Are Blogs Dead?

Joanna blogger
I just took a picture as I made the decision to do this… hi!

So are you an influencer? I get asked that one A LOT. Especially lately since I am meeting a lot of new people in my boyfriend, Ben’s life.

What I do is unusual… well unusual for my age group. I am 38 and spend most of my time with friends who range from 36 to 45 or older. So for us, what I do is unusual and hard to understand.

I typically explain what I do to my peers (generation x, generation Y or ahem… geriatric millennials… who the eff came up with that term? lol) by giving them a quick Nesting Story origin story; Nesting Story began as my Interior Design and mural painting company after I left the design world in 2013, and I loved blogging with that.

Then boom… surprise twins were on the way, had to pause and then during my pregnancy was encouraged by some new mom friends (including a very famous blogger) that I should switch Nesting Story to a parenting blog since I was already a veteran mom and put their minds at ease with my relaxed, problem solving parenting style.

So, when my babies were a few months old in 2014 I did, and by 2015 Nesting Story had exploded and gained world wide fame.

I was able to monetize Nesting Story by partnering with brands I trust and bring in an income by doing something I love. YouTube came naturally to help tell some stories and then Instagram in general became a big deal to the entire world and the rest is history.

So does that make me an influencer?

I honestly hate that term. I prefer Content Creator or Digital Storyteller.

It’s eight years later and I’d consider myself an OG. An OG that misses blogging. I love writing. Did I ever go to school for writing? Nope, I have a fine arts background. In fact I still google the difference between lose and loose, and I’m sure every post is riddled with mistakes. Do I really care? Nah! Done is better than perfect.

I am a story teller.

Quick funny story… I went on a date, actually it was a second date during my brief single days, with a guy a little older than me. He told me he was an aspiring novelist and I said I was a blogger and I riddled off all of the big websites my writing has been published on. He didn’t take that comparison well and I didn’t like how he acted like it wasn’t a big deal. Needless to say there wasn’t a third date. Byeeeeee!

But… last year I was hanging out with a friend and his partner who is a really big deal in the media industry when it comes to approving manuscripts and he told me that he had read some of my writing and that he thought it was really good.

That meant the world to me.

Most writing pieces online these days can be found on Instagram and I cannot seem to start there. It needs to be here and then I can share pieces there. I love this little corner of mine on the internet.

So here’s what I want to do… I want to blog… a lot.

I want to treat this as a bit of a journal. I’m hoping to blog every weekday. I’ll take an excerpt and post it to Instagram, but if you want the whole story you’ve got to come here.

I’ve got so much to fill you in on…. *takes a deep breath* in the past few years my marriage ended and I have had to navigate the co-parenting ups and downs, there was a pandemic, I was single and dated, I am now coming up on one year in a serious relationship with an amazing guy and how we’ve decided to break a lot of traditional rules to put our relationship and our kids first, my kids are turning into teenagers, I moved out of town into a new house that is adorable and I am having a blast decorating it, I am moving my family and I into a healthier lifestyle after derailing during the pandemic, my career has taken some zigs and zags and I am about to launch a new company with a partner, and all of the little pieces in between.

I want to let these stories trickle out as they come up. I can’t do the over curated thing. I can’t niche. I am just me, a person who likes to share their life.

Like always my stories will be through my lens and with the over-arching theme of resilience, a fresh start, keeping my own identity and living a life full of love, wellness, beauty and creativity.

So, I guess this is day one. Welcome.


Joanna Fowler…. yes, I will be changing back to my maiden name over the summer!

How I Prioritize My Time as a Busy Creative Mum

Finding the time to be creative is difficult, especially as a parent. Your time can already feel scarce, between working, daycare runs, after school or weekend activities, and the running of a household; finding the time to work on your creative pursuits can feel impossible. 

Time management is something I’ve struggled with as I’ve started to grow this blog, and improve my writing portfolio. I’ve had to drop limiting beliefs around what I need to feel creative and write, and instead shift my mindset and take a fresh look at how I use my time.

I’ve started to implement the practises listed below to help me be more productive and feel motivated to write. These have helped me gain a new perspective on what I can achieve, and have brought the fun and excitement back to writing that I feel I’ve been without recently.

Plan your work

Planning out what I want to write about is a great way to stay on track. I use Google Calendars to map out when I’d like to post something and start to plan what I’d like to post about; so that my content stays varied. When you have time to sit down, you can check your calendar and see what you’re currently working on.

It takes the wondering out of what to write and just gets you doing it. If you can plan out times in the week to work as well, do that. Block off those times in your calendar as creative time, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you. 

Change your mindset

I had myself in the mindset that if I didn’t have 2 hours a day to myself, then I couldn’t get work done. I kept wanting to have these long uninterrupted periods to write like I used to have as a student and then living alone in Paris. 

Before having Willow, writing never felt like work. I would write when the urge struck me, or I was feeling particularly inspired. With more free time than I knew what to do with, this was never a problem. Now with less time, I don’t have the luxury to wait until I feel motivated or inspired, and instead have to cultivate that myself. 

If I want to blog regularly and advance in my abilities then I have to force myself to work as well. This was a tricky mindset change for me. 

But if you can get yourself in the zone quickly, and work through something in 20 minutes, then you realize there are endless little pockets in your day where you can be creative.

The other night I wrote for 20 minutes while Ben cooked the dinner, and finished a blog post I’ve been sitting on for ages, which was 75% done. It’s easy to make excuses and shy away from getting into it when you’re tired or exhausted or frustrated you won’t have as much time as you’d like.

But if you instead appreciate all the little pockets of time you can use, you’ll find yourself feeling much more motivated.

Utilize your time well

I have two days a week where I start work later in the day. I used to spend this time at home, taking my time to get ready for the day after seeing Ben and Willow out the door at 7.30 am. Sometimes I’d write a little, but it was always more of a lazy morning where I had a nice breakfast and took my time getting ready. 

It never felt like a lot of time when I stayed home, but if I’m out the door early in the morning for the daycare drop off, I have much more time afterwards to get writing done before having to head to the day job. I can go to the library close to work and spend a quiet couple of hours writing. I realized I was complaining about my lack of time to write, yet spending 3 hours leisurely getting ready two days a week.

I also haven’t been utilizing nap time. On my days at home when Willow naps, I usually collapse and watch TV, or try to catch up on laundry, have lunch and not do much at all. 

Time management has less to do with “managing time” and more to do with managing yourself.

But changing my mindset from “I never have enough time to write”, to “I have 45 minutes I could use right now”, or “I have 20 minutes before dinner I could use right now”, has opened up my days like you wouldn’t believe. 

Time management has less to do with “managing time” and more to do with managing yourself. It’s an important distinction to make. Self discipline will help you make the most of your time, and get more done. 

It’s really easy to feel frazzled, especially as a busy mum, but keep at the forefront of your mind why it’s so important to carve out this time for yourself. While your world may revolve around your children, don’t forget about yourself, and your goals and ambitions, because they are as valid now as they ever were. Your life looks different with kids and you have different priorities, but that doesn’t mean you need to drop yourself as one of them. 

Roseanne is the blogger behind the honest and inspirational personal blog Roseanne Writes. Native to Scotland and now calling Canada home, Rosanne helps mothers navigate motherhood while remaining true to themselves. You learn more about Roseanne and follow her personal blog here.

That Was Really Scary (Vlog 4)

sick toddlersLast week I had one of those parenting moments that really scares the crap out of you. During my seven years in motherhood I thought I had seen it all. But last week Mia had a very high fever that we just couldn’t bring down.

On top of Mia being sick, the rest of us were dropping like flies. Motherhood is definitely not a picture of perfection. It’s messy and exhausting and beautiful all at once. Here’s a behind the scenes look at my scary parenting moment.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss a video!

New Website Sneak Peek, Exciting New Collaboration And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Nesting Story - Joanna VendittiSo let me start by saying I am this crazy mix of exhausted and super excited today. As some of you may know, I have been working around the clock the last few months redoing the blog, rebranding and giving a little more life to each of my social media platforms… sorry Pinterest, you are last on the list!

Although this is a super exciting time for Nesting Story, I am also fitting twice as much work into each day, (on top of the fact that I am a mom to four kids), which has been leaving me BURNT OUT. But I can finally say that the new site will be launching on April 1st. I feel like I am about to give birth! Here is a sneak peek…nesting story website sneak peek 2

A few of you have said that you are worried the blog is going to change too much. Don’t worry, the new site is going to be way more user friendly. You will be able to find what you are looking for a lot faster, and the most popular posts will be featured better.

Thank you to my dream team: Lucas (my web guy), Jonathan (my video guy), Mike (my Instagram husband) and Nesting Story’s very first team member, Sophie. Sophie will be heading up the marketing and business side of Nesting Story. So if you were thinking about collaborating with us, you can email Sophie at

There’s lots of exciting stuff going on around here. Some new collaborations with brands I love, as well as you can now find me on Social Common as one of their creatives, along with a lot of other incredibly talented mom experts.

On top of that I will still be contributing regularly to Baby Center and Yummy Mummy Club.

Social Common’s focus is on You Tube, which is a platform that Nesting Story has been growing fast. I can’t wait to create some tip-based videos that you can find both on Nesting Story’s You Tube and on Social Common’s website.

Last but not least, it is St. Patrick’s day today, and since I am part Irish (my mom’s parents are from Belfast), I wanted to wish you a very happy St. Patrick’s day. Sorry, I didn’t do anything themed for my kids, I rely on their camps/school and daycare for that kind of effort.

Bunmi Laditan said it best today on her hilarious Facebook Live that you can watch here, I’ve enjoyed watching all of the exciting green food you have made for your kids today, but I am just applauding myself at this point that my kids are dressed and fed today.

I hope everyone is having a great week! Stay tuned, next week I will have another day in the life video. If you didn’t catch my last one, you can watch it here.

What It Is Like Going Viral – My Personal Journey

collage PressGoing viral is not a natural or normal human experience. Anyone who has experienced going viral can probably agree that it is a bit of an out-of-body journey with a roller coaster of emotions that follow. Although it can bring some incredible opportunities, it can also throw your life off course. Anytime I have told my story about what it is like going viral, people have found it fascinating. So, I thought I would share it on my blog. Here is my story.

My blog, Nesting Story, had been around for a couple years, hand-in-hand with my design and mural painting business. But I had only switched it over to a parenting blog the previous December. So essentially, it was in its infancy. I would sit down a couple times a week and blog away about parenting four kids, my twin pregnancy, and how to prepare for twins. Nesting Story was not a business at the time. It was more like a lifeline. A way to connect with other parents and get out of my head after a long day in the trenches. I had had a couple of mini viral posts, and a few hundred loyal mommy followers. Then crazy town hit in March 2015.

I had been pretty pumped about the fact that I was finally falling into a rhythm with my early morning workout routine and could actually see my body coming back after having my four kids, (including twins). I knew that my body would forever be changed. I was more than fine with that, because I knew what my body had done for me and it deserved a few war wounds. I had a few followers expecting twins that I wanted to share my body after baby story with. So, after a finishing dinner with a big glass of wine I sat down and began to write. I laughed with my husband that I probably shouldn’t be blogging because I was a little buzzed. I cranked my music and began. It poured out of me. I enjoyed going through my pregnancy photos and finally felt balzy enough to throw in those postpartum photos I once felt so ashamed about. After only an hour and a half, (record time), I finished and went to bed, waiting for the morning to hit publish. 

The next morning I woke up and reread my post. I knew that it was coming from an honest place and I was happy to put it out there. I hit publish, shared it on my social media and with a couple other bloggers, then walked away. Over the next day I could see the post was resonating with everyone, not just moms expecting twins. My website traffic was slowly climbing and the comments were pouring in. “Cool,” I thought to myself, “my post had legs.” Over the weekend I watched the numbers climb. I mentioned to some family that one of my posts was going viral, “oh that’s nice,” they replied, not knowing what was about to happen.

By the start of the following week, my husband, my website-guy and I were now emailing screen shots of my numbers going up and up. I had thousands of new visitors at all times. My web-guy started to joke that I was trying to break the internet. We all were waiting for that moment for it to hit it’s peak and start to decline.

While all of this was going on, I was really curious where my blog post was being read and who was reading it. I was able to see on my Google Analytics page that all of the traffic was coming from the United States, which I found interesting because I am Canadian. More specifically, my traffic was mostly coming from Utah. My hunch is, from many of the comments I read, that the family of four element may have connected with the Mormon community. Thank you Mormon community!

From Utah I watched my post go viral in New York, California, Texas and so on… The overall connection being my positive body image message. We were starting to get a little nervous that my server would crash and decided it was time to jump ship to a larger one. Within days, Nesting Story reached just under two-million page views. The crazy viral numbers started to level out and slowly decline. Then came the press.

All of a sudden there was a new jump in website traffic. The source: an article published on Woman’s Day website, followed by Cosmopolitan, then Elite Daily. I was shaking, beyond excited about the positive impact my article was having. Then Today Parents emailed me requesting a phone interview. Each of these articles also went viral. Especially the Today article, which was a huge hit.

Many more articles followed, including Fit Pregnancy, Life and Style Magazine, and Pop Sugar Moms. Then came the first request for an in-home, on-air interview with our family by CTV. This was a big deal, and many friends and family cheering me on gathered around their TVs that night to watch.CTVOver the course of the next few days, more articles, TV and radio interviews came my way. My blog post was written about in countless countries and translated into many languages. I kept joking that I will have really made it when I heard from People Magazine. Then I heard from People magazine.

During the initial viral days, I would read many comments on other Facebook pages and websites, and one in particular really bothered me. It was another mother who had completely missed the message. I decided to address this on my own Facebook page and write a blog post about it and have never looked back. To this day, I never read comments about me on other websites.

During the span of the two weeks of craziness, I was constantly going. Trying to say “yes” to everyone, but barely taking time for myself. I even lost seven pounds in those weeks because I barely ate.IMG_4632

Once the dust settled, opportunities came knocking. Many opportunities. I have been extremely careful to say “no” to most of them (regardless of the payout) and only say yes to a few quality opportunities that would align me with the right people and serve Nesting Story and it’s followers. I am thrilled that Nesting Story is now a business, but I am always reminding myself why and who I am blogging for.

What did going viral do for my family and I personally? I burned myself out, which came to a head just before leaving to my first official blogging conference. There, I was able to step out of my parenting world and really make sense of what happened and what Nesting Story is today.IMG_5348I think it took a toll on my husband and I as a unit, and just recently I can see us turning ourselves right side up again. My kids didn’t really seem to notice too much. We were careful to keep them separate from all of the media, other than participating in one interview.

Today I see myself as two people. Joanna, who is a mom of four and works at home in her sweats with no makeup, and Joanna, the viral mom that lives out there in the world.

Here is my advice to other bloggers who may find that they suddenly go viral. Pace yourself. Be okay with saying “no” to people and opportunities. Be patient for the good opportunities and go after what you want. Be prepared for people from your past to show a sudden interest in you. Don’t grow an ego. There is a good chance your star will fade, so enjoy the ride while it lasts. Don’t stop learning. I am constantly trying to educate myself and learn from other bloggers. Try to compartmentalize the negative comments and see them as a conversation starter that moves your message further. Don’t read all of the comments that aren’t on your own social media and website. Don’t take those comments personally. Don’t leave leave other people’s negative comments that aren’t contributing to the conversation on your own blog and social media. You don’t need that poison sitting there. Don’t try to repeat history or start to write what you think people want. It will be tempting, but it will fail. Trust me. Continue to write for you and the people you had in mind when you began. Don’t lose your way.

Sometimes I still can’t believe what happened to me. Now it seems like this blip in time. I have been extremely humbled by it and know it will never happen again. It has given me thicker skin and has helped me understand my worth. But it doesn’t define me.Nesting Story