underside coffee table

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So, it’s been no secret that as far as my dating life goes, it’s been kind of non-existent for most of this blog. Call it too busy when I was in school or too busy when I was launching a business or just being gun-shy, I’ve just not been very sure-footed in this part of my life. Or rather, I’ve been really unsure of how to handle it blog-wise. I feel like no matter how little or how often I might bring up such things, it’s always going to be clumsily done, and that makes me kind of self-conscious about it.

Also? Not all dudes can handle a line like, “Ok, let’s do dinner at my place? I have to build a coffee table first, but I’m also in the mood for pizza.”

best pizza ever at Antico

Or, “When was the last time you had a tetanus shot? Just curious. There might be a nail on the new rug in my living room and I can’t find it.”

Anyway, relationships can be a tricky situation to talk about when you put the rest of your life out on a blog. Not that I think I’m very important or that you guys care to gossip about a small-time DIY blogger (pshh, why, when the internet is overflowing with warmer tea), but I suppose it’s just that one can never be too careful when it’s someone else’s life you’re talking about, and I hate the idea of oversharing about a person whose permanence in my life is still new/undecided, ya know? And when the simple nature of DIY blogs is that most home improvement bloggers aren’t single like I am, I kind of have to figure out for myself where those boundaries are. * After all, blogging about your ex being a sociopath or his laughably tacky birthday gift can sound super off-topic (not that I’ve done that, coughcough). Point is: dating and DIY and blogging can be weird.

But when you are literally building a coffee table not for yourself, but for the guy you’re dating to make it easier on nights when you’re both working on the computer (we both do freelance work at night sometimes, and selling my living room furniture has left little space for stashing coffee or food), it’s hard not to chuckle at myself that I’m building furniture for relationship reasons.

So, that’s how I spent part of my week: building a coffee table for a boy. Ha.

coffee table underside

More on this later, though. Because I still need to route it, stain it, and it’s not even the permanent table I want in this room (but finding a piece with enough character will take time, and this was a decent use of scrap wood). All I can say for now is that it’s heavy and the reason you only saw part of the living room last week:

left side of living room with new rug

Also new this week: I did lots of updates to the blog’s homepage, and I’ve been working on getting the site more organized for you guys (more to come, just FYI… I’ve decided not to do a big new redesign launch but to just make tweaks as I go, so if for some reason something looks weird, try clearing your browser cache and it should refresh… or reach out to me if something is broken and I’ll get on it asap). I simultaneously hope that it will be both noticeably better and not noticeable at all.

Oh! And other news… I’m adding a contributor to the blog who used to work at the magazine for me (her introduction is on its way!) as well possibly adding some more recipes to the site… a handful of my own “lazy gal” recipes from when I studied abroad (fair warning: do NOT expect these to be complex or healthy), and some from the dude who will soon have his own coffee table.

As per yuzh, we’ll wing it and see how it goes. Cheers, friends. Hope you’re all having an awesome week!

*Update: I posted this on Friday when I was really tired, and then thought better of making a joke about good ol’ TSwift’s songs, so I removed it. That overused trope made me roll my eyes at myself after re-reading (and not the kind of way I like to be to other women). Like I said — it’s always a work in progress around here. Hope you had a great weekend! <3

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  1. Even though blogging has been around for awhile now, I feel like it’s still not very clear cut in a lot of areas, one being the people in your life, sharsies or nah? So I completely understand the trepidation on sharing!

    Looking forward to whatever you decide to share, I usually read blogs more on the personal/lifestyle side, so I enjoy all avenues of someone’s life :) And I gotta say, love your attitude on the coffee table situation… “I need a coffee table…I’ll just build one” so amazing.

    1. Thanks, Heather! Yeah… after seven years, it’s still a trial-and-error thing. I’ve read some bloggers share something personal and people LOVE the honesty, and some share and get totally flattened by the unexpected interpretations. So, I figure just being honest about WHY I think twice is a decent place to talk from. Appreciate the feedback! <3

  2. It’s up to you what to share or not. I appreciate when you do and understand why you don’t. Chuckling over the coffee table scenario!

    Spent my weekend creating a suspended mailbox on the existing post with my 7 year old grandson as apprentice. :) The past 3 years the crossbar has been destroyed by snowplows and this past winter I had the box on a shelf bracket attached to the post … sigh … so not my style. Since the vertical post is fine and secured in cement, we devised a plan. Still not done for 2 reasons : (1) I don’t have a jig saw and (2) it’s raining again & expected to for several days … giving me time to bring boards to work and use saw there. Good times with the little one who rocked the helper position!

  3. I have never been so excited about seeing a coffee table…. xD Can’t wait till it’s up!

    1. Haha, well this one actually has a DATE for posting… July 1st. It’s actually going to be part of a blog hop with other bloggers sharing some of their own 2×4 projects, so I can’t reveal anything until then, but it should be a cool thing to participate in (and chances are, my to-do list will expand since there will be a number of cool ideas out there too). So, save the date? Ha.

  4. When I started blogging about 6 years ago I was dating this one guy. We eventually moved in together, got 2 dogs, and then a couple years ago broke up. I didn’t talk a ton about him or write a lot of personal posts, so it probably wasn’t a big deal. But I didn’t know what to write after we split. I think I just put it as part of the introduction of a random post. I don’t think many people care about a small time blogger’s relationship status, but it seemed weird to never mention it. Now I have a new boyfriend (we live together) and he’s way more helpful with projects and we travel together a lot, so I kinda have to mention him. I don’t know what the point of my story is other than I agree with you and it’s weird to play out relationships on a blog and decide how much to share.

    1. Well, just mentioning your own experience is helpful! Deciding where those “mile markers” (or whatever?) is a tough call to make one way or the other. The guy I’m dating now knows a LOT about structural engineering, space planning, etc. so his involvement with my everyday projects is actually new and refreshing… so there’s a good chance the more we work together, the more I’d be mentioning him in projects since that would be only natural to do so. But the intros and exits of relationships are where things always feel the most awkward! Thanks for sharing your own POV on it!

  5. i’ve always enjoyed when you share stuff about your personal life. but i also understand how complex it can be, especially if it’s someone new in your life. kit also walks a fine line between sharing and privacy. i think it’s smart for sure, to also make sure you don’t share too much, in the case of stalkers, etc. creepy! sounds like she might have had a few issues with that. whatever you share or don’t share, i’ll enjoy reading it! love the coffee table, and the new blog layout. can’t wait to see more of both :)

    1. I’ve had a few issues of the same (Kit and I have talked about it before, actually). The basic line I try to draw is 1) wait a few months before a relationship is something I mention, 2) share mostly on my personal IG @sarahfogle (that’s a different one than the blog at @uglyducklingDIY — it’s public but clearly a personal account) and 3) refrain from names, photos, and other such things. It’s usually the ex-boyfriends you have to worry about, since you don’t always know how nuts they are until a breakup (oh, the stories I could tell, ha — but I also don’t like the idea of publicly slamming someone too much, even if I’ve got no identifiable info about them on the blog). If and when there’s something BIG to share (cohabitating/marriage/babies/dog adoption/investments in other properties) I’ll share all about THAT.

      1. Yikes ie stalkers… creepy *shudder* i had one once, before my blog, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
        Thanks for the heads up about your IG! just started following you and kit. don’t use IG much but am trying to use it more now that i have a new account (old one got disabled for some idiotic reason considering i barely use it and hadn’t posted anything for weeks).
        ps – he’s adorable!!! and happy birthday to charlie :)

        1. Thank you! He makes me laugh (which uh, yeah… humor is necessary for me). And he’d be in 100% agreement with you on the stalker thing; it’s a project I’ll probably be sharing about sometime in the near future (future-proofing your door locks if you need to change them, adding security cam, that sort of thing).

  6. Hey Sarah, first time commenting but I just wanted to say I thought this was a hilarious read! I will say though, if your dating skills improve to the level of your DIY skills, you’ll be fine!