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Time flies when you’re having fun. 😉 Coming Up Roses is officially 5 years old! WOWZA. I can’t believe it. No really…looking back through the archives, I really can’t believe it actually made it anywhere. If you want a *solid* giggle, go back through the archives – proof that we all start somewhere! Ha! 😉 We celebrated past blogiversaries with lessons learned, more lessons learned, + some random roundup with a picture of me in a turban as a child, so I wanted to do something a little different for this year – especially since 5 years ain’t no small feat, yo! Below is a timeline of a few highlights – the good, the bad, the ugly – since CUR’s birth.
I think one of the most interesting/telling things about doing this for a living (heck, just doing this in general) is how quickly the tides may turn; in one month, you might have the biggest win of your career, immediately followed by a hugely humbling slap-in-the-face low. Maybe that’s just life in a LOT of careers, but I always think of that first whenever folks ask me about the pros/cons of blogging, or about things I’ve learned along the way. It can really be this roller coaster ride, and it takes a whole heckuvah lot o’ grit + pure passion to persist on sometimes in a world of so much uncertainty and inconsistency, instead of just closing the laptop and calling it a day for good.
SO. Here we have a collection of highs + lows + everything in between from the last 5 years of CUR’s existence. I know I have a helluvah long way to go, but I’m feeling really really good about how far we’ve come. 🙂
August 14th, 2013 – CUR was born. Here’s my first post ever.
May 2014 – First sponsored post! I was sent a free dress and made $50. And I look like I was on drugs in the photoshoot, which was shot on a basic digital camera in the common space of my dorm apartment at the time, at maybe 11 pm? We’ve come a long way, friends. Thank the sweet Lord baby Jesus. 😉
May 2016 – Asked to be cast in a would-be ABC reality documentary. I was reasonably excited to hop on that phone call, thinking my “big break” had come. Turns out, they wanted to bring back “all of my ex-boyfriends and any past flames” in the hopes of re-igniting something before my wedding, which was September of that year. I can’t make this sh*t up, folks.
June 2016 – Brought on CUR’s first intern!
November 2016 – BossPitch launched for the first time. This is probably one of the things I am most proud of in this whole crazy journey so far, because I’ve gotten to see it truly change people’s lives in such tangible ways – and that is just SO cool + humbling + inspiring + motivating to me. BossPitch is my baby for helping other bloggers go from the sh*tshow that you see in the deepest depths of the archives, to making your dream life happen online through life-changing brand partnerships in the world of influencer marketing. Fellow bloggers, check it out, yo!
November 2016 – First met Bloguad. AKA my Blog Squad of besties! Around this time, too, I somehow ended up meeting the best crew of girls and all connecting and being the most genuine, badass group of women I’ve ever met. And we’re best friends to this day. So, #blessed.
December 2016 – The Annual CUR Blooper Reel was born. Always keepin’ it real, folks. Too real? You be the judge. 😉
January 2017 – First press trip…to the Riviera Maya, Mexico! Definitely almost skipped over this email thinking it was a scam to get my passport information. Really glad I hit reply, because it was a few-day trip in honor of our resort’s commercial placement in the Golden Globes. Totally legit, totally pinchable moment.
March 2017 – Asked to join a campaign for dog food brand for “me and my dog,” to write a blog post, create video content, share all over social media, and host a giveaway for the brand. Offered compensation: One brand-themed bandana “for either you OR your dog,” and one bag of brand dog food. Me and me non-existent dogs had to pass. 😉 I include this because a.) I laughed really friggin’ hard re-finding this thread in my inbox, and b.) sometimes this world is actually absurd. This was one of those times.
May 2017 – BossPitch launched for the second time. At this point, students had started to see such serious, awesome change in theirs blogs as businesses, quadrupling their project rates, having 5-figure months in their businesses – heck, even quitting their 9-to-5 jobs to embrace entrepreneurship and blog full-time. Goosebumps.
July 2017 – Spoke on a panel at HerConference in NYC. Definitely one of my favorite memories from blogging so far, because it was SO FRIGGIN’ COOL to get to meet so many CUR readers while there! Those of you who were in attendance + came up to me to chat were all so fabuous + badass and just made my life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that real people are on the other side of the computer screen, since most of the time I’m just writing in a room by myself with my cats, probably in sweatpants with no makeup and a 3-day-old messy bun. Putting faces to what would otherwise be analytics on a website backend is the BEST feeling. And also a good reminder to put on real pants sometimes. 😉
August 2017 – Went with family to Mexico. Tried to shoot great content while in Mexico. Proceeded to get HAMMERED by a wave in front of a beach full of people, while shooting said content and trying to be an Instagram model. Lessons learned: 1.) I am not an Instagram model. 2.) You have to get hella comfortable do hella weird things to “get the shot.” 3.) Nothing on Instagram is as easy or effortless as it seems. This post was the recap of that trip, including the winner shot – can you guess which one ended in embarassment??
October 2017 – Cyberbullied for my appearance. This was by NO means the first time I was ever bullied for something (heck, I switched schools back in the day because of it, so I’m no stranger). It wasn’t even the first time I had dealt with something online because of blogging. But it was probably one of the first times I can remember being picked apart for my physical appearance, versus some aspect of who or how I am. I had worked with a brand on a style project, and they ended up paying to boost my post across social media. Meaning, random strangers of the internet who have no idea who I am and do not read or follow along with CUR in any way/shape/form were seeing it, and just did as some folks on the internet do when they feel empowered through the screen. I was ripped apart for my style, but also my knees (which are anatomically crooked, fun fact), with folks just saying all sorts of fun things about how I should not be doing anything related to style at all, how I’m deformed, yadda yadda yadda. Anytime you experience hate online, it can definitely sting – but I try to use it as a reminder that you just CANNOT please everyone and there’s zero use or good in trying to do so. Just do YOU, know that it’s not gonna be everyone’s cuppa tea, and that’s A-OK. People who see it + enjoy it will stick around. People who don’t will just say rude things anonymously on the internet, and karma will work her magic on them someday. 😉
November 2017 – Phoenix, AZ press trip. (Here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of those post recaps!) Crossed off a buncha bucket list-able items, like riding in a hot air balloon and horsebacking through a desert. Also got to take my mama (who works with me on CUR part-time! hollah!), which was the COOLEST feeling because I’ve always wanted to be able to give back to my parents in some way or another after all of the years they spent (+ continue to spend) supporting my brother and I and encouraging us to make it happen.
December 2017 – The Second Annual CUR Blooper Reel. Let the Drunk Eyes saga commence.
January 2018 – Shot this Valentine’s Day campaign for LAGOS. Actually froze my ass off. It was 19 degrees, and it was the *longest* shoot we’ve ever had to do, simply because we physically could not be outside for more than 10-minute increments (if that). Perfect example of “everything is not what it seems” – we couldn’t get good close-up shots of the jewelry since I kept shaking in the freezing cold. Understandable since a.) I’m not a model, and b.) I was in a sleeveless dress in below-freezing temperatures. But it’s a bit problematic when it’s a jewelry campaign…so we shot all close-up stills in my mom’s mini van with the heat blasting on high. Roses are just arranged to not see all of the clothing changes, props, + camera equipment behind-the-scenes. 😉
February 2018 – Press trip to Walt Disney World! Another personal favorite moment thus far. 🙂 I was able to take my best friend and her mom along for the ride, which made it all the more special. We were SO TOTALLY EXHAUSTED by the end, but so so happy.
February 2018 – Made my eyebrows a weeeee bit too dark in a makeup campaign. Got ripped apart for it online, when the brand boosted the post on their Facebook. Became a meme. Went through stages of grief for my a.) my eyebrows and b.) any semblance of pride or dignity I had left before being meme-d. Vowed to never do my own brows again before realizing DANG, people have a lot of feelings about eyebrows. People also have a lot of nerve when they’re behind a screen. Noted: 1.) Shake it off. 2.) Buy lighter eyebrow pencils. 😉
June 2018 – Signed my biggest contract ever with one of my favorite brands. Surreal moment. Humbling moment. Pinch me moment.
July 2018 – Taylor Nation called me up (literally) to send over an invitation to the Reputation Tour in Philly. Seeing Taylor Swift’s concert with my besties was another *highlight*. I was thiiiiiis close to not even answering because I thought it was a scam. Ha! Very glad I did…
Really, I owe you guys infinite thanks.
Thankyouthankyouthankyou for making it to 5 years with me.
Whether you’ve been an OG reader from the start (bless you), or just bookmarked CUR last week, I am so fully aware + appreciative of the fact that this little rosy corner of the web would be absolutely nothing if it weren’t for you.
You give it life – you give it meaning. You’re the *sole* reason I keep on keepin’ on, because my absolute favorite thing is connecting with you guys and being able to truly serve you in some small way, be that through a hot dose of serious inspo in a Monday Mantra, or by changing your life with dry shampoo (because that happens).
So, thanks. 🙂
Cheers to 5 years! What would you lovelovelove to see on Coming Up Roses this year?
Let’s do something big this week to celebrate, MK? MK.
Make sure you’re following along on Instagram and checking Stories…I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for you guys. 😉