Blog Puberty. Its A Thing.

This is a slightly rambling post with HORRIBLE grammar.  In all actuality if I could write it as one big long run on sentence I would because in my brain it is one gigantor thought.  But I broke it up for you with a lot of periods and Ands.  Please enjoy.

There are some blogging things that aren’t regularly discussed.  Things like making money, or how to deal with Jerkhole commenters.  I have mentioned here and there that I seem to be in a slump, and while I truly love everything that goes along with Vintage Revivals sometimes I have to put a smile on my face and dig to remember the things that I love.  So here is a post about where I am.

I am currently in blog puberty.

Blog Puberty

Just reminisce from your pubescent days and go with me on this one.  So you start this blog.  And you are the new girl on the block, and you have all of these fun new ideas, and do things that are unfathomable to some.  And it is SUPER exciting.  And you are feeling like “Yea man, this is AWESOME!!  If I continue to grow at this rate I will have 56 million followers in like 48 years!!”  (not actual math facts)

And then you realize a few things.

1.  You realize what an IDIOT you are for not having a .com from the beginning (insert yourawesomeblog.blogspot.com here) so then you are like DUDE.  I hate having blogspot in my name.  Its not legit.   I am changing it.  And $20 and a godaddy account later you are OFFICIAL.  And then you expect greater things to happen.  And then your traffic evens out.  And you are like UM.  WHAT is going on!?!  I am a .com now!  And my projects are great!  I am FINALLY LEGIT.  And then you realize that google now looks at your established site as gone and in its place is a brand new baby site.  So that sucky sucks.

2.  You look back on the projects that you have done over the last 2 years and there is a DISTINCT change in your style.  And you wonder (out loud many a time to your BFF Brooke) if people don’t “get” what you are doing.   And then you remember that it doesn’t matter because you feel like you have finally found your TRUE style…you know the kinds that makes your guts grin! (But you still wonder if you have lost people along the way…)

3.  You are lucky enough to realize from the beginning that ALL you have as a blogger is integrity.  So you stand up for what you believe. Your personal truths are woven into every pixel of your site. You only share the things like brands that you really do love in real actual life…sometimes to a fault.    You believe in what you are doing.  AND THEN there you are, looking at your future and the future of your site, and life, and career, that this little hobby blog started, and it is scary.  You wonder if people can see the integrity as strongly as you stand by it.  And you don’t know if you can actually have enough faith in yourself to believe that you are different enough to make a difference and have your voice heard.

And then you get in this place where you are analyzing WHY this blog or that blog have 150399043904850 pageviews and you have 6.  And you get mad that Pinterest gets all of the credit when it is actually real life people doing the awesome crap.  And you wonder WHY you are even doing this.

And then you get an email or a comment or run into someone at Homegoods and they tell you that your blog has blessed their life.  And you see that your favorite part of your site, the part where you share your heart has been read 80,000 times and you remember THAT is why you do it.

So you are trying to figure out your place, and its kind of awkward.  Actually, its really awkward.  And you have ALL of these things going on that you never thought of when you started this little hobby blog and you realize that it really is growing up.

Its not a cute new baby blog on the block that everyone is smitten with.  And by all means its not a blog that has matured to its full potential.   But there is the entire world in front of you and the only thing that is holding you back is yourself and your over analyzing stupid brain that compares and minimizes and gets in your way.

And you look at blogs that have matured, they have found a way to make it through blog puberty a victor.

And you know that in time you will too.  Blog puberty doesn’t end because you want it to, it ends because you have grown and changed (awkward much?) through it.

So please hang in there with me while I am trying to figure all of this awkwardness out.

And until then does anyone have a retainer I can borrow?

AND because I love you guys SO MUCH I thought you might enjoy the pictures I took that didnt make the cut…

Blog Puberty Outtakes

Love Your Guts

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Comments

  1. I love this. I ran into someone yesterday at Homegoods that told me how much they loved my blog….spooky. Totally made my day, and reminded why I write on my blog that’s still a baby. Best of luck. Rene’

  2. You are cool… carry on!

  3. Miss Mandi… love you guts right back. Thank you for sharing my love! I am sharing it on my FB page and pinning!

  4. As a blog “toddler” (and hoping for puberty!), I totally appreciate everything you’ve said here. Hang in there….your blog is great!

  5. Oh, Mandi. I followed your blog from the beginning of times. I used to “ooh” and “aah” over your tea-cup clock, antique mirrors and a painted tree in your daughter’s room. But finding who you are, your style, etc. etc. is not a short road and watch you go through blog puberty is just as fun. Good luck and hang in there.

  6. oh I LOVE YOU! That picture totally made me spit out my smoothie though – HA! My sister and I take pics like that all the time – its fun to “reminisce” about that pubescent stage – HA!

    And I TOTALLY get this post – my blog is totally in that weird teenagey stage and I don’t like it. I’m trying to figure out where to go with it, and it’s definitely not an easy process! Thanks for being open and honest – know that we ALL love you!!

  7. Well…I love your blog…am inspired by all of your projects and your story…and I especially think your side ponytail is rad.

    :)

  8. This was a GREAT READ!!! I just started my own little blog (not a .com) on Blogger about doing a mobile home remodel. It was suggested to me by friends to do the blog to maybe inspire others. it has been very slow going and I have thought of getting my own .com. I get really excited to share my ideas, but see that hardly no one has read them. You have given ME inspiration to keep at it, ya never know, maybe I WILL inspire SOMEONE. Thank you :)

  9. This is so awesome, took the words right out of my mouth, however I would say you are an old lady regarding your blog and I mean that in a good way.
    XO
    Kristin

  10. Mandi! This is such a great post and one that so many people can relate to. You did a really great job putting out so many thoughts that go through all of our minds. But in honestly, you are seriously amazing. Your work blows me away and I really do think you need your own show :) I know your inspiration will return soon, can’t wait to see what you have in store.

  11. Hahaha, I love those pictures! On the serious side I think your style has changed but that’s totally normal! I know mine does constantly, and it would be kinda weird if you only liked light blue country boarders covered in geese with bonnets your whole life and never moved forward. If you forced yourself to stay exactly as you started it would no longer be any fun for you and who wants to do something they don’t love everyday. I was a creeper forever but finally actually subscribed not long ago b/c I like that you change and that you offered great projects and ideas. Plus I love your humor! You remind me very much of one of my best friends (for 22 years, since we were 5 :) )who also happens to be a Mandi and loves remaking thrift store finds. So blog on! We still love it and we’ll be here when you get the braces off!!! Thanks for all your hard work.

    Kirsten – http://realinteriorsk.blogspot.com

  12. I’m going to say something very simple. I love your guts and I love your blog. I come back every day for new ideas that I couldn’t come up on my own. You’re amazing! :)

  13. This made my morning! Great post…I totally get the whole puberty thing. :)

  14. Loved your honesty and your integrity shines through — congrats on all you have accomplished and will accomplish. I love the term “blog puberty”– has put a smile on my face!

  15. Bah haha you are such a nerd, I love it! You look like one of my many YW, cracking up.

    Your style has totally changed!-but guess what? That’s what happens when you grow up. I used to love modern lines with bold reds and sleek silver finishing. Now it makes me gag.

    Such is life…we love YOU, your crazy personality and your fun outlook. Keep on keepin on, girl!

    xoxo

  16. OOOOH, such a great post. You are filled to the brim with creative ideas and your blog is a joy to read. You bring your own writing voice to the table and there is no one else like you….that is the beauty of finding your writing voice, and writing about what you truly love. {PS I’m pretty much awkward in all stages of life, it doesn’t end with puberty for me, so I’m thinking when my blog grows up it’ll still be a bit goofy but I’m okay with that!}

  17. hahaha…AWESOME! Your’s was the first blog I ever got “in to.” I became a follower after I saw you on Studio5 and had never really known before that there were people doing this other than just a family member or two…you opened me up to the blogging world and it’s your authenticity that has maintained my attention. It’s part of the charm of Vintage Revivals if you ask me….but even if you change that, I’d still tune in to see your amazing ideas and be inspired by your humor and creativity. I may not always leave a comment, but I still stop by :)

  18. “ALL you have as a blogger is integrity. So you stand up for what you believe. Your personal truths are woven into every pixel of your site. You only share the things like brands that you really do love in real actual life…sometimes to a fault”

    I love you. Thank you for speaking to my heart today.

  19. At least you have hit puberty, I don’t think I ‘ll ever start walking =0( I just recently started following your blog and I must say I LOVE IT!! today’s post is a true inspiration, thanx for sharing!

  20. I.love.you! Mostly these pics!!

  21. I love this post. That is all.

  22. Ha Ha Hilarious & super right on! Exactly what I am feeling! Great way to put it! Thanks!

  23. i agree with all the other comments! :) and i have changed my focus a bit and am blogging less (only since the end of december, so not like i have much to compare yet) but so far it feels SO good. and also i think you should wear side ponies every day for the rest of your life.

  24. Oh my goodness, girl, you ROCK! Love the pictures and your message is spot on. I think we all go through blog puberty whether we realize it or not (or whether we want to admit it or not.) xxxooo

  25. Let me start off by saying, I really love your blog and both your old and new style. I do however have a bit of constructive criticism that I hope you take with an open heart. I first discovered your blog after one of your appearances on The Nate Berkus Show. I rushed to find it and quickly read all of your back posts and I was in love! Then I waited and waited and waited some more for an update. I checked your site 3 times a day and no new posts appeared for almost a week. I was shocked that you didn’t have posts lined up to keep interest after such publicity.

    I believe one of the reasons bloggers like YHL keep interest and page views up is by posting one or two times every weekday. I can always count on them to have something fresh everyday, therefore I visit everyday. I love visiting your site, and trust me I understand that you have a life and a family and that comes first, but I wish that I could come and see something new a few times a week. I love your blog and want more of it and I think other people probably feel the same. Even if its a quick post, keep us filled in with your life and the page views will come!

    • I agree! It’s hard keeping up with a blog when you have to do the projects to make the blog while juggling a personal life. Perhaps you could invite blog contributors? Could free up some time, relieve some of the pressure… and might just help a newborn blogger find their 15 seconds of fame.

  26. I love how honest (and hilarious) you are! I think you’re going through a very normal, very natural stage that all of us go through! I know I feel like I’m back to square 1 because I started a different blog a few years back, did pretty well, but then got burned out and decided to scrap it and start a new blog with my SIL (best idea ever) but now I have to start alllll over again with 1/8 of the followers and people not knowing our blog. I think sometimes all you need to do is just take a break, sit back (with some chocolate of course) and remember how your blog pushes you to constantly challenge yourself and evolve. And ultimately, it’s all about you sharing what you love, and hopefully others want to come along for the ride too. – Jen

  27. Mandi I love you. And will continue to love you through the awkwardness and all- if I can do that with my kids…anything in possible. :) xoxoxxoxo

  28. Almost peed my pants. AGAIN! I need to hit puberty!

  29. You are awesome….and I can only hope that one day I even hit the blog puberty stage with my blog. I’d say you are already past it; you are amazing!

    xoxo
    Sumo

  30. I love you even more for taking that picture. OMH I love that picture. You are awesome.

  31. Too funny! Love it. I found you through Pinterest and I’m going to add you to my list of blogs I follow :)

  32. Just found your blog through Pinterest and this post really hits home with me. I’ve been blogging for a year and a half and I feel like I’m in blogging puberty. I think I should bite the bullet and get my own .com. I wasn’t sure where the whole bloggy thing was going but I think it’s here to stay for awhile. I was very touched to read your real life story. It takes a lot of guts to share something like that. Following your feed now and looking forward to what you do next :)

  33. It’s okay, Mandi…Nerds Rule!

  34. I love your blog! It is one of my favorites and I think you do an amazing job! I have been preparing to launch a blog of my own and it is very intimidating. Many of the blogs I like make me feel kind of….inferior… when I read them. The blogs where the writers take a tone of everything in their life being perfect. If they mention anything personal thats going on in their life or their mind its always about how great everything is and how thankful they are for the awesomeness that is their life. It is great to be positive and thankful for all of the good things but everyone has some not so good things going on, too.

    This post was fearless and inspiring. It’s great to know that you are a real person.

    <3

  35. Dang girl, you have a lot of guts putting those awesome pics up! :) I have followed your blog for 1.5 yrs now and LOVE it. I have definitely noticed that your style has changed drastically. It’s different from mine. I’m still in love with the old Mandi. That’s okay. It’s me, not you! I still check every day into all the cool things you are doing. Then, I go to Target and I SWEAR their design/purchasing crew are following your blog. You are setting trends all over the place. You are the blog celebrity that I am just a bit obsessed with.

    Anyways, don’t let your blog fame go to your head too much while you are going off to “find yourself.” ;)

    I’m gonna go now. It’s gotten weird.

  36. I think I said “Yes!” about a bazillion times while reading this. You verbalized exactly what goes on in my head most days. I’ll be glad when my blog doesn’t have zits anymore! Thanks for making my day!

  37. Mandi, You rock! You never fail to make me smile and laugh! I’m a forever follower no matter what your style is!

  38. Hang in there! You are the only blog that I check everyday! You are my favorite and I often refer to you as “My friend Mandi”….
    My husband quickly bursts my bubble and reminds me that we’ve actually never met and we aren’t real friends. So what?! You’re my friend and your blog is my friend!! I LOVE your guts! :)

  39. The pimple-popping picture made my day. AWESOME. Love this post. Love. It.

  40. Just be you, nobody can be you any better! No matter the stage of life you or your blog are in, people came and continue to come, because they love you and what you offer. Keep on making us smile, laugh and admire your talent… We Love Your Guts Mandi!

  41. I love your blog and I love your style chica :) You’re a joy to read. Maybe you just need a blog break? Or ice cream? That worked for me when I was a teen. :) Xoxo

  42. Dang girl…you look just like me :) . I hate to say it but I look at your blog and think…that blog is an old lady. As in, wise…got your crap together…and ALL THAT!. Great to know that even you go through puberty! Hope for the rest of us!

  43. So funny and so true! Great post!

  44. you’re the best.est in the west.est! (that’s what i say to my kids!) love you and your blog!

  45. Love you, love you, love you, Mandi! And I love your blog. And I feel like I can relate to everything you are saying. So I guess what I’m asking is, can I borrow the retainer that you borrow?
    thanks!
    BFF, Traci

  46. This is awesome Mandi! You are hilarious, and always spot-on. I think I’m more in the knobby knees and buck teeth stage of my blogging, but everyone starts from somewhere to get to where they are going to be! I am so excited for you, excited for your change of taste (because really, who doesn’t experience a change?), and excited for your blogging integrity to remain as fully integrious (now a word, thanks!) as before.

  47. I am not a blogger and have no aspirations to be. Instead, I am the demographic you need to grow your blog. I check your site everyday hoping you posted something. When you endorse something, I buy it. When you have sponsors, I make it a point to give them positive feedback about you. I pin your projects and then copy them. And when someone comments on something I made that you inspired, I make it a point to spread the word about you and your blog. I think you are all that and a bag of chips. And I thought you were very gracious when you came to Arizona. And one more thing-I want you to post more. :)

  48. Keep moving forward! I think you are fantastic! And I love that you can have fun with yourself and post HILARIOUS pictures–you are ridiculous! I LOVE it!!!!

  49. Keep up the good work! Just a side note though….not all us Pinterest Addicts forget to give credit where credit is due! I get a lot of “did you see that on Pinterest” when people see our Home In Progress for the first time! I’m always sure to refer them right back to the amazing blog/blogger who inspired me to take a chance in my own home! So thanks for the inspiration! We love you, puberty and all :0)

  50. :) you’re doing great! you don’t seem “awkward” at all to me! I defnitely understand all the questions that have popped into your mind on the journey so far though. I think a lot of the same have crossed mine and I’ve only been blogging for a year. I think it just comes with the territory of putting yourself out there and growing in front of anyone and everyone.

  51. Could you be any funnier?! I love this. I am still a baby blog for sure, but I still feel awkward! I don’t think yours is awkward at all.

  52. this is the best thing ive ever read. i found it on pinterest and now im gonna follow the shit out of your blog. great column

  53. Awesome post Mandi. Once again you have a way of wording something that so many are feeling! Love it. And those pictures of you are just the icing on the cake! PS If you need help figuring out how to use a tampon or something….um….er….. ask Brooke. :)

  54. Love this post! Blogging is definitely a roller coaster! I’ve been at it for only a year and I’m STILL a baby. I wish mine would at least grow into a toddler!! ha, ha. Even though mine’s a baby, i feel the same thoughts of your puberty!!!!!!! From what I’ve seen, I know your blog will grow into a senior citizen in no time!! Here’s to the aging process!!

  55. I so identify with your comparison with other blogs and wondering what the what? I’m a very crafty person and have lots and lots of experience with all sorts of mediums. I have a high level of experience and good taste. Then I see these blogs post projects that are ridiculous- the exception is bag, the technique is atrocious, the concept is a disaster…you know. But they get lots of hits….every day….and ads. My little blog just plugs along….still a tiny blog. I can’t tell these people their projects are ridiculous. I can’t tell their readers the projects are bad. Ugh.

    I will be honest with you though and tell you one reason I think you are having trouble with the blog is your lack of consistent posts. I started following you around when you had the family ceremony thing at the Temple. You posted often and your humor and fun projects stood out. Lately your posts are few and far between and the posts with actually good content- as in a tutorial or even a thorough discussion about something you did, saw, made etc are rare. We get peaks or hint posts but not posts that include something we can really sink our teeth into. Frankly you’ve been teasing about this living room for forever and what we have seen is a tad scary. I will admit the crewel project looks great where you hung it but I gotta say Southwest theme, orange velvet couches, crewel work… .it seems like it’s gonna be one hot mess. Because I’ve seen your other work and because that crewel work looks good where you put it I am hanging around to see the outcome but you may have scared off a reader or two. Their loss- you need to make your house as exciting and creative as you are for sure.

    In the end all this is ok….life gets in the way of blogging and it takes time to redo rooms. So I am not at all complaining about this but rather sharing what I see as one of the reasons people may have given up checking your blog. You’re still funny and your

  56. Well first I would like to say that you are one of my favorite blogs out there; I love checking in to see what you have been doing and all of the things that are creating. I LOVE that you have shared some very personal history and that you keep us all updated yearly, which is great.

    I am a new blogger myself, so I haven’t experienced what you are experiencing now; but as a former website owner for several years I understand where you are coming from. It gets difficult to keep the momentum going, but as long as you are enjoying the process for a majority of the time than it should be totally worth it!

    http://apinksunset.com

  57. Lol. IT IS A THING. I think I’m going through Blogger Puberty myself. I’ve found myself examining my past year and questioning why some things worked and why some didn’t, and evolving my style and format to keep up with the changes, and even stalking people’s RSS stats comparing them to my own.

    Here’s to getting our braces off soon (and hopefully finding a date to the prom. eek!)

  58. Seriously?! The pictures are sooooo awesome. Keep doin’ what you do. Yes, as your style changes, you might loose followers but you’ll gain new ones. Just promise me your vlogs that I requested won’t be annoying sponsored garble… only pure awesomeness like these here pics you posted, pretty please?! I can’t wait! :)

  59. you crack me up!! I love this blog. I love your honesty about your life. I love the awkwardness. if you didn’t show me those signs, I would assume you were perfect and not relate and thus move on.

    You rock. I love your guts!

    -Wendy

  60. Ok lady, we need to have a heart to heart here… Everyone with a true interest in the design of their home has a change of style over the years. Two years…ppssshhh, of course your style has changed! And changed for the better IMO! Ha, you are in the awkward teen stage, that just means you are about to hit the “I’m so gorgeous no one can stand me” early 20′s! Enjoy!! :) (I love you btw!)

  61. LOVE the pictures and LOVE you and LOVE your blog!! It’s my fave!! Keep pushing through the awkward Freshman year phase, you are doing wonderful and I love your style and how it’s changing. You’re beautiful, your home is beautiful, I will always ride this crazy train of awesomness you call a blog!

  62. I really resonate with blogger puberty, and although I’m still a newbie blogger for the most part (started in Sept.), I am about to make the migration from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and I am anticipating a break out of puberty in a major way. So, thank you for giving a name to what many of us are feeling.

    I LOVE your writer’s voice and quirky style. Definitely following you now through bloglovin’.

    Cheers,
    Lauren

  63. Funny but right on. Thank for being real.

  64. If this whole blog thing doesn’t work out… you still could have an amazing dance career. I mean, have you seen your arms?

    You’re awesome. Don’t worry about it. ;)
    -Aly

  65. my blog is just a very tiny baby. Your blog is like having a big sister to look up to.

  66. Seriously Love this. Being a beginner blogger myself, all I have to say is I Can’t wait to go through Puberty!!! Thanks Mandi!

  67. Thoughtful post Mandy. Your blog is one that always feels ‘real’ to me, so I can say you have me and these commenters before me as forever fans! I identify with your bloggy stuggles, but look at you as one of the established ones for sure! If only I could get my act together as you have…

  68. Oh my gosh. You just described my blog life to a T!! When will this pubescence end?!?!

  69. This post could not have come at a better time! I am feeling these exact same feelings lately.. thanks for pouring your heart out!!
    xx Liz Marie

  70. Mandi my love I hear you so loud “awkward” and clear. Great post. You are awsome, I love your guys and your pictures are hysterical. Love this post. Xo jen

  71. Sorry “guts!”

  72. You are awesome!
    I’m a baby blogger but know exactly what you are talking about!
    Love that photo!

  73. Great post and love the pics! I’m a starter blog myself with no followers and only one comment (that happened today actually…yay!) I am going to keep on keeping on. I do it because I love to write and share information. Discovered you on The Nate Berkus show and love your blog!

  74. I love your blog! Your style has not so much changed, as it has matured. I feel you went from cool, DIY, projects and decorating from a SAHM to sophisticated, professional level decorating. My favorite magazine is House Beautiful and I am convinced they should come to your house. I do wish you would post more often but that is only for my own selfish sake. I would rather you post once a week with quality posts, than post 5 times a week with sub-par posts because you are trying to meet a quota. I hope you keep up with WWMD segment, and would love to see some thrifting adventures. You are my all time favorite blog, and you challenge me to look beyond the trends to my true self no matter what other people think.

  75. Such a great post! You really do have a way of explaining how most of us are feeling. And by reading the comments, it looks like a lot of us are in the same boat. I think being creative or trying to be creative on a daily basis gets mentally wearing sometimes and sometimes we just need a little break. Your pics are hilarious by the way! lol Hang in there! XOXO

  76. I just love you! Thanks for sharing your heart, and by doing so, the rest of us “baby bloggers” don’t feel so alone!:)

  77. Oh my heck! I’m in puberty, too. Great way to put it. Maybe it’s the end of the holidays and the new year. I don’t know, but my focus is gone. Give me time, like you, I’ll find it.

  78. youre hilarious! i love your blog, and love how it truely shows your personality. I plan to start a blog in the next month once we close on our house so I can document all my projects…. i only hope it will become what yours is! :) keep inspiring!

  79. New to your bog and just spent over an hour reading this and your story… thanks so much for just putting it all out there. Such an inspiration!

  80. I love your blog! I love that you don’t post just to post; I feel like your projects show the time and hard work you put into them! Also I HATE when people give the credit to Pinterest! I’m with you on that 100%.

  81. Mandi,
    I hope I can help. I recently had a baby and decided to close down my blog due to the privacy of my child. But honestly I went through what you are going through and my baby was what finally made me decide to put an end to it. My blog was not big and I didn’t have many followers (nothing compared to you) but I needed to end it and although I miss it I am glad. You know YOUR life and how YOU feel so do what is best. Yes you have a brand new style that is amazing and I must admit I check to see what else you have all the time because this is a style I have never seen before! You have also been on TV several times! So don’t you dare put yourself down about anything because you are doing a wonderful job. But listen to yourself. Are you feeling this way because you have been thinking about something new and don’t know if you should do it? Or are you really feeling like people don’t understand what you are doing? Maybe when you have a whole room in your house complete we can see it to put it all together in our minds. Yes it’ll take a while because decorating the way we decorate is like a treasure hunt! So that will just build suspense. But Mandi you are doing a wonderful job and you and brook have the biggest blogs that I have see so far. It seems you are both going through this too so at least you have someone to turn to. Just listen to YOU! And you will be alright. I hope all the best to you!
    - Jenn*

  82. I too am a follower that checks every day to see if you have posted, and must agree with what many others have said that the inconsistent, sporadic posting may be a definite contributing factor to your woes. And I must admit that I’ve thought to myself many times “Her style is changing, and traveling in a different direction than my own.” But that doesn’t bother me, and I keep coming back daily because I can take your creative ideas and still apply them to my own style. It’s the creativity and the ideas that hold the greatest value to me – not the style. In fact, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to twist, mold, and shape an idea to make it my own. I thoroughly enjoy your writing voice/style and have never questioned that it, and everything you do is 100% you. That may actually be what I love the most about your blog. You are “real,” easy for readers to relate to, and so completely unique and true to yourself that it is a breath of fresh air and incredibly inspiring. So those are the reasons I’ll be sticking around – even through puberty. Good luck with it all!

  83. Oh sweet mother of mercy Mandi. I die. That pic of you is killer. Blogging puberty sucks. But just think you will get your period and have to buy tampons soon and it will all be worth it. Love you girl and I will hold your hand the whole way. OXOXOX

  84. Mandi, I think you may be forgetting something. I know for myself, I not only come to your blog for your projects, but for posts like this. When you share a little bit of yourself and you’re so dang cute! If I see nothing but text in any other blog…I just move on…don’t even read it. But I…and others…read yours because of who you are. Your projects aren’t even my style, but I still read…because of you and your personality! You feel the awkward puberty, but as readers…not so much. Keep on keeping on, Mandi!

  85. Ohmaaaagaaaawwwwwsh! That is me…like nail on the head! Thank you for writing this and saying it out loud! I love your gutsy humor, and the fact that you are not afraid to say what the rest of us need to hear…you totally rock!

  86. ahhh, you read my mind and my blog awkwardness and my blog insecurities…great post!

  87. Love this post…let’s go skating!!! :-D

  88. I love your honesty and your funky sense of humor!! This post hit to the core for me….HELLO…time to get a .com…yup…get rid of the blogspot.com So funny….didn’t want to fork over the $9.99 a month…HELLO But yet I buy supplies outa my personal pocket–does that make sense???
    Anywho—-thanks for the punch in the gut and the shove over the cliff…I needed it!
    Have a stupendous day/weekend!
    Kelly

  89. Hang in there, Mandi. You are authentic, speak from the heart, and are crazy creative. Mean commenters are like high school bullies who need to make people feel small to make themselves feel big. Those kind of comments don’t help the world be a better place. I like how you own your missteps and laugh about them after. Life should be a daily celebration, and I think that is the heart of your blog. Monica xo

  90. I think your blog and style are both awesome. I love that your style changes. I love to see you trying new things that I have never even dreamt of. Its your creativity and humor and risks that draw me in. Keep on keeping, you are amazing!

  91. 91 comments? 92 if you count mine. And you wonder why you aren’t getting the traffic anymore? I would vote Republican if it meant that I could get 92 comments on a post.

    Your Awesome, with a capital A.

    Hang in there….

  92. Oh my GOSH! I love YOUR guts, Miss Mandilicious! Hang in there, you crazy creative thang, you!

  93. You’re so real ~ and that = Awesomeness!!! Thanks for being you!

    Pat

  94. The “jerk hole commenters” line made me literally laugh out loud.

    I think you’re true to yourself. True to your personality. I don’t think changing your style threatens your genuine self.

    You are refreshing.

  95. The “jerk hole commenters” line made me literally laugh out loud.

    I think you’re true to yourself. True to your personality. I don’t think changing your style threatens your genuine self.

    You are refreshing.

  96. Here is my two cents…totally love your blog! Very inspiring.

  97. Hey, Mandi! GREAT PIC! :) I’m a little confused by your post, though, only because it seems odd that a blogger like yourself, who can pull in nearly 100 comments, and get so many repins and get on–VERY COOL–the Nate Berkus show, would feel insecure about the quality, popularity, and direction of her blog. From an outsiders perspective, you’re going in the right direction. Why the awkwardness?

    For some reason, I feel like those feelings are more understandable for a lot of the people here (myself included) who are struggling to pull in an average of 300 page views per day (weak) and who can barely get people to comment on a project/post that we poured our hearts and souls into, but no one really appreciates it the way our own eyes do. (LOL).

    I see you in a different class of successful bloggers who are a few (or maybe many!) steps ahead of me, and to hear your puberty feelings about your blog, I’m having a hard time grasping it. It’s like the skinny girl complaining of being fat to someone who’s 300 pounds. Or the owner of a 5-BR estate expressing his housing fears to the man who owns a shack.

    But yes, even people who seem to be “there” already (i.e. successful) can experience doubts, funks, fears, and more. But, keep it in perspective, girl: you clearly have a large fan base, you’re personality is cute as heck, and people love you. You have the “it” factor. Continue to “do you” and realize that you could be in my situation: grassrooting for followers, begging for comments, and wondering how long it’s going to take me to make my own mark in the blogosphere.

    Stay cool, girl! :) You’re doing well in this business ;)

  98. Lol.

  99. Think this is one of my favorite posts you have made. Think we are going through “puberty” in some aspect of our lives and though I can’t relate to blogging- I can relate to change and the evolution of self. Good luck and thanks.
    Sara

  100. You have great style and everything you touch turns to hot men named Nate. You should bottle whatever it is you have because I would totally buy it! Thanks for doing what you do.

  101. Normally I try to read all the comments, but since you are currently at 101, I just don’t have it in me today. All I want to say is… You feel like you’re in blog puberty, but I most definitely did not notice it. And I’m betting that others didn’t either.

    Your blog is a must-read for me. Your fun, caring, creative personality shines through each post. And I’m super-duper-with-zit-cream-on-top-excited to meet you in person at Haven.

    xo

  102. Mandi! You are killing me! Hil-arious! I have totally felt this way sometimes, but I just can’t seem to break out of the awkward phase! You are so relatable and funny that this blog is sure to blossom! The pictures are just priceless. Love it all. Period! (pun intended).

  103. This is such a great post! I’ve thought many of the same things before too. Thanks for the encouragement!

  104. I LOVE your Blog! I think you are doing an amazing job…keep it up!

    Missy @ TheHaringsmaHouse.blogspot.com

  105. I love your blog. its one of my absolute favorites. I’m sure its very difficult to rub a vlog, but don’t give up!!!!I love ur quirky personality, your honesty, the way u incoperate faith, and I love love ur style. and yes, its obvious ur style has changed from when u started. duh!!! Style, trends, popular colors are always changing. I want to repaint my house white and fill it w pops of nature and color just like ur house is. so just know that u are loved!!!

  106. i LOVE you!! training bra, b.o., and all. you are amazing.

  107. Wowzers, lots of comments here! I loved the post too :-) It’s awesome and you took words right out of a bunch of our mouths!

    I wanted to comment about doing the exact same thing you did regarding changing my blog name to a dot com from a blogspot about 2 years into my blog…..honestly, I’m not sure I should have done that??!!! (but yes, everyone “cool’ said I should) It has been 5 months now and I STILL can’t get my page rank back up to where it was. DUMB! I suppose, if I had a recommendation for other bloggers i would say if you can change it within the first 6 months – go for it, if not……just keep the blogspot and the momentum going on your blog :-) You agree????

  108. I just want you to know I made your caged basket chandy and everytime I look at it I feel amazing. Its gold, and bright, and lights up my room!

    I love your blog. I check it everyday. I only wish there were more frequent posts, but you gotta do what you gotta do! I totally understand that.

  109. lol, this is ALL SO TRUE!! Thank you for shedding some light on what we all go thru.

    xoxo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

  110. I feel like this fantastic and hilarious rant should be animated. You know one of those cheap, stick figure animations where the narrator talks really fast and doesn’t take a breath and there is lots of scribbling and crumpling of pages just so you can start new and scribble and crumple more pages and then at the very end there isn’t even a breath or pause for thought, just a “the end!”? Yup, that’s how it should be.

    At least that’s how it went in my head. Love it!

    Bry from FIshtitch

  111. Mandi! I love your blog. I really do! You’re one of the first I followed regularly, but in my opinion I think the reason you may have lost people along the way isn’t your style…it’s the frequency of the posts. It’s so sporadic and it’s hard to keep up. So I would suggest picking a posting schedule. You know, say around noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…or whatever fits your life. It may be a post on Tuesday and Thursday…just something reliable that readers have to look forward too. It’s like your fave tv shows…you KNOW it’s going to be on Thursday at 9pm, so you tune in. And it’s AWESOME, just like you. You got this, just find your groove. Because there is one thing we can always rely on when we visit your blog and that’s your creative and amazing projects. :)

  112. I am just in AWE! I am sitting here, shocked that what you wrote is right where I am in my mind! How did you do that? I just started a YouTube show this week…an idea I spent a good part of last year trying to talk myself into actually doing! It is a live show! You know what that means? NO TAKE 2 or 29 or anything! Just me rambling sometimes…and is anyone listening? Well…after reading this…I have strength to carry on…through my puberty stage (actually infancy here) and know that in this world of tech-y savvy blog viewing and pinning madness…I can make it because I have a dream to share with the world my passions too! WOW! I am just so thrilled to have stumbled onto you…thanks for pouring your heart out…and I am loving your guts right back!

  113. Mandi,

    When I opened your puberty blog and glanced at the photo – I thought you had a guest blogger!!!

    Once again, I would like to say that you should have your own nationwide show on HGTV!!! You could take Nate’s place. One of my favorite parts of his show was the segments that featured bloggers and unknown individuals that have talent like you do.

    Your show could have a once a month room makeover for people who need your help – such as you have already done.

    I will be DVR’g your show everyday. . . . . can’t wait.

    Beth (i.e. Hatefulhannah)

  114. Oh, man…this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now! My style (and subsequently, my blog) are going through a crisis of style. I have changed SO MUCH since I started blogging, and I’m finally realizing that it’s ok! I love what I love. It gets discouraging sometimes to see my following come to a slow crawl, and to see comments decrease as I post more and more about the things I love now. Thank you so much for this!

  115. i completely understand getting mad at pinterest for taking the credit, but i found your blog because of pinterest and now i follow you! your blog is great and you are getting all the credit, from me at least :) keep it up!! love your guts right back!

  116. that’s hilarious. brooke told me i needed to come read this today, because I was telling her this…in different words. i feel like I’m “known” but not getting the #’s to prove it;(

  117. I just wandered over from The Inspired Room. Seriously, over 100 comments. It shows the ultimate truth, we are never satisfied. I hope to be you one day and you hoped to be someone else? What does The Inspired Room and Hooked on Houses hope to be? Makes me wonder. Anyway, clever post and I am glad I bumped into you.

  118. I found your post on Pinterest (ha!) and I loved it. I can’t wait to read more!

  119. I don’t know you and if it wasn’t for other bloggers teasing me with a lofty give away I probably would never have found you. That being said, by this post alone, I like you. So, I’ll take the time to find out more about you and your insecurities. It’s kinda cool – like stumbling upon a new musician only to find out that they have a few pre-released albums out there that no one is really listening to anymore. I have read a lot of the other comments and wow – lots of honesty up in here. Which is good. Maybe you should join me in the travel back and read your own blog through my eyes (meaning for the first time) to remember where you started to get to where you need to be. Remember that book “Are you there God it’s me, Margaret?”..something along those lines. Bottom line is that anyone who can post a zip-popping pic to the masses really has nothing to worry about in the long run. Just channel your inner Angelina & keep on keeping on. I’m off to find out who the hell you are (as I wait for them to announce my name as the give away winner). ~ Dee

  120. I totally get everything you wrote about here! Except I look at yours as a grown-up blog and after 5 years of blogging, I feel like my blog-puberty is eternal. I feel like the last girl in the class to “blossom”. :-) Anyway, thanks for being brave enough to verbalize what we all feel…and to post those awesome pictures!

  121. Thank you for sharing this! It resonates with me because I feel like my blog is in a constant state of puberty… slowly changing and waiting to ‘grow up’. People change. As YOU change… your style and taste changes. It happens and it (IMHO) is part of being human. We are all a work in progress! (in a good way)

  122. So, I know I already commented on how much I loved this post, but I had to let you know that I just featured this post in my most recent blog post, “5 Pearls of Wisdom by 5 Different Bloggers.” You’re first on the list, girlfriend. Thanks again for writing from the heart and inspiring so many of us.

    http://thethinkingcloset.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/5-pearls-of-wisdom-from-5-different-bloggers/

    Lauren

  123. Love this!! I feel like that now! And I’ve only been blogging for about 8 months (I think lol) (Totally awkward) hahaha! Total awesomeness! I hope I run into you one day at Home Goods, but there is no Home Goods in Dubai :o ) keep on blogging my friend!!

  124. Hi, Mandi! I know this is an older post, but just found this via Carla, small and friendly. I laughed through the whole post. Great writing and scarrrry how much I resemble everything you said. Thanks for cracking me up and making me feel less alone!

  125. you’re awesome! I saw your blog on pinterest and absolutely loved this post :) I am a brand new follower!

  126. Fabulous post. So, so funny. I am relieved to hear that someone as successful as you feels that way too! And I can’t BELIEVE that picture is you! I thought, “I wonder what girl she got to agree to such an unflattering photo.” Hahahahahahahaha! Even beauty queens can be awkward, apparently.

  127. I love your site, and I’m right there with ya! Love this post and the pictures :) Keep up the good work!

  128. Haha, I’m right at #1 now, which totally does sucky suck. I’m not sure it’s actual adolescence yet – more like that awkward phase where you’re still a mostly cute kid but you start getting chubby and listening to Greenday and hiding in your room a little bit more… getting sidetracked. Anyway, I loved this post and your photos. Your site is awesome!

  129. yeah, you read right. .blogspot! whoop whoop for puberty, as long as I have my acne cream handy. LOVED this post. so glad i found it on pinterest. adding you to my bloglovin’ feed.

  130. you. are. rad.

    that is all!

  131. I discovered you through the AT Homies and I am in LOVE! I read this post and I just totally could relate (but only to #1, #2 and starting on #3). My blog is still in toddler stages but this was really great to see what other bloggers are going through as they grow.
    Thanks for the honest insight!

  132. I really, really appreciate this post, Mandi! I’ve just started my own blog and I feel that ‘awkward’ stage where I’m not sure who I am as a blogger. It’s really nice to hear that everyone with awesome blogs (like yourself : ) ) all ask why they are even bothering with blogging at all! I feel motivated! :)

  133. You make me laugh. I just discovered your blog and love it! Your writing style is so unique and honest, it’s refreshing to read. My blog is the tiniest of babies right now, and reading this gives me a lot of inspiration and confidence. I am not a writer by any means, and totally feel awk writing my posts but that’s all part of the journey right? I hope to inspire as many people as you do some day! Thanks for sharing all that you do :)

  134. Wow, there’s really only one word to describe this post : Brilliant.

    I’m in awe of the shear creativity that this post was born from. What a fresh and inspiring take on the ‘blogging tips’ blog post.

    Thank you. Just, thank you.

  135. I love your writing style. I DIED when you talked about having a .com that made you legit and you had to start all over with google. Really does” sucky suck” lol. I can’t wait to read what else you have to say!

  136. I love your writing style. I DIED when you talked about having a .com that made you legit and you had to start all over with google. Really does” sucky suck” lol. I can’t wait to read what else you have to say!

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