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Five Heart Home’s 1st Blogiversary + $400 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

Exciting news, y’all…Five Heart Home is celebrating one year of blogging today! That’s right…June 1st marks our first blogiversary! I’m so lucky to have 20 fabulous bloggers helping me celebrate today…and just look at what we’re giving away:

Come enter the $400 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY to celebrate the 1st Blogiversary of FiveHeartHome.com

Who couldn’t put a $400 Amazon gift card to good use?! I’m pretty excited about being able to share this amazing prize with one of you! It’s just a small token of appreciation for all of the support y’all have demonstrated during my first year of blogging. It’s been a year of growth and learning, a year of building friendships, and a year of becoming more and more convinced that this is the best job ever! I get to exercise my creativity, and then — best of all — I get to share it all with YOU! I am so appreciative of each and every person who has visited and followed along with Five Heart Home over the past year…from pinning recipes, to commenting on posts, to sending me e-mails, to sharing content with your friends, to following 5HH on social media. This blog has grown and been a success because of y’all, and I am deeply grateful for every bit of your encouragement and support!

I still have a ton to learn and a long way to go, but I thought it would be fun to do a little recap today! And then I’ll stop blabbing and get on with the giveaway. Or, if you don’t want to read my mushy ramblings, feel free to scroll on down to the Rafflecopter now! πŸ˜‰

{Top 5 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year of Blogging}

5. I love to cook. I love to take photos. And I love to write.

This wasn’t really news to me when I started blogging — in fact, it’s part of the reason that I thought blogging might be a good fit for me in the first place. But working on Five Heart Home over the past year has reignited my passion for these creative outlets.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta Cheese, & Blush Wine VinaigretteTa-daaaa…the first recipe I ever posted!

After spending the past 7 years out of the workplace and focused solely on taking care of my babies, it’s been a nice change of pace to realize that — wow! — I can still use my brain intellectually to learn new photography techniques or put together a coherent paragraph! It’s easy to lose your old self a little bit when you become a new mom and immerse yourself in your kiddos. And don’t get me wrong…I love taking care of, spending time with, and teaching my children. But I’ve started to realize that feeling capable in areas outside of being a mother is important, too, and ends up making me a better mama. Furthermore, since I’ve always been somewhat of an introvert and express myself far better through writing than speaking, spouting off my thoughts via a keyboard is a pretty comfortable fit for me.

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Fresh Corn ~ a perfect summer side dish or light supper! | FiveHeartHome.comAnd a recipe I posted last week…slight improvement, no?

4.Β  But I hate technology.

I’m not going to lie…even though I blog for a living, I could do without computers. In fact, I almost quit before I even started when I was trying to set up my blog last year. Computer coding? HTML? Hosting, plugins, widgets, what??? Talk about feeling completely overwhelmed! Of course, as with most things in life, you typically experience the most growth when you step outside of your comfort zone, and that’s what I was forced to do. I still have a looooong way to go when it comes to understanding all of the technical jargon related to blogging, but I can definitely say that I know more now than when I started. And seriously, folks…if I can figure out some of this computer-related stuff, anyone can.

Fresh Pineapple Margaritas ~ made with fresh lime juice and pineapple purΓ©e, these are perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo | FiveHeartHome.com

Sometimes technological difficulties drive me to drinking a margarita. And I’m okay with that.

The other facet of technology inherent in blogging is social media, with which I have a love/hate relationship. On one hand, it’s fun to share and keep up with others! On the other hand, it can be an overwhelming time suck to share and keep up with others. I’m still trying to figure out how to stay appropriately involved in the various social media platforms without allowing them to take over my life. Let me know if you possess the secret formula!

3.Β  Other bloggers are a blogger’s best friends.

For me, the craziest thing about my first year of blogging has been the genuine connections and friendships that I’ve made with other bloggers, most of whom I’ve never met in real life. I realize that it sounds bizarre, but think of it this way: there’s this whole group of people who are very much like you — creative minds trying to build a business and earn a living from sharing their passions and talents. They get you, and they get the industry, and the most amazing part? They are more than willing to help you.

The majority of other bloggers that I’ve gotten to know over the past year are generous with their wisdom, their advice, and their experience. There is a spirit of camaraderie amongst bloggers, of promoting and helping each other grow. Most of us do not view one another as competitors, but rather, as professional counterparts and, oftentimes, friends. I am more than happy to share my (thus far) limited blogging experience and knowledge with other bloggers just starting out, in the same way that so many more seasoned bloggers supported (and continue to support) me as a newbie blogger. And if you’re lucky enough to attend a blogging conference at some point, then it’s a privilege and a blessing to get to meet some of your virtual friends in real life!

SNAPPepRallyPhoto_700pxHanging out with Kelly, Gina, & Liz at the SNAP Conference 80s Pajama Party!

2.Β  Find balance.

…AKA, don’t let blogging take over your life. Y’all, this is a hard one. I don’t think most non-bloggers realize how much time and effort goes into this little endeavor. What seems like a simple food blog post typically involves at least 8 hours of work, from creating the recipe, to photographing it, to editing the photos, to writing the post, to putting everything together, to promoting it on social media, to answering comments and e-mails related to it…whew! A lot of time and effort. And the to-do list for building/improving your blog? Never ending.

But the thing is, doing all of that work is strangely satisfying, and when you notice people responding to it and your blog growing, it can become a little addictive! My blogging dilemma at this stage of life is that I still have young children at home, and I don’t have much free time during daylight hours. So I can cook and photograph while home with them in the middle of the day (either with their “assistance” or during naptime), but it’s not possible to do the rest of my required work until they go to bed. That means that I’m up really late, pretty much every night. I have resolved to achieve balance, and I’m now “taking off” at least a couple of nights a week to spend some quality time with my very understanding, very supportive hubby and, you know, get more than 4 hours of sleep. But I’m not gonna lie…it’s hard to squeeze everything in.

BloggingWithKids_700pxFood blogging with young’uns…always exciting.

My logical side knows that I just need to be patient and take this blog building slowly. There’s really no hurry, it’s not a race, and I know that I’ll naturally have more time to dedicate to it as my kids get older and all trot off to school. But I’m still working on finding that perfect balance in the here and now. My family will always come first, so I hope you’ll understand if I ever have to miss a post as a means of keeping my priorities in line. But wouldn’t it be nice to somehow channel Superwoman and figure out the secret to doing it all?! πŸ˜‰

photo (1)

My #1 fan since 2001.

1.Β  Be myself.

I promised myself that I would stay true to this mantra from the beginning. It’s too much work to try to imitate others or be something you’re not, and in the long run, it doesn’t come off as authentic. So I write in my own voice. Sometimes my sarcasm creeps in. I use lots of y’alls. I share the types of recipes that I actually cook as a busy mom of three young children. I take the kind of photos that appeal to me (even though I still feel like I’m discovering my style in this area).

And if people don’t like it? I’m okay with that. I know that I can’t please everyone, so I do all of this for the followers and visitors who enjoy what I share. If you’re one of them, well, thank you for taking time out of your busy life to join me in my little corner o’ the web! I hope your time here is well spent and that you walk away with useful inspiration and ideas. Or at least occasional comic relief. πŸ˜‰

GlamourShot_450px

If this doesn’t qualify as comic relief, I’m not sure what does. What??? You didn’t
commemorate your high school graduation with a hot rolled nightmare of a Glamour Shot?

Okay, enough of the sentimental oversharing. The bottom line? Thanks for being here. I appreciate it more than you know. Now what say we have a little big giveaway to celebrate 365 days (and many more) of Five Heart Home?!

Have I mentioned how awesome the bloggers joining me for this giveaway are? They are full of talent and really nice ladies, to boot! You can earn an extra entry for each of their blogs that you follow on Pinterest…and believe me, you’ll be glad you did! So to get started, be sure to visit their links below for mouth-watering recipes, creative DIY, useful printables, and so much more, and then use the handy-dandy Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway! GOOD LUCK!!!

A Little Claireification ~ Blahnik Baker ~ Carmel Moments
Cherished Bliss ~ Five Heart Home ~ Here Comes the Sun
I Should Be Mopping the Floor ~ Joyful Healthy Eats
Just a Girl and Her Blog ~ Kleinworth & Co.
Lemon Tree Dwelling ~ Little Miss Celebration
Love Grows Wild ~ Maison de Pax ~ Mandy’s Recipe Box
Pint Sized Baker ~ Play Party Pin ~ Simply Gloria
Tastes of Lizzy T ~ The Weary Chef ~ Yummy Healthy Easy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by Five Heart Home,
in collaboration with the participating blogs listed above.
See Rafflecopter for terms and conditions.

* * * * * * * * * *

Let’s stay in touch!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

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Comments

  1. Congrats on the blogoversary! Sure is a nice giveaway to celebrate! πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you had a chance to enter the giveaway! πŸ™‚

  2. Congrats on one year!!

  3. Congratulations on your first blogiversary!! We love your recipes and I love reading all your witty write ups. πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jenn…that means a lot! I appreciate you stopping by as a regular visitor. πŸ™‚

  4. CONGRATS on your awesome first year, Samantha! I’ve been told the first year is the hardest (although for me, the second is just as difficult LOL), and you’ve seriously rocked it, girl! Keep up the fun, and DEFINITELY keep up YOUR voice πŸ˜€

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Danielle…thank you! There are definitely some growing pains during the first year. πŸ™‚ I don’t really anticipate that the upcoming year will be any less busy, but maybe a little less overwhelming? πŸ˜‰ At any rate, I appreciate your encouragement!

  5. melissa says:

    Happy Happy Blogiversary!!

    Thanks for an opportunity to win too!

  6. Samantha, what a great post and LOVE that you shared your glamour shot! πŸ™‚ I am so, so happy to have met you through our blogs! Happy blogiversary and looking forward to many years of blogging fun, laughter and friendship. Hugs!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Cindy…isn’t it funny that those Glamour Shots were ever considered attractive?! Yikes. What’s sad is that I have a couple Glamour Shots that are scarier than that one! Maybe I’ll pull out one of those for my second blogiversary… πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, thank you SO MUCH for your support and friendship over the past year, and thank you for helping me celebrate this milestone!

  7. joeyfromsc says:

    Congrats on your 1st year blog-i-versary!! Thanks for the chance to win the Amazon card also! I entered!

    Joey J.

  8. Kristin says:

    Congratulation! I’ve enjoyed your blog so much – here’s to many more πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are so sweet, Kristin…thank you! It makes me happy to know that you enjoy the blog and find useful recipes to make for your girls. I appreciate your support this past year! πŸ™‚

  9. Woohoo – congratulations again, my friend!! I am so happy we connected online AND that we got to meet in person at Snap too!! Here’s to another fun year ahead and thanks for having me as a part of your Blogiversary giveaway! xo

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Claire…you’re the best! I’m happy to have gotten to know you and meet you this past year as well! And I appreciate you helping me celebrate this milestone. πŸ™‚

  10. Congrats! It’s so nice getting to know you!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Melanie…I’ve enjoyed getting to know you as well and I look forward to wishing you a Happy 1st Blogiversary very soon! πŸ™‚

  11. Samantha,
    Congratulations on your first year! What a great achievement (especially while raising 3 little ones)! It has been great trying some of your recipes. By the way, I love the hairdo in your Glamour Shot!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Anna! Isn’t it scary — er, lovely?! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. I’m thinking of y’all this week as you count down the days, and I hope we can all have a get-together soon! Say ‘hi’ to everyone for me and hang in there…you’re almost free! πŸ™‚

  12. Awww… love this post, Samantha! As a fellow blogger, I wholeheartedly agree — especially with #3 & #2! Happy, happy blogiversary!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, Carrie! Blogging is a balancing act for sure, but a fun one! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit over the last few months, and I appreciate all of your support! πŸ™‚

  13. Congrats!

  14. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Congratulations, Sam!! You’ve been doing a bang – up jpb, and I couldn’t believe it’s only been a year! I know that I’ve certainly enjoyed connecting with you and your fun blog since I found you….So, keep on keeping on, girl!
    BTW, love the Glamour Shot…we didn’t have those when I got out of high school, but I did one as soon as I could! ’91, I believe….lol!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, Deb…that means a lot! I’ve really appreciated your regular visits and support the past year. πŸ™‚ And aren’t Glamour Shots hilarious in hindsight?! It’s probably a good thing that some trends die… πŸ˜‰

  15. I just found you via Simply Gloria, Samantha, and I love you already!! I love those tips you shared – especially the one about being yourself – and the way you write. I’ll definitely be back to visit again. Happy blogiversary!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, Helen…I really appreciate your kind words! I’m very glad that Gloria sent you my way, and I look forward to having you visit again soon! Off now to check out your site… πŸ™‚

  16. Congrats on your blogsversary! That’s so exciting! Having just started my own food blog a few months ago, your tips are very helpful! I will take note! And such a great giveaway! Who doesn’t love Amazon?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda, and congrats on your new food blog! It’s a fun adventure. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you taking the time to comment, and good luck with the giveaway!

  17. First of all, congrats on a knock-out first year blogging! You are AMAZING and such an inspiration to all of us bloggers just starting out! I celebrate my 1-year anniversary in August and can only hope to follow down a similar path as you and establish such a wonderful support network. Congrats! So well-deserved!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a sweet, sweet comment, Sara. Thank you…you’re making me blush here! Blogging is such a fun journey, isn’t it? I feel very blessed to find myself still plugging away and still loving it after a year. And congratulations on your almost-anniversary! Here’s to many more for both of us! πŸ˜‰

  18. Happy Blog Anniversary! However I’m just a newbie (3 month old blog), I know how fast the time flies! I love your blog and this giveaway is fantastic too! I wish you a lot more year blogging and to be even more successful! – Love, Anna from Anna Can Do It!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are so sweet, Anna…thank you! Congrats on your new blog…I wish you lots of luck with it! It’s a fun journey…enjoy! πŸ™‚

  19. Pamela Shank says:

    Hi my name is Pam S but do not know if I am the one that won your giveaway. Have you notified the winner? this would be awesome but there are probably a million Pam S. out there. thanks

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Pam! I’m so sorry, but it was a different Pam S. and, yes, I have been in touch with her already. I’m so glad you checked, though…sometimes we notify winners and they never see the e-mail/respond, so we have to move on to another winner. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry! πŸ™‚ Thanks again for entering the giveaway…I hope you have a great night!

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