5 Years Later - Looking Back

This week marks my FIVE-YEAR anniversary for blogging, and although I don't often get sentimental, I think now is a good time to pause and take a look at how things have changed since the beginning of OLM. I usually forget to stop and celebrate progress. There is always more to do, more to improve on, and more things that didn't get the attention I wanted to give them. BUT sometimes I remember to look back and see how far I've come. And it really does feel good to celebrate the little things each day that lead up to big things. So today I'm doing just that. 
First I thought it would be fun to literally take a look back at a few pics from my first few months of blogging. Five years have felt like a lifetime and also gone by so quickly. I can't believe how much has changed. 
Back in the day, I sized all of my photos really small. Total rookie blogger mistake. But I did love these pants, and I do still have them.

This was one of my first DIYs, and I was so proud of how it turned out. I stenciled foam core board to put a pattern into our built-in bookcases. I kinda still love it.

The blogger bubble necklace, my favorite ankle boots, and an easy white sweater. I loved this outfit. 

My boys used to be featured in What Kids Wore Wednesday on the blog every week. There are so many cute pics of Easton and Kesler when they were tiny!

This is still one of my favorite outfits. Love the colors and how it all came together. A lot has changed, but I still love putting unexpected neutrals together and dressing up simple basics. Notice the metal teardrop earrings? This is pre-Nickel & Suede. 
What else has changed? Well just a few of the biggest items I can think of are...
  • We have four kids now! When I started blogging, we only had two. 
  • Soren is no longer an accountant, and bonus, we now work together!
  • Thanks to the blog, we were able to successfully start and run a full-time business
  • We own a brick-and-mortar store. 
  • I earn a full-time income from blogging.
  • I've learned so much about photography, social media, Photoshop, marketing, and more.
  • We moved across town to a new home. 
  • I've traveled to Dallas, Salt Lake City, New York City, Milan, and more. 
  • I've been able to share my miscarriage as well as other struggles and happy times with so many of you.
  • I now meet people who are wearing our earrings or who read my blog in so many different places all over the country. 
When I started my blog I had really small hopes that anyone would read it. I felt like there were enough blogs out there already and that there was no more room for me. But I also felt like it was a "Go big or go home" situation. I didn't want to pour effort into something that wasn't successful. So I gave it my all, and thankfully there were so many different ways to measure success along the way!
At the beginning I felt such support and success by meeting other bloggers and getting comments from them on my blog posts. My first posts have 25+ comments each. Today I'm lucky to pull in three! :) I learned little by little that as you get better, your audience gets bigger. Putting myself out there was rewarding, and every time I was vulnerable it was rewarded. (I've always had the kindest readers, and I'm so thankful for that!)
I wasn't great at anything that it takes to be a blogger at the beginningexcept that I was consistent. I was dedicated and I showed up DAILY for years. And it paid off. It paid off then because it felt so good to learn new things and to see progress. It pays off now because I feel like my brand and my style are more me than ever. I learned all along the way by going to conferences and by talking to other bloggers. I still follow bloggers who are better than I am at what I do, and I try to improve what I do by what I learn from them. 
Do I think I've "made it"? No. I'm not sure what that would even mean for me, but I am really happy with where I'm at. I'm proud of the work I do here and at Nickel & Suede, even if there is plenty of room to improve. I still fall victim to the comparison trap and like I said before, I don't spend a lot of time looking back at old blog posts and patting myself on the back. :) 

But what I think I feel most out of looking back at the last five years is that if you want to do something someday—like start a blog or start a business—now is the time to take those steps. Five years will pass either way, and you'll either be closer or no closer to that dream in that amount of time. So much can happen in five years if you are willing to do the work every day, little by little. I'm so thankful for the risks that other people encouraged me to take years ago and for the dream job I get to do every day because of them!

If you want to take a look back at any old posts, I've listed a few of my favorites below. Thanks for your kindness, support, and for allowing me to share our lives with you. I wouldn't be much of a blogger if I didn't have you showing up to read or appreciate what I do!
The Early Days
My first style post. Ever. 
First DIY. 
My first and most popular hair post for years.
More early blogging style.
Favorite Real Life Posts 
How Did You Decide?
Honest! I Think People Forget Who I Am.
A Big Announcement (Miscarriage)
Who Doesn't Want More "I can be like her!" Moments
Nickel & Suede
The Original Leather Earrings Were Born
Soren Quits His Job
Our First Seasonal Photo Shoot
Buildings and Dreams Falling Down
The Nickel & Suede Store


  1. Congrats on your 5 year Blogiversary! So happy for you :)

  2. I just came across your blog and am so excited to follow along! I LOVE your hair -- I'm getting mind chopped next month and am using your style as inspiration!

  3. I have truly loved following your blog for the last 3.5 years (since I started reading) :) You are honest, good or bad, and so true to yourself. Keep up the great blogging! :) I am also now Nickel & Suede obsessed with 40+ pairs...

  4. Congratulations on 5 years! I wanted to share that you were actually my very first blogger I ever followed. It was about 2 years ago and I had just gotten my hair cut short and I was looking for ways to style it and I came across a video you did. I loved it and it was easy to follow. From that, I blog follower was born! I follow several bloggers now but I always love reading your posts. Our day to day lives couldn't be more different, but I always appreciate what you have to say and find myself relating to most of it. Just thought I would share how you've influence more people than you realize. So keep at it and congratulations again! Gretchen

  5. Yessssss, I'm going to be one of your 3 blog comments! ;) Bahaha kidding. I'm so proud of you for how much you've grown, what you've accomplished, and the fact that you always want to learn and make things better. I'm soooo glad and grateful for our friendship and for having you as my blogging co-worker. I'm also soooo glad for Nickel & Suede earrings, which have singlehandedly renewed my love for wearing earrings. :P <3 Congrats on 5 years, and cheers to many more to come! Go on with your bad self, Kilee!

  6. Hey girl. Here's a comment. Congratulations on going for it and putting yourself out there. You're an inspiration.

  7. That was fun to read and I enjoyed the links to older posts. I haven't been a reader since the beginning, so it was fun to see some of the highlights!


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