Four Years of Totally Graced! // Survey, Giveaway + More!!

Monday, August 13, 2018



Grab some cake and settle in, because...

WE'RE CELEBRATING TOTALLY GRACED'S FOURTH BLOGIVERSARY!

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I suppose we should start with the obvious....what do you think of the new look?! I've been wanting to revamp the blog for SO LONG, but, well, senior spring basically ate me, and it didn't happen. Summer hit, and while I gained a small amount of time back, I thought it would be fun to wait to break out a new design until the blogiversary. Surprise! Do you like it?? I'm super happy with how it turned out (shoutout to Abby for saving my life with CSS help yesterday), and just really excited to have freshened up this space. I also updated my About page, and added an Archive page up top compiling some of my absolute favorite posts, so I'd love for you to check those out as well! 

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It's so crazy to me that it was four years ago that I sat down in my living room and opened up Blogger for the first time. I'd just turned fourteen, hadn't even started high school yet, and wanted to start a blog because I was obsessed with beauty YouTubers, but hated being on video. (So thankful for that. I cannot even imagine what the cringe level would have been if I had a series of old YouTube videos to look back on. Occasionally, I just have to thank God for my anxiety.)

So I made a blog- terrible design, cringe worthy posts, the works. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I loved it anyways. It was my little space to do with whatever I pleased. I told exactly two friends that I was making it, then realized that the thought of people I actually knew reading it was nothing short of terrifying, and proceeded to keep it a secret project. I've never been the most confident person, far too eager to please, and there was such a freedom in having a space to create where I didn't have to give a thought to what anyone else would think of it. It was just mine. 

I didn't know how on earth to interact with other bloggers, or even find them. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the online community, but I didn't have the slightest idea how to begin. Slowly, I found a few other bloggers my age, but for the most part, the first year of blogging was just me and three or four occasional readers. 

Then, slowly but surely, I figured some things out. I finally got plugged into the blogging community, and found so many other bloggers creating such incredible things. My content slowly got stronger, although, let's be honest, it's always going to be messy. I launched social media pages specifically for the blog and got to engage with even more people on those platforms, and when Totally Graced turned two, it got its first facelift, which remained the design up until last night.

As of yesterday, this blog turned four, and I don't think that my mind can quite wrap itself around that fact yet. After I hit that publish button for the first time, Totally Graced became a pretty big part of my life. It chronicled the entirety of my high school years, and all of the ups and downs that came along with it. It's been my longest consistent project, and I'm so thankful that I have this blog to look back on. Blogging has given me a space to detach from the rest of my life, to be able to write and share and just do what I love without stressing out over whether or not it's perfect. That's what I've loved about this space the most, and why so few people that I interact with on a daily basis know that it even exists. As a person who does almost everything in her life with the mindset of "What will ____ think of this?", it's been so freeing to have this one thing that's just been for me, and for the people who've stumbled upon it and jumped on for the ride. 

I say a lot of that just for the sake of clarity, because I have had more people in my personal life end up finding out about this blog over the course of the past year, and I know that it's inevitable that more people will as well. (I'm finally beginning to get to the point where the thought of that doesn't just make me feel like I'm going to throw up, so that's progress.) So if you do know me and you're reading this, I just want you to know that no, the fact that I didn't share this with you does not have anything to do with you or how I feel about you. (I have literally had to try to explain to someone that my lack of sharing the blog with people does not mean that I don't love them.) It's solely because I just wanted to do it for myself, and I know that if I share it, I just adds too much pressure. I do hope that you can understand and respect that. ♥ Personally, I'm still praying that this stays my secret little abode forever, but that's just me. 

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So now here we are. Four years later. I'm eighteen, and headed into college in less than two weeks. Somehow, I love blogging even more than when I started, and you'd best believe that this blog isn't going anywhere. I'm so thankful for all that I've learned, and especially for all of the people I've met on this crazy ride. My blogging tribe is filled with so many incredibly special girls, and I am so grateful for every single one of you. You constantly encourage me, point me towards truth, and pour wisdom into my life, and I cannot thank you all enough for everything you have done for me. You ladies make everyone around you feel like they can take on the world, and I'm so lucky to be a part of that. Every time that I get the opportunity to meet one of you and give you a hug, I'm the happiest girl in the world. You have helped me to find my voice, and you constantly inspire me to chase my dreams with the same ferocity that you all do. Thanks for proving that online friends are real friends, too. Here's to many, many more years of group chats, snail mail, breakfast food wars, and dreaming of that blogger party we're all going to have one day.

I don't entirely know what the next year of blogging is going to look like yet. I know that I'm still going to blog as much as I can, but I also know that pretty soon, I'm going to be in a new season of life. Life is changing, and I guess that this blog and I are going to have to change a bit along with it. But hopefully any changes will all be for the better. I chronicled high school here; now I guess it's time to chronicle college, eh?

But I'm excited. Or trying to be. New seasons, new experiences, new things to create. I can't change it, so might as well run in headfirst. I'm excited to see everything that God has in store! So here's to the new, and all of the crazy that's undoubtedly coming with it. Let's tackle this. 
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Every year, I love sharing stats to see the growth over the years. I really don't pay a ton of attention to numbers, because like I said, I just blog because I enjoy it, but it's fun to see how we've grown.

First Blogiversary-
Pageviews- 8,046
Blogger Followers- 27
Email Followers- 0
Instagram- n/a
Pinterest- n/a
Twitter- n/a

Bloglovin'- n/a

Second Blogiversary-
Pageviews- 26,424
Blogger Followers- 65
Email Followers- 13
Instagram- 160
Pinterest- 37
Twitter- 60

Bloglovin'- n/a

Third Blogiversary-
Pageviews- 59,500
Blogger Followers- 132
Email Followers- 419 (pretty sure these have to be spam followers but hey)
Instagram-374
Pinterest- 110
Twitter- 365
Bloglovin'- 47

Fourth Blogiversary-
Pageviews- 82,300
Blogger Followers- 155
Email Followers- 1,145 (I swear these have to be spam)
Instagram- 458
Pinterest-130
Twitter- 570
Bloglovin'- 153

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One of my favorite things about blogiversaries is taking the opportunity to get some feedback on what's working, what isn't, and what you all would like to see in the future. Every year, I try to implement the feedback that you give, so it would be so helpful if you could take a few minutes to fill out this form and let me know how I can make this the best possible space. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out! ♥
 



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And really, c'mon. What's a blogiversary without....


disclaimer....this isn't mine, it's something I received from Aaliyah. Isn't she the cutest?

THREE winners will receive a snail mail surprise! I say surprise because....well, I haven't even decided what officially will be inside. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE FUN! If you talk to anyone who receives snail mail from me on a regular basis, they'll tell you that I love sending what I like to call 'happiness bombs', which could quite literally contain anything from jewelry to Starbucks gift cards to bookmarks to stickers to GLITTER! So, if you want one of my trademark happiness bombs showing up in your mailbox, enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thank you all so much for making the blogging world so beautiful. I love our crazy little community of artists, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.  It's been the best four years. Here's to many more! 

60 comments:

  1. GRACE!!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!! Your blog looks absolutely gorgeous and you can tell you've put a lot of hard work into this four year blog anniversary post! I got thrilled when I saw the new layout and your post.

    I am so happy I've gotten to follow you throughout this blogging journey of yours. <3 You've come so far and grown so much. I couldn't have asked for a better blog friend!

    I really enjoyed reading about your journey throughout the four years you've been blogging. I still have trouble telling others I blog too. I'm so glad that you will continue grow on this space. Can't wait to see what is to come. ILY!

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    1. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU SO MUCH VANESSA! :') I spent almost an entire weekend getting everything ready, but it was so much fun.

      I have so loved getting to grow over the years alongside you! You are the best.

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  2. AHHH! Your blog looks wonderful! I don't even know how long I've been following you, but I think it's been for a long time. It's always been a joy to read your blog though <3
    congrats girly!

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, LAUREN!! :') Goodness, we've been doing this together for so long now! You were one of my very first readers. I've loved doing this blogging thing with you!!

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  3. Congrats on four years of blogging!! I can't wait to follow along! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Ashlee! I couldn't be more thrilled to have you along for the ride. :)

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  4. Ahh oh my gosh I love you!! I'm so so grateful to have been apart of this blogging journey with you. I'm proud of all you are and all you're becoming and I am SO EXCITED to hang out with you more during our college years!!

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    1. I LOVE YOU SO FREAKING MUCH. Literally could not be more excited that YOU ARE SO CLOSE. <3 Coffee soon please??? miss you so so much. xx

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  5. OH MY GOSH HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOTALLY GRACED!!! <333 *chucks handfuls of glitter into the air and dances around* I'm so happy for you, Grace! And UMMM CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS NEW DESIGN FOR A MOMENT?? I'M SO IN LOVE! I remember when you did your last design... it feels like it was yesterday. :')

    Your post made me nostalgic and sappy. Thank you for being here and being such a beautiful ray of positivity. You are my favorite disney princess. <3 I can't wait to see what else is in store for you... You are going to make the best college student. I have no doubt your life is going to be filled with many more amazing moments and A LOT MORE GLITTER. ;)

    Thank you for everything you have done for the blogging community and for me. <3 Lots of love for you, girly!

    xx Kenzie | www.paperpizzablog.com

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    1. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU SO MUCH, FRIEND. :''''') brb CRYING FOREVER.

      You mean the world to me, Kenzie. Thank YOU for shining so much positivity and love into my life. I am so grateful for you and love you so so much. <3

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  6. Your new blog looks amazing, and I'm so incredibly happy for you! Love you, GA <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! Love you so much. <3

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  7. Congratulations!! It's so great that blogging has become a safe space for you and I'm pretty terrified of telling people in person too tbh. It's also really cool to see how you've grown! Good luck at college!!! ♡

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. 😂 Thank you so much!!

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  8. YES!! Killing it. Can't believe it's been four years. Congrats congrats congrats!!

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    1. Neither can I, goodness gracious. Thank you so much, Abby!!!

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  9. HAPPY 4TH BLOGIVERSARYYYYYYYY!! Also your new design looks absolutely amazing. :)

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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    1. Thank you so much, Nabila!!! You're the sweetest. :)

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  10. i heck*n love you ga <3 CONGRATULATIONSSSSSSS

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  11. The new design looks amazing! And massive congratulations on four years! You're awesome, and I wish you all the best for the years to come. xx

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    1. Thank you so so much, Jessica! You are too kind. :) <3

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  12. Oh my goodness, congratulations! The new design looks awesome, Grace Anne! (Do you prefer Grace or Grace Anne?)

    Looking forward to years of blogging to come! Good luck at college!

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    1. Thank you so much, Nicole!!!!! You are so sweet. <3

      I'll answer to either, but I generally go by Grace Anne! That's what everyone that I know calls me, but double names can easily get confusing online. :)

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  13. Congradulations on four years, Grace Anne! That's amazing! I have always loved your blog and I can't wait to see what happen's in the future. You are a ray of sunshine, Grace. Keep shining God's light!
    -Mikayla-

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    1. Thank you so much, Mikayla! It means so much to me that you've been following along. <3

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  14. This is so wonderful!! The new blog design is lovely, and I so appreciate how real you are in your posts! I can relate to how blogging is kind of a personal space for me and I don't share it with many of my real life friends either. It's a nice space to just write and be me 🤗

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    1. I'm so happy that you can relate, Charis! Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much to me. <3

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  15. Hi! I'm new around here, but I love your new blog design! And HAPPY BLOG ANNIVERSARY! Four years is a long time!
    I just started a blog this year. I recently graduated from high school (homeschooled) and I'm going to turn 18 soon. Id love it if you stopped by my blog sometime, I think we have a lot in common! :D
    - Brooklyne
    bensshowersofblessings.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so so much, Brooklyne!! You are so sweet. :) It does sound like we have a lot in common! I will be sure to stop by!

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  16. Congratulations! I can't believe it has been that long. You have come so far. I love your new blog set up. It looks really good. Love your blog! :)

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    1. Neither can I!!! Thank you so much, Emma! :) <3

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  17. Congrats on 4 years GA. Love you and miss you so much!!! Snail mail needs to happen even if it’s not the giveaway ��

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    1. I miss you!!! I don't have your new address, so you should totally SEND ME MAIL AND I'LL RESPOND.

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  18. Happy blogoversary! *throws confetti* =D Here's to many more amazing posts!

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    1. Thank you!!!! You are the sweetest. <3

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  19. This post actually made me say, "Awwww" aloud, when I finished it. Happy happy blog anniversary, my friend. It's been awesome getting to know you and I look forward to many more chats in the future.

    cheers.
    k.
    p.s. I love the new design. : )

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    1. Keira, you are such a treasure. Thank you so much. :) I have so loved getting to connect with you, and I cannot wait for more wonderful chats!! <3

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  20. I totally understand what you mean about blogging being your "own spot". My blog has been just that; I just last year started REALLY purposefully connecting to the blogger community. But your blog is one of my favorites, so thank you for sharing it with us, Grace! Happy blogiversary, and I will be following along as you continue writing!
    Rejoicing in Hope,
    Bri

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    1. Thank YOU for following along, Bri! It means so much!

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  21. I am in love with your new header - the font is gorgeous! <3 Congrats on four years! I've really enjoyed reading your blog - it was one of the first ones I found when I started blogging.

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    1. Thank you so much, Zane! I had SUCH a hard time picking a font, but I absolutely fell in love with this one. I've loved getting to know you through blogging!

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  22. YAY!!! Congratulations! :D This is my first time coming onto your blog because Zane Jones did an update on Goodreads about it! :)
    Just wondering, is the giveaway for internationals too?

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    1. Hey, Rosalyn!!! Welcome! It's so lovely to meet you!

      I am so sorry that I didn't respond to this sooner! I try to be much better about responding to comments, but things have been crazy with starting college. I am not able to do international giveaways at this point, but I really hope to be able to do that in the future!

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    2. I'm glad to be here!! :D

      Oh okay! I understand! :) I had entered the giveaway since I didn't hear from you, so if I'm one of the winners, you can pick someone else! :)

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    3. Gracious, thank you for that reminder- I need to announce the winners!! I'll add that on to the most recent blog post.

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  23. WOW! Four years! That's awesome!
    ( litaflame.weebly.com )

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  24. Congratulations on your blog birthday! And thank you for giving us a chance to enter the lovely surprise giveaway. :)

    Love,
    Ashley

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  25. It is so great that you are starting school soon. That is awesome!! <3

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  26. Congrats, Grace Anne! You've literally grown so much and I can't wait to see what your fifth year brings. ^.^

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  27. I'm so incredibly late to this but CONGRATS ON FOUR YEARS!! <3 I'm so happy that I found you through the blogging world. I wish you all the best with the upcoming year! You'll do amazing things, I know it <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Autumn!!! You have been such a blessing over the years. <3

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  28. HAPPY SUPER DUPER LATE BLOG BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm so thankful that I stumbled upon your blog (I think it was three years ago. wow) and got to know the kindest person ever. I'm so proud of you and to see how Jesus has worked in your life. <3

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH SWEET FRIEND!!!!! :') You have been one of the biggest blessings that the Lord has brought into my life through blogging. Can't wait to hug you one day. <3

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