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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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A Pivotal Day In 2007 When I Started Blogging


It was the last day of the year 2007. I still remember sitting in front of that computer, trying to make a decision.

I can't recall why I decided to start blogging that day. I had been reading blogs. Daisy Cottage (what an icon with her cozy home and cheerful colors!) and several others. So I had been exploring the blogging world.

I felt drawn to this world, like a moth to a flame. But I just wasn't sure I had what it took.




I was living in Tyler, a beautiful city in East Texas. I was married, had a lovely home and gardens. 

But it just wasn't enough somehow. I looked in the mirror and only saw parts of me staring back. 

I would get excited about some endeavor, and then I'd lose interest.

I was in a marriage that had gone terribly awry. It was a horrible mistake to begin with, and had just grown worse over the years. 

So I sat in front of that computer as the hours ticked toward 2008 and wondered if this would just become another interest that waned and flickered out. 

I let my fingers do the walking. Thus I started my first blog. 




That one didn't quite fit, so later I started another.

It was called View From The Pines, a nod to the region's gorgeous tall pine trees. It was mostly about gardening.

And then in April 2009, I started Cozy Little House. In October 2009 I stared Welcome Wagon, where I featured three new bloggers each week, which many of you won't remember. I retired it last January.

And then in July 2013, I lost all of my previous posts, and started over. I guess I'm a die-hard blogger, because losing 1500 posts, (poof! gone), is not easy to swallow. 

But I'm still here, posting about decorating and gardening and a little bit of everything.

I see bloggers start up now, and I can almost tell if they've got "the blogging mojo" right away. 

There is a passion there that you can read between the lines. When they post, they almost shine from within.

Some people think there are already too many blogs out there. But the same could be said of authors, when contemplating writing a book. Do they stop and think: there are just too many books out there? 

Not likely. 

If you want to be a blogger, if you want to dip your toes into the water, then you're never going to know until you do it. 

And if you don't do it, you will forever wonder what it would have been like had you done so. 

Like everything else, blogging has evolved and there have been lots of changes since I started blogging. 

Blogging has become more of a business for many bloggers, because you can make money at it if you work hard enough. 

There are blog planners to help you stay on task. There are seminars you can take to hone your craft, and conferences you can attend. There are even blog coaches. 

It has taken on a life of its own.



But back when I started blogging, all that was still over the horizon.

That long ago day in 2007 was pivotal for me. I had tried on so many hats, and I just felt like someone trying to act a role who didn't have a script.

I finally found something that seemed to fit like a glove at 50 years of age.

I was never a social person (I didn't know I had Aspergers back then) and I was uncomfortable in social settings. In many ways, I felt like a failure. 

A marriage in the toilet. A career that never quite got off the ground after college.

But when I started blogging, a whole new world magically opened up to me. And it just kept unfolding as time passed.

I credit that day for much that has happened since. It gave me confidence in myself. I made online friends when it was so hard to do so in person. 

It gave me a use for my journalism degree. For years I kept my framed diploma and college awards in the back of the closet. 

It's hard to be a journalist if you're not being a journalist, ya know?

Those awards are still somewhere in the closet, because I don't know where I'd put them. But I'm here, still blogging, starting my day with a cup of coffee and my laptop. Still getting excited about writing a post. Still loving being behind a camera.

Still getting that jolt of pure joy when words tumble from my brain onto a screen. Or getting an adrenaline rush when I shift my camera, and I see near perfection right in front of me. There for the taking.



I have a place now. And it seems to fit just right, when nothing else ever has. I look in the mirror, and I see all of me staring back. 

There have been many hurdles, but I've somehow managed to leap each one. Even though I often stumbled.

There are only a few weeks left in the year 2015. Perhaps it will be you that sits down and writes your first words.


***

For you bloggers reading this, would you please summarize your story about blogging in the comments? What it has been like for you? 

It might help those about-to-become bloggers out there poised to dip their foot in the water.






Cozy Little House
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57 comments:

  1. I truly believe that blogging is a dream come true for people who struggle socially - I know it has been for me. Socializing will never be an effortless thing for me, but it is a whole lot easier through blogging.

    Like you, I'm on my third 'blog identity'. The first was so horrible it isn't even worth mentioning, the second was okay but only fit my life at that particular time. I think I have it almost right this time.

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  2. I would like to congratulate you on being here for us for so many years. When I go back in time, 2007 was the first Christmas in our home which we built without a mortgage and because of a constant lack of money it was not entirely ready to live in, but we still wanted to be on our own and I must say that Christmas of 2007 was one of the best in our lives. I even didn't know anything about blogging back then. I started my blog in 2013 but I had been hesitating for a year before I started one. I was afraid of loosing my privacy but now I regret not starting blogging earlier. I met so many creative friends thanks to my blog and the best thing is that you can make friends not only in your country but go beyond:-)
    P.S.
    I was just studying English words for my exam and one of the new words to study was "pivotal" and here is your post title with this word and it makes the whole studying process less abstract because you realize that the words you have to study are really used:-) That's another advantage of blogging - learning foreign languages!

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  3. I owned several businesses and worked in the corporate world as a buyer for years, then finally decided to tell the story of my passion, decorating and diy. I love the world of blogging and all the fabulous friends you make that are "real" friends with the same interests. I love to take those pictures and share and I love reading all the other blogs and getting tons of inspiration every day.

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  4. Thanks for sharing, Marty. You and I have seen a lot of changes in blogging in our time, haven't we?

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  5. Blogging has been an opportunity for me to connect with kindred spirits who share many of the same passions as I have. I do remember Welcome Wagon when you featured my blog. At the time I was very new to the whole blogging thing, and I don't think I even understood what being featured on your blog was all about. I do remember getting tons of new followers at that time, so a very belated Thank You for helping and encouraging me in that way.
    Mary Alice

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    1. I'm so glad you're still blogging so I can follow your adventures too!

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  6. I had discovered Rate My Space, and had found a person who had shown how to make faux Roman Shades. I think her name was Jules. Somehow, in clicking around there, I came across, Sara at Thrifty Decor Chick, and fell in love with the blogging world. One of the first bloggers I discovered, and the one who gave me my first "shout out" was Marty, at A Stroll Thru Life. It has been such a blessing to me to have a blog. I don't do it for money, and just recently, after 5 years received my first check from Google Ads. I try to stay true to my love of home decor, and diy, and not focus on making money. I'm fortunate that my blogging hobby hasn't become a job to me, so there's no pressure at all. I read how some people are so pressured with deadlines, etc., and that would take the fun out of it for me, so I just don't get all involved in that part of blogging. I do admire those who can make a living by blogging, but that's not my niche. I'll never be a "star blogger", but it is my favorite hobby, and still brings me joy! I remember being surprised that there were so many out there who loved decorating and enhancing their homes, just as I did. It's great to share with kindred spirits.

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    1. I'll never be one of those bloggers inundated with sponsor requests, so my calendar doesn't have a lot of deadlines. But that's fine by me, because I don't ever want the fun to go out of blogging!

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  7. I enjoyed reading this Brenda! I've heard parts of your history and story, but this was a nice overview. I remember when you featured me on your Welcome Wagon series. I'm so grateful, because not only did my increase in page views that day and those that followed give me encouragement to continue :), but... I "met" you! You are real, helpful, kind-hearted, and a very talented writer.

    I started blogging two years ago this coming April. I was excited that our family had moved into a little farmstead that we had been dreaming of for years. It was a time that represented a change in lifestyle for our family. I wanted to share it with others. My background includes a degree in business (marketing), my sister and I used to do home re-design consulting and we also had a space in a retail home and garden co-op. As a mom to three active, growing boys, blogging has allowed me to have a creative outlet, while being able to stay home. I have been so blessed to meet blogging friends who share the love of nesting. I have found this blogging community to be very encouraging. While I still have lots to learn, I am grateful for bloggers like you, who have offered a helping hand-up along the way. Thank you...

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    1. Wow, for some reason I thought you'd been blogging longer! Well, you're a pro at it already!

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  8. What a fun topic! I have loved reading blogs for a LONG time and would often dream up what I would write if I had a blog of my own. After a frustrating day of teaching, I would often compose blog posts in my head on the drive home. (Oh, if only it were that easy!)

    I made it one of my New Year's resolutions in 2013 to start blogging. Being the procrastinator I am, my daughter helped me set up my first Blogger template on December 30, 2013. LOL

    The main reason I finally took the plunge was because I couldn't find many blogs out there that remotely resembled my life. I'm a teacher, so I obviously don't have huge amounts of money (or time!); I'm divorced, so I don't have a handy hubby to help with DIY projects; and in the beginning, I had two kids in college (again, no time or money! Ha!) I wanted to meet and hopefully encourage women who found themselves in similar circumstances. I have been overwhelmed by the wonderful people I have been blessed to meet on this delightful journey.

    One of the unexpected bonuses has been having a family scrapbook of sorts. The kids and I noticed how much of our lives have been chronicled on the blog: Maggie's college graduation and wedding, Will's college choices, our dear sweet kitties, family recipes, and many more. And the best part was having our blog family encouraging and celebrating right along with us. :-)

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    1. I think it is important to just be who you are and write about it. It's amazing how man other women that are out there that are very much like you. And you'll never find them if you don't start writing. Nor will they find you. Then they have a voice...through you. You become a conduit.

      I went from being a doctor's wife to being a poor blogger. But I'd choose that poor blogger status every single time!

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    2. Obviously I meant to write It's amazing how many (not man) that are out there...

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  9. I admire all of you bloggers out there. I wish I knew where to begin to start blogging. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Well send me an email and I will help you.

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    2. And that she will! Brenda, you have such a huge and kind heart and are always ready to lend a helping hand; I so appreciate you!
      Blessings,
      Cindy

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    3. Thank you! Yes, I will help whenever I can.

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  10. There are many of us "out here" who are happy and lucky to have found you through blogging, Brenda. You are one of the most generous and honest bloggers that I have encountered. Your Welcome Wagon series really made me feel special when I was a newbie. I'm so glad that you are doing what you love...it shows!

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    1. I often go to sleep with a trail of words in my head. I often wake up the same way. Sentences pop into my head at the oddest moments. This is why I've been writing since I was old enough to string words together. I didn't know what else to do with those endless words!

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  11. Well Miss Brenda, it was you who welcomed me, and that welcoming meant so much.
    I sat behind my computer screen a little over 3 years ago, recovery from complications from a surgery. I had read your blog and a few others and there was such an overwhelming desire to connect, share and create that I jumped in right into the cold water. I have a English degree and writing is one of my passions. My ex-husband had always told me that I couldn't take a picture, but I have proved him wrong and even have my own camera now and edit my photos. Blogging has empowered me and connected me to women that I would have never met otherwise. My life is enriched and I love it all! Thank you for being the face of welcome in a world that sometimes is pretty cold.
    xo
    Jemma

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    1. My ex-husband told me I couldn't make it on my own. Proved him wrong just like you did with your ex...

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  12. As you know, I began around the same time you did. I think I have had a total of seven or maybe eight blogs. I was so surprised when I didn't set the world on fire, because I had always been able to do just that without a lot of effort! After lots of ups and downs, I am pretty happy with what is, and as I do not treat the blog like a job, there is no longer pressure to keep up with the Joneses. Like many, I felt very unsure of my place in the overall scheme of things, and often felt 'underprivileged and under-achieving.' After all this time, I have developed my "posse" and have a great time with them. Some I know personally now, others we still haven't met in person, like you and me, but feel that I know them quite well. Actually, blogging probably saved my sanity over a couple of difficult periods, because I found an escape in creative projects I hadn't yet explored. You are always so helpful to everyone, and go that extra mile to help when someone hits a snag. When I run into a blogging issue, you are the first place I turn to find an answer. I hope you continue forever!

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    1. I probably will. And I know it saved my sanity on multiple occasions!

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  13. Oh, so glad you were there when I started. I have no idea how I found you so quickly but I did. I was so excited when you featured little ole me. No fancy décor, no advice, just words from my heart. I have been cheering you on in the changes of your life. I am so happy that you have found happiness. Thanks for helping all of us. Hugs

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    1. And I was so glad to meet you too, Debby. We both love "cozy."

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  14. I started reading your blog before you put in your first water feature in the corner of your yard. I didn't copy your blog pages but I saved many (most) of your pictures. I saved many pictures of the inside of your house, and the yard as well. If you also lost pictures of your home as well as the blog, I have many. Love your style.

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    1. I have most of the photos in a file. I so thank you for being a longtime and loyal reader!

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  15. Brenda your blog is my favorite. I love to write but cannot have a blog due to a stalker My online presence cannot be . I admire what you created here and love your ideas. I hate how some blogs become commercialized with only sponsored post, those I refuse to read day after day. You have a fresh perspective and I enjoy your writing.

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry! Are you sure you couldn't blog as someone else? I'm still dealing with the Italian woman. I saw her with my blog name on a blog roll just yesterday. No one seems able to stop her.

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  16. As you know don't have a blog but would like to say thank you for "dipping your toes in the water"...I am glad you did not give up when you lost the old posts but think instead maybe it was supposed to happen..maybe that was a sign for you to let go of the past, move forward and don't look back...if so..you have done a great job of it..Keep doing what you are doing Brenda...

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    1. I think maybe you're right. Looking at that glass as half-full!

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  17. I started my blog back in 2009 but didn't actually post anything for some time. I was following Paris Daily Photo at the time (which has since been retired as the author no longer lives in Paris) and wanted to start something of my own. But just what I didn't know. I'd post something, not like it, and take it down. But after a few false starts, a few changes of subject matters and a few name changes, I finally got off the ground. It's a small place with only a handful of followers, but it's developed into a place that makes me happy. I enjoy taking my non professional photos and trying to write funny, inspiring and whimsical prose - with a few historical facts thrown in. Sometimes life takes over and I don't get to post as regularly as I'd like, but mostly I pop something up once a week.

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    1. Well I'm glad your initial false starts turned into starts. A blog should be what you want it to be - FOR YOU!

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  18. I began blogging in 2008 and love all of it! My blog has changed over the years, as has my life, but the friendships that are created make every change, word written and photo edited worth the time. May you continue to explore and create in blogland! Blessings, Cindy

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    1. I remember in the beginning when it was just friends (women who quickly became friends) and we held each other up and kept up with one another. Many of us still do that. I will never be a blogger overly concerned with keywords and SEO (don't even know a thing about it) because I want it to stay fun. And the friendships are golden.

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  19. I don't know where the time has gone, Brenda, but it seems just like yesterday when I started my blog, but it was actually June 2011. I started it as a way to write about my art and a little about decorating and everyday living. I ended up in on online class where many of us eventually started our own group of aspiring artists. I'm still in our private FB group, but since moving I've been so involved in making our new house our home that I had my blog redesigned and decided to make it more about decorating, diy, recipes, etc than my art. Because my husband and are are retired, I have no interest in taking my blog to any other level. I never started blogging to become rich. But blogging has changed my life in ways I never dreamt.

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    1. It was a ray of sunshine behind the clouds for me. And I followed that ray of sunshine until I am where I am now. Out of a bad relationship and into a peaceful place.

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  20. Brenda, I've followed you since long before you left Texas. Gosh, we've all been through so much and our lives have all changed. Blogging has been a constant for me, when life got tough, as I know it's been for you. Thanks for being a good friend to all of us, here's to many more great years of friendship!!

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    1. Isn't it funny how we might forget actual names, but we remember blog names. We know the names of blogger's pets and possibly their children. But certainly their pets! And it's just this one big community. I've had bloggers tell me it isn't that way anymore, that I'm old school. But for many of us, it IS that way. And for me it will never change. Thank you for your long, long friendship, Debra!

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  21. We go back so long, Brenda. I remember meeting you (actually reading a few of your posts) way back when and you were really suffering in so many ways. I think I tried to cheer you up!

    I jumped into blogging without thinking about it nor reading any blogs---I just started to write to the universe as a release. I cringe to think of looking back at those posts! But it was always about the writing, the pictures I took, I simply can't change any of that even if I tried. Its still the same.
    So that's the long and short of it. Thanks for a great post. I don't know where you get your ideas from but they are always interesting and stimulating. You are a great talent in the blogging world.

    Jane x

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    1. Well, thank you Jane! And I always love to read your commentary. Because it's like following a story and wanting to know where you'll end up with it. And you tie it up with a pretty bow at the end too!

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  22. I remember Welcome Wagon because you welcomed MY blog :) Blogging is a nice outlet for my interest in photography, gardening, etc. I generally do a weekly post on sewing / quilting, and then it's just so nice to read a variety of blogs...decor, lifestyle, nature, quilting, knitting and so on. Friendships are built up over time, and another good thing about the community is that when a blogger is in crisis or a family member is, she/ he can reach out and ask for prayer and rest assured, many will begin to do that. It's also nice to have a record, I have found. It's 55 degrees this morning, so unusual. What was the weather like last year at this time? I'll go look at an older post...that sort of thing.

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    1. You're right. We can look back. Well, I can look back a little over two years. But it's all good!

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  23. Nowadays blogging is actually a very popular thing to do. Almost all of my friends have a blog though they're not so active with it. But my friend a writer from http://www.paperwriting.xyz/ has his blog and it is more than popular. Besides he writes there really interesting articles.

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  24. I remember Welcome Wagon because you welcomed MY blog :) Blogging is a nice outlet for my interest in photography, gardening, etc. I generally do a weekly post on sewing / quilting, and then it's just so nice to read a variety of blogs...decor, lifestyle, nature, quilting, knitting and so on. Friendships are built up over time, and another good thing about the community is that when a blogger is in crisis or a family member is, she/ he can reach out and ask for prayer and rest assured, many will begin to do that. It's also nice to have a record, I have found. It's 55 degrees this morning, so unusual. What was the weather like last year at this time? I'll go look at an older post...that sort of thing.

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  25. This is lovely, Brenda, and you and your blog have been through so much, but you found yourself through it, and made friends. xoxo Su I started to blog after a big change in our lives, but a change that has turned out to be for the better.

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  26. Hi Brenda, Congrats on your long time of blogging. You have been through so much and have helped so many by sharing your journey. People can relate to real life happenings and the hand we are dealt at times. I started to read blogs in 2006 and then started mine in the fall of 2007. I wanted to share my love of design, decorating and hand painting along with a few stories now and then. I never dreamed I would make so many wonderful friends along the way and even some to meet in person. I remember when you stopped by my blog for the first time a few years ago and featured a project I did in a weekly post you had at the time. You were already living in Oklahoma and in the little cozy house before moving to the place you have now. I remember when you moved from there. Seems like such a long time ago. The world of blogging has been so enjoyable and has gotten me through some rough patches too. Thank you for staying around for all of us and continuing to inspire. Wishing you many more happy blogging days ahead. xo

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  27. As you know, I am a relatively new blogger - I've only been blogging since August. I was drawn to the blogging community when I was buying my new house - I went online to get inspiration for decorating and came across all of you wonderful people! I was hooked and knew that I wanted to start blogging when I moved into my new house. Of course, for the first few months I was far too busy unpacking and settling in and of course working on projects. And I was also a little scared - what if the world hated my blog? What if nobody read it? What if I got horrible mean comments? But the support I have received from the community out there has been incredible and I'm so proud to be part of it!! Big hugs to you all!!

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  28. I started in 2013, never having read a blog before, I had no idea what to expect when I hit publish. I just wanted to write...about what, I had no idea. It's been a wonderful journey, so many opportunities have come my way, so many neat experiences and new friends, it's been a true joy. I was also honored as a Welcome Wagon blog! That was really neat...and it's been a wonderful getting to know you. You are a kind spirit, Brenda! :)

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  29. Geez, I can't even remember when I first started blogging. I know it was in the early 2000's, maybe even in '99. I had a website first. I started blogging because we live so far from our families and I wanted a convenient way to share what was going on with us. That's why I started and that's why I continue. I go for awhile without posting, sometimes, but I always return because, for me, journaling has always been a way of life and I like sharing our mundane every day life!

    Grace & Peace.

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  31. Well, you and I have been friends for a very long time, so you know my story ;)

    My advice to new bloggers is to just write. It's free and even if no one ever reads it, you have journal of your life that you can look back on.

    xo

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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