I’ve Been Blogging for 10 Years

Source: background photo by Sagar Patil on Unsplash

As of March 2021, I’ve been blogging here at Pocketful of Joules for TEN YEARS.

My very first blog post was published on March 23, 2011. For the past decade, I’ve been blogging… and most of the time, I’ve been publishing 3 posts a week. I just checked my total post count, and I have published 1,404 posts. That’s a lot of words.

Over the past 10 years I’ve left jobs, found new ones, got pregnant, had a premature baby, went back and forth to the NICU, and suddenly now our kid is a 9-year-old. We bought a house, I decorated every room and then redecorated. I’ve done a ton of DIY projects and read a ton of books. My beloved dog died and we welcomed a new rescue dog to our home.

I’ve traveled to Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Orlando, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Williamsburg, Savannah, Ocean City, and even Vancouver. We have cruised to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Martin, San Juan, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Belize, Isla Roatan, and Freeport. We went to Kauai, Hawaii. We have visited Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Great Wolf Lodge, Dinosaurland, and Hersheypark.

All three of my siblings got married in a year, and I was in each of their weddings. And bridal showers. And bachelorette parties. I’ve worked my butt off to earn my master’s degree. I’ve dropped my kid off at his first day of school for kindergarten, and oversaw a year of online learning for 3rd grade due to a pandemic.

I’ve attended bogging conferences, won awards, and made friends. Some of which I’ve never actually met in person. I’ve lost friends too. Some abruptly and others just faded away over time. I’ve tried dozens of subscription boxes, taken hundreds of photos, and basically only have one pose.

And I’ve blogged about it all.

I have read every single of the 6,727 comments I have received and responded to the majority of them. I’ve had months where over 20,000 people visit my corner of the internet… and months where my visits topped out at 1,500.

I’ve thought about closing the doors on my blog time and time again. But each time, I decide to stick with it for a bit longer. Because at this point, looking back at my blog is like looking back at the last 10 years of my life.

If you’ve been a reader here for the last 10 years, or even the last 10 minutes. Thank you.

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A Night Away

Our first Drive-In!

Is everyone else feeling burnt out right now? I mean, it comes in waves doesn’t it? For a week or two, I’ll feel like I’m juggling everything fine. And then, with no warning at all, everything will collapse. Jack will throw an attitude that would make a teenager proud at his poor tutor. I’ll be ready to take someone’s head off for a perceived insult. Travis will turn into Grumpy McSleepypants.

BURNT OUT.

I’ve been feeling the burnout creeping up over the last couple weeks and decided that we all needed to get out of town. Literally. We needed to shake up our lives for just a weekend, but in a careful, COVID-specific kinda way.

I booked us a night at a hotel we like in Virginia. We’ve stayed at SpringHill Suites Ashburn Dulles North a few times before and appreciate that it is convenient, clean and the prices are very reasonable. The hotel has their COVID-safe practices right on their website with extra cleaning and suspended maid service during your stay. You must wear masks in all the common areas and there are plenty of restaurants nearby with take-out options and extra spread-out seating if you go indoors.

Our plan was to pack our most comfortable pajamas, compete with robes. We would get all snuggled up in a hotel room and watch television, play video games and just spend some time together as a family. Without real-world interruptions, chores, or the monotony of our own house.

The cherry on the top of the sundae was that the Alamo Drafthouse theater has a drive-in movie theater right across the street! We’ve never actually gone to a drive-in theater before, so we were super excited to try it out. We loaded up on snacks from the CVS and drove on over to watch the new Tom & Jerry movie. (Mini Review: the movie was… not great. However, Jack said he loved it!)

We also took some time to check out a couple car dealerships (I’m in the early shopping stages for a new SUV), got a burger at ROOTS 657 which has AMAZING burgers and fries, and even stopped off for homemade donuts from The Fractured Prune.

While the weekend certainly wasn’t perfect at all – there was rain on Sunday and grumpy attitudes when the movie was dragging on and on – but it was a nice change of atmosphere.

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Window Shopping

One good thing about spending so much time at home is that I don’t really have a need to buy things. There has been no special work event to dress up for, no jeans that have started falling apart from being worn so much and no vacation that needs a new swimsuit.

I mean, I still buy things… but the ‘reasons’ for buying things have been scarce. Now I pretty much just buy comfy sweaters and joggers for my work-from-home lewks.

So, I thought it would be fun to visit a bunch of my former favorite websites. I mean, they probably miss me by now!

Let’s pretend together and do a little window shopping…

What I would buy if I were going on vacation and wanted something pretty to wear to dinner:

Source: Anthropologie.com

Anthropologie Farm Rio Soleil Embroidered Maxi Dress, $218

Although I am just pretending, even in my pretend world I would need to wear a bra with this dress. Or a bikini top – even though I’m not at the point where I’d wear a bikini top in public, I feel like it could totally work under this sundress. Or a comfy exercise bra with a super strappy back would be fun too. This dress is so pretty and I love the little ruffles at the bottom and I’d totally feel like an absolute princess wearing this on a vacation date night. Oh and even ‘dream Joules’ would wait until this dress went on sale.

A new top that I would wear with jeans to go and spend the weekend at my besties house:

Source: Anthropologie.com

Anthropologie Tiger Love Graphic Sweatshirt, $78

I mean, come on… how cute is this sweatshirt?! It’s perfect for layering over a tee shirt to escape to my besties house for the weekend. It can go from antique stores, to thrift stores, out to drinks where we intend to just have a drink and an appetizer, but then end up closing the place down. I actually have a couple Good HYOUman sweatshirts that I’ve gotten off Poshmark and they are the perfect combo of slouchy and lightweight, so I’ll be keeping this one on my radar for any upcoming sales!

A swimsuit that looks adorable for jetting away to an AirB&B in Florida:

Source: BodenUSA.com

Boden Kefalonia Swimsuit in Fire Colourblock, $98

I love Boden swimsuits so much. Not only are they made super well, but they somehow design them to be sexy while still holding your butt in. This one with the colorblocking is so cool and effortless and while I wouldn’t typically go for red, I’m thinking that this would clash wonderfully with my orange hair. Especially when topped with a pair of distressed jean shorts on a walk to a private beach on a beautiful 85-degree sunny day. Sigh.

Shoes that are so cute that I’d want to leave the house to show them off:

Source: Modcloth.com

Modcloth True to Platform Leather Clog, $120

There is a woman I follow on Instagram and she wears the most gorgeous pair of Hasbeen Swedish clogs. I saw this mustard yellow pair on Modcloth and I can’t help but ignore the fact that I haven’t walked in heels for over a year. I mean, how CUTE would these looks with basically every dress, skirt or jeans ever made?! They are like literally walking on sunshine and I would need to retrain myself not to look like a baby deer trying to walk in stilts in order to wear them proudly.

It’s probably good that I’m stuck at home for awhile longer. Returning to real life is starting to look a little expensive!

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