Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Difference a Year Makes

The Difference a Year Makes

I have just spent a glorious weekend away with Paul and Lucille and now that Sunday is winding down, and we prepare for a new week, I decided to sit down and put into words this blog post that has been swirling in my head for a month solid.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that it’s been FIVE years since I first published a blog post here.  Now It’s been over a year since my last recipe post.  Blog posts in 2015 were sporadic, at best.  I most-certainly took full advantage of having something else (growing a human) occupy the space in my life which had previously been occupied by prop collecting, recipe development, food photography, and blog posts.  And in hind-sight, I have absolutely no regrets about taking the last year (mostly) off.

When I wrote my first pregnancy post, I shared that I had absolutely no idea what becoming a mother would mean for the blog and honestly, I still don’t know.  What I do know is that I would much rather spend my evening and weekends with my husband and daughter, rather than cranking out several new recipes for the following week.  I know, without a doubt, that I am done with the hamster wheel of blogging.  Blogging is so, so, so great.  And for those of you who are making a great full-time living out of it, I am so happy for you.  I tried it and found that it just wasn’t for me.  Please know that I’m not knocking what you are doing.  I just found that it’s not my thing.  The endless social media, the constant comparison trap in which I found myself lingering, the never-ending race to create unique and exciting content…that is just not what I started my blog for, and those things just totally drained me.  And I don’t have time or energy to spare on things that drain me.

I continue to follow and read lots of blogs, when I have a few free minutes here and there.  I still make recipes from my favorite blogs. I still check in on social media, but mostly Instagram which as become Lucy-gram and I am not sorry for that!  She’s kind of cute.

Cassie-Lucille

For me, blogging is better kept as a hobby and I think it just took a very long break for me to be able to be ready to ease back into it.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to blog about and I still don’t know but there is one little sliver of our lives that has me so excited to share (aside from Lucille) is some really basic changes we have made in our home.  We have been slowing making changes toward more simple and natural living and it’s been so fun and exciting and I want to share it!  This is how I knew it was time to get back to blogging.

So for now, the name will remain Bake Your Day, even though there might not be a ton of baking.  I hope to share some general lifestyle posts, maybe a recipe post sprinkled in, but mostly just remembering that this is a place that I created to share things I love – food, people, & life – with the people I love, and I plan to do just that.

I’ve always loved to make homemade seasoning mixes and for a while now we have recycled as much as possible.  Right before Lucy was born Paul built a bin and we started composting and we have big plans to plant a stellar garden this spring.  We are starting to do some research on homemade baby food for L.  And with our use of cloth diapers (more on that in a future post) we recently did away with paper towels in our house (more on that later, too).  We have started making slow changes to natural, and some homemade, cleaning products, toiletries, etc. and I’m so excited to share those!

I would love to know your secrets for natural living.  Are you paper towel-less?  Homemade body wash or deodorant?  How about baby food?  I’m dying to know how other people out there are simplifying and living naturally!

Some of my new favorite natural living & DIY sites & blogs:

  • Live Simply – tons of great DIY cleaning product, toiletry recipes and lots of great “real food” recipes
  • ePantry – I recently fell in love with ePantry.  We order all of our cleaning supplies, natural ingredients, even eco-friendly, organic lip balm from this site.  Super easy to use, fast shipping and you can customize each order for what you need.  Mrs. Meyers Clean Day has become my #1 go-to brand for natural cleaning products, when I am not going the homemade route, and ePantry has a top-notch selection of Mrs. Meyers, among other great brands.
  • Plant Therapy – I swore that I would never jump on the essential oil bandwagon.  Multi-level-marketing makes me cringe.  But then I found out that not all EO companies operate that way.  I started doing lots of research and found this brand of oils.  Read up on them, the company is just top notch.  They give back, they want everyone to be able to afford essential oils, they have kid-     friendly essential oils and they are all around awesome.  Their site is full of easy-to-understand information on essential oils.
  • Aura Cacia – Another essential oil company that I love.  It started as an aromatherapy company and like Plant Therapy, they do great work.  No gimmicks, just sustainably sourced oils, and also some kid-friendly products.  Also tons of education available about essential oils.  And I can get this brand in my shipments from ePantry, so double win.
  • Hello Glow – more DIY beauty, bath and body, etc.
Lucille
*some links above are affiliate links.
 

17 Responses to “The Difference a Year Makes”

  1. #
    cookbook queen — February 22, 2016 @ 7:35 am

    That precious, gorgeous girl!! Who could blame you?

    I went through so much stress and doubt when Lucy was an infant. Keeping up with the stress of running my blog and not missing out on her was so SO tough and I wish that I had given myself a lot more grace.

    It sounds like your priorities are in the right place — you will never regret choosing JOY. Much love to you and your sweet family, and I look forward to following her progress. xo

    • Cassie replied: — February 22nd, 2016 @ 7:59 am

      Kristan! Thank you so much. It’s so great to hear that others share the same feelings and struggles. Your Lucy is such a doll. I love her spunk! Thanks again! xoxo

  2. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — February 22, 2016 @ 8:13 am

    I think you’ll never regret spending time with your family! You know I don’t do the hamster wheel too, and most days I’m okay with that. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey. And that little cutie pie!

    • Cassie replied: — February 22nd, 2016 @ 9:02 am

      Thank you so much, friend! Hope you are doing well. I love seeing your face smiling at me! 🙂

  3. #
    Deborah — February 22, 2016 @ 8:49 am

    I seriously had a big smile pop on my face when I saw your post pop up in my email. So happy to see you back here!! And girl, you have got it all right. I’m so excited to follow along on your new adventures. I’ve always wanted to be a big gardener, so I’m so excited to see where that goes!

    • Cassie replied: — February 22nd, 2016 @ 9:03 am

      Thank you SO much, Deborah. Your encouragement means the world to me. I have been thinking about and praying for you and Easton! xo

  4. #
    Stella @ Stellicious Life — February 22, 2016 @ 9:17 am

    Aw, Lucille is not just adorable she is a beauty!! And that bow! Too cute for words! 😀 Never feel any guilt or regret for spending the bulk of your time with her and your husband!

    I have to tell you Cassie, I am very excited about this new direction you’ll be taking with the blog. I’m also trying to live more eco-consciously: we don’t use paper towels at home, I make my own deodorant, soap and scrub. And I’m curious to read more about cloth diapers

    Looking forward to your new posts, can’t wait! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — February 23rd, 2016 @ 7:09 am

      Thanks so much, Stella! I appreciate the encouragement! 🙂

  5. #
    Nila Howard — February 22, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

    Hi! I usually don’t leave a response, but felt I had to this time. I’m 60 so my kiddos are grown and gone, but for 25+years they were the focus of my life. Everything else was secondary and I’m so glad my time went into them. Social media will be there when you’re ready but your kids won’t be. They grow and change with or without you. Believe me, you want it to be with you. Also, spent quality time with you husband. They grow and change too. All your time together can’t be with your daughter. You need alone time away from the chaos of everyday living to help your marriage survive. It is easy to grow apart and when kids are gone, you have nothing left in common with your spouse. That happened in my case. So, spend time as a family but also as a married couple. Blessings.

    • Cassie replied: — February 23rd, 2016 @ 7:23 am

      What timeless advice, Nila. Thank you so much for your words and encouragement. You are so right that it’s easy to grow apart. Paul and I have struggled to make time for us in the transition to being parents, but we are trying every day to make it a priority.

  6. #
    Rachel — February 22, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

    This is a decision you will never, ever regret. Enjoy every second. xo

    • Cassie replied: — February 23rd, 2016 @ 7:23 am

      Thank you, lovely! Hope you and your family are well! xo

  7. #
    natalie — February 22, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

    good for you! i came to the same realization with The Sweets Life after B was born and I don’t regret quitting blogging one bit. Like you said, there are different ways to fill the evenings now! I’m excited to keep reading whatever you post and I adore your Lucy-grams so keep those up 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — February 23rd, 2016 @ 7:24 am

      Thanks for the encouragement, Natalie! I can’t wait to “meet” your new little ones!

  8. #
    Kristen — February 22, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

    I was so so so happy to see a post from you pop up in my inbox. This is your space, and your direction and heart will show up through whatever you decided to do. But I can tell you as someone who is getting ready to send her baby to high school, you will NEVER regret the decision to make your family first.

    Also Nila’s comment is spot on… Listen to her!

    • Cassie replied: — February 23rd, 2016 @ 7:25 am

      Thank you for the encouragement, friend! Appreciate you and your friendship!

  9. #
    Aggie — March 13, 2016 @ 6:32 am

    Cassie, I’ve been thinking of you and popped over, it’s been too long. Reading this post…gosh all I can say is I can relate 3 million percent. Blogging has been a roller coaster of changes for me since Micah was born…when my older kids were little it was so much simpler, but these days are obviously not the same.
    Follow your heat & gut, I love the direction you are going! Lucy is a doll and I love seeing pics of her. Keep sharing your heart – I miss you!

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