January 13, 2017

January Goals

I cannot believe that we're in 2017 already! I mean, seriously, it was January 2016 like three minutes ago, so I'm feeling personally victimized that we're in a new year somehow!

2017 brought with it a lot of changes! I'll definitely go more into detail in another post, but I started a new job this month and I'm so excited for what the rest of the month, and the rest of the year, have to offer! Now let's get into goals for the month!
Check out last month's goals and recap post HERE

RECAP OF MY DECEMBER GOALS

1. Create a solid content calendar // Finally, I managed to make progress on this! While I haven't made a 6-week calendar, I have finally taken things past my current strategy of jotting ideas in a notebook and never getting around to writing the posts! Hopefully with this, I'll be more consistent and present on the blog in 2017!

2. Read three books // The Christmas season was a lot busier than I expected, and I only managed to get one book down. I'm giving myself partial credit for this because kudos to me for actually picking up my Kindle again! 

3. Clean out my closet // OK, this didn't happen. I definitely need to do this ASAP, but I know I need to commit a full day to doing it, so I keep putting it off! Soon?  

4. Order a 2017 planner // I decided on the Purposeful Planner for 2017 and I can't wait to share more about it soon! 

5. Learn a new makeup trick // Thanks to my unhealthy obsession with Jaclyn Hill and YouTube makeup vloggers in general, and all of the beauty blogs I devour on the reg, I learned a few new tricks with all of the new makeup I bought myself in December! 

TOTAL: 3.5/5: Overall, not a bad month! Considering how crazy the Christmas season was, I'm impressed that I got any of these done to be honest! 

JANUARY GOALS

1. Read two books // Too many times when I have a spare minute, I'll fit it with mindlessly strolling on the internet or binge watching a series or two. I want to be more intentional with my time, and I want to spend whatever free time I have by choosing to read some more. I'm a huge reader once I start, so it's just to commit the time to doing so! 

2. Focus on Instagram // I really dropped the ball with my Instagram account. A lot of it has to do with my feeling uncomfortable and not wanting to shoot pictures of myself. A lot of it has to do with just not having much to share. A lot of it has to do with just being scared. I'm commiting to get back on track this year, and so I'm starting with this month! 

3. Go to bed earlier // I am sick. There I said it. I have a legit illness because I cannot sleep before 4 A.M. and then I have to wake up and get to work for 7:30 A.M. and I'm exhausted and so it's all a cycle, and I'm dying to break it. This month, I'm committing to being in bed by midnight so I can get six hours a night! That's a start! 

4. Exercise 4 to 5 times a week // I got on track with my exercising really hardcore coming down to the end of the year, but the closer we got to Christmas, the harder it was for me to commit the time to going. Now that it's a new year, I want to commit to exercising four to five times a week again. Whether it's an exercise class, lifting weights with my trainer, or just going for an old fashioned jog with friends, I'm getting back on track - especially with Carnival around the corner. 

5. Save money // I can't lie to you.. I'm a horrible saver! I'm looking to buy myself a car in the next month and I know I need to make smarter decisions about my money and what I'm spending it on. Fingers crossed! 

Cheers to a new month and a new year! Let's crush our goals and start 2017 with a bang! 

What are your goals for this month? 

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December 12, 2016

December Goals

And there we have it folks.. we're already in December. And because this post is coming so late in the month.. we're less than one month away from a new freakin' year. How the hell did this happen?!!

November was a HUGE month, filled with a lot of changes... changes I cannot WAIT to announce! But it was definitely a hectic and stressful month! And because of that, I wasn't as productive as I would have liked to be. Yes, this is me making an excuse, but when you finally hear my announcement, you'll understand why and let this one slide.

Check out last month's goals and recap post HERE!

RECAP OF MY NOVEMBER GOALS

1. Utilize The Genius Bloggers Toolkit // LOL, nope. I am not even gonna try and pretend I even tried to do this. I didn't. I failed! Oh well, next month! 

2. Take on another client // Done and done! I welcomed a new client this month and have been loving the collaboration so far. You know when someone just clicks with you... 

3. Start using Pinterest more // I haven't even come close to this! Once again, just haven't had the time...

4. Get started on my Christmas shopping // I spent the last week in Miami with my mom and sisters shopping for Christmas, so I got started but by no means am I done with my shopping! UGHHH! 

5. Shoot two outfit posts // LOL, if it's possible, my self-esteem has gotten even lower than usual, and the idea of shooting outfit posts seems impossible. I'm confident that in 2017 I'll get back into it!

2/5: Whoops! Okay, I'm just impressed I got any off this list. Silver linings, right?! 

DECEMBER GOALS

1. Create a solid content calendar // I do this at work. I do this with my clients. Why do I keep putting off doing this for myself? I'm ready to dive in this month! 

2. Read three books // 2017 is going to be a very stressful year, and I have the week after Christmas off from work. I want to take that time to really allow myself to relax and read a couple books. I recently downloaded a ton of books on my Kindle, so what better time to tackle them than the holidays?! Should I do a reading list? You tell me!

3. Clean out my closet // While I didn't shop for myself that much in Florida, I definitely am in desperate need of cleaning out my closet and getting rid of clothing that I no longer like or even wear. My style has definitely shifted since I graduated college, and my wardrobe should be a reflection of that. 

4. Order a 2017 planner // As you may know, I'm a major planner addict. From Lilly to Erin Condren and everything in between, I cannot for the life of me decide which I want to use for 2017! Any suggestions? I'm torn between Erin Condren, Purposeful Planner and Day Designer for my every day, and May Designs agenda for my blog planner! 

5. Learn a new makeup trick // Since last year, I've been really into makeup, and on this trip, I picked up a few items I'd been wanting for a while. Not having a Sephora in my country makes this addiction really difficult, y'all! So armed with a ton of new product, a new eyeshadow palette and brand new brushes, I'm ready to try a new look! Jaclyn Hill, here I come! 

What are your goals for the rest of the year? 

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November 04, 2016

5 Ways To Save Money Shopping Online

This is a part of my Ballin' on a Budget series, where I share tips, tricks and best-kept secrets to sticking to a budget while living your best life! 

This post is sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Caro Diaries!

This week, I shared how I save money on all of my big purchases, and the response was so great that I teamed up with Groupon again to talk about how I save money when I shop online! I'm definitely an online shopper... there's something so easy about browsing, clicking and it just showing up at your door! But it can add up really quickly... trust me, I'd know ;) Luckily, I've learned some go-to tips for saving the most money when shopping online, so you can get even more for even less!
1) Two words: Amazon. Prime. // So Amazon Prime isn't a sale website or anything, but signing up for Prime gives you free two-day shipping on all Amazon orders! Sign up for a free 30-day trial to test out the service and save you tons of money! While it's an initial fee, it'll definitely save you money in the long run!

2) Track prices before you buy // I already mentioned how much I love Price Blink's browser extension that automatically compares prices on any item you're looking at.. which makes it ten times easier to save money! I also swear by ShopStyle that allows you to track prices and set sale alerts on items you're lusting over.. so when that expensive pair of heels that never go on sale go on sale, you'll save yourself money and get that pair of shoes.. talk about a win/win!

3) Check off-price retailers first // While larger-named department stores like Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus might be your first choice when it comes to online shopping, they can be expensive! Try off-price retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Neiman Marcus Last Call so you can grab designer goods and high-end clothes at discount prices!

4) Use ShopRunner // Have you ever heard of ShopRunner? It's a service really similarly to Amazon Prime that gives you free 2-day shipping on websites that usually charge for shipping. Stores like Neiman Marcus, Kate Spade, eBags and more all offer free shipping to ShopRunner members! So like Amazon Prime, there's an initial fee but you'll save tons that make it so worth it. What truly wins you over is the free return shipping with ShopRunner, so if something doesn't fit or look good, you can send it back without paying for the pesky $5+ shipping fees. Plus, if you're an AmEx cardmember, you may be eligible for a complimentary membership!

5) Use Groupon Coupons // I never online shop without first checking online for coupons. I mean it's simple.. why pay full price when chances are there's a 10, 15, 25% off coupon somewhere out there! I always check Groupon before I checkout any online purchase because they have all of my favorite and go-to stores, including Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor! Definitely a lifesaver when online shopping!

So there you have it... those are my big secrets on how I save money when online shopping. Hopefully it can help you out too!

Do you online shop? How do you save money? 

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November 03, 2016

November Goals

Jesusssss how are we in November already?!!! 2016 CANNOT be almost over! October flew by... okay, no, this entire year flew by! I can't get over how quickly 2017 is approaching! But October as a month was much better than September.. so let's just get to recapping the month!

Check out last month's goals and recap post here! 

RECAP OF MY OCTOBER GOALS

1. Create a 6-week content calendar // Wow ok, I suck at this. Once again, I put off creating a full content calendar.. but I did draft out blog post ideas for 15 or so posts, so I'm gonna chalk this up as a half-win!

2. Get back into a workout routine // Finally! I honestly kept putting this off month after month, but last month I bit the bullet and started training with a professional trainer. I thought for sure I'd only go to the gym twice a week, but surprisingly, I started working out five days a week! It's been cool to see results already and he's a pretty fun trainer (and even posts "proud instas" of his clients.. aka me here and here!)

3. Schedule my life out fully // Nope, fail. I mean, I've gotten into more of a routine but I haven't found a way to really schedule out all aspects of my life. It's definitely an adjustment because admittedly, I do have a lot going on in my life. Between working full-time, working on the blog, writing freelance, working as a VA for a few clients and then finding time to workout and have a social life, I'm gonna lose it eventually! So this needs to happen... it just hasn't yet!

4. Cut out all soda drinks and drink more water // I have kinda done this... I've definitely cut down on my diet coke obsession, but I haven't cut it out completely, so I'm working towards this. I definitely need to drink more water too!

5. Utilize Helene's Blog Boss Babe // Ok, so I haven't completely done this but I have been more tuned into her Facebook group, and learning a lot! My next step is to start using the actual web portal more and taking some of her courses.

2.5/5: OK, not a great month but not my worst. I've come to realize that I need to be more realistic about my monthly goals and be honest with myself about what I can tackle each month.

NOVEMBER GOALS

1. Utilize The Genius Bloggers Toolkit // I signed up for this incredible bundle at the last minute because I knew I would benefit from at least ONE of the 67 amazing blogging resources.. so my goal for this month is to get started on some of these tools! Did you buy the bundle too? Join our group and become an accountability buddy so we can actually tackle this massive task! 

2. Take on another client // My contract with one of my clients ended last month, so I'm looking to take on another client this month! Need a VA? Email me

3. Start using Pinterest more // Thanks to some major inspiration from Jenny's Confetti Social newsletter, I want to focus more on Pinterest this month! I really haven't been utilizing my Pinterest to the best of my ability, and it used to be one of my largest sources of traffic. I'm aiming to start back pinning regularly, organizing my boards and scheduling pins for throughout the day so I'm not pinning all at the same time! 

4. Get started on my Christmas shopping // This is the first year I'm "buying" Christmas gifts in my family. In the past, everyone has always picked one name but students were always exempt from it cause #broke. But apparently once you graduate, you start buying gifts! I wanna start online shopping this month and getting good deals on Christmas gifts for my friends and family! 

5. Shoot two outfit posts // I've been feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my body since I moved home, and I've avoided shooting outfit posts because of it, but I'm putting this here to motivate myself to get back into it and get out of my comfort zone and start shooting outfit posts again! 

Here's to hoping November is a successful one! Linking up my goals this month with my good friend Jenny from Breakfast at Lilly's

What are your goals for the upcoming month? 


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