giveaway

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!

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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 : )

 

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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.

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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…

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  • 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…

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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) 

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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.

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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?

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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)

 

 

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may giveaway winner announced!

It’s the most magical time of the month! (Except, in the case of this month, at least, Memorial Day weekend here in New York City, which was full of friends and fun and good food and golden retrievers. Crummy weather can’t stop us.)

The winner of this month’s giveaway — and a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble — is…

Natalie!

Congratulations! I’ll send you your prize via email later today! Can’t wait to hear what book(s) you pick up : )

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Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I noticed a lot of new faces (well, new names that are associated with new faces) getting in on the giveaway action this month. It’s great to see this community growing! Be sure to come back on June 22 for our next giveaway. There’s something new and a little different in the works and I know you’re going to love it.

I’ll see you back here on Saturday (special weekend edition!) to talk May and June goals! You can check out last month’s goal post here to get a head start : )

 

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may giveaway.

The holiday weekend is (kind of) quickly approaching, which means that even though it’s only Wednesday morning, you’ve almost conquered the week. I’m not entirely sure how the math works out on that, but I’m pretty sure it does… and mostly I’m just trying to give us all (myself included!) a hump day boost.

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It’s been four days since I ran the Brooklyn Half over the weekend and I think I’ve finally defrosted. Given the cold and rainy weather, I honestly didn’t know when I woke up on Saturday morning whether or not I was going to run it, but I’m nothing if not stubborn. When I left the apartment and told Matt I was “just going to walk toward the start line and see what it’s like outside,” I kind of already knew I wasn’t coming back. Oops! It definitely wasn’t the most comfortable race I’ve ever run, but because of the circumstances, it may have been the most satisfying. The icing on the cake? I got my best time yet! A girl’s gotta get out of the cold ASAP, right?

It’s GIVEAWAY DAY, and to celebrate the fact that my half marathon is over and I mostly find myself wanting to curl up with a good book…

The May giveaway prize is a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

With Memorial Day around the corner, we all have summer travel to look forward to, which — for me, at least — means summer reading (picture me dancing as I say this)! A $30 gift card should be enough to get you a hardcover or two paperbacks. I’m happy to pass on some recommendations to the lucky winner to make your beach and pool hangs as good as they can possibly be!

To enter, add a comment to this post below. It’s that simple! If you want to take one more step to brighten up Wednesday for someone else (and to help share the Finding Plan A love), please, please go ahead and send this link to a friend or post it to Facebook. If they win, maybe they can lend you the book they buy with their gift card!

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Wednesday 5/30. The winner will be announced right here on the blog! Good luck!

And don’t forget…

Friday is a big, big day! I’m FINALLY sharing all the details about my soon-to-be-launched podcast! You’ll be able to read more about the show right here on the blog, and I’ll also start releasing the social media handles you’ll need to be able to start following along behind the scenes so you don’t miss any news or episodes! Can’t wait to see you right back here for all that excitement before you leave for your Memorial Day adventures : )

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april giveaway winner announced!

Hi everyone! Did you have a great weekend?

I’m coming to you this morning from my hotel room in Portsmouth, NH — a town that I am highly obsessed with —having successfully put my weird feels aside and completed the Ignite Your Soul Summit! I’m still processing everything that happened this weekend because it was a lot of thinking and emotional digging, but I can say that I’m really glad I took the opportunity to step out of my normal routine and put myself in a room full of people with high energy and unique perspectives. This is definitely not something I would have done a year ago, and I’m giving myself a pat on the back for giving it a chance now. It was definitely the right choice to go, and I learned so much from the amazing speakers who came to be with us.

It’s time for me to start getting packed up and ready to go back to New York (I can’t wait to see the hubs!), but not before I announce the winner of the April giveaway!

The winner of a Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick is…

Sady!

Congratulations, Sady! I’ll send you an email today to work out the details of getting you your prize. 

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Thanks so much to everyone who entered and shared this giveaway! If you’re still interested in checking out some Beautycounter products — which I would highly recommend — please shop this link so we can support Elise and thank her for partnering with me this month.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

 

 

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pre-summit feels.

I didn’t become a work-from-home-ing freelancer because I like spending time alone, but I can’t say that spending more time alone didn’t seriously appeal to my introvert soul when I decided to do it. I’m lucky to have met some of my best friends when I was working in my corporate job, but I knew back then that I would become an even better friend to them once I was able to transition our relationships out of our cubicles — especially when it became clear that I was no longer a great fit for those cubicles.

These days, I’m admittedly alone a lot. I’m in constant contact with plenty of editors and sources and I have face-to-face meetings with people a few times a week, but there are days that I don’t actually interact with another human being until Matt gets home from work. Working from home is most definitely not for social butterflies, my friends, but most of the time, the quiet doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been pretty content doing things on my own, and thanks to the magic of texting, Gchat, and social media, I’m never far from a friend : )

The fact that I spend so much of my time alone makes it that much of a bigger deal that…

I’m leaving for a summit today.

Yup, a summit. Like, the kind where there a lot of people. And icebreakers. And the possibility that I might be expected to share parts of my story with total strangers. 

(Even before I was a constantly-alone writer type, that whole “sharing with strangers” thing wasn’t really for me.)

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I know from my fellow creatives and solopreneurs that there’s a lot of value to gatherings like this, so when one of my biggest social media and podcasting crushes Amber Lilyestrom opened registration for her Ignite Your Soul Summit in Portsmouth, NH, I thought it would be a good place for me start putting myself out there in a new way. I texted my friend Brittney Lynn (you’ve heard me gush about her before) to see if she would be open to going, too, and within 24 hours we’d both purchased our Early Bird tickets and were planning our takeout and trash TV lineup for our nights sharing a hotel room. Brittney and I have been close since we connected through blogging and Instagram back in October, and I’m so excited to officially meet her! I feel like we already know each other so well, but I’m anxious to find out how tall she is (I know that sounds silly, but it’s one of the only things I really don’t know about her!) and have wine and sushi together.

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All of the photos that Brittney and I have together so far look like this. Definitely planning to change that this weekend!

Honestly, if not for Brittney, I’d be having all kinds of social anxiety heading into this weekend, and even with her as my friend and security blanket, I can’t help but feel a little nervous about all of this. Even a year and a half later, it’s hard for me to confidently share with people what I do (hello, imposter syndrome!), and now that I’ve added a few more projects to my plate (hello, podcast-to-be!), it’s that much more confusing. I know that if people are going to take me seriously, though, I need to take myself seriously… and if they’re going to be open to me, I need to pay that forward proactively.

I decided to take the train to minimize the stress of air travel, and I’m actually really excited to use that time to get some work done, read, and decompress as I get ready for the summit. I was an Amtrak regular back in college when Matt and I were maintaining our relationship from a few states away, so I have a weird sentimental attachment to trains, anyway.

Wish me luck! I’m sure I’ll be sharing a lot of the weekend on my Instagram stories, so tune in if you want to check it out. Even with my nerves, I feel really grateful to have the chance to experience something like this, and I’m excited to see what’s in store.

What are you up to this weekend? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

…AND don’t forget that there are still a few days left to enter the April giveaway! All you have to do to be eligible to win a Color Intense Lipstick from Beautycounter is comment on this post or this photo.. The winner can pick the shade of their choice! Be sure to get your entries in by midnight on Sunday 4/29. I’ll announce the winner right here on the blog on Monday 4/30. Good luck! 

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april giveaway.

Happy Monday, friends!

I’m not sure what the situation is where you live, but we finally got a serious dose of spring weather here over the weekend… and I can’t decide whether that makes it easier or harder to get back into the swing of the work week. I’m torn between feeling so energized that nothing can bring me down and wanting a few extra hours to simply enjoy life without a winter coat.

Either way, I’m happy to share that today is GIVEAWAY DAY — and I hope that makes your Monday a little sunnier : )

This month, I’ve partnered with my friend Elise to offer one reader a special treat from one of my favorite brands, Beautycounter. I’ve been lucky enough to feature several of this company’s products in previous giveaways — but this month, the prize is extra special because it’s LIP COLOR (my favorite): one Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick in the shade of your choice!

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If these great color options aren’t enough to have you already psyched to enter, don’t forget that Beautycounter is also known for its safe approach to skincare and makeup. Like the brand’s other products, the (new!) line of Color Intense Lipstick is all natural and tested against strict safety standards to make sure that you’re not putting your health at risk by using it. I started working Beautycounter into my own routine about a year ago and have been so happy with the results! Since I have a few friends who are involved with the company, I’ve learned a lot over the last few months about the dangerous practices of so many leading beauty brands. (I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true!) Since I love a good lipstick — hello! — I’m so happy that there are safer options like this out there, and I can’t wait to collect all eight shades myself.

In the meantime, though, I’m so happy to be offering a free Color Intense Lipstick to one of you!

To enter, add a comment to this post below. It’s that simple! And if you want to take one tiny extra step to make someone else’s Monday a lot better (and to help share the Finding Plan A love), why don’t you go ahead and send this link to a friend or post it to Facebook? I’m a firm believer that more really is merrier.

I’ll draw the winner randomly one week from today, Monday 4/30. The winner 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!)

You can check out the rest of Beautycounter’s offerings right here! Please be sure to shop that link so that we can support Elise and the awesome, health-focused business she is building. Fun fact: Elise and I fell in love on the first night of sorority recruitment back in 2009 (I was desperately trying to get her to join my house!) and we’ve never looked back. She’s a total rock star!

Happy Giveaway! 

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march giveaway winner announced!

It’s time to announce the winner of the March giveaway, and I’m over here dancing in my PJ’s and desk chair because I get to gift a very lucky reader with their very own copy of Hannah Howard’s Feast. (I’ll let you and your imagination come up with the dance moves.) I’m just a few pages away from the end of the book now and I am so impressed by it. Hannah, I am so grateful to you for partnering with me on this month’s giveaway! Thank you for sharing your work with all of us : )

The winner of Feast is…

Victoria Munn!

Congratulations! I’ll send you an email this morning to work out the details of getting the book in your mailbox.

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Thanks so much to all who entered this month! Don’t forget to come back for next month’s giveaway on April 23. If you didn’t win, I still hope you’ll consider grabbing a copy of Hannah’s book, because it’s really a great read. Check it out on Amazon here, and note that if you purchase through that link, I’ll earn a small fee for recommending Feast to you!

In the meantime, I’m off to do a nine-mile run (half marathon training is heating up!) and finish up some projects here in the office before Matt and I head to Pennsylvania for Passover and Easter celebrations with family. Sending you all the good vibes for a great weekend, no matter what you celebrate (or don’t celebrate)!

I’ll catch you back here next week. I’ll be talking March and April goals on Tuesday!

 

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things i’m working on.

Matt and I are home from Chicago after a weekend of friends and cold temperatures! If it wasn’t so far away from family and so chilly for so much of the year, I think we would seriously consider making that our next move. Having spent a very formative summer at Northwestern University between my junior and senior years of high school, I have a lot of really significant memories of Chicago, and as an adult, I see even more how much the city has to offer. It’s a little (maybe a lot) more low key than New York, but has a similar diversity of neighborhoods, plus so many things to do and see. We’re heading back there for a wedding in August and I’m excited to have a chance to explore even more when the weather is warmer. I’ve heard that summer in Chicago is the very best! I already have a list of things I want to check out on our next trip : )

As fun as the trip was, it was also the kick-off to a hectic few months of travel and events for us, and as my plane started to land at Laguardia, I couldn’t help but find myself starting to stress over the state of the calendar from now until May. Most of what we have coming up is good, but chaos is chaos, and for me, it’s important to spend some time really getting my head right before starting an especially busy time. With that in mind, there are a few things I’m working on that I think will help me keep my cool as we enter the craziness of spring (if only we could get some spring weather, too!)…

I’m working on having a better attitude about social media. I’ve been so focused recently on setting boundaries with my phone that I’ve gotten away from the fun parts of Instagram, which is a platform that I genuinely enjoy. I want to put less pressure on myself and strike a better balance.

I’m working (as always) on improving my pitching skills! I need to get back in a better routine of reading more content from different outlets so that I can come to my editors with fresh and creative ideas.

I’m working on giving myself more time to unwind in bed with a good book at night.

I’m working on being a clearer communicator with pretty much everyone in my life. I need to do a better job of telling people what I need.

I’m working on reintegrating workouts outside of my half marathon training into my routine. Running is going great so far this year, but I’d like to find time to work in some lower-impact activities, too.

I’m working on getting back into Pinterest! I fully revamped my profile and would love for you to give me a follow here.

I’m working on comparing myself less to other writers. Social media does not help with the whole comparison game.

I’m working (with Matt) on getting date nights back on the calendar, especially as we head into this season of craziness!

I’m working on learning to see some things in my work as experiments. They don’t always need to be perfect, as long as they help me learn how to do better next time.

I’m working on overbooking myself a little less during the week : )

I’m working on saying “I’m proud of you” less, because I read somewhere that — even though it’s a nice thing to hear! — it also kind of makes someone else’s accomplishments about you, and I just thought that was sort of interesting. I want to find other, better ways to communicate the same feeling.

I’m working on worrying less about the specifics of the future and instead having faith in the bigger picture of what’s to come.

Did you miss last week’s announcement about the March giveaway? 

There’s still time to enter… and you should, because Hannah Howard‘s Feast is better and better with every. single. page.

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I want you all to have a chance to win a copy of your very own! The details about the the book (which happens to be Hannah’s debut) are available here, and all you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post. I’ll be drawing and announcing the winner this coming Friday 3/30, so don’t miss your chance to enter ASAP!

And finally…

Some of you tuned in last week for Brittney and my free webinar. It was so great to have you! We had about 50 people register and Brittney and I loved the opportunity to share the basics of storytelling as it relates to PR and getting media mentions for small businesses and side hustles. GREAT NEWS! We have another free webinar planned for TOMORROW, Wednesday 3/28 at 8 p.m. EST. Part two of the series is called Partnering for Press: Why You Need to Cultivate Authentic Relationships with Journalists + How to Get Started and you can register (for free!) right here for more helpful PR tips and for a peek behind the freelancer/entrepreneur curtain. Can’t wait to see you there!

Facebook March 28 Chapter 2-4 (1)

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