What I’ve learned after five years of blogging

August 10, 2015

What I've learned from five years of blogging via ABFOL

As I reflect on the last five years of blogging, I’ve learned ten important lessons.

1. I am not perfect. You see what I want you to see, no more and no less. But don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect. I have many shortcomings, piles of dirty laundry (more often than not), and many moments of insanity. The photography on my blog is there to inspire you, so of course I naturally want it to be magazine perfect. But it does not remain that way. So please don’t ever think that I live a perfect life, because I don’t.

2. I don’t need a regular schedule to share great ideas. I’ve come to realize that I should only blog when I feel inspired and not a moment sooner. Looking back through some of the blog posts Ive shared, there have been days when I shouldn’t have been blogging. So Ive learned my lesson to only pick up the camera (and laptop) when I feel inspired.

3. I am NOT Martha Stewart. Enough said!

4. I don’t need a team of contributors. I though I HAD to keep a consistent schedule for my readers, so I brought on a team of contributors to fill in the times when I couldn’t blog. I’ve since realized that to truly show who I am, and share my ideas, I must blog alone. For a while, I felt like my blog wasn’t reflecting on who I am. A Bowl Full of Lemons should be about my thoughts, my style and my own photography. It IS my blog, of course. So I waived farewell to the talented bloggers who have shared their ideas along the way. There may be many days in between blog posts, but I promise you the posts you’ll see will be my ideas.

5. My blog would not be as successful as it is without YOU!  My readers inspire me to share my ideas. I wouldn’t still be blogging if it weren’t for your support and sweet comments.. Trust me, it keeps me going.

6. I don’t need Facebook to be a successful blogger.  Enough said!

7. The numbers don’t reflect on my talent.  80,000+ Facebook fans or 90,000+ Pinterest fans. Who really cares?  Does that measure my artistic talent or lack there of? Just because I have more followers than someone else doesn’t mean I am more successful. I’ve seen so many bloggers obsess over the numbers and lose focus on the content with things like senseless memes on their feeds, etc… just to get another “like”. I’ve come to terms that it really doesn’t matter. Sure we all like to be validated & liked, and social media has programmed our minds into thinking that’s what matters. When is enough, enough? I want to get back to the basics of blogging and what brought me here in the first place – sharing what I love to do. In the end, another “like” really won’t make a difference, will it?

8. I am a wallflower. I have turned down some amazing opportunities over the last five years, whether it was to be on national television or to fly across the country for a corporate event. Believe it or not, Im an introvert. I would be content hiding away in the comfort of my home for the rest of my life. Not really, but you get the idea. I get intense social anxiety AND Im afraid to fly. So there you have it. It’s a lose-lose situation. That’s why I am a blogger.

9. Blogging is hard work. Don’t let the fun photos and social media chatting fool you. Blogging is honestly hard work. The “behind the scenes” that most of you don’t see takes a lot of time, effort, and true dedication. It’s not a job for the faint of heart. The criticism can take its toll as well. People can be very judgmental of bloggers who are transparent in their day to day lives (so that they can inspire you).  Take it easy on us, we have feelings too.

10. I love my job.  I have the best job in the world and I don’t take it for granted, not even for a second. I’m thankful to be able to stay home and raise my kids while sharing what I love to do. However, I want to note that I was not an English major in college, so I apologize for any grammar errors or typos you may find throughout my blog. I  am a Registered Nurse turned stay at home mom/blogger chick. English composition was about as far as I got in college.


five years of blogging


Are you a blogger? Share what you blog about and some of the things you’ve learned over the years, in the comments below. I would love to know that Im not the only one who has learned these lessons.


83 comments on “What I’ve learned after five years of blogging

  1. Kitty Balay says:

    its so good to hear your voice! I’ve missed you.

  2. Samantha says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this, friend!!! I can relate to all of these points, but most importantly numbers 4, 7, and 9. I especially felt the #7 issue at a recent blog conference. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE NUMBERS! Behind each of those numbers are people. Humans. With feelings too. I don’t count on them as a number or a “like”. I’m right there!

    Also, I’m not perfect – no one is. My house is a mess too! I have 3 kids that could care less most of the time about what I organized. Does it end up back in place by the end of the day? Pretty much. But any systems I set up are meant to be used and they do get used. Hard. But at the end of the day we reflect and clean up.

    Blogging is hard work!!! But I love every second of it and I miss it when I can’t get to it regularly.

    I love your blog so much girl! 🙂


  3. rahma says:

    hello toni, i’m not a blogger, but your blog and this post are really inspiring…
    i’ve got more idea to organizing and cleaning…
    and i think that i want to be a blogger to…
    so, this post is really helping…
    sorry with my english…i’m indonesian and still learning…
    xoxo, rahma

  4. Tara says:

    Hi Toni, I think its great that you are doing what you love when you want to do it. That’s the way it should be. Its always a bonus to be with your kids. I am new to blogging and I am doing it to try and make our home life easier and more organised. Lets hope it works ha ha!

  5. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. God put it on my heart several years ago that I should start blogging. And so many of the things you listed have kept me from it. I really needed to read this today. And I’m praying that I have the courage to finally step out of my (introvert) comfort Zone and do this! 🙂
    LOVE your blog and IG! 🙂

  6. Jackie says:

    This post came at a great time…I just started blogging and made my website live, so I am always looking for advice. Thank you for sharing! I blog about health and fitness and lots of things in between. 🙂

  7. Felesha says:

    I’ve just recently started blogging this past March. I appreciate your transparency. It certainly helps put everything in perspective. Great work Toni!!

  8. Iyann says:

    Great heart-felt post! I have only been blogging for about a month and realized how hard it is! I have been working so hard on the networking and getting my name out. I love it so far since I finally feel as if I am doing something for ME! Already I know that posting only when I’m inspired really makes the difference. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thank you Toni for being so honest with your readers. I’ve haven’t blogged much in the last year or so because of the need to feel prefect when making a post and life isn’t prefect. I’ve had some health problems during that time as well, that’s left me with no energy to even blog. I’ve stayed away from Pinterest for this very reason as well. When my hosting came due last month, I almost let it go because I couldn’t justify paying for something that I haven’t been using. I would get caught up in the numbers, but then remembered that I started blogging so that my friends and family out of state could see what I’ve been up too. Remember to keep doing you, that’s why all of your readers have fell in love with you, including me. I’ve been a loyal reader over the last 5 years and love everything that you share.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Welcome back! Thank you for your honesty. I happen to appreciate simplicity, and am scaling back on social media to feel less anxious. Looking forward to your posts.

  11. Margaux Galloway says:

    I did enjoy the other bloggers but I am so glad to hear that you will be changing it up some. I really miss seeing blog posts from you! We all love this blog because of you!

  12. Connie says:

    Nice to have YOU back!!!!

  13. Elizabeth Kamanyire says:

    Am inspired by your blog. Thanks

  14. Laura Reimer says:

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. It is very helpful in so many ways – as a woman who always feels like she falls short in the homemaking department to a blogger of less than two years. Your comments hit home with me even though my numbers are more like 20 likes…and then one day 50 plus….and the next day 12…how easy it is to begin to lose sight of what the whole point of writing the blog is. For my blog, I am called to share the journey of my life and how God speaks to my blonde brain. It is there to encourage whoever He sends my way. I love what you have written because it takes the pressure off of me marketing me and puts the focus back on me sharing the message that has been entrusted to me with the voice I have been given. We need more authenticity and less publicity. Bless you <3

  15. Nakeya says:

    Hello and thank you for this post. My blog is very new and I can definitely understand what you are talking about. For me, it’s a struggle sometimes to feel motivated to blog when I have such a small following. Sometimes I feel as if I’m talking to myself. But I do know the importance of writing and posting. I like to tell myself that I am posting for the following I want to have and not the following I currently have. Also since I’ve started blogging, I have a greater appreciation for other bloggers and their efforts. BTW, I love your blog. As an interior decorator, I always say, when life gives you lemons, use them to decorate. Hum, maybe I should use that to write a blog about decorating with lemons. 🙂

  16. Laura says:

    I absolutely agree on the Facebook issue. It seems more and more that it’s where you post if you want to be HIDDEN from most of your followers. :/ And certainly the numbers aren’t an accurate reflection of “success”. Better to have 1,000 followers who are fully engaged and interested than 100,000 who are not.

    Happy 5 years. =)

  17. Melissa says:

    I too am an introvert, and would be so much happier staying home than working outside the home full-time. I’ve been looking to start a blog and hope to soon. This post really is true, and don’t worry I’m not a English major or grammar geek either. You write just fine!! Have a great day!! Love your blog!

  18. Sandy says:

    Thank for sharing your thoughts Toni. I think anyone who has thrown themselves out to the public eye, has to at some point come to the point where they realize the things you have posted. In this dog eat dog world, even blogging can become a comparison thing or even just to get caught up in the more, more, more syndrome. It sometimes can be just like the workplace outside of the home.

    I am so glad to hear your thoughts. Your blog has inspired me many times…. to just get up and go organize something. When I retired from teaching, I was worn out due to a ton of circumstances…health, loss of a family member, etc. I loved your week by week organization. My home had just gotten out of control the last two years of teaching. I took it little by little and applied your ideas and slowly pulled myself out of the slump and disorder that taken over.

    Life is life though, so it is never perfect. Keep on doing what you love and be yourself. That is the Toni that makes someone to read your blog whenever she feels inspired to post. That is what Bloglovin and things like that are for. They let us know when you have been inspired.


    • Toni says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your comment Sandy. I really appreciate the feedback. 🙂

    • You inspire your readers to organize, declutter . The ideas are simple and easy to follow. None of us are perfect. I struggle with clutter constantly. It is a never ending battle but so worth it when you can lay your hands on what you need without a 2hour search. Keep up the good work.

  19. Mickey says:

    Hi Toni,
    Thank you for your post, especially what you said about the numbers. I am a new blogger and it is very easy to get caught up in the numbers game of ” likes” and followers and forget why you started blogging in the first place. I am a a home and family type blogger and get so must inspiration from blogs like yours. I am an organizing junkie and love to read your organizing posts and see the beautiful pictures of your home. Wishing a wonderful week ahead!
    xoxo Mickey

  20. Oh I love this and it is all so true! I think as a blogger it’s so easy to sometimes get caught up in what we think we’re “supposed” to be doing instead of just being ourselves. I know that’s something I’ve been guilty of anyway. Thank you for sharing this!

  21. Melody says:

    I’m actually a new blogger, but really appreciate you posting your lessons. So many posts on other blogs are about SEO and growing your blog. I love the lesson about being true to yourself-that this is your blog. I did take a blog class from Susannah Conway, and she has a similar message.

  22. Laura says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! I just started blogging as a creative outlet – always wanting to share things I’ve made or recipes I’ve tried but felt like I was bombarding my friends and family with long Instagram posts 🙂 I hope to still love doing it 5 years from now! Thanks for the great tips!

  23. Tara says:

    This is a very inspiring post for me. I sometimes find myself judging those who write the blogs I follow and as a blogger myself, you’d think I’d know better! My blog has a very limited following, really just family and friends, but I still find myself feeling stressed about not blogging enough or not having fancy enough photos etc. I love to share my story, that is why I have a blog. Your post today reinvigorates me to go back to just that, blogging to tell my story and for no other reason.

  24. Thank you for the insight! I really appreciate reading posts like these! I guess since I blog (very sparingly), I can technically be considered a blogger, but I am every ounce of the word “amateur.” My blog is called Organizing for Six (organizingforsix.blogspot.com) and that pretty much explains what it’s about. Organizing our home for our family of six. My first post was a little over two years ago. I have learned that while I would love to have a successful blog and make a career out of it, that it’s probably not in my cards. Blogging is so very time consuming for sure! It takes me quite some time to create one small post, I cannot even imagine what it’s like for a full time blogger. So while I have major blog envy, I have become happy with just posting when I can. No matter a tiny audience or vast, my blog might be inspiration to someone. I have received comments on my posts saying how much they loved an idea or that they were inspired and that’s great! It makes me very happy. Anyway, while I totally understand your time “off” over the summer, I am so excited to see posts from you again. And I really can’t wait for that BOOK! 🙂

  25. Erika says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m new to blogging and just became a SAHM. I have been daunted by the perfect blog and Instagram pics so I LOVE that you come clean about only letting people see what you want them to. I know I do this, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that has dirt and clutter behind he scenes.

  26. Carmen says:

    That was so refreshing to read, Toni! I have a blog and find that I usually start the new year with gusto and schedule posts like crazy then get burned out after a few months. I will have to try your new approach of blogging when I feel inspired! – – So glad to hear your big will be yours once again. I love it when a blog belongs to one voice. I know who’s “talking to me” that way.

    Best wishes!

  27. Lamprini says:

    Hey Toni,
    I have descovered ABFOL about 2years ago, on Pinterest. I was very inspired by your blog, in my family life!
    About today’s post, if you ask me somethings are obvious in a way. Although as a new blogger I would like to read a post about the fame story of your blog, the beginning, the difficult days…
    Keep going Toni your are great <3
    With my love and my kisses from sunny Greece!

    Polka dots lady


  28. Lisa says:

    I’ve been following your blog for years. It’s nice to know you have piles of laundry! But seriously, I love that you bid farewell to your guest bloggers. Not because they weren’t talented or interesting but because I want to read YOUR ideas. Thanks for having a great blog and sharing all your wonderful thoughts and tips!

  29. Denise Green says:

    I started blogging a while back. As a quilter and a quilting educator I thought my blog would be filled with quilting – but I find myself blogging more about family and activities that relate more to family than always about quilting. I too found that I was not going to be a person that blogs every day. I blog when I have more to say than I can cover in a quick Facebook post. Or especially when I know I will want to refer back to a particular post over time. Facebook is not conducive to that. I love Bowl Full of Lemons! I did the purge challenge last year and also encouraged a couple of friends to tag along on that adventure. I am also haphazardly joining the book club! Thank you for sharing your inspiration with all of us!

  30. Debra Way says:

    So glad your getting back to what attracted me to your blog in the first place! Your honesty is appreciated. I love your blog!

  31. Lara says:

    I was a huge fan of your blog, however over the past year or so, however I had become less interested as I felt it was less “you” and more contributors making posts. These are great points and everything is a learning experience. thanks for sharing!

  32. Jan says:

    I’ve been wondering where you were. I do appreciate your comments. I follow many blogs and am always astonished by the criticisms I read. I’m sure they are not easy to “take in.” I look forward to hearing from you whenever you feel moved to blog. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

  33. Roxanne says:

    I am a brand bew blogger, after ummming and ahhhing for many years. Thank you for the advice! I am a naturally nosey person so seeing other peoples lives through their blog is so fun for me! I hope to keep things as classy as you have done x

  34. Your honesty in this post was just beautiful! I appreciate your blog and look forward to your future posts! 🙂

  35. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve learned some of these lessons, with previous failed attempts. Full of some good take-a-aways too, as I prepared to try again at blogging success 🙂

  36. Thank you so much for posting this. As a blogger of 2ish years, I can completely relate and am currently finding myself exhausted from trying to keep up with the blogging “Jones’s”. I love your blog and love your honesty! Thank you for keeping it real!

  37. Ashton says:

    I have attempted blogging many times, only to give up because I didn’t feel like I was able to post enough, my pictures weren’t perfect, my website didn’t look amazing…
    I have been a reader since about 2010 and I am always excited to see your new posts. Stay true to yourself, that is what keeps me reading!!

  38. Tami says:

    Thank you for your honesty! Love your blog but I sheepishly admit sometimes I’m a bit down on myself on how perfect you make everything look…3 kids, I figured it wouldn’t be yet I needed you saying so to make it true! I would love to see an occasional “reality” post lol. Also, maybe more on blogging itself…I have thought of starting but not sure about what…

  39. Toni, I’ve been following your blog since you were in Columbus, OH. I have always enjoyed your aesthetic, your attention to detail in your photos and your photography. I’ll admit that I follow a number of blogs, and I wasn’t as interested in visiting your blog when it wasn’t you. Your contributors were awesome and I follow some of their own blogs independently from ABFOL, but it had seemed like your heart wasn’t in it and what had drawn me in from the beginning was missing. Stay true to yourself. Whenever you feel like posting, it will show up in my inbox and I will read it. If not, there will be other blogs on my roll posting that day, and that is okay too. I am positive that, due to this change, the posts you do write will be more inspiring and encouraging for me than ever because you’re not going to be writing for a deadline, but because you feel you have something to share. I get the feeling that there was some criticism along the way that made you come to this decision. I’m sorry that there are some not-so-nice people out there, but I’m glad you’re sticking around. 🙂 {{{hugs}}}

  40. Jessica says:

    Thank you!!! I use to love your posts! When you added contributors I sorta lost intrest unless it was your post. I find YOU and YOUR ideas so inspiring (I still work off your daily cleaning schedule)! Staying true to yourself and what you’re about is so important. thanks again for a post from the heart!

  41. Dana says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have had on my dream/wish list to start a blog. I haven’t had the courage or the time to start one but it is something I plan to do in the future. I appreciate your blog and all you do. As you can see from all the wonderful comments, people not only appreciate you but are also very inspired by you. Great job!

  42. Jill says:

    I have to say, this post is bringing me back to you. In all honesty, sometimes your post are a little to neat and perfect, everything is immaculate all the time. And with two kids under 3 I find it hard to relate. Reading #1 was like “ooooh, it’s not like that all the time” I love organizing, and I love planners, and I love country decor, so I always find myself coming back to your blog. And I’m glad you’re back to blogging on your own!! A beauty blog I read just announced she’s “hiring” and I rolled my eyes. When you love a blog it’s part content and a bigger part the person writing! Can’t wait to see more from you (especially knowing your house isn’t immaculate all the time) 😉

  43. Thanks for this post Toni. I come here to read your posts, but because I am a newer follower, I wasn’t aware that you had contributors. I like your style of writing, and what you have to offer to this blog. I’ll be here to read it whether you blog regularly or not.

    I am a blogger as well. I’ve had my blog now for a year and a half. It’s mostly about decorating, DIY and life, and the occasional craft project. But very recently, I’ve been feeling unhappy about my blog. I have noticed that many bloggers have their niche, whether it be food, organizing, decorating, or crafts. My blog covers all of it, and because of that, I’ve been feeling more uninspired than inspired. I haven’t been putting much attention on what I should be doing more – crafting. It’s where my heart really lies. I put too much into other posts. I rather have a blog that reflects me as an artist, and not how I styled my buffet. I love decorating, and I know a lot about it, but there is a lot of that out there, who wants my advice? So I have been thinking about starting all over again. Wiping out my blog and starting fresh with a new name and look and content. If it means starting over with zero followers in the beginning, so be it. Like you said, there is a lot of work that goes into blogging and believe me, I know it! I should be putting that work into something that truly makes me happy. 🙂


  44. Rachel says:

    I love your blog and appreciate your honesty! You make a difference in people’s lives every day- even if it’s something very small. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication…spend the time with the kiddos while you can, blog when you feel inspired.

  45. Sly says:

    Toni, I can tell this post is heart felt and true. I could feel your words touch my heart. This post is so meaningful and reminds us all that we need to be true to ourselves to really feel successful. Keep growing, sharing and inspiring! (But, I honestly thought you were going to announce that you had a TV series!)

  46. Marissa Marks says:

    I’m not a blogger but have been wanting to start one. 🙂 I just want to say I love your style and following your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Congrats on five years of blogging Toni! I have been blogging for a little over two years and I can can identify with everything that you said…all of it. Thank you for being transparent and thank you for so many years of inspiration!

  48. Mary says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said! This post really validated a lot of what I’ve felt about blogging. And I’m looking forward to your posts … whenever they come. 🙂

  49. Thank you for today’s honest post. You are an inspiration to many! I have been blogging for one year and your post was exactly what I needed to read this morning. I chewed on it all day and thought I should leave a comment. I am looking forward to what you will write in the future.

  50. Katie says:

    Hi Toni! I loved this, and I’m so glad you’re back. Your blog and ideas are an inspiration!

  51. Rebecca says:

    Hi Toni,

    I’ve been following you for about a year now and absolutely love & look forward to all of your inspiring blog posts. I am not a blogger and almost didn’t read this post, but I’m so impressed and moved by your insights. Good for you!!! This is very honest and I applaud you for being so candid about your truths. Thanks for sharing!

  52. Julia says:

    Stopped reading because what I liked about your blog is you. Having the other contributors made it not what it originally was. I liked your blog before so I am back and can’t wait to read your blogs now. who cares if it’s not as often it makes the content worth while to read!

  53. Thank you so much Toni for your honesty and transparency in this post! I’ve always enjoyed following you; in fact, you’re the blogger that originally inspired me to start blogging — so THANK YOU!

  54. I love this message! I am relatively new blogger, I launched my blog 7 months ago. I don’t have a publishing schedule at all. I tried at first to create a decent schedule, but the reality was, I was never able to stick to it. I think if readers love the content, they come back anyway. It was very encouraging to read your message, thank you so much 🙂

  55. Chita says:

    Beautiful words Toni! Strength and vulnerability all rolled up into one gorgeous post.

    Sounds like exciting adventures await us all 🙂


  56. Shauna says:

    This is a refreshing post to read. As a chronically unorganized person I found your site years ago when you did a post about your life planner in a Martha Stewart binder. Your tips and your home decorating has served as little inspirations for me. I appreciate the content that is uniquely yours 🙂

  57. Keri says:

    I have been reading your blog for years and stopped bc I had your creative talented staff answering for you and posting but it wasn’t you. Wasn’t the same for me. I am so happy your back full time. I appreciate the honesty and love the fact that you looked outside of you and the blog and realized that it’s about your happiness and love for something that makes others love what you do. Long story short. I have lots of love for you and ABFOL xox.

  58. I loved reading this. I could not agree more with you on basically all of these things especially #7. I hope maybe one day I will have the opportunity to relate to with regards to #10 because I’d love to stay at home with my little girl and do nothing but spend time with her and blog. 🙂 You rock!

  59. I’m always inspired by your posts, ideas, and photography. But this post is one of the MOST inspiring I’ve seen here. As a blogger, it is so easy to fall into the trap of having to do it all and then not really enjoying any of it. And I don’t think any blogger gets into the “career” to hate what they do. It was really encouraging to read that you don’t believe a consistent schedule is necessary and that it is more important to post your own ideas and projects when you are feeling inspired. Thank you so much for this honest post and a little glimpse into your thoughts!

  60. Lee says:

    Hi Toni,

    I have found your blog/printables so helpful in the past. However, I too had been struggling to sort through the website with articles from the different contributors and felt a bit overwhelmed with too much information. You have a totally worthwhile website and I see you personally work hard to inspire and educate and I thank you for that. Good for you for getting real and simplifying to the essentials – your thoroughness, clear explanations and ideas encourage people to make the best of their home/life in whatever capacity they can. Kind regards

  61. elaina says:

    English major or not, that was actually by far one of the best posts you have made in the past year 🙂
    Keep up the great work Toni, we are all hooked!

  62. #7….. thank you for #7!!!! I am a 2 1/2 year old blogger and I feel that all the focus is on numbers – page views, social media followers, blog followers….. and you have to be EVERYWHERE every minute of every day just so people find you and your numbers grow. Ugh! It has been consuming me and I have not been creating quality content. Instead of working on DIY projects or a new decor idea I am on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest ALL DAY LONG….. Not what I aspire to do with my time. So, thank you, Toni, for sharing that it doesn’t really matter what the numbers say. Quality content should always be king (or queen) of the blogging world! I needed to hear (er, read…) this in order to shift my focus. Prepare for some awesome stuff in the future (and you may or may not see it on Facebook)!

  63. Carolyn says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments, most especially the ones about numbers and social media.

  64. Sarah says:

    Wow– I am impressed with your humility, honesty and talent! I did not expect to read what I did about your personality. I heard so many wonderful things about your blog that I thought you must be really out there and making contacts etc.

    I am a huge home body and love staying right here. I would not want to travel or put myself out there anymore 🙂

    Not only inspired by your work and site but feel better about my own journey because you shared yours! Many blessings~ thank you!

  65. emily grace says:

    Hi Toni,

    I’m a blogger who has taken a break currently. I appreciate your list of blogging lessons. My blog is almost 2 years old and has experienced some success, but being an introvert and not loving computer screen time both make my online presence a stress. Right now, I’m just enjoying living life off screen and taking photographs for us, not for publication. Maybe I’ll come back to blogging again soon. Maybe not. Either way, your list reflects a lot of my own thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    Emily Grace

  66. Mitch says:

    Important lessons they sure are. Thanks for sharing. Indeed helpful reminders for bloggers.

  67. Nic says:

    Thanks for sharing your insight. It’s always hard when you lose your focus in blogging or you’re new and not sure which steps to take.

    I’ve been blogging on and off for 11 years, but I didn’t really have the time or patience to keep up with it and my life. I started blogging again, this time focusing on homeschooling a toddler, living frugal, PCOS, adoption and infertility and and life as a veteran’s wife. Basically, our daily lives. I don’t focus on one particular topic, my thoughts are too jumbled for that. I don’t have any followers but, I still blog. I’m still learning the ins and outs of blogging and one day, I’d love to turn blogging into a full time job.

  68. Robyn Mizell says:

    Toni, I love YOUR blog and what you bring to our tables. When I first started reading your blog I felt like I was sitting at your kitchen table with a cup of tea or coffee talking about our day and what was going on. You welcome us into your life and I so appreciate that. I have learned so many large and small tips that make my life so much more fun and easier. I enjoyed this article. Five years of blogging WOW!! Congratulations!! I would imagine raising a family, taking care of yourself and blogging while “Life” goes on is quite a juggling act. You do it well!! And if the juggling balls fall to the ground we appreciate knowing that you are not perfect. You help us see that perfection is part of life and here are your “Bowls of Lemons” so make something wonderful out of it. You are so appreciated!!! Thanks for all that you do!!! Robyn

  69. Toni, I started following your blog a few years ago and honestly it’s part of the reason why I started my own. I share a passion for organization and was inspired by you. I agree that it’s best to only write when you are inspired. It’s hard to see the passion when you aren’t feeling it yourself. I found it insightful that you stopped having guest bloggers; you make a good point about being yourself. I will be honest here and say I did stop visiting your site because I was comparing myself and blog to you and your’s. I need to make my own decisions and not feel the need to follow the trend so to speak. I still stop by periodically and enjoy what I see. Thank you for the reminder to follow your own heart and dreams. Cheers! Kerri @ Simply Planned

  70. sara says:

    Hey there! I love your site! This was a great post, as I am fairly new to the blogging world, it was incredibly insightful! I love love love blogging! But, it is definitely hard work! I am still figuring everything out, and I really love that I can pop on over and check out your amazing feed!

  71. Heather Todd says:

    I love your blog, your pictures and your style. You inspire me. I’m also glad to hear of your imperfections as well. Because. ..I think we all often judge ourselves by the illusion of perfection we see on pinterest and blogs or in magazines. It’s refreshing to be reminded that we all have lives to lead and no one can be picture perfect all of the time. Thank you for sharing your world with us and inspiring us to be more organized. I’d love to tour your home. 😉

    Heather from NC

  72. Chelsea says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m a baby blogger – not kidding…I just started my blog today (although I’ve been dreaming of starting it for a couple of months). I was just looking for something fun to do outside of work to share my hobbies and just have a creative outlet. I too am a registered nurse and sometimes I just need a way to step back from that life and enjoy some “me” time, which is why my blog was born. So thank you. I am inspired by you and your blog and this post was very refreshing!


  73. Lisa says:

    I appreciate your sharing this. I’ve been blogging for 6 months. Your blog is one of my favorites and you inspired me. I love that you are concerned with safety/emergency preparedness!

  74. Sharon says:

    OMG! Welcome back! I’ve been wondering about many of the things you mentioned. I found your blog quite by accident two years ago and you have helped me get my crap together and my butt in gear…there are no words to describe how GRATEFUL I am to you and for you! Happy 5th Anniversary and to many more!

  75. Sarah Carroll says:

    Hi, Toni!

    I have not read many of your posts yet because I’ve been so active on the Facebook group and attempting to organize my home. I appreciate your sharing what you have learned through the past five years. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future, and as aspiring blogger, I wish to learn from your lessons. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  76. Robyn Mizell says:

    Toni, You are so appreciated!!! I loved this article. Love, Robyn

  77. Jen says:

    I just found your blog today and I love this post. I’ve been blogging on and off for years now but am finally looking to stick around and commit. Blogging IS a lot of hard work and a lot of people really don’t understand what we do or now much work goes into it. I’m glad to hear that after five years of it, you’re still enjoying it!

  78. Brenda says:

    Loved this post. Definitely helpful as I start blogging more myself. It’s great to hear that things such as scheduling don’t need to be as strict as I make them out to be in my head.

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