“What is Sabrina Smelko Doing Now” ✁ Links + Likes

Lately my blog analytics tell me that people are visiting my site after searching for information on what I’m doing now that I’m not hosting Save My Reno. Season three of my former HGTV show is airing right now (as are reruns of my seasons), so I’ve been getting new followers and blog traffic from people searching my name on Google and I wanted to offer a big hello and welcome, as well as a little backstory of how I got here, and where I’m going next.

To those reading who might only know me as a face on their television, “Hey! Nice to meet ya. I’m Sabrina,” and I started blogging and sharing my home renovations, posts about design, and my thoughts on creative work 10 years ago. I was a new homeowner, a new graduate from Sheridan’s BAA Illustration program, and working for the illustrious Design*Sponge. I was also a freelance illustrator and designer and blogging on the side. I was also also the new mama of a lil’ hellion, an 8-week old pup named Piper. Who knew what a legend she’d become online… To this day, my blog post Life with Piper my Blue Heeler Border Collie Mix Mutt is the most popular on my blog. On a daily basis, it’s a top performer, but I digress… Now, ten years later, I find myself returning to blogging—and loving it!

I got into TV because of my blog (it caught the attention of Colin and Justin, which led to meeting producers and executives who kept me in mind when casting for Save My Reno). And now, returning to blogging as a serious part of my work has been… nice. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy to figure out how to legitimize it and make it authentic enough that it’s easy (and even feasible), but it feels good to slowly return to and legitimize it for myself. Making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars a year blogging is not unheard of, and thousands of people do it successfully. So my goal is simply to make money from sharing content while continuing to maintain a rich personal life and focus on wellbeing. Because until now, the two had been mutually exclusive.

Blogging is doing it all— it’s the original DIY job. You have to take your own semi-professional photos and videos, or pay for photos and video, you have to essentially write short essays on a weekly basis, and you even have to decide what those series of essays add up to. In a sentence, your reader should be able to understand what it is they can expect here, just like a TV show does successfully for its viewers! You have to develop a writing style that showcases your voice or personality, and you have to become comfortable filming yourself with an iPhone. When you’re on ‘big T’ Television, all of that work is done for you on your behalf. It lightens your load, but it also means that someone else other than you, and likely a group of someone elses, are deciding how to show the world what you’re all about. It can be accurate, yes, it can be flattering, but I’m sure you see how that could impact you negatively. And you can’t avoid it unless you have actual production control and rights. Bringing me back to why not just take matters into your own hands, we literally have professional media-capturing objects in our pockets… I say all of this as someone who does not enjoy some of the perks many enjoy about TV. I don’t really enjoy attending galas, or parties, or being recognized and fawned over. And it doesn’t benefit my other work, but it does for many. So for anyone who might be thinking I’m bashing the industry, I’m not. In its tradition form, it’s simply not for me.

Needless to say, working in the broadcast entertainment world was not entirely what I expected, but it was oh-so interesting and provided me with a huge learning experience. Those five or so years were paramount in my life, and now, bringing what I learned from that into what and how I share now is… kind of really cool! Admittedly, it’s been tough merging all of that (work-rooted stuff) with myself, and assimilating the blogging experience with my true life as it’s happening. But it’s great feeling like I have a firm grasp onto how to use all the knowledge I’ve gained in my life so far: I’ve the beautiful opportunity to decide how I want to speak, what I want to say and what I do, and I have freedom to do all the creative work involved to bring it to you guys, which I love to do. It’s pretty cool…

So for everyone asking will our home renovation be documented on broadcast Television, or via a show of some kind, the answer is not that I know of right now! But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch it happen just the same, right here on my blog and on Instagram! I’ll be sharing the process live and letting you guys in on everything starting today, so subscribe and stay in the know, or follow me on Instagram if you like following that way. I’ll be sharing more frequent photo and video content online, so while right now you can’t PVR our cabin series #PipersPeak, you can enjoy it still on your phone or computer. It’s a digital world, baby, get on board!

But first, here’s some sales and new arrivals you should know about this week!


On Sale at Anthropologie


Top picks from Urban Outfitters


Top picks from West Elm


Other notable sales: 30% off vacation apparel at JCrew using code GETAWAY, there’s a big rug sale at CB2, lots of spring sales at The Bay, and 40% off jeans at Abercrombie.

Featured image: Darby Magill

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