UPDATE: You can now preorder my book, A Touch of Farmhouse Charm, coming out on December 6th, 2016! Click here to get your copy!
If you took a snapshot of my life four years ago, here’s what it would look like…
I was married to a farmer and had two little boys under the age of 5. We had just closed the doors on our business, a livestock feed mill and pet food store, which Jeremy and I ran together for a few years before prices skyrocketed and money wore thin. We were living in the middle of nowhere in Illinois and desperately needed a fresh start, so we decided to pack up our family and move over to Indiana, where Jeremy’s mother’s family farms. We were lucky to find a little farmhouse close to the main farmstead, and although it needed a lot of updating, I was excited to have a new project to start on.
For the last several years, I had worked as Jeremy’s secretary at the feed mill, and now that that chapter in our lives had closed, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. We definitely needed a second income, but paying for child care for the boys while I worked would almost put us in the red instead of help with our tight budget. Oh a whim, I decided that I would start a blog. I didn’t even really know at the time what a blog was or what you were supposed to do with it, but the idea definitely intrigued me. The Pinterest era was just beginning, and I had this gut feeling that I should be sharing all the ideas we had for our new house with the world. Or more accurately… my mom, sister, and maybe, if I was lucky, a handful of readers.
I remember for the first few months I posted, if I heard my phone “ding” with a new email in the middle of the night, I would shoot out of bed, scare Jeremy half to death, and wipe my sleep-filled eyes to see if it was a new comment on my blog. Most of the time, it was a just a spam comment, and my excitement would be crushed. But over time, I got a clearer picture of what I wanted my blog to be and what I might be able to do with it. I worked hard for probably way too many hours of the day. I studied photography, design, and business, and slowly but surely, my blog began to grow.
There were so many times, you guys… SO many times that I cried to Jeremy about what I was doing with this blog. I felt like I never fit into the mold that so many other bloggers fit into. I didn’t want to just be a food blog. I didn’t want to be a cute craft blog. I didn’t want to write about black and orange Halloween decor just because it was October and everyone else was doing it. Being most popular didn’t matter to me (well… obviously it did a little or I wouldn’t be blogging), but being authentic and showing my readers the real Liz is what mattered more. I had this vision for something bigger… a brand that was uniquely me that incorporated everything I love about our home. The food that fills our kitchen and bellies, the design and decor that makes our house feel like home, and the story of our family that ties it all together.
Cooking and writing about food came naturally to me. What did NOT come naturally was finding my decorating style. I’d put weeks, even months, into decorating my living room, only to photograph everything and realize it didn’t turn out even close to what I wanted. There have been many times that I wanted to just say, forget it… I quit. Or maybe I’ll just be a food blog and forget all the decorating stuff. But thankfully, I never allowed myself quit. I love to cook, but it’s nothing like the passion I have for design and decorating our little farmhouse. This year, I finally got some traction with decorating our home the way I always wanted it to look. Rather than trying to fit in with the modern, colorful blogs that I admire and love to read, I embraced our little farmhouse and the beautiful Indiana countryside that surrounds us. We did a ton of work on our living room, dining room, and my office this year, and we’re currently working on our master bedroom and bathroom. I was actually in a meeting about our bathroom design earlier this summer when I got the big email…
“A Love Grows Wild Book”
A publishing company found my blog and wanted to discuss the possibility of me writing a book. I laughed, cried and kept Jeremy up night after night talking about ideas and what-ifs and mostly… can I really do this?? Always my #1 supporter, he said, ” Look, Liz… both boys started school this year, so you have extra time during the day. I can help out in between harvest and planting season with getting things painted and finished up around the house, and you already know that if you put your mind to it… you’ll make one hell of a book.”
I had a phone meeting with two of the editors from the publishing company, and we talked about what kind of book I would write. I was so nervous that they were going to have this already pre-packaged concept that they wanted me to write about, but that wasn’t the case at all. They wanted to know all about my story, what I’m most passionate about, and what my readers love most. After a few months of emails, samples, approvals, and contracts, I am so pleased to announce that I am writing my first book!!
I still feel like I need someone to pinch me! I know you guys are going to have tons of questions, so I’ll do my best to answer.
What will the book be about?
The book will be about what I love most… decorating our farmhouse! Each chapter will be a different room of our house, with a total of 70 new projects and step-by-step instructions for each one. The projects are all brand new and have never been seen on the blog before, so there will be A LOT of new ideas to check out! The projects will range from wall art and furniture makeovers to decorative accents and home improvement ideas… all with my signature farmhouse style. 🙂
When will the book come out?
The book will be published sometime in November or December of 2016… just in time for the holidays!
That’s only just a little over a year away, and my deadline for turning everything over to the publisher is the end of February. Not even five months away, guys! Part of me wants to go into complete panic mode at the idea of nearly quadrupling (yes, I said quadrupling!) my workload over the next half a year, but the other side of me knows that this is such a huge blessing and a stepping stone to bigger and better things for my career and our family.
While you’re working on projects for your book, what will happen to the blog?
Don’t worry, friends… the blog isn’t going anywhere! We will still continue to renovate the farmhouse just as we have, and writing this book will actually make things much more exciting for the blog. We’re still working on our master bedroom and bathroom, and how many of you have ever seen our kitchen? It’s in MAJOR need of an update! Because each chapter of the book will focus on a different room in our house, that means that EVERY single space will need to get worked on over the next five months… including the kitchen. I actually had a design meeting last week to go over kitchen options, and I felt like a little kid in a candy store looking at cabinets and counters and tile. It was so exciting!
It’s going to be tough to figure out how to budget for all the bigger projects that need to happen for the book, because we never expected to finish the entire house so soon. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since being married to Jeremy, it’s that we just have to trust in the journey. We might be eating Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms for dinner for awhile (lol!), but Jeremy and I are both building our future together doing things that we truly love. His involves dirt and tractors and mine involves power tools and paint, but the best part is that we get to do these things things all together as a family.
One of the hardest parts of writing this book is not sharing all the things I’m working on with you. Do you know how hard it’s been to keep this secret all summer?? So much of my time is taken up with creating projects for the book now, but I want to include you in the process as much as I can. I’m thinking about doing a blog post once a month with photos and updates on writing the book. Would you guys like to see that?
If you have any other questions, please let me know! I saw this meme yesterday that said, “I don’t know if I need a hug, an extra large coffee, six shots of vodka, or two weeks of sleep!”… pretty much sums up how I feel as I finish typing this post! I want to end this post with a GIANT THANK YOU to all of you for following our journey. It means more to me than you’ll ever know, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Also, thank you to my sweet husband for giving me permission to turn our house completely upside down over the next 6 months, and to my boys for being my biggest supporters. Before school this morning, Wyatt, my kindergartner, asked, “Can I have 20 copies of your book to hand out to my class and teacher? Do you think they’ll be selling it at the next school book fair?” Lol!
I’m off to make some pretty things for the book! Follow me on Instagram @lizlovegrowswild for sneak peeks!
LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!
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Girl, that is just awesome…. it’s so funny, food is how I found you but I love how you have evolved and I feel like you are just another girl like me, your blog is so down to earth…. Love the balance of the content….. Not sure how I feel about not getting the scoop as you are working on projects… Lol but I’m sure it will be worth the wait….. Hugs from Arkansas….
Congrats on your book! I am so excited for you and am so happy to be able to follow along on your journey. Can’t wait to read the book!
You are so deserving of this Liz ! I think alot of us can identify with you , as we all don’t have brand new HUGE homes. I can’t wait for your book to come out. Sign me up !!!!!
I am so excited for you and love your blog. My husband and I live in an 1870 farmhouse so I share of love of so many different things. Can’t wait to see the book. Blessings on you and yours
Hi, very happy for you! Looking forward to all your awesome ideas…:) don’t forget to keep time for you and your family. <3
Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you. I read your evry time it arrives in my email box and I love all u do.I know the book will be wonderful and can’t wait to have it in my collection.. Glenna in Walkertown NC.
Congratulations on your upcoming book! I can hardly wait to purchase it! I know that it will be amazing. I love your Farmhouse style!!
Congrats on the book! Can’t wait to pre-order one! I am so in love with your style! WE are building a little farmhouse here in Mississippi, and I am inspired by yours! I just recently found your blog and can’t wait to dig in to your projects! If you ever need handcrafted typogrpahy signs for your house, I would love to collab! (Just sayin, AFTER I move in) 😀
@jenandink – instagram!
I know what im asking the hubs to get me for christmas next year!!! So exciting! Congrats!
Congratulations!! Such exciting news! I can’t wait to read your book!
Your home is absolutely stunning! I wish I could come and stay over as a guest LOL. I will be buying your book. Congrats!
Oh so so happy for you!!! Isn’t it amazing when things seem to not be working out, but then later you see that God had a plan for you all along! I will look forward to your book. Hugs and remember to take time for yourself!
So excited for you. And when this is over, please come decorate my house, LOL
How very exciting for you. I will be following your progress as you develop your ideas Best wishes in all of your future endeavors It sounds like so much fun!
Oh my goodness Liz I am so excited and nervous for you. It’s ALOT to take on but I know you can do this and do it great!! Grandma Ruth would be bursting at the seams with pride for you. Lots of love
Memory from good ole Coal City
Congratulations, Liz, and thank you for sharing the story behind your blog, your authentic life. Readers like me certainly can relate and appreciate your journey. Here’s to a successful, and profitable, book release. Cheers, Ardith
Congratulations…all the way from Australia! I think your blog is awesome and just love your style. Enjoy this next exciting challenge, you’ll be proud of yourself when you’re holding the final printed book in your hand, smiles from ear to ear!
More congratulations from Australia!! Liz when i “walk” into your home online, I feel like I have come home. Everything you do feels comforting and classy at the same time which has inspired myself and my hubs to try to create a similar feel in our home. Your book will definitely be a coffee table favourite! Will we be able to purchase your book online for international shipping?
You just made my day, Min… thank you so much for your sweet words!! Yes, you’ll be able to purchase the book for international shipping, and it may even be available for purchase internationally as well. More details will come closer to the release date, but I know it will be available on Amazon.com! 🙂
This is wonderful! Put me first in line when the book comes out. On a side note, I happen to see the large floor mirror behind your console. You had said when you posted the directions for it that you would include the tutorial for the crackled finish but I don’t recall seeing that. Do you have the directions to post or can you point me to where it is on the blog? I’ve got the mirror assembled and have just been waiting to paint it. Thanks a ton!
Oh girl… it’s definitely still on the to-do list!! I’ll work on a tutorial soon… promise! 🙂
It’s good to know I didn’t miss it! Thanks Liz, you’re awesome. By the way, I love how the bathroom is coming along. I pinned that awesome tile.
Sooooo exciting and sooooo perfect for you! I cannot wait for the book as I am a huge fan of everything you post about.
Good for you! I think it will be a wonderful book! Congrats on such a big step!
Love your blog!! Congrats and good luck on your book! Something I always wanted to do, but never did. I shall enjoy living vicariously thru you! Can’t wait for it to come out!!
How exciting and very well deserved. Congratulations to you and best of luck!
Liz – Congratulations! What a wonderful opportunity for you and your family. I enjoy following your blog and seeing the progress you are making on your home. By the way it is lovely!
Congratulation! I think you’ll do well with your down to earth style and frugal living! Very happy for you. Just keep believing in what you’re doing…..because it’s great!
So incredibly happy for you and it is so well deserved!!!! That is going to be one GORGEOUS book!!!! Well done YOU!
How awesome! I hope you truly enjoy this part of your adventure. I loved reading some of the story of the person and heart behind the blog. You’re going to be great. 🙂
So excited for your next journey! I’ve always the loved the down to earthiness of your blog and the “different than everyone else” content. Will be following all they way!
Congratulations, so happy for you. I enjoy seeing all your home projects. I know the book will be great.
Congratulations! That is absolutely wonderful. I cannot wait to follow along on your journey.
Wow Liz so excited for you and what’s to come!!!
This is so exciting!! I love your style and live vicariously though it! It doesn’t quit fit the mold of our condo but I hope one day I can have a space to decorate like you do!
Congratulations and blessings to you. It has been a real pleasure to read your blogs and see your diy projects come to fruition. They are incredible, practical, useful, pretty and …real…something a person with a regular life (one with not excessive money or overboard tool skills) can actually try and have a degree of success with. Love your decorating style. Best wishes, be patient with yourself and keep looking up! Looking forward to reading the book and using ideas from it.
Congratualtions! Liz, Remember to take good care of your self during this upcoming journey! Breathe! Have fun! Measure twice, cut once!
How very exciting!!! I hope it’s a real book. One we can get in paper if we desire :). So thrilling to think you were on the cutting edge of style but because Pinterest was so new and so were blogs, you just didn’t realize it!!! I think it proves To thine own self be true!!! Congrats!!!!!
Hi Liz, soooooooo happy for you 🙂 just don’t change like the other blogs to be snobbie.
Congratulations on the book! I have only recently found your blog, but I really enjoy your style and look forward to seeing more!
This is WONDERFUL! How exciting for you and for us to get this tidbit of your life! Thank you and BEST WISHES – you’ll rock it!
Congrats!!!!! It’s going to be a fabulous book!!!
Congratulations!! I just found your blog on Pinterest this past week, and I love love love your style! It’s so refreshing to see original ideas and projects on your beautiful blog.
I’m really looking forward to all of the new ideas in your book, your master bedroom has already inspired me to finally finish our master that we started working on two years ago (eep). Congratulations again!
Congratulations! Try not to stress over the little things and enjoy the process. Looking forward to seeing your book in print with your real life design ideas.
SO excited to see the book. We’ve renovated one 1890 farmhouse and are working on updating another at our new acreage. Love seeing things that fit in well with farmhouse style, real boys in the house and farm life. Blessings from central Iowa!
Oh man this is so exciting!!!!! I am so happy for you and to be one of your future readers 🙂 You are so talented and your aesthetic is so unique, organic, and natural, LGW is hands-down one of my favorite blogs. Cannot wait to see it all!!
Congratulations Liz! That is such exciting news and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! You have incredible style and skills girl!
What could I say more than other commentators did already say..with this exception that a dream come true to you and I guess each blogger inclusive myself envy you and wish the same to itself one day, too. Enjoy your success and the feeling that you did everything properly ’til today with your sincere blog posts!!! Hoping your book release next year will get a big rush!!! Unfortunately, I won’t get it here in germany 🙁
Need to know where your beautiful grey couch is from?
It came from Ashley Furniture a few years ago!
So I’m really late to this party, but CONGRATS!!! Can’t even imagine how busy your little family must be right now! Best of luck to you and cannot wait to see your book! I find your story very inspiring and can relate a lot to your blog “subject dilemma.” I’m still trying to find the perfect balance blogging about our life on the farm. This post helps me see it all a little more clearly!
You are too sweet, Lauren… thank you so very much! You words mean the world to me! It’s hard to find the perfect balance of everything, but it becomes easier as time goes on. I hope to see you around more often, sweet friend!
So lovely to hear that things are turning around for you. Sending love and blessings.
I’m SOOOO buying your book. Following you in every way possible so I don’t miss the release date.
Lisa from Indiana