Lifestyle

My 1 Year Blogging Anniversary!

A lot can change in a year. This time last year, we were in the height of a global pandemic, I was furloughed from my job at a gym & I felt completely lost. My life had turned upside down (like a lot of us) & I didn’t know what my next step should even be. One night, I couldn’t sleep & sat up contemplating what I should do. At the time, I was writing in my gratitude journal almost daily to try to maintain some positivity in the sheer chaos. It got me thinking about how writing has always been something I’ve loved ever since I was a young girl. Any chance I took, I wrote whether it was handmade story books I sold to neighbors to growing up & becoming a writer for my high school / college newspapers. I was a born reporter & always ready to share the latest story to whoever was willing to listen. I always pushed my passion aside like it was a hand me down no one wanted anymore. It wasn’t until I was forced to stay in my house & accept my usual routine was taken from me did I finally let my creative side come alive. Blogging was something I always considered & actually attempted once before but it didn’t stick. But this time around I was determined to make it my passion project of sorts & Mind Beauty Simplicity was born.

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE’RE HERE

Mind Beauty Simplicity has become a family of sorts at 1,200 + readers on the blog & over 2,000 followers across multiple social media platforms. I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come with this & I’m grateful for each & every one of you. My blog wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the numerous loyal readers who return to my blog every week to check out my latest posts. Your comments make my day & it still amazes me I’ve inspired & connected with so many wonderful people around the world by just sharing my perspectives on life.

So, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to commemorate such a milestone. I kind of want to buy myself a cupcake with a #1 candle on it or something to celebrate! Haha 😂 But naturally I decided to answer your frequently asked questions because like I said, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my loyal readers. Without further a do, let’s get into it:

What made you want to start a blog?

I’ve always found writing as a distraction to any trivial moment of my life even when it was simply in a private journal. When I decided to go public & share my writing with the world, the pandemic was the catalyst to the decision. Although I have always had a passion for writing, life always seemed too busy, I was afraid of any judgments that would surface for such a path & I honestly thought I would go nowhere fast. But when you are bored in the house & have nothing else to do, I decided “why not?” And I’m so glad I took the plunge. Blogging has been the light in my life through any darkness.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

So many things come to mind. The community itself has been amazing especially when life felt quite isolating. It’s nice to connect with like minded people from all over the world. And I can honestly call a few of you true friends. You know who you are. But other than that, I love that I have something to go to when I need an escape. Before, I didn’t quite have anything that truly made me feel this way. Blogging has gotten me through some tough times lately. Not only this, but now that I have blogging, I feel more fulfilled. Although I’m still figuring out other parts of my life, I can honestly feel accomplished knowing I became a writer in some sorts & am making a difference (even if it may seem small). I feel really proud.

What has been your biggest blogging mistake?

Blogging has a lot of highs & lows. It’s hard work & I’ve definitely hit a few road blocks. Having my work plagiarized was a big situation & if you haven’t heard that fiasco, well…click here. I also learned I tend to work myself to the bone. When you are hungry to be successful, it’s hard to tell yourself to take a break. I went through extreme burn out a few times & guilt over having writers block. The thing is we are all human & we aren’t superheros. These instances are normal & I’ve learned to be more gentle with myself & to prioritize self care more often.

Why do you think your blog has been so successful?

First of all, when I receive comments telling me my blog is amazing & I’m so successful, it makes me get emotional because I had no idea this would become something of this magnitude when I wrote my first blog post. I honestly didn’t think anyone would read it except maybe a few of my friends. And I kind of thought I’d write a few posts for a week & forget about it. But the timing of the pandemic allowed me to put my heart & soul into this blog. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously have put a lot of hard work & time into Mind Beauty Simplicity. It’s like my baby. I cherish this side of my life so much & it shows. To become successful, I think all it takes is determination, a serious “want” & a genuine love for what you do. And I’m lucky to have found that with this blog of mine.

What advice do you have to beginner bloggers?

I’ve talked about this before here, but I think the advice should never end. I’m still learning new things everyday. But my biggest advice would be to see success as numerous layers like an onion instead of one single slice of cheese. Now I’m hungry. Anyway, I stopped comparing myself with other people’s stats & just focus on my own growth. Social media platforms for example can feel impossible to grow as a brand & there were thousands of times I could have thrown in the towel & I didn’t. You know why? Because writing & connecting with you all makes me so happy. And remember, if it sparks joy, you need to keep it.

Have you stuck with one niche or have you branched out?

When I first started this blog, I did narrow the playing field by focusing on intentional living & minimalism but I’ve learned as you gain a following, your readers start to just love you as a person & your perspective on anything. So, I’ve definitely expanded to a general lifestyle content creator. I love having the freedom of talking about a wide range of topics while always incorporating intentional living in the discussion.

What is something you’ve done so far you are proud of?

Just starting this blog is something to be proud of in my eyes. To have the courage to share my thoughts to the world, have a backbone with whatever comments may come my way & the confidence that grew from it all. I’ve 100% changed for the better & I have blogging to thank for that. Something else I’m specifically proud of was attempting Blogmas last December. If you are unfamiliar with this challenge, bloggers post daily up until Christmas Day or the entire month of December. It is a great way to connect with the community, meet new creators & just test your creative abilities & willpower. Honestly, I’m not sure if all of those posts are still up. As I’m writing this, I am debating if I’ll be doing this again or a 12 Day’s of Blogmas. But if I do, I might just revamp the old ones. 👌🏻

How often do you post on your blog?

I started off posting 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday. This lasted for almost 9 months actually which is pretty impressive. But I slowly reached a breaking point, got caught in burn out & knew I had to make a change. With my blogging routine, I decided being a more intentional blogger was the way to go. Quality over quantity. And writing evergreen content that could be promoted the entire year & years to come. When I shifted to mainly a one day a week schedule (Monday’s) a weight was lifted. I was able to promote my work more efficiently. And if I had a bonus post for that week, I could do that. But the pressure of trying to keep up with a three day a week schedule was no more. I’ve became very lax when it comes to my schedule. If I need a break, I allow myself that break. And by posting less often, I actually write more content & am able to schedule out content months in advance.

How do you balance blogging with the rest of your life?

Cutting my schedule back was definitely something that helped me keep the balance. With blogging being such a passion of mine, I can allow myself to get lost in my work & neglect other parts of my life. This year I learned I need to prioritize a work out routine, a social life & make room for other work opportunities. And I’ve been able to handle all of this beautifully lately. In my post about being an intentional blogger, which you can read here, I talk about how promoting work on social media can become an unpaid part time job if you let it. I tend to schedule out promotional tweets regularly so I’m not wasting my days on my digital life. I’ve also learned you can delay replying back to comments & read other people’s blog posts on down days. In the beginning I did try to be this “super blogger” in a sense & please everyone. Life is going to catch up with you if you don’t learn to prioritize & keep a healthy balance.

What is your favorite blog post so far?

Is it narcissistic of me to think this is such a tough question? haha! I would have to say my favorite post so far is 15 Ways To Simplify Your Life that I wrote back in January of this year. I wrote it as a new year’s resolution type of post & it never occurred to me it would be more of an evergreen read that people still love & find inspiration from today. I really took the time & did proper research for this post. I discovered how important taking a little extra time with a blog post can really have an impact on the amount of traffic you will receive & the types of comments you will get. Of course, I can’t seem to choose just one post, but this second favorite deserves a mention because it was the first time I was more vulnerable on the blog. My post on anxiety, called Read This If You Are Feeling Anxious received so much praise from you all. The lengthy comments on this post is so telling. I learned how important it is to be more vulnerable with your readers & I hope to share even more personal stories with you in the future.

How did you first start incorporating SEO into your blog, and where would you recommend that a baby blogger start if they’re interested in making their blog more SEO-friendly?

It took me a while to get the hang of SEO & I’m still learning to this day. I have to give a shoutout to my friend Olivia who was kind enough to share her SEO Guide For Bloggers she created this year. I recommend all bloggers (new & old) to check this guide out. It seriously helped me so much & changed the game.

What is your least favorite part of blogging?

The feeling of having to be perfect at all social media platforms. In the beginning, I’d watch videos on how to be a successful blogger & everyone says you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & even Tiktok. To me, this became overwhelming very quickly. I didn’t want to have such a large digital footprint & felt like juggling all of these platforms on a regular basis would be a problem. Instead, I prioritize a few including Twitter & Instagram. I personally don’t find Pinterest to be any use for me & don’t even get me started on Tiktok. For a few months, I only focused on Twitter & my traffic views were the highest they’ve ever been.

What do you wish was easier about blogging?

Everything. I think a lot of people outside the blogging world don’t realize how much work goes into keeping a blog running. You don’t just write something & hope people miraculously find it. There’s so much promotion going into it, tweeting constantly throughout the day & posting about it regularly with proper keywords. I wish it was easier & you can become successful overnight. But chances are that’s not the case. It’s something that takes time & commitment.

What are your tips on planning blog content ahead of time?

Schedule posts a head of time. Luckily I have periods of time where the creative juices are flowing & I can write 2-3 blog posts in one sitting. It’s not always the case, but when it happens I take full advantage of that moment. Also, by cutting back to one post a week, the pressure of writing is less. This summer for example, I made sure to schedule & write content in advance. So, now I’m brainstorming content for end of August & September if you can believe it. I also take advantage of posting blogging awards & Q&A’s if I’m out of ideas.

What is one misconception you had about blogging before you started?

I honestly thought blogging was dead. Every time I thought about blogging I pictured either Sara Jessica Parker in SITC or i thought it was a platform for the older generation. I had no idea it was still this huge community let alone a side hustle you can make money from. I thought I would have had to succumb to Youtube which is still something I’m considering later. But I didn’t just want to rely on visualization. The medium of writing has always been what I love the most so I was pleasantly surprised blogging is still a thing in 2021.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your blog?

I listen to a lot of podcasts & watch a lot of Youtube. When I started on my journey to minimalism, I learned a lot from other minimalists. And now, I base those topics on my own experiences. But along with this, I write about my feelings & perspectives on all kinds of different things. Sometimes I’ll just start free writing in this notebook I have & see what I can take from that. My mind is always filled with thoughts & ideas & I’m just glad I have a place to write it all down.

Do you have any blog posts you regret writing?

I can be a perfectionist in some ways, so yes I have regretted some blog posts. And honestly, I just delete them after a while if it bothers me too much. Like my Blogmas posts from last December, I decided I wanted to make them even better for this year so I put them in drafts for now.

Have you considered making videos or creating a podcast?

I have considered expanding this “brand” of mine to other mediums. I think for now I prefer the mysteriousness of my identity blogging provides. Although I’ve shared my photos some on social media & on the blog, I like a little sense of privacy. And I think videos & even voice content can be more invasive. I’m just not quite ready to branch out that way but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever consider it.

Where do you see this blog taking you?

In the beginning I just saw this blog as a fun hobby & something that would keep me busy when I was bored. I had no idea a year later it would become what it is today. Some of you message me & tell me my blog is your favorite to read or certain posts are published at the perfect time. The fact you resonate with my perspectives on life makes me so happy. Like I said, I’ve never felt this fulfilled before. I see this blog going in many directions. I had no idea I could make money doing this & now it’s a side hustle! Life is crazy & you have no idea where something like a hobby can take you. I’m beyond blessed. And I see myself doing this for a very very long time. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write an e-book? The possibilities are endless.

-B

Lifestyle, Minimalism

15 Ways To Simplify Your Life

Resolutions are a funny thing. We set these “goals” before the start of the new year to become a better version of ourselves. And I’m all for setting goals & improving one’s self, but can someone just wake up an entirely new person? I don’t think so. I think it takes time & with a set of changes put in place. When I started on the journey of minimalism, I didn’t just wake up & say “I’m getting rid of everything I own!” It took time & reflection to get where I am today. And I’m here to let you in on some of the secrets to simplify your life this coming new year.

  1. SET SMALLER GOALS
Wholistic Health YYC | goal setting

Instead of choosing one main goal for the entire year, why not break them down into smaller ones each month or even each day. In the past, I talk about the importance of celebrating your small victories & the way to do this is to appreciate every moment & set realistic tasks to accomplish. You’ll ultimately feel more successful & productive without feeling overwhelmed in the process.

2. DECLUTTER YOUR BELONGINGS

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A clear mind begins with a tidy environment. This is the perfect time to go through your belongings & ditch whatever is not serving you. If you are unsure where to even begin in the declutter process, here are a few posts to reference:

I Want To Declutter, But Where Do I Start?

10 Things You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe

You Are Not Defined By Your Possessions

CHOOSE EXPERIENCES OVER THINGS

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I say this all the time, your experiences are what you leave with. I also talk about saving money & spending it on meaningful things. Experience are just that- meaningful. If you are someone who is able to travel the world (once it’s better) then go for it! Soak up all of that culture & newness. I think that’s also the best way to enhance your knowledge of the world & become less ignorant as well. There is so much more to life than your immediate bubble.

3. BE GONE OF TOXICITY

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I could seriously make a blog post solely on this topic. In the new year take pride in your social circle & choose people who really have your back. Toxicity can be found in many individuals, even family. If you have people in your life who suck the life out of you & create a burden to your wellbeing, let them go. I know if that individual is a family member, it can be difficult. But I’m here to give you the green light to even walk away from them. Life is too short to spend it with soul suckers.

4. PRIORITIZE YOUR REAL LIFE. NOT YOUR DIGITAL ONE

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On a personal end, deleting most social media (minus facebook) was the best decision ever. Granted, I still have a social media presence for my blog, I find that to be more business related. Even so, I make sure to take breaks from it all from time to time. I also have learned not to place such perfectionism to my overall aesthetic. The idea of themes & “brands” can overtake the mind. Stop clouding the mind with such pointless worries. If there is a social media platform you are tired of having, maybe this year is the time to get rid of it. I’ve even considered deactivating my facebook or at least seriously cleaning house of old content.

5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF MENTALLY & EMOTIONALLY

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It’s easy to tell yourself to go on a run or eat a salad once in a while, but when was the last time you asked yourself how you were feeling? I think when it comes to living simple, you have to embrace those emotions & treat your mind with care. I preach self care very often. But the most important form of self care is letting yourself feel those emotions, reflect on them & use them in a healthy way. When I wasn’t feeling as emotionally sound, these were the times I ran to shopping for the cure. Don’t rely on external stimuli to mend your sensitive heart.

6. CREATE A ROUTINE

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This especially was helpful during these uncertain times where I had to make a entirely new routine for myself. Instead of laying in bed all day, I woke up most mornings to a cup of tea & breakfast, planned a workout & pampered myself so I was ready for the rest of the day. But the important part of this routine is to slowly take in each task. We live in a world that revolves around staying busy & moving fast. Stop and smell the roses once in a while.

Related Post: The Benefits of Slow Living

7. BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE

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Once you’ve decluttered your belongings & paired everything down, why not consider owning a capsule wardrobe with a set number of pieces? I can tell you, you’ll probably still have plenty of outfits to choose from & getting dressed in the morning will be quick & easy.

8. GET ACTIVE & BE HEALTHIER

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There are so many ways to transition into a healthier lifestyle. Drink more water, eat more greens, exercise for at least 20 minutes a day & just simply get moving. We live in such a sedentary world. We are on our phones & laptops more often than not. Especially being at home a lot this year, I find getting up, moving those legs & getting fresh air to be so important for our wellbeing. I don’t focus on the ideas of diets. That is a short term way of thinking. I like to consider it to be a lifestyle change because I’m more likely to stick with it. If I miss a few days or even a week, I don’t beat myself up over it. My end goal isn’t necessarily a number on the scale. It’s more so an active way of living.

9. TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVE SIDE

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As human beings, we wear a multitude of hats. I don’t think any of us are just one type of person. I found myself discovering a lot of new hobbies this year. I embraced my creative side & started writing. Whatever hobby you want to try or skill you want to learn, this is the year to do it. The simplest way to grow as an individual is to learn. Read more books, learn a new language or skill. You are never too old to be a student.

10. BE PRESENT

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Put down your phone & look up. There is so much more to the world then what’s on your screen. Sure, you may find all your news facts & information through the internet, but the best ways to enhance knowledge is taking a look around & listen to people speak. Start conversations, share opinions & open up your mind to new ideas. Use those senses of yours & dive deep into exploration. Life is short, so enjoy every moment. Next time you are at an event or location, try not to take any photos. I think our generation visits places all for the infamous photo op. I’ve found the most fun times were left pictureless.

11. BE MONEY SMART

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Instead of buying an entirely new wardrobe, why not pay off some student loans or credit card debt. I’m no finance expert, but I find people tend to spend money like it’s growing off trees. I’d rather live more modestly & have money to see the world. Prioritize your spending habits & possibility save as much money as you can this year. Last year, I participated in a low buy & I might do the same this coming year as well.

12. STOP PUTTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ON YOURSELF

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Sometimes when we create these goals for ourselves, we focus too much on our fantasy self. If you want to read more about this concept, click here. Your fantasy self is this unrealistic or dream like persona. It’s the personality we wished we had. It’s the skills we wish we knew. And it can even go as superficial as appearance. Many times are fantasy self is exactly what is holding us back from our true being.

13. LEAVE OTHER OPINIONS TO THE SIDE

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I find a lot of my clutter results from items other people decide we need. Especially when you are young & starting out on your own, older people tend to see themselves as the experts to life. And don’t get me wrong, I still call my mom about how to properly boil & egg or folding a fitted sheet. But sometimes, adults are wrong. And as newly adults, we need to make our own mistakes & decide what is necessary & what is not.

14. RELATIONSHIPS ARE GREATER THAN THINGS

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I feel like sometimes we forget people don’t really care about what we have. The most important thing to be in this world is a good human. Personality will always be greater than appearance. Nobody is going to like you more just because you own a designer purse or a pool. (Well….a pool is nice). But seriously, what matters most is how you speak to others, what you do for them & building solid relationships. For the family you have, through blood or by choice, it should be cherished as such.

15. YOU ARE ENOUGH

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The biggest take away from all of this is understanding you are far more than what you own. If everything was taken away from you tomorrow, would you be proud of the person you are? You are the prize to the world. Everything else is just bonus. Never look at the things you have as tickets to be treated any better, seen as more successful & more liked. I don’t care if society has taught us otherwise. I’m here to tell you, in my mind, you are simply beautiful.

Be sure to follow me on my social media platforms:

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advice, Lifestyle, Self Growth

Why Gratitude Is So Important & 500 Followers!?

It’s the day after Thanksgiving (if you live in the US) & typically it’s a day to be thankful & blessed for the life you have. I believe you should have this sense of gratitude everyday. Why? Because once I shifted my mindset to a more grateful one, I saw my life in a more positive light.

I’d like to first thank you all for 500 followers! 😊🎉 My goal was to maybe hit this milestone before Blogmas & I had no idea we would get there before then. So, thank you! If it weren’t for my readers & fellow bloggers supporting me each and everyday I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, I am grateful for you all.

How I Got Started

At the start of 2020, I was at a point at my life where I felt I needed more positive energy. In the past, I’ve loved journaling for getting out my feelings, sharing my thoughts & reflecting on my life. But I never thought of simply focusing on the positive aspects of my days. I knew how to vent & share my problems on paper, but writing the good parts of my day? Never crossed my mind, until I discovered gratitude journals.

So, I went to Target, picked out a moleskin & began my journey to gratitude. It started out pretty simple with statements like “I’m grateful for this cup of tea.” Or “I’m grateful for my orange tabby, Tigger.” Eventually it grew to more intense statements like “that vulnerable conversation was much needed & I grew from it” to “I’m grateful for the person I am, flaws & all.”

Writing in this journal everyday for almost an entire year has been life changing. And this was way before the pandemic even started. Best believe I’ve needed all the gratitude I could get during these tough times for many reasons.

You Might Also Like: I Wrote In A Gratitude Journal For An Entire Year

Fake It Until You Make It

In the beginning, finding the good in each day was kind of difficult. But it’s interesting to notice the shift after just a few days. It became easier as the months went on. And now even during an unprecedented time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think writing down these thoughts can actually trick the brain a bit. And “when you focus on the good the good gets better.” (That’s my favorite quote & has been my phone screensaver for almost a year now).

Manifest Your Dream Life

Whether you believe in manifestation or not, I think we can be the writers to our story. We determine the outcome. So, by focusing on the positive & writing down dreams & aspirations more often, you may find yourself headed in those directions. I know my life has changed in a positive way by “scripting” or writing down what I’m grateful for. How do you expect more things to happen, if you don’t appreciate what you already have? Quit wishing for the next best thing. Live more in the moment.

You Might Also Like: How To Use Affirmations to Improve Your Life

Now It’s Your Turn

I’m giving you all homework. Go out & buy yourself a nice journal. It can be moleskin or one with a cool design. Bring it home, sit down in a comfy chair, date it & write down something you are grateful for that day. It can be a sentence, a word, an entire page or a drawing. However you want to express gratitude on the page, do that. Then, keep going. Write something each day or every few days of your wins of the day, the people you care about most, places you’ve been. Even though the world is tough right now, there is plenty to still be grateful for.

If you are interesting in a free gratitude journal, check out this post from The English Speaking Frenchie.

What are you grateful for today?

-B

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