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Change is Good.

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Welcome to the new and improved Baked Bree site. I’m beyond thrilled with how it turned out and I can’t thank Melissa and Erin enough for all of their hard work. I love how I give them a little input and they deliver something even better than I could have ever imagined. This is our 3rd time working together and even though I completely respect and admire their decision to close shop, the world will be missing an amazing design team.

I apologize for the delay, I had to fix some things on the back end (i.e. edit every single post, dig up a vertical image, resize it and upload it again. For 600+ posts). I felt that it was a better decision to delay launching then debuting this new space with wonky and weird things going on. It’s done and there are still a few little things to fix, but it is 95% there and I am thrilled with the end result.

So, this has been a long time coming. For the last year or so there has been a little voice in my head telling me that it is time to simplify. In all of the areas of my life – my home, our schedule, work, commitments, pretty much every aspect has been touched with an overwhelming need to make life just a little bit easier.

baked bree blog

As far as this space is concerned, I knew that it was time to make some changes.

First up, I removed all of the ads on this site. I use this site a lot, there are recipes on here that I make all the time and coming to my own website was frustrating. Ads would pop up, auto play, or were just plain distracting. I decided to take them all off and it really was a catalyst for me to fall in love with this space again. I turned away a considerable amount of passive income and while it hurt a little in the beginning, I know in my heart of hearts that it is the right decision for me.

I didn’t start blogging for financial gain. In fact, when I started, I didn’t even know that was possible. I start blogging because I wanted to share my recipes and stories with the people in my life.

As the blog began to grow, (I am forever grateful, and there is never a day that I am not humbled that anyone comes here at all) I felt an immense amount of pressure to be a certain way. I didn’t always feel authentic. I felt like I had to be perfect all the time. People were watching.

Guess what? I’m not perfect (not even close). And no one else is either.

baked bree recipe blog

I felt a responsibility to the people that were paying me to use my real estate. I felt like I had to portray myself in a favorable light at all times. I censored myself. A lot. I stayed clear of topics that might be considered controversial or edgy, and God forbid I use a bad word. (FYI – In my real life, I’ve been known to use an expletive every now and again.)

I also felt a responsibility to be everywhere all the time. Was I sharing enough on Facebook? Crap, I didn’t pin anything today. Is this an Instie-worthy setup? I spent more time concerned about my social media numbers and presence than I did about creating. Or interacting in a real, engaging, and authentic way. It was weird. I felt like I had to be “on” all the time. And back to the perfection thing, it had to look a certain way. I had to be a certain way.

When I took the ads off, I instantly felt more free. I know that a lot of my weirdness over ads is unique to me. And I do not question anyone’s choice to run ads, or begrudge the decision to do so in any way. (Although I do ask you to be a user of your own site every now and again and see how your readers interact with it. I’ve had to stop reading a few of my favorites because it is so frustrating, especially on mobile.) It was the right thing for me to do.

Note – I will still be doing sponsored posts, writing, and photography for other sites. (A girl has got to pay the bills somehow.) I am picking projects and clients that align closely with where I want to go. I am being far more intentional and am always thinking about how the content will benefit the reader, not necessarily my bank account.

Secondly, Baked Bree started strictly as a food blog. All recipes, all the time. There will always be recipes, and there will always be new recipes added for the lifetime of this blog, but I am more than just cookies and cupcakes. I have more to offer than that. I have more to share with you and I was beginning to feel pigeonholed.

I also feel there is a voice missing in the blogging world. There are lots of blogs out there that reach women in new motherhood (and there is such a need for that voice), but not a lot that talk about being in the thick of it.

The parts that aren’t as cute. (Let’s face it – 12 year olds don’t look as adorable in puppy costumes.)

Sleepless nights may be over, but the struggle changes from breastfeeding and strollers to worrying about your kid not hating you and being a good person and raising a functioning member of society. The parts that are harder to talk about it.

There is nothing that brings me more joy than my children. But this mothering gig is hard, and I make mistakes every single day (you should have been at dinner last night, my mistake was EPIC.)  And I can feel very alone. I’m ready to talk about it, and I hope that you will stick around to listen.

baked bree recipe blog

I’m staring down 40, have been married for 12 years, my children are on the cusp of being teens. I’m not the same person that started this blog in 2008.

I have made a lot of changes in my life that have brought me to a really good place. One where I feel light (in the figurative sense, not necessarily the literal one), and I am truly happy. I used to write about this on my personal website, but all of the content from breehester.com will be transfered here. One, for simplicity sake (it is hard to manage multiple sites) and two, because now it feels right to share the more personal stuff with you too.

A few little housekeeping changes. There are a lot of things that I make that I want to share but I don’t because maybe the pictures weren’t exactly what I wanted them to be, or I didn’t take step-by-step photos as I was cooking. That’s dumb. You’re missing out on some great stuff because I need to get over myself. So there might be some iPhone photos instead of fancy DSLR ones, or just a picture or two. I’m okay with that. Grace, not perfection, right?

I understand that a lot of you come here strictly to see what I am cooking and like I said before I’m blown away with gratitude for that. I also know that the changes that are coming might not interest you anymore. I want you to know that I am forever grateful that you came here at all to spend time with me. I wish you nothing but love and happiness if it no longer interests you. It will not hurt my feelings if you unsubscribe or unfollow me, I value your time above all else and sincerely want you to spend it where it will serve you best.

I am truly inspired and feel better about my little corner of the Internet than I have in a very long time. I’m excited about what it is to come. And I couldn’t be any happier that you are with me. 

xoxo,

Bree

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  1. sue

    November 5th, 2015 at 8:07 am

    I have enjoyed your blog for years , and look forward to the new changes. I feel like you are a friend to me . Glad you are following your heart

  2. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Thank you Sue, thanks for the love. 🙂

  3. Nancy

    November 5th, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Good for you! It’s your blog and YOU get to do what you want! I for one don’t really read any specific blogs only for recipes or only for fashion or only for motherhood. I enjoy reading blogs that have content that is interesting to me in all aspects and if someone posts something on their very own blog that doesn’t seem that interesting to me that day-well-so what! It is entertainment, informative and fun for me to read about what other people do, that’s why I read! So good for you-do what you like-that is what life is all about, isn’t it??!! 🙂

  4. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:41 am

    It is, thank you Nancy!

  5. Dianna

    November 5th, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Bree, I have been a long time reader (though, more recently, occasional visitor as life doesn’t allow for the luxury of blog reading at this time!), and I think that no matter what you do, this space will always be beautiful, inviting and great! Yours was one of the first blogs I ever read. It inspired me to start my own blog because you made it seem like such a cinch. (Ha! Now I know the truth, but I still love it.) It is brave of you to remove the ads and start fresh — we all need a little reboot every now and again. The changes that feel right in your heart are never wrong. Wishing you the best on your new, revamped space!

  6. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Awwwwww Dianna, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

  7. Krystal

    November 5th, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I love your new direction! I am a 42yr old mother of a 14yr old teenager ( ack! ) and 11yr old twins. Sometimes I feel a bit disconnected with the younger blogger crowd ( I am trying to hang on to my youth with all my might! )…..although I do enjoying capturing a peak into their lives as well 🙂 This will be a fun mix of real life and wonderful food. Have fun with it!

  8. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Same here, I can look at it with longing, and other times I am so over that stage that I giggle about it.

  9. Stacey Woods

    November 5th, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I just love you. For real. And I want to hear all that you share, because I love you for more than just your chili recipe and your gorgeous cupcakes, friend. You’re a GEM of a person and I’m so happy you’re sharing the rest of you here too!! Also? The new site is beautiful. xoxo

  10. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I love you too. I am so grateful that our paths crossed. <3

  11. Kelly

    November 5th, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Thank you so much for your honesty and staying real. I truly appreciate it more than you know. I have read your blog from the beginning and I love your voice and your story. Hugs and Blessings.

  12. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thank YOU Kelly. Thanks for sticking with me for this long. 🙂

  13. Theresa

    November 5th, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Hello Bree! Lovely images and words to convey the YOU that is eager to engage. Many of us are ahead of you (56, 5 kids ages 19-32, 2 married of whom one is anticipating a new little one next spring!) and have been helped by those ahead of us. It does take a village to raise a child/children and sometimes the moms need a village too.
    As for simplicity and authenticity, a line from Sabrina rather sums it up, ‘More isn’t always better, Linus. Sometimes it’s just more.’ (Great movie, well worth watching and filmed near your current home!)
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful moments with us!

  14. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I love that movie. Thank you Theresa!

  15. JulieD

    November 5th, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    It’s beautiful, Bree! I like what you have done with your ‘place’…and am so looking forward to joining you on your journey! I love what you said about not being the same person as the one who started this site in 2008…so crazy, I started my blog in 2009 and I feel the same way. We evolve and I love how your site has evolved. I love your photography and just you! <3 Keep on doing what you want to do and I'll be there to support you and follow along. xo

  16. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I am definitely not the same person I was in 2008. I have grown so much in so many different ways. I am so thankful for your support and encouragement, thank you. <3

  17. Jennifer

    November 5th, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Your recipes sucked me in – but I’m looking forward to coming back to this new and improved, less than perfect thing you have going on. It looks wonderful so far 🙂

  18. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Thank you Jennifer!

  19. Becky

    November 5th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I’m excited about this, Bree! I love your recipes, but I’m especially interested to read more about your mothering. My oldest is almost 10, so we are definitely reaching uncharted waters in our family. And, you’re right, there’s not nearly as much online about parenting “tweens” as there are about parenting the little ones. I’d love it, too, if you ever write about moving your kids, which I know you’ve done often. (Maybe you’ve written about it on your personal site and I didn’t see it.) We are moving in a few months and I’d love to read how to care for our children well in the midst of it!

  20. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I do have some posts about it here now. Search for moving. I also have some good practical moving tips. My biggest tip is to treat it like an adventure, play up the fun you are going to have. Also, your attitude is that attitude that the rest of your family is going to have. The moms steer the ship. Even if I am not thrilled about the move, I don’t let my kids see that. I want them to make up their own minds. And, just ride the waves. It’s stressful, but also some of the best times I’ve ever had with my family is in the middle of a move.

  21. Heidi @foodiecrush

    November 5th, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Kudos to you Bree for going with your heart, and with intention. I’ve been on the fence with advertising on my site too, and your revamp is a breath of fresh air and just might be the push I need to make some changes too. Love your thoughts on sharing more of your family, I’ll be here to see it and learn from you too. XO and congrats on moving onward and upward!

  22. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Thank you so much Heidi, it is so nice to have so much support. I was a little afraid that I would be shunned from the blogging community. You inspire me every single day and your encouragement truly means a lot to me. <3

  23. Michelle

    November 5th, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    THANK YOU!!! I love your blog and I love the new look – it is beautiful! I started reading more and coming to your website more about a year ago and the more real you seem to me, the more I enjoy reading. I love your recipes but I enjoy your photos and other posts also. Keep following your heart and you will be amazing! Thanks for such an honest post!

  24. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Thank you so much, I can’t even tell you how much this means to me.

  25. Toni

    November 6th, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Congratulations on all of the changes in your life. They all sound like good ones and for the right reasons. Hang in there, Mom. These next years aren’t the easiest but they can be great. And, the outcome is worth the work! Again, Congrats!

  26. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I hope so! This mothering thing is not always easy. 🙂

  27. Evana

    November 6th, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I love what you’ve done with your blog, Bree! It has always been an amazing space and i will definitely keep coming back! God bless you for the joy you bring your readers and the love you share with us!

  28. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Thank YOU Evana! I love doing it for you.

  29. Clair

    November 6th, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Goooooo Bree! I love that you always strive for excellence and also keep it real, just like a friend would. Congrats on your new space… and thank you for being brave and inspiring as you follow your heart and do what feels right for you. <3

  30. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Thank you Clair, I appreciate all of the support.

  31. Kristen

    November 6th, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I admire the heck out of this and you and all you stand for. So proud of you!

  32. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Awww, this made me tear up. Thank you Kristen, I really can’t tell you how large of a role you have played in my blogging life. You have always been so nice and encouraging and it means everything. Thank you.

  33. Emma

    November 6th, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Simply stunning ! Love the new site and I continue to look forward each week to your Friday newsletter, it’s the best one out there . So relatable ! Have a great weekend !

  34. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Thank you Emma, that is the nicest thing to hear. <3

  35. Chris Baker Cox

    November 6th, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your Friday “what caught my eye this week” email. I look forward to it every week. I particularly loved this one this week – I almost peed my pants. It’s nice to know that I am not alone. (https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/people-are-tweeting-their-most-awkward-moments-and-it-is-cri?utm_term=.oiKm3BnLL1&sub=4065672_7239727#.haVkQzPEEo) I could not stop laughing!! I can admit to doing a few of these!! So funny!! Happy Friday!

  36. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Same. Here. Needed a diaper. And I have done quite a few of those things myself.

  37. Trude

    November 6th, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    The new site looks gorgeous! Congrats! It’s a crazy amount of work you must have done. I switched mine from a ProPhoto to Squarespace this year and it was a challenge. And I hear you on the ads – it seems like quite a few bloggers (not just foodies) aren’t users of their own sites. Or if they are, they have way more patience than I do with video ads that crash my browser! Looking forward to the new content. 🙂

  38. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:28 am

    It was, but so worth it in the end. 🙂

  39. Pam S.

    November 6th, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I love your new website, Bree, and I look forward to all your future posts, food and otherwise. Yours was the first blog I started following because I loved the name “Baked Bree”. Don’t worry about the photos – I can tell by the recipe if it’s worth trying – years ago I read cookbooks for fun! Best of luck in all your future endeavors, Bree! I consider you a friend always.

  40. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Same here, I read them like novels. Thank you so much!

  41. Christine

    November 6th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    The new site is gorgeous. I’m glad you are doing what feels right for you (and your family). I don’t want to see perfection, I want to see the real you, because that’s why I like your site. As the mother of an 11 y.o. I look forward to you writing about parenting for that age group. And I hope you will keep up the weekly Happy Friday emails, I really look forward to them.

  42. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Thank you Christine, I really appreciate it. I LOVE writing my Friday emails and am so glad that you like them too.

  43. Kathy

    November 6th, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I agree with you about these ads. I have stopped reading blogs because of these annoying pop up ads and videos. Who wants to try to read a blog when an ad is appearing all the time. This is especially turns me off when I am using my phone and the ad takes over. I just give up and don’t read it. Keep up the great job and stay true to yourself

  44. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I understand that those ads pay people’s mortgages and for that, I will never belittle anyone for making the choice to have them. But for me, it was not the right one. Thanks for the support.

  45. Elizabeth

    November 6th, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Bree, you’ll be amazing! Keep it coming. Maybe your streamlined site will help me toss a bit of clutter around my house. And this having-an-almost-10-year-old thing? Weird and uncharted waters. Thanks for talking about older kids!

    Love that I still know someone from middle school!
    (less often Liz, formerly Diffenderfer)

  46. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Same here! I love that we have kept in touch via the blog-o-sphere. And yes, 10 years is a big deal. It was surprisingly emotional for me. But it also marked my favorite season of motherhood.

  47. Kathleen

    November 8th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Bree,
    When you are following your heart, and it’s full of love, joy, happiness, and shining so bright! Girlfriend you can’t go wrong. No way, no how! I call this GRACE Bree. Follow your vision of what your goals and dreams are! And always remember you are the navigator of your ship! Your in charge Bree! And your doing a perfect job at it …5 star!

  48. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:24 am

    So much love to you Kathleen, thank you. <3

  49. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    November 8th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head on how I’m feeling about the whole thing lately, too. How refreshing and brave of you to remove ads from your site and expand the topics to more of what you love. And it’s all laid out on a very gorgeous new site. Can’t wait to continue following your adventures! xo

  50. bakedbree

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:24 am

    thank you so much Stephanie, I really appreciate the support. It just felt right. I was ready for a change and once I made the decision, everything sort of clicked. I actually removed my ads in July and never looked back.

  51. Courtney

    November 9th, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I love the new look and I love that I found your site. Congrats!

  52. Christy Denney

    November 15th, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I love that you got rid of ads. That takes balls. Cake balls. Haha. I’ve always loved your site and admire you’re ability to simplify. That’s always my theme. Life first, blog second.

  53. bakedbree

    November 17th, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Hahaha! Thank you. I really appreciate you saying that. <3

  54. Aggie

    November 29th, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Change Is Good! Your space is beautiful and its so true about not being the same person who started this blog, I absolutely feel that way too. Your voice (the staring down 40, worrying about our kids liking us) is a voice I can relate to so much.
    Hope you and your fam had a great Thanksgiving! xo

  55. bakedbree

    December 1st, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Love you Agatha!

  56. Nicole Lindstrom

    December 6th, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Well said, well written, and well the truth. We are all so hard on ourselves on a daily basis, so why do we need to be so hard on ourselves in a space that is intended on being a creative outlet. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and by all means we could use a lot more grace in life. Congrats on your beautiful update.
    Sincerely,
    Nicole

  57. bakedbree

    December 7th, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you so much Nicole, that means a lot. I was scared to do it, but it has the been the best decision I’ve made in a long, long, time.

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