What to Post on Instagram When You’re NOT Good At Photography✨

As bloggers, social media is one of the things many of us consider as another way to connect with our readers, keep up with other online influencers, and grow our followings. One of the main social media platforms today is Instagram. But being apart of Instagram can get discouraging very quickly if you have no idea what to even post. Especially if you don’t feel like you’re any good at photography.

I recently came across a blog post on Lucy’s blog over at ElsieLMC. The post had nothing to do with Instagram photography but it inspired this post because of the short conversation we had in the comments. (View her post here: My Spring Bucket List) I also thought this would be great for her featured post (as promised for being a winner of Can You Guess The Blogger)

The conversation ended with me telling Lucy I don’t think I’m great at photography either but there’s always a way! Beauty can be found in just about anything. So today I’m going to be sharing a few Instagram photo ideas!

What to Post on Instagram When You’re NOT Good At Photography (Ideas, & Apps I Use)

Intro post/picture: This can be a picture of yourself, your blog site, your logo, or a little description of what will be on your page or blog. Here is my introduction Instagram post:

Quotes/poems: This one really doesn’t need much of an explanation. But if you’re going to post quotes or poems make sure they’re meaningful. You can even dress these posts up. For example, here’s something I posted on my old Instagram account:

Nature/Scenery: Get outside and snap a few pictures of the clouds, the trees, flowers, the sunset. They’ll turn out beautiful! You don’t have to be a photographer. As your caption, write a short poem or explain what you love about the scenery. Post your plants, or your garden if you have one. Here are a few nature pictures I’ve taken…

I’ll say it again, I am not a photographer. All of these pictures were taken from my iPhone. The first one was taken back in March, I didn’t raise the window or screen up, the screen can’t be opened. I thought it would turn out horrible but as you can see, it still looks pretty decent.
These kinds of pictures don’t always have to be of nature. It can even be street signs or buildings. There is an endless amount of possibilities for photo taking outside.

Yourself: An obvious choice would be to include pictures of yourself. But what if you’re not ready to really show yourself? That’s okay! You don’t really have to include your whole face if you’re not comfortable with that yet. Here is a picture I shared on my Instagram, I included a poem for the caption.

Behind the scenes: Share a behind the scenes to one of your blog posts. Share a picture of something exciting/interesting you did that day or over the weekend. Share a preview of something you’re working on.

Monthly favorites/hauls: You can post pictures of certain items in your hauls or monthly favorites. Or post a picture of the entire haul!Tell your followers why you love that product, where you got it from and if they should check it out also.

Things you are reviewing: This can go along with monthly favorites and hauls but if you are actually reviewing a product or book on your blog, go ahead and make a post for Instagram as well!

Food: If you’re out or in having a nice dinner, snap a picture of your plate before you eat lol I know you’ve seen this plenty of times. You can share your tips for cooking that meal, the ingredients or why it might be healthy if you go that route. A lot of people are getting into healthy eating habits. When I was making my smoothies in the mornings I would take a few pictures. I could use them for Instagram but food isn’t really my focus.

Room decor: I love watching a good room decor video on YouTube or seeing pictures on Pinterest! Why exclude Instagram? I noticed Lucy did a blog post sharing her Spring Room Decor and the pictures would be perfect for Instagram! I especially like this one:
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Books: if you read often, you can share pictures of each new book you start or finish reading.

Outings: If you know you’ll be going out somewhere perhaps a concert or maybe just out for coffee, you could take a picture of your tickets, your view of the stage, you actually at the concert, a picture of your coffee and maybe a book you brought with you. You can even take a picture of the coffee shop. When I went for my first counseling session I made sure to take pictures. I could easily turn a few of them into Instagram posts. I will be using them for a future blog post so I’ll just show one example.

Milestones: Design a cute picture celebrating your milestones and achievements with an app. Maybe you’ve just reached 100 followers, you can line up flowers, candy, glitter, or whatever you wish to make the number 100. You can even use this for countdowns. I like how Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies used this to let her followers know there were just 2 days left until the launch of her spring clothing collection.
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These are just a few ideas, but there are so many others! Make sure whatever you decide to post aligns with your blog or your brand unless you’ll just be using a personal account. All you really need to take good Instagram pictures is a decent camera, some natural lighting, focus, and your imagination!

Apps I Use:

  • Canva| I use Canva for my quotes posts, like the one I did with the Help quote and sunflowers.
  • Phonto| I use Phonto for quotes, and poetry. Phonto is probably my favorite app for adding text. It also has a few free background images as well.
  • Plann + Preview|
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  • Plann + Preview are both Instagram planning apps like Planoly, & UNUM but these are my favorites. You can use filters to create a color theme for your Instagram in both but I think you get the best filters in Preview although you only get 8 to choose from. You can also check your analytics in both but Plann has a feature called Sneaky Peek that allows you to take a peek at other users performance.

img_2968-1I wouldn’t use this feature to compare yourself to others so if that’s something you really struggle with I’d suggest staying away from Plann. But if the idea of seeing what kind of posts are performing best on your favorite accounts (in your niche) sounds interesting, check it out! It also shows best daily time to post, a color palette based on the last 12 images, and best performing hashtag sets. Plann has a lot to offer.

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What Kind of Flower Are You?? Take The Quiz To Find Out!🌸

It’s the beginning of spring! And while it doesn’t quite feel like it yet I’m still excited for the season. One thing I love most about Spring is seeing all the flowers bloom, and even all the floral patterns that trend.

If you were to ask me the first thing I think of when I think of spring, I’d say flowers- or rain. But the flowers need all that rain to grow right?

I came across this fun quiz (only 11 questions) to find out which type of flower I am. Lol no judgement here just roll with it.

The Questions
(They give you answers to choose from but I had my own answers for some)

  1. It’s a lovely Sunday evening, what are you doing? 
    Well, as I am answering this it’s currently a Sunday and I’m taking this quiz. That isn’t one of the choices though.
  2. Who’s your favorite pop star?
    You have to choose between Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Adele. Honestly, they’re ALL great but I don’t really listen to any of them that much. So I had to go with Beyonce. I probably wouldn’t choose her either if there were no options. Sorry bee-hive!
  3. What keeps you up with worries at night?
    Everything! It can be good or bad and I’ll probably be up all night thinking about it. That wasn’t an option though.
  4. As an after work activity, you’ve decided to become involved in theater! What’s your role?
    Honestly, there were 3 options I would love (actress, director, and audience member) but I decided on director.
  5. You’re going on vacation- what do you absolutely have to do?
    I’d definitely have to go sight seeing and shopping!
  6. What’s your idea of the perfect first date?
    My idea of the perfect first date is honestly just a date where we go out, have a great time, get to know each other more and can agree on a 2nd date. Nothing truly specific.
  7. In a past life, you just know you were…
    I’ve always said I must have been an artist or something in the past life. Or someone who was really inspiring to many people in general.
  8. Yikes! You screwed up something pretty huge at work. How are you dealing with it?
    If it’s that big of a deal I’m probably feeling extremely uncomfortable, nervous, and wondering what is going to happen next, or why something is always happening. But I’m going to try to get help also.
  9. If you made a perfume, what would it be called?
    I’d personally choose something girly, kind of elegant but I’d also probably use a word from another language or something lol. Of course I had to work with the options though which were: Enigma, Midnight, Freshwater, Earth, Cool Breeze, And Tropicale. I chose Midnight because it’s the closest to something I would use. For example, something like Midnight Bliss lol.
  10. In your opinion, there’s nothing better than…
    Probably love? I’m not sure. Love wasn’t an option.
  11. You go to a party only to discover someone else is wearing your exact same outfit. How do you feel?
    Probably like… Damn it! I thought I would be the only one wearing this, now everyone is going to compare us to see who wore it best, smh! But I also think it depends on the other person, like if I’m cool and they’re acting cool about it, maybe even joking about it to lighten the mood I’d feel okay and it wouldn’t be as bad. It could be the start of a friendship lol.

My Results

What Kind of Flower Are You?

Like lavender, you have a soothing presence — people love your company, because you always know how to make them feel better. Thoughtful and considerate, you often put other people first…and even make total strangers feel at home! No matter how sad someone is feeling, you can always provide comfort and solace.

Laid back and relaxed, you’re happy to float through life. That said, you’re happy just to do you and don’t mind being in your own company.

Interesting! That sounds about right lol. So, what flower are you? Take the quiz and let me know in the comments. What flower do you THINK you’d get? I thought I would get rose. What Flower did you actually get? Does the description relate to you? If you don’t want to take the quiz that’s okay, you can just answer some of the questions in the comment section if you’d like.adk_0001

One Celebrities Thoughts on Bloggers: Do Bloggers Create Stories To Destroy?!

As a blogger, we have a platform and we should use it to uplift and inspire others. That’s usually the goal for most of us, right? Many of you know Jhené Aiko is one of my greatest inspirations. One of the reasons is because she is so raw with her emotions and very down to earth. She inspired this post.


Photographer: @directedbyeyes on Instagram

March 16th was Jhené Aiko’s birthday, so last Friday I went on her Instagram to see if she had posted anything to her story or any new pictures. While I was scrolling through her pictures I came across a very long caption that caught my attention. Never mind the picture, the caption is most important here.

I’m not a celebrity or a huge public figure, and popular blogs don’t post articles about me but I can see where she is coming from. As a blogger, reading this made me feel a certain way because this can make bloggers as a whole be seen in a negative light. To know that someone that inspires me feels this way about bloggers even though she was specifically discussing gossip bloggers was almost uncomfortable. But it also made me want to “level up” and be MORE inspiring. To do more as an influencer and benefit humankind.

Celebrities are human too they just have a huge following and more money than most of us. Followers and money can’t solve all your problems, especially not the internal ones. It can be depressing and hard having to constantly read rumors about yourself whether false or true. I know if I read something that wasn’t true about myself and made me look a certain way in the public eye I’d be upset. Even if it was true, maybe I don’t want the world to know until I share my own story, you know?

Public figures sign up to be in the public eye, yes. This is what comes with it but as a blogger that is something I would never want associated with my name- gossip and rumors. Through her message you can see that she clearly feels strongly about this.

“Do these people know that the “celebrities” they harass daily are actually living, breathing people with families and children? Maybe these people feel their purpose is to entertain at the expense of others?”

A lot of the times people talk down on celebrities when they speak out like it’s a publicity stunt, everything isn’t a publicity stunt. Everything isn’t a cry for attention. They have feelings, insecurities and opinions just like we do. I personally like when they speak out because we can really see this.

I have read, been interested in and even believed some celebrity gossip articles but lately that’s not the type of content I want to feed my soul. I find that type of content usually makes me feel negative and often brings negative energy. Not just gossip blogs but even on YouTube, I’ve stopped watching many YouTube channels I use to enjoy, especially couple channels which have just been about drama lately.

I can’t tell you how to run your blog, your channel or whatever platform you have but regardless of the type of influencer you are, you should be influencing in a positive way, spreading love and light. This world already has enough negativity and darkness.

What do you think about Jhené Aiko’s caption? Or “rant” if you’d like to call it that. Do you feel you do enough as a blogger to inspire/influence others in a positive way? Answer the poll on my Twitter:

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Are you just blogging more for yourself? Do you read celebrity gossip blogs or indulge in the YouTube drama?

Hobby Adventures: Graphic Design✨

Welcome back to another Hobby Adventures! There are only a few more weeks before this series ends. Last time I talked about instruments & writing and for this week I’ll be talking about my experience with basic graphic design and editing.

Graphic design is a very broad term because there are so many different types. You have graphic designers that create logos, websites (which many of us do as bloggers) business cards, those that create clothing designs, illustrations, product packaging, even marketing materials.

Something I’ve recently been working on is creating my own phone and desktop wallpapers even to share with you all! You may have seen a few I made on SheLivesLove. Of course, I’m just starting out so I have a lot to practice and learn but for my first few I think they turned out great!
HeadInTheCloudsDownload
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The inspired galaxy wallpaper is one of my favorite. The background started as a picture of some clouds, during a sunset much like the head in the clouds wallpaper. Editing and filters do work a lot of magic! Here is another cloudy/sunset picture I took and edited…
wallpaperbg7.jpgI haven’t worked as much on cellphone wallpapers but it is something I am focusing on more now. I’ll be sharing some soon on SheLivesLove so be on the lookout!
Here is a look at a quick simple one I made for myself today:


A few years ago I even dabbled in making those cartoons out of pictures, not with a filter. You know the ones people actually edit themselves? I know some are more professional but I was just beginning. These don’t look that great at all, it was something I quickly gave up lol but I had fun the first few tries. I used my own picture and one of my friends:

 

Besides wallpapers and weird looking cartoons, for a while, I played a game called IMVU. (similar to sims if you play that) It’s an avatar-based social platform where you can do all sorts of things chatting with people around the world within a virtual universe, one of them is becoming a “creator” which intrigued me for obvious reasons.

As a creator, you create clothes, shoes, hair, even rooms and so much more for other players to buy with their credits, which is the currency on IMVU. With each sale, you received a portion of the credits or “dev points” towards creating a new product. If you became pro you could possibly earn real money but I never reached pro level so I don’t know much about that. Pro level is level 5-7 unless they’ve changed things. I made it to level 3 before I quit. A lot of factors came into play when calculating tier points for creator levels which included the sales you made, how many products you made total and recent, product ratings and more. Which meant if you stopped creating for a while, you could go down a level.

Some items you could find already in the shop from other creators that you can derive from, meaning use their product to create a new one. Changing the color is usually what most people did when starting out but then you learned more and could create your own patterns, textures, shapes, whatever your heart desired!

You also had to create your own icon images for the products, and ads if you wanted that as well. I used gimp mainly and a few other editing software programs over time. For the first ad below, I derived the hair and tops from other products just adding my own colors, textures, and text. The top says, “Big Hair Don’t Care” lol. In the second add, I created the hairs the same way but the outfit and boots I designed and shaped all on my own. I was extremely proud of myself because I had been working so hard to learn how to do this, this outfit wasn’t the first try, only the first pictured. I got tired of just adding text or patterns to other products. The rest of the photos are of other outfits and ads I created.

 

 

 

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I no longer play or create on IMVU, sometimes I consider getting back into it as another creative outlet I enjoyed but the experience isn’t the same as when I was younger or even a few years ago. I think it’s much more enjoyable as a teen or if you’re really into fashion design which I am not. I’m like, a little into it. I created 195 products in the IMVU shop, you can see how my icons and editing improved over time from my very first product (on page 8) to my very last. Check out the whole shop here! I cringed at some of them, but I am at a different place in life than I was back then, okay? Lol! Carry on…

To the end of this post…I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you next week for another hobby adventure!
Do you play sims? Have you ever played on IMVU? Do you do any type of graphic design? Let me know in the comments.
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What I Did For My 24th Birthday! + Hair Update!✨

For those of you who don’t know, I had a birthday last Thursday, my 24th birthday to be exact! I had been thinking about the moment and how I would celebrate since back in December. Usually, once December hits, the days go by so fast and before you know it it’s a new year, and then March. I’ve never been prepared for a birthday no matter how much time I had in advance to do so. It was no different this year.

At 12 AM I got the sweetest message. From? It doesn’t matter. What it said also doesn’t matter but I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. Waiting up to be the first to tell someone Happy Birthday, making sure the message is perfect minutes before so it could be sent on time and being excited about it. I’ve done it plenty so I know what it’s like on both sides. I ended up talking this person for a while before I started doing my first official birthday activity…

At about 2:45 AM I was up taking pictures of my cats, this continued until about 3:20. Yeah, that’s right, on my birthday I was up taking pictures of my adorable cats loving every moment. Don’t judge me. I don’t get to see them as often since moving, so whenever I spend the night they love cuddling up next to each other with me, although it’s usually just Izabelle that likes to come sleep with me.I’m guessing I finally fell asleep shortly afterward since I don’t remember anything after that.

I told you all how I had just twisted my hair the night before and would be sharing the results since I did them a little differently. I used larger sections for the twists since it has grown more and because I wanted to finish as quickly as possible.
Just washed and conditioned, doing a quick length check update before twisting. 
The last update I shared with you all was my 1-year mark, back in June. This is where I was back then: The front reaching the top of my lip, and the back reaching my collarbone.

 

Shrinkage is still a thing, even with twists.

For this twist out I used a leave-in conditioner, a styling cream, and Jamaican black castor oil to seal the moisture all in. I washed my hair with the same line as the leave-in and styling cream. Find out which exact products in a future product line review!

I allowed the twists to dry overnight, and part of the day since I started late. You can also use a blow dryer but I prefer air drying so I didn’t mind waiting longer.

This is the twists separated once… Looks like noodles? Heard and seen that a lot throughout the natural hair community.

For more volume separate more, fluff more, and pick out. Note that this may also cause more frizz. I don’t mind frizz and I love volume! You can use an oil on your fingers before separating to minimize frizz, dryness, and breakage. Our fingers can be very drying to the hair. I use Jamaican Black Castor Oil but there are many options out there such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, the list goes on!

I separated the rest 2-3 more times each. Some sections required a bit more separating than others.

Here is the final result:

As far as my outfit goes… Well, it was so cold out, I mean I already knew and expected it to be cold but I didn’t think I would walk outside and be smacked and almost knocked down by a gust of freezing wind. I nearly ran to the car half confused. It has also been snowing so instead of wearing any of the clothing items I recently went shopping for, I put on a long blue sleeve shirt, a pair of skinny jeans, and one of my new pair of boots.

Most of the day was spent blogging, socializing on social media, and being around sick people. I may be next… I surely hope not. I didn’t actually leave the house until about 6 PM.

I never made it to the salon to get my eyebrows done, actually I made it there, I just left as soon as I arrived. I walked to the door and saw how packed it was through the glass and turned right back around. It was so full there weren’t enough waiting chairs available. I guess I’ll wait until another time or do them myself later on. Have you ever got your eyebrows threaded? To me it always hurts, they say if you get it done often enough it won’t hurt as much but that never happened to me. Sometimes I even shed tears! But in the end, they look great! Beauty is pain, right? Pretty hurts (cues music…) Okay, a better reason for threading is that the shape lasts longer than waxing or shaving.

I ended up doing a little more shopping at Burlington this time. This is another store I shop at often. I saw a few pairs of jeans I planned on getting but when I tried them on they were too big. I have been losing a lot of weight, (not intentionally) when I went to the doctor back in January or February I had lost about 20 pounds since 2017. Most likely due to a lot of stress. I’ve actually been trying to gain weight but I can never keep on the pounds. They come and go.Of course, I could have gone back and looked for different sizes but it’s not as easy at Burlington looking for the same exact item in a different size and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to look again, it was already late. I decided on a few shirts, after a long deliberation between some other clothing items. They were both florals, oh and a black sweater/cardigan that I just threw over my blue top.

I told myself the next time I go shopping I am definitely staying away from florals lol before you know it that will be my entire wardrobe. This is one of the floral tops I got, it’s in black and white so that when I wear it out one day and take pictures it will feel like the first time really wearing and sharing it lol.

I then went to spend some time with family where there was some good laughter, watching a movie (Split) and just overall good vibes. But my birthday celebration isn’t over, it’s barely begun so this weekend I will be having dinner, going out shopping again, and a few other cool things!

Update (Sunday 3/11)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to continue my birthday celebration this weekend because I did get sick… Found out it’s an upper respiratory infection. I haven’t been able to enjoy my birthday dinner or any other meals for that matter. I’ve been extremely tired, even feeling weak. I had been hoping I wouldn’t catch what everyone else had but I guess if you’re going to be around sick people, expect to get sick as well. I wanted to post this on Friday but here we are, me typing this update on Sunday after taking some NyQuil (I’ll be knocked out soon hopefully not before I finish up) and you all reading it on a Monday. No Stream of Consciousness this Monday, and hopefully I’ll be getting back into the Hobby Adventures this Friday. I should be all better by then!

Everyone is like it’s okay we’ll have a dinner for you when you’re feeling better, we’ll go out when you’re feeling better. It just won’t feel like a birthday celebration anymore. Better luck next year! THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who sent birthday wishes on my previous post, I know some of you sent me a message on Instagram that I already checked, I really appreciate you all. I’ll be getting to your comments shortly!
How did you celebrate your last birthday? Do you have one coming up soon?

When I Wake Up In The Morning…🎂

When I wake up in the morning…

I’ll be another year older and wiser (actually in a few mins where I’m at and maybe already where you are) Here’s to year 24!

This is me on my birthday last year…

This is me on my birthday the year before that…img_2089

I wasn’t natural at the time and had a sew-in. I think this was the last time I had a sew-in actually. One of 3 times lol I prefer wigs or my own hair.

Speaking of hair, I actually just finished washing and twisting mine. I started near 8 PM. It is now 11:30 as I type this… I knew doing a twist out would take me a while, I actually wanted to start earlier but I was working on blog posts and I was a bit lazy🤷🏽‍♀️ that’s also why I’m just now getting to this post, I planned on having this ready hours ago.

Tomorrow I’ll share an updated picture and how my hair turned out. I haven’t done a twist out in a while and this time I did them a little bit larger, mainly to get finished quicker but as you can see it still took quite a long time.

I still have no idea what I’m wearing tomorrow. I don’t think it’ll be warm enough to wear a dress, I guess we’ll see. I’ll be going out to find a nice pair of jeans and shirt in the morning hopefully. I also plan to go get my eyebrows done. I haven’t got them threaded in a while and it’s for a special occasion. Last minute problems…

I guess I’ll end this post here before I look and it’s already 12AM before I hit publish lol getting pretty close already.

Good night all!💖

Why I Have 2 Separate Blogs🤔

GoldenPinkJournal has been my main blog for a little over a year now and we’ve had our ups and downs but we plan to stick around a while. But as you know, I also started a new blog last year so I thought I’d make a quick post explaining why, and what you can expect from each blog.During the year GoldenPinkJournal has grown a lot reaching almost 1K followers so far but it wasn’t the best it could have done. I was very inconsistent with my blog in the beginning because I didn’t really know what I was doing and of course I wasn’t as motivated just starting out. I didn’t really have an audience yet, I didn’t know what posts worked best for me and what posts didn’t. But after a while, I started to learn more, and post more. Sometimes I made sure to post every day but I had burnouts, the negative parts of life happened and I became inconsistent again.

Another reason I wasn’t as into blogging on GoldenPinkJournal anymore was that I wasn’t happy with the name anymore. I didn’t feel like it told the reader what my blog was about, it was too long, and I thought what is a golden pink journal, what’s so interesting about it? Would I click on this blog site if I was someone else? Maybe. But probably not over another. I also wanted to try out self-hosting for several reasons.

Of course, I had the option to change the name and make this blog self-hosted but if I did that I would have deleted much of my old content and changed a lot. Change can be good, change is inevitable. I wanted to be able to look back on GoldenPinkJournal and compare it to my new blog, I wanted to be able to look back on my old posts and not take away many of the reasons some of you may have followed in the first place.

So I decided to create a whole new blog, self-hosted and start from scratch with the things I’ve learned throughout my journey so far. SheLivesLove was born.

You can read more about why I started a new blog and the whole journey here at Why I Went Self-Hosted and Behind The Name: SheLivesLove where I showed the whole process with tips on coming up with your own blog name…If you ever choose to create a new one of course because obviously you already have one.

What you can expect from each blog (click headers to be taken to each blog)

GoldenPinkJournal
I want to keep GoldenPinkJournal as a personal lifestyle blog. This is where I’ll post all the fun type of posts for my own enjoyment and yours also. This is where I’ll share personal life experiences. You can expect fun Friday games, journaling, just whatever I’m in the mood to post really. It could be hair related, blog related, giving an update, a haul- anything!

SheLivesLoveSheLivesLove is the blog I plan to take more serious, what I post there will be well thought out and developed, it’ll include information, and a lot of things that will benefit my readers more (in a way that I love doing) I still want to include personal life experiences but those that go along with a subject to help you with something, to give you something of value. To deliver inspiration and positivity for women, to uplift women (while I’m on a journey uplifting myself) you can expect how to’s, DIYs, blog resources, women empowerment/encouragement, and more! SheLivesLove was created to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for young women or anyone who loves to be inspired and to spread the love. Not only that but also as a creative outlet for myself on my journey to self-discovery and finding purpose in life.

Both blogs will include:
Poetry
Discussions
DIYs
Freebies
Playlists
& a ton of inspiration!

What do you think of when you see SheLivesLove? What do you think of when you see GoldenPinkJournal? Have you ever had more than one blog or changed your blogs name?
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