Why Date Nights Are Important

When I got married to my husband, part of me thought our relationship would change. I knew plenty of couples who warned me of marriage because to some…marriage meant more responsibility, accountability, and planning. Friends told us we’d forget about making time for one another and that date nights would slowly slip away. One year of being married later, I can vouch to say all of those things were untrue!

Yes, marriage is hard work and sometimes the hubs and I lose track of what’s going on around us. That doesn’t mean our relationship isn’t strong or moving at a slower pace than before. In fact, we’ve made a bigger effort than ever to make sure our time together is well spent. Which is what led me to write this post!

Time To Talk

Sometimes the only time I have to talk with my husband about important life details is when we’re out to dinner. Get off your phone when you’re with each other and speak. Plan for your next vacation, talk about the bills you have due for the week, or just ask questions about each other’s day!

Experiencing New Things

One of the best things about “date days” is finding new restaurants to try or fun experiences. A relaxing couple hours with your spouse or loved one makes all the difference if you’re always on the go and away. Learn something new together, go on an adventure to a new place, or find an activity you two typically don’t do as a couple!

We recently discovered a new restaurant in our area that offers special brunch on Sunday afternoons. It was quiet, tasty, and we decided to splurge on a sit-down place that offered new flavors! A date idea you might enjoy with your significant other might be a night out at a restaurant grand opening or any grand opening for that matter! Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a good thing!

Giving Undivided Attention

Circling back to having time to talk. It’s equally as important to be giving each other undivided attention, free of distractions. Some of the things I’m referring to is the phone, T.V, or work duties. All of that needs to go out out the window on date nights!

Listening

We can all guess that when we speak, we want others to listen. Make sure you’re really taking in the conversation between you and your significant other. What’s the point of going on a date if one person is zoned out the entire time? This is why most of the “dates” my husband and I go on consist more of a social atmosphere rather than let’s say…a movie!

Even though life has been crazy lately, I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. Getting a little sappy in this post so if you made it to the end, thank you! I hope you find the value in date nights like I do!

Chicago Eats – Cafe Robey

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Cafe Robey in the Wicker Park area. Located on the corner of North Milwaukee Ave and West North Ave, this spot is a place you won’t forget about.

cafe robes in chicago

Modern American cuisine with a twist is how I’d describe this gem. My first indulgence was the avocado toast with added egg. You can also add crab meat for an additional charge. There had to have been at least two whole avocados on my toast. A thick layer was spread across + pickled red onions, chili flakes, and espelette oil. My mouth still waters about this.

menu at cafe robey in chicago with latte on the side downtown

cafe robey in downtown chicago menu

My husband ordered the Cuban sandwich. Which personally, I’m not usually a fan of but boy was this delicious – pork loin & shoulder, gruyère, avocado, red onion, mustard alongside some spiced potato chips. Again, didn’t think I’d enjoy a dish like this but surprisingly I couldn’t stop reaching over the table to sneak bites.

avocado toast and Cuban sandwich at cafe robey in downtown chicago

duck hash at cafe robey in downtown chicago

Lastly, the chef brought out duck hash (I’ve never had duck before so I was very eager to try). The meat was lean and flavorful, almost a melt-in-your-mouth type. The potatoes were seasoned perfectly – not too salty at all or overdone. I think the egg atop everything too made this menu item THAT much better.

Cuban sandwich and avocado toast in downtown chicago at cafe robey

inside cafe robey in downtown chicago

latte at cafe robey in downtown chicago

Overall, this place was a total win and I’ll definitely be visiting again. The atmosphere, the people, and the menu has me head-over-heels. Cheers to brunch lovers!

How I Made My First $1,000 Blogging

This first year of blogging has been incredible, a learning process for sure full of unforgettable opportunities. Throughout this journey, I’ve been lucky enough to make a few extra dollars doing the thing I love most. This post will focus on how I’ve made an income while blogging and how you can too!

Reach Out To Brands

This is first on the list because truly I wouldn’t be making anything or receiving any free product without reaching out to brands myself. Up and coming companies are in need of people to show off their product. These brands need you as much as you need them. I’d say I’ve spent about an hour each day emailing, messaging, and calling the companies I’d be honored to work with. It’s not easy and I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone more than I can count on one hand…even two! For every 9 no’s I get at least 1 yes which just proves I’m doing something right by putting myself out there!

In the beginning, don’t be discouraged if brands would rather collaborate on posts in exchange for product rather than payment. Establishing a connection with the company can be much more rewarding and beneficial in the grand scheme of things. Brands want to develop a trust with the people they work with and I don’t blame them! I’ve tested the waters with many companies that have now allowed me to create content on a long-term basis for real money. It’s all about proving yourself and selling the services you can provide.

Download Apps To Make Connections

I think a handful of bloggers forget about accessible free apps that can help them grow! For instance, I’ve made a few good paychecks off of apps likePopular Pays which connects Instagrammers and bloggers with real-deal brands. Companies such as Kraft, Macy’s, Chameleon Cold-Brew and so many more are listed on the app.

Once you find a brand you’d like to work with you pitch a creative idea to them, request the amount of money you’d like to make, and answer a couple of questions regarding your social platform. From there, the brands can choose to work with you or not. The process is easy and completely cost-free to the influencers!

Some other great apps and networks include SocialNative.com, Obvious.lyMaverick.co + Collabor8, and Influenster.

Establish A “Blogger Resume”

This is more of a tip but I’d highly recommend creating a blogger resume. A single document or media kit that can be sent out to potential partners and companies is important! Some things I’ve included in mine are my contact information, a collection of my best photos or written pieces, my analytics from my social platforms, and a professional photo of myself with a description of what I do best! This goes along again with…selling yourself!

Use Affiliate Links

The last and final thing I did over this last year to make my first $1,000 was using affiliate links. You can do this easily by signing up online with some of the brands you may already know and love! Personally, I’ve found the biggest return by using affiliate links through Target and Amazon. You basically earn a percentage of the purchase someone would make by using your link!

The appReward Style also does an awesome job of simplifying the affiliate link process by putting everything you’d need in one place. You can easily search for a product and see what percentage you’d make if someone bought the product using your link, you can copy links, and keep track of your commission!

So that’s the jist of it guys! 2018 is near and now is the perfect time to make some financial moves! If you have any suggestions that I didn’t mention in this post – please leave a comment down below!

img_4107