Looking Back …

2020 was interesting. We had a lockdown. Coronavirus. Covid. The thing is that my life didn’t change all that much — I still haven’t decided if that is good or not — but I also had a lot of new experiences.

The farm business grew. Cattle arrived at the end of May. With one of the bulls jumping a 6 foot fence, my husband was hurt. Hospitalized during a Covid lockdown meant that I couldn’t even be with him. Being turned away at the emergency room entrance was very difficult. Finding out that he had a bruised heart was even harder. Thankfully he was able to come home within a day. Unfortunately, along with a bruised heart, he also had a fractured sternum, concussion, shoulder injury, and stitches. Knowing we couldn’t be together was very difficult, but I can’t imagine those who lost loved ones, without an opportunity to say good-bye, during this horrific time.

One of the smaller steer ended up needing surgery. As the vet started the procedure, he needed help. While being out of my comfort zone, I didn’t hesitate to step in. By the end of the surgery, I was covered in poop and yet I still wasn’t bothered. I cleaned off my boots and walked back to the house. Before you ask, my husband didn’t let me past the mudroom without stripping down. Give a girl points for at least cleaning off her boots before trying to walk through the house.

If you don’t have a selfie with a steer, does it even count? This is Baby. Baby is a Black Angus that I helped perform surgery on.

Simply Blessed Farm also added goats – Charlotte and Gus. Charlotte came to us pregnant – due in January. January in Northern IL can be very harsh – weatherwise speaking. Purchasing a baby cam, and after watching her closely for almost a week, the decision was made to move Gus into his own area in the goat barn. Good decision — within a few days, Charlotte was in labor. Spending weeks learning every thing I could about helping goats deliver during winter came in handy. Thanks to the baby cam, I was able to be with her from the beginning of the birth. The first one, Charlotte was able to start cleaning, but soon she delivered the seond kid. Kids need to be dry and warm or they can freeze to death. Kneeling down with Charlotte, I began to help her. Heating pad didn’t work so I just towel dried continuously. It was quite easily one of the best experiences I have ever had. On December 30, 2020, we had twin baby goats (kids) – a boy and a girl. As of this writing, they do not have names. Stay tuned…

What did 2020 teach me? To step out of my comfort zone. Stepping out of my comfort zone brought new experiences. Yes, lockdown was difficult. Having all of my daughter’s special needs activities cancelled was difficult. Doing ALL my shopping online was difficult. BUT without a pandemic, I may not have had all these new experiences. I may not have learned so much about myself.

Here’s to ending a year and beginning a new one … with new experiences and continuing to step out of my comfort zone.

Behind the Scenes

In my last post, which was a college class requirement, I talked about social media and the influence they have. As I start from scratch and build up an online presence again, I have been thinking. Thinking about all the behind the scenes that no one ever talks about. The behind the camera views that never get posted. We see what people want us to see. I know this personally ….

As the CEO of a major construction company, there’s so many behind the scenes that no one sees. No one sees the struggles, disappointments, the stresses, or even the celebrations … some days, it’s the survival of the badass woman. It’s the survival of feeling consumed and surrounded by evil, and it’s in those MOMents that we must remember to PRAY! It’s also in those MOMents that it’s HARD to remember to PRAY … do you agree?

If we let the evil / bad feelings overwhelm and consume us, it’s easy to have a bad day. It’s even easier to bring those feelings from office to home. Or if you are a stay at home mom, it’s easy to “share” that mood with our husband and/or kids. Or worse, what if your office is IN your home? Yikes! Are you asking yourself, what is the point of this post?

During the COVID lockdown, I have had a lot of time to reflect. Most of my reflection has been about my prayer life … I need to pray more! I need to remember to go to God when I am struggling. I need to remember that when I feel overwhelmed or surrounded by evil, I need to pray.

I have learned that things are NOT always what they seem … so many behind the scenes that are never viewed. It’s easy to say that everything is going well, everything is fine, etc, but it’s hard to put ourselves out there and show the world the real, authentic me (or you!). Take heart, everyone struggles, everyone has bad days, good days, hard days, and those days when everything goes right (or is that just a myth?). If we remember to pray through all of these times, God will lead and guide us … we just need to remember to ALWAYS turn to Him first. And yes, I will also continue to practice this too … pray first, then react.

Influencers on Social Media

Let me say that this is not a paid advertisement. A college marketing assignment, yes, but unfortunately I pay them not vice versa.

“The Influencers” (Whitaker, 2016) are the new rage of social media marketing. These digital influencers are mostly young, mid-20 year old millennials, that reach a bigger audience with just one press of a button. Most of these influencers are average people who just started posting for fun, but they are now the new rockstars.

These Influencers are the emerging stars of the tiny screen with a strong presence on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to name a few of the social media sites. Their “no-budget, low-quality postings” (Whitaker, 2016) have a level of access that is unprecedented. The more followers they have, the more money they can make. “Logan Paul stated, ‘The biggest companies in the world and brands have come to me to help sell their product to the younger generation'” (Whitaker, 2016). These average people turned stars have millions of followers and the power to influence them to buy the brands they get paid to advertise.

“Social media influencers are a small slice of what the advertising industry spends overall on ads” (Whitaker, 2016), and it’s easier to track the millions of people who are watching the ads, where they are located, age and their demo. These followers continue to talk about the videos/postings and even share them over and over. Advertisers are getting advertising without royalties, making it hard to determine an influencers worth, yet the influencers are making enough money to retire, “Andrew Bachelor, aka King Bach, said ‘I can retire if I wanted to'” (Whitaker).

Influencers are the middle person of the company-consumer relationship. Each influencers has some sort of “it” factor that can be relatable to others. It’s like a worldwide popularity contest that matches talent with product brands. According to “Gary Vaynerchuk, ‘It starts with are you good enough, are you pretty enough, model, are you funny enough, comedy'” (Whitaker, 2016) … all you need is an iPhone and a dream.

Personally, when it comes to influencers, I believe they can be of any age, and/or career. There’s a variety of influencers on instagram, with 26.5K followers @newmexicomilkmaid talks truth about farming and has been invited to speak in Rome; @amberfillerup started off as the barefoot blonde posting hair demos and now as 1.4M followers; @harmonize_beauty, with 221K followers, is a makeup and hair junkie. To answer that ONE question, yes I have purchased products recommended by an influeners; have you?

@amberfillerup (2020). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/amberfillerup

@harmonize_beauty (2020). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/harmonize_beauty

@newmexicomilkmaid (2020). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/newmexicomilkmaid

Whitaker, Bill. (2016, October 23). CBS. “The Influencers.” Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-kim-kardashian-logan-paul-social-media-influencers.


Whirlpool #everydaycare

#Everydaycare by Whirlpool was chosen as the winner in the category “social media tool” in the 8th annual shorty awards, (Shorty, n.d.). I had not heard of this campaign; so when the assignment was given, I thought it would be an interesting one to accept.

To successfully meet the wants and needs of the audience, Whirlpool wanted to focus on the positive of owning a normal everyday appliance over the negatives of those appliances breaking down. Whirlpool wanted to take it a step further and show that these seemingly meaningless, “thankless, repetitive and unfulfilling chores” (Shorty, n.d.) were actually important examples of offering everyday care to their families. To encourage this concept, Whirlpool created a story that touched hearts using life matters moments. Beginning with the graduation ceremony, but breaking down those little life moments with the before frames, Whirlpool was able to showcase bringing home baby, middle of the night tears, clapping for the accomplishments, teenage breakdowns and end with the grand accomplishment of senior graduation.

To address consumer experiences, Whirlpool asked for real life stories. “Is “Happy” National Laundry Day the right way to say it?” (Douglas, 2018). Showing hashtag real life stories directly from Twitter on the company website. The company also partnered with other companies to have a social impact on others. For instance, Whirlpool partnered with Give to Get. “In 2017, we worked with a school that had been gifted washers and dryers from @whirlpoolusa.. We saw first hand the impact this program makes – improved attendance, which leads to better grades, and improved confidence, which leads to better behavior,” (Give to Get, 2019). I believe that Whirlpool succeeded in helping others, and more importantly, gave consumers a positive way to look at the everyday chores and chaos of life.

Consumers visiting the Whirlpool website are given COVID-19 updates, along with product tips and inspirations, a choose the best appliance for you section and an owner center. Viewing their social media sites, shows a rapid turn-around response to consumer problems and questions. The company’s Facebook page, with one million plus followers, interacts with Disney Pixar, helping kids matter program by offering their appliances, and introducing new products and technology.

Considering the amount of women who use Pinterest and the amount of users on Instagram, Whirlpool could have reached more users by using the #everydaycare on more social media accounts. On Pinterest, whirlpool has over 10 million followers, yet very few posts. With a “unit growth (+6%) and sales growth (+4.9%), respectively,” (Shorty, n.d.), imagine what they could achieve when reaching more of the buying audience using Pinterest. Instagram shows over 10,000 followers, yet very few posts. I think to be more effective and efficient, the #everydaycare campaign would have reached a broader audience had Whirlpool used social media to a bigger advantage.

Douglas, Andie. (2018, April 16). “Laundry Day via Twitter.” Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/web/status/985872281376313344.

Give to Get. (2019, September 4). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/gv2gt/status/1169286029309644800.

Shorty.com. (n.d.). “#EVERYDAYCARE – Whirlpool, Digitaslbi AND Crowdtap.” Retrieved from https://shortyawards.com/8th/everydaycare-whirlpool-digitaslbi-and-crowdtap-2.

Whirlpool. https://www.whirlpool.com.

Whirlpool Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/whirlpoolusa.

Whirlpool Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/whirlpoolusa.

Whirlpool Pinterest. https://www.pinterest.com/whirlpoolusa.


A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of Using Digital Media


Digital social media is a way of life. I check Instagram before breakfast is made. I love the visual images, but I also love reading the content that follows. Instagram is comparable to a visual blog but with a variety of ideas including fashion, décor, inspirations, and farming; it’s a great way to promote my homestead business. Pinterest is my other go-to digital social media app. Looking for an outfit or a recipe? Done. Home Décor or new Bible study? Done. Need a treat for your horse or a chicken coop idea? Done. I stay away from Facebook, too much drama, unless I want to see family or close friends’ updates. I rarely use Twitter, although I do get daily updates to the most pertinent news. Snapchat is a great way to stay in contact with my best friend who lives a few states away; we share our life in pics throughout the day.

Facebook and Twitter are the most negative forms of digital media especially during an election year. There is just too much drama and I shy away from drama or hate-spewing posts. Instagram is inspiring, but maybe it’s all the baby animals and inspirational messages that I follow. Pinterest always generates a positive reaction – western fashion, lodge living, faith-based quotes and other messages, and of course, the recipes.

I don’t have a lot of time to surf social media sites, so I choose carefully. Instagram is easy to get lost in, so I limit my time – surfing and checking periodically throughout my day. Pinterest would be the one digital media site that is the most satisfying. It’s easy to find what was saved and images can be downloaded to a physical device – iPhone, iPad, or computer.

I use email in my construction business and my homestead business. I have three separate email accounts – construction, homesteading and a personal account. The personal account is used to receive emails from a variety of companies including clothing, home décor sites, bath and body, etc. I may subscribe to a company, find it’s mostly advertising that doesn’t apply to me, and then unsubscribe. The emails that catch my attention are not necessarily ones that offer coupons or discounts, those are usually skimmed and deleted. The emails I read have to do with business – ways to improve, an encouraging one, or even a new way of growing seeds or raising animals. I like emails with substance or the ones that say, “I have money, or a waiver is needed to exchange for a check.” 😊 I also get a variety of emails from companies that want me to collaborate with them, and so far, I have said no. I haven’t found the company that has the same principles or products that I want to promote.

As a former blogger, yes, this isn’t my first rodeo, I have watched digital media evolve. Pinterest went public last year; inspiring me to invest in them. Instagram and Facebook offer stories similar to Snapchat. Visual blogging, in the form of fashion and home décor, have shown up in Instagram as opposed to just using a blog platform. Social media has become the new norm, and more and more people have forgotten how to talk or even spell. Digital media is a great alternative to marketing, reaching more people in a short amount of time. Instead of meeting for coffee, there’s instant messaging. I have seen people sit across from each other in a restaurant, never having a conversation, but scrolling through their social media accounts. And worse, people think they can send any kind of picture they want to; even the ones that we do not want to see.