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2017 Year in Review

First of all, if you are reading this…Thank You! My blog adventures are written specifically to connect with you, hopefully provide you with useful information, and entertain you. Without you, my blog would not exist!

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In the beginning….

2017 was an exciting year! The blog officially launched on May 29th and I really had no idea what I was in for! I thought that I would start a blog, write content and people would read it. How hard could that be!? (I can hear other bloggers laughing!)

I had thought about starting a blog many times, but didn’t know how to do it and didn’t want to invest in something I wasn’t 100% certain about. I was motivated to start when I saw a post on Facebook from Pete and Heather Reese of It’s Lovely Life titled, ‘Start a Money Making Blog’. I didn’t realize that blogging could be a source of income! If that was the case, if  I could make a enough money to pay for the blog expenses, then it would be worth sharing my thoughts!

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I built the site, teaching myself the in’s and out’s of WordPress using YouTube and articles written by fellow bloggers. I quickly realized that I had to get more active on social media. I didn’t even have a Twitter account at that point and barely even looked at Instagram!

Every morning was a challenge planning my day; making time for home, kids, blogging, and (oh yea) my full time job! Every evening was spent learning something new, preparing posts and trying to keep up. My husband and kids were, and continue to be, my biggest supporters.

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I was hard on myself. I wasn’t getting enough views or followers or likes on social media. I was spending money and not making any, and felt guilty. My husband assured me that it will take time and you have to ‘spend money to make money’.

As time went on….

Then, I started joining groups and mom-blog pods. I couldn’t believe that there was this large blogging community across the world that came together to support each other, offer advice and help a fellow blogger in need. It was certainly a welcome surprise when I started making new friends in this new venture.

As a matter of fact, Sara at Travels with Tots helped me learn a new social media strategy today! And I’m always reaching out to Lauren at The Gabbing Ginger with all sorts of random questions and she is always happy to help.

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I fumbled around (and still do) with what I should write about. Do people really want to hear about me and my struggles and successes? Do you care how I pack for a long vacation or does it help you? Does hearing about my struggles with my step-daughter give hope to others in the same position? I think about how I can use my blogging platform to help others, be it a small business or a charitable organization.

I hit a few milestones too! I reached over 5,000 followers on both Instagram and Twitter. I received my first ‘free’ products in lei of a review. And just a few days ago, I had my first paid post. I didn’t earn much, but you have start somewhere, right?

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 Goals for 2018

Thinking about the new year, there are so many goals that I have for the growth of The Mommy on the Move.

  • Patience – To be more patient with myself and success with the blog. I know that I will be successful, I can feel it, I just have to be patient and take it one step at a time.
  • Steady Income – It doesn’t have to be life changing, but it would be nice to at least be able to pay for blog expenses with blog income!
  • Relationships – Build strong relationship with other bloggers and brands as well.
  • Life Balance – I tend to have moments of getting caught up in blogging that I forget about everything else. Then, step away completely to refresh. I would like to be able to balance all of life’s priorities in 2018. It is going to be important to my mental health that I do that.
  • Meaningful Content – As mentioned in the beginning of this article, The Mommy on the Move exists for you. In 2018, I want to continue to provide you information that is meaningful to you!

Happy New Year to all of you! 2018 is going to be amazing!

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New Years

5 Ways to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s the scenario: Christmas is over. The tree is still up. The house is a disaster after all the holiday fun. You are exhausted. The kids have been out of school for a week and are bored. And….it’s New Years Eve.

You head to a New Year’s Eve party or stay in your nice quiet (yet messy) home, and you are supposed to feel renewed and ready for the new year to begin. I don’t know about you, but all I can think about it trying to figure out how to stay in bed for an entire day!

New Years

Why I don’t like ‘New Year’s Resolutions’

Yep, I said it. I don’t like New Years Resolutions.

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on what you accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) in the previous year. It’s also an ideal time to think about goals for yourself, define ways to improve yourself, and work on a plan to get them done.

However, the idea behind New Year’s Resolutions is that you need to start implementing those changes on January 1st.

The reality is, even though New Years Resolutions are  intended to be for the year,  we are lucky if we last a month. It’s tough to ask ourselves to think that one day in the year holds the power to helping us achieve a goal. Most people are not going to change something (quit smoking, start a new diet, etc.), until they are ready. It’s silly to think that everyone should be ready on January 1st.

What we should do instead of New Year’s Resolutions

Reflect.

The end of a year, and the beginning of another, is the perfect time to take a good look at ourselves and make some decisions about what we would like to do differently. When reflections turn into actions, we start to make progress. These actions will only be successful if we are motivated. So, create a list, prioritize and plan!

Make sure that you don’t have too many on your list; 3-5 is good. Once you have your list, prioritize them based on what you would like to start accomplishing first, second, etc. and start a plan.

5 Tips to ‘New Years Resolution’ Success

Here are some simple guidelines to creating your plan:

  1. Start with the goal that is easiest or quickest to achieve. Getting a quick ‘win’ will make you feel accomplished and motivate you to continue down your list.
  2. Start goals early in the year that will take a while to accomplish (like weight-loss), but remember, it doesn’t have to be on January 1st!
  3. Give yourself some time to let these first two changes set in before you implement a new one. For instance, you could plan to start goal #3 in March or April.
  4. Identify what success is for each goal. For instance, if losing weight is on your list, identify how many pounds would be successful to you. (Keep in mind everyone’s idea of success is going to be different)
  5. Write it down! In any fashion you choose – electronic, on paper, posted to the mirror in your bathroom – whatever works for you! Putting it in writing will make it ‘real’ and help you to achieve it.

The key to successful ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ is to not expect yourself to take on a lot of changes at one time. Space it out and prepare yourself for success. By identifying your goals at the beginning of the year, but giving yourself a few weeks/months to start those changes, you are giving yourself an opportunity to adjust to change and giving yourself a better chance at success!

What are your New Years Resolutions for 2018???

Peanut Clusters

Easy Chocolate Peanut Clusters Recipe

There are so many things that I love about his time of year. Christmas trees, decorations, the neighborhood houses all lit up, and of course the cookies and candy.

Christmas candy

In general, I am not a baker or a like to cook, but this time of year, I love to make Christmas candies and goodies to give to friends, family and co-workers. I usually like to try new things every year, however there is one candy that I make every single year; Peanut Clusters.

I make Peanut Clusters every year for a few reasons:

  1. They are so simple to make. All you need is 4 ingredients, a crock pot and a place to scoop them out and let them cool christmas candy
  2. It’s easy to make this in bulk – my husband has 50 people in his department and he likes to give each of them a Christmas card and a goody bag. (Yep, that’s a lot of candy!)
  3. Everyone loves it! Not only is it easy to make, but I get compliments every year on how good they are. I get asked for the recipe all the time, so I am sharing with you today!

Print Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2  – 16 oz. packages of Candiquick Chocolate Candy Coating
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet Hershey chocolate bar
  • 2 cans Spanish Peanuts (salted and roasted)

Peanut Clusters

Instructions:

Place all of the chocolate in a crock pot and melt on high for about 1 hour.

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Once all the chocolate is melted, stir in the peanuts.

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Place waxed paper on a flat surface, and drop tablespoonfuls and allow to cool.

Christmas candy

Put in air-tight container and place in the fridge to store.

These are great to give as a gift during the holidays.  You can place them on a platter for holiday parties, or put them in a goody bag to give away. Either way, they are certain to be a hit with anyone you share them with!

Print Recipe!

Peanut Clusters

 

 

 

Stitch Fix

December Stitch Fix Review

I am so excited to be a part of the Stitch Fix family again! I started with Stitch Fix a few years ago. As a matter of fact, I think they were pretty new at that point. I took a short break, but decided to sign back up and received my first stash of Stitch Fix goods a few days ago!

How it Works

If you have never heard of Stitch Fix, or aren’t sure what they do, here is the down and dirty…

Having Stitch Fix is like having a personal stylist. Once your account is created, you fill out a profile so your stylist knows your sizes and what you like. You can also add links to your social profiles and Pinterest to give your stylist even more insight. Sign up for reoccurring deliveries (I have them delivered once a month) or request one when you are ready. Your stylist will hand pick items for you, based on your profile, and mail them to you. Keep what you want and return what you don’t want. You also receive a 25% discount if you keep all items!

That’s it! 

Stitch Fix Perks

One of the many things that I love about Stitch Fix is that they send you items that you may not have chosen for yourself. Some times this works out fabulously! Other times, it may be a little too far out of your comfort zone. It’s a good thing that you only keep and pay for the items you like!

Because your stylist not only knows your sizes, but your height, weight and other measurements, they can hand pick items that are certain to fit. When you receive your Fix, it also comes with a note from your stylist, with ideas on how to put the pieces together. It also comes with ‘note cards’ with samples on how to style the items with other pieces you may already have in your closet.

If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, they have a special offer just for my readers! You can receive your first Fix FREE because they are waiving the $20 styling fee through January! Click here to try Stitch Fix for FREE! 

Now for the fun part! Check out my December Fix below:

Puffer Vest

Marc New York – Pierce Puffer Vest

stitch fix vest

This is an ideal pick for me! I have a few other puffer vests, but only in neutral colors.  I never would have picked a pink one for myself, but it goes with so many things that I already have in my closet! This one goes into the KEEP pile.

Vigoss – Erika Distressed Skinny Jean

Stitch Fix Jeans

Who doesn’t love distressed skinny jeans?? I already have a few pairs of these in my closet, but I could always use more! These fit so perfectly too, I can’t pass them up.  This one goes into the KEEP pile.

American Able – Vivianna Cut Out Knit Top

Stitch Fix Sweater

This 3/4 sleeve shirt is so cute and comfortable. It has a stylish cut out around the neckline, that is hard to see in the photo. I appreciate that my stylist read my profile because I indicated that I don’t like short-sleeve shirts, due to my body type, but love 3/4 sleeves! This one also goes into the KEEP pile.

Nakamol – Avalon Multi-Strand Beaded Choker

Stitch Fix Necklace

This is the first time that I received jewelry from Stitch Fix and I am so impressed. I have recently decided that I need to incorporate more jewelry into my style, so I am so excited for this piece. This one goes into the KEEP pile.

Kimono

Alice Blue – Hallie Burnout Velvet Kimono

Stitch Fix Kimono

This is definitely not something that I would not have picked for myself. It’s cute, but something that I feel would look better on someone else. I have put it on a few times, and checked my note cards to see how to wear it, but I am still not sure. However, since one of the reasons that I joined Stitch Fix is to get out of my comfort zone, I appreciate this pick. In addition to that, with the 25% off I receive for keeping all items, it’s actually cheaper for me to keep in that return it! It also goes into the KEEP pile.

What you are your thoughts on my Fix? Would you have kept all the items or returned some?

Looking for a last minute gift? Give the gift of fashion with a Stitch Fix Gift Card!