One year (and seven days)—happy first birthday, Lovely Splendid Happy!
On February 17, 2016, more than five years after buying the domain name, I published my very first post and Lovely Splendid Happy made its blogosphere debut. In the six weeks leading up to its launch, I spent every Sunday at Temple Coffee (my local coffee shop in Sacramento) where, for hours on end, I researched how to start and run a blog, which hosting site to use, countless design templates and themes, and pretty much everything in between, and then ultimately began pulling together all the pieces to create what you see here today. Is it perfect? Nope. But much like me, it’s a work in progress, and rather than chasing perfection, I’m pursuing purpose—a notion I have to remind myself of regularly. As I evolve, so will this space, because it is a direct reflection of my hopes and dreams and the things in which I find joy or glean meaning.
How it all began…
It may have taken less than two months to create this site, but finding the courage to do so was a much longer process. After five years of renewing the domain name and proclaiming, “This will be the year I finally start,” but then ultimately letting my self-doubt and fear of failure creep in, it wasn’t until December 30, 2015, that I knew 2016 had to be the year. The day prior, I proudly posted this photo to Instagram, showcasing my newly built and styled bar area—a challenging DIY project that had me questioning my sanity by its completion—and on a whim, I added the hashtag “#SOdomino” to the end of the caption. To my giddy—I’m so happy, I was literally jumping on the bed—surprise, I woke up to find that Domino Magazine had re-posted the image to their feed (which has 767,000 followers), garnering more than 6,000 likes and 112 glowing comments. Holy freaking cow!!! It was in that moment that I knew I could not wait any longer. No more excuses, no more delays; this was the push that I needed to finally start.
I set out to do one post a week, alternating between interior design projects, fashion styling, dating and miscellaneous musings, and given the demands of my then full-time job, I thought that was a reasonable expectation. Everything I read during my “how to start and run a blog” research pointed to having a consistent schedule with focused content, as that’s how you build a following; it’s what keeps readers coming back, week after week. Makes complete sense. And so, like the good student, I stayed true to that concept for the first two months, planning content that followed my very structured pattern above. But by April, I was burned out.
Amidst my stressful work load, blogging had quickly turned into another obligation; something I had to do instead of wanted to do. What was intended to be my creative outlet was suddenly just another box I had to check off my to-do list. I knew that something had to give and rather than throwing in the towel (a thought that legitimately crossed my mind), I decided to take a break. Stepping away from blogging for a few months (and simultaneously swallowing my pride) provided the time and space needed to get back to my original intent behind starting the blog in the first place: being more creative. It also allowed me to let go of my preconceived notions of how this whole thing was supposed to work, focusing less on frequency or quantity and more on the quality of content. To me, that is far more important than churning out posts for the sake of sticking to a schedule.
Fast forward to today, one year and seven days later, and I can’t help but be proud of what I’ve accomplished. Things most certainly did not go according to plan and I still have a lot to learn, but in starting this blog, I made a very profound realization: I no longer want to chaotically cram creativity into my nights and weekends, when I barely have time or mental space to fully engage that side of my brain; I want it to be part of my day-to-day, ingrained in my lifestyle and my career.
So, what’s next for Lovely Splendid Happy?
Truthfully, I don’t know, but if I’m being honest, I’d love nothing more than to make a living playing dress up, creating beautiful spaces, designing and building things, traveling and ultimately telling relatable life stories that are funny, heartwarming, uplifting and inspiring. Whether it’s through words or pretty pictures, I want to make people smile. That is my dream. I’ve always loved to write and have had so much fun this past year getting back in touch with the joy of storytelling, so I’m exploring ways to expand on that skill and passion.
I also want to push the envelope with my content. Along with building upon the fun, lighthearted stuff mentioned above, I’m yearning to touch on deeper, more compelling topics, as well.
And lastly, I am eager to collaborate with other creatives and bloggers and maybe even have someone else play photographer* for some of my posts (see note below)! Having attended the CreativeMornings Sacramento gatherings these past two months has really opened my eyes to the abundance of incredible people right here in Sacramento, whose talents and strengths continue to blow me away. Every time I leave a CM Sac meeting, I walk away inspired and find myself longing for more of those captivating conversations and opportunities to further engage with our creative community.
So there you have it—my hopes and dreams for the future. Here’s to making wishes and putting in the work to ensure they come true. I have a sneaking suspicion that the best is yet to come and with my recent retirement from CMA (you can read more about that here), anything is possible. I hope you’ll continue to follow along!
– S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H
*As of right now, I take all my own photos, even the ones where I’m in the shot, but would love to work with photographers. I certainly make due with a tripod and remote, and have been known to get creative with “getting the shot,” but I am by no means a photographer. Self-portraiture has its obvious limitations and I know that in order to push myself more creatively, I’m going to need help from others. If you’re a Sacramento blogger or photographer who would like to collaborate, please shoot me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org)!