Category Archives: Friend Friday

Friend Friday: A New Blog, New You

This is the last Friend Friday of the year 2010! It has been such a blast to be a part of a community of beautiful, intelligent and stylish women. What started out as one blogger Katy of Modly Chic posting her thoughts as a way to reach out to her readers and other bloggers, has rapidly become a huge chain of connectedness to the Style Nation. Our group has grown by leaps and bounds, it is exciting to see, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from the Friend Friday group.

1. What’s the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?
I have to learn HTML! I do not understand the inner workings of blog construction, so I am often limited by the creativity of others instead of being free to create my own vision for my blog. I see exactly how I want to be branded but I don’t know how to get there in terms of the visual conceptions of the blog. My finances won’t allow me to hire someone to do it for me, so I have to do what I always do when I don’t have the cash- DIY.

2. What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?
There were so many things that I learned about blogging that will help make me a better blogger. Katy Rose wrote an excellent piece on OOTD blogging that helped me greatly since I consider myself an OOTD blogger primarily. I plan to implement many of the tips I have been given to take me to the next level in blogging.

3. Do you have any high-level goals for your blog in the coming year?
Monetization? More comments? More connections with other bloggers? A new template?
Well I just purchased my own domain name so I’ll be moving things on over to my new place soon. I also am looking to revamp my blog’s appearance…look for a jazzier looking face in 2011! I want to post at least 5 days a week without fail. Daily posting is the name of the game in OOTD blogging. I don’t normally post on weekends because I rarely go out on a Saturday and Sundays are usually my most conservative dressing day as I am about God’s business. while I still believe in looking great, I do not wear clothing that will call a lot of attention to my appearance on Sundays (at least when in church). I am either in a suit or a robe, nothing too eye catching. I often do not post my OOTD because I am not pleased with how I look or how the photo came out but part of the growth is to push past the fear and do it anyway. Lawyerdoll is great at being transparent and honest regardless of how she feels the outcome is. I love her blog, she is so refreshingly honest.

4. If you could collaborate with one other blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you like to collaborate with, and what would you like to collaborate on?
Honestly there isn’t one blogger in particular but a whole slew of bloggers…too many to name names however I would like to start my weekly guesting posting of how Christian bloggers style themselves for church back up again in the new year. It is called Sundays Best (I know, so original, lol) I have already had Reiko of God’s Favorite Shoes and Leslie of Fashion du jour as guest bloggers and I am on the prowl for new posters. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested, no need to stand on ceremony and wait for me to find you. My spirit has been prompting me to start a Christian bloggers group so I am being prayerful about God’s leading in that area.

5. What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?
Keep on encouraging, nurturing and supporting when given the opportunity. I am dying to sponsor a New Jersey fashion/style bloggers meet up but I sincerely don’t know if I can take on the challenge alone. Any takers willing to partner up with me to get this party started?

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Friend Friday: Holiday Party Attire- Tuesday Edition

It’s Friend Friday (yeah, I know I am a few days late but better late than never right?) Katy Rose of Modly Chic is posing the question about how we will be getting our holiday look on.

1. Which holiday party are you looking forward to attending this year?
Unfortunately, I have no holiday parties to attend to this year…boo. I went to a wedding a few days ago, so that was my opportunity to get sparkly.

2. What is your go-to holiday party outfit?
I have of course the requisite LBD that would get glammed up with either chandelier earrings or sparkly enormous hoops, maybe a bold necklace depending on how strong the earrings are, pretty heels and a clutch to carry the essentials. Although I am in favor of eschewing hose, not in the dead of winter, so I may do some shimmer hose if my dress needs a pick me up or if not opaque tights.

If I could afford a new outfit, it would be this dress or this one

3. Do you go dressed in something that would be impractical to wear at any other time of the year?
No, I am trying to get away from purchasing clothing that can only be worn for special occasions however I do like to look more dressed up than I do normally…it is after all a holiday party!

4. If you are going to a house-party what gift will you bring to the host/hostess?
If I know that the host enjoys spirits then a bottle of wine to be opened at their discretion, if I am unsure than maybe a great smelling candle.

5. If you could buy only one trendy piece to update your holiday party wardrobe, what would you get this year?
A sequined pump. I love the look of a little flash with a LBD, it makes everything look just a bit more glam.

images: Zappos and edressme


Friend Friday: Are We Connected?

Hey everyone! How did Friday sneak up on me so fast? The last time I looked it was Wednesday but since Friday has arrived, I am not complaining! Since you know the day, you know what time it is….it’s Friend Friday. I’ve been participating in this group for a minute now, so you know what comes next, read on. Today’s topic is reader connectedness.


image credit:picasaweb.google.com

1. How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success
of your blog?
Well it depends on the reasons why you blog, if you are doing it to have a written account just for you and you alone, then no it doesn’t. However if you are blogging to gain readers then it absolutely counts. If your readers don’t connect with you then they will not hang around to see what you do or say next.

2. What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader
bond?
Truthfully I don’t have a clue, I try to be as authentic and transparent as I can, writing in my own voice, doing and saying what are my truths and hoping that someone can see something in me that connects with them. It is not something purposefully but I definitely want it. I love it when I can tell I am vibing with a reader, then I want to make friends with them, go on my eternal quest to meet everyone I have come in contact with on cyberspace that I like and who has not shown themselves to be a crazy stalker.

3. What is one way you could improve this connection?
I make sure I respond to comments that are left for me, I talk to them as if we are already friends, visit their blogs if they have one and overall just show enthusiasm for them taking the time to read what I have written.

4. Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer-
reader bond? Why?
There are quite a few so I am not gonna go naming names then I am sure to leave somebody out that I didn’t mean to. But I have actually started forming a few friendship with certain bloggers who have reached out and grabbed me in such a way that I could not ignore. I say we were destined to be friends.

5. What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to
your site in the first place?
Facebook, Twitter, personal contacts….you name it! I don’t have a strategy as of yet…don’t know if I ever will, I enjoy the traffic I get, no matter how much of it I get. I am always excited when I get that little notification that someone has left me a comment or lately subscribed to my blog. It means that I have touched you in someway and to me that is way cool….

Katy Rose of Modly Chic does what she does by thinking up these fascinating questions about all kinds of interesting topics for us to dish about. Wanna get you opinions heard? Then contact her stat (I love saying that..it made me giggle.)


Friend Friday: Blogger Burnout, When is Enough, enough?

1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging?
I really haven’t sat down and figured it out however on an average I do something on this blog daily that usually takes a minimum of 2 hours, so lets just say roughly I spend about 10 plus hours a week. I am only counting Monday through Friday, I rarely blog or even turn on the laptop on weekends. Now, I also have another blog, Designer Diva: I’m handcrafted by God and I’ve got the genes to prove it which talks about the life of my beautiful daughter, Tatiana who was born with Down syndrome. I haven’t updated her blog too much because she has been so typical 2 year old kid like, that I can’t keep up with her and all her shenanigans. That blog needs to gets it’s fair share of attention when I have time as well.

2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on… how do you limit your time spent on these tasks?
I don’t know, that can be a problem for me at times but when I realize that I have spent 2 hours on trying to come up with the perfect header for my blog (like I did yesterday, lol) without having done anything else, I back away from the blog and move on to something different. It becomes all consuming for me when I get on to something.

3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that?
Truthfully yes, I love this blog but I have put unnecessary pressure on myself to post updates on a regular basis, so that I don’t lose the readers that I have. What was just fun in the beginning, feels burdensome at times. The burdening feeling though comes from me and me alone, the desire to stay “in the loop” so to speak has caused me to feel stressed, so when that happens I retreat and post nothing at all. Also I have been experiencing some difficult and challenging situations in my life of late, the effects of which have left me worn out with little desire to do much of anything, let alone blog. However I do push myself to forge on not only for my readers but for myself. I have found that if I give in to the feelings of defeat and depression, I am even moreso overwhelmed by feeling the loss of self and what pleases me. I feel like not only has the situation taken over my control but my entire life as well…..that I won’t allow.

4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time.
Will your blogging change as a result?
I don’t think so, I concede that for most people the holidays are very busy family intensive times. However for me my schedule won’t change much from what is already going on. If I am blogging less it is not due to the holidays but the circumstances of my life right now.

5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore?
How would you you identify that it’s time to walk away?
Yes, I can see it how things could change and I may not be blogging about fashion and style but I will always be chronicling the events of my life and ministry in some form. This is a charge that I have from God, it is a part of my ministry to document the events of my life so that someone’s life will be touched by mine and God will be glorified! I do not get very personal on this blog, although I am dying to.There is so much I have to say, I struggle with how much is too much. I know that I have a life that has been filled with experiences, good and not so good, that were not made just for me to learn from. I want to encourage and empower women with the knowledge that God has given me so that we can all function as healthy, whole, glorious creations with gifts and talents to share with the world. Whew…ok I am getting ready to get my preach on but you get what I am saying right? I don’t have a clue as to when I would walk away but I know I would feel that it is time to go in another direction.


Friend Friday: Sir, You Flatter me…maybe not

Blogger copying is on the chopping block today with the Friend Friday group… is it sincere flattery or something more sinister? Let’s dig in and discuss it.

1. What are the ‘unwritten rules’ about coping content that we
bloggers should all abide by?
Since I am a noob, I honestly don’t know but the Golden Rules works well here I’d say. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. If you don’t want some to copy and straight jack your content then don’t do it to others. There are always going to be folks who are just unethical who will do anything to have their “15 minutes of fame” (Afrobella is going through this right now, and I am damn mad for her) but for the most part people are just ignorant of the correct way things should be done.

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when it a
post imitation and when is it copying?
A post becomes copying when word for word, idea for idea are taken and presented as if it is your own. That my dears is copying, it’s like sitting next to a kid at school and writing down her answers on your paper, then passing it in to the teacher as if you did the work yourself. Imitation is much more subtle, it can and usually does seek to honor the originator. It makes reference to the originator but showcases the thought through your eyes. It pays homage yet says this is the way I do it.

3. Taking another blogger’s idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY
tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is
necessary to credit the original source?
No, not necesarily however it does depend on how much license they have taken with the original idea. Case in point, The seriously rocking Curvatude wrote a post a few days ago about the company, ShoeDazzle, she told of her experience with the company and what she purchased from them. I too am a customer of ShoeDazzle and her post inspired me to do my own take on it. But after thinking about it, I decided against it, after all what can I say that hasn’t been already said. It’s not rocket science, the premise is quite simple and was explained throughly. I guess I said all that to say, if I had gone ahead and written the post, under these circumstances, I would have felt compelled to give Curvatude her due as she sparked the original thought.

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other bloggers? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?
I am a new blogger, so there is major room for improvement, I am constantly tweaking my blog based on what I see out here in the Style Nation (as per Style Underdog that is what the fashion/style blogosphere is dubbed and I LOVE IT) but never outright copied anyone’s style. I think we can all learn something from each other to make our individual blogs the best they can be.

5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or
publication? How did you handle the situation?
Not to my knowledge, I pray it doesn’t but I have some great bloggers to draw experience from should something like that occur.

Katy Rose of Modly Chic is the originator of the Friend Friday blogger group. Drop her a line if you want to join in on the fun.

image credit:http://4simpsons.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/copycat.jpg


Self Promotion: This is how we do it

The Friend Friday group is always chatting it up about something or another..we’re bloggers this is what we do but this week, the topic that is top of the list is, Blogger Self Promotion. So let’s get to it and find out how we promote ourselves to the world.

1. How do you promote your blog?
Through Facebook, Twitter, leaving comments on other blogs and just plain ole word of mouth! I yeah I guess participating in FF is helping too. I’m gonna invest in some business card soon and buy a domain name also.

2. In your experience what has been the most effective form of self
promotion?
Engaging the blogger community through comments and tweets. Once you are getting out there so to speak, traffic will come from a variety of sources.

3. Do you think there is a wrong way to promote yourself and your
blog?
Not really, but I don’t want to be the woman who is always pushing her link at you everytime she tweets. I would love to have a huge following but not at the expense of being pushy and overbearing. I am truly loving the slow growth and fostering of relationships.

4. When it comes to others pushing their product what annoys you?
The common comment when visiting someone blog…cute outfit, check out my blog, http://imsopushy.com. Seriously and I should want to check out your blog after that?

5. In Dressful’s post on this topic earlier in the week she said,
“It’s impossible to respect someone who wants all the attention, but
adds nothing worthwhile to the conversation.” Do you agree?
I do but only if she is a well seasoned blogger who know blogger ettiquette but ignores it because she is a spotlight hogging little scene stealer. Ok but for reals, yeah I was for real but in addition, people will naturally want to see who you are and what you have to say when you are interested in what is important to them as well. 

As always, we welcome your participating in our dialogue. If interested contact Katy Rose at Modly Chic to get on board. While over there check out the rest of the Friend Friday crew. (I have a linky up but it has issues and doesn’t want to work properly for me)

photo credit: http//:tvtropes.org


Friend Friday: Getting back to Basics..Going All Natural

So here goes this week’s questions:

1. The move to do away with soap, shampoo and deodorant has been
growing in popularity in the last year. What are your thoughts on this
trend?
I know that it is suggested that it is healthy for the person as well as the environment however I am not ready to jump on the bandwagon and rid myself of these personal grooming items. I would like to find natural/organic alternatives that actually work as effectively as the non natural counterparts.

2. Be honest how often do you wash your own hair?
Well to begin with, I’m African American and I have dreadlocs. We don’t typically wash our hair daily unless we are wearing our hair natural and then usually only when it is short in length. Some of us may rinse our hair daily (I rinse daily in the summer months when the weather is warm and hair dries easily and spritz during the colder months) but I personally wash my hair weekly… ok maybe bi weekly, lol.

3. Have you tried to go the more natural route by forgoing shampoo?
What happened? Or would you be tempted to try it?
Yes ,I have tried it before and I was fine with it. When my hair was short I wore a TWA (teeny weeny afro), I did the no poo system which was no shampoo, using conditioner only and I rinsed it partially out. I kept enough to coat my hair so it would be easy to manage.

4. What products do you use and have you ever gone with more organic
alternatives?
I don’t use any natural or organic products on a regular basis at this time on my body (sometimes I shampoo with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint shampoo), however I am open to trying some if they work as well as what I currently use. I am not loyal to any particular product, I like variety so I switch products often. I do use natural hair products, such as essential oils for my locs to condition and bring a healthy sheen. I also make my own loc butter to retwist my hair. It is made from honey, aloe vera gel and extra virgin olive oil

5. What about that daily shower? Would you forgo that opting to shower
three times a week instead?
Whaat?? Does this mean no washing at all, or only a basin wash up? Anyhoo, I don’t think I can forgo a daily shower! I need to feel clean and for me only having my body fully immersed in water does the trick for me.

Friend Friday is the brainchild of Katy of Modly Chic. If you are interested in participating or reading what the other bloggers have to say about this topic, Get thee over to her blog, pronto!