Exciting News From The Blog!

posted by Andrea | 01/20/2020

news from the blog

We’re still in the first month of a NEW DECADE, and I can’t help but reflect back on how much my life has changed since 2010.

I went from using a flip phone with no internet at home (seriously) to now running a business completely from my smartphone and home computer.

I went from long curly hair to super short hair.

I went from living in a cute little starter house to buying and renovating almost every square inch of our farmhouse.

I went from being a newly-married entrepreneur, working full-time while trying to start up a side hustle, to being a stay-at-home mother of 4, earning an income while my children sleep! 

Yup… just a few changes!

newly married couple riding bikes

my family photo

One thing that has NOT changed is my commitment to simplify every aspect of life… for my own family, AND for yours. 

If you’re reading this today, it’s most likely because, at some point over the last 10 years, you made a choice to simplify your life, streamline your schedule, and create more time for the people, things, and activities that bring you joy. 

Maybe you were looking for simple-living tips to save your sanity, maybe you wanted more family-friendly recipes, or maybe you needed a little extra clutter-busting motivation.

Whatever the reason, you somehow “found” my online home… and I’m THRILLED you chose to share part of your simple-living journey with me!

working mom with infant in carrier

As I look ahead to a new decade, I’m excited to share even more simple-living tips and inspiration with you…

BUT… I plan to share this information in a slightly different way.

Instead of publishing a new blog post every single weekday, and sharing quick tips and family updates on social media, I plan to send the MAJORITY of all my communications via email — directly to my subscribers.

What Does This Mean for YOU?

It means that if you still want to hear from me every weekday, you’ll need to enter your email address in that little box below.

Super simple… I know!

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NOTE: if you’re reading this via email — you’ll want to click here to subscribe

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me answer some of the questions you might have! 

UPDATE: So many more questions keep coming in — I’ve answered many of them in this post

WHY the sudden change?

Honestly, I’ve had this blog post drafted since July! I’ve thought about publishing it SOOO many times, but I kept pushing it back and pushing it back… so for me, it’s not a sudden change at all! 

Over the last 8-10 months, I’ve felt the pull to SIMPLIFY my business life, and I’ve made much progress so far. 

  • I quit all but one of my Virtual Assistant jobs.
  • I’ve said “no” to almost every request for giveaways and sponsored posts.
  • I shut down another website I ran a few years ago.
  • I streamlined my social media quite a bit.
  • I implemented new strategies to help me better manage my time.

But, I feel I need to do more. 

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No really… WHY are you doing this?

The internet is a MUCH different place than it was when I signed up for my very first free Blogger blog (back in 2007!) It’s a lot busier and “noisier” now, and I don’t love it like I did way back then. 

By connecting with you through email, I can eliminate a significant amount of the extra noise from social media, advertising, Search Engine Optimization, photos, videos, comments, etc.

With email, it’s just you, me, the email, and exactly what I want to share with you that day. No distractions, no busyness, no extra noise. 

Honestly, I feel this will offer an improved reader-experience for you too! 

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What will happen to the blog?

NOTHING! 

The blog will stay right where it is for the foreseeable future. I have no plans to move it anywhere. 

And… I will still publish new content each week (just not every single weekday as I do now). 

I’m actually working on a totally NEW blog design that I’m super excited to share with you in a couple of months!

The new design and layout will better-highlight archived posts and make all my past content more easily accessible for you! 

And speaking of “archived posts”, I am slowly working my way through hundreds of my previous posts, updating them with better images, new information, more relevant links, printable recipe cards, videos, and more — all in attempts to make my website more useful for YOU!

Those of you on my email list will get the first sneak-peeks at my new website, as well as quick links to all the archived posts I’m working diligently to update — so yeah, you should definitely subscribe! 

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What about social media?

I will still be somewhat active on Facebook and Instagram (at least for now) — but I don’t plan to spend nearly as much time on social media. 

I have nothing against social media, and from a business standpoint, this is probably a really bad decision. However, I don’t enjoy it right now, and the amount of time and effort required to keep it going just isn’t ideal for my life — so it won’t be a priority for me these next few months.

So far, I’ve been stubborn and have refused to “pay to play” on social media. As a result, the new algorithms seem to hide my content from those of you who actually like and follow me — making email seem like a better, more direct, less time-consuming alternative once again.

Also, as my children get older, I don’t plan to share as much about them on the live blog or on social media — instead, I’ll reserve the majority of my family updates and photos for email subscribers.

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What if we already subscribe to your blog?

Those of you who signed up for the 20-Day Simplify Your Life Challenge are NOT on my regular list… so after the challenge, you will not receive future emails from me (unless you choose to sign up for my regular email list.)

If you currently subscribe to my blog via the old Feedburner subscription, you will still want to join the new email list because I plan to turn the Feedburner subscription off in another couple of weeks. There’s a chance I will be able to transfer everything over, but your best bet is just to re-subscribe.

And if you subscribe via some sort of Feed Reader, you’ll also want to get on the new email list as Feed Readers won’t show you when I update old content (which is where I’ll be focusing more of my efforts moving forward).

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What will you do instead?

Honestly, nothing! 

I’m not taking on any new jobs, and as I’ve mentioned above, I actually quit most of my Virtual Assistant jobs too. 

Moving forward, I do hope to use some of my “extra time” to focus on long-term projects.

I have 2 eBooks “in the works” right now, and have been begged by so many of you to start a Podcast (something I’m currently learning more about)!

I also launched a FREE 20-Day Simple Living Challenge earlier this month (join the challenge here) and I’d love to offer more e-courses and workshops like this too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the nearly 2000 of you who are working your way through my challenge — it’s all via email with no distractions or extra “noise” and the feedback I’m getting is amazing!

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When will your email arrive?

My current plan is to send out some sort of email each weekday morning (shortly after 6 am EST). 

Sometimes, my emails will be longer and link back to my blog for additional information.

Other days, I might send out a free weekly menu plan or a handful of quick tips.

Sprinkled throughout the emails, I plan to share links to my favorite products, cool resources I’ve come across, updates on my personal life… and of course, cute pictures of the kids! 

The emails will be worth your time — I promise!

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When will the changes take effect?

Essentially… right now! 

However, it will be a gradual process because you know change is difficult for me! 🙂

I’ll start sending emails out this week already, but I still have several blog posts in my queue, so I’ll blog more regularly over the next couple of weeks. Then I plan to gradually taper off to sharing just 2 or 3 new posts a week on the live blog. 

But remember, I still plan to share all sorts of fantastic tips, ideas, motivation, and inspiration to help you simplify your home and life via daily emails sent directly to you (well, only if you subscribe).

As an added bonus, all email subscribers will have exclusive access to a variety of FREE printable checklists, calendars, menu planners, and more (I’ll be rolling out a bunch of new freebies in 2020)!

Consider this my thank-you gift to you for being such loyal readers!

simplify your life

I know this decision might seem crazy to some. However, I’ve thought about it for MONTHS, talked over the pros and cons with Dave at least 7,832 times, sought the counsel of a few blogger friends who have taken big jumps like this, and tweaked the wording in this post more times than I can count.

In light of my life-long commitment to simplify my own life, I feel I’m making the best choice for me, for now.

I can’t imagine I will look back on my life and wish I had worked more when my children were young… so I’m excited to spend fewer hours online while still connecting with so many of you each day (assuming you get on my email list!)

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I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had these past 10 years and I’m excited to see what the next 10 years have in store!

Thank you for sharing at least part of the last decade with me. I wish you the best in 2020, and beyond!

Filed under: WorkBlogging

Leave a comment

129 comments

  1. Sharon

    02/03/2020

    Andrea, thank you for reaching out. I probably did not look at this site that often or like you didn’t want to see it everyday.
    Since I signed up… I want you to know I am a procrastinate. I have 3 sewing rooms to get really organize and a how that needs serious cleaning and remodeling.
    All suggestions will be taken more serious.
    When I first signed up I was working and now I am a widow and retired. My son is grown and not living with me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh good — well if you’re on the email list, you’ll get little tips, reminders, and motivation from me every weekday morning!

    [Reply]

  2. Kim

    01/23/2020

    Hi – I signed up for the emails the day you published this post and I never received a confirmation email or any others. I checked my spam folder, too. I am going to try signing up with my other email address today and see if I get it there. Just wanted to let you know in case anyone else had the same issue – you may be missing some subscribers who do want to hear from you. The email above is the one I tried. I also tried to sign up for the challenge and same thing. I will try with my other email address.

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    Yes, with my other email it worked right away so likely it is something with my first email provider (mail.com), but just in case others had the same issue I wanted to let you know.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Kim,
    yes, if you’re using an “abnormal” email provider like iname.com, there’s a decent chance your emails will not go through. However, anyone with any type of gmail, yahoo, Hotmail, etc. etc. email address should be completely fine.

    I know there will always be a few people who “get lost” with the new email system, but it’s probably less than 2%, and unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it as the emails are being “held” by their email provider!

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    Amanda Reply:

    Hey, I’m not having any luck with subscribing either. I was subscribed before and tried to subscribe again on this post, it seems to go through but I never get the confirmation email. I have a Gmail account. Any advice? I really don’t want to miss your posts!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Amanda, I just checked and you ARE confirmed for the 20 day challenge and now the daily emails. you should get your first one tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Awesome! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  3. Amy

    01/22/2020

    I don’t really like the thought of getting more email…..but for Andrea I will do it You know what….I may even like it better after trying it. Who knows. Anyhow, that’s what I would suggest to those who are skeptical. Try it. If you don’t like it, you can always unsubscribe later if it’s not working out for you. ‍♀️ Just a thought…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — thanks so much! 🙂
    I promise, they will be well-written, useful emails. No spam!

    [Reply]

  4. Maria

    01/22/2020

    Just subscribed . Looking forward to the e-mails and also future podcast and e-books! Enjoy the extra time with your family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  5. JoDi

    01/21/2020

    Thank goodness you’re switching to mostly email! I was afraid you were going to start posting mostly on social media which would be a dealbreaker for me. I like getting all my content in email so it’s all in one place. It’s simple! I read your blog via email already, but I usually click through to read comments and support your ad revenue.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    No, less social, more personal email!
    Thanks so much for your long-time readership and always commenting with helpful encouraging words

    [Reply]

  6. Debbie

    01/21/2020

    I just signed up. I’m glad I’ll still get all the things I enjoy from your blog, FB posts, etc. through email. I’d be sad if I didn’t get any of it. This is definitely a big change for you and the rest of us.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debbie! I appreciate your LOOOONG time readership 🙂

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  7. Barbara

    01/21/2020

    I signed up today. Will I receive the first email you sent today? FOMO!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Barbara, the emails go out around 6am, so if you sign up after that, you will miss that day’s email.
    Hopefully you got today’s email… yesterday’s email was simply promoting the baked sandwiches and a few other archived posts!

    [Reply]

  8. Stephanie

    01/21/2020

    What a great post (as all of yours are) and I applaud you for doing what you feel is right for you and your family. I’m just relieved you aren’t leaving us entirely! 🙂

    I’ve followed your blog and social media for years, but I no longer enjoy any social media. I’ve deleted my Instagram page and rarely get on Facebook. I may end up deleting it, too (I’ve done so in the past and it was actually wonderful – life was much quieter!). It’s just not as enjoyable as it was when social media first started.

    I’ll definitely subscribe to your emails because I’d really miss you and your adorable kids! Thank you for all the years you’ve worked tirelessly to help your readers.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you Stephanie!

    [Reply]

  9. Charmaine

    01/21/2020

    Looking forward to the changes Andrea, you’ve been such an inspiration for me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Charmaine!

    [Reply]

  10. Bonnie'sMama

    01/21/2020

    I would love to hear you on a podcast, Andrea! That would mean less time for me stuck in front of my computer, but instead I could do housework while hearing your encouraging words and good ideas (and being entertained by your Michigan accent! : )

    I bless you for your courage and wisdom in making this change. My husband and I also work online, and we just hate the social media marketing side of things. We don’t have long with these precious little children, so good for you for doing what will give you more time with them and less stress.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’d love to do a Podcast with my Michigan accent 🙂 I just need to find the time to get it started (and figure out how to do it!) Hopefully it’s something that will happen in 2020!

    [Reply]

  11. Holly

    01/21/2020

    Andrea – this is a great positive change for you and your family!

    The social media landscape is very different than years ago — this past weekend somehow a photo from my facebook photo album was seen and commented on by a few people yet I never posted or released the photo.

    With a family of children the safety and privacy are an added bonus.

    Wonderful decision — i applaud you!

    Holly

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, that’s crazy! I don’t love social media so I’m glad to create a little more distance from it!

    [Reply]

  12. Alicia

    01/21/2020

    Wow – I’ve been following you for close to 10 years! That’s crazy! Time sure flies .
    Selfishly I’m sad..I liked your old school ways, lol! But I do understand! Even with my brief blogging stint, I could never understand how you were able to keep up posting 5x/week with 4 kiddos! I’m all signed up! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s crazy! you’ll get my emails several times a week and the blog will still have new content each week 🙂

    Thanks for your loyal readership!

    [Reply]

  13. Janice

    01/21/2020

    Ok, great! I’m with you, girl! You’re one smart cookie for the update and adapt that it takes to be successful in your home and your job. Now, I want to solve my problem which is: I signed up ASAP the first time your post above said to do so. Then, sure enough I got the email confirmation and I clicked on the pink box about the freebies. Next it took me to another screen which had a place to fill in a password. What??? Not knowing what that was about, I made up some password and got that little message that we all get when we fill in the wrong password on some website. So now what do I do? I sure want to make certain that I do everything it takes to keep up with you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Janice — the password is in your confirmation email — right under the subscribe button!

    [Reply]

  14. Jen

    01/21/2020

    I totally understand and support your decision, but I’m with others who are sad and aren’t interested in more emails. I rarely even check my personal email because I spend all day with work emails and, honestly, I rarely get a personal email that I even care to read. Everything is communicated via other social media platforms, it seems. Plus, that’s just not the way I prefer to read. So, I’ll just check here less often and catch up then. Honestly, I’m only here for the great recipes and adorable kid photos anyway. LOL! Enjoy your newfound free time!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    so sad 🙁
    I’ll still be around the blog every week though!

    [Reply]

  15. Kristi

    01/21/2020

    Hi Andrea

    I could sign up for email and “see” for myself but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to ask here as well.

    If there will be 5 days per week of fresh content via email, I’m confused as to how that is different from 5 days per week of fresh content via the blog. What I mean is: if you’re still writing the posts every day, how does it make it simpler for you to disseminate them via email versus the blog?

    (I ask this as a fellow mom of 4 closely-spaced children and someone with a 2020 goal of writing more and sharing it with the world – I had assumed a blog would have the most reach.)

    I will always seek to lift up other women and I admire anyone who says “YES” to those little voices within that lead them down a new path. Your content, with or without posts about the kids, has been consistently high quality over the years. Thank you for sharing with us.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, sign up and see 🙂
    Honestly, that’s a great question and one I will address in a future post and/or email.

    Writing one single blog post is extremely time-consuming — coming up with worthwhile content, editing MANY images, making a video, keyword research, optimizing the post for SEO, scheduling it to social media platforms, promoting it several times throughout the day/week, responding to comments on the blog AND on social media, watching for spam comments that need to be removed, etc. etc.

    It’s hours of work for just one post.

    With email, I can draft up a quick tip, jot down a favorite recipe, or share a before/after picture of home projects and I’m DONE. No social media, no videos, no recipe cards, no 25 photos to edit, no search engine optimization, no keywords, no checking and responding to umpteen comments, etc. etc.

    The amount of time I will save is HOURS upon HOURS each week — AND I’ll still get to share my content with those who want to read it.
    In my mind, it’s a win-win for everyone (except those who choose not to subscribe — LOL!)

    Thanks for asking — I know others have this same question too!

    [Reply]

    Kristi Reply:

    That makes sense. Sharing the information in a “less polished” manner is probably a breath of fresh air we can all benefit from! I hope it doesn’t negatively impact your revenue streams too much. Enjoy the week!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — exactly! A “less polished” way! well said!

    [Reply]