At the beginning of last year (how is 2018 already last year?) I shared a “The Best of Honey & Pine in 2017” post and was surprised by the traffic it received. So, I selfishly decided to do it again this year. I’ve been working hard over the last few months to increase traffic to my blog because traffic = page views and page views = ad revenue and sponsorships which help me keep this blog running. I hate feeling like I’m chasing dollars but here I am.

I have a full-time career outside of Honey & Pine Co and I love what I do. My blog isn’t a full-time job but it is a full-time hobby that demands the investment of a lot of attention and time, as well as dollars. In 2018 I finally invested in a DSLR camera to help with the photography needs of running a blog. I bought a Canon Rebel T6i and I love it so much. There is so much to learn about using a camera and staging photography but I feel like I improved a lot last year which is encouraging. I also bought a portable softbox (only $40!) off of Amazon so I can take my photos at night after work. My biggest struggle with photography was always lighting since I often don’t get home from work until after 6:30pm and by then the bright daylight I need for photos is gone. My softbox helps me take pictures on my schedule which, along with my camera, were investments that have definitely paid off.

I made some changes to my focus and content in 2018 as well. If you have read here for any length of time you probably noticed. For my own mental health I had to stop focusing on topics like our infertility struggle, places we used to live, and how much of my life has changed. Those things kept dragging me down and leading me into depression which was breaking me apart. Instead, I worked with a therapist and I learned how to shift my mindset and start focusing on the family I do have, the places we are going to go, and the contentment I have in my life at this moment. At this moment or “ATM” became my motto and it became what I allowed to lead me.

Any time I felt anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed I’d ask myself, “ATM, what is a blessing in my life?” or “ATM, what can I do to bring myself joy?”. I taught myself to focus on the joy I get from my life with my husband or by spending time with my dogs. I reminded myself how much I love traveling and what pleasure I get from exploring new places. I forced myself to take road trips (even just for one day) and to cherish each day with my pups, even when they are being unruly for photo sessions. I had to stop talking so much about the sad things and learn to embrace life “ATM” and move forward. That’s why at the end of 2018 I shifted Honey & Pine Co to being a lifestyle blog about “life and travel…with dogs.”

That shift was definitely noticed in my content and my traffic as well as in my top posts of 2018. There’s less about family and infertility and more about books, faith, travel, and dogs.

If you missed them, now’s your chance to go back and catch up!

The Best of 2018

In 2019, we are planning to travel quite a bit more and do more exploring around Missouri so I’m excited to bring those posts to you guys and to our IG. Missouri is known as “The Cave State” and has over 6,400 caves and I want to check some of them out in the new year. We also have great national parks, waterfalls, and mountains so we’re going to pack up and get out there more.

This year I also want to do more at home when it comes to making new meals and decorating our home. I reignited my love of cooking in 2018 (check our Food & Drink category for the latest recipes) and I feel like in my 2018 depression I let my home go. There is so much I want to do around here and I’m hoping that I can finally get it in gear in the new year. Happy 2019! May it bring with it good friends, great memories, and new experiences.