Category Archives: blogging

When a Break Turns Into a Sabbatical

I’m back. I took a little break from writing and blogging this summer thinking I would be back at the keyboard by late-August or early September…it is now October 13. I suppose that is more of a sabbatical than a break. I didn’t expect that I needed or could even tolerate this much time away from writing. I guess I was wrong.

I stepped away from my laptop in June for family and for personal reasons. I will be writing more about both of these in future posts. In short, I wanted to spend as much time with my daughter before she started her senior year and I needed some time to process some things privately. I was concerned that if I continued to blog I would process publicly–and prematurely. Given these few months, I know I made the right decision in both of these cases.

The time away also allowed me time to get started on some much-needed and long-overdue projects around our house. I will be posting regularly about our “Take Back Our House Project.” I have some great before and after photographs, will share some of our dirty, little secrets and the solutions we have found. We are still very much in the process of this project and will be continuing to work on it throughout the year.For a sneak preview, check out my Instagram posts.

I’d love to hear from you about your own projects: how do you get started, what keeps you motivated, how you juggle the long process with living life, etc.

So…I am glad to be back. I am determined to keep writing and to continue to share my journey and struggles, battles and blessings.

God’s peace, my friends.

Amy

 

And the Winner is . . .

And the winner is...Garden Party Giveaway on amywatsonsmith.com

My first giveaway is over and the winner is . . . Anne Walpole from Charleston, South Carolina!

Thank you to all who signed up for my mailing list last week. I cannot tell you what a boost you all gave me. So many of you not only signed up but took the time to offer me sweet words of encouragement.

If you missed out on this giveaway, do not despair. I will be doing another one in June, so go ahead and sign up now so you don’t miss my next giveaway announcement!

Some of you have asked about how to purchase some of the items in this “Garden Party in a Box”. I do not have my “store” set up online quite yet but am happy to take an order if you just contact me at amywatsonsmith@gmail.com. I will have other items available in my store in the future so be sure to check back here.

Just as a reminder, here are a few of the items in the Garden Party box:

Hand-decorated glass bottles with coordinating straws - $4 each

Hand-decorated glass bottles with coordinating straws – $4 each

Hand-made Garden Party Invitations and envelopes - quantity 8 - $16

Hand-made Garden Party Invitations and envelopes – quantity 8 – $16

It’s A Garden Party Giveaway: How to Win

Sign up with your email to join my mailing list to win this Garden Party Giveaway on amywatsonsmith.com

Sign up with your email to join my mailing list to win this Garden Party Giveaway

I am so excited to be able to offer my first-ever “giveaway” on amywatsonsmith.com. I have put together a Garden Party in a box to show my appreciation to my followers.

Want to enter to win this giveaway? Then pop over to the sidebar on the right and sign up to join my mailing list. I would be thrilled if you would share this opportunity by regramming this post on Instagram and on Facebook.

This giveaway ends on Friday, May 16 at 10 pm. I will draw a winner on Saturday.

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I had the best time putting this together. Here is what I included in my Garden Party Giveaway:

  • Six glass milk (or other beverage) bottles hand-decorated in pink and green
  • Striped pink and green paper straws
  • Handmade Garden Party invitations
  • Paper coasters
  • Pink enameled pail in which to serve dip (included) or other yummy snacks
  • Flowers and tablecloth are not included

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Thank you for following me! I would love to hear from you and look forward to getting to know you better!

How I Start My Week

Monday morning from my perspective: setting priorities

This is what Monday looks like from my perspective. Coffee, old school planner, iPhone, iPad, camera, pen, more coffee. In my pajamas. Surrounded by my hounds.

This is how I start my week.

I know that I am fortunate to be able to start the week this way. I am blessed to be able to spend this season of my life only working out of my home part-time. I am lucky to have the opportunity to explore my passion for writing and photography and to have time being creative.

So I sit on the sofa in the den in my pajamas with my three dogs barking and running in circles (or sometimes chewing their bones), the cat is perched on the pillow by my side and I try to plan my day, my week, my year.

I update calendars, make appointments, brainstorm blog post ideas, plan the editorial calendar for my blog, shoot a few photos, begin a draft post or two and try to finish at least one that I can publish this week. I research ideas, read new posts from my favorite bloggers and comment when appropriate. I look through emails, check Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts and try to respond in turn. Finally I check my site statistics to see whether anyone has even read my latest post.

Seems like a lot of work . . . but for what purpose? Sometimes I wonder about this. And I know that my husband certainly does.

But I love what I am doing–writing, taking photos, blogging about my journey, . . . this gives me joy, makes my heart sing, stirs my creative juices and, ultimately, makes me a happier mama and wife. My two days of doing what I love energizes and enthuses me for the rest of the week.

I am thankful to the Lord and to my husband and daughter for allowing me the time to see where this “work” will take me.

This is how I start my week. With dreams and plans and ideas and pajamas.

How do you start your week? Are you a planner or a dreamer? Do you carefully set priorities or do you just jump into the week and see where it will take you?

 

How to Spend a Year Writing

Happy 1year birthday to amywatsonsmith.com

Well, today is the one-year birthday of this blog.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday…

I don’t think that I ever really believed that I could actually spend a year writing on a regular basis. Okay, I use the term “regular” rather loosely. But despite my best attempts at procrastination, I still managed to write. No, I needed to write. And apparently I needed to write in this format (i.e., blogging).

The actual look and name and feel of my blog has changed several times as I learned more about blogging but the content has remained consistent. I have attempted to write about my life in an authentic way–not white-washing it as I hope many of my posts and photos demonstrate.

I have learned quite a bit about blogging along the way and even more about myself. I feel as if I am just beginning to hit my stride, so here I go. I am going to spend another year writing this blog. I do hope you will continue on this journey with me.

Below you will find links to my top ten blog posts from the past year. I invite you to read them again–or for the first time.

Thank you and God’s peace and blessings to you.

Amy

TOP 10 POSTS FROM THE YEAR:

1. How to Make a Spring Break Survival Kit

Spring Break Survival Kit

 

2. Lessons from Miss Frances: On Living, Loving and Laughing

"Lessons from Miss Frances on Living, Loving and Laughing" on www.amywatsonsmith.com

 

3. How to Silence the Voice of Doubt

How to Silence the Voice of Doubt: Just write

 

4. When Everything Has Gone to the Dogs

"When Everything has Gone to the Dogs," Chester, one of the "twins"--English Springer Spaniels

 

5. Game Day Done Right

Ole Miss Road Trip

6. The Love of a Dog

A dog's love

 

7. Bee Smitten: Banner Celebrations

Oliver's banner

 

8. Time Flies When You are Living Life

Daddy-daughter chefs in "Time Flies When You are Living Life"

 

9. How to Have the Perfect Vacation

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." -Robert Orben How to Have a Perfect Vacation on www.amywatsonsmith.com

 

10. Bee Smitten: A few of My Favorite Things

"Bee Smitten: A Few of  My Favorite Things / Photo of Judith Ann Entrican Kirkpatrick