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BIG changes are coming to the blog this year!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for weeks. I wanted to wait until I had everything settled in my mind and heart and that my team had given me the a-okay to move forward with this.

Some of you have been worried as I’ve mentioned the “big changes” that I was going to stop blogging.

Well, I’ve got some good news for you: I’m not quitting blogging. On the contrary, I’m actually starting three new blogs this year! 🙂

Yes, I promise I haven’t lost my mind. Let me explain… 🙂

When I started MoneySavingMom.com, I had every intention of having it be a side thing that I did in addition to other blogs and online things. However, I never expected that it would blow up like it did and become our family’s full-time income.

Within two years, I had shut down all of my other online things and blogs (yes, I used to have two other blogs), because MSM was requiring every single bit of time I had to give it.

That worked well for a while. I was in a season of change personally and focusing on just talking about saving money online gave me space to step back and process other beliefs and convictions that I had once held and had blogged about (those of you who read my earlier blogs know what I’m talking about!!).

I needed to be in a quiet season, where I inwardly processed instead of sharing what I was thinking through and pondering with all the folks on the internet. 🙂

But after about two years of that quiet season, I had various things I wanted to write about that weren’t related to saving money. Since MoneySavingMom.com was my only online platform, I shared some of those things here.

Over time, as I had more and more things I wanted to write on, this blog became more of a scattered, random conglomeration of my personal thoughts and passions and interests. And it strayed from the original purpose of helping people save money.

You all have been along for the wild ride. And you’ve been gracious and kind. You’ve rarely complained, but I know that it’s been confusing to some people.

I know many people have wondered: Why is a blog called MoneySavingMom.com talking about things that have nothing to do with saving money? 

I was kind of confused about this, too. 😉

On the one hand, I know I can’t confine myself to just writing about money topics. I would get bored very quickly with that. But on the other hand, it’s important that I define what this blog is about — and that people know what they can expect when they come here.

However, if I re-focus this blog back to its original purpose and only share deals, freebies, and money-saving tips and advice, what on earth am I going to do with all the other topics I’m passionate about and want to write about???

These are the things I’ve been thinking through, pondering, asking people for counsel on, and praying about for many months. Actually, it was most of 2016!

I’d come up with ideas and what I thought would be a solution, but then I’d quickly realize that it just wouldn’t work longterm. So then I’d start over again.

It took many rounds of ideas and much contemplation before I finally landed on clarity. And here’s what that clarity was…

What’s Changing in 2017

1. It’s time to re-focus MoneySavingMom.com back to its original purpose.

Starting today, this blog will only be a place where I’ll be sharing things related to saving money/earning a little side income: great deals, freebies, money-saving tips, free ebooks, frugal living inspiration, money-saving recipes, ways to earn a little side income, grocery shopping trips, frugal family fun, and much more.

I plan to share at least 2-3 posts of my own here each week, plus feature a few guest posts. If you are interested in contributing a guest post, you can read our guidelines here and submit your post here.

The only non-money-saving posts will be my Sunday Peek Into My Life posts. I thought it’d be fun to include those to change things up a little and for me to have one place per week to share a little of what is inspiring me, what I’m reading, links I’ve loved, pictures from our week, etc.

I’m also bringing back the daily LIVE show on Facebook. I’ll be going live every weekday morning between 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. CT. On this show, it will be a place for us to hang out and talk about great deals, for me to share money-saving tips, for me to answer a few of your questions live, and to just share daily inspiration with you. It will be like having our morning coffee together every morning… except I don’t drink coffee anymore! 🙂

Want to know my favorite deals every day? Follow my Deals Only Instagram account that I personally curate and post to each day.

2. It’s also time to give myself permission to start some new blogs.

After much thought and counsel and contemplation (and making sure that I’m not biting off more than I can chew!), I’m ready to let you know that I’m launching two new blogs in 2017!!

These are blogs that are on the topics I’m most passionate about and are ones that you request I write on the most:

YourBloggingMentor.com will be a blog dedicated to inspiring and educating beginning and intermediate bloggers find their voice, increase their income, and broaden their impact.

CrystalPaine.com will be my very personal blog filled with practical advice for the everyday woman on topics of faith, family, fitness, and fashion.

Each of these blogs will just have one post per week, mostly written by me. I’m excited about the opportunity to offer specific niche blogs so that you can subscribe to the topic(s) that most interest you and don’t have to come here to wade through lots of content that isn’t related to you or helpful to you. I’m also excited to have a place where posts that I put a lot of time and effort into don’t get quickly bumped down by new deal posts.

Note: The blogs aren’t live yet, so in the mean time, while we’re working behind the scenes to get these blogs set up, if you want to get my weekly personal email newsletter, sign up here. You can also follow me on my personal Instagram account or subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

We’ll be sure to let you know just as soon as these blogs are up and running. Our goal is that they will be live by the end of March! I’m SO excited and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Thank you, again, for being with me on this journey. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. It’s my heart’s desire and goal that by making these changes, it will allow me to serve you in a more organized, streamlined, and helpful manner!

photo credit

A Peek into My Life This Week (new feature!)

Welcome to a brand-new feature I’ll be running here every Sunday called a A Peek Into My Life This Week.

Starting today, the rest of the content on the blog throughout the week is now going to be focused on where to find great deals, money-saving tips, and content that has a frugal focus (look for my post tomorrow where I share all the details on the big changes that are coming for me as a blogger in 2017), this weekly post will be our place to just chat and for me to share things I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

So many of you have asked for me to share these things on a regular basis and I thought this would be a fun way for me to do this every week in one place. Plus, it will be fun for me to keep track of these types of things for myself, too. 🙂

What I’m Reading

This week, I finished reading Looking for Lovely. There wasn’t anything earth-shattering in it, but I enjoyed it and it inspired me in my Year of Yes.

This week, I’m reading books from my shelf from the four different categories I chose for 2017: Candles in the Dark (an old Christian reprint), A Portrait of Emily Price (a story-driven book), A Trip Around the Sun, and The Year of Yes (a book on life improvement).

I’m hoping to finish both The Year of Yes and A Portrait of Emily Price this week. I’ll let you know how that goes next week! {See my Reading Goals for 2017 if you missed them yesterday.}

What I’m Listening To

I love to listen to music while I’m working on the computer. But I’m picky about what music I listen to while working because I can get easily distracted by music and instead of it enhancing my productivity, I’m so into the music and the lyrics that I forget I’m supposed to be writing or answering emails or working altogether!

I found this playlist on YouTube this week and I’ve loved using it as background music while working. There are only a few songs on it that I don’t really like — which is saying a lot because I typically like about 15% of songs in playlists I find! 😉

Do you listen to music while working? Do you have any recommendations for me? I’d love to know because I’m always looking for new playlists to try out!

What I’m Watching

Jesse and I are slowly working through Season 2 of Poldark. While there are a few edge-y parts of the show, we overall really love it. It’s engaging, interesting, and we love the depth of the character development.

We also watched The Secret Life of Pets for family movie night this week. I’d give it a meh rating. Not great, not bad.

{Any family movie recommendations for us? We’re always looking for new ones. Or, any other shows you’ve loved that you think Jesse and I would love, too?}

What I’m Working On

I’ve not been a Planner Girl for a long time because I’ve fallen in love with Google Calendar. However, when I saw Beth Anne’s beautiful planner, I knew I wanted to support her Kickstarter and also try to experiment with becoming a Planner Girl again. I honestly think there’s a good chance I’m going to really, really love using a planner again. (See lots of pictures of the inside of my planner here.)

I can already see the benefits of sitting down and really mapping out the week. I’m still using Google Calendar for business stuff and my editorial calendar, etc. but I think having a place to plan goals for the week and write down successes and blessings and projects is going to be a really valuable exercise for my life overall.

Plus, I LOVE the feature to track habits!

What I’m Pondering

I posted the above picture on Instagram last night and said:

What are you filling your mind with? Are you letting it be filled with negativity, with worry, and/or with made up stories about situations based upon what something might “seem” instead of going to the source and finding out the truth?

Or, are you choosing to believe the best, focus on uplifting and positive things, and cultivate a grateful spirit?
You get to choose what you fill your mind with and what you let stay there. Choose wisely!

What you think about dictates how you live.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, working on, and/or pondering? I’d love to hear!

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