Filling the Jars Blog & Home Update – 3rd Quarter of 2016

I’ve been blogging for about nine months now. (I can hardly believe I just typed that!) It’s time to give you a household and blogging goals update, talk about how things have been going, and contemplate whether or not to make any changes.

When I first started blogging, I read a daunting statistic: Most bloggers quit by the 6-month mark. I worried that I would be one of them, but decided to give it a try anyway. I’m still here! Yes, I’m actually a little relieved about that. 🙂

Text blog and home goals update on dark salmon background.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can see my full disclaimer here.

Related posts:
Filling the Jars Update – 2nd Quarter of 2016
Filling the Jars Update – 1st Quarter of 2016

Blogging Update:

What I love:

– The fantastic mastermind group I’m now a part of! The ladies are kind, funny, straightforward, and always happy to share advice and what’s working or not working for them. It’s great to connect “in person” (Skype) with them!

– Working with graphics. I know I said this in the first AND second quarter updates, but it’s still true! It’s fun to experiment and discover new techniques and styles.

– Writing. It’s always mostly been about the writing and sharing.

What’s surprised me:

– My perfectionist tendencies have not gone away. At all. *sigh*

– I spend even less time on social media. 🙂 I’m down to about 3 hrs/week reading promising posts & scheduling social media. I also randomly save Pins during my evening winding-down time, but that’s really just for fun. 😉

Review of Blogging Goals for the THIRD Quarter of 2016:

Get back to posting twice per week.

– This mostly happened. 😉 I posted less in September because I had several other things going on, but my traffic still increased. That was interesting. Posting on Tuesdays and Fridays seems to fit my schedule, so I plan to continue that.

Complete three more modules of Elite Blog Academy.

– I only completed one more module. I was stuck for a while, but finally had to just get over it and move on. Eventually I will find someone to make my site look EXACTLY the way I want it to look, but for now it works well enough.

[*note: The Elite Blog Academy course I took is no longer available. I now recommend Suzi Whitford’s Blog By Number course.]

Narrow the blog focus?

– Aside from the random blogging-related post, I am sticking with posts that encourage you to Plan, Simplify, and Take Action. Whether it’s meal planning, personal finance, organizing, decluttering, or just plain LIFE, we could all stand to make things easier.

Related posts:

October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan – Cool Weather Dinners

“Little Money” Saving + Earning Ideas: Easily Stash $1000+ Every Year

Why You MUST Discover & Develop A Creative Outlet

– I’m still considering starting a separate writing-focused blog. I’ve missed posting my writing excerpts, and have found that I don’t write as productively as I did when I wrote those 500 words every day and knew they would probably be posted on the blog.

Create more printables.

– I made some printable dinner plans and a “little money” tracking spreadsheet. Unfortunately, that was it.

Grow my audience and begin producing an income.

– Well, after nine months, I’m still not producing an income from the blog itself. I’ve been resisting Adsense ads like crazy, but I may need to break down and put some up. I have recently become an affiliate for a very limited number of programs that I have personally used and recommend, but rest assured that my focus here is to help YOU with complete transparency.

– A couple of really awesome things that have happened are that my traffic has finally begun to increase a little and I’m getting to know more of my readers. That’s so exciting!

– I have also put up a Work With Me page where I am now offering writing services in addition to image creation packages. [*note: services are no longer available]

My Blogging Goals for the FOURTH Quarter of 2016:

Continue posting twice per week.

– The ideas are flowing and my content calendar is filling in nicely, so I am confident this will happen.

– I’m also excited that I will have at least one guest post — and possibly more! — published on other blogs before the end of the year. Woohoo!

– If you are interested in guest posting on my blog, shoot me an email — [email protected]. I would love to feature bloggers who are a good fit.

Complete modules 5 – 9 of Elite Blog Academy.

– Now that I’m past my personal mental roadblock (had to get over my perfectionism for a bit) with this amazing course, I’m totally going to make this goal. 🙂

Create more printables and spreadsheets.

– I will continue to create printable monthly dinner plans and inspirational quotes. I’m also working on some other printables — hopefully they’ll turn out well enough to release to you guys.

Make a final decision about starting a writing blog.

– It’s so tempting, but I worry about the time commitment. I don’t want to take away from my family or from this blog.

Begin producing an income.

– It would be incredibly awesome to know this blog is paying for itself — whether that comes from ads, affiliates, or writing/image work. I would also love to tell you guys that I was finally successful at this goal!

Household Update:

To see the original goals I had when I launched Filling the Jars, read this — Filling the Jars: Family, Home, Money, Life and this — My Buzzword for 2016: Positivity.


Okay, we’re now smack-dab in the middle of autumn, and my husband & I have pretty much decided this is not the year for DIY home improvements.

Our goals WERE:

Redo the master bedroom. The last time we did any work in there was 15 years ago. Time to refresh! I have pinned some ideas on my Pinterest Bedroom Decor Ideas board.

– Now that it’s getting colder, we don’t want to tear everything apart. We’ll wait until the weather warms next spring/summer. In the meantime, I’ll be planning, Pinning, and looking for materials to use.

Build a new pumphouse. We live in the country and our well pump is in a small shed. After years of water issues, the building is falling apart and we need to build an improved version. We also need to fix some of the water lines.

– We will redo the insulation in the existing pumphouse and come up with a plan for next year.

Build a walkway from the house to the driveway.

– We were going to do this at the same time as the pumphouse, so it will also have to wait.

Another round of decluttering. Most of that is in my “office,” a.k.a. The Room of Everything where I don’t even have a real desk. I need a desk. My computer monitor & keyboard sit on top of two filing cabinets and I try to work with my knees & feet all smushed up against the cabinets. Not good. Not good at all.

– This one is still on the list. I MUST make this happen before the end of the year! I will NOT start 2017 with this office situation.


Our current budget is something we can survive on, but I’m going to have to really step it up and create more income for us to accomplish the goals set out at the beginning of the year:

Pay off the home equity loan.

– We are resigned to the fact that we won’t be paying anything more than the minimum payments for the rest of the year. Our younger son did end up getting braces. Fortunately, we have dental insurance that will cover some of the cost, but I’m still funneling cash to pay the difference. I’m just glad we are finding a way to do this for him (even though he’s not exactly happy about it right now 😉 ).

Fund Roth IRA’s for this year. Still trying to figure out how this will happen. My husband and I do both contribute to retirement plans through work. His pension plan is better than my tiny 401k, but neither one will be enough to live on.

– No progress on this.

Help out with college expenses for our older son. We are contributing approximately the amount of our education tax credit toward his tuition expenses. We would love to help more if our own retirement accounts were fully funded, but that is not the case right now. As every financial book I’ve ever read says, “Your kids can borrow money for college. You can’t borrow money for retirement.”

– Done for this year. 🙂

Focus on SOME sort of freelance “side hustle” that actually makes money.

– As mentioned earlier, I put up a Work With Me page on the blog. I’m also studying how to pursue separate paid freelance writing work.


To be totally honest, my general life goal for the next three months is really just to keep things rolling along. I would like to work in more time to write some fiction, but that’s about it. It’s soon going to be time to start snuggling in for winter. To go along with that, I’m looking forward to sitting in front of the fire in the mornings with a mug of coffee and a book.

There it is, my 9-month blogging and household update. It felt like I was spinning my wheels in some areas, but I’ve now moved on. Putting some things on hold and out of my mind mean I can really get excited about moving forward to the next quarter! I hope you stick around for the ride — and don’t be afraid to hold me accountable and tell me what you REALLY NEED from this blog!

Text 2016 Q3 blog and home update over image of clipboard and office supplies on white desk.

2 thoughts on “Filling the Jars Blog & Home Update – 3rd Quarter of 2016”

  1. Thank you for this. I ♥ these updates from fellow bloggers. It’s encouraging to see where people are at, where they are working towards going, and how they are doing it along the way. We work HARD for our $, so few people who get a steady paycheck from a ‘regular’ job out there understand. They think we’re just ‘playing’ around on the computer! Good luck to you my friend! Keep going 🙂 #smallvictoriessundaylinkup

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top