Momma of Dos: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Telling Your Story #Purpose


Yesterday I posted about Building Strategic Partnerships, today I wanted to share how to effectively tell your story to others. I have always known that I wanted others to know more about me.

If you can imagine that to be more possible.

But, it really is. Aside from everything I share here I do have almost 35 years of life in general, 16 years of 24/7 relationship/marriage experience and not to mention the 25/8 of almost 7 years of Momma experience. As well as 5 years of college experience and almost 18 years of work experience. Trust me, there is so much you don't know about me. But, no worries. I have no problem with sharing. And, after the painfully embarrassing YouTube videos I uploaded yesterday and am sharing here today, you will officially know so much more about me. Videos were recorded some time last month but I just now had the guts to upload them thanks to inspiration from an amazing Austin Latina Blogger, Anali of the Nueva Latina (More information about her at the end of this blog). But first....

:: Things to keep in mind when Telling your Story::

1) Know what your purpose is- Even after so many years of knowing who I am and really seeking my purpose. I don't think it's become clear until recently. I am a Momma with a mission and telling my story in a way that is appropriate and relevant is my purpose. I want my purpose to mean something, to empower and to motivate. Never to harm others or my family. So, if you are going to share your story keep in mind, your audience, who might be involved and is it truly serving a purpose. If so, share it. With confidence and move forward. Your story could mean a lot to someone who hears it and the only way to know is by sharing it.

2) Be conscious of what you are about to share- For me my personal story involves a lot of pain, a family history full of turmoil and just things that most might not be comfortable with me sharing. I am very tactful about how I share my story and how much of it is truly relevant. Some details are not always needed and I understand that. Like I said, I am also conscious of who is involved in my story and how it might affect their present lives by me sharing it. So, with that in mind, just think carefully about what you are going to share and how much of it you can share. Or obtain permission if your story involves others. It may or may not. Just be mindful. 

3) Be Truthful- This is extremely important. There are so many instances of people who have shared horrible pasts only to gain attention and in the end, their stories were not true. And, trust me the truth always comes back to haunt you. Be honest and truthful. Always keeping in mind number 2 of this list... what you are sharing, how much you are sharing and with who. No need to lie, people should love you and appreciate you for who you are. If you have to lie to them, well they are not meant to be in your life.

4) Be YOURSELF, be unique - I can't tell you enough how much you don't want to be like everyone else. I can't tell you enough how much you really should just do what YOU do. Is it risky? Good. Are others doing it? If not, then GOOD. Like in life, you can't create this fake persona online. Because, when you meet people in person. They will know. They WILL know. That you aren't the totally social and well put-together Momma with the awesome hair and flawless skin.

Cause uhm, duh. They can see you. 

If you are that person both on and off the screen, AWESOME, you are God-given. Me. I pray every day that I say the right thing and that the pimples on my face really aren't as big as they appear in the rear-view mirror! Like, really. I will tell you here cause when you see me, hot mess express. For sure. And, those two super cute kids are usually sassy and sometimes dirty faced and stinky from lounging on the couch all day. So be warned, we are real people.

And now....my videos... I created these as a submission vlog for a conference, I was not selected but still wanted Momma's to know my story. One is a short version and the other includes reference to past conference submissions.




This one has Camila in it. HA.



----

More about Anali, because of her I was inspired to share my videos and tell my story!



Anali Martinez is a 20-Something Latina living in Austin, TX. She is from Del Rio, TX. She is a proud Mexican and loves to learn more about her heritage every day. She went to college at The University of Texas at Austin and earned her bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. Her hobbies are blogging, live music, running, working out, Zumba, and hanging out with loved ones as much as she can. She is a Kate Spade lover and planner addict. You can visit her blog here: http://www.thenuevalatina.com/ and her new YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMPZgru0GDJrVEVbgZD7aOA

Thursday, January 28, 2016

::Building Strategic Partnerships in 2016::

You know how sometimes you make specific plans in your mind for things to go a certain way and then oh yeah. Hello, Life. Well 2016, started with a major plot twist at my job, which could be a great and wonderful change. The universe and the stars were looking out for me and I think I like it. I have for a few years been escaping toxic environments. I love working, I say it all the time. I love my blog, it's become the hidden passion I didn't know I had 8 years ago.  

Having my 8-5 pm merge with my passion, has been in the works for years now. It had not ever worked out. But, now I feel SO much closer than ever before. And, I feel timing couldn't be better, cause it is. 

I also started my year with saying YES, to a lot of great things. I also wanted to remain local with events and conferences, and so far, so good. How did this happen? Well honestly, even though it's not happening as I thought it would, it's happening. The best thing is that I have had this need to tell my story, who I am, where I come from and how I make it all work. Suddenly those doors have opened widely.

All the while, these words remained in my head; strategic partnerships and tell your story or purpose. Today I will share with you how I feel you can build good strategic partnerships.




:: Things to keep in mind with Strategic Partnerships are::

1) Not everything that shines is a star- Don't be blinded by the social media numbers that I rock, well not me but JLo. Obviously, she is a superstar. In real life, we want to not only seek good partners but also be good partners. Just cause people have thousands of followers, are they really superstars or are they duds? Do they really create relevant and useful content? Do they have quality content like you? Does your vision look like theirs? Or is it very similar?

You can't be blinded by the shining lights, you must look past the numbers, and their possible "celebrity" status and figure out if there is depth. If they are all surface or are  they really making the light shine brightly for a reason. 

2) Build relationships (the money comes later)- Really get to know who you want to work with and what they stand for. Do their visions align with yours? Just because someone can potentially make you money, doesn't mean you should work with them. At the end of the day, some of my best partnerships with brands and people have been because I truly like their vision and they truly like my style.

I have repeat brands that come to me regardless of my pitch. Or brands that just come to me without even pitching. Usually, they have studied me and my blog and my style and they like it. The money, perks, and benefits are just that... perks of the relationship being built.

3) Be Supportive- Being supportive is so important. But, being consistent and having mutual levels of support is, even more, important. You can't just support people when it's most convenient for you. Yes, we are both trying to gain something. Whatever that gain might be it can be important too but at the same time, if one side is gaining more than the other, the trust is lost.  I don't ever want to be the person always giving or taking, neither are productive to anyone. You will lose credibility if people realize you are just trying to gain from them and never give in return.

So, supporting one another is not only key for all around success but also for building those relationships that will really allow you to be who you are and create productive partnerships. For women the concept of partnerships is far more important these days. Let's try to support one another and build empires that we can all be successful in!




Look for tomorrow's post on telling your story, some fun Youtube videos will be required......

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Keeping it Real~The F*BOMB post


It was pointed out to me that those who don't really know me in person, might not know that I cuss.

Weird subject I know. Bare with me. 

Well, I do. Some days more than others. I do. I am a professional and I don't go around cussing people out at work and I also don't just randomly cuss at strangers. I do though at home, in the car, around my Husband and kids, am known to drop the "F*bomb" and cuss in general, as tacky as that may sound. Some days my speech and how I want to convey certain passions or emotions are only done by adding the correct amount of cuss words. Just being real. 

And, if you follow me on social media or my blog then you know I tend to keep my style very G or PG rated. Because I do work with brands and have a very serious level of professionalism for my blog as well. I treat it as I would my 8-5 pm job. But, I don't by any means want to give off the "I am so sweet, goodie goodie, cookie cutter, Momma" image, because if we become friends you will realize. That's not really who "I am". Don't get me wrong, I am sweet and can be very cookie cutter and play by the rules and all. But, I don't ever want to scare people who might follow me here if I meet them in person and rant off with some cussing included. 

This came up because I have a new love for a podcast by Andy Frisella, of MFCEO. While his point might get across without him cussing. He addressed that cussing is just natural for him. For me, his point comes across a lot more clear and with much more passion when he cusses. I love his words and his posts. I don't want to feel like I can't share these posts because they might offend someone. I know they might but at the end of the day. I want to be real. I like to follow people who have these same real raw emotions. Because well. Deep down inside I sometimes feel the same way about life. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to change my style drastically but I might just post this type of thing now and again and I don't want anyone to be surprised when I do. 


I recently gave a speech about how I have gained my confidence and taken risks in my life, I spoke about my faith and praying. Because I am a faith filled, believer. But, I also spoke about being a BadAss. I also always preach about balance in my life, I feel that this post is about balance. How I balance having faith, praying and also expressing myself with words and sometimes those words are "bad" words. Cause, well I am human. I don't ever feel I need to be one extreme or the other. I also don't feel I should hide it or not be myself cause I am scared of what others might think.

My blog has been around the block and I just like to freely be me. As I have been in the past but maybe a little more raw these days. 

My 30's have been great and are only getting better and I feel that I have found a place as  a Momma, a Wife, an employee, a Sister, a daughter, a doer, a dreamer and I want others to also find their place. I want other momma's to know they can be awesome and badasses while being the sweet fun Momma's they want to be.

See, that wasn't so bad. Or probably what you thought it would be. You can relax now. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Business Advancement Conference #BACHou16

Momma Disclosure: This is a compensated post. All opinions and statements expressed are my own. 


Houston is very diverse. The opportunities are infinite and as our group Houston Latina Bloggers continues to grow we want to create opportunities for our readers. Which is why we have partnered with Kindred Communications and their upcoming Business Advancement Conference. This conference will offer not only a day full of networking and workshops, but also personalized mentoring, professional headshots and so much more.

Join us on April 9th at the Houston Food Bank for a day filled with developmental growth and business networking which will help your business grow. The conference is sponsored by Constant Contact, Weebly and many others, you can see them here: http://www.businessadvancementconference.com/sponsors-houston-business-conference/

In the upcoming weeks, Houston Latina Bloggers will be featuring more about this conference. 


::About the BAC:: {Information provided by Kindred Communications}

The Business Advancement Conference will be held April 9, 2016 (Saturday) at The Houston Food Bank from 8 to 3:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the food bank. 

This conference will help you take your business and brand to the next level with its workshop-style format. At the Business Advancement Conference (BAC) we will educate, elevate, empower and excite entrepreneurs, bloggers, business-oriented individuals, and strong career-minded individuals about their business/brand.
At BAC, attendees will learn how to efficiently plan for their business, branding, networking, do-it-yourself public relations, email marketing, key tips for blogging, SEO essentials, financial planning and legalities for all business types.
This conference will help attendees take control of their business and brand by providing the necessary tools and resources to win in every aspect of their business life.
Who this conference will serve: Entrepreneurs, small businesses, medium-sized businesses, bloggers, business-oriented individuals, career-driven individuals trying to take their brand to the next level and college students looking to brand themselves for their perfect career.
You can purchase your TICKETS HERE
:: About the Creator and Organizer::



Meet The Creator of The Business Advancement Conference Founder and CEO of Kindred Communications, Kiersten Kindred, received her Bachelor of Arts from Sam Houston State University, graduating with honors as magna cum laude with a major in Mass Communication and minor in History. Kindred Communications, is a full service communications/media firm specialized in communications, marketing, branding, entertainment, community engagement, consulting, career services and media relations for individuals, small and medium-sized businesses.

Ms. Kindred has been featured in national publications such as, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, InTouch Weekly, Life & Style Magazine, and had her own weekly entertainment column in the Fort Bend Herald Newspaper. Kiersten is also a Public Speaker and Author of the comprehensive marketing book, Five Steps to Marketing Success: A Small Business Guide. She specializes in communications, media, marketing and defining brands. 

Ms. Kindred created The Business Advancement Conference, to assist businesses and individuals take their brand to the next level. The workshop-style/interactive conference will be a one-of-kind event and she is excited to offer it to such a diverse community. 

Contact Information: Kiersten Kindred 
Website: Kindred Communications KcFirm.com 
Email: info@kcfirm.com



::Thoughts about the conference from the creator::

"This conference will be different than any other conference you have ever attended. We will do the work. At BAC, you will receive the education, inspiration and motivation you need to take your business or brand to the next level."

"I'm excited to be able to host such a dynamic conference for the community of Houston," said Kiersten Kindred, Founder and CEO of Kindred Communications. 

"I came up with the concept for the conference, when I was thinking about all the steps I had to take when I first started my business in 2013. I had to do strategically plan my business, brand myself, handle my public relations, motivate myself, etc. It takes work and you have to have the resources and tools you need to succeed. My hope is that I can offer the attendees of BAC everything they need to succeed in their business."

Hope to see you there! It will be amazing. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Focus and Create your own path....



2016 has just begun. Only about 20 days in and it has already been a whirlwind of events and emotions. Mostly stuff with my 8-5. With all that was going on so early in the year, I reached out to a fellow speaker, entrepreneur and blogger to talk about it all. And, we had an amazing conversation. By the way, you should never pass up an opportunity to have an open conversation with someone, it does so much for you.  Amber of Talk to Amber,  is also the first person in 6 years to get me to read an entire book. Yes, because of her I read Year of Yes. My roadmap for 2016.

Amber and I have had conversations online in the past. This time, we called one another. We talked about life, we have a lot in common, and we spoke about where I am right now in my career. As well as about having clarity and direction in my vision(s). I wanted to share a couple of key points and things that she pointed out that I know would help other Momma’s who have several visions in their lives.

If you don’t know me, I have an 8-5pm job outside the home, not related to social media. I just started a new job in July of 2015. But, have worked outside the home my whole life. This job has until now been good to me but I know it can be better. I think the universe knows this too. With change comes new opportunity. I also run this blog and all of our social media outlets for it. As well as being the co-founder of Houston Latina Bloggers. Insert shameless plug here, if you have not followed us over at HLB please do, we are getting ready for an amazing year. I am also, of course, a full-time Momma, a Wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and so on and so on. All of which are important roles for me.

As you can see my plate can be a little full at times. and I often question which path or vision I should fully pursue. Which is why I wanted to speak to Amber about clarity. Here is what we discussed. 

(1) Why do we have to pick one or the other? 

Question- Why do we? We spoke about why people think they have to only focus on ONE thing and do that one thing fully. Sometimes our passions are divided and fruitful. In my case, I love having a job. I love building my career and creating an outside the home life. One where I can learn new skills and build new experiences. I love my job and working. I don't think that will ever change. But, I also love my side gig of blogging, social media, and contenting creating and sharing. I feel I have established myself in that area well. I do often feel like other Momma's are blogging full-time and maybe so should I. Because then it would "prove" and show that I have true passion for it?

Answer- We don't have to pick just one, if we have good, healthy and happy balance, then why pick one route over the other. If both are producing good revenue. Then why not continue as I have. And, I will. For now. I have been doing this successfully since 2008, why change it now. When I have been able, unitl now, to balance it all.


(2) Options are good. 

I have been blogging since 2008 and also working full-time. Fortunately, I have always had a back-up plan and well thought out options at my jobs and with my Husband. We have been through several life changes with his jobs, he has been laid-off a couple of times and then went to school full-time to get his degree. I have always worked. When I didn't work, for about 7 months between 2012-2013, it was for me to create and redirect. Which I did. So, options are always good. I have never just done things to do them, we always think about it and discuss all the possible options. Like now. When speaking to Amber about current changes at my new job, we went over all of my new options. Having a plan and options are good. If I stop blogging, well then I have a full-time job and I am good to continue life as usual. If I stop working, well then I increase my blogger/writer/speaker hustle and have full support not just financially but emotionally/morally from my husband. (He kinda believes in me.) And, I am good to continue life as usual.

Options. Think about yours and have clear ones. 

(3) How to establish the balance and visions?

Part of having your vision and following your dreams, involves creating balance. Figure out what you love and how you will execute it, not just right now but months from now. If your vision is true and the passion is there, it will work. But, only if you do. For me. I know that I love to write, share and DO. I love being a Momma and everything else that I do. So, I create time for everything, if I lose sleep over it, well them some nights I have lost sleep. But, at the end of the day. I always figure it out.  And, get things done. That's not to say, I do have to turn down a lot of good offers, not attend certain events and get my priorities straight. I don't just take everything on, only because "it's my passion and I want to prove I can do it all." Nope. Doesn't work that way. I have clarity about when I will do things and how my schedule works. That is very important to establish for the long run. Again, if you work on a day by day basis, you will fail.

Your dreams have to have a plan... and that plan should be adaptable. 

What do you think? Should we be limited to one vision? What are your visions and goals and how do you balance them? 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

::Tweety Girl Handmade Boutique:: Shop Review #ad

Having a girly girl, is not easy. She loves dresses and all things pink. Don't get me wrong, I do too, but not as much as her. Plus her sense of style is so unique, I can't seem to ever keep up. When I want to live in jeans and yoga pants she shows me how to brighten up my wardrobe and look girly again. I simply embrace it. Camila is such a spunky little lady, I often find myself arguing with her about what she can and cannot wear. 

When we received this beautiful handmade dress by TweetyGirl Handmade Boutique, we both loved it. Camila wanted to wear it the very next day to school. Thankfully it came with a hair bow and we had shoes and you know earrings to match it. 

The sparkles on the front of the dress are her favorite part and guess what she has sparkly silver shoes to match. I loved the detail like the matching satin ribbon trim and the cute hair bow. I think it made Camila look like the perfect little girl that she is. So appropriate for all occasion and especially school. 

Please visit Tweety Girl Handmade Boutique for their latest collection. And, enjoy our Sunday afternoon photoshoot with one of my most favorite models. 










Monday, January 18, 2016

::Blogging 101 with Momma of Dos:: 5 Fun takeaways as a Workshop organizer

As a Blogger one of my goals was to one day be able to share what I have learned the last 3 plus years! While I have been blogging since 2008, I didn't start working with campaigns and brands until 2012. In that time, my blog has grown from hobby and journaling into a great side business. One that I love and take very seriously.

2016 was kicked off with a bang. My first workshop was amazing. As the organizer, I feel I learned as much as the ladies who attended. It definitely motivated me to move forward with my idea of sharing. And, if you missed the first class I will have a repeat class in April. 

Follow us for more details- 
and here at Momma of Dos

Below are 5 things I learned from my workshop as the person conducting the workshop! 

::5 Fun takeaways as a Workshop organizer:: 

{Picture credit: Ari of 3TwentySix}


(1) No Topic is off topic: The best part of creating content is learning about specific topics for my blog. But, meeting ladies in person helps open up a platform for so many other topics and no matter how much you want to stay on topic, it often gets better when we step outside the agenda. Know that no matter what, sometimes all topics are better than just sticking to what you know. 







(2) No need to worry: I was so worried and tried to be so exact about everything I did, that I became very nervous. At the end of the day remembering that all the ladies were there to be inspired and motivated helped me to remember to relax. To not worry so much and to simply be myself. Things went on so much more natural when I simply let go and stopped worrying so much about things going well. 



(3) Make it personal: The better you get to know people and the more you share your own experiences the better you can make direct connections. These connections will help you flow through your workshop content. And, the more examples you can provide from your own personal life, the more people can realize how they are not alone in their fears, doubts or questions. Giving them a  way to overcome the challenges helps them make that personal connection with your content. 




(4) Make time for questions:  The more time you allow for questions the clearer the content can become and the more the participants can make those necessary connections with their own plan and how they will apply to their own lives. I loved listening and discussing questions that we all had because no matter what there are topics where I still have plenty of room to grow! 




(5) Making Connections: Finally, at the end of it all, for me, it's all about making lasting connections. Creating a space that is comfortable, relatable and all about helping others. I love these moments of true life connections, I meet so many people and love what they all bring to my life. It's why I do what I do and continue to work hard towards all my goals. 


Have you created workshops before what are your favorite takeaways? 

Friday, January 15, 2016

::Houston Museum of Natural Science:: La Virgen de Guadalupe #ad

::momma disclosure:: this is a compensated post. all opinions expressed are my own.



"La Virgen de Guadalupe ha sido un símbolo de esperanza, protección y consuelo para sus seguidores por casi 500 años, pero ¿por qué? ¿Qué tiene la virgen que ha inspirado a millones de personas en el continente americano? La virgen morena apareció ante Juan Diego en 1531 en un evento que no sólo le cambió su vida sino la de toda una nación. Hoy en día, su imagen representa un milagro y la identidad de una cultura. Revive su historia desde sus orígenes hasta el día de hoy en nuestra exposición."~HMNS 

Growing up my life revolved around traditions and most were created because of our religion. As my children continue to grow and learn about us as Mexican-Americans; who we are, where we come from and what we believe in, I want to expose them to cultural connections as much as possible. Which is why I am always seeking and thankful for exhibits, like the one currently being present at the Houston Museum of Natural Science about La Virgen de Guadalupe. 

A while back when my kids were little a man around my age, early 30's asked, why? Why I dressed my kids as Juan Diego and a Gudalupana? My answer was because of my culture and my roots and what I want my children to know about how I was raised. While I know that they will ultimately select their own path and religion, I don't want to lose the opportunity to teach them as much as I can about our culture, faith and identity as Mexicans in America.




While we might not always be active as Catholics, we still have our faith and beliefs. But, I feel that more than that, certain Mexican traditions are such an amazing part of history you just have to teach others about it. My kids might not always end up praying the rosary every night, but we honor our ancestors and respect where they come from and what they believe in.




If you have a chance to visit this amazing exhibit Momma of Dos has a special treat for you! Discount tickets, click on the link here and enter the following code- atom (just as shown, no caps) 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Priorities + Goals ~ 2016 Edition #OneWord





As all the New Year resolution posts roll out, I resolved a couple of years ago to be different. And, just as life happens, every time I vow to slowly creep away from Momma of Dos and venture into a new area of life, well, LIFE happens. I am always brought back to this space. Where, yes, all the magic happens, kind of. All I know is that no matter what, I will be here. But, as the new year rolls on I also want you to follow us over at Houston Latina Bloggers. Where I feel the magic is slowly starting to rise. As we continue to grow our social media communities we want you to join us and share with us, and tell us what you think. We have an amazing group of talented writers and we love to share.

2016 promises to be different for me. In so many ways already. The New year  has definitely kicked in with a bang. Changes are already appearing in my life. Good, I hope.



A couple of years ago I decided on selecting ONE word, that would define and guide my year. Because I feel that we can make resolutions daily, to make the necessary changes. We can create goals and flip them in a matter of moments. I decided that this one word would help guide those resolutions and goals and OH boy. When I look back at the words, and the goals I set out to reach  for previous years, I feel good about my selections. I have accomplished my goals in SO many ways with simply providing that ONE word that would help me get through it all. Keeping that word in mind with all my actions. Carrying it in my mind and heart, referring to it and guarding it.



With all that in mind, this year my word is "Priority". My priorities have names- Ricardo, Camila and Santiago. As years have gone by I have done so much for them, for us and for myself. That's a given. Today, I feel my focus should be further on them as my priority. Sure I love attending events and being involved in so many areas of life. But, when I think about it more and more, my priorities shift as the year goes by and I don't ever want to lose that connection with my Husband and my kids. I feel 2016 will be one for us to further grow as a family. We are planning a couple of strategic moves, and fun trips for this year already. I want to keep them in mind when making my choices. 

And, thanks to the universe and me simply putting things out there so much has already happened in 2016 that has helped further  guide my  word selection.  

With all that is going on... the voices in my head keep repeating; "Quit while you're ahead Connie." But, for some reason, my heart and actions keep pushing me forward. I don't like to give up and I definitely don't like to quit. No matter what, or who, I can't give up now.

Some goals this month:

  • For myself- seek my priorities and keep them throughout 2016. 
  • For my family- seek their well-being and be there for them. 
  • For my sanity-relax and let go of "doing" so much. 
  • For my career- focus, be productive and find the balance needed. 
  • For my blog- un-blog, write when needed and seek my priorities. 


2016 will be a good year!

What is your word for 2016??

Monday, January 4, 2016

NORM OF THE NORTH ::Giveaway::



To celebrate the upcoming release of the first animated film of the new year, NORM OF THE NORTH, here is the first giveaway of the year! This prize pack is perfect for children of all ages and it includes one mini poster, a kid’s T-shirt, an activity book, and a pair of warm socks!

NORM OF THE NORTH opens on Friday, January 15, 2016 


::SYNOPSIS::

A polar bear of many words, Norm’s greatest gripe is simple: there is no room for tourists in the Arctic.  But when a maniacal developer threatens to build luxury condos in his own backyard, Norm does what all normal polar bears would do…he heads to New York City to stop it.  With a cast of ragtag lemmings at his side, Norm takes on the big apple, big business and a big identity crisis to save the day.

Enter to win your prize pack here: