Monthly Favorites & Sharing Love

Wasn’t May 1st like…yesterday?

Is it just me, or is 2017 flying by for everyone else, too? Because I truly feel like this year has been flying by every single month and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Now we’re heading into the summer months, and I’m hoping to kick my blog work and goals into high gear for the second half of the year. What are your goals for June or for summer altogether? Make sure to share your goals in the comments below because #accountability. Am I right?! Also make sure to share what you’ve been loving this month whether they are beauty products, podcasts or anything in between!

May Favorites:

My favorites all weren’t necessarily beauty or fashion favorites, but they were favorites that I know we can all relate to if you love podcasts, blogging courses, and everything in between. Make sure to leave comment below telling me what you’ve been loving this month whether it’s food, fashion or tech-related!

1| The Lavendaire Lifestyle

I have been loving podcasts this month and I’m not too sure how I didn’t get into them months ago. I have been watching Aileen from Lavendaire on YouTube for awhile now, but I just recently began listening to her podcasts. Her podcasts alone have inspired me so much that I’ve been catching up on several episodes a day. (Not every day, but quite often!) I love how she is able to discuss different topics and reach her audience by sharing inspiration for living your best life. If you’re into podcasts like the Lively Show and Big Magic, you’ll love Lavendaire Lifestyle.

2| Blogging Courses

Y’all, I’ve been all about the downloads, e-courses, webinars, and everything else you can imagine. Whether it’s about pitching to brands, to learning more about Instagram—blogging courses in general have been my jam this month. I wanted to take the month to really focus on learning. So I put away the books for a month, and focused on courses, classes and videos. Needless to say, I have some plans for the blog I hope to share with you soon. I recently reviewed my notes from Erica’s #BrandOut presentation, and I’ve been putting some of those tips into actions. What blogging courses, webinars, e-books, etc. have you been loving? Make sure to share your favorites!

3| Pedicures

And if we’re being honest, I’ve been loving manicures, too. I go through phases where I get my pedicures done religiously basically from May to September and then stop from October through April. Because why spend money when your feet won’t see the light of day for months on end? So, I have given permission to treat myself for a few months out of the year for a pedicure and color change for summer.

4| Pinterest Inspiration 

For awhile, I was lacking inspiration in all areas of my life, but especially with blogging and my journey toward living minimally. I felt lost and needed to kickstart my inspiration ASAP. Pinterest has been incredible for me this month because of the way I’ve been using it. I haven’t been aimlessly scrolling on my feed. Instead, I treat it like “studying.” Ask yourself, what is your goal? Are you trying to get some motivation for decluttering your closet? Are you looking for clogging resources? Social media is an amazing tool to help achieve your goals when you use the platform wisely.

5| Self-Tanning Products

Back in high school and early college, I would tan for two months out of the year. You know the awkward period from April through May where you can wear spring/summer clothes, but you look horrible because you’re still so pale? But I know how horrible tanning is for you, which is why I decided to take an alternative route for getting a healthy, glowing look. My favorite product has been The Banana Boat Self-Tanning Lotion. It’s only $7 at Target (yes, really!) and I love everything about it. You don’t need to apply much to see results, and it doesn’t leave that sticky feeling on your skin. TBH it will be my go-to product from now on.


Sharing Love: May 

1| “I was born to stand out” from Erica 

I was yelling, “YASSS, PREACH” during this post because Erica was dropping some major true bombs left and right. Needless to say, I was ALL about it. Especially when she discussed how giving yourself permission to live your best life, you’re giving others permission to live their best lives as well! All of her insights on this topic hit home for me, so if you’re looking for a pick-me-up post, I’d give this a read as soon as possible. P.S. Who else joined in for Brand Out because I LOVED it. Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments on her tips!

2| How to Find Community in the Blogging World from Summer

Summer is one of those bloggers I can always trust for some amazing blogging advice, and this post was no different. I loved reading more about what specific things you should look for when looking for a blogging community that’s right for you and your blog. She also talks about the importance of community in the blogging world, which is something I needed to be reminded of. What are some of your favorite blogging communities and groups that you’re part of through social media? I’d love to check them out!

3| Summer Reading List from Neely

Guys, I needed a little reading motivation this month. The last two months have been slow in terms of books that I’ve read, so I’m hoping to change that for June and July. Neely has amazing taste in books, although I might be biased because I think her and I have similar taste in genres of books, which is why I trust her reviews and opening of books. Her post gave me a ton of new titles to add to my list for summer. I’m hoping to knock out three books or more for summer, so I want to get to it.

4| How to Stay Motivated from Rachel

Sometimes, it can be difficult to always stay motivated and stay on top of every to-do list, task and list of goals you have set for yourself. I love how she talks about the importance of finding your high energy times throughout the day so you can focus on your most important to-do list items for productivity. Organization and scheduling your day is so important to getting things done and staying motivated! If you’re trying to work on these things, check out her post!

5| Finding Work-Life Balance in a 24/7 World from Kristen

We simply live in a world where we are expected to work all the time and that’s not healthy whatsoever. It’s so important that we take time to set work aside, destress, unwind and recharge for the next day, so we can have another productive day at work! When I fist started my full-time job, I was all about working extra hours, checking emails at any hour of the day, etc. Now, when 5 p.m. rolls around, emails stop and I give myself the rest of the evening to relax and take the time to work out, read, spend time with Josh, etc. How do you unwind after a long day?

What have you been loving this month? What are some posts you have read this month that you have loved from your blog or from other bloggers? Make sure to share the links in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Monthly Favorites & Sharing Love

 

Dear April, please don’t go.

TBH this month was a whirlwind for me with working, traveling, new blogging projects and plans, birthday celebrating and so much more. But it was such a wonderful month, too. And with the blogging plans I have (stay tuned) I’m equally terrified and excited for May.

Today I’m sharing some things I loved in April. Be prepared because they aren’t the normal beauty favorites I typically share, but there will be some thrown in as well. You’ll also be seeing some amazing posts from bloggers from March & April because I didn’t have a chance to share some last month.

1| Travel

The travel bug is so real, y’all. For our birthday, Josh and I planned a week-long trip to Boston for the first time and it was incredible! We had so much fun exploring a new city together for the first time. But now all I want to do is travel and cross every city off my travel bucket list. Comment below your most recent trips and where I should go in the future!

2| Off-the-shoulder tops 

Why haven’t I bought an off-the-shoulder top sooner?! Friends, I’m in love and now I want all the off-the-shoulder tops I see in stores for spring and summer! I bought two from Express for $20 (yes, really) and I have been wearing them non-stop this month. So, if you see a ton of photos of me wearing one of two tops, it’s because I’m loving this trend.

3| Workouts

March was rough in terms of staying on track health wise, so I knew I needed to get it together in April. I rediscovered my love for kickboxing/jumping rope and forgot what an incredible workout it is. The best part is that you only have to do it for 20-30 minutes to feel the effects. And who doesn’t want a quick, but  effective workout?!

4| My Birthday

This was my first birthday where I wasn’t able to see friends or family on my actual birthday due to our Boston trip, but I was able to celebrate with family and friends on Easter weekend before we left. I felt so darn loved. My family and friends are truly incredible and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! 22 was a year full of exciting changes and opportunities, and I have a very good feeling 23 will be another amazing year, too.

5| Wella Shampoo & Conditioner

This duo has been life-changing for my hair in April, so much that I want to do a full review of the hair care products on my blog in the coming weeks! But let me tell you that you’re going to change your haircare routine completely when you leave more about these products. If you want to give your hair a little TLC, you need these in your life. Comment if you’re interested in seeing a review on these products!


Every month, I share some incredible posts from fellow bloggers in the community because I believe that sharing the love is always important. So, sit down with coffee/tea/wine and enjoy these posts from March and April from these lovely ladies!

1| Why I believe in Community over Competition from Erica

Remember what I said about sharing the love and focusing on the blogging community? My girl Erica deserves all the preach hands for this post. She is truly a wonderful writer who dishes out some serious truth to all bloggers! Let me share an amazing quote from her post that will make you want to read her post over and over: “Building others up does not bring you down. Light only gets brighter by being shared!” Can I get an amen on that?! Now go read this beautiful post ASAP.

2| How to Transition your Makeup Routine for Spring from Cara

Please tell me I’m not the only one who can get a little lazy about their makeup when it’s spring?! I have a hard time with this in March/April because it can still snow here in PA, so it’s not always very spring-like here, which means my makeup can look a little dark and dreary. Cara’s post was the perfect inspiration to get me in the mindset of spring looks and new makeup ideas. I’ve been loving my makeup look for spring so far.

3| How to Fall in Love With Your Blog Again from Cristina

If there was a post I truly needed to read at the right time—this would be the post. We have all been in a place where we slightly fall out of love with our blogs. We feel like our content isn’t exactly what we’re looking for, and we feel exhausted and lose motivation. Cristina lays outs some awesome tips to fall in love with your blog by remembering why you started and appreciating the flaws! Needless to say, this post will bring a little bliss if you’re in a bit of a blogging rut.

4| How to use Hashtags to Increase your Instagram Engagement from Jenny

Let me start by saying that I love all of Jenny’s blogging-related advice and tips. This girl can teach you so much about all things related to your blog, so I’m constantly looking for tips from her content. Also, I struggle with Instagram and find that the new algorithm to make things even more complicated. Jenny offers some incredible insight on making Instagram work for you with niche-specific hashtags, and seeing what hashtags similar bloggers are using as well. TBH, you’ll want to check out this list.

5| How to Make Money Blogging from Erin

Sometimes we forget that blogging can be a full-time career. This is something that I am striving in the next two years because I truly love creating content and I want to be able work on my blog full time in the future. However I know it will take a little bit of time and patience before I can get there. Until then, if you’re looking for some great ways to make money blogging, you’ll want to catch up on this post from Erin who shares some amazing tips for you!

What have you been loving this month? Make sure to share any posts you have loved this month from blogging or from your own blog! I would love to catch up on anything you want to share! 

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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Finding My Blogging Voice & Why It’s Important For Your Readers

I’m about to be completely real with you guys.

I don’t feel like I am always 100 percent myself on my blog.

By that I mean that I think some posts from the past seem robotic, inauthentic, and not always who I am.

With my journalism background, I was trained to write in AP style. I removed some all cliches from my posts, I kept things to the point, and always took grammar into account. I removed needless words, and considered every technical writing term to see what would make the best “flow.”

That’s perfectly fine when you’re working on a news story, or a magazine feature, but not when you’re trying to create relatable content on YOUR blog. Your blog should be a direct reflection of you and the work that you want to share with the world.

For me, I was afraid for ruining my “reputation” as a writer altogether. But the truth is, I’m NOT that serious (like some of my writing may come off) when you meet me in person. I’m quirky. I make jokes and keep things laid back. I’m also incredibly sarcastic. The only person who really sees this side of me every single day is Josh and my coworkers. Trust me, they can attest to my behavior. I’m professional but like anyone, I open up a little more once you get to know me outside of the office.

I think I tried to make my blogging voice more subtle, professional and straight to the point. But when I read back my content, I wanted to add a joke here, a sarcastic comment there and make it more me.

Instead, I would hit publish and carry on with my day.

Now, I’m not saying that every post I’ve written has been this way. But there are a few where I look back think, “Wow, that’s so dry and emotionless, Kiara. That’s not you at all. You wouldn’t have said *insert long-winded, sarcastic comment here*.”

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. You’re not going to see some completely different voice in my content. I simply plan to not delete anything that I would write naturally. And, I’m not going to keep change the style of my content. I might add the occasional, sarcastic tidbit that’s completely unnecessary but it will definitely bring a smile to your face.


So here’s what I’ve learned about my blogging voice and why having your blogging voice important:

1| Your readers get to know the REAL you.

When I read other blogger’s content, I truly feel like I get to know them as a person; and I want them to feel the same way when people read my content.

2| It gives a unique edge to your content.

When you toss in a sarcastic comment here or a random pun there—it takes your post from standard to unique! It helps readers identify your content from other bloggers!

3| It helps you stand out among other bloggers.

See above. But it’s amazing what showing your true self can do for your blog content. Help your readers pick out your post from the thousands of blogging online. It will resonate with them and they will remember you.

4| You’ll be able to write more naturally.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped mid post because I felt like I had to not be myself with the jokes, comments, etc. This makes the writing process difficult and frustrating. Be yourself and the words will flow easily.

If you’re a blogger, inspiring writer, or somewhere in between—I hope you never fear to make your content uniquely yours. It’s okay if it doesn’t fit another blogger’s style. It’s not supposed to. It should fit your style.

Have you ever struggled to find your blogging voice? What tips would you share with bloggers going through this? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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