Welcome to my first Q&A video and blog post. I have now been on YouTube for 6 months, so I thought it was a good time to do my first question and answer post for you guys. I reached out to y’all asking for questions and I got some great ones that I am sharing today.
1. What are my favorite Etsy shops?
I am a huge fan of small businesses. I make lots of purchases from Etsy shops to show my love and support. And, plus handmade items are so much more special, I think. I know someone’s heart and soul went into making the products and that makes me happy.
I have created a list of my 8 favorite shops, but I am sure I left out a few.
- The Foxy Fix
- Pen & Paint
- Farmgirl Paints
- Marine Parents
- Woodland Cottage Farm
- Teddi Confetti
- Shining Stars Boutique
My list is growing every day, so I will have to update y’all periodically with additions to this list.
2. Am I an avid book reader? If so, what do I read and how do I keep track of the books I read?
I would consider myself a reader-in-training. I have never been a reader. I think it goes back to my high school days. I struggled in English in high school because I had difficulty reading a book and taking a multiple-choice test over it. I would read and understand the overall point of the book, but symbolism and remembering every single detail was difficult for me. So, it turned me away from reading all together.
Well, at the end of 2014, I kept seeing more and more people posting pictures on Instagram of books they were reading and loving. So, I thought I would make it my 2015 New Years Resolution. I said if I could read one book a month throughout 2015, then I would meet my goal. I am already on book #11 and it is only September, so I am pretty excited about my progress.
I think I am choosing books that I enjoy and it has made a big difference. Now, I have picked one or two that I didn’t like and one I didn’t even finish because I was having to force myself to read it, which wasn’t good.
I am currently reading The Kitchen House and it has been good so far. I am only on page 100, though. Out of the 10 books I have finished, still my favorite is What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I recommend it to anyone needing a new book suggestion. It really touched me and made me think about the person I am today.
I have a May Designs notebook that I use to keep track of the books I have read. I have the year at the very top of the page and stamps that indicate the month in the year. Then, beside the month, I write the books that I have read.
I know there are apps for this type of thing, but I am still a paper and pencil girl.
3. What is the weather like where I live? Do I budget for weather changes?
I live in Arkansas, so it is pretty hot and humid here. When it is hot, it is hot. But, when it is cold, it is cold. We got out of school a lot at the beginning of 2015 for snow and ice, but the temperature reached over 100 degrees many days this summer.
I don’t really budget for weather changes. I can’t go out and spend $500 in one trip on coats, boots, and accessories for winter, for instance. I like to plan ahead. I have already gone through my kids’ closets and know what they need before winter hits. So, I will gradually buy those items. When winter weather hits, they should be ready to go.
4. What are my final thoughts on Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Did I like it? Would I change anything? What do I do with the items I get rid of? What areas do I have left to complete? I would I recommend it to others?
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It gave me that extra push that I needed to finally get rid of some things that I was holding onto out of pure guilt. But, I must mention that I am not a hoarder at all. I like things to be organized and everything to have a place. So, I was already one that went through and got rid of things on a regular basis. If you are a person that needs help letting go of things, you definitely need to read this book.
I would change a few things about the book. The systems that she talked about sound awesome, if you have the organizational pieces that she talked about. I have a limited amount of drawer space, so folding everything just wasn’t that easy for me to do. And, the stacking clothing horizontally wasn’t easy either. I just didn’t have the right amount of drawer space. So, I was forced to stack and pile tops and sweaters. I wasn’t going to run out and buy new pieces just because I read the book.
I took the concepts that Marie Kondo talked about and adapted them to my household. There were some people that got very upset that I didn’t follow the book 100%. It is a valid concern, but there were some methods and systems that I already used that made me happy. For example, I converted my casual athletic pants to sleepwear, which she says DO NOT DO. Well, it has worked out great for me. I didn’t touch those pants at all in my closet, but I wear them every day as sleepwear.
I would definitely recommend the book, but with the disclaimer that it is ok if you make adjustments.
I do have two areas left to complete in my house: my garage and attic. It has been so hot here that working in the attic is impossible at the moment. Once it cools down and my husband can help (he is 100% football at the moment), I will share those areas with y’all.
5. Do I budget for my blog/YouTube channel? If so, how do I do it and what if I want to make a large purchase? Do I splurge or save?
Yes, my blog/YouTube channel have a monthly budget. Actually, my blog/YouTube channel/home go into one budget. I try to plan out my posts far in advance to make sure that I have everything purchased on time and within my budget.
Usually, if I have a large project, I try to break it up into parts. For example, my craft station that I am working on. I couldn’t go out and purchase everything in one paycheck. I would’ve been way over my budget. So, I bought the Ikea Kallax shelves on one budget, the wood to connect them on another, then the top will go on another month’s budget. That is why you haven’t seen it yet. I am still in the process of finishing it up.
Now, there are some items that do not go into the blog/YouTube/home budget at all. We have a list of bigger purchases that we need to make and we will purchase one at a time. Once we pay off one, then we will purchase another. Currently, we need a new sectional, oven, and possibly dishwasher. But, we can’t buy any of those things because we are paying off tires for my husband’s truck.
If you are wondering why you haven’t seen my living room yet, it is because we need a new couch/sectional. The one we are using at the moment is ripped and you can see the white stuffing. Shopping for couches/sectionals is something I have to be in the mood to do and I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind yet. Those things are expensive and I don’t want to make the wrong purchase.
6. How do I get it all done?
That is a question I have been asked a lot since I started my blog. I am one of those people that keeps thinking my plate isn’t full enough. It is a character flaw, I guess. At one point, I was teaching, taking graduate classes, a pregnant mom, a coach’s wife, and still pushing out 5 blog posts a week. Honestly, I have no idea how I got it all done.
It has gotten easier since I decided to cut down my posts to two a week. This past Spring, I pushed myself way too hard trying to do 5 blog posts a week and at least 2 videos a week. So, after several discussions with my husband, we decided that cutting my editorial calendar down would help.
Planning is the #1 way I get it all done. My editorial calendar is set through actually the beginning of January. When I made my YouTube video, it was complete through the beginning of November. Since then, I filled in the rest. So, I know what is coming up, what things I have to purchase or get ready ahead of time, and how much time each will take.
I like to film my videos the weekend before I post them. And, I like to have them both edited by Sunday evening. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, but that is always my goal.