Today’s post is a bit different than any I’ve ever shared, but I’m joining Christy and Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane for their annual blog hop called A Day in the Life. They asked me to share a typical day in my blogger life and so that’s what I’m doing today.
Christy kicked off the tour, so if you’re coming from her post, a big welcome to you! I’m sure you enjoyed hearing about her blogging days.
Honestly, my day to day life is kind of boring! I hope this is a little bit interesting to you.
Maybe it will be a little insightful to you in how my life and business go hand in hand. After blogging 12 years now, I feel very blessed that I’m able to do something I love and to work at home too. It’s the best! The very best feeling in the world is to make a living doing what I love and sharing my life with all of you. I never dreamed this is where I would end up in my 60’s, but that is where God has lead and my life has evolved to. I do feel like the Lord has totally blessed my business and kept me in this arena even though there is so much talent out there and at times I wonder how l even fit into this online world, but I will continue as long as I feel useful and have things to share. I’ve been making a full time income on my blog for 9 years now and it’s hasn’t slowed down yet.
After working for 30 years in the Corporate world and having to get up early every day, I’ve really become a late sleeper and hardly ever get out of bed before 8 a.m. I’m usually awake before that, but can’t seem to get up and get going before 8 or so. Mark gets up at 5:30 a.m. each morning for work and sometimes I wake up and can’t go back to sleep, other mornings I roll over and keep snoozing. It’s nice to not have to jump out of bed early anymore! I love that part of my life and enjoy a leisurely morning most mornings. I try to get 8 hours sleep each night. Since I don’t have kids, my mornings are my own and I love sitting around in my pajamas getting the day started slowly.
My weekly routine is different every week, but is somewhat structured the same. If I don’t have to be anywhere early, I stay in my PJ’s until I get dressed and head out the door, whether to the gym or having lunch with my parents, running errands, or meeting a friend for lunch or going to an event.
I get up and start my morning with a devotional and Bible reading most mornings. I do miss here and there, but try to keep that a part of my day as a habit, as it feels very important to me to start my day off on the right foot. I love Streams in the Desert since I found it years ago and it always speaks a good word to me along with my Bible reading.
Next, I head downstairs and get coffee going. I’m the only coffee drinker in our family and I make a pot and drink it until it’s gone, which probably grosses some of you out, but reheating coffee doesn’t bother me. I use half and half along with Torani syrup for my coffee and it’s yummy with whole milk frothed on top and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I could probably find more healthy coffee additions, but this is what I do now and I only have one cup each morning. I only started drinking coffee after I turned 50 and discovered cappuccinos and lattes. And I got a little handheld frother (affiliate link) that gives me that fancy coffee feel.
I love breakfast and eat a good breakfast every morning. These Paleo banana pancakes are my fave and I make them at least 2 or 3 times a week. They are so easy and filling and keep me filled up for hours. Many days I skip lunch when I eat these. Fresh peaches are so good in summer months, but I use whatever I have, strawberries, blueberries and even pears.
I typically sit in the family room with my computer open, eating breakfast and drinking my coffee with the Today show in the background. I’ve been a Today show fan for years and it just feels comforting to have them banter in the background while I check the blog and emails for the morning.
I have a perfectly nice office, but prefer to move around the house with my laptop. I do edit my photos in my office on another laptop with Lightroom, but it just feels so confining to stay in there all day.
I usually spend about 2 hours in the morning making sure my current blog posts look good, social media goes out, as well as pinning to Pinterest when needed and I go through emails to see what came in overnight. I get way too lost in Facebook and Instagram sometimes and have to stay off those, because they suck me in too much! I do take time to reply back on Facebook questions, as well as Instagram during the day. That takes a lot of time too, but it’s important to stay in touch with my community of women who follow me.
I try to keep a handle on my email and at least go through and get rid of things that don’t interest me and concentrate on important emails that I need to answer. This can involve brands who reach out to me and want to work together, as well as emails from others that need attending.
Letting my email get out of control is not an option for me and that’s one thing I keep up with. I go through and mark many of them as “read” like sales emails from so many companies that send things to me. I might not be the most organized as far as how I run my blog, but keeping control of emails is something I do right!
Running a blog full time is no joke! It takes a lot of time and way more than most people realize. I’ve heard of some who spend 40 to 60 hours on their blogs. I don’t do that much, but it’s probably at least 30 to 40 hours most weeks to write blog posts and do social media. I could spend a lot more, but I choose not to. The thing with blogging is, it never gets caught up completely. I’m always thinking about the next week and what I will blog about and social media could be a full time job if I let it. I just choose to do the minimal and hope for the best. So far, so good!
I spend about 2 hours in the morning and maybe another 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon/evenings on my blog. I keep a real calendar and glance at it each week to see what’s coming up that week. That’s how I function best, to know what I have going on and a paper calendar allows me to see that immediately. I’m not super organized with blogging. I don’t keep constant lists or content calendars. I really do fly by the seat of my pants on this blogging thing and have been doing it that way since the beginning, so it works for me! I wish I was more organized as far as writing content and felt more in control of all of the things that happen in my blogging business, but I just take it as it comes.
I do all the social media I’m comfortable with and want to do and the rest I leave. I’m not a fanatic on analyzing all the numbers that are associated with my blog or digging deep into how things work. That’s just not my thing. I watch my numbers maybe on a monthly basis, at most. I have an ad network, AdThrive that I’ve been with for several years and log in to their Dashboard to see where my stats are for the month and how much money I’ve made for the month, but I don’t check it constantly. It is working for me all the time in the background 24/7 with ads that run on my blog and that’s very comforting to me.
I know, it’s not very business-like of me to not be more aggressive in how I do things, but it’s what works for me. My blog numbers are still performing for me all these years later, so I’m doing something right! I know I could be hustling and probably making even more money than I do, but honestly I feel so blessed to be where I am and I don’t want to hustle and work even harder. It’s great at my stage of life and age (62) to slow down a bit and not work so hard. I come up with blog ideas and most of them are what I’m doing in my life at the time. Whatever projects we are working on, that’s what I blog about. Real life too and family things.
I don’t do a lot of content creation to blog about. Usually it’s flowing out of my life and what I’m living during each week. That’s how I try to stay more authentic and personal with my blog and I love that it’s worked for me all these years. I do come up with decorating topics and seasonal ideas to share at times on the blog. I’m not a very good content creator, but my topics flow mostly out of my life and what’s going on at any given time. Some bloggers do it the other way around, but that’s not natural to me. I’m more of a blog about what I’m living blogger than a content creator who’s trying to figure out what are the most popular topics to write about that will bring people to my blog.
Of course, I do work with brands and get sponsors for projects, so those are part of what I blog about too. I love that I’ve developed very nice relationships with brands over the years and happy that they want to work with me too. It really helps us to get more done around our house, getting products from brands I love, using them in our house and sharing the outcome with all of you. That’s a huge perk from blogging and I’ve been very fortunate to work with so many great brands over my years of blogging.
Miss Holly needs letting out each morning, so that’s falls to me too and I let her out by 9 a.m. and get breakfast for her. She’s a sweet girl and we have bonded during our 2 years under the same roof.
She loves being on the deck and sitting in front of the fan every day and I try to get out there and spend time on the deck too, which she loves.
LATE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON
I work out 3 days a week at the gym, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, so that routine stays pretty much the same every week, although I miss here and there if my schedule is interrupted. You can see my gym workout here, I’ve shared it before, Staying Fit over 50. I’ve been working out since I was 25 so it’s been a huge part of my life and one that I plan to continue. It’s so important to keep moving as we get older and doing something physically most days helps a lot.
Mark and I have taken up bike riding and we both have nice cruiser bikes, which has been so much fun around our little town of Acworth. We’re having a blast seeing the side streets from bikes! I highly recommend biking if you’re a Baby Boomer like we are. Nothing takes me back to being a kid faster than being on a bike again. No mishaps so far! We typically ride early morning on weekends or later in the afternoon after Mark is home from work. I look forward to the cooler temps of Fall, we’ll really enjoy that crisp weather soon. We try to get out at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Every week, my sister and I have lunch with our parents. Mom used to cook for us, but we started bringing food in the last couple of years to give her a break. She still cooks all their meals and keeps things going for them both. They are 91 and 92 and still living independently, so we are available to help them out as needed. When dad was sick 2 years ago, it was so nice that I have a flexible schedule and could take days off as needed to be with him and mom. Since I work for myself, it’s such a great feeling to be able to set my schedule as I need to and want to. If I really don’t want to blog a week or more I have the freedom to do that and it wouldn’t kill my blog.
They look so forward to us coming over for lunch every week. It changes days depending on what our schedule is for the week and some weeks we have to miss, but this is a routine that many of you enjoy seeing. I share it on my Instagram every week and lunch with the parents always gets a lot of comments. I tell my parents they have so many fans out there!
I think they are starting to believe me. My mom told me last week that they were out to lunch with friends of theirs and a lady walked up to mom in the parking lot as they were leaving and said, I recognize you. I love Rhoda’s blog and love following along with what you’re doing. My parents are pretty recognizable and mom got a kick out of that. So if you see them out in public, please go and say hello. It won’t shock them anymore!
I cook at home at least 4 times a week (I try to anyway) and Mark gets in around 4:30 or so, which is nice. He works in Midtown and take the new express lane home and that helps a lot. He works for a major corporation and will be retiring in January, so we are counting the days until he is free from the burden of the Corporate world. I can’t wait for him to be home and enjoying retirement.
We plan to travel a whole lot more next year when that happens and it will give him a lot more time to work on some projects we’d like to get finished at our house. Travel is in both our blood and we can’t wait to see more of the USA and other countries as well.
I typically make things like this salad with goat cheese and fruit for summer meals. It’s too hot to cook these days, so I try to do lighter things in the summer. I don’t have a recipe for this one, but it’s just salad greens, with grilled chicken tenders, fresh peaches, blueberries, pecans and goat cheese. I use a balsamic vinaigrette as the dressing and it’s very tasty. Mark loves goat cheese, so this is a winner to him.
Another favorite meal that we both love is this Lemon Garlic Shrimp pasta that I’ve shared before. I modified the original recipe and added more things to it to suit us and it’s delicious. I make it pretty often these days.
After dinner during the week, we typically relax for a few hours, watch something on TV or Netflix and enjoy the evening together. We sometimes ride bikes a couple times in the evenings during the week and that’s fun too. We love our house and enjoy being at home together. Making improvements on this house has made it even better.
We head to bed between 10 and 10:30 during the week and try to stick with that routine. I’m always ready for bed by then anyway and falling asleep watching TV.
WORKING ON THE BLOG
I do work on my blog for several hours in the afternoon, sometimes into the evening if I’m finishing up a blog post for the next day and some on the weekends. If I’m in a blog hop or a seasonal tour, or have a big project reveal, I get out my big camera for those and do a photoshoot. Otherwise, I use my phone camera about 90% of the time for pics on my blog. I’ve gotten lazy about that, but really those pics are just fine. I edit them all in Lightroom and that helps too, so week to week, I’m thinking about what I’m going to post the next week, getting ready for a blog hop and decorating my house for the next season to photograph. I’ve got a Fall blog hop next week that I’ve already photographed. I have to think ahead for these things and plan out my schedule when something like that is on the calendar.
I have different events on my calendar that I participate in too, so I’m always looking ahead to see what’s coming up in the next week or so. I love having a flexible schedule and can plan around any events, take vacations, or spend time with my family as needed. Best situation ever at my stage of life! Having elderly parents to look out for has been a blessing with my current job flexibility that I would never have if I worked in the Corporate world in a 8 to 5 job.
The good thing is I can work on things, leave them and come back to them as needed. As I mentioned, I’m not overly stressed on getting things done and not always working harder to be something I’m not. I can’t keep up with all I see everyone else doing, especially on Instagram. There’s so much hustle going on out there in this online world and sometimes that is just too much for me to deal with.
The constant perfection that I see on Instagram and blogs is over the top these days. Everything now is magazine worthy. Every season is highly anticipated and hyped. Decorating/styling is over the top and constantly showing new things is the norm. So much different than where I started 12 years ago. I don’t go overboard on styling and photographing my house. I could definitely work harder than I do, but I think what I do is good enough. I just tend to do my own little thing and don’t worry too much about what is going on around me and it has worked for me all these years! I’m not knocking anyone who wants to hustle and work that hard, but I’m not willing to do it.
Once a week I do a fashion post. Mark helps me with my fashion shoots and takes great pics, which I’m so glad for his help. He does a wonderful job and so at least one day a week, I’m dressing up and taking a fashion pic. In our little town of Acworth, there are some great backdrops for photos.
So that’s a look at my day(s) and how I spend them with my blogging life. I hope you found it a little bit interesting, but really it’s quite mundane many days. I enjoyed sharing and can’t wait to see what my friends have to say about their days! It’s interesting to me to read about what other people do, but my days sound pretty boring to me!
I’m so grateful every day that I get to do this. I wake up and say Thank you, Lord! for my new day and the fact that I don’t have to get up, get dressed and go to an office every day. I did that routine for 30 years and I think it would kill me now! I’ve been out of the corporate world since 2007 when I started this blog and haven’t looked back since. It’s been an amazing journey and it’s possible because you dear friends keep coming by and reading what I have to say. Thank you so much for that! I don’t take it for granted and every year I think, maybe it will just stop one day and you’ll all lose interest. As long as Google stays around, they keep bringing me visits too and you all keep this blog going!
It’s truly a dream job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. So thank you again for all YOU do to help me stay in business!
Next on the tour is my sweet friend, Traci with Beneath My Heart. We have been friends in this blogging world for almost 10 years now and it’s been a great joy to have her as my real life friend too. Traci and her family have just moved from Kentucky to the Nashville, TN area (Brentwood to be exact) and they are in the process of fixing up a 1960’s or70’s ranch home. It’s going to be a huge Before and After project and Traci is sharing a new video every Friday called Notes from Home, so be sure and look for that and start from the beginning to see their new fixer upper journey.
I know you’ll enjoy seeing how my friends spend their days, so don’t miss out on any of the links below and come back tomorrow to visit the girls on Wednesday.
Be sure to visit all of this year’s series participants:
Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane | Rhoda at Southern Hospitality | Traci at Beneath My Heart
Amy at 11 Magnolia Lane | KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms | Chris at Just a Girl
Rhoda, what a fun glimpse into your life! Way to go on being committed to working out (I am so bad about that) and riding your bike with Mark for fun. I also love that your success is always on your own terms and gives you the time to do exactly what you want, like help out your parents and sleeping in a bit (I’m not a morning person, either, so I totally get that). Thanks so very much for joining us for the series and please give Holly a pet for me!
Francis Moore says
I enjoyed reading about your present life. I remember finding your blog years ago when you had some major changes in your life and moved in with your parents. You are blessed to have your parents still with you and a new life with Mark. Enjoy.
Thank you, Francis, yes that was a hard time, but life is so good now and I’m so happy and content. God has truly blessed me!
Barbara C. says
This was a fun read, Rhoda. I appreciate what you said about the pressures of keeping up with the blog world. As a reader, I sometimes feel the pressure of having everything perfect, and just have to pull back and be thankful for what I have created. You are in a good place and I think your approach is healthy. ~ Barbara C.
Thank you, Barbara, that tension and pull is a real thing in this online world and I have to put it all in perspective and trying to keep up with it all is a sure way to burn out, so I’ve learned over the years how to manage those feelings.
Barbara C. says
By the way, Rhoda; how do you manage to sleep 8 hours a night? Would love that!
Hey, Barbara, I try to sleep 8 hours, but sometimes my body doesn’t cooperate. Some nights I sleep great and don’t wake up. Others, I wake up several times a night. So it’s back and forth and not always easy sleeping. I try to give myself plenty of time to sleep though! I love easing my way into morning, instead of jumping up before the sun comes up. Im more of a sunset person than sunrise person.
Susan S. says
I LOVED this blog post. Do you know how excited I became by realizing there is another woman in her early 60’s who is still in pjs at 9AM, lol??? I, too, left the corporate world years back and I am sometimes embarrassed to acknowledge that I am still drinking coffee and slowing waking up to the day mid morning. I have been follower for a couple of years and remember the days when most social media posts were more of a ‘slice of life’….rather than precisely staged. Honestly…I find many of these posts to be exhausting as I can just feel how much energy it takes behind the scenes to get the photos to look so very perfect. Many days it takes a lot of effort to not feel inadequate just reading them! Thank you for keeping it so real…seriously, THANK YOU!!!
HI, Susan, thank you for saying that! I talk about this with my blog friends & I really think that readers out there like you do find it exhausting to read and imagine keeping up with. I fully admit I cannot do it and I love that I can slow down and do things at my pace and still be a part of the blogger world on my own terms. Slow mornings are the best! I just changed out of my pj’s and it’s Noon!
Thanks for sharing your day(s) with us! I’m thankful for those of you that do blog because blogs/instagram has become my decorating magazines! I could never do it myself as I am a bit private and would be about opening up my home to the WWW (LOL)!! Nor could I do all the seasonal decorating, especially so early! And even if I could get over those two things, keeping up on social media would do me in. HA!! But as I said, I love reading about/seeing pictures of others’ homes, etc. I love that you don’t just focus on sharing every little thing you buy for your home, every little change you make, etc. I like that you bring in a bit of your life and people in it – not just decor. I would much rather read a blog that is more “real-life”, “down-to-earth” than one that is constantly changing/decorating!! Sometimes it’s almost like the blogger is living their life to document it on their blog. Thanks for sharing real life with your readers.
Hi, Tina, I’m so glad you found this interesting. I know that all of you out there who love blogs and read them for inspiration appreciate the fact that we are real life people behind the blogs. I just can’t keep up with the perfection that is pervasive in the blogging world and social media world these days. I’m so glad I get to do it on my own terms and still feel successful.
Kaye L Thornton says
Loved reading this!!! Love hearing/seeing you blog about your family/parents and of course your fashion posts!! Nice job lady, keep up the good work!
THank you, Kaye, I will do that!
I love how down to earth you seem. I don’t feel like I’m chasing the newest trend in styling a this or that from week to week. I’m a senior woman too with quite a collection of loved objects gathered through the years. I don’t want to get more “stuff”. I like to use what I already have with a bit of tweaking. I’m looking for a relaxed, natural kind of styling that looks effortless and doesn’t require brand new things to create beauty. Real people live in my home. I realized that I saw bloggers “ chasing trendy styling” to the point that it seems sometimes that bloggers are all doing the same thing…following a prescribed formula. I’m bored with that.
Continue being yourself and blogging the way that fits you. It makes your posts all the more joyful and endearing.
Thank you, Carol, I can understand how you feel that way by reading blogs and looking at Instagram. It’s exhausting for me too!
Jenny Young says
So I admit I wasn’t very interested in this series & was just skimming through. I have my little grandson with me today (22 months). He was happily playing so I sat down to read blogs. He stopped by my chair just as I came to the picture of your dad sitting at the dinner table.
It was so sweet! He’s not really talking yet, just making lots of sounds & a few words but he was ‘talking’ away pointing at the picture. I asked him if he knew the man in the picture…I don’t know if he looks like someone he knows. I told him that he was someone else’s Papa. He pointed out Grammy in the background as well. He calls us Papa & Grammy. He just smiled & laughed, pointing & talking….loving the picture.
I thought your parents might like the story but either way It was pretty cute for me.
HI, Jenny, that’s so cute, thanks for sharing!
Your life sounds fulfilling, Rhoda. You enjoy life and take good care of yourself, which allows you to look after others. I admire your blogging style; you share a variety of interests, and keep it all relatable. Stay with what works! Miss Holly looks perfectly content on her deck. It’s so nice of her to share it with you. 🙂
Thank you, Jane, it really is fulfilling & I’m very grateful to be where I am at this stage in life.
Debi Padgett says
Rhoda, I never miss your blogposts & as you know, I comment a lot! I actually feel like I’m in a conversation with a girlfriend (crazy, right?)! I’m 67 & while I enjoy many of the younger women’s blogs, yours is so much more like my life. And since my folks are gone, your parents are an absolute joy to me. Same recipes, garden, and a love for their family that shows. Please don’t EVER stop blogging 😉🤗❤️!
Thank you, Debi! I appreciate all the encouragement you all bring me!
Richella J. Parham says
Rhoda, I’m so proud of you! I love the way you blog. How long have I known you now? More than 10 years, I think, and I’ve never once grown tired of the way you blog. I am glad that you found what works for you and that you’re not always hustling to do even more. Of course, I know that you’re privileged that you don’t absolutely have to be hustling, but I do believe that some of it is a choice, and I think you’ve been so true to your priorities. Again, I’m proud of you, because I think you set a terrific example for all the rest of us and you’re such a wonderful light in the online world. Love you!
Thank you, Richella, you are such an encourager, thank you for that! I sure try to set a good example. I guess the hustle mentality is really prevalent these days and it bothers me that it is so accepted and aspired to. Nothing wrong with working hard, but we all have to get those priorities straight.
Mary Sturgeon says
I can’t remember when I started following you (probably for4/5yrs ago) and I have always loved it! You are probably the most down to earth blogger that I follow ❤️ Always look forward to you! And it seems, that I am constantly sending you messages but you seem to always find time to reply. Keep up the great work!!!😘
Hi, Mary, thank you so much, I take that as a compliment! I want to be down to earth and wish the tide of blogging and social media would go back to that too, but I don’t think it’s going to.
[email protected] says
Hi Rhoda: I really enjoyed this post and want you to know that you are a wonderful mentor to me as a blogger. I love blogging but get overwhelmed with the constant stylings of other bloggers. I sometimes wonder where they put all of the things that they must have to buy. I love your common sense approach to blogging and your home and fashion is always beautiful!! Love your family posts, too!
Thank you, Debbie, I’m glad to hear that! It’s definitely a balancing act and I see so many people that look like they are out of balance with some of it. I think we all have to make sure we do this blogging thing the best for us.
I loved the post! Thank you for sharing! I love that you are very real and focused on your family and life and living it well! I have been reading your blog for at least 8 years and it’s still one of my favorites!
Thank you, Dawn, I appreciate you all so much for supporting me all these years!
Jane Windham says
You’ve always been my favorite for the reasons you mentioned!
Thank you, Jane, I appreciate you!
Dee Nowak says
I love this post, Rhoda, and it was so wonderful to read about your insights into blogging, after having done it for so many years.. I’m also getting more and more fed up with the fast pace and the perfection that I see on some Instagram profiles – yours is such a refreshing and authentic read.
Dee ~ Vanilla Papers
Hi, Dee, thanks so much. Yeah, after doing this so long it’s a bit disheartening to see how things are going on Instagram. People seem to put so much energy and hustle into that social media platform and it’s just too time consuming for me to deal with. The perfection is over the top!
I clicked through from Thistlewood. This is a fun and insightful series! I am a new blogger and I love to see how others do this!
Hi, Jenn, thanks for stopping by!
What a fun and interesting post. I love your blog and your approach to blogging. It feels real and genuine which it what makes you so inspiring. Don’t you worry about anyone losing interest, that’s not going to happen! I agree that all the seasonal content can get overwhelming … Christmas in July?! No, thank you!!! I love that your parents are recognized in town … what fun! I’m one of your fans who looks forward to the weekly parent lunch. You’re certainly a mentor for me and I appreciate how hard you work (you do work hard) to provide interesting and meaningfulness content for all of us. xo
Thank you, Juliet! I’m looking forward to seeing your blog come together too. I think you’ll do a wonderful job with it. Hugs!
Melanie P. Mixon says
Thanks, Rhoda, for this glimpse of your life. My favorite part had to be that you reheat your coffee throughout the day like I do. Also, I am a retired schoolteacher, so the slow mornings in PJs are such a gift!
Thank you, Melanie! Slow morning are a gift and I don’t take it for granted. I do reheat my coffee, but only do one cup at a time, so my pot lasts about 3 or 4 days. I know that would horrify some folks! Ha!