Weekly Coffee Break: 4.15.15

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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Need a boost? The Being Boss podcast is a must-listen for any blogger or aspiring creative entrepreneur.

Or check out this brand new series from the lovely By Regina on taking control and building your dream job.

From Kayla Hollatz, here are 29 amazing ways to give back to your blog community this week.

This delicious homemade sugar cookie frosting from Design Eat Repeat could be dessert all on its own.

If you're looking for a new sewing project, add this DIY pleated mini skirt from A Pair & A Spare to your list!

On the hunt for free blog images? This round-up offers some great resources to try!

What I Wore: Mustard and Stripes

Monday, April 13, 2015

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Ever since I went back to work in an office, I've been on this odd little quest to find my definition of office casual. Working from home killed my need for perfectly tailored outfits, and now, comfort and functionality are key. I'm shying away from high-maintenance pieces that require any sort of thought during the day. I want fabrics with a little extra stretch and no chance of wrinkling. Comfortable and polished are the end goals.

I recently picked up this skirt from Old Navy that fulfills all those new requirements. Ponte knit fabrics are my new favorite thing. Paired with a cotton top and comfy boots? I'm good to go for another day in the office. What are your top priorities when it comes to work clothes?

Outfit details:
Forever 21 Top
Old Navy Pencil Skirt
Old Navy Necklace
H&M Braided Belt
Steve Madden Boots

Meet The Blogger(s): Life, Love and Coffee Stains

Friday, April 10, 2015

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Looking for new reading material? Not sure how to get started as a blogger? Coffee and Cardigans' monthly blogger Q&A series introduces some of the amazing lady bloggers that inspired on me a daily basis. Leah and Chelsea are the lovely ladies behind Life, Love and Coffee Stains. And two great blogging friends! You can find LL&CS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Tell me a little about you ladies and your blog!

Leah: Chelsea and I met sophomore year of college at Wake Forest on the rowing team, and became fast friends! After graduation, I took a job at Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, GA (my boyfriend is in a graduate program at UGA) and adopted a lively little pup named Guster. Chelsea stuck around at our Alma Mater in Winston-Salem (where her boyfriend and two cats also live) to get a Masters in English. We both love coffee and wine, and I’m slowly converting Chelsea into a beer drinker as well.

Life, Love, and Coffee Stains is a blog for caffeinated 20-somethings getting through life one cup of coffee at a time! Really, this means we’re blogging about anything and everything that comes up in life after graduating from under-grad, from Making New Friends to Making Better Coffee at Home . We started blogging last July, so the blog is sneaking up on a year old now, and I’m really excited to see where it goes in the future!

How did you get started blogging?

Chelsea: I was sitting at work last summer shortly after Leah had moved to Athens. We talked almost everyday about work, life, the boys...everyday normal stuff that was changing post-graduation. One day, she texted asking if I wanted to start a blog with her, and Life, Love, and Coffee Stains was born. I love to write and Leah is a marketing genius, so between the two of us, blogging came naturally. We were able to both showcase our strengths, share our post-grad lives (and struggles) with the world, and most importantly, keep in touch. Now, even on weeks when we are both crazy busy and don’t have time for a lengthy phone call, we still have the blog to keep us connected.

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What's daily life for you both - blogging included?

Leah: I work in the marketing department at Terrapin, which is an awesome experience. The beer industry is a creative place with a lot going on, so that definitely keeps me busy! I’m also a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel, which I started as a fun side project, and as a way to help me save toward possibly going back to graduate school some day!

Chelsea: As Leah mentioned, I am getting a Masters in English at Wake Forest right now, so a lot of my time is spent reading and writing for class. I also have three part-time jobs - two on campus and one doing social media for NOCQUA Adventure Gear. On top of all that, I write for two blogs, Life Love and Coffee Stains (obvi) and I’mperfect Magazine. You could say I have a personal vendetta against free time.

What keeps you inspired as a blogger?

Leah: No joke, I totally followed Coffee and Cardigans before we started blogging, so you’ve been a great inspiration for me in Chelsea and I’s blogging journey! I’m also a huge fan of That Working Girl - Lindsay is a great source for inspiration. In terms of advice/ resources, I would have to say By Regina and The Nectar Collective are pretty awesome. I will say though, sometimes my best inspiration comes from outside of the blogging world - realizing the questions I have or my experiences are the best blog post ideas. For example, my post,My Experience Joining a Sorority Charter Class, was re-posted on Kappa Alpha Theta’s Alumnae blog and got some great engagement!

What's your quirky blogging ritual?

Chelsea:: Whenever I have free time? I know that sounds awful, but I’ve never been one for ritual. Despite my compulsive planning, blogging is either whenever inspiration hits me, or whenever I realize “oh crap, I really need to write a blog post.” Leah and I were joking the other week that whenever I can’t figure out what to write about, my mind automatically goes to alcohol. I’m still not sure what this says about me. I’m not sure I want to know!

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What advice would you offer other bloggers?

Leah: Be authentic! It’s easy to feel like everything you put on the internet has to be storybook perfect, but guess what - it’s ok to have some struggles. My favorite example is probably only a few posts back. Callie’s article, Letting It Go: Beating Fear as a Young Pro, is a great example of being honest about struggle. Not everyone can be perfect all the time, and showing readers that can help them connect with you on a deeper level. That being said - be positive! People read blogs because of their positivity and encouragement. If you’re real, positive, and enthusiastic, you’ll find a loyal readership who visits you regularly, and cares about what you’re saying!

Answer one question you had as a new blogger.

Chelsea: How do I get people to actually read this stuff? When you first start out blogging, there’s this pressure to come up with diverse, interesting, compelling, relevant content, but you also only have your personal life to draw from. It’s a little daunting. No one wants to hear about my third trip to Starbucks this week, or that EJ and I have decided to move in together (oh hey, blogging community...guess it’s time I shared that piece of news).

However, what I’ve found works best - and here’s that nugget of experiential wisdom - is working the personal into the global. What I mean by that is, starting off with a little personal anecdote and following with a broader subject. Moving in together becomes less a post about your individual decision and more about 5 things to talk about before you make that decision because hey, I was there a month ago and maybe you, dear reader, are in a similar position. Too personal and you’re posting an online diary. Too broad and people will just read Buzzfeed, ya know? Blogging is unique in its ability to share experiences. That’s how you get people to read.