No, I'm not pregnant (sorry to disappoint) and I'm not getting married (ditto).
However, there are a few big changes coming that I wanted to talk about...
Announcement #1: I'm leaving AO
First of all, and the most significant to me anyway (maybe not to you) is that I have decided to leave my post as Editor of AO at Home to pursue freelance work. You may recall back in August that I went part time (down to 3 days per week) and that was a sort of 'testing ground' for me to see if I could go fully freelance. Well, I got the taste for it and I loved it. So I figured I might as well start the year as I mean to go on and gave my notice in November - big big step for me! I have been working for other people since I was 16 years old and working full time since I was 17 years old. So to remove that safety net is pretty scary as well as exhilarating.
I have loved working at AO and growing their blog has been an amazing, challenging and satisfying experience. They've decided to take the groundwork of what I did on AO at Home (high quality content and photography, working with a talented mix of bloggers/contributors, etc) but have expanded the content held within to cover things like Family Life and Tech - it's a good move for them and the reasons for this are sound. Over my last month, we launched the new site called AO Life but all the archived content from AO at Home is still there, the contributors for Interiors, Crafts and Food are still all there and those things won't change. What also won't change is I'll still be writing for them in the 'Home Life' section but this time as a freelance contributor (I'll also be on hand as an occasional consultant). So it's all really positive and I'm thrilled to still be involved in a small way.
You may have noticed a new page in my top bar that says 'Hire Me'. This is essentially what I'll be doing to 'pay the bills'. So while I will still take the odd sponsored post here on Swoon Worthy - my standards will remain VERY high. I never accept reviews or posts from companies that I don't feel are a good fit or who I wouldn't want to share with you guys anyway. So you don't have to fear that every other post is going to be a sponsored one now. It's something I have always felt strongly about and that hasn't changed.
I am going to be writing for quite a few different companies now, offering consultancy to businesses looking to start or improve their blogs and I'll continue to share those in my 'Something for the Weekend' posts if you fancy reading along. I'm also going to offer an e-design option to my readers which I will try to keep as reasonably priced as possible. I'm still working on that side of things so stay tuned!
Announcement #2: Swoon Worthy is getting a brand new look
I always take a break from Swoon Worthy between Christmas and New Years. Everyone is so busy during the holiday season and it's just a nice way to recharge your batteries so this will be my last post between now and 5th January. Behind the scenes, I'm going to FINALLY move my blog over to Wordpress - something I've wanted to do for probably years but have never had the opportunity/confidence/knowledge to do. Well, I'm going to take the plunge during this little break to give my little blog here a new fresh start. Hopefully in January, you'll see a new look for Swoon Worthy that will reflect my aesthetic a little better - something cleaner but still a bit glam too! And make it easier for you guys to find any archived content with a much better design. Wish me luck!
Announcement #3: I've decided to change my name (back)
Some of you might have noticed that I'm going by 'Kimberly Duran' now instead of 'Kimberly Hughes'. It's probably a little confusing because you might think Wayne and I got married. We haven't (promise I would have told you if that was the case). I am actually divorced and have been since 2003 (!) and just never bothered to change my name back to my maiden name. Yes, 'Hughes' is my old married name. Well, I've been waiting for my passport to expire so I could do a big change all at once and now that the old passport has, I finally got a Deed Poll officially and legally changing my name back to Duran. So yeah, that's why you'll see both names banded about. In the new year, I will be abandoning 'Hughes' completely and you'll only see 'Duran'. I promise it's still me ;)
So exciting times ahead! I just want to thank you for following along here on Swoon Worthy. I often rant on about how much I appreciate you guys and it's because I really want you to know that I do, so much so that I struggle to put it into words.
So rather than go all gooey on you, I will just wish you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season (or a wonderful end of year) however you may be enjoying it. I'm going to eat my weight in Turkey and Ferraro Roche and enjoy a couple of weeks' break and I'll see you back here in 2015!
Don't miss a thing!