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Ok, so I promised I’d get you an updated post today and give you more details about the new job offer and moving plans (if you missed it, here is that first post from last week). Because as far as this blog goes, both of those things will impact my future posts significantly. And progress on the house. And even, as this past day and a half has proven, ALL THE THINGS. Including my cell phone service (why do simple things sometimes have to turn into a big complicated mess?. Ugh).

Anyway, let’s cut right down to a few key details. I’ll try to answer some of the bigger questions first (I asked last week on Facebook for you guys to tell me what you were most curious about, and there were definitely some common threads), and then if you have more specific ones, just leave ’em in the comments.


This new job offer came so unexpectedly, and it’s not really possible to pinpoint any one thing in particular that caused it to happen. When I think about it, the blog, learning how to do web design and development, my Pinterest following, getting my MBA, and working in software – all played a part. Without each of those things, I’m convinced that the dominoes would not have fallen the way they did.


To start, my background is in software. When I started at my soon-to-be-former company several years ago (shortly after beginning the blog), it was a business of about 50 people total. We were very competitive in the market, and that drew the attention of our largest (and publicly traded) competitor who also does a lot of acquisitions. Which is exactly what happened to us. The company culture experienced a significant shift when the transition happened, our office moved, and we lost a lot of good people right away. I wasn’t interested in trying to find another job while I was also finishing school, so I hung around as best I could to keep at least one thing in my life stable until I figured things out. But during that time, I felt that my career was definitely in a holding pattern. I felt both ambitious and stunted; after not finding opportunity to move up in the company (it seemed that once you had a specific role, you just sort of stayed there… especially in my department), I grew even more unhappy. I wasn’t giving 100%, and both of those things influenced the other in an endless cycle of negativity. I wanted to move on, but wasn’t interested in starting over again; I wanted to use the skills I’ve been working on for the last few years and see where it would lead. Take the next step.

My web design business, Sweet Theory Designs, was growing to the point of evaporating nearly all of my free time at night. I was thrilled at the idea of moving on to do more things like that, but I was at that awkward growth stage of having too much work to keep doing both it and my job long-term, and not enough to do just the design work full time…. yet. The game plan for the last year had been to save up enough to give myself a grace period to test things out on my own, and I had been thinking about new ways of taking the business to the next level. Maybe with just a little more time, I’d figure out how to get through it.

But that didn’t mean I wasn’t considering other opportunities if the right one came along. I started writing with sites like Answers.com, taking on internet TV shows, etc. I wasn’t sure where things would go, but I was keeping my options open and following what I found exciting.

The New Job

My new job? Short and sweet:  I’m going to be the Web Editor for a new online magazine, Society South!

To say that I’m excited is an understatement. I mentioned their work toward a launch a few months ago when I was doing freelance writing for them (contributing short articles for their design category). A few months after I started writing for them though, the CEO met with each of the contributors to give us a better idea of what Society South was all about and where he hoped it would lead. We sat down for a bit to mainly discuss the idea of my doing a few DIY videos a couple times a year in addition to writing, but somehow, we began talking about my web design work-hobby. I’ve learned a ton over the last few years in designing and growing blogs, and I have absolutely loved the path that it’s taken so far. As it happened, they were looking to add a new team member to their staff, specifically with experience in web design, blogging, creating content, and social media. And would I be interested in considering it? Um, yes!


What I didn’t realize at first was that considering the job also meant considering moving to where Society South has their office: Auburn, Alabama (I’d assumed that a web-based job was something that can be done remotely; oops!).

Auburn is also a college town (Auburn University, of course). Which just so happens to be a rival of my alma mater, The University of Georgia (Bulldawgs, baby!). For those of you that don’t live in an area where you can see SEC football, it’s harder to explain, but this culture runs deep. It’s not just a college town; it’s a football town. And obviously, much smaller than living in a metropolis like Atlanta. This news wasn’t really as well-received as the idea of the job. But if I was willing, they’d have me come visit, meet the rest of the staff, take a few tours around Auburn, and maybe, just maybe, I’d consider moving there? Um… maybe.

Immediately, my mind raced with all of the projects going on in the house. Um… that wouldn’t be possible. Would it?

Visiting Auburn

I took two days off work to visit the staff and take a look around the town. It’s actually only about two and a half hours driving distance door to door from my house, so was pretty easy to pull off. Still, I was about 75% convinced at this point that I wasn’t willing to move. I told myself to keep an open mind and give it a chance; a house wasn’t enough reason to say no.

(check out Society South on Instagram for behind-the-scenes stuff)

When I got there, every person I met on staff was friendly and funny. The actual office itself was an old house with original plaster walls and architecture I could easily spend hours drooling over (wish I’d snapped pics, but I’ll do that on my next visit – pic above is from their feed!). They showed me around to a few restaurants (that all had local craft brews, interestingly enough). They then drove me around to neighborhoods where I’d likely find a place to rent temporarily, and then to neighborhoods where I’d more than likely be interested in buying after I’d gotten to know the area, since they knew I wanted to keep the blog going. On the second day, they had me sit down with some of their friends and family to get an idea of what it’s like to live in a college town when you’re not a college student (all I kept thinking was, I’m likely about 10 years older than the average person living there). In other words: these guys know how to make a good sales pitch. I told them it was a lot to take in, and that I would take a couple weeks to think about it.

Talking to Friends and Family

Right after I left, I was already back to blogging business in the car:  SheKnows had sent me an email earlier that day about doing another season, and my mind was still spinning from the idea of picking up my life and moving it for a job. Could I really consider this? Could I do it? The house was nowhere near ready to sell, but does that mean it would be impossible? What, really, was keeping me in Atlanta? I had lots of conflicting thoughts. And I knew that talking to friends about it would help make my mind up.

To my surprise, all of them immediately encouraged me to go for it. ALL. OF. THEM. Some shouted, even. My friend, Lindsey, has been one of my biggest cheerleaders for me quitting my current job. She’s been specifically asking that I bring glitter in my pocket to work to announce that I’d quit. I didn’t do that, but I did bring a handful of glitter to our dinner date to tell her what was going on. She was ecstatic. Not about the idea of moving away, but she agreed that a 2-hour road trip wasn’t much between good friends. Especially when it comes to a job that would make me a lot happier.

The Decision

While at that same restaurant, I noticed a large group of folks having a private party in the back. They were clearly celebrating some type of company milestone (a retirement? an anniversary? I wasn’t sure). But they all seemed thrilled. It was only a small crowd, maybe 30 or 40 people max. And I was suddenly calm. I thought, “I want that. Let’s DO THIS.”  I want to be involved in something; turn a small business into a growing success. And that wasn’t going to happen where I was. Time to make a change. And it was going to be great.

The idea of moving is still not something I’m happy about. But for a job that I know I’ll kick the shit out of, I’m willing to take a leap of faith. If it winds up that the whole thing was a terrible mistake, the worst is that I move back to Atlanta (or some other city) with a lot more experience for something I’d enjoy doing already behind me. Career-wise, this was the right choice. And if you spend 8 hours or more per day doing something you like instead of something that makes you unhappy, it’s worth the risk, right?

The House

So, I’m doing it. I’m moving. Eventually. The first question I seemed to get asked lately is when? But the truth is, the house would have to be ready to sell before that could be a reality. There’s a lot of things to finish before that can happen. So the honest answer is that I don’t really know. I’ve been itemizing a giant list of things I must get done with the house before I can move on. Some of it I can hire help for; most of it is a list of tiny unfinished things that I can do on my own when I finally have the time to (such as when I’m able to work from home & complete small tasks at various points during the day). All of the time each day that I spent commuting to work can now be spent on projects. I’ll have a completely separate post with that list (this one’s getting way too long!).

So, hopefully, that also answers the second most common question (I mentioned it in the first announcement, but there were still questions). I don’t plan on renting it out. That seems like too much work and stress. So I’m planning on selling it as soon as it is ready to begin showing. Let’s hope that happens quickly! Society South has been very understanding with this speed bump so far, so I’m hopeful that this will continue and the process won’t cause me to lose the rest of my already strained brain cells.

Sweet Theory Designs

As for design work, it’s a significant factor in why I even have the skills to do the new job. So because it’s a passion for me (and a source of income), I don’t plan on quitting my new little business. But, I have been thinking of transitioning into more template design than  one-on-one custom designs per website. I’ve found that when it comes to a lot of the work I get asked to do, there are common requests that overlap nearly 100% of the time. So my goal is to transition into providing these more often than doing custom work, with several template design options, available for purchase direct from SweetTheoryDesigns.com. I’m nearly finished with the first! I’m planning to start this transition by stepping back a bit on the case-by-case stuff in order to be able to give the appropriate attention to the new job. I figure that this will be the best way to keep things balanced and learn the new role’s needs for now.

There you have it. Not sure I could ever cover everything, but hopefully plenty of info for ya. Like I said, if you have more questions, go ahead and comment & I’ll try to answer them; if they repeat, I’ll include them in the next post about the house to-do-list.

And two more things:  First, THANK YOU for all of your support. I was touched by all of your well wishes when I made the announcement last Friday. You guys are awesome. Period.

Also? It’s my blogiversary today. Four years of writing! I’ve always found it incredibly appropriate that this goofy-ass blog began on April Fool’s Day. Here’s to one more year!

UPDATE:  Once I move (or depending on the amount of travel, before then), there’s a good chance you’ll see me doing things from time to time behind the scenes. So just in case you’d like to follow along with all of that, you can find Society South’s social media accounts here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Google+ / Youtube. Feel free to say hello!

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  1. Congrats! I love the beginnings of uncharted territory…it always means adventure! I’m sure you’ll rock it in Alabama Sarah! ;)

  2. Congratulations, this is an awesome opportunity! Coincidentally I found out today that I got into grad school and will be moving to Atlanta! It’s just too bad that my life isn’t quite fit for buying a house in that area…

    1. Congrats! Speaking from experience, grad school can be a great part of your life if you let it. I now have some GREAT friends as a result that I would not have met without it!

  3. I haven’t had a chance to comment yet, but congratulations! I knew the degree and your energy and ambition would lead you in the direction that you have been hoping for! I have long thought there is a need for more blogging by renters. (we have downsized so sometimes the smaller size of rental units applies more) looking forward to following the transition and next chapter for you!

  4. YAHOOOO!!!! YIPEEEEE!!! Congratulations Sarah! Let me tell you…first, I am so glad you are selling! I had said to not rent–too much stress. As for taking the job I totally get why you would question the move. Your blog is based on this home. Let me say from experience (and as you stated regarding spending your time doing what you love) that the job needed to be the deciding factor. Five years ago (with the horrible economy) my husband had to find a new job. We were in our dream home, 64 acres, living the dream, everything we had talked about. My husband worked hard to find a new job and received 3 offers!! The job he took has not only been mentally stimulating for him (last one not so) but he is doing great, moving up, and really getting noticed. We landed in a town that had more to offer us than we could have imagined. All is great and we were following the JOB. Bottom line…you need to move because this job was meant for you. Everything “fell into place” but know that this was planned. God had this planned out for you. You are ready and able and you will rock it! Again, congrats and I look forward to following you on this new adventure.

  5. I’m so psyched for you! I dont think there’s anything better than someone just going for a dream no matter what.

    We’re prepping to sell and although we don’t have an official deadline, its a priority. I’ve purged and finished bathroom makeovers. But one of the biggest things that made a huge difference? I made a huge list of things- a few large projects and a ton of tiny little things that needed to be done. Caulking, painting trim, touching up walls. blah blah. And I invited my friends over and had them go at it and paid for pizza afterwards. Very much like when we first moved in lol.

    Good luck. You’ve got this!

  6. Congrats on the new job! I don’t what what issues you’re facing with your cell phone, but… I moved about an hour away from family and into a different area code. I didn’t want to change my number/plan/phone. Then, I realized that as a high school teacher, there are some situations where students have to use your phone to call home for a ride – but parents won’t answer for a long distance number. Then someone tipped me off to google voice. It allows me to make and accept phone calls with a local number while still maintaining my old number. So, again, no idea what you were referring to, but if it’s just changing your number, there is a way to do both :)

    1. Thanks for the tip! Actually, I was just having to switch carriers because if I move, the one I had would get lousy service in the area. So I got a new phone & all that, only the phone completely malfunctioned on day 1. Returning it/exchanging it was a bit of a hassle and took WAY longer than I wanted it to, but I’m all set now, so I was just whining about the frustration of it all. I’ll definitely look into Google Voice!

  7. We live in a college town and are not college students (although granted I did go to college/University here). It’s awesome. There’s a really tight knit community feel and there is *always* something going on. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    I admire you taking a leap of faith and I am sure that if anyone can make it work, you can! All the very best of luck with eating your elephant (one bite at a time!) of house To-Do’s and I’ll be following your journey!

  8. Congrats Sarah! I have enjoyed reading your adventures about your house, you are an inspiration to so many! I have followed all of the social media links for your new company & will enjoy reading more. It was a pleasure meeting you & let me know if we can assist in any way as you finish up your projects, we are right around the corner in Johns Creek!

  9. Great post! I think a thoughtful leap of faith is always the right choice! You have talent oozing from your fingertips so plenty of ripcords to pull if this doesn’t work out! But… Hard to imagine that as it all sounds meant to be! (Or MTB to quote Sleepless in Seattle.) Congrats!!

  10. As the wife of a Dawg, I’m sad you’re going to enemy territory. But this is super-exciting for you!! Hooray!

    Also, are you planning on hitting up Haven this year?!

    1. Yeah, I bought a ticket & wasn’t 100% sold on going (just mixed feelings I guess?) … but now with the move, I think it will be good to see some familiar faces & do some networking. If you’ll be there, you can easily find me. I usually hang out at the bar in whatever room has one. ;)

      1. Awesome! I’ll come find you. I’ll be the awkward one that’s sweating because I don’t know what to do with myself.

  11. How exciting!! I am sure you will love Auburn! I am from Minnesota but my Grandpa and his whole family live down south in Auburn (and Opelika which is the next town from Auburn). It is a lovely and beautiful town- maybe just don’t tell people right away that you root for the bulldawgs ;)
    Best of luck!

  12. Congrats Sarah! I love new beginnings. I moved myself and a 10 year old from NY to KY to work in the Thoroughbred business. You got this! You will be so happy doing something you love. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know you did one on one web/blog design, of which I really need help. Oh well. Good luck with finishing the house and getting it sold. I know you will accomplish both.

  13. Seriously, they took you to restaurants supplying your kryptonite. How awesome are they? And how awesome are YOU that this opportunity came just when you needed it? I’m calling it a God-thing, but you can call it the universe, or Fate/Destiny/Whatever.

    It’s awesome. End of story. Congrats!

  14. Congrats!!! So exciting! I can’t wait to see where you go- and new house adventures too! Also I’m eagerly awaiting one of your premade blog templates!! :)

  15. Congrats! I’m 28 and have lived in an SEC college town for 3 years. Well, I guess Columbia, MO has only been an “SEC” college town for 2 years. Whatever.
    Coming from a city 4-5x larger than Columbia is, I never thought I’d live in a place smaller than my city of 450,000ish. I’ve never been to Auburn, but let me tell you: college towns are awesome! You develop a love-hate relationship with the students (‘I love having all the young energy around!’ vs. ‘ugh…this restaurant is packed. I can’t wait until May when the students go home!’). Game days are the BEST, and it seems like EVERYONE in town supports the University in one way or another (I understand you’re a Georgia fan, so you may find that daunting. I’m originally from Kansas and Kansas and Mizzou fans share a fiery hate for each other. Still, the unwavering support is comforting in some way).
    Good luck!

  16. Congrats! I’m so excited for you! I went to college near Auburn and spent time there throughout high school and such. It’s a great town! I really hope you love it there.

  17. Hi, Sarah! Congrats on the move, all of them! I went to Auburn, and lived/worked there for a while afterwards. I love that little town! Historic Opelika is beautiful, and only a couple miles down the road. There are so so many wonderful homes that I’m sure you would love. Getting a few miles out of central Auburn, there are lots of little neighborhoods and homes, as well. Take a trip down Wire Road, well past the Vet School and the trailer parks. Or, just outside of the University/Shug Jordan ring on North College past the fisheries, or Moore’s Mill Road towards some of the farmland. You’ll find some older, great neighborhoods there. Auburn is a beautiful little town, and there is plenty besides football! While I love Auburn football now, it was not a focus while I was there, only went to 2 games in 8 years! You must visit Provino’s and Niffer’s restaurants, and Cheeburger Cheeburger. I think we might need a road trip there, soon! I’m so excited for you!!

  18. :) :) So excited. You’re growing so fast and I can say I knew you WHEN! :)

  19. Congratulations!!! As a UGA alumna living in Alabama I can tell you there are few things that are as fun as wearing your Georgia gear in Alabama. Just make sure you get a very, very large UGA flag to fly at your new home (you may have to get in Columbus, though!). Good luck with the move!

  20. Congratulations! My sister works at Auburn University and we absolutely love the town. Much better than urban areas like Columbus and Montgomery. Great people!