Friday, January 24, 2014

Hodge Podge of Updates

In my blogging heyday [I use that term lightly!] I used to always wait until I had a pretty "after" shot or well-documented photos of the "process" before I dare shared any updates. But in the beginning, before Pinterest [gasp!], my pictures were crazy bad. I mean, I don't know what I'm doing now, but take a look at my archives and you'll be lol-ing for awhile. I promise.  

I had no idea when I first started this blog years ago that my DIY tutorials would be pinned thousands of times with my crappy pictures! But you know what? So what! It's silly for me to worry about that.  My day job, that helps to put food on our table and keep our little household running, is teaching.  

I blog for fun. I had to laugh the other day when a student asked me, "What's a blog and why would anyone have one?" Haha.  

Yes, I've had so many fun things happen because of this blog that I would have never anticipated, but in no way shape or form, have I "made it".  

And, I'm glad I haven't.  The pressure seems insane and cut-throat.  And there seems to be too many dang rules to follow.  For example...

Your pictures have to always be magazine worthy and you can only have two fonts on their descriptions. You must post at least 5 times a week. If you Instagram make sure to only Instagram sparingly. And don't be a nuisance. If you do a giveaway only do them once a month. Don't get too personal, but yet don't be too vague.  Blah-blah-blah-blah... 

Oh, and let's not forget the sneaky posts with affiliate links littered throughout...THOSE are the worst. You are no better than a celebrity endorsing makeup or haircare who you know never uses that stuff. It's dishonest AND misleading.  

Ugh.  It's all super annoying.

I miss bloggers who blogged because they wanted to keep a journal for themselves and their families and genuinely share their DIY successes and failures with us, enlighten us with their experiences, and brag on their fun times.  My favorite product of blogging has been getting to be real life friends with some of my favorite bloggers who are still like this -> true to themselves, funny, witty, honest, chill, all of whom break those stupid "rules" I mentioned above. 

But, if I'm being honest, I can't stand the bloggers who are trying so dang hard to be famous. To be the next Youngsters. To be the next whomever. Their "trying too hard" gives me second hand embarrassment.  You know, when you're watching a show on TV or at a talent show and someone is singing because they think they are awesome when in reality it's just all too much.  That's what I'm talking about.  

Wow, I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant--haha! It's just that after reading this blog post from my soulmate momma-friend, Janice, and this post from my sassy friend, Terri, it all just hit home.  

So here we are, nowhere near finished with our spaces and places in this home, but I'm going to share what we have going on now anyway. For me. For my memories years down the road. And for my real-life friends & blog friends who take an interest in my little life.  

Phew.  That feels good. 

Let's do it, shall we? 

Recently we added some new stuff to our entryway! My awesome father-in-law rewired this light from Urban Outfitters to be hard wired and then hung it for me as well. I love it's shape and it's so much better than the light that was there before. 

I'm not convinced I love the styling of my entryway table but it's ok for now.  

I really did just take some random stuff out of some boxes and place it there after we moved. I should probably just start fresh but like I said, it works for now!

We also printed off some IG pics at Walgreens via their app [so easy!] and placed them in a heart shape on the wall with some painter's tape. 

It's been up for a couple weeks now and nothing has budged. It was a cheap and easy way to bring in some personal photos! I really want a long bench to go on this wall but haven't found anything in my price range that I love. I think it's going to be a DIY for my father-in-law if I can twist his arm.

Then, finally, I scooped up this little cookie jar at World Market the other day for $6. She is so cute on our countertop.

Our stove recently went kaput so now we're on the hunt for a newer one. And of course, we want all new matching appliance to go with it.  When can I win the lottery?! Ha!

So that's it for now. But I'll be sharing more soon. We're doing a staircase remodel and when I take some pics, I"ll let you in on all the deets!

Have a happy Friday and sweet weekend, guys!



Sabrina said...

I love what you said about bloggers. I miss when bloggers blogged, and it wasn't a competition, it was just honest, fun, writing. There was a point a few years ago that I got really wrapped up in trying to have the best blog, with lots of followers and comments. It was very overwhelming because there was always someone else with better pictures, nicer house, better recipes, better projects... etc. Now I just blog for fun, once in awhile and it's usually about my kids. I'm glad you are blogging more, because I've always really enjoyed your blog.

LifeBegins@Thirty said...

Lady - you KNOW I hear ya :-) Honestly - I was being tame in my post. My real post would have delved very, very deep into what I think has gone wrong in blog-land lately. Starting with the bullshit magazine language "adding just a touch of whimsy and an unexpected POP" crap. UGH.

Blogging about something JUST because someone gave you something/paid you. That is getting old. Fine - you are working on a project and someone throws in some paint? A rug? No biggie (as long as you are upfront about it). But doing a basement reno because it is sponsored? No bueno.

Bloggers now have professional photographers, sponsored content, product placement and affiliate links. Edited photos with pin-able phrases on them (I even tried doing that once!) Bloggers are approached regularly to attend promotional events or to even become spokespeople for brands (ever wonder how some bloggers end up with FANTASTIC photos of their entire family using a particular item/stroller/eating particular foods, etc?). It is crazy-town. It is SLICK. Everything seems so produced.

And I will never be that (nor do I want to be). I'm glad you feel the same way Joi. Because MY blog-land wouldn't be the same without you!!

And to end this long, long rant, I wanted to say your entryway looks insanely good. That table is awesome and with that art above it? Oh ya...that'll do :-)

Rebecca | the lil house that could said...

I love you.

I somehow didn't find you in my blogging "hey day", but only when I saw you had a son the same age as mine and the same stroller on instagram. Clearly, that meant we were the same :)

You and a handful of other people I found through instagram have inspired me to not shut down my blog because I can't/won't do those things. I have always tried to remain as honest as possible with my blogging and sometimes, when no one else is, it's hard to stay motivated. I no longer look at stats or pins, I don't keep a schedule or even carry around my big camera. When I want to blog, I blog. Thank you for letting me know that that is perfectly okay.

Meg@OliverandRust said...

I couldn't have agreed more! I love blogging, would love for it to be my job but that isn't realistic. I don't have time to join in the 55 parties a week or keep a steady schedule with writing. I have been unfollowing blogs as of late unfortunately because of the sheer amount of sponsored posts and no content. I like sponsored posts that introduce you to great companies but when a home decor blog is reviewing granola bars it gets a little much! Love your kitchen faucet btw

Emily @ DavenportDIY said...

Thank you for this post. I've fallen off the blogging wagon lately because I feel that pressure- the need to be the best- and I'm not. And I should realize that's OK!! My photos aren't great- but I work full time, have a 1 year old and a life outside of work. I like blogging and I like the people I've met through blogging! I need to take some pressure off myself and just blog because I want to! And it doesn't have to be pinterest-pretty! :) Love reading your blog and seeing all your house photos and cute pics of T! :)

CT@Living Analog said...

I love the little updates. Any in-betweens or durings are like a little peek behind the red curtain - always interesting (to me at least. Plus what you have achieved with your new house in such a short time frame is incredible! I'm happy to have blogged "just for me" because now that we have moved from St. Louis to Phoenix, I have so many in-process and random pictures from our old house that I can look back on and smile. Cheers - CT

Unknown said...

You touched on so many great points about blogging now vs. a few years ago...its changed and I laughed out loud about bad pics in the archives are full of bad pics! lol I'm still learning as I go and still blogging just for me and to share what's going on in my family's world ~ I love decor and making our home a 'home' lol

Just keep doing what your doing and I'll keep reading :)

Amanda @ Heart Tree Home said...

This looks so great! Would love to know the source of the floor lamp and table!

TLF said...

Love this post.. Love your blog (been following for forever and a day!).. Love what you stand for!
And I saw that heart picture collage on your IG, I think and totally plan to copy for my daughters room.. so freakin cute!!

the millers said...

this is why you're awesome. i'm not a blogger, but love following along. i've been following for 5-6 years and it's been fun getting inspired and seeing little peeks into people's lives. over the past year, blogging has taken a awkward turn to sponsored posts and a generic quality that is just...not fun. the number of blogs i follow has definitely decreased for this reason.

i love instagram as a little online memory book for our family. it's fun to take pretty pictures and document the everyday. and the instant gratificiation piece is of course lovely. but that's all it is to me - a fun place to connect with others and share some photos. not a place to stage your life and create a brand. love that you (and a few other bloggers in your circle!) haven't fallen into the hype.

keep on keepin' it real! go joi!

Emily @ imperfect said...

Lol, oh the affiliate links. My pet peeve. I love your entryway, I think it looks great! I feel like blogging's falling apart for those of us who aren't trying to make it - no one comments, if it's not pinterest worthy, why bother? I still just like to write...but it's feeling less and less rewarding. I was always in it for the community, and that's gone away it seems.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I guess I struggle with this myself because I feel like I can see both sides of the sponsored content conundrum. And geez, I hope it's not me you are talking about, because I certainly feel lucky to have sponsored content and ads. But I always try to be really up-front. And I guess my feel on it is that if it's possible to get sponsored content, it only helps my family, my pocketbook and my home.

With that said - I guess what I struggle with is that there are bloggers out there creating great stuff that inspires me. Do I get annoyed sometimes with the abundance of sponsored content that is seemingly irrelevant? Sure. But, I can't judge anyone for wanting to make a few bucks. And I can skip over it or stop following. I mean, we all have to work.

But, I'm not looking to be famous or get rich. And I still consider my blog a personal thing. Which is why I blog about whatever I want, even if I know that no one will care or no one will pin it. (GASP? HOW SHALL I LIVE.) But that doesn't mean I don't feel lucky when something is popular or gets pinned. And I"m not above self-promoting myself.

That was a novel. And I hope it didn't come across wrong. I guess I can just see both sides of the blog beast.

Also - I love all your projects. I've been reading you for a long time and regardless of your feel for the photo quality, you've always inspired me.

LOVE your new light fixture. It's really lovely. And I want to copy your kitchen completely down to the cabinet paint color. Is that weird? Or flattering?

Cori Wren said...

All SOOOOO true. Thanks for being real. That's why everyone loves you. And, that cookie jar? That was made for you! I love your blog and IG- don't stop the pictures!

Ann + Robert said...

Love this post! I appreciate that you are so real and also I've always really clicked with your style, somewhat similar to mine but obviously still your own. Thanks for blogging!

Lovely Little Nest said...

Your home is GORGEOUS! You have such a great eye for style, don't be shy about sharing these "imperfect" photos - they're lovely! :)

Myssie@PendletonMarket said...

Love this post. I just recently started to blog about our home and my thrifting finds but to be honest...I was really scared to start. It is all so intimidating. I just like to read blogs, I like to decorate my house and I like to buy awesome stuff at Goodwill...I thought that I should start blogging! LOL Thanks for keeping it real!! And I love the light in the entry way!

Mityn said...

Your heart photo wall has inspired me! I have 0 (yes, zero) photos of my daughter in my home (ok, there is one on the fridge), and she is 14 months old! Come on already! There is an empty wall in my front hallway that is just calling for decoration like this. Thanks!

Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor said...

Love this post! I honestly see soooo many bloggers that start out authentic and genuine and interesting and then all of a sudden 3 out of their 5 posts on a week are sponsored, the content is crap, and their style has completely changed. Its so disheartening. I refuse to post just to post. I never want to become THAT blogger and I hope someone would call me out on it if it came to that point. My friend Katrina referred your blog to me and I love it. Its truly refreshing.

AviLynn said...

I've left several of my old favorite bloggers in the dust. "Frog Tap Friday" anyone? Or a baby play yard, Wildtree food, mental health pills? I just can't deal. People I used to find inspiring & interesting have lost me along the way just trying to make a buck. It's almost insulting. It's refreshing to hear another blogger feel the same. Thank you for being authentic!

Freckles Chick said...

I already texted you about how much I love this. YES TO ALL OF THIS!!! I do think there's a wave of rebellion wafting thru blogland now, much to my delight. People are wanting to cut thru the B.S. & get back to genuine, real blogging.

I know we've done our fair share of giveaways & sponsored posts over the years, but what I've loved & will continue to love about you is how you're real & genuine. Not out to make a buck. Not out to get tons of IG followers, etc (though that just happens naturally for you). You're a rare breed of blogger: stay true, be you.

And because of this staying real & not straying from it, when this whole terribly commercial trend of blogging that so many other bloggers are doing runs its course, YOU will still have loyal readers/fans. Which is more than I can say for those other bloggers.

Oh and I LOVE the new foyer light & IG heart display. Are there any cookies in that cute jar? Because I'm coming over ;-)

xoxo to the moon & back

Michelle @ Ten June said...

I think your styling looks great! Who says "perfect" is best?! : ) I seriously still super love that DIY art you did. I am totes copying that one day! Super inspiring.

Emilie said...

You are my favorite for telling it how it is!! I have often thought the same things about bloggers and I am not even a blogger but can see through the sheer fakery of it all. Its annoying how SERIOUSLY they take themselves. This is the internet, it should be fun and uplifting and silly (unless you are writing a term paper or something).

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Mrs. Limestone said...

Part of me totally agrees with your post (I really hate advertising links in the body of posts - it just feels so wrong to me) and part of me gets why some bloggers turn their site into a revenue stream.

But at the same time I feel like blogs are free entertainment for me and I know how much work goes into making and keeping up one that is even moderately decent so if someone needs the extra cash, how I can really fault them for it?

Personally I don't think I could ever hack it if I relied on my blog for income. I would just be up all night sweating about.

Mrs. Limestone said...

By the way - love the entry!


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