Remember Who You Are.

Hello beautiful people! Happy new month of October. Let’s make these last 3 months of 2020 count.

Today’s post I want to remind you of who you are, because sometimes you (and me) forget so I got you. The first thing you need to keep in mind at all times is who made you. That’s number one because you were made to be someone, do a certain thing, and have a purpose. God created each of us differently for a reason. Sometimes we may feel like following the crowd and “the world” is appealing, but it’s not. Not because someone else is doing something mean you have to go do it too. Remember who you are and what your purpose on this earth is to do. Once you figure out your purpose, everything else falls into place. Trust me. Also, read this past post for some extra help on discovering your purpose: Listen To God.

If you’ve ever felt like you have let yourself turn into something you never thought you’d be…

  • Write down the qualities you want to exhibit.
  • Take steps to changing the bad habits you have adopted.
  • Figure out why you’ve allowed yourself to get so deep in that bad mentality.

If you forgot why it’s important to be yourself and embrace who you are…

  • Make time to spend with people who appreciate, lift you up, encourage you, and know who you are.
  • Let go off excess baggage (people + things).
  • Remember to always do what’s best for you.

STYLE DEETS:

This pregnancy I’m all for comfort, chic style, street style and overall going with what I think is cute. I can’t conform to maternity clothes! Let me know in the comments if you loved the look!

Oversized shirt: Asos

Shoes: Ego Shoes

Denim-Oversized Baggy Fit: Topshop

Thanks for stopping by!

Bringing Joy With Hatch.

Wow! We’re winding down on the final days of September and I am in disbelief okay. Time is flying by and this pandemic/covid session has overstayed its’ time. However, I digress. We ought to focus on the better days ahead!

So! I’ve collaborated with HATCHgal, to bring you this beautiful floral summer to fall dress that can be worn to bring joy to mothers to be, during and after pregnancy. How beautiful is that right? As pregnancy goes, the changes comes and sometimes we may not feel our best, but I’m glad to have this beautiful addition to my fall wardrobe!

I normally hate maternity clothes (always have since pre-pregnancy), however this dress has changed my mind. I love how flows it is and how versatile it is as well. I can wear this with a turtle neck underneath or even with a knit sweater over it! I cannot wait until it gets really cold to layer!

Disclaimer/full disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all thoughts in my review are my own. This dress was gifted.

A Few Ways You Can Find Joy Everyday

Listen to your favorite song, while dancing around the house.

Learning to cook new meals (desserts + dinner meals).

Make self-care a part of your routine- consistently + intentionally.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel your best.

Shop at your favorite store + splurge at least once a month (needed).

Get out in nature, outdoors, get some fresh air!

Take photos, make videos, laugh more.

Count your blessing (write it down).

Make room for your dreams, passions, and goals.

Trust me, if you do atleast one of these things per day or week, you’ll be sure to add joy in your life!

Dress Details

The Yumi Dress// Pink Falling Bouquet from HATCHcollection.com

September.

Updates. Goals. What To Expect.

Hi guys, welcome back to Keeping Up With MJ! Today’s post is a bit loaded, so grab a snack + drink and let’s get into it, that’s if you’re interested in actually reading (some people love to skim). It’s a great post I promise!

Okay so quick life update if you don’t follow me on instagram, husbae & I are PREGNANT! Yes, we have been blessed to be future parents. It’s honestly an amazing feeling. I never would have imagined being pregnant during a pandemic, however it has been quite satisfying to see my belly go from flat to basketball size in months haha. I do miss seeing everyone, but I did enjoy the facetime calls to share the news. The reactions have been priceless! I’m also pretty excited because my baby will be the first great-grandchild for my maternal grandmother which is an honor!

The love and positivity we have been receiving from friends and family when told the news have been so overwhelming and heartwarming. I’m praying that we have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery! Keep us in your prayers as we venture on this new journey.

FAQs (well some that I remember)

  1. How did you guys find out?
  2. Did you guys plan to have a baby?
  3. Did you get morning sickness?
  4. How did husbae react to the news?
  5. How many months are you?
  6. Are you going to blog about your pregnancy?
  7. Do you have any cravings?
  8. Do you know the gender yet?
  9. Do you have a baby registry?
  10. How do you feel about everything?

So majority of these questions (and more) will be answered in my next youtube video. If you have questions you’ll want me to answer, leave them in the comment section! As for question #6, the answer is YES! I plan to blog about my experiences of being pregnant, the highs and lows. It’s such a complex and exciting topic, I want to be as intentional as possible about what I share with you all. Hopefully I help people who may want to get pregnant in the future!

You can check out our pregnancy reveal video below!

Current Feelings

As of right now, I feel great. I find myself staring at my stomach in the mirror a lot lately and I can’t keep my hands off! It’s crazy. All my photos now are with my hands on my belly, the typical pregnant woman pose I use to laugh at! Besides that, sleeping have been very uncomfortable. My mom bought me a maternity pillow, but that does not seem to help me sleep better every night. Some nights I sleep like a little baby, all cuddled up under my husbae and other nights I’m twitching and turning because I’m either too hot or too cold! The struggle is REAL. I use to sleep on my belly (favorite sleeping position), but now I can’t do that. It’s recommended to sleep on my left side (more recommended) or right side…and that’s not comfortable for me! My jeans don’t fit y’all. Literally ZERO of my jeans can button up. I’ve been wearing dresses majority of the time and pants I have with elastic waistnbands. I hate maternity clothes because it looks so “granny-ish”, but my sister been trying to wheel me into buying them. I told her the only way I’d wear it is if it’s cute and my style!

I started grad school. So far it’s been a challenge remembering to keep it in my schedule, but other than that my classes are cool. Yes, we have been getting homework already. Welcome to adult life! I’m just so excited to be in school again, although I actually hate being in school forreal haha.

Goals

Some goals for the month:

  • Create more content for my youtube channel
  • Create my pregnancy section on the blog
  • Read ahead for all my classes
  • Land more brand partnerships (+maternity brands)
  • Read more books (at least 2/3 for the month)
  • Home Decor/Start Baby Shopping Venture

What’s your goals for the month? Leave them in the comments!

What To Expect

What to expect this month? Blessings on blessings from God. And that’s on PERIODDD.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel and follow my socials to always keep up with me! xoxo MJ.

Don’t Cancel 2020 Just Yet!

“THIS PANDEMIC RUINED MY TRAVEL PLANS. I WAS SUPPOSED TO START MY BUSINESS THIS YEAR. I CAN’T HAVE A REAL GRADUATION ANYMORE. I DIDN’T GET TO CHECK EVERYTHING OFF MY BUCKET LIST. THIS SUMMER IS A SHAM. COVID RUINED MY YEAR.”

**Disclaimer: I know people barely read nowadays or appreciate blogs anymore, so thank you to the few of you who are taking time to read this. I hope it is helpful and beneficial to your growth!**

These are all complaints I have heard throughout the months, all up to this very day. I am guilty of some, however I have realized that this year does not have to be a total “Cancelation“, well not just yet. You can take back control of 2020 and still WIN & SUCCEED during this world pandemic we are experiencing. Want to know how? Keep reading, I got you.

BEFORE READING PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE STILL MORE WAYS FOR YOU TO REDEFINE AND TAKE BACK WHAT 2020 STOLE FROM YOU. KEEP IN MIND YOU HOLD THE KEYS TO THE REMAINING 4 MONTHS.

What can I do to take back control of 2020?

  1. Revisit your checklist or add to it.

Honestly this is better said than done, but it’s better when you’re actually doing it people. Revisiting your checklist can be beneficial because there are still some goals on your list worth completing. Example: I wanted to get back into school and complete my Master’s Degree, but I procrastinated and missed the deadline. Due to Covid-19/Pandemic Period my program was extended 3 months of ample time to apply. Guys, this is a program that is only offered in the Fall, so I would’ve had to wait a whole year to apply again. I mean, if this wasn’t a sign from God that good things can come from bad situations, I don’t know what was! Sometimes you have to just see the good in things even when it looks like it’s the end. So YES, when I advise you to revisit your goals and still check things off your list…I know what I’m talking about from experience!

2. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

(1) Do you have a business or want to start a business?

(2) Do you have a blog or want to start one?

(3) Do you want to grow on your social media accounts?

(4) Do you want to build your relationship with God?

(5) Do you want to start saving towards your future?

(6) Do you want to start a new job? A new school venture?

(7) Do you want to move into a new home or buy a home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to read this section. Okay y’all, setting reminders and making schedules can be time consuming and dreary, trust me I know! I’ve tried and gave up sometimes, but honestly it’s a step into the right direction. I know that planning efficiently produces the best outcomes, that is why I suggest you plan and jot down your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Whether it’s if you want to have 10 more followers by next month or $100 more dollars added to your savings account, set the goals and make it come to fruition.

Plan it out and watch it come into fruition!

-MJ

3. Do more of what brings your heart peace, joy and happiness.

What brings you absolute joy? I mean what makes you feel good inside when you do it, see it, or create it? Ask yourself this question and dwell on your response for a minute.

Take a minute.

Okay, I hope you were able to answer those two questions. With everything being on a somewhat standstill, this is really the time to just go for whatever it is you been wanting to try without thinking twice about it. You love creating things, do it. Turn it into a business. You love learning? Amazing, go get your education. You love writing? Cool, start a blog or write a book. Start at it. You have a talent you been hiding? Share it with the world. Create your own platform where your viewers can enjoy it. The possibilities are endless.

PRO TIP: GO FOR IT AND DO NOT TURN BACK. WE ARE TOO AFRAID OF BEING CRITIQUED OR BEING TOLD NO SOMETIMES. THE TIME IS NOW TO JUST GET OUT THERE (NOT LITERALLY OBVIOUSLY) BUT GET OUT THERE AND DO THAT THING YOU WANTED TO ALWAYS DO!

I really hope you take the leap in making your dreams come true, live better and goals checked off. Don’t beat yourself up, you got this! Thank you for reading. xoxo MJ.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL! NEW VIDEOS COMING. CLICK HERE!

Listen To God.

Hello my lovelies! Welcome back to #KUWMJ blog.

This year is a living testimony of “God is in control”. This pandemic has been going strong for months and yet still we still have no way of figuring out what’s next. Honestly, I have up trying. This year I promised myself that I would be intentional in everything that I do, create and put out into the world. With that being said, I purposely wanted to kill two birds with one stone in this post by shedding light on what it really means/take to listen to God and to highlight my tee shirt which was made by someone who is also intentional on making sure he spreads the message to you to “listen to God.

Listen To God?

To some it is gibberish to even say the words, more less believe them. To me, listening to God is more than thinking he said to do something and doing it. It means to be fully open to hearing and not at all times understanding what he’s telling you to do and just doing it without doubt. As I grow in years, I know now that the only way to hear God or know what he wants/expects of us is by reading the Bible, devotion, prayer and a relationship with him. If you’re not doing any of these, you won’t know what God wants of you. 

If God is always listening to us, why is it so hard for us to do the same for him in return? (I’m speaking to myself as well). It sometimes feel like we have all the time in the world to do the right thing or get our lives together, but in actuality we have ZERO TIME. Lives are lost everyday my loves. Are you willing to leave this world without being right with God?

I’ve put together some ways that we can all practice listening to God:

  • Keep a prayer journal- I had one of these and somehow neglected it. The benefits of it is to keep track of what you’ve prayed for and to see what God has already done for you.
  • Read your bible- This is non-negotiable if you’re serious.
  • Have a daily devotional
  • Ask God questions and wait for an answer- Sometimes God answers our prayers through other people. He also shows himself through different situations in our lives. PAY ATTENTION.

These are steps to take to grow your relationship with God, which in return strengthens the bond to the point where you’ll be able to listen when He speaks to you. I hope this post was helpful.

Be sure to check out @AntidoteMusiq on instagram to shop his “Listen To God” clothing! I love his message and his drive. Keep spreading positivity sir & I will always support your business!

Skirt: H&M | Sneakers: Nike

Hat: @ShopStCole on Instagram

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave one below! Thanks for stopping by! XO MJ.

Top Stores To Shop + How To Get Cash Back.

My name is Marikah and I’m a shopperholic. *Whew that felt good to admit haha*. Okay, I’m not alone because majority of the time I post a dope outfit or other accessories on my instagram stories, a bunch of you reach out to find out where I got it. So I decided to do a blog post giving you some deets on my favorite go-to stores to shop (some non-clothing related) and my secret to saving money even though I’m spending. If you’re interested in knowing that information, keep reading!

Top Stores To Shop [Online/In-store]

  1. ASOS. This is a big spill because Asos is my go-to store, especially since you can subscribe/pay for the two day shipping which comes in handy ever so often! Why wait 3-5 days when you can get your outfits in 2 days? Exactly. Another reason I absolutely love asos is because they have the most random sales. I’m a girl who love my discounts/sales so this is a PLUS. Nothing I love more than a little discount. Asos also has clothing fit for any occassion. This is something I appreciate a lot. So there you have it my three main reasons I love Asos. Here’s a few outfits I copped from Asos.

Yellow pleated dress, black scooped back bodysuit, pastel yellow dress and yellow suit.

2. SHEIN. Honestly, I slept on Shein back in the days. It’s actually a great online shore for finding dupes and style on a budget. It’s a hit or miss sometimes, but when you get a hit it’s a HIT. I bought all my swimwear for my honeymoon from Shein. One day I’ll show you guys those photos. Definitely check out the website.

3. ZARA. Everyone knows Zara has dope pieces. I choose wisely because so much people shop their now. The prices are pretty high, but the quality is great. I think because I worked their in the past it has made me more open to shopping there. I sure do miss the employee discounts though!

4. LEVIs. Top store for denim jeans. It’s pricey, but the quality is long lasting. You can go years without if you buy one or two pairs. In my book that’s a win. I usually buy my jeans when there’s a sale, but if I really want it bad, I’ll pay the full price.

5. ST.COLE [new addition]. You’re welcome in advance. Someone put me on and I won’t be stingy and not share it. I bought a dope hat from here recently and I’m patiently waiting to be notified of when the next ones I want come back in stock.

6. NORDSTOM RACK. Don’t sleep on them like me. My sisters love this store and I too now share their love for it. The best prices and all the everything you never knew you needed!

Okay more stores to check out, I’ll just list them:

7. HOME DEPOT. For your plant needs and wants! Check out my youtube video to see my plant video! Link HERE.

8. BEDSCAPE. For all your bed dreams and desires!

9. BELLOCQ. Great kitchen necessities and wants!

10. SUNGLASS SPOT. All the glasses and shades you NEED all at $5. You’re welcome!

11. GLOSSIER. All your skincare and makeup needs. Here’s a 10% off link on me!

12. BOOTAY BAG. Get your panties and bras delivered every month with your subscription of like $10-15 bucks! You’re welcome.

13. LULUS. Quality clothing, shoes, accessories.

14. FOREVER 21. DO. NOT. SLEEP. ON. THEM. That’s all. I got a fur coat from them last year and it will last me forever! Here’s a picture of me in it.

15. H&M. I recently started shopping here again and I’m satisfied with the outcome.

16. MANGO. LOVE LOVE LOVE MANGO. A bit pricey, but you can get lucky and catch a sale!

17. AMAZON. Guys, for all your needs amazon got you. Accessories, home goods, clothing, bedding you name it!!

18. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, a list of “black owned logos” curated by my friend Evelyn on her blog “Her Neck Of The Woods”! CLICK HERE to view.

That’s about all the stores I can remember for now. Any additional ones, I’ll come back and add it to this post.

How To Get Cash Back When You Shop

So I’ve been shopping and getting cash back whenever I do from certain stores. Want to know how? Easy. I signed up for Rakuten (known as beats before) to get a percentage of money back when I shop at qualifying stores.

INSTRUCTIONS TO EARN CASH BACK:

  • Sign up with your email using this link–> I WANT CASH BACK
  • Download the app on your phone or computer
  • Whenever you’re ready to shop type in the name of the store
  • Click the store, then your cash back will be activated
  • After your purchase check back the app and you’ll see the cash back in your account

I’ve been using this since 2018 earning cash back and here are my results! You will only receive the cash back when you’ve earned back more than $5 and in every three months.

Hopefully this helps! I definitely recommend that you sign up and get money back….YOUR money back when you shop. Think of it as a discount every time you shop! It’s amazing. Let me know if you have questions.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks so much for stopping by! XO MJ.

Is Growth Easily Obtainable?

Can you believe it’s May 2020 already? Time is indeed flying.

In today’s post I wanted to discuss a bit on the subject of growth. To me it’s a topic I’ll always be talking about because it’s something we can never stop doing (by choice you can). When I sit in my quiet space to write and fully reevaluate everything that is going on or I have been through, I think of the word growth every time. How did I grow from my past situation? Am I growing or am I stagnant in my ways? Am I practicing to have a growth mindset? These are just a few questions that comes to mind. Maybe you should ask yourself these questions also.

Is Growth Easily Obtainable?

I’m asking for a friend… No seriously, is growth easily obtainable? In my honest opinion, the answer is yes. The answer is yes, but there are some factors that comes with it. If you want to grow, it won’t happen overnight. Think about it, a plant doesn’t just grow in a day. Sometimes it takes a plant weeks before it sprouts out from beneath the dirt and months even to produce a new leaf. Growth is not something that is to be rushed. It happens overtime and when we take the steps to allow it, “growth” to sprout, it’s a beautiful thing.

3 Things About Growth You Do Not Want To Accept

  1. It happens when you least expect it.
  2. It may cause you to lose a friend or two…or ALL.
  3. It may not make you happy…during the process!

How you can obtain growth is to let it happen gradually. This is probably the only process we can just allow to do its thing in our life. That’s easier said than done because 99% of the time we want to see results FAST. I think that’s a normal human tendancy, however it’s not a good one to practice. Just as it is inevitable to stop the sun from rising and setting each day, it’s the same way it is inevitable for us to control our growth process. Controlling and obtaining, two different words. Don’t confuse them! We cannot control our growth, but we can obtain it.

How Can I Obtain Growth?

Ask yourself the question, “How can I obtain growth?”. That’s the first step in actually growing; when you seek help, knowledge or information. Next is figuring out some ways that will help you reach your goal, aka whatever area you are trying to grow or exceed in. For example, if you are trying to stop lying, you must first think of ways you can do that. How can I stop lying? Maybe I can tell the person what I am feeling in the moment as to why I lie. Or maybe you can figure out the exact reason you would rather lie than just tell the truth. It can be because of fear of losing something or someone, or it is just something you became accustom to. Was that clear? I hope so.

We grow when we accept things for what it is and try to do better. We grow when we understand that everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is there to benefit us. We grow when we take the initiative to be better people in general, not just for ourselves but for a wider audience. We grow when we allow God to take control of our lives.

Incorporating a growth mindset sets you apart from everyone else. It shows that you are willing and open to the betterment of your life. People who practice having a growth mindset embraces the challenges that come before them. They learn from their past and also from the criticism of others. They get inspired and jump for joy at the hands of success from others. This is what we must practice today.

So again I ask, is growth easily obtainable? Yes. Take the steps to grow better, glow better and flow better.

The steps are:

  • Seek help or information
  • Have a growth mindset, bring your thinking to a new level of where you want to be
  • Reflect + Understand what you may have done to get to that point
  • Make a plan/solution for exactly how you’re going to get there (wherever you want to be)

Thanks for stopping by! XO MJ.

My Denim Must Have List.

Today I wanted to share my favorite denim must haves with you. My thighs, my legs and my but LOVES these styles of denim and I’m pretty sure you guys will be able to relate.

Question:

What type of denim jeans do you favor the most for your body type?

If you’re unsure, that’s okay. It took me a while to figure out what denims were best for me until I started shopping for REAL by myself and getting to know what my personal style was. Check out my youtube video where I share in detail what denim jeans are must haves and maybe you might see one that you will fall in love with!

I share 10 pairs of denim jeans in this video! Please Subscribe!

3 Things T Keep In Mind When Shopping For Denim

  • Your Body Type
  • Color Of The Denim
  • What Type Of Denim You Want

If it’s one thing I’ve learned when choosing denim jeans now is to stick to what I know and love. One or two times I would try a new style to see if it adds some extra pizzazz to my body, but if not then that denim type is not for me! It’s so easy to see some cute jeans on someone else and then try to get them for yourself and it being such a fail! Guys, you know your body bette than anyone, so please choose accordingly! Also, there are so many different types of denim jeans to choose from so there must be a particular style you will fall in love with!

Different Basic Denim Styles:

  • Cropped
  • High Waist
  • Flare
  • Wide Leg
  • Skinny
  • Boot Cut
  • Low Waist
  • Ripped Hem

I hope this was helpful. Go watch the video for more deets! I love sharing these little style tips I’ve learned over the years. Is there anything in particular you guys want to see next? Leave it in the comments! Thanks for stopping by! XO MJ.

4 Years Later, Still Blogging.

Four years ago I started blogging and as I sit here and reflect on all I have learned, overcame, and accomplished I can only smile. By no means whatsoever do I consider myself to have reached the ‘ultimate blogger status’, because I am still learning new ways to grow and connect with my blog followers. If you are interested in becoming a blogger, I wrote a blog post with some tips to help you decide if it’s for you and what steps you should take first! The link to that post is right here: 5 Tips For Becoming A Blogger. I think every year I add under my belt one thing remains constant, and that thing I’m referring to is consistency. People will support you, but when they see that you are actually staying consistent in what you said you were going to do/or accomplish, it maes them more excited and intrigued to see what you have to offer.

It’s very easy to drown in this blogger/influencer pool. What I mean by that is, sometimes you feel like you are not putting out enough when you see bloggers with 10K followers and numerous partnerships with big time name brands. You begin to question what you’re doing wrong. That was my biggest downfall. I knew I could not belittle what I bring to the table by comparing my content with the bigger, more exposed bloggers. What I grew to understand was that everyone has a story of their journey and everyone has a time to shine. When I understood that, I began to flourish. Growing in numbers is not always gold, but growing and connecting is the GOAL. Recognizing that people love my content because they truly just knew my worth, allows me to reach that goal daily with no worries at all.

Honestly, four years went by so fast. I feel like I just launched my first blog post the other day. For those of you who want to know some things I advice from my own experience over the last 4 years, here they are:

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out the brands you absolutely love
  • Don’t let the number of followers you have determine your worth
  • Finding a niche is overrated, you can flourish and thrive in all the areas you love
  • Create content that sticks
  • Create content that is helpful
  • Create content that you know a lot of information on and it will benefit your audience
  • STEP OUT YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Here’s a list of blog posts I’ve created that can be helpful:

Some blogging tools I’ve been using:

  • Canva
  • UNUM
  • Lightroom
  • Instagram Analytics
  • Pinterest Analytics

I grew to know that it is important to look at your analytics to see your stats on whether your post did good, what time people are on to look at your posts, are they interacting and so on. I will definitely be doing another blog post where I discuss these things more in-depth with you guys.

Why am I still blogging?

Just in case you were wondering… I’m still blogging because I love it. It’s my platform, my space to create and share what I have to offer you. My goal this year is to become more engaged with my audience and reach more people from my platforms. One reason I started my youtube channel was to do just that. Reaching a bigger and different audience helps me get myself more out there. It is never easy starting on a new platform, out of your comfort zone, but what I have learned is that taking that leap is the scariest part. Everything after that is BETTER. If you have not checked out my youtube channel and subscribed, I encourage you to do so! I’m aiming to reach 500 subscribes before APRIL is over. Support me!

Subscribe to My Youtube Channel HERE!

As always, thank you for following me on my journey as a blogger. I hope this post was helpful and thanks so much for stopping by! See you on the next post! XO MJ!

The Wedding Party Favorites: The Little People.

My little squad

I think we can all agree that majority of the time, the little people get looked over. Future bride to be’s, choose them wisely and give the the attention, love and encouragement they deserve! It was really hard for me to choose (well not so hard haha) because I have so much of my kiddies that I hold near and dear to my heart, however a decision had to be made. Let me INTRODUCE my little squad!

  • FLOWERGIRLS: Mckenzie-Rae (My Mini Me), Kailin (My Babygirl), Makenzie (Duran’s Niece, who’s now my niece :) )
  • FLOWERBOY: Matthias (My Sis/Cousin Son)
  • RINGBEAR: Jai (Me & Duran’s Godson)

Flowergirls, flowerboy and ring bearer. I opt’d out of having a mini bride because I just did not see the need for one. I know a lot of you are wondering…a flower-BOY? Yes. A flowerboy. My little baby Matthias. I had to include him in my wedding somehow, so I decided that the best way was to have him walk down the aisle stunting with the flower girls (and he SHOWED OUT).

I mean, look at this face! The most adorable face. I call him “wild-child” because he’s so energetic. His momma will kill me when she reads this haha. When choosing each child who will be part of your wedding party, keep in mind if you don’t have a relationship with them, they would care less about what’s going on. If they know you, they’re more energetic, happy, excited and will give smiling faces like this for your photos! Key tip. Don’t just choose children to be fillers.

Remember They Are Just Kids…

And we know kids get shy right? My little niece as you can see was very shy, but it is understandable. A big crowd, strange faces, and then being the oldest she was suppose to walk alone so that’s A LOT! PRO TIP: Have practices regularly so that they get more comfortable with throwing the petals out the basket. I had practice with my little squad, but not everyone was able to make it, so that also ties in with the shyness.

My Jai Baby

Ringbearers are important people, probably the second most important! They walk in right before the bride to let everyone know that it is time for the bride to come in. My baby boy jai did such a great job. He was a bit serious because he was focus guys! His mother told me how excited he was to have this job and he took it 100% serious. I love him for that. How fly does he look though?

HOW BEAUTIFUL DO THEY LOOK!
Their dresses turned out to be so much more beautiful with it on them. I was literally in awe when I saw them.
Dress Details: BHLDN.com “Leandra Dress”
Pearl Headbands: Amazon
Pear Flower Baskets: Amazon
Shoes (not seen): I cannot remember, but when I do I’ll fill this in.

The wedding party (minus the parents…that post will come soon).

I loved my entire wedding squad, rather WE loved them all. They all played an important part in our special day. PRO TIP: Choose them wisely. Remember that the little people matter. Show love and appreciation to your squad. And most importantly just have a good time with them throughout your journey and on your wedding day! I hope this post was helpful!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! XO MJ.

5 Tips For Becoming A Blogger.

I contemplated a lot with what type of blog posts to put out during this time of ‘self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine & chill, working from home’ time period and what I thought to do was to write posts that will be somewhat helpful and posts that will bring some type of normality to what we all are facing right now. So today’s post I decided to share some helpful tips for people are interested in starting a blog.

I started blogging in April 2016 and I do not regret up to this day. When starting a blog there are things you need to think about before jumping into it.

FIRST, THINK ABOUT YOUR WHY FACTOR

NEXT, DECIDE ON A BLOG NAME/OR TITLE

  • Why do you want to be a blogger? This is a key question to ask yourself. If your number one response is to get “free stuff” then you are starting for the wrong reasons and you may not get very far. As a blogger, it means you have a responsibility to be truthful, vulnerable and relatable to your audience. Becoming a blogger for free items does not show that you fall into any of those three categories. So, think about why you want to be a blogger.
  • Do you have something valuable to offer others? Fashion, beauty, art, writing, etc. (some examples).
  • Do you want a platform to show your talents? Writing, teaching, DIYs, etc. Think long and hard about your reason and then move on to this next step.
  • What am I passionate about that I want to share with others? Cooking, fashion hacks, life tips, etc.
  • Think about the purpose of your blog, whether it’s for a hobby, business or a platform that is your own. This is important.

I thought this was the easiest part before I started, but in actuality guys, it’s the hardest part. It’s important to know what you want your blog title/name to be because you have to purchase your domain name (what people will type in to find you on the web). To make it easy, just think about who you are and what you want others to see when they hear your blog title/name or type in it on the web. That should do the trick! I chose “Keeping Up With MJ” because I wanted people to keep up with me and my adventures as a blogger. I wanted to get out my comfort zone and allow people to see my writing talents (at the time) and now everything else that I’ve added to my blog! 

THEN, DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE

AFTER, CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM

Keeping this part short and sweet, in my opinion, your niche is what you’re going to be focusing on. There are so many types of blogs out there and it is so important to make sure you don’t get “lost in the sauce” aka overwhelmed and undervalued. Figure out what your focus is. For me, I focus on writing (lifestyle, tips), fashion/style, beauty, and wedding. I evolved and expanded my niche over the years and I’m very much proud of it! You can and will be proud too once you figure out what your niche is!

You have to decide what blogging platform is best for you (and your pockets). When I started blogging, it was just a platform for my writing so I went with the free WordPress blogging platform. I didn’t know much at the time and I was just interested in getting myself out there. As I’m approaching 4 years next month, my thoughts and my content have evolved. I currently have WordPress Premium which allows me to do more, but I am thinking about switching to Squarespace later this year!

Some examples of blog platforms:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org
  • Blogger
  • Squarespace

LASTLY, CREATE CONTENT YOU LOVE

The most important tip to take away from this blog post, create what you love and keep it 100% YOU. It’s very easy to compare yourself to other bloggers, but remember that your audience love you and your work. The more authentic you are and real is the more they can relate and they will stick around. Add value to what you put out and it will show. When you add value to people’s lives, whether by educating them or entertaining them, they will keep coming back. Take time to plan out your blog posts and use your photos to tell your story (if that works for you).

I hope this post was helpful. In my next post, I will be sharing how you can build your social media presence (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.). I have some tips and tricks for you so make sure to tune in next time.

Stay updated by subscribing via email to my blog! Thanks for stopping by! XO MJ.

How To Stay Productive At Home.

Hi, my loves! How are you doing? As you know, I’m quarantined and I’m pretty sure you are too so by the title of this post you know what to expect. It is only day 3 and I had to get my life together and really figure out some ways to keep abreast it all. Things are definitely not normal, so in order to keep some normality in the air, I put together this post as a means of help for you guys and myself!

We all know to stay home is a dream come true, wake up when you want and some have the luxury to work from home. However, when you have no other choice but to stay home for your own safety it can get a bit frustrating.

I HAVE PUT TOGETHER A COUPLE WAYS YOU CAN STAY PRODUCTIVE AND BUSY WHILE STAYING AT HOME.

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  1. Make a schedule for yourself (and your kids/other families you take care of). Having a schedule can help you stay on track and it helps with holding yourself accountable for what you should be doing or should have done already.
  2. Make a list of things you need to complete. This one can be a bit flexible. Do you have work, like actually work to complete? If so, jot down what exactly needs to get done on that list. If you’re a blogger like me or a vlogger, making a list of what content you want to create fr the week (and weeks ahead) can be helpful and keep your audience still intact and in tune with what you have to offer. If you’re married or take care of someone at home, making a list of things that need to get done around the house can also take a weight off your shoulders and keep you organized.
  3. Make sure to keep your house clean. Everything just flows better when the home is clean, the sunlight shining in and it smells good. This didn’t have to be on the list, but as a bonus, someone may have needed to read that. Cleanliness is important for a clearer mind and a clearer space.
  4. Stay connected, virtually of course. I know, social distancing is full-effect, however, that doesn’t mean the phone does not work anymore. Call that friend you been meaning to call or family members and see how they are doing.
  5. Do something fun that you enjoy doing. Okay, this one has parts. Here are some things you can do. Some may be suitable more during this quarantine time, but all still work out.
  • Write in your journal (Think about some things you lost sight of, write down new ideas you may have, feelings, thoughts, just express yourself
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book that you love
  • Binge watch a tv show/watch a movie
  • Play board games
  • Play a puzzle game
  • Play a trivia game
  • Plan a movie night with your significant other/or family
  • Reorganize your room (any room you like)
  • Declutter your laptop (photos, videos, etc.)
  • Declutter your phone
  • Declutter your closet
  • Make a video (loosen up a bit)
  • Take a walk
  • Watch your favorite youtube videos (subscribe to my channel)
  • Check out your favorite bloggers’ website or vlogs

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6. TAKE A SELFCARE DAY

This includes taking the time to do something that brings you a bit of joy. Especially in a time of ‘panic’ like this, self-care activities can be helpful.

  • Give yourself a mini-pedi
  • Do some yoga or meditate
  • Read your favorite book
  • Eat your favorite comfort foods
  • Dress up (yes dress up if you want to)
  • Make some fun videos and post it
  • Relax, have a spa day at home (bubble baths)
  • Arts and craft

All of these and more can be super helpful in getting by at home during this quarantine. What are some other productive ways that may be helpful? List them in the comments.

Outfit details:

Jeans: Levi’s | Mules: Last season Zara mules or you can try Nordstrom | Basic cropped white tee: Uniqlo | Blazer: Husbae’s closet | Phone case bag: Urban Outfitters

Thanks for stopping by guys! XO MJ!

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