When in Doubt…SHOP! 

Hey guys! We did it!! We mad it to the weekend! One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is shop! What I love even more than shopping is shopping with friends! I’m sure that most could agree with me when I say that shopping is 1. a stress reliever, 2. fun to do, and 3. can be an expensive habit! That’s why it is so important to bargain shop and always look for coupons to your favorite stores for your must-have outfit.

 Truth is; we deserve to have what we want, but why pay regular price when you can find a deal?


A few weeks ago, I was in heaven! How so? I was able to shop some great sales and mingle with some amazing blogger gals! Of course, I have to introduce you to these trendsetters.


Say hello to Karie Davis {Ivy and Eight}! Literally the sweetest person you’ll ever meet! Her blog is linked!

Now meet the amazing Kelly {Paper Meets Pearl}! She is a “seasoned” blogger and she rocks it like no other!

Here are a few more images to pretty much sum up our shopping experience at Concord Mills (North Carolina)! Good deals + good laughs = successful shopping!


We had a blast shopping, laughing, and getting to know each other. How cute is this carousel moment? I’m totally swooning!

Be sure to check out these insanely talented young ladies linked above and once that’s done, GO SHOP!

A huge thank you to all parties involved in making our time at Concord such a success! Working with Jennifer of J. Collins Photography was perfection and I can’t wait to collaborate again!

XO,

Girls Day Out

When is the last time you had a good GNO? What is that you ask? Girl’s night out. GNO is a staple event in every woman’s life. There is nothing better than getting to hang out with some of your favorite girl friends and catch up on all the latest. I speak for all of us when I say that we love to dress up, have fancy cocktails, and dance the night away! Well, let me tell you; the concept is just as great during the day! Girls day out (GDO). Exact same concept, but during the day! Sounded fun, so you know I was all in for the cause!

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Q&A with Just Being Britt

MEET BRITTANY


I’m Britt; a fitness lover doubling as a world traveler.  I experience different cultures all while staying true to myself. With my blog, I advocate self-love and hope to inspire others by sharing workouts, tips, product reviews, and life hacks!

  1. What convinced you to begin blogging?

I honestly did it on a whim.  A lot of people would laugh at the idea of me being “another blogger,” but I had a need for a creative outlet to document my fitness journey.  I just wanted to inspire other people while being as honest as possible about the ups and downs of trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

  1. How did you come up with your blog’s name?

I initially started blogging under the brand “Beauty in Beast Mode,” but after a year, it began to feel inorganic.  It just felt like I HAD to keep up with this image of always being in the gym or always focusing on my body and that just wasn’t me.  After a year, I re-branded my blog to “Just Being Britt.”  I felt like this was a space that I could be authentic.  I could talk about my workouts and what I was eating, but also my struggles and other experiences in my life without having to portray some perfect life.

  1. What are your top three (3) tools that you use with your blog and why?
  • Google Analytics is a great tool I use to track all the stats for my blog.  It helps me figure out all my demographics and which posts attract the most attention and engagement.  A lot of times, brands need to know all your demographics to consider me for a campaign so it’s great that I can always have that information available.
  • I love Mail chimp.  It’s a great, free tool I use to promote new content on my blog or to simply offer free workouts, inspiration or any type of content that I won’t necessarily put in a blog post.
  • Another tool I like is PicMonkey. This helps create eye-catching pins for Pinterest.  Pinterest has directed a lot of traffic to posts on my blog.  Sometimes it just takes the right image and caption and you gain more readers.
  1. Outside of blogging, what other interest do you have?  I consider myself a simple kind of girl.  I love food and spending time with my friends and family.  I’m currently living abroad, and I don’t get to do that year round.  So, while in different countries, I like to explore, try new workouts and all the food!
  2. With being a blogger, what has been your biggest challenge thus far?

One of the biggest challenges is consistency!  It’s not that there aren’t so many topics to cover, but I have to stay in the routine of brainstorming, writing and creating.  Sometimes, I’m just not as inspired and have to go back to the drawing board without neglecting my blog all together.

  1. What advice can you offer to beginning bloggers or people who are hesitant in starting their blog?

My advice for beginning bloggers is to be authentic and plan ahead.  Your ideas, your views, and your experiences are what will shape your story.  Your story is important, because it’s what people can connect with.  Once you know your perspective and your story, you can create a brand that will showcase all of those ideas and experiences.  Just be yourself, stay consistent and go for it!

  1. What’s social media platforms work best for your blog and why?

Instagram is my favorite social media platform.  This is where I receive the most traffic and the most engagement.  I can tell a story, post a workout, post a joke or just post inspiration and have an opportunity to communicate with my audience.  Also, using Instagram with an emphasis on hash tags and tagging different brands I use have helped my gain partnerships and opportunities with those brands.  So, it’s a great way to connect with my audience as well as reach out to my favorite brands.

I hope that this is helpful to you all and don’t forget to find me at www.JustBeingBritt.com! Can’t wait to meet you!


Britt was always willing to help me during my decision time for AKCESS.  I still believe that I CANNOT thank her enough for her help and guidance through the process. She will forever be one of my favorites!  Check out her site (link provided above) and join her mailing list so that you never miss out!

XO

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Q&A with Shades of Pinck

Meet Megan

I’m Megan Pinckney… a 20-something travel writer, lifestyle blogger, model, and retired beauty queen! I’m a lover of the arts, dinner parties, and every single Mariah Carey song. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for The Township Auditorium and the Columbia City Ballet. When I’m not traveling the world, you can catch me cheering on my beloved Gamecocks at Williams-Brice.

I’m sure most bloggers near and far are acquainted with this young lady and I was eager to see what she had to say for our Q&A session so let’s jump right in!

  1. What convinced you to begin blogging?

Funny story, I actually began blogging during a snowstorm back in January of 2014. I had been following a few blogs for a while and several friends had been encouraging me to create my own, but it wasn’t until I caught cabin fever in my apartment that I took the leap and created one!

  1. How did you come up with your blog’s name?

The original name of my blog was “Leopard print & Lemonade” which represented my love for fashion and the belief that leopard print is a neutral, my love for food, and the fact that it would all be told from the perspective of a girl raised in the South. But a year and a half in I decided to rebrand and redesign my blog. At that point I became “Shades of Pinck” and my blog focused on a giving lifestyle suggestions in the areas (or shades) of fashion, travel, food/restaurants, and voicing my opinions and views on current events.

  1. What are your top three (3) tools that you use with your blog and why?
  • Instagram, because almost everyone that reads my blog follows my profile so that allows them to see me almost daily.
  • Co-schedule, because it keeps me organized with all content, allows to me to edit all posts and determine when they go live, and it sends blasts across all of my social media platforms on both current and old posts.
  • Google Analytics, because it gives me the statistics brands want to know before they collaborate and allows me to become more familiar with my readers and their demographics.
  1. Outside of blogging, what other interest do you have?

To be able to blog about travel, you have to travel! So I’m constantly discovering new cities and countries. This year I have a few really big trips in the works so I can’t wait to create content for those experiences. I also have a true appreciation for the arts and I try my best to frequent art shows, museum exhibits, the ballet, movie screenings, and any and everything that has to do with fashion—as often as I can. As a graduate of USC, and still a resident of Columbia, there would be something amiss about my interests if I didn’t mention my love Gamecock football on Saturdays in the fall.

  1. With being a blogger, what has been your biggest challenge thus far?

I think the biggest challenge is connecting yourself with brands that you want to collaborate with. To help me and my blog I attended a networking workshop, The Southern C Summit, which gave me the tools to do so while actually connecting me with one of my DREAM brands!

  1. What advice can you offer to beginning bloggers or people who are hesitant on starting their blog?

Just do it! There’s never a “right” time and you’ll learn as you go. There are countless bloggers these days because that is where consumers are turning for advice. Brands recognize that and are acting accordingly. You’d be surprise who could become interested in you just because you share a few posts regularly.

  1. Which social media platform works best for your blog and why?

Without a doubt, Instagram. People who read blogs are naturally visual people; therefore they react best to a social media platform that  is visually based. Instagram also allows my readers to see me more often, more intimately, and less scripted.

Again, my blog URL is www.shadesofpinck.com and my Instagram username is @shadesofpinck! Meet you there!


I can’t imagine where I would be without the advice given to me in the very beginning of this journey from Megan! She is such a grand & beautiful spirit in addition to being one of the most fashionable women I know.  Be sure to check out her site.  All of your fashion and travel desires will come true. It’s linked above.

XO

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Q&A with Tati Chin

Meet TATI CHIN


I’m Tati Chin. I’m a professional food taster and amateur food maker at tatichin.com. I blog primarily about tips, trips, and tastes from my big comfy couch in Atlanta, GA! Did I mention how excited I am to be interviewed by Kristen for AKCESS?

So, let’s get started!

1. What convinced you to begin blogging?

I’ve always been a talker. In my college web development class we had to make a personal website as an assignment and from there I sort of fell in love with blogging!

2. How did you come up with your blog’s name?

My blog is simply Tati Chin because I want people to associate me with the brand. At first that may come off as a bit self-centered, but when I think of the brands that inspire me: Oprah, Martha Stewart, and of course, Beyoncé, I feel firm in that decision.

3. What are your top three (3) tools that you use with your blog and why?

• Google Apps are incredible. I have the $5 a month domain email that comes with lots of storage and my own custom email address and everything is connected. The Google Docs mobile app is what I use to outline content ideas, the Google Sheets app I use for tracking, Calendar for publishing, and obviously my Gmail inbox. Google is a life-changer!

• Canva. If you’ve ever seen those cutie blog graphics people have for their posts they were probably created with Canva. Once you get the hang of it, you can have pre-made templates for blog posts images and custom color palettes to suit your blog. Great for folks like me who aren’t quite ready to hire a graphic designer.

• Mailchimp. I know there’s a lot of competition when it comes to email tools, but Mailchimp does everything I need it to do. Building an email list is something I wish I did earlier on. Now that I’ve got a great free goodie to give people when they sign up, Mailchimp makes it so easy for people to access it!

4. Outside of blogging, what other interest do you have?

My blog is now primarily focused on food, so obviously I spend a lot of time tasting and trying new things, shopping for unique ingredients, and getting what I call food-spo (food inspiration). I can’t believe I’m saying this in the year 2017, but I love physical activity. From yoga to running to kickboxing to hiking, I love working up a good sweat. It makes me feel accomplished. And it balances out all that delicious food!

5. With being a blogger, what has been your biggest challenge thus far?

My biggest challenge is making sure I’m delivering content that people actually want to consume. Every so often I like to step back, look at what content is “doing numbers” and scrap the stuff that isn’t. I also love that unsolicited feedback from my friends, even if it’s like “girl…what the hell is this post about?”

It’s hard when something you’re passionate about isn’t necessarily getting through to people, but it’s okay!

6. What advice can you offer to beginning bloggers or people who are hesitant in starting their blog?

People get very discouraged by the “over-saturation” of the blogging world. My advice? Make cool content. Tell your own unique story in your own unique voice. Repeat. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing…like Nike, just do it!

7. Which social media platform works best for your blog and why? 

Although I’m a mostly-food blogger, my content seems to do the best on Twitter. Like I said, I’m a talker, so on Twitter I can give a back-story before I just drop a link to a post. People want to hear the story behind things and know that there’s a human there beyond the dish (or in your case, the outfit).

 Again, you can find me at tatichin.com and my Instagram & Twitter usernames are @tatichin also. I’m so excited for you and this amazing year Kristen!


I am so thankful for the help that Tati lends to me whenever I need her! She is fun, energetic, and always eating/cooking something amazing!  Be sure to check out her site.  You are sure to fall in love!  It’s linked above!

XO

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Natural, Nature, & Love

What a title, huh!? I didn’t really know what I wanted to name this entry. I wanted it to be catchy, but I also wanted to hit multiple points. I just went with it and named it everything! So let’s get into it…

HAIR: I was so very hesitant with going natural. October of 2015 seems like only yesterday. The anxiety I felt was really quite overwhelming. So much so that I was literally like “Forget this!” and grabbed the scissors! I chopped my hair away! Fast forward to a variety of protective hairstyles, a major haircut to even it all out, some length later, and now here we are!

This was a detailed twist out that I did in a matter of two hours! (It’s such an exhausting task!) I used coconut oil, Eco styler, O’Pro leave in conditioner, and wha-la!


PHOTOS: This session took place at the State House in Columbia, SC! The flowers and the damask door frame gave me so much life! It was the perfect touch to the look. We were able to work with my girl, Kristen of LMP and she delivered as she always does! Aside from the ten thousand bees that could have possibly attacked us, these look absolutely amazing!

LOVE: I felt that I very rarely shined light on my better half. It is beyond time that I give my King his due. This was the perfect opportunity to do so! Aside from us needing some recent photos together, I wanted to let him experience the fun I have when getting photos done for AKCESS! He was a little anxious. His anxiousness later turned to annoyance; but we made it through! Kristen did an awesome job of capturing our personalities. If you know Jay, then you know he is always cracking jokes and keeping me laughing!

Ultimately, I just want to say thank you to him for believing in my passion. I appreciate him for never missing a beat, always taking care of me, and loving me with all of his strength and might! Doing life with him is a wild ride! We have highs and we have lows, but I am beyond grateful that I get to experience it all with him!


Quickly, here are our spring fling fit deets:

Dress is from Express

Sandals are Tory Burch Miller

His top and pants are Dillard’s features

Shoes are Toms

Remember, embrace your inner and outer naturalista, be one with nature, and love hard no matter what!

XO,

Tee Time or Tea Party

I am so thrilled to be sharing this post with the world! My best friend is having a baby and it’s a….GIRL! I don’t think it’s possible to share how excited I am for my friend of many years and her husband!

There are going to be so many precious moments and joyous experiences happening for them! Although I haven’t personally experienced motherhood, I know without a doubt that she will be one of the greatest moms ever! I remember the exact moment when she sent me the photo of her ultrasound! I burst into tears right at my desk at work! I was upset and happy all at the same time! How? I was so annoyed that she hadn’t told me sooner, but I was extremely happy that she was pregnant and having my next niece or nephew (I didn’t know the gender at the time).

You know the next thing the best friend is supposed to do after finding out news like this, right? Right!  I instantly started surfing the web for cute baby outfits!  I immediately became obsessed! We talked all day long and fed off of each other’s excitement. Now, with finding out the gender of baby Talbert, this has taken it to an entirely different level of excitement!

I pray for nothing but great health, great times, great memories, and great amounts of love to surround this growing family of THREE!

Invitations

Here are a few shots from her Tee Time or Tea Party themed gathering!

Tee time or Tea Party…Tea Party!

 

The parents-to-be
ITS A GIRL
#BabyTalbert due May 2017

Planning a gender reveal can be stressful for some and for others it’s a breeze! I created a small list of four (4) helpful tips that can make planning a little bit easier!


4 Helpful Tips When Planning A Gender Reveal Party


  1.  Make sure you consult with the honoree – find out his and her likes; the vision of the parents is what’s most important.
  2. Appoint a trust worthy friend also known as the “secret keeper” to know the gender and plan the party! (I was not that person because I would have ruined the surprise!)
  3. Try not to do one color more than the other – – have a balanced amount of pink and blue. (And, yes, it’s okay to use a different color scheme for the gathering.)
  4. Be sure to have a reliable person to have the camera ready and rolling to capture the big moment of the reveal and all the other details that make the day so special.

 

the Aunties to be
“The greatest gift of life is friendship & I have received it” – Hubert Humphries

XO

Yum, yum, yum!

Food is life, right?! I mean, without it, we’d be a world of “hangry” people…or least I would be! Anytime I am able to find a new eatery with my foodie partner, also known as my hubs, I immediately think of you guys. (Not even kidding!) So, without further ado, let me formerly introduce you to this little charm in the city…meet The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli!

2617 Devin Street Cola, SC

Talk about a treasure of yummy deliciousness! Oh. My. Goodness! We were fortunate enough to catch them before they stopped serving breakfast to begin switching over to their lunch menu! I would compare their food to Panera but waaaay better. It’s almost like comparing Embassy Suites to Trump Towers! (Just my interpretation. Both are good, but one is better!) It’s presented in the most simplistic way and get this…with every single breakfast sandwich you get a FREE miniature cinnamon roll. I have never had so much goodness at once for breakfast. See my meal below!
The BIG Max & the mini cinnamon roll
Sourdough bread, black pepper bacon, whole grain mustard spread//Nail polish: Let’s Be Friends OPI Hello Kitty feature
 

My husband had the steak and eggs sandwich and he described it as, “Magical!” I pinky promise this was the word that came out of his mouth. Ha! If you are concerned with the price point, you don’t have to worry because it’s nothing on the menu that’s more than $8.50! I want to assume that it’s so affordable due to being located near the University and wanting to be able to cater to the college students’ budgets. 

Cinnamon Roll Deli was so, super busy when we arrived and it never died down in time for me to get photos of the “cinnamon roll bar”! So let’s use that as a way to make you want to go and see what’s it all about! But I did score this photo of the inside area! Notice the artwork on the wall! It’s from local artists and all of the items are for sale. What an awesome way to support local artists! 

Art work features on the far wall – all donations go to Rescue Pets
Small entrance signage

Definitely, absolutely, positively go here when you have a moment and want to enjoy some amazing food with an even better price point!
Coffee bar
wall decor
 

Ordering area
Front page of their menu
Sample of their featured item of the day: pimento cheese grits

Comment below when you have a chance to visit and let me know what your thoughts are! Already been here? Great! Share your thoughts for myself and others to see! ENJOY! 

when in Atlanta…

When in Atlanta for our annual birthday visit, there are three things that are guaranteed while there:

1. Great shopping

2. Immaculate food

3. A yummy cocktail – or a delicious beer

This years trip did not disappoint! Arriving into town on Friday, the weather was outrageously cold but bearable. Definitely needed to wear a hat and scarf to stay warm and fuzzy on the inside so that’s exactly what I did!

Hat: Target//Scarf: Entourage

Dinner ideas were already discussed and hands down the majority vote went to Fox Brothers BBQ! Absolutely THE best collard greens in the city! And let’s not forget the Emergency Drinking beer that’s brewed right there in Atl. If you want citrus and smooth features in your beer this is the one for you! We all had plans on hanging out and exploring downtown but it was too cold and we were just too stuffed from dinner! Twenty seven is showing old age, ha!

Saturday morning began with one of the best breakfast spots I know in the area and that’s Silver Skillet! Life changing! It’s a very southern, not too fancy, hole in the wall restaurant. These are usually the best places with the greatest food…and get this…it’s super affordable! Make your heart happy and visit when in Atl!


Off to Lenox! I heart this mall! You can make all of your fashion and shopping dreams come true here. Atlanta is my modern New York experience! I went there with the intentions to purchase my second Louis Vuitton! This was an experience in itself. I walked in excited and went right over to the young lady and stated what I wanted. She handed me the purse, I did a mirror check, and BOOM! Not one chill. No fireworks! I knew then I didn’t just want to purchase the bag but more so EARN the bag! Self accomplishments and reaching goals that are set for personal growth and satisfaction feel more rewarding than just buying the expensive bag. [Rising Tide Society – – #theRechargeChallenge – – relative to my IG post] So I left and explored the mall. We stayed there for 5 hours! True story. I wore heels and did pretty good to make it from 8 am to approximately 5 pm. [pats self on back] then I pulled the flats out!

Hat: Target//Jeans: Express// Shoes: Old Navy//Vest: Target


For dinner we had Bricktops! This is sort of our  traditional, go to eatery and it is amazing! Great steaks, ribs, and wine! Merlot to be exact. Thankfully this restaurant has multiple locations so if you can’t make it to Ga. look for your closets location and go there…NOW!

Baby back ribs//coleslaw//Mac & Cheese

Sunday morning breakfast was a toss-up! Our options were either Silver Skillet, HomeGrown, or Thumbs Up Diner! And the winner was **drum roll**…


The food was perfect! The service was nice and fast. CASH ONLY eatery! Typically, places with this on the door are always yummy! And this was no different. Super inexpensive and worth a drop in!

Grits//Sausage & Egg Handheld

What’s the perfect way to wrap up a trip to Atlanta? Of course, by getting a manicure/pedicure at Polished and shopping! This is always the conclusion to our trip before we head back home!

Shopping in Macy’s
Photo opportunity in Goodwill
car selfies

 

AKCESS t-shirt courtesy of Key Kreations

 

did someone say 50% off?

As always….thank you Atlanta, Ga. for being so amazing to me, to us, this go around! F.I.L.A! Until next time! XO