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GOMI

June 11, 2014

I spent the last day and a half feeling a bit down about blogging.  Not the blog itself and not the ritual of posting.  I actually love creating content and have never felt that it's a chore or a burden the way some others have at times.  The problem is, I'm feeling a bit deflated about the public arena I've subjected myself to.  In the four+ years I've been writing in this little corner, I never once felt anything but kindness.  But the other night I fell into the dark hole of the interwebs and stumbled upon a piece of the internet that I wish I hadn't.  A blog basher site.  I read more "she seems" and "I bet" than I cared to.  Yet I couldn't turn away. 

The more I read the more disgusted I became.  Because the people they were talking about are my people.  They are your people.  They are people.  Just trying to do the best they can do.  These are not the amazing and supportive and encouraging readers that I have seen show up not just here but on countless other blogs lending insight and continuing the conversation in the comments or through email.  These are self-proclaimed lurkers who sit on the sidelines casting judgement.  I'm more sad for them.


They will rag on one woman for having too much, another for wanting too much, and another for being happy with what she already has and offering nothing new.  There is no balance in hatred.  No middle ground when your heart is full of comparison.  They rag about women posting too many new outfits in one feed then turn around and mock me for wearing an old dress or posting uninspiring outfits.  People who want to fester in negativity will always find a way to let their hatred shine.  If picking people apart makes you feel better about yourself, just for the sport of it, then go for it.  I have a whole community, both on an offline, with whom I share a connection with.  Others who are like minded and encouraging.  If you find yourself needing a darker commonality to feel a part of things, I think I've found you a seat.  Right from the comfort of your own cleverly concealed username.

Well, Get Off My Internets, this one is for you.


 I honestly never really gave much thought to my "online persona" because I've always felt that who I am in real life is congruent with what I share about myself here in blogland.  Because I am who I am.  But I realized through some of the comments I found on the thread, dedicated to picking me apart no less, that only a piece of me is truly represented here and that can sometimes give a hazy picture.  That's never been my intention.  I go through phases.  I tend to share things in spurts.  I don't over analyze what goes up here beforehand.  Perhaps I should.  I doubt I'll start. 

I thought it would be helpful to get all personal and address some of the biggest idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies my counterparts felt stood out to them the most.  Some of which are completely accurate, others are far off the mark.  Overall, the thread is a healthy dose of criticism which while I might not exactly welcome I can certainly take.  I can say that it really stung to read the poster who asked to "have my "thread" moved to another forum in order to receive more traffic" because she has a hearty dislike for the way this #skinnybitch blogs."

Inconsistencies/Can't figure me out
I'm fairly confidant that there is not a single person who meets me who would say I wasn't genuinely warm and welcoming.  I'm friendly and unpretentious by nature.  Laid back and approachable are words I think most would use to describe me.  I find it most interesting that this doesn't always come across to you online.  Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that there are countless people who don't like me.  I'm not for everyone.  I get that. But it was harsh to read that some people find me high and mighty when I consider myself quite the opposite. 

I'm a real and complex person being judged by a one dimensional platform. 

I like nice things and I save for them.  I recently purchased three pairs of shoes at the Tory Burch sale (look, no affiliate links) but did you know that I haven't bought a pair of shoes for myself in over a year before that?  And maybe one pair in the three years before that.  To me, that's not inconsistent, it's saving for what I want and then splurging on it when the time is right.  I treat my children's wardrobes the same.  They wear the same few items over and over again.  Their grandparents splurge on some bigger ticket items sometimes.  That's okay.  I also purchase 99% of their clothes at consignment shops, outlets, and ebay because I know the short window of wear.  I also received an enormous station wagon load of hand me downs from my sister when Tagg was born.  So while it may be misleading to say the sum of their entire wardrobes could be recreated with $200, to say that I have spent that on the past year for clothing for them is not false. 

I have never intended to give the impression that we are financially struggling in order to gain camaraderie with certain readers only to turn around and flaunt expensive things on parade via instagram.  My husband and I both previously worked in a feast or famine industry and I can assure you that we know full well what not having a sufficient cash flow means.  Would it surprise you to know that I did not purchase a single item of clothes for Wells until she was one?  A monogrammed tee shirt a friend was selling and a pair of pink boots.  And not consistently (even including second hand items) until last fall when she started school.  I'm not asking for an award.  We are all in different circumstances.  Many times our own circumstances change.  Just because you have some nice things doesn't mean that you can't lust after more.  You can't have it all.  We all make budget choices and I just think it's important to remember that you can't always judge a book by it's cover. 

And as for Tagg's boots, you can rest assured that NO ONE is forcing those rubber shoes onto his sweaty little toes.  He is one hundred and ten percent smitten with his blue boots and I see no reason to challenge him.  I liken this to the superhero capes we see many little boys running around in by choice.  For those who were so overly concerned with his feet, we have switched him to a sock-less and more appropriate shoe for summer.  There are bigger battles to be won than taking away a pair of beloved boots from a two year old because the label offends some. I would make the same argument for a little girl's beloved pink dress that she picked out of her closet and put on all by herself, save for the zipper.  If this makes me appear pretentious than I apologize.  It was never my intent.

I don't like to cook and I don't want to learn.  But my husband loves good food and I love him so I'm trying.  Meal planning doesn't have to solely be for passionate chefs.  I credit my husband in almost all of my food posts, noting that I am merely the photographer and happy eater. 

I'm also going to address the #skinnybitch.  It's in poor taste.  It started off as something funny when I posted about healthy recipes that helped me lose baby weight and gain more energy and a friend hashtagged that.  An inside joke between friends when I had maybe 30 instagram followers.  I eat cleaner than I ever have but it's not something I intend to point out for attention or praise.  I don't like the connotation that gives or the smugness so I'm going to quit using it.  I hope that clears that up.

Regarding our house.  Yes, a year and a half ago we were house hunting.  We were quickly disappointed with what we could afford in our initial target zone.  So we analyzed and re-categorized our priority list which opened up our house hunting boundaries.  We were also willing to buy a hot-mess of a house with a red-flag sale attached.  And yes, we ended up with a bigger and better house than we ever thought possible at that point.  I feel like I was pretty open about our real estate search but perhaps I skipped that important piece of the journey. 

And for inquisitive minds, yes we still own our house in Pawleys.  We tried to sell it three years ago when we moved to Richmond.  Nothing.  Over the past three years our entire family has enjoyed this home and made the most of the situation. We decided to re list it this past spring when we were confidant the market had come back.  It was under contract in three weeks.  We are so sad to see this house go but are so thankful to relieve the financial burden of a home that no one really utilized.



Motherhood & My children
#allergykids was never meant to offend anyone, much less my children.  They are truly gifts from God and I'm saddened that anyone infers that I feel burdened by them in any manner.  Their differences and struggles and achievements could never affect my love for them.  We were late in diagnosing Wells' food allergies and thankful that she quickly outgrew them, as many children do.  End of story.  I've never once felt burdened by the food restrictions we've faced.  I actually do fine with the boundaries.  I don't think you'll meet a parent of a toddler who doesn't have the occasional eye roll over trying to keep them successfully well fed.  We also talk a lot with the kids about healthy and safe foods. They are so hyper aware of what they can and can't have in order to help them cope in social situations that yes, we save the ice cream for when they go to bed.  We certainly never expect friends or classmates not to eat a cupcake in front of them but you will certainly not see me or my husband doing so. 

Tagg was officially developmentally delayed and spent six months in physically therapy.  By the end, he graduated from the program and has gone on to hit every milestone within the time frame of the AAP.  God's plan is what we're working with but that doesn't make it any less frightening when things stray from the map you thought you were using.  I don't regret sharing my fears regarding that delay .  Not everything has to be a catastrophe to make us feel down or out of control. 

I'm sorry if me posting about wanting a comfy chair in my bathroom leaves you questioning my ability to parent my children or any child who might fall into a category outside of the mainstream box.  You obvious didn't witness my strength firsthand during Wells' first few weeks.

And while I have my moments, I'm not overwhelmed. Not any more than any other mother.  Having two toddlers is exhausting but it's also fleeting.  I do mention time and again that we rarely go anywhere that is not kid friendly.  We visit the playground, have playdates, play in our play room, play in our yard, visit the trains at Barnes and Noble and Target, stroll the farmers market.  We grocery shop at Kroger and Walmart.  We go to Church, the mountains, the beach, the farm, and grandparents houses.  We don't go to restaurants.  We don't do story time at the library.  We haven't started up ballet lessons or little gym.  I look for every opportunity to say yes to my children.  To let them play and be little.  I don't feel the pressure to force my family to do things that other families find fun when we don't.  I think all Mama's need to take a deep breathe and just do what works for them.  That's not being overwhelmed with motherhood or pretending to be to busy to enjoy life.

As for their names.  Yes, both are shortened nicknames of their given names.  I did change the spelling of Tagg's name by adding the second g back in after he was a few months old.  This is certainly the case of you can't please every body all of the time.  They are both fully aware of their full names which are used in many circumstances out of the blog.  We love our children and will support any choice they have in altering their nicknames at any point.  Anne and Edward are their first names and I'm sure some will chuckle at the #classic #preppy-ness just as some don't care for our more informal Wells and Tagg. To each their own.

As for me getting a job, no I'm not selling Mary Kay or slinging wraps. Although you won't see me knock it, good for those moms for finding a way to help bring in some money for their families.  Matthew did encourage me to get a job.  He has bore the sole financial responsibility for our family for several years now.  Do I have mixed emotions about leaving my kids to work?  Of course, I think it's perfectly normal to feel nervous and unsettled about entering the office work force again after 5 years away.  I'm the marketing and social media coordinator for a local real estate agent.  It's not a big glamorous job.  It's not changing lives.  But that's not really the point.

Fashion Posting
 I completely agree with mocking the picture overloads of myself recently.  One or two pictures is sufficient.  Noted.  As for my "look", I'm working with the face I've got so I'm not entirely sure that my "uppity" look can be fixed.  I currently prefer the resting bitch face over the fake laughing or the duck face but that could change and I'm happy to mix it up to keep y'all entertained.  There is also the option of just posting picture with my head cut off to keep it completely neutral.

I actually thought really hard before diving into fashion blogging first hand.  I've always mixed clothes in with my currently obsessed round-ups but steered away from fashion blogging because I'm not a fashionista with an unlimited budget and most of my time is spent at the playground or my back yard.  But life doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  I love looking at other people's real life clothes and sometimes I like to read the obvious.  I am fully aware that I did not re-invent the wheel by combining a colorful tee with shorts.  But that wasn't the point.


Sponsorships and Comps

I'm really happy I have achieved a level of success with my blog where on occasion I am approached for collaborative opportunities by both large and small companies.  I find this to be an exciting achievement.  I am always honest and upfront with you when I am comped an item.  I turn more offers down than I accept because I don't want to accept something that I feel lame or fake endorsing.  I'm not trying to pull a fast one on anyone nor do I continue to blog in order to receive free things. This blog was around long before those perks existed.  Many companies have found it advantageous to utilize this not so new method of product placement rather than traditional means of marketing.  Do you find it more offensive that I've been paid in end tables rather than dollars?

These lurkers accused me of posting an inspiration board or list the home projects I want accomplish simply to blatantly fish for sponsors  in the hopes that vendors can make an easy match to products.  Nope.  I've been making design boards (and sharing them for free) since the beginning of my blog.  It's fun for me.  I plan to do lots more in the future.  I tend to use a lot of the same items in my boards because I really use them.  They're not just for show.  If I make a board for a room in our home I make a point to incorporate the items that we already use and own.  If you took inventory of the number of items I have been comped for review or to use in a post or a giveaway you will find it to be a drastically small percentage of what we own.


My blog is dead.  I'm struggling for content.

I can assure you that while this blog may no longer be interesting to the anyone, it is definitely not going anywhere.  I am certainly no more busy than the next woman, but at this stage in my life home design projects are hard.  I have little helpers who want to participate fully in my life.  DIY projects are time consuming and I have to prioritize.  I'm not going to bring my children home from the park early because I need to pick up more spray paint in order to keep up with the DIY Jones'.  As for the One Room Challenge, I was not asked to participate this round.  While some have been involved in each round, others are replaced to allow room for new ones.  While it was something I enjoyed being a part of, I'm not going to lose sleep that I wasn't invited back.  I will continue to blog at my own pace creating content that I find interesting.  I often find re-doing a whole space completely overwhelming.  I think baby steps are the way to go.  Quit worrying about selecting fabrics to recover your chairs and go ahead and hang that painting you love on your wall.  I'm not going to apologize for not having full make-over reveal new content daily.  Yes, adding a fern will help your porch look nicer while you decide on door colors.  Don't feel bad that a $10 update made you happy.  I have spent countless hours carving this space of positivity for myself and others to enjoy.  I'm not going to end that because a few people don't think I'm worthy of their internets.

Anyway, I'm damned if I do or damned if I don't.  Everything I have said here only opens me up further to their snark.  If I mention that I didn't write this post as a pathetic plea to have you all come to my defense then they'll call my bluff and say I'm doing just that.  So please, for now just know that my only intention is to keep you all in the loop.  That's always ever my only intention.  I'm also going to take the rest of the week off from blogging.  I know their words will be in the back of my head and I'll over think anything I want to write about.  I hope y'all have a great rest of your week and I'll see you back on Monday! 



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121 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I think you and your blog are lovely and I enjoy reading your posts each morning. I appreciate your willingness to share your life with me, and hope you continue to do so!

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  2. Oh Julia. I wish you had never even stumbled across that and more so, wish you didnt feel like you have to defend yourself after that. no one knows what happens behind closed doors. no one. no one knows you like your own physical best friend. youve gained a lovely group of followers and supporters that like what you say and do. and that bad press is just what it was meant to be, knocking you off your game. haters 'gon hate. you just keep doing what you're doing. the people who judge arent worth knowing. sorry if this whole thing sounds like a mangled cliche of words, but its absolutely the truth.

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  3. Dear Julia, while I used to follow several blogs religiously, I now only follow yours. I guess because it seems so "real", and we have much of the same things going on. I am a stay-at-home mom to two small children and my husband and I purchased a "fixer-upper" a little over a year ago. So, we are living in the extremely out-dated bedrooms and bathrooms with a 10 year plan to make it our kind of perfect. I applaud you for putting yourself out there. I dabbled in blogging, but always seemed to worry too much about what others would think of my content, so thank you for doing what you do!!

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  4. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. You are fabulous and hold your head high!

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  5. I just wanted to applaud you for your honesty and strength. I am a young high school history teacher and I look forward to reading your blog every morning so that I can satisfy my love for interior design. Although difficult, please do not let the hatred of others bring you down. As you mentioned in your post, "you are damned if you do and damned if you don't," so why not continue your passion. I am sure that I am not alone in expressing my support and love for your blog. God Bless!

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  6. Julia, your post is so thoughtful and communicates what those on the forum could never dream of conveying, genuineness and transparency. Like in all social media venues, perception is always going to edge out reality because blogs, Instagram, etc are not living and breathing. In my opinion, it is foolish for people who participate in social media to not realize that going in. With that being said, I appreciate the facets of your life you allow us to see and respect your decision to address the criticism head on.

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  7. I don't think I've ever left a comment on a blog, but I love your blog! As a mother of two I know how hard it can be. Keep posting what makes you happy. Life is hard enough, we need to support each other instead of tearing each other down. And If you want to include a sponsor link or whatever you should do it, it's your blog and you should be proud of what you've created!

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  8. Ughhhh!!!!! Why do people have to be so ugly! It amazes me the amount of time and energy these people put into tearing down others. How miserable they must be. I think you're doing one hell of a job putting yourself out there, that's what makes a blog interesting anyways. Just know you've got your true friends and followers support. Don't worry about pleasing the unpleasables ;)

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  9. You've always seemed so sweet and forthcoming about your life (good and bad), and that's something I've really enjoyed about your blog. In this new age of technology, people seem to forget the saying, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Instead they hide behind a computer screen and lash out at people they don't even know, instead of just stopping reading a blog that they don't care for! Clearly this stems from jealousy and insecurity on their part but I'm sorry you're having to deal with it! Please keep up your great postings (and FYI, I love your new fashion posts!)!!

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  10. You are fabulous at what you do! I enjoy reading your posts daily before the kids crawl out of bed! I am in the same stage of life as you, and completely relate to all you your content. You come across as genuine and real. Your blog is a happy place and I appreciate you sharing it with all of us in the same boat! It's refreshing and I can absolutely relate with everything you write about. Please don't let critics knock your confidence - you are on the best at what you do, and one of only a handful of blogs I choose to read daily! Sarah

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  11. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry you read all those terrible things. I can honestly say that I never got the feeling that you are fake (or the million other awful things) and when I read anyone's blog and don't "get" their point of view, I remember that I am not them. I feel sorry for these people that feel its entertaining to criticize and ultimately hurt people who they don't know at all. It took a brave girl to call them out. Keep your chin up its just internet spooks trying to ruin your day.

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  12. I've followed you for some time, but this is the first time I have commented. I love your blog and all of your posts. As a fellow Richmonder, you are one of my favorites!

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  13. You really did not even need to address those things! I found that site you are talking about and I read it just to get a kick out of how sad and miserable those who post on the site must be. I find it fascinating how they make soooooo many assumptions about others! Keep doing what you are doing! You have one of the nicest, most real blogs among those your age and I enjoy reading it, even though I would be like your MUCH older sister! ;)

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  14. People can be so pathetic. I completely agree with your comments, but you don't have to justify a thing! I love your blog, and so do hundreds others! It is real and honest!

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  15. I am so sorry for the negativity! I love reading your blog and have always thought of you as the person I would love to be friends and neighbors with :) Don't change a thing

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  16. I, for one, love the $10 dollar home updates that make me happy and the easy to emulate outfits. That's what I'm looking for in a blog because that's what I'm looking for in real life!

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  17. Long time reader- first time commenting. Keep up your good work! We should be lifting each other up and not tearing each other down!! I enjoy reading your blog and following you on IG! If there's a post that doesn't interest me, I just won't read it that day- it's that simple!

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  18. I've followed you since I was 16! The negativity needs to do, forget them! We all continue to come back and read because we love and feel like we are a part of your family!! I hate that you feel as if you have to justify yourself!

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  19. When I learned about GOMI via Lauren's blog my first thought (after seeing that some participants left upwards of 400 snarky comments!) was that it was sad that anyone wastes their precious days this way. It's only human to focus on the small population that chooses to be negative instead of the large group of supporters you have. Please don't waste a second of your life concerned about the words of strangers. Life is short, our days are better spent focusing on what gives us and those we love joy. For any GOMi regulars reading this comment, and I have no doubt the "hate readers" will be reading, isn't there anything else you could be spending time doing that would bring more meaning to your lives?

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  20. I found your blog a long time ago and I have always been impressed by your candidness. You have an amazing little family and life but it is nice to see someone who is not afraid to be open about your struggles and the trying times (honestly I would have cried after seeing the snake in the bird's nest after the week that you had a while back). The truth is that you seem to be an amazing lady and you can't let a few snarky people who hid behind "usernames" make you feel bad about yourself. Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one.

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  21. I have blogged off and on for 3 years but never told a soul about my blog for fear of exactly this type of thing. I came across your blog and just loved it and it encouraged me to really put myself out there and keep at it. Ignore everyone else, be true to yourself and that's all you can do! I may only have 20-40 page views on average, but it feels good to be out there and I"m proud of myself. You should be too -- its not so easy putting your life on display. I'm sure your critics wouldn't do it. (I was drawn to your blog by the name - we are big fans of Pawleys and have a house there too!)

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  22. I can't even imagine what kind of people waste their time doing that?!! Very sad! You and your blog are an inspiration, Julia, it's unfortunate you have to defend yourself. Btw, wouldn't they have to be regular readers to know all the details of your life??

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  23. Well said and good for you. You're doing a great job - keep it up!

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  24. I just can't understand why people can't stick by the old rule of "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!" If people don't enjoy your blog, why do they keep reading then?! Makes no sense to me. You have a lovely blog and I admire that you even addressed these remarks!

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  25. I wish that website would disappear. Anyone that posts on there is a sad person and - plain and simple, they're just jealous. You're an amazing blogger and your success is proof of that. Forget the haters!

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  26. Julia you are a breath of fresh air and so sincere. I am 60 years old and retired. I love reading blogs like yours for inspiration in regards to fashion, home décor, and recipes. I too have been the victim of criticism in facets of my life. I concluded jealousy and being unhappy in their own lives was the underlying factor for their criticism. This is how some women get their kicks in life. Don't change one thing about yourself or blog. By the way, I love your sons boots. My youngest son loved wearing snow boots year round. It is a boy thing and shows their personality and their is nothing wrong with that.

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  27. All I can say is this: keep doing exactly what you've been doing. There are far many more people that love your blog than those that want to tear down your successes. Stay positive and hopefully all the comments you get today will outweigh any of the negativity you found.

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  28. I have only recently discovered your blog (and have never commented until today), but I am thoroughly enjoying it! I love getting a peek into your life, and I think you portray yourself lifestyle realistically. Your blog is fun and pleasant to read, and your taste is impeccable. The negative comments you read are most likely from jealous people who dislike themselves and projected their feelings onto you. Keep doing what you are doing, and please know that there are more of us who support you than lurkers who seek to tear you down.

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  29. I am sorry you had to address these things and that someone made you feel that way. I need to know who has the time to analyze hashtags? I am a long time reader and enjoy your blog. xx

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  30. Julia, I had the pleasure of meeting you when Tagg was a baby and you came to take pictures of my family in Va Beach. One of my best friends from college writes a blog called momastery.com and I have watched people come after her and ridicule her as a parent, wife and person. It sure is easy to say mean things about people when you are sitting behind a computer screen! It takes tough work to put yourself out there and I look forward to logging in to see what you have to say. I love your style and I actually enjoy reading b/c you are real and not fake!
    I never comment, but I love to read. I felt compelled to tell you, to remember #hatersgonnahate no matter what you do! Hang in there! Amy

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  31. I really enjoy reading your blog on any topic you choose to write about. Know someone in Texas loves you!! So sorry you had to read those ugly things said about you.

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  32. It's so sad to me that there are people out there spending their time writing those awful things, which are based purely on perception and made up ideas, not on who you truly are! I love your blog, enjoy reading about your house projects and seeing your precious kids who are around the same age as mine. You seem so down to earth and real and I feel like we would be friends in real life :) Thank you for putting yourself out there. Your many loyal readers appreciate your candor, humor and great sense of style!

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  33. I have been a regular reader of your blog for several years and, while i don't usually comment, I always enjoy your posts. I'm sorry that such a negative, petty site as GOMI exists. Keep on doing what you're doing and ignore the minority.

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  34. I have been following your blog for a couple of years. Have so enjoyed all of the topics! So sorry that these petty folks made you feel explanations were necessary. Keep up the great work.

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  35. I didn't finish reading your post, because I didn't think you needed to defend yourself. I think you have a lovely blog and a sweet family. You are fabulous which is why people read you and why people hate you. Don't let their jealousy cause you to doubt yourself.

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  36. oh, my friend how you need a hug. I'm a lurker and I never post but I just can't stay quiet. There are more people like me than you can count. People who daily read your wonderfulness and feel apart of something good. You make me feel that I'm not alone as a busy mom and bring the simple pleasures of life in view. It's a mental getaway sometimes for me. I can feel that you got lost in the negativity and I want to implore you to never travel that path again. You need not to explain yourself to anyone. You are a good person, it shines through in your writing. There will always be negative people, all you can do is change how you react. Never doubt, never wavier, because you are who you are and that is someone who is loved by many. Hugs

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  37. Those people are cruel, distasteful, and ridiculous. Their opinions mean absolutely nothing.

    You are remarkably talented. You are authentic and sweet. You have extraordinary taste. You are elegant! You and your family are adorable. You are a wonderful blogger. I read your posts everyday and you inspire me. I wish I'd had a blog like yours to read when I was a young mom (my babies are grown and out of the nest). xo Beth

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  38. Julia,
    I'm so sad to hear that people are saying unkind things about you. Not only do I really love to read your blog, but I also love knowing you as a person. You are a sweet compassionate woman who has been through so much. I love that you so openly share your life through your blog. I cry with you, I laugh with you, and I celebrate with you. I miss seeing you often, but I feel like I can keep up with your through your blog. Hugs!!!!

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  39. Julia, it is amazing how we tell our children to be nice to others. We tell them if they have nothing nice to say then to not say anything at all. We teach them the Golden Rule. We tell them bullying is wrong... so, why is okay to do the exact opposite when you are an adult? I know it is easier said than done, but please try to not let those negative nannies rain on your parade. Your blog is by far one of my favorite because of the content you post (and you have adorable children :) ) You have beautiful style. Its nice to see someone piece a space together over time. No matter what your reasons are for taking your time. Currently, I spend all my time at baseball games, football games and basketball games, and I have less of budget for decorating because of the kids activities (and a job loss!). I want a decorated house, but I have to prioritize. You do that! You may prioritize for different reasons than I do, but it makes you so relatable! And, fyi, your fashion posts are fabulous! You always look gorgeous and I always take away all kinds of inspiration. Please do not let those who have nothing better to do with their time influence your creativity. By the look of the other comments, there are so many who just love you and your blog! I hope you have a great week! I can't wait for your next post! :)

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  40. I would probably be considered a lurker. I read every post but have only commented 1-2 times. I love your blog and I'm sorry that these naysayers have made you question anything at all! Your posts are interesting and real...I love your taste, fashion, design, children's names, etc. I have often thought that your blog is refreshing and not pretentious and well-rounded with different content, as well as the good and the bad. Of course there is a lot that we don't know (like not buying shoes in years), but is that really any of our business? I think not...we all splurge on different things when we can and it is no one else's business. Keep up the posting...it looks like a lot of us will continue to follow :).

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  41. Julia - you are wonderful and refreshing and if these people don't like you or what they're reading, they simply just need to stay away. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone! I have loved reading your blog for the past few years and I say that all of those rude GOMI trolls need to screw off. ;)

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  42. Hi. I am sorry you fell into the dark spot online. I have read your blog daily with my coffee for years. I am not a blogger, I am a 40 year old momma of 2 teenagers, so not at all in the same season of life. Pawley's is one of our favorites places, we've been vacationing in that area since my childhood. I actually found your blog while I was looking up fun spots for my mom's 60th bday. All that to say, I am a lurker, but one that loves how you are parenting, your style, & your honesty. At 40, I think I am getting there. Your family is benefitting from your wisdom & desire to know them and to live fully for where you are. I think that's brilliant. Enjoy your week off & don't read the goo. It's ugly.

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  43. Love your blog! I look forward to reading & will continue to;) No explanations needed:)

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  44. Don't let the haters bring you down. Still love your blog and I've been reading for years!

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  45. Good for you! Love your blog!

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  46. Hi Julia! It's insane to me that people take the time to criticize others like that! Do not for one second give this a second thought! Seriously, it's not worth it!
    ~Mary Keller

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  47. You are fab. End of story.

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  48. Love your blog and hate you felt you had to explain yourself!! You and your family are lovely, keep up the good work!

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  49. I'm glad you called them on it!! I discovered that site by accident and was horrified by the "mean girl" postings. I love your posts... house, kid and fashion related. The allergy related postings were pertinent to me too, making me realize I'm not the only parent going through it. Enjoy your break and know that we'll be here waiting when you post again.

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  50. I can't believe how mean people are. It says way more about them and what they do on that site than it says about anyone the talk about there. All of the quotes you posted are perfect. I know numerous bloggers have had issues with this site lately and it's terrible that a bunch of "grown" women hiding behind a keyboard can make some many strong, amazing, beautiful women feel so badly about themselves.

    I hope you have a wonderful extended blog-free weekend with that sweet family of yours!

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  51. I love your blog & read it everyday… don't let these horrible / judgmental / unhappy people bother you….. keep being you :)

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  52. Shocked!!! You are such an inspiration! I'm so sorry you even have to waste your time/emotions on this. Most people are kind, but there will always be a handful of bullies no matter where you go in life. It says more about them than you. Really, it is their problem, not yours.

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  53. I had no idea that this site even existed!! It's disgusting that these people have nothing better to do than to put other people down - yet they still read your content - makes absolutely no sense!! I enjoy your posts and although don't comment regularly - love your blog!

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  54. Rock on!!! You are awesome!

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  55. The reason I enjoy your blog so much is because you are relatable. I love your fashion posts. They are real life -- not all of us can afford a $1,500 outfit to grocery shop. While we might wish that we could, we can't and that's ok too. Thank you for being genuine. Keep your head up, you're clearly doing something right if they are talking.

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  56. Oh boy.... Brace yourself. Once they find this post, and they will, they will gleefully discuss it over there ad nauseam, much like a pack of wild hyenas tear apart the carcass of a fresh kill. I found that hate site by accident, googling to find a project I’d seen and couldn’t remember which blogger posted it. Before I knew it, I was knee-deep in the cesspool of an entire sub-forum dedicated to ONE blog, and I won’t name it here. That forum had even spawned sub-categories, so they could organize their nasty comments by topic, and they even included a second blogger who is friendly with the first. I was initially shocked, and then furious, that they would not only post the crap that they did, but were actively trying to google-bomb one of the bloggers with the term “child abuse”. And why? Because they didn’t like her kid’s bedroom décor. Elsewhere, they mocked another blogger who attempted murder-suicide of her kid and herself – and I have no doubt that they drove her to it. I even typed a hate-filled rant of my own to post there, but then filed it away for future use. It’s nowhere nasty enough yet, and I doubt it will stay posted for very long, so it needs to be really good.

    I don’t have a blog, but I have a healthy list of blogs I follow on feedly, and you are one. I’ve never met any of you, but I feel like I kind of know you all (not in a creepy stalker way) and I have to say, I get REALLY defensive when I read the stuff over at that-site-that-shall-not-be-named. The bottom line is, they are a distasteful lot, and they are modern-day proof that there really were people alive who were horrible enough to spawn the Salem Witch Trials. The common thread = jealousy. They are jealous of all you successful bloggers, and they have achieved such an astonishing level of self-loathing that we now have something like that-site-that-shall-not-be-named in our midst. Consider yourself a little more educated now, and then forget about it. Carry on with what you do so well, and remember: Living Well is the Best Revenge.

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  57. Julia, I never comment on blogs but I feel so compelled to comment after reading this post. I love your blog. The main reason (besides your fabulous taste!) is that you are so real and so relatable. Every post feels like we are getting the real you and it is so refreshing! I hope you realize that!

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  58. Julia- I've followed your blog for a while and I never comment but I feel compelled to do so. You and I have very different tastes and styles but I read anyway. Know why? Because you are interesting and I like the online you (sure I would like the in person you as well) and your views on life and parenting and other important life matters. Don't let people get to you! I'm glad you explained all of this for you but not for them. Something is VERY wrong with people who sit around just waiting to say something negative about someone else. Have a nice vacation from blogging but know that us mentally stable people will miss you ;).

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  59. I love your blog and truly enjoy reading it every day! I will never understand the people who have enough time/energy/lack of class to sit around and hatefully comment on blogs or news articles etc. People need to get a life.

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  60. And seriously, your kids' names too? What is wrong with people?

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  61. I didn't even realize such a nasty, mean-hearted website ever existed out there, I still can't believe it! I've been enjoying your blog for a long time now, and why? Because you are just about as genuine and down-to-earth as they come! Fantastic mommy, beautiful writer, artist, designer, the list goes on and on. Your content keeps me coming back every morning for more (and to be quite honest, besides Pinterest, yours is about one of five total I read anymore exactly for these reasons I'm listing). You are never, ever negative, condescending, or gloating. It makes me upset that you had to defend your posts because of those horrible comments. Please don't go on that website again, you aren't being fair to yourself. And with that my blog friend, I say good-night, and see you first thing in the morning for our daily coffee date :-)

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  62. People are stupid. There is no reason for you to have to explain yourself or defend the content on your blog. Post what you want, isn't that the whole point anyway? I love your honesty and willingness to share both the good and bad. I will continue to read PIP every morning no matter what the 'lurkers' have to say!

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  63. OMG you spent way way way to much time on this..who cares what other people think..I had to stop reading..all you bloggers think the same and can support each other..now you've just set yourself up for more bad comments and then you can read all the comments from your supporters how great you are! Waste of your time girlfriend!

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  64. I have stopped reading comments on everything on the internet except the few blogs (including yours) that I read. I am not sure what is wrong with people or what they are trying to prove but they are absolutely pathetic! Clearly the filter that people "should" have in place when they are speaking is not in place when they are commenting. I have thought about blogging myself but my skin is not thick enough to deal with people. I have always believed that the nice thing about blogs is if you don't share the same taste in decorating/raising kids/fashion you have the right to click away. Clearly others are not mature enough to just click away. Your blog is fantastic. You are fantastic. Keep it up. And, don't go back to that website again.

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  65. I really enjoy reading your blog because you are very genuine! Keep being yourself and posting what makes you happy because there are always those out there ready to criticize. Your blog is one of my favorites to read each day!

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  66. Please don't ever think that you have to defend yourself. Love your blog and if they don't then they don't have to read it. You are better off without them. Some people are never happy. Glad you are!!!

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  67. Hi Julia, I too have been following your blog for a while, never comment, but felt compelled to today. I am a stay at home mom to 3 kids around the same age as yours, and my taste in fashion and home is really similar to yours (although I am not nearly as stylish as you, but that's why I read the blog!). I have found your posts to be honest and relatable. I especially love your mom style posts. I could never be a blogger because of these types of critics. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there because lots of us are blessed by your blog! God bless you and your sweet family!

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  68. Ironically enough, I stumbled upon GOMI this morning too - and I'll admit that I read through a few threads about blogs that I read. I just think it's a bunch of people who are wasting their time - do they really have nothing better to do??? I don't love everything I read on your blog, or on any blog, but it is my choice to keep reading, and you don't have to cater to my likes and dislikes, or to anyone else out there. If someone doesn't like your blog, they don't have to read it...as simple as that. And I hope they find something better to do with their time then to trash talk you or other bloggers on a message board.

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  69. Julia -- I am so sorry you found those awful comments. I know you and your family and all of you are wonderful, kind, caring people. Tell yourself you must be doing something right for someone to say such horrible things about you. You have to know that the ones who made those horrible comments are small, insecure, stupid, jealous people. Please don't ever think you have to explain yourself to anyone. You are a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I look forward to reading your blog each evening, and I'll miss you the rest of the week. Katy (your sister's "other mother-in-law.")

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  70. Oh my!
    It's a shame that you had to spend so much energy in your thoughtful and detailed response to the ill mannered cowards of the internet. I'm sure others have shared this quote with you but I have to repeat what my mother alwaysold me and my sisters: 'if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all'. If only some others could hear this...
    You seem like a confident individual, please try to ignore the ugly comments and do what you do so well! Write, share and keep the rest of us smiling!

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  71. Good for you for writing this...people are so lame and seriously have entirely too much time on their hands. I heard a quote by Mark Cuban the other day and it's totally true and makes me giggle He said: "I'm the one guy who says don't force the stupid people to be quiet — I want to know who the morons are." So true right? Let them talk...chin up :)
    xo

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  72. I'm a quiet reader of many blogs and I'm a blogger myself of 2 blogs. I think I may be a wee bit older than you and my oldest is graduating High School on Monday (yikes)..so I just wanted to pop in and say this: Do what makes YOU happy, do what is BEST for YOUR family because we are only given one life to live and we MUST live it the way we want and feel is best. Do NOT ever let some snarky people who are seriously unhappy with their own lives to pick apart your's. I'm a 2-time breast cancer survivor and have had MS for 15 years...I learned early on not to give "a lick" about the haters...because who needs hate or toxicity in their lives right? Keep it positive, surround yourself with those that care and live the best life you can...and you know what sistah? Screw 'em...I say it every week...taught my kids the same...you live your life & if they don't like it they don't have to read it right? Blog on.....

    hugz,
    Suzanne

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  73. Well said!! As a fairly new reader, I really appreciate your sincerity and will continue to follow you.

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  74. You're a class act, Julia.
    And it's easy to say "just don't read it" but that's of course, impossible. I find it shocking that people are so willing to write negative things on the internet, especially about someone like you who is so positive, and I believe it speaks way more about them than their subject.

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  75. Oh my you poor thing. There is no need to explain anything to people who can be bothered to write nasty things. Forget them. If that's how they feel, why do they keep reading. I love your blog and your photos of your lovely children. It inspires me to look for the beauty in my every day life. With much love, Bonita xx

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  76. Your blog is one of my favorites! Your blog is the first blog I look at when I get up in the morning. Please carry on, I delight in your posts!

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Carrie! This blog is and has always been one of my faves... And I only regularly read 3-4 now...

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  77. WOW! I love your Blog.. why in the hell are people so darn mean!! You are delightful and your children are precious..

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  78. the fact that you felt you needed to do this makes me so mad! you are my absolute favorite blog to read, as I do feel you are exactly as you say: approachable and laid back. I'd add down to earth and easy to relate to as well. I also have two tiny babes so I love seeing all the Wells and Tagg posts. If they don't like nicknames, that's their problem...nicknames are a southern tradition! I'm so sorry you stumbled upon such a mess of negativity and really hope it doesn't get you down. While I don't know you in "real life", I can tell you are a beautiful person, both outside and in. #hatersgonnahate

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  79. Bravo! I have read you for a couple if years and like your blog. I really enjoyed this post because while the catalyst for it is vile, I like how you addressed the criticism and feel like I got to "know" you a little better.

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  80. Cheers to you for tackling this head on. I think you've handled it like a pro!! xo

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  81. I love your blog! I've been reading for a year or so, and it is one of my favorites. I hope that you can forget about all of the criticism. Easier said than done, I know. I typically internalize it, which is so unhealthy. No one needs that kind of negativity! The fact that these people are even criticizing the nicknames of your kids shows how little they have to criticize! Jealousy can bring out the worst in people. I'm sorry that you are even having to deal with this.

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  82. So glad you openly called them out!! Love your blog and think you are so honest and refreshing.

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  83. You don't have to explain yourself; the vast majority of your readers enjoy all your posts and what ever aspects of your life you generously choose to share with us. The internets is a better place because you're on it.😉

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  85. Julia,
    I love, love, love your blog. I hope you do not give the negative people any of your time. I also hope you DO NOT change a thing to your blog. Enjoy your time off with your family. See you on Monday!!!!! Elva

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  86. No need to defend yourself! There is no reasoning with crazy! Keep up the good work!

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  87. You keep me coming back for more. Don't stop being you.

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  88. I saw your post yesterday, and I has really irked me ever since. To this day, I will NEVER understand why people who don't have anything nice to say, just don't keep their mouths shut! I have to wonder what sense of joy these "haters" get from their cruelty to others (and also, how much time they have on their hands!). I wish you didn't feel as though you have to defend yourself. I enjoy your blog for the vast array of posts. I am a young mother as well, and when I have a spare minute of quiet time, I enjoy popping over to your blog, even if time only allows me to look at a few pretty pictures ;) Keep up the good work!

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  89. Friend, I am SO SO SO glad you posted this...it's been wearing on my heart a lot as of late and I know the exact feelings you're experiencing. I first found my blog listed on GOMI last year and I cried for hours upon reading what those horrific people had to say about me, which was so false and demeaning. Thank you for sticking up for yourself and others of us who sometimes want to say things, but don't. I appreciate it so very much! Keep doing what you're doing...it's worth it and I tell myself the same thing. You don't see mean people hating on people doing worse than them, right? Jealousy breeds insecurity and hatefulness

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  90. Girl, feel free to ignore those keyboard gangsters. There's a reason they're hiding behind "clever" names & avatars while they bash others. You don't have to justify your choices to anyone, but I think your post was thoughtful and honest. I've enjoyed reading your blog in part because you are not a one-dimensional robot. I think that if a blogger is evolving (as we all hope to do!), then naturally the blog will too, and I appreciate that about your content. STAY on my internets :)

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  91. I read your blog today with sadness. I love reading your blog. Please do not stop being you and do not let such negativity stop you from being you. If you let the negativity get you down then they have won.

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  92. Aren't you (and/or other commenters above) doing the same thing you say people on GOMI do, name calling and the like? Everyone has an opinion and it may not be favorable, but go ahead and ignore. That's the best way to deal.

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  93. oh geez, julia, what on earth?! i had no idea this site existed. sorry you had to read those things! you absolutely didn't need to defend or justify yourself. hopefully writing this post was therapeutic for you!! your blog is yours to do with as you wish, isn't that the whole point of the self publishing industry! chin up! xo

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  94. Just stopping by for the first time from a link on Hello Happiness. A well written post about a most ridiculous matter. Obviously some folks do not have enough to do. Keep plugging along, enjoy your blog, it's yours and you can write about whatever you desire. Blessings abundant!

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  95. i adore your blog!! your decorating style and photography is so inspiring and you and your family pictures are what makes it REAL! keep it up, and always be true to yourself. not anything to anyone else. that what makes you, and your space here in blogland unique.
    but i do understand, as someone who blogged for a year, and had it become NOT FUN anymore, the need to step away.
    always know that there is more good out here than bad, and that you are doing this for yourself, not to be judged -- forget the haters!! and rock on, because, girl, you have amazing style!

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  96. This is the first I have ever heard about this site. I will say that I have not been liking you blog lately due to the overwhelming amount of photos of you and your kids. That doesn't mean I think you are a bad person but as people change, their blogs change. It only means that the decorating ideas I came for are not there as they had been in the past. THAT IS OK, IT'S YOUR BLOG. I can stop reading. I wish you nothing but success in whatever you choose. The judgement on that site has an angry tone to it that is not helpful to anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there.

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  97. Preach on sister...I refuse to get on that site because I know it will just make me mad, sad, upset and want to punch someone in the face. So kudos to you for putting all this out there! I love your blog :)

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  98. I found your blog through Natasha at Hello Happiness and I'm so glad I did. I cannot believe people would do this to you and I fully agree with everything you said. I've learned first hand that you can't make everyone happy, so I just strive to make myself and my family happy. They are the most important people to me and if they are happy, I'm happy. I'm also a firm believer in "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" and I think these blog haters need to do just that. Hope you have an AMAZING weekend!

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  99. I have been reading your blog for a long time and never noticed this! I am so sorry there are people out there like that. I seriously love to copy your style and look at the beautiful pictures of your house. It's just jealousy, because you and your family are beautiful, and you are an honest, positive person.

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  100. Good for you to write this blog post
    As many have said-I have been a big fan of your blog and never thought the things described above.
    You are right in saying 'damned if you do...damned if you don't'
    They are entitled to their own opinions I suppose (although shame on them for being so negative and nit picky) BUT I suppose just by the very fact that they are spending their time BASHING other people speaks more volumes then anything else
    Point blank they are NOT the type of people you or many of your readers would want to hang out with...and possibly because of that they are jealous which is why they spend their time bashing you and others
    Sad BUT on the bright side KEEP your face to the sun and blog for yourself and nobody else

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  101. I love you. You are inspiring to MANY women. GOMI makes me so sad. I wish we could all, as women, but uplifting and encouraging to one another. Bashing one another is downright pathetic and sad. Keep your head up and let's make a vow to one another to never read that site again!

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  102. I am a twenty something new england college student and ever since I discovered the blogosphere-- yours has been on the top of my list. I adore it and never think its boring (and as a senior in college in an apt.... your meal planning posts are a huge help!)..... I never comment on blogs but this post made me want to pop in to let you know that you make more of a difference than you may even know. Also my college roommates and friends and I are obsessed with your kids nicknames....

    looking forward to future posts!!

    xo
    Caroline

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  103. i rarely comment on your blog, but i read it daily :) i appreciate all of your posts, regardless of their content! i'm so sorry that others have been rude, but keep in mind that you're the strong one who has put yourself out there. you have absolutely no reason to apologize because someone doesn't like your hunter boots, lilly dress, skinny booty, or the way you parent your children...you're never going to please everyone; some people are just assholes :) xo

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  104. Wow! That was a heck of a post! I think your style is adorable - all the way around! Keep on blogging and ignore the ugly, they will always be ugly!

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  105. You have a lovely blog that I've enjoyed for years. Don't listen to the haters.

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  106. Im a recent follower who stumbled upon your sight quite by accident one rainy weekend. Im not in your generation, my 2 boys are college age, but i am a mom, i like my cute house, i like cute clothes and i wanted to be a stay at home mom, which unfortunately i was not able to do. One of my boys has dyslexia, so i know the struggles and heart ache that those type of issues bring. I enjoy your blog because i can relate. Your children are darling and you and your husband are adorable. Thank you for sharing as much as you do. One question? What happened to the cute brown puppy? Keep Bloggin'

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  107. You really shouldn't have to explain yourself to anyone. There will always be haters out there. As long as you're true to yourself and happy with who you are and what you're doing then pardon my french, but fuck em';0

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  108. Julia...I usually don't comment but I feel I need to today. I was recently referred to the above mentioned site by a comment on another bloggers site just to see what was up. I was so disgusted by the nasty remarks about this well known blogger and how erroneous they seemed to me that I refused to ever visit them again. What sad lives people have if they need to pass judgement without knowing all the facts. Something even the almighty can't do...I might add! I love your realness...and for that reason I continue to follow you. If you receive a perk now and then for the hours of time you spend creating content, then kudos to you. We are all trying to do the best we can, and will never be able to please those that don't want to be happy. Keep it coming girl...

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  109. This post made me so sad . . . and surprised! I am shocked by the negativity you have received. Easier said than done, but do not waste one more second of your life on it. I check your blog/instagram DAILY. For me, you are a therapeutic dose of REAL. I find you so RELATABLE, refreshing, entertaining, clever, inspiring, and GENUINE. When I read about your new job, I thought "Good for her!" . . . followed by "Please let this not mean that the blog is coming to an end!" (ok, honestly it was the latter first) :) For all of us who adore what you do, please keep on doing it JUST the way you have been.

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  110. I know I am reiterating what everyone else said but I love your blog because you are REAL. You always tell it like it is and are so down to earth (while still being impeccably stylish!) The haters will always hate because they are jealous and unhappy themselves. Also, I love the preppy nicknames. We do the same thing for my daughter, who has a nickname for her middle name. Your kids, your husband, your house and you are all adorable and people will always be jealous. Thanks for sharing so much!

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  111. My blog was put on that get off your internet site once...actually it was the highest referring site for two weeks according to my blogger stats! The thing was I also looked around that site and saw some other people who blog (who I think are awesome) were also being bashed for silly reasons. It was almost like people just wanted to hate, so they were literally making things up! I know it probably upset you alot to see those comments, but listen to all these comments from people who think you are great...because you are. The people here are the ones that actually read your blog and want to support you. They are not just hate filled people who want to send a quick comment out into the internet world.

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  112. Honestly, I think your blog is one of the most authentic ones I've seen. Your House Tour progress is slow, and I LOVE it, because that is how forever homes should evolve...Unless you win the lottery and cashed in on a trust fund! But slow or not, it's oozing with style and you are a natural!

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  113. I think your blog is great! I never comment on people's blogs...but I read your post and felt like I should. Haters will always be haters. Don't forget that.

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  114. I'm so sorry girl! I have followed you for a few years now. You are wonderful and that's all there is to it ;-) keep it up girl!

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  115. I just have never understood people who spend their time and their lives spreading negativity. What I feel the most sorry about, is them, because life is just passing by in front of their eyes, and they are just being miserable, they are not growing and they are missing out all the greatness that surrounds us. It just doesn't make sense to me. Clearly, these people are very unhappy and if their reason for doing so it's because they find it fun, well, they have the meaning of that word all screwed up. Don't let these things get you, it's not worth it all, keep the negative people at bay! :)

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  116. Oh Julia I'm so sorry you had to stumble upon that site and find that people were talking about you. I stumbled upon it last fall when another blogger did a post similar to yours and I was astonished! I had no idea something like this existed. It was like a bad train wreck, I didn't want to look but I couldn't turn away at the same time. Those people are hateful and some of that stuff is just down right mean. I just wanted to say that I've loved your blog through all these years especially your decorating and perspective on motherhood. Both are so refreshing! Just keeping doing what you're doing, haters are going to be around no matter what so just ignore them and know you have a community of people who love what you do!

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  117. You go Mama. You and your blog are super fab. Your posts about mommy style have been a blessing to this tired frumpy stay-at-home mom. I'll keep reading as long as you're posting :)

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  118. Don't waste another second on that nonsense. And don't apologize for being you. Sister, you are one of my favorite peeps.

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  119. Well said. I most enjoy your blog and fabulous style. THANKS.

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  120. Hi Julia- this is the first time i am commenting on your blog even though I have followed it for a few months now...all I want to say is very simply that you certainly do not need to justify yourself or explain yourself to anyone and particularly not negative people who feel it necessary to pull bloggers down at every opportunity. The best thing you can do is feel sorry for them...instead of spreading venom in each word, why don't they try and write a blog and they would soon realise how difficult and challenging it is to do! Your blog is wonderful and I am sure many, many readers have told you the same thing. So ignore the trolls and please, please carry on doing exactly what you have been doing-your loyal followers love it all!!

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