July 15, 2013

New Branding and Blog Makeover Plus an Overdue Explanation!!!

I am so excited to share my brand new blog to all of you!

This endeavor has been quite a process. Let me start from the beginning since I feel an explanation is in order for my lengthy hiatus. Speaking of lengthy...this post might be too.

As a lot of you know, I kind of fell off the grid for about a year and a half after falling 10 feet through my attic floor into my garage. (I know...ouch). I broke my right arm and had to have surgery.  Though it was nasty break, I healed over time but it kind of rocked my world a bit.  I was lucky to survive as all the doctors and paramedics said.  And blogging became completely unimportant. Pouring into my home, family and my Jesus became all that mattered.  Understandably, so.


I popped in here and there but for the most part I stopped blogging and even reading blogs. It occupied too much of my time and I also found I grew increasingly discontent as I played the comparison game. Every lost follower hurt, every awesome DIY done by a talented blogger had me questioning if I had what it takes.  I began seeing this blog through what I thought were my reader's eyes. Wanting to please everyone instead of staying true to my own voice and what I love.

Don't get me wrong...everyone evolves over the years as a creative blogger.  Our interests change or mature, our photography improves, styles and trends emerge.  But I was trying to "keep up with the Jones'" so to speak. To sit at a "different lunch table" in blog land.

Ridiculous.

I lost sight of who I am.  Of what makes my heart beat a little faster or that rush I feel when an idea gets into my head and I can't get rid of it until I see it through.  The "thing" that makes the artistic side of me tick. God has given me gifts and I was squandering them as I did what we women can be so easily ensnared by...comparison.

And here is what I have realized.  And I hope this speaks to someone else who may be struggling with the same thing.

There will always be someone better. Someone more talented, more business savvy. Someone with a better project, a better looking blog, a better idea, a better marketing strategy.
And I think it's wonderful. (huge sigh of relief) Finally.

Why?  Because I had to dig deep...REALLY DEEP to figure out who I am as a blogger.  What kind of ideas always come to mind?  Where do I shine the most?  What gets me excited to get creative?  I consulted with close blog friends, talked to my husband, researched at length, and even did some blog soul searching to really figure out what I am passionate about.  Little did I know that my own blog would provide a lot of my answers. I have gone back and forth from quitting blogging entirely to being brave enough to finally blog about what I love.
That last part...won.  I realized that I love doing packaging, parties, party DIY's, and holiday crafts. And my heart finally felt free.


When I first started blogging, I was interviewed by Meg over at Shabby Blogs and she asked if I had advice to give other bloggers which was funny since I was fairly new.  But I said that a blogger should blog as if no one was reading it. And I still believe that. Not because we don't care what others think but because we sometimes forget our voice is exactly what people come to read.  Not the voice WE think THEY want. The GENUINE one that makes us unique and magnetic to other readers.

So.  (big breath)
(my head shots for my blog courtesy of paisley and pinstripes photography)
Here is me.  I like happiness.  Celebrations. Inspiration. Sweet and pretty packages. Color palettes. Fashion. Tablescapes. My Jesus. Free stuff. Stuff for kids. Party DIY's. Discovering undiscovered bloggers. Baking. Printables. Pretty things. I may talk about all of these things or just some of them.  But they are things that make me excited and what give me a passion for blogging again.  Hooray!

This was a scary post for me to write but it was so necessary as I strive to truly be authentic. To find my voice again and my creative passion.  I pray you join me for this ride.  I want to grow organically and trust that my content will speak for itself.  That my voice will resonate with you and new readers and that genuine friendships can happen.

When I returned to blogging this year it was so different. It seems pinning replaced comments. Blog content became more about other's content then the actual writer who possesses incredible talent themselves. I love the idea of featuring others.  LOVE IT. It's so inspiring. But I also want this to still be my space with my imprint on it. So I am swimming in new waters with a kind of "back to basics" mentality.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. It will be interesting to read your feedback on this brave new blogging world. In the meantime, look around.  You will find my nav bar will have some fun ways to search my archives especially in DIY, TABLSCAPES, PARTIES, and PACKAGING.  Some tabs like printables and recipes are areas I would like to grow and are there for future posts.

I want you to know how much I appreciate each of you who have read my blog from the beginning.  It has changed so much. :) And if you are fairly new...welcome!  You are a blessing to me!

It's a new beginning...(squeal)! I'm excited.

27 comments:

  1. Very inspiring post - thank you for being so honest! I admit that your name ( two shades of pink - love pink!) is what first brought me here, but the fab content made me stick around - so you are obviously doing something right :)

    It is funny because most of the things you listed are the things I enjoy creating too, but I go off on blogging tangents when I see something on other blogs too. I really should focus more on what I am good at instead!

    I agree, just blog what makes you happy! Good luck and I look forward to reading your posts!

    Estelle xx

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  2. Good for you for finding your way back to you! comparison is the thief of Joy! it is so true, I know, Ive been there too. After 7 years of blogging.. I sometimes still post what I think others will like, but I'm actually a pretty selfish person and I mostly post about what I like.. Love... and feel like doing. My precious daughter in law just started a blog and I'm going to direct her to yours, she will love it.
    welcome back.. seems that God thought you needed a little break to get refocused on what is important to you.
    have a great day!
    xoxo
    vivian

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  3. Good morning, dear! Well, I DREAMED about making your tic tac toe game and then here's a post from you! You're right, there will always be someone "better" but there will never be a better YOU! ♥

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  4. Yay! So glad to see you back! The new look is super cute & your photos are adorable! These are great thoughts to share with everyone!

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  5. Alright, I couldn't wait! While children are scrambling around everywhere (and they're perfectly happy not to have my interference for a few minutes), I just HAD to sneak away and come see your new look. It's so much more than a new look!!! I love every bit about it because I love every bit of you. And this is a great reflection of you. Praying that all the prayers and soul searching and creativity you've put into this turns into showers of blessings for you. I know it'll bless us, your readers and friends.

    Love you!

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  6. I 100% agree with what you're saying here ...
    I'm on a blogging break myself and it feels so good! I love your redesign - really fun!! And I wish you all the happiness your heart can hold with this next chapter - and am sooooo glad you're ok from that nasty fall, girl!!!

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  7. You are right on, girl! You've landed where you should be... I relate so much to your words. I struggle with these same things... I think we all do. The blog turned out AMAZING and you look even more AMAZING!! love it. love it. love it. hugs!

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  8. Following your heart is always a good plan.
    The Lord bless you!

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  9. I just love that you are here & posting this! I have missed reading your posts so much :) The blog looks amazing as usual but I think even more than that that blogging gets in your heart & becomes a little piece of you ...and even if you decide to take breaks big or small...you are a natural girl...blogging is a part of you & YOU are such an important part of our lives. Smiling at you right now :) Have fun Jess!

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  10. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your honest struggles and insights. Refreshing. God is so good to give us the time we need to process His movement in our hearts.
    Blessings on your journey,
    Susan
    @SugarBeans.org

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  11. What a great post! and the blog... it looks amazing!! I'm so excited for you and I look forward to following along on your new blogging adventure. :)

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  12. You know I love you to pieces. I have missed your blog, but I know that you needed the time away to come to this new place. Wish I could come over to your house and give you a squeeze. Looking forward to your new direction and the return of your Jesus-lovin' voice. In other news, you look gorgeous in your new blog photos. <3

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  13. I started reading your blog because I liked your writing and through it, I liked you. I don't even like crafting. I am not good at it, and it's just not something that I make time for. But I liked your blog anyway...even when it was about crafting :) I have been involved in lots of things over the past year or so, including a foreclosure remodel, the loss of family pets, and homeschooling, and haven't posted to my own blog or read any others in a while, but I'm trying to refocus right now and begin again. It made me feel better to see a blogger that I admire also took some time out of the blogging world. The new site looks great, and I'm glad you will still be posting!

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  14. Beautiful post. I think everyone struggles with these same things in the blog world and in life. I am new to blogging but I have felt this same way in life A LOT. I just started reading your blog and I really like it =).

    Jen =)

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  15. Jess,
    I have and will always read your wonderful blog. Visiting here makes me happy. You are a beautiful, authentic person. I am excited to see all that is to come.

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  16. I'm stunned reading your post. My mother in law, Viv On A Whim, directed me to you, and your blog sounds very similar to my "story". We differ slightly. I didn't have a blog before. After coming out of a difficult past, I have had trouble connecting with people, but more trouble truly finding myself. I have always love creating, but when I met my mom in law, I was introduced to a whole new world! So I've just created my own blog and will def be following you.
    I love that you love Jesus. My biggest prayer is that above anything, He shines through my blog. Thank you for staying true to yourself and inspiring me to press on in my self-discovery journey!

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  17. I am happy to see you and your new look! I like your DIYs and I love your about life posts (like this one). The new look is super cute, too!

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  18. this is great! some people blog cuz they don't want to do the "normal" stuff and it should give you the freedom to be yourself which is something that changes as time goes on. being able to be yourself is way more important then being like other people.i don't want all the blogs to be the same stuff. otherwise why have more than one?don't worry, be happy.

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  19. I am just happy that you are doing what you love and I love reading about it and I have made some of your projects and love it.My blog is only small but I love it and think of it as a journel sometimes it is sad other times it is just what is happening around me .You are one of my inspirations-love dee x

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  20. I am really happy to see you back! Is really important that you keep your Blog up, so we can keep coming very Creative!

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  21. I am so happy you have recovered, both physically and emotionally, and are looking at blogging with clear, fresh eyes. I think it is more difficult for those who have Etsy shops and sponsors, because it's tempting to cater to what others want and be less focused on what your own needs are. I blog just for fun, and really focus on being authentic to myself. I'm excited that you have found your passion and wish you much good luck. I'm a new follower!

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  22. I love love love this ! I remembered exactly when you had your accident and when blogging was making you unhappy and though we lost touch for a bit, I am so happy to know you are back and even happier to know that you are happy. The blog looks beautiful and it really is YOU...pretty,soft,tender...xoxox
    Lu

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  23. Who you are is who we all want you to be! I am over the top thrilled for you and I wish you the heavens dipped in glitter!!!!! You love...faith and heart shine through everything you do : ) Sending hugs and love your way! The blog looks AMAZING!!!!!

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  24. You grow girl and I am coming along on the ride with you! I dig uyour simplicity and fun things you create and share!! XOXO Love ya Fran.

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  25. Everything happens for a reason... I was still awake and trying to fall asleep but I could not. I felt burdened by the worrisome thoughts running thru my mind like an avid runner, setting out on a race. The thoughts sounded something like this, " I am not a good enough mom, I need to do more creative activities with my kids, I do not know what my true passion is, when will I find it, I love to create but what I don't know right now what to actually create.
    And I stood up and went to my computer - I was going to search some websites and maybe do a little online shopping to get my mind off of the worries. But instead- I saw your new blog post on my igoogle page and I wanted to read it - about the embellished 5 candle. And that led me to this post about you and your journey with blogging and finding your true passions.
    I haven't visited a blog in quite some time because of the whole comparison thing...I always seem to leave blogs feeling not quite good enough because I am not blogging, nor am I creating nearly as much as you and other bloggers do.
    But here I am at almost 1'o clock in the morning and I found myself learning about you. AND I am so thankful to you for your honesty in sharing your journey with all of your readers. Your post in a way has set my mind free...I need to stop comparing and just start doing...creating...and praying to my Jesus a whole lot more. Thank YOU! I can't wait to read all of your posts and I really can't wait to embellish a 6 birthday candle for my son's shark party this Sunday!!! xoxoxoxo

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  26. Beautiful! Please be free to be you and that will inspire others to freely be themselves. So enjoy your blog!

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  27. Congrats and welcome back! This is my first visit (your Monster Cupcake Toppers brought me over), but it won't be my last. :)

    By the way, I love how open you are about your connection to Him. Sometimes we do have to step away and remember what is most important. Good for you!

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