influencer marketing.

i originally started this blog about 7 years ago to show my family and friends back home (i’m originally from ohio) the beauty of the West, hence the title, The Egg (thats me!) Out West.  i’ve always been obsessed with beautiful photography and truly enjoy writing so when i found a way to combine the two, i gave it a whirl.  over the years, an entire industry has emerged from the word “blog”, and i’m so glad i jumped on this train when i did as it has opened so many doors for me, has allowed me to start my own business, and work and create relationships with insanely awesome brands like Old Navy, H&M, and Justin’s Boots.

influencer marketing is a new concept to most, but for us long time bloggers, it’s something we’ve been doing for years. i was so honored to be chosen for Collectively, Inc, one of the top influencer marketing agencies in the business! to be considered amongst big time bloggers is so flattering for this wyoming gal and has reassured me to keep at it. it has given my style and voice validation, and more confidence!

working with Collectively has been amazing, as they do all of the back end work of connecting brands with the right bloggers. i see them as the middle man working for me, as well as for the brand, to help facilitate beautiful things! to me, it’s a no-brainer for brands to partner with bloggers and allow them to showcase certain products or campaigns using their unique voice. when you give creatives free reign, truly amazing things can happen!

brands contact me all of the time and 9 times out of 10, i don’t think their message is the best for me and my readers.  as a blogger, i see my blog and social media channels as a true reflection of myself and don’t take any old promotion just to make money.  i truly believe readers can feel it when you try to do that.  Collectively does all of that vetting for me!  they know their bloggers, their data numbers, their reach, and their style and only contact me when they know its the perfect match.  it’s a win-win for everyone!

all images by Ashley Merritt Photography // this sponsored post was brought to you by my FAVES at Collectively, the best influencer marketing agency out there // all images are from campaigns facilitated by Collectively!
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cowboy booties.

it might only be april and the weather can’t seem to decide if it wants to be spring or winter or whaaat, but i’ve already whipped out my newest western booties.
the beauty of cowboy boots is that they come in all shapes and sizes lending to any outfit, for any day of the year.  they truly are staples in this girl’s closet.cowboy boots can come in so many different varieties but i mostly choose based on heel height, toe shape, and where they hit on my calves.
Cavender’s is stocked to the brim with any style, height, or color you’d want for any given day and i highly suggest you head over there for a fresh pair.
i took a quick inventory of my current cowboy boot collection and realized i don’t own a black pair, and quickly ordered these!
the look above is different than anything i’ve owned and the almond toe shape works with many different looks.
i love pairing them with feminine skirts and dresses.
it doesn’t matter where you live or what your style is, cowboy booties will always look good, in my opinion!
plus they are super durable and only get more gorgeous with age.

shop the look
ariat darlin almond toe western booties c/o Cavender’s
delfi collective clara pleated skirt (similar midi skirts here, here, and here)

photos by Ashley Merritt. this post was sponsored by the amazing Cavender’s, the one stop shop for all of your western style needs!
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costa rica.

i just returned from traveling to costa rica with my mom and little brother!  it was the perfect off-season trip for sun, surf, and jungle adventuring.  this was my second time to costa rica (can’t believe it’s been that long!), and my how this country has grown since my last visit.

this time we were in the north western part of costa rica, in the guanacaste region, which is way more dry than the humid central coast.  with the dry, comes the heat, and i got a tad bit of sun poisoning after a few days in the sun, but that’s the price i pay for choosing to live in winter 9 months out of the year.  we stayed at playa flamingo, a tiny little beach peninsula north of tamarindo. it’s in the perfect driving distance to multiple surf breaks. (playa grande was a favorite and only $1 parking and empty beach, cha ching!) we discovered the best smoothies i’ve ever had…..surf box you are what acai bowl dreams are made of. my mom really wanted to see monkeys so we convinced her to do a jungle adventure day!  she was such a trooper and loved hitting the zipline and a natural waterslide that ran 500 feet down the jungle floor. Buena Vista Lodge offered so much! the ecosystem was insane and being able to jump from canopy to canopy, with howling monkeys next to you, was the perfect costa rican adventure.
we took an afternoon to horseback ride in the jungle and clearly we were unprepared.  flip flops on horseback?  we went for it.  i laughed the entire time as my brother’s horse was so small compared to his 6’4″ frame! the horses led us to natural hot springs deep in the jungle where we were greeted with a volcanic ash mud-bath.  never knew volcanic ash was good for you but my skin felt like buttah. the trip was too short, as they always are, but here is a list of places to stay and where to eat in the flamingo beach area. i recommend renting a car to bop around to different beaches and towns, but there are surf shuttles everywhere too. costa ricans are extremely hospitable and friendly. compared to the last time we went, the country is much more safe. the highways are paved and sustainability is everywhere. i love seeing a country run on sustainability with a smile on their faces. until next time costa rica, pura vida!!!

EAT

Surf Box – amazing breakfast and smoothie bowls.  fuel up before hitting the beach
Coco Loco – their coconut drinks were probably the best things we tasted during our trip!
The Beach House – great lobster and ceviche and right on the beach
Angelina’s – their snook was unreal and i’m not even a huge fish lover. best food in the area  and closet thing to fine dining
Cafe de Manglar – super authentic and cheap!

STAY

Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa – we stayed here! great location, great pool
Hacienda Pinilla – a great surf break right outside the hotel. day passes available too for quiet pool time!
Paradise Flamingo Hotel – on top of the cliffs looking down on the beach

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the hustle is real.

{dress: banana republic // leather jacket: nordstrom // clutch: banana republic}

my how the time flies when you’re hustlin’ for a living…
no no, not some kind of illegal hustle, my dear friends.
i’m talking about the entrepreneur-what-am-i-doing-with-my-life-hustle.
i’m a firm believer that there are times in life when throwing all of your eggs in one basket (or in my case a few different baskets) is a must.
the journey is in the process and each day is a new adventure. and holy smokes, after 3 years, i’ve learned so damn much!
i’m pretty sure at this point i’ve mastered the hustle.
but i’m at a point asking will it ever end?!
when do i wake up and realize i’m that super independent lady boss living in her OWN mountainside pad?!
one with enough time to enjoy living in the mountains and can hire the best people to help her run her company?!

part of me thrives off the hustle and bustle, but a big part of me craves the outdoors to refuel.
and finding that balance can be rough.
sooo, here are a few things to remind myself that the hustle is real. and worth it! (also open to any and all suggestions because…..life)

1. schedule: juggling three hustle jobs (the scout guide jackson hole, real estate, and this here blog) takes up a TON of time. i found myself having to schedule in a phone call with my mom today and i was immediately pissed off. my mom and i are homies and i never want to feel like i can’t pick up the phone, but right now this is my reality. i just keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary and hey, at least i am finding the time to call her! so pro tip #1 (and NO i’m not a pro, thats just a trendy thing to say), schedule and plan everything. you’re in the grit it of, so your life calls for some serious scheduling, but make sure to include downtime and also…..CALL YOUR MOTHER!

2. say no. i learned to say no and it’s so freeing. as much as i want to go to every dinner party, concert, or trip, i just can’t. and guess what, it’s okay! i’m devoting this part of my life to my career, so that means running myself too thin won’t end well. my best friend just told me she has finally told her family she can’t go on vacation with them and how much better she feels for taking care of herself. the reality that we are expected to attend and be present at everything is just too much. it’s okay to say no, even to family and friends. they will still love you. (i hope)

3. hire help! i’m by no means rolling in the dough but i understand that you need to spend money to make money. note: money can buy you partial sanity. i hired my associate editor part time last year and she’s been a dream. i was willing to take a pay cut for the right help and it’s been worth every penny and then some. plus, she knows what i suck at and takes over those areas. also, after having legit panic attacks while looking at finances, i googled a local accountant and i can’t tell you how much stress that has taken off of me. someone once told me to hire someone who can do your job better than you, and i’m mighty grateful i did for both of those roles. it allows me time to focus on what i’m good at and the things that made me want to start the hustle in the first place.

4. know your body, mind, and gut. i’ve been on a bit of a spiritual journey (insert peace signs), and it has really helped me realize what works well for ME. i’ve realized my body needs lots of greens to function, gets pretty sleepy after carbs, requires a jolt of coffee first thing in the morning, needs a weekly energy work sesh, daily meditations are a must, an hour of outdoor exercise rejuvenates my soul, and MOST importantly, i require 10 hours of sleep. the zzzzzz’s are absolutely crucial for me and nothing will get in my way. i may or may not schedule naps when i need em, read number 1. so, know your body and try not to push it, although there are days that you will. having good friends on text speed dial for freak outs is key to life.

5. blogging about it to the internet is incredibly soothing. thank you, steve jobs.

6. find your peeps. i’m constantly looking for new and inspiring books and podcasts to keep the fire lit under my butt and to remember that we’re all in this together, and people have gone before me! plus, i wanna know what they did RIGHT. once a week, i dedicate one hour to educating myself on my work or the entrepreneur world. that’s either a new webinar about web traffic, mastering a photography skill, learning to edit in lightroom faster, or meeting business goals. youtube is a wonderful free world when you let it be. my blogger friends are so helpful when it comes to helping a sister out and locally i love to grab a coffee with those who have paved the way before me! each meeting or note taking session relights my passion.

6. it’s all worth it in the end. the relationships i’ve made, the skills that i’ve learned, and the growth that i’ve had has been so worth it, even thus far! i’m still figuring it all out and welcome all ideas on how to stay sane. i’d love to know how other entrepreneurs keep running while their nose is on the grind! and if someone could tell me approximately when it will all end (most importantly when dat dough will start to roll in), then i can order a new bikini and get ready for a long hiatus on the beach.

keep at it, friends!

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embroidered chambray.

spring fashion can be a tough one when you live somewhere that doesn’t really have a traditional spring.  we like to call it “mud season”.  the temps are borderline about-to-snow-slash-rain, the worst kind, and snow melts heavily and fast.  it’s usually not until late may that my spring dresses have any chance of survival, so for the last 9 years i’ve had hard time getting excited for spring trends.

one trend that did perk my online shopping eyes is the latest in embroidered chambray shirts!  the added touch of flowers turns my usual day to day wardrobe of denim on denim that much more exciting.  james dean digs it too as you can see above, #winkfaceemoji!

shop the look
bb dakota embroidered chambray
ag jeans and here
korkease booties
everything else in that amazing store, mountain dandy

shop more chambray embroidered denim that i love by clicking on the images below:

photos by Ashley Merritt
Tagged: fashion, jhole living, mountain lifestyle, mountainista | Leave a comment