How I Feel About Blogging Lately


THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY LOWER OFFICIAL BUT ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

I’ve been wanting to write this post all week but alas I’ve been quite the mess. My dog, MaQ, even though seems to be his good cherry self, has had some kind of skin infection (or so it seemed) but after a vet visit and the blood work came back, his albumin levels were lower than they should be. So tomorrow we will be going in to have an abdominal ultrasound to further investigate the problem. I PRAY that there’s nothing serious, but given the fact this is the first time my baby is not well (internally) I want to be safe rather than sorry. And in doing so, I’ve been super anxious all week, to the point where I canceled all my meetings, events… everything. I know a lot will disagree, that the world keeps on ticking, but he’s more than just a dog to me. He’s my child and without him I’m not sure what’s left of me. Most have been incredibly supportive (and THANK you for the uplifting msgs/comments/etc;) but what’s been going on with MaQ lately has me thinking a lot about the future, and what that entails of in the blogging world and which direction I would like to take. Continue reading for more on my thoughts on this rather difficult subject and my fears for what lies ahead.

On a daily basis I receive approximately 10-15 invitations to press previews, launch events, and then some where in the start to my career in blogging, I accepted almost every invitation to network and expand my business. But now coming up on four years in August, I am highly selective with my time. Many of these events are to fill the room, as in to make it look like the event is lively and engaging, I get that, and in turn we, as bloggers show up for support and networking abilities but how many times do we really connect with others (business-wise) at an event where nearly everyone is drinking alcohol, bringing their +1’s because they need a hand to hold and gossip with, only to never really be as proactive as one can be during such a place and time. I rarely see strangers starting up conversations, and more so the cliquey groups I detested in high school. Don’t get me wrong, you can connect while boozing, I’m sure, but in all likelihood, it’s not going to happen. Especially when there’s hundreds of people in the room. I’m more about intimate gatherings, or one-on-one meetings where you have a better chance in what I’m talking about. I’m not the type of person who likes to see and be seen. Frankly, I don’t give a shit and would rather be in the comfort of my own home in my pj’s snuggled up with my dog.

It’s also the experience that comes with. I actually hate being called an influencer, because I don’t consider to be one. When you see others talking in selfie form on stories and load after load of unboxings, gifts, press trips, and always THE SAME OLE’ THING, it’s gets old relatively fast. I don’t even like to tell others I’m a blogger because of first impressions. Many have given the blogging label a bad rep, and I hate to have fallen in to that category because I’m far from it. I’m first and foremost a writer. I tend to forget at times due to the very difficult career path and yes, it’s not easy at all. But after being a writer, I consider myself a creative director and stylist who wants to further concentrate my energy into creation - such as fashion editorials, photo essays and more. It’s been a while since I wrote my last body of work, and to be quite honest, I haven’t jumped back on the wagon quite yet because of fear and the pressures of what comes next after writing your first book. It’s terrifying. I do have a number of ideas, but in recent years have lost a lot of confidence, therefore feeling very uncertain about the future. All I know is I definitely don’t see myself posting OOTD’S for the rest of my life, lol. So where do I go from here?

But after the past week with what’s going on with MaQ, it has put many things in perspective. My family comes first, because without them I’m nothing. They mean everything to me, and if anyone doesn’t seem to quite understand that, they can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I’m serious. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” My favorite Game of Thrones quote, it’s the epitome of what family means to me. We are better together rather than alone. I would love to add to our family, but that’s a long story and a whole other blog post alone. And even though it’s my '“job” to share a lot of my life to you all, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m like the Keanu Reeves of blogging. I relish in my privacy. And will keep it that way. Never hurts to leave a little mystery behind. 

I’m sure you have heard by now but if you haven’t, Instagram is considering hiding the amount of likes on everyone’s account. And I think this is wonderful. Talk about healthy engagement. Because it never should be about the numbers, but the CONTENT. Is it good quality? Does it tell a story? Does it transport me to somewhere? And I think this idea would be greatly beneficial to the younger generation, where studies have shown the toxicity within social media and how validation plays such a terrible role. I mean, how many times have you felt bad when a post bombed? I know I have. I would like to focus on slow-creation as I term it, where back in the Avedon/Penn days, photographs/content would take a lot of time. Nothing was digital and the appreciation after waiting for the final product was always worth it. Nowadays, we can’t seem to go fast enough. And it’s exhausting, fully saturated with so many doing the exact same concept (YAWN) or even worse, just ripping off one another’s ideas. And yes, everything comes from somewhere but the way we interpret it is key. So I’m focusing on advancing in videography (something I’m good at but hate doing lol) where we can start to evolve our content into something fresh and new again. I will also be taking more focus on my writing,

I used to have trepidations of not staying consistent on the gram. Meaning, if I didn’t post everyday, I was in serious trouble! OMG, how ridiculous does that sound?! I would rather have my audience wait and appreciate the work rather than nonstop photos of outfits, events, etc; where it just gets to be too much and no one can really concentrate on the work, which is most important to me. That’s another reason I don’t post as much on stories either anymore because I find it creepy sharing your every move. And who really cares what you’re having for dinner? Unless you’re a major public figure like Angelina Jolie, you got me. I will keep my presence online, but will definitely not be posting everyday of the week anymore, which I have been doing for several months now.

So, while I have some projects I am really going to concentrate on for the remainder of the year, I would love to know from my readers on what you’d like to see me cover more on my social media platforms. Don’t worry - I will still post, go to (some) events and live my life, but what would you want to see more of? Fashion? Writing on more serious topics? Beauty? Travel? Pet lifestyle? Maybe some crime? Or still maybe a little bit of everything? I would love to have some feedback from you guys to better assess our future content. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Don’t forget to drop your comments down below and chime in on what you’d like to see more of on MaQ + Suz! Until next time, wish us luck tomorrow at MaQ’s sonogram and keep sending those positive vibes! Nothing but Love & Light to you all. xx

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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Top 5 Favorite Beauty Eye Products for the Holidays

This post is sponsored by Clear Eyes but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


‘Tis the season for getting picture perfect ready from head to toe. With all the holiday parties and get-togethers with family and friends, not to mention running around doing all that last minute shopping and day-to-day errands, we all can use a little pick-me-up when it comes to our eyes. Because this time of year we always want to look our best and the last thing we all need are red, itchy eyes. When it comes to eye care, we want products we can trust that will eliminate eye redness and irritation and allow our eyes to shine bright and capture attention. Look no further, I got you covered, ladies! In today's post, I'm sharing my top 5 favorite beauty eye products to relieve redness leading to whiter and clearer eyes that will complement your holiday looks so you can be Insta-ready anywhere! Even while doing that last minute-holiday shopping ;)

1. CLEAR EYES MAXIMUM REDNESS RELIEF

There is a reason why Clear Eyes is the #1 selling brand of Redness Relief Eye drops. The Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief eye drops provide soothing comfort from irritation, so red eyes or eye irritation don’t get in the way of looking Insta-ready for your next holiday party or shindig. Conversely, after a late night of celebrating, you don’t want your eyes to look or feel like they’ve been up all night. Clear Eyes makes sure last night’s celebrating doesn’t get in the way of how you look and feel today. That way you can still be on the go, getting all those errands checked off in time for Christmas! Check out the before and after pics above to see the immediate results! Wowza!

2. TARTE MANEATER LIQUID EYELINER

This vegan, quick-drying liquid eyeliner features intense black, lash-enhancing pigment spheres & a waterproof formula to ensure tonight's eyeliner won't turn into tomorrow's smoky eye. The micro brush tip glides on smoothly to create precise definition or drama where you want it & moves with the contours of your lashline for the perfect, one-swipe application. You can use it to sculpt & fill in spaces between lashes for an ultra-black boost in volume or extend it out to a sexy #maneater wing.

3. BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR CREAM SHADOW STICK

Effortless and high impact, that's the essence of NEW Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick. This do-it-all formula glides on tug-free and can be used to shade, define, smoke up and highlight eyes. In subtle to eye-popping shades that last for up to 8 hours without creasing, flaking or fading, it's a stroke of genius. Just swipe on and go. I use the shade, 'Golden Pink' for the bottom inner lids of my eyes to give an extra brightened look. You can use white or any other shimmery/metallic rose gold, silver, highlights like this stick to give that effect.

4. FIRST AID BEAUTY EYE DUTY TRIPLE REMEDY

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy is a multi-tasking eye treatment that immediately brightens and minimizes imperfections with sheer, light reflecting pigments while offering long-term skincare benefits. Retinyl palmitate and GABA in the formula help smooth away the look of fine lines and wrinkles while caffeine and licorice root work to diminish the appearance of dark circles and undereye puffiness. The unique stainless steel tip mimics the shape of your pinky, delivering a cooling application while supporting microcirculation to enhance the product's benefits. Eye Duty Triple Remedy works great as a light coverage concealer or may be applied directly under your favorite eye concealer.

5. LANCÔME MONSIEUR BIG MASCARA

A BIG volume mascara that delivers instant heart-stopping volume for your biggest, blackest, boldest lashes yet. You'll know Monsieur Big Mascara is the one at first stroke. The ultra-creamy formula glides like silk onto lashes to deliver up to 12 times more volume than bare lashes alone with up to 24-hour wear. No touch-ups, flaking or smudging. Perfect for your BIG evening out and even the morning after. Monsieur Big's brush has a unique shape with soft, wavy fibers to deliver the perfect amount of formula with the very first stroke. The ultra-creamy formula has supple waxes and polymers to adhere immediately to lashes for BIG, buildable volume and length. Apply one coat and you will see why Monsieur Big is the one.

Purchase Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief Eye Drops on Amazon for 10% off using the code 10CLEAREYES from 12/19-1/11. You can also shop directly by following the links in each item I've listed. What beauty eye products do you use when your eyes are red and are looking a bit dull?

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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White Teddy Moto Jacket

Hey, guys! Are you done with all of your Christmas shopping yet? I’m still not done and every year I’m a last minute shopper. So while running around doing last minute shopping I like to stay in comfort when it comes to my personal style. I’m never the girl decked out in a full ballgown while running around town, let alone a simple dress. So in today’s post, we’re keeping it semi-casual but still maintain my edgy vibe - even if it’s just going out in search of holiday gifts for loved ones! Check out more details on how I styled this cozy white teddy moto jacket with faux leather leggings and a very spectacular glow-in-the-dark ball purse! Not to mention a pretty fierce set of black cutout boots.

If you haven’t seen my latest style post, I paired this Maya Luz bag with a pink dress (LINK HERE)! But I love the bag so much, who says I can’t wear an evening bag in the middle of the day?! It brings a ton of fun to my outfit, and literally since I got it, I can’t get ‘Wrecking Ball’ out of my head. Ha ha! All giggles aside, I’m truly obsessed with the design of this unique bag. 100% leather base with Swarovski crystal stones, silver studs, glow in the dark stars and hand painted detailing, there’s only a limited edition of 50 made in New York City, so it’s pretty wild I was able to receive on of them! She makes other designs aside from this one, so if you’d like to see more go to www.maya-luz.com

How warm does this styled up teddy bear white moto jacket look?! It is super cozy with a slight edge in its details. I’m normally not really into anything brown, but this past fall/winter season I can’t seem to wear enough of the color! I think it suits well with my hair color. But this moto jacket is the perfect kind of jacket to wear while running around and doing errands. I don’t like to wear a heavier coat because I get too warm inside, and sweat more, and by the time I go back outside, I’m shivering from the change of temperature so much. So I’d suggest a less hefty outerwear piece to shop in. More room equals better comfort as well as being efficient :)

I styled the coat instead with a pair of jeans like my usual self with a pair of faux leather leggings. These are under $20 bucks from Zulily. Affordable, comfortable, and stylish - they looked really cool with my new Cotto croc print ankle boots. With a pointed toe, sassin' block heel and cut out sides - these boots are right on trend. And the buckle and lace up details will have all eyes on you. I'll be wearing mine all day erryday. :) They are currently on sale for only $25 bucks! Get them before they’re sold out, trust me, I know they will go fast!

How would you have possibly styled this white teddy moto jacket? I think it would look amazing with a great pair of jeans or even a dress with some killer winter boots. I decided to keep it casual with an edge, something you’d see me wearing in an everyday outfit. D

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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Reversible Jacket - Lie Sang Bong

WEARING: LIE SANG BONG REVERSIBLE JACKET | YANDY WHITE BODYSUIT | DL1961 DENIM HEPBURN JEANS | GIGI NEW YORK CLUTCH | EGO SATIN BOOTS


Thank goodness it’s almost Friday! Looking for a day-to-night look that’s not the typical holiday glitz and glam, but perhaps something more subtle and cozy, especially on those extra cold nights? Well… look no further, shearling with leather is here to save the day! You don’t need to be the Belle of the ball to be chic! And one of my favorite blues during the winter - navy blue, we did this edit where I styled an outfit from head to toe with darker tones incorporating this shade. Continue reading to see more behind this ‘Shades of Navy Blue’ look along with shopping links and teeny tips to keep you extra warm this season.

Now, as much as I love a good fashion coat as the next gal, most of these kinds of statement pieces are not as warm as they appear! So one of the tricks is to INVEST in a quality winter coat/jacket. This piece from Lie Sang Bong is out of this world with its cobalt blue shearling and shiny beautiful leather. The best part is that its reversible! Find one similar to this, because not only will you be getting quality, you’ll also be getting two looks in one piece! Tell me you don’t love this concept, because I’m all for it! How would you have styled this statement coat?

Another tip to staying extra warm without looking like you layered in all of Chandler’s clothes like Joey did in Friends, is a bodysuit. But don’t go for a sheer, lacy lingerie-like one, this white one from Yandy is mostly polyester, but it’s a great fabric to keep you feeling cozy and chic at the same time. I love the plunging neckline with choker. Definitely gives the look a more sexier, edgy vibe… don’t you think? I’ve always felt dancewear as such, can make any outfit more sultry.

Naturally keeping with the blue in my accessories, I styled the look with a great clutch from Gigi New York that’s also personalized with my nickname on it! Fun random fact: the person who started to call me ‘Suz’ was my brother when we were kids. I’ve literally never heard him say my real name, ha ha! My satin kitten-heel boots are from Ego and are the comfiest ankle boots I own. I walked in them all day on my very first day in London ever, and it was no problem at all!

To tie in the whole look together, I wore a pair of my favorite denim jeans by DL1961 Denim, in their wide pant ‘Hepburn’ in black. I love the frayed cuff and the overall feel to these particular jeans. They do tend to run a little large but if you’re a fan of oversize-anything like me, just get it in your normal size. They great eating pants because the material is stretchy! ;P Great for those date nights where you don’t have to worry about your eating portion, LMAO! Last tip to staying warm without having to sacrifice your chicness? Layer with a thin pair of thermo leggings under those jeans! What do you guys think of this look? Stay tuned for more holiday content next week, where I’ll be sharing more beauty favorites from this year as well as something a little more personal too! Wishing you a great weekend, everyone!

LOVE & XX’S,

NYC style blog

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Just a General Making Sure My Soldier's Straight

WEARING: L'ATISTE FRINGE JUMPSUIT | TELEPORT SHOES BOOTS | SUNGLASS WAREHOUSE PRESLEY


THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY L'ATISTE AND SUNGLASS WAREHOUSE.

This past week I left a question up on my IG stories asking you guys to drop questions relating to blogging. There were so many that I could no way put it in my usual Sunday IG post, where I've been selecting ten and answer them. So today's post is dedicated to a selected ten questions I've chosen to answer relating to my work and the world of blogging, which is more like the Wild Wild West. Just a General making sure my shoulder's straight ;) Continue reading to learn more about my experiences as a full-time blogger, where today marks three years since M + S launched. Happy Blogiversary to me and Happy Monday to you!

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START BLOGGING?

Right before I started MaQ + Suz, I had endured some pretty heavy-duty, life-changing experiences which encouraged and led me to my new platform. Along with my desire to find an outlet where I could put both my visual eye and the written word together at the same time had always been apparent, but it wasn’t until I entered the world of blogging before everything came full circle.

WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE AS A BLOGGER?

Every day is different depending on my schedule for that week, such as what deadlines are approaching, upcoming events and so on. Overall, I  spend over 40+ hours a week working on the blog and that includes responding to emails, meetings, posting on social media, editing photos, writing blog posts, working on SEO, going out for photoshoots and events, writing contracts -  the list goes on and on and on. We have shoots every day so I try to stick to a routine that way I don't have to organize as much. So I usually start my mornings with emails, walking the pooch, a photo shoot, and/or meetings/events. It's never a day off when it comes to my job and there's just never enough hours in a day to get it all done.

HOW DO YOU GAIN MORE FOLLOWERS?

I get this question a lot and I have to say it's really all about the quality of your content! This, and being consistent every day and being patient. Remember, the number of followers you have is just a number. What's important is the engagement you have with your audience and what you do every day to give them something that makes them want to follow you. That being a source of inspiration, or a special skill one can learn from, it should be something that makes you stand out and be unique. Now if you're in this for instant-gratification, I'm telling you right off the bat, don't do it! Gaining a substantial amount of readers/followers takes TIME and a ton of work. You have to be okay with the fact that it could take years.

Also, AUTHENTICITY. I believe if you stay true to yourself and your branding image, along with high-quality content, then new and old followers will genuinely want to follow you and your business. Sharing the process of your journey keeps things real and I love people for that, and I know others will love you for it too!

So here are a few tips to help you grow your audience:

Create Killer Content – The more often you do something the better you'll get at it. And that goes for content, whether you're behind or in front of the camera, don't be afraid to think outside the box, take risks, and try new things you'd normally not try. This will help you find your aesthetic/style.
Post Daily – Consistency is key. I can't tell you how many times back in the earlier days when I wouldn't post every single day and my engagement dropped nearly half its size. YIKES! Don't be out of sight, out of mind in terms of posting!!! 
Engage With Your Audience – I always try to comment back on comments whether its on IG or the blog, but I also comment others within my niche. 
Tags & Hashtags – Yes you should abuse the #30 rule for IG. Don't be shy to tag promo accounts within your niche to get a possible repost after using their hashtag of some kind. You can tag up to 20 accounts in a single IG post. So take advantage!

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE DEMANDS/PRESSURES OF WHAT YOUR JOB?

As demanding as it can get, I take perseverance & determination, hard work, and discipline and yet at the same time it also requires you to not take yourself too seriously. Otherwise, it’ll no longer be fun anymore and life is also meant to be enjoyed. I guess it’s all about finding your own balance, and everyone has a different path and in variated times in our lives.

WHAT CAMERAS/LENS DO YOU USE?

Canon 5D models, Olympus EMD-5, lens Canon 28-135mm 3.5/5.6

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GROW YOUR FOLLOWING & WHEN DID YOU START TO BLOG?

I launched my blog in August of 2015. For the first year or so, I really didn't know what I was doing. I wasn't sure what my niche was, how I wanted to brand my image, etc; and most of the time felt completely lost. I experimented with a lot of different topics from interviews to meet and connect with other like-minded people in my field as well as attending events to network. Once I started to hone in on my style I felt more confident in pursuing blogging full-time. In two short years, I've gained over 35K on Instagram with a total reach of over 70k. I work with global brands such as L'OréalAvedaKiehl'sDove and more & have been featured in WWD, BFA and Getty Images

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A BLOG/LIFE BALANCE?

It's always important to prioritize what you NEED to get done versus what you want to get done. Now that I do this full-time, I am always on deadlines, so these come first. Afterward, it's a matter of what else I can get done for that day. I never feel like I get enough done every day, but it's only because there's so much and so many hours in a day! Learning to accept what I cannot control has helped me so much, and has kept me grounded. I'm not as hard as I am on myself (which is super difficult for me, if you know me at all) as I can be onto to others just as much. Also, taking it easy more and more is actually healthy and well-balanced. For example, I rarely ever work on Sunday mornings.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON THOSE REALLY BAD DAYS?

Whenever I’m having a pretty awful day, I cut myself loose and leave the ‘office’ for the day. I’ll go and take a long walk with my German Shepherd, MaQ and the city always is an escapism from another escapism. New York has a way of clearing your head and at the same time eating you alive (if you’re not careful enough). And sometimes there are days that’ll defeat you, where you’ll feel so bad about everything that getting up seems hard enough on its own. But then I think of all the shit that’s brought me to where I am today and I do believe I made it here for a reason. Perhaps the past has made me who I am today, but it has certainly motivated me to keep going and to keep pushing boundaries I didn’t think were possible. You have to keep on keepin’ on…

HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR CONTENT?

I gather inspiration from everywhere. The sights and sounds of the city. From traveling. From people watching. Food, books, music, film. The list is endless. If I ever find myself in a rut in terms of finding inspiration for content, I just take a break from thinking too hard about it and enjoy a good book/film, walk, bath, etc; and it always comes to me. If really stuck I am not afraid to ask my readers for feedback and what they want to see more of. Listen to your audience!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER BLOGGERS?

Word HARD. Be NICE to people. Always appreciate what you have rather than wanting what you may not have (yet). Just because someone else's journey is on a different (maybe even faster/or so you think) path than your doesn't define you or your work! It's not the destination that matters, it's what we go through along the way that does which is what I try to share with you guys more and more. And, the glasses are ALWAYS half-full, guys, I swear! 🙂

LOVE & XX'S,

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