How To Get Your Writing Published

Recently I did a poll on Instagram asking what people would like to see me write about. A lot of you reached out and asked if I could share how I started my writing career and how I was able to get published on sites like HuffPo, Good Housekeeping, Scary Mommy, and so on.

This is something I love to talk about, especially if it helps others realize their writing dreams.

First, I’ll say – you don’t have to be a great writer to be a writer. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? But, it’s true! You do, however, have to be a great storyteller. I feel like that is my strong suit. I’m a great storyteller with decent writing skills. Tell a great story and people will read it. Once you tell the story in writing then go back and edit. Then edit. Then edit again. Then have someone else edit. I’m serious. When your brain is in story mode you’re more likely to skim over the mistakes.

Here are some other tips to help you become a better writer (because even if you’re a great storyteller, you still need to be a decent writer or your work will be turned away ):

  • READ. A LOT. I read a book a month. This helps expand my vocabulary and see how other writers share their stories.
  • Remind yourself not to write how you speak. People have a bad habit of doing this. For blog posts, yes, write all the slang or informal language you want, but if it’s for a publication – it needs to be cleaned up and professional.
  • Ninety-nine percent of the time you don’t need the word “that” in a sentence. If you can read the sentence back and it still makes sense without the word “that” – take it out. The over usage of “filler words” is definitely the sign of an amateur. Editors will notice this right away.
  • Try, not, to, go, crazy, with, the, commas. Like how I did that there.
  • Write your essay or submission from the heart, then go back and edit when you’re done. You need to use different skills for editing so wait until the end.
  • Make sure to use your, you’re, their, there, they’re, its, it’s and so on correctly. If I get submissions for guest posts and I see they don’t know the difference between these – I turn it down.
  • Last little nugget. When writing numbers: 1-9 you spell out, 10 and up you can use numerics.

Now back to getting published (once you clean up your skills)……

I’ve said it a million times over the years on this blog – networking is the key to success. Both in-person and online are very important. This is my most important advice. Do you want to be a writer? Join Facebook groups for writers, local groups, networking groups, etc. Any chance you get to meet new people, especially those in the arena you’re trying to get in to, take it! Relationships turn into friendships and friendships turn into empires. This is how you will find most of your opportunities. So get to joining those FB groups!

Aside from networking, I started this blog as a platform to share my work over social platforms. You don’t need to start a blog, but you need to have a way to share your work with the masses. The more eyes you can get the better. Facebook, LinkedIn, IG and Twitter are great for this.

To get “important eyes” on my work I would look up editors for publications I wanted to see my work in. Twitter was the best resource for this. Typically editors all have their credentials with the vertical segments they work in. Example: Sarah Smith, HuffPo Politics or something along those lines. A lot of editors will do “calls for submissions” on their feeds as well and share their emails for a direct connection. Put your stalking pants on because there will be a lot of it!

Feeling a little ballsy? Here’s another good tip. When I shared my work on Twitter I would often tag editors so they would see and hopefully click the link to read my essays/articles. I would also email every single piece I wrote to any editor of the vertical segment (family, business, local, etc) I thought my piece would best fit for.

You can also go to the website you want to write for, scroll all the way to the bottom, there you’ll usually find a submission email or link. Personally, I feel like these are just a black hole of thousands of submissions but anything is worth a shot.

I did all of the above on every piece I wrote for two years and finally, I had someone at HuffPo write back and ask me to be in their contributor network. TWO YEARS. It’s very rare to get in the first try with any publication, but it happens. Once you get into one site you start to build your network and your resume. One small job led to bigger jobs and before I knew it my work was being shared on Yahoo, MSN and the like.

Some sites will just ask for a pitch, in which you can send them your idea and a brief snippet of your piece. If you don’t get in with one site, keep pitching until you find a home for it. If you have friends with blogs or a favorite blog you follow – ask them if they accept submissions too! Again, it’s all about getting your work out there.

Ask for help! When I first started I would reach out to other bloggers or writers (their links are always in their author box on articles they write) ask for their advice, tips, or if they could point me in the right direction.

From there I lived by the philosophy: to have a friend you have to be a friend. I commented on posts, liked posts, shared work from other writers, and supported them. When you support them, they support you. When you build up a network like this, your work is more likely to go viral.

Once you get in with a publication, follow the advice of the editors. Be timely on your revisions, do the editing yourself. If the editor likes you and they don’t have to do a lot of work for you – they’ll keep asking you for more. This can lead to endless opportunities.Something important to highlight – be authentic and true to yourself. You might run across an editor who wants you to write about things you’re not comfortable with, or will make edits and embellish your words to make your work more click bate. When this happens – stand your ground. Someone once changed the title to a piece of mine and no one even read the piece, they just saw the title and ripped me apart in the comment section. I got nasty messages on FB and everything. I never wrote for that site again.

The last thing I’ll mention is you have to toughen up that skin. Whenever you open yourself up, you open yourself up to criticism. No matter what you write about, someone will have an opposing opinion. The internet can be a mean place sometimes. Remind yourself the only opinions that matter are those from your closest circle. Everyone else is just noise you don’t need to listen too. As one of my fav speakers, Renee Brown, always says, “You’re the brave one putting yourself in the arena and they are the ones afraid to do the same so they hurl their nasty opinions from the cheap seats.” Let them stay there.

Resource groups I love:

Beyond Your Blog

Writers helping Writers

Pro Bloggers

If you’d like to see my published work –– click here .

If you have further questions about specifics, send me a note and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

Everyday Practices To Keep You Thankful All Year Long

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season. The season that reminds us all to be thankful for our blessings, family and friends. Every year across social media I see people reminding themselves that life isn’t so bad after all, but wouldn’t it be great if we could be thankful all year long? When you take on this perspective, it’s pretty amazing how your outlook on everything changes.

I’m happy most of the time. Sure I have my bad moments. I cry, I get upset, I get depressed sometimes, but overall – I’m happy.  I’ve always been a glass half full kind of gal, but I’ve also had many challenges (like most of us) in life that greatly tested that happiness. So, for the last decade I’ve been training my mind to be thankful for everything – even the bad times. When you do this, you start to realize just how amazing your life actually is.

Here are some best practices I’ve adopted over the years to help me stay positive and not let outside influences ruin my happiness.

Dinner time is thankful time.

Every night at dinner my family and I go around the table and say three things that made us happy that day. When we first started this I got a huge wake up call because my son would say things like, “I’m happy I got to play with a ball and hug mommy and I’m thankful for this cheese stick.” Those were the things that made him happy. A cheese stick. I knew if he could find joy in a cheese stick that I should be grateful for a lot more.

The beautiful thing about this activity is….. even if you had horrible day, your mind finds at least three things that were positive and you forget about the bad stuff. You also start appreciating the little things like: I’m happy I got to drink my coffee hot today! I’m happy my boss didn’t yell at me today! I’m happy I didn’t break my ankle when I fell and only sprained it instead! You see – there’s even a silver lining in the bad stuff!

Have your phone remind you. 

I love putting reminders in my phone. I have six that go off everyday starting at 8 am. They are a combination of goals I’ve set for myself in my personal and professional life and reminders to be thankful. Keep them simple. Mine are: Be grateful, you got this, you use to pray for what you have now, and the best is yet to come. The last one I recently added, thanks to a work friend making the recommendation, is just the word RIGGED. This reminder goes off in early evening to remind myself that anything that happened during the day was supposed to happen. Life is rigged my friends – so start finding the joy in the journey.

Cut yourself a break.

Look, you’re not perfect….. but you don’t have to be! Moms, you’re going to forget crazy hair day at your kid’s school sometimes. Don’t worry! Your kids will remember the hugs you gave them and how often you told them you loved them, not that you forget to gel their hair up one day.

You’re not always going to get the promotion you wanted. It’s okay, something better is around the corner. Maybe you weren’t ready. Maybe it’s the universe saving you from mountains of stress!

At the end of each day you should thank yourself for getting through another day as a mom, wife, friend, leader, employee, etc.! It’s hard out there sometimes.

Use resources.

There’s some really great books and people out there that helped me along the way. My recent reads that I absolutely loved and put into practice are: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.

If you use these best practices every day, they become habit. Habits become part of your behavior and then you’ll start to see some positive changes. There are so many things to be thankful for, we just need help and reminders to be able to see them every day.

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I’m thankful for all of you.



Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself…..

It’s been almost six years since I started this blog. And, what an amazing mix of ups and downs I’ve had since then. Life has changed – dramatically. I’m a different person. I’m in a different place in life, too. I’ve learned so much about myself and made some pretty big life decisions along the way.

This blog originally started out as a humorous take on being a new mom and trying to manage it all. I was overwhelmed, insanely busy, knew nothing about being a parent (who does?!), and found myself laughing quite often at what being a parent really meant. Let me give you a hint: have wet wipes with you at all times. Like, a lot of them. You’re welcome.

While I do still share funny parenting stories and mom must-haves, I’ve expanded the blog over the years to a more “lifestyle” blog sharing ALL things I love. Even though my boys are my life, remembering who I am and doing things that feed my soul are important too. Take note moms: don’t lose yourself in the process of raising your family. No one wins when you do that.

When I started this blog, I was a full-time working mom. Let’s be honest, I was more than full-time. Do 40-hour workweeks in corporate even exist? I was a Director of Sales over events for a prominent luxury hotel in downtown Chicago. I was also on the executive team. I loved my job. I loved my team. But, I didn’t love the hours. My brain had so many tabs open that eventually my brain exploded. Not for real, but that’s what it felt like. Like, I was in a downward spiral begging for air.

You see, I’m a “yes” girl and in that setting – being a “yes” girl was probably not the best idea for me. I worked 24/7 to appease all those around me and stay in the lead of the imaginary race I was running in my head. Eventually, my body caught up to my mind and I got really sick. Stress is a dangerous thing, and when it takes over your body it can be very scary.

A thyroid disease (which made my hair fall out in fist fulls!), infertility issues, depression and anxiety were my new normal. But, don’t worry. I eventually recognized I couldn’t go on like that and I walked away from a life I thought I loved to save myself and my family. Thank goodness I made this decision, because right after – God blessed me with my miracle rainbow baby.

My miracle baby (2014)!

So, there I was – a mid-30 something starting over. I was excited, but terrified at the same time. I wanted to be a writer and had always been the go-to girl to help others find the right words – so, why not start sharing them myself? I started this blog, submitted my work to any website that would allow, networked with writers, bloggers, publishers, and became a social media expert to expand my resume and it worked!

It wasn’t easy to put myself out there at first and that’s coming from someone who would be considered an extrovert. The Internet can also be a very nasty place. Over the years I got used to the criticism, the eye-rolling and the mean comments, but in the end – putting myself out there fostered new friendships, partnerships, more opportunities and a stronger me. I’d say that’s a win!

About two years after I started writing I was approached by several companies to help them build their brands on social media which lead me to a lot of influencer work, which lead me to partner with Rodan + Fields, a premium skin care brand that was once sold in high-end retail and now solely through e-commerce. You may have heard of them now, but in 2014 when I partnered with them, R+F was still a gem waiting to be discovered by the masses. I now have a team of over 300 people in the U.S, Canada and Australia! I love the company, their products (#1 in North America!), and I love how they have changed so many lives.

My team and I celebrating a big accomplishment with R+F!

So here I am now – a business owner, writer, author (my next book is being released in just a few weeks!), social influencer, mom and wife trying to live my best life and sharing the journey with all of you. If you like to surround yourself with people who try to inspire others, share what they’ve earned, have lots of fun, and live life to the fullest – then I’m your gal. I’ll be your internet bestie! Thank you to all the ladies and gents who’ve stuck with me since 2012 and have watched this journey unfold, too. Your support means the world to me! I have a lot more road ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to sharing it with all of you under this blog’s new name: Hollydays Chicago, where every day is a Holly-day!

Now, let’s go have some fun.



New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Family

Happy 2018! A new year is a time when everyone is making their own resolutions, but it’s important to make goals for you and your family to work on this year as well. Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget to make time to spend as a family, so making resolutions as a family will allow you to spend more quality time together. If you need some ideas for resolutions to work towards this year, try some of these:

Get active
A very common New Year’s resolution revolves around getting healthier, so why not extend that fit behavior to the whole family? Make it a point to do something active together once a day. You can go for a walk after dinner, play kickball in the backyard, or do jumping jacks in the living room! Check out these ideas for how to get active as a family for some ideas. You’ll all feel good after some exercise. After you get your blood pumping, make a healthy family dinner together to continue your family’s healthy lifestyle!

Have a weekly family night
Pick a night of the week that works for everyone, and set it aside for your weekly family night. Make it a priority, and use this night to spend time together! You can watch family-friendly movies for a movie marathon. Put on your comfy clothes, sit on the couch, and munch on your favorite snacks. Maybe alternate every other week with a game night! Choose one of these family-friendly games, and have a blast and make some memories! In no time, family night will be everyone’s favorite night of the week.

Focus on education
Learning doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom. Your children will retain the information they’re learning in school better if they continue to learn at home, so try out these fun learning activities for kids. Another great way to let your kids learn is to have them watch an educational movie. Pure Flix offers content to supplement homeschool curriculum, so try to put on one of their documentaries or educational shows to keep learning as a family!

Teach a lesson on saving money
It’s never too early to let your children know how important it is to budget and set goals. Is there something your children have been wanting? Teach your family the value of a dollar by having them set up a lemonade stand, doing chores or helping out a neighbor. Have them save the money they earn and once they have saved enough let them buy something they want! Get them a piggy bank to keep their money safe and all in one place.

These family-focused resolutions can be a great way to keep your family on track for a great year and future! It’s never too late to work on goals together, so get started now! Then at the end of the year, you can look back together and see how much you’ve accomplished as a family and set new goals for next year. Have a great 2018 everybody!

Making….AND Keeping Those New Year’s Resolutions

WE did it! We made it to another year. That’s a goal achieved in and of itself, right?! I would say so.

This is my favorite time of year. A clean slate. A new start. A refreshed state. A cleared mind. Each new year presents the opportunity to make changes, enhance your life or start anew.  Now is the best time to look for that new job, or get your health and finances in check. Unfortunately, the excitement and determination with New Year’s resolutions fades fast and most give up before they even remember to write 2018 – instead of 2017.

So, how can you do it? How can you keep those New Year’s resolutions?

Start with your WHY.

Your “why” has to be a strong one. Unbreakable. Why did you choose this specific resolution? If your WHY makes you cry – then you have a greater chance of sticking with your goals.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight – is it because your health is depending on it? Or, because none of your clothes fit? Are you on medications for weight related issues and want to get off them? Is your health creating a negative impact on your life? These would all be great reminders when you feel like giving up. Make giving up not an option.

Is your resolution truly achievable?

When people make goals they have a tendency to go big or go home. Should you dream big? Yes, ut, those dreams have to  be achievable. When you make grandiose goals – you put too much pressure on yourself and as time goes on you get more and more discouraged.

Make little individual goals to help you achieve your end goal. 

If your goal is to finish a marathon, the last thing you want to do at the starting line is think about the 26 miles you have in front of you. Talk about overwhelming! If you tell yourself to make it to mile five and then see how you feel – you’re much more likely to continue on with another five miles, and another and another.

Take it one day at a time. 

If you want to lose thirty pounds by year end, make a goal of losing three pounds per month. If you only focus on the end goal – you assume you have so much more time to get there. Then, December rolls around and you turn into a maniac trying to make magic happen. Spoiler alert – you’re not a magician. Make a decision every day to eat healthy. If you slip one day, don’t beat yourself up – just start over the next day.

Make a plan.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. You’re not going to wish your way to a slimmer waistline, although that would be amazing if you could! So, how are you going to lose the weight? You need to go to the gym a minimum of two days a week. You need to track 20,000 steps a day. Sunday can be your cheat day. Start a meal plan, etc.
Celebrate each victory – big or small. 
If your goal was to pay off debt, but you only paid off half – that’s a victory! You worked toward your goal and made some headway. This is not an all or nothing goal. You may have underestimated the timeline, but the important thing was that you stuck to it! Move the end date back and pour a glass of bubbles because you deserve to celebrate!
Take these tips and own your 2018.
Wishing you all a year filled with blessings and resolution successes!




Guest Post: How Can Non-Formal Education Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Non-formal education is everywhere around us and has been influential for a long period of time, even if we were not aware. Examples of non-formal education range from swimming lessons for toddlers to community and non-credited adult courses. Many may think this type of education is unnecessary or that learning should be solely reserved for schools or universities, but they are mistaken. Non-formal education can help us in many aspects of our lives, like battling with addiction or even our businesses. It doesn’t matter if you are attending Microsofts official course on business or a non-credited online course – the most important thing is you are still educating yourself and learning.

Today there are many forms of non-formal education, but the most popular ones are seminar speeches and courses. In this article, we will talk about the importance of this type of education and how it can help you become a better entrepreneur.

Non-formal experience can give you much-needed experience.

There is no such thing as too much experience in any kind of work as there is always room for improvement. One of the best ways to continue your education or strengthen your skills is to attend some non-formal seminars, get involved in your community or take online courses. Participating in these types of activities and education will not only teach you about a particular topic, but it will also give you additional experience in that line of work. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that one should never stop learning and always continue to better themselves. It’s very important to acquire new skills, sharpen current skills, and develop new techniques if you want to stay relevant and successful in your business.

For example, you can do community work in your neighborhood, help develop local infrastructure or even help organize community events to get people engaged. These activities might seem simple, but trust us, in the long run – they will all pay off. You’ll learn how to interact with people and how to approach different types of problems. The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to continually educate yourself and push new boundaries. Every working experience is valuable.


You can acquire new skills and techniques.

This is very important for every entrepreneur. Learning new skills can be very hard and costly, but if you want to be successful in your line of work, then it is absolutely necessary. Luckily, there are a number of non-formal education courses and seminars that can help you with this. They are usually free, but even if you have to pay, it is a small fee compared to some official ones. But don’t think that because these courses are free that they lack in quality. On the contrary, they are usually held by people who really care and understand the subject they are speaking on. Their goal is not to profit from this, but to help you understand and learn.

For example, even basic Excel courses seem hard and frightening to many and they also cost a lot. But with the right teacher, you can easily learn all you need to know. Non-formal education provides a different approach to learning and this might suit you better than conventional ways. They sometimes focus more on experience and interactions verses taking tests and meeting norms.

Portrait of pretty young woman working on laptop while sitting on sofa at home

As you can see there are a number of ways in which non-formal education can help in both your personal and professional life. Seminars, free online courses and volunteering are easily accessible and provide invaluable information to strengthen your skills. Happy learning! 

If You’re Feeling Lost – Just Follow The Signs

Astrology fascinates me. I’ve always appreciated the science behind the stars and believe in it wholeheartedly. My December birthday classifies me as a Sagittarius and I fit the Sagittarian role to a tee. I’m someone who likes to take risks and live in the moment. I’m genuinely happy the majority of the time. I am a positive extrovert, wisdom seeker, very passionate and most importantly – I love to dream big.




I read my horoscope every day when I pick up my coffee and use the words of wisdom as signs to lead me in the right direction. Three years ago, I took a few of those auspicious sentences written in my local newspaper clipping very seriously. My decision that day to follow the stars dramatically changed my life – forever.

Five years ago I was going through a particularly rough time. I had veered away from my core Sagittarian values. I was overwhelmed with life, the economy was in shambles, and I was a clueless new mother and workaholic desperately trying to find some balance in life. My family was struggling to stay afloat financially due to corporate pay cuts, shrinking bonuses, student loan debt and childcare costs. And on top of all this, I had lost my passion for a job I once loved and my husband and I’s relationship could best be described as two ships passing in the wind. Gone were the days of dream chasing and optimism. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself in rubble.

What I really wanted to do was resign from my job, start a new life, hug and kiss my kids more and find joy again. As lovely as that sounds, it seemed impossible. We needed the money and I felt it would be foolish to walk away from a career I worked tirelessly for, for over a decade. I was stuck – or so I thought.

During this difficult time I developed an afternoon coffee addiction along with my morning one. I think it was more of an excuse to escape and get some fresh air. Every day at 3 p.m. sharp, I’d walk two blocks to the corner coffee shop and bask in my brief moments of freedom. No phones, no questioning, no drama – just me and my empty thoughts. As I waited for my latte I’d sit on the corner bar stool in envy, watching people leisurely stroll through the city streets for fun instead of escaping reality, like me. Once the barista called my name, I’d head over to the counter and read my horoscope as per usual. For several weeks in a row, my horoscope stated I would have a career in publishing or the arts, which was always a dream of mine – but one I was too afraid to ever chase. Because the words kept repeating themselves though, I started to think – what if? Could I do something different? Walk away from this life and start anew?

The next month, after a horrible day at work, I walked down to the coffee store for my usual. When I picked up my latte I glanced over at my horoscope again and this time it read, “Your dream life is waiting for you, but first you must let something go”.

The words stung. My eyes welled with tears. My trusted advisors were right. In order to be happy, I had to let my job go. There were no more excuses. Life would figure itself out, and I had to trust what was written in the stars. I walked out into the street and took the deepest breath my lungs could hold and then I slowly exhaled. I knew my life was about to take a drastic turn, but I was finally ready.

Two days later I took action and resigned. That was three years ago. Today I have my dream job that is flexible around my life. I see my husband. I hug and kiss my kids more than they can stand. But, most importantly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m finally back to good ol’ Sagittarius me.

I’m certain there is no such thing as a coincidence. Who knows, if I hadn’t seen that horoscope on that particular day, I may still be sitting in my office watching my life pass me by. I would not of had the courage to take the first step if it wasn’t for those words hitting me like a ton of bricks.

I still read my horoscope everyday as I pick up my morning Joe and whatever it says I’m sure to pay attention because, after all, if you don’t follow the signs – you’re bound to get lost. Life is too short for that.




Why It’s Important To Surround Yourself With Inspiring People

I traveled to NYC recently for the annual BlogHer convention. This is one of my favorite conventions to attend, and this year’s line-up delivered even more than expected. BlogHer recently merged with SheKnows Media, which has a motto of “women inspiring women”, to form one powerhouse unit. I recommend anyone in media, marketing, writing, tech, blogging, editing, non-profit, sponsorship, freelance and promotion to attend if your budget and schedule allows. It’s worth it.


It’s difficult to describe how one feels when surrounded by thousands of women who share the same vision as you. Everyone there was on a mission to not only better themselves, but to help others. At times, it was hard to control my emotions. I felt tears muster up in the corner of my eyes on more than one occasion. The tears were in response to feelings of pride, empowerment, and in some cases, sadness. Many stories were shared, an abundance of advice was given, and partnerships and friendships were made. With each session, I left feeling inspired to do more, to always try and lead by example, and prove that women really can do what ever they set out to do.


Among the most influential speakers at BlogHer for me was Soledad O’Brien, the American broadcast journalist and philanthropist. Her few minutes on stage really touched me and inspired me to put a future goal in place. She told the story of her organization, The Starfish Media Group, which provides mentors and resources along with scholarship funds, to help young deserving people earn an education. The stories of the young ladies she’s helped really resonated with me.

I’m one of the lucky ones who did get a college education, and it was also in a time when college was expensive – but not yet out of reach. Like so many others, my parents were not financially able to cover tuition costs. I, however, was determined to get my degree. I started taking classes part-time in the Fall of 1996 and I didn’t graduate until May 2004. But, I graduated – better late than never. The only reason I was able to graduate was because I held several jobs and took out loans to cover any remaining costs. The money my parents could spare a month, was often the only way I ate or made my rent payments. It was a struggle, but my situation was cake in comparison to millions of others. As I sat there and listened to Soledad’s quest to help young women, I made my own goal to one day start a scholarship fund and award the gift of education to struggling youths who deserve a chance. Now I just need to make the money to do it. I will make it happen.

Christy Turlington also graced us with her presence. She enlightened us on the alarming statistics of  the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise in the U.S. In a country that has the ability to prevent these deaths, this pulled at my heartstrings. If you’d like to learn more or help women get prenatal care and know their options for maternal health, please visit Every Mother Counts and share this information with others. Merck for Mothers has also launched a program dedicated to ending maternal mortality. This a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. Awareness is key, so spread the word.

These were just a few of the many pivotal moments I experienced during the convention, but the real magic happened in-between key-notes when I connected with hundreds of other women like me – the dreamers. We talked about life as mothers, career aspirations, how we can balance it all, but most importantly – how we could help each other. I made friendships I know will last a lifetime.


My overall takeaways and what I’d like to share with you is this:

When you surround yourself with inspirational people – you are able to drown out the noise. Noise like negativity, nay-sayers, and those who try to diminish your faith in yourself and your abilities. I know that I am someone who can make a difference – and so are you. Even if you can only help one person and that person is you, it’s a start. I am also someone who deserves success – and so are you. Lastly, I have a voice that can encourage and support other women and that’s exactly what I intend to use it for – and so should you.

In a world that perpetuates hate, we are the ones who can make a change by listening, sharing and giving. Words are powerful. Stories are powerful. Actions are powerful. When we listen – we grow. When we share – we inspire. When we give – we get. You have the power the make a difference.


“I still remember you as a little girl who overwaters plants because she doesn’t know when to stop giving.” – Trista Mateer


What’s new with MGT2S?

Hi MG2S friends!

As you may have recently seen – my work has expended and is now published on many new sites. As a writer, this has been a dream come true for me. There is nothing more cool than seeing your name and photo on major global sites like Huffington Post, Scary Mommy and the TODAY Parenting Team.

This is happening!
This is happening!

I will continue to post regularly on here and have also provided my author pages below so you can follow me there as well.

Along with this expansion, I’ve recently signed two contracts for my work to be published in humor anthology books. I’ll post links on where to buy them as the information becomes available to me.

Reall 10motherhood book








I want to personally thank you for all of your support and for sharing MG2S stories with your friends and families for the last 2.5 years! I’m forever grateful.

*As someone who had a lot of help and support from other bloggers and writers out there, I’d love to now pay it forward. If you are a blogger and/or writer and need tips/advice on how to get your work published or gain a following – please feel free to email me at holly (at) hollyrust (dot) com.

Here’s to the continued success of Mother’s Guide to Sanity!





Want To Grow Your Business? Here’s How…

Almost two years ago I left the corporate world to start my own business as a writer and consultant. I loved the company I worked for but knew in order to grow both personally and professionally; it was time for a change. It was going to be a challenge going from a well-respected, globally known brand to a virtually unknown brand – me, Holly Rust. I definitely had my work cut out for me.

The first six months were rough and I questioned my decision daily. Luckily, I scored my first few accounts from leveraging my own local network. To grow my network further I tried to fill my schedule with coffee and cocktail dates and I attended local networking events. These activities were beneficial to growing my business, but unfortunately they took up a lot of time. With two small children and a traveling spouse, time was not a luxury I had. I needed to work smarter – not harder. I starting utilizing what little time I did have to build my network online, from my couch, and it usually involved ice cream. The Internet was always available and I was going to take advantage.

Almost two years in, I have a large network that now expands globally. My business is booming and has even opened doors to new ventures – all because I turned to the Internet to expand my network.


Helpful tips to build your brand or business online:

Stay Active! If you can’t make it out locally, be active online. Potential clients need to be reminded you’re out there and you’re ready to work. Every day you need to reach out to people personally – even if it’s just to let them know about your new venture or to keep the connection alive. Consistency is key.

Use Social Media. Using free tools that expand your network ten folds – no brainer! Sign up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., for your business. Use your personal accounts to promote your brand as well. Update your profile on LinkedIn often. Let people know what you’re doing. Be proud and passionate; this will translate to your audience.

If your friends don’t want to support you or get annoyed by your posts, they can easily hide your notifications. Furthermore, if they can subject you to their life drama and political rants – then they can surely support you in your entrepreneurial aspirations. My rule: If my current friends will not support me, I’ll just find new ones who will!

Proudly display your accomplishments on social media for everyone to see! An old boss always told me, “No one will ever toot your own horn louder than you.” So toot away because this let’s people know your succeeding in your business and will want to follow you more.

Make New Friends. Connect with 5-10 new people a day from any outlet. Post daily if possible about what you’re doing and the services or products you’re providing. Don’t forget to continue with your regular lifestyle posts too if you’re using your personal accounts to promote; otherwise your audience will become desensitized to your business.

Ask Or You Shall Not Receive.  Ask for partnerships. Ask for business. Ask for referrals. Ask for advice. What’s the worst that can happen? They say, “No”? You cannot wait for people to notice you; you have to make them notice you. In my experience most people are willing to share their best practices and love to partner with others. You also must remember that to have a friend, you have to be a friend. Enter each conversation asking how you can help them first. Your good will always comes back to you in one shape or form.

Use Hash Tags. When posting on social media – make your posts work for you. Use hash tags! Hash tags, used correctly, make your posts easily searchable. Also, if you incorporate whatever topics are trending at the time of your post you will broaden your audience.

Become ‘Besties’ with Bloggers. Bloggers are great resources to help spread awareness for your brand or business. Businesses and individuals reach out to me on a daily basis to partner with them or to sponsor a post. Many bloggers also do reviews, referrals and cross promotions. I rarely turn down a chance to be exposed to another individual’s or business’s network.

Join Online Networking Groups. Even if the group has nothing to do with your business, you may uncover some business opportunities. These groups usually have rules about promoting yourself, so be sure to check with the admins before posting. You can, however, reply to other group member’s posts soliciting your business if the post applies to what you offer.

When building your brand or business online you first need to manage your expectations. Rome was not built in a day! Like with any investment, these things take time. Stay consistent and present in the online world, but above all – don’t give up.

Here's to your continued success!
Here’s to your continued success!