joyfully so

September 14, 2017

5 Trendy Fall Dresses To Rent Or Duplicate

Tory Burch fall floral dress

When my brother got married a couple weeks ago, I knew I needed a couple of dresses for the events. Rather than buy a few nice dresses that I may not wear often, I normally rent from Rent the Runway. Most people are familiar with Rent the Runway, but what they don’t know is that it’s usually cheaper to join the month subscription program, Unlimited, for one month than rent two dresses. Plus you can wear several other items during that month!

How does Unlimited work? With a flat rate monthly fee, you get to choose three designer pieces from thousands of dresses, skirts, sweaters, purses, etc… Keep them as long as you want, then return. Once they receive your returned items, you choose three new items and repeat the process.

I love this program because I get to wear the season’s latest trends! Today I’m sharing five hot fall dresses that pull in all the best styles of the season.

Because all of these pieces are designer labels, they are expensive to purchase individually. I have five hot fall looks that I rented through the Unlimited program, and shared links for renting them individually, purchasing them and an affordable similar item in stores.

5 Trendy Fall Dresses To Rent Or Duplicate

Gabriella DressHello designer dress! The silky fabric with oversized fit make you feel like you are walking weightlessly. The drop waist and feminine hem add cute details. I wore this on a girl’s birthday party roadtrip because it was comfortable for the car but cute enough for pictures. Or maybe it was just because it hid my belly after it was filled with cupcakes – the icing on the cake.

Gabriella Dress:  Rental | Purchase | Affordable Similar

Caterina DressBoho meet kimono. As of today, every person that has rented this dress has given it a 5 star review. The eccentric print stands out among the crown. The bell sleeves balance out the slimming waist to create a nice curve appeal. Flower power.

Caterina Dress:  Rental | Purchase | Affordable Similar

Mother of Pearl DressThese colors though! Does this not scream fall? I can’t get enough of this rich floral print and the romantic details. When I rented this, I think I wore it everyday because it’s very versatile and can be worn for everything from errands to church to date night. It scores a 10/10 on the comfort scale. I would love to see it with burgundy accessories!

Mother of Pearl Dress:  Rental | Affordable Similar or Here

Ultralight DressThis dress reminds me of the popular blazer dresses out this fall, but with a little more fit and a lot more flare. I love the ruffled skirt! It does run a little on the shorter side and features a deep V neck (I’m wearing a camisole underneath), so it’s more of a night dress.

Ultralight Dress:  Rental | Purchase | Affordable Similar or Here

Colorblock Rodin DressThis dress is so classy but fashionable and unique at the same time! The color, pattern and fabric will win major style points. I would wear this to work on repeat if I worked an office job, but instead I wore it on a little celebratory day. It was one of the hardest dresses to return.

Colorblock Rodin Dress:  Rental | Purchase | Affordable Similar or Here

Purse Rental | Purse Purchase

 

To sum it up, I love the styles that this fall brings. Deep, rich gemstone colors, floral patterns, lace and silky fabrics are all hot trends this season. If you don’t want to invest in the trends, Rent the Runway is the way to go for events or just as a little treat to yourself – my guilty pleasure.

This post is not sponsored by RTR, it does have affiliate links which may bring a tiny commission to keep this blog running, but it is truly just my own opinion of how much I love Rent the Runway and the Unlimited program! If you are new to Rent the Runway, this link will help you get 20% off your first rental by entering code FIRST.

What are y’all up to this weekend? This weekend I am off work. Friday I will be at a women’s conference with a complimentary mani-pedi, lunch and lectures. Saturday we are heading out to Fort Worth for the local Iron Skillet football game where TCU and SMU compete for bragging rights of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex! Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Live your life joyfully so,

Ashley

Rental Details:

September 11, 2017

DIY Easy Fall Hydrangea Wreath + Freshly Painted Front Door

easy fall wreath  I am way overdue for a house update. This is a small part of a huge makeover I’m working on:  curb appeal! There is no denying when I bought this house it needed a little TLC. The house is very loved, but its style dates back to the mid-century. One of the easiest ways to makeover the front door is with paint and a seasonal wreath.

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September 5, 2017

10 Tricks Learned In The First Year Of Blogging | Behind The Scenes

 Wow! Joyfully So is one year old! What a year it’s been – from nervously launching to now part of the best platform in the world! I have learned so much, and have made many mistakes along the way, but it’s been a wonderful journey.

One of the most common questions I get is about blogging. Learn from my mistakes, y’all. I have some tips and tricks from over the last year that I think will be very helpful if you are considering starting a blog or new to the blogging world.

Before I jump in though, I want to give a huge, thank you!, to my mom and boyfriend. My mom has encouraged me to go for this little dream I have had for years and is always supportive. My boyfriend has been extremely helpful throughout this past year, and has helped with taking a majority of the fashion photos.

Thank you also to my readers, my friends. Without you, Joyfully So would not be where it is today. I’m so grateful for your loyalty and kindness. Thank you, thank you!

10 Tips and Tricks Learned in the First Year of Blogging

  • Determine your goals. Why are you blogging? Is it a hobby or something you hope to make a supplemental income from in the future? Before you start, figure out the “why” and “how” to determine the best way to start. If you want to go into blogging for an income, I recommend WordPress as a website platform. It does cost a little money compared to free options, but it works more effectively in the long term compared to other platforms. You can find YouTube videos that explain WordPress and help establish a theme. Also, determining goals will help guide your blogging process. I knew I wanted to be part of the platform, rewardStyle, so I targeted my work towards what they look for in their members.
  • Time Management. This is huge. Blogging is not my first priority – my faith, personal life and career in medicine take precedence. The remaining time I have is split between blogging, cleaning, exercising, etc… Blogging can be very time consuming so I try to work efficiently when I have the time dedicated to blogging. I batch fashion posts. Instead of going to the mall one outfit at a time, or photographing one at a time, I do everything in groups of two or three. Streamlining the process has helped me immensely.

  • Photography. Lighting is everything and I am always chasing “the golden hour”, that time where the sun is low and decreasing shadows. Since blogging is very one or two-dimensional, photography is important. Learn how to shoot in manual mode to get exactly the look you need. My boyfriend helps snap the fashion pictures and I edit them in Lightroom. From there, I export the pictures to Dropbox to upload them onto my phone.
  • Imagery. This plays off the photography point. It’s important to make photographs appealing to the eye. Bright > dark photos. Multi-colored > monochromatic photos. Open mouth smile > Closed mouth smile. Glasses > No glasses. Who knew?! There is a lot of sub-conscious psychology that goes into what makes an image likeable and clickable for readers.
  • Find a niche. Joyfully So started out very broad, and part of it still is covering a wide range of material. I am sharing what I love:  fashion, DIY, home decor, travel, etc… Recently I became more specialized into the area I am more familiar with:  fashion. I have been fortunate to work with some of the most popular fashion influencers in the world to learn the logistics that go into fashion blogging. My photography background helps me to create visually appealing work. I don’t want to do just fashion, because I love so many others topics too, but narrowing my focus has definitely helped me to become more efficient, knowledgable and successful.  Brands appreciate specializing because they can advertise to a specific demographic of readers.

  • Hustle. Get it, girl! Be your own girlboss. Work hard, stay up late, dream big, repeat. Blogging is not just trying on clothes, capturing images and shopping. It’s about being an entrepreneur. Soak in all the free resources that are available to you. Podcasts provide a wealth of information (favorites include Gary Vaynerchuk and Jenna Kutcher) and make a good listen while driving. Learn about business tactics, marketing, advertising, etc… Reach out to brands for sponsorships and promotional opportunities. Produce high-quality content. We live in a very unique time in history where we can all choose our own side hustle and go for it.
  • Branding. If you are pursuing a blog for supplemental income, it’s important to stay on brand. Being consistent and creating a “voice” for your blog, will help attract a specific demographic. Aim to develop a relationship with this target market. If Instagram is going to be an extension of your blog, pictures that stay within certain color palettes tend to be more successful.
  • Budget. Whatever the topic is you chose to blog about, work towards it wisely. Fashion blogging, for example, can be expensive. It gets pricey to keep up with the trends. I am a single lady now with a house payment, so when I started my blog I cut back on other areas of spending, and when I buy stuff for the blog I almost always buy it during sales. Reuse staples like jeans or solid pants, booties, jewelry and white camisoles. Make sure that you are staying within your means.

  • Social Media. Holy moly. I mean, who doesn’t think they know Facebook? I have learned so much more about analytics and advertising than I can imagine. Facebook is a wonderful place to advertise because you can be very picky about which demographic you want to target. For example, when I did a post on the Lilly Pulitzer sale, I targeted females, ages 18-35, who follow Lilly Pulitzer on Facebook and live in the south. These advertisements start at $2 and help bring in new viewers. Joining Facebook groups is also helpful to network with others in your niche.
  • Confidence. By nature I am an introvert who can be a little shy. Starting a blog can be daunting because you feel on display. I think that is why I waited a few years to start, I had to build up the confidence to just jump in. But looking back, this was a mistake to wait around. The best advice I can offer:  jump into the game and know that you have something to offer. Because you do! Affirm you strengths, learn from the failures (we have all had them), think positively, and keep on being your best self. Embrace that beautiful, strong soul within you – and let it shine!

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you have more questions on this topic. While that was a lot of information, there is so much more that could be said about each tip.

I cannot wait to see what the next year brings! Thank you all!

Live your life joyfully so,

Ashley

Outfit Details:

(Top is rental, similar option for purchase also linked. Pants are last season, similar option is linked)

 

10 tips to starting your own blog

 

 

September 3, 2017

Sophisticated Wrap For Fall

Happy Sunday! I hope y’all are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. So far it’s been a great weekend here. We kicked off our first college football game of the season – our favorite thing to do together in the fall.

It was recently my sweet mom’s birthday and while I was out shopping for her I came across this wrap! The contrasting red lines on a mossy green background add a touch of drama and style. One thing that sets this wrap apart from most is the notched collar. I love that you get the casual, comfortable feel with wraps, but the collar provides a little sophistication.

Pair this with jeans or my favorite pants. Or belt the wrap over a dress and add heels. Wraps are one of my favorite fall staples because they are so versatile!

How do you like to style wraps?

Hope y’all have a wonderful, relaxing rest of your Labor Day weekend!

Live your life joyfully so,

Ashley

 Outfit Details:

September 1, 2017

Autumn Colorblock Dress + Exciting Announcements

Hi friends! How are we already in September?! While it’s still technically summer and toasty, the calendar change has me ready for football season, chunky knits and apple cider. I long for the days with a light breeze and colorful leaves.

Today is extra special as I am eager to share something HUGE!  Joyfully So is coming up on a one year anniversary on September 5th, but going into the Labor Day weekend it feels appropriate to share something that I have been so happy and overjoyed and honored to join. So I am going to let y’all in on a little secret early…

Exciting Announcement!

I am SO incredibly excited to announce that because of your kindness and support, I am now part of the best platform for bloggers in the world – rewardStyle! (Insert huge smiling emoji here!) What does this mean for you? More content. Better quality. To start, rewardStyle helps streamline the process for readers to learn more about products and sales, and to easily shop items seen in the pictures on the blog and in social media. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for LIKEtoKNOWit here and download the LIKEtoKNOWit app. This will give you easy access to the top bloggers in the world! You can shop items in the LIKEtoKNOWit app from your Instagram screenshots and/or likes of my Instagram pictures starting today. The app also allows you to browse/save outfit and home decor ideas.

Already you may notice one new addition. In the header and footer, there is a new page called The Fall Shop! This is where you can find all the best clothing, decor, accessories for fall from multiple sources. Click on the picture to be taken to its designated store, or hover over each picture to share on social media. For now, the shop is one column on mobile devices, so it does have better utilization on computers. The Fall Shop will change as the season goes on, from different fall finds, to eventually transitioning into the next season.

Joining rewardStyle has been a goal since before I started this blog – I truly feel so honored and grateful to be invited into this elite group. This is a giant leap forward. I think you will enjoy the upgrades and improvements!

I cannot thank each of you enough for your continued support, feedback and kindness.

Live your life joyfully so,

Ashley

Outfit Details:

Celebratory Colorblock Dress (rent here like me, if you enjoy a little celebration dress!) | Purse (rent here) | Similar Earrings | Heels

 

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