Tag Archives: monique is blog

Project Life + New Video

11 Mar

Last week was super busy for me and this week is just as busy. I didn’t update the blog last week but I don’t want to fall into the procrastination cycle so I’m setting aside time right now to just give a quick update! Work is busy and I was handed some copy writing and SEO writing assignments, along with my usual tasks I perform each week. My side copy writing gig is also gearing up with some extra unexpected work. I’m not complaining though, I like to stay busy and I like what I do. Getting paid to write is a dream come true!

Aside from all the work, I started a Project Life photo album. I first learned about Project Life from following blogger Kelly from Brownies and Zucchini. She is in her second year of Project Life and updates her blog regularly with her album pages. I went to Michael’s to pick up some photo albums for my wedding pictures (finally got them printed) and they were having a buy 1 get 1 free sale. That’s when I noticed the Project Life albums and remembered the Brownies and Zucchini blog posts about them. So I went home and did some research. Over the weekend I went back with a 40% off coupon in hand and got my first kit.

Project Life First Timer Monique Is Blog moisblog

I purchased 2 albums with the buy 1 get 1 free sale, a pack of photo pocket pages,  Project Life core kit Honey Edition, and a mini kit Holiday Edition. Project Life is a super simple way of scrap-booking your life. Some people document each week, the way Brownies and Zucchini does and others update it whenever. I’m choosing to update it casually and hope to fill up the album by the end of the year. There is not cutting, pasting, stickers, or any super creative genius required. You put the cards in the pocket pages and then your pictures. Use the journaling cards to add some written details. And you’re done!

Some people do choose to add extra embellishments and it looks great, but it’s just not for me. I tried scrap-booking once and it took me about two years to get around to completing the scrapbook. I never want to do that again! Now I have a simple and beautiful way to document our year instead of letting the photos just sit on my iphone and computer.

Project Life Monique Is Blog moisblog

I started my Project Life album with a layout depicting our trip to Las Vegas back in January. Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…so I don’t have any photos of the trip. Luckily a friend snapped a couple non-incriminating or embarrassing shots of the group and I used those in my album. 😉

Next, I created my THIRD YouTube video and it’s up on my channel! This one is a Mary Kay Haul and Review. I placed a large order with my friend who is a Mary Kay Consultant and decided to share it on my channel. I’ve seen other beauty and lifestyle YouTubers out there do this type of video so I gave it a shot. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out below! I post new videos every Sunday so please subscribe to get an alert when a new video is posted.

That’s it for now, take care!

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Typewriters to Computers

3 Dec

Over the weekend I went into my attic storage space to dig out my box of Christmas decorations. While in the attic I moved some of my in-laws things to one side to better organize the space. I came across a sturdy black plastic case.

I assumed it held tools or something like that. Kyle also noticed the case and said, “Hey what’s in there? Open it up!” and I mumbled “It’s probably tools…”

I snapped open the heavy case and inside lay an electric typewriter. My face lit up and I began tapping the keys and said “All work and no play makes Monique a dull girl!” Ever since watching The Shining this October for the first time I’ve seen references to the movie all over the place–so I just had to do that!

I closed the case and continued on with my re-organization efforts. Now thinking back, I have memories associated with typewriters.

I remember my mom clacking away on her electric typewriter trying to teach herself how to type as she transitioned from being a Veterinary Assistant to a clerical professional.  Eventually, I started to use that typewriter to type up my reports and essays for school. We didn’t have a computer for many years so I always just typed things up on the typewriter.

My process included walking to the library and using the Dewey Decimal System to find reference books. Then I’d jot down notes and make photo copies of pages I found useful. Sometimes I’d use the computer for research but didn’t really harness the power of the internet until high school. Then I’d hand write my report. I would make edits on the paper by moving paragraphs around with arrows and adding new sentences in the margins. Once satisfied I’d sit down in front of the typewriter to type it out.

I wonder if kids now even use books for research. I wonder if their teachers require them to hand write a rough draft or do they head straight to the computer? I remember when I got to high school a teacher specifically saying she did not want papers produced by typewriter, they had to be Word Processed. The days of using the typewriter were over for me!

We did eventually get a computer and dial-up internet. That lasted a little while but eventually the computer died. We were without a computer for a few more years until we got a family lap top. By that point I was in community college and didn’t use the lap top very often. I managed to go without my own computer for so many years–I didn’t buy one of my own until about three years ago! I always utilized the library or computer labs at school. It just shows that you don’t need to personally own top of the line electronic devices to succeed in school. Just know where the resources are available and manage your time well.

When did you get your first computer? Have you ever used a typewriter? Do you prefer handwriting or typing?

I personally now prefer typing but like to outline ideas on paper first!

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Confident Girl

21 Nov

The prompt for today is: “Describe an outfit that makes you feel good. (It can be from any period of your life.) Double points if you post a picture of yourself in the outfit.”

In high school I really wanted to be on the short flags team. I tried out to be on the team freshman year and didn’t make so I tried out again the following year and made the team. It’s just the kind of person I am–I never give up on my goals! Even though I felt awkward and ugly during those years I always felt my best on game day Fridays when I wore my uniform.

That uniform meant so much to me. I really earned it, like honestly truly earned the money for it myself. Not only did I not make the team the first time I tried out but when I finally did make the team I then had to figure out how to pay for the very expensive equipment needed to be on the team. Making the team was just the first hurdle.

I needed to buy a uniform that included a skirt, top, long sleeve under shirt, bloomers and special Nike shoes. I also needed a warm up suit consisting of custom pants and jacket. On top of that I needed to buy the duffel bag, also with custom embroidery, to store all my things in. We can’t forget the flags. I needed to purchases two flag poles from a specific vendor along with two sets of flags–one for practice and one for performance.

Then there were the extras like summer camp, matching customized team outfits to wear at camp, hair bows, foam curlers, blue eyeshadow and competition fees. Then once I was on the team for a year I earned a varsity letter. So of course I needed to get the Letterman jacket. I shouldn’t forget to mention the design of our uniform AND performance flags changed each year I was on the team.

Monique Gonzalez Abrahamsen ACHS Short Flags

My first year on the team my mom and biological father helped me but we struggled a lot financially and my mom couldn’t pay everything on time. My uniform was taken away from me until we could pay it off. My coach loaned me the money for my warm ups and I eventually paid her back. We did have some fundraisers to help defray some of the costs but still, a huge chunk of the financial responsibility fell on me.

I took a summer job at McDonald’s when I was 14 then quit when school started. I then worked at Taco Bell the following year and finally at the Gap Outlet. I did this to earn the money needed to stay on the team.

You can bet after all that hard work I felt proud and confident while donning that uniform. When I wore it I felt so good about myself. No one could judge my clothes–only a select few girls wore the same uniform as me. We were part of something special. I practiced with the team and made time to practice in my backyard almost everyday to ensure I would perform the routines perfectly with the rest of the team.

That uniform even FELT good! The material was flexible, made for twisting, turning and sweating. Putting on the uniform was like putting on a costume. I was incredibly shy but when I had my uniform on and we stepped out onto the performance stage (whether it be football field, basketball court or competition stage) I suddenly turned into this happy, smiling, bouncing, talented, and CONFIDENT girl. It was the only time I didn’t mind crowds of people looking at me.

Go ahead! Look!  I earned this! I worked hard, practiced hard and I feel great!

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Plugged In

19 Nov

How much of the day are you plugged in? Do you consciously set aside offline time, or does it happen whenever it happens?

Since my job as an Associate Social Media Manager requires me to be constantly connected and aware I am ALWAYS “plugged in.” That means I am always online. Thanks to HootSuite my web browser window holds streams for each brand I manage with all of their social media accounts up at all times. I’m checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Vine all day long Monday through Friday.

It’s my job to grow our audience and raise awareness of our products. I need to be plugged in or else I am not doing my job. I map it all out in my editorial calendar, gather images, take photos, request images from our designers, information, articles then compile it into the content I create. This content must be timely, seasonal, interesting, compelling. I need to know when something is trending on YouTube. I need to think about how I can possibly tie in our brands with a trending hashtag on Twitter. I’m perusing Pinterest for ideas, peeking at competitors social pages, reading mommy blogs, watching YouTube reviews of our products.

Heck yes I’m plugged in!

Even when I’m at home, signed out of all work accounts I still get push notifications from Instagram each time someone likes or comments on one of my brand’s photos. Since I generally stay signed into my work Instagram accounts during work hours when I get home I use that time to catch up on my personal Instagram feed. I want to see what my friends and family are posting!

I do find that I usually do not use the computer when I’m at home. Since my iPhone keeps me connected I really don’t feel interested or compelled to hop on the computer. I even stay on social media when I’m on vacation. I like using FourSquare, Instagram and Twitter to document my travels. Not so much to “show off” to the world but to keep track of where I went.

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Blog Post I Didn’t Publish

18 Nov

Tell us about a blog post that you didn’t publish.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever started a blog post and then didn’t hit publish. I usually spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to write before sitting down to write. I also read, reread, and reread it again to proofread and edit my posts. Sometimes I remove a sentence or two or even entire paragraphs. Sometimes I rewrite things to make better sense.

There are ideas that I’ve never written down. I’m hoping that over time I’ll be able to open up a bit more. I just need to get my ideas on paper first so I can figure out how to express certain things while remaining safe. I completely understand that once something is on the internet–it’s up forever. I never want to post something I’ll one day regret.

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