I decided to start a YouTube Channel…

WHAT?!

What? Who do you think you are starting a YouTube Channel… you are NOT an influencer. You are NOT an expert. You DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CREATING CONTENT!!!!

Yes… that painful little voice inside my head said all of these things to me (and much more) when I decided to create a YouTube Channel. I am not a pro… but, I love wine. I love my dear friend Morgan, who is helping me with this crazy, wild new adventure. We have had so much fun learning, creating and sharing out love for wine! I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that nagging voice in my head.

While we may not be experts, we have been drinking wine for 10(+) years and we both know a thing or two we can share with others. We hope for others to glean something, whether it be a new wine they’ve never tasted or get a tour of a winery that they’ve never heard of. So many things are possible and with the world leaning more towards virtual tastings, videos and tours of everything under the sun, we figured WHY NOT?!

Let me start at the beginning…

I met Morgan through a mutual friend about two and a half years ago. I was new to Fayetteville, AR and didn’t know many people because I worked from home. I met Mo and hopefully she would say the say thing, but I fell in love with her fun personality. I could tell we would be best friends within moments of sipping on Champagne at a local brunch spot.

We had sooo many similar interests! Neither of us were from Fayetteville, we both loved to drink (mainly wine), and we loved hiking and being outdoors. We had some great times together and one day as we were likely drinking wine and chatting on a porch in town we began talking about having a wine bar. Alas, another mutual interest! I told her of this adorable little bodega in California that my husband, Devin and I had visited and fell in love with. It was so swanky and had shelves of amazing wine, perfectly crafted charcuterie boards and all the bourbon you could ask for. We were in heaven.

Fast Forward…

Over two years later, Morgan and I still talk about opening a wine bar, but let me tell you one thing about the adorable small town we live in is real estate is NOT cheap and commercial real estate near the downtown area is even less attainable. Combine that with the fact that most bars have been shut down or have highly limited capacity due to Covid – well, opening a wine bar just doesn’t make financial sense!

Why YouTube…

During the pandemic me and Dev would wake up on Saturday mornings, drink coffee in bed and watch YouTube. I’ve always loved video and thought… hmmm… “I think maybe I could create good content.”

Funny (super quick) story from my high schools days. I was actually in TV Production and wanted to be a news anchor or weather woman back in the day. I sidelined my dreams of going to school for that to stay closer to home (and be near my HS boyfriend) Sigh, the things we did when we were young and dumb.

I chose YouTube because of a few reasons that you might find interesting.

  1. YouTube is one of the best platforms to monetize (according to YouTubers.)
  2. It’s much easier to gain subscribers and maintain longer videos and content (unlike IG and TikTok.)
  3. More people are flocking to YouTube and subscribers and views are up significantly since the pandemic began.

Those are the MAIN reasons I chose YouTube. I mean, there are some big milestones that we will have to hit before we are able to monetize, but I believe we’re up for the challenge!

Cool, cool… so what’s the channel?

Weekly Wine Down with Alex & Morgan. Go check out our videos and see what we have been creating since last December! We also have an Instagram that is growing faster than we expected. It’s @WeeklyWineD.

Check out my next post about what we’ve learned over the last three months and our plans for future growth!

Cheers!

Alex Victtoria

I’m Uncomfortable

This… is… NOT… an easy post to write.

Cool, cool, cool. Great way to start right?! Well, it’s real. It’s authentic. And, it’s me.

I didn’t have a blog during the summer of 2020. I wish I did. It probably would have helped me in so many ways, but we’re here now, so let’s look to the future and not in the rear view mirror.

BUT WHY AM I UNCOMFORTABLE…????

That is the real damn question.

I’m going to share something incredibly vulnerable in hopes that it will inspire or help someone else on their journey. I know people are still talking about being an anti-racist or being a part of the Black Lives Matter movement, but I just don’t SEE IT enough. I don’t see it enough in so many ways and it truly breaks my heart and hurts my soul.

I’m NOT saying I’m perfect, I’m not. I’m still here, learning, reading, watching and just trying to figure out exactly what I need to do and what space is appropriate for me to be a part of.

I have a lot to unpack and I won’t do it all in this post, but what I have always known and felt in my core, in my truest and most authentic self is this: when my gut wrenches or I feel sick/uncomfortable, I’m either about to do something VERY right or VERY wrong. There has never been an “in-between” for me.

I have ALWAYS had this insane, incredible gut instinct and far too many times (mostly in my younger life) I would ignore it. Over the last 5 or so years, I have really embraced it and listened to it. I know that “feeling” I get and I let me gut guide me in my decision making.

Today, I experienced something incredibly uncomfortable and something that at my core felt wrong and that I needed to address – not necessarily because it was my space to, but I knew no-one else would. I even waited to see if anyone would bring up this extremely awkward and uncomfortable thing.

They didn’t.

I want to be vulnerable, but this is not my story alone so I will give as many details I can without giving away the entirety of the setting/people/etc.

I had to speak up about racism and genocide in front of a group of people that I know, like and trust. Even though I trust these people and cherish each one of them, my voice was cracking, I couldn’t find every word I wanted to use and my thoughts felt disconnected. I’m sure I’m exaggerating and it wasn’t that bad but it felt that bad.

The reference was to a song that I asked multiple people of different backgrounds and races about, prior to the meeting. I googled, I did my own research and I scoured every source I could think of to make sure I had a valid argument.

I had a good argument, but I could have done better.

I believe this is a common thread between many people who might fit my description. A woman raised in the south with tons of bigotry, racism, hate, religion and fear of what people might “think” if and when I speak my mind.

I did my best, but when my voice started cracking and my argument seemed to fall flat, I choked and couldn’t find the words I wanted to use in the moment.

It was so hard.

I stood my ground and did not back down, even though I felt like I was “less than” in the moment. I just kept saying “I did my own research with people I trust. I know what my gut is telling me and it’s telling me this song we have chosen for this event has racial undertones and propaganda messaging. I just FEEL IT.”

And that is one of the biggest issues I’ve ever experienced when talking to men versus women. Women feel things. Men are more analytical. I am not going to get into a drawn out argument about the sexes here, but there is valid research about this and it just shows in every single interaction I’ve ever had when I’ve said “I feel strongly about…[insert experience/verb here]” and 99% of the time men need more “analytics” or “research”.

All that to say, this experience inspired me. Even though it was really hard and uncomfortable, I grew through this interaction with people who I respect and we were able to have a really thoughtful and respectful conversation. Sadly, something I believe is rare in our current climate.

I’m not some woke white girl, I know that, but it felt really good to later be validated by a bystander who did not know the entire circumstance and for them to say “I had the same initial reaction.” THAT right there folks made me feel REALLY good. Even though I had a shit-tastic day at the end of it I was validated and it really made me think “HUH. Maybe I should use my voice to speak up when others can’t.”…..????

I’m here to tell you… take up space, girl. Take it up, own it, be it, live it. Do whatever YOU need to do to uplift others by using your voice. It may be shaky, it may be disconnected, it may FEEL like you have a thousands blankets on top of you and no one can hear you, but I assure you… I assure you that someone will. And this is your time to use your voice, now more than ever, to help someone who can’t. It may seem counterintuitive, but when we use our privilege to help others, rather than tear them down, we start a chain reaction that cannot be stopped. By inspiring just one person you are manifesting positivity and changing the “norms”.

I hope you are inspired by this and use your voice for good.

I hope you found this story inspiring. Its extremely difficult to talk about things like systemic racism and all the parts it plays in our lives – whether we have realized it or not. I hope you find the courage to step up for someone that can’t, to be the inspiration that someone needs, to show up and help when someone can’t.

Do you resonate with this? Have you experienced really difficult situations where you had no idea what to do or say? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Part Two: My Crazy Goal Setting Process

Thanks for sticking with me! I thought it would be good to break the process up into two posts. The last one got pretty long and I’m trying to be more concise.

Alright, do you have your notepad/journal and calendar or phone handy?

GREAT!

MAP IT OUT

Think about your goals and make sure your list is in order of what is most important to you and what you want to accomplish first OR where you would like to begin first.

For me, it would be blogging two times a week. That is a lot to start off with, but if I begin with two times a week, I will have more content and can slowly scale back once I have an audience.

During the Mapping phase, I like to make sure that I leave plenty of time for creative energy, planning, additional work that needs to be done to achieve or work towards my goal.

As an example, for blogging, if I’m not feeling 100% creative leading up to that hour, I will take a short walk or make a tea and reflect on WHY I’m not feeling it. This doesn’t need to be a set time but just know you won’t ALWAYS be overly excited to get to work when you are suppose to.

To make the best of your time, make sure the time you choose to work on your goals aligns with all the things in your life. Account for spouses/partners, appointments, work, children, school, etc. This will really help you in the long run.

And hell, if you don’t have time during your normal day – WAKE UP AN HOUR EARLY or go to bed an hour late. It will SUCK at first, but if you want to achieve your goals, you’ll do what it takes, right? If not, then why are you even reading this?! (Told y’all I’ll be real with ya 😉 )

NEXT: LEAVE SPACE

First, I decide what days are OFF LIMITS. This is important because you want to L E A V E S P A C E for self-care, friends and family and anything you are already committed to.

Once you identify those days, mark them off physically (or mentally) I’m personally a pen and paper gal. And just know that those days will not be affected.

Now, you are left with your open days and you likely know when you are the LEAST busy. Use this to your advantage. And, think about when you feel your best OR are the more productive.

For me, it’s Mondays and Wednesdays after 7 pm. I’m done with my day-job, usually finished with dinner and I’ve had time to sit down with my hubs and catch up. (Plus he usually goes up stairs to watch TV and relax 😀 win-win!)

I’m going to block off Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8:00 PM. I am going to TELL MY HUSBAND and FRIENDS about this time block so that 1. they hold me accountability and 2. they don’t bug me. LOL. But like, for real tho.

This creates a boundary, which is healthy! Everyone in your close circle will know not to ask or tempt you to break this commitment to yourself. Because after all, if your goal is train for a marathon, you can’t put off even one day of training or you’ll risk getting behind on mileage or even injury.

LAST: WERK, SISTER, WEEERRRK

Yaaasss Queen, get to work! I know I’m just typing this and maybe you’re thinking, ALEX VICTTORIA, I don’t know where to staaaaarrrrtttt. Queen, I’ve been there. I was in freaking analysis paralysis for months during quarantine. But guess what? I just gave you a complete outline to start.

If you really, literally, physically, or mentally CANNOT START. That’s okay, too. Maybe you just needed to see this and you will come back to it when the time is right. That is OKAY, YOU do whatever is right FOR YOU.

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we don’t need to put on a show and you can’t be everything to everyone. Start when you’re ready.

BUT – If you’re reading this and you are ready… what are you waiting for? I’ve included a short synopsis below. I hope you find the energy and time to work towards some big dreams. And know I’ll be right here working on mine if you need me.

At this point, you should have the following:

  1. Focus Word – make sure this word is something that can take you through an entire year.
  2. Brain Dump – ALL THE THINGS on your mind that you want to achieve along with intentions.
  3. Organize & Prioritize Goals – from your brain dump.
  4. Map it out – block off days on your calendar and decide how much time you will need to spend on your goals.
  5. Leave Space – create a time and space for your working towards your goal. Tell your friends & fam!
  6. WERK – YAAASSS QUEEN, GET TO FREAKING WORK.

And honestly, that’s it. Once you have all of the above, and you actually work towards your goal, you will start to see a domino effect and things will begin changing.

Just remember, if you don’t try to change, nothing will change.

So what do you want to do? What are some of your goals for 2021? Let me know in the comments! And if you need help, I’m here for you Queen!

WHEW. That was a lot. Thanks for sticking with me. 😉

Cheers!

AV

My Crazy Method for Writing Down and Achieving Goals for 2021

Yep! I’m already writing down goals for 2021. And I’ll tell you why… because planning things out far in advance and actually writing them down is THE ONLY WAY I WILL EVER FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THEM.

I actually have a crazy method to my madness. It is something I have been working on for YEARS. And until recently, I never knew why I had this method. I’ll get to that in just a minute… but first, a tiny bit of background.

I’m going to share something that I’ve not shared with anyone… even my husband! Recently a friend of mine helped me come to a realization. I have not asked her permission to share, but will for a future post so I can go more in-depth. The conversation led me to realize that I think I’ve always had ADD or ADHD. I know when I was a child my mother and father would get so fed up with me for “not paying attention” or I’d get in trouble in school because I “never stopped talking”. Everyone around me thought I was just a bad or disobedient kid. I wasn’t! I truly could not pay attention. One thing my friend mentioned was that so many women have these issues but never get diagnosed because it’s typically young boys who are diagnosed.

All that to say, I’ve always had this INSANE way of tracking and keeping things on my to-do list. It’s very chaotic to anyone who looks at it but for me, it makes perfect sense. If you have trouble paying attention or actually completing to-do lists, this method may help you!

MY PROCESS

First, I have a goals book that I check about once a month. It’s great and was made by two local women who had trouble following through with a plan for their goals. It’s called, You Goal Girl. I know, corny, but it’s one of the better goal books I’ve found. It’s super easy to follow and I try to keep it at my desk so I know to look at it weekly and monthly. Daily just isn’t realistic for me. So I dropped that expectation a long time ago. For this process, you do NOT have to use a the goal book, all you need is a piece of paper or a blank journal!

First, I like to write down my intentions for the year and have ONE focus word.

FIRST: FOCUS

My focus word for 2021 is going to be compassion. I have always struggled with understanding what others are going through. HEY, I’m learning… and at least I’m aware. I grew up in a very aggressive household and through that I was constantly told to “don’t ever cry”, “don’t let others hurt your feelings”, “don’t let people too close or take advantage of you”.

Hindsight is 2020 (EKK! That phrase might need to be phased out), and thinking back a lot of the struggles I’ve faced are because of how I was conditioned as a child. My focus word for ’21 is compassion so that I can be more understanding and listen to others BEFORE inserting my own opinion which I believe will translate to being a more compassionate person for those around me and in my community.

NEXT: BRAIN DUMP

With that focus word in mind, I start to do a brain dump of all the “things” on my mind. (Which is A LOT, Y’ALL!) Brain dump and make sure to have some great intentions in there as well as goals.

More than likely, your goals and intentions have some parallel’s and one might depend on another. See the image below. Your page should look something like this…

NEXT: ORGANIZE & PRIORITIZE

You can see that I changed up some of the brain dump to have more context and make it more specific. You will also see that I took eleven goals and intentions and turned them into 3 main goals with sub-goals.

This is where you can really begin your work. If you don’t have a list that big, it’s okay. Use whatever you have.

Now that the list is niched down, I know exactly what to work on for the year.

Something that is VERY important during this process is coming up with realistic goals. I have “build a business empire” this is a long term goal I have been thinking of for a while. It may not seem realistic, but I’ve slowly been working towards it and building my skills up on the side. You can learn more about my other side-hustles in this post.

A business empire doesn’t have to be massive, but it does contain a lot of various businesses under the umbrella. My goal is really to have a blog, a YouTube Channel, potentially create some products, and more. So with the “empire” mindset going into the new year, I know I have some big shoes to fill and having a big goal will help me get there faster.

Alright, now that you have your three MAIN goals and your sub-goals, you’re ready to map it out.

This might actually be my favorite part!

But, since this post is already insanely long… grab a calendar and jump to the next post!

Welcome to Alex Victtoria

Hi! I’m Alex Victtoria. A lover of strong coffee with dairy-free creamer, running on cold mornings and I’m obsessed with hangin’ on my porch and sharing a glass of good vino with my besties.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the net. I’m so glad you’re here and I hope we get the chance to really get to know one another. By day, I’m a Director of a Women’s Conference in Northwest Arkansas. And while that may not seem like a big deal (especially with Coronavirus and most large events going virtual) it really is. We serve over 2,000 women across our amazingly vibrant region and help them navigate their business journey.

I’ve always wanted to start a blog. And in fact I’ve started many… read my “Why am I starting a blog in 2020?” post to learn more about HOW I got here.

I want you to feel like you KNOW ME. So, I want to take a little bit of time for you to feel like we’re best friends.

  • I have a strong personality. It’s definitely not for everyone. If I was a flavor of tea I would be an extra dirty Chai Latte (with dairy free milk, of course)
  • I’m overly confident, which is sometimes to my detriment because I’m so strong willed.
  • I have a lot of passion for everything I put my energy towards.
  • I’m obsessed with Tarot cards and astrology – but I’m oddly skeptical of it at the same time. (I may or may not have gone to a Crystal healer recently…)
  • I’m extremely sarcastic, love to be puny and have a dry sense of humor, so I hope that translates through a screen. (ERRGGH…)
  • And last, but definitely not least, I am a proud fur mum of two 90 lb dogs that think they belong in my lap, a blind pug and a wonderful cat (who thinks he’s a dog) and I’ve been happily married to my hubs, Devin for 6 years.

I know there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there… so why follow me?

  • I’m gonna keep it interesting.
  • I plan to write about travel for cheap, my running journey’s ups and downs, recipes and hopefully not topo much more or else I won’t keep up (and be honest, neither would you!)
  • I would LOVE to connect with like-minded individuals. Women interested in living a healthy lifestyle, traveling for cheap and anyone interested in food (if you’re not interested in food… you can just leave now. 🙂
  • Over the next year, I hope to blog weekly and consistently and keep you updated on all the things. In return, I hope you’ll follow my blogging journey and provoke me with questions and let me know what you like and don’t like!

WOW! It’s super weird to write about yourself and tell people you don’t know all the things… but I did it! And it honestly feels great.

Now that I have one post down, I’m going to work on some more so that I have plenty of great content for you to keep reading and learning.

So let me know below, what specific topics would you like to know more about in the following niches: Traveling for Cheap, Running or Recipes… let me know and I’ll “cook” up something delicious and share with you! 😉 (Told you I was gonna be puny.)

Cheers (new) friends!

AV

So, you wanna travel during a pandemic…

Feels like taboo, huh?

Back in March, when life and everything got cancelled, something very close to my heart was cancelled as well. Our trip to Italy. We had been planning THE DREAM TRIP to Italy for nearly a year. We had the PERFECT hotel near the Fontana di Trevi in Rome. We had plans to see my family who live in Latina (just an hour outside of Rome), we were going to the colosseum and Pompeii. WE WERE SO EXCITED… and then BOOM, CRASH, ZOINK.

It was all ripped away.

Dramatic, I know. But, hindsight is always 20/20… and thinking back, I’m so glad everything was shut down a month before our departure date. Because we were able to get back most of the money we had spent on hotels, airfare, etc. There was only one thing that was nonrefundable and that was the fees through the booking service. All in all we only lost about $300 of a $5,000 trip – pretty damn lucky, if I say so myself!

I also believe we are SO lucky in that the shut down did not happen while we were IN ITALY. I mean lowkey would have LOVED to be stuck in Italy for months on end… hell I’d live there forever id I could have had all my furbabies! But, alas, that is just a pipedream and I’m so thankful we did NOT get stuck overseas during a pandemic.

OKAY, WE GET IT YOU DIDN’T GET TO GO ON YOUR TRIP… TELL US HOW TO SAFELY TRAVEL DURING A PANDEMIC…

I promise, I’m getting there.

First, set your budget.

Times are TOUGH and budgets are TIGHT. But, I’m here to help you! Because I’m a budget Queen (mostly it’s Devin, he’s the budget King, fo’ sho’.) I’m here to tell you that you can in fact go on a fun and safe trip during the time of COVID all while sticking to a budget!

use these tips when setting your budget:
  • Set up a meeting with your partner or significant other. (This may be the most important step!)
  • Think about how much you are willing to spend on the trip.
  • Depending on how much you’re willing to spend will give you a guideline for how many days you can afford to travel for.
  • Once you have your budget and number of days for a trip determined, next is the super fun part!

To make this easy to understand – lets start with an example of 1,500 for a 5 day trip. That seems impossible, right? WRONG! It’s totally doable if you plan accordingly!

Where do you want to go? Lots of people (and families) are moving towards road trips since it seems safer than flying on a plane with lots of people you don’t know. A road trip can be so much fun and economical! WIN, WIN!

Choose Your Destination

First, think about all the activities you want to do. Weather permitting, outdoor is the safest and typically least expensive option.

For this example, I’m going to use Salt Lake City. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit and I’m currently working on planning a trip for next year, so this post serves a few purposes!

  • Visit a National Park
  • Hike
  • Mountain (or scenic) bike ride
  • Visit a Historic District
  • Visit a vintage or antique shop
  • Kayak, Paddleboard or other Water Sport

Now you have your list of things you want to do, great! You’re one step closer to having an amazing experience. Next, you’ll need to rank them and pick your top 3-4 so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with planning too many things that you don’t end up doing.

So my top things are, 1. Visit a National Park, 2. Hike a really nice trail with great views and 3. Mountain Bike.

Most National Parks have a fee for entry. It is usually not cheap, about $20+ per car. But, the one National Park I visited was 100% worth every single penny. And, the fee keeps people employed and our parks beautiful and preserved.

  1. National Park – $25 per vehicle – or check out the annual passes if you plan to visit more than two national parks.
  2. Hike – FREE
  3. Kayaking – $65/day + taxes

Don’t forget to budget for meals, gas, additional activities and fees that may come up and always set a little money aside for a keepsake.

  • Meals: plan for $100 per day – below I will show you how we stay on budget for meals
  • Activities: $150
  • Gas: $350-400
  • Rental/Cabins: $350*
  • Extra: $150
  • Total: $1,500

In order to make this budget work for a 5 day trip, you’ll really have to think of your priorities. *We’ve found that camping is often free (or very cheap) all over the country and that really helps save money on your rental/hotel fees. If you don’t want to camp or don’t have the items to camp – try asking your friends or family. As long as you have the basics, you will be set! If you just cannot or don’t want to camp, I’m going to link to a few places below that will help you find cheap/cool/unique rentals and cabins.

Now that we have a budget, location and list of activities – let’s put it all together!

Plan your itinerary

This part totally depends on you and your family. I prefer loose and easy-going itineraries so that if something comes up or takes longer than anticipated, I don’t feel overwhelmed or let down.

We love to leave really early for road trips so that we can get the boring part out of the way. Here is a sample timeline of when to leave to make the most of your trip!

Day 1

  • 5 AM – Head to Salt Lake City
  • 11 AM – Arrive in SLC and find a sweet café or brunch spot
  • 11-12 PM – Sit down for coffee and a bite to eat
  • 12-2 PM – Check out the downtown area, “window shop” (my fav!), and relax after being cooped up in a car all morning.
  • 3-4 PM – Head to campsite – I’ll explain more in this post on how to choose a campsite
  • 4-6 PM – Set up camp and get ready to cook dinner
  • 6-9 PM – Dinner and hang out by the campfire (if permitted)
  • 9 PM – S’mores and stargazing
  • 9:30-10 PM – Off to bed for an early start

Day 2

  • 6 AM – Wake up + Coffee time
  • 7 AM – Pack up what you need for the day trip (hiking supplies, water bottles, sunscreen, etc. Most campsites are safe and people leave there items without any harm but make sure you don’t leave any food or valuables!) *Don’t forget to pack your lunch!
  • 8 AM – Arrive at hiking location – I chose Dry Gulch it’s close to SLC and rated well on All Trails (the trails app I use for everything!)
  • 8-11 AM – Hike, enjoy the views, take all the photos you can.
  • 11-11:30 – Take a lunch break and soak up the views.
  • 11:30-1 PM – Hike back to your car.
  • 1-4 PM – Head over to the Red Butte Gardens it’s only $14 per person and you get to walk through gorgeous gardens while learning about water conservation and more.
  • 4-6 PM – Go back to your camp site (or cabin) and relax! Remember, this is supposed to be a vacation. You should take plenty of time to relax and reflect.
  • 6 PM – Dinner at Campsite – or option to head into town and enjoy a some local fare.
  • 8-9 PM – Hang out by the campfire and settle in for the night.
  • 9:30-10 PM – Off to bed!

I hope these two days give you a good head start to making your own personalized itinerary. Of course, just insert whatever activity you’re planning and adjust the times accordingly.

Now that you have your budget, destination and itinerary, you’re all set! All you need to do now is pick a date (consider the seasons, when things begin to close and when it is safest to travel) and you can start planning now.

Resources

I told you I would give you a little more detail on how to make your upcoming trip as economical as possible. I’d also like to mention that nothing in this post is sponsored and everything was researched by me. All of the suggestions and opinions are mine and I have not received anything in exchange.

  1. Check, check and check again – there are so many sources for economical rentals/cabins/hotels but some of my favorites are: booking.com, the NPS, KOA, and of course Air BNB. Make sure to look at different dates and seasonal rates to save the most!
  2. Of course, Trip Advisor is always a great resource for finding activities and things to do wherever your travel plans take you.
  3. And last, but certainly not least, Groupon. I feel like Groupon has been long forgotten but you can find awesome deals on the website or app nearly anywhere in the US. You could get Kayak deals, ziplining, theatre pass discounts and more. Check it out for the next city you plan to visit.

I hope this post has been helpful for you. If so, please let me know what else you would like to learn more about.

And, let me know below where would you like to go?

Cheers friends!

AV

Why am I starting a blog in 2020?

Because it is never too late to start something you’ve been dreaming of!

I can’t count the number of “free” blogs I’ve started over the years… truly… I remember starting a “craft blog” back in 2011. Man, if only I had kept that going! I probably could have been one of those multi-million dollar crafty bloggers! But, things didn’t work out that way, and that’s okay! I’m starting now. And, I’m holding myself accountable (with the help of some close friends) so that I continue building and working on this blog over the next year.

2020 has thrown us ALL for a loop. The could’ve been and would’ve been all went out the door back in March. I did a lot of soul searching and cleansing over the last few months and have often come back to the thought “if not now, then when?” Thus, I began my research.

Why would you research starting a blog? It’s so simple… you just write down your thoughts.

  1. It is NOT as simple as just writing your thoughts down.
  2. It takes a lot of planning and mapping out exactly what you want to talk about and HOW you want to connect with your online audience.
  3. I have a full time job and a very busy schedule, so I needed a clear path to success, or I knew I would never start.

For years I’ve been listening to many business podcasts… I thought I knew everything because I had this business advice in my ear every day I commuted for work… I was a PRO! Or… so I thought. Once I realized how much actually went into blogging and how I would have to have relevant content or it would fall flat on it’s internet face, I realized I needed to create my plan, come up with great content and THEN I could start and share my thoughts and views with the entire internet world!

With a plan in place, I knew the next big thing I needed was content. We’re facing a pandemic and all I could think about was “everything is so boring”, “there is NOTHING to do”, “all of my travel plans and trips have been CANCELLED this year”, “HOW ON EARTH WILL I EVER HAVE CONTENT FOR A BLOG”. [Insert all the crying emoji’s here.] And then it hit me.

You do not have to go out and create content when you have so much to offer already! I was so close to my own genius that it took a pandemic, becoming pretty depressed from not being able to see my friends and family as often as I’d like to (selfish, I know) and lot’s of time alone in deep thought to realize that I DID have content to share with the world (or at least anyone who happens upon my corner of the intranets.)

Great, I have my plan, I finally figured out that I have content now… I need a name.

This was probably the hardest thing for me. I have always seen these super cutey cute names like Little Suga’ Momma in the Kitchen, Run Sarah Run, or all the other super fun names that people have come up with. Well, when I thought long and hard about this… I want my blog to be a reflection of All Things Alex. But that was already taken PLUS it looked weird when typing into the internet browser.

After lots of thinking and sending hundreds of names to close friends. I landed on [dun, dun, dun, dun…] my first and middle name! LOL. Yes, I know slightly boring, but hear me out.

  1. By using your name for your blog or business, you know that is will be transferrable to any business idea – Alex Victtoria Blog, Alex Victtoria Home Decor, Alex Victtoria Wine Bar… you see my point?
  2. No one can say anything bad about you naming your blog or business after yourself! And if they do, Bye Felicia! You don’t need that negativity in your life anyways.
  3. Your name is WORTH something and people know YOU!

And these are just a few of the reasons that I decided to stick with my name.

And now that we are nearing the end of this first post… you have a little understanding of why and how I decided to start a blog in 2020.

This is the year of change, so why not embrace it and start making positive changes now.

I hope you will join along in my blogging journey… and until we meet again, Cheers!

AV