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Tips for Beginning Bloggers

Now, in no means do I consider myself a blogging expert. However, running a blog for over a year has taught me lots of things, many of which I wish I would have known before I sat down and wrote my first post. Nowadays, blogs are popping up by the dozens and it's becoming more and more difficult to really stand out as a must read blog. While I am nowhere near a blogging expert, I do have a few tips to share with everyone, whether you're just starting out in the blogging world or if you've been blogging for quite sometime now.

||blogging is a huge time commitment||

While this may not apply to all bloggers, sometimes I find it challenging to find time to sit down and write, edit or plan posts. This was especially hard to balance during the fall (golf season), however, I managed to get through and now I have developed a pretty consistent routine. Starting out, it's a bit overwhelming but as you get more comfortable blogging, you'll find yourself wanting to making time to sit down and blog.

||blog about what you like & be original||

I'll say what I know many others have said, blog for yourself, not for followers. Yes, we all want our blog to go viral and have lots of fans but to be honest, that takes lots of time and dedication. If you're looking to expand your audience my best tip would be to blog for yourself. Write about what you like and others who share your interests will be likely to come back to your blog. And don't forget to be original! While it's fine to get post inspiration from other blogs, make sure you make your content unique, tailor it to you!

||social media is key||

I started my blog without having any social media sites for my blog. Gosh was that a mistake on my part! Once I created social media accounts for my website and began sharing my content, I saw a slow but steady increase in my blog traffic. My tip for growing your social media account? Utilize your accounts regularly. I post daily on Instagram and have found that doing so helps grow my blog as well.

||quality over quantity||

While is it great to post consistently, I would much rather read a well written (& edited) post over something I can tell was quickly written just to have something to post. Your blog shouldn't be defined by how many posts you share but rather by the content you share. Simply put, post count doesn't matter, just focus on writing quality posts that you are proud to have written.

||use good quality photos & give credit when necessary||

While I myself still struggle with providing high quality images for my posts, my advice would be to try your best to show photographs where the object being photographed can easily be identified. If you're showing a bracelet, make sure we can tell it's a bracelet and not a hair tie. And please, please, please if you ever use another bloggers image, give them the credit they deserve. I've had a few companies & accounts who have shared some of my photos without giving me credit and it just bothers me. Maybe it's just me, but it's better to be safe and just give them the credit.

I hope these tips were helpful to any and all newbies out there. Do you have any tips to share?

Pinehurst Experience

As if I haven't said it enough, I'm a golfer. If you read yesterday's post which talked about my Spring Break then you read that my family visited Pinehurst Golf Club on our way home. For those who don't like golf, I'm sorry but I really wanted to share these photos.
Pinehurst was home to the 2014 Men & Women's U.S. Open so I was really excited to be visiting. I didn't take a ton of photos as I was too busy just enjoying the moment and being a little star struck as I got to see some very historic pieces and photographs in golf history. 
Jack Nicklaus, The Golden Bear

Michelle Wie: winner of the 2014 US Women's Open

Jack Nicklaus & Ben Hogan. Two greats in the game of golf.

I hope you enjoyed this photo post & getting to see my trip to Pinehurst! Have you ever been to or played Pinehurst? (If you've played, I'm jealous)

Spring Break Recap

I'll keep this short as this post is FULL of photos. About 2 weeks ago my district had Spring Break so my family & I headed down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a week with stops at University of South Carolina on the way down & Pinehurst Golf Club & Wake Forest University of the way home. Today I'm showing you guys all the photos I took while away! Enjoy!

We were actually able to get into Willams-Brice Stadium and take a few photos.

Ryan (younger brother) & I both really like USC and I am strongly considering it even though I'm only a sophomore. Ryan really likes it too & he's only in middle school! Oh well, better to start looking early then late, right?

Spotted: VV @ USC

We were fortunate enough to have a dock on the lagoon with our house so my brother & I spent most of our mornings chilling on the dock. Usually consisting of Ryan trying to fish & me taking tons of photos that never actually made it on Instagram. 

There's a bit of a story behind this one: One of my friends thinks my obsession with vineyard vines is a serious obsession so everyday I sent her a photo of me wearing some article of vineyard vine's clothing as a joke. This was day 2. We both shared a lot of laughs looking at my ridiculous daily photos.

Sadly, it rained most of the week so we only used the pool a few times. But man do I wish I had this backyard everyday.

insert heart-eyed emoji here

Our deck had these solar powered lanterns and for some odd reason they reminded me of Gatsby. Mom actually got this candid of me watching the little brother try to get a fishing rod untangled from a tree on our last night.

In love with these shorts. This photo doesn't quite do them the justice they deserve.

This was before we saw the sun so that explains why I am so pale.

No joke, this cookie was the size of my face.

Putt-Putt was taken very seriously as both Ryan & I are golfers and both extremely competitive. For the record, I would have one but I three-putted the first hole. Great start there Riley :/

My "look I actually don't look super pale but now I'm burnt & my hair is lighter" selfie that all my friends received after our first day of sun.

My delicious salad & pink lemonade I enjoyed before the UK game.

No caption is necessary for this photo :)

Jadelynn Brooke at my favorite store, Palmetto Moon. I made my parents drive me there on our last night at like 7:30 because they had yet to take me there and I wasn't leaving until I had been there.

This was vv photo day 7

Yeah, this happened... dogs on the greens

I hope you enjoyed this very, very long post and looking inside my Spring Break trip! Where did you go?

Vera Bradley Outlet Sale 2015

Yep, I attended the 2015 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. If you know me, you know that I'm not usually the type of person who takes on these kinds of adventures but this year mom & I decided to take on the crowds as we both were in need of some new bags.
For those who are unfamiliar, the VBOS (Vera Bradley Outlet Sale) takes place in Fort Wayne, Indiana which is just a short 2.5 hour drive for us from Ohio. This was my mom & I's first year attending the sale so we were newbies. We purchased tickets for the 4th session which took place from 6:00pm-8:30pm Friday night. Since it was a Friday & I didn't have any major events going on, we left at about 1pm and arrived in Fort Wayne at about 3:45. After finding a parking spot at the Coliseum we decided to head in and see if they were allowing people to wait for the next session (which was in 2+ hours). When we arrived there was a session taking place but we were directed to a "holding area" upstairs where we waited the 2 hours to get into our session. We ended up being the 6th & 7th people in line which we did not intend to be that close but, hey, we weren't complaining.
The "holding area" actually overlooked the exit of the sale room so we occupied ourselves by watching all the bags people would come out with.

By time we were finally allowed to enter the sale room I was more than ready to shop. Once you enter the sale room you're handed a giant pink bag & a map and off you go! The room is enormous & we got lost several times. I had a few specific items I really wanted so I headed to the back of the room to grab a Vera Tote (I use these for school bags). I also really needed a new wallet & wristlet so I then headed to the front to grab those. Then I hit up the bin of lanyards & keychains just in case there's a potential car in my future (which there probably isn't but who could resist lanyards for $4!). We then grabbed a few overnight bags and I grabbed a ribbon board and few other things that I didn't think I'd be buying but the prices were too good to pass up.
After an hour and a half of walking up & down aisles of totes and backpacks we quickly sorted through our bags to make sure we didn't have any repeats (which we did) and then proceeded to checkout which, surprisingly, was a very quick process (thank goodness!).  We then grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the hotel to admire our purchases & grab a dessert from the restaurant in the hotel.

A glimpse inside the sale room right after walking in... when it wasn't packed wall to wall

All of this isn't mine, my mom & I are planning on sharing the majority of the items.
Pictured is: Grand Cargo Bag, Classic Tote, Weekender, Vera Tote, Teddy Bear (for the puppy), Euro Wallet, Hipster, Cell Phone Wristlets, Mints, Nail Files, Lanyards, Key Chains, Bracelet, Happy Hour Set, Hair Ties, Ribbon Board, Hobo Totes (deal of the session, $4.99!), Flip-Flops, and Travel Hanging Organizers. If you have any questions about what you see or want to know pattern names, let me know!
I'm sorry, it was late, I was tired, and a selfie just kinda happened ;)
Much needed chocolate mini cake & ice cream

View from our hotel room (We're big baseball fans)
And a very happy (& tired) girl before heading out this morning.
I hope you all enjoyed getting a glimpse into the VBOS! Have you ever been?