DIY Links of the Week 5/11-5/17/15

links-of-the-week-portland-love-padlockMy tutorial on how to take headshot photos that reflect your blog’s brand was just included in the weekly round-up of Links a la Mode on IFB!

There are a bunch more links – and many EXCELLENT DIY tutorials as well, so clicky clicky to visit all those included and say hi!

Thanks for the inclusion!


Links à la Mode: May 14

SPONSOR: East Dane: Red Heels, Sensi Studio, Katie Diamond, Gray Malin, Vermilion Dresses, Deux Lux, Brooklyn Tailors, Veda, 70s looks & Chaser Clothing

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Recap: Portland Bloggers Speed Networking Meetup at Passionfruit HQ

portland-bloggers-speed-networking-1 Last Sunday the Portland Bloggers group came together for a fun speed networking event at the Passionfruit headquarters in SE Portland.portland-bloggers-speed-networking-3portland-bloggers-speed-networking-5It was a morning filled with fun, laughter, quick-fire questions, networking, business card exchanging, and a ton of great advice on blogging issues. portland-bloggers-speed-networking-8portland-bloggers-speed-networking-4We noshed on deli cold cuts, cheeses, fruit, fresh vegetables, and bagels provided by Bowery Bagels (DELISH vegan cashew cheese on salted bagels!) and sipped coffee from Black Rock Coffee.

portland-bloggers-speed-networking-7We also got an inside look at the incredibly cool Passionfruit office space and the inner workings of Passionfruit Ads where you can sell ad space, paid posts, or sponsored content through their blog widgets with minimal maintenance and upkeep (seriously if you haven’t tried it out – DO IT NOW! I can’t believe how much time I spent on managing individual sponsors and advertisers with the emails, and back-and-forth, and getting their banner ads, having to re-optimize them, uploading, then taking down once the ad had run. Once you do it through Passionfruit, all the headaches are GONE and you just collect a paycheck. Seriously cool.)portland-bloggers-speed-networking-9portland-bloggers-speed-networking-2We had a fun photo shooting area with photo booth props Bee and Jenni had made. I’ll be updating this space soon with the photos!portland-bloggers-speed-networking-6It was a great morning and I met a number of local bloggers to add to my reading list and my blogging buddy list. We had a prize draw and 3 bloggers won some awesome prizes including a year of Passionfruit ad service, the book Blog, Joy Cho, and a package of blogging goodies like stationery supplies and blog planner. (Plus we all received a sample of Lemon Dream Bar King Cream ice cream to take home with us!)

Stay up to date with all Portland Bloggers events here. Hope to see you at the next one!

Have you ever been to a blogging meet up? Was it worthwhile to attend?


I’m a volunteer member of the organizing team of Portland Bloggers, a local organization dedicated to bringing together bloggers and providing networking and resources. I designed their logo and also maintain their website and do videography for them.
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Share Your Fashion Dilemmas – and Your Whole Life – Easily with Skype


Connecting with people when we all have vastly differing schedules can be a big hassle… and being able to chat or share via video is a great way to connect. Skype is the affordable way to stay in touch about the things you care about – whether it’s just checking in, holding virtual meetings, or even deciding on a great outfit before a big event.

My parents are Australian, I moved to Japan when I was 11 and lived there 6 years, and I’ve also lived in rural New Jersey, Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Yokohama, Honolulu, and now Portland, Oregon. All of my extended family lives in either Australia or Japan – and my friends are scattered the world over. Skype has been a necessary facet of my life for years as a way to stay connected with everyone – from my kooky friend Lenna in London, my East Coast bestie Jenn in Tennessee, my cousin Sam in Australia, and my mom in Tokyo. using-skype-at-computer

Since I’ve been writing Chic Steals for 7 years now, Skype has come in super-handy in a number of ways. For a year I was producing a podcast called Creatively Chic in partnership with, and Skype was instrumental in allowing me to conduct interviews with people in faraway places (including Tom and Cat from the team in London!) with crystal-clear, recordable voice quality.


Checking in with fellow blogger Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party about an upcoming Portland Bloggers’ event

More recently as an active member of Portland Bloggers, it’s allowed me to connect with local blogger friends quickly and accurately – with bonus video. Sharing a new affordable find I scored at Goodwill? Asking a “what ideas do you have for DIY’ing this piece” with my blogging buddies? Touching base about outfits before a big blogging event so we don’t accidentally show up wearing the same thing? Skype has proven itself useful – and priceless – time and again.using-skype-in-mirror

What do you guys think of this sparkly cardigan? Too much?

I love that I can use it on my phone and connect with other people for a quick check-out-this-necklace-stack check-in… even if they have a different phone than I do! Skype works regardless – and it’s FREE. It’s fun, it’s quick, it’s affordable, and it’s easy – what could be more chic?

You can download the Skype app and follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



FTC Disclosure: This post was written as part of a paid campaign with BlogHer and Skype. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

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Recap: Portland Bloggers Back to Design School Event

0.backtobloggingschool_introLast Saturday, the Portland Bloggers group met for our annual Back to School Event at Portland Community College. With a schoolhouse theme (cue 2B yellow pencils, lined paper, gold spray-painted clipboards, and polished red apples), the event focused on blog design and unifying the look and feel of your online presence.

backtobloggingschool_audiencebacktobloggingschool_beeAfter a short meet-and-greet and welcome from Portland Bloggers founder Jenni Bost from A Well-Crafted Party, Suzannah Hamlin-Stanley from Create/Enjoy spoke to the group about what branding actually is. (Hint: it’s different from marketing and is a more subtle pull of your audience, rather than an overt push, of your message.)

backtobloggingschool_brandingWith a background in advertising and years running the successful blog Adventures in Dressmaking, Suzannah helped impart a better understanding of how branding impacts your blog.


Left: Portland Bloggers’ founder Jenni from A Well Crafted Party, Right: Suzannah from Create/Enjoy working the camera for our “class” photos.

backtobloggingschool_snacks2 Designer Sze Wa Cheung then spoke about blog design, segmenting current blog design trends into 2 major ones: the Infinite Scroll design (think Pinterest) vs. the Category Showcase design, and offering notes about good design (like effective use of font, white space, thinking about the readability of your blog, your post-dividers, and your color palette).

backtobloggingschool_carlyAfter a short break I then took the podium and presented my talk on How to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog. I also announced the top secret project I’ve been working on for awhile! (I’ll be sharing the full announcement here tomorrow!!)

backtobloggingschool_bloggersWe then had a final wrap-up with a number of questions from our fellow bloggers: where to find technical help resources online (Answer: Google is best for a specific question, and the Help/Forums for your specific platform, but W3Schools is always helpful for coding!), whether to start on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, or Squarespace (Answer: keep your end goal in mind; if you want to turn it into a money-making business and are okay with a learning curve in the beginning, I’d recommend WordPress, but if you’re blogging as a hobby or want the simplest interface, choose Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, or Wix), ways to add text to images or edit graphics (Photoshop, PicMonkey), where to get on-brand social media icons (the answer to that TOMORROW!), how to ensure color consistency when printing your logo vs. how your logo looks online (choose CMYK color profile in creating your for-print logos/branding; try to choose PANTONE colors whenever possible).

backtobloggingschool_takingphotosAll the slides that were presented at the event will soon be available to view.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the event – it was wonderful to meet all of you and get to know some fellow Portland Bloggers better!

Hope to see you at the next event!


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Recap: Portland Bloggers Holiday Mingle Event

holidaymingletimechangeOn Wednesday, October 16 I had the pleasure of attending the Portland BloggersHoliday Mingle with PR Professionals event (yes, my recap is a little overdue!;-) Let me just say: what a fabulous event! Being able to hear from some truly experienced and business-savvy PR ladies was so worthwhile, and I jotted down notes furiously (in-between Tweeting out all the great info!)

HolidayMingle_CH_6-640x426Organized by Portland Blogger organizer Bee from The Spicy Bee, the Holiday Mingle event brought together local PR company Little Green Pickle and a number of bloggers raring to hear their advice. In addition, Little Green Pickle’s office was filled with local Portland vendors supplying us with fantastic bite-sized treats and tastes of their wares. From homemade salmon chips by The Bent Brick ($6 at the NW Marshall St location) to Olympic Provisions’ flavored salamis (available for order online here and I recommend all of them but especially the Cacciatore!) to Double Dragon‘s variety of Banh Mi (available at the SE Division location) and deviled eggs.003holidaymingle-640x443HolidayMingle_CH_2-640x426

After noshing on all the deliciousness we sat down to hear a presentation from PR mavens such as Carrie Welch from Little Green Pickle, Meaghan Burns from Broussard Communications, Lisa Hill from Lisa Hill PR, Heather Jones from Heather Jones Consulting, and Vicky Hastings from Maxwell PR. They touched on a variety of topics including how big of a following a blogger should have before reaching out to a PR company (1000 readers is a good rule of thumb, they agreed, but often reader engagement through comments, retweets, shares etc. is more important than just numbers), what kind of bloggers are a good fit for what kind of brands, and as a blogger, how to work with a brand and make it into a relationship. Here are a few things I Tweeted out during the event:

(And if you’re not able to make it to any of the Portland Bloggers events – or don’t live in the area- you should Follow me on Twitter if you’re not already because when I’m at an event I’ll post tons of great tips and advice from the pros about blogging, social media, etc!)

During the evening, due to the sheer volume of Tweets all the bloggers and vendors and PR reps were putting out there tagged #holidaymingle, it actually trended on Twitter in the Pacific Northwest region! How cool is that?

If you are a local blogger looking to attend some of our upcoming events, definitely check out the Portland Bloggers site to connect with us! Likewise, if you are a vendor, PR professional, website dev company, social media marketer…or anything that might be of interest to our large group of bloggers (over 300 now!!), drop us a line to see how we can connect you and your services to our network.

You can also read the official Portland Bloggers recap of the event here.


Photos by Macey Snelson & Chloe from Little Green Pickle – thank you!!

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Back to School with Portland Bloggers Event Recap

pdxbloggers_backtoschool1Today, in the midst of strong thunderstorms, high gusts of wind, and a record-setting amount of rainfall this weekend, I ventured out to attend the Portland Bloggers September Meetup: Back to School with Portland Bloggers.

pdxbloggers_backtoschool7We took over Studio Space in SW Portland for the 2-and-a-half hour presentation on Making Money Blogging (#makemoneyblogging, which you might have seen mentioned on @PDXBloggers Twitter feed throughout 😉       pdxbloggers_backtoschool2With drinks sponsored by Black Rock Coffee Bar and yummy snacks, we were treated to presentations from Jenni, the founder of Portland Bloggers (from, Suzannah ( and Bee ( We also had the pleasure of hosting CPA Jackie Wheatley from Rainbow Tax & Accounting who offered up some great advice about accounting for bloggers, Kim from Todays Creative Blog who shared her own story of success in becoming a full-time professional blogger, and Tarun and Pepper from Recomonk who introduced Recomonk as a way to help consolidate affiliate links and recommended products into a single interface. (I jotted down a ton of great info to implement on my blog!)pdxbloggers_backtoschool6pdxbloggers_backtoschool3pdxbloggers_backtoschool4pdxbloggers_backtoschool8pdxbloggers_backtoschool5pdxbloggers_backtoschool10pdxbloggers_backtoschool9There was so much useful information, “class photos” taken which will be turned into a “yearbook” online (and available for download soon from the Portland Bloggers website), free patterned notebooks, pencils, and M&M packs, delicious snacks (YUMM prosciutto and provolone rolls and dark chocolate almond bark!) and valuable time networking with other fellow bloggers (over 30 in all!). Overall it was a huge success as an event – and hopefully something we can repeat again later in the year for those who weren’t able to make it this time around.

pdxbloggers_backtoschool11What I wore to the event…outfit deets coming soon!

Check out for the Powerpoint slides from the event in case you missed it (will be uploaded soon!) – or would like the information to have at your fingertips to review and keep on hand.

So glad to meet up with my fellow bloggers and Portland creatives – and hope to see you all again at the next event!


I volunteer with Portland Bloggers to do their graphic design, website design/maintenance, and video work, as well as attend events when they mesh with my schedule. Have any questions about blog-related branding/graphics/visual stuff? Send them my way and they can be addressed on the Portland Bloggers blog or in a future video tutorial!
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