Packing Queen

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Tomorrow, I’m going to New York City for an entire week. A trip this long would typically mean lots of packing stress for me, but this time, things went a lot more smoothly.

Before I attempted to pack anything, I planned my outfits on paper, which worked out quite nicely. It really helped get my thoughts (aka outfits) in order. Otherwise, I’d pack a whole bunch of clothing and have “nothing to wear” when I got to my destination.

It may not look it, but the mess on my bed is actually somewhat organized!


So, all of this…


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Turned into a nice, neat suitcase in less than 30 minutes, thanks to a little pre-planning.

Woohoo! I’m a packing queen! 😆


I refuse to check luggage when I fly, but since I’m traveling by train to NYC, I decided to take my BIG suitcase for the week. Now, I have room for BlogHer swag! 😉


While I packed, the pug snoozed on Mal’s lap.


I swear, this dog can sleep just about anywhere.


And check out what came in the mail for me today: Larabars!!! But, not just any Larabars… the NEW flavors, including the carrot cake bar, which I’ve been dying to try! Thank you, Brittany and Andi! :mrgreen:


Of course, I immediately broke into the carrot cake Larabar. I loved it! 😀



I considered making a big, healthy salad for lunch, but leftover buffalo chicken pizza won me over. In my world: buffalo chicken pizza > salad.


After lunch, I broke into my Larabar stash once again and tried the Chocolate Chip Cookie flavor. Everyone has been raving about it lately, so I was curious to try it for myself.

All I have to say is oh my. This bar really, truly tastes like cookie dough. I will be buying a lot more of these in the future.


Answers to Your Questions

I loved reading everyone’s stories about quitting their jobs. Quite a few of you had inspiring stories that led to bigger and better things. So cool! 😀

Here are my responses to your questions from this morning:

When you were researching, did you come across any jobs in the field that don’t require an RD or Nutrition degree? If so, could you please give me some examples?

I’m not an RD and I don’t have a Nutrition degree, so I didn’t consider jobs that required either of these qualifications. Instead, I looked for marketing and social media jobs in the health and fitness fields.

When did you notice people starting to take your blog seriously (as in career-wise)?

I’m not really sure, but I started to take my blog more seriously about a year into writing it. I really enjoyed blogging and my readership continued to grow every month, so I started to see a future career in blogging.

How did you go about writing articles for various websites?

Most websites contact me to write pieces for them and I rarely turn down an opportunity to get my name out there. I do a lot of writing for free!

My gig with Health was 100% luck and good timing! I emailed Health to inquire about some freelance work and, at the same time, they were looking for someone, who lost weight and maintained it, to contribute to their Feel Great Weight program. A few of the Health editors were readers of my blog, so I think that helped too!

Do you earn money primarily off website ads? Writing articles for NuVal? Or are there other tricks of the trade?

I have multiple sources of income. My full-time job is blogging for Carrots ”˜N’ Cake, which is part of the Foodbuzz community. I earn money as a Featured Publisher by displaying Foodbuzz ads on the main page of my blog. I also write another blog called Trading Up Downtown for NuVal. In addition, I write a weekly feature for as part of their Feel Great Weight program and I promote events online and via social media for a local fine wines company.

As far as tricks of the trade, my best advice is to work your connections and don’t turn down opportunities to get your name out there. You never know where you might find your next gig!

I know bloggers never want to say how much money they make, but I really want to know if you can get to a point that it really is a good source of money?  And how much can I expect to make? Are we talking $100 or $1000 or what?

Blogging can definitely be a good source of money. I’m not comfortable revealing any specific numbers, but I make enough money to live comfortably. I’m also really good with money and know how to stretch a dollar, so it works for me.

If you weren’t married, would you be able to make it all work – pay rent, all your bills, etc.? Could you do what you’re doing know without another income coming in?

Yes, absolutely. Mal doesn’t financially support me in any way. We split all of our financial responsibilities 50/50. Of course, if one of us lost our job or couldn’t work, things would change. When I quit my full-time job, I made sure that my blog and various part-time gigs were enough to support myself.



  1. I always make a travel list before actually packing; it saves so much time and you can plan what things might work together in a pinch.

    There is a widget for Mac that facilitates the travel list; I use it constantly for work!

  2. You’re packing job looks great! Somehow, even though I’m fairly organized in daily life when it comes to packing I struggle. I also end up making a packing list. It always resembles previous packing lists so I wonder why I just don’t write up one master list and save it on my pc. I think it’s because making a list is part of the build up to the trip and I love exciting build-ups!

    P.S. I can’t wait to try the carrot cake Larabar and the cookie dough one doesn’t look too bad either. 😉 Now I just have to hunt some down.

  3. This was a helpful post. I left my full-time job about two months ago to start up an activism non-profit, and personally, to focus more on creative writing and blogging. Occasionally it’s good to hear that decisions like this can be practical, in the long run, if you put the energy into making them happen!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I will take that advice on my next trip of planning out my outfits ahead of time instead of throwing in key pieces.

  5. I always find packing more fun than unpacking. 🙂 Maybe I should try planning my outfits on paper like you do?
    Those Larabars look SO GOOD, especially the carrot cake one! I’ve been looking for them everywhere.

  6. I really was not impressed by the new larabar flavors, but I still haven’t been able to find the carrot cake anywhere. And you have to try that Chocolove toffee and almonds bar that I spy in the picture…it is my favorite chocolate ever (although I might be biased because it is made locally in Boulder, CO:)

  7. Maybe you could do a post on budgeting!! I am really bad at it and would like to find some tips!! 🙂

  8. Way to pack! I always find that planning outfits is ESSENTIAL to successful packing. I don’t always follow my own advice, but it’s worth aspiring to!

    I’m dying to try those Larabars!! Cookie Dough looks incredible.

  9. I love the tast of the chocolate chip cookie Larabar, but they are SO chewy! I haven’t tried the Peanut Butter Choc Chip yet and I can’t wait to try Carrot Cake. I found the flavors at Nugget Markets, for those of you in Northern CA.

  10. Tina,
    What about other forms of advertising? I see people mention google Adwords and Adsense…but it seems like you have to pay activation fees, etc…do you know legitimate and easy-to-use things that could legitimately help someone earn extra cash from home?

  11. Yay for being a packing pro now!!!

    Those larabars rock! I need to find th ecarrot cake one!

    Love the Q& A’s , learned so much from reading it, and it’s amazing how you started, and I only wish more success for you!

  12. I always plan my outfits on paper. When I move back to college I always plan the number of things going. Like number of sweatshirts (this year its going to be 4), tshirts (only 12, due to me probably getting 20 more over the school year) and so on.

    I really loved your q&a! Very interesting!

  13. Hi Tina! I haven’t been able to read your blog for a couple of days and had to smile when I read about how you enjoyed reading everyone’s responses to quitting their jobs. The reason? I quit my job today!! How ironic huh!? 🙂 I had been miserable for well over a year and finally worked up enough courage to leave. I had a stressful job that paid really well, but sucked the life out of me. Leaving was hands down the best thing I have done for myself! I will be pursuing self-employment and can’t wait! Now I just need to find your Q&A post so I can read the other stories 🙂 Have a great time in NYC and thanks for this post!

  14. Thank you for answering these questions – I find it really interesting, even though I’m about a billion eyars from being able to make life choices like that! (Just about the start a PhD…) You really are inspirational.

  15. That’s really cool that you support yourself. Do you ever plan to ‘share’ money will Mal, or do you always see yourself managing your own money?

    Do you also get paid for T.U.D. because I don’t see any ads (Foodbuzz) on it?

    You are my inspiration. I hate it when people make fun of me for blogging — they just don’t know ; ) You go, girl!

  16. I love Larabars!! I can’t wait to find the Carrot one and Cookie dough! YUM! I recently tried the Coconut Cashew and it was fabulous.

  17. Great info Tina! I definitely need to work on my packing skills. Right now, I’d probably get a D if I was graded on it! Packing for the HLS will be interesting. I’m so excited to go though!! Thanks for sharing about blogging for a living. I’m always interested in learning more, as I’m getting my own blog going.

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