Life Lately and Something Special for You!

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Hi Everyone!

Wow. I’ve missed the old blog ๐Ÿ™‚ You might have noticed that there’s been a bit of a gap since our last post; probably the longest I’ve gone between posts in quite some time.

I promise, I’m still here – but there’s just been A LOT going on lately. I figured I’d let you in on some of the excitement, drama, and so on ๐Ÿ™‚

First things first, Dan and I finally took our first ‘vacation’ together this month to go home for my little brother’s wedding. It was the first time we’ve been off together in three years. ย Through various comings and goings of work contracts and the like, somehow we weren’t ever able to take time off at the same time for an entire 36 month period. Now that we are both in jobs we love and with schedules that are predictable, it was amazing to be able to book a few days together!

Here we are celebrating (with ironic faces) at the Halifax airport en route to Toronto ๐Ÿ˜› hahaAt the Halifax Airport

Taking the break, seeing my favorite (only!) baby bro marry the lady of his dreams and soaking up some fun times with my husband and family was oh-so-important. I turned my email notifications off. I had some blog content banked for you folks – but I otherwise checked out completely. I totally needed it!

But there have been a few other things going on as well that are giving me reason to just take a breath and really focus on what this blog means to me and what I (hope) it means to you.

One of the boring reasons? Tech updates. Blerg. I spent a week migrating our site to a more reliable server. After I heard from quite a few of you via Facebook that some of our links were sporadically dead, I investigated and decided to make the switch. So that held me up – because I hate tech issues! We decided to go with SiteGround by the way and so far, the experience has been great.

A blah reason? Since we got back from vacation, my day job has been CRAZY busy, and both Dan and I have been really under the weather. Good news? We were able to binge watch the newest season of House of Cards. Bad news? It hurts to eat popcorn when your throat is dry and scratchy.

The biggest reason I’ve slowed down a bit? It requires a little more explaining.

I started blogging four years ago. In the blogging universe, that might as well be 100 years. It’s a LONG time. And over the course of my journey with DIY Passion, I have been blessed to have encountered incredible, inspiring and outstanding people. I say ‘encountered’ because like 99% of my blogging friends are people I’ve never met.

In the past couple of years since DIY Passion has become a focus for me and I’ve sought out ways to grow by blog and share my stuff with lots of other folks, I’ve also been privileged enough to be welcomed into a few ‘communities’ for bloggers. They are little corners of the Internet that are set up for larger bloggers to help smaller bloggers (and most days, I still consider myself a small fry). I remember the first invite I got to a ‘big’ group. It is sponsored by a REALLY big home decor sharing site. I had butterflies. It was like entering blogging Mecca. In retrospect, I entered that group with some serious blind trust, just believing that what the big guys were doing would be good for little guys like me. Sure, every once in a while, I’d see a big boost in traffic to our blog as a result of something posted on that BIG site. A couple of times, it even got us featured in some online magazines. No doubt, I have learned A LOT about blogging and business from the support and guidance I received in that group.

But over the past few weeks, it pains me say, that whole construct has crumbled. Revelations have come forth of the ‘big site’ luring smaller bloggers into the fold under arguably false pretenses, of our content being poached and pillaged, exposing the inner workings of a system that has been making us compete with ourselves.

I won’t go into too much detail, because I know you’re not here to listen to me rant about ‘blogging’. But I just feel so dumb. That ‘Big Site’ now says it’s doing what it can to rectify the situation – but the sting is still there.

I feel like I was walking around in this blogging world wearing rose coloured glasses, just believing that everyone else was up front, transparent and honest.

I blog because I love it. I create and share because it’s just ‘what I do’. Nine of ten times, the DIY and Home Decor blogging community is AMAZING. It’s one of those female driven industries where we prop each other up instead of tearing each other down – and I love it. And honestly, some of my strongest and deepest friendships are with bloggers who I’ve never met face-to-face – it’s truly an extraordinary experience.

It hurts me, however, that the remaining ten percent just fail to see the true value in what we bloggers do.

Conceive, curate, create, compose, share, inspire – repeat.

Creatives are valuable. Female entrepreneurs are valuable. I am proud of what I do. And I hope that shines through ๐Ÿ™‚ Most weeks (this week, obviously the exception), I work an additional 20 hours on this blog – trying to put my best and most honest foot forward, challenging myself to learn new things and reach new heights. It’s hard for me to swallow that so often I find my content scalped on other sites, photos stolen and not-properly attributed, large companies requesting that I simply ‘whip together a project and post’ for nothing in return but a late night Tweet. ย Just this week, bloggers have discovered a site claiming to have 1,000,000 craft tutorials “at your fingertips” and it seems that most of it is stolen content. They have 15 of my posts just copied onto their site behind a sign-up wall. ย They are literally making money off of my work (and other bloggers I’m sure you read too!) with no remorse. *sigh*

I guess, I’ve just been feeling a little sore over it all this month. So I’m just going to ease myself back into projects, if that’s alright with you ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, after all of that I do plan to get back up with projects soon!!

In terms of stuff I’ve got cooking up for you – we are DEEP into basement renovations and I hope to share our plans with you soon (it’s gonna be SO GOOD), I’ve got a post that will hopefully help solve some of your ‘I hate speaker wires’ woes, and our sun room has had a few updates that I’d love to show you. I just have to get out of this funk and get going on writing and photographing everything!

So you stuck through this post… and I mentioned there’s something special here for you!

One of my best blogging friends is Emily from Table & Hearth and today she is celebrating TWO years as a blogger! And because of that, we are part of a Raffle Giveaway in her honor!

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14 bloggers (including us!) have teamed up to celebrate and we’re offering one lucky reader a $250 gift card to their choice of either: Pottery Barn, Target, Home Depot or Amazon!

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Brought to you by:

Table & Hearth
Kenarry: Ideas for the Home
Bigger Than the Three of Us
LIttle House of Four
Making it in the Mountains
Fresh Crush
The Inspired Hive
Lemon Thistle
Dwell Beautiful
Average But Inspired
Canary Street
DIY Passion
Houseologie
Little Red Brick House
Brepurposed

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6 thoughts on “Life Lately and Something Special for You!

  1. Oh my….so sorry to hear about what’s happened with regard to your content. Sounds like you’re not alone, and that valuable lessons have been learned. Looking forward to seeing the basement reno…when you are ready. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have been missing your posts about projects and blogs so I’m glad you are back! I look forward to seeing what your both up to with that basement of yours. So far, what I’ve seen, it’s been exciting!

  3. Isn’t it absolutely disheartening to have your work poached! I’m not sure how we’re supposed to get ahead when there are so many people who are happy to knock us down! Know that I am always behind you, pushing and helping you to get ahead. xo

  4. I was just telling my husband about the site that has been using blogger content to sell products (I *think* we are referring to the same site) and I’ll be damned if they didn’t have 17 of my own projects on their site! I immediately sent an email demanding they be removed – they did this morning thankfully. Although, I would be really interested to know which “big site” you are referring to….

  5. This just burns my butt! I really don’t understand people anymore, sad. I’ve been looking for your blog and glad you’re back.

    You see Erin, I spend most of my days in bed due to severe osteoporosis and you and the other bloggers just bring so much sunshine into my life! Don’t let the cowards get you down, remember Karma?

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