Hi, friends, happy 2013! Don’t you just love the clean slate a new year offers?

Along with the fresh start, I’m really happy and grateful to be celebrating FTRB’s four-year anniversary today. As this milestone was approaching, I started thinking a lot about why I do what I do. Four years is a long time – especially in web years – and I thought it was a good time to take stock of things to make sure the blog continues to reflect who and where I am currently.

The short answer to why I’m here everyday is I love sharing my passion. It’s funny to look back at some of my old posts and see 30, 40 or even 50 comments on one post! That has been slowing down and nowadays some posts don’t get any comments at all. I know some bloggers find that sort of thing discouraging but I get it. I myself can’t find time to comment on blogs anymore and a lot people/blogs have come and gone from those early days of blogging and been replaced by an explosion of new blogs which I can’t and don’t even try to keep up with anymore. I admit I do miss the comments, mainly because it told me a little about who you are but it’s enough for me that people are reading and I can see from my stats that FTRB’s readership continues to grow.

Not a lot has changed for me since January 2009….. other than that little move across the country! I’m still all about global modern style, French and Scandinavian everything, good art (art walls!), not-so-serious decorating and creating truly personal spaces. There have been a few little things that have shifted for me which leads me to some goals for FTRB (and me personally) for 2013.

– I want to be more fearless in my decor and use my house to try out ideas that may be too daring elsewhere. This should make for some interesting posts, don’t you think? I also want to post more of the process at the risk of you thinking I’m a total nutcase. For every reveal you see, there are usually a dozen variations that led up to it that I don’t post.

– I plan on paying more attention to living la belle vie this year and writing more frequent posts for the series. I love my big adventures to faraway places and they will continue but we spend most of our waking hours on everyday events and routines and I want to really focus on making those as enjoyable and lovely as possible.

– I’ll put my new Photoshop skills to use to enhance existing features and to create new ones, including more moodboards for my projects.

– All of the above will result in a lot more original content.

– A few things I’ve already done are to re-organize the categories and tags, update the About page and make a few tweaks that I think make the blog read and look better.

You’d think after four years, I’d have run out of things to say but actually it’s the opposite. I’m bursting with ideas and can’t get them down fast enough. So I look forward to another year of blogging and hanging out with all of you here in my little corner of the web. Thank you so much for joining me everyday and for your support and friendship. It means the world to me.

Good god, this was a long post! Here’s to 2013 and to year five!

(Photo: FROM THE RIGHT BANK. Taken while flying somewhere over the U.S.)




I love reading your blog, but almost never comment (on any blogs). So, I guess I just wanted you to know that I’m reading and loving every minute of it;) thanks.


Congratulations on 4 years! I’m a reader and don’t always have time to comment, but don’t worry, we’re out here! :)


Congrats on this anniversary! I’m thrilled to see you’ll be doing more “Living la Belle Vie” posts this year, because they inspired me to start blogging. I realized that I take thousands of photos when I travel, but when I’m at home, that part of me shuts down. Thanks for helping me realize that it doesn’t have to.


I love your blog and suggest it to friends fairly frequently! I read every post (I am a huge Scandinavian style fan too), so I’ll start commenting more this year. :) Happy New Year Ally!

Splendid Willow

A very good looking 4 year old, I must say! Congratulations!

Hey, I have dramatically cut down on commenting too – thanks to you! And readership is going up and the store is doing better than ever – so go and figure…

I hope this is the year when I finally get to meet you!

Love to you,


P.S I check in more often than you know! (:


Thanks for sharing your observations on the changing blogging landscape and your plans.
So is the category called Interesting Homes gone?! Renamed?

Heather in Arles

Ally, Happy 4th, keep going and please know I am always happy to kick in a segment of La Belle Vie if you need it, although it seems like you really are filling that one up to the brim all on your own, hooray!!!


Happy new year and congratulations on 4 years of blogging.
The new year is a fresh slate and isn’t that a great thing :).
I’m a new reader but I check in frequently. Thanks!

Sweet Freak

Yay! What an inspiring post, Ally! Like you, I’ve been blogging for (nearly) four years and have watched ebbs and flows in readership engagement. Unlike you, however, I’m a bit stuck and have fewer ideas. Reading your goals, thoughts, ambitions and eternal creativity made me happy and is motivating me to perhaps come at GILP from a new place or angle. Thank you for your steadfast passion, enthusiasm and FUN! Happy anniversary! Happy new year! xo

Kristin B

That’s amazing! Congratulations on 4 years of blogging! I may not always comment, but I always read and enjoy your posts, so I look forward to what year 5 will bring. :) x


Happy Blogiversary Ally! I always look forward to your posts and seeing the changes in your home- can’t wait to see the daring new changes! (Would love to see more of your own art pieces too 😉 )

I remain so happy to have ‘met’ you here online + feel I met a bit of a kindred spirit – and of course, design twin – in you. Can’t wait for our international meet up one day!

Congratulations + thanks for all your hard work on this beautiful site – wishing you many, many more!
xo Shar

Artsy Forager

Happy blogisversary to you!! So happy to have been along for the last two years of your journey and looking forward to watching what you do in 2013!


Thanks so much for taking time to comment! I read every one and reply through my own comments.