Four Year Anniversary + Reader Survey

Four Year Blogging Anniversary and Reader Survey

My blogging journey with, A Short Blonde, is four years old! I published my first post, right before Jordan and I left for Europe, in March of 2013. I started (publicly) blogging to have an outlet to write again. Writing was always my favorite part of any school assignment, but I didn’t have a reason to continue writing after I graduated.

I thought blogging would be a fun way to share snippets about my life. Blogging has turned into much more: relationships with other bloggers and readers, partnerships with amazing brands and personal creative growth.

Over the past four years I haven’t conducted a reader survey, but I believe now is the perfect time.

Since having Phoenix, I feel creatively disheveled. A Short Blonde is a personal lifestyle blog. Posts will always correlate with our daily life, but I also want to make sure I share helpful and enjoyable content for, YOU, my readers. I want to know what you enjoy reading and more importantly what you don’t enjoy.

I would appreciate it if you’d fill out my survey, so I can glean more direction in my new season of life. Thank you for your continued encouragement over the years. It means so much!

Shoutout to Summer and this post which helped me compile my reader survey.

Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette Giveaway

jaclyn hill

I’m excited to let you know about the exciting giveaway for a Jaclyn Hill x BECCA Champagne Glow Limited Edition Face Palette myself and a group of fellow bloggers are running! I haven’t used Jaclyn Hill (a YouTuber & make up artist) or BECCA Cosmetics before but they are highly revered among beauty bloggers and makeup artists.

Besides the face palatte, Chelsie rounded up quite the giveaway goodies. I wish I could apply! The giveaway will run until Wednesday, August 3rd. Good luck!

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When People of the Internet Go Away

Blogger Hey Natalie Jean

I was casually scrolling through Twitter (aka procrastinating my to-do list) when I saw my favorite blogger, Hey Natalie Jean share a post. She said it was her last. While still looking at my phone, I immediately started crying.

That might sound like the most pathetic sentence I have ever written but gosh darn it, it’s completely earnest and not entirely due to pregnancy hormones. Let me explain…

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Work Time Jams

Work Time Jams

When you really need to dig your heels in and accomplish a lot of work, setting the right mood is key. Watching a HGTV show such as Fixer Upper is possible while scheduling social media posts or editing photos, but for me it is far too distracting when writing content. Jordan feels the same way and over the years we have discovered several go-to albums (with minimal lyric distraction) and artists to turn on for work motivation.

I included a mixture of electronic, classical, and acoustic jams. A little something for everyone! I hope you find a new artist or two to add to your music listening rotation.

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Weekend Links / / Happy 2016

A look back at 2015

Happy first Friday of 2016! How did you ring in the New Year? Most years together, Jordan and I have been at house parties but this year we went to a legit NYE party in Nashville. Jordan’s co-working space hosted an event with around 650 attendees. It was full of energy and excitement and I’m still recovering. I’m not usually up that late! I’m off today and I’m looking forward to not doing much of anything. Haha.

It’s always a bit hard for me to believe a new year has begun. 2015 was a good year for Jordan and I, not without its challenges, but we faced them together and for me that’s what matters.

Instead of my usual Weekend Links formula, today, I’m looking back on a few of my favorite posts from last year.

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Five Easy Steps That (Won’t) Fix Your Life

Five Easy Steps That Won't Fix Your Life

My favorite blog posts (and books for that matter) provide a glimpse into the soul of the author. I want to know what’s going on in a person’s life: what you’re preparing for dinner, your current Netflix addiction, your new favorite fashion trend. But more importantly: What are you learning? What’s making you feel alive in this moment? I’ve begun to notice that “slice of life” posts seem to be less common amongst lifestyle bloggers as of late. A lot of posts seem to be all about easy ways to “fix” an area of your life.

I certainly enjoy finding new ways to budget, organize, travel etc while reading how-to blog posts (How to live a great holistic/simplistic/minimalistic full life in 10 easy steps or less!), but let’s not forget to share our stories. My life is not solved by following a five step process (though I often wish it was!).

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Currently / / November

A Short Blonde - November - Flannel - Jean Jacket

I have been participating in Jenna and Anne’s “Currently Link-up” for exactly one year! I love their prompts and I hope you enjoy reading my monthly snippets.

Planning / / Jordan’s new computer came in last week (woohoo!) and instantly we (ok, mostly Jordan!) went to work transferring files and catching up on deadlines. Jordan will be traveling quite a bit this month, so we took advantage of our few days off together and did photoshoots for several upcoming posts.

Cooking / / I eat differently than a lot of my friends and family, so sometimes it is easier to provide my own food. I wouldn’t expect everyone to completely alter their food plans for me. Thus, I’m playing around with a few simple dishes to bring with me for Thanksgiving. I’m experimenting with sautéed tofu to eat with a side of rice and beans (plenty of veggies will be supplied). It isn’t your typical Thanksgiving fare but I am eating plenty of pumpkin and fall inspired meals at home! For me, it’s more important to spend time with my family.

Smelling / / My fall candle obsession is still growing strong. We finished “Sweater Weather” and now have “Pumpkin Pecan Waffle” burning. It’s like we’re living in a bakery.

Appreciating / / On the few mornings I’m not at work before 6 AM I fully embrace slow mornings: cuddling in bed, making coffee (and drinking it with my new favorite almond milk creamer from Silk which is a game changer!) and reading. It’s especially nice this time of year when an extra blanket is needed to cozy up in!

Anticipating / / I am so excited to visit Chicago this month. There isn’t always a guarantee to receive time off during the holidays when working retail. My store is really accommodating and I feel extremely fortunate to have five days off to spend time with our families.

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Weekend Links / / Revival Girls

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Guys, it’s happening! A Gilmore Girls revival is in the works. Amy Sherman-Palladino (the show-runner) is on record saying she went into the series knowing what the final spoken words would be, but Sherman-Palladino left before the last season finished. If you aren’t familiar, contractual disagreements hindered the original creators from returning before the series finished. If anything it’ll be wonderful to spend a few more hours with my favorite ladies. Speaking of Lauren Graham, Lauren and Mae Whitman are developing The Royal We into a movie, one more reason to read that book!

Jordan and I both experienced computer issues this week, with Jordan being the only victor. Haha. My nearly seven-year-old iMac has given us worry in the past but this time it might truly be the end. I didn’t feel very productive blogging wise but I’m thankful my computer crashed after I backed up my recent files! It’s been a long week, friends. I’m ready for the weekend!

Onto the links!

Fall Uniform | I like clothes and styling but I am terrible at selecting an outfit when faced with too many options. I love the idea of creating an outfit uniform guideline to fall back on when time is of the essence! What have you been wearing lately? Yesterday afternoon, we were in the 80s (Fahrenheit) while Wednesday’s early morning low was in the high 30s — I truly don’t know how to dress for that sort of fluctuation!

Bold | How a bold outfit can encourage bold life choices.

Track Your Travels | I’ve always loved the idea of showcasing our travel progress on a giant map. Esther has found several great ideas from large scale art pieces to smaller DIY projects. Do any of you display where you’ve traveled in your home? One thing we started to do was put our ticket stubs (travel, concerts, movies) in a mason jar. We’ve had so much fun that we really need a bigger jar!

Overcoming Busyness | When I took a mini version of the Meyers Brigg personality test earlier this year I was surprised with my results: ESTJ. The T (thinking) and J (judging) did not surprise me but the E (extrovert) wasn’t expected. I’ve realized though I can be out and about and spontaneous (with adequate sleep, haha). When unplanned events arise and I’m tired, forget it. I had to say no to a few social events last week and it was hard. But a huge part of taking care of myself is knowing my limits.

Oh So Basic | You might recognize one of the photos Taylor has featured for the week! After scrolling through Instagram for your daily corgi puppy fix (just me?) might I suggest #thedailybasic — for all of your basic fall essentials: pumpkins, coffee, scarves and plaid!

One more thing…

Jordan and his brother, Josh, are giving away their new single, Damage of Love! Let me know what you think of it!

Happy Weekend, all!

Father Hands | Damage of Love

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Weekend Links / / Allergies and Lady Bites

Nashville Farmer's Markets

On Wednesday, while editing photos for a project, I found this snapshot from a late summer farmer’s market peach run. Finding photos from this day reminded me just how much I loved my first southern summer. Those same markets that were bursting with corn, tomatoes, juicy berries and peaches a mere six weeks ago, have transitioned to seasonal gourds and pumpkins.

My allergies have been out of control lately (another reminder that Fall is here!). Friends warned us prior to our move to Nashville that allergy medicine would be a must because Nashville is in a valley. They were not joking! I had a whopping two day+ sinus headache this week which left me sneaking naps whenever I could. In general, I try not to nap as it messes with my ability to go to fall asleep at night, but sometimes they are a welcome treat.

What are you weekend plans? Several friends are passing through town this weekend, so we have lunch and dinner festivities for tomorrow and hopefully lots of football watching on Sunday!

Onto the Links!

Simplify Meal Planning / / People in my life know I cook a lot. Eating home cooked meals is something I enjoy and have made time for in my life. I get asked often how I do it (find the recipes/inspiration, cook etc). My system is a bit haphazard but if you are new to the process look no further than Brittany’s post.

Organizing my Pinterest Boards / / Pinterest is only helpful if you can actually find the information once you’ve pinned something. Kelsey explains, step-by-step, how she cleaned up and simplified her Pinterest boards.

31 Days of Scripture During Infertility / / Lisa participated in an October writing challenge last year which resulted in her creation of the eBook, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility. She is back again with a new 31 day project. Day two, Learning to Wait, has given me a lot to think about.

Wearing a Dress for Fall / / Everything about Jana’s outfit is perfect and completely something I would wear and have worn. It is reminiscent of this look, minus the hat! I love pairing denim jackets with easy cotton dresses.

Bites & Sips: Ladies Night In / / Kelly attended a girls night in which featured rounds of catchphrase, wine and appetizers. I love this idea for a birthday party or even a “just because” party. Swap the wine for Diet Coke and it’s reminiscent of my sleepovers in high school — I love it!

…One other thing before I sign off. Jordan was on another episode of Vernacular Podcast this week talking all about James Bond songs. You can listen to his episode here!

Happy Weekend, all!

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Currently / / October

Fall scented candles

Eating / /  Soups, chili and stews. I purchased lentils for the first time last week and made a veggie lentil soup based off of this recipe from Forks over Knives (I added roasted squash and peppers). Jordan gobbled it up and didn’t even mention there wasn’t meat in it!

Exploring / / Even though we’ve lived in Nashville for a year and it isn’t the largest city, we still find a lot of new areas to explore. Having Mike and Keira with us over the weekend gave Jordan and I the opportunity to explore even more! I’m excited to share more about our time together.

Wearing / / October started with a week of rain. My Hunter Rainboots and J.Crew field jacket got a lot of wear. Nashville is back in the 80s this week, so my shorts and saltwater sandals haven’t been retired yet!

Admiring / /  The beautiful, warm fall colors. Pop up farm stands are all over town bursting with pumpkins and gourds! I can’t get enough.

Collecting / / Fall scented candles. I went and bought several from Bath & Body Works when they were on sale last week. We love being surrounded by the rich and sweet smells of Autumn.

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/ / Linking with Anne and Jenna.