WP Thoughts, Blog Organizing & Why we Do This

{Blog Thoughts, WP, Categories & Love}

Sorry about some of the random posts and re-posts today folks.  I've been trying to re-tag all of my past posts so that they are easier to find, and during my 10+ hour venture, I had a few hiccups.

I've had quite the internal struggle lately with the good ol' blog.
(nothin' major, no worries)
It's amazingly fun, a fabulous creative outlet, and also something that our family loves to do!  But along with that comes LOTS and LOTS of work.  Not only am I talking about the actual projects that need to get done and photos that have to be taken and edited to POST on the blog, but more the day to day upkeep, emails, time writing posts, designing and more.
Don't worry, even though it might sound like it, I'm not complaining... ha!
Truth be told... I love it.  :)

Right along with being a Mom and Pinterest... It's honestly a dream "job" and an obsession.
Please tell me I'm not alone here...hee hee

In the past few months I have raked my poor brain over the coals, trying to decide if making the ever-trendy Wordpress move was for me, and my blog.
In short.
I TOTALLY think it is.  :)
There are lots of fancy, fun, new-fangled gadgets that wordpress can offer, that blogger may not, at this time.
This is where the hard part came in...
And I feel a little silly to admit it, but

I would (and sometimes DO) spend all my days in front of my computer, tweeking, posting, and adding more to our blog.  But alas... I also have "right here-right now" people, things, and life commitments that need lots of my attention as well.  From what I've heard, making "the switch" has a bit... okay, let's admit it...a LOT of a learning curve, and lets be frank... I BARELY have the time to invest into what I'm doing now!!! lol

Does this mean that I'll never switch over... Nope!
It just means that right now, I'd rather not stress about:
"how to add an element to my blog here" or
"how to figure out why certain things aren't working over there"

As one of my fellow bloggers put it (who recently made the WP switch)
"WP is awesome, but Blogger is just like a nice big warm hug"
 haha!  I loved that!  It was definitely the best way to describe it.  Easy, user friendly, and simple.
So as weird as it may sound... I think I'm going to stay in "the blogger embrace" for just a bit longer, till my life has the time-capacity to allow for learning curves, and other potential hurdles.
Okay.... So THAT being said... I have been working on a few things to hopefully make navigating and browsing around "our House" a bit easier.

First:  Compressed/Truncated Posts
This allows ME to add more posts per page, and hopefully let the blog load a bit faster, because there are just snippets of the beginning of each post.  Like so...
 In order to see the entire post, you just need to click on this link by the red arrow, that says:
The FIRST post on our blog will never be compressed.  Just the older ones that follow.  Hopefully this will lead to less "scrolling time" for our frequent readers and new readers, alike.  Making it easier for them to bypass entire posts that don't interest them, if they are reading our blog page by page.
If you follow us in a reader, new posts will still update in their entirety, and will NOT be compressed.
(I'm also still working on redirecting links to a brand new window, so you won't have to navigate away from the original page you are on.  That will come soon )

2nd: A Categories Gadget
For some reason, after we switched our domain to a .com, our "search this blog" feature got all ski-wompie (yup, it's a word, ha!), and was no longer helpful.  So I've gone through EACH post, re-tagging it with the topic(s) that the posts touch on.
You can find this on the right hand side of our blog, towards the bottom, it looks like this:
Making it a whole lot easier to search for certain topics, within that given area.
To use this feature, all you need to do is click on whatever topic you want to read about, and it will bring up all those posts, within that topic.
Compressed as well, to make for quicker finding.

Also, just for a change of pace, I've switched up our header and button.  It's nice and simple :)
Do you sense a trend, with the whole "simplicity" thing, here? ha!

I will be adding a new background, and menu bar soon, with added tabs, that will include:
Frequently Asked Questions
My Favorite Blogs
Whew!  Alright, I think that's it for now. lol.
...Now let's get mushy...
I hope that all of you know how MUCH we love doing this.
To me, it's never been about the "numbers, money or recognition".  Although nice...Our blog means SO much more to us, then that.  And the connections that we make with our readers friends are why we do this.
I had a friend ask me MULTIPLE times...(and you know who you are)...
"What is your goal?  What do you want to accomplish with your blog?"
At first I didn't know.  But after I thought about it for a bit, Cason and I came to this conclusion:

If nothing else, this blog is still, and always will be, first and foremost, for US.  We won't get hung up on the nasty comments, or the opinionated outlooks of others.  We'll stick true to our carefree, casual, non-stressful tactic that we started with.  Posting when and whatever we want.  And if others want to be involved with what we are doing, and how we do it, then we welcome them with open arms!
Our main "goal" is to make sure that our blog is a place FULL of positive, fun, happy, safe topics.  No backbiting, negativity or controversial issues.  Only motivational, inspiring, uplifting, feel-good posts, around here :)
There is enough stress, sadness, and drama in day-to-day life.  We always want to make sure that our blog is our refuge from all that mess.

So yes... sometimes I'll post too many pictures of my kiddos, or take 3 months too long to finish a bathroom remodel... but HEY!  That's life!  ... And we're a Craftin', Home DIY'n, LIFESTYLE BLOG!!!

We are completely terrified when we actually stop and think about how many people that we might possibly reach with each and every post.  So most of the time we choose not to think about it, and go along, acting like it's still just our family and close friends reading about our lives and home style shift, journey.
Which you all ARE, so it's cool if we display our dance videos and talk about being a bad Mom, from time to time, in front of you... right???haha!
We consider ourselves incredibly lucky and immensely blessed.  Thank you ALL for your amazing comments, and endless support with our home remodeling adventures, and we hope you know that...


  1. Right back at'cha with the lovefest. :)


  2. Thanks Shelly. I love your blog, your style and you keeping it real.

  3. I like how it's "our" blog and not just "yours" like so many other mommas out there.

    And ooooh how do you compress the posts that come up after you click on a label?? You don't see many people do this, and it's annoying to scroll through 20 posts under one label!

  4. I think that's an AWESOME call, Miss Shelley. Like, seriously, awesome. I always tell myself "Shelley doesn't need to post every day. And she's fine."

    WP is great and all, but if this is working for you....stay!

    Look at all the good you do, and all the people who love to come here. No reason to change.

    Thanks for always having something refreshing to say. :)

    (hope your trip was fun. We can't get into the play next week. But we're going back in August to see it. Can't wait!)


  5. I sure do like you, Shelley and I ADORE your blog...I hope you guys never stop doin' what you do...;)

  6. I heart YOU! You totally get it! Well at least the way I do! There are days I think..gosh I need to get a post up or I need to finish this project and yes..fix my blog..switch to WP,etc. But I am a MOM of three itty bitty's and a pinterest addict too...lol! I am so happy to know that this can be a great hobby and great outlet and a fantastic way to meet amazing people and be a blessing to others! To know that one of my favorite bloggers is taking a similar approach and not giving in to the pressures of blogland but really finding what works for HER and HER family makes me SO happy:0) Keep being yourself and staying true to who you are...we will still be here because your THAT great:0) Loves and Hugs Sugar Shelley!!! xoxo Destiny

  7. I love this particular post! I love that every one of your posts allows YOU to shine through. It is exactly as you said you intend it to be: fun, positive, motivational (in a DIY sense) and silly.

    Keep up all the good work!!

  8. I LOVE your blog, I actually look forward to seeing what you're up too and how darling your kids look today :) I can't imagine (ok, I can) people having negative things to say about you or anything you do!! Thank you for making me smile and encouraging me to keep making things beautiful in my world!!! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!!! <3

  9. I'm glad you won't be compressing your first post. That is the thing I HATE MOST about a lot of blogs. I hate the compressed posts. I HATE, HATE, HATE having to click on "click here to read more". I HATE IT!!!! I notice that compressing posts is the trend, but I personally hate having to click a 2nd time on a blog to read the most current post. I don't mind doing it for older posts (yes I do, but not as much), but for the most current, I HATE IT. It reminds me of having to put in a code to leave a comment. A unnecessary 2nd step. Thanks for letting me vent.

    And don't worry, I'll be back to visit your blog. I LOVE IT!!!! I love that you combine family, decorating, crafts and DIY in your blog. Keep up the good work.

    Blogging is a full time job in itself. My blog has suffered terribly as my "real" fulltime jobs at home & work keep getting in the way of my blogging. I need 48 hours in a day. I'm amazed at all of you that seem to get it all done.

  10. Loved every word of this post Shelley! Thank you so much for sharing. You are amazing!!!! I may have to pick your brain on the truncating older posts and having the new one full up in its entirety. That is exactly how I want to format my blog and I thought that was only a WP option.

  11. You summed up my blogger thoughts perfectly :) it's just so simple and easy (a big hug!)...maybe that's just me being scared of change. For now at least, I like spending my spare time doing creative projects not technical stuff! I blog because I have a desire to inspire not a desire to figure out gadgets and code...maybe one day though :) Not to mention WP costs $!

  12. Hi was just checking out your blog and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your salt lake temple button. The one that says the smith family belongs. So beautiful and so smart.

  13. Ugh, I just posted this lovely post to you and I am soooo not savvy enough that it even posted. Trying for round-two. Sorry if you get the first one. Ok, here goes...

    I have never posted on your page before, this blog entry has compelled me to today. I love your upbeat, high energy, hilarious posts. I read your blog first thing in the morning...every morning...even weekends to get me off on the right foot. You are contagious! I love it. Thank you for writing to us nearly EVERY day (yikes...can't believe that you do!). Anyway, I think you are awesome and since I am obviously not even savvy enough to post correctly to your page, I am not savvy enough to recognize the difference in WP and Blogger: I will follow you regardless.

  14. Thank you so much for a fantastic blog Shelley! I've blog stocked you for quite a while, but this is my first comment. I love how you keep everything positive, but still very genuine. Please keep up the fantastic work, and know that you really do reach this person out there in blog land!

  15. I'm excited to see what you'll be working on next and look forward to reading each one of your "positive, fun, happy posts". :) Thanks for opening the doors of your home and inspiring so many!

  16. LOVE this post and love the new features! I've been thinking about adding categories and the truncated-style for old posts too! Glad to see you did it too! :D


  17. And we love you, you guys are great and so is your blog. I think we all understand about life and keeping it real and it is what I love about your blog!

  18. you are just the sweetest - BEST-est thing ever! I just love ya & your blog!

    I was considering the move to wp too but made the SAME decision (no time now) but will look into it deeper when it settles a bit.

    Also was looking at compressing posts - would you be up for sharing how you navigated through that?

    :) wink wink - love ya babe!

  19. Your blog is great, I so enjoy it. I love yours and hubs bathroom video. You were having way to much fun with the camera hair flips and all. LOL!

    With WP being all the rage, I feel that in time Blogger will certainly catch up to whatever it is WP does. I am sure blogger doesn't want to fall short, not with their name and all. I feel that at times things become almost a trend in a way and everyone wants to jump on board. I personally am way to terrified to switch its taken me a 1 year and 3 months to gain almost 3000 followers, I would hate it, if my hard work had to start from the beginning. However, to each their own.. whatever works for whomever. YOUR BLOG IS FAB. SERIOUSLY FAB. Thanks for the 411 here on HOS. winks-jen

  20. Such a great post! I love how real and open you are, not to mention, creative! Keep up all of the good work because it is very much appreciated, you would be forever missed if anything ever changed!

  21. NOT a Word Press fan! Just sayin' Love your blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts and being real!

  22. I think that your blog is sweet as candy, and always fresh and fun. If you like your blogging platform, I so stick with it.

    I made the switch from typepad to wordpress.ORG a few years back and I could not be happier. Importing my blog files took a few seconds and I didn't have to make very many tweaks to the layout once I selected it. I also find it easy to update the widgets, banner, etc.

    I finally feel happy enough with my (simple daily journal) blog that I don't have to futz with it much. EXTRA TIME!

    Enjoy blogger, but if you ever need to switch to wordpress.ORG (specifying the org since that is what I use), I think that you'll be happy.

  23. I love your positive attitude and totally can relate to the blogger vs word press debate. I'd love to switch, but really who has the time for all THAT??!!! My 3 and 5 year old would vote NO on that one and more chocolate milk please!

  24. I am a newer follower and I'm already hooked!! I love the blog... the only thing I wish, from a visual standpoint, is that this middle column were wider (less scrolling, larger images etc... ). As far as content goes though... you are AMAZING!!

  25. I love your blog and appreciate all the time and effort you put into it (i.e. hard work). Thank you for doing what you do and for sharing your heart and soul with all of us.


  26. Thanks for sharing from your heart, Shelly. I'll echo Jen--I'm hoping Blogger decides to straighten up and update some stuff to keep up with WP. We'll see, right? :)

  27. Gosh, it must be the week for "this kind" of post! I've been writing the same thing on my blog (although in a much smaller/less-important sort of way, since my blog is much smaller -- and well, less important to (most) people! haha :)~

    But I just want to THANK YOU for posting this about WP ... I have been SO overwhelmed lately with seemingly ALL of the blogs I love switching and talking about it ... it makes lil' ol' me feel like an even bigger loser, since I don't -- and won't (anytime soon) - have WP. You have made me feel so much better about this -- even though that might sound silly.

    Your blog is one that I feel I can identify with so much because we enjoy/blog about similar things. ... and I can only aspire to have as successful of a blog as yours someday!

    Thanks for what you do!

  28. Love you and everything about this post. Your blog makes me laugh, oh the dance videos and inspires me. I love your sense of style but more than that, I love how "real" you and your family are. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  29. Thank you for your awesome blog! I have never commented before but have been happily following along for some time gathering inspiration (by the bucket load), relating heartily to your (real not sugar-coated) parenting stories and embracing the sense of fun and love of life that shines through in every post. Thank you again!

    Cheers Katrina

  30. Shelly, Your blog is great. A little while back I sent an email with some questions about where to find good second hand items in Utah and you took the time to respond. Your responses were so helpful and we were able to accomplish a large part of our task by listening to your advice. Keep up the good work. I cannot think of anything about your blog that I do not like!

  31. You energy amazes me...and your happy, bubbly personality always shines with each of your posts. I feel like I am talking to you every time I read a post of yours. One of my favorite things about your blog is that you keep it real, simple and laid back. I admire and respect your taste in all you do, and I just wanted to let you know I am a "fan". Keep up the good work!!!!

  32. Hi Shelly I just started reading your blog and I really like it, thank you for the great content and great projects! I use WP for my blog and I absolutely love it but you need to find what works for you. If you ever decide to switch and need a true expert on your side, I have a guy that is bar none to anyone in the industry. His name is Thomas Bishop (http://iamthomasbishop.com/) and all he does is build sites on WP. He's incredible, he did our site (http://www.babyfoodscoops.com/). Good luck, I think you're doing great with what you've got too!
    - Jess

  33. Just wanted to tell you I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!! ;) Keep on keepin' on!

  34. Shelly, I really adore your blog and think it is truly one of the most beautiful looking ones around. You do a seriousy amazing job with everything that you do. ;)

  35. such exciting change!! i feel that that was the perfect description of wp vs. blogger. well said, well versed friend!

  36. AMEN and we love you right back!!


  37. Just a wee note to THANK YOU! I really love your blog, and it's now at the top of my [short list] of favorites! I'm glad you are keeping it SIMPLE too. I don't like 'em so complicated... they can be for US too... you know... the fancy stuff. Again, I wish we were neighbors... geesh, I'd surely be 'bugging' you! LOL I'm glad you think of your FAMILY first! LOVE all your ideas and how-to's.

  38. I've told you before that the more I read your blog, the more I love it, and I think it's because it really has that friendly feel to it ... as though you're sitting talking to friends.

    I hope it continues to grow and provides you with great opportunities.

  39. I love your silly dance videos and it makes me feel like maybe...just maybe...you might be a normal human being instead of SUPERWOMAN when you talk about being a bad mom. So thank you. Keep it coming. I love your blog. So much. And I'm still waiting for the day that I run into you somewhere. I know it's going to happen one of these days. :)

  40. I love your blog Shelly! I'm considering starting a blog so I really appreciate your post on blogging..gives me a few things to think about :) It's very obvious you put a lot of time and effort into your blog - which is why I check it regularly!!

  41. Shelly you are great. I love coming to your blog and reading your fun stories. Thank you so much for taking so much of your time to do this. My blog is still new yet I find myself taking so much time to work on it and yet few family members do not understand that. I do not have any advice on WP but have heard from many that it's better than blogger and crashesh less than blogger.

  42. um...I'm not a fan of the "new" blogs. Have actually started reading them less. Good Choice!!

  43. I don't think you know just how much I love you!! You are so fabulous! Your so real! I love seeing your family! I just really LOVE being your follower! I was ALSO thinking (in the midst of blogger frustration) that I wanted to switch to WP. BUT in all honesty and without making hasty decisions I am VERY HAPPY with blogger! YOU are such an inspiration, not just in craftiness but as a mother and as a wife. You remind me all the time that I am both of those WAY before I'm a chick with a hot glue gun! I wish I knew you in real life. I KNOW we would be such great friends!! I'm making it to SNAP! I don't know how but I AM MAKING IT THERE! And I can't wait to meet you and all the other amazing ladies that inspire me everyday! I know I tell you this ALL THE TIME but you were the FIRST! My first "oh my gosh this is a blog!! this blog is AH-MAZING" and my first "now I'm gonna try that" Them crepe paper roses....first thing I ever made!! Thanks Shelley for being so awesome!!! For being you!!! :)

  44. HA!... I have a post sitting in draft that I never pulled the trigger on.. it's titled.. " You Can't Make Me" exploring all the ~cool girl blogging pressure~ out there to do what everyone else is doing.. along with that the switch to WP. I will not say I have not felt it but if I went with every trend out there by now I would have my nose ( or something else) pierced, have done botox by 40 and have put my kids in school... But I have enough holes in my body, I like my laughlines and 20 years of homeschooling has not killed me yet... so rock on.. Blogger it is! ( even when it's acting like a total jerk.. do you hear me Blogger?)

    Maddie, possible reverse radical

  45. I've thought about switching to WP but I think I am going to wait a little longer as well. It makes me so nervous to switch and also don't feel like trying to learn something new. Someday.

    Your new header and button look great as well!

    And I couldn't agree more. You gotta do what you love and your blog should include that. I've always enjoyed reading your blog and love everything you share about family and home.

  46. I just started blogging (and really have no idea what I'm doing at all!) on WP. So far it seems to be fairly okay going on the learning curve - but like I said I have no idea what I'm doing in the first place, so just the act of blogging is a learning curve. They say moving over is suppose to be easy and you won't lose any of the your info, I ran across a blog that said it was easy until you get into videos and things like that. then it gets more involved. (Let me know if your interested and I can find the blog for you and you can read his tips on how to do it.)

    You are right, it does take a lot of time to blog, I don't know how I'll pull it off once I go back to work PT as an assistant in Preschool. I got one of my good friends to create the blog with me, so she could help out in the blogging and ideas, and we could share the responsibility (I hope)

    Anyway, I love your blog and your sense of humor, whatever you decide will be the right decision.


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