I started Dainty Mom with a recipe post on a summer salad and fish fillets.
Here’s a photo of that first post:
I began blogging for no particular reason or goal. It was honestly because I wanted to give it a shot. I knew of one blog only back then — Simple Mom (now The Art of Simple) — and I loved the idea of being able to share things I was experiencing with the “cosmic void” out there. (Yes, that was another You’ve Got Mail reference).
Since I published that first post in March of 2010, things evolved quickly for me as a blogger. First, I went from being a freelance online writer to being the lead copywriter for an offshore company based in the U.S., all within, say, two months of resigning from my job as a tutorial center manager in a preschool. I learned on-the-job about how to write (and survive) online.
Then, I became “the mommy blogger” that everyone knew as “Dainty Mom.” It was amusing. I met many mommy friends (and lost a handful, too). I met advertisers and brand partners (and let go of several, too). I made many connections, gained new friends outside the mommy circle even, got invited to events, parties, press launches. I got hired to manage social media accounts, to do all sorts of sideline jobs that went with the whole shebang of being a “mommy blogger.”
Yes, it was fun. It was amusing. But honestly? Most of it was tiring, draining, and eventually, not enjoyable anymore.
But I held on to it, especially between 2011 and 2012.
Well, let’s just say I’m a hopeless romantic and optimist.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been craving for a change here on Dainty Mom, something more than just a new design. (I already did that last April, after taking the Decor8 Blogging Your Way Course!)
I needed an internal design change, as a blogger.
After four years of WAHMing, blogging, and trying on different “sweaters” as one of my dear mentors puts it, I’ve seen that there are certain happy aspects of this blogging journey. The biggest realization? It’s that I can’t do most of the things that go with popular blogging — the events, the perks, the goodies — unless they are connected to my core, to my intentions and calling.
I explored this idea for most of 2013, and so I scaled back: I reduced the number of posts I did and left room to share more of my personal reflections. I did far, far less in terms of sponsored posts than I did in previous years. I stopped taking guest posts from non-readers.
But despite those changes, the blog was still not where I wanted it to be. I wanted something more blissful, more personal, something more mission-bound. I wanted more clarity, more room to reflect, to grow, to cast visions and dream dreams.
Many of these things were put in the back burner, though, as there was still the reality of me being a co-breadwinner.
And, of course, I wanted more time to be with these two guys:
Then, I started down two very significant mentorships — Trailblazer by Jonathan Mead’s Paid to Exist, and With Intention with my mentor Jess Lively.
These deserve their own blog posts in the future, as I’m still applying many of the principles and learning points to what’s happening now. All I can say is slowly but surely, I started to feel more empowered and hopeful that things would work out for me. As I simplified things in 2013, I started to see something marvelously unfold.
I started to see that I could find that bliss, a place that married my joys: faith, marriage, motherhood, home, blogging, and work.
I was determined to do a purposeful study of these things, and somehow see if I could make them work together.
In the last, say, four or five months of 2013, I started to map out how I wanted 2014 to look. After my mentorship with Jess, in particular, something in me clicked.
In some of my Instagrams and social media posts from the past year, you may have noticed my little hashtag, #makeitblissful. All along, it’s been a deliberate hint at the change that’s coming.
Part of that change included starting a series of workshops: (1) The WAHMderful Workshops for work-at-home moms, my joint venture with Manila Workshops, and (2) Dainty Mom Workshops, which mainly focus on blogging, creativity, and living blissfully.
Another part of that change involved saying goodbye to my online copywriting and social media job and starting out on my own for the first time as an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, my sideline “raket” of blog coaching became a full-time deal. I began working with a number of women — bloggers and business owners — through my small consulting business, Martine de Luna (martinedeluna.com), helping them to plan and launch beautiful blogs and online communities of their own, just as I’d done.
I even began working on a new design and vision for what I wanted to do in 2014:
Yes, ladies, bloggy belles and likely a handful of gentlemen: I’m changing more than my name in 2014.
I’m embracing the fact that there’s a growing community around the idea of bliss.
Some of you already knew about this months ago — thanks for being my soul whisperers, my cheerleaders. You know who you are (and soon, everyone will know, too!)
My personal blog entries on me, specifically, will be on my personal site, martinedeluna.com
I’m letting Dainty Mom and WAHMderful Life find a common home on the new Make it Blissful site.
I’ll be introducing you to contributors: inspiring, blissful women who’ve known me through this journey towards change and have supported me with their encouragement.
I’ll be releasing more great workshops in 2014 as well, some of which will be conducted in partnership with these creative women.
My word for the year — LOVE — has everything to do with the new changes that will be happening. I’m focusing on content that I (and my guest writers) will love writing and you, dear reader, will love reading.
To be clear, I will still have some sponsored content here and there — but it won’t be as often. In the past year, in particular, I have turned down several sponsored post opportunities. Many were just not a good, right fit for the bliss I wanted to achieve on the blog.
Make it Blissful won’t worry about all that too much. Yes, sponsored content will still have a place, but no longer a prominent one. Instead, I want to focus on “HE(ARTicles)”, articles with meaning, articles that are loaded with inspiring yet practical tips & tricks, that articulate real lessons and stories from daily living.
It’s wonderful. It’s also scary.
But, all this… it gives me peace. It has been so, so, so wonderful to conceive this not-so-new-but-still-new space. You’ll recognize many of the old articles, and you’ll welcome fresh new ones, too.
Is it all too much to take in, though? What do you think? Did I scare you? Did this excite you? I would very, very much appreciate it if you shared your thoughts in the comments.