What It All Means to Me

I haven’t written a heartfelt post in a while and Emelia inspired me to share my thoughts on this…

I started this blog in October of 2014. Prior to that I’d tried my hat at a few other forums and blogs but this one has been my biggest success. (I consider it a success because a) you’re here reading it and b) I very much enjoy writing it.) I’m not sure what I expected when I launched into this world, but I formed an online friendship with Chelsea pretty quickly and from there my internet friends really picked up and expanded.

I think there’s a somewhat popular opinion out there that traditional blogging is dead. Unless you pay $1,000 for good pictures or spend all your time pushing new skin care products (a.k.a. “influencing”), your place in this world is fading. Like Emelia, I 100% disagree with that.

I think that if you’ve been doing this for a few years you know that readership dips in the summer. You know that less people visit on holiday weekends and January is reserved for self-improvement and ‘goals’ posts. You pick up on the patterns of this world and you go with them or carve your own path. I love that this environment nurtures BOTH options.

Here are some other things I love about blogging:

Ohio is not a typical target for natural disasters or attacks (fingers crossed) so it’s hard to imagine the terror or devastation or hope that people feel when faced with wildfires or bombings or floods. Reading this post from Carolann about the Hawaii false missile alert or seeing IG stories from Ashten during the CA wildfires was so eye-opening. I cried real tears for these girls, even though I’ve never been in a situation like that or experienced these events first hand. Even on a smaller scale, reading about postpartum depression or flight anxiety or adoption or weight struggles is easier to understand and empathize with because of bloggers’ vulnerability. I’m more informed about city life and the struggles of homelessness, gerrymandering, and even commuting because people choose to write about it. When I was growing up our closest neighbors were cows so it’s a benefit to see the world through the eyes of people with different experiences.

I could go on and on about the friendships I’ve formed with other ladies in the blog world. I often catch myself telling local family and friends, “Well a friend of mine did xyz…” and I’m 100% talking about a blog friend. (K knows most of you all by name and he definitely knows your pets’ names.) I participate in snail-mail exchanges and book challenges and film challenges with my friends. I send and receive care packages. We collaborate on posts. We swap book recommendations and even physical books sometimes! If I stopped blogging I feel like the biggest loss I’d suffer would be the amount of friends I have. I really truly hope to meet some of them in person some day because I feel like we’ve fostered such a unique and special friendship through our writing.

While there’s always the risk of comparing lives or feeling jealous rage over perfectly edited IG photos, I think this community is a healthy place for inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to clean out my closet, cook a new dinner recipe for K, treat myself to a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or just take a walk on a pretty day. The ladies that I follow are constantly reminding me to enjoy life and be kind to myself (and others) and keep my environment healthy and productive and personal. That message gets lost or muddled in the fast-paced world outside our blogs. I honestly find that keeping close to and reading the words of other bloggers helps me to stay grounded and focused. They spread encouragement and acceptance and change, and in return I find myself doing the same.

It’s probably the most superficial reason for blogging, but I love the recommendations that come out of this environment. Speaking specifically about the bloggers I choose to follow, I think all the women are genuine and honest in their reviews. I find so many incredible books and movies, make-up products and shoes, clothing sales and Amazon steals from this community. It’s incredibly helpful come Christmas or birthdays or a treat yo’ self day.

I’m not an influencer. I made my very first sponsored post a few weeks ago and I didn’t get any money- they simply sent me a canvas to review. (It was awesome and I loved the whole experience, by the way.) I’m not a sales person so you’ll never see something here that I don’t love. I love to talk about my dogs and life and marriage and travel and books so that’s actually what you’ll see here 95% of the time.

So no, I don’t believe traditional blogging is dead and I’ll be around this space for as long as it’s fun and rewarding and therapeutic. I hate when blog-friends fade away, but I understand. I see my blog as a relationship with friends across the globe and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m grateful that you spend time here and I hope you get as much out of the blog world as I have and do. ❀︎

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel like we were so overdue for a holiday, ya know? Thanksgiving arrived just in time.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by friends or family or pets or strangers- whatever or whomever you have that make you feel loved and grateful.

I addition to all the normal stuff (husband, dogs, fam, etc.), I’m incredibly thankful for the blogging community that I find myself immersed in daily. From the random packages to the planned gift swaps, from my blogger pen pal group to the people I email with and befriend on Facebook… I’m just really grateful for you all ❀︎

If you find yourself here over the holiday/weekend, I hope you know that I’m glad you’ve stopped by. If you’re looking for something to read while you wait for the guests to arrive or the turkey to cook or the bloating to subside πŸ˜‰ be sure to check out these posts:

Have a great Thanksgiving & weekend!

Blogger Favorites (and more!)

Happy Tuesday ❀︎ It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a “favorites” post and I’ve been collecting some awesome blog posts over the last month or so.

life_as_louise_favorites

Before I get into blog posts, here are some recent tangible favorites!

circle towel | Old Navy Fit&Flare cami dress | 48oz. Bubba mug

Can you tell I’m 100% in vacation-mode? Ha.

Ok… on to the posts:

What are some recent favorites- online and off- that you’ve discovered lately??

*Totally forgot about the link-up with Lauren & Bre! Counting this as an ‘Add It To My List’ post!!

Friday Favorites

Hello, my friends.

life_as_louise_favorites

I’m so glad this week is over. I’m also happy that for the second time in a row I have a free weekend. (Prior to these past two weekends we were so swamped!) This week K has been off on business, so I’ve been flying solo. And since the Grinch was away this elf was at play πŸ™‚ I started listening to Christmas music this week and I’ve mostly transformed our house from spooky graveyard to winter wonderland.

(I know some folks out there feel like Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick when it comes to people like me. Not true, guys. My dining room table has a festive little fall centerpiece and I fully welcome Turkey-Day in the whole “holiday season” club. I get the same thankful, joyful vibe all through November and December, so I’m not going to fight the urge. No harm in decorating the mantel and hanging the stockings.)

In November I try to establish some kind of social media thankful-post. This year I’m sharing a weekly Instagram pic that sums up a few things I’m thankful for each week. I’ve done blog posts and Facebook statuses in the past, but I think I prefer the weekly post (vs. daily) and I enjoy sharing a picture from my week!

I’m still not ready to talk about the election. I deactivated my FB this week because I’m upset and I just need to avoid the gloating/hate/fear/anger/sadness. I’m worried about the next four years. I will never quietly tolerate xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, sexism, or racism. I know a lot of people feel the same way, but I’m just not ready to talk about this.

Ok, so I promised some favorites from the blog-world. Here they are:

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! Like I said, I’m 100% plan-less, but that doesn’t mean I won’t end up in Columbus or Indianapolis for a few hours this weekend. Who knows?Β  πŸ™‚

audielou.com_signature

Some Friday Favorites

The world has me in a constant state of rage & I have nothing new to say today. I’m trying really hard to send positive vibes into the world, but I’m struggling.

Please know that you are enough. Whatever you’re struggling with, you’re enough. Please also do your very best to spread love and understanding and compassion. It seems crazy to have to say that, but this world is crazy.
And now I leave you with thoughts from other bloggers that had me nodding my head and throwing my hands up in praise this week…

life_as_louise_favorites

  • Steph said it all. I honestly couldn’t agree with another human more right now. Enlist me in that army.
  • Chelsea is also spot-on. Why is being a female so controversial?!
  • I really love Elyse’s movie + meal pairings; especially #10!
  • I can always count on Julie to share some encouragement & art!
  • Chelsea (a different one!) shared her incredible birth story and I am so in awe of her. Check out part 1 first, then move on to the intense part 2!
  • Reading about the folks Rebecca Jo met while “catching” at the Louisville IronMan was so heartwarming!

And from the non-blog world:

I’m hoping and praying our weekend events (gender reveal party, wedding, birthday shenanigans) distract me from my political rage for a bit. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

audielou.com_signature

Favorites & Love

Hey. It’s Friday.
On Monday I posted a picture of my planner showcasing the totally free, unscheduled week I had ahead of me. It was nice and relaxing and I only forced myself to do a little housework. This weekend is open, too. And K’s home for once. My little simple heart is quite happy.

life_as_louise_favorites

So before I point you in the direction of other bloggers, let’s chill here for a minute.

Over the weekend DCI (Drum Corps International) had its finally competition in Indianapolis. K went, I stayed home. Here’s a super short clip from the 2016 Champs (The Bluecoats from Canton, OH!) that makes me laugh every time:

Maybe you saw this clip circulating the internet this season. That’s another drum corps.
Also, the cart she’s playing behind was built by my husband’s company πŸ™‚

Moving on.

This week I got a GoodReads notification that Shilpi Somaya Gowda liked my review of her book! So that was cool. (Are we friends on GoodReads? Because we should be!)

And now some blogs for you πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca Jo hits the nail on the head when it comes to life-timelines!
  • Christine takes her first whack at bullet journaling and it’s pure perfection! When I finally pull the trigger I’m looking to her for organization & artistic inspiration!
  • My IRL good friend Aubrey started a blog! Remember I talked about her in this post? Now she’s a fitness goddess and cooking guru!
  • Emily’s advice on parenting one’s self is so, so good!

Fingers-crossed that today flies by and I’m on my front porch with a glass of wine before I know it! What’re you doing this weekend?

audielou.com_signature

My Favorites!

Next week I will be on a much needed vacation from real life. I still have posts scheduled here, but I might be a little slower at replying and catching up on other blogs. I promise I will still reply to every single comment and I plan on reading through my usually blogs. This is just a heads up πŸ™‚ I’m actually pretty excited about next week’s posts! Leave me some comments to read on our loooong drives!

roadtrip

Also, I know I’m a little late, but I hope my Muslim friends had a happy Eid celebration! I know things are violent and crazy in the Middle East for people of all religions. Please know I’m thinking of you & your families and praying for you ❀︎

Today I just wanted to share some of my favorite blog posts from the last week or so!

I am still laughing like an idiot about Steph’s post concerning concert go-ers!

Carolann looks for the good in stressful situations- it’s a great reminder from a strong lady.

Amber is giving a pep talk every day this month. Follow her Instagram for your daily dose!

Lindsay’s life reminders- especially this one about things not going as planned– are so refreshing and honest!

Emma is the travel guru! I’ll take her packing advice any day!

. . .

I’ve got one more day of hard work (read: wedding planner duties) before I wind down and relaaaax for the week. Follow along on Instagram or Snap Chat (audie_lou) to see what I’m up to! πŸ˜€ Have a fabulous weekend friends!

audielou.com_signature