Six Blogging Mistakes to Stop Making Today

I had a post written about how I was going to take a break from blogging. Then I got inspired and wrote like 9 posts in the matter of an hour. Apparently, all it takes is writing in Google Docs. 

I decided I was done over-thinking blogging – I’ve been blogging for the better part of 16 years and up until the past few months, rather consistently. This isn’t my full-time job, nor do I have any desire to make it as such. I blog because I love writing and because I love the blogging community. Because I love reading other blogs. Because I love sharing ideas and inspiring others.

blogging mistakes

I’ve been making a few mistakes, though – especially over the past year or two. Blogging isn’t the same as it used to be – it is certainly much more involved since I started in 2001 and even more so since my first influencer campaign in 2008. In order to be “successful” or to be considered an “influencer,” there’s just so much more “stuff” to do.  But if I stop having this vision of success in my head and stop marching to the beat of the drum of other bloggers, I’ll find that I still very much love this hobby that I’ve held onto for so long. 

Stop: Over-thinking EVERYTHING

Stop thinking about the quality of my pictures. How often or frequently I share. How often I post. How often I post to social media. Why doesn’t X favorite blogger read me? Why can’t I look cute in that outfit? You get it. Over thinking. My nemesis. I need to stop right now and just do me. 

Stop thinking You need an in-depth content calendar

I am the queen of content calendars. But I don’t REALLY need one for myself. A lot of bloggers will make you think you do – but honestly? Ehhh. They’re overrated unless you’re churning out content like a machine. Me? I’m not a machine and life happens so the likelihood of sticking to a content calendar for my personal blog is slim to zilch. 

Stop thinking you NEED to only write on one topic or stick to one niche

I keep thinking that I need to write about ONE thing. Or perfect ONE topic. That I need to be super well versed in and write about one thing. Here’s the thing. I like to write about a lot of things. Parenting. Sharing outfit posts and my love of shopping. Marketing – especially blogging and social media; I might not be a high-paid, professional lifestyle blogger but I AM a marketer by trade so I know a thing or two  about social media and creating content and just because I’m not a high paid lifestyle blogger doesn’t mean I can’t share that expertise. 

Stop thinking that you NEED to promote the crap out of your blog

Listen, I can promote my blog until the cows come home. I can schedule shit, make Pinterest-worthy pictures but see point #1 – I over-think and my overthinking paralyzes me and then I just don’t do anything. It’s a vicious cycle. So here’s the thing – read my blog or don’t but I’m not going to waste my time promoting my posts over and over and over again or scheduling them on Pinterest or creating an email list that I just don’t know what I’d do with. Because ultimately I’m just going to honeybadger it up and share what I want and if I feel like working towards an email list maybe I will maybe I won’t but for now? I want to stick to basics and just write. 

Stop thinking you need uber professional photography to be a style blogger.

I’m a working mom. I get up every day between 6:15a and 6:30a and am out the door by 7:15 am. The other day I wanted to document my outfit….you know where I took the picture? In a bathroom stall before I changed into running clothes to go for a short post work run. Suuurreee professional photos always look better but don’t bathroom stall pictures have a little more real life aspect? One of these days I WILL do a styled photo shoot – but probably not in 40-degree weather. Still, though, I read plenty of bloggers without someone taking pro-like quality photos and there’s nothing wrong with that. Get of your head that you NEED a professional photographer to take your photos to be a well-liked blogger.

Stop getting caught up in the Comparison Trap

Guilty. Guilty as charged. There are tons of bloggers I adore and read every day. But I compare myself to them. I worry I’m not skinny enough or that I look too fat in my outfits. I worry that my content isn’t authentic enough (it is). I worry I’m not good enough for blogging anymore because I don’t get sponsorships anymore. I don’t blog enough. I don’t have a large enough email list. I don’t post enough to Pinterest….you get the picture. I need to stop comparing myself and worrying that I’m not “doing it right” and just do me.

Stop doing it for the money

I haven’t gotten paid for blogging in a long time. But doing it for the prospect of getting paid, lacks a certain authenticity – every blogger knows that. Every blogger. Also the likelihood? Well, blogging has become slightly oversaturated so standing out as a big fish in a big pond requires a lot of effort. And I’m not gonna lie, I just don’t have that kind of energy. Sure, I’ve certainly envisioned or dreamt about working with big brands but when you take away the hopes of getting paid, you find a more authentic voice. Because it all comes back to over-thinking it all. Just stahhhpppp.

So those are the things I’m guilty of and the “resolutions” I’m going to take to get this whole blogging thing back on track so that it feels less like work and more like something I truly enjoy doing in my free time that isn’t a burden. I’m going to stop them all. I’m going to not set expectations for myself for how often I need to blog based on how often I think I SHOULD blog. I’m going to share on my social networks as I do but not over and over and over and over again like I “should.” I’m just going to do me for a little while here in my little corner of the blogosphere.

 

What’s your biggest blogging Mistake? 

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February Stitch Fix Box

february Stitch Fix

Happy February friends! After a couple of disastrous Stitch Fix boxes, I moved my Fix to quarterly. I updated my profile to be more specific, asked for a new stylist and even asked for a couple of specific pieces that I’ve seen across the blogosphere, 

This month? That feedback paid off in one of the best fixes I’ve received. If half of it had fit me better I probably would have kept ⅗ of the box. So we’re closer. Much closer. 

Margaret M Deandra A- Line Skirt

stitch fix skirt

Ugh, I wanted to love this skirt. I did. The pattern was on point but it bunched up in the front and wasn’t the most flattering cut for me.

Verdict: Return

 

Skies are Blue Farley Lace Detail Blouse

Stitch fix lace detail top

Man, these petite tops are not working for me. Not working. This was cute, and I am all about both navy AND lace but just nope. Too small – and while I love the exchange option that Stitch Fix added, this top wasn’t available in any sizes. Wamp wamp. (Also please excuse my wet hair and the mess on the dresser…it’s Hubs’s side. This was NOT my best “photo shoot”) 

Verdict: Return 

Market & Spruce Evella Boatneck top

stitch fix evella boat neck top

I specifically requested this top. I wanted it in blue (I’m still on the prowl for it, will trade!) but got a purple-ish pink instead. I could have done with a size up because it was more fitted than I prefer, BUT the small worked.

Verdict: KEEP!!!

Market & Spruce Anella Puffer Vest

Stitch FIx puffer vest

If only…I loved this. The dots were on point. The fit was good. It was a winner. Buuuttt I just got a vest for Christmas that’s similar (though not polka dot) and I have a plain navy vest. But seriously, I loved this (and the price wasn’t terrible either!!).

Verdict: Return

Skies are Blue Gustav Chambray Top 

Stitch Fix chambray top

Another winner – but a terrible fit and was sold out in other sizes. Another petite size, another just…womp womp. But I loved the style and the chambray is always a winner in my closet (nevermind the fact that I have THREE other chambray style tops).

Verdict: Return (reluctantly)

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? If not, it’s a favorite package of mine – even if it hasn’t been perfect – and I’d love for you to use my link to sign up


As always, this post may contain affiliate links, and/or if you sign up using my link I may get some referral benefits  but no Stitch Fix boxes have been provide for free. Womp.  All opinions here are my own. 

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Currently | February

Happy February! I missed the currently link up last month but this time around I’m back on it. A new month, new goals right? Right.

Currently

Packing | Last week I would have said packing for a girls weekend to Boston. This week…. I’m not packing anything but my lunches. Lately: delicious wine country chicken salad from Trader Joes. If you haven’t tried it? I highly recommend.

Jonesing | For spring. If you’re not going to give me a real winter with real snow Mother Nature, just give me spring. Sunshine later for evening runs and warm enough weather to wear dresses. If I can’t have a good few inches of snow, I just want spring.

Texting | to make sure Hubs is surviving. He was home with Little Man two days this week because Little Dude was sick and this past weekend while i galivanted around Boston with girl friends for the weekend. Little man can be a handful, after a meltown today out and about (they were getting stir crazy) I’m pretty sure hubs is ready to get back to work.

Reading | I just finished “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton which was fantastic, raw and emotional. I just started after I got home from Boston “Hungry Heart” by Jennifer Weiner, who is might I add, my all time favorite author.

hearting | my boys. I missed them so much even though I was only gone for about 24 hours, absense even though a short one just makes the heart that much fonder.

As always, linking up with Anne for the Currently Link Up. Join in the first Wednesday of every month

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What I wore: Ruffles and Heels

There are two things that scream girly to me – ruffled anything and pretty shoes, specifically, heels.

I’ve begged off wearing heels for a while now, but for some reason, I felt like I wanted to feel a little stepped up. So heels it was!

You may recognize this top from my Inbound suitcase – it’s a little lightweight, a find from the big summer/fall Nordstrom sale – BUT since it’s been unseasonably warm for January, I didn’t freeze. Of course it helps that I keep a heater at my desk because I get cold easily and prefer warm feet.

BP ruffle blouse

{pants | top (similar, similar) | necklace (similar) | heels (similar, similar)  }

What do you wear when you want to feel girly? 

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2017 Race Plans

I’m back to running. After I DNS’ed Dewey Beach in September, I took some time off. I had to. I was heartbroken that my training had gone terribly and that I DNS’ed not one, not two, but three races this fall (Iron Girl, Dewey Beach Tri, and MCM 10k). It was time to reevaluate where running fit into my life. But now it’s time to lace up again. With the new year,  I set a couple of fitness goals:

  • Run 10 races
  • Run 500 miles
  • Complete Bikini Body Guide

Not entirely out there and not out there. I hate setting mileage goals but I’m numbers driven when it comes to fitness related goals so there they are.

As for races? Here are some I’m intrigued and the ones I’m actually registered for (3 of 10)

  1. Penguin Pace 5k – February 2017
  2. Valentines Day 5k – February 2017
  3. Cherry Blossom 10 miler – April 2017
  4. Shape Women’s Half OR Ocean City HalfMAYBE April 2017 (I’m trying to decide if i want to commit to a half marathon this spring…)
  5. JLA Volunteers on the Run 5k – May 2017
  6. Women’s Distance Festival – May 2017
  7. Zooma 10k – June 2017
  8. Maryland Duathlon – July 2017 (MAYBE? I haven’t decided if I’m up for a multisport event this year or if I want to focus on just running…)
  9. Baltimore Marathon Relay – October 2017
  10. 10k Across the Bay – November 2017
  11. Turkey Trot 10k – November 2017

So there – eleven races. I’m not sure if I’ll race all of them – BUT I think my biggest goal is to register for another half marathon.

I’ve wanted to get half number five under my belt for a while now. This spring, since I deferred my Cherry Blossom 10 miler last year and will be running it this year,  would be the perfect time for it.  The Shape Women’s Half was my first half back in 2010 and I’d love to get a do-over. I’m also looking at the Ocean City Half – but I need to look at registrations, race weekends, and Hubs and I’s schedule to see what’s realistic and what’s not.

Ten miler training kicks off at the end of January – next week to be exact. I’m kicking it off with the Zooma Run Love challenge – which is a fun kick start to the year.* Registration is closed for this, BUT you can sign up for Zooma Annapolis (10k or half marathon) and get 10% off with code HEIDI2017.

zooma ambassador

What fitness or racing goals do YOU have for this year? 

{FTC Disclosure: I am an ambassador to Zooma and do receive free race entry to the Zooma race series. All thoughts here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.}

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What I wore: Winter Gray

Happy new year folks!

Already my resolutions/intentions are off to a terrible start. No blogging last week but total writers/block.

That being said! I’m back! Happy 2017! Again!

jcrew tippi sweater

[pants | shoes | sweater | button down (similar) | necklace ]

tippi sweater

I’m absolutely in love with the Tippi sweater. It’s super versatile, I want it in all of the colors. (i have two currently. I also love the Charley sweater from JCrew Factory which has since been discontinued but can be found on Poshmark.)

{Near duplicate outfit here! See, multiple colors.}

FTC disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links and may provide compensation from clicks or purchases. All opinions are mine and mine alone. Thanks in advance for supporting my little blog habit! 

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2016 Recap & 2017 Goals Intentions

Another year, another set of goal fails.

Let’s recap 2016.

  1. Run more. I had a good run (no pun intended?) and hit a couple hundred miles but not quite the 500 I had hoped for.
  2. Eat Cleaner. I did the Whole 10. I generally eat better, but not as clean as I should.
  3. Be Present. Still a work in progress. No more cell phones at the dinner table in 2017 I think.
  4. Write more. LOLOLZ. I did write. Not necessarily more. Not necessarily less.
  5. Stress less. Yes! I did this. I did better. I got a better job. I got a better commute

2017 goals

2017 goals & intentions

Read more. I hit 30 something books in 2016, I want to shoot for 50 in 2016.

Run 10 races. I already have 5 on my schedule, two that I’m registered for. I’m not going to put a mileage goal though I’d like to see 500 miles – which is roughly 10 miles per week. Totally doable, I think given my goals. I’m not sure I’ll throw any multisport events in there but we’ll see.

Blog 2x/week. Set the bar low right? I’m looking into a redesign and I’m cleaning up my archives. I’m comfortable with what I’m writing about (style! life! healthy living!) I just need to commit, streamline posting and not get distracted by feedly.

80% paleo by April. For my thyroid’s sake. Hubs and I are doing the Whole 30 in January so hopefully this helps reset and get me on the right track.

Create a budget and stick to it. We’ve got some fun trips planned this year and we really want to pay off some debt that we’re close to paying off…creating a budget that we can stick to is going to be key to this success.

Additional:

Complete BBG 1.0 and 2.0 by December. I keep starting and stopping. I need to get my workout ADD under control. I really want to do this though – the program is fantastic and i do enjoy it.

what are your 2017 goals and resolutions? 

 

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Girls Night Out in Annapolis with the Loews Annapolis Hotel

Last week I was invited to a night at the Loews Annapolis to have a holiday night out. It was Midnight Madness in downtown Annapolis and the perfect excuse to have a fun, festive, casual night out. I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

The evening/afternoon started with Glam Sessions – I got my hair curled (of which I am now obsessed with but haven’t quite figured out how to replicate it). They also had makeup (mainly eyes with some false lashes!) and nails that you could get done as well. I did my own makeup though my nails look like garbage but I replied late so was only able to score a hair appointment.

GNO with Loews Annapolis

I left shortly after my hair was done to get changed into my cozy, festive casual outfit for the evening – ready to hit the town. (As much as a 30 something working mom can and wants to hit the town…)

holiday casual outfit

{Pants | Sweater (old, similar) | Plaid Shirt | Necklace | Shoes (old, similar)}

Prior to heading out to Midnight Madness, we started with cocktails and appetizers at Baroak – Teddy Folkman’s restaurant in Annapolis – which is DELICIOUS. We had mussels, flatbread pizza and some charcuterie on the appetizer side…

Baroak annapolis cocktails

…and some (delicious) specialty cocktails – a white sangria with cranberries and a white rum punch (that I did not try but heard delicious things about!). They have an exceptional menu (mussels and frites anyone?!) and the beer menu isn’t terrible either. If you have not been, I highly recommend.

After cocktail hour, I headed downtown with Liz to check out a couple of the shops, snowflake alley and meet up with some other Naptown pals of hers. We ended up at Dry 85 and had a couple of drinks before Ubering back to the hotel because holy crap was it FRIGID to walk the four or five blocks back (even though we walked down there).

The night ended back in the Presidential suite at the Loew’s with gift wrapping. I got the couple of gifts that I picked up wrapped, I’m a good wrapper generally, but this lady was AMAZING. I’ve got enough to wrap at home, so it was nice having a couple to get wrapped fo’ freesies.

I was back in my room at a halfway decent hour and crashed watching HGTV. It was a really fun night for sure. Thanks to Loews Annapolis for hosting and for putting on such a fantastic evening.

FTC disclosure: I was provided an overnight stay, however, I was not compensated for my honest review. All opinions here are my own. 

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What I Wore: Holiday Party Girly

I am the WORST wanna-be style bloggers ever. I had the CUTEST outfit for my holiday party a couple of weeks ago and alas, I did NOT get a picture of it. Not one. So Much FAIL.

 

[Skirt | Top | Necklace | Shoes (old, similar) ]

These shoes y’all. I have had these shoes for FOREVER, they’re Steve Maddens and I love them. They desperately need new inserts but I wear them two, maybe three times per year because they’re my holiday shoes. I usually trip and near break my ankle at least once each time I wear them (true story), and this year was NO different. But every time I wear them I feel fun, flirty and festive – which is how any girl should feel around the holidays.

My outfit was inspired by this pin – I DESPERATELY wanted to try a tulle skirt. For no other reason than I wanted to try something different and I really don’t get that many opportunities to dress up throughout the year so, I wanted to get a little girlier than I normally do.

Another “fun” fact: if you’re going to shop at Charlotte Russe (which is where, after scavenging many retail establishments in the greater Annapolis area, I finally found a tulle skirt), be prepared to size up at least 1 to 2 sizes from where you normally are. Don’t take it personally. Their size 8 is more like a size 4. Vanity sizing is disgusting my friends.

All of this and of course I forgot to snap a picture. I’ll get better at this whole blogging thing again I promise – its a new years resolution.

What’s your favorite festive party wear?

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What I Wore: Festive Copper

How has it been nearly a month since my last blog post? I have half a dozen drafts sitting in my backlog but no time/energy to wrap them up and schedule them. Maybe I’m over thinking this blogging thing but some of my favorite bloggers have such beautiful photos and images whereas I’m in selfie-city. Somedays I feel like such an amateur. Either way, setting the bar low for myself. Blog one time per week. Two would be fantastic, three would be a dream. Let’s see if I can get my act together!

jcrew tippi

[sweater | pants | shoes (similar) | Necklace (similar, similar) | Button down (similar) ]

I know JCrew has gotten some crap lately regarding their quality and that , but I got a beautiful Tippi sweater on a black Friday sale and I’ve gotta say, I’m in love and want at least ten more in different colors.

In other news, this weekend we’re going to be in full cooking baking, gift wrapping, holiday movie watching mode. Shopping is ALMOST done and I am READY for Christmas morning with my two favorite people. Cue “matching” pjs, mimosas, a festive brunch and all of the Christmas movies with Little man. It’s going to be a fun day 🙂

Tell me about your favorite parts of the holiday season! Any great finds that you’ve found through the Holiday Shopping season?

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