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How to define YOU

Today is the day.. the day I officially end the series: "Defining Lifestyle". As promised I want to share with you how all of the participants answered the question: How do you define YOU?

Christine @ The So-Called Homemaker: Christine (n): A fun-loving young momma who loves to read, write, and dance to Asian pop.  See also: crazy, silly, eccentric.

Helene @ Helene In Between: It's really hard to define yourself. You look in the mirror and think about your physical features but you don't often look at your inner self: your mind and your heart. I think I define myself by not necessarily what's inside but those things I hold dear around me. So my husband, my two dogs, my family and my friends. Someone asked me the other day about how I would describe my blog, which, can be difficult when you don't have a niche. But I've decided on "I Create Buzz" and I think that this also could describe my personality. I am outgoing, determined, stubborn, and somewhat creative. And clearly, I'm also all over the place, since this kind of took more direction than one!

Jenn @ Jenn Wells Design:
We have to define ourselves all the time.  Every time you join a social media site, they want you to sum up your entire personality into a short, catchy "About" paragraph.  With online dating you get to write more, but you still have to think about how to get across the most important things concisely enough to not scare people away.

And I'm not brief.  If you've ever read my blog, you'll know.  I cling to my paragraphs.  I keep them short, but short for me is 4 sentences, and the occasional single sentence for important points.  So when Trish asked me to define myself for her lifestyle series, I thought, "Oh crap."
Because I can't do it in a tidy, little sentence.  Or even a paragraph!

If you want to know about my personal philosophies, you can read my post about mistress shaming or my thoughts on marriage.  If you want to know about my day-to-day life, you can read the broken ankle diaries, or the post about my recent engagement.  If you want to know my style, you can see my (as-of-now) only fashion post ever, or my Design-Day Friday posts.
But I can't take all those things and summarize.  I even made an infographic for my About page but it's just not the same.  So I guess if you really want to know you'll have to read more.

Becca @ Becoming Adorrable: I'm a wife, a furmom, and a fighter.

Trish @ Beyond the Khaki Pants:  Lifestyle is blogging about life. Which is anything and everything. Mothering, relationships, career, embarrassing moments, the highs and the lows. These blogs are marked by perspective of the unique view of the blogger, not necessary by topic. Which is why I could read 10 posts about the same topic and they could be completely different.

ME: I define my lifestyle as a project in process. I am always learning and creating new ideas both personally and professionally. This blog will always be a view of me and how I am changing.

Now it's your turn! Link up with either your 5 questions and answers or your definition of lifestyle. Or combine them together! Do it however you please! I can't wait to read your responses!

All good things must come to an end..

Well its been 7 fast weeks and I am finally wrapping up the "Defining Lifestyle" series. I had great bloggers share fun questions here on the blog. They all give different perspectives of what a lifestyle blogger does. We have no boundaries. We post all kinds of random stuff and people still read it. That is the best part. If I come home at 1am and have nothing prepared for tomorrows blog, I can seriously wing it and no one would ever know.

So now that I am wrapping this baby up, I wanted to share with you my 5 question. I hope you enjoy the questions and this series!

1. Is it true that you haven't bought shampoo in almost 2 years?
Trish: Totally true. Guilty. I have not physically paid for shampoo and many other products in nearly 2 years thanks to my little freebie addiction. Although I have slowed down, it it weren't for them this blog wouldn't exist. I don't feel like anyone should pay full price for anything. Don't believe me? Check out some of my favorite sites to score all kinds of goodies ---->  Freebie stuff!

2. How did freebies start your blog?
Trish: I had SO many free items sitting around, I decided to do what every company wants, and that's talk about the products. This blog started as a 1 post a week review page. Now I've moved into Lifestyle with a few reviews thrown in.

3. It's not real clear what you do for a living- What are your professional skills?
Trish: What? Freebie Addict isn't a profession? Ok, Ok.. Where do I begin? I went to college undeclared  and got bored while taking classes for my undergrad so I decided to also take classes in Interior Design. I earned a certificate in that (It's no wonder I like to decorate!). Still in school for my undergrad I took a job in the eyecare business to make some extra cash and ended up getting my ABO certification. For those of you who aren't familiar with that term, I can make eyeglasses and make people look fashionable in their eye wear :).

I finally graduated college with my Bachelor Degree in Marketing with a minor in Business. I decided to fly across the country (I'm originally from PA) to Los Angeles to follow my dream (Or so I thought) and interned at an entertainment marketing company called Fanscape. I got to do all kinds of fun rock star types of things; like work a tour or handle a famous person's MYSPACE page. Yes I said MYSPACE. That's how long ago this was folks. Myspace was still the shit! So I had all kinds of great Los Angeles experiences and then stuff got expensive and I had to go home. Booo. So fast forward to now. I am working in a technical job where I am handling operations for a materials testing lab. So to sum it all up, my professional skills makes me a Mutt? BA, CE, ABO, Crazy?! I have a lot of skill and still want to learn more!

4. Whew that was a long answer! Next question: If your blog had a theme song, what would it be?
Trish: After that long answer I'd have to say Extraordinary by Liz Phair because who wouldn't want to described as an "average everyday sane psycho, super goddess?!". I think this blog jumps around so much it can seriously be average or over the top depending on the day. Plus its so much fun to sing!

5. Do you find your life interesting, and why?
Trish: I have been really fortunate in my life so far. I have done some pretty crazy things that people can only dream of doing. I set my mind to something and I get it. (Hello I went to the Grammy's!) So yeah I would say my life is pretty interesting most of the time. But I keep it that way. Why live any other way?

Alright peeps there you have it. My 5 questions and answers. It was a lot of fun! Now I really would love to see what kind of questions you guys would ask yourselves! Tomorrow I am going to share how everyone who participated in this series answered the question "How do you define YOU?" So with that,  I am also going to have a link up so everyone can share your questions and answers! I hope to see you then!

Need some examples? Here's a recap of all the lovely ladies who came up with questions for the series!

Make it a great MONDAY!


Defining Lifestyle with Julie!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Defining Lifestyle is a series that allows bloggers to submit their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Julie from Girl on the Move. Julie has such an inspiring blog. She has some great fitness posts as well as cupcakes! Those 2 subjects alone are enough to make me love Julie for life. Julie is also a fellow co-founder of Blogstaycation 2014. For those of you who aren't familiar, stay tuned cause rumor has it we may be putting together a Winter Blogstaycation...

Q: What do you love most about blogging? 
Julie: Hands down, the thing I love most about blogging is the connections I've made with other people.  I've met people at blog conferences, during Twitter chats, and through my blogging tribe and some of them have become really good friends.  I love that I can travel to different parts of the country and have lunch with someone I met because of my blog!

Q: What is your big dream for your blog?
Julie: Oh my goodness, I have several big dreams for my blog!  One is that I would absolutely love to host a cupcake show on Food Network...but that's like a very big pipe dream!  Probably a little bit more realistically, I hope that my blog opens up the opportunity for speaking engagements.  I am a former teacher and even though I'm no longer in a middle school classroom I still love teaching and would love the opportunity to speak about blogging, social media or organization.

Q: What do you hope your blog means to your readers?
Julie: Ultimately, I want my blog to be a source of inspiration.  An encouragement to live life to the fullest.  Right now I blog mostly about fitness, travel, cupcakes, and blogging so I hope that my readers are inspired in those areas.  However, in the future I might introduce new topics...but always with the intent of inspiring readers to try new things and really live a full life!

Q: What is one thing you wish your readers knew about you?
Julie: I am an outgoing introvert.  Seems strange I know, but it's true!  Basically, I love meeting new people, connecting with others, and being socially...but I ultimately recharge my energy by being at, reading, watching a movie and basically just relaxing without lots of people around.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for a new college graduate?
Julie: Task risks and dream big.  You don't have to find a job in your chosen career right this minute and then stick to it for the next 40 years.  It's okay to try something out and explore other opportunities.  And then take risks and try new opportunities.
Thank you Julie! Great questions. I love getting to know fellow bloggers and this just gave me a bigger picture of what you are working on! 
Stay tuned for the finale of this series happening Monday and Tuesday! Be prepared so you can share 5 questions and answers of your own!
Have a great rest of your day!

Defining Lifestyle with Trish

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Defining Lifestyle is a series that allows bloggers to submit their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Trish from Beyond the Khaki Pants. Trish gives some great advice for the young professional being one herself. She is not only informative, but a really great person all around. If you are looking for some great content with a great person, Trish is your gal! Plus we share the same name, so she's obviously amazing :)

“Beyond the Khaki Pants” is a funny name for a blog. Why is it called that?
Trish: Because I really do wear khaki pants. And you guessed it, Beyond the Khaki Pants is not a fashion blog. I wear khakis at work, as a physical therapist. Khaki pants are definitely part of a PT stereotype (just google image “physical therapist” or see what every PT character on TV usually wears). So it’s kinda funny that I actually do wear khakis too. But never polo shirts. Never.  Having such an active job, I really try not to wear the nicest clothes to work (they get ruined easily). So I typically throw on a pair of khakis and call it a day. My blog is about life outside of work for me (or when I’m not wearing my khaki pants) so I decided to call my blog “Beyond the Khaki Pants”.

What inspires the blog?
Trish: I am passionate about success! Success means different things to different people, but for me, it includes happiness with my relationships, financial security, and career expertise.  I am a girl that knows what she wants and finds ways to make it happen. I love discussing being a young professional and all the topics that go with it. I truly believe, if you want it…go get it!

Since you’re a physical therapist, why don’t you talk about health tips?
Trish: Because the crutch of PT is exercise. I am an exercise and human movement specialist. And the problem is, I truly don’t think anyone should be getting exercise advise from a blog.  Sometimes getting exercise inspiration or workout ideas from a blog is good, but that’s really not my passion.  Plus their are plenty of great sites for that anyway. I am passionate about health though, so maybe some non-medical health posts may grace the blog, you never know!

I see you husband joins the blog. How on earth did you curtail your husband into the blogging world?
Trish: My husband is a CPA. He has really diverse experience as an accountant and a love of finance. He routinely has helped our friends (and friends of friends) with taxes and budgeting for years. When I was in PT school, my program started a financial series to help us PT students with our money (topics like budgeting, student loan information, etc). I went to all the seminars (knowing most of the information already thanks to my husband) but it was SHOCKING how clueless my fellow PTs were with money. He ended up working with some of my classmates to help organize their budgets and make a plan for student loan payments. These experiences are what inspired him to join my blogging effort. He enjoys talking about the basics, not the financial advisor stuff, (which he is not) but the things that can get other young professionals in the right direction.

So is sounds like you blog a lot about ‘serious’ topics? Is that it?
Trish: For the most part, I love blogging about being a strong, career-oriented woman. But I am also ridiculous and write blog posts from the perspective of my cat. I throw in things that I constantly am made fun of for…like being Canadian.  I like discussing common frustrations that I go through being a 20-something woman.  But at the core of my blog, I love connecting with other young professionals and 20/30 somethings are are driven and want to the most out of their life.

Thank you so much for your great questions and answers Trish! Next week I want to host a link up where everyone writes a blog with their own questions. I will also feature the answers from all of the lovely ladies I hosted over the past 7 weeks with their answers to "How do YOU define lifestyle?".
I hope you all have enjoyed this series and will join in next week with your own fun and unique questions!

Defining Lifestyle with Becca!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Defining Lifestyle is a series that allows bloggers to submit their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Becca who blogs over at Becoming Adorrable. Becca shares my love for makeup and always has some fun stories about her cats. You should run over to her blog right meow! (I think I'm funny.. lol)

1. What's your favorite youtube channel?  
Becca: Batalash, easily. The skill level of those ladies is superior.

2. Do you miss your job in daycare?
Becca: Some days. I miss the kids. But for the most part, I don't miss standing outside in the summer for several hours. Nor do I miss parents yelling at me for random things that weren't my fault.
3. What was one big turning point in your life?
Becca: When it almost ended. Being stuck in the hospital for weeks and having a long recovery gave me time to realize who was really important in my life and what direction I wanted my life to head in. Also, I'd say my relationship with Tim became much more serious during my recovery.
4. Crunchy Cheetos or Cheeto Puffs?
Becca: PUFFS. All the way.
5. What cheers you up?
Becca: Good music. Like James Morrison. All it takes is a few minutes of his voice and lyrics and I feel comforted and positive.
Thanks for the great Q & A Becca! I really loved them! So what do ya say folks? Head on over and visit Becca today!
Make it a great Monday!

It's FALL! + Defining Lifestlye with Ash

Today is the first official day of Fall! I don't know what else could make a Monday be awesome! I have been looking forward to Fall and this weekend we just had definitely did a good job with the Summer to Fall transition. We had nice temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's and then it rained and got a little windy Sunday night. I think mother nature got it right for once! (At least here in central NY).


We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

 Today I am welcoming Ash who blogs over at The Grits Blog. I love Ash because she comes up with some pretty fun topics and her design skills are AH-MAZING! Make sure you stop by and check her out. You won't be disappointed! 

(1) How did you come up with the name for your blog? 
Ash: I am from the south - specifically, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. For the record, my blog's name, The Grits Blog, doesn't stand for Girls Raised in the South.

Anyways, I picked grits to represent my blog because it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of home, other than my family of course. It's what I think of when I think of the south - and it's one way to let people know something quickly about me. Clever right?? #notreally 

(2) What is the one thing you didn't expect to happen when you started blogging?
Ash: My obsession for designs! Since January I have changed my design about five times - FIVE TIMES! Crazy. Just crazy. I just finished a new one that I installed a few months ago - and I am already looking at designing another one. That being said, I will NOT install it until January - I am making myself live with this one for at least a few months.

(3) How did you get started with blog designing? 
Ash: Another designer burned me, not only on my design but money-wise too. After that I decided that I would never let someone else be in control of my blog design - and truth be told, I like it to change it wayyyy to much - i.e. see whiplash here. So I decided to learn how to do it on my own - this meant countless, painful hours of googling and figuring out photoshop.That being said, it was worth it. It's become one of my favorite things to do and my creative outlet!

(4) How did you gain traffic/followers? 
Ash: I think my biggest source of new readers has been due to two things: (1) advertisements and (2) decent content. I conducted a survey a few months ago and most of the people that found me were through my button being on someone else's sidebar or via guest post, then they stuck around because they like my blog. 

(5)  you could offer one piece of must-have advice to an aspiring blogger, what would it be? 
Ash: Don't worry about the stats. Build it and they will come! Meaning, focus on your content and focus on getting your name out there so that people can find you.

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Defining Lifestyle with Jenn!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Jenn who blogs over at Business, Life, and Design. I really love how Jenn incorporates her design work into her blogging. She has some great posts that really make you think. She touches on subjects that are dying for a response. You can't read her stuff and not comment. I love that! Her questions suck you in!

1. If your blog could have a super power, what would you choose?
Jenn - Self deprecatory humor that never falls flat!  I love poking fun at myself and reading others who aren't afraid to do the same.  But it's harder to get across without the joking tone you would use in person.

2. Now that your blog is a super hero, what would you say is it's greatest weakness?
Jenn- Either the posts I schedule when they're not quuiiite finished, or sloppy proofreading.  Sometimes I check again after things have been posted, but I'll be honest - most of my posts are frenziedly typed in the heat of the moment (or thought.  Heat of the thought?).  But my family is pretty literary minded, and not shy about pointing out my errors, so I think we get most of them.

3. How would you describe your blogging style?
Jenn - I like words, and I enjoy a well-turned phrase, or solidly stated point.  The emphasis is very definitely on the writing and not a bunch of pictures (sorry, guys, gifs are just not for everyone), although I include them when relevant.  I do break all the grammar rules, though, but I break them because I choose to disregard them, not because I don't know what they are.  (<-- Prime example.  I do what I want!)

4. What is your ulterior motive for blogging? (because, let's be honest, everyone's got something)
Jenn - I started the blog with my graphic design business in mind.  Then I forgot all about that and thought about trying to get in on the sponsorship thing.  Now I've decided to just blog for the fun of it, and when I talk design, it's because I enjoy it and because I'm so proud of myself and my clients that I just have to share.  BUT if we're being honest, I certainly wouldn't mind if a few more graphic design projects came my way.  It's there if you want it, but don't worry!  I'm too lazy to really market it.

5. Why should we read your blog anyway?
Jenn - I wouldn't say it's for everyone.  You won't find DIY, crafts, or fashion (well, a couple exceptions here - but it's more like that self-deprecatory thing I was talking about earlier).  A lot of it is thoughts and reflections on societal structure and cultural expectations, documentation of my search for self actualization (bucket lists, etc), and the occasional family story.  If you like reading, and you like to chat about the things you read, come on by!  Let's have a conversation.

Thank you Jenn! As always, LOVED your answers! Go stop on by and check Jenn out! Her approach is different and her content is great. And hey if you're looking for some graphic work, she's your gal!
Make sure to come back next Monday for another defining lifestyle with Ash who blogs over at The Grits Blog! Have a great Monday!

Defining Lifestyle with Helene! + Giveaway!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next 6 weeks!

Today I want to welcome Helene who blogs over at Helene In Between. I love reading Helene's daily posts. She always has something new and fresh that gets me thinking. She also LOVES music festivals which makes her okay in my book! She has some pretty great questions too!

1. First, how did you become so awesome?
Helene: Wow, what a wonderful question, thank you for asking. It's tough to say exactly. I would say that it started at birth. I have really charismatic, insightful parents that knew I was a blossoming flower and let me shine bright. This was evident when, at six years old, at a dance recital, I basically started my own play center stage- talking and twirling to my own beat. The rest is history.

2. How did you grow your blog?
Helene: I started Helene in Between in September of 2012. I had just broken my ankle and basically spent the first three months obsessing over it. Then I slowly started to apply my SEO, social media and marketing knowledge to really make the blog grow. I even started a consulting service to help other bloggers.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Helene: Possibly 3 dogs instead of 2 (my husband and I are crazy dog people), that I actually have some pictures up on my wall, and that I'm working 100% for myself. I've always wanted to be my own boss. I am the type of person that will work day and night to perfect a post or help out another blogger. I really like the idea of being independent, and I know that means extra hours, on the weekends and at night. I'm up for the challenge.

4. What's your favorite place in the world?
Helene: I have been lucky enough to go to so many places. I'm definitely a home body but my favorite place in the world is the town of Boom, Belgium at the end of July. That's when the best music festival of all time, Tomorrowland, takes place every year. 180,000 people there to witness all the big EDM acts in the world! I get overly excited about it. 

5. What would be on your tombstone?
Helene: "It's All Good" This is something my grandfather would say each and every day. He's right, it's all about perspective and really, it's all good.

Thank you so much Helene for sharing those great questions with us! I hope you all enjoyed them just as much as I did. I hope to see you all back here next week when we connect with Jenn who blogs over at Business, Life, and Design. I will be posting this series every Monday so check back next week to see what Jenn had to say in her fun questions!


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