Taking a Break, and Readjusting

Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I didn’t plan to take such a long, unannounced blogging break. I’ve been having a bit of burnout for a while now, trying to figure out exactly what blogging meant for me. Did it mean income? Sharing? Validation? I felt myself trying to fit into the DIY Blogger mold and found I enjoyed the experience less and less. It wasn’t until having my second daughter that I decided to just take a step back and let it breathe for a little while. I’ve still been busy though, plugging away on the house (I’m *thisclose* to taking “finished” photos to post in a series about building the San Bernard plan from Tilson) and fun builds for friends.

raccoon critter chair killerbdesigns

I’ve been doing several “Critter Chairs” as I’ve been calling them. Free plans for them here.


I also decided to sell my flea market booth, because it was so much harder to do with two kids than I expected. Which is silly, really, because of course it would be! I didn’t really plan on how I would balance nursing/pumping during shows. And since breastfeeding meant more to me than a few sales at market, I decided to sell the booth and try it again another year. Besides, that just frees up our camping weekends this summer!

From a family standpoint, things are great. I’m loving spending more time with both of my girls, and can’t believe it’s already been 7 months since I became a mom of two. We’ve had a lot of adjusting to do, figuring out some diet restrictions for Caroline and me. We’re now both gluten/dairy/rice free, and possibly eliminating even more because of some sensitivities and eczema she’s suffered. It’s been a really big learning curve, and I haven’t had more than 3 hours of sleep at a time since she was born. I kind of forgot just how intense all that sleep deprivation is, when you’re waking up 3 or 4 times at night. That was probably the main reason for my blogging break, trying to catch up everywhere I can at home because I’m lagging in energy so much. But we’re finally getting into longer sleep stretches, and I’m feeling the upswing. Someday I’ll feel rested again, right? When they’re teenagers maybe?!




Blog Changes

As far as my blogging focus, there’s going to be a slight shift. Now that our home is mostly “finished”, I don’t plan on posting too many improvement type projects. I’m sure I’ll still have loads of furniture builds and outdoor things like the teepee we built for Christmas and I’m hoping to add a reclaimed-materials greenhouse to the yard this summer. But one major shift in our personal lives is going to come into larger focus here on Killer b. Designs, and that’s homesteading and sustainability. We’ve taken major steps to become greener and more mindful of our consumption, and I’m excited to share that progress. We’ve got our small backyard flock of hens (4 now, two production reds, an Americauna and a Barred Rock named Elsa, Anna and Christoph), 30 chicks we’re raising for meat, and a large yard garden I’m excited to manage this season. It’s very much a work in progress, but it’s my 10 year goal to be able to produce all the food our family needs. We’re not quite to the off-the-grid level of intensity, just wanting to reduce our footprint a little. So, the blog will mostly be projects still, but just not the “check out this cool tchotchke I redid!” sort.

Also, privacy. I’m planning to limit how much my kids are on the blog. There will still be photos from time to time, simply because a lot of my builds are kid-centric and I need my little model for scale 😉 But I don’t want to overdo their exposure online at such a young age. Which is also why I made the old Instagram account locked, as so much of it focuses on my kids. If you already follow and we interact, awesome! I’m planning to keep it that way. But if you found yourself randomly “out”, it’s simply because I decided to pare down my “followers” to people I regularly interact with or “know” online. I’m have a dedicated public account to blog-appropriate things like projects and country life, and keep the personal kid stuff out of it.

12 thoughts on “Taking a Break, and Readjusting

  1. Oh how necessary changes can be sometimes! I’m so excited for the blog changes for you! I love all of the DIY projects obviously, but I’m stoked for the addition of homesteading/ sustainability! I’d love to follow suit over the next few years, but that requires property! Can’t wait to see more from you love!!!

    1. You should definitely check out The Backyard Homestead and books on container/square foot gardening. You can still have a huge impact on a city lot!

  2. Brooke,

    I never comment, (sorry!) but I’ve been reading since Weddingbee days and I’ve really enjoyed following you and your family’s journey through the years. Watching you become so self-sufficient has been really inspiring to me, and I’ve tackled a number of projects since – thank you!
    Completely agree with / understand your new direction for the blog, and about what you share regarding your girls etc.
    I can’t wait to read more about your homesteading and sustainability endeavours – very neat! Thanks for writing, and I’ll be reading! 🙂

    1. Oh don’t ever apologize for not commenting! I know it’s kind of hard to switch over from a reader, fill out a form, yada yada. I’m a terrible commenter myself 😉 Glad to know you’ll be following along with our country living adventure!

  3. So excited for the changes. While I am not homesteading, it will be fun to see what I can pick up for my little corner of sustainability! Glad you are well!

  4. I’m sorry for Caroline’s struggles but it mimics what I’m going through with my almost 10 month old so closely. I hate to say it but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I didn’t realize you had the sleep issues too. I haven’t slept for longer than 3 hrs at a time for almost a year, it’s boggling how much that effects everything! Have you eliminated soy and corn as well? Those are triggers for us around here.
    Anyway glad you’re enjoying your girls. They’re beautiful and I love watching the journey your family is taking!

    1. Oh it’s definitely a great support to know you’re not alone! I have a few internet-mom-friends who also have kids with allergies and intolerances, and I can’t even express how wonderful it is to talk to someone who already went through the changes and could recommend good products and methods. I have cut soy (which wasn’t too hard), but I’m kind of mentally begging my infant’s digestion to handle corn. I just might die inside if I have to give up Mexican food. It looks, though, like I may need to. I cut out the rice (mostly because it’s often cooked with butter), and if I overload on chips or corn tortillas I do see some flare ups. Since I adapted a mostly paleo diet though, it’s not the worst thing to try and find meals free of allergen triggers. It’s just a little hard sometimes to resist that siren call of temptation! Oozy, cheesy pizza on fluffy dough. Hot bread from the oven. My husband has been torturing me by baking poundcakes to take to work. I just have to go hide outside with my glass of wine 😉

      Thank you for your support! I hope all is well with your family as well, and that soon, very soon, you get some more sleep.

  5. glad youre back! we’ve been talking about getting chickens too, was thinking 3 rhode islands since they are dual purpose but do you like the breeds you got? good idea on also raising some for just meat, did you get broiler chicks for that? if not what breed did you get for your meat chicks?

    1. For meat, I chose three varieties so we could figure out what we liked best (taste, ease of raising, weight, hardiness). Right now we have Delaware, Cornish Rock, and Buff Orpington chicks. They’re all dual-purpose, better-for-meat breeds without being the Cornish Cross type breeds that get so big so fast that their legs break. We really wanted to go with some backyard breeds. So far the buffs have been a bit finicky (though we only lost one), the others are doing well. I’ll dedicate a post on it once we harvest them!

      As far as eggers, we’ve had a Production Red for a year and she has been a great layer. We picked up an Americauna, a Barred Rock, and another Production Red a few weeks ago that have yet to lay. Since these are still basically my first flock, I can’t quite give any advice on them other than they’re quite pretty and funny to watch. They like to run around and chase us. Eager to see how they do this summer!

  6. Thanks for the update. I also never comment, but really enjoy your site.
    Looking forward to the new focus.

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