6 Tips for Buying New Home Construction

Buying a new construction home is a different animal than buying an existing home. It also comes with a different set of decisions that need to be made. After going through my own experience of buying new home construction there are a few things I wish I'd known beforehand and a few things I wish I could go back and change.

If you're looking to buy a home and are considering going new instead of existing, check out my six tips for buying new home construction.

If you're looking to buy a home and are considering going new instead of existing, check out my six tips for buying new home construction.| arelaxedgal.com




1. Research the builder

Not all home builders are created equal. And not all of them are good. Some home builders have a better reputation than others and their reputation can vary state-by-state and city-by-city. Also, some home builders provide more features in their base prices than others. So it's a good idea to do your due diligence and research the ones you're considering. Some ways to do this are
  • See if there is any recent news, good or bad, about them on a local and national level
  • Visit some of the home builders newer neighborhoods in your area
  • Talk to people you know who've bought homes from them
  • Ask to visit the builder's design center before signing a contract
  • Find out what's included in the base price and what's not
  • Get information about their home warranty to see what is and isn't included


2. Set and stick to a budget

Yes, budgeting. A house is one of the largest purchases you will make in your life, which can make this a stressful purchase. Setting and sticking to a budget helps to lessen the stress.

Going into the home buying process I set a max and min budget. This was based on the minimum that would get me the type of house I wanted and the maximum I could and felt comfortable paying. Though my budget changed a few times I ended up purchasing a house for less than I originally planned and have no regrets. It did mean there were several upgrades I had to pass on that would have taken me to the top end of my budget and I just didn't feel comfortable with that.

This is where visiting the design center before signing a contract can come into handy. I was able to do that and see what materials were included in the base price and what materials were upgrades. I also got to take home a pricing sheet so I could price out the cost of the upgrades I was interested in. This allowed me to prioritize what I could and couldn't live without and not feel rushed into making a decision.


3. See the schedule and get a completion date

My biggest regret is that I didn't insist on seeing a schedule for the construction or insisting they provide a completion date. What I got form the builder was a vague time frame that was three weeks before the date they had in the construction schedule they were working against.

As I'll mention a little later, delays can and will most likely happen, but if you are all working off the same schedule and time frame, you're better able to plan for delays.

If you're looking to buy a home and are considering going new instead of existing, check out my six tips for buying new home construction.| arelaxedgal.com


4. Continually check in

From my exposure to the home building process I realized that check-ins with the builder are essential and wish I had done more of them. You can check in with the  builder through a couple of ways
  • Phone and email. Get the phone numbers and emails for the contractor and sales person. How often you check in with them will depend on your comfort level. I do suggest you keep up to date on where your house is in the process, what is the next step and whether they are still on schedule.
  • Visit the construction site. If you live an easy distance from the construction site, it can be helpful to visit it at least once a week to see the progress. I took it a bit further and would visit at least twice a week - once midweek after work and once on Sunday afternoons after church. I found it's best to visit when the construction crews aren't there, then you can actually walk through the house and get a close up look of the progress. If anything doesn't look right or has you concerned document it with picture or video and send it to the contractor and sales person.

5. Plan for delays

Delays can happy for a myriad of reasons such as bad weather, late shipments of materials, not passing inspections. Many of these delays are out of your control and the control of the builder, but you can plan for them. You can do this by making sure you have somewhere to stay should delays happen. This could mean extending your leas for a few weeks, or switch to a month-to-month lease. You could also hit up family or friends for a place to stay.

In my case the delays I experienced were totally the fault of the builder and was something they could have controlled. This is why they ended up paying for my entire move. That doesn't happen often, so it's better to be prepared. I suggest planning for at least two weeks of delays.


6. Don't settle

This is your house. The place you plan to live for a while. It's also brand new and should be built right the way you want it. In my opinion this house should be perfect and look the way you want it to. So don't settle for any excuses or halfway done work. If you don't like the way they did something, have them fix it or re-do it.


P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/arelaxedgal

How I'm Restarting my Healthy Hair Journey

I recently realized it's been months since I've shared a wash day on the blog and weeks since I've shared anything about my hair. While my hair hasn't been put on the back burner per se, it hasn't been a big focus of mine personally or on my blog.

So what's been going on with my hair lately?

For the last six months or so I've been struggling with being satisfied with the moisture levels of my hair. This has resulted in breakage that I didn't experience before and me ditching products, trying new products and changing my regimen. It wasn't until recently that I started revisiting some old wash day posts from the beginning of my hair journey and I realized that my new regimen may be the issue.

My current regimen is working for my hair relaxed hair, so I'm switching it up. See what products I'm considering and my revised regimen. | arelaxedgal.com
  Over time I've simplified my regimen. I'm doing fewer treatments, using fewer natural oils and not moisturizing and sealing as often as I was in the beginning. While that's made for less money being spent on hair products and fewer hours being spent on my hair, my hair doesn't seem to have benefited as much as I would have liked.

After this realization I studied my current hair regimen and compared it to my old one when my hair was flourishing and have decided to make some changes. Sometimes change isn't always for the better, especially if it's stripped away things that were beneficial and effective for things less so. Not only am I changing the products I use, but also how and when I use them.


Shampoo

Go back to using the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Shampoo. I stopped using this shampoo last year as it wasn't helping my scalp issues and I experienced some serious itchy scalp, but I think I may have had a bad batch. I recently started using it again and didn't have the same issue. In fact my scalp has itched less than it has in months. I plan to start using this shampoo at least once a month as my clarifying shampoo. 


Treatments

Bring back the hot oil treatment. I can probably count on one had the number of hot oil treatments I've done this year. When I first started my hair journey I was doing hot oil treatments more regularly and my hair loved it. I had so much, suppleness and manageability when I did. I'll start off trying to do hot oil treatments at least twice a month as a pre-poo. For my hot oil treatments one of the oils I'll be using is a natural oil I used in the beginning of my hair journey - sunflower oil. 

Handpicked related post: The Power of the Sun(Flower)

My current regimen is working for my hair relaxed hair, so I'm switching it up. See what products I'm considering and my revised regimen. | arelaxedgal.com

Conditioner

I've found some drugstore conditioners that I like and have been good for a while, but really didn't compare to the conditioning and moisture retention I got when I used salon brands Thermafuse and Design Essentials.

Also, I've decided to try another deep conditioner. I think my hair isn't responding to the Eden BodyWorks deep conditioner like it used to (sad face). Sometimes my hair needs a break from products that I use on a regular basis. Otherwise the product isn't as effective.

Since Thermafuse is so hard to find and bit expensive, I'm looking at trying out some Design Essentials conditioners and conditioners as well as conditioners from other salon brands. I've done some research online and am considering the following
  • Deep conditioners
    • Design Essentials Conconut Monoi Hair Masque. It's a deep moisture masque and has several ingredients that I know my hair likes suche as monoi, coconut and sunflower.
    • Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Hair Masque. I'm considering this hair masque because I've used and liked a few conditioners from this brand and as well as the coconut shea co-wash. I also like that I can get in sample size packs so I'll probably try it that way first before I buy a full sized container.
    • SheaMoisture Sacha Inchi Rescue & Repair Hair Masque. Some of the ingredients in this masque intrigue me - Sacha Inchi Seed Oil, Quinoa, Vitamins A & E - and it's from a brand whose products I use and like.
  • Rinse out conditioners
    • Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing and Detangling Conditioner. I've found it hard to find a conditioner with enough slip it can help me with detangling. So outside of the almond and avocado in the conditioner, the fact that it claims to be a detangler is what got it on my list.
    • Mizani Moisturefuse Moisturizing Conditioner. When this has been used on my hair in during a salon visit I liked the results, so I'm hoping I'd have similar results at home.

Moisturize and seal

I've been doing this, but not daily like I was towards the start of my hair journey. I've also stopped using a natural oil for my sealer. I'll be going to moisturizing each evening and using a natural oil as a sealant. Right now I plan to alternate between two natural oils - sunflower oil (which I'm also using for my hot oil treatments) and coconut oil.


Wash day plan

I've also revisited my wash day plan and routine and have broken it down into what type of treatments and cleansing products I'll be using each week between salon visits 
  • 1 week post - Hot oil treatment and clarify
  • 2 weeks post - Co-wash
  • 3 weeks post - Hot oil treatment and moisturizing shampoo
  • 4 weeks post - Clarify
  • 5 weeks post - Hot oil treatment and co-wash
  • 6 weeks post - Moisturizing shampoo and protein treatment
  • 7 weeks post - Hot oil treatment and co-wash
  • 8 weeks post - Clarify
  • 9 weeks post - Hot oil treatment and moisturizing shampoo
  • 10 weeks post - Co-wash
  • 11 weeks post - Clarify and protein treatment
  • 12 weeks post - Salon visit

I'll still be deep conditioning each week. That is a given which it comes to taking care of my hair which is why it's not listed along with moisturizing and sealing. The only way the deep conditioning will vary each week is whether it comes before or after cleansing.

Have you made any changes to your hair regimen lately?

P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook facebook.com/arelaxedgal

How to Find the Best Realtor for You

Buying a home is a big deal and it can be hard to navigate the home buying process because of all the nuances, rules and regulations. One thing that can make it easier and lessen the stress is a good realtor. I used a realtor and can't imagine what the process would have been like for me had I not.

Realtors have experience you and I as homebuyers don't have, mostly because they've gone through training and go through the home buying process regularly. They've worked with many homebuyers and while they may not have seen it all, they've seen a lot. Some of the things a realtor can do are
  • Give you access to homes you can't access on your own
  • Provide information about neighborhoods 
  • Help with the paperwork and closing
  • Be an objective ear and can give objective advice
  • Answer questions 
Having a good realtor makes the home buying process a lot easier. Check out these tips for how to select one. | arelaxedgal.com

Because a realtor plays such a large role in the home buying process I wanted to make sure I picked one that I liked and trusted. I wasn't sure where to go to find one so I started searching online for realtors in my area. I found a few that I contacted, but ended up selecting one a co-worker recommended. She had used him when she and her husband bought their first home.

Since this process is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share some tips for not just finding, but also selecting a realtor.


1. Narrow down your home search area

You may not think this matters, but some realtors have more knowledge about certain neighborhoods than others. So knowing where you want to look fora home can be really helpful when talking to the realtor and asking them questions about their experience.


2. New home vs. existing home

Just like neighborhoods some realtors may have more experience buying newer homes than others. If the home is being built it's a different buying process than for an existing home. So having a realtor who's gone through the buying process for a new build can be very reassuring, especially if it's your first time as well.

3. Ask for recommendations 

As I mentioned I found my realtor through a co-worker. Having someone give a personal recommendation and tell you first hand what the realtor is like can be more telling than actually talking to the realtor. But that doesn't mean you'll have instant chemistry with the realtor like the person who recommended them may have had.


4. Create a list of questions

The realtor you select will be helping you make your home buying dreams come true. You'll also be spending a lot of one-on-one time with them when you're looking at homes. So ask questions before making your final decision on a realtor. You can never ask too many and if the realtor starts to get annoyed with your questions, that could be a sign they aren't the one for you.

Some types of questions you can ask are
  • How long have you been a realtor?
  • Do you do this full-time?
  • Are there any documents or disclosures I'll need to sign (It may be a good idea to see them beforehand as what the documents/disclosures include could impact your decision)
  • Will you only be acting a the buyers agent? (Answers to this question will let you know if there could be instances where the realtor is representing both the seller and you. You most likely won't get a good deal on the home if that's the case.)
  • What if I decide to not buy a house?
  • What if I decide I want to use another realtor?
  • What neighborhoods do you tend to work in?
  • What is your commission rate?
  • Do you typically work with first-time homebuyers?

5. Internet stalk them

Yep. Definitely Internet stalk them. Not in a scary way, but look for their social profiles. See if they have a website and/or blog. Do they regularly post helpful information on home buying and the local housing market? All of this can be indicative of how in tune they are to the area, their knowledge and experience level, and how helpful they will be during the process.

6. Meet with the realtor

I met with my realtor on the phone before deciding to work together, but would meet in person if  I did it all over again. By meeting with them you can tell whether the chemistry and comfort level is there.


What is your experience working with a realtor?



P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/arelaxedgal

How do You Know When You Have Healthy Hair?

I don't know anyone who would say no if asked whether or not they would like healthy hair. When you look at hair advertisements on TV, magazines or online the images of the model's hair all convey a sense of health. They have hair that is shiny; the perfect length; blowing perfectly in the breeze; bouncy, shiny, springy curls; is the perfect hue of shiny silver, brunette, red or blond. Oh did I mention the shine?

For years I would look at these images and try to get my hair to mimic the shine and movement of the brunettes. The shine was the most important for me and I would purchase all these shampoos, conditioners, serums, oils, greases you name it to provide me with that just stepped out of an ad shine. All the while I thought I was doing something to make my hair healthy and nothing could it damage it outside of frying with the curling iron. For some of that time my hair was healthy. The rest of the time it wasn't.

Five signs that let you know whether your relaxed or natural hair is healthy. | arelaxedgal.com
  So how do you know if your hair is healthy or not? After talking with stylists, reading multiple blogs and learning from my mistakes I've compiled a list of five ways to tell when you have healthy hair.


1. No breakage

When hair is healthy it has elasticity and will snap back into place. When hair isn't healthy it will snap into pieces when put under pressure. This creates little pieces of hair that you may find on your floors or counters. It also creates short and scraggly hairs on your head where the breakage occurred. 

Breakage is caused by over-drying, a diet low in iron or protein, over-styling, heat damage or chemical damage. 


2. A regular amount of shedding

Hair can shed between 100-200 strands a day. I've never counted the number of strands that shed from my head, but I can easily notice when my hair is shedding more. That's when I know my hair isn't as healthy as I think it is and it's missing something that it needs such as moisture or protein.


3. Softness and shine

I'm not talking about store-bought or manufactured shine, I'm talking about the real thing. Softness and shine are good indications that your hair is properly moisturized.


4. No split ends

Split ends are when a split occurs in the hair shaft and are caused by dryness, harsh combing and excessive heat. Once you have a split end there isn't any way to get rid except trimming the hair strand above the split. 

5. Thickness and fullness

While how thick or full hair is varies by person, it can be a good sign of whether your hair is healthy or not. Breakage and shedding can contribute to thinning.



P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook facebook.com/arelaxedgal

Five signs that let you know whether your relaxed or natural hair is healthy. | arelaxedgal.com

How I Decided I Wanted to Buy a House

I've always wanted to own my own home; even when I was a little girl. That's probably why I loved dollhouses so much and wanted one for the longest time. The idea of having something I could call my own, decorate how I wanted and take care of how I wanted (within reason) is so appealing to me.

When I lived in North Carolina I toyed with the idea of buying a house. I even went so far as to research realtors and choose neighborhoods I was interested in. But I never really pulled the trigger because I got laid off twice and renting soooo much more cost efficient and less of a commitment than buying.

If you're considering buying a house first check out these four questions that help you make up your mind. | arelaxedgal.com
  Fast forward a few years and I've moved to Florida where renting is more expensive. I'm not kidding. I paid several hundred dollars more for a 1-bed/1-bath apartment in Florida than I did for a 2-bed/2-bath in NC. Also no utilities were included in the rent unlike in NC where your water, trash and sewer were included. Now with my house I'm paying less than I was for the 1-bed/1-bath apartment. If you don't believe me here are some stats
  • Brand new apartments are being built smaller. They are about 8% smaller than brand new apartments from 10 years ago1
  • To make it worse, the national average rental cost has increased to $1,296. It was $977 in 20111
  • It's recommended that you spend 30% or less of your income on housing. With the rising rent costs, the number of people spending 30% or more of their income on housing is continually rising2

So depending on the type of house, size and location, you can get a mortgage payment less than your rent where I live. This got me seriously thinking about buying a house. What helped me make up my mind and pull the trigger to get serious about buying was consideration of the following four questions.


Do I want to live here for more a couple of years?

Doing research I found it's usually better to buy or rent if you plan to live in the area for three years or more. I like where I'm living and have started to build a life here. I can see myself living here for several years so buying made sense.


Do I feel financially stable?

I felt more financially stable over the last year and had the money for a down payment without breaking the bank.


If you're considering buying a house first check out these four questions that help you make up your mind. | arelaxedgal.com


Do I really need (or want) more space?

For me the answer was yes for a couple of reasons
  • I live several states and hours away from family and friends. So I want to have room for this stay so they are more inclined to visit me instead of me always being the one to travel.
  • The way my apartment was laid out it wasn't helpful for taking pictures for the blog or recording videos. The light wasn't the greatest despite having several big windows. And all my walls had something against creating backdrops not great for video recording. I felt I needed a better environment if that would help me be more serious about blogging.


Can I and do I Want to Take Care of a House?

Taking care of a house takes time and work. Since I've moved in I've lost track of the number of times I've run to Lowes or Home Depot for something. Even though I create a list something else pops up days or even hours later that I need to get.

There were also considerations for mowing the lawn, taking care of the flower bed, making repairs, taking time off or working from home to wait for the repair man.


P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/arelaxedgal/


1. http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/30/real_estate/rental-size-smaller-rent-increasing/index.html?iid=SF_LN
2. http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/22/real_estate/rent-affordability-housing-harvard/index.html?iid=EL

A Comparison of the Best Foundation Primers

I admit and have admitted before that I don’t have a lot of experience with makeup because I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it growing up. I really didn’t start getting serious about makeup until my late college years (kinda sad I know). Before then I had dabbled some using drugstore foundations and wearing eye shadow or mascara every once in awhile. Once I got more serious about makeup I wasn’t making the connection between skin prep and makeup application. So face primers were something I never used much less heard about.


I integrated face primers into my makeup routine after a trip to Sephora several years ago on a foundation search. The salesperson went over the importance of creating a smooth base for your makeup. Some of the benefits include
  • Making pores look smaller
  • Helping to smooth out skin tone
  • Reducing shininess and oil
  • Giving your makeup a smooth base
  • Helping your makeup stay on longer even during warm weather

The first face primer I ever used was Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. You can get this primer for about $36 + tax. When I originally bought it, it was about $28 before tax.

What it claims
  • Blurs imperfections by diffusing the light that hits the skin
  •  “Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores”
  • Makes your “makeup look better and last longer”
  • Has a “silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A&E, grape seed extract and green tea”

What I like
  • It doesn’t give my face an oily feel
  • My makeup goes on smoothly
  • I can see how much product I have left in the tube
  • Despite being a one-ounce tube, the product lasts a while if you don’t overdo the application
  • The primer has no parabens, fragrances or sulfates
  • It can be worn without foundation and it made my skin look more even
  • It doesn’t cause my skin to breakout

What I don’t like
  • The price. It’s gone up since I last purchased it and I couldn’t justify spending $36 on a small tube
  • It didn’t provide any mattifying powers. So my skin would start looking shiny at the end of the day


I stopped using the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer basically because the last time I went to Ulta I saw the price had increased several dollars from what I’d last paid. So I started looking at other primers in the store to see if I could find a primer just as good, but a little bit cheaper. What I found and decided to try was Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Under Make-up Primer.

What it claims
  • “Minimizes the look of pores”
  • “Controls oil breakthrough”
  • Protects against environmental factors with vitamins A & E
  • Mattifies the skin

What I like
  • My makeup goes on smoothly
  • It doesn’t feel oily or greasy
  • The tinted color doesn’t show on my skin
  • It’s a bit cheaper than Smashbox at $32 before tax and you get more for your money – two ounces versus one ounce
  • It doesn’t irritate or breakout my skin

What I don’t like
  • The tube isn’t see-through like Smashbox so I won’t be able to see how much is left in the tube

So which one is the best? For me Laura Geller slightly edges out Smashbox. I feel that the Laura Geller Spackle Mattifying Under Make-up Primer performs just as well for less money


P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/arelaxedgal

July 2016 Traffic Report

(This post contains affiliate links. See more about my use of affiliate links here) 

I've come to love the end of the month. It's because I get to see my blog and social media stats for the month. While I'm watching my stats throughout the month it's always interesting to see how much of an impact the last couple of days make or don't make to the overall picture.

With July we're smack dab in the middle of summer when people are vacationing and would be spending less time online. I also didn't do a lot of blog promotion on social media. So combining all this with the July 4th holiday and the decreases and small increases I saw for June (which you can see here) I anticipated July to not be that great of a month. 

I'm sharing my July 2016 traffic report for A Relaxed Gal including what did and didn't work for my blog. | arelaxedgal.com


Lo and behold, when I looked at my blog stats in Google Analytics on August 1, I was surprised with what I saw.


July 2016 Blog Stats

  • Sessions: 3,556 (+28%)
  • Users: 2,853 (+28.4%)
  • Pageviews: 5,031 (+21%)
  • Pages/Sessions: 1.41 (-6%)
  • % of New Sessions: 72.64% (+0.5%)
  • Bounce Rate: 82.82% (+1.81%)


July 2016 Top 5 Blog Posts



July 2016 Top 4 Traffic Drivers

  • Pinterest
  • Direct (people using bookmarks to my blog or going directly to the site)
  • Google/organic (people searching online using keywords I've included on my blog)
  • Stumbleupon
  • Facebook


July 2016 Social Media Stats

  • Bloglovin: 85 (+5) 
  • Facebook: 39 (launched in July)
  • Google+: 58 (0)
  • Instagram: 234 (+22)
  • Pinterest: 791 (+174)
  • Twitter: 304 (+10)


How I did with My July Plans

When I started putting this traffic report together I realized I didn't set any plans for what I would do in July. I guess I knew that I wouldn't be spending much time on my blog during the much of July. Since I didn't have any July plans to report on I'm going to share what I think helped contribute to the increases I saw and what didn't contribute and why. 

What worked

Pinterest
I'm still seeing a lot of growth in my Pinterest followers. This can be attributed to my being consistently active on the platform by using BoardBooster. Additionally Pinterest has grown to be my largest traffic driver. It's now driving about 40% of my traffic.

Over the last couple of months I have noticed that I've come in less than the 500 pins I'm purchasing each month. So I've started making changes in the number of pins per day. I'll be pinning more in the beginning of the month and will pull back towards the end of the month if needed.

BoardBooster has been great for me. I can easily find and get pins ready to be added to my boards. And it only costs $5 for 500 pins. I definitely recommend you give it a try which you can do by signing up here. And if you'd like to see more about how I use BoardBooster you can visit this post "How to Easily Manage and Boost Your Pinterest Performance."


What sort of worked

Twitter
The good news here is I finally crossed the 300 mark for followers. The not so good news is how long it took me. One thing I think that contributing to me getting to 300 followers in July is I started posting more in the second half of the month and changed up the hashtags I use. 

Instagram
It seems like I've been in the 200's with my Instagram followers for ages, but it's really only been the last couple of months. Though my Instagram followers increased by the most amount this month, I believe my engagement has increased even more. I'm getting more likes and comments on my images. I've also see more clicks coming through to the blog from Instagram. 

I think posting better images has greatly contributed to the increased engagement and clicks. I've changed the apps I'm using to edit my Instagram images which is creating a more cohesive look to my feed. I'm also using more hashtags and more popular hashtags.


What didn't work


Facebook
I finally put the blog on Facebook. While I've been on Facebook since my college days (don't ask how long ago that was) I was hesitant to have a page for A Relaxed Gal. The hesitation really came down to having another social channel to management. What prompted me to create a Facebook page is I was looking at some sponsored opportunities for social and many of them wanted me to have a Facebook page. So I signed up for one. My mistake was creating one and not putting much thought behind it. I gained about 39 followers in the first few days after launching, but haven't gained a single follower since.


August goals

I've decided to set specific goals for each month and August is being designated the month of growth. I really want to grow my following and reach more people.
  • Grow my pageviews to 5,500. Originally I set a goal for 5,000, but then I saw I actually surpassed that in July.
    • Promote, promote, promote on all my social channels. Also share at least two posts a week in the Facebook groups I'm a part of.
  • Increase my Facebook followers to 45. My ideas on how to do this are
    • Make sure I've got Facebook icons on my blog. I've only added the Facebook icon to the ones in my header. 
    • Promote my Facebook page on Twitter a couple of times a week.
    • Encourage follows of my Facebook page in my posts by adding it as a P.S. underneath my signature.
  • Grow my Pinterest followers to 1,000. I really want to reach the 1,000 mark next month. I'm well on my way because as of the writing of this post I've crossed the 800 mark. To achieve this I'll be 
    • Pinning more each day than I have been the last couple of months. As I mentioned earlier I have 500 pins with BoardBooster and haven't been reaching that number. 
    • Promoting my Pinterest page on my other social channels. I'm not sure how many of my followers are the same on each channel so by using the Pinterest app on my Facebook page, tweeting about my Pinterest profile and posting an image of it on Instagram I'm hoping to entice those who only follow me on one or two channels to follow me on more.
  • Increase my Instagram followers to 300 by
    • Posting at least once a day. This will take some dedication as I'll need to spend some time during the week prepping some images so I can make sure I have something to post everyday.
    • Continuing to up my hashtag game. I started seeing more growth when I began using different hashtags than I had before. Some of those hashtags are were some of the more popular ones on the platform.
  • Grow my Twitter followers to 350. This still seems like a low number, but it would be the most aggressive growth I would receive this year. My plan for doing this 
    • Pre-scheduling my posts so I'm posting throughout the day, every day in August.
    • Using more popular hashtags and using only one or two hashtags per tweet.


How did your blog do in July?

P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/arelaxedgal
All content and images © 2014-2016 A Relaxed Gal unless otherwise noted. I am not a hair care, blogging, beauty or life professional. All opinions are from my own personal experience.