Posts in Life
How to Start a Blog: Part 2 (Choosing the Best Blog Platform)
How to Start a Blog - Rad Maverix

This is part 2 of the How to Start a Blog Series and it may be the most overwhelming; choosing the best blogging platform FOR YOU. If you’re new to blogging then you’re probably asking yourself, “What even is a platform”? A blogging platform is the software or service that you will use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog / website. It is simply a content management system.

Please note, I've seen people get really sensitive + defensive about their respective blogging platform. At the end of the day, you need to choose what fits best for YOU! Do your research if you're not 110% confident on which platform to use! The opinions in this article are just that...my opinions + experiences. 

A little history on the Rad Maverix website:

Rad Maverix originally started on the (free) Wordpress.com platform. Wordpress.com is great for beginner bloggers who don’t want the commitment of the monthly / annual fee of having a website but still would like to add a SMALL bit of customization to their blog. I emphasis SMALL BIT because you are pretty limited on the customization's available on the free software.

After a few months on Wordpress.com I felt a bit restricted on the design/customization side of things so I switched over to the self-hosted software, Wordpress.org. Both versions of WP, the .com and .org’s have essentially the same dashboard. So there was not a huge learning curve besides stepping into the shark pool I like to call the “Hosting biz”. When using the Wordpress.org software you have to provide your own hosting. Which means you have to do all of the maintaining on the back-end or contract it out. EW. I was on the .org for a couple of years and eventually got so tired of the maintaining / fixing / 'site not found' / 'bandwidth exceeded' bull that I didn’t even want to look at my website. I was spending SO much time maintaining and working on the back-end of Radmaverix.com that I felt discouraged and didn’t even have the time or energy to work on providing actual blog content! I have to add this disclosure, it may have been partially my chosen hosting company's fault that left such a bad taste in my mouth in regards to WP.org. Although the customer service was incredible I kept "exceeding bandwidth" and my site kept "going down" even though my traffic was not super high. 

Not to mention, while my blog was on Wordpress.org my actual Rad Maverix Shop was being hosted on Shopify. So I was losing A LOT of SEO optimization / google rank because I was sending my blog readers and shoppers to 2 different websites! YUCK! I only suggest Shopify to retailers / shop owners who don't plan to blog or don't really care to have a lot of customization on their blog. Shopify is an EXCELLENT software for shop owners and I 100,000% support it!

Fast forward to Jan 2016 and I finally made the leap to Squarespace. The only thing I can say, is I wish I had done it sooner. Now, my blog + shop is housed under one really pretty + polished tin roof. The only thing that stopped me from moving to SS sooner was the fact that (at the time) SS did not integrate with Paypal and a lot of my customers used Paypal at checkout when buying tees + tanks. I was scared to death that I could potentially lose a lot of customers because Paypal would no longer be an option at checkout. THEN, SS decided to jump on the bandwagon and integrate with Paypal late 2016. YAY! 

I've been on Squarespace for over a year now and it is still one of the best decisions I've made in my business to date.

 
This is a very short version of the Rad Maverix platform history. I don't want to bore you with the details but please know that I have spent many late nights fixing / crying / cussing and feeling super frustrated because my website JUST WOULDN'T WORK. I have had experience with Blogger (blogspot) as well and although a great platform for beginner bloggers, I've found a lot of blogspot.com users end up moving to Squarespace or Wordpress.org for better control and design options.
 
frontline-creative-178990.jpg

 

 

I’m only going to compare a few of the platforms I have had experience with but will provide you with a more extensive list of possible platforms if you’d like to do further research.


pros / cons


wordpress.org

Pros

  • The software is free and super easy to use ONCE you learn how to maneuver the Wordpress dashboard

  • You are in complete control + essentially own your data

  • You can upload and use plugins (more plugins = more customization's)

  • You can buy and install REALLY cute themes (ETSY!) and modify theme files

  • You can make money from it by using your own ads!

  • Custom Analytics and Tracking

Cons

  • Web hosting. This bit will cost you money somewhere from around $3 – $11 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too as you are limited on traffic / space on your website).

  • You are responsible for updates / backups and preventing SPAM. There are, however, plugins to help with these tasks.

 

 

wordpress.com

pros

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).

  • They make regular backups of your site.

Cons

  • They place ads on all free websites.

  • You cannot sell ads on your site unless you have over 25k page views / month

  • Cannot use plugins

  • Cannot use custom themes

  • Your site can be deleted at any time if they think it violates their Terms + Services

  • Analytics are limited.

 

 

squarespace

pros

  • Flexible pricing plans with a 14 day free trial period

  • Self-hosted (you don't need to pay for hosting)

  • Beautiful themes that are responsive to mobile devices.

  • Drag + drop web design / extensive styling options

  • SEO optimized

  • All plans are AD-FREE

  • No bandwidth or storage limit

Cons

  • There is not a free option

  • Harder to learn how to use other than other web builders

  • Integrations are limited to a select few services and tools

  • The Personal plan limits you on # of pages, 1 blog + 2 contributors

 

 

Points to consider before choosing a platform:

What is your monthly / annual budget?
What exactly do you need your blog / website for?
Will you have a shop? or blog only?
Do you want to sell ads?
How much control do you want?
How much customization do you want?

Does your brain hurt yet? I hope not! Although, it can feel a bit scary and overwhelming try not to worry too much about which platform to start out with. You can always test it out and move to a different platform at a later date. There are gobs of resources on the WWW that will help you move your content from one platform to another if you decided to ever change service providers (literally step-by-step guides!).

 

Here is a list of other blogging platforms to look into:

  • Blogger

  • Tumblr

  • Medium

  • Wix

  • Joomla

  • Ghost

  • Weebly

 
How to Start a Blog // Part 2 (Choosing a Blog Platform)

What is your preferred platform?

 

Riss

Weekend Vlog + Mini ULTA Haul

Rise + Shine my loves.

YAY for a new YouTube Video!!  Last weekend we got a chance to get away from the Rockin' JF Ranch and do a little shopping, eating + relaxing in Tulsa. We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Los Cabos and did a bit of shopping at Golf Galaxy, ULTA & Best Buy. Follow along in the vlog below!

 

Are you subscribed to my channel?

Style, LifeMerrissaYouTube, Vlog
Neutrals on Neutrals on Neutrals

I have a hard time incorporating color into my wardrobe. I didn't really come to this realization until a friend asked if they could raid my closet because they needed something black to wear to a funeral. Although I probably ought to be making a conscious effort to add more color to my closet it's just so dang hard!! GIVE ME ALL THE BLACK CLOTHES IN THE WORLD.

But, can we just talk about this gorgeous tooled bag? A few months ago my dad sent me a text with a photo of this clutch asking if I wanted it or could use it. I thought he was teasing me because he knew I would love to add it to my collection. I jokingly replied, "LOL shut up are you serious". Turns out he was serious and I've been in love ever since! My dad's friend, Don, handmade this bag over 40 years ago. The craftsmanship + condition is impeccable and I must say, it easily steals the show. Don has been a (very) longtime friend of our family and I am incredibly grateful for his kindness and generosity. 

IMG_8987.jpg
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix
Rad Maverix

Shop the Look:

dress, similar

Cardigan (sold out, similar)

Shoes, similar

Hat

 

Until next time,

Merrissa

 

LifeMerrissaOOTD
Setting Badass Intentions
Rad Maverix

 

I’ve been fighting with my heart lately and I can’t help but feel like it’s all a part of this self-proclaimed soul searching journey. Or at least telling myself that makes me feel a little bit less insane. The last few months I have been going in and out of these dazes and it seems as though as the time goes by that these feelings and urges keep getting stronger and stronger.

It all started last year when I was eating dinner at Olive Garden with my family. I glanced up, saw my (older) sister drinking a lemon martini and, for some reason, I felt the need to ask her how old she was. But why? In my head I knew exactly how old she was but it felt like I had stepped out of my body and was looking at the scene from the outside in. She promptly and obviously, a bit surprised, asks me, “Ugh, WHY?!!!”… Urging for some kind of comforting answer, I asked her again. Then I cried. That’s how it happened, folks. I had a quarter-life crisis right there at the damn Olive Garden. At least I had pasta + wine to cry over and give me comfort.

Want to know what spurred the cry-fest? Honestly, I think my heart was feeling conflicted. I have several personalities (emphasis on the "several") and at that exact moment I felt like I had failed miserably on exploring all of my personalities throughout my life by only living the ones that have been the main "stars" of my lifetime. The bubbly personality, the kind personality, the loyal personality, the compassionate personality, the HBIC personality, the stubborn and steadfast personality. All good traits but what about the others..the ones that don't shine so bright? Does that make sense? Like a fine wine, with age we get better...and sweeter, right? As we evolve, we learn to explore ourselves on a deeper + more terrifying level. We learn new activities / hobbies and acquire new interests, we go through our very own evolution's.

 

Here's what I'm saying:

  • I love a good designer purse but I also love power tools and making something out of nothing.

  • I love and adore décor but I’m a huge fan of blank space.

  • I love keeping a cushion in my savings account but I also live for the phrase YOLO.

  • I love stability but I crave spontaneity.

  • I love being outdoors and getting my hands dirty but I also love upscale restaurants and dressing up.

  • I love knickknacks but I love the art of minimalism.

  • I love steadiness but desire freedom.

  • I love owning my very own business but some days I prefer to not be bothered by any responsibilities. #YOGAPANTSARELIFE


Rad Girl's Guide to SetTING Badass Intentions

But how does one go about having it all? Living the wild + free but stable life? First, I believe it all starts with the right intentions and letting go of the need for societal validation. I know a lot of people (myself included) who have missed out on so many adventures and opportunities because they were too afraid of what others would think about them or the decisions made. Ditching the need for approval doesn't happen overnight. It's something that grows and gets better the more we feel self-assured + confident with ourselves and our decisions. 

So what's an intention, anyways? An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world. What matters most to you? Your answer to this can craft a powerful intention that will help you align your actions as you go about your day.

 

How to set badass intentions:

  1. Make sure your intentions can evolve. If you stick with the same intention week after week your mind will get bored. Think about that brand new perfume you bought. It smells fabulous for the first week or 2 but after that the scent is not as stout / fragrant.

  2. Keep that shit positive. Think about what you want not what you don't want. Example: do say, "My intention is to invite peace and calmness within myself." don't say, My intention is to not be a hot freakin' mess."

  3. Create goals with soul with sub-intentions. This year, one of my main goals is to hike more and complain less. So my sub-intention could be: "My intention for this week is to hike Turkey Mountain three times and practice gratitude twice a day." My intention has room to grow and evolve throughout the year while still fulfilling my main goal.

  4. Let the universe have your back. Setting goals with soul and powerful intentions set the infinite organizing power of the Universe in motion. Don't listen to that pesky inner mean girl that says you have to be in charge and that your obsessive control is the only way to get anything done. The outcome that you're trying so hard to force may not be as good as the one that comes organically. Release your intentions with purity and then let them flourish when the season is right for you.

Example Intentions:

  • My intention is to feel great in my own skin.

  • My intention is to implement a realistic, healthful lifestyle that helps me attain my weight goals.

  • My intention is to radiate good vibes for myself and others.

  • My intention is to live a balanced life.

  • My intention is to learn to skills and activities to prosper in my career.

  • My intention is to feel love and give love.

  • My intention is to empower and be empowered.

  • My intention is to feel comfortable with money and my spending habits.

  • My intention is to create work that is soul-satisfying.

  • My intention is to feel secure.

 

Still need help? Think about these questions to spark a heart-felt intention:

  • What are you grateful for?

  • What matters most to YOU?

  • What word(s) would you like to align yourself with? (brave, courage, kind, passion, etc)

  • What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life? A business? A family? Your career?

  • What would you like to let go of?

  • Who would you like to forgive in your life? Maybe it's yourself.

  • How do you feel when you are your happiest self?

  • What makes you proud to be YOU?

  • What fears would you like to release? (divorce, past investments ["debt"], insecurities, loneliness)

 

Go ahead! Create a badass intention now! You deserve it.

 

By the way, I find this quote to be comforting, I hope you do too:

“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.”

 


2017 Goals with soul


Give back to this beautiful Earth

Beef up my savings

Positively impact a life or two

Hike more

be gracious

Own less, live more

More spontaneity + less control

 

What are your intentions for 2017? How is this year going to be better than 2016?

 

xx

 

Riss

Reflections + Lessons Learned From 201
Rad Maverix

A few weeks ago I asked what you, my blog readers + real life besties, wanted to see on the Rad Maverix Blog in 2017. Quite a few responses included wanting to see more real-life / personal blog (+vlogs! are you subscribed to my YouTube channel?) posts. Someone even went as far as saying, “I keep coming back because you're transparent.” Which brings me to my next point, 2016 was f*ing hard (sorry, mom).

I’m not going to “front” or act like last year was the best year of my entire life because it truly had its hurdles but it also had its triumphs. I’m coining 2016 as the year of growth. I grew A LOT last year. In more ways than I can even measure but let’s review a few key points; you know, for shits and giggles.


REFLECTIONS on 2016


I was vulnerable. A characteristic I have rarely exhibited in my short 26 years on this beautiful earth. I explored a soul-searching journey that I wish I had started years ago. I have to laugh a bit at that last statement because I truly believe that our entire life is actually a soul-searching journey in itself, some just become aware before others.

I forgave. I forgave those who were sorry and those who weren’t. I mended friendships that had previously fizzled and I also let go of those people who no longer added value to my life. After deciding to forgive, the weight of holding a grudge was immediately lifted off of my shoulders and I was able to live a freer life. If you're struggling with forgiving someone, check out this post.

I created a sisterhood // the #radmaverixlifestyle. This is one of my proudest takeaways from 2016. The Rad Maverix Lifestyle was created in hopes to spread a bit of positivity and a whole lot of sass and confidence. This sisterhood is all about being authentic + real, with ourselves and others. It’s about trying your hardest and challenging yourself to be the best version of you; no matter where you are in your life's journey. This community is about giving back and paying it forward when you have the opportunity. It’s about supporting and lifting up those around you. I am seriously so proud to know every single woman that has joined this sisterhood...I like to call it...the raddest community on earth.

I took risks. This is a double whammy. I took risks in both my personal and business life.

Biz Risks – I took a H-U-G-E risk and started offering coaching programs last year. I was scared shitless because my ego tried making me think that I had nothing special to offer (SPOILER ALERT: WE ARE ALL GODDESSES AND WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER). A short year later and I’m at a point where I can’t accept all of the clients that I would like to because I’ve *finally* learned to maintain a sacred balance between the hustle life and my social life. This is a feat in and of itself and I find that my work/life balance is refined more beautifully every single day. #progressoverperfection

Another big biz risk I took was creating the 30 Day Finding Balance + Happiness Lifestyle Challenge. I wasn’t sure if this challenge would be a success or not but I poured my heart and soul into this project. Yes, it was a bit scary not knowing how well it’d go over but holy shit you guys. This challenge is CHANGING LIVES. You can find more on the next challenge, starting Feb 1, here.

Personal Risks – I took risks in my personal life when I got super FREAKING raw with my “friends” of the inter-webs (blog, insta, fb, etc). It’s easy to put on a front to your “followers” on Instagram and allow them to believe you're living a picture perfect life. But how does that help others? How does it add value to their lives? How does it inspire others to live life on their own terms? How does it encourage others to know that it’s okay to have those “off days” or to feel sad; as long as you get right back up and be better, do better.

I also allowed people back into my life who had previously “wronged” me in one way or another. This was a big hurdle AND triumph for me. Sometimes I come off as naive because I am so trustworthy of others. I was raised to treat others as I would like to be treated but please don't get it twisted (cue Beyonce's "Flawless"), I see very clearly who is rooting for me. I see who is cheering me on and wishing me the best and these people will ALWAYS be at the top of my priority list. Unfortunately, at some point in your life you have to learn that not everyone has the same intentions as you or on the same team as you. Not everyone wants the best for YOU, especially if it's inconvenient for them. (PRO TIP: these type of people have GOT TO GO.)

 

"Givers have to learn to set limits because takers don't have any."

 

I realized it's okay to not fit inside society's box. Because who wants to be kept inside of a stuffy ole box anyways? A lot of the things I do are considered out of the ordinary to others. From my daily routines / rituals to running my business to the way I can fearlessly and easily forgive others and move forward with life. ALWAYS DO YOU.

 

I defined a style that is ALL MINE + ALL ME. I am not defined by the clothes or brands I wear. I cannot be defined as western/country + city slicker mix. Not even my past can define who I am today.

I am defined by my heart and the way I treat others. I am defined by the way I help those who are helpless and the way I try my hardest to give back. And finally, I am defined by the way I try to leave this world in a little bit better condition than the way I found it. I am perfectly imperfectly me. 

Rad Maverix

 

2016 Lesson learned:


always Choose to see love + the good in others.

always make decisions with your heart and you’ll never make a wrong decision in your life.

learn your strengths + weaknesses and no one will be able to use them against you.


 

 

What did you learn last year? How will those lessons allow you to live your best life ever this year?

 

xx

Riss

Finish 2016 With A (Confident + Sassy) Bang
Rad Maverix

 

You remember those “freshman fifteen”…well I think it has evolved into the “holiday festivities fifty”.

The leaves have fallen and the weather has turned to cooler temps and all of a sudden we’re not so worried about looking our best—because, you know, no one is going to see us in a bikini in the middle of winter. #LAYERSONLAYERSONLAYERS #HIBERNATION

But what if you traded in all of those worries about what you looked like and focused more on what you felt like? Like I always say, when you feel good you DO GOOD.

 

Ditch the overwhelming feeling of being sluggish and lethargic after a hefty holiday meal + set yourself up for success.

 

be your best self.

 

Speaking of being your best self. Can you pretty please (with sugar on top) complete the short survey at the end of this post? I'm gearing up for 2017 and I want it to be the best and most badass year yet. I want to know what YOU want! 

Don’t you hate it when you binge during the holidays and then feel like a big pile of crap the next day? And just so we’re clear, I’m NOT talking about the guilt you might feel for eating #ALLTHEFOODS but more about how all of the foods make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Or even worse, we let all of those things that make us happy (exercise, mindful time to yourself, journaling, meditation, tea time, etc) slip to the back burner because our schedules are overflowing with gift-wrapping and cookie-making. I’ve been there, basically every holiday season up until last year.

 

how to set yourself up for success (during the busiest time of year)

Rad Maverix
 

MAKE TIME

Don’t forget to make time for the activities that keep you sane. It’s super easy (for me too!) to push your meditation / exercise rituals to the back burner when you’re being pulled in 10 different directions. Make time for you. You'll thank yourself later.

GET YOUR ZZZS IN

Start the morning on the right side of the bed by getting in good quality sleep. Not that we’re counting, but a recent study found that after a short night’s sleep adults ate an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat / higher-calorie foods. More sleep and less junk? Sounds like a Win/Win to me.

PASS THE H20

Don’t forget to get plenty of water in and stay hydrated during the course of the holiday season. Staying hydrated will keep your energy level up! Which obviously means you will be able to grin and bare it when your 3rd cousins husbands brothers wife asks you why you're not married yet without pulling a Brittney Spares in 2007.  

DON’T SKIP THIS

Please, for the love of the God’s above, DO NOT SKIP meals. You may think you’re setting yourself up for success by passing on a few calories but skipping meals will actually set you up for some serious overeating. Grab your favorite healthy snacks and store them in your purse to snack on while you're waiting for the big meal.

BE MINDFUL

As mentioned above, I eat whatever I want. But I’m smart and mindful about it. I don’t stress so much about what I’m eating as I do how much I’m eating. Want to try two pieces of pie? Cut each standard piece in half and enjoy the hell out of them. This is a NO GUILT ZONE.

GET BACK ON TRACK

Feeling like you totally blew it? That’s okay! If you didn’t stick to your original plan to the T, think back on which strategies worked well and file them away in your pretty little head for next time. You live, you learn and then you do better.

 
Rad Maverix

 

 

Please, please, please don't fill your mind with guilt if you feel like you've "messed up". Feeling guilty and restricting your food intake will only lead to an unhealthy eating pattern. Be smart; be mindful; do you.

Don’t forget to find ways to nurture your mind, body + soul. Focus on the meaning of Christmas / the holiday season and set daily goals that will help you enter the New Year as your strong, healthy + sassy self.

 


Please complete this (SUPER FREAKING) short survey!!

Hell yes? Hell no?
Yay or Nay on Youtube Vids? *
Would you like to see more printables / workbooks? *

 

Xx

Riss

 

 
LifeMerrissaChristmas
Why I Love to Unplug + How You can Too
WHY I LOVE TO UNPLUG + HOW YOU CAN TOO

 

A couple years ago I learned that turning and keeping my phone on silent / vibrate significantly improved my life. No, really, hear me out! It all started one day when I was googling “How to reduce stress”. This little gem popped up:

 

“Turn your mobile device ringtone to the lowest volume setting or vibrate to help reduce stress + anxiety.”

 

Really? That’s it? I can get on-board with that RIGHT MEOW.

 

WHY I LOVE TO UNPLUG + HOW YOU CAN TOO

The Pros:

  • You don’t have to worry about being that person at the movie theater who forgot to turn their phone off
  • You’re not constantly living around the sounds + obnoxious ringtones chiming from your purse or back pocket (This is what did it for me!)
  • You feel freakin' free from the world

 

The Cons:

  • The sound of others' phones relentlessly sounding off is sometimes unbearable ;)

 

My VERY favorite part is that I can basically be reached when I want to be reached. Essentially, it's my way to "unplug" from the world on the daily. I love how I’m not living around my phone or the convenience (...or nuisance? you decide.) of being reached that our mobile devices give us and others.

 

Here are some other tricks to unplug + live in the NOW

WHY I LOVE TO UNPLUG + HOW YOU CAN TOO

Ditch scrolling Facebook / Insta while walking.

Take a look around and enjoy your view(s) of nature. Try to spot something that you’ve never noticed before!

 

Get a real life old school alarm clock. (Warning: THIS IS A GAME-CHANGER.)

While using your smartphone as your morning alarm clock is super handy + convenient…it also makes it super handy + convenient to lay in bed a peruse social media for 30 minutes before getting up for the day. THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE TIME YOU’LL ADD TO YOUR DAY! Use this time to do something good for yourself.

 

No phones at the dinner table.

We always try our hardest to enjoy the meal + company at dinner time. Who knows, you might learn something new about your significant other or kids when your phone isn’t in your face! 

 

get lost.

Do something physical, like take a hike, with your friends. Go for a walk, take a yoga class together, get outside, just go! ... When you're socializing and being physical, you're less likely to multi-task with social media or be on your phone. Enjoy the HERE + NOW.

 

ditch the notifications.

I prefer not to get a notification every single time someone "likes" a post or "mentions" me in a post on Facebook / Insta. It actually stresses me out a little. Checking social media on my own time + terms allows me to take control of my time spent on Social Media and not feeling like I constantly need to be checking out what's going on.

pin for later!
WHY I LOVE TO UNPLUG + HOW YOU CAN TOO

 

What are your thoughts? How do you unplug from the world?

xx

Riss 

 

 

Life, Beauty + WellnessMerrissa
Ditch Self Guilt + Pass Me The Cookies
Ditch Self Guilt + Pass Me The Cookies

What if you woke up today and didn’t feel guilt for yesterday’s choices? Think about it. What are you currently feeling guilty about that is within the realm of your control?

Perhaps you gave in to the temptation of those delicious chocolate cookies. Did you immediately regret it or feel remorse the next day? What about your business endeavors? Did you write down a goal and not meet it the first time?

Did you get down on yourself and then try to brush it off like you’re a failure?

 

“I already messed up today, might as well wait to get on track next Monday”.

or

“I didn’t reach my goal. I obviously can’t make it happen.”

 

Did you know that these feelings of guilt mentioned above make you indulge EVEN MORE instead of better helping you stick to your goals? 

 

Do better + be better, today

 

 

pin for later!
Ditch Self Guilt + Pass Me The Cookies

Stop scolding

Self-guilt + scolding is the devil. It really is. It has the total opposite effect you’re actually trying to achieve. You go through the pain of belittling yourself and instead of being a rad babe who had a small slip-up; you’re now viewing yourself as a complete failure. Then guess what? You get this mindset of, “Well, shit, I already messed up, I might as well eat/drink whatever I want!” or “I’m obviously not cut out for this entrepreneurial crap”.

ditch the pity party

Seriously! The sorrier you feel the more likely it is you will give up on all of your goals ENTIRELY! When you feel sorry for yourself you instill the false belief that you can’t make your goals happen at all. #NOTHANKS

All you need to do is simply acknowledge that you messed up or didn’t reach a goal the first time and move on. You will get back on track much MUCH sooner when you’re not sulking in your mishaps. Don’t dwell—just move forward, do better, be better.

I used to believe that one small mistake would ruin my entire goal &/or progress. I would totally stress myself out because I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to be PERFECT ALL THE TIME in order to see the results I wanted, whether in business / projects &/or overall wellness. Now, I just wake up every single day with the intentions to KILL IT in all aspects of my life.

Try it. It’s a game changer. 

Xx

Merrissa

 

Did you sign up for the 30-day challenge? It's not too late! 

LifeMerrissagoals, Guilt, Wellness
The Difference Between Forgiveness + Acceptance
The difference between forgiveness + acceptance

I was triggered last night. Like big time.

Backstory: Several years ago a couple girls were talking about me to another girl, who happens to be a friend of mine. You can probably tell from the title of this post that those two girls weren’t speaking very highly of me. I think their exact words were, “She’s just a gold digger.”

As tough as I can act on the outside that shit hurt. Like deep. It hurt for several different reasons but mostly because I have never acted unfriendly or hostile towards these girls. Hell—I barely knew these girls at this point in time!

Fast Forward: Any and every time I see these girls I let myself get triggered. Then, I immediately get the urge to tell everyone what they said about me. But why? In hopes that others won’t find them appealing anymore? How does this benefit me? SPOILER: IT DOESN'T.

I let those words consume me for 5 years. Five freaking years. I would let those nasty “statements” creep up and the hurt would ignite all over again like it was a fresh wound.

Women don’t bash women, girls do.

So after feeling triggered last night, I went home and did a little bit of soul-searching + contemplation and finally got to the root of all of this. I know those words they spoke about me aren’t true so why am I letting it affect me? Why am I letting their ridiculous assumptions consume my thoughts?

I don’t have to accept their nasty words but I can forgive them. Especially if it removes stress and anxiety out of my life each time I see them.

pin for later!
The difference between forgiveness + acceptance

Learn from me:

Forgiveness does not mean acceptance.

It doesn’t mean that the situation is okay or it was acceptable that someone hurt you. This is where people often get confused. Hell, I didn’t think I would ever be able to let this go.

You forgive someone for you, not the other person(s). You forgive them so you don’t get sick at the sight of their face or have a cloud of resentment hanging over you. Do you honestly think their words or actions are bothering them? No, it’s you who ends up walking around angry or sad. It’s likely that they don’t even know nor have any idea the impact or hurt they have laid upon you.

Now I’m not saying this is an easy task—obviously, I’ve been meddling over this situation for five freaking years. Forgiveness only happens when you have processed out the feelings of hurt.

THE ACCEPTANCE:

Acceptance is simply accepting the fact that it happened. We can’t reverse time, we can’t change things that have happened in the past, all we can do is accept that it did happen and see what we can learn from it. It can be hard as hell to learn from negative experiences when you're still processing the hurt but there is always something that comes out of it that you can be grateful for. For instance, it made me realize the type of person I don’t want to be. I don’t want to judge others without knowing their story. Without these experiences, we might suffer less pain and hurt but we also would not have the opportunity to grow and be better people. Personally, I would not have grown and would not have went on my journey of self-discovery and then go on to help others; learning about myself and connecting to my own happiness + fulfillment has been one of the most amazing things I have done in my life.

Another kicker, resolving something in yourself and deciding to forgive someone and let it go doesn’t mean you have to tell that person you forgive them. You do it for you, so you aren’t damaged by holding negativity for long periods of time. Forgiveness is an inner process, something you do deep inside of you and if you choose you can reach out to forgive someone, but don’t ever feel obligated to do so.

Letting go is where you should end up at the end of the forgiveness process. You let go of any attachment to negativity about the event, to resentment about the event and to the event itself. In other words, you can think about it without getting overly emotional or having big reactions.  You can think and talk about it like you were telling a story about someone else because you have healed it not because you are detached from it or numb to it.

As long as there are no hard feelings in the end, that’s what matters for you.

Are you struggling to forgive someone who has wronged you?  Get to the root of it, learn from it and heal from it. I would love to hear your best methods to forgiving! Leave a comment or shoot me a message!

xx

Merrissa

LifeMerrissa
We're Here to Thrive not Just Survive

A few weeks ago I was driving down Hwy 2 to the small town of Vinita, Oklahoma. Jake and I were carrying on as usual, probably singing along to Jason Aldean or discussing our plans for the weekend. We were coming over a big hill when I noticed a silage truck pulling up to a stop sign on a county road. I assumed he was going to go ahead and cross the road because he had plenty of time to get across the highway before I made it to him. Instead, he remained at the stop sign until we're about 150 feet away from the county road and then pulls out in front of my SUV, while driving 70 mph. I had about .0125 seconds to decide whether or not I was going to slam on the brakes and hope that we can stop quick enough or try to swerve around him without rolling the vehicle. By the grace of God I was able to swerve around him while his truck stalled right in the middle of the one-lane highway as he shifted to pick up speed.

I’m honestly not sure how I’m even able to write this post. Jake and I sat in silence for the following 20 minutes trying to comprehend what just happened and how we’re still alive. Our lives literally flashed in front of our eyes.

It’s all pretty much a blur after the swerve besides that I couldn’t feel my legs to drive for the next 3-5 miles; having to use my cruise controls to speed up or slow down.

I can’t completely explain the feelings and emotions but it has never been more clear to me that my work here on Earth is not done. I am not a super religious person (gasp) but at that moment it felt like God was calling us to go home but then at the very last second he thought, “Nope, they still have work to do.”

Talk about an awakening—like seriously, I don’t need a much bigger sign than that.

This incident definitely confirmed something for me. First, it confirmed once again, that life is too short. It also helped me confirm that I am going down the right path; I’m finally fulfilling my life’s purpose.

You see, I’ve been coaching badass women for a while now and I finally feel like I’m living my passion. The high I get from helping my clients better their life or up-level their business is something that can’t be purchased on the shelf at Target. 

I have hardly done any advertising of my coaching services because I wanted to take it slow and make sure it was something that I was totally in love with before putting it out in the Universe. I literally only put my coaching services on my website and told myself if it’s meant to be then it will catch the attention of those who need my help.

So, here it is, this is my “coming out” letter

I am a Lifestyle / Confidence + Business Coach & Soul Junkie. I dig the shit out of helping women take their lives to the next level. I love getting to share with others the importance of self-love, mindfulness + maintaining a balanced life full of love, confidence and badassery. 

This is your sign. Just do it already. Whatever has been lingering in that beautiful mind of yours, just DO IT.

Now that the world has been lifted off of my shoulders, I'm going to have a kickass weekend full of fulfilling wholesale orders + creating content that leaves women ready to conquer the world. 

xx

Merrissa

So I Bought A Vintage Camper
So I bought a vintage camper

I have been looking for a rad vintage camper for years—& I’m not even being dramatic—seriously, years! It’s actually been quite the adventure to find the “perfect” one. When I started looking I would quickly learn that the good ones are overpriced and the fixer-uppers need way too much fixing up.

Photo found on Pinterest

Photo found on Pinterest

I’m going to tell you about a time when I thought I had a camper bought and it totally fell through to the gates of hell.

I was told about a camper that needed to be moved off of a property; the owner was not asking very much for it because he was in a time crunch to get rid of the camper. My mom sent me photos of it and I pretty much fell in love right away. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I stayed up late dreaming about everything I could do with it!

On Mother’s Day evening we drove over to scope the camper out. It actually looked better in person than it did in the photos! Even though it needed A LOT (emphasize, A LOT) of work I was more than ready to bring that camper home. Unfortunately, the owner did not have the title and I was not willing to pay for something that I would not have ownership on.

Major Camper Inspo by @ModCloth

Major Camper Inspo by @ModCloth

A few weeks pass by and finally the owner calls and tells us that he found the title and we can come get the camper anytime. The next weekend, we drive over, back the truck up to hook up the camper and then proceed to make one final inspection. You know, to ensure that it was in the same condition as the first day I looked at it.

Without bashing anyone, there was some—um, "damages" made to the camper sometime between the first visit and pick up day. To put it lightly, I was devastated + shocked. My mom and I start taking a closer look at the camper and notice several gouges in the exterior shell and glass windows shattered. Obviously, I call the deal off; one of the main reasons I wanted this camper is because the exterior was in such great shape!

photo found on Pinterest

photo found on Pinterest

With a heavy heart I drive home discouraged + a little pissed off. After mellowing in my emotions for a while the search for a vintage camper begins again.

I wasn’t going to share this (negative) story because it’s sort of a downer and totally against everything I believe in as far as putting positive vibes out into the universe. BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let this be an illustration for you to keep truckin’ on. Keep moving forward when things aren’t going your way!

If you follow along on Instagram you know I finally brought home one badass vintage camper.

Ladies + Gents, meet Nova the Rad Nomad

Nova The Rad Nomad

LOOK AT THIS BABE. It needs so much TLC but that’s okay, because I have so much love to give!

Isn't it funny how things just fall into place when you stop obsessing over it. 


This little guy has a neat history: originally owned by a man who would take his son camping in the mountains to hunt and fish several months out of the year. Then when the son had his own son, they would continue the tradition and go hunting/fishing together. Unfortunately, the grandson was killed in a motorcycle crash and the father lost all interest in using the camper since the accident. He was very reluctant to let the camper go, as it held a lot of memories with both his father and son. However, he was happy to let the camper move on to its next journey and can’t wait to see it come back to life.

This is going to be quite a big project/overhaul but I know the journey will test me, as a person, on so many levels. Skills that I work on every day to improve, like patience and tenacity will certainly be evolved. I’m considering making it either a blog or video series for anyone interested in renovating their very own travel trailer. Now, for the million dollar question: to make it an actual travel trailer for glamping or a Rad Maverix Champagne Bar or both?


Watch the pre-renovation tour here!


I plan to keep you posted + updated on the improvements.

 

Until next time,

Merrissa

Why You Haven't Jumped On The Mindfulness Train Yet
IMG_8301.PNG

Think you don't have time for mindfulness? Or your mind is too busy and scattered to focus? Join the party, there's plenty of room for everyone. 

When I talk to my friends + family about incorporating mindfulness into my daily life they look at me like I'm crazy.

"But, Merrissa, how do you have time?"
"My brain is way too busy to even consider the act of mindfulness!"
And my personal favorite, "I've got 10,000 things on my to-do list. Adding one more task is the last thing I need to do." (Me too, home girl, me too!)

 

Actually sister, it sounds like you're in dire need of some soul searching + valuable (read: mindfulness) time to yourself.

But I get it. And to be honest with you, I thought "meditation" and "mindfulness" was a bunch of hokey pokey bullshit before I tried it. It is so easy for me to hustle through the entire day and forget to be mindful at times. To be honest, my mind is busting at the seams with worn out dreams and what I imagine heaven will look like. (Think 1000s of puppies and everflowing champagne) Or I'll be hustling through my morning routine, go to step out of the shower and not be able to remember if I've washed my hair or not. I can't be the only one, right? Forgetting to respond to emails and losing my key fob used to be a daily ritual for me! 

So what the heck is ‘mindfulness’?

IMG_8302.PNG

Mindfulness is the process of deliberately bringing your attention to whatever you are doing right now, the here and NOW—not five minutes ago and not 5 years from now. You can either continue to read this blog post mindfully or with a mind not fully focused. 👯 

So why can’t you jump on the mindful train?

4 reasons why you can't get on the mindfulness train + how to get on board once and for all

01 You don’t really understand it. This was one of my biggest speed bumps! Here’s the deal, being mindful is not about being perfect. It’s not about being perfectly present and focused every single minute of the day. It’s not about moving through the day to day grind like a toked out hippie. Mindfulness is simply choosing to focus one’s attention on the present moment. It’s about controlling your thoughts and noticing when your mind has wandered. (More control, sign me up! 🤣) But in today’s world, it’s no wonder our minds run when we’re constantly being pulled in 10,000 different directions.

 

Did my husband pay the mortgage?

Did I turn the water hose off last night?

The babysitter is going on vacation next week, who is going to watch the kids?

Did I email that client back? 

 

As a matter of fact, while you’re reading this, you’ve probably already thought about several other areas in your life that need attention. That’s where mindfulness comes into play. Try to notice when your mind is wandering and make a choice to bring it back to what is actually happening right in front of you.

02 You’re not a curious cat anymore. I think this can be the hardest part of being mindful. You see, the brain is a magnificent organ and because sometimes the present moment might suck, we’ve programmed our brains to pay attention to something less sucky or boring. Like that chocolate shake you thoroughly enjoyed yesterday or that YouTube video you’ve been dying to watch. It’s easy to pay attention to a beautiful Oklahoma sunset, puppies playing in the yard or a wild bald eagle swooping through the sky.

Unfortunately, most of the day to day details of life are far less enjoyable. The news is super depressing, the Starbucks line is backed up an entire city block, your boss is being a jerk and once again, your dishwasher didn’t unload itself. But a hat if we decided to notice what’s happening and get curious about it? Here’s what happens, you start remembering that you did in fact wash your hair; you learn that your boss is going through a divorce and in return you feel a bit more empathy for him. You remember that you had meetings all day and errands to run all evening so you give yourself a little break and stop being so damn hard on yourself. In general, life starts to feel a little calmer.

03 You’re like a broken record. You only correct yourself when you’re broke. When I first started experimenting with mindfulness/meditation, I only practiced when I was stressed. It took a while to realize that I could incorporate mindfulness on a regular basis and prevent moments of anxiety + tension. The more you practice paying attention to the present moment when you’re calm + happy, the easier (& WAY MORE EFFECTIVE) your mindfulness practice will be when you’re having a bitch fit. 🤷🏼‍♀️👸🏼

04 You think it’s a much bigger deal than it is. Meditation / mindfulness is not only what you see in the movies. Yes, meditation can strengthen our mindfulness power but it’s not about getting up at sunrise and chanting for an hour.

When you practice mindfulness, you will start noticing a wandering mind in the shower, during your mid-morning snack or on your drive to work. Next time your mind is wandering take a deep breath and focus on your breathing for a minute or 2. Do this in your car, while you’re getting ready for work or at your desk. And as I always say, no matter how impulsive, spacey or reactive you have been, you can always begin again. You live, you learn and then you do better. Being mindful is not about being perfect; it’s about being present.

So! Are you still feeling like you don’t have enough time to be mindful? Still feeling like you’re too scattered and distracted? Remember, those are just thoughts! You can choose to take them seriously and make them your reality or notice those pesky little thoughts, get a little curious about them and then let them go in favor of more beneficial ideas. 

 

Stay rad + kind,

Merrissa