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The Whirlpool

I still don’t know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild. 
David Bowie
 
I sure wish I knew what you were looking for.  Might have known what you would find.  
Eric Church

If you knew either of those were song lyrics without needing to be told, please assign yourself two cool points.

“But how can anything you like be worth cool points Sarah”, you are currently asking yourself.

Touché

I started ye olde blog in 2010 to just share a few ideas with others to help them lead a good life at a lower price point.  I didn’t have a real direction or big plans – it just was a hobby.

I eked away at that for a year or so, and then things picked up a tad, and I cleared the “100 follower” hurdle.  Still very much a hobby, but I started thinking bigger.

Then things went from fast to furious (dropping Vin Diesel movie references?  Oh yes, I went there) almost overnight last March.  A post I had written brought a lot of new traffic to my blog, and many of those people stuck around (thank you!).

This blog takes up more and more of my limited spare time these days.  Please note, I am not complaining about this – just stating a fact.  It’s fun, I enjoy it, and I get to meet some awesome people like you knuckleheads.

And even with all the time spent here, I feel like I am doing everything half-assed. I feel like no one is getting the best version of me.  It takes me forever to respond to emails, I’d love to actually learn how to properly use my camera, and I haven’t done nearly all the cool things on this site I have planned in my head.

Being pulled in so many directions away from my family and this page leaves me lacking in other aspects of my life.  I hate it. I hate the routine of it all.  I hate that I have to wake my kid up so early to leave for work and that I’m always rushing him around and having to juggle an insane color-coded schedule (no lie) to make sure I have spawn coverage because I’m always fucking working late, and my husband is always gone.

Let’s recap: I HATE IT.

A day or so after Jack recovered from a recent bout with a fever and feeling poorly, I had to wake his little ass up early to leave the house.  He looked at me from his cozy bed and said “I’m too tired to go anywhere mommy”.  And you know what?  So was I.  I’m sick and tired of bags under my eyes, and feeling like my head weights 6,212 pounds (approximately).  I drove to work that morning feeling like I was trying to scream under water.  It was like treading water in Jell-o.

I don’t believe in making resolutions.

I don’t believe in hokey crap like “The Secret.”

I don’t believe in putting things “out in to the universe.”

What I do believe in, after years of being a giant dumbass, is that “ain’t shit getting done without the assistance of others.”

So, here we go.  I’m asking for help.  I’m asking you to help me achieve what I’m calling “the next steps.”  The “next steps” aren’t 100% defined (go me), but they all lead to an end goal – for this blog to be my full-time job. I’m not sure if I’m cut out to stay at home, but dammit, I’d love to try.

People ask “what do you want to be when you grow up” and I never have a legitimate answer, because I feel like they’d scoff if I told them the truth.

This.

This is what I want to be when I grow up.

How can you help?

  1. Suggest things that you want to read more about!  This will help me generate ideas that I know you’ll enjoy.
  2. Send your friends.  Like something I’ve written?  Share it with someone you think will enjoy it, link it on Facebook, etc.
  3. Do you have an Etsy site, business, etc. that you think is a good match for my readers?  My advertising rates are stupidly low, so shoot me an email and we can discuss ideas, details, options, etc.
  4. Send happy thoughts if all else fails.

I don’t know what will happen, but I’ll keep on trucking.  I hope you want to come along for the ride!

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103 comments on “The Whirlpool”

  1. Greedy selfish thought for you(on my part), cuz I wanna know 🙂 or maybe I haven’t discovered ir it already exists on your blog yet; ‘for dummies section’ Canning; materials, product brands, do and don’t, shelf life for individual things, how to store, temps to reach… yeah maybe emphasis on the dummies part, but what can I say i’m green in this area.

  2. Sara,

    I LURVE your blog (lurve is like ‘love’, but with more feeling). I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I made your laundry detergent, and ended up giving some of it away for Christmas. I keep it in empty cat litter jugs. Maybe giving laundry soap as a Christmas present is lame, in this instance, I thought it was a thoughtful, and practical. The person I gave it to is currently unemployed and liked having something like that, which can be expensive to buy. (I gave her other stuff, too.) Anyway, I thought you’d like to know the ripple effect of your blog. And ust to let you know, I used your orange baking soda idea and used orange scented Castille soap, and it turned out having a lovely scent, without being too perfume-y. Do you have any ideas for a stain stick or pre-treat for stains?

    You were looking for ideas for future posts, and I have a request. I came upon your site originally through a Pinterest link for the Vick’s Baking Soda Shower thingies. I bought essential oils specifically for this, but don’t have anything else to use them for. I’m also buying more essential oils for this project:
    I’d love to find more ways to implement these oils and make use of them.

    Thanks for the awesomeness that you are!

    Staci

    P.S. I love the ‘Hippy Shit’ link/list on your blog. I always go there, first. Please add more!

    • Staci,

      I love that you gave away laundry detergent for Christmas! That is totally the kind of gift I’d love to receive. My side of the family focused on what we called “homemade and heartfelt” this year, and your gifting would full under that category.

      Check and check on the essential oil post idea!

      I totally need to add stuff to that link, I know. I’m working on it hopefully this weekend!

  3. I love your blog!!

    I would love to know more about your milk supplier but I also know sometimes we have to keep low about the things we love if we want to keep them.

    Love your recipes.

  4. From what I have seen on other posts try to get Tropical Traditions as a advertiser. I know you got some free product a while ago-Ask for more so you can have a huge give-a-way! I have seen links to all the give-a-ways if you google it. It is a really nice product and I use it too!

    Have you ever thought about writing a cookbook??? I know it takes a lot of time which you don’t have just yet. Start compiling your recipes now and testing the crap out of them or have your friends test them too. Make sure they are easy enough for all the at home readers to do and trouble shoot some mishaps that might go wrong.

    Get an awesome company in your area to give you something you can also give-a-way. You always get the most followers when you offer something free! LOL!

    I will now also PIN all of your posts to my personal Pinterest page for you!!!!

    I used to have an ETSY store but I am way too busy now for it- I also work full time and crazy ass hours!

    I love your blog!!!
    Good luck!

    Alicia

  5. Please don’t ever make your blog accessible from facebook only. I would have to quit following or commenting. I quit reading two blogs because I could only comment if I signed up, followed them, on facebook.

    • Ha, don’t worry, I won’t! I barely know how to use Facebook myself. I don’t have a personal Facebook account, and only use it to keep people updated on what I’ve posted on my blog.

  6. Hey there – I am SO enjoying your blog and in fact you have inspired me to start a blog myself. I am new to blogging, (since January 1, 2013) but I have mentioned you often and have found out how to link from my blog to yours (which I have done). I have read many of the comments above and what I like about your blog – besides the recipes, tips and ideas (we have been making Kefir soda for about a month now – YUM) is the way you write. I don’t know you personally, but it sounds to me that you write the way you talk – it is as if you are carrying on a conversation with your readers. Keep doing what your are doing and the best of luck to you! I will keep linking to your blog and hope to send some traffic/readers your way!!!!!!!!

  7. Best of luck. I envy you even being in a position to try this. I wish I had that option. I love reading your blog but I always just lurk, I don’t comment. I want to hear more about living cheaply/frugally and as organically as possible without too much extra work. Probably not possible but I have a 9 month old and I want to try to make changes now that will last and keep us all healthy.

    • Welcome to the world of non-lurking!

      My big ramp up of more from scratch cooking and gardening came when Jack was 6ish months old. If you start slow and don’t expect the world overnight, you can totally do it!

  8. I’ll admit that Im a widowed retiree and an occasional reader only. That said, as someone who reads way too many blogs

    try and have a picture for every single blogpost or one or two. Take before, after and during pictures of EVERYTHNG.

    Consider labeling some things “tutorials” and having links to them on the sidebar that folks can link to from their blogs. Keep your camera with you at all times and take pictures as you go of every diy thing you do (the roman shade being a perfect example).

    Invite people to do guest posts on YOUR blog, and offer to guest post on other blogs.

    Look into teaching/seminar. You have a local rec center or high school that does adult classes. Develop a class, figure the fee for your instruction and materials and put it out there. Advertise it on your blog.

    Offer online course or ebook through your blog.

    Get an Amazon link show some recent books youve read (even if you actually got them from the library)

    Learn to make one thing really well, and list it on Etsy. connect etsy, facebook, your blog and pinterest.

    Get a facebook page.use it, give people incentives of some sort for liking you.

    Offer to do book reviews and review other items you believe in.

    Finally, commit to time to you on the weekend. It may take awhile for your kiddo to follow the lead, but…….assign a certain time as quiet time for him and you. you need daytime hours to yourself as well as after bed hours.

    • Hi Barb (that’s my momma’s name!), thanks for all the suggestions! Some are plausible, some are possible, and some may not work out for me, but I appreciate the thought you put in the response.

      I already have an Amazon link with books and stuff. Bottom right-hand column of my page!

  9. Sara-

    When you look into the mirror, I hope you realize how truly awesome, amazing, sarcastic and funny that you are. You are an inspiration to others, not in the ethereal superwoman I can never do what she does, but an inspiration because you blog as a real person who is true to herself with a genuine interest in sharing her hippy shit, F.A.R.T.S., recipes and how to survive zombie raids. I seriously love your blog, its the only one I read/follow. It was the vapor disks that really hooked me- They caught my attention one lunch hour many months ago and I havent left since. That first day of discovering Frugal by Choice, I am pretty sure that I read a year and a half worth of archived posts-completely addicting (not on work time of course……) As for things to post about in the future- I am starting to get into using essential oils and would love more insight on natural remedies and such-just a thought Much love and peace sent from Wisconsin.

    • Amber, you’re so sweet and made me blush. I’ll do my best to keep you interested and reading!

      I don’t have too much experience with EO other than cleaning and a few other things, but I’ll try to highlight what I do know!

  10. spelling correction strenght = strength sorry about that typo to all who read it

  11. I feel your pain and frustration..it’s so hard being a Mom and I know you feel like a single Mom most of the time because of your husband being away. I’m a 45 year old Mom that has a 24 year old and a 9 year old so I am going through this all once again. The full time job, PTO board at my child’s elementary school, recently just remarried (major adjustment after being on my own basically for 9 years) I’m not exactly sure how I started following your blog but I absolutely love it and it is probably the only one that I look at each and every day. (There’s just not enough hours to look at more than one 🙂 ) I can tell you that it never gets any easier and the way I handle it is by asking God for the strenght to keep on going and so far he has not let me down. I admire the fact that you accomplish all that you do in a days time and the fact you share it with a LOT of people. It says a lot about your multi tasking abilities. So I type all this just to say…just keep doing what you are doing and I will be a faithful viewer and a faithful passer onner….LOL Thanks for your contributions that make perfect sense to this chaotic life and world.

    • I appreciate your insight in the it never gets easier. I feel like too often I get trapped in the “well if x, y, or z happens, things will get better”. It’s like I used to tell Troy when he would complain about Jack’s new hard phases (teething, etc.), and I’d tell him, “there will always be something. We’ll get passed this, and something bigger will be behind it”.

      Thanks for pimping me out/passing me on!

    • LOL now that I read that I didn’t want to make the situation worse by saying it doesn’t get any easier, even thought it doesn’t, LOL its just the issues change like you said about the phases Jack goes through.

      I just want to point out that taking the time to reply to the replies is AWESOME. 🙂

      Keep on keeping on and just think..if you put a smile on 1 (one) persons face a day and believe in Karma, what goes around comes around, etc…then you have done your part!!

  12. Firstly, I’ll take my two cool points and raise you five! You’re way cool! Cha-cha-cha-changes I hope you get to make someday soon.
    :::Sending happy thoughts:::

    These “cool things in my head” that you speak of, I hope they’re written down for future reference? Because that’s always a good starting point.

    Question, just how organized are you? Is Jack’s room organized? Because personally I could use some extra/realistic tips in that department. My kids’ rooms are atrocious. My house is small and I make a conscious effort not to stock it with cha-chki’s and whatnot. However, somehow it all still piles up. Especially those pesky bills. No matter how long I ignore them, they still come! I asked for a mountain view but COME ON!

    So, that’s all I got. Seems like you’ve got some work cut out for you already with all the previous posters. Heck, it would be a full-time job erasing all the bulldo-do language you use =P

    Keep on Keepin’ On ~ Joe Deertay

    • Yay for cool points!

      I’m wicked organized most of the time. Jack’s room is tidy and clean because we’re never home to messy it up. I’m actually working on some buckets right now to house all his toys. I’ll post about those when/if I get them done. I hit a snag with them and gave up, and walked away for a week or so. When I’m not feeling hateful towards them, I’ll go back.

  13. AAARGH have been trying to post this since yesterday evening! FINALLY!

    Hello.

    Having read your post with *No! Don’t tell me she’s going to stop writing the blog!* whirring through my head, I just wanted to write to you to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog.

    I stumbled upon your blog through (surprise, surprise) pinterest and your lotion bars…but then I took a peek around and loved what I read. You have such a great writing style, I really feel like you’re chatting to me (not creepy I promise) and the things your write about are great! You’ve inspired me to have a go at making a quilt (eeeeee! haven’t sewn since textiles in year 9!), got me back on track with actually planning meals and sticking to it and generally made me chuckle.

    As I’m across the pond, I tend to check your blog in the evening before I go to bed and am always disappointed when you haven’t posted so it’s safe to say that I would be particularly happy if you took it up full time!

    But I digress, you wanted suggestions/to find out what your readers want to, well, read more of. Ok. I particularly enjoy your day to day stuff with the lovely Jack as your writing style always draws me in. I love your crafty posts, how to make things from the shops at home. More on your garden would be good as I currently have a real jungle of a garden but am going to make every effort to change this in the spring.

    Don’t know if any of this has been helpful but as a bit of a lurker for the past few months, I thought now was a good time to send you a message. (sorry it’s a bit of a monster)

    The best of luck!

    • Oh no, what was the issue? I took away the weird letter verification a month or so ago. I’m sorry you’re still having issues with it.

      Please please please email me a photo of your quilt when you finish it! I can’t wait to see it, and I’m so glad to have been a part of you making something that I hope you’ll love.

      Garden posts will be ramping up in Feb/March, so stay tuned!

    • It seemed to be a problem with the fact that I was using the iPad to try and write my reply. It just won’t let me delete anything (and when your spelling is as appalling as mine, you delete A LOT. Then it just stopped letting me type. Probably an iPad issue as opposed to a website issue. They can be temperamental beasts.

      I will do! I’m tying to decide on fabric now! eee!

      Looking forward to being inspired!

  14. Love your blog! Keep it coming. Love the fart jokes, sarcasm, cussing…love it ALL! I forward awesome posts all the time and I linked to your blog on mine. I have been writing about my journey with the GAPS intro diet. Hope this helps you out! Good luck 🙂 http://tiffmariejones.wordpress.com/

    • Thank you so much Tiffany!

      I’m going to read about your GAPS experience this weekend. I’m so curious about it, and have a few friends I think would greatly benefit from it.

  15. And, oh! Business idea! Sell Fireman Troy calendars off your blog. I’m a genius.

  16. I’d recommend orienting your blog more around Adam Levine. I know this is a shift, per se, in your blogging topic, but I think your readers would REALLY enjoy it. Also, add pictures and gossip. Thanks.

  17. One thing I would like to see change. Every so often, I am startled by bad language in your blog. It makes me very uncomfortable, and question whether I want to continue to read it, and I would definitely not pass it on to friends. I like your posts an ideas, I think they would be 100% better without the bad language.

    • Hey Vicki, thanks for the honest feedback! You may not like my response, but I’ll be just as honest with you as you were with me.

      1) I’ve really toned down the swearing within the last 6 months. Jack is on the cusp of learning to read short words, and I don’t want him learning naughty ones from mommy’s page.

      2) How I write and what I say is an extension of me. I write like how I am in real life. I recognize that it doesn’t appeal to everyone, but just like in real life, I continue to not edit myself because people have options. If they don’t enjoy my language, I know there are lots of blogs out there that that will love and identify with more.

      I’m too busy to tailor how I write to any potential reader, and if I did so, it would be presenting a false version of myself. That would mean being disingenuous to myself and readers (whether they agree with what I’m writing or not).

      I feel like there is already plenty of “cleaner” blogs out there that will fit the preferences of others. I made the decision a long time ago that I could do a half-assed job being myself, or do a first-rate job of presenting a character. I’ve chosen the half-assed version!

      I hope you continue reading (even if you don’t share my site with others), but I understand if you prefer to read elsewhere.

    • I am not a fan of fart jokes or bad language, but I have not been offended by anything you have said. I would not quit reading. I have two blogs I follow that actually have “bad” words in their titles. They make me squirm as I howl with laughter, but I am an adult. You are just funny, entertaining, and informative. Yes, you do have to learn “mommy cussing” when you have a little one around. I would never call your blog a “dirty” blog at all. Keep it up.

  18. You know Sarah – the only advice I can give you is that it DOES get easier. And I’m not talking about the blogging. Just life in general “as it relates to toddlers and spouses at work”. Please believe that. The more independent Jack becomes the more you’re going to have a love/hate relationship with that – hey were’s my baby boy – hey he can get up and dressed by himself! Way cool!

    What I can tell you about blogging in the short (very short and crappy) attempt I’ve given it is – It can get very narcissistic easy and that’s not what any of us bloggers want. You have managed to completely stay out of the narcissistic arena completely. I love to read your posts. They are a little bit of everything – funny, important, naughty, realistic. I get SO TIRED of looking at everyone else’s perfect fucking family room and their perfect kids. (noticed I left the F-bomb as it relates to kids…) but you know what I mean. You offer invaluable advice and keep us all laughing. We ALL want to be you! And not just because Troy is so hot!

    I’m going to “put this out there” for you. That you get so successful in your blog -but only just successful that you can quit working full time. If you don’t follow House of Hepworth’s – she had a very good post today about how her blog was really cutting into her family time. She cut back completely on sponsors and only does ad sense. You and I both know you have to get to the big girl’s table before you can cut back but I will put it out there for whatever higher power we all might follow that your life becomes easier and funner.

    Hang in there girly!

    • Troy says thanks for thinking he is hot! He is sitting next to me on the couch watching some weird ass Japanese slasher movie. Still want him?

      I’m looking forward to things getting easier (come on fulltime job with benefits for Troy!), and the idea of getting so big I could cut back sounds luxurious! Another blog I read (Homestead Revival) did a similar post this week.

  19. I was just talking to my husband the other day about how much I enjoy reading your blog, but I don’t know how you find the time to do all of the things you do. Just a note of encouragement that half of your ass is at least 5 times that of mine (figuratively of course). Keep on doing what you do! You are interesting, informative, and best of all: real.

    thanks so much for your writing!

    megan in texas

  20. Hi Sarah, One of the things you might think about doing is adding a graphic to all of your posts. I say that because I pin a lot of posts from blogs onto pinterest and when there’s a graphic that relates to the subject it’s just a good way to grab people’s attention. I user your blog banner graphic whenever I post your articles to pinterest but it doesn’t really tell what your post is about and let’s face it, pinterest is initially all about the pictures. If the picture grabs our attention, we’ll look further. If not, well….. Just a suggestion. I know it’s more work for you, just what you need huh?

    • Hi Becky, can you tell me more about what you mean by “graphic”? I’m going to work this weekend on adding a “Pin It” button to posts; do you think that would accomplish what you’re thinking of?

    • That’s not really what I mean. I’m talking about, you know how when you go to a blog and there’s a recipe? There’s almost always a picture of that recipe (or there should be 🙂 Anyway, if I want to pint the recipe, I want that picture because that’s what’s going to grab someones attention. Same with your blog posts. If you write a post about something as simple as what happens in you and your family’s day, it would be great to see a picture that relates to that event. It doesn’t have to be you or members of your family, but it should relate in some way. Hmmmm…say for instance you write a post about how messy your house can be sometimes. Well, why not post a picture of a messy room? It can be as simple as that. Just something that relates and might even make people think “what’s this about?”. I know you do have pictures on some of your posts, but you don’t with all of them. Does that make any sense? Sorry for using the word graphic. I do it all the time to describe pictures, photos, clipart, etc. Bad habit 🙂 …. I will say, with or without pictures, yours is one of my favorite blogs. You have a great way of writing like you’re talking, and that’s not easy to do and keep people interested. Any you’re funny too so your stories make me laugh. I wish you the best in trying to get out of the rat race. I was able to able 10 years ago and I’ve never looked back!

    • Ok, I think I got it now. Look at this link. Do you mean the box around the recipe that says “print this”?

      I’ve tried doing that in the past, but it’s very hard with the Blogger platform. It ended in my cursing and not being able to make the HTML work. It’s been a year since I tried it, but I can give it another shot.

      The issue with posting photos that I haven’t taken is that the source always has to be listed, etc. It might be weird for me to just post random photos of a messy room.

      And I don’t post a ton of at home photos because (and I’m serious), Jack is a naked kid 99% of the time. Trying to get a photo without a naked butt it in is next to impossible. Pretty silly, right?

    • When we get home from day care, or running errands, there is a progressive pile of clothes on the stairs, and then a happy little nudie boy!

      Ok, I totally get what you’re saying now! This weekend I’m going to be working on adding a “Pin it” button to individual photos. I think that will accomplish that you’re talking about. The current pin it link that is one my blog was added by a friend during the blog remodel, and I never really knew how it worked.

      Could you do sweet potatoes with the paleo thing? I thought sweet potatoes were ok?!

    • Hi Sarah,
      First of all, no I don’t think it’s silly that Jack is running around naked most of the time. He’ll have plenty of time when he’s older for people to try to make him feel self-conscious about all kinds of things so I say good for him for being so carefree and happy. It’s actually kind of refreshing 🙂
      I think I might be confusing you. I looked at the link. I saw the “print this” button. That’s not what I mean. That would be nice 🙂 but if it’s a real pain I don’t have a problem with cutting and pasting to print recipes. What I’m trying to explain is, well, OK. Take this post as the example. Duh, I probably should have just said it this way in the first place. When I click on the “Pin It” button to put this on pinterest, no image comes up that actually relates to your post. Your banner comes up and some other miscellaneous images but nothing that relates to this story.
      Honestly, the first thing I thought of when I read the title of your post was you know how in the movies when a ship is getting sucked down into a funnel of water and they end up in another world? That’s what I had in my head. If there was an image of that – or what you would think would relate to the post – that was pinnable, I think people would see it and maybe say “hmm, this is neat, I wonder what this is about?” and then they’d click on it and make their way back to your blog. Whereas if all there is to choose from is your banner and then the other misc images, maybe not so much.(Try to pin this post yourself and you’ll see what I mean about the images available) Not that there’s anything wrong with them but I just like being able to pin things where the picture has something to do with what I’m pinning.
      I realize that using random images can be a challenge because of the credit/copyright issues. But you’re so creative in your thinking that I think you could probably come up with an image in your mind that would make sense for the post and actually take a photo yourself (of whatever you come up with) and use that. You only need one pinnable image that goes with the story in your post. Your post today on the soup had a ton of images. Easy to pin one of those and people would know right away that it was something that had to do with potatos.
      I hope I’ve made some kind of sense this time? My apologies for being so confusing. Like I said before, I’m not a writer and I’m sure it’s painfully obvious 🙁
      You do have one thing going for you though. At least your images are usually ALL pinnable. I’ve tried to pin things from blogs before where NOTHING is pinnable. It can sometimes be dozens of photos. I don’t get it. Must be for some reason I can’t figure out because I’d think you’d want the exposure you can get from being on pinterest. But, I’m not a blogger so I don’t know all the ins and outs.
      FYI. Your soup recipe today was killing me!!! It looked so, so yummy but my hubby and I eat Paleo so no potatoes 🙁 I do miss them from time to time.