Friday Conversations

March Friday Conversations

Happy Friday! Here’s another installment of Friday Conversations. I hope you’re enjoying these posts as much as I am. Don’t forget, keep you questions coming. ICYMI, you can read last month’s post here.

1. Where did you get your hair done/colored while still in the bay area? I’m looking for a good place to get a balayage.

I went to Population in San Francisco. They do the best color and balayage! Pricey, but amazing.

2. I’m looking for more top options with open backs or back details.

I recently snagged this sweater with an open back and this blouse with a tie back and both are super cute. I’ve been trying to figure out what to wear under both. I picked up this bralette, but this one would be cute too. Foam cups are a way to go too!

3. Will you be doing a hair tutorial soon?

Yes! It will be on Instagram Stories and I’ll give you a heads up before we do it.

4. I’m wondering if you have any swimwear recommendations.

I don’t have any brands I absolutely love and would recommend, but a few words of wisdom from past experiences. Don’t ever buy white. Regardless if the material is thick or has a lining – you will see everything or the illusion of something. Buying a one piece can be tricky for someone who has a long torso (like me!). I’ve been sizing up and it’s been working, but just keep that in mind. A lot of bikini tops run small, so if you’re busty (like me), finding pieces that work, is tough! Swimwear takes a lot research and trial and error – not my favorite to shop for by any means.

Last year I found a scalloped one piece by Agua Bendita that I really loved (sadly, it’s no longer available). I also have an L Space bikini, which the top runs really small, but the material is fantastic. Probably the softest bikini I’ve ever owned. Lastly, thoughts on ordering from lower end brands and fast fashion sites – you get what you pay for. Asos and Topshop always have really cute pieces, but the quality isn’t there. You’re bathing suit should be comfortable and soft, and like most things, you have to be willing to spend some cash to get the good stuff.

I would say I’m more of a conservative swimwear gal, so here are some that have caught my eye so far:

5. Can you post recipes and food. I would love ideas on veggie friendly yet tasty meals.

I was thinking of dedicating one post a month to meals. My aunt is a huge foodie, so I would team up with her to show you how to make several meals with similar ingredients. This seems more realistic and doable. I know it would help Mike and I cook more often and throw away less food every week. Let me know if this would be something you’d be interested in.

6. Where is your iPhone case from?

My iPhone case is from Sonix. They have them at both Nordstrom and Shopbop. I’ve been using Sonix iPhone cases for the 3-4 years and I don’t think I can ever use anything else. They’re the best!

7. Can you talk more about the behind the scenes of a blogger (the ups, downs, worries, cattiness with other bloggers, who works for you etc.)

This question could probably be broken down into several posts, but here’s my short version. Right now, Crystalin Marie is a team of 2 – me and Mike. He takes my photos and handles all things related to partnerships and business/legal stuff. We actually need an intern really bad, so if you happen to be reading this post and you live in the Portland area, shoot me an email. I will post an actual ad soon enough. I’ve seen so many bloggers on either Snapchat or Instagram Stories all day and it blows my mind. We can barely sit down for lunch most days, so I don’t know how people have all day to video everything they’re doing. I know some have teams (the larger influencers), but for everyone else, I’d love to know what their days look like. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong, lol.

Behind the scenes looks different everyday. Some days are spent in the office editing, writing, linking, and uploading blog posts, others are organizing receipts, content planning, and tackling emails, and funner days are spent shooting looks, having lunch at our favorites spots, and shopping (the perks of the business). It’s a crazy world, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe I’ll do a more in-depth post on the ups, downs, and more behind the scenes of blogging. Let me know if that would be something you’re interested in.

8. I have been crushing on so many (too many!) bags for spring and would love to see a post about the spring handbag trends! Thanks!

I feel the same way! I would say the biggest trends right now are wicker/basket, circle, and top handle bags. I can’t get enough and the best part, there’s so many affordable options. You know how much I love my Cult Gaia ark bag (it’s back in-stock). I use it so much, I ended up getting the black as well. I also recently got this round Clare V. bag in tan and waiting for it to come back in-stock in white too. Below are some more amazing options.

9. Is there a way to roll out your picks/try-ons sooner? I’ve noticed some of your recommendations sell out so quick ie the Nordstrom sale items, Zara pearly sandals etc.

Last year’s Nordstrom sale was a little crazy as we were out of town, so hopefully this year you’ll see my recommendations early enough that things don’t sell out. However, with sales and trendier pieces (like the Zara pearly sandals), things tend to go fast. Maybe, when I know something will sell out fast, I’ll post to my Instagram Stories in real time. I know Zara tends to restock, so I’ll stock the website for weeks or sign up for emails to get notified when they do.

10. I’ve been looking for a camel blazer like your Banana Republic one. Have you found any similar?

Sadly, I have not. You probably won’t be able to find anything like it right now since it’s spring. The heavy wool and double breasted details are very fall/winter, so you may have to wait until August/September to start looking around. I know you know about the J.Crew Regent blazer, but I must say, that’s a great option. It’s different from the BR one, but it’s almost more versatile. You can wear it year round and the quality and style are awesome. J.Crew has sales on it all the time. I did some digging and these are the few camel blazers I’ve found:

11. I always love both your blog photos and your Instagram photos, so I’d love to know how you edit your images and what type of camera you use for your photos?

Thank you! I will do a full blog post on this soon, but here’s my short version. My blog photos are taken with a Nikon D750 and we’re using a 50mm 1.4 lens. This is a smaller fixed lens, which is nice for carrying around, but still takes amazing photos! I edit my photos in Lightroom and use the VSCO Film 06 preset pack. My Instagram photos are mainly taken with my iPhone 7, but sometimes I use the photos we took for the blog. I’ve tried many filters throughout the years, but I’ve finally found my groove using the iPhone ‘Fade’ filter.

12. I was hoping you could post about how to make friends in a new city and if you have any tips that have worked for you since moving to Portland!

Great question! If I’m being honest, Mike and I don’t really have friends here, lol. I have some family, so that has helped a lot. We’ve met their friends and families, so it doesn’t feel like we’re so isolated. Mike plays tennis and basketball, so he socializes a bit more than I do and I’ve met a couple industry people, so that has helped as well. But in general, we have yet to meet any new real friends. It probably doesn’t help that my aunt who lives here is my best friend, so it keeps me from really getting out of my comfort zone to meet people.

With all that being said, I think we’re on the right track. We’ve both met people with similar interests, we just have to take the next step and ask them to coffee or to grab a drink. Our excuse is that we’re always busy. But, if you’re actively looking to meet people, I would recommend starting with work or taking up a hobby (dance, yoga, sports, cooking, etc.). That way you’re putting yourself in a position to succeed. You already have similar interests and things to talk about from the start. If you vibe with someone, then take the next step and set up a time to meet outside said work or hobby.

We’ve actually been thinking of finding a small dog group in our area to help our dogs meet some friends, which hopefully means we can socialize more (can you tell I’m an introvert?), lol.