It’s funny how over the years bloggers have increasingly become style icons. Even before I started my own, I always looked to fashion bloggers for styling tips and inspirations. One of the first bloggers I connected with when I started was Christine, of Daily Kongfidence. Her style is always effortless and on trend, yet simultaneously timeless and elegant. Little did I know this super stylish lady was also a mama to 3 adorable kiddos! I’m not a mom yet, but I knew right away I wanted to pick her brain on her blog, personal style, time management tips, and being a mom! Read on below to learn more about Christine, who is definitely a style icon you should check out.
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look

Meet Christine from Daily Kongfidence

Introduce yourself and your blog!
Hi, my name is Christine Kong of @dailykongfidence and Daily Kongfidence.  I started my blog a year ago (seven months after I started my Instagram account) to provide more than just photos of my outfits.  I wanted a place for my readers to go to get style tips and advice, why I pick certain accessories or statement pieces to create a look, and also to see a more personal side of me that you don’t get off the little squares of Instagram from my personality through my writing, lifestyle choices, to motivational posts.
How would you describe your style?
My style is consistent with my Southern CA upbringing.  It’s pretty casual, basic, minimal, but with a little edge.  I love to keep the outfit simple, but add statement pieces to finish off the look.  A statement piece could be anything from a jacket, to a bag, to shoes, or even a necklace.  Overall, I’d like to say my style is basic, but not boring. (<< LOVE this!)
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi LookYou manage to incorporate current trends into your style while still maintaining a classic and effortless look. What’s your advice to girls when it comes to juggling the two and mixing high and low?  
I love mixing high and low price points.  I am a firm believer that just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it looks good.  I have found so many affordable pieces from Forever 21, H&M, and even Amazon that get plenty of compliments and have even lasted through the years.  And let’s not forget about my love for Zara.  I can easily add ten items to my cart every time I shop online.  For my every day basics, I tend to invest in quality materials (“basics” would be like tee shirts, white button down shirt, leather jackets, jeans) because honestly, the fit matters in these and I will wear them till they literally fall apart.  I also have an affinity for luxury bags and shoes just because I do have daughters that I can pass them down to (that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it) and dainty gold jewelry.

How has your style evolved over the years?
Oh gosh, it really has evolved, yet in the same sense, if you ask my mom how I was in my teenage years, she would say I was always seeking the latest trends.  Being in my 30’s and also being a mom, I seek comfort more than anything else.  Comfort in the traditional sense, but also in the sense where I’m comfortable in my outfit – like I am not tugging at the hemline, sucking in my belly, trying too hard, just comfortable and confident.  I used to also wear a lot of color (I know, a shocker) and wear a lot of dresses (another shocker), but now I tend to stick with neutrals and lots of denim.
Where do you turn to for inspiration?
You know how we joke that there are a gazillion bloggers out there?  And there really are!  But whether they have 2K followers or 1M followers, I have found so many beautifully curated looks and feeds that I am blown away by how talented people are these days!  I mean, just look at Pinterest – what did we do before that?  So for blogging, I turn to the bloggers for inspiration from the Instagram feeds to their actual blogs.  I wish people would spend more time reading blogs because there are so many incredible stories, journeys, and positivity out there.  For mom inspiration or life in general, I turn to those around me.  Everyone has a story and if you care to listen, it’s amazing what you can learn and get inspired from!
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look

You’re also a super fabulous mom of three (!!) – seriously, how do you do it all?!
You are too sweet.  Yes, I am a mom of three kids and I am fortunate enough to stay at home with them.  I picked up blogging to actually inspire other moms out there yet ironically I don’t post as a #momblogger nor ever show my kids on my feed (blame my overprotective hubbie for that). =)  I try to squeeze in blogging, photo shoots, writing content, events, emails, etc, in the times I am not in “mom mode” and I guess over the past year or so I’ve just gotten really good at time management and being efficient when I do something.  Don’t get me wrong, every day I struggle and am rushed for time, but I am fortunate to be able to support my kids at home and at school while also doing what I am passionate about.

What’s your workout routine?
I used to be a workout fanatic, going to the gym every weekday if possible.  To be honest, blogging actually took the place of me working out so much because I did have to give up some of my time to fit it all in.  But this year I have made an effort and commitment to myself to get healthy and strong again.  I run on the treadmill 2-3x a week and also do weights alternating between lower body, upper body, abs and full body 3x a week.  If I don’t have time to hit the gym, I do BBG at home since that is a quick 28 minute workout but really gets me into shape.

Any diet tips and tricks for busy moms and women on the go?
Lately I have been meal planning which sounds like a lot of work, but really it saves me time during the week.  I prepare my lunches and dinners on Sunday night so that I have all my meals ready for the week.  The only downside is that you eat the same boring meal every day, but it’s healthy, already premade when you eat it, so basically a win-win.  And for breakfast I usually eat overnight oats (also prepared the night before to save time in the morning), egg white omelet, avocado toast, but first, always a latte.

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi LookWhat are some of the challenges you’ve faced blogging and balancing everything in life in general?
To be honest I think my biggest challenge with blogging is the business of it all.  When I first started it really was just for fun (before I realized how detailed and involved it was) and while it is still a passion for me, sometimes you get caught up in the numbers, the followers, the likes, and then it takes away from why I started this in the first place.  Growing organically is always a challenge but I keep trying to post content that I am proud of, work with brands that I connect with, and just keep it real and hope that eventually it all pays off.  Balancing will always be an issue.  With social media it’s always about your last post or what’s hot or on trend.  If you’re not on, you feel like you’re missing out.  I’ve learned to just take a step back and free my weekends for family time (meaning no posts) and only post when I feel good about the content I am putting out there and not post just for the sake of posting. << Totally agree! Quality > Quantity ALWAYS.
How do you stay motivated?
The thing that has helped me get out of a funk the most is really going back to what made me want to do this in the first place.  We often get bogged down by the every day responsibilities or technicalities and then there is the comparing against others and we let ourselves get down.  When that happens, I sit myself down and focus back to why.  The why is important to never lose sight of.  Because whatever you do, as long as you are getting closer to that why you started and that end goal, the rest doesn’t even matter.
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi Look
Getting Up Close and Personal with the Brains & Beauty Behind Daily Kongfidence | by The Luxi LookWhat are the last three clothing items you bought?
I purchased an amazing off the shoulder bikini off Amazon for under $20 for a trip, my first pair of 501 Levi’s which I LOVE, and this Zara crop top with exaggerated shoulders.
What are your go-to beauty products?

If you’re asking what I never leave home without is sunscreen, my eyebrows, and mascara.  These are my must-haves for me to leave the house.  If I don’t have those on, you don’t even want to see me.  For sunscreen I am a HUGE fan of Elta MD.  For my brows I use Anastasia DipBrow Pomade and Benefit’s Brow Zing.  For mascara, I have used Maybelline Waterproof for years.  I’ve tried other brands but I have always gone back to Maybelline.  As far as skincare products, I am a huge believer in Essence, serums, and sheet masks (it’s the Korean in me).

Favorite brands you’ve discovered through blogging?

There are so many amazing brands (just like bloggers) and it’s hard to pick just a few.  Minusey is a Korean company I discovered where they make statement pieces and the latest looks at an affordable cost, but using high quality fabrics.  They remind me a lot of Storets (another brand I discovered through blogging), but have yet to work with.  Mejuri is a jewelry line that I truly love.  They make the daintiest, everyday pieces from real gold at amazing prices.  I love them so much I actually buy many gifts from them for my friends and family.  I also just discovered DSTLD which is an LA company that makes premium denim and luxury essentials but at an affordable cost.  Just got some high waisted jeans and a white leather jacket from them that I am so excited about.

What are three trends you’re loving for summer?

We’ve all seen the statement sleeves, but lately I have been drawn to the statement shoulders.  I just purchased some tops with exaggerated shoulders and I am so excited to wear them because they just exude confidence and poise.  The other trend I love is white accessories.  I love the way white pops in a look so I recently added some white sunglasses to my collection and also obsessed with white shoes from pumps to mules to sneakers.  The last trend that appeals to my more casual/ basic side is slogan tees.  I love a tee and denim look and I am glad brands like Gucci, Levi’s, and Tommy Hilfiger are making slogan tees that can be worn casually but also dressed up with a mini skirt or a pleated maxi skirt.

For more of Christine’s rockstar style, travel adventures, and daily adventures, be sure to check out her blog and Instagram.

Backpacks have a rep for being dorky and reminiscent of high school. Fair enough. I’ve always been a fan though – even if they look “dorky” (whatever!). The reason being they are 100% more practical and useful than a handbag and these days the options on the market are seriously cute. There’s no reason not to own and use one, and to be honest I’m totally digging backpacks over a purse.

5 Reasons Why I’m Digging Backpacks Over a Purse

  1. SO much more functional. If nothing else, you know you’re choosing the practical choice – it really does make your life so much easier!!
  2. They fit so much more than a crossbody bag or your typical purse.
  3. Multiple compartments. Need I say more?
  4. They’re travel friendly – you get to live your life hands free and don’t have to lug a heavy bag across town (I’m always super paranoid that I’ll somehow end up permanently lopsided if I carry a heavy tote bag everywhere).
  5. Say goodbye to back/shoulder pain. Beauty is (sometimes) pain, but it doesn’t have to be!

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Some of my favorite backpacks:

Botkier – this is the one I am carrying in the photos. It reminds me of the Prada Nylon backpacks people used to carry. I really like this one from Botkier – the material is easy to clean (especially when you are like me and somehow manage to get everything dirty) and all of the zippers and pockets make it easy to keep my bag somewhat organized. It also comes in a black leather and metallic leather (<< WANT!) that I love.

Sticks + Stones – I received SO many compliments on this backpack when I wore it to Coachella. The pebbled leather, studs, and foldover flap is really unique and unlike anything else I’ve seen in stores. I can absolutely vouch for the quality of the bag and know that this is a piece I’ll be wearing for years to come.

Hershel – where was this backpack when I was in school?! I actually stole my boyfriend’s because I just loved it so much. Call me basic but we’ve brought ours with us everywhere we’ve travelled to over the past two years. I recently got a floral version so now we have his + hers ; ).

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

I’ll definitely be bringing a backpack (or two) along with me on my summer travels! Speaking of which, where is everyone off to for the holiday weekend?

xx, Amy

top: 12th tribe | shorts: re/done | bag: botkier | shoes: botkier

 

Summer dilemma: what to do when you crave that Vitamin D but are terrified of wrinkles? Describing yourself as both a sun lover and a skincare freak may seem a little contradictory. If you insist on catching some rays, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and always wear a HAT! See below for my picks for all the summer hats you need now – not only functional, but also super chic for the pool, beach, and everyday running around.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: L*Space White Hat | by The Luxi Look

Sunday Funday Beach Hat

WHITE is the must have color for summer. The name of this hat is very appropriate – perfect for your summertime “Sunday Funday” situations. Brunch, pool, beach, you name it. I especially love it paired with a maxi dress and sky high wedges.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: Melissa Odabash Straw Fedora | by The Luxi Look

Must-Have Straw Fedora

How cute is this straw fedora?! If your closet is filled with neutrals (think: whites, tans, blush pinks), this straw fedora is the perfect addition. Very safari-esque, which I love!

Summer Beach Hats You Need: Lack of Color 'Spencer' Wide Brimmed Boater Hat | by The Luxi Look

Lack of Color ‘Spencer’ Wide Brimmed Boater Hat

Lack of Color makes my favorite hats. They are so well made and last forever, not to mention the styles are always timeless and add a different touch to every look. Although their lookbooks tend to be very bohemian, their straw hats are a summertime staple. I have the shorter brim version of this hat and am seriously considering buying the wide brimmed version as well. 1. It covers more of your face, and 2. a wide brim is so chic.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: 'Marina' Visor | by The Luxi Look

 Casual Summer Visor

Not going to lie – really into visors right now. It brings me back to my childhood summers when my mom would force me to wear one to shield my eyes. Now that I’m older (and wiser? ha!), I’ve come to appreciate the functionality. This black version works perfectly for your summertime activities and sports – tennis, anyone?

Summer Beach Hats You Need: 'J'Adore' Boater | by The Luxi Look

Boater Hat

L*Space is just totally killing the summer hat game. And at a great price point – this straw boater is $59 and comes in a natural tan and black color. I wear mine all the time – it is also the ideal hat to bring on vacation because it goes with everything and is incredibly durable. If you’re going to invest in one hat, this is it.

Living in LA, protecting your skin from the sun is SO important. That’s why you’ll see me wearing a hat and covered in sunscreen all summer – safe sun is the way to go.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

xx, Amy

Currently on my way back to LA after spending a week in my hometown in Minnesota. To say the Midwest is different from the west coast would be a total understatement, but it was a much needed break. I took the opportunity to disconnect completely and it did wonders for my anxiety. Lately I have been really, really anxious. I try not to dwell on negative emotions, but avoiding the topic entirely feels fake – like I’m hiding something or pretending as though my life is perfect (which no one’s is). With that said, I know anxiety is something many people suffer from. I’m still dealing with my own, but I wanted to talk about my journey surviving anxiety and how I’ve learned to deal with it.

I guess I’ve always been slightly anxious – being Type A and a constant planner, it’s typical to think about the future/unknown and get stressed. But I never really let it bother me – I figured the anxiety drove me to work harder towards my goals and was a healthy motivator. It wasn’t until fairly recently that consistently feeling anxious became more normal and something I’ve struggled to overcome.
Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

A little over a month ago, I received some bad news about a close family member which was a total shock to me. It made it next to impossible to focus on my job, my personal life, and my blog. Especially the blog. It didn’t feel right to talk about outfits and trends and topics that suddenly felt incredibly superficial when there were other more important areas for me to devote my attention to. As much as I am huge believer in the power of positivity, my energy levels were completely drained.

Yes, it helps to smile when you’re having a bad day and release any negative emotions. But sometimes it’s too hard to just let go – and that’s ok too. Learning to be okay with negative emotions and anxiety was a huge lesson for me.

The reason why I share this is because I know so many of you have been through or are going through similar experiences.
Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Here’s what I’ve learned about surviving anxiety.

We all take different approaches to dealing with stress and anxiety. I try to turn to healthy practices, which I’ve found to have a noticeable impact on my mind and body. Friends and family have recommended the same practices, saying they’ve experienced immense benefits from them.

Exercise

My #1 release – there’s nothing better than a good sweat to let go of your problems and focus on yourself for an hour. I’ve been turning to my favorite spots in LA and making sure to remind myself that despite everything that may be going on, it’s still important to take care of myself. The rush of endorphins is one of the things I look forward to most every week.

Meditation

As important as it is to nourish your body, something I haven’t always practiced consistently is the act of nourishing your mind. We’ve all heard of the endless benefits of meditation, but do we actually make the time to practice in our daily lives? Even 10 minutes a day makes a difference (I love the app Headspace). A yoga class does wonders as well – especially the shavasana at the end of the class.

Communicate

Talk to your family and friends. Journal. See a therapist. Communicate in a way that feels wholesome and fulfilling to you. If you’re a private person, try writing down your thoughts and tracking them over time – you may find it to be more satisfying than holding everything in.

Get away

Even if it’s just a day trip or a staycation. Going to see my family and unplugging from social media allowed me to refocus, get past my creative rut and writer’s block, and go back to real life ready to tackle the week. Travel is always one of the best ways to grow, disconnect, and unwind. With summer basically here, I cannot wait to get away for some trips this summer.

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Hope everyone has a beautiful week! I’m excited to get back to a regular posting schedule and enjoy the sun and upcoming long weekend. Who’s with me?

xx, Amy

jacket: blank nyc | romper: flair the label | shoes: marc fisher

sunnies: ray-ban | bag: zara

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

What a time to be alive… in the sense that entrepreneurship as a career path is bigger than ever and many people are able to do so through the internet and social media. It’s crazy to think that the job title “blogger” or “content creator” was beyond foreign to most people a decade ago. And the idea of “social media influencer?” Forget about it. With so many blogs/podcasts/YouTube channels/Instagram accounts/etc. being started these days, it’s no surprise many people are searching for shortcuts to success. One thing prominent content creators always talk about? Being authentic. But what does it really mean to be authentic? Especially in today’s digital world?

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

In my experience – what you see isn’t typically what you get. It’s really difficult to be exactly the same person in real life as your online persona. It makes sense – you show the best parts of yourself and your life on social media. No one wants to see a page filled with complaining and photos that aren’t aesthetically pleasing! So how do you incorporate an authentic voice with an aesthetic people actually want to look at?

What does it really mean to be authentic?

Even with my own content, I find myself facing a dilemma. On the one hand, scrolling through Instagram I feel like I see the same flat lays and outfit shots so often it can be difficult to distinguish one account to another. On the other hand, this is because certain images really do perform better on social media. Product flat lays, palm trees, sunsets, cocktails, avocado toast, macaroons, flowers – there’s a reason why you see so many of these shots.

When it comes to brand collaborations, it can become even trickier for bloggers and content creators. You want to work with brands you love and actually use, but many people also rely on brand collaborations to make a living. So how authentic are these collaborations and #sponsored posts? It’s tough to say – a general rule of thumb is to only accept sponsorships that are “authentic” to your brand, but what this means between the lines is different for every individual.

Then comes the part of being authentic about your life on social media. It isn’t always possible to showcase every aspect of my life because I work full time during the week. This is why you won’t see me active on Instagram stories or Snapchat Monday through Friday. Is it not authentic to shoot batches of content and space them out over the week?

The reason why I bring this up is because I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to be authentic for me and what direction I want to take my content. Things with the blog have been quiet, but I’m ready to get back to posting several times a week. Writing and posting to my blog has always been my favorite component of everything that encompasses fashion/lifestyle blogging and I’m excited to get back into it.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

For me, being authentic is incredibly important. To be authentic means to be myself as much as possible through my blog (although some parts are always kept private). I can say that in terms of the products and lines I promote on my blog and social media, they are always ones I love (and not every single one is sponsored or even gifted). I will not work with brands that I do not absolutely love and I will not post photos of products I do not actually use or have not tried. It’s hard to resist trying every new trend that comes your way, but it is important to stay true to your personal style and voice.

On that note – this LBD has been on heavy rotation this spring. I adore the open back detail and scalloped hem. I’ve talked before about how much I love Magali Pascal – the brand never disappoints and their new collections every season are always something I look forward to. Worn here with a wallet on chain bag and my favorite Botkier sneakers.

Now I’m off to finish the second season of Master of None and pack for a week back home in Minnesota!

xx, Amy

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

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