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Monday, January 9, 2017

A New Year | Fresh Start | Insta Feelings

Hello, Friends : )  I've been gone for almost a month, but now I'm refreshed and ready to be back - for the most part.   I intentionally unplugged for the last 30 days to give myself a break from the online world, the store and work.  When your work life and your real life intertwines as mine does, I feel like it important for me to remove myself from all of the things every now and then to revive perspective.  I am ready to get back to work, be creative, write, photograph, create - I truely enjoy my "job," but in 100% honesty, there is something I did not miss.  Instagram.  

For a month, when I had an extra 20 seconds, or 5-20 minutes, instead of grabbing my phone and scrolling insta, I would make a cup of tea and sit, or light a candle and sit, I would relax, I would color or build legos mindlessly with Emma, I would tidy something up, I would play music, I would water the plants, I would go out on the back porch and take a deep breath and look around the back yard, I would mix a quick batch of cookies, I would let my mind wander, I would sit, I would flip through a cookbook, I would eat a slice of cake.  This was living.  

One afternoon about two weeks ago, I had an extra 20 minutes to lounge so I indulged my renewed self and grabbed my iPad (I removed Insta from my phone, but kept on the iPad) and spent 20 minutes with my head down, scrolling.  Taking about .4 seconds to consume each photo, scrolling and looking at snapshots of peoples lives.  With each snippet of insta photo there was an instant thought - instead of relaxing on my bed, maybe I should be at the park with Emma like that family, or wow, wish we were on a tropical island like them, hum, maybe I should redecorate our house like that one, gosh, I wish I had more antiques in our home, I need that dress, I should wear dresses more, I wish I was going on a date night so I could wear a dress, I wish I was staying at home with a candlelit family dinner, I want to be out and about with my girlfriends.  You see the problem. 

After losing 20 minutes of my day, I went downstairs and got annoyed at how messy the house was and irritated at Mike for watching golf on tv (shouldn't he have been vacuuming or something?), irritated that there was glitter and bits of playdoh all over the floor (again), and annoyed at myself for not being outside enjoying the rare 50 degree day in December.  Ick.

I've never been one to be envious of anyone else's life - it just isn't how I'm made.  I've always felt that I'm responsible for my own happiness and that if I'm not happy, then it is up to me to something about it.  Being in charge of your own life helps you to always be fulfilled with it.  And I am.  If I wanted to do or be something or someone else, then I would.  I can do things.  So when I scroll through insta and I get these feelings of I wish, I want, I need, I'm annoyed - it doesn't sit well with me.  It's not who I am.  I'm a doer.  I'm a maker.  I'm not an envier.  This feeling does not inspire me.  This feeling makes me want to compete - put up a "me too" post.  See how cute my family can be?  Look at how much fun we're having, too.  See how perfect my house can look?  Major ick.

Notice the photo above?  The photo below is what was at my feet when I took the photo.  Not as cute, right?  I know, I know - everyone is just sharing their perfect snippets of a non-perfect day/life and it makes us feel good to do it, but it doesn't change how it makes other people feel.  And what's worse is we're addicted to that feeling.  All of us.  Ok, maybe just those of us that are normal and not all of the instagrammers that actually are perfect.  ; )  

I get it.  It's fun to share the perfect.  It's fun to put only the good out there.  When I scroll back through my own feed, it looks good, it feels good.  But the mindless scrolling through it all makes me feel bad.  I hear it from many of you, too.  People think my life is perfect.  And it is.  It is perfect for me, but it isn't perfect in the way everyone thinks.  My house isn't always spotless, my dinners aren't always gourmet - and I couldn't care less.  The stuff that I put out there is the stuff that is fun for me, but doesn't really matter.  I want you to know that.  I know that.  Most of those perfect photos that I create are done so during my work day.  They are done in my creative mind space where I get to be an artist and create and make and do.  I love that part of my day.  I love creating beautiful photos of pretty projects.  It is my art and I love it.

So, now I'm in this space of not sure how to move forward with incorporating this new point of view with my work.  Instagram is such an easy way for me to put my work out there.  It is such an easy way for you all to keep updated on what new products I have, suggestions for what's for dinner, grow my business, etc.  But scrolling through insta is not a great way to spend a day.  I would rather you all be sitting, thinking, doing, making, relaxing, instead of scrolling.  I don't want to feed the beast.  But, I want to still share with you all.  I want to grow my business.  I want to still have a voice.

We had a long road trip over Christmas which gave me the chance to talk at length about my Insta frustrations with Mike.   I told him that I was worried that if I disappear from insta, that my brand might disappear, too.  Would I become irrelevant?  Out of touch?   He reminded me that if the means of communicating didn't fit the brand, then it wasn't working anyway.  He reminded me that this is my business - I'm in complete control.  He reminded me that I'm good at knowing what you all are looking for, that others are probably feeling the same way.  He encouraged me to do it my way - even if it seemed against popular culture.  Isn't that what my brand is against anyway?  Being sucked into all of the rush and hurry of life?

I've always wanted my brand to be about encouraging you all to live your best life.  Through my recipes, home projects and store products it is always my goal to inspire and empower you, and give you simple tools to enhance your day/life/home - you can host friends for dinner, you can easily refresh your home each season, you can make bakery worthy treats, you can sit down to a family dinner most nights of the week and experience real moments with your family.

I feel like what resonates most with all of you about my brand is that it feels like slowing down.  You come here to read my blog and you see photos of our quiet dinners at home, you see comfy sofas with throws and pillows, you see little arrangements of flowers on my bedside, Emma playing in the backyard, me stirring something on the stove, baking fresh scones each morning, delivering homemade gifts to friends each season, hosting family holidays with grace and style.  That is my brand and what I want you to feel.  And quite honestly, it is my real life that I'm sharing here.  But if you are spending your time only looking at these photos and not doing any of those feel-good things, then I haven't done my job.  I want you to do these things.  I want you to spend your time baking homemade treats, playing in the grass, cooking with your kids, hosting friends - it is a beautiful way to live.  I want you to stop spending your free, valuable mindspace scrolling on insta.  

I'm making a conscious decision to re-devote my time her on my blog.  I will be here more and sharing and blogging more.  I will.  I will be on instagram less.  Much less.  I'm thinking maybe once or twice a week on insta, just to update you on what is happening here for those of you that don't get my email newsletter.   It will be generated on my computer and posted on instagram.  I will not be re-installing instagram on my phone.  I hope you will continue to come here.  I hope you will join me in refocusing your day to being and doing, instead of watching others do and be.  It is better on this side in the real world, right?  

I would love to know your thoughts about this.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!  And do, please come back here to visit.   I know your time is valuable and I hope you'll join me for some more real life inspiration.

Now, because I don't want to just rant (I do have other things to share!) here is a little real look around our house this morning.  Emma and Mike have gone off to school and work, respectively, and I'm here with Mr. Darcy enjoying a quiet morning.  I snapped some photos of how our home is feeling this morning.  Because I believe in enjoying my day, I thought I would focus on the things that are making me happy this morning.  I know that they might seem "too perfect" (especially after my strong thoughts above), but I think photos feel different when paired with words.  Welcome to my happy place, with pretty snippets of our home.  Please do know that there are unmade beds upstairs, piles of laundry and dirty dishes in my sink : )  And you've already seen what my floor looks like...

I love these little mini topiaries I found last week.  They are real and I'm trying not to kill them.  I also replaced our Christmas prints with fresh framed botanicals that will be part of the valentine's collection (coming friday!).  Swapping out prints each season is just so easy and makes me love this corner even more.

These are the topiary that I bought this fall... that are struggling in a major way.  I think the transition inside was too much for them... and I am not the best at watering.  So, trying to get them to come back!

A few days after Christmas, I got rid of the greenery and added about 4 potted flowers to our home.  They are making the house feel so fresh and alive (after all of that crispy greenery!).

Isn't this the sweetest shade of pink?

My Mister : )  Watching the squirrels.

I kept the pinecones and got rid of the greens.  I love how they feel very wintery and sparse.

I just realized I forgot about this greenery!  Very crispy.

A glimpse of the snow, past the snowflakes on our or door.  Lots of smudges, too : )

The aftermath of our walk this morning.  I'm not really a very neat person.  At some point today, I will have to go around and pick up after myself... usually around 5:30 right before Mike gets home!

Yesterday, my sister and I were talking about how much we love Jenna Bush Hager.  She is so real and normal and funny and smart.  (She also deleted insta on her phone!)  We love her on the Today show.  As I was walking around snapping my photos, she was almost in tears apologizing for a mistake she made on air.  I felt so bad for her : (   Jenna - keep on pluggin!

Sledding aftermath from Saturday!

The artwork wall in my office.  The most perfect part of the whole house : )

Thank you all for taking your time to come here and read my thoughts.  I'd love to hear yours.  How does this new idea sit with you?  I hope your new year is off to a slow and happy start.



  1. Love this and thank you for keeping it real!

  2. Amanda Lambright1:40 PM

    Love, love your thoughts Jenny! I am right there with you ;)
    Happy 2017!

  3. Lindsay R.1:41 PM

    I love this post! I also feel like I'm living "better" - happier, more present - when I stay off Facebook and Instagram. Living abroad, it is an easy way for me to keep up with friends back home, but social media is such a time suck and you are right - it really can engender feelings of discontent and "I wish." While I enjoy seeing your pictures on Instagram, I think it is great that you will be devoting more time to your blog - I personally love your recipes and am selfishly hoping for more! :)

  4. Jenny, this is the first time I have replied to a blog, I think. Yours is one of my favorites, and your goal of offering encouragement and ideas for creating our own best lives is one of the things I enjoy the most. I am much older than you and my children are grown. Now I pour much of my energy into my granddaughters. I agree SO much with your feelings! Envy is a waste of time, and spending too much of our time watching other people live their lives is also a waste of time. We all owe it to ourselves and our families to put our energy into living the lives we have, and maybe working to make them a little more like we would want them to be. Thank you so much for your thoughts - I hope your readers will take them to heart and embrace them!

    1. I'm honored with your first comment, ever!

  5. I am a retired schoolteacher, grandmother and never quite got the hang of instagram. It is on my phone etc but I seem to stick with facebook and have the blogs I follow delivered to my email. I have unsubscribed to blogs that are too perfect. I know that houses that don't look real aren't lived in (where are their piles of stuff?) . I love your ideas and look forward to your posts in the future.

  6. Jenny, I look at your blog at least every other day. I have NEVER been on Instagram. Not once. I think your brand will be just fine. People need to slow down and breathe and I admire you for doing just that!

  7. Jenny, I could just hug you right now! Your wisdom, your honesty, your insight, your vulnerability--it's all just so beautiful. No matter where we are in life, it is a challenge to enjoy social networking without losing ourselves in it, and wasting too much of our precious lives to it. Once again, you have inspired me--thank you, Jenny. God bless you and your darling family!

    1. Oh, Judy - you are so sweet : )

  8. I love everything you had to say. I will look forward to your blog posts.

  9. I've been following your blog for several years now....I can't remember when...maybe before you moved....
    I don't get the newsletters - no need, I just check your blog. I just put instagram on my phone, but don't post and only wanted to look to see what doesn't make the blogs.
    So, all in all....I think you are making a wise decision. Enjoy and I am looking forward to more postings on your blog! and for that I say...Thanks!

  10. Hi Jenny! I've been following your blog for a few years now and really appreciate how you value home and family (we love your meatballs too!). I had the same thoughts and struggle with Instagram over the holidays too. After the new year, I was feeling really good and looking forward to a lot in 2017 and then after some time on Insta, I became so defeated because I didn't have that resolution or wasn't going to do that cool thing or my house isn't Pinterest/Insta-worthy yet. My husband called me out on it and together we've been on a social media fast for a week. It's been SO refreshing! I feel like I am more present with both him and our daughter. I am do much more productive things with my time to care for them, our home, and myself. Like you, I'm trying to figure out what will be next because I do like it as a mode to keep up with people and get new ideas. Thanks so much for sharing your honest thoughts! P.s. if you haven't read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, I highly recommend it! In her unique and beautiful way, she writes so much about thankfulness and staying true to yourself. It was the perfect complement to my time off social media! Blessings to you!

    1. It is so true! I will get the Magnolia Book, for sure. Love them. Mike's company owns the buildings across the street from them!

  11. It amuses and puzzles me how seriously people take instagram and how they analyze their feelings toward it. I love instagram, I love to look at pretty pictures, I love to get decorating ideas, travel ideas, fashion ideas and food recipes and presentation. It's like subscribing to every magazine out there without spending a dime. Sure, I might wish I had someone's house, or figure or free time, but that could happen without social media. I think the key is to enjoy it, take from it what you want, and not overanalyze it or take it too seriously. Facebook can tend to get a little depressing, especially when the politics kick into high gear, but instagram is lighter, more entertaining (at least for me).

    1. I agree with you. I'm going to treat Insta more like a magazine, like you said. I have it on my ipad and will browse my favorites from time to time - maybe once a week. That was my routine over the holidays. However, I did find that I got less and less out of it, the more I let it go.

  12. This is so what I needed to read, after getting done with scrolling FB and Instagram and thinking I needed to be better at everything (cooking, decorating, sewing, planning, arranging, friending, the list goes on and on and on). Thank you for sharing such real and honest feelings, Jenny!

  13. Yes a thousand times..... Thank you for writing this. Really helps put things into perspective!

    1. Of course, I love checking your feed, though. You are one of my faves - I really do love living vicariously through your farmhouse life!

  14. I completely agree!! I never could get "into" Instagram for those very reasons- it feels more competitive for some reason than Facebook? Although Facebook can make me feel the same way... I keep coming back to your blog because I feel you (like me) are grateful for the little things. And I like your warm & cozy inspiration, food recipes, and your well-priced products/organizational ideas. You are doing a great job- just keep trusting yourself!

  15. I have always loved your blog for many reasons! In addition to the beautiful photographs and lovely snapshots of your life, family, and gorgeous house, I feel like you always keep it real!! I was just referring back to your post last year about time management and trying to do something similar...but I feel like you write about it in a way that is relatable. I agree on Instagram. Lately it is overwhelming that taking breaks seems good. I have wasted so much time getting sucked into posts when I could be doing a million other things more worthwhile!...Of course, I also love your recipes because I feel like they are approachable and not too daunting, and of course, very yummy results!!!

    1. Oh the time suck! I wish there was an app that counted how many times I opened insta when it was on my phone... scary!

  16. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Jenny, I have followed your blog for a long time and keep coming back because it is real.You have done a great job inspiring a slower and more deliberate pace of life. Instagram is a slice of perfect life, but the narrative in a blog always make it more real. Good choice to limit instagram and I love your morning photos. Susan

  17. Thank you for being vulnerable. It allows us to pause and reflect. Staying in the moment, realizing and understanding what is important makes life livable and enjoyable. It is different for each of us as it should be. Thank you Jenny!

  18. Noelle2:20 PM

    WOW - I can completely relate to the part of your post when you speak about scrolling through Insta and then looking around and wishing you could do this, fix that, have more of this, etc...and you just articulated what I've been feeling for a while, but didn't realize until I read this post! It is so difficult because there is so much creativity and inspiration on Instagram, but it is very easy to get caught up in the "perfect" pictures! You have given me a lot to think about - I may have to try a digital detox and see if I can feel more peaceful & content as a result! Thank you for your post.

  19. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Thanks for the wonderful post. I know I spend WAY TO MUCH TIME being on my devices. One of the reasons I never wanted a laptop or tablet was because in order to be on the computer, I had to be in our home office. Well, my husband bought me a tablet for Christmas and I find I am on it way too much. I am making a conscious effort to unplug and live in the moment and spend more time at home without being plugged in. On the other hand, I get such great ideas and am so inspired by the blogs I read and instagram. I just need to set a time limit on the computer. Keep up the beautiful post because again, they inspire me to cook a good meal, wrap a pretty present...
    Pat in Chicago

  20. Jenny, I bet I am not alone when I is so good to read this post and discover that you really are real! I enjoy your blog (I am not on Instagram) so much but, must admit that sometimes....I am very envious and think "what a perfect world you live in"! It is refreshing to be reminded that no one has a perfect life all the time!
    Thank you for being open and honest in the blog and I think we could all benefit from taking a break from our devices. I enjoy your recipes, your decorating expertise , your products and all that you share. Yes, I am hoping you restock those gold laurel leaf earrings! My husband waited a little too long to order those for our anniversary !


  21. Thank you so much for this post! One of my resolutions this year was to stay off instagram, because I too have noticed the discontentment it breeds in my heart, and the idea that, if I had this or that, my life would somehow be better. I never made the connection between scrolling through instagram and fussing at my family for the mess of the house until you mentioned it in your post. Thank you for that! It is so true! All the more reason for me to stay off. I appreciate all that you do and will continue to love your classic style.

  22. I have never joined instagram---don't feel the need. I'm looking forward to more your blog posts. They are so genuine and not show-offy (if that's a word).

  23. I love Instagram, but only for the beautiful pics. It doesn't make me feel competitive and I only use it on my phone (generally when I am stuck somewhere waiting to kill time). I much prefer blogs, however. They are much more personal and interesting and the writing and pics are in context (I make up fewer stories in my head when there is one to accompany the picture!) Thank you for the lovely respite your blog is....

  24. Jenny, I enjoy your blog so much! I love your recipes and use them all the time. I have never had an instagram account, so no problems there!Just keep sharing on your blog, as it is one of my favorites. Love your pink violet (I used to collect violets about 40 years ago) and love the photos of Mr. Darcy!

  25. Yes yes yes!! Have had the exact same feelings and conversations recently! The convo with my husband was funny because he does not have a single social media account so he says "he's always been on trend"...same as how he has been wearing his adidas Stan smiths and all stars since before their revival;). We need to go on a walk soon and discuss branding without losing yourself in social media!xoxo

  26. Hi Jenny! You are 100% spot on!!! I too have all those feelings that you have with Instagram. I have stopped looking at Facebook and after reading your post, I think I need to stop Instagram as well. I have told myself that I would delete it from my phone many times, however, my only struggle with cutting the insta tie is that I do feel like it offers inspiration, like a magazine. So maybe it is more about finding a balance, checking it a lot less often and following those who inspire not create envy?? I appreciate that you find joy in the little things of life and base your blog around them. I have been striving to do that with my own life recently. Can't wait to see what is ahead on your blog! PS - Are you planning on carrying any of the earrings again ?? I was trying to be frugal and didn't indulged but have regretted it ever since :) Thank you!

  27. Jenny,
    This is why I am a loyal reader. I love your take on life, home, family, even Mr. Darcy. As an older person, I love reading blogs such as yours and always come away feeling inspired. I've stopped writing on my own blog, it was time and I wasn't enjoying the work anymore. Still, I love the creative work you do and your focus is always so honest and fresh.
    I love Instagram, but have cut back and visit only during down time while watching TV in the evenings.
    I don't think your brand will go away by leaving Instagram, your blog is what inspires folks looking for that certain something.

  28. Happy New Year, Jenny! I don't do insta, snap, or barely FB. I enjoy blogs because I can sit in the morning with my coffee and laptop and read your latest thoughts and design and home ideas. I was attracted to your classic style and the fact that I could purchase what I might need to "get the look" or duplicate the recipe.
    I might be unusual because I retired early from a very active position with a university to move my mom in with me to care for her as she progresses through dementia. I have the very early morning for my quiet time and laptop before my day is almost exclusively caring for her. So the few blogs I follow are a cross between personal escape and wow, I would love to do that here in my home/life as well as educational for my life or caregiving. I love my mornings!
    I look forward to reading your blog in this new year of 2017! And thank heavens, none of us has a "perfect" home...home is not given but made (don't know author of that!)...and we love to make our homes a place of love, joy, peace and style. mari

  29. I love your blog! As a new blogger, I also took a hiatis in December to focus on more intentional blogging. I wrote about something similar this morning about how I shouldn't need to feel like my life is like everyone on social media.

    Do you mind me asking where you got those glass jars for the sugar, flour etc? I've been on the hunt lately and haven't been successful in finding something I love.


    xo, Jess

  30. cheryl4:00 PM

    I am very happy to hear your thoughts and agree, life is too short to compare and stay on Instagram. I am trying to do more of the same with my life and get back to normal and get on with living instead of looking and comparing! Thank you for your giant step. Love your blog and your family and your dog! Cheryl

  31. Anonymous4:06 PM

    It is a constant battle with us women, isn't it? I'm glad you recognized it, unplugged and are making decisions best for you and your brand! I think we have to recognize satan's role also. We have to put on the whole armor (Eph 6) and be ready for his schemes. God bless you! I will keep reading your blog!!

  32. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Oh how you are not alone in this! Thank you for your honesty and for showing pictures of the not so perfect places in your home as well as the perfect ones. ;) I have a love/hate for all social media for the very reasons you wrote about. I have no doubt that God will bless your brand as long as you stay true to the very reason you started it to begin with. I don't follow you on Instagram and I LOVE your blog!!

  33. Love your blog! Have always followed it through Feedly and never on Instagram. I will continue to read, as I am inspired by your posts. Happy New Year!

  34. Jenny, I have been a long-time reader and have been following along with you since the time Emma was born. I have always enjoyed your blog and have to say that sometimes I enjoyed it even more in the early days. Over the years your decor tastes may have perfected or slightly changed but your thoughts on family, entertaining, simplicity and a slower lifestyle have always remained the same. That is why I come here. I don't think that anybody has a perfect family but yours appears to be closer than mine will ever be. My relationship with my extended family is strained due to years of abuse growing up. I will never have beautiful images of my children having genuine moments with them. You are so blessed. My husband and I just bought our forever home but it will never be completed and the amount of time that you were able to add your addition to your home and move right back in. I have a toddler who has decided he no longer wants to sleep through the night and I am currently expecting twins (which I know is a blessing). My life and my home that is constantly under construction look much different than yours. These are not your problems/struggles, I know. It's the cards that i have been dealt. Luckily though, I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful son who I would love to build a new 'extended' family with. I come to your blog for entertaining ideas so that I can open my home and build myself a new family. I come to your blog for inspiration because I enjoy the simplicity of your decor and how your home evolves with the seasons. And yes, I do come for the pretty pictures but mostly for the content. I think you are a lovely woman. I'm looking forward to seeing what lies ahead here. I have never had Instagram and I broke up with Facebook years ago as my life will never look as wonderful as everyone else makes theirs out to be. Please realize that you are reaching out to all walks of life and some of us are not expecting perfection. We just want to continue to be inspired and enjoy the ride. We love you just the way you are! God bless.

  35. I totally understand what you are saying because I had some of those feelings back when I was a very active and for that time, frequently visited blogger. That was long ago back before everyone blogged for income. Back when it was about meeting like minded people you couldn't meet otherwise. It didn't take me long to realize that I was the one in control and I could choose to spend hours reading and responding to other bloggers or I could choose to live life. I also learned quickly that I didn't have to put my fall decor out in August just because other bloggers were hurrying to do that and that didn't have to keep up with the blogging Jones. I guess now Insta and to some degree FB and Snapchat are what blogging was at one time. So my question to you is, why is blogging any different? Why is Insta worse than blogging? Just curious! That said and asked, good luck with whatever you decide! You are a smart, creative, talented woman and something tells me you will find what fits your life and business best! Warm hugs, Linda

  36. Thank you for your "keeping it real" post. Just want you to know I love your blog! Your home decorating style is very similar to mine and I have made quite a few of your recipes. I love them! I always try to keep in mind what works for someone else doesn't, necessarily work for me. If I feel pressure from something on FB or Instagram, I just stop following it. Wishing you and your sweet family all the best! (BTW I love Jena Bush Hager!)

  37. Jenny, how brave are you?!!! I have always been impressed with your writing, photography, and baking skills. And now you have won me over in your new philosophy on connecting with your readers (and doers, and bakers, and decorators!) I think most of your readers are trying to make the best life possible for our family and your sweet reminder is not to forget to spend time with them! So proud of you!

  38. I am right there with you Jenny! I don't have inta Facebook twitter or any social media. I found you through a layout on candlesticks in a magazine and have been reading your blog faithfully since! You're brand is awesome-and timeless. It is above social media and a true classic that will last. Keep it up! Laura Banks

  39. Love your honesty!!! You are most definitely not along!! I have been feeling the same way for the past month or so. It is a hard balance when you have a business that can benefit from social media. I limited myself to posting a photo every morning and maybe scrolling for 5 minutes or so and that's it! It sounds silly, but it's made a big difference in me!! Love your heart, your blog and I you are always inspiring me!

  40. Rebecca8:01 PM

    I have enjoyed reading your blog since the day I found it several years ago. It is a pleasure and joy to read your posts. I am not a blogger, but I really enjoy reading good blogs and yours is one of my favorites. You openly share what is most important to you and your blog inspires me to celebrate 'Everyday Occasions' with my family too. Thank you for that and keep up the great work!

  41. Love your thoughts. I also slowed down my IG usage over Christmas and it was wonderful. I don't know that I feel discontentment from scrolling through as much as it is a time suck for me that takes away precious minutes that I could spend on better pursuits. I've considered giving up how frequently I post, but have found a lot of growth for my business through IG. Definitely something to ponder

  42. I love reading your blog. I have purchased many of your items and have made many of your recipes. I have never been unhappy with anything I have purchased, and I love every recipe I have tried. Thanksgiving turkey-wonderful. Christmas beef-tenderloin-the best. I thank you, my family thanks you! I love making sugar cookies and decorating them with my grand-kids. I have quite a collection of your cookie cutters. When you show your beautiful home, it inspires me. I get excited to to do things around my house. I know you're not perfect, who is? Please don't feel like you have to prove that to your readers. I'm probably one of your older followers. I'm 57, with 3 grown kids and 4 almost 5 grandkids. I love my home and love making it beautiful.( I am a it of a clean freak) but, when my grandkids come over they pretty much do as they please. No worries about them walking around with food or drinks. Everything can be cleaned up after they leave. We just have fun! Do what is best for you. Instagram/ no Instagram. Just keep your blog going with wonderful recipes, and showing us what is happening in your life. People are interested. Love your shop. Looking forward to what is next. Can't wait for Friday. Many blessings, Karen

  43. Obviously, you have a struck a chord! I love your blog and will continue to follow and purchase from your lovely shop. I love what you stand for, and you have given me the courage to delete insta. Thank you.

  44. Your thoughts are so spot on. I feel like too often we are recording life instead of just living it. I also scaled back my Instagram posts and scrolling. I found your blog a year or so ago and love your products, ideas and heart you share with all of us.

  45. Anonymous12:32 AM

    Love your blog for YOUR voice and your style. Never been a fan of insta. Just keep on being you and I'll keep coming by for more. Been reading for over 5 years. Keep up the great work. I appreciate it.

  46. Mary Jo8:15 AM

    I couldn't agree more and applaud you for your thoughts, actions and voicing them! I am the only person I know that doesn't do Facebook and all my friends look at me like I'm crazy. But they all spend hours on FB each week, living their lives looking at others photos, etc. I'd rather spend that time having lunch with a friend , taking a walk, etc.
    The blogs that I do read I do so once a week or whenever the time allows.
    Thank you for your honesty and your wonderful blog. I always look forward to your posts and being inspired to lead a better life everyday! Best of luck to you in the new year.

  47. Yes yes yes. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there. As usual you are both spot on and a role model. Well done. I recently started using instagram but only as a viewer - not adding content. The only thing I use it for and likely it's redeeming quality is that I can scroll and look at pics with one thumb while I do laps for my Fitbit. It is a guilty pleasure and even then I have to work very hard to keep the inspired part of the eye candy from not creeping over to the competitive part. And I am only a viewer doing laps lol !! Thanks for your wonderful insights and blogs. You are fabulous.

  48. Thank you for this Jenny. As a SAHM I find myself mindlessly scrolling ... enough is enough. My little one won't be little long. Off to delete the app from my phone as well. Time to start living ... more. I started reading your blog when I'd sneak to the library in college between classes. To this day I look for your emails. Thank you for your space on the net. Best.

  49. You're right! I agree! I've been on IG for four months and I force myself not to become an addicted!!!! I prefer real life too: doing things, tiding my home, spending quality time with my family, crafting, stitching, painting, baking and catching the beauty in life.
    Those are the things I like to share on IG and to look for in others' profiles, but only "moderately": I prefer to live than to watch someone living!!!!
    Bye, @Claudiacip70

  50. Carmen12:13 PM


    I have been following your blog for two years now and usually every year I will go back to your archives and re-read your beautiful posts on this blog. Not just the beautiful photo posts, but mainly the posts about your life and family are what I most enjoy! You've built such a wonderful brand - and it is so much larger than Instagram. Stay true! And I'll keep reading :)


  51. I love your authenticity! You are so right and I applaud you for having the courage to go against the grain. You are inspiring in so many ways. When I feel like I'm going at a pace that is too fast in life, I look at your posts and read your words. It is always an excellent reminder to slow down and find joy and beauty in the little things. The everyday things. You have a real talent for that and because of that I am trying to do the same. I appreciate everything that you work so hard to create. It very much speaks to me. So, thank you and keep going! The world needs your clear perspective:)

  52. Jen, your blog is one of the only ones I have continued to follow for a long while. I go through phases with other bloggers, but yours has such practical info (PLEASE keep doing the dinner menus - PLEASE?) and feels very real to me. I love you more after this post. Sometimes looking at all the perfectly placed, artifully arranged objects in a pic can make me feel so anxious. I know...I am an older gal, so there is so much to get used to. But I do not want to leave the 'organic' way I used to live in the dust. I want to call people, get together with friends, have dinner parties, take pictures of my grown up girls, husband, and beloved dog. I really struggle with the AMOUNT of insta pics often. Not out of jealousy, but out of a sense of sensing it as not real. Thanks for your heart. Be always true to who you are and you will be successful. ;)

  53. Anonymous6:15 AM

    I am a person who thrives from inspiration and that is why I repeatedly come back to your blog. You have helped to feed my well so many times! Thank you!

    I worry for the adolescents in our lives - if well adjusted and successful adults are uncomfortable with IG - how do these poor kids feel?

    Kate in CT

  54. This is why your brand will always succeed. You are so genuine and clearly just a very thoughtful and caring person. And yes, you do inspire! All the time I'll read your blog and then put down the electronics and go try out the recipe with my daughter! You've inspired me to delete Instagram from my phone now too, I've been trying to feel more engaged with my family when I'm home but for some reason didn't have the guts to remove it until now. Thank you!


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