This summer has been filled with incredible growth, both personally and professionally. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if not for the people who have supported me from the beginning. Although it may not be much compared to others, I believe that it's a milestone to have reached over 50K in followers on Instagram. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on this journey with me. A bunch of people submitted some questions for me to answer in this post that you can check out below, as well as just some short answer questions mixed in!
1. What inspired you to become a blogger and to take photos? (@anaestheticmind)
Ever since I was in middle school, I've loved photography. Over the years, I just kept at it and when Instagram started to gain some traction, I eventually turned the camera to myself. After transferring colleges and attending FIT, I just listened to people that told me that I should start a blog after seeing outfit posts on Instagram and Tumblr. So, in May or 2013 I did and I'm so glad that I listened!
2. How did you learn to take such beautiful photos? (@anaestheticmind)
I've always been more of a visual person, and my hobby to capture moments and memories has just grown over the years. Just from taking pictures with friends or looking at people's photography online or in books, I studied angles, lighting, and figured out the kind of images I wanted to take. I've developed a better appreciation for it and eventually figured out my style.
3. Where are your false lashes from? (@whynotmeli)
When I'm not wearing falsies (Ardell 105) I'm getting my lash extensions done by @lashnyc. She's the best! Let her know I sent you and you'll get $10 off your set! :)
4. What are some of your pet-peeves?
People who chew their food with their mouths open. People who are rude for no reason or act entitled. Bad grammar. People who text you only when they need something from you.
5. What are some goals that you have for yourself and your blog for the next year?
I would love to continue to grow and work with more brands, meet more people, and definitely travel more!
6. What was your "big break"? Basically, what was the moment where you started to see more followers, comments, etc.? (@michellekwee)
Last Spring, I hit 20K on Instagram and that was when I noticed that this was really going in a good direction for me. That's when I actually chose my blog and personal brand over my job at the time. It has been a continuous growth for me so I'm not sure if I have an exact moment that I would call my "big break" but I can pinpoint that moment that I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue and see through!
7. What are your favorite places to shop?
Aritzia, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Club Monaco, Revolve, The Reformation, and Free People.
8. You always go to pet stores on your snap, are you considering getting a dog in the future? (@atlasofashley)
Definitely! My current apartment landlords aren't really down with pets at the moment but definitely when I have my own place, or when Marco and I have a place, we can get a puppy. :)
9. What were you like as a teenager?
So awkward and quiet.
10. How do you stay so positive and balanced when dealing with school and work? (@nikkagabrielle)
I graduated in May of this year so it's definitely easier balancing my life and work now that school isn't thrown into the mix. But while I was studying, it definitely helped planning out my weeks and also knowing not to overwork myself. Alone time/down time detached from school/work is definitely important. The last thing I would ever want to do is over-work or stress myself out if it can be avoided. Planners totally make things easier, so it's also definitely a good thing that I'm naturally extremely organized.
11. Where do you see yourself in five years? (@itsnkenge)
In five years I hope I'm married, living in a house outside of the city, well-traveled, two dogs, and maybe with my own Interior Design business. Who knows? I'd also love to keep blogging as I get older.
12. How do you stay motivated? (@divine.a)
My goals for my future are constantly motivating me to work hard and succeed. My family and friends keep me motivated as well. I definitely wouldn't be able to do this without them supporting me in what I do.
13. What do you and Marco fight about the most and how are you guys still together after 5 years? (@kimxbui)
We don't really fight that much and if we do, it's most likely about where we're going to eat, LOL. It's not impossible for two people to stay together for as long as we have, it's actually pretty easy. Communication and trust is key. If you love each other, can talk to each other, it all works out.
14. What do you do when you're not blogging?
Hanging out with Marco, family, or friends, cleaning/organizing my room, or taking naps.
15. Of the cities you've visited, which one is your favorite? (from Tumblr)
I definitely left a piece of my heart in Paris. I know that it is so cliche, but it's true.
16. How do you travel so often? (@melquin4)
After figuring out what city/country to go to next, Marco and I plan and save and just make it happen. Travel is easy and affordable if you book far enough in advance, there are also so many great deals out there! Most of our trips are booked through Expedia, just finding good packages.
17. What did you do before blogging?
While I was in school, I worked part time in retail/social media, freelanced, or interned.
18. Can you speak fluent tagalog? (@corinthsuarez)
Yup! My family makes sure that I never forget it, haha!
19. Favorite restaurant? (from Tumblr)
You know I'm going to have to say Ping's.
20. How do you find ideas on what to blog about? I'm really interested in doing a blog myself, but I can't seem to figure out what would keep an audience interested. (@victoriafaithh)
Honestly, I just go off of what's going on in my life, what I'm into, trends I'm digging, and hope that people are interested! Your blog is first and foremost a reflection of yourself so it's definitely important to stay true to that. You have to enjoy what you create in order for others to enjoy it as well so definitely stick to what sparks your own interest!
21. What is your Starbucks order?
Grande (or Venti if I'm really sleepy) Iced Caramel Macchiato with extra Caramel Drizzle.
22. Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging? I've been following your account since 2014 and it's great to see your photos have come this far and I'm proud of you! (@paupau.a)
Thank you! I think just being able to break out of my shell, being comfortable talking to people and meeting new people has really helped with my growth. For my blog, knowing what styles work for me helps a lot too. I don't ever want to pretend to be something I'm not and I think those who read my blog are able to see that. It's so important not to get too caught up with trends that you lose yourself, and from the beginning, that's just the direction I've wanted to take my blog in.
23. How do your parents feel about you blogging?
They've been extremely supportive from the beginning and I couldn't be more thankful for that!
24. What are your three favorite meals? (@victoriafaithh)
I'm answering this question as if I could only have three meals for the rest of my life and what would I want them to be. First, a typical Filipino breakfast of spam, garlic fried rice, and egg. Second, dim sum. Third, steak with garlic pasta and garlic bread.
25. What are some of your favorite projects from blogging?
My recent trip to Italy with Martini is definitely one of the best opportunities I've gotten through blogging.
26. When did you first start blogging? (@irishkristin_e)
I started my blog in 2013 but really focused on blogging in 2014. In May, I had around 4,000 followers on Instagram and just kept at it since then!
27. What was your reaction upon gaining 50K followers and readers who look up to you? (@irishkristin_e)
It was so surreal to me and it's humbling to know that so many people look up to you. It's also amazing meeting people and hearing from them that they follow me or have been inspired, my followers are how I'm able to do what I do and why I do what I do.
28. What were you like as a child?
According to my mom I changed my outfit like 5 times a day. Still true to this day, except it's more, I change my outfit 5 times every morning, haha.
29. You've been adding a lot of designer bags to your collection. How do you divide the time to show them all some love? (@atlasofashley)
This year definitely included a bunch of new additions to my collection, also because I let go of a few from my collection as well. I try to get bags in different styles, and structures so they all have their particular uses. Some bags are more everyday if I'm carrying a laptop, another bag is more particular for going out, etc.
30. Which bag is your favorite? (@atlasofashley)
All my bags have a special place in my heart but I would definitely have to say either my Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap or my Céline Classic Box just because the materials they're made of are not too high maintenance. The Chanel Le Boy is also definitely one but because it's lambskin, I have to be extra careful with it when I'm out and about.
31. What is your favorite dessert?
I looooooove chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.
32. How did you and Marco meet and how did you start dating? (from Tumblr)
Marco and I met when we were younger in the 3rd grade and we were talking on and off in high school. It wasn't until our freshman year of college that we started to hang out and just keep hanging out, eventually dating and became boyfriend/girlfriend.
33. How do you pack? I know you use a powerpoint and stuff but how?! (@corinthsuarez)
I think I'll definitely need a more thorough post to go through my packing process! But my first step is pulling out all the pieces I love, then editing things out. I plan my outfits and try to make sure things such as shoes, bags, and bottoms can be swapped around so I'm not overpacking. Also, rolling clothing is space saving and packing things by outfit makes dressing while on your trip just that much easier! I like to know exactly what I'm wearing for a particular day so I'll make sure my look is appropriate according to the itinerary and weather.
34. How do you plan your day? (@corinthsuarez)
If my day doesn't involve meetings or events, I like to just wing it. For more hectic days, I like to give myself some breathing room between locations and plan for things to be in close proximity to each other if I can. I'm also the type that likes to be home before the sun goes down so the earlier I'm out and about, the better!
35. What is your favorite decade?
The 90's. Hands down.
36. If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I was better about working out and eating more vegetables, haha.
37. What is your favorite part of New York City?
Whatever part of it has a view and isn't crowded with tourists.
38. What's the next bag on your list?
Vintage Chanel or a Céline Nano Luggage.
39. What advice do you have for people starting to learn photography and editing? What are good apps, programs, tools you'd suggest? (@thegoldlines)
Just take photos of everything! Look at other photographer's work and see what style you're into and go off that! Lightroom and Photoshop are great for getting technical but mobile apps have gotten so great with tools for editing that you really don't need much. My favorite is VSCO.
40. How do you get your boyfriend to take the great photos? (@thegoldlines)
Probably just constantly asking him to take photos, the angles I like, the framing I like, he's figured it out, haha. He's also just naturally good at it too, so that was definitely great.
41. If you could only wear one pair of shoes for the rest of your life, what would they be?
42. What's your best piece of advice for someone trying to grow their blog? (How to get noticed/featured/collaborating, etc) (@valerie.crystal)
Just be consistent, interact with other accounts, reach out to brands you'd love to work with. It may take time but people know when someone's following/interaction is real and when it's not. Keep it genuine and grow your blog authentically. Be true to yourself and your style and the people who follow you because they love the real you are the people you want to attract anyways!
43. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
My family calls me Ayi (because that's how I said my name when I was little and couldn't pronounce it before) and some friends either call me Alyssa or just Lyss. I prefer Alyssa or Lyss.
44. What are some ways to keep creating content and not begin to get repetitive and stay relevant? (@valerie.crystal)
Following accounts or people that inspire you helps keep those creative juices constantly flowing. If I'm feeling stuck, I'll go through my feed or wander around the city to find some inspiration. I don't worry too much about staying relevant or putting that kind of pressure on myself, I just carry on with my ideas and style and believe in it.
45. What languages can you speak? (from Tumblr)
English, Tagalog, and I can piece together Italian if you speak really slowly. I'm a little rusty since taking foreign language in high school and college!
46. What is your skincare routine? (@atlasofashley)
I remove my make-up with Neutrogena make up remover, cleanse with my Clarisonic Mia Face Cleanser Brush with Mario Badescu Soap and Toner, and finish with my Clinique Moisturizer. Other products I use are TonyMoly Sheet Masks, La Mer, and Shiseido.
47. Favorite coffee place in NYC? (@lastraoscar)
Chalait or Toby's Estate in Brooklyn!
48. What's your go-to movie theater snack?
Popcorn + Bunch-a-Crunch!
49. How do you go about planning your blog posts? Do you have like a blog business plan? (@yasminezomor)
I don't really plan them, I just go in order of when photos are taken! Some projects will have scheduled dates so those get squeezed in between my outfit posts.
50. Any tips for newcomers that want to start blogging? Would you recommend it? (@nikkagabrielle)
If you want to start a blog, just go for it. Be consistent, post and write about whatever it is you want to write about. I believe that people are attracted to things that they can see are done out of love and passion because it shows when someone's work is genuine or not. I would absolutely recommend it just because it has definitely changed my life for the better.
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted questions and to those of you who took the time to read through this post. I'm definitely excited to see where the next few months takes me! Feel free to submit any questions to me at any time!
Free People Dress | Photography by: Marco P.