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Sunny Side Up Survey Results

To all of you who took my survey.. I truly can’t thank you enough!  I have to be honest and say that I was a little nervous about what you all might say.  But you guys.  I was right!  I just knew you were all friends!  In fact so many of you said you wished you lived next door and we could hang out.  Me too!  There’s actually one more lot available not far from me.. ;)  Really though – I was overwhelmed by so much kindness and love.  The kind, but constructive criticism was genuinely helpful – exactly what I was looking for to help me make visiting my blog a fun experience for you all.  I wish I could thank each of you personally for your heartfelt remarks.  I read each and every response – twice!  Just know how much your sweet words mean to me.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the survey results with you (thousands of you answered!) and explain a few things on my end.  You were all so open and honest with me and now I want to be open and honest with you!

Question 1:  How long have you been reading Sunny Side Up?

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The majority of you have been reading for 2 to 3 years.  Really fun to hear from so many of you that have been with me this long and longer!

Question 2:  How do you keep up with Sunny Side Up?

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Love that the winner here was that a lot of you randomly stop by when avoiding housework or work.  You’re all totally my people. ;)  The “others” were a lot of Feedly,  and Bloglovin’ followers.  Also a lot of you commented that my blog is in your favorites folder or that it’s one of the few blogs you check every morning with your coffee or every evening to wind down.  I’m honored to be among your chosen few and that you start/end your day with me!  Makes me want to post more so there is always something new up for you to read when you check in!  More on that in just a bit.  :)

Fun that so many of you follow me on Instagram.  It’s definitely my favorite form of social media and where I hang out the most.  It’s also an easy place for me to interact with all of you and I love that.  I try really hard to update Facebook but to be honest, I’ve never loved Facebook, and with the way they structure things so only a select number of people see my updates daily it can be a frustrating way to connect with people.  Social media is so fickle that the best way to always see when a new post is up is to subscribe to get my e-mails.  Thank you to those of you who allow me to take up precious space in your inbox!  I’d love to turn that post update e-mail into a fun little newsletter at some point.  Maybe with a few organizing or decorating tips or just fun real life talk and updates.  #futuregoal

Question #3:  What types of posts are your favorite?

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This surprised me and was so much fun to see what you all love reading about!  “Organization” was the #1 favorite.  Like I said.. you are all my people!  That made me so excited because I’m planning on doing a lot of organizing this year.  YEA for all of us.  :)  I was happy to see that it was closely followed by “I love it all and enjoy the variety.”  I’ve heard so many times that the best way to grow your blog is to stick with one subject, but I have always known that’s not for me.  If I had to write about any one thing all the time I would burn out and blogging just wouldn’t be as fun.  I’m so happy to hear that you are all ok with not always knowing what you’re going to get when you stop by.  :)

The next highest was “decorating” followed by “real life every day family stuff.”  “Fashion” scored the lowest, but here’s the funny thing.  SO many of you commented that you love the Fashion Friday posts and to please keep those up.  I also get a lot of e-mails asking for more fashion posts, so the smaller percentage of you who love the fashion must be the most vocal bunch.  Ha!  I promise I’ll still do a Fashion Friday here and there.  :)  I’d love to have a post up every Friday and rotate Fashion Friday and Friday Favorites. #2016goal

Question 4 and 5 (which kind of blur together): 

What would you love to see more of in 2016?  AND

Any other comments/feedback/suggestions/ideas for Sunny Side Up?

Wow.  THIS was enlightening.  Ok.  Where to start…

First of all, a lot of you wrote that you love me and the blog and to just keep doing what I’m doing – more of the same.  Thank you!

I’ll tell you what surprised me the most.  Over 90% of you wrote about how you want to see more family and every day life posts.


I wasn’t expecting that!  So many of you wrote about how you want to see what we are up to, what I’m doing with my kids, what my daily routines are, what my kids are interested in, how I manage my home, how my husband and I keep our marriage strong, parenting strategies, etc.  A lot of you asked for a “day in the life” post which I worry would bore you all to tears but I’m happy to do one.  :) 

I took away two things from this common response.

One.. it made me feel like you all care more about me and my life and our family vs. pictures of my house – which meant a lot to me.  I’ll admit, a few of your comments brought a tear or two to my eyes when you wrote about how my mom/life stories have touched you and made a difference in your life.

Two.. we are all (me included!) always looking for tips and tricks and suggestions on how to find balance in life.  How to make life easier and less stressful.  How to feel more organized and less like we are in survival mode.  How to still have our own lives/identities while meeting everyday demands of being a mom.  We want tips on how to enjoy our kids and families more instead of constantly feeling overwhelmed with the never ending to-do’s.  I get it!  It’s always so nice to get ideas from other people/moms about how they are “doing it all.”

I’m certainly not “doing it all.”  Let’s just put that out there to start.

I hope (and assume) you all know that most often when you see a picture like this of my family room:


Just behind the camera this kitchen is waiting for me…


I heard you all loud and clear.  You want to see enough of the pretty and organized and clean to be inspired, but enough of the messy, every day, real life to know that I’m human and to connect with me.  We’re very human around here and I’m so excited to bring more family and every day life posts back.  I think a combination of wanting to protect my kids’ privacy along with assuming you’d rather see pictures of just the house is the reason I stopped doing every day type posts to begin with.  See!  You all need to speak up more!  ;)  2016 will be a good mix and I will definitely share some of my routines and more of our every day (often messy) life along with pretty pics of an organized and clean house.  We manage to do both around here. :)

The second most common answer about what you’d all love to see more of in 2016 are the other rooms in my house I haven’t shared yet.  I know!  Right!?  Still so much to do/share around my house.  I promise I haven’t not shared my master bedroom and the kids’ bedrooms because I’m trying to be secretive.  With my girls’ rooms – I haven’t shared those spaces yet because I can’t keep them clean long enough to take pictures.  Ha!  They are also very not finished and I was hoping to get more done and show you all some great big “reveal.”  But after reading your sweet comments, I feel much better about showing you where we are at right now.  We have the main furniture, but are so not done.  I still want to add a lot more personality to all of the bedrooms and that is one of my house goals for this year.  Kole’s room I am starting with from scratch this year and my master bedroom currently has random paint colors all over the wall (I never liked the original paint I chose for that room!).  We are very “in progress” around here.  But yes!  I’ll be sharing pics of those spaces for sure and updates as I continue to work on them this year.  I’m also excited to show you my office progress at some point and maybe my husband’s office if we get to it.  It’s a cool space.  :)

These are a few other things multiple people mentioned they would love to see more of on the blog.  They are all great post ideas for me that I’ll try to cover.

  • Recipes!  You guys made me laugh!  Seems I have quite a few kindred spirits who also hate cooking and dealing with the never ending chore of figuring out what to make for dinner.  :)  I’m happy so many of you still use some of the simple recipes I’ve shared.  I’ll for sure slip a few more family favorites in here and there.  {p.s.  You can see a round up post of some of my past recipes HERE.  Also last week I made our Ziti Lasagna and it is always a huge hit. :) }
  • My cleaning schedule/routine
  • Fun things to do in San Diego
  • Exercise routine/fitness
  • Fashion/make-up/hair
  • Parenting strategies/tips
  • Scrapbooking/Project Life
  • A few of you asked for guest posts from my husband.  I had to laugh because I have been asking him to guest post for years!  He is amazing with productivity and time management.  He has only posted twice on my blog HERE and HERE (updates when I was in the hospital) so I’ve learned that I have to be having a near death crisis to get him to blog for me.  We’ll see what I can pull off this year.  ;)

Ok.  Now for the constructive criticism which like I said, almost all came from a really good place and was so helpful to me.

  • Post more often and more consistently.

Oh man.  I’m with you!  I would love nothing more than to be able to post every day.  Or to at least have a consistent posting schedule.  But as much as I love this blog, my family and kids always come first and there are just some weeks it’s all I can do to get one post completed.  My kids’ schedule is constantly changing and when my girls are involved in a play (we did 3 last year) my life gets turned a bit upside down because there is so much parent involvement required.  One of you wrote on the survey that you’d love to see more posts, but understand why you don’t and that it shows I’m a good mom.  Thank you!  I’m trying my best. :)  The good news (and sort of sad news for me) is that my Kindergartner started going to school all day in October.  For years I’ve had him home at noon so I have only had a few hours in the morning to get things done.  I would exercise, do some housework, run to the grocery store and bam.  Alone time is over and kid activities start.  Blogging would always take place late at night when my kids were in bed.  Now I have until 2:00 four days a week (my kids all get out early one day a week) so one of my main goals this year is to be productive and get more blogging done during the day while they are at school.  This will result in more consistent posts for you and more consistent nights of getting some sleep for me.  Win for all of us.  :)

  • Annoying ads/affiliate links

I only had a few of you comment on this, but I wanted to explain a few things.  First of all, I get it.  Ads on blogs annoy me too.  But there are quite a few costs associated with blogging (those costs grow as your blog grows), and while I don’t make a lot of money from this blog, given the amount of those costs combined with the crazy amount of time I spend on each post, it’s important that I at least make enough to keep the lights on and justify it all.  It makes me feel good to contribute to our family financially and I enjoy working and having something for “me” so I always planned on going back to work in some capacity once my kids were in school.  I always thought that when my kids started school full time I would start teaching again.  (I used to teach Elementary school for those of you who don’t know, and I loved it so much!)  But I love blogging too!  It allows a lot of flexibility so I can be available for my kids.  This hobby/family blog wasn’t started to become a business, but crazy enough, years later, people want to pay me to do it.  How cool is that!?  :)  So I’d like to try out this whole blogging/hobby/business thing and see if it works for me.  If not, I’ll most likely stop blogging and teach school again.  I know I couldn’t do both and raise my kids the way I want to.  Don’t worry!  This blog is near and dear to my heart and I promise to never promote anything I don’t absolutely love myself.  I get offers for sponsored posts every single day and turn down almost everything.  I’m super picky and always will be.  I will always only share products and things that I love and use myself and think that you would all enjoy too.

As far as affiliate links go, some of the links I share are affiliate links (meaning I make a very small profit if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you), but other source links aren’t.  I’ve been sharing more links to items/furniture/products in general lately because I get so many e-mails and Instagram questions on where I purchase things from.  I honestly could spend hours every day answering “Where did you get that lamp?  Where is your rug from?  Where can I find that couch?”  I’m SO happy to answer these questions (please don’t feel like you can’t ask!) and I want to help everyone out, but the sheer mass of them since we built our new house has honestly been overwhelming and hard for me to keep up with.  So that’s a huge reason you see a lot more links (affiliate and not affiliate) below pictures on the blog.  If 15 people ask me about items in my living room from one Instagram picture, it’s much easier for me to say “head to my blog where I’ve linked to all sources” than to answer each question.  Especially since I’m usually catching up on Instagram in the 5 minutes I have in the carpool lane.  :)  I hope you all understand!  All that said, my mobile ads have been driving me crazy lately (I agree – too many throughout the post!) and I’m trying to find a good balance there.

  • A few of you said “less repeat posts.”

The reason I often share pasts posts is because as you can see from the first survey question, a large percentage of my readers have been following for 6 months or less.  (Hello and welcome new friends!)  I get a lot of new readers daily and I like to re-cap for them.  But I understand that for readers who have been here a while.. not so fun.  There will definitely be enough new content this year that if there is a repeat or two, it won’t be a big deal.

  • The only other constructive criticism I got from 2 or 3 readers was “no more console table styling.”

What!?  But I love my console table!  Ha ha..  This seriously made me laugh out loud!  You guys!  You’re totally right and I didn’t even realize it!  I style my tables too much, don’t I!?  I had to throw this picture in.. last time for a long time!  I promise!  ;)

Well this post has turned into a book!  Sorry for that.  I want you to all know that my intention with sending out this survey was not to change my blog or to try to please everyone. (You can’t ever do that!  Especially with blogging.)  I did it just because I value all of you and your opinions so much and I really wanted to know what you love about this blog and what I can continue to do to make it a sunny place for you.  Because we are all so busy, it’s not often that I get to hear from many of you.  Reading your comments gave me so much excitement and energy about blogging again!  Plus I now have a list of fun post ideas because of your wonderful feedback.  Thank you again!  For commenting, for reading, for caring.  I’ll be back soon with the winner of Toni’s book!

And a whole lot of organizing.



xoxo, Erin
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57 thoughts on “Sunny Side Up Survey Results

  1. Thanks for sharing the results and explaining some things. It was enlightening for me some of the things people asked for! I didn’t even think of some of those things. I for one enjoy getting to know you via your blog and really enjoy whatever you choose to share. Some of those ideas were good ones, though. Now that I know your husband is good with time management, I really want him to guest post! LOL In the end though, Erin, this is your blog and I hope you will always be true to what makes you happy with your blog. I think that you have done that and that is definitely part of the appeal (for me at least). I can’t wait to see what you will be sharing in the new year. Oh and how exciting that Kole is in school all day (for him at least, I know it is hard for you). Happy Monday and have a great week! :)

    1. Thank you so much Jeanne! I’m working on getting my husband to post.. I may have to have a fake pass out or something. ;) So appreciate your support and all of the kind comments! Happy Monday cutie! xo

    1. Happy to hear that some people don’t mind the constant console table restyling! :) Thank you! There will be lots of decorating to come for sure. :) xo

      1. This time I had to laugh out loud!! Don’t take away the console table styling! I have two in our house and you saved me throughout every season this year!! Please, oh please don’t take that away! ;-)

        1. Ha ha.. ok Kirsten! I’m going to still share it here and there for you! And secretly for me since I obviously like to share it a lot. ;) Thanks cutie! You made my day. :) xo

  2. Hi Erin! I just discovered you within the last 6 months on Instagram and I am so happy I did. Your home is beautiful and I get so much inspiration from seeing how you style and decorate and keep everything so nicely organized. I love hearing about your busy family life and how you juggle just like the rest of us as we try to be everything for everyone (that’s how I feel most days with 3 little boys running around). Keep it up and I have to say I LOVE YOUR CONSOLE TABLE and I love seeing how you style it (maybe I’m in the minority). I actually bought one very similar after seeing your posts and love seeing what you do with it to give me inspiration. Give us a peak every now and then :) Thanks again for sharing your life with us!

    1. Hi Lacey! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you found me too! I can only imagine the running around you’re doing with three little boys! So fun and BUSY. :) Thank you for your sweet words about my blog AND my console table. Ha! I’m sure it won’t be long before I style it again and toss a picture up. I just can’t help myself. :) xo

  3. :) Love your sense of humor on the console table styling… Note: I was not one of those :)
    Thanks for a great blog Erin!

  4. Erin, I swear you are a bestie in my head! lol when you said “enough posting about the console table” I literally laughed out loud!!!! lol so funny!!! I for one enjoy and get excited when I see the email post in the morning and I know that when I take my break at work I’ll be reading your blog goodness :-) and I love the rare occasion that I get to read a new post over the weekend at home. I’m look forward to the many posts of yours in 2016-all of the them!!!

    1. Ha ha! You are a bestie in my head too Aria! That’s classic. Love that description! Made me laugh. :) Thank you so much for your support and kind words about my blog! So happy you will be along for the ride this year. :) xo

  5. Erin, I have loved your blog for a long time, and my favorite parts are when you keep it real. (That pic of your messy kitchen made my day!) Beautiful house pics are great, but seeing the before and after or the reality behind the scenes makes you human. I understand your need for family privacy, but any glimpses you can share are so great! Your chore charts? Totally made my own versions based on your posts. Your gift lists for the kiddos and from the favorite things party each year? I read and shop based on them every year! Your posts on getting the kids to sleep? I have read them multiple times (Might not have followed them to the letter, but I’m a sucker for snuggle time and napping with a baby). Share what you can and what you feel comfortable with and just please keep writing and being yourself – it’s what makes your blog resonate with your readers.

    And yes to the organization posts – they are how I found your blog in the first place, and they inspire me every time!

    Thank you for writing and sharing with us!

    1. What a kind comment Mary Beth! It means the world to me that you have been able to use so many things from my blog in your life! Also that you have been such a supportive reader and friend to me over the years. I always love hearing from you and this comment means so much! I will definitely keep it real more often this year. That’s the easy part, right? Having perfectly clean and organized home is hard. ;) Love you cutie! Thanks again! xo

  6. When I first started reading your blog I connected to it/you right away. I seriously love your blog and, I love your console table. I change mine so much. You made me feel normal. ? Just keep doing what your doing. Looking forward your blog in 2016. I’m sure it will be amazing.

    1. Ha ha.. why am I not surprised you change your table around a lot too Cathy? :) I connected with you too right away and am so grateful for your friendship! Thank you for always being so supportive. I still hope we meet someday and can have a nice long chat. :) xo

  7. I love this post, Erin. Surveys are so fun but you do have to take a deep breath before you read *just in case* :)

    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to being inspired with organising again. I found you from that post where all the shoes are stored in the garage of your old house,…. and I actually featured that post on my blog back in the day :)

    Fun times!

    From one Organising Queen to another ;)

    1. You are such a sweetheart Marcia! Thank you! I definitely took a few deep breaths before reading the results! Luckily most comments were so positive and kind and upbeat. Grateful for that! You’ve been reading for so long. Thank you for that! I’m lucky to have you as a friend. And fellow organizer. :) xo

  8. I had to LOL over the console styling too but I love it. Am going to refer back to it when we get to our next house and I have a console table. ;) Your survey results make for interesting reading. I said I would comment more so here I am. :)

  9. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for sharing the survey results. I wanted to say how great it was to see your kitchen in a “real lived in state”. Lol. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that the bloggers we read about don’t have spotlessly clean homes all day everyday. It’s was so refreshing to see you post a picture that wasn’t staged. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hello, this was fun to read. ,I started reading your blog many years ago and loved your old blog….not that I don’t love your new blog. :). Excited to see so e everyday life’s posts. And yes I loved seeing your messy kitchen..

  10. I just want to say that I love ALL decorating posts, even the console table ones.

    Also, your kids have strange school hours! They start in October, their day ends as early as 2:00, AND they get out early one (random?) day a week? How do they even meet the guidelines for the mandated hours/days in school a year? I live in NH and my son attends a private Christian school and he starts at the end of August and isn’t released until 3:00 every day (although, because it’s private, the year does end earlier than the public schools in the area). Sorry for all the questions but now I’m curious!

    1. Hi Megan! My kids start school in August too. My son just started going full day in October. :) They start the Kindergartners at half day in our district to break them in slowly. Our school day goes from 8:00 to 2:30. I leave my house at 2:00 to pick them up so that’s when my time ends to get things done. But yes.. every Wednesday my kids are out at 12:30 for teacher planning. I wish they got out early on Friday! Hope that answers your questions. :) And thank you! So happy you enjoy the decorating! Even the console table. ;)

  11. I am new to your blog from IG, so just wanted to say hi! My husband and I just finished designing our custom home (which took a year) and we hope to break ground this spring! I can’t believe the similarities in our styles…it was so fun to come across your home and be inspired! Bless you! ?

    1. Hi Wendy! So nice to “meet” you! I’m so happy you dropped by to say hi. :) Congrats on your new home! That is really exciting! Let me know if you have any question during the building process! xo

  12. Thanks for sharing the survey results. Sounds like it was a good experience. It will be great to see some pictures of the other rooms. I actually think it’s better that everything isn’t totally finished. I think we all can totally relate to that. Sometimes, it’s kind of good to see the progression of a room in bits and pieces, not that we all don’t like a great before and after, but the blogs have kind of gotten away from that and all you see are finished rooms and well, I’d rather see a partially finished room then the same room over and over again. It’s always fun to see what different paint colors look on the walls of somebody else’s rooms too. I look forward to seeing the master bedroom and
    the kids rooms too. I’ve been working on my son’s room so I am about halfway there right now so I totally understand that. Looking forward to seeing more of your home in 2016.

  13. Hi Erin,

    I started following you about six months ago when I was looking for inspiration for my new staircase. We were bought a fixer upper and decided to relocate our staircase to another part of the house and redesigned the layout. I must say it was the best thing ever when I found you on Instagram because you gave me so much inspiration and ideas for my renovations and have incorporated a lot of your ideas in my new home. Keep the post coming because I love them!!!

    1. Oh how cool! Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m so happy my ideas have helped with your renovation and that you enjoy my blog! So nice to “meet” you! :) xo

  14. Oh my how I love your console table styling!!! I always love to see how you make it special each holiday and season. Keep up the great work with your blog!

  15. Ha — too funny about the console table — but no –don’t stop styling it — I love seeing it and trying to be a little bit of a copycat sometimes! Love your blog and your family –hope you can keep doing it just the way you have been as I think it’s pretty much perfect! :)

  16. Hi Erin,

    I have only commented once before, but just wanted to pop in and say, thank you for your blog. I do check it every day and have been following you almost since the beginning. The last couple of weeks have been crazy and I didn’t get to do the survey. Thanks for publishing the results and I really look forward to and wish the best for 2016 xx


    1. Oh you are such a sweetheart Kate! That means so much to me you have been reading that long. Thank you! All the best to you and your loved ones in 2016! xo

  17. Great Job Erin! I took the survey, and honestly just didnt want you to change amything. As for the console table, that s the most problem area my girlfriends and I struggled with. If it weren’t for your blog, We wouldn’t know what to do..thank you for all your help! I guess everyone has a preference :) God Bless and take care!

    1. Thank you so much Debi! That means a lot. I’m so happy you like my blog the way it is! And I’m sure the console table re-styling will still pop up from time to time. :) xo

    1. Angela! Oh my word.. FOR SURE! I’m dying I haven’t done that post for you yet. As soon as it warms up and my yard is coming alive again I will take lots of riding track pics! I’ll even dedicate the post to you. Ha! Thanks for hanging in there with me. ;) xo

  18. Hi Erin! I’m just catching up on all of the January blog posts that I’ve missed. I am a regular reader who missed the survey. I found your blog probably about 3 years ago when I was looking for a way to get my then baby to sleep, and I found your post on baby sleep and then quickly went down the rabbit hole and read a whole bunch of your posts and I have been hooked since. I have always loved what you’ve shared and have just enjoyed being along for the ride :) Thank you! Blessing to you and your fam in 2016.

  19. Erin,

    I love your blog. I hate home decorating and organizing, so you ideas are always greatly appreciated. I’ve used a few of your recipes and they are super simple and easy enough for anyone to make. As for the style stuff I remember liking your sense of style even back in middle school. Keep up the good work. Be true to yourself and your blog will continue to resonate.


    1. Hi cute Amy! Thank you! So fun to hear from you! We’ve known each other a long time.. haven’t we!? :) Happy we just keep getting better with age. ;) xo

  20. Long time lurker here – I’ve never commented but am one of the ones who has followed on and off for many years, since 2011! Seeing your kitchen picture (still way neater than mine) reminded me that you used to have a set of little Anthropologie spice jars, which I remembered because my best friend has the same ones! This is a super long shot, but she broke one of them last month and they are almost impossible to track down any more – any chance you still have them somewhere and are willing to part with one?

    1. Hi Grace! Wow! You have a good memory! :) I actually gave those little spice jars to one of my daughters and she used them in her room. If she ever decides she doesn’t want them anymore I’ll reach out! xo

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