Blog Talk

The New Chapter


7th House on the Left

…I think I’ve forgotten how to write a blog post. Is this thing even on?

Hi! We’ve missed you. We aren’t even sure if many of our “back in the day” readers will even see this post, but this is a post we’ve needed to write for some time. If you’re a reader from way back, leave a comment below and say hi and let us know you’re here! Before I get to what the future holds for 7th House, I feel like I have to get a few things off my chest before we can start this new chapter. So, without further ado… my brain dump:

We never planned on being “radio silent” and not posting a single post for over a year. (It’s been one year as of a few weeks ago!) It just sort of happened. One of my biggest regrets is not sitting down to write a post saying we were taking an actual break from blogging when we realized that the break was for real happening. That, or having the guts to admit to ourselves that that’s what we were doing.

I wrote a post before the “break” telling you guys where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to. Our reasons in that post for initially stepping back to a lighter blogging load was completely true (and still is, plus some), but it wasn’t until later, as we moved further away from blogging, that I realized blogging had become more of a chore than the fun, creative outlet that we initially intended it to be — something we never wanted to happen. In that post, I even said we didn’t “have a case of the infamous ‘blogger burnout'”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was wrong. There was most definitely a case of “blogger burnout” and it wasn’t pretty. I guess, sometimes you have to step away for a season in order to see the full picture.

Over the course of our 5-ish years blogging, we had so much fun writing posts and interacting with a fun community of readers and other bloggers, and we were so incredibly blessed with the opportunities that came along with it. But the “blogger fishbowl syndrome” was/is real. There were times where I found myself making decisions for our house based on what I thought the readers would like, what a sponsor would find “impressive”, what would “Pin well” and even how it would photograph. I specifically remember a moment standing in Target trying to decide between two throw blankets. One was a bold teal plaid and the other, a soft gray with a tiny white herringbone design. I thought to myself, “Oooh, I love this gray one. But ‘so-and-so online’ said that our house has too much gray and it looks like a parking garage. Plus, the teal plaid would definitely photograph better.” Guess which one I bought. Yep, the teal plaid. It wasn’t until later that it clicked. That isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Blog or no blog, you should decorate your home for you and your family, not for other people. That doesn’t mean that our past decisions we made for projects weren’t ours. But looking back, I can see little things here and there that weren’t really “us” and were done for the sake of blogging. (Like the foyer decorating project for instance – but I said as much in this post.) Funny thing is, I think it showed because those were some of our worst “performing” posts.

I’m talking a lot about my thoughts and feelings, but there’s another half of this blogging duo. Overall, Greg really enjoyed the projects that we did, and it unintentionally helped him broaden his decorating and renovating lingo. Plus, he loved doing all the geeky things behind the scenes like coding our blog design, coming up with cool features and warding off bot attacks. No, I take that back, bots are annoying. Eventually, however, it started to become a negative experience for him as well simply due to the fact that I was under so much pressure. He’s a fully left-brained man after all, and however expectant (or mean) people get on the internet, it never really affects him. (But don’t mess with his wife, haha.) He is the most patient and thick-skinned person I know – and I love him for that.

All of that to say, the time away has been wonderfully re-energizing, and we are so ready and excited for this next chapter to begin. Now that we’ve had some time away and have a new outlook on blog/rest of life balance, we’ve found that we miss it. We miss interacting with you guys, sharing our home happenings and having that “home-based” creative outlet to delve into. Yes, like we mentioned in this post, our available time has been significantly downsized (in the best ways and for the best reasons possible), but we’re going to intentionally carve out time to get back into the crazy awesomeness that is the blogging world.

So, here’s what this all means… We briefly talked about starting all over; rebranding and maybe changing the blog name, but 7th House on the Left feels like home. So, as a compromise, we decided to revamp the blog design a bit – okay, a lot. (We’re still in the process of moving a few things around and updating items here and there.) Our hope is to start out posting once a week, see how that goes and organically move on from there.

You can check in on house-related “in-betweens” on Instagram (@7thhouseblog). For more personal updates (including graphic design client work, life updates and random things) you can find me at @ashleybrown. Greg’s also on Instagram, but I’m pretty certain he’s only used it three times – though he does like to watch good guitar videos. If you want to chance it and see if he ever posts anything, you can find him @gregbrown1229 – but don’t hold your breath. 😉

Before I wrap this post up, Greg and I want to sincerely thank you guys who have stuck around. We’ve read your emails, comments and posts asking where we’ve been and just checking in. Even though we weren’t able to answer every one of them, we so appreciated it. When it was all said and done, your continued support is what helped us make the final decision to come back to the blogosphere. Yes, this is a new chapter and we hope to pick up the book with you guys right were we left off. So let’s get started…

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  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Long-time reader here! Glad you’re back! Miss your posts!

  • Reply
    Laura @
    July 2, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Hurray! So excited you guys are back. I’m not sure I ever commented before, but I’d been following your blog for a long time and was sad to see it go. Always kept it in my feed reader just in case. So glad I did!

    Oh, and I’m @HowToGYST on Instagram. Thanks for replying to my comment on one of your pictures, Ashley, letting me know you guys were starting up again. Didn’t realise there was an official blog IG account. Following that now too. 😀 I blog over at and I know how difficult it can be to churn out regular content. It’s so hard to keep the momentum going on a consistent basis, so work at a pace that suits you both. And hey, judging by the amount of comments already, none of your loyal readers are going anywhere… even after a year! =)

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    SUPER glad I followed you on FB so I got the update alert! So happy to see you back, in whatever form and for however much… (I’m the Hanover ‘neighbor’ – Mechanicsville, actually). Best of luck!!

  • Reply
    Emily Kins
    July 2, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    So so happy you are back! I was a very dedicated reader of your blog, so I was very sad when you stopped posting. I’m so happy for you both to be back — we’ve missed you!!!!

  • Reply
    Missy Schwartz
    July 2, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Welcome back! I’ve missed your posts.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    So glad you’re back!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    It’s good to see a post from you. I love your style so keep true to what you love.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I was so happy to see you back blogging!!!!!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I just found your blog through KariAnne’s amazing blog and I’m so excited to browse around a bit more! Welcome back to blogland – I’m adding your site to my blogroll so I don’t miss a post!

  • Reply
    Becky Ann
    July 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    So happy you are back! Also thankful I kept you on my feed!! 😉

  • Reply
    July 3, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! So happy that you’re back!!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 10:10 am

    So excited you are back!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

    So glad you’re back! I’ve kept checking over the last year and was thrilled to see you post again. So far loving the new look as well. Glad that you were able to take a break and hope that the new start feels good!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I’m still here! =)

  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I knew if I hung in there you’d return – so glad you’re back!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Hooray and hallelujah–welcome back! I, as I’m sure many others, check at least once a week to see if there is anything new. I loved your old design, but appreciate your new minimalistic blog design too. So glad you are all well and thriving.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Welcome back!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Welcome back!! I’ve missed reading your blog!! I take what I could get on Instagram. Ha!

    Can’t wait to read more!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    HOORAY!!!! I’m an old-timer from over in Sandston. Have been checking periodically so imagine my happy, happy, happy when I saw this post! The new website looks nice, and I’m really glad you kept your name. It really is “home.” I can understand that blogging could become tiresome after a while, but I’m thrilled you’re giving it a go again. You and Greg have done a fantastic job of this. There are two blog sites I’ve followed for years now and yours is one of them. Remember your post on File Organization 101? After trying several different set-ups, I saw this post and duplicated it. My favorite! So thank you for all the time, energy, effort, imagination, and love you all have put into this blog! <3

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I’m so glad I kept you in Bloglovin’! Every once in awhile I “clean out” the blogs that have trickled off, but I kept you around in hopes 🙂 also another Mechanicsville neighbor 😉

    • Reply
      July 7, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Hi, neighbor! Thanks for keeping us around 🙂

  • Reply
    Alison G
    July 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I too checked every now and then wondering if you posted. Welcome back.

  • Reply
    Nicole B
    July 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I have checked in periodically wondering if you’d be back in action. Welcome back!

  • Reply
    Lindsey G Baker
    July 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Welcome back!

  • Reply
    Dana Lawson
    July 12, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    <3 <3 <3 Beautifully written and raw. Shows your human and I admire that. I love your blog and am glad yall are back at it <3 <3 <3

    • Reply
      July 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks, Dana! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kylie Munn
    July 13, 2016 at 6:24 am

    OMG Welcome back. I had only just found you before the ‘radio silence’, but I understand that you have to put ‘you and your family first’.

    I look forward to your new thoughts and direction… 🙂

  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    So glad you’re back!!! I have loved your projects and still refer back to your old posts. I can’t wait to see what you have to share – and I love the plan of the once weekly posts. I hope you guys have had an awesome year off!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    I had begun reading your blog about a year before your hiatus. I have missed you so! Thrilled that you are back, at whatever pace suits you!

  • Reply
    Jen Lazarus
    July 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    **YOU’RE BACK** YIPPY!!!!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Still here and glad you’re back!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Glad to have you back! I checked in periodically over the year “just to see” if something new came along. Looking forward to following this new journey with you both!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Ashley, I, too, am a long time follower and I so missed your blog posts! I checked back for months and actually took your link off of my favorites as I assumed you had gone the way of other burned-out bloggers. None to be named here, but I totally understand : ) Having a job in a “regular” line of work is grueling enough, but having to be “on” constantly and having to feel so visible and accountable to those you don’t even know (yet love : ) must be so incredibly hard. The “fishbowl” analogy is so true and must wear on any blogger. I couldn’t do it. It’s one thing to share your life and the renovation of a home, it’s another to feel that there is that constant need for “new” and “exciting” material and making sure the people follow you, the numbers are up, etc……

    I like you guys just the way you are. Most of us out here in the non-blogging world really just want someone we can relate to – the little things, the simple things. Really. Our homes are not “pinterest worthy”, we are just trying to make a happy and cozy home, and some help with bedside table lamps is always a plus! There are enough interior decorators and home design consultants to last us all a lifetime! Be yourself, go with your gut. I promise we will stick with you!!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Thank you so, so much for the encouragement, Sheree!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Long time follower, here. I actually checked back a few months ago seeing if you guys have updated at all. Happy to see you back! GL!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    So glad you’re back!! And also so glad you did what you needed to do. I would occasionally check in just to see if you guys posted anything. What a pleasant surprise today.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I did a double take when I saw that there were blog posts in my reader! I’m so happy you guys are back!

    • Reply
      July 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Aw, thanks Ashley! We’re glad to be back!! ☺️

  • Reply
    Sydnie Shreffler
    August 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

    You’re back!! I’m so glad you guys got a chance for a restful season! Our prayers are with you still! 😉

    • Reply
      August 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you, Sydnie! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Hi all the way from the Philippines. So glad you’re back.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Hi from another long ago reader! I’ve thought about you from time to time and was glad to see your recent posts today. Take care!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 10:26 am

    You are backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk ! So happy, you were both my favs! You are backkkkk, I missed you so much! You are backkkkkkkkkk! I kept checking in, hoping you would be backkkkkkkkk! You are back and I’m so happy!
    I’m glad, you took time off, for you. You do wonderful work, keep doing what you are doing! I read the comments, you have a fan base, people like me, we kept looking for you hoping you would be back. You are back, you were both missed and <3.

    • Reply
      September 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Aww, thank you, Terri! We’re glad to be back! 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna VE
    September 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    So happy you are back! Glad to hear you had a great rest and learned some things too!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Yayyyy! I check back every now and then to see if you’ve returned to the blog. So happy that you’re back. You do you girl!

  • Reply
    Karin K
    September 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Well, I’m late to the party! I thought for sure I had you on my Feedly feed, but apparently not! I’m sorry I missed your come-back post, but heck – that means I get to catch up! So happy you are back!!! Please pay no attention to the mean girls, or even the people with the best of intentions who get demandy. That’s a word. PS – I have missed Bentley.

    • Reply
      September 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you, Karin! 🙂

  • Reply
    bridget b. |
    October 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Hello! Just happened to check back in. Glad to see that y’all are back!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2016 at 2:23 am

    I definitely missed your posts!

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