Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ten Years of "House at Forest Manor"

Hello Friends!  In January of this year, I began my tenth year of blogging -- I can hardly believe it.  In some ways it seems like it hasn't been any time at all since I published that first post in 2011; then in other ways, it feels like I've been doing this always.  I've noticed some of my blog friends have also been writing their blog for ten years; I didn't realize that so many of us had started around the same time.  I just always assumed that everyone else had been at this a lot longer than me.  :D
My goodness, haven't we seen some changes around here?!  When I first started out, it seemed like everyone was on Google Blogspot.  Then so many of you moved your blog to WordPress -- I'm still at good old Blogspot because I don't want the hassle of trying to move everything.  😜  A whole lot of folks are advertising on their blogs, many of you have had your homes featured in magazines, and some of you have written (and published) books.  I'm truly impressed and amazed.  
So many of the people who were writing blogs when I started out have stopped; some just disappeared with no explanation, while others lost interest or had to stop blogging due to life events.  I must tell you that I still miss Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen, Alma at The Tablescaper, Marigene at In The Middle of Nowhere, Debbie at Words on Wheels, Alycia at Tablescapes at Table 21, Rose at Second Hand Rose, Barbara at Two Birdies and a B, and Judith at Lavender Cottage.  I'm really thankful for my old friends who are still blogging, though like me, maybe not quite as often now.  
Writing a blog has been such a joy and a real creative outlet for me.  I can't begin to tell you what a difference it has made to me in many ways.  I've learned more about computers 😉 and photography, and hopefully a little about writing, as well.  I started House at Forest Manor when our son was a sophomore in college; he graduated  in 2013, and he's been out on his own for six years now.  When I started my blog, our Scottie, MacDuff, was the official blog dog.  We lost him in 2013, and now we have Duncan, our funny and feisty Scottie.  I shared pictures of him before he had his eyes open (e-mailed from the breeder) and he turned six years old last month.  Hard to believe!
I've learned so much from all of you -- decorating tips, book recommendations, how to "shop the house" 😀 and the list goes on.  It's a treat to read your DIY posts, home renovations (I love before and afters) posts on crafting, fashion, gardening, and family.  
I feel like our house has changed a lot in these ten years (for the better I hope) and we're planning to get some more improvements made this summer.  I was looking back at my first two tablescapes, and boy has our dining room changed.
This picture was actually taken in 2010 and shared on my blog in 2011.
Same spot in 2017 with new-to-me mirror and lamp.  
A wider view of the room in 2011,
and basically the same view in 2020.  New chandelier, new floors, new bar cart/buffet, better lighting, better camera 😉 and better photography.  I've been making a lot of the blog pictures this past year or so with my new Sony mirrorless camera.  I love, love this camera!
I shared the journey of our kitchen renovation with you here on the blog.  Meet the old kitchen -- so much clutter in there!
and Honey -- that backsplash!  😲
The new kitchen!  Eight years later, I still love it.
The final improvement in the kitchen was hardwood flooring.
In 2016, we got new windows
and in 2017 we got hardwood floors.
It's been so nice to have like-minded people to share these things with.  We're a group of nesters who like to make our house a home, right?  
We don't often do big renovations, so it's usually about the little things that make a house a home here at Forest Manor.  That's just fine with me.  :)
I've shared travel, 
and books I'm reading,  
 movies, and family with you, and I've so enjoyed reading what you share, as well.  I've gotten acquainted (online of course) with people from different parts of our country, as well as across the Pond.  It's been painful to read about some of you losing your spouses, parents, siblings, friends, and family pets.  I lost my dad in 2018, and we lost our last remaining grandparent (Hal's paternal grandmother) who was 100 years old.  It's all part of life, isn't it? 
I've said before that this blog is somewhat like a journal for me.  It's a way to record my life, with the added bonus of pictures.  I never imagined others would be interested in this little "journal" of mine, but I sure am glad you are!    I want to thank each of you who has corresponded with me during these ten years, and those of you who still do.  Your kind comments and e-mails really make it so worthwhile to work on House at Forest Manor.  As busy as all our lives are, it's sometimes hard to find the time to keep this up, but I certainly plan to do so for as long as I can.  Thanks for your visit today, and here's to a good year in 2020!  
Linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Thank you for hosting, Susan! 


  1. It really is amazing to look back to the beginning and then through the years. Such a good source of history and good place to check our memories. Good looking back post. I'm glad for bloggers who are still posting and I miss some of the same people you mentioned, especially Cuisine Kathleen. Blessings.

  2. Time goes by so quickly. Thanks for sharing this it was wonderful to read what has happened in that time with your blog. I like you have seen many bloggers just disappear and it is sad. Glad to know you are here to stay.

  3. Enjoy your tenth year! Yes, it is fun to look back and see all that has changed and all that has been accomplished. I was surprised to have my eye begin misting reading through your list of “bloggers who are missed.” Yes, I am missing four of them myself. On to brighter days. Spring will be here before we know it and how beautiful Blogdom is in spring!

  4. Hi Denise - I just hopped over from Between Naps on the Porch and I'm so happy to "meet" you! I'm really in awe of you and the bloggers who started so many years ago. I'm a relatively new blogger and I love how much I learn from you all and your beautiful homes every day! I'm so glad I found this community and all your inspiration!❤️ Thanks so much!

  5. I enjoyed your look back and memories from earlier years of blogging. Reading about those that we knew some years back that are no longer blogging stirs many memories. I hope they see this. I share your memories and appreciate their influence on me.
    My one regret about blogging is you want to follow everyone and there is not enough time in the day. I also realize I spent more time commenting on others blogs than I did blogging myself.
    Happy blog anniversary!

  6. Happy 10 years of blogging, Denise! Yes, we certainly have met many wonderful friends through this journey. I miss many of those that you mentioned, also. I can’t believe that Duncan is 6!! It was fun to see your changes and to look back. Yes, I agree, blogging is like a journal of our lives. I’m glad that I’ve met you through blogging, my friend. God bless you! 🥰

  7. Congratulations on 10 years Denise! It's been wonderful visiting your home and learning about your travels...please keep blogging....job well done!

  8. Denise, I didn't realize that we started fairly close to the same time. I have enjoyed seeing your beautiful home over the years and even though some days there is not enough time to answer there is always time to look. I love the floor in your kitchen. I am hoping that I will be able to do that in mine some day. I have loved following Duncan and his antics throughout his time with you. He is a cutie..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

  9. Congratulations!! I've always enjoyed visits to your "house." Have a grand week!



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