DIY Travel Mirror That Everyone Will Try To Steal From You! Adorable and Affordable.

Hey guys,

I wanted to take a moment to share my little DIY mirror idea with you. I love this mirror so much, and I use it all the time. Many of my friends have duplicated this idea, and they just love them. They are also fantastic gift ideas, because they are relatively inexpensive to make (roughly $25) and they are so unique. I just could not stand to be crammed into a bathroom while traveling to have access to a mirror during the holidays. For that reason, I decided to redesign the whole compact mirror idea, and it is just too cute not to share.

Total Cost for This DIY Mirror: $25 (Details Listed Just Below This)

Items Used in This Video:
You may use any mirror or case that you like, but I have had friends try to recreate this without knowing the measurements, and they ended up ordering items that don’t fit together, so here are the proper measurements below to make it easier for you.

Handheld mirror (9 inches wide by 7 1/4 inches tall-without the handle-just the mirror face and border)
*I looked on Amazon to see if I could find one here with the correct dimensions, and I don’t see one, so I would recommend just picking one up at WalMart or your local drugstore, because that is where I picked this one up a long time ago. Just make sure that you measure. It was roughly $7-10.

Ipad Case: (9.75 Wide by 7 1/2 Tall)
Available on Amazon for only $15.99 and it qualifies for free shipping. Also, they have a ton of colors to choose from, so go and pick the one that you love. I have given these away as gifts and people just LOVE them.: http://amzn.to/1BU2WlF

#diy #mirror #compact

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

Winged Eyeliner for The Makeup Challenged: How To Make It Easy

Hey Everyone,

If you are like me, then you always look at those girls with the perfect winged eyeliner and think, “Girl, don’t step in front of my car.” 🙂

OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but it seems totally unfair sometimes that these girls have the ‘perfect’ winged eyeliner. I watched every video I could find and asked every person that I knew how to get this right, and I was still awful at it. Like, if there was a medal for p*ss poor winged eyeliner, I would be sporting gold.

Anywho, over the years, I have developed what I like to refer to as ‘make up coping skills’. These are the tips and tricks that I have finally mastered to make myself appear much better at make up than I really am. I figure that I could not possibly be the only makeup challenged person out there, so I made this video about applying winged eyeliner.

Seriously, if you can mess this two step process up, then you are beyond hope. I kid, I kid. 🙂 I hope this helps you to rock that winged eyeliner this weekend!

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

How To Set Up Your Business For Less Than $10…Seriously!

Hello Everyone,

I finally began shooting this series on Monday. This is honestly the most rewarding thing that I have done in a really long time. Thanks to my business now being run functionally by Amazon, I am free to share all that I have learned over the last 20 years with anyone who is interested. I have had to bootstrap everything in both my personal and professional life, so trust me, I get being on a budget.

I completely understand what it feels like to have a dream, and no way, or no help towards reaching it. This is my way of giving back. I am not selling anything, just providing information for people that need it. If you know someone who you think could benefit from this series, please recommend it to them.

This series will walk you through the step by step (literally) instructions for how to set up your business. The first 3-part video discussed how to come up with and choose your business name, make sure that no one else is using it, and see what others think about your name. The second 3-part video discusses how to set up your blog, domain name, and matching email address yourself. I have already filmed a few videos about how to sell on Amazon, and I will expand on this going forward at the end of this series. Tomorrow, I will be talking about how to secure all of your social media names, link everything up, design your own logo, print your marketing materials, and help your customers find you.

You do NOT need to hire anyone to do any of this for you. If you have been wanting to set up your business, or want to ‘polish’ your brand, then these videos are going to provide you with some very valuable content. Please click subscribe when you are there so that you will be notified when I upload new videos in this series, as I do not regularly post them to my blog.

I am so excited to be filming these, and I hope you find them a valuable nudge towards your dreams.

Gratefully,

Raphaela

 

How To Take The Perfect Selfie.

Good Morning Everyone,

I was shooting images the other day, and it occurred to me how silly it is that we all shoot selfies. Don’t get me wrong and think that I am going to stop doing them,  I am not :-). I am just saying that we always look so different, or at least we try to only present the most perfect part of ourselves in these images. It’s all an illusion, and the perfection is really in the flaws, so I decided to celebrate mine.

I made a short video about ‘The Making of a Selfie’ and I stopped once per minute (on a timer, so it’s legit) and took a photo of the process, both hair and make up. I also added my thoughts about each step, and it is really cute. I hope you enjoy it, and it brightens your morning.

Now, Go Selfie!

Gratefully,

Raphaela

Cauliflower Pizza Trick. Must Try…

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share the link to the YouTube video that I just created for my new Cauliflower Pizza trick. If you love cauliflower pizza, but you do not like the long process of trying to get the water out of your cauliflower before turning it into Cauliflower Dough, then you have to see this. I tried this tool that I found for something else, and it works like a charm. Sorry about the sound and light in this video, but I was so excited about this discovery that I shot a video at night, which is a major lighting no-no :-).

Hope you find this as helpful as my family does.

To Your Health,

Raphaela

Choosing Your Blog or Business Name: Why I Am Changing Mine

Run, To, The, Bikini

Was RunToTheBikini.Com. Now It’s RaphaelaLaurean.com

Ok, so, I finally did it. Did what you ask? Simple. I decided to simplify my life and change the name of my blog. I chose the name Run To The Bikini when I started this blog last year. I did so as a way to document my progress towards my bikini bodybuilding goals. However, over the course of the last year, I have also decided that I have a lot more to share than just that.

I frequently found myself wanting to share things, and then trying to massage the subject matter so that it fit onto my blog, formerly known as ‘Run To The Bikini’. I still really love that name and the concept, but for me, it was and is just too narrow of a topic to continue to be interesting to me, much less my readers. I know that this is going to sound crazy, but I literally spent months agonizing over the decision about which ‘identity’ to write my ideas under. If you have ever tried to pick a business name, then you know what I am talking about. I thank God for flash cards, or I would have to start donating to Green Peace to apologize for the amount of paper that I would have used sorting this out.

There are so many areas of my life where I want to share what I have learned, but I also have a very strong business rule about not casting the net too wide (aka, being really good at what you do, and not trying to cover everything). But that’s when it hit me. I am not writing this blog as a business. I am writing it for me, and for you, and for whatever comes of it down the road, so I should just be me. So, that’s why I am changing my blog name to http://www.raphaelalaurean.com.

Pros: 

Reason # 1: It’s Just Plain Easier

Easy to find me and all of my other social media profiles, because it’s all the same name. I will list the links at the bottom of this page, as an example of what I am talking about, and as a guide for you to follow when setting up your own ‘identity’. If you type my name into Google (the people who really run the world ), you will find my youtube channel, blog, twitter account, etc.

Reason # 2: Sky’s the Limit.

I can write about pretty much anything now. I mean, I have it organized now so that the reader can find what they are interested in, but it gives me the freedom to share all of the areas of my life, not just one. This is something that I am really going to enjoy. A perfect example is this very post. I could never have done this post on my former blog. Well, I could have, no internet police would have come for me, but it may have caused Botox inducing wrinkles on my face (and I promised myself that I would wait until 40 🙂 ), because I would have felt anxiety about the fact that it didn’t belong on that kind of a blog, or that I was not providing my readers with the content that they were looking for.

Reason # 3″ Consistency is Key.

I am far more likely to post regularly because I don’t have to try to ‘package’ the information a certain way to fit the blog topic. I read a really important article on this, and I wish I could remember where so that I could give them credit. Basically, the writer said that your audience is smart enough to figure out how to read the information that they want, and ignore the other stuff, so long as you organize it properly. Shout out to you, whoever wrote that article….what what..you Rock!

Cons:

Reason # 1: 30 Seconds To Get Their Attention

I have to be so lovable and interesting that people will read my blog, because I have no catchy phrase or brand to hook them with. For example, if your into fitness, and you land upon a blog that called ‘Run to the Bikini’, you are far more likely to keep reading, then if you land on one called ‘Raphaela Laurean’. WTH is Raphaela Laurean, right? Anywho, once I let go of that fear, it didn’t really matter to me. I am not trying to take over the world with my blog, just share my life. There are some that will find that interesting, and there are some that will say, um, no thanks. I am ok with either.

Reason # 2: Lack of Anonymity

I will say that I have been the kind of person that has really gone out of my way to preserve and protect my anonymity pretty much my whole life. I was raised in business that you must keep your business and personal life separate to maintain some status quo. I think that I really believed that for a very long time, because I think that it was true up until a few years ago.

Today’s consumers want to know more about who they are doing business with. It wasn’t always that way. People used to associate big brands and corporations with credibility and trust. Enter Twitter, Facebook and the like, and now customers want a more personal connection with the people and companies that they let into their lives.

I am just at a point in my life where I don’t want to be the magician behind the curtain anymore, and me writing this blog is sort of my way of removing that thought process from my life. I want people to know who I am now. I want them to see who is running the company that they choose to spend their money with, and how hard I work for them. I also want them to know that I am a real person, just like them, with a family, hopes, dreams, etc.

Reason # 3: Ability to Grow

For me, I love the thought that I can develop and grow with my blog, and that my readers will enjoy that. If I had chosen RunToTheBikini, and then decided to give up bikini bodybuilding, I would have lost a lot of readers in that transition. This way, my readers will read my blog because they want to see what I am up to, not just to look at one subject. I hope that makes sense.

 

Small Business Tip Summary

So, as you can see, there are pros and cons, big surprise, not! What am I really saying here? I suppose if I had to summarize from a business perspective, I would say it like this;

Niche Topic: Examples; Weight Loss for Women Who Just Gave Birth, Golfing for Divorced Guys over 40, Raising Triplets on Less Than 36K Per Year

If you are writing with one specific topic that you think that you can find enough about to consistently engage your readers and yourself, then go with that. It will be very easy to monetize (aka…make money with) because the subject matter will be so narrow that you could become a very credible source for that subject.  People would trust your product recommendations (please keep it real people, don’t do sponsored reviews for crap products). You could evaluate all of the events in your niche topic, associations, trade shows, new product releases, best places to buy, etc. If you love one subject like that, then get in there and get to work.

Lifestlye Versus Topic Blogging; ABeautifulMess.comIGoByKatie.com,

These blogs, as well as my own, are more of a candid look at the lives of these people, which can not be compartmentalized so easily. If you visit their blog, what you are sticking around for is them, sort of a blog celebrity reality show. They will tell all and you can read what you want and ignore the rest. These kinds of blogs can also be monetized as they grow, if you are interested in that. You can do exactly the same thing as the niche blog, but you just have to be very careful to organize everything really well, because your readers are busy, and they want what they want. It’s your job to make sure that they don’t have to search for it for very long.

As promised-

Disclaimer: This is not a shameless plug, it is meant for you to see how nice, clean, and easy it would be for your followers if you did something like this for your business.

♥ MY VLOG CHANNEL
http://www.youtube.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ TWITTER!
http://twitter.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ PINTEREST

♥ INSTAGRAM
http://instagram.com/raphaelalaurean
♥ BLOG
http://www.raphaelalaurean.com
♥ EMAIL
info@raphaelalaurean.com

I hope you found this helpful. If you take one lesson from this post, it should be that you should just get started. You can change on the fly, so just stop stressing out about it and start writing. More often than not, this will be the true test of how you decide what your blog will really be about.

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean