Business Me The Blog


In vlog form! Soon you will see why I don’t do vlogs. I ramble without the ability to edit text.

My Big Goal for the Upcoming Year from Nicole Balch on Vimeo.

If you can’t watch, surprise, I want to write a book. I went through an agent interviewing process and have started my proposal, then life got in the way when we decided to sell our house and buy the new one. Moving, blah blah blah, still working on the proposal.

If I put it out there, I’ll hold myself more accountable, so that’s what I’m doing. I want a book. I’m writing the proposal and making it the best lil’ proposal it can be before it gets shopped around to publishers. The book is my number one goal for this upcoming year, and I’m ready to devote a whole lot of time and energy to making it happen.

Thinkin' of a Master Plan

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  • Kaleen
    October 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Nicole, that’s absolutely amazing! I can just imagine how beautiful a book at your hands would be. I know a book is a long process so I’ll have to wait awhile, but I’m so excited for it to come to fruition for you. I’m sure you’ll get snatched up right away. Good luck sweetheart. You deserve it!!

    xoxo long time reader,

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you. Books are definitely a long time in the making, and I’m still so early on in the process. Hopefully it won’t take TOO long to come to fuition.

  • Kerry @ First Time Fancy
    October 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

    That is incredible! Congrats and good for you! :) It’s something on my big list of things I’d like to do as well, and hope to have more time to devote to it in 2014! Best of luck! :)

  • Ariane
    October 24, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Good news !! Is this going to be a DIY/decorating kind of book or something totally different (like a novel) ? Good luck anyways. Take care !

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Not so much DIY, but a decorating book, yes!

  • Lindsay
    October 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I can’t wait to hear more about the book. Lovely to see you in person here, you’ve inspired me to get some of my big projects into motion…xxx

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Yay! Glad to see other people moving on their goals too.

  • Sandy
    October 24, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Good luck, Nicole! Wishing you all the best, it’ll be hard work, so take care and enjoy it!!!

  • Jessica @ Of Sand & Snow
    October 24, 2013 at 6:59 am


    Mazol tov! This is awesome news, even if it’s just news of a “proposal”. I’d buy anything you publish, as you’ve become one of my favorite home-decor mavens.

    Also, I happen to be an illustrator. (Not full-time, however. It’s a gift I’ve been blessed with; but, it’s not my full-time profession.) It would be a complete and total honor, to contribute to your book in any way, if it gets picked up…Or, even to create a piece for you and your family! I hope that you would keep my work in consideration!



    Ps. IMHO, you should keep producing vlogs. But, I also suggest that you keep them long and “rambly”. It’s nice to see someone unedited, unfiltered, and genuinely them-self. Makes you much more relatable, seeing this side of you. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Do you have a link to all of your illustration in one spot? Or at least some of it? I tried to check it out, but I’m still in a hotel and the slow connection wouldn’t load all of your site for me.

      • Jessica S.
        October 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        Lol, or it’s because my site is fairly new; and that’s just one of the hiccups that comes with setting up something basic on WordPress.

        Drop me an email, and I’ll reply back with a link!

        (Ps. Save travels home.)

      • Jessica S.
        October 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        Safe. Not “save”. Oy-to-the-vey.

  • Heather
    October 24, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Good on your for putting your intentions out into the universe! That’s a powerful thing and can really help to keep you motivated. Can’t wait to live up to buy it. :) And I agree with Jessica, you should absolutely consider producing more vlogs. You’re lovely – and so is that dress!

    • Jessica S.
      October 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Glad you (and other people) agree, Heather!

      I find it refreshing, when I see people being authentic. It’s easy to get caught up in editing oneself, online; and, while it IS important to put your “best foot forward”, it shouldn’t come at the cost of being “real”.

      Ok, I’m done waxing-philosophy, now!

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you, both of you!

  • Sophie
    October 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Do it, do it, DO IT! :)
    You’re very talented and I love reading you.
    Your book will be a success no matter what you intend to write about.
    I also love your voice and can’t wait to see more vlogs :)

  • Catty
    October 24, 2013 at 8:07 am

    You are soooo cute! I loved your vlog! Good luck on your proposal! I have been enjoying your blog for years!

  • Mariah
    October 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Yay! I understand needing to feel accountable to push yourself. Good luck with your book proposal. I look forward to reading the book when it comes out! (Also, what everyone else said: dress is AHHHH-dorable.)

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I love that silly dress. It’s goofier the more you really study it, which makes me like it even more.

  • Kristy Daum
    October 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

    YAY!!! Thanks for sharing the big news with all of us. I agree with the other commenters, you should do these Vlogs more often…unedited comes from the heart.

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      It does. My writing does too, but I edit for syntax and sentence structure. It kills me, for instance, that I use “we” to refer to me and my agent, then jump to “we” meaning me and Brandon — without a segue. That’s the kind of thing I could have fixed, had it been text!

  • Christina
    October 24, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Excited about the book, but I had to say: Wow! E looks just like you. You can’t tell so much in just pictures, but it really jumps out in the video. She’s a mini blond you. :)

    Like the vlog too…it’s very personal.

    • Jennifer
      October 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      I had the exact same thought! :)

      • msmezzoNYC
        October 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm

        me too!! Her mannerisms are YOU YOU YOU!! so cute!

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Watching myself, I can see some of the mannerisms she’s picked up from me! It’s funny. I think she looks more like Brandon and August looks more like me, but they’re both a good mix. :)

  • janae @ bring joy
    October 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

    What sort of a book? Oooh, I’m excited to hear more!

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      It will be decor-focused. I have had a clear idea of what it would be for years but haven’t committed to getting it out there until now.

  • deby
    October 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I echo the sentiments of the previous comments — you are adorable, I love your dress, DO make more vlogs and definitely go for it w/ the book. I’d buy it. Anything you attempt seems to be a resounding success and the book will likewise be a success.

    Very best of luck. I am keeping my digits crossed. I’d be shocked if you didn’t get a book deal!


  • Samae
    October 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Yessssss!!! I would totally buy that. Loooooooong time blog reader/rare commenter, since you moved from the apartment to the first house. Go Nicole!

  • Ryann
    October 24, 2013 at 8:49 am

    This is great news, I have been hoping you would – I would be so excited to read a book that you wrote and I know many others who would agree.

  • kelly
    October 24, 2013 at 9:05 am

    You are adorable!

  • Rebecca
    October 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Do it! Because: why not?!

  • Rachael
    October 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Good luck Nicole, I would love to read a book written by you!

    On a random side note, are you related to the Oscar Balch of this Wright home?–Balch-House–Wright–1911–modern-exterior-chicago

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Nope! It’s here in Oak Park, but the name and location are coincidences. That house is the reason I vetoed Brandon’s choice of “Oscar” as a possible baby boy name.

  • Xenia
    October 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Nicole, you are a total inspiration. It is a coincidence that I am also working on a book. Mine is a love-romance story. I have been “working” on it for about a dozen years…LOL HOWEVER, I am back on track with it but it is going slow. After more then 20 years I am back in school to finally get my Bachelor of Science degree. I will have it next year in the spring, and then on to graduate school in the fall. My goal is finish my book next year.

    I cannot wait to hear what type of book you are working on.

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      SO CAN YOU! I mean, it sounds like you’re doing a LOT right now! I think I would enjoy taking more classes again. Do you enjoy being back in school?

  • Lianne
    October 24, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Fun and exciting! Are you aware of this – you might find it helpful:

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      No, but thank you! I’ll look into it.

  • Tena
    October 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I totally get saying the words and getting it out there. I’ll start making my plans to come to one of your book signings. Is a year long enough? Your area of Illinois is just beautiful in the fall.

    You asked what we (your readers) are working on. I have a senior in high school. We are working on college and scholarship applications. It’s a full time job!

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Oh, that is a huge job. Good luck with the applications!

      And as for the book, I bet you it would take even longer to be in print. I need to finish the proposal, shop it around, hope it’s picked up, write and edit the book and photography, and THEN it would go to press. Spring 2015 at the earliest is my guess, but I could be way off.

  • Amie
    October 24, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I cant view the video right now, but I really wat to say: Damm! That shirt/dress is awesome!

    Good on you for declaring to the internets your goal. We will be checking in to see how you are doing.

    • Making it Lovely
      October 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks. I could use the accountability! ;)

  • Laurie
    October 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Yeah! You do it! I know it would be fantastic so you should get that head down and crank it out. We do requires the entertainment!

    I’ve been half-heartedly working on a book for a few years and really need to knuckle down and finish it. Great concept, I have the contacts, etc. I just need to do the actual work.

    The words. They do not write themselves.

  • Kristen W.
    October 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Yayy! I want said book already! Best wishes & vibes being sent your way!

  • jbhat
    October 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    This is very good news! Congrats on being bold and going for it. I can’t wait to meet you on your book tour!


  • Chelsea T
    October 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Yay goals!

    My current master plan is to quit being a scaredy cat, and push myself to become a freelance/contract designer full-time. I’m giving myself a year to gather my wits (and clients!) about me to make the leap, and a big part of this is figuring out what KIND of designer I want to be. I’ve been in a firm that does a lot of branding and applying branding to wine-industry related print collateral (tasting notes, letterhead, newsletters, etc), but I’ve started doing some retail display work and THAT is really interesting. So we’ll see. :)

    Good on you, I can’t wait to read that book. :)

  • Jen
    October 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Yay internet accountability! Looking forward to reading more about your exciting new goal and the awesome prospect of a book written by you!

  • Holly
    October 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

    You’re adorable – what a nice surprise to hear/see the real “voice” of Making It Lovely :) Good luck on the proposal – it will be smashing.

  • Caroline
    October 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Congratulations on your public goal setting, you are very brave. As a long time reader I have every confidence you will make it happen with grace and aplomb as usual. Also watching you in ‘real life’ has highlighted how much you Eleanor looks like you – I have no idea why I’ve never noticed that before?!

  • Catherine
    October 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Yay! I hoped this day would come, and I am so thrilled for you! And I love that dress, too.

  • Ashley
    October 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Bravo, Nicole. Can’t wait to hear more. Your follow through to complete project has always been something I’ve found to be very inspiring. No doubt, you’ll done the same with your book!

  • Janis
    October 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Nicole, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your blog for years although I rarely comment. I absolutely love everything you do and I want to wish you the best of luck on your book… I know it will be amazing and I can’t wait to purchase it when it comes out!

  • Rebecca H
    October 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Best of luck! You can do it!!!

  • kate
    October 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    YES!!! I will preorder the heck out of it!

  • Amber
    October 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Awesome, what a great goal to have! Reach for the stars. Best of luck to you and I love your dress as well. :)

  • Danielle
    October 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Yay! Good luck on the proposal – I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • Deahne Brigden
    October 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Thats great! so excited for you…good luck with the process, something to look forward to! btw you look lovely!!

  • Dianna
    October 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    YAY! I think it’s a wonderful idea and can’t wait to hear more and have that book in my grip! best of luck to you!

  • Christine
    October 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I’d totally buy your book. Good luck!

  • Kayla aka Kilo Bravo
    October 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve been waiting for you to decide to write a book! I can’t wait to hear about the direction the book takes, since I really appreciate the variety of topics you cover on the blog (DIY, design, style, kids, and I love the nerdy stuff)…BTW – that is a great picture of you!! You look fab!

  • Sarah
    October 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Such exciting news! Love your dress. Where is it from?

  • Jan
    October 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

  • Lori
    October 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Yes!!!! Awesome! Sign me up for a pre-order ! :)

  • Geralyn
    October 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    A book…how incredible! I’m sure you’ll rock it. We just bought a new house last month, so my goal is to keep up with my blog, where I’ll be documenting the changes we make in the house. Oh, and my other goal is to unpack all of the boxes we are buried in! ;)
    Good luck,

  • Camille
    October 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Good luck with the book proposal and can’t wait to hear more about the process too!

  • tea_austen
    October 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, Nicole–both of my book proposals have taken a year and a half each. That’s not necessarily normal (though I know other pro writers who say the same), and I’m not working on them all the time (life! it interferes!), but the more time you spend clarifying your concept, the easier it is to sell it well (and write it later). My two books both went to auction, because I had put the time in and got clear on what it needed to be and how to make and market it (and, well, because I know how to write a really good proposal).

    Best of luck to you. Yours is going to be awesome, I know it (and if you need help, just holler).
    Also here’s a little pep talk you might find helpful:

  • kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS
    October 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I love this video. It’s so sweet and honest and raw. Thanks for sharing and way crazy best of luck to you and your proposal. So super exciting!

  • Dana@chocolateandsunshine
    October 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I’ll buy your book! It’s important to put your goals out there so that your dreams can become reality.
    I wish you the best as you are very talented.

  • Michelle
    October 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    If you wrote a book.. it would be added to my amazon wishlist before it even came out :) Best of luck to you!

  • Ally
    October 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    LOL, you are too cute! I totally understand the rambling on thing (although I thought you did just fine there)… You should here my voice mail messages… WAY too long!

    I will be buying this book and I have no doubt it will be a big success! I too have gone the ‘public’ route to make a goal more legit. It does work!

    I patiently await it’s arrival on bookshelves worldwide!

  • Ellen
    October 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Love the vlog, and the intention behind it. Can’t wait to see it all come to fruition for you!

  • Lucy
    October 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    It’s kind of easy to dislike girls like you – you got it going on girl! Dream house & the cutest haircut are killer combos. :)

    But the truth is, you inspire me and I admire you! If anyone can nail this book proposal, it’s you! So excited to watch your next year unfold.

  • Alisa
    October 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Soooo proud of you for putting it out there! I’m working on something too but getting a few road blocks here and there. You can read here if you want. I still can’t believe I put mine out there.

  • Kristi
    October 25, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Hi Nicole,
    This is my first time commenting. I’ve been reading your blog since before you were pregnant with Eleanor! I just wanted to say you are so cute and I will definitely be buying your book when it comes out. You have been such an inspiration to me over the past few years. Best of luck to you!

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  • Anita
    October 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

    You did not ramble, you did great! Totally natural- you wouldn’t want it perfectly edited, it would sound like a speech…

  • Anne
    October 25, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Hi Nicole! Like your blog and love your short hair, but I would love to see you with other glasses. Have you every tried a different pair? I just wonder if another type would suit you better or not, these are so big. Would be fun to have a post of you trying out differnt pairs :-)

  • Heather
    October 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hi Nicole, it was great to talk to you at Camp Mighty after the closing dinner. When I saw your list of goals, it made me so happy, as I’ve been wanting you to write a book ever since John and Sherry announced their deal! I’m the “smart girl, wants to be artist” (well, writer) and you are an inspiration to me, and also how I first heard about Camp Mighty.

  • Karlie
    October 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I love hearing the voice behind the blog! It “sounds” just like you. Or rather, you communicate your voice so well through your writing and pictures and style. I think you’re practically perfect in every way, and I can’t wait to hear more about the book! You go girl!

  • charity
    October 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Aww! You’re so cute! I like this little video because it makes me feel like you’re more like a real person, more like me, you know. Cause sometimes you read these blogs from the people who are “at the top” and they seem untouchable. There lives are so sparkly and exciting. Anyway, I liked this. Good luck on your book!

  • Josephine
    October 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Yay you! I’ve been visiting your site for years and am keen to see what kind of a book you would write :-) love your frock, too!

  • Julie
    October 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    You are super cute in vlog form! That was fun. Good luck with the book thing. I’ll definitely be getting it, even though I don’t know exactly what your focus is yet… it’s a sure thing if it’s your work!

  • Mary
    October 27, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Good luck on the proposal, can’t wait to see what comes from it!

    I noticed your (temporary?) tattoo and am wondering if that’s meant to quote a line from Eric B. & Rakim’s song ” Paid In Full”? If so, that’s pretty damn fresh. If not, it’s still pretty damn fresh.

  • Kristyne
    October 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    You’re so cute. :) Nice to put a voice to the words. Good luck with the book! tx, k

  • Sam
    October 28, 2013 at 1:50 am

    That is so exciting! I have always wanted to do this! Good luck, I would love to read blogs about the process!! I have always wondered how you get an agent and how you get a publisher!

  • Tracy
    October 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Love the tat !!!!

  • Heidi
    November 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    “Designering”…..LOVE that!