Hi, Iโ€™m Lauren

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The Perfect Kimono (and blogging year)

The Perfect Kimono (and blogging year)

Show Me Your Mumu Texas Kimono** | Black Top | Pistola Jeans** | BC Wedges | Essie Shearling Darling Nail Polish | Kendra Scott Necklace | Kate Spade Earrings | Lisa Stewart Leather Wrap Bracelet | NARS Rikugien Satin Lip Pencil

**Get 15% off on this kimono and these jeans + Free shipping w/code "RiffraffRepLauren" at checkout on ShopRiffraff.com

You have made it to the middle of the week, and by this time next week, it will be practically Thanksgiving! This post is the first of several that will feature photos from my recent trip to San Diego, so get excited! These specific pictures were taken outside of Jake's, in Del Mar.

Kimonos have been in since last fall, but I have yet to find the โ€œperfectโ€ oneโ€ฆuntil now! Youโ€™ve heard me talk about the brand Show Me Your Mumu before. (this post specifically). They are an American made brand that creates several patterns and pairs them with a collection of silhouettes. With the exception of their muscle tanks and outerwear, their collections are made from a lightweight fabric that doesnโ€™t wrinkle. You can literally pull them out of the washing machine, hang them to dry for 30 minutes (if that), and throw them in your suitcase. Theyโ€™ll be ready to wear, wrinkle-free, whenever you are ready for them.

This Palace Paisley Print is one of their fall/winter patterns. I loved it, but wasnโ€™t sure what piece of their line I wanted it in. Whenever I saw it in kimono form, I knew I had to have it. It is seriously the perfect kimono. It is lightweight and roomy, and absolutely adorable. You can wear it as a swimsuit cover-up at the beach, with skinny jeans and a tank to work, as a robe when youโ€™re drying your hair, or over a dress for a night out. It may be a little on the expensive side, but it is made in California, so you are supporting American jobs. Also, it is versatile, so youโ€™ll get a lot of use from it, making the CPW go down. (Cost Per Wear) Oh, by the way. This silhouette is called their โ€œTexas Kimonoโ€ I mean, whatโ€™s not to love about the name ;) If you like the kimono, but not the pattern, hereโ€™s a few other prints to choose from: Skirt, Mini Dress, Maxi Dress, Party Pants, Romper, and several more!

So, November 18th marks my 1 year blog anniversary. But, is it really my one year? Technically no. I started blogging around 5 years ago. My idea for Southern Elle Style began a year ago, but it wasnโ€™t my focus. My main focus was on my custom bow ties, which I have since moved to Etsy. (See my page here) The site youโ€™re viewing now launched in August, so itโ€™s definitely not a year old. See what I mean about whether or not it is my bloggiversary? Confusing, huh! Nevertheless, I celebrate today, because it is a big part about my  journey.

Iโ€™ve written a couple posts about what I had learned from my 6 month bloggiversary, so I donโ€™t have much to say that is new, but you can catch up on those by reading my Top 16 Doโ€™s and Donโ€™ts of Blogging post, as well as my Top 4 Blogging Mistakes I made post. If you donโ€™t have time to dig into all the advice I gave earlier, here are my top 5 blogging tips that I have learned/implemented the past 365 days

1) Donโ€™t take it personally. You canโ€™t make everyone happy and if you do, you will die trying. People are going to be mean to you, so develop thick skin. I try to share certain instances where people do it to me, to try to bring awareness about cyber bullying โ€“ itโ€™s not just a grade school issue. It may not happen to you, but if you do see it occurring, stand up for that person and/or send them an encouraging message. Our generation thinks they can say whatever they want from behind a computer screen, which needs to stop!

2) Persevere. On a different issue, but similar topic as above, sometimes brands reject you. Itโ€™s not you. Itโ€™s business. I have been rejected by RewardStyle twice now, while they accept sites every day that donโ€™t have the same features/edits they tell me to have in order to get accepted. It doesnโ€™t make sense, but itโ€™s not personal. Itโ€™s business. Donโ€™t let someone discourage you from doing something that you love. Keep on keepinโ€™ on!

3) Donโ€™t compare. Comparison really is the thief of joy. Now, there is good comparison that makes you strive to be better, but Iโ€™m going to guess that isnโ€™t the type of comparison that is most prominent. You can always strive to have as many followers, likes, and comments as Suzy Q, but dwelling on that isnโ€™t going to get you anywhere. You just try to beat your personal records. You do you!

4) Go for it. You never know what come out of something, so just try, even if you donโ€™t think you are qualified. Thatโ€™s how I got my day job, and also how I have gotten several brand partnerships. You may remember that I held an event at the Blues Jean Bar a little over a month ago. I had contacted them about a collaboration and they got back to me and not only wanted to do a collab, but have me host an event as well!

5) Say Thanks. I end with this because it is the most important. You always, always, always need to say thank you. Whether it be for someoneโ€™s time, effort, or product, just do it.  In November, it is easy to do, because it is a whole month of thanks, but be sure to practice this each and every day. Without further ado, here are my thanks for the year, in regard to my blog:

My boyfriend, Nick: Thanks for creating my site, taking all my pictures, and being patient with me. You made my blog dreams become a reality.

My sister, Emma: Thanks for sharing all of my posts and liking all my pictures. You are my number one fan.

My parents: Thanks for coming to all my events, editing my posts, and clicking on all my links.

Dallas Blogger Friend from The Miller Affect, Amanda Miller: Thanks for taking me under your wing and helping me soar! You have helped me be so much better.

SEO Extraordinaire and Dallas photographer, Stephanie Drenka: Thanks for helping me with SEO, answering my random questions, and helping me with photography. You are truly selfless!

My readers: Thanks for reading, commenting and loving my work! You have helped me gain so much ground. As a thank you, hereโ€™s a little giveaway for ya! I figure with the new year rapidly approaching, what better prizes could I have gotten?! This planner to get you organized, and this super cute water bottle to keep you fit and hydrated. See below the picture, for rules to enter:

1)      Follow me on Instagram @ElleSpann and like this photo

2)      Subscribe to my newsletter here

3)      Like my Facebook Page here

4)      Comment on this post and let me know you completed the above and have entered!

****For 2 bonus entries, follow me on Pinterest and on Twitter. P.S. There may or may not be a secret bonus entry that is only available to my Instagram followers ;) Contest will end at 12pm CST, on Friday, November 20th. Reader will have 1 week to claim their prize. After that, I will tally a new winner.

Thanks for an awesome year, yโ€™all.  I canโ€™t say that enough!

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Southern Elle Style Shop Share: Loopy Cases

Southern Elle Style Shop Share: Loopy Cases

Mini Skirts and Over The Knee Boots

Mini Skirts and Over The Knee Boots