5 years old!!! Today marks the 5th anniversary of my blog ScenesFromNadine.com. Wow, time really does fly when you’re having fun! FUN – that’s the biggest reason why I started doing this anyway. It was never for the fame or fortune. You must believe me because I’m not exactly rich and famous now! I blog for FUN, and everything else is just a bonus.
I’ve been blogging since the early 2000’s, back when Livejournal was still considered cool, together with mIRC and MySpace. (Oops! Did I just reveal how old I am?) But my old blog got deleted, then I started over in Blogspot and got sick of it after a while. Then in February 2015, I gave myself a birthday gift: I created a self-hosted WordPress blog, and ScenesFromNadine.com was born! Read this post to see how it all began: (“Welcome to my New Blog!”)
As I said in that particular blog post: “As my life evolves, my priorities, topics, and thoughts do, too… I want to grow with [this blog] and I want it to grow with me.” And it sure did! It’s interesting to see how it progressed as my life unfolded. From writing about my experiences as a single lady, to writing about things I love when I became a married woman, I transitioned to becoming a mommy blogger, while still writing about other things I love, of course!. My blog is my online baby – it’s my first baby – and now, it serves as an archive of my motherhood stories with my REAL-LIFE baby (i.e. Andi).
I never really intentionally set out to be a mom blogger. It wasn’t like one day, I just woke up and said, “Okay, I’m going to be a mommy blogger now and make a ton of money writing about baby stuff.” Nope, not at all! When I was pregnant and preparing for the arrival of my first child, it just seemed natural to me to document that stage of my life. I never expected that writing and posting about my motherhood journey would eventually help me pay the bills (or at least contribute at home through the perks that I receive). Just like my career in event hosting, I kind of just fell into it, and it turned out to be a blessing! I’ll write about that for another time.
So here I am, celebrating my 5th year into blogging. But did you know that I almost let this blog die?
My web hosting expired last January (*Side note for the non-techies: web hosting is pretty much what keeps your website up. Without it, when you load a page, you’ll just be greeted with an error message and you won’t be able to view the site). It was set for a renewal last month but I asked my hosting provider to give me a few more days to think about it, because honestly, I was at the point where I was thinking: “Is it even still worth blogging?”
I love writing. And yes, I am writing for myself. But let’s face it: when you have a blog, you’re partly writing for other people too. And sometimes, I’m not sure if people even read my blog. I mean, do people still read at all nowadays?! Case in point: I posted a photo on Instagram of our family on Mike’s birthday, and ON THE VERY FIRST LINE of my caption, I wrote that it was Mike’s birthday. And whaddya know?! Some people greeted *ME* a happy birthday! Gotcha! Not reading!
So anyway, I wasn’t sure if keeping the blog up and running was still worth the time AND money investment. Maintaining a blog is a lot of hard work. You need to carve out time to write blog entries, take / upload / edit photos, promote your posts on social media, reply to comments (if any), manage spam comments, make sure your blog is secure and safe from hackers, etc. And when I write blog posts, I really put a lot of thought into it. I don’t like releasing a rushed and badly-written post because the content we put out there is our legacy. It’s also our online portfolio. You never know when a potential employer or client will come across your posts.
It was my best friend who convinced me to keep the blog. To cut the long story short, she gave me a lot of really good reasons why I should, but there was one thing she said that really made an impact on me:
“Your blog has helped me so many times.”
She said that when she was going through a difficult period, she read one of my old posts, saved it, and kept re-reading it whenever she felt down. Then, during the onset of the lockdown when most stores were closed and it was unsafe to go out to do groceries, she referred to my blog post about where to buy food online. At that time, someone very close to her was very sick and he and his family couldn’t go out to buy food, so she helped out that person by ordering food for him and his family, using the information that she found on my blog.
When she told me this, I suddenly remembered the BIGGER reason why I was doing this in the first place. Yes, I am mainly doing this for my own enjoyment and sometimes, as a source of income. But through this blog and through my writing, I am also able to make other people’s lives better somehow, whether that’s by making them smile, entertaining them, or giving them useful and valuable information. It doesn’t really matter whether I have 10 or 100 or 1,000 readers.
Of course, not to sound like a hypocrite, I will admit that I do enjoy the advantages that being a blogger brings. I mean, let’s get real… who DOESN’T enjoy free stuff?! Blogging has really opened a lot of doors for me. I was able to enjoy little luxuries and give my family opportunities to have memorable experiences because of this blog. Because of that, I’ll always be grateful that I hit that ‘Publish’ button 5 years ago.
There are so many ways to express ourselves online now – there’s Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. – but I think my heart will always belong to my blog, even if I don’t get to update it all the time. I’ve always loved writing, and my blog (to me, at least) feels like the best platform to be my most authentic self. I don’t know how long I’ll be keeping this blog. Maybe, one day, I’ll get tired of it. But for now, it’s here to stay.
To wrap this up, I’m sharing with you my most popular posts in the past 12 months, according to Google Analytics. Some of these are not actually my BEST posts or my favorites, but for some reason, these are the most viewed posts.
1. Naughty Donki: Don Quijote in Akihabara
Ooohhh… you dirty, dirty creatures! Hahaha!
2. My Hospital Bag Packing List
I should probably update this or write a follow-up blog post: “My Hospital Bag Packing List… and Which of These I Actually Used and Which Ones Were Useless.”
3. Hosting By Nadine
Some of my clients found me here on my blog and got me to host their events!
4. A Star is Born: Andromeda Eve’s Birth Story
One of my favorite blog posts!!! I still get teary-eyed when I read this.
5. Birthday Buffet Dinner at Niu by Vikings
Who doesn’t love a good buffet, right?!
6. My Birth Plan a.k.a. Birth Wishes
This is a blog post about my super elaborate birth plan that impressed my OB. She said after looking at my birth plan: “Wow! This is so detailed! Can you be my assistant?!” But were all my birth wishes actually fulfilled? Or, the question is, did the doctors’ assistants even read them? Hehe.
7. Eastwood Richmonde Hotel Pajama Party
Read if you want to get ideas on a cute pajama party-themed… er, party.
8. Los Arcos de Hermano Resort in Bulacan
Not sure if they’re still open now and if it’s still well-maintained now, but this is very close to Manila if you want to go on a quick getaway!
9. 2nd Wedding Anniversary at Galileo Enoteca Deli
One of my favorite restaurants! V-day is coming up, so you can check this out if you’re looking for a place to go to for your Valentine’s Day date.
10. Andi’s Pastel Candy Christmas 1st Birthday Party and Dedication
Another one of my favorites, for obvious reasons. 🙂 It was a simple but cute and meaningful party!
Are you still with me?! If you are still reading up to this point, I’m amazed! Some people STILL do read! 😀 Seriously though, I just want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for your time, support, and encouragement as I reach this memorable milestone. Thank you for being a part of this journey, and I do hope you will join me in my future adventures. If there is anything you would like me to write about, do let me know! 🙂