Well hello there! And welcome to Jaclynruth.co.uk – my brand new (internet) home. If you’re reading this then thanks very much for sticking by me this last month or so while my blog took a break and went into re-development mode, and I probably bored your socks off with talk of the new website #comingsoon.
But it’s finally here and I couldn’t be happier to be chatting to you from this all new platform!
So what’s new?
Well first of all, I’ve said goodbye to Bumpkin Betty once and for all. The name had been erased from my social media since the beginning of the year (a little bit of a tester to see whether I missed it/felt less connected to a ‘brand’ – I didn’t) and honestly, I actually couldn’t wait to switch it over on here too, but of course needed to be patient and wait until I could do a full rebrand and makeover. I can’t say I’m not a little sad to be saying goodbye to the BB alter ego, I mean I’d written under that name for almost a decade, but like so many OG bloggers who set up a blogger account on a whim and gave less than a second thought to a moniker, when I started to feel embarrassed to tell people the name of my blog I knew it needed to go.
And the change was probably well overdue. I’d lost my connection to the Bumpkin Betty brand a long time ago, it felt suited to my younger self – someone who had only blogged as a hobby and wrote about trivial things – and as my blog became more grown up and professional (and I grew up too) and started to intertwine with my freelance business, it no longer fit with the type of content I was creating and the image I was looking to portray. In truth I’d been thinking about combining my brand and bringing everything under my own name for probably the past two years. But between trying to ascertain exactly what I wanted to do/achieve through the website (and figuring out what direction my career was headed in post maternity break), and then life basically taking over a bit (er… having a baby and my career and blog taking somewhat of a backseat), it took me until the beginning of this year to get a concrete plan in place and then until now to get the new website live. I feel like it’s important to mention that because often the perception is that a website goes dark one evening and then re-appears the following day looking completely different and it’s as easy as a few tweaks. The reality is that a rebrand/ or web redesign is a lot of hard work behind the scenes, can take months to get right and is a big undertaking in terms of cost, time and energy, so you absolutely have to be sure it’s the right thing and be clear about what you want to achieve before going ahead. I first emailed my web designer Kim about the project back in December last year so this has been a long time in the planning. We originally pencilled in a March start date, which I then had to push back to April, May and then finally in July we both managed to find the time and space to begin and here we are with a 1st September launch, so it’s by no means an overnight story.
But we got there. Much thanks to the patience and skill of the lovely Kim, who has been responsible for the last three re-designs of Bumpkin Betty and also designed my previous freelance website, and who I wholeheartedly recommend if you’re in need of a design whizz.
So from now on I’ll be blogging under the Jaclyn Ruth name, and once again I’ve entrusted the talented Megan Riera to create my brand logos for me. I couldn’t be happier with what she’s come up with this time, it still has that handwritten design that I love, but feels professional too and can easily represent both my blog and my freelance business (She’s also designing my baking club logo which will be ready in time for our first October theme!),
And talking of the freelance business, that’s the other big change here – I’ve decided to incorporate my freelance work and my blog and house them all under one roof. Now that my time is so limited, updating two websites was more work than I could handle, and as such my freelance site had been fairly neglected recently. With my business morphing slightly into new areas since having Evie (ultimately the areas that I can realistically keep up with while being a Mum and having no childcare) and so much of my work in the last year coming through the blog, it made sense to combine everything under my own name and allow myself the freedom to see where things go from here, rather than pigeon holing myself into one fixed path.
My hope is that this new site can lend itself to that flexibility and be a space that can house everything I do both now, and in the future. There’s plenty of growing room to add in other projects or passions as time goes on and that pleases my ambitious creativity greatly. I have lots of ideas of things I’d like to achieve over the next few years and things I’d like to do professionally and while I’m realistic that they might not all happen, I know that I can add to this space as and if/when they do. But equally I didn’t want to give up on my blog and my penchant for writing about my personal life, so this online home was created – to write about my life personally and showcase my work professionally.
I really hope you love it as much as I do! Below is a little run down of what to find where, and what you can expect from me moving forward!
The blog isn’t going anywhere and will still be the biggest fixture on this site. Other than a new name, new look and new imagery (I worked with the lovely Rosie Butcher to get some fab new professional imagery for the site and my business), things in the blog space will remain mostly the same. You’ll find all of my latest posts under the blog page, but I’ve just simplified the navigation slightly so there’s not so much overkill with themes, a whole host of categories and tags. Now most of my posts will come to you under 6 main categories – fashion, food, family, home, lifestyle and travel – all the things that make up my everyday and the passions I love to indulge in.
Over the 18 months I’ve had to reconsider my blogging life greatly, figure out whether I still have the time and motivation to regularly update, decide what subjects I have a desire to write about, and of course what readers might still want to see from me (a relative hasbeen in this industry). I touched upon all of this in my previous post – Why Having a Baby Made me Fall Out of Love with Blogging – and have made no secret of the fact that juggling being a Mum with also keeping up appearances in the internet world, has proved difficult for me. I knew moving forward that I’d need to simplify my processes a lot if I was to continue along thisany shape or form, and that I’d have to rethink my subject matter to ensure I had the motivation to write.
So a few things to note about my blog moving forward; I definitely won’t be posting as often as I have in the past as I simply just don’t have the same time to myself as I previously did and I’d prefer to be realistic, and upfront from now. My aim at the moment is to blog once a week, which honestly although that’s fairly tumbleweed in the blogosphere, is still a huge ask for me and whether I’ll manage it, I’ll only tell with time but it feels like the right goal for now.
As for what you can expect to see within those posts, well I’m aiming to make the blog a lot more personal in nature and bring it back to its roots in a way. hence the tagline – a lifestyle blog with honesty at its core. I’ve found that the from the heart, personal posts are the ones I enjoy to write the most, and from past experience the ones you all enjoy to read/I get the most engagement from so they are going to make up a large part of my ‘brand’ from now on. Although I should mention that those type of posts are also the most time consuming and difficult to write too, so won’t feature every single week.
The three main areas I’m going to focus on are Fashion, Food and Family, as this represents my life most aptly right now. I still love fashion – putting outfits together, styling things up, hunting for bargains, but of course my USP has changed now in that I’m a busy Mum who doesn’t have much occasion for 5 inch heels and fancy dresses. I’d like to continue sharing my personal style with you, even if that means quick snaps in front of my garden wall for Instagram rather than in depth fashion posts but here you can expect more fashion talk, shopping lists and outfit styling too. As for food, I’m really trying hard to make more time for cooking and baking and prioritise a healthy lifestyle again (healthy of course including the odd sweet treat because – baking!), which has admittedly gone completely out of the window since Evie arrived. I’ll try to share regular recipes with you – things we cook as a family, things I make for Evie, things that I make to indulge – all with an emphasis on saving time and being easy to throw together. And family, of course being a fairly obvious part of my day to day life that I can hopefully share more of – trials and tribulations of parenting, Evie’s life and milestones, family days out and so on.
On top of that, there will be updates from our home as we continue to work on making our rented house feel like our own space, any travel adventures we embark on and general lifestyle rambles.
The Baking Club
After taking a break when Evie arrived, I’m bringing back my baking community. We’ve got a new name (the Flaky Bakers Club), a new logo (coming soon) and will be doing monthly baking themes again from October so just in time for some winter warmers and festive baking. I’m hoping my original members will still be keen to take part but there is of course plenty of room for new bakers too. Once we get going, there will be a few more updates to the baking club page to include more of the recipes from club members and allow you all to chat and interact with one another, but for now, sign up, if you’re keen and stay tuned for an email with all the info before next month!
You can now read more about what I do on a freelance basis on this website too and I hope in time it will just become an extension of my blog and Jaclyn Ruth my overall business brand. Since going freelance 5 years ago, I’ve had a pretty varied workload and it’s only in doing so that I’ve realised my true passions/ skills in terms of my career moving forward.
I’ve changed direction slightly for this new re-brand, and no longer offer all of the same services I previously did. The reason for that being very simple – I won’t be working full time anymore now that I have Evie to consider and many of those areas of work (such as social media management and brand consultancy) just don’t fit with my current time constraints , and I haven’t felt able to commit to those types of projects (and know that I’ve done my best) since returning to work. Instead I’m focusing on the areas I feel I can realistically manage while still allowing me to be ‘Mum’ first and foremost, and my work life will of course be reduced so please don’t be under any illusion that I’m relaunching as the ultimate Mum Boss!
Having said that, I do want to continue to work, and will be doing my best to still juggle these two huge areas of my life as best I can. I’m ready to take on some new projects and clients and get stuck back into creating so please do get in touch if there’s anything I can help you with.
That’s about a wrap on all the newness I think, so I’ll leave you to have a good browse (and let me know of any issues you encounter while we’re still ironing some design things out) and I hope to be coming at you with lots of new content very soon!
Once again thank you for all of your continued support and for still being here to read after so many years! Here’s to the next chapter, and all it may bring!