Because anniversary cake doesn’t travel well (a blog anniversary giveaway)

It’s easy to measure how far you’ve come or how time has passed when you’re a parent. You see the results in the eyes of your children. In their smiles and laughter. It’s easy to measure your age in the lines on your face and in the struggles you’ve overcome. When I was growing up we moved a lot (I mean A LOT) and so I grew accustomed to measuring things by where I lived at the time. Not a full proof method of remembering your past but it worked.

But when you’re a blogger, sometimes all you have are archives to mark your past. If you’re a popular blogger, you have trips, swag, and what seems like a never ending list of followers, fans and haters.

I’m really glad I’m not popular.

Because anniversary cake doesn't travel well (a blog anniversary prize pack giveaway) Tomorrow I celebrate an eight year blogging career but blogging didn’t launch my writing, it merely expanded it.

I am lucky.

Even though I don’t consider myself popular and I don’t land on any top blogger list, I still measure how far I’ve come. It’s true; in the beginning I used to measure my numbers, statistics – technical stuff. Today, I don’t have to measure my blogging career in terms of archives and especially not numbers. I measure it in the places and things that I’ve discovered. The friends that I’ve made and in my own growth. I’m a different person now than when I started blogging. It was always my goal to tell whoever was listening what I thought and what I was feeling. It was always my plan to be able to crawl out of myself and find an escape for this country life we had found ourselves in and the changes that it brought to our (growing) family.

Most days I still don’t know what I’m doing with this blog. In recent years, blogging has prompted me to clam up more than I probably would’ve if there was only Facebook to share.  It’s given me reason to pause in my words sometimes before they come out. At the same time, it’s given me something that, outside of my children, belong 100 percent TO ME and I can call my own. I’ve been able to mold it, change it up, give it a time out and yes, praise it.


I guess in many ways, Chaos is another child to me. I want to protect it fiercely from the haters and meanies of the world. And always, always, even when it has no direction or no clear idea of what it wants to be, do I want to see it take flight and be the best little blog it can be, whatever that may be, with thousands of admirers and people who adore it. Regardless of what I do here tomorrow, I want to celebrate today and how far I’ve come. I marvel at the fact that I’ve continued to pay for having a blog (that’s right, I’m not getting rich over here) for the last eight years and the thought of not renewing my hosting or domain every year almost feels like deciding not to breathe.

Time to Celebrate with a Blog Anniversary Giveaway

In celebration, since this is my blog and in many ways my own little world, I want to giveaway some of my favorite things. After eight years I feel like having a blog anniversary giveaway seems like the perfect thing to do (who knows what will happen when we reach 10 years!)

Over the last eight years, each of these prizes have become a part of this blog in one way or another. I still rely on pen and paper but I love my Amazon prime, streaming movies for the kids (so I can work Yo!)and a blogging gal like myself needs Starbucks to keep blogging. Lastly, I don’t think I’d still be knitting if it weren’t for social media and all the knitters who kept me motivated when I cast on for the first time. One of you will win a basket of my favorite things which includes:

  • A $25 Amazon GC.
  • A $25 Etsy GC.
  • A $15 Starbucks GC.
  • A pack of Bic Intensity Fine Point Felt tip pens (I love these for doodling and creative mind mapping)
  • A pack of Paper Mate Design ball point pens (Seriously. The best ball point pens ever. And pretty too.)
  • A selection of Moleskine notebooks to put all of the creative things that live in your head. 
  • Simple seed scarf pattern and yarn to complete the project.*

(*If you win and you don’t want the yarn and pattern, let me know and I will host a separate giveaway for all of my knitting readers.) After eight years I feel like having a blog anniversary giveaway seems like the perfect thing to do (who knows what will happen when we reach 10 years!)

(Notes: this giveaway will run for 10 days and is open to U.S. residents age 18 and older, the winner will be selected randomly and notified within 24 of the giveaway’s closing. The winner will have three days to respond to the giveaway via email. If they do not respond, within three days, a new winner will be chosen and notified via email. The winner’s entries will be verified before posting a public announcement.) Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 771 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

Heirloom Baby Knits


  1. Andi says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  2. Hey Jen says:

    Happy anniversary!

    My favorite way to celebrate is with lots of food and lots of friends and because I’m 8.5 months pregnant that’s exactly the order I like everything right now. 😀

  3. crafty one says:

    A nice dinner and something sweet, preferably a pistachio gelato, are a way to celebrate.

  4. Mazel Tov on this special blogging milestone. I am so glad that we met online and finally in Atlanta last year. My favorite way to celebrate a milestone is to go out to a special dinner with family/friends. Ice cream at the end and time to knit/crochet after is also nice.
    Beth @ TheAngelForever recently posted…Hues of Blue Crochet BlanketMy Profile

  5. Happy anniversary! I would say with a nice glass of wine, but as I’m pregnant 😉 … I guess with I would currently celebrate with an iced mocha w/ whip.
    Sarah @ 2paws Designs recently posted…Baby GirlMy Profile

  6. With a special treat. We celebrated the end of school at Sonic with shakes yesterday.
    tara pittman recently posted…Free Pillsbury Heat-N-Go Mini Pancakes eCoupon for Kroger & Affiliates on 5/23My Profile

  7. What an awesome giveaway and you should be so proud for keeping the blog going for 8 years – sheesh! I haven’t even hit 8 months yet! CONGRATS!!

  8. I like to celebrate milestones with pretty much anything that means attention for me. I am an attention seeking piggy, so a party, special dinner, speeches, toasts. Congrats on 8 years!!! #typeaparent
    Susan Maccarelli recently posted…Craigslist Chuckles: Strange And Hilarious Listings (Eugene, OR)My Profile

  9. Melissa Smith says:

    Happy Bloggy-versary! :)
    I really should celebrate milestones with pictures, but since I’m so awful at srapbooking, framing or even printing them…I go with food. Certain foods I always link to special occasions. I make the same birthday treat for myself every year that my mom made for me growing up. My kids have a birthday & we have birthday cake pancakes. End of the school year, banana splits. I could go on & on & on!

  10. steven weber says:

    drinking of course!!

  11. Wow – 8 years! That is very impressive. I really appreciated this post. I’ve only been blogging for 2 months and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on your anniversary. Have a great weekend!
    Lana recently posted…Five Things You Need From IkeaMy Profile

  12. Woah! Congratulations and happy blogiversary. I just found your blog from #typeaparent, and I’ll definitely be checking back in! :)
    Aubrey recently posted…6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe this SummerMy Profile

  13. Erin B says:

    Cake and champagne!

  14. Baking fun treats are the best way to celebrate! Thanks for the giveaway!
    krystalskitsch recently posted…Key Lime Michelada Cocktail RecipeMy Profile

  15. Congrats! That is a huge accomplishment in the blogging world!!!

    I celebrate milestones by doing something special…like dinner, buying myself (or someone else) something special, or taking a trip.
    Yona Williams recently posted…8 Gift Ideas for the Tool ManMy Profile

  16. My favorite way to celebrate depends on the occasion. I think with milestones I honestly like to reflect on my own often, like you have, to think about where you started, the path you’ve traveled, and where you are headed.

    You are a wonderful blogger and just an all around good person with a very witty sense of humor that I appreciate more than you know! Congratulations on your blogging anniversary and I wish you many,many more!
    Robyn Wright recently posted…7 Messy Things To Do For Fun + GiveawayMy Profile

  17. Lauren O. says:

    We always celebrate milestones by having large celebratory dinners with all of the family and by taking tons of pictures to look back on!

  18. Laura J says:

    Happy Blog Anniversary!!! We love to celebrate milestones by inviting family over for a lunch…or BBQ! Always best to celebrate milestones with family and friends!

  19. Mari says:

    I celebrate by treating myself to a book and a latte.

  20. I love to celebrate with trips. I am sure you can relate! Congrats on eight years!
    Kate, aka guavalicious recently posted…Memorial Day SALESMy Profile

  21. Elle says:

    I like to celebrate with friends, family and of course cake!

  22. The best way to celebrate where you’ve gotten to is too look back at where you came from
    (With friends and coffee makes that even better)

  23. Natalie says:

    We love to celebrate milestones by sending cards and going out for frozen yogurt!

  24. manda says:

    With family

  25. Happy Anniversary! I love to celebrate with a small group of close family and friends. Maybe host a BBQ or a Bonfire, nothing fancy, just fun.
    Linda Kinsman recently posted…Sound more professional & stay connected with Grasshopper #adMy Profile

  26. Lynda Del says:

    Happy 8 year blogiversary!! I like to celebrate milestones with a girl’s night out.

  27. Daniel M says:

    usually go out to dinner

  28. lindsey sullivan says:

    happy anniversary! love your blog!

  29. Patricia says:

    A sweet treat

  30. Rebecca B says:

    By having a party and taking lots of pictures of all my loved ones!

  31. Happy anniversary! What a fun giveaway!

    I love celebrating milestones by a special day out. Getting completely decked out and making a new memory. :)

  32. heather e.g. kaufman says:

    We have neighborhood BBQs.

  33. Tonya Atkinson says:

    With Family

  34. Chelsey says:

    My favorite way to celebrate milestones is going out and doing something with my family!

  35. Lorie Sanders says:

    I just found out i love having a great dinner with friends

  36. Tammy Woodall says:

    My favorite way is to have dinner at home with a special meal.

  37. Katie Dugan Barrett says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  38. Parties with cake and balloons.

  39. Kristina says:

    My favorite way to celebrate milestones is with a international trip with close family.

  40. Taylor Garcia says:

    My favorite way to celebrate is cake and a small party

  41. Laura says:

    I love celebrating milestones by either having a gourmet dinner, or making it a point to have an adventure that you otherwise wouldn’t. Treat yo self. 😉

  42. Natalie yeoman says:

    I like to celebrate by going out to a nice dinner

  43. amanda whiltey says:

    i like celebrating by going out to dinner.

  44. krystal pena says:

    I love spending milestones with my family and cloest friends and if they couldnt make it i put it on facebook to see :)

  45. John Hutchens says:

    we like to celebrate milestones by hosting a party at a nice local resturant

  46. Wilma P says:

    We usually celebrate with a party including a nice dinner, cake & presents.

  47. Jason says:

    Go out for a cup of coffee, etc.

  48. Kristina says:

    With family and close friends!

  49. Cupcakes!!
    Jennifer @ Brass & Whatnots recently posted…Outdoor Rug Steal!My Profile

  50. Ashley Irby says:

    Our family usually goes out for dinner. :)

  51. I like to celebrate with a party.
    Shane R. recently posted…Easter Basket CupcakesMy Profile

  52. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    i like going out to dinner

  53. Ashley Redford says:

    My favorite way to celebrate is great food and great friends and family!!!

  54. Heather Dawn says:

    I love to have a little shopping celebration! Perfect excuse to get a new purse!

  55. Happy anniversary. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were hanging by the pool in Florida so many years ago.
    Shaina recently posted…Coconut Crusted Cod Tacos with Red Cabbage SlawMy Profile

  56. Sara says:

    Make a special dinner

  57. Sky Evans says:

    I celebrate with reunions.

  58. Tara says:

    We celebrate with ice cream!

  59. Jennifer Shelton says:

    With a family day :)

  60. Thomas Murphy says:

    I like to have a party.

  61. Janice Cooper says:

    My favorite way is going out to dinner

  62. Ashley Tucker says:

    I usually go out to eat.

  63. Emily P says:

    I love to go to dinner and celebrate with those i love and care about.

  64. merdith says:

    I like taking lots of photos and making a scrapbook!

  65. Sarah says:

    Nice gift

  66. Birdiebee says:

    Have a celebratory meal.

  67. patricia says:

    i like to celebrate milestones by taking lots of pictures so i can always remember those special moments. i also like to write a journal entry about the milestone so i can always go back and review the details.

  68. Dawn Monroe says:

    I like to have my family around with great food, drinks, pictures and lots of laughs.

  69. Laura says:

    My favorite way to celebrate a milestone is either going out for a nice meal, or treating myself to something I’ve been wanting to get for awhile!

  70. ellen casper says:

    Photos are a great way to celebrate and remember milestones

  71. I love to celebrate milestones surrounded by family and friends!

  72. And happy anniversary! 8 years is a big commitment to keep blogging–I have a hard time keeping mine current, it’s just 18 months old!!!
    Lori (Once Upon a Run) recently posted…Super Awesome Run on the HorizonMy Profile

  73. Veronica V says:

    We usually go out to dinner to celebrate.

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