Coffee Break #26
Happy November, friends! I really can’t believe the holiday season is practically upon us…I swear the new school year just started a few weeks ago. But it’s true, our leaves are (finally!) changing, the temperatures are (finally!) dropping, and I’m gearing up behind-the-scenes for a great few months of holiday projects. Before then though, sit down with me for this month’s Coffee Break where I’m updating you on our last-minute Halloween costumes and some “new” things coming to the blog. Let’s catch up!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
It’s no secret around here that Halloween really isn’t my holiday. I don’t decorate at all; and although I’ve made some pretty great costumes over the years, they just aren’t my favorite things to make. My usual costume procrastination was definitely more problematic than usual this year due to very indecisive kids and the widespread shipping delays. But our delaying had a happy ending, indeed!
About an hour before we had to head off to a Cub Scout Halloween event a few days before Halloween, our 5th grader still didn’t have a costume. His ideas and ambitions were far greater than the time we had available; so completely exasperated, I sent him off to put on his black thermals. By the time he came back downstairs, I had a series of skeleton bones cut out of plain ol’ white vinyl, and we stuck them right on with minutes to spare. He ended up looking SOOOOO good that I decided on the spot that’s what we were ALL going to be for Halloween! A “Skeleton Crew”!
I ordered black long johns for the other little boys, and spent Halloween afternoon cutting out bones from glow-in-the-dark vinyl in a rainbow of colors. In the 30 minutes before trick-or-treating, I stuck everybody’s stickers on and off we went! We got so many compliments and the boys had a blast (of course they did!)…and it was SUCH a good reminder for me that Halloween costumes don’t have to be complicated, expensive, or even perfect in order for us to have an awesome Halloween.
We’ve never been able to get the boys to agree on some sort of family costume…but the simplicity and last-minuteness of this whole thing got us ALL on board and it felt like a real team effort! I might just wait until the very last minute every year to see what we come up with!
What’s Old Is New Again
These Coffee Break posts are my place to chat with you, my most dedicated and loyal readers in a more casual way. But it’s also where I give updates about new things or changes coming to the blog! As such, I want to chat about a (smallish) change you may have already noticed in the last few weeks!
I’ve been pretty honest about all the mistakes I’ve made here over the years. Most things are likely transparent to you since they are usually technical. But suffice it to say, I’ve been my own worst enemy in terms of growth, building my readership, and expanding my reach because I ignore or refuse to adopt certain “proven” blogging practices. But after being stuck on a growth plateau for some time now, I recently pulled my head out of the sand and have been spending more time, energy, and money on things that will help me grow (e.g., site re-design, content audits, investing in social media, etc).
For years now, I have known that one of the best ways to improve a site is to republish old/dated/poorly written content. I’ve been heavily resistant to this practice for a multitude of reasons, but the main one being that I am mentally stuck (like…really stuck) in the “old school” way of blogging. Unlike most bloggers these days, I still treat my blog like a chronological diary of the projects I’m making for our home and family. There is a “real time”-ness to my posts; and my projects almost always have a “real life” story that goes along with them. Very rarely do I make a project “just for a post.” Almost everything I show here has an authenticity to it that I know you all value and appreciate.
And while I will ALWAYS be creating new spaces, places, and projects (heck…we’re getting ready to move into yet another new house!)…this self imposed “requirement” to create ONLY new content has, for one, left me frequently scrambling or burnt out. More interestingly though, since I’ve been doing this for so long, I’m also sitting on a vast pile of content that was written before I really knew what I was doing. As such, I have dozens (if not hundreds?) of posts that could and should be performing better…if I gave them some due diligence.
All this to say…I am going to start republishing some of my “old but good” projects alongside my new, fresh content. For those of you who are new around here, you likely won’t even be able to tell the difference. But if you’ve been coming around for a good long time, some posts might feel vaguely familiar. However, please know that I am not simply “republishing” these posts and calling it a day. Rather, I am fully updating these projects with fresh information, steps, products, videos, and tips (when appropriate) in order to make them as current and helpful to you as possible! (In other words…they’ll be worth another read! 😉)
During the upcoming holiday season, you will see a pretty even split between brand new projects (that I’m super excited about) and some older ones that need refreshing. Starting in the New Year, my plan is to use a “Throwback Thursday” approach, where updated posts will hit the blog on Thursdays, with fresh content still coming along on Tuesdays and Fridays. For those of you who have been begging for more posts every week, I think this might finally be the solution! You get more great ideas…my old, forgotten posts get freshened up…and the “health” of my site will improve over time! It’s a win for all of us!
I realize I just spent about 1,000 words explaining something I probably didn’t need to. I suspect most of you are happy to read whatever I post, whenever I post it, old or new. But for those of you who have read everything over the last 10 years….AND for myself who is admittedly struggling to embrace this concept…I wanted to explain why you might start “seeing double.” At the end of the day, I am still sooooo passionate abut getting my good, easy ideas in front of my readers, and this approach will ultimately allow me to do that more effectively AND efficiently!
Alright guys! I am pretty much out of “Ask Megan” questions…at least the personal sort that I answer here (I try to answer design-related questions in other posts). If there’s anything you’d love to see me chat about in future Coffee Breaks (e.g., military life, Mom life, blogger life, wife life, etc), drop them in the form below!
That’s it for this month’s Coffee Break. Thanks for catching up with me, and I hope you have a great month ahead!
7 Comments on “Coffee Break #26”
Megan… how is it you and Greg have a 5th grader! I started reading your blog after your eldest was born but before your second child. And still reading, I absolutely LOVE the last minute skeleton costumes! I’m a big fan of your blog, and would love to have another posit to read during the week.
The skeleton crew costumes are awesome! And everyone looks like they really enjoyed wearing them. Kudos for last minute winning idea! You are looking great and relaxed. I do look forward to reading your blog, so updated, fresh ones are a great way to give you some relief. Hopefully. Grateful for all that you do and thanks for the constant inspiration.
Hi Megan! I love your last minute skeleton costumes. I didn’t know glow in the dark vinyl came in different colors! Such a good idea and you can still wear the thermals afterwards! I LOVE Halloween costumes: I love making my kids’ vision come to life, I love being creative (I do my best to reuse and reduce or wear afterwards) and doing some sewing that doesn’t have to be super precise (and hot glue is acceptable!) Though I also have been fortunate (so far) with kids who are generally pretty committed to a costume. It is a good reminder that though we CAN create things for our home and families, we don’t HAVE to if we don’t want to! I make a lot of my own clothes and have purchased very little RTW in the last few years, but with a recent weight gain, I have very little that fits and had to force myself to buy a few things. And it’s OK! We are all doing our best! I look forward to seeing some of your older posts & projects (I think I’m a reader of maybe 7/8 years?) Your projects are so fun and doable. My favorite is still my blue stained IKEA kitchen stool, inspired by yours!
Hi Megan! I definitely don’t see reposting/updating previous content as a bad thing — in fact I’m sure you have SO many projects I’ve either missed over the years or didn’t have the chance to implement. Looking forward to Throwback Thursday’s! 🤩
And HOW is Henry that bigggggg 😭😭😭 Kids grow up way too fast!
Don’t get cocky Megan… you might regret it!
But so very good idea!
I love the idea of a reminder of an old post that was amazing. I think we all need some reminders of the great ideas that we have forgotten. I’m excited to see these posts again. But don’t stress yourself out getting them updated. Sometimes the previous post will remind you of the things of that day that you read the post. 🙂
You are amazing and do awesome things. Lots of things(lets be real amazing tips!) I use in my real life. Which is nice that I don’t have to take all my time figuring out how simple it could be. Especially when I am so good at making things way harder than they need to be. You are a great. And share great things. Keep up the great!
I remember when you started this blog! Your photos and posts are so good, I know you put a lot of work into all kinds of editing. I usually read your blog posts on my phone whenever I find an unexpected pocket of downtime.
I’ve cut down my computer time to about an hour once a week or so.
I love your recommendations and have been inspired by many of your projects. I’m looking forward to seeing some old favorites again.