How to Find Your Own Instagram Style

          These days I have noticed a ton of popular Instagram influencers selling their own presets for editing.  I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with that, except that everybody's photos end up looking the same.  I think that kind of takes some of the individuality away from your feed.  I understand using them if you don't want to have your own style, but this post is for the people that do.
          My Instagram feed has never really changed too much.  I used to use filters, now I generally don't.  Occasionally I will use one but very subtly.  I like to keep my feed vivid and colorful.  My particular style has always been very nature oriented with bright colors.  I usually post lots of flowers, parks, trees, beaches, and trails.  I mix that in with my fashion posts to keep my feed representative of my life.  I am always going out to parks and beaches and since I love to post about fashion, my feed just naturally is a mix of the two.  I will also throw in some cute food photos, travel, or animal pics.  I guess I found my own style through being myself.  I have thought about trying to make it more artistic, but it just doesn't feel right.  I think the reason I love my feed so, so much is because it truly represents my life (the best parts mostly).  When I scroll through it makes me happy because it reminds me of so many happy times I have had.  I'm not saying that I think my Instagram page is perfect.  I know my photography skill can always be improved and some of my pics are shot with my iPhone SE.  Sometimes I think there is too much green in my feed and that is something that I am working on.  Also, I would really like to push myself to be more creative with photos but I really want to keep the majority of them "in the moment".
          I think the best way to find your own Instagram style is to avoid following trends.  I've seen so many pages where you scroll through and the photos change vastly with the trends.  Just decide what style you really want and go for it.  Try to stick to it or only change it up a bit if it's not working.  It's easiest to stick to a theme if it is somewhat representative of your life.  Don't choose to have a beach theme if you only go to the beach a few times a year.  Avoid only posting neutural photos if you wear color in reality.  It will just make things very difficult and you will find yourself wanting to divert from the theme.  Try not to copy other popular pages.  It's fine to get inspired but copying is never a good thing.  I would also suggest that you should avoid buying presets unless you really hate editing and plan to stick to just one or a few.  Every time I see an ad for Instagram presets it just makes me cringe.  I always think "I don't want my photos to be just like yours, I want them to be just like mine."

What to Wear on Memorial Day

DRESS: Papillon  |  BAG: Olivia Miller (similar)  |  CARDIGAN: Forever 21  |  SUNGLASSES: T.J. Maxx (similar)  |  SNEAKERS: Target (similar)
           For Memorial Day this year I just wore this dress that I got in a sample sale for Nordstrom Rack.  It's navy blue with little red and white flowers.  I really love the print.  It's subtile and a little bit patriotic.  My favorite thing to wear on Memorial Day is something red, white, or blue, but kind of subtile.  I like to save the more gaudy Americana clothing for the 4th of July.  I really don't have too many things that are appropriate for these holidays because I generally don't really like red and I've already worn them all in past years.  Luckily I remembered that I had this dress.
           This year my husband, puppy, and I just went for a little walk on the same path that I normally take my dog on.  It's a really nice path in Manhattan Beach that is perfect for dog walking.  A lot of stuff is still closed in California and I knew that the few places that would be open would be super busy.  We didn't want to be too adventurous for fear of not finding parking.  

What I Use My Belt Bag For

TOP: Zara  |  JEANS: Asos  |  BELT BAG: H&M (similar)  |  SNEAKERS: Target
          I have always been an advocate for belt bags or fanny packs, ever since I was little.  They are so convenient.  Over the years I have heard a lot of people kind of laugh at them.  Honestly, I don't understand.  I don't think they look funny at all.  I don't even wear them ironically.  My opinion of the people that laugh at them is that if they think something so simple is strange, then they must have no imagination or creativity at all.  They are so convenient and cute.  I got this belt bag from H&M last summer.  I was going to a music festival and wanted to have something convenient to hold all my necessities.  They are really perfect for any occasion where you don't want to have a purse swinging around, but you need to bring stuff.  I also wear one whenever I go hiking or for long walks.  I don't like to style it diagonally over the shoulder (the more modern way), because it's not as convenient.  Some other occasions you could make use of yours are: bike riding, exercising, shopping, doing hands on work outdoor if you aren't at home, or walking your dog.  If you haven't seen my older post about them check that out.  I sold my older one because the color didn't match a lot of my clothes.  

Pomeranian Pupdate

          I haven't really had much to blog about lately because I haven't been doing a lot of things or wearing anything especially cool.  I decided to do a little update on my puppy.  We got one a few months ago, if you haven't seen my first post about him.  His name is Luca and now he is 4 and a half months old.  He is growing up so fast.  He is starting to enter into the Pomeranian "uglies" stage where they lose their puppy fur and begin to grow the adult coat.  I'm not sure what he will look like because I have never had a pom.  Hopefully that stage doesn't last too long, lol.  
          Lately, we have been able to take him out to parks and trails because the restrictions are starting to be lifted.  Luckily, dog parks have opened up and we have been going a lot.  He really loves it there.  He absolutely loves to play with other dogs.  Unfortunately, not a lot of little dogs really love to play so some of the time he is just running around by himself.  He is hilarious and loves to chase the bubbles that we blow for him.  It's fun to see his personality really come out as he grows.  

White Tank at the Dog Beach

NECKLACE: Forever 21 (similar)  |  TOP: H&M  |  SUNGLASSES: TJ Maxx (similar)  |  SHORTS: Target
          Some beaches in Southern California finally opened back up yesterday so we were able to get our puppy out to play.  We have been working on taking him to as many open parks and trails as we can without putting ourselves and others at risk.  Most parks aren't open though.  It's been really difficult because our puppy needs to get properly socialized.  When we heard the news that OC beaches opened up we were pretty excited.  We took him to Huntington Beach Dog Beach.  He has been to this beach twice before, before it shut down.  He was so happy to go back and dig in the sand.  
          I have been blogging with my phone camera because I feel kind of weird using my big camera. I'm not really sure if that is appropriate or when it will become appropriate.  I guess I will just have to wait and see.  Also, I have been wanting to blog this top for around a year and I don't think I ever did.  I got it in the sale section at H&M last summer.  I love the detail on the neckline.  It feels very casual but it also super cute.  

Pearl Accessory Trend

BOBBY PINS: H&M (similar)  |  HEADBAND: H&M (similar)  |  ROUND EARRINGS: Shop Miss A  |  FLOWER EARRINGS: ASOS (similar)  |  SUNGLASSES: Zero UV  |  SHELL CHARM: Souvenir from Key West  |  PEARL NECKLACE: Souvenir from Hawaii
          Pearls have been a trend forever, of course, but they have been back in a whole new way.  As of  the past few summers they have been on everything and in such a less predictable way.  You can find basically any piece of jewelry or accessory made to look pearl-y or with pearl accents.  I love how they look with a cute summer dress or basic denim outfit.  have always loved them because they remind me of the ocean and mermaids but they are also pretty classy.  I can definitely see this trend extending into this summer.  Break out your pearls.

All-Time Favorite Instagram Pics

          While reflecting back at my normal life from quarantine, I decided to post about my favorite photos.  This was incredibly difficult to do because I love all of my Instagram pictures.  At first I decided to choose 10, then 20, now I have nearly 40.  I couldn't eliminate it any further but I still have a ton of runner ups.  I have so many amazing memories when I look at these pictures.  That is one of the many reasons why I love blogging and Instagram.  It's so easy to look back at the best moments of the past few years.  My account is @fancyfashioncastle, if you'd like to see the others and maybe follow me.  I'm just going to do a short explanation of each pic.  These are in no particular order.  
The day we brought home our new puppy Luca!
Fall leaves at Big Bear 
Chinatown in L.A. 
Flying into Chicago for my wedding reception
The day we got married in Carmel, CA
Really tall waterfall at Haleakala National Park on our honeymoon
Just some flowers and a sunset on the shores of Lake Michigan
Gary Air Show in my Gray Malin boater Sperrys
The day we got married in Big Sur
Road trip through Canada, Lake Superior
My favorite Easter Dress
Hiking my favorite trail in Sequoia National Park
A pretty sunset.  I just love the lighting and color.
One of my favorite spots in Big Sur
The Flower Fields, and one of my favorite type of flower.  Ranunculus were in my wedding bouquet.  
A sea cave near where I live
Pretty picture of Laguna 
Hiking at the Indiana Dunes State Park on a Black Friday
D.I.Y. engagement photos
A very pretty pic of Paris
A colorful pic in London
I'm a big fan of cute inflatables 
Hiking to Queens Bath in Hawaii
Running and jumping on the red dirt in Kauai 
Pretty views and flowers in Yosemite N.P. 
The engagement photo that was on our "save the date."
My families dog, Skipper in his element
Climbing on rocks at Lake Superior
Poppy fields at Walker Canyon, CA
After getting engaged in Paris. 
A beach bag that my mom gave me
At the beach in Indiana
A really hot day in Louisville
Sand dunes in Lake Michigan at a beach we call "secret beach"
Sparkly buildings in Toronto
Millennium Park, Chicago
Another floaty pic, from the blog