I’ve Discovered the Secret to Blogger Success

I’m not joking guys……

This is a top secret classified bit of information that only the best of the best in blogland know and I’m here to share it with you right now!

And no I’m not talking about taking or finding the perfect photo from above with your hand, laptop, and cool phone case all visible. Clearly this is a very important step in the process, but every third grader who dreams of internet fame knows this one. Keep reading for the juicy stuff.

Blogger Success

It’s no secret that I haven’t been writing……….well really anything since the Holidays.

I posted that I got engaged….

And y’all responded with all the happiness and well-wishes.

I posted about the extremely difficult problem of not knowing what to hashtag my wedding…..

And y’all gave me all the best ideas non-stop until I picked one I loved. (#SomethingBarros in case you wanted to stalk me, but like in a non-threatening manner)

Then I had my Life Guru Jess post about making friends in your 20s…..

And y’all ate it up!

So what’s the secret to blogger success then?

Um, duh, it’s YOU! Community.

The Secret to Blogger Success = Community

Cliche maybe, but it’s the truth. I don’t care how wonderful your life is or how well you can craft the perfect post or how much blogging advice you have, without people to read your blog your blog would be just bunch of gibberish posted on the internet.

I mean if we’re all really honest with ourselves, blogs really are just gibberish posted on the internet. But we are Bloggers and we shall not givein to such nonsensical thinking.

Back to the secrets.

If you’re still with me at this point then I know you truly care and aren’t actually looking for the secret to blogging success and therefore proving my point. Sure making side money, or having a full-time blog is cool. I’ve made money off this thing, it’s a pretty cool feeling to be sent free stuff. In full disclosure I just bought a ton of wedding stuff from blog money just chillin in my Paypal account.

But what makes me come back time and again.

The friends and connections I’ve made while writing, not the money made.

So whether you agree with me or not, thank you for reading my words and connecting with me even when I’m not around as often as I used to be. I promise I’m still around and trying to connect with y’all.

What do you think? What’s the secret sauce?

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How to Make Friends in Your 20’s

I have such a fun post for y’all today!

Remember Jess? You know, my uber cool friend who somehow still likes me despite my homebody grandma personality? She also wrote here before about Treating Your Self, which if you’re not doing already you need to start Immediately!

Also to answer the wedding questions, no we don’t have a date (but possibly our venue so it’s tbd very soon, eek!) also no I haven’t looked at dresses or caterers or wedding favors or anything else you want to ask me about. Wedding planning is awesome and fun but choosing is hard. First world problems yo….

Anyway, without further ado, take it away Jess!

How to make friends in 20s

Hey Everyone!
It’s been a while since I have written for Kelsey, and to be honest, she asked me to do this in August but I’m such a procrastinator that I didn’t get it done…hence the reason I will never be a real blogger. But anyways, since you’ve last heard from me (a year ago) I have gone from traveling job that had me hopping place to place, to permanent job at an amazing hospital in Seattle, WA. I could not be happier with my decision to land in this city, even with it being so far away from my New England home. Which is what brings us to today’s topic: tips for making new friends in your 20s and beyond.  This can be a hard thing to do, but it is possible, and hopefully this will help!

Disclaimer: I am an extrovert, and kind of pride myself on bringing introverts out of their shells when I can. So if you are an extrovert, these will be tips on how to work it, and for all you introverts, hopefully this will help you feel more comfortable out of your shell.

Focus on your interests

By the time you are 24, most people know what things they are interested in whether it be fitness, reading, outdoor adventures, board games, computer games, dancing, and general debauchery. You at least have an idea of what makes you happy and like to do. And if you like it, I can guarantee that there is someone else out there who likes those things too.  So do your research online, talk about the things you like to do with coworkers, if you see someone doing something you like, go talk to them (if they give you a weird look, who cares, you are just being friendly) Also, I highly recommend the website meetup.com for groups that get together to do said interests.

Say yes

This is my number one go to rule. It’s the most proven (personally at least) way to meet cool people and form amazing friendships. If you get an invitation that sounds interesting, just say yes. Whether it be an invite to a party full of people you may not know, out to a drink with someone you’ve only had a few conversations with before, or for a walk on a nice day (or in the rain too!) just say yes.
Simple right? ( the answer is YES!)

Be yourself

How do you expect to make authentic friendships if you aren’t being your authentic self? This is also a simple one.

Get out there!

Go! Out of your house! Grab someone and go somewhere, or go by yourself. Sit at the bar, eavesdrop and butt into interesting conversations (you know you are listening anyways). Go for a walk or run and stop to pet someone’s dog, social interaction is important. Even if these random encounters don’t go anywhere, they will get you more comfortable with talking to people, I’m looking at you introverts! Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, set a goal for even 1 time a week to get out of the house and do something social.

Use Connections

A friend of a friend could be your next BFF and you just don’t even know it yet. If there’s someone who you think you would hit it off with, don’t be afraid to use you connections, personal or digital, to reach out. I mean come on, I know you are Facebook and Instagram stalking them anyways.

Routine

Did you make a new friend that you want to make sure sticks around? Make dates, see each other, plan things, and then use each other to make even more awesome friends!

Give Zero Craps

Not to be rude here, which I am also not saying you should be, but seriously, the less you stress about what you are doing, or what you look like or are perceived as to other people, the easier it will be to complete any of the other steps. Know that you as you are right now, is an Awesome person, and go share that with the world. If you meet someone and they don’t see it, then it’s their loss.

So those are the general rules, I have been using these a lot recently, and have formed an amazing variety and strong groups of friends in Seattle, in just 7 months. So take the plunge, get yourself out there, and surround yourself with people as amazing as you!

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When You Feel Like Quitting

Hey Friends,

It’s Friday, which means we all just had amazing weeks and are looking forward to the weekend. Except me, I work Saturday’s now so I’ll still be at work while you’re relaxing. Although when you go back to work on Monday I’ll be sleepin in so there’s a big upside lol.

I actually got a special request from a fellow blogging friend to write this post. Either that means I have sage wisdom to bestow on my readers or I’ve been tagged a quitter. I’m not sure, but either way I can relate to the topic so it wasn’t a hard post to write.

This type of quitting is mostly directed towards blogging, but you can take the lessons and apply them to other aspects of your life as well.

Actually the example I give has nothing to do with blogging so it’s really easy to apply to life in general. I guess I do have sage wisdom!

When You Feel Like Quitting

I’ve actually never been called a quitter in my life. When I start something I always finish it, outcome not guaranteed, but I finish.

Let me give you an example of a time when I legitimately was going to quit something though. It was the summer of 2012 and I was working a job from Hell. It was a summer camp so I lived with the campers, working 6 days/week with one day off.

That wasn’t the bad part though, I’ve worked summer camps before, specifically the summer before where I met JB (heart emoji). This summer though, the management was completely incompetent. As in they set rules they didn’t even follow themselves, rewarded staff that didn’t show up for their shifts because they were dating (yes, the management was dating the staff and gave them special treatment), and punished those who actually watched the kids and essentially ran the camp while they slept in till noon every day.

Oh but once I was given a $5 giftcard to a frozen yogurt shop in town so it kinda made up for it I guess…..kidding…..

If you’re wondering if I tried to alert the higher-ups of the problems, I did. They didn’t believe me and basically called me a liar….so that was awesome……

It got so bad one day about 3/4 of the way through the summer that I literally broke down and decided I was going to quit.

I was so upset I was pacing around the quad (the camp was on a college campus) and fuming to JB (he worked that summer with me again. That’s love people) and he said something to me that stuck…

Don’t make an emotional decision that can have long-term consequences

Or something like that, it’s been 3 years give me a break.

Basically he meant don’t make a decision in the heat of the moment that can have a long-lasting impact on my life.

I ended up staying the rest of the summer despite the horrible working conditions because to me, the kids were worth it and I needed the monetary compensation for school.

So what does this have to do with blogging?

Well unless your blog is your main source of income then not much in the monetary realm, but if it’s something that engages you, inspires you, gets the fire in your soul coursing then it does.

See, I have a passion for helping other people and working with kids. For me, the end game of that summer job far out-weighed any incompetence the management could throw my way. I knew I was making a difference in those kids lives and I thrived on the day-to-day operations. It was also only a summer job……So the end was in sight.

So ask yourself, does blogging fulfill those things for you?

[Tweet “Ever feel like quitting blogging? Here’s some tips to figure out if it’s the right move or not”]

Does blogging wake you up inside, inspire you to try new things, live your life in a better way, and satisfy your need to write and engage with others?

Or has it become a mental drain on you? Do you dread having to sit down and write a post? It is emotionally taxing to even think about promotion, SEO, and social media?

Does the end-game out-weigh the things that bugging you?

If the answer is no, then maybe “quitting” isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it’s actually GOOD for you?

Quitting that summer camp would have elicited a whole slew of what-if’s, doubts, and regrets for me.

Similarly, quitting my blog would do the same thing. And trust me I’ve thought about it, even taken breaks from it, but I always came back.

And maybe that’s what you need to do.

Taking a break from blogging isn’t quitting.

Taking a break from blogging is sometimes necessary to see if it’s a passion or a drain. If it’s actually worth it for your well-being or pulling you down.

So what can we learn from this?

Quitting something isn’t always a bad thing. Quitting something that is emotionally and mentally draining is actually a good thing.

So take that break, step back and evaluate what’s important to you.

Maybe you’ll come back, maybe you won’t, but the important thing is you. Your motivations, your inspirations, your well-being mentally and emotionally.

So now tell me, have you ever felt like quitting something?

Did you quit? Did you not? What made you stick it out?

Let me know in the comments!

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Using Words To Motivate and Inspire

Welcome back to another Monday!

I just spent the weekend in Philly for a wedding and am still recovering from all the warm fuzzies weddings bring. I’m one of those girls that loves weddings and yes I do cry, even when I don’t know the couple. I’ll share some snaps later, or you can always check me out on Insta where I shared a few.

For today’s Blogtember prompt, it’s all about quotes. I’m your typical blogger so of course I love quotes. I write them in my journal, I collect them in my planner, I say them to myself as pep talks, and say them to others when they need it.

As a writer (that’s still weird to say) I of course dream of writing elegant and inspiring words that others can quote. I usually only manage to get out a few slightly giggle-worthy jokes and the occasional punchline. Such is my cross to bear.

Strong enough quote

What really bothers me though, is when people use their words to hurt someone else. Perhaps they simply forget the power that their words can wield. Maybe they are just unaware of the impact a lone phrase can affect the psyche of a person.

[Tweet “Use your words to motivate and inspire, not judge.”]

If I could be there with the perfect quote or encouraging word for anyone who needs it, then my life mission would be complete. But I can’t. Which is why I want to spread the most positive message in this space as possible.

Strong I am quote

I have lots of favorite quotes, but the one above really resonates for a few reasons. One. no one knows exactly the path another person has walked to get where they are. Therefore, no one has all the facts to make a judgement on them. Two. Everyone else has their own struggles. Just because someone else’s struggle may be more visible than yours or is hard for you to understand, doesn’t make them less of a person.

Nothin boils my biscuits more than a close-minded, hate spewing, hypocritical jerk-face who inputs themselves in other people’s business. I just wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat it and be happy. A girl can dream.

So I challenge you all to spread more encouraging and motivational words. Send a card to someone far away. Write a note to someone close. Compliment a stranger, heck even SMILE at a stranger!

Let’s all do a little extra this week to make someone else feel awesome!

What is your favorite quote?

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Motivation Needed

Whew we’ve made it to Hump Day folks and even with a snow day on Monday I feel like it’s been an eternity in getting here….If you’re like me then this winter weather is seriously sapping your motivation to get your sweat on. I am the biggest supporter for spring and summer, 3 digit weather has never gotten me down. And yes I realize how strange that sounds for someone who wants to live in Boston. Ya can take the girl out of the South and all that lol.

This was taken in '13 after Blizzard Nemo

This was taken in ’13 after Blizzard Nemo

So I know I didn’t complain to y’all about my long run this past weekend, I thought I’d give ya a break. Long story short I had 13 miles planned but didn’t get through many of them before I pulled my groin (I said groin, grow up). So I spent my snow day eating cookies and studying for midterms watching Netflix. Come tuesday I knew I needed to get in the gym and do somethin but it was seriously the last thing I wanted to do. Well second to last behind actually studying for midterms…

Dress for success they say so I was extremely lazy  had enough forethought to wear my gym clothes to class (and no I didn’t shower either) with plans to hit up the gym afterwards. How did I keep myself occupied in order to get through 45min on the elliptical you ask? As any decent 20-something with romantic tendencies duh. I put on The Bachelor.

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I slightly disgust myself for once thinking he was extremely attractive. Either I’ve somehow become less shallow (I like to think I have high standards) or he really has fallen that far in the ranks of decent men. And let’s be honest with ourselves ladies, it’s not the first one. Just ew.

Also can we all just agree that going to the gym is like the greatest social experiment ever? My little perch on the elliptical was overlooking the weight room where the testosterone was thick enough to slice with a knife. And YIKES, some of these bro-skis seriously need a lesson in proper lifting form!

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Remember that shallow comment from before? Yea, a guy who doesn’t know how to lift properly seriously falls in the ranks of attractiveness. Though consequently they do rise in the ranks of entertaining me while I exercise indoors. Which is something y’all know very well that I extremely dislike. So there’s pros and cons to both sides I suppose. Sa la vi 😉

Tell me about your weekends snuggle-bunnies! Anyone else get the giant storm Sunday/Monday?

Sig

 

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Linking up with the ever so lovely Liz. Go show her some love, some internet a**holes are being mean to her 😦 no bueno

8 Mile & Valentine Week

Wowza, I somehow snuck an 8 mile run in this weekend between all the bouts of snow and slush we got. It was one of those magical runs where you’re in the zone and the miles just slip by. And Oh. My. Goodness! It felt SO GOOD to be back outside again!!! That right there is my freedom kids 🙂 This is also my last week without a double digit run and I’m gettin kinda nervous/excited. When I ran my Half I didn’t really follow a training plan so honestly I never ran over maybe 8-9 miles (gasp, I know). So we shall see!!

Now for something fun…..I’ve got a few Valentine’s themed posts comin up this week.

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and I know some of you out there are just as date-less as I am right now (though I am working so money is a nice consolation prize). Don’t let that worry you though, it’s only Monday so we’ve got 5 days till that clock strikes midnight and we turn back into a pumpkins. I recruited my sister for help on this one, so if we all put our heads together we may just pull this off.

Because I’m the wonderful helper and hopeless romantic that I am, I’ve put together a list of MARVELOUS ideas for how you can snag yourself a date for Vday. These are things that have personally worked for me so I apologize if they don’t have the intended effect for y’all. Just remember above all else, confidence is key! And if all “else” fails no man can resist a woman who cries….work-it girl!

VDate

My beautiful sister (who already has like 10 dates don’t hate)

-Casually drop hints to every guy you know that you’re still date-less. Your guys friends, classmates, co-workers, the mailman. There’s gotta be some poor sap out there that will be guilted into taking you out to dinner.

-Change your Facebook relationship status to “in a relationship with____” and send the request to every single guy you’re friends with. Chances are at least one will take the bait. 60% of the time, this works Every time so the odds are in your favor. And don’t worry, if anyone gets weirded out by this gesture just claim hacking.

-You know the phrase “ball and chain?” Get your own and attach it to the nearest single male, Viola! Instant date! (maybe not the most willing of dates, but ya know we gotta take what we can get at this point).

-Recruit your guy cousin to go to dinner with you then just conveniently forget the minor detail that he’s your cousin when you’re regaling your girlfriends with stories about your mystery man. Tall, dark, AND handsome, he’s got it all (mainly b/c you’re lying through your teeth but shh they don’t need to know that part).

If you use any of my tricks let me know!! And it they’re not really your style that’s ok too. I mean, really, who needs boys to have fun on a Friday night? Ladies Night is calling and it wants to have a good time 😉

Who else had a long run this weekend? Any more magical runs goin on out there?

Sig

 

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Overwhelmed with Love

I am seriously overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I got from yesterday’s post. Not gonna lie I was super proud of it and was hoping y’all would enjoy it, but I never imagined what I got. If you haven’t read it yet I’ll wait for you….Reason’s to Date a Girl Who Runs ….Back? Ok.

Not to use the term viral loosely, b/c trust me Double Rainbow Man I am not, but for my little blog literally tripling it’s views in the first hour of posting….that is pretty darn viral to me 🙂 So I want to say thank you to anyone and everyone who liked, tweeted, or shared it with their friends and family. Now KEEP DOING IT! j/k ….But seriously, I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful bloggy friends supporting me 🙂

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But don’t think it’ll go to my head, oh no. While I don’t consider myself a one-hit-wonder (I’m talking to you Big Bro), I do know that the level of exposure I got yesterday is not likely to remain the norm…..Remember when I talked about being realistic? Yea, I’m taking that to heart don’t worry. So thank y’all once again, especially those who will be stickin around for a bit longer.

I guess I should say something about running, since this is a running blog……was that enough? Whatever, I’ll leave you with a picture of a double rainbow, b/c maybe I do want to be an internet sensation 😉

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Now back to your regularly scheduled program 🙂

“Success isn’t just about what you accomplish, it’s about what you inspire others to do”

-Unknown

Sig