CG Turns Three!

February 15, 2012

turning 3Hello friends, it’s just an ordinary Wednesday for most, but for me today marks three years blogging here at this site. Looking back, I’m rather proud of everything that’s happened to date and very excited for what the future brings. I still find it a bit surreal that this hobby-turned-real job thing happened to little ol’ me.

The first thing I want to say is thank you to all of you who come over to visit with me, who leave such nice comments, and who interact with me via email and on social media. 

I also need to thank all of the DIY and design bloggers and businesses out there who’ve been incredibly supportive, welcoming, and encouraging – you really are such an amazing community and I’m honored to be a part of this online movement to better our lives and homes through good design and a can-do attitude.  And also thank you to my contributors, Courtney, Amanda, Michelle, and Abi – they’ve helped so much with this site!

My second year of blogging brought some fantastic features my way including  partnering with DIY Magazine, working with Matthew Mead for Holiday Magazine, and I also had my home featured in Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine.  Just this week, the blog hit 27 million pageviews, which I still can’t wrap my head around but those are the stats. 

Last month, I partnered with four other bloggers to write the Growing Your Blog Series (links to all five posts are there – it’s a great read) but today, I’d like to offer some words of encouragement and a few thoughts on what I think is the key to a successful DIY blog.

 

Hard Work. Grandpa would always repeat that success comes from timing, luck, and circumstance – yep those certainly help, but I’d add hard work as the most important thing. There’s not an hour that goes by that I’m not thinking about what I do, what to write about, and what project to tackle next. So for those of you new to this blogging gig, know that every single DIY blogger out there that you read that is also successful does the same thing, they work very hard.  Between planning the projects and completing the projects and photographing the projects and editing and labeling and watermarking the images, and then writing the post, it takes many many hours just to get to the point where any of us are ready to hit “publish”.  

Also a successful DIY blog does not happen overnight, it takes years of plugging away to build a readership and get recognized, so just keep going!  We all start from zero – zero followers, zero comments, zero pageviews, but know that with a lot of hard work, good things will happen to you. Put the hours in, and you’ll eventually have an entire gallery of ideas to show for it. 

Courtesy and Kindness.  Each and every encounter with your readers, with media, with public relations, and with other bloggers is a human interaction so at all times remain positive, professional, courteous and kind. It doesn’t mean be a “yes” person to every person or opportunity, it simply means to treat people with respect, and use common courtesy in your daily blog interactions, you’ll be remembered for it. 

work hard be nice

Anthony Burrill

Navigation.  The nature of a blog is an online journal, which means after a few days your posts get buried under new content. However, your best work should be easy to find so place your best ideas, posts, or projects either in your sidebar or set up a page dedicated solely to them. My site navigation is still not anywhere near perfect, but you can find a link to just about any project I’ve done in my Project Gallery (except for the case of the disappearing images from summer 2009 – still working on that conundrum) and most articles on decorating are in the Style Files. And I just realized I’m behind on updating that… more work to do there.

Photography.  I’ve written before about why it’s so important to take decent pictures of projects or spaces. Whether you do it with a point-and-shoot or DSLR is up to you, but lighting lighting lighting is the number one thing to master. Here are nine other basic tips for better interior photography that I’ve learned along the way.

Don’t Sell Out for Stats.  I’m convinced that the great bloggers have figured out how to stay true to their brand and decline anything that doesn’t fit within that definition. The bigger your blog grows the more solicitation you’ll receive from other online individuals to “help you” increase your numbers – be wary.  Sometimes those offers are a good match, more often they’re revenue or traffic hunters. Be discriminating with who you partner with or promote, who you exchange links with, who you allow to guest post, etc. All of those decisions define who you are. Never be afraid to graciously decline any “amazing” opportunity that simply doesn’t work for you.

Recognition. There are others in your niche that are doing great things so spread the love around and share the talent that you see. It’s impossible to read all the blogs and see all the things, so readers appreciate when you share the greatness of others. It’s why I write the Best of the Blogosphere series twice a month, because I believe very deeply that it’s important to lift up others in your blog community. 

Enthusiasm.  Yes, finally, what really is the most important thing of all is your enthusiasm for the subject matter. The number one key to successful blogging is to write about what you love.  Cliché?  Who cares – it’s the solid gold truth.  When it’s genuine, passion is contagious and your readers will know it.

So that’s it folks, the bottom line is to work hard, be nice, have a site that’s easy to navigate, choose your partnerships wisely, promote others, and most of all, be enthusiastic!

And know that much of this is still surreal to me.  I’ve always loved home improvement and design and do-it-yourself projects, it’s what keeps me away awake at night, and yet the fact that I get to write about it is the coolest job ever.

So thank you.  None of this would be possible without your visits, your support and encouragement, you are the reason this adventure continues. I read every single comment and do my best to respond to questions when I catch them. Between managing the blog and all my family obligations and some of the other good things going on behind the scenes right now, it’s simply impossible to respond to every comment, but know that I read every single word.  You make me smile, laugh, think and spellcheck, you give me tips on where to find this or that, and you share your projects and ideas with me and I can’t thank you enough.  

kate at desk2012 will be big, here’s what it will bring.

More DIY projects, more home improvement, and more articles about decorating – those are my passions and that’s what I’ll continue to write about. And the occasional recipe or regional outing.

I will continue to promote others who do great things.

I will partner with quality brands with whom I share common interests.

I was going to do an official survey today but found those online survey companies want significant dollars for me to collect just a little info, so instead I’ll just ask these three questions here and feel free to share (or not!)

1. What are your favorite kinds of posts (DIY projects, decorating articles, personal quirky posts, etc.)

2. Is there anything that would make the site navigation better for you?

3. Any other questions you’d like me to answer, something you wanna know?

I’ll try to answer some of these questions in the comments today or in a follow up post!  But again, thank you so much for sticking with me on this crazy fun journey.

xo,

kate signature image

 

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202 Responses to “CG Turns Three!”

  1. Congrats on 3 years – I just recently became a follower after discovering your blog thru Pinterest. I always use the search bar to find things on blogs, so as long as that stays around, it’s all good for me! :) Love the personal and diy posts. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done a post like this or not, since I’m fairly new to your blog, but a Day in the life post would be awesome, like what you do from the time you wake up until you go to sleep in a typical day. :)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Great idea to do a ‘Day in the Life’ post Melanie… I did one years ago on another blog, I should do one here, thanks!
      Kate

  2. Juliette says:

    Congrats on the blogiversary! I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the years and would love to see more DIY and quirky posts. I like the rest, but those are my faves. I’ve also really enjoyed how you partnered w/a local non-profit to share your gifts. It’s nice to see people giving back. Keep up the good work!

  3. Happy blogiversary! I love all your posts, but especially the DIY and funny, quirky ones. I’m always interested in the life behind the blog :)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Will try to write more of those Mary Kate, sometimes I wonder how much of the madness to share….
      Kate

  4. ange says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I love reading your blog and think it is all wonderful! Thanks for the words of encouragement to all us bloggers out here in blogland. Blessings to you in 2012!

  5. brandi says:

    Congratulations, Kate! You’ve achieved so much in the 3 years you’ve been blogging! I enjoy reading your blog and the projects you share. Wishing you the best as you continue your blogging journey!

  6. NancyV908 says:

    Well, happy birthday! You have a lot to be proud of. I am always so happy when I see there’s a new post to read. I love the content, of course, but also your voice–you seem so genuine & nice in your writing, as I’m sure you are in real life! I also really appreciate that you take the time to write well (& start your sentences with capital letters & keep text flush left–why do some bloggers make it hard to read their text? :-) )

    My favorite posts are the smaller-scale DIY pieces–a piece of furniture, say, rather than something bigger that involves carpentry or just feels too hard for me–and the decorating pieces. My least favorite are the travelogues. I do read & enjoy them, but not as much as the DIYs. :-) Having said that, I will now contradict myself by saying that one of my all-time favorite pieces was not DIY- or decorating-related at all: your birthday message to your sister.

    I’d also like to thank your contributors–I enjoy Courtney’s pieces & BOTB.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks Nancy, so glad you liked the sister post and now I’m smacking my head for not thanking my fantastic contributors, updating the post now!
      Kate

  7. Congratulations! I love your DIY and decorating posts. The ones I read the least are those related to food and cooking, but that’s just because I don’t do much of that!

  8. Thanks for the tips and encouragement! I am new to blogging, and that is extremely helpful. I love your diy projects. It inspires me to look for used things and turn them into something beautiful for our home.

  9. Jody says:

    Happy Birthday Kate! It’s hard to believe CG is 3 already! I love your blog and reading your posts inspired me to take the leap and start my own blog! Thank you for the inspiration!

  10. Michelle says:

    Congrats on 3 years! I started reading your blog back in December of 2009 when I was looking up DIY Christmas gifts and came across your candles and I’ve been a loyal reader (and now a Facebook and Pinterest fan) ever since. I love the DIY projects for the home since I just bought my first house a few months ago. I would love to see your take on DIY baby or bridal showers or any party really.

  11. Lori H says:

    Wow ! 3 years. Congratulations. It is very obvious that you put a tremendous amount of effort into your blog. I have been following you for most of that time, and never get tired of your posts. My favorite posts are DIY (of all skill levels and esp small projects), BOTB, and I love personal posts too (quirky or otherwise). I love when bloggers do a post about “favorites” and products they have used and loved. I have really enjoyed the Alma House posts too. Looking forward to the future with you!

  12. Gina H says:

    Congrats on 3 years! I started reading about 3 months ago, and backtracked and read a lot of previous posts. My favorites are your blog posts about Northern California life. I just moved to SoCal, but have always wanted to travel to wine country! Thanks for all of your hard work!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks Gina, I try not to overdo the regional stuff, but in summer and fall I can’t help it, I’m lucky to live in such a pretty area, and just have to share!
      Kate

  13. Jennifer says:

    Kate.
    I adore you and your blog. You are always so sweet too. I am sure that is why most of us continue to follow !! Congratulations on 27 million!!
    Hugs
    Jennifer

  14. CONGRATS on the milestone, girl! You are so right about enthusiasm being key…you love and are passionate about what you do-and it shows!! Here’s to many (many) more great years! xoxo

  15. Congratulations on your 3 year anniversary! I absolutely love your blog – it’s a must read each day. Of course I enjoy the DIY and decorating posts, but I also love your “quirky” posts too! Congrats!

  16. Claudia says:

    “Courtesy and Kindness. Each and every encounter with your readers, with media, with public relations, and with other bloggers is a human interaction so at all times remain positive, professional, courteous and kind. It doesn’t mean be a “yes” person to every person or opportunity, it simply means to treat people with respect, and use common courtesy in your daily blog interactions, you’ll be remembered for it. ”

    Kate, this is so true, so many times bloggers can become very cliquey and exclude everyone but their BFFs, but that reputation gets around too – I am glad you included this, and congratulations on your three years of CG!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thank you Claudia, and you should come up for the Antique Faire again this year! It’s on Sunday April 29th, I never miss it, hope you can make it!
      Kate

  17. Holly says:

    Kate,
    I have been a follower of your blog for over a year… I don’t leave comments as much as a should :) But I want you to know that I read every one of your posts and you have been an inspiration to me. In fact, your painting furniture tutorial inspired me for my very first project every posted on my blog (my kitchen table!) I love your design asthetic and your voice as a blogger. Thank you for all your hard work (now that I have a blog I know how hard it really is!!) Good luck in the upcoming year! My favorite posts are your easy-to-tackle design/DIY ideas. I also love the BOTB. Congrats on turning 3!

  18. Happy 3rd. It’s very exciting to see examples of successful bloggers. It inspires me to keep blogging even when I’m discouraged. Thank you for your blogging suggestions. I’ve read so many tips from bloggers, but seem to learn something new from each one. I love all your post topics with the exception of food related posts. I don’t cook or bake so I tend to skip those. Keep up the good work and here’s to another successful year!

  19. Prudence says:

    I absolutely love your blog and make sure to check in here every day. One thing that bugs me though- if I click an ad on the right it takes me to that new site in the same tab rather than opening a new tab. Then I lose my Centsational Girl page just because I looked at a tempting ad. (Kinda makes me not want to click the ads!)
    Thank you for all the inspiration!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey, great to know Prudence, I like the ‘open a new window’ choice too, I try to do that with all my hyperlinks – will definitely look into it with the ads, they’re coded in a table, but there’s got to be a way for me to add that as the option… thank you!
      Kate

  20. Mary says:

    Happy 3rd Anniversary and Best Wishes in the coming year! I really like the variety of posts and it’s even fun to read a personal quirky post once in a while too. I enjoy your blog and all the great ideas that you have and I also LOVE ther sharing of tips for new bloggers!

  21. Joani says:

    Congratulations!
    Thanks for sharing.

  22. Crystal says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Your blog is such an inspiration for so many reasons. Of course, I love your DIY posts. However, the ones that I refer to again and again are the blog tips (photography, picasa, how to create a title bar, etc). These posts have been so helpful to me since I began blogging almost a year ago. When I think about my blog and where I want to be, I always look to your blog as a role model. Best Wishes for continued growth and even better opportunities in the future!

  23. Delicia says:

    Ok first I’d like to say I tried to comment earlier and it wouldn’t post then it said I was logged in as “Centsational Girl” and I don’t even have WordPress. Twilight Zone happenings or what?! I quickly went to logout. Truly I don’t know what just happened here but something you definitely wanna look into. Anywho, Happy 3 year anniversary. I’ve only been a follower for a short time but I’ve actually been reading your blog for longer. I just started my blog in January and I only hope to achieve what you have in 3 short years. You are such an inspiration. Congrats once again. Love your blog.

  24. Debbie W says:

    I came across your blog, about a year and half ago… while googling ideas for “painted white china cabinets”… a photo of your white china cabinet came up, and when it brought me to your blog a whole new world opened!!! I had never read a blog before and I honestly was so excited to find one about everything that I LOVED! I immediately started reading every post and diy project that you had done. So THANK YOU and congratulations on your 3 years of success!

  25. Congratulations Kate! As a newer blogger it is totally inspiring to see where you are in 3 years…thanks to hard work, kindness, talent, and enthusiasm!!
    I loved your blog from the first post I read…and was even more excited to learn that you too are a Northern California Girl. I also follow several other Nor Cal blogs…would be fun to do a meet and greet of some kind.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring all of us readers every day!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Laura, where are you in Northern Cali? I love my town’s annual Antique Fair on April 29th, vendors from all over the Bay Area are there, they also close the streets down, it’s way cool. You should come!
      Kate

  26. kristin says:

    Three years, congrat’s!!!
    I love that you have remained true to yourself, you have always been kind, you share your fabulous ideas, and you enjoy seeing others succeed (sp?)
    You are a inspriation to many of us, thank you!
    XO
    Kristin

    And everytime I make your french onion soup I think of you (not in a wierd way LOL)

  27. viv says:

    Happy 3rd birthday!! I personally love the decorating posts.

  28. Happy Blogiversary. I only found your blog recently, but love it.
    I like the DIY and decorating posts. But, they’re all good.

    Keep up the good work.

  29. Helen Peterson says:

    Happy Birthday. This is a great blog with great insight into the Blogosphere. I just discovered you about 3 months ago when I was looking for decorating ideas. One of my favorite entries was the walking tour of North Beach, San Francisco. But the DIY posts are wonderful. Thanks for the tips. AND THANKS for introducing all of us to Joss & Main. They have a collection now of beautiful lamps – one of them in silver, white and robin’s egg blue. I tend to burnished copper, bronze or gold but J&M has everything. I just looked at mirror frames today. What a great idea. You do a wonderful job of sharing – and treating everyone of the blogs in your circle with courtesy and respect. I love that – it says a lot about you.

    Many happy returns.

  30. Helen Peterson says:

    Happy Birthday. This is a great blog with great insight into the Blogosphere. I just discovered you about 3 months ago when I was looking for decorating ideas. One of my favorite entries was the walking tour of North Beach, San Francisco. But the DIY posts are wonderful. Thanks for the tips. AND THANKS for introducing all of us to Joss & Main. They have a collection now of beautiful lamps – one of them in silver, white and robin’s egg blue. I tend to burnished copper, bronze or gold but J&M has everything. I just looked at mirror frames today. What a great idea. You do a wonderful job of sharing – and treating everyone of the blogs in your circle with courtesy and respect. I love that – it says a lot about you.

    Many happy returns.

  31. laura says:

    Kate- congrats. Your hard work, passion and efforts are evident on such an awesome blog. One that inspires me everytime I stop bye. Funny, your 3 years old, I am three months old. Thanks you have helped me tremendously in such short time. Cocktail to celebrate at Haven?
    Laura

  32. Nisha says:

    Congratulations, Kate!
    It’s definitely a lot of hard work & passion that you have put into making Centsational Girl so successful.
    Quoting Dr. Kalam, former president of India, “Dream is not what you see when you sleep; dream is something that doesn’t let you sleep” – is what I thought after reading how you’re constantly thinking, planning, and putting in so much effort for each post.
    Maintaining a blog regularly really is a lot of work, apart from hard work. A round-the-clock job instead of a 9 to 5 (I realized ever since I started blogging last year!).
    I’ve been following your blog since just a few months, and love your work.
    Regarding your questions….
    I like all kinds of posts from you. Even if I can’t make the particular recipe (since I’m a vegetarian), or even if I can’t paint, style, or drill (since I don’t have any tool for it), or even if I don’t decorate or make crafts (since there’s not much space at my place) – I enjoy reading to learn more. Never know when knowledge is helpful :)
    I think your site is very organized and easy to navigate, clearly categorized. But if I may add, an FAQ tab would be great. I know there are several FAQ posts you already have, but not easy to look them up, not even in the Blog Category drop-down menu.
    I’d like to see posts on decorating & improvement ideas for a small apartment, and how to make more out of the small space. Not all of us live in big houses with large kitchens, huge rooms, with backyards & garages, you know … :)
    Congrats again,
    Nisha

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Nisha, an FAQ page would be great…. I have a few in my About page but I should update that for sure. Yes yes to the ideas for decorating small spaces…. a great idea for a series!
      Kate

  33. Danielle says:

    Congrats! I really love all of your posts, so am happy with your blog just the way it is! Looking forward to 2012!

  34. Congratulations on three years Kate! You deserve every success that’s come your way and I wish you much more. I appreciate all the blog tips but your DIY projects and BOTB are what keep me coming back. And just a tip, you can use surveymonkey.com for free, provided your survey is <10 questions, and with some limited usability. Congrats again!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Jen, thanks! I looked over there and they only allowed 100 responses at Survey Monkey for free, and you had to subscribe for an annual membership for more, did I read that wrong?
      Kate

  35. Happy birthday girl! I can’t believe you’ve accomplished so much in only 3 years!! YOU ROCK. I have to say I’m partial to your DIY furniture makeovers. How was your readership after 1 year? What do you think really made your blog explode? Congrats girl. I can’t wait to meet you in Haven.

  36. Kate, you rock! You bring inspiration and motivation every single day to all us beginner bloggers. Congrats to your 3-year anniversary and your new pageview milestone!

  37. Happy 3rd birthday!! Your blog is a constant source of inspiration…I am looking forward to the next three years of Centsational Girl :)

  38. Happy 3rd birthday!! Your blog is a constant source of inspiration…I am looking forward to the next three years of Centsational Girl :)

  39. Cristina says:

    Congratulations on your Blogiversary! I’m new in this blogging world and yours is one of my favorite blogs! I like all the genuine advice you give to bloggers in general! Keep up your good work!

  40. Ann says:

    Congrats, Kate! You’re hard work is definitely reflected in your blog. I love the DIY posts relating to home projects and I love the furniture re-dos. I have to say, I gained so much from the tips you gave regarding patching the wall in your sons room. I almost hired a professional painter to paint our bathroom because of a spot that needed patching. Learning how to do the patch myself lead me to investigate the shower door sweep which was old, falling apart and allowing water to escape. This then prompted me to learn how to replace the door sweep myself. I was so proud of myself! Your fun, inspiring and sincere account of how to patch the wall was what gave me the push to do it instead of running away from it (I considered bringing in a painter or contractor a cop out for something I should be able to figure out on my own. Problem solved!!

    I would also like to know more about your background and what prompted your transition from law practice to blogger. I am a working, attorney mom/wife but I am still motivated to make our home beautiful. I often have a hard time finding exactly what I want when I go out shopping, so being able to make it myself is the logical next step and ususally its cost effective too! I am in the process of teaching myself to sew!

    Thank you and good luck!

  41. Melissa says:

    Congratulations Kate!
    I love your DIY makeover posts…turning something ordinary into something beautiful and extraordinary.
    Being thrifty/creative/design oriented without breaking the bank- those ideas hit home the most for me personally.
    I know I would enjoy a ‘house tour’ that gets updated when you makeover room(s) just for quick reference.
    I absolutely love your style and taste- I seek inspiration through your many projects that collectively make up a beautiful, calming room.
    Congrats on your blog success- you deserve a pat on the back :-) And I will most definitely pre-order your first book when/if you go that route!
    -Melissa

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks Melissa, I know I still need to do a “house tour” !! I was thinking I would do it after I fix up the hall bath, but I should look into a slideshow or something for the sidebar…. thanks!
      Kate

  42. WOW congratulations on 3 years and 27 million page views – impressive. You truly have talent but that isn’t all the shines through, you are genuine and passionate! Thanks for all you have done and how you have paved the way for others to be successful at this venture as well.

    I wish some of your energy would rub off on me, I am always amazed at how much you are able to post and photograph – you are such a whiz!

    Congrats!

  43. Happy Birthday to you! You’re an all around inspiration! Thanks for what you do and I wish you continued success!
    Happy Birthday Hugs to you,
    Debbie

  44. I almost forgot, I can’t wait to meet you at Haven!
    Debbie

  45. Alice A says:

    Congratulations, Kate!

    Thank you for all the ‘wonder” as well as the wonderful ideas I have found here…I guess I have enjoyed your personal redo of your house , and how you lived through it the very most….. and then when you changed your kitchen color,sharing your thought processes as you made the decisions were so helpful as well as the actual great pictures you included. You even thought to do close-ups of the details which one cannot fully realize in the big picture. I appreciate that you also show the little projects,i.e. spray painting the light fixtures too…. how many times has the light bulb gone off over my head as you have shared some of the “little things” that can finish off the project !Your enthusiasm for each and every project shines through and inspires us so much.

    Finally, may I say, your kind response to our comments just are the icing on the cake- and make me feel so good that I did actually decide to leave a comment for you….. because you truly do read them! In so many ways, your blog educates us to not only “how-to, but the resources, and just plain finding out some of this stuff actually exists….. I feel I have had a college course,with the professors class with the longest waiting list to enroll.

    Thanks you for all the energy you spend making this one of the best of the best blogs I read!

  46. I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and love it. Today you reminded my why. In celebration of your birthday, you decided to share your knowledge. As a new blogger, I really appreciate it. As an old reader, I’m not suprised! Happy Birthday..and thanks for sharing!

  47. CONGRATS, girl!!! You rock!

  48. Congrats on a fabulous 3 years, Kate!!

  49. Amber says:

    Congrats on all you success! You are one of my go-to blogs. I write about weight loss and diet and would love to grow my blog as you have yours. 2012 is the year to do that!

  50. Nana Kate says:

    I only just found your blog through a search and have found that I love what I have seen so far. Being a new blogger and seeing what others are doing I admire the hard work that it requires to maintain your site. You have given me tons of ideas and I am trying things I never thought possible. I have refinished furniture for years but with your new updated ideas I have realised that I don’t always have to restore the piece to the orginal state. I am having fun and am always on the look out for good deals knowing that I can turn the piece into anything I want. I love your comments on how you became a successful blogger and hope to someday be at the same place you are today. I updated my blogspot as I forgot a letter the last time. So from a new blogger to an experience blogger congrats on 3 years of hard work Love your site the way it is very easy to navigate through it.
    Happy Birthday Girl
    Nana Kate

  51. Hi Kate-

    Congratulations on reaching 3 years of blogging. Love you, your site, and I think your navigation is the best!

    You cover everything so well -I can’t think of a thing for you to add, change, or do.

    Wishing you many, many, more years of blogging success.

    My best- Diane

  52. Tracie says:

    Way to go Kate! You are the first blog I started to follow…and then quickly I realized I wasn’t alone in my love affair with paint and all things thrifty. Thanks to you I found my voice 16 months ago when I started Cleverly Inspired. I finally felt at home….finally understanding what it truly means to have passion for what you do…everyday. One of my first memories of a DIY project is when my dad and I created a “stain bath” to make quick work of staining all the trim in our new house. I still think that it was a genius moment…(my dad’s idea…wish it were mine ;) Anywho, thanks for all your hard work. I do know the hours you put in…and I appreciate all of them. There is nothing like the feeling of creating a super cool project…snapping some awesome pictures of it…and then being so excited to see it unfold on the computer screen…then hitting publish…there it goes—out there…hoping to inspire someone else to do the same ;) xoxo

  53. Brandy says:

    Congrats!! Love your blog, been reading faithfully for over a year. Keep up the good work! And thanks for caring enough about your readership to answer a paint related email :) that kind of dedication to what you do is why you are a success. So impressed with all you do, and specifically the way you give back (like with the Alma project). You rock!

  54. Endless inspiration day after day from a kind, hardworking, talented and supportive blogger and most importantly a wonderful Mommy! It’s clearly evident why you’re such a success! Congratulations, Kate, wishing you all the best in whatever’s on the horizon!

    Almost forgot the questions – I love the mix of everything you incorporate. More of the same would be perfect!

  55. Kate, Congratulations on this huge milestone. You’ve certainly earned it. Your blog is a fantastic read & I can’t wait to get started on some DIY projects around my own home! You are truly inspirational, especially to new bloggers like me. Keep up the great work! Best wishes and much success in your future endeavors.

    Much love,
    Marissa

  56. laxsupermom says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for sharing so many great tips. Looking forward to another great year of projects.

  57. Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday dear CG…..
    Happy birthday to you!

  58. Kim Lloyd says:

    Congratulations! I follow a handful of DIY/design blogs, but yours remains my favorite for several reasons: your dialogue is informative and professional, your pictures are always pretty and plentiful, and you show original and GREAT design! That said, my favorite posts are Best of the Blogosphere that showcases the awesome work of others. Here’s to another great three years!

  59. I am so inspired by you, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I’ll keep reading for sure… thanks to you, my house is becoming a home. Much love.

  60. Ellen says:

    Happy Anniversary! Anniversary? Birthday? Whatever. Happy Three Years.

    You make blogging look easy, and that’s how you know you’re really good at what you do. I hope your energy to continue never ends! Looking forward to your next year.

  61. Debbie says:

    Wow, congratulations on the past 3 years and all of the exciting things going on! :D You are truly talented and knowledgeable and you are one of my go-to blogs for when I need instructions on how to do something around the house! Thanks so much for all of your tips, how-tos, inspiration, etc.

    Hmm, my fave posts would be DIY decor, photo tips, and your recipes! I know this is not a food blog but you always make your recipes seem easy, uncomplicated, and yummy, my type of cooking. :)

  62. Erika says:

    Congrats! Your blog is one of the first that I stumbled upon. It’s very inspirational to see how some of the BIG blogs got started. It’s nice to remember that you didn’t get 27 million page views overnight. Thank you for your insights on blogging!

  63. Christy says:

    Very simply, your blog and all the work that goes into it, makes me happy. Cheers!

  64. Joanne says:

    Congratulations! Your blog is great…so fun and informative. Thanks for sharing!

  65. Cynthia says:

    Happy Birthday!!! That is so exciting. I am very happy for you I really am I hope that is me some day.

  66. Cheers to three very successful years of blogging, Kate!! I’m so happy to be a part of the CG world and can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the future. You’ve inspired so many of us (especially us lawyer chicks!) so thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! : ) xo

  67. Lesley says:

    Congrats on birthday #3 Kate! I find inspiration in all your posts but particularly like the DIY’s that we can all tackle, such as your placemats and faux bois vases so please keep those coming. I am always curious what ‘a day in the life’ looks like – how do you juggle kids, cooking, the blog, the magazine etc…..do tell?!

  68. Kathy :) says:

    Happy Anniversary….love coming for a visit, you’re a doll !!!

    Kathy :)

  69. Michele Owens says:

    Hello My Friend!
    Congrats! Seems like we’ve been together longer than 3yrs ;) Visiting your site is the highlight & Comfort in my day!

  70. sarah says:

    yay for you to be three today. i love love your site kate, and of course check it multiple times a day. i think what you do is awesome, but i would love to see more of your house and get to know you better…..and of course diy projects are always awesome. my fav is your botb—can’t seem to get enough of it.
    i linked a project in my comment to yhl, and got 50 views in one day on that post…..so yay for everyone helping each other out.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks Sarah, I’ll keep highlighting those amazing projects by others, promise!
      Kate

  71. Renee says:

    Congratulations!! I’m a newbie blogger and wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your insight and advise on blogging. Looking forward to more from you!

  72. Congratulations on reaching 3 years! I just want to say thank you for all the tips and inspiration you give!

  73. ashley says:

    Congrats! Thank you for this post, it’s very helpful for a starter like myself. You are my inspiration for home projects DIY.

  74. Pat Morin says:

    Congratulations! I honestly have to say I love most of your posts. I like that you mix it up. I love to cook and do that well, so I enjoy your recipes especially the soups and the butternut squash risotto recipe. My husband loves these recipes as well. I have fiddled with the recipes to make them my own as I do with most things. As for DIY, I love to read about it, but doing it not so much. I am getting braver on this account though. As for personal stories, I think it is important to keep it in the mix. It makes the person you are real. I am a real sucker for pet stories too, but I imagine that this is an either or thing. I follow only 3 decorating blogs regularly to include yours. I used to follow others, but you have the ingredients to keep me coming back. The other 2 are The Inspired Room and Isabella and Max just to let you know who you are competing with and to share with your readers as well. I wish you continued success and happiness!

  75. Julia says:

    I have a very basic question — once you’ve found someone who wants to advertise with you, or you have a product to sell, how do you do it on the up-and-up? I see all the great ads on CG, and I am wondering how the tax/legalese/money-exchange happens!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Julia, great question! All of my sponsors found me, I set a rate, and send them an invoice I use the PayPal service to track income and expenses from those sources to make it easy when tax time comes.
      Kate

  76. Erin says:

    Congratulations Kate! I’ve been reading you for about 2 years and love your blog!! The projects, recipes and personal stories you share are wonderful. Keep up the censational work!!

  77. Emily says:

    Congratulations on the big 3! I love seeing your DIY projects and design articles. I really like the Best of the Blogosphere for exactly the reasons you outlined – and I love reading tutorials to get a better sense of a product or technique I haven’t tried yet.

    Whatever 2012 brings you, I can’t wait to see it here! Thank you so much for sharing everything you do.

  78. Happy Birthday to centsationalgirl.com !
    I wish all many many more years of successful blogging!

    Thank you for the tips, they’re really useful :)

    Maria

    http://www.unidentifiedlifestyle.com
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Unidentified-Lifestyle/

  79. Congratulations, my fun and fabulous friend!! And you are too sweet to mention me…wow! It is a blessing and an honor to contribute to a site with such high standards and quality content. This post reminded me to look at my calendar, and it looks like my little old “blogiversary” is coming up on Friday!

    I agree with every bit of advice you’ve imparted here…some are things I strive to do, and others are things I need to work on. Thank you for being an encouraging presence here in the blogosphere.

    To answer your questions:
    1. I love your DIY projects b/c I find them inspiring and motivating, but I very much appreciate that you mix things up and provide a nice mix of posts!
    2. Nope. Your blog is one that I am always readily able to search and find what I am looking for.
    3. Someday I’d love to hear about how you and Mr. GC met and how you guys make the blog and your commitments that come along with it work with your marriage.

    :)

  80. Congratulations!! I’m a huge fan of your blog and have been reading for ages (though seldom commenting, shame on me!). I know 2012 will be fabulous for you.

  81. Congrats Kate! I love your blog, I hope to be in your shoes 3 year from now :) You are an inspiration to sooo many bloggers.

    Mandy

  82. Happy Birthday to your blog and congratulations all wrapped in one :) I think you do a great job of offering a variety of DIY, decorating & personal fun. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  83. Happy Birthday. I love DIY projects. I like home repair and redos also. I like your comments today. My blog is fairly new and I keep tweaking it. Learning process. Google is my friend. I do want to organize a bit more as my # of posts grows. I’m not happy with my archives and want to make it easier to find past posts. I like yours and wonder how to add something like that to my blog. I see you have a SEARCH as well. Kind of confused as to the best way to organize my posts for easy viewing.

  84. yes please to all three kinds of posts you listed! I love hearing your thoughts about life just as much as your decorating tips. “The Dangers of Risk Taking” and “Resolute!” were absolutely amazing.

    Also, no pressure but if you did a book or an ebook, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Please do what you’re ready to do and what will make you happy but just know that we’ll support you in that 100%

    I just read Amanda’s comment (#3) about you and Mr. CG. If that’s not too personal, I would love to hear about balance, with life and marriage. Also, does blogging ever stress you out? Maybe I’ve missed a post where you talk about that. I guess I’m assuming that following your dreams isn’t always easy.

    Happy birthday! I’m so excited for you :)

  85. Congrats on your blogiversary! It’s inspiring to read your story and how far you’ve come.

  86. Stephanie says:

    Hello Centsational Girl and Happy Birthday!

    I started following your blog about a year ago and I have loved every minute of it. I am trying to live a more “green” lifestyle and I think re-purposing old furniture is a great way to do this. I never thought I could do that because I’m not handy or anything, but this past weekend I finished my first project!!! I followed the steps in your tutorial (I think it was the green nursery dresser) about painting furniture and I painted a nightstand my mother in law gave me. My husband was impressed and it turned out great. Last November my husband and I moved into a house that we built and I am looking for ways to make it more custom and less “builder grade.” Your blog is helping me do that. I love the way that you have tutorials and step by step processes. I’ve read other blogs that just show the before and after, but the most important part is the process. You are my first and favorite blog!

  87. Kate says:

    happy birthday! I love your posts about being a blogger. I love reading about your success doing something you truely love. I dream about it everyday…even if I go nowhere though I am still having fun! You are an inspiration to do what I love and be myself in my blog. Congratulations to you and I am excited to see what’s to come in 2012.

  88. Amanda Eck says:

    Happy Anniversary Kate! Your blog is always a true pleasure to read everyday and in the words of Jack Nickolson “you make me wanna be a better blogger” hugs to you!!

  89. Tracy says:

    Kate, you were my first blog addiction, and still my ‘go-to’ for how-to’s….you’re an inspiration. Happy Anniversary!

  90. France's says:

    Happy birthday! I am so very grateful for your blog! You are such an inspiration!

  91. Christina says:

    Congratulations! Reading this post makes me want to work harder and be even more dedicated to my new blog!

  92. Therese says:

    Congratulations! Love the blog, particularly the how-to projects, big and small. I knocked off your peacock bamboo table for my youngest son’s room and am starting a chalk board dresser revamp. I’d love to see more about refinishing hardware like the brass piece from last week. What about chalk painting and spray painting hardware? Do these finishes last? Alo, love the BOB series. Keep up the great work! You’ve inspired a rebirth in creativity for me nd many others.

  93. Kim says:

    Congrats on this milestone, Kate! I truly enjoy the fruit of your hard work!
    I have a few blogs that I read daily (yours is top of the list). Your site is the best as far as navigation. I like the way you mix up your content, but personally enjoy the DIY posts the most. You’re very good at being thorough with your directions and corresponding images when you explain a project.
    I would like to see more of your favorites, similar to your top ten list of DIY tools. Maybe top things you look for when thrifting, or 10 best low cost ways to accessorize, or the 8 things you would do if your husband invited his coworkers for an impromptu party the next day. That’s all I can think of right now – you know this is hard work! :)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Kim those are brilliant ideas for posts! low cost accessorizing, tips for thrifting (what to look for & what to avoid) and impromptu *man* parties, got it, adding them to my list!
      Kate

  94. Kellie says:

    I like the DIY before and afters – your projects get me thinking. I also adore your tutorials – I go back to your painting basics tutorial all the time.

    And the stroganoff recipe was great – my family and co workers thank you!

  95. Karin says:

    Congratulations! I love your blog, you inspire me and I find your entries to be a great balance of ideas. When I found that blog reading was taking up too much time I narrowed down the ones I regularly read to 3, and you made the cut! It sounds like Mr. CG is a supporter and even a willing participant, however, I wonder if you would consider writing about how one deals with a reluctant spouse. In my house it goes something like this: “What do you mean you want to paint that coffee table (the ugly oak one from the 80’s). Let’s just get rid of it and buy a new one”. Or the rolling of the eyes when I mention garage sales. Again, congrats, and best wishes for many more years of happy blogging!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Great idea for a post Karin, maybe I’ll get the Mister to write it for me, thanks for the idea on incorporating *his* perspective – a definite issue in so many homes!
      Kate

  96. Monique says:

    A big Congrats! I like all your posts, DIY, quirky and decorating articles. They’re all great. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your posts. You’re a favorite of mine.

  97. Julia says:

    Congratulations….love your blog. Thanks for not changing the way your blog is read in feedburner as some of the other bloggers have done. It’s really great to be able to read the entire post without clicking on a link to finish reading the post directly on your site and it saves time as well.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      I agree Julia, I’m not such a big fan of what you refer to – truncated feeds. Abreviated articles on the actual site don’t bother me, in fact, it’s often necessary to save loading time, but a feed is a feed, and I’m with you, I much prefer a full view of the article!
      Kate

  98. Way to go, Kate! Congrats on each and every success. The amount of hard work you commit to with your blog does not go unnoticed, obviously. Here’s to many more years of blogging inspiration!

    Cheers,
    Linda

  99. Amanda C says:

    Happy Birthday! So glad you were born!!! Love this blog- all of the painting tips, decor projects… and your Anthropologie post was HILARIOUS!!! I have a husband who is not at my pace AT ALL! I want everything done yesterday, he is never in a hurry and pushes back really hard when I ask for his opinion or help on anything…Any help with this??? He also resists painting EVERYTHING. He likes what I do after it’s done but the faces he makes when I’m trying to get his opinion on something make me want to….well, it makes me want to scratch my eyeballs out!!!
    Also, have you ever cut your own mats for picture frames??? Any suggestions?
    More about wine too!
    Or if you don’t do any of that…I’ll still be back to read tomorrow! Enjoy your cupcake!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Amanda, your issue is one shared by many – so many husbands including my own are like “why change things?” and we just want to feather our nests and refresh everything NOW! And yes I have cut my own mats for picture frames – it can be done, but you need the right tools – a proper cutting mat and a good Xacto knife or box cutter with a sharp blade guided by a ruler. Good luck!
      Kate

  100. Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed the last two years with you. Thanks for all the inspiration over and over again.

  101. Terry Moore says:

    Happy blogversary. Wow, three years…if I can do half as well as you, I will be overjoyed. Congrats!

  102. Michele Mc says:

    Happy birthday and congrats on all your successes!! You are definitely one of my favorites, and you have inspired me in more ways than one!

  103. Sarah says:

    Congrats! Your blog is amazing. Thanks for all your hard work and for sharing lots of great ideas and fantastic tips. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the next year!

  104. Carmel says:

    Congratulations! What a milestone – three years – wow! You’re such an inspiration! Your tips on blogging are so very helpful for a newbie. Site navigation is something I’m working on right now, and I’m slowly learning how to use my new dslr.

  105. Connie says:

    Congrats on the 3 years! You have a wonderful blog and deserve everygood thing that has come from it.

  106. Sunny says:

    Congrats. Being a new blogger I really needed to be reminded to stick in there and put in the hours…even when it feels like no one is reading. Thank you.

    My answer to #1 is all three. I really love a good mix of all three of those things, I like to DIY, I am passionate about design, and the quirky stuff reminds me that you’re just a normal person.

    Thanks.

  107. mimi says:

    Happy Birthday! I just want to say I cant believe Ive been following you for this long, but I love what you do. My advice is keep doing what you’re doing: keep it simple and real. I have kids running wild and such little precious time, so stream line is good. Be careful when you change your page, tipjunkie did it and its insane with a million links that I no longer bother to go on it just ’cause I dont know where to begin???? Would like to hear “his” perspective on random stuff you do, lol!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Mimi – thanks for the reminder to keep it simple, I think that’s so important too!
      Kate

  108. Peggy says:

    Congratulations Kate! I’ve been reading blogs, including yours, since November 2009 and yours is the only one I read every day.

  109. Andrea says:

    Kate! Congrats! I think I was linked to your blog during your first week in service, and I’ve been reading it ever since. You really grabbed me from the beginning, and I love popping by every day to see what you have up your sleeve. I really wouldn’t change a thing. I love the combination of small and big projects – sewing, painting, and constructing. Oh, maybe one thing I’d change. I’d have you come thrift shopping with me b/c your finds are amazing! :) Enjoy the blog (27 Million!!!) love! You’ve earned it!

  110. SSM says:

    Congratulations! Thank you for taking the time to share great advice.

  111. erika says:

    Happy 3rd Birthday! Well let me tell you that I love your blog (I’m quite sure I have said that in the past) I enjoy all your fabulous ideas specially when you do a step by step, so don’t change anything about what you do because so far you are doing an fantastic job and that’s one of the reason that I continue to visit (all the way for Vancouver, Canada)
    Erika

  112. helen says:

    Congrats Kate! Like many others above I am a regular follower and enjoy every minute of it! A big applause to you for following your dream and making it a success. Thank you for the fun posts, the clear and detailed instructions, the wonderful ideas and above all the nice, friendly way you communicate through your posts!! Congrats you deserve it!!

  113. Misty P says:

    Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I truly admire your positive attitude…makes all the difference in the world.
    1. Love DIY projects, especially when there is a quick video. It is always fun to read a little something personal, since I already feel like I know you. :-)
    2. I find it easy to navigate your blog. Love the clean and simple look to it.
    3. It would be awesome to see a FAQ tab with some of the most asked questions, funny ones, personal, etc.
    Thanks for sharing your passion and inspiring so many. Wishing you many more years of success with your blog and *squeal* book.
    Misty P

  114. Cindy Marlow says:

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I appreciate the sharing of information. Many people withhold the info because it is power. By sharing, you expand the power of knowledge and you do it well so people experience success when they follow your instructions. You’re great!

  115. Happy blogiversary! Kate, you are great! I enjoy reading every one of your posts from start to finish. You have been a great role model and inspiration to me. Keep doing what you’re done ;-)

  116. Avad Fan says:

    Congratulations! I am an “avad fan” of your blog and especially your DIY projects. They always turn out fabulously! I am so amazed at what you accomplish, especially with a busy household. Best wishes for continued success.

  117. Darlene says:

    Congtrats on such a wonderful accomplishment!

  118. Alina says:

    Hey Centsational Girl! Congrats on your blog birthday! Hope you are celebrating it as it deserves! I found your blog through the series that you posted with the other wonderful ladies: “grow your blog”. I loved that series. Anyhow I just wanna let you know that I enjoyed browsing trough your old posts and found really great stuff along the way! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  119. kellie says:

    Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I so enjoy EVERYTHING you share with us. Keep being TRUE and the sky’s the limit!

  120. Amanda P. says:

    Hi Kate!! Happy Birthday to you!!!! You have no idea what an inspiration you are to me. I started on this design journey 1 year ago (right around when you turned 2) and I cannot believe how far I’ve come already…to look at where you are after 3 years is a major motivator for me. I hope someday to collaborate with you…I truly look up to you and absolutely love everything about your style & sense of humor. Thank you so much for being such a trooper and an inspiration. Keep up the fab work girl!!! Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for you!

  121. Hi Kate,

    Happy Birthday! I love DIY blogs, and bloggers who also along with the DIY share about their lives.
    This makes the person more real and I feel more of a connection with them. I like everything about your blog. I just started my first blog, it feels a little overwhelming to try and find the time it takes to learn everything about wordpress as well as photography. Your tips are great encouragement, and I know I just have to take it one day at a time and not pressure myself into feeling I need to post everyday, and take the time to make sure I am happy with my posts.

  122. Valeria says:

    Hi Kate
    I think your site is wonderfull, I discovered it some weeks ago, and I was encouraged to recicle some thing that were waiting over a year in my garage.
    I love your DIY posts, there is where I learn how to do everything and what steps to take, or what products work best.
    Here in Argentina there is not so much information available, so thanks for sharing all your knowledge with all of us, across the world !!!
    Regards, and just keep up with the good work ! It saves us lots of failures !!!

  123. When I first began blogging, you were one of the very first blogs I discovered…Your blog meets the needs of ALL BLOGGERS AND READERS…DIY’ers…not so DIY’ers (like me)…young moms, and empty nesters like me…You have a great talent in appealing to the masses and not just one sector of the blog world…and that is a talent…I loved that you had tutorials on photography, there again, appealing to the masses…Your designs are timeless, yet have that trendy edge…

    Congrats on your 3rd anniversary….My, you have accomplished so much in just a few years! You are an inspiration!

  124. Sharmin says:

    Happy Blog Birthday Kate!!!
    I wish you continued success and many blessings. You rock!

  125. Nancy says:

    Happy birthday CS! It’s been such a great pleasure and learning reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

  126. I’m new to your site, but I love it so far! My only want from you is personalized advice! Can you come and decorate my home for me. :) More seriously, it would be great if readers could submit design/DIY questions and have you answer them. My main dilemma right now is a color for my front door and garage door. I got brave and painted them gray, but now it looks terrible. I’d love to be able to submit pics and have you work your amazing color magic and tell me what color it should be instead of the ugly color I picked! Keep up the great work! You are fantastic.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      You know Emily that is SUCH a great idea for a series… I had to close down my FB page due to spam, but I should definitely do those “design dilemma” posts! Feel free to send me a pic of those doors, who knows, maybe the rest of us won’t see them as ugly at all, sometimes we just need a second pair of eyes though…..
      Kate

  127. DeboraR says:

    Kate, you were the first blog I started following after finding you thru Houzz while searching for inspiration for my 106 year old bathroom gut and redo. After seeing the chandelier in the bathroom I knew I had to have one! After a 1 and 1/2 of planning, I have my dream bathroom. Thanks for all your inspiration. Keep blogging!

  128. sarah says:

    Congratulations!

  129. SheilaG says:

    Happy, happy 3rd bloggy- birthday! It’s funny, a couple years ago, I didn’t know what a blog was. Yours was one of my first and have enjoyed it so very much. Keep doing what you’re doing- it’s obviously working! ♥Love your blog!♥

  130. Lisa says:

    Hi Kate,
    I am a new blogger and have fallen head over heals in love with my blog and all the home decor blogs out there. I am finding it to be such a wonderful supportive community.
    Thank you so much for all you do to promote new bloggers and help educate along the way. It is very helpful. And thank you to Courtney, Abi, Michelle and Amanda! Your hard work makes so many people happy with each and every post.
    Lisa over at 16lstreet.blogspot.com

  131. Wow. Happy three to you. I found your blog a little over two years ago and it has helped me tremendously. I love the photography tips, recipes and also the tidbits about your life. I totally need to leave the builder’s grade look behind and branch out with our own style and custom look. (note to self for 2012) Thanks for your encouraging us all to keep at it. Congrats.

  132. Emilou says:

    Kate, thanks for the info on better inside pics. All your points are so well understood!!! As in answer to your three questions. #1. DIY projects (wonderful inspiration) #2. Good for me, as I seem to be able to go (navigate) where I choose. #3. None at the moment. And, thanks again HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY CG!!!

  133. Karen says:

    Kate,
    Congratulations. Your site deserves any and all notice it receives. I’m not much of a DIYer but you’ve given such great tutorials on various topics that even I believe I can do the “project” as instructed, that’s truly a talent on your part!

    I especially enjoyed reading your suggestions for success. I work full time and post about home decor, gardening and entertaining…sometimes I get discouraged about lack of comments but I appreciated your formula for success and will be happy with increased readership, even if there are few comments. And it reminded me that I do this as a creative outlet to offset my corporate job…I need to take joy in that, not worry about recognition. Thank you for always entertaining and teaching.
    Karen

  134. Heather says:

    Happy 3rd Birthday! Great and inspiring post! I took a blog hiatus in 2010 and wow has blogging really changed in the last 2 years. I’ve started a new blog and look forward to meeting new people! Your blog was one of the blogs that got me to get back into blogging – so thanks! :)

  135. Elizabeth H says:

    Congrats to you. I love your blog and I can think of nothing to add. You give such great directions and photos. Thanks for sharing. I love seeing all your projects and also your beautiful family. Your blog is perfect.

  136. Jessica R. says:

    Congratulations on your blog turning 3! I’ve been a daily reader since the summer of 2010 (and I did go back and read every prior entry!). I think one of the things I like most about your blog is that even though you have a huge audience (27 million page views–WOW), it feels like you are writing to a much smaller audience–you write in such a personal manner and it is obvious that you are not writing your blog to gain more sponsors. Thank you.

    I love your DIY projects, tutorials, decorating ideas and I really love it when you post one of your delicious recipes. My family is a big fan of all of your soups!

  137. Patti Z says:

    Happy 3rd, Kate! I also love your blog. Your hard work is much appreciated! Although I haven’t tackled any DIY projects yet, I have dreams of many I’ve seen here. I also pass along information I’ve learned from you to my friends and family. I remember you mentioning something about your husband contributing to your blog this year — I’m looking forward to that!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Ha! I know Patti, I said he would and he’s actually written two articles in draft format, I’ll get on him to polish them up so he/we can post them!
      Kate

  138. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations on 3 years! You are hands-down my favorite blogger, Kate. I do visit other DIY blogs occasionally (usually from your BOTB posts), but yours is the one I am faithful to. I have turned family & friends on to you and look at your archives as well.

    The one comment I would have (as a newbie DIY-er) is sometimes I have a little trouble following one or 2 steps in a project. I can’t think of a specific example offhand (and I promise to be specific & post a question next time I do), but maybe some of the explanations have to be a little more in depth. Don’t forget – you are the expert – and what seems obvious to you might not be as clear to your readers.

    That being said, I am working on decorating a little shore cottage that I’ve furnished with thrift/consignment store purchases and flea market and garage sale finds that you have inspired me to give new life to. Thanks for the abundance of ideas and inspiration!!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Great tip Adrienne, sometimes I go too fast and forget to photograph a step, other times I hope I’m not adding too many steps …. will try to be aware of that!
      Kate

  139. Kate, congrats on this awesome milestone! Can’t wait to see what you do in 2012…I know it will be inspiring and beautiful! Love you blog!
    XO

  140. Heidi says:

    Kate, thanks so much for always sharing your wonderful ideas. Your experience helps those of us just starting. Your encouragment is so helpful. I especially love your suggestions for photography and for sprucing up our blogs. I started my own blog last year and now realize how important it is to not just read other’s blogs but to comment. That encouragement from readers is what keeps us going. BRAVO! And thanks again for being YOU!

  141. Ann V. says:

    Kate…Happy Birthday! So so happy I found you….you have no idea!! OFTEN I think about how very much time you put into your blog and it just sorta blows my mind! Checking in is truly one of the highlights of my day! 1. Love the DIY stuff (just bought my first quart of Annie Sloan paint), but really it’s all good! 2. The site is really easy to navigate! 3. Time management…how do you do it?

  142. Allison A. says:

    Happy 3 Year Blog Birthday, Kate! Thank you for taking the time to write your beautiful blog. You inspire me on a daily basis!

  143. design fluff says:

    You are such a sweet person. I love hearing the kindness and encouragement that come through your “voice” on this blog. I love the tips for successful blogging the most from your site. If I had to say what my favorite posts are from DIY sites, it’s decor and diy. I LOVE seeing some new makeover, even if it’s a small vignette setting. It’s inspiring and gets me excited about my own projects. I love DIY posts equally, because it shows me that what I thought was probably too hard to tackle myself can be done.

    Hopefully that answers your questions.

  144. Happy b-day! Your blog is fantastic an a true inspiration. You are one of the reasons I decided to start a blog of my own (in fact I wrote about it months ago http://satoridesignforliving.com/2011/09/why-did-i-start-a-blog and perhaps you already read it).

    Keep up the great work and thanks for all of the advice :)

  145. Gabriele says:

    Dear Kate!
    I am new to your blog, found you a few weeks back and now first thing I do when opening my emails is looking for your post. I can’t imagine doing all what you’re doing but every day I am inspired by you. Love everything about your blog which is so personal, easy to navigate and beautiful – you are a genius and I am so glad I found you. Happy Birthday!

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thanks so much Gabriele, and everyone who has written such nice things! So so kind.

  146. Happy birthday CG! :) The timing for your bday is AWESOME because I just wrote a post about how YOUR blog helped mine come into existence: http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2012/02/bloggy-birthday-party/

    Thanks for the constant inspiration! Cheers to the next three years!

  147. Michelle says:

    Congrats on 3 years! I was so happy to discover your blog 2 years ago when I first started reading blogs. I love all your posts!

  148. Catherine says:

    Happy 3rd Birthday, Centsational Girl! Congratulations, Kate – I ♥love♥ your blog, your writing style, your projects – thank you for sharing them. And thank you for the Growing Your Blog Series – it’s been a great resource to me.

  149. Debbie says:

    Congratulations to my favorite blog and blogger. You are so inspirational and I love your style. I think the best thing is that your show what you love and are so generous with how-to’s…But you don’t make negative comments on how something looked to start out. So important because you can’t be too sure about what the reader has in their own home.
    Here’s to many more years of success! You are Centsational!

  150. Beckie says:

    Happy 3rd year blogaversary friend, what you’ve accomplished in 3 short years is mind blowing. So excited for the next 3. I love your site and your continued push towards excellence. You set the bar my friend!

  151. traci says:

    Congratulations, Kate! It’s been a great three years! Can’t wait to see what 2012 holds!

    Especially, Haven! :)

    I’m so excited that I get to see you in April at SNAP. Yay!

  152. Nancy says:

    Congrats Kate..Keep up the great work..but don’t forget to take time for yourself..Hugs

  153. Julie says:

    Hi, Kate!

    I just wanted to say thank you for such an inspirational site. I grew up with the subconscious feeling that when it came to home repair, decorating projects, and power tools, “I Can’t.” But after reading yours and several other blogs, I’ve felt like I CAN! The last 2 months have been a flurry of activity for me, discovering new things and trying to redefine what it means to live in a home. I don’t have to be satisfied with things I don’t like, simply because they are there… I can do something about it!

    Thank you so much. Your blog is the one that started it all. I don’t know if I’m going to do the professional blog pathway, (right now it’s just my Mom and my sister reading) but I’ve found blogging my own befores and afters to be visual markers of growth, and it is a joy to see.

    Thank you so much for helping to change my outlook, my home, and my confidence!

    Julie

  154. Congratulations on a fantastic 3 years! When I visit CentsationalGirl, I know I am sure to be inspired each time. The navigation on your site is the best I’ve seen in blogland–right now I am trying to build my blog’s navigation using yours as a model. I have been frustrated trying to find projects on other blogs once they are buried under the new posts, but yours isn’t a problem.

    I like the idea of seeing reader submitted problems and your solutions.

    Thanks for all you do–looking forward to what is in store in 2012!

  155. Jen says:

    Happy Birthday Lovely!

    You have built such a lovely happy place here. Everything you do is so pretty and I love that you put your heart into each and every DIY project. They always turn out so divine, and you have a great balance of large and small projects. The best of the blogosphere is one of my favorite features, I find so many great blogs and projects that way, and I agree it’s so fantastic to share other’s awesomeness when we see it.

    So very excited to see what you have in store this year! <3

    xoxo,
    Jen

  156. Tammy Masson says:

    I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already! I stumbled across you near the beginning and have been a loyal daily reader ever since! You are marvelous! My suggestion is for you to somehow organize your posts like a cookbook index, where you can find recipes by looking up key ingredients. You have such wonderfully creative names for many of your posts, but I think that makes it difficult for searching by key words. I would love to see very defined categories. For example, group together all your chair redos, all your dresser/desk/nightstand redos, all your mantels scapes, table scapes, Christmas scenes, porch scenes, sewing projects, bedrooms, living room styles, etc. You have so many wonderful and varied entries that I know this would be a hugely daunting task, and I’m not sure if it’s even a realistic possibility, but I think it would be so well worth it! I remember one time I was trying to find the entry where you redid your patio furniture and found the giant black widow so I could show my daughter, and it took me a very long time to find it. It was worth the search, though! You are a fabulous writer and photographer besides being a great DIYer and family gal!!!

    Much love and many wishes for continued success,
    Tammy

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Thank you Tammy, I appreciate that SO much! I will try to figure out a way to make all of those things more easily accessible and improve site navitation… I’m working on it a lot this weekend! I definitely need to get those tablescapes, porches and other seasonal decorating posts in order!
      Kate

  157. Trina says:

    Happy 3rd Birthday!
    I just wanted to say Thank you for all of your DIY information. Thanks to you and your blog, I have sanded, primed and spray painted 3 book shelves. I just finished sanding and priming (with the Zinsser 123 primer) a small table ($4) and a big credenza ($5). So I love all of your DIY projects! The furniture ones are my faves. Of course I love finding old furniture at very inexpensive prices and fixing them up and making them beautiful, such fun! My daughter loves to help too! I never would have known where to start without your help, so again Thank You!!!
    Trina in Sacramento.

  158. Dear Lillie says:

    Happy third birthday, Kate!

  159. Congratulations on three fantastic years of blogging. Yours was one of the first design blogs I discovered. At that time you were just starting out but it was obvious from the start that you were going to be a star in the blogosphere. Your posts are always instructive and visually beautiful. I appreciate all of the hard work you put into your posts, but most of all I admire your kindness and generosity. You deserve every bit of success that you’ve achieved.

  160. Serena says:

    Wow, 3 years? First off, congratulations. Job well done! Secondly, this post was quite amazing, because it demonstrates 1) that there are clear key ingredients to a successful blog (i.e. hard work, good lighting, easy navigation, etc). , and that 2) it didn’t happen overnight. It took 3 years. As a new DIY blogger, I look at many professional and successful sites and frustratedly ask, “why can’t I get this many readers? How can my site look at good as their site? How do THEY find time to get it all in and I can’t even get my house cleaned?” (haha, I totally wonder that last part all the time!). And the thing you said that really hit home was the part about how you’ve all have zero readers, zero replies, at some point. Wow. That really hit home! That is my blog! Haha. But because I love blogging, I love DIY, I love creating, I love thrift stores, and I love sharing what I do, I will continue. I will work hard. I will use your advice and encouragement to keep going and tweak this and that, and I forever be thankful to blogs like yours that gave a spring board to the rest of us.

    Keep up the good work!

  161. Catie says:

    Yay, Kate!! It’s amazing how much your life can change in 3 years. I’m soo happy for you and the success you’ve found by doing what you love and being yourself! I saw you on Nate last year (?) and had to visit your blog – I fell in love. Your home is gorgeous and I loved all your diy tutorials. I think I spent two or three days reading all your blog posts. After all that reading I was inspired to start up my own blog and actually paint a piece of furniture. I found that I really enjoying blogging and the community is awesome! It’s kind of rare to have women supporting women as much as they do in this community. There’s no cattiness, just encouragement and love.

    Sadly, my computer died back in November and I haven’t blogged since then. I haven’t had the money to get a new one and really miss blogging. I hoping next month, when my hubby gets his bonus, that I’ll get a new computer and be back to it.

    Anyway, congratulations on three years!! And I wish you many, many more years of great blogging and all the great opportunities it will bring! =)

    ~ Catie

  162. Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary, Kate! You are one of the most talented, creative, and hard-working bloggers I know, and I always leave Centsational Girl feeling inspired. It’s been wonderful getting to know you over the past 3 years and I’m happy to call you a “blog friend.” :)

  163. Linda says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday CG! Yours is the first, and still the only blog I read daily and I enjoy it immensely! By far my favorites are the DIY posts, you have inspired me to tackle many projects. But I also love some of your funny quirky posts, your family outings and your photography tips. I wouldn’t change anything, navigation works perfectly for me. My main question is… DO YOU EVER SLEEP!!!! :)

  164. Janie says:

    Congratulations Kate! You are an inspiration to all women!! I love your taste and always have my eye on goodies to paint white. :-)

  165. Janie says:

    Congratulations Kate! You are an inspiration to all women!! I love your taste and always have my eye on goodies to paint white. :-)

  166. Happy 3 year anniversary/BIRTHDAY woooohooooo! Hmm, as for your question, I am mostly drawn to amazing (jaw dropping) DIYs .. which u have several – and that’s what keeps me coming back, plus u have such an authentic voice when you write that clearly shows that u write from the heart :) Cheers to maaaaannnnnny more anniversarys. Hey, I hope u you made a wish while u blew on the candle! And, hey 3 years sounds like = 3 wishes! May they ALL come true ; ) THANK YOU for your continued inspiration!

  167. Katie says:

    Happy third birthday! Thank you so much for your blogging advice. As a new blogger, I look at Centsational Girl as such an inspiration. Keep up the gret work!

  168. Girlygirl says:

    Hi Kate,

    Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary!! I really enjoy your blog and especially love your makeovers, DIY and room re-designs. You have such an eye for detail and style and I love how you make such an effort with each project – your designs and makeovers always appear very polished and well finished. I also like how you have stuck by your original ethos of diamond style on a dime.

    Enjoy your 3rd birthday – you deserve to celebrate all your hard work!!! :))

  169. Doreen says:

    Happy (belated) birthday CG! I’ve been lurking for a while, but have decided to come out of my ‘diy’ closet and say ‘hello’ and join the 21st century and get in on this blog thing :). I love your tutorials, pictures, and personal stories most of all. I wish there was more time in the day to take in all the great stuff on your blog. I agree with everything you said…enthusiasm is número uno and can’t be faked. You’re a testament to that for sure. Congratulations on your astounding success and wishing you many, many more years of success ahead!!

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