New kitchen hardware. Oh, and I’m back!

Tap.Tap.Tap. Is this thing on?

I’m back! I am here, it’s a new year, and I’m ready to connect with earth again. It’s been a long few months and I apologize profusely for the unexpected disappearance. I don’t want to get into a lot of bummer reasons why I disappeared from the face of the earth (or at least the internet) for a few months because this blog is my happy place and is meant to inspire people. However. Having said that, I do feel like I owe some type of explanation because abruptly leaving for several months with zero notice is just downright rude. I am sorry.

I’m coming up on my blogging 5 year anniversary, and for the last year or so I just haven’t been feeling it as much. Most of this is due to insecurities on my part, but another huge factor that has bummed me out about blogging is the direction that blogging has gone the past few years. Blogging used to be really fun. Bloggers were friends with each other. The community was relatively small and felt pretty inclusive, except for maybe a small elitist acting group that I tried to just ignore. The world of blogging has grown so rapidly that now there are literally thousands of niche blogs in the DIY/home/craft area alone, and it has left me feeling like there is no point in me having a voice online because everything has already been said by someone else. That coupled with the growing need to promote your blog like a crazy person which includes taking magazine quality photos and staging your house like a museum, left me totally discouraged and wondering what the point was anymore. Yes, I threw a huge year-long pity party for myself.

These negative thoughts of feeling like I just wasn’t good enough and couldn’t cut it in the dog-eat-dog blog world PLUS the over-saturation of promotional and sponsored posts on every single freaking blog I was reading just had me pretty much over it. I tried for a long time to be authentic and treat my blog like I did back in the early days before sponsors and pinterest. I dropped all but one sponsor from my blog, and tried to just get back to the shack (Weezer reference there!), back to a place where I loved what I was doing. Doing this helped me feel more authentic, but it also made me feel extremely alienated from the blogging community.

So I took a break. I just unplugged my computer and only logged in long enough to approve a few comments every couple of weeks. I allowed enough time to pass without eating, sleeping, and breathing all things blog to clear my head and figure out what I really want. I’ve thought a lot about the blog. I’ve considered just quitting blogging, but I really don’t want to do that.

I want to continue to write content from my heart that hopefully helps and inspires you. I want to keep blogging and just quit worrying about stats. I want to take normal pictures of my normal house and not have to worry about maximum reach on pinterest. I want to not have to worry about how I worded a title for the best SEO, or how to trick facebook into showing my content to more people. I want to be able to say whatever I want to say and not worry that it will offend a current or potential sponsor. I want to not post ads, and sponsored content, and promotional posts constantly. Plowing though dozens of promotional posts in my RSS reader every day pisses me off as a reader. Why on earth would I think my readers would feel any different? I also want to just feel good in my own skin and not so darn insecure about fitting in. Blogging is not high school. I should not worry so much about fitting in, or schmoozing the right people, or rubbing elbows in some private facebook group with the right bloggers.

So I’m quitting all that extra crap. I’m quitting the private facebook groups where we scheme to link and post each others content for maximum exposure. I’m quitting taking magazine quality photos for pinterest. I am not a magazine. I’m quitting worrying about staging my house like a freakin’ museum. A family lives here. We are messy. We run off a budget. I can’t constantly be doing renovations or buying new furniture. And honestly, I have no desire to be constantly neck deep in a renovation. I’m quitting worrying about stats, and reach, and SEO, and analytics.

Will this hurt my blog popularity? Probably. It’s okay though because if quitting all the extra stuff will allow me to focus on what I really love, then it will all be worth it.

I am going to continue to blog because I love DIYing and I love writing. I love interacting with you. I love the friendships I’ve made with a few bloggers, and I want to continue those friendships. As long as you guys are there reading and still getting value from my posts, I will continue to blog.

And now, because it’s just mean to have a Home/DIY blog and not share any photos at all… here are my new kitchen cabinets with shiny new hardware!

I searched for months for the *perfect* hardware for my cabinets. I literally lost sleep over this. I agonized and fretted. Yes, I fretted. It was ridiculous. I may be able to pick out paint, and cabinets, and countertops, and do all sorts of other awesome things, but when it comes to hardware, nope. I just can’t make up my mind.

Finally I saw these basic knobs at Walmart of all places, and they are “Allison” knobs, which is my name with the correct spelling and everything. I took this as a sign and just went with it. Basic boring knobs. And you know what? I love them.

The cabinet maker came back over and installed them for me. He made a mess, but I would have made an even bigger one. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to install them!

He made a template so each knob would be in the exact same spot. It was pretty cool. He even let me keep it afterward in case I want to add knobs in my bathrooms.

So, yup, that is the story of how I finally settled on the most boring hardware in history after months of searching for the perfect knob.

Thanks for taking me back after I was so rude and ditched the internet. Hugs and love to everyone!

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  1. YAY! I’m SO VERY HAPPY you’re back! Just wanted to let you know, I’ve missed you and your blog. And you ALWAYS put a smile on my face. So THANK YOU for coming back!

  2. Shannon White says:

    OMG!! I’ve missed you terribly!! So many of my favorites are ditching blog land and I feel a bit lost. I’m not into the big, shiny, look at me, cause I’m perfect blogs!! I like honest, everyday, my kinda life blogs. And yours is just that for me! Thanks for returning!

    • I feel the same way – too many good ones are feeling edged out and are leaving out of frustration while some of the worst ones have risen to the very top and are landing these huge deals and making loads of money off it. I hope more of the good ones stick around and realize that there are lots of people out there who love reading them.

  3. Welcome back! I was just wondering how you were doing a few weeks ago, and then today you popped up on my Facebook news feed. I totally agree with you about most blogs feeling just like a constant ad for something, and less about anything real. The main reason I think I could never really get into blogging is because of all the “perfect” looking blogs that are already out there. I can’t wait for more of your real posts πŸ™‚

    • You CAN get into blogging, just don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of marketing. They offer a lot of money so it’s tempting, but in the long run it just isn’t worth it to be a sell out. Just blog for yourself and keep it real.

      • I remember yours as one of the go-to blogs when I first became “addicted” to connecting with those that blogged. Then, as blogs turned to constant “selling” they all felt staged and insincere…and I lost interest. I just stumbled back upon this and thought – Oh, yeah! HoH! thank you for returning to a more casual, neighborly blog! I have written comments to other bloggers, who also reflect that the blog world isn’t the same, for them to scale back and do what you are talking about – returning to who they are. It isn’t rocket science to me: we live in a world where no one sits on the front porch talking small talk to their neighbors anymore, or even goes to visit one another on a Sat (heaven forbid, we “waste” a precious day off) – and the blog world used to stand in the gap for this, but not anymore. We all love seeing the projects, DIY, etc., but the authentic ones…the ones that are inspired -not contrived – to use a sponsored product, etc., Anyways, thanks for hanging in there, neighbor!

  4. I love, Love, LOVE this post! I’m so glad your back and even more glad that you’re continuing to blog. I like your posts, sponsors or no sponsors. What I like most about your blog is that it seems real. I’m tired of all of the Pinterest perfect pictures and the guilt that comes along with not being ‘pin worthy’ I hate looking at some of the pins/blogs I see and wonder, ‘is that staged?’ or ‘there’s no way people live like this…any normal family with kids would destroy that perfectly placed table setting and decor in 2 seconds flat.’ Anyway, I’m glad you’re back and look foward to reading many more posts from you. (about boring knobs or otherwise) πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! I tried the pinterest life, but seriously, I am way too unorganized and scattered to even attempt to stay on top of my house like that. I tend to eye roll when I see a perfect home knowing that like 6 kids live there. Ya right! If they are that clean and organized, more power to them! I am definitely not that person though.

  5. Thank you for being real, vulnerable, and authentic. I love reading blogs and looking at the pictures and ideas, but what initially drew me to blogs around three years ago (over magazines) was the fact that these were real homes with real moms like me, doing projects that I could do too. The hyper-perfection and blowing-your-own-horn promotion does get old and takes away from the reason most people read blogs. More power to you!!!

    • I think that’s why most bloggers started — because they wanted to show their real house and their real life. Somewhere along the way though things just got totally derailed and it became a competition to have the best house. I just can’t compete with that, so I’m not going to. I’m just going to start doing my own thang again. It makes me happier. I’ve seen a few other posts out there saying similar things, so I do thing there will be a trend of going back to the basics this year. We shall see I suppose.

  6. Sometimes simple is best. I like classic πŸ˜‰ Your cabinet color is real pretty too, very rich.

    About all the other stuff.. I miss it too, the commenting and chatting and sharing. We all get so busy, it’s hard to take the time to pop around to everyone. So glad I caught this!! I feel so many of the things you said, and I know others do too. It seems it’s not the actual blogging, it’s the social media promotion blitz circus act you have to perform afterwards!

    • I love this – “the social promotion blitz circus act” – so true! lol It IS a circus, and with each new platform it is just getting to be too much. I have attended many classes at conferences teaching how to maximize facebook, or instagram, or twitter, or youtube, etc. If I did what each class teaches for each platform, I would be at it 24 hours a day. No thanks.

      You know what is weird? I did NOTHNG on facebook except post a link to this post. Because people liked what I had to say, I started getting comments, and my reach kept getting bigger. I didn’t do anything fancy, and now I’m at over 8,000 reach on that link. That is how it is supposed to work – you post content people like, you get more reach. Done.

      I’ve always just flat out refused to use instagram to only promote my blog. I am houseofhepworths on there, but only so everyone can find me. I love instagram and posting just normal daily stuff in my life. I use instagram as a way for people to see another side of me.

      As for twitter? That is laughable. I have never figured out that one, and frankly, I don’t even like it.

      Youtube? I have an account where I will post videos that go along with a post, but I wouldn’t know how to promote that even if I tried. Please.

  7. Dear Allison, I love, love the way you write about your DIY projects, kids and everything else. I don’t live in a “staged” home, we live here! So happy you feel the same way, be you! My husband and I found your blog awhile back and one of my favorite things to do is read outloud from your blog to him, we love it. (I secretly hope we would be BFF’s if we lived in the same town.) keep writing, you are AMAZING ! We have missed you, so happy you wanted to come back and let us enjoy you and your family, THANKS
    Hugs, Pia

    • Pia, you are so sweet. My husband and I have a blog or two we like to read outloud together as well. I look forward to those posts!

      I would totally be BFFs with you. One can never have too many friends! I have to confess up front though, I am very social on my blog, but I am more of an introvert in real life. I get social anxiety when there are too many people around, I hate talking on the phone, and I will avoid most people for weeks at a time. However, once I’m in person with you, I do have a good time and I like to crack jokes and entertain. Just be forewarned though, afterward you probably won’t hear from me again for a month or more. Just ask my very best friends – I rarely talk to them either. But yes, please, let’s be friends! The more the merrier!!

  8. Welcome back! It’s great to see you back in your original form, so to speak. Your blog was one of the first that I started following way back when-before Pinterest, or at least when it was up and coming. I’ve been a bit put off by the evolution of blogging, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I’m looking forward to seeing your latest projects- I still remember your idea for the ice cream cone cakes and my knife block still shows its makeover proudly due to your fun projects. Oh, and the knobs are perfect-and how perfect that your name was on the package- that’s destiny!

    • Just because I’ve been silent doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! I actually have a dozen or more posts I need to write just showing what I’ve been up to around here. Stay tuned! I am really excited at my new plan of only focusing on you guys and just ignoring everything else. It’s all the other stuff that gets me down and second-guessing myself, so I’ll just do what I love from now on and that is to write and entertain and interact with all of y’all.

  9. So refreshing… that you are keeping it real. One of my favorite posts. So thrilled you are back!
    Cheers to you, Allison.

  10. I am so happy that you are back, and I totally agree with your thoughts too on blogging! I love “real” posts, and ones that don’t have to be Pinterest quality or magazine worthy. Just be yourself, we love you for who YOU are! Welcome back!

    • Pinterest is though because I get a lot of traffic from there, so I feel like I have to put out content that fits well on pinterest. But not anymore. Seriously. I wasn’t like that before pinterest, so why do I need to conform to fit on that site? I still LOVE pinterest though and use it just for myself a few times a week.

  11. Welcome back. I am a wanna be blogger but have not taken the plunge. It is intimidating to even consider keeping up with the Joneses. Also, I love the story of your knobs. By the end of construction of out home I was so over all of it that each little decision was a chore that caused nights so sleepless that you’d think I was working on a plan for world peace. One Duch decision was the drop in sink for the kids bathroom. The vanity was in place, I just needed the sink. Nothing seemed quite right until I was in Lowes checking out the clearance section. There it was! A drop in sink on sale for $17 named ‘Amelia’ (my daughters name). It was not what I thought I NEEDED for the space but It was somehow perfect.

    • Yes! I am so over this kitchen renovation. I seriously LOVE love love it, but it was just way too much to take on. I’m glad it’s over (except for a few minor details that we will probably drag out for a long time – under cabinet lights, pendant lights, and backsplash).
      There is no point in keeping up with the blogging Joneses because there will always be someone better at one aspect or another than you. I think the better alternative is to just be yourself and stand out because of your authenticity. πŸ˜‰

  12. Carol Birch says:

    Yay! I am so happy you are back and that you will continue with your blog. I love your personality and how it comes out in your blog. My house will never look like a magazine and I appreciate your honesty and your advice. Don’t ever change. WE love you just the way you are!

    • Thank you so much, Carol! You are sweet. My house won’t look like a magazine either, I just love doing little projects here and there, fumbling my way towards trying to create a home out of this fixer upper house.

  13. Selma Harris says:

    What can I say but THANK YOU!!! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and I TRULY MISSED YOU!! I can totally understand why you took a break and it was needed. I am preparing to start a blog of my own and I worry about how will it be received but I have to let it be and try my hand at something totally out of my comfort zone. I appreciate your honesty and I look forward to reading your blog. Hopefully once my blog is up we can connect and be internet buddies!!! lol. Oh before I forget, love the knobs!

  14. Well said and welcome back! I couldn’t agree more!
    xo, becky

  15. Good for you for coming back on your terms. I have only been reading blogs for a little over 2 years now and I cannot believe how much it has changed. I really like the homespun looking blogs where there aren’t perfect photos, silly posts about nothing just to get a post done for the day, and hundreds of ads or blog posts that are basically commercials about how they got some free item and how great it is (even though they only used it once and probably never again).

    The worst thing is when a blog I like has contributors. They actually hire other bloggers to create content for their blog. I don’t even understand that. It is a personal blog–not a magazine. I get a guest post here and there because that helps promote a little blog on a bigger blog, but when there is a contributor and the actual blog owner is not even posting anything–that is just too much. I have no doubt the original blogger worked their butt off to get so much traffic to their site, but they need to be the one writing it, not someone else. Otherwise, how is their blog anymore?

    • The contributor thing always had me scratching my head, but it seems to be working for them, so… ? Yay? I tend to not read blogs like that unless that is the main point of the blog because I too find it odd to have a very specific blog related to one person or family, but have tons of content not related to that family at all. HoH would be so weird with contributors. Are they contributing to decorating my own house? lol

  16. Welcome back! I’m glad to see you’ve returned. I was seriously contemplating asking where you were in your previous post, but I decided against it. I didn’t want that place to become a “OMG! Where’s Allison?” post. Even though that’s what I was thinking. And I’d like to say: Please don’t ever feel you’re good enough or not interesting enough. You’ve made it to the top 3 blogs that are in my starting line-up as I open my browser every morning. Even with your “less than pinterest worthy photos”. Or maybe BECAUSE of them? My other two “go to” blogs are also ladies who are not afraid to show their house in a real way. And you know what? It makes me happy. Because when my kids have overrun the house with toys, I know I am not alone. πŸ˜› So, don’t be afraid to do things your way. You may loose some readers, and you may gain some.

    And the knobs? They are simple and elegant, to not compete with your fancy cabinets. Not basic or boring at all. πŸ™‚ The kitchen looks beautiful!

    • Charlotte, I am flattered. It always throws me a little when people say I’m one of their favorite blogs. I seriously don’t feel like the blog is that popular or anything, but I do appreciate your sweet compliments. Glad you waited patiently for me to get my sh** together and return to the land of the living. Thank you.

  17. I loved this post. You’ve said what I’ve been feeling, too, and why I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s too much work doing what I don’t want to do rather then enjoying what I do love. I’ve built so many friendships on Instagram and I wish I had that many blog friends, too, instead of feeling like I have to focus on how many people read my post that day. I’m glad you are back! I don’t know how much I’ve commented before, but this is a start. I love your posts. And, your cabinet knobs are very pretty, too. πŸ™‚ Keep writing!

    • It’s easy to get wrapped up in analytics and page views, but just keep in mind, for each page view, that is probably a unique actual human who is taking the time to read what you have to say. I want to just focus on appreciating every single one of you instead of looking at it like a statistic. I hear ya about doing what you love vs all the extra work. I don’t like all the extra work that goes along with blogging (promoting, etc) so I’m just going back to doing what I love which is writing and interacting. Forget the rest of it.

  18. oh you bet I kept you on my feed even though I thought you were gone forevah…
    I’m glad you are still blogging and doing it the way you want to. Yay! Your genuineness and humor is what attracted my “loyalty” In the first place years ago.
    Your kitchen looks fabulous and I love the shelves especially! Different and gorgeous. Love.

    • Thanks Rach! I’m glad you kept me around even though I started getting more and more sparse until I finally just stopped posting all together. I will do my best to be present from now on. I am rediscovering why I loved blogging so much in the beginning, and I am going to make extra effort to only do what I love.

  19. Yea! So glad to know there is a blog out there not focusing on SEO and actually showing us real projects and real ideas for a real house! You just got me hooked!!!

  20. I was literally just on your site yesterday wondering where the heck you’ve been… So glad you’re back!! Love your posts. Love your house. Love your photos. Love your blog πŸ™‚

  21. Yay! I’m so glad you are back. Your blog is absolutely one of my favorites, probably because you do seem more”real” than a lot of other blogs. And your kitchen is gorgeous, those knobs look fantastic.

  22. I’m so glad that I had added your blog to my bloglovin’ list! I’ve always enjoyed your blog and will continue to follow along! Welcome back and Happy 2015!!

    • Happy 2015 to you too! I keep telling Ben that this year is MY year. I feel like I can just tackle the world in 2015, starting with my weight (but I started that journey several months ago so I’m not one of those annoying “New Years resolutions” people. haha)

  23. Welcome back – I missed you and was worried you wouldn’t be back! You are the first DIY blog I ever read and still use the monogrammed liquid soap holder I made from reading you!
    So…as far as keeping it real, I have a request. I love your kitchen and it sounds like you do, too. I am going to redo mine in the next year or so. I’d like to hear some of the “I’m so glad I did’s” or “I wish I woudn’t have’s” from your kitchen remodel. Seems like we see all these beautiful new kitchens with great ideas but not the after-effects of them…

    • Christina, I used that soap pump until I wore it completely out! It is one of my most favorite projects I’ve ever done. I’m thrilled that you love it too. <3
      I love your post idea! I will have to start thinking about this seriously. I can think of several things that I LOVED about the renovation, but I am having a harder time thinking of things I would change now. Is that a sign of a good reno? Okay, one thing that annoys me but I have absolutely no solution for it - the top two selves of my upper corner cabinet are just dead space. They are too tall to reach, and too wide with too narrow an opening to really use for much. I could probably use them for storage, but I really hate clutter so I get rid of almost everything! Hmmm, what else? I have all drawers on the bases except one cabinet in the island. i wish I would have maybe added one more cabinet somewhere? The cabinet is great for stuff like my kitchenaid that is too heavy to store in a drawer.
      That's all I got! I'll keep this in mind and try to come up with some ideas and a few pictures. I also owe a post still about the appliances we purchased. I am so behind.

  24. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve missed your posts. I’m not a blogger, but I’ve felt the same way about things that I’ve been involved in. It seems that I let others suck the fun of out of things, and I know that I just need to ignore them and do my own thing. I’m working on this, too. By the way, we have that same hardware, and we love it. Simple and elegant, in my opinion. I had no idea it came from Walmart because it was here when we bought our house. It shows yet again that we don’t have to spend a fortune to have something beautiful. So glad you’re back!

    • I love how you said it.. you let other suck the fun out of things. That is exactly how I was feeling. I just kept following the crowd, doing what I thought I had to do to stay relevant, and it made me miserable. Now I’m starting over and doing what I love so that I will continue to have fun with it. Life isn’t worth living if it can’t be fun!

  25. I’ll be honest. I believe I just discovered your blog shortly before your blogging hiatus. So, I can’t say that I was looking for a blogging void to fill. (I don’t mean that rudely at all.) However, I wanted you to know that after reading this post today, I intend to follow more closely! I am all about keeping it real and having real life with real messes and real feelings present. No pretending. So, thank you, good luck to you, and I look forward to seeing more!

  26. Welcome back! And thank you for keeping it real! I find myself ignoring the blogs that are all perfection and ads! Love your knobs! I did very similar ones in my kitchen. (Just a different color)

  27. So glad you’re back! πŸ™‚

  28. Welcome Back! Great post : )

  29. Wonderful. I don’t follow many Blogs but I really do enjoy yours.

  30. You’re the πŸ˜‰ I love that you are down to earth.. a lot of your readers will relate to that.. I do. Keep up the great work, I love your blog and will stay true! (Ps people live in my house too!) Xo

  31. I’m glad you decided to give up blogging as a competition and go back to the original reason you started in the first place. I think we all struggle to be the best that we can be and then begin to compare what we do with what others do. In my experience, comparing always leaves me feeling anxious, depressed or both. Sure, I like to look at perfect pictures and beautiful magazine layout homes but I’m betting most of these people live very shallow lives or are miserable trying to maintain that perfection. If it will lift your spirits any, just check out my blog. Compared to yours, it’s pretty pathetic but that’s why I try not to get caught up in comparing, lol. Otherwise I wouldn’t blog at all. God bless you Allison. You’re an inspiration & valuable to so many of us!

    • Christine (Christianne?) I tried to leave a comment on your blog but got an error, so I’ll leave it here for you.

      I think your house is beautiful and I can tell there is a lot of love between those walls. And as a piano player, your piano is beautiful! If you play it, keep it. Who cares if your home is cramped if it is full of what you love? You are an inspiration. I love this, “One thing I’ve learned this past year and want to carry into the new year is that life is all about having β€œopen hands”. A person can’t grasp new blessings if their hands are closed or already full.” Wow, that is really profound and so true. I needed to hear that today, so thank you!

  32. Welcome back!!!! I really respect all your reasons for taking a break (I have many of the same reactions to blogs I read – too much perfect, too many sponsored posts), and I’m so glad you’ve decided to come back and do it YOUR way, without worrying about offending sponsors. I hope you include readers in that as well, because the internet is full of petty, professional victims who troll blogs looking for conflict. Ignore them all! πŸ™‚

    • Karin, yup, I’ve been the victim of some mean trolls here and there too and it does sting, but if they are just being mean and ugly, I just delete it. I do appreciate constructive criticism but only if given with the same respect that I would give someone else. Thanks for the reminder to not get down about the meanies too!

  33. I’ m so glad you’re back!!!! Long time reader, first time blogger ( my blog is only 3 weeks old!). Like you, I just want to share some of my house projects and recipes, not rule the world. I’ve been afraid to even start a blog b/c I feel about 5 years too late to the party, and there are so many more talented people out there, (and I don’t have a white kitchen! Who blogs without a white kitchen?!) ;). But, I decided to just put one foot in front of the other. Thanks for the encouragement and your blog is awesome.

    • It is never too late to start doing something that brings you joy. I’m glad you started your blog. I popped over there and think you are doing a great job! Your comment about the white kitchens made me chuckle – so true. Every other person is painting their cabinets white which is one of many reasons I didn’t go with white. I love the dark rich looking cabinets, but I’m also just flat out sick of seeing white cabinets everywhere!

  34. You’re back!!!! I have missed you and your blog!

  35. Thank you for coming back! You have a wonderful blog and the only one I constantly follow. I lose interest in other sites because of how perfect they seem. I can’t keep up with those standards. I’m glad you’re back!

    • I did enjoy the magazine looking blogs for maybe a hot second, but they got old so fast. Like a PP said, I can buy a magazine if I want to look at pictures like that. I want to read blogs for a more real feel.

  36. Julie Banister says:

    I am so glad you are back! I missed you. Who cares about sponsors and SEO and all that? I care about what you have to say. I have enjoyed following you for years and love that you are real and talk about money and life and just stuff. I think of you each time I clean with my Shaklee cleaning stuff, too. Man that stuff is good!
    Cheer and hugs to you Allison. So glad to “hear” your voice again.

    • I still love my Shaklee cleaning products too. I swear, that little bottle will never run out! Awesome product right there!
      You guys are being so sweet and nice and are double making me realize why I started blogging and why I used to love it so much. It feels great now that I’ve taken this pressure off that I was putting on myself.

  37. So glad you are back!

  38. Glad you’re back! I love the witing style! and you realllyyyyy inspire to do something on my own…. So please dont go away! Missed you so much!

    • I love this! I do what I do because I love inspiring others. I’m so glad to hear that I’ve been able to help you create a more beautiful home as well.

  39. Yay – so glad your back!!

  40. Stacey at Dohiy says:

    YAY! I’ve missed you. You have a very authentic voice, and your house looks like YOURS rather than like some Pinterest clone. That’s why I love your blog.

    I’ve got very similar kitchen knobs — had them for over 12 years now, and I’m not sick of them. There’s a lot to be said for doing something simple and classic. πŸ™‚

    • There is definitely a lot to say about doing something simple and classic. I tend to not jump on any trend wagons because I want to decorate my home ONCE and get it done the way I want it and not have to worry about replacing the countertops or curtains every other year. Classic might seem a little more safe or boring, but I am creating this home to live in for many years. If I want trendy I’ll buy a magazine!

  41. Bless you for saying what I have been feeling for some time. When I see a sponsored post now, I make a bet with myself as to how many other bloggers jump on that bandwagon. And the whole follow me thingy on every social media platform drives me crazy. Happy to see you are back. And, one more thing, WHAT IS IT ABOUT PICKING CABINET HARDWARE? Sorry for yelling. I struggled with mine so much. It was way easier picking the cabinets and layout than the darn pulls. And when I finally made my choice, my installer questioned it. But I went for it and love it. I’m done now. Great to hear from you again.

    • I do laugh and shake my head when I see like 30 bloggers all blog about the same topic on the same day. I LOVED working with Silhouette and I love their products, but that was one reason I stopped with them. I didn’t want to be one of 50 bloggers all posting the same deal on the same day.
      And seriously, picking the cabinet hardware was excruciating. Way more stress than you’d think. I hope I don’t have to do that again anytime soon!

  42. Yay! You’re back – I’ve missed you and your realness. Fooey on perfection – this is the real world and you give me hope that I can someday have a space that’s uniquely me without being a bazillionaire.

    • You can! That is why I LOVE DIY!!! You can create the home of your dreams with patience and trial and error. I love it. I’ve done so many things to my home that would have cost a fortune, but they were so cheap because I did it myself. Case in point: I have 9 windows in the main common areas of my house. I got super lazy and called a trim guy to come hang up window trim for me. 9 windows, all rectangle, very easy job. He wanted to charge me $650! Are you serious? I said no way, and now it’s on my list of projects to get done soon. In fact, I already have the moulding in my garage just sitting there waiting for me.
      I get so excited sharing all these tips and tricks with you guys because I just love houses and DIY so much!

  43. I really liked what you said and I have to agree that I’m sick of overly-slick blogs with too much marketing stuff in them. I just skip right though them in my bloglovin feed. Congrats on your hardware, I have been living in a builder house for 3 years with no hardware so I can appreciate your struggle to choose. Once a hole has been drilled into a cabinet–that’s it!! Ps, liked the bit of REAL life in your kitchen photos.

    • The drilling of the hole into a perfectly good cabinet door was my biggest hang up! I was terrified I’d make the wrong choice on hardware and would then be stuck with holes in my beautiful doors that were forever in the wrong spot. It gave me heart palpitations even watching the cabinet maker drill holes into the doors! I almost lost my mind when he cut out the hole in the island for the plug outlet!

  44. Glad you are back!!! Yes, the direction blogging has gone feels way to commercial and for profit. So tired of sponsored posts. But on the bright side, I LOVE your knobs! They are great. You didn’t need anything big or fancy and fussy. I think they look great.

    • Thank Goodness! You were the very first blog I read/followed and fell in love. I like your style. I like your humaness. I don’t like perusing three blogs that I have enjoyed and seeing they are all posting each others work all of the time so they are getting the boot. You are what makes your blog and I am so glad you are not following the crowd but staying true. And, I am so glad you are back!

  45. hallelujah! amen! and welcome back! just so you know I checked every single day. for the record what you are doing is what I want. real projects, in a real home, with a real budget, with real pictures. no sponsors, no donated product, no “unbiased” reviews. i can get all those things at any of the thousand online design/home decorating magazines. i for one am glad you pulled up those big girl panties, trusted your independent heart, exercised your self confidence, and pulled the plug! we all know where to go for the “canned” content….it’s nice to have REAL (and you) back!!!

    • Barbara, you are my #1 fan. Thank you so very much for checking in on me every day. What a nice thing to say! I did finally pull up the big girl panties, didn’t I? I tell my daughter that all the time when she is having a fit over something, yet it took me a year+ to take my own advice. I’m glad to be back finally. I just needed some time to clear my head and enjoy my family over the holidays. It was a great break, and I am super excited to be back now!

  46. Yay! Virtual high five! I prefer blogs that don’t worry about numbers and sponsors. My blog has never really become popular, I only have a few people who seem to check in regularly. At first it bummed me out that my blog never really took off, but then I realized that I blog because I enjoy the projects and talking to people who have similar interests. I used to take almost any sponsored offer that paid, but then I wondered why I was pimping myself out for a few bucks to shill something I don’t really care about. I mean, I have a full-time job, so blogging doesn’t have to bring in the bucks. I will admit that I still do a few sponsored posts, but only if it’s something that really fits my blog and I would buy if I weren’t getting it fo’ free. ANYWAY, I love the new kitchen hardware. And for anyone looking to install their own hardware, you can buy a template like that at Home Depot (or probably any hardware store) and it’s a lifesaver. I installed all of the hardware in our kitchen and bathroom with that template. I would have never attempted it otherwise.

    • Sam, I am SO GLAD you linked to your blog! I love it and have now added it to my RSS.

      Okay, note for everyone else reading the comments, if you want a REAL blog that has similar tastes in home decor as I do, check out Sam’s blog:

      What I’ve seen so far is awesome and I can’t believe how similar our styles are. I love it!

  47. I hope you are successful in keeping the blog fun for yourself. I’ve been blogging for less than a year, and I often wonder about burnout. I keep reminding myself of what I enjoy about it and try to stick to that part of it.

    Your kitchen remodel looks great, and I like your knobs. πŸ™‚

    • It took me about 3.5 years or so to start feeling the burn out but I was also heavily involved in conferences, sponsorships, stats, and trying to continue to grow bigger and bigger. I quickly realized that QUALITY is much better than QUANTITY and decided that bigger isn’t necessarily better. It took about a year and a half to finally hit rock bottom, but I’m glad I did because now I have new perspective and am ready to just have fun with it. Just try to do what you love and ignore the rest. Who cares if you have less page views? It isn’t a race for page views, it’s an avenue to share your hobby with other like-minded folk. Good luck to you!

      As for your blog, I love it too!

      I can’t agree more with your opinion about decorations equalling clutter! I try to decorate, but it seriously gives me hives. Back when I first started blogging I wanted to do the mantle posts and tablescapes and holiday decorating like everyone else, but my word, I suck at it, and it is just so much decorating and crap everywhere for only a few short weeks. It seems kind of pointless. lol. Call me scrooge but I can barely set up one tree for Christmas much less several. And while I’m setting up the one tree and decorating it, all I think is, “what a ton of work for only 30 days or less!” That is true laziness right there. πŸ˜‰

  48. I was looking for your website last week! I missed you! I ALWAYS go back to your DIY’s when I want to know how to do something. I “ORB’d” my bathroom fixtures this weekend… you turned me on to it! They look amazing! Cheap update and looks great!
    I HATE all those sponsors/advertisers on websites, I just want to read the blog and get off… I hate all that “in your face” advertising!
    I’m glad you were able to refocus yourself, you are my inspiration in home DIYing. I have done so many things, with your easy to follow instructions.
    I have missed you, glad you’re back!

    • Charlene, thanks so much for your sweet comments! I appreciate you coming back to my blog for old tutorials. I know it is so hard to navigate my blog right now, but I promise my husband is trying to update a few things to make searching for old content easier. And thanks for being such a devoted reader. I am humbled and flattered.

  49. Soooo glad you’re back, Allison! Your blog is one of the very first I started following because you kept it simple and real. I follow a lot of bloggers as my interests vary; however, that said, the past few months I’m beginning to ‘unfollow’ a lot of them, too. I don’t need perfection – I need ideas, know how and fun! I too have tired of the “oh look at me and my sponsors, blah blah blah”. I’ve also seen a number of bloggers burn out and cutting back on the number of posts, or they are hiring people to help them stay on top of it. What fun is that?

    Stay true to yourself, Allison! I’m glad you’re back!

    • No fun at all! I like to talk a lot, so this plan might backfire, but I’m honesty going to try to post more frequently, but with smaller posts instead of the ones with 25 photos. Posting the big daddy posts can be overwhelming so I put it off, but if I can hop on and post something short, but more frequently, I think I will enjoy it more. Two of my inspiration blogs who post this way are:

      They both get in, to the point, and peace out again quickly, so they are light easy reads. I suggest you go check them both out. I love them!

  50. Exactly! Tell it like it really is! lol I agree and feel the same about what you wrote about the blogging DIY world. Happy you are back and those knobs are perfect! πŸ˜€ Thank you for being real!

  51. I can see from all the comments that I’m not the only one who’s glad you’re back! I can’t imagine all that pressure – I would hate that. I can’t even keep up with the pressure to keep my house respectably clean in case people randomly show up πŸ™‚

    So glad you’re back though! I like the way you write your posts, and even if there are things that can be found elsewhere on the internet, it’s nice to hear your experience and perspective on it. Hope this year treats you well!

    • I don’t do very well under pressure (can’t you tell? haha). I like things to be chill. One of my favorite phrases: It’s all good! Don’t worry about it!

      Please don’t show up unannounced at my house! Actually, please do, just know it will not be spotless! Right now the floors are filthy due to lots of rain and lots of kids coming in and out all weekend. There is clutter everywhere on every flat surface. What is it with flat surfaces and junk just finding it?

      I’m glad to be back to. And I’m more glad to just be hanging out with all of you!

  52. So glad you’re back! And I understand the pressure. I too hate to see nothing but sponsored posts. Too much! You just do you! I think everyone will agree that’s why we’re here anyway! πŸ™‚

  53. So glad you’re back! Yours is one of the very FEW blogs that I have on BlogLovin and I am about to delete a few. I too get pissed off when I am trying to read a blog or post and all these ads and sponsored crap keep popping up. If I wanted to read about the product or company I will click on it in the sponsors section. I do NOT like it shoved in my face! And personally, I feel that the blogs that show professional looking photos of museum looking houses just depresses me and makes me feel bad because my house doesn’t look like that. We LIVE here. So, I don’t want to read something that makes me feel bad or guilty. A post from a blogger that I really liked was when she showed her home before with stuff and toys all over and then after for the beautiful spotless photos. And then the BEST part was when she showed all the places she stashed all the stuff and clutter for the pristine photos. Including baskets, under and behind the couch, and an entire junk room. I thought that was FABULOUS! Because that’s what most of us do when company is coming over!

    Your blog is entertaining, helpful, and enjoyable. Please don’t quit. I love inexpensive DIY projects that I actually use or like not DIY projects that just become more clutter. And personally, I feel like if you become more authentic and take normal photos of a normal house then I will LOVE your blog even more than I do now! So GO FOR IT!

    • I would hate it if my blog ever made anyone feel bad! My goal is to inspire you to get out there and LOVE your own home. I’m glad you enjoy reading, and I hope I’m able to continue to provide you with content that you enjoy and helps you. And yes, expect a lot more normal photos from now on out (not that I really tried that hard anyway to have awesome photos!)

  54. Yours is one of the first blogs I remember reading and you always made me laugh! Our tastes are similar (can you say Goodwill?) and I always love seeing what you’re up to. I totally agree with you about what blogging has become. I started blogging 5 years ago as a creative outlet but things have changed SO MUCH since then some days I wonder if it’s worth it. I’m so glad you’ve decided to stick around:)

  55. Welcome back! And thank you for speaking so honestly. It’s so refreshing to hear an established blogger throw out the handbook and get back to why we all started this journey… for us. You’re the second or third blogger I’ve read in as many days to express similar views. They do say 2015 is a time of big change! Good for you, Allison. You are an inspiration for those of us not long starting out. P.S. The kitchen handles look great! πŸ˜‰

    • Sue! Hey lady, how are ya?! I love what you said, “throw out the handbook”… so true. Bloggers think they need to follow more popular bloggers to be popular too, but as my mom would say… if all popular bloggers were jumping off a cliff, would you too??!? haha

      Just because they told you to blog a certain way at a blog conference doesn’t mean that is the end all be all. Trust me, been there, done that, almost quit the internet because of it. There is no one right way. Just do what you love and it will all work out in the end.

  56. Everyone needs a vacation. It keeps you sane. πŸ™‚ I”m glad you’re back.

    I don’t hate sponsored posts, but I’m glad you’re getting back to what you want to blog about. It’s your blog and you should blog about whatever makes you happy.

    P.S. I love the new knobs.

  57. Allison, so happy you are back! Honestly, I don’t know what half of the post meant, referring to the ‘blog-lingo’ and that is ok because I-Don’t-Care!! Yours is the first blog I started to follow and I did so because I really enjoy it, not because of the quality of photos, sponsors or anything else! Keep it real sister!
    We love you and your blog just the way it is : )

    • Tina, thanks for making me laugh! Yes, I guess my post had a lot of blog lingo, whoops! I forget not everyone is a blogger! I appreciate your comment and I’m glad you like my blog. I’ll try to continue to keep it real. πŸ™‚

  58. Allison! The reason I fell in love with your blog is because 1) You’re in Austin. 2) You put FaShizzle in your About Me section. 3) Your creative ideas are awesome. and 4) You post goofy pictures or yourself. BE YOU! That’s why we read.

    • And the reason I feel in love with you is because you are so nice and sweet and just have such a good ora about you! πŸ˜‰ I miss you and am sad we lost touch so long ago! I’m glad you checked in. Let’s stay in touch better and maybe even grab lunch sometime? I’ll email you!

  59. I’m so happy you’re back! I’ve missed your posts, but I’m glad you were able to take some time off.

  60. I am so glad you are back. You were my first blog experience and by far my favorite! Sure, I hooked up with a few from your “guest bloggers” post and still subscribe to some of them. Those that became constant commercials I just dumped. I am just thrilled you are staying with us!

    • Awe, thanks Pam! I still follow some of my previous guest bloggers as well. I did a whole series once while I was on vacation for 3 weeks where I tried to highlight as many awesome smaller blogs as possible, and I still enjoy a lot of those.
      I am glad to be back too.

  61. Marsha Stevens says:

    I am so glad you are back. I have always read and enjoyed your blog. You have been so helpful in teaching other women on how to do different things. Best wishes for you and your blog.

    Marsha Stevens

    • Marsha, thank you! My main goal is to just inspire and uplift other women to have the confidence they need to tackle projects in their own home. One thing that makes me so sad is when a woman says something like, “I want my living room painted but I have to wait for my husband to get home from work so he can do it.” Wha?! NO! You can paint your own walls!! Take life by the horns and get ‘er done!

  62. I am so glad you are back, so glad that you are just going to be human and blogging. I loved that we lived in the same area until we recently relocated to VA. Quite frankly a lot of the other bloggers with their “perfect” photos, lighting, homes, etc seem unreal to me. I DIY lots of things in my home, we also live off a budget, and my home is pretty darn comfy and LIVED IN. I much prefer your honest blog, that is about YOU and we get to see your family, mess and all. πŸ˜‰

    • I love that your home is pretty darn comfy and lived in! Mine too. lol. I would love a new sofa, but the costco one we have is still chugging along after 5 years. It’s just not worth going into debt to have a perfect house. I’m glad to hear you are a DIYer! Love it!!

  63. Very glad you are back and have decided to continue blogging. I love your style and wit. Keep up the good work! Here’s to a very HAPPY 2015

  64. Hey stranger!! Your new kitchen hardware looks awesome-sauce and they’re called Allison?? I mean, how freaken cool is that?? I know we talked about a lot of the ‘blogging’ stuff at Blogelevated last year.. and I think you have to do what your heart tells you. I’m glad your back and that you’re going to do what YOU love to do! Hope to hug your neck this year… xoxo

    • Kelly, I was so close to the edge – you remember. I just was over it. I think I let all the other blogs, and bloggers, and conferences, and sponsors, and all the classes at all the conferences just get to me. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. That I just didn’t have what it takes. Phooey on all of that. Interacting with each of you is what it is all about. And when I referenced having a few blog friends – YOU are in that group lady. I’m lucky to have you in my life. Love you!!

  65. I have never posted before, but have been following your blog for quite sometime. I love your honesty in this blog post and it makes me feel better about myself. I always look at alot of DIY blogs and wonder how everything looks so perfect, especially with a family and kids. It seemed so exhausting to me. Thank you for being honest and real! It makes me love this blog that much more!

    • Tracey, it IS exhausting. I have tried it. I just don’t have the right type of personality to pull that type of blog off. I’d rather just show pictures of my cabinets with crap all over the counters… lol. What you guys see on the blog is pretty much how you see my house if you were to just stop by and say hi. I will clean it up for a final reveal of a room, but usually we live just a little bit cluttered – not too messy but lived in. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!

  66. Glad to see you back!

  67. Thank you for having the courage to say what everyone else is thinking. I have had to un-follow several blogs lately. The sponsored posts, the redoing rooms that were just done to follow some trend, tearing out kitchens that don’t need replacing, and than figuring out that basically the entire thing was sponsored and they didn’t pay any thing out of pocket. One of the bloggers I follow, I saw on Facebook the other day trying to get a cruise sponsored. What does that have to do with home improvement/decorating/DIY? This just is not something that is genuine to how the average American lives. Museum houses, that you know they don’t live in the way they are portraying. I used to really enjoy decorating, organizing, DIY blogs. It’s sad what they are becoming, just another ad. I only follow a handful now.

    • Joanna, I so hear you. Some of my most favorite blogs are now falling off that pedestal for me. I just can’t stand how low people will stoop for free product. Why is everyone selling out for a can of window cleaner? I honestly don’t get it. I don’t want anyone to ever think I’m a sell-out, which is why I just had to drop the sponsors. It was a nice income, but giving people that impression of me just wasn’t worth it. I’m hoping to see blogs turn it around in the future. I don’t like where the overall blogging ship has sailed.

  68. YAY! Way to come back with a bang! I’m so glad I can count on your blog for some real content. We’ve heard more than enough about Blue Apron, kiwi crate, and that silly water pitcher. Welcome back!

  69. Wonderful to have you back in any way that you are comfortable continuing on. Thank you for ‘keeping it real’.

  70. I have missed reading your posts! To me it’s more about your “real world” writing style and “actual life” stuff that draws me to your page. Way to step back and put it all into perspective for yourself! Congrats on taking care of YOU!!!

  71. Tina Matteson says:

    I have missed you! Your blog was one of my favorites… And I don’t think your ‘quitting all that extra crap’ will hurt your popularity at all! I look forward to it! Thank you for sharing where you’re coming from. And I love your new knobs. πŸ™‚

  72. YAY! Welcome back! I was just thinking of you the other day. I’ve missed your post’s and Instagram’s. I’ve been following your blog since before Pinterest became popular. I’ve always loved your posts even on the simplest things because most of the time, I think, “why didn’t I think of that”. As a blogger myself, I too, have fallen off the face of the internet or blog world the last year for the exact same reasons. Rarely do I even scroll through Pinterest anymore because I hate the overwhelming feeling of panic that sets in when I realize that my house is never going to measure up to what all these “perfect bloggers” are posting about. I like simple, every day things that can be done within my budget. And I just ain’t got time to do all of the projects that I would like to do to my house just to get it to look like all those perfect pictures you see every where. I also thought about deleting my blog until I remember the reason I started blogging and that was to have a place to share with my friends and family what I’m up too.

    So, thank you for keeping it real and just keep doing what works best for you and your family. Those who are loyal readers and love your blog as much as I do, will stick around with you. Happy New Year!

    • Amber, I do still love pinterest, but I only go there a few times a week or less. Sometimes I’ve gone weeks without looking at pinterest. It is inspiring and depressing all at the same time, so I try not to get sucked in too much. Sounds like you and I are on the same page! Heading to check out your blog now…

  73. So glad you are back. You were one of the first blogs I followed…..and still follow. My very first? Was Thrifty Decor Chick…she rocks.She still writes…no contributors…..she has great projects (like you) and keeps it real. If she is doing all those other things I don’t notice….and I have to say I think people are over all that stuff….I am. I can’t tell you the number of blogs I UNFOLLOWED b/c of all the things you spoke about. Anyway….you are hilarious! And that’s enough right there to keep me coming back!! πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes I still love (lurve?) TDC too. She is great and I don’t see her doing all the nonsense that most bloggers are doing these days. She’s refreshing.
      I’ll try to continue to entertain everyone. I love making people laugh!

  74. Welcome back! I always appreciate the fact that you are real and keep it real. Reflection is a good thing and I’m glad you’ve found a good place. Looking forward to seeing more projects and taking some inspiration away!

  75. Allison,

    As everyone else has already said, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve taken a big break from my blog as well as I’ve struggled with the desire to grow my blog but not prostitute myself (for lack of a better description) in the process. I currently have 572 unread blog posts in my reader. I will only read about a dozen of them and then ditch the rest because I’ve become so uninterested in the game. So many bloggers have sold their voice to the highest bidder. I just don’t want to do that.

    Like you, though, I love to share what I’m doing and learning and help teach others along the way. I look forward to seeing more of your posts. I’ve always loved your voice.

    • Suesan, I can so relate. It’s to the point now where I was scroll through my reader, read maybe 5 posts, and then just click “mark all as read”. I just am not interested in so much of the static that goes on. Too many posts just for the sake of posting. Too many ads. So much boring content.
      I look forward to seeing more of your posts too. We need to just band together and keep each other in check. You can do this!

  76. I’m glad to see you enjoying blogging again, Allison. You’re the best. No really, you’re the best. And you have really nice knobs.

    • No, you are the best. Nope. You are. I know you are but what am I? And I’m glad you like my knobs because they are the only knobs you are ever going to get to see or touch ever again. Stay away from other people’s kitchens!

  77. Oh I am just so excited that you’re back! And I hope you know how much it means that you have taken the time to reply to so many comments! I just started a blog after a flood destroyed our home this past spring and one of my goals has been to be real and show the home as it is. Not staged. I haven’t even taken the time to make my blog pretty yet, so why would I stage my house for photos? I just couldn’t figure that out. This should make you feel good: just today I was searching Pinterest for a hall tree and was driven so crazy by the fact that every one I saw was decorated and not actually in use that I closed it altogether. I wanted to see them in real life with coats and a purse and diaper bag on there and shoes piled on it but no. So I will just have to find one that works for us and put some real life photos on my own blog and pin those.
    Happy blogging and welcome back! May you be blessed in 2015 as you bless others by being real and relatable.

    • Ashley, first off, OMG I am so sorry about your flood. That is awful. I’m definitely going to check out your blog and follow along after a disaster like that one. Good luck with everything. I’ve been replying to comments because this used to be my favorite part, but I just got so busy doing so much additional crap that I thought I should be doing that replying to comments fell by the wayside. So glad to be back here in this comments section again. I hope you have a wonderful 2015 too. I keep telling Ben, This is my year! I just know it. (I’m mainly referring to my health and weight loss, but I guess I can squeeze the blog into that as well). I see lots of good things for everyone in 2015. And if I’m naively optimistic, that’s okay too. πŸ˜‰

  78. First off, the kitchen looks FABULOUS, but more importantly, I wanted to welcome you back. I’ve missed you. I kept visiting your blog checking for any news. I SO APPRECIATE you keeping yourself and the blog real. I was initially so excited about blogs and the information shared on them, but as time has passed I am noticing more and more competition between blogs and blogs just getting “braggy!” So, what have I done? Unsubscribed from those blogs because I feel we need to be there to share, support, encourage, etc. one another….not to prove one life or house…or husband is better than another. Okay…I’ll get off my soapbox now, but I did want to tell you I won’t be up in insubscribing from your blog because you, my friend, are continuing to post about topics we care about and can relate to!!
    Again, THANK YOU!!

    • Collette, I appreciate you sticking around. I know the types of blogs you are talking about, and I have mostly forgotten about them because I’ve unsubscribed from them as well. I pretty much have a rule that I will unsubscribe from a blog if they meet any of these criteria: 1) No good content on at least 1 of their last 5 posts, 2) if they are posting more sponsored stuff than meaty stuff, or 3) if they make me feel bad about myself. Anyway, thanks so much for being here and taking the time to read my blog and leave me sweet comments. <3 Take care and have a wonderful 2015!

  79. Allison,
    So glad you are back. I have a bunch of blogs on my Feedly feed and some of them have 40 or 50 posts I haven’t bothered to read, I guess that should tell me something, compared to the blogs that I never get more than 5 posts behind. If I remember right I think your blog was one of the first ones I ever found. I think it might have been the soap pump. I didn’t even know what a blog was 5 years ago and although I have started and stopped reading many I’ve never stopped reading yours. I think of your peeling black doors often.

    • Lyn, oh those doors! I am still in denial over that one. That was probably one of the worst DIY moments I’ve ever had. I got to be on a radio show because of it though, so that was fun! Good thing I can make fun of myself, am I right?! I am the exact same as you with your feedly. I’ll let posts just pile up because they don’t sound interesting, and then I will just mark them all as read. If that happens too many times in a row I will just remove them from my reader. Yup, I did the soap pump. One of my most favorite projects ever. So easy but so chic! I wore mine out. I need to make a new one. I miss it. Anyway, have a warm winter and a blessed 2015.

  80. My favorite blogs are those written with a “real” voice and you have always been one of my favorites. It made me very happy to see this post pop up in my reader! I love that you keep it real. I see your “H” soap pump every so often on Pinterest and I smile. Welcome back!

    • Danielle, thank you! What a compliment. I am just so grateful that people enjoy what I write. I have always liked writing and DIYing so to put them together and then have other people actually follow along has been pretty exciting. I’ll try to keep the realness more this year. My sarcasm ebbs and flows. Sometimes I’m just feeling more serious, while other times the jokes just won’t quit coming. I myself prefer the posts with the humor because I really like making people laugh. I should do stand up comedy. On second thought, no, no I should not. haha

  81. I’m all for a normal this-is-how-we-live blog. I read the other ones who do the magazine layout approach but I feel no kinship there. Love the knobs, and the cabinet-maker’s template is genius!

    • Perfectly said, I feel not kinship there either. They might have pretty pictures but there is no draw to make me feel connected to them or want to follow their story. I love the personal touch!

  82. I’m glad you’re back; I love reading your posts. I definitely think blogging can get crazy and competitive if you let it. I have a blog that is mostly just pictures for family, but I also posts crafts that I do. A couple times, when feeling pressure from pinterest or other blogs to do everything on a specific schedule and to post in a million places and have it take up all my time, I’ve had to take a step back and remind myself what I want out of my blog – a place to connect with faraway family members. I think it’s important to do that – remember *why* you have a blog, and then let all the other stuff just roll off you.

    • Yes! You totally get it. That is exactly where I’m coming from. I get wrapped up in the pressure to do specific things on a strict schedule and then I just lose my friggin’ mind over it. I do not like feeling totally stressed out with a million things on my plate, and that is what the blog was doing to me. I am definitely not Type A or anything so sticking to such a rigid editorial calendar and trying to be all business like made me totally cray cray. I am trying to do like you have done – to remind myself why I blog, and keep that as my main focus. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and hang out with me. xo

  83. Welcome back, Allison!!

    I enjoy reading your blog and following along especially in this new house. You were one of the first 10 blogs I found and have been following since then.

    I agree… the struggle is real. So hard to find a balance in between earning income to pay for all the hours we put in as bloggers and remaining a “real” person. I hope to show some more “real life” posts this year too.

    • Christina! Hey love, how are you?!! I am so glad you stopped by. <3 I think people really want to read blogs that validate them and make them feel like they are doing a good job. By showing our real sides, messy houses and all, it helps them to feel more normal and like they are not a failure, they are just normal. Not many people live perfect lives, so when you read perfect about perfect lives it just makes you feel inadequate and you walk away feeling like you are a failure as a person, a wife, a mother, a sister, etc. I hate that anyone would ever feel like that! I have always tried to just be normal because I want people to walk away from my blog feeling good about themselves. "See! I'm normal! Allison ruined 20 doors in her house with the wrong paint! I've never done something that terrible!! And then she fixed it and showed me how too, so next time I mess up something in my home, I know I can fix it, and I know I'm normal because an actual DIY blogger messed up even worse than me!" Of course, you don't want to go overboard by looking like a total slob kabob and just making everyone feel disgusted and sorry for you. No filthy, call CPS, quality photos please!
      Anyway, love ya and look forward to continuing along on your journey this year!

  84. what a breath of fresh air!!!! I am so excited for an authentic blogger again!!!

  85. Love this post Allison! Totally concur with all of it. We moved last year and I got out of the blogging groove and it was SO nice not to have to worry about taking pictures of my house or coming up with a project to have something to post. So great to hear from you. LOVE the new kitchen!

    • Brook, I have missed your blog and you! Are you ever going to start up again? You are so good at all the build projects you did. It is nice to every once in a while do a project and not even think about a camera, that is for sure!

  86. So happy you’re back!!! I love reading your blog and poo poo on all that other stuff! πŸ™‚
    Glad to have you back neighbor! (well we both live in Texas anyway) lol

  87. I am *SO* with you on this! I miss the “good ol’ days” when people shared information because they enjoyed sharing it, helping others, learning from others… Now everyone wants to *sell* their information to everyone. It used to be enjoyable to open emails because I felt like the people who wrote the blogs that I loved were almost my friends. Then all of a sudden everyone was selling a book. Now everyone is having a webinar. Number 1, I don’t want to have to upgrade my old computer and pay extra on my ISP account just to keep watching videos and webinars. So I’ve just started unsubscribing from blogs. You are so right – everyone has one. It’s just too many emails. It isn’t even fun to open email for all those reasons, but also because there are too many emails to plow through. If you’re going to do this for fun, I’m here with you.

  88. I stalk your blog and am glad to see you back!!! I rarely comment on blogs but I wanted to let you know that the hard work you put into this blog is not in vain!! Thanks for sharing all your amazing ideas!!

  89. Love your blog – thanks for all of your hard work!!

  90. This is exactly why I love your blog so much. You are so real and visiting your blog and your home in photos is like visiting my family and friends homes. Not perfectly staged, the latest trend, everything constantly Pinterest perfect. (not that your home isn’t beautiful) I am so glad you are going to continue to share and am happy to hear you are not going to stress anymore about all the stats and such and just do what you do for heart and enjoyment

  91. It’s such a relief to have you back. I mean it.

  92. I’m so glad you are back. The reason I like reading your blog is because you are so down to earth and real. Good for you being true to yourself.

    Love the new knobs. I too had a terrible time finding knobs for my cabinets. Most of them are so expensive. I can’t remember where I finally got them. I installed them myself and it honestly wasn’t hard. I got a plastic template & drill bit kit at Target. Apparently all knob screws are the same size so they include the bit. Good thing because I wouldn’t have know what size to use otherwise.

  93. Yay you are back! Thanks for keeping it real! That’s what keeps me coming back!

  94. I agree with everything you said about the ultra competitive world of blogging and self promotion. I, too, am so tired of every blog post being an ad for some company (I am especially tired of every single blog running the exact same promotion on the same day with the exact same wording…Cricut I’m talking to you!). Most of the blogs I read make me feel pretty insecure but your blog makes me feel like I could actually complete one of your DIY projects! Glad you are back!!!

  95. I’m so happy you’re back! I would check each week to see if you had posted anything new πŸ™‚ I love all of your posts and I personally don’t want to see magazine perfect, I want to see REAL! Looking forward to more new posts!

  96. Hi, Allison! SO glad you are back! I am so sorry you have been feeling so much pressure. That is no fun and no way to live. I have truly missed you. It seemed like you happened to disappear shortly after YHL’s exit, adding to the pain πŸ™‚ Did that affect you too? Either way, I am over sponsored posts, and appreciate your voice! Really looking forward to hearing from you more. Welcome back!

  97. Sheri Hepworth says:

    One thing to say: it’s about time.

    Okay, two things: welcome back to blogging. I missed you.

  98. Welcome back! We missed you. I appreciate your openness and honesty in ALL your posts. It reminds me that I am not on Earth to be perfect.

  99. I’m glad you’re back blogging and am looking forward t whatever projects you have been working on. I really respect that you are jumping OFF the bandwagon and just doing what makes you happy instead of trying to keep up with all the other “perfect” bloggers out there. I love all the inspiration we get from them but I don’t know how they do it and suspect many are leading very stressful lives trying to keep up. It’s good to hear a blogger taking a sensible stance. I have followed blogs for about 3 years now and yours was one of the first ones I followed. I have added many to my reading list since then and have noticed a shift to more sponsored posts and more of an emphasis on perfect pictures than on good DIY instructions. Obviously everybody has to make a living and I don’t mind a few sponsored posts in exchange for getting great decorating and how-to information, so the fact that you dropped all but one of your sponsors so you would be free to write what you want on your blog is refreshing. I was originally drawn to your blog by your projects and your down to earth personality, so I am looking forward to whatever you choose to blog about in the future. I too took a long time to decide on my kitchen cabinet hardware when I changed it last year. Took me a couple of weeks to decide. I bought about 20 different handles from the big box stores and held them up to my cabinets repeatedly for 2 weeks until I narrowed it down to the winner, then returned the other 19 handles. I have a hard time making decisions, so I’m glad I took that time because I am still extremely happy with my choice. You are not alone! I currently have oak cabinets, would love to paint them white as I have wanted a white kitchen since before they became popular, but my husband likes the oak. Even though I’m not a fan of wood colour cabinets, I absolutely love the colour of yours. Such a rich wood colour, and I love the light granite counters that you paired with the cabinets.

  100. Welcome back. I can understand what you’re feeling. I’ve been blogging for about five years and don’t necessarily feel like I belong. I too have thought about quitting but decided to keep it up. I’ve never monetized my blog or no longer accept promotional pieces because that’s not what I want for my readers. While I am wanting to grow my number of readers, I don’t stress about it because it’s just for my own satisfaction. I hope you rediscover your joy and keep sharing your ideas.

  101. Thank goodness you’re back! I read you precisely because you aren’t those other bloggers! You’re REAL, honest, adorable and true to you and I love you for it.

    Seriously, I’ve been reading you for a few years and I just think this blog is awesome. Keep it up!

  102. Jen Williams says:

    THANK YOU! I don’t have a magazine home so when I go online to look for ideas and I only find magazine type stuff I feel defeated, like I can’t do that in my home. It is so refreshing to see real life stuff that actually translates to what I live in. That is why I love your post and love the idea of you just being you and showing us the real house. We all live in real houses so let’s be real about how to make them better.

  103. Love this post! I’m so far behind on my blog reading, probably for the reasons you are less comfortable with blogland lately. It’s not as fun as it used to be. I’m so glad you’re keeping it real, and I will be reading and loving it!

    I have similar knobs in my kitchen, and I’m happy every day with them. Pretty, smooth, simple, easy-clean, just right.

  104. Jen in Jersey (and Texas and Germany) says:

    So very, very glad to “see” you back! I read your blog because I want to see a normal person making doable changes to an inprocess home. I hate the phoniness that the blog-o-sphere seems to have promoted and am annoyed by all the blinky distracted ads that clutter up otherwise interesting pages! So I am relieved to see a return to basics and what drew us in the first place – you!

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