June 2016 marked my first year of blogging, and I’m so excited to share the party I put together for my close family, friends, and readers. Thank you to everyone who attended and to all of you who have helped and supported me along the way. If you have read my blog even one time, it means the world to me.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to have had Kendra Scott in Chicago host my Blogiversary (yup, that’s right, blogging + anniversary = Blogiversay!); I knew that we were a perfect match, from the store’s color scheme, bubbling personalities of the workers, and the impressive jewelry.
I grew up with a mom who was, and still is, the queen of hostessing and throwing parties, and I inherited that hostessing gene. I love throwing parties and dressing up, so I figured my blogging anniversary was as good a time as any to start planning.
My First Blogiversary Party
Why I blog
I have always been a writer. Since I could hold a pen, I was scribbling down stories, poems, and songs. In fact, I even put together a compilation of what I learned from my 7-year-old self from my 2nd grade journal in this blog post. Aside from my personal love of writing journals, poems, and stories, I am a writer in other ways – academically and professionally. I had the opportunity to exercise my writing in college and graduate school while I studied Communications, English, and Teaching Secondary Education. Writing has always been at the forefront of my careers as a PR and Writing Associate, high school English teacher, and freelance copywriter.
When my friend asked me to guest post for her blog, I happily accepted. It was fun to reignite that spark and love I have for writing outside of my profession, and soon, from the encouragement of my family, I was ready to start doing this blogging thing on my own.
As a mom, wife, teacher, and professional writer, I wear many hats and have many responsibilities to others – to my family, my students, and my clients. I needed something that was just for me, and that became blogging.
What I’ve learned
This year I grew my page views 200%, am now a Huffington Post contributor, and have helped lots of other bloggers get published there too with my easy-to-follow tips on how to write for Huffington Post. I also contribute to Slate, Trend Magazine, and Your Tango and look forward to adding more publications to the list in this next year.
I’ve learned that in order to thrive in blogging, as in anything, you need a community. I’m so grateful for the incredible bloggers I’ve connected with this past year; people who answer my questions, share valuable resources, and who have truly become my friends. I always call them my “blogging friends,” but really, my blogging friends are my real, actual friends, people I lean on for support and girls I can completely be myself with. (You all know who you are ;)).
I’ve learned that blogging is hard work – don’t get into blogging if you’re seeking a passive hobby. I didn’t get into blogging thinking it was easy, but I also couldn’t have known all that goes into it until I threw myself in the trenches.
I’ve learned that doing something for yourself is rewarding; it’s not always easy to balance being a mom, teacher, writer, and blogger, but somehow you just make it work. If you love it, you’ll just somehow find a way to manage it all.
The Blogiversary Party
After conferring with my friend Brittany over at The Ashmores Blog about her successful Blogiversary party, I had the tools I needed to start planning! As I said, my family, friends, and readers came to Kendra Scott in Chicago, the most adorable jewelry boutique featuring, duh, the infamous Kendra Scott’s jewelry. We listened to music as she shopped, talked, sipped champagne (well, not me, I’m pregnant!), ate tasty treats from Frankie’s Pizza, Chick-fil-A (Loyola Water Tower), and Smallcakes, and shopped, of course!
Guests were buying jewelry for other guests and splurging on some beautiful baubles for themselves, so overall, everyone left satisfied.
While I’ve been very sick this pregnancy, all of the food tasted DELICIOUS to me and my guests couldn’t stop raving either! From Frankie’s Neopolitan pizzas and the crispy Chick-fil-A sandwiches to the many delightful flavors of Smallcakes cupcakes (hands down my favorite place for treats), everyone’s taste buds were definitely satisfied.
But what’s a party without the extras? Thanks to The Party Dialect, Okie Heart Studio, For Your Party, and One Stylish Party for providing all the festive details that made my party so special. They were also a pleasure to work with, and I highly recommend checking out each of these shops before planning your next party.
Blogging isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding. I urge all of you, whoever you are – businesswomen and men, students, moms, dads, anyone – to reignite an old passion or discover a new hobby and make it happen. A hobby won’t just fall in your lap; you have to work at it to reap the joys and fulfillment.
What is your passion? What is your “you” activity?
My event contributors
A very special thank you, once again, to all of the fabulous businesses that contributed to my Blogiversary party.
A special thanks to the lovely workers at Kendra Scott in Chicago for your hard work and kindness.