Happy weekend, friends!
It’s been an eventful week.
And I don’t mean that in a good way.
I’ve been under the weather.
Causing me to miss a blogging conference.
My friends Kim and Mary Ann are there.
I miss them but I know they’re having a great time!
Monica Vargas Photography
In addition to that disappointment, I had to call a plumber this week.
That’s always never fun.
But there’s good news too.
Grand-Niece, Haddie, turned one yesterday!
Happy Birthday, Haddie!
One-Year Old Haddie with her Grandma / Taylor Brooke Photography
And it’s my 2nd Blogiversary!
Can you believe it’s been two years since I hit publish on my very first post?!
In honor of this momentous occasion.
Today I’m highlighting five bloggers who inspired me to begin my adventures in blogging.
Let’s call them the Original Five.
They were the very first blogs I read and followed.
Are you ready?
Let’s go …
CHANGE YOUR MIDLIFE (FORMERLY THE RICH LIFE ON A BUDGET / IN THE WINE COUNTRY)
Way back in 2010, a mutual friend told me that one of her friends started a blog. My initial reaction … what’s a blog? Well, I soon found out.
Adrienne Shubin’s blog is the first blog I ever heard of, read, and followed. She started out as The Rich Life on a Budget morphed into The Rich Life in the Wine Country, and most recently became Change Your Midlife. Adrienne’s been blogging a long time and these name changes reflect her journey. These days she blogs less frequently, but keeps up fairly regularly on her Instagram.
A couple of years ago Adriene and her recently retired husband decided to improve their health and began intermittent fasting. They lost weight, begin exercising regularly and are now in the best shape of their lives. Adrienne writes movingly about what led them to embrace lifestyle changes and how they continue to evolve in their health journey. They’ve since sold their home in the wine country and are traveling across country in a motor home with their dogs. She even made the national (and local) news, and you can read about her here and here.
A STROLL THROUGH LIFE
I wish I could remember how I stumbled upon Marty’s blog, A Stroll Through Life (Thirty & Chic – On a budget). If I had to guess it would be somehow connected to Adrienne, but I just don’t recall. While Adrienne’s blog is in the lifestyle category, Marty’s is firmly planted in the home’s décor realm. Her home’s décor … and how she transformed her ‘builder basic’ into something more unique and personal. Without breaking the bank. Marty is retired and lives in Arizona near her grown children and grandchildren. And she loves to entertain. You can also keep up with Marty on Instagram.
PREPPY EMPTY NESTER
In 2014 I became a full-on blog junkie. That’s when I discovered Preppy Empty Nester. It was love at first
sight site. Katie Clooney, as she calls herself, stole my heart with her wicked sense of humor, hilarious family stories and traditional (and colorful) home décor. I’ll never forget when she and her good friend, Dude, appeared on the Meredith Viera Show wearing their Christmas tree skirts as capes. Or ‘scapes’ as they termed them. And, yes, I said her friend, Dude. All the players in Katie’s life have cute nicknames. Oh, and did I mention her Mister’s cooking?
Sadly, for us Katie takes the summers off from her blog. She has a life! Not to worry, she’ll be back after Labor Day. In the meantime, you can entertain yourself with her extensive blog archives. Start at the beginning, that’s what I did. And you can keep up with her on Instagram while she summers.
CLASSIC CASUAL HOME
It was also 2014 when I saw Mary Ann’s Southern California home featured in BHG magazine. She wrote about it here. I started following her on Instagram and soon realized she had moved to San Francisco. What? Just across the Bay. My recently renovated Walnut Creek home needed finishing touches and Mary Ann came to the rescue. And she’s helped me with two homes since then. Not only is she a talented designer but she’s so much fun and now we’re friends. I remember having lunch with Mary Ann at the San Francisco Design Center – years ago – and she said, ‘you should start a blog.’ That started the wheels turning but it still took several more years for me to finally do it.
Anyway, Classic Casual Home is my all-time favorite home décor blog … although Mary Ann covers other topics too from fashion and beauty to travel and entertaining. She does a Sunday blog series with Cindy Hattersley and Most Lovely Things that inspired our Weekend Meanderings.
Mary Ann and her husband recently moved to Florida and she’s decorating her amazing new coastal home. She just revealed her updated entryway. I’m dying over the wallpaper.
THE VINTAGE CONTESSA
And finally, La Contessa! She needs no introduction. On the off chance you don’t know and aren’t following her … here’s what she promises her readers:
‘Her musings and passions. What inspires and dazzles. Loving all things worn and rusted. Age.
The grandeur of the past. Bottom line … Contessa Chatter!’
Well ok then.
How did I discover the Contessa? I’m not sure. Probably through another blog we were both following, Have Some Decorum. Contessa is staunch blog commenter and I believe that’s where the connection happened. She was collecting birthday cards for this blogger, and she posted her address. It was near me, and I replied, ‘I know where you live.’ She thought I was a stalker. Obviously. But she still invited me to drop off a card, and then welcomed me into her home. She ushered me in and told me to sit in the upholstered, vintage chair she keeps in her kitchen. I was enchanted. She was wearing a caftan, just like on the blog. With velvet slippers. Her home was even more fabulous than it looks on the blog. And I thought, it’s good to be the Contessa’s friend!
The Contessa had been after me for years to start my blog. She can be quite persistent. When I finally did, I’m not sure who was more relieved. Me or her.
In addition to her blog, Contessa is an avid Instragrammer under the name Contessa and Her Pig. Yes, she has a pet pig. You’ll have to follow her to learn more.
So, there you have it, my original five blogging inspirations.
To whom I owe so much.
How many of these women do you follow?
Now let’s see what’s on Elizabeth and Kim’s minds.
IN OTHER NEWS ~
A word about blogging.
It’s not as easy as it looks.
There’s a lot more involved than meets the eye.
And I’ve had lots of help and support along the way.
At the beginning, the Contessa and Mary Ann (ha … sounds like Gilligan’s Island!) gave me big shout outs which resulted in a nice jump start in readers and subscribers.
Subscribers are everything, by the way.
And, if you’re one of them I’m incredibly grateful.
Many other bloggers have mentioned my blog, linked to my posts, and even featured me.
I’m also part of the Thistlewood mastermind coaching group, led by KariAnne Wood.
Joining forces with Kim and Elizabeth for Weekly Meanderings is another milestone and highlight.
Two years ago, I would not have dreamed it possible.
Blogging is such a supportive community and I’m lucky to be part of it.
So many of you have shared the blog with your friends.
How wonderful is that?!
Like I said, I’m incredibly lucky.
So, thank you for being here.
In my little corner of the Interwebs.
It means so much.
In addition to the blogs I’ve already talked about, let me share a few others I consider must reads ~
Giannetti Home (Velvet & Linen)
The Real Golden Girl (Fricks Picks)
And here are two new-ish blogs that I’m loving and think you will too ~
How about you?
What are your favorite blogs?
I’d love to know.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy Blogiversary to me!
Cheers from Snowberry!