Monday, July 27, 2015

Help Me Get to Know You- & a Giveaway

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Today's post is going to be different than most of the posts I write.  As a matter of fact, I have never written a post like this before.  I am writing this as a direct result of the things I learned at the Haven Conference.  If you read the post I wrote about my Haven experience, I talked a little about the fact that I need to get to know my readers.  And that is mostly what today is about.  I need to get to know who my readers are, what makes you tick?  What do you like or not like about my blog?  But I also want you to get to know me better.  We went straight from Haven to a family vacation in Charleston, SC.  So throughout this post, I will also be sharing pictures of that vacation.  I thought you might enjoy that, and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen some of the pictures I shared there.  And at the bottom of this post, don’t forget to read about how you can win the giveaway I am offering today.  I wound up with an extra Swag bag, courtesy of Home Depot, and I decided to give it away to one of my readers as a thank you for coming here and reading this little blog of mine.  You have no idea how much I appreciate you!


Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



While I was at Haven, I heard over and over again in the classes that I took, that you need to know who your readers are, and you need to ask them questions.  I learned to stop guessing what you guys want and start asking.  And all of that hit me hard you guys.  I realized that I was guilty of not knowing a darn thing about most of you!  And I must admit, it was kind of ignorant bliss on my part.  I am self teaching myself for the most part when it comes to blogging, and I just didn’t realize how important it was for me to get to know my readers.  So that all changes, today!  Boy, do I have some questions for you guys!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



First, though, as I said above, I also want you guys to feel like you know me.  I remember my first blog I ever read was Young House Love.  I fell in love with John and Sherri and their little family.  I used to talk about them to my husband like they were my friends.  I felt like they were my friends, and that is what made me keep going back to their blog day after day.  I want my readers to have that same experience when they read my blog.  But I am pretty sure they don’t.  And that is my fault.  So, I have changed my About Me page, and made it a little more personal.  I also brought back a part of myself that I had shared when I first started my blog, but I had hidden from view when time passed.  It is very personal.  Some of you may know, if you have been reading this blog for a while, that my ex husband, and father to my two oldest children, is an addict, and I shared a lot about my experience while married to him.  

But as my blog started to grow, and I started focusing more on my DIY and Fashion niches, I felt like that didn’t belong in my blog anymore.  But while at Haven, I kept hearing about how I needed to be authentic.  I needed to keep the me in my blog, because I am my blog, and my blog is me.  So I decided to bring back what I wrote about my experience living with an addict, and you can find the links to every post I wrote about it on my About Me Page.  The story remains unfinished, and maybe I will write more one day, maybe I won’t.  But you are free to read what I did write.  Hopefully it will touch you in some way.  It is raw, it is emotional, and it played a huge role in making me who I am today. 

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



Now, let’s move on to you!  Tell me about you!  Tell me whatever you want me to know about yourself.  How old are you?  Where do you live?  Are you married?  Do you have a job, and if so, what kind of work do you do?  Do you have children?  Are you a home owner or a renter?  What motivates you?  What are you passionate about?  What turns you off? Are you a blogger too?  If so, what is the name of your blog, send me a link to it! I want to follow you back.  Are you a regular reader of my blog, or is this your first time popping in?  If you are a regular reader, how did you discover my blog, and what made you keep coming back?  I want you to write to me in the comments, and tell me about yourself.   The longer, the better.  And I will read and respond to every single comment that someone writes on this post. 

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



Now comes the hard part for me.  It is hard because it scares me.  I tend to take things personally.  I also hate to hurt people’s feelings.  As a school counselor, I teach my students to be kind and not to put others down, and I would ask that you keep in that same spirit on your comments.  But at the same time, I want to know how I can make my blog better.  So I need you to help me with that.  Let’s start with the good news first.  What do you like about Sweet Parrish Place?  What are you favorite things that I post about?  What would you like to see more of?  What am I doing right? 

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



After the good news, I will hopefully be ready for the bad news.  Are there things I am missing the mark on?  Is there anything I blog about that you don’t particularly love?  Are there things you would rather not read about at all?  Are there changes you would like to see happen?  What do you think about my Trashtastic Tuesday series?  What do you think about my Weekly Style Series?  What do you think about my DIY Project Page?  My home tour page?  What would you like to see more of?  What would you like to see less of?  How can I make you feel more at home here?  What can I do to be friends with you?

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



Please remember, even if you have a criticism, that I am human.  I need to read the negative as well as the positive. But even if you have negative feedback, there is no reason to be cruel.  You can make your points while remaining respectful at the same time.  I hope you will do that in your comment.  I hope you will write your comment honestly, but try to stay positive, and give me constructive criticism.  Don’t be a hater.  I will delete comments from haters, just sayin. 

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



I am really hoping that you will take the time to comment today.  My heart would be so filled up if I could see that people really care enough to take the time to give me some feedback.  After all, without it, I am just guessing what you want.  I wan to stop guessing and start asking, and this is the first step. 

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



I also love to connect with readers on social media.  Sometimes when I don’t have time to write a blog post, you will find me hanging out on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterGoogle + or on Pinterest, so please go and follow me!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!



One more thing before you go, I am going to give away a swag bag that I received at Haven Conference.  This is a picture of what is in it.  I ended up with two of these bags, so I decided it would be fun to give one away to one of my readers to show my appreciation for you guys taking the time to comment on today’s post.  So all you have to do to be eligible to win is make a kick ass comment on this post, and answer some of the questions I asked.  I will keep this contest open for two weeks, and I will notify the winner through email.  Then I will ship your bag to you! 
Update: The winner of the swag bag is Michelle Conn, who commented below.

Help me get to know you by commenting on this post for your chance to win this swag bag!

In October, I will be celebrating my three year blog anniversary, and this blog truly has changed my life.  I thank you for reading my blog, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to comment today.  I would not still be blogging if I had not seen that my blog keeps growing, and I have absolutely no one to thank for that but the people who keep on clicking over to my blog.  So please, stick around, I need you!

Have a great week!  While on vacation, the camera I use to take pictures for my blog broke (tragic, I know).  I was already planning to upgrade my camera in the fall, but I had to move that up to immediately, so I ordered a new DSLR camera, which I have no clue how to use.  But I can’t take any more blog pictures until I receive it.  So right now, I am kind of in Limbo.  I can’t put out anything new to you guys (that hasn’t been photographed already) until I can take pictures.  So please be patient.  I am hoping to have it any day now, but learning how to use it is a whole different ball game, wish me luck!



This is where I party:

Monday:
Thursday:
Inspiration2