Lessons About Real Beauty I Need to Teach My Daughter

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We all know that having a child changes things and for those of you who are mothers, you don’t need me to tell you that. The longer I go along on this crazy journey through Mommy Land, I find myself having a deeper and more passionate perspective on the beauty debates that swirl around in the beauty world. The latest one are about what’s considered “attractive” in the natural hair world.  We, as in the curly hair audience, have noticed the loser the curl, the more popular a girl/vlogger/etc. becomes, excluding those with kinkier textures. To get caught up on the conversation, you should definitely check these articles:

The blogger in me sees the issue in the same light as I did when this happened in the fashion world:

Natural Hair becomes a hot trend, beauty brands catch on, and the industry machine makes its own version of it and deems it as the “beauty ideal”.

The same way fashion bloggers (and women in general) felt that the fashion industry sets unrealistic standards in fashion, the same now goes for natural hair. Words like “texture discrimination” and “curl envy” lead the way in this natural hair debate, the “ideal curl” being the closest thing to straight hair a curl can get. As a woman I don’t like it but as a blogger I totally get it and will give the same solutions I gave when I ranted about plus size fashion.

But now I’m a mom to a beautiful baby girl with a head full of curls and whose mind that hasn’t been warped yet by these crazy ideals. While I’m glad that it’s become a lot more acceptable to rock your natural curls, trying to fit into an unrealistic mold of what natural is. When my little girl gets older and her curls get longer, will she be unevenly praised for her hair or unapologetically ridiculed for it? There’s no way of knowing nor is there any way for me to shield her from either scenario. But what I can do is help her learn what real beauty and self worth means with these lessons that took me forever to learn (the hard way!)

There are good and bad hair days, but never good or bad hair. Curls can have a mind of its own and may not want to cooperate. That doesn’t mean you have bad hair.  Also, if you’re hair happens to look like the girl’s in the commercial, doesn’t mean you’re hair is better than anyone elses. You’re hair is awesome because it’s yours.

Let the beauty world inspire you, not rule you. Trying out beauty trends is a great way to explore what you like and change up your style. However it shouldn’t  dictate your day to day beauty life. Try it because you like it, not because everyone else is.

Make any beauty trend work for you, not the other way around. Your hair style may not come out exactly as the girl in the Youtube video and you’re skin may not be a fan of (insert any skin care trend here). That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Just gotta tweak things to make the trend fit you, that’s all.

No matter what you decide to do to your hair, learn how take care of it.While I don’t plan on relaxing my girl’s hair while she’s living under my roof, she may want to go do that when she gets older and I will never knock her for it (shoot, I did the same thing!). Whether it’s relaxed, colored, curly, whatever, learning how to take care of it and keep it healthy is essential above all else.

What about you? What beauty lessons would you pass onto the next generation?

Why This Fashion Blogger Stopped Taking Outfit Photos

BloggerIf you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that it’s been a really long time since I’ve done outfit photos. I slowly came out of the groove when I got pregnant and afterwards I was struggling not only to find the time but the inspiration. Plus my body and wardrobe are still in flux almost two years later.  I was constantly looking at my favorite outfit bloggers for inspiration, trying to make sense of my closet, and stressing over finding the time to shoot whatever I can come up with.  Then when I did manage to put something together, I didn’t like any of the photos. After months I stopped stressing and had a blogger epiphany:

Who says I have to do outfit photos?

The answer: No one. I realized again that I was putting unnecessary stress on myself. Stress that was coming from outside perceptions of what a successful fashion blogger ‘needs’ to have on her blog. Subconsciously I felt like my outfits and my photos had to be just as pretty and creative as the bloggers I admired, beating myself up in the process when they weren’t.  I honestly thought I lost my sense of style in Mommyland and I was trying way too hard to get it back. But did I want it back for the sake of my own fashionista fulfillment or for the blog?

Honestly it was for the blog and that’s a surefire way to suck the fun out of it. So I stopped taking outfit photos and since then I’ve felt relieved. No more pressure. No more stress. I can focus on the content I want to write about and on the off chance that I want to share my outfit, I can do a quick Instagram post and go on with my crazy day! Personal styling just isn’t my blogging voice at this point in my life and you know what? It’s perfectly okay!

The lesson to be learned here: Don’t let the pressure to be a ‘successful blogger’ take away your motivation for wanting to blog in the first place.

Blogging is huge right now, the gateway to many great career opportunities in and out of fashion. While that is super awesome it also puts a lot of pressure on bloggers to be the best that can be so overwhelming it can kill a blog.  Between all the how-to articles and bloggers landing magazine spreads it’s no wonder we can  stressed out! And if you have or planning to make the plunge into freelance writing life, there’s even more pressure, your blog serving as your portfolio for future clients.

No matter what role your blog plays in your life, at the end of the day it has to be a reflection of you. Everyone who’s made it big has done so because  their blog was about thing that were unique to them. It was a voice and style they never backed away from regardless of what everyone else was doing.

So step away from your Bloglovin feed and close down your WordPress Dashboard.

Take a moment to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the blog posts I’m writing really what I want to write about or what I think I’m ‘supposed’ to write about?
  • Is blogging still fun or feeling like a lot of work?
  • If my blog had the same traffic in two years as it does today, would I still want to blog?

I would love to know your answers in comments!

2 Major Things Being a Mom Taught Me About Blogging

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My Mom and I!

Mommy’s Day is this Sunday and I tell you, when you become a mom you get a whole new perspective on the holiday. Before I would get on the gift bandwagon and get my mom flowers, perfume, and everything else the commercials tell you to get her. Now everyday is mother’s day for me when it comes to my mom and I, especially when my daughter pulls a stunt that I’ve done to her! To say I have a newfound appreciation for my mom is an extreme understatement. Those pearls of motherly wisdom she gave me in life are seriously starting to make sense and even apply to my blogging life. I know this blog was my first baby and even though it can drive us crazy sometimes, we wouldn’t give it up for the world!

Still, we don’t want to go too crazy too often. That’s why I try to keep these three lessons that I learned from mommyville in mind!

It Takes a Village (aka a Community) to Raise a Blog

We can never underestimate the power of community both as bloggers and as moms. We all want to be superheroes and do everything ourselves, even if it means sacrificing our well being. As a mom, I felt like I had to do everything for daughter, my husband, and my house. I wanted help but felt guilty asking for it.

Does this sound familiar my blogger friends?

You want a break from blog posts but afraid to ask for guest posts. You know a fellow blogger who’s a whiz at designing logos but afraid to ask her to help design yours. You want to learn how to grow your readership but afraid to reach out to a blogger whose blog is at the level you want to be. When I started blogging the sense of community was so strong that you wouldn’t think twice about asking for advice. Now with such an over-saturated market, everyone feels they have to blog in a bubble and that sense of community has gotten lost.

We need to get back to reconnecting with each other and helping each other. There’s enough room for everyone to have their own space in the blogosphere and we will all become better at what we do as a result.

 You Deserve to Take Breaks (Without the Guilt!)

OMG this is a big one for me, even before I became a mom. I wrote about this here and here after going through two big bouts of serious burn out. You would think I would’ve learned my lesson but sadly that’s not the case all the time. As a mom you feel super guilty about getting a break from your kids, even if your sanity is unraveling at the speed of lightning. I could literally be losing my marbles and I would be the first one to turn down help in keeping my little girl occupied for a few hours.

With blogs it’s the same guilt. We don’t want to take a day, let alone a week, away from blogging because we feel our blog would just tank if we do so. You believe that despite struggling to come up with new content, losing your blog’s sense of direction, and your passion for your niche fizzling out.

Listen, it’s okay to take a break!

You need it. You can’t keep up this pace forever and trust me, your readers would totally understand. Real life gets in the way. Creative wells dry up. Toddlers have epic breakdowns because all the goldfish are gone. Life happens and it’s okay to let your blog go on the back burner until you can get yourself back together.

What life lessons have you learned that’s helped you with your blog?

Announcing the Fierce Weekly Newsletter

In case you missed the news last night on my Facebook page, I’ll share it with you here:

I’ve officially launched the Fierce Weekly Newsletter!

Fierce Newsletter

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a newsletter for a long time. I wanted to do something different, not just your usual list of the latest blog posts. So after playing around with some ideas, I came up with something that I’m sure you guys will love!

When you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get an exclusive beauty review and Fierce fashion find that you won’t see on the blog, Facebook, My Twitter feed, etc. It’s just for you! You all have been absolutely amazing to me over the years, and I wanted to find a way to say thank you, each and ever week.

For the month of the March, the Newsletters will be about getting ready for Spring, with products that reviews of products that will get you ready for the sunshine and fashion picks that are totally affordable and on trend.

Ready to see what I have in store in this Friday’s edition?  Sign up right here!

After you do, I would love to hear what you would love to see in your newsletters. Your girl always needs ideas. ;)

 

The Not So Glamorous Side of Freelance Writing

When you’re sitting at your day job looking over the fence to the full time writing life, all you see are the birds chirping and the sun shining down on you as you type away. You see the sweats you would wear while working at home or the coffee you’ll order before huddling away in a swank coffee shop.  Man, those bloggers who get to write full time must have the life! Roses and daisies all around! Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of awesomeness on this side of the career fence. But I’d be a fool to tell you that there aren’t not-so-fun times.

These past few days are a prime example.

You may have noticed the blog has been quiet since Wednesday. Despite the nicely laid out editorial calendar and carefully planned schedule, when I sat down to blog my brain came up with nothing. On Sunday it was time to crank out yesterday’s post – I wasn’t in the mood and couldn’t think of anything. I was like, “I can’t have writer’s block! I can’t afford to have writer’s block.” But I did and even as I type this I’m still in my creativity funk. And I know exactly how that happens.

You see, freelance writing (or having any type of business) you wear a ton of different hats. Your creative mojo is on all the time – from brainstorming posts to pitch to creating content for clients. Your marketing efforts also have to be on full blast, thinking of ways to make money and diversify your portfolio. I’ve been dipping into my creative pool a lot since January started, my brain having to churn out ideas, figure out how to get them on paper, then make them perfect and sell the mess out of them.

Having a flexible schedule is great, but when everyone gets to home at 5pm, my work day is really getting started. My daughter has become a lot more demanding so many nights I don’t start work until she goes to sleep at 8pm. My writing has to be on until 12:30 am some nights. Then I have to turn around and be up for my baby girl at 7am, who has her own set of play dates, reading programs, and classes (because keeping her entertained keeps the tantrums away). Even still I’m checking and sending emails during her meal times.

Don’t even ask me when the last time I slept in was. It takes a lot not to check my phone when I go to bed at night and first thing in the morning. I have trouble getting a good night’s sleep because my mind is always going. Will I meet this deadline? Will that client book my services? Can I make enough money?

No wonder I’m tapped out by the time it comes to my blog! My mind is drained, for reals!

Instead of freaking out, I’m just going to take a step back. Breathe. Think of all the good things I’ve been blessed with and smile. I’ll be all right.

I’ll do just fine. :)

Tell me, when was the last time you just felt so spent? What did you do to get over it?