Good Morning Friends!

I hope all of you had a fabulous Easter holiday and got lots of time with family & friends (+ lots of candy!). If you didn’t see my Instastory this weekend, Justin and I spent Friday – Sunday in Monterey, California so he could take his car to the Laguna Seca race track. It was a really cool experience and I even got to ride along! Unfortunately, I got pretty car sick on the first ride so I sat out two – four, but luckily rode with him for his fifth and final session and did okay! The track is super curvy and it’s a lot of jerking around when you are a passenger so my body didn’t know what was happening haha. Everyone kept asking me if I was scared and I was like “What?! No way! It’s so much fun!” We’ve discovered I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky…which fits well since Justin loves fast cars. I was so impressed with is skills – it’s not easy!
You’re probably wondering about today’s title. I contemplated not sharing this but I feel like the more candid I am the more I’m able to relate to all of you. It’s always a little scary to be completely transparent for fear of judgment but I know I enjoy getting to know more about the bloggers I follow. Their real life. Most of you probably don’t know but ever since I moved to California I’ve been working as a contractor. Which if you don’t know, basically means you work for a company through an agency. It’s non-permanent but you feel as though you’re just like everyone else in the office. I’ve had an incredible time and have learned soooo much from the company I’ve been working with. I would seriously do it again in a second! But, being a contractor means you forgo certain things like vacation time, sick time, etc. and it’s a little scary never knowing if you’re contract will get renewed. 
SO… After lots of contemplation, I decided to end my contract last week. Eeeek! I’m not going to share any details because that would be inappropriate and my reasons for leaving were all based on some nitty-gritty logistics. I had such a positive experience and it was the most amicable departure that you could even possibly imagine. Obviously, it’s a scary position to be in, I’ll be honest, but I feel incredibly empowered and confident in my decision. I’ve discovered that my intuition never steers me wrong and that sometimes the scariest choices are the best ones to make. A little over a year ago I quit my job in Virginia and moved across the country to California – HUGE life change. And you know what?! It was the best one I’ve ever made and I’ve never been happier. 
Okay, don’t totally freak out for me…I do still have an income because I’ve been working part-time as a stylist. For the past couple of months, I’ve actually been working 55 hour weeks – minimum – before touching the blog. At times it burned me out but I’m so glad I decided to take on the extra work. I truly enjoy it and I’m excited to take on extra hours while I decide what I’m going to do next. Blogging and styling? Yes paaaleaseeee! 
Some of you are probably thinking or wondering if I left my job to blog full-time but being totally candid, I’m not in that position financially. Those things take time and a lot of patience! While I have the time, though, my goal is to grow it and promote Pardon Muah the best I can. It’s been really hard to invest enough time and energy into the blog having so many other things going on. Sadly, at times it’s taken a back seat, but it all came down to priorities. I do my best to get posts up on time Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in addition to posting on Instagram two – three times a day + responding to comments in a timely fashion. It sounds like a lot of “work” but boy do I love it! I so look forward to my time creating posts, editing photos, planning content, and interacting with all of you.
So what comes next for the blog? I have several goals I’d like to achieve.
One. Updating my website. It functions well and I like the template for the most part, but I think it could be even better (says the perfectionist lol). It’ll take me some time because money is involved but I’d like to give it a custom overhaul. Believe it or not, I started with a $15 template and then slowly had changes made so it would be one of a kind and work the way I want. Over the next couple weeks I’m planning to put together a Pinterest board of styles, inspiration, and signature colors & fonts so I can send them to the designer when the time is right. 

Two. Start a newsletter! I’ve seen a lot of bloggers doing this and I feel like it’s a great way to update you guys on what’s new and to share the week’s posts in one place in case you were busy and couldn’t stop by. I could also include sales and new favorites with quick and east links! Once I build it, I will let you all know via post, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…you know…the whole nine yards hah. 

Three. Invest in a desktop computer. This might sound simple and silly but right now I use my laptop for everything…to edit photos, write posts, etc. etc. I’m super thankful for my laptop but it’s an 11inch  so the screen is quite small and after a while, you feel a little cross-eyed haha. I purposely got the smaller size for travel because it’s much lighter to carry but at home, a desktop would be ideal. Plus, when you edit photos it’s crucial to see all of the detailing up close and personal. 

Four. Plan to be more visible and interactive on all of my social sites. Working so many hours and being in the office can handicap your social presence, obviously, so while I’m able, I want to share more of my day to day, additional content, and more items I’m loving. I might also start posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays…it’s just a thought for now but is something I’ve been contemplating – as long as I have the content to share. It seems to come in waves. Sometimes I have too much and sometimes I have too little – so we will see!
And lastly, Five. Create new content & ideas. More than just content, I want to come up with new and innovative blogging topics. For example, I have Motivation Mondays, Wear It Wednesday, Face It Friday... I want to come up with and create more themes like these and new ways to interact with existing followers and bring in new followers. If there’s ever anything you all want to see that you feel you aren’t, please let me know. My goal is to get readers excited about Pardon Muah!
Okay. That’s enough for now. Thank you for visiting today and for sitting through this rather long life update. The response to Pardon Muah over the last almost three years has been wonderfully positive and all of the sweet comments constantly encourage me to keep going. Even when I feel like I should give up and that blogging is silly. So thank you to all of you who have been there with me from the beginning, middle, and who may be reading for the first time today. Your support absolutely means the world!  My plan is to continue being more transparent about things as they change and evolve and will definitely share the fun along the way. 

Oh! And btw…the t-shirt above inspired me to write this post. It’s the first piece of apparel, well the first piece of anything, branded with my blog name. It made me realize this little blog of mine has actually become a blog. It meant the world to me and I’ll be wearing it until it falls apart one day hah! You can find the link above to the company, Rollick Threads, in case you want to shop for yourself. Everything else is linked above and below. 
Have a fabulous Monday!


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XO Amanda