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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. Tracy says:

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

  10. France's says:

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

  11. Christina says:

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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! :)

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. CentsationalGirl says:

    Aw Amanda, I love a good Jack Nicolson quote…

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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!

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

  24. Terry Moore says:

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. Connie says:

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. Peggy says:

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

  32. CentsationalGirl says:

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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. 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!

  36. SSM says:

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

  37. 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

  38. 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!!

  39. 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

  40. 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!

  41. 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 ;-)

  42. 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.

  43. Darlene says:

    Congtrats on such a wonderful accomplishment!

  44. 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!

  45. kellie says:

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

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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 !!!

  49. 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!

  50. Sharmin says:

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

  51. Nancy says:

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

  52. 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.

  53. 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!

  54. sarah says:

    Congratulations!

  55. 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!♥

  56. 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

  57. 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.

  58. 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!!!

  59. 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

  60. 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! :)

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. 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!

  64. 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!!

  65. 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

  66. 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!

  67. 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?

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

  70. 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 :)

  71. 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!

  72. 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!

  73. CentsationalGirl says:

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

  74. 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

  75. 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

  76. 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

  77. 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!

  78. 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.

  79. 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!

  80. 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!

  81. 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!

  82. Nancy says:

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

  83. 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

  84. 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!

  85. 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

  86. 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

  87. 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

  88. 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.

  89. Dear Lillie says:

    Happy third birthday, Kate!

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

  92. 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

  93. 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.” :)

  94. 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!!!! :)

  95. 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. :-)

  96. 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. :-)

  97. 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!

  98. 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!

  99. 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!!! :))

  100. CentsationalGirl says:

    Thank you Girlygirl!

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