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    DIY, Holiday Guides, LifeStyle, Tips + Tricks

    Spreading The Sweetness with Holiday TakeAlongs…

    missyonmadison, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison instagram, la blogger, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men, gingerbread house, christmas cookies, holiday cookies, holiday treats, rubbermaid takealongs, rubbermaid containers, gifting cookies, cookie exchange, cookie swap, holiday cookie swap, holiday cookie exchange, custom gingerbead cookies, holidays 2018, holiday parties 2018, holiday tips, holiday party, holiday hosting tips, holiday gifting tips, bloglovin,

    This post is sponsored by Rubbermaid® on behalf of Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

    ♥The Holiday season is in full swing + we all know what that means…time to share some sweet memories♥

    I LOVE the holiday season, not just because of the festive decor, music + yummy treats, but because it is the season of giving. While presents are great, one of the best gifts are gifts made with love + from the heart..so naturally I show my love for my family + friends through baking…yummy gingerbread cookies of course!

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    Whether you are trying to think of what to gift your family, friends, or just about anyone…I always feel baked treats coming from the heart are always a great idea. The one struggle with gifting baked goods for the holidays is how to gift them! What are you going to wrap them in? How can you find a way to gift them that is practical but also festive? Well…I am pretty sure I found a solution – Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs®.

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    We baked and designed some gingerbread cookies over the Thanksgiving holiday and began spreading the joy (and sweetness) early by gifting our creations to our friends, coworkers + neighbors. We sealed them up in the Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs® that are for a limited time only in festive holiday colors like green, red + gold available at your local Walmart (my go-to) place to shop for everything Holiday!

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    TakeAlongs® holiday containers are perfect to take on-the-go to holiday gatherings, cookie swaps, or for gifting baked goods. This year we plan on doing a cookie swap with some of our close friends (some gingerbread swapping to see who gets the most creative). What is great about TakeAlongs® is that they come in a variety of sizes so they can fit all types of baked goods from cookies, to cupcakes, to brownies, to cake + more! Another awesome thing about TakeAlongs® is that although they come in festive holiday colors, they are translucent enough so you can get a peek at your treats when gifting or swapping!

    missyonmadison, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison instagram, la blogger, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men, gingerbread house, christmas cookies, holiday cookies, holiday treats, rubbermaid takealongs, rubbermaid containers, gifting cookies, cookie exchange, cookie swap, holiday cookie swap, holiday cookie exchange, custom gingerbead cookies, holidays 2018, holiday parties 2018, holiday tips, holiday party, holiday hosting tips, holiday gifting tips, bloglovin,

    Will you be spreading sweetness this season?

    Happy Baking + Happy Gifting!



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    Holiday Guides, Tips + Tricks

    How To Save Money During The Holidays…

     

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    The Holiday season is quickly approaching + that means time to get ready, get set, SHOP!

    While I love shopping, I find shopping during the holidays a bit stressful…why? Because I am always trying to get a good deal + never want to miss out on getting the best gifts for the lowest possible price. So many of us spend, spend, spend + while I am all about splurging on others during the holiday season, I think it’s super important to shop smarter…not harder hehe :p That’s why I am rounding up some of the best ways to SAVE $$$ during the Holidays!

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     1. PLAN PLAN PLAN

    This may sound silly when it comes to Holiday shopping but just like with anything else in life, making a plan helps you achieve success! It’s important to make a clear list of what you need to purchase ahead of time so you aren’t just buying random gifts, decor elements etc without covering what you actually need. So many times I get easily distracted while online or in store shopping + then I completely forgot important items I actually needed to buy!

    Easiest way to get started? Create a note in your phone and break it down based on people you are buying for, decor you need etc so you have everything you need in ONE place + when you shop online or in store, you can reference that list and even jot down who has what and for what price.

    Rather than make purchases right away, I tend to search around, wait + then pounce when the time is right (usually Black Friday or Cyber Monday – or sometimes even closer to the holiday when stores are trying to get rid of inventory)!

     

     2. RETAIL ME NOT

    missyonmadison, missyonmadison instagram, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison blogger, la blogger, style blogger, style blog, money tips, finance tips, money saving, how to save money, how to save money during the holidays, how to save money online, how to save money when shopping, money saving apps, retail me not, join honey, ebates, ebates review, retailmenot review, groupon review, groupon, holiday shopping guide, holiday gift tips, holiday gift guides, holiday shopping online,

    I absolutely LOVE Retail Me Not! In case you haven’t heard of this amazing site / app, Retail Me Not helps you find the best deals + promo codes from pretty much any retailer. About to shop at Macy’s and need a discount code or heading to Old Navy and don’t have any coupons?

    Simply download the Retail Me Not app or head to the Retail Me Not website, search the retailer you are shopping at + BAM you can select to find either in store or online offers and you can then see all deals, sales and promo codes in one convenient place. So many timesI whip this out at the register + find a coupon to save me money just by searching the retailer!

     

     3. EBATES

    missyonmadison, missyonmadison instagram, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison blogger, la blogger, style blogger, style blog, money tips, finance tips, money saving, how to save money, how to save money during the holidays, how to save money online, how to save money when shopping, money saving apps, retail me not, join honey, ebates, ebates review, retailmenot review, groupon review, groupon, holiday shopping guide, holiday gift tips, holiday gift guides, holiday shopping online,

    OK…I don’t know if you have seen countless commercials for EBATES but when I saw them I initially thought ‘is this a scam? no way does this work’ BUT guys I am here to tell you, EBATES 100% works + helps you save money + make money on your purchases online AND in store! 

    Here is how it works: Head over to the EBATES website, set up an account + add the extension to your browser. It’s that easy! When you set up your account you can add your mailing address to receive a check with the money you’ve saved on purchases or you can enter your PayPal account to receive it that way. Basically as you shop on various websites, the extension will pop up telling you to ‘Activate Your cash back‘ – it will tell you the cash back percentage that retailer gives on certain types of purchases + once you click the button to ACTIVATE, the rest is just you shopping as you normally do. After you check out, you’ll get an email from EBATES telling you how much money in cash back you earned + usually within 30-60 days you get it in your account! How great is that?!

    In the year I have been using EBATES I got over $500 in cash back on purchases – you can even use EBATES on sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, Groupon etc – the bigger the purchase, the higher the cash back.

     

     4. GROUPON

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    I am sure by now ya’ll are pretty familiar with Groupon. I love it for getting discounts at places where I want to try new services or vendors (mainly spas, activities like Escape Rooms etc). While I LOVE purchasing for myself whenever there is a good deal, I have found Groupon to have really competitive pricing when it comes to products your loved ones may have on their holiday wish lists, upcoming travel you want to do or even decor or home essentials you need for entertaining family + friends.

    Other than finding great gifts for everyone on your list…Groupon helps you save money when entertaining visiting family + friends with deals at local restaurants, bars, activities + more! When my brother visited over the summer I was able to get us awesome deals on mini golf, escape rooms + more.

    Groupon is great for gifting as well – I have bought spa packages via Groupon as gifts, beer or wine tastings etc and every recipient has LOVED it! Now-a-days everyone is into experiences so Groupon makes a great gift option.

    P.S. Groupon also has a Groupon Coupons section – similar to RetailMeNot where it gives you the best deals + promo codes.

     5. Honey

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    Show me the…HONEY! haha like what I did there? :p

    If you haven’t heard of JoinHoney.com here’s a little overview. Basically, similar to EBATES, Honey requires you to make an account + add an extension to your web browser. When you go to shop at any retailer online, the Honey extension will blink + activate to tell you if the item you are looking at has went up or down in retail price AND even if another vendor has the same product for a cheaper price. How cool is that?! It is pretty amazing how awesome technology is now-a-days.

    Honey also will share various promo codes with you when you are at the checkout stage of a purchase so you can see if any of the codes it knows of will apply to your purchase!

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    ♥ HAPPY SHOPPING ♥

    Do you have additional ways you save money during the holiday season?! I want to hear from YOU!

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    Career, LifeStyle, Tips + Tricks

    10 Tips to Landing your Dream Job…

    10 tips to landing your dream job, melissa tierney, missyonmadison, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison instagram, blogger, career tips, career advice, career goals, career guide, how to land your dream job, how to land a job, linkedin, networking, career goals, finding a job, resume guide, resume tips, interview tips, how to handle an interview, how to change careers, how to achieve your career goals,

    Happy Wednesday All! 

    I am super excited to be kicking off a new series on my siteCAREER. While many of you know me as just MissyOnMadison the blogger, my 9-5 is actually Digital Director where I oversee digital strategy + implementation ranging from influencer partnerships, product seeding, social media strategy, content creation, community management + more for multiple clients spanning from luxury brands to beauty companies to lifestyle, fashion, fitness consumer clients + more. I’ve been in this field for over 6 years and in these past 6 years I have had highs + lows in my career that I have helped form me into the business woman I am today.

    For a while, friends, influencers, co-workers + more have asked for my advice whether it come to finding the right job they are passionate about, landing the interview they are working so hard for, perfecting their resume, the list goes on + on. What I learned over the years about myself is that one of my greatest passions comes from helping others either starting out in the industry or those in the industry looking for a change of pace or to find their happy place.

    To kick off my Career series I wanted to share my…

    10 Tips For Landing Your Dream Job

    *while I am no expert, these are tips I have found quite useful over the years*

    ONE

    Know Your Skill Set

    This may seem to be one of the most obvious things when it comes to searching for a job but I have come across either applicants who don’t clearly read the job description or try to fake it till they make it and at the end of the day that has resulted in unhappy employers + in turn unhappy employees.

    What I mean by ‘Know Your Skill Set‘ is this – If you are on the job hunt and applying for jobs and you come across requirements in a job description you either are not familiar with or not something you feel truly proficient in, do your research. If it is something you may not be able to pick up on right away, don’t apply to the job + assume you will figure it out along the way. An employer is hiring you to fill a specific set of needs + you are their to serve their company. If you apply to a job and A) Don’t have the applicable experience to the tasks at hand or B) Lie and say you do and then can’t execute such tasks, you are only hurting yourself. Nothing frustrates me more than someone saying they can do XYZ then hiring them and I realize they can’t execute the projects I am throwing their way.

    This brings me to number 2…

    TWO

    Do Your Research

    When you are on the job hunt, you most likely have a specific role / job in mind. Do your research whether it be on LinkedIn, Indeed, company websites etc and read multiple job descriptions for roles you are interested in.

    If you are finding that a lot of the roles you are seeking have similar required skills you don’t yet possess, now is a good time to invest in yourself to gain those skills for future employment. For example, when I started my career as a social media coordinator in NYC, I was completely green to social media. I didn’t know the ins and outs of tracking analytics or how to showcase ROI etc. I shortly learned that with any role, ROI is key so I became proficient in learning Google Analytics + other reporting software so rather than just being content with my current skill set, I expanded my skill set which opened me up to further opportunities.

    This brings me to number 3…

    THREE

    Know Your Goals

    Whether you are fresh out of college looking to land your first full time job or you are a few years into the industry + looking to move up in your career, it is super important to keep your eye on the prize + know where you want to see yourself in your career.

    By thinking ahead to the job you want aka your ‘Dream Job’ you can better focus on taking the steps to help you get their along the way. If you want to be a CEO that means you need to learn EVERYTHING about the business you want to run someday. From the mailroom to the boardroom, becoming high up in a company doesn’t happen overnight, it happens from learning day by day skills you need to get there.

    This leads me to 4…

    FOUR

    Always Have A Positive Mindset

    Now this is just a tip for life in general but having a positive mindset while you are on the job hunt or while you are at a job that you want to move up in is key. While searching for jobs, it may sometimes seem hopeless – especially if you are on Linkedin and you see a listing is X amount of days old with thousands of applicants who already applied, but I have found from personal experience that when you feel negatively about your prospects, that negativity drags you down + becomes your reality. Call me crazy, but I totally believe it. Always think positively, give your all in each + every interview, application, potential opportunity etc.

    This also applies if you are currently employed. If you are not thrilled with your job + want to switch your role or company or even move up and get a promotion, being positive is key. Be the employee your coworkers + upper management enjoy being around. Be the employee who comes up with solutions rather than excuses, this will go a long way to help you grow in your career.

    Onto number 5…

    FIVE

    Get Organized

    Before you begin your job search put together what your dream job entails. Are there certain companies you are interested in? Put together a list of all your dream companies and see if they have an opening that fits your skill set. So many people look at job openings on LinkedIn and mass apply to anything that is remotely similar to what they are looking for rather than actually focusing on the companies they see themselves wanting to work for.

    List the tasks you would like to do in your dream role, the benefits you are seeking etc. Sometimes collecting all your thoughts prior to the hunt helps you better find the perfect role for you.

    Which brings me to number 6…

    SIX

    Customize Your Resume

    When applying to multiple jobs to land the right one, it may seem like a good idea to have a resume that is one size fits all. That is not the best idea. If you are applying for a role that has a heavy focus in a specific area, tailor your resume to really highlight your skill set in that area. Your resume is most of the time the first impression a potential employer has about you, you want to make it an impactful one. 

    Something I find to be helpful is to include words from the job description on your resume or in your cover letter so this way you clearly show you read the description + have the desired skills they are looking for.

    This brings me to 7…

    SEVEN

    Prepare For The Interview

    Before heading to any interview I would do a fair amount of prep and research. If I was set up on an interview via a recruiter, I would learn everything I need to know about the person I am meeting with + what they are looking for from the recruiter. By having that information I could then bring any applicable examples of work, portfolios etc with me. I also can better determine what to wear given the office environment.

    In the case I had an interview for a job I personally applied to, I would research my point person on LinkedIn, maybe we went to the same college or were from the same town etc. Plus it makes you more comfortable knowing who you will be meeting with.

    Another thing to brainstorm ahead of time is how you may answer certain interview questions. Without a doubt most employers ask how you can improve their company (i.e. for me it was ‘What do you think of our current social media?’ ‘What would you change?’ etc.). Other big questions are…Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? What do you like to do in your free time? Why are you interested in this position? What are your strengths + weaknesses etc?

    Now onto 8…

    EIGHT

    Follow Up

    Throughout my entire career I have been a huge fan of ‘following up.’ What this means is after every interview whether it was through an interview I set up or a recruiter, if someone took the time to meet with me for a potential position, I would send a thank you note via email.

    A lot of people don’t do this and it truly surprises me. I personally feel showing interest in the position so much that you follow up afterwards shows A) Manners + Etiquette and B) Your passion for the role. It can be a short 2-3 sentence email, but a little thank you goes a long way when trying to make a lasting impression.

    Onto tip number 9…

    NINE

    Network

    This may sounds crazy but I have over 20,000 Linkedin connections! Why? Because I connect with everyone in my industry that I can either work with, learn from, have worked with etc. I connect with brands, influencers, former and potential clients + beyond. If you want to work for Google, find the key players in the department you are interested in and add them. When there is a role you apply to you can even reach out directly to the HR person for the company via Linkedin to hopefully standout amongst the reviewal process.

    Networking also includes in person networking. Go to industry events, connect with other people in your industry, attend conferences, seminars etc. The more people in your network, the better probability you will have a link in one of them to your dream job!

    Last but not least number 10…

    TEN

    Be Yourself

    This may seem super obvious or cliche but if you don’t feel confident or comfortable when heading into an interview, you are setting yourself up for failure. A lot of times when I conduct interviews I can sense if someone is simply telling me what I want to hear rather than being themselves. When I am hiring, I focus on someones personality, energy + overall if they have a good aura about them. You may have the best experience out of the bunch but if you are acting cocky, or talk negatively about your previous company or others to bring yourself up in an interview, that is a bad sign and a huge red flag for an employer.

    Interviewers know you may be nervous, especially if it is your dream job, you want to nail it. The most important part of any interview is to show your PASSION. If an employer can feel your passion for the role, company etc they will love that!

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    Ready to go out there + land that job?!

    Comment below if you have additional tips or if these tips are helping you on your job hunt! I love to hear from all of you!

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    Collaborations, Shopping Guides, Tips + Tricks

    A Guide To Buying Diamonds…

    missyonmadison, missyonmadison blog, missyonmadison instagram, la blogger, melissa tierney, fashion blogger, style blog, style blogger, 4 cs of diamonds, reed's jewelers, diamonds, buying diamonds, diamond buying guide, what to know about buying diamonds, different types of diamonds, clarity of diamonds, diamond guide, colors of diamonds, luxury fashion, investments,

    Reed’s Jewelers Diamond Tennis Bracelet | GiGi New York Best Things Mini Book

    You know how the old saying goes…Diamonds are a girl’s best…FRIEND ♥ I find this to be especially true because I myself am a huge diamond + fine jewelry lover (what can I say, my mama raised me with a taste for the finer things in life, i.e. my car, bag collection + diamond obsession haha :p) While I certainly don’t have the funds to go out buying diamonds all the time, I learned over the years the importance of investing in the right diamond pieces that will last you a lifetime + can even become family heirlooms for years to come.

    I learned all I know about investing in the right types of diamonds from my mom so I gathered some of her tips, plus some helpful guidance from Reed’s Jewelers + voila…I’m now sharing my Diamond Buying Guide with you!

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    What I’ve learned over the years is that buying diamonds always boils down to the all important 4 C’s!

    Do you know what they are? If not, I am breaking them down below!

    Cut, Color, Carat + Clarity

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    So what do these all mean? Well I am breaking it own below:

    Carat – This is the one everyone talks about right? How many carats Kim K’s ring is etc. Carat refers to the size of the diamond once it is cut. The higher the number, the larger the diamond.

    Clarity – While most people automatically think a higher carat number means a better diamond, clarity is truly the most important thing when it comes to diamond shopping. Clarity means how clear + pristine the diamond is. Clarity is rated on a scale of F1, IF, VVS1 + VVS2, VS1 + VS2, SI1 + SI2, and I1, I2 + I3. Basically F1 is the BEST, it stands for Flawless, this means the diamond doesn’t show any inclusions, blemishes etc. A I1, I2 or I3 rating is the worst meaning the diamond has clearly visible blemishes + issues.

    Color – Diamond color is also a very important thing to pay attention to when diamond shopping. Color is rated on a scale from D to Z (D being the most pristine + colorless, Z being Yellow). The more yellow a diamond, the less it is worth. As for diamonds with a pink or blue tint, those are highly sought after + very valuable!

    Cut – Cut is another very important factor when it comes to diamond shopping. The deeper the cut, the better the diamond. For example, a pair of diamond studs or a ring with a shallow cut tend to not be as ‘brilliant’ as those with a deeper cut. Cut is something critically important when ring shopping in my opinion.

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    Are you ready to find the diamond of your dreams?

    Sharing some of my favorite diamond pieces of the moment below

    EARRINGS

    BRACELETS

    NECKLACES

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    How To Create Instagram Story Icons…

    how to create instagram story icons, diy, instagram story diy, instagram highlight icons, instagram story icons, how to create instagram story icons, bloglovin, blogger how to, style blogger, fashion blogger, web tutorials, diy hacks, instagram hacks, instagram story diy,

    Happy Tuesday Ya’ll ♥

    After a long vacay in Florida + a relaxing President’s Day Weekend, I am back at it…one of my first projects to tackle? Creating more fun content for all of you! (luckily this is something I love to do so content creation comes easy + is fun – the way it should be)!

    I LOVED all of the positive feedback from ya’ll on my Photo Editing 101 post where I shared my tips + tricks for editing photos to create a chic + clean instagram feed. My Instagram aesthetic is light + airy, with pops of color (because who doesn’t love a little bright spot when scrolling through their Instagram feed)?!

    Anyways, today I wanted to share a little DIY tutorial for something I have been seeing all over Instagram – Instagram Story Highlight Icons!

    ICYMIInstagram Story Highlight Icons are the little icons that are displayed when adding Instagram story highlights to your profile. Instagram allows you to edit the ‘highlight‘ cover image for each highlight series you create so while you can just choose to have one of the posts from your highlight be the cover image, a lot of people on Instagram have been creating custom icons for different categories of their highlighted posts i.e Fashion, Beauty, Travel etc!

    I right away began bugging my boyfriend to help me make them since he is the photo editing + graphics wiz BUT I ended up figuring out how to create them all on my own + wanted to share!

    STEP 1 – Create Categories

    • Come up with your categories for your Instagram story highlights. I determined mine based on the type of content I post often enough so Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel + Unboxing. Categories are completely up to YOU but having an idea of which ones you want will be helpful when choosing icons down the line 🙂

    STEP 2 – Choose Your Program

    • If you are familiar with Photoshop, you can create the highlight images in there OR choose a different more user friendly program like Canva which is super easy to use + has icons built in for you to choose from.
    • Photoshop is great too but you will have to find your icon choices on the web + upload them later (which I did as well for Canva – all about preference in icons).

    STEP 3 – Start Your Project

    • Instagram Story Dimensions are: 1080 x 1920 pixels
    • Open up your preferred program + begin a blank project using those dimensions

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    STEP 4 – Choose Your Background

    • Below is a screen grab from Canva but Photoshop is very similar with the paint bucket tool. Simply choose your desired color or pattern for the background of the image.

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    STEP 5 – Choose Your Icons

    • Now for the fun part! Choosing your icons.
    • If you use Canva, you can click the ‘elements‘ tab + choose from clipart they have. There are free + premium options all based on your aesthetic!
      • I personally used Canva to create my images BUT actually found my icons on IconFinder.com
      • IF you prefer to find your own icons all you have to do is go to IconFinder.com or another similar website + type in the type of icon you are looking for i.e. ‘airplane’ ‘high heel’ etc.
      • They also have tons of free + premium options to choose from, some even include sets so all of your icons look consistent but that is up to you!
        • Just click the icon you like + hit download – easy as 1,2,3!

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    STEP 6 – Add Your Icons

    • If you are using clipart or icons you found, simply upload them to the project and place them in the center of the canvas (easier to center on Instagram this way).
    • You can also feel free to add text as well if that is something of interest however it will be tiny + hard to read on Instagram so I would recommend against it.

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    STEP 7 – Save Your Project

    • So you can make duplicate canvas’s + then save each one with a different icon or open multiple projects using the same dimensions, completely up to you.
    • After you are finished, simply save the projects as JPEG + then you can email them to yourself or use cloud sharing or Dropbox to get them all on your phone.

    STEP 8 – Upload Your Images

    • Upload the images from your camera roll as normal parts of your insta-story
    • Then you add them to their proper highlight categories

    STEP 9 – Edit Your Cover

    • Simply go to the highlight, click the bottom right corner (it’s 3 little dots like this …) + hit ‘edit highlight’
    • Choose the image you just uploaded + voila you have your cover image set!!

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    And VOILA you are done!

    Hope this tutorial was helpful ♥

    Comments + Questions appreciated!

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