DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

14 May 2009

It's my second birthday - and a giveaway

The Brandywines are growing fast. That sentence was the first one I wrote in my blog and it was on 14 May, 2007. And now, after 901 posts, thousands of comments, 1,165, 753 visitors and almost 2 million page views, today is my blog's second birthday! I never expected Down to Earth to become as popular as it is, even though I'd been a writer for many years before I started blogging and was used to writing for an audience, I just didn't think the life we live here on our little patch of earth would interest so many people. But by mid-October 2007 over 50,000 people had visited and it's continued growing from there.

It's been a fine ride for me, I've enjoyed the writing and made many friends. My thanks to Sharon (in New Mexico) who has been helping behind the scenes almost from the start and who has been a tower of strength for me along the way. Thanks also to Rose and Lorraine for helping with the swaps. Without these sweet ladies, the swaps would have stopped long ago.



I didn't tell Hanno I was blogging at first. It was about two or three weeks before he knew about it and I guess another month or so before he read the blog for the first time. Now he reads every day. At first he was cautious and said to be careful but over the months, after reading your wonderful comments, he's relaxed about it now. Of course, as many of the other bloggers here know, there are nasty comments and emails too but since I started moderating the comments, these have been greatly reduced. I think the thrill for those people is to see their comment on the screen, when there is no hope of that happening, they're less likely to write. And whatever bad has come our way, it has been overwhelmingly smothered by the vast number of positive, sweet and intelligent comments and emails, and letters and gifts sent by post. For those I thank you all. Your comments keep me writing. Not only do they add a lot of information and a variety of ideas to this blog, but for me, it's like the other part of the conversation. Without comments there would be no point. Words written to travel out into the blog world with no sign of validation would have stopped me short long ago.

I've had a few comments and emails recently asking me about blogging so I thought now would be a good time to address those questions. Although I have to remind you that I'm not an expert blogger, I am just an ordinary woman with a message that life is improved by living simply. But along the way I've discovered a few things that may help others who want to start a blog, so let's start with that.

First of all, decide why you want to blog. Is it to create a record for your family, do you want to write for a wider audience or do you want to make money blogging? If you're a family blogger, there are no rules for you except those of safety and common sense. Do what you want to do, let your family know where to find your blog and just write.

If you want a wider audience or want to make money I'll bullet point all this because they're just a set of 'things' I've noticed, I don't have much to say about them, they are what they are.
  • You need to write well. Develop your own style and your own voice. Don't copy, don't plagiarise, be yourself and offer what is unique about you to your readers.
  • You need to write almost every day.
  • Don't expect your readers to be interested in non-stop stories and photos of your pets and family. Unless you're the calibre of Soulemama, pets and baby photos will only interest your own family in the long term.
  • When you start blogging, write short posts. When your audience builds and you know they are coming for what you write, write longer ones.
  • Keep the blog simple. Making your page pink and purple because you like those colours will alienate all those who don't. Flashing ads put people off and so do long lists of links at the end of posts.
  • Give. If you look at the popular bloggers, like Meredith at Like Merchant Ships or Benita at Chez Larsson, they are generous and give their readers new ideas, recipes or patterns, and encourage them towards self development.
  • I love the way Jenny at Little Jenny Wren combines her blog with selling her wonderful dolls. The gentle way Jenny does that is a good lesson for many of us.
  • Comment on other blogs so you leave a link to yours out there for readers to find you. Make sure your comments are well thought out and interesting so readers will want to click on your link.
  • I doubt you'll make any money for the first couple of years and even then it's a struggle unless you have a high visitor rate. Exceptions to that may be niche marketing if your blog falls into that category.
  • It's harder than it looks. Coming up with something new to write about is tough. There are some days you won't want to write anything but if you want to build your blog, you'll have to.
So that's my short version of how to write a blog. I hope it's helped those who asked the questions and those thinking about blogging in the future. If you have a specific question, or want to add to what I've written, please add your comment.

And last of all, I want to celebrate this milestone with a give away to thank you for your visits. I have two prizes: my homemade soap, two hand knitted dishcloths and two loofas in each pack for two people who comment on this post. If you comment as 'anonymous' please add your name. Good luck to everyone. I'll announce the two winners on Monday.

334 comments:

  1. i am a frequent reader, infrequent commenter, and enthusiastic appreciate-er of your blog. although i have been blogging almost as long as you, i still consider myself a novice and greatly appreciate your tips... the advice to "do it every day whether you feel like it or not" is the hardest one for me, but i know it is spot on!

    warmest blessings to you on your "bloggiversary"♥

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  2. Happy second birthday, my long-distance friend! When I speak of you to others, I don't usually think to say, "Oh, by the way, this is my friend in Australia - half a world away". Your blog makes me feel as though I'm sitting right next to you - not in North Carolina, USA. I feel as though we are kindred spirits and I am the better for having met you.

    On my bulletin board is this quote:

    "My themes will not be far-fetched. I will tell of homely every-day phenomena and adventures". Henry David Thoreau.

    This quote pretty much sums up for me how settling I find your blog. I don't drink coffee, but savoring your message every morning is like that, I think...very calming and it starts my day off in the most delightful way.

    I've already received the best present you could give me...your friendship.

    Diane in North Carolina.

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  3. Michelle in middle TennesseeMay 14, 2009 6:43 am

    I've been loving reading and learning from you.
    You're the wonderful Aunt that I never had.

    I love your pictures and getting to know you through your posts.

    Please continue because you are enriching people's lives that you just don't realize!

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  4. Candace in GeorgiaMay 14, 2009 6:53 am

    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago and now read it daily. I am continuously inspired by what you write as it is informative, interesting and educational. You've inspired me to want to make soap, and I've never thought about the origins of loofahs until seeing the pictures of yours growing in the garden. I am especially inspired by your writings on housekeeping. It work part-full time, so housework always seems a chore. Because of your blog, I cleaned my bathroom with a new attitude this past time. Your blog reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie books. They teach about doing a job well done, no matter how menial the task may seem, and I get the same theme from your blog. I dream of becoming a housewife and am working toward that goal daily, and you've helped me realize there are people out there like me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to reading more!

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  5. I've been reading for quite a while now and I love all your posts. Thanks for the great give away.

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  6. A blog reader of yours for many moons, I have learnt so many things from you and appreciate you having the generosity to pass on so much valuable knowledge. Congratulations on 2 wonderful years!

    Carolyn :)

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  7. Thank you Rhonda. I have been a reader for a while now and have just started my own blog. Its a very exciting adventure and i am looking forward to every bit of it. Your advice is just what i needed. I make your soap, relish, cakes and love watching your garden grow and i look forward to someday reading your book. All the best.

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  8. Oh, and i also think you should open your own etsy shop. I think many of us would love to buy your soaps, ideas and anything you had the time to make.

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  9. I love to read you blog & look everyday to see if you have posted. Very inspirational reading. Please add me to your lovely giveaway. Happy bloggiversary.

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  10. Great job. I've learned from your blogs.

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  11. Congratulations on two years of non-stop blogging. That is amazing. And thanks for the encouragement to keep the old fashioned pride in home going. Cherrie

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  12. Thank you for all that you do on this blog. I love reading and learning from you. :) Thank you for the give away it sounds awesome! Happy Second Birthday!

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  13. You're on my blog roll and I check every time you make a post. I love your approach to life, and I'm considering chickens because of you. :) Happy second birthday and I hope you have many more on here!

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  14. Dear Rhonda,
    Congratulations on two years of beneficial blogging! I say beneficial because that is what a blog should be and yours certainly is!
    As a new blogger who deliberated for over a year before starting my blog, I found your advice excellent. I wanted to have a family record but I also wanted to inspire others and connect with other like-minded people. My local homeschool support group folded 2 years ago and I felt I was going it alone, blogging is giving me the opportunity to connect with others. Any more pearls of wisdom about what to write would be great especially when there are now so many blogs with homemaking themes, I never wanted to have a blog just for homeschoolers but I'm now wondering whether I should have considered writing for a specialist audience rather than being too generalized.

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  15. Hi Rhonda,
    "Happy 2nd bloggiversary" I really enjoy your blog, and we do many of the same things.
    Today is my 58th birthday so my present to me is day surgery/theatre, the day that the specialist is in town, and it also suited so that next week I could go to Sydney to be with my daughter and her family for the birth of her baby, HOWEVER, guess what my birthday pressie is? A new Grandbaby, she rang a little while ago and is in labour, so I still will not be there, come on Sunday.
    Love Lorraine

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  16. I just wanted to say congrats on your blog's 2nd bday.

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  17. I've loved reading your blog for awhile now. We lost Mom to cancer in January of this year and I've taken on the responsibility of taking care of my little sister and Dad. There are hard days missing her. Since coming home to care for her and taking up being the step-in "homemaker"...I've learned a whole lot. Thanks for writing about your experiences and passing along an art that is more important to me than ever.

    ps: no heirlooms growing in my garden this year, but my better bush and better boys are taking over!

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  18. Hi Rhonda, It is Julia in Mackay here. I am still reading every day, still finding peace in your words and healing slowly. I even started my own blog but it is still new and I am not confident to share the link yet! Thank you so much for the blogging tips. I too find the regular posting the hardest! Like the others I feel like you are one of my closest friends. I can't thank you enough for the work you do to maintain this blog, it reaches out and touches so many of us in so many different ways. Overall though, it is truly inspiring of hope in these difficult times. Regards, Julia in Mackay

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  19. Great ideas, and congratulations on your Anniversary! I enjoy your blog tremendously and have been much-inspired many times. :) Over the past year, I have followed your advice, and worked to change one or two things at a time in our home.

    Danielle

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  20. Happy Birthday to your blog, Rhonda.
    I haven't been a reader from the beginning. I think I found your blog in July or August 2008...but I find it significant that you started writing in May 2007, because that is when I became a mother (the 22nd), and I started seeing things through different eyes. She is the one who taught me the importance of slowing down, and living simply...and your blog has done a great deal to help me do that, too.

    ...and I just want to add that my brandywines are growing well, too. I have 48 tomato plants started, and they'll be ready to plant outside in a few weeks!! I'm so excited for my garden this year, it'll be my first real attempt!!

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog, Rhonda. And thanks for encouraging comments from readers--I really do enjoy the community you're building here!

    -Melanie in Canada

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  21. Congratulations...
    Great things often come from Humble beginnings...
    The blog world often embraces and supports one another in such a way it restores your faith in Humanity.
    Happy blog anniversary and Yes Please Pop my name in the hat!

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  22. Congratulations with your second blogversary!
    And what i wanted to tell you: thans to you I started knitting!

    a big hug,
    Lilian

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  23. I have enjoyed following your blog, you have many good ideas, thanks for the recipes earlier can't wait to try some of them. Your blog is neat one day I will get to look at it all and enjoy more of what you do. Thanks and Happy Birthday! Blessings and may God continue to bless you and your family each day!

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  24. I love visiting you on a daily basis, and I try to live a green life. Thank you for what you give and Happy Anniversary.!!!!

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  25. Happy "Blog" Birthday. I've enjoyed your blog for quite sometime now. Thanks for the blogging tips. I'm off the read about keeping chickens on your side bar. I think I have my husband liking the idea of getting some...I just need to find out more about them.
    I hope your 3rd year will be just as wonderful as your first two years were.

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  26. Thank you for those tips for blogging. I love your blog and enjoy reading it during my "mummy break" with a cuppa near by and a piece of something yummy!

    We hardly get any people looking at our blog, so I will try some of the tips you've suggested!

    Thanks for brightening my days with helpful tips and sometimes a kick in the pants to keep on going and get at those pesky jobs!

    would love to win your dishclothes, I've tried to sew some but they end up full of yuck that doesn't wash out but seems to get stuck in the cotton of the yarn? any ideas why?

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  27. Thanks for two years worth of inspiring and practical articles, Rhonda! I now make liquid soap, no longer have a credit card, and am considering baking my own bread.

    Most important of all, I've been encouraged to think more simply and carefully about life.

    Your book should arrive on Monday - a little late for your "birthday," but timely nonetheless!

    Cath
    Sydney

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  28. Hi Rhonda,
    I love reading your blog so much! It's my all-time favourite. I want to thank you for your generosity. You share so much invaluable information with us, both practical and thoughtful. I follow your gardening keenly as our weather in Rockhampton is very similar to yours. I hope you indulge in some "birthday" cake today and maybe even light 2 candles and blow them out, just for fun!
    Love Kendall

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  29. I love love love your blog. Its a simple pleasure in my day. Thanks for inspiring daily1

    Jennifer in Boise!

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  30. Rhonda Jean, your blog has added so much joy to my life since I started reading in September 08. I feel like you are the piece of morning encouragement I need to start my day. Thank you for everything.

    jenny hughley

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  31. Like 'persuaded' I too am a frequent reader and infrequent commenter. I can always find something of inspiration or assistance on your blog; be it some encouraging words, a recipe or a garden idea. Congratulations on your second anniversary, having a blog does take effort and yours is an immense effort, THANKYOU so very very much for what you do.
    Bec xxx

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  32. Congratulations on two years Rhonda! You have a wonderful and inspiring blog :)

    Em

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  33. Happy 2nd Birthday. I only stumbled on your blog about 6 months ago but I find I get something out of every post you write. I thank you for everything you have written which has helped me aim towards a much simpler life. We are well on the road but can still make many more changes in our life and your blog provides all the inspiration I need.
    Thank you so much

    Leanne from North Queensland

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  34. Congrats... Seems like it has been longer.

    I have just made my first batch of soap using your recipe, love all the great information about the lost home arts

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  35. Shelagh C. in HoustonMay 14, 2009 7:53 am

    Hello Rhonda,

    Congratulations on two years of blogging. Opening your blog every day is like visiting an old friend who always has good advice. You are such a good writer and reading your words is always calming. I'm in the midst of clearing out an area for a stockpile cupboard to have more on hand for emergencies. Living in a hurricane area I've always had supplies in but three days without power after Hurricane Ike last September, and the ensuing shortages of necessities and gasoline, have inspired me to take more steps to be self sufficient. Your suggestions have really helped and I always look forward to seeing what you have written next.

    Again, congratulations and I hope to be reading your blog for a long time to come.

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  36. Hi Rhonda,
    Happy Anniversary! =) Two years - wow! I can't believe that I have been reading your blog daily for nearly a year and a half now.

    It is a huge part of my daily ritual with my 2yr old son as we eat breakfast together at the table. We chat for awhile and then open up your webpage and have a lovely read. My son loves to see the pictures of the chooks and garden and will often point out any vegetables that he recognises from our garden.

    Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. I have been baking something every day the past fortnight, usually something you have written about! It is such a new-found joy for me to share this cooking experience with my son. He especially loves 'punching the playdough' when we make bread =)

    xx Miriam

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  37. Happy Anniversary! :) You were the first person to ever leave a comment on blog, back in 07, and I've been a faithful reader ever since. You really inspire me! I hope you keep blogging for a long time.

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  38. Happy 2nd bloggy birthday! I'm also a blogger, although quite a slack one at the moment. *blush* I must go tend to the poor, neglected thing!

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  39. Happy Birthday! I really enjoy your blog and share in your celebration!

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  40. Congratulations on your 2 years of blogging Rhonda! I can imagine that it is hard work to think of what to post every day. You sure do come up with good posts though!
    Your giveaway sounds fabulous!

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  41. Happy second birthday! I found your blog through a comment at a blog I had never been to before and will probably never visit again. But the words in your comment made me click and I was so happy to have found you then. Thank you so much for all you write, inspiring people everyday to live a fulfilling life.

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  42. Happy 2nd birthday!!!!

    It's great to stop by and read your thoughts and routines for your daily life. Thanks for sharing!

    Renee

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  43. My dream would be to have a growing season year around. One of the things I enjoy about your blog is your gardens. I've printed off pictures for my husband so he can start creating a more organized vegetable garden. He does the hard work, I do the green work.

    I also enjoy your homemade passion and my family is picky because they prefer homemade and know its also full of love.

    Happy 2nd celebration from Iowa.

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  44. Dearest Rhonda,

    Happy Bloggy Birthday! You have been a favorite of mine since the first time I entered your little corner of the world.

    I think what I and so many others find interesting is your honesty and your encouragement about living a simple life. It isn't about doing without....it's about doing more with what you already have.

    Thank you for writing such wonderful posts, I look forward to reading your blog every day.

    Here's to many more years of blogging and to your new book...I will be one of the first to buy it!

    Yours so very kindredly,
    Shan
    Honey Hill Farm

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  45. Happy Two Years! I really enjoy what you have to say and also appreciate knowing that you think coming up with content isn't always easy.

    Your discloths would be so very happy at my house. :)

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  46. Rebecca in TasmaniaMay 14, 2009 8:13 am

    Hello Rhonda,

    On your blog's second birthday, I'd like to say 'thank you'. It's been a blessing for me to visit here with my 'road map' for our family life, and glean lots of lovely wisdom and advice!

    Rebecca

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  47. Hello everyone! Thanks for celebrating with me. I love knowing how you come to read each day. It gives me little pictures of you with babies, little children at the breakfast table, breastfeeding, going out to work, rushing home. Thank you, I love to read of the mundane things life is made up of.

    Diane, I love that Thoreau quote. :- )

    Happy birthday Lorraine! I hope all goes well with the birth. Congratulations on the new baby.

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  48. I just love reading your blog Rhonda Jean. I especially like to read about your garden as it always gives me good ideas for my own. And it's nice to know that there are other people out there who enjoy simple things like hanging the wash on the clothesline or baking bread since those aren't exactly popular things with people my age (32).

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  49. I have only recently found your blog..and I look forward to reading it each day. I don't blog, just read others! I am 50, looking to live more simply on our five acres by gardening,milking our two cows, baking, etc. If I happen to win any thing :)), my email is jcbaumgardner@aol.com.
    Blessings!
    Cathy

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  50. Congratulations Rhonda on your blog birthday! I'm so glad I found your blog about simple living. You came into my life at just the right time. I've tried several of your recipes too. I love making new friends around the world. What a cute photo of you and your husband too. I hope you continue to blog for many years to come. I will continue to follow and read many of your posts. You write very well.

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  51. Happy Birthday Down-To-Earth!

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  52. Rhonda, since I don't have a blog, I'm asking this question: what do you mean by "earning money" with a person's blog?

    I have been living simply for over 20 years, and even though I'm sure it was "different" for my kids, they never seemed to mind or complained.

    I'm happy to fall upon your blog over a year ago, and it helps to concur with the growing/cooking/etc stuff. I would't live life any differently.

    Christine

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  53. Well done Rhonda. Two years of sharing your life. I first starting reading your words in Aussies living simply, then when you were not there anymore found your blog.
    Thank you for sharing your world with me. In todays world it has been hard to find the wise gentle words of women who go ahead of us and lead the way. You have done that for me and I am grateful.
    My mother was not able to do this and I have always yearned for a wise woman mentor in my life. One who speaks truth not the rubbish of self self self that has been prevalant for so long.
    Your words have brought me peace and serenity in being a woman with a simple loving path.
    Blessings Rhonda,
    Juanita Richardson.

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  54. Happy Birthday Down to Earth!
    Rhonda Jean your blog is one of several 'simple living' blogs I read daily, its the link I open first and the tab I save reading until last! They all usually have something valuable to offer but yours is the icing on the cake for me, the thoughts that stay swirling in my mind as I go about my day.
    I am really glad that you started blogging and it is no surprise to me that you have such a big audience.
    Thank you for your continuing inspiration.

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  55. I read your blog almost everyday, but rarely comment, not because I don't enjoy your blog or have a comment on the things you talk about, it is just a busy time of life and I read for inspiration. So thanks for encouraging so many of us to keep it simple and enjoy the daily walk of life. Congratulations on finishing year 2.

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  56. Happy happy blogoversary number 2.
    You have done a great job of building your blog and the Down to Earth community.

    Thanks too for your lovely words about my blog, I am truly flattered.
    love
    Jenny

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  57. I just started reading your blog and don't remember where I saw the link to it now. I love baking, gardening and homemade anything. Thanks for writing it and keep doing it. I am learning new things everyday and love to be inspired.

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  58. Hiya Rhonda - I've been with you for nearly all the two years and will be with you till you stop helping, and being there for all of us.

    Thanks for all you do !

    Babs

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  59. Congratulations on your 2nd birthday!!

    You truly are an inspiration to me.

    I am a single mum and work full time. I already had my chooks and had started my vegie garden before I found your blog, but you are encouraging me to continue in my quest for a wholesome, simple and happy life. These are the things that make me smile.

    Working full time makes it a little harder to make a lot of changes, but slowly they are happening....I have just crocheted my first dishcloth!

    I have not yet reached your 'years of wisdom', but I hope that when I get there, I am closer to reaching my dream of a similar lifestyle.

    Sandy

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  60. Congratulations on your two year anniversary and thank you for all the time and effort you have been generous enough to share with us.

    My day starts with a cuppa and a read of your blog. Its become a bit of a ritual.

    Lynda

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  61. Happy birthday Rhonda! So glad I found you this past year. I love your style of writing, and I think you are a huge encouragement to so very many, old and young.

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  62. Congratulations on your biennial birthday! Keep up the great work.

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  63. Congratulations on your blog's second birthday!

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  64. Thank you so much for your blog! You are really helping me to slow down and work on creating a simpler life for myself and my family.

    Happy bloggiversary!

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  65. Congratulations, Rhonda! :)
    I've been reading your blog almost from the beginning, I guess, and I've learned so much, and enjoyed the community that has developed.
    I can't wait until there is a book!
    Hugs & Blessings to you and Hanno,
    Niki

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  66. Thanks for your efforts over the past two years! I've been following your blog for about a year, but I've also read through many of your older posts. There's a mountain of useful information in there.

    To the blog tips, I'd just add that it's worth checking your blog stats occasionally to see where people are coming from and what topics/phrases they're searching for. You can then write more articles on the 'hot' areas, giving your visitors more of what they want.

    Just don't get too obsessed with checking the stats every hour, or your blog (and life) will suffer!

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  67. Oh Id love to recieve something made by you!

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  68. Happy Blogoversary!

    I am a long-time reader, sometimes commentor. I always find some inspiration when I stop by.

    mamakj @ msn . com

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  69. Congratulations Rhonda Jean!
    I look so forward to your posts. It's the first thing I check in the morning and before I sign off in the evening. You are such a blessing and inspiration. Thank you for all you share.
    Warmly,
    Kelly Lynn in SATX

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  70. Congratulations! I love visiting here. I've learned SO MUCH! Thank you for sharing your heart, your vision, your words and your wisdom.

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  71. Congratulations on your two year anniversary , I am a rather new reader but never miss a day now that I have found you ,you are truly an inspiration and I have made some changes from reading your post ,mostly going back to the way I grew up and I love it. Thanks for that .Thanks also for the info about blogging , I do not have my own blog but have been thinking long and hard about starting one and I appreciate your tips.
    Keep up the wonderful work .
    Sheila in Nova Scotia

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  72. Happy Second bloggiversary..:)

    I enjoy reading your blog.

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  73. Congratulations! I'm glad you dippd into the blog pond and found it to your liking. You inspire us all!

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  74. Happy second blog birthday Rhonda,
    I am a sometime commenter, I read your blog with enjoyment every day. There is always something there to inspire me.
    take care
    Pip

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  75. Hi. I pop in every day to catch up with you. Thank you for a very inspiring blog. Many happy returns.ca

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  76. Hi Rhonda,

    congratulations on your second blog-anniversary! I'm a daily reader and have learnt so much from you.

    Incidently, I found your post on baking yesterday quite ironic, seeing as I had spent the day baking, dividing up portions and freezing them for the family, over here in NZ.

    Take care,
    Cate

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  77. Congratulations on your 2nd year Rhonda, your blog is a breath of fresh air and has inspired me to re-evaluate my attitudes towards my role as homemaker, mother and wife, and in fact towards life in general.

    I have spent too much time in a funk, resenting the daily chores and neverending mess that seems to comes with four active children. You have helped me turn my attitudes around and create a warm, welcoming environment within our home and to realise that my contribution is every bit as important as the next persons.

    This has resulted in a much happier and settled Me, and flowed through to my husand and our children. I now have a small but lovely garden, fresh flowers, tomatoes on the vine and freshly made bread, cakes and hearty home made meals at the end of the day. My house is clean, orderly and a place that I am happy to spend time in. Thank you, and hello to Hanno and family!

    Jo from Redcliffe

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  78. Congratulations on two years.
    Jan

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  79. Congratulations Rhonda Jean on your blogs 2nd birthday. I have read all your posts and continue to be inspired and blessed by what you write.
    Blessings to you and Hanno.
    Thank you.
    Patricia in North Queensland

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  80. Christine, I'll answer your question about how to make money with a blog tomorrow. If anyone else has a question about blogging, ask it here and I'll try to answer in my post tomorrow.

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  81. I love your simple living philosophy and that you share so many great tips. I learned to make soap from your tutorial and now I'm hooked!

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  82. Your blog is an encouragement to those already putting simply into practice, as well as for those who don't know exactly where to begin. I would greatly appreciate being part of your giveaway. Thank you.

    jAne
    http://tickleberryfarm.blogspot.com

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  83. Congrats on your two-years! I have recently started blogging, as a scrapbook for my family, and have found your blog through a friend. I find sincere comfort in your words, thousands of miles away, as I strive to live a simple life in a complicated world. Thank you. You are truly a blessing and have so much to give. You are very, very much appreciated.

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  84. Dear Hanno and Rhonda
    I have been an avid reader since I suppose almost the beginning and I have definitely read all your blog postings...
    Both your grace and wisdom are a blessing to us all as we all wander the pathways of our lives.
    Gods goodness to you both together with your families.
    Kindest regards,
    Julie in Geraldton Western Australia

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  85. Good Morning Rhonda and Hanno. Happy 2nd Anniversary! Congratulations to Shane on the job and good luck to Sarndra. Boy I feel as if your family is a part of mine. I too read almost every day - I have been lax due to travelling for work and just ...work...but I am so grateful I found your blog and I have learned so much. I also have been inspired and been educated and have so enjoyed reading. Thank you and good luck in all things.

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  86. Congratulations and Happy Second Birthday Rhonda.

    Yours is the first blog I read each day. Thanks for your content and consistancy. I hope you have many more posts to think up for a long time to come. I would love to buy your thoughts as a book for easy off line reference. So I hope that happens sometime in the future too.
    Well Done

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  87. Happy Blog B-day! I found your site through Like Merchant Ships and have been coming back daily. There is so much wealth in your words.

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  88. Happy anniversary!

    I am a newish reader who first heard about you on Radio National.

    Why do I continue to read you? Because you aren't preachy or dogmatic. You are just a human sharing with other humans what you are doing. And you do it well. So, thank you.

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  89. Happy 2nd Birthday, dear lady! I visit every day, always on the look out for a new hint or tip. Its usually always there. Thank you,

    Best wishes,

    Joolz

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  90. Happy bithday! It's a pleasure to read your posts everyday.

    Please enter me in your giveaway. I'd especially love to try your soap.

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  91. What! You get nasty and negative comments! I can't even imagine! I moderate too but mainly because I don't want to miss any comments left and because every once in a while I get some japanese "adult" site trying to post their links.

    Happy Second Birthday!

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  92. You're a community builder, Rhonda, and I'm proud to be a part of this one. Happy blog birthday!

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  93. hello again. i am not sure what an etsy shop is although from reading I am guessing its an online shop? I bet that it takes alot of work but I second Melissa's suggestion to open one. I have become a better housekeeper with all your advice - well I try...but I have not had the guts to try making soap or start a garden but I want to and thats a much better frame of mind then I used to have but I would love to buy your soaps and a gift basket with all natural cleaning supplies and dish towels and bowl and jug covers and canned goods and jams ...pretty much all of the stuff you make that can be bought and shipped! I get the feeling that is not your goal or plan but maybe someone can help you with it? Maybe Sarndra?...Bee (changed to Aunty Bee to join my nephew's blog)

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  94. Happy Happy Birthday! Thanks for creating a haven of joy for me.

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  95. Dear Rhonda,
    I have read your blog daily since I "found" it about 2 months ago.
    I love the fact that I can read your Thursday post on Wednesday since I'm in the US!!!
    I've learned a lot from you, and I mostly just love the tone of your blog.
    Hope you are here many times 2 more years.
    Hugs and God bless,
    Helen(grammea)
    grammea22@verizon.net

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  96. Hi Rhonda,

    I just love your blog and have been visiting for a couple of months now. You've inspired me to learn how to knit and bake bread. Congratulations on two years.

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  97. Hi Rhonda and Hanno,

    It is always really encouraging to read your posts. It makes me happy to then go downstairs and begin my own housework for the day, rather than getting down that my toddlers mess it up again so quickly.

    I would love to make the soap, but haven't quite worked out how to keep my boys well occupied yet. To see the difference between your soap and bought stuff could be just the incentive I need!

    Angela Palmer

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  98. Hi Rhonda, happy blog birthday! I really love your blog, there are so many how-to's to try. I would so love to win your soap, it looks so wonderful I do a lot of things "home made" but haven't tried soap making yet. My oven has recently quit and buying a replacement is entirely out of the question at this time. (the stove top still works). I am really missing my bread I used to make. I have expanded my vegetable garden this year, it will take up nearly all of the back yard, by the time I have finished. Thank you for so many inspirations!!

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  99. Hi Rhonda
    Congratulations on your 2nd bloggerversary. I have only been reading your blog for 24 hours but I have already learnt a great deal. Congratulations on an inspiring and informative blog. You are an integral part of the wonderful village that is helping a new generation learn the skills of another.
    Can't wait to see what else I can learn today.
    Fay Baudains

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  100. Sharon in CanadaMay 14, 2009 9:41 am

    You have been such an inspiration to me, helping me to enjoy my home and find happiness in the simple ways of life. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us. Happy 2nd anniversary, hope there are many more.

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  101. I read your blog everyday-you are such an inspiration to us! Keep it up!

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  102. Happy Anniversary Rhonda Jean! You are an inspiration!

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  103. Well Done Rhonda! Thanks for the advice :) I feel blessed when I found your blog at the end of last year - it's been a stepping stone for me changing my life, I could never thank you enough *hugs you*

    Chantel from Ashfield

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  104. Happy Second Birthday! I am a regular reader and find such inspiration in your posts. It gives me the chance to stop, grab a cup of tea and just reflect on what I want my life to be.

    Of course my journey will be different from yours and others...but I appreciate seeing the day to day things others do. Thank you so much for the tutorials, pictures and inspiration to do something different.

    Regards,
    Nicole

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  105. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog, and I have learned so much that I have been able to apply to my own life as I take steps to simplify. Congratulations on your Blogivesary!

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  106. Happy second birthday! I have been a reader of this blog from the very beginning and always wanted to start my own blog for my family. But, I didn't have internet at home, so the blog idea was put on hold, until now. I just graduated and will moving soon, which means-internet (yeah)and lots of questions with regards to blogging. This post is perfect timing for me. Thanks for the advice.

    ~ Michelle from Arkansas

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  107. Congratulations on your blog's 2nd birthday! I have only founf your blog about 6 months ago, but have been a loyal reader since. I am a home maker and Mom to 2 very young kids and your blog has been such an inspiration to me in my everyday life with them at home.
    Them and my husband get the benefits from reading your book in form of freshly baked bread, more cakes, home made detergent, our first veggie container garden, as well as fresh eggs from our 3 new backyard chickens. And I benefit greatly in knowing I do good to my family, my planet and therefore myself.

    Thanks, Rhonda!

    Angela

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  108. i can't believe it's only been 2 years! i read you all the time but seldom comment because i truly admire everything you say but don't have anything i feel i can contribute to your thoughts. your words have been many an inspiration to me! thank you for all you do and here's hoping you'll be writing for many years to come!!

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  109. Happy Second Birthday!!!! Your blog is absolutely wonderful. I learn so much from you all the time. I'm so glad you decided to blog, you enrich us all.

    frugalmom1

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  110. Happy 2nd Birthday...I just found your blog and am following you now...my oh my it is great...I look forward to all the reading...
    Blessings...
    Tonja

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  111. I love reading your blog.I have no idea how I came to it but I did.
    you have helped me in ways you will never know.
    I love your advice on such a wide variety of things.

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

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  112. Congrats on your blog anniversary! I started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and love your posts. They remind me that being a homemaker is a rewarding and important job. I look forward to reading your future posts!

    Christina
    The Nifty Thrifty Homemaker

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  113. happy blog-a-versary, rhonda! i hope you won't hold it against me that my blog is pink ; ) i just try for the unobtrusive shades ... lol. i LOVE your blog and if i hadn't stumbled upon it in a moment of desparation for wanting something different ... well ... i'm just glad my life is now headed down this different, but very beautiful path of simplicity. reading your blog has opened the door to a new world, literally. how great it's been to find such community on here. i'm hoping to win your lovely soap!! blessings rhonda, karen

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  114. Happy Blog Birthday! :) I enjoy your blog and don't comment as often as I should.

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  115. Congrats RJ!
    I can't believe it has been two years. I've been a faithful reader and commenter for most of that time and I still enjoy each and every new post.
    You sage advice is like that of a Mother :)
    Happy Blogiversary rom one of your cyber daughters :)
    -hugs-
    Lis

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  116. Congratulations on your second blog birthday! I have been reading for a couple of months now and LOVE every post. Thank you for sharing your tips and experiences with us!

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  117. I read your blog every single day and I'm sorry that I don't comment more often. I love living the simple life. It is so satisfying and rewarding. Happy blog anniversary from Canada.

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  118. Rhonda, when I first started reading your blog I would send "you" out to my grown children, my friends and family, and everyone else I can. What you blog about is very important to me and a lot of others. You put into words what I am wondering about or should be! I would love to walk into your kitchen, sit down, grab my quilting up and reach for something baked by you, sip tea and just "be". Thanks for being, (an albeit long distance) a great friend...Elaine from Texas

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  119. Happy Birthday :) !
    Thank you for your excellent blog, and your generous spirit.
    Blessings,
    Catherine

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  120. I just appreciate your blog so much. You have been such an inspiration to me to be more creative in my home and to live simply for the joy of it. Happy second birthday.

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  121. Rhonda you two look so sweet. Debra Lynn in the US.

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  122. I have been following your blog for a while now and have really enjoyed it. Even used some of your recipes, I always enjoy hearing more ideas on how to live a simple life. Have enjoyed your writings and the pictures you take, they can be so helpful when doing something new and just fun to see things like your garden and especially your chickens (I have a soft spot for chickens:o)
    Thank you for all the work you do on your posts and for the great giveaway. Look forward to your continued posts.
    Cheryl in Wisconsin

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  123. Happy 2nd Anniversary!
    I am so glad I stumbled across your blog almost a year ago now.
    I'm still working on perfecting your scone recipe for our little family, but have had no complaints so far. I can't wait for it to be your 3rd anniversary!

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  124. I haven't commented on any blogs in such a long while. Perhaps this is my day.

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  125. Hi Congratulatons on your 2nd Birthday,I have been reading for a while and you have inspired me greatly. We now have a vegetable garden, compost and take pleasure in being at home.Thanks for your encouragement.
    Warm Regards Donna

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  126. Happy second birthday, Rhonda! I really enjoy your blog and all your simple living tips and tidbits of wisdom. You are a truly remarkable woman! Thanks for offering your giveaway. Sounds like a wonderful gift that anyone would be thrilled to receive.

    Lilla
    Colorado USA

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  127. Rhonda, with best wishes for a happy 2nd birthday. Your blog has been inspirational and very informative. Well done.Daffodil Angel

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  128. Happy 2nd Birthday!!
    Congrats on the achievement!

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  129. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! and WE get a present each day you blog..can't beat that!

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  130. Happy blogging anniversary! I have been reading your blog for the last 6 months and have been greatly encouraged and inspired by your writings!

    When my husband lost his job several months ago I realized that as the home manager I was going to have to find creative ways to stretch our meager funds. I am 28 yrs old and I have found my generation to be in a conundrum in terms of how to live a simple, self-sufficient life that our grand-mothers would have considered daily living.

    I am now officially making my own laundry detergent and green cleaning products from your recipes! With your helpful information we planted a small garden for the first time and look forward to having some fresh produce this summer! When our dryer broke it was no big problem, we just put up a clothes line between our two apple trees! My work seems more time consuming but it is also more joyful and rewarding knowing how my labor benefits our family!

    Thank you for your time, considerate writings, and your willingness to impart your wisdom and knowledge so freely! May we all live more wisely and simply!

    ~ Charity
    Indiana, USA

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  131. Happy Blog Birthday! Put my name in the hat for the give away.

    Coleen

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  132. Wow! I'm impressed!

    You're not going to send those gifts anywhere, are you?

    I'd imagine postage from Australia to the US is hefty.

    Congrats on 2 years & all the other good things you have done. :)

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  133. Happy Birthday! I am a daily reader. I love your blog as it inspires me toward my goal of simple living in the midst of a busy family. I apprecite your insight and your willingness to share how you do things.
    God bless you as you continue this endeavor.

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  134. Congratulations on two years of blogging! I've really enjoyed reading what you have to say. ;)

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  135. Hey Rhonda,

    It's true, your blog is inspiring and I'm glad you take the time to write, so thanks for 2 years. The reason I find your blog inspiring is because you make everything seem do-able - sometimes easy, sometimes interesting and sometimes worth just trying. The other week I learned to make no knead bread. Not the "proper" way but at least I'm doing "something" and that makes me happy. I'm also getting a dairy cow this weekend - *yikes* and *wow*. I figure nothing ventured nothing gained. If I can't "do it" I'll just sell her on. Thanks for encouraging us to make a difference in the world and our families.

    Missy, from her own miniature farm

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  136. I love your blog! I check it every day and have made may changes in my life because of it. I make my own cleaners, am toying with the idea of soap, went back to baking bread (really hard at 6500 ft altitude!), wrote out a budget and just planted a garden for the first time at a local community garden. Keep it coming and happy birthday!

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  137. I love you blog. I usually don't comment, but I sit every evening and click over to you and prepare to be filled with peace. Your pictures as well as your words are so inspiring to me. I am trying hard to make my life more and more simple, and I am finding it so comforting. You help me so much on my journey. Thanks so much for all that you do.
    Jenny

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  138. Happy Second Birthday!
    I found your blog not too long ago and love reading all of your ways and wisdom of living frugally. You give many of us the extra inspiration that we need to make life what we want it to be.

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  139. Congratulations on your milestone. I don't always comment, but I refer back to your blog often and read it regularly. Thanks for sharing your life the way you have.

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  140. I read your posts everyday Rhonda and I love them. You have shown me how to slow down and enjoy the work I do in my household now. Everytime I feel like I am getting stressed, I stop and think to myself... remember Rhonda says to be mindful of your work. Thanks! It has helped me to focus on what I need and want to do.

    Happy Bloggiversary!!!

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  141. Congratulations on the two-year anniversary! I've been reading and enjoying your blog for almost a year. When I first found you, I actually spent a couple of weeks going through your archives and reading every single post. I don't think I've ever done that before.

    And thank you for offering the lovely giveaway.

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  142. Thank you Rhonda for your blog and congratulations! I so appreciate you, I have gleaned so much wonderful information from you. Thank you!

    ~Sharon

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  143. Darling photo of you and Hanno! Happy Blog Birthday! I look forward to reading your blog every day. Today I hung a load of laundry out to dry, organized some end of the year paper work as we wrap up our home schooling year, read lots of books to my little boys, did general pick up around the house and made some chicken spaghetti for dinner! It was a great day!

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  144. Dear Rhonda Jean,
    One of the reasons I so appreciate your e-mentoring is that I know how much effort it takes: I'm not a blogger, but I have done daily journalling and, with only myself as an audience, I couldn't write interesting things each day! Yet, somehow, you teach me with the simplest sentences, as much with your attitude as with the subject of your blog entries. Thank you so much!

    Donna in CO USA

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  145. I read your blog everyday. I would love to be in your give away. I have another question about a blog. I have heard that you can make your blog into a book- not for sale- just for me or my family. Do you know how or where to go to do that? Thanks for all you share. I would love to win your soap!

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  146. Love your blog! Never miss a day...from Pam in Texas, USA

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  147. I love the looks of your soap and would love to have some!

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  148. Dawn N. in MichiganMay 14, 2009 12:25 pm

    First time I've ever commented. I've read your blog often over the last few months. I'm planning to start getting rid of all my chemical cleaners and making more foods from scratch. It's such a daunting process to start that I have to remind myself to do just a little at a time and then just as I'm getting started, I find out that I'm sensitive to over 40 food that I must cut out of my diet, including gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, carrot, pea, peach, strawberry and other very normal foods. So my energy has been spent fixing that crazy diet and I'll get back to other home cookings in a few months when I can eat "normal" again. However, I love your blog and all the information you share. Thanks so much!

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  149. Happy second blog birthday!

    I discovered your blog about a month ago and have been a faithful reader ever since.

    Thanks for the great posts,
    Serena

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  150. I confess the motivating factor in posting this is the possibility of receiving one of your lovely loofas! I loved reading your posts about them and wish I could grow them here. Alas, it is not meant to be for this Canadian prairie girl.

    PS:
    I am in the beginning phase of building a compost in our backyard and would like to hear any tips you might have.

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  151. I'm a new reader and subscriber to your blog...maybe even less than 2 months! Where have I been for the last 2 years that you have been writing?! Anyway, congratulations on your 2nd b'day of your blog. I've enjoyed your posts on living simply.

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  152. Congratulations Rhonda. It's been a wonderful journey and I'm so glad that I've been here following along, getting advice and wisdom and lots of great ideas almost since the beginning.
    thanks (to my surrogate mother)

    Kate

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  153. You have a wonderful blog, one I come back to almost daily. I've been trying to perk mine back up -- I wrote a few times a week, but after being caught up in a whirlwind romance (that eventually led to my so far year-long marriage), I let it slide. I hope to build one as informative and pleasant as yours!

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  154. I blog for my family and friends but also as a small measure of paying back to the blogger community. I've gained so very much from reading others.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

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  155. Happy Bloggy Birthday to you!

    After reading your "Just Do It" post recently, I finally worked up the nerve to try my first batch of homemade soap, with excellent results. Thanks for the encouragement in homemaking and gardening.

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  156. Shannon BarlowMay 14, 2009 12:54 pm

    Rhonda, congratulations on two years! I think I started reading about a year ago and visit daily. As you know, my comments are much less frequent than your posts :). I am still eagerly waiting for your book to come out, but even when it does I will continue to read because I feel like you are my "Australian friend" with so much wisdom to impart. Thank you. I would love to be entered into the drawing.
    Shannon B, Monmouth,OR

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  157. Happy Birthday!
    LOVE your blog!
    Such inspriration!

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  158. Has it really been two years? I lose track of time when I'm reading your blog.

    Wisdom is timeless.

    Well done and a big cheer for Hanno too - your other half of existence. :)

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  159. Congratulations on your two year anniversary Rhonda.
    After several years of poor results growing tomatoes, thanks to you and your helpful posts I too am able to say today "My Brandywines are growing fast." I had never heard of Brandywines let alone grown them or other tomatoes from seed. Seeing them growing, healthy and bearing fruit is so exciting.
    I begin my day by reading your blog and your writings continue to inspire me. Thank you.

    Patricia on the Gold Coast

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  160. Thank you for your wonderful blog! I came across the link to it on simple savings a while ago and now read it about once a week. Your stories and writing are interesting and brighten up my days around the home. I am trying to live a simpler life, and found your soap recipe to be wonderful. I made some this month, I never thought I would ever be able to do that. I do write about my tests and trials on my blog, and while I am not as polished a writer, I do hope I'm not putting people to sleep. You have pushed my mind in different directions and for that thank you very much, it is far better then any gift.

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  161. I have recently found your blog and have enjoyed all the great information you provide your readers. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with us.

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  162. Congratualtions on your second Bloggeburtstag (I think the Dutch word looks nicer - picked it up from the Bliss blog). It's so encouraging to read that other people are also thinking about what they do and how and why they do it. And I enjoy thinking over why I might agree or disagree with you, too. Best wishes for many more years of soap-making, bread-baking and blogging!

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  163. Congratulations on two years Rhonda! How time flies... and what a wonderful resource and source of inspiration you have built up in that time. All the very best for the nest two years, and beyond :-)

    Cheers, Julie

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  164. Just found your blog tonight! I'm new to the blogging world and I am devouring your site. Thanks!

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  165. Cheers to you Rhonda and your partner too. I have learnt quite a lot reading your blog so happy second birthday!
    Our wwoofer made your crumpets yesterday and added chocolate to them.....mmmmmmmmm.
    Keep up the good work

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  166. Congratulations Rhonda Jean. I've been a reader since almost the beginning. :)

    Great tips about blogging too.

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  167. Happy second birthday, Rhonda! I so enjoy visiting your blog daily. I talk so much about you to others they now refer to you as my friend in Australia. You are a constant inspiration.

    Many thanks,
    Gail in Ohio

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  168. Happy Blog birthday! How the time has flown!
    I think that I must have discovered your blog very soon after you started. Yours was the first blog I ever read. (Which makes my blog ALL YOUR FAULT....)

    Is it possible to use the word blog any more in one comment. No? I thought not.

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  169. Happy Birthday! It's so amazing to find just the right person out there in this crazy blogosphere, one who can act as a role model not only in how I want to live, but also in my many creative pursuits - writing, blogging, cooking, gardening, sewing and, only recently, knitting! Spirit must have lead me to you.

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  170. When I first started blogging and reading blogs, yours was on everyone's reading list, so I had to have a look... then I subscribed to your feed.
    Following links from your blog takes me to many more wonderful reading spots... too many as now by the time I've finished reading I've no time left to blog.
    Congratulations.

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  171. Congratulations with your second blog anniversary!
    I have started knitting wash clothes for the kitchen. I have also started watching the bargain bins or clearance area of local stores for my yarn. Found fun looking yarn and I am now knitting a scarf as a thank you gift. I have seen some pretty color sweaters at resale shops. Wondering if one can buy a used sweater and reuse the yarn from them???
    I carry no debt except my house and a small loan for my car.
    I was raised to make do if you didn't have the money to pay for what you wanted. I have learned to tell friends I am in the market for such and such if you have one you no longer are using, I will take it off your hands. Instead of running right out to the store to buy an new such and such.
    Take care and enjoy your home and family. Natalie Joy In Michigan

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  172. Wow, look at all those wonderful comments, you sure are appreciated Rhonda.

    No more to say except I second what's already been said, and Happy Blog Birthday...may there be many more.

    Nanette

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  173. Happy Birthday! I'm going to celebrate by making (or at least attempt to make) some of your laundry liquid! (Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!).
    Best of luck,
    ~S.

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  174. Happy second birthday, since I visited you for the first time, i liked your blog, and your style, thanks a very speacial thanks for sharing with us all these tips about blogging,

    Saludos.
    Ale

    http://withblueberryheartquiltscorner.blogspot.com/

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  175. Hi Rhonda and happy second to you and your faithful side kick Hanno.
    I read and enjoy the other blogs you listed here today, all except for "chezlarsson", which I had to check out... (by the way your link is taking me back to Like Merchant Ships instead of chezlarsson)but I did find her and I love her blog...will have to watch for her book when it comes out.
    I am heading back to get some of the cooking for a month recipes I read a few minutes ago.
    You already know without a doubt how much we all love you and your wonderful blog, but just in case you didn't let me say again,loudly
    WE ALL LOVE YOU!
    Please, please, please, please add my name to the drawing for one of the gifts...would love to enjoy some of your soap!

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  176. Congratulations on your 2nd year,Rhonda.It was through reading your blog that I first got interested in blogging myself...I bet I am not the only one you inspired to start...
    Mandy

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  177. Wow! 173 comments and counting! Seems everyone is a great admirer of your soaps and dishclothes! I have not missed a post since I started reading last year and have learnt many, many things AND, more importantly, have put them into practise. You have a very easy style of writing that makes me feel you are talking to me, in my home, over a cup of tea.
    Thankyou and congratulations on two wonderful years.
    Rachel

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  178. Congratulations on your second "Blog Birthday"!
    Thank you for inspiring so many of us and I hope you will continue to do so for many more years.
    I am one of those readers who read daily and am still going back through the archives reading each post and learning along the way. What you have to say are things that can help most people no matter where they live, their age or family dynamics.
    Well done!!!
    Colleen

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  179. Wow! Look at all the comments.

    As a drop in the bloggers ocean (and that's of myself, I speak!), thank you and thank you again!!!
    I need to set a date to go through ALL your posts I think, writing myself notes on all I learn. :)

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  180. Happy second year.
    I read you everyday for almost a year and went back through all I missed.
    The simple life is great thanks for all the good information.

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  181. Congratulations on the 2 year milestone Rhonda!

    The fact that I had to scroll down and scroll down and just keep scrolling down to get to the bottom of all the comments shows how many people have come to enjoy your writings over that time.

    JULIE FROM MACKAY - please share your blog! I, for one would love to read how you are going.

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  182. Wow, I'm glad I checked your blog today. Count me in!

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  183. Hi Rhonda,
    I check your blog first thing every morning, but sometimes the 2 hour time difference must make it a bit too early over there - depends whether I have slept in or not. :o), and then I rarely get another chance to check until later in the day, which means I'm number 189 or thereabouts I think, for this giveaway. :o)

    Thank you for your generosity in having a giveaway. I would love to try some of your soap - I'm still mustering up the courage to make some for myself (I even got my husband to buy me the book you recommended, for my Christmas gift), but the whole lye in your eye thing scares me a bit.
    But your soap looks so pretty!
    Rachel L

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  184. I'm fairly new to reading your blog, but I am really enjoying it.
    It is so nice to read about someone who values home life, understands the work involved and doesn't put down trying to do it well.
    It is also lovely to find a blogger in Australia!

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  185. Congratulations on your 2 years of blogging. I enjoy reading your daily posts and have learnt a lot. Looking forward to many more informative posts.

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  186. happy blogaversary! i'm a norwegian blogger who comes here regularly, but today there were 4 new posts since my last visit. i'm heading for a long and cosy breakfast time with my computer!

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  187. Congratulations on your second birthday, I've been reading for about a year now and loving every post! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  188. I often read your blog. It is such an inspiration for me to go back to basics.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips.

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  189. Rhonda, I love your blog and have been reading it evry morning since I discovered it about 2 months ago through the Co=operative. I love your message and your gentle persuasion. Thank you for inspiring me and my family. With love Carolyn x

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  190. Congratulations on reaching the two-year milestone, Rhonda. It's a wonderful achievement.

    One of the things that I have discovered about blogging is that our blogs change as our lives change.

    When I started mine, almost two years ago, I was a stay-at-home mum of four in Melbourne and I mostly blogged about home, garden, frugal living and family. Now we are renting in a different city (Adelaide) and I have no vegie patch, no chooks, and I have just started working four days a week in school hours for a university. When we buy a home here I'm sure will give me plenty to write about, especially once I start gardening again.

    I guess the voice of a blog can stay the same even when circumstances change.

    Thank you for all the terrific ideas you share in your blog and keep up the great work.

    Please count me in your giveaway.

    Kate

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  191. Happy Bloggiversity!
    Super photo. You have definitely made a positive impact on my life - and obviously so many other people feel the same. Keep up the wonderful work. Many thanks too to your supportive husband!
    Ramona K
    Uppsala, Sweden

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  192. I'm another regular reader. Congratulations on your second birthday, and can you please include me in your draw - since I'd love to win some of your soap and loofahs!! I'm longing to try these things myself, when I have a little more time.xxx

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  193. Happy secound birthday and I hope you will feed your Blog a lot more years. I read it every day for about 2 mounths now so I'm a newby, I love your tips and the way you live....thanks

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  194. Happy second birthday, I love your blog and I won't go to bed until I've read your next post it's normally around 9.30pm here in the uk.
    You are such an inspriation and although as a family we are far from living a simple life i have made a few little changes since I started to read your blog. I make bread every day, biscuits and cakes a few times a week because with three children and a husband that won't drink tea with out something sweet (Just like Hanno)once a week wouldn't be enough.
    I hope to make my own washing powder next week, and then I'll being having a go at pickles and jams.
    So thank you for all of your incouragement and ideas.

    joanne x

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  195. Hi Rhonda Jean

    I have not commented on your blog for ages and indeed stopped reading your blog for a time. Your life seems so relaxed and lovely jubbly that at a stressful time in my life, I found it made me even more upset. Why couldn't my life be like Rhonda Jean's??? :D

    Truth is though, I missed you. I missed your words and even little phrases you write, such as 'paying for your life' really hit me deeply.

    So now, your back in my life and back in my morning routine.

    I'm not writing to try to win a prize, I'm writing to tell you congrats on your second anniversary (I know I've read your blog for a long, long time but the 2 years has really flown by.)

    You are an inspiration to me.

    big hug

    Jennifer
    HomeMattersMost

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  196. Thanks for 2 years of joyful reading Rhonda. Please enter me into your giveaway your soap would be a delight to have.

    Lisa

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  197. Happy 2nd Blogday! Congratulations and achieving this milestone.

    I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I was thinking of what has changed since I found you, I now have:
    A small stockpile of food staples in the cupboard
    Jars of homemade (BY ME!!) strawberry jam
    A pile'o'rags made from my 2yr old son's off-casts that were too worn to pass on
    Oils in the cupboard waiting to become soap (soon!)
    Yeast in the cupboard ready for bread-making (haven't managed it yet, but I'm ready!!)
    A pot of soup on the stove
    and
    Snow-peas, lettuce, spring onions and carrots growing in our very small garden

    Wow! It's not until you write it down, that you realise how far you've come.

    Thank-you
    Claire
    in Melbourne

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  198. I was so excited when I found your blog - it has been my homepage for quite a while :o) It must be hard to keep it up some days, but I for one very much appreciate that (almost daily!) encouraging voice!

    Thank you :o)

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  199. Hi Rhonda, I read this blog every day and have for just over a year now.
    It has helped educate me, hubby and 4 children that we can enjoy life on less. You have reminded me of the skills I already have ( I just cant seem to stop kitting) and given me the enthusiasm to pursue the ones I yet dont.
    This has all been invaluable as I have just been made redundant, a thought that although it is scary has not sent me into a tail spin as it would have before.

    So Happy Birthday special lady!!!

    Teresa Charlton UK

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