Category Archives: behind the blog

5 more fun facts + 5 outtakes PLUS 5th blogiversary giveaway winners

Last week, I began celebrating my 5th blog anniversary, which culminates today in getting to announce the 5 winners of my 5th blogiversary giveaway. I thought a little extra celebration was in order. 😀 (Are you the winner? Scroll below.)

For a special thank you that ties in with one of my fun facts from last week’s post, I wrote out a thank you message in backwards cursive handwriting! (And provided a mirror image below, so you wouldn’t have to scramble your brain trying to read it or holding your computer or phone up to a mirror.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Giveaway thanks handwriting graphic

It’s funny how my backwards handwriting is basically a window into what my regular handwriting looked like at age 9. My regular handwriting looks very different today, but it’s like time stood still with my backwards handwriting. Weird, huh?

And now for one extra twist, today’s fun facts AND outtakes will all focus on Sam! He’s a huge part of this blog behind the scenes, as he takes almost all of the photos. Plus, he’s quite stylish — and just as goofy as I am in real life! 😀

Fun fact #1 about Sam:

He voluntarily attended a Marine Military camp as a teen and thought seriously during that time about joining the Marines and having a military career. I’ve seen the video of his camp experience, in which they show footage of him getting all his hair buzzed off!

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  Sam’s style | Grey fedora + cords

Fun fact #2 about Sam:

And that’s just about the last time he got a major haircut… Sam’s hairstyle — long, curly hair parted in the middle plus a goatee — is essentially the same hairstyle he had when we first met, over 20 years ago. He’s had hair trims, of course, but it’s the same look. I can’t imagine him without a goatee! The beard is relatively recent, only the last couple of years.

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Oooooooops, I forgot to post about this outfit that Sam wore earlier this spring. I will correct that oversight next week! In the meantime, enjoy this outtake 😀

Fun fact #3 about Sam:

One of his nicknames during high school was “Cheese Man,” because his jokes were so cheesy. (And continue to be!) He even had a little “Cheese Man” drawing because OF COURSE he was proud of this nickname. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  Sam’s style | Mixing brown + grey

Fun fact #4 about Sam:

Sam courted me by letter. He wrote his first letter to me the very day we met — on handmade paper, no less! — and continued to write letters to me the next few months. (This was also in the dark ages, before cell phones became commonplace.) I still have all those letters. And he still has all the letters that I wrote him! He is a true romantic!

♥ swoon ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  His and hers | Celebrating our anniversary with JORD wood watches + GIVEAWAY

Fun fact #5 about Sam:

This final fun fact is more about us together than just Sam. We got married over 15 years ago in a little one-steeple church in Poetry, Texas. Awwwwwww. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam jumps for joy over his new JORD wood watch

Original post:  His and hers | Celebrating our anniversary with JORD wood watches + GIVEAWAY

Announcing the giveaway winners

And now, without further ado, the winners of my blog anniversary giveaway, a $25 Out of Print e-gift card each that I will purchase myself. There were 84 actual entries, which I then put on a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. (Putting the entries on a separate spreadsheet also allowed me to respond to all your lovely comments on the post itself!) I then used the random number generator on the Random.org website to select the winning entries, which were entries #20, #83, #23, #8, and #51.

Winner #1

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #2

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #3

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #4

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #5

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Congratulations to all the winners ! I will be in touch shortly so I can send you each the $25 Out of Print e-gift card. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

A huge THANK YOU to all who entered the giveaway to help me celebrate my fifth blog anniversary! I hope you enjoyed all the fun facts, including those from fellow readers, as well as all the outtakes.


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Everyday faves | Native deodorant

To celebrate my 5th blog anniversary, I’m personally hosting a giveaway for 5 lucky winners. This is the final day to enter the giveaway (!), so visit this post for all the details on how to enter. I will announce the 5 winners tomorrow.

Everyday faves series

This is the latest entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Posts in the series have included:

Native deodorant

This month, I’m highlighting my love of the all-natural, non-toxic deodorant from the Native brand. And this is probably the most literal entry in my “Everyday faves,” series thus far, since I wear deodorant EVERY DAY. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

Going Native

Back in February, I posted on my Facebook page about first trying out the deodorant that I had read good things about. (Of course, now I can’t find the posts and articles I had been reading earlier this year. Murphy’s Law.

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook post about trying Native deodorant

After trying out the deodorant for a couple of months, I posted a follow-up on my Facebook page:

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook post about trying Native deodorant

You can read more customer reviews of Native products here on their site.

Switching over to an all-natural deodorant

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

I chose two scents, because they were doing a special discount at the time if you bought two or more deodorants. I chose the “Lavender & Rose” scent and an Unscented one just in case I didn’t like the “Lavender & Rose” one. I do like the “Lavender & Rose” scent, and it’s not overpowering at all. The sticks came in this cardboard shipping box, seen above, and the box arrived in just a few days. Gotta love free AND fast shipping!

Both deodorants are in my medicine cabinet now, and I use each stick about equally. I just go with the scent — or unscent — depending on my mood each day. (I’ve also noticed they have seasonal scents available at different times.)

There was a card enclosed in the package, seen below, with tips for how to transition to using the Native all-natural deodorant. It does take a bit of time to make the switch, for your body to adjust. It felt like it took me a couple of weeks, but it didn’t feel hard at all to transition. I just felt a little extra sweaty the first week or two.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

Does it work?

In a word, YES. It worked for me, at least. I waited a couple of months to write this review and post, because I wanted to make sure I really could recommend Native deodorant. And I do recommend it. The peace of mind alone is worth it, knowing that it’s non-toxic, aluminum-free and paraben-free. (There’s also a sensitive option, for those sensitive to baking soda.)

I still sweat when I’m wearing the Native deodorant, which is natural, but I don’t stink by the end of the day. (Thank goodness!) I put it on the morning, about three swipes back and forth, and then I can just go about my day. It’s AWESOME. Plus, it doesn’t seem to be leaving any gross residue so far on the underarms of my shirts and dresses. I used to use the “invisible” type of deodorants, like from Secret or Lady Speed Stick, but when it came time for laundry day, I would STILL find a build-up of white residue on the underarms of my dark shirts and dresses. I have not found that kind of residue build-up on my clothes thus far after two months of wearing Native deodorant.

I honestly don’t think I will ever go back to regular deodorants. I am a #GoNative convert. An all-natural deodorant that WORKS. It’s like the magical unicorn of body care products.

Get a free travel-size Native deodorant

If you’re also interested to #GoNative, then you can get a FREE travel-size deodorant with your next purchase by clicking this link. Plus, Native ALWAYS has free shipping and free returns.


Note:  For full transparency, this post is NOT sponsored by the Native brand. I’m writing about Native deodorant because I truly use it every day and love it and want my readers to know about it. However, please know that the link above is a referral link. This means when you get a free travel-size deodorant, then I’m eligible to get one, too. #GoNative!


Have you used an all-natural deodorant? Do you have a favorite brand that you swear by? Have you tried any that didn’t work for you? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

5 fun facts + 5 outtakes to celebrate 5th blogiversary PLUS giveaway for 5 readers

Tomorrow is my fifth blog anniversary (!!!!!), and we are celebrating the occasion today with fun facts and outtakes and a reader giveaway, oh my! One fun fact and one outtake to celebrate each year of style blogging. 😀 You can also read the backstory of my style blog here in this post.

The giveaway is an Out of Print $25 e-gift card to FIVE lucky winners (!!!!!), and it’s an international giveaway that I am personally gifting (meaning, it’s not sponsored) to show my appreciation for all my readers! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for giveaway entry info. The giveaway opens TODAY and is open for entries through next Thursday, April 13th.

Fun fact #1

I taught myself to write backwards in cursive when I was young, at age 9. At that age, I was obsessed with handwriting and graphology (analysis of handwriting patterns and characteristics), and I thought it would be a fun trick to know how to write backward in cursive. It’s not a particularly useful trick, however. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Original post:  Style pinspiration | Red jeans + grey cardigan

Fun fact #2

I taught myself how to type on a typewriter at age 10. When my paternal grandmother passed away when I was young, I also got her travel typewriter (in addition to a lot of her jewelry, as seen here and here). My older brother was learning how to type in junior high at the time, so I thought why not give it a go myself?

And thankfully, typing IS a useful trick. 🙂

 Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Original post:  Casually professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Fun fact #3

In third grade, almost every piece of clothing in my closet was pink — a bright, eye-searing Pepto-Bismal kind of pink. And I looooooooooved it! I had gotten a multi-piece wardrobe set from the JCPenney or Sears catalog, and every single item was that shade of pink. I also had pink shoes! ♥♥♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Original post:  Statement scarf + Fabulous Friday co-host link-up

Fun fact #4

I am weirded out by photographs or ads that use photographs of animals whose limbs are human. So essentially superimposed animal heads on humans. It FREAKS me out, y’all. {Shiver}

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Original post:  Statement necklace + necklace extension trick

Fun fact #5

I had verrrrrrrrrrrry long hair for most of my childhood, not intentionally cutting it until junior high. (I had to have my hair trimmed in 3rd grade, but that was because of a gum accident. Life happens, y’all.) My hair was so long, I could sit on it! I also remember how liberating it felt in junior high when I cut it all off! And I’ve obviously never looked back… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Original post:  Feeling very PNW in navy stripes + olive vest + scarf

Gift card giveaway

To celebrate my upcoming 5th blog anniversary, I am offering 5 lucky winners each a $25 e-gift card to one of my favorite online stores, Out of Print, which offers literary-themed t-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, and other items. This giveaway is NOT sponsored — these are gift cards I will purchase myself for the purpose of thanking y’all for your readership!

Out Of Print Gift Card

Out of Print has items with artwork from classic works, like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (I have the purple P&P tee, seen here), literary terms (my husband owns the “Plot” tee), as well as collections like the Library Collection (I have the library stamp tee, seen here; library card socks, seen here; and library card pouch from this collection, seen here) and the Banned Books Collection (I also have the banned books pouch, seen here, and socks, seen here).

I also didn’t know about this when I decided on this giveaway, but it just so happens that Out of Print is getting a jump start on celebrating National Library Week (April 9-15) by donating 10% of its Library Collection proceeds through April 9th to the Liberation Library in Chicago. You can read all about it here.


Note:  Out of Print is NOT sponsoring this giveaway or this site. I’m just a personal fan! The e-gift card giveaway prizes are coming out of my own pocket, as a personal thank you to readers.


How to enter the giveaway:

I’m going old-school on the giveaway entries — no fancy Rafflecopter entry system, just comments on THIS blog post.

  • Mandatory entry: Leave a comment below with a fun fact about yourself!
  • Optional entry #1: Leave one additional comment below detailing how you follow Librarian for Life + Style (via email, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, ShopStyle, etc., and/or combination). If you follow via multiple ways, please combine them into one comment.
  • Optional entry #2:  Visit the Out of Print Clothing site and leave an additional comment below about what you might purchase if you win.
  • The giveaway will be open for entries through Thursday, April 13 @ 10 pm Pacific Standard Time.
  • I will announce the winners on my blog next Friday, April 14th. Come back to check if you’re one of the 5 lucky winners!

Details:

  • Please only leave comments on THIS post if you are entering the giveaway.
  • Please do NOT include your personal email address in the comment field itself; include your email address only in the required email address field, which is visible only to me.
  • This giveaway is open to both U.S. and international readers. Out of Print Clothing does ship internationally, yay!
  • The winners will be randomly selected using the Random.org random number generator.
  • After the post goes live, I will also contact the winners by email and send the e-gift cards via email.

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Spreading the blog love: Why I started Instagramming + 10 Instagram bloggers I love

Today, I’m going in-depth into why I started an Instagram account, @librarianforlifestyle, and highlighting 10 Instagrammers I love.

Why I started Instagramming

Librarian for Life + Style | Why I started Instagramming

It took me a long time to get into Instagram — or even to understand the appeal. I’m not a person who jumps into trying out trends or new technologies; instead, I have to think my way through things and see if something is right for me. So I’ve been thinking about Instagram for awhile, but I wanted to make sure that if I committed to Instagram, then I was doing it for reasons that made sense to me, and not just doing it because I was “supposed to” as a style blogger. So I did my research (of course!), reading over posts by bloggers I read and trust, like Franish’s very informative post and tips about Instagram. Her tip to “think about if it’s instagram or a blog post” stuck with me, about making your Instagram be its own thing and not just be a rehash of your style blog. I am a purpose-driven woman, so that made sense to me, to have a clear purpose for each kind of social outlet for my blog. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Purpose of style blog:  Highlight my style journey and perspective with the opportunity to reflect and write in-depth about how and why I put outfits together
  • Purpose of Instagram feed:  Provide a more personalized peek at my daily life and style, including random photos I like to take and the books I like to read

You can enjoy my Instagram feed even if you’re not on Instagram. I’ve also got the latest pics from my Instagram on my blog’s sidebar.

And I have really been enjoying my foray into Instagram! I now have an outlet for all those random and spontaneous photos I take going about my daily life, like this sartorial still life, plus it’s a way to post about things that I don’t want to write in-depth about. And it’s opened me up to a whole new world of bloggers!

10 Instagram bloggers I love

Three years ago at the end of March, which is Women’s History Month, I started highlighting bloggers I love in an annual series I called “Spreading the blog love.” I highlighted 9 style bloggers I love in 2015 and 5 more bloggers I love in 2016. This time around, I thought it appropriate to highlight a few Instagram bloggers I love and why I love them!

Hello Katie Girl

Screenshot of Hello Katie Girl Instagram feed

I love Katie’s Instagram feed for its bright, cheerful photos and outfits. She also loves a brightly colored wall! I always smile when I see her Instagram photos and colorful, feminine style. A total pick-me-up!

Follow Katie on Instagram:  @hellokatiegirlblog

Daenel

Screenshot of Daenel's Instagram feed

You’ve seen Daenel on my blog before, in a “Librarian Style Profile” last year. She is a fellow librarian, and she has a totally cool, down-to-earth style all her own. So I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, but then I also fell in love with her Instagram feed, which is full of gorgeous photography and coffee pics. Her view of the world through her camera lens is always interesting and often introspective.

Follow Daenel on Instagram:  @daenelt

Ardently Admire

Screenshot of Ardently Admire Instagram feed

A self-professed “book smart city girl who’s living life like a modern Jane Austen”? Right up my alley! Colorful, cheerful, sassy, with tons of shoe and book close-ups. LOVE.

Her blog and Instagram title? Comes from a scene in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, from Mr. Darcy’s (first) proposal to Lizzy: “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Like I said, LOVE.

Follow Ardently Admire on Instagram:  @ardently_admire

This Is Jules

Screenshot of This Is Jules Instagram feed

I follow a lot of travel-themed accounts on Instagram, as well as those who highlight the city they live in. This Is Jules focuses on England (Yorkshire, to be specific), and I love the more muted, softer tones and mood of the photos she takes. It’s somehow nostalgic and wistful and soothing all at the same time.

Follow This Is Jules on Instagram:  @thisisjules

Madison Steward

Screenshot of Madison Steward's Instagram feed

Madison’s vintage style is so gorgeous and flawless and fun. I could look at her photos for days. Her red lipstick ALONE is worth a stroll through her Instagram feed.

Follow Madison Steward on Instagram:  @madisonsteward

Pearls and Pink Pens

Screenshot of Pearls and Pink Pens Instagram feed

I love Flor’s classy, feminine style, and she focuses on highlighting stylish work outfits. I find her feed and outfits inspirational for my own work life.

Follow Pearls and Pink Pens on Instagram:  @pearlsandpinkpens

Bookish Press

Screenshot of Bookish Press Instagram feed

Here’s the description in the Bookish Press Instagram profile:  “Mostly books but occasionally other glittery things that take my fancy.” They take my fancy, too! Lovely and creative photos of books and other “glittery things.” Happy sigh.

Follow Bookish Press on Instagram:  @thebookishpress

The Southern Gloss

Screenshot of The Southern Gloss Instagram feed

Catherine from The Southern Gloss has a gorrrrrrrrrrrgeous head of red hair and gorgeous style. She’s also the one who inspired me to wear my blanket scarf in a new way!

Follow The Southern Gloss on Instagram:  @thesoutherngloss

Economy of Style

Screenshot of Economy of Style Instagram feed

Psyche from Economy of Style has the most gorgeous smile and the most fearless style! I always feel happier and inspired after browsing her Instagram feed, which is full of pattern-mixing and bright lipstick and interesting shoes. Plus, she focuses on budget-friendly style, and she’s in academia, too. She inspired me to wear my wrap dress in a totally different way!

Follow Economy of Style on Instagram:  @economyofstyle

BonPon511

Screenshot of BonPon511 Instagram feed

This is the cutest couple EVER. They have been married for decades, and they like to dress alike and take pictures. It’s that simple, and that love- and life-affirming.

Follow BonPon511 on Instagram:  @bonpon511


Have you perused my Instagram feed yet? Are you inspired to check out some new bloggers? Please leave a comment and let me know! 😀


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Everyday faves | Wrinkle releaser spray

This is the latest entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Posts in the series have included:

This month, I’m highlighting my love of wrinkle releaser spray! (That’s an odd sentence out of context. Maybe it’s still an odd sentence, even when in context. 😉 )

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, wrinkle releaser spray

Just like in last month’s post about Static Guard spray, I have at least two bottles of wrinkle releaser spray at hand at all times:  a full-size bottle and a travel-size bottle. The full-size bottle I keep upstairs, and the travel-size bottle I keep in my bin of travel toiletries, near the downstairs bathroom.

Also, it’s funny looking at the list of previous “Everyday faves,” and there’s are a couple of themes when you put together my love of stain sticks, static cling spray, and now wrinkle releaser spray. One, I love getting travel-sized stuff. Two, I must seem like a very messy, rumpled person. Or rather, I am trying to prevent looking like my naturally messy, rumpled self. 😉

Here’s how the spray works. First, you hang or lay flat an article of clothing that’s wrinkled. This is a cardigan of mine that’s been on the floor in the laundry basket for over a week, so it’s a good candidate for this demonstration. Next, spray the area that’s wrinkled — and not just a light misting or spritz, but a thorough spray over the wrinkled areas.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, wrinkle releaser spray

Then start smoothing out the wrinkled areas, stretching the fabric across and down. (I usually do this with both hands, but I had to use one hand this time to take pictures.) It really is best to do this step right away, instead of waiting a few minutes to let the spray “soak in” and then trying to smooth out wrinkles. You need to get to smoothing out the wrinkles immediately. Let the clothing item air dry for a few minutes after.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, wrinkle releaser spray

Does it work? Below is a side-by-side comparison, before and after using the wrinkle releaser spray on my wrinkled cardigan. There’s definitely a difference!

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, wrinkle releaser spray

I always take my wrinkle releaser spray with me while traveling, especially if it’s for work. No matter how well you pack, your clothes will have at least some wrinkles. So adding a travel-sized wrinkle release spray to your toiletries is super useful, and much easier and quicker to do than ironing. If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), then you’ll know I loathe ironing. Loathe. So much so I’ve basically designed my lifestyle and wardrobe around avoiding ironing as much as possible. (This is also why I purchased a steamer, which I talk about here in this post.)

And I don’t have a set brand that I prefer for the wrinkle releaser spray. I just reuse the travel-sized Downy bottle and refill it with spray from the larger bottle of whatever wrinkler releaser brand I happen to have on hand. I have personally found no difference between using generic and brand-name wrinkle releaser sprays.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, wrinkle releaser spray

Do you use a wrinkler releaser spray or something similar? Please leave a comment and share!