My Life

Five Years

It has been five years since my very first post on Making it Lovely. I started this blog on a bit of a whim when my husband and I were been looking for our first home. I had big plans and I had always loved decorating our apartment, so I knew there would be a lot to write about…

Brandon and I are buying our first house. Tonight we met with our realtor and signed a contract. We’ll find out soon (tomorrow night?) if it’s been accepted. We may soon be official home owners! How grown up of us.

Oh, and hi. I’m Nicole Balch, although I’m better known as the owner of Pink Loves Brown.

(Spoiler alert: We got the house.)

My stationery shop, Pink Loves Brown, had been buzzing along for two years already at that point, and I had built up a decent following. I mentioned the blog in my shop’s newsletter and I was off to a good start with a couple hundred people reading everyday. I was also familiar to a couple of bloggers too, through the shop and through Flickr. I was looking through my archives and reminiscing a bit, and I was curious about what my first bit of press was. A mere eight days after I started this blog, it was written about by Victoria of SF Girl by Bay, and I see that Holly, Kim, and Becky commented on it! All ladies who are still doing incredible things and whom I have deep admiration for.

That’s something that has really amazed me about blogging; There are so many personal connections forged. Three and a half years after being mentioned on Victoria’s home on the web, I was staying in her home in San Francisco. How else but through blogging could that have happened?

And it isn’t just other bloggers that I’ve connected with. I have some of the smartest, most thoughtful readers. Thank you all for sharing in this blog with me, whether you’ve been here from the beginning or have just found me today. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Here’s to the next five years.

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  • Elaine
    January 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Happy Anniversary! :)

  • Giulia
    January 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Congratulations on a great blog! Cheers to a lot more greatness to come.

  • Diana @ Boy + Girl
    January 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Your blog is amazing! Hoping I can follow along for your next 5 years.

  • Melissa
    January 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Congratulations and HAPPY Anniversary!!

  • barbara
    January 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Blogs come and go with me but yours alone has remainded a constant. You DO have lovely taste! Happy Anniversary!

  • Helene @ Homebound
    January 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    congrats on the five years of blogging. i hope you will blog many many years. love to read it so much. you and a couple of other bloggers are the reason why i started blogging {though i’m very new to this}. blogs arrived pretty late in germany, at least to my world. so thank you for all your lovely posts, you’e doing an amazing job.

  • Kelly
    January 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Happy Blogiversary!

  • Kelly
    January 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Congrats on five years! I haven’t been around since Day 1, but I’ve been a reader since pre-Eleanor. There are so many design blogs out there, but you are one of my daily (and favorite) reads. Celebrate!

  • myhonestanswer
    January 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Congrats on five years! And here’s to five more.

  • victoria
    January 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    congratulations, nicole!! i’m so happy i could be a part of it in the beginning…i knew you’d make a beautiful blog, and you exceeded any expectations! xoxo

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Victoria! I was so tickled when I looked up my first mention and saw that it was you.

  • becky
    January 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Nicole, it seems like just yesterday, though when I look all you’ve done, I assume it must have taken about 20 years to accomplish all of that!


  • erin
    January 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Congrats! Keep up the style and being true to what you want. When does Pink Loves Brown open back up?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      I’m not sure. I originally thought I’d be back up within 6 months, but clearly that hasn’t happened. I keep taking on more and more responsibility elsewhere, and the shop is taking a backseat.

  • houseofearnest
    January 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Wow!! what a milestone! Congrats!

  • Kerry {Super Swoon}
    January 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog over the years… here’s to many more!

  • Sarah vL
    January 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Cheers!! I’ve loved reading you throughout the years (although I comment rarely). Thank you for all of the inspiration, and for the warmth and love you send through the internet! :)

  • Your Mother
    January 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Happy Anniversary love.

  • NicoleD
    January 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Congrats on 5 years! Great post :)

  • Starlet
    January 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Congratulations on 5 years of blogging, Nicole.

    I love going to your blog not only because how easily I can relate to your stories – but also for feeling inspired every time I read your in-progress and successful projects!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful adventure!

  • Molly the Waffler
    January 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Congratulations! Your writing, pictures and celebration of design is one of the factors that encouraged me to start my own. Thanks you!

  • Andrea Howe
    January 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Congratulations Nicole! 5 years is such an achievement, and to have come as far as you have is really something. Happy to have met you in the flesh – you are as lovely as your blog :)

  • Carla
    January 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Happy Five Years! I always look forward to your posts, keep up the great work!

  • tracy
    January 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Congratulations!!! It’s been delightful to watch your blog grow and grow!

  • Danielle
    January 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Congrats! Love your blog and look forward (hopefully!) to many more years!

  • Holly
    January 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Wow, what a huge accomplishment Nicole! You must be so thrilled with the success and the following of your blog. Hard work truly does pay off. Congrats to you and I’m looking forward to many more inspiring years!

  • Jules
    January 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    You’re awesome, friend. Congrats on five years, and here’s to many more. :)

  • Caron Reeder
    January 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Cheers to another happy 5 years of blogging! A few hundred people reading everyday in the beginning is quite an accomplishment. And then to continue growing your following the way you have… I think when you’re authentic about something it shines through and people are drawn to that. Plus, obviously a lot of hard work!

  • Mercedes
    January 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Congratulations on the house and the 5 years!!!
    I love your blog and I can’t wait to see what you do in your new home!!!

    • Mercedes
      January 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      sorry!! I was reading your post on my iphone while I was driving, (I can’t wait to be back at home to see what you post today!) and..oh well….I wasn’t paying enough attention and I thought you guys were buying a new home!!! now that I am at home…and I re-read the post in my laptop, I realized I was reading a piece of an old post!!!
      Anyway….. Congrats on the 5 years!!

      • foo
        January 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

        There’s no reading/texting while driving!

  • Josephine
    January 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve been reading since before Eleanor was a twinkle in your eye – I keep coming back to this space because whatever it is you’re posting about on any given day, it’s delivered with smarts, thoughtfulness and humor. I’m also a little in awe of what you manage to achieve with such a full life!
    Well done you! This is no small feat…

  • Jamie Lee
    January 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Congratulations on reaching this momentous milestone! Looking forward to the many more years of making things lovely! Blessings.

  • Rebecca @ beautiful square feet
    January 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Congratulations and happy blog birthday Nicole! Yours was the first ever blog that I read – I found MIL on a list of top interiors blogs. I then made it my business to read your entire archive and I’ve been reading everyday ever since. You inspired me to start my own blog, and I just want to say thanks. Looking forward too reading over the next 5 years!

  • Joanna
    January 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Congrats!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. And I have been so inspired by all the lovely designs yous have come up with. Here’s to another wonderful 5 yrs!!
    Joanna in Los Angeles

  • Jessica at Lavender and Lilies
    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Congrats! You’ve always been one of my faves!

  • Susan, The Kitchen Designer
    January 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Congratulations on the house! The start of a whole other adventure! Can’t wait to see the house and how it will be made so lovely…

    My blog will be five years old in about two weeks, so we are the same age in blogging years. So, yes, I fondly remember the early days with not so many other blogs. It was a community then, and it is one now as well. Keep up the great work and here’s to another 5 (times 10!) P.S. My daughter (first time homeowner recently) loves your blog a whole lot!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      The quote was from my first post. No new house here! Not in the immediate future, at least. Maybe someday…

  • Kate
    January 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Wow! Congrats!!!!

  • Leone
    January 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Congrats and happy, happy Anniversary!

  • Miss B.
    January 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Congrats! It has always been one of my faves and I will always root for you to succeed, you deserve it, your hard work shows in every post!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    January 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Congratulations on 5 years Nicole! I’ve been reading for many of those years and will continue to do so. Wishing you many more years of bloggy goodness to come.

  • John @ Young House Love
    January 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    CONGRATS NICOLE! Hope you have fun celebrating five whole years. You’re one of our favorite folks to share this ol’ blogosphere with, so thanks for being here!

    -John (& Sherry… & Clara & Burger)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks, Petersiks! I’m happy to share this big ol’ blogosphere with you too.

  • Cristina
    January 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Happy Anniversary Nichole! Your blog was what really inspired me to get into the interior design community and start my own blog. I love looking at your photos, and I’m always looking forward to see what you’re up to next. Thank you for being such a great inspiration!

  • Wendy
    January 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  • Jonica
    January 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    hi nicole! i’m a recent discoverer of your blog and i love it. i think the month-by-month photos of your kids are so sweet and definitely something special for them to have when they’re older and a nice family tradition. you and a lot of the bloggers you mention are inspiring me to start my own blog! thanks to you for the inspiration!

  • Melissa
    January 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Happy 5 years, Nicole!

  • nole
    January 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Congratulations! Happy 5 year anniversary!

  • chyme
    January 10, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Happy anniversary to your blog.

  • Interior Design
    January 10, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Congratulations! Happy Anniversary! Happy New Year! God Bless!

  • Kate
    January 10, 2012 at 3:08 am


  • Trine Marie
    January 10, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Happy anniversary! Every comment count. It’s the appreciation that you took the time to write that post. An initiating meeting that could lead to life long friendship. A happy thought on a not so happy day. Love your blog. xxx

  • rebeccaNYC
    January 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

    THANK YOU! for such a terrific blog. and Congrats on 5 years!

  • Nuit
    January 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Happy Anniversary!! and THANK YOU Nicole, you inspire me everyday, its great to follow you ;)

  • Rhonda E. Peterson
    January 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! I have been following your blog now for a few months and I am really smitten by it and find it quite lovely! I have also been blogging for 3 months and have found it to be quite addictive! I would love it if you would take a gander and give me any feedback that you may have that will assist me in my blogging pursuits! Again, Congrats to you!

  • foo
    January 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    You’ve been on maternity leave since February? You go girl! ha

    • Making it Lovely
      January 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Yeah… I should probably clarify that as more of an extended leave of absence at this point. The baby is coming up on his first birthday!

  • Robin
    January 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I’ve read many many blogs over the last five years, and your’s is one that I have keep on my list. Thanks for all of the great content!

  • Amanda
    January 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

    A lot of my friends who don’t write or read blogs seem baffled at the idea that I’m “reading about strangers’ lives.” Some of them even say that blogging is a waste of time. I try to explain the community that has been created and all of the wonders that can be discovered.

    I found your blog this summer and I have your “will we have rainbows?” print hanging on my wall! I really needed that this summer and it makes me smile every day.

    I’m looking forward to the next 5 years!

  • Heather B
    January 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Happy Blog-a-versary! I’ve been reading for about four years and I love it! I can’t wait to see you’re new design. Thank you for giving my day a dose of loveliness!

  • jbhat
    January 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    High 5 to you on 5 years! I love being one of your blogless readers/commenters. Making it Lovely is absolutely one of my very favorite blogs. You should be so proud of what you’ve made so lovely–it’s a tremendous accomplishment. And how nice to hear about your quick “ascent” in the bloggy world. It’s like it was meant to be.


  • Rita
    January 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Well done! But what I find hard to believe is that 2007 was 5 years ago already!!! Time flies. It really does!

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    January 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Well, I’m glad that you’re still blogging! You always bring a bit of color and femininity into my day :-) Congrats!

  • Celeste
    January 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    You’ve been on my daily read list for a couple of years now (think I linked from Chez Larsson) and I have thoroughly enjoyed your take on the visual world. Congratulations on a great four years.

    Celeste in SoCal

  • Mariah Danielsen
    January 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Aw, congrats! Loved meeting you at TechWeek in July BTW… Loved your panel & all the girls on it!

  • Erica M.
    January 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog since 2007!

    I had just gotten my very own apartment (without any roommates, finally) and was looking for decorating ideas. When I decided upon a theme of pink and brown, I came across your shop while browsing the internet… which linked me to your blog. I’ve been hooked every since!

    Congrats, I look forward to the many more years!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      That’s awesome. Thanks for sticking around from the beginning!

  • Terry
    January 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Bravo and thanks, take a few minutes off then proceed to the next five years. Congratulations.

  • Kayla
    January 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Wow the big 5! I found your blog about a year ago and I love coming back every day to see what’s new at the Balch household. Congrats and thank you for all of your inspiring creativity!

  • Linda Merrill
    January 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Happy Blog Anniversay! I’m celebrating mine this month too! It’s amazing how fast time goes by, isn’t it?

  • Samantha Holcomb
    January 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Oh it is my pleasure to read your blog! Congrats on all of your successes over the past few years, you are one busy girl. I really love reading your posts, you are definitely one of my biggest “blogger idols”.

  • April
    January 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Congratulations on year 5, Nicole, and best wishes for many more!

  • Katie Avlas
    January 11, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I’ve been reading since the beginning. You have made me smile and I recommend your blog to people regularly. Thanks for being so great and inspiring me many time over the years.


  • Ashlee
    January 11, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I discovered Pink Loves Brown at Renegade a few years ago and was ecstatic to learn you had a blog. Love following along with you – thanks for sharing with us!

  • Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods
    January 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Congrats on your 5 years! I look forward to many more :-)

  • melinda KE
    January 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Cheers to 5 great years and hopefully many more to come!

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    January 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

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  • Diana
    January 12, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Congrats on five years! That is awesone!! So thrilled for what the next five years hold for you and your lovely family! Thanks for all you do and for all the sacrifices you make. I love your blog and I stalk it everyday. :)
    Random question: Where did you get the round coffee table in your living room with the white top?

    • Making it Lovely
      January 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

      The table was from Thomas O’Brien’s line for Target, years ago.

  • Diana
    January 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Awesome, thanks. I saw one like yours at a boutique and was trying to figure out where it was from. :)

  • Krissy
    January 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Congratulations on 5 years here on the blog! That’s an incredible accomplishment! I’ve been following your blog for a few years now, and yours is still one of my favourites. :)