Reviewing the Bando Goody Bag: Is It Worth It?

Reviewing the Bando Goody Bag: Is It Worth It?

Cue Britney Spears, “Opps!…I Did It Again.”

I just can’t resist Bando‘s annual warehouse sale. This is when Bando releases their mystery Goody Bags for purchase. During the last sale, I bought one and reviewed it on this blog. I figured it would be fun for all of us to unbox another one together.

The first thing that I reached out of the mystery bag were these carryall bags. They make a really cute pair, and I know that they will come in handy. My desk needs a bit of organizational help at the moment, so these bags will be great to hold cords, pens, pencils, and other supplies.

Second, I got this disposable camera bag tag. It’s super cute and has a little message on it that reads, “look forward, not back.” I think this will go perfectly on my new camera bag!

Next, I discovered this little wallet. It was originally from the Benefit and Bando collaboration. I love the colors, and I am excited to organize my wristlet with it.

The fourth thing that I discovered was this adorable travel mug. It reads “forever busy” in bold lettering. I believe you can never have enough coffee mugs or travel mugs.

Next, I pulled out this 17-month planner. While I already have my personal planner for the year, I have debated getting another one specifically for content planning. It’s like Bando knew just what I needed.

Lastly, I received this smiley wine stopper. This may motivate me to buy wines that are not just screw tops…

Overall, I am happy with everything that I received! Also, I can confirm that I got my money’s worth.

I paid about $30 in total for my Goody Bag with tax and shipping. The value of what I received was over $65. There were a couple of items that didn’t have price tags, so I didn’t account for them in my total.

I would recommend taking advantage of this deal if you are a fan of Bando like me or just want some cute and usable items. I will most likely be purchasing the Goody Bag again!

Have you ever bought a mystery bag? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Let’s chat!

Start Your Own Show: FAQ’s About Podcasting

Start Your Own Show: FAQ’s About Podcasting

As you may already know, I host the lifestyle podcast Megan Till Midnight. I originally created it in January 2020, but the podcast has rebranded and grown a lot since then. Through my experience hosting and producing Megan Till Midnight, I have learned so much about the world of podcasting. Honestly, I am still learning more and more from each new episode I create.

Every so often, I receive dm’s from prospective podcasters who have many of the same questions I had in the beginning. There really is a lot to navigate when it comes to the equipment needed, podcast hosting, and branding.

To share my advice beyond the dm’s, I decided to compile some of my *most* frequently asked questions on here. This is by no means a complete guide; I could literally go on for pages. But, I believe this Q&A will provide you with some useful information and insight. If you ever wanted to start a podcast, here’s your sign to do it!

Q: What kind of mic should I use? Do I need one?

A: I would recommend investing in a mic if you are committed to starting your own podcast. But, I understand a mic isn’t always in the budget. I know many people that have started podcasting from their phones or laptops. If you have something to say and a want to create, don’t let resources stop you.

Personally, I decided to save up and get a Blue Yeti. I have used it for every Megan Till Midnight episode, and I love it. If you are in the market for a mic, definitely check it out. I got mine from Target, but many other retailers sell Blue products too.

Q: How do I record my podcast?

A: There are a few different programs you can use. If you are recording on a MacBook, you can use GarageBand. It’s free and pretty easy to use. If you are willing to pay, I would recommend using Adobe Audition. There are more features and it can enhance the sound of your audio.

Q: Should I edit my podcast?

A: The first podcast I ever did was unedited. My podcast now is edited. I can see the pros and cons of each. It really is up to you. Here are some things to consider: 1) what is your show’s brand and 2) how do you want your audience to experience the show.

Q: Where and how can I upload my podcast?

A: Anchor is where I host my podcast. You can create an account with Anchor (for free) to start your podcast. Then you can upload your audio to create and publish episodes. Anchor will automatically distribute your show to places like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

There are some paid hosting/distribution services out there too. I do not have any personal experience with them, but I remember checking out sites like Podbean and Buzzsprout in the past. Based on my personal research, Anchor turned out to be the best fit for me. It’s what I would recommend.

Q: Where can I get intro songs/show music?

A: If you decide to host your podcast with Anchor, you get access to a library of various tunes and sound effects to choose from (for free!).

Another option is getting permission from artists you like to use their beats or songs. I’ve heard of podcasters collaborating with musicians on SoundCloud to get show tunes. In these situations, make sure to hold on to written consent and give the artist credit in your show notes. You can always purchase custom beats too!

Q: Should I have guests on my podcast? How do I “book” them?

A: “Should you” depends on what you want your podcast’s format to be. Do you want to host alone? Do you want to conduct interviews? Do you want to have a mix of both?

To get guests on the podcast, I typically reach out to people via email or dm. The worst someone can say is “no”, so why not give it a shot? I have also had prospective guests dm me. Some guests even end up on the podcast because of word-of-mouth. There are lots of different ways you can get in contact with guests; stay open to networking!

Q: How can I record remote interviews?

A: Zoom is my go-to for remote interviews, but I have also used Google Hangouts before.

If you pay for Zoom, you can schedule hour long calls and have Zoom record the audio for you. Then you can take the audio file and drop it into the program you edit with.

If you use a free service, like Google Hangouts, you can have GarageBand or Adobe Audition recording in the background of your call.

Q: How can I make graphics/cover art?

A: Canva is great to create anything and everything that you need for your podcast. They have so many different templates, texts, and images that you can use to make your own graphics/cover art for free.

However, you can go the paid route. There are quite a few graphic designers on Instagram that take commissions. I would recommend checking out @sketched.by.sophia. She did the drawing below for me, and she has also created cover art for other podcast hosts.

Q: Should I create an Instagram page for my podcast?

A: I would encourage you to! It’s like a mood board for your brand. Also, using Instagram is a great way to gain exposure for your podcast and network. I have had so many discussions with potential guests, other podcast hosts, and listeners on the platform. I feel like without my Megan Till Midnight Instagram, it would’ve been harder to build a community around the show.

Anymore Q’s?

If there is anything else you would like to know, feel free to comment or message me on Instagram. I’m happy to continue the convo! Who knows, your question might even be featured on an upcoming Q&A blog.

Let’s Get Social: Instagram Story Templates

Let’s Get Social: Instagram Story Templates

Recently, I have been loving all the creative gif challenges and templates being shared on Instagram stories. I can tell that my Insta community has been loving them too! It is such a fun way to get to know others on the platform. Also, it’s a simple way to create engaging content.

I’ve created a series of gif check-ins, schedule templates, and some *bonus* phone wallpapers to share with you all. I hope they encourage you to get social on your social media.

Here are the first couple… The “Sunday Gif Check-In” offers a way for you to reflect and goal set. The “My Quar In Gifs” offers an easy way to create fun and relatable content in your Instagram stories.

These next two templates are perfect for sharing your weekend with your community. You can type out your to-dos to keep accountable. If you are a content creator yourself, you can type out what posts your audience can expect. You can also just type out what show you’re binging; you never know who might take the recommendation!

“Recap of My Week In Gifs” is another template that is perfect for some reflection. “Creators I Love” is a template that allows you to shoutout some of your favorites! It is so cool the interactions I have had with people after tagging them in an Insta story.

And lastly, here are some *bonus* wallpapers! Everybody needs a cute inspiring quote, right? Feel free to share these on your Insta stories too!

Tag me @Megan.Roshak if you post; I would love to see the templates in action!

A Woman You Should Know: Jacqueline Susann

A Woman You Should Know: Jacqueline Susann

She was the first author to have back-to-back-to-back novels on the New York Times Bestsellers list. She was acknowledged as the first “brand-name” novelist. She even created the foundation for current book tours. Jacqueline Susann accomplished so much in her lifetime and established herself as a voice of the 60’s. Honestly, as a culture, we should be talking about her more.

You may have heard of her novel, Valley of the Dolls. After all, it is one of the best-selling works in publishing history. Not to mention, the film adaptation of the novel featured the iconic Sharon Tate. Interestingly, Jacqueline did not like the movie, even though it has been coined a “cult classic.” The director took a lot of creative liberties that ultimately created a story other than the original. Jacqueline’s plot remains favored by the masses. It has been over 50 years since publication and copies still sell (31 million and counting).

The novels that followed Valley of the Dolls were The Love Machine and Once is Not Enough (in that order). These hit the #1 spot as well. But, even with the high success of her later works, her favorite work was one of her earliest. It was titled Every Night, Josephine!. The book chronicled stories of her and her poodle. The book tours for this piece would’ve been something to see. Jacqueline took Josephine along for meet and greets; reportedly, they sported *adorable* matching outfits.

The way Jacqueline promoted her novels was extremely unique at the time. Many authors back then had their nose to their typewriter and let the book fend for itself in the market. Jacqueline, on the other hand, did not shy away from radio or television appearances to open up conversations about her work. Her earlier days as an actress helped her to be comfortable in front of the spotlight. Jacqueline explained her novel marketing simply: “A new book is just like any new product, like a detergent. You have to acquaint people with it. They have to know it’s there.”

Between novels, Jacqueline was growing as a personality and voice. Many saw her and her main characters as one in the same. Critics could be brutal as well as interviewers. Her confidence and eloquent confrontation battled right back. Often she is described as “sassy and entertaining”; I think there is truth to that after watching archived interviews.

If you see just a snippet, you can get a sense of her strength, her confidence, and her overall energy. To add to the context, during the time of this interview Jacqueline was fighting breast cancer and had been for years. She was very aware of her own mortality.

Near the end, the interviewer asked her “what would you do if you only had six weeks to live?”. She answered, “it wouldn’t only be six weeks”; she would prove to God why he should give her twelve.

I have no doubt that she ensured he listened.

Rest In Peace. Jacqueline Susann, 1918-1974.

I Got a $20 Bando Goody (Mystery) Bag, Here’s the Tea…

I Got a $20 Bando Goody (Mystery) Bag, Here’s the Tea…

Bando is a brand specializing in stationary, coffee mugs, and other cute products. I absolutely adore the items and designs they come out with. I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw an ad I just couldn’t pass up. It was a mystery grab bag from Bando. Just twenty bucks for some new desk eye candy? I was sold instantly.

My Goodies

Soon after ordering, a Bando package showed up at my door. I opened up the box to discover a pink print inside and the glossy, white bag from the ad. “Good Things Await” was a slogan that did not disappoint. The following are the items I un-boxed (or you could say, “un-bagged”?)…

Hot Stuff Coffee Traveler $15
aka
the new, eco friendly companion of my coffee runs
Forever Busy Pencil Pouch $14
aka
what I tell people when I don’t want to do something
Write On Pencils $10
aka
what I will write all my plots with
Get It Together Paper Clips $10
aka
what I am currently doing with my life
It Will All Work Out Notebooks $15
aka
what I am writing my resolutions in
Chill Out Popsicle Molds $10
aka
thinking of all the cute summer treats I’ll make

So, Was it Worth it?

As you may imagine, my answer is yes. The combined value of the items was $74 (way over the $20 I paid)! So, coin wise the goody bag was very worth it. I would also argue aesthetic wise the bag was on point. I love each item I received, and I will be using every item.

Mystery boxes and bags can be a gamble. This is one, I am happy I rolled the dice on.