Archives for October 2012

brands & bloggers: my advice

When I created my blog, I never ever knew there was a business behind it.  I simply desired to write and share what was my life and loves, in hopes to connect with other women and moms out there.
Crazily, within weeks I was being sent pitch after pitch offering me products and opportunities, if only I’d share about them with my readers.

At first, I got caught up in the “What?!? Free awesome stuff???  Yes please!!!”  And I started reviewing water filters, shampoos, and other random items for FREE.  And suddenly I had so much “stuff” and so many reviews to write, that the lure of it all became less appealing.

Thankfully with time, I have learned so much about this blogging world and how it really all works behind the scenes.
(okay, well kind of.)
(actually, I only know what Mama Kat teaches me when we get together.)

photobooth1

And while I may not be the expert of all things blogging, I do know as a writer and as an “influencer,” how I want to work with brands.  And especially how I want brands to work with me.

So if I had a chance to give brands advice on how to work with bloggers, here’s what I would offer:
(Just one moment, while I grab my soap box…)

#1: Know who you are working with.  My name?  It’s Summer.  Not blogger.  Not Blog.  Not even Le Musings.  It’s Summer.  And I get super happy when I hear people use my actual name, so know you can get much further with me by doing that.

#2: Know my brand.  I am a lifestyle blog.  Sometimes I blog about fashion.  Sometimes beauty.  Sometimes parenting, and sometimes about my personal life.  For example, I do NOT blog about loving to cook and especially not on how to grow male body parts in 15 minutes…  If I’m going to take on a project with a brand, it’s because I LOVE what it is or what it’s about, and I can’t wait to share it with my readers who I know will likely feel the same way.

#3:  Know my readers, because they are like my best friends.  Without them, I wouldn’t have anyone to share your products with.  Plus, they’re kind of amazing and totally worth getting to know.

#4:  Value my time and realize that blogging is more than a hobby.  I am passionate about what I do, so much so, that I take time and effort to make it the best it can be.  And that includes whatever I do when working with you.  Promise.

#5:  Stick around.  Relationships only getting better with time, and if things go well in the beginning, a beautiful bond has potential to grow.  There are many brands I have such a love and loyalty to because of how well we’ve worked together AS well as I love their products.
If you’re a brand looking to work with online influencers, learn more about BlogFrog’s Brand Solutions here.
As a part of the BlogFrog Influencer Circle, I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love.  If you’re a blogger interested in new opportunities, join BlogFrog’s Influencer Circle and check out some of the top brands already working with BlogFrog.
Now, I’m curious. What do you love most about blogs and blogging?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogFrog
The opinions and text are all mine.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

brands & bloggers: my advice

When I created my blog, I never ever knew there was a business behind it.  I simply desired to write and share what was my life and loves, in hopes to connect with other women and moms out there.
Crazily, within weeks I was being sent pitch after pitch offering me products and opportunities, if only I’d share about them with my readers.
At first, I got caught up in the “What?!? Free awesome stuff???  Yes please!!!”  And I started reviewing water filters, shampoos, and other random items for FREE.  And suddenly I had so much “stuff” and so many reviews to write, that the lure of it all became less appealing.
Thankfully with time, I have learned so much about this blogging world and how it really all works behind the scenes.
(okay, well kind of.)
(actually, I only know what Mama Kat teaches me when we get together.)

photobooth1
And while I may not be the expert of all things blogging, I do know as a writer and as an “influencer,” how I want to work with brands.  And especially how I want brands to work with me.
So if I had a chance to give brands advice on how to work with bloggers, here’s what I would offer:
(Just one moment, while I grab my soap box…)
#1: Know who you are working with.  My name?  It’s Summer.  Not blogger.  Not Blog.  Not even Le Musings.  It’s Summer.  And I get super happy when I hear people use my actual name, so know you can get much further with me by doing that.
#2: Know my brand.  I am a lifestyle blog.  Sometimes I blog about fashion.  Sometimes beauty.  Sometimes parenting, and sometimes about my personal life.  For example, I do NOT blog about loving to cook and especially not on how to grow male body parts in 15 minutes…  If I’m going to take on a project with a brand, it’s because I LOVE what it is or what it’s about, and I can’t wait to share it with my readers who I know will likely feel the same way.
#3:  Know my readers, because they are like my best friends.  Without them, I wouldn’t have anyone to share your products with.  Plus, they’re kind of amazing and totally worth getting to know.
#4:  Value my time and realize that blogging is more than a hobby.  I am passionate about what I do, so much so, that I take time and effort to make it the best it can be.  And that includes whatever I do when working with you.  Promise.
#5:  Stick around.  Relationships only getting better with time, and if things go well in the beginning, a beautiful bond has potential to grow.  There are many brands I have such a love and loyalty to because of how well we’ve worked together AS well as I love their products.
If you’re a brand looking to work with online influencers, learn more about BlogFrog’s Brand Solutions here.
As a part of the BlogFrog Influencer Circle, I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love.  If you’re a blogger interested in new opportunities, join BlogFrog’s Influencer Circle and check out some of the top brands already working with BlogFrog.
Now, I’m curious. What do you love most about blogs and blogging?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogFrog.
The opinions and text are all mine.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

old hollywood glam look out and about

A trend I’m slightly in love with this fall is the Old Hollywood
Glamour look. I love it in fashion, in home decor, hair and of
course makeup styles. (remember the Mary Kay tutorial I did
recently?)
redlips

This is when I wore a version of that look (before I went dark) one
night out with my man. It’s such an easy look to pull together by
just using neutral shades on the eyes and pairing that with a bold
red lip. It’s totally chic & sophisticated, yet still muy caliente.
(since I teach Zumba now, I get to throw out Spanish words here
and there)
Also? I’ve been kind of pinning like a mad women other versions
of this style in all areas on my Pinterest page.
Like I said. Slightly obsessed.
What about you guys? What fall trends are you pinning away?
If you want to see more makeover looks check out the Mary Kay®
Hollywood Dreams Makeover Contest.
When was the last time you checked out Mary Kay?
Visit marykay.com/whatsnew to find your new look for Fall.
To get a look like mine, and purchase the products I used, contact
your Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant or connect with
one at marykay.com.
Ten of my lucky readers will receive a Mary Kay® NouriShine
Plus™ Lip Gloss in Rock ‘n’ Red(ARV $14) and a Mary Kay®
Lash Love® Mascara, I ♥ black (ARV $15) gift set from Mary
Kay just for telling me your beauty must-have’s this fall! Reply
below to let me know!
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

old hollywood glam look: out and about

A trend I’m slightly in love with this fall is the Old Hollywood
Glamour look. I love it in fashion, in home decor, hair and of
course makeup styles. (remember the Mary Kay tutorial I did
recently?)

redlips

This is when I wore a version of that look (before I went dark) one
night out with my man. It’s such an easy look to pull together by
just using neutral shades on the eyes and pairing that with a bold
red lip. It’s totally chic & sophisticated, yet still muy caliente.
(since I teach Zumba now, I get to throw out Spanish words here
and there)
Also? I’ve been kind of pinning like a mad women other versions
of this style in all areas on my Pinterest page.
Like I said. Slightly obsessed.
What about you guys? What fall trends are you pinning away?
If you want to see more makeover looks check out the Mary Kay®
Hollywood Dreams Makeover Contest.
When was the last time you checked out Mary Kay?
Visit marykay.com/whatsnew to find your new look for Fall.
To get a look like mine, and purchase the products I used, contact
your Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant or connect with
one at marykay.com.
Ten of my lucky readers will receive a Mary Kay® NouriShine
Plus™ Lip Gloss in Rock ‘n’ Red(ARV $14) and a Mary Kay®
Lash Love® Mascara, I ♥ black (ARV $15) gift set from Mary
Kay just for telling me your beauty must-have’s this fall! Reply
below to let me know!

 

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

friday favorites

What a crazy week….
But, after my truths post, hopefully you can see why my writing has been MIA here lately.
BUT, the good news:
Escrow is closing and we found a new house that we get to move in to in two weeks.  
You have NO idea how excited I am to decorate a new home.  
In fact, I kind of think that may be why I like to move so much….
Okay, moving on.  
Here’s some of my favorite posts the last two weeks, enjoy them this weekend!
How to start a homeschool routine (Hodgepodge):  A little over a month into homeschooling, I am just barely figuring out what the heck I’m doing.  I’m not a big routine follower, but I realize we do need to something set up.  And now I’m inspired. 
Why I am dropping the business side of blogging (Frugal Mama):  I especially loved her honesty in light of my own post last week on how I’ve decided to handle my writing from here on.  When someone opens up and bares the truth, I can’t begin to explain how refreshing that is to me.
Did you see this Jason Russell interview with Oprah?  It made my heart very sad for him and his family, but gave me incredible hope and joy that God is truly a God of miracles.

Also, make sure you check out my latest YouTube video on my favorite healthy products

Two weeks to catch up on!  How did I miss it last week???
We talked about…
~ Getting your kids to try new things (help me with the food stuff!!!)
~ Embarrassing mom moments (boobs and bras)
~~~~~~~
This weekend I’m being pampered and spoiled by my sweet friend Karin as we celebrate her new blog launch, Trophy Mom Diaries!
Pictures to come!!!
Have a good one guys!
xoxo
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

the truth is…

The truth is…
{what my last few weeks have taught me}

~ I’m not being so Rocky about my workouts and eating after all.  It seems there is something about my mid 30’s that has taken all my willpower out of me.  And now I have more weight to lose yet I don’t want to diet because I like to eat.  It’s just that my insecurities are out of control which cause me to cry….A LOT…and it’s time to figure out how to get my healthy back and stay there.

~ I cry A LOT the week before my period.  To those of you who had to witness that, I’m sorry.  But thank you deep from my soul for listening.

~ I love love love homeschooling.  But, maybe that’s because I have no idea what the heck I’m doing most of the time.  But my family is closer.  My kids are more affectionate.  My husband is even more my best friend than he’s ever been.

~ I sometimes think I may have made a mistake in homeschooling.  What if he ends up not being as smart as he could be?  What if I start yelling more and more?  What if, what if, what if???

~ We are two weeks into escrow of selling my cute little dream house.  I love this house.  But we realized we aren’t cut out to be home owners at this point in our life.  I’m excited for the change but will miss the memories and growth we experienced in our little “tree house.”

~ Even though we’re two weeks into escrow, we don’t know for sure where we will be living in two and a half weeks.  We haven’t even packed.  I will be moving in two and a half weeks, maybe, and I don’t even know where.  We have a place we love, but now we wait while they decide which family they love most.  My heart may break if they don’t choose us.  I wish I knew that we had them at “hello.”  Maybe I should bring flowers?  Okay, no.  I do know enough to realize that is borderline stalking.  It’s okay, living in our car won’t be so bad.  On the bright side, we’ll save a TON of money.

~ I’m in this awesome (ongoing) place of finding out more about myself.  I am seeing things more clearly.  I’m even understanding friends and friendships with a fresh perspective.  It’s comforting and a little sad, but something I needed to grasp.  But, it’s incredible because my eyes and heart are now open to those I know are true.  Faults and all, they are true.

~ My whole life is changing.  There is incredible stress.  But I am not panicking. There is NO anxiety.  And I realize, at last, there has been healing.  Thank you sweet Jesus, for healing.

~ Finally, I keep going back to these words, “…living a surrendered life…” spoken by an incredible woman I call Mama Gayle.  I want to live those words.  Without even trying.

What are your truths?

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

friday favorites: my vitacost haul & healthy stuff

Okay, so this is my latest haul from Vitacost which includes: food, beauty, skin care and more!
Plus I’ll show you HOW TO SHOP there AND MAKE MONEY BACK!

Here’s the link that explains how to sign up with ebates & extrabux and how to shop through them.
I promise, it’s totally easy and it totally works!!!  I got my sister and her husband all kinds of excited about it, and now they even buy airfare through them!

{P.S. At the moment, shopping at Vitacost through Extrabux gets you 8% cash back immediately!}

Cha ching!

But be sure to always check both Ebates & Extrabux before shopping through them because sometimes one offers more back than the other.  And it will often switch.

Use these links below to get your bonus sign up money!

Vitacost

Ebates

Extrabux

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!!!
I’ll be posting more, and even trying to vlog often with Jimmy and the kids.
I even had a few people request a Q&A with me & Jimmy.
So send questions we can answer!!!

Got other ideas or questions?
summer@lemusingsofmoi.com

Love ya guys!
xoxo

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

nobody knows me

I’ve been blogging for five years.
Weekly, I make an effort to sit and write and share my heart, thoughts and life.

In the five years of writing, many other bloggers I know have made it.
There have been book deals.
Contracts with big name brands.
An income to replace a full time job.
I mean, they are all kind of a big deal.
People know their names.
And they have many leather bound books.
{anchorman.}

And while I’m not there so much, I feel proud of where I’ve come, especially in light of how I began.
I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to share my voice on the Mommalogues, on SheKnows Love & Marriage, allParenting and even RooMag with my sweet friend Candace and other incredible christian writers.

But the truth is, when I attend blog conferences…nobody knows who I am.

P1020484

And it’s okay, because my journey seems to be so different than so many others.

I will likely never be where they are.
I don’t know even how to use Google Analytics.
I don’t know by heart how many Facebook or Twitter followers I have.
I barely just learned HOW to use Twitter correctly for that matter.  (is tweetdeck still the thing?)
And as soon as I figured out Feedburner (a month ago), I am now hearing rumors that it’s shutting down.

I’m trying to create a media kit, but find myself so confused as to what numbers I need to give or even what they mean….and so I save it half finished for another day.

I go through waves of feeling like I must keep up….I must learn it all.
I must go to every conference!
And then make sure every one I meet knows my name and my “brand.”

I think that I better get a logo created, comment more and market more and reach out more and know more terms that bloggers use, and tweet more and twitter party more, and and and….

And my brain sizzles out.

I’ve never been good at sales.
And it’s totally the same with my blog.

I want people to read and hang out and I want to get to know everyone who comes here.
I want to know how we’re alike and different, and share our stories and feel less alone in all of this.

But my sales tactic is more like this:

Oh so you want some of this, Yay!  Read every day!  Comment lots so we can get to know each other! Subscribe!  Because you know, that’s what bloggers and YouTubers say is super important.  But mostly, please just read.  And love me.

No?  Oh, okay.  Ya, that’s totally cool, I mean if it’s not your thing, no worries…. You don’t like to comment?  You don’t like brown hair?  Totally get it….it’s okay…no really, it’s okay.  No pressure.

I guess I’ve just come to the place where I’m letting all that go more and more.
The needing to do it all to succeed.

I realize there is some work behind writing and blogging and creating community.
I’m willing to do that work.

But my greatest love is writing, not being popular.
My love is creating a place where people feel less alone in what they’re dealing with, even if the only person experiencing that…
is me.

So forgive me if I don’t do it like the rest.
I guess that’s just me.

I don’t fit a mold.
I never have.
I have just always felt safer sitting on the outside

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And I hope you’ll visit me here…and if not…

…that’s cool.
Totally get it.

P1020448

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!