10 Things I Loved In April

10 things i loved in april - The confused millennial, millennial blogger

Y’all, doesn’t it feel like April was gone in the blink of an eye?!? I don’t know about you, but that was the fast feeling month EVER. It moved so stinkin’ fast that it has me wanting to take a hot sec and reminisce on some of the top posts and what I loved in April:

Organization

Okay, I knowwww I said organization was what I loved in March, but since it’s my guiding word of the year, it only makes sense that I am working on falling in love and implementing it with each passing month, amiright?!?

how to organize your office space to get more done with samsill

This month I decided to tackle my desk! It’s amazing the amount of dust, dirt, and junk that can accumulate on that baby! Check out my 5 Steps To Organizing Your Office!

Speaking of dust…

Cleaning

Spring cleaning is starting in our house! Even with just moving in a month ago, things are getting dusty and dirty! I learned that I had been using my Swiffer Sweeper wrong all of these years (#truestory) and shared my Cleaning Hacks For Tackling Dust & The Floors! What room should I tackle next?

Instagram

REAL TALK: I fell SO out of love with Instagram – like SO out of love with it. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you probably noticed my photography skills getting way better since creating a better at home photography studio – I was beyond excited to start sharing all my new skills on the ‘gram. My intern and I worked on implementing a new strategy and things were starting to look up for my growth and engagement there.  Only to get shadow banned. YUP, shadow banned. I was SO frustrated, hurt, and upset. I deleted the app. Many of you joined me on Snapchat after my announcement (username:rrrachelrr). Then, in the ninth hour, when I was ready to give up on it all, the ban was lifted!

show me your mumu millennial blogger

Not totally sure why it happened (I don’t use bots, unauthorized third party softwares, do f/uf, or anything spammy), but basically traced it down to one of two things: using a banned hashtag OR engaging a little too hard one morning. I read this REALLY good thread on Quora, that brought an interesting (read: scary) perspective to the shadow ban and influencers. You can checkout Akin’s theory here. For those who don’t want to read, it’s basically hypothesizing IG/FB could be testing some new things in order to control influencers ability to earn money from the platform, since brands are putting their money towards influencers on the platform more often than ads/sponsored posts. IG wants their $$$, is basically the takeaway. AGAIN IT’S JUST A THEORY.

After all this bad stuff, how did I fall in love with the platform again? Well I am excited about my feed again/still. I am also excited about the new strategy we are implementing that’s going to get things back to true connection and what I did in the olden days. I’m also just so dang happy I’m not shadow banned, which is enough to fall in love with the platform again!

[RELATED] Tips For Taking Instagram Photos That WOW!

 

PUPPY!!!

YASSSS! Last month we finally got puppy! I couldn’t be more happy about our new addition! He is my light, my love, my everything! Even though I am totally smitten, it still was a major adjustment. Which is why I was excited to share a little more about our puppy journey + tips for dealing with major life transitions.

Advocating For Myself

Over the years, I’ve struggled to quit anything. I stayed in a job I hated because of bad excuses, never broke up with boyfriends, and generally had hard time doing anything that potentially could disappoint someone. I was a people pleaser at my own expense. The last 10 years I’ve worked really hard to let go of those old habits and feel so free that I can finally advocate for my wants and needs in personal and professional relationships.

New Mattress

After so many years on terrible mattresses, I took the research for a new on super seriously. We were fortunate to have Nest Bedding gift us their Alexander Signature bed which is a dream! It’s like sleeping on a supportive cloud. The best of both worlds! Buying a mattress online can feel overwhelming, so be sure to check out my tips!

Nest bedding alexander signature mattress

Getting Paid

The question of how to price yourself and ask for payment, is always a tricky one. Over the last couple of months though, I feel like I’ve really hit my stride. I’ve been turning down a lot of offers that would zap my energy and take my focus away from larger business goals. Even with turning things down, I’ve still been seeing all the dolla dolla bills roll in, and it feels oh so good.

Spa Nights

All the stress of the move and new pup definitely required a little extra R&R this month! I tried out Gwen Lewis’ Cheap & Easy At Home Spa Hacks and let me tell you, they work! Ughhh there is nothing quite like a relaxing bath, luxurious hair treatment, or rejuvenating face mask, amiright?

Cacti

But like for real. Who doesn’t want all the cacti right now!? Nothing screams trendy or summer ready than a desert plant 😉

equipment cactus dress millennial blog

Jungalow Vibes

I just learned what jungalow decor is and am obsessed. So obsessed, that I decided to make it my office theme! Let the decor vision boarding begin!! Have you ever heard of jungalow??

What did you love about April?

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  • Cutest puppy EVER! And you are not the only person who fell out of love with Instagram. I know so many bloggers who have (and still are) taking a break from IG. I think it’s always a good idea to step back and remember why you liked sharing to begin with. 🙂

    • Awe thank you!!! Yeah, I never forgot what I liked to share, but I think it was more of an ego punch/hurt to have it shadow ban me when I didn’t do anything, ya know? Like I genuinely like the platform and most of the things people gripe about I dc about, but for some reason the ban felt personal haha

  • Emely Roman

    Love, Love, Love this post! It’s so personal and yet professional. I think it’s a great idea to do a monthly recap like this. I bet it keeps you grounded and focused on what’s ahead!

  • Ashley Stephenson

    Awwww your pup is so cute!!! It definitely is an adjustment, but one that brings so much joy!

  • Jennifer Schmidt

    I love your blog! It is amazing and your pictures make this post personal but yet professional! Love it!
    Jenn
    joyfuliowan.com

  • Jamie

    I feel like Instagram is the talk of the blogging world currently, with everything going on! I definitely have been with you on a love hate relationship and have thought about taking a break from it!

    And, eek a puppy! So so exciting!
    Have a great start to your month!

    • it totally is! Normally, I dont get too caught up in it, but the shadow ban threw me!

  • Yay for organizing and spring cleaning! And your new puppy is so cute!

    XO

    Lee Anne

    http://www.lifebylee.com

  • Congrats on the puppy! Now you’ll be cleaning up all the time. But it’s allllll worth it! 🙂

    • Thank you! Luckily, he isn’t too much of a mess!

  • It always feels great to spring clean the house! I just love that I can open up windows and doors again and let some air in. Even if it’s a little chilly, it’s not freezing. 🙂

    • For sure!!! Only we can’t do that! haha It feels like 100 degrees everyday here already!

  • That Instagram thing is getting so scary!! And you puppy it’s so cute!

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    • It’s so crazy #SMH generally it doesn’t get to me, but the shadow ban threw me!

  • I love both your dresses. The cacti one is my favorite.

    http://goldclutter.com

  • Love you in that dress! I don’t know what to think about the IG shadow ban. Some people say it’s real, some people say it’s fake, but regardless my engagement has tanked and it’s so frustrating just when I thought I had cracked the IG code lol, so I can completely relate. If you don’t mind me asking how could you tell that your ban was lifted?

    • Thank you!! It’s 100% real, without a doubt. I have a second account not following anyone and i would just post a picture on my account, switch over to the other account and check hashtags, and it wouldn’t be there. Like even for my own branded hashtag with 350+ photos, ALL of my photos were removed from it! It’s not like “oh you weren’t showing up for this one photo on a handful of tags,” its like “oh literally NOTHING IS SHOWING UP ANYWHERE!” – then one day all the photos just reappeared!

  • I lovelovelove all of the above. A.) TUCKER. B.) I’m so stoked you’re not shadowbanned anymore. We’ve talked this to death, but Lordy IG can be a pain sometimes – gotta stay positive + focus on the stuff we can control! C.) HOLLAH to getting paid. Your post was great on that. D.) You’re killing it in cactus.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Aweee thank youuu on allll fronts!!! and I am literally hoarding all things cacti at the moment haha! I have like 4 on my desk RN

  • Ash Neverson

    I love all your lists! A good face spa day was the best for me!

    Ash | http://www.theashtreejournal.com

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    First, Tucker is soooo cute! Also, is it true if you are too active on Instagram you get shadow banned? I was responding to comments one day and I got to a point where it wouldn’t let me respond to comments anymore. So excited for you killin’ it with your business!

    • Awe thank you!!! – No one really knows what triggers it, but personally, I think that’s what triggered it for me. I liked like 400 photos in an hour one morning, checked the next day to see if I was shadowbanned and I was! – so I dk! I know that in terms of hitting limits (like with responding to comments) – its proportional to your usual activity!

  • You had a great month girl! Your puppy is adorable and the whole Instagram thing had me down for a couple days. I had to get off for a couple days before I was able to attack at it again. I’m pretty sure I’ve been shadow banned a couple of times even though I don’t use any crazy bot or instagram thing but I have to figure out my hashtags.

    • Awe thank you! Haha you can just check, it’s really easy, use an account not following you and look up a hashtag under a recent photo. Sorry it’s been causing you a headache too! :-

  • April was such a whirlwind! I’m happy that it’s over! My husband and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary and that was super exciting.

    • Awe congrats! that’s super exciting! Hope the month was good otherwise <3

  • Neely

    I have such a love hate relationship with Instagram lately. I just feel like it isn’t fun anymore 🙁

  • April seems like it was a really great month for you (minus the Instagram shadow banning of course). The theory about Instagram wanting to make money really does make the most sense though, idk how I never even thought of that. I’m glad your account is back to normal now. Oh and your puppy…SO cute! I love baby puppies, I swear I get puppy fever the way some people get baby fever.

  • I can’t believe April is already over, seriously where did the time go?! I definitely feel ya on the Instagram discouragement…hearing all about this shadow banning is super scary. I really hope that they get better about it and people who are genuine IG users stop getting shadow banned!

    Also, so excited for you and the new pup! Your pup is so adorable 🙂 Here’s to a great May!

  • Audrey Knizek

    Your puppy! Oh my gosh I’m dying! I have such a love hate relationship with Instagram, though I’m hoping that will change to a strictly love relationship soon. The shadow ban is turning so many people away from the platform which is a shame.

  • thesofieyahdiaries

    I’m sorry about IG 🙁 that totally sucks!! But I do hear that there is a quota on how much one can engage… maybe they changed the limit?? 🙁

    http://thesofieyahdiaries.com/lifestyle/monthly-mantra-may-2017

  • How did you get the ban lifted? haha I thought I was shadow banned for awhile because my engagement dipped so low but who knows.

  • I would say you had a great month! Of course, I think the puppy is the best part, but a new mattress can make a huge difference in how you feel. I’m glad you are back in love with Instagram because I love your feed and would miss it!

  • I’ve never heard of shadow banning. So interesting. I have a love/hate (leaning more on the hate side) with Instagram so I totally feel you. And such a cute puppy!!! Dogs make EVERYTHING better.

    Tori

  • Madi Dodd

    Thats crazy about instagram! I am going through a similar thing with pinterest. SO annoying!

  • I am so glad we have each other to talk about the joys (and struggles) of puppyhood. I wish we could get our babies together to play! And I am OBSESSED with the theme for your office. I wish I had a cool theme – I’m going to have to think on that one! Decorating a new space is so overwhelming sometimes (and I love that we are in the same boat on that one, too.) Okay wait, we’re basically twins in life right now – so yay for bloguard!

  • Anna Hubbard

    Your puppy is so so so cute! And I feel your pain on the whole Instagram thing – this shadow banning stuff has got to stop!

  • I am so in love with your new pup!!!! It looks like you had an awesome month!!

  • April Kitchens

    OMG I was shadow banned too, and I’m guessing it was a hashtag. Your pup is adorable and I crazily loved cleaning this month too lol.

  • April was a very productive and crazy month! I traveled to Boston for my birthday week and loved every minute. It was nice to catch up on some of your posts on photography, organization, etc. I also know so many bloggers who are upset about Instagram right now.

  • I love cacti prints, too! I have been seeing them everywhere and just want them all, haha.

  • Jessica Battiato

    YAY!!!! PUPPY!! Haha Rachel, your posts are always so fun!! Looks like it was a happy month!! Cheers to May!! XOXO

    https://www.theweekenderafashionfieldguide.com

  • Okay you had me on all of these up until Jungle-low…. but seriously puppy = love, enjoy him! I do a similar series, Stuff I love (and yes, APril happened in a flash!)
    http://www.mommatogo.com/stuff-i-love-april-2017/

  • Oh cool! I didn’t realize that was called “Jungalow”. I just always thought it was “desert-y” lol.

  • This was such a cute post. I loved learning a more about you and the puppy is a doll!!

  • It sounds like April was a really powerful month for you! Your puppy is adorable and I really liked reading that you were learning to advocate for yourself better. I love that this blog is so positive but really offers actionable and meaningful advice. Thanks, as always, for your perspective!

  • So jealous of the puppy! Too cute. I’ve been going through a cacti phase too.

    http://www.meehandering.com

  • The Instagram shadowban is definitely a scary thing, but I’m glad everything worked out and you didn’t let it stop you!

    xo, brooke
    http://www.livethepreplife.com

  • Samantha

    Such a cute puppy! And I am there with you on Instagram-so crazy!

  • Allison Lancaster

    I loved organization in April! It has really helped me to be more productive!

  • mckenna bleu

    I love that striped lace up dress! your puppy is SO cute!

  • I love that your favorites aren’t just products! I’ll have to keep that in mind when it’s time to write my May favorites post! I also love what you said about advocating for yourself! Over the last few years I’ve been working really hard on speaking up for myself and being passive aggressive or doormat-y. You really gave me a lot of post inspiration! Will definitely be checking in regularly!

  • I struggle so much with advocating for myself! I, too, am a people pleaser and it gets exhausting. Good for you for working on it! That is a goal for me!

  • Loved reading all your cleaning and organization tips! After reading your cleaning post, I went into a crazy spring cleaning mode and cleaned my entire house, so if you need some help deciding what to tackle next let me know haha! Your pup is so adorable, so it’s good to hear things are settling down and he’s crate trained and everything. And I was wondering why I hadn’t sen anything from you on Instagram! A shadow ban would explain it – how crazy! Now I’m going to be paranoid it’s going to happen to me!

  • Love this post! It is so bright and shows that you are a very well rounded person. Love how you listed things that brought us to other parts of your blog and helped us learn a little bit more about you. 🙂

    Sincerely Miss J
    http://www.sincerelymissj.com

  • Love your cute little pup! Crazy to hear about the shadow banned thing. I’ve been hearing about that more and more lately. I’m definitely going to check out the Quora article that you linked to.

  • Girrrrrll what a fun month! I’m loving palms everything right now. I want to buy everything I see in that print haha. Can’t wait to see what you do with your office!

  • brittany

    I love your blog and everything you have listed here! The shadow ban thing has been so confusing to me. I had no idea there were theories around about them trying to control advertising dollars. But…. That is some evil genius stuff right there if it’s true.

    Either way I think you’re right about getting back to why you originally loved the platform. It’s something I forget often, but I think it always shows in our work if we’re really passionate about it or not.

    Great post! 🙂

  • April was kind of a huge month for you, it seems! I love your puppy! He is adorable! And I glad you are back on Insta! I’ve missed you! haha

  • Lauren Jane

    April was a HUGE month for me. Signed up for an affiliate show program, spent a lot of energy on the family-and finished a whole 30! That dress is super cute and now that it’s May-I need a spa night before the craziness of summer begins 😉

  • Looks like a great April. I had a great one too. I also fell in love with Instagram again.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

  • Might be a dumb question but how do you know you’re “shadow banned?” I keep hearing this term and I’m clueless! I don’t have a ton of followers on IG and don’t use it for my blog so much so not sure it would affect me but I DO use hashtags in every post.

    Also, cute pup!!

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Haha it wouldnt effect you probably. There’s this stupid website floating around that tells you your shadow banned if you put even one hashtag in the comments sections #SMH so tons of people are freaking out thinking they are banned even when they aren’t. – basically NONE of your photos show up in ANY hashtag! You can check from an account that’s not following you, but check multiple ones. So I did a few brand campaigns with branded hashtags with less than 100 photos, all of which my photo wasn’t appearing and I have my own personal # and ALL of my photos had disappeared from it.

  • Bea Alvarado

    YAY for Spa nights! I seriously love them so much! + that is the cutest puppy!!!
    http://thebbar.org/

  • Such a fun post, love seeing what you’ve been up to all month long! Ugh, I feel ya on Instagram- I was banned from liking for a few days (??? I don’t even get close to their max likes per hour) and noticed some shadow banning going on as well. It’s so frustrating. Definitely makes me realize how much more important it is to build up my blog and content.

    • Rachel Ritlop

      Well the “max likes” per hour are totally relative! So it’s not like twitter where its a set number and the same for everyone – instead IG has an algorithm where its proportional to the users typical activity!

  • I have been out of love with Instagram for awhile! I will hit a stride with it, and then just get bored with it. Haha. I am glad that your shadow ban was lifted & that you’re back to enjoying it again 🙂

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  • Super fun post! I love all the different topics and fun photos. I am IN LOVE with Instgram Stories right now, I totally walked away from snapchat because I love them so much!

  • Hanna J Smith

    omg the puppy!!!!!!!! You’re making me want another one! And I already have two kids and two dogs! Also amen to the IG stuff and the cacti!

  • We did SO much cleaning and organizing around here this past month. All that new baby prep work here haha but our home is feeling so much cleaner going into this new month. Also, getting a new mattress is seriously the BEST! Adulting right there haha my husband got us new one back in September after we found out I was pregnant and I’m still completely in love with it. I couldn’t imagine being pregnant and sleeping on our old one. It was THAT bad lol

  • Ruthie Ridley

    I love this post!! What a cute puppy!!!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    That’s crazy Instagram did that to you!! Glad it was raised. Your puppy is adorable and I love spa nights!

  • That puppy! My puppy is 6 months old now and just a ball of energy. He is a bit of a distraction when I need to work but I love him. Instagram has been so off lately. One day I have a post do crazy good and the next day it tanks. My mom doesn’t even see my photos in her feed some days. lol

  • Lindsay Satmary

    My theme for the year is also organization! I recently had a baby and in my “nesting” I decided that we simply MUST reorganize the pantry and label everything in the kitchen. Not sure if baby girl appreciated the efforts, but it sure look great to me now! 🙂 p.s. Thanks for sharing the article about Instagram. That was really…..interesting…. eek!

  • Sounds like a great month, and OMG that PUPPY!!! <3

  • Man, I wish I had loved organization and cleaning in April… I need to get my butt in gear.

  • Okay so here’s my question. How the heck do you know if you’re shadow banned? I went on one website and just tried it, and it said I was. Which I don’t’ understand because I haven’t been on Instagram in over 3 days!

    • Rachel Ritlop

      oh there’s this stupid website floating around that tells you your shadow banned if you put even one hashtag in the comments sections #SMH – basically NONE of your photos show up in ANY hashtag! You can check from an account that’s not following you, but check multiple ones. So I did a few brand campaigns with branded hashtags with less than 100 photos, all of which my photo wasn’t appearing and I have my own personal # and ALL of my photos had disappeared from it.

  • Adriana

    Your PUPPY! OMG! I’m so jealous haha! And Instagram is still frustrating me too! Blah!

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