Monday Musings + A Blog Update

When I was brainstorming reviving my weekly brain dump post, I was stumped on what to call it. I keep coming back to how this post is kind of like the Monday morning meetings from when I was working in an office environment. I weirdly loved the Monday status meetings. There is just something about a to-do list, getting the scoop on what is happening, and planning out your week that puts a pep in my step. As I thought about it, that is essentially that is what this series is for me. A place for me to just get all my thoughts on paper and fill you in on the products I’m trying, any internet finds I’ve happened upon, new tips & tricks I’ve learned, and anything else that I think you would enjoy reading about as much as I’ve loved discovering. So think of it as a Monday update of what is going through my head, my weekly musings if you will.

Here are this week’s Monday Morning Musings.

Why I’m No Longer Doing Sponsored Blog Posts

If you’ve been around this blog since the beginning then you will remember it originally started as a “Style Guide’ where I would investigate where to shop, what to buy and how to style everything from your wardrobe to your next dinner party. Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to work with some brands that I really love and a large portion of my blog slowly shifted to sponsored content. Now that I have a new business baby (my lifestyle shop) and a real-life new baby (Isla James) that hasn’t left me with a ton of time for me to put towards blog posts that aren’t contractually obligated to post on a certain date. I have around 80+ blog posts in various draft stages that I have been meaning to get to and I wish that was an exaggeration. For the time being, and maybe permanently, I’ve made the decision to step away from sponsored posts on the blog and focus instead on those!

When I first started doing this whole blog thing, brands were way more laid back than they are now. They used to contract you to post about their product and you just had to submit it when it’s done. As social media has grown, and as brands have moved away from print and media ads, a lot more of their marketing budget has gone into influencer and social marketing. Which is great and I think is just such a cool way to make a living. However, with this increase in budget has come an increase in legal documents and talking points and what you can say and what you can’t say and even down to how the photos need to look. Don’t get me wrong, that is rightfully the brand’s decision to make and I totally understand the need for guidelines and standards and creative briefs. But if I’m being honest, it removes a ton of joy for me personally from the process. I want to be able to talk about a product I’m trying without having to check a document over and over to make sure that I’ve said everything 100% correctly. I want to be able to post about my favorite brand without having to submit it to someone to approve it first. And I also just feel like I need a little break from the pressure of everything that goes into sponsored posts.

I will still continue to work with brands in blog post format throughout the year that I have signed contracts for, and I will continue to do social campaigns on my Instagram channel just like I do currently. And who knows, this decision might not be forever. But at least for the foreseeable future, I am excited to carve out time and finally get around to the plethora of posts I have been meaning to and want to publish.

Obviously this is a risk as some of my income is from sponsored blog posts but I am excited about the opportunity to grow my newsletter readership by publishing more posts like travel guides and our favorite easy recipes, to feature my shop with more entertaining and home decor post and maybe continue to grow this brand through a refreshed creative lense. I will probably turn ads back on (sigh) so that I can make income as people scroll my posts, but I promise to limit them as much as possible and always prioritize the reader’s experience.

Moving forward, you can sign up to get posts delivered to your email here, sign up to get the weekly newsletter here, and as always you can shop my links on my shop page, my Amazon storefront and my LTK.

5 Of My Favorite Drugstore Products of All Time

I love a good drugstore find. There are so many beauty products that I grab off the makeup aisle that could have made this list, but here are a few of my absolute favorites.

NYX Butter Gloss

If I had to pick my #1 drugstore makeup product, it is this gloss. It is the BEST gloss and rivals the most expensive of brands. It’s not sticky and the colors are perfection. My favorite hue is “creme brulee” but I also love “Tiramasu” and “Angel Food Cake”.

Lash Primer

If you want to make every mascara you wear look better, get this lash primer! It will give your lashes length, volume and improve the wearability of your lashes.

Lash Trios

If you are looking to add a little extra glam to your eye look, get these trio lashes! Put one to two over your mascara on the corner of your eye for great lashes in an instant!

Neutrogena Lip Shine

This drugstore lipstick is a new favorite of mine! It’s very hydrating and not at all sticky and it has a beautiful sheen! My favorite colors are “ballet pink”, “berry brown” and “pink sorbet”.

Extra Hold Hairspray

If you want hairspray that will hold a curl without making your hair stiff, get this! It has been my go-to hairspray for years. I love that you can brush your hair & your curls will bounce right back into place.

A 30% Off Sale You Don’t Want To Miss

Mango is one of my favorite retailers not only for myself but also for my girls. Think Zara vibes but with way more wearable styles (in my opinion). Well, today they are having a 30% off sale!! I rounded up my favorite styles for women, girls, and baby girls. You can save an extra 30% off of all of them with code EXTRA30.