I can’t even believe it, but May 20th marked ten years I’ve been blogging. TEN YEARS! That is crazy. Blogging is the longest I’ve ever worked the same job for sure. 😉
I started the blog when our boy wasn’t even two, and here he’ll be 12 this year. It really blows my mind. I’m a grandma as far as this career is concerned. 😂
Ten years ago I frequented an online decorating chat group called Cafe Rocks and a couple of the ladies started blogs. (One later became a friend!) I know a few of you actually knew me from that group! SO old school. 🙂
I thought a blog might be a fun way to share my house projects with family and friends. I started the blog and sent an email out letting them know about it, even though it made me feel a little silly and nervous. Would any of them really want to read?
I would never have dreamed in a million years that it would have turned into a full fledged business. A job that I absolutely, positively adore. I am a writer at heart (my degrees were in journalism) but the hands on DIY stuff has always been something I enjoyed too. Blogging about our home is the absolute PERFECT combination of the two. When I tell people about what I do I always say I have the best job in the world, hands down. No question.
My favorite part of this career is that I’ve been able to stay home with our son. When he was young I worked at night because I didn’t want him to look back and remember me on the computer all the time. When he went off to school I started working during the day and it’s been wonderful. Blogging is a tough nut to crack nowadays, but if you are successful at it will be one of the best things you’ll ever do. (Check out my posts about blogging with tons of tips from over the years here.)
This site has brought me so many blessings, I can’t even begin to list them. The first decorating blog I ever read was one called Just a Girl. It was then that I realized people did this and people they didn’t know actually read them. I thought, wow, this is COOL. The author of that blog is now one of my best friends in the whole world. The people I’ve met (readers and fellow bloggers alike) are my favorite part.
I’ve been able to visit some amazing places and do some really, really cool stuff. Some of my favorites were visiting the Ballard Designs headquarters and seeing them shoot a house for the catalog. The staff there were so much fun and down to earth. Years later I started working with Better Home and Gardens and got to tour their headquarters and gardens. Another highlight for sure! Awhile back I toured the HGTV Dream Home, which was super cool. And waaaaay back a bunch of us met up in NYC to attend one of the first episodes of the Nate Berkus talk show — remember that? We had such at great time.
More recently was the La-Z-Boy event last year where I had to design a room with their products in just a few hours. It was the gig I was most nervous about in ten years of doing this and it turned out to be the best. I had a blast and because of YOU lovely people I ended up winning the competition! That one is near and dear to my heart.
Over the years I’ve attended many conferences — it’s a great way to meet and get close with fellow bloggers. (And I HIGHLY recommend them if you’re blogging!) Years back a bunch of sat around a big fireplace in a hotel in Nashville and talked about what if? What if we tried this and created a conference just for our niche? Years later the Haven Conference was born and to this day it’s one of my proudest accomplishments.
I’ve had the honor of being featured in magazines, appearing on our local television numerous times, and even got a segment on Nate’s old show! I know many of you found me that day. 🙂 I was supposed to go on the show many times, but we always had to reschedule. I’m eternally grateful for him and his staff.
I’ve been offered a few book deals (nothing I ever felt strongly enough about) and even asked to attend or host television shows. I never say never but on that one I’m going to — you’ll never see me host a show. I actually feel quite comfortable in front of the camera, it’s not that. It’s that I just love being HOME. There’s nothing that could take me away from working at home.
Anyway — I thought about going through a bunch of room redos over the past ten years for this post, but instead I just wanted to talk to you. Wanted to tell you how thankful I am that I get to do this. I’m incredibly, overwhelmingly grateful. It has been a joy to share with you all every week. A JOY.
So to thank you, I’m going old school. Back in the day many of us would sponsor giveaways for companies. Some of the ones I worked with have become huge successes! It’s kind of crazy to see how little start ups have grown so much. To celebrate ten years I decided I’d do a giveaway including some of my favorite things. One of you will win all of the items below! 🙂
I’ve shared most of these before, but there’s a couple new ones too. First up, a set of my FAVE dish sponges, the Scrub Daddy. Actually if I can find the Mommy version (it has a soft side too), I’ll send those. Either way, these are awesome! I shared my love of them in this post:
The one on the left is showing how the look when it’s time to replace them. 😉
Second in the “prize package” is my favorite little vacuum! I told you about it here. It’s so, so good and so so cheap!:
I still love it as much as the day I got it. 😍
Next up, a newbie. I’ve tried so so so many stainless water bottles and (affiliate) this Thermos version knocks them all out of the park:
The ones with the screw tops are great — they all keep water cold forever. But I never used them because I found them to be wobbly, and when I have to twist off the cap every time to drink I just don’t do it. It’s a little thing but was enough that I didn’t drink as much water.
THIS one (affiliate) is perfection because you push the little button and the top flips open. SO much easier. I have stopped buying plastic water bottles because of these. And drinks stay freezing cold all day. I’ll leave one in my car in the hot sun and still have ice hours later. The added benefit is that I’m drinking triple the water I used to daily. So good! You need one! 🙂
Ahhh yes. One of my all time favorites. The Open It scissors. We use them nearly every single day:
I shared why I love these in this post from years ago. They make opening hard plastic packaging so much easier. Plus they have a tiny screwdriver and a razor as well. LOVE!!
And finally, another new product I’m a huge fan of. On my last trip to IKEA a few months ago I came across their new Bluetooth speakers. I decided to give it a try and it’s fantastic! Way better than any of our smaller portable (cordless) versions:
Yes, this one is corded. But it has a handle on the back and it’s super lightweight. The sound is REALLY good. And you don’t need a code to connect your phone to it — love that. It makes it easy for other people to use it too. The sound is big and the volume can go way up — both aspects I love.
These favorite items all total around $200 and I’m going to send them all to one of you! Can’t wait! It’s a small thing but I wanted to do something to celebrate and thank you. And this is from me, nothing is sponsored. 🙂
I just need you to comment below and make sure to include at least your first name and an email address. I have to have the email, don’t forget! 🙂 Oh and only one comment per person. Let me know how you found TDC? Do you remember what project brought you here?
I’ll leave this open till Monday at noon to enter, so be sure to add yours till then. Have a great weekend my friends!
Again, thank you so much for reading my sweet little blog over the years!! I absolutely love seeing your comments every week and I appreciate you all so much. Here’s to many, many more years of fun experiences and writing TDC!