Blogging 101 / What I’ve learned in 5 months of blogging


Hey there, readers! I hope you had a relaxing and energizing weekend. Although Texas is warming up (again, blah!) Halloween and fun fall activities are around the corner. Can’t wait!

Today marks my 5 month anniversary blogging. I know, it hasn’t been a long time, but I feel like I have learned quite a bit in this short time. I’ve been wanting to share what I have learned so far in hopes of helping out a new blogger.

So, for today, I wanted to share the top 5 things that I have learned in my first 5 months. Oh, and it only seemed completely normal to title each section with a hashtag. Ha!


One of the first things I learned — those good ‘ol hashtags. When I first dove into IG was puzzled why people used them, their meaning, and how I would use them. Hashtags are sort of are the vehicle for your posts. For instances, you posts a super great picture (and your close friends love it too) and nothing happens. It sits there. The virtual crickets start and your frustration goes through the roof. Well, that’s where the hashtags come into play. When you add hashtags to your photos, this helps place your photo in front of the right people.

How do you find the right hashtags? When in IG, hit the magnifying class icon. This will bring up a page that has a toolbar at the top. Directly underneath that is a section that mention “Tags”. Tap on “Tags” and then enter a topic that you talk about, blog about, or are passionate about.

For me, I search for tags related to motherhood and style. If I put “Mom Style” into the toolbar, I’m giving the results of #momstyle and #momstylelife as the top two hashtags. These would be great choices. You will also noticed that there is a number underneath the hashtags. To state the obvious, the higher the number the more popular. I do not recommend using hashtags that only have a coupe hundred posts, unless is fits your account perfectly.

Another great way to search for hashtags, is to look at fellow bloggers that have the same style and/or message. I guarantee they will use hashtags that will benefit your profile! Check out their latest post and hashtags. This can open a new world of hashtags that will put your hard work in front of the right people.


Let’s be honest, when you hope on IG, Facebook, or Twitter, there are perfect people. They have the perfect family, skin, jean size, etc. For me, sometimes this can really get to me. No, I’m no envious, but a feeling of inadequacy would sometimes creeps up. I think the root of the problem for me is that I’m putting myself out there for the whole world to see and sometimes I don’t get the response I hope for. In turn, this causes frustration to build up and I think, “Well, maybe if I was cuter I would get more likes,” or “Geez, I guess I need to posts new outfits everyday.” Is this true? NO. Absolutely not! That is the enemy lying to you. Please, don’t believe it. Yes, there are going to be perfect people out there, but no one else is you.

You are original. You have something special to share. You are enough.

And do you want to know what causes people to be successfully in blogging? They #staytrue to who they are, their messages, and don’t waver because of others.

You may have never had this problem. If not, a round of applause to you, my friend. Really! For me, my struggle comes and goes, but I’m making progress. Through out my months blogging, I have talked a lot about self love. I’m still on that journey, which includes me be comfortable sharing myself and standing by it. Progress, everyone. Progress.


Alright, if you are new to the blogging world, I’m sharing my top two apps with you. I started using these months ago, and I feel like they helped me step up my game a bit.

First, VSCO. Have you ever seen the hashtag #vsco, #vscoeveryday, or #vscomom? If you are like me, I kept seeing these hashtags and wondering what that meant. Finally, I figured it out. VSCO is a free (yes, free!) app that not only edits your pictures, but will hold your IG feed. So, when you’re trying to set a theme for your Instagram, this is a very, very valuable tool. I can’t tell you how many times I have uploaded pictures to VSCO, looked at them on my feed (on that app), and thought, “Um, no, that fit in.” So, I delete it from the VSCO feed and try again. If you’re newer to blogging and IG, you have to get VSCO.

Next, Snapseed. Editing perfection! It took me some time, but I finally got the hang of editing. If you’re just starting out, don’t get frustrated. You will get it! Snapseed has every editing option and is easy to use. My favorite part? There is a brush tool that can enhances or decreases brightness, exposure, saturation, temperature, and can remove a random weed or flyway. Yes, they happen, ha!

Also, if you have an iPhone, Afterlight is said to be a great app. I just switched back to an iPhone, and plan on trying this app out too.


Oh, the struggle. It’s real, and it’s not my friend. There is never enough time. Not just for blogging, but for life. I know everyone feels like this, so you can relate. But, back to blogging, I feel that someday I’m on my a-game, others I am not. My sweet photographer recently reminded of how powerful making lists are. Thank you, Serena! It is true. Writing things down and then checking them of your list is invigorating.

Besides making lists, I recommend planning your content. For a couple weeks ahead, write down what days you want to blog and what you’re going to blog about. Also, even planning your IG posts can beneficial. For me, I use a giant desk calendar, and write everything down with various colors. The different colors stand for different things. And yes, I just like the way it looks, ha!


New to blogging? Want traffic? Dig into Pinterest. I recommend Board Booster or Tailwind. For me, I use Board Booster. You pick your most used (and related to your blog) boards and secretly pin to them. Then, Board Booster automate pins for you, so you don’t have to manually do it. Let me put it this way — the more pins you pin, you will attract more traffic to your Pinterest account and blog. So wonderful! 

I’m still digging into these, but I’m excited to see what results they bring. I’m still learning everyday! Who uses the programs? Everyone. No really,everyone. The big wigs you see on Pinterest and Instagram that have thousands of followers use either Board Booster or Tailwind for their Pinterest. I guarantee it.

Pinterest is a search engine, can help you generate traffic, help you make affiliate income. Basically, you want your material on people’s boards.

In the future, I plan to do a blog post catered to Pinterest. But, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. I’m not a wiz at it, but I have learned several tips along the way.

Currently, I’m taking Pinterest to Profits from Mckinzie Bean and it’s fabulous. Y’all, check her out. She’s a Pinterest genius! 

Interested in trying out the course too? Wanting to dive deeper into Pinterest and gain even more knowledge? Pinterest to Profits is where it’s at!

I’ve enjoyed her in-depth perspective with easy how-to videos. She really takes the confusion out of things! Also, compared to other courses, Pinterest to Profits is moderately priced. A bang of your buck, for sure! Click below to sign up now.  

Pinterest to Profits

Like I’ve said, I’m still a newbie. I get frustrated and overwhelmed everyday. But, I love this blog, and I want it to work. I strive to reach people, create community, and have some fun experiences along the way.

Feel the same? Email me! Let’s connect! Blogging is all about community. I have met some amazing ladies along the way and their support has meant the world.

Now, get to bloggin’, y’all! You got this!




It’s All In The Spaghetti


Hey, y’all! Whew, another week is in the books. I know you’re ready for the weekend. I’m currently packing my bag and will be hitting the road soon. I will be spending the weekend/early part of next week in…ha, just kidding. You’ll have to catch me on IG and/or Snapchat @toriparmer to see what I’m up to. It involves a plane ride, cooler weather, and several of my girls! Oh, and of course, one special bride-to-be! Congrats Lauren!

I need to give a shout out to my incredible, ultra-sweet husband. Thank you for this time to spend with friends. I will really miss you and the kids. In fact, you’re at work and they’re at school, and I already miss you guys. Also, to my parents and in-laws, thank you too! You’re graciousness and love is so appreciated. Thank you for helping Patrick and I!

Ok, now to my post. I’m so excited to share you a sweet and more private view of my world. Below you will see my mom and I cooking spaghetti. Pretty normal, huh? Well, yes, but not really. They say memories are made in the kitchen and I couldn’t agree more. I have watched my mom make spaghetti for as long as I can remember. The moments that we’ve shared while she was cooking (or I was helping) are near and dear to my heart. Whether it was a weekend day meal after a day at school, what she had waiting when I came home for a visit during college, or what my family of four eats now, my mom’s spaghetti is so special. In fact, it’s the first meal that my parents, Patrick, and I enjoyed together. Talk about memories!

Most spaghetti taste the same, excepts for my mom’s. I’m not kidding, I’ve told her a million times that she needs to bottle the sauce and sell it!

First, my mom browns pork and ground beef, then adds the sauce, and then the seasonings. Of course, she doesn’t have a recipe—such a pro. We have to wait to cook the paste so that it doesn’t stick. Trust me, she’s very particular about this.
She has a secret ingredient that sets her sauce apart from the rest. While I wish I could share, she has sworn me to secrecy.

I won’t tell mom, don’t worry!

I so look forward to sharing the same experiences with my kiddos. Maybe one day they will bring their future husband/wife to eat a plate of Nana’s spaghetti. Ok, now that’s got this momma teary-eyed.

Do you have a special family recipe? I would love to hear your story!

Have a beautiful weekend, y’all!