FAQ Me My Life The Blog

Breadwinning

I’m the sole provider for our family now. Officially.

I posted a single political link out of a dozen cute and fluffy links in last Friday’s Honor Roll, and it got people all riled up. One person was so incensed that she tried to insult me personally, calling me out for enjoying my “fancy shopping trips” while Brandon was collecting unemployment. That’s not true, but I hadn’t realized the misconception I may have been fostering by not providing an update sooner. It’s hard stuff to write about and I’d been putting it off, but no longer. Here’s what’s going on with us.

Brandon and I met in 1999, when we each worked full-time at Barbara’s Bookstore in Oak Park (making just over $6/hour in the beginning — go us!). We began dating in 2001, moved in together a while after that, and were married in May of 2004. Just before we were married, Brandon left the bookstore for a job in printing that paid more. He was there until he lost his job in January.

I left the bookstore in late 2004. I had already been working a second job which was to continue for a little longer, and I took a seasonal retail job at the first west elm store. When that was over, I decided to pursue my dream of owning a stationery business and I started Pink Loves Brown. I also took on freelance web design projects as Smart & Lovely while the stationery business took off. I started this blog in 2007, and I realized that the blog would eclipse the stationery shop a couple of years into it. The money I made from advertising was a nice bonus at first, and eventually it became enough to call the blog “a job” with a straight face.

Brandon liked the work that he was doing (managing prepress), but the environment was a bad one. We’d always hoped that he could quit eventually, but it helped support our family and provided health insurance. When he unexpectedly lost his job earlier this year, he was on unemployment for a few months while he looked for work. As I took on more projects though, it became clear that we could make it work if he wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. In July, he stopped collecting unemployment. We got rid of COBRA and bought our own health insurance (which was difficult and expensive). It’s scary to be the sole supporter since I have such a non-traditional job, but it’s working right now. If we need to reevaluate in the future, we will.

I make money in advertising and sponsored posts here on Making it Lovely, and I also write for Babble, Better Homes and Gardens, and Glidden. I’m saying yes to a lot more work than I would have before and I’m working a lot, but we’re doing well. Last year was the first year in which I earned more than my husband. This year I’ve been doing even better, and I hope to eventually be able to replace his lost income.

It wasn’t under ideal circumstances, but it seems I’ve managed to cross another item off of my Lovely Life List. A big one.

Life List Item: Make Enough Money to Support My Family

Thank you, everybody, for all of your support over the years. Especially recently. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you, and I’m humbled by you and grateful.

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393 Comments

  • Reply
    Erica { EricaDHouse.com }
    September 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Haters gonna hate.
    Plain and simple.

    Keep kicking life’s ass.

  • Reply
    Jenni Sea
    September 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    You should be so proud of yourself! I know others have said it before, but I think it’s important to repeat: you don’t owe any of us anything. This is your space, and you do an amazing job with it. I’m so happy for you and your family. <3

  • Reply
    Erin
    September 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I’m really glad to see that things are going well for you all. I didn’t say anything on the post with the 90 Reasons link, but I will say it here: I disagree with the link 100% (actually, probably more like 89%) but I sincerely appreciate the manner in which you presented your political opinion. A couple of weeks ago I was shocked and disturbed to visit the page of an artist I follow (or followed) and find that she had written a hateful tirade to anyone who didn’t agree with her political persuasion, even to the point of saying that we were unwelcome on her site. It was so disheartening to read. Thank you for not doing that, here.

  • Reply
    Rebekah
    September 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    You are an inspiration and should be proud of yourself.

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Go you! You should be so proud. I’ve been an avid reader since 2007, and while I agree with your politics, I would still support you even if I didn’t. I’m so sad that you had to experience a verbal assault because of that harmless post. People need to get their heads out of their you-know-whats and take a serious chill pill.

  • Reply
    Lily
    September 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Way to go, Nicole! You’re an inspiration.

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I love your blog. The mix of home decorating, crafting, family and new sites to visit is enchanting. Your writing is charming. You don’t have to explain a thing to your readers, but I’m touched that you did. Go on and do great things. You have the creativity and imagination to go far.

    • Reply
      Tiffany
      September 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Ditto! I couldnt say it better myself so I will just second Laura’s comment.

  • Reply
    Crystal
    September 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    You go girl! Let the haters hate! You are an inspiration!

  • Reply
    Meaghan
    September 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you twice – first, for sharing the 90/90 link; and second – for BEING political and sharing something that makes you a more dynamic, honest person. As a queer person, I find it frustrating to not know where the bloggers I read stand on political issues. As an example, there are quite a few Christian and Mormon “mommy/lifestyle” bloggers out there with intriguing content, but I’m trepidatious about committing time to reading their content when I could, in fact, be supporting someone who doesn’t support me. When I know that ad revenue supports the blogger directly, I want to make sure I contribute my time (and clicks) to blogs written by people who are like-minded. So thank you for “outing” yourself. It makes me feel like I have more safe space on the big bad internet.

    • Reply
      Candice
      September 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      This is such an interesting comment–and it touches upon some things I think about from time to time. I felt guilty culling some blogs (that I really enjoyed) from my regular reading; but it had to be done.

    • Reply
      Dawn
      September 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly! Nicole is daily reading for me because I enjoy her content and her writing. My husband and I are two liberal atheists living in a very politically conservative and religious area. As much as I sometimes want to share my own views online, I often remain silent for fear that there will be negative career ramifications for me. Since I cannot be open in my own life about my political leanings, I will gladly throw my support (and page clicks) behind Nicole.

  • Reply
    Martina
    September 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Oh, I hate that you feel like you need to explain this because someone was a jerk. While I do think making political statements can be extremely divisive without any real gain on a home/design/family blog, (I’m glad I didn’t see it — I’d prefer to not know) — that’s really neither here nor there. Your personal financial matters is your business and no one else’s. That said, I’m glad you were willing to share. You work very hard and are extremely creative. It’s very encouraging to me as a wife, mom, designer and blogger that you’re doing well doing what you love. Kudos to you!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I love hearing about your real life struggles. You tell it honestly (even though you have no obligation to any readers to do it–it’s your blog). Congratulations on your accomplishment! It’s huge to be able to do that and you’ve worked hard for it.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I am so PROUD of you! What a wonderful feeling to be able to support your family and know they have a loving parent to be with them as well. You are truly a role model for others. Keep it up!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    September 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Oh Nicole, I read this through tears. Like others have said, you don’t owe us an explanation and it’s none of our business, but I applaud your openness and honesty. I admire you so much as a blogger and businesswoman, and I’ve taken some of your classes to learn more from you. You’re such an inspiration, and I would love to be able to earn money doing something I love. I wish you and your family all the best, and I’m thrilled that things are working out for you guys. :)

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    September 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I loved that link! I have shared it with all of my friends and family! Good luck to you and your family. I too am the bread winner in my household while my husband concentrates on school. We have a baby on the way and he can’t wait to add stay-at-home-Daddy to his to-do list. I am a new reader, and love the blog!

  • Reply
    The Domestic Fringe
    September 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I am happy for your success. It is nice to see someone do well.

    ~FringeGirl

    thedomesticfringe.com

  • Reply
    Cyd
    September 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks so much for your honesty and your willingness to share, Nicole. As a fellow full-time blogger it’s really interesting to me how much scrutiny we’re constantly under. I honestly think sometimes that because people don’t see me go in and out of an office every day, they assume I’m somehow doing nothing but just raking in the dough. Like I haven’t been working or that I don’t deserve it. The reality is, I’ve been building my blog up for nearly five years now and also do freelance writing and styling work, for Babble, of course, among others. I am at the tail end of a divorce where I went from having healthcare provided and a second (larger) income to help cover all the household expenses to, well, just me. Just me, a passion for the work I do and a dream to have that work be enough to take care of myself and Uncle Sam, too. Luckily, I can now say confidently that I am doing that, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking I can afford to buy all the pretty things I blog about. And the day where I can take some time off here and there without freaking out hasn’t yet come, but maybe someday it will. At any rate, I am so incredibly happy for you for your success and for the life it has helped shape for your family. As a long time reader, I know how hard you work and I thank you for sharing your story with us! xoxo

  • Reply
    pamela
    September 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    September 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for all that you do. :)

  • Reply
    lilcg
    September 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I appreciate your honesty and I, like someone else mentioned, also appreciated that little glimpse into another side of you. There are a number of design/family blogs run by people with very different political views and sometimes it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I think the 90/90 project is well designed, well written, and well worth the shout out. I will try to follow your ad links more often to make up for any revenue you might lose for sharing that side. I thought you handled the shout out tactfully and gracefully. I am sorry it is causing you problems.

  • Reply
    Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    September 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    In this post and in Friday’s Honor Roll, you’ve presented yourself the way you always have: with honesty and confidence but always with a respect for other viewpoints. I come to this blog to see how YOU see the world. I may not see the world in exactly the same way, but your view is intriguing enough that I keep coming back.

    You write your blog as you see fit and you live with the consequences. While I don’t visit here expecting political commentary – just as I don’t come here expecting you to disclose the details of your personal financial situation – each post is a part of “you” and I respect that. Good for you for standing up for what you believe in. Good for you for striking off a major item on your Life List!!

  • Reply
    Ginny @ goofymonkeys
    September 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    You are living MY dream! Congratulations on making this work for your family!

    I’m so sorry that you feel the need to explain yourself. What you guys did while your husband was on UI was exactly what you are supposed to do – live your life and figure stuff out so that you can move forward.

  • Reply
    Liz
    September 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Nicole,

    You should know that for each cranky downer there are thousands of happy loyal readers who love to hear your opinions – political or otherwise! You rock!!! Keep up the good work xoxo

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    September 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Can I just simply say BRAVO!!!

  • Reply
    Mairi
    September 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I am happy to support you and this blog! I love your writing and your style!
    Are you likely to reopen pink loves brown? I’d love to purchase some of those stationary suitcases? Do you know where I could get them in Canada if you aren’t selling them anymore?
    Thank you,
    Mairi

  • Reply
    MS
    September 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Great for you and your family! Be proud and let the haters stew in their own muck. Glad you’ve been able to make this goal of yours happen.

  • Reply
    Angela
    September 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    You surely deserve your success and you don’t have to apologize about it to anyone! You are doing a great job and your blog is always an inspiring place to visit. :-)

  • Reply
    Monica
    September 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    You deserve absolutely every bit of the success that you’re earning, and kudos to you for making your way in an unconventional choice. Keep writing about it, we need more trailblazers like yourself!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Rosy Blu
    September 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Such an incredible achievement for you, well done! You do amazing work, and deserve the success that’s coming to you right now.

  • Reply
    Gwen
    September 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I think it’s ridiculous that you have to (or feel like you have to) explain your financial situation. Making It Lovely is a passion and a business. You post content that people are clearly interested in and follow regularly. Advertisers and sponsors recognize that or they wouldn’t pay you. This is your space. Period. I personally didn’t read the link because I don’t come to Making It Lovely for politics. But, that’s just it…I read what I want and don’t read what I don’t want to. I enjoy your blog very much. I get something out of it. How much money you make and how you provide for your family is nobody’s business.

  • Reply
    Alison Burtt
    September 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    You certainly don’t owe us anything, but I am pleased to see this update. I was so sad for you when Brandon lost his job. I’m very glad to hear that your family is making this new situation work and sorry about all the vitriol on that other post. Yikes! I saw it pop up in my feed reader last week, but didn’t really think anything of it. I’m guessing it’s probably a non-issue for most people, but there’s always that vocal minority.

    Keep up the gorgeous monthly style posts and the making it yours posts. Those are my favorites!

  • Reply
    Yanira Garza
    September 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing, though you owe us no explanations. Good for you for doing what you need to for your family and shame on those who are so ignorant and so uninformed that they resort to name calling. I’m scared for our future because these are the people that go out and vote…uninformed! Stay true to you, we are still reading. I hope to get to where you are someday!

  • Reply
    Sara
    September 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I appreciated your political link, I think it’s important to respectfully share your opinion and provide information. Congratulations on successfully supporting your family – that’s awesome :)

  • Reply
    Ellen
    September 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you for the 90/90 link. I’ve been enjoying following them on Facebook.

  • Reply
    Nora
    September 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment. I admire your frankness about your family’s employment situation, how you have resolved it, and especially the graciousness with which you have shared it.

  • Reply
    sprizee
    September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    So inspiring! Thanks for sharing your path to now. And keep on sharing every little thing that you like. More inspiration for us all!

  • Reply
    K.Nicole
    September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Congratulations on achieving your goal of being able to make enough to support your family. I have been a reader since your Pink Loves Brown days and I’ve seen your empire as well as your family grow. Best Wishes to you and your family in the future. I cannot believe the gall of someone to attack you personally for your political views.

  • Reply
    Amy
    September 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    From one sole breadwinner mom and wife to another, I say hats off to you! I really admire your ability to go your own way and find true success. This is a DESIGN blog…I cannot believe anyone would attack your lifestyle over a political post. That is sad. Why can’t women be more supportive of each other rather than trying to tear down over the smallest of details?

  • Reply
    wendy
    September 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Well that post made the comments flow in; ) You’re awesome! That’s quite an accomplishment to be the sole provider of the family! While I don’t agree with you politically- I don’t care for Obama and happen to think he much less than ideal for President- I don’t think it’s right for anyone to insult you personally! That hurts! We are all entitled to our own opinions and that would not stop me from reading your blog. I check it out daily and love what you do: )

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    September 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    You are awesome!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    September 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I did not read your political article! I really want to see your projects and that’s why I read your blog. I think all people can make that choice too. You can read what you are interested in and just cruise on to something else if you are not.
    But…
    (and of course I do not know you!!)
    I feel your pain. I am the prime breadwinner in my family and my husband does the lion’s share of the running kids to and from activities, shopping, meals, bath time, etc. I think it works out fine for us. His schedule is more flexible as a small business owner, but it is amazing how many people are bothered by it and choose to say so.
    Again, that is a choice.
    I would suggest making the choice to not get into other people’s business.

  • Reply
    Line Mortensen
    September 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I think you are doing wonderful and don’t let people tell you otherwise! How you earn your money and what you do with them are your business only.I think you are an inspiration and well done you!

    Brandon also! Way to go, stay-at-home-dad!

  • Reply
    Ashlea Walter
    September 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Congratulations! I’m proud of you.

  • Reply
    Ashlea Walter
    September 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    p.s. I loved the 90/90.

  • Reply
    Kate
    September 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    The end of this post gave me chills! You are such an inspiration! Thanks for posting this story, I’m feeling pumped after reading it!

  • Reply
    jackie jade
    September 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that you are able to support your family full time. And I equally think it’s awful that someone would jump on your for posting one political link and then presume to know your entire life/family/financial situation. But kudos to you for putting it out there!

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for being an inspiration! Congrats!!!

  • Reply
    Preciously Me
    September 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    There will always be people who say things that can hurt… But don’t listen to them! You should be proud of yourself for what you did for your family and for making our day more lovely ♥
    Congratulations for all you do! I hope to read you for years ;)

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Levy
    September 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    You’re amazing and an inspiration. I don’t normally comment, but I had to on this one. What a wonderful blessing you are to your family. (And Brandon is a blessing, too! I slyly showed my husband your post about his birthday gifts for you and his sweet birthday note) It is wonderful seeing people live the American dream. It is hard work, but the American dream is still alive and well!

  • Reply
    pseudonym here
    September 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    If the other 3 bazillion bloggers out there can punctuate every other sentence with “Praise G*d” etc., and Nicole’s lone political link (and her person) gets pilloried, then the case has been made as to why I’m a proud Freethinking Liberal.

    Brandon paid his dues to society as a hard-working, gainfully employed taxpayer. He EARNED his place in this world.

    In the meantime, I have next door neighbors who are supporting their never-worked-a-day-in-her-life granddaughter who is pregnant with her second child (her first is 3,can’t speak coherently, and is never read to because–and I quote directly–“reading is dumb”)–father unknown *again*. They’re on all forms of welfare (last month the taxpayers bought the grandpa his 3rd electric scooter, a new oxygen tank, and a box of Newport Menthols among other things). And they’re Republicans! In the meantime, my husband serves his country–the Liberal Trash that he is–in the Air Force.

    So yeah. The people who are so eager to vilify you and your family can stow it. And then go volunteer at their kids’ school or something.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    September 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    CONGRATS! Is it weird to say that I am so proud of you? Well, I am! That is an amazing accomplishment… thanks so much for sharing an update with those you inspire daily!

  • Reply
    terri
    September 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    congrats to you!!!!! i love that you followed your dreams and it is working. you should be so proud of yourself and i am quite sure your hubby is as well! shame on people for saying mean things. unfortunately, there are people in this world who feel the need to be negative…..you just keep doing what you are doing and continue to grow personally and professionally!!!! thanks for sharing your story! so inspirational!!! xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Fran Heupel
    September 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Love your blog and your honesty. Thanks do much for all that ou do. You should be so proud of your hard work and accomplishments.

    • Reply
      Marcee
      September 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Absolutely …. I agree.
      Reader of your blog Nicole …. love it! Not sure I ever commented though.

      Why do folks get so upset? Too weird.

      The various advertising gigs are fantastic! Wow. To me that is a fun and creative way to make a decent living. Keep it up! More power to you Nicole.

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    It’s really a shame that someone used your honesty about a difficult situation as an opportunity to judge and slam you. Personally, as someone who has gone through job loss I appreciate your openness and I think your story is really inspirational. Thanks, Nicole!

  • Reply
    J
    September 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Go you! To heck with the grinches. I was boggled to see that it raised such hackles. Just wanted to sign on as one more supporter. (p.s. I did graduate from Reed … looks like you’re doing just fine without it! ;)

  • Reply
    Lynn
    September 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I’m not a lover of shopping trips any more due to limited income, but that doesn’t make me not read your blog! I usually enjoy it immensly and if I don’t like the subject I can always “close” my browser and move on!

    I had an unexpected hatefilled ‘conversation’ the other day on FB with someone who made a political statement, I responded, and she really flew off the handle. Because I tried to be calm, reassure her it was ok to disagree, she started REALLY name calling. I finally unfriended her and it was over. Wow. Never knew there were those out there with such a poison pen attitude.

    I’ll still love your column even if I disagree with you politically. After all, my faith demands I love anyway.

    • Reply
      Marcee
      September 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Ohmygosh …. this happened to me also, a few weeks ago. The subject matter was spanking (or hitting … what is the dif???) children.

      Well, I am completely and totally against any type of physical abuse toward any child. It proves nothing. Only that a bigger someone can hit a little person. Boo.

      There are countless other ways to get the message across. Geez. Folks are sooo impatient, uptight and horribly cruel. I would never even hit (ever-ever) my pet. The results are always fear and loathing. Not on my time clock.

  • Reply
    Marie
    September 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Brava, Nicole!

  • Reply
    Mara
    September 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Congratulations lady!! Supporting your family through your creativity is a HUGE accomplishment and one I’m working on myself. More power to you sister!

  • Reply
    Jay V
    September 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Nicole- congratulations on all of the rewards that your hard works are bringing your way! Good for you for sticking it out- it takes balls. As for your political commentary- keep it up. I know that it’s not your aim because this is a blog about fashion and design, but who are we kidding, you also post aspirations, pics of the kids etc. so your politics are just another extension of you. If people disagree with your politics, then they can find plenty of blogs that nod in agreement with that aspect of their lives. Please keep on keeping on.

  • Reply
    Danni
    September 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    While I don’t think anyone deserves an explanation, I do appreciate the little peek into your life. I’m glad it’s all worked out and I love seeing your other material around the web (i.e Babble and the like). Politics and money make people crazy!

    Ok, back to lurking ;)

    • Reply
      Marcee
      September 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Oh, for sure. I so agree w/your comment about the p & m! You said it Danni!

  • Reply
    Kristin O
    September 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Been reading along since 2007. I think you and your work has progressed into a beautiful butterfly that hasn’t stopped gaining altitude and friends. You are writing to a mass audience – no way everyone will love your thoughts and opinions. But to the few and mostly many that do; keep at it. And by the way huge congrats on ‘Making it Work’ when times are not easy.

  • Reply
    Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    September 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Congrats, Nicole!

  • Reply
    elz
    September 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I don’t think you needed to explain anything. BUT, I really don’t care to know any blogger’s political affiilations. Honestly, sometimes it becomes so overpowering that I permanently click the top “x” button. Unless I am reading an economist’s blog or a political blog, it really has no relevance. In the same manner, I don’t care to know the political leanings of any celebrity. I think Mir’s article on workitmom.com from a few weeks ago was particularly instructive.

  • Reply
    Joy | Frock Files
    September 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, sometimes people just don’t know better. Nicole, I have such respect for you — for stepping up to the plate and supporting your family, but also for your intelligence, taste, and ingenuity. You’ve created your life and all the blessings in it, and I think you should be as amazed with yourself as all of us are of you.

  • Reply
    Jasi
    September 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    fabulous for you. but kind of sad that you have to divulge your personal finances because some trolls put bloggers on some creepy pedestal only to knock them down the second they can swap jealousy for self-righteousness. you’re a person, a talented one. you deserve a certain level of privacy and respect for your work. i hope the bloggosphere changes soon. =(

  • Reply
    dai
    September 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Dear Nicole,

    Congrats on meeting up the goal this year! We are so proud of you and love your style!
    Making it Lovely is THE blog I recommend to my friend now.
    I’m impressed that you are willing to share such private things going on with “strangers”, but I get it that sometimes tackling with unfriendly comments is such pressure.
    Don’t worry I’m sure the most of us are here for you no matter what haters say!;)
    All the Best wishes!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    September 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Congrats to you on being able to support your family! I’m happy for you that you’ve found an arrangment that works best for you and your family. Isn’t that all anyone can ask for? And because I adore your blog and its stylish content, I’m happy to support it.

    I cannot even begin to imagine the scrutiny that lifestyle bloggers are under – my cooking blog never rec’d enough traffic to warrant much interest – but from what I’ve read, it seems seriously intense. It’s a strange ‘relationship’ that develops, understandably as more and more personal content is shared.

    But it saddens me to think that readers can’t simply choose to stop reading if they’re not happy with the content. It’s not as if we went to the mall and bought a t-shirt – only to realize when we got home that it said VOTE FOR PEDRO, or some other candidate that we don’t support. Guess what? Since you paid for it, you can go back and get a refund. It’s even easier with a blog – just don’t go back.

    Eh, haters gotta hate! That being said, I loved the 90/90 link!
    Keep up the great work!!

    • Reply
      AnnW
      September 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Danielle, great analogy, I hope you don’t mind if I steal the idea about Vote for Pedro. Ann

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to share this part of your story. Of course, you in no way owe your readers a explanation or justification for how you are living, but it is always nice to learn about the creative ways people are managing their work and children and finances. These kinds of posts help a lot of us, I think, to make the best choices in our own situations.

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    That’s such a huge accomplishment! Congratulations!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    September 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    THANK YOU for posting the 90 Days article. Big idea; if you don’t want to read about politics, don’t click on it. If you don’t like this blog, don’t read it. Easy as that! *I* for one shall continue to enjoy it and extend my congratulations and admiration to you!

  • Reply
    a fellow oak parker
    September 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    It is a sad day when people come into your home (blog) and feel that they can attack, slam, and criticize you based on what you believe and support. I hate that you felt compelled to explain your political decision or your financial situation or your familial arrangements because some disagreed with your politics. Whatever happened to civility? respect for a two-party system? respect for one’s fellow citizenship? You have a right to support whichever candidate you wish, a right to express that support in the forum that you built, and the right to not have to explain yourself to those coming for a visit. It would also be nice if we could see ourselves as citizens, contributing and benefiting collectively–which of course we actually are. Whether food stamps, unemployment benefits, public education from pre-k through graduate school, and use of publically developed, subsidized, and/or maintained roads, air travel, and broadcast tv, we all are recipients of aid from the government and what we do with our income and what our income sources are really is no one else’s business.

  • Reply
    Linda
    September 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    My husband was laid off 2 years ago and it was not a topic I cared to discuss. We are lucky he was able to find another job quickly, but I can certainly relate to the fear and uncertainty. I think you are amazing! You are supporting your family by doing something you love. That is the dream for so many. That person who decided she/he knows your life story and is delusional enough to try and attack you for your right to post what ever you want can suck it.

    Love your blog!

  • Reply
    LisaInIllinois
    September 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I do hope you also received many comments thanking you for honestly stating your political preference!! If not, consider yourself thanked by a fellow Obama fan! I’ve enjoyed every bit of your blog and am happy for your success! p.s. someone who negatively judges you isn’t worth your energy!

  • Reply
    Sam
    September 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Go Nicole! Haters gonna hate. I always find it so strange when people feel it is okay to rip someone apart when they are reading their blog. You can write about whatever you like. ITS YOUR BLOG. People forget that sometimes. I rarely comment but read your blog daily. Just know that soooo many people read and appreciate your blog and support you.

  • Reply
    Meg (MIMI+MEG)
    September 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Good for you! We all have to figure it out. Ugh, I hate the haters! I’m so so happy for you!

  • Reply
    Meredith K A
    September 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I love that you were able to cleanly, honestly, respectfully, clearly refute the haters. Your blog has *almost* gotten the ax from my feed reader the past three purges, because our tastes don’t overlap much, but it’s the occasional big WOWs I feel when you suddenly make me fall in love with something outside my comfort zone, and posts like this one, that t keep me coming back. You are totally girly & fashion-focused, but AT THE SAME TIME a totally amazing mom, savvy businesswoman & entrepreneur, and an extremely hard worker. I truly admire you! Keep doing your thing. You have found your niche, and I am positive it will keep working for you for as long as you keep loving it.

  • Reply
    Dawn
    September 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I’m saddened, but not shocked, that people attack you personally. For years my husband and myself had to work at jobs we loathed to support our family. And by support, I mean barely scrape by. I Lost my job unexpectedly in October of last year and collected unemployment. It was hard, and with an autistic child that I home schooled and was allowed to have have with me at my last job…finding another one was impossible. My husband was offered a job that was more money, meaning I didn’t have to work and that we would relocate three hours away from home…was a welcomed thing! I have a blog that I don’t make money from…haven’t figured that out..it’s mostly rambling and recipes etc….but I enjoy it.
    Puerile are cruel, and it’s sad you had to explain you’re personal life for everyone but you are doing great. In the end it’s your babies and family that matter! Xoxo

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t comment often, but I had to tell you how impressed I am by your drive and work ethic. Good for you, Nicole, and good for you for posting this very rational response to some ding dong offended by one political link (not even a post). It sounds as if you can lean liberal AND be a hard worker? Who knew!

  • Reply
    R
    September 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    How terrible that someone would judge you and your family without knowing the facts. Life is what it is, and that person is obviously a bitter, closed minded soul, who clearly has no compassion and is incredibly judgmental. What you do is inspiring, and brings great joy to a lot of people. Don’t ever doubt for even a moment the impact you have on your readers. Even those of us who have never commented before, we find great comfort in much of the information you provide. Keep up the amazing work, and know that some of us are cheering you on no matter what your family situation is!

  • Reply
    Licia
    September 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    When you do amazing things and excel at them, you are the recipient of both negative and positive judgement. I find that focusing your energy on the positive will lead you further ahead than responding or reacting to the negative. Imagine President Obama getting on TV and responding to the insults, wrongful accusations and just plain ignorant comments that are made about him as a person and as a president. There’s no need to acknowledge or react. I say “go on, girl!”. Let haters hate and keep up the awesomeness that you do every day :)

  • Reply
    Reesa
    September 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I know it must be difficult for you to share certain personal situations here. I very much appreciate you sharing with us and also understand that it’s not mandatory that you do so.

  • Reply
    Brianna
    September 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Oh good grief. Why should people get so offended that you have an opinion on politics that you shared (once!) on your own blog? I’m sorry you also feel compelled to have to explain your home life situation to people who make poor assumptions based on what they see (or don’t see) on your blog. Anyway, good for you for making this blog work for your family.

  • Reply
    Michelle Bee
    September 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    So sorry you felt the need to have to defend yourself on your blog. This is your blog. Your place to talk about and promote whatever you dang well please. We, as readers, are just along for the ride. If we don’t like it, then we don’t have to read it.

    I have to say though, I am so proud of you for making it work. I’ve been reading you from the beginning and live nearby, and have always had a secret dream in my heart to quit the day job and do exactly what you’re doing. So amazing to see what success you have had. You’re really doing a great job at keeping the blog interesting after all these years.

    Much love and gratitude for you sharing your life with the internet.

  • Reply
    Miss B.
    September 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    You can do whatever you set you mind to and I know this year will be even more fruitful than ever, you are such an inspiration, go-getter and totally original:)

  • Reply
    whitney @ thecurtiscasa
    September 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    GO YOU!!!!!

  • Reply
    Alana
    September 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Holy cow! Go YOU! And I think it’s wonderful that you’re able to support your family with a job you created yourself. That’s the only truly stable way to go. You’re in charge, so if things go well, it’s due to your own hard work and you’re not a slave to the whims of corporate management. I think it’s awesome.

    But— what gives with miserable people tearing down women who are working their butts off to build a business? Aren’t we supposed to be cheering each other on? Shame on them. Truly.

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Nicole, I think you’re great. It’s wonderful that your family worked through a difficult situation and is thriving. These are strange days, and I admire your courage in sharing your lives with us (and those that judge should be ashamed of themselves). I also appreciate that your posts are well-rounded and inclusive. I’m not a mother, for example, but I peek at your Babble contributions occasionally. It’s what makes you, and your blog, unique. I wish much more success and happiness.

  • Reply
    sarah
    September 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Wow. Just wanted to say that it’s ridiculous you felt the need to defend yourself, but your post was great. I can’t stand the judging. The interwebs should be a happy pretty place.
    Congrats on reaching a goal! Very inspirational.

  • Reply
    Laurel
    September 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    YOU GO GIRL. I’m currently making more than my boyfriend (and probably will for the next few years), and it scares me a bit when I think about starting to raise a family – how to balance things if I end up being the primary breadwinner, and even a supporter of a SAHD. Your willingness to share how you manage and THRIVE is even more inspirational to me than all your lovely design work. Thanks :-D

  • Reply
    NanH
    September 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I felt the need to comment, since I am one of your silent readers. It is very easy for someone to be judgmental of you when they are hiding behind a computer screen. You have shared your life, your home, your children, openly with us. Freely. Not all of us are that brave. I personally love your posts, have purchased from your stationary store, and have been following you for quite a while. Congratulations on reaching your goal. Please know that while some of us do not post often, there are a TON of us who appreciate the work you do and the inspiration you provide to us.

  • Reply
    gina
    September 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    been reading your blog for over 2 years now and have to say that i relate to you more now than in months past. i have always liked your style and decorating tips, but i find myself enjoying your lifestyle posts more now. you are so down to earth and that is what keeps me reading.

  • Reply
    Jenna
    September 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Nicole, I’m just extremely proud of both of you. I love your blog and have read for years. I think it’s wonderful that you and Brandon are able to do what is BEST for your family no matter what anyone else says. What works for you, might not work for someone else. Only you two know what is best for your family. I hope {and know} that you will continue pursuing that. Looking forward to more wonderfulness fro Making it Lovely!

  • Reply
    Ann Ever
    September 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Congrats!

  • Reply
    Bonnie Morscher
    September 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Nicole, you are an inspiration, and so is Brandon! Three cheers for you and your family taking the non-conventional route and also for standing up to the haters. You have so much of which to be proud.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    September 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    It is crazy that you have to defend yourself. As a blogger I am sure you know people are crazy but PEOPLE ARE CRAZY. Good for you for doing well – good for you for carving out a place where you can be re-nummerated for your passion – good for you for closing the pay gap! You are entitled to your opinions – political or otherwise – and I am happy every time there is a new post for me to enjoy.

  • Reply
    kelley
    September 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    GO YOU!!! I think what you’re doing is amazing and think you should feel so proud of yourself.
    Pay no attention to the haters, especially the ones who get their feathers ruffled because they realized that their political beliefs differ from yours. We live in a democracy, people.. get over it.

  • Reply
    Gillian
    September 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Wow as somebody from outside the US I find the reaction to you’re previous post amazing. To be honest I like looking at the eye candy in blog posts but I can’t believe how rarely a reference is made to politics or economics or any of the big issues effecting us all. Why shouldn’t someone write about their political leanings? Is a woman’s place only to discuss the lighter fluffier things in life? Can’t we like those things and also have intelligent political debate? There seems to be no restraint on many blogs (not yours Nicole) for people to promote their religious leanings and nobody ever comments with an opposing view. Just very very strange from a european perspective where people generally keep their religious views private and politics can be discussed openly without expecting a reprise (generally speaking that is).
    Anyway good on you, I respect you intelligence and integrity!

  • Reply
    andrea
    September 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    good for you nicole. i have read your blog for years and i think you are hardworking and amazing at what you do. harsh comments do provide opportunities for reflection but there are so many, many people out there that have been inspired by what you do and how you write and the tone that you present.

  • Reply
    Judy
    September 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I really think that people who are conservative think that all persons who hold different opinions are all on some kind of Government handout. Just a tiny bit of investigation might disabuse them of this perception but they never seem willing to admit any validity to any other opinion but their own. Puzzles me completely. I rejoice in your success and enjoy your blog enormously. Thanks for your contribution of creativity.

  • Reply
    Kirsten
    September 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    You’ve handled this with such grace. It is a privilege to be let into your life on such a personal level and it’s unfortunate that some people (agreeing or disagreeing with your values and views) take advantage of and abuse that privilege. I enjoy your blog immensely, I am inspired by your posts, and I wish you the best.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    As the breadwinner in our family — after my husband lost his job over a year ago — it takes a set of cajones to do what you and I are doing. Hang in there. Being brave and strong and a woman is tougher than it looks. BRAVO!

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