As 2012 came to a close, my sister and I realized a few things. Things that surprised us. Things that made us sad. Things that made us question why we were writing a blog that doesn't make us any money. So we decided to have a sit down to figure out what we wanted from our beloved blog.
When we started We Know Stuff, it simply stemmed from a need to be creative. We were in a funk about being SAHMs, and we missed our "real world" jobs. One day, while we were complaining about life, we just looked at each other and said, "Well then, let's write a blog!"
The best part about writing a blog together is that it allows us to be with our kids (our first love), and it also helps us be creative in "the real world" (our second love).
But after our Grandfather was placed on Home Hospice this winter, we started to look at things differently. Our already tight schedules were being stretched even tighter. Our kids were suffering from being jostled around all of the time. And the blog - well what about it?
We weren't producing anything terrific. We weren't even trying. We had reached a standstill - and that sucked. But it was what it was - and we decided to just leave it be. We knew that we had to make a decision: either we were going to walk away from it all, or try something new. It was disheartening, but we didn't really know what else to do.
Then, along came a call from our favorite gals, Suzanne and Lucia, over at BettyEverything. They wanted to know if we would do another interview on their show. This time, in light of Hurricane Sandy, they were interested in storm readiness. They wanted to know if we, their Parenting Experts, would be interested in chatting about storms and what parents could do to prepare for them.
Well, that was the kick in the pants we both needed. It reminded us that we do have something to offer to our readers. We DO know stuff, especially when it comes to raising your children in a loving, supportive and realistic environment. One where everything is not always peachy. One where parents make mistakes, and that's okay. One where sometimes, we're just too tired to do the right thing, so we let our kids eat processed chicken McNuggets and veg out in front of the tv once in awhile.
With that one email, we realized that we still had a lot to offer - but we needed to do it on our own terms. No more competing with the masses. We know that we're not the most sophisticated culinary blog out there. We know that we're not the most high-end craft blog either. We also know that we're not the most hardcore holistic and natural parenting blog.
But, you know what we are the best at? Telling it like it is. We're not angels; we make mistakes. We're not Parents of the Year, but we're not the Worst Parents of the Year either. Sometimes we craft with our kids, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we cook wonderfully nutritious food for them, sometimes we stop at McDonalds (EEEKKKK!). Sometimes we let them run around naked all gosh darn day long, and sometimes we force them to at least put on a pair of underpants.
So we decided to do what we do best: continue being "The Anderson Sisters". The dorky, Irish twins who live around the corner from each other and gave birth to their kids mere months apart and can't go longer than 24 hours without speaking. The ones who love their families - even when we're "fighting Irish" with them. The ones who love their kids with all of their hearts, and just try to be the best, most even-keeled Moms that we can be in this very competitive Mommydome that the Internet has created.
So here's the deal. We took some time this past month to revamp the site. Hopefully, you'll notice a few things like a cleaner, more "put together" look. We've even managed to take some pictures of ourselves that don't resemble Cheech-and-Chong (although those pics are my favorite!!). We've also started writing about parenting topics because...well...We Know Parenting!! And after much discussion, we started using pictures of our kids again - but only profile shots because we owe it to them to protect their privacy.
And as far as the Giveaways go...well, we're still on the fence about that one. My sister and I receive a lot of press inquiries each week asking us to review all sorts of things. At times, it can be quite overwhelming because we only want to bring the best to our readers. We strongly believe that if you read our blog, we owe it to you to test something out before we offer it up for a giveaway.
However, not every blogger follows by our weird little code of conduct - and that's okay. But, we're a family blog and family is about trust, so if we want you to trust us, we need to do the legwork first. This is why it often takes us months to review cookbooks or crafting books --- because we actually make the recipes and crafts to make sure they're worthy of your time.
And it kind of goes without saying that we don't get paid to do giveaways. We review the item for the company, author, etc - and because we value your trust, that's on our time and our dime. So we're just not sure if it's worth all of the hard work that we put into it. If we can find a way to offer you giveaways that work for all of us, then, well we'll see...
What else? Who knows? But we're hoping for a much more relaxed - and fun - 2013. A year where we can go back to being ourselves and just enjoy raising our kids. Most importantly, we will continue to be honest with all of you about parenting. It's not always what it's cracked up to be, but it is always about making time - and putting in the effort - to be the best parent that YOU can be.
And for those of our readers who don't have kids - never fear. We'll still be whipping up tasty treats in the kitchen, working on creative gardening projects, and just being crafty. Your favorite day of the week will probably be our new "Flashback Fridays" where we feature compilations of "themed" blog posts from the past!
So, we thank you for your patience, and we hope you stick around to see more. But if it's time for you to unsubscribe to some parts of life, we get that too. Unplug, unwind and find yourself again - you'll be happy that you did.
Hugs to you all,
Denine & Daniele