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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Changes in Blogging

It's no secret that certain corners of the blogging world are more quiet than usual these days. This place right here, undoubtedly, being one of them. My sweet friend, Erika, discussed this here (in a much more eloquent way than I ever could. She's a great writer, go check her out!). It's clear that with social media sites exploding with popularity, taking the time to read and comment on blogs becomes less enticing.

It was never my intention to slow my roll when it comes to how often I write a post. But these days I wonder how I ever blogged five times a week, while running my shop and working full-time. I mean seriously, how the fuck did I do that? I think I was likely borderline crazy, working myself to the bone. But, after all, it was that determination and hard work that allowed me to leave that pesky full-time job.

Now a year and a half into working full-time, the demand in my shop requires it to be my number one priority. And I am ok with that because that is where my dreams lie. I have never had the intention of becoming a "big-time" blogger. Gone are the days of thinking up trendy, Pinterest-worthy topics, daily (I mean, here I am, writing a post about my own personal thoughts without any photos). It has become so much less about views and followers and more about connecting with the people who have followed me along the way. I want to give my customers a glimpse into my life so they know who they are supporting.

And honestly, I think that is what suits me best anyways. I often struggled writing this blog before and I think that's because I was losing focus on what I enjoy. I recently realized that it is not really the consistent writing that I miss, but the connecting. The relationships. Reading other blogs. I miss reading other blogs a lot! In fact, I would love to hear some of your favorite blogs to read in the comments of this post. I'm most interested in business-related blogs, regarding Etsy, business tips, etc...but I would love to check out anything that you find inspiring.

I think it's time to refresh my blog feed and put more of an effort into reading, sharing, connecting. I find other people, their stories, so interesting. In reading, I know I will feel a lot more inspired within, which hey, could make me more inspired to share here as well!

Also, while I have not been blogging so much, I have still been a bit of a press whore. You can listen to my first podcast over at Fresh Rag (talking about in's and out's of Etsy selling) and read my latest interview for Great Over Good (less business, more personal fun questions) if you feel like you need more Jules in your life.

Thanks for listening. :] xo jA

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Awesome Randomness

There's so much awesome randomness happening lately. I don't know how a week (or so?) went by without a blog post. Let's catch up with this post of randomness, shall we?

I did my first podcast with Fresh Rag last week. I was nervous, and may have had a strong rum and coke before-hand. But since I've met Dave multiple times in person it really wasn't bad once things got rolling! He was surprised I didn't swear (at all, I don't think?). I guess it's just the "interview setting"....I feel like I should be "professional" and "business-like." Not that I really know how to be business-like, but I try.

Last week I had a fun coffee date with Alissa from Diary of an Addict. We talked a lot about changing business names/branding because that is something she has recently gone through. It got my wheels turning.

I also recently got to catch up with Ashley from The Shine Project when she was in California. That girl is killing it. I don't remember how we met through the internet but I'm sure glad we did. It's been so inspiring watching her business explode over the last couple years.

I've been up to my ears in wedding details. DAMN there are a lot of little ridiculous details! We currently are trying to figure out our song selection, our specialty cocktails, and our parent's gifts...among 100 other things.

I have an interview coming up over at the Great Over Good, a local art business that hosted a blogger event I recently attended. Their interview questions were so fun, I hope I did them justice! I'll let you know when the post goes live.

Also, I have been trying to get into a routine with cardio barre. Have you ever done it? It's is kind of torture but I think I'm starting to like it at the same time? I used to dance so I really like how it incorporates ballet moves (makes me want to take a ballet class!). It has been challenging to get to class three times a week but it's starting to become "normal" to go. Can't help but feel a bit proud of myself since I never - ever - can hold on to work out routines. I'm hoping this one sticks (far beyond the wedding!)

And last but not least, I added some new Mother's Day cards to the shop yesterday (Although my stock is already super low on the wine card, I have more coming in soon!). I can't believe Mother's Day is quickly approaching, because my wedding is the week after. And thinking about how close it's getting gives me a minor heart attack. So.many.details.

What's new with you? Anything fun going on? Please share! xo JA

Monday, April 14, 2014

Strawberry Basil Mojito Recipe

You guys know I love my mojitos. This weekend I got inspired to make a strawberry basil version, thanks to the extra strawberries and basil I had hanging out in our kitchen. It was soooo tasty I knew I had to share it with you buys. Summer is right around the corner (all my friends and family back home made a point of letting me know it was 70 degrees in MI yesterday) so let's get ready for some fruity cocktails!
Ingredients:

2 strawberries, sliced
3 basil leaves
1 shot rum
1 tbsp simple syrup
juice from 1/2 of a lime
club soda

Serves: 1

Muddle strawberries, basil and simple syrup in a glass. Fill the cup with ice (I like a lot!). Add the rum and lime juice, then top it off with club soda.

These are really customizable to your liking. If you like it a little sweeter, add a bit more simple syrup. Or maybe you like more lime....or more rum! I also ended up straining it to remove some of the strawberry chunks (that kept getting caught in my straw), but maybe a bit of fruit chunks is your thang. Make it however you want! Enjoy!
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