Is Blogging Dying? + 2014 Reader Survey + Byeeee.

Hello Friends,

Go grab yourself a cup of coffee and lets sit down and “talk” for a minute. I’ve been meaning to start this conversation for some time now, but then Monday turns into Friday and I wake up thinking to myself, “Oh shit, I forgot to blog again this week.” I’m just going to go ahead and blame it on “Pregnancy Brain”, while I can still get away with that, okay? Thanks.

But for reals: I think blogging is dying (alright, alright … maybe that’s just my blog?) … but I’ve been around blogland long enough (FOUR years, WTF am I doing with my life?) to watch people come, people go, people gain great success with their blogs, and people who have had to GTFOMI. Blogging is changing. I’ve noticed that many bloggers aren’t sharing as much real “stuff” online anymore, people aren’t really interested in reading about other people’s lives anymore, comments and social media interactions are declining, and privacy is something that many are learning to appreciate and respect once again. What does this mean for the future of blogging? The world may never know (cruncchhhh) … just kidding …. I guess we’ll find out in 2015? What are your thoughts?

I’ve thought about quitting blogging more times than I can count. There have been endless stretches of time when I have had nothing to write about, or I would have something to write about but then I would have zero desire to sit down and actually write and edit and publish and promote and dance and sing “READ MY BLOG! THIS POST IS THE BEST ONE EVER. LIKE IT, SHARE IT, PIN IT! GO ME! YAY!”

And then life changes have happened. So, so many life changes. TJ and I have packed up and moved our things what? … 13 times over the past four years? Each season of my life has been reflected here in these blog pages – each of them gaining and losing readers, because I’m not the same person or writer that I was when I was 24, 25, 26, or 27, and I can’t expect everyone to be interested in where life’s journey has taken and catapulted us year after year, or expect anyone to follow along as I near my 29th birthday, become a first time mommy, continue to navigate through this new life as a “retired” hockey wife (PS I just threw up in my mouth a little bit), adjust to a “settled down” life in Syracuse, and experience whatever is in store for me and my little famjam in the days and months ahead.

With all that being said … as much as my heart isn’t into blogging like it was a year ago, I’m not going anywhere. Quitting seems a little too dramatic for me (yes, even IIIII have a dramatic threshold) … plus I really enjoy the fact that the past four years are documented here, and I think that 2015 is going to be the best chapter yet. But for that to happen, I do need a liiiiiiittle bit of help from my readers. I’m often being asked for my reader demographics … and while I knew what they were a year ago, I literally have no idea who is reading my blog right now (see said changes above) or what types of posts they are interested in. Plus I really want to know what type of content is valued here, and what I’m wasting my time on … which apparently I will be pressed for once Michaela makes her presence known. So could you please take a few minutes to fill out this survey?

As a Thank You to all of my readers (those responses above are totally anonymous, by the way – unless you leave your blog address) … I have a fabulous giveaway featuring pieces from Song Yee Designs! Four different winners will be selected at random on January 1st to win one of the pieces below, and yes, this giveaway open to International readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OFT giveaway1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Anddddd finally. Did you know that I’m having a baby? And that Christmas is next week? Cool, I didn’t know either. Miss Michaela is set to make her arrival any day now (tick tock, tick tock!) … so I’ve decided to peace out of blogland until the New Year to spend this special time with my family. I’ll still be active on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so make sure we’re connected there if you’d like to stay updated about my boring life, or to know when I push a baby out of my vagina. Happy Christmahanukwanzadan!

xo,
Kym

Ugly Sweater Cookies

This #TasteTheSeason shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine.

Have you been trying to think of gifts to give this holiday season that come from the heart, but that don’t break the bank? If so, homemade gifts of the edible kind are the best ones to give (in my humble opinion, anyways!). You really can’t go wrong with gifting festive cookies during this time of the year, can you? I mean, cookies are kind of synonymous with the season, dontcha think?! While gifting homemade baked goods may take a little bit more time and effort than simply clicking the “Buy It Now” button, handcrafted goodies are a delicious and easy way to save money this gift giving season, and are a beautiful expression of one’s love, thoughtfulness and creativity.

Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookies #TasteTheSeason #CBias

Soft, thick sugar cookie cutouts with lots of icing and sprinkles are my favorite. I follow a very basic dough recipe then decorate to my hearts content with a variety of delicious toppings that I find in the Walmart baking aisle like colorful and festive sprinkles, icing, and Kraft products such as Baker’s Coconut and Jet Puffed Marshmallows.

What I love the most about gifting sugar cookies is that I always have the basic ingredients on hand, and they literally cost dollars (maybe even pennies!) to create.

Ugly Sweater Cookies #TasteTheSeason

I’m not a professional cookie maker/baker/decorator by any means, so I was pretty stoked to find an Ugly Sweater cookie cutout this year because the whole emphasis on the popular Ugly Sweater trend is ‘The uglier the better!’, and I think I nailed it ;)

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies #TasteTheSeasonUgly Sweater Cookie IdeaUgly Christmas Sweater Cookies

Super Simple Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter until smooth, then add sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in egg, vanilla and almond extract, and beat on high until everything is well mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then begin to add it a little at a time to the wet ingredients.
  5. The dough will be stiff. Knead it out with wet hands onto a lightly floured hard surface covered with parchment paper, for about five minutes. This dough does not have to be chilled (yay!)
  6. Divide the dough into workable batches, and roll it out into ¼ inch of thickness.
  7. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes.
  8. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper and bake cookies in oven for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway.
  9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

Depending on how flexible your spending budget is, you can dress up your baked beauties for gift giving with low-cost containers such as mason jars topped with a shiny bow; a cheap basket lined with tissue paper, wrapped in holiday cellophane, and tied with pretty ribbon; packaged cookies placed inside of a coffee mug, cupcake tin or loaf pan, or inside of a holiday cookie jar. Don’t turn your nose up to checking out your local thrift stores, too. I’ve found some beautiful handcrafted platters there for just dollar or two!

Happy Seasons Eatings ;)

xo,
Kym

walmart bake center in store photo

P.S. – Head on over to my Handmade Holiday Pinterest board for additional DIY gift ideas, and if you need even more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website which is chuck full of recipes, sweepstakes, coupons and more!