New York City Follow Your Dreams

One piece of advice for the new week ahead. Stop getting caught up in other people’s lives and just smile! You have one life to live so do whatever you can to make the most of YOURS. Write down and work on your goals, tell people how you feel, be open and honest with yourself and give more than you get. It’s hard to put yourself out there, I know it’s intimidating and scary but if you don’t live fearlessly, one day when you’re 80 years old you may regret not moving to LA and pursuing that acting job you wanted, starting that coffee shop you imagined owning, breaking free from old patterns/old friends/relationships, or texting that person that you care about right now. As I’m getting older I realize that I have so much more to do and that once you find your purpose, you will constantly be learning and growing from it. Have an awesome week everyone <3

Xoxo,

Lyss

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All Of Your Questions Answered

Hey everyone!

So I decided it would be easiest to have a permanent blog post thoroughly answering all of the repetitive questions I get asked. That way, you can bookmark this and come back whenever you have a question that someone may have asked me before 🙂 I try to respond to as many of you as my fingers will allow me to over instagram but it gets super overwhelming, messy, and often glitchy within the app itself.

I hope you enjoy this and feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments if you have any!

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

  1. What filter and applications do you use for your pictures on instagram?

I use Lightroom to edit all of my photos, and then I add small touches with the in-app instagram photo editing tools. I use my own custom filter I created with Lightroom for my photos. When I first began posting on instagram, I used apps like AfterLight and VSCO, which are amazing apps to start out with. VSCO is free and you can purchase all of their filters in the app, and AfterLight is $1.99. If you are on a tight budget and just starting out, I recommend using one of these apps to gain experience working with editing tools and filters. If you are looking for a more advanced way of editing to match my exact type of feed aesthetic, Lightroom would be the best choice for you. It costs about $120 to purchase for your computer so it’s definitely an investment if you want to become a blogger, photographer, content creator or just to improve your work significantly. You can learn how to use it through Youtube, which is probably the quickest way to pick up on it and start editing with it.

2. What camera do you use to take your pictures?

My first camera was a Canon 70D. I know a lot of you are just starting out, and so I always tell people I use this camera because I still do! It’s my backup, but it’s still an amazing camera and it’s fairly lighter than the one we shoot with now. A year ago I upgraded to the Canon 1DX which is quite large, heavy and intense. I love it, but it’s best if you’re a pro looking to do more video content. I think the Canon 70D is perfect for starting out!

3. How do you grow your instagram following?

My 10 best tips to grow your instagram following can be found here on this blog post.

4. How do I reach out to brands?

Reaching out to brands has become easier than ever nowadays, especially because most brands have their own instagram pages. I simply send them a direct message and ask for their email so we can discuss collaborating. A lot of pages feature a contact button that you can directly email the brands as well. If you are writing an introductory email to a brand, be sure to link your page in the email you are sending and always offer them something of value. For example, if you are just starting your page and would love to try a product for free, offer them an instagram post in exchange.

5. How many followers do I need to work with brands and get paid?

This all depends on who you are, what your content is like, your engagement, and your type of audience. The amazing thing is, brands want to work with influencers of all sizes, big and small. Some brands actually prefer smaller influencers (5,000 followers-50k followers) because they often have a higher engagement and connection to their audience, and they also charge less for a post! Don’t be afraid to reach out and make an effort to work with brands just because you are not as “big” as other people are.

Also – I would focus on creating good content before reaching out to brands. Brands like to see that you are putting in a little effort into your page to make it look pretty and to make your audience active. Once you have built up a solid foundation of content, start reaching out to brands for free products. The key is to give a little before you get paid for anything. I didn’t get paid for the first 2 years I was working on my instagram.

6. Where do you live?

I live in New York City. I was born on Long Island which is about an hour train ride outside of the city.

7. Is it expensive to live in New York? Why did you choose to live there?

It is very expensive to live here, but it helps if you have roommates of course. You are paying for the location and the experience. It is amazing to have restaurants and little bodegas on every corner open 24 hours. There are hundreds of coffee shops, cute boutiques, markets, and parks to hang on every few blocks you walk. The city just feels so vibrant and energetic at all times and I feel like it has helped shape who I am a lot. You have to get used to it for sure, but I love it!

8. Where are your favorite places to take pictures in NYC?

Some of my favorite places to take photos are:

  1. St. Cloud Rooftop in the Knickerbocker hotel
  2. The Press Lounge at ink48 hotel
  3. The Roof at Public Hotel
  4. FlatIron and Madison Square Park area
  5. Times Square at night (the lights are amazing)
  6. Grand Central
  7. Jimmy at the James hotel rooftop
  8. Nomo Soho and surrounding area
  9. Top of the Rock and Bar 365
  10. Bryant Park

9. What are you passionate about other than being an influencer?

I love to sing. It’s been something I’ve doing since I’m 5 years old. I love performing and even though I get nervous in front of crowds, I’ve gotten a lot better at speaking and showing who I am in front of people as I’ve gotten older. I also love to write. I think writing and expressing yourself is such a powerful, beautiful thing.

10. What is your job? What do you do, how do you make money, etc.?

You can read all about my job and what I do on this blog post here.

11. Did you go to college? What did you study?

I graduated from Binghamton University in 2015 with an English degree and minor in Global Studies.

12. Did you know you were going to become an influencer?

I honestly had no idea what was in store for me when I began my social media career. I used instagram as an outlet during college. I didn’t go out too much, and I liked to do my own thing. I was always low key and simple, so when I started my account, the only people who knew about it were a few of my closest friends. Then, as it grew, my college wrote an article about me in their newspaper and suddenly everyone knew me on campus as the instagram girl. It was pretty crazy, and strange because people started to make fun of me. Back then, instagram wasn’t as popular yet and everyone was just like, what is this girl all about?

13. How do you stay on track to achieve your goals without giving up?

I wouldn’t want to look back in 30 years and regret not pursuing my dreams. I know in order to be happy with my life, I need to at least try to pursue what I love. Failure isn’t an option anymore in my head. Anything is possible with the right skills, mindset and attitude. If you remind this to yourself daily, you’ll realize that it’s the truth! This is the truth I live by and it helps me push forward even when I fail.

14. What’s the worst failure you’ve ever experienced and how did you learn from it?

I lost a lot of money at a time in my life when I was careless. I felt like a failure. I had gotten scammed essentially, from someone that I don’t know online, and I felt so pathetic in that moment. I cried a lot that day to say the least. It’s okay to feel upset or disappointed, but don’t let those feelings stop you from bouncing back and starting over. Take a lesson learned out of your failures and use those failures to teach you how to succeed. I see everything as an important lesson, whether it’s a big or small mistake, it always helps to view it from that perspective.

15. What are the best places to eat in New York?

Some of my favorite spots include:

  1. Joe’s Pizza for pizza
  2. Cafeteria for lunch and American eats
  3. The Smith for continental food
  4. Momoya for sushi
  5. La Pecora Bianca for coffee and small breakfast bites
  6. Two Hands for brunch
  7. By Chloe for vegan eats

16. Where is your favorite destination spot?

My top favorite is Greece (Mykonos and Santorini)! I went this year for the first time and it was so insanely beautiful. I can’t wait to go back.

17. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an influencer?

The top 3 tips I always give to people who want to become an influencer is:

  1. Understand what you want to be known for. This was something I had a lot of trouble figuring out throughout my career as a social media personality. I started out with fitness, and then transitioned over time into more travel, lifestyle and just being myself. I think if you stick to what you’re good at, you’ll succeed.
  2. Invest your time into your content. Content is key to growing a fan base and making people want to keep following your journey. I used to wonder why my engagement was so “low” and no one would comment on my photos. It was honestly because they sucked and I had no idea, hahaha. I had to dig through people’s accounts and research what worked for them. I had to research how to improve my photography skills and how to edit properly. It takes time.
  3. Be active and engaged with other influencers. There’s no better way to start than by being active in the community you want to be a part of. Instagram makes this easy. Leave unique and supportive comments on your favorite influencer’s photos. Send a hundred DM’s until you get a reply. Some influencers will read, respond, and even message you back. I know that I do! 😉

18. How old are you?

I am 24 years old, and my birthday is in less than a month! I always thought 25 was SO old, and now I’m like, wait…I’m just getting started with my life! It’s okay to set your own timing and path. A few of my friends are getting married already, and my brother’s both have kids! I know those things will come for me at a later time, but for now, I just want to feel free, and pursue my dreams. I’m much more career focused than relationship & “settling down” focused right now, which is not a bad thing. I think 25 is YOUNG. With social media, I can relate to the younger generation, and I can be a role model for them. It’s all about perspective 🙂

19. What are your goals for the future?

My future goals is to be an even more successful influencer by reaching more people and connecting with them, and showing people that it’s possible to achieve any dream you set your mind to. I also want to be a successful singer and go to the Grammys. I have a feeling 2019 will be the year. 19 is truly my lucky number! <3

I’m going to end this post on number 19. If you have any other questions for me, feel free to write them in the comments!

Xo,

Alyssa

 

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Our Greece Getaway

GREECE

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There’s a lot of places that I can say have truly left me mesmerized, but Greece made me an entirely different level of speechless. If I could only put into words the amount of love I have for Greece in one blog post, my life would be just a little bit easier 😉 Unfortunately, that’s impossible. The beauty of this country was something like I’ve never experienced before and I am counting the days until I travel back. 

Meir and I traveled to 3 different main islands in Greece. 

Breakdown of our itinerary:

  1. New York -> Athens -> Mykonos
  2. Mykonos -> Santorini
  3. Santorini -> Athens -> Zakinthos
  4. Zakinthos -> Athens
  5. Athens -> New York

As you can imagine, we were definitely all over the place and packed in a ton of different sites to see over the course of 10 days, which is the perfect time to see everything. By the end of the trip, I was a little burned out and we actually did end up getting sick (more on that later in this blog post!) but overall, I feel 10 days was ideal.

MYKONOS

First stop: Mykonos. We left New York and took an overnight flight to Athens airport. When we arrived in Athens, it was 9 AM, and the perfect time to start our adventures. I don’t even think I slept during the flight to Athens, (it is SO hard for me to get a good sleep on any flight) so I was pretty tired but my excitement and my adrenaline rush kept me going throughout the first day! We took a quick connecting flight from Athens to Mykonos an hour after we landed at the Athens airport, which is definitely the easiest and most painless way to make the first day smooth. It sounds like a ton of traveling, but since it was early when we arrived, we still had the entire day in Mykonos to explore, unpack our belongings, and get some amazing photos for sunset hours 😉

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When we finally arrived in Mykonos, we headed straight from the Mykonos airport to our hotel, Cavo Tagoo Mykonos. When we arrived, we were SO taken back by how gorgeous this property was. The entire hotel is painted and decorated white and gold, featuring huge golden doors to greet you and such friendly, welcoming staff. The hotel features a large swimming pool overlooking the ocean and it is a 5 minute walk from the main Mykonos town, which was super convenient during our stay. When we saw our room, we could not get over how magical it really felt to be there. The rooms were also decorated in stunning white and gold decor, everything was immaculate, modern, and super cozy. 

We ended up wanting to stay an extra night with Cavo Tagoo because of how beautiful it really was, and they ended up surprising us with the most insane dream suite of the entire hotel. It had 3 large bedrooms, two upstairs and one downstairs (yes there were multiple levels in this suite!), with enormous glass panorama doors overlooking a private swimming pool, a jacuzzi, which both led out to the ocean view. The living room had a huge communal table for us to work and eat our dinner and dessert (which we ordered in from the room service!!) and a surround sound music system to play our favorite unwinding music as we worked and relaxed together at sunset. When we woke up in the morning, we immediately opened our suite doors out to the pool and took a sunrise dip, and filmed some video footage while having Greek coffees and eating our breakfast. This experience was truly one of a kind, and I could not be more thankful for it.

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The Mykonos town was on another level of perfection. I have never been to Mykonos before, but Meir has in the summer, and he said that September there was SO much better and less crowded/touristy for sure. If you are looking to travel to Greece, we recommend going later in the year, towards September or even October after the “rush”. We were able to navigate the town easily, and explore with our cameras without feeling too overwhelmed by other people who were there visiting and taking photos as well. The streets are just so cute—everything of course is painted white and blue, and there are little fashion and food shops on literally every corner. The beauty of Mykonos and Greece itself is that there are so many different spots all on one street. We passed pastries and coffee shops, book stores and clothing shops, and then busy seafood restaurants, italian restaurants, etc…it is just so diverse and magical. Every step gave us a new experience.

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Second stop: Santorini. We decided to take a 5 hour “quick” ferry to Santorini from Mykonos. Mykonos has a port where you can jump on a ferry, which is the main means of transportation for many. Although 5 hours seems like a lot, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. When we finally arrived in Santorini, we grabbed a cab to our first hotel, which was sitting on top of a cliff in Imerovigli. This is such a quaint and peaceful little town in Santorini, with not a lot of tourists, at least when we were there. Our hotel was a wellness spa and resort called Andronis Concept. It featured its own farm and garden, with animals and fresh fruits and vegetables, a beautiful spa and a private gym, overlooking the most stunning views at sunset hours. We loved it because of the amazing views overlooking Oia—which was across from our hotel, miles away but it was so amazing to see all the lights and the sky glowing at sunset. Our room featured its own hot tub with such gorgeous peaceful views, and the breakfast there was UNREAL. We woke up to fresh fruit platters, freshly baked croissants, cereals, french toast and Greek coffees (need I say more?). It was truly just something out of a dream.

It was close to one of the main towns, Thira, which is a cute area: surrounded by more blue and white streets, restaurants (we had some amazing pizza)!, and clothing boutiques. We spent the day in Thira exploring, shopping and eating. PS – I highly recommend renting an ATV for the week in Santorini if you decide to travel there. Everything is spread out and it is A LOT of walking, so we decided to use an ATV to transport around the island for majority of our trip!

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After our stay in Imerovigli, we spent the next 4 days in Oia, which was my favorite part of the entire island. There are so many different kinds of people, shops, food spots, boutiques, bars and the most beautiful places to capture every single moment. We were in love the moment we arrived. We spent the nights shooting sunset overlooking the city lights on top of a famous photography spot, on the very edge of the island. Everyone at night gathers around in the town for the sunset and watches as it sets down below the sky, and burns a bright, stunning orange as it dissipates. I was blown away by the beauty of it all—everyone just standing, watching in silence and snapping photos peacefully, as the sky changed its colors and faded into night. The people all around us began to clap once the sun had fully set, and I was just amazed. This was by far one of the most breathtaking moments I’ve ever experienced.

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We stayed at 3 different hotels while we were in Oia — the first hotel was called Astarte Suites, and it was a very small, but charming place. It sat directly in the cliffs, and had so many steps in order to get to the property, but the views were so worth every moment of walking! It was definitely great exercise to say the least 😉 The hotel greeted us with glasses of champagne, and we enjoyed the amazing ocean views from our suite balcony. The second hotel was called Santorini Secret, and it was situated right directly in the middle of Oia which was super convenient and nice because the walking was minimal to get anywhere. We did enjoy this, as the hotel had a gorgeous private swimming pool overlooking the ocean, and amazing food (we ordered the spaghetti and ate it by the pool, it was so delicious!), however we DID experience an ant infestation in the morning in our room and we were not too happy about that. There also was not a shower in our room, only a bath, which for some people might be an issue. I am always going to be completely 100% honest about my full experiences anywhere, so yes, it was beautiful but there were some issues during our stay. 

The third hotel we stayed at was called Astra Suites, which was so so amazing and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. Our suite was overlooking the gorgeous island of Santorini, and the water was such a deep beautiful blue. We had an enormous private suite, with a private jacuzzi and we ordered room service at night as we watched the sky light up. The hot tub was also amazing to just relax with Meir and enjoy our night together.

But…the third hotel was where things started to go downhill for our trip. Everything was truly incredible really up until this point for us, until we both had gotten some sort of food poisoning there and we were in bed sick for the entire next day. We both had fevers, chills and nausea, and we couldn’t work or walk anyway. Meir had it much worse than I did, and he spent the day in bed taking medicine, sleeping and not eating a thing. I felt so terrible, but the hotel was SO understanding and sweet, and they made us hot soup and gave us plenty of water and medicine to take care of us, which I was so thankful for. I ended up feeling a bit better and taking care of Meir as he slept, and we stayed in the room the whole day. Luckily, it seemed to be a 24 hour thing, because the next day we both did feel somewhat functional again and still got to explore a bit, although we definitely took it easy.

After we recovered, we took a ferry back to Athens from Santorini and spent the night there. We had about 12 hours in Athens, and we stayed in an Airbnb. We found a healthy vegetarian spot near our place and ate there for both lunch and dinner, although we both still felt kind of queasy from being sick the day before so the eating was minimal. We got to see the Acropolis and shoot there for sunset while it was lit up, which was really amazing. I loved looking over the city and seeing everything lit up, bright against the darker shades of the sunset. There is a famous photo spot to get these amazing views, and we found it from searching on Google Maps. A ton of tourists were there to shoot the sunset too. Luckily, we were able to snap a photo when no one was around us 😉

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From Athens, we flew on a 5 AM flight to Zakinthos, which is a much less touristy island on the other side of Greece, far from Mykonos and Santorini. Zakinthos in my opinion was my least favorite island, and seemed pretty run down compared to the others, although I think this was Meir’s favorite! It was his birthday, so we wanted to do something special and explore as much as we could for the 24 hours that we had. We rented a car from the airport and we went on our way, with no real plan. We drove through the mountains (there is so much rocky terrain, and everything is so elevated!), where we were. The main town has its own little harbor, and as we drove out of it, the roads turned into hills and we were suddenly surrounded by pure green. It felt like an entirely different country. The air smelt so fresh and clean, and our surroundings were just pure nature. I was so exhausted at this point that I slept half the time in the car while Meir drove around, but about a half hour into the drive, he woke me up to a crowd of goats grazing in the middle of the highway! They were eating grass and just chilling casually on the road, staring at our car as we slowly drove past them. I was freaking out with excitement because I LOVE animals. I just thought they were adorable and I kept trying to take videos of them on my phone, but none of them really came out so great (haha!)

After driving for what seemed like hours, we found the road that led us to one of the most famous spots on the island, Shipwreck Beach. This was probably the most incredible place I’ve ever been, strictly because of the WATER. The water was such a rich, piercing, deep blue that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else in this world, I promise you. The water was sparkling from below as we climbed the mountains and the path to see the views from above. My mind couldn’t simply wrap around the fact that water could be so saturated, it looked completely fake to me. I thought Meir was about to cry of happiness of how gorgeous the view really was as we snapped photos and drone footage. This was my favorite part of Zakinthos, for sure, although at this point of our trip I was so burned out that I felt I almost couldn’t even appreciate it enough.

The rest of the trip was not exactly the smoothest experience. After grabbing lunch, we ended up parking on a hill and another tourist slammed into the back of our car. We ended up spending the next 2 hours in this spot, recording the details and speaking to the police, as both of our cars were rentals. I think at that point all we could do was make jokes and laugh about it. We were still recovering from being sick and then we had gotten into this little accident, so I felt that we didn’t get to experience Zakinthos the way we had hoped for, although there were still a lot of memorable moments and scenic views along the way :). We ended up crashing at a hotel that was super close to the airport, and from there we flew back to New York. I was definitely ready to go home, but the second we left I knew I’d be back to Greece next year. 

The experience we had overall was just truly  unforgettable. I am so thankful and blessed to be able to have experienced such beauty, and I can’t wait to visit again. 

I would love to hear if you are planning on visiting Greece, or if you have already been there and about your experience! 🙂

Xoxo,

Alyssa

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10 TIPS TO GAIN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

MY TOP 10 TIPS TO GAIN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS QUICKLY

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This is by far one of the most frequent questions I get asked, so I decided to make a detailed blog post about it. Here are my top 10 tips on how to grow your instagram account. The overall key is to STAND OUT amongst the rest. Instagram is my full time job, and it requires a ton of time invested, hard work, and commitment to create the content each day. I spend hours a day working on my content, so if you are ready to make this commitment, you will have a much higher change of great success! 😉

  1. Find your purpose. Set a goal for yourself of exactly how you want to brand yourself. I struggled with this idea for awhile and it made it a lot harder to grow and to get people to WANT to follow me. Do you want be known for your photography, your recipes, your workouts, your makeup tips, your music, etc.? Once you figure this out, it’ll be easier to strategize an actual plan for your future and it will establish a clear path for you to follow.
  2. Create a list of what type of content you want to put forth, and how you are going to add value to other peoples lives. I highly recommend putting out both photos AND video. These are both amazing ways to engage your audience with your content, but as video is becoming more of an engaging platform, I would invest time into making short video clips to allow your audience to get to see you on a more personal level. Video tends to bring higher engagement simply because it shows the real you and people will spend more time watching you then looking at your static image.
  3. Write thoughtful captions to engage your readers and the people who see your content. I always see the same repetitive captions on everyone’s photos over and over again and it gets old really fast. Put your thoughts into each photo or video you are sharing and be real. Be authentic to yourself and don’t copy others words, and more importantly…
  4. DON’T REPLICATE PEOPLE’S WORK. This is a problem I see occurring a lot and people wonder why it’s so difficult to grow. Stop copying other bloggers and influencers, and think of your own creative twist. It’s so amazing to get inspired by others work but ultimately the goal is to be someone new, refreshing and unique on the platform where there are so many replicas. Think of how you can create similar (not the same!!) content but with your own unique twist so you are standing out and offering people something new and different. The more creative you get with your content, the more likely people will follow you and define you as your own special self 😉
  5. Invest in your content. It is all about the small details. Dress up with accessories and find a spot that no one has photographed before to shoot at. Spend time planning your outfits, your hair, your location, your captions, whatever it may be. Find props that will accentuate the photo and bring out the colors, for example, a cozy red sweater and a red cup to match the fall colors in Central Park. Also, invest in your equipment. If you are shooting on a mobile device, that is an amazing start – but make sure the lighting is nice so you are able to edit and play with the colors in different photo apps or even better, Lightroom / Photoshop.
  6. Follow, like and comment on other people’s work who you admire. I think engaging with people who you aspire to be like is also an amazing way to grow because their followers may see your comment, and check out your page. If your pages are similar, they may choose to follow you. Sometimes different comments that have a personal feel to them really stand out to me and I’ll check the person’s page out when I read it.
  7. Don’t be afraid to collaborate. Send a direct message to someone who you feel would be an amazing person to work with and collaborate with. It’s always worth a shot. Also, using instagram stories to mention other accounts that you love, and do a “share” exchange of accounts is always great exposure and can attract a mutual exchange of followers to both of your accounts. Find people in your niche and reach out!!!
  8. Tag bigger accounts that repost other people’s work. There are hundreds of accounts that tag and repost other’s content to support their growth, so do your research. For example, there is a huge fashion page with over 8 million followers called American Style that reposts some of my work and I grow from her because she is so big, but she also benefits because she loves my content and receives a ton of engagement on her own page by reposting me. If your content is good enough and fits well with these bigger account’s pages, they may repost you and send their followers to your page.
  9. Use the appropriate hashtags and geotags. I am always researching different spots and tags wherever I am, especially when I travel, and I get to discover new accounts this way ALL the time. Don’t overdo it on the hashtags, but be relevant and use them in an efficient way to categorize yourself. For example, if your feed is all about travel, use the hashtag #travel and #adventure on some of your photos that correlate.
  10. BE YOU!! People can sense when you’re not being genuine, and true to yourself. Don’t force something that isn’t you. If you’re a fashionista, dive into fashion content. I forced myself trying to wear luxury clothes and designs 24/7, and I really don’t have a passion for that, so I started focusing on what I LOVED, traveling and creating scenic photos, and the results were so much better for me. 

I hope some of this tips will help you as you begin posting your content and building your instagram brand! Let me know in the comments if these are posts you would like to see more of, more tips, advice, tricks etc.! 

Xoxo,

Lyss <3

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20 Fun Facts About Me

Where Do I Start…

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Hi! My name is Alyssa and I am a lifestyle and travel creator based in New York City. I’m 24 years old and started creating content about 2 1/2 years ago. I am so excited to hit the refresh button and start a new blog, filled with my travel adventures, my daily style, beauty and wellness tips, and all of my personality in one place. For most of my life, I felt a bit lost, in the sense that I really felt like I had no direction of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to take myself into the future. I was often pulled in different directions – one minute I would want to pursue one thing, and before I knew it, I’d lose interest in it and try something new.

It took so much time for me personally to figure myself out, but I always had a passion for writing, taking photos, and just sharing my advice with my friends and family. So, a blog wouldn’t be too bad of an idea to allow you all to know me a little better.

20 Fun Facts About Me

1. I love public speaking (I am not shy by any means!) but I am also introverted at the same time, meaning I like my space, m time to be alone, and I get a little intimidated to approach people first. People often say I look super intimidating and they don’t have the courage to approach me but I feel the same way!! Never be afraid to say hi if you see me around 🙂 I love meeting you all.

2. I played every sport as a kid and did so many activities: everything from soccer to the chess club – because I had so much curiosity. Some of my favorite sports were basketball, volleyball, tennis, and horse back riding. I also grew up surrounded by musical theater and often performed in plays, and took singing lessons for over 10 years!

3. I still sing, and I tend to keep quiet about it but it’s something that I would love to keep doing and pursue more, aside from blogging and creating content 🙂

4. I have two older brothers who taught me a lot more than they probably know. I feel like I was always independent because I had two older brothers who helped me be a confident girl and even how to handle relationships with guys.

5. I have a hormone imbalance disorder called PCOS – poly cystic ovarian syndrome. It affects a lot of women who are in their menstrual years and it’s not really spoken about as often as I believe it should. It causes very irregular menstrual cycles, fatigue, depression, anxiety, acne, and weight gain. I have learned to control it immensely through diet and exercise and I was able to stop taking medication for it, which I am grateful for.

6. I went to college and studied English, with a minor concentration in global studies and cultures. I was always super interested in writing and reading, and I always had so much to say on paper so that’s where the idea of an English major stemmed from.  I honestly was super confused if it was the right path for me and I questioned myself a lot as a student because I wanted to do something different and I wanted to stand out. I didn’t want to be a teacher, I wanted to be a creator and an entrepreneur.

7. On that note, that entrepreneur mentality has always run through my blood. I wanted to work independently since I was 5 years old. I used to collect hundreds of plastic bottles and caps and cash them in, and sell all the things my parents would buy me on eBay. I would get gifts and just sell them and put all of the money in my savings. I would also have my own little garage sales and lemonade stands every weekend in front of my house. It’s so funny to think about now. When I was 10 years old I told my mom, I’m going to be someone different. And I think she really believed in me even from that age when I had no idea what I was really saying.

8. I’ve only had two very serious boyfriends, and one of them is the guy I’m currently dating and working with. You may have seen him featured in a lot of my content already on instagram 🙂 I want to make a separate post about this topic, but my first relationship was very different from my current one and I have learned so much through these relationships.

9. My favorite foods are penne vodka, pizza, avocado / sweet potato sushi, and okay, I’ll throw in a healthy one – sautéed veggies and brown rice in a wrap is my go to clean dinner most nights. I really have an undying love for Italian food but I gave up meat completely, I don’t eat fish, and I try to avoid dairy as much as possible. I would say my diet is mainly vegan but occasionally I still have dairy based products. I’m working on just cutting it out completely because it makes me feel super bloated.

10. My favorite desserts are endless, I have such a strong sweet tooth! I really don’t like candy, I’m more of a cake and cookies type of girl. My sweet tooth diet consists of chocolate lava cake (that warm kind with the exploding chocolate sauce), red velvet cupcakes, and chocolate chip cookies. I also have recently been hooked on this new vegan cookie dough I found at Whole Foods. So so good.

11. All of the places I’ve traveled to so far will be talked about throughout this blog, but my favorite place so far has to be Greece! Santorini and Mykonos were both so individually magical and I can’t wait to go back next summer. I found that September was the perfect time to go, the weather was gorgeous and it wasn’t as crowded!

12. I have two dogs that are my heart and soul, MAC and Tosh. I don’t have them at my New York apartment with me; they live with my parents on Long Island now. They are brother and sister and were named after Macintosh, the computer model. My brother thought of their names because he works at Apple, and he’s a computer nerd hahaha.

13. I love makeup, and I am a total makeup junkie even though I don’t post much about it on Instagram. I love experimenting with all different skincare as well. I’m going to make a different post about this with all of my current must have products! I can’t live without mascara and bronzer!

14. I have an obsession with coconut oil. I use it for literally everything: conditioning my hair, moisturizing my skin, and cooking with it in my foods. I truly believe it heals everything.

15. The number one thing I can’t stand is when someone is the opposite of who they portray themselves to be on social media. I find that being myself is such an amazing way to connect with people and I’m not afraid to be genuine. And show my true self in good and bad times. I find a lot of people put on a show .. but that doesn’t really last.

16. My favorite place to shop right now is Free People, Forever 21, H&M and Zara. I am not a huge fashionista and I never was super into luxury fashion! Although I think dressing well is important for my content and it just makes me feel great when I do. But I like to keep it as affordable as possible when I’m shopping.

17. I get really bad anxiety when I fly. My job consists of traveling everywhere and I know this may surprise some of you but I get the worst nerves in the air and I’m terrified of turbulence!! I feel safest when I have both feet on the ground.

18. If I had to pick one place to live for the rest of my life it would 100% be New York City. People always ask me why I love New York so much and it’s simply because of how much is always happening here and the amount of entertainment and vibrance it offers at literally any time of year. It’s really just amazing. Christmas and summertime are the best times of year!!!

19. My lucky number is 19 and here’s why: my birthday, my moms birthday and my brothers birthday all fall on the 19th. If that’s not crazy enough for you, my grandpa passed away on the 19th, the morning of my birthday. I would say 9 Times out of 10 I am assigned hotel rooms “19”, numbers in line that are 19, and I’ll be in the most random places and just see “19” on the wall, or written in the bathroom stall, or someone’s tattoo walking by, or a neon sign in a diner, etc. My entire existence has been linked to this number and it’s kind of scary but amazing.

20. My YouTube channel is YouTube.com/Effortlyss. If you didn’t know I had a YouTube channel, now you do!

I hope you got to know me a little bit better from this question and answer post. I’d love to answer even more of your questions, so feel free to comment some more below if you’d like! 😉

Xoxo,

Lyss <3

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Being Appreciative…

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I love you all so much for being so sweet to me, whenever I post anything your comments make my day and make me appreciate what I do even more. For those of you who don’t know what my job is, I am a lifestyle blogger. When you look at my posts, I want you to be inspired to go out there and create your own life. I want everyone to fulfill their dreams and be who they want to be. I grew up thinking I had to do certain things and have a certain job in order to make money but that simply isn’t true. When you follow your heart and your gut, the money will come. It’s never easy at first and I’ve had so many ups and downs throughout the journey of becoming someone who works for herself, but the hard work is all worth it to me. I hope what I do is inspiring you and can help you pursue your dreams. Think of me as a supportive friend, because I consider you all my friends and I want you all to win and succeed. 💕🙌🏽 Have an awesome weekend.

http://www.instagram.com/effortlyss

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