This month, my blog turns two years old. I can hardly believe it! When I started blogging, I had this idea in my head. I wanted to share all the great information that I had come across in the short time I had been a mom. I never thought that it would lead to some great opportunities and help me form some awesome relationships.
Truth be told, I needed to do something to figuratively get out of the walls of my house. Raising my children is something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, but it is not without its hardships. I'm sure I've said this before, but being a stay-at-home mom can be lonely. You spend the majority of your days interacting with children who can barely speak, much less hold a real conversation with you. Some days, the most adult interaction you get is saying hi to the postal worker, and on a good day, you may get to chat with other mommies at Mommy & Me. While I hoped that starting the blog would help me to not feel so lonely, I never imagined how well my audience would respond to what I was putting out there.
Sometimes it's hard, and it would be easier to say, "Forget it," and throw in the towel. A lot of work and effort goes into keeping this going, and while there are many bloggers out there who do this to make a living, I do not make money off of the blog. Sure, sometimes I get cool products and I pass them along to you, but I never suggest products that don't make sense to me, my lifestyle, or that I'm not 100% willing to endorse for you. I never want you, my audience, to think that I'm just promoting something because I am making a quick buck.
I do love how the blog has evolved. At first, I thought I would focus mostly on parenting. But it turns out, I'm no expert in that! As a matter of fact, I'm not an expert in anything, so there's that. The evolution of the blog from a parenting blog to one with a focus on motherhood and womanhood is one that I'm really pleased with. It seemed to happen naturally, and I really do think it serves a better purpose than just focusing on parenting. I love sharing my style and beauty tips with you all. I love encouraging you to love yourself and take care of yourself so you can take better care of those around you.
But you know what I love most? Is hearing from you, interacting with you, and getting to know you. When I first started blogging, I was focused on numbers. "Blogging is a numbers game," "You need a higher follower count," "Companies won't want to work with you if you have fewer than 10k followers." I'm not sure at which point I decided that the numbers just didn't matter. Because I was receiving messages from you all on a daily basis, saying how a particular post I wrote had helped you, or how something I said really spoke to you. And you know what? That's better than any follower count could ever be. And so my dear friends, I do this because YOU keep me going. I hope to keep going with this blog for as long as it's fun for all of us, but I want to make a few promises to you!
I truly hope you will stick around for the rest of the ride! And for sticking around this far, I have a little gift for one lucky reader! I've been loving The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd. The book contains essays on motherhood, and it really is a special collection of stories by moms new and experienced. Follow the instructions below to enter, and share with your friends!
I've been tagged to do this post numerous times, and I have never gotten around to it. But I finally sat down and gathered up some facts you might not know about me!
10 Things You Didn't Know About Me
There you have it! Now you know some more about me hehe.
What's something that most people don't know about you?
A special thank you to Mixto Food & Drink for hosting us! And thank you to Jessica Marinello for most of these photos since I was a scatterbrain and didn't take any photos with my camera!
A few weeks ago I hosted my first brunch for local mom bloggers at Mixto Food & Drink in Miami Springs. It was an intimate affair where we got to chat about motherhood, family life, and balancing real life with being a blogger. It was a nice change of pace to be able to chat with other moms who are going through the same things as I am in multiple ways.
The brunch was an idea Gina, who owns the restaurant along with her husband Ernie, brought to me a few months ago, and after a postponement due to Hurricane Irma, we finally made it happen. I was excited to host brunch in a new spot with great meals, and Mixto did not disappoint!
First, can we talk about their decor? I love the black and gold decor and the amazing chandelier that you see when you walk in. The second floor is set up like a mini library with a few tables as well. I also love the communal table in the center of the restaurant. One of my favorite things however? The tables, which are decoupaged with pages from some of Gina's favorite books! She and her daughters did those all themselves. Such a cool idea!
But I know what you really want to know about is the food, right? They kicked off their brunch just a few weeks before we went, and the brunch menu made me want to try one of everything. I was between the Croquette Benedict and the Tater Tot Waffle, but I settled on the Croquette Benedict because, well, Eggs Benedict. Honestly, it was so good that I would have licked my plate had it not been for the fact that I was in the company of really wonderful ladies whom I did not want to gross out!
I followed up my breakfast with a cup of decaf hibiscus tea, which was delicious. And we decided to split a slice of guava cheesecake, which was spectacular.
And the amazing ladies who joined me, you should definitely go check them out! They are all amazing mommas and have some incredible talents and focuses that they show off on their blogs!
Angie at The Real Food Mama
Jessica at A Mother Adventure
Saray at Saray & Co.
Yarlenis at Her Inspired Guide
Nicole at Nico the Adventurista
We got to chat about blogging goals, motherhood goals, and shared tips and tricks for everything under the sun.
So go check out these mommas, and if you're in the area, go check out MiXto - I promise they won't disappoint!
P.S. If you're in the area on October 28th, MiXto is participating in a community trick-or-treat party, which is free to the community. It will take place from 5:30 - 8:30, so go check them out!
This week, the blog turns ONE! Even though the archives show posts back as far as February 2015, I didn't officially publish and promote the blog until I had enough content up and was making it a point to publish entries. But anyway, I can hardly believe it. I set about on this fun little endeavor thinking that I'd probably have a few close friends and family reading it. I don't get millions of hits to the site, but I get way more than I ever imagined.
First of all, I want to thank YOU! Yes, you! Thank you for reading and commenting and reposting and coming back to read my thoughts! You are the reason why I continue to put the effort into this little corner of the world. There have been days when I've thought about giving up, and I'll get a message from one of you, or someone will mention to somebody I know that they have been reading my posts and something resonated with them.
Know that in this age of algorithms and popularity-based views on social media networks, every like, share, and comment is so meaningful. I am eternally grateful to those of you who follow along and support all these posts that come from my heart!
I also want to take a minute to thank my husband, Eddie, and Caleb, the little guy who inspired me to start this blog. They are my number one fans, and are always putting up with me taking pictures and saying stuff like, "I can probably use this for the blog." Creating content regularly is no easy feat, and they never complain about my shenanigans.
And two two more friends I want to thank, Cary over at Cary Diaz Photography for capturing these awesome first birthday themed photos for me, and Kristi at Habit Boutique for dressing me perfectly for the occasion! The dress and blouse I am wearing in these photos were provided by her boutique. The colors are perfect and the quality of them is excellent! If you've never been, check it out in the heart of Coral Gables - she has beautiful pieces!
I've learned a lot about myself and about others over the past year of blogging. Some of it good, and some of it bad. But there are three things in particular that I want to share with you, whether you are blogging, working someone else's business, running your own business, or running your family.
1. Believe in yourself. You have to be ready to put in the work, but you also have to know that whatever vision you have for yourself, it can be done. I've learned that my mind is the most powerful tool I have, and vision plus hard work equals results.
2. Stop comparing yourself. I've had to tell myself countless times to stop comparing myself to so-and-so because they have 10k or 100k followers. I haven't been at this that long, and it's a saturated market. I have a unique perspective to offer, and comparing myself to what everyone else has or doesn't have is going to take my eyes off of my end goal. Just be 100% you.
3. There is an amazing world of kindness out there, you just have to be open to the opportunity. Early in my journey, a girl named Bessy (check her blog out here) reached out to me. She invited me into a group of blogger friends that she had made and they were all so kind and supportive. It was incredible to see how they embraced me so quickly. And like those women, I have found so many who are kind and helpful. Women who have helped me to be lifted when I was down about something. Women who told me to brush off negative comments or imitators (yes, I had someone copy my blog name ::insert eye roll here::). Women who empower other women and want to see nothing more than for them to succeed. Had I not responded to Bessy's initial message, I would have missed out on this amazing group of women. I've also made some amazing virtual BFFs, who I hope to highlight for you in the coming months.
But birthdays mean presents, right?! I'm not asking you for presents, but I AM giving some goodies away! I was going to give one bigger gift, but I thought it would be more fun to have multiple winners. So each week this month, I'm going to be giving something away! I'll be giving away products I LOVE and use often so that you can benefit from them, too! So check back weekly in the month of April to see what I have for you. The giveaway will open Monday morning and will close Thursday evening. I'll announce the winner Friday morning. And I'll be doing this for four weeks!
Thanks for all the love, friends!
Giveaway #1: Fueled by Caffeine & Jesus (grubby toddler hand not included)
When I was about 6 months into this stay-at-home mom gig, I still hadn't adjusted. I was feeling like I had to do everything at home perfectly and like I had to get everything right all the time. I'm not even sure how I came across it, but I somehow happened upon The Super Mom Myth by Becky Kopitzke. Her book pointed out so many things that I was doing and stressing over that I didn't need to be! It really changed my outlook on being a mom and a wife. And I want you to experience that, so included in my first giveaway is this book, along with this adorable one of a kind mug, complete with my handwriting, made by my friends at Creative Sparkles, and a sleeve of Nespresso coffee pods. Follow the directions below to enter and win!
I received no compensation for any of these products. Clothing was provided by Habit Boutique free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.