a heart to heart

Happy Friday to you.

I finally got new glasses.  $18 frames from Walmart.  Lenses were $60.

Pretty good, huh?

I was wondering if we could have a heart to heart.

(I know.  Lots of pictures of me today.  How conceited am I?  I promise not to post any more pictures of myself for at least a day.)

And those (Lucky brand) jeans down there are one of my $5 thrift store finds.

So about that heart to heart.

1)  Let’s talk.

About grown-up things.

Like being an adult.  Bills, responsibility   Real life, heavy stuff.

I read this article, from Tiffany Gee Lewis, about making choices when there’s only so much mom to go around.  It resonated with me, especially since I’m the sole present parent for awhile.  I highly recommend you read it, too.  It’s not just for moms, it’s for anyone who thinks they have to “do it all.”

I especially liked:  “Childhood only swings around once, & we want it to be filled with laughter, bubbles, board books, happy music, finger paints, museum trips & a pile of life-changing memories.  We want to be Magic Mom, the kind who pops a rabbit out of her hat every morning & spins the straw of daily life into gold.”

I’m afraid the www (ehem, pinterest), can exacerbate the problem.  We may feel like we’re not measuring up because we just serve our kid a regular PB& J sandwich instead of one cut into a fun shape, or the grapes we serve are just grapes & not some sort of edible masterpiece.  Our kids are not clothed in baby Gap or designer wear.  We don’t fill every moment with magic & music.  Mary Poppins, we are not.  The gap between reality & pinterest (or facebook, or blogs) can be a source of frustration, disappointment, depression even.

Fortunately for us, Mary Poppins doesn’t exist.  And neither does “magical mom.”

As Tiffany suggests, “pick the few things that are most important & make those the center of the family, & the rest must drop by the wayside.”   This is beautiful advice & I know it’s true.

I’m currently home schooling.  And I blog.  That pretty much sums up my life right now.

Of course, there is more to it than that, but really the simplicity of my life is laughable.  I am not supermom.  I’m just focused.  Right now, my kids are my world, & that’s okay with me.  I know enough about life to know that no state of being is ever permanent, so like it, hate it, doesn’t matter too much, it will pass.

2)  Ads.  

I have held off putting ads on my site for a number of reasons, of which I won’t go into detail here, only to say, I never want my blog to look cheap or spammy.  Which sometimes,  ads, if there are too many of them &/or are poorly placed, will do that to a blog.

Can I be honest?  Blogging, as much as love it, is hard work.  I treat it like a job (even though I’m currently getting very little $$ to do so).  I’ve talked a bit about the intricacies of blogging beyond just a hobby, & part of taking it to the “next level” is figuring out how to get compensated for your time.  Many people have an etsy shop attached to their blog.  Or they sell their cookbook, ebooks, or other products.  I’ve got none of that.  So, I’ll be experimenting with various forms of advertising over the next while, & I hope it won’t interfere with the overall look & feel of my blog.

Also, reality check #2, is that advertising on a blog is a poor way to make much money, unless you’re one of the big players (ie. Pioneer Woman).  Like 1/2 million pageviews, or more a month.  I’m still quite an insignificant little bitty blogger.  I get about 27,000 pageviews a month & ~7,000 unique visitors.  May sound like a lot, but believe me, it’s nothing compared to big bloggers or sites.  It’s enough, however, for me to put a few ads on my site & make a little more than pocket change.  Not going to be a raking in the dough any time soon, but it is something.

Besides ads, I’m also looking into developing relationships with brands for sponsorship.  I promise I’m only looking to work with brands that I love & can wholeheartedly support.  While I cannot handpick the ads that run through the ad network, I can hand select those companies & brands I choose to work with.

I hope you understand where I’m coming from.  I hope you’re okay with ads being on the site.  I welcome any feedback on the issue, & appreciate your understanding.  I just thought you should know.

3)  Weekend stuff.

I’m taking the kids to the county fair this weekend with cousins.

Yesterday we went to a u-pick farm & picked some pumpkins.  I also ate a fresh honeycrisp apple, just picked off the tree (3, actually).  Honeycrisps are going to be the food of heaven, I just know it.  I love autumn.

Also, Joseph graduates from COT (commissioned officer’s training) today.  He’s graduating with honors (top 10%).  I’m proud of him.  Now he’s off to JAG school.  Only 11 more weeks!

I’m glad we had this conversation.

See you back here on Monday.  Hope your weekend is a good one.




P.S.  Two recipes to check out this weekend:  Leanne’s vegan masala basmati casserole & Wendy’s barbacue ranch quinoa salad.


What fun have you planned for the weekend?


  1. Brittney Walker
    on October 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm said:

    Advertise away! I’ve been a freelance writer since before blogs and I firmly believe writers shouldn’t write for free (or almost free)! Sadly, they keep doing it, so all of us get payed less and offered nothing. Crazy-pants! I know that making money isn’t probably why you started blogging but it should definitely keep you going. You deserve to be compensated for your work and time.

  2. Sara
    on October 1, 2012 at 8:03 am said:

    Love those glasses on you- so pretty with the red lips!

  3. Heather
    on September 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm said:

    Oooo, fabulous new glasses. Bet you’re loving looking in the mirror at the moment!

  4. Heather @ Better With Veggies
    on September 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm said:

    As someone who jumped on that ad bandwagon a while ago I completely understand. Blogging takes up a good chunk of time and most of us aren’t getting rich off ads, but at least it’s something! 🙂

  5. Leanne @ hp
    on September 30, 2012 at 11:37 am said:

    Great chat, janae 🙂 I love the new glasses. We have something here in Canada called clearly contacts and you can get glasses as low as $20. So awesome!

    Regarding ads – its so tough on where to draw the line on what’s appropriate for your site. I’ve always struggled with it myself. I have no doubt that you’ll make te right choices and your space will look lovely As usual 😉

  6. Mitlik
    on September 30, 2012 at 10:31 am said:

    I am sure you know that ads can be done horribly and obfuscate content, like on YouTube. Or they can be done well, and be an almost imperceptable addition to a website (terminally-incoherent.com is a good example).

    If you do, please find places where they fit and could even be mistaken as actual content (like your blendtech partnewship). And then consider having a spot to remind readers about allowing your site to show them ads. You provide a lot of enjoyable content, I imagine a little reminder in the “Do you make money blogging?” section of the FAQ might help.

    I am adding you to the ABP white list right now. Best of luck with the advertising experiments!

    — Mitlik

  7. Julie G
    on September 29, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

    I think it’s completely understandable for you to start advertising. I’m sure you will use great taste. It only make sense I would think to receive some compensation for your hard work. I love the glasses, but was definitely admiring the Lucky jeans you found. I’ve never tried any of those designer brands…I usually stick with Gap or Levi’s and they are not that cute! Have a wonderful weekend yourself. I have a cross country meet to attend and a wedding…

  8. Alissa N
    on September 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm said:

    I love those glasses, and you look so beautiful in those photos. I love seeing the people behind the blogs, so keep on posting those pictures!!

    I am also really excited that you are adding ads. I think when done right they are non intrusive and I personally like feeling like I am supporting my favorite bloggers by simply visiting their sites.

    I hope you guys have an awesome weekend!!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm said:

      Thank you Alissa! It’ fun to have a nice, new pair of glasses (I actually got 2). Salem, my 18 month broke both of my older pair of glasses, so I’ve been without working glasses for the past 2 months. Nice to have something to wear again.

      “I love seeing the people behind the blogs.” I agree, with you. I read blog because of the intimacy of it. I love getting to know the person behind the recipes or what have you. Without that connection, there’s no reason to a read a blog, in my opinion!

      I’m glad to know you’re not bothered by ads. I think advertising is an inevitable part of blogging (at least professional blogging) unless one wants to go the route of ebooks or consulting. And what a nice way to look at it–if there are ads, just by coming to visit a blog, you’re helping out in a way. Good karma.

      Hope you have a great weekend too!

  9. Kristi
    on September 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm said:

    LOVE your glasses, lipstick and outfit. Can I send you my sizes and some cash for you to shop for me? Please? 🙂

    Yay for Joseph. Not surprised at all! Now hurry up 11 weeks!

    As always, love your blog and ads won’t bother me in the least.

    Have a great weekend with your beautiful babies.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm said:

      Kristi, in reality, I think I would LOVE to shop, or even shop for others, if I had the money to do so. So, sure, I’d love to be your personal shopper! BUT I think I’d have to meet you in person first & we’d have to go to lunch first :).

      I’m glad to hear ads won’t bother you. I know it’s a little silly since any bigger blog (& lots of smaller ones) run ads. But I’m just so protective of my “brand” or the look of my blog, I don’t want to cheapen it with ads that don’t fit or look flashy.

      Hope you have a great weekend, too! ox

  10. Marsha
    on September 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm said:

    I strive, everyday, to be the perfect mom. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who is not. My life revolves around the little one. My day goes the way it does based on nap time, feeding times, diaper changing times, melt down times, and bed time. But, I’m okay with that. She is my world. Today was lovely. Took the little one to the zoo, which I often do, but this time her older brother got to go. He had a day off of school. His mom wanted to take him for lunch so we went to the zoo this morning. J loves her brother! She had a blast, as did he. Great family fun!

    Great glasses, lady! Beautiful. And what a bargain! Okay, you are my inspiration to go buy so darn pants. Must go this weekend!!

    Congrats to Joseph!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 29, 2012 at 12:23 am said:

      “Must go this weekend!!” Yes, I have faith that you’ll be able to find a decent pair at a thrift store for less than $10!

      How fun that you got to spend some time with your kids doing something memorable & fun. Those little outings are what they’ll remember as they look back, years from now. Your such a good mom, Marsha.

  11. Sandra
    on September 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm said:

    Those glasses – I cannot BELIEVE that you found something so stylish for so little! And the $5 jeans. It’s a talent, I tell you.

    I love that idea of making your family life revolve around a few things. A good friend of my six year old daughter’s mom (that’s a mouthful!) bakes her own bread every Friday. I’d love to do the same. The girl would love me too but I just don’t have the time. We do other things.

    Small example, but to your point of how you can’t have the Pinterest family life! And survive at least.

    Honeycrisp apples? Nectar of the g-ds. Cannot get enough. And I will WEEP when that last new crop batch is gone from the shops and the warehoused ones from last year appear. Off to the farmer’s market this weekend to get some more.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 29, 2012 at 12:12 am said:

      Sandra, thanks, I consider it providential. We’re on a tight budget (by choice, so we can get out of debt). So I’m trying to be as frugal as I can manage without sacrificing (too much, hopefully) a little fun & style.

      I love the ritual of baking bread. What a great ritual. I used to do that, before I gave up wheat due to a gluten intolerance. I know I can make gluten-free bread but I just haven’t worked up the motivation to do so because I don’t want to be too disappointed with the results. I used to ADD gluten to my wheat bread. That’s why it tastes so good–the gluten makes bread what it is. So you take it out, & it’s a little bit of a let down. But maybe that’s just me.

      “And I will WEEP when that last new crop batch is gone from the shops and the warehoused ones from last year appear. Off to the farmer’s market this weekend to get some more.” My thoughts, exactly.

      Hope you enjoy your weekend, Sandra!

  12. Lindsay
    on September 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm said:

    I was just thinking about #1 this week and how I am really spreading myself too thin. I am trying to keep up with being a full-time SAHM, continuing with coaching clients, writing recipes for a great company I have partnered with, freelance writing, blogging here and over on our family site Naturally Family, being a partner to my husband and making time for us to connect, finding time for fitness, and finding time for myself. This weekend I am spending some time sitting down and going over everything I am trying to do and making cuts because I really can’t be dedicated to it all.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 29, 2012 at 12:06 am said:

      Wow, Lindsay, you ARE super busy. Especially with a new baby! I’m sure more than anything, you could use some sleep.

      Funny how we have to even schedule time to go over our time & schedule! Shows how crazy busy life can get, & how important it is to elminate clutter, even if it is painful to let go of some things. For me, I’ve really had to let go of fitness for awhile. I’ve spent my whole married life intensely involved in fitness. For the past 2 months, especially w/ Joseph gone, I have zero time for working out. I have to get creative & my fitness involves playing tag with my kids or taking for them a walk. It works for now & is what has to happen so other, more important things can take precedence. Hope you get things figured out so you can put first things first & feel better about things.

  13. Melissa
    on September 28, 2012 at 11:58 am said:

    That’s awesome news about Joseph!! Congrats to him.
    And yes, heaven on earth is a freshly picked honeycrisp. (I had a store bought one for breakfast and gagged — blaming pregnancy slightly — on the waxy coating!)

  14. Joy
    on September 28, 2012 at 11:47 am said:

    Currently, my life is divided between blogging and designing, and somewhere in there I really need to begin fitting in writing (more than my weekly personal essay that appears on the blog). I’m making an income from my design work and the occasional non-internet publication but it’s not a great one. Every little bit counts. If you can make some money off of this blog, which you pour so much time and love into, then you should. I know that whatever you choose to do will be thoughtfully considered before being executed. I hope to do the same at some point in the future, when my blog is more established and has the following yours does.

  15. Tiffany @ She Loves Yoga
    on September 28, 2012 at 11:30 am said:

    Those red glasses are darling!! 🙂

    I think we’re in a technological age where there really isn’t a cross between where your job ends, and home life begins – we’ve all merged the two so much it’s just part of our everyday routine now.

    With that said, I don’t think advertising is going to affect readership, or the overall look and feel if well placed (which it is!). I think people also are aware, and understanding that blogging has become a job now.

    Have a great weekend! xx

    • Janae Wise
      on September 28, 2012 at 11:35 am said:

      “I think we’re in a technological age where there really isn’t a cross between where your job ends, and home life begins – we’ve all merged the two so much it’s just part of our everyday routine now.” Yes, & this poses some challenges/downfalls as well as perks. Learning the balance is something all bloggers & work-from home people need to learn, for sure. Thanks for the great insight, Tiffany!

  16. Ashley F.
    on September 28, 2012 at 10:30 am said:

    Your #1 on this post is something I’ve been struggling with lately. I have been trying to do it all for far too long and it definitely is beginning to catch up to me. Most days I feel like I’m too young to be so jaded and disenchanted already, but other days I feel lucky that I’m learning so much about life so early in my own. I’m slowly learning to take things one day at a time and to not let the internet (FB, Pinterest, etc) influence how I feel about myself.

    Thanks for writing this!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 28, 2012 at 11:21 am said:

      Ashley. Dearest. You ARE way too young to be jaded & disenchanted. I feel like this is something the younger generation is really going to struggle with (the balance of technology & social media & real life). I know I struggle with it. Such a blessing, but at the same time, if you don’t manage it well, it can be an absolute depressing curse.

      “I’m slowly learning to take things one day at a time and to not let the internet (FB, Pinterest, etc) influence how I feel about myself.” I think we ALL need to do this–thanks for the reminder, Ashley. And hope you’re having a great day.

  17. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
    on September 28, 2012 at 9:52 am said:

    So many things to say…where should I start?
    1) The glasses look awesome. I only wish I was bold enough to pull off a pair of red frames (not to mention the red lipstick). You are smokin’!
    2) Congrats to Joseph…I guess honors is probably not a stretch, you do have to be smart to be a lawyer 🙂
    3) Ads you must do what you have to do. If you work hard I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a few ads. Your blog is beautiful and cleanly put together, I am sure there are ads/companies that would compliment it. No need to think it will get away from you and start looking like the Las Vegas strip.
    4) If you want to progress in your trade (blogging) you need to form relationships. I won’t think any less of you or read your blog less if you start bringing in some companies.
    I can’t wait to see what direction you head and to go along for the ride with you.

    Happy Friday Janae! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend (full of honeycrisp apples).

  18. Stephanie
    on September 28, 2012 at 9:31 am said:

    Those glasses look great on you! Congrats to your husband, and to you on the continuing growth and expansion of your blog! Have a great weekend!

  19. Leanne
    on September 28, 2012 at 9:25 am said:

    *So glad WE chatted*…heehhee…I think it is great that you want to put ads on your blog. And am pleased that you do not want it to look cheesy. I have been on a few blogs where the content is good, but the ads are NOT.

    Have a great weekend!