Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Are You a Passenger or Pilot In Your Life? Take Control Of YOUR Life

In life you are either a passenger or a

Over the weekend I got to thinking about my life – where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. At 28 I’ve had some crippling days and some joyous moments – all have landed me where I currently am in life. From a young age I was in control of my own life – it was up to me to make decisions about my future and my happiness without a parent around to give me direction. Though it’s been tough I have found extreme satisfaction in being able pilot of life and can’t imagine someone else being in control of my future. I chose to take control of my life and I’m so glad I did.

As a woman and as a single mother I take pride my ability to stand on my own two feet. That I can independently provide food, housing and love to my daughter. That I am able to go out into the world and use my skills to give back to others and support my community. That I’m not a pushover and that I give respect and demand it back. I’m ambitious, at times confident and fearless and I wouldn’t be who I am today without the experiences I’ve been through and choosing to live life on my terms.

Because it’s a choice. You choose to either be a passenger in your life. Or you choose to be the pilot. And the choice is always yours. Will you take control of your life?

Yes, I’m a strong and independent afro-latina, I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it proud. That being said, I do look forward to the day I can share my heart and home with a partner and create a life together. But within that relationship I will still be in control of my own life – I’ll still be the pilot – and within that relationship I’ll stand on my own two feet together with someone moving forward.

I’ll be honest…it’s difficult for me to see people satisfied being the passenger in their own lives. Content with just buckling in and preparing for the ride because they are afraid to stand up for themselves and know their worth. Content with someone being in control and making the decisions, worried that it’d be too difficult to take the lead. And at times I can understand the desire to have someone else take the lead – but to have them be in control of your life? YOUR life? I urge you to seriously re-consider.

When you look back upon your life will you be satisfied with being a passenger? Will you regret not being in more control of your life? At any point in your life you have the opportunity to change your circumstance. If you’re unhappy and unsatisfied with your relationship, your job, your nagging friends. It’s up to you to find the happiness you seek. To create the life you want. To create a life you are satisfied with. It’s no easy process, but I encourage you to start today – start being the pilot in YOUR own life. To take control of your life. Today



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Review: My Mamihood’s Blogger Organizada

Sometimes I think I’m the most unorganized blogger ever. As a single working mom I’m always looking for tips and advice on how to balance all my responsibilities. And unfortunately blogging often takes a backseat since I still generally consider it a ‘hobby’ though I have been able to make some income. All the advice says to plan, plan, and plan some more. And guess who doesn’t plan? Me! I am usually an emotional writer and it’s only when I’m feeling really upset or passionate that I write. This often means I can’t plan. I’ve always admired those bloggers who create editorial calendars, stick to editorial calendars, and track guest posts and blogging expenses and income. I have faith that one that I’ll join that elite group!

If you don’t know my girl Sili of My Mamihood I highly encourage you to check her and all her fabulousness out ASAP. I’ve gotten the wonderful opportunity to get to know Sili through social media and got to meet her a couple of years ago. Long story short – our encounter was MAGICAL. We’ve been friends ever since, often messaging and texting, usually using lots of expletives. Well, mostly me. Sili has grown into a friend and I admire her work ethic and willingness to help others. As you can imagine I was thrilled when she shared with me that she’d be launching a blogger Organizada to assist bloggers in staying on track.

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“If you are blogging as a business or want to grow your blog as a business, you should start to set goals and organize yourself in a way that will allow you to keep track of this information.  As your blog flourishes, having all of the information in one place will help you report out, as needed.” -Sili of My Mamihood

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 What is the Organizada? We all use various tools to keep us organized – shopping lists, google drive, etc. The Organizada focuses on organizing ensuring you are maximizing your efficiency and keeping your thoughts and expenses in one place, which is easily accessible as you think about the future of your blog, and consider future opportunities.

The Organizada includes:

  • Blog-at-a-Glance: record your blog’s analytics and social media following in one easy– to-update place.
  • Month-at-a-Glance: planning page for the month containing a place for goals, outcome, blog topics, sponsored post grid and a lessons learned section.
  • Income, Expenses & Giveaways: keep a running list of this information as it happens for better bookkeeping and happier tax time.
  • Monthly Calendar: comes with holidays and plenty of space for you to jot down quick notes.
  • Weekly Calendar: planning page for the week where posts can be listed, brainstorming sessions can be recorded, sponsored and giveaway posts can be tracked.  Don’t forget to write down your mantra for the week! There’s one copy per month so be sure to print multiples for each month.
  • This organizer offers 45 printable PDF pages for your organizing pleasure!

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I’ve been meaning to create a media kit for forever and I love that the Organizada includes a place to record your blog stats to reference and swap out of your media kit as necessary.

Why do I love the Organizada? Because as a busy working mom and blogger, I am always looking for ways to improve my efficiency both in the office and at home. While I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to my blog, having that creative outlet is so important to me. The real benefits of Sili’s Organizada is that it assists in my productivity, providing me the necessary tools to maximize the time I spend blogging, while encouraging me to be proactive and look ahead. With some prep work you can easily get organized and stay on task with Organizada, and who doesn’t love that?!

The Organizada is a small investment in the future of your blog – and it’s a tool every blogger should have if they want to be successful and organized! It can be purchased for just $14.95 but Sili has given my readers a special treat. If you use the code ALEXANDRA up until January 31st the Organizada can be yours for just $10!

How do you stay organized when balancing blogging and your other responsibilities?

 

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for writing this review! I’m a fan of the Organizada and wanted to help spread the word!



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Pine-Sol® When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Pine-Sol and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions, as always are my own.

 Las Mujeres No Se Rinden LOGO SPANISH

As the Mother to a young daughter I strive to be a good role model to my daughter, even when the going gets tough. Actually – I think my daughter learns about my resilience and strength through times of weakness. All that she has learned I hope will assist her in growing up to be a kind and remarkable woman. Speaking of remarkable woman, I’ve teamed up with the makers of Pine-Sol® and activist Rosie Perez to talk about the remarkable woman we are, and those we know and look up too with their When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It campaign. Pine-Sol® has already awarded a $25,000 donation to Women Empowered, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates and supports women of all ages and backgrounds, inspiring them to give back to their communities.

I recently wrote a post over at The Young Mommy Life talking about my resilience. I think my times of resilience have made me remarkable. Wait – did I just give myself a compliment? Go me! Seriously, we as women have had to be flexible and we go through hardships, and we survive – better, stronger, wiser. Women are remarkable…it’s in our DNA. Having a child at 19 and thriving through the hardships that surrounded being a teenage parent have been difficult. But looking over my life I believe what has made me triumphant in the face of adversity is my ability to fight forward. Of course when challenges face us it’s easy to cave in, to let it consume you. But is that the legacy you want to leave? Is that really who you are? It may have taken me time to muster up the strength, but I have always fought my way through struggle and hardships. Unsure of my next steps, but never complacent with being still. My fighter mentality (all mental never physical!) is something I hope my daughter will see and pick up because it’s given me the strength and confidence to live MY life.

Pine-Sol® wants to hear your story of triumph and wants to reward you for it as well! Enter the Pine-Sol® sweepstakes today by visiting www.WomenRiseAboveIt.com or www.LasMujeresNoSeRinden.com. By sharing your story you’ll have a chance at winning one of the following prizes:

  • Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol® will award one lucky winner small tokens of appreciation. (Flower bouquet + Pine Sol® coupons) ARV: $150
  • Three first prize winners will receive complimentary house cleaning services for a year ARV: $2,400
  • One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-inclusive trip to enjoy a peaceful spa experience at a deluxe hotel.  ARV: $5,000  

There are such great stories of women being remarkable and triumphant in our history’s past – and we as women and mothers have a strength that is truly remarkable! Head over to www.WomenRiseAboveIt.com to hear other stories and get inspired!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited.



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What makes me Fierce: Traveling Blue Wig Project

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It’s not every day I get mailed a blue wig to accompany a blog post. The folks over at Clever Girls Collective and the Fierce Fund have created the Traveling Blue Wig Project which wants to know – what makes you fierce? It’s an invitation I sure wasn’t going to turn down, as being fierce has no standard definition and could mean different things to different people. To be able to share my story with other bloggers as a way to encourage and inspire women and girls is right up my alley.

We all have our own stories of strength, of being fierce and completely kicking-ass, and the Fierce Fund highlights these powerful stories and this year will donate $20,000 to support a nonprofit initiative that celebrates, elevates, and encourages women and girls. Click here to vote for the nonprofit you think should receive this year’s #FierceFund donation.

So…what makes me fierce? It’s a hard question for me because I’m never one to look positively at what I’ve accomplished and how I’ve persevered through difficult times. I’m too quick to see the negative and get down on myself. But, it’s pretty clear that one thing over the years has made me super fierce. My daughter has lit a fierceness in me I never knew I had. Giving birth to her at 19 was….something I didn’t forsee in my future as a teen, but I know now I was meant to mother her at that age.

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There is no giving up, it’s not an option. I strive every day to be my best, most fiercest me, and in the process I’m setting an example to my daughter. Doors have closed in my face over the years, at many times there was no one who believed in me – no one encouraging me to continue to strive and succeed. I had times (as I still do now) where I question my present and future – am I making the right decisions? Am I doing right by my daughter? As much as I question my life – I continue to move forward, now less worried about the final destination, and concerned more about enjoying the journey. I have a unique skill set, I was meant to mother my daughter, I have a purpose, and I matter. That’s what makes me fierce. Is that I’m unapolgetically me. I make mistakes, I’m imperfect, I strive to do my best, and I continue moving forward regardless of the obstacles in my way. And because of this I’m fierce. A quote I refer to often when I’m feeling unsure about my purpose is:

“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman” – Max Lucado, Best-selling author

There can only be you. Share your story. Believe in yourself. Trust your journey. Be fierce.



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Join the July #SMBloggers Instagram Challenge!

When I first joined Instagram, I was not so thrilled. I was worried how I was going to maintain yet another social media site. Balancing a blog, personal FB page, blog FB page, and Twitter account – I wasn’t sure how Instagram (IG) would fit into my schedule. Well, it only took a short time – but I’m hooked! I love the ease and simplicity of IG, and it’s now my favorite social media site! Be sure to follow me @MsAlexandraV! From posting pictures of my beautiful daughter to quotes I adore to my post workout results, I’ve made new friends on IG and have felt so supported from friends.

I’m part of a wonderful group of lovely lady bloggers over at Stiletto Media, whom I’ve grown to care about – they are part of my virtual tribe. They are so supportive and are always available when I have questions about life, my daughter, or blogging. They are an invaluable resource and I’m glad to call them friends! I love being able to keep up with my ladies on IG and see their beautiful families!

So since I’m an IG addict I had to jump aboard the July #SMblogger Instagram 31-day Challenge!

How does it work?

Photo by @karlrivera

Photo by @karlrivera

Each day, we will be posting our favorite photos around the daily photo prompt. Simply follow our daily calendar and snap photos around that prompt. Get CREATIVE and have some FUN!

Follow #SMBloggers on Instagram:

@StilettoMedia
@toughcookiemom
@jaimami
@latinaonamission
@thedigitallatina
@msalexandrav
@ladydeelg
@newyorkchica

Tag us in your caption:

We would love to see all of your photos so tag us in your caption using the hashtag #SMBloggers. This way, we will all be able to view each other’s photos on IG by clicking on the hashtag.

Connect with others and make new friends:

Search for the #SMBloggers hashtag to network with and meet others taking part in the challenge.

Link up and join the party!

Add your blog or website URL to the Linky below to let others know that you are participating in the #SMBloggers Instagram Challenge so we could support each other.

 

I’ll see you on Instagram – and Happy July!!

 



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