I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. But this year I have decided that I need to set some goals for myself and for this blog. I won’t put you to sleep with all the boring behind-the-scenes stuff that I want to do. But I think that if I put these out there for the world to see, I might feel more inclined to hold myself to them. Do you set goals? Do you complete them?
} I want to really figure out what my “brand” is and redesign the blog to fit that. I have been talking about it for a year now and haven’t made any headway. And it is eating me up inside! I need to make time for this.
} I want to continue to work with brands and produce great content. I would love to try pitching some projects with companies that are a natural fit for me.
} I want to really focus on my content and figure out how to streamline my process. Right now I cram all my blog work in to 9 hours while my youngest is in preschool and it is a struggle. I need to create a studio area where I can create, shoot and move on without wrecking my entire house.
} I need to think about what I truly want to share with you and would if money was no object. And then figure out how to make it happen with no money. I have concepts and styled shoots aching to come out that don’t. I need to make this happen!
} I need to work on my creative confidence. I find that when I am in a group of talented women, I start to second guess my instincts and let others take the lead. I need to remember that I am talented and have my own strengths. So my painting might not be as good or I can’t cut in the straightest line, but I know I can do these things and do them well. Except for drawing. I’ve accepted that.
} I need to organize my props. I have some amazing pieces to use in my garage but I can’t find them easily or get to some of them. If I’m trying to streamline my process, this should be all set and ready to go so that I can get something out and then put it right back where it goes again.
} I need to make time for inspiration gathering. Inspiration is everywhere and I need to be out in it. I am a home body who sticks to a pretty rigid schedule with my family and work. I need to make time to explore new places and see new things. This will be a positive for the kids too.
} I want to take better care of my health. I need to start exercising. I need to commit to using sunscreen each day on myself and my kids. And more.
} I want to really focus on the friendships that matter. I need to make it a priority. I want to make them a priority.
} I’ve let myself go, yo. I hardly ever blow dry my hair and I’ve become used to seeing myself with minimal makeup. But I feel so much better when I look better. And while my eyebrows are blond, it is no excuse for letting them look like my Dad’s (no offense, Dad – they totally work for you!)
Dang. That looks like a lot… But they are needed and important! Wish me luck!
*This image is of some goal planning letterpress cards sent to me by Bing in preparation for Alt Summit. I think these are going to help me organize my months and really prioritize. And they are just SO pretty! Thanks Bing!
*The FTC has made some new rules, one of which is to place a disclaimer at the very beginning of each post that is sponsored or compensated in some way. While this post is not sponsored, you will be seeing some changes to my blog format which may include a disclosure in this location.
Let’s talk for a minute about why I love sponsored posts and will continue to do them. There has been lots of talk recently about FTC guidelines and disclosing when you are compensated for a post. And about how many of them that you should do so that your readers are not put off. I have heard people say that they will not read a post if there is a disclosure at the beginning of the post but if they get to the bottom and see the disclosure they are ok with it as long as the content was authentic and didn’t seem sponsored. As the FTC is requiring us to disclose sponsored posts at the beginning and end of the post, I wanted to share why I do sponsored posts and why I hope you will keep reading my blog. To clarify, a sponsored post is a post in which you have been compensated in some way. It might be in the form of money, product, services, etc.
I’ll be frank. Sometimes I take a sponsored post because I know it will make my kid’s happy. Talking about you, Cool Whip.
The opportunities that blogging has brought me are mind blowing. From being able to make a little bit of money to put back in to my blog while still being a stay-at-home-mom to my kids, to behind the scenes experiences with well-known brands and products, blogging is the reason for all of that. There are TONS of things that I want to share with my readers that are not sponsored but there are also some crazy cool things that are sponsored that I want to share too! Like when I had my makeup done by celebrity makeup artist, Tia Dantzler?! The coolest. She’s done J Hud, The President and, you know, me. Or that Italian food tour of Los Angeles that Bertolli took me on? You KNOW you are going to hear every detail about that day. There is no way that I could attend every event that comes my way due to simple scheduling but I want you to know that I keep you in mind when deciding what things to go to. Please know that I thought of you during every bite of food at my 7 course tasting dinner at Five Crowns.
If you are a long time reader, you know I am a very creative person and I really enjoy a challenge. I make it my goal to bring you authentic content for each and every post. I also try to be as honest as possible. In my post for Hellman’s Mayonnaise, I was up front about not liking mayo. At first I didn’t want to do the project because of the fact that I don’t like mayo but there were a lot of positives about that campaign. It prompted me to make a video, which I had been wanting to do but hadn’t really had a reason to yet. It made me have a dinner party to share the recipes with friends (who doesn’t love doing that!) and it really made me figure out a way to connect with the message I was sharing.
But I am human and we all make mistakes. Of course there are things that I wish I wouldn’t have posted about just because someone asked me to. But it is important to remember that new bloggers learn as they go and make mistakes along the way. We shouldn’t judge them but encourage them and help them to learn. I would like to think that I make much better choices in terms of what sponsored posts to do at this point. I have come a long way from my first sponsored post for a BBQ grill cleaner…and let me just remind you that when my blog started I only talked about parties. It was a bit of a stretch. And guess what? We still use and love that BBQ grill cleaner! I get super excited when I get to try out a product before it is launched and share my opinion.
I will never share something with you that I don’t love. I have turned down SO many paid opportunities and product reviews that are just not a good fit. But why should I turn down money for something that I would want to share with you anyway? For instance, I’ve just applied to be part of a TV-based campaign. While I feel like my month of May and June are full of compensated posts, I will not turn down the chance to share with you something that my youngest son has been totally in to for the past 2 months in real life, without knowing this campaign was coming up. And I really hope I get it because it is a perfect fit. You guys, this month I get to do so many amazing things that I can’t wait to share with you regardless of the fact that they are sponsored for instance, throw two parties (um, hello, you know that is where it all began), attend a cool multi-faceted All American event (I also find so much inspiration in a well produced event), support a new local store (that just happens to be a store I am in love with – please remember to read Friday’s post) and watch a new reality show and tell you all about it (WORD TO YOUR MOTHER).
So I hope you will keep reading to see my experiences, see what brands I am creating content for and of course my family and my favorite things. While this started out as a creative outlet for me, it truly has turned in to something larger, for each and every one of you.