Sunday, November 22, 2015

Five Years is a Long Time

Well, my grand plans to complete some blog posts to schedule during my trip fell through, so I guess you guys will just have to wait a week or so while I'm away.

I was thinking, though, that this little break would be a good time to get some feedback from all of you. As I stated in my title, five years is a long time to blog (almost five and a half now), and things grow and change in that amount of time. I've had an almost complete turnover in my audience since my early Never Grow Up days. Many of the readers and bloggers I interacted with then have either moved on or have disappeared from the blogosphere entirely. As a side note, that's the only thing I find a bit melancholy about the whole online friendship thing. You get to know people so well, and then those relationships just kind of fade away. Don't get me wrong...I completely understand. I've changed myself as a blogger. I don't have the same time I used to, and wish I was as good at commenting on other blogs, responding to emails, and taking part in tags and blog parties as I used to be in the early days. Interests, focuses, and time management naturally change, and that's okay.

I feel it's wise to reevaluate things every once in a while. Especially with such a shift in my audience. In January, I'll be taking a blogging hiatus. This will give me time to take care of some online housekeeping, catch up on a few things I need to, and so on.

So, how am I doing guys? I'd love to hear some feedback on a few things:

1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?

8. Any other comments, suggestions?

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, guys. I'm looking forward to hearing your answers.

I'll talk to you guys again in a little over a week. :)

21 comments:

Meritre said...

1. I was looking from some nice, big doll pictures, I think it was Belle.In one word, Google.
2. I'm partial to Disney dolls and dolls that have a story their owners made up for them :)
3. Any dolls you like. :)
4. I'm not sure I understand it as it is meant but I would be interested. :)
5. Nothing, actally. Maybe some guest posts for the hiatuses?
6. I prefer photos :)
7. Of course it would!
8. *hoping youand your blog'll be around for many more years to come*

clarascraftcorner14 said...

1: I found Never Grow Up 2 years ago through a Google search.
2: I've really enjoyed reading about Maggie, the Shopkins, Lalaloopsies,and My Little Ponies.
3: I'd love to hear about more custom dolls!
4: Yes! :D
5: Um... not anything really! :)
6: Of course I would!
7: Not really.....
8: I love how unique this blog is! It's really awesome. :)
Clara

Treesa said...

Dear Hannah (beastsbelle),
It's funny, but I was recently considering asking you via email if you were still interested in getting a P.O. box. I make my own greeting cards, and I would love to have a way to send you something without you having to give me your home address. As for your other questions, I can't remember exactly how I first stumbled across your blog, but my favorite posts were probably the ones you did about 80s toys. I also enjoyed the post you did on your family's favorite doll-related books. Stay well and enjoy the upcoming holidays.
Signed, Treesa

Dot said...

I was brought to Never Grow Up when it was on a reccomended list of blogs from some website that I don't remember. You were advertised as a doll blog, but I also enjoyed the little bits of life andwriting that you brought to this blog.
I absolutely loved how up to date you were about jst about everything. There's a sale? I can count on you to find it and make it availible to all of us.
Oh, and have you ever heard of Double Dutch Dolls or Eco Warriors? I'd enjoy hearing more about those. I don't really know what a blog party is, but it sounds intersting.
I would not change anything about this blog. You are a lovely person. ^-^. A P.O. box sounds like a really good idea, I'd love to send you things via that.
Also, to wrap up this massive comment, thank you for sharing your journey of writing with us. As I am an aspiring author, it's really great to hear about more experienced people's work. Your book sounds AMAZING btw. I'm definitely buying it when it comes out.

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
Taking a blogging hiatus in January sounds wonderful! I am tempted to do it myself to catch up on personal photo editing, scanning old slides and photos, and working on my own personal photography site (if I can ever figure out how to do it!!) I think some time away from online blogging is incredibly healthy!
Here are some answers to your questions:
1. I first found you in the summer 2014 when I was looking up more info on the BFC Ink and Hearts for Hearts dolls. This is when I first realized there were such a thing as doll blogs and I also the came time I started collecting. :)
2. Tough call, but I think I've enjoyed your AG doll collection and doll rooms! I also love your Disney reviews.
3. I would love if you did more reviews on your 80s toy collection and I love MLP as well.
4. Not sure about doll parties or tags, but I love Disney everything!
5. I wouldn't change a thing. :)
6. Yes, I am always on Youtube and although I really like your written reviews, I also love your doll room and collection videos very much.
7. Sure! I'd love to send you a Christmas card! :)
8. I love how you are so authentic and you always tell the good and the bad, whether it's a doll review or a personal goal. You seem like such a genuinely sweet and kind person and are doing such a great job with your family. I love the personal side just as much as the toy side so I always enjoy your "family life" posts just as much.

:)

Anonymous said...

1: reading over my big sis's shoulder. I don't know how she found you!
2. I enjoy the Disney Classic dolls and other 12 inch dolls like Ever After High
3. Nothing! I like what you post about as it is
4. no
5. Nothing!
6. No
7. Not really. I mean, this is what comments are for, right?
8. More about writing, your faith etc. You're one of those bloggers who's always lifting me up, not pulling me down, no matter what you post!

Emmaline said...

1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?
Hmm, it was probably from a google search for doll blogs, plus I noticed you commenting on Emily's blog a lot!

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?
Disney dolls and American Girls!

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?
I love hearing about new and upcoming doll lines :)

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?
Sure!

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?
Nothing, really! I completely adore your blog <3

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?
Yeah! I love seeing blogger's doll collections, it inspires me to organize mine more haha

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?
Yeah! I love sending little postcards to people :)

8. Any other comments, suggestions?
What really makes your blog stand out is your lovely warm personality, I love how kind you are, both in the comments and in the reviews! Your blog is definitely my favorite doll blog

BlackKitty said...

Take your time for the "housecleaning", I can see how it got exhausting, especially with the kids and the book. My answers to your survey:
1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?
I can't remember. Probably looking for doll blogs among other bloggers' subscription lists, or looking for j-doll reviews.

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?
Fashion dolls.

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?
Sewing and customization projects.

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?
Depends on the theme. If it's for grown-ups, most likely yes.

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?
The layout! The header is HUGE and the text is tiny. I have to read it on a normal sized screen with 175% magnification so when I open the page, I get a little more than 1/4 of the header on the first screen (unless I block the picture element with AdBlock) and there's a great deal of scrolling to reach the text. Then there are sidebars on both sides, so there's horizontal scrolling as well. I'm considering eye surgery now, hopefully by the time you come back I'll be able to revisit my complaint from a healthy eyes perspective :)

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?
Yes for room tours, but I'm not a fan of the video format for reviews.

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?
I think you should do it because you have many US fans who would love to mail you cards and exchange doll things. I personally don't have a use for this option because I'm in Europe and I rarely send mail that far away. If I decided to open a shop and send you things for review, I'd just contact you here and ask for a mail address.

8. Any other comments, suggestions?
Enjoy your time with the family!

dannyscotland said...

1. I think I found your blog through Belle's Bulletins. I can't remember why I found that one, but it led me here.
2. The most? Hm. I don't know. I just like that you review lots of different kinds of dolls, ones I know and ones I don't, plus other toys. I think it's so neat to learn about toys I have never seen and may never own. And honestly, I like that it's not *just* 18 inch dolls. Some other blogs focus solely on that size, and they're great blogs, too, but I like the variety here.
3. Whatever comes your way.
4. Since I don't know what that means, I'm going to say No.
5. Change. Nothing, I guess. I think it's a great blog and I really love that it's not completely impersonal. You seem like (because duh, you are) a real person. But what I mean is you don't come across as robotic, or just some invisible random person out there in Internet Land. You seem real, and you seem like someone I'd talk to in real life.
6. Sure, but it's not a deal breaker by any means. I'll watch them sometimes but I'm good with the blog posts.
7. I don't know any reason I would need to use a PO box.
8. Thank you. Thank you for the five years you have put into this blog, for caring so much about what your new and old readers think, and for sincerely wanting this blog to be something your readers enjoy. I understand what you mean about blog friendships changing. It's happened to me as well. I'm glad you're going to stick with your blog too, in spite of how things change.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks so much for the lovely comments and helpful suggestions, everyone! Keep them coming. :)
There's WiFi at the hotel tonight, so I was able to check in really quick. Hoping my girls get some sleep tonight, especially Oldest Gal and Little Gal. They're sharing a bed and have spent the last hour battling for the covers. ;)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Ten hours of driving down, ten more to go tomorrow. ;)

Sunny_Harper1994 said...

1. I was reading a doll review on Toy Box Philosopher's blog back in 2013, that is when I saw your Belle picture next to your comment you left. It felt inviting and friendly- both comment and Disney picture. I went over to your blog and I felt my heart fill with comfort when I saw you are a sister in Christ. I was having such a hard time emotionally and felt that I can confide in you my fears about my 1st pregnancy at the time. I've stuck around since then because you were so sweet to answer my Emails and I am so grateful for your help on being close to God again. I have been on that path since and I learned so much from the books you generously gave me to understand the bible better. My life has since turned around and I felt that I made a wonderful friend online. I'm so sorry, this is such a long answer, I got very emotional as I was typing. ;)

2. I like hearing about vintage MLPs and your Belle collection. My favorite post was about Hubby's rose box. So romantic!

3. I would love to see more posts about AG, like outfits or any doll rescues with makeovers.

4. YES! You can never have too much Disney! ;)

5. I would love more posts with the gals or maybe even hubby. He is very quiet, hehehe. I also want to see more drawings, maybe even drawing tutorials.

6. I would love more gym/workout vlogs. Maybe even healthy food vlogs, like alternatives for not so healthy foods we all crave.

7. A P.O box please! When I have sent you gifts I always felt nervous asking you. Not in a bad way, more like "I hope I'm not invading her privacy."

8. I just wanted to say that I am so happy that I have found your blog and I will always have your family in my prayers. I pray for your success in your journey to become healthy and also pray that your book will be accepted and becomes a best seller.
With lots of love,
Sunny

Nikki Fielder said...

I hope you and the girls got some sleep. :)

1. I'm not sure how I found your blog. I think I saw a link to a review for something on another site, and I started reading other posts, and I really liked it. :)

2. American Girl dolls, and Disney dolls - it was your blog that made me decided to get my DAC Anna and Elsa dolls. :)

3. I don't mind. I read the posts even if they're not about toys I like,because they're fin to read. :)

4. Sure - I think that would be fun. :)

5. Nothing - I like it just fine the way it is. :)

6. I don't really watch Youtube videos (I'm not sure why really), so from a personal point of view, no, but I'm sure loads of other people will be interested. (Nothing against your videos - I just don't tend to watch videos for some reason. :P )

7. Personally I don't think it makes a difference for me, because I live in the UK, so it would be much easier to email if I want to contact you. :)

8. Nope, except to say that I really appreciate your blog, and your posts from a while back on relationships and things have really helped me. You give really good advice, and I love your blog. :)

MyLittleMegara said...

1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?

I was looking at doll pictures, found a beautiful one of Belle, and got hooked on Belle's Bulletins. The rest, as they say, is history.

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?

Yes. Seriously though, I like all your reviews.

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?

I love it when you do Disney doll comparison reviews, so hopefully some more of those!

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?

Absolutely!

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?

Hmmm... I don't know!!! AAAAAAAAH! I'm happy the way it is, really.

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?

I don't usually watch video reviews, to be honest, but I love doll room tours!!

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?

Absolutely!

8. Any other comments, suggestions?

Keep it up!

DeliriousDayDream said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your family had a great holiday, I haven't written in forever! :)

1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?

Well, way back in the Spring of 2012 (was it that long ago?), right before I turned 12 and had the name All AG (I don't know if you remember me or not, it has been so long since I've commented, but don't worry I keep up to date with every post!), I was obsessed with thedollwardrobe.blogspot.com. I thought one day that I should check out their blogs on the right hand side and this one is the one that say with me the longest.

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?

Oh, gosh, that's hard. I really love your reviews on fashion dolls, especially with your daughters are involved. I love that personal connection that really helps see if someone smaller for gifts likes it too! Plus the play aspect is always gets neglected in reviews. :)

The American Girl dolls of course, are great too. I love when you take pictures of them because they are so well put together! They are great to look at and are really useful for photography angles as well (new ideas are always a plus for me!)

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?

I guess I would say more comparison reviews or those finds at the thrift store. Those treasures always get to me because it's like taking a little piece of an era with you and giving new life into it!

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?

I've actually always loved these. They are so awesome to join in on the comments and read everyone's answers. I would SO do it!

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?

I love your blog just the way it is! :)

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?

YouTube videos have always been my thing, so I would love to see more. I also love doll room tours, I just find them so much more interesting!

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?

I don't know if I could send you anything (aha) but I love this way to reach out to readers. They are always so engaging and fanmail is one of the coolest things to look at in my opinion!

8. Any other comments, suggestions?

I love your blog, so much in fact that I kept up with it after my (sort of) 2 and a half year hiatus from dolls. From your bubbly personality to your in depth reviews, I have loved your blog for almost four years now, and still enjoy every post you make.

I think one blog post (or maybe a series I don't know, this is just me throwing ideas out, in no way are you obligated to do them!) that would really suit this blog is the Never Grow Up aspect to your title. I promised myself when I was younger I would never grow out of dolls and somehow I tried to. I think that maybe to the younger readers and maybe the older is posts about how to keep up this love of dolls and Disney and really whatever! Your youthful spirit is great and is really quite contagious. :)

Casey said...

I'm late in responding to this. Besides our friendship and simply enjoying keeping up with you, I really appreciate the clarity and thoughtfulness of all your reviews, but I especially enjoy your movie reviews and Disney doll reviews. Honestly, I love reading about anything Disney. And while I'm not sure if my girl is going to be into dolls, I feel I should be prepared, just in case :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Wow, guys, I'm speechless. So many wonderful and thoughtful answers. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will consider all of them carefully as I straighten, organize and tighten up my blog this January.

Thank you for making my blogging adventure so wonderful and memorable. I couldn't do it without you and the countless others who have read, followed, and commented on my blog these past five and a half years. You guys are amazing!! :D

NovaBabe said...

Hey there, Nova here. I'm still alive, just had to take an involuntary leave of absence from Blogging until the new year (which I should probably update my blogs with). Oh, btw, I have a small pile of doll gifts (unwrapped as of right now) for your girls (dolls).

1. What is it that brought you to Never Grow Up in the first place?

I was looking for a American Girl Doll mold comparison when I got back into dolls Feb 2015. Your page came up, and it was very informative, as well as friendly. I've followed it ever since.

2. Which dolls or toys have you enjoyed hearing about the most?

American girl dolls, if course! I love their adventures/travels with you/photo shoots the most. And then your My Little Ponies posts.

3. What dolls or toys would you like to hear about in the future?

Hmm... not sure. I tend to get focused on one toy, but I love your posts, no matter what they are about.

4. Would you be interested in blog parties or tags about dolls or Disney?

Yes!

5. What is one thing you would change about Never Grow Up if you could?

More posts from Tess, Maggie, and the others (I loved Jane Austen and Unicorns)

6. Would you be interested in seeing more YouTube reviews and doll room tours?

Sure, though I can honestly say I am not too into videos atm.

7. I'm considering getting a P.O. Box so you guys would have an additional way to contact me. Would this interest any of you?

Yes!

8. Any other comments, suggestions?

Thanks for all the work, information, and fun here.

Miss.A said...

1. I was looking up doll blogs, and I think I found you. Can't really remember!
2.I have enjoyed hearing mostly about Zelfs. They are my main obsession, so I guess it is just my personal preference.
3. I would like to hear about Novi Stars dolls.
4. Yes, I would! :)
5.Nothing. Never Grow Up is fabulous.
6.Yes, I would be!
7. No not really.
8. This is a fabulous blog and I love it, especially the title! All I ask is that you keep on blogging as long as you can!

Anonymous said...

1. Random search for toy review blogs
2. pretty much most of them
3. Prettie Girls Tween Scene dolls, please
4. nope
5. nothing
6. Youtube reviews would be great
7. nope
8. nope

Anonymous said...


Hi Beastsbelle/Hannah! Congratulations on keeping your blog up for 5 years! I may not post often but I do check this websites a few times each week. Here are my answers to your questions:

1. I think I mentioned this in one of your Pullip post but I came across this websites through doing research on where to find Pullip dolls in America.

2. Basically every thing you post I have interest in, Pullip, Disney, Hearts for Hearts Girls, American Girl, Build-a-Bear, Zelf, Lalaloopsy, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake and even the occasional Doctor Who. I also like it when you share personal life because you often mention your journey with God as it relates to your life.

3. I have enjoyed all the toys/dolls you have done so far. Maybe for those of us who have been here the past couple of years but not all 5 you could do throwback post? Also anything new is always fun. I would have never learned about Zelf if it wasn't for you.

4. I have always enjoyed the blog parties. They give you a way to do a whole week of post then you can take a few weeks off for a break :)

5. I can't really think of anything.

6. I prefer reading reviews and seeing pictures but I am fine with either one. It is fun to occasionally watch a video though.

7. Yes. I would love to send you something if I ever win a contest as a thanks or I find anything you have trouble finding.

8. Nope. Keep up the good work!

-Candy Corn