Over the last month, I have been taking part in a consistency challenge with Mattie James. The challenge was to write a blog post every week day from July 6-31, adding up to a total of 2o blog posts for the month.
To be totally honest, I started it but definitely did not think I would finish it. I knew we would be on vacation two weeks out of the month, and with my birthday yesterday, I wasn’t sure how I would realistically get it all done.
I decided to do the challenge for several reasons. The first was because my word for 2020 is consistency. The second is because I had gotten lazy with posting on my website. I was posting once a week or once every two weeks, and that definitely was not working out in driving traffic to my blog. You see, the way Mattie explained it, when you focus on social media, you’re focused on what is essentially rented space. Someone else owns your social media space. If Instagram gets shut down tomorrow (not likely but absolutely plausible - remember Vine?), where can your audience still find you? And are you still providing value there?
I wasn’t thinking of all those things, and my posting had gotten way too sporadic. I was coming up with every excuse under the sun to not post and I was claiming “writer’s block” wasn’t letting me come up with content. The truth is, I was getting in my own way. I wasn’t setting aside time to write and it showed. During the last month, I planned ahead, I wrote several posts at a time, and I scheduled blog posts in advance when I knew I would be tied up. They didn’t take nearly as long as I had built them up to in my head, and I’m grateful that I decided to take part!
While I don’t plan to continue to post every single day, Ido plan to post on a much more consistent schedule. And in any case, I'm proud of myself for getting through the month of July!
If you are new to blogging (even if you’re not) and haven’t been consistent with posting, I challenge you to come up with your own consistency challenge and stick to it. Let me know how it goes!
Happy Friday, friends!
If there is one thing I am grateful for when it comes to social media, it's all the amazing women I have been able to connect with. I have found so many moms who in one way or another I can relate to and who make me feel a little less alone when it comes to motherhood. I'm linking all their Instagram pages, but most of them have really incredible blogs with tons of information on there.
@themattiejames aka Mattie James
Mattie is the ultimate blogging boss mom. She puts out such amazing information, her campaigns are so well done, and she has a really great way of showing her audience the behind-the-scenes of blogging. She also has some incredible courses, and if you're a new blogger, you should definitely be following her.
@thoughtfullyorganized aka Jessica DeSiato
I never knew how much help I needed in organizing until I met my friend (and neighbor) Jessica, the mind behind Thoughtfully Organized. She is truly thoughtful about the way she organizes everything and she makes organization seem achievable. Follow her for some incredible tips!
@whineandcheezits aka Rachel Sobel
If you want to laugh, you need to be following Rachel. She's brutally honest, and her tweets will make you think that she has been reading your mind.
@JoyfullyGreen aka Joy Green
I met Joy in New York when we were there for a Johnson's event in 2018. She really is a joy and her Instagram is a whimsical dream. Think balloon arches, rainbows, and flowers. Her little ones are too cute, and her personality is infectious.
@BambinaDiaries aka Krystal and Maddy
Two Miami natives who are in Orlando and Atlanta, respectively. They have some great resources and share all kinds of awesome products and local finds for moms.
@adventuresoflawyermom aka Jazmine
Jazmine and I co-hosted an event at Ann Taylor in December, and all I could think when I met her was "This woman has it all." She's gorgeous, and she's smart. She has great style, and her posts are very informative.
@drschellcares aka Dr. Jennifer Schell
Jenny is an ob-gyn who started a postpartum concierge service. She answers women's gynecological questions on IG (it's not medical advice, relax), and I have seen how much good she has been able to do.
@stephaniejimenezmiami aka Stephanie Jimenez
Funny story... Stephanie and I actually went to high school together and I used to drive her home after school! She is a badass mom of two who has battled with binge eating. She is very vocal about her journey to healthier living and about how she manages her emotions to prevent binges. Her stories are really entertaining, too!
Go give these super moms a follow if you aren't already. I promise you won't be disappointed!
I was recently asked by a follower and emerging blogger how I stay organized. The truth is, I work really hard at being organized, and actually, I probably waste some time each day just trying to "get organized" instead of actually doing what I need to do. But over the last few months, with less to do and more time to work on things like this, I started to put a system in place to help me stay organized.
Right now, there are three main tools I have been using to keep myself organized.
My iPhone's Calendar App
I have always used my calendar app, and recently Eddie and I started sharing a calendar and anything that we both need to know about goes on there. I use this mostly for events and things that require physical presence, school events and important dates - birthdays, vacations, things like that. We include work events, my shoots, and appointments. Lately this is looking a little sparse, but I'm okay with that!
A Paper Planner
I am and always have been a paper girl. I love to physically write, use pens, stickers, and all those silly things. It's another way I decompress, I guess. I use my physical planner to map out what my week looks like, to plan out blog posts, and to have a "picture" of what everything looks like together. This is where I keep due dates for campaigns, blog posts, where I write notes from calls I've taken, and most recently, I had been including all of our zoom calls on there. I have been using Erin Condren for a few years, but I decided to switch over to the Blessed is She planner starting in August. It has an hourly breakdown per day, plus note pages for each week, a place to make a grocery list, meal planning, and prayer reminders. (Blessed is She is a network of Catholic women - they have a daily devotional e-mail you can subscribe to and they sell products, like this planner). I have been very happy with my Erin Condren planners, but was looking for an added way to boost my prayer life, which is why I made this switch.
Thanks to my friend Marylin, I recently discovered how functional Trello is and I've created several boards for some categories I found helpful. I have a board for general to-do's, one for sponsored blog partnerships, and one for blogging in general. In Trello, you create columns, and under each column you add cards. Within each card you can add attachments, checklists, due dates, and labels. You can easily move cards from one column to another, so cards can go from an "Idea" column to an "In Progress" column and make their way to when they are complete! I am currently using a free account and still have plenty of functionality. What I like about this is that it can be used across all my devices so if I have an idea I can just add it, even if I am on the go. It has really come in handy during my consistency challenge in July!
I think organization is such a personal thing. It looks different for everyone, and each of our brains works differently. These are just some of the tools I use and have found to work for me. I've tried a lot of different strategies, but for now, this is what I have found that just works best for me and my needs.
Have you used any of these tools? Is there something else that you have found that works really well for you? Let me know in the comments below!
On Sunday, May 5, I had the chance to celebrate the third anniversary of the blog with some friends, family, and followers that I was able to put faces to. It was a great day, and I'm so grateful for all the people who came out to say hi and show their support, as well as all the amazing people who helped make the event a success.
We were hosted by Cao Bakery in their flagship location on Miami Beach. If you grew up in South Florida, you know the iconic Vicky Bakery, and this is a branch of Vicky Bakery. They have some of your classic favorites like pastelitos and croquetas, but they are also bringing new items to the table (no joke, they bring it out to you!). We are so grateful for their hospitality and for the beautiful location and tasty bites they gave us to sample.
The first 15 guests to arrive received goody bags, filled with all kinds of awesome stuff. We had items from Johnson's Baby, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, and Aveeno. There were discount cards for a photo session with me, and discount cards for an organizing session with Jessica of Thoughtfully Organized. There were full sized Mary Kay products thanks to Mari Grenillo, a travel-sized bottle of Erase makeup remover from Selah Skin Studio, and mini liquor bottles thanks to my friend Mari of Royal Liquors.
Our guests enjoyed some bubbly and rose from Obvious Wines, courtesy of my incredible husband and his company, Freehold Real Estate. Parents could also have some of the great sitters from College Nannies Sitters and Tutors watch their kids so they could enjoy some time socializing and grabbing a bite! My beautiful friend Sasha De Almagro was snapping away throughout the entire event to capture all these awesome photos for me to share with you!
We also had some great prizes to raffle off, and I couldn't have done that without the generosity of so many of my favorite brands!
You definitely want to check them out!
I am eternally grateful to all of you for your continued support and for trusting in my recommendations and what I share with you. YOU are the reason I continue to do this. I couldn't do it without the support of my family and friends, and I hope that I can continue making you proud for many years to come!
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