20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole.

Feb 16

20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Friday. Loading. Please wait.

Hello Friday.  Wine.  Hello Wine.

It’s Friday.  Time to go make stories for Monday.

List of things I’m currently handling well   1.________.

Having cancer around you is like getting constantly hit in the head with a ball. It has a way of de-evolving your life when you’re not looking.  Somehow, I just have to believe that the blog intentionally led me here. To help others.  To help you and to help me.

If cancer had a face, I’d punch it.

Attacking cancer | Dear cancer, here's a can of whoop ass. Open it. | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Having a husband with terminal cancer is like riding on a wild locomotive ….screeching out of control…. with break away turns… rollercoaster moves… up and down peaks and valleys… at high speed… with no brakes… nary a safety belt in sight.  I’m not dramatic at all, am I?  I want to hoodwink cancer.  Hard.  Like Rocky Balboa.  Hard.  Bloody nose, gasping for air.  Hard.

Having cancer in your life is like having a two year old in the room, running the show.  Cancer is that naggy jerk in your head that says, “hey, are you sure you can travel?  What if I step in and ruin the party?  With its devilish grin, it says… “it sucks to be you.”

It’s the not knowing.  Not knowing when cancer is going to rear its fugly head.

I hate to admit it … but I think about it.  All the time.  Will Michael live or die this year?  Not knowing how long the love of my life will be with me is that naggy jerk in my head.  It overwhelms me.  I can’t imagine it.  But I can.  Cancer has taken every male relative in my life (with the beautiful exception of my brother.)

Its been 22 years of being married to the man of my dreams.  It has been greatness.  And by greatness, I mean greatness.  Michael is a man of greatness.  Of beauty.  Of kindness.   He has an outward focus. He has a masterful business mind.  He knows how to love.   He has loved on me every single day for 22 years.  Real love.  Deep love.  Lasting love.

Sounds unreal, doesn’t it?

Every word.

It’s true.

Life without him in it seems unfathomable to me.  It stops me in my tracks.  It overwhelms me.  Paralyzes me. Then.  This super shitty situation somehow kicks me into gear and exhilarates me to grab it by the scruff of the neck and shake it up.  It challenges me to keep on keeping on. To write to you. To share it with you.  Because I feel like you’ve been through battles and slept in the same foxholes as I have. My strengths come right along side my vulnerabilities, and surely yours must too.  Maybe, just maybe.. we can do this together.  Just maybe we can all find a way through our painful situations with me leading the way.

That’s why I write.

That’s why I share.

That’s why I blog.

And when it hurts the most.   I’ll just put one foot in front of the other.  And write.  Because we are in this together.

20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Didja notice there’s a new look on the blog?  Revamping a blog is like sticking your head in an oven.  Managing the back end of my web site makes me want to kill myself.  I’ve got a history of dragging my feet when changing anything to do with blog layouts, dashboards or taking out the trash.  Now it’s painfully obvious why I procrastinated for f o r e v e r.  Because doing it, sucked donkey balls.

When I reorganized the blog, it was like going on a blind date and the guy showed up with a toupee.  Surprises everywhere. Old blog posts made me want to BARF.   Years ago, I must have had this attitude: WTF is this photo?  Who cares. It’s in focus. Lets post it in the blog!  Oh yay. Hint:  I posted a new photo gallery here. Phew.

Someone pass the malbec please.  I’ve officially died a thousand deaths of humiliation.  The struggle is real.

I was considering digging a hole, so I could jump in it.  Except that my favourite winter activity is going back inside where it’s warm.

In light of the old blog growing pains, I thought a giveaway would be a beautiful payback for all the suffering. Both mine.  And yours.

Goodbye old blog posts, hello new ones.  Like this one.  And this one <– So good, if you love massages!   These ones will make you happy.  This one will make you sad.   This one will make you want to shop in your jammies.  In our house, jammies are life.

I’m giving away presents from the new blog shop !!   One set of knitting needles, one gorgeous piece of Bali jewelry, and one sliding door track hardware kit.  This blog post is sponsored by me myself and I.   I just love ya like that.

20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

birch knitting needles

Do you love knitting?  Me too.  It keeps me from unraveling.  Love chunky wool blankets?  Ditto.  I knew I liked you. There’s two free knitting patterns HERE and HERE… <–I’m yelling at you.  They are THAT good.  There’s a fahhhreee tassel pattern too.  Your.mind.will.be.blown. when you see how fast and easy the chunky wool blankets are to knit.

handcrafted jewelry from Bali

Beautifully handcrafted jewelry from the island of Bali, Indonesia!! Each beautiful piece is lovingly handmade by the kind, hard working artisans in Bali, Indonesia.  I personally met many of the artisans and hand selected the jewelry.  Each piece is hand crafted. Nothing is ever ever ever made in a factory.

What’s that mean? Every bead, every tassle, every pom pom is individually strung on to each piece. Pretty amazing, right?  It is for that reason that they are only available in small batches.  Shop them here.

door track hardware kit

There’s a DOOR TRACK HARDWARE KIT <—- Sorry to yell. I nearly forgot to tell you about them!  The wooden wheels and hangers are handcrafted by local Amish.  L o c a l   A M I S H.  Holy batman.  The craftsmanship.  It’s a super affordable DIY door track hardware kit too.  I’m offering the DIY door track hardware ebook for free during this giveaway.  You can download it here.

PS.  I paint my door track rails white, because, hello… have you met me?


GIVEAWAY! Enter to win your own DIY door track hardware kit | Wooden wheels & hangers are custom made by the local Amish | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Years ago, I started a hobby blog to keep in touch with my friends and family.  Then it grew.   After millions of page views, well… I learned 20 things.

What can I say?  I’m a slow learner.

(insert big toothy grin)

Blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted.

{ What I learned, and wish I knew about 4823947350734 blog posts ago. }

 1.   What’s it really mean to be a blogger?  You’ll have a new main squeeze. He’ll absorb your head space.  You’ll think about him all the time.  His name is BLOG.  He can be unruly and he’s high maintenance.


2.  Blog this. Blog that.  Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.  Comparing your blog to another one, seven pages over…well..it’s just stoopid.  It will dull your sparkle and deflate your love balloons.


3.  By the time you’ve been blogging for a few years, you’ll have a butt that resembles a pancake, a protruding buddha belly and many empty bottles of wine to show for it. Wine does not solve problems but neither will water.


4.  You’ll discover that for some strange reason, your barfworthy blog posts will be the most successful posts on your blog *punches self. *


5.   Writing is like a mini-skirt.  It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.


6.  Don’t get hogtied to social media.  You own your blog.  You don’t own social media platforms.  It’s their bat.  Their ball.  Their rules.  Social media is the water cooler.  Use it.  Share it. Have drinks around it.  But the office owns it.


7.   Your authentic, down to earth, real voice is your greatest asset.  That, and good hair days.


8.   Facts tell, stories sell. Be ridiculously interesting.  Life is too short to have a boring blog. Last night I fell asleep on your blog. Sorry about the drool.


9.   You have to be a geeky nerd to figure shit out.  It’s hard work.  A lot of trapped wine will be rescued from wine bottles.   You’ll know you’re drunk when you have to grab onto the grass to keep from falling off the earth.


10.   You’ll find your niche.  Or it will find you.  It’s is no secret that I love white in my home style.  I’ve forced you to like it too, right?  Right.  Weirdo.


11.    You’ll get tired.  Really tired.  Your eyes water when you yawn, because you’ll miss your bed and it makes you sad.


12.   Blog subscribers will be the light on your front porch.   I send emails AKA love letters on Fridays.   We laugh.  We cry.  I tell dirty jokes and share inappropriate quotes.  You can be a part of that hot mess of awesomeness by subscribing here.


13.   It’s freaking scary to hit the publish button on a blog post.  It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means that you are about to do something very very brave.


14.   You’ll drink an enormo amount of coffee and then do stupid things faster with more energy.


15.   You’ll acquire the secret talent of getting tired without doing anything.


16.   You’ll make mistakes.   People will say: “what the hell were you thinking?”  I dunno.  I was thinking it was a good idea annnnnnnnnd I’d get away with it.  Btw, the homemade baileys made me do it.


17.   Your inner critic is a jerk.  Create something.  Even if it sucks.


18.  Ignore the haters because it can make even the most seasoned bloggers want to lie on the floor and weep.


19.  Don’t be afraid to start over & rebuild what you have.  It’s a brand new opportunity to create what you truly want.


20. Don’t stop. Keep on rolling.  I think this one is self-explanatory.


20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


Soooo I took the Instagram stories plunge and finally started posting Instagram story videos.  Because I need yet another THING in my life.  But I dig it!  Are you on Instagram?   It’s cool to be square.   Follow me here to watch our insta stories & see daily snippets of life.   I promise I won’t post videos of Michael half naked in a snow storm.  Except that I already did.

20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


GIVEAWAY! Enter to win knitting needles, door track hardware or handcrafted jewelry | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


  • Can I just go on record right now and say I hate rules?  Duly noted. Me no likey.


  • Pin any photo(s) from the blog post


  • The giveaway is only open to blog subscribers.  If you aren’t already subscribed, you can hop in here.  P.S. S.ssss…sss.. I only send 2-4 emails a month.  Usually on a Friday.  You’ll get inspired.  You’ll get exclusive deals. We laugh. We cry.  It’s a real hootenanny.



  • Winner winner chicken dinner will be selected from the comments and announced on Friday, March 3rd, 2017.

20 reasons why blogging is the best job I never knew I always wanted. P.S. cancer is an A-hole | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Better days are coming. They’re called Saturday and Sunday.


Wait.  I have one more important thing to tell you.

I love you!

I said it.

I mean it.

I weirdly love you.

That is all.

The end.

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  1. Roberta Wayne Phelps

    February 19th, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Dear Lynne, I’ve been right where you are now and I feel for you. I will keep praying for you and your Hubby. Sending my love from a little village in Louisiana.. Wayne

  2. Mom

    February 19th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Lynne…..Just a quick note to say I love you. You’re braver than you know. You’re stronger than you think. You’re loved more than you can imagine. Mom xoxo

  3. Barbara

    February 20th, 2017 at 12:54 am

    You are an inspiration. It has been one of those bad hair days all weekend…
    I read your last post. Went to my knitting ( my second Lynne inspired blanket) for an hour or so. Really should order a set of the birch needles…
    You don’t need my details… just know you are a help and my prayers are with you. Thank you for you heart.
    Bless you.

  4. Kim Power Style

    February 20th, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Love you Lynne! I’d really love to get the door tick hardware. I’ve been wanting to put up a barn door for so long and I think this would be the kick in the pants I need!

  5. Cheryl

    February 20th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Well well, this is first time I have met you Lynne and I already love u! U r honest, sweet, sincere, real, and hold no bones. This is what I love about u. I LOVE white so this attracted me right here. Ur ideas are beautiful. A little about me. I just bought an old Victorian that it’s bones are still good, she is strong and very little original was left alone 🙁 needs lots and lots of cosmetic so we are working it one day at a time. Anyway prior owners had the laundry in the middle of the kitchen so I decided to take a hallway closet that was made into a make shift pantry, and make that into my new laundry room. Once we took the horsehair plaster down yuk what a mess found that this prior owner literally cut the main beams to the stairway, and pushed the wall back 5″ so it had to all get rebuilt and brought back out to its original spot. Someday we will put in a beautiful stairway but for now that is what it is. So my son and husband framed it all out and made some pockets in the wall to hold detergents and so forth. They made me the most prettiest barn door but have run out of funds for the moment. So it is not hanging in need of a roller kit. I love love the wooden ones. First time I have seen them. I just wish the wheels were bigger in circumstance as everything is grand here. Anyway if I was to win I certainly wouldn’t ever kick a gift horse in the mouth. They would be beautiful. Either way once it is done I will share some photos with you. :). Love this blog! Xox

  6. Michelle Fee

    February 20th, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Always love your photos – plus my whole house is white too! Easier to repaint when the kids use it as a canvas. 😀

    Blog looks great, as always.

  7. Ashley Neuman

    February 20th, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Your blog is truly inspiring and REAL! If i could make the word REAL any bigger, I would! Unfortunately my family has had many encounters with that awful C word and I can’t tell you how nice it is to read your posts. As i said, they are so real and you really can’t ask for much more then that!! I actually came across you on Instagram one day… looking at that beautiful tree house of yours–I know a couple that stayed in it on the night of their wedding and was completely shocked when I found out this place existed right outside of my home town!!! How the hell can a place like this exist just outside of Durham and how did I not know about it?? I immediately had to follow you on Instagram, Snap chat, Pinterest, and of course subscribe to your blog! How could I not? 🙂
    I am sending lots of love and positive vibes to you, Michael and the rest of your family during this very difficult time. Cancer really is a shitty disease….. there is no better way to describe it. My thoughts are with you all.
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter in this contest. I love my jewellery so it only makes sense to wish for a Bali Necklace!
    P.S We bought a trailer in the summer and I’m currently trying to make it as nice as the airstream… so far… FAILURE! 🙂 A girl can dream right?

  8. Lynne Knowlton

    March 3rd, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Hi Ashley… that is the worlds biggest coincidence! Most people don’t even know that Durham is on a map. haha. When we first found our house, my Dad had sent me a Real Estate flyer with the info (yup, I’m THAT old)… and I was like…’Dad, why did you think I wanted to live in the middle of nowhere?!’ After much mocking, I hesitatingly came to see it and tried to BUY IT the same day. It was love at first sight.

    PS. Where do you live now? Because you WON a gorgeous piece of Bali jewelry! I’m sending you an email right now.

    Big love!
    Lynne xx

  9. Kim N.

    February 21st, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Hi Lynne, apparently I’m inept at posting comments. I posted yesterday and came back today to see if you had commented, but I can’t find my post. Anyway, I love your blog, your snarky attitude, photography and style. You put yourself out there and do it with attitude, which I admire. I’d love to win a piece of your jewelry because it is all absolutely fabulous! Keeping you, Michael and your family in my thoughts!

  10. Aliyyah

    February 21st, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Lynne!

    I’m sooo happy I found your blog and also found a feature about you via CityLine. Thank you for both! I LOVE reading your posts – they are deeply genuine, fun, and entertaining. This blog post and your blogger feature on CityLine were exactly what I needed to keep me going on my blogging journey. The “What I learned” made me chuckle (I’d laugh but I’m on my lunch break at my day job taking a break from the snore and bore). I’m taking your advice and going to try not being so “I/Me” focussed but try to make it more about my readers – it’s a very valid point. Thanks again for creating such a beautiful place on the internet world and I look forward to tagging along for your journey and your Friday love letters!

  11. Lynne Knowlton

    February 21st, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Ahhhh thanks Aliyyah!

    So happy that you found the Cityline feature too! I’d forgotten about that one. Great memories 🙂 ! PS. Your blog is BEAUTIFUL and I particularly love your current post featuring our airstream. LOL! I may be biased.

    Keep up the great work!!! It is truly gorgeous annnnnnnd WOW… your wedding photos are stunning! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    From the wee countryside to Toronto…sending you love…

    Lynne xx

  12. Hannah

    February 22nd, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I always love seeing the gorgeous white in your photos. It’s like a nice long cat-stretch-and-yawn for my brain. Ahhhhhhh. I think if there was anything I’d want from your shop, it would be that awesomepants hardware. We are planning to sell our house in town, and build one in the country. I grew up in the woods, and I am missing them so much. Anyway, we have three crazy boys, and I think a sliding door would be perfect for the “bunk room” we have planned (and it makes a darn funny metaphor, considering it’s a barn door and little boys are basically aNiMaLs).

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