Blogging Musings and Redbook

Urm, so, I've discovered that blogging is hard. Harder than dragging myself out of bed on a rainy day to go for a run after a night of a bit too much wine.

I have heaps of respect for those amazing bloggers out there who seem to have boundless amounts of energy and create more projects in a week than I do in a two month span, all while blogging about it every step of the way. Major props and cheers to you!

I, on the other hand, am a major fail. Last Tuesday I was off work, and the whole day all I could think about was how badly I needed to photograph our bedroom makeover and blog about it. You know that feeling when you have a big interview/meeting coming up and you can't completely focus on anything else because of the knots in your stomache? It was kind of like that. I kept beating myself up, because here I am, a DIY-nut with LOADS of projects to share, and no kiddos running around (yet) to really get in my way, but somehow, I still have a full plate.

My hubby asks me if it causes me so much stress, why still do it? Well, I really do enjoy it when I carve out the time. And as narcissistic as this may sound, there is something about sharing a project with the world that gives you fuzzy feelings inside. I'll never forget when I showed my hubs the pantry makeover when he came home from work. He said something along the lines of "Oh, it's nice" and then continued on with his life. Boys don't quite get it, now do they? But having a bunch of fabulous people I've never met gush over something that took me hours and hours, that made it worth while. It validated the time and energy I put into it. My pantry got the appreciation it so deserved.

I am still trying to figure something out; perhaps a schedule of some sorts so I have dedicated time slots for blogging and project making. If you have any tips on how you balance it all, please do let me know!

On another note, last week I was *hoping* to have a big announcement. A couple of months ago an email popped up my my inbox from an email address. Yes, that Hearst. Mega magazine conglomerate in NYC. Found me. The fact that someone in the iconic Hearst Tower in New York was actually looking at my label designs was enough to make me pass out, but the fact that a senior editor was emailing me to ask my permission and for a high res photo to feature in Redbook Magazine was the tipping point. Holy. Cow.

The email looked liked this:

"I’m an editor at REDBOOK, and we’re interested in showing the attached image in a new section of the magazine that’s all about getting inspired. We think the spice rack labels are such a cute idea! Would you be willing to send me a high-res of the attached photo? We’d of course include your name and the name of your blog for our nine million readers to see!

NINE MILLION READERS!! I wanted to keep the news wrapped up tightly until the big reveal, but I just couldn't help myself. I spread the news loud and proud and told all of my friends ands family, and pretty much anyone else who would listen. Redbook has never been my go-to glossy as I believe it's probably geared at a slightly more mature demo (just guessing here, but 35 plus?), but that being said, I know Redbook is an iconic magazine. It's been around for over a hundred years!

The day the mag was supposed to hit shelves I had a lunch date. I hurried over to the magazine stand on my way to the restaurant, and stood in the aisle flipping through page after page. Hubby was on the phone with me as I described my emotions with every page turn. I was pretty calm about it. To be honest, after exchanging 5 or so emails with the editor a few months ago and hearing nothing since, I figured the article was trimmed from the magazine. I get it. I've seen The Devil Wear Prada. There's a big white wall with the entire magazine spread out in sections, and only parts actually make it in. That's real life, right?

So after the final page turned and my spice cupboard makeover wasn't there, I felt a bit deflated, but I had prepared myself. My darling man was so great about it, reminding me that even being considered to be in a print magazine is a huge honour, and yes, it was. The fact that that one photo found it's way into the Hearst building was a huge honour.

So am I disappointed? Of course, but maybe it wasn't the right time. Perhaps that sounds crazy, but a huge part of me was worried about how little content I have on this blog and how fresh and new The Paper Society actually is. If I work on developing and establishing both a little more, and if an opportunity ever comes along like that again, I might actually benefit from it more so than I would have now.

At least that's what I keep telling myself!

xo J


  1. I actually got these labels yesterday (inspired by you!) and when I put them on my spice jars, I found that they kept puckering instead of wrapping around nicely. Did you find that this would happen? How did you get around it? Or are my jars just too narrow for them...

    1. Hi Jessica! I emailed you directly, but for others that may be interested: my Martha Stewart Kraft labels have held up perfectly and look just the same as the day I put them on the jars! You do need to make sure glass is clean clean clean though, because any oil from your fingerprints may affect the way the adhesive sticks to the container. Maybe you got a bad batch of labels, or maybe you're putting them on very skinny jars? Best of lucj!

  2. Loved reading this post, Jen. Thanks for sharing all.

    I so understood and appreciated what you meant about the validation and feedback that comes with putting yourself and your ideas out there into the world. The blogosphere is amazing because it allows us to connect with like-minded people--people who "get it," who do see the total beauty of your organized and labeled pantry ;)

    As for the actual posting goes-- I decided from the get-go to have my blog be a daily thing. Every weekday, no matter what, a new post has to go up. Boom. It's a rule. The weekends I take off, but come the week, I know I better get my fingers in gear and get prepared with some posts. Making that commitment has been extremely helpful for me in staying on track. It took the guess work out of it. So I would suggest that perhaps you make a commitment to your own blog. Maybe you will commit to posting every Monday. Two times a week. Tuesday and Thursday. Whatever it is, and whatever is realistic for your life, try to nail down the frequency with which you are going to post. And then stick to that. Hope that's helpful.

    As far as Redbook-- maddd props on the interest, and, suffice it to say, "you'll get 'em next time." :)

    1. Thanks for the support Annie! It is bloggers like you that inspire me!

      I think I am going to create a blogging schedule and try to stick to it as best I can, but I feel like when I blog is dictated by when I complete the projects. Projecting is definitely the hardest part! I think I need to set attainable goals like 1 project a week, instead of overwhelming myself with 5 projects all at once.

      Thanks again for all your kind words! :)

  3. Don't be too hard on yourself! At the end of the day, you do what you can and its better to give a great post then fill in with something "just to post". I prefer a blog with great inspiring posts, even if its once a week.

    I am so sorry to hear about Redbook, but you know it might get bumped to another issue! Stranger things have happened. If nothing else, Redbook is stalking your blog. That's GREAT!!!

    1. Thanks Amy! And I agree- I promised myself a long time ago that I would never post just for the sake of posting. I try to put a lot of thought into the majority of them, and want them to be useful and not just fillers. And here's hoping I stay on the Redbook radar! :)

  4. Hi Jen!

    Thanks for the great story. Your blog inspired me. I saw your pantry picture the other day on Pinterest and my goal for this Canada Day weekend is to have a beautiful pantry like yours, including the spice cabinet! I love your labels, thank you for sharing them. They are so well designed and harmonious, and I am not surprised it made its way to Hearst. Disappointments are part of life, but the most important thing is that you share and inspire people.

    Thanks for sharing bits of your life with us!

    1. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read bits of my life! Still something I'm not quite used to, but it sure makes a girl feel good! How did your pantry turn out after the long weekend?

  5. Your blog looks fabulous, you are organised and talented. Blogging can hard but when you get an email like that from amazing people you know it is worth it. Keep up the great work, even if it didn't make it's way to the mag, maybe they have something better for you around the corner. Hayley x

  6. I found my way here from Pinterest . Congrats on the Redbook interest. 'You'll get'em next time, tiger!" You are ├╝ber talented. I understand the need for validation. It's nice to know all the work you are putting into something is getting noticed. Don't let yourself get so caught up in how many comments you are getting or how many times you've been published. stay true to yourself and what works for you and your family. remember..If it's not fun, it's not worth it. I love what I see on your blog and I'm sure you will be asked to be published in the future. love your projects, they are so inspiring. Hang in there!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Shari! You made my day! :)

  7. I work in Public Relations so I completely understand how frustrating it is to not have an article or feature come to fruition. I have found though, that often times jut getting your foot in the door at a publication can lead to great things in the future. Maybe they will use it for a future issue, maybe someone in the offices will take notice and use it for an entirely different publication, or by just having your jpeg floating around, you'll get more customers. No matter what, this is a huge accomplishment - you got someone's (someone important) attention - and you should be very proud.

    I completely agree with you about blogging can sometimes be a burden. I try to make it easy on myself and write several posts at once when I feel inspired (maybe twice a week or less) and save them for those rainy days when I don't feel like sitting down and sharing. When I relaunched my blog I made a promise to never write without real inspiration, otherwise it's boring for you and your readers. I recently started following your blog and I think what you've shared has been very helpful and inspiring - so what if it's not daily or even weekly posts, at least what you're sharing is good content and real.

    Speaking of which, I absolutely love your labels and all of your home makeover posts! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for your insight. All so very true and I am hopeful that this is only the beginning! And agreed- I want to write thoughtful, meaningful posts and at this point, that certainly won't be daily. I like the idea of writing a few posts at a time. There are definitely moments where I have inspiration beyond just one post, so good to have some rainy day options!

      Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to checking out your blog!

  8. Blogging is hard, I started when my third baby was 2 months old and I thought I'd go out of my mind with boredom, just nursing on the couch all day. Oops, she isn't so boring at 8 months! I try to photograph as I get things done, then about once a week I sit down to edit photos and write posts, then I schedule them. That way I'm not freaking out on a Tuesday night that I don't have anything for the next day.



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