Florida Fall Look in a Corduroy Skirt

Lulu's Black Corduroy Skirt

lulus corduroy studded skirt

Crepe Drop Waist Burgundy Off the Shoulder Top ($12.90) 

Photos by: Studio Magnolia
BELT: Nordstrom Double Buckle Faux Leather Belt ($25) + (similar HERE $16) || EARRINGS: Lisi Lerch Ginger Earrings NECKLACE: Kendra Scott Elisa Rose Gold Pendant || SUNGLASSES: Loft Oversized Cat Eye Glasses (on SALE!) || SHOES: Lulu's Studded Loafer Slides

Hello, friends! It's time to kick off some fall fashion vibes here on Affordable by Amanda. How about we start with a burgundy color palette, as this is such a nice fall tone to wear this season. I have on a super soft and affordable crepe TOP from one of my favorite stores, Forever 21, that is a steal at under $13

Corduroy is a nice fabric for the fall (even though it's really not practical in the 90 degree heat we still have in Florida!) because it reminds me of all the corduroy I used to wear as a kid. Now I have on a black studded MINI SKIRT from Lulu's to channel my days of wearing corduroy overalls back in the day. Of course, I had to place my favorite DOUBLE BUCKLE belt (find it here for $16) on top of the corduroy skirt as a stylish accessory. 

Well, there you have it! My first "fall" look of the season. This weekend I plan on shooting some more fall-themed looks, so stay tuned for more outfit posts.

 I hope you enjoyed this outfit and are inspired to wear your own version with a cute corduroy skirt yourself! Thanks for stopping by the blog today. 


Lulu's Pink Embroidered Dress

love these Nude Wedges!

similar Quilted Bag from EXPRESS

Photos by: Studio Magnolia

Ohh, how I adore an embroidered dress!

 This beautiful blush pink number is from LULUS, an online retailer that I am obsessed with. It's also on SALE for $21! There is also a cute pick over at American Eagle that you must check out if you love this trend like I do. 

When shooting these photos in downtown Tampa, it was SO windy outside! 

Thankfully, Sara is an expert at taking the best photos and these turned out so well. I'm glad this dress looks nice in photos because I plan on wearing it with some cute knee-high boots in the future for fall. For now, I paired it with my NUDE WEDGES that match the dress perfectly. 

As for my accessories, I'm wearing my favorite watch EVER, by Daniel Wellington. The Classic Petite version is so great for my tiny wrist, too. I have a brown and a black strap to interchange depending on the outfit I wear for the day. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead. 

Purple Silk Top & Denim

Photos by: Studio Magnolia

I'm trying to get ready for the fall season, but being hot hot in Florida does not help my case! So, I'll be dabbling into the latest fall trends while still feeling the summer heat throughout my next few blog posts. I'm even going to be showing off some cudoruy shortly! I'm excited to share the look I created later this week. 

One trend that I've seen lately for the fall season and fell in LOVE with? SATIN.

Satin is sooo feminine! It's just the perfect fabric to transition from summer to fall. Luckily you don't have to search too hard to find pretty satin pieces...I found my TOP in Forever 21 (under $40, too) and the uber soft, flowy satin material sold me fast. The purple color is also different for someone who usually buys blue everything!

 Paired with a light wash DENIM SKIRT, this look is a combination of girly and trendy all wrapped into one easy to wear outfit. Of course, I needed to add some gorgeous gold accessories like my Lisi Lerch earrings, Daniel Wellington Watch, and staple Kendra Scott Druzy Pendant. 


Digital Invites with Paperless Post

How do you invite people to your family gatherings, birthday parties, bridal showers, or weddings without breaking the bank?

It's easy. Send out online invitations!

The concept is new and exciting people who live busy lives and don't have extra time to pick out fancy invitations and mail them out individually.

Why not make things easier by opting to send electronic invites or thank you cards?!

Enter Paperless Post, a company that provides customizable digital invitations to celebrate every type of event you could imagine.

They offer a variety of popular brands from Rifle Paper Co. to Oscar de la Renta in terms of unique design options.

To test out their invites, I chose to send my Aunt Wendy a thank you card.

During Hurricane Irma, she kindly booked a hotel for my family to stay at with her. It was a scary time, but I was SO grateful that we were able to leave our homes to find higher ground (we live in Evacuation Zone A in Florida which means we are close to the water).

This is how the process of creating my own THANK YOU card went for me:

I followed the instructions listed above and chose through their collections of cards to find the perfect one. I knew I wanted to create a thank you card to send out, which narrowed down my options a bit!

I found this beautiful template from the brand Rifle Paper Co. I love floral designs! The botanicals included in many of their stationary cards is something I love dearly because it's so cute and whimsical.

I started to craft my message shortly thereafter.....

This is my final product to send out to Aunt Wendy. She is going to love it! I also can't wait to design something for Christmas, stay tuned to see what else I come up with. 

After I created my card, I sent it out to her e-mail address. It's so cool because I can check to see if she has opened it yet. 

*Thanks again to Paperless Post for working with me on today's how-to edition of learning the ropes behind creating digital invitations. 

Yellow + Blue

TOP: ZARA, (Similar HERE) || SKIRT: Forever 21 Asymmetrical Mini Skort Under $20!

A new outfit post is here!

Thank you Forever 21 for always releasing cute new skirts for me to wear with a ton of tops. I saw this baby blue MINI SKORT for under $20 while shopping in New York City. The asymmetrical detail is what initially drew me in. And the price point is a win-win!

Of course, I still need to wear allllllll of my adorable and trendy pom-pom earrings whenever I can...I love these bright and fun yellow ones for UNDER $10, they are just $5! I own so many pom-pom earrings, but these are by far the cheapest pair that I've found. If you want some cheap NUDE HEELS, check these out for $30 from JCPenney!

I'm making this post a few days in advance and posting it on today, Friday. Hopefully, there is NO Hurricane Irma coming my way. I will have to stay updated all week long to check. If anything I am making an emergency kit just in case the storm wanders its way toward FL...let's hope it stays out in the ocean. 

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How To Build A Blog On A Budget

creating a profitable blog in 2017

Have you ever thought about starting a blog?

Do you think you want to talk about fashion trends, beauty brands or even dedicate a blog about your favorite TV shows?

You may be thinking, "How can I possibly make a blog profitable, too?!"

Well, you can. There are numerous blogs out in the world wide web, but that doesn't mean you can't build yourself a blog from the ground up.

Now, it won't all be easy. You have to try and fail before you hit the right formula.

You won't see the $$ in your first month unless you are fully committed to join the blogging world in full force and take time to develop your blogging strategy.

Follow some of these 8 helpful tips  if you still want to learn how to build a blog on your own:

1. Build Your Social Media Presence

One of the first steps to growing your blog is starting out on social media. The platforms that you NEED to be on include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat. 

Depending on what type of blog you plan on creating will indicate WHICH platforms will weigh heavily on your brand. Do you want to build a fashion blog? Instagram is probably where you need to be. Do you love cooking and wish to start a blog about new recipes? Consider Facebook where short videos clips of your baking process can go viral. 

Once you have accounts on these platforms, then you can start to grow your following. More people will be drawn to your blog if they first find you through a cute Instagram pic or if they see one of your baking videos. 

The great thing about publishing to these accounts is that you are in control of the content that you post. They are also FREE apps so you can save some extra money that you would spend toward your blog in this situation. 

2. Interact With Your Audience

This blog building tip is all about ENGAGEMENT. 

Did you know how powerful having strong engagement is?

A lot of sponsored posts are given out to high profile bloggers because they have high engagement. Engagement basically comes down to how many LIKES and COMMENTS you have on your feeds. It also means you have quality content that people just love to look at!

Engaging with your audience is HUGE. You see that someone took time out of their day to comment on your blog post or Instagram pic? Send them a quick thank you response!

This interaction is not only awesome for your engagement level, but it shows that you are a REAL person who genuinely appreciates the feedback that he/she receives from someone. 

It also makes your audience feel more connected to you as a person. Whenever I see that my comment was "Liked" by someone, I know I feel a stronger connection to them because they actually SAW what I said.

3. Quality Over Quantity

So, you love to take photos. 

That is a great perk to building your social media life! 

However, don't over do it with the posting.

You want to create a clean image without any unnecessary clutter. What I mean by this is, stick to the idea of quality over quantity. When you want to post a new Instagram photo, make sure it looks its best. 

  • Did you use your camera to take the photo?
  • Will your audience know that this photo came from your blog?

You want to think before you press upload. Quality photos are the way to go, so keep your posts consistently strong for your audience to understand who you are as a brand.

TIP: Instead of posting random things every few hours, try to keep a pace throughout the week to limit your posts to 3-5 times at a specific hour of the day.  

4. Join A Community

Another great way to grow your blog is to join a platform community FULL of people just like yourself.

There are SO many great communities that will boost your traffic numbers and make you some new friends along the way. A few of the communities that I belong to personally are Palm BFFs and InfluenceHer Collective. 

These communities are run through Facebook or Instagram. They are perfect for engaging with other bloggers of all types to spread the word about your blog. A lot of these communities allow you to try out products for Instagram shout-outs from brands, too! Just keep your eyes peeled. 

5. Facebook or Instagram ADs

This tip is where you apply a little bit of monetary effort to see results.

I've been running ads through Facebook and Instagram for the past year now, and I've seen significant growth from both sources. Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to edit what photo you wish to become "sponsored" for your targeted audience to see on their feeds.

Every once in a while I will boost a particular photo that I love and want to get more attention on. I also boost photos that are specific to my affordable lifestyle brand. For example, I recently ran an ad on Instagram promoting $12 Pom Pom Earrings from Charming Charlie. This ad did well because it was specific and my audience loved the cheap deal! 

I suggest running ads down the line for your blog to see even more growth. Make sure the ads are targeting your correct demographic, too. 

6. Just Keep Posting

In the beginning, you will get annoyed with the lack of results with your blog life because humans need instant gratification.

Unfortunately, I did not see any turn around from my blog for two years. TWO YEARS. Let's just say I learned how to become a little more patient....

Time has also passed and I've learned so much about myself and the blogging world. I am proud to say that I've been able to work with top brands on creating mutually beneficial content for both ends. I've also learned how to take better photos and how to properly edit them!

It's so crazy to think I'm a self-taught bosslady who never gave up even when I questioned in my head:

"Is this all worth it? Or should I just delete my online life?" 

I stuck it out. I'm still sticking it out! Of course, I'd love to be a blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers but alas, I'm not quite there yet. But dreams do come true, people! I hit 10,000 followers over on my Instagram the other day and I'm over-the-moon excited. Starting with small goals is something you must do when creating a new blog from the ground up. 

7. Work With a Photographer

OK, so I own a camera.

Is it the best camera in the world? Nope. But it does the trick when I need it to!

I have a NikonD3200. It's been with me since college which is a few years now. I love it, but I also want to upgrade it everyday, haha.

My advice? Work with a photographer!!!

If you can find the time + energy + money to invest in working with a photographer, I highly suggest doing so. I've worked with two so far on my blog, SARA and LEXI.

Sara is AWESOME and lives in the Tampa Bay area so she is flexible with shooting locations. She runs her own blog so she understands what photos to take of each outfit look, too. Sara has taken quite a few shots of my latest outfit posts and I can not thank her enough for her great work!

While in NYC visiting my family a few weeks ago, I had an idea. I thought it wouldn't pan out, but I was committed to making a shoot in the city happen.

I contacted Lexi with the proposition of shooting at Cha Cha Matcha in NYC. She was equally excited to work with me and the results can be seen all along my blog! I was walking along the streets of Manhattan just like I envisioned in my head. I was so grateful for the experience and will be shooting with her again in December when I travel back up to NY to see my cousin get married. 

Working with a photographer will cost you money. I consider if I am doing a sponsored post OR if I really want to capture a specific look when booking a photographer for the highest quality images. 

8. Post What You Love

I adore where I live.

I'm right along the Gulf Coast and I've seen so much of St. Pete transform within the last few years. There are adorable coffee shops run by cute couples, boutiques launched by college grads, and succulent shops owned by the sweetest locals.

If you don't post about what you LOVE, then why post at all? That's how I see things at least!

Whenever I find a cool new place to eat at, I will post about it. I want to SHARE the wealth of knowledge that I have worked on for the past 23 years to inspire people to be more locally invested in their surroundings, too. 

Another side-note about lovesssss....I have a passion for tea. ALL tea (except Earl Grey, yikes!).

I will frequently post tea photos and I am also an ambassador for Sipsby, an Austin-based tea subscription company. 

Posting cute Instagrams featuring my fave tea flavors brings me joy. It taps into my creative side that I want to poke at throughout the day to see what else I can make. 

That's All For Now!

I hope these tips will guide you through creating your very own blog! Best of luck, but most of all, remember to stay true to what makes you happy in life. Your passion will shine through and people will gravitate to you because of your genuine online presence!


Fall 2017 Affordable Finds


Happy Monday, friends! 

It's already September! That means bring on the pumpkin flavored coffees and scones, please! Fall just so happens to be my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, wearing booties, and sipping on chai tea lattes.

Some of my fall inspiration is pictured above. I just ordered these LISI LERCH gold earrings, which I can't wait to put on as soon as they arrive! This weekend they had a special Labor Day sale where all earrings were an extra 30%, too. I couldn't resist the sale. I also picked up some Cat Eye Sunnies from LOFT for $14.99!

Another item on my list for fall is mule loafers. I lucked out when I discovered these black studded MULE LOAFERS from Lulus. They are also crazy cheap--under $30! Forget about the $400 Gucci loafers you are lusting over because these MULES can be yours for under $30.

Lulu's is also having a moment right now. They are releasing AMAZING designer dupes for expensive handbags! I found this similar circle chain CHLOE DUPE for under $40. The one pictured is sold out but it's also affordable at $35!

I have been wearing my Daniel Wellington watch for the past month. For an Italian leather banded watch, the quality is fantastic. I own the Classic Petite Quartz Rose Gold version. I was gifted the watch from Daniel Wellington, and I have coupon code for you to score 15% off your purchase! Use the code "AFFORDABLEBYA" at checkout for this deal!

My go-to sweater is anything chunky and knitted. My latest addition is this $20 H&M loose-knit sweater that comes in red, black or blush pink! I picked the blush pink one, naturally. I can see it the outfit now--layering this sweater over some dark wash jeans and my new Vince Camuto booties! Add in my affordable handbag and I'm set for the day. I can already smell the chai latte I'll be drinking in a matter of months. Ah, fall, I'm SO ready for it!
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H&M Cutoffs for Under $20

 SHORTS: H&M Denim Cut Offs | These are a STEAL FOR $10

I quickly want to address something in today's blog post. My thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey right now. My best friend is currently living in Austin, Texas, and thankfully she has not had flooding issues as bad as it is in Houston. I have already sent in a donation to the Red Cross relief to help pay for the damages and provide aid to those in need. I encourage you to do the same if you are able to.

As a Floridian, I count my blessings each year when we are lucky enough to escape the troubles of deadly hurricanes. I can not imagine what is going on in Houston right now and would be so terrified. I know that we can all band together to provide relief for the thousands of people who need the rest of the country with them. If you want to donate, please check out this article from the NY Times covering how you can help in the best way possible.

Switching gears and talking about my cheap H&M SHORTS here. I've found flattering denim shorts that are high-waisted but still cover your butt, that's a major win! These are SO easy to button up, too. Of course, I have my favorite IT bag of the moment again. The ETSY version is just $75 while the FREE PEOPLE one is around $130. I've worn it so much that it's already paid for itself in use!

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