2012 | Simplify!

newyear

I am not really making any New Year’s Resolutions this year. I created my 30 by 30 list a few weeks ago and I’m going to stick to those as far as goals go, but I have come up with a theme for 2012 rather than making “resolutions” per se. These past few months have been non-stop busy. I can’t complain because it’s all been great stuff and I am really not one that likes to sit around and do nothing. However, I’ve recently realized that I’m filling my time with things that cause a lot of stress.

Jenloveskev is almost 3! (Although, I have been blogging for about 6) Can you believe it? Kev and I have been talking a lot about the blog lately; Where it started, why it started, where it’s going, etc… The truth is, I never in a million years thought I would be blessed the way I have been with this blog. It has grown in ways I never, ever thought it would. I started my blog as a way to share being creative, to stay in touch with friends and family and to be inspired by other blogs I read. The words “blog full time”, “sponsors”, “brands”, etc… were foreign to me. I never started this blog to gain readers, to become popular or to make money. I had no idea that was even possible. I think back on the last 3 years and can’t help but to smile at the friendships I have made and the people I have come in contact with. It truly has been nothing short of a blessing to me. I think blogging has made me more confident, more out going and way, way more creative.

I feel like there is starting to be a shift in fashion blogging though. I know I have never been a straight fashion blogger but I feel like we are on the cusp of something new. I don’t want to wake up one day and be 45 years old, still taking daily outfit photos. If that’s who you are, then that’s awesome, but that’s just not my goal. I want more. I want to grow this blog into a place of inspiration for young women and moms Γ’β‚¬β€œ not just for fashion but for a healthy lifestyle, a loving marriage, and a place for moms to see that I am going thru the same struggles as they are with a young one at home. Is my life perfect? Ha! Far from it, but I do like to share what is going on with us and I love hearing your stories as well. I really hope blogging leads to something else in the future for me.

The blogs I follow have shifted a lot this past year. I read way more lifestyle blogs and not so many fashion ones. That is just not where I am in my life anymore. I had to let go of a lot of things that I was holding onto that surrounded all that. There is a lot of pressure out there to “keep up.” Most of it was from myself but I am finally able to leave that behind.

After some deep thought I decided that over the next few months I am going to phase out sponsored ads. I will no longer be seeking sponsors for Jenloveskev. I have worked with some really awesome etsy shops, companies and blogs but in all honestly it takes a whole heck of a lot of time to keep up with all of that, make giveaway posts, to pick winners, to handle sponsor emails, etc… That is time I would much rather spend playing with Rowan, going for walks as a family or sewing something on my sewing machine. This may change in the future but for now it is something I am set on doing. I will continue to work with some companies in other small ways that are more integrated as I see fit from time to time, but there will no longer be ads on the side of my site. There will no longer be giveaways and there will be no more in your face, check out these sponsors posts. Sometimes, I really feel like this takes away the integrity of a blog. Definitely not for every blog out there! I think there are a lot of bloggers who are doing it right, but there are also a lot of girls who get really excited and jump at any company that wants to hold a giveaway or send them something. As a result, they lose the integrity of who they are and what their blog was all about. It’s hard not to fall into that trap. It happens. It’s happened to me for sure. I don’t want to be part of this competition that surrounds blogging; the catty, who’s working with who, fake networking to improve your readership type of blogging. That is not why I blog.

So, this is my theme for 2012… To simplify life and my blog. To remove the things that stand in the way of my time with Kev, Rowan and the other people closest to me. I will never stop blogging all together because well, I love it to death! But, I know that I need to step back just a little and not say yes to everything, even if that means saying no to really cool opportunities. For example, I decided to say goodbye to the Delightful Dozen last week. It was tough because I love those ladies but I know it was the right decision.

I am hoping this year my blog will become better than it ever has. I want it to have more heart, more love, more awesomeness and just be a reflection of who I really am.

I love life. I love Kev and I love my Daughter.

Happy 2012 Everyone!
p.s. The rest of this week I will be sharing how this “simply life” theme fits into other aspects of my life
p.p.s. This doesn’t meant there will be no more style files. I love doing them too much.

  1. i think this is so noble + honest + reflective of you. i must admit, i was getting fatigue from reading so many blogs that do that + was going to do a major new year cleaning of my google reader. if you have given me a HUGE incentive to remain a jlk follower!

    happy new year!

  2. Good for you Jen! For standing up for what you believe your blog should be and not following in anyone else’s footsteps. YOU GO GIRL!

  3. Oh Jen, I adore you. This post was so heart felt, and I felt myself agreeing with you in everything you said. I agree that fashion blogging is changing, and I love your thoughts on it. I’ve been thinking a lot of the same things recently…. And totally support your decision to simplify this year – it’s exactly what i’ve been trying to do too πŸ™‚ A few months ago i started phasing out sponsorship, forgot about blogging what other people thought i should, and got back to posting just what i cared about – and i feel like it’s rejuvenated me quite a bit.
    Anyway, I respect you so much, and I love your blog and i’ll always read it πŸ™‚
    Big HUGS my friend!
    Meg XOXO

  4. I am so excited for you and all that comes the inspiration and integrity you are wanting to explore πŸ™‚ Enjoy it to the fullest!!

  5. This is huge, Jen. Very honourable!

  6. I love this.

  7. Jen you are such a fantastic lady. So real and genuine, I loved your blog from the start because it was about you and your take on fashion. I’m excited for more of you and your little fam! I also love how honest this post wa, and am truly excited to see more, you have me thinking about how I can make my life more simple too! Xo

  8. PS: are you staying with The Style Mentors?

  9. I absolutely love the direction you are heading in. I think it’s a great idea. I have always been a huge fan of JenLovesKev because it is so diverse, a lifestyle blog in every sense of the word. I love your fashion but I also love that you are happily married with a beautiful baby girl. Your blog has evolved along with you and I think that’s wonderful. Keep it up, Jen! You are amazing. πŸ™‚

  10. That is so refreshing! In a world where everyhthing is “keep up, keep up, keep up…”. In motherhood and in blogging…
    Well done from a huge supporter of this new direction!
    xo

  11. Good for you Jen! I have always liked your blog for you, and I look forward to seeing the new true to you blog πŸ™‚ blogging shouldn’t be stressful or work, it should be your creative expression!

  12. it takes a lot of courage and faith to step back from something that is comfortable, and like you said, not bad at all. we sometimes have to say no to the good in order to say yes to what is great. i think it’s great that you are opening yourself up to new routines and being intentional to make space for what’s truly important. you’re great Jen, and I’m glad you plan to never stop blogging, because you are one of my favorites!

  13. melissa •

    Hi Jen! I feel so honored to have been a small sponsor of your blog the past month. It definitely seemed like a lot of work, so I truly appreciate you taking a bit of your time to help me and my little business. Even though I’m sad to see it go… I loved being a small part of your blog, I’m so excited that you’re taking time for yourself, your family, and life. This is something I continue to contemplate with my job and apartment being 3 hours away from AJ, my friends, and family. πŸ™‚ I’m really looking forward to your simplify life themed posts… it’s definitely something I need to do. xoxo!

  14. This is SO awesome! I’m proud to call you my friend!
    <3

  15. I hadn’t even reached your fame yet after less than a year of blogging when I, too, just decided to refocus. Blogging should be a way to highlight your life; it shouldn’t be your life. So way to go! I’m glad you, and others like un vie geniale, are stepping back from sponsorship.

  16. *also….does this mean more time for adam and amy?

    *fingerscrossed

  17. Jen, I’m so excited to see how Jen Loves Kev changes! I don’t have a baby or a husband, but I still like reading about how everything is going. I think it’s neat to get an idea of what married life might be like. πŸ™‚ Have fun playing with Rowan more, and doing family things! xo Sarah

  18. jen, i’ve been a reader since you were pregnant with rowan. this all sounds amazing and i’m so glad you’re speaking out on many of the same issues i’ve recently noticed with fashion blogging. your mom/lifestyle posts have always been my favorite, although i did enjoy outfit posts more before you had so many c/o items. i especially love your vegetarian recipes, so i would love to see more of those! i have a food blog too and i would love to feature your recipes on there, if you’re ever interested (no sponsorship, no money, no c/o!)
    much love and support,
    carrie
    plumsintheicebox.typepad.com

  19. You kinda took my breath away with all of that. I’ve been on Christmas break from my teaching job and I had a similar epiphany. I have been really working on simplifying in my life as well….and though I was really freaked out by all of it at first, now I’m starting to get this little flutter in my soul that feels really nice. I hope your journey is just as good.

  20. Congratulations Jen. This is truly inspiring and I wish you all of the simplified happiness you deserve! You are a joy to read and I am really looking forward to where you are taking your blog next. I know it will be fantastic!

  21. oh jen. can i just say i love you. you are so refreshing. i feel the same way all of the time… the best part about blogging is the creativity and the photography and the sheer satisfaction of being inspired by and inspiring others. all that other stuff is just silly/ it creates such a wall between the money aspect and the personal creativity of the blogger. i applaud your honesty and will always follow your blog no matter what! πŸ™‚

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  22. Fabulous! Sometimes less is more. I’m totally feelin you on this. Hope 2012 is your best yet!

  23. Yay! I can’t wait to read the original Jen Loves Kev that I started reading so long ago! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for you to find your simple.

    x

  24. you are amazing and you are so smart for doing what is right for you and not what seems great and cool!! congrats, I love your blog and will always follow no matter what!
    happy new year to you and your fam!
    jess
    http://www.jesscauseblog.blogspot.com

  25. this is just fantastic.more power to you!

  26. Awesome JenÒ€¦
    This is so good, and though you are years ahead of me (my blog just turned ONE. :)) I have had similar reflections lately regarding my own blog/family life, etc. I still haven’t figured it out, but it is worth taking time to make a plan.
    Bless you and thanks for your inspiration!
    Aloha!

  27. Brava. You have gained a reader back.

  28. Just wanted to say that I am excited to see where this is going, the future of jenloveskev looks bright. πŸ™‚

    S.

  29. There is something about being a mother that makes you want to simplify, savour, appreciate, be grateful for, give back, find the good in greater people.. it’s truly hard to describe the feeling until you’ve been there. The last year my family and I have simplified like no other.

    Suddenly life is no longer just about us (me). It’s about our family, our loved ones.. life is much more and greater than I ever knew .. all because of her (my daughter).

    Whatever path you take, i know you will do so with love and care πŸ™‚ Cheers to you girlfriend πŸ™‚

  30. Oh, Jen! What a precious sentiment… I have such great respect for you and your decision, and it is one that I think we will see more and more blogs move to as the medium progresses. Can’t wait to see where this simplification takes you, and I hope and pray that your continued happiness and time with your sweet family is at the forefront of it all. Looking forward to seeing you in 2012, and sending virtual hugs your way! XOXO

  31. Sounds good, Jen. I loved your blog in 2010 and I know I’ll love it in 2011, too. Your true spirit has always shined through, even in your heavily sponsored posts. But I think these sound like great ideas to relieve some stress, reprioritize and find your more authentic voice.

  32. Um, I meant to say I loved it in 2011 and will love it in 2012, too. ANYWAY. πŸ™‚

  33. I have loved your blog because it has alway seemed so sincere, sponsors or not. I applaud the stance you are taking to phase out the unnecessary things in your life and refocus. My blog isn’t even nearly the size of yours, but I totally understand how you feel. When it becomes a chore or a task it isn’t fun and inspiring anymore. I often have to say no to things that I don’t fully want to stand behind and though I feel bad, I want to focus my time and the stuff that really makes me feel fulfilled at the end of the day. Enjoy the extra time with your family, and IW ill be here reading along!

    Hayley
    http://theweekendfile.blogspot.com

  34. If you’re doing what makes you happy, then you can never go wrong. πŸ™‚ It’s been a pleasure reading your blog and I know it will CONTINUE to be a pleasure, wherever you take Jen Loves Kev! <3 <3 <3

  35. What a refreshing post and I love the goals you have for your blog. I’ve found that more and more bloggers are accepting sponsors and freebies left and right, with every other post being an advertisement, it’s just really discouraging (I know it’s hard to say no to free stuff and money, but you have to draw a line somewhere!) I really wish more bloggers would follow suit like you! Good luck with 2012!!

  36. That is a big step, but it sounds like you made the best choice for your family. You can’t go wrong with spending more time with Kev and Rowan.

  37. I haven’t commented in a long, long time but I really love this post. I have been watching you grow and your life change, and it only makes sense for your blog to evolve too. I am really excited to see where you end up!

  38. Michela •

    What a lovely post, Jen. I’ve been an avid fashion blog-follower for years now, but recently I’ve noticed myself becoming more attracted to lifestyle blogs than to fashion blogs. In fact, I often skip over fashion posts in my reader and save lifestyle posts til the end (like dessert!). I think your Simplify plan is both admirable and brave, and I want you to know that you will have one even more devoted follower in 2012. Best of all, I can only imagine the blessings that will come forth in the new year as you simplify, prioritize, and charge forward.

    Much love and blessings to you, Kev, and Rowan.
    Michela

  39. I really admire and respect your thoughtfulness surrounding blog sponsorships. Lately I’ve been feeling much that you expressed in your post; bloggers that have gained readerships and major sponsorship come off much more contrived than they did before the upswing in popularity.

    I’ve stopped following a TON of blogs because as you said, I can’t relate to those stories because that’s just not where my life is going or where my interests lie.

    It’s gestures like the one you’re making, that make me feel good, that make me feel as though we do have similarities and that I can take comfort in that there are real people in the world. The fact that you’re even thinking about dropping your sponsorship shows how genuine you are, an admirable trait and the biggest reason why so many–myself included–follow your blog.

  40. YAY Jen! I admire you as a woman, a mom, a wife, friend, etc. I definitely can’t wait to see how things change/evolve with you.

  41. I’ve been reading your blog from some time now, I hardly ever comment. I first started reading because you were local, in the Massachusetts area at the time, and that right there made you feel more “real” to me as some other bloggers come off on their blogs. But honestly it gets hard for a blog to “hit home” when at the end of the post I realize that almost every component of the outfit the blogger is wearing was in some way given to her by a sponsor. It just makes it seem all the less attainable for a broke, young college girl like myself. So I just wanted to take the time to say I really appreciate you making this more about yourself than those who were keeping your blog more afloat. You rock. I’d much rather keep tabs on your real little family than one that has literally everything handed to them. That’s not what life really is. Thanks for keeping this new year about staying true to yourself.

    Love, Reader Erin.

  42. Fantastic Jen! Reading that heartfelt post just made me feel, well, peaceful. As someone who runs a blog (though I’m a newbie, it’s just a year old) I contemplate the question of where I want it to go and how I want to be as a person all the time. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this. It’s nice to feel that camaraderie (over the internet wavelengths) and that’s so great of you to share it! I fully support you in whatever you want to with this wonderful blog! You are awesome, as is you little fam, and I can’t wait to see all the great things that will come of such an honest and beautiful blog!

  43. Loving every single word you wrote here. It is so pure and from the heart and I just want to hug you!

    It’s always so important to circle back, think where you were, where you are, and where you are going. I will support you in your new direction and so excited to see your new growth!! CONGRATS on this amazing new discovery. Much love, Kim http://www.eatsleepwear.com

  44. Rebekah •

    Let me just add to the voices and say I so respect your decision. I’m sure it took a lot of thought prayer and conversation. Good job. Really really really good job doing what you know is best for you and your family. I have been reading this blog since you lived in Hawaii, and as much as I love it. I really really do, I guess I kinda missed the old blog. I think you did a wonderful job staying sincear, but I’m just happy your doing something that makes all three of you happy. That joy will be reflected on your blog and it will be an even better success.

  45. Jen this was such an inspirational read, and I love that you are stepping back & getting in touch with your new priorities; it’s definitley a place that I have found myself at too, at different times in my life. I can’t wait to see these new changes unfold in your life & blog. Yay!! I’ve always found you SO inspirational in all that you do!! Happy 2012 and a big cheers to simplifying!! xo V

  46. I love this new Simplification jen! Way to go!!

  47. I love this post. I know it’s scary to put yourself out there, admit where you made mistakes, and share your goals for change – but thank you for being so genuine and honest. It’s inspiring. Thank you for sharing your process of reflection and evaluation of where you are and where you want to be (in reference to this blog).

    Truth be told: I have found myself un-following blogs where the sponsored clothes outweigh the personal purchases of the blogger, because no matter how they swing it, it becomes more about the sponsor and less about the personal style. I adore your outlook, the genuine posts where you share about your life (with hubby and baby). I will continue to be a follower and look forward to where 2012 takes you and your adorable family.

  48. You’re awesome, Jen! I have been a quiet follower of your blog for a about a year now and seeing this post made me want to speak up. I just wanted to say that you are awesome, awesome, awesome! Keep doing what you want to do in life [not what others expect of you to do]! πŸ™‚

  49. Nice work Jen, we are proud of you. I also read this as more Shrewsbury time. Tell Rowan I said “What up playa”

  50. Hell yeah. I wouldn’t have ever said this otherwise because you really do seem nice and real, but I was considering unfollowing you because I wasn’t feeling all the sponsory-c/o stuff. You’ve got me back as an interested reader, and I’m truly looking forward to you simplifying your blog. Happy new year to you and yours!

  51. I love you, Jen. You say everything I’ve struggled with for two years now. You’re brave and wonderful and you have your head on right. I’m going to hug you so hard when I see you in March.

  52. I really respect this decision, Jen. It’s so healthy to step back and analyze what is right for you and your blog (and your family, of course). Oh! And I can’t wait to read more about your family and life and whatnot! I’m looking forward to what 2012 has in store for your lovely blog. <3

  53. I can relate; I too started blogging soon after my son was born as an outlet to share and rediscover what my style truly was, because I sort of lost my identity through pregnancy. Its great that the integrity of your blog is so important to you, I just started reading your blog and already feel that your a reliable source of truth. Even to bloggers who continue to engage sponsors truth and integrity rise above all, and its hard to find bloggers that truly maintain that.

    I look forward to reading your blogs and please don’t ever quit style file, out looks are absolutely darling!

    -Shan
    xo

  54. really enjoyed reading your post, especially about sponsors! this is something we all struggle with and you are so amazing to write about it πŸ˜‰

    xoxo,

    Fashion Fractions

  55. I really admire you for doing this! And I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, i’m excited to see the changes you have in store πŸ™‚

  56. This is a great post. I can’t remember how I even found your blog but I was intrigued by your story and I of course liked your style. I definitely read blogs more for the voice of the person and less to find out about new products or trends (those kind of blogs are nice too for a certain reason) so I’m excited to keep following. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  57. I see what you’re saying. A lot of people are saying that they’re glad you’re going back to the “old you” – I don’t know if it’s because I know you or what but I never really thought you changed that much in your blogging. Either way I think you’re amazing, Rowan and Kev are lucky to have someone so grounded. I think your decision to give up some of these things is going to make you the happiest you’ve been. You have to enjoy every second with your kids because you blink and they’re starting school! I think the internet, fb, twitter, blogs and pinterest can become a time wasting, life sucking thing that take away your attention from the really important things. Everything is a competition and I hate that. I’m not really referring to your blog, I always found your blog refreshing. But for you to shift the focus a little bit I think will not only change your life but change the lives of your readers, we all need something like that. Good luck, God bless! Miss you xoxo

  58. This is so well said. I totally agree Jen. I’ve noticed it in the last year or so too and I think you are super brave for sticking to your values and going back to what your blog is all about. More and more in the blog world you can’t often get a true opinion from bloggers because they’re paid to support one brand or item or the other. I’m really happy for you and this shift you are making because at the end of the day, your family is truly truly most important. I hope that you continue to share your life with everyone (specifically these kind of changes) because you’re inspiring in many ways. We ALL need this.

  59. Good for you! And just so you know, I plan to keep reading πŸ™‚ I love your blog!

  60. Shannon H •

    Jen, I am truly looking forward to seeing what you have in store for the new year! I am very much eager to read more of your lifestyle posts! Congrats on a great blog and keep it up!

  61. Good for you! Follow your heart and you’ll never do the wrong thing.

    I’m looking forward to posts with yummy recipes and crafty things. The post about your re-do of your bedroom long ago that was featured on YHL was what led me here.

  62. Good for you, Jen! I think this is awesome and I pray that you have less stress in your life as a result of this decision. As a young almost-mom I am personally thrilled that you will be writing more about those types of things. πŸ™‚

    I, too, have wondered what Snappy Casual is or will become…I pour a lot more of my time into our family/lifestyle blog and will be posting less fashion in 2012 than I did last year. I am much more interested in sharing about my marriage and faith!

  63. You made the right decision and I know this wasn’t an easy one. My mom has a very popular blog but it’s almost as if the reviews have taken over her life. I hope that one day, she comes to your realization, because it takes a huge chunk out of our family time. You have wonderful things going for you Jen. I’m looking forward to your next posts!

  64. Krystal •

    Beautiful words! Beautiful you!:)
    I also have chosen a word the last two years instead of making new years resolutions!!!:)
    My word last year was “breathe” to remind mento stop and breathe in the midst of a busy life… I even wrote it out nicely and put it up where I can see it…
    This year my word is “beauty”… To stop and find the beauty in me, in my family, in every day, in every moment (the good and the bad)….
    I got the idea from here…
    http://aliedwards.com/2011/12/one-little-word-2012.html
    And here…
    http://www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog/blog-friends/one-little-word-2

    I love your blog and respect you 100% because you are so real:)thank you for your honesty!!!:)

  65. As someone new to the blogging world, this post is inspirational. In the end, you need to blog for YOU – no one else & for nothing else.
    Keep it up.

  66. Bravo lady! It takes guts to do what you’re doing, and I know I’ve often shared similar feelings to what you’ve expressed. I’m so excited for you and excited to see where your blog leads. Lots of love from Pittsburgh XX-Julie

  67. How very aware of you to notice that you are not getting what YOU need out of your work on your blog as it is. It’s so super easy to fall into that trap of doing what you think you are supposed to or what you think others expect of you or what you think others need or want.

    I just want you to know that I think you are so amazing!

    I love your blog and all the posts about your family and vacations and adventures and all your super creative craft projects and recipes your share!

    I think you are doing a great job with your blog and its only going to get better as you bring it more in line with your own values and it becomes and even more honest refelection of yourself. I know as a result your blog will become an even more enriching part of your life. I can’t wait!

    xoxo
    Jennefer

  68. I’m fairly new to your blog, but I really appreciated this post. For those of us starting out in the blogosphere, the more “successful” blogs can be pretty intimidating. How do those new moms have the time to post so much and still be an active and involved mother and wife? Not to mention, when do they have time to knit and do other crafty/creative projects? Although I look to other blogging women as mentors, it can begin to make you feel “less than” if you can’t do it all. It’s a relief to see that a successful blogger is choosing to step back and simplify. I may not have hundreds of followers, but I can say without doubt that I dictate what I write. The only pressure I feel is pressure from myself – pressure to challenge myself by writing honest, vulnerable posts that explore who I am and who I want to be in this next chapter of my life. Thanks again.

  69. You’ll never regret more time you have with your family. Kids grow up way too fast. Here’s to a simplified 2012!

  70. Christine •

    So happy to hear this! I too believe in the simplicity of blogging. Itty to avoid reading blogs with giveaways. It seems so impersonal and forced. I’ve stumbled upon your blog before and can’t wait to follow your new direction πŸ™‚

    Christine Rojas

  71. Great honesty Jen. I found the New Year a bit of a turning point for me in thinking about my life and my blog. I decided to not waste my time on people and things I find I don’t really enjoy. Simplifying my life and my blog (in other ways) is the way to go. I’m trying to pull away from my computer a little more and spend time doing things I love and spend time with the poeple I love in real life. I too have to stop saying yes to everything and decided I need to do more things for me because I find I spread myself so thin doing things for others. It’s not that I want to become more me focused or selfish, it’s just that I want to be able to have enough energy doing things I really love and remove the stressful things in life. I think this is a great mantra you’ve taken on! πŸ™‚

  72. Christine •

    I try*

  73. Simplify is my theme for 2012 too! If you don’t love something or feel comfortable with it, then it’s time to let it go. I think if changing the direction your blog is heading in feels right to you, then it’s the best decision. It’s YOUR blog, after all! Here’s to a simple, love-filled life in 2012!

  74. Great decision, Jen. I’ve been following your blog for years now, and while I’ve stopped following so many blogs, yours has always been one that’s on my list of favorites. I appreciate your honesty and voice. I really understand what you mean about simplifying, and it’s something I’m working on, too. I like the direction you’re taking this blog.

  75. this is a fantastic post. good for you for sitting back and realizing what you need to do in order to keep your life yours. you have the most beautiful family i have ever seen/met and i look forward to where your blog is headed. xox

  76. Ah, Jen, this post is a breath of fresh air. Thank you for keeping it real and being honest. Happy New Year and here’s to simplifying!

  77. It is hard to fall in that trap- you spend so much time on the blog and when people want to give you money for it, at first it is like Hooray- woo hoo- and then, oh, crap…. this wasn’t really what i was expecting or maybe really wanted. it is hard to find the right balance and if for you at this time it is removing that, then great. I love your blog, I have always felt like your blog over others was always really personal, like we were friends more than this is what i wore type of thing, and it is easy for people to relate to. Keep doing what makes you happy and putting your personal relationships ahead of those professional ones. πŸ™‚

  78. Jen, I think you have always maintained amazing integrity on your blog. I love reading your posts, especially about your family. What a treat for us to get to see your amazing family life. I love hearing about your adventures in mommy-hood!

  79. Jen, your blog is what made me get into blogging in the first place. I am excited to see the new direction you are going and will continue to read. Sometimes taking a step back and not falling into the same traps is always a struggle. You have to make your life and your blog what you want and don’t worry about pleasing everyone! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  80. Chelsey •

    Good for you. I think it’s great to really rethink what you’re doing from time to time. Do what makes you happy is always the best. πŸ™‚

  81. Very well written and such a great decision I think. I am choosing to be more purposeful this year, with one of these aspects being what I write on my blog. When you have a platform like you do, I think it’s awesome to want to use that for good and growth in other people. Proud of you and excited to follow along with your blog!

  82. I am so happy for you. It has to feel good to be standing up for yourself and doing this blog your way. I think you are totally right with the way some blogs have gotten and I dislike it too. My blogs small enough that I don’t have to deal with all you spoke of but if I ever do get to the point of sponsors, I hope I never loose sight of why I started the blog in the first place.

  83. I loved your post, you really wrote it with all of your heart and that is so nice. We’ll go on following you and we wish you the best!

  84. Jen I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and don’t comment that often but I had to respond to this post. I find it so refreshing that you’re going to make these changes to your blog. There are so many bloggers who I just can’t read anymore because everything is either about a sponsor or an outfit post where every item has been sent to them and to be honest it means they don’t look like themselves anymore. It saddens me that people start blogs mostly as a means of creativity and self-expression but after the free stuff starts rolling in they compromise their sense of style or whatever and just become a walking advertisement for certain shops. What I want to see from Style bloggers is creativity and individuality and I’ve always thought of you when I’ve thought of bloggers who are individual. I definitely think it’s a good thing to change the direction of your blog with the changes in your life (the addition of a child) for example and I definitely find myself more interested in people’s lives and experiences than I am with seeing a new outfit every day. I look forward to seeing these changes and I will definitely continue to read your blog Jen. Wishing you, Kev and little Rowan a very happy and healthy New Year!

  85. Shannon •

    Happy to hear this. I’ve grown tired of the style blogs and their in your face promos and lookie what I got for free go buy it crap. I started just deleting them from my read list. I much more enjoy the lifestyle blog that’s relaxed and truthful.

  86. Thank you for sharing! I’m excited for you and how your blog will grow in a different way. I’m a new mom too and love reading about that aspect of your life. Do still love the outfit posts though! SO please keep them coming. πŸ™‚ Congrats and God bless you in your new journey.

  87. I’ve been a reader for a while but never commented until now. I think you are doing a good thing for you & your family & it won’t change my readership one bit. I NEVER clicked on the sidebar ads anyway & although the free swag you got will be hard to turn down, GOOD FOR YOU! Blog it if you love it, don’t sell-out your blog-soul. YOU GO GIRL. Happy new year. πŸ™‚

  88. Hi Jen! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, and I am excited about continuing to followi it in this new year. I’ve always loved your blog because you share a little bit of everything – fashion, food, faith, motherhood, marriage, etc. When I started my blog, people told me that I needed to have a “niche,” and that I should focus on one topic specifically, but I really just wanted to blog about the things that I love – which is literally everything! So, this post – and your blog – encourages me to continue to blog about what I love. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  89. I just wanted to send you an online high-five. I’m so glad we met & i’ll be a reader no matter what you blog about because i just love YOU.
    Totally relate with the need to always evaluate & move forward. You’re a gem.
    Elsie

  90. I am so excited to see the new blog unfold. How exciting!

  91. good for you. i have always felt that there is too much competition in fashion blogging, and sometimes i have thought about not blogging anymore. my husband and your post has made me see that it’s not about what other people are wearing…it’s about me, and wearing and posting what i want to.

    thank you.

  92. it’s nice to see a blogger that won’t have ads all over their site!

  93. I’m so happy for you Jen! Making a decision like this is tough! When Cole and I moved to MN in June my life changed pretty drastically and it made blogging very difficult. At one point I even thought about closing my blog all together. I’m still trying to find the right balance but whittling down my sponsors and removing sponsor posts has really helped!

  94. Just will jump on the bandwagon—I think this post makes complete sense and it sounds like your priorities are rockin’. Admittedly, I have a teensy little blog, but I’ve never had an interest in sponsors, etc. To me it’s a fun creative outlet, not a business. And I like having the freedom to post outfits, food, life..whatever feels right at the time.

    Looking forward to seeing JenLovesKev evolve and grow! πŸ™‚ And will keep lovin’ the outfit posts, too, of course.

  95. wow, that was incredible to read. i felt every word was heart felt and that is what sometimes is lacking in blogging. My son is around the same age as Rowan and this time in their lives is so precious and fleeting. before we know it it’ll be gone. i admire you hugely for being so honest as a mum and i really look forward to reading more posts soon. Congrats to you for knowing yourself and putting it out there even though it was probably incredibly hard to do!
    Heres to a wonderful 2012!!

  96. Charlotte •

    Hi Jen, I have been following your blog from London for two years and have always loved your posts, and the personal posts about you and your family have always been my favourite! Your blog is one of the few websites I check all the time, and there are so many things you have written that have struck a chord with me. I think you will go from strength to strength! xx

  97. I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long long time… This could possibly be your best post ever. I think you’re on the right path — at least, the right path for you and your family at this time. Forks in the road present themselves over time, paths change and cross… But I think the idea of LIVING life instead of BLOGGING about living life is the way to go. Kudos to you and happy 2012!!

  98. Wow I am 100 % behind you on this. I think blogging has become more about the sponsors than about the bloggers. And I really think that the content is more important than the clothes.. And family comes first. So good choice πŸ™‚

  99. Hi Jen, I’m a teacher and I found your blog back in 2009 when I googled “Teacher Style.” I was really happy to find your blog and see all the cute and creative outfits you were able to put together on a budget. I remember most of your outfit pieces back then came from places like Goodwill, T.J. Maxx, Target, yard sales, etc. While you look great in everything, I really preferred your outfits before all the expensive “c/o” items started showing up. You have such naturally great style and I’m so glad to hear that your blog is heading back to the blog I used to know and love. I’m really looking forward to more budget-friendly Style File posts in the future!

  100. This was a beautiful post. I have been blogging for just a few months. And started reading your blog about a year ago. I will admit, you and Kev were the ones who inspired me to start my blog about 9 months after starting to read your blog. I love how you document your life and interest and I wanted to do just that. Just for myself and my parents. We’re incredibly close (emotionally), but so far in distant. I started the blog just to post about things I would talk about… then opened it up for family to see and now it has opened up to this new community. So thank you to you, Kev and Rowan! Happy new year πŸ™‚

  101. I think that this is your blog and if you feel you want to revamp and take out sponsors you should totally do what feels right to you! I am glad that you want to enoy more time with your family and baby Rowan! =)

  102. What a great way to start a new year! I’m so excited to read and travel with you on your newest journey!

  103. NadiaMW •

    Jen I am sooooooooooooo happy for your choice to change. I love your blog and I think I will love it even more when you go back to the simplistic style. I loved your letters to Rowan and other things but honestly I don’t want to keep writing on and on. I just wanted you to know I am so happy for this change!

  104. You seem so genuine and I love that. You have absolutely gained a fan here. Enjoy spending more time with your lovely family, it’s the best gift ever. πŸ™‚

  105. Thank you Jen. I am so glad you decided to do this.

  106. way to go! This makes me want to read your blog even more!

  107. I agree with you – I think the blogging world is kind of over bloggers who have the best pair ups with companies and receive free stuff all the time. There was a period where everyone thought it was awesome, then a period of all the bloggers defending the practice and promising to keep their integrity, but now I see a shift of loosing legitimacy when a blogger takes on a big brand to work with…or even any brand. I’m excited to see where you’re taking this blog. My blog used to be all about personal style too, but I’ve realized that it’s created a jealousy and competitiveness in me that is just NOT attractive and not who I am. It really started to detract from me personally which is not healthy. So I’ve been blogging about things that I care about. It suddenly doesn’t matter to me if no one else cares about it, because at the end of the year or at the end of this blog, I’ll be the only one reading it so I’m the only one I have to please…not readers.

    Anyways, just wanted to say I’m excited you’re doing this and can’t wait to see what else you blog about!

  108. I absolutely love reading your blog and am so excited to see where you take things this year. I really enjoy reading all your posts. I don’t really read many fashion blogs (I’m not much of a fashion person) but yours is one of the few I do read because I feel like you are geniune and someone I would want to hang out with in “real-life.” Thanks for putting your heart into your blog and making it a Joy to read daily. =)

  109. you are awesome!!

  110. I’m afraid I nearly didn’t read this post, I’ve found in the last few months (I’ve been a blog reader way longer than a blogger) that I’ve clicked ‘mark as read’ in bloglovin on most of your posts, without actually having read them. I adore your lifestyle and your outlook but the sponsor stuff and all the c/o-s and product reviews? Boring! I truly think the only people really interested in that stuff are the girls trying to attain those sponsorships themselves. I am still yet to open a single post from any blogger, in the 2 years that I’ve been a blog reader and 3 months that I’ve been a blogger, about giveaways or sponsors. What the heck do those things have to do with anyone’s life story?! Thank you for committing to making your blog one of my go to blogs again, much respect!

  111. This is exactly why I follow you. Well said and I’m excited about these changes!

  112. This is exactly why I follow you. Well said and I’m excited about these changes!!!

  113. justine b. •

    what a wonderful post! I love when you write about being a wife & a mother. God Bless!

  114. I think this is a great choice! I tried to do sponsor ads. Believe me, I tried. I couldn’t keep up with it and I don’t have the high stats needed to have a bajillion ads in the sidebar of my blog. So I thought it looked strange and random. I stopped shortly after.

    I do take sponsored post opportunities from time to time. But only with companies that I really like and products I enjoy and think my readers might enjoy.

    I am just like you. My blog is 5-years-old. I had NO idea that blogging for money even existed until about three years ago. It was just a journal to me and no one even knew about it. Sometimes I miss the no-pressure blogging.

    Good for you for staying true to yourself!

  115. This is great news. I am a long time reader and first time commenter. I agree with a lot of the comments that all of the fashion blogs where every element of an outfit is free are really getting old. They are not interesting and they feel manipulative from a reader’s perspective. I don’t have a problem with wearing things you get for free, but it seems like it’s really taken over a lot of fashion blogs I read. In any case, I look forward to seeing the new things you do with your blog in 2012! I also wanted to add that I always love your posts about running and would love to see more of those if you continue to run a lot.

  116. I look forward to seeing your blog evolved in this new way. You are such an inspiring person Jen!

  117. Hi Jen! I found your blog via Mandy (Harper’s Happenings) and just wanted to say hello. I feel the same way as your post and good for you for realizing what makes you happy and following through with it! My blog is small beans but it still takes a lot of time and it’s a constant balance to figure out where to go in this space. Can’t wait to see how your journey evolves this coming year! Here’s to 2012! πŸ˜€

  118. I think your blog is great, and read on and off, but honestly? I think I’ll read more with the changes you’re making. I think you’re an amazing woman and would love to hear about more than just fashion… or giveaway… or sponsors. Good luck with the new little adventure, I hope it is incredibly fulfilling for you!

  119. Good for you, jen πŸ™‚ i read your blog because its relatable and real and beautiful, and your love for your hubb and daughter shines through big time- not because of your adds and sponsors. i totally support your changes! well done, lovely.

  120. I love how you keep it so real, Jen. I think you’re doing something wonderful, and I feel like better things will come from what you’re doing! You’re really awesome and although I don’t comment much, I continue to read πŸ™‚

  121. I love to read blogs to read about real people and real inspiration from original content, so I applaud your decision! I am a blogger on the other side of the fence, a mom, dancer, wife and architect who is sometimes covetous of all the sponsors people receive and all the free swag they get. When I am feeling funny about that jealous itch, my husband reminds me of exactly what you are saying here. He loves the purity of my blog and that it is an outlet of creative expression purely for me, about me and about our family. He has helped me steady the path that way.

    That said, I think it’s great you’ve been able to do it the way you have and now can try something new. A great experience, I am sure! Best of luck to you!

  122. I just stumbled across your blog thanks to Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet. Reading this little article was great and I totally understand. I support your change 100%. πŸ™‚

  123. Hi, I’m a new reader just saying hello. I’m already liking your writing style and the purpose of your blog. I agree with you on how some blogs with tons and tons of ADs/sponsors gets a bit annoying. I think you made the right choice, and besides you’ve got a ton of supporters! I wish you the best with your blog and I hope you have a marvelous weekend! πŸ™‚

  124. P.s. I forgot to mention that I really like the picture you included in this post. Cute.

    Happy New Year!

  125. I have loved your blog for a while and like you I agree there is a shift coming and I think it’s in a good way. It’s easy to be a fashion blogger; wearing your most fashionable, eclectic, vintage, thrift store finds; but what is original is your life, your love and your heart. what you share with your readers is what makes them love you more. good for you, and congrats.

  126. Jen, this post is so inspiring! I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years now and I’ve loved seeing how your life has unfolded. You have so many wonderful things going on right now and family should always be #1. Anything you can do to get that extra time is so worth it. I’ve been thinking a lot about the changes in blogging too and it is crazy how time consuming it is, as much as I love it. I work a full time job and come and want to spend time with Matthew but I often feel pressured to sit right back down on the computer and do blog stuff. Finding that balance is really tricky but I’m hoping to make little changes that will help! I’m so proud of you and I can’t wait to see what this new perspective brings to Jen Loves Kev πŸ™‚ xox

  127. I admire how thoughtful and honest you are in this post. I also find it a little disturbing when it all becomes about getting sponsors in blogs, and it all becomes one big competition…

  128. I love this post! I pretty much checked out of “fashion blogs” this last year because I felt frustrated by the amount of sponsorship. I think it’s awesome that fashion bloggers have the ability to team up with companies, but sometimes it felt less inspired and more driven by freebies. I think your site has a lot to offer and this post has definitely made me excited about the creativity we’ll see from you in 2012! As a young family in a similar situation, I look forward to getting a peek into your creative lifestyle! Bravo to you for making simplicity and sincerity priorities on your blog.

  129. I’ve always appreciated your perspective and honesty, so this news is really exciting to me! I like fashion but those blogs don’t intrigue me like the lifestyle blogs do. I can’t help but think of sponsored posts as being more like advertisements and I’ll admit, I scrollllll. Sincere reflections on daily life from women I can relate to is what I look forward to reading. I back you 100%!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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