10 Years of Blogging

I never imagined that I’d be blogging for 10 years. But then again, I had no idea where it was headed when I started this blog back then early in 2007.  None of us did.  It’s been the most amazing journey I could ever have dreamed and I’m still so very grateful for the path that brought me here.  I’ve been thinking back on the last 10 years looking at my life in the rear view mirror.  It’s good to do that sometimes.  We can see things so much more clearly doing that, I think.  Life has much more clarity to me now that it did 10 years ago as far as what’s important, where I want to go in life and how I want to live my life.  Going through some trials will do that to you and with age, comes more wisdom.

So, today I want to share what I’ve learned about life and blogging in these last 10 years.  Since these 10 years have involved blogging and my life, it’s all intertwined and I can’t really talk about one without the other.  If you are really a glutton for reading and want to know my whole 10 year blogging journey, go here to get started. I’ve written posts starting with year one up til now to document my blogging life in detail.  Scroll back one page to start at the beginning.

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I was living in Birmingham when I started this blog and many  people then didn’t really know that my roots are in Georgia, so when 4 years into blogging, the life that started this blog fell apart in a pretty devastating divorce, I went back home to the safety and comfort of my family.  That was when my blog was completely jumpstarted (2011) and I was in a position to move forward and grow my blog into the business it is today. I had nothing to lose by trying it at that point and it just happened to be the right timing in blog world when things were really taking off with ad networks and working with brands.  It was the perfect time to blog as a business with the opportunity to make money.  We grew into becoming influencers by sharing our lives online and those two things went hand in hand with bloggers.

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Blogging sure has changed in 10 years time.

It looks nothing like it did when we all started back then.  It truly is like dog years.  Every year of blogging is like 7 years and the changes plus knowledge gained over that length of time is tremendous and mind-boggling.  I had no idea what I didn’t know back then and thank goodness for on the job training.  My brain couldn’t have handled all the things that are out there now regarding how to start a blog, how to sustain a blog and grow a blog into a business.  Those that are starting a blog now have much more to contemplate on how to blog the right way.  All bloggers are on their own path and there really isn’t a handbook that shows you just how to do it, although there are plenty of courses out there now.  I blog my way and everyone else who blogs has to figure out their own journey.

Now, you have to know SO much more it seems just to launch a blog and try to do it the “right” way and the “brand” way.  Everyone is into branding themselves right off the bat.  We knew nothing about branding back then, but let our brands evolve with time and I guess that was a pretty good thing for me. We were just being ourselves, having fun, and sharing online.  Little did we know where that would lead all these years later.  We were blazing the trail to where blogging is today, but we really had no earthly idea where it would lead.

Some days I feel like a complete dinosaur in blogging and that things are changing at such a rapid pace that I can’t possibly keep up.  But, I still love blogging for the pure sharing and creativity that it brings and I so enjoy the audience I have cultivated here, so I continue to blog. I just have to do it my own way.

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Bloggers are Writers, Editors, Photographers, Social Media experts.

Those are the many hats that a blogger wears these days.  Gone are the blissful days of just blogging for fun and doing what we want to do, although I’m sure there are many bloggers out there that still just do it for fun.  But now, there are millions of new blogs out there and many are trying to make it a business.  I still run my blog pretty much the way I always have and ignore the rules, but the rules are out there for sure.  There are so many “experts” these days on all things blogging and I take it all with a grain of salt.  There are countless ebooks and courses on how to blog and how to set up a blog and maintain a blog technically.

There are courses and books for every topic you can imagine with blogging, from How to start a Blog, to learning SEO, to affiliate marketing, email marketing.  You name it about blogging and someone has written about it. You can literally learn it all from a course or book, but everyone has different opinions on how to do it the right way.  So much to know and learn when you are a blogger!  Not to mention it constantly changes.  What was learned 5 years ago is not at all current now.  It changes every single year in how things are done or what is a best practice in blogging.  Everyone has to figure out their own path in blogging and I’ve found mine just by doing it.  I follow the beat of my own drum and like it that way.  Even thought there are necessary things to do in blogging to grow and maintain a blog, I am still very old school in the way I approach my blog. Might not be the best way to do it or the professional way to do it, but it’s what works for me and what I’m comfortable with. With every new thing that comes along, there is a learning curve on implementing those things for a blog. I love to learn, but sometimes it’s a challenge to get my brain in gear on the technical side of things, so I do what I can and hire an expert when I need one. I don’t try to learn it all.

I’m getting older and at 60, I don’t get too hung up on doing it all the right way in social media.  I do what I want to do and leave the rest. Early on, social media barely even existed.  Now it’s a hamster wheel of “doing” and “performing” that you can’t get off of if you’re a blogger.  More on that in a minute.  Back when I first started we all had so much to learn about photography and writing.  I still am not an expert on any of that.  I write the way I talk, conversationally and you all still seem to like that I just talk to you like friends.  That’s what has worked for me, so I’m not about to change it 10 years in.  I’m still not an expert with my camera either, but I do the best I can with what I’ve got.  Gone are the days of putting out crappy pictures and getting noticed out there.  Everyone has to be a stylist and photographer and learn how to take decent pics.  The competition is fierce to be noticed and recognized and someone is always going to do it better.  The talent in blogging is never ending, always growing, and truly amazing!  At times, I fear I will be left behind, but I just have to keep plugging along and doing this thing my own way.  Blogs have practically taken the place of magazines, so there is a lot of competition to get loyal readers and keep people coming back to your blog day after day.  The conversations in blogland are ongoing in regards to getting readers and keeping pageviews up.  How do you keep a blog popular and always fresh?  It’s not an easy task, that’s for sure!  Blogs are getting to be more and more professional.  Shiny publications with perfectly staged rooms and pictures.  Big sigh…at times it’s totally exhausting to keep up with.

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It’s Easy to Feel Insignificant in Blogging.

Yep, that is one I have struggled with along the way.  I’m a fairly confident woman, but blogging definitely will humble you and make you feel less than if you let it.  I think all bloggers struggle with this to some degree.  As I mentioned above, there are always going to be a whole slew of bloggers who do it ALL way better than I could ever dream of, from decorating a beautiful house, to photography, writing, styling, perfecting a beautiful blog, all of that.  And if you let it, it can get to you and make you feel insignificant.  Not to mention that most bloggers out there in my niche are WAY younger than I am.  If I look around the blogosphere at the young and beautiful, it can be very depressing.  I wish I could say that I rise above those feelings all the time, but they are real and I just have to keep pushing them away and know that I have my own talents to share and that you all come here for a reason. Y’all like that I’m an older blogger because most of you are too! I have an audience of my peers and I’m grateful for all of you who come by here day after day and spend time with me.

I know that I can represent the Baby Boomer generation well, since I’m quite a bit older than the average blogger out there.  My age was earned, every year of it with wisdom and growth, so for that I’m grateful.  I’m wiser now than I was 10 years ago.  I’m more comfortable in my own skin and hopefully that shows too.  There will always be feelings of competition in blogging to some extent, but I still treasure the community as a whole and know that we are all better because of each other’s success.  I’m very honored to have been one of the pioneers in this niche group and that makes me very proud as well, to be one of the bloggers to blaze the trail for all the bloggers who have come after us.  We had no guidebook to follow back then.  Now there are countless guidebooks out there that anyone can buy and study on how to blog.  I’ve never done any of the “how to blog better” courses and can’t see me doing that now. Doing it my way has worked for me and I’m going to continue on my own path. I’ve always tried to be a blogger who helps other bloggers along the way and I think that has been to my benefit.  People appreciate an approachable person on a blog.

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Social Media will take over your life if you let it.

This is one of my pet peeves and has been for awhile.  As noted above, I do march to my own drum though and don’t do everything I’m “supposed” to do to get ahead and grow my blog.  I don’t hire Virtual Assistants, although maybe I should.  I still want to be in control of my content and my blog and want my voice to be there all along the way, so I don’t use contributors on my blog either.  I figure you all come by here to hear from ME and not a stand in, so I just keep it real with me being the writer. So many of my friends have assistants and it’s great for them, it’s just not what I want at this time of life.  I don’t strive for my blog to grow so big I have to hire contributors and VA’s and pay others to do it for me.  That’s completely the norm in blogging now and I get it, it’s just not for me.  I know many bloggers hire photographers to take pictures for them, but I do all of that myself too.

So I continue to do my own thing and run my blog as a one-woman show.  That works for me.  I’ll never conquer social media and all the facets of it, but that’s OK with me. I do what I can and let the rest fall by the wayside.  I don’t want to just be someone who has a phone glued to her face all the time, I want to live life and enjoy it to the fullest and that means not being plugged in 24/7.  It’s bad enough as it is and all of it can take over your life if you let it! Think about it.  Ten years ago Social Media was a small blip in our lives and was just getting started. Now it’s taken over the world!  It can be a really good tool for bloggers, but also a double edge sword and a complete time waster.  Keeping up with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest will completely take the fun out of it if we are not careful.  I get completely worn out when I spend too much time on them. Those are never-ending social media sites that want to be fed continuously and doing that can be so tiring and give you the feeling that it’s never enough.  I feed social media as much as I can, but don’t obsess over it nor do I constantly analyze things that I’m doing.  That’s where I draw the line and back off from the “right” way to do things.  I don’t want to spend my time analyzing and being strategic about everything I do online.  Because the truth is, there is never enough time in the day to do it all!  Blogging means you are never caught up with anything and that is the truth.  It’s a never ending cycle of do, do, and more do!

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People Think Blogging is Easy.

Have you heard that one before?  Oh yeah, that is the perception out there.  Blogging is an easy job!  Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s the best job I’ve ever had that’s for sure.  But it has its up and downs, just like any job you could have as a self-employed person.  It’s scary sometimes with me being the only bread winner, to think that this is my full-time job, but it’s been earning for me for 6 years now, so I’m not about to quit!  I have had some of the most amazing opportunities come my way, have met some incredible friends through blogging, and gotten to do things I would never have dreamed in a million years! It has been the most joy filled job and journey that I could ever imagine, so now I don’t ever want to do anything different, until I retire that is.  And I’m not planning to do that anytime soon.  This job can go with me all the way into my Golden years, so that’s what I see for the future. Of course, none of us who blog know what the future holds, but it doesn’t seem to be going away in spite of those rumors that have been around for years, that blogging is dead.  As long as it’s sustainable and still growing and evolving, I’ll keep on blogging!  It’s been so much fun to share my home, family, and life with all of you and I’m forever grateful that you all somehow find that interesting.  That in itself boggles my mind sometimes!  I’m really an ordinary woman with limited talents (see Insignificant paragraph above!) and to still have an audience out there 10 years later is really humbling and makes me so thankful!

Keeping up with it all is the hard part.  We work with brands and have to make sure we make them happy and fulfill obligations that we’ve agreed to. That’s part of blogging now and most everyone gets that.  But, it is work and it does take a lot of time and effort to churn out content day after day, week after week, year after year.  It’s exhausting sometimes to keep coming up with new ideas to share on the blog.  So far, I haven’t completely run out of ideas and inspiration so I keep plugging along, but it’s not as easy as it may look to those outside of blogging. Anyone who is doing this full-time knows just what I’m talking about!  There are those who plan and strategize their blog goals, who have things detailed and figured out for their blogs.  I’m a blogger who really flies by the seat of her pants and just shares what is going on in my life.  I don’t have a complete “editorial calendar” which is a big buzzword in blogging.  Many bloggers plot out seasons and how they are going to write posts and have things way more structured than I do.  I’m probably missing out by not being more strategic, but it’s nice to just share what I want when I want to. Blogging has always been fun for me and I don’t want to take the fun out of it by making it so much work.

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Haters Gonna Hate

I don’t talk about this side of blogging very much, because it really is not fun to dwell on, but there are haters out there. Not everyone loves my decorating style, I get that. There are so many blog styles out there for anyone to choose to follow and be inspired and I get that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. We can’t please everyone, but there are people who love to criticize bloggers and tear them down. I’ll never understand why people don’t just choose NOT to read a blog if they don’t like it. After all, there are millions of blogs out there now.  I guess they think it’s fun to talk about and make assumptions about someone’s personal life and blog, to speculate and make things up about people they don’t know at all, but no one knows my journey and the path I’ve had to walk but me and my close friends and family.  Criticism is going to happen if you put yourself out there and the world wide web is a big one.  After 10 years of blogging, I know this comes with the territory and my skin is thicker than ever.  The trolls are real and mean-spirited, but the way I look at it is this.  Haters are such a small percentage of people out there (thank goodness!) and the positive, uplifting, supportive readers like all of you and people who take the time to get to know me far outweigh any nasty and mean comments.  They don’t affect my personal life at all and I refuse to lose my joy over haters!  Thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that on my blog. I always use the delete button in those cases!

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Blogging and Money

This is a long and rambling topic, so hang on……

This is a topic that has been brewing on my heart for awhile and I figured this was as good a time and place to talk about it as any.  Back when I started blogging, no one was making money or at least no one I knew was making money.  I joined an ad network after blogging for a year and made part time income those first 4 years, but it was very minimal.  Now money seems to be the #1 motivator in blogging and it’s grown voraciously over the last 2 to 3 years.  I don’t want to come across as negative and judgmental, it’s just something I’ve been observing for awhile now.  Each year this seems to be getting more pervasive in the blog world.  Consumerism is taking over and I fear that it’s making people do whatever they have to do to make more money.   That seems to be the climate of blogging now.  I work with brands and sponsors and have been doing that for years on my blog. That’s part of blogging and making it a business.   Most of my readers are very supportive of that concept and I appreciate it very much.  I have to decide who I work with and who I turn down and that’s something that I’ve taken seriously over the years.  I don’t take everything that comes along just to make a buck.  Believe me, I turn down plenty of things that I don’t feel would be a good fit for me and my blog.  I really try to protect my reputation and what I’m comfortable sharing with all of you.  Sure, we all want to make money, that’s a big part of this blog thing.  But I fear that consumerism and selling stuff has permeated blogworld to a large extent and now making money trumps everything.

It hasn’t always been this way, but it’s something that I’ve seen slowly creep into blogging and every year it seems to grow.  There are so many bloggers out there now trying to make this a business and I totally get that.  Everyone works hard for their money.  I’m right there with them.  I think it’s a wonderful thing that so many women (and men) now get to stay home and run their home businesses.  It’s been a God-send for me and the biggest blessing.  But, I just want to make sure I continue to blog authentically and not get caught up in the “more is more” mentality.  There are all different ways to make money online and selling things seems to be taking over in a big way.  I know that is the nature of this online world and it’s just getting to be more saturated with selling.  I’m part of it too to a much lesser extent and I share affiliate links when I can in my fashion posts especially and sharing products I use and things I love is part of that.  I’ve bought my share of products that other bloggers were promoting, so I totally get it. Really, I do!

It’s not that I think selling and sharing products is necessarily a bad thing, for me it’s a matter of being authentic.  I don’t want you, my readers, to feel like I’m always hawking products and links at you to buy, buy, buy. You are all savvy women and can buy what you want as often as you want. You don’t need me to tell you what all to buy (or anyone else telling you for that matter…you’re all smart women!).  I do share clothing and shoes that I buy and link them for you when I can, because many of you enjoy that, but it’s not excessive. If I depended on making a living off what I sell, I’d have to close my blog doors.  I do think the younger generation is used to this online world and that they come to expect that people are going to sell them something and they are probably fine with that. Maybe it doesn’t bother other people, but somehow I think it may.  Maybe it’s my age and the fact that I’m slowing down with buying more, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t always sit well with me.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this, what do readers really think about the direction of blogging and all the selling going on? 

Being online and looking at all the gorgeous homes and clothes that are out there can really create a feeling of trying to keep up and measure up to what’s beautiful and trendy.  Even 10 years ago, it wasn’t at all in your face like it is now.  That’s changed dramatically. It’s so easy to feel like our homes don’t measure up or even our closet doesn’t measure up to the picture perfect world we see on Pinterest and Instagram.  I know mine doesn’t measure up to a lot of what I see out there online. I see so many gorgeous homes every single day that I’ll never have.  Kitchen envy and luxury kitchens have become the status symbol of blogland. Let me remind us all that Pinterest and Instagram is not real life. It’s a facet of real life, but not at all a true picture of how most people really live.  Everyone has a budget to work with and seeing what everyone else is doing or what they have can create feelings of discontentment.  That’s no way to live and I want balance in my life.

The older I get the more I want to live a true and authentic life.  I’m sure some may be thinking who am I to say anything, because I have chosen to pursue this as a business and I do have ads and work with sponsors and even share affiliate links along the way.  But, we all have to take a look at what’s important in life and for me, it’s more about contentment.  It’s my family and friends that matter the most to me, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and friends.  I don’t want to look back and regret how I’ve used my influence on this blog. Really and truly, my goal is to be real.

Yes, I make money and need to make money, but I try my best to stay true to myself in how I use this blog. I don’t ever want it to be about only chasing the money.  I know others out there have similar feelings because I’ve read some other blogs who are talking about the same thing, so I know I’m not alone in my feelings.  Life is so short and I know as I’ve gotten older, I look at things differently, so that’s why I’m thinking about these things.  And I know if I’ve thought about it, many of you have as well.  My intention is not to judge or point fingers at anyone, it’s to spark thoughtful conversations.  Sometimes I just have to back away from all the constant in your face selling on social media and just get away from it all.  I don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram or Pinterest for that very reason.  It’s just too much at times. Overload on the pretty perfectly staged pics and the “buy this new thing“.  All I’m saying is let’s be wise in all we do in this blogworld.  Everyone has to set their own boundaries and figure things out in their own business and moderation in selling things is what I’ve determined for mine. Maybe not the best business decision I’ve made, but it’s what I’ve decided is best for me at this stage of life. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean I need to do it too.

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This post was a thought provoking way for me to look back at my 10 years of blogging and comment on all the ways I’ve seen it change and evolve.  Some really good and some not so good.  It can feel like a rat race and difficult to maneuver and at times it can feel very competitive.  It made me stop and think about how this journey has been and where it might be going.  I hope this post was enjoyable to you and I certainly don’t want to come off as a know it all or like I have it all together.  I certainly do not. I just have to look back at 10 years and see where I’ve been to look ahead and figure out where I’m going.  I still love what I do and that I am blessed to do this as a job.  So so grateful for that, it’s truly been the best thing that’s happened to me job wise, being able to make a living with my blog.  I just want to do it well, with authenticity, integrity, and good will.  I wish every single blogger out there success and happiness in their own blog experience and I will continue my own journey with lots of pondering on how I can do it better with emphasis on always trying to stay true to myself.

This past year has been another wonderful year of blogging.  I went on several trips, but this post is getting so long that I’m not going to break it down like I did last year.  We had a new baby in the family last year, as little Iris joined our family.  Those are the things in life that make me the most happy and fulfilled.  I announced on my post last year that I had a new boyfriend and I’m happy to say we are doing great, looking forward to what this year brings.  My parents are still doing pretty well for their age, but I know that the future could change that at any time and I want to be there for them in whatever they may need. Working at home gives me so much more freedom than ever to be available for them.

I’m so very grateful and blessed for this life that the Lord has given me.  I still give him 100% of the glory for where I am in life now.  I’m forever thankful for His grace and mercy in my life and this blog is a gift to me that I don’t take for granted!

Thank you for being with me for as long as you have, it truly means the world to me. You come by here faithfully and encourage me along the way. Can I say it’s just crazy that many of you have been with me for the whole 10 years?! Thank you from the bottom of my Southern heart! 

One day, I may fade out into the bloggy sunset and I hope that I’m remembered fondly as one who just wanted to make a positive difference in this online world.

{all photos from Pixabay}


- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Let me first say I love your blog. It’s great to know there’s something I can read and enjoy that is entertaining, educational and never has anything offensive. You’re so sweet and clearly love your family and friends. After I started reading it I wished you lived on my street so I could ask if we could be friends.
    I just started reading blogs last year, by happenstance. I searched for something on the internet which led to a blog. That blog has a list of “blog friends to visit”. You were on that list as were some other lovely ladies that I continue to follow.
    For a long time I didn’t know bloggers could make money blogging. Good for you if you can. I never feel that you’re pushing clothing or whatever the item may be and they are always reasonably priced. (There are some blogs that are basically ads – very little or no text, mostly pictures of very expensive clothing and items I’ll never afford that one must have to be anyone.)
    It’s selfish of me to say, but I hope you continue your blog for a long time. And I hope you always find doing it enjoyable. God bless you and your loved ones.

    • HI, Patty, thank you so much! I don’t plan to go anywhere and will continue as long as I can. It’s been such a blessing to me and all of you out there are a blessing as well.

  2. Hi, I think I’ve been following you since sometime before your divorce, although I can’t remember much about Birmingham. I love your easy, friendly style and I wouldn’t have liked it if you had followed all the rules and had lots of assistants although I can understand why some people need them! I just really appreciate you sharing your life, so thanks! Thanking God with you.

  3. Brenda Swindall says:

    Thank you Rhoda, you are genuine and authentic. I believe I started following you about 3 years ago. Fell in love with your decorating and fashion style. Being a 65 year old female I felt connected.
    Thank you for being true to yourself and your followers. Your not being all about the dollar is wonderful. We can trust you to tell us the truth.
    When I found out that you and your parents were friends of my late Aunt Artie McDaniel and cousin Frances Whitten. This made me feel even more like your a friend I could go shopping and to lunch with.
    Keep up the good work.
    Happy 10th Anniversary 💕🎈🎈🎈🎈💕🙏

    • Brenda, thank you! I just love that we have a connection through your sweet relatives, Artie and Frances. I have such fond memories of my growing up years with those fine ladies. Big hugs!

  4. I love your blog and have been following for several years. Keep doing what you’re doing. I am 60+ and your blog is more relatable. God Bless!

  5. Rhoda, I am one that goes back to when you were in Birmingham and had the great pleasure of meeting you after you returned home to Georgia. Gosh that was so long ago! I have always appreciated your open candor and authenticity. I have always said to each his own. The blogs that are becoming nothing but affiliate links are not for me personally. I have stopped following most. I liken them to ads in magazines. I unsubscribed to most because the ads outweighed the content. I think some have become greedy, and have lost their focus. It’s a shame. I enjoy the occasional link to an outfit or product someone enjoys or loves, but not the ones just selling to make money. I was appalled that so many link to products they only try on in dressing rooms and/or take pics in for link purposes and then return. As someone who worked in retail, I find that very distasteful. Keep doing what you are doing. Be You!! Blessings.

    • Hey, Lauren, I do remember that lunch we met at and really, we should all do it again. That’s been almost 6 years ago now and how things have changed for me. I appreciate your friendship and your support along the way, you are a down to earth lady and I appreciate your straight forward approach to blogging too. Thank you!

  6. Congratulations Rhoda on your 10 year blogging anniversary!!! Please do not change a thing on your blog!! I love the variety you share and look forward to fashion and family along with decorating. I love how genuine you are about yourself, your life and your blog. I am so happy that you can support your self and love what your doing every day, that in itself is a gift from God. It is very easy to see which blogs are all about perfectionism with homes and lives, and I have had to stay away from them in order not to compared my life with others. I wish we could be real life friends!!!

    • Thank you, Julie, there’s something out there for everyone and I appreciate all of you who like what I do. I can’t keep up with the Joneses so I do what I can do.

  7. Congrats on 10 years!

  8. Mica Craig says:

    Congratulations! 10 years and still going strong is a mighty achievement. I started following your blog about a year ago. I can’t remember how I found it, but it would be safe to say that it was a link somewhere. I was very intrigued that you were close to my age. I love, love your variety. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t follow if all that you blogged about was decorating. You have great, affordable decorating styles.
    I do love when you blog about your family, your new man and your travels. It is a great variety. I also love that you will reply to comments. Of course, not all the time, but I do see your comments. I feel like a lot of bloggers really don’t care or they seem to be in that unreachable bubble. I was raised by a single mom and have seen how hard it is to be the sole provider. You have overcome great challenges and you should be proud of yourself. I noticed that you will be teaching a class at the “Pinterest Pin” (something like that) conference in April. To me, that is a big accomplishment in itself to be asked to do something like that! Keep blogging, we love to hear from you.

    • HI, Mica, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I have no idea how many new readers I have, but I love it when y’all chime in. These personal posts seem to invite comments and it always makes my day when I get to read what you all have to say. I am speaking at the Pinners conference in April, so I think it will be a fun thing to do. I’ll be sharing on thrifty decorating.

      • I’m a long time reader and can’t say enough about your blog. I’ve really whittled those I read down to a minimum and your has made the cut! Your posts really are like talking to a friend; I just wish we could me some time in person. Bless you and your family.

  9. sarah brodsky says:

    Rhoda: Congratulations on your 10 years in the blogging world. I appreciate your genuine take on the various things that are going on around all of us every day. I especially enjoy your sweet family and your eye to decorating details. Your flea market, garage sale, antique store finds are fun to read about. Keep on being yourself and we will support you. Oh, and by the way I am 72 years old. tee hee

  10. Congratulations and way to go, Rhoda! I’ve been reading Southern Hospitality almost since the beginning. I remember when you had that part time job way back when in Birmingham before blogging became something that a girl could make a little money at. I remember your divorce and the way you picked yourself up and made a great new life. I’ve loved watching you decorate so beautifully with thrifty finds and with good hard work. You’ve been a leader and friend to many. I’m so glad you’ve been blessed through your blog and looking forward to more. I seriously appreciate that you’ve always had a level head about life and homemaking. We don’t all need to run out and get the latest and newest thing and you have not been pushy in that way. Keep doing just what you do and I’ll be reading faithfully. 🙂

    • Stacey, you sweet dear friend, you are always so encouraging and I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know you a bit better this last year and I can’t wait to see your new house and follow along on your new journey. It’s been so fun to have my over 50 blogging buddies around me, because we all get each other.

  11. Great post, Rhoda and you know I feel the same way. Congrats on 10 years!! I started reading your blog a couple of years before I ever started mine.

    • Kim, thank you, I read your post and know we have the same feelings on the direction that blogging may be going. I do think being older changes the perspective on some of these things.

  12. Happy 10 years! I’ve been following you since right before the move back to Georgia, and you’re one of only two blogs that I follow regularly. I’ve never commented before, but thought it was time. What I love about you is the realness. You’ve been through some tough things and have not allowed that to make you bitter, but instead you’re honest and hopeful. It’s one thing when someone who is 25 and lives in a huge gorgeous home with her Pinterest-perfect family, and whose worst emotional pain was a runaway pet tells you how faithful God is, but when you’ve been hurt and deceived by someone you loved and shared your life with, and then display your beautiful fixer-upper that you never dreamed you’d have and your “Enough” and say how faithful God is – that has an impact. Keep doing what you are doing, and we’ll keep coming back for the great content, but even more, the authenticity.

    • Thank you, Qusie, for commenting the first time. And what a sweet comment, I so appreciate your words. I really am so thankful for the Lord’s blessings on my life and I have to give him the glory for where I am now. I’ve got a good God story and I’m thrilled to share it.

  13. The first time that I discovered your blog was when I was searching a diy tutorial for something (can’t remember what) but it was about 9 years ago. I just fell in love with your style of writing. My heart broke for you when you had such hard and dark days during your divorce and moving. I prayed for you just like I would if you were a dear friend or neighbor. That’s it in a nutshell, your blog is like a neighbor that opens her door and says come on in and let’s chat!

    • HI, Lenora, that is SO sweet! You all were so supportive and encouraging during those darkest days. Whenever I want a boost, I go back to those posts and read the sweet comments that so many of my wonderful readers left for me. It really got me through and I so appreciate those prayers. They really really worked, God has been SO faithful to me.

  14. Happy anniversary! I, too, have been following you for several years. I think I started reading your blog about the same time you moved back to Georgia. I did go back and read the blog and enjoy your beautiful home in Birmingham. My heart ached as you shared selling many of your items, loading up rental trucks, and closing a difficult part of your life. I am just a couple of years older than you and have enjoyed your vision in making a “fixer upper” a home. I think the fact that you write with true honesty about life’s ups and downs is the reason your blog has been and continues to be successful. Thank you for allowing us to share your friendship via the blog world!

  15. Rhoda,I’ve followed you from Birmingham to Atlanta. Your blog is the first I read everyday. Please don’t change your blog,you keep it real. You genuinely care about your readers and it shows in your posts. In my opinion, your readers feel like family. I have purchased from a blog one time,very disappointed.

  16. Tammie Kimball says:

    “My age was earned, every year of it with wisdom and growth, so for that I’m grateful.” What an awesome statement! I read your blog every day, starting around your last days in B’ham. Can’t believe it’s been that many years! Thanks for sharing your family!

  17. Don’t change a thing. You are authentic and you have fresh content. I like you a lot!

  18. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging!!! I have such respect for the way you have conducted yourself as a blogger over the years (and I think I’ve been following you since the beginning). As a blogger I know the struggles you mentioned, and I think you’ve struck such a great balance with your space. God’s hand was in your blogging career from the start – I love seeing how He has blessed your life through it! Thank you for being such a sweet, hard working, kind example for all of us – and for sharing your family with us too! 🙂

  19. Congratulations on your ten year blogging anniversary!🎈🎉🎈I discovered your blog this year, and enjoy it very much. I like the variety in your blog, but what is important to me as well, is your faith that you willingly share. I am your age, and believe as you do that some of the social media can run our lives. People find it strange that I am not on Facebook, but it was stressful to me, and lasted about 3 days before I deleted my account! Guess it’s old fashioned, but I still love magazines rather than email subscriptions! Keep doing what you are doing, it’s obviously working! The Lord has seen you through the hard times, and blessed you, and my wish for you is that you will be richly blessed for another 10 years of blogging! Love your Southern heart!❤
    Blessings!
    Julie S.

  20. Your blog was one of the very first blogs I started following. And I still enjoy reading it. I enjoy that you are genuine and share your life with your readers. And you have shared the not so pretty side of what you have gone through. Your love of God, and family is evident in your blogging. Thank you for keeping it real and also enjoyable!

    Your post about your reclaimed wood mantle inspired us to do something similar. I was able to show my husband your post and he did a great job putting in our mantle! And your fashion over 50 is a favorite of mine! May God bless you with many more blogging years!

  21. Andi Irish says:

    Congratulations on achieving your 10th anniversary! I have followed your blog since Birmingham. Your authenticity is one of the reasons I follow your blog every day. Recently there are numerous blogs that contain so many ads, etc. that the page takes forever to load. I have stopped viewing those blogs. Please don’t let anything or anyone persuade you to be other than yourself! 🙂

  22. Congratulations on ten years of blogging! I started reading your blog shortly before you bought your house. When I saw it, I thought, what is she going to do with that homely looking house. Well, you remade it, just as you remade your life. The most dramatic exterior change was the addition of the windows. Keep on being yourself, you are wonderful just the way you are.

    • Thank you, Kathy, I think a lot of folks were shaking their head at my fixer upper house, wondering the same thing you did. I’m happy to say it turned out just as I imagined it would and getting house again was a dream come true, so I really didn’t care that it was ugly. I knew that I could make it pretty with time.

  23. Rhoda,
    I have been reading your blog since the Birmingham days! The way you have persevered through adversity has been a real inspiration. I love your blog and it is one of the few I can read these days. I found myself getting really down about my own life after seeing all of the picture perfect homes, clothes, children etc. that are posted on so many other blogs. You seem like a REAL friend!!
    Thank you and please keep up the great work.

  24. Congratulations Rhoda on ten beautiful blogging years!! Yours was the second blog I started reading. My daughter taught me how to find the blogs she thought I would enjoy and I was hooked! I do not have a blog myself…I just love reading and seeing all the beauty in everyone’s homes! I love IG also, but I still would rather see more photos and read more content with a blog then you see on one IG photo. I try to ignore ads…I know everyone needs and deserves to earn money through their hard work, I just don’t find many that I am truly interested in. The used to aggravate me…but now not so much. I hope you continue showing your home, your fashion, and of course your family! I just love the posts with your father and mother…they are darlings!! You are so blessed you have them near. Thank you Rhoda, you have given us a gift….

  25. Rhoda, congratulations on ten years – wow! I have been reading since the beginning and like one of the other comments, your blog is one of the few I read because of the sincerity with which you write. The ads don’t bother me, if that is what it takes to keep it coming, so be it! I hope you and your family are blessed in many ways, you deserve it – God Bless 🙂

  26. Happy Anniversary! I have been reading your blog since almost the beginning. I love your style, your authenticity, and your family. I’m happy for your success and hope you keep on blogging, as an older woman I appreciate everything you are doing.

  27. Hi, thanks for sharing ur 10 yrs with me, all of us. It’s a timely post for me. I’m older than you and I’ve been thinking about blogging. My husband and I have a child and her family living with us due to chronic illness. We could use the extra$$$ so that is why I’m thinking of blogging. But also, I’ve enjoy the sharing, caring, inspiration and sometimes pure escape into blogland. Lol. I’m recovering from a major surgery. I thought 6 wks and I’ll be my old self. Not so. Apparently, it will be several months to a yr maybe even longer. So I may as well blog. And I’ve been reading a lot about it. I liked reading ur post cuz U spoke from the heart about it all. Thanks again for ur post.

  28. I started blogging in 2006 and quit in 2014 when I started a new life with a new husband. Blogs now amaze me with the constant ads and pop-ups. Just writing this comment, my computer had to restart the page; and I think it’s because of the animation with the Clorox ad. I totally get that bloggers see the opportunity to earn money for their time and efforts, and I’m not complaining toward you. Frankly, I would rather read a blog than a paper magazine. Either way, there will be ads to deal with – just in a different format.

    I look forward to your Friday posts! I will always be a faithful reader, but I really enjoy the old blogs that I still read where there are no ads and confusion to deal with. Keep up the good work. Hugs.

  29. Hi Rhoda, I don’t usually comment on blogs but I wanted to encourage you on yours. My sister first introduced me to blogs when she moved to USA and later adopted her little boy and we followed their journey via blog. Here in Ireland it was all very much a new concept at the time. I got rather hooked at the start and had a long list of blogs bookmarked that a checked constantly! Over time many of them changed, some disappeared, or my own interests changed. Now I follow 3 of which you are one and I enjoy it more today than ever. I think you have found the perfect balance. I love the mixture of home projects, fashion, family, faith, new products, as well as all the blogland related trips and conferences. Don’t change anything unless it’s a natural progression from what you already do. It suits me fine lol!! And I’m quite a wee bit younger with a whole lot of kids and a totally different lifestyle than yourself! My very best wishes to you and Mark, and also to your wee mum and dad who I know I would love to spend some time with 🙂 God bless.

  30. Diane Dahl says:

    Congratulations to a special lady! I have followed your blog for four years and it’s the only one I follow. Keep up the good work!

  31. Andrea Corley says:

    Rhoda,
    I had never read blogs until I met you. It has been a blessing to me to follow you, learn from you and get to know you not only as a blogger but as a friend. You have such an amazing way with words. I love the conversational way you write. It makes me feel like we are having a conversation, yet you are not even around! I have been blessed to have your friendship in church and also you helping with my home. I cannot begin to tell you how much you have added depth and joy to my life helping me! I may never be able to express my appreciation but I hope to be able to some day. You know the situation with my house and my mom, so that makes it even more of a blessing.

    I pray God will continue this amazing journey you are on and continue to grow your following! You truly are a Southern girl in so many ways! It is my blessing to have you as a friend!
    Andrea

  32. Carla Hanson says:

    Rhoda… started reading your blog in 2013… so glad you blog the way you do. I am a 60 something too and I appreciate your fashion ideas and your ideas that are done on a budget which is what most of us have to do. Congrats on 10 years of blogging your way! Looking forward to the next 10 years!
    Carla

  33. Delloraine says:

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! Yours was one of the first blogs I began reading about 5 yrs ago. I’m not much into social media so reading blogs keeps me up on some things. I enjoy your perspective and am inspired by you,. Keep in sharing and best wishes for 2017.

  34. Rhoda, you are authentic, real and relatable. I appreciate your assessment of where you are. For those like me – who truly blog for the fun of it with no desire to try to earn revenue – your assessment is refreshing. I wonder just how many bloggers would continue if they thought they wouldn’t make a buck or realized how much a turnoff some of those posts really are. It’s easy to turn away from a post one doesn’t want to read because it is so transparently selling (or ‘hawking’, to use your word), but when you’re eventually turned off completely by the blog content as a result, or from lack of authenticity on the blogger’s part in two-way communication otherwise, well, I suppose those will be the ones that simply fade or self-destruct. And that’s why you’re still here. It is apparent that you are conversational and promote the things you can get behind. It would be interesting to see stats on blogging in general, in terms of how many fail within 1, 2, even 5 years. Perhaps there’s an ebook on that already, too, lol.

    Congratulations on 10 yrs, on where you are in life, and I wish you all the best.
    Rita

  35. Congratulations on the ten years. I started reading your blog a couple or more years ago and enjoy it everyday. I love that you are so family oriented and share them with us. I love love love the Fashion Over 50 in Wednesdays–help for “our” age is always appreciated. I do read a couple of other blogs, but am sometimes overwhelmed at the decorating and young family things–so keep on with your blog just like it is–it seems a lot of us are happy just like we are!!!!

  36. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    I was introduced to this great big blog world through you and your blog is still one of my very favorites. You are an authentic, kind, funny, wonderful person. And all of those traits shine through my computer each day. Keep up the great work. You’re doing it just right!!!

  37. Congratulations Rhoda. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and be true to yourself. I enjoy your blog and the way you share your life and family with your readers. You are the real deal!

  38. donna zoltanski says:

    10 years – time to celebrate! I enjoy everyone of your blog posts and appreciate your honesty as you share your life, decor, and great deals too. You are an inspiration and thank you for all you do!

  39. Congratulations on 10 years. That is quite an accomplishment. I read your blog because I value your content and value you as a Christian, family oriented person who is kind, considerate, and honest. You are one of the very first bloggers I found. I even remember the day or week (Spring Break when I was teaching) that I found your blog, Nester’s blog, and just the concept of a blog. I think so many things in life come and go, but it is when you respect and connect with someone that you keep coming back. I have used so many of your tips, recipes, etc. through the years. I was giddy when you bought the fixer upper and took us through that process. Obviously, I love your entire family. I could go on, but I’ll stop! Thank you for all you do.

  40. well done on ten years as a blogger, Rhoda. I started to follow you when you lived in Birmingham, before your divorce and move back home. You have been so gracious to share some very deep and painful times and we have celebrated the happy times, when Lauren got married, Parker and then Iris were born. We enjoyed watching your dad in his beautiful garden and you raving about the tomatoes!!! Your mom’s delicious southern cooking, which we drooled over! Through your journey, I have also gained some precious insight into God’s provision for His children if we put Him first! Wishing you a wonderful 2017!

  41. Congratulations on ten years of blogging. I found your blog just as you were moving back to GA, and have really enjoyed all that you post. Also love that you are local and some of your posts are so familiar to me. Here’s to your success and another ten years!

  42. janeinbama says:

    I found your blog over the summer. So nice to read blogs my mature women and you are one of my favorites. There is a time and place for everyone and I personally enjoy seeing you repurpose clothes, jewelry, décor and furniture to real life readers. Congrats on your anniversary.

  43. I so enjoy your blog and being invited into your world! I can tell within a few posts whether or not I’m going to like a blogger and I knew from the get go that you were someone I was going to enjoy! I guess I’m one of your younger readers, but I love reading your perspective and seeing a more real approach to blogging and getting a glimpse into what making a home and life really look like. I also knew you were my kind of people when I realized you are an Alabama fan. 😉 Roll Tide! (I’m still in mourning by the way).

  44. Hi Rhoda! Your blog was the very first one that I followed. At that time, I loved the Rate My Space section on HGTV and I do believe that’s where I first read about you. The first actual blog post I can remember was the one where you set up a home office area using a pretty green color with touches of black. My oldest had just flown the nest at that time and I set up my very own scrapbooking room using that color scheme. It’s your down to earth style of writing that drew me in and keeps me a loyal friend. You’ve always been so humble and appreciative of what you have and that’s so refreshing in this world full of consumerism. I, too, divorced during those early years and times were tight for a while. Seeing your bargains and garage sale purchases helped me realize that I could maintain a nice home environment on a budget. Im now remarried and my guy adores shopping for treasures with me. I’m so happy you’ve found such a wonderful guy to share your life with!

  45. Congratulations on 10 years!! I think I starting reading about 8 years ago, but am not one to comment a lot. (Commenting on blogs is a hit and miss thing…sometimes the process works, sometimes it doesn’t. Changing browsers can help, but I get lazy about switching.) Anyway, I have noticed the changes in blogs over the years too, and must say I delete the ones that become all about BRAND, and ones that have ads that make it almost impossible to read the content. Thanks for keeping it as real as you can…… keep on keeping on! You found what works for you, and that HAS to be more than half the battle. 🙂 Looking forward to even more years!

  46. Barbara Chapman says:

    Congratulations on your Blogging anniversary. You are the first blog I have ever consistently followed. I enjoy your individual voice. Long before I actually subscribed, I checked in to see what was happening. I have enjoyed celebrating your successes, watching you grow, felt warmed by your lovely family. I wish many, many more adventures and don’t forget to share!

    With all good wishes,
    Barbara

  47. Rhoda, congratulations on your 10-year anniversary as a blogger. I started reading your blog several years ago and have enjoyed your home decorating ideas, your family and hearing about your faith. After 32+ years working as an RN I am now enjoying my retirement and reading blogs. I do not use Face Book, Twitter, Instagram or other social media beyond emails. As you said, they can take up so much time. I started out trying Facebook a few years ago and then stopped after a few months. I found that I was spending so much time on it. I hope you will continue to blog for a long time and just ignore those people that criticize. We live in an imperfect world and will never be free from antagonism and mean people until we reach heaven. I like how you deal with this issue. I also love hearing about and seeing your pics of your wonderful family. May 2017 be a blessed and prosperous year for you and your family. God Bless.

  48. Happy Birthday to SouthernHospitality and congratulations Rhoda! I believe I have been reading your blog for about four years but don’t know how I found it. I enjoy that you are authentic in your presentation. Nothing phony or professionally staged. You’re a creative person, using her talents to share ideas with your readers. Your blog and your life look real, not staged. That is what I enjoy most about you. And the posts that include your precious parents are priceless! Please keep doing things your way! I recently turned 66 and it is heartwarming to read a blog written by a fellow boomer! Cheers to you and to many more years with SouthernHospitality!!

  49. Dear Rhoda. Thanks for sharing from your heart. You are a refreshing authentic treasure in the world of blogging. So glad that it has been successful for you! Rhondi xo

  50. Barbara Thompson says:

    Here’s a note from one of your oldest readers. My sister referred me to one of your blogs about New Orleans several years ago and I have been reading you ever since. Your decorating style is not mine, yet I can recognize and appreciate authenticity. Your style is “Rhoda style”, showing what you like and that you put thought and taste into it. That can be appreciated by anyone. Your writing reflects a kind, thoughtful, loving and intelligent person, and all these qualities come through. I do believe you proof-read your writing, which is obviously not done by many bloggers. If your blog makes money, then many others need to learn your secret. There are no offensive pop-up ads to obscure just what we were looking at, and you never pressure us to buy, buy, buy. Congratulations on doing many things right. We do feel that you are a friend, and that is the most important thing of all. I am a few years younger than your mother, yet am in awe at how active and energetic she is. Here’s to another 10 years of blogging for you!

  51. Congrats on 10 years of blogging Rhoda!…You have certainly seen the world of blogging change over the years and as you stated, it seems like it changes at such a fast rate of speed….I am always happy that you have stayed true to yourself and it shows in your posts and heart each day! Again, congrats on your 10 years of bringing lots of inspiration to us all.

  52. anita lemmen says:

    I have been a reader since you bought your house, your style is my style and you would agree if you stepped into my house,every morning first thing I read your blog, do not change a thing, Anita from Talking Rock, Ga.

  53. Happy Anniversary to beautiful, loving, authentic you!! Of course I know personally that you are the “real deal” having met you and after spending time with you. You are gracious, giving, encouraging, and uplifting. You are a jewel. I am so proud of all that you have shared and given to the world through this venue and it has been a joy to witness. I am SO happy for you dear friend that you are loved as all you do is from a place of love.

    Always,
    Kim

  54. Let me know when you decide to ride off into the sunset. I may go with you. 😉

    Congrats on 10 great years of blogging and most of all, for staying true to who you are. There’s a lot to be said for being a little older (and wiser) in the blogging world. Praise the Lord for perspective!

    Thanks for all you do here. It’s been a joy to watch how God has used you.

  55. Rhode,
    I discovered your blog about one year ago and you were like a breath of fresh air to this sixty year old. I love your decorating style and am inspired by your ideas and your candor. You have truly taken the lemons of your life and made lemonaide!! Love hearing about your precious family and the times you spend with them. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary and hope to enjoy your blog for years to come. God Bless you!!

  56. Maxine Evers says:

    I have followed your blog from the beginning and have always been inspired. Keep up the good work and yes it is hard work. I use to do a fun blog and thinking of things is difficult at times. Have a wonderful week.

  57. Jill Jones says:

    Congratulations, Rhoda! Wow, 10 years of blogging is a major accomplishment. You are definitely a pioneer. I must say that when I see one of your posts in my inbox, it brings a smile to my face. I enjoy hearing from you. Please don’t stop doing what you do. You are one of the good gals 🙂 Again, congratulations! Jill

  58. Congratulations on ten years of blogging! I continue to be a reader because you are genuine and always have something interesting going on. It’s a shame the trolls have to tromp through the blogs, just to find something, anything to snipe about. If I don’t agree with something a blogger writes, I delete the post. You can bet that if anyone would criticize something they said, they would whine and cry like babies. Rhoda, keep up the good work!

  59. Jamie Szalabawka says:

    Rhoda, I started reading your blog in 2015 and found it by way of pintrest. I had been looking for ideas for decorating and came across your blog which led to others blogs. I have been repainting and decorating my house as it hadn’t been done since a 2003 addition. You have influenced me with many things and I always enjoy reading your blog. I love turquoise and the color as you do, I like your jewelry and HAD to find a shell bracelet like yours :). Love how you made your house your own with your decorating flare. I had worked as a prepress tech for 24 years and when the recession hit, it closed our plant as it did many others and had to start over again, so I related their with you. As most women we focus on taking care of our families and try to enjoy the visits and time with them and I love the meals your parents make and the gardening and preserving they take pride in as I do and my parents used to do when they were still here with us. Its fun for me to get another woman’s perspective on all these subjects since I work full time and don’t get to socialize much with other women and gives me a pulse on what’s the newest trend such as your bead board wallpaper. Thanks again. Love your blog. Some day I want to visit the state of Georgia, probably Savannah with its historical section and port and possibly Tybee Island. Laugh all you want, but I want to see the big trees with the Spanish moss on them!!!! Ha! Then, because of you, I want to visit Apalachicola. Tee Hee!

    • HI, Jamie, thanks for sharing all of that! And yes, you must come to coastal Georgia and see the Spanish moss, it is beautiful over there. I’m so glad my traveling has inspired you.

  60. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary! Great post on how blogging has changed. I wish you many more years of success.

  61. Rhoda,
    I think your blog was the first one I ever read and I don’t even remember how
    I discovered it, but am so glad I did. I have several that I follow from time to
    time, but yours is always my go to blog when I have time to read one.
    Just keep being true to yourself and enjoy what you do. May God bless you
    and your family always.

  62. Hi Rhoda! I understand the feeling of trying to keep up in the world of crazy pressure to fit into a certain mode or standard. Just for the record you are the only blog that I read on a daily basis. I love your blog! Somehow I connected with your story and now you just seem like a friend. I find your simple realness the most appealing thing about your blog! I love your projects and seeing what you are going to do next! Yes there is a lot of blogging out there. No matter what we do there is the temptation to feel less than or that there are so many people who do it better. You do great at what you do and that is the beauty and appeal. Don’t change a thing or feel pressured to do so because you think you are supposed too! Follow your heart! Be you! That is what draws us on a daily basis. The world of blog land is big but there will always be those who love you!

  63. Mary Faircloth says:

    I love your blog! Started reading it when you and your dad were remodeling your home! Keep doing your blog just as you have!

  64. Bonnie Brown says:

    Congratulations on your 10 years of blogging. I’ve followed you for several years, although I don’t remember exactly how I found you . I am 63 and I think you are right that at this stage of life, we have different perspectives on what is really important. I love your philosophy of blogging. I do grow weary of pop up ads and blogs that are so brand oriented. Your blogs are REAL. I love it when you include your family, especially you and your Dad working on things together or of him in his garden. I was a Daddy’s girl so maybe that is why I enjoy those posts so much. I like your variety and your candor. I appreciate the fact that you are REAL and genuine. Don’t worry about not following the “latest and greatest” ideas for bloggers. Just be yourself and keep on doing what you’ve been doing. I appreciate the fact that you give God the glory for the great things He has done in your life. Keep on keeping on!! This follower in Vidalia, Ga. looks forward to every post!

  65. Jessica Wilson says:

    I have been with you since the beginning…I loved you then and I love you now! Please don’t change your style of blogging. I have quit reading so very many for the reasons you have stated here–can’t see blog for all the ad popups, they are just in a different phase of life (I am 52), and they are too freakin’ perfect (lol) and it makes me start to feel a little inadequate. I can’t keep up with all the fancy, perfect homes. I live in an older 1950’s home on a farm with cows, horses and chickens and red clay dirt and would go crazy keeping up with the white sofa’s and white carpets. I have a life and want to enjoy it doing other things than cleaning and straightening constantly to keep a magazine perfect home. Too much perfection is just too tiring. Okay I will end my mini rant (sorry didn’t mean to turn it into that, but it has been on my mind as I look as blogs).

    I do want you to know, I love seeing your parents. I was raised by my Grandparents and miss them intensely. Your parents remind me soooo much of them. And I love how even through an awful divorce, you stayed classy and showed women that they can handle anything with dignity and grace. That is becoming a lost art in our country it seems, as evidence by recent events in D.C. I love that you use color and lots of it in your home, inside and out. And the fact that you share common fashion sense for our generation. You have updated my attitudes about several fashion trends, which I appreciate. I needed that encouragement.

    God bless you and your family!

  66. Congratulations of 10 wonderful years of hard work! I have been following since 2009 and you are one of the few that I have stuck with for all of these years. I appreciate your authenticity and that you don’t have annoying pop-up ads all over your blog! I think that you are a wonderful example to all of the younger blogger girls on being authentic and keeping balance. Keep up the good work!

  67. I have grown tired of reading many blogs because of the commercialism of it all. I am so weary of all the links and side bars trying to persuade you to spend, spend, spend. If you buy this and this, you’re house will be just as pretty as mine! That seems to be the message, to me at least. I so appreciate that you have stayed true to what your blog was and is! I want to see real homes, real projects, that the ordinary (unwealthy) person like me can identify with (and afford!).

  68. Rhoda, Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! I’ve followed you for several years and look forward to your posts – I never know what you’ll write about and love the variety. You’ve created your own niche and it’s definitely working very well for you. I’ve wanted to blog for many years and just can’t find my niche.
    Keep up the great content and stay true to yourself!

    P.S. Would love to see more of your dad’s gardening techniques. Although we’re farther south than you, he gardens the old fashioned way and I want to learn more!

    • HI, Tanya, I’ll try to share more of his gardening this year as he is getting started. Sometimes it’s hard for me to catch him in action before I get over there and take pics.

  69. Congratulations on your 10 years blogging anniversary. Thank you and yes, I enjoyed reading your post. I discovered the blogging world after early retirement seven years ago and your blog was one of my first blogs I started following. The one thing I enjoy most about your blog is you, “you are you, dancing to your own beat.” Thanks for letting me follow along your life’s journey, telling your story as only you can tell.

  70. Congratulations, what an amazing accomplishment. I have been reading your blog since about
    2008-ish. I think what I like the most is that you are so very real. I love all of the topics, both décor and personal. In fact, the personal has given us as much if not more insight into you as a person. And, thank you for not getting political on your blog. What a refreshing break from other social media. Keep on doing what you are doing as it obviously is working!! I actually have you subscribed on 2 different email accounts just to make sure I don’t miss a blog post!

    • Shar, thank you that is so nice. I learned a long time ago to keep politics off my blog, so I don’t even go there. It’s gotten so nasty on Facebook.I like my happy place.

  71. RomeGirl-Erin says:

    Happy Blogiversary Rhoda! Wow time flies- 10 years! So glad to be able to say I’ve know you since BEFORE your blogging days. I always have to laugh at myself when friends tell me they saw an idea on your blog and ask me if I have ever read your blog.. YEP- been taking her great advice for YEARS!! Thank you for ALWAYS being such an inspiration for me, both in design and in how you live life so gracefully! I love reading your blog and feeling as if good design can be affordable and attainable, classic always, and a little trendy in small doses! Look forward to reading for the next 10 years!

    • Hey, Erin, oh you are SO sweet to say that! Yes, we do go way back and I’ve been hanging out online talking about decorating for 20 years now. Blogging has made it so much fun for me and I had no idea I’d be doing it this long.

  72. Leslie G. says:

    I am a new subscriber to your blog, and I try to read every new post. You are not like a lot of the other blogs in that you don’t make me feel inferior for not having a perfectly organized and decorated home, cooking gourmet meals, and so on. I feel like you share with us what works for you, and that we are ok just as we are, but if we are so inclined, we can follow your directions if we want to as well. I love your story and following along with you. Congratulations on your 10 years!

  73. Rhoda, I just want to thank you for your blog. I’m not a regular reader of any blog, but when I do sit down I immediately go to Southern Hospitality and catch up. I really enjoy seeing the different homes and how they are decorated, your over 50 styles (even though I’m a plus size), and love to see pics and stories about your sweet family (and your mom’s good southern cooking). I really enjoy and thank you for sharing your life with others. May God bless you in 2017 and keep up the great job you do here on your site!

  74. Happy 10 Year Birthday to Southern Hospitality. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I stop by to visit almost every day and always find something fun to read or fun new things to see. My favorites are your Daddy and Momma and those sweet baby girls. Sending you much love and happiness in this new year.

  75. Rhoda, your blog was one of the first ones I found shortly after retiring from teaching in 2009! And as someone has already stated, you are the REAL DEAL! You have always been an inspiration to me, and I applaud your triumph over adversity!

  76. cathy claus says:

    Wow! Your honesty, simple, down to earth style are some of the things I love about your blog! It’s so refreshing to just hop on your blog, see beautiful pictures, some cool fashion posts, and some do-able DIY! I don’t have a blog, so for me it’s wonderful outlet to get ideas. I enjoy the family posts too! Sometimes this whole social media arena gets exhausting (and i don’t even blog!) the perfectionism – the over the top decorating – I don’t mean to sound like I’m judging but posting a pic on insta in FULLY PROFESSIONALLY APPLIED MAKEUP “just getting done at the gym” makes me want to scream! I’ve taken the time to read your story from the beginning, which had me all teary-eyed. It was /is very inspiring – how one can rise up from any situation! And i love your cute as can be little parents! they are so adorable! Keep on blogging — you are refreshing and REAL! and pretty darn sassy! May God bless you and your family in 2017 – 🙂

    • Cathy, thank you! Some blogs are so stylized and professional and that will never be me. I can only be me and I will keep blogging this way.

  77. Beth Friskney says:

    I have been reading your blog for more than five years when I discovered you! I read you daily and I feel like I know you!! I am a mom of two boys and a retired teacher. I read about 15 blogs a day with my morning coffee and you are at the top of my blogging list! I love what you post because you are so real and authentic!! Congrats on 10 years! I’m soooo glad you blog! I feel like I’m reading a short story and I’m in it! Love that!!
    Beth in Indiana

  78. Ten years ago I was reading about fifteen blogs a day. Today I read just one. Yours! 🙂 I gave up the ‘big’ ones, too, like Pioneer Woman and Big Mama and Boo Mama… Not that I don’t like those bloggers and their blogs, because I DO. But it got too time consuming and I finally read fewer and fewer blogs and realized yours was the one that resonated most with me and of course I adore your parents so there’s that!!

    I hope this comment doesn’t get lost in the huge sea today, because I want to say that I was one of those who was seeing your blog in a skinny column in Firefox for MONTHS. Well guess what?? I just updated to Windows 10 (from 8) and now your blog is normal for me again!!! So maybe it’s a combo of Firefox and Windows 8 and 10!

    Thanks for sticking around and being approachable and realistic and humble.

    • HI, Kate, I’m so glad that skinny column thing got fixed for you. I think it was also an ad blocker thing for many, but in combination with browsers it was happening for many. I am reading every comment today and loving the feedback. Thank you for chiming in!

  79. Please keep on being yourself and doing your own thing! Here’s to another 10 years!

  80. I really enjoy your blog. I enjoy your decorating style, family life and fashion-sharing. I know there are bloggers who are really trying to make a lot of money for their families and I understand that, but when it gets to be more about that then actually “doing” the blog it is a real turn-off for me…especially when there is a pop-up ad with sound! Like you said there are lots of bloggers to choose from so some of those type just get deleted by me. I hope you are able to blog for as long as YOU want! Take care.

  81. Love your blog, and yours is the very first one that I subscribed to, and I have enjoyed it ever since. I have watched you evolve, try new things, etc….I love that you remain authentic and do your blog with compassion and integrity, and, of course, you are very talented and creative! That you are able to make an income from this and enjoy it at the same time is wonderful! I am over 60, and am so happy that there are some really good blogs out there for our “baby boomer” generation. I read yours, Grace and Beauty, and Susan After 60, and all of you seem to be compassionate and caring as well as very talented ladies! Lucky for all of us that you chose to do this! I also enjoy hearing about your lovely family…an inspiration to all of us and one that says family is so important. I was also thrilled to know that you met a wonderful man! So you keep going girl….just as you are!!!

    • Thank you, Leigh! Cyndi is a personal friend of mine and I think Susan’s blog is also very good for fashion over 60 women.

  82. Keep doing what you’re doing. I love your blog and the blogs of women over 50. They are much more realistic. We’ve all been there and done that and we know our limitations financially and physically. I am 70 but I still love decorating my home especially for different holidays and seasons. I still want to dress fashionably, but in good taste for my age and most definitely I still cook because I get to still cook for my children and grandchildren(though not daily thankfully🙂)
    You were the first blog I was introduced too a few years ago. And I have measured all others against yours. I feel so much in common with you because my Dad was a preacher too. He passed away last year at age 94. I am very close to my extended family too and I so enjoy when you let us in on your visits with your parents, and your niece and great nieces.
    I also appreciate that you give God the glory for your success. The Lord bless you as you keep on blogging.

  83. Iris McCloud says:

    I have followed your blog since your Birmingham days. I have admired your determination to make the best of whatever situation you have been in. That goes for good and bad. From your divorce and moving in with your parents to using the many opportunities to participate in so many exciting events to using your talent to help others you have worked with energy and enthusiasm and an outlook on life that is to be admired. I don’t dress like you, I have to fight myself to go to the gym, and my house doesn’t look like yours but I enjoy your blog. I do get ideas from your blog and DIY info that is great. What I really like is the way you present your life, your wonderful families life and remain true to who you need to be. Good luck in the future. I just went back and reread many of the posts which were saying pretty much what I have written here. I almost deleted this comment with sending it but then thought we can never hear too many encouraging words.

  84. I am thankful for you and your authentic way of sharing your personal and business life with us. I am a stay-at-home mom and I do not blog despite the fact that I love writing. I am not on any social media at all either. This is mainly because I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl and I want to be able to have freedom. So, in many ways, blogs like yours keep me connected to the internet world and I see it through your eyes as I check in with you for the last 8 years. Keep being you. I’ll keep reading!

  85. Jean Anderson says:

    You are my favorite blogger. I wander around looking at other blogs and sometimes I’ll find someone that
    really catches my interest and I’ll go back and read through a lot of their posts but I always come
    back to you. I get what you say about the commercial end of your work. I know this probably has
    more to do with the platform that some people use, but I hate blogs where there are tons of popups advertising everything. When that happens, I move on quickly.
    No matter what you do, there is always someone newer, faster, smarter whatever. It’s always easy to question yourself. Just stay true to who you are.
    You are just wonderful and should stay just like you are.

  86. Susan from GA says:

    I wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I think I have read it most of the 10 years. I remember your Bham posts, so I know it has been close to that. I have been “here” long enough to know that you are one of the “what you see is what you get” kind of people and I certainly appreciate your authenticity!

    As your www friend, I would love to know how to help you profit as much as you can with my readership. Do you get paid on how many times I click on one of the ads on your page? …If I purchase from an ad? ……?????? As you can see, no clue! 😖

    Please keep on keeping on. We will still be here.

    • HI, Susan, thank you so much! As far as how to support me, just coming straight to my blog every time I post is a good one, since that’s how I get paid from Ad network support. Actually coming to my blog and reading the posts straight on my blog helps a lot. Don’t get too click happy on clicking ads, that’s not necessary at all!

  87. I enjoy your blog very much! It was one of the first I found, back when I really didn’t know what blogs were. I appreciate your transparency and your realistic approach. I find I get tired of the blogs where something in the home is always being changed, especially when the changes are unnecessary and expensive. Not very realistic or practical for most people. Being in my late 50’s, I relate to your ideas more than many from other blogs. Some of the homes are just over the top……beautiful, but not part of my world. I like your thrifting, your recipes, your fashions, and getting glimpses of your family. Thanks for sharing your life and creative spirit with us!

  88. Thank you for sharing your story of blogging, Rhoda. I always enjoy your posts and look forward to reading more over the years to come! Blogging can sometimes get discouraging, I find. I go back and forth between blogging as a hobby and wanting to have my blog grow in terms of sponsorships and readers. You are right that the market is flooded with bloggers and there are those who seem to have the “knowledge” and tech skills to know how to make it all work. Your blog shows your lovely personality and down to earth qualities as well as a strong faith in God and family that I enjoy reading about. Continue your fine work and know how much I appreciate your blog!

  89. Happy 10th Rhoda! Yours was the first blog I started following and is still the one I read faithfully. I always feel happy when it pops up in my inbox. We all feel like you’re are girlfriend because you are so authentic and honest. You have shared your life, warts and all. We Baby Boomers need you to keep us young and current. Many blessings and prayers for your continued success!

  90. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Wow. I caught up with your blog in the ‘early years’ while you were still here in the ‘Ham. AND I was actually told about it when I was visiting my daughter in Missouri! Ha. I used to read several decorating blogs – and still follow two others besides yours – but many other blogs have come and gone. It is hard to stay ‘fresh’ and interesting – but you have achieved that – and I say congratulations on that! Happy 2017! And on a side note, I am NOT a fan of Pinterest. 🙂

  91. It’s nice to pause and reflect every now and then, isn’t it. What struck me most was the last part. Blogging does expose the readers (and the writers too) to more of what is “out there”. I frequently have to pull my covetous self back from the edge and re-calibrate my expectations when I see wonderfully decorated homes, spiffy organizing ideas and luscious food displays. I don’t need or want to buy things so much any more. BUT, I sure enjoy what others have shared with me via blogging.

  92. Thank you for your blog and for sharing your story. I recently found your blog a couple of months ago and love it! I love your laid-back style and your down-to-earth attitude towards life–it has a very calming and uplifting effect on me You have a great personal sense of style that is highly inspirational. Keep doing what you do! Thank you.

  93. I ‘discovered’ your blog when you were looking to buy your home and have been following you ever since. I loved seeing your journey towards making the house you bought into the gorgeous home it is now. I love that your family is such a supportive one, that they’re part of your journey and you of theirs. I’m in my 60;s and your fashion days inspire me to continue to try to be in style without being too trendy and without being too old fashioned! I hope you continue for many years!!!

  94. Sandi Andrews says:

    You are an amazing woman Rhoda! I stumbled upon your blog around 2008, I didn’t know what a “blog” was however my savvy daughter said you have to see her house mom! I was still working then and lunch time was blog time! Your journey has been incredible and what a blessing to have a family so awesome. Congratulations on 10 years and thank you for sharing them with me!
    A faithful Texas Fan

    • HI, Sandi, thank you so much, it’s so fun for me to read how long some of you have been with me. You all are a blessing to me!

  95. So many nice comments, I guess you can tell a lot of us love and enjoy your way of blogging and there are many blog followers who are not in our 20’s-40’s which makes us enjoy yours even more! I’m very glad you are not limited to one subject in your blogging, you have a nice balance which makes it interesting. And, I’m so glad you haven’t changed it with every trend. Keep it up, I’m also particular with how much time I spend on social media and I definitely choose to follow your blog!
    Sticking with you in AL 😊

  96. Congrats on 10 years Rhoda!! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and it has become one of my favorites!! I love how real and sweet you are, your decorating style is beautiful and affordable, as well as your fashion. You are an inspiration for so many women of all ages (I’m 35) the way you have been able to do all this on your own. I also love hearing about your sweet family and your Mom’s cooking, it reminds me so much of my beloved Grandmother and how she cooked. Congrats again!!

    • Hi, Lindsey, thanks for chiming in, I love it that I do have some of you younger girls following along. You are about my niece’s age and I enjoy having so many ages here on my blog.

  97. Rhoda, congrats on 10 years! I think you are amazing and I loved reading about your journey. I love that you do your own thing and don’t feel like you have to keep up with the crowd! Here’s to another wonderful 10 years of blogging!

  98. Congratulations, Rhoda. I think we both started about the same time, and blogging has changed, but oh! it still connects us to those kindred spirits, doesn’t it? I loved this post, you have shared from your heart what matters most! Here’s to another 10 fabulous years of blogging, sweet friend. xo Lidy

    • Thank you, Lidy, I so remember you being out there in the beginning too, with your lovely French style blog. So happy to celebrate this milestone with you as well, we are both hanging in there.

  99. My, how time flies! Congratulations on 10 years in this crazy business.

    Rhoda, I think you already know this, but you have been such an inspiration to me in so many ways. Not to mention the support and encouragement you have shown to me and Sara and we appreciate it so much. We are proud too, of being Southern, and just like you I’m proud to have also celebrated my 60th (just last week). Following your blog keeps me grounded and helps me to keep the “rat race” part of it in perspective. Thank you for being you.

    • Thank you, Pam! I know being a new blogger has it’s challenges, but just enjoy the journey as you are doing. Happy 60th to you too!

  100. Hi Rhoda,
    It’s good to hear your complete line of thought on this. Being a blogger, albeit a new one, I totally agree with you on everything you said about blogging. When I tell people I blog, they don’t bat an eyelash…it’s like “so?” But you & I know how much work it is.
    Totally agree with you on how quickly you can get down on comparing yourself to other blogs, other houses, other ideas. I hFlorenceave to remind myself I’m not them. I’m me. I’m not monetizing yet & I’m not sure I ever will. Still getting the feet wet & figuring out what I’m doing. And egad, social media! I can’t begin to keep up with it.

  101. Rhoda this was the best read for me in a decade lol! Seriously, it’s from your heart and soul and I can not only feel it, it truly resonates with me as well. I keep my inner circles very small now and truthfully I just look away most of the time. That why I had to leave a lot of the blogging groups because everything felt too money oriented and selling a new course on what is the right way. By the time you learn as you mention it changes there next year. Keep on keeping because you are a fantastic lady even though we never met, I just know what we see here is who you are. Xo

  102. Rhoda you are a mentor for all of us. I too agree with you that there has to be a line drawn when it comes to being authentic. I read a lot of blogs and find myself drawn to the ones where I feel that the blogger can be someone I can sit down and have a cup of coffee with. And of course we have to make money but not at the expense of who we are and what we represent. Thank you for talking about this difficult subject. I wish you contentment in your life. You have a great family next to you and I know you will be with us for many more years, sharing your wisdom.

  103. I’m one of your “old” fans. I started blogging when you did. My blog was Lakewood Manor then and we had fun sharing recipes and looking at each other’s decor. So much fun! We helped each other (for free!) with blog design and technology. I miss that.

    • HI, Terri, yes I remember you! Those were the good ole’ days and those days are gone. I still try to keep the joy in blogging by doing it the way I want.

  104. Rhoda, I found you back when you had just gotten your divorce. I followed and commented as you worked on that back porch with your dad and went room by room renovating your home. I didn’t last long in the blogging world then. Tried as I might, I couldn’t find resources to learn and no one ever came to my blog. I returned to it a year ago. I was so excited to go to Haven this past year but then my daughter had a baby so I sold my ticket with your assistance, thank you again. I too will be 60 this year. I love blogging but I have tons to learn. I love to learn so that is a great thing. I also love the relationships I build here and hope that over time I will get to meet some of the lovely ladies. This year I have made 65 cents so far! So, I am paying to blog. It would be nice to have a part time income as we will be retiring soon and that would be a bonus. I am not offended by the sales, if I think it is too much I don’t follow that blog. But I have not seen that yet. Congrats on your truly successful journey to stay with this for that long and be vulnerable throughout as you were going through trials. I can remember reading some of them and they were moving and inspiring. I hope you continue to bloom over this next lovely decade!

    • Hi, Debbie, I sort of remember you then and I wish you the best with your now blog. It is a lot of hard work and people do sometimes think it’s easy to make money, but it does take a lot of effort and it’s not as easy now to get past the learning curve and make it a business. Have fun with it and keep that in mind as you try to grow.

  105. Hope not anytime soon Rhoda. Love your heart and honesty. Congrats on this milestone.

  106. Wow, Rhoda! Congratulations on such a rare and incredible accomplishment. I really needed this post!!!

    Much Love,
    Erica

  107. Congratulations Rhoda! Your blog is lovely and always a joy to read. I’ve only been doing this for about four years and it’s changed so much in that time, I can’t imagine the changes you’ve seen in a decade. I suppose that could be said about most businesses, though. Staying true to yourself and your intent is what really counts and you have certainly done that. Thank you for sharing your journey and best wishes for another fabulous decade of blogging!

  108. Yours was one of the very first I found, and what inspired me to start. ☺ Thank you for a fabulous 10 years of blogging, Rhoda! XO

    • Hi, Layla, I remember our early conversations and then meeting up in person the first time. You’ve been a special friend over the years, so happy we are both still blogging!

  109. Valuable info for all those young bloggers out there. I have followed you from the beginning and appreciate you telling it like it is. While I do write my own blog I have monetized it but, rather, put my blogging skills to work for others in the design industry who do not want to take the time to come up with and write content. As you said, it is hard work but so enjoyable and keeps one involved in whatever field they blog about. I look forward to continuing to follow along with your blog and on a more personal note, am so glad to hear your parents are still doing well. Keep up the good work!

  110. Rhoda,

    Congratulations! I haven’t been around for all 10 but, I got over here as soon as I found you. Keep rocking it and I’ll be here cheering you on. Thanks for the advice and wisdom over the years.

  111. Rhoda, that end brought tears to my eyes. Reading your blog gave me
    so much courage oh so many years ago, when my husband and I decided to downsize our life and buy a fixer upper. You have always maintained such an authentic and kind voice and I appreciate that you do this all your way. You are a pioneer in this industry and a talented and gracious writer. Many thanks for inspiring me so through the years!! XO

    • HI, Lisa, thank you so much. It really makes me feel good that I’ve had any part in influencing and helping other bloggers along the way. That’s always something I’ve tried to do from the beginning.

  112. 150 so I’m not sure if you will even see this 🙂 I popped over from Emily A Clark. I almost didn’t read this because I’m slightly over the blog articles about “blogging is dead and so hard, whining etc.” that started a couple of years ago. All jobs are hard. That’s why we call it work. But I’m glad i read your recap. I’ve never made any money from blogging and it’s been years and years. Mine just never clicked or got big enough or my pictures aren’t good enough or whatever. But I keep blogging because I do have some loyal readers and i like to share ideas, etc. My blog took a big shift several years ago and I lost a block of readers who were immediately replaced with readers who liked the shift. It’s interesting and fun and while I would love it to be profitable it simply isn’t…. but maybe someday. I don’t think blogging is dead. I love to scroll blogs and have a few I never, ever miss checking. And when I discover a wonderful new blog I go back and read it like a book. I’m sad when my favorites stop or break for months/years. I am sad that some of my favorites have become “brands” and just ads in blogging form 🙁 And I’m a mid~50’s blogger so I think I feel some of the same things and wish that some of these young mothers didn’t create such an environment of pressure and perfection in the blog world. Life is tough enough without comparing your home, life, clothes and furniture to “millions of women next door” in blogland!!I live in Atlanta and there is enough of that IRL!! But I do love blogs!! I just find the ones that work for me!! I loved your perspective on so much of this! I’m glad I trusted Emily and gave it a read!

    • Hi, Mollie, so glad you stopped by! As an older blogger, there is a place for us in blogland and I’m happy that I found mine. I’m in Atlanta too, so I know just what you mean.

  113. Beautiful post Rhoda! So happy that you are in such a happy place…..I will never forget that you were the first person to feature my home on your blog…..You are a doll:)

    • Thank you, Sherry! I’d love to feature your home again, I think it’s time for a big update. I so enjoyed meeting you here in ATL when I came back.

  114. Very well said, Rhoda! I guess I’ve been following you for almost ten years. You invited bloggers and readers to Le Madelaine after you moved back to Atlanta, and I met you then, although I had been following you for a while. In fact, you were my first blogger. I can’t believe that it’s been that long! I appreciate your authenticity, Rhoda, and I love seeing pictures of your family and your guy. I feel like I know all of you. Ha! Keep up the excellent work!

  115. I just found your blog so this post was a great introduction for me. I am in the process of making my own blog more public. I have the same feelings as you. I am not in this to sell or plug products. I’ve been so disappointed in many of the blogs that I’ve followed for years becoming one big ad. I don’t ever want my blog to become an ad. I love writing about being 50ish, life changes– and all that goes along with that. I have so many questions about blogging and am figuring it all out as I go along. Thanks for your thoughts!! AND congratulations on sticking with it all these years. You have gained a follower today!

    • Hi, Sharon, thank you for stopping by! I love that you are a fellow older blogger sharing your life. There’s room for all of us! Congrats on your newly wed status, so exciting. I just clicked over to your blog and read a bit.

  116. Hard to believe a decade has passed already! Doesn’t seem that long ago we met at Blissdom but that would’ve been, what, 2010? Those early days were a lot of fun, getting to know everyone since we were still a fairly small group.

    Loved reading your thoughts on how blogging has changed because I could relate to so much of it. I look back at my old posts from 2008 and have to laugh because I would just throw a few (poorly lit) photos up, say a few words, and get 50 comments. I didn’t have to think about SEO or writing the best headlines or anything else — people just showed up!

    Standards are so much higher for posts (and photos) now — not to mention all the “promotion” we do for each one on social media or through newsletters, etc. If I had known everything I would have to learn and figure out about blogging in those years to come, I would’ve been totally overwhelmed, so I guess our ignorance was bliss! 🙂

    Congrats on 10 years of successful blogging and inspiring so many of us, Rhoda. Here’s to many more! xo

    • OH, thank you Julia! Yes it was a long while ago that we met and I’ve always admired you and your blog as well. We all have to figure out this thing along the way and I know you’ve been out there almost as long as I have doing your thing too. Here’s to 10 more!

  117. Honestly as a blogger the amount of quality content you write just blows my mind. Never stop because your blog sets the standard for how to do it right.

  118. Scolie Simpson says:

    Rhoda I have been following your blog for a while now and I do look forward to reading it every Saturday as I am in Australia I seem to get your weeks blog then..And I must say you are very interesting to read .So keep up the good work and I will look forward to your blog every week..Thank you Rhoda and by the way I love your house ..

  119. This is my first time visiting your blog and I love your conversational style. Probably because I write like I’m chatting with you on my blog as well. I wanted to thank you for sharing your take on the blogging community. I agree with you!
    I celebrated my 6th year of blog in September and like you, I haven’t hired out anything. We are Indie blogs now because we still do all our own writing, editing, photos, social shares etc. I say Bravo and thank you for paving the way !

    • Thank you, Linda! It’s too late to change my approach and style now, so I will keep on doing it the way I always have.

  120. What a beautiful post Rhoda! Congratulations on 10 years! Please don’t ride off into the sunset too soon – too many of us love your blog!

  121. Wow Rhoda! Your readers are so supportive! I’m so glad they continue to let you know how much they appreciate your blog. Your story is very inspiring to anyone who has experienced loss and great disappointment. But…God has restored you and you give Him all the glory for your success! What a blessing! As your very long time friend who knew you back in the day, it has been a joy to see you come to this pinnacle in your profession while staying grounded and true to your values and your authentic self. That is what separates you from “the pack”. Keep on my friend! Sixty is only a number and we have lots of living, laughing and loving to do still. I’m thankful I’ve been along for the ride of your journey, a journey of a lifetime. May God bless you as you press on! Love you, Vic

  122. Hi Ronda,

    I just recently stumbled across your blog and actually it was this post that caught my attention. I’m new to blogging, and although I’ve wanted to get my blog up and running since 2012, I’ve just gotten it going this year. I can’t tell you how much this post resonated with me! You’ve addressed so many of the fears and issues I have about getting into blogging- sometimes I feel like I’m way behind when I’ve only just started. I’ve already felt the pressure to do what all the other blogs are doing to keep up, or find myself seeing a beautiful blog and thinking that mine can’t compare. Reading your post was just the shot of confidence that I needed to remember why I wanted to do this in the first place and to just relax and enjoy it.
    In reading the comments, its obvious you have many long-time and loyal readers and regardless of whether your style is my style, you now have a new one!

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