Flares and Fringe at Create and Cultivate

I’m going to be really honest with you today and share something I haven’t told anyone. I’ve thought about quitting blogging. Actually the idea has crossed my mind many times – and very recently I got to the point where I felt I needed to make some serious decisions. The thing most people don’t realize is just how much time and effort goes in to each and every blog post. Everything from coming up with the idea, shooting images, editing, writing, and more editing. Video is a whole different animal and I won’t even get into that. Basically it is hard work – and since I am not working my full-time job anymore, this is also my job.

But the blog is also a part of me,  it is my second baby that I’ve nurtured and loved for three years and sometimes it is hard to see me or my baby as a ‘business’. Some examples: for years I wouldn’t use more than 2-3 hashtags on any given instagram post because I thought hashtags were annoying – especially hashtag paragraphs (and i still think that) but in order for people to organically find me – which is key to growing – it is important for me to include the right hashtags. I’ve also never created a business plan, and I didn’t have a crystal clear idea of who my reader is. For someone coming from a Business Development/Sales background, I understand how important having a plan is, even if it is just a loose outline. Even though I have had some major successes here that I am really proud of, I’m just not satisfied because I know I can do so much more.

With all of this in mind, I attended Create and Cultivate, a conference held in Chicago full of creative minds and entrepreneurs. All of the panelists are killing it in their respective fields so I was really excited to learn their secrets to success.  My friend and fellow blogger Tahsin of Tahsin the good came too, all the way from Toronto and it was a really nice reunion since I hadn’t seen her since college and both of our lives have changed so much since then.

The conference was really inspiring, and I took away a lot from hearing the personal experiences of the speakers and mentors, especially learning about their failures and personal insecurities (they are just like us!). A common thread I found amongst all of these wildly successful people was 1) they all made mistakes (some made huge ones) that they learned from 2) they didn’t take no for an answer and more importantly they didn’t take it personal  3) they were confident (whether real or fake) about their blog or business – because they needed to be in order for others to believe in them.I’m going to do another post where I summarize more of what I learned so I can offer you those tips because there is a lot of information. Stay tuned for that!

What I wore: I love a great flare leg and fell in love with this bold printed pair – I can’t tell you how many people complimented me on these pants at the conference. I mean, literally all.day.long. I know they are a little loud so you can’t help but get noticed in them. To balance out the print, I paired with a simple chambray top tied at the waist and a mule sandal. Big thanks to  @theGlamApp for my hair, and Lanisay for my gorgeous fringe bag!

flare-pants-chambray-topcrown-braid-sana-yasin-clutch sanayasincrown-braidella-moss-flare-legPants | Top | Sandals | Bag | Earrings | Watch  | Ring |Bangle – Rocksbox (get your free trial using offer code LoveZahraxoxo at checkout)

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There are some trees with seeds that only grow after a fire. Their seeds are completely sealed with a resin that have to be physically melted off by a great fire in order to propagate. So to do we as humans, gain wisdom only after great pain and suffering.*
A month ago (and one day) I lost my sister and best friend to cancer. I am still completely gutted and broken. But, I’m also so so grateful to have had felt the love that now brings me so much heartbreak. ❤️ I am so inspired by her - and I will forever live my life to honor her memory. Miss you sis ❤️
Classic outfit combo: oversized blazer + denim 🖤fendi mules @shoeslutz
Just a mom who loves mums 🌸 🪴
Cozy for a coffee date ☕️
French. Toast. Egg. Bake. Save this recipe for a weekend or holiday brunch - it’s SO good and fool-proof! I’m not even a sweet person and I love it. The pecans are a non-negotiable IMO - I get honey bourbon vanilla pecans for this and it is just heavenly. Enjoy!
Current everyday makeup routine 💋
Loves a good hair before and after ❤️(Roots + highlights + toner + deep conditioning) @miguelzavala_zazusalonwheaton
Peak Autumn beauty 🍂 These two pictures were taken only 10 days apart ~ look how much the color has changed! I love to go for a walk and admire all the gorgeous foliage - so much fun. This side of my house is officially my favorite: a mix of shrubs including hydrangea, blue spruce, beautyberry, euonymus, pine, boxwood, burning bush, viburnum, smokebush, and you can even see the Japanese maple peeking out from the backyard 🍂#fallfoliage #autumn