Voices of 2013 (We Won!!)

Voices-of-2013_Winner_House-of-Humble_Katie_Reuben

Last Friday we drove down to Melbourne for the Voices of 2013 blog awards night. I have to be honest here and tell you we were a bit anxious about attending the awards. Though we were thrilled to have made it to the top 5 finalists in our category and felt truly honoured to be included in such great company as the other nominees, at the end of the day we’re a pair of awkward little introverts and big, glitzy social events just aren’t really our scene. We were feeling pretty nervous and out of our element when we arrived at the event but, of course, everyone was so lovely and friendly. We got to meet lots of amazing bloggers, some of whom I’ve admired for years (like Pip, Kate, Kirsty and Rohan!) and to our absolute delight we won the award for our categeory. We were chuffed! Before we knew it, it was time to announce the major prize winner. It had honestly never occurred to me that there was a possibility we might win, but then they said it. House of Humble. And in that moment we had won a $15,000 trip to New York, a brand new Ford Focus or Territory to use for a year and a $6,000 writing contract with Kidspot! I was so surprised, I actually thought there had been some kind of mistake. I froze. We stumbled up onto the stage. I cried. Reubs looked shell-shocked. Four days on, we are still totally overwhelmed.

I’m sure that winning a $15,000 trip, a new car for a year and a writing contract would be pretty huge for most people, but for us it’s seriously life changing. We live a simple kind of life and in our quiet corner of the world stuff like this just doesn’t happen. We have always wanted to see the world but have never had the money to do so. Lacking the disposable income to travel now is actually the one thing I regret about the lifestyle we have chosen. We love our life and are perfectly happy living without a huge amount of money or lots of expensive things, but I couldn’t count the number of times I have thought “I do wish we had just enough money put aside to take a great trip…” $15,000 to spend on travel is an absolute dream come true. An almost incomprehensible dream come true.

The car is also a big deal for us as we are currently a one car household, which at times is pretty difficult, and the writing contract is great. Aside from what I share here I haven’t done nearly enough writing since we left Sydney (where I worked in communications and publishing) and I do miss it. I think this might be just the nudge I needed to put pen to paper again.

The funny thing about the timing of this award is that it came just as we’d been thinking a lot about blogging; why we blog, the blog world in general and what we want for this space. I love sharing our story here and whenever I post about something that has been weighing on my heart, I feel some of the burden lift. I love the sense of community that has formed in our comment section and inbox. I love that there are people all over the world and in all walks of life that are interested in our relatively unexceptional journey through life. But the line between real life and blog life is a funny, blurry thing. I’m accutely aware of how vulnerable making parts of our life public makes us. I’m aware that blogging is perceived as pretty narcissistic and I question why I feel the urge to share at all. At times Reuben and I have also struggled with how House of Humble fits in the increasingly commercialised blog world. We dabbled with running ads for other bloggers and indie businesses in our sidebar for a short time, but feeling obligated to post because we owed it to the businesses who supported us made us really uneasy, so we shut it down fairly quickly. These days we don’t worry about our blog stats or how many comments we get (though I freely admit, I used to). We do not worry about networking or SEO or growing. We don’t blog for sponsors or as a career (though I have nothing but respect for those who do), we do it simply because it brings us joy. To be recognised with an award just for doing something that makes us happy is wonderful, but also a bit strange! We don’t really feel deserving.

The last couple of months have been a real roller coaster for our little family. The lows have been terribly low but the highs have been so high. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so grateful for those highs! For this place, for you guys, for this amazing award and for the huge amount of goodness in our lives outside of blogland, especially our friends and family. We don’t take a bit of it for granted.

So thanks to you for reading. Thanks to the judges for seeing something of value here. Thanks to Kidspot and its sponsors. Thanks to those we know in “real life” who have encouraged us with this blogging caper. Thank you all so much. We wouldn’t be here, in the incredibly privileged position, without each and every one of you.

Katie x

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Katie

About Katie

Katie is a coffee-drinking, granny square-making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights. Katie's raspberry baked cheesecake will rock your socks off.

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78 Responses to “Voices of 2013 (We Won!!)”

  1. Julie December 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    So well deserved. I am so happy for both of you. Now, enjoy! xx

  2. The Life of Clare December 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    You guys are fabulous! What an absolutely wonderful adventure you’ll have! I can’t wait to hear all about it! Was so great to meet you!

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      It was wonderful to meet you too Clare!! Much love xx

  3. pip December 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    I loved reading this. You know, once we’d tallied up the scores and found our winner (YOU!) and I was later talking about it to my partner (who was sworn to secrecy!) I said ‘This is a life changer for them, I reckon. They will have NO IDEA they are going to win… and the prizes will really make an impact.’ I am SO SO thrilled for you! We all loved you. So well deserved. x

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      We really did have no idea! After we left the awards I kept asking Reubs “Is this really real?!” And it really is a life changer for us! Thank you so much Pip. For everything! We love you back. And after following you for YEARS it was so wonderful to meet you in real life!! xx

  4. Amanda December 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    From the very beginning when I first met you, I knew you were destined for making your mark on the world, congratulations to you and rueben for achieving the dream and I look forward to all your new adventures x

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      I’m tearing up! Much love Amanda xx

  5. Ashley December 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Hey guys,
    The award was so well deserved. It’s so lovely to hear your views on blogging and about the decisions you’ve made not to commercialise the space. Well done for sticking to your guns and doing what feels right for you. I’ve been really enjoying going back through your archives and “getting you know you” and I really look forward to seeing what you decide to do from here. Thanks for

  6. Ashley December 3, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Whoops.. Accidentally pressed submit…. I was going to say thanks for being yourselves.

    Xxoo

  7. Jade December 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Very well deserved. It’s refreshing to read a blog that just tells a tale, instead of trying to craft an image. Well done guys!

  8. Tania December 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    CONGRATULATIONS on your much deserved award!!

    Enjoy!

  9. Jane @ Shady Baker December 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Congratulations…fantastic, exciting news x

  10. jodi December 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    I got goosebumps when I heard that you had one. I have always respected the way you blog and I’m always intrigued by your story (as simple as it may be). To be honest, I wanted you to win but I didn’t expect you to win. I thought the prize would go to a more commercial blog.

    I am so, so happy that your wholesome, honest creation has been recognised for its eloquence and beauty. And I’m so proud of Kidspot and its judges for celebrating unique blogging.

    New York! Yay!!!! x

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      I know exactly what you mean Jodi. I guess I’m a little bit cynical because I assumed it would go to a bigger, more commerical blog too. Thank you so much for your support and lovely comment. We LOVE your blog so it truly means so much! xx

  11. Alli @ ducks on the dam December 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Well done. I read here often and was so very excited to “watch” this unfold on Friday on twitter. Anything can happen now……. spread your wings and fly

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

      Thank you lovely Alli! x

  12. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur December 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Oh Katie & Reuben I am so so thrilled for you!!! Katie wrote an absolutely beautiful thank you post – oh I’m just so happy for you!!
    Someone (unknown to me) kindly nominated me for Voices of 2013 way back at the beginning of the year. I knew full well that my little blog wouldn’t make it past that stage, into the top 100, but the lovely feeling I got from knowing that someone out there, a complete stranger to me, would think of my blog for an award like this, so I can’t image how wonderful it must feel to not only win your category, but be named the Voice of 2013 also! I’m so glad you won, this is one of my favourite blogs & I can’t think of anyone more deserving.

    Sarah xxo

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      We were thrilled when we made it to the top 100, were stunned when we made it to the top five and couldn’t hardly believe it when we won our category, so you can imagine our extreme surprise when we won! We are still in shock!! Thank you so much for all your support Sarah, we love your beautiful blog too! xx

  13. Lisa Williams December 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I love reading your blog. So happy that you won. I love to read about Australia.I live in New York . Blog when you are coming I would love to meet you both. Congrats!!!!

  14. Shell December 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    You guys, I was so excited when I saw this news. What an amazing prize and experience for you! So well-deserved and oh. my. you are going to NY!!!!! Squee!!
    xxo

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      I still can’t believe it! We are so excited!!! xx

  15. E December 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Congratulations! What great news. I’m so ecstatic for you both. Your blog is a gem and so are both of you. Well done :)

  16. Kathy December 4, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Congrats on your award and the huge trip to NY will be amazingly congrats to both of you. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, australia

  17. Jenna December 4, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Way to go, you two!! Many congratulations for your corner of the internet; you absolutely deserve every last honor =]

  18. Reannon December 4, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    I love your approach to blogging & I’m so happy you guys won! Enjoy your prizes & bask in the admiration, you both deserve it x

  19. caroline December 4, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Wow!!! Congratulations to you both!!!! That is such exciting news!!!! I’m thrilled for you & you all get to come to my neighborhood….New York!!!! Please let us know when you are coming…I would love to buy you both lunch or dinner or coffee or hot chocolates!!!! You guys deserve this wonderful recognition!!!! I love reading about your home & garden & chickens & your beautiful pets!!!! Woooooohooooo!!! ;)

  20. Claire December 4, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    Congratulations you two! You deserve it.

  21. Gina December 4, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    Katie and Reuben, what wonderful news. Congratulations! I live in New York State but not NYC but I still welcome you in advance to our great state. You will have a fantastic visit, I have no doubt. And we all can’t wait until you blog about it, too.

    I believe your blog is a reminder to us all that a simpler life of “less stuff” is possible. We always need to be reminded of that.

    Gina
    Syracuse, New York

  22. elle mental December 4, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    I am very happy for both of you! Your blog has warmed my heart. I am glad to see that other feel the way I do! Congratulations! Enjoy your trip!

  23. rhondajean December 4, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    Wow! Congratulations Katie and Reuben. I’m so pleased you won. Katie, remember what we said when you were visiting me. I hope this gives you a leg-up towards your writing career. Love to you both. xx

  24. Stasia December 4, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    Oh, my goodness! You guys so deserve this. :) I’m so happy and excited for you two.

  25. Delphine December 4, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Congratulations! You really deserve it. It’s always a pleasure to read your articles.

  26. Hanna December 4, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Congratulations!!! You both deserve all the best. Thank you for sharing your lovely world, I really do look forward to every new blog post. Yay!

  27. Tanya Leighton December 4, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    I have to post my first comment to offer my congratulations and thanks for what you do. it is always a joy to find “house of Humble” in my inbox. I’m sure you will take these gifts to enrich your lives in your own very special way.

  28. Jacqueline December 4, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    congratulations guys! can’t think of a blogging couple who deserves it more! enjoy the fun!

  29. Rita@thissortaoldlife December 4, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    So happy for you, and for all of us, really. Blogs like yours–non-commercial, personal, slice-of-life–are my favorite. As you note, they are getting harder and harder to find. We don’t blog for money, either, and we’ve asked ourselves the same questions you have been. This past summer we also abandoned the idea of doing it for anything other than pleasure. Even though I know it doesn’t really matter if blogs like yours get recognition or accolades, it’s still nice to see it happen. And I’m so excited that you will get to travel and have exciting new opportunities. It’s so nice when nice guys finish first. :-)

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      They are my favourite kind of blog too Rita, like yours! We always seem to have similar thoughts on things. :)

  30. Carly Findlay December 4, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Such a beautiful acceptance speech. You are both so deserving. Well done! I can’t wait to see you blogging from New York!!
    Congratulations :)

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      Thank you Carly and congratulations to you too!! You are truly amazing. xx

  31. sian December 4, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    ach! great stuff! so pleased for you both and your lovely blog.x

  32. Meg December 4, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Congratulations to you both . . . I look forward to seeing and hearing about your adventures in New York via this wonderful space you have crafted together. xx

  33. Emma December 4, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Congratulations!!! I could not be happier for the two of you. You say you don’t feel deserving of this award, but you most certainly are! You guys work so hard and are such good people, what you share with us could only be making people’s lives better. You deserve to win all the awards!!

  34. Brenda Lui December 4, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Well deserved! Congratulations! Honestly it could not have happened to a nicer more well deserved couple :) I’m so happy for you both and hope this news brings you a lovely ray of sunshine.

  35. john h December 4, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Ah, your news has made my day.
    You keep putting goodness out there into the world and now it comes home to roost.

    Don’t beat yourselves up over whether you “deserve” it.
    Just go out and enjoy it with those big grateful hearts of yours.

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Thank you John! I hope all is well in your world! x

  36. Jan December 4, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Congratulations you two, enjoy New York, looking forward to reading all about it.

  37. Ngaio December 4, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Oh my goodness! Congratulations! So so excited for you guys!

    I have been reading HoH for a few years now and it always brings me much joy! You guys live a lifestyle I am very interested in! I love that you have had the courage to follow your dreams to move, become self sustaining and continue to blog!

    Such a deserved award! :)

    Much love, Ngaio xx

  38. Nadine Bush December 4, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Congratulations Katie& Rueben!! You deserve it!! I love reading your blog it brings me a lot of joy and food for thought xx

  39. Brenda December 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    YAY! Well done to you, big hugs, what a wonderful prize for your both, particularly after the last few months. I’m so happy for you, enjoy your fantastic holiday, you so deserve it. Have fun zipping around in your car and may the writing lead to many more opportunities. I’m so, so happy for you. Goof things do happen to good people. Enjoy xxBrenda

  40. rhondajean December 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Hello Katie and Reuben! Congratulations to you both. It’s well deserved and a great opportunity for you. Remember what we said when you visited, Katie. This might be the push you needed. I’m so happy for you. :- )

    I left a comment yesterday but it didn’t show up. I wonder if this one will.

  41. Kirsty December 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Just giant Woo flaming hoo! This is the best thing to happen in FOREVER in the blogging world. You guys are ace!

    • Katie
      Katie December 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      We think YOU are ace!! Thank you Kirsty! xx

  42. SunnyGirl December 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Congratulations!

    The two of you are so wonderful.
    As a long time reader, I have always been impressed with your genuine niceness.

    What a fantastic award for a fantastic couple!

  43. Ravs December 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    I knew I wasn’t alone in having this blog as my favourite (the only one at present where I read every post), but that says a lot about how well the two of you write, how genuine you are and, I suspect, how positive and uplifting your posts are in general.
    Well done and enjoy!
    Rachel

  44. Mike (CraftyDad) December 5, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Hello!

    I am SO, SO, SO happy for the two of you!

    The two of you are such sweet, humble, humans. And you deserve the recognition, for sure.

    Stay true to your heart and keep doing what you’re doing.

    We love you for that.

    Congratulations once again!

  45. Amy S December 5, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    It restores my faith in humanity when lovely people like you are recognized for the beautiful human beings that you are. I can think of no one more deserving of a little love from the universe – be it blogging or any other – than the both of you.

    Congratulations on a job well done and I can’t wait to travel along vicariously with you, just as I’ve been doing all these years. Thank you for sharing your bit of the world with me, I am honored.

  46. Librarygirl December 5, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Congratulations, so good to see a non-commercial, honest, heart felt blog win! All the best for 2014, you’re going to have a wonderful year x

  47. Heather December 5, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    amazing! and a wonderful prize. Enjoy everything, Heather X

  48. Ali December 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    No two people more deserving, when the truth sinks in – ENJOY ! Your picture says it all. xx

  49. Kaye December 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Well done!! Congratulations to you both. Couldn’t happen to a nicer couple. Enjoy! :)

  50. Charmaine December 6, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Congratulations and so very well deserved, Katie and Reuben! I ‘ditto’ ALL of the above well articulated comments. Enjoy this award for so beautifully, and poignantly, sharing your lives with us … truly inspirational. Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2014 and beyond.

  51. mimi d'avril December 6, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    So happy for you from France!!!!!

  52. Annabel Helena December 6, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Congratulations! What a great prize!

  53. Amy December 6, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    yippee! Congratulations!

  54. Allie H December 7, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    this just warmed me to the core to hear. you guys are so incredibly deserving. I am so happy to hear that something wonderful has come to the two of you after some of the sad times recently. Congrats on your chance to travel and best of luck with more writing ventures. no two people more deserving!

  55. Veggie mama December 8, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    You guys… I’m just SO thrilled for you! So very well-deserved. I love this space you have created so much, and I have been feeling all the weird bloggy feels you mention here too. What an odd thing we do. I don’t know quite where to go from here with it.

    Cannot wait to see the Humbles take New York!

  56. Christie December 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I hope it inspires you both to blog more because I have really enjoyed your posts…who knows maybe you can do a house of humble travellers guide and stretch out that prize ;) congrats!!!

  57. Sarah December 8, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    HUGE congratulations to you! Very well deserved. And, I have to say as a previous sponsor I got more clicks from your readers than many other blogs where they have huge sponsor showcases and introductory posts. Your little sidebar ads were such good value, however many posts you wrote that month.

    Good luck with these new ventures and I hope you enjoy your travelling adventures.

    Sarah

  58. Vanessa December 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    The last time I read your blog I cried sad tears for you both and now I am crying happy tears!!!
    Congratulations :)
    I only read 3 blogs regularly and yours is lovely for sure :)

  59. Sarah @ Slapdash Mama December 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Congratulations! I hadn’t seen your blog before until I read you had won, and now I have read it cover to cover (is that even possible with a blog? Whatever!). I love it and I love your goal to live your beautiful simple life. I am so inspired by your blog and it cheers me up no end. I am trapped in a bit of a mortgagey debt burden and we are determined to simplify things somehow, just not sure how to do it. Anyway congrats and just love this space.

    • Sarah @ Slapdash Mama December 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      Also wanted to say, I am very sorry that you had a miscarriage – I have had two, and also have two lovely kids. It was very distressing at the time and my heart goes out to you.

  60. Marcelle December 10, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Congratulations! I’m very happy for you :-)

  61. Jenn December 10, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Congratulations!

  62. neen December 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    WOW !! Congrats to both of you. Your blog is honest, funny and down to earth. LUUUUUURVE that you get to go on your travels and that the universe has sent you what you need at this time. Sooooooo exciting. Neen :)

  63. Susan December 13, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Well Done! You must be so thrilled :-)

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