Grace, Understanding & Acceptance

“However, I consider my life worth NOTHING to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” -Acts 20:24

All my life I have been born and raised as a Catholic and many people might consider me a “Cradle Catholic” and for the longest time I considered myself one as well. I went to Mass every weekend to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I attended Faith Formation through high school and even became a youth group leader. Most of my life, I felt like I was going through the motions because I had to, not because I wanted to…

It wasn’t until this quarantine when I attended Sunday Services with Hillsong East Coast, that I really started to bring faith back into my daily life and not just on Saturdays when I attended Mass with my family. I brought faith and prayer back into everything I did and it wasn’t because I had to but because I wanted to.

It’s amazing that it’s on Sundays, after service, that I’m moved to write, that I find myself back at something I have always been passionate about but have seemed to have strayed away from the last few months.

I have spent the last few months trying to make something else work that somewhere down the path, I stopped having fun, I stopped wanting to make it work, but I kept pretending that it was what I wanted. Why? Because I’m afraid of letting others down. Because I’m afraid of what others will think. Because I’m afraid of failing at another job…

I came into this scary time in our lives, full steam ahead, with the mindset that I would finally build my business as a blogger/influencer because I finally had the time (what between all my part-time jobs, school and kids, why not add more to the plate).

I would finally take time to focus on my writing and building my social media influence… I strayed away from it. Not so quickly at first, but over the last few months, it’s become something I’ve pushed to the back of my mind because I was focused on something else that I thought would work, because I wanted to make it work for others.

I know that building my own business is tough. I know that building a full-time income on writing will be hard and won’t come without obstacles, but this is something I’ve always wanted to do, so why was I so quick to let it go?

Because I was afraid? Or that I was worried about what my family and friends would think when I told them what I did?

I tried something and pushed for it to work so badly the last couple of months but I’m quickly realizing that it’s not for me. Quite honestly, I’m afraid to let more people down. I’m afraid to say that I’m not actively building my team anymore because I don’t want to know what others will think.

“Oh, Megan’s failed another thing she’s tried.”

These words constantly haunt me because I’ve transitioned into so many different careers since college graduation 8 years ago. I tried being a journalist, that didn’t last long past graduation. I became a teacher for 4 years and stopped doing that too.

I’ve found my purpose in this life and it’s to be a stay-at-home mom and to be there for my family through everything and it’s something that I’m completely happy with. Now, I just need to find something that I can do from home while I’m still living this dream of being a stay-at-home mom.

I have seen God’s grace, understanding and acceptance work so many different times in my life. I need to be able to give myself the same grace, understanding and acceptance of my dreams. I need to let my family and friends show me the same. They may not understand it at first, but I know that if they truly loved and cared for me, they would come around in time.

This month I’m focusing on building my business as a blogger, influencer and making out the plans to start my own crafting business. I’m focusing on what makes me happy.

What are you going to do this month?

Bringing Faith Back into My Life

I have always been a planner! I’ve always had to use a physical planner with multiple pen colors. Each color represented something different, whether it was a different activity or priority based. This is how I kept my life organized!

As a wife, mom, entrepreneur and student, it means that I’m constantly having things added to my daily schedule and it’s hard to keep track of on my phone. I’ve gone through so many different planners to find the perfect one for me and for my life!

The undated planner by Christian Planner is hands down the BEST planner I have ever used!

There’s space for daily, weekly and monthly planning, accountability trackers and, my favorite, a section each week for Sunday Service notes! This space gives you the chance to write and draw things that spoke to me while listening to service!

I’ve always known how important it is to have faith in every aspect of my life but Christian Planner has really taken that to the next level by giving us resources to help us implement our faith into our daily routines and work schedule!

My life has always been on the go! With 3 part-time jobs, going to school part-time, raising two toddlers and running own business, you would think it could get chaotic! It does at times, but that’s why I’ve always loved having a planner and having something that I can write things down in.

My planner is the one accountability tool that never let’s me down! It never lets me forget things and now, I have a way of holding myself accountable for my goals, my routines and my faith all in one place! I love that at the top of each week, there’s a faith based quote or Bible verse! It’s a reminder for me each day that without faith, none of this would be possible! It’s also a reminder for me on the toughest days that I need to turn to my faith for guidance!

A unique aspect of the Christian Planner, is that it provides a space each week for Sunday Services notes and reflections. So many times I feel like we just go to services and go through the motions.

I know that since I’ve started writing down my thoughts and my reactions while listening to service, it stays with me much longer than just the one hour that I’m sitting there listening! It gives me a way to look back on past week’s messages and reflect on it each week as I begin a new week of work.

This part of the planner also has a plan for how I can improve my relationship with God, myself and others each week. This planner has so many different ways to hold us accountable for our actions and our goals each week!

Since I started using this, I’ve felt so much more connected to my faith in all aspects of my life and so much more organized than before! I don’t feel like life is as chaotic as it may sound when I tell people I have 3 part-time jobs, go to school part-time, raising two toddlers at home and creating my own business. I’m not crazy, I just found a tool that has helped me stay organized!

How can We Push Our Babies to Follow Their Dreams if We’re not Chasing After Our Own?

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

This past month I chose to invest time into growing as an influencer. I chose to take some time each morning to learn all that I could to be successful in this dream of mine so that I could continue to stay home with Bryan and Kennedy.

Has it been easy? Easier than it was in the past because I took the time to research different courses I could invest in that were worth my time and money rather than trying to go at it alone! Honestly, so glad that I came across @LadyBossBlogger by @ElaineRau because I’ve learned so much that I was unaware of before.

I’m still learning, we’re always continuing to learn as human beings… that’s how we continue to improve our skills and talents!

More Than Just “Mommy”

During the first few weeks of this course, I learned what kind of influencer I want to become and why I want to become an influencer that helps other moms chase their dreams. I have always been passionate about helping others, but this course helped me realize I’m most passionate about helping other moms realize that they are more than just “mom.”

After all, I’m only “Mommy” to two people in this world! To the rest of the world, I’m Megan… for a while, I forgot who that was and I’m learning now as I grow as an influencer how I want the rest of the world to see me.

How can we push our babies to follow their dreams if we’re not chasing after our own?

How can we be an example for our children if we’re not leading through actions?

What I Love About LadyBossBlogger

I love that the LadyBossBlogger course on how to make money as an influencer gives you a bunch of different apps you can use to help keep you organized as you build relationships with brands and grow your brand.

Let’s be honest, as a mom, we have a TON on our plates! It’s nice to have some accountability and organizational apps to help us stay on top of our business and dreams as we keep our little ones on a routine!

How much does it cost?

Let’s be honest, if you’re serious about launching your own brand, we all know that it takes an investment to become successful! If you’re really serious about launching a successful blog and becoming an influencer who actually makes money, then the LadyBossBlogger courses are 100% worth it.

If you’d like to try the LadyBossBlogger course at a significantly reduced rate, you can use my code MEGANSWANK at checkout for a 40% discount.

Additional Resources: 

Thank you LadyBossBlogger + Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post!

How LadyBossBlogger Taught Me What it Takes to be an Influencer

I have worked for years on my blog and for a long time, it was something that was just a hobby that I would go to every now and then when I wanted to vent or if I had time on my hands. It wasn’t until this quarantine when my life really slowed down that I realized, I want to be permanently at home with my babies and I needed to find a way to make that happen. 

I went to school to become a journalist and never pursued this career path after walking across that graduation stage. Instead, I became a teacher and spent the last 4 years in the classroom. 

I’ve talked about it before, how for the last couple of years since becoming a mom, my dreams were quickly changing. It seemed impossible to be able to be home, but still, be able to financially support my family. 

I’ve looked into so many different courses and training to help me make this dream of mine become a reality! 

Since I started the How To Make Money As An Influencer course by LadyBossBlogger, it’s been a major gamechanger and it’s definitely opened up my eyes to the possibility that my dream of being a stay-at-home mom while still earning an income is possible – it just takes a little hard work and an investment in our future! 

What I’ve Learned in my First Week: 

The course is structured in a way that’s very different from other courses that I’ve taken in the past. It’s actually given to you in a text format and broken down into several different sections. I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those learners that have to read things in order to remember them and truly soak in all the information! 

Each section is so easy to read that it doesn’t take much time in my day at all to go through a few sections at a time. I’ve spent maybe 30 minutes at most each day going through the courses. 

Here’s what I’ve gone through so far with the Influencer course- 

  1. Introduction 
    1. Course Overview-Expectations
    2. How to Stand Out as an Influencer
    3. 9 Beginner Mistakes that You Won’t Be Making
    4. 13 Latest Instagram Engagement Hacks
    5. Sponsored Posts I’ve Done in Over 20 Niches
    6. Extremely Lucrative Niches for Influencers
  2. Branding 
    1. Personal Brand vs. Professional Brand (Which to Choose?)
    2. 8 Ways to Create a Stunning Feed + Beautiful Brand
    3. Costly Mistakes Everyone Makes With Their Bio
    4. 21 Ways to Build a Brand That Brands Want to Work With
    5. Design Your Brand Around a Business Plan
    6. 10 Questions to Help Define Your Target Audience

The course is broken down into 8 sections with a 9th bonus section. The remaining sections include: 

  1. Content
  2. Pitching 
  3. Brands
  4. Money
  5. Legal
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bonuses

What I Love About This Course: 

I’ve always wanted to be a successful blogger and find a way to make an income from it, so I’ve looked into so many different courses and trainings to help me with this process. And guys, if you’re like me, you’ve found a lot of information out there, but some of it probably wasn’t worth the cost or just left you more confused… Trust me! I’ve been there! 

What I really love about this course is that it actually breaks down how to help me find my niche. So many other courses have told me to go find my niche but it doesn’t tell me HOW (that might help, right?)! Once you find your niche, it’s broken down even further into some brands you could potentially reach out to for collaborations and deals! 

I love that this course gives real-life examples of influencers who are successful and it’s not just their testimonials, it showcases examples from their feeds to show you what your social media feed could look like. 


All I can say is, I wish that I had found this course long before all the confusion and frustration kicked in! It’s given me a brand new sense of hope that I can actually make this business work for my current lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom, juggling graduate school, and two very mobile toddlers!

How much does it cost?

Let’s be honest, if you’re serious about launching your own brand, we all know that it takes an investment to become successful! If you’re really serious about launching a successful blog and becoming an influencer who actually makes money, then they’re 100% worth it.

If you’d like to try the LadyBossBlogger course at a significantly reduced rate, you can use my code MEGANSWANK at checkout for a 40% discount.

LifeWithSwank x LadyBossBlogger Giveaway

So I’ve partnered up with LadyBossBlogger to help my followers launch their businesses and live the life you’ve always dreamed of! Head over to my Instagram page to enter! 

The giveaway rules:

  1. Follow me @lifewithswank
  2. Follow @ladybossblogger 
  3. Follow @elainerau 
  4. Like the photo and tag a friend in the comments! 
  5. Earn extra entries by tagging more friends

Additional Resources: 

Thank you LadyBossBlogger + Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post!

A Mother’s Journey


Growing up, I was surrounded by strong, dedicated, loving, successful women. My role models weren’t celebrities, politicians or educators. Whenever I was asked who I looked up to or who I wanted to be like when I grew up, I thought of those who were a part of my own family and shared my blood.

So of course, I thought I would be just as successful as them in my professional career and as a mother. Boy, was I in for a huge wake-up call!

The Long Road Ahead 


There have been many times, in pageant and job interviews, where I have been asked “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” You would think by now, this question wouldn’t scare me… it still does.

I can see where I want my life to be. I can vividly see myself working from home, owning IMG_6785my own business and being the stay-at-home mom I’ve always wanted to be (I can already hear the “Skeptic Stacys” out there questioning my choice of profession: “You want to be a stay-at-home mom??” Yes, I always have). I can see myself attending every little league game, dance competition, soccer game, pageant or whatever it is our babies decide they want to do, without having to ask work for time off or worrying that my vacation time won’t be approved.

Why then does this question make me so scared?

Even though I can see it, the road there is far from a straight path. I have always known and truly believed that every person’s journey in this life is unique and that God has a plan. A plan that so amazing, we could never imagine it for ourselves.

IMG_6748I just can’t help but wonder if I have deviated too far from this life He had set out for me. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? I have never questioned my life as a wife and mother. I will never question these two roles given to me because I know I was meant for this part of my life. What I do question is, did I take my family down a path we shouldn’t have traveled down and now we’re constantly trying to find our way back?

A Purpose-Filled Life

I am eight years post-grad, halfway through my graduate career and three years into motherhood. I feel like I’m far from the successful woman I thought I would be by now. Rather than feeling successful, I feel like I’m one more failed career attempt and tantrum before I begin questioning what my purpose is in this life.

Am I here to just jump from job-to-job the rest of my life or just here to manage the IMG_6162tantrums until they’re old enough to understand that life isn’t fair and you don’t always get what you want?

I have always put others’ needs and wants before my own. It’s how I was raised. I watched my mom do the same thing. Although she pursued her dream to earn her Master’s in Business Administration, I watched her constantly put herself last when it came to the dreams and goals my dad, sister and I had set for ourselves.

I feel like that’s exactly where I am today. The second things seem to get tough, excuses are flying from every direction, I immediately become discouraged and think that what I had dreamed for myself isn’t possible.

Maybe it’s just that. My purpose in this life is to help others towards their dreams and goals. Whether it’s to rise in the ranks at work, to live a healthier life or to be the best parent there is, maybe I was meant to help those in my life make these things possible.

A Journey Meant to be Traveled

Instagram: @kaleandchardonnay

So many people have said to me on my journey towards creating my own business, “Oh you’re one of those people now.” or “You’ll go crazy working from home.” What they don’t seem to understand is while some may feel trapped working from home or dealing with the wants and needs of kids all day, this is where I have always felt the happiest.

Yes, the days may run together and the quarantine hasn’t given us the option to leave the house, but I’ve never been happier to put in a few hours of work in the early mornings before the kids have woken up or at night when they’ve gone to bed! All that means is that I get the entire day to do whatever they want without having to worry that I’m not doing my part in providing for our family.

IMG_6746I know this journey was never meant to be easy, but it was meant to be traveled. Anything worth it, never came without hard work. There’s a part of me that wishes I had more support, but then there’s a part that understands that God sends us on some journeys alone so that when we bring others later, it’s a journey filled with less hardship and more joy.

I pray that God gives me the strength and persistence to do all that I can for my family. My journey as a wife and mother may not look the same as my role models, but I know that I am not weak because of who raised me.

To all the mommas out there who are struggling to find their way, know that while our paths may not look the same, you are never alone. You are strong and you are the foundation that your family needs to thrive in this world!

Seriously, Why?!?!

I could already feel the eyes rolling to the back of their heads as I told family and friends that I’ve started my own business. I could hear the “virtual” walls going up between us as they mutter “OMG! You too?!” Six months ago these reactions are the exact same ones I had too…

Now? I’m shouting “YES ME TOO!” And I don’t care what anyone thinks because I’m not doing this for them, I’m doing this for my family- Tory, myself, Bryan and Kennedy. My family and friends can either support me or not, that’s their choice. I’m simply here to share the opportunity with them, it’s their choice to take it or not.

Why? Would You Do This?

This is a silent question that I hear from the silence and unanswered texts from those that are close to me. I was told not to pre-judge people when I reach out to them, so why are they pre-judging me before actually listening to me, not just hearing me.

You really want to know why Stacy (I have too many friends named Karen)? I was getting worn out working 3 part-time jobs, going to school part-time and raising a family with my husband.

“Well, why you gotta work 3 part-time jobs for then?” (In the snarkiest voice you can imagine).


I’ll give you 4 reasons- two of which should need no explanation, but apparently they do-

  1. Bryan
  2. Kennedy 


Childcare, for those of you who haven’t looked into it recently, is EXPENSIVE! On a teacher salary…nearly impossible for two toddlers, 5 days of the week, 4 weeks of the month, 12 months of the year. I’d be paying more in childcare costs than I was making and the waitlist was a year and a half out! It’s like we had to put our children on the waitlist even before they were conceived!

I was tired of missing out on all of the big, little, maybe pointless to some, moments that Bryan and Kennedy were experiencing each day. As much as I loved being in the classroom, I was quickly realizing that as much as I loved my students as my own, it wasn’t the same and there were two babies at home  who completely had my heart.

I applaud the full-time working moms, it’s not easy!

I grew up watching my strong, dedicated, loving mom work full-time as an IT Analyst, raise two very strong-willed and busy daughters and go to school part-time to earn her Masters in Business Administration.

My favorite picture of my mom and I.

So you can see where I got my strength to pull off 3 part-time jobs, part-time school and raising a family… but this life and path were not for me! I’ve known from a very young age that when I became a mom, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m blessed to have been able to fall in love with someone who supports this dream.

Yes, we have been in quarantine, we haven’t been able to go to the store or get out of the house for a break and I’ve heard my name called about 100x before noon each day, but to say I haven’t loved each day at home with them, would be such a lie!

3. Something I worked hard to create

You remember saying my mom had two very strong-willed, busy daughters right? We grew up watching a woman that put 100% into everything she did- whether it was church, school board, school volunteer, her Master’s degree, work, etc.- you never saw less than everything she had in her to succeed. She got all A’s in her graduate school career while working full-time and raising two pre-teen daughters…well, except for the one class she made an A- in because she went on my 6th Grade camping trip, but hey, no one’s perfect right- she’s close!

What worked for my mom, doesn’t work for me. What works for other full-time working moms, doesn’t work for me. Every mother, heck, every person’s journey in this life is completely different from the next. So if someone wants to work a 9-to-5 job, by all means, go ahead, I’m not going to stop them! So why do they feel the need to insert all these opinions about my choice of work?

I’m proud of what I’ve worked hard to create and continue to work hard to build so that I can be present 100% of the time at home with my babies instead of trying to squeeze in hours of work into the late nights after my babies have gone to bed.

IMG_6086Before this quarantine, I was going to bed around midnight after I had clocked in some hours of work at the church and studied for classes. 2-3 days out of the week, I would wake up at 3:00 AM to be at work at the gym by 4:30 AM and working until at least 11:30 AM on most days so that I was only missing an hour of the day when my babies were up.

You can see how quickly I was wearing out, but that doesn’t seem to matter because people still felt they had a right to pass judgement on how I’m choosing to make a living to support my family. I’m building a business that allows me to be at home with my babies, but at the same time I’m still a partner with my husband to provide for our family.

4. A healthier life inside and out 

If I have shared with you this new adventure in my life, it’s because I thought that this IMG_6123opportunity could help you in your life or more importantly, I know how dedicated you are to living a healthier life.

Quite honestly, it’s just like shopping at your local health food store or makeup brand, instead you’re redirecting all your purchases to a “store” that provides healthier products for your skin and body. So it’s not about buying product you’ll never use for it to collect dust, it’s about replacing what your currently use with something better.

“When faced with an obstacle, a decided-heart finds a solution, an undecided-heart finds a way out.” -Cecilia Stoll

There will always be people in life ready to tear down you down because they believe that you should be living life the “correct” way or have an opinion for everything. It’s all a matter of how you take that negativity and use it, either as just an obstacle to overcome or a roadblock that you can’t get over.

My “why” will forever be my family and the only motivation I need to create a better life for them.


She Knew She Could…But She Didn’t

The champagne bottles popped and the fireworks lit up the sky. All the hopes and dreams were clear as day in my mind as I rang in 2017 as a newlywed and a soon-to-be mommy.

This was going to be my year! Things were going to go my way! I had a plan! …So did God. 

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” {Jeremiah 29:11}

Goodbye 2017…

There have been many times this year that I have questioned my ability to be a wife, a mother and a teacher. I’ve questioned if the path I was heading down was something I could handle {to be honest, most of the time, I did it alone, because I didn’t want my problems to be someone else’s burden to bear}.

I am no longer the person I entered 2017 as. Unfortunately, I’m ending 2017 as a woman who feels like she has less confidence in her ability to be a wife, a mother and a teacher because of everything that this year has thrown at me and the lack of support I’ve felt but wasn’t able to voice.

2017 was a year of obstacles, fights, financial obligations, new adventures {being a newlywed, becoming a mom and moving cross country} and so much confusion.

It was the year that honestly broke me…

She Knew She Could…

There have been so many times, more so this year than any other year in the past, that I’ve had to prove myself to others on my ability to do something because I was faced with nothing but doubt.

In the past, when this has happened I’ve been able to overlook all those who didn’t support me or those who questioned my decisions. I went down my path without caring what others thought or what others would say to me. I kept those as a motivation to prove them wrong and to show everyone I was capable of doing anything I set out to do.

Who said it’s impossible to tackle the first year of marriage, a newborn baby, a cross-country move and an acceptance into graduate school all in the first year and a half of life as a mother and wife?!

I was taught from a very young age that with some hard work, determination, dedication and faith, I’d be able to do anything I set my mind to do.

But She Didn’t…

I’m going to be honest. This year all of that went out the window! I questioned everything I did in the fear that it would end up disappointing someone in my life. Every move I made, I questioned if it was the right move.

Everyone said the first year of marriage was the toughest, but no one ever warns you about how tough it is when you have the first year of marriage, a newborn baby 4 months into marriage and a cross country move 7 months into marriage.

No one ever said how many times I would question my ability to be a wife or if I was doing my part. No one ever told me I would constantly be questioning my ability to be a mother.

There were days where I would be fully confident in the decisions I made for our son, but then come back around just seconds later with lecture after lecture about how I had my family too early or how I’m not raising my son correctly and that his growth is suffering because of it.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep questioning if I’ve done enough for my family or if the decisions that I’ve made or will make will affect them negatively in the future.

There are so many times a day that I look at my husband, my son, my students and wonder if I’m doing all that I can for them or if they’re happy, growing and learning.

My Plan vs. HIS Plan 

It may have been a hope of mine to be the perfect wife, mother and teacher…but who am I kidding?! NO ONE IS PERFECT!

It may have been a hope of mine to go back to school, because of an opportunity that was presented, but plans have obviously changed because the negatives seemed to have outweighed the positives {or the countless of lectures and negative reactions received}.

As I look back at 2017 as we come closer and closer to 2018, there have been countless times that my plans have not panned out the way that I had wanted them to and I’ve had to remind myself that my plan for my life is far less than the one that has been set out for me before I could even realize I had a plan.

2017 was full of a lot of breakdowns at home, work and even in the car. It’s at these hardest breakdown points that I have to remind myself that God’s plans for me may not be what I thought they would be and that I just have to accept things as they come and learn from them to become a better person, wife, mother and teacher.

Here’s hoping that as 2018 begins, it’s with a bigger heart, a more confident person and a bigger understanding that all things happen for a reason.