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The Weekender: Lucy’s First Bike, Keeping Blogs Alive + a Podcast Interview

Lucy's first bicycle! via Yellow Brick Home // small Chicago patio inspiration // patio design with red brick pavers
toddler bike | lounge chairs | wicker dining chairs | metal dining chairs

Lucy’s First Bicycle

Our favorite activity this summer has been family bike rides on our tandem – bicycles built for 2 make everything more fun, I think! And because Lucy loves being on wheels as much as we do, we figured it was time we get her a toddler-sized bicycle, just for her. We chose this one, removed all the logo stickers, and it’s somehow more adorable in person (most likely because there’s a Lucy on it).

The only downside? Lucy’s first bicycle also lead to Lucy’s first major meltdown (like, major major!), when we told her it was time to put it away, ha! We were caught so off guard, I think we might’ve laughed? Oh, Lucy! I shared a quick Story clip of her scooting in the backyard – around doggie-shaped obstacles, no less – and my messages were flooded with more details on this bitty bike. Needless to say, it’s been a hit!

Lucy's first bicycle! via Yellow Brick Home // small Chicago patio inspiration // patio design with red brick pavers

Thank you for taking our Reader Survey!

We are overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who took the time out of their day to take our Reader Survey. We read each and every response, and we learned so much from you and about you! Our entire goal is to keep our blog an upbeat, inspiring and happy place to hang out, while also sharing the wins and pitfalls of renovating in real-time. Luckily, it turns out that many of you feel that we’re doing a-okay in that department (love ya), but as to be expected, there was some divisiveness as well – i.e., more vlogs, please! vs. I don’t watch videos, sorry!, or love your round-ups! vs. not really a fan of round-ups, or more fashion! vs. I’m not here for the fashion. In response to the latter, we strive for balance between our fixers, family, products, sponsorships and just-for-fun, as well as organic content and highly requested themes. Our wish is that you’ll dive into the posts that you enjoy the most, and if today’s post is not for you, we hope you’ll join us tomorrow!

As we combed through the survey, we also noticed a handful of recurring questions and concerns, and I wanted to pull together a more thoughtful response in one place. Let’s take a deeper dive into those:

I love your new blog layout, but your most recent posts are no longer at the top!

Sorry if this is confusing! The new blog layout features a slider at the very top that rotates between popular posts. Directly beneath that, you’ll see a header that says ‘ON THE BLOG,’ followed by a grid of thumbnails. Those thumbnails are all of our blog posts in chronological order. Click ‘READ MORE’ to go to the post!

Can you please have your links open in a new window? I lose my place every time I have to go ‘back’ on my browser, and that’s frustrating.

You got it! There can be a lot of confusing information on best SEO practices, which is why we were testing links in the same window. But we agree with you! Moving forward, links will open in a new window.

I used to get an email every time you published a post, but I don’t see those anymore. What gives?

Our emails were formatted through FeedBurner, which we had little control over and found to be clunky. We got rid of that altogether in favor of nicely designed weekly or monthly (your choice!) digests of our blog posts, which also helps to reduce clutter in your inbox. You can sign up for those emails here, or you can always find the ‘SUBSCRIBE’ button at the very bottom of our blog.

I’m a silent blog reader that doesn’t comment or ‘like’ anything. Do comments and likes help you guys? Should I ‘swipe up’ on Instagram to view the blog, or should I go straight to the blog itself? What helps you know that we are here and enjoying content? I get worried when I hear that ‘blogs are dead’!

We received a variation of this question many times over, and this is kind of you to ask, so thank you! I’m going to answer this as succinctly and honestly as possible. Something as simple as clicking over to our blog – whether that’s from a blog reader, a ‘swipe up’, a link from Instagram or Facebook – is engagement. Period. Those clicks count as page views, which are important metrics for our brand partners! To take it one step forward, if you are truly enjoying content, leaving a comment or ‘like’ is an outward way of showing your support, but better yet, it’s a way for us to connect with you through friendly conversation. This is two-fold: Not only do we get to have thoughtful dialogue with you, but it also shows our brand partners that we have an engaged readership.

Simply put, your engagement – whether that’s silently reading a post directly on our blog, ‘liking’ a social post, watching our videos on YouTube or leaving a comment – not only helps us partner with brands whose creativity aligns with our own, but it keeps blogs alive and well, and it helps us to understand what you’re loving (and what you’re not). It’s what allows us to create near-daily content and continue strengthening the Yellow Brick Home community. So if you see something you like, say something! We love hearing from you, and it encourages us to keep going. (Hey, we’re human, too.)

Please stop truncating your posts in Feedly (Bloglovin’, etc). I don’t have time to (or simply won’t) click over, sorry!

In addition to the above, we’ve worked hard to create an easy-to-navigate and good looking viewing experience on yellowbrickhome.com. Thank you for understanding!

What Else?

Our friends Chris and Julia launched Good Influence(r) this week, an online course that helps influencers navigate the murky waters of this relatively new career. I am here for it. (Like, I devoured the course in a few days.) Having blogged for the last decade!, I still gained countless takeaways and a hearty amount of homework for our own corner of the web. Enrollment is only open for a few more days!

We had a fun opportunity to be the very first guests on Lou Manfredini’s podcast, Lunch with Lou! We talk about the business of blogging, The Two Flat, what it’s like to work with each other all day long, and so much more. You can listen to the entire episode right here, or find it where ever you listen to your favorite podcasts!

Just picked up these cute sneakers in sand, and it fuels my grandma-fashion-loving heart so hard. (Blush, black and slate are pretty cool, too.)

Erin is so brave with color, and her feed is one of my very favorites. Her bedroom (below!) always stops me mid-scroll, and this before + after is a great example of cheating the eye and working with what you’ve got:

Jenna started For the Love of Readers as a way to help families become advocates for their (young) readers – as well as being a resource for literacy. We had a short interview with her, sharing where we are in our own reading journey with Lucy!

This Passive House is an absolute dream boat.

This short Pittie clip brings me so much joy, I literally can’t.

We’ve been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award! You can vote for your favorite right here, if you’d like.

Weekend Sales

Have a wonderful weekend!

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  • Samantha8.16.19 - 7:14 AM

    The way those curtains are hung around that little window is perfect. I always hate having to put beds/couches in front of windows for some reason but this looks amazing. Also, I’m normally an internet creeper but going to start commenting more to show the love because you guys are great!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 8:43 AM

      Thank you! And yes, didn’t she do an AWESOME job?! Her whole home is stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra8.16.19 - 7:19 AM

    I ain’t judging, but you might want to consider getting Lucy in the habit now of wearing a helmet anytime she’s on wheels.  Sure, right now she’s inches from the ground, but that space will only increase (as will her speed!). ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 8:42 AM

      Lucy LOVES her helmet and even wears it just for fun! She doesn’t go near the tandem without a helmet (us either).ReplyCancel

  • Hope8.16.19 - 7:30 AM

    Oh, I hate to write this comment because I think that every time someone blogs about their child people come out of the woodwork to say “you are doing it wrong” and here I am doing the same thing.  It’s just that that bike is a design I am intimately, disastrously, familiar with.  I clicked on the link and of its twelve reviews the third or fourth one said exactly what I expected.  It tips.  Lucy’s weight is on the handlebars as she pushes, just like with a walker, but unlike a toddler’s walking toy, there’s no “front end” that keeps the toy from tipping forward under her weight.  If the wheels ever get hung up– on a stick, a rock, another toy– the bike tips forward and because her hands are engaged, her face is what hits the ground. Sometimes with surprising force.  Like emergency room visit force.  Will you please, please watch for the back wheels lifting off the ground when she uses it and if you see it happen, just get rid of the bike?  Sorry to be that person, but it’s hard to think a baby would get hurt because I didn’t say something.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 1:42 PM

      Hi, Hope! This is a balance bike, so the goal is to get her to learn, well, balance (as opposed to be completely stable on a tricycle), and we’re always near her when she’s using it. For now, she mostly uses it indoors in the ‘play’ area (on the navy rug upstairs), but we’re very careful. Thank you for your comment, and perhaps it may help others weigh in on whether or not it’s the right bike for them, as it was for us!ReplyCancel

  • MJ8.16.19 - 8:11 AM

    What category were you nominated for the Amara award? I didn’t see your blog from the link here. Thx!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 8:50 AM

      We’re in the Best Creative Skill category. :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy8.16.19 - 8:12 AM

    Re: Truncated posts  – I get it,  truly I understand. But the issue with me (and maybe a few other people) is transparency. You guys have always been really open about why you do it and I appreciate that, but others aren’t always. Another blog I read posted a similar survey earlier this year and one of the questions they asked was how you read. I guess a lot of people were using feed readers because literally THE NEXT DAY they switched to truncated posts, completely without comment. If it’s a decision you’ve made to help grow your business, just say that. It’s fine. Really. We’ll understand. But to make a decision like that (in this case, after many years) that forces your readers to change the way they consume your content deserves some thought and a bit of conversation, I think.
    I also feel like it serves to distance people from their readers in some ways. If I love a blog I’ll read ALL of their posts, whether it’s something I’m super interested in or not. I’ve noticed recently though that with truncated posts, if it’s something that I’m only lukewarm about, I won’t click through, when before I would read the post anyway just to stay connected. And then if I notice that I’m consistently only clicking through on a couple of posts out of 10, I’m more likely to stop following that blog completely. Does that make any sense?
    That said, I love your stuff and I’ve been making a conscious effort to comment more here so your blog doesn’t die! Just wanted to give a little more insight since I don’t think I clearly stated some of this when I took the survey. Sorry for the novel! And keep up the beautiful work! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 10:01 AM

      Thanks for your reply, Stacy (and thank you for commenting, I’ve noticed your name in the comments!). Hopefully my explanation will help others understand where we, as bloggers, are coming from. It’s a road we’re all traveling together – bloggers, readers, this community as a whole – with no clear-cut rules, and I sincerely believe we’re all doing our best.ReplyCancel

      • Stacy8.16.19 - 11:05 AM

        I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to hear “blogs are dead” when you’re both depending on it for your livelihood – and now Lucy’s future as well! To be clear, none of this was meant as a criticism of you (though I also appreciate how respectfully you respond to critical comments!) just a bit of an explainer from this side. You and Scott are seriously navigating this all so well.ReplyCancel

  • Susan8.16.19 - 9:54 AM

    Voted. Good luckReplyCancel

  • April8.16.19 - 9:58 AM

    I appreciate the question on how to best help you two with swipes/clicks/etc.  I have no clue how this works, but your content has been a well of inspiration for me, so want to give back how I can.  On the subject of childhood meltdowns, my first was over a mostly-eaten lobster carcass/shell that I wanted to bring home as a pet.  More bike time seems quite sane and rational by comparison!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 10:37 AM

      Aw, that’s actually pretty adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold Hive8.16.19 - 2:00 PM

    Love all your words on engagement! <3ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB8.16.19 - 5:41 PM

    Thanks for explaining the “engagement” information.  I’m glad people thought to ask about that; it’s good to know.  I really respect your approach to the blog.  It always feels so genuine.  Like you’re just doing your thing.  It’s like you have a quiet confidence that allows you both to just be yourselves, and I think that shines through in your “voice” and delivery of content.  I’m glad brands/partners recognize your awesomeness so you can keep sharing content with all of us!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 7:38 PM

      We love that so many of you thought to ask! It can feel like a big mystery if you’re not a blogger, and how do we EXPECT you to know if we (as bloggers) don’t talk about it? So happy to have you here!ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin8.16.19 - 8:20 PM

    Silent reader since the very beginning. I will definitely start commenting now. 
    I laughed out loud about Lucy’s bike story! Our daughter (Margo) and Lucy are the same age and she had her first big meltdown this week as well. Who knew going inside for the evening could be so devastating. :) It was sad, but also totally adorable. ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.16.19 - 8:42 PM

      We tried so hard not to laugh, but her little face! The torture!

      Also fun fact: when I was pregnant, our friends would ask us how Margo was doing, which was the nickname they gave to our baby. As in, Margo Vargo. 😂 I’ve always loooved that name, but Scott ruined any chance of me being able to use it!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole8.17.19 - 7:30 AM

    As a recovering “silent” blog reader just wanted to say I love what y’all are doing and loved getting to read your answers to those survey questions! Is there any platform that does ‘round-up’ blogs (like Bloglovin) but that ALSO gives blogs the engagement that you need? I’ve used Bloglovin as a check-in of sorts- every morning, who’s posted, etc. but then I usually hop over to read more in depth. Good news/bad news is that app suddenly stopped working on my phone so was wondering if there was anything better that, as a blog, you would actually recommend?ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.17.19 - 8:34 AM

      Thanks so much, Nicole! I use and love Bloglovin, but I’ve also heard great things about Feedly. You might want to give that one a try!ReplyCancel

  • Judith8.18.19 - 9:57 AM

    Hi there, I’m one of the people who commented that they don’t like the new slider on the top. First of all, thank you for your thorough response! But the issue is not that I and presumably other regular visitors don’t understand how it works. That becomes obvious after the first couple of times you experience the new layout. The problem is instead that you have to scroll for any actual new content, and if you don’t visit via mobile but through a browser on a computer you don’t even get a glimpse of what is below the the slider but it obscures the bottom of the page completely. Which for me it results in fewer visits, so I can be more sure there is something instead of scrolling down and realizing I did so to not find anything new.I’m not quite sure what the logic behind the slider on the top is – of course it makes sense to present an easy way to reach popular posts, but the way the slider works out, your regular readers just keep being presented content they are long familiar with first thing they see. And while it may be meant to directly lead new readers to something they can get hooked on, they are exactly the ones who won’t yet know how the slider works, and after being shown the same stuff the second and third time they drop by may not return anymore, or at least not anytime soon. I rather think it defeats its purpose, and the popular projects should just get their own menu tab like the room makeovers etc.. While I appreciate that at least in the layout for computer browsers it’s difficult because you don’t want to have to many of those menu options plus it’s awkward when it becomes an uneven number to balance with the logo on top, the slider as is just isn’t a great feature (and if you absolutely must keep it, it should at least be slimmer). In the mobile design it wouldn’t even be a problem to have it as a menu item because it’s just a list item there.This has become a bit more than my five cents of opinion here, but I guess that simply shows just how irritating I find that thing ;)ReplyCancel

    • Ashley8.18.19 - 10:04 PM

      I totally agree. I don’t think anyone under the age of 70 is actually confused by what the slider is- I mean, Amazon, arguably one of THE most visited sites utilizes the feature. I personally think it makes your site clunky and tiring- if that makes sense lol. I have the same criticism for Emily Henderson’s blog and her auto-playing videos. Sometimes whether its on my end (bad internet/bad service) or your end (server issues etc.), the blog just takes waaay too long to load and i give up and exit (usually to a blog that has a less dynamic home page like chrislovesjulia). I don’t use a blog reader so I’m pretty constantly checking your blog home page for new content and I know it sounds dumb, but having to scroll to see the posts is actually annoying. But hey, if you love it and never change it I will still be here reading and loving your content LOL.ReplyCancel

      • Kim8.19.19 - 9:25 AM

        You guys have given us some food for thought! Thanks so much. We see what you’re saying, and we may have some ways to make it work better for everyone. Stay tuned!ReplyCancel

  • Julia | Chris Loves Julia8.19.19 - 3:53 PM

    Thanks for including our course in your Weekender! That last bedroom image has given me SO MUCH inspiration, too. I love love love her whole feed.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa8.20.19 - 8:09 AM

    Love all the color on Erin’s Insta. Thanks for the new follow suggestion!ReplyCancel

  • Staci8.20.19 - 12:04 PM

    Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see more of the two-flat. And removing the tacky stickers from that bike is a genius move! ReplyCancel

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