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  1. Julia, Happy New Year! I am sure it is frustrating and difficult when you see that blog views are down, but please know that you have a strong steady group of followers of which I am included. So many blogs have sold themselves out to meet the sponsors needs and requests. But you have not done that. I appreciate that you share your talents as well as lives struggles. We all have them, so why try to hide them. So thank you for being you, thank you for sharing your life and thank you for not selling your blog short. I look forward to what you have in store for 2016….I will continue to enjoy checking in with you….as I am sure others will as well.

    1. Thanks Amy! Comments like yours really make my day. I don’t like doing sponsored content unless it really really fits in with my family and home and then there is actually nothing better than getting paid for something you truly already love and use. I won’t do any of those forced posts for sure because they make me feel yucky. Thanks so much for sticking around and Happy New Year

  2. i was nodding in agreement at everything you said in the beginning- yes yes yes i feel it all! and i LOVE your goal and think i should do the same. and i loved the year in review and especially the update on lilly. i am so glad she is doing well- her card was the sweetest!!!!! and the picture of you to end it was the BEST.
    again, i am so sorry about monkey. ๐Ÿ™
    love you so much and am looking forward to a great year ahead for both of us!

  3. Wow, you have had quite the interesting year! Big congrats on the magazine features! I am so glad your daughter is doing so much better and that she appreciates all you have done to get her to this point. So sorry to hear about your Monkey passing away. She was fortunate to find a Mom for her last years who was willing and able to make the extra effort to let her come into your family on her terms. As for the shake ups in the blogging world, please don’t get discouraged. I believe readers can see through a lot for those “glossy” new blogs. I, for one, am always looking for something that is written by a real person living a real life and your blog fits that bill. Wish you and your family continued success, health and happiness und eine Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr!

    1. Dir auch eine Frohes Neues Jahr Karin. And thanks so much for sticking around. It’s a struggle at times and I hate that I had to cut back on commenting and socializing with other blogs but I just couldn’t do it all.

  4. Oh, yes. Totally true about the page views and paying. I just keep ignoring all that stuff and trying to keep having fun with the blog. Loved the little recap. You have to be so stinking proud of those magazine features. #dream

    Wishing you the best in 2016.

    1. Happy New Year to you too. I was hoping to do some SEO work in 2016 as well, it’s stuff I hate doing but obviously need to get done.

  5. Happy New Year 2016 here it comes, Hope your New Year is Great. I love reading your posts and watching your family grow. Thank you for helping me dream ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Happy New Year! Lots of ups and downs for sure….hoping for only good things for you in 2016! (and a magical giant increase in pageviews for all of us ;))

  7. Awww! So cue and funny! Happy New Years Eve friend! I’m glad to share it with you! All the best in 2016! You will be my go-to with all my new kitty question lol!

    1. Thanks so much Summer! Kitty questions are always welcome. I tried to comment on your blog but it’s not letting me type in your fields. I will try again later too. Happy New Year!

  8. Please hang in there-love your blog! So good to hear news from your family….the kids are beautiful. We lost one of our dear dogs this year, so I know how hard that is. Happy New Year!

  9. As a reader of your blog and many others, I feel the fee’s have changed many blogs.
    They are more like reading an impersonal magazine in the ob-gyn waiting room than catching up with a friend.
    Many have gone “big time” and sell to us or show us their latest book rather than being personal. I call it going commercial.
    And I understand the fees have to be paid. I read most blogs from my phone and it gets so annoying with all the ad’s cutting in.
    But I would miss your family and you. Hope you stick with it. And find a way to paint.
    Barbara Ann

    1. It’s so much easier to stay personal when the blogger gets lovely comments like yours Barbara Ann. A lot of the readers have stopped commenting on most of the blogs which at times is hard for a blogger too because they don’t even know if anyone is even there. So I appreciate all the comments so so much.
      And I do know what you mean with the ads. They frustrate me too but they are such a necessity for me and pretty much most other bloggers too. It’s such a frustrating cycle at times.
      Happy New Year.

  10. Hi Julia, I’m Pat and I have even following you for a while now! I love what you do and how you inspire me! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. Congratulations for making it into not just one, but two magazines WOW, how cool is that!!! You deserve it, keep up the great work. Happy 2016.

    1. Thanks so much Pat. I really appreciate hearing from you. It’s a special treat for me to hear from someone who’s been following for a while. It makes me feel like I’m not talking to myself.
      Happy New Year Pat.

  11. Happy New Year to your Family.

    Keep on doing what you are doling. Its the right mix of design and most importantly, sharing your life with all its challenges. This is what keeps your blog real, not just fluff.

  12. Happy New Year Julia to you and your beautiful family. I love your openness and honesty and love the variety of content on your blog. I love your pet stories, health info on your beautiful daughter , trips to Germany, creative and inspiring projects and your wonderful sense of humor. Stay strong and beautiful! Sheryl

  13. Happy New Year, Julia!!!

    Your blog is the BEST!!!! I see so many also, but yours is the only one I follow consistently. You have a wonderful sense of design, good how-to tips, great pets-are-family articles and a bit of family news.

    Sarah

  14. I had to comment here because I feel so much of the same about the blog world. It’s so exhausting to keep up with it all. And I crashed at the end of the year just from the fatigue of working so hard and feeling like I’m making no progress. After a three week break, I’m feeling better and have resolved the same as you…to just be ok with it. To put my head down, work hard, and get back to the things I love. And just believe and hope the traffic will follow ???? Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your heart!!

    1. It is exhausting for sure. And now we all have to tackle the next draining project which is called taxes. Ugh! I hate it. Happy New Year!

  15. Awww my lovely, you’ve had such a great year with so many accomplishments! I know the landscape of blogging changes so much all the time (it frustrates me too) but I think it’s when you just stay real to who you are and what you want to do that your blog will remain a beacon amongst the glitz of all the rest. Your blog is one of my favourites and it’s your authenticity that always draws me back for more. Sending many wishes of happiness to you and your family in the new year xxx

    1. Staying real is definitely what I need to keep telling myself. Your blog is one of my favorites too. Happiest of New Year to you too. I’m also hoping that one of these years we finally get to meet in person.

  16. Julia, I rarely comment on blogs, but I have to say SOMETHING in reply to this entry. I read blogs every single morning religiously, cup of hot coffee in my left hand, right hand scrolling away. What I have found recently is that I am skipping altogether the veteran bloggers who originally drew me in with their DIYs and family talk. Now it’s almost completely sponsored material. Like, every single day! I catch myself rolling my eyes, especially when I see the overworked, overthought and downright scripted explanation of how they were “in the market for” and “was buying something similar anyway, and INSERT COMPANY HERE reached out to me to try their new product.” I mean, I understand the manna from heaven called free goods, but at least pepper in some reality and let reality serve as your foundation. You have always, always managed to do that, which is why I now click you first every day. You tell us when your husband is mad, upset or whatever. That is REAL. You admit your children are not perfect but are loved. That is REAL. You tell us you don’t have it in the budget for a particular project. And that one is REALLY REAL. What I’m trying to say is, please don’t change a thing. You are perfect as is. God bless you and your family.

  17. That was a very sweet present from your daughter.. good to hear she is doing better
    Sorry for your loss..
    Those curtains.. those spaces you created look great. Congrats on the magazine spreads.
    the last throwback pic is hilariously adorable.
    Have a Happy 2016

    1. I don’t think they’ll stop asking us to pay because there are enough people that do ๐Ÿ™ such a bummer. It makes me so mad. Yes lets hope for better traffic!

  18. Wow…I missed the new chandelier post….that is spectacular. I love reading your blog, even though your style is very different from mine. Happy New Year!!

    1. Thanks and it’s awesome that you read my blog even though our styles are different. Happy New year to you too.

  19. I really do hope you stick with blogging. You have a great unique voice as a blogger – I love the German culture you include, your love of your cats, and I’ve been surprised how fascinating I find your daughter’s story. (Sorry, fascinating sounds cold – I’m definitely empathetic, it’s just not something I expected to find so interesting as a non-parent, only child.)

    Also, as someone who is slowly working on a condo, I like the scale of your home and the fact you have stayed in it. Continually tweaking the frosting on the cake instead of baking from scatch, so to speak.

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