The blog, that is. Here’s a look at what I’ve shared over the last six years here on Making it Lovely.
- January 2007 – Brandon and I bought our first house, and I started this blog.
- April 2007 – We ripped out carpet and laid new bamboo flooring, finishing our bedroom.
- June 2007 – Hello, home library.
- August 2007 – We took on a complete reno (everything except the original wood floor) and finished our DIY kitchen remodel, coming in at under $11,000.
- September 2007 – Apartment Therapy House Tour! We had only lived in the house for four months when it was photographed.
- March 2008 – I put together my first style post. I still use the same wallet every day that I hesitated dropping so much cash on back then, and I still love it.
- April 2008 – The blog broke 100,000 monthly page views for the first time.
- August 2008 – Our library was featured in Home Magazine. Brandon was proud because the library/landing was his idea.
- October 2008 – I created a super-cute studio for my shop, using one of our home’s bedrooms.
- October 2008 – A pregnancy announcement!
- November 2008 – My stationery shop, Pink Loves Brown, was voted #1 in Venus magazine’s Hottt List. I remember thinking there was no way I was cool enough for that honor. (I still can’t believe it.)
- December 2008 – I wallpapered the dining room — not an easy job. Even less so while pregnant.
- March 2009 – Nesting instincts made me make the bedroom very white.
- April 2009 – The blog hit 250,000 monthly page views.
- April 2009 – I painted a rug on our front porch while 9 months pregnant because I had the opportunity to participate in a contest for Better Homes and Gardens, and I didn’t want to say no. I was cold and extremely uncomfortable, but I loved the way it turned out.
- April 2009 – My Periodic Table of Sentiments cards were featured in ReadyMade magazine, but then I had to close up shop for my maternity leave about a week after the issue came out.
- April 2009 – Eleanor was born.
- May 2009 – My home and blog were featured in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, and my name was even mentioned on cover (along w/ Simon Doonan’s!). My extended family finally sort of understood what I did all day.
- May 2009 – I started a monthly series of photos of Eleanor.
- June 2009 – I finished Eleanor’s nursery. (She slept in a bassinet in our room for the first few months.)
- June 2009 – We won the Better Homes and Gardens contest!
- October 2009 – I reopened my shop after a six month leave.
- December 2009 – Making it Lovely was named one of the World’s Best Design Blogs. Amazing.
- January 2010 – I had my first speaking engagement! I was on the very first panel at the very first Alt Summit.
- March 2010 – I published my 30 Before Thirty list. I accomplished a lot over the next six months!
- June 2010 – I was sick of the white bedroom. Where was the color? Where was all the pattern? Boom, there it is. (You’d think I could have learned a lesson there about too much white…)
- August 2010 – Another pregnancy announcement!
- August 2010 – I contemplated new dining room chairs, and mentioned my intent to paint the wood trim in my house. People freaked out.
- September 2010 – I explained why I was painting the trim. People freaked out.
- November 2010 – I showed photos of the painted trim. Guess what? People freaked out. (I get it, I get it. It’s a controversial topic! Things to not discuss in polite company: money, politics, and your stance on wood finishes.)
- January 2011 – The blog received over 500,000 page views in a month for the first time.
- February 2011 – I closed up shop for my second maternity leave. It’s still closed (“on leave”), nearly two years later.
- February 2011 – August was born.
- March 2011 – We finished construction the basement remodel. (There were workers in the house when I left for the hospital to have August.)
- March 2011 – August had his first monthly photo.
- April 2011 – I finally learned to use my camera in manual mode!
- April 2011 – I finished the basement bathroom and laundry room.
- April 2011 – Eleanor had her last monthly photo.
- May 2011 – Eleanor got a new “big girl” bedroom.
- June 2011 – I finished August’s nursery. (Like Eleanor, he slept in our bedroom for the first few months.)
- November 2011 – I published my Lovely Life List.
- November 2011 – I completed my first makeover for a reader: Kathryn’s bedroom.
- December 2011 – I completed my biggest little project yet, a Dollhouse, made lovely.
- January 2012 – Brandon lost his job and began searching for a new one.
- February 2012 – I finally painted the trim in the living room, almost finishing it throughout the house. I think people were about done freaking out by that point.
- May 2012 – I gave my first keynote speech! (Turns out this introvert really likes public speaking, and giving a keynote was on my Lovely Life List.)
- July 2012 – I updated the bedroom again, this time making it gray and coral, but all it took was some new bedding and a huge print from downstairs.
- August 2012 – I flew to New York to do three apartment makeovers in three days for a small video series.
- September 2012 – Brandon officially became a stay-at-home-dad, and I became the sole breadwinner. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m so thankful to have been able to make it work.
- October 2012 – I met and interviewed my idol, Martha Stewart.
- November 2012 – Hey, I finally got around to getting some new dining room chairs.
- January 2013 – I painted the kitchen white, and I couldn’t even blame it on pregnancy hormones this time. Not loving it so far, but we’ll see how it all turns out (or doesn’t).
Thank you all for following along, whether you’re brand new here or have been reading since the beginning. I’m fortunate to have such lovely readers — truly.
KelsieJanuary 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Wow-how has it been that long??! I’ve been a reader since the early days, way before your babies. Thanks for sharing your life-good stuff and not so good. It’s really a privilege to watch you and your family grow. xo
MeganJanuary 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Congratulations and Happy Birthday! I’m new here and so excited to click through your links! It’s like a gift to me :)
Making it LovelyJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Thanks! That’s such a sweet thing to say.
ChelseaJanuary 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm
I can’t believe it’s been this long. I remember your first posts!
CatherineJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm
It’s been such a thrill to follow yours and your family’s journey these past few years! Thank you for continuing to share your style, your home and your stories with us. Though I really wish I’d stockpiled some more of your cards :)
Making it LovelyJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm
NicoleJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm
I can’t believe it’s been six years already! I’ve been a reader for a long time also and have enjoyed every moment. You are an inspiration and its blogs like this one that made me realize that I too have a passion for writing and all things creative. Congratulations on this milestone!
HollyJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Wow, Nicole! What an amazing list of accomplishments. You’re definitely an inspiration to me, and this post just made me realize how long I’ve been following your blog (somewhere around when you finished the library, because I remember that post!). Thank you for letting your readers follow along and here’s to many, many more lovely posts from you :)
Miss B.January 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm
CONGRATS! Happy blog birthday! You have worked so hard, deserve all that has come to you (and I am sure there’s so much more). You are quite the inspiration! This though made me laugh the most (and is so true):
“Things to not discuss in polite company: money, politics, and your stance on wood finishes.”
Kim @ Yellow Brick HomeJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Heh, I still love your wood trim posts and all that silly controversy. Thank you for sticking to what you felt was the best decision, and not allowing so many people to sway you otherwise!
Happy blog birthday!
Making it LovelyJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm
People still bring up the wood trim. I’ve ruined my house, don’t you know!
LauraJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm
Many people would not be able to look back six years to see such a wealth and variety of accomplishments, much less describe them as you do so well! You continually amaze and inspire me.
ClaudiaJanuary 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm
Wow! Congrats! I now feel like a certified stalker:) I have been reading since the beginning and enjoy all the changes that have happened, white trim and all. Maybe its a Midwest thing, but I love your style and design vibe. Plus its great reading about a Chicago area local. We are rooting for you girl! Look forward to reading many more years to come.
LaurenJanuary 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Admittedly, I like the way the trim looks white. I still can’t believe you painted it… I wouldn’t have had the guts. :)
John @ Young House LoveJanuary 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Congrats Nicole! Had a great time reading your timeline, although I too can’t believe it’s been so long.
Glad I didn’t bring up the trim when we were over. Could’ve been awkward to broach such a taboo topic during our first meeting. ;)
Making it LovelyJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm
Oh, yes. It would have been TERRIBLY awkward. Ha!
Meeting you and Sherry was definitely one of the highlights too.
Alison BurttJanuary 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm
Funny! I didn’t realize I had been reading since almost the very beginning. I remember seeing that Apartment Therapy tour. In fact, that might have been how I discovered you. Anyway, congrats! You so deserve all the success you’ve had and I’m grateful that you continue to share all that you do.
MaureenJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm
You have every reason to be proud of yourself! That is an impressive list of accomplishments. I discovered your blog when Eleanor was a baby so I have been reading for a few years. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. I commend you for painting the trim. I love that look. Keep up the great work! You and your family are an inspiration.
KarenJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Congratulations! I’ve only been following for about a year and a half but have spent a good amount of time looking at the archives. I love the timeline… got to see things I hadn’t before. Thanks for continuing to share your life and creativity.
KristinJanuary 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm
From one white trim painter to another… congrats on six years. The only downfall to painting the trim white? I’m constantly painting trim, even thirteen years later!
JuliaJanuary 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm
I almost freaked out for you reading your headline. I thought you were announcing pregnancy with twins! Perhaps that’s the OMG you intended! Thank you for your blog, I love reading what you write here and on babble it’s so thoughtful, on trend and just so darn interesting. Big Congrats!
Christina W.January 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm
Wow I can’t believe it’s been six years!It’s been a real pleasure to watch you grow your adorable family. Here’s to the next six!
RosemaryJanuary 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm
Congratulations on six amazing years! Yours was the first design blog I discovered and began reading. It was so long ago…I think you and Brandon lived in an apartment? Was that a different blog than this one? Either way, I’ve loved following along. Cheers to the next six years!
JennyJanuary 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm
Oh my gosh it blows my mind its been this long, I think I found your blog in early 2008 and I’ve loved following ever since! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration! Can’t wait to see what the coming years bring!
nicolette @ momnivore's dilemmaJanuary 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm
Your site was one of the first blogs I read many moons ago…and still do daily.
I love the style of this wrap-up.
Jennifer RodgersJanuary 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm
Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. Your blog is a true work of art and a labor of love.
Megan @ Rappsody in RoomsJanuary 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm
So fun to look back at your journey! And just think about all you have ahead of you. Way to go! You deserve it all!
barbaraJanuary 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm
Congratulations- great blog!
Kim ValléeJanuary 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm
Congratulations, Nicole! You can be proud of what you accomplished in the last 6 years. You nicely highlighted your accomplishments. I am willing to bet that the next 6 years will be as exciting in design adventures for you and with your family.
Sona JacobJanuary 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm
I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. But it was nice to click back and reread some of the key posts again.
Congratulations! And way to go! May the coming years be more exciting than ever!
Kristin PrattJanuary 16, 2013 at 12:30 am
Have you made any updates to the charming dollhouse?
noleJanuary 16, 2013 at 12:34 am
Happy blog anniversary! You’ve done so much over the last six years – it really is incredibly inspiring to see how things have grown in such a relatively short time period. You should be so proud of all of your accomplishments! I’m so happy to have been following along for the last 5+ years, and I can’t wait to see what the next six years bring you and your family!
SarahJanuary 16, 2013 at 8:56 am
Congratulations on your 6 years! You have accomplished so many amazing things – I am just curious when I click on the links to the older posts I am not able to view the pictures – is anyone else having this problem?
KatieJanuary 16, 2013 at 9:11 am
I cannot tell you how encouraging and inspiring this post has been for me! I only discovered your blog a few months ago after your were mentioned on Young House Love and I have been furiously reading all of your archives! I love your style, I love your blog voice, and I love your honesty… I just started a blog and reading about the organic growth that your blog has had is really encouraging. Thank you for creating such awesome content – I can’t wait to read six more years worth! :)
jodiJanuary 16, 2013 at 9:13 am
happy, happy blogiversary! i’ve been a reader since the early days. it’s so nice to see you have so much well-deserved success. looking forward to more loveliness from you!
Alison @ Deuce Cities HenhouseJanuary 16, 2013 at 10:28 am
I totally loved this post! You are a daily read for me, and I find inspiration in your posts all the time. Thank you!
Congratulations on six years, you’ve done so much!
ericaJanuary 16, 2013 at 10:31 am
Wow! Been following since 2008. Your blog and style are very inspiring to me! Keep up the great work. I feel like you write with a more honest tone than any other bloggers I follow. Congrats & I’m excited to see what the future holds for you.
Brittany LaurenJanuary 16, 2013 at 10:53 am
Happy Birthday and what a fun way to look back on all your accomplishments. I started following you after my own desire to run a small stationery business. Wishing you and your success another amazing 6 years!
ps. Do you still have any of your gocco machines? I sold mine two years ago but I sure miss it :)
Jen @ RamblingRenovatorsJanuary 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm
Happy six years Nicole! I’ve enjoyed being along for the ride. Wishing you many more years of success!
Mary | lemongroveblog.comJanuary 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm
What a great recap! Amazing to see how much life goes by in 6 years. You’ve accomplished so much – kudos to you!
Michelle DuPuisJanuary 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm
Nice to catch up on some of your older posts. The dining room trim debate is hilarious! The trim in our house was painted when we moved in, which I’ve always been thankful for. We recently (last year) replaced some windows and a door in the sunroom and still haven’t gotten around to painting the trim. I swear, every time my parents come to visit, they suggest that we stain the trim instead, despite the fact that the window frames, mullions, and door are all white…and ALL of the trim throughout the rest of our house! Umm…I’ll stick with white.
How My Blog Went From a Hobby to a Job | Making it LovelyJanuary 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm
[…] I mentioned yesterday, there are several topics to not discuss in polite company: money, politics, and your stance on […]
KathrynJanuary 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm
I was honored to have been your first reader design client and continue to draw so much inspiration from your work. Congratulations on this anniversary and all the milestones you’ve accomplished. Here’s to many more.
JackyJanuary 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Fun look back at the blog. Long time follower, rare if ever commenter. Reading it I realize I have been following you since shortly after you began. Love your projects, I am so envious of the library, I wish we had room in our house for something similar. How for many more years of enjoyment of following along.
erinJanuary 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm
Love your blog and I am so happy for its success. Congrats!!
amberleeJanuary 19, 2013 at 8:44 am
congrats!! loved getting to read through how your life and work intertwined, and where it took you. what a journey!
also have to tell you a big thank you for your what to wear to alt class. it could not have been more helpful for a girl like me. thank you!!!
p.s. i have a wood-trimmed window that has remained unpainted after many objections from extended family. ha! loved reading your trim story
StephanieJanuary 21, 2013 at 7:54 am
My husband and I are making the big scary move to the suburbs and we are putting an offer in on a cute bungalow in Oak Park and seriously my only reservation on the house is all the oak trim.. Crown moulding, chair rails, base moulding throughout the whole first floor and it’s just too much brown for me! I can here my mother in my
Head having a heart attack if I were ever to paint it white and I figured they might even have a law or something in Oak Park against it so I googled “painting oak trim white in oak park” which is how I found you! Looking forward to reading more! :)
AliceJanuary 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm
I can’t believe I just found this blog, like 6 years too late! Ahhh, but I am adding you to my favorites list because from what I’ve seen this blog is amazing. :)
Oh, my name is Alice and you’ll probably see more of my comments from now on.