20 things about me!

Today I thought I'd get a little ~personal~ on The Gold Dime and share some things that you might not know about me, things unrelated to what you usually find on my blog! 

1. I have an older brother, John, who is 23 years old.
2. I ran varsity track for 4 years in high school.
3. I originally wanted to study business/accounting in college, then use that to break into the fashion industry. 
4. I have never been on a plane!
5. I refuse to wear sweatpants to class, in public, anywhere other than the comfort of my own home.
6. I love watching college basketball and baseball (I desperately miss watching my brother's college team!)
7. I took the drug, Accutane, for five months and I'm forever grateful that I did.
8. My boyfriend Michael and I live 5 1/2 hours apart and go to school 4 hours away from each other, officially making us a long distance relationship in every way.
9. My favorite restaurants are Dinosaur BBQ, Twin Trees or Francesca's in Syracuse.
10. I'm a Gemini.
11. Mike and I 'met' from our college's Facebook group. We strictly communicated over Snapchat for about three months, until I finally had to ask him for his number. 
12. My mom takes majority of my blog photos, unless I'm at school.
13. I'm 5'4.
14. I have always wanted to dye my hair platinum blonde because I think it looks amazing, but I don't think I could pull it off. 
15. I didn't know any of my suitemates before I decided to room with them this year. But now I'd like to consider them some of my best friends and I'm so grateful for them!
16. I love organic specialty stores. My mom got me hooked on everything natural and organic. I could spend hours in them looking at all the interesting products and food items.
17. I secretly wish MySpace never died out, I loved editing my profile. Same with AIM! (Maybe that's why I love editing my blog and posting on instagram so much!)
18. Target is my favorite place to go when I'm bored.
19. I want a French bulldog, a dachshund, or a husky one day. (Or all of them)
20. Contrary to most, I actually really dislike Taylor Swift. 

Let me know if you enjoyed this kind of post! Follow me on Snapchat (ShelbySHowell) for more insight to my everyday life.

NYE Outfit Inspo

So to me, New Year's Eve is a night of sparkle, glitz, & glam. Have I been to a jazzy New Year's Eve on a rooftop in a big city? No, but thats my goal for next year. 

Anyway, here are some cute outfits to wear this NYE. 





I hope you have a wonderful NYE and CHEERS to 2016! Here's to a great year. Thank you to all my readers and followers for making this a life changing year. I'm so excited to see what the new year brings. xoxo.

8 tips for starting a blog

I've been blogging on The Gold Dime since the very end of April and I feel like I never talk about the backside of blogging. It's more than just pretty pictures and clothing, it's HTML coding, thinking of new content, and photography just to name a few. Thinking of blogging? Here are my tips and ideas that I've acquired over the months from fashion blogging.

1. Join a blogging network
Even if you don't want to do a fashion blog, just any type of blog, get involved in a network. I am apart of The Shelf as well as Her Campus. I suggest Her Campus to anyone and everyone that has a blog. It gives you so much inspiration regarding posts and it also informs you on sponsored/paid blogging opportunities.

2. Be original 
An obvious one is to be original. Of course get inspiration from fellow bloggers, but create things that make you and your blog different from the millions of other blogs out there. Make your own look, make your photos creative, style outfits you've never seen before, etc. Why have a blog if it's an identical one to another? 

3. Be consistent
It seems like people are always emailing/messaging me and asking "how do you do it?" or "I want to start a blog, what's your advice?". BE CONSISTENT. There are so many people I know who start a blog and get mad when it doesn't take off. Generally it's because they're only posting once every 2-3 weeks. Of course we're all busy, but devote some time each day to creating a few blog posts. Do them in bulk if you have a busy week coming up, then just schedule them to post automatically. Being consistent is key on gaining a blog following.

4. Invest in your blog a few months in
When you notice you're gaining readers and you're confident that you want to continue blogging, invest in it. Buy a domain name (.com address), buy a DSLR camera, buy a layout if you're not good with HTML codes, or buy photoshop. These are all elements that lead you to making a professional looking blog.

5. Think of an original blog name
I feel like this was really important when I created my blog. I wanted to be different from all the blogs that are titled with "cupcakes" "glitter/sparkles" "preppy" "pink" "sincerely, so and so" and so forth. I wanted people to see my blog title and go wow that's different, I wonder why it's called that. I feel like all blogs nowadays are always titled" (something girly) and (insert another girly thing)". I wanted a name that I'd still love in ten years. I suggest picking something you've never seen before as a title. Make it something that resonates with you and you feel proud explaining to people why you picked it and where it came from. For example, Rach from Pink Peonies is one of my all time favorite bloggers, but I don't necessarily think it's an intriguing title. On the other hand, Blair Eadie from Atlantic Pacific makes me wonder why that is what she wanted to title her blog.

6. Promote your posts
SO. IMPORTANT. If you just started a blog, how will people know unless your promote your posts? This is where social media is your best friend. Post on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. I know you might be thinking, "won't people just think I'm annoying and not read it?". Not at all. If you want to gain some followers and get page views this is crucial. I believe that if I promote a post on social media, at least one person will stumble upon it and read it. You'll be surprised who ends up reading your posts! I get tons of random messages from people I never thought would read them saying how much they enjoy my blog. 

7. Be fluid on social media
If you like changing up your profile pictures/banners etc. on social media like me, this might be tough for you. I read somewhere that keeping all of your profile photos the same (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) people generally remember you and your blog whenever they see that particular picture. Whenever they see it pop up they're like "oh yeah, that's so and so from that blog". I know this may not be worded in the most coherent way, but for example, Carly from The College Prepster has had the same profile picture and banner since the day I followed her three years ago. Whenever she tweets/instagrams etc. I know it's her. It's like your logo, people will remember it the more they see it!

8. Have fun
Having a blog should be enjoyable. Start a blog if you want to share your ideas and thoughts with others and you really find a joy in doing so. I love creating new content and I think that's why blogging has come so easy to me. If you don't see yourself wanting to do new posts because it sounds like a hassle, don't start a blog. It should be a fun outlet for you! 

If you enjoyed these tips leave a comment below and let me know if you are starting a blog, I'd love to continue giving new bloggers some tips!


Buffalo Check Aesthetic

I was really proud of this look for today's shoot. I love mixing patterns, and the buffalo check and stripes worked seamlessly. 

How cute is my cousin Scarlett!?

She always says how she "wants to do fashion" like me one day, so she loves to do shoots with me!


Holiday Baking

Yesterday was my first full day home for Christmas break, meaning it was our annual all-day cookie baking event at my grandmothers. We spent the day baking all sorts of varieties that we'll be snacking on on Christmas Eve.

The sugar cookies we're mine and Scarlett's favorite to make!

My mother was in charge of the peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies.

And here's why they were our favorite... decorating!

As you can see, the gel frosting was my forte. 

Hershey's Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe // Sugar Cookies (hint: use half the sugar like we did, makes them taste so much better if you're decorating them with this frosting!) 

While you're baking, listen to my favorite Christmas album ;-)

What are some of your family holiday traditions? Favorite holiday cookie recipe?
Hope this week is filled with tons of Christmas music, good eats, and family time!

Friday Faves 12.18

Of course one of my favorites this week is my new school, the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan! I'm THRILLED to be starting this new chapter, although leaving Oneonta was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I found out Monday that I was accepted, conveniently right before finals started. So of course, it was really hard to focus on my tests when such a huge change in my life was being presented. But, now I can completely focus on my next endeavor.

It seems this week I was really back into my CollegeFashionista articles. If you saw on instagram, Brooke was my model for this month's post and I LOVE how the pictures turned out. I'm working on a new project with them in the new year too which also ignited my flame for being a style guru again. I'm even more excited to be able to do it in the city now too!

Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover from Patagonia
Since finals were this week, I basically wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep for two weeks. But instead I spent most of my days studying for Fashion, Physics, Microeconomics and Philosophy. I seemed to gravitate towards comfy and functional most days so I grabbed leggings and my Patagonia fleece almost everyday. I wore it as my coat since it's been so warm! I recommend these to everyone because they're SO warm and fuzzy. I think it would be great for runners too since it's lightweight but great for running outdoors. 

Beats Headphones
So to reiterate, finals this week was a killer. I couldn't have done it without my Beats noise canceling headphones. I've had them for years, but in college, they're a necessity. Whether you're studying at Starbucks and it's starting to get busy and loud, when people in the library don't understand it's a library, or if your roommate really just can't respect the fact you're trying to do homework, they will save your sanity. And an added bonus is your music simply sounds better and they're comfy in your ears.

Of course I have to have my boyfriend Michael as a favorite. I get lots of questions on how we're planning to stay together while I transfer schools and he stays here at Oneonta. I'm from Upstate New York, while he is from Long Island. I know at this age people don't believe we would make it work, but he's been SO supportive. He hasn't been selfish during the transfer process, and truly is excited for me. I couldn't ask for more from him. I understand long distance relationships are hard, but I'm lucky to have someone that supports my dreams and aspirations as much as he does and will make it so much easier to be apart for about two years. One day we'll both be in the city, and until then, I'm lucky to have him by my side.

I go home today for exactly one month until I have to move in at F.I.T. I can't wait to get back into doing blog shoots, working at J.Crew, and simply just enjoying the company of my family. I have a few internship-ish jobs I'm doing while I'm home as well. It'll definitely be a VERY busy month, but I'm excited to be doing that instead of schoolwork! Of course I'm extra excited for the holidays as well! 

NYC Shopping
Okay so this isn't a favorite- more of a suggestion I'm asking. To all my city slickers, what are things I absolutely need for the city? Any items I should have at all times? Anything that makes living in the city that much simpler. Call me ridiculous (for making an excuse to shop) and tell me I don't need anything than what I already have, or leave a comment on this post or message me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!


Why I decided to transfer

When I started applying to transfer back in September people were really confused. I love Oneonta, I love my friends there, I love that my boyfriend Michael is a two minute walk from my building. Our campus is gorgeous, downtown is so quaint, I really have no complaints. But I still felt like I was missing out on something; a part of me longed for more. 
I've never done anything in my life that's actually scared me and I've never come so close to something I've wanted so strongly. I felt like if I was going to do something that made me feel "scared" now is the time to do it, when I'm young. The city had always been in the back of my head each day since I started at Oneonta (Even though I was in the 3+1 program with F.I.T. already). I felt as though my fashion classes here weren't as rigorous as I thought they would be / weren't preparing me for the cut throat aspect of the industry I was going into. Don't get me wrong, I had some amazing professors and learned valuable information here, I just wanted more. I remember calling my mom after my first fashion course saying "Maybe i'll transfer early" and she told me to do what feels right and makes me happiest. So, here we are today.
I also feel so far away from opportunity where I am now, to be honest. It seems like it's the best for me especially with a fashion blog, my interactions with brands like CollegeFashionista, HerCampus, and The Newsette, and ultimately to be a fashion major in one of the fashion capitals just sounds right. The internships, the networking, it just seems that's where I need to be at this age.
The Fashion Institute of Technology is what I feel will get me to achieve my highest and most wildest dreams and it's right in the heart of it all. No, I didn't transfer because I hated my college, I truly do love it. I transferred because I want to grow as an individual and as a professional. Call me crazy, but I feel as I'm only helping myself for my future. I feel as though I gained a lot from my year and a half at Oneonta; I came here for a reason. I met Michael, I met amazing friends who join me at F.I.T. next year, and I got to get a real college experience on a traditional campus. Oneonta will always be remembered positively in my mind no matter what. And of course I plan to visit all the time! 
It's been a long, stressful process trying to transfer but I'm so excited to finally tell everyone that I am attending F.I.T. in the Spring. I cannot wait to start another chapter of my life and finally see what I have been missing. Thank you to everyone for their unconditional support and positive messages while I was applying! All the positivity means the world to me! 


Pretty in Pink

A man passed by during this photoshoot and told me, "wow, now that's a bright color".
So today's post shows how I styled this rad color.