place, for its innovation and creativity. But of course, because everything I do is always so serious, blogging became a chore too. My blog is like having a part-time job on top of my full-time gig. It’s fun but at the same time tiring and not always the most rewarding (raise your hand when you’ve written a post for 4 hours and it barely gets any views). If I’ll be honest with myself and all of you, I went wrong when I tried to make my blog like everybody else’s. The moment I started to imitate the big blogs (hello damsel in dior) is the moment I lost my own sense of identiy and creative flare. Im always reading “how to” do something instead of brainstorming on what works for me, and I’m constantly analyzing all the little details from my favorite bloggers trying to find ways to incorporate similar things into my blog. I spend more time trying to figure out how to do “it right” than I do instead of just doing it. Over the years I have finally figured out what works for me and it started with…

Knowing what I wanted in the first place

After all my extensive research and trial and errors of my own, I have finally figured out the look and vibe that I’m going for. Let me tell ya, folks, if you end up going back to the same thing you started with in the beginning, the chances are that’s what you actually like. For me, it was my blog design. When I first started I wanted a clean and minimal design (much like I have now), but I quickly got bored with it and switched to something colorful. It would last for a few months but in the end I always went back to black and white. After two years of the back and forth I finally realized black and white is my thing! I’m gonna stick with the contemporary vibe and sell it! You don’t have to limit yourself to one thing (if you like switching a million times then go for it) but if you are trying to imitate a blog you think you want yours to look like, chances are it won’t work out for you.

Finding my voice

I’m not funny. I can make people laugh, but I know hilarious would not be the adjective people would use to describe me. However, I really like to add some type of umph or sass to my posts the same I would if I were in person, but it’s a lot harder trying to convey it on paper. Sass can sound like rude, a joke can easily be missed, and sometimes you have punctuation nazis that get irritated at the sight of misspelled words like “ain’t, gonna,”. It took me time to figure out my creative flare and how to come across authentic in my posts.

Allowing myself to be flexible 

This one was a hard one for me to learn. Understanding what it meant to be regimented but open-minded at the same time was a difficult concept for me to understand. I wanted to be productive but I also didn’t want this to be a thing I had to do. You see so many successful bloggers and you think, gosh if I just did this, this and thisss then I would be perfect, but that list is never ending and the truth is doing what someone else did is not going to get you as far as you think it is. I had to really let go, and allow myself the opportunity to explore new things and to embrace the trial and errors. The biggest room for flexibility is on my content. I initially started the blog to be more fashion geared, I knew nothing about beauty, and I certainly had no intention on talking about fitness. This blog has really turned into more lifestyle (which I used to think meant people just had an online diary and wrote about nothing productive), but now I’m realizing that my favorite blogs to read are those that are more personal and/or beauty related. I love to learn something new and since fashion is so woven into my life it’s always exciting to see beauty posts; because it’s a world I know nothing about.

All of these things have helped me establish my identity not only as an individual but also how I blog and the blogger I aspire to be. By letting myself focus on these things instead of the fluff that is so easy to get caught up in, I’ve been able to grow and explore things I would never have seen before!

Until Next Time

kierra again

 

 

 

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This week has been quite chaotic. I’ve been pulled in every direction manageable. For those of you who have been following my fashion career, you know that I’ve been freelancing for a little over 2 years now. I recently was approached about a full-time gig (at Banana Republic HQ) and the seriousness of the situation is really starting to weigh in on me. The interview process has been rigorous, not to mention the fact that actually having a full-time big girl job just completely freaks me out. As much as I have complained about being a freelancer there have been a lot of freedoms that come with that. Expectations are low, and you can come and go as you please. Having a full-time salary job is totally different than clocking in for your hours and going home at 5 every day. I would be stepping into full on adult mode, and its exciting yet intimidating at the same time.

On top of all my job craziness, things with the blog have slowed down as well. I’ve been really struggling with my identity as a blogger, where I want to take things and how I’m going to get there. I struggle with what investments should be made for this blog and what it really takes to make it grow the way that I want it too. The stress of my job has caused me to be unmotivated and discouraged so I was thinking of taking a hiatus. In the midst of all of this I checked my email one day and realize I was featured in IFB Links Al La Mode. Wow! Just the confidence booster I needed. I was excited for about a week, but work was getting to my head again and I quickly got writers block. Then one day I’m checking my stats and realize I have a boost in traffic on my decorating my vanity post. I look it up and see that the post was featured in another blog link up! Of course, I was ecstatic. Right, when I started doubting myself all these people choose to feature my blog and seeing people appreciate my work is so rewarding. I was in two weeks of writers block and I still was getting featured in some amazing blog link ups. Week 3 comes along and its crazy busy. I didn’t have time to shoot pictures for my blog posts so I figured I wouldn’t put any posts up that week and take some time off. I forced myself to upload two posts, did a little Twitter and Instagram promo, and went on about my day. This morning I wake up and see that one of those posts were featured againnnn on IFB. What the heck is happening! I’m starting to think “shoot I should start doubting myself more if I’m gonna keep getting all these features”.

The point of all of this is that no matter how discouraged you are as a blogger keep on going! Somebody out there is reading your posts, and your work is valuable even though you may not necessarily see it right now. For those of us who work full time and let the woes of work get to you (guilty as charged) let this post be a source of motivation for you! Try and do whatever you can during the week and as long as you put your best foot forward, then don’t stress!

Hope this post inspired you! If you’re struggling with how to manage a blog while working full time you can read up on my tips here!

kierra again

 

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Third Feature for IFB! 2 weeks in a row!!

Links à la Mode, August 6

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Popcorn and Netflix are my best friends. I think Netflix is one of the best tv subscriptions out there and I’ve logged countless hours watching shows that I would have never discovered watching cable. This past year I’ve watched some great shows that I felt like were perfect for binge watching!

The synopsis that I gave for all of these are not from an official site; just my way of trying to explain a little bit about the show. All of these are on Netflix and you can easily watch a trailer for them on Youtube. I’ve watched all of these shows and all their seasons, so I’m not just recommending these based off the first episode I watched. Hope you enjoy!

Shondaland!

Grey’s Anatomy: My favorite tv show everrrrr. I first saw this show in 2005 while it was on its second season. I was sick in bed in Mexico and Abc was one of the only American channels that they had. I watched one episode as was hooked. I’ve been a religious watcher ever since, reserving my thursday nights for Greys and hosting premier parties. I absolutely love everything about this show and over the years have gotten really attached to the characters! It’s been on for 11 seasons so If you want a long series to watch then this one is for you. I’m not going to get into the storyline (you should know by now and if you don’t, shame on you!) but it’s a great drama. I’m sure most of you have seen some episodes here and there but if you watch it from the beginning I’m sure you will love it! (11 seasons-on air)

Private Practice: Addison was one of my favorite characters from Greys Anatomy so when she got her own spin-off show I was ecstatic. It’s a similar story to Greys Anatomy but instead of a hospital it’s a private practice, so fewer characters and no intense surgeries. This show is more geared towards love/romance and is more character based than Greys Anatomy. Less about them as doctors and more about their personal life. (6 seasons-canceled)

Scandal: When Shonda moved from the medical field to a political drama I was a little skeptical but when I realized the majority of the cast were former Grey’s characters I was really excited to see how she would use them in the new show. It’s told from the perspective of the main character (Olivia Pope) and you follow this DC fixer and her team as they take on some intense scandals including her own with POTUS. (5 seasons-on air)

How To Get Away With Murder:  Shonda’s newest development took me aback when I first watched it. It’s good but the casting isn’t as strong as her previous shows, and it has a slow build. However Scandal was the same way (the second season was wayyyy better than the first). Viola Davis plays a devious lawyer who teaches her class how to get away with murder, only to find out that the murder she was helping them commit was closer to home than she expected. This is another show that has a crazy good ending! (1 season-on air)

Thief In The Night

White Collar: A story about a con artist who got caught and is now serving his time as an FBI informant. The story is told from the perspective of both the con artist and his FBI handler. Some scenes can get intense, but they work together to take down some high profile white collar criminals. If you’re looking for a show with an easy plot line and a little bit of drama with a little bit of laugh then this is for you! (6 seasons-canceled)

Leverage: If you love a good con then this show is for you. A group of con artists with different specialties come together to steal or set up high-level authorities who have sabotaged the general population in some sort of way. They work to take down people like the CEO of a healthcare company selling bad drugs to cancer patients, or the president of an organization who is embezzling charity money. It’s lighthearted and fun and there are 5 seasons so you have plenty of episodes to watch. (5 seasons-canceled)

The Blacklist: This show is also about a high-level criminal who is now helping the government to take down underground criminals that the FBI, CIA and other agencies have been trying to capture for years. Unlike most informants, he runs the show, living a life as he normally would and throwing a bone to the FBI when he can. In the beginning your shocked as to why someone so good at what he does would bother to turn himself into the FBI but as the story continues you realize he has a very personal connection to one of the agents and why he insists on working with her and her only.(3 seasons-on air)

Shows you should watch…but not at night

The Following: It’s a series about a cult that share one thing in common: the love of killing people. I know it sounds twisted but just hear me out. It’s a story about a cop on the hunt to take down this killing cult and the story is told from his perspective. It’s a great psychological horror show and it’s very graphic, but the storyline is really interesting. There is never a dull moment; I just wouldn’t recommend watching it at night.(3 seasons-on air)

The Killing: A series about two cops investigating a missing girl. The storyline is very longggggggg. It’s slow to warm up and it takes the whole first season to wrap up the story, but the ending is SO GOOD that it’s worth my recommendation. (4 seasons-canceled)

Honourable Mention

  1. Homeland: On Showtime Season 5- On Air
  2. House Of Cards: On Netflix Season 3- On Air
  3. Graceland: On Netflix Season 2- On Air
  4. Suits: On USA Season 5- On Air
  5. Covert Affairs: On USA Season 5- On Air

You’ll notice that I left off a lot of the popular Netflix shows, and its because I don’t like them (wasn’t a fan of breaking bad or orange is the new black) and because I wanted to share some shows that don’t get noticed. If you have any that I’ve missed feel free to leave them below. I’m always looking for new shows!

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