New Year, 10 Year Blogaversary, My Birthday and Reflection

Wow 2020!  Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, and Happy Blogaversary to Made by Carli blog!!  I should also mention—It’s my Birthday!!!  There’s just so much to celebrate today, I’m feeling that it must be a sign that there are more good things to come!

Today I wanted to get a little personal and share a little about how this blog came to be.

How it all began

It was exactly 10 years ago last month that I began this little old blog of mine.

Back then we were a young family of 5, running from heartbreak. You see, it was the beginning of the recession, and we, like many Americans, were in danger of losing our home of 5 years. With letters threatening foreclosure being sent in the mail, we packed up and moved to Charlotte for a fresh start, abandoning our home.

Extremely naive, yet hopeful, we knew we’d get settled into our new state, get jobs and start our new life. Boy were we wrong. We LOVED Charlotte. We rented a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. Our kids went to a great school, and we all made friends. There was only one thing wrong–the job offers were not pouring in like we imagined.

The topic of my very first blog post, was about my discovery of thrift shopping, and how I began doing furniture makeovers for funbut what I had never mentioned back then, is that I began flipping furniture as a means of survival.  

It was hard, we struggled HARD.  But also worked really hard to keep a sense of normalcy for our kids.

To make a long story short–after a year of hustling furniture in Charlotte and starting a small children’s consignment shop with the very little savings we had, we received a letter offering a loan modification on our home back in Rhode Island.  The home we had cut our losses on, and walked away from for an entire year sat vacant, when we had imagined that it had been sold at auction.

Our first home

Almost exactly a year from the day that we packed up our Rhode Island home, we returned with a new outlook on life.

Purpose: God’s Plan is Greater than your plan!

Returning to Rhode Island to our little Home was surreal. We never thought we’d step foot in that house again—-we had SO MUCH GRATITUDE, as we know there were so many people during that time that weren’t as lucky.  I looked at everything so differently.

Once we were settled and more financially stable, I began making changes and taking on projects I never would have considered.  I traded the spray paint cans and hot glue guns for power tools–I took risks and became passionate about something, probably for the first time in my life, and that’s when I began finding my purpose.  I truly believe that if we hadn’t gone through this experience I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Traffic Master Vinyl Plank flooring

During that time, I blogged a bit, but took on projects because I wanted to, and because I loved doing the work, not so much to share with others.  And throughout the years, my love for DIY has grown more and more.  Over the past few years, my approach to blogging has changed–it has become a source of income for me and has afforded me many amazing opportunities that I am ever so grateful for.


My hope in sharing this (extremely truncated version of our) story is that it touches someone who may be going through a similar situation.  This experience rocked our world, threatened our marriage, and tried every ounce of our being—but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. This experience HUMBLED us.

They say that in order for faith to grow, you must face adversity.

Through trials and tribulations strength is found.

New Direction:

In reflecting on why I started blogging and how it has led me to be more skillful and more knowledgeable today,  it makes me think of the direction I want to take moving forward.

I love sharing my home, but I want to make sure that what I’m sharing is also useful to YOU.

When I began this blog, I never set out to get a ton of pageviews, or viral pins.  I just wanted to share what I did and hoped it would inspire someone else.  And although I know pretty photos can be inspiring, I want to know what you want to see from me.  Through this little space I hold here on the internets, how can I help you?  

I’d LOVE to hear from you!  Feel free to leave me a comment below, hit me up on IG, shoot me an email, or message me on Facebook.

Thank you all so much for your support, without you, this wouldn’t be possible!  Cheers to a year of new miracles, health, wealth, love and passions pursued!

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  1. barbara t whitaker
    January 3, 2020 / 10:32 pm

    Thanks for your story … I’ve been married for 48 years since I was 17; and life can be very hard. Its so refreshing to hear of a young couple who are working thru adversity and getting stronger (not weaker). Your family is lovely and blessing to your family thru the upcoming year. (We never made good money until we were in our 50’s and children out of the house; then we could save. Because as a lot of people find out: it’s not how much you make, but what you keep). God bless ….

    • madebycarli
      January 4, 2020 / 8:14 am

      Thank you Barbara for taking the time to comment. Congratulations on almost 50 years of marriage! Wow, that’s amazing! I have a hunch we won’t truly be comfortable until all of our kids are out of the house either—they are expensive 😆.

      It wasn’t an easy decision to share my story—but reflecting the experience and realizing how it’s shaped me, made me feel like it was worth a share. It’s our reality, and I’d hate to pretend that everything is always sunshine and roses.

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