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.
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.
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.
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.