Okay. How is January over already?! The first month of the year is already under our belts, but I hope it's been a good one for you so far. A new year brings so many new opportunities and experiences, and so does each month!

January brought many challenges, but it also brought many new opportunities, and I'm excited to crush my goals again in February! As far as a mini life update, I'll share that towards the end. Fair warning, it's real talk. I'm sharing my heart and I'm opening up to a lot of things I've kept hidden from my blog life.

January Goals Revisited //

Personal Goals

One // Clear out the spare closet

Check! I actually just packed up all of the clothes that I'll be getting rid of in a huge bin and it's all ready to get out the door!

Two // Read one book

Okay, I am actually the worst with reading. I didn't even pick up a book last month. Definitely gotta try harder in February.

Blogging Goals

One // Pre-write blog posts

YAS! I've been doing this and it's helped so much. Whenever I feel inspired to write, I write as many as I can and have posts written weeks in advance! I have my posts planned out all the way through the end of February already and a few into March!

Two // Stop focusing on numbers

No joke this has changed the game for me. Of course I'm still going to look into my analytics, I am running a business after all, but I'm not obsessing over them and driving myself crazy. I'm using my numbers to help me grow versus getting discouraged over them.

Three // Plan out photoshoot sessions

This has helped so much this past month. I met up with Summer to shoot and planned out weekends strategically to have time set aside for shoots with Christopher. Planning out a shot list is definitely a time saver!

All in all, January was a really great month for me. I learned a lot, I tried many new strategies, and my blog is growing like crazy. I'm just gonna go ahead and pat myself on the back now. 😂  But in all seriousness, January was a great start to the new year! Now it's time to kick it into high gear during February.

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February Goals // 

Personal Goals

One // Pay down $1,000 in debt

We still have a few thousand left to pay off from our wedding and of course we have crippling student loans. I'd love to focus $1,000 of this month's income on paying down some debt. I know it will help us in the long run--especially since we *fingers crossed* will be moving in a few months.

Two // Secure a place to live

So we have to move out of the apartment we are in now. It's gotten horrible over the past few months. They've let many people move in that should not have been accepted to live here, and it's just turned our "luxury" neighborhood into garbage. I'm talking screaming at 2:00 AM, playing drums under our bedroom at 2:30 AM...the list goes on and on, but I can't take it anymore! My goal is to secure a place to live, whether it be a home or another apartment.

Blogging Goals

One // Grow my New Facebook Group

In January, I started a group called Cultivating Instagram Engagement for Bloggers. If you're looking to grow your Instagram following, engage with new people, and be part of of genuine community, I'd love for you to join! Join here >>> Cultivating Instagram Engagement for Bloggers

Two // Continue organically growing on Instagram

During January, I tried something new. I interacted more with accounts I was following and made a ton of new blogging friends by interacting and following those I wasn't following. I stopped caring about a follower to following ratio, and if I genuinely liked someone's account, I followed them with no questions asked. I may or may not have a post in the works about my organic strategy, because I gained a record amount of followers in just 30 days! 😉

Follow along with me on Instagram here!

Three // Focus on increasing Pinterest engagement & monthly viewers

As a blogger, Pinterest is super important. Pinterest alone drives over 30k+ new viewers to my blog each month and they're sticking around too, because they read 2+ blog posts each time they visit! I want to continue to dive in and focus on growing my Pinterest monthly viewers, because I am so close to hitting the pageview goal I've set for myself!

Mini Life Update //

As you can tell from my goals, my blog life has been going really well! I am so happy with where I am in the blogging world, since I've only been blogging full-time since last February. But unfortunately, the income isn't where it needs to be right now, and I know a lot of other bloggers are feeling the same. Okay fair warning, prep for word vomit and tons of vulnerability, it's time for #realtalk.

Related Reading: Why I Quit My Job Without Having Another

I've been feeling all kinds of emotions the past few months from sadness, anger, and I've been feeling useless. I'm sad because I put so much time (50+ hours a week!), effort, and passion behind what I do, and I feel like it's not paying out. I'm angry at myself, because I gave up a steady income, yes to pursue my dreams, but gosh, it's scary! Essentially, we'd be in a house already, student loans would be paid way down, and maybe we actually would have had enough money to go on a freaking honeymoon. Was it all worth it? I hope so.

Now sadly, I feel useless and I hate to even admit this, but I do--I'm just being real with you (obviously). Sometimes I feel useless in the blog world, because do people even care about what I'm writing about?! Honestly, how many people are going to read this last paragraph? If you are, you're the real MVP, but gosh, I hate this feeling. I also feel useless, because my income means nothing to lenders since I am self-employed. Chris and I really need a new place to live (due to the reasons I explained above & more so in my personal goals), and we were hoping to buy a house within the next 1-2 months, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen, and so I'm preparing for the worst.

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I feel at fault here for a lot of the personal opportunities that Chris and I have had to give up the past year, and I don't want to feel that way anymore. If you've been following along on the blog for the past year, you know that I've been looking for a part-time job for a while now--something to fill in the gap and to have an income that counts to the world. It's been an entire year of looking with no luck and I feel so defeated. Within the past month, I've applied to several places and I'm mentally preparing myself to re-enter the workforce, but nothing ever seems right. I have a really great opportunity on the horizon, and I pray that a) it works out or b) something good comes from it.

To answer a question that might be at the back of your mind, no I won't be giving up blogging. I've worked far too hard to get to where I am today. I'm just accepting the fact that I need to take more responsibility, because my actions and decisions affect more than just me now. Chris has been more than supportive every step of the way, and for that, I'll be forever grateful, but I want to work harder to show him that I appreciate all of his support and encouragement this past year.

So, in saying all of that, if you could keep me in your prayers, especially in the next few weeks as they are crucial to this entire process. I know God has an amazing plan and that everything will work itself out, but man is He cutting it close this time!

I love you all & thanks for hearing my heart.


  1. Thena Reading-Franssenlast monthMarch 15, 2018

    Great read, and awesome post. Really enjoyed starting off my day with this. <3

  2. The Sydney GirlMarch 15, 2018

    Absolutely lovely. God has a wonderful plan for you <3 keep your trust in Him and place your worry in His hands.

    The last few years at work has been incredibly difficult for me. Work has been increasingly stressful. I'm paying off an apartment in Sydney, and can't really leave my job unless I have enough money to pay my expenses. But I have a plan, and I'm very excited about it. God has shown me the way.

    I admire the fact that you have come so far in blogging, and remain committed to your passion. I aspire to do the same.

    Praying for you lovely!

    Joelyne xo

  3. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. It helps to know that others feel these emotions even if its not for the same reasons. Praying for you!

  4. Girl yes. I know the self-employment income not counting towards a house income so I'm working to get a second job (third technically bc I have my biz and my blog) so that I have some "real income" in lenders eyes. You'll get through this. <3

  5. Kelsie KleinmeyerMarch 15, 2018

    God certainly has a plan. I love that you're in it to win it with your hubby! I also love that your goals are attainable and you don't have SO many that they are overwhelming. You got this!

  6. Jasmine MariaMarch 15, 2018

    Going to be honest with you, I too quit my full time job to pursue blogging. I didn't start making a steady until a year after. We were stressed about money but to be honest we made through it. I also felt useless but you have to change that mindset and keep thriving. I realized that things take time. You'll get there girly.

  7. Beth_Daily_Dog_TagMarch 15, 2018

    I'm glad that your husband is so supportive, that is really awesome. Fingers crossed that something really wonderful comes your way soon!

  8. Chelsie CarrMarch 15, 2018

    I've been there just as you have been - there are some days where I literally think WHY am I spending so much time on my blog? Does anyone really care? I blogged full time for two years and it was so stressful and turned my blog into a joy-suck. But, I can say that since I made the choice to go back to work, my blog has become so much FUN again because the pressure of making money off of it isn't there anymore! I've been more focused on growing it and hit so many goals already in this first month of the year! Whatever you do with your blog and your job situation, just know that you can always change it if it isn't making you happy! Blogging is supposed to be fun! People obviously care about your space (I do!) Keep your head up and your heart strong! <3

  9. I can't tell you how many times I've said the same thing. "Sometimes I feel useless in the blog world, because do people even care about what I'm writing about?!" It can get tiring when you have a goal or vision of where you'll be and you're just out of reach. Job hunting (even part time that isn't a fast food place) is so hard for some reason. I feel ya, girl! Keep working hard, your blog is so good and inspiring to so many readers including me! Praying for ya!

  10. Rachel@The Confused MillennialMarch 15, 2018

    I read the last paragraph! Honestly, that part was my favorite part of this post! Thank you for being so transparent with us all! I know the idea of spending money now probably seems counter intuitive, but when i've been where you're at, hiring someone (a coach, consultant, healer, whatever) for my business has always been what I needed in the moment! Sending you prayers that your path of what's next lights up for you fully <3

  11. Erica @ Coming up RosesMarch 15, 2018

    GIRL, you can do this!! NEVER give up blogging. You have a voice, and it's great! Second, I totally feel you. It can be so hard sometimes, but keep the faith! Have you tried pitching brands on your own? That was 100% the game changer for me!! It's really a matter of building your confidence and being able to effectively communicate that and build relationships off of it, and I have NO doubt you can do that girl!!

  12. Jae (@gorjaeous)March 15, 2018

    Kristen, I want you to know that I read your post from start to end, and I have quite a few things to share, too! My husband and I also rent from a "luxury" apartment complex, but we have been really disappointed with the kind of people moving in here. Just last night, we were awaken by super insensitive lot next-door who'd been drinking/laughing/whatever-the-heck-they-were-doing on their patio that's next to our bedroom. This was 11PM, for Christ's sake! My husband had to call security to file a noise complaint against them, and you best believe we both didn't get a good night's rest. It's just been so frustrating.

    I've been blogging for a while now, but I'm nowhere near most of bloggers who make blogging a full-time career. I have a regular day job, and only blog on the side. I've never thought of giving up my day job to blog full-time because I know (just by reading through other people's stories) how hard it is to establish a career in the blogging industry, plus I want to pursue other things in life, and yes, we have to be financially responsible, too. I hope that you find a job that will aid and help you be financially comfortable while blogging on the side, too! Looking forward to reading a life update that says all that next time.��

  13. Oh friend. I’m so glad that I read this. I have been feeling the exact same things, especially with my dad now gone. I’ve been looking for a job for 2 years and nothing. So I was thinking maybe blogging would be my job but I’m not making much at all there either. I’m so glad you shared because I know I’m not alone. I’ve been so proud of how your blog has been growing- I love hearing your stats and accomplishments. You’re not alone friend! And you’re doing well. God will guide us to the exact place we need to be

  14. Katherine @ The Weekend FoxMarch 15, 2018

    Hiiii! Me! I care! I loved your vulnerability and honesty in this post because I'm sure I'm not the only one that can relate 100%. When my family business sold and I chose to focus on the blog full-time (even though it was less than 3 months old), I definitely had dreams of still bringing in a solid monthly income. Months later....reality hits and it's hard to swallow every day, but we gotta keep pushing! Having husbands that are nothing but supportive is a blessing all in itself. I don't know what I would do with out my hubby. But chasing your dreams will lead you to more happiness and success than you can even imagine right now. And if it helps, I'm right there next to you with the same struggles.

    Keep marking off all of your successes and celebrate the little wins. You're on the right path and you're super talented :) Xoxox

  15. Courtney HeathcockMarch 15, 2018

    I have read this three times this morning alone. I think it's really easy in the blogging world to think you're the only one. It's not a workplace where you can somewhat see where others are at. I don't even do this for a living, right now I've been trying to find a job since graduating. And it's hard and it sucks. I just watch my email all day long hoping to receive some kind of good news. So, although we aren't totally in the same spot, I get it. I look at you and other bloggers and feel like I'm so behind and that I'll never catch up. It's nice to know that we're all struggling in some sense, but the best part is that we don't have to struggle alone. Now, we can struggle together. Help one another. Encourage one another. Push one another forward. I just want you to know that regardless of the numbers, I really enjoy reading your blogs and you are making an impact on my life. And without you and Summer, I would be SO lost in this blog world. Thank you for being exactly who you are and exactly who I needed. Keep writing. Keep chasing your dreams. I'll be praying BIG prayers for you! This is the best time to lean into faith and let God show you how much you can trust Him!

  16. (I read until the last paragraph <3)

    I'm proud for having taken the leap and sacrifice some short-term 'comforts' (i.e. a steady income) for long-terms goals and dreams. I don't have the courage for that haha I have a permanent government job which is hard to walk away from so I'm doing the blogging game as a side hustle until I can make an income from it and hopefully quit my job too.

    Keep at it.... do your best and stay patient. It sounds like you have your sh*t under control so it's just a matter of staying patient and consistent, re-adjusting your strategy and you'll get there..!!

    Seppy | www.elleisforlove.com


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