Hi my friends!
Let me just stop right here and warn you that this is not a pretty post with fun or pretty pictures. This is a post where I just want to step back from the chaos of all the craziness of blogging and social media for a minute or so and talk with y’all.
I have many “old” friends that have been readers of my blog for many years. And then I have some new friends that weren’t with me in the beginning. So, I thought it was time to just chat for awhile.
So, grab a cuppa, turn off the sound (you know all those little dings and beeps you get when an email, facebook comment etc.) disturbs us and sit back and pretend we are having a real live chat.
I started blogging about 6 years ago. It wasn’t even this blog. It was just a little family and friends blog (private blog). I actually started it as a sort of journal. And I was doing the whole “Extreme Couponing” at the time. So, I would post about this shopping trip or that shopping trip and how much I saved.
That led to more people wanting to read about how I did the couponing to save that much money. So, when I started posting more about that I realized that the blog was taking a different turn and more people friends (mainly from church) wanted to know about more deals. So, I decided to start a 2nd blog about being thrifty and how to save money. In came The Thrifty Groove. A silly name that was never supposed to last!!
At the time I subscribed to and follow about 60 blogs that were all about couponing and deals. So, I started posting just tiny blips like “head over to such and such a site and download the new coupon. Then grab this coupon from the paper, stack and get ____ for 6 cents”. I would post this type of post 5-8 times a day. As soon as I read a deal, I posted it.
Now the blogging experts tell me I need to go back and clean up all those 100’s of posts that were just “Get a free magazine subscription here” type of blip posts. It has something to do with your overall blog standing. I really don’t know what all that means. Maybe I will do that some time or maybe I won’t.
I also started doing Couponing Classes for different groups. I had a pretty nice set up at the time regarding sources and what nots.
Since Lia was with us and was just a baby, I also was involved in a lot of Mommy bloggers. And that was where I started getting more into “How to find deals and redo things”. I grew up going to thrift stores and yard sales so, I have always looked for a cheaper alternative. And I applied that to turning what was just a spare room into a baby’s room. My budget was so low it was scary. But, I knew I had imagination and could think outside the box. So, I started sharing the things I was doing.
I remember 3 months after I started TTG I received an email from a company asking if I would like to try a new product and offer a giveaway on it. I was so freaking excited!
I was also writing about thrifty tips, weekly menu and any good thrifty sites I came across. I remember doing my weekly menu online starting the first week of April back in 2009. And then at the end of the month I discovered there was huge party of bloggers sharing their weekly menu and I was so thrilled to join! It is still a weekly party at Laura’s blog I’m an Organizing Junkie. She was the first big blogger I “met”.
I started finding some thrifty weekly parties and started joining them. It felt good to share with others that were of like mind.
Then late one night, after a day of being super sick, I was just laying in bed with my laptop checking out blogs. I accidently stumbled across a blog that showed at the bottom that this blogger was joining a “meme”. I had no clue what that meant. I didn’t know that meant basically a blog party. So, I clicked it.
I discovered a party called Rednesday and it was all about sharing something red. It didn’t have to be thrifty or regarding being a mommy. It was just share something. Holy cow, what a concept! I had no idea there were blogs out there that had nothing to do with freebies, deals, couponing or kids!
From Sue’s blog I discovered a whole new blogging world! I found Outdoor Wednesday and was so excited to start sharing my love of gardening by sharing pictures of my flowers and things! Then I discovered there we people out there that also loved vintage things via Vintage Thingie Thursday! And Blue Monday, just something blue!
Discovering these parties, which of course just led into more and more blog parties, gave me the first taste of sharing just me. Things I liked or did or have. What an eye opener!
Then one day I saw a word that I had never read of….Tablescape! I followed the link and discovered Susan’s blog Between Naps on the Porch (if you click the link, you will see her first tablescape back in 2008)! I realized that I had been tablescaping for years and didn’t even know it!
I literally spent hours clicking party linkups and discovering new blogs and looking at all the amazing and gorgeous tablescapes! I think my eyes glazed over for a week! I remembering thinking that I would so love to join this party but, there was no way I could do the tablescapes I was seeing. All of my dishes and accessories were from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and dollar stores. I didn't have Neiman Marcus dishes or accessories that I picked up clearance for $269.00 (just a random number) or at Estate sales (still costing over $100.00). And I honestly felt I would not be accepted into this exclusive group. I just didn’t fit. And that was my first time feeling a blogging peer pressure. Now don’t get me wrong, Susan never once said that the tablescapes need to be high end or perfectly matched or anything like that. I just felt my things were way too inferior to join.
I still watched each week all the beautiful tablescapes being created. And I have to confess, I watched with serious envy. Everything was stunningly matched and coordinated. Just gorgeous!
Then Thanksgiving of 2009 came around and I was setting our table just for the two of us. I always loved to set a pretty holiday table. Troy had commented on how nice the table looked. I told him about the tablescaping party and showed him all the beautiful tablescapes people were posting. He told me I should take pictures and join the party. He also said I should show how I “built” the table. I told him I couldn’t because I would be too embarrassed at my whole used mix and match thrift finds. He basically told me I was crazy to think like that and there were probably other people who felt the same way I did. And also just showing how the tablescape was set up from start to finish might interest people.
So, I did just that. I figured I might as well go all in and tell where I bought each piece and how much I paid for them. I knew that no one was every going to mistake my thrifted treasures for brand new expensive stuff!
You can see that first Thanksgiving tablescape by clicking here.
Guess what? people left comments and liked it! They actually liked seeing all the bargains and deals put together! I was so shocked and excited! I really was nervous when I did the post. I just knew that everyone would think I was just some poor schmuck and I really should keep my so called thrifted treasures to myself.
To this day, I still only do thrifted tablescapes. All of my stuff is either bought second hand or major store clearance. I still don’t have a full brand spanking new complete expensive set of dishes! I probably never will. LOL
So, there you have it, how The Thrifty Groove started and why. Well, the Readers Digest version anyway.
It has taken everything I have not to add pictures to this post! But, I kind of miss just writing. Blogging has changed big time over the past years. And there is a lot of good and a lot of bad that came with those changes. My blog is continually changing to reflect what is going on in my life at that moment. But, the one thing that has never changed is the fact that I am thrifty and I lead a thrifty life.
I have a lot more to say on the topic of blogging and will probably write more posts about it in the future. And I see my blog going through more changes in the future as well.
Why did you start your blog? Has it changed direction since the beginning? Do you experience the whole “Blog Peer Pressure” or the stinking thinking of not being good enough or have the prefect this or that to share on a blog? Do you still get those feeling from time to time? I know I still do! I have to stop myself and realize that I am me. I don’t have a “perfect” life.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. I hope you all are having a wonderful day!
P.S. Uh Oh, this post will probably bring down those blog ratings that I hear about all the time and have no clue what they are or mean. After all, this is just a talking post. no amazing redo’s, repurposed things, exciting How-to, awesome recipe or anything earth shattering! oh well, life will go on