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10.04.2012

Let me Just say...

I've been trying to avoid this post for about 6 months now, but I think it's time I finally gave in and pulled my thoughts out of draft, and actually published them for you to read.
Let me start off by saying, this post will probably have a lot of you thinking... "Hmmm, well... reading that was a waste of my time, bc I don't care. Where's the home projects!?" and to the select few, it may answer some questions and shed some light.

First things first,

Yes, my blog is still hosted by Blogger:
GASP!
I no longer have a "blogspot" URL, but the platform I use for my site is Blogger.com. Does this make me an armature, behind the times, unprofessional or less appealing to companies?
uhhh... I dunno...maybe (?)
I seem to get the same amount of opportunities/readers/numbers/pins/whatever is important to me that day, as other bloggers hosted by other servers, the only difference is... I know how to maneuver, use and manipulate my comfortable blogger-hosted blog just how I like.
:)
Sure there are a few cool features/plug-ins that I've heard about for wordpress and other platforms, that I have thought "Oh, that's neat", but nothing extremely life-changing that I feel needs to be implemented on our site at this time. Am I worried about the hype of Blogger.com shutting down my blog forever and losing everything? Yup! But guess what? So are my other friends who have independently-hosted sites. There really is no guarantee that anything is 100% safe or fail-proof. It's the internet, anything is possible. All I know is that for ME, having the ability and knowledge to work the back end of my blog (changing sidebar features, designing and adding new images, customizing HTML) when I need to, is stress off of me and less time away from my family trying to figure out a new program.
Not to mention that being hosted by blogger is still free!

Secondly

Commenting Ease:
Some of you may have noticed, I've turned on and now allow anonymous comments, which I've never done before. Reason being, some of our readers requested it, due to the fact that they didn't want to open/sign up for separate accounts to comment on our blogger hosted site. Now anyone can comment whenever they please (under an anonymous tag) and just sign their name at the bottom if they want.
Being able to enter you name, email and web address in order to comment like on other sites is definitely one of those "features/plugins" that I wish I had, that I was referring to before.

Something that blogger HAS done, is to make it now possible for me to reply to your comments when you leave them below a post if you have a question. I'm trying to be really good at that, especially if you don't have your email connected to your commenting profile when I approve your comment. So check back if you're waiting for an answer to a question. More than likely, I will leave it under your original comment.

This leads me to my next topic. One that is extremely uncomfortable for me, but I feel needs to be addressed.

Hurtful, Non-helpful Opinions:
***siiiigh***
I just want to keep it short, personal and a bit pathetic.
If you can't be kind to us,
then please don't visit our happy home anymore.
We're not perfect and we can't please everyone (even though we really do try our hardest).

We've chosen to put not only our projects, talents and ideas on display... but also our family, personal life, trials, happiest moments and celebrations. From showing how a husband/wife team works through DIY projects, to embarking on a full-blown weight loss journey, we've always felt like sharing above and beyond the typical home related article, has been our reason for blogging all along. Hoping to get our message out to others who may struggle, rejoice or relate with the same things we do, and always intending to inspire, motivate and leave our readers feeling happier than when they came.
 We were completely aware at the beginning that this would open up the door for people to criticize and critique us more, and so we have made the decision to hold our heads up, smile and "keep swimming" when we get the occasional hurtful, non-helpful comments/emails, but I must say, it sure makes the job/hobby a lot less enjoyable when those comments are intentionally made to hurt or offend us.
So as respectfully as possible, again I ask:
If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all.
My good friend Lara wrote an outstanding article that I think everyone should read. It's about blogging etiquette titled Miss Manners meets the Internet. It's a quick read and it touches on some really great points.
Before you email or leave a comment for someone on a blog, ask yourself:
* Is this relevant?
* Would I say this to them in person?
* How will it make them feel?
No matter how "nice" you may think you've worded your judgment/opinion, I promise... it will always come off offensive to the receiver. ESPECIALLY when they've never even met you.

And last but not least...

Yes! I'm mixing Business with Pleasure:
You know how you get to watch all of your favorite TV shows with zero commercials, because you can fast forward by them AND you don't even have to pay for any type of DVR program now to do it?

Oh... No? You still pay an extra fee to watch TV how you please?
hmmm...

Okay, well then...
Remember that one time when your significant other went to work for 10-12+ hours every day each week, worked their hardest, missed out on fun stuff occasionally, but still LOVED their job, came home a lot of the time exhausted... but then just got a pat on the back and NEVER an actual paycheck?

No?
hmmm....

So what you're saying is, that you have to PAY for a service to bypass commercials and you have to use cash to pay your bills?... you don't work day-in and day-out, and take time away from your family, usually for someone else's gain, just for sweet compliments, nice emails and kind tweets?

Well guess what? (I'm sure it's no secret)... But either do I.
:)
As important and appreciated as the pins, stumbles, tweets and comments are... the reality is, there is no way possible that I would be able to work THIS much on our blog, without some kind of monetary compensation at some point. From improving our webpage and answering hoards of emails from our awesome readers, to making projects, photographing, editing and posting them. We've made our blog an important part of our life, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Our kids love and understand it, Cason and I get stupid-silly-excited to share things on it, and as much as it is for YOU, it's also for us too!

I'd like to say that my husband makes gobs of money that I get to use to whip out projects, ideas and room makeovers left and right with... but, that couldn't be further from the truth. ha! If it wasn't for blogging, I would absolutely need to be working outside the home just to help pay for month-to-month necessities.
That being said, after a year and a half of working my tail off on this blog (using free time when I had it), building up posts, writing articles and revamping our site with no pay (and just as a hobby) something started to happen... we were getting approached by big companies who liked our ideas and wanted to help us continue on our journey, in exchange for product, cash, exposure, etc.
Not only did we see this as an amazing opportunity to further our home renovations, but also as a possible career for me! Now, exactly 3 years later I'm happy to say that I am a legit income-contributor for my family. With the additional money that we make from partnerships through our site (whether through the occasional sponsored post or display advertising), we were able to FINALLY get out of medical debt last year from having our twins in the NICU, make fun changes/updates to our home while sharing our ideas with others, and even go on some pretty awesome road trips to see extended family for special occasions like weddings and new baby arrivals.

We couldn't feel more blessed to have this opportunity to pursue our passion in life.

Even though my job may require a ton more hours and a lot more emotions than most... it's worth E.V.E.R.Y minute, because I get to be home for my kids when they need me, do what I love, and make amazing, life-long connections with other bloggers and fabulous people like YOU! 
Along those lines, know that we are extremely picky about who we choose to work with and promote. We say "no" everyday to amazing paid opportunities, because we've always got your best interests in mind. 99% of the time we work in sponsors to our already written posts, because it fits so well; killing two birds with one stone!

Whew!
So... for those of you who are still reading (Hi Mom and Grandma!) then I hope this clears up some questions as to why and how we do what we do.
:)

Have a happy weekend!
xoxox

280 comments:

  1. You are awesome :-)

    (I hope this makes you feel awesome, yes I would say this in person and I deem this to be of upmost relevance)

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  2. Good for you guys! I'm stubbornly sticking to blogger too for the same reasons. My friends call me up and ask for blogger behind the scenes advice because I can usualy fix their problems, I don't want to start over again.

    I'm happy that you guys are being successful, keep on it! Thanks for sharing and encouraging!

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  3. I just want to say. Love your blog and I appreciate the cute and creative things you have to share with us. I am glad that it is contributing to your home. you deserve it. Thanks!

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  4. A-freakin-men! You go girl. And Cason too!

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  5. Your blog is so cheerful and fun to read. Glad that its been a blessing financially for your family so you can keep it up! Haters gonna hate. Brush your shoulders off! ;)

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  6. I have never commented before but feel like I have to tell you how great this blog, and in relation, you and your family are. It makes me sad that there are people who say things to hurt others feelings. But please know for every one Debbie Downer, there are hundreds of others who LOVE what you do. Your blog in inspiring, empowering and a bright light in this world! I appreciate all that you do and am so happy that this allows you to be home with your family. You should get compensated because you do an AMAZING job!! Thank you so much!!!

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  7. Great post! Love you guys! Keep up the great blog/work. Hugs from Conroe, Texas

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  8. I read the whole post:) Keep doing what you do, we love it! :) I get so many anonymous spam comments, but don't want to do the "type in these letters" that I may consider turning anonymous comments off. Just a thought.

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  9. Love your Blog and your cute family:) thank you for all you do

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  10. I read and love your blog! Thanks for laying it all out on the table!

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  11. I am SOOOO glad you said that you still use Blogger...I LOVE Blogger and there is a ton of pressure to move over to WordPress and for me, like you, it's FREE and I love being able to do whatever I want whenever I want super easily! I see so many others go to WP and then I hear all kinds of craziness and sadness about having to call IT people all the time and how much it costs to run, etc. That's when I realize that my decision to stay on Blogger is worth it. The only other thing I heard was SEO was way better - but hubby and I found a way to do that and tripled my pageviews in three weeks. So, I don't think that's a reason to leave anymore either. Sorry for the ramble, just glad I'm not the only one. I sometimes feel lonely that I'm the only blogger that's still on Blogger :) YAY!!

    Becky B.
    www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

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  12. So well written! Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  13. Thank you for writing this. The part about nice comments is exactly how I feel. I've been blogging for a year and a half now and had my first really mean comment a few days ago. I know that it shouldn't matter, but it really hurt my feelings. Thanks for capturing what I feel and why I blog as well.

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  14. You are amazing. So talented and sweet. I adore your blog! Can you please post 3 times a day? Pretty please? ;) j/k I, for one, am thrilled that you can make a living doing what you love! So very, very happy for you and super grateful that you share your talents with the world!

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  15. Yeah for you!!! You have to know you have changed lives in every single post and you are loved by far more than you know. Keep that creativity coming for all of us who appreciate you beyond words.

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  16. Love it! Tell it like it is and have no regrets. I love your blog and always look forward to reading it, regardless if it is a before/after post, weight loss post or just a few pictures of the kiddos! :)

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  17. If it's any consolation, I read the entire post :) And I don't even know you!

    You guys are doing great! I love your posts, and I hope your weight loss journey is going well!

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  18. Very well said Shelley. I enjoy following your blog. Thank you for sharing all that you do. Happy Weekend to Ya'll!

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  19. The beauty of freedom. Keep it up and keep doing it however it works best for you. :-)

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  20. LOVE this post and couldn't agree more! Thanks for being so open and honest - I LOVE IT!

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  21. This is such a great post! I must be feeling tender hearted tonight because I started getting teary eyed at the end! Love HoS you guys really make it look easy!

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  22. Just wanted to say that I love your guys' blog & think you are amazing at what you do! I'm constantly referring to your posts! :)

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  23. Thanks for your openness. I love your authenticity as much as your creativity.

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  24. Good.For.You. especially as blogging has been changing so much.I have been on blogger for my 5 years now and don't really get the big hoopla over changing either. I am happy on blogger and just make sure to back it up. Thank you for the great words tonight.

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  25. you do what you gotta do girl! and don't feel bad for it. you're following your heart and dream. anyone who doesn't get that passion can turn into a business has never had a real dream i think.

    ps- i'm glad you're still on blogger makin' it work. gives me that added "you can do it, you don't have to convert if you don't want to push." being a successful blogger on blogger.com can still be ok.

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  26. Fabulous post! =)
    Have a wonderful weekend! XO ~Liz

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  27. Shelley - you are awesome!!! the end :)

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  28. So, first off I have to say that I'm SO excited to be able to comment on your posts now!!!! *thank you* But, I really have to say kudos to you for doing what you love and getting paid for it! My husband and I have been struggling with blogging for the very reason that it costs money while I'm not working. But you are an incredible inspiration!

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  29. Good for you Miss Shelly! I love your blog--every single part of it. As I blogger myself, I totally get everything you outlined in your post and applaud you for hitting that publish button. Hugs sweetie!

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  30. Oh Shelley, this is an awesome post. In fact, the fact that you are with blogger encouraged me to know that you can have successful blog on this platform.

    I appreciate, and I think most of your followers do as well, all that you guys do and for all the free inspiration you offer us.

    Seriously, you are awesome and when I grow up I wanna be like you:)

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  31. I've only been reading your blog for about a month now and this is the first time I'm commenting, but I just wanted to say that I really like blogs like yours. It is nice to get to know something about the person writing what I'm reading. There are some sites that do read like informative pamphlets and that is fine if you need that information, but that won't make me go back on a regular basis.

    On a more personal note, your weight loss journey is inspiring. As a person who is currently on that journey herself, I really enjoy reading about other people's successes and struggles...with some great design stuff thrown in, of course!

    Since I've rambled long enough, let me just say that I like what you're doing and look forward to more!

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  32. Great post! Very well written. Thanks for sharing these personal feelings about a widespread "sore spot" for lots of bloggers. :)

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  33. Loved every.single.bit of that post!! You two are so real, and I admire you for that! I love my blog so much, and always consider it a pure blessing if I ever make money off of it some day! With that said.... I cannot wait to meet you at SNAP 2013!!!

    -Jenn @ One Thrifty Chick

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  34. I read it! :) I don't have anything amazing to say here...but how about a high 5! And keep doin' what you're doin'!

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  35. As a wee blogger, I admire your success. Keep up the good work! (And one of these days I'm bound to run into you shopping at Gardner Village or somewhere nearby :-) )
    -Kenz

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  36. I'm sorry you're having to deal with negativity! I always enjoy your wonderful blogs and stories about your beautiful family. Don't let it get you down because it does say more about them than it has anything to do with you. I'm happy you are able to stay at home with your family-that's priceless!

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  38. I really appreciate how you always keep it real! From what I can see as a dedicated reader you're a terrific mom, a great wife and mostly (and perhaps pathetically) from someone who just moved to a new area a relatable source and someone I know would be a "friend" if we ever met. Thanks for all you and your family do!

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  39. Way to say it, Shelley!!! I am so glad that you have been able fly with your vision! Both you and Cason deserve only the best. Forget about what others say, they are just jealous! Just keep being fabulous, k :)

    Lisa Bitter
    (Hi Cason!)

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  40. You guys are awesome. Keep doing what you're doing...we love it!

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  41. I have to tell you that I love your blog!! I am sorry to hear, although I don't know the circumstances that there are people out there who just love to be mean and say terrible things. People need to learn that they need to treat people the way they want to be treated. Wouldn't our world be a better place if people would do that! :) I believe people who are cruel are just not happy with their lives and they take it out on others.
    It is great that you are doing something you love and are able to spend time with your family as well. I love DIY projects! I sew, do woodworking and many types of crafts. I have a blog but am not the best at writing so haven't updated for awhile. Maybe someday!
    Keep doing what you love!

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  42. I think you're great and just wanted to say, thank you for doing what you do and for sharing it with all of us! Keep up the great work! :)

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  43. I was still reading until the very end, so it wasn't just your Mom and Grandma ;) Such a great post (as always) and I congratulate you on the amazing success you've worked so hard for. You deserve all of it and more! Kirsten

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  44. For one.. I am a single mom and I always have stuck to my guns about being home with my little one, I have my own little business but sometimes it feels overwhelming! I really like hearing how others make it happen so maybe I can implement it into my business :) thanks for sharing! 2nd, I love your blog and so happy that you can do what you love by being at home with your kids and making some money while you are there! Keep up the great work!

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  45. Shelley, well said. Miss you guys and love you more! Only 5 more months.

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  46. Shelley, well said. Miss you guys and love you more! Only 5 more months.

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  47. Love you Shelly! Love your style, love your family, love your writing! Keep doing what you are doing and ignore those negative Nellies. :)

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  48. Good for you! I'm still with blogger as well, and I often wonder whether I'm doing myself a disservice by staying with them. Blogger is so easy to manipulate. I think that pretty much makes up for all the fancy plug ins.

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  49. Good for you! I wish I could say to not listen to the negative, but I know that is impossible You are still going to get those comments that make the writer feel better about themselves because they made you feel bad. Please know that for one nasty comment there are probably 100 nice and uplifting comments that are written to you or were thought , but never written. Keep doing what you are doing! You do it well!

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  50. Well said, keep up the good work :)

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  51. I loved this post! You do work so hard and it shows! I ran and got a post-it note and jotted down your quote about success. LOVE IT. Your blog is beautiful, informational, and a joy to read! Anyone that says otherwise it just envious. :)

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  52. I agree with everything you've said and think you did a great job of saying it! (I complained once about a loud ad that came on without notice, but I was completely pleasant about it!)

    Love you guys!

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  53. I think you are awesome!! Love your spirit and personality!!
    Jayne B.

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  54. Shelley, I commend you for writing this post and shedding light onto why you make some of the decisions you have.

    Keep it up Gal! We love you.

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  55. Kudos to you for a great post and thanks for addressing the meanies out there. I am so happy that your blog is successful and that we get to join you on the ride!

    Oh... And how did you remove the blogspot part of your address?

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  56. Great post! A lot to think about. I'd love to be able to contribute some $$ towards my family by blogging. Just not sure how. It's sad that people leave hurtful comments. It's not happened to me...yet. Anyway, thanks for posting this informative post.
    Have a great day!

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  57. Hi Smith family!! I stumbled across your blog (a few weeks ago) through pinterest (the DIY floor rug) and let me tell you it was love at first sight!!!

    All your ideas are incredibly creative and beautifully executed!! What I love (and noticed) the most was how you and your hubby work together to create amazing projects.

    I will continue to get inspired by all your wonderful ideas and good on you if you can create a living from it while raising your beautiful family!!

    A.Hilton (Australia)

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  58. Hello Smiths, I have only been following you for about 6 months and I usually don't read posts as long as this one but I'm glad I did. Its insightful and real. It's posts like this that helped me to finally start my own little blog. What drew me to yours was your Entryway Makeover. You guys are so talented and I take my hat off to you for doing all that you do. I work full-time with no children and I struggle to post twice a week. I guess I just wanted to say I love your blog and all of your creative ideas and let you know that someone other than your mom and grandma read this entire thing. Big fat cyber hug.

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  59. Hi there -
    I was attracted to your website because I have identical twin boys (who are only 29 years old hehe) and a singleton daughter (who is now 23) -- I enjoy reading your blogs/website and watching with amazement all of your accomplishments! You bring back good memories.
    I really wish it wasn't necessary for bloggers to have to write these kinds of posts - "please be nice" etc. - it makes me sad to think there are people out there who think it is their business to put negative comments on a post... keep doing what your doing, and I hope the negative people jump off a ship!
    Hugs,
    JoAnn

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  60. Shelley, you're FABULOUS and I love you and your blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there for all of us... it's hard to imagine anyone making any negative comments... but I'm sure some do. (Ugh.) However, I know there are LOTS more of us who love you and always look forward to your posts! THANK YOU, and have a wonderful weekend! xoxoxoxoxo

    Tina Matteson
    singin(at)compuserve(dot)com
    P.S. I'm so glad I can post a comment here now. Been wanting to do that for a long time.

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  61. Thank you.

    You describe where I hope to be...in a little more than 2 years.

    Right down to the paying off medical bills for my twins that were in NICU.

    And being a Blogger blogger. It's nice to know that a "big" blogger that I follow is still using the same platform that little blog people (like me) are using.

    And thanks for saying something about mean people...I don't know why people do that.

    Have a great weekend! And thanks for a wonderful post.

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  62. Well written my fried! I am sorry you felt you needed to write it, but it is a good read. And I am sure the vast majority of your readers agree with you wholeheartedly. The few odd ones that don't well, you told them: leave and be at peace.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  63. Love this post! I love reading about why and how other bloggers do what they do. I am working hard to make my blog something special at the moment, and hopefully one day I can make an income from it too. A lot of my friends don't really understand why I do it, I can really relate to how you get excited about posting things! Have a lovely weekend :)

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  64. I'm a daily reader of yours and many other blogs and it makes me sad that so many of you are "attacked" by unkind people. Please know that there are many out here who just enjoy reading and being inspired by your blog. I appreciate your vulnerability and can only imagine the beating you get. From me to you and your family, know that I'm inspired especially by your weight and exercise journey and the cool things you and your husband create together. Keep it up and remember there are many of us who LOVE when you post and share! You've also got precious girls!

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  65. I appreciated you taking time to do this post. It is my opinion that you are doing an amazing job here inspiring, teaching and sharing good things that all are meant to help create a comfy home to raise a family in. Which is my goal. Keep up the good work!

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  66. AWESOME GIRL!!!! Very well said and I LOVE your blog. Keep on swimming you guys xoxo

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  67. Good morning!

    Just wanted to say...I read your post...every word...along with your mom and grandma. lol

    I often wondered how bloggers stay positive with so many Negative Nellie's posting nasty comments. ?? I read several blogs, and while I enjoy each of them, I feel I don't have time to leave a comment on every post, every day. How in the world do the Negative Nellie's find the time, not to mention the negative energy, to post as often as they do? Ugh!

    Just wanted to let you know I love your blog...both home decor and personal posts...keep them coming.

    Have a great day!

    Tina B

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  68. Love your blog love that you share your struggles - that's why I subscribed! Sorry that you actually had to explain all that...!
    Chris (LI, NY)

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  69. Very well said - especially about the comments and ads! I think I've become an even bigger fan today! THANK YOU!!

    Cher @ Designs by Studio C

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  70. I love that you guys keep it real - and that you're still using blogger! Thank you for sharing - this is great encouragement for new bloggers. We love blogging too, but we're also trying to keep it real - prioritize our time and not feel like we need to blog all the time. I like visiting The house of Smiths because you always have good content! Thanks for all your hard work.

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  71. Ok so don't blush but I consider you one of the big bloggers out there....you, TDC, Cent Girl.....you are up there. I remember seeing you on an HGTV show last year and saying, " OMG I know her!!!!". I am not a stalker, I swear. But I "knew" you from blogland. And my point is....ok not sure what my point is. Oh yes, that you have made a great name for yourself in blogland and your taste? Impeccable. So of course you are gon' be paid! And if peeps have a problem with that then they are jealous. Totally. Also, it made me smile that you are still on Blogger. I am too and love it for the most part. I don't like change so I get it.
    Great post and thank you for keepin' it real.

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  72. For some reason I feel the need to respond to your post today! I stumbled across your blog when I was introduced to Pinterest last spring. I loved looking through your home, enjoying your decorating skills, and seeing your smiling face, as well as your sweet girls. Although our lives are worlds apart I look forward to seeing what you have done with your little corner, and am happy for you on your journey to improve yourself. Ignore the negative comments and realize that you are touching many more people on a positive level. Keep up the good work!

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  73. I couldn't agree with you more. Congratulations on all of your success. Enjoy your job! There's more than one way to get to the end of the road and as an LDS mom you're living the dream! Making money and being home with your babies.

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  74. So appreciate all you do, from your amazing design ideas to your personal stories about your precious family. Here's to many more years inspiring good design, both with a house and in life!
    Blessings!

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  75. Great post and very encouraging! Thank you so much for doing what you do and being so transparent!! I know I appreciate you!! :-)
    Hugs, Jennifer

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  76. I love your blog and I love your advertisements, my only gripe is that I'm in Australia and can't purchase some of the lovely products so I end up with purchaser envy lol. I totally believe in what you guys do, I'd rather read your blog (free) than pay $7 - $10 for a magazine which is heavily advertised and I can assure you the magazine is advertising for the monetary value only not because they have used and recommend the product. Blogging is the way forward for the future - you guys should be getting paid twice the amount you get. Great Work.

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  77. Thanks for this post! I am new to your blog but I already love it :) I have a blog on blogger and I just hit my 50 post mark (go me!) so I appreciate any information from people who use it.

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  78. Sorry you had to write this post! I'll never understand the need of some people to say rude things (I actually have a family member or two who do that to me all. The. Time. It's like they live for making me feel worthless and inadequate.

    I totally understand the mixing business with pleasure! I find it rather inspiring actually. Just in the last month or so I've actively tried to grow my readership. I would love to be able to help contribute to our income by doing something I love (my problem is that there are so many things that I love I can't really find just one niche).

    Besides, it's FAR easier for someone to skip a blog post than it is to skip a commercial.

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  79. Very well said. I just want you to know that I love your blog.

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  80. Don't think my first comment went through..but I love your blog and thank you for sharing! Don't understand anyone spending time reading or looking at your blog then saying something negative! My only complaint is that you guys don't live closer so you could update my condo!
    Mary

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  81. I think this is an amazing post. I love your blog and I think you do an amazing job. All of you! Keep up the great work and know that you and your family deserve all the wonderful opportunities that come from all your efforts. :)

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  82. Very well said! Thanks for all you do, you truly are inspiring!

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  83. I love all that y'all do and post! Even when its the occasionall explanation of it all. I am so happy to know that blogging has contributed enough to supplement your income and truly allow your family the ability to call yourselves entrepreneurs in every since of the word. Literally taking a service that is given freely and turning it into a full fledged business is remarkable! I recently started my own creative blog and pray every day that I am even half as successful as House of Smiths. I take great pride in knowing we share some of the same thoughts and beliefs. Keep doing what you're doing because you know what, IT WORKS! Hugs and keep on keeping on!

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  84. Shelley, I commend you for writing this post and saying what needed to be said. Many people wouldn't for the sake of "keeping on aires" of their blog. This shows you are "real" "honest" and "open" - another rarity in the world of blogging.

    I haven't been blogging much and mine is mostly about cooking (yes another foodie blog to join the gazillions of them already out there). What I'm finding, is in this grown up world of blogging, it's very cliquey and the popular girls tend to hang together exclusively.

    You are a huge blog with a huge following, and yet still make the time to respond to comment that people have taken the time to post. I stopped posting and actually stopped following some of those other Big Girls because they didn't seem to care about their readers enough to engage and respond. When they did I noticed, again, it was usually to the "popular kids" or readers they followed.

    Your blog always makes me smile as do you and your family. I'm honored to be part of your lives, as that's what you've made each and every reader.

    I'm so glad it's finally paying you back for the love and attention you put into. You deserve it.

    Now where's the next home project? ☺ ❀

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  85. Good for you! This needed to be said; I'm not sure what happened to common decency but it certainly has taken a hit, especially when so many only want to be witty or caustic or both.

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  86. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. POST!!! I love this blog and I'm so glad I found you AND Cason! Keep up the great work you do and continue to LOVE what you do!!! I started following you because of your neat ideas and projects, but now I'm also inspired by your weight loss journey!! you are definitly an inspiration!!

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  87. A lot of good thoughts! Love reading your blog and I wish you success both personally and professionally!

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  88. well said shelly! keep doing what you love.

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  89. Thanks for all you share here, Shelley. Just know that you are appreciated!

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  90. Great post!! Thanks for sharing and keeping it real!!

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  91. Great article, I have been weighing the decision of moving my blog to WP but after reading your take, I may rethink my plan. I was always under the impression I couldn't make it appear as I would like, but you have been able to tweak yours. Guess I better find a source that can walk me through the changes I would like to make. Thanks for the insight:) and have a wonderful day!!

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  92. Very well expressed.....I love your blog and check in just about everyday. Love your ideas and am happy for you and your family. The Lord has blessed you with great gifts and you are using them wonderfully. Have a blessed weekend

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  93. THANK YOU! First of all, this was informative for those of us who think about blog things (and may or may not have actually started a blog...). It gives a lot to think about especially as I read so many going to Wordpress and other servers. Second, I think you are totally inspiring and precious to be transparent with your life . It makes you real and relatable and fun. Finally, YEAH for being paid for what you do! I wouldn't expect the store I buy things from to give everything away and since you have graciously done so for awhile now, good for you that you have sponsors that offer you an income. I keep two little boys in my home and that allows mw to be mommy at home with my own 7 year old son. I have the privilege of putting him on the bus, doing homework in the afternoon with him and being at home so friends can come over after school. Your job allows you the same opportunities. I have read a few other blogs this week on manners...so sorry it's gotten to that. I guess the old adage, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," should be remembered. Blessings to you and your family!

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  94. Very well expressed...I enjoy your blog and check in just about everyday. The Lord has blessed you with some great gifts and you are using them wonderfully. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  95. Good for you! You do a wonderful job and deserve a lot of credit.
    I love your blog!
    Kate at mck1970@aol.com

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  96. YOU'RE AWESOME! I think that about sums it up :)

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  97. Oh my GOSH! I can only say WOW! You handled that awesomely (is that a word?) I, too, am on blogger and am very new at this. I would love to hear how you customized your Home page to make it so "YOU" and BTW I just received my order from you for the 'Along cam a spider' and the owl, I put them on two $1.99 silver chargers from Hobby Lobby and they looks like a MILLION BUCKS!! I love what you do! Keep it up girlfriend and in the words of Dr. Seuss---
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

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  98. GREAT post! And good for you and your family that you are living your dream and seeing success. I have never understood the whole negative comments thing. I agree that if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it on the internet. *Sigh. And I just have to shake my head at folks who think it's dishonest/wrong for bloggers to take a paycheck.. You provide a service to people. You let them in your home and into your personal life (to a point..). Why the heck shouldn't you get paid? Don't they understand that if you don't earn a living then you can't afford to do the projects that they love reading about??? Oh man. Now my blood's a boilin'.. Haha. Anyway, congratulations on finally seeing a payday from all your hard work and also for you and Cason getting out of medical debt. That is no small feat. Me and my husband are climbing out of our debt now and it is HARD so I get it. Keep up all the great work and I can't wait to see more of your AWESOME posts!

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  99. I love your blog and I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing them. I wish I lived in Utah, cause I so would want to be your friend!
    -Aimee

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  100. I read it all and I thought that what you said is relevant. I love looking at what your doing and I think that if you're getting something for all your hard work than thats great. Thanks for sharing.

    Megan xxx

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  101. Congrats on making your dream a reality! I too am working towards doing interior decorating full time with the help of my new blog, and reading your post today gives me confidence that I too someday, can do what I love full time. Keep up the good work!

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  102. Keep up the fab work. I look forward to all your blogs!

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  103. Wow! So sorry you've been getting mean feedback! I did read all the way through your blog today (and am neither your mother or grandmother!) and can't believe there are people who are rude to bloggers. It's a privilege for us ordinary people to get to see all your awesome ideas at the click of a button and why should we criticize that?! Keep up the good work!

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  104. i think it is smart you use blogger. some big sites spend thousands a month for hosting. i'm glad see you think for yourself!

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  105. I think you are doing a great job and mean people can just bug off!! :)
    your post was very nicely worded by the way. keep up the awesome blog!

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  106. Thank you! As a new blogger I really appreciated this post. You are amazing!

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  107. Keep Going!!! I love your site. Thanks for great ideas and sharing your personal journey on your weight loss. Congrats on 3 years.

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  108. Great read and I admire you and other blog sites that contribute your talents. I look forward to reading every morning with a cup of coffee then race off to work. By the end of each day I am so excited for the weekend to try different things in my house..thank you!! Have a wonderful Friday.

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  109. xoxo right back at you. You have an amazing blog and you do it with honor and integrity. Put simply, you rock!

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  110. VERY well said. I loved your first part about blogger. I still use it as well and though my blog is still tiny tiny I love it and I'll probably continue using it because it's easy and I already know it. I love reading your blog and think you have a wonderful family. Keep up the good work! If people like you didn't write blogs like you do then we'd all be pretty dang bored...just sayin ;)

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  111. I'm still reading too!! Not just mom and grandma! =]

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  112. I made it all the way through Shelley! I hope you know that for every negative comment/e-mail you get, there many, many more of us out there cheering for you and Cason and all that you do! I so admire you and your blog and what it has become with all your hard work.

    Happy Friday!!

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  113. Thank you so much for this post. I too still use blogger and even though I've contemplated changing to another service, I'm sticking with what I know. ;) It's awesome that you get to do what you love and get paid to do it! Good luck with everything! BTW, I LOVE your blog - it makes me want to start new projects in my house ALL the time!

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  114. I just want to say good for you House of Smiths!!! Your hard work is paying off and it gives others pleasure to read your blog & DIY tips! Some people just can't be happy for others ~ too bad for them ~ never let them rain on your parade! You're doing what's right ~ you're home for your girls, have a beautiful family & home & giving your ideas & talents to others (free of charge to boot)! You're a kind sweet gal ~ you can feel it from all you create & put out there! Thank you for sharing all that you do & congrats to a successful blog!!! Tracey :-)

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  115. I read every word. Can I get an AMEN!

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  116. Shelley! I adore the heck out of you. I feel like the "One Less Lonely Girl" (haha Justin Bieber reference) knowing that I'm not the only "Blogger" blogger out there! It has been such an incredible thing to see your blog blossom! It has come so far since my teeny tiny Etsy shop was on your sidebar :) You are amazing. Congrats on everything you have accomplished. Keep up the good work in blogging, house projects, being a super awesome momma, getting super skinny, and just being a babe in general.

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  117. Totally respect and appreciate all that you do. Keep it up and hopefully this post will work for you in the way you intended. =)
    Alesha <3

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  118. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing all of your amazing ideas!!
    Sally

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  119. My blog is still hosted by blogger, too - I can't get the hang of Wordpress. And I agree - be nice, or hit that little red x in the top right corner.

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  120. I am new, the last few months, to reading your blog. I find your blog very welcoming, encouraging, inspiring, and helpful...among so much more. I look forward to reading it each day. Thank you so very, very much for sharing your home projects, your family, your weight loss, and all your ups and downs. I just began working on my house, built in the 1950's and never touched since. I know that years down the road I will be able to call it a home. Right now it seems overwhelming. I am just going to take it baby steps at a time. So many blogs seem so, what should I say, un-real, maybe magazine perfect, which in my reality can not be. I am a single mom of a teen boy and runs a family daycare. I want beauty in my home, but I need function and livability. Your blog shows me I can have it all.

    I am so sorry that some people feel so low about themselves, and so immature, that they have to find people to hurt. I am sorry that you have gotten hurtful emails and comments. Big hugs!

    Again, many big thanks!

    Jean

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  121. Your blog was one of the first I started reading and I still love to see what projects you come up with. You have a refreshing style and your blog design just makes me smile when I see it (the fresh colors and that amazing title bar!) Keep up the good work!

    ~Kim in Iowa

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  122. You guys are Awesome!! Keep your head up.
    Love this blog! <3

    Haters gonna hate. "but it was never between you and them anyway."

    Have a blessed day!

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  123. Keep doing what you are doing! Nothing but love for you. You seem like fabulous people with a darling family that comes first. Have a happy weekend and thanks for working so hard on one of my favorite blogs!

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  124. My reasoning for reading blogs is obviously to get ideas. However many times I have a question. I don't think I have ever gotten a response on this blog.

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    Replies
    1. hi reader! :)
      I am more than happy to respond to emails and comments, but it makes it impossible if there is no way to reach you. Next time, feel free to shoot me your question via email. casonshelley(at)gmail(dot)com
      xo

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    2. "Something that blogger HAS done, is to make it now possible for me to reply to your comments when you leave them below a post if you have a question. I'm trying to be really good at that, especially if you don't have your email connected to your commenting profile when I approve your comment. So check back if you're waiting for an answer to a question. More than likely, I will leave it under your original comment."
      Shelly is an obviously very busy woman. She said she's trying to be really good at commenting back. I personally, can't imagine managing a beautiful home, cute family of 5, time to work out at the gym, AND a very successful job. (Go Shelly!)
      Please cut her some slack. :)

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    3. I think your blog is amazing and you do an awesome job! Thank you for doing your blog and letting us get to know you and your adorable family!!

      Jessica Ross
      Jessicaross555@gmail.com

      PS: My husband is Mike, from Granite City/Discount Tile and Marble......thanks for talking to me on the phone!!!

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    4. I absolute live reading your blog and love that you are also transparent about your family life! You have a precious family and home!! Keep up the great work Shelley!

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  125. I have been reading these posts about etiquette, sponsorship, giveaways, etc, etc, over the past few days & I have to say you & Cason are doing one of the best jobs I've seen in this area! I never feel like I'm swamped by sponsorship on your blog, and when something is sponsored, it seems totally in line with what you would be doing anyway. Keep up the good work!

    Also, I can't understand why anyone would leave a negative comment or, even worse, take the time to send an email with negative feedback... JUST STOP READING if you don't like something!!

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  126. I still use Blogger (with my own domain name), too, even though it's not the "cool kid" thing to do. It's so user-friendly and I can do all the work myself...I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it! :)

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  127. Well Said :)

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  128. I think you are AMAZING!! I am a stay at home mom trying to bring in some extra income too. I wish I could just sit with you for a few days and learn all your secrets. I have been babysitting for the past few years and my last day of babysitting is today and I am scared to death as to how we are going to bring in extra money with my little at home business. SO you inspire me with what you love and what your passion is. And I absolutely love your adorable home! Keep up the good work and I always get excited when I get an email from "House of Smiths" because I know you have a new post. Thank you. :0)

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  129. Love it Shelly!!

    I love reading your blog and seeing your beautiful family and the amazing changes taking place in your home and body!!

    I tried blogging for a while and know how much time and creative energy goes into it. I decided, with a part-time job (working for my husband), three teenagers and my own creative business, something had to go.

    Keep up the amazing job!! You bring smiles to my life!!

    <3 Renee'

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  130. Good to know that your blogger site can look just like all the wordpress ones :)

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  131. I have Anonymous turned on and have gotten a few very rude comments. It is heart breaking, but I can delete them and move on...Hopefully....

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  132. I just have to say...I think you are awesome! And, as a blogger myself I couldn't agree more with you on all of this. Thanks for your honesty!

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  133. You rock. I love what you do, and I LOVE that we see your life in addition to the awesome projects. Keep it up!! And I can't wait for another "life post"! You really do have a great balance in your blog.

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  134. I love your honesty. I LOVE the fact that you guys show everything!!! (especially the 'crazy' while doing a DIY)...
    You have a follower for life- Thanks for making my day brighter!!!

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  135. Wow. You have NO idea how much you just inspired me, answered a panic attack I've been having, and gave me hope. Yep. You just did all that with a post that you thought most wouldn't read. Why?

    I'm just starting in blogging and have just decided I want to turn my love of junk into a micro-career of being a blogger/vendor/designer who gets actual money (as opposed to the years I've done it pro-bono).

    It's my dream and I even have a dedicated pinboard on it, with my ideas and plans (and I'm actually working on them, too! LOL)

    And just as I get started on Blogger, still learning, everyone is talking about jumping off, truncating, etc. and frankly, it freaked me out a little. LOL

    So, thank you. I've pinned this post to my dream board and, hopefully, a year or so down the road, I'll be a colleague!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations
    http://shonaskye.blogspot.com

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  136. I really enjoy reading your blog. Your husband and family seem to be kind and happy. Good for you for making things work with what you have.
    Your smiling face just beams "happy" .
    I can't wait to see how the kitchen turns out.
    Rose

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  137. Shelly,Thank you for opening your home and heart to us.Can't imagine how hard that would be. I check your site everyday to enjoy your fantastic projects, which have given me pantry envy. Your triumps and sparkling personality have lightened my heart more times than you can imagine. SO glad that this has turned out to be successful for you and your family.You have all given so much. Your girls are so beautiful and full of personality.

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  138. I've been following you guys for almost two years! Your blog was one of my first and I still read every post! I have watched as your children grow and how much you and Cason love each other! I think my favorite is the video you posted of you and Cason dancing in the basement! It will always make me laugh because that is something my husband and I would do! Keep up the amazing work that you all do as a family! I have mad respect for yall! ;)

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  139. I love your site and am thrilled to hear that you are actually bringing in an honest income from it. Keep up the great work!

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  140. I think you are amazing. I love spending time each week reading what you post. I think you do an amazing job of incorporating your sponsors without making it obnoxious. I am so glad you are able to get paid for what you do so well. I have been following your blog for a long time and don't plan to stop - so please don't stop writing!

    When I see a pin that I love I always laugh when it brings me back to you! =) Then I wonder how I missed that post!

    Jenni

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  141. I like this post!! I do have one question for you, how did you learn how to change code on your blog layout?

    I really want to teach my self a few things to better my blog in the future. Is there a website or a book, or did you go to school? thanks for all your help.

    Congrats on turning something you love into profit, that's what we all dream of, high five!!

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  142. Shelley, I love you and respect you no matter what! You are amazingly talented, and so so so good at telling a story, online or in person! I'm so sorry that you've had to put up with snarky comments, or harsh judgments. I hope you have a better day!!
    Holly Jones

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  143. I think ur blog and family are amazing.

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  144. I love your blog, and your keep it real attitude. I love, love, LOVE that you are sharing your weight loss journey with us, too. You have inspired me to get going & I have lost 25lbs so far! More important, I love that you are willing to share with us. You do beautiful projects & write to capture your reader's interest. I just want to say THANK YOU for everything you do! <3
    ~Melissa

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  145. Congratuations! You have an amazing blog and it is so great that all the hard work paid off!! You are an inspiration to a new blogger!

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  146. I can not even imagine anyone seriously leaving you a bad comment! So, if someone does, just know that it absolutely has nothing to do with you! BTW- Love your blog! It is awesome!

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  147. I just want to say I love your site. Please keep up the good work! You're family is adorable..

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  148. Thank you for sharing Shelley! You have a great blog and I am always excited to see what you have up your sleeves!
    Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!

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  149. You inspire me all the time. You and your family are awesome and talented and I am so thankful that you get to do what you love and get paid for it because I get to reap the benefits for FREE! I am kind of a jaded and cynical girl and look to people like you who lift my spirit. Seeing your talent and creativity makes me feel happy. If anonymous commenters start in with you, I will take it very personally, so they had better not!

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  150. Oh and I have a question. I use Blogger as my host, and yes I am an amateur. What I was wondering is how do you get your comments to be open on your post without having to click the comment button?
    Thank you

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  151. Love your DIY blog, but this post was great! So along with your mom and grandma I wish you much continued success.

    Karrie Elizabeth

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  152. I would like to tell you that I LOVE your blog! I subscribe to quite a few and yours is the only one that I make sure I read (ALWAYS) before I click the delete button!!! Thanks for all the inspiration you send!!
    Shelly M

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  153. I read it. The whole thing. You are wonderful Shelley. And thanks for the LC Shu'UP pic - that totally made me laugh. You know I love your blog, it is so obvious how hard you work to make it a success. :)

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  154. Good for you, glad you posted this!

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  155. Haters are going to hate unfortunately...

    Naturally it's most often caused by some of their own insecurity or jealousy that you will never know about. Try to turn your sadness from their attacks into compassion for what must be a pretty sad life for them.

    Your Blog is lovely. It is a sweet and funny love letter to your life, your family and your friends. Every single successful entrepreneur says, "find what you love to do, and then figure out how to make a business out of it". You have been lucky enough to do just that.

    No amount of attacking you or negativity will change the fact you are extremely talented, funny, daring and smart.

    Please go enjoy your weekend knowing that all the negativity in the world will never surpass the love you most obviously have in your life.

    From a very appreciative fan from afar...

    Sincerely,

    Kristen Sprague

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  156. Great post! Good on you! You do a wonderful job and I love your blog!

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  157. I love your style...not only in the way you redo things in your home, but in the way you write. I have to say that one of the main reasons that I read your blog is to get a good laugh and to read what you have to say. You are a great writer and have a gift. So, I'm not your Grandma or your Mom and made it to the end of your post...with ease I might add. Keep it up!!

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  158. You're awesome. I truly enjoy all areas of your blog. You inspire me to do the things I love and make them into a career. This is my hope! I love your ideas, honesty and pure heart! I'll always continue to read your blog.

    Tracy

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  159. Haha! Yep-your Mom, Grandma and me! I totally read the whole thing and loved it. While I personally haven't been hit by too many rude comments on my site yet, I've seen it all over and it is usually so ridiculous. I also know that it would hit home hard if I did get some bad ones, so I should probably prepare for it sooner rather than later. I LOVE what you do. Keep it up and congratulations on making your passions into your career. You are amazing!

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  160. I am mostly a lurker who just enjoys your posts, ideas and awesome sense of "color aptitude" and do not often comment. Having said that, I just have to say this is an awesome post! Thanks so much for just putting out there and for doing what you do! You inspire me on many levels :)

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  161. I absolutely love your honesty. You were one of the first blogs that I ever followed. Keep up the amazing work. Megan

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  162. Get it out girl! I love, love, love your blog and I follow you on instragram as well. I think you and Cason are adorable, damn near close to perfect(I don't care whatcha say about that).
    I wish I could do half the things you guys do. Congrats on finding your place doing what you love.

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  163. I wasn't sure if I could love you (said in the most unstalkerish way) any more than I did before, but I do! You are the bomb!! I love this post! Thank you for sharing your time and talents!!

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  164. I think that this is my favorite post so far. Thanks! As we used to say and my children would cringe to hear me say it: "You go girl"! I admire you for being willing to open up so much about yourselves and your family. I have learned over the years that people who criticize simply to be critical are not people that are worth spending our precious time/energy on, they have issues of their own that they are unwilling to see or work through. I have personally never felt that you were "pushing" a product on us. There are other blogs that I read and their sponsored spots always seem to be "commercials". As for staying with Blogger, I much prefer it to wordpress and the others. It seems to me to be more user/reader friendly.

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  165. I was still reading - lol - You rock Shelly - xoxo

    So well said ....

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  166. Good for you! The "Hi Mom and Grandma" made me laugh out loud :)

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  167. You are so sweet, and so real. Love it! Love your post, as usual. Keep it up!

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  168. I've never understood the thought process behind leaving mean comments. Would they really say that to a persons face?? I'm sorry you are having to deal with them. I mean, I guess you do post some really controversial stuff , so maybe you are just asking for it?? HA kidding! Keep up the great b log, I enjoy reading and am always inspired!

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  169. Very well said!
    I think you guys are AMAZING! I've been reading your blog for a couple years now.
    I also think it's great that you addressed this issue, but how very sad that you had to "/
    Continue the amazing work, I look forward to reading posts EVERYDAY, whether it be here or on FB :)

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  170. Hi, I just wanted to comment and tell you that one of the reasons I follow your blog is because you are REAL. I noticed that your house isn't overly huge, and I was like," they don't have thousands of extra dollars to spend, and their house is beautiful!"
    There are way too many unrealistic expectations that we as women put on our selves, and you make doing hard and scary things achievable.

    Thank you for all your hard work and great ideas!

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  171. Shelley- I am so sorry you felt you had to explain all this but I am glad you did because I imagine there are other bloggers feeling the exact same way! I think it is admirable to share so much of your personal life with the world and you should be beyond proud of what you do! The internet has a way of making people say things they would never say otherwise and being anonymous is NO excuse for being mean. Keep being you because the majority of us out there get it and love it!

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  172. You are doing a wonderful job of running a inspirational business. Keep doing it as long as you love it. I hope you can shake off any crazy comments. I loved being able to meet you at women s conference, and I love that you are just as kind in person!
    Carissa Pugmire

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  173. Thanks for the honest..and funny reminder to always be nice. Annonomous comments can be brutal and unfriendly....see above comment...:)...but you guys are doing a GREAT job!! For every 1 person that leaves a mean comment there are hundreds of others who love you guys...but may not have time to comment. Be encouraged because you guys are doing what you love and inspiring a LOT of people to do the same!!

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  174. Go Shelley!!! Love your blog as a fellow designer and a Mama... And if anyone isn't anything but a sweetie pie, just send them my way!! :) jk have a fabulous weekend!!

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  175. Go Shelley!!! Love your blog as a fellow designer and a Mama... And if anyone isn't anything but a sweetie pie, just send them my way!! :) jk have a fabulous weekend!!

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  176. Thanks for being so down to earth and inspirational. Every time I visit your blog it makes me happy and then I feel like I want to go clean and decorate my whole house! I'm sure my hubby appreciates it! There aren't a lot of bloggers that put it all out there. But I appreciate you being you and not something your not!

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  177. You are doing a wonderful job of running an inspirational business. I hope you can shake off the crazy comments. It was so fun to meet you at women's conference and see that you are just as kind and personable face to face!
    Carissa Pugmire :)

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  178. Well said! I do think it is a shame, though, that most all bloggers receive negative comments at some point. And anyone who complains about your making money on this blog must just be jealous that they can't do the same. Keep it up- your blog is beautiful and all the better that it has brought so many opportunities your way. I always enjoy reading your posts, thanks!

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  179. Yes, I love to read posts about home improvement, but it's refreshing to me when the blogs I read the most, address life and life issues, what is going on in their lives, happy things, struggles, the business side of blogging and "regular" stuff. I feel a personal connection to those blogs that I read most. That is why I read them, I can relate to them. Reading this post, that has been a source of anxiety for you, I can almost feel a little bit of weight lifting off your shoulders as I read.....and the whole thing kind of makes me like you more. :) And I want to pat you on the back and say "now doesn't that feel better?" :) I don't watch Bob Villa, I dont' watch a lot of home improvement TV shows, because what I am looking for is REAL stuff. Not a staged production/look what we finished magically over night type of thing. Real stuff. Done by real folks with real kids in realistic time frames, step by step, with the money you have. Like I do it in my own home. If I am not inspired on a particular day...which btw never happens ;) I don't feel the need say anything or leave a nasty comment, I just move on and check back tomorrow. I wish others wouldn't feel the need to break others down. You have my respect and admiration for being brave and putting yourself out there. Keep the projects coming and everything else too. You have MAD skills House of the Smiths!!!! (((HUGS)))Amy C.

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  180. I just started reading your blog for a couple of weeks and I love reading about your projects. There's always something to learn if it's a diy or how y'all work as a team! I've always gotten responds usually thru Fb, which is awesome because you seen like a very busy person:)
    -Brenda:)

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  181. I just started reading your blog for a couple of weeks and I love reading about your projects. There's always something to learn if it's a diy or how y'all work as a team! I've always gotten responds usually thru Fb, which is awesome because you seen like a very busy person:)
    -Brenda:)

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  182. yay for you!!! blogging is a personal decision, i say do what you like!

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  183. I just started reading your blog a couple weeks ago. I enjoy reading it for the ideas and because there's always something new to learn either diy or how y'all work as a team. I have had all my questions answered thru Fb which is crazy cause you seen like a very busy person:) again thanks for letting us reader peek into y'alls adventures!
    -Brenda

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  184. You know what... you keep doing what you're doing! You're doing just fine! I've always found your blog to be great inspiration, whether it's about home improvement, weight loss or gosh...anything! So, you just remember, you're doing just fine!!!

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  185. Hmmm well you have replied to me several times, and always sweetly! So anyway, I love your blog, and I am GLAD you get compensated to do what you love. Isnt that we all kind of want, one way or another?

    I am a blogger hosted blog as well, and I was SO excited when the reply feature came out!

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  186. You know what... You keep doing what you're doing.. you're doing just fine!!! I think the blog is awesome and very inspirational. Anyone who thinks otherwise can find something else to read. You can't read your blog and not know you're not doing what makes you happy. So.. you just keep moving forward!

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  187. Thanks for this post! I'm new to the world of blogging (thanks to my wife's joy of reading them) and, as a result, have decided to start one of my own from a male's perspective if not for anything else but to catalog life for our daughter to look back on. I've looked at several blogs and find myself always coming back to yours! Keep up the good work and regardless of whatever negative comments you've received along the way, just know that your work/home/creativity is inspiring and appreciated... let the haters hate.

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  188. LOVED this post! You are my favorite DIY blog and you should be proud of what you've accomplished! I can't believe there are people who write nasty things to you guys. It blows my mind that there are people out there who are so unhappy that they have to bring others down with them. Just know there are many more of us cheering you on and wanting you to succeed :). I too am a stay at home but work from home mommy and know how hard it truly is!!! I'm so happy to hear that you have paying sponsors - you totally deserve it!

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  189. I enjoy your blog very much! Thanks for all the hard work you put into it. Thanks for sharing your gifts with those of us who aren't so good at coming up with ideas, but can see the potential when someone else points it out. :)

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  190. I love you blog!! I'm a working "mom-tog" (photographer), and I totally understand how having an at home business while trying to be a mom takes MANY MANY hours (sometimes making a 2 hour project turn into a 10 hour project because of balancing back and forth between "mom" and "business"). So thank you for all you AND your family do to help us all decorate on a budget! I'm excited to use lots of your ideas when we get out of school and into our own house someday. Thanks again!!

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  191. Great post Shelley! Love the blog and I think I need to email you soon to figure out how to work out the kinks on my newly acquired blog that I have written nothing on. I purchased a domain from GoDaddy but my blog is with Blogger.

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  192. Shelley,
    Bloggers and companies are floored when they find out Ucreate is still on blogger. I run 4 different sites and they are all hosted for free...this saves me hundreds of dollars each month. I'm sure Wordpress rocks, but I'm with you, I like my "happy place" on blogger. I've been using it for over 4 years and love it.

    I have to quickly tell you that I LOVE your new office and will be copying your ideas ASAP, I also can't wait to see what you do with your kitchen. That yellow polka dot quilt on your daughters bed? I want.

    Anyways, I just have to say blogger.com or not, you'll always be one of the best bloggers out there!





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