Monday, January 15, 2018

My Self-Care Day Routine



I hope you're enjoying the long weekend! Happy MLK day. While I have the day off, Joe has to work. This feels like the perfect opportunity to have a full self-care day. I haven't kept up with self-care as much as I'd like--I'm trying to take more time for myself in this new year. Today I'm going all out and doing all my favorite pamper activities. I figured this would be a great opportunity to share my full self-care day routine. 

Without further ado, let's get into it:

1. Movement: I like to start my self-care days with some sort of movement. I always do something that will make me feel good but isn't too intense. I haven't had time to work out for several months so I'm starting back up with yoga. I purchased a Groupon recently and am putting it to use today. Yoga is a great way to get back into working out. The stretching alone is fantastic with how much we sit in our everyday lives. 

2. Massage: The ultimate self-care activity is a massage. When I was living in Manhattan, I had a Massage Envy membership and got a massage every month on the Upper East Side--I love that location! Today I'm finally checking out the Jersey City location and seeing if I want to get a membership here.

3. Nails: Getting my nails done is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. I'm obsessed with dip manicures--it's basically a [new-ish] technique where your nails coated in a base coat and then dipped in powder repeatedly . It looks like gel but lasts longer [3-4 weeks] and isn't damaging. Nothing makes me feel more pampered than a fresh manicure and pedicure. 

4. Bubble Bath: After a massage, I love to soak in a bath that evening. I draw a bath with epsom salts and a bath bomb. I like to sip some infused water or tea & read during my soak.

5. Facial: I won't have time to fit in a facial at the spa today so I'm doing an at-home facial. I showed a full at-home treatment in my wedding skin care video. Basically I start out by cleansing my skin, then apply an exfoliating mask for 10-15 minutes, then remove it and apply a hydrating mask for 10 minutes while using my steamer. I follow up with a moisturizer and eye cream

6. Favorite TV Show: I'm ending the evening by watching one of my favorite shows--The Bachelor! Even though we're only a few episodes in, I'm already really enjoying Arie's season. I really like Becca K. and Tia. Who are you rooting for?!

This is everything I'll be doing today to take care of myself. 

What is in your self-care day routine?



Friday, January 5, 2018

How To Start A Blog



Welcome to my new blogging series! I've been thinking about starting a blogging series for a while. My main inspiration is to track my journey as I grow my blog--I still consider myself a beginner. I also have several friends who have expressed interest in starting a blog this year and thought this may be helpful.

In this post, I'm focusing on the basics--how to start a blog. If you don't know much about blogging, this can seem daunting but I promise it's very do-able.

1. Decide On A Theme.
First and foremost: what will your blog be about? What topics will you write about? Who is your desired audience? When I started, I didn't consider any of this. I created my blog as an extension to my YouTube channel. My main goal was just to reach the same type of person who watched my videos but I didn't fully understand who that person was. I posted sporadically on my blog for months. Eventually I thought about the topics I want to cover--and believe me, I've changed my blog multiple times since then. To be clear, I still feel like my blog isn't narrow enough but I'm definitely happier with it now. It may take you a while to really find your niche, which it totally ok. All I suggest is have a brainstorming session before you decide on a name for your blog and get some general categories for blog posts.

2. Choose A Hosting Site. 
Once you have an idea, you need a physical website for your blog--this is called a hosting site. There are tons of sites out there for hosting websites--some are free, some are paid. The two most common free hosting sites are Blogger and Wordpress. I chose Blogger because it's incredibly easy to understand and user friendly.

3. Buy A Domain. 
If you're not sure what a domain is, essentially it's your URL. Mine is modernmollie.com. Your readers will type in your domain to access your blog. You don't necessarily need one immediately but I do think it's important to make your blog look professional [if that's what you're going for]. If you want to consider a few options, you could always wait on this step. Just know that your blog URL will look something like: modernmollie.blogpost.com until you purchase a domain. While this is a more serious step, you always have the option of purchasing another domain name and switching them out if you want to change it down the road--it isn't the most permanent step.
There are a number of websites that sell domains. I purchased mine from GoDaddy. They are very affordable and have great customer service whenever I have a question.

4. Pick A Template. 
There are free templates on some hosting sites--Blogger has several options. If you can code, you can create your own template. Otherwise, Etsy is your best bet. I've purchased all of mine from Etsy--if you're worried about installing the theme yourself, the designers usually offer an add-on option for installation.

5. Decide How Often You'll Post. 
This step is somewhat optional but it will help you stay consistent [key in the blogging world]. Try to create a schedule for yourself. My schedule is [roughly] Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don't always get a post up on those days but that's my goal #progressnotperfection Also, if you can nail down a posting time, that would be beneficial. You may want to finish your posts the day before and schedule them to achieve this. When I can, I like my posts to go up at 8AM EST.

6. Grow Your E-mail List. 
Honestly, this is still something I'm working on but I know it's super important. Several people have mentioned how important an email list is--it's the one thing you truly own. If Instagram shuts down tomorrow or Facebook crashes and you lose your following, you will still have your e-mail list--this is your key audience. Eventually I want to put out a monthly newsletter but we're not quite there yet. Definitely I'll do a future post on growing your list and creating a newsletter!

7. Create An E-mail. 
Companies and readers need a place to reach you thus an blog-related e-mail is necessary. You can either create one with your blog [i.e.: hello@modernmollie.com] or create a free e-mail [i.e. modernmolliee@gmail.com--my actual blog e-mail]. Make sure to list your e-mail on your blog and all social media. It is imperative that people have a way to reach you, especially if you're interested in working with brands.

8. Start Your Blog! 
Last but not least: it's time to start your blog. Write some posts, add some photos/graphics, and share them.

What other blog-related posts would you like to see?

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10 Ways To Treat Yourself This Winter



Every year winter is a struggle for me. We spend less time outside, we have to deal with snow and/or rain, and it can be easy not to do things for yourself. Today I am sharing 10 ways you can treat yourself this winter.

1. Practice Yoga: We sit far too much in the winter so yoga is an excellent way to get out of that and stretch our muscles. I know yoga studios can get pricey but you don't need to go to studio or gym to take a class. You can easily find a YouTube video--I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene
2. Get A Massage: This one is by far my favorite. I honestly wish I took the time to get massages more often. If you're looking for a more affordable massage, I love Massage Envy (I was a member for three years) or Groupon.  
3. Read A Good Book: I find that I never take the time to actually read anymore. Reading can be so calming and relaxing. I challenge you to read at least one new book this winter; I'll do the same.
4. Do A Face Mask: Either you go get a facial or do a face mask at home, taking care of your skin during these cold, dry months is essential. 
5. Burn Candles: This is a simple one yet always puts me in a good mood.
6. Take A Staycation: Later this month, Joe and I are going on a staycation. It was a totally spontaneous discussion. We booked a hotel in Manhattan and plan to spend one night enjoying the city. I can't wait.
7. Make A Hot Cocoa Bar: Over the holidays, I took some items I already had and created a cute hot cocoa cart--I plan to use this all winter. Gather hot cocoa mixes, toppings, mugs, and some sort of cart or small table and you have a hot cocoa bar.
8. Have A Pamper Night: This one ties in with doing a face mask. For a full pamper night, take a bath, sip tea, do a face mask, and maybe do your nails. Treat yourself to a full night of self-care. 
9. See A Movie: One of my favorite things to do, with friends or solo, is going to a movie. I love the entire experience of seeing a film on the big screen, especially if they have reclining seats!
10. Fresh Flowers: Flowers are the ultimate little luxury. Whenever I need a pick me up, I buy myself flowers.

SHOP MY FAVORITE TREAT YOURSELF ESSENTIALS:



Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome To The New Me




For a while, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted my first post of the new year to be. I really want to make this year about discovering myself and being true to myself, as I’m becoming that person. 

Over the past few years, I’ve changed a considerable amount. Not only have my experiences in New York shaped me, but I’ve become (and I’m still transforming) a different person. My body has gone from “curvy” within the realm of straight sizes to actually being plus size for the first time in my life. My confidence about my abilities in life are growing. I’m slowly learning to put less pressure on myself to make everything perfect--my perfectionist traits have hindered me so much from accomplishing my goals over the years. Over the past year, I’ve really started to learn how to stand up for myself and have found the confidence to not feel bad about it. I spent years being tortured internally, as the girl who was bullied relentlessly in middle school and was defined by relationships down the road. 

Although I have made huge strides and definitely have experienced self-doubt with my decisions at times, I’m not exactly where I want to be. I want to accept and love myself fully. And to be honest, I’m not there yet.

Last year was the first time I ever followed an unconventional body on social media. I’ve always admired petite fashion bloggers and unattainable fitness models--I assumed one day I'd look like them and followed them for inspiration. 2017 was really the first time that I accepted the changes in my body and wanted to surround myself with body diversity. I re-evaluated who I was following and looking up to on a daily basis. I started reading books and watching videos about body positivity. Slowly but surely, my head full of false notions—that the only desirable bodies are conventionally thin bodies—started to shift. I’m still not fully committed but I desperately want to be and surround myself with like-minded role models. Not only do I want to support these individuals but I, too, want to spread this message and be an advocate for body diversity. My main, and arguably most difficult, mission for 2018 is to become a space to share body positivity

Today, January 1st 2018, I've revamped my Instagram to reflect this mission. I've also restructured my blog to focus on content that is in align with my goals. I will continue to give advice and share fun times in New York City and beyond. I will also share more photos of myself and discuss more serious topics, around mental health.

Last night my mom sent me a quote that really resonated with me. I'll end this post with that quote:




Saturday, December 30, 2017

17 things that 2017 taught me



2017 is coming to an end and I am starting to reflect on this year. First and foremost, I can say: I learned a lot. In 2017, I officially completed my Master's, got married, changed careers, moved from New York City to New Jersey, and hosted Thanksgiving for my parents for the first time. Honestly, this year has been one of my most difficult years of my life--from changing to careers to wedding stress to moving out of Manhattan--there were some definite lows. If anything, I see 2017 as a learning experience and growing period. Fingers crossed that 2018 is a little easier on myself and Joe!

Without further ado, here are the 17 things that 2017 taught me:
 1.  Love conquers all
2. Put yourself first, other people might not
3. Stay in your own lane
4. Although your wedding day is (hopefully) happy, it doesn't have to be the "best day ever"
5. Hard work pays off
6. Life isn't always fair
7. Invest your money and your time wisely
8. Perfection doesn't exist so start somewhere
9. Demand respect
10. It's ok to say no to things you don't want to do
11. Don't waste your time or energy on toxic people
12. People respect you more for being honest than being nice
13.  There is a lot you can learn for free
14. Don't underestimate the power of a good nap
15. Make time and set aside money for travel--it's worth every penny
16. Enjoy the little moments
17. Don't forget to laugh

What did you learn this year?





Friday, December 22, 2017

Last Minute Amazon Gift Guide


If you're anything like me and still have a little holiday shopping left to do, don't worry. Today is the last day to get FREE two-day shipping [if you're an Amazon Prime member]. If you plan to place an order over $35,  you can also get FREE one-day shipping [on most orders] with your membership. Score!

I've rounded up my top picks [sorted by price]. 

Best of luck with your last minute shopping!

SHOP GIFTS UNDER $25:

SHOP GIFTS UNDER $50:

SHOP UNDER $200:

What's on your Christmas list?







Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Spotify Playlist



With Christmas just days away, I'm blasting festive music every chance I get. I've created my ultimate playlist--from classics to pop hits.


I hope you enjoy! Happy Holidays!



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