#AskE – Where to get Cute Dresses, How I Edit Photos, + MORE

Hellooooo + HAPPY FRIGGIN’ FRIDAY, PEEPS. Who’s beyond ready for the weekend??? *all raise our hands* I, for one, could NOT be more stoked; my weekend has just begun, and I’m spending it with some of my best friends on the planet in Salt Lake City. We all met through blogging, but fun fact: this will be the first time ever that all four of us are together in person. We’re just about peeing ourselves with ecstasty, so WATCH OUT, WORLD.

Soooooo, I’m actually above you right now.

In a plane. In da sky. Up above. BOOYAH.

I’m sure there will be countless Instastories of our adventures over our long weekend, so don’t miss it @ericaligenza. 😉

And now…thought it was high time for another #AskE post! You guys have AWESOME Q’s, if I do say so myself. 🙂 If you’ve got a Q you wanna see A’d in a future #AskE, make sure ya drop it in this quick little form – it’s the easiest way for me to keep track of them all, instead of bopping between emails and Instagram DM’s and all that jazz. Anything goes, so get creative. 😉

J and I shot this when we were in New Orleans a hot sec ago – the picture quality is a bit different than the norm since we were rushing to beat the sunset, but hopefully you still get to enjoy this absurdly cute dress + slue of designer dupes I paired with it. Let’s begin!

Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

  Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

Dress (c/o – Runs TTS! Use code ericaligenza at checkout for 15% off your whole order!) // Wedges (On clearance for $40! They’re dupes for the $160 Marc Fisher wedges and the $600 Chloe wedges – come in 4 colors!) // Bag ($40 dupe for the $150 Cult Gaia bag, and literally exactly the same!) // Gold monogram necklace // Sunglasses ($10 dupes for Celine sunnies – as seen here) //

 

What was the motivation behind starting your blog? // How did you start blogging?

WHAT A DOOZY.

SO.

Long story short: I always loveloveloved writing. During my senior year of high school, I had the *amazing* opportunity to intern for the city paper’s teen section and work in the actual adult newsroom. I was living. From that, I learned so friggin’ much about how the actual editing process works, and what all needs to happen to pull a publication together. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, and I was writing for a student-run fashion magazine on campus. It was fun…until I started seeing the student editing team change my work. And not in the professional way that was taught in a newsroom – changing grammatical errors like spelling, punctuation, sentence syntax, etc. People would change things to add their own creative flair, and come publication day, I wouldn’t even recognize my own writing. I felt like I was writing a launch pad for someone else, and it ended up being a surprise with my name on it. No bueno.

Around that time I learned about blogging – the idea of creating my own space that was mine and mine alone to just create sounded like a total dream, especially since I very much needed something that was not advanced accounting or corporate finance. So, CUR was born.

Another long story short: I’ve mentioned before…I was bullied as a kid (as I’m sure some of you were, too). I wanted CUR to be a place where everyone and her mom was welcome. A source of encouragement to inspire her, a hub of resources to empower her, a place to go for a good read, a laugh, and to get something good to help her get closer to living her best life. A community of #RealTalk, where she knows she’s not alone, where she can reach out anytime and know that I’ll be there to answer – even if she’s alone on a Friday night feeling forgotten and isolated with no friends. Life isn’t perfect – every rose has it’s thorn. But when we focus on the good stuff and get through it all together, life is coming up roses. 🙂

For more on how to start a blog *technically*, I’ve got a bunch of posts under my blogging section here!

 

Where to get cute dresses?

‘Tis the season for cute spring dresses…now we just need Mother Nature to get on board with that too, MK? Even tho we’ve still been largely in the 40’s + 50’s (ew), I did stock up on a few dresses already for when we get more than one random day of 75 + sunny. Is that too much to ask??? I thought they said it was always sunny in Philadelphia…that’s a lie. Anyhoo.
The first place I stocked up on from this season was Express. I picked up a few floral numbers because they’ve got a *great* selection of flowy, flowery dresses that’ll work through spring AND summer. Some favorites…
I’ve also gotten quite a few from ASOS in the past, as well as Nordstrom + Shein. ASOS is typically my trendier go-to, Nordstrom for more classics (especially since they tend to be a little pricier at Nordy – gotta make ’em worth it!), and Shein for cheap trends. I get a lot of Q’s about Shein, and honestly, I lovelovelove it. I shop there all the time – I RARELY have any issues. And if it’s an issue, it’s usually sizing-related, and because I was too lazy to read the actual measurements and/or measure myself accordingly. That’s the one thing there – all sizes are not created equal, so across pieces it’s really important to abide by the listed measurements and NOT what you think you are! But dresses can be anywhere from $10-30, which is *great* if ya wanna stock up on a few – especially pieces that you might wear once or twice and then pass along.
Another hot spot for dresses that I discovered this season is Sugarlips – they sent me the dress I’m wearing here, but I just lovelovelove everything on their website! Tell me it’s not the cutest stuff you’ve seen?! Everything is fun, colorful, flowy, and so in the springy spirit. It’s already pretty reasonably priced, too, but you can get an extra 15% off with code ericaligenza at checkout. #YouWelcome
Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses

 

How do you edit your photos??

I do all of my own editing for CUR, but I try to keep all of my photos as untouched + unedited as possible to #KeepItReal. But of course, when shooting…sh*t happens. Lighting changes. Colors turn out differently than anticipated. So I do have a few favorite tricks that I use to keep things as consistent-looking as possible across posts! That’s the key, I think – consistency. If half of your photos look warm AF like they’re straight outta the desert, and the other half are cool as cucumbers, it might just not all match up as nicely as it could/should.
First thing’s first: I use zero filters of any sort. No VSCO filter, no Lightroom preset – nada.
My editing tools include Adobe Lightroom + PicMonkey on desktop, and then Lightroom, Facetune, Snapseed, + PicMonkey on my phone. I edit for brightness, contrast, + saturation mostly! Then of course, if I’ve got a raging zit…that gotta go. Ha! And that’s literally it!
But if y’all would want a full post with more before-after content to walk through how to edit photos to get a certain look, hollah at me in the comments down below. 😉

 

Do you take any kind of vitamins to help boost energy?

So, I do take an old lady’s worth of vitamins every day – at quick glance of our pill packs, you would think my husband and I are elderly, I swear. I do HAVE a vitamin that supposedly helps boost energy, but TBH, I don’t know how well it works as of yet because I haven’t taken it consistently enough to gauge. Otherwise, I take a multi-vitamin, probiotic, fish oil, + biotin religiously everyday.

 

What kind of routines do you have? Is there something you look forward to every day?

I think my morning is most “routinized” at this point, although I reaaaaaally need to get my ish together and get a healthy nighttime routine goin’. It’s moreso that if J + I are busy doing something, if I’m working, or if anything else is going on out of an otherwise normal Tuesday night, for example, it throws off my game and I’m just tryna be in bed ASAP to catch enough zzzz’s – let alone plan out a whole routine before that. Ha!
I get up at 6 am every morning – I head downstairs, feed the cats, grab myself a cuppa joe, + head to my office to finish publish the day’s post. Some light worship music gets turned on + I have some prayer time to myself to start the day strong! I always then use some time to scroll through my inbox from the night before, check my social media, etc. By 10 am-ish, I’m either hopping in the shower + getting ready for the day (I don’t do full hair/makeup every day, so if it’s a wear-gym-clothes-not-to-the-gym kinda day, this takes less time obvi!), or I’m handling any more urgent matters – more urgent brand emails, any emails from you guys (you my numba 1!), or due tasks.
My mornings are the only thing that feel more routinized in my day, really, since so much of the rest of the day depends on what’s upcoming or happening for the week. So I try to be as flexible yet disciplined as possible for the rest of the day!
What I look forward to: Coffeetime. Winetime. Rinse + repeat. 😉 Also when the hubs gets home, since I try reaaaaaally hard to stop working when he gets home so that we can just ~chill~. Being able to just hang out on the couch with our 3 kitties to catch up on our shows is my fave.
Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses
Sugarlips dress, Cult gaia bag dupe - Where to get cute dresses featured by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses
And can we talk about the back of this dress?! LOVELOVELOVE.

Got any Q’s you wanna see A’d in a future #AskE post?

I’d lovelovelove to hear ’em all! Anything goes. ? Feel free to comment down below, email me, or just drop ’em in this handy dandy form right here!

Past #AskE posts are here too, if ya wanna peep through the archives!

EEEP, off to see my besties – God bless long weekends just like this.
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10 Things I'm Practicing + My Favorite Spring Outfit styled by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger, Coming Up Roses
10 Things I’m Practicing + My Favorite Spring Outfit

Happy HUMP! I'm off to the Big Apple this morning for a fun day of meetings, but of course stopping...

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