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Changing the Game

Years ago we used to actively blog a lot about our day-to-day life. Back before there were over 100k social media followers and several media platforms that we managed, before the blog was “a resource for the community” we used to share our lives; before we had a team of people employed to help us keep up.

In preparing for this today’s newsletter release I got a bit nostalgic. I thought of how enjoyable it was to have a holiday, create a menu, take days sharing each recipe and the photos of our day and journey with you all. I loved looking back at old posts and seeing the memories we’ve made in years passed. And I realized there I was, writing a newsletter because the marketing guru’s tell me that is what the most effective form of communication with our fanbase is.

A newsletter only 10% of our visitors subscribe to, of which only 30% open and read. A newsletter our team spent hours drafting, Matt spent 2 hours editing and I then spent 2 more hours further editing. That’s right, we spent something like 8 total working hours on a newsletter some 3% of our regular visitors will actually read.

All for a platform I won’t look back on a year from now or 3 years from now to see all the photos and memories I made with my boys over this wonderful Spring Break.

So here’s what I propose.

We’re going to try to be less uppity about how many people are reading the posts and get back to doing what we love, blogging and being real. No more self-induced pressure for posts to be inspiring, moving, deep and who knows what else we tell ourselves. Instead, we’ll just post about what moves us in the moment in the shortest amount of time it takes to post so that we can continue to have a happy home balance.

I’m going to ask the team to put half the amount of effort they put into the newsletter each week and the other half into a blog post that recaps our week through the social media photos we share, in case you weren’t constantly tethered to an electronic device waiting with baited breath and watching our every move.

In return here’s what I ask.

You actually visit the blog. Comment on posts. Engage in social media you find most enjoyable. Help us spend less time worrying about how to engage you and just let us know when we’re being engaging. I don’t want the blog to become the thing I always feared: a business. We’ve intentionally made it a hobby so we could avoid worrying about ensuring it generates a certain requisite revenue, and now’s the time we’re actually going to start doing that.

I’m really looking forward to seeing more of us here. I hope you are, too.

♥♥♥

Here’s our recap from the week, and I promise next week we’ll have better photos since it won’t be me doing it at 11pm at night in an emotional binge after having a week off to think and relax.

Spring Break, Paleo Parents Style!

What a jam packed week we are having! We started off with a long weekend in Austin, TX for Paleo FX and we had an AWESOME time!

paleofxcollage

Man, what a whirlwind! We really enjoy Paleo f(x) for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s the most accessible of the paleo events on the calendar. Austin is practically dead center of the country, making it the best place for East and West Coasts to collide. So you’ll see everyone from Nom Nom Paleo and Robb Wolf to Sarah Ballantyne and Diane Sanfilippo in one place. Any big name you’d want to meet will be there and willing to talk to you! You’ll look up, like Matt did, and find that you’ve been standing next to Mark Sisson for the past 10 minutes.

Not only that, but the conference really focuses on presenting practical information for you to truly incorporate into your life. Unlike AHS, the more scientifically based conference, with PFX you won’t need to bring your science-to-English dictionary to presentations! Plus, the exercise sessions add something you won’t find anywhere else. Stacy (with Melissa Joulwan and other awesome ladies) got to get training from Eva Twardokens on Deadlifts & Squats for Women – where else can you get world renowned super stars to smack your butt and grab your hips to show you how to ensure you’ve got great form?!

 

stacy and eva
Plus, Austin is a great place for people who love food. We got to hit the grass-fed burger joint Wholly Cow Burger to eat their portabello mushroom cap bun Fit Cross burger. We got grass fed gelato from Dolce Neve while the Italian owner engaged in lengthy conversation with Stacy about Strongman. At Salt and Time we got to order off the “Odd Bits” menu and enjoy fantastically prepared pig heart (and share with our brave table mates). We enjoyed delicious sushi at Uchi. And, we LOVED, Picnik Austin! Not only did they serve us butter coffee and wonderful blondies, but the owner Naomi (the paleo cheerleader) also showed us terrific hospitality! We also got to see the faces behind our favorite products like Eating Evolved, Whole Me, Choffy, Epic, Tessemae’s, Cappello’s and Primal Life Organics. And there’s new products we now love like Live Kombucha Soda, Dirt tooth care, and EXO Cricket bars!

And of course we love getting to see our friends. Stacy and Sarah got to record an episode of The Paleo View in the same room finally! We got to stay in the same house with the adorably pregnant Danielle of Against All Grain and hang out extensively with Stefani Ruper and Russ Crandall. We got to meet autoimmune protocol veteran Mickey Trescott. The talented illustrator Alex Boake came in all the way from Toronto. Tony Federico and Stacy bonded over Tony going from an unathletic teen to being a figure in a health and exercise movement. We saw the biggest paleo authors like Bill and Hayley from Primal Palate, Kelly from Spunky Coconut, Jenni & Ben of The Urban Poser, Juli from PaleOMG, Caitlin and Nabil from Grass-Fed Girl, and Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo. Stacy got the talented pastry genius Brittany Angell to chew on pig heart for almost a minute! We also enjoyed seeing our Texas natives Bo Duncan, Josh Weissman and Melissa Joulwan in their native state. Stacy even got to meet her new-found girlcrush, Stephanie from Stupid Easy Paleo! You’ll find quite a few of them on our podcast this week talking about “things you don’t know about paleo bloggers!”

 

24dinerlunch

Overall, Paleo f(x) is circled on our calendar every year and we intend to be there next year as well. We heard a rumor there’s even one scheduled for Colorado in October and we’re hoping we can pull that off too! If you went, we want you to know how much every one of you who said hi and told us how we were influencing your life meant to us. You really encourage us to keep working to make PaleoParents even better! And if we didn’t see you there this year, hopefully next year will be your year to make the trip!

After we got back we headed straight for a river-front cabin (Spring Break tradition) to have a relaxing spring break with our 3 precious boys and some friends! We had a great time paying board games, building forts, lighting sparklers, and spoiling our boys with much needed attention.

cabin_collage
Yep, as if the late flight and restless night Sunday was not enough stress on our body, we got up the next morning and packed up the kids to spend a couple nights at the “cabin” at Algonkian Regional Park!

Really, it’s an excuse to spend uninterrupted time with our kids after 4 days apart. We got to play board games like Headbanz and our family favorite Munchkin (Axe Cop and Zombie versions, of course!). We spent time relaxing in the hot tub and going on hikes. And of course we made some delicious food!

We are loving spending time with our family and friends. As we’ve blogged about before, this site and all that goes with it are a “hobby” for us and not a “job” so it’s important we take time off and enjoy life. This Spring Break has been a true “break” from the stressful parts of life and allowed us to reconnect as a couple and as a family. We’re behind on our book deadline (what author haven’t you heard that from!), our inboxes and to-do lists are running wild, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Always take time for yourself to enjoy life and be present! ♥

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