motivation monday question and answer session
tops hanging on clothes rack
leopard slide sandals on rich bitch coco chanel books

Happy Monday, Friends! 

I hope all of you are off today celebrating the day before the Fourth of July. If not, I hope your work day goes by in a flash! Today I’m sharing my first ever question and answer session. I asked what you wanted to know on Instastories recently and I’m answering below. You may want some coffee, because most of the answers are kind of wordy lol. If you can think of any other questions just let me know. You’ll also find some amazing Fourth of July sales at the end of the post. Happy shopping!


What made you want to start a blog/How did you get started blogging? How long ago was it? I started Pardon Muah in June of 2014 while living in Roanoke, Va. After graduate school, I took a job in Virginia in the marketing department of a hospital I interned with during my master’s program. I didn’t have many friends and I had zero family. I was alone a lot and looking back, I didn’t transition very well to a new and unfamiliar town. In my down time, I turned to YouTube videos and blogs about beauty and fashion, and these fabulous gurus quickly became my “friends.” Like many bloggers, I started Pardon Muah as a way to keep in touch with family and friends from back home and to share my love of beauty products and clothing. It was a creative outlet I needed outside of work and something I looked forward to each and every day. My blog didn’t develop a true purpose until I moved to California in March of 2016. I decided that if I was going to continue blogging and putting so much time and energy into the process, I need to have a plan, and I needed to have some direction. And that’s how Motivation Monday, Wear It Wednesday, and Face It Friday began. 

Where do you see your blog in five years and what is your end goal for the blog? In five years, I hope that Pardon Muah will be able to stand on it’s own two feet. I would love more than anything to grow my blog into a full-time gig and know it could expand to even bigger and better things if I had more time to devote to content, collaboration, and idea development. But I don’t “plan” for this to happen because I want my blog to grow at it’s own pace…with some small pushes in the right direction of course. I’m a big believer in organic growth and try not to compete too heavily in my head with all of the other wonderful bloggers out there. As with all things, we all run our own race at our own pace, and success comes at different times to different people. I know that if I continue to work hard, give 100%, and stay authentic good things will come. 

If you could do any collab with any brand, who would it be and what would you create? This is such a good and hard question! And right now I’d have to say the collab I desire most is with Nordstrom. I can’t say enough good things about the company… their phenomenal customer service, thoughtful company policies, and the wide selection of items they sell. As far as what I would create…hmmm…I’d love to do something for fall preview. The beginning of fall is always my favorite time of year. The beginning of booties, plaid blanket scarves, denim, and Starbucks fall drink menu. 

When followers buy something via LTK, do I get paid? What if items are purchased in the store? As many of you know, lots of the links I use on my blog and Instagram are links that are commissionable. Which means if purchases are made, then I may receive a commission and those only work with online purchases (not in store). Keep in mind. the true purpose of bloggers sharing content, apparel, beauty items, etc. is to help our followers…i.e. you. Whether that’s how to style a particular piece, the best drugstore beauty buys, amazing sales happening, etc. Many blogs are businesses so making commissions is a valued source of income but that’s not to say bloggers are only posting things make a buck. Fun fact: I blogged for over two years without making a single dollar because I love it.

Would you consider doing a post or a try on session sharing quick outfit ideas for moms on the go or stay at home moms that look complete and put together? Of course! I’ve already put it in the books. I may not be a stay at home mom, but I can imagine working from home is similar in the fact you don’t always see a reason to get “ready.” Many times I stay in my sweatpants and tee shirt and I may or may not brush my hair. It’s a bad habit to start and I notice I’m so much more productive if I put on some mascara and a cute, casual outfit. 

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not blogging? When I’m not blogging I’m usually binge watching new Netflix series with Justin and Heidi (my morkie pup). I also love getting lost in Instagram stories and YouTube videos…luckily Justin is the same with car listings, music videos, and memes, so we get lost together lol. I also love organizing the house. This might sound ridiculous but I love cleaning and cleaning out often. I’m my most productive when everything is in its place and since I receive a lot of products and clothing items in the mail, I like to keep my wardrobe and cosmetics collection free of clutter. If I buy new things, I will usually get rid of some…I’m quite the minimalist. 

What do I do outside of blogging work wise? My undergraduate degrees are in marketing and management, while my masters is in healthcare administration. For the last four years, I’ve worked as a marketing manager in the hospital and tech health worlds. I’ve been fascinated by hospitals ever since I was little (and airports lol). I know most people hate being in a hospital environment but I love it. Really, I should have been a doctor. For the past year I was working as a contractor and now I actually spend a lot of my time job hunting…and boy it takes a lot of time. I also work as a stylist part-time which keeps me current on trends and styles and gives me the opportunity to make women feel beautiful. I’d love to blog and style full-time but that’s just not realistic right now, and honestly, I enjoy working in my educational industry. It fulfills a part of me that right now, blogging does not. But, maybe one day! 

What is a typical “workday” look like for you? I’m planning to do a “day in the life” post very soon sharing more of this in detail because I feel like the answer is fairly verbose. The short answer, for now, is that I get up around 7 am on weekdays, style for five or six hours from home, job hunt until I run out of listings to look at, and then in the late afternoon or night I write blog content and prepare photos. Justin and I designate one day a week for blog photos, usually Saturday or Sunday, where we will take three or four outfit shoots. I’d love to do more but by the time Justin comes home during the week it’s usually dark and I don’t want him to feel like he has a second job as a “blogger boyfriend.” 

What is your biggest advice on building a career? At the moment, I’m not sure I feel qualified to answer this question but I will say this…never lose your dreams and don’t let other people make you feel like they are silly or unobtainable. Even thought no one ever told me blogging was “silly” I’m sure people thought it or still think it. There have been many times I thought I should just give it up because there’s no way it’ll actually become something but then I remind myself not to give up. I love my blog because it’s something I created all on my own and it gives me a sense of pride. I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still a ways off, but I know it’s there. Any time a company approaches me to collaborate or wants to share my content with their subscribers, I feel an immense feeling of pride. 

Do you have any advice on building one’s self-confidence? Self-confidence is still something I’m working on myself, every day. My biggest piece of advice is to remember you are special and one of a kind. We all compare ourselves to each other and many times, this only creates our own self-doubt. Wondering how we measure up…is someone else “better looking?” More successful? Luckier? Happier? But you have to remember you are uniquely you and no one else can ever take that away. Embrace your strengths and differences. Give yourself a break for the things you feel you need to improve. You never know who is out there wishing they were you…

Where did you meet your boyfriend? So this is going to sound really unromantic, but Justin and I met at a bar haha. I always tell my girlfriend’s a bar is not the best place to meet guys, but clearly, that’s not always true. It was kind of serendipitous actually. Justin and I both lived in Roanoke, VA for several years and had lots of mutual friends but never crossed paths. Or we did and never knew it. It was St. Patrick’s Day and neither of us had planned to go out, but thanks to friends decided to make an appearance. I remember specifically that he found a way to enter a conversation I was having with a friend about my shoes (they were leopard print and very tall lol). And after that, we talked all night long. So long that one of my friends kept trying to save me thinking Justin was bothering me. It sounds corny, but I think both of us knew dating was our destiny, even if it took us a while to work out the logistics (i.e. he moved to California soon after for work). The day after we met he took me on a sweet date downtown in his freshly washed car (first impressions matter ladies!) and we talked so long, again, that our waitress had to come back six or seven times to ask if we were ready to order. A year later I moved to California and the rest is history. 

What was your favorite thing about being in your sorority? Both in and out of college? For those of you who don’t know, I was a Delta Zeta at the University of Kentucky. I joined my sophomore year and pretty much ate, lived, and breathed sorority life for the rest of my undergraduate career. I joined a sorority because I wanted leadership experience…it wasn’t the social aspect and the parties…I may be the only person to ever say that haha. I was fortunate enough to hold the position of Treasurer and President while in my chapter and am convinced I learned more about being a leader in my time with DZ than I ever would have elsewhere. I was able to help the chapter in many ways, learned how to do a lot of things right by doing a lot of things wrong, and made friendships for a lifetime. Out of college by far my favorite thing is meeting other Delta Zetas outside of my chapter. I can’t even explain the instant bond you have with someone when you find out they are a sister. One of my best friends took my Pure Barre class and I noticed she was wearing a DZ tank. After class, I told her I was a DZ too and we’ve been inseparable since (even if it’s via mobile device). I also recently met a sister while attending a wedding and her and I bonded immediately, and I already know she’ll be a lifelong friend.

What is your go-to workout for abs and legs? How often do you work out? Okay, I’m going to be 100% honest. I haven’t worked out in weeks…probably months. Not because I don’t want to but because one, I don’t want the cost right now, and two, I feel guilty going to the gym instead of job hunting or working. My favorite work out in the whole world (for abs, legs, everything) is Pure Barre. I was a ballet dancer for many years and once I went to college found Pure Barre and fell in love. I swear it’s given me a better body than when I was dancing. Everything is extremely toned and tight! I highly recommend looking them up or trying a class if you haven’t. I even taught when I lived in Roanoke! I’m elated they are opening a studio about five minutes from our house and I plan to go as much as I possibly can. They recently came out with Pure Barre On Demand where you can take classes online (5 min, 15 min, 30 min, 60 min) and I just purchased a membership yesterday. Today’s the last day for their founders special if anyone is interested. 

What skin care regimen do you use (products/brands)? I’m going to do an updated post on my skincare regimen because the last one I did is definitely outdated. I’ve been seeing an esthetician for several months now because I developed rosacea and have been trying to keep stress-induced skin issues at bay. You can read my post on why I love hydrafacials which have been a skincare game changer. In addition, I have a whole new routine using dermatologically approved, quality products. Here’s the run down: cleanser, redness reducer, moisturizer day, moisturizer night, eye cream.

How do you apply foundation so you get a flawless look? I definitely need to update my makeup routine as well, but I did recently update my makeup routine here where you can find all of the products I use on a regular basis. To achieve a flawless look that isn’t cakey I do the following: cleanse, moisturize (+ undereye), prep, prime, apply powder, and set. It’s important to give yourself a clean, smooth canvas before you apply any product and then to moisturize to keep the skin from becoming dry and patchy. I like to let my moisturizer sink in for a couple minutes before misting with a facial spray for extra hydration. Then, after it’s dry, I apply a primer so that my foundation has something to adhere to for long lasting power. My favorite foundation is here and I like to set it with this. Then after I’m done with all of my makeup (or before mascara) I will mist my face again with my facial spray and a setting spray. Voila!

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XO Amanda