MY THOUGHTS ON INSTAGRAM....ONE YEAR LATER

I did it! A year ago, this week, I joined Instagram! After dragging my heels on joining the end all be all Spot for beautiful photos, one year ago I hit Share and now I have a gazillion thoughts on the platform. Some good, some bad and oodles of mixed emotions. 

I’ve never been a Facebook girl, never will be and Twitter was getting boring and with my blog growth at a standstill. I needed something, so Insta it was. I had these visions of wonderful photos and taking pictures with things like a giant Birthday Balloons, did that; Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches & Old Trucks!

Similar CUTE Fall Tees HERE & HERE & FLANNELS HERE

Reality is, pictures aren’t instantly better on Instagram, they’re still the same old pictures you’ve been taking and if you don’t travel weekly or have an interesting place to take photos, or a dedicated assistant, LOL, they can sometimes be a little vanilla, but that’s OK if that’s what you have to work with!



It is a complete love-hate relationship with this social platform. For this post, I’m going to break it down into three things. The things I adore about Instagram, the frustrating things about Instagram and Tips to grow your Instagram.
I am by no means any expert, but I am a research girl, so I did my research for almost a year about Instagram before I even joined. I felt prepared and quickly learned some of the ropes. I still have a lot to learn and I’m hoping that will help me maximize my priorities and not spend so much dang time on there! Particularly, getting sucked down rabbit holes, LOL! Don’t we all?



INSTAGRAM PROS
OK here is what I adore about the Gram! Hands-down, the community and relationships there! I was truly worried about the comparison and all the younger girls dominating but definitely not the case! Everyone is so uplifting and supportive and there for you if you’re struggling with something and shared on your stories. I truly want to lift up others there and they do the same for me! It’s a beautiful thing!

Just like the Blog, I’ve even “met” people on Instagram that I’ve become real life friends with. With Insta, I’ve been blessed to meet people close by that I can actually get together with. We bond over local loves. 

The opportunities it has opened in regard to the blog and acquiring products. I did fairly well with affiliate links and ads and some sponsorships on my blog, but I’ve been opened to even more opportunities on Instagram, often in exchange for great free products that I would’ve maybe purchased anyway!
Yeah and you stage photos of said products like this one, lol!

Stories are fun! It took tons of getting used to, hearing my own voice, not feeling awkward but you get used to it. They’re fun to do and watch. It just once again, takes time. 

You get inspiration from other people's Insta photos much like Pinterest.
 BUY SKIRT HERE // SHOES HERE

INSTAGRAM CONS
The cons, oh the cons! I will try not to make a huge list but sometimes they do outweigh the benefits. First of all, the creeps! I even shared once in my stories how I’ve been offered an allowance to be some creeps platonic friend. No thanks, my husband gives me an allowance, LOL! Block, Block, Block. 

Then, it’s the constant barrage of people wanting me to join their fitness routines or pick up a side hustle or buy into diet products or how to be successful promotions. Nope, I’m good on all accounts. I’m early retired for a reason and I do just fine with my fitness and diet, LOL!

Oh, and let’s talk about the people who follow and then Unfollow. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to tell, and I know a lot of my friends have tracking apps for that but I keep a list and go in and physically check it every now and then. There was one time when I followed someone who I truly admired and thought the admiration was mutual only to be devastated that she unfollowed me. I know I should not take it personally, but I actually called her out on it and she felt so bad and said that it was because of a service and that if it ever happens again to let her know. I so appreciated that honesty. Trust me, I get it, everybody wants to grow but not have to be following thousands of people because you don’t want that many filling up your feed and not be able to see all the people you love when you scroll. However, don’t follow me if you’re going to Unfollow me in a day or two. I appreciate the people that follow and stick around and often times it’s those people who I interact with that I absolutely want to follow back!

And finally, I’ll leave my last con at the algorithm! Before I was on Instagram, I often heard about this but had no idea what it meant in relation to the app. Now, I totally get it. Instagram has total control over if what you share gets seen and that is just wrong!
I hate NOT seeing the people I love in my feed or seeing posts from 2-3 days ago. Please keep it current and in order Insta!! 
 And on that note, please do not take away the likes, it’s not a game, it’s just nice to see who actually likes viewing your stuff!

INSTAGRAM TIPS
Ok, the growth! My goal was 1000 followers each quarter, so by the end of this month I was hoping to have at least 4000 and I have surpassed that. Now, keep in mind I am not normally a numbers girl but if I do want to continue to be successful and have growth, then I need to get to that golden 10,000 that makes it easier for your readers to just swipe up to find a product. If my account was just a personal account, I wouldn’t even care about the numbers, but it is indeed part of my business and an extension of my blog. It’s so funny, because when I started thinking about joining Instagram there were so many people that told me, had I joined it when I first started blogging almost 5 years ago, I’d be making six figures by now. I really don’t pay much attention to that, yes the extra money is fun, but it’s my hobby and it’s awesome to be creative and share what I love with others!


So, let me share with you what has worked for me to grow my Instagram.

Hands down, the number one thing is ENGAGEMENT! I like and comment like crazy! And not just a comment like “so cute!” Rather, I leave genuine comments! Does it take a lot of time? YES! But it’s worth the work and I love complimenting others.

With that being said, BE AUTHENTIC!!! That is so important to me!

To help with time spent on Insta, I usually only post 3 times on week and on the same day I publish a blog post, but I do spend 3-4+ hours broken up on those days engaging. During the days in between, I comment for about hour.

Take care of your followers first, engaging with them, then check the comments from those you follow and find new profiles to comment on. Sometimes they follow you.

Tread lightly with giveaways. I’ve only done a few and one was a little sketch. Make sure the person or team running the giveaway have a lot of followers, communicates well, they unfollow as soon as giveaway is over so not as easy for participants to unfollow and prices to join are reasonable. A good majority will continue to follow you if you have good content. One thing I won’t do is buy followers or join a growth service.

Refresh your feed often so you can see more of those you follow.

Try to do stories but don’t feel obligated especially if it makes you overwhelmed. Stories are Hard!! It took me forever to get used to my own voice on there. And I don't think people hear everything I say as scrolling through is a thing, lol!

If I really had to give only one Tip, it’s the genuine, hard work commenting on as many as you can and answering your comments. People like to be heard and valued.

Here’s hoping year two teaches me even more. Tell me what YOU think about Instagram. I am a huge believer in lifelong learning and change is inevitable so who knows where Insta will takes us. But above all, have fun, stay true to you and take media breaks to clear your head! Now, I’m off to take pictures with pumpkins, lol.
BUY Similar Top HERE & HERE // Shoes HERE

HAVE A LOVELY DAY!!



xo

FRIDAY FAVORITES...HELLO AUTUMN & TRADER JOE'S

Fall Fabulous, Awesome Autumn, I don’t care what you call it I’m just excited it’s officially seeping into our neck of the woods. It’s been in the 80s all week but the cool down actually starts on the first day of Fall which I just heard is Monday. And if you saw all the pumpkins on my Instagram stories this week, you know I’m ready to get out there and decorate that front porch! After the pain from my root canal yesterday wears off!

1. Day Date Do Over
If you remember, a day date a few weeks ago (read HERE) didn’t go so well because of me downing Key lime martini’s, so this date do over on a perfect 75° sunny day caused me to be on my best behavior. The only things getting drunk were the bees that fell into my frozen concoction, LOL! But we had a terrific time, dining rooftop at one of our favorite places, sitting outside at a brewery, going to the local produce in greenhouse market, having a yummy pretzel and a couple beverages at the distillery and then headed back to our town for some yummy ice cream! A great day!



2. Trader Joe's Finds
I got even more excited for fall when I went to Trader Joe’s recently and scooped up some of their seasonal items. These are my favorites. I know many of you have tried these and love them as well.
The yummiest and cutest lil shortbread pumpkin cookies...

...which I like to have with this delightful Harvest Tea. Afternoon teatime is a favorite thing of mine. 

Did someone say season Kringle! A guy in the store was kind enough to open a package and give us samples and well, SOLD! This pumpkin Kringle was delightful, especially with a warm bevy. 

My favorite pumpkin yogurt of all time! All the Trader Joe’s yogurts are fabulous, and I try and find one with no fat and a small amount of sugar and I just love the creaminess and thickness to these! I add some yummy nuts and I’m good to go!

Lovely smelling shaving cream. 

3. Week's Attire
Vest HERE // Peplum Tee HERE // Sandals HERE

Sandals HERE// Necklace HERE

Similar Jacket HERE // Peplum Tee HERE // Necklace HERE

4. Caite and Kyla...My Favorite Cardi!!!
I showed you some of my new, darling Caite and Kyla pieces a couple weeks ago. Well, I saved one of my most favorite pieces and it’s this spectacular shawl collar cardigan or you could call it a Sweater Jacket. It’s the week for back detailing because the hand stitched embroidery is just gorgeous! The perfect curl up cozy Fall Sweater! 

BUY HERE // Pink Tee HERE // Grey Jeans HERE & HERE // Similar Boots HERE & HERE // Barrettes HERE // Necklace HERE

More Inspo




5. Misc. Fun
Posts of the Week
Wednesday~ Made in Blue and Style Six Link-Up

Collagen Water...Peach White Tea
I love a yummy peach tea anyway but load it up with collagen peptides and I’m so game. LOVE this TEA!
BUY IT HERE 


Fall Cups 
Ok, literally the cutest cups ever! They had a few different styles at Home Goods & TJ Maxx but I just loved these and the sleeves. My mom said the blonde looked like me and I thought, yeah, now I just need a PSL loving friend, lol.
Get in-store in Home Goods & TJ Maxx


Have FUN & May Your Autumn Beginnings Be SWEET!

Linking up with  Friday Favorites  // High 5 For Friday  // Fashion Friday

xoxo

MADE IN BLUE & PINK TOO...OH AND THE STYLE SIX LINK-UP

You may remember a few weeks back when I shared my Post with the adorable Prosperity Denim paper bag waist jeans! I love them so much that my sweet friends at Prosperity Denim shared a couple more of their darling jeans with me, this time for their new line called Made in Blue, exclusively sold at Nordstrom. They have more styles coming out for this Fall and the pair I’m wearing today has definitely become such a favorite that I’ve already worn them four times since receiving them. Lol. Their Denim is soooooo good you guys!!

I recently put them with my adorable new Mauve Knox Rose Sweater from Target. The back sold me instantly. It’s funny because you should turn every piece of clothing over because you never know if there’s going to be a cute back when you’re viewing it in the store or online! I got so many compliments on the super soft sweater and every time I would say but did you see the back? To which the people complementing would say “yeah, I sure did, that’s why I love it!”


This outfit would totally look cute with boots but for some reason I think skinny crop jeans look fabulous with heels, so I paired my snakeskin sandal pumps with it! Along with some new snakeskin drop leather earrings!



PROSPERITY DENIM JEANS HERE // Similar JEANS HERE // SWEATER HERE // Similar EARRINGS HERE & HERE

MY FAVORITE LOOK FROM LAST WEEK:
Shauna with her One Piece Wonder

Make sure you check out all the other Style Six Ladies to see what their favorite Fashions were!


WELCOME TO OUR WEEKLY 
STYLE SIX FASHION LINK-UP

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~Please Only Link Posts related to Fashion, Beauty or Shopping
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Listed Clockwise from our GRAPHIC

Chrissy from Granola & Grace

Lisa from Coast to Coast

Andrea from Living in Cloud Nine

Shelly from The Queen In Between

Laura from The Horton Family

Kellyann from This Blonde’s Shopping Bag

INDOOR FALL DECOR 2019

If you remember from last year, it was our first Fall in the new house, and I was so excited to decorate with more of a neutral palette with white, blue and green pumpkins! 

You may remember that in my old house and we had more of all traditional colors with oranges and reds. I absolutely love the soft feel of the neutral palette!

I keep it pretty simple and I always decorate the inside first as when it’s still hot outside, those mums don’t stand a chance until a little later in September. I have big plans for the porch and I’m bringing some oranges out there this year and will be looking forward to sharing it with you. And I ddi LOVE the PORCH last year!

In the meantime, I am happy with the Fall touches on the inside….

The mantle, where I got a little inspiration form Pinterest and at first didn’t like it but now, I love it. The wreath is way bigger than it looks and I see now that the mason didn't put the little nail in the grout stuff high enough, lol.









The Hall tree, incorporating some of my beloved buffalo black and white.




The Dining Room, just added some pumpkin love to what I already had and its just the right touches. Have a wreath on this side of the fireplaces well.


Kitchen, just keep it simple with a few pumpkin touches here and there, my av..is the Meet Me at the Pumpkin Patch Sign over Pantry.


Miscellaneous Pumpkin touches throughout the house...
 Powder Bath LIT Aqua Pumpkin



The Beloved Glam Pink Pumpkin 
BUY HERE

Pumpkins in Candlesticks

AND Saving the CUTEST for last: The Tiered Tray, which is one of my favorite things to decorate and LOVE how it turned out with the little blue truck and pumpkin love! 



Truck and little punkie from Hobby Lobby in store.
BUY TIERED TRAY HERE // Checked Placements HERE // Similar Checked Pumpkin HERE // Similar Candle HERE // Similar Gray Pumpkins HERE // Similar Green Pumpkins HERE 



Which is your Favorite?
HAVE A GET READY FOR FALL KIND OF WEEK!



xo

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