The Year of Slow Blogging

The Year of Slow Blogging

Hello everyone,

I’ve been quiet recently, but I’m still here. Catching up after the holidays and the winter school break was like shoveling snow during a storm, and then Diana got sick with bronchiolitis.


Thankfully she’s better now, but then — like you too, probably — we got a bunch of real snow. We live near a great sledding hill, so snow days are when I make huge batches of hot chocolate and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Just as I cleared out my email inbox, my contractor called. Which means that we have embarked on our last big house project — renovating the attic into bedroom space for our oldest daughters.


Even as we were wrapping up 2013, I knew that things would have to be different this year with Frugal Mama. Of course a baby would change our lives forever, and especially during the intense first year. Some babies actually sleep through the night at Diana’s age (five months), but we’ve never had one of those.


That’s O.K. because we are in love, and we get unlimited access to the baby smell, adorable noises, funny facial expressions, and lots of chubby smiles. My daughters and I laugh because we even swoon over her blinks. She is simply sent from heaven.


Still I want to do it all. Stuff like running an organized household, making lunches and dinners everyday, and giving everyone the love and attention they need. We also need to finish fixing up our house, which is 85% done (I can’t wait to show you pictures). Being a perfectionist, I don’t lower my standards very easily. But I am open to slowing down.

So that was the solution: write less, but keep writing. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom, Aristotle says, and one thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I need structure to accomplish things. So I’m going to publish on the 15th of every month, and here’s something else new: I probably won’t be so religious about focusing on thrift.


Saving money is now just one of our goals, not the overarching one that used to color every decision we made. Being thoughtful about how we spend our time, our energy, and our money is still very much how we live. But since I no longer feel compelled to compete in the field of personal finance blogs, I have more freedom in what I write about.

I’ll still write about home and food and family and making things, but the posts will be a little more personal. There might be less emphasis on tips and more on insights.  But definitely some of both.


Ever since I decided to stop trying to squeeze money out of writing, I knew this blog would be more of a hobby; my main job is to take care of the family and house and doing what I could to conserve and maximize our money. And that change in my ambitions will be reflected in this new iteration of Frugal Mama.

It’s like the blog is going from a kind of department store to a boutique. A little more individual, quirky, intimate.


This change also means that it’ll just be me, the boutique owner, behind the counter. For the past year and a half, I’ve been lucky to have six contributors on board. Each of them — Jen, Karen, Rayna, Samantha, Sara, and Suz — has brought different perspectives and new ideas to the blog, and it has grown as a result.

But now that I am taking Frugal Mama in a more personal direction, and slowing down the publishing schedule, it made sense for me to take the blog back into my own hands.

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I’ve toyed with changing the name of the site, but for now, I think I’ll stick with it and see how things unfold. I’m not sure where this writing will lead, but as Diana has taught us, sometimes you just have to let life surprise and delight you.

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  • Rachel March 11, 2014, 10:07 am

    Wonderful update, Amy. Looking forward to more in you year of slow blogging.
    P.S. The house already looks wonderful!!

    • Amy March 11, 2014, 10:22 am

      Hey Rachel,

      It’s great to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by, and for the nice comment about our house. We’re having fun with it.


  • Leslie February 20, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Your plan sounds wonderful! Looking forward to the boutique flavor of your blog, and love hearing about sweet Diana, and the joy she has brought!

    • Amy February 20, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Hi Leslie,

      And it’s wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for sharing in our joy,

  • Christy February 16, 2014, 10:08 pm

    So glad to hear things are going well for you, (personally!) :). And looking forward to hearing more from you! I just adore you and your family. Best wishes!

    • Amy March 11, 2014, 11:23 pm

      Hi Christy,

      Thank you for such a sweet note! It’s great to hear from you.


  • Nina February 7, 2014, 8:48 am

    I have had to do the same with my own blog schedule. I’d probably have more readers and more pennies (lol!) if I posted more frequently, but then it takes away the joy of writing and it stresses me out.

    I do still write every day but post in a schedule that’s a good fit for my life. I’ve got a preschooler and baby twins—I don’t want to take anything away from them!

    • Amy March 11, 2014, 11:25 pm

      Hi Nina,

      Glad to hear from someone else who has scaled back. I like that you still have the discipline to write every day. That will pay off.

      All the best,

  • Gayle February 3, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Love the new direction. I will be reading!!

  • Vanessa February 2, 2014, 11:10 pm

    I think I might be a first time commenter… :)
    I discovered your blog not quite a year ago. I desire to live more simply, and your blog has offered so much wonderful, helpful information. It’s all new to me, so I like delving into your past posts and learning something new.

    Personally, I am excited when I see you have a new post. It means it is something worth reading – since you took the time and effort to publish it. I prefer quality over quantity. And just because someone publishes something every day/week/whatever, that doesn’t make what they have to say necessarily interesting or thought provoking or helpful.

    I went and read your linked post about how you stopped trying to monetize your blog, and so many points in your post resonated with me. Not on a blog perspective (I have all of 18 followers! Ha) but in a “where am I putting my energy?” type of way. Do I care if the house is immaculate and no one sees a dirty dish in my sink, or do I want to be the mom who plays Barbies with my kids when they ask? It’s a hard balance to achieve somedays, and I am a work in progress. But thank you very much for the reminder. And best of luck in this new year with your new direction for the blog!

    • Amy February 3, 2014, 2:00 pm

      Dear Vanessa,

      It’s so great to hear from you, and to hear your thoughts about my blog and how you are creating your life.

      I agree that finding that balance is tough — especially when a job is also a necessary source of income. Balancing passions with the everyday work of life can also be tricky.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thinking with me. I’m glad to know you are along for the ride.

      Take care,

  • Rayna February 1, 2014, 6:42 am

    This is a lovely, heartfelt post that shows you’re a woman with her priorities in all the right places! Those darling children are lucky to have you as their mama. I’m forever thankful for the opportunity to contribute and so excited for Frugal Mama’s next stage! Go, Amy!

    • Amy February 1, 2014, 9:27 pm

      And I am grateful to you, Rayna. Thanks for your calm reassurance, and for being there as a writer and confidante.


  • Kité January 31, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Dear Amy,

    I am happy and excited for you.
    A personal and intimate blog is more appealing to me, as for the others as well, that’s for sure.
    Looking forward to your future posts (with plenty of photos, please).
    You’re a gifted writer and I know wherever you want to take Frugal Mama it will be a success.

    In bocca al lupo! ;)

    • Amy February 1, 2014, 9:25 pm

      Dear Kite’,

      I’m glad to hear that this type of blog is appealing. It’s not as marketable, but that’s what I’m letting go of now anyway.

      Thank you for your kind words,

  • Emily January 31, 2014, 11:54 am

    I’m expecting my first baby and in the midst of preparation, I recently stumbled across your blog. Although I’m a newish reader, I appreciate your insight and candor regarding your choices and how your decisions align with your life’s current stage. I look forward to continuing to read your monthly posts!

    • Amy February 1, 2014, 9:23 pm

      Dear Emily,

      It’s so nice to hear from a new reader. And super congratulations on your upcoming baby — I know how intense that nesting phase can be! I know you’ll have even more fun once the baby is born.

      Hope to hear from you again when you have the time,

  • Melissa January 31, 2014, 10:45 am

    somehow you DO manage to do it all and make it seem graceful and easy. Your photos and stories are so touching and beautiful. Very lovely.
    I think you make just the right tone of pointers and sharing life and thoughts.

    • Amy February 1, 2014, 9:22 pm

      Yes, it somehow always manages to get done, sooner or later, right? Thank you for your steady encouragement, Melissa.


  • Nancy Feyen January 31, 2014, 10:21 am

    Dear Amy, I have always enjoyed reading what you write. I loved the more personal blog you wrote before you ever became Frugal Mama. I love your photographs and the tales about your home and family. Your writing has improved over the years, gotten tighter, more professional. But every now and then, we need a change. So my compliments and thank you for not quitting.

    • Amy January 31, 2014, 10:43 am

      Dear Nancy,

      It’s so great to have your encouragement, as a fellow writer and friend. I hope to get back to a little bit more of that poetic writing that I was doing in New York (the personal blog, Glitter and Grime). Frugal Mama has been an adventurous professional endeavor, and I took it as far as I wanted to go. We’ll see what’s next.

      Thank you for supporting me,

  • Sara January 30, 2014, 10:49 pm

    Cute baby and kids!

  • Melissa January 30, 2014, 10:34 pm

    What a doll! I so enjoy reading your posts, keep them coming even if infrequent. You continue to motivate me with the home improvement projects! Love your simple, classy, and clean designs:) stay warm!

    • Melissa January 30, 2014, 10:35 pm

      And yes, I think your newest addition looks just like you!!!

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 10:43 pm

      Hey Melissa,

      I’m glad that I’m not boring people (or at least you) with all the home stuff. I’m a little obsessed right now, but it’s fun. And I know it’s a phase. (I’m definitely not a serial decorator.)

      Take care,

  • Beth Waters January 30, 2014, 10:33 pm

    You captured the rhythm, highs and slows of parenting, with this note. Thank you for continuing. I remain a fan.

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 10:41 pm

      Hey Beth! So good to hear from you again. It’s been a long time. Are you still in New York? I love “highs and slows.”

      Wishing you well,

  • Daisy January 30, 2014, 10:01 pm

    Hi Amy, it is lovely to see a post from you and see some pics of Diana! She is a beautiful little girl, she looks a lot like you. I also love the pics of the snow. It does not snow where I live and, being in Australia, it is summertime now. We are sweating through some very hot weather at the moment. It must be difficult to keep everyone warm and dry with all that snow.

    I’m looking forward to reading your posts on the 15th every month. I’m really looking forward to seeing your completed renovations. Our renovations are not finished. My husband and I are not perfectionists and kind of give up when we are 85% done. Maybe we need some structure and goals too.

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 10:13 pm

      Likewise, Daisy — it’s lovely to see a comment from you.

      So really, never any snow? Hot weather sounds pretty awesome right now, sweat and all.

      I know what you mean about renovating — it’s totally tempting to stop at 85%. I know if I don’t push myself, I’ll find myself 10 years later with the same unvarnished threshold, lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, and “temporary” shades still on the windows.

      It’s easy to get stuff done, I find, when the contractors are there and basically they’re driving the train. It’s after they leave that things can languish. Here’s a productivity technique I might try (since my house to-do list is 9 pages long!):

      Wishing you luck in your work too,

      • Daisy January 31, 2014, 5:18 am

        Nope, no snow ever. We have a very hot weekend coming up, around 106 to 109 degrees.

        Thanks for the productivity tip. I have lots of jobs that are perfect for chipping away at slowly. The main thing left over from our reno is painting. If I just set aside a couple of hours each weekend, I’m sure I could cross that one off the list.

        • Amy January 31, 2014, 10:15 am

          Agreed. Sometimes things get done faster when they’re done slowly. In the sense that big projects are daunting, but not if you just do 15 minutes or one task a day.

          Painting will totally transform your house, I bet!

  • Meagan Francis January 30, 2014, 9:21 pm

    I love thinking of your blog as a boutique!! Once a day or once a month, I’ll be reading. Congrats on finding a rhythm that works for you.

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 9:27 pm

      Thank you, dear Meagan. It’s an honor to count you among my readers.

    • Juanita January 31, 2014, 9:33 am

      Meagan says it well…it is refreshing to hear…

      • Amy January 31, 2014, 10:13 am

        Thank you, Juanita.


  • Jeannette Rachford January 30, 2014, 7:32 pm

    Amy, so glad to see you back! And congratulations on the new baby! She looks adorable! I sure do miss seeing your mom and dad every day at the Post Office and seeing your children pop in every so often. I look forward to seeing your little tidbits of saving wisdom and the adventures your family experience. Love seeing the garden and other picture you share. Good luck with all you do!

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 8:48 pm

      And we miss seeing you too, Jeannette! But it’s so nice to hear from you here. Thank you for popping in and saying hello. I’ll be thinking of you as I sit down to write (and when we rev up the garden again).

      Take care,

  • Clare January 30, 2014, 7:07 pm

    Amy, your family look adorable. I am so glad Diana’s arrival has been such a blessing for your family. I, for one, am looking forward to your monthly insights and your new ’boutique’ vibe. Change and new directions always make life more interesting (and more often than not, surprising and delightful too :) )

    • Amy January 30, 2014, 8:46 pm

      You’re so sweet, Clare. I’m glad you are into the new boutique idea. And you’re right: change does make life more interesting. I hope it’s as surprising and delightful as you predict. :-)