Hey, Y’all! It’s been a long time since I last made a life update, and I wanted to do a post about what I’ve been up to. There has been so much going on around me that my life seems to change weekly…even daily.
With all that is going on like COVID-19, racism, police brutality, elections, stay at home orders, fear-mongering media, mothering, and running a business, it got me overwhelmed and tired.
It’s like so much is being thrown at me and wondering, “What’s next?“
So much information and opinions, I found myself getting sucked into it, mindlessly keeping up to date with it all in fear I will be missing something. All the while, it makes me fall into a deep depression returning to the days that I would always worry, living in fear.
I needed to start taking care of me and my mental health, so I began to shut off social media, re-purpose content here, to be more present with my family and get back better.
I can’t be all of me if I’m not all the way there.
Beginning of the Year before the Lockdown
Before the world seems to start falling apart, I was getting ready to head off to another adventure, this time to Memphis, TN.
The tourism of Memphis contacted me directly, and I had lunch with one of them here in Atlanta to chat about all things Memphis in March. My family and I were scheduled to visit Memphis and share our experiences with you during the first week of April.
But, I’m not worried about missing out on our trip to Memphis, there is always next time. But I appreciate that they reached out to me, giving me the opportunity.
Tourism of Memphis read about my previous travels to Memphis back in 2015 and wanted me to return to see the latest happenings in the city of Blues. As the saying goes, you never know who is watching you. Those Memphis posts were like a personal diary of my travels there, so I was stunned that Memphis tourism enjoyed it.
Some of you may know that I would visit Memphis for my family reunions yearly, but I stopped going for personal reasons, and I mentioned that with Memphis Tourism. However, they wanted me to come back since I have knowledge of several famous tourist destinations there and wanted to include updates on my blog.
But like I said, there is always next time, Memphis will be there for my upcoming arrival, and I’ll share about my time once I return.
So as for trips now, I may have to wait it out due to this virus or do more outdoorsy travels that are easy to social distance. Plus, there is another thing holding me back from traveling.
Meet Our New Guinea Pigs
If you have been following me on social media, I shared that we now have guinea pigs! Our baby guinea pigs have changed our lives big time, and everything that we do now have to revolve around them.
Having pets, getting up and going on a trip is not as easy. Now, we have to decide do we take the guinea pigs with us or find boarding for them?
For short-distance trips, for sure we can take them with us, like when we visit the Smoky Mountains.
If you haven’t had guinea pigs before, you should know that they are a lot of work! Not a beginner’s pet, that’s for sure. They poop a lot, and I do mean a lot! Very messy! So, the girls and I are continually cleaning after them several times a day.
So, if we decide to take them on trips, are handheld vacuum cleaner will be our holy grail to keeping things neat and clean.
I do like to mention that before we got our guinea pigs (well, technically they are Michelle’s piggies), I was going to start taking fewer vacations anyway because my girls are in middle school and high school, which are critical parts of their lives. Missing school days to travel can set them back a lot. And it would be selfish of me pulling them out of school, just for me to take trips for business.
That means fewer trips, and going during peak season when they have breaks from school.
These little piggies, Paulanka and Lumi, have been putting my mind at ease, keeping my focus on them and away from all the world noises. They make my heart happy, bringing fun and joy in our household.
There was an instance of sadness when one of the guinea pigs died suddenly due to having an upper respiratory infection and eye infection shortly after getting her.
It hurt us a lot, seeing our piggie Juniper sick and then dying. We spent the majority of May in and out of the Emergency Pet Hospital, trying to get Juniper better.
First, it seems like she would pull through, but all that medication the hospital had her on was too much for a baby guinea pig, which led to her death.
If you’re near Duluth, Georgia, I would not recommend using All Species Animal Hospital. I don’t believe they have the knowledge of taking care of sick guinea pigs, and according to their reviews, other guinea pigs died in their care as well.
You’ll be seeing quite a bit of both Paulanka and Lumi, especially on Instagram, so stay tuned to that! (Did you see Lumi making an appearance on one of my posts?)
Business is Booming!
If you have been following me for a while, you know that my blog business was hurting last year due to my old graphic designer negligence. Well, I’m happy to report that my blogging income has returned to 2017-2018 totals, but not quite 2016, which was my biggest year.
Due to the lockdown and everyone spending more time online, and Google’s latest algorithm update, my traffic to my blog started to rise, fast!
With the reopening of different states now happening, I’m still getting a lot of traffic to my blog that I’m very grateful for. I was putting all that hard work into my blog last year, and the corrections my new designer did paid off handsomely!
I can see 2020 being my comeback year!
Also, so many brands have been reaching out to me, finding me on social media. Remember, you never know who may be watching you. I’ve heard that my name has been coming up in meetings, and recommendations from previous people I’ve worked with. Awesome!
Even though I’m getting approached more, I still only work with brands that fit my current lifestyle. I don’t work with brands just for the money, filling my blog with random stuff. There have been times I turned brand offers down, no matter how much the offer is. Not all money is good money.
However, I like sticking with working as a product review affiliate marketer because it makes me money monthly, paying for my lifestyle. Plus, I get to blog about what I want. I don’t care for one time deals with brands. That’s like a vicious cycle of chasing money. No thanks!
Girls Returning Back to School
Even with this pandemic happening, the girls’ schools are returning in-person. There is an option for digital learning, but my girls are not wanting to stay at home.
With them being older, they are good at making sure they keep their hands clean, keeping their distance from people, and wearing masks when it’s needed. I keep their immune systems healthy by regularly going outside, getting that vitamin D, and eating healthy.
If I feel that they are not safe at school, I’ll have the option to remove them, and they can complete their schooling at home.
Well, that’s been pretty much it with what’s going on with me. I’m spending more time at home and go out doing things around town, staying local.
Times like this have me reflecting, taking care of my well-being, keeping uplifted spiritually, reminding myself that this too shall pass.
I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued love and support! Because of you, you keep me going with this little blog of mine.