New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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Totally Together

Patience, and Other Blogging Virtues

May 1, 2013 by · 22 Comments 

Patience (and other blogging virtues) -  Part of The Business of Blogging series

This is another installment in my The Business of Blogging Series.

I have been blogging full-time since 2008, and have been hesitant to share my successes “out loud” with very many people because I worry about 1) jinxing it and 2) being show-offy

and I’m not a show-offy person, and I worry a lot about karma and good will and even feng shui.

But I’ve gotten to thinking about why I do what I do and why I started what I started. And honestly, I just like helping people. Specifically other moms.

I like to help people.

I wrote the proposal for the Totally Together Journal way back in 2004 (I was pregnant with my second). I wanted a way to help other mothers, and thought I could be of service in some way. It took YEARS to get that book to the market.

In the mean time, I started the slow cooking site, and wrote the corresponding cookbooks. The very best part of my day is waking up to Thank You emails and tweets. I love that I can somehow help other busy families get healthy, satisfying, budget -friendly (and gluten free, to boot!) meals on the table. I am proud of that.

I worry sometimes about being too proud. I worry about being a braggart, and I worry that others will feel that my success isn’t warranted or that somebody handed me something. I worry that someone, somewhere will think that I must “know someone” and that’s how I got on tv or got book deals, or how I get a lot of people to my website.

and so I don’t talk about my achievements.

or yet I haven’t, much.

 I’m beginning to realize that while I can’t write HTML to save my life, I actually do know a lot about blogging.

I spent last Saturday in Los Angeles with Adam. We flew in so I could speak at the Latina Lifestyle Blogging Convention about Ethics and Blogging (they knew I’m Scottish…!).

And I realized, I know an awful lot about blogging. An awful lot. I’ve learned through trial and error and have been very lucky in my blogging and social media endeavors.

And I figured that EVERYBODY who has blogged for as long as I have has achieved similar results, and am finding out (through talking to friends/acquaintances) that this is not the case.

I make a very good living at this. And I’m having fun.

I make over 100k directly from my websites.

and I do this all, from home, in my pajamas, while I care for my children.

And it’s not that hard.

This post is titled PATIENCE. Because I truly believe that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can have this level of success if they map out a business plan and are patient. The money is out there. The opportunities are out there.

Don’t worry about what so-and-so is doing. Don’t compare your site to anyone else’s. Learn how to write for SEO and give your readers what they want.

I want to help —- my hope is that I can somehow help other people/moms create additional streams of income for their family’s budget.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be living the life I am living, and I would like to help.

If you have questions about future installments for this series, please let me know in the comments below. I’ve finally gotten the green light from Adam to talk candidly (sort of. LOL) and I would really like to offer any help I can. oxox steph


OH! and I should probably explain the above photo of the grape vine. I planted that vine 4 years ago, and the leaves promptly all fell off. I kept watering and fertilizing it even though it looked like a dead stick. For 4 years. And this spring? Not only are there leaves, there are teensy tiny grape bundles! Patience. It’s a virtue! :-0


This is part of the Business of Blogging series.

Part 1: The Business of Blogging

Part 2: Figuring Out Your Internet Voice

Part 3: Writing for Search Engines Doesn’t Mean Selling Your Soul

Part 4: Is Self-Esteem Tied into Sitemeter?

Part 5: Patience, and Other Blogging Virtues

and other stuff:

10 Best Business-y Books

Creating a (non-cheesy) Vision Board

Working from Home with Small Children in the House

the weekend

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

345 & 346

How many of you unplug for the weekend? Do you stop checking email? Do you turn off the computer and cell phone?

I usually don’t. But I wish I did.

I feel obligated to check email, and so I do–sometimes obsessively. I need to change this. It’s not good for me, it’s not good for the family, and it’s not the person I want to be.

so I’m going to change it. It’s Friday, 4:04pm, and I’m turning off my drug.

this weekend:

keep up with the daily 7

wrap presents

spend time with the family


it’s the middle of the week. woah.

June 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments 


Okay. I STILL haven’t written anything up about chores, and I hate that. It’s on my to-do list, I promise.

But just like every good to-do list, wants get shoved to another day in order to deal with needs.

I’ve spent the last few days putting out fires via email and then firefighting the sibling squabbles which occur each time I sit down to the computer.


daily 7

speed dust, vacuum, and quick mop

super quick: have the kids PROM their dresser drawers (again? yes, again. you’ll be surprised at how often you need to do this!). Set a timer for 10 minutes, make a game out of it. be nice. 😉

I’ve noticed that one thing about parents is that no matter what stage your child is in, the parents who have older children always tell you the next stage is worse. –Dave Berry

day 154: more feng shui the easy way

June 3, 2010 by · 5 Comments 


Good morning! Thank you so much for spending another day with me—-you all are a quiet bunch, but are certainly loyal. I appreciate you all so much, thank you.

The image up above is the way your house/apartment/cabin/tent/room is divided according to feng shui principles (this diagram is taken directly from the book, Move Your Stuff Change Your Life—except I [badly] drew it out for you). You may need to click on it to make it larger so the writing can be easily read, or do Ctrl + to enlarge the screen.

The section of your life that you are most actively working on, should be the cleanest/most organized area of your life. For instance: if you are trying to attract more prosperity in your life, stand inside your front door and draw an imaginary line diagonally, and to the left, to the back quadrant of your house. That’s your prosperity corner, and it should be as clean and as clutter-free as possible. If this is already true, and you’d like to “boost” the energy up in that section, you can add bright color and something symbolic to prosperity that’s meaningful to you (like a stack of monopoly money, travel brochures, etc.)

I find this *fascinating.* (Adam continues to think I’m nuts. :-) )


daily 7

feng shui the easy way and pay attention to at least one section of your house and make sure that your energy and passion are in line with what messages your house is giving to the universe.

stop rolling your eyes…. they might stay that way! LOL ;-0

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