What makes Kristy's Cottage different from the other bazillion blogs you could be reading right now?
I'm Kristy Howard, the crazy dreamer behind the screen.
I began blogging back in 2007, mainly because I wanted a place to share what I was learning about natural living, motherhood and just life.
I've learned a lot about blogging over the years, but the most important thing I've discovered is that women need other women to be real.
As a blogger, I try to stay away from the Let-Me-Tell-You-How-To-Do-It type of writing, and simply share my heart and life.
Let me tell you a little about my story!
The short and sweet version:
Kristy's Cottage is a natural living, lifestyle blog that provides encouraging, holistic content for mothers, ministry wives, and women from many walks of life.
I wear a lot of hats, including being a pastor's wife, homeschooling mom, and a pretty ambitious work-at-home mom!
The Story Version: How I Accidentally Became a Blogger
I've loved writing ever since I was a little girl.
In fact, my life dream was to get married, have babies, and become a writer!
I did grow up, and married a preacher boy (Jeremy) when I was 21 years old.
I felt like I had no time to write, and we didn't even have internet anyway! (How can one blog without the internet?)
After my first baby was born, I put away my childhood ideas about writing and settled down to be a wife and homemaker.
It was around this same time, in 2003, that I literally stumbled into the world of natural living.
I say "stumbled," because it certainly wasn't intentional!
The health needs (and challenges) of our growing family pushed me to become knowledgeable in the fields of nutrition, health, and holistic living so that I could responsibly care for our kids.
I read every book about herbs and health I could get my hands on, and tried every recipe and concoction!
As I began to learn and grow as a natural mama, I discovered a new found interest... as well as a passion to share what I was learning with other moms.
The passion for writing that I had laid aside began to rekindle.
In 2007, I launched my first blog!
Finding That Golden Niche!
For the next few years, I considered myself a "natural living blogger." I primarily wrote about nutrition, whole foods, holistic health and herbs, and eco-friendly homemaking.
Posts about cloth diapers, breastfeeding, home birth and frugal living began to draw a growing number of natural living mamas to my humble little blog.
Over time, I was blessed to be on the writing teams for a few pretty awesome websites, such as the Bulk Herb Store blog (owned by Shoshanna Easling), and even wrote a chapter for a best-selling book, Trust Your Intuition (with Jenni Wilson).
As my kids grew, so did my blogging.
I began writing a lot about homeschooling. Everything from curriculum choices to the struggles I experienced in my role as a home educator.
In 2012, I hit a low spot in my homeschooling experience. Mostly out of desperation, I wrote a post entitled Why I'm Not Cut Out to Be a Homeschool Mom.
That post went viral!
When a personal friend sent me a private message on Facebook and told me that my post was circulating among the military families she lived with in South Korea... well, I think that's the first time I really felt like a REAL blogger!
Back in 2011, the trend among bloggers was to rebrand (change the name of) their blogs and use their first and last name as their website name.
The idea of having a website named after myself felt pretty silly to me, since I'm not exactly a celeb! I wanted my blog to feel personal, however.
For some reason, I've been crazy about the "cottage" theme for a very long time, so I ended up with Kristy's Cottage. And the name stuck!
Learning to Get Real
Up until this point in my life, I was pretty good at keeping up a facade of perfection.
Most people who knew me would probably have agreed that I came across like I had my act together. That was especially true in the way I blogged.
When that homeschool confession blog post when viral, I realized that people related to me as a real person. One with faults and struggles, and the guts to write about it!
It was quite a paradigm shift for me, and I began to change the way I wrote.
Finding That Unreached People Group: Pastor's Wives
By now, I had a few years under my belt as a blogger and homeschooling mom... and a pastor's wife.
For several years, I toyed with the idea of blogging about being a pastor's wife. I always ended up talking myself out of it, because no one else that I knew was writing about it.
There are unique blessings and one-of-a-kind struggles that come with ministry life. I began to feel a longing to sit down and write about those experiences.
In 2013, I took the plunge. I decided to write a mini series for pastor's wives in the month of October (Clergy Appreciation month).
Again, I was blown away with the response when another of my painfully honest "confession" posts, 10 Things Every Young Pastor's Wife Should Know, went viral on the internet.
That post is still one of the highest trafficked articles on this website.
Within a few weeks, I felt like I had reached a whole new audience: lonely pastor's wives.
I quickly decided to add "pastor's wives" to my blog tab and began writing about ministry life on a fairly regular basis.
Full Circle and Beyond
Today, my writing has more or less come full circle.
I'm a mom with five growing kids, and I'm still as passionate as ever about health and natural living. And I still love sharing what I'm learning with others!
So it's kind of back-to-the-basics with the natural living and nutrition posts.
Of course I still write about homeschooling and being a pastor's wife a lot, because I am still very much living those things.
My most recent addition to the blog themes around here has been the topic of working from home.
I'm pretty excited to see where that takes us!
Fine Print, and All That Jazz
I think I've made it pretty plain, but please keep in mind as you read: I'm not a doctor or health practitioner.
I'm a woman with a desire to learn, grow, and implement what I'm learning. (View my disclaimer here.)
I hope you'll enjoy browsing this ten-year collection of posts, articles and recommended resources for living a meaningful and healthy life- body, mind, and soul!
I'm still writing, so typically you'll find one or two new articles each week.
Maybe a healthy recipe or a book review, or an inspirational post about something that pertains to life as a rather introspective (and very real) Christian woman.
This blog gives me a voice and, most importantly, it is my prayer that it gives every reader who visits these pages a safe place to be encouraged, affirmed, and find the courage to grow.
That's really what this blog is all about.
I'm so glad you're here!
Please pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea, and enjoy yourself.
P.S. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to comment or contact me with your input, questions and comments!