When you decide to ditch your other blog and start a new one from scratch, there’s usually some anxiety that comes with it, but when I launched For the Love Of with my first post in March 2012, I had no doubt that this was the place for me. I have been blogging since 2008 and while I loved my old space, I started to feel like I had lost control of it. It had changed names, changed designs, changed focus several times in its life that I wanted more than anything a place where I could start fresh and continue to develop my voice and how I had grown as a mother, a writer, a blogger. Starting this blog was for me, the best thing I could have done, and I’ve been asked so many times if it was scary starting all over and without hesitation I can say no. I knew I would lose some readers, but I also gained plenty of new ones and feel good with the space I’ve been able to carve out here. I am continually grateful that any of you read this blog, and while it was originally intended to strictly be a “style blog”, it has evolved a bit in the past few months to reflect the many dimensions of me as a woman, and I like that. I hope you do too. If you don’t mind, I thought I’d do a little reflecting and share with you some of my favorite posts over the past year.
One of my very first posts on the blog was from the series Insiders, taking a look at those working behind the scenes in the Fashion industry, and I introduced you to my friend Spencer from St. John. Funny thing is, he has since left that company and moved to a modeling agency in LA. I may have to visit him in his new space and talk about his new role. While Insiders wasn’t the most popular of series, it was fun for me to reconnect with old friends and I hope to get back into the series again in 2013.
April picked up where I left off with Neon Week, and more than anything, it solidified my place as the blogger of all things neon (I even took the trend all the way through Christmas). I still get tweets or comments on Instagram from readers and friends telling me they saw or bought something neon and thought of me. That makes me all sorts of happy. The DIY Glittery Notecards and the Easter Table With a Neon Twist I designed for Making It Lovely were my two favorite projects of the week. I also loved the DIY flower arrangement post from April.
One of the best things about starting this blog in 2012 was that I was able to document my pregnancy in such a memorable and fun way, by sharing with you all my favorite style posts during my maternity phase. May saw the belly continue to grow and I continued to rely on flowy dresses, maxi skirts and long layering tops. One of my favorite pieces throughout my whole pregnancy was the Forever 21 tie dye dress I found for about $20. It reminds me that I should do a maternity style recap for you guys, and list my favorite pieces that got me through the entire pregnancy. Something to do in 2013 for sure. You can see all of my Maternity Style posts here. And also speaking of Forever 21, May was the month I wrote the post How To Shop Forever 21 As A Grown Woman and it was one of the most popular posts of the entire year. #1 hint: skip the entire front of the store. May also brought the most popular DIY I have ever done, How To Make A Statement Necklace, which I wrote for Making It Lovely. It’s to date been pinned over 27,000 times!In June I continued to grow, and can’t believe how big, at about 30 weeks, my belly looks here in this post! I also continued my obsession with neon by sharing this fun DIY for Neon Polka Dot Pots, using office stickers and plain white pots from Ikea.
July I started to slow down a bit from being hugely pregnant and tired, but I still celebrated baby with a maternity photo shoot so big it had to be split up into 2 parts. August is when Jules and I launched The Craft Cabinet, 12 days before my due date, and we will indeed relaunch it in early Spring of 2013, so stay tuned. While I wrote a few other posts in August of 2012, nothing else compared to the one where I got to introduce you all to Hayden Arthur Howe, born on August 27th, 2012. He has changed me, our life as a couple and as a family and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be his mommy everyday. Words really can’t express how intensely hard I’ve fallen for this guy. 2012 could have ended right there and I would have been happy. The rest of 2012 has been a bit of a blur. I began documenting my postpartum style each week, I wrote Hayden’s birth story, and I wrote some emotionally, and even politically, charged posts talking about my life as a Republican and part of my reaction to how the world of social media swirled around the Sandy Hook tragedy. I also added a lot more of our family life in here as well, sprung on by the Things I’m Afraid To Tell You movement, in the post This Is Me.
In 2012 I started a brand new blog, began writing for Disney Baby as a regular weekly contributor, started and stopped as a regular contributor for Making It Lovely, attended a conference, spoke at a mini conference, created 34 DIY’s for this blog alone, and documented 70 Daily Style Posts, including the one where I showed the world my postpartum arse in The Best Skinny Jeans For Real Women. Many times I felt like I was running a race and many times I was exhausted and frustrated, but in the end, my passion for blogging continues, and if anything I want to find more of that passion in 2013 by taking it a bit slower. Trying to return to viewing blogging in this space as a hobby rather as a job, and enjoying life more. I continue to feel blessed and lucky to have you guys to share my life with, and love the online community I’ve found. I want to cultivate that more in 2013 by producing less content of more quality, and free myself up to have the time to converse with you all more. I look forward to seeing you all around these parts in the new year. Much love to all of you, and Happiest of New Years.