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    New Year, New Goals: My 2019 Blogging and Social Media Goals

    Hello 2019!

    I’m claiming this right now…2019 will be the year I take my blog and social media presence to the next level!  I have no idea how this will happen, but I’m stepping out on faith and trusting it will.  I am determined to CRUSH it and grow in all areas of my life this year.

    I’ve never been a big New Year’s Resolution person, but rather a goals oriented person.  I don’t think you should have to wait for a new year in order to make changes in your life.  If you know without a shadow of a doubt you want to make a change you just do it and figure out a way to get it done.  Am I right?  At any point in the year you can revisit your vision, habits, and goals, and set some intentions for what you want to improve.

    This year I’ve decided try something new and BOLDLY share my list of goals for my blog.  While I don’t really subscribe to making New Year’s Resolutions, I do I love using the New Year as an excuse to start a fresh with a new boost of energy and motivation.  I’m setting myself a lot of goals this year for work, my personal life and my personal development and I’m really excited to see where the year takes me!

    Here are my blogging goals for 2019 as they currently stand (in no particular order):

    • Grow my blog traffic to 20,000+ unique visitors a month (Blog Traffic/Followers)
    • Attend 2-3 blogging or book conferences or events for FREE that I don’t have to pay for
    • Be a guest on 4 podcasts (one podcast per quarter)
    • Launch an e-book (Topic to be determined)
    • Work on 1-2 Instagram social media takeover for major brands/companies
    • Provide more useful content to my audience (printables, worksheets, etc.)
    • Participate in more PAID/sponsored post/brand collaborations (Blog Monetization)
    • Sign up for and participate in additional affiliate programs (Blog Monetization)
    • Create an organized master content list filled with content ideas for blog and social posts (Content Creation/Organization)
    • Focus more on Pinterest to increase and drive more traffic to my blog
    • Incorporate more lifestyle, family and travel content into my blog and social posts (Content Creation/Organization)
    • Revive my newsletter and publish content more consistently for my subscribers (Content Creation/Organization)
    • Write blog posts at least 2-3 times per week (or more when my schedule permits) (Content Creation/Organization)
    • Reach 50,000+ Instagram followers (Blog Traffic/Followers)
    • Increase my Pinterest followers to 2,500+ (Blog Traffic/Followers)
    • Increase my Facebook followers to 2,000+ (Blog Traffic/Followers)
    • Increase my Twitter followers to 5,000+ (Blog Traffic/Followers)
    • Track ALL of my income and expenses so I’ll have a clear picture of how much my blog/social income was this year.
    • Connect with a small tribe of like-minded, goal oriented bloggers to share ideas with and support
    • Use a photographer for some of my photos

    I already have all of these goals (and more) written down in my 2019 journal, but sharing them somehow makes me feel even more committed to them.  Note: The goals listed here are just general goals I jotted down, but in my journal each goal is a S.M.A.R.T. goal with timelines/deadlines against each one.

    If you have a blog or are thinking of starting one this year, I hope this post inspires you to set some goals for yourself.  Go on, give it a try.  Write down your goals somewhere where you’ll see them regularly, for example on your blog notebook or on a memo board in your office. Seeing goals regularly and thinking about them often, will help you stay on top of them.  Cheers to a fantastic and productive 2019!

    Your turn: Do you write all of your goals down at the start of a new year and reflect on them throughout the year?  Feel free to share in the comments.


    blog updates, family fun

    Doc McStuffins Gets a Sibling through Adoption!

    It’s a girl for the McStuffins family!  Her name is Maya Alana McStuffins and she’s adorable!  Doc McStuffins hand picked baby Maya’s first stuffed toy, a koala named Lala.  Lala actually chose Maya’s first name and the middle name was chosen by the baby’s birth mother.  Congratulations on the new addition McStuffins family!

    Get the new book: Doc McStuffins a Baby Doll for Doc, the perfect addition to your children’s home library, especially if you have an adopted baby that is now a part of your forever family.

    Mom and Dad have some exciting news. They’re adopting a baby, and the McStuffinses will be its forever family! Doc gets a new doll so she can practice being a good babysitter. With pull tabs, flaps, and touch-and-feel elements, this adorable book allows kids to get in on the babysitting fun with Doc and her toy friends.

    When the news broke on Twitter a few days ago that Doc McStuffins was getting a new sibling, the kids and I couldn’t be more excited!  Yes, Doc McStuffins is a big deal in our house – we love Doc, Lambie, and the whole gang!

    Doc McStuffins AdoptionDoc McStuffins will become a big sister again, this time through the miracle of adoption!  On Friday, March 4, Disney Junior will kick off a month long series of Doc McStuffins episodes about adoption.  They will tackle topics like how to burp a baby and change dirty diapers to emotional insecurities siblings may face when a new baby or child joins the family.

    I can’t help but wonder, what will the new baby McStuffins name be?  Will it be a boy or a girl?  We look forward to finding out!  4/1/2016 Update:  It’s a girl and her name is Maya Alana McStuffins!


    Doc McStuffins is an animated children’s television series produced by Brown Bag Films. It was created and executive produced by Chris Nee and premiered on March 23, 2012 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. The series is about a girl who can “fix” toys, with help from her toy friends.  The series receives positive reviews due to the show’s concept and the main character, as well as its portrayal of African-Americans. (Source: Wikipedia)

    The new episodes will premiere each week, beginning on March 4th and continuing through April 1st on Fridays at 8am EST on the Disney Channel.  I know I’ll be setting up my DVR to record these episodes!  Will you?

    Check out the full episode schedule below (all episodes will air at 8:00 a.m. EST on Disney Channel):

    “Baby McStuffins” – Mom and Dad announce that they are adopting a baby and give Doc a new baby doll to practice her babysitting skills.

    “Runaway Love” – Doc’s little brother Donny worries that the arrival of the new baby will take attention away from him so he hatches a plan to run away. Meanwhile, Doc is so busy helping her parents prepare for the new baby that Lambie also starts to feel left out.

    “Hooty’s Duty” – When Doc realizes that the arrival of a new baby means a new group of baby toys will also be coming home, she seeks to put one of her own toys in charge of them, and Professor Hootsburgh proudly volunteers for the job.

    “Bringing Home Baby” – The baby’s gender will be revealed during this special 22-minute episode. Mom and Dad get the call that the new baby is on the way, so Grandma McStuffins arrives to take care of Doc and Donny. Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Dawnn Lewis (“A Different World”) guest stars in the new recurring role of Grandma McStuffins.

    “Baby Names/Night Night, Lala” – The McStuffins family comes up with the name for the baby and baby’s new toy, Lala, has a hard time adjusting to her new environment.


    Your turn: Are you as excited about this news as we are?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    blog updates

    What Is Your Word for 2016?

    I cannot believe today is the last day of 2015!  Where did the year go, seriously?  This morning I spent some time writing down my goals and dreams for the new year ahead in my new journal.  I also chose two words to help me focus and realize my goals.  I chose two words because it was really hard for me to narrow it down to just one.


    If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I posted my favorite adult book of 2015 a few days ago.  I chose The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  In this book, the author suggests you should only be surrounded by things that spark joy in your heart.  Therefore, the first word I’ve chosen for 2016 is joy.

    I want to create more joy daily in all areas of my life.  I’m only going to focus on each day one day at a time and those things that bring me joy right that very moment. Because I don’t know how my life will be a day from now, 30 days from now or even 5 or 10 years into the future.

    But I do know that waking up an hour earlier helps me prepare better for the day ahead. I do know that when I force myself to exercise before work I’m more productive.  I do know how I love seeing the look on my kids’ faces when they learn something new or accomplish something on their own.  I do know how much I love having clean and organized spaces.  I do know that I love to eat delicious food.  I do know that I love technology (most of the time), writing code, and solving problems.  I do know that when I put my phone away at home I’m more focused, less distracted, more present to enjoy my husband, our home, and the kids.  I do know that reading, writing, and blogging bring me joy.  I do know how beautiful I feel when I let my skin breathe, free from the make-up, free from the grime. I do know that I love discovering and learning new things.  I do know that smiling at strangers and giving to others has never made me feel worse, only better.

    I do know most of the things that bring me joy, but I’m sure there are others have have yet to be discovered.  So I’m hoping those things will be revealed to me next year.  Also, for 2016, I’m letting go of wondering when the joy of “success” will make it’s way to me or when it’ll be “my turn” to have or do certain things.  Because there’s no joy in wondering.  There’s no joy in trying to figure out the who, the when, the why and the how.

    Really, the only joy is in the now. And that’s where I choose to be.

    I understand and acknowledge I’ve already had much success in many areas of my life, but I have other hopes and dreams that have yet to be realized.  I have faith they will come to pass, but I’m simply letting go and allowing them to happen in their due season (still keeping them on my list of dreams and goals though).

    The other word I chose is reach.

    Next year I want to reach above what I know I’m capable of, beyond even what I think I might be capable of and create some AMAZING things.  I also want to reach out to others more – build networks, create genuine, meaningful and lasting relationships both online and in-person.  I want to reach more people via my blog and social media.  I want to reach for my goals and actually achieve them – not just set them on January 1st and forget about them.  I want to reach above and beyond at work and not just be average or mediocre.  Simply put, I want to reach and stretch myself in all areas of my life knowing what my limitations are so I won’t get burned out.

    Cheers to an epic 2016!  Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year.  See you in 2016!

    Your turn:  What is your word(s) for the new year?  What are you most looking forward to?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    blog updates

    Hello, December!

    I’m back!

    I decided to take a mini break from blogging to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.  I fully intended to post at least twice last week, but I was wrapped up in a couple of other projects which left little time for me to commit to blogging.

    So, what’s new with us?

    Well, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve likely seen our book advent countdown to Christmas.  At the end of November I took pictures of 25 different holiday/winter related books to read to the kids each night leading up to Christmas day.  On November 30th I wrapped up all the books and the kids have really been enjoying opening one book every day to read during story time.  We have a great selection of holiday books (something for everyone) in our book countdown so be sure to check us out on “the gram” (Instagram) if you’re interested.

    I’m also gearing up for 2016 and trying to finish up a few outstanding tasks and projects I still have on my plate including book reviews.  Therefore, if you see me bombarding you with book reviews over the next few weeks you’ll know why.  Also be on the look out for my 2015 holiday gift guide where I’ll be featuring literacy-related items including subscription boxes, books, and more.

    Also, I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking another mini blogging break at the end of this month to spend time with my family during the holidays.  Being surrounded by family, friends and loved ones is what it’s all about, right?

    Ok, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with another new post.  Stay tuned!

    blog updates

    My First Guest Blog Post!

    I’m excited to share my first ever guest blog post with you!

    Head on over to the Empowering Black Girls Website to read my article entitled ‘11 Empowering Picture Books for Young Black Girls‘.  The website is new and still evolving so please bear that in mind.



    blog updates

    We’re Moving!

    Exciting news….we’re moving!

    No, we’re not selling our house and moving out of the state (not yet anyway).  We’re moving off of Blogger and on to our own public domain.  Why?  Because it was one of goals for this blog in 2015.

    I wanted to put this post out before the move happens so you can have a heads up in order to update any bookmarks you may have saved to this blog.

    Our new website url will be so if you are trying to find our blog check there as this one is going away in early July.

    In addition to this exciting news, I have two other “secrets” I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks.  P.S. They are both related to the blog.

    Stay Tuned!


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