a streamlining check-in.

Earlier this summer, I committed to streamlining.

To give you some context, here’s a little #flashbackfriday action from my May/June monthly goals post

… she gave me some great advice. “You can’t keep adding and adding and adding,” she said. “At a certain point, you need to subtract a few things. It sounds like you’re scared to do that.” And she’s right. I am! It took me so long to establish myself as a writer and to get my income up to a place where it rivals what I was making in my corporate job that I can’t help but feel some innate sense of failure at the mere thought of unloading any one of my gigs… even if doing so will make room for bigger and better opportunities. These are some seriously tough calls, friends.

In the weeks and months since I shared that, I’ve been making those tough calls. I stopped writing on a weekly basis for one outlet, in particular — an outlet that had given me great, consistent work and had afforded me the opportunity to rack up lots of fun bylines, but that demanded a more structured system based on hours instead of stories. The system had put on a strain on my freelancing flow from the beginning, but I went with it, anyway… until I realized that I was no longer feeling challenged by the work. By the time I made that realization, I had brought on some other clients that helped beef up my regular monthly income and had made plans for the podcast — a project l knew would only take up more of my time going forward. I had also more or less stopped working on my book entirely, and had barely been pitching to new editors and outlets because the schedule was so restrictive and I had to spend so much time scrambling to meet my existing commitments.

When I read all of this back, I realize just how right I was in making the decision to stop writing regularly for this outlet when I did (even though the team was awesome and I miss them!).

Still, I’m not a quitter, and it was hard for me not to think of streamlining as simply giving up.

It’s been a few weeks since I made this major change to my schedule, and I thought I’d share a bit more about how the transition has been going. If you’re like me and have trouble saying “no” to things or offloading commitments, here’s what you can expect…

First, I felt overwhelmed by, well, change. Change isn’t always the easiest thing for me to deal with, and any time I have to make a major adjustment to my schedule, it shakes me up a little. I launched The SSR Podcast the week after I quit working for the outlet I mentioned above, so all at once, I had a lot of newly free hours on my hands and was also trying to figure out how the heck to simultaneously produce and promote a show of my own! After spending so many months as a new freelancer trying to fill those hours productively, it was unsettling to feel like I was back at square one again… even though I knew wasn’t really.

Still, I knew it had been the right decision. If it hadn’t been for the looming podcast launch, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to streamline, even though I knew I would eventually need to make some major changes to my workload so I could free up time to challenge myself with new writing opportunities. Since I had a new project to throw myself into at that moment, I didn’t have to stress as much about whether or not it was the “right time” for me to pivot. The podcast was taking up so much of my time (especially in those early weeks, when I had almost no idea what I was doing!), that I couldn’t even imagine juggling it with all the work I’d been doing for the outlet I’d quit. It was satisfying to realize that trusting my instincts had been the right call.

I realized that I could be proud of myself… for a few reasons. First of all, when I stepped back from the self-imposed guilt I was feeling about “giving up” any part of my writing workload, I saw that it was actually pretty cool that I’d reached a point in my freelancing career where I had the ability — financially, primarily — to make some decisions. When I first started in this world, I was hungry for work and didn’t have the luxury to discriminate or turn down opportunities. I hope that I maintain some of that hunger always (I definitely still feel it!), but when I figured out that the choice to streamline was something I’d earned, I allowed myself a quick pat on the back. I was also proud that I’d finally said “no” to something, because it’s not something I do often in my work!

I worked my butt off. I had no problem filling in those extra hours. For a few weeks in the middle of this summer, I was working 12- and 13-hour days every day. At that point, it was genuinely unclear how I’d had anything else on my plate previously.

Now, I’m giving myself some space to figure out what happens next. I’m now a month beyond the launch of the podcast, and the tasks that were taking me so long to complete early on are starting to become more routine. I’ve figured out a workflow and rhythm for the SSR-related work, as well as how to slot it in around my freelancing jobs. Now, I’m seeing some of that time free up again, and I’m trying to be patient with myself as I figure out how to spend it. I’m already back in a better pattern of working on my book and pitching new projects, so what happens next? Do I focus on up-leveling the podcast? Do I put my head down and try to churn out the first draft of my novel (finally)? Do I get even more relentless about seeking new writing opportunities? Honestly, I’m not quite sure yet how it’s all going to work, and while I’ve had moments over the last week or so when that’s felt weird, I’m trying to remind myself that it doesn’t need to get figured out all at once. I’m still busy, I’m still earning a steady income, and it’s summer! Which means most other people out there aren’t making big decisions, either : )

I’m heading to the beach with family for a few days this weekend, but I’ll be right back here Monday to announce the winner of the July giveaway! The prize is a $25 gift card to BaubleBar! All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post here. There are just a few days left, so don’t miss out.

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

0 comment

july giveaway.

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! We had so much fun celebrating the engagements of two sets of friends and then fell head over heels in love with a new apartment here in Brooklyn. Please, please keep your fingers crossed that we get approved for it : ) And, yes — this means that we’re staying in New York for at least another year (you can read a little more about all of that drama here)… and I’m pretty excited about it.

So, yeah, we had a pretty great weekend over here.

Isn’t it funny that a nearly perfect weekend somehow makes it harder to get back into the grind of the work week? Shouldn’t it be the break you needed to kick things off with a better attitude? Not so much, I guess.

Hopefully, this month’s GIVEAWAY DAY will brighten up your Monday. It definitely helps mine to share it with you!

In celebration of the upcoming last month of summer (bummer, I know) and all the great outfits you need to accessorize, this month’s prize will be a $25 gift card to BaubleBar!

Here are a few pieces for sale there now that I’m loving:

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.47.35 AM
Iva Hoop Earrings
Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.49.28 AM
Evangelia Resin Drop Earrings
Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.54.50 AM.png
Taina Cocktail Ring
Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.55.14 AM.png
Elizabeth Cuff Bracelet
Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.55.33 AM.png
Dana Collar

 

This gift card will help make a serious dent in all of these items… or any other bauble from the site that you’re into!

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! It wouldn’t hurt to share the link with a friend or two or to post it to your social media so a few of your loved ones have a chance to check it out. Remember: these giveaways come around once a month, so you might as well spread the love!

I’ll (randomly) draw and announce the winner one week from today, Monday 7/30. Good luck!

4 Comments

summer 2018 podcast recommendations.

As you might expect, since the launch of my own podcast a few weeks ago, my whole perspective on the podcasting world has changed.

But I’m no less obsessed as a listener.

I was worried that spending hours every week preparing for, recording, editing, and promoting episodes of my own show would somehow make me less interested in the others that I’ve always loved listening to — but, if anything, launching SSR has given me that much more respect for the podcasting community as a whole. Now that I know how much work goes into producing a podcast, I want to support the creators even more by subscribing and listening!

It’s been a while since I shared podcast recommendations — or, quite honestly, since I talked about any show other than my own — and with summer more than half over, I thought it was the perfect time to give you some ideas for great content you can listen to during your travels. (Check out my previous recommendation posts here, here, and here.) Here are a few pods I’ve been really into lately. I hope you find one you love!

Podcast_Cover_Artwork.jpg

1. Anna Faris Is UnqualifiedI feel like I might be a little late to the party on this one, but I’m going to own that proudly, because I’m totally loving it, anyway. When I was growing up, I loved listening to advice radio shows when I was in the backseat of my parents’ car, and Unqualified brings me right back to that… but with an added element of celebrity. I’ve never been a huge fan of Anna Faris, but I’m really enjoying her as a podcast host and as an advice-giver to the listeners that call in!

63514-600x600bb-85

2. RISE TogetherThere are tons of podcasts out there all about personal and professional development, but this one is all about developing as a couple! It’s brand new, and as I’m writing this post, there’s only one episode available, but I really enjoyed it. I recently read (in a day!) Rachel Hollis’s book Girl, Wash Your Face and I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while, but I particularly like what she has to say about marriage, as well as the dynamic between her and her husband Dave. I’m excited to see how this podcast develops over time.

1200x630bb

3. Armchair Expert with Dax ShepardLike pretty much everyone else I know, I find Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard to be total #marriagegoals, but it wasn’t until I tuned in to Armchair Expert that I realized just how impressive Dax is all on his own. Every week, he chats with a fellow celebrity about pretty much anything and everything you can imagine. This guy is smart, and I love listening to the way he encourages his guests to open up and share their opinions (even the controversial ones) with him. He’s a fantastic example of someone who can engage in respectful conversation even when he disagrees with the other person, and since I spend a lot of time interviewing people for stories I’m writing and for podcast episodes, I find this so impressive.

1200x630bb (1).jpg

4. For The Love Of Money PodcastEarlier this year, I went to Amber Lilyestrom’s Ignite Your Soul Summit, where Chris and Lori Harder were guest speakers. Chris is an expert on money mindset, and as you might remember if you read my post about making the decision to join The Wing back in May, his speech at the summit was a game changer for me. The For The Love of Money podcast offers similar food for thought on a more regular basis, and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who struggles to find a healthy relationship with earning and spending money.

find_canhedothat_washingtonpost.jpg

 

5. Can He Do That?Clearly, this one might not appeal to people across the political spectrum, but I think that what the Washington Post has done here is create a really interesting frame through which to discuss current events. I’ve learned a lot from it, and I encourage you to give it a try even if you have some misgivings.

Obviously, I’d love if you would check out The SSR Podcast, too!

What podcasts have you been loving lately? Feel free to share in the comments below! 

Have a great weekend! I’ll see you back here on Monday for GIVEAWAY DAY!

 

 

2 Comments

thoughts on how to support your freelancing + side hustlin’ + WFH friends.

I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through these first (almost) two years of freelancing and of working from home and for myself if I didn’t have the support of some pretty kick-butt people. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such amazing humans in my corner more recently when I launched The SSR Podcast. This whole “nontraditional career” thing is no joke, and as much as I create structure and routine for myself, it can sometimes be the people in my life who provide me with what I really need to move forward with my writing — and now with the podcast, too.

IMG_9954.JPG

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while, but I found myself hesitating about it a few times over the last few months. I never wanted anyone to feel, when reading it, that they had done something “wrong” in approaching a friend who, like me, is pursuing a freelance or self-employed lifestyle or who is trying to launch a business or side hustle. The truth is that any effort you make to support a friend who’s doing this is meaningful, and I know I speak for all of us when I say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the love!

In the past two years, I’ve been on the receiving end of all kinds of efforts to support and understand what I do, and since freelancing and side hustles seem to be on the rise (at least, according to my editors!), I thought it might be interesting to organize some of my thoughts about the best ways to be there for people in those situations. I do think that there are a lot of misunderstandings out there about what it’s actually like to be your own boss or to work from home, and it’s easy for those of us who do it to be oversensitive about them. Hopefully, these tips will help you cut through those misunderstandings so you can (respectfully!) be the cheerleader I know you want to be : )

1. Ask questions. When I left my corporate job to pursue writing full-time in 2016, I’m sure that plenty of my friends felt confused about what I was doing. And I totally understood that! There were moments when everyone’s confusion made me question what I was doing, but what helped were the many great conversations that came from it. When people asked genuine, earnest questions, it gave me the opportunity to get more and more clear about where I was going. More importantly, it made me feel like they respected me enough to talk to me about my “work stuff,” even if they didn’t quite understand it right away. And that’s still true! Ask your freelance, WFH, and side hustle friends respectful questions about the work they do, just as you would anyone else. You’ll learn more about their world and you’ll boost their confidence by giving them a chance to demonstrate some of their expertise.

2. Minimize assumptions. Yes, working from home or running your own business can afford you flexibility when it comes to when and where you work. But that doesn’t mean that we freelancers or WFH-ers don’t have routines that are necessary in order for us to be productive! When people equate working from home or being your own boss to habitually sleeping in, taking long weekends, and blowing off work commitments in favor of last-minute fun, it can strike a nerve! While all of those things can happen, they’re the exception and not the rule for most of us.

3. Celebrate milestones. If one of your friends who worked in a more traditional career got a new job offer or earned a promotion, you’d probably congratulate them, right? You might buy them a drink or call them to hear more about the good news. Your friends who have side hustles or work in less traditional settings don’t have those clear milestones, and they probably struggle with that themselves! We’re taught to pursue logical checkpoints, to achieve things in a linear way — and as rewarding as it can be to be your own boss, that lack of a clear path can be a bit of a mind game, too. Look for opportunities to celebrate major professional moments for your freelancin’ and side hustlin’ pals, whether it be when they bring on a new client, launch a new project, or earn enough money to upgrade their workspace.

4. Stay engaged. It’s 2018, and if your friend has their own business, side hustle, or passion project, I’m willing to bet that there’s at least one way that you can engage with it online or via social media. Liking, commenting, following, or subscribing might seem like a small gesture to you, but that kind of engagement is quite literally the fuel that keeps these projects going. Take every opportunity to participate in these ways, and to encourage other people in your circle to do the same.

5. Play the role of a boss or colleague (when appropriate!). Whenever I’m feeling down on myself because a new project isn’t growing quite as quickly as I want it or or because I’m struggling to make connections with the editors I want to work with, one of my best friends reminds me that I’m in unchartered territory and that I’ve already made strides down an untraditional path. This advice is a great motivator because it helps me remember that I’ve already proven myself capable! After that, she helps me talk through small goals that will allow me to make progress. In the absence of a boss to have these conversations with, I do need my loved ones that much more. You know your friend well — what kinds of conversations do you think they might be missing from an office environment, and what kinds of conversations will help them do more and do better with their work? Consider how you can be the one to facilitate those conversations, then make sure they know you’re available to have them if — and only if! — you need them.

How do you support friends and loved ones who work in untraditional ways? If you’re a freelancer or have a side hustle yourself, what kinds of support do you look for? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

1 Comment

finding a summer state of mind.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while (first of all — thank you!), you might remember that my first summer as a freelancer in 2017 proved a bit of a challenge.

I came out of a corporate job that was wildly generous with its benefits, one of the biggest of which was summer Fridays. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, all employees would work an extra hour Monday through Thursday, then leave at lunchtime on Friday. The hours themselves were great, but the spirit of summer Fridays bled into the culture of the company for the whole summer. Obviously, we worked hard in the summer months, but everyone felt a little lighter. The promise of a shorter workday on Fridays changed the whole tone of our weeks. It was kind of the best.

Summer Fridays aren’t unusual here in New York City, and many of my friends have adjusted schedules at this time of year, so when I watched last year as my pals began posting photos of Friday afternoon happy hours and regular long weekend trips, I couldn’t help but feel bummed out. Yes, I had left my former job with eyes wide open about the benefits I was losing, but giving up summer Fridays felt particularly sad.

You’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “But you work for yourself! Don’t you have full control of your schedule?”

Well, you’re right and you’re wrong. Freelancing is kind of funky, because while I don’t technically have a Boss (yes, with a capital B), I still work for plenty of people, and I’m constantly hustling to deliver work to those people on time and to put myself in front of other people who might be interested in hiring me in the future. I don’t quite have the flexibility that other entrepreneurs (in the truer sense of the word) have, because I don’t get to call all of the shots in my work. I probably call about half of them. Once I’m in a successful business relationship with an editor or client — which is obviously my goal — there are only so many liberties I can take with my schedule and workload. Since I’m always balancing a handful of clients and a lot of deadlines with my own passion projects, that can mean that I’m working 60-65 hour weeks… even in the summertime.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this last summer. A few of my freelancer friends and I even thought about trying to hold each other accountable for taking summer Fridays and granting ourselves a little more down time! That didn’t quite work out, and since I have even more on my plate this summer, it’s not exactly happening in 2018, either. Still, we’re now halfway through the summer (?!?!?!), and I want to find small ways to make the season feel more special, even if I can’t take a ton of extra time off. Ever since I started working from home, I find that minor changes to my routine can make all the difference!

Here are a few of my ideas for finding those summer vibes even in the craziness. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you if you don’t have any big trips planned or are feeling overwhelmed by work, too : )

1. Get outside. It sounds simple, but making a point to step outside of my home office is big for me. Summer in the city can be hard because there’s not a ton you can do to minimize the heat, but I walk to and from The Wing whenever I can, and if I know I have a crazy day head of me, I’ll take an extra lap or two around the block on my way to the gym in the morning.

2. Treat myself more often. I’m naturally pretty frugal, and one of my biggest concerns when I started working from home was that I would constantly be tempted to buy myself lunches, Starbucks, etc. This summer, I’ve been allowing myself a few extra indulgences — especially strawberry bubble tea from the Vietnamese restaurant under our apartment! These drinks are a great way to cool down, and they taste like summer to me.

3. More date nights. Summer is one of the best times to live in New York (as miserable as the heat can be), because it’s easier than ever to explore your neighborhood. Matt and I have been making it a priority to go out more frequently on weeknights, even if it’s just on a walk to the bookstore or to get an ice cream cone. There will be plenty of time to curl up on the couch and watch TV in the winter!

4. Get dressed up. If you work from home, you know all too well how easy it is to keep things casual — to put it generously — in your day-to-day life. Most of the time, if I don’t have meetings or events, I throw on a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt and call it a day… but I’m trying to do that less this summer. I always get such a boost in confidence at this time of year, so I’ve gotten reacquainted with my closet and have been much more likely than usual to actually put on an outfit, even if I’m planing to work out of the apartment. I still don’t wear a ton of makeup most days (better for my skin that way!), but fully embracing my boho style with maxi dresses and long skirts and rompers on a daily basis has been really fun.

5. Drinks! A few months ago, I stopped drinking almost entirely. I’ve never been a huge drinker, but in the late winter and early spring, I was finding that even a glass or two of alcohol here and there was seriously messing with my stomach and giving me a raging headache. I don’t think I’ll ever be someone who likes to drink a lot, but I love me some rosé and girly cocktails in the summer — our summer social life in the city involves a lot of rooftops, and a girl needs rosé on a roof! — so I started working the occasional drink back into my rotation a few weeks ago. It hasn’t been making me feel sick… only celebratory!

What do you do to capture summer vibes? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

0 comment

second anniversary trip to Mexico.

I can’t decide if it feels like way longer or way shorter than two weeks since Matt and I took our second wedding anniversary trip to Cancun… but it definitely feels like one of the two extremes. I hit the ground running work-wise as soon as we landed back in New York so I could prepare to launch the podcast without dropping the ball on any of my other gigs, then Matt was away last weekend for a bachelor party while I had a friend in town, and this whole time we have been sweating bullets with crazy summer weather here in Brooklyn. With everything we’ve had going on, it’s hard to believe we even went on a trip!

But we did! We did go on a trip, and it was great.

I know the all-inclusive model isn’t for everyone, but we’re huge fans of it, and I was really excited to find a great last-minute deal on Expedia for a resort called the Excellence Riviera Cancun (only in my dreams is this a sponsorship… I just want to share the love!). You never quite know what you’re going to get when you book a trip like this, but I’m happy to report that the place beat all of our expectations and we can’t wait to go back. As much as we loved being at a honeymoon hot spot for our actual honeymoon in 2016 — we went to Sandals Antigua — I’m always anxious about being the only non-honeymooners at one of these resorts, and that wasn’t the case on this trip. It’s probably silly, but I think I would feel a little bummed if every. other. couple around us was just coming off of their wedding… even though it’s obviously magical in its own right to be celebrating an anniversary.

Since life has been such a whirlwind lately and I haven’t had the chance to share any of the details of our time away, I thought I’d wrap up this week with a belated recap of our anniversary getaway! Let’s start with the good, the bad, and the ugly (AKA the best, worst, and most hilarious parts of the trip) and then finish with some photos.

The Good: There was a moment when we were sitting in lounge chairs on the beach one afternoon, drinks and books in hand… and then an acoustic cover band started playing live right at the spot where the resort met the sand. It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment!

The Bad: (This is about to be one of those situations where I take something good and spin it so it’s something bad. Ready?) We needed more time! I know it feels like vacation is never long enough, but I genuinely think that we could have used an extra day or two this time around. Matt and I haven’t been on a beach-y, totally relaxing and luxurious vacation alone since our honeymoon, and while I’m grateful we were able to steal away at all during this very busy period of our lives, I very much regretted that we didn’t figure out a way to extend it just a liiiiiiiitle bit. One more night would have done the trick.

The Ugly: Unless we have a reason to be otherwise, Matt and I are generally pretty casual travelers, and it didn’t occur to us that the resort might have a dress code since that’s not something we’ve run into on previous trips. We pretty much assume that as long as you’ve changed out of your bathing suit, put on some real shoes, and made yourself more or less presentable, you’ll be allowed to eat anywhere you want! Welp, not so much at this resort. There were a few select restaurants where long pants (even jeans!) were apparently required for men, and we were asked very politely to leave one place when Matt showed up dressed in chino shorts, a button down shirt, and loafers. All I could do was laugh and make a mental note to insist that he pack pants next time!

And now for some photos! I never take as many pictures as I want to when we travel because I am focusing so much on disconnecting from my phone, but here are some highlights…

fullsizeoutput_b83

fullsizeoutput_b74

fullsizeoutput_b7f

fullsizeoutput_b79

fullsizeoutput_b78

fullsizeoutput_b75

fullsizeoutput_b7b

fullsizeoutput_b70

fullsizeoutput_b76

fullsizeoutput_b88

Sooooo…. can you tell I’m already counting down until when we can go back?

Do you have any summer trips planned? Tell me more in the comments below! 

3 Comments

monthly goals recap -> june + july.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

The holiday falls in such a weird way this year and I’m not quite sure what our day is going to look like around here, but it’s definitely a treat to get an extra weekday off with Matt! Before we officially kick off our holiday (as I try my hardest to stay away from work entirely), I thought I’d update you on my goals from last month and the weeks ahead. I won’t bore you with any more introductory details, because I want you to get out there and start BBQ-ing and watching fireworks as much as possible!

lF7dnFHUQau4TMUY7cEn1A_thumb_6fd
All of those completed progress bars in my June Power Sheets feel good

Somehow, with everything that was on my list for June (here is last month’s recap if you need a reminder!), I managed to make it a pretty darn productive one. Here’s how last month’s goals played out:

  • Launch the SSR Podcast. √ YES! SSR went live last week with its first two full episodes, and just yesterday, the third one released on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. This is a living, breathing thing now, and I’m so proud to have made it happen. I’m not even going to try to play down my excitement by calling it a “humble brag.’
  • Push the SSR Podcast Web site, Facebook group, and Twitter live. √ YES! Check it out here, here, and here.
  • Rally the SSR Podcast Launch Team! √ YES! Seriously, thanks to everyone who was part of this. If you still want some bookmarks, let me know. Happy to send some your way!
  • Update list of target outlets. √ YES! Early this year, I made a list of dream-level Web sites and magazines where I would love to see my work appear someday. Physically creating this list was a really powerful experience, because it made these scary-seeming goals feel somehow more within my control. Halfway through the year, I’ve made some progress on this list, but I knew that it was important to revisit it so that it would still be a useful resource in the second half of 2018. I removed several outlets from the list, which didn’t feel great, but then I reminded myself of all of the unexpected things that I’ve accomplished so far this year… things I never could have planned for when I made the list initially! I also added a few prospects that have hit my radar more recently.
  • Read five books. √ YES! I finished a whopping seven books in June, thanks to our long weekend in Mexico and a mad dash to read a bunch of middle grade and young adult books in preparation for podcast recordings. You’ll hear all about the books I read for SSR on the show, but in terms of adult books, I finished The Female Persuasion (a really interesting commentary on modern feminism with great description and character development), You’ll Grow Out Of It (a laugh-out-loud collection of essays about lady things), The Ensemble (a novel about a group of classical musicians that I honestly didn’t love as much as I thought I would), and Hey Ladies! (a book you NEED to read if you’ve ever been on an email thread with a big group of women — I laughed until I cried!).
  • Get headshots. √ YES! My younger sister is an amazing photographer, and I asked her to help me out with these photos. I’m still a little shy about sharing them, but she did an amazing job!
  • Start book outline. Did LOTS of writing, but no outlining. Next month!
  • Refocus on phone boundariestried to do this successfully in June, but I definitely could have done better. I would give myself a very average score.

In my last goals post, I also talked more generally about how I knew that it was time for me to start streamlining my work. My freelance writing workload has grown substantially over the last few months, and adding my new podcasting responsibilities to the mix has definitely required me to take a step back and figure out how to more effectively manage all of the things that I have on my plate. It’s not anyone else’s job to do that for me!

Without getting too specific, I’m happy to report that I made some big strides toward streamlining in June. In the last week of the month, I made a major change to my schedule that will afford me some extra time and flexibility to get #allthethings done. If I’m being honest, it’s a little overwhelming to suddenly reset my routine and figure out how to handle that additional flexibility — but if I make that happen successfully, I know these decisions will have been the best I’ve made in a while.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m hoping and planning to accomplish in July:

  • Pitch to two target outlets. With my revamped target outlet list and the podcast launched, I feel like I’m once again in a good place to pursue some new opportunities with my freelancing hustle! I’m keeping my goals realistic this month and hoping to pitch larger-scale stories to at least two of these platforms. I already have some ideas brewing that I’m excited about!
  • Figure out weekly workflow for podcast production. Now that I’ve done some streamlining to my schedule, I want to be sure that I’m making the best possible use of my time by creating a consistent routine for all SSR-related tasks throughout the week. It’s going to take some time to figure out the best days to edit new episodes, write and record intros, reach out to potentials guests, and the like, but by the end of the month, I’d like to have a workflow like this in place.
  • Read five six books. Another SSR recording was scheduled this morning, so I increased my goal mid-post.
  • Network for podcast guests and pitch SSR for publicity on a weekly basis. Just because SSR has launched doesn’t mean that all of the hard work is behind me. In fact, the challenge is — in some ways, at least — really just beginning, because now I need to maintain momentum with booking guests and attracting new listeners to the show.
  • Start book outlining process. : )
  • Treadmill three times per week. I have an annual habit of more or less giving up running (almost) entirely for a few months after I finish the Brooklyn Half in May, opting for other kinds of exercise instead. After all of that training, it seems like a waste to lose those running legs! Going on regular runs is such a boost to my confidence and makes me feel great physically, so I’m planning to hit the treadmill at least three times a week in July.
  • Develop and stick to SSR social media calendar every week. One of my overall goals this year is to cultivate a community around the SSR Podcast, and social media is a huge part of that.
  • Read target outlets more regularly. I’m not as consistent about reading my target outlets on a regular basis as I should be, and I’d like to focus on changing that moving forward. They say that to be a good writer, you first need to be a good reader… so if I want to be a good writer for certain outlets, I need to be an especially good reader of those outlets, too!

What are your goals for July? Tell me more in the comments below. 

2 Comments

june giveaway winner announced!

After feeling the early twinges of a summer cold while we were in Mexico, it seems I’ve now been hit with one full force — apparently, I’m always going to be sick over my anniversary weekend — so I’m just going to get right to the point…. it’s time to announce the winners of this month’s giveaway!

We had a great response to this one both here and on Instagram, and I’m so appreciative to Bushel & a Peck for partnering with me so that TWO of you can get a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balm.  If you didn’t happen to win this month, I would still totally recommend you go check out their products! They even offer free shipping in the domestic U.S. for any order of $35 or more. I love me some free shipping.

Based on a random drawing, we have one winner from the blog and one from Instagram (how symmetrical is that?). Congratulations to…

Ruya + full_and_happy

I’ll reach out shortly to make arrangements to send you your prize!

giphy.gif

Thanks to everyone who entered the June giveaway. It’s such a treat to give back to this blog community each month, so you can bet I’ll be back on July 23rd with something fun to share.

Happy weekend-ing, friends : )

 

0 comment

the SSR Podcast is live!

It’s a crazy experience to have your head down so intensely in a passion project for months on end, and then to release it out into the universe in a way that probably feels very loud (and maybe even a little annoying) to the outside world but somehow seems very quiet to you, at least relative to how much louder it actually sounds in your head. Basically, when I dispatched all the social media announcing that The SSR Podcast was a living, breathing thing at about 5 AM yesterday morning, it may have felt a little spammy from an Instagram perspective… but it seemed surprisingly quiet and private for me — and not because I’m not getting support (because I am, and it’s been amazing!), but because I’ve been so consumed with getting all of this up and running that it was hard to believe that tapping those little “post” buttons was really all it took to make it happen. After so many hours, hitting “post” was the last thing standing between me and the moment I’d been stressing about? It was a pretty crazy feeling.

SM Launch 2

Believe me — I still have plenty of work to do in order to really get things moving and grooving the way I want to for the podcast. But to have met this one major milestone in what felt like such a quick, quiet way was an extremely weird feeling.

You may already be tuned in to SSR’s social media accounts — and if you are, thank you, seriously! — but I just wanted to take a quick moment to share some easy links for my followers here who may have yet to jump on the SSR train. If you’re feeling like I’m being a little spammy, bear with me for just a little longer here, please. Getting the podcast off the ground has been a huge part of my journey in 2018 so far, and it would be weird if I wasn’t getting the official launch news out with all my pals here on the blog! I’ll resume regularly scheduled programming shortly, I promise : )

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about yesterday’s official launch of The SSR Podcast

You can listen (and subscribe and leave reviews!) here…

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6fc

  • iTunes — if you’re going to subscribe and leave a rating or review, this is a great place to do it!
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • the SSR Podcast website “Listen” page (this is a great place to go for fun show notes and extra resources, even if you actually listen to episodes elsewhere)

You can be part of The SSR Podcast community here…

I can’t wait to get your feedback on the show, and if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll share it with your loved ones! This feels more personal than anything I’ve done before — more even than the blog, which is kind of crazy — and inviting people into it is scary, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me : )

And while I’m talking about sharing with loved ones…

OrganicLipBalm(1of1)

Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway! TWO of you will be getting a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balms from Bushel & a Peck (a woman-owned business YAAAAS!). Comment on my last post here to enter! I’ll be randomly drawing the winners this coming Friday 6/29, so get those entries in ASAP. I’ll announce the winner here on the blog. Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that! Good luck!

Product photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck) 

0 comment

june giveaway.

Matt and I leave for our second anniversary trip to Mexico (!!!!!) this morning, but don’t you worry — today is this month’s Giveaway Day… and GIVEAWAY DAY you shall have!

This month, I’ve teamed up with organic skincare and beauty company Bushel & a Peck to reward two of my followers with fun goodie bags of products. There’s a lot that I love about this line, not the least of which is its name! When I was a little girl, my grandmother always sang the song “A Bushel And A Peck” to me. To this day, we sign our cards to each other with “Love you B’s and P’s!” : )

I digress with that bit of nostalgic. Anyway…

Bushel & a Peck — the brand, not the song — is super cool because it’s a true labor of love. The founder Aimee formulates and then hand-pours every single product herself! She was inspired to start the line by her own frustrations with the number of chemicals and artificial fragrances included in so many of the beauty and skincare products on the market. After extensive research, Aimee began making her own hand-crafted, all-natural lip balms. She shared the products she made as gifts for loved ones early on, and a year and a half ago, decided to take them to a bigger audience. I learned on the Bushel & a Peck “About” page that Aimee named the company to honor her husband’s grandmother, who signed cards with “Bushels and pecks.” I had no idea we shared that connection when I agreed to try her products, but it makes me love them all the more.

BushelandaPeckmini2017-15

I’ve been using the Bushel & a Peck lip balms (along with a few other products!) for a few weeks now, and I’m totally loving them. My lips tend to be dry all year round, and I’m always happy to find new solutions to that problem — and the more I learn about all of the chemicals that the mainstream beauty industry employs, the better I feel about adding more natural ingredients into my personal rotation! Bushel & a Peck uses ingredients like organic shea butter, coconut oil, red raspberry seed oil, and therapeutic-grade essential oils. In case you need further convincing, these lip balms were recently named a summer must-have by The Bend Health Guide. So cool, right?

OrganicLipBalm(46of56)

I’m always psyched to support women-owned businesses, and Aimee is such a gem. I’m so grateful that she agreed to team up with me this month!

In June, two of you will win a goodie bag of Bushel & a Peck lip balms!

To enter, add a comment to this post below. And since there will be two winners this month (and multiple lip balms for each winner!), you should totally share this giveaway with a friend, too : )

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Friday 6/29. The winners will be announced right here on the blog! Good luck!

(Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that!)

Photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck)

 

 

29 Comments