You know what’s funny?

I write a blog.  I take pictures for a blog.  I tell stories and create projects and decorate rooms for a blog……

….but I never really talk about blogging.

So when Ursula from Made by Carmona contacted me to see if I wanted to be part of a series with bloggers sharing their advice on what they have learned from blogging….

…..I wasn’t sure.

I wondered if any of you were interested in learning about blogging?

Or if you have ever thought about starting your own blog?

Or maybe you’ve started a blog and you are looking for a little inspiration?

If not….I’m distracting you with pictures from around the farmhouse.

If so….

.…this blogging story is for you.


My blogging journey began two years ago with lofty aspirations….along with extra pumpkins and not a tree skirt in sight.

For the first six months….I never thought about making money or that my toes might not be interesting to people or that there might be giant opinions about my bathroom….

….or that blogging could ever be a business.

Month after month passed as I skipped down the yellow brick road of blogging with the tin man and the scarecrow….until one day I came to a fork in the road….

…and I decided to attend a blogging conference.



I went solo.

All by myself without any peeps.

(total aside:  if you are ever going to attend a blogging conference…..peeps make everything so much better)

The first night of the conference began with a cocktail party for all the attendees.

So I put on my new outfit and teased my highlighted hair and walked my blinged-out-flip-flop-self downstairs and into a dark room filled with people I had never met before in my entire life.

I was wearing these amazing earrings and I had these brand new business cards that I had printed off at Wal-Mart that I thought were extra fancy….and so with a smile and a confident toss of my brilliantly coiffed hair….

…..I walked up to the first group of bloggers I saw.


They asked me my blog name and I handed them my business card and grinned…..and waited for the fun to start.  This is the part where we were all going to hug and talk blogging and give each other ideas and hold hands and become best friends forever.

Maybe not.

Maybe not even close.

They weren’t impressed.

They looked at each other with that look that spoke volumes…..that said that they had never heard of me.

They gave me a cursory glance and looked over my head to see if someone more popular was around.



I stood their awkwardly for a moment as my hair and my outstretched business card wilted just a little.  And then….undaunted….I soldiered on.  I approached another group of beautiful people laughing and talking and becoming instant best friends…

…..and it happened again.

And again.  And again.  And again.

Until my confidence was shattered.

Until inside I shivered.

Until I wanted to take my earrings and flip-flops and big box business cards….and go home.

But instead….I gathered my tattered pride and my bedraggled hair and with my head held high….I went up to my hotel room….

….and sat and cried.


Mid-cry….I decided to listen to my voice mail.

There was one from my children.  They were calling to wish me luck… ask me how much fun I was having….

….and to tell them about all the new friends I had met.


It made me cry harder.

It made me wish I had ordered my business cards from a fancy online store.

It made me wish my blog was funnier and brighter and more creative and…and….and….

….just better.


And then I stopped mid pity party.

Because why?

Why was I worried about my blog being better or more creative or funnier or more than it was…..

….because I was there.


I was in the house. 

I was there…..with my stories and my waving hands and my giggle and my joy.

And me, myself and I were better than any blog post could ever hope to be.


And so the next day I marched myself downstairs with a sparkling set of flip flops and a new attitude….

….and then I laughed and danced and listened and storied my way through the conference.

Maybe it was the flip flops.

Maybe it was the new perspective.

Maybe it was the joy bubbling out of me for the next 48 hours.

Whatever the reason….on the last day…..I sat on the front row and appointed myself to approach the sponsors and thank them for hosting the conference.

Like I was on the greeting committee.

Like I was someone important…..someone with a voice to be heard and a story to tell….

….like I was me. 🙂


The moral of this blogging tale?

Remember there is only one you….and that you is special and wonderful and creative and amazing.  And the blog that you write will be your voice and your story to tell…

….so tell it with confidence and joy.

And if you ever attend a blogging conference….

…perspective and a little blinged out footwear can make all the difference. 🙂

Confessions-Kariann copy

If you have ever thought of starting a blog….be sure to join us tomorrow for a complete list of resources to help you start your journey.

If you are reading this….and you have a resource that you think would be helpful to other bloggers….stop back by tomorrow and link up.

Confessions of a Newbie Blogger3

Want a little advice and perspective from the first year of blogging?

Be sure to check out:

Gwen @ The Makerista

Aniko @ Place of My Taste

Rachel @ Maison de Pax

Ursula @ Home Made by Carmona

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

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  1. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    Oh Karrianne, I can hardly believe that happened to YOU! I remember the first time I met you face to face. In the lobby of the hotel last year and could not wait to hug your neck and tell you how much I really , really love you and let you know that you were one of the reasons I had come to the conference! If I had only been there the year before... you would have had a much more friendly experience! Good for you for sticking to it! You are one of the great success stories of the blogging world. YOU GO GIRL!

  2. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    Back in the day (1972), I was a topless go-go dancer. On any given shift, I worked with about two dozen other dancers. Stephanie wasn't any prettier than the rest of us but, man!, was she raking in the money! One day I asked her what she was doing that the rest of us weren't doing and this is what she told me: "Six months ago, I wasn't making any more money than anyone else. Then, one day, I changed my attitude; I convinced myself that I was the most popular dancer in here." Isn't it amazing that what we're told all our lives by parents, teachers, and other mentors IS ACTUALLY TRUE?

  3. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Thank you kindly for this. I've debated, and prayed, and thought.....and thought.....then I did some thinking..... Now, if I can figure out how to "link up"... I'll be there. Love the way you write and post. What a fine example of blogging.... Hopefully, see you tomorrow night!

  4. Image for judy judy

    I for one, am so thankful your blog title pops up on my computer every day. You encourage, inspire, make me laugh, and lift my spirits so often. You are a gifted lady, with a humble spirit! Thank you for taking the leap. The homemade Walmart cards are a special part of your story that I like. Thanks Karrianne!

  5. Image for Marisa Franca Marisa Franca

    Oh Karianne! I simply adore you! You are such a great raconteur. I missed your photos completely cuz I was so engrossed in the story. I am so glad you got the "tude" and went back to the conference. There is a saying and I'm not sure how it goes exactly but you never want to snub anyone - that someone could become more important than you or could be of influence. Being nice to everybody doesn't cost us a thing. I am so glad you are you. I am so inspired and yes, I do have aspirations of being a blogger. I have found that the very best bloggers such as you are generous with their time and talent. Thank you!! I will definitely follow the coming posts about starting a blog.

    1. Image for Elisabeth Elisabeth

      I missed the pictures, too, Marisa. :) Karianne, that is so sad! I could really feel for you. I've observed this for a long time - most people are insecure and they feel the need to stick with their group to feel safe. If you want things to be different, it's you that has to be the one to go out of your way to be friendly. I'm so glad your story ended with you having a good time. I love your blog, your witty humor and the way you decorate. Thank you for being so honest about this painful moment. You have a positive and overcoming attitude. I wish I could meet you in person! Elisabeth

  6. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I remember when you started your blog. That was the year that I first discovered there was such a thing as blogs. I also remember reading the post about your first conference. Sorry that happened to you. So happy that you stuck it out and didn't give up. I love your blog. As soon as I discovered the world of blogging I was hooked. I knew I wanted my own blog. I have had this love of home decor that I want to share it with everyone. I have written post after post in my head. Take a guess what is stopping me. It's the name. I can't figure out what to call my blog! Ugh! Well I decided that 2014 is the year my year that I will get my blog started. My boys know how much I want to blog. One of my Christmas gifts from them is to get my blog started. Love them. Looking forward to learning from this series.

    1. Image for Michelle Michelle

      hey Michelle, I am in the same boat...I want to start a blog for the same reasons and haven't yet for the same reasons. January 1 has come and gone...but I will.....I hope you do too! My boys are on board too :) Hugs, Michelle

  7. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    The sign of true character is NEVER giving up and remembering God created a unique individual - YOU. Love you.

  8. Image for cherneeshouse cherneeshouse

    HI KariAnn Thanks for sharing your story - I have been blogging for 6 months and hope to attend some conferences in 2014, thanks for writing the post. I so enjoy blogging but I do have to say it is a little challenging networking - I came across your blog a couple of months ago - really enjoy your decorating style and ideas you put forth. Here is too a great 2014! Best Chernee

  9. Image for Mary Miller Mary Miller

    You have inspired me, KariAnne, you have the most wonderful authentic voice....and yes, I do wish you were my next door neighbor because you are so generous. Thank you!

  10. Image for Sandy M. Sandy M.

    I've been addicted to the blog world for probably 4 years. But never, until your post today have I ever seriously thought about being a blogger. Never even imagined it could be a possibility. But..................after reading your "so you think you might like to blog" did I really think it might, just might be doable! Thanks for your inspiration Karianne.

  11. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Well I'm torn between which of my two comments to leave. Ok fine, I'll do both.... can you send me your old leftover Walmart cards, autographed of course, I'm gonna sell them on my sidebar, and - IN YOUR FACE! rude groups of people from the first conference.

  12. Image for Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker

    Thanks for the story Karianne, I never could imagine anyone not loving you the moment they met you-I'm so glad you were there at my first conference when I was scared out of my mind! You made me feel so comfortable and I'll be forever grateful for that and all the other kindnesses you have graced me with.

  13. Image for Mary from Virginia Mary from Virginia

    WOW, I am almost speechless, but that never happens. I cannot believe you were given the cold shoulder by other bloggers PERIOD. I hope they read your blog and comments and feel embarrassed. You are a brave chick to have stuck it out, and more brave to have told your story. You've helped a million other bloggers today. Send me your Walmart business card. I'd be proud to have one!

  14. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I'm going to echo Mary here. Shame on those bloggers. I'm fairly new to blogging...a little over a year...and have been to two smaller conferences. Most people have been really nice, but there have definitely been some that I felt like were looking to see if there was anyone more exciting around. I'm not letting them get me down. Who needs them? You've definitely helped a ton of people today by sharing your story!

  15. Image for Atta Girl Amy Atta Girl Amy

    What a difference two years makes! I want to remember this story when I go to my next blogging conference because I know in every crowd, there's someone who is feeling just like you did at your first conference. I'm appointing myself the official welcoming committee for all those highlighted, sparkly and blinged-out flip-flop girls who feel they don't quite fit in. Because we've all been there. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Image for Debra @ MsMoozys Open House Debra @ MsMoozys Open House

    Thanks for writing this, I am still new to the blogger world and learning so much as I move forward, so many times I find myself saying "this is not going to work" or "I cant do this" but you know I keep moving forward and change the "why" I am doing this and remember it is just for ME. If others start to like it then I am very happy and would love to have a huge following but if that never happens when what I started off doing was being done, I was writing for myself and keeping the journal. Thanks again and have a blessed day.

  17. Image for Anne@DesignDreams Anne@DesignDreams

    Funny how sometimes you find a post that changes you... Sorry about how mean those bloggers were to you, I'm sure they didn't intend to hurt anyone but they did. Your blog, your sense of style and creativity - and your wild success - is one of the major reasons I've decided that this year will be my last. I do not have a style that has mass appeal, nor am I as talented as you at decorating and design and I feel like I'm flapping my wings and going nowhere! lol Sometimes you just need to know when a path you've taken is not the right one for you. Thank you for sharing your story, it's eye-opening as well as inspiring. Hopefully, I'll find my way to the success I'm dreaming of someday soon. So glad we "met" in this crazy world of blogging! Have a great weekend KariAnne! xoxox ps I adore you and your style!

  18. Image for Susan Hall Susan Hall

    What a touching story,we have all felt that way at some point attending a conference . It is sad that a negative comment or a snub by someone can change how we feel about ourselfs so drastically. I'm glad that you enjoyed the next day in your blinged out flip flops , I have 20 pair for such occasions!!

  19. Image for Connie in Hartwood Connie in Hartwood

    Great advice about being yourself, whether you're at a conference, writing a blog post, or anywhere else in life. My concern about this post and this series (please don't take this the wrong way) is that all of this How to Blog stuff may give newcomers the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Some bloggers seek popularity and celebrity and the ad revenue that can come from it, some use their blog to document life without any concern for comments or page views, and most are somewhere in the middle.

  20. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    Once you convince yourself you can do it you are unstoppable. I love the way you reinforce that in your blog. Such great stories told in a fun and witty way. Your design style is just as great as your stories and I love that it is presented in such a unique way. NEVER a dull boring post here. I am SO VERY GLAD you had that peptalk with yourself and went back down there and showed everyone what a rock star you are. You have such a great way of telling the world to be the best YOU that you can be. I am inspired by your stories and your beautiful home. So glad you kept blogging, now everyone that never heard of you knows who you are!

  21. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Highlight of my blogging "career" (not really a career so much, as a way to keep my family informed of my life), was about a year and a half ago when you took the time to leave a positive, uplifting comment on a post i wrote. Just seeing your name made my year. Thanks for inspiring me EVERY single day.

  22. Image for kathy kathy

    I felt like I was right there experiencing it with you. You wrote that so well! Thanks for being you! I started a blog about a year and a half ago and I already think I've written everything I know about. ha Well, here's to keep on trying!

  23. Image for Kelly Kelly

    I can't believe there were people like that at a conference. I have always found everyone in blogland to be so nice and caring. If there is one thing that I've learned in life, and not just in blogging, is that you can never let someone's else feelings toward you determine your worth. I am going to turn 50 this year and it has taken most of my life to discover that and believe that. Good for you for having the courage to continue on your journey despite a few sour grapes!

  24. Image for angela@spinachtiger angela@spinachtiger

    That's almost funny if it weren't so true. I could go on and on. Luckily, I met some bloggers on line BEFORE I went to my first get together across the country to SF all by myself. He eventually became a very BIG food blogger, but we are still great friends. I met a few other really nice bloggers that weekend, but I also experienced that "look." Funny thing is that there is a food blogger association in my city, and I never experienced that look and shoulder more anywhere in my life. Has nothing to do with traffic or quality of blog. Nothing. I decided that no matter what, I would stick this group out, attend everything they host, hope to meet like minded bloggers, have connection. Easy? No. Not even close. However, it's gotten so much better. So much. I am making some life long friends, but why it's so hard (with bloggers), I'll never know. I still have great hopes for our group. We could be a powerful entity because we are in a popular city. I'm getting to write a series about blogging myself and if I had two things to say. It would be get a great domain name, non-generic, one you can get the twitter, facebook handle etc. Number two: Take pictures like Thistlewood Farms. (and if anyone's asking, write as if you have a smile on your face.) You do that.

  25. Image for Beth at Unskinny Boppy Beth at Unskinny Boppy

    Out of all the business cards I got at that conference, YOURS is the only one I remember vividly. I loved that you son made them, and I loved you from the minute I laid eyes on your bubbly little head. You are such an inspiration to me. If I had known you were crying alone in your hotel room that first night I would have SO rolled my big blue cooler to your room and poured a big glass of wine and cried with you. I did cry that night, in fact, but it was because I had a long therapy session with Dusty and we were both blubbering messes when it was over. You have come so far, so fast, and I could not be any prouder of you! Thank you for being a friend, golden girl!

  26. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Hi again Kari Anne, I would love to blog some day.... Maybe you could write a follow up post about the realities of blogging, such as how much time it takes to photograph and write each blog post. Could you also tell us how we can best support your amazing blog, is clicking on one sponsor daily enough or should we be clicking all of them daily. Are there other ways we can create more cash flow for you? I read you every day and blog posts have become how i get my reading fix. Your posts are such great stories every day, complete with the happy endings I crave. I would have hung out with you at that first conference! and one of my best friends toes are long as her fingers! Thank you again for being you and keeping it real! xoxo, Elizabeth

  27. Image for Julie R Julie R

    KariAnne, Thank you, thank you, thank you for your inspiration! I love to read your blog first thing every morning. It just so happens that this topic is perfect for me because just a couple of weeks ago, I published my first blog post. And I have to say, I have a LOT to learn!! But, if I can eventually be half the blogger that you are, I'll know I've won the lottery. Your message is just what I need to keep on going and to be patient with my progress.

  28. Image for Angela Angela

    Terrific blog post! I can't believe you ever struggled with this but reading your post puts everything in perspective for me! Always loved you ..... always will! Happy Day!~~Ang

  29. Image for Kathy Neblett Kathy Neblett

    I love your post! It's entertaining and honest, and it doesn't get much better than that!the pictures are also gorgeous. I'm trying to get a blog up and running but I'm so technically challenged that I get discouraged and put it off. I'd love to go to a blogging conference but I have no peeps, so at least I feel a little bit better that if I come up to a group you're in, you might take pity on me and welcome me to the conversation :) Have a great day! Kathy Neblett

  30. Image for Marlene Larson Marlene Larson

    Oh, how I look forward to reading your blogs. Your words are refreshing and exemplify who you are - a real blessing to the world. I had been thinking about starting a blog and continually encouraged by my husband to actually do it. So, yesterday I enrolled at Anoka Ramsey in an online course "Blogging and Podcasting for Beginners". Seeing your blog today is confirmation that NOW is the time to start. Love you girl! :-)

  31. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I'm so glad you decided to go back downstairs that second morning, and give it a go again. I'm so happy you stuck with it...because you are still the first blog I read in the morning. I scroll through my emails until I find you...and then click over...and there you are with another wonderful story! And they never disappoint! I might have blogged 20 years ago or so...but wait...there were no blogs! Now...not so much. So keep on writing...I'm positive you've got thousands of stories...and keep wearing those earrings...I think that's the key! ;)

  32. Image for Cindy Barganier Cindy Barganier

    OH. Mama Bear in me so totally just rose but on the back two and gave those wanna be bloggers THE EYE. Bet we don't even know who they are but we sure 'nuff know you. And I just gulped real big knowing that I am weeks away from my first bloggers conference and haven't found any peeps yet to hang with. Keep your phone on that first night. :)

  33. Image for Marty Walden Marty Walden

    Just reading through these comments is an inspiration! What amazing women you inspire and encourage, just by being you! You were the very first person I met at the Southern Bloggers Conference, which Amy Buchanan lured me into! That conference rocked my world and set me on a path to encourage other women to be content in their homes, no matter the size or style. Besides the fact that your home is amazing, your writing outstanding and your pics to die for, you are genuine and caring and full of life. You are a joy, my friend. And when I go to Snap! I'm going to remember this post!

  34. Image for

    You made me laugh - again! your creativity, eye for design, great story-telling makes you a successful blogger.....What comes through the pretty pictures and pink lipstick is not the success story, because that's a given, but more so the woman who makes someone feel good about themselves....and that can't be taught...I would make the trip to a Blogger Conference just to hug those big hoop earrings and smile at the bedazzled flip-flops and in my best New York accent let everyone know that a true "Rock Star" is in the house! Keep inspiring people like me who are still finding their way in Blogland! Lois

  35. Image for Eva Eva

    Awesome! Awesomeness! I going to read thru the comments snd see who relates ad ask if we can become pals...commenting on each other's blogs. You're fun. Thanks!

  36. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    I love your blog! I'm so happy to see your page pop up in my email Thayer I stop, get a cup of coffee, and stop everything while I savor both your writing and the coffee. You inspire me with your genuine love for what you do, your real life stories, and your enduring sense of humor. We can never stop learning and you help me do that with every post. Thanks for expressing your unique take on life!

  37. Image for Cori M Cori M

    I wanted to thank you for this writing this. I am very excited to be at the chat tomorrow. I have thought about blogging for awhile now and I have NO IDEA how to get started. I am a mother of 5, aging from 4 to 17. I design, bake, clean, craft, and I have so many people telling me I need to start a blog. I want to start one just for me, if a few people like it, then awesome. If they don't, no worries. It is weird though as I usually am a very confident person, but when it comes to this, I am very scared. I am a person who needs all information before I start anything, so I think, deep down, that is why I haven't really done this yet. Thank you again, so much, for posting all of this. I just spoke to my husband again about it last night and the first thing I see on the computer this morning is this email. I am guessing it is a sign. Thank you again.

  38. Image for BrocanteuseRose BrocanteuseRose

    Oh my goodness, this post made me teary, and a tinsy bit angry. (OK a lot angry) Seriously – actual tears and growls. I just want to march right up to those people at that conference (back in time) link arms with you and kick those snotty meanies in the shins!!! Or pull out my version of a T-Rex. Of course in reality I am not nearly so brave, but I could at least hang out and cry with you. :)

  39. Image for Shirl' Anderson Shirl' Anderson

    Boy am I glad you didn't give up! You make my day everyday with your humor, wit and inspiration. Love you girl....thanks for always making me feel like a rockstar.

  40. Image for April April

    I started my blog as a fun place to share with my friends and family about our home remodel, what recipes I've been cooking up and staying in touch with some funny stories. Like you, I had no intention of making money with it. With a lot of pressure from outside and also a lot of other people acting like it was a total waste of time I started making changes to impress everyone else. For some reason, everyone thinks because I continued to be a stay at home mom after my kids went to school I needed for them to find something meaningful to keep myself busy because my little blog was inconsequential to them. I had built this fun, simple blog, but felt pushed into turning it into something sleek and professional before I knew how. Now the site is kinda messy, there is always some technical problem I don't have time to figure out and I hardly ever post because my confidence is so shaken. Thanks for showing me even the most popular girl on the block had to work past some confidence issues too. To be honest, writing is easy, I've been learning how to take and edit better photos, I have a million stories and projects I've finished just waiting to post, but I hate and really don't have time for the whole technical aspect of it. It's not my background or anything I'm interested in at all so it takes me forever to change things and maintain it. Did you ever have problems with this? Did you build your first site yourself, or did you buy one predesigned. I know you had someone redo your current site last year, but what about the one you first started?

  41. Image for Jeannette Jeannette

    I rarely comment but I just wanted to say I'll bet you wouldn't be received so coldly now!!! Those same people are probably some of your followers and commenters but I think that experience just goes to show the "click" mentality here in blogland. Your blog is one of the most interesting and professionally done so I guess your perserverance paid off in lots of ways. Best wishes for continued success. Sincerely, Jeannette

  42. Image for Michele/Finch Rest Michele/Finch Rest

    This was so well written and there isn't a single readere who can't identify to most of it in one way or another. I love that most about you - that you always keep it so real and heartfelt. I just had my 2nd bloggaversary - it came and went with not much fanfare. I always just tell myself I am doing it just for me and that I love some folks care enough to visit me. That way I don't overload, overdo, fuss, worry or spend TOO much of my life working on it. So far so good. I know if I ever choose to do attend a conference (such fun it would seem) I would look for YOU first. You are the one I think I should like to meet in person the very most. Besides, getting a chance to actually in person see your crystal flip flops, rock star lipstick and your famous earrings? How could one not want that?

  43. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    I cannot imagine anyone acting like that to you KariAnne! You are the most amazing person EVER! I'm dragging my feet about going to Haven this year. I don't have any peeps to take along and I don't do well on my own. I'm scared I would give up and go home - not sure I have it in me to go it alone like you did!

  44. Image for Marian Marian

    Seriously? That happened to you? At Haven? I am shocked! Shocked I say! Was it a colder conference the first year? I went alone and did nothing but make friends. (Well, I did see you and Linda pretty much right off the bat) In fact, it was the first time since 3rd grade that other people reached out to ME and invited me to sit with them. Usually I am the one saying "Come sit over here by me" because I don't want anyone to feel left out or alone, especially at party. But now that I think about it, the pre-conference cocktail party was a bit chillier in the friend making than the rest of things. Maybe I was just too thick headed to have my feelings hurt. Or maybe I didn't care because I had already met so many of my heroes. Oh I know! I played the Instagram game for the month before the conference where you posted a themed photo every day to the group board, so I just decided to go meet all the girls I had been reading about. That at least gave me something to do besides feel weird. But hard things just make us stronger, once we figure them out. I'd say you made up for every scrap of loneliness you felt by being the nicest, most open, most welcoming woman any of us had ever met last year. Way to turn your heartache into gold, baby. The Other Marian

  45. Image for Mrs. Smith Mrs. Smith

    Despite the negative experience, would you say blog conferences help grow your audience? I have been blogging away for 3 and a half years without nearly as much readership. I feel as deflated as you did that day but I keep going because I love it and it is good for me. Thank you for sharing and I l.o.v.e that kitchen island!

  46. Image for Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

    Hi Kari Anne, I enjoyed your uniformed recollection of the Blog starting days. I myself would love to read some great information about blogging. My actual blog needs some critical and I say Critical technical help the poor thing! I am crafting and sharing and actually have a fair amount of visitors that I so much appreciate but have never been to a conference although have been invited. I would like to interact more with other bloggers. I know how you felt at that first conference...but look at you now you are one of the bloggers that I have respect for admiring your blog site as well as your friendly and warming personality. I should have named my blog " I should be writing" that is my first job which I neglect seeing that I love to decorate and craft! I will be so looking forward to your informative upcoming post! Thank you for sharing Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  47. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Hi Karianne, You know I read your blog daily and look so forward to a "Cup of Joy" or "daily dose" each day. I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have started my own blog. Thank you for taking a chance on me and giving me your time and knowledge and inspiration!!! I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!!! You don't even know how much you touch people and how much you brighten their day!!! I know I'm not even expressing with the right words here, but again wanted to say Thank you for the joy!! Lisa

  48. Image for Sue Sue

    I am very happy that you got back out there and did what you came to do. It is sad to me, though, how you were treated. Sounds like high school and I am WAY too old for that - LOL. I recently read a similar story from Ruth at Living Well Spending Less, and frankly, this does not sound like people I would want to be a part of - both of you ladies are so kind and genuine, but posts like this make me wonder why I follow blogs at all. Sue

  49. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    Oh make me smile, sometimes wipe a tear or ten away, reach for my teacup and look forward to the dose of humanity that you inject into my life. My own blog is in it's 'planning' stages - I wasn't sure anyone wanted to read about my hybrid design styles, after being married and living on the border of Kuwait and Saudi, I have my own stories to tell but they're a different kind - but after enough encouragement, I decided I'd try. Funny how we women can raise children, be the light of our husband's eyes but be truly fearful of 'not being enough' in front of our peers. Thank you for being an example of that process. You're really special, and I hope you know that. My daughter is young...only 20 years old...and she started her blog the last couple of days, and it's up and running. She's got all of the usual fears you'd expect, but she's an impressive photographer, and she's got photoshop wrapped up - her time overseas (those 60 degree summers, celcius, are HOT!) and her passion for creating allowed her to spend a lot of time blending images. She's been photographing as an amateur since she was 15 and saw high school graduates congregating on the school playground, with other pro photographers doing what she thought was 'dumb poses'. She offered to do some freebies, word got around, and these days she makes actual money from her shoots. Then I gave her a Silhouette Cameo. Haha. And her love of vinyl happened. And cards. The cards I keep on display because they're more like artwork. Needless to say, I'm insanely proud and I'm going to shamelessly plug her blog here and encourage y'all to visit it (she's got freebie printables - think Katherine Hepburn, plus more and lots more coming). I'm nervous about beginning MY blog and I'm 41 years old. She's 20. Remember how important being validated was at that age? Thanks so much again Karianne. And that walmart business card? I hope you have one framed with these thoughts, with this story, around it, somewhere in your office. I know I would..just to remember where I've been. Have a great day everyone!

  50. Image for Gwen Gwen

    So, first off... that happened to me a few times a Haven. I can totally handle people not knowing me {which many did, much to my relief} but the looking around for other more popular people really made me see understand certain bloggers character. I'll take that with me going forward. Second, I know exactly what you mean. I've had that attitude but with my entire blog. I've looked around and seen the amazing content that people create and had this voice in my head telling me that I just could never compare, could never learn enough, could never achieve what I see others doing out there. But now... Now that I'm healthier physically, so is my mind. I'm literally, consciously working on breaking down some very specific limiting beliefs and its starting to free my mind. I'm excited and I just can't wait to see what will happen with this new mindset. I know your story resonates with so many of us and that is your gift! Keep on, my funny, tingered friend!

  51. Image for Jane Jane

    Kari, I felt like you were writing the script for my worst nightmare! I've met so many bloggers from all over the country and yet, I am so frightened to go to Haven or any big group thing. I just KNOW I would have caught the first plane home if this had happened to me! Especially if my family were on the phone, I would want to go back to my "safe" haven! lol! I really hope you come to the Midwest happening in the spring. I know if I walk up to any group with you in it, you will hug me and make me feel welcome. Thanks for such a great post. I think you have given all of us a lot of confidence! :) XO, Jane

  52. Image for Deme @ House For Five Deme @ House For Five

    This makes me love you so much more than I already do! You had such amazing words for me in our blog consultation a few months ago and truly made me feel like I was a rock star :) Your blog is such a happy spot on the web, because it is 100% you. I love you. I love it. And I love this post. I bet those shoes were so fab!

  53. Image for Ursula @ Home Made by Carmona Ursula @ Home Made by Carmona

    Whoa... that was full and deep, and raw! I TRULY appreciate you sharing, because we have all felt like we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable in some way, at some point in our blogging experience, and I love love love that you put it into perspective. Thank you so much for sharing!

  54. Image for Vesna Gavrilovic Vesna Gavrilovic

    This is such a wonderful story Karianne! You make me smile and cry at the same time and I totally understand how you felt... But, your blog is sooooo great and you are too! Thank for sharing this great story!! Have a lovely week! Hugs, Vesna

  55. Image for Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY

    Thank you for writing this. I actually teared up a little reading about your first night at the conference. That would probably be me as well. I'm super shy, and attending a conference as a brand new blogger is definitely intimidating. I'm hoping to attend one this year, but am definitely terrified of going at it alone. It's encouraging to see that things got better though:)

  56. Image for Peggy Zortman Peggy Zortman

    I am sitting here with tears running down my face thinking what a strong, beautiful person you are. And it was their loss, not yours. I cannot wait to see what you have been up to each day. You are a story teller extraordinaire and so full of creative ideas. I have been thinking about a blog, praying about a blog. But I have no idea where to start. So I will be right here tomorrow waiting for you. Thank you, KariAnne.

  57. Image for Colleen P Colleen P

    Karianne, First, let me tell you that I just adore you and your decorating and writing style...and if I ever get a chance to meet you in person, I will hug you! So, just be ready for that, haha. Your post sets off a series of emotions for me. I too, like someone else mention above, am thinking about not blogging much anymore. I've been blogging since 2010, but I don't have the time to dedicate to it, because I work outside the home 40 hours a I think for me I have finally decided that it's never really going to be a business, but a hobby. After nearly 4 years and only 49 followers, I am doing something wrong and that is partly because I don't have the time to dedicate to it, market it, etc. I think others may agree, that when they put so much time and effort into a blog post that nobody reads or comments on, it's very discouraging. I am adopting a boxer dog, Charlie who is coming home on Saturday so my focus is shifting. 2014 will be the year of cleaning up, downsizing and living a more simple life, purging things that suck my time and instead focus on spending my free time with my husband and two boxers and allowing my love of crafting and home decor to be my release, my outlet and not my stresser. Whether I hang up my blog or not, I will forever be a huge fan of you as a person (even though we've never met and your blog :) I look forward to reading it everyday! To the other ladies who are trying to get the nerve to go for it, just do it!! Figure it out as you go along, that's what we've all done.

  58. Image for Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life

    KariAnne -- well, the first mini-blog conference I went to was last spring's Midwest Meetup and YOU were friendly to everyone. And when I went to Haven, sans blog yet, you remembered me and kept introducing me to people that not only I should meet, but that should meet ME. You even told one of them that I was a Rock Star (I don't think I've stopped blushing yet). So thanks for not only talking the talk, but walking the walk too.

  59. Image for Melissa @ A Prudent Life Melissa @ A Prudent Life

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! I'm going to my first conference in April and was terrified when I bought my ticket because I didn't know any other bloggers. I'm SOO not good at walking up to a random group of people, but I thought the whole process would be a good growth experience. Now I'll remember your story, have an awesome attitude, and realize it's not MY loss if I'm not cool enough for someone :)

  60. Image for Colleen P Colleen P

    I just checked to see what/where on Haven this year...sold out. It's not until August so that is surprising. Karianne, what other blog conferences are you attending this year?

  61. Image for mary@athomeonthebay mary@athomeonthebay

    I remember feeling the same way at my first conference. I didn't know anyone and had trouble fitting in until some nice bloggers approached me, invited me to dinner and took me under their wings. I was so appreciative.

  62. Image for Amber Koehn Amber Koehn

    This post is so encouraging. I started my blog almost a year ago, full of joy and determination, which quickly melted into self-pity and discouragement. I keep flip flopping on whether to keep it up. I put so much time into each post and hardly anyone reads it or comments. Sometimes I wonder, am I kidding myself? What I have learned is that things take time. I love doing it and that's what matters most. I have a BA in fine art and its taken me 10 years to figure out how to use it, by golly. I have so much to learn about blogging. Looking forward to this series!

  63. Image for Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste

    I LOVE your post Karianne!!I wish this post was longer...just simply didn't want to stop reading it! I have never been to a blog conference but I hope to get to one soon and hope to meet you in person!Thanks for sharing your story!Have a fantastic day!

  64. Image for Linda Leyble Linda Leyble

    Hi Karianne...thanks so much for posting this. It's really a wonderful and heartwarming story. I went to my first blogging seminar (too scared to go to a big conference!) about a year and a half ago. 1) I was late because I had trouble finding the place 2) I still had a Blogger blog and 3) I was the oldest person in the room. It was with Holly Becker - from Decor8 and she's like the queen of Design Blogs. Anyway, I only had 1 "peep" there - a fellow blogger who was the first person who ever commented on my blog (read - very, very important person!). She unfortunately has given up blogging. But I kept going. I didn't know as much as the other people in the room (photography-wise...Photoshop-wise...HTML-wise)...I didn't have a DSLR camera (now I do!)...I didn't understand why a lot of the participants used washi tape (still don't) and I didn't understand why photos of just mood boards could get you fame and fortune (I do them sometimes...but I'd rather wait...and show a whole room transformed by my creativity!). So - I really got a chill when I read your post...and felt so much better about myself and what I do. I always did...but the fact that I stayed with it...and didn't give up - that's the most important message. I may do a post on this - and link up your post, if that's OK. I think it's so important! Thanks...Linda

    1. Image for Dan R Morris Dan R Morris

      We get first timers to our blogging conferences all the time. I love that. I would say to remember that when it comes to your blog, you're the CEO, you're the rockstar. Hold your head high at conferences. You have stuff to teach too. We all learn from each other.

  65. Image for Jenny Sellars Jenny Sellars

    KariAnne-you were one of the reasons I went to the blogger conference in Raleigh in 2012. I was so excited to meet you, and you were AWESOME!! I cannot believe anyone did not immediately love you!! ;) As an aside---where did you get the fabric for your curtains? We are building a house, which I will start blogging about soon, and the fabric is PERFECT for my dining room!! PLEASE SHARE!! Jenny

  66. Image for Charity Charity

    This is such an inspiring post. I'm a new blogger and sometimes get intimidated with all the well established blogs, and this is just what I needed to read. Thank you for that!

  67. Image for cheapdiva cheapdiva

    Look at all these responses and KNOW people want you in their lives! We women are our own worst enemies - we need to embrace each other. Since I am considerably older than many of you - when you are in your 50's you KNOW it's about having the best shoes!!! Seriously, I just "bought" a site a couple of weeks ago and still haven't done anything yet but this post is the impetus for getting my blog up and running! So next time I respond I'll have my site listed. THANK YOU for the encouragement to all of us "newbies"!!

  68. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I went alone and slept with people that I didn't know and felt like this several times. I think you're awesome and really hate this happened to you. It reminds me of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when the sales people did not want to wait on her....Mistake, Big Mistake! Hugs, Debbie

  69. Image for Christine Christine

    Oh Karianne, I did not like reading about how sad you were and crying in your room. Poor girl, but look how great you are and always will be blog or no blog! xox

  70. Image for J J

    I am not a blogger, and follow only a few, but yours is one I read without fail. You paint such a wonderful picture with each blog, and I look forward to seeing each new post in my inbox. Sometimes i laugh; sometimes i cry, and i enjoy your cheerful perspectives. Big hugs to you, and I think you are awesome for remaining true to yourself and putting on a brave front and not giving up. How wonderful of you to want to help new writers. Thanks for the enjoyments I have had reading your posts.

  71. Image for Nicki Nicki

    I have been thinking about going to a blogging conference, because I want to learn. But I have been afraid to go alone, I don't know personally any other bloggers. After reading this post, I don't think I have the nerve to go, and if I do, I am definitely skipping everything else but the actual conference part. I have been thinking about taking my husband with me, who is a television personality and can talk to anybody. I don't know I am scared! I need to send you an email because I paid last summer to have a consult with you about my blog, and we played tag back and forth and the actual phone consult never happened. I want to reschedule, but am so busy during the school year, so I was hoping we could do it over the summer. Can't wait to see what advice you all have to give tomorrow!

  72. Image for Bobbi Jo Bobbi Jo

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you! I've been following blogs for about a year now, teasing myself with idea that I could do this. I could blog. I finally sat down and tried doing it, a little more complicated than I thought. So I've been playing around with my blog since January 3rd, 2014 trying to make it perfect before putting myself "out there". I finally came to the conclusion that if I didn't just put it out there I would wear myself out and give up. So as of today, (just a few hours ago!) I put it out there! It felt great! I've gotten some much inspiration from you and so many other bloggers out there and truly that is a big part of why I want to blog, to inspire and be apart of the blogging community. Thank you for your post today, it was something I definitely needed to read.

  73. Image for

    That crew missed an opportunity to meet the real thing… Great post…my first year as a blogger has been better than it could have been because you are my bloggy friend. I can't wait to hug & jump up & down with you at Haven. I'll keep a look out for those flip flops! xx

  74. Image for Kathy d Kathy d

    Holey cow! This is perfect timing. I have just started to create a blog. I met with the designer today and we are working on it. I have so many ideas and so much to learn, and you know..... Thank you for this. Kathy

  75. Image for Mary Feguson Mary Feguson

    Karianne, I want to thank you for this post. Sometimes I feel that my posts are not good enough for bloggers to read. I was very scared at first and my friend Phyllis from Aroundthehouse encourage and helped me blog. I don't post everyday and sometimes only once a month. But, I really like blogging and can hardly wait to read the posts. I have met a lot of wonderful ladies who have become blogging friends and I treasure their friendships. You are very helpful and I will be reading Blogging Tips. Once again, thank you so much. Mary

  76. Image for Heather Heather

    Don't ever forget there were a couple of girls there who loved you dearly from the moment they hugged your neck in the hotel lobby, claimed you as their third sister and haven't stopped loving you since…. even if we did give you a little grief about your business cards. ;) Heather

  77. Image for Gwen, The Makerista Gwen, The Makerista

    I will never forget the feelings I had the first day of my first blog conference. I had just started blogging less than a month before. It was a smaller conference, and it felt like going to a new high school or something. You think putting your life on the internet is hard, but stepping out and going to a blog conference is harder. Beautifully written, Karianne.

  78. Image for Elisha @ Pneumatic Addict Furniture Elisha @ Pneumatic Addict Furniture

    Thank you for sharing this Karianne! My first conference was Haven last year. On the attendee Facebook page I read from dozens of women who were initially nervous but then "made tons of life-long friends". I didn't have that experience. In fact, I felt like a tag along and an amateur most of the time, but that's okay. I'm still glad I went. I learned SO much and my blog has improved because of it (Honestly, I enjoyed the session you taught the most). I plan on going again this year and STILL expect no one to have ever heard of me, but I look forward to it regardless. I hesitated to write a comment because I figured you had so many to go through already, I didn't want to just add to the pile, but I was so grateful for your honesty. Thank you! It makes me feel like maybe I'm not such a loser.

  79. Image for Teresa Teresa

    This is a wonderful story Karianne but let me just say this.....I know without a doubt that if you had been one of those ladies sitting around the table at that conference, you would have reached out to that lone blogger and made her feel 1.Welcomed 2.Special 3.Part of the group......because that's who you are, I'm so happy that there are people like you in the world, it just makes it a more sparkly fun and loving place!

  80. Image for Kari Kari

    I was going to leave a comment, but it took me two weeks to get to the bottom of the page. Now that I'm here, in the "Leave a Comment" section, I can't remember what I was going to say. Oh. Yeah! You being you is what drew me to this blog. Look at all these people leaving a comment! I mean...2 weeks to get here! Wow! That's like, I don't know, a stand in line for a ticket to see a ROCK STAR! ;0) Love ya, KariAnne. Kari on...

  81. Image for A Romantic Porch A Romantic Porch

    What an absolutely darling darling darling story. I'm sorry you cried. I started my blog six years ago and have longed to be able to attend a conference. I'm a terrible perfectionist and want so many things to be perfect about my blog and would love to go and learn more. I've been terribly afraid the very thing you mentioned would happen to me. Now I'm really afraid to go! Because it absolutely probably definitely would!!! Thank you for your story and I'm anxious to hop over and read your next post. Thank you dear for your inspiration. Rachel

  82. Image for Vickie McCarty Vickie McCarty

    I REALLY needed to read this! Although I blog because I like to write about all kinds of things, it helps to know that maybe ONE person who reads enjoyed it or was helped by something you said. I have pointed to the delete button several times thinking it is taking too much time for so little results. The blogging world is intimidating. It seems if you don't have connections you just won't get anywhere. Thanks for being so honest with us. To blog or not to blog.....that will continue to be the question!

  83. Image for Debbie @Dewdrop Gables Debbie @Dewdrop Gables

    What a wonderful story! And I'm so glad you took the plunge to just be you for the rest of that first conference...I can't imagine blogging without getting to read Thistlewood when I can. And look at you now!! Such an inspiration for so many people, and you love every one of your readers. That is so special. Debbie :)

  84. Image for kate@willowinteriors kate@willowinteriors

    As I complete newbie, I am so glad I found you and this series! I'm so new that I don't have a mean comment yet or even Walmart business cards. But I will pin this so that when I do get my first mean comment I will pull this up and reread to remember where I live and why I blog. Thank you!!! PS And there is no way in hell I would have been able to walk in to a blogger conference by myself...I don't care how blingged out my feet were...great job! :)

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