Favorite Things, Friends, Humor, Life

Blogs That Are Getting Me Through the Pandemic

There was a horrible idea circulating a long time that the term “blogger” was associated with anything less than stellar, and that used to bother me. So much so that I removed the word “blogger” from my LinkedIn profile and replaced it with “writer” to avoid sounding like I was writing about unclogging toilets and chuckling over the word balls.

Even though I was doing that.

But blogger is who I am, how I got started, and what I do every day to keep myself sane when I’m not journaling into 25 cent spiral notebooks every morning and evening to get out all the scary, ugly, thoughts from this scary, ugly time.

Then I thought about all the bloggers I love to follow, who make me happy, who continue to make me happy during this difficult time, and I decided it might make a nice Christmas present for any of you who are hurting right now. Then I realized it would be a great Christmas present for me. To see all the fabulous women I surround myself with virtually every week in one blog post.

Over the last ten months, these are the women who have made me smile, laugh, think, and learn new things. These are the blogs that are getting me through the pandemic.


Courtesy/ The Spectacled Bean

Ally at The Spectacled Bean

I discovered Ally within the last year and it feels incredibly universal because I had no idea I needed her blog until I found it. She forces me to think outside of my little box-shaped head, which is beneficial to me. Most people believe they are open-minded until they challenge their minds beyond their thinking. Ally challenges my thinking in the best possible way.

She engages with her readers in the comment section, so don’t be scared off seeing the particularly high number of comments. She will respond to you. Ally clearly values her readers and includes them as authors of her blog. It’s an art form, really.

Known for– poll questions within blog posts, introducing new vocabulary words for your everyday use.

For your reading pleasure:

A Small Adventure in an Old Cemetery, Because My Curiosity Must Be Satisfied

Vinegar: One Person’s Magic is Another Person’s Salad Dressing


Andrea and Amanda. I love them both.

Andrea at Maybe It’s Just Me

I met Andrea through another friend of mine, Marianne. Marianne and I met through a Chicago blogging function and we hit it off right away. Marianne and Andrea were in a pedometer walking group on Facebook and it was through their connection that Andrea and I connected years ago. But it has been through our blogs that Andrea and I have remained close.

Through the years, I have gotten to know Andrea’s heart, and she reminds me so much of my Aunt Chris, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago. I feel like they are kindred souls, and that is why I am so drawn to her.

Andrea has had a difficult few months and has recently returned to blogging. Even though I know she is going through some hard things, I am so grateful for her words. Please head to her blog and give her some virtual love, if you could? When my screenplay was all over this blog and it was absolutely terrible, Andrea was still one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Known for– creating misadventures for a child-size mannequin on Instagram, follow her here; writing about random things we all take for granted.

For your reading pleasure:

The Home Away From Home

Malted Random


Ani with so much Gilmore Girls greatness (courtesy of her blog, of course)

Ani at All That Life Stuff

Ani is my spirit sister. I found her in what’s called a “link party,” which is where bloggers go to meet other bloggers who have things in common with what they write, but also sometimes to get more reach for their blog to make more money, etc. But it always makes us laugh to think that is how we found each other and I don’t know why, necessarily. Maybe because we aren’t serious link party bloggers, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Ani has become one of my closest blogging friends. I even have her number on my phone. She is the type of person I know would drive cross-country if I needed a kidney. Her blog feels like a letter from a friend. Maybe because it is.

Known for- Gilmore Girls, journaling, honesty about mental health, beautiful photography (especially of her home state of Connecticut).

For your reading pleasure: 

November Musings (you will want to move to Connecticut, trust me).

Bipolar Disorder-What Does it Feel Like?


That isn’t her husband, nor is it Hulk Hogan. You must read to find out.

Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

Deb’s blog was probably the best find in 2020 for me, and I have Ally up there to thank. I was minding my pandemic business on Twitter one day early this summer and I saw a post about “Are Bloggers Writers?” being shared by my friend Ally. I immediately clicked on the link and it led me to Deb’s blog. After reading the post and commenting, I then went down the rabbit hole of her other posts and it was the loveliest distraction I could never have imagined. Her blog is the gift that keeps on giving; honestly, they need to turn her life into a sitcom and I mean that in the best possible way. She lives an incredibly interesting life, and her writing is funny and engaging.

Known for- beautiful photography, humor, and Canada, eh?

For your reading pleasure: 

Joanne Comes to Visit- The Gift that Keeps on Giving (this will explain the picture)

My Digital Happiness Box (but make sure you click on the link for the backstory on Seashell Jesus)


DAMN IT MEREDITH WHERE ARE YOUR PANTIES? It's Casual Day | the ...

Erika at That Anxious Mom

Erika has also been a gift this year. She has been providing me comic relief all throughout 2020 as memes and one-liners. Her About Me page begins with, “you should read this in Morgan Freeman’s voice“. I was hooked.

Over the past year, we have bonded over many things, parenthood, humor, and COVID. In fact, we even have code phrases. I HAVEN’T EVEN MET THIS WOMAN IN REAL LIFE, but if she left the words, “Dammit Meredith” in my comment section, I would know exactly what she means.

Known for- humor, meme’s, getting real about parenthood.

For your reading pleasure: 

Religious Sweet Creams

Dammit Meredith


My friend Ernie and her pool.

Ernie at No Small Feet

My friend Ernie (not her actual name) makes me laugh every time I think about her, but I know she doesn’t take offense to this. She is raising six children, people. IN A PANDEMIC. And she writes about it almost daily. Honestly, she is the Erma Bombeck of our generation. Get this woman a newspaper column. But some things that end up happening to her and her family are so hysterical that you think it’s made up for the blog. It’s not made up for the blog. It’s genuine, it’s funny, and we have this shared connection that makes it even better. If you don’t know the backstory, you can read about our past here.

Known for- writing hysterically about her neighbors (which is why she writes under a pseudonym), specifically Mary Ann; Irish dancing; and SIX KIDS, isn’t that enough for you people??

For your reading pleasure: 

If John’s Country, I Don’t Wanna Be Rock ‘n’ Roll: My Music Dysfunction 

Since You Asked: What We Eat, Plus What We Drink & Watch 


Courtesy/ Slices of Life

Joanne at Slices of Life

I have been following Joanne’s blog for so many years and she has provided me with so many good ideas from recipes, crafts, and homeschooling. She feels like the big sister I don’t have, even though I know I must be light-years older than her. Joanne’s blog always makes me feel like I am at home.

Joanne recently had major surgery in September (during COVID) and you can read about her journey on her blog, so give her some love if you read any of those posts.

Known for- lots of great homemade recipes, beautiful photography, and hosting a link party if you need inspiration.

For your reading pleasure: 

Fall Reflections and Leaves 

Recipes We’ve Been Making This Fall


Katie’s handmade socks/ Courtesy Oh Katie Joy

Katie at Oh Katie Joy 

I found Katie through Rita’s blog a while ago and I think the Universe was preparing me for 2020. There is so much I love about Katie’s blog, but there is one thing I don’t love: there are never enough posts. Her “Tuesday Things” posts bring me joy like a letter in my mailbox, or more realistically an unopened package of Oreo’s in the pantry during a pandemic.

On Black Friday, she shared her most favorite small businesses, and it was such a lovely find that I wanted to share it here with all of you. It will take you to some delightful stores to peruse, to take you away from reality for a bit because we all need to do that more often, and social media isn’t cutting it right now. Her posts are an honest snapshot of life in the time of coronavirus. There is just so much good in Katie’s posts. The best part? The links. They will give you hours of reading time.

Known for- knitting (particularly socks) and her book suggestions (they are almost always on my library list).

For your reading pleasure: 

Friday Finds

Tuesday Things


My sweet friend Melanie on her porch. Courtesy/ Comfy House

Melanie at Comfy House

My dear friend Melanie and I met over eight years ago at a blogging event near the city of Chicago; the event was kind of bore but she and I hit it off immediately and when we found out we lived only 15 minutes from each other, we were so happy. To find a blogging friend who lives that close to you is rare in these parts. 🙂

I have fallen in love with Melanie in so many ways over the past eight years. She and I share a lot of things in common, and it is through those things we have bonded tightly. I have missed meeting her for regular lunches and coffee because of COVID, but reading her blog makes me feel like I am having those meetings still.

Her blog is the real deal; her home is so cozy, so inviting, and filled with love.

Known for- homemade recipes, making a house feel like home which includes sharing her love of antiques (it is an art form).

For your reading pleasure: 

Women Supporting Women

Channeling Ina- Baking and the Comforts of Home


Courtesy/ Rita’s Notebook

Rita at Rita’s Notebook 

Ah, Rita. Her writing has helped me get through the past ten months. I tell her this every Monday morning in the comments gently. I don’t want to pressure her because I know how fragile we all are now right now, but if her writing were to go away soon, I would be very sad. It is Rita who needs to be writing the book.

She makes Portland feel like home. I feel like I have known Rita for my entire existence and in fact; I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know her. That makes me feel comforted.

Known for- writing about parenting from an empty nest and the perspective of an educator.

For your reading pleasure: 

What Is a Dog?

On The Day I Take My Daughter to the Airport


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Yes, that is a chicken on her couch. Your point is? Courtesy/ River’s World

Rivergirl at River’s World

I’ve only found “River” (I don’t even know your name, isn’t that a country song?) very recently, but her every other day blog posts have been saving my soul over the past several months. When she commented on one of my menopause posts and said, “that’s why God invented gin”, I knew I would fall madly in love with her.

Her posts have become one of my favorite things to look forward to each day because of their frequency and because of her life. I could watch the wild turkey (not the booze) video over and over. The pandemic humor that I feel like she and I share is exactly what I need, and I feel you need it as well. Sometimes a well-placed, inappropriate joke is just what the doctor ordered.

Known for- humorous updates on her life in rural Maine and loving complaints about her ever-hoarding husband.

For your reading pleasure: 

Barn Decorating 

A Rare Sighting


She is going to laugh when she sees how big this picture is. I have no idea how to make it smaller. Courtesy/ Busy Bee Suz

Suzanne at Busy Bee Suz

Last but definitely not least, is my friend Suzanne or “Suz”. I cannot believe that I have only known Suz for a year. In fact, I don’t even think it’s been a year? I remember reading a post about her having the upper respiratory flu (remember that??) and bonding over coughing incessantly and people staring rudely, and then we laughed and laughed. This was right before COVID came around and then shit went downhill. OMG SUZ. DID WE MANIFEST COVID?

You will love her humor and wit, you will adore her little family, and she will become part of your family in the best possible way. I’m already planning on bringing my entire family (my mom and dad, included) down to her Georgia mountain home the next Thanksgiving after COVID opens up. She just doesn’t know it yet. Ernie is coming too. She doesn’t know it yet either. Well, they will when they read this. By the way, I found Suz’s blog via Ernie’s blog, and such why I love blogging so much. The maze of blogging is so connected and familial and wonderful.

Known for- her love of butterflies and her ability to tell hilarious stories.

For your reading pleasure: 

Things I Don’t Want To See or Hear or Have People Do

It’s a Miracle We Even Survived: Christmas 70s Style


When I say I’ve “known” someone when it pertains to my blogging friends, people who don’t blog think it’s not the same as knowing your real-life friends. They’re right. It isn’t. It’s deeper. Because your in-real-life friends might not know all the things about yourself that you would tell your blogging friends, the people you write for each week. When you don’t have to sit across the table from someone, you’re much more comfortable spilling your beans. I feel a kinship with so many of these women; women who have seen the insides of me without ever being in my physical presence.

Go forth and read these blogs over the course of the next several weeks and months. Click on their links, deep dive into their older posts, leave lots of thoughtful comments. Let it be my Christmas presents to you and you to them. For they have saved my life this year, in 2020 and indirectly, they have saved yours as well. These co-authors of my blog, A Grace Full Life.

Merry Christmas, my beautiful blog family. 🙂

28 thoughts on “Blogs That Are Getting Me Through the Pandemic”

  1. Good morning!
    You’ve given me lots of people to read and I love that!! A while ago I started to write a post asking for NEW bloggers to read! Well, lookie here, many new ones for me.
    I going to try and visit them in order, starting now until I have to go and food shop…not looking forward to that. 🙂
    Thank you for the blog love- you are a dear, dear human and I adore you. Ahem, yes, that photo could be half the size. HA! No one likes to see them selves supersized.
    XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the loving feature! I am so glad we happened upon the same link party years ago. And you’re right I have no idea why that’s as funny as it is. But it is.

    And a kidney? Girl I’d drive cross country if you needed a latte! I’ll take any excuse!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the loving feature! I am so glad we happened upon the same link party years ago. And you’re right I have no idea why that’s as funny as it is. But it is.

    And a kidney? Girl I’d drive cross country if you needed a latte! I’ll take any excuse!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awww! Thank you for including me in this. I am so grateful for you and Rita and Ally – blogs have truly helped get me through this year -and I can’t wait to use this list to find other blog favorites!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww, Kari. I love this post (and not just because you put me in it). I can’t wait to check out the blogs I haven’t seen yet. I love seeing how one connection leads to another and another, making this really lovely circle of writing goodness. (Can I write “love” one more time in this comment? Apparently, I can.)

    You, too, are one of the writers who have helped me get through this year. That’s how we do it: together. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas full of…(wait for it)…LOVE.

    Also, I love (for reals) your photo in the sidebar. I’m not sure how long it’s been there, but I just noticed it today. Did a double-take because you look so much like Ella in it, I thought it was a pic of her. It looks so much like the you I’ve come to know here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This blogging community this year has felt like one of those old quilting circles; women sitting in a large circle under a beautiful tree, writing and sharing their talents. That is what all of this means to me.

      I just took the picture the other day! I was feeling so good inside and out. I haven’t had a migraine in over a week and it’s been the longest I have gone without any pain. I felt like I needed to document it. Also, my hair is the longest it has ever been too! When I showed it to Anna, she said that I look younger than I did over five years ago. It made me realize that perimenopause and all that I was carrying internally made me look so much older than I really was. So I felt like I needed to take a picture of the “new” more accurate me. 🙂

      Like

      1. I can really see the change in your photo–you must be doing something right! I’m so glad you’re getting some migraine relief. I’ve been over a week now myself (knocking on wood here) and it has been so nice. Of course, I’m on break now. Hmmm….. 🙂 It has been great to watch your journey over the past year. Isn’t it amazing how this pandemic has been so both/and in so many ways? (Horrible and kinda good)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly, it is most likely the antidepressant I am on. Also probably being over the hump of menopause as well. But the soul searching I have been doing is helping me get rid of some of the emotional baggage I have carried with me for many years. Taking accountability, not taking anything personally, and a couple of other things. It has, for a lack of a better phrase, been life-changing.

        I am so glad you have had a pain-free week. I know how that feels. That is magic, right there.

        Like

  6. OK, you just made me cry with your shoutout about me and my blog! You are so kind, my dear friend. I miss you so much and I can’t wait until we can see each other in person again. I miss Ella and Buddy, too. 😉

    I can’t wait to visit these other blog friends of yours. There’s a couple I’m already familiar with, but not the others.

    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH!!!!! You like me, you really like me! It is difficult to share the spotlight with Amandequin, but your light shines so bright there is enough for both of us here.Thank you so much for including me. I am so looking forward to checking out your other friends as I try to rebuild/rejoin a community.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kari – day made. It was a busy one – Costco, library (how does one accumulate $40 in fines?) allergy shots, haircut, and the 8 boxes of stuff I just packed up from the heap in the corner of my room for my Amvets pick up tomorrow. So glad I sat down to read this. You are too kind. I appreciate you so much, and am grateful that you thought to include me. I love how you remember where you ‘found’ each of us. Probably no one has a better meeting story than us though. 😉

    I agree, blogging friends are sometimes able to share more than in-person friends. I’ve really appreciated the love and support this year when I shared my not-so-funny moments (and my hilarious moments too, of course). It meant a lot to be able to open up on my blog and feel the support.

    Thanks for linking us together in a simulated link party (who am I kidding, I don’t even get the link party thing). Let’s face it, I’m probably the most technologically unadvanced person you know. Looking forward to checking out the other blogs you highlighted here.

    And, thanks for the invite to Georgia. Suz won’t mind one bit.

    Liked by 1 person

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