My Blog Turns 3 Today :)

Today my blog turns 3 and looking through these photos from the past year only goes to show how much has changed over the last 365 days… The biggest change to note is that on this day last year, Charles and I were engaged. Today, we are married. (happy tear) So here’s a look at some of my favorite moments from the past 12 months with a reflection on some personal ups and downs I’ve had with blogging this past year when you get to the bottom.

Grab your choice of beverage and get comfy because today’s post is a long one. :)

A Reflection On This Past Year Of Blogging

Following our elopement last July, we traveled to France, Amsterdam & Barcelona and then came back in the D.C. area to settle into our first year of newlywed bliss. This is when life took over for all the right reasons as evidenced by the fact that I stopped blogging as frequently to almost never. Juggling full-time work, grad school, teaching dance, being a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and then finding time to simply be myself was alot to handle all at once and I had to prioritize all the other hats I wore over wearing the “blogger hat”.

As a result, I took lots of blogging breaks, sometimes for weeks on end. And when I did find time to blog, I found myself becoming overwhelmed by all these other awesome blogs that were in existence and fell into the unfortunate trap of comparing my content to theirs which made me not want to blog even more.

There were sooooo many posts being published on how to be a better blogger with tips for how to grow your blog, gain traffic and make money… Instead of motivating me to be a better blogger, (to me) they only seemed highlight everything I was doing wrong and it made me feel like I had fallen sooooo behind in the blogging world. It was intimidating. But instead of trying to keep up with the crowd, I ultimately came the realization that I am most comfortable sitting as an outlier and that I needed to block out all the noise. I just needed to do me and be me and share that with you as apposed to trying to be or do anything else.

So I set up some parameters to help keep me stable in the ever evolving world of blogging. A list of rules that could only be described as “5 Reasons Why My Blog Hasn’t Grown” and it goes a little something like this:

1) I will aim blog one to two times a week but I will NOT bash myself or apologize if I don’t blog at all. Quality over quantity.

2) I will limit the amount of blogs I read/ am overly influenced by and will focus less on consuming and more on creating content that makes me happy, regardless of whether or not it fits in with the mold.

3) I will allow myself to be open to the idea of making money from my blog but only on my terms and when I am ready. Making money will not be the sole determination of whether my blog is successful.

4) I will not be afraid to share both the positive and negative aspects of life. Because I shouldn’t allow the fact that people read my blog to be the reason why I don’t feel comfortable talking about what makes me a real human being.

5) I will always live first and blog later.

And that’s that. Five blogging rules that I’ve worked to abide by over these past couple of months. Reminding myself of these rules has helped me to stay focused on why I started blogging in the first place. Because at the end of the day, I’m just trying to live my life to fullest and the best person I can be and I shouldn’t allow my blog and other online influences to be the reason why I don’t feel empowered to do so.

I would also like to make note that I truly believe in positively supporting other bloggers so I hope this post doesn’t come off as me bashing or placing shade on the content many bloggers have been sharing. I know their intention is not to make me feel the way I felt. This is me, myself and I who is having a problem and I thought I’d share what I’ve done to deal with it in case anyone out there can relate. (Major kudos to Malou for writing this beautifully honest post that made me feel comfortable with sharing my thoughts today.)

With that said, I guess now is a good time to mention something else you probably don’t know: I’m planning to change my blog’s name… Again.

Yep, that’s what I’m planning to do… Pretty soon actually. I’ve been a Burghal Gurl and a Quaintrelle and for this new blog name, I think I just need to be myself (hint hint for anyone curious to guess what the new blog name will be). As the saying goes, third time’s a charm and I think this blog name change will be for the best overall.

So once again, things will be quiet this blog as I work behind the scenes to get everything transferred over. I hope you’ll stick around to see what changes I have in store.

In conclusion, I guess you can say that today’s post is a little check in to let you know that I am not giving up on blogging… If anything, it’s to say that 3 years after the fact, I feel like I’m only getting started because as I mentioned before in a previous post… Blogging (to me) is not a race, it’s a marathon. And I’m in this for the long run.

A big thank you to anyone who has ever taken the time out of their day to read my posts here on this blog, whether publicly or anonymously, consistently or once in a blue moon. Because while first and foremost, I will always blog for myself… It’s comforting to know that even tho I am just one person in a world made up of about 7 billion people, my voice is still heard. Your comments and support mean so much to me! With that said, I wish you a happy Thursday, almost Friday! :)

Linking up w/ Helene In Between for her “You Probably Don’t Know” linkup. Perfect timing right? 

 

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  • Happy Blogiversary!! Your pictures are amazing.

  • Happy blogiversary! This is my first time here but I love your honesty already! I think blogging is such a tough thing to do specially if it loses its charm, as long as you are still loving it. Go for it!

  • Happy Bloggy Birthday! Awesome post :) Made me smile to flit through the past year on your blog. Your approach to blogging & life always inspires me and I hope you continue to be awesome and real – even if that means static silence every now and again. Looking forward to many more years of bloggy friendship & to the exciting new changes in store! Woop Woop! x

  • you definitely have some of the best pictures from around the world!! happy bloggy birthday!

  • I'm excited to see the new name. New layout too I assume? It's funny because I was scrolling through Timehop and there was a tweet I posted about how your blog was turning 2. :)
    So envious of your travels and adventures. I plan to do a lot more trips in the coming years. I have to. There's so much to see and do.
    And I think those are the best 5 blogging tips I've ever read. You're right that there are tons of posts out there, and I agree that they just make me feel bad and point out everything I'm doing wrong, but the point of blogging is to share your life. So to me #5 is THE most important tip. xo

  • Thank you Mree!

  • Hey Isabel Hey! Welcome to my little bloggity haha. I'm working on being more honest so I really appreciate your comment :) And I totally agree, it's really important to focus on doing the things you love to do. If you don't love what you're doing then what's the point, right?

  • Thanks Malou! I look forward to many more years of bloggy friendship too! Sooo happy to have met you via blogging :) Also, really random but last weekend, Charles and I went to a friend's cookout and I proceeded to show everyone there your centipede post and pictures. Like I literally pulled up your post on my phone and made everyone look at it one by one while we were eating and drinking. Their reactions were hilarious so thank you for sharing that :)

  • Thanks Helene! And also, thanks for coming up with a super fun link up idea! I wasn't sure I would even post anything today but then I saw your link up announcement and found some inspiration to write. :)

  • Thanks Michael! I'm excited for the name change too. As for the layout, I'm a little torn because I really like my current layout and was thinking of just changing the header? But then I figure if I'm going to make a name change then I I should go full out with changing the layout? Who knows, I'm still undecided haha. Yes, I totally 100% support your plan to travel more! I swear that once you start traveling, it's really hard to stop your addiction to it. And this is why I think you and I have always got along, because we see eye to eye when it comes to blogging :) So happy we're blog friends and if it doesn't happen this year, then I def expect you to plan a trip to D.C. next year (pretty please)!

  • Happy blog birthday! Your photos are always great and vibrant. I swear after reading your blog I plan to now save a travel. I need an adventure. I wanna see the world like you! xoxo

  • Thank you Darianne! If travel is something you're interested, I totally think you should go for it! It's an investment that gives you so much back in return and is an educational/eye opening experience. For this past trip to Europe, Charles and I used the majority of our tax returns to fund a bulk of the trip and saved up throughout the year for miscellaneous expenses. Travel is possible if you prioritize it as such. You can do it! :)

  • Happy blog birthday! Looks like it's been one beautiful year x visiting from the link up ;)

  • I really want to make it this year – it's been sooo long! But if it can't be this fall, 10000% next spring.

  • Thanks Natalie!

  • Zoe

    Hey Setarra :). Happy blogging birthday (and happy belated birthday too!!!)

    You just put into words every feeling I have been having about blogging, and your resolutions seem to be the carbon copy of my own ;D tehe. It seems we are being barraged with so many 'grow your blog' type posts these days, and so many cool new blogs and popular post topics that we forget we weren't in it for the monies or the groupies, but for ourselves and our small online communities. It took me a good month of thinking to come to the conclusion that I blog because I like to, and that is good enough for me :). I am so glad you found a kind of peace in the madness too, because I truly love reading your posts – they are witty and inspiring, and probably the best thing about them is that they are just so very human! So keep doing your awesome thing, whether it is sometimes, or hardly ever :).

    Oh oh, and I have to say – so many great photos up there!!! It seems as though your past year has been filled with amazing people, food, and places!

    Best of luck, xX Zoe | http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.co.nz/

  • THIS post. Yes. First off, I love looking at your pictures, so this was a treat for me. I remember the "we eloped" picture and remember being so excited!! (And thinking…"that's what WE should've done!" And I love your 5 blogging rules….live first, blog later, has been top of mine lately. Can't wait to see the new changes and new name coming up!

  • First and foremost, Happy Blogiversary. I've been a silent reader for almost a year and I love this here. It's genuine and I will like to say, I feel the same way in regards to falling so far behind in the blogging world after an unintentional break. It's like everyone is running a race and I just can't keep up, so thank you for these five rules. Also, I'm going to London for a month and I will be visiting lots of cities including Barcelona, Paris (because did you really go to Europe if you didn't take a tourist selfie in front of the tour d'eiffel?) and Amsterdam. Thank you and I look forward to continuing this journey with you. xoxox

    Jully// http://www.juelsoflife.com

  • Thank you for the words of support Zoe! I think it's soooo important to constantly remind one's self of why they started blogging in the first place. I'm so glad you've come to terms with how blogging is evolving as well and that you're going to just do you! I love reading your posts, following your adventures and your writing is sooooo good (I've been bad at commenting in general on blogs lately but just read through some of your most recent posts – Helllooo Mexico, such beautiful photos – we're planning to go there in December so your posts made me excited!). Don't ever stop doing you as well :)

  • Thanks Ashley! I'm hoping to have everything done and ready to go in the next 2 weeks :) Also, so happy to have met you through blogging! Your approach to blogging inspires me as well!

  • Hi Jully! A pleasure to meet you! I'm so glad you find these rules helpful! And yay for traveling to London in a month, I'm sure you're super excited (heck, I'm excited for you haha)! If you have any questions about travel in Paris, Amsterdam or Barcelona, let me know :)