Jersey Girl, Texan Heart: 5 for Friday Blogiversary Edition and a Giveaway!
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5 for Friday Blogiversary Edition and a Giveaway!

4:00 AM

Today my blog turns 2!  I’m so over the moon about this!  It’s crazy to think that I’m excited over a birthday/anniversary over something that is not a person or fur child haha.  To me it’s a big accomplishment because for the past two years I’ve been taking outfit pictures, working on nail art, I started baking, I started a small business making mason jar center pieces and wire bangles, and so many more things like going to California for the first time and taking y’all on my weight loss journey even though it was only a little over 20 lbs, oh and let’s not forget about how I have a collaboration with Cavenders, only the best store to get cowgirl boots from and where I actually got my first pair when I lived in Texas BEFORE blogging.  When I look back on the last two years (I don’t count the posts in 2010 because I was not consistent, just in case you see those in the archive and wonder huh?  What is she talking about?) I’m filled with joy over the relationships both professional and personal I’ve made and friendships that have turned into family.  The blogging community is a funny little thing because even though we are all technically competing against each other, we don’t act like it.  We blog for our own purposes and even though most of my blogger friends are fashion bloggers, we are all for encouraging each other and it’s just crazy to think that I’m a part of this.  Don’t get me wrong I have met bloggers that I can count on one hand that have not been humble and have let the cyber fame affect their character but out of all of the people I have met, less than a handful of people is nothing.  At the bottom of this post I’ll have a giveaway for my 2 Year Blogiversary and since it’s 5 for Friday I’m going to do things a little different today.  I’m going to write about 5 things I’ve learned from blogging whether it be specifically for blogging or if it’s life lessons.  Then I’ll go on to talk about 5 things I wish to accomplish.  Thank you so much for supporting this blog and enjoying what I post as much as I enjoy posting.  It truly means a lot!  Oh P.S., this will be a really long read haha.

5 Things I learned

1.  Confidence

Well, let’s just put it this way, believe it or not before this blog I was extremely self conscious.  I mean, I still have insecurities but I feel as though almost everyone does.  No one is perfect and there is always something that we would like to change.  Of course in the beginning of the blog I never even thought about taking pictures anywhere but my home, I was so scared and I kept thinking how people are going to react.  Are they going to think I’m narcissistic?  Will they stare?  Will they make fun of me?  The first time I ever took pictures anywhere but my home you can tell that I was so stressed and insecure.  I had this look of deer caught in headlights type scared.  Once I got over that fear of what people will think I started to apply it in real life too.  Of course I still sometimes get nervous in front of the camera (I’ve gotten some interesting photo bombs from bystanders haha) and still wonder what people will think but it’s not as overwhelming of a feeling as before.  Now, going back to applying this newly found attitude to my real life.  Growing up ever since we moved up to where we live now (since first grade) I was always the outcast.  Of course I had friends, but from day one I was made fun of.  I will never forget being on the bus and being so excited about my new Barney boots and I was made fun of so bad that I NEVER wore them again.  I even refused to wear them outside of school.  Throughout the years I was made fun of for my appearance, weight, and for being Polish.  There were many times where I purposely faked a stomach ache (which wasn’t too suspicious because I had/have stomach issues) just to go home.  So, as soon as I started to feel more comfortable thanks to blogging between the ages of 25-27 (yes, I know it took me a while) I realized that confidence is key.  When you feel confident and sure of yourself it reflects in your photos.  As a fashion blogger, since I do show my face, it’s important to look confident in what I’m wearing.  How is someone supposed to trust my style if I don’t even look comfortable in it?  It’s crazy to think that a blog in a small piece of the cyber world has helped me overcome 20+ years of insecurities.

2.  Positive Attitude

Something that goes along with confidence is a positive attitude.  Once you’re confident, your attitude changes.  You smile more, you approach people more, and you’re just all around more comfortable in your own skin.  Having a positive attitude in the blogging world is key, as well as in your personal life.  In the blogging world it’s a little easier because you have to be positive moreso in writing because I blog more often than actually meet people, hold meetings/events, and go to conferences.  It’s easy to put on an act that you are bubbly and happy, but it’s also easy to spot when you aren’t being sincere.  My attitude is the same on my blog and in person.  I’ve noticed that whatever attitude I have reflects in my writing, so if I’m having a bad day I don’t even go on my blog.  I don’t write a single world.  I’ve read content that I posted on my blog when I was in a bad mood and you can tell it’s not the same bubbly happy self that I usually am.  I’ve learned to not fret over the little things in life and whatever stress I have to deal with it.  If I’m stressed at work I try and leave that as soon as that door closes behind me, and vice versa if I’m stressed in my personal life.  When they say misery loves company they really are telling the truth.  Prior to my blog starting back up in 2013 I was more negative than positive.  It only seemed to get progressively worse.  The only reason why I was positive was because I never gave up and just hoped things would get better.  Once I started seeing more good in my tough times than bad things started to look up.  I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t change my outlook on life.  Everything happens for a reason, even the bad.

3.  I can bake!

Um, since when do I know how to use anything in the kitchen?  Before my blog (actually before this summer on the blog) I had two left hands when it came to cooking or baking.  I still don’t cook, but I’ve been trying to bake more and more.  Lately I’ve had an obsession with cupcakes, I’m really sorry but I just REALLY like making cupcakes.  I’ve learned how to make things from scratch and even though I follow recipes, I am starting to get more comfortable with altering them to fit my own personal taste.  For example a lot of things are too sweet for me so I add less sugar to everything.  I’ve substituted greek yogurt for certain things and added less or more of certain things.  Regardless, I can bake and be successful at it.  I feel very satisfied when I can bake something that not only looks, but tastes good too.  Everything I’ve learned was either through personal experience or the help of YouTube tutorials!  Oh, and if you missed it, I made cupcakes for my Blogiversary special as well.  You can find that here.

4.  Tips and Tricks about Blogging

I’ve learned a lot over the last 2 years with the behind the scenes of blogging.  I’ve made so much progress with learning as I go.  Granted I’ve also read other blogs about how to grow your audience and how to really truly engage people.  A lot of us are blogging about the same things so how do you show a reader that you’re different?  On top of that I’ve learned more about the technical side like SEO and analytics, that sort of thing.  I also made the mistake of helping the “wrong bloggers” (I put this in quotes because it’s moreso the wrong people, and yes that's plurarl) with a very detailed blogging 101 session because now that they have information we don’t even speak.  I guess that’s what happens when some people treat blogging more as a competitive sport than fun.  I don’t mind helping but I definitely learned my lesson that I’m still a naïve person at times.

5.  Individuality

Speaking of what I wrote in the previous bullet point of learning how to be different and engage people ties into this as well.  Individuality is very important in the blogging industry.  You have to differentiate yourself from everyone else.  I’m always looking for ways to make my blog stand out.  There are so many people out there that have the same ideas or the same style so how am I going to make them follow me too?  I started to change the content of my blog in order to make it more interesting.  Thanks to the blog showing me that I need to be different it showed me that in my personal life it’s the same.  It’s great to be different.  Why would you want to be like anyone else?  Why not be unique?  Everyone always says how I’m such a different person because I’m so many things bottled in one human being.  I like being different!

5 Things I Want To Accomplish

Now that I’ve talked about five things that have happened in the last two years of blogging I want to move on to five things I want to accomplish.  Of course there’s a lot of things both on the blog and in life that I want to accomplish but these are just the top things.

1.  Gain an Audience

Most bloggers are always looking for ways to increase their following.  I know I do.  I read almost every blog post about tips for doing this or just tips for my blog in general.  I’ve already changed a lot of things according to the things I’ve read and have seen an increase.  It’s funny how one little tiny change or two can make such a big difference.  I want to make it my goal this year to reach out to more people and spread the word about my blog.  My blog offers so much and I put so much time into it that I would love for other people to read it.  It’s not so that I can gain a following and be “insta famous” or to be able to work with bigger brands (although that would be the icing on the cake), I just want to meet more people.  I want to show people what I have to offer to the table.  My blog offers a little bit of everything and even though I do this for fun I want to spread that into other people’s lives.  The comments I get from all of my readers is amazing.  Reading anything from a compliment on my content, to a compliment on my outfit, or even on my nail art just brightens my day that much more. 

2.  Learn more about technical side; SEO and HTML

Not only can learning about SEO and HTML be beneficial for my blog, but it can also be beneficial for my real life.  If I go on an interview for a specific position and they learn that I know some of this stuff it can benefit me significantly.  SEO confuses me a bit so I hope to learn a little more about it and feel comfortable discussing it with fellow bloggers.  I’ve taught myself a few basics for HTML and hope to learn even more.  I mean how cool would it be if I wrote my own code for a blog layout.  That’d be pretty cool if you ask me!

3.  Connect with more People

I’m always looking to meet more friends.  Does anyone remember that awkward question in kindergarten where you’d go up to that super cool person and asked “can we be friends?”  I mean at least you got straight to the point but nowadays I feel like I truly have to know you before I ask that question, figuratively speaking.  I’ve met so many awesome people, some who I’ve connected more with.  I have a small group of blogger friends that I actually talk to outside of the blogging world and about personal life.  My one blogger friend is actually my best friend and she knows a lot, I mean the poor girl gets ugly selfies from me all the time haha.  Oh and I actually get to see her on Sunday (insert big goofy smile).  I would just love to meet more people because I feel as though I can connect better with bloggers since they understand how much goes into a blog and how hectic it can be.  There are a lot of us that blog for fun and still hold down a full time job along with a personal life.  Not all of us blog full time, although it would be nice!

4.  Brand myself, or grow a business

I would love for this little corner of cyber world to become my full time job BUT I know that I always have to have a backup plan.  I know that ever since starting this blog I’ve developed this urge to start my own business.  I hope to within the next few years start a business and make it successful along with blogging on the side.  I love my full time job but it’s not something I’m passionate about.  I know that in order to be completely happy I need to be doing something that’s exciting and that’s my passion.

5.  Above all (the reason I started this blog) is to INSPIRE

The reason why I started this blog was to inspire at least one person.  Through my stories or outfit posts I hope to inspire.  I didn’t start this blog to make some extra money on the side, I actually didn’t even know you could make money from a blog, I thought it was just something that people did for fun like Facebook or Instagram.  I started this to be more than just another person on the internet.  My blog is dedicated to the one person who inspired me to change my whole life and if I can change someone’s life like Dan changed mine I would be the happiest person in the world.  I know it takes knowing someone on a personal level to really help make any type of life change but who knows, maybe some people are more comfortable talking about things behind a computer.


In case you missed any of my other Blogiversary themed posts I'm going to list a little recap for ya!

Ok, now that you’ve either read this whole post or just scrolled down ALL OF THAT writing it’s time for a giveaway!  Since my bloggy poo is turning two (whoa that rhymed) I want to giveaway some fun stuff.  See below and good luck to all of those who enter the giveaway!  NO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES AT THIS TIME.  I apologize for any inconvenience.


Linking up with:
September Farm
H54F with KatieCaitlinTif, and Della 

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  1. Happy Blogiversary!!!

  2. Happy 2 years!! What a huge accomplishment! I love your goals for the coming years, too!

  3. Congratulations!!!! That's such a huge accomplishment. I love all your lessons learned. And isn't it funny how we make such great blogging friends through this, despite the fact that we're all "competing"? HA! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend full of celebration!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  4. Happy Bloggiversary! you are doing it great keep going! :)

  5. This post is really thoughtful, and I can tell you spent time really thinking about it and looking at what you've learned and what you want. Bravo! Happy blogiversary :)

  6. Huge congrats Monica. Such a great thorough post. I would love to win those pieces but I don;t have Twitter. =(

  7. Huge congrats Monica. Such a great thorough post. I would love to win those pieces but I don;t have Twitter. =(

  8. Huge congrats Monica. Such a great thorough post. I would love to win those pieces but I don;t have Twitter. =(


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