My Blogging Story: Part 5

If you haven’t read my entire blogging story up to this point, you’ll want to start with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

When I left you last with my story, the new year of 2011 turned the calendar.  My entire world as I knew it for 5 years had completely blown up and I scrambled to find truth for myself.  My marriage had crumbled in lies and deceptions and I had no idea what I was going to do financially going forward to make it.  It would be 3 months of sitting in my house in Birmingham, waiting until my family could come and move me out of that house and back to Georgia.  I had 2 moving sales during that time and the friends in my church rallied around me with support.  Life felt so bleak at the time.

It was decided that my family would come over at the very end of March.  We would rent moving trucks and move me back to Marietta, home with my parents.  I was still blogging, sharing bits and pieces of what was going on in my world, but still not telling it all.  It was too much of a shocker to deal with and so much to process and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

I wanted to continue blogging, but wasn’t sure if I could do that and make it.  My income was still part time and not enough to support myself.  I had visions of living with my parents for years on end, dreaming of getting another house, but that dream seemed to be so far off in the distance.  I just wanted a normal life again.  And I didn’t know what normal would feel like anymore.  A very bad bonehead marital decision almost 6 years ago had cost me nearly everything I had worked for.  It was not a pretty picture.  My post from last year, Life is Not a Magazine Cover, goes into a bit more detail about the situation I found myself in.

Going back to a Corporate job was definitely in my mind and that is what I  had mostly resigned myself to do.  Back to the Corporate grind, doing what I had done for so many years.  I could always be an Admin Assistant again.  It was something that I’m good at and I did quite well in that world for 30 years (hard to believe it was that many years, but true).  It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I knew that I could do it if I had to.

I kept sharing on my blog all last year, even through all the changes in my life and you kept coming back! I’m so grateful for all of you too, who have supported me and given me encouraging words, even when I didn’t feel great about life. Y’all are the best encouragers there are and I appreciate the support that I’ve felt this last year. That’s been amazing to me too. We had a few family milestones and I blogged about all of them, like Lauren’s wedding last year in March, along with all the showers and festivities that go along with weddings. All of that gave me something fun to look forward to in February and March.  As hard as things were, I had my family’s love around me.  They could have easily said “we told you so”, but they never uttered those words.

I kept blogging and all of you kept reading and coming back to see how I was doing.  I felt your love and support all across the country as I scrambled to find my new life and where it was heading.  It was a crazy time, with so much turmoil and uncertainty.  Once I actually got moved and back home with my parents, I breathed a big sigh of relief.  I was emotionally safe again. I began to sleep better than I had in many, many years.  I knew that I would survive and make it.

I had so much financial ruin to climb out of and I began to do that once I settled back in Georgia. As hard as it is to admit this publicly, I had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.  It was a humiliating thing to do, especially for someone like me who had always been self-sufficient, taking care of myself and making it just fine for so many years.  I learned how to handle money from my dad at a young age and had always lived within my means and saved my money.  As someone who had a 800+ credit score most of my life,to get to this point in life and have all that ruined by the decisions of someone I was married to, well, it just made me sick to my stomach and like somewhat of an idiot for trusting too much.  But, I pressed on and made it through all that, with hope and optimism for the future.  I knew it wouldn’t kill me (although at times, it certainly felt like it would) and what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

By May, I had made the decision to keep blogging full-time and jump in there with my whole entire heart, doing what I love to do and hopefully doing it well. I had no distractions and no one to answer to or deal with.  My blog revenue began increasing with my main ad network, BlogHer.  I was with several other ad networks and they were all bringing in money.  Lots of great opportunities began landing in my inbox, with more exciting things offered to me and more avenues to add to my income as well.

I don’t know how else to put this but to just put it out there as it happened, but the Lord was looking out for me.  There is no doubt in my mind that He is the one who has provided opportunities and opened doors for me to make a living doing this blog thing and I am so grateful for His hand on my life.  It’s as if after I went through the worst of the storm, He began pouring out showers of blessings on me and showing me favor left and right.  Every time I turned around, something good was happening last year and it hasn’t stopped yet.

Around June, I got in touch with several of my close blog friends, since we had previously discussed trying to plan our own blog conference for the DIY home niche.  I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by jumping in and taking charge of it, but I needed to know that they were on my side and would help out.  We were all spread out all over the country and I told them that I’d take the lead in this endeavor, but it was going to have to be in Atlanta.  They were all on board and ready to tackle it.  The planning process started and Haven was born.  Layla designed our logo, but then dropped out of the planning committee, because of their time constraints with the TV show they were taping.  That ended up not working out for them (boo-hoo!), but now they will be at Haven teaching a class on Photography.  The rest of the girls all came together and we began the tentative steps of actually planning a big conference.  I had never tackled that before, but I figured why not?  It was a big step for me to do that, since the financial burden of it all would be on my shoulders too.  But, I’m happy to say that it has all come together beautifully and all the details have been worked out.  I met up with a savvy events planner here in Atlanta, my now friend Kristin, and we were off and running with Haven.  That has been a God-thing too!  There were so many behind the scenes things happening to get us where we are now and without the Lord moving in all of it, Haven would have never happened.  It gives me chills to think about it.

My blog was doing great by Summer of 2011 and my income started going up.  I knew I was going to make it and be able to support myself with all the things that were happening.  Advertisers and sponsors and brands were really getting geared up in 2011 and realizing the power of bloggers and many were eager to work with bloggers in a bigger capacity.  It was the perfect time for Haven to be born and we have not had any problem getting sponsors on board for this new and exciting conference.  I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be the founder.

All during the summer of 2011, many things started happening for me. Exciting opportunities!  I was happy and busy, doing what I loved to do.  In July, I helped Mr. Goodwill Hunting host an I Love Thrifting party here in Atlanta.  We’ll be doing it again this summer, so I hope you’ll join me if you’re in the area!

Also in July, I was chosen to participate in a super-fun event with Shaw Floors and HGTV Home, a design competition in NC.  We were given a wonderful tour of the Biltmore House and wined and dined for 3 days, all the while having a blast with the design competition.  That was such a fun time and I haven’t gotten over it yet!

In August, I headed to my very first BlogHer conference in San Diego, CA.  I’ve been with the BlogHer ad network since 2008 and had always wanted to attend their conference, but never had the money or opportunity to go.  Nothing was holding me back anymore.  After entering a Knorr contest with my mom’s homemade chicken and dumplings, I found out I had won the final 8 and we were all heading to BlogHer to a cook-off with some well-known chefs, courtesy of Knorr.  The final 4 would have the pleasure of being sponsored by Knorr USA by cooking and featuring recipes using their products.  Pinch me!   Those dumplings won me a place in the final 4 and it’s been a whirlwind of opportunities since then.

In September, I got to tag along with Kevin and Layla, as they filmed a TV pilot for HGTV for several days in Suwanee.  It didn’t end up working out for them, but it sure was a fun experience for all of us.

Also in September, I got the fun pleasure of flying out to San Francisco for a few days and staying with my energetic and talented bloggy friend, Kate, also known world-wide as the Centsational Girl.  I enjoyed every minute of time out there with Kate.

What a fun year 2011 ended up being.  From despair and sadness to joy and gladness in just a few months.  You can’t tell me God hasn’t been looking out for me!  He has been there every beautiful step of the way.  I could tell you countless times how He has come through in big and small ways over the last year, working on my behalf.

My blogging income has steadily gone up in the past year.  It went from part-time income in 2010 to full-time income in 2011.  I’m not getting rich, but it is enough to live on and support myself.   I still have to pay taxes, health insurance, and all of that, just like any self-employed person.  Bloggers are business owners, self-employed folks who have the privilege of working at home and doing what they love to do.  So why not get paid for that, I say?  None of us who started blogging had any intention of it ever becoming a full-time business.  We didn’t even know that was possible back then.  But, I’m happy to say, it is possible.  And it is working for me!

I did a whole post a couple of years ago back in 2010 on the business side of blogging and I will do an update on this post as well.  I said back then that it was part-time pay and it was.  Now, in 2012 it is full-time pay and work.  Those of us who blog for a living put a lot of time and heart into our blogs. We want them to work and be successful, sure, but we don’t want to lose our heart and why we started blogging either.  I still want my personality to come through and I don’t ever want money to over-shadow that.  The perks and the money are a great reward for putting so much of ourselves into our blogs.  Anyone who has a business at home feels the same way.  I feel very blessed to have started blogging when I did.  I doubt I would be where I am now if I had not started way back in 2007.

The blogworld has changed SO much in the last 5 years.  So many new blogs are popping up every single day.  I daresay there are millions of blogs out there now and many of them have aspirations of making a living at home by blogging.  I’ve said it SO many times and I will say it again.

Please don’t start a blog with plans of getting rich and famous. 

I think you’ll be extremely disappointed if you do that.  Blog because you love it, because you have something good to share and you want to connect with others who love the same things you do.  If it comes from your heart, that will always shine through and people will recognize that. And if you do that, you’ll be successful and the perks will come. I still blog because I love it and I’m just very, very blessed that it has turned into a sustainable income for me.

Some will say that bloggers who advertise have sold out.  They can say that all they want, but all of this takes a lot of time and energy to do it well and making money is the perk that keeps things rolling along.  I will never apologize for running ads on my blog or for doing sponsored posts.

What are the main ways I make money from my blog?  I’ll go over them again here.  Most of us who blog and get paid for it always try to choose the best avenues for making money, so we look around for the best networks out there and that is constantly changing too:

Blogher ad network:  I joined them back in 2008 and it has been a wonderful partnership for me. They have been great to me, given me some super-fun opportunities, as well as good revenue and financial perks.  I plan to stay with BlogHer for the longhaul.  They are my main ad network and the #1 way that I make money from my blog.  I run their ads on my blog and depending on how much traffic (visitors) I get each month determines how much I make.  BlogHer takes applications and lets in a few blogs at a time, so you can check them out and get on the waiting list if you are interested. One of the things you have to keep in mind with BlogHer is this:  if you are running other ad networks, you have to run BlogHer above them all.  And if you do paid giveaways and reviews, most of those have to go on an ad-free page. That is why you have to click over to another page for most of my giveaways and sponsored posts.

Rivit Media:  This is a smaller ad network and sometimes they do campaigns directed at the home decor/crafting arena.  This network just does OK for me, nothing majorly big.

Lijit Networks:  Another smaller ad network, this one just supplements with extra money per month.  Again, you sign up with them and start running their ads and all of these depend on how much traffic a blog gets on how much you can make.

Google Adsense:  This one is probably the most common ad network to sign up with.  Operated by the giant, Google, if you sign up for Adsense it will pull ads based on your content and deliver to your blog and again, it’s based on traffic and clicks on how much $$ you can make with Google Adsense.   If you are already signed up with Google and Blogger, it’s easy to add these ad tags to your blog.  It does take a little bit of playing around to get the ads to look  like you want them to and figure out the sizes.

houzz interior design ideas

Houzz:  I joined Houzz about a year ago as a monthly contributor and I get paid to put together a product ideabook for them once a month.  It’s fun to pull products together that I find inspiring and share them on Houzz.  I can choose any subject I want to write about and do my own thing.

Personal Ad Buttons:  These are monthly or quarterly sponsors and I place their ads on my sidebar and do giveaways and reviews with most of them.  I only accept advertisers that I feel will be a good fit with my blog and most of them are home/decor related.
Set Your Price. Choose your Advertisers. Sign up for SocialSpark!

Social Spark:  This innovative ad network brings together advertisers and bloggers and gives bloggers the chance to make extra money writing about and sometimes trying out new products and sharing them with our blog audience.  Most of them are informational posts, sharing new products or ideas that are out on the web.  There is nothing hard sell about writing these posts, but it does allow bloggers to get paid for sharing information with their readers.  This company pays based on a blog’s traffic and the more traffic you have, the more money you can make.  I’ve really enjoyed working with them the past year.

Sponsored Promotions/Posts:  I also do sponsored posts and reviews for other brands and companies that come along.  Most of these are promotional and informational, usually showing a product or giving a shout-out for a promotion of some type.  I do get paid for these, but I write them in my own words and from my on opinion or viewpoint.  I only take products or promotions that I feel would be beneficial to my readers, so I do think about that before I say yes, even though I’m getting paid for it.  The way I look at it is this:  I do a lot of posts on here about lots of interesting things from shopping venues to DIY projects and decorating, so adding in giveaways or promotions along the way is part of the business aspect.

Beadboard Wallpaper in my online shop:  Since I fell in love with beadboard wallpaper back in 2009, it was an easy decision to partner with Graham Brown and sell it in an online shop.  I do make commissions from my sales, but it’s a product I strongly believe in and wouldn’t put it out there if I didn’t.

One thing I wanted to mention to y’all that you might not know.  All of us who blog and keep up with stats look at our pageviews and visitors on a regular basis through Google Analytics.  All those ad networks pay by the number of clicks/visits we get on our blogs.  If we get more visits, it helps the paycheck go up.  If you read on a reader, like Google reader or subscribe by email and read that way, it never counts as a visit to our blogs.  So, just in case you didn’t know that and would like to help your favorite bloggers’ stats even more (and I hope I’m one of those!), please click over LIVE to my blog every chance you get, OK? You will make a blogger’s day if you do that! :) 

Several mentioned that you don’t know h0w to see a blog live.  If you are reading by email, click on the title of the post and it will take you directly to my blog url.  In a reader, you can do the same thing. To be sure you are reading LIVE, you will always see the address of the site you are reading if you glance up at your url box.  If it is an email site, you are reading in email.  If it’s Google Reader, you’ll see that address.  You can always click over live at anytime!

I know there are many people out there who really hate the fact that many bloggers (like me) are into advertising on our blogs.  Just know that we consider ourselves small business owners, we strive to do the best job we can with our blogs and we have to look at it from a business standpoint.  That’s how much time we spend on our blogs, it is a full-time job now.  So, I ask you to please be patient if you see an occasional pop-up ad or something annoying on my blog.  I try to keep those to a minimum, but I don’t always have full control on what shows up here in those sidebar ads. I also know that every sponsored post I do will not interest everyone, so please indulge me with those.

I try to be totally transparent here on my blog and along the way, I do get free products and the opportunity to try things out and get paid for them.  I will always disclose that in my posts if I get something free.  With this house renovation, you can be sure I will be getting some free products along the way and I will welcome all of them.  We are working on a tight budget!  I am already working with Lowes Creative Ideas blog team and will now get to put that $$ towards my house for the next few months.

I still see so many new bloggers striving to climb that bloggy ladder, making a name for themselves and grabbing some of the money out there.  I totally understand that, but sometimes the frantic shows through and I hate to see that happening.  Everyone has a different approach to blogging, but I’m old-school and feel it should come with hard work, great content, dedication and ethics.  That’s how you get ahead in blogworld!  So, I hope that message will come across loud and clear to all new bloggers who might be reading this.  I wish success for everyone, but I don’t think you can cut corners to get  to where you want to go.  Good things come to those who work hard and practice integrity along the way.  That is something that I’ve always striven for.

The good news is that sponsors and brands seem to be moving more and more in the direction of working with bloggers.  It’s growing tremendously in that area. That is such a great thing and will mean more success for all of us in this niche.  I feel so grateful to be in the home decor/DIY niche and to have grown along with the industry.  I love having the opportunity to work with great DIY/home decor brands and to show off their products.

Nothing inspires me more than seeing inspiration out there in blogland and the projects, they just don’t stop, do they?

One thing that is very hard is keeping up the pace of what everyone else is doing in blogland.  I had to get over that a long time ago, as I’ve been in this limbo state for the last year or so.  I was able to do a few projects and improvements at my sister’s house and my parents’ place and that has been so rewarding.  But, it’s easy to get in a competitive state of mind in blogging.

You’re only as good as your last pin-worthy super-fantastic project!  How many can you churn out in a month? You are nothing if you don’t have a blog-worthy project every single week.  At least that’s the way it feels sometimes.

That stinks!  Who can keep up with that?

There is a never-ending stream of fantastic and yes, pin-worthy super-fantastic projects out there and that feeling of being out of it can jump on all of us if we’re not careful.  I’ve felt it.  You’ve felt it.  That creeping up on you comparison thing.  That’s the thing about blogging that I don’t love.  That competitive nature and running to keep up.  So, I give you permission to be yourself and do your own thing, at your own pace.  That is what I’ve had to do.  My blog will not be the blog with the mind-blowing projects and DIY how-to’s every single week.  Really, who can keep up with all that is out there at any given time?  I decided a long time ago that I would share a variety of things on my blog and I still do that to this day, 5 years later.  Since I’ve just bought a fixer-upper house, you’ll see all sorts of real-life projects going on now, that is for sure and I will try to do weekly updates on the house!  They might not all be pretty, but they will be real-life.

Be you and you can’t go wrong!  My blog will never be the most popular or most talked about and win awards and accolades.  I have never expected that to happen.  But, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this big ole’ bloggy world and I want to continue to inspire and create with all of you out there.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for continuing to care and continuing to come by on a regular basis.  I love you all and this blog would not be the blog it is without all of you.  I think of you when I’m writing posts and putting things out there.  Will YOU like it and enjoy it?  That’s how I think about my posts.  And you do, you really do!  So, thank you once again for 5 years of fun and friendship.   I tell my parents about all the wonderful folks who come by and read about them.

I wouldn’t be where I am without my readers and all the support you ALL have given me.  If you’ll stick around, I’ll continue for another 5 years and as long as this ride continues.  I promise to keep it real, keep it fun, and continue doing what I love to do and hopefully inspiring all of you in the process.


As of April 2012, with the help of my parents, I have bought a fixer upper house and we are in the process of renovating it.  You can follow those adventures under House Renovations.  I am SO grateful to the Lord for giving me another house to love on and live in.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but so rewarding and I’ll be sharing it all on the blog. I hope to move in by Fall of 2012.

Today, the DIY Forums is interviewing  me all about my new fixer-upper for their blog , so check it out if you get the chance!

- Rhoda


  1. Great post! So interesting to hear your life story and how you started blogging. I love your blog and visit live all the time. It’s wonderful to see good things coming your way because you deserve it. I enjoyed your sharing what you have learned through trial and error in blogland and your decision to sponsor ads and blog as a full-time career. It’s wonderful to see you happy and content after your setbacks. I’m so glad you decided to and have the opportunity to continue to blog and I will come along with you happily.

    • Very interesting post, Rhoda. I am not a blogger, just a blog reader, so you informed me on a few issues. I will try to view your and other bloggers’ pages live from now on. By the way, an idea for a post would be for folks like me who don’t have a blog, to be able to post questions or pics about our homes and get questions answered by you or in the comments. Just a thought!! Oh, and to echo the comment of some other commenters, thank you for crediting God with your successes.

  2. Rhoda, you are an inspiration and have been since way back on Great Impressions. I look forward to your posts (and now know to click over to your blog from my reader!). I’m so glad that things are going well for you now. God bless!

  3. Oh Rhoda, I am soooo happy for you and the way the Lord has turned your mourning into joy!! You are an inspiration for sure in so many ways and I wish and pray you will have every continued success with your blog and now the adventure of renovating your new home. It just looks wonderful and I know you will make it a palace!! I love your taste and your projects and you are a regular part of my day. I am really behind in my blogging and there are so many things about it that I do not know how to do, but would like to learn. I recently resigned from another job I had at home and am hoping to get back to my blog. I love all things home as you do and never tire of it, tweaking, changing and evolving. Thank you so much for sharing and being so vulnerable in your story. I have prayed for you and will continue to do so. Keep smiling, the Lord is with you!!

  4. This is one of the best posts I have read in a long time. I so appreciate your honesty and incredible knowledge of the blogging world. I am so sorry you had to go through such tough times … you have done an amazing job of coming out the other side happy and successful. I am so impressed and truly in awe. I am a Georgia girl as well – I am a new blogger and I am such a fan. I hope I can achieve even just a tiny bit of your success one day.
    Thanks for such a great read this morning. Missi

  5. I’m not a blogger but I read a lot of them. Your blog was the first one I discovered and you are my favorite. Your story is inspirational and I love that you give God the credit for your success. Yes, God is good all the time! Can’t wait to see what you do with your new home.

  6. Rhoda – I haven’t been around your blog for the past five years – I’ve only been around for the past six months or so, but I’ve read your blogging journey, and appreciate the candor and honesty that goes into your blog.

    I’m sorry that you’ve suffered the financial hardships along the way – I was forced to sell my house in 2003, and wish that I had filed bankruptcy back then (but it wasn’t an option if I wanted to continue working in the industry I work in – you would be de-registered if you had a bankruptcy), so it was a struggle for me to get to the point where my credit was “good enough” to buy another house – it took me 6 years to get to that point, but I digress – that’s my story and not yours!

    I’m thrilled that your blogging venture has turned into an income for you, and that you’ve had so many wonderful opportunities. You deserve it! {{{hugs}}}

  7. Arlene Grimm says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips on blogging and the different kinds of blogs. I quit blogging earlier in the year. I had blogged for four years just to keep my family and friends up to date with our family…the books I was reading and the projects I had tackled around the house. Frankly, I find myself missing that part of my life and you have encouraged me to think of starting up again. I just found Houzz recently and I will look for your idea boards there! So glad that God has brought you to where you are today and that you are giving HIM the glory for it!!

  8. Thank you Rhoda, for being so open and encouraging. I do know what you mean about getting things out and having a great “pin-worthy” project. But I have found that I put the pressure on myself. I know I can’t keep up right now because blogging is not my life. So thank you for encouraging. I am so happy for the blessings being poured out on you and that you let your readers share in your joy.

  9. Susan in Canada says:

    I knew you online back in the GI community days! I recently found your Blog and have caught up with all your changes, etc. You’ve had some exciting and some challenging times for sure, but you have turned things around to create a new life for yourself and it rocks! Kudos and congratulations on your success. Can’t wait to follow your decorating projects as you transform your new purchase.
    Best to you going forward in all your endeavours….Susan

  10. You go girl! You deserve ALL the good things that have come your way! What a story! Perhaps a book should be your next step!

  11. Two days straight I get teary eyed reading your posts. But happy tears because you’ve come through so much so well.

    Looking forward to the thrifting day this summer!


  12. Thanks for this informational blog. It is interesting to hear your story and read your tips. I hope you continue to prosper this way. I did not know that if your read on a reader the blogger did not get hits. Does it work that way with Bloglovin’? I will make the effort to just visit your site. All the best!

  13. Speaking of great content…you always deliver. Thank you for sharing your insight. It is apparent that God is working in your life and I think that sharing all this is such a beautiful and inspiring testimony. I’m so happy and hopeful for the blessings flowing in your life right now.

    I also think blogging has been revolutionary for women…allowing us to explore our passions, improve our skills (whether diy or writing), be a part of a community of other like-minded women, and use our influence to tap into the advertising world. Thanks again for sharing your story.

  14. Vicki Crowe says:

    As always, you are the best! Loved your post!

  15. Rhoda, I’ve been following your blog since about the beginning. I have ALWAYS greatly enjoyed your blog. I love your humor, honesty, and of course the amazing DIY projects that you share. I’ve been following about 10 blogs religiously for the past five years. Yours is one of FEW that I don’t feel like you “sold out” when you started advertising. Your blog didn’t change with the exception of the ads and an occasional product giveaway. Some of the others are so busy now with advertising and giveaways that they have completely gotten away from the actual blogging!! You’ve done it VERY well. I was so sad for you when your marriage ended and so happy for you that you have those amazing parents that didn’t blink an eye. You’ve a very blessed lady and I look forward to watching you transform your new home. <3

  16. Well, here I go again, Rhoda…telling you how proud I am of you! Simply lovely post about your journey.

    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. It means a lot to me, as there are times when I have doubts about my blog philosophy and if I should continue. You know my philosophy…blog about what I know and love. Taking it easy, as I approach the big 70 (next year). There are times when I wonder if there is room out there in big ol’ blogland, for this 60 something blogging G’ma. Then I get an extra special email or comment. It always seems as though when I am at that point of considering cancelling the old back porch, I get an encouraging message that gives me the oomph to keep on keeping on. Your post, today, is one of those encouraging messages.

    What a wonderful decision you made when you added that first ad all those years ago. I applaud you for taking that first step, that has ended up being a fantabulous new career. You know, those ads have never kept me away.

    I am looking forward to seeing how you make your new house the lovely home I know it will be.
    All the best!

  17. Rhoda,
    Thank you for this biography on your blogging life. You were one of the first bloggers that reached out to me when I started. I agree with everything you’ve said EXCEPT: “My blog will never be the most popular or most talked about and win awards and accolades.”

  18. I love that you are always open and real with us and aren’t afraid to share the good, bad, and ugly of blogidom. God is blessing you and has carried you through this past year of trials. We’re here to give you support, encouragement (and tons of click-throughs!!!). Can’t wait to see you again in June! ~ KIM

  19. Meredith says:

    Hi Rhoda,

    It takes a lot of guts to share what you did in today’s post. The honest in your blogging is one of the reasons I keep reading.

    I am so excited about the positive changes in your life this year. Good for you! I can’t wait to see what you have planned for your new, lovely home.

    Thanks so much for being a wonderful blogger.

  20. Rhoda, I can’t even imagine the pain you’ve gone through- you’ve handled it all with much grace. I love that you give honor to the Lord through it all.
    I’m not sure why people get upset about advertising- they probably don’t complain about an ad in a magazine or newspaper- weird! Anyway, thank you for sharing the ad info- maybe some day I’ll get there, but just trusting God to take this blogging thing where and how and when He leads.
    I love the pic of us all in front of Goodwill- how things have changed for me since- didn’t have a blog then. Now looking forward to Haven!

  21. Wonderful post Rhoda! May you continue to be blessed!

  22. I have been reading your blog for many years and I dont have a blog – too busy with my work, but I love doing DIY stuff at our home and love reading blogs (yours is one of my favorites). You are a popular, famous blogger !! Do your thing !!
    God is good and He loves us so much that He pours blessings on us each day !
    God bless, hugs, Karen

  23. Jewelee in CT says:

    You were one of the first blogs I ever read and that was close to four years ago. I loved your DIY and thrifting. When life took it’s turn you took the high road. You kept it real, did not sugar coat things. Your faith, love of your family and honesty makes Southern Hospitality just shine. Your work ethic, creative thinking, and dedication shows in every key stroke.

  24. Carol Ann says:

    Rhoda—great post. Your honesty and willingness to share your life experience is one (of many) reasons why I come back to your blog on a daily basis. Best of luck and continued blessings!

  25. Thanks for sharing all that great blog information with us, Rhoda!
    I’m glad that this past year has had some wonderful experiences for you…you deserve them. “Thanks be to God”.

  26. Rhoda…you are an inspiration to so many including myself. You tackled what life threw you and did not let up. So proud of your year and all that you have accomplished. Great post!

  27. I really enjoyed reading this post Rhoda and I can appreciate how far you’ve come, since I left my first marriage with $20.00 in my pocket. Without our faith and family where would we be? You’ve come a long way and I only see good things for your future.


  28. Wow. Just wow. It’s amazing how God’s blessing shines through. Huge hugs Rhoda. I’m super excited to see your new old house progress!

  29. Rhoda, I visit your blog everyday and it’s my favorite because your kind, helpful personality is the nicest I have found in blogland., it comes through the written word and I’m sure that’s not an easy thing to do.

    I use the Knorr broth now because of you, I doubt I ever would have tried it w/o your recommendation. I am going to be ordering the beadboard paper through your blog soon and it’s because of YOUR recommendation, I trust that you would never put on a product you don’t believe it.

    I see nothing wrong with advertisments and can’t imagine why someone would. I stopped going to a popular blog because it’s to difficult to navigate. I like that you click on your home page and your talking to us, just like over a kitchen table. I just hope that you keep this format….

    I’m looking forward to seeing all your renovations on your home and wish you continued good success. You deserve it with all you have been through. Mary

  30. Mary Ann says:

    Go Rhoda!!!

  31. Wonderful post. I admire your openness and honesty and wish you the best future possible with your blog and your new home!

  32. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story with us. I’m so happy for all the good things that are happening for you now. It just goes to show that you can’t keep a good woman down!

    Love all the money making tips, too. It is a job after all.

  33. Hi Rhoda – I’m a new reader of your blog. Very rarely do I leave comments on blogs, but I felt that I needed to leave you a comment to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Most of all, however, I enjoy your honesty and your impeccable writing skills…you are a breath of fresh air! xo And what a testament to your Christian character that you titled your previous post as “The House is Ours!” rather than something along the lines of the house being yours. You put a big smile on my face! To God Be the Glory!

  34. Wonderful post, Rhoda! You are an inspiration to me and so many others. I admire you for all you’ve endured and maintain your positive attitude. Thank you for putting together the Haven Conference (a SELL OUT!) and for continuing to share your blog story. I’m so happy to know you!

  35. I wanted to say thank you so much for posting such an honest and heartfelt post. I’m sure it wasn’t easy having to be so open about some things but honestly, it makes you more real to your readers and we SO appreciate that. I hope for nothing but goodness for you throughout 2012 and on.

    Also, I loved your part about being authentic in your own blog. This is something I struggle with and constantly find myself comparing mine to others. I know everyone is unique and therefore, every blog should be too! I’m definitely getting back to my first intention of blogging…discovering myself in my new life as a country girl :) Thanks for reminding me of that!


  36. So glad that you persevered and came out the other side. Faith is a truly magical thing it’s there all the time but truly shows itself when you open your heart.

  37. Wishing you continued blessings! Congratulations on your new home! It’s wonderful to see the sun does shine again. Hope to see you at Haven!!

  38. Inspirational!!
    Thanks for being real.
    I love how God is blessing you!!

  39. Oh, Rhoda! I’m so glad to hear all is going so well with you! Yes, our God is so faithful and what a testimony you’ve given to Him as He is blessing you and honoring you! Your heart does show through your postings and that’s why I was drawn to your blog even before I started blogging 4 years ago. My little humble blog will never be one of the super blogs but I love it and have met the most wonderful ones in Blogland. When I first started blogging I commented to you and you commented right back to me. You don’t know how special that made me feel!
    Bless you, sweet friend,
    Shelia 😉

  40. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    Hello Rhoda,
    I am so happy that God has been with you during the tough times and as we both know, he will always be with us, what an awesome GOD! I have been thinking about taking adds on my blog for a few months now, and after reading your post, I think I will give it a try. Thanks for all the tips, I wil let you know how it goes. Looking forward to seeing all the work you do on your new home, how exciting for you. I am sad, that I waited too long and didn’t get a ticket to Haven:( I was trying to make sure that I could make the trip without any conflict and it looks like, I will miss out on one awesome conference. Take care my friend!


  41. Rhoda, Congrats on your new house and I look forward to following along as you make it your “home”. You are an inspiration
    to me and many others and I wish you nothing but the best.
    Hugs, Sherry

  42. Been following your story for a little more than a year, and what a great series these posts have been. Your honesty and courage to share *all* the details of the good stuff and the hard stuff are an inspiration to all of us bloggers; Write Real. It makes a big difference. I feel like we just had a pot of tea on a bench in the back yard for a couple of hours, and caught up with a good visit. Bravo. I’m rooting for you.

  43. Rhoda,

    I almost never comment on blogs, but I feel like just saying “yea”!!! Isn’t it amazing what God can do? You were the second blog I ever started reading several years ago & have been my favorite since that time. I live in South Alabama and loved the fact that you seemed close (B’ham) and had the MOST interesting and informative posts. Wishing you much success and keep up the good work!!

    May the Lord continue to bless you!

  44. Go Rhoda Go Rhoda! I think blogging takes a lot of dedication, honesty and hard work. I say good for you that you have turned something you love to do into the way you make your living. I have read your blog since almost the beginning and have always loved your honesty and dedication to your readers! Go Rhoda!

  45. What a year you have had! You have taught me about the value of faith, family, friendships, and gratitute, for that is what has carried you through. I, too, have had a rough few years; cancer, death of a boyfriend, and job loss. I’ve not done as well as you in bouncing back, but you inspire me to find a way.

  46. Rhoda, I have been a silent reader for some time now. I rarely get a chance to comment as I am sneaking in from work. I do apologize for that. But I am so compelled to comment after reading your story. You are such an inspiration to women in so many aspects.

    Coming from a similar background with 2 failed marriages. I can so relate. It didn’t defeat me because I wouldn’t let it. I so believe that God does have a plan for us. He does not give it to us all at once but when He feels the time is right.

    My Mother always taught us , that you cannot appreciate the good until you have experienced the bad. Wow, do I know the truth in that statement.

    Like you, with a lot of hard work and support from a few very important people in my life… I too was finally able to buy my OWN home. As I reflect back to the series of events to what brought me to my place in life now, it is downright eerie.

    I wish you nothing but success in your Blog business as well as your personal life. Good things happen to good people and I happen to think you are one of the real good ones. Bless you Dear one… know I am in your corner all the way… I am so excited for you.

    I look forward to seeing what plans you have for your new “home”. I am sure it will be spectacular.

    Hugs, Deb

  47. There is nothing better than a story of someone who was thrust into the wilderness and comes out on the other side better. What a wonderful testimony. I am inspired to do more in my home, and to trust God more when I read your story. Well done.

  48. From another old GI member and friend, you have always been an inspiration, Rhoda. Reading your story touches my heart and although I haven’t been able to read your blog faithfully throughout the years, I do check in and see how you’re doing. So glad that you’ve made it through – it give me faith that we’ll get through it as well – the future holds much and with God’s grace we’ll all prosper!

  49. Rhoda,

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again…Your blog is my favorite out there. I check in every day and look so forward to it. I’m glad this year has worked out so well for you. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new house. But mainly, I’m so glad things are going well for you.

  50. Gina in S FL says:

    Thanks, Rhoda! Long post! Savored every inspiring, honest word of it! Sometimes I really wonder how much the moms with young kids are giving up while trying to keep up with the other blogs. Life is exhausting as a regular stay-at-home mom. Then add the job of blogger, or even super-blogger….makes me tired just thinking about it! 😉

  51. Great post! Even though I’ve been on an extended blogging hiatus since my little one was born, I do hope to return one day. I use to be one of those that thought bloggers were selling out when the monetized their blog way back when, but no more! It’s too much work to keep up with posting and ideas for posting to not make money on it, if you’re going to do it right. I also get kind of annoyed seeing those bloggers that seemingly have to try to come up with the next new thing. It’s just so apparent. I think eventually the best bloggers will weed those out! Keep doing what you’re doing and have fun with the new house! p.s. Maybe you should write a book, one day! ;o)

  52. Wow..never realized all the work that goes into the blogworld! Keep up the good work!

  53. I always read, rarely comment but today I just had to tell you how inspiring you have been. I am thrilled beyond words that you are now about to look ahead to being in your own home and that blogging and your dedication to it is a big reason why! I hope 2012 is YOUR year in all ways! Many blessings!

  54. Rhoda,
    I stumbled upon your blog the other day, today is my second time back. Do you know what I’ve done for the last couple of hours?? I’ve read the last 5 entries to your “Blog Story” in between doing errands around the house.
    Your story…wow…what in inspiration. I’ve felt sad for you and happy for you throughout the last couple of hours of reading. Love your honesty, your thoughtfulness, your integrity and your help to new bloggers like myself.
    Now I have to figure out how to “follow you” so that I don’t miss any of your post.

    Wishing you all the best!
    Jana@Transformations From the Heart

    • Rhoda,
      I have to apologize for typing your name incorrectly. It’s bugged me all day that I did that. I just had to come back over here and try to correct it. Oh, I did manage to figure out how to “follow you”, thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know how. Made it much easier. My apologies again.

  55. Thank you for being so transparent-it is refreshing! Praise God for His goodness to us :)

  56. Caroline says:

    Dear Rhoda,

    First time commenter but I’ve been following you for quite awhile and have to reiterate several others’ comments that your blog is a daily MUST for me. You are so down-to-earth and inspiring no matter what your daily topic is about. Even though we’ve never met and probably never will you have made a huge impact on my perspective of life. Your ads are handled tastefully, I love your blog format–it’s beautiful and fresh, and if I’m not interested in a product review or a giveaway I just move on. The content on your site is like a visit with a friend… you never know what it will be but it is always worth checking in.

    I wish you so much luck and joy in the year ahead and cannot wait to see what is in store with your new home. It will be a treat to follow you and see what you’re up to and pick up some new ideas. Loved your B’ham home and know you will make this one even more precious. So, so happy for you.

    Blessings to you and ALL your wonderful family,

  57. Thank you for sharing your story, your advice, and hard-earned wisdom about blogging, Rhoda. So encouraging and lots to think about!
    All the best in your new home… xo Heidi

  58. Rhoda, What an inspiring post so many great thoughts. I have been following you for a couple of years and find your courage an inspiration. Just one thing I wanted to point out I subscribe to your blog and didn’t know reading it in my email box did not count. My daughter just showed me that if I click on the blog title at the top of the email it will take me to your blog so I can read it there and that should count right? Perhaps you might mention that cause if it hadn’t been pointed out to me I would never have figured that one out. Can’t wait to hear all about your new house projects.

  59. Hi Rhoda,
    You are the first blog I started following after I discovered your beadboard wallpaper a few years ago. As a native Georgia girl thats exiled in California I was first attracted by your blog name then charmed by your sweet personality that perfectly lives up to that name. I love that you decorate on a budget and your posts aren’t about the latest thing you’ve bought. I will continue to cheer you on and read of your adventures in your new house. You are an inspiration!

  60. Rhoda, I LOVED this post!! Hearing all about your story was so, so inspiring!! I also love how you gave God the glory for getting you through last year….it is obvious that He was & has continued to take care of you through all of your hardships!! I’m so glad you were able to continue to blog full time & I thank you for all of the insight in this post!! I found it very helpful & informative!! Can’t wait to see all of the work you will be putting into your new fixer-upper!! May God continue to bless you & beautiful heart!!

  61. I’ve read your blog for a number of years (lost count just how many) but I always check it out daily. Thank you for many a morning coffeetime with you. You are an inspiration to many and I will continue reading your blog through good and bad times. Thanks for sharing with us.

  62. Longtime follower, first time commentor (you are attached to my blog as a linky). Kudos for sharing.

    I (also) reply because I had the same thing happen to me, almost exactly, in my personal life. The “double whammy” as I called it. Though it took me 2 years to talk about most if it (way before I began blogging) I did not want to admit several things to even myself. Well, from one double whanmy to another – it gets better, you keep your head up and stay on your path and be true to yourself. Thanks so much for your open ness. Healing is healing and any comments of encouragement from personal friends or the blogging community can help heal.

    I wish I blogged back then, as the encouragement would have been a blessing.

    Your love for artistic beauty and creative musings will pull you up and push you forward.

    Looking forward to the fresh “newness” that is to come!! Onward!

  63. Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Love your blog and admire you for your faith, strength, talent, creativity, warmth and charm. I always look forward to seeing what you are up to and it spurs me on to be more creative, thoughtful—whatever. You are the only blogger my husband hears about and the first place I go to when I have a moment for blogging/dreaming. Wishing you continued success and many blessings on your new home and life.God Bless, Kaye

  64. dear friend, after reading today’s blog thoughts of you have
    been rolling in and out all day. plus the words to Amy Grant’s song
    “Better Than a Hallelujah” float around in between. the deal is the more dependent we are on God, the greater the blessing.
    . . .i am so NOT surprised at the way your blessings have come in.
    God waits to bless us.
    . . .i knew you would get a sunroom, i knew you would get a house that
    might be a diamond in the rough.
    . . .i knew God knew you, and had not forgotten to bless you.
    hugs, p

  65. You look great! Good to see you are still in the blog world… I find it so hard to pop around to blogs… thankful I can catch up a bit on facebook.

  66. Hi Rhoda, love your story. I’ve been in the corporate world for years and would love to do something more fun and creative too. Blogging is so much fun. I’m so happy for you that things are working out.

  67. Carolyn Simmons says:

    I hope to have my blog up one day soon! You keep going girl! So happy to see where you are now ! I live in the Santa Rosa Beach area between Destin and Panama City and I could have sworn I saw you in Publix with your sisters! I didn’t say anything (I’m not sure why) but this was last year in the spring! It must have been right after everything happened with your marriage. You were following them around and seemed depressed to me but I was clueless! If you ever come back to Santa Rosa Beach or Destin area again I would love to meet you! You inspire me to do what I think of as FUN!! One day I hope to break away from working full time in the “design world” and enjoy some home type projects and blogging my way through life! God speed!

    • Hi, Carolyn, that probably was me, following my sister & our friend around Publix. I went camping with them last year too. Yep, it was right after everything blew up, so I probably did look depressed. Now you know why. :) Thankfully, this year down in Destin was even better. That was a great get-away for me last year just what I needed, a week at the beach.

  68. I can’t tell you how much I truly enjoy your blog! You have had a really tough time and kept looking to the future and sometimes that is all you can do is wait for the Blessings. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs, you are very inspiring.

  69. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so happy things have worked out so well for you after the difficulties you faced. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store!

  70. I really appreciate you sharing all of this–the personal stuff, the blog stuff, all of it. I know first-hand how hard it is to feel at this stage of the game that your whole life has fallen apart. I love seeing someone come back even stronger, and you’ve certainly done that. I truly believe that the things we lose are making room for better things to come in. We just have to keep our eyes out and our doors open. Really happy for you.

  71. I’m so, so happy for you, Rhoda! You and I both have kind of been in the same boat when it comes to men and trust in the past year or so. I wanted you to know that I am embracing where I am, and things are looking up for me as well. I commend you for being truthful. None of us can do projects non stop. I don’t try. That competitive thing is strong, but those of us in for the long haul must resist the temptation to keep up with the Jones’s!

  72. Marc Jones says:

    Rhoda, you are an inspiration and I truly admire your dedication, hard work,attitude,spirit and never ending energy! Your blog is one of my favorites,practical ,beautiful ideas that let everyone know they can achieve these designer looks on their own! Keep up the good work! Many blessings!

  73. Done deal!

  74. Greetings, Rhoda!! I too remember you from the GI days (& often wonder what all the fine, talented gals from there are doing…I lost track after MSN stopped having groups). Anyway—your blog is my very favorite. You are one very talented lady be it decorating or blogging & all in between!!! I am so proud & happy for your new homeowner status!!! I’m excited to see the transformation into a lovely “home sweet home”!!! Thank-you for being such an inspiration to all of us & for being such an ambassador of our awesome GOD!! Blessings always!

  75. You my lady are beautiful! This is a beautiful post. I am in awe of your tranparency. Thank you for sharing.

  76. Way to go! You have been through so much but have pushed ahead and will surely come out ahead. I admire you. Keep on believing.

  77. Whoops! I can’t spell my own name!

  78. Your advice about blogging = getting rich is just superb. Many people think that just starting a blog assures them of big bucks sooner or later. IMHO, having a blog or website requires dedication, perseverance and determination for it to work. Keep up the good work!

  79. Jennifer says:

    I start out everymorning w/ you and am so excited about your new home. Last winter I was a little disappointed that you were perhaps travling to overseas. I am amazed at where you are now. SOOO looking forward to this new adventure. you have surely been in HIS favor. Rewarded for faithfulness !

  80. As always, thanks for the wonderful insight and wisdom! Oh, and for the record, we all make “bonehead” decisions sometimes, don’t we? Our own family went through a crisis a few years back when my father-in-law left my mother-in-law for a Jamaican woman while they were on the mission field. But God makes everything new. My MIL is now remarried to a wonderful, Godly man and they live on a beautiful farm in the Midwest. We never know what life will bring. I am SO looking forward to Haven and hoping to meet you in real life!

  81. Another things… I have applied to about 25 different pay-per-pageview affiliates and have been denied by all. :( Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks, Amanda

  82. I am proud of you and will support you through reading the blog or any way I can. I admire your ethic, talent, honesty, etc. keep it up!

  83. Ten year ago my husband committed suicide. No insurance, a teenager who hated me. Broke more than broke my house which I didn’t know how I was going to make house payments totally gutted no kitchen no floors. I think I was a bit nuts after this. I put a add in the paper and do what I do best…cleaning. Since then I have purchased three houses, 2 paid for one I am paying for rebuilt my credit and now have a grown daughter who now loves me and is very successful…oh I fixed my broken picker of men and remarried. The key for me was someone told me to get off my behind…( I said that a bit nicer than they did). And quit feeling sorry for myself. They said it at the exact right time for me to hear it, I absolutely love hearing stories of strong women who come out stronger and better! I am sharing your story with my Sister who is going through the exact same thing. She needs to read this : ). By sharing your story you have given other people hope. And I thank you for that. Women can come out of the ashes better, happier and they seeing how they shine again. I love it thanks

  84. Rhoda- I met you a couple of years ago at the Briarwood championship game at Auburn. I don’t faithfully ready your blog, but stop by from time to time. I just read this and got caught up. So happy things are going well. God is so good and so faithful! It’s so hard in the midst of a crisis to see him, but when the storm is gone you know he was carrying you, bringing you out of the storm. Praying for your continued journey! Jeremiah 29:11

  85. Love you Rhoda :)

  86. Great Post! Continued Prayers and thoughts for you! I was with you way back when and still am! YOU WERE MY FIRST BLOG TO READ! Still do! I now know about coming over to a blog…live. I always have but never knew it helped! Yea! Take care…and I still love the new do!

  87. Dear Rhoda,
    Your blog is much more than a full time job! I have spent a lot of time with you over the past year and I see how much time and devotion you put into it. It’s 24/7, 365 and the reason you are successful is because you are REAL! Your readers see that, hear that, and feel that in your blog posts, all while learning something about DIY, thrifting, cooking, decorating, and more. Keep up the great work. You have a gift and we readers are so grateful to you for sharing your gift with us.
    Love you,

  88. I absolutely love this post. You deserve every wonderful thing that comes your way, Rhoda!

  89. I am one of the committed followers from your beginning. I’ve commented before and love to read (and re-read) your story for inspiration! Thank You for being so candid and honest and open about your life. As I have said before you are such an inspiration to me! While I am not in financial ruin and have had to pick myself up from a financial mess I am in transition with my life as well. What career is next for me is the question for me now! It has been. I look forward to reading your posts daily because your honesty and sunshine come beeming through!! Thank you so very very much! Good luck to you!

  90. I’ve told you this before, Rhoda, but it bears repeating: I think you’re awesome! I’m so proud of you for sharing your story, and it just does my heart good to see how God has provided for you through the horrors of the past months–I love to see how he can redeem even the most terrible circumstances! I think God wants us to trust one another, and that’s what you were doing with your husband–there’s no shame upon you in the fact that he wasn’t trustworthy. I’m so sorry that you ended up having to declare bankruptcy; I’m sure that was particularly hard for you. But I’m grateful that you did have that option for your protection from total financial ruin.

    It’s WONDERFUL to hear of your blogging successes. I’ve only recently ventured into the world of making a little bit of money from my blog. I don’t make very much, but with two kids in college and huge medical bills, it’s a big blessing to be able to generate a little bit of income. You’re absolutely right that it’s easy to feel like a failure in blogging; thank you for being both realistic and encouraging.

    Take care! I’m so glad I know you!!

  91. Victoria says:

    God is faithful! It was heartbreaking to read of the ordeal you were put through. But it has been so uplifting to read of what God has walked you through and how He has blessed you when in the natural things seemed impossible. I know many of us joined in prayer for you and I, for one, am always thrilled and thankful to be able to witness answers to our prayers. We sometimes have to be reminded that all things are possible with God! You are a living testimony of that, Rhoda!

    Much love and continued prosperity in every area of your life, Sweetie! Hope we can meet up one day. I neither blog and only sometimes get my husband to help me with DIY projects. But I always enjoy the spirit and love shared on your beautiful blog!

  92. I am so happy for your success. I particularly am drawn to the fact that you are close to the same age as me (baby boomers) so you bring a different viewpoint than most other blogs written by younger women, although I enjoy those too. I think our age group is underrepresented in the blogosphere and your lifetime experience and stage of life you is valuable and interesting. I’ve contemplated starting a blog for years but am not a great writer. I’ll continue contemplating!

  93. Hi, Rhoda! I’ve been stopping by for a couple of years, but never left a comment. Betrayal and divorce is brutal I know…from my own experience. My husband just decided he wanted a divorce when our on ws 4 months old and I was almot 35. Now my son is grown (23) and on his own. I chose (emphasis on “chose”) to stay single, continue to work full time and recently started blogging to keep family & friends up to date on my attempts at DIY. So thank you for all of the tips. With God’s hand upon you and many people praying you back together, you are becoming all He wants you to be. Me, too :) God just amazes me most of the time at just how merciful He is!

  94. I am in the process of doing research to start a blog and after across yours (via house of smiths blog roll) I am grateful for your information on your story. You have given me good direction to go and I have also enjoyed y our new fixer upper renovations…I will continue to stop by and view “live” so you get a nice benefit too. Thanks for your help

  95. I am so happy for you! I have been following your blog and am amazed at how God has shown favor to you! You inspire me and others!

  96. Hi Rhoda-

    I just finished reading your amazing story. I actually met you at the Haven Conference – i so enjoyed it. I am brand spankin new to the Blogging World and am so excited to start sharing my projects doing what I love~~~ Good luck to you. See you in 2013 at Haven!

  97. Maria Ward says:

    Hi Rhoda, I just found your blog through Lily Pad Cottage. Thanks for sharing your story and your inspiration. I have been blog surfing ( i find it quite addicting) for months and am considering blogging about my experiences. I will be selling my current home, which will involve the home staging process, and then building new. I would love to share this with all of you fellow bloggers. We’ll see how this goes!

  98. Rhonda, Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. You are so right about time and hard work! Every bloggers needs to go at their own pace and not compare to others! I had never thought about reading blogs through a reader and email, not receiving a page view. I am just starting to get into advertising and appreciate all the advice you had given! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2013!

  99. Hi Rhoda,

    Truly enjoy reading all your posts. And how you managed to turn all you touch into such a wonderful beautiful house by yourself. You are so inspiring.
    All the best.

  100. WOW! I read all 5 Parts of this and feel like I’ve known you forever! I guess that’s what a GOOD blogger does.
    I just started my blog this week and HOPE & PRAY to be as good as you one day :)

  101. Dear Sandy,
    Thank you so much for all your insights and links to numerous websites and blogs! I’ve learned so much in roughly an hour, but more than anything, you’ve given me the momentum to keep writing. I love The Pioneer Woman too, and was so excited to see you got to visit “the ranch”! This would be a dream come true for me as my boys L-O-V-E love her recipes as do I. Please visit my blog too.

  102. Jackie Bowen says:

    Now, you never know if your blog will win awards and accolades, right?? Lots of surprises happen, as you’ve already written about. It is a wonderful blog and your creativity is inspiring, Rhoda. I really hope you DO keep it up for AT LEAST another 5 years. Thanks for all the hard work. It blesses me.

  103. Loved reading your story. I am a newbie and do not have many followers yet. So you think I should make the switch now from Blogger to WordPress?

    • HI, Jo, it just depends where you want to go with your blog. If you think you want to try to grow it and make a business out of it, then yes, I’d say to move now rather than later. Moving to WordPress and setting up with a host yearly is not that expensive.

  104. How inspiring! I first started food blogging in 2007 (was part of Blogher Network then too) and I have to say, that cooking blog helped me through my divorce (in 2009) . It became I space for me to express my grief. Unfortunately, unlike you, I had to let it go after 4 years because of all the changes that were happening…new home, new kitchen. Oops, too long of a comment. I just want to say thank you. I guess when we think we are alone in our misery, just “surf the net” and we’ll find many who share our story.

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