Four years. Can you believe it?! Four years, and here I am! Here WE are. I’ve gone through the story of why I started this blog one too many times, so I won’t bore anyone with that story today. Instead, I want to celebrate my fourth (FOURTH!) blogiversary by remembering all of the wonderful things that have happened to me because of it.
I MADE SOME INCREDIBLE FRIENDS
This is my favorite thing that’s come from starting a blog. Having a blog has given me access to thousands of people who love the same things I do. Who have the same passions as me. Who are interested in the same music, books, movies, TV shows, YouTubers, cities, etc.
Beyond just virtually meeting friends, I’ve also been able to meet my blog friends in real life while I’ve been on road trips.
I met Katie when my sister and I were in Austin for the Austin Teen Book Festival. We had brunch at a little restaurant that she chose. The meeting was brief, but Austin is one of my favorite cities, and I hope to visit her again the next time I’m in town.
Nina is one of my favorite people, and our initial meeting was so perfect. I was on the way to visit my dad in South Carolina, and I stopped in Tennessee to meet her. I stayed at her apartment, and she took me to some of her favorite places. We also watched a Christmas movie and ate some caramel popcorn that she made herself. We had been blog friends for so long that meeting her for the first time was like catching up with an old friend.
The next time Nina and I met up, we added Erica to the mix. We all traveled to Nashville, and it was an awesome few days. We went wine tasting, sang karaoke and visited the zoo. The conversation was non-stop. I was invited to both of their weddings and was so upset that I had to miss both due to my cruise job, but I sent some love and good vibes from afar.
I FILMED A COMMERCIAL
I love reminiscing on this because it was such a fun and lovely day. I initially took a meeting with someone from the local tourist bureau who I was connected with at work, and he approached me about a project he was working on for National Travel and Tourism Week. The idea was that a series of commercials would be filmed showcasing certain aspects about living in Shreveport. My niche was night life, and I got to choose the places I wanted to talk about and write my own script, which was both nerve-wrecking and exciting.
I chose to film at a local brewery during their karaoke night. What made the night special was that I got to invite people, some of which ended up being in the commercial as well. I had several friends come to support me and a few co-workers as well. I did three takes to film the speaking part and sang Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder & Lead” on film. When the crew packed up, the rest of us stayed and took over the karaoke machine, even joining in on someone else’s song choice at the end of the night, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” because how could we not?
I STARTED A BLOG GROUP
Blog groups on Facebook are such a fun and easy way to make connections with other bloggers, but the blog groups I was a part of didn’t really have the qualities that I wanted in a blog group, so I decided to create one of my own called the Blogging Elite with the help of Nina who quickly and eagerly jumped in on the project with me. Since we launched the group in January 2015, we’ve grown tremendously and gained two more admins to help with the growth. I’ve virtually met so many great people and have fallen in love with lots of new blogs.
I SERVED ON A PANEL
After filming the commercial and sharing my blog with a few locals, I was invited to serve on a “Telling Your Story” panel for Shreveport Bossier Attractions Association. It was only the second time I had ever served on a panel (the first being a social media panel that I served on with my boss for work), and I was super nervous. There were so many of us that I didn’t talk too much, but it was still nice to be invited and have people interested in the things that I did get to say. I even had a few people come up to me after the panel to ask for my business card.
I DID SOME GREAT PARTNERSHIPS
I still can’t believe some of the opportunities I’ve been given since starting this blog. Nearly every time I open my email, I have someone inquiring about blog post opportunities (granted most of them want me to do pro bono work, but that’s another blog post for another day). There was a time when I invested so much time into my blog because I wanted to make it into a business, and while that will be true again one day, for now, I’m focusing on my job with Carnival and investing my time into traveling, but I digress.
One of my favorite partnerships was with Toshiba because I received an incredible tablet that I still use and love. Blogging has also added some lovely pieces to my wardrobe, put some books on my bookshelves, fed me and even provided some products for Molly to try.
I WAS INVITED TO A STORE OPENING
Even though it wasn’t a huge store opening like I’ve seen other bloggers get invited to because I live in such a small area, I was excited to get an invitation in my email for a Versona that was opening in my area. It was my first time ever hearing of the store, and I was in love at first browse. Beyond their clothes, sunglasses, shoes and accessories, they also have an adorable gift section with cute products that made me want to start Christmas shopping.
I STARTED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Once I started blogging, I started exploring the online world a little more and found many websites through Pinterest. I found that many of the bloggers I already followed also had YouTube channels, some more active than others. Yes, I’m still awkward in front of the camera, but I love it. I love filming memories, talking to the camera and putting everything together to create fantastic memories. I also enjoy doing challenges, talking about books, giving advice and sharing my favorite things. I wish I had more time to invest in it, and I’m hoping I do during my vacation time with Carnival.
I HAD AN EXCUSE TO DRESS UP
I love any excuse to dress up, and my blog is the perfect reason to do so. I wish I could afford to do photoshoots all the time. My friend, Hannah, is incredible behind the camera. She catches moments that end up being so more beautiful than I could have imagined. I’ve flipped through a lot of her work, and it’s so amazing. I’ve done two photoshoots with her (here and here), and not only did I love the photos, I also loved taking them. She makes it so fun!
Even though I don’t have as much time (or WiFi) to invest in my blog anymore, I still love it and take every opportunity I can to post. One day I’ll get back into the swing of things, but until then, I’ll continue to write as much as I can and document this beautiful life I love.