Where I’ve Been (and why I haven’t been blogging)

 

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Oh hi there. Sorry for being absent. I doubt you even noticed I’ve been quiet over here for some time. I meant to just take a few days off and then those few days turned into a couple of weeks. Ooops. 

So, where have I been? That’s the thing. No where. I’m doing my same old routine minus the blogging

. For the past few weeks the idea of blogging has gotten my kind of down. Blog is short for weblog, an online log of personal reflections, experiences, and thoughts. However, in the past few years, most blogs are shifting away from this original definition and turning into articles or advice pieces. There is competition to get more hits, expand your audience, and make a profit rather than simply sharing your story. Sometimes that fact discourages me from simply blogging about what I want to blog about. 

Lately I feel like everything is either “5 Tips to do this” or “10 Ways to Ensure this”. I share posts like these as well, but I feel disconnected when my entire feed is filled with posts like these where I learn nothing personal about the blogger writing them. In a world of over sharing, are we getting scared to share too much personal information? Are we too afraid to veer off on our own path? Afraid of losing readers and clicks? Are those aspects really more important than authenticity?

I like reading people’s stories and getting a glimpse into their life. The type of blogs that let me learn more about the human experience and how my little life fits into it. Simple and sometimes silly stories. For example over Super Bowl weekend when everyone was posting party snack recipes and game day fun, I could only think of this time back during Freshman year of college in 2002. While everyone else on my floor got together for beers and the big game I lied and said I had other plans. My “plans” were to hunker down in bed with a can of honey roasted peanuts and a Mary Kate and Ashley movie marathon on TV. I was equally content and lonely. 

That little story tells you a lot about myself. Much more than another “5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues!” or “10 Way to Increase Blog Traffic!” posts. But that may just be me. I like people’s stories. The little things often are the big things.

So basically, what this rambling post comes down to is that I’m not done blogging, yet. I’m just done with a schedule or the pressure to post. I’m going to follow my own blogging path and share what I want, even if it’s not popular or Pintrest pinnable and even if it means this space remains empty for days at a time.  I want to share my story, however small and silly it may seem. I hope you’ll still be along for the ride!

What type of blogs do you like to read the most? Who are some of your favorite story tellers? What topics pique your interest? 

 

 

 

What’s New? Coffee Talk Vol. 4

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Hey there, I thought I’d use this Friday to do a little check in with you. Grab a coffee, let’s chat. If we were sitting down together, sharing a chat over coffee, this is what I’d tell you:

  • Although I still don’t like winter, this winter doesn’t seem so bad. Probably because the winter of 2014 was so awful and terrible, what with the never-ending snow and ice storms and negative temperatures. So far, this winter has seemed pretty mild in comparison. So that’s a plus. 
  • Last Friday, before we skipped town, we bought a new car. (This marks two new cars in one year, gasp!) I usually hate car shopping (all the small chat, all the hidden deals and messages) but this was pretty painless. We knew exactly what we wanted and we knew what we wanted to pay and we got it. We traded in my 2008 two-door Hyundai Tiburon and Ryan is now the proud driver of a 2015 Hyundai Elantra. I’m usually a sentimental sap, but I have to say I was not sad to say goodbye to Tabitha the Tiburon. Other than driving me home from Chicago after a terrible break up she’s been nothing but bad news for me. See ya! 
  • We’ve officially given up Comcast cable. It felt good to cut the cord (and cut down our ridiculous high bill). We got an Apple TV and it works great. We’re able to watch all the shows that we want and it works perfectly with Airplay on the Ipad. 
  • I’ve been reading a lot lately and will be sharing my latest book reviews next week, however I have a little secret. In addition to the “normal” books that I read, I’m also in a book club…that specifically reads books written by the girls from MTV’s Teen Mom and other fallen starlets (right now we’re consuming Jodi Sweetin’s book). They are ridiculous, sad, and highly entertaining. So far we’ve read Kailyn, Farrah, and Amber’s autobiographies.  Such guilty pleasures and so fun to discuss and gossip over. 
  • We watched a movie we had rented through Netflix mail order this past weekend (Monuments Men). While packing up the DVD to mail back I noticed that the traditional red and white Netflix envelope was decorated with spider webs and bats and said “Happy Halloween”. Yep, we’ve had a movie since early October. We just never got around to watching it. How long have you had a movie from Netflix? 
  • Another confession: my Christmas decorations are all still up. Yes, my Christmas tree hit the curb (isn’t that the saddest sight?) a few weeks ago, but all the other decorations are proudly on display. I’ve been too busy, lazy, sad to take them down. Maybe this weekend….

What is new with you? How is January treating you?

 

 

6 Reasons I’m A Bad Blogger

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Maybe I refuse to conform. Maybe I’m just lazy. I don’t know. I just know I’m a pretty bad blogger.

Others treat their blogs like mini side businesses. Drafting plans in pretty little planners and writing posts weeks ahead and actually scheduling them to be published. They have an advanced advertising and marketing plan, and promote themselves endlessly on all social media platforms. I commend them. If you’re one of those bloggers, good work! Also, when do you sleep?

I love this space and sharing my heart and words. I love the documentation and making new connections and friends with women from all over. But when it comes down to it, I’m not the best blogger.

Here’s 6 reasons why:

Consistency

I skipped out on yesterdays Think Positive Monday post because I’m recovering from a bout with the flu and had zero energy. I try to write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but lately it’s only been twice a week. Hell sometimes it’s once a week. I’ll never be the type of blogger to follow a rigid schedule.

Social Media Promotion

I love Instagram but it’s rare when I have more than one interesting photo to publish every few days. I rarely use Facebook for blog promotion, other than automatic links to my posts. Does anyone read blogs via Facebook anyways? I generally forget about Twitter. Occasionally I remember and will get on for a day and go crazy but then forget about it again for a few weeks. I didn’t even have a Twitter account before blogging. When I’m hanging out away from work I’d rather not be on my phone or computer. Also promoting myself always feels inauthentic. Does that ever go away?

Networking

Along the same lines as social media I’m not the best at networking with other bloggers. Sure, I form friendships, email and text back and forth and do the occasional guest posts…but that’s where it ends. I don’t search out partnerships or link ups or even participate in a lot of link ups. I know it garners more readers but sometimes it doesn’t feel true to myself. And that’s what’s most important to me. 

Stylized Shots

I’ve only done one fashion posts. I love taking photos of scenery and family.  I love my DSLR and playing around with it. But I’m not the best of taking stylized shots for every post. That would take too much planning (see above). I don’t go all out with pinterest perfect and matchy patchy photoshoots for post photos or recipe photos. Sometimes wish I had that much patience and equipment but nope. You get what you get. 

Amazing and Ever Changing Web Design

I’ve had the same blog design since I started this blog over a year and a half ago. Sure my picture changes and there are little updates here and there, but I don’t go crazy with an amazing design. (hell, I even DO graphic design). My priority is in the words not the design. I hope that doesn’t deter you. 

Caring What Other’s Think

I care too much about what others will think to write what is on my mind 100% of the time. A goal of mine is to break down this wall and be more vulnerable and write for a niche rather than write for all. It’s hard putting everything out there to be judged by strangers. Just spend 10 minutes on Gomi to see what I mean. Whenever someone from my real life says they read my blog my gut reaction is to run and hide. 

Boring Life

In general my life is pretty boring. We don’t go on more than 2-3 trips a year. I work a typical job in a typical small city on the East coast. I spend more nights at home watching TV or reading with my dog than out on the town trying new things. I’m not going through an emotional crisis, have children, or experience a life change. It’s just me living an everyday life and documenting my everyday thoughts. Sometimes I’m still surprised anyone else other than my mom reads this. But THANK YOU. Thank you for letting me be me. The non conformist lazy blogger that you still come and check in on. 

And here’s me on an average day:

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2014 A Year in Review

Another year come and gone. I feel it’s important to reflect back on what the past year has given us, before we start anticipating what we may receive in the new year. I had fun looking back at 2014 via my blog.

 I wanted to thank each and every one of my readers. You don’t know how much I appreciate your comments, thoughts, and support. Thank you for following along on this adventure with me!

2014 was busy. Sometimes it felt like we were never home. We took multiple weekends away to Philly, DC, Annapolis. And a few more trips to Avalon, Scranton, Gettysburg, the Finger Lakes, and a big trip to Jamaica. I celebrated the shower, bachelorette party, and beautiful wedding of my best friend. 

I watched less movies but read 29 books. I tried countless new recipes and finally mastered my half broken oven and didn’t burn every cookie I baked. We powered through another school year for Ryan and I grew to appreciate my job more. We experienced disappointment and loss and debated what our future would hold. Ryan accepted a new job for after graduation. 

We made family time (both our little family and our extended family) a priority. We learned to love with bigger hearts through our mistakes. And through it all, we kept our hearts full of hope. Although this year did not hold any huge milestones, I feel the little ones, the ones full of simple moments of joy and hope, are the paving stones to our future. 

So here’s a look back at our 2014:

January

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In January we celebrated a simple New Years Eve where I decided to make my word of the year be “Respect”. I vowed to value my personal choices and opinions and to schedule me time throughout the year. 

While we were surviving one of the snowiest and coldest winters in PA record, I learned that I really need to Stop Apologizing so much and was also very brave and did my very first vlog

February

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In February we survived more snow and cold and battled some cabin fever. I survived by doing lots of baking and cooking and reflecting on everything love related. (In honor of Valentine’s Day). I shared some love lessons I’ve learned since becoming a newlywed as well as what my favorite romance movies have taught me about love. One of my most favorite posts share “Why We Work” as a couple.

I also reflected a little bit on the weirdness of blogging

March

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In March I attacked my closet and addiction to clothes and did a massive clean out. We celebrated with friends for St. Patrick’s day and I longed for warmer months.

The celebration continued as I wished Ryan a Happy Birthday in this letter (my most read post of all time) and followed that celebration with me turning 31. Ryan and I had a getaway in Annapolis, MD and I shared 31 things I’ve learned in 31 years

April 

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My mom underwent some surgery and it pushed me to take some pressure off of myself when it came to this blog. And I haven’t look back since. I discovered where my inspiration comes from and decided to only post when I felt like it, not 4-5 days a week like I used to.

This month I did a lot of bridal shower planning for my best friend and spent time with family. But I did manage to write an article in Defense of English Majors like myself, interview Ryan, and share a blast from the past, talking about growing up in the 80’s and the 90’s

May

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In May I threw my best friends “Love Birds” themed bridal shower. One of my decorations was this Tissue Paper Garland that I shared a DIY video tutorial for. I also celebrated my Mom’s on Mother’s Day and shared some of the best advice she has ever given me. 

I discussed my Fear of the Unknown as Ryan wraps up his third year of Law School and we begin to think where we will be living next year. And along the same lines, I shared how I think Marriage is always Like a Seesaw. 

June

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This summer I took a big break from blogging to enjoy the season. After such a long winter I wanted to do nothing else but sit outside and read and bask in the sun. 

We celebrated our first wedding Anniversary in the Finger Lakes region of New York and I made this video highlighting our first year of love

Next I honored my Dad on Father’s Day and praised the merits of summer. before heading off to celebrate my besties bachelorette weekend!!!

July

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On July 5 I was was Matron of Honor in my best friend’s wedding! So much fun!

Then I finally got around to sharing our anniversary trip recap and photos and also got deeper with a talk about the role Social Media plays in our lives.

As I prepped to go on vacation to Jamaica I dived into some body issue talk

August

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JAMAICA BABY! It’s safe to say that this family vacation, recapped here and here, was the highlight of my 2014. We spent a week at a resort in the beginning of August. 

After returning to real life, I celebrated my one year blogging anniversary. The rest of the summer was filled with fun day trips and time with friends before Ryan headed off to his last first day of school

September

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September was good to us. Maggie turned 8 and I celebrated by sharing 5 ways she makes me a better person. We had a great weekend at my best friend’s lake house in Scranton. And then we then had a beautiful weekend at the Jersey Shore I love the beach in September, followed by a weekend in Annapolis and DC with my best friend from college.

I also discussed how being a newlywed isn’t always unicorns and roses. And, I made a point of celebrating the small things and trying to take life one day a a time. 

October

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October was a big month!

In October I was excited to start a new series: Recently Read and Think Positive Mondays.

We also celebrated Pop-Pop’s 89th Birthday as well as surprised Ryan’s mom for her birthday.  I discussed books a lot with another blast from the past  and talking about my love of real books over e-books (that’s backed by  science!)

I also took a girls’ trip to NYC for a weekend and to see Beautiful.

But most importantly we celebrated Ryan accepting a job offer in Wilmington after graduation! 

November 

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 November seemed like a slow month, as we crawled into the busyness of the holiday season. We threw Ryan’s parents a surprise Anniversary party. I talked about making time to do what you love every single day. For me it’s reading and finding quiet time. I questioned my identity in relation to my hometown and where I live. I wrote Ryan a Love Letter of Gratitude and also expressed gratitude on Thanksgiving

December

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This December was one of the fastest on record for me! We selected our Christmas tree, got it all decorated, and had it crash into our piano a few days later. Which made me write this post comparing Christmas Trees to Marriage. We saw Tedeschi Trucks Band in concert and did Karaoke and dancing in Philly for a good friend’s Birthday and I discussed more books

An increase of violence in our nation and in our small town had me reflecting on community, neighbors, and trust. 

We baked and decorated hundreds of cookies, sang our hearts out, and celebrated Christmas to the fullest. Family came in town for a week and we had a lovely family Christmas. 

Once again, thanks for being a good friend and following along! I hope you’ll join us for 2015!

Happy New Year!

My Identity as a Blogger

I love this blog. I love the therapeutic effect of writing and I love connecting with all of you. I’ve made so many unexpected friendships out of blogging and have received support from women all over the country. That’s pretty special, right? It’s amazing to connect with other women about every day issues as well as the big stuff. 

I’m not an awesome blogger. I struggle with writing consistently. I struggle with keeping things current. I don’t have an amazing design. Some days I fall flat with my writing. Some days I write “easy” posts just to feel accomplished. Some days I feel like it’s all been said and I have nothing new to add. Other days I spend a few hours with a pen and paper crafting out ideas that never make it to a post while other times I finally get those ideas into a published post and get a less than desired response. It can be exhausting. No one warns you how exhausting blogging is. 

I try to be as open as I can be on this here blog. I share my heart openly over the internet, and that’s a pretty scary thing. I write from my soul and attempt to allow you to get a peek into my world. Transparency and vulnerability are goals I always aim for.

But let’s be honest, you don’t really “know” me. And that fact is something I often forget when writing blog posts. 

No matter how hard I try to share myself with you the true me will never be 100% transparent. This blog only reflects about 25% of my real self and my real world. That may seem pretty obvious. But it’s a good reminder that we are all much more complex than what a few stories and opinions shared online say about us. 

My blogging goes in ebbs and flows. There are weeks when I have so much to say and to share that the words can’t get out fast enough. Others I feel more content to keep to myself, occupying my time with other hobbies. While at other times my life is moving at 100 mph and I’m beyond overwhelmed with everything that is going on to come here and write.

Right now is one of those times when I simply don’t feel right sharing every detail about my life, and therefore I think this blog is suffering.  At this present moment I’ve written more drafts of posts that I’ll keep to myself than those that I will eventually hit “publish” on. My mind is so focussed on those topics that I’m not ready to share about yet, that It’s hard for me to think, let alone, write about anything else.  

All of this rambling is leading somewhere. I promise.

All these thoughts have made me ask, “What DO you know about me? What is my identity on the internet?”

I believe that what you know about me can be summed up in a few words: Bubbly and positive blogger. married to a law school student, wife who whines about the stress of law school schedule, loves to talk about sentimental and mushy topics, avid reader, dog mom to Maggie.

Is that how you perceive my blogger identity?  I’m more than honored to be viewed as a beacon of positivity and fun but there is so much more.

I never intend to design a specific image of myself.  I want to make that identity a little more well-rounded and a better representation of my true self. 

I want you to be part of this journey. Because blogging is about connection. Otherwise I would just write in my private journal. 

So help me broaden my identity as a blogger!

Let’s pretend it’s just you and me sitting over a glass of cheap wine in my living room. Maggie is curled up on my lap and looking at you with distrust. My kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes that I don’t have any plans on cleaning. I’m wearing my fleece sweatpants that are covered in Polar bears and a baggy t-shirt. I haven’t washed my hair for 3 days. I’m tired. I’m always tired these days. Do you get the picture? Life is far from pinterest perfect no matter what type of world bloggers try to paint. 

Are you here with me? 

I’m open to answering any of your questions. Pop some down below in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them all as honestly as I can in another post! 

Ask away! 

 

 

 

 

On Blogging – One Year In

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One year ago today I started this blog. 

This was my first real post. It’s kind of embarrassing. But blogging is always kind of embarrassing, right?

I’ve learned a lot during my first year of blogging. In the beginning I knew nothing. I had never heard of link ups and had no idea sponsorships existed. The idea some people pull in a steady blogging paycheck each month blew my mind.

Last August I was a sparkly newlywed full of hope and ready to start something new. One of my freelance employees suggested that I start writing articles sharing  my personal perspective on life as a newlywed. I was a little hesitant, but the fact that he was paying me for each article made me try it anyways. 

Soon after writing these cliché newlywed articles for him I decided to branch out and start my very own blog, writing about whatever I wanted. I have since stopped writing the for profit articles. They felt false and forced. Probably because money was involved. 

What I’ve Learned Since Then:

Blogging is hard. Much harder than I thought it was.  It takes time, effort, and a fearless attitude.

The Best Advice:

The best advice I received before starting this blog is the best advice I also give: Be authentic. 

It’s very easy to lose sight of your true self in blogging.

You get lost in the comparison game. In the number game. In blogging just to blog. You get lost feeling like you have to blog every damn day. Your voice gets lost. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. Even when you say, “No, no I could care less about the numbers, I’m writing for me!” Please, if you were writing for yourself, you’d write in a private journal. A little piece of you will always care about the numbers. 

Other bloggers will start to feel like the mean girls that would never invite you to the cool high school parties. But remember, the good people always, always, out weigh the bad.

One day, you’ll see 15 bloggers blogging about the very same topic. Sponsored posts take over and you wonder “What’s the point?”

Like most things in life, my blogging goes through ebbs and flows. I’ll have a month where I can’t get the words out fast enough. I’m filled with ideas and questions. Other months I’m at a loss at what to say and fall back on recipes, lists, and link ups that end up feeling un-authentic and dry. And still, other months I feel so disheartened by blogging. Times when it all feels like a big pointless game I just want to shut it all down.

I’ve learned to take blogging breaks. Breaks are okay! A week or two off here and there will never hurt you. I’m learned to leave blogging behind for a bit and to let new ideas come in. To gain a fresh perspective. And then I come back with a new whole passion for blogging and sharing. 

There are no set rules. Make your own and follow them. 

Blogging will always be weird, a little nerdy, and very narcissistic. People will judge you but a few people will connect with you. Even if one new person connects with you, it is worth it.

I’m not sure what the future of this blog holds for me. I hope you continue along on the journey!

xoxo Katie

Life Update

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Hello friends! Since I’ve been MIA from this blog for the past couple of weeks with a few sporadic posts I thought I’d pop in and give a little life update. Hey, maybe you haven’t even realized that I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do, in that case, moving along…

This summer has got me on my toes and I’ve been busy celebrating and being outside. Two weeks ago, Ryan and I celebrated our one year anniversary with a mini vacation up to the Finger Lakes in NY. It was a beautiful weekend and I can’t wait to share photos and recap the trip with you.

I haven’t even had time to look at my photos because upon returning from that trip I left for my best friends bachelorette weekend in Gettysburg. Did that statement just cause you to go “huh?”. You wouldn’t believe how many people are taken aback by a bachelorette party in Gettysburg. But my bff is one of a kind and we had a kooky and crazy weekend in the country’s most haunted town. More to come on that too! 

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I love writing and connecting with all of you but never want this blog to feel like a chore. 

Therefore, this summer I’m committing to writing only when I have something to share. And when I have the time to craft a post that isn’t a little update like this or something I post simply just to post something. You know, the whole quality over quantity theory. I hope you will continue to check in with me as you are out and about enjoying your equally busy summers. 

I’m still trying to keep up reading my fellow bloggers as much as I can. Even if I’m not commenting as much, I’m still reading! Get outside! Enjoy the sun! Live your life! (and I hope no one is complaining about the heat yet after this record-breaking cold winter.)

In the meantime, follow along on Instagram

xoxo Katie