I picked a random number, I mean 10 is pretty solid and typical but I just thought if I picked a number it would help condense my thoughts before a personal post goes all over the place. Hello, by the way. I’ve missed being able to just connect and write because I’ve been a bit preoccupied ever since we returned from our family Caravan trip (Yellowstone, South Dakota if you missed it) and been working so hard ever since.
I’m currently in Northern California for a few days for a styling workshop with Heather Bullard – she’s my idol!! Concord was close to home so I am visiting friends and my parents for a very long weekend – also seeing my neighbors I grew up with when I was a little girl (they were adults, not kids). I have a rental car this time so I’m really stoked to zoom zoom all over Granite Bay.
A few thoughts and updates I’d love to share with you.
- I kinda want to forget the home expansion. If I told you how much we have spent on plans and permits already you’d probably be horrified. The quotes we are getting are all over the place, and it looks like what we saved up for it will be half the down payment. These numbers just don’t make sense to me right now and I’m not mad at anyone for it, but we are wondering what is going on, perhaps we underestimated the cost of this – and how so when two walls are already up? So I’m off on a mental break with this since I’m pretty much MIA this month with travels. Would it be so bad if we just stopped? I still have that bone inlay dresser and coffee table that needs to go somewhere…
- Blogging isn’t dead, but is it? No, it’s not, as long as Google is around I’m convinced people will still search for help. This post won’t be one of those that pops in the searches though, haha. However I wish blogging was popular again. I blame Instagram for the shift in our culture of instant gratification and making people feel as though they don’t have time to read a blog anymore, and also the deflation of self esteem at times! Double edged sword when social media is your job too :) Time hasn’t changed, it’s just that we think we can’t give anything more than 1 second of our time is why the culture has changed. I feel it too, so I don’t blame you but since you’re here I’m going to say, thanks so much for reading my blog.
- We should compliment others more. I demand excellence from myself and I realized when I get a compliment on a job well done from a client, I can’t tell you how that melts me. I don’t have a regular boss who tells me “good job” and often people assume you don’t need to hear it if you’ve been doing it for a while. So lately as these words of encouragement come in, I stop and almost want to cry. I think we should compliment each other more, and encourage one another more even if you think they know they are doing a good job, they might just need to hear it. Perhaps we should be on people’s LinkedIn and leave some accolades for former coworkers?
- But I want the home expansion. OK back to the home expansion. The thing is, I want it because I want that extra room and the bathroom and the light for shooting in, and hosting and guests and I want it. But not for that price and I feel mentally exhausted over it. Benjamin is determined to get more quotes and so the search continues to find all the pieces we need. If you’ve had experiences with a home addition, I’d love your perspective and tips.
- Less categories, more tags on posts. I reorganized my blog, it took an entire day! I updated the mega menu (much better to see on desktop) and I realized I have too many subcategories. So instead, I’ve added tags at the bottom of my posts if I think they can fall in a specific topic. I have cleared out all my tags and take note of the ones I will use from here on out so you can click on them after the post if you want to read further on a specific topic like “entertaining” or “home decor” you’ll see the # tags at the bottom of posts in addition to the single category. Not sure if this affects anyone because they are still listed in the menu but it sure feels more organized! So if you want to get into specifics, search the tags at the bottom of the post, each tag has at least a few posts that fall in that category and I didn’t go overboard with tags. I know how they work ;) They are not for Google searches haha.
- Getting deep takes time. I mean this for the blog. I have these drafted posts and so many thoughts and I overthink on timing and what photos to share with it. There really is a mood and time that is required, isn’t there? Just like writing thank you cards and jotting a birthday card message, you have to be in the right state of mind to share words or a story. I’m hoping I will find some of my stories good enough to share with you soon. Meanwhile though, the work with sponsored posts is so fun and creative for me and so switching my brain mode from creative to getting deep with my heart just takes some time.
- Make room and time for new friendships. I used to say I had no time for new friends because I was busy maintaining the ones I had. It seemed true at the time, but what’s also true is sometimes life gets so busy you loose touch, people move, life boats change, people get preoccupied. It’s nothing to get mad about, it happens. It’s kind of like high school or college. I’ve made some new friends in the past 5 years that have become really good, super close friends and I am so thankful for their time and pouring into me and I cannot imagine life without them now. All this to say, it’s so worth giving your time to get to know someone. Sure it might take years until you know their parents names, siblings, all the history that happens over a decade but you have to start somewhere and at the same time I’m not sure if those small details about a person’s life means they aren’t a good friend or vice versa.
- Things I do on a plane. Buying wifi on the plane is so worth it even though most of my flights are short. I find I’m less distracted from the doorbell ringing, getting a snack, doing laundry, or just things in general. I’m stuck on a plane and there’s nowhere to go so what better time to be productive! I used to read magazines but they are too heavy to carry. I bought a magnetic privacy screen so I can feel more comfortable working. Here are things I do on a plane:
- Optimize blog posts for SEO
- Tackle my inbox
- Organize my desktop and on my iPhone
- Read a book on my iPhone (already downloaded) I just downloaded Influencer for kindle so I’ll be reading that!
- Read a book I bought at the airport because it’s the only time I will sit and read one!
- Apply for blogging campaigns.
- Christmas cards. We took our Christmas card photo already on our trip. I’m glad that’s done. While our card is the most casual we’ve been, well, except for this one with the bunnies in our backyard, it’s different and it’s not about us but where we are and I can’t wait to show you. Speaking of Christmas cards boy has that cost increased, but I remember it’s just once a year to check in with friends and aunties and uncles. I feel like if I would want to get a cup of coffee with that person, they definitely get a card whether I get one back or not :) How do you decide who is on your Christmas card list?
- Daiso, the Japanese Dollar Store. More like $1.50 each but same concept. It’s one of my favorite stores to visit when I’m home. I stopped in and had to document it and got so many DMs asking me about where it was and they wanted to go. They only have them in CA, WA and TX right now. I’m so sorry AZ peeps but the good news is we visit CA all the time so you can stop by a store! See the locations here. Then check out these stories to see what I got!
And while I’m over 10 things to share and should wrap things up, I just wanted to say I miss the casual blog posts I used to write and the comments this blog used to get. That was back in 2013 when I was reading comments that were left, so many of them! I know we’re so busy and things have changed. It’s not just people but myself as well (I still blame Instagram for our short attention spans!) I love what I do and I have a job to do now on this little space that takes up all my time and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now, and sometimes I just focus so much on the product, BUT I also always try to sneak in a story or two so it doesn’t sound like an ad. That has taken me time too, that was a learning curve and now I feel better about it but still, I miss these posts that have little purpose. haha. I try to keep a personal touch to my posts and I also need good photos so there’s that.
I also have pressure to post pretty photos with these personal posts because the reality is that brands are looking at the blog every day deciding if I’m a good fit for potential campaigns. There’s also a change with more self integrated in posts. I think it would be harder to transition if I didn’t have a modeling background so I’ve embraced the notion of being in front of the camera more, as you’ve seen over the past years. It’s just a shift from being a blogger who simply writes, to an influencer role of being almost a spokesperson for the brands. I’m rambling but I’m simply trying to explain how much blogging has evolved, as well as myself with it. And it’s kinda a good thing because I have a full-time job from a hobby and many of you have been here to witness and support that change, thank you for being here. xx