Unrelated picture of my computer and the best apple loaf EVER from Starbucks. But slightly related because that's my computer and I like to have snacks while blogging. LOL.
The theme of this year was to do less, more often and I definitely feel like I've done that. I've done more where it counts (with my family) and I've done less where it counts (on this blog). This doesn't mean that I want to quit blogging (no how, no way!), but I do want to be more intentional and present in my "real life" vs my "online life", so to speak. Last year I was so focused on spending time reading blogs, commenting on blogs, and writing blog posts during every second of my spare time, that I think I missed out on a lot. I would stress myself out thinking about how I needed to post something everyday or how I had so many blogs to read and catch up on, that I would often fall asleep on the couch in front of my computer at night. And I don't want that for 2017. I DEFINITELY plan to continue blogging. I definitely plan to continue reading and commenting on my friend's blogs. But I'm just going to cut back a little. I don't really know what that means for me right now, but I do know that it means that if I feel like I want to go to bed at 8:01pm, right after Mason goes to bed at 8pm, then I will. I do know that it means that if I want to binge watch TGIT shows on Thursday nights instead of blog for Friday, then I will. I do know that if it means that I can spend extra time hanging out with my family and doing fun things on the weekend instead of creating a weekend recap for Monday, then I will. Basically, I don't want the blog to ever make me feel stressed and when it does, I need to take a step back and re-evaluate.
So, with that, I thought I'd do a little "My 5 W's of Blogging" today. A couple of blog friends did this a while back last year and I LOVED it and have actually been wanting to do one myself, so new year (can I still say that at the end of March? LOL), new post on who I blog about, what I blog about, where I blog, when I blog, and most importantly... WHY I blog.
Here we go!
WHO do I blog about?
Well this is an easy one! Mason, Seth, myself, and sometimes other family members depending on the situation. More generally -- my life.
WHAT do I blog about?
Mason. Our family life. Our weekends. Trips to Disneyland. Autism updates. Confessions. Stitch Fix. A Day in the Life. Recipes. Random things I'm loving. Day to day stuff. My love of Target and Starbucks. You name it, I've probably touched on it.
WHERE do I blog?
Sitting at my dining room/kitchen table or on the couch. I wish I had a designated space for my computer and my stuff, but at this point, I don't, so I blog where I'm most comfortable.
WHEN do I blog?
Whenever I have time! Which these days is not very often...
For a while, I was dropping Mason off at school and Seth was picking him up. I'd get off work around 3pm-ish and I'd get home and be alone for a good 2+ hours. It was amazing how much I could get done. Sadly, that hasn't been happening as much any more since I pick Mason up at least 2 days a week after school for ABA and sometimes more if he has an appointment or if it's Seth's Friday off. I don't mind and I'll happily do what's best and what's needed for my family, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the "me time" in the afternoon.
So, these days? I haven't really been blogging much. I've been opting for TV time after Mason goes to bed or, to be completely honest, I fall asleep around 9pm on the couch. Total glamorous life going on over here! The other night I made myself sit up (laying down on the couch is my biggest downfall, it's like instant sleep) and I got out my computer and I went through tons of posts I was behind on reading and tried to work on some of the 20 drafts I have going on. If I could just invent a couple more hours in my day, I'd be set. Or so I think. Ha!
WHY do I blog?
I've struggled with how to answer this one for a while, mainly because I don't want to offend anyone. So first, let me say, this answer is why I (just ME) blog. Secondly, blogging looks different for each person and that's TOTALLY fine! In fact, it's more than fine, I love it! It would be boring if all of our blogs looked and sounded the same.
That being said... I do not blog for money. Never have, never will. I have, however, done a few sponsored posts in the past, as well as promoted products that I've gotten for free. But, having said that, just doing the few posts that I've done, I don't really even like doing sponsored posts. I don't like the pressure of taking picture perfect photos and editing them and making sure you follow all the guidelines. I don't like the pressure of having to post on a specific day. I don't like how I feel fake when I do them. To me, the money wasn't worth it. And maybe it's because I just really don't have a lot of time to do all of that these days, but honestly, I'd much rather share my heart or what we've been up to than share something that someone else told me to do.
Blogging is not and never will be my source of income. Seth and I both have full time jobs and those are our sources of income. I never have and never will blog solely for money. If I'm being completely honest, this is when I stop reading most people's blogs and I do not want that for my blog.
Hear me out...
I created my blog way back in 2012 as a way for friends and family who live far away to be able to keep up with what my family is up to. My dad and step mom live in Northern California and don't get to see Mason nearly as often as Seth's parents. I wanted them to be able to see pictures of their grandson growing up and see what we're up to. I never in a MILLION years ever thought I'd blog or that I'd have anything to write about that people would want to read and really only expected them (family members) to read it. Slowly but surely my little blog began to grow and although it is still a very little blog, I have a good group of blogging friends that I enjoy reading their blogs and I think they enjoy mine. Slowly my blog began to grow and the things that I posted about slowly began to change. My voice always stayed the same, but the topics that I shared evolved.
And I LOVE it. The connections and relationships that I've made through blogging have been incredible.
THIS IS WHY I BLOG.
I blog to keep my friends and family informed on our life happenings and because of the relationships and genuine friendships that I've formed. And this is why I just can't quit you, blogging!
Call me nosy, but I love reading what my friends have been up to. People who don't blog probably think I'm crazy that I have such good friends that I've met on the internet and most of whom I've never met in person, but people who blog get it. I love hearing about what my blog friends have been up to. I love getting good recipe recommendations. I've found countless products (much to Seth's dismay) that are now my favorites. And the list goes on. I don't blog for money. I won't promote just any product just because someone paid me to do so. I'm not actively seeking collaborations. For every one email that I accept, there are five to ten that I say no to. (And these days I'm saying no to everything that's been coming my way.) I won't go five days straight posting sponsored post after sponsored post because someone paid me XYZ to promote their products and I just had to except every single sponsorship that came my way. I won't share a product that I've never used in real life except for an hour or two before taking some pictures. I won't forget about sharing my real life with my friends but instead hope they click/beg they click my link so I can get paid. That's not me. That's not who I am. Yes, I have shared about my LuLaRoe online pop up sale but I did that because I have and love their product. I paid my own money for their products and I want to share them with you. Yes, I did post an app for the iPad (back in January) that Mason uses because I knew it was something he'd genuinely use and like. He actively seeks out that app on his own, without my prompting. Yes, I have hosted an online trunk show for Stella and Dot... when a portion of the proceeds goes towards finding a cure for breast cancer... a cause that I have direct connection with and would love to find a cure for so nobody else has to lose their mother too young to the terrible disease.
Yes, you can scroll back on my blog and see a few sponsored posts that I've done. Heck, scroll back a couple months when I shared my Christmas cards. There definitely are some perks to blogging, I won't deny that, but my sole purpose in blogging is not to get free stuff, it's not to make money. And again, these posts are sprinkled in with my regular posts, maybe once a month. Maybe.
I don't mean to dwell on this, but it's something that I've been thinking about for a long time now. I understand that blogging is an income for some people and that's great! Seriously, I genuinely applaud those women for being able to be stay at home moms and support their families, BUT that's not me and I don't relate to that. I did a "sponsored" (got an item for free) post a couple weeks ago and even though Mason honestly, truthfully did LOVE it, I still felt so fake writing the post. There have been so many blogs that I used to love that have become purely sponsored that I've stopped reading. Same goes for blogs that seem to be trying to "strike at rich" with Pinterest fame. And it sucks! Because I genuinely used to love them, but now I feel like we have nothing in common since they're promoting this one day, that the next, something else the next and they seem to conflict with not only each other but how I know they are in real life. I just feel like I know nothing about the person anymore. I want real. I want real life. I want relatable. I want recipes you've really tried and loved. I want day in life posts. I want to hear about your weekend. I want to hear about products you bought on your own and truly love because you've used them more than once.
And that's what I try to portray here. My pictures aren't perfect. My house isn't the cleanest. I epically fail at most Pinterest projects that I try. But that's real life. And that's what you'll see here. I blog to blog. I blog because I like sharing my life with people. I blog because of the AMAZING relationships that I've formed. It's crazy. I never thought I could make such good friends by meeting them online and if you told me I would through blogging, maybe five or so years ago, I would have laughed. But it's true. And those of you who blog can probably relate. In fact, some of my best friends I met through blogging and we text DAILY. True story.
My #postofficeadventuresofmasonb photos on Instagram are some of my least "liked" photos. Will I stop posting them because I don't get as many "likes" on them as I do other pictures? NEVER. Because I love them and love the little project that I've started and love that special time that Mason and I get together. In fact, my updates on Mason on the blog are some of my lowest page views when I compare all my posts. Sad, but true. Will I stop posting updates about Mason? NEVER. This is my scrapbook. This is our family and I want these posts to look back on.
I might be a week behind on reading your posts. I might be 3 days behind on responding to emails. But when I do have a free minute to sit down and do it, I respond in a meaningful way because I really did read your post and I really do care that you took the time to comment on my post. I appreciate every single one of you who reads my blog. I wish more people would comment so we could make a connection. It just takes one comment and you never know what might happen.
At this point, I think I've started rambling on and I know everyone's time is precious and you're probably getting tired of hearing me talk, so I'll leave you with this...
I hope when you come to my blog and you read my posts, that you know that I really took the time and thought and effort into them. I care that you're here and I care that you read it. I love sharing our life and I love reading about yours. I love making new connections with people who can relate to what I'm sharing and I love keeping the old connections going. I will always blog to blog because I love the relationships that I've formed from it. I love the digital scrapbook that I'm making. I might not be the most popular or make any money or have the most page views, but to me, that doesn't matter.
For those of you that have made it this far, thank you! I truly appreciate you!