WE’RE ON OUR THIRD YEAR! Faye’s Thank You + Blog Growth + $50 giveaway!

BLOGOVERSARY

What a glorious, glorious day.

Who would have thought that we would go this far? Who would have thought that I, the great Faye, would last three years in a single blog? That I would stick this long and learn to love books and blogging at the same time? Who would have thought that this would feel so fulfilling and meaningful, that I’d be this devoted and involved?

To be honest, I still can’t believe it.

Let me tell you something, folks: I used to be a very insecure person. I wouldn’t say that my childhood was a horrible one, but it wasn’t something I would think of fondly. I grew up thinking that I was a nobody, a bland ordinary, a good-for-nothing. I used to think that I didn’t have any talents or that I didn’t have anything special in me that could inspire other people; that I’d wither and become gray and still only be part of the background, having made no difference in my life or in other people’s lives. I was so shy and timid and I cried a lot for the stupidest and shallowest of things. “Maybe that’s what I’m only good for,” I thought bitterly one time. “Crying and picking up the pieces of myself that I wish are good enough to share with the world.”

Yes, I admit it, confidence had always been my biggest hurdle. I’ve matured, of course, and by high school, I’ve met people who helped me believe in myself, even if just a little. There were sporadic bouts of courage here and there that gave me that PUSH for this play here, for that recitation there, but oftentimes, this nagging voice at the back of my head would convince me I’d only make a fool out of myself. This is why I never joined the newspaper club. This is why I never showed up in my school’s debate society. This is why I backed out of an on-the-spot declamation contest.

And this is why I started so many blogs and never, ever lasted more than a month with any of them.

Because I had thought I wasn’t good enough to even have my own place in the Internet.

In 2013, during a hellish week on my final year of university, I saw many book bloggers reading and interacting with each other on Goodreads, and I had thought, “Welp, this looks pretty fun! I want to make one for myself, too!” I never really thought much about it, of course, because considering my rather poor track record, I was pretty sure that this new book blog would end up just like my previous gazillion blogs: dead and forgotten – remnants of what kind of  person I saw myself as. But then, I started enjoying it. But then, I gained so many new friends. But then, my horizons broadened. But then, I forgot about my insecurities.

But then, here we are, three years later. Still alive and kickin’.

Happy, content, and free.

And I have you guys to thank for that.

In these three years as a book blogger, you, my friends, readers, and fellow book bloggers, you were the ones who gave me that strength to carry and walk on, to push myself and transcend whatever limits I put on myself. You inspired me to think of things – features, articles, images, and the likes – that I could make and write and share to also inspire other people. You helped me lay the foundation of the Faye and The Social Potato that you see today. You helped defeat the ME of yesterday.

I still have my moments of doubt and insecurities. Who doesn’t? But I’m such a far cry now compared to the ME that I used to be, and my blog – The Social Potato – as well as my great relationships with my co-bloggers and other people, are the proof of that. Three years, guys! THREE YEARS! Seriously, who would have thought?

You know who you guys are. I thank all of you. ALL. OF. YOU. For sticking with us through thick and thin, come low or high water; for simply just being there being yourselves. We’re a riot, our book blogging community!

Now, on to the fourth! The sky’s the limit!

THE SOCIAL POTATO THROUGH THE YEARS

For old times’ sake, let’s go back and see how we looked like through the years? Plus, it’s fun!

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I’ve always been a fan of simple, clean, and sleek designs. As much as this layout was cool at the time, it did feel a little too bland for my tastes.

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And so, I changed it. But seriously, I wish I could wonk my past-self at the time for putting such a distracting background. Honestly, what was I thinking?! It’s actually really worse than it looks. I just had to crop it for your eyesight’s sake.

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And then, I thought, hmm, why not put a little more color? Why not make it more vibrant? And so I decided to do another makeover. That potato icon up there was just too cute for words!

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After a while, however, I thought we were lacking some personality. So many blogs out there were getting customized layouts full of character and charisma that I thought, why not us, too?! So we got Amir from NOT SO LITERARY to do some coding magic for us, resulting to the one above. I even drew our mascot up there with two potatoes and an owl (YES IT IS NOT A CACTUS).

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However, despite how “cute” our previous layout looked, it felt too cramped and cluttered for me. I longed for a layout that was clean, sleek, professional, and full of functions, and so I hired Amir this time again to give me exactly THAT. Which is how The Social Potato looks like today!

What do y’all think? Have any words for what our site looked like in the past? Do you like our current layout?

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!

Because of this glorious, glorious, GLORIOUS day, we’ll be starting our 4-day blogoversary madness with a HUUUUGE giveaway! I’ll be giving away to ONE lucky person $50 worth of books from The Book Depository. It can two $25 pre-orders, or give $10 books previously published – I don’t care! The winner will get books of their choice up to $50! OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!

Giveaway Rules

  • The book will be shipped via Book Depository.
  • The giveaway is open to ALL (just make sure Book Depository ships to your location).
  • You must be 13 or older in order to join.
  • The Social Potato will not be responsible for any damaged/lost goods.
  • Once a winner is announced, an email will be sent. If we don’t receive a reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked.
  • And lastly…. No cheating allowed. We all know that cheaters don’t prosper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Come check out my co-bloggers’ posts and OTHER giveaways here:

Rashika’s Thank you and Diverse Lit Giveaway

Aentee’s Thank and OZ YA Lit Giveaway!

Aimee’s Thank You and Giveaway!

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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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  1. says

    Congrats on your 3 year anniversary! I didn’t realize we started our blog around the same time, my three year anniversary is early december. And I think it’s normal to feel insecure and doubting yourself at times, but it’s good to keep trying and do the things you enjoy and have other people around you to encourgae you. I am really glad you stayed with this blog as I really like your blog and love visiting it. Here’s to another 3 years!
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: How do you Decide in Which Format to read/ buy a book?My Profile

  2. says

    WOOHOO HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY. (Wow, this reminds me, my three-year-blogoversary is around the corner too. *is feeling overwhelmed*) I’m so, so proud of you for sticking with blogging, especially how positive its influence has been on your life! And it was amazing to take a look through all the different versions of The Social Potato — love how the elements are slowly evolving into more gorgeous versions :D :D Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout recently posted…#WritersLife and Happiness Tags (+ copious gifs)My Profile

  3. Kayla Arnold says

    Congrats on 3 years, that’s such a long time to be so dedicated! I’m happy it has helped with your confidence :D

  4. says

    Happy Blogoversary. Congratulations on a wonderful 3 years and here’s to many more years to come. I definitely relate to the lack of confidence and insecurities and I too felt they held me back. I think it’s only natural to have these doubts but having all these wonderful people to surround you and encourage definitely helps. I loved the look back on the blog layout and I definitely love your current one. Again, congratulations and I look forward to see where the road takes you next. :D
    Lois @ My Midnight Musing recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl From EverywhereMy Profile

  5. says

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I got so sad reading about how you thought of yourself when you were younger. I’m so glad that your confidence is higher, because Faye, you’re amazing! We worked together once on a podcast and I had such a great time with you.

    It was cool to see how your blog changed over the years! Makes me wish I had documented my changes.

    Happy Anniversary again, and keep doing great things!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Sort Your Pets Into Hogwarts Houses!My Profile

  6. says

    Ah Faye, yours was one of the first blogs I found and followed when I joined the bookish community in the beginning of then year. I really enjoy your review style, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

    While I adore the cute potato illustrations, I must say, your current layout is my fave! Clean and simple.

    And finally, happy blogaversay! Yowza- three years? That’s a lifetime in internet terms, haha. I wish you many more years of fabulous books and fabulous blogging.

    Much love <3 <3 <3
    Hannah recently posted…Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in WonderlandMy Profile

  7. says

    Happy blogoversary!!! My blog recently turned three (I say recently, I mean, like April, but yeah) and it feels like such a nice number to reach!

    Also, Faye, what a lovely lovely post. It actually made me so proud to be a part of the blogging community. I had to sit back for a minute and think about what an amazing network it is. If I didn’t blog, I may never have found NaNo, and may never have started my WIP novels. I’d never have read some of my favourite books. I wouldn’t have a crit partner halfway around the world!

    Good luck with the future; may year four be just as great!
    Emily @ Ink, Inc. recently posted…Language and Fantasy // Welcome to Ink, Inc.My Profile

  8. says

    WooHoo! Congrats on such an amazing milestone :D I actually hit my three year mark this September but it slipped my mind (oups!) I never thought I’d stick it out either so I totally get how excited you are about all of this^^ Here’s to MANY HAPPY RETURNS ♥ Also, I loved seeing how your blog evolved over the years, since I only discovered you this year :D All the cute potato images made me smile :) Thanks for the awesome giveaway too!! xx
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Let’s Discuss…(4)My Profile

  9. says

    OMG CONGRATS ON 3 YEARS!! YIPPPEEEEE!! And I found your blog when you were on design #2! :’) I remember that with fondness. hehe. It’s utterly fabulous to see how your design has matured and changed over the years. XD I LOVE IT. And afjdklasd I love your blog and I love all of you guys’ reviews and just GAH. I hope you never stop blogging. This is definitely my one of my top favourite blogs of ever. <3 JUST SAYIN'.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…How To Translate What The Writer-Creature Is Trying To SayMy Profile

  10. Zaira F says

    HAPPY BLOGVERSARY!!! Congratulations on the milestone! I still remember that second design/layout of this blog. That was the time when I found The Social Potato ;D

  11. rogier aka roro says

    that green thing was an owl, lol. I did not know that , it looked so vegetable like haha

    congratulations and happy blogaversary

  12. says

    Happy bloggy birthday spuds! Three years is absolutely amazing and you’ve all gone from strength to strength. I remember when I first came across the blog, I kept wondering what on earth a social potato was. Pretty sure the first time I spoke to Faye I also questioned her at length about it too. Sometimes you just gotta ask the tough questions. You’ve got one of the most entertaining and unique blogs within the community and will all thanks to how unique you all are. It’s amazing to see how much you’ve grown and take over the world.

    And especially to my lovely Faye, who has been such an amazing friend. I absolutely adore this girl. Oh, now you’re making me tear up. STOP IT!
    Kelly recently posted…The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams ChimaMy Profile

  13. says

    Faye today is definitely a happy day for you guys (let’s pretend I’m not a day late). Through your wonderful blog I’ve gotten to know you, Aimee, Aentee and Rashika and you are all wonderful people and bloggers who are passionate about your craft. The blogosphere is definitely a lot better with your fun and positive influence! I don’t know what it would be like without you guys here but I certainly don’t want to find out. I LOVE ALL OF YOU SO MUCH. Thank you for all the work you put into your content and your amazing selves. Never doubt yourself, because at the end of the day, I’ll be here cheering you guys on. YOU ARE AMAZING. NEVER FORGET THAT.

    Happy blogoversary to TSP, one of my favourite blogs ever!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…November 9 by Colleen Hoover Review: Hey Soulmate…Let’s Only Meet Once A YearMy Profile

  14. says

    AWWWWW FAYE I AM SO PROUD. SO PROUDDDDD.

    You are awesome, and you are doing SO WELL with this blog. And fyi, I followed you when you had that book graphic background, AND I LIKED IT OKAY. (It also made it super video game-like, and I like video games, so that may be the real reason why, shh)

    Keep blogging forever Faye! (and everyone!) And that totally looks like a cactus
    Valerie recently posted…Discovering A New Superhero To LoveMy Profile

  15. says

    I thought you had been blogging for way longer than three years! Gosh, you seem so bloggerly mature (especially compared to me, hehe). Your first blog designs are masterpieces compared to my first three, well four, because I went back to the first ugly one again before the last two that I liked! I was so happy when I stumbled upon your blog because you are all entertaining, real, and as I said on Rashika’s post TRUTHFUL! That means a lot to me. I love you guys as you know, and I am honored to be able to call you friends. I think you should rename yourselves the The Social Sweet Potato. Happy blog birthday and thanks for the stellar giveaway contest. :D
    La La in the Library recently posted…THURSDAY TAG: ThankfulMy Profile

  16. says

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY LADIES AND SPECIALLY YOU FAYE!!
    3 years is a lot of time to continue blogging and posting and working on new things and you’ve been doing such an amazing job!!

    (Even though a green owl might be slightly confusing and end up being called a cactus!!) ;)

    I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog and you all lovely ladies on Twitter!! *sends loads of big squishy hugs and virtual cupcakes*
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Saturday Pages: ALL THE SAMPLERS!!My Profile

  17. says

    YAAAAY :D Congrats on hitting three years of blogging. <3 That is so so amazing :) You guys are all awesome. And I do adore your blog :) Hope you will all blog for much longer. <3 Stunning post Faye. Thank you so much for sharing :) And thank you so so much for that amazing giveaway. <3 Hugs.
    Carina Olsen recently posted…In My Mailbox #212My Profile

  18. says

    Faye, congratulations on three years! I think I must’ve been following you guys for nearly two, and I remember from the third theme onwards. It makes me feel old and dedicated! *laughs* But I’m so happy that reviewing and blogging and this community has helped you so much. You know, I hadn’t ever really thought of it like that, but I think it’s helped me, too. It’s so lovely and important and fantastic that you shared your early experiences before blogging, Faye. That really touched me and meant a lot. Here is to another three years! xx
    Romi recently posted…Perceivable Intensities (7) Vote for a character name!My Profile

  19. says

    I’ve been following you and this blog for a while now, actually, and I love being here. I love seeing your reviews on all the blogs you post, Faye, and especially Goodreads where I get to read them ALL in one place. You have such a brilliant personality and it really shines through online. So don’t you ever think you’re not worthy of your own place of internet, and just keeping being your awesome self <3
    Olivia recently posted…How to be a Fangirl 101My Profile

  20. says

    Happy Blogoversary ladies!! Three years, that is amazing stuff! And a HUGE congrats to you, Faye! I really appreciate you sharing your story too. I have gone through a lot of the same stuff, and I totally agree with blogging being a HUGE confidence boost. I mean, I have a long way to go, but I do feel like I have something to contribute (most days ;) ) and I think that so, so many bloggers will be able to relate to this. So thank you!!

    And the design stuff, well, I like it now! I don’t think I have ever seen a blog’s redesign and thought “nah, go back to the old one”. My eyes like the change :D So unless you change it to something hideous, which you would never do anyway, I will love it. And I knew which one you had when I first stumbled upon your page, too! You had the third one, with the little potato guy in the header, and I loved him, and thought “well, this is a clever and fun bunch”. And then I got a little scared of a podcast, if you recall, but then it was all okay!! And now, you must blog forever, because I said so :D
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Bookish Black Friday (and a Giveaway)My Profile

  21. says

    ” I wouldn’t say that my childhood was a horrible one, but it wasn’t something I would think of fondly. I grew up thinking that I was a nobody, a bland ordinary, a good-for-nothing. I used to think that I didn’t have any talents or that I didn’t have anything special in me that could inspire other people; that I’d wither and become gray and still only be part of the background, having made no difference in my life or in other people’s lives. I was so shy and timid and I cried a lot for the stupidest and shallowest of things. “Maybe that’s what I’m only good for,” I thought bitterly one time. “Crying and picking up the pieces of myself that I wish are good enough to share with the world.””

    Oh, Faye. I teared up when I read this, because I could seriously apply this to my own life. I still have issued with confidence and self worth. I struggle every day. My feelings are still delicate, but I know how to safely handle such things.

    You are so awesome and so talented! I am so happy to have you in the community! You and your blog stand apart, and we would be poorer if we didn’t have you around <3
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: FatefulMy Profile

  22. says

    HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY !!!
    Congratulations!
    The Social Potato is very special to me due to the fact that it is one of the first book-blogs i have followed ^^

  23. Bube says

    I really like this design :)
    Happy Blogiversary,best wishes to many more wonderful,great blogging years ahead!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and writing this and all great posts/reviews and Thanks for this amazing giveaway :)

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