Monday, March 24, 2014

Transitions

Blooming Pear Tree

Spring is here—finally. I know winter came rather early to Idaho this year, so the change in the season is a much anticipated transition, and I'm so glad it has finally arrived.

Along with the changing of the weather, it always seems like my blog tends to go through transitional "seasons" as well. In the beginning, my blog was a very random collection of, well, everything with a stronger focus on personal style posts. Shortly thereafter, I became a Christian and transitioned to more of a thoughtful stage of life where I felt like I was truly waking up for the first time. Then, of course, everything moved to more of a pre-wedding phase, where I couldn't write a post without mentioning Daniel or all of the fun that we were having while putting together our wedding. Right after that, this blog moved in a new direction—with a focus on running and marathon training before the big 26.2 that I ran last October. As fast as that came and went, I joined the Air National Guard a month later and—BAM!—off on a new tangent we went again.

While this blog seems to constantly be switching up its focus, one thing is pretty clear—it follows me wherever I go and truly reflects all the changes, ups and occasional downs I've experienced.

It's interesting—there are days when I lose readers and subscribers—and oddly enough, it doesn't bother me. I mean, no one has to like what I write about or decide to feature, right? I know that this blog isn't going to be a perfect fit for everyone, and if it's not your cup of tea at the moment, I don't take it personally.

The coolest thing about blogging is that this place is all my own. The only person I'm doing it for is me. I get paid literally pennies per day to do it (shoot, if that!), so it's not like it's a make-it-or-break-it as far as income goes. The idea of making money while blogging? It's like a foreign language to me. I don't do it for the money... I do it because I love it. Love love LOVE it.

And so that's the thing, this blog will never have a niche, because it just follows the ebbs and flows of my life. It's my story and nothing more than that. So if you're still here—despite whatever I'm writing about—thank you. No matter what kind of sauce is going on in this place, and whether there's one or seven thousand people reading my story... I appreciate you and I'll still be here writing it down either way. Thanks again for all your support during this new transitional season that this blog is going through. I can't tell you what the next several months are going to bring (besides for a short break while I'm at BMT), but I can tell you that I am so grateful for anyone who sticks with me through it all.

Here's to new beginnings. Bloom where you're planted, right?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happiness is...

Aunie Sauce, Happiness Is
Sweatshirt: c/o Surfdome

Sharing love, and knowing how much you're loved right back.

Prayer.

Realizing that some stories are best to be kept just to yourself & journaled in a place where only you can read them.

Unplugging.

Appreciating the little things.

Taking a step back from the go-go-go and just living in the moment without feeling the need to "capture" it.

A homecooked meal.

Freedom.

And so much more... so, so so much more. Happiness is chasing after what you believe in—what you dream about—and living life with a huge smile on your face and love to share with others. Happiness... it's happening... now.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Life Doesn't Look Like Pinterest.

Life Doesn't Look Like Pinterest, floral wedding display

Sometimes, I just get fed up with it all. "It" being the competition, the desire for perfection, the living in—or faking—a completely disjointed reality. Real life is so much better than that.

I read a great post yesterday by a friend who said she occasionally takes complete breaks from social networking because of feelings of jealousy. Her post made me think. It made me look at the things I spend my some of my free time doing—reading blogs, scanning Instagram, checking in on Facebook and Twitter. And sometimes, just like she does, I take significant breaks from checking in or reading any of that—because it just gets overwhelming.

These days, it seems like everyone has a house that is decorated as fit for Pinterest. I feel like when I see home tours that I'm looking at some intricate model home that doesn't even look cozy to me. It looks so... void of warmth. Maybe I'm different because I want over-sized blankets that don't always have to be in the right spot, or I want a giant comfy couch that might not be so pretty in pictures. I don't care about the pictures. I just want a cozy house.

These days, it seems like everyone is a fashion blogger. Sure, I have my fair share of "style" posts... but I don't pretend like I'm a model... I'm just me and you get to see what I wear occasionally. In a way, it seems like blogging has turned into a way for girls to be that model that they always wanted to be. And that's pretty neat... someone who may not have been signed by Wilhelmina sure may turn heads in the blogging world. But honestly, it's just a little much sometimes.

These days, it seems like everything is about perfection. About being Pinterest-perfect. About what looks good. About what will become the most viral, most viewed, or most cried over (all the YouTube/flash mob wedding proposals, anyone?). But it's not real. I suppose this rant is to say that if you do find yourself comparing yourself to something you see in photos or writing, stop it right this minute. I promise you—after the photos are taken—that the cat hair and dust begins to accumulate, that the clothes get piled up on the floor in the closet, and that the perfect outfit is usually taken right off and replaced by jeans and flats. Life is different for each single person, so please—please—give yourself credit and know that your life is beautiful even if it hasn't gone viral. And I promise you, the real lives don't look like Pinterest.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Like a Diary

Annelise Rowe, Aunie Sauce

As years go and tastes and preferences change, I find my blogging habits change as well. I began this blog two years ago, and my goal was to make it an online diary where I could share whatever was on my mind that day. Occasionally over the last couple years, my goals and motives have changed and I've found myself losing the "diary" aspect of my blog. But it's the one thing I've tried to stay truest to this whole time.

Sure, maybe I incorporate a style post here and there, or I'll brag on a local Boise business who has invited me to an event, but I don't feel like I push things just to push them. You won't ever see wish lists filled with a bunch of affiliate links just so I can score some extra bucks, or a product review of a coffee maker or detergent, just because it was free. And you especially won't see other people writing in this space, unless it's something life-changing that I think you need to know about. I don't see this blog as a place for promotion, I see it as a place where I can come and just write it out.

I don't mean to offend anyone with that. If you're a blogger and you've reviewed a coffee maker, I'm not saying it's a bad thing. It just doesn't fit with the vibe of Aunie Sauce, so I choose not to do it. You might be reading this and be thinking, "So all you want to talk and write about is just you? Boring!" And guess what? Sometimes it is boring. I don't live an extraordinary life or travel the world or take pictures like a model. But I enjoy coming here each day and just being me and writing my story.

I'm so thankful for this space where I can jot down everything from the little details to the milestone events. I'm proud of this blog, because it reflects who I am—and sometimes I'm at my best, and sometimes I'm at my worst. But it's all here.

Over the last two years, one of the biggest things I've learned from blogging is that my blog isn't who I am. It's here because I enjoy writing and taking photos and telling my story. But I don't live for my blog or make it a huge priority. If I get to it, I get to it. If I don't, I don't. And that was one thing I struggled with in the beginning. I tried to make blogging such a high priority. I was on the computer all the time, putting so much pressure on myself, and stressing over the details. Once I was able to let that go, I began loving blogging that much more.

As I again look at how I want this blog to be and what's important to me, posting each day has become less and less of a priority. When you realize that it's not about the pageviews, but about sharing your story, and that it honestly doesn't matter if people even read it or not, but if it makes you feel good just to write it... then why have all the pressure to post every day? And that's why there doesn't need to be any.

I'm so thankful for this online diary and for the people who do come each day to read it. And as we move forward, if you do visit my blog and there's not a new post here each day, maybe go pick a random post from the archives and know that I'm not stuck behind a computer writing my life down—but I'm out there living it and taking each day as it comes. Man, life is just beautiful, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Now On Google+



I've finally taken a moment to set up a Google+ page and profile. Do you use Google+? Click the Follow on the left to subscribe to my Google+ page, hit the +1 to recommend me to others, and/or click the Follow on the right to follow my personal profile.

Monday, September 30, 2013

500

Seattle Great Wheel

Today marks my 500th post. Five hundred. Thinking back to the beginning of this blog (though I began blogging a year earlier than that on LastLash), it's amazing to me how fast time has gone. I'm grateful for this place where I've been able to share so many different things. I know that I could share all the same things on Facebook or another social media venue, but this site is all my own. Just mine. No one has to visit it every day, or has to see me pop up in their news feed... if they want to see it, they can.

I've written my way through so many firsts. So many moments. So many trials. Every post (but one!) has had a photo. Every post has been seen by someone. Every post has a comment, a reaction, an impact (though not all big, by any means).

I've opened my editing screen, typed word after word and hit publish five-hundred times. Through each post, time passes and I share more and more of my life. I want to say thank you to each one of you, whether you've read just a few posts, or every single one (and I know some of you have!). I also want to thank all my past & present sponsors and businesses who have worked with me and supported this journey. I am so grateful to all of you.

I don't know where this blog is going in the future—or even my life for that matter—but for right now, it's right where I want it. I'm having fun, I'm enjoying every moment, and most importantly, I'm happy. Thanks for reading my story.

Friday, September 20, 2013

CHIC OF THE WEEK!

In the past month or so, a lot has happened. I turned 27, we bought and moved into a new home, my dad got engaged, we sold our SUV and are now sharing a vehicle, and I've been running my heart out in preparation for my first marathon in under a month. That's a lot!

But I think the biggest surprise came this morning when I got a text from a friend that said, "Chic of the Week again?!? I think that makes you Chic of the YEAR!" And there's only one thing I know of in regards to "Chic of the Week," so I immediately got the biggest smile on my face and clicked over to Lauren Conrad's blog. And there it was... the Chic of the Week.

Lauren Conrad Chic of the Week: Aunie's Cute Hair Cut

I was featured for my haircut that I did on the spur-of-the-moment the day before my 27th birthday. What an honor! I've been a member of LC's blog community for over a year and a half, and I'm always uploading my photos into her gallery—and that's how they found out about my haircut & chose me as their Chic! You can seem my LaurenConrad.com profile here, and to join the community, click here—you never know, you may be featured as their next Chic of the Week! To read the full Chic of the Week post, click here!

To Allison on Team LC, thank you so much for your kind words and for choosing to feature me and my haircut! To Lauren & the rest of Team LC, thank you so much for your support ... it means so much to be chosen as your Chic... again! It's such an honor to be featured among all the other talented women on LaurenConrad.com. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The YES TO STYLISTA Experience

Yes To Carrots Yes To Stylista

9-months ago in early October, I took a leap of faith and entered a competition with Yes To, in hopes of becoming their next Yes To Stylista. After making it into the Top 10 of the photo submission round, we were asked to make a video and I sent that off in late October, yet again crossing my fingers. On November 9, they announced their big winner—and it was me! I was floored!! The prize came with a $1,000 cash award, a trip to San Francisco to meet the Yes To crew, and a 6-month guest blogging spot on their Tumblr.

On December 1 (also our wedding day), I began my 6-month Yes To Stylista journey. What did it involve? Basically, I received products in the mail, tried them all out (all of which were amazing and motivated me to throw out all my old and non-natural garbage), and then I blogged about it! I wrote a couple posts a month for the Yes To blog, and even made a video. In January, I was flown out to San Francisco for my big 3-day trip to meet the team and receive the royal pampering treatment! I blogged about that trip here and here, and made a video about the trip here. That was the trip of a lifetime, and the Yes To team was the most amazing group of people. I truly felt like I was one of them, and I was treated with such kindness and generosity!

Since the trip, I've kept in contact with the crew via email/instagram, and I've continued my guest-blogging adventures. My 6-months expired on June 1, and looking back, I'm just incredibly thankful and blessed for this once-in-a-lifetime chance. It's been an amazing time and I'm so thankful for every single opportunity that Yes To has given me. I made friends, I tried wonderful products, I got to reach out to a bigger audience and new group of people, and I just tried to take in every moment!

If you ever, ever have a chance to enter a contest or step outside of your comfort zone in order to win something big (or small), my only advice is just do it. You never know where that next step will take you.

To the Yes To team—thank you guys so much. The past months have been a dream-come-true and I'm so grateful for all you've done for me. You treated me like a part of your Carrot family, and totally spoiled me rotten. I am forever thankful for everything and for this amazing opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In case you missed any of them, here is a recap of all my Yes To posts!

My posts on Yes To's blog:

My own Yes To Stylista promo posts (which recap their Tumblr posts with additional fun stories/commentary) & other posts that didn't make their blog:

And now—just one more for old times' sake—what do YOU say "yes" to? Thanks again, Yes To, Inc!! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's In It For You?

long brown hair

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this whole "blogging" thing lately. Why do I do it? How does it benefit me? Should I keep going? The answers to all of those are simple, I do it because I love it, it benefits me because it gives me a place to write out my thoughts like a daily journal, and yes I should keep going simply because I do still enjoy it so much. I also love meeting new people and interacting with the friends who leave comments & connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. It's a feeling of appreciation that I don't find anywhere else. I'm so thankful for everything this blog has given me... everything you all have given me—the love, the stories, the friendship—thank you for all of it.

My question today is for anyone reading this post. Whether you've commented before or not, whether we've exchanged email after email, whether we've tweeted or liked each other's Instagram posts... if you are reading this blog, my question for you is, "What's in it for you? What brings you here each day? Why do you keep coming back?" I'd love to know & I'd be eternally grateful if you'd leave a comment telling me why you read my blog (you can comment anonymously, if you wish).

Again, thank you for reading. I can't tell you how much it means to me... but to keep it simple, it means a lot. ♥

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Follow Aunie Sauce with Bloglovin'!

Follow with Bloglovin

I'm not sure how you read my blog, but if you're an RSS person, you most likely have heard that as of July 1, Google is discontinuing my old favorite, Google Reader. After hearing the news, I switched all the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin'. I love it because you can see the blog's layout while you read their posts and you can leave a comment directly on their post from that screen.

If you're joining me and making the switch, click here to import your RSS blog queue to Bloglovin'. Click "Google Reader" (or your RSS method), then "Import from Google Reader," select your account, click "Accept," and you're all set. I switched all mine over manually when I did it, and wish I would have known about this neat little trick!

If you haven't already, click here to follow my blog via Bloglovin', or consider subscribing via a different RSS, keeping up with post updates on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter, or even add my posts to your inbox. And in case that isn't easy enough, click the button below and it will take you straight there.

Follow on Bloglovin

And now I'm curious... how do you read & keep up with my blog?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Small Biz Love Affair

casual style
Scarf: c/o Barbabas Clothing (use code BS2012-20 for 20% off), Top: The North Face, Jeans: Express, Sandals: Merona, Purse: c/o Cuore & Pelle, Earrings & Bracelet: Premier Design, Ring: c/o The Vintage Pearl, Watch: Rumba
casual style
casual style
casual style
casual style
casual style

Today I'm collaborating with a couple brilliant ladies for Small Biz Love Affair. It's a group of bloggers who get together to promote a small business with amazing products to give their brand exposure and lots of kudos! This time around we're featuring accessories from Barnabas Clothing. Barnabas is a company that gives back. They donate 10% of all their sales to the Living Room International, a hospice and medical center for HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya, Africa.

Each piece of clothing from Barnabas comes with a "Because Of You" statement. The scarf that I am wearing will help provide one mother with water for a week. Wow... it is amazing to know that one little purchase can go so far in one person's life. Also, my scarf is so soft. It's bright, it's lightweight, and it has a really cool anchor design on it.

You can visit Barnabas here: Shop // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest. If you head to their shop, make sure to use coupon code BS2012-20 for 20% off!

small biz love affair with barnabus clothing

See how we styled our Barnabas scarves for the Small Biz Love Affair! Aunie Sauce // I Wore Yoga Pants To Work // Pink On The Cheek // Olive & Ivy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Boise Blogger Brunch

bardenay boise
boise blogger

On Saturday, I ate a delicious brunch with two other Boise bloggers. This was the second time the three of us have gotten together, and it was a lot of fun! To the left is Anna from The Days When I'm Not a Nurse and on the right is Ashley from Rustic Living. We talked about husbands, pregnancies, puppies—and of course—blogging.

bardenay boise
gold arrow hair pin
bardenay boise
bardenay boise
bardenay boise
bardenay boise
bardenay boise
bardenay boise

Our brunch was at Bardenay in Boise. It's my favorite spot for brunch, and is a local Idaho restaurant and distillery. The atmosphere is casual, the food is delicious, and it's really reasonably priced. Anna ordered the biscuits and gravy, and they looked so delicious that Daniel and I went to the Eagle Bardenay on Sunday and split them & the French toast. Yum!

Also—I have a list of 11 other Boise bloggers, and I'm planning on organizing quarterly brunches for us, so if you know of any bloggers in Boise (or Idaho who are willing to make the drive) that I can add to that list, let me know! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rainy Day Reads

blogroll

It's Thursday—that means it's time for Thursday 13—but this week I'm doing it a little different. Today I'm sharing 13 blogs on my daily reads list—and since they say "April showers bring May flowers"—if you have some time to spend indoors this month, this little reading list may bring you some enjoyment. I am subscribed to 100+ blogs on my reader, so this is just a few that are found on my daily—and rainy—reads list! 
  1. KV's Confessions: I consider Kristen my best blogging friend!
  2. Gal Meets Glam: I love Julia's photos and her super-simple layout.
  3. Leopard and Lavender: Kelli and I used to work together, and then she followed her heart straight to San Francisco! She is a real-life friend, and a lovely one at that.
  4. Fash Boulevard: Anna has had an unreal rise in the fashion world (she won a contest on Lauren Conrad's blog), and I really look up to this girl!
  5. From My Grey Desk: Lauren is a self-proclaimed crazy-cat-lady (and I really dislike cats), but she wins me over with her smile and candid approach. She dresses like a real person and I love that.
  6. LA in the Bay: Lauren is just gorgeous.
  7. Shannon Hearts: I love Shannon's photos. She seems so down-to-earth!
  8. The Freckled Fox: Emily is an Idaho girl. Instant win.
  9. The Native Fox: Jennifer shares one outfit photo a day, and writes something simple—and it keeps me coming back day after day.
  10. Yes To Carrots: OK, so yes, I'm their "stylista," but I love staying current and seeing all the things they have happening with new products!
  11. Flattery: Breanne keeps it simple with her outfit posts and doesn't say too much, but to be honest, I love visiting her blog daily just to see her blog design... she switches it up often.
  12. When Green Grass was Yellow on Pictures: Nadine is so striking and her photos are incredible.
  13. Clumps of Mascara: Brittany's blog was the very first blog I ever read (I found her after googling "mascara review"—you know how I am about my eyelashes)! She was a huge inspiration for me when I began my blog and is so sweet... trust me, we've emailed a lot!
What are some of your favorite reads? If you do a T13 (any topic) this week, link it up in the comments!

Friday, March 22, 2013

CHIC OF THE WEEK!

This morning, I opened up my Bloglovin' feed and was greeted with the biggest surprise. MYSELF! Not only that, but myself featured as Lauren Conrad's Chic of the Week!

Lauren Conrad Chic of the Week, Annelise's Flirty Florals

My mouth dropped! This is a huge honor! If I were to pick one style icon, it would be Lauren Conrad and I'm so blessed that she & her team chose me this week! Thank you thank you!

A little background on the photo? Daniel took it last May on a Sunday and we had just gotten back from church. I love that vintage Ralph Lauren shirt because I purchased it from a thrift store for about $6.00! The pastel florals are perfect for spring.

To be honest, this just gave me a perma-smile that I don't see going away anytime soon. If you want to see the post, click here

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things This Blogger Tells Her Husband...

funny blogger sayings

Things I [as a blogger] tell my husband:
  1. I'll be ready in five minutes.
  2. I'm just going to answer one email.
  3. This won't take any time at all.
  4. I just need one or two pictures.
  5. I'm just going to buy one ad spot next month.
  6. Maybe I should just throw in the towel on the whole blog thing...
  7. Typing up this draft will just take two seconds.
  8. I'm going to bring my camera today—just in case.
  9. 100 emails in my inbox? No, that doesn't stress me out!
  10. This new camera? Think of it like a blogging investment
  11. No, I'm not Instagramming a picture of my food!
  12. It's OK! I'll get up extra early to do it in the morning.
  13. I spent all day working. No blogging.
This is something that Daniel and I joke and laugh about often—because we all know I'm guilty of saying each of these at one time. It's all about balance—and thank goodness I have a patient, loving husband who's letting me find mine.

What do you tell your husband/family/friends about blogging? If you do Thursday 13 (any topic) this week, link it up in the comments!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Don't Do

Top: Express // Scarf: Burlington Coat Factory // Glasses: c/o Firmoo

I don't:
  1. enjoy shopping.
  2. show up on time—ever.
  3. schedule blog posts—this is how I blog.
  4. ever regret eating a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese—but if it's only sub-par? Double cardio day for sure.
  5. call Daniel "hubs." He's just Daniel.
  6. feel comfortable in big crowds.
  7. leave the house without making the bed. 
  8. guilt Daniel into being in photos for this blog... it's just not his thing.
  9. love accessorizing. I'm a fan of very minimal jewelry.
  10. plan outfits around blog posts—which is why you see an awful lot of repeats.
  11. Instagram often. Oops.
  12. look forward to winter—spring, are you here yet?
  13. plan on making it an official link-up, but a revival of Thursday 13? I'm thinking about it. If you do a T13 post of your own, link up your post in the comments!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Comparison.

Purse: Fossil

Do you ever get that, "Man, I'm just not good/pretty/talented/smart/amazing enough" feeling?

Lately, it seems like it's creeping up on me more often than I'd like.
Usually right after I finish perusing through my Google Reader... which is embarrassing, because that means that feeling is being caused by me comparing myself to other bloggers.
It's not something I want to admit to, but if I'm being honest, it's true.

Why do we compare ourselves to others?
Seriously, why? All it does is bring us down.

Sure, I'm never going to be the most-pinned,
the best writer,
the skinniest,
the most stylish,
or any of those materialistic, frivolous, comparable things... and that's OK, because you know what I am?

I am me. 
And that's just the way I like it.

Comparing myself to someone else is literally like comparing apples to oranges.
No one else will ever be just like me.

No one else can make Daniel smile like I can.
No one else laughs just the way I do,
or dresses exactly the same as me,
or knows how I think.

Part of what makes us special is that we are all individuals.
Sure, I fit into that category of a "lifestyle" blogger... but no one else has exactly my same tags, my same voice, or the same feeling that my blog has.
I choose the blogs I read on a daily basis because each brings me something special that is so different than what I have to offer... it is refreshing to see the different styles, habits, writing, and photos.
But I need to stop comparing.

Because the thing is—I am good.
I am smart.
And I am pretty darn amazing.
I don't have to be the best to be just the way I am—just me.

So today, as you read this or the other blogs you read... throw any negative thoughts out the window.
Thanks for being you.

Friday, February 1, 2013

When your husband tells you he wants you to quit blogging.

Last night—as I was fervently typing away, answering emails, getting new ads up, photo editing, etc.—Daniel, who had been sitting on the couch waiting for me to finish so we could hang out, said to me, "Aunies? I think it's time to give up blogging."

Excuse me—what?!

But actually, I get where he's coming from. Some nights, I'm engrossed in it. I can easily lose hours and hours spending time editing, writing, and planning for this little space. It's kind of ridiculous. And, with all of the other things Daniel and I have been talking about for our future, there may come a point where blogging just doesn't fit... but that's an entirely different topic, and if those plans end up being put to action, I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.

So, what does a girl do when her husband tells her that he wants her to quit blogging? She gets some new design elements installed. I mean, what's better than a little blog pick-me-up?


Enter Kristen (of KV's Confessions and KV's Design Studio). She and I have been blog-friends since 2011 when I first started. She's a dream to work with and really gave me that little oomph I was looking for. If you're looking for any new design elements (header & navbar—that's what I picked—blog buttons, profile pic, sidebar titles, or even an entirely new look), she is your lady.

/ / And now, because it's Friday, here's a little bonus to kick-off your weekend. I've been contacted by a by a marketing group to help with a blogging research & publishing project (trust me, it's legitimate).  The study involves a quick survey, and it's going to be used for a book about bloggers.  The survey is for active bloggers and takes less than 2-minutes. As an incentive to take the survey, they're giving away a $20 Visa gift card. To take the survey, CLICK HERE. They need a couple hundred more responses to give accurate data, so share the survey with your blog friends if you can! Also, don't forget to enter your blog name and first name in Question 1 to be entered for the gift card giveaway. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012


2012. I'm pretty sure it was the best year of my entire life. And it was all documented right here for you to see...  falling in love with the best guy ever, getting saved, getting engaged, Daniel got his dream job, we got married, we got a dog... needless to say, 2012 was awesome.

Looking back, I thought it would be fun to round up the most popular (clicked by you) posts of 2012. I know I have my favorites, but you can always see those here. Enjoy!
  1. Curl Your Hair Without Heat
  2. The Trich Post
  3. The Saucy Girl
  4. 3 Words.
  5. THE WEDDING
  6. Different.
  7. Engagement Photos: Part 1
  8. Our Engagement Story
  9. Hi. My Name is Annelise. I have Tricholtillomania.
  10. The Topsy Tail Twist
2013... we'll see you tomorrow! Happy New Year's Eve!

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Take

Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Glasses: c/o Firmoo // Earrings: c/o Christine Marie Studio

One of my favorite parts about blogging is figuring out blogging. What works. What doesn't. What is fun to promote. What isn't. What bloggers I like. Who I don't need to read everyday. What designs work for me. Which don't. Who I am as a blogger... and who I'm not.

I've been blogging for a little over a year now (on this blog, anyway). I began my very first blog in 2010, but as most of us grow to learn, sometimes it takes 1-2 blogs before we figure out who we are and how we want to represent ourselves. I started that first blog, LastLash, about beauty topics, mascara reviews, and my trichotillomania struggles, which launched in November of 2010. I began No Naked Nails, a nail polish & art blog, less than a month later. I had a lot of fun with those two specific topic blogs, but less than a year later in October of 2011, I wanted something different. So I started yet another specific-topic blog—a hair blog, Bye Bye Beehive. Again, less than a month after that, and just a little less than a year after launching LastLash, this blog, Aunie Sauce (originally Simply Aunie), was created on November 10, 2011. I wanted a place for all the things that I liked. A place that was representative of me as a whole. And a place where I could just write to get away.

I have to say, I've learned so much from then until now. I hope it gets to a place where I never stop learning. Where I never stop writing. Where I never stop believing that I can do it. I also wanted to share a couple of my thoughts lately on this thing we call blogging. When I tell people about it, I don't say, "I'm a blogger." I say that I own and manage a website.

I shared my last blogging thoughts post in August. I figured it was time for another one. Here are some of my other thoughts...
  • Pinterest. In my last blogging review post in August, I mentioned these exact words, "And I'm not even on Pinterest. Not. Going. To. Happen." Well... I now have a Pinterest account. And to be honest? I only got it because I'm a contributor to the Yes To Stylista board that Yes To Carrots put together for me. So, if you're following me on Pinterest, or want to, that's amazing and thank you! But if I don't update content on there regularly, please understand—it's just not my thing!
  • Answering Emails. I know I'm not the only person who sees the emails building up in my account and frantically exits out of my browser in an "out of sight, out of mind" fashion. In fact, life lately has been so crazy that I have sometimes had to go several days before addressing unread emails in my inbox. BUT—one of my goals, and something I strive so hard for, is to respond to each and every one with sincerity. I even check my spam folder for stray emails just to make sure I'm not missing anyone. Thank you for each and every email. Even if I take 5 days to respond, I always do, I promise! And, if you think I need a virtual assistant, let's now transition to the next bullet point, and know this—you're probably right.
  • Virtual assistants. I get quite a few emails about generous girls offering their virtual assistant services. While I am so thankful for their consideration, this just isn't something I'm going to take them up on... despite how much I may need an assistant some days. Number one, I can't pay anyone right now (or trade services). I barely make enough money at my job to pay for the wedding expenses that we just incurred. Number two, I know that when (and if) you send me an email, you're looking for an organic response from me, not someone you don't know. I really want to keep that as something special... and private. Whether it's an email from a reader who usually comments anonymously, an email asking about advertising rates, or just an email to say hi... I want to be the only person to read and respond to those. I know I could set up different accounts, etc., but I don't want to. Everything that I do on my blog, I can do. I like to do. I want to do. And no matter how long it takes, I know that you appreciate that it comes from me, and not an assistant. I don't mean that to sound harsh, I just want to be honest. I know a lot of bloggers use virtual assistants, and I think they're smart! So if you use one, or are one, trust me, I value you and the work you do. This is just my true and honest opinion and how I operate at the moment. In the future, this all may change.
  • Product reviews. While I love (and completely appreciate) being sent free things, I have found that product reviews are not something that I care too much to write. I will not write a post from someone who "requires" me to include a certain amount of links back to their site. Product reviews, while I write them truthfully, can sometimes come off as persuasive, and I know that. Though, everything I have ever written is something and a product that I stand behind. So, in the future, I plan on doing more photo features in style & lifestyle posts, but I will probably not be writing much (or anything) about that product.
  • Sponsor calls. I love when people think well enough of me that they are willing to pay for a little ad space on my blog. That is one of the biggest compliments that another blogger could give me. They trust me to promote them. I really appreciate that. That being said—you will never see one of the kinds of posts on my blog where I ask for advertisements. Yes, I do shout out advertising specials & when I'm taking new ads on my Facebook and Twitter... but I won't ever dedicate an entire post to my rates or tell you that I'm looking for ads for the next month. One tiny sentence in a post? Maybe. But trust this, when you visit my blog, you can know that you'll get a real post every day. If you're interested in advertising on my page, I think you know well enough that you can click my little "advertise" page to find out that information for yourself.
  • Blogging for me. While I love so much that people come to this page and read my blog every day, I don't blog for you. I blog for me. If those priorities ever change, that's when I would take a step back from my blog. When you read my "on my heart" posts and when I truly write a post where I open up and just let loose, that is why I blog. THIS is my place to be me. To express everything. From my little style posts (that don't have much writing), to hairstyle ideas, to little bits and pieces of my life with Daniel... this is my place where it is 100% my own.
I don't ever intend for these "blogging" posts to be so long. But for some reason, I find myself rambling. So if you made it to the end of this, congratulations. Maybe you learned something, or maybe I sparked an idea in your mind. Either way, my ideas & thoughts on these topics are always evolving, so you can most certainly expect another one of these blogging reviews in the future.

But for now, that's my take. End scene.

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