2nd Blogiversary, Day 3: Meet & Greet + PDB Stats

It’s day 3 of celebrating the 2nd blogiversary of PDB! I promised a Meet & Greet on Monday and I thought it might be fun to share a little more about our family and the blog. Those of you that are not family or friends might appreciate a bit more insight, and we’re cool with a little transparency over here. If I don’t mention something that you’re specifically wondering – feel free to ask!

So… grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. Let’s officially meet & greet.




A few things you may not know about us…

Married: 4.5 years (more about the big day here)
Homeowners: 3.5 years (more about that journey here)
Renters: 5 years (Morgan), 4 years (Kevin – do military barracks count?)
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California (Morgan) Tempe, Arizona (Kevin)
Alma Mater: University of Southern California to study Business Ethics & Leadership (Morgan), New School of Architecture (Kevin & in progress)
Dying to travel to: Machu Picchu (Morgan), Ireland (Kevin)
Favorite nightcap: White Russian (Morgan), Crown and coke (Kevin)
Favorite room in our home: the cozy living room (Morgan), kitchen (Kevin – king of the kitchen)
Pets: 4-year-old yellow lab, cockatiel (I’ve had this little birdy since I was 9!) and two chickens

And just for fun…

Olivia: 10 months old (today!)
College: TBD (I reinforce my suggestion with a USC onesie in each size)
Renter: 9 months (does mom’s belly count?)
Dying to travel to: Down the street to the local park
Favorite nightcap: Mom
Favorite room in our home: any room with low cabinets and easy to open drawers, please.


I know it’s not too common for blogs to reveal the behind-the-scenes of visitors, pageviews and who’s clicking around where, but I thought that a yearly sneak peek at PDB’s stats might make this blog a bit more transparent for our readers – and PDB wouldn’t be anywhere without you.

So, here it is. Here are the digits:

Average daily readers: 4,400 (SiteMeter.com shares that PDB has somewhere in the 2,000+ range of daily organic readers (aka those that read the blog directly on the internet) + nearly 900 email subscribers and over 1,500 who check out daily posts through their Google Reader)
Monthly visits: 132,000 (the above numbers equal roughly 60,000 monthly blog readers who visit via the web and a total of 72,000 visits from those who check in on a post through email and Google Reader). Anyone know how to check stats on readers other than Google? I’ve always been curious…
Monthly pageviews: 200,000 (of those 60,000 organic visitors, the average pageview is 3.9 – so that leaves us with just over 200,000 total per month)
Facebook friends: 1,719 last time I checked. Join the love here.

The Business of Blogging is a crazy one, and I’m no expert, but if you have any blogging questions that I might be able to help with, I’d be happy to give it a shot. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments section.



Our little Spanish bungalow is nestled in a cozy, walkable neighborhood in San Diego. Liv and I walk down to the library for story time once a week, we have a teeny two room cinema that plays the best foreign films, a delicious Mexican hot chocolate can be found at our local coffee shop on the corner and we adore our neighbors. We found a gem.

Age of home: She was built in 1935 so our home is 76 years young
Rooms before: kitchen, dining room, living room, den, two bedrooms and one bath
Rooms currently: kitchen (in old den), dining room, living room, three bedrooms (one is a guestroom/office that’s now in the old kitchen), two baths (one currently being built from three adjoining closets)
Room makeovers to date: kitchen (from den), nursery, living room, outdoor kitchen
Room makeovers in progress: guestroom/office (from old kitchen), new bathroom
Room makeovers in the pipeline: dining room, master bed & bath, outdoor deck

A glance back at before we moved in:

A few pics from how the house looks today:

Check out more ‘before’ pictures here!



First, I want to thank you for taking the time to check in on this little blog. I feel so honored to have you guys as readers. Thank you for the opportunity to grow this blog with you, and thanks for hanging in there through these past two years. Here’s to many more.

IF you feel so inclined – I would love to meet you! It’s already been SO cool to hear your answers to the giveaways from Monday and Tuesday. Feel free to share in the comments any of the following!

1. A little about you: first name, your family stats (married? single? kids? grand kids? bun in the oven??), your blog (if you have one!)
2. Q’s about PDB: how long you’ve been reading, where you found us (giveaway question from Monday :)), what you tune in for – it’s a hodge podge of topics over here! (giveaway question from Tuesday :))
3. Feel free to ask anything else… the business of blogging, home info, why Kevin always wears the same green jumpsuit in all pics, when Liv took her first step…(you can always email me at: morgan at pepperdesignblog dot com, too)
4. And just for fun
: If you could travel anywhere? and what’s your favorite night cap!

There you have it! The backstage of PDB is revealed. It was so nice to *meet* you.

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  1. says

    Hi there Morgan!
    I’m Janelle…wife, mama of 3 grown kids, grandma of 6 grandkids & 6 granddogs, and avid SD Chargers fan. I work FT as an Imaging information mgr at a hospital, and my work/home life keeps me pretty busy!
    I’ve been visiting your incredible blog since the beginning and I think when I first found you, I was attracted to your party ideas – but quickly became a big fan of your home decor posts. Coincidentally, I attended high school in your ‘neighborhood’ (OLP) and love the 30’s bungalows in that area. So awesome~
    Then it was so much fun to follow your pregnancy (complete with expanding monthly photos!)and share (bloggily) in the excitement of your sweet Baby Liv’s birth. Such cuteness!!! All of the great advice you’ve posted about baby’s 1st year has been very enlightening for all of us w/new babies in the family. :)
    Here’s a question for you – With so many projects/jobs on your plate at all times, how do you keep it all organized?? Do you follow a strict schedule of working on specific duties at designated times? And what’s your preferred organization tool…an online program? hand-written entries in a day planner? What?? You always appear to be able to ‘do it all’ so effortlessly, while keeping your cool! ;)
    I’m safari dreamin’ of a trip to Africa, having the chance to see & photograph wild animals in their natural habitat would be so amazing!! After a long day of trekking through the beautiful countryside, I’d like to kick back on a chaise lounge with an ice cold G&T, watching the sun set. Now THAT would be one great night cap!!

    • Morgan says

      Hi Janelle! Thanks for joining the conversation. Your dream vacation is right in line with my #2 dream trip! Get prepare for an awfully long reply to your question…

      As far as managing time – woah could I write a book about the struggle this is. But I’m glad you asked. As you mentioned, I do divide my time up by specific duties at specific times of the day. Often that day-to-day agenda changes each day of the week as regular conference calls and such take precedent. I’m fortunate that my full time job as a marketing director allows me to work remotely from the Northern California office AND it allows me to, for the most part, keep my own hours (so if I have story time with Liv in the morning on Friday I can cram extra hours in to finish a project the night before).

      We are doubly fortunate in that Kevin is a student and he gets to be a hands-on Dad all morning long while I work in my office, then when he heads off to class in the afternoon Liv’s babysitter comes over to play with her until the end of my work day (I’m around though for feedings and anytime I need a Liv fix!). Liv and I get great one-on-one time from then until when Kevin gets home in the later evening (we run errands and play), after that it’s family time and dinner before Liv goes to sleep. It’s during the evening that I get most of my blogging projects finished – sometimes while watching a movie or while Kev’s studying.

      There is SO much more detail! Often my schedule is broken down by the hour with certain hours dedicated to certain clients as well as several breaks in the day to work on the blog and answer a crazy amount of email. Plus I travel up to the corporate office once every 6-8 weeks and bring the babe with me. But that’s the gist.

      As far as day-to-day organization I am a list maker to the max. I have different methods but it usually involves labeling every page in a notebook with a different topic (I used to do this on my smartphone but found I LOVE the satisfaction of crossing off my items too much!). Topics include a major work project, prep for a conference call, a grocery store list, what I need from Target, returns I have to make, blog post ideas for a few weeks out, client needs, what to pack for an upcoming trip, etc. As I remember something to do, I add it to its appropriate list and then work my way through entire sections of the notebook as I go about my week. Clearly I’m still working on the best process for keeping track of my life ;).

      We may appear to have it all under control but we are as frazzled and crazy as the rest – but working on improving that every day!!

      Thank you for your question :),

      • says

        Hi Morgan,
        Thank you so much for your honest & thorough response to my question! Just knowing that you are occasionally ‘challenged’ in trying to get it all done gives hope to the rest of us mere mortals! lol It certainly sounds like you’ve been able to successfully mesh family/work life – what a blessing to be able to be home with your sweet baby :)
        Although I love my electronic toys, I too am a notebook list writer & totally agree about that giddy feeling of accomplishment when you get to cross things off…yes!!
        p.s. ~ your blog stats are amazing & fun to see; Liv’s ‘about me’ answers are too cute; White Russians ARE yummy; Machu Picchu is unbelievably cool. We were there 3 yrs ago & I can’t say enough about the amazing experience!!! Better go soon – there’s been some talk of closing it to the public in the not-too-distant future (b/c of erosion).
        Thanks again, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. says

    1. I’m Elle from Cottonbottommama.com married to Josh with 10mo Penelope.
    2. Been reading, oh 6ish months? I love your blog bc we have so much in common! 10 mo old little girls, old houses undergoing DIY renovations, cloth diapering/ green decisions, and the occasional crafty project! Don’t even remember how I found your blog. Maybe through See Kate Sew? Or something CD related.
    4. Wanting to visit Australia, Fiji, Greece, and Montreal. Have already visited lots of other dream places! Favorite nightcap is an ice cream sundae. What? That’s not a nightcap? Fine, pino noir.
    Happy blogiversary, Morgan!

    • Morgan says

      Thanks for introducing yourself, Elle! I’ve visited your blog several times to check up on CDing :). We are definitely on the same page when it comes to family, going green and home renovations.

      And fully appreciate an ice cream sundae as a night cap… mmm delicious.


  3. says

    1. Emily, married to Matt with no kids or pets — yet! I blog at NewlyWife, but I’m pretty sure you already knew that. :)
    2. Q’s about PDB: I’ve been reading for a long time, at least a year, I think.
    3. What is your favorite part about blogging? If you could spend a free day in Santa Cruz, what would you do?
    4. Does a glass of wine count as a night cap? I’m dying to sip wine around the world, Italy and France, especially. Although I do love a good tropical beach vacation.

    • Morgan says

      Emily, thanks for saying hi! It’s nice to learn a little more about you :). A glass of sauvignon blanc is one of my favorite night caps – wine definitely counts!

      If I could spend a day in Santa Cruz… I would start it off with breakfast at Gayles Bakery and walking around downtown Capitola, then I’d head to the beach in Aptos or maybe for a long walk through the redwoods in Scotts Valley (or the cliffs on the west side!), followed by shopping and coffee in downtown Santa Cruz and dinner at Carusos. So difficult to choose just a few of my favorite place to visit… great question.


  4. says

    Sabrina, married with a 6 month old boy. We got married last August and 9 months later had our baby, sold my house and moved into a new house, quit my job and became a stay at home mom. Never a dull moment around here. I found your blog looking for ideas on how to style a Ikea Expedit bookcase. (which we still need to buy). I love the variety your blog brings to the ISH (what we call the Internet Super Highway here :)
    And I LOVE that you do Baby Lead Weaning! We just started and it’s going great… yesterday our little guy had cucumber sticks and bananas. :)
    I would love to go to New York City during Christmas time. Seems like a fun thing to do.
    Night cap? Everclear!!
    Just Kidding! Or am I?….

    • says

      Sabrina, BLW is amazing! Glad you’re enjoying it and you’ll appreciate the variety of foods your little guy likes as he gets older! Liv digs spices – chicken curry, marinated meats and fishes – other babes are missing out!

      I hope you’re joking about your night cap of choice! To each her own :).


  5. says

    Such a fun post! I have been somewhat candid on my blog. This would be a nice way to introduce myself someday. I love coming by to see what you guys are up too and see more inspiring pictures of your gorgeous home.


  6. says

    Lisa, 3 kids and a hubby, renting in northern NJ at the moment. I can’t remember how I found your blog, but I do recall that the first post of yours I read was about your patio.

    I love reading about your home projects and that adorable kiddo of yours :-) Your home is looking lovely.

    As for travel–I love Italy (we are going again next summer to visit family, I hope.) If I were traveling with just the hubby, I would like to go to Paris or Ireland.

    • Morgan says

      Thanks for saying hi, Lisa! It’s nice to meet you! I’ve checked in on your blog, too! Adorable kids.


  7. Alli says

    Hi Morgan-
    I’m Alli and I have been reading your blog pratically from the begining. I found PDB while I was googling thanksgiving decor ideas/ tablescapes back in 2009 and have been an email subscriber ever since. I’m a single girl in my 20s and love all things interior design. If I could define my style it would be 1960s mod in furniture but 1900s in decor and accessories.
    Thank you for providing inspiration on practially a daily basis. I look forward to every post you do: design, family, renovation updates, etc….
    You’re awesome!!
    Oh, and I’m dying to see Alaska and my night cap of choice is hot chocolate :)

    • Morgan says

      Hi Alli, Thank you for introducing yourself! It’s really neat to hear that you’ve been here from nearly the beginning. I too am a die-hard fan of hot chocolate – to the tune of nearly every day! (it counts as a serving of dairy, right?) Thanks for saying hi!


  8. says

    Morgan, I’ve been reading your blog since I started blogging about a year ago. You’re a huge inspiration to me! Married 14 years with 2 kids (an Olivia of my own) and homeowners in British Columbia, Canada. I’m dying to visit Thailand and I love a glass of red wine as a nightcap. One thing I’ve always wondered about you is do you have another job or is blogging your full time job?

    • Morgan says

      Carol, thanks so much for your comment! I love checking in on your blog and I love that you have an Olivia too. Yes, I also have a full-time job as a Marketing Director for a motion control company (we build motors and drives…) and I also do SEO/SEM consulting work. Thankfully, I have the blessing of doing it all from home! (with the exception of traveling for the job every six weeks or so…) But balancing work, Liv, home and the blog is mighty tough and most days I’m still trying to figure out how to make it all work smoothly. :)


  9. says

    Hey! I’m Sheila and I just started a blog of my own, and I think I’m in way over my head! I’ve been married almost 31 years (December)! 2 grown kids. I love chocolate and the mountains, so a trip to Switzerland would be perfect! :)

    I have a million question, but I’ll narrow it down- how do you automatically send an email to someone when you reply to their comment?

    • says

      Hi Sheila, Mmmmm chocolates and Switzerland sound delicious!

      This blog is hosted through WordPress (though I’m sure the format is similar for Blogger and others) and when I moderate comments I am able to see the commenter’s email address. Furthermore, when I moderate comments through my gmail account (I have the blog set to notify me of new comments via email) I simply click on the blogger’s email and a new window pops up for me to be able to send a direct reply! I only wish it would copy the commenter’s original comment in the body of the email :).

      If you’re referring to WordPress automatically notifying someone of when you reply to their comment, the original commenter has had to have checked the ‘subscribe to comments’ when they filled out a comment. If they didn’t, I usually reply to a comment on the blog and then if it merits it, via email as well!

      I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have any additional qs.


  10. says

    Love the behind the scenes peek! As a new blogger, your blog is super inspiring. How long would you say it took for you to hit your stride, blogging-wise?

    Oh, and I’m Katie, currently single and renting (and decorating) a fabulous little house. Italy is definitely on top of my travel list. :)

    • Morgan says

      Hi Katie! Welcome :).

      That is a really great question. If you look back at my very first six months of blogging you would find drastically different posts! I had the best of intentions of starting this blog out one way (my voice, the inspiration I shared, etc) and it eventually found its own path after about 6-12 months. I found that it took a while to get used to writing in a conversational tone without being overly ecstatic or overly excited all the time (ha! Kevin used to call it my ‘blog voice’ when he’d poke fun ;)). I find that for me the key is to be authentic, to be honest and to err on the side of humbleness whenever possible. (But, I’m sure at times I break all of these rules!)

      I hit my stride blogging-wise when I found a comfortable (but consistent) number of posts that I could keep up with each week (3-4), a regular voice I felt good about, and a blogging niche (in terms of topics) that I truly love to talk about.

      Good luck with your new blog!

  11. Teresa S. says

    Oh fun! My name is Teresa and I have been married for 6.5 years and we have a 5 year-old. Sadly, we are renters, but that is because we are military. I would love to visit Scotland and BoraBora. As for a nightcap, I have to go with herbal tea because alcohol and I do not get along.

    • Morgan says

      Teresa, thanks for introducing yourself! and Scotland & Bora Bora sound amazing :).


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