bloggingchronic style

Photo Shoot Fun With ColourPop Cosmetics & A Confidence That Was All My Own


I needed to have a photo shoot done to update my profile pictures for my blog and to update my blog branding and plus I wanted to show off some of my new Colourpop Cosmetics and show off a confidence that was all my own. At first I feel extremely awkward having pictures taken by myself because a) I’m either the one behind the camera  or 2) I’m either in the middle of my amazingly attractive husband and my gorgeous daughter. So I’m just there so it takes some getting used to but once I start to get used to it, something amazing happens. I begin to feel this confidence overcome me and I feel fierce again. Probably fierce and bold again for the first time since the last time I had pictures taken to update my blog.

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I felt confident,sassy and empowered.

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I felt confidence like I ouuld take over the world – in a good way. When you can embrace your confidence and forget about your chronic illness for awhile, it is a special time.

[bctt tweet=”It is like for those few moments, I feel like I am embodying everything I want my blog to be.”]

Everything I want each of you to feel on a daily basis. It is a very powerful and a very humbling moment all at the same time. Ryanne from R@ck Photography has done my blog portfolio shots the last two years and I could not be more happy with her work. There was a bit of sadness this year when I flipped through last year’s shots and see that Charlie was with me knowing she couldn’t be here with me again. She is here with me in spirit but I would much that be covered in her fur. But I now her spirit was with me. I had fun picking out a few new pieces to add to my wardrobe that exemplified the “new me” and that showed off my new tattoo. I got to show off my love for ColourPop Cosmetics and next week I am going try to my hand at filming a tutorial for the look I wore for this photo shoot. All eyes, cheek, and lip products were all Colourpop.

Here are some of my favorites:


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What do you think of these headshots? Which one is your favorite? What is the most recent thing you have done for only you?

While you take a walk on the wild side and have a photo shoot done of just you?

bloggingjust for fun

2013 Blogging Goals

I hope your new year is off with a bang! After having the last week and a half off from work for the holidays, it was SO hard to have the alarm go off this morning! Abby had crawled in bed next to me and when she heard it she said, “No, Mommy! It’s still dark outside so its time to stay in bed!” Oh, my child, how I whole-heartedly agree!

The new year is the perfect time to set new goals! We will hear endlessly about New Years Resolutions in the media (for the next month anyways before they all get ditched) and while I admit, I am a prime example for creating goals but falling terribly short on the follow through. I have a bad habit of creating really big goals and then getting really discouraged when they cannot be achieved quickly and then usually end up giving up all together so this year I am trying to focus on smaller goals that I can build upon as the year progresses.

As I reviewed the past year’s posts as I created my list of favorite posts of 2012, it was easy to notice how thin posting got as the year drew to a close so I am really hoping the new year helps me refocus and re-energize. A New Kind of Normal needs some new life in 2013 so it is time to set some new yearly blogging resolutions! I am loving my new blog planner from Click It Up a Notch and I picked up a couple new writing books at Christmas (one I am starting with is 642 Things to Write About) so feel really good about what 2013 has in store! My husband and I also got a new laptop – a Macbook Pro! – as our Christmas gift to each other which has taken some adjusting but I’m digging it so far!

Onto the goals –

  1. Post at least 3 times a week. Quality over quantity.
  2. Read & COMMENT on at least 3 blogs a day. I have gotten so slack on commenting and after reading a few posts, it has seemed to have become a common (and sad) trend in the blogosphere so I am hoping to join with other bloggers to breathe some life back into blog comments!
  3. Guest blog at least 3 times throughout the year.
  4. Feature at least 3 new guest bloggers here at A New Kind of Normal this year. I love showing off fresh faces and I am sure you all get tired of hearing me blab!
  5. Organize & complete the 2nd annual Blogging for Endometriosis Awareness campaign.
  6. Grow blog stats by 20%. I am not a huge numbers girl and do not equal my value as a blogger with my stats but I know tracking my stats encourages me to be more active.
  7. Attend Type A Conference in Atlanta in September! I cannot wait!
  8. Follow through the book Mom Blog SEO by the awesome Kelby Carr! I have really been wanting to do this as my SEO skills are zilch so I think 2013 needs to be the year to master it! Anyone want to work through it with me?
  9. Have head shots taken! This is definitely not a necessity but for fun! Why not have an excuse to get all gussied up for some pictures?

That should keep me plenty busy for 2013!

Do you have any new yearly blogging resolutions ready to go New Year? Do you have any other resolutions outside of blogging?

bloggingchronic illness

Dealing with Negative Feedback

I have shared many times about all of the wonderful things I have been able to experience thanks to being a part of social media and an online health community. Despite all of the perks, there have definitely been moments of frustration in dealing with negative feedback and behavior. I have been very blessed here at A New Kind of Normal not to have anything like this happen (because you all are the BEST!) but I have seen my share over the years. I have seen message board “wars” and fights within support groups over who is right. I have also seen that the “mean girl” mentality is still equally present in adulthood.

I think we can all recognize that conflict is inevitable and whenever you are dealing with a group of people with different personalities and perspectives, there are going to be moments of disagreement. I think it is in the moments of disagreement that people’s true colors shine through. I am not opposed to discussion and even healthy debate but when belittling and personal attacks begin, a line has been crossed. Don’t get me started on how my views of people changed during the election process as I watched hate and ignorance take over social media.

When faced with some of this negativity, I avoid it when possible as I don’t have spare energy it takes to get dragged into it. I am not shy about using the hide button or unfollowing if necessary. When you deal with chronic illness, you need to decide what is worth your energy and what isn’t. Negativity spewed across cyberspace is an area where I choose not to spend my energy unless two things are happening: 1) I am a leader in the community and therefore have a responsibility to manage it, or 2) there is an injustice that needs to be corrected in which taking a stand is required (such as grossly inaccurate facts about adoption)  in which case I do my best to share correct information with the understanding that it may or may not change the other person’s mind or behavior.

As a community leader, I have followed a couple of guidelines to help get through some of the tougher situations. First, know the community rules and be sure those rules are posted somewhere so that you can refer members to when necessary. One group I helped lead was a closed group and as a part of being approved for membership, you had to sign off that you read and agreed to the rules of membership which outlined the type of behavior that would not be tolerated (such as personal attacks, bad language, etc). This group also had a required confidentiality agreement which prohibited contacting someone off-list without prior approval (doing so could result in legal action) so it could prevent any disagreement from being extended off-list but as a leader, it was important to be sure to reinforce these boundaries and take action when they have been violated.

I think something else to consider when dealing with negativity within the community as a leader or as a participant is that to not take it personally. I know this can be difficult (and I am preaching to the choir here because I have a lot of difficulty with this whether it be online or in the workplace or otherwise) but I have learned that in most cases the issue at hand is not about the recipient at all. Generally, the aggressor (or troll in some cases) has some sort issue with themselves and they are choosing to act it out on someone else. This person may have a mean girl complex and finds some twisted sort of high self-esteem from tearing others down and finds the internet an easy target. This person may just be a jerk and have nothing better to do than troll websites looking to start trouble for the “fun” of it. This person may live under a rock and not have a single clue what manners are. It may be a combination of all three. I think taking a moment to step back and consider that the conflict or negativity is not really about you is a great way to gain some perspective when dealing with negativity and conflict within the community.

These are just a couple of things that I have learned over the last few years being a part of the online community. Have you ever dealt with negative feedback or conflict within the community? What advice do you have to give on overcoming the negativity?