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Five Years Of Friends, Food, And Fandeliers. And Lousy Alliterations.

Today it has been five years — five years! — since my naive little self made up the term “Life ADD,” spouted off some incoherent crap about trying to do all of the things, and blew your minds by exposing the world’s ugliest light fixture, the elusive fandelier:


(Our fandelier broke the internet way before any of us had ever seen Kim Kardashian’s butt.)

Five years is, I’ll have you know, the 3rd-longest serious relationship of my life behind Justin (12 years) and my Chevy Tracker (13 years), which makes this blog a pretty significant part of my life in terms of long-term commitments. Considering my love of change, that’s not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that I’ve managed to do this thing — this odd, slightly narcissistic, extremely time-consuming, often thankless thing — on a regular basis for half a decade.

It’s discouraging work sometimes, especially if I’m not getting a lot of interaction with you, my readers, which is my favorite thing about doing this. But whenever I have the break-up thoughts, I think about the incredible things that have happened since I sat down at my kitchen table after work one day, signed up for a free account, and typed “Domesticating Kate” into the title box:


A Blog

Back when blogs were a thing only slightly voyeuristic ubergeeks knew about, their main purpose was to serve as a web log (aka “blog”), or an online journal of sorts. Which is really what most of them still are, regardless of whether or not they’ve been monetized.

What I have here, in essence, is a chronological record of the last 5 years.

And not just important life events and vacations, but my moods. My anxieties. My bouts of depression and joy. It may not be as candid as a private journal, but the long-time readers among you should agree — I don’t hold a hell of a lot back.


Real Connections

From those of you who comment to those who reach out via email and even make plans in real life, I can’t believe the connections I’ve made over the years with people I would otherwise have never known. It always shocks me when I write something that resonates with someone in particular, and there you materialize, sometimes someone who’s been reading Domestiphobia for years but has never stepped out of the shadows, and every time — every time — it reminds me of why I’m so committed here. We feed each other, you know?


I’ve also had the opportunity to meet other bloggers, like Dennis, Shelly, and Dee (all three of them on this trip, actually). And of course, I’m meeting up with my friend Brianna at the next weekend’s Women in Travel Summit, where I’ll also be meeting my virtual friends Andi and Murissa for the first time in person!


Skill Honing

While I admittedly haven’t always put the quality of writing first on this blog, just the act of doing it on a regular basis has helped keep it at the forefront of my personal life goals. And my interest in photography stemmed directly from this site — from wanting to make it look prettier. (By the way, if you’d care to send money so I can buy this, that would be fantastic.)


Job Opportunities

I can think of at least three paid gigs, including my current career, that were direct results of my time spent on Domestiphobia. An editor for a local magazine found my site and asked me to write for them, a friend who read this site encouraged me to apply for a writing/photography gig on Apartment Therapy, and of course, my current love, virtual assisting, came about when a reader contacted me after I publicly complained about not getting a job I’d thought I’d wanted. It’s kismet. guys.


Travel Opportunities

And let’s not forget the travel opportunities. Maintaining Domestiphobia has helped me keep sight of my passion for travel. Travel is such an easy hobby to drop due to the expense and time it takes to make happen. But not only has this sight encouraged me to keep up my personal travel momentum so I could document it here, but there are also the travel experiences that have occurred specifically because of this site:

My discovery of a secluded ashram in rural Virginia

My week-long culinary tour of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula

And two opportunities only my newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers have heard about so far:

An upcoming romantic weekend getaway to the beautiful Oakhurst Inn in Charlottsville, Virginia,



I’m going to be honest. Scandinavia is a part of the world that, in the back of my mind, I’d assumed I’d never see. Since I constantly have to balance my love for my home with my insatiable urge to travel, I’ve compiled a prioritized mental travel wish list, and that area of the world simply wasn’t on it. Not because it’s not beautiful, but because it’s a bit out-of-the-way (aka “more expensive”), and also kind of known for being cold. I don’t love the cold. But this trip I won with The Expert Vagabond is going to be in the southwestern part of Sweden in the middle of summer. I just received the itinerary, and I’m so stoked I can’t stand it! Once I fully wrap my mind around the fact that I’m going to be visiting a part of the world I thought I’d never see and in fact, move past the mental preset that I didn’t think I’d be leaving the country at all this year, I’ll be able to fully grasp the awesomeness of this situation.


If you’re newish here. (Or even if you’re oldish, but you’re not very observant):

If there’s one thing I’m super proud of on Domestiphobia, it’s the semblance of organization I’ve managed to maintain. It’s not perfect, mind you, but I’ve actually managed to do a pretty solid job of keeping my more useful posts accessible to you. Pretty much everything’s located in the menu right below the big header that says Domestiphobia. We have:

Travel – Under which you can find my travel posts categorized by destination, my tour reviews, my Boutique Hotel Spotlights, and other travel topics.

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Virginia – This menu item is a work-in-progress, where I’m eventually going to have more Virginia-centric posts. You know, whenever I get around to writing them.

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Eat – Focuses on food stories, cooking classes, and, most important, contains all of my recipes. The recipes are categorized even further into main courses, snacks, sides, and desserts. It’s all about making this easy for you!

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Dwell – All about the house. Want to see a tour of our last house or this one? You’ll find it here. Want to see a page listing the posts about everything we’ve done in our kitchen? Hover over “by room” and click “Kitchen.” Want to just see a page of all of the “how to” projects we’ve done? Click “by project.” BOOM. You’re welcome.



Live – Here be dragons. Admittedly, this is a catch-all for… well… everything else. I’ve attempted to sub-categorize a bit, but really this menu option is like the unshaved armpit of the blog. Especially the “Just Sayin’” sub-category. I try not to go there. Like, ever.


Social Media-ings

So here’s the thing. Social media is OUT OF CONTROL. There’s too much pressure, man. Too many apps to optimize, too many channels, too many I’ll-follow-you-if-you-follow-me-and-then-later-I’ll-unfollow-you-again-to-make-my-numbers-look-more-impressive-and-hope-you-don’t-notice games. And I’ve NEVER been one to play games. So I think I’ve finally decided how I’m going to handle my social media:


If you want to interact with me in a virtual social realm besides this site, interact with me there. I’m on Facebook several times per day. It’s an addiction.


I still can’t figure out Twitter. Being concise is not my strong suite, and it’s just so blipity-blip-blip fast. I don’t know what’s happening. I’m there, but I’m not there all of the time.


Pinterest is mostly personal for me. I use it as a tool to visually bookmark things I want to re-visit around the internet. I’ve got home design inspiration, places I want to visit, recipes I want to cook. (Often, after I cook the recipes, I go back and update my pin’s description to tell you what I thought of it.) I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest if you like what I pin, but… you know… don’t follow me if you don’t like what I pin. Because there’s really no point. (P.S. If you pin photos from Domestiphobia, regardless of whether or not you follow me on Pinterest, I will love you forever because that drives traffic here. Sharing is caring, people!)


I think Instagram is my favorite. I can post pretty pictures and type as many words as I like. I often post photos real-time if I’m traveling; otherwise, expect to see cool shots from the archives.

Here are my most popular Instagrams thus far:

Missing #Malaga. See why it’s one of the most underrated cities in #Spain: A photo posted by Katie (@domestiphobia) on

Is there any place more perfect than the winding streets of #Montalcino, clinging to the hills above Tuscany?

A photo posted by Katie (@domestiphobia) on

Bottom line? Connecting with me on social media is an awesome show of support. But sharing what you like and commenting right here when you read a post that resonates — either for better or for worse — is the most encouraging show of support. There’s never a time I don’t want to hear from you. So if you’ve been here a while but never (or rarely) comment, you’re here all the time and we talk every day, or you’re brand spankin’ new but think you might like to stick around, then say Hi below! Tell me your favorite food or, if you could take a trip tomorrow to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d really like to know.

Happy anniversary to US!


Thank you for reading Domestiphobia! This post might contain affiliate links. Knowing you stopped by totally validates the time I spend here, so leave a comment. Preferably a nice one. I'm also on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes Instagram if you want to connect.



Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you for your Sweden trip. Here’s to the second half of the decade.


Thanks, Tamara! Cheers to that!


Congrats Katie! What an amazing accomplishment! Cheers to your SUCCESS!!!!!!


Thank you, Rachel!! You’ve been reading for so long — I want you to know how much I appreciate it. :)


YAY…..your trip to Sweden sounds so cool!!! Can’t wait to read about it! Congrats!!!!


Thank you! I’m super exited for the chance to see that part of the world. :)

Colleen Brynn

I’m REALLY glad we’ve connected on the interwebs. I’m so glad I can consider you a friend. You’ve been a great support to me over the last while, and you’ve written some things here and in email that have been really meaningful to me.
I feel the exact same way about social media. It really is out of control, and I’ve had twitter for 3(?) years and still don’t understand it and I mostly forget I have it. The numbers game really annoys me on all fronts, but twitter seems to be particularly bad for this. Who has the time and energy to watch their numbers that closely anyway!!??
Congrats on your five years! Can’t wait to see the direction you go in the next while (apart from Sweden, which sounds sick by the way)!


Aw thanks, Colleen! And ditto on everything you’ve said. Plus the writing partner thing, which I’m totally about to go work on. Ha!

Yes, I think I’ve finally come to peace with social media. Most people hate FB, but guess what.. that’s where I spend most of my day. And Twitter is just… ugh. And I didn’t even mention Google + because it’ll likely be irrelevant soon enough, and it’s just like come ON. Enough. Time to simplify. :)

Andi Fisher (@andi_fisher)

Happy blogiversary my amazingly talented, deliciously humorous friend! You have done a rather bang up job here and better not quit because you are not done yet. I love how you took us on a tour of your nav and reminded people about social. Clever girl!


Haha I’m not just a looker — I’m a thinker, too. ;)

Danielle Hewitt

Happy 5 Years!!!! I have only been around for the last year or so of it, but I have loved every second. You’re my favorite blogger! Hope you have a fun weekend celebrating a half-decade of blog fun!


Danielle, this is one of the best comments ever. Thank you!! (We’re headed to visit some friends in North Carolina this weekend, so it WILL be fun. I hope you have a great one as well!)

Dee @ deeconstructed

I <3 you. I'm so glad you put plumbing pipe in your old closet. Without it our paths never would have crossed.


In other words, if I weren’t so damn brilliant. ;)


Congratulations! Where does five years go? So excited for you for Sweden! I’m living vicariously through your experiences at this point, so do please go into detail. Am I reading this right that you’re going with a random internet guy? Bold.


Ha! You know me — I will definitely go into detail. So a little more info: It’s not totally a random internet guy. Matthew is a pretty big travel blogger, so he’s very much in the [internet, travel blog fan] public eye. I actually met him very briefly at a travel massive event I went to in D.C. when I was up there for work. And, bonus, two of my bosses (who happen to be pretty known travel bloggers themselves) know him and have vouched for his character. So, fortunately, both Justin and I are comfortable with the set-up. Especially since it helps me satiate my wanderlust without costing us much money. :)


congrats on 5 years! it was great to be able to meet you. I always look forward to your posts :)

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