Could you tell that I was having a hard time figuring out what to call this post? A state of the union? A life update? No, no, no… “Some Random Things” just felt right. I have such a magical way with words you guys!
But seriously. For realz. There are a few things I wanted to share/would love to get your thoughts on… and I’ve listed them below.
Community // The word that has been on my mind the most lately has been community. If you missed it, earlier this Fall, I wrote a post about being single. I got such an overwhelming response from you guys but it wasn’t the response I had thought I would get. You guys aren’t having a hard time being single, you’re not looking for dating advice or how to meet a guy (if you are, for the record, this book is really incredible). What you are having a hard time with is community, and finding like minded friends in your cities. It was astonishing to me and it wasn’t just the single girls. I heard from all of you – single, married, everyone was feeling it.
I wanted to help, so I set up these little email groups. I asked you guys to email me with your city, and decided to set up little friend groups. Once again, I was not prepared – I completely, utterly blown away by your response . I received well over 400 emails and responding to emails + setting up the groups took up the bulk of my week. (If I do this again, I’ll set up a google form!!!) But then, long after the deadline, I kept getting emails. So I set up a “community page” on Facebook. As I write this, the page now has over 860 members. You guys are coordinating brunches, book clubs, girls night out and I could not be more thrilled. Every week I get DMs with photos from your meet-ups which makes me so, so happy. (If you are interested in joining, just request an invite here.)
This whole thing got me really thinking about how I can add more “community” to the site. I’d be really curious to hear your thoughts. You guys are already doing this… with the Facebook group and even replying to each other’s comments in my posts. But I’d love to get your thoughts on this. I have thought about adding a forum to the site where you can chat with each other, but I’m not really sure what else. Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas.
Sponsored Posts // I know. They aren’t always your favorite. I hear you. I have said this before but I say no a LOT and only work with brands I really believe in and use myself. This time of year there are more requests for sponsored posts, from brands I really want to work with, so by nature, there are more sponsored posts on the blog. Taking on more sponsored content during the holidays allows me to continue to be discerning the rest of the year as things will slow down. For example, I have 9 sponsored blog posts in December. I have only one in January. I wouldn’t be able to live on just one post (let alone cover the expenses of running this blog – I spend thousands of dollars every month on site hosting, photography, and keeping my designer/developer on retainer so that we can add fun elements to the site like the Book Club Page and Holiday Shop). I really rely on November and December for revenue.
I really appreciate you guys, and I appreciate you supporting my sponsors and clicking on my affiliate links. I’m sorry that there are a lot this month. I go out of my way to give you two blog posts a day if I have a sponsored post, which has meant working wayyyyy overtime. For bloggers, this is a very high-stakes/high-pressure time of year and I really do try to balance working with my advertisers and their goals, while also creating meaningful and thoughtful content that you guys want to look at and read.
Gift Guides // Did you guys like them? These were actually an insane amount of work. Image mapping (the click-to-shop feature) requires coding them in the backend – something I am not particularly great at. I put a lot of thought into them, and all in (finding the items, making the graphics, setting up the posts, writing, linking, and coding them) probably takes me about 6-8 hours per guide, so I want to make sure you guys like them. There were 16 guides this year and I am pretty sure I am going to cut that number in half next year. Which guides were your favorite? Which could you have lived without? Be honest!
Wellness + Health // I really let things slip this year. When I moved, I stopped seeing my trainer as my rent was a lot more expensive and it felt silly to trek into the city just for a workout. But guys. I am built for comfort and leisureliness. If someone is not actively kicking my butt/I am not accountable to someone, I will not go to the gym. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that you’re not your best self. My clothes still fit fine but where there was muscle, there is flab. My face is puffier than usual, my muscles are tight and and achey from sitting at a chair all day (please do not suggest that I get a standing desk, that is my worst nightmare!!!) and I just don’t feel awesome about that. I am blaming the gift guides (Ha, but seriously!) but last week I finished with those and took “drastic” measures. I’ve been cooking all healthy things, I got to the gym 4 days, and I cut back on the booze. Things are dire and drastic action is needed.
I have been brainstorming a wellness challenge that will likely launch and replace the holiday shop sometime in January. It will include guest posts from people who actually know what they are talking about, my personal journey as I whip my butt back into shape, healthy ways to reward yourself, and lots of other things. It won’t just be about physical wellness but also mental wellness. I stress a lot and realized this month that so much of it is self-imposed. Given the lighter work load I want January + February over here to be really focused on that. I’ll still have all my other stuff (outfits, beauty, reading lists) but this will likely take over my afternoon posting slot. What do you think? Are you into this? If so, what do you want to see??
Podcasts // I have been having a lot of fun with Instagram stories (I feel like I finally have a place where I can let my sense of humor out a bit?) and have been toying with the idea of starting a Podcast in 2018. Would you listen to it? If so, what would you want to hear about? I really don’t see the point in starting something if someone else is already doing it well, so that’s where I struggle. I have thought about a series where I interview my single male friends to get inside their head… I’ve thought about interviewing my badass girlfriends on their careers… but I always come up short – it feels like everything’s already been done before. Know what I mean? If you have ideas/suggestions/things you want to hear about, I’m all ears!