State of the Blog 2014 Part 2: A Little More Insight into Doing It All *snort*

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s State of the Blog survey stats.  These are some of the most common questions or really fun ones!

What are people most surprised by when they meet you? 

Easiest answer of my life.  They are always surprised at how tall I am. (Apparently I come across as really short online?  Not even sure how that happens…) I am 5’9 and very regularly wear tall shoes,  especially if it’s at an event or conference or something fun like that.  So basically when I walk into a room I am at least 6’ tall.  That is hands down the first thing that 9 out of 10 people say. 

How old are you? You look so young, but then it seems like you’re too young for those girls of yours! Maybe you just started early…..

I turn 31 in April (gah that is so freaky.) So I was pretty young when I had Ivie (20) but not like 16 and Pregnant young.

Are you done having kids?

Nope!  Poor Court just wants a boy so we will probably try again and keep our fingers crossed.  My girls are 5 1/2 years apart and I really love it.  Dylan turns 5 this year so we might start trying again in a year or so depending on how we are feeling about it.  I am in no hurry though.  FYI if you see me and I am looking a little pudge,  its this fun thing called blogger butt, and the only thing that I am about to give birth to is another post. 

How much time a day do you spend on your blog? The writing part, not the actual project time …

I usually spend 1-2 hours writing the post (not including photography edits etc.)  With everything that running the blog entails (email, social media, comments etc.) I probably spend 4-5 hours though out my day on the computer.   On days when I am feeling really unfocused it goes higher because I am just clicking around and being unproductive (please tell me that I am not alone in this!)  I spend the majority of my time writing and editing after the girls are in bed (which is why if you are a top o’ the morning reader you probably catch my spelling errors before I have a chance to re-edit in the morning!) Doing things that way gives me a bit of relief from the mom guilt, but there are totally days where the blog has to take over and the girls are pretty good to play and let me work.  When the blog started it was 1000% hobby so justifying the time it took was a little bit difficult.  Now it is a full time job (that I LOVE!) so I can justify the time it takes and just do the best that I can and not feel too bad.

Do you think there’s room in the world for another "lifestyle" type blogger, and what do you think it takes to be a successful blogger??

This is such a great question.  I remember a few years ago when DIY blogging really took off and there was just so much amazing talent.  I didnt feel like I could compete, and I sort of felt like with so many people shouting, how was anyone going to hear me?  I had a chat with one of my favorite PR girls and she told me something that I just have to remember.  No matter how much milk you add,  the cream will always rise to the top. 

I also think that everyone defines successful differently.  There are so many blogs that have millions and millions of pageviews because they post projects that regularly go viral on Pinterest.  But to me a pageview and a reader are completely different things.  I would much rather have 100 readers that feel like I am their friend, than 10,000 click and go pinterest pageviews.  But the pay off for me isnt money.  The pay off is having the chance to inspire someone.  Personally I think everyone should start a blog.  I will teach you SO MUCH about yourself, the good and the bad.  Even if 5 people read it, you never know how it might change their life.  Sorry sort of rambling!

On a side note, I did get a lot of questions about blogging and growing a blog and everything that comes along with it.  I am still trying to figure out a way to post about it.  Maybe do a google hangout?  I dont know.  Stay tuned whilst I ponder!

You always seem so cheery, but I know your life has had some ups and downs, what are your down times like these days?

These questions are so good!  You guys are like Diane Sawyer!  My down times right now are usually because I dont feel like I am living up to my potential.  I tend to focus on the things I want to do vs the things I have accomplished (not in a negative way though,  more in a I want to experience everything way).  I love a new challenge and when I feel like I am disconnected from the creative process I sort of shut down and just want to watch Vampire Diaries for a week.   I dont worry about how things are going to work out, I just know that they will and it will be great!  When I am really feeling down it is because I am suffering spiritually.  Not taking enough time for perspective and meditation and stopping to feel grateful.

Do you ever worry you will run out of rooms to makeover or projects to do? I mean, you really found your style and your rooms are amazing so I feel like eventually, is there anything left to change?!

After I finish a really amazing project I always feel a little bit of the “Holy Crap!  How am I ever going to top this?!” twinge.  But if you ask me what my favorite project is, 9 times out of 10 it is one of the most recent ones (like the Himmeli Wreath.  Obsessed!) which tells me that I am always changing.  A really good brainstorm session with my MIL always gets things moving for me.  She is like my design prune juice!  If I run out of rooms in my house, I always have all of you guys, right?!

How do you do it ALL?

The most asked question was different variations of how do I do it all.  Which is actually EXTREMELY hilarious.  Like really.  I dont even come close.  You guys get to see pictures of my house at its best.  And trust me when I say it has never looked like that again.  There are project supplies everywhere.  My kids eat Mac & Cheese WAY more than they should.  If you knocked on my door right now do you know what you would see?  Me.  Completely unrecognizable from the made up stylish lady at the top of the blog.  I am probably wearing pajama pants from Christmas circa 1998 and I would only open the door a crack so that you couldnt see the disaster behind me (and so that Wallace wouldnt run out and down the street)  So now that you know what things are really like, let me answer this question. 

I am naturally a busy person.  I have a problem saying no because I want to experience everything and help everyone.  I try to be a good mom but fail every single day in one way or another.  I try and let my girls have as much freedom to grow as possible, so when it comes to clothes, toys, projects, etc. I just give them a little space and let them figure out what they like.  

I am not a perfectionist.  So while I do many things, I dont obsess over them (I think this is key to getting crap done.)  When I hit a deadline or I am really close to it, my creative adrenaline kicks in and I go into overdrive (just ask some of my sponsors, they love it when I ask for 1 more day to change EVERYTHING.)  I am extremely impulsive when it comes to creative decisions.  I dont mull over them for days.  If I want to try something I do it then.  If it doesnt work out the way I want, then I go to the drawing board and troubleshoot.  There is a lot of trial and error going on here… 

I dont love to cook, so most of our meals are simple, or come from Durangos (the restaurant that Court’s family owns.  Stop in and say hi to him, he loves being Mr. Vintage Revivals!)  I think you just have to do what you can do and dont worry about the rest!

Now for a bit of spirituality.  Avert your eyes if you dont love this kind of stuff!  I know that the only reason that Vintage Revivals is as successful as it is, is because I was (and still am) willing to share my story of Court’s addiction with whoever takes the time to read it.  It is not a coincidence that I unearthed this crazy hidden talent right before Court got sober.   A few years ago when the blog was just starting to take off I was feeling super overwhelmed and inadequate.  I called Court’s aunt because she is one of “those” people who always seems to stay on top of the things that she needs to do and gets a lot accomplished.  After crying to her for a few minutes she told me something that has stuck with me.  She had a blessing, and in it was told that every day she needed to say “Get thee behind me Satan”.  I love that.  Sorry man, but I have stuff I have to do so you are going to need to move. 

I think it would be really fun to do a day in the life type post so you guys can see how things happen around here.  I will add it to my list of upcoming posts.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is one of the hardest things to answer because I am in awe of where the last 3.5 have taken me and my family.   Dreaming my heart out,  my family would still be as healthy and adorable as ever.  Career-wise I would love to have a show on HGTV or something similar.  I really want to come to your houses and help overhaul spaces all day long.   So the big reveal would be on the show and then I would blog the in depth tutorials for all of the projects.  Lets be honest, House Hunters International needs to end.  Anyone have a hook up?

Now for the fun announcements!

I have a weekly newsletter in the works.  For those that are rolling your eyes about the whole follow through situation, dont worry, my right hand girl Jamie is putting it all together and I am just adding the sparkling personality.  So it will be happening.  One of the questions in the survey was “If you could ask me anything what would it be?”  1 or 2 of those questions will be appearing in each of the newsletters every week.  I will be posting more about it in the next little bit, after we get all of the details finalized but it is going to be really interactive and very reader based.  I am SO excited!!

Smaller Projects!!   Dudes.  I know that I need more of these happening.  And I think I finally have it figured out.  Would you believe that it is WAY harder for me to do a small project vs an entire room?  Its so lame and so true.

The Epic Room Makeover Giveaway will be showing her glowing face in 2014!  For those that are unaware the last 3 years (I took 2013 off to readjust the time frame) I have hosted the most epic of all contests.  Anyone in the United States can enter to have me and a few of my DIYin’ friends come to your house for an entire week and overhaul a room of your choice!  Completely freeeeee!  I mean.  Can you even imagine how much fun it is?  We are working out all of the details right now but it is coming down the pipeline!

I hope you have an amazing weekend and I will see you on Monday!  With a post!  Because I am super prepared right now!  Yay!!

Love Your Guts

31 Comments

Comments

  1. I would love for you to be the one that ends the monotony of House Hunters.

  2. You’re so inspirational! Love your attitude, too. I am looking forward to additional details on the room-makeover giveaway. I’d love to have someone just take care of that business for me and in a week, no less! Perfect for a busy body who is impatient like myself. My problem would be which room to settle on, though! Right now, I am stumbling over how to mesh my boys’ junk into a nice cohesive shared space. Any readers out there who can direct me to boys’ shared bedroom inspiration .. well, I’d be most appreciative. Mandi – keep on inspiring. I wish you and your family many more blessings this year. I like how you said that everyone should blog. That it would help us learn more about ourselves and possibly help someone else. :-)

  3. Mandi, I am really enjoying reading the results of your survey! I do love your blog in general (though I don’t stop by as much as I want to–there are SO. Many. Blogs.); but I think one thing that you do better than anyone else is talk about personal stuff. With every post, it feels like YOU are writing. I want to start doing that more on my own blog, but it’s scary to put yourself out there like that! Anyways, I just wanted to say, you are so courageous and inspiring, and I’m excited to follow more closely and see all the upcoming awesomeness. I would totally watch your HGTV show (but don’t knock my House Hunters International). Also, I should win your room makeover giveaway. Just saying.

  4. P.S. Love the writing on the share buttons at the bottom of your posts. So funny.

  5. I would love for you to have your own show, but I love me some HH International! It’s the USA version that you can replace.

  6. I love these posts! You are so candid and I love that! As for “doing it all” I think we may be the same person. Embracing chaos and mess, cooking very little, and creativity goings into overdrive due to a deadline looming, like, tomorrow. ;) I’m glad to know I’m not alone!! I really think you’re a kindred spirit. Prepare yourself to be bombarded by me at SNAP this year. I would DVR your show and watch it RELGIOUSLY!!! And PLEASE come makeover my bedroom!! We live with my dad (saving $$$) and he renovated this year and I helped him redecorate pretty much every room in the house….except the bedroom my hubby and I use. It’s so hideous, but I just don’t have the energy or finances to do a thing about it. :/ Lastly, thanks for sharing your spirituality. It is beyond inspiring. Love Your Guts! ;)

  7. YES! You totally need your own show! Absolutely House Hunters needs to go AWAY – so friggin boring! And if you get your own show, let me know cause I have some suggestions about camera/filming-ish stuff that drives me crazy on those shows (LOL).

    Great post, Mandi! Looking forward to more cool stuff from you this year :)

    • Agreed. I have kind of stopped watching HGTV because it’s just the same old stuff. I’d love to see someone like Mandi on there being really REAL and awesome.

  8. Thanks for all these Mandi! I’ve been blogging almost 3 years and am still afraid to put my whole self out there. But the few times I let go of the idea that things have to seem perfect, is so therapeutic. We’re just 4 days until the new year and I already feel like I’m drowning and behind in all the things I think I should be doing.

  9. Thanks so much for this Mandi. I really like the quote about the cream and milk. I have been feeling very mush like a small fish even with tons of success in many different areas of this blogging thing, I still wonder if there is room for me. But there’s one problem, whenever I think of quitting I remember how much I love what I am doing. Thanks again for this. Lesley

  10. My husband will be three years sober in April. Someday I hope to write about our experience. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. Um, this post was bomb too! Love all the realness and helpful info! Can’t wait to see your newsletter!

  12. I don’t care what goes away – you totally need your own show and I”d be a regular watcher! I love your blog – just started reading – and I’ve already got lots of plans. We just moved into a new house and in the process our storage unit was “damaged” with all our crap in it so we get to kind of start from scratch. Joy in the pain =). Anyways, you’re awesome and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for this year! P.S. I think I should win the Epic Room Makeover Giveaway – I’d have you do my bedroom, which is currently painted a lovely BRIGHT orange color (I love orange, but not so much this) which makes my pregnant self nauseous everytime I come to bed. I try to move around with my eyes closed so I don’t have to look at it. Must remind me of food or something…

  13. Don’t worry so much about being a good mom. We all fall short of perfection. We are human after all. If you aren’t the perfect mom (none of us are) at least you are trying. That means you are a good mom in my book.

  14. I love this. You’re comments are always so honest and real! So refreshing! Keep up the great work and can’t wait for the newsletter!

  15. ACCKKKK! I’m so glad you are doing the Epic Room Makeover again! I’m seriously singing that song from My Best Friends Wedding (you know at the beginning with all the bouquets, “hoping and wishing”, but in a more makeover and not marriage kind of way).

  16. kim-the-girl says:

    You are so much fun! Love your answers to all these great questions…I wouldn’t have expected you to be 6 ft when youcentered a roo., but I’m surprised people think you’re short. Also, I’m finally going to be able to enter the epic giveaway! Can hardly wait!!!

  17. You need your own show! And you need to come to my house!!! My husband and I (along with our 1 year old) just bought a new house and have gutted it. I mean no walls, no ceiling, no floors… You get the picture. So now we start to rebuild and I am overwhelmed with what to do with every room. Your blog gives me so much inspiration, but having you live with me for a couple of weeks would be better :)

  18. Thanks for sharing this! I love your blog the most because you are so normal. I love that you say you fail in one way or another when it comes to being a mom – because we all do. And I love that your impulsive, not a perfectionist, and maybe messy at times. That’s how I roll too and it works for me as well. I hope you do end up on HGTV soon! That. would. be. AWESOME!

  19. Hi! This is something I didn’t think to ask u in ur suuurrrrvey, BUT I have a small project I would love/desperately need to get feedback on. Is there a way to send you the pic or post to your readers and get their advice? Or maybe this could be a section of the newsletter (ie Readers Questions or something like that)???

    Just a thought. Thx for ur blog! Mwah!

  20. PS – I agree! HH International needs to GO! Lol

  21. I love reading your blog and I’m so glad I found you! I hope your dreams and aspirations come to fruition. You would definitely secure me as a viewer on HGTV! Looking forward to the room makeover contest!!!

  22. Omg I would love if you had your own show!! I was just saying today that HH international is not my fave. Ha! Love these survey results posts!

  23. OMG. I laughed way too hard at the House Hunters International comment, SO TRUE. That was on ALL NIGHT last night, and Hawaii Life. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful home, but what ever happened to clean freaks!?! You are awesome!

  24. I am so glad you’re in the “not a perfectionist” camp. I have come to terms with the fact that I’m a “90% is good enough” kind of person. It’s nice to know you can still do awesome things without obsessing over the details. Have you read Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection? So good.

  25. Your height paragraph is so true…. I was in St. George visiting my in-laws and I saw you at urban renewal (you were on the phone or I would of said hi, and told you that I am a follower) but I was surprised at how tall you were :)

  26. I call it ‘Broads Abroad’. Why do those women on HHI have to make all American women look like tools? Seriously. And if you need a carpenter (with HGTV credentials & contacts) for your Epic Makeover Contest let me know. I have a girl…

  27. So I was reading this post and all of the sudden I was like… what?? Her daughter’s name is Ivie? How have I missed that since I have been a dedicated VR follower for 3 years!! I have always remembered Dylan’s name… maybe you talk about her more I don’t know :) Hahaha but I had no idea that you had an Ivie and now I have an Ivie and I feel like I copied you. I promise I didn’t, but what a good name! My brother gives me crap that I spelled it that way instead of Ivy but I had to keep with the 4-letter name thing I have going and I like it better anyway. Just had to share that random comment with you. Thanks.

  28. Oh my gosh, ALL of the House Hunters shows need to end. I’m mean, what’s the point? There are so many awesome shows on HGTV and they clog it up all day with HH crap. :) I love that you have spaced out your kids so much. My baby is 3 and people are already assuming we’re done. Nah, I just like to regain a little sanity in between! Oh, and some semblance of a figure. I keep hoping I’m going to get a house someday so I can enter your giveaway! I’ve been coveting that one for 3 years. I have just loved watching your blog evolve over the years. It’s amazing to me how you keep coming up with such amazing projects. We all have our separate talents, and I’m glad that you’ve decided to share yours!

  29. Mrs. Patty says:

    Have you ever seen the design show- Find and Design?. It is my new favorite show. It’s on A&E. Anyway, you talked about where you see yourself in 5 years- maybe with a TV show. You would rock on this show! The designer helps a couple/family with one room with a small budget and they ONLY shop at flea markets, yard sales and then normally one store to pick up odds and ends decor items (like Big Lots- of course you would choose Home Goods ha). I love the show, but they could totally use someone like you who has more modern/edgier/hipper/intrend/yougetwhatI’msaying ideas.

  30. first I need the Epic Room Makeover Giveaway to happen after June so I will own a house when it happens and you can come hang with me in Hot-lanta. It would be fantastic, I’m just sayin’.
    second – I think you would rock an HGTV show and I would watch and DVR all of it. Hmmmmmmm :)

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