Tag Archives: This or That

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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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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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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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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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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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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Happiest of Birthdays

My older brother is celebrating his birthday tomorrow and this weekend I found a video that completely describes our relationship. What’s amazing about this video is that this guy knows such a vast library of music in different genres! Kevin used to drive me around. A lot. And almost always, you’d find me in the car singing loudly and horribly with dance moves to all of my favorite songs and Kevin just had to sit through it knowing that other drivers could see me. Yeah, can you believe it? I was worse than what this guy did to his sister on their road trip. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN! You’re so lucky to have a sister like me.

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What Did We Just Watch

This University of Alabama Alpha Phi’s bid video is sparking up some controversy this week for playing into every kind of stereotype associated with sororities. There’s also a lot of criticism that the video is too blonde, too white, and too skinny. I mean the criticisms aren’t wrong, but we should address something else here – that this entire video is absolutely ridiculous. What’s with the music? Why are so many kisses being blown? I felt so silly watching this, but it was such a trainwreck that I had to keep watching to see what would happen next! The original video has since been taken down by the sorority, but as most of us know… things that get uploaded to the internet don’t die. Like this video.

[Source]

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Greycork

“Furniture is a large part of [a person’s] identity, which means you’ll deeply consider your furniture and desired aesthetic before buying it. We’ve designed our furniture to be a better fit for the modern user. Not only is it thoughtfully designed, but it also fits your budget and lifestyle since its easier to ship and assemble.”

Last week, I was introduced to a new company called Greycork, which was being advertised as furniture that was easier to put together than IKEA! How is that so? Well, it doesn’t require any tools to do it. Sound too good to be true? Maybe, but don’t you kind of just want to believe it? I mean look at these pieces. They are sleek, chic, and modern furniture that I can envision in the apartments of any average person in their 20’s. Um, where do we sign up?

[Source]

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Blog Post Headlines in 2015

I’ve been reading blogs for a very long time now, but only recently did I truly understand the meaning of blog post headlines and the importance of them. I think if you go back to some of my very first blog posts, you’ll see that I didn’t quite grasp that yet and I would name my posts really random things or things that had nothing to do with the content because I couldn’t come up with something. This was the wrong thing to do and I should’ve known better because for years I would read posts sometimes mainly because of what the titles told me about them. In 2015, I’ve seen a huge shift. These days, I’m finding that titles of blog posts are becoming sort of tacky and not as genuine as they used to be. Instead, they’re looking a little crazy so that they can lure people in for the “clicks.” It’s something that has been pretty disappointing and not what I would ever do with Yow Yow! but something that I’ve seen in a lot of my favorite blogs.

Here’s an example that I saw the other day:

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Now, this is a blog that I read every day, but this title made me do a double take. What kind of readers was the blog trying to attract? Did the writers have all of the facts? Does this title seem… fair? So I did what I didn’t want to do. I clicked on it because I was curious about what companies this blog gave up and suggested that people go to work at. They suggested jobs at Juniper Networks, Netflix, and Yahoo! They highlight average salaries annually for employees, but what they don’t say is what roles these are for. How does the writer of this post know that their audience could qualify for these positions when they don’t even share what experience is needed. This entire article centers around money and that to me feels superficial. Maybe it’s because I work in recruiting and I believe there’s more to an ideal job than just money, but at the end of the day this blog doesn’t care about what I think because they accomplished what they needed, right? That click from my end on my laptop. Even though I disagreed with that title, I couldn’t keep myself from what they had to say.

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For Love And Lemons x Free People

Daisy Longlin Underwire – $128

When I think about my 20’s, I think about how I care a lot about things that I never used to waste two seconds thinking about when I was in highschool or when I was just a lowly emo teenager. As a 20-year old, I care a lot about… paying my student loans. Random tidbit, today I checked on my credit score and I felt ecstatic about it! This is definitely something that wasn’t even on my radar even when I was in college. I care a lot about how I’m spending my paychecks – ie) how much I’m spending on a meal during the weekends, if I really absolutely NEED to have that Rebecca Minkoff bag (I didn’t!) and how I decorate my home etc. One chunk of this area that I care about in my 20’s though is dressing smarter. When I was younger, I lived in Forever21, but in the long run those pieces would deteriorate. I was all about the basics instead of quality and quality goes beyond just your usual staples, they also extend out to your delicates. (That was a really long-winded intro, but we finally got there y’all!) For Love and Lemons is a brand that I’ve been keeping my eye on a lot lately and a lot of their intimates are being sold through Free People which is even more exciting. Now, intimates get this rap for being something that you have to wear to please another person. I say, buy them because you “love yourself” and because they just make you feel good! Here are just a few of my favorite picks currently available through Free People.

Continue reading

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Bay Area Eats:

So I just discovered that we’re completely behind on all of our posts! One of the best things about Yow Yow! though is that there’s always something to write about. I never usually find that I run out of material, but I did notice that I did my last “Bay Area Eats” post back in March and I’ve definitely eaten a lot more since then so let’s play catch up!

Mandi and I had one of our girly brunch dates at Straw in Hayes Valley months ago! Now, this is a pretty unique restaurant because they put a fun spin on your favorite items with a carnival type twist. No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. I really did order an egg sandwich in between two donuts. When Mom saw this photo she immediately thought that I was begging for a heart attack. For their dinner menu, Straw also makes a similar version with a cheeseburger in between two donuts! I was really hoping to like this because I love egg sandwiches and I love donuts independently. Together, however, was another story. It really just felt like I was eating surgary eggs and cheese combined with an already pretty sweet bacon. It ended up being a bit too much for me and on top of that – really messy to eat! I must’ve used up two of my napkins before I decided to give up – take it apart – and just eat the eggs. Has anyone ever tried this at Straw or a similar brunch meal? I’d love to know what you think!

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Currently Snacking:

oreo thin

I learned a few weeks ago that my favorite childhood cookie was releasing a new kind of cookie… the OREO THIN! Unfortunately, I missed the boat where I could receive a free sampling of it and instead had to wait for it to arrive in stores. Well, I waited…and waited…and waited… Three weeks had passed and they still weren’t on the shelves of my local Safeway. Trust me – I checked. Just when I had thought about giving up on the whole thing entirely, there it was… I had to buy a pack. I wanted to buy two, but I exercised self control. Since, it’s not all that cool to finish an entire package of Oreo’s by yourself anymore, I decided to bring it in for my coworkers, but not before sending out this email to them:

I’ve been hunting down Oreo Thins at the grocery store for several weeks now since they have been released. Just this weekend, they finally arrived at my Safeway.

I brought them in for people to try!! They are as thin as a pencil! Less calories! Super cute and adorable!
!!!
Gone within 45 minutes.

 

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In Random Instagrams of the Day…

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Taylor Swift said Happy Birthday to her BFF Karlie Kloss today and hey – Calvin Harris just happens to be in the photo too. We see you, Taylor.

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Getting Engaged in 2015

Now, when my friends are getting engaged these days, I don’t imagine that they are experiencing a scenario like this one. However, there’s a part of me that thinks that maybe there is some staging happening to an extent. This one takes it a little bit too far, but it’s something to think about isn’t it? I’ve been meaning to write a post on this (and I will soon, I promise) but lately a friend/co-worker of mine and I have been “beefing” up our Instagram game. We’ve taken things to some pretty extreme lengths and it’s almost to the point if it hasn’t gotten there already that our friends are starting to hate us a little bit.

“Are you using VSCO to edit your photo?”

“Can you take this one more time?”

“Did you double share to Facebook? TAG US!”

More on that later though…

[Source]

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