That's a Wrap! - Blog Staycation Edition

I don't know about you, but I had a lot going on this weekend. And when I say a lot, I mean I spent a lot of time on my couch. Now you are probably thinking, "How did you have a lot going on if you spent it all on your couch Trish?" Let me explain.

I just wrapped up the Blog Staycation. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a blogging event that I co-host where you get your blog to do list taken care of. You make lists, meet new people, and get tips and ideas on how to make your blog grow.

Last year when we launched the event, I was out of town for most of it, so I was no able to host any of the events. This year I made sure I was free and hosted my first Facebook chat. I have to say it was amazing. I enjoyed connecting with fellow bloggers while engaging conversation about informative topics.

If you did not participate this time around, we will be hosting another event later this year! Make sure to join our Facebook Group for all kinds of blogging help along with filling out this form so we can update you on any upcoming events!


Now a couple of announcements and reminders:

I know it seems like I forgot about this, but I am hosting an e-reader reading challenge that launched March 1st. It goes through to the end of May. I am giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky participant who completes the challenge! There's still time to get involved!

I am starting a new series! Thanks to the staycation for getting my butt in motion on this one. Expect to see it launch next Thursday, April 9th. This series is going to focus on a day in a life of a short girl. I define short girl as anyone under 5'4". I will bring weekly tips and inspiration to all the shorties of the world :). Send me a message if you have a story to share! I want this to be a group effort used to inspire!

I launched a reader survey a few weeks back and I am still looking for your feedback! Please take a moment to fill out this short 5 question survey that will take you a minute at most!

Now last but certainly not least, please link up your Blog Staycation experience! We would love to hear how it went and what you accomplished!

I am so grateful for all of you who participated in the Spring 2015 Blog Staycation! Stay connected and you will always have backup! :)

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Blogging for you

Sometimes it is really easy to forget why you started to blog. You forget you had a passion to write and have your voice heard. Instead you stress over every post because it isn't as good as so and so's. You see a trend and now you need to do that too. Gotta keep up with the Blones' (haha like Jones').

Starting today I want  you to forget about everything else you are reading and focus on you. Come back to center and really engage in the vision you had with then you started your blog. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

What is the main reason I started my blog?

Am I proud of the content I am putting out?

What is it that I am really good at and can bring more great content to my readers?

Were these questions easy to answer or did you get stuck? Chances are if you got stuck you are not being true to what you really wanted to do with your blog. You are to hung up on what everyone else is doing to stop and write for you.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean writing for you in a way that you shouldn't try and engage with your readers, but writing for you so your readers know the real you. Does that make sense?
Write what you are passionate about. Let your readers see you get excited over something you love. Make them want to come back for more so every time is something new and exciting. Once you get that you are golden.

I hope if you didn't take anything else out of this post, you will stop and check in with your goals. Make sure you are on the path you set out to be on. If you aren't start fresh tomorrow and let your greatness shine through.

Make it a good one and always remember being YOU is the best trend you can follow.

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The Blog Staycation Resources!

Happy Friday! We made it. Today's post is geared towards my fellow bloggers and those who may be interested in starting a blog. If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably noticed me using a hash tag a lot lately. That hash tag is #BlogStaycation. If you're like me you probably get curious and click on it to see what it is. Maybe you didn't but are still think, "what the heck is #BlogStaycation?!" Well my friends you are in luck. Today I am offering up an explanation. An ultimate Blog Staycation Resource if you will. Here we go!

Trish @ The Trish List
Julie @ Girl on the Move
Jen @ Jenerally Informed
Farrah @ The Reflective Mama (Not participating this time around)

How did the Blog Staycation come to be?
It all started last summer (2014) in a SITS Girls Saturday Morning Twitter chat. There were some comments about wishing there were a better way to stay organized in blogging and a time to set aside to get it all done. Julie chimed in about taking a Staycation just for the blog. All 4 of us joined forces and threw around ideas. In August 2014 the first Blog Staycation was launched!

We had about 50 participants in the first  4 day staycation. We have doubled our attendees in just 7 short months. The Spring edition of the Blog Staycation has just over 100 participants! 

Okay, so you told us how it started, explain exactly what it is we must do?
The Blog Staycation is 4 days dedicated to getting your blog "to do" list done. We offer daily emails, chats and guidance to help you achieve your goals. You can participate in as many days as you'd like moving at your own pace! There is no pressure to attend any events and you can stay completely anonymous if you'd prefer. At the end of the 4 days we wrap it all up and offer a link-up where you can show everyone what you have achieved and connect with new bloggers! It's really a win-win all the way around if you ask me!

Okay I decided I need to participate. How much does it cost?
Absolutely NOTHING! It's free! The Blog Staycation is an online event where you can choose your own adventure if you will. We are all here as support and idea sparkers, but ultimately it is you who is doing all the work on your to do lists.

Now what?
I want to offer up some of my links from last year's events to get an idea of what to expect when you are participating in the event. 

The first Blog Staycation Announcement
Interacting with your Readers
Scheduled Posts

This year we are doing things a little bit different, but this happens when you start to grow something. We are still offering up daily e-mails and chats, but we will only feature 1 blog post a day to keep it less confusing! That's not to say we won't be throwing in some bonus links and surprises here and there!

4 Day Schedule
March 26th - Blogstaycation Kickoff Twitter Party
March 27th - Facebook Chat #1 - 11am Eastern Time  (Join!)
March 28th - Facebook Chat #2 - TBD (Join!)
March 29th - Twitter Party Wrap Up - 9:30pm Eastern

For the Twitter Parties make sure you are following all of us on Twitter!
Trish @TrishListBlog
Julie @jmdenouden
Jen @QueenMomJen

Also find us with the hashtag #BlogStaycation. You can post there throughout the event to connect with other fabulous bloggers we well!

Well guys there you have it. The run down of what to expect and when to expect it during this installment of the Blog Staycation! Stay tuned more for inspiring posts of ideas and ways to get you motivated all weekend long! I hope to see you all around! Have a wondeful Friday!

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Influenster XO VoxBox + Giveaway!

Man do I love a good box full of goodies (For free!). I got another VoxBox from Influenster in February and it always excited me to see what's inside! I did a quick unboxing of it here. This particular box was called the XO VoxBox. Let's get straight to the goodies:

Colgate Optic White Toothpaste and Toothbrush with Built in Whitening Pen: I have tried these products out in the past with Influenster. I liked the toothpaste and the whitening pen that came with the toothbrush. The toothbrush itself was very harsh on my gums. It felt very abrasive and I didn't feel like it was making any difference other then sore gums. I give the toothpaste and pen a B and the toothbrush a D.

 Tide + Febreze Laundry Pods: I gotta say I was really excited for these. I really love the pods for laundry. They are convenient and make laundry time easy. All you have to do is pop in the pod and you are all set. I liked the smell of these and how soft my clothes felt after washing. I give these an A!

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream: This stuff was okay. It didn't strike me as any different then any other hand cream. There was no scent and it made my hands feel less dry, but again nothing special about this particular formula that I noticed. It is in sample size so it's convenient to throw in the purse for on the go use. I give this a B.

 Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Shampoo, Conditioner, and Primer: I really loved this product, but since I started using it, I  have broken out on my neck. I am not 100% sure if it is a coincidence or if something in the formula caused it. I have never broken out before on my neck/hairline before where my hair hits so I am hoping it is just a freak thing cause I really liked how this made my hair feel. Because of the breakout possibilities I am going to give this a B.

Along with the products this box also included a free month of Adore Me, a sleepwear/lingerie company. I was able to pick something out for Valentine's Day which was pretty sweet. I picked out a cute romper and it even arrived on Valentine's Day! I really love it. It's good quality and fits well.
I will be doing a review on that soon so stay tuned!

 If you have any interest in this service, you can sign up using my --->  referral link and your first purchase is only $25. I also just noticed they carry swimwear just in time for the warm weather! Check it out cause you can't beat $39 for a new bathing suit ladies (or $25 using my link)!

 I have to say overall I was not as impressed with this box as I was with the last 2 I received. 2 of the items in the box were items I have received previously from a brand challenge. Maybe it's just me being cranky but I give the overall box a C. I do this because again 2 of the items are from a previous box and 1 of them possibly broke me out.

As always if you are interested in Influenster, you should sign up! It's one of my favorite sites!

What do you guys think? Good box or could it of been better?


I am so excited to be participating in such a fun giveaway this month! Thanks to Emily over at the Freckled Fox for hosting such an awesome giveaway! Get yourselves all signed up and entered cause who wouldn't want to win a new CAMERA?!
It's an amazing feeling to send off such an amazing camera to one of you guys, knowing what a massive difference it will make for your blog or shop, or just every-day photography in general:) Even better than that though, is introducing so many of you to this group of such lovely shops, and such hard-working and inspiring woman! I can't tell you how relationships online have influenced my life for the better, so make sure to take a minute and go say hi!
Dressing Dallas      |     Emma Cristy      |     Hello Rigby     |     Dottie Box
I'm so privileged to have the support of such an awesome group! There are so many involved because we wanted to amp up the prize package, so settle in with a favorite beverage or snack and don't miss out on any of the many entries! You never know which one could be the winning pick!! Here we go:

A couple specs about the giveaway:
- the giveaway will run for ten days after which the winner will be selected at random, contacted, and announced via this post, the post of the day, and all social media outlets! Please check all those places before asking weeks later who won? :)
- Again this is open internationally! hooray!
The winner will receive the Canon Rebel T5i in a kit with an 18-135mm lens, a battery and a battery charger, camera case, tripod, SD card, lens cleaner, and lens hood:) 
- Winner's entry will be verified before the public announcement.

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10 Minute Challenge

There has been a lot of response to the 10 minute challenges I have been doing at work so I decided to put together a 10 minute office workout that you can do quick and easily at the office. This has helped me break up my day when I've been sitting a lot. Thankfully most days for me includes lots of running around, but I do get those days where I need stretch my legs and get my heart pumping.

All you need for this challenge is a timer, sneakers, and non-restrictive clothing.

2 Minutes: Warm up. I suggest taking a brisk walk around your office or doing jumping jacks at your desk. This will get your muscles warmed up so you do not hurt yourself.

2 Minutes: Do 3 sets of 15: squats. Rest for 30 seconds between each set.

2 Minutes: Do 2 30 second planks with 30 second rests between each.

2 Minutes: Do 2 30 second sets of tricep dips. 30 second rests between each.

2 Minutes: Finish up with jumping jax.

Make sure to stretch it out at the end if you are feeling any tightness or soreness. Always go at your own speed. If something does not feel right, then stop and modify it to make it comfortable. Drink plenty of water through the day to stay hydrated.

*Remember to always consult your doctor when starting a new workout practice. I am not a doctor nor am I a certified trainer. These are exercises I do daily at my own leisure. 

So what did you all think? Easy enough right? Would you want to see more of these? Lemme know in the comments below :) Happy Monday!

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