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Behind the Scenes of Charleston Weekender

Managing my social media is an aspect of my business I really enjoy, & I hope when other people see my Instagram you get inspired to have more fun and decorate your life.  I always like to know what goes on behind the scenes when I see pretty photos I like, so I thought I would share some of my tips and the reality of what it often takes to get "postable" photos.  Luckily I often work with some great photographers that make magic happen, but other times it is myself or my husband behind my iPhone trying to get the perfect angle or touching that dang screen until it lights up enough.  I was just scrolling through my photos and found it comical just HOW many pictures I sometimes take to get a good one. Enjoy this little look at what goes into one picture sometimes, starting with me struggling way too hard to hold that champagne glass from the photo above:

Well, that was fun. I hope you laughed out loud as much as I did at how frightening some of those hat on my face photos were!  So now that I have a decent photo, I'm still not quite finished.  For a business Instagram account, I think some simple editing from an app really makes a big difference.  A lot of people like VSCO, but I really love how user friendly the editing app "Snapseed" is. Here is a Snapseed Tutorial, but if you just download the free app there is a little intro video that will teach you the basics.  The article's before an after is a good example of how I often lighten up my photos or add saturation to make the colors pop:

Furthermore, why do I even care to put all this effort into one picture?  Social media is a HUGE part of my online business.  Probably 90% of what I sell in my shop can be directly linked back to what I've posted recently.  The little face below sold me more than 10 hats last weekend, so I'd say having the best photos possible is very important for any business Instagram account!  Check out more tips in my upcoming Business for Instagram class at Mosa Boutique 6-8, August 24th!  You can purchase your spot here, or opt for a 1 on 1 consultation here.



An easy weekend DIY project: pom pom baskets.

Thank goodness pom poms and tassels seem to be here to stay.  In addition to being fun accents on handbags and clothing, I recently noticed them showing up on home accessories too.  My friend Melissa created pom poms with embroidery floss to add to some of her baskets, and she suggested yarn would work well too.  Pinterest had plenty of tutorials, but I liked this one from Camille Styles the best.  Camille suggests wrapping the yarn a certain number of times, but I just wrapped until it looked about like the picture.  Make sure the center yarn is tied as tightly as possible (step 4), and otherwise the pictures sum it up great!  I made 5 pom poms, then easily tied them through the openings of my palm tree basket.  I can't wait to top some presents with these cute accents, or use them as trim for the corner of accent pillows or throws.

Camille Styles showing the steps to a perfect pom pom. 

Camille Styles showing the steps to a perfect pom pom. 



An easy weekend DIY: $10 Easter baskets (for grown-ups)

This Easter I'm heading to Virginia with a group of my 4 best friends and their significant others- stay tuned for more about #5days10baes and lots of excessive #squadgoals posting.  We are going to be celebrating 10 years as friends as well as Easter, so of course we have to have Easter baskets.  Here is an easy 30-minute DIY you can do for less than $10 a basket.  I made them for couples, but I bet your mom or bestie would love one too.

What you'll need (makes 4 baskets):

- Easter baskets ($2 each) 

-4 packages of candy ($5 total). I chose Reese's Eggs, Starburst, Cadbury Eggs, Peeps, and mini jelly beans

-4 bags of Easter basket "grass" ($1 each). I opted for Carolina blue for my favorite Tar Heels!

-Turkish towel (optional, $32-38 each)

-Pack of paper straws ($1)

-Mini bottles of LaMarca ($4.50 each)

-Dozen write-able eggs for dying ($2)

Where to shop: I got everything I needed, including the bubbly, at Wal-Mart.  I have also seen the mini bottles of LaMarca at Harris Teeter, Total Wine, or Southern Season.  The dollar store has most of the other items as well.

Total Cost: under $40 ($9.50 per basket, or about $48 if you include a Turkish towel)

Hands on time: under 30 minutes

Shopping time: a million hours because I get so distracted in superstores. The struggle was real.



I wanted the top of my basket to be cute and clean, so I made my basket in layers with just a couple of things on top.

1. Lay the candy on the bottom of the basket.

2. I thought it would be nice to include a Turkish towel as a spring picnic blanket, so I layered that next.  If you leave this out, you can substitute with some tissue paper or another filler to make your contents take up the whole basket.

3.  Add your Easter grass as the next layer.

4.  Write your friend's names on an egg & tie 2 straws around your bottle of bubbly.  A fine tip sharpie would work well.  I used a light blue Staedtler pen, but it bled a little. Place these items on the top of the grass however you decide to arrange them. 

I decided to add a couple of Peeps, because what is Easter without your family or your peeps!?  Now you have the perfect Easter basket to give your grown-up friend or family member.



An easy weekend DIY project: faux flower wallpaper.

A fresh flower/washi tape wall, featured   here  at Style Me Pretty Living. 

A fresh flower/washi tape wall, featured  here at Style Me Pretty Living. 

I've recently seen flower walls popping up all over the internet, and I hope it doesn't stop! All you need is foil tape and some short stemmed flowers to transform a wall for a photo booth backdrop or as festive party decor.  I suppose real flowers will eventually dry if you leave them taped up, but it makes sense to use artificial plants or flowers if you want to have something more permanent.  I wanted to have a splash of fun for my office wall behind my desk, so here is how I made a wall of ferns (a.k.a. Fern Wall-is, in honor of the lovely lady who created fashion week, Fern Mallis). 

This fern bunch and washi tape were found at Michael's. 

This fern bunch and washi tape were found at Michael's. 

1. Gather Supplies:

-5 yard role of foil tape (similar to washi tape, but doesn't peel off as easily)

- approx 2 "bunches" of ferns per 10 sq. ft. of wall

2. Pull off the leaves. 

3. Tape bottom of fern with ~2 inch strip of tape. After some trial and error (and totally having to re-do the wall) I realized it was better to tape the bottom than the top so you aren't battling gravity. Gravity always wins. 

4.  Arrange in repeating diamond pattern.  Exact measuring isn't on my patience radar, so I started with a diamond shape spaced approx 6 inches apart.  Continue making a diamond pattern, which will result in diagonal rows of ferns. 

5. Voila! Enjoy your new wall, which comes out with a 3D wallpaper effect.  You could be more haphazard with your taping, but I love the uniform pattern of my ferns! Start to finish, this project could be completed in about an hour or less.  It could also be done with a variety of fun types of flowers, so tag me on Instagram if you make your own faux wallpaper! 

Fern times had by all! 

Fern times had by all!