Checking In, Laser Focus, and All That Jazz

This seems like an appropriate time for a post like this, so it’s rather fortuitous that this has been on my mind.  This post is so long, but at least skim it, I’ve pinked and bulleted the important stuff, like what’s coming up on Sweet Phenomena.

For those of you who are bloggers, I’m sure you’ve had that whole “I need to refocus my efforts, I need to re-assess” thing going through your brain.  I do.  Quite often, but more often lately.  Maybe because we’re surrounded by “new year, new beginnings” stuff.  I’m not a big fan of that, I think it can always be time for a new beginning, but that’s not really my point…

Huh?

 

Yeah, I confused myself too…  I enjoy blogging.  I enjoy social media.  I enjoy interacting with you guys.  I like participating in and holding giveaways.  I like reviewing stuff.  I love what I do.

No matter how much you love something, though, sometimes you need to ponder how you’ve been displaying that love.  I’m happy with the overall direction of Sweet Phenomena, but I’m ready to do some laser focusing and really clarify what I want it to be.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that you should first blog for yourself.  If you aren’t doing it from a place of truth, you won’t survive in the multi-million blog world.  The readers will come.  There will be people who can relate and who enjoy your voice.  And there will be those who don’t.  And that’s OK.

I’m also the type of person to jump into something feet first, learn a ton of stuff after starting, redo it a better way, and then evolve it as I change.  It’s not “right,” but I’m OK with that.

Purpose

 

Sweet Phenomena has gone from being a blog about homeschooling to being a mish-mash of stuff.  That’s what my life is like.  That’s what my brain is like.  I love homeschooling.  Fact of the matter is, though, I’m not an uber-homeschooler like many of the homeschooling bloggers out there.  I can’t come up with curriculum.  I don’t want to.  I can’t make worksheets, create printables, devise games.

I’m so much happier by finding these things on the internet and implementing them, sharing my findings and experiences with you guys.  So, one of Sweet Phenomena’s purposes is:  homeschooling schtuff.  It probably won’t be anything earth-shattering, but it will be tons of resources, links, and info; our honest-to-goodness experiences; and other morsels I’ve picked up along the way.  This includes The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew reviews.

I’ve also decided to use my voice and my reach {no matter how small} to bring awareness to a cause so important and personal to me:  domestic violence.  I grew up in a household where my mother suffered from it for many years, and I think people need to know about domestic violence, how prevalent it is, what the warning signs are, and how to help.  You’ll continue to see this here.

I like reviewing stuff.  It’s fun.  You get things for free.  I’m just putting that out there.  I really like bringing you guys this information.  I don’t know about you, but I love it when people I know share new, exciting, innovative, and fun product information with me.  I’ll buy something that’s been recommended to me over anything else in a heartbeat.  So, you’ll still see product reviews on Sweet Phenomena.

The stuff won’t always be directly related to homeschooling, but it will be related to life as a mom, families, or life in general.  Basically, if it’s applicable in my life and it’s a company/product I feel I can get behind, I’ll review it and let you know what I think.  Believe me, I’ve turned down stuff that is not at all related to my life, from a company I can’t feel good about recommending, or from a company that is a competitor of something I’ve reviewed before.  I’m not about whoring out my internet real estate.

I like Social Fabric and shoppertunities.  They’re fun and interesting, so you’ll continue to see those.

I’m a blogger, and I’m constantly learning, so you might find a few tidbits of info on blogging and social media here.

And, because I can talk and talk and talk, you’ll get injections of life here on Sweet Phenomena.  That makes me real to you.  That opens up conversations.  It gives me a record of time.

Oh, and miscellaneous.  I have to throw that in there to cover my bum.  Just know it will always be family-friendly.  Yeah, I feel I need to say that.

To recap:

  • homeschooling schtuff
  • domestic violence awareness
  • product reviews
  • Social Fabric and shoppertunities
  • info on blogging and social media
  • injections of life
  • miscellaneous

So, Really, What’s Coming Up?

 

I hate vagueness, so here are a few specific things I’ve got in the works for the next year:

  • A series on archaeology and homeschooling – Babydoll wants to be an archaeologist and I’ve been unhappy with the surface info/products available for fostering this, so I’m putting together what we’ve found and will be doing.
  • An editorial calendar – I can’t promise I’ll stick to it {because, well, I’m imperfect}, but I’m working on an editorial calendar for the year that will show the general subjects I’ll be covering each month.
  • A regular posting time frame for domestic violence awareness – this cause is important and I want to cement a specific posting time frame for it.
  • The return of The Homeschool Mother’s Journal – I have missed this, and I haven’t done it because {I’m not going to lie}, we’ve not had a stellar first half of the year.  I believe Babydoll is learning, but I’m trying to reconcile my style of homeschooling with my view of education, and that’s like a freaking mallet to the head…
  • A new site design – I probably shouldn’t put this out there because it’s such a far-off thing {and so expensive}, but I really want a new site design for 2012.  I’ve got visions, I just need to get them out of my head, and pay someone to make them a reality.
  • An eBook {or two} – Yet another thing I probably shouldn’t put out there, but I have several ideas that I’ve already begun researching, and I really want those to come to fruition.
  • A series on lapbooks – I was recently talking with a few homeschoolers who had no idea what these were, so I thought I’d break them down.
  • Better pictures – I can’t promise anything here, but I’d really like to improve my pictures.
  • More on what it’s like to be a secular-friendly non-traditional homeschooler – I’m such a weird homeschooler, and I can’t be the only one…
  • Unit studies/lesson plans – OK, so I kind of lied when I said I don’t like coming up with curriculum and printables.  Really, I don’t, but I have a few items I’m interested in developing a small unit study for.
  • How I am getting my mommy swagger on – I turned 30 in 2011, and while that didn’t bother me, I’m going through that whole really finding out who I am.  I feel like I’ve thrown myself into being a stellar wife and mom {and fail so miserably so many times}, and have forgotten about me.  To his credit, Vince is always telling me to do for myself, always helping, always encouraging, but I’m an all-or-nothing martyr, and that’s not cool.  I need to make me happy.

OK, I really could go on and on.  I’m so excited.  I’m so glad to have you along for the ride.  This is so gonna rock.  :)