Laundry Mistakes You Might be Making


Alright, guys, I'm gonna share an unpopular opinion: doing laundry is fun. I'm not kidding. I guess the routine of it all is comforting in a way, y'know. It's by far my favorite chore. Well, it was my favorite chore. My current apartment, unlike my previous apartment, isn't as great in its laundry facilities. I still have my own washer in-unit, but it's small, and there's no dryer! It's just not a thing in China. I had to resort to buying one of those awkward portable dryers that aren't the most efficient at drying clothes. Anyway, I feel like I'm kinda digressing a little here, so let me get at least closer to the point of today's post.

Laundry; you can love it like I used to, or you can hate it, but we all need to do it, and if you want to minimize possible damage to your clothes, there are a few "mistakes" you should avoid making. I gotta admit: a few of these are things that I didn't even know were important, such as this first one:

Filling the Washer Incorrectly

I mean, I know there's an order in which you should fill your washer, and I've always just done clothes, detergent, water. It makes sense, right? Let the detergent soak into your clothes, then the water mixes them all up. Wrong! A washer I had suggested detergent, clothes, water, so that's what I've been doing. Apparently, that's wrong too! Clothes, water, detergent is the way to go, it seems, for the most efficient distribution of detergent, but since my current washer has a compartment for detergent where the water flows into the washer, I don't have much of a choice in protocol anymore, lol.


Tossing in Socks

Ok, here's another one I'm extremely guilty of doing because I've been mixing my socks with my clothes since the day I started doing my own laundry, lol. I use the same laundry basket for clothes and socks, so everything just gets tossed in together in the washer. Turns out, you should put your socks in first, at the bottom of your washer to avoid them getting attached to your other clothes and disappearing. I've only ever had one singular sock go missing, so this isn't as big of an issue for me, so maybe I'll just continue doing what I've been doing all along. πŸ˜‚

Rubbing Stains Furiously

I'm sure we're all well-acquainted with that mini heart attack that occurs when you spill or drop something on your clothes (especially if they're brand new 😩), but resist the urge to immediately grab a rag to attempt to erase history! Stains can spread when rubbed, and it's also really bad for the fabric to be rubbing at it. Y'know, friction and all. What you can do is yes, spring into action immediately because the longer you leave the stain for, the more it soaks into the clothing, and the harder it will be to get out. However, use a white cloth so that colors don't transfer, and dab (not rub) the stain from the outside in. This decreases the likelihood of the stain spreading as well.


Using Too Much Detergent

This one is surprising to me because I didn't know using too much detergent is a thing. I usually only do my laundry when I have a full load, so I just fill the detergent cap to Level 5, and that works well for me, but apparently, if your water is too sudsy, the suds (along with the dirt it removed) can get trapped in places like under a collar. How to remedy the situation is to use half the amount of detergent you normally use and gradually increase the amount if your clothes don't come out as clean as you like them. I might actually give this a try because my clothes don't usually get dirty, just my workout clothes, so as long as I can get my clothes to come out smelling clean, I might not have to fill the cap to 5 after all. πŸ€”

At the end of the day, though, guys, your laundry habits are up to you. I know I definitely have my own idiosyncrasies when it comes to laundry like how I have to load the washer one garment at a time, kind of to check what all is going in there so that I can make sure they all come out. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's just something that goes into my process, lol.

What are some other laundry "mistakes" you've heard about?
Read More

Weekly Reading | October 18, 2018


Fashion

We talk about fashion here a lot, but one topic integral to the industry that we've never really touched on much is ethical fashion. I have to admit that I'm only just slowly learning more and more about the skeletons in the closet (😏) of the fashion industry, and it's a major issue that we should all be well-versed in. First off, Megan shares some information about what ethics means in fashion, then Abigail and Caroline share guides on how to get into ethical shopping.

"Ethical Denim Diaries: DSTLD" via Tunes and Tunics
"How to Shop for Clothes Ethically" via & She's Brave

Food

Switching gears, last week, I also read some recipes for vegan and gluten-free Maine lobster rolls. Vegan and gluten-free are definitely not terms I associate with Maine lobster rolls, but Rebecca never ceases to amaze with her innovative recipes. Then, I found posts that combine two of my biggest passions in life: food and shopping. πŸ˜Œ


Travel

Switching gears again, I also read some travel posts. For how little traveling I get to do, I sure love reading travel posts. πŸ˜‚ Let me live (vicariously), ok! The first two posts are domestic locations: Atlanta, Georgia and Florida. The third post is an international location: Helsinki, Finland, one of the many European cities that I really want to visit one day.

"The Happy Guide to Three Fun Days in Atlanta, Georgia" via The Happy Arkansan
"My Favorite Florida Spots" via Haute Table
"10 Things You Might Not Know About Helsinki" via Small Towns & City Lights

For blogging, lifestyle, and beauty posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

What are your thoughts on ethical fashion?
Read More

Fall Style Ideas by Bloggers: How to Style Fall Bottoms


Last month, I published this season's first Style Ideas by Bloggers post for how to style fall skirts and dresses. Today, with the help of Amanda, Kendall, Priscilla, and Kristin, we venture into styling fall bottoms. Amanda and Kendall styled wide-leg pants, and Priscilla and Kristin styled skinny pants.


Affordable by Amanda is a fashion and lifestyle blog located in beautiful, sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. Having grown up by the beach, Amanda always mixes her budget-friendly fashion finds to combine her love of the beach and city life. She often looks for trends that can be purchased for under $100 to share with her friends and followers.

First up is Amanda with her high-waist wide-leg cropped denim ensemble. She complements the high-waist denim with a deep-vee crop top, and I think the floral print on black is very fall-worthy. To offset the dark colors, she pairs the outfit with a white purse, which I think really makes the light blue of the denim stand out better too. Btw, how cute is it that she took her floral top photographs next to a flower truck? πŸ˜‚πŸ’

Click here for more of Amanda's flower truck adventures!


Currently a trend forecaster and previously an assistant fashion editor, Kendall takes an informed, no-bs look at the fashion industry. Her blog, Instagram, and YouTube channel show her personal style, being her true self, and surviving (and thriving in) post-grad life. Her style focuses on mixing high and low price points, pieces that flatter your frame and personality, and the latest trends.

Shifting from Amanda's country chic style to Kendall's city chic, we can see that black is a constant in both outfits. Here, Kendall offsets the black with more contrast using shades of red. She also sports high-waist pants and a crop tee. Just from these two outfits, we're starting to notice the fall trends of black mixed with brighter colors and high-waist pants paired with crop tops.

Go say bonjour to Kendall by clicking here! πŸ‘•


Priscilla is the stylist, model, writer, and photographer behind Best Trends for Life (BTFL). She's a 20-something with a passion for fashion, photography, and traveling. She started BTFL in August 2014 as an outlet for her passions while she pursues a career in dental medicine.

If skinny pants are more your speed (They're mine πŸ‘–), you can still incorporate these trends into your outfits, like what Priscilla is doing here. Her outfit accomplishes two things, I think: it uses the blue to offset the black, but it's also using the black to push attention towards the top. Because her top is both patterned and ruffled, it can be quite overwhelming to add in any other pieces that might try to steal the spotlight, so using black for everything else works really well.

Click here for more of Priscilla's summer-to-fall transition pieces!


Kristin is an affordable fashion and travel blogger currently based out of Richmond, Virginia. On her blog, Countdown to Friday, you can find real style and real travel tips for the everyday girl. When she's not shopping or traveling, Kristin is spending time with her Australian Shepherd, Rascal, and trying to balance healthy living with a serious love of fried food and wine.

Last but not least, you can take a cue from Kristin and fall-ify your favorite skinny jeans by pairing it with fall colors like olive and brown. πŸƒπŸ‚ I think it works especially well here because woodsy colors like olive and brown can look too one-dimensional on their own, but mixing in a pair of blue jeans adds that extra dimension to the outfit. It also helps you move away from black if you're a colorful dresser.

Click here to go learn more from Kristin about incorporating fall colors into your outfits!

From Amanda, Kendall, Priscilla, and Kristin's outfits, it looks like this fall, styling pants is all about color balance, especially offsetting darker colors. Readers who've followed me for a while might find it ironic that I'm advocating offsetting black (How many times have I said this phrase now?) with colors because I usually offset my black with other shades or textures of black. πŸ˜…

This is all for today's post, but make sure to check out how to style fall skirts and dresses for more fall style inspiration!

Where do you go to for fashion inspiration?
Read More

Weekly Reading | October 11, 2018


Blogging

Last week, I found a post about how to grow blogging communities, which was super useful because I'm taking some time to (once again) bring ExtraExtravagant back to life. In the post, Jenn mentions attending blog conferences, so I found Alicia's post about blog conferences.


Lifestyle

In line with the how-tos and guides, here are some lifestyle-type ones. The first is where Lauren talks about what you can do to make a new city feel like home, and when you're in that new city, here's a post where Haley discusses healthy roommate relationships and another one where Paige shares how you can eliminate distractions.

"6 Ways to Make A New City Feel Like Home" via Lifestyles by Lauren
"How to Eliminate Distractions" via Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things

Beauty

I also found some informational beauty posts, one about Brazilian waxes and one about what to consider with acne products. Then, here's a post about clean beauty by Nicole to leave you with something to think about.


For more beauty posts as well as food and career posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
Read More

"Discarded" by Michael J. Allen* Review


I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

Discarded by Michael J. Allen follows Darrin, a freshly-released criminal, as he attempts to reassimilate to a society fraught with magic with the most mundane of uses. Having sworn to lay off magic after it landed him in the Wasteland for a century, Darrin is conflicted when people from his past and present start reaching out to him for help, help that would require him to use magic once more. Should he do what he feels is right, even if it's for the society who left him for dead, or should he remain discarded?

Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the diversity in this book: the protagonist is a middle-aged black man, and the other characters comprise successful women in high-ranking positions and ethnic minorities existing without having to conform to the author's prejudices. Although seemingly forced at times, the colorful cast of characters is a breath of fresh air for the genre.

The one thing I can't get past, though, is the protagonist's motivation (or lack thereof), something that severely affected my enjoyment of the book. Darrin seems to be stubborn for being stubborn's sake, and all of his actions are seemingly decided by, "Is this going to show that my character's stubborn? Yes? I'll do it then!" That repetition, paired with how slowly the plot moves along, makes this a tedious read.

Allen created an amazing world full of potential, but the way he goes on and on and on about trivial, unimportant details instead of telling us more about this world, on top of presenting us with a flat protagonist, really makes Discarded fall short. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars because I feel like it could've been done so much better!
Read More

Fall Style Ideas by Bloggers: How to Style Fall Skirts and Dresses


It is officially the first day of fall, and I'd have bust out my sweaters a while ago, but it's like 83 degrees in China right now where I am, with 86 percent humidity. Back in Iowa, it's 45, and just thinking about it makes me want to weep uncontrollably. I love, love, love fall; it's my favorite season, and weather stuff aside, I love the fashion because it's not cold enough to be bundled up in burrito cosplay, but it is cold enough for layers, so who better to show us how it's done than fashion bloggers Felicia, Jordan, Elizabeth, Hayden, and Dominique. We also have Destiny and Christine with their fall style ideas for those of you in warmer climates.


Felicia Marie is a YouTuber and blogger with a love for everything colorful and dramatic. She has been an avid writer and fashion lover since she discovered the beauty of fashion magazines in the pages of Teen Vogue and Essence. On her blog, you will find the latest fashion trends, travel tips, and hair/beauty product reviews.

Felicia achieved this sleek professional look by pairing a black tube dress with a blue blazer. What sets this outfit apart from your everyday business chic look is the beret and sunglasses.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Jordan is a 24-year-old Los Angeles, CA-based blogger who started The Teacup of Style as a way to express her creativity and inner fashionista. She just wrapped up her first year as a third-grade teacher, and The Teacup of Style is proof that sometimes, the busiest of people make for the best fashionistas.

I like Jordan's layering of gray on gray here with the dress and cardigan. The monochromatic look is complete with black sunglasses, purse, and booties, but she added a pop of color with the earrings.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Behind the ΓΌber feminine and creatively curated fairytale world that is Lizzie in Lace is the California fashion blogger Elizabeth, a Kate Spade-obsessed, flower crown-wearing, dress-twirling kind of girl who believes in wearing tulle skirts for any occasion, eating cupcakes for breakfast, and sporting sequins during the day. Created in 2015 as an outlet to share daily outfits, Lizzie in Lace has become its own unique brand that women from all over the world visit for fashion inspiration. Lizzie in Lace is an online destination for millennials to feel inspired by all things feminine and pretty and is dedicated to creating positivity and happiness while encouraging women to add a little sparkle to their day through colorful and chic fashion, beauty, and travel posts.

Elizabeth also has a business chic look going on here, and it's also fairly monochromatic with the tan coat, powder blue top, and neutral pink heels, but I like the juxtaposed pink purse and dark floral skirt.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Hayden is a southern girl who just moved to Denver to start her first job as a travel writer. She just graduated from the University of Texas and has tons of taco recommendations if you need 'em. Over on her blog, Haute Table, she writes about her love of life, food, travel, and fashion. Haute Table is a blog for the everyday person who just wants to escape for a bit with pretty photos of Hayden's latest brunch or the outfit she's currently loving.

Hayden's fall outfit is more laidback and casual, and I love the fall colors here with the rust dress and dark blue tartan scarf and brown boots.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Dominique Star is a musician and lifestyle blogger based in LA. Her blog, Star Dust, is a haven for today's sorceresses, rebels, and warriors. She writes for girls who want to stand out, explore the world, and live their lives with a little magic.

Like Hayden's, Dominique's fall outfit looks comfy af with an olive parka layered over a sweater dress and paired with black shoes and brown purse.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Dear Dessie is how Destiny shares life from behind and in front of the lens. When she's not blogging, she works as a freelance photographer in NYC capturing all kinds of unique experiences.

Moving into warmer weather territory, Destiny's outfit showcases the lacy pink maxi skirt and, so as not to draw attention away from it, she paired it with a simple fitted tee, black booties, and brown crossbody.

Check out the featured outfit post here.


Christine is a Philadelphia-based travel, lifestyle, and fashion YouTuber and blogger. She loves sharing her passion for all things travel, food, fashion, beauty, music, and lifestyle through an authentica and vulnerable lens via her blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram. She's committed to sharing her innermost thoughts, experiences, and love for the world around her through and honest, unique, and personal narrative that connects with her audience. Whether it's her favorite product, a bomb playlist, a recent trip, or her everyday routine, she aims to inspire those around her to broaden their horizons and pursue their passions.

Christine's outfit uses simple gradiated black as the focal point. She paired a black skirt with a gray tank top and white crossbody.

Check out the featured outfit post here.

From Felicia, Jordan, Elizabeth, Hayden, Dominique, Destiny, and Christine's outfits, it looks like this fall, monochrome is the palette of choice if you want to move away from the usual woodsy fall colors, and if monochrome is too muted for you, take a cue from these fashion bloggers and add an eyecatching pop of color with your choice of accessories.

For more fall style ideas by bloggers, check back next week when more fashion bloggers will share their fall outfit inspiration. To be notified of this and other new posts, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

What do you love most about the fall?
Read More

Weekly Reading | August 30, 2018


Food

Summer is but dying embers at this point, so throw as many more summer parties as you can before the temperatures start dropping again. Of course, I'm not a fan of summer parties because I'm a fan of dropping temperatures, but I know I'm in the minority, so I found these yummy-looking posts with recipes for summer drinks and food.


Beauty

With changing seasons also comes sick days, so I found a post (from my sister's blog, I'll admit) about the best makeup for sick days. I also found a post about makeup essentials for busy girls, which made me think whether derma rollers should be considered a makeup essential at this point. I don't own a derma roller because I don't know how my sensitive skin will react to it, but they've been raved about in all corners of the interwebs, so I read this Byrdie post about how to use them properly.

"The Best Makeup for Sick Days" via Beauty Nerd by Night

Career

Food and beauty aside, if you're a graduating senior this year, it's never too early to start looking at and applying to jobs. Here's a Forbes post about how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out because even though it's also a social media platform, LinkedIn plays by its own rules. Once that works and you score an interview, here's a post about how to ace that interview as well as a post on how to follow up after the interview because you should always, always, always follow up at least once.


For more beauty posts as well as college and blogging posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
Read More

Weekly Reading | August 16, 2018


College

A new academic year is almost upon us, and the class of 2022 (Dang, I'm getting old) will be starting freshman year in a few weeks. I was in the class of 2014, and since 2010, I've been finding more and more college posts like the ones below that I really wish I'd found before I started college, so for incoming freshman, forget everything you think you know about college because one of the worst things you can do when entering college is to try to "fit in" and do what you think all college students "should" do.


Beauty

Saltiness aside, I also found some pretty rad beauty posts that seem ideal for anyone looking to take the plunge into new beauty territory such as going blonde, splurging on new (or first) lipsticks, and getting a tattoo!


Blogging

In line with plunging into new territory, for my fellow bloggers (or aspiring bloggers) looking to expand (or start) their brands into Instagram or looking to start an email list or considering working with brands, here are some helpful posts I found last week.


For more college posts as well as lifestyle and fashion posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
Read More

"Whispers in the Wood" by Clarissa Johal* Review


I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

Whispers in the Wood by Clarissa Johal follows Rowan the protagonist as she uncovers the mystery of the small town she finds herself in on a backpacking trip through England. Seemingly peaceful and quiet at first, Sheep's Crossing soon reveals itself to be full of deadly secrets. Fueled by the townsfolk's reluctance to talk about it and by her own adventurous spirit, Rowan sets off in search of the whispers in the wood.

What I enjoy most about this book is its natural progression. Events are paced very well, and exposition is provided only when necessary, so the build-up to the climax doesn't feel forced. At the same time, it allows for character development, even of Rowan. I'm usually skeptical of first-person narrative because it's hard to get character development right, and character development is my favorite part of any media, but Johal provides just the right type of exposition in just the right amount at just the right time that we very naturally learn about Rowan and the other characters without feeling like we're being fed exposition fodder just to tide us over to the next crucial turn of events.

A slight, very nitpicky on my part hiccup in this use of first-person narrative, though, is how unnatural some of Rowan's reactions are to the situations she finds herself in. Sure, this book is fantasy with a touch of horror, so there really isn't a natural way of reacting to the situations, but some of her choices seem out of character.

Again, that's a very nitpicky hiccup, so it goes without saying then that I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend Whispers in the Wood to fans of slow-reveal mystery that hints at ecofiction.
Read More

Weekly Reading | August 2, 2018


College

For those of you starting college in the fall or returning for a new semester, here are some articles on getting ready for the fall semester, including a post on how to decorate your dorm or rental without damaging the walls.

"How to Get Organized for the New Semester" via Living in Full Bloom
"How to Prepare for Your Senior Year of College" via Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things

Lifestyle

While you settle into the new semester, here are some posts to consider.

"Why You Should Unplug More" via Small Towns & City Lights

Fashion

I also looked at some posts with general fashion advice.


For beauty, wellness, and travel posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
Read More