Tin Pot Shows #BlackMagic Love

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My favorite local ice cream shop loves Little Mix and Black Magic too. What? Must try. Even though this looks like goopy goop.

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One More Thought About That Instagram Thing…

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After I wrote that post about what I’ve been doing to step up my “Instagram game” this past weekend, I realized that I left out something very important. It didn’t make sense for me to edit the original post and write the update at the bottom. Instead I wanted to wait a couple of days to think a little bit more about what I was going to say and then write another post. I’m not about to tell you anything that you haven’t heard before.

Another important lesson that I learned from taking “good Instagram photos” is that we project how we want to be seen by others. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but the longer I went on with this the more I found this to be true. When I returned home to Seattle this past June, I caught up with a few friends that I don’t regularly keep in touch with and they all couldn’t stop telling me the same thing.

“You look like you’re doing well and you seem really happy at least from your Instagram!”

Well, little do you know, right? My year of being 25 was just as hard as my 23rd year. Just because your Instagram looks perfect and you’ve set the right constrast and highlights, you yourself, are not perfect. I won’t deny that on those harder days, even those validating “likes” could temporarily make me feel better – make me feel like my experiences were a little more exciting or that I was a little bit closer to home. We may not all admit it, but these feelings resonate within a lot of us, people you know and even those power Instagram users. There was a story earlier this year that ESPN wrote about college athlete Madison Holleran who very much projected a happy life through her Instagram while struggling with a lot more beneath the surface of her photos. Of course, I want my feed to project happiness, but if we’re being honest here – my photos don’t always reflect how I’m feeling inside and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just admitting that.

*We rarely showecase on our social media if we’re feeling sad or unhappy, but I found this rare one that I took back in 2013
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30 Days in the Life of a Baby Rabbit

Oh my goodness, happy Monday everyone! I’ve been really excited about the things that we’ve been posting this weekend and I don’t know anyone that hates starting off their week with adorable things. So that’s what we’re doing! This photo series of a baby rabbit’s first 30 days is all that you need and gosh – the captions that follow each photo? Enough to melt all hearts.

Click here for the ultimate cuteness.

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Wedding Mondays

There was just too much quirkiness in this video that made me have to share this with you all today. Actually though, we’re behind on watching wedding videos! I didn’t watch any last week which meant I had two weeks worth to catch up on (in reality that’s not a whole lot since not every post comes with a wedding video) I was kind of captivated by this one at the start because doesn’t it just look like so much fun? I also think that the details from the post of the couple’s wedding were super sweet – the home flags that they incorporated into their photos to the black bridesmaid dresses from ASOS. Also we forgot to mention, it’s a Washington wedding! YAY!

Bonus: Now, not all of our wedding videos get to have this, but we also happen to have their proposal story and photos from Green Wedding Shoes too. Enjoy! This is our gift back since we missed last week. Sorry!

To view Anje and Alex’s wedding on Green Wedding Shoes, click here!

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LA’s Churro Borough

2015 is seriously the summer for sweet treats and my many cravings. Next month, I’m headed to Los Angeles for some “me” time and to see some of my favorite people. I’m there for a longer weekend, but as always am making a ton of plans already ahead of time – well sight plans and of course eating plans. I just read about Churro Borough last week and this is at the top of my list! Yes, you’re seeing this correctly. It’s a Churro Ice Cream Sandwich! I have no sense of how close and far things are in LA so I’m imagining that I’m going to be racking up a ton of Uber rides to get to everywhere I need. Because… who rents cars anymore, right? I’m just kidding, that would probably be the smart thing to do.

Here is just a preview of some of the things I’ll be eating when I’m there next month and of course more to come!

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Sunday’s Educational Lesson

Kind of. Here’s a very abstract poster reminder y’all to floss! What a great piece for…a bathroom? This post was brought to you by the talents of German painter Leonhard Hurzlmeier.

[Source]

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Blog Roundup

– America’s most popular tastes broken down by state [GOOD]
– How employees feel their leaders could improve in the workplace [Harvard Business Review]
– Amazon got torn apart last weekend [New York Times]
– 2015’s most annoying words [Man Repeller]


– 5 scientifically proven ways to ease a hangover [Cool Material]

– An app to keep you safe when you’re walking home alone [GOOD]

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Snaps for a Snapshot

Who: Emily Ratajkowski

Wearing: Atea Oceanie

Where: On the set of “Extra”

[Source]

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Taylor’s 1989 Tour Guest Watch

This is actually becoming a “thing” for me now. I even decided to follow Taylor’s Instagram account because I’m so curious to know every night who she’s going to bring out! Honestly, when I attended her concert last week, I think my co-workers have never seen me more excited for her to announce who the guest was and it’s weird because if I had to designate myself a percentage for how much of a fan I am, it’s 57%.

So last night, Taylor brought out the STARS! Uzo Aduba joined her as they sang “White Horse” together. Mary J. Blige sang two songs! And then Taylor brought out Sean O’Pry – the actor from her “Blank Space” video and … wait for it – Matt Leblanc and Chris Rock. HOW random is that? Now, I really suggest you watch the video above this because it. is. awkward. I was left with so many questions afterwards that I think I’m now starting to wonder if D-list stars are paying TAYLOR to appear at her shows. Man, she’s so powerful. And this video is so lol.

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Song of the Day

Marc E. Bassy ft. Kehlani – Lock It Up

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The Instagram Project

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If you’ve been following my Instagram page for the last four months, then you may have noticed a signifcant change in the way that I’ve been posting my photos as opposed to when I first started my account. My co-worker Emily is someone that I find pretty knowledgeable in Instagram given that she runs an account for her cats that does reasonably well. When I picked her brain awhile back about how I could gain followers for my account so that I could build upon Yow Yow, she gave me a very simple answer: Hashtags.

But wait, doesn’t that look kind of spammy?

Not if you put all of the hashtags in the comment section instead of the caption.” 

Caturday

Interesting. So I followed her advice. We happened to be together on “Caturday” at Dolores Park and after editing my photo and posting it, she helped me line up a variety of hashtags. (#cutecats #Saturday #DoloresPark #SF #adorable #cute #cats #catz etc.) Shortly after, the likes poured in. We ended at 54 and I was hooked. I convinced myself that I could do this experiment for another week, but naturally that ended up being four months. I was really put off by the hashtags at first so after I had received the desired number of likes that I was hoping for, I would go back and delete my hashtags comment. However, I learned that if I kept it there without deleting that users would continue to like my photos even weeks after.

That was just one of the things that I learned from this project, but I actually learned a lot more and have some pretty interesting stats to include in this post as well. Let’s start with the stats:

In my four months of doing this I had:

  • 8 regular photographers (people that have taken at least two photos for me. Most of them were my co-workers)
  • 17 photos of my food
  • 38 photos of my outfit
  • been to 3 different cities
  • staged 15 of my photos (had to rearrange things on a table/the way they would be taken)
  • spilled Jamba Juice on my bed. (This actually happened today so I’m still clearly a n00b)

Takeaways:

  • I still haven’t figured out how to gain a significant amount of followers like I had hoped. I gained more than 48, but if I count all of the followers that have been added since this project and stayed “following” that’s the number I have.
  • I was never going to really take off as an “Instagram” star. Unfortunately when Instagram came out, I think I was still using an old school Blackberry so all other bloggers had a huge advantage over me.
  • If I wanted to continue a following, I needed to post everyday at least once a day. I felt a weird sense of pressure from this and as a result felt like I didn’t have enough clothes to rotate into my shots (had to buy more!) and had to continuously look for inspiration.
  • Doing this project made me a better photographer. When I look back on all of the photos I took prior to doing this, I realized I was just taking photos “in the moment” and of my friends and random things that no one really cared about. Those photos just don’t get likes.
  • I still despise the #nofilter hashtag and refuse to use it ever.
  • I started asking myself the question, “Why would people care about this photo?” Why do people care about a group photo or a single shot of my friend from across the table? They don’t. But random strangers care about it if you hashtag it correctly and they’re the ones who will like your photo.
  • It’s very hard to like your first shot. Sometimes, I would come out of a session with 30 photos that I had to continuously delete in a row in order to get to the $$$ shot. There’s lot of photos in between that just don’t “look right” because a strand of hair is in my face or my eyes are blinking or my mouth is open.
  • I still have yet to post a “selfie!” and I probably won’t just because I don’t think I can get it right and they make me feel uncomfortable.
  • Even though I had a set of hashtags that I always used and knew would do well, I still had some doubts that I was missing out on other hashtags that could do better that I wasn’t using.

Tips:

  • If you’re going to capitalize on the fashion thing and the OOTD, then you’ve got to do it in moderation. I learned this lesson the hard way. I once had 3 outfits posts in a row. It didn’t hurt my likes very much, but when looking at the “whole” page of my Instagram, it looked off and didn’t display a “lifestyle” which is what people would rather see. Imagine a whole feed of outfits. No one really wants that.
  • I’ve heard that taking photos in the “Square” function of your camera gives you the best shots. I’ve tried it a few times now, but since I have so many photos with more of the white space around it, sometimes it looks out of place. What I like about the square though is that it kind of centers everything and makes it a lot easier for cropping. I’ll use this feature more when I’m trying to capture more of my outfit.
  • I definitely prefer having photos with more of the whitespace in the background. When looking at all of my photos as a whole, I just like that they give my Instagram page more of a uniform look, but I’ve read that it also provides people with more “visual relief” when scrolling through their feed. Because of this, it garners more likes.
  • Find a buddy! My friend Alex was also trying to step up his Instagram game around the same time as me so we would go on shoots together, give each other advice and basically lean on each other. When no one else understood what I was doing, it was great to have him around.
  • When possible, always include a location for where you’re at. That gives you a couple more hashtags to use.
  • If you’re trying to break into the fashion market, tag the brands you’re wearing. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I Instagrammed a Rebecca Minkoff bag that I fell in love with that I couldn’t afford and Nordstrom sent me a $50 gift card! Uniqlo has commented several times on my photos that they’d like to re-use my photo (they haven’t yet) but I have hope someday that they could so I keep trying.
  • High volume Instagram days don’t mean that you’re going to get likes. ie) Father’s Day. Because everyone is doing it and you’re not special. Your dads are – you just aren’t. On Instagram.
  • Just because your meal tastes delicious doesn’t mean it looks good.
  • Be courteous on Instagram. If someone random likes your photo, try and go to their page and give them a couple likes as well. If they leave a comment on your page, do the same.

This is still my favorite photo from this time period.

This is still the most liked photo at 73 likes and the first photo in the series of “outfit” posts.

Tools that I use: 

  • VSCO Cam for editing
  • Squaregram for the whitespace background
  • Twitter for sharing – most of the time I won’t share to Facebook though

Related articles:

So we’ve done 4 months of this. What now? Well, to be honest, Instagram has been way more fun since I started wanting to take better photos that I don’t really want to go back to what I was doing before. We’re going to continue on with the photos, the outfits, and the hashtags, and we’re looking forward to more learning and what happens next!

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Song of the Day

Jessy Lanza – Strange Emotion

A deep and dark and mysterious Friday

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Child’s Taylor Swift Piano Medley is Adorable

I think this just made my entire Friday! A 7-year old boy who was diagnosed with autism at age 4 loves Taylor Swift so much that he memorized this piano medley for her of 1989. And it’s actually incredible.

Taylor has since responded to the young boy via Twitter and has invited him to one of her shows!

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Good Night Thursday

When I was in college and writing on Yow Yow! late at night after doing all of my homework or sometimes just giving up on homework, I always wanted to try and end my night of blog posts with a funny video. Tonight, this video is that for us.

This kid crying is not funny. This kid crying is not funny.  But it is, I can’t help myself!

Poor kid. The first day is always hard, but I promise… it gets better.

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