Mariah is a gorgeous mama who runs an incredible blog – Picking Daisies! She is a total girl boss who is out there hustling, even while she’s 9 months pregnant! We have so much in common and hit it off from the start. She is an inspiration to me in the blogging and social media world, and is an incredible friend who always lends an ear and a kind word. Read on to hear more about her journey, and go check out her blog to read more of her work!
What is your name?
So we met on Instagram, but with how much we have in common we could be besties!! It’s so funny! We both are moms, have our real estate license, and run a blog, just for starters. What kinds of things do you talk about over on Picking Daisies Blog, and how did you get your start with that?
Seriously! I am so grateful for the Instagram community who has connected me to besties like you! It is incredible the people you meet and see how much you have in common with. I am so grateful to have met you! I love watching your VLOGS and family grow. You are an inspiration girlie. Picking Daisies Blog started for me in May 2018 but didn’t launch until August 1st 2018. My Grandma who I was incredibly close too was passing away (We lost her June 13th 2018) and I was dealing emotionally with 4 miscarriages. Although I was making good money at my job, I was so unhappy with it. I just felt like I was so lost and I didn’t want to succumb to depression and self-pity so I decided to start a blog. It started as a huge mess. Picking Daisies is named after my dog Daisy who I want to open an Animal Sanctuary in honor of in the future. So at first that was my goal. But then I found a passion for just writing lifestyle blogs and connecting with women like yourself all over the United States. I quickly realized I wanted to use PD to empower others to live their best life, whatever that means to them. I wanted to write lifestyle blogs that either offered advice, introduced a new company or product they will love, or give a new perspective to life. My blog evolves almost daily and I am never done changing and tweaking things, and that’s okay.
I was featured over on your blog for a post you did on Rainbow Mamas, and I know you talk about motherhood and pregnancy a lot on your social media. I’m so excited for you to have your little girl!! It’s truly the best. When are you due, and what are you most looking forward to?
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are so strong to be able to stand up and represent what you have gone through. It truly gives strength to other women struggling in silence dealing with a similar situation. I am technically due Aug 22nd but I am being induced on Aug 15. However, I have been to labor and delivery 3 times this week and at 36 week already having contractions about 4-5minutes apart, 3.5cm dilated, and 75% effaced so we will see. I think this baby is coming early! I am most excited to just be a mom!! I fought so hard for this with our 5 losses, taking over 600 shots, countless hospital trips, and weekly doctor appointments. All I wanted was to have a little girl to have the bond my mom and I share and now it is all coming true! I am excited for holidays, crafts, and watching her grow.
How would you describe your journey with blogging and social media? What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?
My journey has been a bumpy but blessed one. I started in Aug 2018 and have grown so much over the last year I can’t even believe it! It changes CONSTANTLY and I am still to this day trying to find my rhythm. Some days I get overwhelmed and frustrated but what’s great about social media is you can change daily until you find something that works for you. My advice for someone starting out would be don’t give up, be consistent, and collaborate. When I say collab, I’m not talking about with companies but with other people just like you. Numbers don’t matter. If someone wants to do a cross-feature and they have 100 followers, well that’s 100 you weren’t reaching before. If you want to be successful, you have to put in the WORK. I am also learning I don’t want to be an influencer that just influences people on what to buy. I am finishing out some contracts I am and I am totally re-writing my social media strategy. I want to influence your mind, I want to empower you, I want you to leave my page feeling like you can accomplish something.
Another thing we have in common is that we’re Rae Dunn lovers!! What’s your most sought after piece right now, and what is your favorite one you own?
Ahh this changes daily. The favorite piece I own is probably my organic colander which I actually found in store! I also love alll the black everyday mugs!! But my favorite is the “love you more” mug I have in the nursery. My grandma and mine thing was “love you more” and I have it tattooed on my arm in her writing. So another Dunnie on Instagram found it for me and I love it so so much. Right now I think I am looking for Christmas. I am holding back on Halloween for another year since I won’t be decorating this year with a newborn but GIVE ME ALL THE CHRISTMAS!
Do you have any baby names you liked, but won’t be using? I always think this is such a funny thing to ask people because a lot of times husbands and wives don’t agree! Did you have a name picked out if Addyson ended up being a boy?
If Addyson was a boy he would have been named Addison haha. We got engaged in Chicago at Lincoln Park Zoo the day the Cubs turned around the World Series ultimately winning (we are huge Cubs fans) and Wriggly Field is on Addison and Clark. So Addison was our name either way. But when we found out she was a girl, my mom said why don’t you spell with a Y and we instantly loved it! Really we had no other names picked out haha and have talked about future boys but come to a blank. I love Rain but my husband is not a fan hahah.
Do you have any plans with your family after you give birth? Or are you looking forward to some time off to relax and settle into this new season?
My cousin from North Carolina is coming in Sept to see her but other than that we are taking things really slow. I asked only immediate family to come to the hospital and everyone else can schedule a time when we are home. I am the paranoid freak mom and fought so hard for her that I don’t feel like I owe it to anyone to rush them meeting her. Right now we are just in an adjustment period.
What has been the proudest you’ve felt, and the most challenged you have been?
This could be answered in a few ways. I think the proudest I have felt as a whole has been how I have handled this entire situation. When we got home from Italy and I had my doctors appointment learning about Factor V and the Lovenox injections, I was terrified. I thought I was going to die no joke. I started searching the #factorv and found so many near-death experiences I couldn’t even handle it. Then I had to overcome getting a shot daily. Then I ended up getting a blood clot in my eye while on blood thinners and I was so scared. I seriously didn’t think I was going to make it through even though it was so minor I didn’t get admitted. But it’s scary to hear what your body is capable of, what isn’t working, and what might happen. Then my shots got twice a day. But what I am most proud about from all of this is I allowed myself a few hours each time to feel the emotions and then I moved on. No one around me could say I wallowed in self-pity or felt sorry for myself. I sacked up and to this day have been stronger than I ever thought I could be. This has been the most challenging 9 months of my life and I can say I not only survived, but I thrived.
On a professional level, I felt the proudest when I got my real estate license. I get bored and start/quit new things all the time. And even though I never used my RE License but for one transaction, I was so freaking proud I accomplished it. It gave me the motivation and encouragement to start my blog and here we are a year later and I have been active on Instagram and blogging for almost 365 days now!
What have you learned from those triumphs and struggles?
I learned that mind over matter is real. I learned that I am so strong. I learned to love myself. I learned that I am capable of literally whatever I want in life.
How did those experiences shape you as a person?
I am not only more confident but I am not afraid. I don’t fear rejection professionally because for every “no” there are 10 that say yes. And with this pregnancy, I found that I can thrive during adversity. That I don’t lay down and die.
Has it affected the way you live your life today?
I am starting to truly appreciate life. I feel like now I am able to give myself reality checks as part as self-love and not self-destruction. I am able to be honest with myself and make the changes I need to. I am not afraid anymore and I have more coping skills than I ever thought possible. One thing I will mention that may be controversial is I used to smoke a lot of weed for anxiety. Honestly from the time I was 17 to 24 I smoked every single day and I truly believed that was the only thing that would help me get through crippling anxiety every day. I didn’t like the way anxiety meds made me feel so I turned to weed. Then I stopped the second I got pregnant and I was afraid that I would not be able to handle anxiety and the stresses of the world. But 9 months later, I learned I have found so many new skills to cope in life. I now know how to handle anxiety 100% medication free and I feel like I have been able to release the control it has on me.
What change would you like to see in the world?
As cheesy as it sounds, I see the world as my playground. I can manifest and bring forth anything I want in this world and I am 100% in control of who I am, how I handle situations, my success, and how I react. I am changing every day and I am so grateful for it. It is also teaching me empathy. Which I think I lacked for awhile. I used to feel like everything was a personal attack against me and now I am realizing people live crazy lives fighting battles we don’t often see. I am learning to relate not judge. To empathize and love.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
I think life is full of embarrassing moments and sometimes I will replay an interaction that I cringe over. I have to say though, I don’t get embarrassed. Instead, I think more I have situations I feel ashamed over the way I acted. It’s been hard my whole life to embarrass me I am the first one to make fun of myself and as a little girl loved attention haha. But there have been so many times in my life where I am embarrassed or ashamed over the way I treated someone and handled a situation. However, I use those as motivators to push me to never act a certain way again.
If you could meet one person dead or alive who would you choose?
This is hard!! I am a nerd!! I would love to sit down with Andrew Carnegie, Abraham Hicks, Miley Cyrus, and Abraham Lincoln. It’s all over the place but I feel like each of those people bring very different perspectives to life and I would be able to learn so much from them.
Food – Potatoes or Steak or Cheesecake haha
Coffee/ Drink Order – I drink black coffee at home but Starbucks is a Skinny Hot Cinnamon Dolce Latte (don’t judge)
Song of the Moment – Anything by Post Malone
Dessert – Cheesecake
TV Show – Big Brother, Friends, The Office, Parks and Rec
Color – PINK
Season – Christmas
Scent – Honestly I hate fragrance. Candles and scents give me headaches but a very mild vanilla or banana is prob my fav
Celebrity – Crushes? Zac Efron & Post Malone. Fav in general? Miley Cyrus, Amy Pohler, Rebelution Band, Mumford and Sons Band
Place to spend $$ – TJ Maxx or Marshalls honestly they literally have everything
IG Account(s) to follow – YOURS! @opps.I.dunn.it.again @panndunnie @thisjoyfulnest are some of my favorites!