Happy 2015, my sweet followers! I don’t think I’ve said this recently (or enough), so I now want to thank you so much for reading Snapshots & My Thoughts. The past six months have been rather exciting, not just because Isla has come into our lives and made us happier than ever before, but also because my little labor of love has had some fun partnerships (BABYBJORN, Rifle Paper Co., Carter’s, Honest Co., Dr. Browns, amongst others!) and more than doubled in readership. In addition, I recently created a Facebook page and a blog-dedicated Instagram account (are you following along?), and I have more exciting content for you in the near future.
In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I’m sharing seven of my own today (but have many more!):  Get more personal,  Improve my skills,  Prioritize my family,  Read more books,  Be more present,  Give up control and  Practice being content. I’ve explained all of these in detail below. What are some of your resolutions? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
One quick favor to ask of you! Would you mind filling out this anonymous survey with a few quick questions (five, to be exact) about the blog content? I want to make sure that I’m giving my readers content they enjoy, and this survey will definitely help me do that.
This summer, I started my ‘Week in Review‘ posts, which honestly felt like an ‘easy out’ for a post. There was no research involved, no scouring the internet for photos, no design decisions to be made… it was just me (well, us). I simply recapped my previous 7 days, and I started to see a trend – these posts get higher views and comments than any other post in the week.
When I filled out the ‘Tour Through Blogland,’ one of the questions asked ‘what makes your blog unique?,’ and I struggled with answering that. I want to make Snapshots & My Thoughts unique in that it’s about me and my life, not in a narcissistic way, but I want to get more personal with my readers. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, and I think it’s important to be transparent and more real. This is partly inspired by Brighton Keller (of Brighton the Day) – the other day she posted this on Instagram and started the hashtag #beBRIGHTbeREAL, and I love it.
[photo by Paige Budde of Awake Photography]
When I think about ‘what I want to do in life,’ I am so conflicted. I love calligraphy, stationery design, photography, floral design, party planning, interior design, vegan/healthy baking and cooking, writing, fashion, traveling, etc. Sasha always reminds me that I cannot do all of this (although it would be nice!). So this year, I want to pick a few of these hobbies and sharpen my skills in order to do something with all of this burning passion I have!
Blogging with a 6 month old who naps for an average 80 minutes a day is extremely difficult. When you’ve got such limited time, you cannot sit down and blog during the day, especially if you’ve got laundry and dishes to be done and a house to clean. And then there are errands, like groceries and dry cleaning. Not to mention working out (obviously not a necessity, but it is to me!). So sadly, blogging happens after dinner and dishes are done, when Isla is asleep. Time with my sweet husband gets sacrificed all too often in order for me to blog, so in the new year, I’m going to prioritize him. This may mean he spends more time with Isla on Sundays, so I can line a few posts up, or it means that 5 posts a week just isn’t going to happen anymore!
[photo by Taylor Lord]
For Isla’s first few months, I was reading a book every two or three days. I spent so much time nursing that I felt I needed to do something productive and thankfully, chose to read on my iPhone or Kindle (remember the Summer Reading List and Summer Reading List Part 2?). Fast-forward three months and Isla eats in under 10 minutes, so instead of diving into a good book, I fiddle around on blogs or Instagram. I want this to stop in 2015. I miss reading. I want to read for fun during the day, and I need to open my Bible before going to bed at night. I used to do this in college and when I traveled for work, and now I’m ‘too exhausted’ when I get into bed in the evening. So, any good suggestions?
This resolution ties in closely with the previous note about being on social media less. I could rename ‘Be more present’ as ‘Get off my iPhone.’ Sasha always gets onto me about how my phone is attached to my hip, and in 2015, it won’t be. I’m already a pretty sketchy text messager, and sadly, I’m about to get worst. But I do love a good phone call. So call me if you need me, because my phone might not be by my side. I don’t want Isla to grow up thinking that we need our phones to entertain us. I want her to know that she is all I need.
[photo by Ryan Ray]
Here is something that won’t surprise anyone who knows me well: I am a huge control freak. Like, a really, really big one. I have been a perfectionist since I was in elementary school. I remember crying because I was afraid of getting a B in my 5th grade science class (who cares?) and then I went to college and made straight A’s because I cannot stand the thought of not giving everything 100% (and seeing the return). This can be extremely tiring for me, and especially for others around me. It is hard to live with a control freak, and so I want to allow my close friends and family to make decisions that I may not agree with, but to be okay with the outcome regardless.
It’s easy to throw up your hands and say, ‘That’s fine, just do it your way.’ But that’s being grumpy (guilty!), and so as part of my resolution to give up control from time-to-time, I want to make sure that I do it sweetly and with a happy, genuine heart. Yes, this is going to take some work (ha!).
Ah ha, being content with life ‘as is.’ This is a culmination of various aspects of the above resolutions. Given that we are bombarded with images of beautiful homes, gardens, meals, people, etc. all the time, living with permanent jealously is easy nowadays. This is a huge problem with today’s society (in my opinion at least). I don’t want to spill too many of my thoughts on this topic, as I’ll be sharing more on the ClassPass blog soon, but I want to practice with being content with my life as it is now. This means not obsessing over a home extension, moving houses, buying new clothes, etc. I want to just be satisfied with today.
[no idea why I chose this photo of my breakfast in Bali, but I just did]
Happy New Year! Cheers to 2015. May it be the best year yet.