If we were having coffee… Life Update Time

Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since I wrote a life update. I’ve mentioned snippets of what’s going on in my life here and there but I haven’t really sat down and had a chit-chat with your guys about what’s new. I thought that Spring would be the perfect time to write a good old If We Were Having Coffee post given that the ice is going to thaw soon and I can stop hibernating in my house.

If we were having coffee...

If we were having coffee….

I would order a Caramel Macchiato and then I’d tell you that Mike & I are so excited to move into our first house. It’s so strange that our parent’s generation were able to buy their first homes at age 20 for $20,000. For us to have an equivalent home in a nice neighbourhood it’s more than 15X the price now and we’re buying it almost 10 years later than they were able to at our age. I feel like in some ways we have to work so much harder than the previous generation to have the same things they did.

Regardless, I’m buzzing with excitement. We’ve been packing and touching up paint in our current place and I can’t wait until we get settled in our perfect new home. The cats are going to be so happy to have proper room to roam! I’m looking forward to curling up in front of our fireplace on cool nights and picking apples from the trees in the yard in the Summer. Would you guys like a house tour when we’re all settled??

Quantum & Ion | Domestic Short Hairs

Quantum & Ion

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that out TV entertainment centre/stand had these cubbies for storage and when I packed up our DVD’s we discovered that Ion LOVES sleeping in the cubbies. If I had known this I would have left one open for him all this time! He doesn’t like it very much when Quantum smushes himself right next to him in his newfound sleeping spot though. If you have a cat do they find the silliest places to sleep in!?

Latte Coffee Cookies

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I’ve had it up to here with instagram. My engagement has steadily decreased since 2019 started and even though Instagram claims they haven’t changed anything I don’t believe them. I upped my grid game and when I look at my feed I’m proud of what I’ve managed to put together. But I feel like no one sees it anymore!

It’s hard to stay motivated when this happens but maybe I just need to push through. It’s hard to stay positive when bloggers that my blog has grown up with are now pushing 10k and I’m stuck at 1.5ish. I shouldn’t complain, I’m grateful to the people who have taken the time to support me. I guess it’s hard to celebrate your own victories in the shadow of everyone else’s. I talked about this in my Remaining Authentic as an Influencer blog post last month so this is probably not new.

I’m also getting annoyed with the DM’s keep getting from people that have only been on instagram for two or three months and are asking me how they can get PR & brands to work with them. I’ve been at this for over three years and I’m only starting to get opportunities now so it annoys me when people who have done very little work want to piggyback off of me. When ever I post a product that was gifted to me the vultures swoop in. It needs to stop…

Coffee - Cat Latte Art

If we were having Coffee…

I would recommend that you read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. You guys know that I’m into big Epic fantasy like he normally writes but his YA series, Steelheart is an Urban Fantasy that’s set on Earth. It’s kind of like Superman story, only with a twist— Steelheart is NOT your friend. I bought all the books for $2.99 on kindle when they were on special and I’m really enjoying it. It’s fast paced but still has enough fantasy element that I’m left guessing what’s possible. There are a few moments that really hit you in the feels. What are you reading these days??

Coffee Latte Art

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that my career is stressing me out. I am very grateful that I have a job that challenges me and that I feel is important but sometimes the strange hour fluctuations and uncertainty stresses me out. I’m not comfortable sharing what I do publicly on my blog or the company I work for (for privacy reasons) so I don’t want to go into too much detail.

Basically I’ve made myself a little too valuable to the company and they’ve been trying to lock me into a job that I don’t want, and asking me to come in on all of my days off constantly. I mean, what’s a day off again? They’ve stopped filling mat leave positions and are spreading the extra work out instead and somehow I’m covering for people that don’t even work in my department.

I’ve felt so burned out from stress and I think it’s a big part of why I’ve been sick three times already in 2019. But this awful feeling of being lost and unhappy is what’s pushing me to work even harder on my social media and blog. I have this faint tiny hope that says maybe I can do this one day instead. What does your routine look like? Are you a shift worker like me? Full time content creator? Full time stay at home parent?

Latte Art

What’s going on in your life?

I don’t want to end this on a negative note. There are ups and downs in life and right now I feel like I’m riding a roller coaster. I’m sure that good things are around the corner and I can’t wait to share them with you when they come. I hope you enjoyed this chilled out laid back life update. Stay tuned to see the new beauty room once we’re unpacked! Love you guys! x




  1. April 3, 2019 / 5:38 pm

    I find it hard to want to post on Instagram these days. I mean, I’ve been absent from everything lately due to work burnout, but why would I care about posting on Instagram if no one is going to see it? It’s total bs to have thousands of people “following” you, but your posts are only showed to 100 people. Bleh.

    I am so happy that the time is finally here for you to be in your new house! You so deserve it and I hope the move went well!

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 5, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      Exactly. We all work so hard on producing great content but instagram chooses who gets to see it. And the algorithm is so dumb, it’s based on interaction but if they don’t show your posts to people how are they supposed to interact with it??

      We didn’t have internet for 2 weeks but that’s sorted out now! Other than that everything went smoothly πŸ™‚

  2. March 18, 2019 / 9:57 am

    Thanks for keeping it real …. and I totally feel you on Instagram. I’ve seen IG users with 20 post and 15K followers (what’s that about). I’ve read so many things that it makes my head hurt and it’s not that I want to stop it but I’ve just accepted that it’s something that will work itself out and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.

    I think in part that most of us have a desire to do this full-time, as I also work a 9-5 job, and it’s always stressful to put in so much work on your social media platform, and then have to deal with a regular job. I know that I need to be thankful that I have a job, because some folks may not, so I try to stay positive and keep things in perspective.

    Congrats on your new home. — Wye

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 18, 2019 / 7:12 pm

      I don’t understand how people have next to no posts and have all those followers. It’s so bizzare! That’s a good way of looking at it, we just need to keep posting good quality content and things will work out eventually.

      It would be a dream come true for a lot of people. I would love all this work to count for something, but I guess I also need to remember that I started my blog for fun, not to be successful or famous or anything like that lol.

      Thank you so much! We move in 2 days πŸ™‚

      • March 19, 2019 / 12:39 pm

        I’ll wish for a stress free move for you!

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 25, 2019 / 7:03 pm

          Thank you! It went really well πŸ™‚

  3. March 15, 2019 / 9:36 am

    So happy for you and your new home! I’m still awaiting for when that time comes for us which is not any time soon lol. Sucks because I’m closer to 30 than 20 lmao. I cannot wait to see your new home! Congrats!
    I feel the same about IG. I’ve been stuck with 450 followers for months. Like 5 or 6 months now. It literally fluctuates with 20, and whenever I gain 5 new followers, I get like unfollowers.. I kind of want to give up on it but idk… lol.
    I haven’t read since the year started. I’ve only gotten through one book so far. It sucks. I haven’t found the right time to read. I’ll have to check these books out later though. I’ll add them to my list.
    I’m sorry your job has been so stressful. That must really suck not getting any days off and being the go to person for everything. Its good because it shows your experience but bad when the whole place is dumped on you. I hope it gets better for you, or maybe it’s time to look for another job? I do find myself really really wanting a job so I can get paid and have my own income to help out with bills and to save up money faster but I cant find anything with flexible hours which really sucks and I dont trust a soul with my child. Parenting is hard and frustrating I could use 8 hours away from my family to be my own person instead of just “mom” lol. But anyway… do you guys have some kind of law that states that your employer must give you a break for x hours worked? Over here you do, but it also depends on the job and the field.
    Stress can* make you sick or worse. Self care is very important but I know with your demanding job you may not even have enough time for that πŸ˜•
    I hope things start looking up for you Cleia! I wish you the bestest of luck with work and hopefully it slows down.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 18, 2019 / 6:45 pm

      I’m technically closer to 30 than 20 too, I’ll be 27 this year. That’s scary lol!
      I love instagram for what it is as a photo sharing app so I don’t think I’ll give up any time soon but sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head on a brick wall. I think I’ve grown by about 7 followers in the last 2 months lol

      I hope you can find some time to read soon!

      I don’t want to leave my job, in generally I do really enjoy my work and we have a great team, but I think it’s time I start making some changes. For one I’m going to write up an actual availability because with my 24/7 availability I am getting walked all over. So my first step will be taking Fridays off permanently. Then I have reassurance that they can’t ask me to work a 7 day stretch, 6 is the max they could ask me to work in a row.

      It’s so hard to work and have a young child, daycare is expensive and it’s very hard to trust other people to take proper care of him the way you would. Is he in school yet?
      I totally understand wanting a few hours away, being a parent is a 24/7 job and I can see how it would be nice to be able to step away and do something else for a few hours once in a while.
      I don’t think there’s a law like that, we just have the right to refuse work after 7 days. But then I have to literally go to my boss and say that I refuse the schedule and that gives me it’s own kind of stress.
      I hope that things change soon. I’m glad that I at least have some time coming up for the move. It will be nice to be away from the job stress.

      • March 21, 2019 / 9:07 am

        Lol I just dont know what age I’ll be when I finally can* get a house. We have seen a few homes within our price range but without me working we cant afford it since we also have to think about home insurance and property taxes. And course that doesn’t count our other bills and expenses for the month.
        I love IG too. Its actually my favorite social media because I get to showcase my improvement with my photography skills and I’m also learning about my own preferences with how a photo should look like, etc.
        Oh okay that makes sense, maybe your 24/7 availability was their reason to keep calling you even on days off. But I think that’s a great start! Hopefully they allow you to take a day off permanently, though I dont see why they wouldn’t if you’re an asset to the company and you love working there. But it’s always a good thing to reflect on your own needs and you’re taking the right steps toward that 😁
        Yes hes in school, preschool, but it’s different in the sense that it’s a parent-child interaction group so I dont actually leave him there. I’m there with him for three hours twice a week. It’s the best thing for him right now, a specialist actually told me it wouldn’t be a good idea to enroll him in headstart or other preschools yet. He has a lot to learn still and we have one more year after this one before he starts kindergarten anyway.

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 25, 2019 / 7:21 pm

          I’ve been running the numbers for our taxes and extra utilities and it’s a shock for sure. Our property taxes are going to be over $2000 which is depressing. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to become a home owner on only one income. You’ll get there one day though, it’s different for everyone!
          I love looking back on old IG photos too! It’s one of the easiest ways to see improvement over time.
          I think part of my trouble is that I’m a bit of a “yes-man” (Yes-woman? People don’t say that do they?). I’ve been bending over backwards for them for so long that they just expect it now. And as a part timer I should be able to set my own availability. I need to start realizing my own rights within the company and stop giving them up to be helpful! I am determined lol

          Oh that makes sense, and preschool is usually a half day so it would be tough to work around that. I have no idea how my parents balanced their schedules when I was younger :S He’ll grow up so fast though!

          • March 30, 2019 / 12:22 pm

            I love IG for that reason too. I’ve also been able to figure out my own aesthetic preferences and stuff lol.
            Yeah that’s the only problem of putting yourself out there and available always. But good for you for standing up for what’s best for you!
            I’m looking forward to seeing him grow up but the older he gets, it makes me sad because he’ll need me less and less. Its bittersweet but I can only hope he grows up to be independent, compassionate and happy.

          • AlwaysCleia
            April 1, 2019 / 8:13 pm

            Now they just need to change it back to a chronological feed and instagram will be perfect lol

            aww, but that means you’re doing your job right when he takes those steps towards being more independent. And even when he’s all grown up he’ll still need you guys. I still ask my parents for advice even though I’m technically grown up. It’s just different πŸ™‚

          • April 3, 2019 / 12:42 am

            I highly doubt it’ll be changed back. It’s been such a long time since it was chronological. They most likely don’t even care. Which sucks for those smaller accounts, they barely get any traffic. I think that might be one of the reasons I’m struggling. That and the unfollowing thing lol.
            Yeah that’s true. πŸ™‚

          • AlwaysCleia
            April 5, 2019 / 3:02 pm

            Probably not. We can always hope though!

  4. March 14, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Congrats on buying your first home, Cleia!!! That is seriously so exciting and such an accomplishment!! πŸ’žI’m so happy for you!! Also, I totally understand what you’re saying about having to work harder than the previous generation when it comes to this stuff. Alejandro and I are experiencing the very same thing. He’s 26 and I’m 25, and we are JUST now moving into a bigger apartment. Our dream is to move into a townhouse in the next couple years, but it’s tricky because we’ve both racked up a crap ton of student loans. It can be such a bummer but we’re getting there, though!

    Wow, that’s crazy about Instagram!! I wonder if it has to do with any algorithm change. I haven’t been posting on there as often, and focusing primarily on Pinterest. Insta sometimes gives me anxiety, but I want to try working on it more often again. Your Insta is gorgeous and it’s clear that you put a lot of thought into your posts. I know it’s hard, but don’t get discouraged, cause more followers will definitely come! These things take time! So weird how newer people DM you about PR! I think people don’t get that it takes work. Being a blogger/influencer/creator, (however people put it) isn’t an easy thing!

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling stressed at your job. :/ I work at a call center, but I’m also really hoping I can do blogging/social media full time eventually! Or at least it’d lead me to a writing position in some regard. It can get so discouraging and anxiety provoking, but at the end of the day, I just love blogging! We’ll get there one day!!! Just gotta keep chugging along, stay positive, and do what we love 😊

    Quantum & Ion are absolutely adorable!!!

    I hope it’s been a good week, girl! Enjoy your weekend! x

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 18, 2019 / 6:20 pm

      Thanks Nunzia!
      It’s so tough these days, especially with student loans to pay off. A friend of ours just completed veterinarian school and is in the same boat. It’s hard to qualify for a mortgage with all the new rules and higher prices these days πŸ™ I hope that you’re able to move to your dream home eventually, for now enjoy the new apartment!

      Thank you, that is so nice to hear. I’ve definitely spent a lot of time working on my grid, I hope that I can beat that algorithm one of these days lol And yes people don’t realize how much work it takes!

      I hope that you can also achieve your dreams and write for a living! That would be so amazing. Good luck!

      I hope you had a great weekend too!

  5. March 13, 2019 / 5:18 pm

    Quantam & Ion are such cuties!!! They are definitely going to love the new house, and YES to the full house tour once you move in. πŸ˜€ I’d love to see everything. I’m sorry you aren’t grow as fast as you’d like to on IG, I think your content & photos are great! I hope one day you can quit your career and just create for a living. <3

    I've never heard of Steelheart but it sounds interesting… I'm currently reading this book called The Mars Room right now.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:58 pm

      Yes they are! It makes me forgive all the times they cause trouble lol
      I’m going to put something together so I can show you guys the new place once we move. I’m excited πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much, it would be amazing if one day something changed and I could just create, as you said. It would be a dream come true

      What’s the Mars room about? Is it sci-fy?

      • March 15, 2019 / 9:03 pm

        LOL that’s exactly what I think about my cats… so cute but dang naughty!!! I cannot wait to see your new place. πŸ˜€ I believe that one day you will be able to live your dreams, Cleia!!

        The Mars Room is about a woman in prison for two life sentences. πŸ˜› It’s pretty dark so far…

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 18, 2019 / 6:52 pm

          Thanks Hunida! I’m looking forward to sharing a few lifestyle-house related posts!

          I thought it would be about outer space lol. It sounds interesting though!

          • March 18, 2019 / 9:10 pm

            Eee!!! I’m super looking forward to it. πŸ˜€ & I totally get why you thought the book I’m reading would be about outer space lol.

  6. March 13, 2019 / 9:56 am

    Congrats on your new house (I know I’ve said it at least 3 times already), but this is a huge deal! And, you get an apple tree in your backyard! That’s amazing! I love apple picking, so it’s so cool to hear you’re going to get a tree in your own backyard.
    I’ve definitely felt the stress and burnout for sure.
    I can definitely say that I was a bit curious about how you get PR from companies like Pixi and other companies. I know you’ve definitely worked hard for it! You are an amazing beauty/skincare blogger. I also love that you’ve been adding a few lifestyle/personal pieces here and there!
    I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years, and I see some people who have already created careers, and saying that their blog pays the bills, and while I’m beyond happy fro them, I’m a little put down by the fact that I’ve worked so hard, and I haven’t gotten even close to the point where I can make this a full-time thing.
    I love blogging with all my heart, and so I’m going to keep going at it. Great post love πŸ™‚ xx

    Melina | melinaelisa.com

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 13, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you! Yes I’m so excited about having my own apple tree 😊 We’re also going to plant a little garden hopefully this spring, I’ve never had the space to do that before!
      Honestly the PR is no big secret, there’s a sign up form to be a brand ambassador on Pixi’s contact page. If you’re interested you should sign up!

      It’s crazy how some people’s blogs & social media accounts just explode. You have to really love blogging to stick with it, especially when it seems like everyone else is growing so fast. It’s frustrating for sure! I’m glad you’re still posting and involved with the blogging community!

      • March 15, 2019 / 11:51 am

        That’s so cool. When I was younger me, my mom, and my siblings would all plant flowers all over outside of our house! Looking back, it was such a fond memory, and something I should try to bring back! I bet you’re so excited to grow your own garden!
        I honestly had no idea about the sign up form for Pixi! Thank you so much for letting me know, I’m going to sign up and see if they think we’re a good fit πŸ™‚
        I completely agree, I can definitely say I’m glad that you’re still posting and are involved in the blogging community as well πŸ™‚ x

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 15, 2019 / 5:56 pm

          That’s such a nice memory! You definitely should. My mom usually takes me to the green house every year and we shop for plants. I never thought I would look forward to something like that but now here we are. I love filling up my planters πŸ™‚
          I hope they choose you! Their program is a little strange because you literally receive no communication from them until a package shows up in the mail so it’s a complete surprise.
          Thank you! Let’s both keep it up!

  7. March 13, 2019 / 1:20 am

    Congratulations on buying your first home! A home tour would be awesome πŸ™‚

    I’m sorry that work has made you so stressed out recently! But thankful that you have shared that with us. I think sometimes we feel guilty for feeling stressed out from work when it seems like no one else is and when we should be so grateful to have a job etc. It’s a bit unfair that you have had to fill in for other people who you probably don’t even know but I would consider discussing further with them on if a pay rise is possible and if they are able to schedule in better.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m definitely going to put something together for the house!

      Unfortunately we are unionized and the department I’m filling in for is technically a lower paygrade (though still about the same difficulty of work). So they wouldn’t approve a raise for any of that. We might have some change coming in the next few weeks, so I’m hoping things will look up.

  8. Angela
    March 12, 2019 / 5:11 pm

    The new house sounds so exciting!! It’s definitely amazing to have your own place and be able to really make it your own home! I hope moving goes smoothly for you guys πŸ™‚
    I’ve never really done shift work or experienced a job like yours where I’ve felt over stressed. At least not for longer than a few months. I can imagine that as you make yourself more valuable in a certain area, certain upper management may try to take more advantage which sucks πŸ™ Definitely don’t come in on your days offs if you need those days to just chill.
    I am barely on Instagram, but it’s been so confusing since the beginning for me. I feel like they are always fiddling with the algorithm for no reason. I have never understood how the feed works as I scroll through it. I always get a mix of photos from recently, to a few days ago, and some accounts I want to see from, I just don’t. I haven’t been on it too much lately though, so I’m not sure if it’s changed much lately.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:51 pm

      Thanks Angela! I’m so excited that finally I can paint, hang wall art and make noise without worrying about sharing walls with neighbours! It’s going to be great πŸ™‚

      I think my main problem with my schedule is that I don’t actually have set days off. I was supposed to but I get scheduled randomly and it seems I don’t have a “set” schedule anymore. I tried to ask about that and I was told “your schedule is a baseline and subject to change” so yeah… not cool. I literally can’t plan anything more than a week in advance, and by then they’ve already changed my schedule around six times. I need to sort that out with them soon.

      It’s still the same πŸ™ I have to physically go to the account pages that I want to see posts from in order to catch up.

  9. March 12, 2019 / 12:26 am

    Congratulations on securing your first home! I mostly agree with you about generations working harder to get ahead now but hard work will always pay off and maybe sometime in the near future things could get easier again… hopefully anyway lol! Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling pressured at your job lately, days off are definitely important otherwise you’ll burn out and I feel for you having been sick three times this year already. I hate saying no especially when it comes to work for the fear it will get used against me later but at the same time I don’t want to be a pushover and get walked all over. I work 7:30-16:30 5 days a week and every month or so I have a six day week and have to do a weekend day. I’m still getting used to the longer hours but it has been summer as well so the heat is probably a factor to some tiredness.

    Sending you lots of positivity and wishing things change for the better soon xx

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:46 pm

      Thanks Chanelle! It’s less than a week until our possession date now πŸ™‚ It was worth the wait.
      I’m sorry you have to worry about saying no to extra shifts too, it’s not a good feeling. We have a union which technically is supposed to prevent that but I still feel guilty when I don’t come in.
      I hope that I can catch a break with this random schedule soon… Six day weeks would be hard the odd time that you have to do them, especially with full time hours πŸ™

      Thank you, I appreciate it!

      • March 15, 2019 / 11:03 pm

        I don’t get asked to do extra shifts now but I always used to in my previous job before I started at the library and it was annoying at times πŸ™‚

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 18, 2019 / 6:53 pm

          I totally agree. People need their days off!

  10. March 11, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    Congrats on getting your first home, totally know what you mean. And that goes with apartments too, what my parents were able to get right out of college on their own is something I need like three roommates for.

    Your cats are super cute. And totally agree Instagram makes no sense anymore, I still have fun with it but you don’t get any engagements unless you’re a massive influencer.

    β™₯ Mae

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      I had two room mates in a two bedroom for my first apartment, I think my share of the rent was $400 plus utilities or something like that. I was going to Uni and working a part time minimum wage job, that was actually a lot for me at 19! I can’t believe how inexpensive things used to be.

      Thanks! They’re cute until they’re waking you up at 4am for food haha! I wish that could change, I guess I started instagram way too late.

  11. March 11, 2019 / 7:24 pm

    Congrats on getting into your first home!! What an amazing achievement!

    Sorry to hear about the stress at your job. I was a shift worker for two years while I was in grad school, but luckily the management was pretty hands-off so they didn’t stress me out too much. However, the job I had before that was a different story! I made myself too valuable, just like you said, and they definitely took advantage. And then when I tried to advance there, they were like, oh no we like you where you are. (Of course they didn’t actually say that, but their actions said everything.)

    Ugh I’ve been feeling the same way recently about IG. I post almost every single day and do Stories as well, but I’ve actually shrunk in the past month. Now I can’t seem to get ahead of where I was right at the turn of the year; it’s very discouraging.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:36 pm

      Thanks Erica!

      It’s so unfair how companies do that. If you make yourself too available or valuable a lot of them will walk all over you. I really hope that there’s a change soon because I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

      I don’t understand what’s going on! Why are some accounts growing so fast while others struggle to get noticed? It’s baffling. I hope you see an improvement soon!

      • March 15, 2019 / 7:34 pm

        I try not to sweat it too much. It all can be so superficial anyway!

  12. March 11, 2019 / 3:43 pm

    I’m sorry you’ve been having a tough time with life! I kind of feel like I’m in the same boat with a few things.

    I do agree it was a LOT easier for our parents to buy their first home, but when my parents bought the house I grew up in, the interest rate was something like 10%, which would have been a serious struggle. We had a really low interest rate when we bought our house, and it hurts enough looking at how much money we’ve put into our mortgage and how big of a chunk of that was interest…can’t imagine what it would have been like at 10% interest. Either way, the finance side of buying a house is never a good time, but the decorating and all of that will be wonderful!

    Have you thought about asking your work for a pay raise? The good thing about making yourself valuable to the company is that you have leverage – they don’t really want to lose you.

    I am just beyond annoyed with IG. My growth is at a standstill, and I don’t know why. I just keep reminding myself that blogging is a hobby and it’s never been about the numbers or free products for me, but I’ve been doing it for a few years now, and sometimes it’s really hard when I see other bloggers increase their following exponentially, or get PR opportunities that I don’t.

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 15, 2019 / 5:31 pm

      Oh my gosh 10%!? That sure puts things in perspective. I can’t even imagine having a rate that high. I hope I never have to.. Those interests payments really add up, no matter what the rate is. We’re going to try to pay everything off as soon as we can, the less money we give the bank the better.
      But decorating will be fun, yes!

      Unfortunately I can’t, we’re unionized and the latest jobs I’ve been filling in for are technically below my pay grade even though they’re about the same level of difficulty. Raises go by hours worked πŸ™ I did just get my yearly pay group raise to adjust for the cost of living but it wasn’t a crazy amount.

      It’s still frustrating to be putting out great content all the time and seeing little growth, I get it! Even if we’re not blogging/instagramming for the numbers it’s still nice to to see growth.
      It’s frustrating when I see accounts that seem to put very little work into their content grow so fast when us smaller accounts are working so hard πŸ™
      Speaking of PR Have you checked out Pixi’s brand ambassador sign up? It’s on their contact page! I can’t remember if I talked about this with you or not

      • March 16, 2019 / 10:25 pm

        Right?! I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to pay off your house with an interest rate like that. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about our interest rates going up that high, but I suppose you never know…

        Ugh, that sucks that you can’t ask for a raise, or even get recognition for taking on more work. We get cost of living raises every year too, and you’re right, they don’t amount to much…it’s like thanks for the extra $50 after tax on every paycheque lol.

        Yes, that’s a good way to put it, I guess even if you’re doing it for fun, you still want to know that people are seeing your work and that all of your hard work is amounting to something! I really want to know how some people have like 30 IG posts and 1,000 followers lol…

        I think I originally learned about the brand ambassador sign up from either you or Nova! I haven’t signed up because I figured I don’t have enough followers for them to justify sending me anything lol. Thank you for bringing it up to me again though, that’s really sweet of you!

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 18, 2019 / 7:05 pm

          On the bright side I’m locked it for 5 years at our current rate so hopefully I have time to prepare in case rates go up!

          Yeah cost of living raises are nothing. I think I get an additional 40 cents an hour every year or something like that. So every 12.5 hours I can buy a coffee at Starbucks…

          I HATE THAT when people have NO POSTS and somehow have a ton of followers. How does that make sense!?

          You never know though! I’ve seen people with under 1k on instagram receive PR from Pixi, and I think your blog following is close to mine if not higher. You should give it a shot if you’re interested, it doesn’t hurt anything πŸ™‚

          • March 19, 2019 / 9:37 am

            Yes, enjoy the low rates while you can, and try to pay off as much as you can in the next 5 years! Our rate ends next year and we’re not looking forward to it, although luckily the rate hasn’t increased significantly over the last five years…

            Working a day and a half just to get a Starbucks coffee, whoo! LOL.

            Agreed! Maybe they’re buying followers? Another annoying one is when people follow and unfollow, particularly accounts that have like 13K followers…like why?

            Hmm that’s true, for some reason I never think about my blog following count, only my IG following (which grows so painfully slowly). Part of me isn’t sure whether I want PR from Pixi because they send out so much PR that it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m just bombarded by Pixi posts when they send something out every month and it’s almost too much…their products do look nice, though πŸ™‚

          • AlwaysCleia
            March 25, 2019 / 6:59 pm

            You know what’s weird, since we secured a rate in January our rate dropped TWICE before we started our mortgage! It decreased by 0.15 percent. So I hope things trend down for you!

            haha yes I need my starbucks!

            I always get DMS from companies offering to like & follow other users for me, so maybe those services have worked so well for those larger accounts that they just keep using them :S I’ve never asked!

            Omg yes I’m there too. I got a giant box with four of their masks and I don’t know why the box had to be so big. I can’t even photograph it properly. I feel like I’ve been posting way too much from them lately… it’s nice getting to try new things though, especially since Shoppers doesn’t stock all of their products.

  13. March 11, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    How exciting that you guys were able to buy your first house! I completely agree that it seems like it’s harder to get the same quality of things even at a different age than our parents’ generation. I was talking with my husband that even if we put aside lots of money from every paycheck, it would take us YEARS to save up enough for a down payment on a decent house that we wouldn’t need to fix up right away.
    I love that your cat loves sleeping in the cubbies on your TV stand! That’s so typical of cats. Our cat sometimes likes to jump up there and just sit in front of the screen while we are watching it haha. She especially likes sleeping in our closet for some reason, on top of a box. It doesn’t seem very comfy to me, but she runs in there every time we open the door!
    I will definitely be checking out Steelheart! I’m a sucker for a good fantasy book. I’m reading “Tower of Dawn” right now in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas–have you read the series? It’s one of my favorites so far.
    That truly sucks about your job. How frustrating that they keep calling you in on your days off. That’s a conversation my husband and I often have…that it’s absolutely exasperating when employers act like your job/career should be your whole life and nothing else should be a higher priority, ever. Even people who totally adore their careers need days off to regroup and stay motivated and healthy. I hope they give you a break soon!

    • AlwaysCleia
      March 11, 2019 / 3:14 pm

      We’re so excited! It’s so sad how inflation has gone up way faster than our salaries. It also depends on the market you’re in, right now Edmonton is a buyer’s market so a lot of sellers are getting desperate and pricing to sell. If we had bought the same house five years ago we easily would have had to pay $50 -$75 thousand more for it. So we’re very lucky to be able to buy at this time, but unfortunate that it took this long. Also if Mike & I weren’t together there’s no way we could have afforded it on a single income!

      Omg yes it’s so adorable isn’t it? The cats are finding all these sleeping spots that we didn’t know were there! Haha typical cat behavior. Does she also like to stand in front of your computer screen? 😹 It must be the most comfortable box ever! When I was packing I had a big stack of boxes and Ion curled up on top of them. I thought the couch was more comfortable but what do us humans know πŸ™„

      I haven’t read the throne of glass series yet but I’ve heard about it! Maybe once I’m done the steelheart series I’ll pick it up πŸ™‚

      I booked off 6 days for the move luckily and I am greatly looking forward to the time off. It’s so annoying how they expect us to put work first in our lives all the time. I don’t want to miss all the important moments in life because I’m too busy working, and I’m tired of feeling burned out. Hopefully the time off will be enough to recharge.

      Thanks for reading Courtney, I love hearing from you!

      • March 12, 2019 / 10:12 am

        My goodness, that’s just baffling that the difference between a buyer’s market and seller’s market could make such a huge difference in price!! We will definitely have to keep that in mind when we get closer to buying. How fortunate that you were able to buy in your current market!

        This is one of the reasons why I love cats–they are so quirky and curious! My cat definitely loves laying on my laptop and standing in front of the desktop screen hahaha. Her new favorite thing is also to demand cuddles when I’m doing an at-home workout on the floor lol.

        Yeah I mean Throne of Glass probably isn’t for everyone but it’s an intriguing fantasy world for sure in my opinion! It is YA though so I could see how some people might not find that as interesting.

        Oh good!! I’m so glad you’ll have 6 days to yourself. I’m sure that will feel like a dream, even with being busy moving. I completely agree! Work isn’t our whole lives. One of my husband’s past employers would act like he was being gracious by letting Joshua even take time for like a dentist appointment because he thought “you’re young, you don’t need it.”

        • AlwaysCleia
          March 18, 2019 / 6:06 pm

          Yes seriously! Market makes a big difference. Plus since we’re buying in winter most of the sellers are more desperate to sell since no one really wants to move in five feet of snow. So that also factored into the price. I don’t know how much snow you get in AZ though…

          My cats do that too with the workouts! Specifically when I’m doing my cool down stretches Ion wants to rub against my legs and climb on my back lol

          I don’t mind YA once in a while, Steelheart is also YA. It’s nice to have a quick read sometimes, most of the books I read are like 500+ pages so it’s a nice change.

          I’m really looking forward to it. I’m already dreading going back to work afterwards but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it lol.
          What that’s awful!! Dental & health appointments are necessary.

          • March 19, 2019 / 10:43 am

            We actually moved in the snow when we got our current apartment, lol! I can see how that would help with sellers being desperate too so I will have to keep that in mind. Thanks for the tips!

            Oh my gosh, yes, Zelda’s favorite time is during warm-ups and stretches too lol! And she will sit in the middle of my yoga mat haha.

            Yes definitely enjoy your time off!! Try not to think about it until you get closer, lol. Good luck on the move!! πŸ™‚

          • AlwaysCleia
            March 25, 2019 / 7:02 pm

            Oh no moving in the snow would suck! We lucked out, we had the most beautiful sunny weekend we’ve had all year the day we moved last week.

            Does she ever try to scratch on the mat? I had a memory foam mat and Ion walked across it and shredded it one day lol

            Thanks Courtney!

          • March 26, 2019 / 11:54 am

            Oh good, I’m so glad you guys had a sunny weekend!! That sounds perfect for moving! We are moving this year but thankfully it’s in June so it’ll be warmer. πŸ™‚

            I’m grateful Zelda has not noticed she could scratch the mat haha. I’m sure it would be shredded very quickly if she ever paid attention to it! XD

          • AlwaysCleia
            March 27, 2019 / 5:26 pm

            Oh yes June is a great time to move πŸ™‚

            Hahah hopefully she never does!

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