Rockstars at the Healthy Living Summit last year. SUCH a great decision to go & meet so many amazing people! (*pic taken from the HLS website here.)

I accidentally fell into the world of social media as I was starting my career in Washington, DC six years ago. I was on the Facebook bandwagon from day 1 in 2004 when it came to Indiana University — one of the first schools to utilize it.

In 2005, I began my first blog on and though I wasn’t a total novice with no idea what I was doing, it would soon lead me to greater places. I signed on to Twitter in the very beginning as well, which has been helpful ever since. In fact, having started so early with Twitter, I’ve been able to build up a huge following and use it to my advantage!

Back when I started my communications career in DC as an intern

Now, I’ve been working in some capacity with social and new media for years and I love it but recently felt like I have gotten lazy about learning new things. To be honest, when I began this helalthy living blog, my interest was re-invigorated as I explored an entirely new plain of the internet. I wanted to showcase my personal blog and connect with others in this community.

Tweeting and blogging away at a political conference 2007!

I had been plugged into the political blogosphere and online world for a long time but fitness/food/healthy living communities were entirely foreign.

One person who really helped whet my appetite for new learning was — no surprise to many of you — Katy Widrick. I was lucky enough to meet Katy just a week after discovering her and have been learning from New Tool posts and other insightful words on social media, blogging, advertising and more.

One blogger everyone should be reading daily! Thanks for your great posts, Katy!

I also began reading books, the first being Groundswell — which has really helped me envision how I want to tackle things in a professional fashion at my job. For Christmas, my Dad bought me a book called “Branding Yourself.” I’m only four chapters in but it has been full of inspiration for me thus far. Though many of the subjects the authors tackle are familiar, I’m trying to look at things from a fresh perspective.

One of the important things that stuck out to me this weekend was this little tip: You should spend most of your time online on other people’s websites. You should spend a significant amount of time promoting others — which includes linking, commenting on their posts and creating a general positive camaraderie in your industry of influence.

I began this blog as a result of my love for other bloggers and I do not spend nearly enough time sending you all my love. Everyday, I scroll through a tightly packed Google reader (100+ blogs, no joke) and find joy, sadness, relability, inspiration, fun and encouragement. A little peak? (This is just ONE section!)

I’d like to share with you some of my favorites to read on a daily basis but please know this: I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite! I feel there are SO many that I am missing and well, I’d love to hear about yours or your suggestions for must reads on the Google!

I do realize many of my favorites are already really popular but that’s why I’m asking you for suggestions. I WANT to help promote smaller — yet awesome — blogs (err, nothing like myself of course….). This is by NO means even half of the blogs I regularly visit so stay tuned for another installment of my favorites coming soon!

So anyway, here are a few ladies that make me smile each day: 

QUESTION TIME: If you are reading this post and you are a blogger, please leave your blog address so I can visit it! What are YOUR favorite blogs? What are some must reads that I might not know about? Everyday I find hidden gems — what are yours? Let’s spread the love and pay it forward!
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