Four Years Old!

By Kate Riley February 15, 2013

number fourHey there friends, today CG turns four! February 15th marks the day four years ago I logged into Blogger, picked this url, and started this adventure as a hobby in the beginning and now it’s a job, I never would have imagined such a thing could happen.

Along the way I’ve made some amazing friends and been blessed with incredible opportunities, I’m so grateful for each one, but I must say the thing that keeps me coming back to the keyboard each day is you and I mean it with all sincerity.

Your comments motivate me to share my ideas, designs, and thoughts on a regular basis so I have to start with a big thank you to all of you who continue to read each day. I’m not going to analyze the blog traffic in numbers but I will say they long ago exceeded my expectations.  

Every year I write a summary of what I’ve learned so I’m doing it again this year but first I thought it would be interesting to see what four years into this gig the readership looks like – thanks to thousands of survey answers, here’s a breakdown of the numbers which reveal who YOU are.

This cracked me up but I really wasn’t surprised. Hello to you male readers out there, I love when you comment!

male or female


In the age group, I broke down the younger crowd into 5 year categories but then mistakenly grouped the over 40 crowd into 10 year groups (gaffe!) and you all left some great comments about that!  

age of cg readers


A majority of you have college degrees, you smart people you, and I love when you catch my typos and grammatical errors, which is at least one per post. 



Four out of five of you have tied the knot!

marital status


Similar statistics for residents, more than four out of five of you own your home.

own or rent


Here are the numbers on annual income for CG readers. I didn’t ask if these were gross or net figures since I get a little nervous asking people how much money they make, but since it was an anonymous survey I felt more comfortable asking and I’m assuming these are mostly pretax numbers.  

annual income level


Looks like most of us are on a budget when it comes to sprucing up our homes, retailers take note!

decorating budget


I watched these percentages change over the course of a day, in the morning and afternoon the “no children” category was above 50% but then in the evening it dropped down to about a third which tells me a lot of you parents catch up on your blog reading at night. 

parent or grandparent


You people love The Facebook. And like me, many of you are hopping on Pinterest too (that’s my most favorite social media hangout).  The “others” mentioned were Tumblr and LinkedIn – two other tools I love and should use more frequently but I forget! 

social media


These numbers surprised me a lot, here I see that most of you prefer to come directly to the site, thank you! And now I’m more motivated than ever to spruce up the presentation and make it look better. A bunch of you in the “other” category read from Bloglovin’ and other blogger’s sidebar blogrolls, interesting!

method of reading


These results are spot on because what you like to read about percentage wise is what I like to write about. DIY is my favorite of course (but see my notes below) with decorating and design topics coming up right behind it. I try to do one of each per week if I can and fill in with the rest. I see many of you like the ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ roundups and the Centsational Style articles too, thank you!

favorite posts


Hey you like the same stuff I do in your leisure time, we should be BFFs. Some of the other activities you mentioned were these: going dancing, horseback riding, Bible study, knitting or crochet, antiquing or thrifting, drinking wine, volunteering, even more reasons why we all need a giant club.  :) 

reader hobbies


The final comments were mostly complimentary (thank you) some of you offering suggestions for improvement or topics to tackle (the “solutions for renters” series will pick up again soon, I’m still doing more research) but you gave me a lot of information to consider for future posts. 

Many of you asked for More DIY – As you know, I’m incurable when it comes to DIY and I’m always trying to think up ways to build and create, but there’s only so much more I can do with my house this year. Matt and I are discussing the idea of building or remodeling another house again in the next year as a “flip” but in California, that costs a lot of dough so we’ll have to be really resourceful to pull it off, but it could happen!  Mostly I’ll continue to help friends with their homes and projects and I’ll do my best to bring the DIY projects whenever I can. A lot of you said you loved the Alma Project and so do we. Giving back + DIY is a dream for us. Right now, we don’t have anything in the works, but I’ll be meeting with our local shelter soon and strategizing on how we can help.

Ask Kate.  Many asked if you could submit design dilemmas, yes of course you can! I can’t guarantee a post right away but if you’ve got an issue and the answer would benefit others with a discussion, by all means email me your question! There were several suggestions on “how to” posts like “how to pull a room together” and “how to accessorize” etc.  so I’ve got a lot of ideas for future articles on those specific topics. 

My favorite comment (and I read them all) on what you would change was this: “more cowbell”.  I seriously laughed out loud at that. If you don’t get that joke then you must watch this video.

more cowbell


… and now more words on what year four years taught me

Stay Active.  In the last month I’ve spent four days a week exercising for an hour a day and it has had a significant effect on my mood – I feel energized and excited about blogging, instead of feeling like it’s a chore some days. I’ve gained some weight from too much time spent online and my level of health and fitness has suffered in the past year so I’m determined to get that healthy feeling back I had a few years ago when I was exercising regularly like I am again. 

Take Time Off.  Last year I took a week off of blogging every few months and it was so worth it. It felt great to step away and to spend time living a life offline and I returned enthusiastic and full of ideas. I plan to do more of it this year and I encourage all of you to take blog vacations and not worry about losing traffic or even filling up the days with guest posts, just take the time off! Your readers understand and they will wait for you. I’m convinced that time away will save you from blog burnout.  

Do Your Thang.  Copycats are boring, it’s authenticity that’s the key! March to the beat of your own drum on your blog, life’s too short to try to be anything you’re not. My favorite bloggers are the ones who wear their personality and style with pride – it may not be my style at all but I’m drawn to those writers for their self confidence so do your thing  – some people won’t be fans but that’s okay, you can’t please them all!

Know Your Limitations. There’s that saying “comparison is the thief of joy” and those are the truest words to take to heart for any blogger. Some blogs have the fortune of a a team of writers to churn out content and that’s awesome, kudos to those bloggers but don’t let that get you down. If it’s just you and you’ve got other things going on – a job, kids or parents to care for, a limited schedule, that’s cool. Blog when you can but don’t ever let your blog run your life or affect your relationships.

Partner Wisely. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as your blog grows there will be plenty of opportunities that come your way, say no to anything that doesn’t work for your vision or your brand – your long term reputation is much more important than short term monetary gain. If you get into a situation or partnership that doesn’t work, find a way out. Like in business or in personal relationships, partnerships need to be mutually beneficial – hold out for the good ones, they’re worth the wait!

Thanks so much to all who visit here, I’m grateful for your support and feedback. And many thanks to the contributing writers – Amanda, Shannon, Courtney, Liz, and Michelle – I love publishing their words and fresh insight, look for more of their articles later this year.

I think I set a new record for number of words, this post has 1,500+ !  Have a great weekend everyone, see you back here next week with some more DIY projects I’ve been working on!


kate signature image




  1. Time out for bloggers is great. We miss the posts, but would much rather have a refreshed you than to plug along day after day and have your output compromised.

    I enjoy your blog and as a once Petalumian and San Rafael resident, I can relate to allot of what you say. Just wish you had the blog going when I was there. I am now in Atlanta and happy to relate from afar!

  2. Yay to 4 years! I’ve loved your blog from what feels like the beginning, although I’m sure that’s not true. You are fabulous at what you do and are great at communicating it! Here’s to another fabulous year!

  3. Well done Kate. We love, love, love your blog and enjoy all your inspiration and all that you do. Here’s to many more years!!!! Cheers!

  4. If you took off a month, I’d come back a month later! I pretty much have stuck with 4 blogs after perusing tons of them. Layla over at Lettered Cottage doesn’t blog every day and sometimes goes 3-4 days without blogging and I still check her site. It’s the quality, style and content that makes me stay loyal…not how often you post. :)))

    • Very well said Grace, I loved your article, you are so right, it IS like a marriage, and thanks so much for your kind words.

  5. Congrats on your 4 Year Anniversary at Centsational Girl. I am soooo in love with your blog. As a DIY’er, your posts truly give me so much inspiration and decorating ideas for my home. I wish you many more years of success in blogland!

  6. How wonderful to celebrate with you on your 4th Blogiversary! I love every post, even if I doubt my ability to duplicate your wonderful DIY and decorating prowess. You still inspire me and make me feel that just maybe this empty-nester can repurpose and create something unique instead of always purchasing something new. Loved reading all of the stats of your readership and sending best wishes for even more growth and success in all of your future endeavors.

    Victoria in Texas

  7. Happy 4th year Kate! I’ve been with you since the almost the beginning of your blog, thanks to Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Your plans for your blog moving forward sound great, thanks for keeping me inspired.

  8. I started the survey, but when it got to income, I stopped the survey. But regardless, I love, love, love your blog and you are extremely talented. Friends we would be indeed. I want to suggest doing some sort of wicker repair DIY. My once beautiful pier 1chair is now missing strands thanks to my two kiddos.

  9. Congrats on the four years! You are an inspiration. The survey results are really interesting! What I find most stunning is how similar the hobbies of all those blog readers out there seem to be.

  10. Congrats!! Happy 4 year Anniversary!! Thanks for all the humor and advice in this post. I am in that over 40 stat… You are one of my favs that I read everyday! My blog is brand new, I am having a lot of fun with it! Learning so much in the process! I can only hope in 4 years I’ll be writing a post like this!! Thanks for all your hard work! Enjoy the weekend!

  11. Fun to read the statistics to see where I fall among your readers! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. Congrats on an amazing four years Kate! One of the things I love about your blog is the consistency and quality of work you put into everything you do whether its a small DIY, grasping a better understanding of your readers, or a big charity project. You care and it shows! So glad I got the chance to meet you this year. Wishing you many more blog vacations and years of blogging success!

  13. Congratulations Kate! Yours was one of the first blogs I found. The quality of your posts has never wavered, you continue to inspire and energize me. A day without CG is like a day without sunshine, I look forward to reading your posts every morning.

  14. Congrats on 4 years! Amazing! Great advice you gave at the end. I need to take the advice of stepping away for a week here and there. It is hard to do when you are building as it seems like I will lose momentum, but I think myself and my family probably need it.

  15. Wow. When I saw the “More Cowbell” video my heart stopped! My husband and I just showed our two teenagers that video on You Tube at Christmas. I wish we could be friends Kate. Reading your blog and your emails is the next best thing. It amazes me how many shared interests, including the appreciation of a classic comedy bit, we have. Thanks Ashley for “suggesting” it!

  16. Congratulations!! 4 years is quite an accomplishment. And what an amazing blog. I’m not a regular commenter, but wanted to make sure to tell you that I read and love every single word on this blog. :) Keep up the great work!

  17. Congratulations! I love your blog and have read it all from front to back.
    RE: Cowbells. My son was so in love with Walken and his cowbell thing that I gave him several cowbells (and even a couple of goat bells) that he’s used as a handsome grouping in his home, except a tiny goatbell which was hung from a lamp. (All were from ebay.) Who knew cowbells could become a design statememt?
    Thanks for your inspiring blog.

  18. Thanks for all of your inspiration, Kate! I start my day reading your blog with my (first) cup of coffee and it always impresses. I am looking forward to many more years of your advice and creativity. Congratulations for making your hobby and your passions your career!

  19. You are so incredibly creative and talented – you deserve all the great things that come your way. You help so many more people than you realize. I am sure you are a great mom and wife – happy wife, happy life as they say. I’m so happy you can do something you love and are passionate about and make $$$ too. It does not get any better than that. Happy 4th and many more to come.

  20. Congratulations on 4 years, CG!! I too look forward to following your journey wherever it leads!!

  21. Congratulations! I subscribed to your newsletter around 3 years ago and look to its arrival in my mailbox. So many really great ideas and so much information.

  22. Happy 4 Years! Your blog is amazing! You are truly a pioneer and I’m so glad you have had so much success. I read LOTS of blogs and yours is one I never ever tire of. Thanks for not only sharing your awesome-ness but for also sharing tips and advice for other bloggers.

  23. I enjoyed your survey results and seeing where I fell into the percentages :) One idea I have had and would like to suggest as a post that I would love advice on is decorating/staging a home with small children! I would love to have beautifully decorated end tables and coffee tables but with 4 (plus one on the way) kids running around I need some creative ideas on how to decorate certain areas of our home. Obviously anything on the walls is *fairly* safe…it’s just the tables that I am finding tricky. Thanks for all your wonderful posts!

  24. I was just thinking prior to logging on to my decorating “favorites” that yours is the one I look forward to the most. You share and teach us things. I appreciate that. Good luck in the future.

  25. When I saw the title of this post, I thought we were going to see pics of you as a child :). You’ve accomplished so much in four years Kate, and you are an inspiration. You deserve all you have achieved and more, and I think I speak for many, many other readers when I say we look forward to decades more with you.

  26. Happy 4th Birthday CG!! I’ve been following along on your blog journey for some time now. In fact, you were one of the first blogs I started following regularly! Now I’m hopelessly addicted. I guess I have you to thank for my lack of sleep!! Congratulations on all your successes!

  27. Congratulations! I’ve been following you for a good part of those four years. I have to agree with the readers, I love a good DIY project!

  28. Brava, Kate!

    You embody the American Dream of creativity, invention, self-reliance, and a Can-Do Attitude. You share your talents with others and teach and inspire them. All great Americans of the past did this.

    This country is full of brilliant, energetic and inventive people, but many are unsure how to apply their gifts to something productive — you have!

    Keep going, don’t let anything stop you. And never mind the cowbell!

  29. You should have asked our country, i never bother entering giveaways in any of the blogs i visit since i don’t qualify anyway. I enjoyed reading the results, and i am one of those people looking for DIY ideas and love your blog for the creative projects.

  30. Congratulations on 4, Kate!! :) I remembered that our blogs have “birthdays” close together, so I looked in my archives. Mine is today! Your site has just exploded over the past 4 years, and I am honored to involved. This is still one of my very favorite blogs to read, so you are doing somethin’ right! You have fabulous style, but your writing is easy to relate to and down to earth. Here’s to 4 more years! And, yes, more cowbell would be awesome.

  31. A big and sincere congratulations on your 4th year in blogging. And an even larger thank you for being not only a great blogger, but a great inspiration and help to those near and far. Myself included. Good job! ~ karen

  32. Congratulations to you Kate! 4 years of wonderful blogs that have inspired many to redecorate, renew and re-invigorate their houses and lives! Thank you!

  33. I’m a married man with 5 kids and a doctorate. I first started reading your blog when I googled some how-to project, I think involving spray painting furniture, back in 2009. I still check in and read up at least every week. Happy Birthday!

  34. Congratulations!! You always have such amazing tips. You are such an inspiration to me and my little blog! I check in all the time and love all the DIY advice you give. Thanks!

  35. Thank you for having me for the ride for the last 2 years. It has been a whirlwind and a learning experience. Here is to us celebrating 10 yrs of Centsational Girl!!!!

  36. Congratulations Kate!
    Hope for 40 more years of good reading in your blog!
    You are soooo you, and it makes your blog one of a kind! Love it!
    I also think you should have asked for our country. I think you’d be surprised! Because you navigate the world, gal!

    Wish you the best

  37. Here is a great nursery done in an apartment with white walls. I thought it was so clever :)

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