Happy 1 Year Blogiversary To ME

One year ago, on this day, I made the jump from influencer to influencer AND blogger. I know it sounds silly, but it was a scary decision. I knew blogging would require more work, more time and in turn, more effort. It would require me to open up more. It requires me to be consistent.

The fact that people regularly read and visit my blog is such an amazing honor. To think that people take time out of their day and lives to see what I have to say! Wow, you guys, I am beyond humbled and grateful to every person who has managed to land on my page. 

I checked today and saw that I have 33 published blogs in my first year. I honestly hadn’t realized that I had written that many! I do wish that I had written more.

 I sent my payment and renewed my domain for another year. Another year of writing, sharing, learning and growing. Another year to connect, help others and simplify my thoughts. A year to hopefully write MORE than last. A year to outdo my previous year.

With my blogiversary and the New Year being so close together, I have decided to combine some of my resolutions to include my blog goals. Last year, I did this with Instagram Influencing and surpassed any goal I had imagined. This year, I plan to here, with my blog. 


Some of my goals are

1.    More recipes. You guys are aware that I am really working on my lifestyle and what I eat. I really want to start sharing how I am doing that and what I am eating

2.    My health. My health post hip replacement has drastically plummeted. I am hoping to share more of how I am tackling my health obstacles and what those obstacles are.

3.    Custody Issues. This past year I have been under court order to not share any details of our high conflict child custody case. This coming year, I plan to write, share and help others. Little did I know, our system is seriously flawed and so many people are out there struggling with situations similar to mine (custodial interference, lies, mental abuse, neglect).

4.    Amazing products. I will consistently continue to share all things that I love with you guys! Anything that helps make someone’s life easier is a win to that person. As a mom of 5, I have had my fair share of products that genuinely suck, my hope is to help people. I only share products and services that I would USE and pay for myself. I have many times tried products and opted to not share them if they are not up to my standards.

5.    Write more. I wish I could share everyday and maybe someday I will be able to. In the meantime, my goal is to write at least 90 blogs this coming year!

6.    Tips and tricks. I really want to share more of my life hacks and how we keep it together among the chaos.

7.    Listen more. I will be asking more in my Instagram stories for inspiration from you guys – what you want to read! You all sharing your thoughts and ideas mean the world to me and really keep me going!

I am sure I will think of so many more along the way! BUTTTT, this is a good start. 


Sharing my life is not always easy, but the support I have found and the people who say my words have helped them keep me motivated or really helps in anyway, keeps me writing even during the rough times. There is so much more I can’t wait to share! Thank you all so much for your amazing support and all the love you give me!

-Laura

Pick Your Party Sweepstakes

*This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own*




Feeling the need to travel? Great news if you are, RITZ, Oreo and Chips Ahoy! have an amazing sweepstakes going on right now. Not only will you be snacking on your favorite snack food, you could win 1 of 4 all-inclusive PARTY trips!

Ok, now the real question, what is the catch? That is always my first question! In this case, it is really an added bonus! You get to enter by purchasing Oreo Party Packs, RITZ Party Packs or Chips Ahoy! Party Packs (http://bit.ly/2NCsLSq). The catch is, snacking on amazing cookies and crackers! And for every PARTY PACK you purchase, you are able to enter.



Next question, how do you go about entering? Entering the Pick Your Party Sweepstakes is not only simple, but fun! By using their fun online method of entering, you get a fun dose of augmented reality! Go online to nabiscoparty.com and follow the instructions. You simply activate the scanner and hold your phone in front of the package! 

Once you have completed the initial scanning, you get to take a fun selfie with your favorite trip’s theme! The filters are so much fun, you can even save the photos to your phone! What’s best is once you take your self, you are directed to another site where you pick your trip and enter to win it! It is as simple and fun as that!



Now, let’s talk PARTY TRIPS! As I stated before, all 4 of the trips are ALL INCLUSIVE!! How amazing, right? 


  • Trip 1 – New Years Eve at the BIGGEST New Years Eve party, in New York City!! Bundle up and get ready for some serious fun! I know I watch NYE in Times Square on TV every year, going would be a blast! 
  • Trip 2 – St Patrick’s Day in the place it all began, Ireland. This trip is definitely the one I would want to win! 
  • Trip 3 – Some serious partying in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I have never been, but have always thought this would be the ultimate party! 
  • Trip 4 – BRAZIL! That is right, Rio Carnival in Brazil! Is there much else to say besides, YES PLEASE?!



So now, what are you waiting for?! RUN! Enter this sweepstakes ASAP. I found all of my Party Packs at Walmart in the same isle. This is exactly why Walmart is always my go to, everything is so convenient! 


Keep me posted on all your entries! Can’t wait to find out who the big winners are!


-Laura

How To Land Paid Collaborations

As an Instagram Influencer I have found so many different things that work and do not work. I am frequently asked so many questions on how I grew my Instagram and how I go about working with companies. Often, I receive emails from people charging to take their class or have them manage my account. This is your first mistake. You should never have to PAY to be an influencer. 
Influencing is not just posting products, it is posting content that draws followers in, that makes it attractive for a company to work with you. 
So here is my list of what to work on and how to get your page paid worthy and land paid collaborations.
1. Do not try to land collaborations until you have your page looking collaboration ready. Find some great accounts to follow! You can try checking out different hashtags in your niche to find follow worthy accounts. 
2. When I started, my photos were GARBAGE. Seriously. I thought so many were amazing and look back now questioning WHY I really posted those photos. You need high quality photos and trust me when I say, angles are everything. I take hundreds of photos before I get the perfect post worthy photo. I know we all want to post real and raw, but try to do real and raw pretty and eye catching. 
3. Use a preset. There are so many amazing presets out there, but Allie Boss are my favorite. Using a preset will help keep your feed “pretty”. Some people do consistently use the same one. I have several and tend to use the photo that looks the best regardless of the preset. 

4. Know your worth! Seriously. Do NOT settle for product only. Photography, posting and staying creative and relevant is a TON of work. It is not post and go, its post and constantly interact with your followers. 

5. Engagement. I will write another blog at a later date on this, but I just want to briefly touch on this. You will not gain followers or be relevant without being seen. You have to get people to want to see your page! Go find them! Comment and like and engage on stories of all sorts of people. It is a great way to connect and to make sure you are being seen. 

6. Do not be afraid to approach companies on your own. How will they know you love them already and want to spread the word if you don’t tell them?!

7. Pitch. Look, you can’t just email a company and say “Hey, lets collaborate”. I don’t message random brands that I don’t know about ahead of time. I research them and let them know why I love them and why I think my followers will love them. 

8. Grammar. DO NOT blog and Influence if you can’t properly write. I saw a girl with close to 100k followers who had 5 run on sentences and apparently had no idea what a comma was. This is not the way to be taken seriously. I am not saying I am perfect, I have to go fix my writing all the time, but you should not be actively trying to do a job like this if you can’t write or have someone help you edit. Oh, and, use words in the proper tense – their, there, they’re, except, accept, and the list goes on. 

9. Captions. You want your captions to say something, but not too much. Find a happy medium. Do NOT post the same things over and over and over again. Do NOT make your captions too long. 

10. Do not give up! Companies have budgets and certain audiences they are looking for. Do not give up if you don’t always get a yes. It takes time. 

11. Have a rate sheet and media kit. If you have questions on these please reach out to me and I will help you!

12. Know that all companies have budgets. One may pay 4 figures and one may pay $100. It is your decision how low and high you are willing to go.

I am always available to answer questions and plan to continue to write FREE blogs on my Instagramming and Blogging tips! You can always reach out to me on Instagram with any questions, concerns or topics you would like to see. 

-Laura 

15 Must Haves For A Work From Mom Blogger

Most of you know that before my hip replacement, I worked full time in an office. I decided to dive full time into blogging and influencing and see if the income was enough to stay home. In working from home, I have learned so many things. Read along to find out my 15 must haves for me to be a working from home blogger!

1. Organization
You guys, I can not stress how important it is so be organized if you are going to try to be a stay at hone bloggers. Time management, money organization and time organization are a must. It is easy to say “I will do it later” and never go back and do it.

2. A Planner
I would go insane without my planner. Not only do I use the planner on my phone, I have TWO paper, yearly planners. I carry my planners everywhere and update them multiple times a day. This is literally the first thing you need to get if you decide to start blogging full time.

3. A Good Computer
I started with a not so great laptop and eventually had to upgrade. I am actually already looking to upgrade again. The quality of your computer is so important when you are constantly writing and editing. Don’t cut corners.

4. A Quiet Place
I literally have to stress this, especially if you are a mom, find a nice quiet place to write! Writing with your kids in the background watching TV is not easy. I wake up early or stay up late to work. I also work when they are at school.

5. A Good Phone
Working doesn’t end for me. I have driven down the road and seen a flower that I know would be perfect in a picture so I stop to take one. Make sure your phone camera is up to par! I work during practices, in waiting rooms, you name it.

6. Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets to keep track of your projects is something you shouldn’t forget about. Excel really allows you to tailor spreadsheets to whatever you need them to be.

7. A Blog
Ok, this should be an obvious, right? I love Blogger, but there are many other sites to use!

8. Subjects
You can’t blog without subjects to blog about. I work with companies on different posts to promote their products, but only work with products I love. I have a list of about 100 other blog ideas. Some I have even started! Make sure you find ways to connect with people so you have people reading your blogs.

9. Google Analytics
You have to have this if you want to be successful. Google analytics gives you all the insights you and companies need to see.

10. Patience
Sometimes blogging can be frustrating, tiring and stressful. Deadlines, companies and changing audiences can be very stressful. A successful blog doesn’t happen overnight. Keep writing, keep organized and keep growing – always remain patient.

11. Creativity
No one wants to see the same photos over and over in your blogs. Be creative, think outside of the box!

12. A Proofreader
Writers tend to read over their mistakes. Spell check doesn’t check your grammar. Have someone else read your blogs.

13. A template
I love unique blogs! I personally bought a template on Etsy and LOVE it!

14. Snacks
Don’t write on an empty stomach. Make sure you have healthy snacks throughout the day!

15. A Supportive Family
I could NOT do this without the amazing support that I have from Payton. He is such an amazing person to have in my corner supporting me, helping me and cheering me on. There is no way I would be where I am without him.

Good luck!

-Laura

Drumsticks Cereal a Breakfast Staple

This post is sponsored by General Mills. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
With 5 kids home during most of the summer, easy breakfasts are a must! Even though I am in Northern Arizona, it still gets hot so I prefer NOT to use the oven or stove! I love having cereal on hand for the entire family! And isn’t it great that you don’t really ever have to worry about cereal going bad before it is gone? Or is that just my kids?? Doubtful. 
We recently found NEW Drumstick Cereals at our local Walmart and couldn’t be more excited about adding it to our cereal collection! We love having the wonderful flavor available right there in an easy to pour box for our morning or even afternoon cereal bowls because lets face it, sometimes we even have cereal for dinner!



I am sure my kids aren’t the only cereal fans around. Mine love to drink the milk out of the bowl when they are done! Even Rhett is a cereal kid (we feed it to him pretty soggy for now)! Drumstick Cereal is a wonderful addition to our current cereal line up, giving the kids even more options and choices at breakfast time!






Drumstick Cereal was super easy to be found in my local Walmart or online! They have two flavors! Vanilla and Mint Chocolate! The Vanilla is my favorite, but Connor and Keegan love the Mint Chocolate! Head on over to your local Walmart and find them for yourself! Trust me, you will thank me once you and your family find out how amazing the flavor is!


So join me and have fun summer breakfasts with this ice cream inspired cereal! Thank me later y’all!


-Laura