Thursday, January 25, 2018

Why I Stopped Blogging

I have always loved writing. When I was younger, I used to dream about becoming a published author. Does this blog count? ;) After I stopped teaching three years ago (I can't believe it's already been three years!) I decided to start this blog as a way to explore some of my other passions: decorating, cooking, fashion, travel, and of course, writing.

I enjoyed producing content, but always felt embarrassed and uncomfortable about sharing it with anyone. There are so many amazing influencers (blogs and on Instagram) that I follow, and they make it look so easy. It comes naturally to them. Not for me. I guess I lack the self-confidence it takes to be able to put myself out there and say, "Come follow me! Look at how awesome I am! If you buy this you'll be awesome too!" That's not to say that any of the influencers that I follow are doing that. Every one of them seems real, not like they're just putting on a show to get you to go out and spend money. However, with that being said, it's hard to be an influencer and make money (it is a job) without looking like you're telling people to "buy all the things." It's hard to follow someone's blog or Instagram and see them sharing cute new clothes or decor all the time and not start to think you need to buy the clothes or decor too. I have a closet full of clothes that I really didn't need because I was sucked into believing I needed "all the things." But again, that's not the influencer's fault, it's mine for feeling like I needed to spend money to be happy/better.

I never planned on making my blog a career. It's not. I've never made money off of this blog (if you clicked a link I shared I would get 5 cents put into an account, but you only ever get paid once you hit a certain level and I never got there), and I'm totally fine with that. I did receive those PopSugar Must Have boxes for free in exchange for a review (it didn't have to be on the blog, just social media). In all honesty, I loved the boxes that I received, and still use many of the items that were included, but I haven't ever purchased a box, so it was disingenuous of me to tell you to go out and buy one. With that being said, if I hadn't received so many boxes free I may have tried it just once for fun. I have tried Birchbox and Stitch Fix and it was always fun opening "happy mail," but the point is that you didn't need it, so it wasn't fair of me to show it to you and say "Here's this offer code. Go spend money!" I don't want to be that person that tells you that you need to completely revamp your wardrobe or decorate your house to be enough. You don't. You are beautiful and your house is a home. And that's enough.

I do want to continue writing, but I don't really know what to write about. That's one of the big reasons I stopped blogging - I didn't want to always be sharing new things for you to go buy, but I didn't know what to write about if it wasn't that. And again, I don't necessarily feel 100% comfortable putting myself out there. I definitely have some insecurities I need to work on, and I need to stop looking at other bloggers and Instagrammers and comparing myself to them. I am enough. I think I actually wrote a blog post awhile back with that title. I guess I should probably go back and read it and see if what I said then can finally sink in. Read it. Definitely need to take what I said to heart.

If there is something that you would like to see on this blog, please share! I've got plenty of time, so if you want book reviews, vacation itineraries (I'm currently researching and planning for our trip to Park City in March, but I'd be happy to do some research on your vacation for you - it's seriously #sofun to research and plan out a vacation - even if I'm not the one taking it ;), meals, closet staples, etc. I want to write, but I really don't know what to write, so if you want to hear from me, please share your ideas/requests! I don't know, maybe I'll just use this as a journal, though journals are usually meant to be private. I don't know. I'm still trying to find my purpose (my #oneword for the year).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Affordable Booties

I don't know about you, but I don't always want to spend a ton of money on shoes. Target is pretty much my favorite store to buy anything, and I have to say, when it comes to booties #targetdoesitagain! Here are some of my favorites.

2. Double Zipper Booties I got these last year in both the cognac and black (I did go up a half size). Even after wearing them all the time, they still look brand new! Highly recommend!

4. Leopard Booties - I had been eyeing a much more expensive pair of leopard booties on the Nordstrom website, but couldn't quite justify spending the money since I wasn't sure how much I'd actually wear them. I am so glad I held off because I absolutely LOVE these and the price was so much better! These fit TTS.

5. Burgundy Suede Booties - I wear a lot of neutral tones, but I love the idea of adding interest to my outfit with my shoes (hello leopard booties!), and this burgundy color is perfect for fall!

I have done way too much shopping lately so I'm trying NOT to buy anything for awhile, but I'm afraid the sock booties and the burgundy booties may be calling my name! LOL! Which are your favorite?


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What I'm Packing for Hawaii

I'm not usually into getting clothes to match my vacation destination, but it seems that most of the items I've purchased for the summer seem to match our destination: Hawaii!

Orange Dress As soon as I saw this dress, I knew it would be perfect for our trip! It just looks like Hawaii to me.

Flamingo Shorts I ordered these shorts on a whim, and I have to say that I love them! The pattern is so fun! I also got these and these. I love to pair a patterned bottom with a basic top. They'll look great with my favorite v-neck tees and tanks!

White Embroidered Blouse The embroidery on this blouse is so pretty, and I love that the material a little heavier weight (read: not sheer)!

Bikini (Top & Bottom) I love that this swimsuit brand comes in small, medium, and large, but also the cup sizes D and DD. I am always worried about not getting enough support from bikini tops, but this one is great!

Sandals (less than $30) I posted about these in this post, and am so glad that I ended up ordering them! They're so cute and fun!

Straw Purse I got this version for Mother's Day, but I love the orange - it would look great with the orange dress!

Earrings If there's ever a time to step out of my comfort zone and wear some fun tassel earrings, Hawaii is it!

Sleep Shorts I either sleep in these sleep shorts and a tank top, or this romper. Super comfortable and cool (as in not hot, I'm not commenting on how cool I am!).

Black Strapless Romper Maxi This was a last minute purchase. I love the combination of shorts and the maxi skirt!

Here are some other items I'm packing for the trip! Are you taking any trips this summer?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Travel Essentials

We have some fun trips planned for the summer, so I've been doing some travel research and planning to get ready. Today I thought I'd share some of my newfound travel/packing wisdom with you. :)

1. Packing Cubes I am what you would call an overpacker, so I'm all for anything that will help reduce the amount of luggage I need without reducing the amount of stuff I'm bringing. LOL! I've read really good things about packing cubes, so I decided to try them out. I ordered the six piece value set as well as a three pack of the medium bags. The first time I use them will be when we go to Hawaii in June, so I'll do a full review after that, but if you're looking for ways to organize your suitcase now, definitely check them out!

2. Woolite Travel Detergent Packets I am notorious for spilling on myself (if I can make it through a meal without getting food in my hair or on my clothes it's a miracle!), so while wearing something more than once on a trip sounds like a great idea, it's rarely ever worked out in the past. I discovered these Woolite Travel Packets on our trip to Europe a few years ago, and now I don't travel without them! They're perfect for throwing in your suitcase, and it's really quick and easy to handwash an item in your hotel room sink when needed.

3. Wet Beach Stuff Bag Oftentimes when traveling your return flight is after your checkout time, but it's hard to go to the pool because you don't want to pack a wet swimsuit in your suitcase. This wet stuff beach bag is the perfect solution to that problem - now you can spend your last morning relaxing by the pool or on the beach, and when you're ready to change out of your wet suit you can stick it in the bag before throwing it in your suitcase. Sounds heavenly (pool/beach time, not a wet bag in your suitcase - ha!).

4. SKITS Tech Case I mentioned this in my Holiday Gift Guide for Him and I have to say that this is probably one of Michael's favorite gifts from Christmas! It seems so silly that someone would be excited over cord organization, but when you think about how many chargers you need to take with you when you travel (phone charger, eReader charger, fitness watch charger, laptop/iPad charger, etc) it really comes in handy in terms of keeping cords organized and untangled.

5. Noise Canceling Headphones I've been going back and forth about whether or not I should order these before our Hawaii trip. We're flying first class, and the airline's website says they provide them, but what if they run out or just don't end up having them? They're pretty expensive to buy, and I'm not sure how often I'll use them other than when we're traveling, but at this point I don't have any headphones (I lost my earbuds when we were in Mexico last year) so I probably need to get something. If you travel a lot like Michael does, then you should probably invest in some good noise canceling headphones (Michael has these and loves them), but if you don't travel as much a good pair of earbuds is probably enough.

6. Kindle Paperwhite In the past I've always carried at least one book onto the plane with me and packed one in my suitcase, but they tend to take up space and add weight, so I'm excited to start traveling with my Kindle instead! When I first got it I wasn't sure I liked it, but it's so handy to have a book with me wherever I go, and it weighs less than 8 oz so it doesn't add much weight to my bag (truth be told, I don't feel much of a difference when it's in/out of my bag). It's also really nice because as long as I can connect to WiFi I can always download a new book, so I'm never without something to read!

7. Passport Holder If you're leaving the country, you need something to hold your passport that will stand out when you're digging for it in your bag, and it doesn't hurt if it's cute!

8. Large Tote When I travel I like to bring a book, a puzzle book, magazines, my wallet, a snack (essential on the plane to help prevent motion sickness), a cardigan, etc, and I don't want to get bogged down with an extra bag, so I carry my LV Neverfull and fill it to the brim. I usually keep all of our passports in my purse, so I keep them in the wristlet that came with my LV Neverfull. This reversible tote & wristlet (less than $50!) would work perfectly to hold your passports/travel documents and all of your other travel essentials! And it comes in so many fun colors (I especially love the blue/grey combo)!

Where are you traveling to this summer? What are your travel essentials?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Life Update

I wanted to pop in and let you know that my posts may be a bit light for the next month or so. I was offered a tutoring job at the elementary school where I used to teach (the school my kids go to) that I just couldn't pass up. Initially it was going to be half day, so I though I'd still have time to blog, work out, stick to the cleaning schedule that I started a few weeks ago, etc, but now it's full day, so it's going to be a balancing act. At the end of the month I'm either going to be filling out an application for a full-time teaching job next year or be exhausted and ready for a vacation (or both!). A few months ago I was sure that I'd be back to teaching full-time next year, but then I started to find my way, and now I'm kind of thinking I'm good the way things are. Of course, I'm two days into my tutoring job and spent half the night planning for the groups I'm working with, so teaching is definitely a passion. We shall see. If any of my PTA friends are reading this they're probably freaking out a bit right now - I signed up to be president-elect next year, and can't exactly do that if I'm teaching! Rest assured ladies, I'm happy where I am. I think?

Anyhow, I will update my blog when I can, and I'll do my best to keep up with my Facebook page. If you haven't liked my page yet, please do!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Am Enough

I have been debating about whether or not to write this post, but I decided that if I'm going to be real with you then I need to put it all out there. I've been struggling a lot lately with whether or not I'm I pretty enough? Smart enough? Am I a good enough mom? Wife? Sister? Daughter? Friend? Blogger?

Unfortunately a lot of these feelings have come up since I stopped working. Being a stay-at-home mom when your kids are at school, your husband is at work/traveling, and most of your friends are still working is hard. It's lonely. That's one of the reasons I started this blog. It's a way for me to still feel connected to something. When I write a blog post it's like I'm talking to a friend. I'm not as lonely. I enjoy it. But it's also hard because I don't necessarily feel like I can write a post if I don't have something "new" to share. Since there isn't much new going on in my life, that usually means new clothes, shoes, decor, etc. And that means I'm spending money. It's not like I'm spending my way into serious debt, but it's also not realistic to always be going out (or online) and buying things. And again, am I good enough at this where people actually want to read what I'm writing? Am I writing about things people actually care about? At this point my blog traffic isn't very high, but is it because people aren't interested in what I have to say or is it because I'm not good enough (again with not being good enough!) at marketing myself?

It's so hard not to compare myself to the other bloggers I follow. And at this point my followers pale in comparison to theirs. But it's not about them, it's about me. I need to stop comparing myself to them, but as women isn't that what we always do? We live in a society where we're constantly comparing ourselves to others. I even find myself comparing Sophia and Carter at times. But I shouldn't compare them. And I shouldn't be comparing myself to anyone. But how do you stop? I guess the first step, as with anything, is recognizing that it's happening, which I guess I'm doing now.

I am good enough at everything I do. Could I be better? Absolutely. But I only need to be better for myself, not for my blog audience (that would be you), however big or small, not for anyone. I am enough.

Source of Quotes

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Trends: Tassels & Pompoms

A huge trend the past few years, in everything from jewelry to home decor items, is tassels and pompoms. It's such a fun and easy way to add some flair to your outfit and home, and there is no shortage of options in all categories!


I tend to wear stud earrings more often than anything, but every once in awhile I like to wear a statement piece. Up until recently that meant a chunkier necklace, but lately I've been drawn to fun earrings. BaubleBar has been my go-to for affordable statement jewelry, and now they have an even more affordable line at Target! It's called SUGARFIX by BaubleBar. Everything is less than $30 ~ all the earrings are under $20! When you can get a fun pair of earrings for $12.99, you don't feel so bad if you only wear them a few times (or if we're being honest here, still haven't worn them....I'm packing them for Hawaii and will wear them then....). Here are some of my favorites, both from BaubleBar and their SUGARFIX line from Target.

Fashion & Accessories

Tassels and pompoms are just fun! When I was browsing, I did find a pair of jeans that were just a bit much, but other than that I loved everything I was seeing! I mean, how can you say not say hello right back to that sweet little iPhone case (pun intended)?

10. iPhone Case

Home Decor

There's something about tassel and poms in home decor that makes me think of summer. They're whimsical, and add a touch of playfulness to your home (trying hard not to just say cute and fun all the time). 

1. Throw Pillow (on sale!)
5. Stool
8. Pom Pom Pillow (on sale!)

I need to STOP shopping, so I'm resisting placing any orders today, but several of these are on my wish list!