So, after I posted on Friday I packed up and headed out of town for an incredible weekend (and didn’t go near the computer). I returned home to find an onslaught of crazy wonderful comments from you about my ‘blogging’ post. Thank you. Again, thank you.

My sweet, dainty little niece turned 6 months old recently. Lesley stopped by last week to bring me some tiramisu for my special weekend and I tried to get a few shots of Sweet P. I thought I’d share a few tips for those of you wanting to get pictures of your babies…at home, without a professional studio and with other kids running around.

Photo tip: Keep a collection of props and have them ready to go before you start taking pictures.

FireCracker has never kept headbands on long, but I can usually get one on long enough to get a picture. I pulled out a bunch of hers prior to Sweet P’s arrival and she thought she’d try them all on.

Photo tip: Set up the space you are going to take pictures in prior to starting. Play with your camera setting. Open windows all the way to let as much light in as possible. If you have older kids try to get them to sit in the area to practice your camera settings before bringing in the baby. Sometimes the older kids don’t want to help.

Photo Tip: If it isn’t your child, it is okay to ask the mommy to step out of the room. Sweet P was smiling for me until Lesley walked in and then she started crying for her mom. As soon as Lesley stepped back out…the smiles returned. I also have to shut the door to keep my older kids out of the room. If someone else is in the room talking to the baby most babies will look at the person talking instead of toward your big black camera.

Photo Tip: You don’t have to have a large space and great backgrounds, but you do need great lighting. Find a lot of natural light and create a spot. This is a bed in my daughter’s room. Typically there is a bright quilt and lots of pillows on it. I set them aside for a more simple background.

FireCracker wanted the baby so badly. It is fun to see Sweet P enjoying her older cousin a bit more these days. I see a great friendship in the works.

She was cracking me up with her faces. I know I am her aunt so I am partial, but SHE IS GORGEOUS.

These are both real smiles, but the second reminds me of a little girl fake smiling for school pictures.

Headbands from Lou&Lee, Snugars. Red visor from Twirling Betty. First quilt by my Aunt Sandy, second quilt by Rachel Denbow,

puffy white blanket from IKEA, last quilt by my Aunt Sandy.

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  • Robyn Lee - I absolutely LOVE these pictures. I think the last one is my favorite. It reminds me of something I would do with my one and only niece. LOL!

  • heidi - So sweet!!!

  • Abbie Torroll - so so sweet Ashley;) what a beautiful family you have!

  • April - Cute babies…cute headbands….glad you back home safe !!!

  • andy - great pics
    love them all
    she is one beautiful baby

  • Sarah - she IS georgeous!!!

  • annie hosfeld - I’ve been following your blog for a few months now Ashley; this adorable post compelled me to leave a quick hello. Thank you for sharing your life with us, you are an inspiration.

  • amanda torres - How do I order up a Sweet P? She is too precious. Also, I would like a Firecracker on the side. These girls are too much. I just can’t look at these pictures any longer.

  • Shara - Beautiful pictures. She has gorgeous eyes!!! Would LOVE for your Aunt Sandy to tell us how she made that amazing quilt!!!

  • Reidunn - Look at those eyelashes!
    Great pictures, and Sweet P and Firecracker are so cute.

  • miss chris - These are so beautiful!!! Great tips. I always forget about the accessories until it’s too late. Such pretty girls! xo

  • Danielle - Love these! You do such an awesome job!

  • Mariah - Thanks for the tips! Lovely girlies!

  • Lesley - Thank you so much for taking some pictures of her! I LOVE them ALL! You are so talented. Love you.

  • colleen - I LOVE that face on firecracker in the bottom right of the “cousin love” photos! Oh my word-she ooooozes personality and sass! Reminds me sooo much of my girl at that age-she is now 10 and it looks a little different but oh, how i love that spunk! Is that chalkboard in the last photo and antique school writing board? If you ordered it on-line, would like to know your source! LOVE THAT!

  • amy - in the cousin love collage…the last image on the right..sweet pea looks just like your youngest son!!

  • Krista Lund - these are so sweet and i especially love the cousins photos!

  • Jeannette - Oh, how adorable is she and what amazing pictures!

  • Shannon Phillips - Ahhh! She is so BEAUTIFUL (and I am not partial.) πŸ˜‰ She looks so much like her Mama. Those eyes are just amazing.
    I love that you know you would have gotten a million emails and comments asking where you got your quilts and accessories so you gave the info ahead of time. πŸ˜‰ I must say that I am absolutely in love with those quilts. I want to attempt a more simple design myself.

  • Lori - my one and only goal is to get a nice camera so I can take pics of my kids…these are beautiiiiful!!! both girls are lil cuties. love the headbands!

  • Whitney @ Becoming - Oh my, these pictures are gorgeous!!!

  • Lauren Klouda - Thank you for your tips. No matter what though my pictures don’t turn out as good as yours. You are EXTREMELY talents obviously.

    I love the cousin love. It is really there. :)Beautiful.

  • Tracie - She is gorgeous and I love the two girls together!

  • Lauren Klouda - talented* obviously. That was a baby help typo…

  • Rachel - These put a smile on my face after coming home from getting my bangs butchered. I love the ones of Sweet P. and Firecracker interacting. What sweet girls.

  • ashley jensen - I can just imagine the sounds of their sweet laughs from seeing these pictures! Love. It.

  • JennK - Oh I just Love all of these pictures! BEAUTIFUL!

  • Heather R. - Too stinkin’ cute!!! Love the faces. And the forced school pic smile…ha! I heart your pics.

  • Julie B - My 7 month old Jack has quite the crush on those 2 girls. He smiled and clapped and giggled at their sight. Love the tips! And now I better put them back on the screen, he is not happy with me commenting!

  • Betsy - What a doll! Both girls are beautiful. God did a wonderful thing when he made babies to be so cute! Now, I’m wondering how do you get photos of eyes looking so sparkly?!? Is it something special about your camera or could it be achieved by a less fancy camera?

  • Carrie Rowe - oh. my. adorable.

  • Alba - I love all the pictures, and your little niece is amazing, but i’m sorry, FireCracker stole my heart long time ago πŸ˜‰ (may I remind you I have two boys? πŸ˜‰

  • Ruth - Thanks so much for the tips, Ashley! I would love to see a tutorial on ideas for getting great shots of Firecracker’s age–my Trouble is about the same age and literally turns the other way every time I try to photograph her. She’s making me crazy….please help!

  • Lacy M. - Super cute pics!! Love the cousin love.

  • Jessamy - Gees Louise, this is the most adorable post ever!!! So, so, so, so cute, hold on, there has to be a word that means cuter than cute. You are so talented. Your sister is so lucky.
    Thank you for the daily smiles!

  • Kassondra - i love when you post pictures of sweet pea because my little one is a month younger than her so you give me a couple of idea when her next milestone hits. great pictures and thanks bunches for the tips!!!

  • Jessica Sullivan - The girls are adorable!

  • Katie - What a beautiful, happy post with sweet girls and funny faces!

  • giozi - “I love my auntie” he he he, of course, of course, he he he

    I love the last photo where the 2 princess are together, ha ha ha your baby’s face doesn’t have price. And the Sweet looks so pretty, I love the one where she is up side down with her colorful headband

  • angie - Love these pictures! Beautiful girls!

  • Gynna - Sweet P is adorable! I really love the last photo! I may have to “borrow” that idea with the chalk board! Thanks for sharing!

  • Andrea - Sweet P is absolutely gorgeous! I bet it is so fun to take pictures of her! Firecracker is pretty darn adorable too!

    You all are blessed!

  • allison - those pictures of Firecracker and Sweet P together – so adorable! they are both beautiful girls!

  • rkokes - Beautiful pictures-especially that second one!!

  • sarah j - you are not just partial–she IS gorgeous.

    love the cousin love. big blue eyes on both sweet girls. :]

  • Stacey - These pictures are adorable… Look at those cousin love ones. My 19 month old is 6 months older than her cousin + they give each other the same looks. It’s so special.

    And your niece IS adorable. Those big blue eyes. The girls look like little dolls. πŸ™‚

  • Leanne - She and your daughter look a lot alike. I LOVE the black and white one, and yes, she is gorgeous!!

  • joan kimball - Oh my gosh. How can you make these images so tack sharp…remarkable

  • e l l a - Just came back from AT and voted for YOU. You’re in the lead girl, Congrats!

    Sweet P is adorable and what little girly bonding happening. I love it πŸ˜‰

  • amanda - these pictures are adorable! my son is just days younger than sweet p (i think) and i can’t believe she is sitting up on her own! so cute!!!

  • Alyssa Nelson - Such a beautiful girl! Thanks for the picture tips!

  • Kristin S - Loved seeing your smiling face in Meg’s picture. What a brilliant idea! I love girl time.

  • Amy - awwwww! she is adorable, that last picture cracked me right up!

  • amy jupin - loved meeting you this weekend! so many inspiring and “real” chats…loved every minute. my first thought this morning was how much i wish i had one of cindy’s crepes or some of your sister’s tiramisu to go with my coffee! πŸ™‚

  • ranee - sweet P is adorable and the pics are just precious! My daughter has a girl cousin 6 months younger than her and I think they will be best of friends as well. Your post about blogging was great as well…I’m glad I found your blog and the cuff bracelet makes me jealous!

  • Danielle - I love these photos Ashley, they are simply precious. Those sweet baby legs rolls are to die for!:)

  • Sarah - That last photo of Firecracker and Sweet P made me laugh out loud. Firecracker looks like she is holding in a laugh. Such gorgeous girls!

  • Jen Helbert - beautiful babies!

  • Kimberlee J. - Yay for new friends! I loved meeting you and getting to know you.
    Btw, I need some embroidery thread and can’t get any in Hillsboro…know anyone who has some? Bruce cracked up at dinner when I said, “I have a craft list going.” I have been unleashed to say the least. πŸ™‚

  • Amber - I love everything! about this post! Great pics….adorable little ones….super cute headbands….great “headboard”…and the zig-zag quilt, swoon! I need one jsut like it for the foot of my bed πŸ™‚

  • Kristin Bommer - The last picture of both girls is the cutest thing ever!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - She is so beautiful! Great pics, Ashley!

  • Lauren - Amazing photos, but I have to say, I love the cousins ones the best! You can see the love growing between them! They will be so lucky to have those photos! What a gift you have given them!!

  • Liene - Beautiful pictures! I really love the first quilt. And your daugther has such a beautiful bed!

  • Kimber - look at those cute little punkin’ heads! beautiful girls πŸ™‚

  • Mel {V} - My daughter so has that green tutu skirt and LOVES IT!!! Its so cute on your daughter as well! LOVE IT!

  • Barbara G - Seriously! You have the most adorable niece! I think, when she is with your (also very adorabele) daughter, her smiles are especially gorgeous!

  • hearttypat - has it been 6 months already?? I have been following your blog religiously and it does not seems so long ago when you blogged about your brand new baby niece.. and now look at her, she’s all grown and gorgeous!

  • Desiree - That smile that looks fake reminds me of the actress Kyra Sedgwick and her unique smile. Your niece IS gorgeous!

  • Sarah - Ashley those pictures are gorgeous… what a precious little sweet p. My favorite favorite is the last one of her before her cousin bonding time. That sweet firecracker sure is getting big! What beautiful girls.

  • Allison - both girls are just beautiful. Since you are commenting on Sweet P… she really is gorgeous (not just the ‘aunt coming out’) and those smiles are just too much to handle! She looks SO much like your sister in the red hat photo. Love the ‘sister cousins’! so sweet.

  • Andrea!!! - You’re not partial, Sweet P is adorable. I love love the first picture, though, of your little firecracker trying on all her headbands!!

  • Helen + Bill + Mirys from Brazil - Awsome!!!!

    Really great pictures!!!

    And the girls??? Just lovelies!….

    You are a very blessed (and lucky!) person!


  • Jenny Lacey - How cute is SHE?! So darling…

  • Erin - Hi AshleyAnn,
    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now but haven’t commented yet. My mom is a quilter and I was showing her Firecrackers quilt as a possible idea for her to make for me. Then I scrolled down and saw the beautiful chevon quilt. Would you mind emailing me a picture of both quilts so I have them for my inspiration file??

    I’m glad to hear she’s home from the hospital and she’s adjusting. My thoughts are with her for a quick recovery!!!

    Thanks so much!


Blogging has been a surprise gift in my life. It happened unexpectedly. I really didn’t even know what it was when I opened it.

1.11gift-01Once I tore open the packaging I found all kinds of simple things that bring smiles to my days. I found a creative outlet. I found inspiration. I found friends. I found encouragement. I found a new side of me.

I thoroughly enjoy writing this blog. When I started it I never dreamed it be read by those I have not met in person. When you write a blog you put yourself ‘out there’. There are so many things about blogging I wish I knew when I started it that I know now. As much as I enjoy this little space online, I’ve learned that putting yourself ‘out there’ means not everyone has nice things to say. Those of you that read this blog have always been so wonderful and kind to me in your comments. In many ways I feel like you have my back. You tell me when you see my projects elsewhere. You email me things you know I’d enjoy. You encourage me by cheering me on with your words. Thank you.

However, I know a lot of bloggers that face all kind of harsh words and attacks.Β  I’ve experienced some – mainly on other sites that my projects are featured. It has never made sense to me why someone would use their precious time (we are only given a bit each day) to purposely try to hurt others. It happens though. Sadly, it happens a lot. And if you have an online presence (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you should be aware and prepared for it.

The first negative comment I got was when my daughter’s room was featured on a design website. The comment was about the decor, but it was hard not feel like it was an attack on me. There is a difference. When I share projects, especially home related, I do it now knowing not everyone will have nice things to say. Why is it that I can get 100 amazingly nice comments from you, but the one that plays over in my head is the mean one written somewhere else?

I hesitated sharing about my painted sub-floors this week because I know someone somewhere will leave a mean comment. However, despite the hesitation I posted it. I don’t expect everyone to like my ideas or style. It would be a terribly boring world if we all liked the same things. For me, if sharing my floor inspires one woman to make her home ‘hers’, to be encouraged in living on a budget, or to embrace that creativity God placed in her….it is worth the mean comments that might pop up somewhere else online. It is worth it.

I’ve learned that with all the wonderful related to blogging there is some not so wonderful too. I can choose to give my time and energy to the negative or I can move on.Β  When I choose to move on I often am reminded just how marvelous this whole blogging journey has been to me. Thank you for that.



For those of you that write a blog or comment on blogs, here are some great links related to this topic

Blog Etiquette by Creature Comforts

Online Etiquette and Ethics by Grace of Design Sponge

Dealing with negative comments by CrafterMinds

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  • Lacey R - “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” Unfortunately, so many people don’t seem to be familiar with this golden rule. I’m a commenter. If a post really grabs me, makes me smile, or inspires me, I always leave a great comment! It’s nice to lift people up with our words! If I’m not a fan of something, I say nothing. I think it just boils down to this: some people are unhappy with themselves and they deflect from that by criticizing others. They’re actually hurting themselves by looking like jerks. Oh, and one last thing, maybe you could pick a favorite “comment of the week” and either print it out to hang it by your computer or even post it on your blog……just an idea….

  • annie - it is amazing to me what people will spend their time on – if i don’t like something, i don’t waste time with it. i did a community blog for our larger metro newspaper – it was amazing to me how hateful and mean people could be – unfortunately the anonymity of the online world allows people to be far more harsh then they would in real life. i’ve never gotten any negativity on my personal blog – but i stopped the community one after a year – it was about all i could take – it was taking a toll on me and at the end of the day was not worth it. enjoy the solice of this blog and the people who come to enjoy and celebrate you and your creativity!

  • giozi - I don’t understad the comment about your daughter room, It was gorgeous !!!!
    Your blog is one of my favorites blog, (maybe the one he he) I talked to my friends about your blog, you, and your crafts.
    You are a wonderful woman, mother, and blogger πŸ™‚ You are an inspiration for me, and I’m really happy when I read you.

    Regards, a big kiss and huge.

  • Hollie - Ashley, I have never met you, but I think you’re marvelous! I am inspired every day by you. I LOVE your painted subfloors and wish I could do that, but I live on a slab, so maybe I could paint the concrete in my bedroom?? I love seeing your creativity and how you do things on a budget – for real people just like me. I’m glad you put yourself out there! Don’t ever apologize for your floors or anything else you do πŸ™‚

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - Ashley ~ I love this post. Blogging has definitely brought a new element into my life that I never would have expected. So far I haven’t really had a negative comment, but I have had a blog stalker and that was kind of weird for a while. Like you, I will never understand why someone would take the time to leave a comment that was anything but positive. As a fellow blogger, I know that blogging takes time and effort, and for someone to take anything away from that is just a sad thing to do.

    My daughter sent me to your blog about a month ago and I thoroughly enjoy it. And I really love your painted floor!!! πŸ™‚

  • amy - I love the fact that you just put yourself “out there” about bad commenters. It’s unreasonable that people take the time to comment negatively, but your shoaring your feelings makes ALL of us bloggers feel a little closer and a little more secure in posting the more “artistic” projects and courageous posts.

    I think I’ve already told you this, but when I first stumbled upon your site, I was absolutely in love. It was a post featuring your kids and the first things that got me was your little girl after three boys (I currently have the 3 boys part in my household…). I was so encouraged that maybe there IS hope for a little girl πŸ™‚ The REAL fun started, however, when I dug into your archives, opened every single project and just went crazy as my brain flooded with inspiration. I started pinning ideas onto my pinboards “my kids want these projects” “my house wants these projects” “my husband would really love this (the candy jars). You deserve your own book deal and you definitely deserve to be the girl standing on the Today show and Martha Stewart showing off projects. You ARE that girl and I hope THESE comments resonate in your head and remind you how absolutely amazing you are!

  • Emily - Hi! I have never commented before but just wanted to let you know that I am one of those ladies you have inspired! I am a stay at home mom and we live in a small town house on a smaller budget. I have always been hesitant to do too much here hiding under the excuse that I don’t want to make it hard to sell one day bc it is too much of my taste. Well, seeing your creativity and the way you create such a fun atmosphere for your family, I threw it to the wind! During a nap, I got out a can of apple green paint and painted and glazed my mantel… and LOVE it! I know you have tons of readers, but I just thought I should take a second to let you know that I appreciate all the time you take to share really great ideas, links, thoughts, and glimpses into your sweet little life! Emily

  • stacey - i love you and your blog! and i’m loving the marvelous cuff too…want to share where that gem came from? would love it! thank you for inspiring…you’re blog is the first thing i read each morning when i hop onto the web! you are a joy. and so is your cute family. thank you.

  • Abbie Torroll - you are so beautiful Ashley:D It is strange to me that people would take the time to leave a comment on things they don’t like as well, but I also realize that those people are probably not people I would be friends with in real life anyway. The people that know you, love you, whose opinion count, think you are amazing!! I doubt you you get more than a few negative comments, and the rest of us think you rock and are full of inspiration:) Thank you for that!

  • Ambrosia - I agree with you – I’ve never understood why someone would choose to spend their precious time spreading negativity! There have been a few projects on blogs I haven’t liked (not yours – I ADORE everything you do!), but I wouldn’t dare leave a hateful message! I either pick out something I like to comment on, or just don’t leave a comment at all! I love your blog, your projects, your photography – everything! I think you are such a positive person. Like a cute little ray of sunshine!

  • Cara @ Mischief and laughs - I need to work on making more commments. (not just on your blog but elsewhere.) there are blogs I used to love to read, that I have quit reading because the comments just get so very nasty. I can’t believe that other people would be so mean! On my blog I haven’t had any nasty comments yet, but I wish that I would get more comments in general.

    Anyone want to pop over and say hi?!? πŸ™‚

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - Honestly Ashley, I love your blog. And I love your style. While our styles are pretty different, there is never a project you post that I don’t love. I secretly wish I could have two houses, one that is “my style” and one that combines all the other styles {yours included} that I’m too afraid to integrate into my own home. Please keep doing what you are doing, because you are an inspiration to all of us!

  • Monique W - Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart. It’s so hard to not feel attacked when someone leaves a negative comment. God has really had to teach me that I can either choose to extend grace or I can choose to take offense. There’s little time in our days to dwell on offense πŸ™‚ You do a great job and we all appreciate the time and effort you put in!

  • Shannon - Ok, I LOVE her room a I LOVE your floors!! So much so I’m considering copying!!! But I do know how it feels, that one mean thing always hangs over you. But I love you! You do some things that wouldn’t look right in my space, but I drool over your pictures anyways. Like your yard stick backsplash. I have a dark counter that has a low backsplash as part of it….but if I had something like a butcher block with no or not attached backsplash I would love it! Keep up the good work, and please, ALWAYS share your ideas!

  • amanda torres - Isn’t it sad that we focus on the one little negative comment. Truth is some people just have poopy thoughts that turn into poopy words, and feel better for poo-ing on someone else’s day. You’ve got a really unique home that reflects your family so well. And like you mentioned, the best part is you stay within your budget. You’re encouraging, and we all thank you for it!

  • Lindsey Millard - I have to say that I think it’s hysterical that you picked the floors to use as your example of what people will negatively comment on. I absolutely adore the floors. We have a cement floor that my husband and i have been at odds over what to do with it to finish it. (Had laminate, pipe busted, flooded floor, had to be ripped up.) We don’t want to dump a ton of $$ and your idea is INCREDIBLE!!! So much better than just using textured paint on it!! Don’t let those negative comments affect you because I think you’re brilliant! You solved our household dilemma….well, THIS one anyway!!! God Bless!!

  • Sara Bradbury - I like you so what about the others!

  • Meredith - I do not have a blog but started actively following and subscribing to blogs about a year and a half. I am not an active participant and rarely comment. But I am loyal, and this blog is one of my favorites. This was an excellent post. Why someone would take the time to negatively comment on a blog is beyond me. I thought your floors were amazing. While not my style, I admire your creativity, ability to find a financially viable solution that really works for you, and that is really pretty! Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  • Annabelle - Your blog is a gift. To me.
    Even though I’m on the other side of the globe.
    I am unable to do all those pretty things like you did to your house. So I’m glad you did =) It makes me happy just looking at your pictures.

    I love your subfloors. So much so that though I can’t have them on my floor, I’ll consider them on my walls.

  • Kara - I started reading your blog about six months ago. I’ve been so inspired and less timid about creating a home that reflects my style.
    I love your blog because it is always encouraging and never makes me feel inadequate. πŸ™‚ Keep doing what your doing!

  • Katrina - This was a great post Ashely. Yours is my favorite blog and I read it everyday. I always enjoy it immensly. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with strangers like me. You inspire me and I am very grateful that you’re a part of my daily routine. And as my goal this year is to start my own blog, I really appreciate the links and information. Something else to keep in mind as I enter this big colorful world.

  • Alba - it’s really amazing to me all these people that dedicate their time to write stupid comments at blogs, webs,… I do not post comments here every day, even I read you after lunch, and it’s a good moment of my day at work (I must confess!). Sometimes I don’t have time, sometimes whatever you are posting it’s not for me. But I always love your pictures and whenever I post a comment I have to say it, and I would never ever post something mean. Why? Because I really appreciate your daily efforts to post something (you have four kids under six), because you are showing us a little bit of your life (and your kids life), because you are sharing a little bit of you.
    I know you blog because you want to do it, but you have to know that we appreciate your effort.

  • Kellie - Your blog was the first that I felt compelled to go back through the archives and catch up on everything I missed. I stumbled over here last summer, so I had my work cut out for, but I loved every minute of it! You’ve definitely encouraged me to go for it in our new home. I’m a newlywed, so it goes without saying that we are on a tight budget. In the very near future, I will be ripping up nasty carpet and painting subfloors in two upstairs rooms. You inspired me to look elsewhere for other cheap ways to change flooring — so I will also be “brown bagging” a room on the lower level in the next month.

    Thank you for your audacity – it’s inspiring to those of us who lost it somewhere along the way.

  • Rachel - I, like a couple above, am not a commenter. I am a silent observer. However, I feel you have to know that I love your blog. It is my favorite of probably the 50 or so I read every day (it’s an addiction… I’m thinking of seeking help). I love your family, the beautiful photographs you take of your children, and I am amazed at the time and energy you put into events and experiences with your children. I love your craft and DIY posts just as much as you raising money in the cold to teach my children a lesson about Christmas. From your blog, I’ve gathered that you’re a wonderful person and an even more wonderful mother. When I have children someday, I hope to be even half as dedicated and passionate as you.

  • Cassie - I once had a woman leave a seething comment on my blog about how being a mom wasn’t a full time job and that I was a selfish you-know-what. So, you know, people are crazy.

    I think blogging is one of the most therapeutic things in the world, especially when one is going through challenges. And your blog has definitely been therapeutic and inspiring for me as my husband & I set up our first little home with our little guy: not just your creativity, but your faith and your hope. So push past the crazies! πŸ™‚

  • jaymee - please don’t let all the crabbypants out there get to you – that’s what they want. You’re amazing – front to back and head to toe and frankly I would be lost without you and your posts every morning as I try and psyche myself up for my dumb bank job. You give me inspiration to plug through my day so that I can come home and do something fun. : )

  • Jenna @ Unruh Photography - I love your blog and appreciate each post. You asked how 100 nice comments can be outweighed by 1 negative comment. it is the dipper and bucket theory from “How Full is Your Bucket?” I’d encourage you to read it. It makes you really think about how EVERY interaction effects the two people interacting. There is an adult and child version. I think it is a great concept to carry through life. Thanks for blogging!

  • ashley jensen - I totally agree with Lacey R.! If you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all. I am a PRO at biting my tongue! I just started my blog a month ago and the only “follower” is my dad and I know of a few family members and friends read it every day, so I have yet to hear anything negative. Though you did leave me a nice comment the other day, thanks for checking it out! But I TOTALLY understand how it makes you feel when someone says something mean, in any aspect of your life. Keep doing what you are doing because even if some of the things you do aren’t my style I still LOVE seeing it!

  • Tessa Wilkinson - Ashley, you have no idea how much your blog has meant to me in the last few months! Although my job title is “graphic designer,” i left a big chunk of my creative side back at college. Until I read your blog did that spark come back. Not only have I started more craft projects, your beautiful work and style has helped me in my design work! I don’t feel like I have any boundaries anymore, which I love! You have inspired me to design freely! Thank you for all that you do, you are such a blessing! May God bless you and your family!

  • Anne @ Never outgrow your car - Thank you for writing this post. I am very new to blogging and this is one thing that I am bracing myself for. I see the negativity that people put out there and I too think “why would you waste your precious time to do that?”. I always think to myself “you can’t get those two minutes of your life back!”. Thank you for being so honest and for opening up your home and your heart.

  • Jen V. - What a great post, Ashley. Too many people feel like they need to bring others down for whatever reason, and it’s so disheartening. I hope that you can focus on all the positive thoughts, comments, and energy that surround your blog. Everytime I see your stuff out there or someone commenting on the things you’ve done, a feeling of happiness comes over me. Though I don’t “know” you, I feel like you’ve given us a glimpse of your life and what a talented, genuine person you are. I’m so pleased for your success in the blogging world and wish you even more.

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your beautiful family with all of us readers!!

  • Brooke - i’ve never understood cruel comments on-line. people somehow feel that they can say whatever they want on-line because no one will know it was them that wrote it when they would never say those cruel things to somebody’s face! i say no matter where or how you say it, how do you want to be remembered in the end?

  • cami - I LOVE your blog.. I love your creativity and inspiration. I have frequently attempted several of your marvelous creations. You inspire me to be more creative and to use what God gave me. I used to pawn off “playing Martha” as a waste of time and energy.. but what a waste to lose sight of how God created me. How can I use it for His kingdom? Well, like you, I can try and inspire others. I can bring them joy by sharing my creative crafts. YOU have helped to bring the best out in me. I pray for the criticizers because I can’t imagine how low they must be in their lives to have to spread negative energy. It’s very sad. Life is too short. If you don’t like something, move on and find what you love. No nay-sayers aloud here at Under the Sycamore anymore.. do you hear me nay sayer???

    P.S. Your floors are gorgeous and even better than the ones that inspired you to do it. Seriously. You are extraordinarily gifted! Be blessed today Ashley.

  • Seamsgoodtome - your blog is wonderful and is inspiring to me to take chances when it comes to decorating my new home. thank you!

  • Molly - I couldn’t agree more with your post! I will never understand why people have to knock others down. I have just spent the last 3 weeks teaching about bullying in my health classroom. I have spent those days begging and pleading with my students to treat each other the way they would want to be treated. My hope is they are building habits to be nicer adults. I couldn’t agree more with your comment about wasting precious time…I will never understand it! Thanks for sharing….I know your topic was blog comments, but the meaning extends into life as well. I enjoy reading your blog and being inspired by the amazing things you do! Thank you for sharing!!! God Bless!

  • april's craft nest - why in the world would someone say something mean about decor? that’s really weird to me. if you don’t like it, move on people. i personally loved your subfloor renovation. i wish my husband would let me tear up our carpet, and paint the floor but that’s not going to happen! i know it is hard to ignore bad comments in life, it sure does happen. focus on all the good.

  • emily anderson - it’s weird to me that people think writing a blog is an open invitation to their opinions. i mean, sure, i realize i’m writing in a VERY public forum, but it’s my blog. if you don’t like what’s on there, remove me from your reader (or whatever) and carry on with your day. honestly, a negative comment (or email) has never made me change whatever it was they were being negative about in the first place, so why send it?
    i’m glad you wrote this cause i was feeling icked by a recent negative email. i often think i’m not ready to deal with the negative people, but then again, how do you get away from them?

  • Nicole - For what it’s worth, I LOVED your daughter’s room and it was what β€˜spoke’ to me and inspired me as I prepared for our own daughter’s room. I’m also planning to paint our kitchen floors – they were hidden under linoleum (sp?) for years before we purchased the house and I contemplated painting them after seeing the floor in your daughter’s room. After seeing your painted subfloor – I’m definitely painting them. I love reading about how your children interact with one another, we have a similar dynamic in our home with two boys and a BabyGirl all born within four years. Busy and crazy, but lovely. AND, even more exciting for me, I’m in love with photography and in the process of starting my own side business, so finding your blog through AT was really a blessing because I enjoy that aspect of it as well. Score. Some people will always have hurtful things to say, that’s their choice in how they choose to feel and spend their time. Sad for them. Just know that some of us finding inspiration in your little online world (and covet your dining room chairs!!) – and appreciate the time you take to share it with us.

  • Krista Lund - i hate mean people!
    they have just have too much time on their hands.

    you are too sweet and i am sending a hug with this comment!

  • cheree - AshleyAnn – your painted floors are amazing. Your daughter’s room is adorable. Your boy’s room is lovely. It is all perfect for your family and who you are as a person. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t meet the expectation or style of some other person in the blogosphere… it is right for you and that is all that counts.

    Studying art and graphic design in college was hard for me. We had to criticize each others projects (positive and negative criticism) and in turn learn how to accept criticism. Art and design are subjective. No two people are going to agree on everything and THAT IS OK.

    Keep up the great work of sharing who you are and your design aesthetic with us!!!

  • elizabeth holder - what a wonderful post – and you inspire me – and l love your ideas – keep it up – your blog makes me smile!

  • Sarah - You are the Bomb! Don’t listen to the meanies.

  • Mary Craig - We love you, Ashley, and we DO have your back! You have inspired me over and over again to make my house into more of a ‘home’ by putting my mark on it. WHo cares if others don’t like it? They don’t live with me! You keep being YOU!

  • victoria - you r great :o)

  • Elise - I remembered always being taught “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” so I cannot imagine why someone would feel the need to be negative to you or any other blogger. If you don’t like it, click the mouse and move on!! I personally love your home and really look forward to the day I can paint some fun floors!!

  • Allison - I have been reading your blog for a while and have never commented…today, however I HAVE to tell you how much I love your bedroom floors. I am SO grateful that you didn’t chicken out on posting them. If you had then I would still be at a loss on what to do about my playroom floor πŸ™‚ I am a stay-at-home mom working on re-doing our first home. Your blog has been an a huge inspiration both in deco and parenting. Thank you for all you do! Keep up the good work, you are very appreciated! πŸ™‚

  • Danielle - so glad that you blog anyway. Your site inspires me!

  • bess - hey, girl! thanks for all the inspiration – seriously, my husband and i were discussing your painted subfloors this morning and talking about the benefits of hard floors for allergies – we might not paint our subfloors, but we’re trying to think creatively for solutions – so thanks!
    p.s. LOVE THAT CUFF! if you can, please share the source – :)!

  • Theresa - I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and I am so excited to have found you! You are an amazing person…so full of creativity. I love all your projects and am imspired by them. I wish you were in my area…I would definitely want to be your friend. I would pick your brain for ideas about my house. So, I consider myself lucky to be able to see your life that you have so kindly put out there. You are Marvelous. Thank you for sharing. <3

  • Margie - Your daughters room in awesome…and there are a gazillion people who would agree with me! Maybe the meanie just doesn’t have very good taste… this is the only explanation I can think of to explain not loving that room.

  • Brooke Leigh @ First Avenue - negative comments will keep you coming back stronger, better.
    I find your taste impeccable, from your decor right down the the way you dress your kids every day (who could not love Gap though? I see your kids head to toe in it often. – which is sad that I can pick out baby gap in a crowded room.)

    And me, I’m just one person. There is THOUSANDS out there that feel the same way as I do.

  • Lisa - Just leaving the house and putting yourself out there opens us up to all kinds of vulnerabilities. Sending my kids to school — it has been less than a positive experience for them and for me. We are constantly under attack — I want to stay home and keep them home and only shop online and hide at home, our refuge from the world … forever sometimes — and then I realized where the strife comes from. Satan. And I won’t let him win. He has worked his way into many and I feel sorry for them. I separate people from their actions (try to) and realize where that hate comes from and I feel sorry for them. And I tell myself every single day that I am good enough and I matter and my life is blessed. YOU ARE AWESOME. I come to your site every day and I share your ideas with my friends — and they read your blog as well — and we talk like we are the best of friends and you are sitting right there cheering us on with our own creative and spiritual endeavors. So thank you for doing what you do and b=for being exactly who you are. I ADORE YOU. : )

  • christa - I just want you to know that I LOVE your bedroom floors! I am in a rental, so I can’t even think about doing that right now, but I have bookmarked it so one day when I have my own house I can recreate something like that!

    And your bracelet says it all… you are marvelous!

  • Julie B - Last year I found your blog through a fellow employee. While working I also discovered the chats between two of my co-workers about how annoying and fat they considered me, along with every other nasty thing you can imagine. One of them was my boss of sorts the other had been there for a while. I was deeply hurt. The only thing that kept me going at that job was going in and reading your blog everyday. It inspired me to blog myself. It helped me to heal and forgive them, even though I never told them what I knew. There are just simply mean people out there. Even worse there are mean people disguised as nice people.

    You eased my fears about how it would be with four kids. Even though I have never met you in person, you have impacted my life in such a wonderful way. You have inspired me and words cannot thank you enough.

  • Erin - Ashley- I tune in daily to your blog for your perspective and wisdom. Style, while your IS amazing- is irrelevant. It blows my mind that people would leave negative comments..what happen to “if you don’t have anything positive to say don’t say anything at all!?” Thank you for what you do. Know that for the couple of people that have negative things to say, there are thousands of us that you inspire daily. And not just by your creativity, but by your perspective on life, your faith, the way you raise your kids, and by the way you allow God to use you to be a light to the world. Thank you!

  • andrea martin - Your blog is the ONLY one I check everyday (its right up there in the morning with my email and facebook). Love your work love your style love the personality you put into every blog!!! Thanks for being a part of my everyday!

  • Julie - Aww, Ashley! I adore you, your family, your creativity and your blog. For one, your daughter is ADORABLE and has the sweetest spirit…she must get it from her mother. And your creativity, ugh! So jealous πŸ™‚ Chin up, dear, and keep beating to the sound of your own drum. I, for one, think the music is fabulous.

  • Heather - i agree, i just don’t know why people feel compelled to leave negative comments. no one is forcing them to read what we put out there. i stopped allowing anonymous comments for that reason. the only negative ones were from those that chose to now leave a name. i figure, if i’m putting my name and face on what i’m saying they least they can do is the same. i’ve read blogging for bliss by tara frey and that’s another great blogging resource.

    know that you inspire me daily!!
    have a happy weekend.

  • allison - I just want to spend a moment of my time telling you that you. are. awesome. And I thank you so much for doing this blog. it’s inspirational to me, and I am a better person for reading it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Kristi - Okay I normally do not post but this one has just fired me up on this Friday morning!!! πŸ™‚ I just want you to know that you are the talk of Liberty Elementary School!!! We all talk about how jealous we are that you are so stinking creative and amazing at EVERYTHING you do! You are a TOP NOTCH photographer (which we are ALL wannabees), an amazing crafter, a sewer (we don’t even try), one AMAZING Mommy to 4 beautiful kiddos, and most importantly a woman of God!!!! I get so inspired by you and almost even itimidated to talk to you!!! You are amazing and DO NOT let those hateful people in the world bring you down! Funny story to make you laugh…I’ll never forget when my friend and I saw you at the BA pool and you would have thought you were a celebrity the way we were acting! Espcially after we talked to you!!! Just a funny story to make you smile and laugh! Thanks again for all you do!!

  • ali - I thought that painting your sub floor was a FABULOUS idea! And I think the final look is amazing! I pretty much think everything you do is amazing! In fact, I think I have a slight crush on you! In a non-creeper way, of course! πŸ™‚

  • Emily - Hi there! I posted earlier but was so excited about my 1st time comment I missed the whole point! I talked about painting my mantel gree, and it really isn’t about paint, but that you inspired to be here now. To embrace where the Lord has me in life right now and make it fully our own, not living in a dream of some future that might come. But, to Be here. Thanks!!

  • Andrea - I want to start by saying that I LOVE your blog and your ideas amaze me! My sister and I have been following your blog for a few months now and I call her everyday and say “did you see Ashley Ann’s blog today” there is always something that inspires me or something that I want to try.

    It’s hard to not think about the negative because it is so hurtful. I’ve decided there are a lot of jealous people out there and unfortunately they are using their time to hurt others when what they don’t realize is they are hurting themselves.

  • erica - completely agree, it’s a wonderful creative outlet and it allows me relive our adventures each and every post.

  • Erin - Reading your blog has become part of my morning ritual–I genuinely enjoy visiting your site. Keep up the good work–you rock! May God continue to bless you and yours!

  • Katie P. - I just wanted to say, Thank You! Thank you for your courage to put yourself out there and thank you inspiring me! You’re great!

  • danielle - Really, see I wouldn’t even think that someone would take the time out of their day to be mean, and try and bring someone down. Wow. And yuck. That is actually quite mind boggling. It is not as if you are blogging about a hot political topic or something… lol. As I get older it doesn’t matter nearly as much or at all what other’s may think, we grow into our own, we do what makes us happy and all the rest just fades away. Life is too short isn’t it? That is what I loved when I discovered your blog… you march to the beat of your drum, in every post we can all feel a bit of your heart, your true self. You wrote that this blog is a gift to you, but by revealing you heart, putting it out there you are giving us a gift too! Your an original as you were meant to be, sometimes a real rarity to find today… so goodness don’t ever change.

  • kbonikowsky - I always hesitate to comment. Its like talking to the popular girl in school. lol. But, your post is truth.

    I’ve been thinking about taking flak lately, too. Women have never “put themselves out there” so much before in history, and it seems they are really getting hammered. Contemplating the insults flying in the political arena made me wonder if I’d have skin thick enough to take it. And when it comes to something so personal like blogging about yourself, family and personal tastes, I can imagine it hurts even more. I think of the verse in James (‘scuse the KJV, I memorized it ages ago and don’t want to look it up in NIV)”Be not many masters, knowing you shall receive the greater condemnation.” Its inevitable that when you allow yourself to be looked at by many, the many start to condemn.

    Thank you for your honesty; and for giving yourself, your beautiful home and children to us to admire, laugh with and strive to emulate.

  • Nikisusanne - You are lovely and so is your blog!!! Love to you and your family!

  • lisa - This is such a nice, positive piece. I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but you do have a lovely blog and I really enjoy the times I’ve read here. Thanks for keeping a sweet little spot on the internet, and for keeping it real and positive. Have an awesome weekend with your family!

  • Meadowlark - I’ll play “dissenting chick” on this one, only because I sometimes get tired of the “let’s blow smoke up someone butt” mentality that comes with blogging.

    I mean, have you ever seen what happens when someone makes a negative comment to PW? Suddenly the pack-mentality appears and everyone jumps on the errant pack-member. That mindset – this blogger is a goddess and nobody should disagree – isn’t very healthy either.

    So, if you create something I don’t personally find appealing, I’m going to mention it – although I will try to be nice about it. I think it keeps a person well rounded. It hasn’t happened yet, but just in case it does, know that my intention is good.


  • Julie - Ashley until now I have never posted – why? Not sure. Maybe it’s because you write so beautifully that I felt like mine (as usual) would be rambling. I know how busy you are and you don’t have time for rambling even if it is good rambling. So today I am loosing my virginity and posting – Let me tell you what I love about your blog. I am a mother of 3 and after reading your blog for about the last 6 months you have taught me to slow down. Slow down and enjoy what I have at home. I also own my own business and thought I had been juggling it ok with family but I now know that I have just been getting by. I don’t want to just get by I want to be available to my kids. I have told myself that I work so hard for my family, but my family needs and wants me to have Saturday night snuggle, bake homemade cookies, play board games, kick their butts on the Wii, etc. So I have and it is all thanks to you for opening my eyes and heart. Please don’t get discouraged – people who are negative have their own issues they are dealing with. Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday!

  • Christina - Reading your blog has definitely encouraged me both creatively and frugally πŸ™‚ When I come up with good crafty ideas, I usually don’t act on them because I don’t think my husband/friends/family would ever like them. This is definitely my favorite blog to read in the mornings. Its funny how God uses others to let me know that He is aware He is of little me. And how He has used you to build confidence, and encourage the creativeness He has instilled in me.

    So very glad and thankful that you blog and share your projects πŸ™‚ They are great!

  • Sarah Q - I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share you life, creativity, family and faith everyday. You inspire me.

  • Tammy - My girlfriend forwarded your blog to me and I haven’t gone a day without seeing what you’ve posted! It’s like receiving an unexpected gift in the mail!! I’m overwhelmed with giddy anticipation to see what hilarious (gorgeous) photo or totally awesome DIY craft is! Um… can I just say that I am more inspired every day after I read your blog? She and I refer to you as “Ashley” like we actually have met you. HAHA! Did you see what “Ashley” posted today!… πŸ™‚ We are total FANS – not in the weirdo way but the “WOW, she is so talented and I hope I can capture some of her ‘coolness’ with my kids” way!

  • Kim - Ashley, you are a great mother, artist and blogger. Yours is the only blog I read daily…usually with my 18 month old in my lap, cause she LOVES seeing pictures of Firecracker! Keep doing what you do, you inspire me to be more creative and to learn to live in the moment. Thanks for that.

  • Jenny - girl, I read a lot of blogs and you are my hands down fav! I get excited every morning to sit down with my cup of coffee and see what you’ve come up with for the day, knowing that a great new post is there to put a smile on my face! :and yes mean people stink!:

  • Crystal - Thank you for being so brave and open. Your life, your crafts and your family are an inspiration to so many.

  • Pam @ Keeping Life Creative - Oh, I’ve SOOOO been there are know exactly what you mean. It does seem easier to remember that one negative over the positive. For what it’s worth, I just want to express how much I love your blog and that you are willing to have your own style–whether it’s popular, perfect, trendy, etc. It’s YOU and that makes me love and be so inspired by it. (Not to mention I DO LOVE your style. LOL) You encourage me to be me and that’s one reason I always find my way back here.

  • Megan - Ashley….way to take the high road! and you are right, why waste the energy focusing on the negative when 99.99% is all positive. sorry about that .01% you have to deal with.

    we’ve got your back-

  • Fiona - Hi Ashley. I look forward to your blog every morning. I’m always impressed with what you can get done with four little ones under foot. Please continue to share your design awesomeness. (I’m guessing the design site that you’re referring to is AT. I love their site, but so many of the comments are on the snarky side. So unnecessary.)

  • Katie - I’m so glad that you do put yourself “out there” and keep on blogging, despite the occasional meanie. And, I’m so glad you shared about how you did your flooring! It was definitely an inspiring read.

  • Kellie - That’s too bad. I havnt had negative comments but I have had ups and downs. I have been blogging for a while, and I just havent had people catch on, but I still enjoy blogging, so I do it. I do have some negative people around me, I know some people who read my blog but dont comment. It’s good though because they dont want to show that they support me, but its better to say nothing at all than something mean.

    Have a great weekend.

  • kristy taylor - wow. two of my favorite bloggers have posted today about negative comments & it just blows my mind. people have such meaness in them. such jealousy & hatred. it just makes me sad.

    i just wanted to let you know, that it was EXACTLY the picture of your daughters room that led me to your blog a few months ago when i was planning a nursery. once we found out the gender of our child, it was YOUR boy’s room that encouraged me to go with gray for the walls eventhough everyone was saying “gray?!… for a baby?!”… but i stuck to my guns & i love it!

    keep doing what you do πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer J - Your post reminded me of a discussion we had in my Bible study just this very week. We are studying Matthew this year and try hard to stay on topic but we often draw on own lives and experiences. Early on we noticed a trend that many of our dilemmas revolved around being offended in one way or another. We adopted the phrase “choose not to take offence.” As a confirmed people pleaser this is challanging for me. This week we studied Matthew 15 and verses 21-28 cover the faith of the of the Canaanite woman begging Jesus to help her daughter. Jesus is harsh in his reply (which we learned was really directed at the Pharisees), but the Canaanite woman chose not to take offence and responded respectfully and with wit, which Jesus appreciated. I found it pretty convicting and thought I would share.

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your talent and for inspiration to be a fun mom.

  • Carla - I love your creativity! You’re right, why do we let the one negative out of all the positive ones stick in our minds? Those negative comments can come while you’re blogging, writing books, playing sports, volunteering, in our jobs away from home…in our lives in general, they happen. It plays on our self-confidence, makes us feel vunerable, judged, unworthy. I think that’s why the Bible tells us to think on the things that are good, pure and right. The Bible also instructs us as Christians to “build each other up, not tear each other down – there is power in the spoken word”. I put this in quotes because this is something I used to say to my children when they were little and would start fussing w/each other and calling names. It’s a good lesson for us as adults too.

  • alaina - I just recently started reading your blog and I absolutely LOVE it and am inspired every day that I read it. I just want to say THANK YOU for putting yourself out there and sharing your creative ideas. When I read your post about your bedroom floors I was soooooo inspired. I was inspired by the way you started the project without knowing what you wanted or if it would work, you just did it. I was inspired to make my home my own and embrace my own creativity and not be afraid of a project just because I dont know how its going to turn out. I reallized you have to start somewhere. Also I LOVE the way they turned out! Your photos are gorgeous and your kids are absolutley adorable. I have a boy who is almost 4 and a girl who is 22 months old and your “firecracker” reminds me so much of my little girl. Your last post of her playing with them made me laugh outloud. Thanks for sharing and for inspiring so many people!

  • Brandi - I think you are AMAZING!!! Me and all of my friends check your blog daily and dream of how we want to take beautiful pictures like you. I have taken your snap shots class and I loved every minute that I spent at your house learning how to be a creative photographer.. So dont let those negative people get you down. YOU ARE GREAT!!!

  • Moriah - I agree with all of the other posts. Heck with the negative, who has time for it? In fact, I have been thinking about starting a blog myself because of your blog and many others that are so inspiring. Thank you for the reminder that you cannot please everyone. Have a wonderful weekend and keep doing what you are doing. Many of us LOVE it!!

  • Mary - Dear Ashley: I love everything you post! Even if its only a small thing like a picture of your kids eating breakfast. I love to see how you go about life and how you react to problems we all face. You are amazing. If I saw you in a grocery store I’d run up and hug you without any hesitation. (I hope that didn’t sound creepy!) I have officially decided to paint my sub floor. I’ll probably do cream on white, instead of the gray you used. AND I am super duper excited to see the chicken wire on your walls!!

  • Jen - Well, I think you and your blog are amazing. It would appear that I’m not the only one. πŸ™‚

  • Asha - I’ve never understood the rudeness either! If I don’t like something, I just keep on clicking. Never occurred to me to tell that person that worked so hard on something that I didn’t care for it.

  • Alice H - Some people are REAL pieces of work! And the ONLY thing they know how to do is make a BLANK of themselves!
    I love ALL of your projects and creations. Even if I will never do them (not because I don’t like them but because I tend to be on the lazy, uncreative side), I still like them and think to myself “I wish I would have come up with that!”. Thanks for continuing to share even though you get a few negative remarks (obviously from dumb people).

    P.S. I am getting ready to start working on the CRUSH project. My 10 year old son thinks it’s a little silly for his age, but I told him we were doing it anyways.

  • amy - i love your blog ashley it’s usually the first thing i read on the internet each morning with my tea in one hand..mouse in the other. there are a lot of crazies out there…just keep on going

  • Eileen - Thank you so much for your heart and transparency! I have loved your blog! I love the stories (I have a 16mo. girl and we would love 2 or 3 more!) I love the photo tips! I have loved capturing the sweet moments God has given us! I wouldn’t say that I am great at it, but I am getting better! Thank you for giving me inspiration! I have loved being creative again. Don’t let the words of the enemy play over and over in your head. Thats what he wants. Speak the truth again and again that it renews your mind! I say these things to you, but also to myself:)! I have a tender heart and seem to take things too personally sometimes. So…thank you. I look forward to all that you have to share:)

  • sarah j - thank you for your honesty, your bravery, your creativity, and your willingness to share your heart even when there is the possibility of it being damaged. in short, thank you for persisting despite the negative comments–i love that you didn’t quit even when it got difficult.

    i think you can tell from all this comment love…you are truly appreciated by a lot of people out there. keep it up, friend.

  • Marci - ewww…people who say mean things get me all fired up! I turn into this Mother Bear! I know what you mean about only hearing the nasty comment over the hundreds of nice ones. Honestly though, you have to know that you are amazing! You couldn’t possibly spread so much goodness around & not feel fabulous! Love your blog… love your ideas…love your style…love your pictures…just keep being you. (& if I ever come across a rude commenter in real life…I’ll knock their teeth out…totally joking!)

  • Jill - I am another reader that has never commented before, but I also wanted to share my love of your blog and let you know how much I look forward to reading it every day. You have an amazing family and an incredible heart, and though we couldn’t be more different (I live in a big city, I’m gay, and am agnostic with Buddhist leanings) your blog has truly inspired both my creative endeavors and my plans for the kind of parent I want to be when I have children of my own. Thank you for each and every post.

  • Kelly - Ashley,

    I enjoy reading your posts, each and every day! I love the photography tips and DIY projects! You bring so so so SO much inspiration to people, whether it be creativity, motivation or

    I love your parenting style and cannot wait to have kids someday because of the passion and joy you share with your kids every day. I love your relationship with God. I love everything about your blog!

    Now come to Wisconsin and hold a SnapShot class:)

  • Lisa - I love your blog, and I get tons of inspiration from all the stuff you show here! What ever happened to the old saying: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” I think all those people with the negative comments are purely jealous. Of you, maybe your life, maybe the fact that you’ve chosen to put yourself “out there”…. Keep on keeping on!!

  • Susan Holmberg - I totally was inspired by the floor stencil!! I totally loved it and don’t think you should worry about the haters who don’t share your taste – diversity makes the world wonderful (and awful sometimes!!). I even mentioned the floor on my blog.

  • Amanda - You are an inspiration- keep using the gift that God has given you! It’s funny you mention how marvelous this whole blogging journey has been for you – I bet it’s soon about to get even more marvelous!! wink;-)

  • Stacy - I hate that people waste their time being negative and hurting others. I love your blog and look forward to reading it everyday!

  • Leanne - you are obviously amazing to have written this post.

  • Lindsay - You are inspiring Ashley!!! I always have a smile on my face when your page pops up on my screen πŸ™‚

  • Simies - I love, LOVE, love your blog!!!

  • Eadaoin - Hello Ashley, I’m a long time reader of your blog but I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment here before! Your post touched me, I know the vulnerability you feel when posting things that are personal.

    I find it so hard to believe that anyone would make negative comments about the amazing work that you do. Your energy, enthusiasm and talent shines out through every post, I don’t know why anyone would attempt to make you feel bad when you put so much effort into using these gifts to make others feel good (whether it’s your family, friends or readers it’s obvious that you spend time on making sure they’re all having a good time!).

    Like you say, we have so little time here, just one little life, it’s not worth wasting it being negative about others. It’s also not worth wasting it holding back because people can be nasty, and I’m glad you haven’t given in and shied away from post personal projects like your bedroom floor!

    I hope you keep on being who you are, regardless of the nasty folks out there, your family & readers will always appreciate that x

  • Tweets that mention thoughts on blogging Β» -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by squidgymoments and Kat O'Rourke, Eadaoin Conneally. Eadaoin Conneally said: Sweet thoughts on blogging from Under the Sycamore […]

  • Ashley C - I absolutely love your designs….while they are sometimes a little ‘out’ there for my husband, they always inspire me…in creativity, frugality, and just to enjoy how He made me! Thank you for sharing on your blog!

  • Cyndi B - I’m a big fan like so many others that read & enjoy your blog. Love your floors & your great ideas!!! Looking forward to reading about many more fabulous projects! ;o)

  • Erin - “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Wise words from Dr. Seuss. Love the blog!

  • Erin - Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day and I have enjoyed checking in every day for the last year and a half. Thank you, Ashley for sharing yourself and your beautiful family with us! You are inspiring as a woman, a mom, an artist.

  • margaret - Love your blog and the encouragement you provide to me as a young (needing a creative outlet, aiming to be intentional, trying to live frugal) mom πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  • Jessica - i look forward to reading your blog everyday. seriously. it’s awesome. thanks.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Ashley, Thank you for everything. I’m one of those… never met you in real life… read your blog every time you post. I just think you are amazing.

  • amber - I think your blog & what you do is pretty awesome. I love coming here knowing I will leave with a smile on my face & something good to think on. I pray that you won’t let that yuck get under your skin because the Lord is using you to bless others in great ways. And I want to thank you for teaching me to be creative with my giving especially with my kids. I love that about this place. Thanks for all you do!

  • Irene - Hi Ashley, just want to comment on this post.. People can make any kinds of opinion, be it good/ bad but in the end, it’s up to us how we’re going to take it and affect our day. Just focus on the good ones, and keep sharing your gift and talent πŸ˜€ Love, Irene from NZ

  • Kenna S - I absolutely love your blog and am so glad that you keep it going. We appreciate your sharing yourself with us!

  • Paige - Yours is one of my favourite blogs — you are honest, forthright, creative, and sharing. As for your daughter’s room, there is nothing I would change! I emailed that blog entry to everyone I knew pointing out the little details I love, love, love! Keep it up πŸ™‚

  • the whyte house - i’ve never received a rude comment(YET…knock on wood), however, every now and then i get comments from people that i don’t know that really give me a bad vibe. i want my blog to be open for people to read, but i’m getting to the point where i’m thinking about having a password for it. not cool.

  • laura - thanks for sharing…i love your blog…*laura*

  • Amanda - I love your blog, your projects, your home, and your sweet children as well! Just wanted to quit being a “lurker” and let you know that one of your recent projects inspired me to come up with a little office solution of my own. Hope you’ll check it out.

    Happy Weekend,

  • Jen@thecottagenest - It’s amazing isn’t it? I had someone stalking my blog and constantly leaving nasty comments. The final straw was when she left a comment about a picture of my girls saying that one of them was ugly and the pretty one must look like her dad. My blog went to comment moderation for a long time and just recently I took it off. I figure it’s just a matter of time before she does it again. I won’t let her steal my joy though!

    I LOVE your floors. I think it is brave and I love that you are doing what YOU want to do in YOUR house. Plus, it’s gorgeous! I also love your wall color. I will be looking for a nice neutral color when we buy a new house. Could you share the color?

  • amac - Ashley, Your blog is a gift to so many people. It is definitely a bright spot in my day πŸ™‚ You challenge and encourage me to be a better wife, mom, and person in general! Thanks!!

  • celine - hi ashley, been a silent reader of yours for a long, long time. i refresh your blog every weekday night at 9pm to read your post (i am from the other side of the world -kuala lumpur, malaysia in asia). i do it without fail, even when the kiddos, DH or I am sick!

    keep up your good work and don’t let the meanies get to you.

  • Karen in NYC - This post prompted me to stop in and say that your blog is one of my favorites. Your photos are inspiring and someday if God blesses me and my husband with children, I hope to be able to document their lives like you have. Your craft/style posts are always inspiring too, even though I don’t always share the same tastes. Please keep up the good work! I look forward to each of your posts.

  • Kristen Haufschild - Words so true. I was just thinking this yesterday in fact….I hadn’t checked your blog in a while…and voila! My 38 year old sister had a stroke just over 2 weeks ago. She herself is a blogger with quite a following, and I am a blogger, with NOT quite a following. Since her stroke, I have had a lot more traffic…spam comments etc…and the other thing I wasn’t prepared for was the feeling of “owing” your readers something good. Crazy feeling, but I’ve been able to fight it so far. I think the best piece of advice is to just be yourself. It’s fun finding your own voice. And I think you do a great job of that….painted floors and all! Keep it up!

  • Amy - Thanks, Ashley, for putting yourself “out there.” I look forward to reading your blog everyday and am greatly inspired by it. I am not crafty, and may never do one of the cool projects you feature, however, I’m inspired by the way you live and parent (the little I know about it). Yours is the first blog I read each day and the one that stays with me throughout the day. Thank you.

  • knuckstermom - Huh? Now why the heck would you spend time with wonderful folks like you, only to criticize them? I sure don’t get it. I do love reading about you and your lovely family! Your photos are wonderful!!!

  • Barbara G - Thank you, for writing this blog, and for “putting yourself out there”.
    I’m one of the people who are so glad, that you are writing this blog. Since I started reading it, I learned so much about crafting, about creativity, about photography, and also a lot about life.
    I’m looking forward to every new blog post, because I always know, it will lighten up my day.
    I’m not writing a blog, nor am I writing a lot of comments, but I think one should always considerate of another one’s feelings, in real life, and on the internet.

  • katie - you are talented. you are amazing. i love seeing new posts from you and how you take the amazing talents that God has blessed you with and turn them into beauty. your design and the things that you have crafted inspire me (even though i do not have a house to design into my own).

  • Denise - I am soooo happy I found your blog months ago! You always make me smile. Keep up the creative lovely work that you do.:)

  • Ang - I just had to jump on and comment on this. Um, how could anyone have anything negative to say about you? Puh-leaze! You are awesome! You are such an inspiration and have motivated me to embrace my craftiness (I’m not sure I have any). Just wanted to say thanks-and you rock!

  • Lynn - DITTO….DITTO….DITTO….To what all the other gals said. I don’t comment often. But guess what, your blog is the first one I check EVERYDAY!!! I don’t have a blog myself,(my life is too boring for one)but being crafty and into photography myself, you give us such amazing ideas and projects! So knock it off girl!! Your awesome and God has Blessed US with you!! Thanks and keep up the good work! <3

  • Rachel M. - Thank you for posting this. I’ve recently started a public blog (my other one is for family), and I feel a strong need to be likeable and write for a wide audience. It is such a hindrance on my writing. I don’t post as often as I’d like, or share as much for fear of being judged. The thing is, we are all being judged with we post online. Luckily, some are fans and supporters, but there are still critics. I haven’t seen or heard negative comments about my blog or projects so far, but it doesn’t mean they’re not out there. We just have to be kind in our own endevours and keep sharing what we love.

  • Leanne Mackenzie - Hi Ashley,
    Thank you for posting this, I have recently started blogging and these tips/ideas are fantastic. Only people I know read my blog though, so I am safe from negative comments.
    I also don’t understand why people would bother with a negative comment, if you don’t like it, move on, you don’t need to be mean about it.
    Leanne xo

  • carrie rose - I adore your creativity and really relate to your taste. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • Hayley - It is funny that the first mean comment you got was on a post about your daughter’s room because I started following you because I saw photos of her room on a design site and thought it was AWESOME. You can’t please everyone all the time, but I’m glad you share this space and your ideas.

  • Angie - Please don’t be detered by awful comments. I love your blog and check it everyday to see if you have posted anything new. I loved the subfloors. My grandma does her kitchen floors the same way, too. I hope you will continue to post everything that you create. You are an inspiration!

  • naomi - Ashley, i love your blog so please never stop writing or taking pictures or loving your kids or crafting or saying you can’t sew even when you can or doing giveaways or being creative because blog-land would miss you so. (Aka, I would cry and would have to soothe myself by looking at etsy shops.)I love that your blog is not just about the stuff, but the fun of creating stuff FOR and WITH people.

  • Heather R. - Nothin’ but love for your pictures or inspiration! Word.

  • Sheila - I agree with you – isn’t it sad that we have to brace ourselves for the inevitable mean comments in life? Personally, I LOVE your ideas and the way you inspire others to find their creativity and be purposeful with time, money and people. I am so grateful that you encourage your readers to use your ideas, instead of worrying about people copying or stealing. I very much wish that I had your originality and imagination… luckily for me, I have your blog to give me ideas and show me how to make the ideas a reality. Thank you! Your blog is OUR gift πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay - Hi Ashley,
    Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. I have no idea how I stumbled on your blog. Maybe Design Aglow. Truth is, I’m not a DIY person. I don’t craft much. I’m not into design or most of the things you post on your blog. And yet I check it every. single. day. Because I like YOU. As a person. I was captivated by your blog the first time I read it. And I keep coming back. Because you’re real. You’re genuine. And I can tell from the bottom of your soul, you’re just a good person.
    So thanks for that.
    And thanks for being real, and being you without apology. It’s refreshing!
    Happy Sunday!

  • Elli D. - Nicely written. I guess everyone has to get used to not-so-nice comments but just like you, I don’t quite understand why people waste hours to attack someone without a real reason. I mean, if I don’t have anything nice to say, I just don’t say anything, since I know how unpleasant it is to read harsh comments on my blog. Being mean to someone just because is simply silly.

  • Pamela M - Keep your chin up. Please try not to take the negative comments personally. There will always be negative people and unfortunately no matter how hard we try to eliminate them they will exist. It is almost like it is a part of them. I know a couple of “these” types. Try to focus on the positives because those are the ones that truly matter.

    I discovered your blog a few months ago and can’t believe how much I love it. It is my favourite. You are extremely generous allowing us to be a part of your life.

  • Shoshana - Hi! I love your blog. I forgot how I stumbled upon it, but it is so inspiring and I check back all the time hoping there will be some new and exciting post. You photography is to die for and the fact that you are able to creatively express yourself in so many ways is beautiful.
    I just wanted to say that everything, everything, everything has its’ positive side and negative side. There is nothing that is purely ‘just’. And so, just like with anything else out there, a balance has to be made. What I am trying to say is that the way you see things and the extent of your expectations dictates the way you will feel about the outcome. It’s good that you’re putting this into perspective and taking the psoitive from it. It’s the only way that you will benefit from it.
    For a second, I thought you were going to say that you’re not blogging anymore (you sounded so serious!), but I’m really happy that you’re just changing your frame of reference. Keep inspiring!!
    Thanks for all you do!

  • Kristin S - Thank you for expressing your thoughts so eloquently and clearly. I can tell they are heartfelt. It is a cruel world!

    I often wonder if that happens when blogs get popular. So so sorry.

    Next week I’m giving a seminar on blogging at a women’s conference. I’ll definitely reference this post for resources. I had already listed your site as a classy and real blog to follow because you are so NORMAL! Thank you for that.

  • Janine - People can disagree without being mean or negative. Unfortunately on both sides people screw it up. Some posters are overly nasty or mean for no reason. And then sometimes the blogger can’t fathom someone disagreeing with their world view and gets their panties in a bunch. I think everyone needs to understand that when you blog you as you said “put yourself out there” That means enduring the good with the bad. It means seeing new points of view that you may have never expected. It also means making new friends and dealing with bullies. As for readers even though you are anonymous you should respond as if that person were in front of you. Many people type what they would never say in person. Keep and open mind and be kind to others. Simple rules to live by. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Gina - Thank you for sharing your ideas, even when you know you are opening yourself to criticism! I have loved everything you’ve posted and my blog roll would definitely be missing something great if you didn’t blog!

  • CharlaL - you are AMAZING!!! my only problem with the floors is…..That I have cement!!! UGH not nearly as cute as your adorable wood! πŸ™‚ I love your BLOG!! read it every day! Love the links and follow them too! You remind everyone to live intentionally!

  • Stephanie - Girl this was good for me. The negative comments I struggle with the most are from my sister in law who loves to proclaim to people (in front of me) that she does not read my blog unless her mother bugs her over and over about it. Ouch.

  • Brooke Whitis - Ashley, I feel the same way in real life…as a teacher….there will always be people that aren’t happy with what you are doing…but you just put everything out there and hope that people embrace it! You make yourself vulnerable when you put yourself out and I am so glad that you do!! You are an inspiration…
    AND PS….Saw the picture over at MEG’s….HOW FUN!!!

  • Lori Danelle - Hmm. . .Hateful comments on featured projects? Seems I’ve experienced that! πŸ˜‰ But you did warn me!!

    The timing of this is rather amusing to me as the keynote speaker at Blissdom was Brene Brown & she spoke in issues of shame and vulnerability. If you haven’t read her books you should (all of us!!). What she was saying corresponds very much with what you’re writing about.

    Don’t waste your joy on those who hate.

  • Lori Danelle - Oh! And I just happened to be sitting with Lisa when I first saw this post! Fun connecting 2 of my favorite online people & making my blog world even smaller. πŸ™‚

  • Michele - Im new to the whole blogging world. My blog is officially 1 week and 1 day old. I have yet to receive a negative comment as I think I have really only gotten 2 comments in all! πŸ™‚ Anyway, I love to read your blog! i love your crafts, your kids, your decor, and all! Simply amazing and precious and if I only had half of your talent I would bottle myself! πŸ™‚ Thank you for what you do. We are watching and waiting. Cheers, Michele



Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for my blog in Apartment Therapy’s Homies Blog Awards. The 10 finalists were announced and I am honored to be among 9 tremendous blogs in the Best Kids Design Blog category. It is incredible just to be nominated, nonetheless be a finalist. Thank you! You should go check out the other 9 blogs – inspiration overload! Voting for your favorite blog among the 1o finalists goes until next Thursday (Feb. 3rd). You can vote here.

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  • anna - very cool! congrats!

  • shea - Yay! You have my vote! And you deserve it!

  • amy - YAY!! You so deserve it!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Ashley, I am so, so happy for you!

  • maryliz cawley - Tried to vote and cant … is it me? Will keep trying but wanted to give you a heads up quickly if it was the link. Good luck … you deserve this praise and more

  • BriBedell - Congratualtions! Where are those leggings from!!

  • ingrid - voted.
    such a big girl doing somersaults!

  • Katie - So awesome for you! There’s something to be said for a little bit of validation that what you do on a blog is meaningful to someone else, I think. This is a great indication of that. You truly do share so much that’s valuable. Wonderful pictures, wonderful crafts, and wonderful insights on raising such wonderful kids.

    And, on a completely unrelated note, can I just say how much I love that I can leave a comment on your blog without a box popping up or being redirected away from your homepage? Love that.

  • Lacey R - Congrats! Also, just need to say that Firecracker is killing me. I swear you can see her personality shining right through in all the photos you post of her. She has to be such a fun & entertaining baby girl!!

  • Libby - you’re definitely the best out of all of those. Your blog is my favorite!

  • April - Congrats Ashley….you definitely deserve this !!!

    best of luck
    have a happy day

  • Courtney Henson - I just voted for you! And I had never heard of any of the other blogs – I looked at all of them and you are still my favorite by far! They don’t hold a candle to you! Good luck! Oh, and it showed where everyone was at and you were leading! Yay!

  • heather - Congrats! πŸ™‚

    And now…questions for you! Where did you get those awesome leggings and the cute skirt? I must get them for my littlest girl! πŸ™‚

  • Amber - Congrats! I know it’s only a little peak, but I love what I can see of the quilt folded on your bed. Do you have a picture of the whole quilt somewhere?

  • Jess - Hooray! I’m going to vote for you right now.

  • Brooke Leigh @ First Avenue - !!!! a night post! That’s enough to make me want to flip =)
    Of course, going to vote – it’s either between you or you. Hm..

  • AshleyAnn - Thanks guys! The skirt was a sweet gift, I think it is from Crazy 8 (the branch store of Gymboree…not sure if that is the correct name). The leggings are from Baby Gap.

    The quilt my crazy talented Aunt Sandy made…I’ll try to post more of it soon.

  • Jenny B. - Congrats! I just visited all the other finalists. They had some interesting things to see, but yours is still my FAVE! πŸ˜€

  • kari - Yay for you! You’ve got my vote. XOXO

  • jaymee - congrats! Those are all great blogs to be nominated with but here’s a secret…you’re still #1 in my small and unimportant little world. : )

  • Stefanie - yes!!!!

  • Tess S - how exciting!

    i was wondering last night how many of your followers have also been on pins and needles waiting for your chicken wire expose. just me?

    congrats! so happy for you! a finalist!

  • Shayna - That is awesome news!!! Congratulations!!! πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly - VERY COOL! Good Luck=) LOVE the tutu and legging!

  • Katrina - Congrats! And those pictures are too cute.

  • Marie - You got my vote! πŸ™‚

  • Kelly - yippee!!! That’s great news! Off to vote! Kelly

  • Marykay - Woo Hoo! off to vote for you…

  • Joy Fisher - Congrats! I would have been a serious gafaw if you’d been left off the list, honestly.

    Unrelated to that, but related to your flippin’ cutie pie. Where do you find the black and white striped pants and I saw her with a shirt like it once to. I have the hardest time finding that basic black and white strip in clothing. Thanks!

  • Jamie - wow, Ashley…looks like you’re doing well over in the polls!
    Good luck~you got my vote! πŸ™‚

  • molly acord - I think your subfloors are wonderful πŸ™‚ My favorite thing about them is the subtle difference the make in the background of your pictures like the ones above with your cutie little girl!

  • Kristin - Congratulations! That is so awesome. πŸ™‚ I just love your little girls leggings and tutu! She cracks me up in the above photos.

  • bettijo - Congratulations! I’m dying to know where you got those adorable leggings??

  • Neva - Hey… you’re winning so far πŸ˜‰

  • Heather - yay!! so happy you’re being recognized for your amazing style! i just voted…i hope YOU win! πŸ™‚

  • hearttypat - Hands down, you’re my favourite one! Of course I’m voting for you!

  • Jodi - You’re gonna win…YOU’RE GONNA WIN!!!!! I just checked out the results thus far, and…..YOU’RE GONNA WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Helen + Bill + Mirys from Brazil - Hi Ashley!

    IΒ΄ve just returned from my trip to Europe and IΒ΄s trying to up date myself with your blog when I found this. WHAT WONDERFULL NEWS!!!!!

    Today is the last day for votes and your blog have a third of all votes!!!! Congrats!!!! You so deserve it!

    When my blog have 1 1/2 month (!!!! How great is this???) weΒ΄ve been nomenated for something similar, too, in Brazil. Unfourtunatelly, we didnΒ΄t win… but being one of the top 10 made my day!!!! For days!!!!

    See you!