Blogging for 6months and what I've learned

Hey, It's my 6 month blogiversary! WooHoo! To celebrate, I'm recapping what's been happening here in Lewisville for the past 6 months.  Warning: this post may take you 6 months to read, so grab a cup of coffee and relax with me a bit.

 Yup, I've been sharing my heart for home for 6 whole months now!  I can not believe how much time has gone by since I set out on this journey of blogging.  Every post and every project has been a great adventure.  Crafting and painting and getting in "way over my head" at times, has always been part of my daily routine.  Sharing it with you all is just an added perk in this lady's life.  Let me just say thank you  to all of you who come by regularly and read my post.  Thank you for leaving such kind comments.  You sure know how to make a girl feel special!  As I give you a recap of my DIY life in pictures (click on the pictures to read about the project), allow me to give you the history behind Lewisville Love and how it got started.
My very FIRST paint project.
About 2 years ago, I attempted to clean out my junk drawer.  I know this sounds easy enough, and come on, let's be honest- it's a junk drawer.  We're not talking rocket science.   I'm thinking, no problem.  I graduated from college (Go Bruins!); I was a high school teacher; I'm raising and homeschooling 3 kids now; how challenging can a little junk drawer be?  After an hour (or two) of cleaning, and organizing, and throwing away trash, the drawer was no where near being cleaned.  I conceded.  The junk drawer had won and I had failed.  ( I should mention now that I get a little side tracked when it comes to cleaning.)
My first post & thrift store makeover.  I accidentally clicked the "Publish" button 2 weeks before my launch.  Oops.
But I would not go quietly.  Oh no!  I needed a plan of attack, and I found one.... by accident.  Yup, it all started with an accident.  I was reading an article on Dave Ramsey's site about organizing your weekly menu to save money.  I had to see if there was some tip I hadn't implemented  in Lewisville yet.  While reading there, I stumbled on a link that said,"clean your junk drawer in 15minutes". Say what!?!? They were obviously lying, but just out of curiosity and to prove their outrageous deceit, I thought I should check it out.
I got crafty with paper.
That link lead me to another link, then another, until I stumbled upon this great organizing blog called Delightful Order.  There I found a really, really organized women and she was showing the world how everyone could be organized too.  Her pantry was amazingly organized and beautiful.  Yes, her pantry.  The kids toys and rooms and every nook in her home was just- beautifully organized.  It was inspiring, and on her blog,  she showed other blogsites that inspired her.  I clicked on them of course. That lead me to other decorating and do it yourself blogs, and after weeks of reading and finding a whole new world of home blogs,  I decided to act on everything I was learning.  I painted a chair, then a room, then a dresser, then a desk, and then after a few projects, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could start a blog too. 
My most popular post.  Apparently we all love cheap and green cleaning.
I prayed, and waited, and prayed, and waited.  I didn't want to start something that I couldn't finish or continue doing well.  In the meantime, while I was taking the time to pray and wait, it seemed like everything I read and every Bible study I heard had to do with "doing something", living your life out loud to God's glory, and taking steps in places we didn't think we'd go.  Hmmm, ok, that sounds a little like me right now?  I'll just give that some thought and take it into consideration. 
Inspired by the Olympics, my must read inspiration post.  You'll like it. I promise.
There were logistical considerations too.  I'm a homeschooling mom.  Could I blog and homeschool while still keeping up with my home and family life? (not to mention my sanity)  I didn't want my family to suffer in any way, and we've all read how this so often happens with mommy bloggers. We've even had to say good bye to a few of our favorites because it's so easy for a blog to take over your life.  They wisely have set their blogs aside and given priority back to their homes.  I knew that if I was going to do this blogging thing, my priorities would have to remain in tact- the Lord first, then my life as mom and wife, a life I'm really thankful for by the way. 
My $1 art project and the first project to be featured!  Oh Happy Day!
 The other consideration was that we just moved to Colorado.  Could I blog about a home I'm renting temporarily? Would there be enough to talk about and share?  Silly me.  When has a women ever not had enough to say?  Ok, so those considerations were all in check.  My husband was on board and rooting for me as my biggest cheerleader.  The door was open and I just needed to walk through it.  Scared? Yes.  Would it fail?  Quite possibly.  To be honest,  at this point, I was more scared of not trying.  "Everything worth doing is going to be tough in the beginning," I told myself.  Alright.  I'm going to do this.  I'm going to start a blog.   Then, there was that last thing- the blog itself.  Dadadum.  How do you start a blog anyway?
I saw my self on Pinterest!  Can you paint laminate? YES!
I had no idea what it took to blog. The word blog means weB Log, but home bloggers don't just log/write.  We design, decorate, organize, create, and the beat goes on. There are pictures to take, photo editing to be done, labels and printables to develop,  link parties and link parties to link your work.  And when people come to visit your blog, you want it to look nice- look custom.  I wouldn't be hiring someone to design my blog.  I would have to learn everything on my own. It couldn't be to difficult though, right?  There are so many bloggers, and blogs, and projects, and homes, and every one does such a great job giving tutorials and how to's.
Silly me, again.  I truly underestimated what it really took to blog.   I didn't know the difference between blogger and wordpress; a domain name or URL.  HTML codes?  a what a what? How do you design a blog? I had no idea.  But I would learn...maybe...hopefully....in time.

My personal favorite project.
So I decided to start with something easy and blogger seemed like the most logical choice since I had a gmail account.  I know; it really makes no sense, but that's how I think.  Now, my only problem was coming up with a name.  It was my most difficult decision.  It took me weeks.  A name says so much about you, don't you think?  All the good ones were taken of course, Censational girlPioneer Woman.  The Inspired Room.  Thrifty Decor Chick.  Oh the dilemma.  What's in a name?  What is my name?  Then it came to me.  Lewisville, Colorado is the city where we're landing. Ok, it's not really spelled like that, but I like my way better.  And since the dot com wasn't taken, Lewisville Love was born.

Every Tuesday I share Tips and Tricks for you home.
I used blogger's pre-made templates and for 6 weeks before I launched my blog. I experimented with design and learned about adding widgets- all those things you see on the side, also called a side bar.  I celebrated when I figured out how to add facebook and pinterest.  If you're patient and read through things, you can add anything you want to your blog.  It did take me some time though to figure things out.  Maybe I'm just slow, but I'll be 39 in a week and learning something completely new and technical was a challenge I would face head on! Bring it!
I almost didn't write about this, but it had so many hits and tied for the most comments.  Go figure?
I picked Valentines Day, February 14, as my launch into the big blog world.  Lewisville Love launching on a day of "love", ya- I'm all drama that way sometimes.  I wrote a few post so that when people did come, there would be enough content to keep them interested.   I was shooting for having 10 post ready for people to read that first day.  I think I only had 5; maybe 4.  I told friends and family and expected everyone to be my instant followers and friends on the blog.  They weren't.   Wait a minute.  Is it supposed to work this way?

A favorite (and cheap) craft project.- From box to basket
My goal was to blog at least 3 times each week.  Three post doesn't seem over whelming, but I quickly learned I just couldn't do three blog post.  The writing comes easy for me, but what we don't see behind the scenes is the prep, photography, editing, and the actual time it takes to do the project.  For now two post a week is perfect for me.  Will it increase as time goes on?  Hopefully, but I'm constantly keeping my priorities in check.
An easy, must know recipe for every mom out there.
The hardest part about blogging is wanting to see your blog grow exponentially overnight.  I constantly have to remind myself this is a marathon I'm on, not a sprint.  I really love working on my home, but it takes time to get things done.  Since I'm thrifting my way to a beautiful home, it may take more time.  I've enjoyed sharing my projects with you and sharing a part of my life. Blogging has been my labor of love, and  a much needed creative outlet for me.  I wrote the following 6 months ago when I started.  It can be found on my "About Me" page.  It's still very true today.  

I still have these on my table after 2 months.  They still look good!
"This blog is meant to inspire and encourage every one of you who aspire to live an abundant life, all while pouring a little love into your home for your family and all who enter it.  My greatest desire is to live a life worthy of my calling.  My calling as a wife and mom is ever dependent on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It’s from Him that any creativity from my work comes.  My prayer is that you would be blessed as you read this blog, and may your home always be filled with Love."
 
For those of you who are starting a blog or thinking about- Go for it!  There's plenty of room out here in blogland and we're awaiting your brilliance!  Share it with us.  
Another quick paint project. I should have named this blog "Just Paint It!"

Six months isn't long, but here's what I've learned:
1.  Be patient.
2.  Set a launch date and work on having a few post ready when you start.
3.  Set your goals for the blog and your personal blogging schedule.
4.  Link your projects to blog parties (both large and small) to get your name and projects out there.
5.  Eventually, you will be featured.  Be patient.
6.  Eventually, people (besides you mom) will follow you.
7.  Don't expect all your facebook friends to be your blog followers.
8.  If you see a post about the the technical side of blogging, like how to make a navigation bar or party button, read it.  You can do this yourself without spending money hiring someone to do it for you
9.  Leave comments on other new blogs, encourage other bloggers, and make friends.  
10.  Have fun with this. There will be times when you're down concerning blogging.  Remember why you started and remind yourself of where you want to go with this.

My thrift store shopping rules and my new fave store!
Home blogging is a great community to be in. Everything I've learned about blog design has been because other bloggers have shared their resources.  Technical blogging tips can be difficult to read and follow, but a few home bloggers have done a great job sharing this information, making it easy for us who are "technically and computer challenged" to understand and take action. Go here for 10 tips for New Bloggers who want to add Blog Bling.  I share where to go for photo tips and blog design tips.

Valentines Day= Launch Day.  I made a heart cake.

I hope you enjoyed my crazy review.  It really has been my great adventure! If you're not a blogger and read everything, thanks for hanging in there.  Have a great week everyone.  I'll see you back here on Saturday.  I have an extra post this week!  Ironic, isn't it?

Blessings,
Lisa

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style
No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Saved by Love Creations 
Miss Mustard Seed
Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm 
Restore Interiors
Tip  Junkie









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