Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Changes to the Blog!!

If you follow me on any of my Social Media accounts, you have probably noticed that I'm changing things up a bit. It's come after an awful lot of soul searching, and deep pondering. And also WAY more worrying than is healthy for a woman. I wanted to let y'all know my thought process behind the changes, and what you can expect here on Tomes and Tequila in the future. Because now that I've made up my mind, I'm actually VERY excited to start adding content again...which is good, because I'd been in a slump. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I love this blog. I have been playfully accused by my husband of occasionally loving it more than him. I enjoy writing, and sharing the many thoughts I have with other people. I wish I would've started something like this years ago, but hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, I'd found myself in a bit of a reading slump recently...and it had morphed and caused the blog to become a chore.

This should not be a chore for me.

This blog has always been a passion project of mine. But for years my life revolved 24/7 around books. And now, it doesn't. I am no longer working at a library. I'm currently not working at all, actually...which should translate into me having TONS of time to devote to this blog and creating all sorts of really cool content for y'all. But instead, I found myself reading things I didn't really want to read...and the procrastination had become quite epic.

So, I went back to the drawing board and started brainstorming what I love about this blog, and that is communicating with my friends (and I consider all of you to be my friends). If the big attraction for me is interacting with people, and sharing information with you and generally bs-ing...then perhaps I should take the focus off 100% books, and expand to everything that I love. As my children keep reminding me, this is MY blog, and I can write about whatever I want on it!

All of this thinking, debating, pondering and self-reflection has come at a time when I'm also trying to really focus on myself for the first time in my adult life. To get a little deep for a minute here, I've always been one of those women who takes great care of everyone else, but hasn't taken very good care of herself. I recently had what some people refer to as a "come to Jesus" moment, where I came to realize just how important it is that I stop saying I'll start making improvements in my life starting next Monday, or next month, or next year...and start NOW, before it's too late. So I joined Weight Watchers, and as of this writing I'm down 16 lbs, with a whole lot to go...but it's a start. I've also been trying a lot of the other hints and tips that I've gleaned from the self-help books that I love so much. Actually TRYING, and not just filing away for future use.

But all of this bundled up into a neat Christina-sized ball means that I decided I wanted to add more ME to the blog, and take the focus off the books.

Are there going to be book reviews still? There absolutely will be because I am a huge reader and always will be. But I'd like to go back to being in charge of what I'm reading. I had way too many books coming in that I felt I HAD to read, as opposed to WANTED to read. I will be way more selective in the future.

What else can you expect to see on the blog? I plan on adding more beauty and lifestyle features. I am a HUGE makeup addict, and I love trying new I think it would be fun to share with you what I'm loving and using, and which things you could probably steer clear of. I'm also really trying to treat my skin better, as a 42 yo woman who had horrible acne as a teenager, and wasn't great at treating my face well in my 20's and 30's. I have a giant bucket of skincare products that I have been playing with, and have also received a few items to review that I'd like to share with all of you. There will also be more essays and random stories on the blog. OH, and I feel I need to make it clear that when I say Lifestyle, I admit to everyone that I usually stay in my pajamas all day at least once a week...and live in a rental property with an old dog. It will be realistic, and probably look nothing like the stories I enjoy perusing on Instagram. 😀 (If you're on Insta, you know what I'm talking about!!)

I would also like to share with everyone my journey on Weight Watchers, as a means of both keeping myself motivated, and hopefully helping to motivate a few of my friends and anyone else who has struggled with their weight. I am trying to lose a good sized adult human's worth of weight. There is a certain amount of shame and embarrassment that comes along with publicly stating that. It will be a long-haul journey for me. I need to find a way to stay focused on my end goal, and I've always done better when I was helping other people. My heart says that if I'm honest with y'all, and if I write maybe once a week after my weigh-in and talk about how my week went, and what I I can improve and do better the next week, etc., will both help myself and maybe help someone else too.

All of it can be bundled into me wanting to make 2018 the best year I possibly can. I would like to take all of you along with me. Hopefully you will be as excited by the changes to the blog as I am. If you're not, I hope you will at least come visit for the book reviews! For those hanging around, I have big plans to make more videos on both Facebook and YouTube. They scare me, but I love them...and I am a huge fan of watching other's videos so I'd like to get in on the action a bit! I've created a Tomes and Tequila YouTube channel that presently only has one old FB Live video on it...but if you'd like to hop over there and subscribe, it would make me feel great and let me know that you want videos!

OH, and I also want to briefly talk about Affiliate Links for a minute. I've signed back up to be an Amazon Affiliate (and I'm still an Etsy affiliate). If you go to my Review Policy page, I have a write-up on these links, but I wanted to explain how they work a bit. As an affiliate, if you purchase from my links, I will receive a small commission. How small? Between 2% to 7% depending on the program, and it is at NO additional cost to you. There is NO FEE to you for buying from my link. I will ALWAYS put an asterick and a note in my posts letting you know that there are affiliate links in the post. Why am I doing it? I said earlier, I'm not working right now...and I spend a lot of time working on the blog and finding links etc. If I can make a couple of bucks off of it, then I can devote even more time to working on it! To put it all in perspective, I have been an Etsy Affiliate for over a year now and have never received a check because I haven't earned enough. I believe I have made about $13 so far, and you need to make over $20 to get your first check. I was kicked out of the Amazon program before because if no on purchases from you after 180 days they kick you out, and no one had ever purchased from my links. I, personally, don't mind using affiliate links...and became aware of them when shopping off my favorite beauty guru's videos on YouTube. It takes time to look up products and put links into posts...something I wasn't aware of until I started doing it myself! But I can promise you...and those who know me in real life will know how honest I am, the rest of you will just have to take me at my word...I will never send you to shop somewhere that I wouldn't buy from. I will also never use an affiliate link for something I didn't like...a book I gave 2 stars to, or an item I thought was crappy. I will only ever use them for products I like because this blog is me, and it has to stand for something. I hope all of that makes sense!! In short, I'm not making a million off of you if you purchase, and you're not being charged more if you follow one of my links. I'm just trying to value myself and my time, and help all of you out at the same time.

I hope this giant rambling mess of a post makes a tiny bit of sense. I also hope that you all will stay with me to see what 2018 has in store for Tomes and Tequila!! If there is anything that you'd like to see on the blog, please leave a comment to let me know about it! I'm very open to suggestion. I'd love to hear if you like videos, FB Live chats, YouTube, Instagram Stories, and any of the other things I've mentioned adding to the mix!! And once again, thank you for making 2017 a great year for me and my blog.


  1. I'm so excited for all these changes! Looking forward to reading in 2018.

    1. Thanks Marisa!! I appreciate all of your support!!