8 Things I Loved In November

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Honestly, where did 2017 go?!? Like I can’t even catch my breath! And feel like I am in a constant state of panic over all the things that I didn’t accomplish this year.  Anyone else?!? I started this year all starry eyed and ready to take on the world then felt like I got hit by a truck month after month. It’s all good though, because I believe we have to break down to rebirth ourselves and our missions in life. Which is why this monthly recap may sound a little cryptic, but it’ll also give you some insight into where I’ve been recently and where I’m going. OH AND… there’s a big favor I’m going to ask you guys for in the end, filling out my reader survey! Thanks so much in advance for your time and reading each month!

So without further ado, here’s a look back at the things I loved in November:

Working Through Personal Issues

Probably needed to take my own advice on this one – but I shared 7 Ways To Stop Letting Your Personal Issues Impact Your Work  last month, which is funny because last month I went into a tailspin over some personal issues. I did make some big changes in stepping back from relationships that no longer serve me or bring me down. It’s SO important to know that just because a relationship worked for you for a while, it doesn’t mean it’s meant to be in your life forever. It’s okay to move on to other things. Which leads me too…

Just because a relationship worked in your life for a while, it doesn't mean it's meant to be in your life forever. Click To Tweet

Self Care

The holidays and end of year always bring a certain amount of sadness for me. Whether it’s looking at all the things I set out to do and didn’t accomplish, or just reflecting on how things have changed, I always feel a little melancholy. It’s important for me to build in the time to take care of myself, which is why I shared 6 ways I practice self care during chaotic times of the year.

For me, that meant a lot of awkward conversations, stepping back, and simply not engaging. Remember, self care isn’t all puppies, bubble baths and chocolates, it’s doing the deep inner work to make sure you’re living your best life and not just people pleasing.

Self care isn't all bubble baths & chocolates, it's deep inner work to make sure you're living your best life.Click To Tweet

Taylor Swift’s New Album: Reputation

UGH! The emotional rollercoaster that this was!! So before the actual album launched, I was feeling all “Excuse Me, But Can The Old Taylor Come To The Phone?” – Then I listened to the album straight through and literally became obsessed with it. Ask the hubs, it was on a loop 24/7 for about two weeks in our house. And then I started to think some of my personal issues were actually being amplified by the album —eeek!

Back story: I’m one of those people that takes on my favorite character in a TV show, or the persona of an album I’m listening to… Let’s just say things got weird when we binged Dexter, but that’s another story 😜.

Anyway, I started to feel my inner mean girl (yes, I have an inner mean girl, and honestly I think we all do) come out while listening to it in combination with the things that were happening in my life. I decided to stop listening to the album and immediately started feeling better.

So I do think this is her greatest album of all time? Actually, I do.  There are more tracks on this album that I’ve loved than any of her others. It’s art. But, I’m just going to stick to this modified track list so I don’t give into the dark side:

New Years Day *makes me cry every time

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Call It What You Want

End Game

Dress

Don’t Blame Me

>>> Buy Reputation Here <<<

Ingrid Goes West

It should be noted that I love anything with Aubrey Plaza, she’s literally the funniest person to me and this movie hit close to home. Basically Aubrey Plaza plays a crazy AF girl who moves to California to stalk out and befriend an Instagram influencer she’s obsessed with… and honestly they just nailed so much of the crazy Instagram world that it’s worth watching for a reality check of how ridiculous that world is on it’s own.

>>> Rent it here <<<

Sharing A Bit Of Our Honeymoon

A lot of you know, that I had this magical idea that I’d take two weeks off for our honeymoon and come back to the blog feeling recharged and reconnected — well that definitely didn’t happen! Instead I felt even more burnt out. Which is why it’s taking me some time to share all the exciting details (I actually won’t be getting to it until the new year!) In the mean time, check out my recommendations of where to stay in Maui and where NOT to stay in Kauai!

Getting Crafty

I shared this super simple DIY cheap and easy holiday tablescape! I love that it’s under $15 and can be made in under 15 minutes! It’s so pretty and timeless IMO.

Final Room In Our Home Tour

Y’all have no idea how good it feels to finally have our house done! It’s been about 8 months of running back and forth to stores to get thigns just right and I couldn’t be happy with how all the rooms came out! Last month our shared our minimalist meets industrial style bedroom! We started off with just our amazing mattress from Nest Bedding (c/o) and then built the room from there!  It was a fun merger of two very different, yet similar styles. I hope you guys got some inspo ideas for your own homes!

master bedroom ideas on a budget, cozy neutral modern bedroom design, #masterbedroom

Bed Frame | Bed | Sheets | Duvet Cover | Wood Tray | Mugs: Her’s & His | Banana Leaf Pillows | Pink Geometric Pillows

Stepping Back From Sponsorships

While I do love connecting with brands for sponsored posts, I also love keeping TCM a sacred space that’s focused on you guys. For most bloggers, November and December is where they make their biggest money each year, and it’s actually where I’ll be making my least. Why? Because I turned down over 800 pitches that came into my inbox last month. I just couldn’t do it. The pitches were either all off or the brands weren’t focused on building a relationship and just wanted to be in a gift guide. I love truly collaborating with brands and showcasing stuff that I actually believe in or use first hand (and I still have a few sponsored posts coming out this month from brands who fit that description). But I decided to delete basically every email that came in last month because the thought of going through each one was beyond overwhelming. It also led me to…

Re-evaluating Where Things Are Going

I am going to be talking about this more in the new year so I apologize in advance for the cryptic nature of this update! I started to really reflect on the things I like about the blog and the things that seem to have gone awry this last year and realized I made some of the biggest blogging mistakes I’ve shared in the past. As a result of some big revelations I laid the foundation for some big projects to better serve you guys. I want to make sure I’m on the right track though so if you could take 2 minutes and fill out this reader survey I would be SO grateful! If you’re on mobile and having issues viewing the form below, click here to do the survey!

 

Alright, I hope you guys have the happiest of holidays! And thank you so much for taking the time to complete the reader survey! It means the world and only helps me serve you better!

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  • The Ingrid Goes West movie looks absolutely insane, haha. I love Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, so I’m definitely adding it to my to-watch list! I also filled out the survey and I cannot wait to see what big projects you have in store for the future!

    • OMG It’s definitely worth a watch!! Let me know what you think!! And thank you so much!! I’m excited to start working on them and releasing them! Now I just have to choose which to tackle first haha

  • Samantha Clark

    Wow, a lot of things resonated with me in this post! I love Taylor Swifts new album… Dress and End Game have been playing on repeat every day, but I totally know what you mean when different parts of your personality start to come out when an obsession starts. I have been watching a lot of Roseanne and my attitude gets all short and rude like Roseanne’s! haha, sometimes it’s fun to change it up, but it’s good to take a break and stop listening/watching whatever it is that’s causing us to be different from who we normally are. I also love that you took a step back from sponsorships, it shows that you care a lot about your brand and want to make sure it’s in line with what your audience wants. Thanks for sharing!!

    • YASSS! Omg I feel so much better that I’m not alone haha! And I totally forgot about the show Roseanne! Yeah it would not be a good idea for me to binge that RN because I would be so rude to so many people with how short my fuse has been haha

  • Sepideh

    I related to a lot that you mentioned in this post doll… it’s been a strange year! So many amazing things but so many roadblocks..and I also felt like I needed to take advice from my own books!

    I’m looking forward to hearing about what you have in store for us in the new year and I have to say, as a reader and fellow blogger, I appreciate when I hear that you are really trying to stay authentic because turning down so many pitches ain’t easy. I haven’t made a single cent from my blog yet because I don’t want to just make money…

    Hope your December turns out good so that you end the year on a positive note <3

    • It really has been a weird year! I updated the post to clarify haha but I do still have a few sponsored posts planned for this month, but they are from long term contracts that I’ve already done a few posts for and they are such great organizations that are literally a joy to work with and the content I make for them is close to my heart.

      I just needed to step away from all the craziness that was coming into my inbox at this time of year! Some were for $$$, some were for just gifted product or travel but I just couldn’t do any of it. It all felt off.

      Speakinggg of! Since I get so many pitches I love referring them to other bloggers, have you joined me database? It just helps me find people that might match the criteria they are looking for quickly: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdOrghCuf0kYH6XcGdNqu9sFOs3hM2dv2S76Vs_B8piMyBTyg/viewform?usp=sf_link#responses

      Hope you have a great December!

  • I’m exactly the same in terms of mental health and self care – it’s important to remember to put yourself first sometimes. Especially at times like Christmas where EVERYTHING seems completely overwhelming.

    Wishing you all the best.

  • I can totally relate to not connecting with some of the opportunities that came your way and having to say no. Hope you get some clarity on the direction you want to go in!

  • Loved this post, Rachel! I think we all sort of get the same feelings towards the end of the year with wondering whether or not we accomplished anything we set out to do in the year. And I totally love the new Tswift album too even though it’s completely different from anything she’s ever done. And good for you for staying true to your blog and not accepting sponsorships that don’t jive with it. I recently turned down a high paying campaign too because it just wasn’t a good fit, and while it kind of stinks when you have bills to pay, at the end of the day you gotta stay true to you. Happy Monday, friend!

  • Makaela Premont

    That’s crazy about how music and tv shows can affect your behavior and mood just through audio and visuals. I do like her album, but it gave me a weird feeling too so I stopped listening to it. I’ve been completely obsessed with christmas music this entire month. it just makes me feel so cherriful and happy.

  • I feel you on taking a step back and coming back feeling even more burned out! I stress about taking a blog break sometimes…I don’t want to lose page views, readers, etc! Anyway, I love how the master room turned out! So fresh and clean…and I can’t get enough of your sweet pup!
    xo, Lily

  • Anna Hubbard

    Love this post, Rachel! It’s so important to stick to your values, so if that means cutting back on sponsored posts, so be it! I always love reading your blog, so I’m excited to see what’s in store!

  • I totally understand about the sponsored posts. I get a lot of emails too that are just not relevant to my blog, so I turn them down too. I’ve learned what actually appeals to my readers and what they are truly interested in – and usually, it’s when it’s something that I’M truly interested in too. So while they may be few and far between, I stick with those.

  • I totally feel you on feeling like this year just totally flew by. It’s been the fastest year of my life and I haven’t accomplished as many things as I wanted to either =[ That’s okay though, there’s always next year.

  • I can’t decide if I’m burned out or just frustrated. Either way. I am ready for a new year to recharge and start fresh. Always next year to achieve those goals.

  • It sounds like you’ve really been taking the time to evaluate and decide what works and doesn’t work both in life and on your blog. It can be really hard to make those decisions sometimes, but in the long run, it will be best. I’m excited to see the direction you move in, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday too.

  • I’m totally with you on needing to step back – especially when things are super crazy this time of year! And SAME feels on Reputation. It’s been a struggle because I wanna keep listening but also Christmas music lol. I did hear there’s a deluxe edition coming out next month though. Yay!

  • November was definitely a whirlwind. I’m sorry for whatever it is you were going through this past month, but I’m also glad that you were able to focus on self care. I was in a similar position where I really needed to take a step back and give myself time to process everything happening. It truly helps. It doesn’t necessarily solve it, but it helps ring you to a better place where you can work toward solving what may be going on.

    I’m happy to hear about your opinion on sponsorships because I feel like that’s important to share. If you truly feel like it’s not going to build a partnership or help your readers, then don’t accept it. I admire you SO MUCH for being honest about your thoughts on this.

    I hope you enjoy the last month of 2017, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next on your blog for 2018 ❤️

  • Haha ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ is such a jam for me!

  • So true, self care isn’t just about lighting candles and treating yourself to a bowl of ice cream it can and SHOULD be hard work. I like to journal and go to therapy for this sort of self care and I’ve found it really improves my life. I LOVE Reputation, I think Taylor is a brilliant song writer and I love that I can listen to one of her songs I’ve heard a thousand times and find new meaning based on where I am in life. I don’t think I take on characters the way you mentioned you do, I think I mold them to fit how I am feeling (which is why the same lyric can mean five different things to me at five different times in my life). That being said I think it is great that you are self aware enough to realize when a song or character or situation is dragging you down and alter your life to make it work for you (:

  • I am actually not a fan of Taylor swifts new album at all ….. I like her old music a lot better and I love these round up post they are so cute.

  • I’m so glad that November was a good month for you and that you chose to focus more on yourself than anything else. It’s so important to do that. During this time of year it’s so easy to put all of your energy into others because it’s the season of giving, but there has to be some kind of balance. You gotta take care of yourself too!

    I’m glad you’re a big fan of reputation too! I’ve had it on repeat too, and I’m actually listening to “Dress” as I’m typing this comment. It’s such an amazing album, and my friends and I are already scheming about getting tickets. Fingers crossed that they don’t sell out!

  • YES to Reputation!! I am listening to it as I type this! She just announced that she’s coming to Australia and I really hope I can get tickets. I’ve only been to two concerts before and they were both Taylor! Haha.

  • McKennableu

    Taylor Swift’s new release was one of my fave things about November too. Love her!

  • girl i def need to take a step back at times- esp when its NUTS this time of year too!

  • I’m in shock with that movie hahaha. So funny! I’m totally adding it to my list. The good thing about all that happened is that you know where to go now. It happened to me too! I was a little lost trying to figure it out my next steps and after a few months of reflection, I think I know where I’m heading.

  • Self-care and stepping back is so important especially during this time of the year. Things can get so hectic and then you start to stress yourself out.

  • Katherine

    Here’s to putting ourselves first and focusing on self-care in 2018! You know I can relate to SO much in this post, and I’m always grateful that you share your struggles, too!

    And P.S. can you come decorate my office space?! Lol, I always love love looooove your home design style!

  • Taylor Smith

    Definitely with you on things that no longer serve me! I’ve been doing lots of that lately.

  • I love how freeing it is once in a while to delete all the e-mails and start over fresh. I admire you for keeping it genuine, especially with all the sponsorships and collaboration opportunities rolling in! That just shows how real and genuine you are!

    P.S.-I must confess I haven’t listened to the entire Taylor Swift album yet. I’m so behind. I’m off to listen to that now!

  • I love Aubrey Plaza in Parks and Rec! She makes me laugh so hard!
    I also loved your holiday tablescape! So beautiful!
    I know you are taking a semi-hiatus, and I hope that goes well and that you have an amazing Christmas! Sometimes refocusing and taking the time needed to do so is just what the doctor ordered!

  • Tara

    I remember the days of Roseanne, hilarious! I like watching I love Lucy – always lifts my spirits.

  • Loved all of this! I definitely know the feeling about getting all those sponsored post emails – despite being small and needing the $$, I turned them all down because I wasn’t interested in doing a million gift guides. One was enough haha. And I do the same thing as you did with TS’s album, just with books – I end up becoming a weird version of myself. Which is why it’s so important to take a step back and re-center. Love that you were so open about it and honest about doing so. Glad you’re doing things for you!

  • Kristen Jones

    I love that you chose to take a step back and really focus on you and your blog’s brand and only chose posts that fit that mold. In the new year, I want that to be part of my focus as well and really figure out who I am as a blogger and what content my readers want to see. Also, self-care is perfect for this time of year. I have been oddly sad lately and it could be a mix of the weather with trying to finish all that I had planned for this year. But overall, I’ve really been focusing on myself and my relationship with my husband so that we go into the new year stronger than ever.

  • Okay, I NEED to see that movie! It looks hilarious! I also love how you talked about doing less sponsored posts, because I’ve actually been doing the same…good to know I’m not crazy for turning down so many opportunities too! It’s so important to be authentic, and I’ve really just been focusing on putting out high-quality and on brand content. I love working with brands and I’ll definitely continue to do so, but I’m trying to make it more on my own terms. Loved reading this post, thank you for sharing all that! xx

  • I love Taylor Swift’s new album and was SO excited when she released it on Spotify last week! I’m a big fan of her new album, all of the songs I really like and I could listen to it on repeat 🙂

    Also, I loved getting to see your pictures from your honeymoon in November! Love that you shared that with us 🙂

  • I love the idea of taking a look at how you are doing things and making some changes. That’s a great way to start the new year.

  • Thena Reading-Franssen

    Loved this post, thank you! I love looking back on the last month and seeing all the things that were great! <3

  • YES to this: “Remember, self care isn’t all puppies, bubble baths and chocolates, it’s doing the deep inner work to make sure you’re living your best life and not just people pleasing.” People certainly seem to confuse what self-care is.

    I LOVE T-Swift’s song New Year’s Day…it’s so beautiful.

    Happy holidays to you!

    • YES! It drives me crazy when I see all these lists of self care and it’s like ” go for a walk, read a book, blah blah” like NO it’s about so much more than just unplugging, it’s about creating a life that you don’t need to unplug from – or when you do need to unplug from it’s because you’re on the verge of growth and new beginnings, not escaping reality! #endrant lol I think I need to do another post on that actually

      And New Years Day literally makes me cry every time! I can’t! It’s the song that got me to re-listen to the entire album and fall in love with the journey of it!

      Happy holidays <3

  • Logan Elizabeth Abbott

    I love what you wrote about turning down brands for sponsored posts and your reasoning behind it. If a brand’s pitch doesn’t fit with the brand you’ve created for your blog, and they don’t want to cultivate a relationship with you and your readers, it’s definitely not worth it! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

  • Tay Tay’s album is still on repeat over here and I’m pretty sure Mike (and our downstairs neighbors) are over it!! haha I’m so excited to see the direct TCM takes in the new year and I can’t wait to follow along <3

  • Adriana

    I agree with ssoo much of this – I’ve taken a lot of time to take a huge step back and I’m now trying to bounce back – not that easy but it is worth it! I have LOVED your home tour so much!

  • ahh definitely listen to it in order! It’s truly a journey!

  • Great list! Omg I just watched Ingrid Goes West and I still don’t know how I feel about it! haha. It was slightly crazy but comical at the same time.

  • Allison Ellzey

    This year HAS really flown by! I loved and STILL LOVE Taylor Swift’s album Reputation!

  • I definitely fall in the trap of calling things self-care and buying myself (usually) dumb things while out shopping. It’s so important to actually take care of yourself. As a blogger and blog reader, stepping back from sponsored content is really admirable. Stay true to you girl!

  • I loved, loved, loved, reading all of these posts, but especially your honeymoon posts! I love how you are going to talk more about reevaluating your life – so important!

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