What I’ve been up to in September 2018, my October blogging goals, and the highs and lows of life as a freelancing mother living a life-less-ordinary. Please note that this post contains affiliate links.
Welcome to the NEW LOOK ‘Notes from the Backpack’! These posts have been one of my favourite parts of the blog. I love sharing my month with you, and listing all the things I’ve been up to outside of the blog.
So, what’s changed?
Recently, the blog has become focussing more on lifestyle, and more specifically, how to create a ‘life less ordinary’ – a life that doesn’t fit within the normal 9-5, Monday-Friday routine. For you, this might mean working from home, being able to travel more, or creating the lifestyle of your dreams. I have therefore decided to share more about building a blogging business and my personal goals in these monthly posts. I’ll still be covering the usual highs and lows, what I’m loving and whats been happening, but I’m going to expand a little and cover my career goals and achievements too.
I want to be completely transparent about the behind the scenes of running a blog, and trying to build a freelance business whilst living a life between two countries and raising a child.
Why? Well I think setting goals is imperative to success, as is learning from others and sharing ideas. But when it comes to actually meeting these goals, with no one to tell if we meet or fail at these goals it can be hard to stay focussed. This is just one of the many roadblocks blogging and working from home throws our way: no office or colleagues to discuss our work with, no boss watching our every move. Good and bad, you see. So now you can do that for me! And in the process of sharing my own goals, I hope to give you all the know-how for setting and achieving your own.
So, before we talk numbers and goals, lets talk about what I’ve been up to this month.
This month was a bit of a whirlwind, as we undertook a trip around central Mexico with Archer. It was an amazing trip, and we found ourselves in so many mind-blowing destinations. These were the highlights…
Learning to love San Luis Potosi, Mexico
We arrived to this city on a wet and miserable evening, and were met with the world’s smallest hotel room. The next morning, I dressed all wrong for our walk around the market – it is a conservative city and it was chilly, and I wore a skirt and sandals. The city centre was busy and seemed to have little culture or much to set it apart from every other Mexican city centre. Needless to say, after the first day I wasn’t too fond of San Luis Potosi. Then, we took an open-top bus tour and saw we had overlooked so much to this city. Once we got to grips with the city, we actually really loved it.
A weekend retreat in Rioverde, Mexico
During our busy trip around central Mexico, we stumbled upon an old sugar mill in Rioverde. It had been converted into the most beautiful hotel that was more retreat than place to crash. We stayed here for three nights, and mostly swam in the pool, wandered around the grounds, and relaxed. Heavenly!
Visting (& falling in love with!) the most magical mountain destination
Real de Catorce in central Mexico is a place like no other. Firstly, you have to journey up a 17 mile long mountain road, and then through a dark tunnel stretching single-file through the mountain to get there. It was totally magical, and I’ll share details of where we stayed (a boho mountain paradise!) on the blog soon.
Experiencing a Brazilian Steak House
On our last night in San Luis Potosi, the husband whisked me off to a Brazilian steakhouse as I had never experienced one before. If you haven’t either, the chefs come around with the meat and slice it for you onto your plate. They have a LOT of different cuts, marinades, and types. Go hungry!
Spending time with family on the Mexican ranch
If you read my July Notes From The Backpack, you’ll know alllll about the family ranch in Mexico. We spent another week there before heading to the US, and had a great time getting offline and away from the world for a while!
Archer meeting his family in the USA for the first time
Uriel has a big family, and a lot of them had still not met Archer. That changed when we landed in California mid September. Needless to say he has been very spoilt and been given a lot of attention!
We didn’t really know what was in store when we packed up in the UK and headed to Mexico on a one way ticket. After living the beach life in Sayulita for 3 months, we decided that as much as we loved it, it wasn’t our ‘forever home’. The next few months were spent backpacking around, and we had a magical time getting to know central Mexico. But, life called, and although it was a very tough decision, we decided to leave Mexico, for now.
Trying to figure out our lives
Living between Mexico, America, and England may sound great, but in reality it isn’t sustainable nor is it easy. We have now got to knuckle down and figure out where we really want to be, long term. We thought we had the answer, but then, out of nowhere, things are slightly up in the air again. Can’t wait to finally be able to say, HEY, WE FIGURED IT OUT! Watch this space. Oh. and if you have any tips for deciding where to call home when you and your partner are from different countries, please send them my way!
I’ve been reading Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz which is a L.A. classic that I picked up on a free book shelf in a hotel in Mexico. The writing is beautiful and the characters addictive. On Audible, I’ve been listening to Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel which I was recommended by a bookish friend a while ago. I have’t really got in to it yet, but I’ve heard so many great things I know it is going to be a goodie. Have you read it?
If you haven’t tried Audiobooks yet, seriously, they will change your life!
Hello Ulta and Sephora, my old friends! The husband wasn’t so happy with the hour he had to wait whilst I tried every product in Ulta last week, but hey, its been two years since my last visit. I bought the BEST under-eye concealer I’ve ever tried (seriously), this amazing cult favourite skincare set (which is also amazing), and this oldie-but-goodie moisturizer.
We started watching the new show Single Parents and it’s hilarious! Apart from that, my TV viewing has been mostly filled with variations of Baby Shark.
- I just downloaded this amazing app which is basically NASA meets horoscopes. You just pop your date, place, and time of birth in and voila!
- This reading list of WWII novels will keep me in books through Autumn.
- New season, new lipstick.
- The boots that scream COOL MUM.
- Obsessing over Rosie Huntington-Whiteleys beauty blog, Rose Inc. I’m actually dying to take one of their masterclasses in L.A. Who wants to join me?
- The brightest, snuggliest, cutest jumper for little ones. Thinking my niece would LOVE it.
- I’m thinking a Malibu wine safari sounds like an adventure made for mums like me!
- This glow potion from Herbivore sounds divine.
October Blogging Goals
- Stick to my blogging calendar! I always write out a spreadsheet of blogs to post, but rarely stick to it. This month I intend to work hard on having the set content up on the scheduled days.
- Get 2 posts in hand. Anyone else always finish a post just before sharing it? Yep, that’s me. This month I want to work on getting ahead and having 2 posts scheduled in advance.
- Spending one day a week just freelancing. I always fit in my freelancing gigs around my work, but I want to spend one whole day each week just working for clients and having a break from LB.
- Get 3 new sponsored posts/brand collaborations.
- Grow my Instagram following to 3k & Twitter to 3k.
- Try a Facebook Ad and grow page to 650 likes. Like my page here!
- Try Tailwind for Pinterest – I’ve been meaning to do this for AGES! Anyone else use Tailwind?
September Blogging Goals Recap
This is a brand new part of the blog, so this month I don’t have any goals to mark off as failed or passed. Next month, you’ll be able to see how I did with the above.
And finally, new on the blog this September
- What it’s really like to be a yacht stewardess (and how to start!)
- Sayulita foodie guide: where to eat, sip, and caffeinate in Mexico’s boho surfer town
- USA with kids: 5 top cities to visit in the South
- Mexico with kids: complete packing guide for international travel with a baby
- 10 tips for having a luxury vacation in the Florida Keys on a budget
Read last months Notes from the Backpack here!
Thanks for reading! What are YOUR October blogging goals?