2015 Blog Survey Results


On May 25, 2010, I published my first blog post ever! I had never had an online space before and had no idea what I was doing, but here we are five years later. Hurrah! I'd even say I'm having more fun than ever. 

Last month I conducted my third reader survey, and as usual it was really fun to go through all the answers. I got a total of 192 responses! I was hoping for an even 200, but WHATEVER, YOU GUYS. It's fine. I'm over it.

Thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to answer some questions for me. Some of the answers were predictable, but some were really surprising! I'm only sharing thoughts on the first half of the questions, because quite honestly I got overwhelmed and just decided to stop. So check back for part two! [UPDATE: Read part 2 here.]

Before we start, I say this every time I do a blog survey, but I just want everyone to take a moment of silence for all the moments I spent making these pie charts that I can never get back.
Holler to the twenty-somethings! Although in just about a year I'll be moving up an age bracket, so I don't know quite what to think about that. It's nice to see a range of ages represented. I like to think there's a little something for everyone on TLO...
The US seems to dominate my blogging world, but I have enjoyed getting to know some of you who hail from foreign lands I'll probably never get to visit. I asked this question in my first reader survey, and the percentages were about the same.

I asked this question in a previous survey as well, and the responses this time were a little different. Most of the people who answered my last survey were bloggers (63%), whereas this time it was less than half. I'm not sure what that means or if it means anything, but I figured I'd make note of it in any case. Maybe blogs are dying? Or maybe I'm attracting fewer bloggers these days? Who knows.

It makes me happy that there are so many of you who have been reading for a while! I really do feel like I have a great community of bloggers here, and it is always so much fun interacting with you. So hurrah for that. For those of you who are fairly new, welcome! Feel free to email me any time. I'd love for us to be friends. I also have handy tabs up at the top where you can browse some of the archives if you're into that kind of thing.

It's not surprising that the majority if you follow me via a blog reader. I asked this question on a previous survey, and since the first time, my Twitter numbers have jumped up considerably (3% vs. 13%). 

Unfortunately for you Twitter people, we all know I'm terrible at promoting my posts on there. I'll try to do better, but I think it's obnoxious when people tweet a link to the same post 85 times a day. I guess I need to find a balance...

If you don't follow my blog on Facebook, maybe you should. You might have more success getting updates. I always link my posts on Facebook, but I promise not to spam you guys with other links and random crap no one really wants to see. Sometimes I preview upcoming posts too!

"Other" responses on this one were mostly that people come directly to the site through my URL. Someone wrote "I manually browse like an animal," so thanks? I guess. I don't know.

These two questions go together, obviously. I got the idea to ask these from another blog survey I found on the internet. I found it interesting that although 36% never leave a comment, only 20% never read the comments. This means there are 16% of you who read comments but never leave one yourself. You know who you are. (Ahem, Jordan Bumgarner.)

In case you didn't know, as a blogger it's hard not to gauge the success of a post on the number of comments it did or didn't get. However, obviously that's a terrible way to gauge anything, since it looks like only about 20% of those who read a post consistently leave a comment! This is fine, of course, but it's definitely good to know for my own reference.

I also enjoyed seeing that people do read the comments. I find your comments so interesting and fun, and I like that others do as well! Honestly, sometimes the comments section is more interesting than my actual post. Plus you all have great advice. If you haven't ever taken time to skim through the comments, you should!

I've been wanting to ask you all this for a long time, and I'll be honest: the answers surprised me. About half of you have no idea what I'm even talking about. If you don't know, Disqus (yeah, I spelled it wrong in the graphic, but I'm not changing it now) is a third-party commenting system that I have been thinking about installing on my blog. A lot of blogs have it. My favorite feature is that when you reply to a comment, the blogger who left the comment gets notified. Currently, only I get notified if a comment is left.

However, there are a few things that have been holding me back. You do have to log in to leave a comment, and I don't want to discourage anyone from commenting because of that. Also, I worry that since it's a third-party system, it will slow down my blog. That seems to happen occasionally on other blogs I read that have Disqus, and I feel like my blog runs kind of slow already. (It's those darn BlogHer ads that make me approximately 2 cents a week.)

I also really enjoy the back-and-forth emails I have with those of you who comment, and I don't really want all of that showing up on my actual post, which is what would happen if I used Disqus. I could email separately through Disqus, but it seems more complicated than just replying to an email, which is what I'm doing now.

All that to say, I thought the answers to this would be much more swayed for Disqus, but I was really surprised to see that of the 50% who even knew what I was talking about, nearly 40% don't care either way, and only 8% really want me to get it. Considering that 7% don't want me to install it, it's pretty evenly split overall. I was certain that after seeing the answers to this question, I would install it. But now I'm conflicted. I think I might just leave it as is for now and see how I feel later on. Thoughts?

The answers to this question were surprising. I thought for sure you would say that my posts are too long. I feel like compared to many of the blogs I read and see out there, my posts are pretty long. And especially since people don't seem to want to read, I figured more people would say they skim.

I am very shocked that not a single person said they think my posts are long. Most if you feel they are just right, so that's great! When I write posts, I don't try to hit a certain word count or anything; I just write until the post feels complete, so it's nice to get validation that I'm doing a good job in that department.

(I hope you all catch the irony here that this post where I talk about the length of my posts is probably the longest ever. Ha!)

I'm pretty surprised that so many people said you wanted me to write about it more. Although a lot of family and real-life friends read my blog, so then again maybe that makes sense. I honestly figured more people would say they would skip anything baby related, but to those of you who said that, I appreciate your honesty! Obviously you are all adults and can skip, skim, or read anything you want. The "other" comments were mainly just saying that they think I should blog about it as much as I want to, and I shouldn't care what anyone says about it.

I explained some of my thoughts about blogging about Baby Bum when I shared my pregnancy journal. I know that a lot of bloggers use their blogs as their weekly diary to write about the baby, but since I am making my journal, I don't feel the need to do that. I also don't think I could keep up with a weekly post. I do feel a bit like a hypocrite, because I enjoy reading weekly bump updates from other bloggers I follow (I used to always skip those, but now that I'm pregnant I like reading them), but again I don't feel the need to do them myself, and I feel good about the amount I'm blogging about the baby. However, if anyone ever wants to talk baby or pregnancy with me, I am always up for a good email conversation, so feel free to get in touch that way!


This is where things get serious.

Who are you fools who prefer creamy over crunchy? Get out. 
No that was mean.
But really the 6% of you who said you hate peanut butter can leave now.

Someone actually made a point to write in a special note to me that said, "Crunchy peanut butter is gross." When I find out who you are, you're dead to me.

I am sorry for those of you who are allergic. I keep saying that if Baby Bum decides she's allergic to peanut butter, I'm sending her back. Do they give refunds on babies?

Don't answer that.

I do want to take a minute and give a shoutout to the person who wrote an extended comment about how unfair this question was. I've copied the comment below for your reading enjoyment.

Uh, the answer to "My favorite type of peanut butter is:" is not quite fair, b/c it is entirely dependent upon the situation in which it is being used. You made me select one answer! And it was mandatory!

See, you cannot have a crunchy peanut butter and honey nut cheerios (optional: banana slices) sandwich. There's just too much going on in each bite, and it is overwhelming.

But, you could have crunchy peanut butter and grape (welch's) jelly sandwich.

Yes, my house has 2 types (same brand- Skippy) of Peanut Butter in the cupboard - as well as Hellman's Mayonnaise (ick) & Miracle Whip in the Fridge.

I'll end it there. Because peanut butter.


Part 2 will cover your responses to all the specific topic options, and I want to address some of the critiques I got and responses to "I like reading The Lady Okie Blog because..."

I can't promise I'll get to it soon. We're actually moving next month for real, and it's about to get crazy up in the Bumgarner house.
See also: Survey Responses 1 / 2

Keep it Local: Oklahoma City Eats


oklahoma city food
Today I am continuing my tour of OKC by sharing some of my favorite eats! These are by no means all of the delicious restaurants that Oklahoma City has to offer, but these are ones I've found that I really enjoy.
planet sub
^^^ Planet Sub. The bread is made fresh in the store every day, and it smells so good in there! And not like it smells in Subway. You know what I'm talking about. They have a full vegetarian menu and delicious non-veggie options too, which I look forward to eating once Baby Bum has left the building.
roxys ice cream
^^^Roxy's Ice Cream Truck! They have had a food truck for a long time, and they just opened an actual shop in the Plaza District (hipster town, according to Jordan). The hand-dipped ice cream is gooood. Plus, hello, who wouldn't want to buy an ice cream cone from a truck like this?
Kitchen 324
^^^Kitchen 324 is a great place to eat if you want to be a little fancy. They make all their bakery items fresh daily, and the menu is full of options using local, fresh ingredients. It's really nice inside, and you feel like you're being fancy but the food isn't too expensive.
^^^ We recently discovered a new burger place called The Garage. YUM. The menu has a lot of unique burger options, and I loved the fries (always important). They sell root beer out of the bottle (a selling point for Jordan), and the prices are good. Our friends came to visit us from Illinois over Memorial weekend, and we took them here for dinner on Sunday. They agreed that it was really good! Worth a stop if you're in the area.
fried green beans
^^^ Last but not least, if you're ever in the area, you MUST stop in at S&B's burger joint for a side of fried green beans (yes, we do fry everything. God Bless America). I reviewed S&B's here, so click through to see more pictures of this awesome burger place. I have sampled nearly half the menu (including ordering a turkey burger!) and have never been disappointed.

Have you ever eaten fried green beans before?
Does your city have food trucks?

We Painted and Stuff


Life is officially moving faster than I have time to blog about it. 

I'm doing my best to take it all in and enjoy this season of busyness. I feel so incredibly blessed right now with a new house and a baby coming, not to mention family and friends who have been so supportive and helpful! I could turn this into a cheeseball post really quick, so I'll stop there. But I honestly feel so undeserving of these gifts, and I am so very thankful. Just wanted to put it out there for the record.

Aaaaanyway, let's move on.

Two weekends ago, we finally started checking some things off our new house to-do list! The list is forever long, but one thing at a time, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself. 

My parents are basically the best and volunteered to drive up from Texas to help us paint a few rooms. The entire house is painted the same color, but it's not a terrible one, so I decided to just focus on painting the master bedroom, the guest bathroom, and Baby Bum's room. No need to get crazy and try to paint everything all at once.

I chose "Mint Condition" from Sherwin Williams for the nursery (pictured above). I knew I didn't want a gender-specific color like pink or blue. I wanted something bright but nothing too crazy, and I wanted something that could work for a girl or boy. No, I do not have a theme. Take that, Pinterest.

While my parents painted, Jordan and his parents worked on the front and back yards. Unfortunately, I do not have a before-and-after picture to show you. That's a blogger fail right there. Just imagine a jungle with weeds past your kneecaps, and you've got the idea. It was awful, and with all the rain we've been having, it needed attention fast before small children started getting lost in the thicket of dandelions. 

Like true first-time home owners, we don't own a lawn mower and had to borrow this from a friend. #sendmoney
^^^He was actually finished mowing by the time I ran out with my camera, so I shouted, "Pretend to be mowing!" Hence the confused stare.

The previous owners had some nice landscaping out front, so upkeep will be key from this point forward. Luckily, we both know absolutely nothing about maintaining a yard (or, ahem, keeping basil alive), so this should be fun.

Now for a few shots from inside the house! None of these rooms are getting painted for now.
^^^ Built-in bookshelves! It's kind of like a dream. We decided we're only putting books on there that make us look smart. We're going to start with buying a copy of the Bible in Hebrew and Latin, everything Shakespeare ever wrote, and throw in a Chinese dictionary for good measure.

A fireplace wasn't on our "must haves," but I am excited that it's both gas and real wood, so when it's cold outside it will be fun to light a fire and get all toasty!
One thing I love about this house is all the natural light! That was #1 on my priority list. I cannot cannot handle dark houses. I am so excited to have some great places to take pictures and read.

In related news, Jordan has declared he's already tired of moving. We have literally taken 4 boxes over to the new house. This concerns me. The other day he said, "I'm tired of this giant empty box that's sitting in the middle of our living room." To which I replied, "Maybe you should fill it with stuff."

This is what I'm dealing with here, people.

One project that we want to do before we move in is replace the kitchen sink. While we were at Lowe's looking for sinks, I happened to see this: 
I can't decide what's more ridiculous: that someone found this a selling feature or that they actually know this about the toilet, which means they tested it. "Hey, how many golf balls can we flush before this thing breaks?" You KNOW a man thought of this.

I picture a team of marketing people crowded around a toilet. "13!" Loud cheers. "14! 15! 16! 17... oh, no it's broken. 16 golf balls it is!"

America, you are weird.

After two full days of painting and yet another crazy Oklahoma storm that nearly had us retreating to the storm shelter (dear May, we are not friends), we actually got to enjoy some sunshine while eating burgers and ice cream at Freddy's. My dad apparently thought there were 25 people eating lunch with us and decided to get an excessive amount of ketchup.
So that's the beginning of the beginning of house stuff to do! Excuse me while I go take another load of random items over there.


Ask Anything Answers: Part 5


1. What's your favorite TV show?
Friends is my all-time favorite. However, I also love Castle, My Boys, Alias, and Parenthood.

The only show I watch semi-regularly that is currently on the air is The Middle. I watch Downtown Abbey, but I'm still on the season from last year.

2. What's your best tip for bloggers?

Have fun. I know that sounds too easy, but seriously. Unless you're making a ton of money off your blog and it's your job, your blog is a hobby! It's like exercising or scrapbooking or cooking or anything else you like to do. If you don't like it, don't do it! So make sure you're having fun with your blog and blogging about things that YOU want to blog about. If you start caring too much about what other people think, that's the best way to stop having fun and the fastest way to kill your blog.

3. What do you and Jordan do for fun?

I'll be honest. This question caused me some anxiety.

Truthfully, Jordan and I aren't very exciting. We don't travel all that much, and we don't work out together or cook together much anymore (we did that while we were dating, and then it kind of died). So I was sitting here having a panic attack like DO WE EVEN HAVE FUN TOGETHER?

We like playing Skip-Bo. If you don't know what that is, you need to rethink some stuff. We go for frozen yogurt dates or out for ice cream occasionally. As I mentioned in my anniversary recap post, lately we've been rewatching Star Wars so we can be ready for the new movie coming out this winter. When Jordan watched the trailer, he had tears in his eyes. I'm not joking.

We always read at night before we go to sleep, and even though technically I guess we're not really interacting, I like doing that with him.

When we're on road trips to Texas, we play 20 questions sometimes. Jordan is very good. He stumps me almost every time, which is saying something about his items and my lack of ability to ask good questions.

So, basically we're not very fun? I guess? I don't know. What do YOU do for fun?

4. What is the absolute best trip you have ever taken?

Okay, I obviously can't choose best trip ever, because I've been on so many great ones. But three trips immediately stood out to me when I thought of this question:

1. Family trip to Hawaii in 2002 (couldn't find any pictures)
2. Trip to Greece during January term, senior year in college 2008

3. Mission trip to Nicaragua in 2014. We went with a group from our church, including Jordan's parents.
Read more about our trip to Nicaragua!

5. What are your greatest pet peeves?

These are the first ones that came to mind:
-People who say they're going to come to something and then don't come
-People who don't use turn signals
-People who say they don't like a food item even though they've never tried it
-People who misuse the word "literally"
-People who slow down to look at an accident that is on the OTHER SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY, thus causing an unnecessary traffic jam and making me late to work.* 

*This is a hypothetical scenario that didn't just happen to me last week.

6. What are your guilty pleasures?

-Hershey's chocolate. I'm not a huge fan of candy bars, but I'm a sucker for the plain chocolate.

-One Tree Hill. This show is so stupid. I hate myself when I watch it, but it's a good fluffy show to watch while I'm scrapbooking.

-Sometimes I feeling like blogging is a guilty pleasure because I probably could be doing something more productive with my time.

-Anything on this list.

That's all for now!
Want to ask a question? Click here.

See also: Ask Anything 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Anniversary #4: iHop and the Death Star


It probably won't surprise you to hear that we are low-key anniversary people. I decided a long time ago that setting expectations for an Important Day was just going to end up with me feeling let down. Don't get me wrong. I still battle the feeling of wanting every moment of the day to be filled with meaning, but I also realize that that's unrealistic and kind of dumb. So for birthdays and anniversaries, I focus on finding at least one thing to do that will make the day special.
This was our third year in a row going to iHop for breakfast on our anniversary. There's one fairly close to our apartment, so we get up early before work, eat breakfast, and then go our separate ways for the day.
Jordan always gets the same thing: biscuits and gravy with a side of sausage, scrambled eggs (he will only eat scrambled eggs!), and hash browns. I go for the Belgian waffle, because I love waffles and hardly ever get to eat them. I tried to make them myself once and failed so miserably I became enraged and threw out my waffle maker, so now our annual iHop trips are the only time I get to eat them.
We don't do anniversary gifts. Similar to what we do on Valentine's Day, we skip gifts and just get each other a card. However, this year Jordan had flowers delivered to me at work! This is only the second time he's bought me flowers in the six years I've known him. Don't they liven up my desk at work? I've been shamelessly carrying them home and then back again every day so I can get as much joy out of them as possible.

WHY DO FLOWERS HAVE TO DIE? I asked Jordan this, to which he replied, "Everything dies."


When I got the flowers, I called him to say thanks, and he pretended he didn't know what I was talking about. So I said, they were probably from the father of my baby. See how I make jokes? He was not amused.
After work, we made the sweet potato burrito bowl for dinner and officially declared it added to our dinner staples list. Soooo good and healthy! And cheap! And easy to make! Basically my dream meal. Plus I love buying the mini colored peppers! There's a slight chance I'm way too excited about this.
Then, while we ate dinner, we watched Star Wars to conclude the evening. The things I do for him, amIright? Jordan has been having major SW cravings lately, so we're rewatching all the movies before the new one comes out this fall. My nerdy husband is turning me into a nerd, and I don't hate it. Need proof? See below:

Then there was the time I accidentally called Han Solo "Hans." Actually we probably shouldn't talk about it. On to year five!

Keep it Local: Lunch Walks in Downtown OKC


Oklahoma City Downtown
I am in the process of going through the reader survey responses (which I promise to share with you at some point), and I was surprised to see that a lot of you (over 70%) either Love or Like my Oklahoma posts.

Truthfully, I'm not always a huge fan of specific city posts myself, but then again I do enjoy seeing pictures of places I might not ever have the chance to go to. And those posts do come in handy if I am planning a trip. Not that anyone really ever makes a special trip to Oklahoma, but this is me telling you that Oklahoma, despite the fact that no one ever seems to care about it except to make fun (Chandler working in Tulsa, anyone?), actually has a lot of great things to offer.
^^^This is one of my favorite buildings! I love the different colors.

I've been working downtown for over a year and a half now, and I absolutely love it. Oklahoma City is a big enough city that you feel like you're in the city, but it's not so big that you feel overwhelmed. It's really fun to learn my way around the downtown area and discover delicious restaurants and fun shops. During my lunch hour, I try to take the opportunity to walk around, taking pictures and just getting outside. 
Oklahoma City Downtown Library
^^^This is the downtown library, where I often go to check out books. It's awesome to have such a large library system so close!
Devon Tower
^^^ This is the Devon Tower, the tallest building in OKC. I actually interviewed for a job here before I got the one I have now. It was the first interview I had after I got fired, and it was literally two days after the firing. When the recruiter asked me about my previous job, I started crying IN THE INTERVIEW. 

Let's just say they didn't hire me. Crazy, party of one?
^^^This is... actually, I have no idea what this is, but whenever I see this tiny building flanked on both sides by giant ones, I smile. The building on the right is a parking garage they just finished building. The floors are all color coded.
Myriad Gardens
^^^Across the street from the Devon Tower is the Myriad Gardens. During the lunch hours, tons of people are outside on the lawn doing workouts, and people pass me running or walking. They've done an excellent job the last few years fixing up the downtown area so that it's really a great place to walk around, take photo shoots, and watch movies.

Have I convinced you to come visit me yet? I think you'd like it!

You might also like:

All that Cheesy Love Stuff


For Jordan. 
On our 4th anniversary.
I don't get sappy much on the blog. I get dramatic and personal, sure, but when it comes to all that cheesy love stuff, I'd rather just share funny stories.

So I tell you about how Jordan left half the dishwasher unloaded or how I get rage in my sleepI write about that time I elbowed him in the face or the weirdest thing I remember about the beginning of our relationship.
But here's what I don't tell you.

He tells me he loves me every day.
He kisses me and tells me I'm beautiful.
He gives me the first sip when he opens a can of pop because he knows I like it.
He makes me laugh.
He prays for me and provides for me, and there's no one else I'd rather do this marriage thing with.

And let's be honest: there's no one else who could handle me anyway.

So there. That should cover all that cheesy love stuff. 
At least until next year.
Comments turned off. Go find someone you love and tell them something cheesy so we can all be sappy together.

p.s. For more wedding pictures, check out my wedding scrapbook here.