Blog Birthday | Oh, Julia Ann Turns FIVE!

I registered my site five years ago today, says WordPress. A little trophy popped up on my dashboard this morning to remind me. “Keep up the good blogging,” it says.

Five years. Five years?! How has it been five years? I remember the day I registered the site incredibly well. I was working on a little 11-inch netbook while watching TV in our old apartment, and on a whim I made an account. I didn’t tell anyone, including my then-boyfriend/now-husband, because I wasn’t sure if I’d keep it going. I picked my perpetual username as the domain and decided I’d try my hand at fashion blogging while I finished my last semester in journalism school. I hoped it would help me land a job, like an on-trend digital portfolio.

So how have things changed in the last five years? I graduated from college. I started working full time as a reporter. I was approached by brands for collaborations and reviews. I won my first blogging award. I was profiled in local media. Lance proposed. I was recruited to a job in marketing. I quit smoking. I bought my first house. I was diagnosed with cancer. I beat cancer. I got married. I went viral. I was asked to speak on my first panel. I was invited to present at my first blogging conference. I was approached for my first large-scale collaboration.  I was asked to model for a brand. I took a honeymoon. I was selected to walk the runway for a major brand. I was featured in a national magazine. I was honored by my alma mater. I was laid off from my day job. I began working for myself.

And I have never, ever been happier than I am right now. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

I recently hit a new blog milestone when a major brand – T.J.Maxx – invited me to do a social media takeover. If you followed along on IG Stories while I shopped the sales, you’ll recognize the items below.  I wanted something fun and festive for my blog birthday look. After all, this started as simply a fashion blog so it seemed fitting I stick with the original content idea for this post. (You can also scroll down to shop similar items!)

Currently wearing items from some of my favorite collabs… Top and purse strap c/o T.J.Maxx [#tjmaxxpartner] | Bag c/o St. Louis Premium Outlets | Shoes c/o Soft Surroundings | Skirt c/o Express

Can’t you tell we take photoshoot day waaaayyyy seriously? 😉

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what would come when I registered my site in 2012. I expected maybe dozens of clicks, but never tens of thousands each month. Hell, in the last two years we surpassed the entire population of my hometown (~115k) in individual readers. And tons of you continue to come back on a regular basis! I am blown away by the love and support I receive from you because of this blog, and despite the fact that I work full-time as a writer I can’t seem to express in words the humbling feeling of your readership. This site completely changed my life, and I can’t thank you enough for your help.

I can’t wait to see what amazing experiences and dorky jokes the next five years hold.

Tell me about it!