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Monday, August 8, 2016

Product Review: Two Must-buys from Unbound

Unbound NYC Logo

Unbound was started by a group of New York City gals and one awesome dude who wanted to create a stigma free and sex positive experience for women everywhere. The in-store shopping experience at typical sex shops can be intimidating and overwhelming for some people, so the rad gals at Unbound thought a discreet subscription box would be the perfect solution for getting women and couples what they wanted.

They've grown well beyond their subscription box service, and what I love about Unbound is the friendly shopping experience and relatable whimsy language they use that makes it feel like you’re hanging out with one of your girlfriends.

When the Unbound crew got in touch with me about trying out some of their products, I was SO excited because I absolutely loved their mission and approach to providing content and products for my kind of people. I had no idea what to expect, so let's break it down from the top:

Iroha Mini close up view

When I got the Iroha Mini in the mail, I literally said, “Dawwww” because it’s just so darn cute and colorful. It looks like a little sugary water droplet, which makes sense because it is:
1. Pocket size
2. Waterproof!
Iroha Mini trio

It also comes in some pretty perfect colors. To put it how Unbound describes it on their site:


I got the purple/yellow one, naturally, but the dark pink/light pink and the orange/blue one are adorable too. For such a little handheld, I really wasn't expecting it to be that powerful. To say the least, my boyfriend loved it and I'm pretty sure he's claiming this one for itself. In all, it should last for about 5 hours of run time–don't forget to stock up on those AAA batteries! Check out the Iroha Mini by Tenga for yourself!

100 Questions About Sex Card Game

Of course, the ladies at Unbound are SO sweet, so when I mentioned that my friends love card games and board games, they suggested I check out this super cute game called 100 Questions About Sex made by Chronicle Books.

The premise of the game is pretty simple, so even people who don't play games often will catch on quickly.

Questions fall into one of three categories, X, XX, and XXX. How well do you want to get to know your friends?

The hot pink color of the cards and well designed box make this game an attractive gift and fun game to bring to a party. I have to admit that the cards themselves are a little thin and are uncoated, so I wouldn't recommend spilling drinks on them.

My friends and I had a lot of laughs with this one. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jumpstart Your Instagram! Course by Diana Trinh

Jumpstart Your Instagram Course

Continuous learning is big for me. I'm always on the lookout to grow my skill set and knowledge base. Earlier this month, I came across a post by The Coffee Date's Diana Trinh in Melyssa Griffin's Blog + Biz BFFs Facebook group.

On a scale from 1-10, I'd probably rate myself as a 5 on the scale of Photoshop skills. So I was really excited to learn that Diana had created a free Photoshop-based course on how to create an attractive blog sidebar. Not only did I walk away with a big boost in my design skills, I also took away that Diana is a great teacher.

I wanted to share with you a new course she is just getting to ready to launch on June 8th! It's called Jumpstart Your Instagram, which as you know is my favorite social media platform. I'm always looking to boost my photography and networking skills, and I'm really looking forward to making this possible with her help!

Diana's course is for you if you are:
  • An entrepreneur who wants to learn how to use Instagram to promote your business and get more clients.
  • A blogger who wants to grow a larger following, and get noticed by brands online.
  • A creative who wants to get more collaborations and gain more exposure in your industry.
  • Stressing out about how the algorithm change will affect you and your account.
Diana is also working with two guest experts: Dana Dyer and Patty Rivas

Dana Dyer is a storytelling photographer who specializes in documenting families, branding businesses, and wiping noses (she's also a mom of 7!). She will be walking us through shooting, lighting, composition, and editing (with a a LR tutorial!) to help your photos both look better and compliment your brand.

Patty Rivas is a Social Media Stategist and owner of SocialStorm Media. She will be showing you how to properly edit your Instagram content so that you'll be able to catch your target audience's attention. You'll learn the ins and outs of these apps and be well on your way to creating beautiful images that will make people stop scrolling.

I hope to see you in the course!

P.S. Diana has asked me to be an affiliate for her course, but as a reminder, I only recommend things I love! Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Instagram Tips from 7 Brands I Follow

Instagram Tips from 7 Brands I Love to Follow

It's no secret that I love the Instagram community. With over 400 million monthly active users as of September 2015, I'm not alone either. When I'm not researching best practices and developing content strategies for the brands I represent, I love checking out content from thought leaders in different industries. Tapping into ideas from other sectors isn't just fun for me. It also enables me to discover new ways of delighting people and hidden facets of our diverse buyer personas. 

To that end, I've compiled seven of my favorite brand Instagram accounts. They've been able to successfully build an audience and deliver content that has both resonated with their audience and helped to grow their brand awareness. 

This list is not exhaustive of course, but it does showcase how brands with varying styles can cater to their audience on the same platform. Bear in mind that variety is key. Not every post should be “about” your business or even feature your products. The brands I've selected feature a mix of lifestyle posts, quote imagery, giveaways, videos, press highlights, and promotional photos to round out their content strategy. I hope this will help give you inspiration for what kind of photos and content to publish on your own Instagram!

UPDATE: If you're looking for more great tips on how to grow your Instagram & reach your target audience, I highly recommend Diana Trinh's JUMPSTART YOUR INSTAGRAM course!

The 90s aesthetic is strong with Rosehound Apparel. They make patches, pins, and more goodies to adorn your acid washed denim jacket. Unfortunately, their products speak my wallet's language. :(

And now for the ultimate gentleman's lifestyle destination: Tom Claeren's "Monaco Lifestyle" blog. One part James Bond, one part Matt Smith (Doctor Who), his inspirational quote imagery and over the top lifestyle spreads have pushed his account over 150k followers.

Cherie Tu is a vegan teen YouTube personality from Australia. Her recipes are to die for, and without a doubt will give you major food envy! Most of her shots are of seriously delicious eats, but occasionally she mixes in personal photos and brand messages.

A photo posted by Freebird Boots (@freebirdboots) on

Freebird Boots is a brand under the Steve Madden family of brands, so of course I'd be a fan! I especially love how they incorporate a mixture of lifestyle imagery and up close product shots to round out their Instagram strategy.

A photo posted by Nutsa Modebadze (@nutsa) on

Nutsa Modebadze is a fashion designer who specializes in handmade leather works. Her workshop is based in gorgeous Bali. When she isn't sharing beautiful shots of her incredible designs, I'm swooning over the tropical landscape.

Bill Crisafi's witchy sketches are simply from another time. Based in New England, there's definitely a vibe of part Salem witch trials, part Pagan spiritualism. He also has cats, which I can get behind.

Last but not least is Brit + Co. Founded by Brit Morin in 2011, the site is a destination for the crafty inclined set. I'm personally not a Level 5 Pinterest girl yet, but her site is a wealth of inspiration on a ton of topics.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spaghetti Western

The last time my brother and I went on vacation together, we went to Bryce, Zion, and both sides of the Grand Canyon, among other destinations. There's so much to see and do in that area though, so this time we tackled 6 states in an all-American-style RV road trip! We left from his place in San Diego and drove across Nevada (hello Vegas!), celebrated the 4th of July in Arizona, toured Monument Valley in Utah, picked up New Mexico at Four Corners, and ended in Durango, Colorado. Sending a big congratulations to my cousin Becky too, as the reason for our road trip was to attend her wedding! Thanks for having us and we'll definitely be back in Durango soon!
My brother and I overlooking Monument Valley.

Hidden Arch at Goulding's.

Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Train
Molas Pass

Monday, June 1, 2015

Aveda's Rare Bloom

Aveda's Rare Bloom Collection
About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a private press preview for Aveda's Spring 2015 Rare Bloom collection at the Cherry Hill Mall in NJ. Celebrity stylist and Aveda’s Global Artistic Director for Textured Hair, Tippi Shorter, was on hand for one-on-one consultations and gave me some great tips for taking care of my curly hair. She's the sweetest! 
Even the men's products smell amazing.
My mom happened to be in town for a short visit and the staff was kind enough to let her hang out and even treated her to a few samples too!
Tippi Shorter and I :)
Mom and I, how cute.

Stress-Fix line of products
As part of the experience, we were offered a complimentary makeover, massage, and a cup of Aveda's lovely Comforting Tea. The Stress-fix lavender body lotion also smelled amazing, but so do all of Aveda's products, so nothing new to report there! :)

Another one of us looking glamorous, because why not?
How adorable is my mom, by the way? She insisted that I learn to do this cat-eye all the time, but sadly I am terrible at getting the angle to match on both sides. However, their new lipstick in Poppy perfectly suited my complexion and it was also fun to try one of the Petal Essence Face Accents, as I don't usually wear highlighter on a regular basis. 

Learn more at and check out the collection inspiration video below:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Philadelphia Collection: South Street Open-Air Runway Show

On Tuesday, I attended the South Street Headhouse District's Philadelphia Collection runway show at the historic Headhouse Shambles. Hosted by America's Next Top Model finalist Cory Wade Hindorff, the event showcased men's and women's cutting-edge street styles from some of Philly's top boutiques and salons. Featuring looks from Urban Princess Boutique, Totem Brand, Passional Boutique, Eye's Gallery, Moon + Arrow, Philly AIDS Thrift, Conrad Booker, McKinzie Chic, Helena Boutique, Armour Philadelphia, Hats in the Belfry, Dudes Boutique, and Nostalgia, the evening offered a unique mix of vintage original designs, thrift-store fashions, punk rock chic, and more. As a special bonus, architect, couture fashion designer, and visual merchandiser Conrad Booker, whose work has also been featured on Project Runway, debuted new fashion installations.

Say hello to my feet.