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The Top 10 Posts That You All Read The Heck Out Of This Year

There are all sorts of metrics and data that we have for every post but what we care most about is the fact that you all dedicated time to read all the way through (THANK YOU) – and this we can tell by average ‘time on site’. It’s like an artist selling a painting or a furniture maker selling a chair – these words are our ‘product’ and when they actually get read, we feel really really good. So these are the top ten ‘longest time on site’ posts which is different than most highly trafficked or even ‘popular’. These have nothing to do with google or any algorithm – just good old fashioned ‘reading’ and almost all of these are very personal. In many ways some of these are our favorite posts of the year.

10. The True Cost Of Moving Into A New Neighborhood, Sorry I Mean Gentrification . . .

graphic by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the true cost of moving into a new neighborhood, sorry i mean gentrification . . .

I LOVED Sara’s honest post about her buying her home in a gentrifying neighborhood (and what you can do to not be part of the problem while still trying to get into the market with your first home).

9. Our Guest Room/Office Basement Suite Reveal … + How To Make A Basement (Office) Feel Warm, Happy And Functional

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: our guest room/office basement suite reveal … + how to make a basement (office) feel warm, happy and functional

Basements HIT this year – especially office/guest room basements for obvious reasons. I loved how ours turned out, after 3 years of living with it as a storage room we styled it right (just to sell it). OH and the house is going BACK on the market in January (we wanted to do some repairs that came up in inspections during both escrows). So if you know anyone…

8. REVEAL: Our Boy/Girl, 2-Twin Bed Shared Kids Room… With A HEAVY Dose Of Mama Drama

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: reveal: our boy/girl, 2-twin bed shared kids room… with a heavy dose of mama drama

I’m so glad you guys loved our kids room – I LOVE it even though the kids have never actually slept in it. We are taking all of that to Oregon (even though now that I think of it we’ll likely do full beds in their non-shared rooms…).

7. The Hendersons Are Homeschooling… On Our Own (Here’s The “Plan” Or What We Really Hope Will Happen)

photo by brain henderson | from: the hendersons are homeschooling… on our own (here’s the “plan” or what we really hope will happen)

I’m a little surprised about this, but at the same time as a pandemic mom, I would read the crap out of someone else’s home school situation. An update: we found part time childcare 9 am – 12/1 pm a few times a week and she is GREAT with having them do reading/writing/math in the morning then Brian and I share afternoons with them for cooking class, PE, and lots of nature. Some weeks are fine, some aren’t but we know that so many other parents with less flexibility/privilege are struggling so hard so there is no complaining from me (publicly anyway). We are VERY excited for in person school to start in the fall.

6. Like Most Guys, I Didn’t Want To Go To Therapy. I Did, And It Saved My Marriage.

photo by veronica crawford | from: like most guys, i didn’t want to go to therapy. i did, and it saved my marriage.

That man is the best and this year he’s just gotten more and more open. He’s made it his own personal goal to normalize guys going to therapy with all our friends and his family by just talking so openly and frequently about it.

5. All The “Hows”, “Whys” And “How Much’s” Of The Turf At The Mountain House + Introducing My Landscape Designer – Brian Henderson

photo by brian henderson | from: all the “hows”, “whys” and “how much’s” of the turf at the mountain house + introducing my landscape designer – brian henderson

I had no idea that you guys would love reading about turf so much! Update – we love it and I just wish I had done it around the now hot tub and made the fire pit area smaller, but oh well 🙂

4. Happy 10 Year Anniversary, Brian (Plus a 20 Year First Date Anniversary Update)

from: happy 10 year anniversary, brian (plus a 20 year first date anniversary update)

Like me, you all love getting inside other people’s relationships (have you guys seen the Showtime show called ‘Couples Therapy’?? It is just that and it’s on Hulu now and totally addictive and real and sad and hopeful). In this post, I wrote about our ups and downs over the last 20 years (spoiler, after some downs + therapy the last 4 years have been the happiest we’ve ever been, we aren’t ‘cured’ but we’ve finally figured some things out!).

3. Caitlin’s Roller Coaster House Hunting Saga Continues…

from: caitlin’s roller coaster house hunting saga continues…

Oh yah, I was riveted by this post. Caitlin is such a funny writer with such a great voice and her saga was THRILLING. You HAVE to read it.

2. Why I Went Back To Church (Even Though I Don’t Know If I Believe In “God”… Yet)

from: why i went back to church (even though i don’t know if i believe In “god”… yet)

One of the big things that I’ll miss when we move to Oregon (besides friends) is this church we found. It’s so accepting and inspiring (all due to an amazing pastor, pastor Kyle who is in AA and is just so nonjudgemental, open, vulnerable, and funny!). If you live in LA and are curious about a Christian church where I didn’t even have to believe in a the traditional Christian God to feel accepted and to learn so much about myself and the world, Silverlake Presbyterian Community Church on Hyperion is wonderful. I looked forward to it every week, which I didn’t know was possible. Brian even loves it and he’s totally agnostic – so that says a lot. When the world opens up I hope the kid’s nursery that I designed actually gets some use!! I actually need to finish it now that I think about it. Anyway, I didn’t want to advertise the church before for privacy reasons but now that we are leaving LA I’d love for that sweet place to grow (Kyle just started there a couple of years ago). Tell him ‘Hi’ for me 🙂

1. We Are Moving!!! But To Where???

from: we are moving!!! but to where???

It’s hard to resist a major life update post and many of you read the heck out of this. We announced we are moving back home to Oregon and in the new year you are going to hear about where, what, and when it’s all happening (we finally closed on the property two weeks ago). It’s all VERY exciting on every level. Those of you renovating are going to want to watch the blog this year – a ton of major reno content coming at you soon!!!!

Thanks again so much for reading this year. We hope that these more personal posts kept you entertained or distracted from what was certainly a challenging year for us all at home. xxx

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2 years ago

I remember all of them. Great pieces coming from real humans and written with heart. Keep on and all the best! Big thank you!!
PS: the kids don’t want to share a room anymore? Or is that just an option?

2 years ago

i would rethink mentioning pastor kyle’s other affiliations! it was his choice to disclose to that to the church community (and i’m sure his vulnerability was helpful there) but his anonymity should be honored here. thanks, and happy new year!

2 years ago
Reply to  A

I’m sure his affiliations were mentioned here and originally from him, because they should be celebrated and honored!

Great people have to stand in greatness to light the way!

2 years ago
Reply to  Susie

i agree that any recovery journey is commendable, and have many close family members in recovery! but in the tradition of AA specifically, it is up to the member to disclose their membership to whom they choose on their own terms. he chose to share with the congregation; he did not choose to share with this community.

it’s not anything to do with shame – more about letting each person set their own terms of exposure.

definitely a nuance – but on the whole, better safe than sorry!

2 years ago
Reply to  A

Most services are recorded and streamed these days (even before the pandemic). If this is the case for his church, then it’s public knowledge.

2 years ago

I’m not able to put a comment in the turf grass post so leaving it here. An amazing book for great native plants by region is called Gardening for Butterflies by the Xerces Society. It goes into how different native plants are host plants for various butterfly species. It’s such a fun thing to get into with kids. And when your landscape supports caterpillars it, by default, also supports birds.

Erin Kinney-Fields
2 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Wow. Have they now turned off comments on the turf post?? Woof. That post already had many comments asking for self-reflections on ecological impact, which were deleted, and now they are doubling down on how much they like their plastic outside dirt cover which disrupts birds, bugs, bacteria, and so many other life giving necessary beings…oy.

2 years ago

comments automatically turn off on every post after 2 weeks 🙂

2 years ago

I’m not surprised at all, that these were the most read posts!
This is exactly what I meant in the other “Hits vs Misses” post … It’s the real people, real stories that have helped this blog to evolve into a community, rather than just a readership.
This is why we love coming here.

I’m so, so excited for your family to be making the big move!
I’ll be ready and waiting for all the good stuff. 🤗
The kids are going to go turbo in a face-to-face school environment. Whoo!

You’ve done a fabulous job throughout this massively challenging year.
You’ve adapted, shifted focus, stayed relevant and especially, walked your talk with respect to the very difficult social issues.
I’m so impressed and so proud of you for being an Authentic. Human. Being.
Thank you.
Rusty xx

2 years ago
Reply to  Rusty

Rusty, it was said by others a couple posts back (maybe the ‘Hit’n’Miss’ post?) but I really need to second what was said…I’ll read your blogpost if you’re ever invited to contribute, you have so many valid and positive things to say and your comments are always chock full of personality.

2 years ago

I remember and loved all of these posts except the artificial turf one– I’ve been worried about your poor smothered trees ever since! Please, please, pretty please, have a certified arborist come out & take a look and give you some advice!

2 years ago
Reply to  Lori

I guess it’s kinda like putting a plastic blanket over all the important microbial critters that feed the soil and the trees, that feed the insect critters, that polinate the plants and feed the feathered critters….and so on.

2 years ago
Reply to  Rusty

We put in artificial turf about 12 years ago and it looks good and is super easy to maintain. However… we lost two trees not long after. The turf isn’t as permeable as we would like and does impede bugs, etc. sometimes I wish we had gone with a more natural lawn alternative. I do think we use our yard more because it is so comfortable and easy to play on, eat on, and put our dining table on. It’s definitely a trade off.

2 years ago

I love your stories; I love the heart, honesty, wisdom, humor, and all the design and I hope Brian writes more because it’s really nice to get a man’s perspective- plus he’s an excellent writer! Thank you for just being real, particularly in this really sucky year. Sending lots of love to you, your family & excellent team and skål to a totally better than 2020, awesome, exciting, healthy, happy, full of major love & prosperous new year!

stacey w
2 years ago

You have a great staff but *your* honesty, charm and warm personality are why I read this blog. Thank you and happy holidays!

2 years ago

Wow! Is is good or bad those MOST of these are not about home decor and styling? Maybe that just reflects the times. I think the basement post was the best one this year so I am not surprised that made the top 10! It was a relatable project with ‘use what you have’ and budget friendly pieces. More of this please please please 😊

2 years ago
Reply to  LizM

That’s what I mean about evolving, becoming resilient (as a blog) and remaining relevant, but most of all… having created an interactive community, as opposed to a pretty picture online magazine about perfect decor.

2 years ago

Hi Emily! Do you have the rough dimension of the fire pit area and/or the dimension you wish it was? I’m in the middle of planning my own 🙃