Tuesday, January 31, 2017

GTKY with Belle Brita January


Getting to Know You is a monthly interview series that Brita created after the dissolution of Guys Behind the Blog. While Brita and her husband both answer the questions each month, feel free to use these questions to interview anyone in your life! Or just share your own responses. Link-up goes live on the last Tuesday of each month (or any day you choose to link up*). 

Optional Rules:

  • Follow me, Brita! Twitter - Pinterest - Instagram - Bloglovin
  • In your linked-up post, link back to this page, please!
  • Make sure you link the relevant post, not your whole blog page.
  • Check out a few blogs while you’re here, and leave at least one comment.
Here's the questions she provided for this month.I'll be writing as much as I can in great detail for myself and to be clear in explaining to you what I did or did not do and everything I'm hoping to accomplish in the future. 


  • What goals did you accomplish in 2016?
I was decently consistent and if anything I realized how important that is for a blogger. After checking my numbers off and on, you can clearly see and notice follows and engagement alone based on consistency of posts. People get bored and confused waiting and checking to see if you have a post out or not. If you aren't on a schedule of some kind- they will never know what to expect and when. I was clear this year starting off saying 3-4 times a week (maybe more?) is the precedent set here this year. These are easy tasks for me to accomplish, 3 great solid posts plus a linkup at the end of the week. Our linkup goes live on every Sunday (Bloggy Brunch) and if you're curious, please come link your favorite past or present post with us.  

  • Do you set New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
I didn't set any resolutions. I think the second you call something a resolution then it probably wont happen or be brought to fruition. I can call them goals or intentions (see this post) and be successful by them and true to myself. I have a lot of things I want to follow through with and make happen this year. I have a lot to achieve so hold on tight for the new ride that will be 2017.

  • How do you work for what you want?
I try to work hard and steady. I tend to give up and quit too easily but I'm aware of that now and don't want to do that anymore. Otherwise my dreams won't come true if i keep kidding myself. I want to make a schedule and meet my goals. And not let myself fall by the wayside in the meantime. By creating small goals and attaining each step as it comes. It's the best thing to do! 

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself having lots of growth and thriving in most areas of my life. I want to have our home life, routine and budget in a better place. We have a lot to do in 5 years time- which can pass very quickly. We need to get a professional budget planner and we are wanting to do that sooner than later. I hope we can be close to getting a home of our own or owning a rental property. My marriage is a goal of mine, to be stronger and more in tune. We are at a good place for being seven years later but being more connected is always good. I just want to be happy, healthy and blessed. Which I know I will be. 


This was a very deep helpful questionnaire by Belle Brita blog and I felt great about answering these questions. 

Getting to Know You | Belle Brita

Monday, January 30, 2017

5 ways to take care of yourself during your period

Take Baths
I love taking hot baths when I feel completely bloated and have bad cramps. It immediately relaxes all my sore, achy muscles and loosens my back. Plus if you add some Epsom salts it makes the bath even more enjoyable for the same reasons. And it smells good too. Put on some music in the background or read a bit and just chill out. 

Avoid soda, drink water or tea instead
Okay this is a hard one for me but I try really hard to cut back when I know i'm hurting. For one the sugar just sits in your gut and makes you feel more yucky and can create more bloating and make you gassy. I really like trying new teas or making new combinations with chilled water, fruit and herbs. Even just using new flavors of water enhancers-if I have them on hand. Also just by changing my hot tea to ice tea can be enough to switch things up. I'm normally a bad water drinker. And for two, soda can make your cramps WORSE. I'm not sure entirely how but gas again could be the culprit of this one, I know I read it somewhere! 

HEAT HEAT HEAT 
I cannot usually relax unless I have my heat pack on my lower abdominal area or to the side where I have the most pain. My number thing that ruins my day is CRAMPS. So I have to find ways to calm my body or avoid them altogether. And heat is my magic little lesson. I can still be pretty productive or so this point wouldn't be made. (Currently in this exact situation) I'm happy when I can just watch a show, sit on my phone, cuddle my dogs and lay with the heat for awhile. Usually that makes it easier to move around and get on with my tasks. Sometimes if I feel up to it I do the house chores with a heating pack around my waist and music on. That way I knock out all three: less stress/entertainment, exercise and heat. A perfect storm! 

E X E R C I S E
I've learned that it's probably best to move especially when you don't want to. Getting to the gym for a walk or jog, doing some at home yoga or Pilates just might be the icing on your cake and alleviate most of that pain and pressure you feel from Mrs. Time of the Month. I haven't taken my own advice much but sometimes walking through the store is enough to make mine fade away and take my mind off the tenderness and aches that are my body in the moment. 

Pain Relievers: Advil or Aleve 
I take mine just as soon as I feel pain. Usually you can expect your worst days if you know your cycle. Or if you can track it. I however am currently on Mirena birth control and like many others I don't actually have a period. However the cramps and bloating wanted to stick around regardless. Thanks. So that's why the heat to me is so important. I can take an Aleve or two and a heat pack, watch a 30 minute show and then feel all better. I prefer Aleve- I can take it on an empty stomach and not feel sick. However still drink lots of water with it! And I think personally it works really fast. 


I hope these tips helped you somehow. If not right now then sometime in the near future maybe. It's pretty obvious to some but maybe you are just a helpless type when Mother Nature rears her ugly head. And for that I don't blame you, I get cranky too. This way you can at least stay on top of your life and get through it in one piece.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 5


Lately there's been a lot of talk about how this year is gonna go and I'm choosing to be positive which isn't something I do very easily normally. So for me, it's a big step and I'm quite proud of myself. We've been hearing lots about Trump and his plans. Without starting a big politics fiasco, it's a lot to take in and deal with. Whether you like him or not, things are going to change and like I said before that's hard for me. I'm quite pleased with how calm I've been this first month of 2017 when things have just been very tense and high strung. I have this space here to vent, write and do what I enjoy most, it's relaxing to me. Let's get on with my featured post(s) for last week.


DIY BUDGET ENVELOPE SYSTEM:
I really liked this post because I need a new budgeting system and I have heard a lot about the envelope way. We aren't very good with our money and budget so I should try this. I have been pinning lots of budget related pins lately so I'm gonna work on this saving versus spending in the coming months.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE OVERWHELM BEFORE BURNING OUT:

I really related to overwhelm and burnout so I really liked this post. The way she describes falling behind and feeling overwhelmed is exactly how I when I have copious amounts of work to do. This is a great post about how to fight through making your hobby/passion last. One of my goals this year was to work on the process of everything, slowing down and taking time for each step of getting something done and accomplished.

Don't forget to link up below my signature! (linky open for 1 week!)
You can also sign up for my BRAND NEW weekly/bi monthly newsletter (floating below) so you never miss another post again! I'll also soon have a surprise opt-in-keep your eyes peeled.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy Friday


 This linkup is one I took part in on my old blog and I often did for the past few years. I really enjoy it and it helps me to be positive about my week. I wanted to share it with you in hopes you'll link up and find new blogs you like two. I love these gals!

1. You Tube videos
2. Blogging
3. KEURIG donut shop pods!
4. Instant Happy Journal
5. Brainstorming
6. Vaping-I got a new mod! It's PINK!
7. Reconnecting with old friends from Vancouver
8. wavy curly messy hair
9. Netflix binges 
10. FIRST sponsored post coming in March* YAY!

I've been watching a boat load of YouTube videos lately and I'm very very excited about it, I follow a lot of great lifestyle and beauty videos so I've been spending lots of time watching/listening while I work (like right now).
Blogging has obviously been huge to me lately. I'm staying on top of it and have ONLY missed one or two posts this month. I'm really, really doing well on my goals as far as that goes.
Our roommate got a Keurig- here's a short story: Husband never cared for Keurig, didn't understand the hype I guess, thought it was too expensive etc. But then- he tried it. And his mind was changed! We went to the store and got a variety and now we are going to try to cut our soda with coffee and tea and of course more water intake. I'm so excited-I have some favorites!
I'm using my Instant Happy Journal daily and I was behind at one point so I'm trying to get caught up with it and enjoy each prompt. I really love this style of journal writing and would  highly recommend this for any new writers out there.
Brainstorming new posts and things for friends online has become more easy so I'm excited to start my new Virtual Assistant services. And I hope to help you all start or continue with your blog or business.
I got a new vape mod and it's PINK. I use it for stress and I'm not an avid 'smoker'. (Judgement free zone) I chose a Midori Sour e-juice and I'm really liking it a lot,
Lately I've been reconnecting with old friends and people I knew years ago. It's neat to know we are all in different spaces in our lives and can come back together after so long.
My hair is really fun to wear wavy and curly with my unicorn (grey, purple and teal) hair. I have been using my straightener to make waves in my hair and I'm enjoying it. I also have CurlFormers and I really enjoy them too.
Netflix marathons are a REAL THING lately, I've been watching a lot of new shows and bouncing around between them. When calls the heart, Crossing Jordan and lots of crime documentaries.
I have an opportunity to do my first ever sponsored post in March, I'm very excited and looking forward to it.
Thank you so much for linking up and reading this post!

Here you can find a list of the Happy Day linkups!
http://why-girls-are-weird.com/tag/happy-day


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

20 Things To Do Instead of Sitting on Social Media



Now we've seen these posts everywhere right and they're somehow all different. One is geared towards being totally disconnected, one for being productive, spending more time with your kids and so on. This is a generalized one. So that is you're any kind of person this can be a useful list of ways to get off the social media frenzy for at least 30 mins. It's not entirely healthy to just sit and waste all your days on social media and it's not good on your self esteem usually either. Which makes me a hypocrite because I'm always on social media but hey, we always need a break. So I'm taking my own advice and I'll be applying these tips too!

1. PLAY A GAME
2. READ A BOOK, NEWSPAPER OR BLOGS (better yet, my blog)
3. DRAW OR ADULT COLOR (color with your kids!)
4.LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOK
5. DO SOMETHING FROM PINTEREST
6. SELF CARE (LONG BATH, DO YOUR NAILS, HAIR OR FACE TREATMENT, EAT CHOCOLATE)
7. JOURNAL OR WRITE SOMETHING (letter, poem, free write, story, play etc)
8. CALL SOMEONE
9. PRAY/MEDITATE
10. EXERCISE
11. WATCH A SHOW (NETFLIX BINGE)
12. WATCH OR START A YouTube CHANNEL
13. DOWNLOAD NEW MUSIC (Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music etc)
14. WRITE YOUR TO DO LIST
15. MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK
16. GO PICK UP YOUR MAIL
17. LEARN/TEACH YOURSELF/ OR SOMEONE ELSE SOMETHING NEW (LANGUAGE, COURSE OR SKILL)
18. PLAY WITH YOUR PET, OR ADOPT A NEW ONE (adopt don't shop!)
19. SING OR DANCE
20. TAKE NEW PICTURES (for your social media)

BONUS: Go a whole day without updating, checking or posting. See if you're strong willed enough to do it. (I'm going to attempt it too, PROMISE! Then that will be an upcoming post.)

Sometimes it's important to take a step back and reflect on what "real life" is. And I have a hard time with it because I've become so entrenched into social media and putting so much weight on it. I love to connect with you as friends, clients and just souls meeting for the first time and social media let's us all do that. But it's not the only way, so if you ever wanna email or send me snail mail just gimme a heads up and I'm all for it!
I hope these pointers for avoiding or taking time away from social media will help you stand alone and reflect on what other things you enjoy doing in life. Take every morning by the horns- each day is unique and genuinely all your own.

 Don't forget to PIN ME! 


Monday, January 23, 2017

How I Met The Man of My Dreams


He and I met through my best friend Ashley (seen below) and now I see just how fate came into play, it was really good timing. 
One very rainy afternoon (when I was sick of seeing my ex around the dorms) I wanted to get out and have a girls day so she suggested that we get together and do something. Random adventure right? I think not.  Ashley asked if she could bring along Sean (who was our mutual friends ex at that time) and Ashley’s boyfriend was coming along too. We decided to go to Powell’s Books in downtown Portland. Ashley had to get a few things and I figured I could shop some or at least spend time getting to know Sean. I started to talking to Sean and we soon veered away from Ashley so we could have some privacy. Right after that, I decidedly told Ashley that I was interested in him. It was so quick but we had a lot in common and he made me laugh- that's why I fell in love with him.

After we left Powell’s we wanted to grab a bite to eat before heading back to hang out. When we walked into McDonald's I couldn’t think of anything except how bad (romantically) I wanted to be with Sean. I mean why not really, we had both just gotten broken up with/broke up with. So I accidentally blurted out how I wanted to 'take him home and show him the time of his life' or something like that. And just then, stupidly realized that I said it out loud and I turned bright red. I laughed my butt off  and then was thoroughly embarrassed. I know it was totally inappropriate and never ever did I speak like that before. We talked alone some and laughed like crazy over Ashley and Paul’s undisguised attempt to leave us alone for a smoke break. So then, after an offer of your place or mine, I decided to stay home after I knew I had school the next day. Which was honestly a huge bummer because I really just wanted to stay near him. 

If I had gone over that night sadly, I think it would have turned to a one night stand and I wouldn’t have wanted a real relationship. After all, I was ending another one at the same time. But a few days later, we did meet up so we could hang out and we talked all day long. After a day or so, I found myself falling faster than I ever have before, never wanting him to leave my side and talking all night until I dropped the phone from exhaustion. We were somehow immediately connected and I don't know how that ever happened except fate. I think he is my true love from the very start despite what awful innuendos came out of my semi innocent mouth.   
We dated an excellent 9 months before I honestly knew he was "The One". Both of us just knew it would be a 'forever thing'. We both feel we saved each other from the doom that we wished to escape with each others’ help. I was no longer settling or finding the wrong type of guy. He was all I needed and had many more qualities that I was wanting in a partner. He became my safe place. Now I always say "he's my safety, my trust, my one true love". (And he's lived up to it to this current day!)

On July 10th 2009, he proposed at a Starbucks outside over coffee and I said yes! As we told our parents, with some slight reservations they agreed and knew it’d happen sooner or later. So as we decided what to do with our lives, we discussed the Army and what great benefits it would have for us. Surprise again- it became a six week wedding! Only a month longer, we started planning our special day on Aug 10th. We planned on having the wedding September 10th 2009, but as it turned out they were busy that day and our wedding date September 19th 2009 happened by accident. The date was ideally perfect and I like to think that happened for a special reason too. 

Then we ended up moving to Gresham by Mt Hood CC, we decided to start attending church at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church. After planning for six weeks: we had a cake from Fred Meyers, our colors were announced as Turquoise, White, Silver and Black. And we had the rings picked out from the jewelers, table decorations, bridesmaid dresses, flower-girl dresses and silk flowers made up our do-it-yourself decor. We handmade our invitations on my mother-in-laws computer and printed them all off at home. Target is where we chose to be registered for the wedding. The procession programs the morning of the wedding and my dress had finally gotten finished, along with getting all the men’s suits, shoes, slacks and ties in order. Everything was done! There was a guest book and light food would be provided afterwards potluck style. Everything had turned out just perfectly.
Our day arrived and we were married! It went accordingly to plan for the most part, (our cake melted and family was a mess). It was still and always will be the best day of my life! The day I chose to marry the man of my dreams and I continually choose him daily.

I miss my dad and wish he were there for our big day. It was amazing! Exactly how I had pictured the day all my life. Except different colors, but in the end I loved it and it was all I wished and hoped it’d be. I think Sean really loved how everything turned out as well. I'm thankful we had family to help out at that time as much as they did and upset that some didn't help at all. It taught me you don't have to have a million dollar wedding to be happy. Just to be married to the one you want to spend your life with- that's all it's about. Love. And fate...


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 4


Nothing too exciting happened this week besides finishing my Work With Me page. I put some really hard work into it and I'm thankful it came out well. I'm beta testing it now but I'll be taking on a few clients in a week or so. I'm excited to start this new journey by helping you all help yourselves in the virtual assisting position.



2017 Reading List by Jessica at Wonder Forest blog. I'm really glad I saved this post for the books I want to read this year. She mentioned how she's a slower reader and so am I, I was glad I'm not the only one. She's one of my favorite bloggers and she's a great blog designer (although I don't think she is anymore) too. Check it out for yourself! I am looking forward to reading the Joanna Gaines book and Stolen Innocence



This is a new series by Pamela at Hodge Podge Moments called Moments that Matter. Another wonderful friend of mine shared this heartfelt post about timing and her hectic life. There is no such thing as "perfect timing"  is there? Time is a unilateral thing and it never goes as planned. Sure every 24 hours is the same but it's also how you choose to use your time. It's very important. This quote from the post is everything and I need to remind myself of it:  
"You just have to master this equation: passion + determination + grace + support = success."
I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did, it's a good reminder to keep going and feel motivated. 

BE SURE TO LINK UP BELOW MY SIGNATURE



**

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Currently: January


Today I'm bringing you an oldie but a goodie in the blogosphere. I'm sure you'll recognize these. I used to write them monthly on my last blog if you followed me there. Sometimes it's nice to check in mid month and see how everyone is doing. It's just a post that floats around as an ongoing linkup to as a bunch of random questions and see what we are all into currently. I hope you'll join up with me and share what your current favorites are. 

Currently: January

Eating: All the Hot Pockets. Not healthy I know honest but I'm stuck on them for some reason. I'm also a sucker for ice cream right now which I don't often indulge in, so Haagen Dazs Dark Chocolate ice cream bars with almonds on the outside... mmmm been my little piece of heaven lately. 
Drinking: Coca cola, but I'm trying to down my water- I do much more water drinking at night :( Still working on that habit. I've also really loved my Tazo teas so I've been drinking hot teas a lot when the weather has been terrible lately. 
Listening To: I've been back and forth with music, podcasts and audible books as well. It's been keeping me busy! I'm loving I Do It With The Lights On by Whitney Way Thore I've listened for hours twice and almost done with it. I'm also waiting to read Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini.
Watching: Teen Mom 2, Crossing Jordan and The Real Housewives of.... (Beverly Hills) it's pretty tacky and awesome! I've been enjoying all the entertainment that I've been taking in. I have TONS of recommendations if you need any. Or if you have any for me... leave them below! 
Reading: I've failed on the 'reading' front this month so far... but I'm still trying to read "You are a Badass" and finish it sometime soon. My plan was to read at night but my nights have turned into mornings and I haven't made it a priority. 
Wish-Listing: A bigger bed (yes we just bought a queen) tempur pedic adjustable base bed BUT with the two dogs in the bed (Maggie hogs the bed, so so bad) and it's NEVER enough room. I have a simple financial wish- SAVINGS, debt free and Travel. All things I want to make happen somehow this year. Let's hope! 
Thinking About: How much I should read, journal and be productive all over. So I started with this blog post. Yay! 
Please follow me via social media and LIKE my facebook page to keep up with my posts and updates daily/weekly! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

5 lttle things that drive me crazy

Everyone has pet peeves and some people let it get to them- I personally try to not let it get to me too much. However, I do want express some displeasure with these points below. Everyone has their pit-falls or viewpoints/stance on things, these are mine. I have experienced them all and I’m sure you have too… The little things people in our society do that rub you the wrong way. Things people do that make you wanna shout at them-but you don’t because you don’t wanna go to anger management. These are the ones that irk me like no other and I can’t stand about and just whine. So I’m writing them down in hope someone can relate and express their (ahem anger) feelings with me as well.

ALWAYS BEING LATE

If you are running late have the kind decency to text me, call me or send a carrier pigeon to let me know. So I’m not wasting all day waiting with a (cold) hot coffee in a Starbucks nowhere near where I live to come ‘meet you’. When we make plans-do not cancel the same hour we are supposed to be hanging out or doing something together. Should you need to cancel, please have a good reason and tell me at your earliest convenience (also so I’m not waiting for you to not show up). Don’t be late to be somewhere when you’re expected to, it’s not polite.

LEAVING YOUR PUP’S DOO-DOO ANYWHERE IT SHOULDN’T BE

Having a dog is a big responsibility (what you’re parents probably said) and it’s true after the cuteness wears off. And side note: if you don’t have money and time to care for a pet, you don’t have any reason getting one. It’s a living thing and deserves being treated as such: like it matters to you. If I find your dog poop on the staircase, on the lawn, in  the middle of the sidewalk or near my door step- I will just lose it on you. It’s not cool and should be against city codes (it actually is, just not enforced by officers). I’m sick of seeing people not take care of their pets and all that comes with it. You should get a fine if you’re so careless and don’t have any respect for others and property. Just thoroughly annoys me is all- I can’t stand it.

ANNOYING, SLOW, OTHERWISE CHATTY CASHIERS

Since when does it take you a million years literally to check out my items? Do you have to tell me your entire life story? The one about how you lived in NE and had a job waiting tables in a small cafe outside the city. Until you found out your were pregnant with TWINS and then they came early! So your mother in law moved in to live with you and you married a prince and lived happily ever after… It’s not anything personal, honestly. But I’d like to just get in and out and not listen to your very long, sad story. (This shouldn’t be taken out of context. I love talking to some clerks and cashiers but I get this one gal EVERY TIME I’m at Target and she talks for an hour, fiddling with my things… let me leave.)

BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE. ANYWHERE

I don’t appreciate rude people on the phone, or in the restaurant  industry. I dislike bad service with crappy attitudes and not getting the food and bringing the food quickly and then ignoring our table. I will NOT tip you if you do not put any effort in. I’m not here to pay you- but I’ll reward you with extra if you’ve earned it. I absolutely do not like it when I have arguments with the “bills and telemarketing” people. Please just be kind and listen to my problem and if I ask for a manager- GET me a manager promptly.

ASSUMING

Everyone assumes from time to time-it’s a misunderstanding that we all occasionally do. But if you always assume what others are thinking then you have no idea when things are wrong. And it’s wrong because then you’re totally misinterpreting their intentions. It also kinda makes you look rude and like people can’t trust you. Plus it makes an (ass) out of (u) and (me)… ya know the “other golden rule”?
Well I hope you enjoyed my little mini rant if it was just that-I don’t know. Not entirely what I intended but it is what it is. I’m not gonna apologize for having certain few things that really bug me. 
What are your pet peeves? The ones you cannot stand to watch or experience. Those ONES! Tell me all about it below and if you’ve written a post lately- drop a link below. 
 Thank you as always- love and appreciate each of you! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 3

Welcome back! 


Well this week was a weird one, wasn't it? It was Friday the 13th and I don't know about you but this week was stressful for everyone I think. Especially with Obama coming out of office-it was a rough one America. I have a lot of things to get done and I feel like I'm running in overdrive. The PNW was in a snow storm of the century this week and it's been madness for everyone in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. Of course where we are near Mt Hood, we got near nothing- which kinda stunk. I hope your week was happy and productive and of course safe if you are here or near tons of snow. Be careful and please either don't leave if you don't have to or drive slow and cautiously. Onto the post....



Burke Does: 2017 Word of the Year-FOCUS
I love this blog and Emilie so much! We are actually quite alike and we often share each others posts. I get a lot of inspiration and motivation from her blog and I really love it! I chose this entry partially because my word of the year 2016 was also FOCUS. It's funny how people depict the word of the year in their own ways. She talks about all her goals and things she wants to achieve this year and it couldn't give me a positive attitude anymore than it is! A lot of the points she made to work on this year- I also am working on doing in my own life so maybe I'll have a new #goalsbuddy.



Trendy and Tidy: How to keep track of tidying your home + free printable  
I thought this was just genius. She created a printable and then also tacked it up and laminated it so it is constantly getting used and never forgetting a task or area to be cleaned. Using a dry erase marker makes this printable invaluable! I never thought of this and I'm definitely following her lead on it.. A deep cleaning day is coming up in my house and you know I'll be using this one.

Don't forget to LINK UP- repin, comment and share!





Friday, January 13, 2017

Blogging Beginners Cheatsheet


First, I'd like to mention that I am now offering a few (like 3 spots open) to Virtual Assisting. If you are a blogger in need of extra time or you just don't have enough hands to get it all done-look no further. I can help you with all of your blogging and social media management needs. If you are interested please take a look at my WORK WITH ME page and email me ASAP.

If you'd like to start out on the right foot with this whole process here's a few main things I think you need to know to do. These may seem very obvious but indeed they are not. It's easy to get wrapped up in the busy day to day and forget to stay on top of the work that needs to be done to help you be successful. So when I first started blogging it was very relaxed, ho-hum and this can work for some people but I always wanted to be seen and be social.


  • Consistency

This is a big one! I never thought it mattered being on a schedule or having any kind of consistency. But at the end of the day you have to be reliable for your readers. I started out as an all week long blogger. 6-7 days and short and sweet posts, mostly linkups. This isn't a good way to blog or be successful in any kind of way. Now I blog 4-5 days a week with longer and more helpful posts on a variety of topics and less linkups, maybe one to two per week. You can also reuse old content, freshen it up and make it shiny new. This will make your hard work show better and appease your target demographic. It's a bit of work for a larger payoff-a new graphic will sometimes turn it all around. So here's my top points for a smooth start to your new space. 

  • Be Social/Social Media

Being social to me means, talk to your peers and people you look up to. Communicate and share you genuine thoughts and feelings on their content and what they put up. Engage them in conversation aside from blogging on social media and get to know them. You never know what someone might help with, 
Whereas having a good technique with social media is different but also needed. You will not get seen at all if you don't share, share, share! Make your readers and the public aware of your content and why they should read it. Pay attention to certain times of day that work best for each network you're on. This does not mean link drop constantly or bombard any groups and things. Don't be that person, it's rude and it will get you booted from groups and/or blocked. 

  • Find your sisterhood or tribe


Being a blogger you will hit burn-out at some point. It's nice to know you have things in common and people in your corner. I have found, begun and continued many friendships with quite a few ladies I wouldn't have ever met otherwise. These friendships have been so valuable over the last six years and I have relied on these gals when my friends have been busy or otherwise not cut out. It's a special thing when you share your thoughts and ideas with people. You genuinely want to see success and give success to them by supporting each other. These bonds form easily and also by working with each other you get a new found sense of friendship. 

  • Yes Niche, No Niche

There's a huge debate. Or was. Should of you have a niche or main topic to your blog? Or does it matter? Should you not and just write what you love to no matter what? Well honestly in my opinion, it's both. You should have a focus. But you shouldn't narrow yourself for the sake of a niche. It's not an all or nothing thing. I consider myself a lifestyle blogger but I also write about love and marriage, pets and a lot of other things. I say do what you feel most comfortable with and just stick with it. 

  • Use Visuals (even if they are just stock)

Your blog posts need to have some sort of visuals, even if they aren't the very best quality. I'd rather look at cell phone pictures instead of one big long text with nothing to break it up. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Recently I have just simply used royalty free  stock photos and customized them all to fit my blog. This has paid off pretty well and fit my audience in the best way I know how. Occasionally I will take some personal pictures (still just high quality amateur photos) relating to the topic, if I have them.

  • Have a signature or sign-off


It's the end of the post. What do I do now? Well it's a part of branding and making your blog or site look cohesive. So create or have a friend or designer do it for you and make a signature, a farewell bit, a funny little 'bye now' or later gator or just your name. It's a great way to have people remember you, by not only the language you use in the post but also in the sign-off. Something that is just you and will be original to your site. 


The main point is to just put the time and effort in from the start. It's a lot easier than going back and forth to fix or correct everything a year or so later. If you learn or saw any insight in this please leave a comment down below telling me or even better share with a friend! 


Monday, January 9, 2017

#onelittleword

process
ˈpräˌses,ˈprōˌses/
noun
noun: process; plural noun: processes
1.a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
"military operations could jeopardize the peace process"

synonyms: procedure, operation, action, activity, exercise, affair, business, job, task and undertaking
"investigation is a long process"

This post is about the movement of #onelittleword which is a word you choose in January and continue to emulate and guide you through the year. This is in an effort to be a better and more well rounded person. I haven't been a part of this for more than one year so far but I know a bunch of bloggers who have been doing this for much longer. Focus was the word I chose last year and I think it went pretty good. Personally, I wanted to try again and apply a new word to give myself grace and some room to change. If you're interested in that post you can go read it here on my old blog. I love if you left me a comment and told me what you think. 
 
So this year I couldn't decide between two words that really called out to me- Process and Growth. As one of my friends Raewyn said "growth is a part of process" and well I agree that vice versa, the process of growth is also, just that a process. Much like last year I felt like I needed a fresh start and a new space so I did move back to my starting place here on Blogger and now under my own personal namesake and domain; which feels so good to me. Thanks for taking the time to read and be here. 

Starting over is the beginning of the process for most. Right now I still feel like I'm somewhere in the middle. We are continuously growing and changing, our whole lives are in a process of personal evolution. Wow that was deep-if that even made any sense. I feel like if I can follow that statement then you could too I hope. In this vulnerable space I wanted to make sure that I was following through and experiencing the whole process (I know it's getting repetitive, I'm sorry). I am usually one to quit or give up halfway through and I touched on that last year as well. The follow through part of each process is the important part, to be a finisher and not a quitter. I will be working on that some here this year. 

Blogging is very important to me and I want to know that I am creating improvements, growing in this way and making progress in a personal way as well. I have small goals I'm close to achieving already in the first week of 2017.

This was featured on Hodge Podge Moments newsletter as an encouragement to go with one little word so I think I will include it here. If you aren't subscribed to her now you should go sign up now. 

Manifesting a Feeling
1. How do you want to feel in 2017?
I want to feel productive and in charge. I want to acquire new skills and make my dreams come true. 

2. How does this feeling look?
It looks like consistency and progress in the meantime towards my smaller goals. 

3. How does this feeling sound?
It sounds like many quiet playlists and top 40 jams on repeat. 

4. How does this feeling smell??
I think it smells like the treats I give myself after a job well done. 

5. How does this feeling taste?
It tastes like the coffee and tea I down everyday to attack my goals and aspirations head on. I want it really really bad-so I'll be working hard for it. 

6. How does this feeling feel?
It feels so good. I feel like I need to make lists and check each item off as I see it get finished. 

7. What feeling will you be manifesting in 2017?

I hope to manifest the words I chose for the one little word project above- Process and Growth. I want to be a better and more well rounded self. 

8. Write down your feeling word, decorate it, and hang it somewhere as a daily reminder of what you're working towards.

I wanted to share with you here and show you how easy it is to manifest your destiny into reality in 2017. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bloggy Brunch Week 2


Hello again as we enter week 2 of 2017! Did that already fly by or is it just me? I'm so excited to have a fresh year, good or bad times- it just feels NEW. And that I really enjoy and will throw myself into all these projects and parts of myself I want to change and better through growth. I have made my goals primarily include being consistent on the blog and being in general a bit more healthy. Like drinking water and working out a few times a week. Well let's jump into the linkup; this week has been full of goals and projecting 2017 type posts. I'll be jumping into my #onelittleword post and then, back to serious, regular posting all about everything.


Bonnie at Inspire the Best You had a great post last week called "3 steps to make 2017 your best year yet" that I missed until now. So glad I went back to read it! It's all about goals and planning for a new year effectively by not calling them resolutions and breaking each goal down to achieve it. She has a post on her goals from last year and BOY she nailed them. It was impressive! I also have a January Goals and Intentions post in case you missed it last week.

I also really liked this post that I also found after the fact by Gina at California Scrappin' called 25 things I learned in 2016. It was incredible, moving and powerful! And I found it quite insightful as I relate to many of them and made me reflect on how to be more aware and loving towards myself.

Don't forget to link up BELOW the signature.. Thank you!


Friday, January 6, 2017

January Goals and Intentions


Do you make goals or intentions for your month? We all say January is resolutions time, right? But I usually think of eating right and weight-loss when it comes to that. I make monthly goals based on simple things I want to accomplish in the next thirty days.
Personal:

  1. begin a routine, stick with it for 2 weeks (at a time, re-evaluate) 
  2. self- love time daily, or weekly
  3. continue writing in instant happy journal


Blog:

  1. get newsletter up and running by end of month
  2. post regularly, 4x weekly
  3. social media share on each post with Hootsuite


Health:

  1. drink water everyday (test amounts with planner)
  2. keep a good hygiene schedule (physical, dental, mental etc)
  3. eat well and full meals/snack occasionally 


Books/Reviews:

  1. read something everyday
  2. read at night or in the morning for 30 mins to an hour
  3. read at least one book and one audio-book


Marriage:

  1. keep the lines of communication open
  2. listen and don't speak, while listening
  3. have time together set aside and make it a priority

Home: 
  1. Organize garage-CHECK
  2. stick with a weekly cleaning schedule
  3. organize closets, declutter, donate?

This seems like a nice place to get off to a rolling start. It's an awful lot for January but maybe between the hustle and bustle of everyday I'll be able to stick with it. Do the little tasks and things I want to accomplish when I'm bored. I want to see progress in the process and visible growth that matters to me. 
If you've written goals or intentions down for this month I'd love to hear all about them. Leave a link or comment below and I'll be absolutely sure to read them. Here's hoping you're off to a great start of 20-17!

© Nora Spaulding. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.