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The Girliest Spots in Charleston

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You will rarely find me in heels, and I’m really not the most girly-girl when it comes to hair and make-up. However, I sure do love to get together with the gals and go to a super adorable space whenever possible. Here are the most girly shops & restaurants around Charleston, which you’ll enjoy whether you’re here for a bachelorette or just wanting to treat yourself to some holy city cuteness!


Semilla

This modern Mexican-inspired gem is just popping with pink! If you love the Instagram account @PlantsonPink, you’ll feel like you stepped into one of their posts when you go to Semilla. Bonus: the food is phenomenal (best ribs in town)!

c/o Mary Beth Creates

c/o Mary Beth Creates

Camellia’s

This gorge champagne bar is nestled inside the fancy new Hotel Bennett. An opulent chandelier, fresh flowers, and plenty of pink will have you ogling your surroundings while you sip your bubbly.

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Cannonborough Collective

Now that we’ve expanded our shop and taken over the next door space, we have even more pops of pink and cute new merchandise for you to browse! As always, we have plenty of girly balloons like unicorns. I’ve also expanded my offerings to include more home decor & entertaining items, so I hope you’ll stop by soon to have a look.

image c/o Mary Beth Creates

image c/o Mary Beth Creates

Jude Connally

I just love this adorable back room at Jude Connally on King Street! Prior to developing her clothing line, Jude was an interior designer and you can certainly tell by the way she decorated her store. BONUS: Jude really knows how to design clothing that makes any woman feel amazing; you’ll go gaga for her prints!

c/o Kim Graham Photo

c/o Kim Graham Photo

The Skinny Dip

You probably already know where to go the next time you have a hankering for frosé, and you’ll love shopping their brands like Sail to Sable and August Morgan!

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The Community

This adorable new kid on the block is stocked with all kind of brands from home decor items to skin care. They have cute offerings for kids as well.

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Mylk Bar

If you like a little Instagram-friendly moment to go with your mani, you’ve found the right place!

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Blo Dry Bar

There’s now a downtown location of this cute dry bar. I love how their branding is full of pink and puns! Bonus: enjoy champagne while you get your hair did!

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Candy Shop Vintage

You’ll love the vintage and vintage inspired jewelry in this cute little shop, and it’s just right down the street from Cannonborough Collective.

c/o Rachel Red Photography

c/o Rachel Red Photography

That’s all for now, but comment if you can think of any other spots filled with all the girly goodness

that I missed, and follow along on Instagram for more of my Charleston recs!

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Influencer Marketing: my guide to getting the ROI you want

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Influencer Marketing is still kind of the new kid on the block when it comes to advertising. Your company can pay a social media “influencer” or blogger (like me!) to promote their brand or location for you. As a consumer, I get most of my inspiration from an online platform. For decorating inspiration I typically head to Pinterest (which really leads you to blogs), and I usually discover restaurants or local stores I want to go try from Instagram. Based on my own habits as a consumer and also as a store owner myself, I can tell you I’m very confident that Influencer Marketing “works”! The real question is how can you make sure it is going to work before you allocate some of your budget to this outlet. Here are a few common questions I hear about this topic, along with some of the advice I usually give before partnering with a brand to help make our collaboration as successful as possible!

What guarantee do I have that working with an influencer will work?

Short answer: just like with any form of traditional marketing, there are never guarantees about sales or visits to your website.

You can’t put an ad in a magazine and guarantee you’ll sell out of your website inventory, right? The biggest benefit of most forms of marketing is reach/circulation/brand awareness. Just like circulation is the number you would focus on before deciding to advertise in a magazine, and viewership is what you would care about before paying to go on a local TV segment, I think the biggest guarantee with Instagram promotion is the reach per post. 20,000 followers doesn’t mean that many people see all of my posts. An Instagram post for me can get anywhere from 3k-over 20k unique views for an Instagram post and 1-2k views for Instagram stories. The average unique reach of my last 10 Instagram posts is 6,300.

Another “guarantee” with Influencer Marketing is often that you will get professional photos for your own social media use. Hiring a professional photographer is usually anywhere from $150 for about 30 minutes to possibly thousands of dollars for a full editorial shoot, so it’s a great added value to get that high quality content for your brand.

Ok, so there are no guarantees, but how do I make sure I get the best possible return?

  • Give a discount. Offer a unique discount code for the blogger so you can track how many sales they brought to the table (I recommend at least 20% off with a short term expiration date).

  • Repetition. From selling my own products on my platform as well as promoting other brands, I can say the most success comes with repetition. When I’ve done a series of 3 posts instead of a one off, that’s when companies tell me they see the most sales. I’ve noticed the same when I’ve promoted a new product or one of my workshops the 2nd or 3rd time.

  • Find the right influencer fit. Do not be blinded by shiny objects like follower count! Sure, hiring Kim Kardashian to post for you (for about a quarter million dollars btw) could help you get Internet Famous. Well, what if you are a Charleston based restaurant? You might actually see more real customers come through your doors if you team up with someone who instead has mostly Charleston followers. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you find an influencer who: is in the same location as you or the same genre. A beauty blogger will probably get more people into your spa than a food blogger, and if you have a store/restaurant/physical location you need to find someone with the majority of their followers also in that area. The only exception I can think of is when it comes to hotels/lodging, because anyone from anywhere could want to travel based on a blogger recommendation. Personally, I’ve added several places to my own bucket list after being introduced to them by gals like Hot Pink Pineapples and Palm Beach Lately! Also make sure you like their: captions, aesthetic, content, personality, etc.

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Be Your Own Influencer First!

Sometime sales are not your main marketing goal; perhaps you are hoping to get a boost in your own Instagram followers. If that’s the case, this simply isn’t going to happen if your Instagram isn’t pretty awesome! Therefore, I’ll often encourage brands to invest in my Instagram Growth Workshop instead of hiring me to promote them. I want them to get follower growth if that is their goal, but when someone clicks over to their page it has to good at first glance in order for someone want to follow along. Someone will decide in a few seconds if they want to follow, largely baed on the overall aesthetic and content you have to offer.

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Is Influencer Marketing Better Than “Traditional” Marketing?

I am certainly not trying to knock print advertising, advertising on TV, etc.! I have a local TV segment, so I am confident that is effective, and the times our store has been featured in local magazines we have always seen new customers. I certainly appreciate and welcome any and all press for our brick and mortar store! However, there are a couple of reasons we’ve chosen to primarily utilize our marketing budget for influencer marketing. 1) Influencers have brought us new Instagram followers that are now ours to “keep” and continue to see what we’re doing over and over. 2) As I mentioned before, photography is expensive! We only invest in about 1 photo shoot a quarter, so teaming up with bloggers usually means we get access to new content to share on our social accounts in the interim.

Let’s recap! When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s super important that you:

-know your goals

-find the right influencer for your brand

-set yourself up for success by having a way to measure your ROI or ask for the stats after the campaign is finished

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Also, don’t be afraid to ask for more info up front. It’s perfectly fine to request a screenshot of their follower demographic, or ask to hear about their previous campaigns. As a business owner, I have invested in influencers by gifting product to bloggers. Sometimes it brought me sales and other times it didn’t, but I always made sure I got something out of it. If you’re like me, you may not have a large advertising budget to work with. I really want you to get the most bang for your buck, so always feel free to DM me at @CharlestonWeekender or email me (CharlestonWeekender@Gmail.com) if you have any other questions about all of this!

all images by Elizabeth Burgi Photography

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Modernism Week Must-Sees

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Modernism Week is the annual Palm Springs event that you’ve probably heard me yammer on & on about the past few years! It’s hard to express with words why I love this city and this February event so much, so I wanted to share some fun photos and my top recommendations in the line-up this year. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of why you need to join me there and which events you just can’t miss!

So what IS Modernism Week?

Modernism Week begins on February 14th & is a celebration of all things mid-century; the architecture & decor, the nightlife, the culture, and so much more! It lasts for 11 days, and offers a plethora of happenings from lectures on architecture to cocktail parties. This event is especially fun for design enthusiasts and architecture lovers like me, because you get to tour a lot of private homes & neighborhoods you wouldn’t otherwise see when you visit this desert oasis. Now let’s get you rocking & rolling with a fabulous itinerary, shall we?! In no particular order, here are the events I’ll definitely be checking out.

This post is in partnership with ACME House Company, but all opinions are my own.


Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Aqualillies Synchronized Swimming Show | February 15th-19th, 3 shows a day | Get Tickets Here

I immediately fan-girled over these talented ladies when I saw them perform on Glee, then again when they collaborated on a series of fine art prints with my favorite photographer, Gray Malin. It was Gray’s photos that inspired me to reach out to these synchronized swimming dynamos to see if they might work with me on a photo shoot to help me promote my Turkish towels. Well, they kindly agreed, not once but twice! We worked together on this shoot in Palm Beach with Beth from Palm Beach Lately and again in Palm Springs with the adorable Kelly Golightly & her husband “Fred Moser”. The Palm Springs shoot happened at one of my favorite ACME properties, and hence is how the Aqualillies connected with the fabulous brand manager of ACME. This was obviously a match made in modernism heaven- I mean I think every single ACME rental has the one thing the Aqualillies can’t do without- a pool! Well, fast forward to this year’s Modernism Week and that connection has blossomed into 15 fabulous performances! The shows will take place at ACME’s 2018 West Elm House, so as an added bonus you get to see that gorgeous property.

Truth be told, this is probably the event I’m most looking forward to! Luckily, upon introducing ACME + Aqualillies, I asked for a matchmaking fee of a permanent invitation to their performances together. I really hope you get to see one of their shows, too. If you’ve never witnessed an aqua ballet, it will simply make you giggle with delight!


Christopher Kennedy Compound First Look | Friday February 15th, 6-8pm | Get Tickets Here

Sadly, all of the tickets to tour this 1962 Indian Canyons home are already sold out, but you can still be the first to get a peek at this jaw dropping spectacle during this grand reveal party. In a nutshell, the Christopher Kennedy Compound is typically the main highlight of Mod Week. A couple years ago it was at the fabulous home of my favorite Palm Springs blogger, Kelly Golightly. Talent after talent collaborated to design a different room- everyone from Oh Joy to Gray Malin. I can’t wait to see who the celebrity designers are and how they transform the show house this year! All 12 of them will be on site during the evening so you can ask them about their designs in person.

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

If you can’t make it to any of the Christopher Kennedy Compound events, you’ll have to at least pop into his swoon-worthy store. It’s one of my favorite stores in town, and they even carry my Turkish towels!

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The Ultimate Mid Mod Cocktail Party | 2019 West Elm House | February 17th, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

If you’ve always wanted to stay at an ACME House Company Vacation rental but can’t swing it this time around, this is the next best thing. You can tour this 1950’s estate home as well, but I highly recommend you go ahead and give yourself a night to remember and hit up this party! There will be an open bar & live music, and you can hang out around the fabulous pool or lounge in any of the impeccably designed rooms like the retro queen that you are. The entire house is decked out in everything West Elm, just like the other ACME West Elm houses I’ve showed you in the past. If you’d like to see the home during the day to get better photos, you can tour it for free by reserving a ticket here.

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Modern Love: | February 14th, 8pm | Get Tickets Here

This is the other cocktail party I recommend, not only because it falls on my very favorite holiday, but also because it’s the official kick off to the week of fun! There will be a 12 piece orchestra AND a DJ, and the Indian Canyons Country Club Clubhouse will be transformed into “a groovy, modern love lair”. I better work on my beehive hairdo and break out the white pleather boots

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously!    Nathan Cox Photography

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously! Nathan Cox Photography


Green Gables Poolside Fashion Show | Thursday February 21st, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

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The pools of Palm Springs are always a delight, and this H3K designed home is no exception. While called “Green Gables”, the home is actually overflowing with pops of yellow! It was definitely one of my favorite home tour stops during Modernism Week Preview back in October, and this event is a great way to check it out this February. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails and appetizers while watching an array of fashion trends from 1950-1965 walk down a poolside runway. Groovy, baby!

Green Gables by H3K Design

Green Gables by H3K Design

If you still need a place to stay, you won’t be disappointed if you stay in an ACME vacation rental!  The ones I’ve tried (and LOVED) are Beverly Modern, Atomic Hummingbird, & The Wexler Fishbowl. We also got to peek into the “Palm Springs Time Machine”, the home from the Netflix Show Stay Here, and boy is it a beauty!  ALL YEAR LONG, you can use code WeekenderLove for a $100+ discount on your next stay with ACME!

Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram if you’ll be heading to Modernism Week this year!

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5 Happiness Hacks for Your Home

Margaret Wright Photography for Apartment Therapy

Margaret Wright Photography for Apartment Therapy

It seems like so many people are in need of more happiness! I’m finally getting out of a several month funk, but I want to continue to share things to help you sprinkle more joy into your life. Your home is where you probably spend the majority of your time, so this is a great place to concentrate your efforts when it comes to manifesting more happiness. Below I’m sharing a few things that stick out when I think about what makes our home a happy place. I hope this helps you make every day feel like the weekend!

Some of the links I’ve shared in this post are affiliate links that earn me a small commission, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Thanks for helping support my blog!

-Tidy Spaces-

I bet you’ve heard about the trending “Tidying Up” Netflix show by now. Host Marie Kondo shares organizing tips from her book, The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. This is one of those books that stuck with me more than most, and I still implement many of her strategies years later. It’s all about having less, and really narrowing down your belongings to those things that give you joy. The less you have the less you have to worry about organizing, but she offers great tips for storage and folding for those items that make the cut.

Margaret Wright Photography for Apartment Therapy

Margaret Wright Photography for Apartment Therapy

Other books that might help you spark some joy:

You are a Badass, The Happiness Advantage, & The Happiness Project

-Good Smells-

I sure do love lighting a candle or having a diffuser going when we’re hanging on the couch. When it comes to candles, I recommend opting for brands containing fragrance that comes from essential oils (so you don’t get all of the carcinogens that can come from synthetic fragrance). My favorite local brands are Park & Madison, & MacBailey Candle Co., & The Contents Co.

I found a range of cute diffuser options on the high, medium and lower end of price ranges. But let’s be honest, you really need this pineapple diffuser!

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-Plenty of Music-

Amazon Echo (or Google Home) is such a game changer! The sound quality is great, and we love being able to control the volume or change a playlist from across the room. Sure, it’s laziness at it’s finest, but we definitely listen to music twice as often as we used to. Beware, you may even be prompted to have the occasional kitchen dance party for two!

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-Statement Seating-

Our hanging chair is probably my favorite spot in the house. It feels like a treat to get to sit here while I read or when we have friends over. It’s playful & chic all at the same time. The one shown is from Serena & Lily, but I found an option for about half the price here.

The style below has a similar vibe, and it also has legs so you don’t have to deal with hanging it!

-A Fun but Unnecessary Accessory-

Of course I don’t really need a yellow phone in my house, we don’t even have a landline number! However, i’s such a fun statement piece that can really spruce up a shelf or end table. Cute right? We also have this pink payphone version in our shop, and it just makes everyone so happy!

Margaret Wright Photography

Margaret Wright Photography

Another fun accessory option could be one of those retro cat clocks or a colorful record player or a quirky pillow.


Thanks for stopping by my blog! Come see me over on Instagram, and I’ll try to share more tips to help you with your happiness hygiene.

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21 Days of Happiness Habits

We’re 21 days from jumping for joy!

We’re 21 days from jumping for joy!

I recently shared in my Instagram stories that I’ve been living over here in funk land lately. What?! That girl that is over here trying to spread cheer and help you “make every day feel like the weekend” isn’t living in a constant state of joy? Not so much. Yes, overall I consider myself to be an optimistic person, and in person I am pretty outgoing and energetic.  However, since October I’ve been feeling pretty darn apathetic, lethargic, and unmotivated!  Just stuck! I call it a funk, but by medical terms I think it’s really a mild depression that I sometimes find myself in when I haven’t been managing my anxiety over time.  Lack of regular exercise, letting trigger foods (wheat/dairy/sugar) creep back into my diet, and not spending enough quality time with friends having fun outside of work all add up.

So yeah, my rose colored glasses seem to be lost, and frankly it’s all been very confusing!  I don’t actually feel sad. I don’t cry or sleep all day or do a lot of things you may think a depressed person would do.  I have SO much to be genuinely thankful for, and in so many ways life is better than ever! Our shop is doing great, I’ve had a couple great recent features about our lovely new home,  my marriage is really solid, and I have some truly amazing friends!  I have all those things and still feel just “meh”.  So I have been beating myself up about feeling this way, because what do I have to complain about? Well let me share some of my negative thought loops that keep creeping in:

I wish I had more energy! Life’s not that hard.

What is the point of having lots of Instagram followers if I’m not making a positive impact? Why am I not figuring out a way to make more of a difference?  

Should I be trying to have a family? I’m 35! I want a family one day but it isn’t something I want today. What’s wrong with me?!

I’m a smart person, why am I not making more money!?

What should I do next? Instagram might not be here forever, so maybe I shouldn’t make that such a big component of my business. 

I should get off the couch and go do laundry! My husband works really hard AND cooks for us so why am I not motivated to do more?! 

Feeling stuck :(

Feeling stuck :(

I definitely recognize the power of self talk, but getting myself into this pattern of negative self talk really crept up on me! It’s easy to tell yourself positive stories until it’s not.  Before you know it, your brain is noticing the negative more than the positive, and then it’s REALLY difficult to get back in a truly positive mindset.  My friend Brenda recently reminded me that our brains really are like computers and sometimes they need just to be reprogrammed.  So, enter a 21 day plan to help myself and anyone else with a little reset...

Awhile ago, I read the “Happiness Advantage” and was recently reminded of it again on this podcast.  In his books, Happiness researcher Shawn Achor (you can also hear him on this Ted Talk) shares some strategies that yielded improved long-term happiness in his studies.  I’ve shared these techniques below and decided I can definitely do all of these things for the next 21 days.  If you want to join me January 1-21 (or on your own timeline if you’re reading this later), let’s do this!

-What’s the daily game plan?-

1. Walk (at least 15 minutes)

2. Doubling Journaling (1+ minute)

This concept is explained better in this podcast episode or in this book, but basically you write down a positive experience you had that day (or previous day if you’re journaling at night). Then you note 3 specific details to help this memory solidify in your mind. 

3. Meditate or pray (2+ minutes) 

Quiet time of any kind can be pretty challenging! I’m using the Headspace app’s guided meditations to make it a little easier to accomplish. Even just 5 minutes are helping me improve my relationship with my thoughts and help me live in the present.  

4. Name your gratitudes (~3 minutes) 

The key is to a) name 3 new things you’re thankful for each day and b) share why you are grateful for that thing. Feel free to fit this in while you’re brushing your teeth, or commit to sharing with your spouse or roommates at dinner.  Or, join my Instagram accountability group (more on that below).

Example: Yesterday I had an uplifting phone call with my good friend.  I was wearing mismatched socks, the weather was pretty warm, & I noticed lots of gorgeous camellias in bloom while I was walking.

5. Social outreach (2+ minutes) 

Achor suggests to spend 2 minutes and email or text someone every day and thank them for something.  That sounds like a good way to connect and focus on appreciation, and I say go for it if you want!

I’m trying this in a slightly different way.  For one, I’m trying to just spend more time with friends having FUN (at least once a week).  Daily I have another plan: Since social media is such a big part of my job, I’m going to try to be more social with it. A lot of what I do is strategy and growth and blah blah, and social media is a place that has become triggering for my anxiety as of late due to the comparison game (I’ll never have that many followers as so in so, I’ll never get as much work with brands as she is getting, etc. etc.).  For a long time I was able to keep my eyes in my own lane and be happy when I saw others doing great things too, but I’ve noticed the more uncertain I am about my career, the more these comparison thoughts creep in for me.  Anyway, for this part I will be doling out likes and compliments (via comments or DMs) to people I come across in my feed (who I often just scroll past).

Feel good bonus: if you’d like to join me avoiding dairy/gluten/sugar for the next 21 days that always helps me feel way better. Our body really doesn’t need any of these things and they are often linked to anxiety/depression and even dementia. 

-Total daily time commitment-

20-30 minutes. 

-Get social for max success-

Why do we feel like tackling the chore of fighting depression/apathy/a funk is something we have to do alone?  The more people I’ve shared with lately the more my friends and spouse have been checking in with me.  The more people you share your struggles with, a) the more people you’ll encounter also having trouble and b) the more people you’ll have supporting you so you don’t have to go it alone.

The first 15 people to DM me on Instagram and say “I’m in” can join my 21 day accountability group- where we will share our gratitudes with each other daily from January 1-21st.

-Why 21 days?- 

As a speech therapist who has helped patients learn memory strategies and other cognitive functions, I’ve always heard that it takes 21 consecutive days to make a new habit. The Happiness Advantage research seems to reiterate this principle. Besides, this doesn’t sound like too insurmountable of a commitment, so let’s run with it!

-Have I tried this and know it works?- 

Yes and no. I have already noticed a big difference when I walk for at least an hour a day, and days I’m sedentary really contribute to my feelings of “blah”.  This summer I found that journaling really helped me get clarity and get thoughts out of my head so they don’t get stuck in a loop there. And so far, I have definitely noticed a greater awareness about my thought patterns from meditating just 5 minutes a day.  So no, I haven’t tried all of these things for 21 days straight, but from trying individual components of this plan I can tell there are going to be benefits!

Should I have tried this before I roped you into this with me? Sure. Are we going to give this a shot together anyway? Yessss! 

-Let’s measure our success-

If you do anything for 21 days in a row, you’re a winner in my book!   However, I do want you to rate your current status now and again on January 21.  In your journal, give yourself an overall numerical happiness rating on a scale of 1-10 (1=misery, 10= ecstasy) & take inventory/jot down details of some specifics of how you’re feeling recently. 

-Disclaimer-

I’m obviously not a mental health or medical professional, and I’m currently working with a therapist and medical doctor to develop my own overall treatment plan.  If you are experiencing depression, I definitely recommend that you also seek professional help- it’s a wonderful thing!  Please email me if you are in need of any local resources!

images by:  Kim Graham Photography

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