Quirky. Type A. Workaholic.


I am so excited for today's post. I have some amazing bloggers lined up in the next 10 days to post here on Practically Imperfect while I'm in India! My first guest, Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster, is sharing her thoughts on blogging, branding, and life. Carly has definitely influenced me since starting my own blog. She always posts relatable and inspiring content that really sets a standard. She knows who she is and stays smart with her brand. Getting to chat with Carly at the Smart Girls Conference last summer was a pleasure, and I can't even begin describe how much I learned from her and her fellow panelists!
How do you stay inspired? I try to just take in everything that's around me. There are ALWAYS things to be inspired by, you just have to look for it.

What do you think has been the biggest contributing factor to your success as a blogger? There is definitely a mix of things that I think contributed to the success of my blog. I absolutely started at the right time– that is, very early on. And then I also stuck with it. I also try to write and share things that I would want to read that I haven't been published everywhere. 

When did you did you decide to turn your hobby of blogging into a business? It wasn't so much a decision as something that just happened. I started to be offered money from brands and for taxes I incorporated. The income steadily grew throughout the years and it just kind of clicked over time! 

You put out new content every single day and sometimes multiple times a day. How do you maintain such consistency and discipline? A big part of it is that I LOVE what I do. When I was in college, blogging was the best distraction from school, a great creative outlet. I just got in the habit of posting every day! (Now, there are things I wish I could do every day like working out, but I'm just not passionate about that enough I guess, ha!) It's also become my job now, so posting every day isn't that difficult when I don't have to be in an office working for someone else eight hours a day! 

What you are three favorite wardrobe staples? Blazer, skinny jeans, and cable knit sweaters.

What are some of the challenges and perks of being your own boss? It's the best and worst thing in the world. The best part is that I have complete control over what I do, and the worst part is that I have complete control over what I do. I don't have someone giving me a set agenda every morning or week, or setting goals and milestones for me to hit. I have to do that for myself. I tend to over-discipline myself and not recognize the good work that I do. Sometimes, when I'm stuck on a problem, I wish there was a "boss" I could ask for advice from. BUT, I definitely learn the most by having to figure it out on my own, even if I make a few mistakes along the way. 

During the weekend, your favorite thing to do is…Take Teddy to the park to play!

How has your personal brand evolved over the years? I think it's evolved in the sense that I evolve as a person, as I grow up. So much of the "brand" is myself!

What are your tips for living in New York City? Stock up on patience and learn to budget. It's a bit ironic that half of the things in NYC are SO convenient and the other half of things are the opposite of convenient. You can order groceries online and have them delivered straight to your door, but traveling three miles can take over an hour.

Things are expensive in NYC too. Budgeting is key, and it looks different for every person. 

At the Smart Girls Conference this past summer you discussed the transition from “The College Prepster“ to “Carly”. In what ways do you anticipate change and in what ways do you plan on keeping your personal brand the same? I take it one day, one opportunity at a time. I don't have a master plan, but I have a feeling it will sort itself out. (I also have a manager now who will help with the growth!) 

What is your biggest piece of advice to new bloggers? Do it because you LOVE it. If you love what you do, you will ALWAYS be successful. From Day 1!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I can never answer this question! I could not imagine five years ago that I would be where I am now. I prefer to take things as they come and enjoy the ride!

Thank you, Carly for bringing your wonderfully quirky, type a, workaholic self to Practically Imperfect for this post! Just in case you aren't already, you can follow Carly on her blogInstagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours love, peace, and joy on this Christmas day. This year, my family is breaking out of our holiday traditions by spending Christmas in New York City. Usually we host a big Christmas Eve party (with a guest appearance from Santa himself!), go to the candlelight service at church, and wake up early Christmas morning to open gifts with the whole family. It's always so wonderful. What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions with your family? 


Holiday Happenings

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!! I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season. Mine is usually full of lots of food and family and tradition, but this year I'm spending the holidays a little differently! 

If you haven't already noticed from my Instagram feed, I'm on quite the adventure! After a crazy week of finals, I spent two days packing, and then hopped on a plane to New York City with my family! This year, we're spending Christmas in The City, and it could not be more magical. We've been here for less than 24 hours and it's already shaping up to be one of my favorite trips yet. 

On the 26th, my family is taking me back to the airport and I'm leaving for India for the next 10 days. I have been looking forward to this trip for years and now it's almost time! 

I can't wait to share my experiences (and many, many photos!) with you all! Posting from me may be a bit sporadic, but I have some amazing guest posters lined up! Like, uh-maze-zing! So be sure to check in often! 

Happiest of holidays from my family to yours. I hope tonight is merry and bright and that your Christmas is filled with love, peace, joy. 


Neutral Tones


Being serious for more than two seconds is just impossible. 

Photos by Bill Payne

This is one of my new favorite outfits! I had been searching for a pair of booties forever and finally found these Vince Camuto's hidden on a shelf and on huge sale at Nordstrom Rack. #score When I got home from shopping, I dug around my closet and put together this outfit! I have always been hesitant with mixing neutral tones, but now I think the "never mix black with brown" philosophy is completely wrong! I love this look because it is perfect for a casual day out, but the heels and hat add a dressier aspect as well. Aside from how this outfit looks, it's one that I just feel really confident in. And that's what matters when it comes to style. 

Do you have an outfit or specific piece that boosts your confidence? Share below! 


Gift Guide

The lights are up, my house is decorated, and holiday shopping is now in full swing! I personally LOVE shopping for Christmas presents and today I rounded up a few of my very favorite go-to gifts. What I have found to be most helpful when it comes to gift giving is to keep it thoughtful. Spending a certain amount on a gift isn't the point, buying a meaningful and special present is. Of course budgeting is important, but if one friend gets a homemade gift, one gets a $12 present, and another gets a $50 one... it's okay! This is why the items on this list don't stick to a specific price point and range from about $10 to $100. 

What are some of your favorite go-to gifts this holiday season? Happy Shopping!