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Tour Through Blogland

Monday, August 18

Today, I’m sharing something a little different than usual. I rarely blog about blogging, given that the majority of my readers are not bloggers themselves, but I was nominated by the lovely Erin & Dan over at DIYPassion (check their blog later this week for a little DIY I whipped up!) to join the Tour Through Blogland movement that’s been going on and I thought it sounded like fun!  If you haven’t yet checked out DIYPassion – head on over there right meow. They’re always up to something new and are far more proficient with power tools than I could ever hope to be.

In addition to sharing a few photos of parts of my house that you likely haven't seen, I thought I’d start with a little background info on the blog. Although, if you’ve been reading for a while, none of this will be particularly shocking. In its first incarnation, The Shimmer was called Glitter Glimmer Sparkle Shimmer. Also known as “possibly the girliest name EVER”. I chose that name, perhaps without giving it quite enough thought, way back in June of 2012. I was a strung out (on books, not drugs), demoralized, and highly stressed PhD student studying a field that, although important, I just didn’t love. It never felt like the right fit for me. After years (and a Masters degree) worth of slugging through and never looking further ahead than the next hurdle, I had an epiphany (also known as a meltdown). I’d had enough. I stopped what I was doing, took a look at my life, and realized just how UNHAPPY I was. I had ended up on this super long, super stressful path, with very few exits, without ever stopping to consider if it was the right path for me.

After considerable internal debate, and many tearful discussions with family and friends, I made the decision to leave grad school and pursue a life I actually wanted to live. And I’ve. Never. Looked. Back. Leaving my PhD program was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not a single regret. If you're interested, you can read more about all of that here and here.

But that brings me to the blog – I had about 2 months of downtime between making the decision to leave school and actually moving back to Halifax. Downtime and major life decisions are not a GREAT mix, so I needed something to occupy my time. A few months previous, one of my best girls (what up, K-Bro!) had suggested that I start a design blog. Although I’d been reading them for years, I’d never seriously considered writing one myself. It seemed like the perfect way to keep busy. I kept the blog super secret for the first few weeks, then gradually let it slip to my close friends and family, then a slightly wider network, and then to all of my Facebook friends (that was TERRIFYING). And for the most part, I got nothing but support. Some friends texted me comments about my most recent post or shared content they loved to their own social networks. Other friends sent in unsolicited questions or ideas for future posts. And people I didn’t know nearly as well – who had no reason to reach out  - got in touch to let me know they enjoyed the blog. The support I’ve felt – even from my parents, who had no idea what a blog even WAS - has been nothing short of amazing.

For over a year, I posted daily content to Glitter Glimmer Sparkle Shimmer – sometimes fashion, sometimes food, but mostly design. Earlier this year, I shifted to a less rigorous schedule due to some other exciting developments in my life (see below) and shortly after that, I made the decision to finally give Glitter Glimmer Sparkle Shimmer a name that suited what it had become: The Shimmer. And there you have it: A Short History of Nearly Everything (...related to The Shimmer).

So, now for the Tour Through Blogland questions:

What are you working on right now?
SO. MANY. THINGS. Thus, the reason for less frequent blog posts. I’m taking courses in Interior Design right now. I’m also working on spaces with a few different design clients. For the past few months, I was also helping prep for my best friend’s wedding (which happened last Friday and was the MOST amazing day). And of course, working on projects for our own home. All while holding down a full-time job. And enjoying what’s left of summer. It’s pretty busy around here, haha. I think the next big project on our agenda is our foyer. It’s a blue-floral-wallpaper-with-flesh-toned-trim monstrosity right now. That will be remedied soon. I have SUCH. BIG. PLANS. But those will remain secret for now.

How does your work differ from those in our genre?
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I think that I might write from a different perspective than a lot of other bloggers. I’m not a stay-at-home mom (or a mom at all). I'm not much of a crafter (although I do engage in the occasional DIY). I don’t blog to make money (although that would be a lovely perk). And I don’t blog about blogging… with the exception of today. I blog because I love interior design.  I always have. And this blog gives me a reason to talk about it all the time and an avenue to share that love with other people who feel the same. It’s also a pretty great advertising vehicle for a design business ;)  I also have ¾ of a PhD in the study of human behaviour… which I like to think helps me understand just how important our environments are to our moods. (Or maybe I'm just trying to justify all the time I spent in grad school, haha).

Why do you write and create what you do?
Because I love it. It’s as simple as that. I’ve always loved interior design – I was sketching floor plans before I was out of elementary school. I’ve been making mood boards for years. Blogging feels like a natural expression of all the creative thoughts bouncing around in my head. And I get SO much fulfillment from blogging – the community is unreal. Blogging also gives me motivation to get things done. I can have a million ideas for the house but actually executing on them can be a challenge when there are so many other things (and people) competing for my attention. Knowing I need content for the blog is great motivation for getting off the couch and actually making our house look better.

How does your writing and creative process work?
It varies all the time. Ideas for projects come from all over – magazines, other blogs, pinterest, conversations with the boyfriend - anything, really.  Those ideas go into a spreadsheet where I plan and prioritize future posts. Then, once they're prioritized, I add them to a google calendar that I use as my editorial calendar.

I usually end up writing my posts before the project is even done. I can hammer out the text for a post in about 5-10 minutes. Then I actually finish the project, haha. And then edit the post to add whatever else might have come up or changed during project completion. Although my goal is always to finish projects a week in advance of when I plan to share a post, it usually just ends up being the day before. Or sometimes the morning of. I'm pretty skilled at procrastination ;)

So there you have it: A little behind-the-scenes peek at The Shimmer! 

Now, I want to hear from Allison at Love Nest Design:
Allison is an Interior Design Consultant from London, Ontario, who blogs about her personal and professional renovation adventures. (And has SERIOUS style.)

Jane from Modern Jane Design:
Jane is a fellow design-obsessed Maritimer with the CUTEST little dog and and fantastic style.

And Amelia from House Pretty:
Amelia hails from my home province and is working on turning her family's ugly house into a pretty home (and doing a seriously awesome job).

Pop over and give those ladies some love on my behalf. (And treat yourself to some serious eye candy.) #skillzfordayz

Blogger final images via their respective subjects.


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