Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Beauts

I stay getting inspired by things on Tumblr and Pinterest and save them to my phone for when I'm feeling a little bit down. Here are my favorites from today!


























This is so cute and I want it so badly! Anyone know where it's from?!


The paint and the flowers, ah, it's so beautiful.


Someone please get me somewhere like this.


How are you not in love with this photo?

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest

Pinterest is my baby. It's where I started falling in love with fashion and crafting and baking and it's also a large part of my blog social media incorporation. A lot of people ask me about it and blogging, but Pinterest is actually a HUGE benefit when it comes to blogging.

Now before you read this whole post, you might as well follow me on Pinterest!

A little side note: I think that a lot of blogs start from one main source of social media, and mine happened to be Pinterest. I really don't know how I have followers other than the fact that I got one four years ago when you still had to have an invite to join (yeah, major throwback). So it's not like I just woke up one day with a following!

Pinterest is great for growing traffic on your blog, so I've written out why it is and how to optimize Pinterest to do so.



Put images on your blog that you can imagine seeing on Pinterest. 

I'm not saying you have to change everything on your blog, but especially if your post is more writing-focused, adding in a few images that you can pin that will adequately show what your post is about is absolutely fantastic. One person who's incredible at this is Sarah, and it was actually her questions about Pinterest that prompted some of this post. Here's an example of her photo and how beneficial Pinterest really can be:


This was genuinely a post that I wanted to save to my board for college preparation and the photo showed that this was a link to 'tips for storage, decorating, and saving space', while showing an example of Sarah's dorm for aesthetic purposes. It may seem silly at first, but creating images that you can put onto your blog that have text in them are crucial. I don't even have any big photo editing software, but I use the heck out of Google Drawings to edit images into pinnable ones or create text images.

Pinned? Duh. And look at the repins. This brings me to another great aspect of Pinterest...

Everything can be shared and shared again.

As opposed to something like Twitter or Instagram where your tweet or photo only has the ability to reach out to a select few and die down, once a pin is uploaded and repinned, it can be spread over and over again. You don't have to have a lot of followers for your pin to be seen! The only downside to this is that there's no way to collect the total amount of repins, but hey, I ain't complainin'.

When you edit your caption, put the name of your blog in it. 

It's all about branding yourself and your blog. Pinterest's 'Pin It' button automatically puts the name of your site and the title of your post in the caption, but in the event that you want to change it, I still recommend keeping the name of your blog in it. This way, when someone repins you, you're still branding yourself. It's also beneficial for doing a search on your blog name. If I'm looking for pins from my blog on Pinterest or someone's doing the same, then all of my blog pins pop up.

Here's an example:


Keep your captions simple but intriguing.

I know that hashtags are the tempting things that we all love and adore (#fun #friends #girl #cute #instagood #love #like4like-- sound familiar?! Just kidding, we don't love these hashtags, but know that it gets likes on Instagram), but they're annoying on Pinterest. I'll be honest. I'm sorry if you use them, but I feel like it clutters up an otherwise normal caption with them and doesn't really get you any more repins. Keep them simple (no hashtags or links in the caption) but get a way for people to click on them. Examples can be things such as "Click to read how..." or "Always wanted to know ____?" or "Easiest recipe for chocolate chip cookies!". Emphasizing that your post will teach you how to do something or that your post has the 'best' or 'easiest' of something is always a great way for people to not only repin you, but click on the pin that links to your post.

For example, I've seen success with this pin in particular:


Also, I recommend changing your captions for each pin, especially when you have several images of one similar thing. Use a guess and check for this to see which kinds of captions are drawing more traffic and views, as well as capturing the attention of different pinners. In the example above, there were several different types of captions for that blog post and different types of people repinned them. Keep it fresh and original.

Utilize the Pin It button.

This is one of the easiest things you can do that will save loads of time. Instead of saving the photo, uploading it, writing in the caption, and then sourcing it as you normally would, this is a bookmark at the top of your computer that allows you to pin any image on that page. It is incredibly simple, here's the link for the download!

When you pin from your own blog, it is crucial that you're pinning from the post and not the blog. This means that the URL at the top is www.monogrammeredith.com/examplepost instead of www.monogrammeredith.com. There is nothing more annoying than finding a really good pin for a recipe and it going to the most recent post instead of that specific one.

Pin all the images on your blog, but at different times.

I always have this struggle of thinking, oh, this won't get repins or traffic, there's no need to repin it. Especially because my blog is a lifestyle one and isn't specifically recipes or Pinterest-optimized for guides on something, I repin everything. You never know who'll repin it or how many times, and there's not a weird stigma on if you pin something and it doesn't go very far. True story: The pin with the most amount of traffic, like more than anything I have ever put on Pinterest, is a box of puppy chow. There was no recipe included and the photo wasn't even that great of a photo, but for some reason, it was pinned and clicked on more times than you can imagine.


Pin at different times throughout the day. I will repin something, but maybe not all of the pins surrounding it if they're of the same thing, especially when it comes to style posts. It's not like I'm a snob, it's just that if you can spread the pins out, there's a better chance that different people will see them.

Put the name of your blog in your Pinterest name. 

If you've started your Pinterest after your blog and your blog name is in it, kudos! But I know that personally, my Pinterest name was just Meredith Scroggin for the longest time. I didn't want to change my username of 'mlscroggin' because that doesn't really mean anything, but I didn't want to just be Monogram Meredith on it, either. So, I settled for being 'Meredith Scroggin {Monogram Meredith}', and I think it's helped a lot. It 1) shows that I'm not just a random person on Pinterest but have a blog attached to it and 2) makes me more searchable and can brand myself more. It'll feel weird maybe, but I think it can help a lot!

Use Pinterest for how you want to use it, too. 

Pin things all the time, even if they're not from your blog, because you can gain followers and inspiration that way. Pinterest was created for inspiration, so use it to inspire you for posts and fashion and everything on your mind! It's also crazy important for when you really do want to save something to remember it. For example, I have a 'Shopping' board so that when I'm online shopping and want to remember it, I pin it there, because I have way too many random pins on my fashion board to be able to find it when I want it. 

Upload your Instagram photos in a timely manner.

Maybe I'm just a social media freak, but as soon as I upload an Instagram photo, I upload it to Pinterest with my username. You can link it or not, but a quick caption about the photo with your username in it can do wonders for your Instagram game!


And finally, one of the best parts about Pinterest: actually looking at your stats.

Pinterest is my #1 Referring Site (Google is my #1 Referring URL), so it's proof that it does work. Be comfortable going through your referring URLs to see which pins are getting repinned and clicked on the most, then adapt accordingly.

Again, Pinterest is one of my favorite things in the world and is a huge attribute to my blog's traffic! I'll probably think of things I wanted to write about later, but maybe that'll just be a post for another day.

Let me know what you think and if there's anything else you think is important!!

xoxo,
Meredith

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

C. Wonder Flash Sale!

C. Wonder is known for being the boutique of all the things you see on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and all other blogs. It's the greatest. AND THEY'RE HAVING A FLASH SALE TODAY AND TOMORROW. Okay, okay, 75% off, I'm happy. Here are my favorites:



It's monogrammed and navy, need I say more?



Being from Kentucky (even though I don't ride horses), equestrian-themed jewelry holds a special place in my heart.


I'm obsessed with everything Ikat....so what if I have no need for a salad bowl?


Could this be what we've all been looking for?! Could this be a mashup of Hunters and Bean Boots? Love.


If someone could tell me what the difference between a latte mug and a coffee mug is, that'd be much appreciated. But this is polka dotted, so I already love it.


Marry me?



If you don't love Fair Isle, I can't love you. But this actually reminds me of all of the adorable Vineyard Vines sweaters!

And then for what I actually bought....


ACTUALLY OBSESSED. I will be wearing these as often as I can.


The real reason I even got onto the sale. I've been lusting over a bow belt for forever, and just...look. Just look at it.

Honestly distraught because if I could put everything on the page in this post, I would!

And every girl's favorite thing to be told--

My job here is done.

Happy shopping,
Meredith

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

it's casual

Day after day, the days are goin' good!

I'll keep this post short and sweet, but yesterday, I met Whitley from Simply Whit in a Sequined Life! Love love LOVE her blog and her style, so follow along with her on her blog!


Then, as I put on Twitter, WE ASKED SOMEONE TO PROM. Haha but really. This was so exciting for two of my best friends in the whole world to go to prom together. We spelled P-R-O-M with our bodies on her front yard. It's casual.

And okay, maybe I'm lowkey trying to get KJP or Brendan Murphy to go to prom with me...

Okay it's all pretty casual.

Happy Tuesday!

xoxo,
Meredith

Sunday, February 23, 2014

GONNA BE A GOOD WEEK

Sometimes blogging is just really hard. I know I wrote about blogging on bad days is what makes you feel better, but guys, I have just really been lacking on inspiration. Just a whole freakin' case of the blahs. It had kind of started when I didn't have my phone or computer (PSA: senior year is weird and confusing but do your work) and then I fell behind and ugh it was just weird. And sometimes it feels like you have to pretend like your life is perfect when you're a blogger, but FYI it's not. Nothing bad happened, I just was in a slump but am happy to be blogging!

BUT this weekend has proven to be incredibly refreshing and renewing and I may in fact be as excited as I am in this photo.


I always try to go through my phone to see what sorts of photos I took or things I screenshotted for blog prompts (this might be my favorite tip for blogging), so I have a large collection of random pictures. I deleted over a thousand photos yesterday (okay....um.... I've had my phone for two months and had over 3000 pictures. I need help) and it turns out that most of them are random selfies or screenshots of conversations.



Like, yes, this was apparently important enough to take a photo with. Why am I taking a selfie with a Good Housekeeping magazine in a doctor's office? (oh yeah thought my nose was broken but it wasn't...)




Whatever. I really do have friends, I swear!


Like I'm actually laughing so hard at this GIF right now.

ANYWAY, there were several birthdays last weekend, one of which was at Amerisports (gymnastics place you idolized as a child).


And then at Get Air. Okay, if you live in Lexington or Nicholasville or anywhere near, please go. It's this trampoline park where it really is all trampolines and we had an absolute blast.


The next Sunday was full of English project fun, which can be summed up in this absolutely hilarious/dramatic/not supposed to be funny but it is trailer:


Oh goodness, how I love making videos for classes. 

I wore this all day and didn't want to change out of it, and I have actually found to be one of my favorite comfortable/cute outfits-- these outfits are necessary. I'll have to write a post about it soon!


Grey patterned tights
Brown boots from DSW
Sweater from Old Navy
Scarf from Forever 21
Bag from Vineyard Vines

I've also been counting on high ponies for everything. My hair has gotten so long and sometimes insane to deal with in the weather and I resort to keeping it all the way back!

Monday was President's Day, so I took my fantastic panorama skills and made a fantastic panorama photo of the famous Presidents game (aka the best cards game ever) we play everyday in Calc 2. Had to celebrate the occasion!

I'm really sorry, Bo.

Anyway, the rest of the week was very nice and a little stressful at times, but I've been listening to new music (thanks to the recommendations of certain people, you know who you are) that honestly just makes me so happy. Um, can we please get an award for music that straight up puts you in a good mood? Why can't I have a soundtrack that follows me around school and makes me feel happy?

The weather was so pretty and prompted many questions of style choices. Girlfriends were all texting each other asking whether breaking out the Jacks were appropriate or if it's time to start wearing skirts and...get this...ballet flats and not boots. Blog post to be written soon about some of my thoughts about wearing spring clothes to match the weather, but I think it's all about balance.

new favorite nail color: Thimbleberry from Sinful Colors

Wearing colors that remind me of spring but also with darker pieces that don't scream "IT'S SPRING AND IMMA SHOW IT" are best! So yes, Friday night was fun, and then Saturday, we hit up Engineering Day at UK (hollaaaaa).


Everyday I consider myself lucky to live in such a wonderful city!

Okay, okay, fashion choice of Saturday on the beautiful day was basically all black. I'm sorry that my legs are too white to see the sun and that my favorite cardigan is black. 


And then, because we were in such a good mood, cheesy pics in front of Memorial Hall.

 But this one wins awards of all sorts. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OUR LEGS?

Maybe I say literally too much, but I literally do mean it. 


Did anyone see the House Hunters where the couple was looking in Lexington?! This is right by there!

Saturday night was a fun one with friends, where I wore those same black leggings/pants (they're from Old Navy and really thick, just a morph of the two really), my favorite peplum top, a jean jacket from American Eagle, my Bow Tie earrings from Lilly Pulitzer, and cheetah print flats. So comfy and it felt chic.


This morning, my Sunday School class went to Dunkin Donuts, one of my faves. Side note: when we went to Boston and all around that area, our constant joke was the abundance of Dunkin Donuts. They are everywhere

Regardless, I was bound to try the new cookie dough donut. Ummmm, yes, it was incredible. (I also tried the new Cookie Dough Oreos and yes, I love them. Say what you want about them, but I think they're great).

As we were sitting down to eat our glorious donuts, who did we see? Coach Cal, of course (UK basketball coach). And what did we do other than freak out? Take pics like we were little kids. I don't even care. He's cool.

What's funny is that last time I saw Coach Cal, it was in that same Dunkin Donuts, and one of my friends actually found the same awkward creepy selfie we took with him.


Just so many wonderful things that happened today and this weekend and so I'm ready to get on the blogging train again!! 

How was your weekend?

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Any veg-heads out there?

HEYYOOOOOO I'm really sucking at blogging this week. But it's somewhat refreshing. Coming back soon better than ever (I hope).

But for now, I need help! Are there any vegetarians out there (would be beneficial if they're a blogger) that wanna help a sista out?

Please send me an email at MonogramMeredith@gmail.com and I'd love you lots!!

xoxo,
Meredith

Monday, February 17, 2014

Yeah, I wore that dress all summer

I had written about Youth Sunday and my sermonette last Sunday, but I was thinking about it again this week while going through photos. I laughed thinking about the dress I wore Sunday because it was easily my most worn dress over this summer, and of course I have a post about it here. ANYWAY, I wore that dress like crazy because it was so comfy and perfect, but I wore it again the other day, even in the dead of winter. Sweet friend Haley said, "I see a blog post coming up about this..." and oh how she was right.


Alright y'all, I wore it with a black cardigan, black tights, and boots, which is pretty basic, but I really think black tights mean a lot for everything. If you'll note, Kirby (far left) is wearing the J. Crew scalloped dress (that I wrote about here) and looks absolutely darling in it because she has on black tights and flats with it. Such a classic look that I love!

Also we all know she looks like Lizzie McGuire in this: 

{photo thanks to Sarah Ritter}

How do you wear your dresses in the winter?

xoxo,
Meredith


Saturday, February 15, 2014

I missed you...

HOLIDAYS AND BLOGGING AND FOOD AND ALL OF THE THINGS I'VE MISSED.

I've had a weird week without much technology but with lots of things to do, thus my poor lack in blogging. It's embarrassing to not have many posts, especially right after I had written about trying to keep up with the blogging world and all that jazz. But I guess that's just part of life, knowing that sometimes life gets in the way of stuff like this and even though it makes me sad to not be as involved for a few days, it's left me feeling rejuvenated!

(Me being dramatic)

...and wake my dreams of blogging, duh

But for now, I'll do a little bit of an outfit post from last Saturday!




I had bought this dress and a few others from TJ Maxx a few weeks ago and have been dying to wear it. So sweet and nautical and just perfect. It's a little bit summery with an open back, so I paired it with a navy cardigan (thanks sweet Vic!) from Ann Taylor Loft, brown riding boots, and my necklace that I talked about in this post. And the dress has long sleeves, which I love!

So much sista love--

But then, of course, there's my favorite lazy Saturday outfit--


Hope y'all have a great day!

xoxo,
Meredith

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blahs

Oh, oops, I haven't blogged in like two days. I have been SO BUSY it seems like, and quite honestly, feeling a case of the blahs.
 
 
Any words of advice or inspiration? K thx ily.
 
xoxo,
Meredith