Happy new year! Anyone else feel like they weren’t quite ready for a new year? We had a great time in Arizona for Christmas and then spent the next two weeks in varying degrees of one of the worst colds of my life. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready for a fresh start on January 1st. So I took a few weeks off to refresh and recharge.
Now I’m back and ready to get started. First things first is a new look for Luv in the Bubble! When I started my blog over four years ago, my life was a lot different than it is today. I worked in a corporate environment, we had two incomes and no kids. With my life changing, I had a refresh for my blog in the back of my mind. When Victoria and Lisa launched Empress Themes late last year, I knew it was the perfect time for an update. I’ve long admired their style and have referred to them as my dream team. Since a custom design isn’t in my budget, going the theme route was a no brainer. Over the past two weeks, I’ve had fun customizing the theme, which is very easy for someone with limited coding knowledge. If you’re a blogger or looking to start a blog, I couldn’t recommend it more!
What to Expect in 2018
In addition to refreshing the look and feel of Luv and the Bubble, I also spent time thinking about what I wanted to focus on in 2018. Since I became a mother almost three years ago, it’s become important to me to share my motherhood journey. So much of what is shared on social media are the highlights of life, including motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see cute kids. But motherhood is hard. Maybe it’s just me, but many days I find it really, really difficult and I have a feeling I’m not alone. My goal for this year is to share the real stuff. The highlights and hard moments.
I started this blog to share the things I love and that will continue. I love shopping, discovering new brands and trusted items from old favorites, and styling clothing in a way that makes me feel good. I no longer have the disposable income to spend shopping that I once did (I should start referring to this as #lifebeforekids) and my day to day style is much more casual than it was when I worked in a corporate environment. My goal to share how I wear items I’ve had for years and shop for basics on sale. Don’t worry, I plan to mix in a few date night looks because I still love to dress up once in awhile!
Over the past few years, living a cleaner lifestyle has become a bigger focus in my life. From household cleaning to safer beauty products, I care more about what I put on and into my body. And even more importantly, I care about what I put into and on Lawson and Sybil. Fitness has long been a part of my life. In the past few years, I haven’t made it a priority (because you know…sleep has been my priority). When I think about what makes me happy, the #1 thing is being active and working out.
A Look Back at 2017
I always find it fun to reflect on the last year when thinking about the coming one and was inspired by Grace and Katie to do a more in depth 2017 blogging annual review. In 2017, I published 112 blog posts, which is an average of just under 10 a month. This is a decrease of 17 from the prior year (my highest blog post year was 2014 when I published 240 posts…ahh, #lifebeforekids). My pages were viewed more than 25,000 times in 2017, which is a 10% decrease from 2016. I talk about it in more detail below, but I have one post from 2014 that does really well on Pinterest and drives a ton of traffic more than three years later. So even though I’ve published less blog posts, my page views have held fairly steady.
Since I love a good list, here are the top 10 blog posts in 2017. There are a few posts from earlier years that perform really well which you’ll see in the top 10.
01. How to Pack for a Beach Vacation – I wrote this post in December 2014 when Jim and I went to Hawaii for our babymoon. It went viral on Pinterest (okay, viral for me) and has been repinned over 3,000 times and appears on the first page of a Pinterest search on packing for a beach vacation. This post drove 25% of my page views in 2017. I would actually love to redo the graphic, but I don’t want to mess with a good thing!
02. 03 & 10. Little Luv Update – 34 Weeks, Little Luv Update – 38 Weeks and Little Luv Update – These posts are from 2015 when I was pregnant with Lawson. I wrote about my fibroid in these pregnancy updates and believe woman in similar situations searching for information on fibroids and pregnancy find their way to these posts. One of the most rewarding parts of blogging has been when these women reach out to me to learn more about my experience.
04. Real Life: My Post Pregnancy Body – Similar to the above posts, I shared how I was dealing with my body after Lawson’s birth. I’m really proud of the honesty in this post, but the photo makes me cringe. This year I plan to share an update on my post-pregnancy body image (hint, I still struggle with it over two years later).
05. A New Adventure – Finally, a post from 2017! This post announced our move to Los Angeles last summer. It’s a reminder to me that you want to hear about my real life.
06. A Letter to Sybil – When Sybil was born, I struggled to bond with her. In this post, I shared my feelings and difficulties. It’s one of the posts I am most proud of writing last year. As a mother, admitting you don’t feel immediate love for your child isn’t something that’s talked about a lot.
07. A Life Well Lived – My grandmother passed away last year and I had the honor of speaking at her funeral. In this post, I shared the eulogy I gave. I think about and miss her almost every day.
08. My Best Purchase of 2016 – A few years ago I participated in a blog link-up on my best purchase of the year. Last year I organized a similar link-up, which drove more views to this post. Look for a post on my best purchase of 2017 soon!
09. Hospital Bag – I belong to a few motherhood groups on Facebook and frequently share the items I packed in my hospital bag for Sybil’s birth, which is focused on cesarean births. I was unprepared for the aftermath of childbirth and thought I’d be walking out of the hospital in a cute outfit. Ha, I was so wrong!
There are a handful of posts from 2017 that didn’t make the top 10, but that I really enjoyed creating.
01. The Investment Pieces – I spent over a year creating this post and I’m so glad I did as a few items I invested in didn’t hold up over time (I’m talking about you, Rails flannel shirts). Over the years I’ve learned to invest in quality items and there isn’t much I love more than finding an item on sale. Combine the two and it’s a winning combination in my book. These are the items I’ve never regretted spending money on.
02. Holiday Gift Guide – Books for the Littles – Almost every blogger puts together gift guides and I’m no exception. It’s how we make money and next to the Nordstrom anniversary sale, the holidays are the most profitable period of the year. I truly enjoy putting gift guides together, but this year I decided to take a different spin for one of them by focusing on children’s books. I’m prouder of this gift guide than any other!
03. How to Survive a Baby with Colic and Reflux – The first few months of Sybil’s life were among the hardest of my life. There were days I didn’t think I’d make it. Reading about other mothers that were going through the same thing was helpful to me. If this post can help someone going through a similar situation, it is worth every minute I spent writing it.
04. The Only Six Shoes Every Guy Needs – Jim came home with the idea for this blog post one night. Blogging is generally a very solitary project. Brainstorming with him about this post was such fun. And I stand behind these 6 shoes!
05. 25 Things You Might Not Know About Me – I always enjoy reading these types of posts from other people and was surprised how much I loved thinking about some of my quirkier qualities. Look for a similar “day in the life” post coming up this year.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading what turned out to be a monster of a post! Creating, writing and sharing with you is good for my soul. It reminds me I’m more than a mother. Cheers to a new year!