Thursday, October 23, 2014

50 Ideas for Blog Posts

There are some days when I just do not know what I'm going to write about. It's kind of a weird thought that blogging only accounts for about 5% of what I do on a daily basis. More often than not, I come up with a blog post idea and think, "That's it, Carly.... the well's dried up. Nothing left. This is the end!!!" And then something else comes to me the next day. I've always kept a running list of blog ideas. In college, it was in a notebook by my bed and now it's just on my iPhone.

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of fifty ideas... to inspire myself and to inspire you, too. Writer's block can certainly be a pain! Here's my fifty:

1. Somewhere you've always wanted to travel to
2. Your favorite book/show/movie growing up
3. The best piece of advice you've been given
4. A hard choice you had to make
5. What's your favorite trick/hack that your mom taught you
6. If you had to choose one outfit to wear for the rest of your life what would it be
7. Share your bucket list
8. Post five pictures from childhood and tell the stories behind them
9. Write a letter to your future self
10. Give yourself a challenge and document the process
11. List 10 weird facts about yourself and ask your readers to do the same thing
12. A day in the life
13. Share an article or book that really made you think or changed your mind about something.
14. Ask your readers to help answer a question for you ("What's your favorite easy recipe?")
15. Do a Q&A with someone you admire
16. Make a list of your favorite books
17. Wear one piece of clothing five different ways for a Monday-Friday post
18. Review your "can't live without" beauty products
19. Put together the ultimate wish list
20. Swap your blog with a friend for the day
21. Explain a tip or trick that you use every day
22. Try something new... Like a video blog!
23. Post three things that are currently inspiring you
24. Write a public thank you note to someone you know
25. Put together funny/embarrassing photos that you otherwise wouldn't share
26. Share your favorite artists with your readers
27. List your favorite family traditions
28. Do a collage of a color combination that you currently love
29. Tell your readers a secret you've never shared online before
30. Test a few recipes or crafts from Pinterest and share the results
31. Share the most-worn thing in your closet
32. Embed the cutest viral videos you've watched
33. Find and share 10 cute things under $10
34. Tell a story that's been passed down through your family over the years
35. List your favorite restaurants and to-dos in your city
36. Explain why something was the best or worst "splurge"
37. Do a roundup of your favorite bloggers or Instagrammers
38. Share the last five things you've purchased
39. Post a tutorial on how you do your everyday makeup
40. List out your nightly or morning routine 
41. What do you keep on your bedside table
42. Favorite drug store buys
43. What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
44. Put together a mood board/collage
45. Do a "how to" post
46. Share your earliest or favorite memory
47. Post an easy-to-wear, but chic outfit
48. List your favorite quotations
49. 10 things you learned from .... [college, running, moving across the country, etc.]
50. The story of why you started your blog!

Any other great blog post ideas? How do you keep track of your ideas?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

7 Pants for the Winter Months

Ugh.... I hate to admit it, but we are seriously pushing into the dreaded winter months. I've been wearing skirts and dresses as much as possible because those days are numbered. As comfortable as I feel in a pair of jeans, I'm not a huge pants kind of girl... and jeans can sometimes get boring or simply inappropriate for wherever I have to be.

Leggings // Well, they technically count as pants, right? I have a few pairs that I pull out frequently when it's cold out. I wear them with long tunics or cashmere wraps for quick errands and with my Barbour coat and boots while I'm walking Teddy in the morning. (Oh, and to be honest, I basically live in them while I work from home... with slippers!)

Skinny Cords // Hands down, the game-changer for the winter months. I've had corduroys in the past, but they were more bootcut. The skinny version is just perfection. Great with ballet flats on milder days and boots when you need extra warmth. 

Dress Pants // Tights with skirts/dresses can only keep you so warm. Sometimes you need to just wear pants... for a meeting, for work, for an event. I would do a couple of pairs of dress pants, something like this maybe and a work-appropriate pair like this.

Denim // Of course, this is a no brainer. But if there's one thing you should invest in, it's great jeans. (And by invest, I more mean time... great jeans aren't necessarily expensive.) I swear by Madewell jeans and love slipping into my Gap jeans. I recently got a pair from Old Navy that are so comfortable and I've been debating a pair of Rag & Bone jeans that half of my friends swear by!

Plain Black // I typically dislike wearing "black pants." (They can feel a bit too corporate for me.) But black pants can be cute and they are, for better or for worse, a good closet staple. My favorite pair is the minnie pant, but I also splurged on a great pair from Kate Spade

A Fun Pair // So fun is relative, so you should do something that works for you. Maybe it's a leather pant (or a touch of leather) or a crazy print!

A White Alternative // I love wearing white year round. It wasn't always the case, but I think white can definitely be worn year round. I love my white cords, but I also think you can do a white skinny jeans... or a white wool pant, oh! Beautiful!

What pants do you rely on during the winter months?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Charleston Trip

I really tried to figure out how to do the recap of my trip to Charleston with my blogger friends. I was thinking that breaking it up might be a good idea, but then realized that it might not do it much justice without seeing everything at once! The trip was so much fun. While I was packing for the trip, I truly thought that it was going to be impossible to get a full taste of Charleston is just two and a half days. We managed to do it though! (With the amazing help of the Charleston CVB.)

It seemed like just yesterday that Chassity planted the idea of planning a group blogger trip to Charleston and it was everything I could have imagined and then some.

We checked into our hotel early Friday evening. The Mills House was the perfect spot and the pink exterior certainly did not hurt. I loved the old southern charm with modern touches.

We rested for a tiny bit and then set off for a progressive dinner. This was genius because we got to eat at three different restaurants: The Daily, The Grocery, and The Macintosh. We squeezed a lot of food into a single night!!! (The crispy eggplant from The Grocery and The Macintosh's deckle were my two favorites of the night.)

It was the best way to kick off the trip. I'm glad we went to bed early because we started the next morning bright and early for a walking tour courtesy of Bulldog Tours. The tour was a great to learn more about the city and get a good feel for the lay of the land. I love the houses. Really, I can't believe I got on a plane to come back to NYC at all. The colors, the flower boxes, the cobblestone streets. I could not get enough.

After the tour, we popped on over to Chassity's house for hands down the most beautiful brunch that ever was. First of all, she has the most insanely perfect home. It's simply perfect. I love how much art she has in her home, bright and colorful paintings from talented artists (including the two tiny ones who live in-house). 

Wearing: this dress and these shoes (Photo by Grey Benko)

We had the afternoon to ourselves. I met up with a few local blog readers for a nice conversation over coffee at Black Tap. It was very warm so I just wandered the streets and popped in and out of stores before my feet finally had enough!

How crazy is that sunset?! We got everywhere with the little bike taxis piled three bloggers to a pedicab. So. Much. Fun.

On Saturday night, after a truly full day of Charleston exploration, we had the most magical night having dinner at Mariana Hay’s home. Her family owns the jewelry store Croghans. (You HAVE to check out the Goldbug collection! How FUN?! Use "collegeprepster" for 10% off.) Their house is like a movie set, but better because it's real. Gorgeous!!! 

I woke up super early so that I could explore the streets and get photos without tourists. I've heard that Charleston typically starts late in the morning and goes late into the night... and I found that to be very true about the morning. At 7am, no one was outside! I just walked up and down and back and forth all the streets until 9 when I had to get a little breakfast and coffee. Charleston had a lot more tourists than I expected so I appreciated an early, private and quiet walking tour!

Wearing: this dress (c/o), these shoes, this bag, and these sunglasses (c/o)

I met everyone for one last hurrah at the hotel. It was so warm, I was just soaking up all of the sun and the remainder of my time with long-distance friends!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Quidditch Documentary

If you recall, I read the entire Harry Potter series my senior year of college. I had read the first book in fifth grade, but never got into the whole thing. I decided to see what I was missing and reread the first book.... Loved it. LOVED IT. I blew through the series that first semester. (It was also the first year that I wasn't on the rowing team and was very lonely. Perfect time to read Harry Potter!)

Two things I love have come together: Harry Potter and documentaries.

Mudbloods follows the story of college students preparing for the quidditch world cup in NYC. It's not the best documentary plot-wise or art-direction wise, but it's very much worth a watch. I've heard of the college version of quidditch, but I definitely didn't understand it in the least.

It starts off slow, and frankly, it seems (for lack of a better word) embarrassing for the first bit of the film. But it picks up and soon you forget that you're watching kids running around with broomsticks between their legs. By the end, I had definitely picked favorites and found myself captivated by the tournament and rooting for my "favorite" team. It seems less and less like a made up sport and more like a fun, open-minded activity. (How many sports have men and women playing on the same field together... In true Harry Potter spirit, no one is excluded. If you want to play, you can play.)

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