I’ve always been a creative person at heart, but never realized I wanted to be a blogger until I took a website building class one day and now I get to share my creations with all of you!
Let's Put Together the Pieces...
Growing up, I loved baking and crafting. My parents always encouraged my creative side. We did lots of crafts (at the library!) and had fun baking cookies in the kitchen together. I think some of my creativity is passed down because I have a really talented dad and a few super crafty aunts in my family.
My family is also filled with avid readers. My parents brought us to the library frequently and we were allowed to take home as many books as we could carry. Books have always been an escape for me. I’m one of those “bring my book everywhere just in case I have time to read” types and I don’t regret a single thing.
The final puzzle piece is about health: mental and physical. During high school, I started having panic attacks over tests and had generalized anxiety. After all these years, I am still learning every day how to manage my anxiety.
As far as physical health goes, my mom was always shopping at health food stores when I was younger. I learned to love veggies and I never want to part from them! My family is also plagued with food allergies: wheat, soy, dairy, eggs…you name it we have it. So alternative healthy eating became a lifestyle in my house.
Besides healthy eating, my mom has also always had a passion for essential oils, herbs, and botany. She has shared that passion with me and I shared my newfound love of yoga and mediation with her. We are very much into healing the body and mind through alternative holistic methods.
That’s the puzzle pieces that created me and everything I love to share on this blog! But how did the blog start?
The Tale of the Many Blogs
I started my career as a librarian after graduating with my master’s in library science. I honestly can’t remember what led me to create my first blog, but I started off with a free wordpress.com blog with a concept that I would post about every book I read and pair it with a recipe that goes with the book. It was a cute idea which I kept up with for a year or so right after I started working in libraries.
That blog tapered off and I wanted to focus more on baking for the time being. Three things happened in conjunction that spawned my idea for my next blog. I read Julia Child’s biography, watched Julie and Julia and became obsessed with the Great British Baking Show. I decided I wanted to bake through all the recipes in the Great British Baking Show (GBBO) in order and document it on a blog which I called my Great British Baking Challenge (another free wordpress blog).
After about 8 months of baking and almost finishing series 3 of GBBO, my interest in this blog tapered off as well. I was beginning to realize I wanted a blog where I didn’t have such a singular focus and could post a bigger variety of topics. About the same time as this realization, I took a wordpress website building class through my job and learned how to build my own website. I loved website building a lot more than I thought I would, and so I set about creating my own blog from scratch.
I decided to finally launch that blog which I called Sweet Melissa in 2020 during lockdown. It then turned into With Love, Melissa after I opened my Etsy and Redbubble Shops. That is how this blog was created! During this journey I’ve learned a ton about website creation and found my brand along the way.
Let's Talk About 2020, Well a Little Before that...
One more thing you should know about me. The crafty path that led me to my small businesses.
I would say in approximately October of 2019, two things happened. The first thing is my anxiety got a lot worse. I started seeing a therapist for a time who actually encouraged me to create this blog, and gave me some of the tools I still use to manage my anxiety. One of the things I did to help distract me from my anxious feelings was start bullet journaling. I always saw it on Pinterest and it looked interesting, so I tried it out and dove in head first.
The second thing that happened was I decided to start pen paling which I also fell in love with. I became an avid pen paler and bullet journaler. I started taking photos and posting them on Instagram and became really involved in the amazing journaling/pen paling community that’s on social media. I’ve gained so many friends and sent mail around the world.
This newfound passion and the gift of a Cricut for Christmas, led me to want to open my own sticker/stationery shop on Etsy. With overwhelming support from my family and friends, I am now a proud small business owner and blogger.
My brand and what I offer is continuing to evolve as I learn and grow. My Etsy shop turned into two when I decided to start selling printables and that shop really took off with my best selling bookmark. What I offer in my main Etsy shop and Redbubble shops continues to grow and change as well. I love exploring new ideas and endeavors. I very much look forward to see how my brand will grow in the coming years!
Taking the Blog on the Road
This past May 2023, my husband and I took to the road to live full-time in our new to us RV that we renovated ourselves. Time is precious so we thought we would explore the country for a bit. Also, we ultimately would like to find a place to settle down and buy a house. So it’s a two for two, explore and research.
Of course I took my brand on the road with me and started sharing what this nomadic life is all about! Live vicariously through me as I travel the country in my little RV.
This Is Me
If you’ve read this far, thank you! You are committed!
This has been one wild journey and if you asked me where I would be 5 years ago, I certainly never thought I would be here doing this. So take my advice and jump out of your comfort zone. Try new things, take a leap of faith. You never know where each little step will lead you.
This blog is about everything I love, delivered to you with love.
About This Blog
What content can I find on With Love, Melissa?
- Healthy recipes for all diets! I make recipes that are at least one of the following: dairy free, gluten free, egg free, vegan, and/or refined sugar free.
- Book recommendations! Count on me to make you a list of the latest and greatest or the hidden gems of the book world.
- All sorts of crafts! Consider this your place to discovering pen paling, journaling, or a fun, easy craft to do on your day off.
- Posts on physical and mental health. That means lots of anxiety reducing tips, self care posts, mental health and holistic health.
- Travel content! Posts about VanLife, full-time traveling, vacation spots, beautiful places, and of course, a renovation rundown and tips.
- Maybe more? I might branch out even more in the future, we just have to wait and see!
Can I subscribe to your posts?
Yes! Become a part of my email newsletter, so you never miss a post. You’ll also get shop and life updates from me. I usually send out one newlsetter a month.
Can I suggest a post?
Of course! If you want to suggest a recipe, craft, book list, or anything that may fit into this blog, shoot me a message and we can talk about it. I want to create content you love.
How do I get my free ebook?
I offer a free 14 page ebook for you to enjoy. It’s filled with self care tips, crafts, planner sheets, recipes and recipe cards.
All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter! You will then get a confirmation email. Once you confirm your email, you will be directed to the ebook to download for yourself.
If you don’t get the confirmation email within a few hours of signing up for my newsletter, contact me and I would be happy to send it to you!
Can I use your photos?
If you want to use one of my photos, please contact me first.
95% of the photos on this website are taken and owned by me. The other 5% are found on copyright free image websites.
How can I support you?
If you love my content and want to do something to contribute, there’s several different things you could do. Everything you do is greatly appreciated and I am sending you a giant virtual hug right now!
- Follow me on social media! Shares, saves and comments go a long way for my brand to get more exposure.
- Sign-Up for my newsletter. It supports me and entertains you at the same time since you’ll see my new posts and products, and get a free ebook! I promise I’ll never spam you with a million emails.
- Comment and rate my blog posts. You’d be surprised at how much this really helps support my blog!
- When you make a recipe or craft, or read a book rec from my blog, take a photo and share it on social media. Tag me! @withlovemelissashop
- Purchase something you love from my shops or my affiliates!
- My Etsy Shop has new listings added every day! I make up and find designs I love and create products like shirts, hoodies, bags, candles, pillows and more.
- My Etsy Printables shop has dozens of instant downloads: bookmarks, reading trackers, stationery, pen pal trackers, plant trackers, prints and more!
- Buy something that you might already need or want using the affiliate links in my blog posts or on my shop page. I will get a small kickback from your purchase which helps me continue to do what I love!
- Support me on Ko-Fi!
- You can buy me a coffee for $3.
- You can commission me to send you a postcard or happy mail bundle.
- You can join my seed membership!
List of Affiliates:
Here are the affiliates that I earn a small kickback from if you click on some of the links to products in my posts.
- Amazon Associates Affiliate Program
- Journalsay — Get 8% off your purchase using coupon code WITHLOVE
- PaperWrld — Get 10% off using coupon code WITHLOVE15
- Creative Fabrica — Get freebies and great discounts!
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