Hello you lovely people, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays I let one very important thing slip my mind. This blog, Our house now a home turned 3! It may not be a big deal to many, but to me this is a huge accomplishment. Due in part to hard work from me, tons of ideas, and every single one of you I have made it this far. Which is why today I wanted to celebrate this milestone with a Blog anniversary and giveaway post.
I knew this day was here, and really wanted to do something special for you all as a thank you. Without every comment, reader, like on social media… this blog would have ended long ago. I adore this blog, the creative outlet I get from it is something that took me by surprise. I was not aware I needed something to call my own, to have outside of my family. However, if no one was reading I would have found a less time consuming hobby a while ago.
When I hit publish on my first post 3 years ago I had no clue what a blog entailed. I was not aware the crash course in decorating, photography, marketing, graphic design, and social media I needed to learn. I simply wanted to share my low cost ways to decorate. I assumed this was a novel idea and no one in the history of the internet had ever seen a DIY blog about decorating a home on a low budget. Yes, let’s all laugh at my naivete. I was obviously not a big time blog reader, I read a few blogs but they were so massive they felt light years away from me and my needs for my family with our no budget decorating. Luckily I have a husband that is a software architect. This man is my in house tech support and can make the actual blog be as pretty as it is. Without Dale and his support this blog would not have gone very far. With tech things, helping with kids, working on projects with me and most importantly his unwavering support. He is a very big part of this blog and deserves a little public praise.
Once I was blogging for one year I was very aware that my blog was one of thousands! They had better ideas, a larger following, better photography, and knew how to add text to pictures, which felt like legit magic to me. The only reason I stuck around that first year was because of the other bloggers I had become friends with. We were in this together. I could lean on them for support, they shared my posts, which meant by the end of the first year I was seeing actual readers! Not just Dale or a few family members. This was exciting stuff people! My fellow bloggers, technically my competition have become some of my closest friends, we are all on slightly different paths with our blogs and can share what we know without feeling as if we are taking anything away. There is room for all of us, and we are singing in a circle, holding hands. Our supportive party is of course beautifully decorated with crafts, has the most Pinterest worthy food you would imagine and our style is on point. Honestly though, these woman have built me up, carried me and pushed me to be who I am as a blogger today.
Going into year two I knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to grow and had a plan-ish to get there. I am so fortunate to have had each milestone of a new blogging year have obvious growth. With each year I gained so much, learned a ton which created a new problem; I became better in writing, taking pictures, decorating, editing pictures and even those snazzy ways to add text over images. This meant my previous work became cringe worthy. What I thought was my “A” game became my “F” game. As in life, with blogging there is always more to learn and improve upon.
At the ripe old age of three my blog (and me) are considered a veteran. I am no longer the newbie. I will admit that where I had hoped to be in terms of success at this point… I am not there yet. Although where I have landed feels pretty good, I also know I will get there eventually. I have realized that with blogging I will never know it all, there will always be something changing. Social media shifts, reader desires change, and a new plan of attack needs to be considered. I am sure being a home decor blogger any home trends would alter my decorating ideas, but I have never decorated our home for this blog. That is one promise to myself and my family. I decorate for us, and if something is not considered “in” or “on trend” but we like it, I am rocking it. Just please send me urgent emails if I start touting the beauty of shag green carpet. I might need an intervention.
Each home is different, every home and family has a life to it. What works for one will not work for another, this is the beauty and freedom of decorating. I might share a project and someone cannot stand the colors I chose, but still make the project and altering it for their needs. There is no rules in decorating! In decorating and blogging when I first began I wanted rules. I wanted examples of success and wanted to emulate that. If I had a decorating idea I actually searched online to see other examples of it, not trusting my own instincts. This is the opposite of what I do now. I am not sure if it is this blog or my age but I have finally felt as if I have come into my own. There is such peace in that!
I am also very fortunate to have proof that what I am doing is working. We all doubt ourselves and I have always been my worst critic, I am the best cheerleader for others but will always find faults in myself and what I do. To have something so public like this blog, and previous early posts and projects as proof of my awkward phase can be tough. I like to look at those previous indiscretions (or my complete first 1.5 years of blogging) and see how far I have come. I am also fortunate enough to have brands coming to me with campaign ideas, I have helped with marketing, promotion and launching other brands. I am creating graphics for other companies and individuals. This all lets me know I am on the right track.
I assumed a college degree in these fields was needed for these roles, and l did not consider myself a “professional” in any of this because of my lacking degrees in each field. However the blogger wears many hats and no one can have degrees in marketing, business, writing, interior decorating, social media outreach, graphic design, and advertising combined. These are all things I have learned over time. It can be very weird to acknowledge the work I put in, how serious I take this. For many a blog is a hobby, as is decorating a home. At the 3 year mark of this blog, this has become my job. For the first time all of my kids are in school and I have a standard workday at home, working on this. I am either creating content, photographing it, editing images, writing a post or promoting my blog. Putting myself out there and stating this is more than a hobby was very scary for me. It is the point of admitting I really want something to work, which can set me up for eventual failure. Sometimes it is more comfortable to go halfway instead of all in, then you can claim disinterest when the first sign of trouble happens.
There has been a learning curve with blogging but the biggest curve for me was accepting this and admitting I am doing this 100%. I went from hiding my blog from even family to them asking me for advice or hiring me for graphics or decorating. I went from meeting someone new and calling myself a stay at home Mom to being a work at home Mom; explaining what a blogger is and how I make money from it is a whole other fun and often times confusing conversation. Settling into this role of decorator and blogger has been a long climb. Being comfortable calling myself those things is still uneasy at times. I am getting there, and with each successful brand campaign, post being well received or offers from companies to work with them I get that little inkling of a job well done.
However, by far the biggest accomplishment have been all of you! Having people be invested in what I share, be excited about ideas… that is a pinch me kind of moment. I have been featured in large home decor magazines, I am literally paid to decorate my home. But the thing that makes me do the happy dance is having special emails from readers, or engaging in a conversation on social media and getting to know all of you. You are all my peeps, my fellow decorating obsessed, lover of DIY and willing to get your hands dirty. You all get me, and I get you. That is the supportive party that is amazing to see. Daily I engage with people about what I enjoy. Which is why this is called a Blog anniversary and giveaway! I wanted to thank you for being here, it humbles me to have anyone visit. Each page view is a person taking time out of their day to enjoy what I share. It means so much to me!
One lucky winner will get a Target gift card as well as an 8×10 wall decor piece of your choice from the free printable options. I am also giving away all of the printables for free. I created these with the idea of this blog being so personal. It is about my home, but also about everyone else. We are all wanting to make Our house into a home, so my blog name has become the perfect phrase to encourage all people to create their dream home. Their safe haven, the place they enjoy, make memories and can be themselves in. I asked on my blogs Facebook page for people to chime in with a few words on what they think of when they think of home. I had so many great responses. I created a few graphics with the words as well as my blogs name. Which really is a general term for creating a house into a home.
I may not own the phrase, and could sue a few TV shows if I did. I do hear this phrase quite often when mentioning a home, but it is very true. This journey in decorating which started as a need to decorate our home with our non existent budget. We were young adults with babies, but I still wanted that dream home. I started DIYing things and stumbled into a love of decorating. Once the blog became a part of the process my mind and future opened up to me in ways I never dreamed of. Each day I am home for my kids, volunteer at their school. I also get to write, talk to other people, and decorate. I never know what email will come my way, what new campaign is being brought to me. The excitement and unknown used to terrify me, now I start my Mondays not knowing where I will end by Friday. So much of my life has been a happy accident, I met Dale on a whim, we fell in love and jumped head first into love, marriage and babies. We stumbled into adulthood together, buying a home and are navigating raising children. I have now stumbled into the next phase, the phase that is a little more for me. I get to create a future for me, a creative outlet that is starting to actually provide for my family. There is a phrase I adore that says “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be” and never has a phrase spoke more to me. I am blessed in life to be where I am, and this is where my peace comes in. Year three in blogging has only shown me there is so much more. More work, more learning, more decorating, so many pictures to take, and so much is yet to be known. Wherever it is taking me, I am ready!
I hope to have you continue to follow along as we make my house and yours into a home, one DIY project at a time!
For access to all of these printables visit this link. Pick your favorite, let me know which ones you picked! If you have it in your home share a picture on social media and tag Our house now a home in it!