My First Year of Blogging: 5 Big Lessons

My first year of blogging has been a fun ride! No, it hasn’t been all roses and fireworks, of course, just like no other new endeavor is. But it certainly was exciting!

It’s hard to believe but my 1 year anniversary of starting a blog had come and gone so fast, I barely had time to blink! On January 31st I posted my first blog post and…took that scary step off the diving board in to the unknown of the online business of blogging.

I have learned a lot during my first year of blogging. Like a LOT a lot. Some of it was awesome and useful information, and some was just painful but absolutely necessary for my growth.

Here’s the run-down of 5 biggest lessons I learned in my first year of blogging.

first year of blogging

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Winter Bucket List

Winter Bucket List?? Really? What’s that? It’s a remedy for winter blues, that’s what it is!

As the confetti after a fun New Year’s Eve celebration settles, and we realize that the holidays are finally over, there usually comes a lull in our activities and mood. That’s when we pull out our craft supplies and come up with a list of fun things to do in winter!

Winter Bucket List

Inspired by our annual Summer Bucket List, our family came up with a Fall Bucket List last year, and it was a great hit! We all looked at it to see what we could do on week-ends or evenings after school, so there was no shortage of ideas.

No, we did NOT do all the things we wrote down, but it was never our intention. I have to admit that we create seasonal bucket lists simply for inspiration and as an interactive way to brainstorm ideas of fun things to do as a family.

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New Beginnings

Hello, 2019!!

The beginning of the year is always filled with so much potential and promise. Just as I open the pages of my new planner, this new year opens the doors to new possibilities and new adventures. Empty pages are exciting and oh so inviting to write down your new ideas and plans, aren’t they?

I say “ideas and plans” intentionally. I stink at resolutions, and so it never really appeals to me to make big promises. Honestly, I much rather prefer thinking about it in terms of having an “IDEA” and then coming up with a “PLAN” to execute it. Setting simple smaller goals and working toward them throughout the year sounds much more appealing to me. I guess I just really like simplicity but with a dose of realism, of course.

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Practical Ways to Practice Hospitality This Holiday Season

The holidays are here, and it is truly one of the best times to try to practice hospitality in your home.

First of all, during this festive time, there are so many reasons and excuses to get together! Friendsgiving, baking Christmas cookies, watching holiday movies, Ugly Sweater parties, Winter Solstice celebrations, decorating the house, trimming the tree, New Year’s Eve parties are just a few to mention.

Take advantage this holiday season and surprise someone with an invite to a simple cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the fellowship! It will bring joy, warmth, encouragements, connection, and countless other benefits of practicing hospitality to you and your guests.

practice hospitality

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This Christmas, Give The Gift of Time

The best gift to anyone is surprisingly The Gift of Time!

We live in a world of consumerism, often believing that in order to feel satisfied and happy, we need more and more of…stuff. But at the end of the day, if you ask yourself, “what would you love to have more of”, the answer will almost always be “I wish I had more…time”.

As I’m starting to think about gift-giving this season, I’m coming to realize that the best gift we can offer has to be TIME. Things are nice. And nice things are even nicer. And sometimes we do need things in our lives. But, inadvertently, things wear out, break, get lost, are put away, or get forgotten in the back of our closets (ask me how I know)… But TIME, especially if you share it with someone, is a kind of gift that keeps on giving because it now becomes an experience!!! It leaves an impression on your heart and becomes a lasting memory for the giver and receiver alike.

THE GIFT OF TIME

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Truth in the Tinsel–Christ-focused Advent Countdown for Kids

Note: this post contains an affiliate link to the Truth in the Tinsel eBook.

For the past 5 years, our family has been enjoying a wonderful Christ-focused Advent countdown called Truth in the Tinsel. It is created by Amanda White who blogs at OhAmanda.com. I have been following Amanda and reading her blog for years. I admire her passion for bringing Christ into the lives of children in a meaningful and fun way. When my kids were old enough to understand and answer some basic questions and do fun crafts, we went out and purchased the eBook “Truth In The Tinsel”! I printed it out, and since that first year we still use that same print-out to this day. This Christ-focused advent countdown has been our go-to Christmas resource for many years!

Christ-focused advent countdown

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Simple Fall Leaf Garland

Simple Fall Leaf Garland is a perfect craft for a rainy fall afternoon. It does require a simple prep—collecting the leaves and either pressing them or drying them. I usually just stick them between the pages of my very big cookbook. You do not need to dry your leaves for a very long time in order to use them to make this simple fall leaf garland. One or two days is the minimum. If you use freshly picked ones, the leaves will curl up by the end of the day, and your garland will be looking pretty sad. So make sure to go outside, enjoy some of that gentle fall sunshine and pick some gorgeous fall leaves for this project.

simple fall leaf garland

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Roasted Squash Seeds

Have you ever tried making other roasted squash seeds other than pumpkin?? The other day I was making spaghetti squash for dinner. As I started scooping out the seeds, it reminded me of the Hallmark’s show Home and Family and their recent episode where they had a segment on what to do with all different types of squash seeds. Apparently, you don’t have to be limited to just pumpkin seeds!! All squash seeds are good for  roasting and even, to my surprise, making seed milk from them! Who knew?

roasted squash seeds

So right then and there I decided to give it a try since I already had a squash on my cutting board! It turned out to be super easy, and if you are brave, go for it too!

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SIMPLE FALL DATES

Simple Fall Dates are made of just that: simple living, homemade foods, and maybe a little bit of fall magic that encompasses all its delicious smells and magnificent colors.

There is definitely something about Fall that just sparks romance in everything we see and feel. Don’t you agree? Beautiful views and changing colors that beg you to go outdoors. Cool air that encourages snuggles and cozy fires.

Simple Fall Dates

Having been married for a few years and having a couple of kids definitely can throw couples off their game a bit, and so you’ll need to be a little creative to keep the romance going. And the beautiful fall is just the season to enjoy a few simple fall dates.

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