#MOTIVATION: Sometimes, you NEED to take a break

Sometime’s these #motivationmonday posts I read can make you feel guility, as if you aren’t doing ENOUGH! It’s all ‘GO GIRL’, #GirlBoss, and ‘work while your haters sleep’ or something of the sort. BUT, sometimes you need to take break!

I’ve been on a mini-vacation for the past couple of days – taking a break. But, I found it so hard to decompress, unplug, and chill out. My mind was racing with idea on how to promote Jack and Ahlia, when to shoot the next #NashvilleCurves class, and if I had enough ‘cute’ photos to post on my instagram. I could not chill!

Then, while waiting to go to an appointment, I stumbled into the park. Not to workout, not to take pictures, but I just relaxed. I hadn’t let my brain rest in WEEKS! So, I sat on the steps of the Parthenon; I people watched. I saw tourists enjoying our city with brand new eyes. I saw a young lady taking quiciñera photos. And, I watched the ducks swim in the pound. It was real nice.

In this go-go world, we sometimes forget to rest. Also, we often OVER PLAN rest, in the name of ‘self-care’ and an instagram moment. But, think about taking a quick moment everyday to let your brain relax. Go outside. Play a senseless game on your phone. Or, just sit in silence.

The more you rest, the better your mind will feel when it’s time to transform into that Girl Boss or Handsome Hustler!

MY LIFE: Sharing life with Act Like a GRRRL

During my birthday month, I love doing a bit of community service, before getting gifts. That’s why I was excited when the director of Act Like a GRRRL asked me to speak to the students. After our session the ladies even ‘blessed’ me with GODDESS status. What a sweet way I start my birthday week!

The ladies welcomed me into their creative space and allowed me to share my passion for writing and blogging. My goal was to leave the young women feeling confident enough to share their art with the world.

I shared my love of writing, blogging, and fashion, reminding them that you can be good at more than one thing. Don’t be afraid of your greatness, but always use it to help others.

We then participated in a writing prompt, something I do when I have writers block. The prompt I shared was, “Describe your favorite smell”. The ladies journaled for a bit and we shared our entries. I loved the stories the young people shared.

It’s always nice to know that the next generation is in good hands. The team at Act Like A GRRRL encourage creativity and individuality while creating a safe space for girls to learn and express themselves. I was happy to be apart of their summer experience as an official Nashville Author!

Are you a creative who’d like to share your story with the Act Like a GRRRL participants? Click HERE for more info.

#Motivation: Ask for help

In my, ‘Hello June!’, post I wrote about the power of asking for help. Let’s dive a bit deeper. Asking for help can be mighty hard but it can give you maximum results. Not just getting a task done, but letting people into your world.

You’d be amazed at how many people genuinely want to help you – with no strings attached. You’d be amazed at how many people find you quite interesting. You’d be amazed at how many people are cheering for you. But, you’ll never know if you never open your mouth and ask for help.

Now, I know it hard. Believe me, I’m the queen of doing it all by myself. It’s hard for me to trust that someone will do it the way I want it done. But, girl (or guy), you aren’t a one man army, sometimes you need help.

Oh yeah, asking for help doesn’t make people look at you as being weak. Actually, asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do. Asking for help means you’ve come up with an idea that’s SO BOMB, so awesome, and so life changing that you need ‘all hands on deck’ to bring it to life. Yup, something as simple as, “can you help me make these phone calls?” Can be the catalyst to changing someone’s life.

Asking for help is the gateway to success. Don’t be afraid of help. No one can be an island for too long!

MY STYLE: Walking on Sunshine

A friend of mine snapped these photos after my gig on the NMAAM red carpet. I had to post because the look is so fly and this is one of my favorite items in my closet. How about, this is the second time I’ve worn this dress?! Crazy!

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller

During this last week in my 30’s (y’all seriously? What!?) I’ve been focusing on staying positive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of negativity when things aren’t going your way.

If you hadn’t noticed the last couple years of my life have been a challenge. But, I’d be dumb to think I’ve not accomplished much. I’ve got two degrees, I write this blog, I’ve won some awards, and I WROTE A WHOLE BOOK! Let me focus on my champion ships instead of my challenges for a moment.

Dress: Styles Boutique, Skirt & Shoes: Torrid

So, the look. Last year, I got this dress from Styles Boutique here in Nashville. I don’t think she has this on sale anymore, BUT I found the exact dress on amazon – BUY HERE.

Remember, I’m 6ft tall, so this dress is super short on me. So I wore this cute skater skirt (that I’ve had FOREVER) to give me a couple more inches. Didn’t want to flash the Celebes at the music gala!

Oh yeah, and I’m like DONE with wearing heels to fancy work events. I’m about to be 40. My face looks young but these knees are OLD! Listen, I gotta keep it real. Keep it real and keep it positive.

How are you staying positive these days?

Let me know in the comments section.

Hello June: The Art of Asking for Help

It’s June! My favorite month of the year! Why? It’s my birthday month! This month I’m exploring the art of asking for help. It’s truly an art to figure out the things you NEED then researching places/people to ask for help. You may get rejected, but at least you tried. This is not about begging, this is about strategic moves to improve your life outcomes. It’s scary, but worth it. Continue reading “Hello June: The Art of Asking for Help”

MY LIFE: One Month Fitness Update

Last month, I restarted my fitness journey. To keep me accountable, I thought I’d share my monthly updates on the blog. Although I started a bit unsure of my journey, I’m happy to say we are on the right track and getting more for everyday! Below, I share details of my first four weeks of fitness.

Continue reading “MY LIFE: One Month Fitness Update”

#BloggerLife: Are you a blogger, an Influencer, or both?

Blogger vs. Influencer? It’s a discussion that’s become more prevalent as influencer marketing grows. Everyone wants to be popular online. Everyone wants followers. And, everyone wants to work with brands. But which lane is best for you to achieve that goal? In this post I’ll discuss the difference between the Blogger and the Influencer, and which category is best for you!

In my post, Blogging While Broke, I discussed how most bloggers don’t make money from their endeavors. As I continued this #bloggerlife series, I realized, I needed to make a distinction between BLOGGING and being a social media influencer. Because, if you are trying to operate in the wrong lane, you may be wasting your time and losing money.

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Am I a blogger, an influencer, or both?

Before we get into specifics, let me give it to you simple:

An influencer shows you what they know. A blogger teaches you what they know. A reader can leave fulfilled, from both, only if the influencer or blogger does their job effectively. – @fabglance

A Blogger creates online content about a certain niche. Food, fashion, travel, and entertainment are the most popular blog topics. Blogs are updated regularly and usually garner traffic from readers looking for detailed info about a certain topic. A blog is used to introduce readers to a topic through the eyes of a writer. The average blog post should be 400-1000 words. The best blog posts use sourced content with a unique point of view. Blogging is usually more time consuming than creating a social media post. Often, the pay off is slow. However, blogs help build reader trust in whatever topic is being discussed. Blog authors are often revered higher than traditional journalists IF their content is trustworthy. Brands like working with bloggers because posts can stay live and searchable for years giving their product better SEO rates.

An Online Influencer typically creates content for a social media platform. A blogger can be an influencer, and an influencer can have a blog. But the two have some distinctions. Influencers are usually VISUALLY driven, creating content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Tumblr. Rarely, do influencers create blog content. If the influencer does have a blog, it’s a place to deposit additional photos, unused from social media content. Influencers give you THEM, their life, and their viewpoint, in less than 300 words (think Kim Kardashian). Influencers usually have a large following that consumes quick content at high rates. Brands like to work with influencers, because their posts have a quicker turnaround and more immediate engagement.

Whew, that was was alot! But it’s important to understand that bloggers and influencers often cross into each other’s territory, which causes confusion for readers and brands. Easily, if you DO NOT operate A BLOG, you are not a blogger, you are an online influencer. If you run and regularly update a blog, in addition to using social media for promotion, you are a blogger. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch, being ‘just an influencer’ isn’t a bad thing. Neither is being a ‘just a blogger’. And sometimes bloggers become influencers and vice-versa.

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Talking #BLOGGERLIFE with Nashville Blogger, Karla.

I call myself a blogger and a writer because the written word is where I thrive. I love writing stories (I wrote a whole book, Jack and Ahlia) and helping people tell their story (especially working with brands). I’ll never admit to having the best photos, although I’m cute in front of the camera. But writing is my first love. I happen to be a stylish girl who writes really good posts. My social media presence is good, but not perfection.

So, can you be both? Certainly. But if you are, you must rock it in both categories. Update your blog with motivational and informative posts. BE CONSISTENT. Don’t just drop a photo on your website or social media platform and walk away. Give your reader some inside details. Tell us how this photo makes you feel and how we should feel reading your post or viewing your photos. What were you thinking that day and how is this photo important? Brands select bloggers and influencers because of our effect and impact. Can your PHOTO or STORY help sell their product – that’s the real question!

Lastly, expect to get attitude from the old guard – I’m talking about newspapers, magazines, and ‘real’ journalists. Bloggers and influencers are continuously fighting for respect from these organizations. That’s why we must be vigilante in our approach to sharing content. If invited to an event as PRESS, be professional. Complete your blog post and/or social share in a timely manner. Read your contracts thoroughly and always send a thank you note.

Gaining respect as a blogger and influencer is all about the respect you give your chosen topic/task. Don’t call yourself a blogger if you don’t own a blog. Stop it. But be an amazing influencer, if that’s what you’d rather do.

Are you a blogger or influencer? Comment below.

Read more #bloggerlife:

#Motivation: It’s okay

It’s okay to feel a way about a situation. Really. It is. You might have expected a different outcome. Maybe you are disappointed. Angry. Sad. Confused. So many times we try to push away negative feelings, only to be bombarded with a tidal wave of unwarranted emotion. Emotions so thick that you feel like you’re smothered and suffocated.

Fret not. It’s apart of being human. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Everything won’t go your way. So. Feel your feelings. Sit with your disappointment, then move along little lady. You’ve got work to do. True, there’s no time limit on sadness and it often lasts longer than what we’ve been prepared for. But know, above the flood, is a life jacket, and it’s just waiting for you to reach up.

REACH UP.

MY LIFE: Scared to start again

I’m sorry (but not sorry) I haven’t written a new blog post in two weeks. I needed a break. Plus, I’m always telling my Blogger Baes to take breaks, but I never take a break. What kind of advice is that. But I’m back and I got a good topic this week: WEIGHT-LOSS!

I was scared to write this post because I’ve written this type of post about 50 times. It’s the post where I declare I’m gonna get fit (or snatched, steal-yo-daddy sized, skinny!). I’m scared to write this post because I’ve accomplished this goal a couple times and I’ve failed plenty more. I’m scared to start this journey again because I’m scared I’ll fail. But I’m tired of hoping to wake up smaller and more fit. I know I need to try again. I’m worth it.

As an adult, the smallest number I’ve seen on the scale was 297 lbs. Now, I know a couple of y’all edges just flew off because that’s still considered ‘big’. I mean, that’s bigger than some football players. But, the way my body (pear shaped) and my height (6ft tall) works, it looked GOOD. As a plus-sized woman and BLOGGER, I always feel pressure to talk about my weight. Either we should be talking about losing weight or talking about how happy we are to be big. What if you are stuck in the middle: a little bit happy, a little bit scared, and a little bit over-it in general? That’s me.

See, I’ve been a BIG GIRL all my life and I’ve never seen a day where I’ve been considered THIN or SKINNY. Came in this world at almost 10lbs and 21″. I was taller than most classmates AND teachers until high-school; thank God those boys started to grow! Then when I got to college, I actually lost a bunch of weight. I was poor, hungry, and I worked a lot. I came home and my family was so proud of my weight-loss – not much mention about those good grades (more on that later). Then I graduated and got a job: free corporate lunch and spending money. I got big again. Biggest I’d ever been (until now). To my luck, I found an amazing job at the YMCA. That job afforded me free gym membership and access to the internet. I was printing off recipes and working out five times a week, sometimes doing two-a-days. Girl, I was FIT!!!!! I could see two ab muscles!

Y’all! Snatched!

Then, my grandma died, I started grad school, and I broke up with a long time ‘on again, off again’ boyfriend (This was the base of Jack & Ahlia‘s childhood story). I was stressed and crushed. I gained the weight back. Partly because grad school was so time consuming and I was, yet again, struggling with money. But, wanting to look good at graduation, I snapped back into gym life and lost a nice bit of weight.

Fast forward to now, Yup, I’m big again. I’m 5lbs bigger than I’ve ever been! Whew just typing that gave me the vapors. My clothes fit weird, my face is chunky, and wearing heels makes my knees hurt. In the past three years I’ve gone through a lot: death of a partner, leaving a job, horrendous money issues, loss of friends, and general depression. Still, I’ve taken these photos, wrote this blog, and posed for my life. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the blog and you guys, my readers, I’d be in a PIT of despair.

As the title states, I was scared to start again. Like really. For the most part, I’m a pretty confident girl, but even I can see the surprise on the faces of people who haven’t seen me in a long time. That, “you look nice, but wow you’re much bigger than I thought!” look. I saw it when i went home for Christmas. I saw it when I went to recent fashion event. I’m tired of seeing that face. I’m ready to be comfortable in my body. The only thing that helps is knowing, if I did it before, I can do it again.

I’m turning 40 in June. In my mind I want to take these epically gorgeous 40th Birthday Photos. Now, I know science and math, it’s just April, no way I’ll be at my goal weight by my birthday. But I want to walk into my birthday month feeling strong and consistent. I may be down 20lbs or just 10lbs. Either way, I’ll be back on the wagon and feeling better. I know I can do this!

Are you starting a weight loss, fitness, or health journey? Let me know how you feel about starting again. I’ll share updates on my socials and I may even bring back my YouTube channel! Either way, I’ll keep you posted. I’m not scared anymore!

Oh yeah, I already have my plan. I know what to eat and how to work out. Different plans work for different people. I know you want to leave your miracle plan in the comments but I’m GOOD on that. I’ve consulted my doctor and done my googles.