Terra McBride: Love Nothing More

As many of my longtime readers know, ever since I started my blog I try and squeeze in a few interviews with my fellow bloggers and creatives each year. Well, this year, I am trying something a little different and am trying to have a new face on here each month! I have decided to do this because I feel it is incredibly important to stay connected in the community and feel that it is a great way to meet other bloggers and artists, as well as provide my readers with some new content to check out!

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

This month, my first interview of 2018, I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to interview a fellow blogger and Pittsburgher, Terra McBride. For those of you who do know know Terra, she is the face behind the fashion and lifestyle blog, Love Nothing More, and she is honestly one of my personal favorite bloggers. For one, her writing style is open, relaxed and incredibly welcoming, and of course like any fashion blogger, she has killer style. But that's enough of me talking about her, so let's get to the interview and you can see all of these things for yourself!

Terra McBride: Love Nothing More

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

Bree Fesh: When did you first develop a love of style and an interest in the fashion world?

Terra McBride: Fashion has been a huge interest of mine since I was quite young. I would spend countless hours pouring over my Sassy and YM magazines, trying to figure out how to copy the fashions and hairstyles on display. I distinctly remember watching every episode of MTV’s House of Style with Cindy Crawford and Fashion Television on VH1 with Jeanne Beker. That’s how I first discovered André Leon Talley, as a matter of fact. He was often interviewed for Fashion TV after shows.   

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

I started sewing when I was six years old. But I never considered fashion as a career path. I’ve never thought of myself as very creative and when I was younger, I thought I’d grow up to be a psychologist. So I kept fashion at arms length. Until a friend shared a style blog with me. The blogger was based in NYC. I searched for something similar in Pittsburgh. There wasn’t anything like that at the time, so I decided someone needed to show off our beautiful city and feature the boutiques we had available. And my first blog was born!

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: When did you first start your blog, Love Nothing More, and what made you decide to start it?

TM: I’ve been blogging since 2009. But I took a hiatus between 2013-2015 when I changed jobs and I was asked to quit. To be honest, I was burned out. With my old blog, I carried my camera with me and took my own pictures with a tripod and a remote every single day. After I had my daughter, I just wasn’t loving it anymore. The break was a great opportunity to reset my priorities and figure out exactly how I wanted to approach things the second time around.  

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

I started Love Nothing More in December 2015 because I missed the community and the outlet. It’s so exciting to see how fashion and personal style blogging has changed. Hopefully my voice adds a unique perspective to the conversations happening!

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: You mention in your "About Section" that you moved to Pittsburgh, at first just as a pit stop, back in 2006. So I'm curious, where are you originally from, where were you initially headed, and what made you decide to stay here in the 'Burgh?

TM: My hometown isn’t so far from Pittsburgh. I’m originally from Meadville, PA, straight up I-79 and just south of Erie. I always felt like a big city girl stuck in a small town though, so I knew I’d leave at some point. And I did. I lived in Washington D.C. for a couple years working for the Pennsylvania governor as part of the lobbying office down there. Eventually, I moved back to Meadville for graduate school. I always told myself that move back would be temporary. So my intent was to head back to D.C. after grad school to be with my friends there, but I bumped into an old high school classmate who stole my heart.

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

His company had plans to open an office in the Pittsburgh region and they wanted him to spearhead that initiative. I figured Pittsburgh was a step in the right direction. So when the time was right, I started searching for jobs. I landed at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and, because my work was deeply involved with the rejuvenation of downtown, I convinced CJ to get an apartment in Downtown Pittsburgh. We were entrenched in the city experience from the beginning. We took full advantage of our central access to everything Pittsburgh had to offer. We could feel that something special was happening here. When our friends from Chicago and Philly would visit, their reactions were always shock, because they thought Pittsburgh was dirty and boring. But it was quite the opposite. It didn’t take long for me to get over myself and recognize that Pittsburgh suited us quite well. It was just big enough and just far enough from my hometown to satisfy my need for city life. And it was just small enough and close enough that we could stay connected to family and build an amazing life for ourselves. Eventually, CJ asked me to marry him on the rooftop deck of our apartment building with the city rising up on one side and the river flowing on the other. Saying yes to him and Pittsburgh are my two best life decisions!

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: Also in your about section, you mention if we were to meet in a pub, one thing you would want to talk about is the best vegan meal each of us have ever had. So, I'm curious, are you vegan? And if so, what is one of your favorite dishes, because about the only vegan thing I can make is a salad!

TM: The best way to describe my choice is that since 2009, I’ve followed a strict, vegan-inspired diet. I still wear silk, wool and leather though. I have a few favorite vegan dishes but two of my go-tos are Oh She Glow’s Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Both are hearty and flavorful, which makes them incredibly satisfying. Plus anytime I hear the word caramelized or goddess, I tend to get on board.  

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: Though your blog's focus is primarily on fashion, it also covers topics ranging from health and lifestyle as well. This being said, what is your favorite topic (or favorite topics) to write about?

TM: This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on my mood and what I’m experiencing in my life at the time. I guess my favorite thing to write about is my honest life. What am I wearing? What is life with my daughter like? How am I trying to be my best self? How am I succeeding? How am I failing? I hope that what I write resonates with people but in the end, all that matters is I put my real self out there.

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: I love that you have a list of some of your favorite blogs on your page, it’s quite refreshing to see bloggers support one another with how competitive our field can sometimes be. So, in your opinion, why do you feel it is important for bloggers to build one another up within the community?

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

TM: Well, that’s how things were when the fashion blogger community started. When you made the decision to blog, you did it because you wanted an outlet for your thoughts, a place to be creative and to meet like-minded people. Not because you wanted to be a professional blogger. Having a blogroll was a way to say, “I enjoy how these people present their perspectives and I think you should know them.”

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

We need to lift each other up for lots of reasons, not the least of which is because it’s the right thing to do. I believe it’s important to embrace the full spectrum of perspectives on fashion, culture and style. It enriches our broader community. And you know what? There are lots of points of view that I appreciate even though they’re not my own. I think it’s rather arrogant to believe I could offer everything my readers could ever want on my blog. Sharing other blogs means I get to serve up a richer experience for my own little Love Nothing More community! Plus, I love the idea of amplifying the voices of other people.

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: With the last question in mind, do you have any advice for bloggers that are just starting out? If so, what is it?

TM: My advice has always been the same: BE YOURSELF. Authenticity has been and always will be the secret to long-term success. If you wouldn’t enjoy something as a reader, then don’t do it to yours. Don’t work with brands that you wouldn’t use your own dollars to support. And don’t be afraid to say no when something isn’t a good fit.

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: Considering you run a style blog, you obviously have killer fashion sense (and I admittedly stalk your Instagram and get a slight case of wardrobe envy every time), so who are some of your biggest style inspirations?

TM: You flatter me! Thank you :)

My answer to this question seems to morph daily. I’m such a Gemini. Ok, soooo… my biggest style inspirations right now include but are not limited to Michelle Williams (that hair!), Jacey Duprie, Geri Hirsch, Nicole Richie, Blaire Eadie and Krystal Bick.

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF:  From reading your blog, I noticed that you also love Stranger Things, being a huge fan of the show myself, I just have to ask, who is your favorite character?! (Mine is Hopper!)

TM: Best question ever. Yeah, I love Hopper! And before I rewatched the entire series I probably would have agreed with you. But when I went back to the beginning, knowing where Joyce Byers ends up, her character arc is the one I appreciate the most. On the surface she seems like a quivering, helpless mom. But she was fighting, alone, to keep people focused on what she knew to be true. She always believed her son was alive. When she told Hopper kids bullied him and called him gay, Hopper says, “Is he?” And her response without pause is, “HE’S MISSING.” She never gave up on him. She hovers over him in Season 2 but come on! Of course she does. She kept communication with Will open and got him to explain what he was seeing so that she could help him. I see myself in Joyce as a mom and as a strong woman. JOYCE BYERS 2020!

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: Recently, you wrote a guide on how to shop for luxury items at discounted prices online, which was super helpful by the way, and I urge those reading this to check it out here. So, if you have one, what is your favorite luxury steal that you're styling right now? (Personally, I'm super envious of the Helmut Lang blazer.)

TM: Oh, thank you so much! That blazer just won’t quit. It’s got to be my most valuable piece in my closet, especially when you consider price per wear. Second to that is probably my red Céline sunglasses that I snagged from eBay. They always make me feel sophisticated, even in jeans and a t-shirt.  

Photograph by  Wellesley & King

Photograph by Wellesley & King

BF: Last but not least, since I know you're a music lover, what are the top five bands you think everyone should give a listen to right now?

TM: AWESOME question!

My Top Five Bands RN…

  1. Post Animal - Since we’re talking about Stranger Things, Joe Keery (Steve) used to be in this band. He had to quit because he couldn’t dedicate the time to touring. Boo. Start with “When I Get Home.”

  2. Faces On Film - Start with “Daytime Nowhere”

  3. Night Moves - Start with “Only To Live In Your Memories” and move on to “Carl Sagan”

  4. Cool Ghouls - Start with “The Mile”

  5. Natural Child - Start with “DTV”

What do you think of Terra's advice, and which look of her's here is your favorite? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic!

Can't get enough of Terra's style? Be sure to subscribe to her blog Love Nothing More and follow her on Instagram at @spicymeatball! Later, babes.

Xx, Bree

2017: Recap, Reflection, and What's To Come

Whoa, whoa, whoa! I cannot believe that the new year is only four days away! And though 2017 hasn't been the best year ever, considering it has definitely hit some ultimate lows, it has also had some great highs too. From the #MeToo movement empowering women to Prince Harry proposing to Meghan Markle, 2017 really did have some positive points minus the cloud of negativity overshadowing it. So, hopefully, 2018 will end this cycle of negativity and will continue the positive aspects of 2017, which I think we'd all agree that we need. (Not to mention, the new year starts on a Monday, so what better time to rejuvenate and make positive changes?!)

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As many of my long time readers know, 2017 has not been an easy year for me either. Early this year, someone I cared for, and still care for, deeply, ended our romantic relationship, and though we are now still friends, the breakup was not easy on either of us. And as a result of this I took a hiatus from blogging to just do me for much of the first half of the year. However, after spending sometime traveling and practicing a great amount of self-love along with positive thinking, I came back to the blogging game and my blog is now stronger than ever and is continuing to grow rapidly (more on this in the "what's to come" section of this post)! So, much like the year 2017, I myself have had some low points, but I feel the high points have surpassed them, so I just wanted to take a moment to recap my "Best Nine" of 2017, and share what I have planned for the new year.

Lovely In Lace (Feat. StyleWe)

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My top ranking post this year was actually this little number from StyleWe, who has now been one of my sponsors for over a year now, and I actually have some more upcoming collaborations with them next year. Which thrills me because I'm sure you know from my past posts that I absolutely adore their clothing. 

Autumn Hues (Feat. StyleWe) 

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Speaking of StyleWe, my next top ranking post was actually of this fabulous dress from them as well! As you can see, I'm sure it was a favorite due to its lush color and assmetrical cut.

Summer Vacation Style Guide 2017

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My next follower favorite was actually my style guide when I showed off my vacation packing list for my trip to New Orleans this summer. 

Partnership With Sally Hansen

Next up, if you follow me on Instagram I'm sure you saw my post about my exciting collaboration with Sally Hansen and you got to see my awesome manicure featuring their new InstaDry nail polish.

Elegance Underneath (Feat. PPZ Lingerie)

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My fifth highest ranking post was actually my partnership with PPZ, which featured this gorgeous set of lingerie plus a kick-ass body positive message.

Style Steals & Holiday Deals 

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Much like every year, my holiday steals and deals posts are always a hit! So I wasn't surprised to see that this flat lay made the list.

Warm & Fuzzy (Feat. SheIn + Rocksbox)

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My next ranking post, featuring two of my longtime sponsors SheIn and Rocksbox, took the seventh spot in my Best Nine. And I have to say that though these two sponsors have been with me since the very beginning, I'm still thrilled to continue to work and partner with both of these wonderful companies.

Holiday Gift Guide

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Much like my holiday steals posts, gift guides have also always taken a top spot and the year 2017 is no different! Aside from featuring some new sponsors.

Let's Get Knit Started (Feat. StyleWe)

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Last but not least, my final photo in my Best Nine is yet again, another lovely dress from StyleWe.

What's To Come for Stark Raving Chic in 2018

Even though 2017 had a few ups and downs, I have to say after looking back at all my achievements (along with some non-blog related ones such as going back to college and getting a 4.1 GPA after my hard work this semester), 2017 actually wasn't all that bad of a year and I am so happy with how far my blog has come and am looking forward to it continuing to grow. So, what's next?

Well, starting next year, now that I am more acclimated to being back in the grind of college, I plan on going back to posting once a week opposed to biweekly because I missed writing (and all of you) tons! So, going into the new year and next semester I am working on managing my time better and have re-broken out my trusty editorial calendar to keep me better organized. And speaking of blogging and staying organized, due to the high demand for more blogging tips posts, I will also be trying to do more tutorial style/blogging for beginners posts along with my typical style posts.

And lastly, along with adding more insight about how to blog successfully and keeping organized, I also have a bunch of exciting new material that I will be sharing with you all within the next year. These things will be ranging from some awesome new collaborations, along with some more lifestyle/travel posts, and to top it off, you know there might even be a giveaway (or two!!).  And of course, I will be continuing to work with my favorite sponsors, so you'll be seeing new material from them too!

Needless to say I am so stoked for 2018 and am looking forward to what's to come. But I would also like to take a moment to thank all of my followers, readers, and loved ones, because without you guys I wouldn't be the success that I am today. So thank you all, and I wish you the happiest new year!

What are you guys excited for in 2018? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic. And be sure to follow me on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic to stay updated on all my latest posts. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

Welcome Back! (Feat. Life Updates, New Blogging Schedule, and Clothing by Make Me Chic)

Hi, everybody! It's been awhile hasn't it? First off, I would like to apologize for taking a much longer than anticipated hiatus, however if you read my last post, I'm sure many of you have assumed that I simply needed some extra time to heal and focus on myself, which you would be correct in assuming. But now I am back, feeling rejuvenated, and more ambitious than ever! I suppose the old saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" holds true to me, even if in this case it's in regards to my blog. 

With that being said (and I'm sure you've guessed by the title), I do have some life updates for you all which means I will also be on a new blogging schedule. But first, let's dive into today's outfit of the day, featuring a comfy, yet chic maxi dress from my sponsor, Make Me Chic.

Underestimated Earth Tones

Firstly, I just have to say, though I've been gone the past few months, I was surprised and grateful for the outpouring of kindness and support that I still continued to receive. (I promise I will answer all of your comments everyone, and thanks again!!) But though I will answer your comments individually, I know a lot of you lovely people have been wondering what exactly I've been up too, as well as if I've been alright.

As I stated earlier, I am doing much better than the last time you guys heard from me. And though my life did change rather abruptly, it was totally for the better. Though at the time I did not see it as a positive change, now looking back on the situation with a new set of eyes and a whole lot of clarity, it was most definitely more toxic than I would like to admit. But on the bright side, I most definitely grew from the experience and I'm excited to start this new chapter in my life.  

So, what have I been up too? Well, for starters, I have been spending gobs of time with my family and friends, and have even made some new ones along the way. I have also been extremely busy in order to return to my classes at Point Park University this fall, which is actually why I am implementing a new blogging schedule, but more on that later. I am also happy to say that I am back to my sarcastic, but cheery, self and have been enjoying styling some of my favorite trends this summer (though, I still need to desperately detox my wardrobe--I guess that'll come in due time). So on that last note, lets talk about this cool, casual maxi dress from my sponsor Make Me Chic.

As my long time readers know, one thing I am an absolute sucker for is maxi dresses. The reason I love them so much is because not only do they flatter my tall frame, they are also incredibly comfortable and generally have a nice bohemian vibe. This dress is no different, which it was why my first pick to wear on a nice summer stroll through Sewickley, and to stop and poke around the local flower shop.

The first thing I noticed about this dress wasn't just the fun tie-dyed pattern, but the fact that it was made up of earth tones, which are admittedly some of my favorites to wear. I just absolutely loved that though this dress is whimsical, it is also practical in its colors meaning its perfect for many different summer activities. This dress is also incredibly soft and just feels like you're wearing an oversized tee, meaning it isn't too hot for some of those 90 degree days we will be having in our near future.

Makeup: Face, BareMinerals Original Foundation and Blush. Eyes, City Minis Palette by Maybelline, Plumpify Mascara by Covergirl. Lips, Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Liner and Covergirl Oh Sugar Lipstick.  ** All eye and lip makeup for this post was provided by  Influenster  .

Makeup: Face, BareMinerals Original Foundation and Blush. Eyes, City Minis Palette by Maybelline, Plumpify Mascara by Covergirl. Lips, Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Liner and Covergirl Oh Sugar Lipstick.

**All eye and lip makeup for this post was provided by Influenster.

Finally, to style this dress, I chose to pair it with a basic, straw hat, these Gorjana, Ryder Ear Climbers, along with this darling beaded necklace by Nakamol and my SLATE Moonlight Daydream cuff. The reason I chose these pieces is because I felt each of them complemented this dress' whimsical nature nicely, without being too over the top, which would take away from this dress' down to earth vibe. 

New Blogging Schedule

Now that I got the fun stuff out of the way, here is some important information regarding my posts in the upcoming future! As I stated above, I have been incredibly busy getting ready to head back to school this fall and will be caring a full course load. Meaning, I won't have as much time to dedicate to my blog as I did in years past. However, don't worry, I'm not quitting altogether! 

Though the next few months maybe trial and error of getting my schedule down pat (mainly so I'm not a stressed out mess between studying, homework, and this) I am first going to start off with doing biweekly posts. These posts will go live sometime during the first week of each month, and the third week of each month. That way it gives me more time to write worthwhile articles (as I'm sure you can recall me addressing a few months back) as well as keeping up on my schooling! And though I'm sure you are already aware, I will still be posting within my main categories (and come September there will even be a new travel post!) so though I'm scaling back on my posts, I am not scaling back on the variety that you guys find here. So everyone wins right?!

One Last Look

What are some of your favorite trends you've been styling this summer? And to my fellow college bloggers, what's your strategy to keep your sanity while juggling school work and your blog? Let's chat about both these topics in the comments below, or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have a cute summer look you'd just love to show off? Feel free to tag me on your Instagram story at  @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. I just want to say thank you again to the out pouring of support that I received from all of you while I was feeling so down. It's truly ever so kind of all of you and I am so thankful for all of you and your kind words. ❤️

 

P.P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

Also, In case you haven't heard, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

Blogging Hiatus: 2017

Hi everybody! Though I really was not planning on taking a hiatus this year (And don't worry, I won't be gone for months on end like my last hiatus, I'll just be away for 10 days!)  but due to some recent emotional trauma, I feel that it is best to take a short break and regroup. Though this is a hard time for me, I assure you all that I will be okay, and am trying to remain positive though I am currently devastated and heartbroken. I just need sometime to heal and get my head back in the game. So I'll see you all in a little over a week. Later babes, I can't wait to get back on track!

Xx, Bree