Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where Do I Stand in Blogland?

Last Thursday, I went to another blogger event at Great Over Good. This time the event, Bloggers Unplugged, was less structured and more of a mixer.

Naadine and Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery did a wonderful putting it together. They had the cutest - and most inspiring posters hanging around the room, fun balloons for us to take home and some delicious snacks!

I loved meeting the bloggers that came to the event - besides the few bloggers I talk to on a daily basis - Kriselle, Jess, and Yvonne - I didn't really know anyone. I met some super awesome bloggers that are out there changing the world like me. I met some awesome bloggers who focus on photography, fashion and travel.

I am so excited that I have these opportunities to meet other bloggers, and that these bloggers are all so wonderful. I know it's not always the case that you can find bloggers nearby to meet.

Being at this event has made me realize something I've thought about for a long time. I'm not like most bloggers.

Oh, I still love all of the #BasicWhiteGirl things that us bloggers love (I like to make fun of this #BasicBitches idea...As if liking these things mean I have no IQ or brain...). I'm outgoing and pretty good at networking. I'm slightly awkward - which is one of my favorite blogger traits.

The ways that I am different - as far as I can tell - falls in my drive for content and the reason I started my blog.

Most bloggers start their blogs as lifestyle or fashion or DIY or food. Bloggers start it as a hobby - but I started mine as a mean to my dream end. My blog has always been a little bit bigger - a little bit more focused on a movement than on my blog.

Sometimes it makes it hard for me to explain what I'm doing with my blog and it makes it hard for me to feel like I fit in at blogger engagements. I usually tell people "my blog stands to empower women" and I know that I could be more clear on this.

I'm still searching for the perfect term to describe my brand and how it fits into blogland.

It makes it difficult for advertisers to work with me, sometimes. It makes it difficult for me to accept some campaigns that are offered to me. I need to be true to my goals and to my readers when I pick up these campaigns.

Last week I wrote a Fall Handbag Essentials post. It was so much fun to write, but I felt a little bit like I was selling out. Heck, these are things that I personally love, but how does it fit into my goal with my blog?

I label myself as a lifestyle blogger, with many different facets. I definitely do not regret taking my blog from only female empowerment posts to more lifestyle posts. It has opened the door for me so much. I'm still trying to find the balance though, and I think I'm doing a decent job.

What do you think? How do you think I'm doing in balancing personal with my dream movement?

I also want to congratulate Angie for winning the Diva Gone Domestic custom stamp giveaway!! 

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If you did not win, you can still use code BAWQ10 for 10% off of a custom stamp!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekly Wishes #10

Some days I wonder why it's so much harder to meet goals than other days. I'm sure you've also wondered the same. It's important to remember that why you may not reach your goals, you have still been productive. When this happens I  count all of the productive things I've done...alongside of all of the moments that I've felt happy, smiled or relaxed. 

It is important to make goals and to reach them, but life is not a checklist - though lists are fun. Life is lived in the in between times. :)

1// Go to Yoga! Dangit, I definitely went to none of the yoga classes I scheduled. I had some insomnia. 

2//Attend all of my social engagements. I attended around half of the events I had planned. 

3// Keep working on WordPress!  

4// Keep reading. I read a little more, but I wouldn't count it as a finished goal.

The Nectar Collective

1// Catch up on some work. I'm feeling overwhelmed again, hence why last week's goals did not get met! 

2// Make muchos progress on WordPress.  I just keep dreaming about my WordPress!!

3// Clean our bedroom. Clothes, clothes are everywhere!

4// Start October off with a bang. September, you've done quite a number on me, let's have a calmer October, how does that sound?

I hope you did better with your goals last week!!
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekly Warrior Queen Links #12

It felt weird letting an almost full Sunday pass without sharing these! Next week, we're at 3 months of awesome links! Not only am I having a blast sharing links with you, but these links help me get re-inspired in the women's movement. I hope they inspire you!

Tiffany shares one of her female game changers, and asks us - who has changed your life?

Have you ever been slut-shamed? This social experiment was the best read all week.

Body shaming goes across genders - as women who claim our bodies are beautiful curvy...why don't we embrace fuller boys?

I love that this book Jesus Feminist, exists. My Feminist Methods teacher was a Catholic theologian, feminist lesbian and through her, was able to understand the complexities of Feminism, sexual orientation and religion. I think it is important for spiritual and religious women to know that  being a feminist does not take away from your spiritual support.

Emma Watson's speech is going viral (thankfully) and I love this post on The Accidental Mama on #WhyImAFeminist

Jemma (who is still waiting for her precious baby to get here!) shared her tips to achieving self-love and you all know that I'm a sucker for that!

Speaking of self-love, it doesn't always have to be rainbows and sequins.

I'm always looking for more tips on dealing with anxiety

It may seem glamorous to be a lady, but we should never tell our daughters to be ladylike.

Does anyone else agree that we should stop telling these lies about sex to girls?

Have you ever truly thought of the difference in hormones makes on the body? This video of a gender transformation - and how its bettered his life, is inspiring.

Alyssa's campus does awesome things. Recently, they did an event on banned books, but this movement on sexual assault awareness, takes the cake.

I can't wait to hear what you think of these! .

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Queen Bee Mug Giveaway

I am so excited for today's giveaway! I've been thinking about it every day since we decided to do this giveaway.

You might not be aware of how much I love things that are about being a queen or having crowns on them. I mean, obviously, I'm always talking about how I'm a warrior queen (oh, right and that's the whole name of this blog...)

I've always cared more about being a queen than a princess - in fact, I hated being called princess as a kid. A queen is regal, though. Princesses are in training and do not have much power. Queens, they can even rule without a king.

It fits pretty perfectly for us though, because Iman's nickname has been King since high school. Hello, yet another sign that we were meant to get together after all of those years as friends.. In our house we love everything king and queen and will most likely be getting crown tattoos of some sort pretty soon.

Anyway, this giveaway is hosted by Jessica from Ruffled Paper. I've been following her blog and shop for quite some time, and one day found out she started a FB group called Giveaway Garden. I love it and the group of girls I've met in it!

Jessica's shop and prints are gorgeous! She also makes cards and designs for wedding things. Speaking of weddings, she just got engaged! You should probably go tell her congratulations!

Now, for the piece de resistance - the queen mug that I love so much! I just love how much the celebrity world is focusing on being queens and female empowerment. Of course we still have a long way to go, but this past year it has become a little less taboo to be a strong woman (Thanks Bey!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and don't forget my other giveaway for a custom stamp!

*all images courtesy of Ruffled Paper

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Handbag Essentials with U By Kotex

Thank you U By Kotex, Kleenex and Walmart for sponsoring today's post!

It's the first day of fall and California spent the morning pretending it was going to actually have cold weather for once. It's quickly thrown a JK in our faces, but I took advantage and wore my favorite Sevenly sweatshirt as I dashed to Walmart to get the best deal ever...which totally inspired today's post. It does help that my mom's best friend gave me a Kate Spade handbag this past week...Paulina's so proud of me!

Today's the perfect day to switch purses - along with the season! Cleaning out my purse is so therapeutic, and I was able to grab the best essentials at Walmart to stock my purse.

Top of the list?

1. The U By Kotex CleanWear Pads - I know I'm always gabbin' about these things - but seriously, Walmart exclusively offers them with a free Kleenex slim pack, which comes in handy with cold season. These pads have the new 3D Capture Core (duh, I was obsessed with them here) and are super comfortable, yet thin.

Of course, I have an awesome coupon for you. The more times you share, the more money you save when you head over to Walmart to get these U By Kotex CleanWear Pads (or the click tampons and sleek tampons!).

2. Bella's leash! As you can tell, this little girl is never far from her mama. Iman is totally jealous, but it's just because I was able to visit my mom more often when we first got them. She gets so excited whenever she sees me - even if I walked into the bedroom for a minute to change.

She wanted to be a part of the photoshoot

We're trying to get her to be less afraid, so I've been taking her wherever I go. She's been enjoying the car more than when we first got her.

3. My Erin Condren Planner. Yes, I'm still obsessed! It just has everything I need and all of the parts I loved about my high school planner but better.

4. My Be Kind sweatshirt from Sevenly. It's my favorite warm sweatshirt, and perfect for those moments California decides to be foggy.

5. My newest lipstick obsession - Jellybean by Too Faced. Seriously, I wear this every day at work!

It was hard to choose just five, since I'm usually stocked with my other Walmart finds - deoderant, chapstick, pens, etc. I'm a teacher and a server, so I'm always on the go and in need of this stuff!!

Pin this!

What do you have in your bag? Have you gone and gotten your coupon yet?

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Wishes #9 + A Blog Tour

Wow! It's already another week! I hope you all had a great week! I've been working a ton - seriously so much, but that's awesome! I feel like I'm almost back to a full-time schedule. I've also been a bit of a recluse (as I mentioned yesterday). This next week is going to be the opposite of recluse life. I'm working at the restaurant at night,  have two blogger events, some more appointments for Bella, a friend coming to town and a baby shower to attend. Oh geez :) 

This schedule sounds more like my usual life... 

I would say I got about 50% done with my goals last week...that's okay though!

1// Pick my Wordpress Theme! Yes! I did, and I love it! 

2// Clean out my car. Yeah, nope!  I was going to, but ended up having to do a million other things.

3// Write my submission for HerCampus's Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Instead of writing this, I left HerCampus, and found a better Breast Cancer Awareness opportunity! I can't wait to share it with you!

4// Begin a journal. I wrote it in one day. Obviously I still need to get to it more! 

The Nectar Collective

1// Go to Yoga! I've scheduled myself for a couple of yoga dates! I had one this morning, but I didn't end up getting there, but we have the rest of the week!

2//Attend all of my social engagements. When things get rough (like they have been), I tend to blow off engagements. I'm really excited about all of these, so I can't blow them off - even if I will know no one there!

3// Keep working on WordPress! Duh :)

4// Keep reading. I finally found some time to read, and I'd love to keep that!

Last week, Nina nominated me for the Touring through Blogland! It's so cool, basically, it's a get to know you type of thing. This week I will be sharing, and then tagging 3 bloggers to share next Monday!

I will be tagging my dear friends Cassi & Katie, Paulina and Katie

1) What am I working on?
Currently, I'm working on my blog and some secret projects!! I am trying to create this into more than just a blog again and it is so inspiring! Also, working on my work - that is a lot of writing :)

2) How does my work differ from others from its genre?
I try to focus on becoming a movement more than just lifestyle blogging. I also think that my writing style is slightly different since I went to school for journalism. 

3) Why do I write/create what I do?
Like most writers, I have a drive to write. The words flow from my fingertips faster than they can type sometimes!

4) How does your writing/creating process work?
I am constantly coming up with ideas, but often forget to write them. Other days, I have to write everything down super fast. I work in spurts and I can often ramble in my posts. I have been trying to be more disciplined, like I am when I write articles. 

I hope you guys stop by my friends' blogs next Monday! :)

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekly Warrior Queen Links #11

This week has been a doozy. We've been up, down and all around but I've been enjoying it mostly - as a recluse.

Also, we are totally about to become "those people" with Bella, who came home late friday night by the way. I mean, she already has her own Instagram, since she will clearly be a complete football dog. I mean, during the fall we're either watching football or watching a recorded show. Except when the Angels are in the playoffs...or the Ducks start hockey on time.

Anyway, this week has been so inspiring with the posts I've found...I hope you like them!

This week's news focus has been the NFL and the abuse accusations. This post on The Feminist Feline took all of my thoughts that I couldn't quite put into words and said them.

If you haven't guessed it, I love affirmations! I always forget to use them, but Jemma reminds us that affirmations lead to a positive mind.

These Five Things You Must Tell Your Parents Before They Die is so, so important.

Marinashutup is one of my favorite vloggers and this video about her struggles with depression really hits home.

The way that schools are slut shaming and humiliating young girls makes me so, so angry.

Speaking of schools, these feminist high school students are amazing. Thank you for being a part of world change.

Sometimes I need to read things like this post on How to Explain Feminism to Non-Feminist Women in a Non-Threatening Way. I definitely needed this.

Falling From Grace posted the best blog about transgender models. You go girl!

This week, I discovered Anastasia Amour and her positive blog - this post on authenticity and anxiety spoke to me.

Sorry to turn on your waterworks buuuut....I had to do it. This story is beautiful and heart wrenching.

All of this is just a total yes. I can't even handle the truth in this Buzzfeed Video about being a woman on the internet/

This mom tells it like it is, and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Would you take a second to do a survey about the WQ links posts?

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Friday, September 19, 2014

PicStick Photo Magnets + Discount Code

You may not know it, but I am completely obsessed with pictures. You can probably guess since most bloggers are obsessed with pictures. I used to scrapbook but quickly got overwhelmed with everything. 

Then I signed up for services like Shutterfly and Groovebook and my photo happiness was complete! I've bought photo books, photo cards, photo mugs...you name it. 

But what I never got was photo magnets. Maybe that's because I didn't have my own fridge for awhile living the nomad life, but now we have a fridge. Technically two fridges, since our friend is borrowing the fridge we own and our apartment provided one, but I digress.

When I found out that PicStick wanted me to review their photo magnets I squealed. 

Seriously, let's just talk about how last Thursday my best friend and I sat in my dining room convincing ourselves that we couldn't afford another photo thing because we need to pay bills.

It was a tough decision, but I think she'll be happy now that she can get photo magnets like mine at a discount with the code QUEEN25, courtesy of PicStick for my readers.

Yes, I realize I look dead in that top left corner. This was when I fell asleep on the way to Vegas and we laugh about the way it looks like the boys are transporting a dead body.

These magnets came so fast - less than a week - and they came all the way from England. Which is pretty cool. I put some European pictures in there to make myself feel more exotic. (My brain has a weird thought process).

Did I mention I love magnets? I have so many that don't hold anything up and Iman makes fun of me for it

See, I told you we love pictures. These are just the pictures that we have printed since we moved into our apartment. But now my apartment is filled with pictures that I love! I chose to print mostly pictures from this chapter of our life. 

I made sure that Jimi was on the magnets since he lives here too #RoomieLife

On PickStick you can pick where you get your pictures: Upload, Facebook or Dropbox. I chose to use my Instagram pictures that are on my FB because I always put my favorite pictures on Instagram

The process was so easy, pick 9 photos and crop them, preview the print and purchase! Actually deciding the 9 photos is probably going to be what takes you the longest (but hey, you can always buy more than one sheet!) It even automatically rotates your pictures for you!

The sheets are $14.99, but that includes FREE shipping. Free shipping from the UK? I'm in! With the discount QUEEN25, it is just over $10. Seriously a great deal!

How awesome would this be as a gift for a loved one or friend, especially one who just celebrated a new life event?

I received this product complimentary to review, but all opinions are my own! 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Living With Boy Roomates

Alright, it's time we have a talk about living with boys. I never really gave much thought to living with boys...my roommates always had boyfriends over, I always had boy-friends over and it was always just a normal thing to have guys in the kitchen or guys around to do stuff.

Actually, it would have been weird if no boys were ever over, but when you live with 10 girls in a dorm, or 4 other girls in a house...there's bound to be very few all girls nights. I was totally okay with that, though. I'm sort of androgynous.

Welcome to my life #husbandroommateandi

When Iman and I moved in together as the two of us, I told him I was super against having a roommate when we were married. I said that we could live with another couple or a roommate prior to marriage, but when we're married I just want it to be the two of us, like a family.

Well, then we got married and moved out and were having a grand old time together but wishing we had more money to do more things. So, to save money we stayed in a lot - I blogged and Iman played video games and our friend started coming over to play video games, too. I guess you could tell it was getting serious when he started bringing his own t.v. when he'd come over. That's probably when we started jokingly calling him Roomie.

This is how our sofa ALWAYS looks

Finally, it was discussed and we agreed upon it and he was sort of half living in our house half living at home? It was a very weird time for me because we hadn't made him a key yet and he also insisted on sleeping on the couch when we had an extra bedroom for him.

BUT, he's now an official roommate. I still have stuff in his room because that's where our desk is, but hey...that's all I've got in there now which I think is a great accomplishment!

Obligatory Crash picture, we miss you :(

Living with two guys is definitely interesting. On the one hand, it's like I'm living with my husband and my brother again (which is probably why it isn't so weird) and on the other hand there is a whole lot of gaming going on.

Literally, all we do is blog and game. Thursdays are Lauren nights though, so we add Lauren and her laptop to the mix. Saturdays are friend nights where we have friends over and don't videogame/blog but get drunk and play board games.

I sort of feel like I'm in high school again. But hey, I'm 25 and I'm not pregnant yet and who says that being an adult means we can't do fun things like this?

On top of that, having a roommate is incredibly nice because someone helps us with the chores! And he brings us food! Just last night he got hungry in the middle of the night, got Del Taco and texted us that he had breakfast in the fridge for us when we got up. It was such a sweet surprise in the morning!

His schedule is pretty opposite ours, so Iman and I still have a lot of alone time together. We don't include him in all of our plans and he doesn't include us in all of his. You know...how roommates are usually! It is nice though on the nights that Iman is working or out and there's another person home with me. I'm a scaredy cat of being home alone (maybe because creepers occasionally come to my door looking for the old renters.)

Have you ever lived with male roommates? Would you ever have a roommate after you're married?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

So You're Engaged...Planning Your Engagement Party

I'm back for a second week of: So You're Engaged, Now What?

Besides picking our date (which we didn't stick with anyway), planning our engagement party was the very first thing I did when we got engaged. I knew my bridesmaids, but Iman wasn't sure on the number of his groomsmen and I really didn't want the number to be uneven. #ocdproblems

Now, give me a party to throw and I'm you're girl. I can throw together an impromptu party within an hour (complete with food, guests and some sort of decoration or theme). I can also spend forever picking out the perfect theme and creating everything.

My family is a party family. When we have parties it's not a little dinky dinner party (that's like, my ultimate goal), but a full blown occasion. Let's just say our birthday parties were "small" if there were only 75 people there - hence why our wedding was so large.

Note, take more pictures than I did. I literally have NONE with family

I spent quite some time agonizing over our engagement party before deciding: simple is better.

At least for me, I'm not a crazy glitter person, though I love to throw those parties for other people.

When you decide to plan your engagement party the first thing you need to think about is: How simple do you want it and who do you want to invite?

For us, we really wanted to get all of our family together to meet each other, finally. We also wanted to invite some friends. We looked at our engagement party as a chance to celebrate with some people who may not make the wedding guest list because of our budget. Some people send out wedding announcements for this, but we prefer to tell you in person.

Tiffany was my first friend. We don't talk often but I'm so happy she made it to the party! 

While we kept it simple (I really don't think there were any decorations), we  got creative with the food. I had some Pinterest recipes I wanted to try. Of course, I was still making food when our first guests arrived...but that's pretty typical of a Mexican family so no one minded.

TIP: Carry around a notepad and get everyone's addresses.

We used word of mouth and social media to invite people to our engagement party, although looking back, it would have been awesome to make real invitations and thank you cards. That stuff can get expensive though, amiright?

Creating a custom stamp for our wedding would have saved so much money! Think about it, if you have one "Thank you" stamp with your initials, you can put it on every card - with a personal note of course. It creates a unified theme!

When Diva Gone Domestic contacted me for a giveaway I was ecstatic - but sad that I had missed the window of my own wedding. So I got a stamp for my WQ letters to test it out. They also offer custom address stamps - which I want so badly, but I have no idea if we will be moving in the next 9 months, and that would be such a waste!

Diva Gone Domestic was started by Tara and is a full design studio - including wedding invitations and graphic design. Currently, they're doing 25 days of giveaways - so head on over to their blog to find more giveaways!

These stamps are the popular vintage wood-handle stamps, which makes it so easy to use! You definitely want to kiss the paper, instead of stamping it super hard. A little bit goes a long way!

I received this product complimentary to review. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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