TLS #93: life after blogging, the new book, & blog/life boundaries with John and Sherry Petersik (Young House Love)


Today’s show is quite simply… epic for any fans of John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love!

John and Sherry are the husband and wife duo that have a large mammoth and devoted community that has followed their DIY successes, home decor adventures, and personal journey since 2007.

Then, in October of 2014, they decided to leave their full-time blogging career behind.

But they’re back… at least on today’s podcast! 

They are covering all the bases:

– What they’ve been up to since they stopped blogging.

– How their careers have evolved post-blog.

– A sneak peek behind their new book, Lovable, Livable Home (launching September 22nd!).

– What’s new with Clara, Teddy, and Burger.

– How their blog/life boundaries and priorities have changed.

– Why they stopped blogging.

– The role positive and critical feedback played in closing the blog.

– And – of course – whether or not they plan to re-open the blog.

Let’s go to the show!


PS – For those who cannot hear podcasts, we have made a transcript for this episode.








  • What enabled John and Sherry to quit their jobs and focus on their blog full time while raising their children.
  • What John and Sherry have been doing since they stopped blogging in October of 2014, and how they have been able to use the skills they developed while blogging to make a living without their platform.
  • John and Sherry tell us about their new book.
  • How their home decorating and DIY process has changed since they stopped blogging and why they feel in some ways the process is more genuine and enjoyable now.
  • The scrutiny they received by readers of their blog and the role it played in their decision to leave blogging.
  • Why feedback, both good and bad, hindered their ability to be authentic.
  • Their advice to someone who is struggling with public scrutiny online.
  • How John and Sherry have changed their conception of their self worth and found a better balance in their lives after leaving the blog.
  • What John and Sherry would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




Young House Love (Blog) 

Young House Love (Book)

Lovable Livable Home (pre-order for September 22nd, 2015)

John and Sherry’s products  

Myleik Teele’s Interview on The Lively Show 

Kate Arends’ Interview on The Lively Show 







PS: Tomorrow I’m hosting the first of only two free, live (online) Intention Setting Workshops I’m doing in 2015!

I can’t wait to share how to set Values-based intentions from closet to career with you then!




This Post Has 127 Comments

  1. mom_interrupted

    Jess! The Petersiks are in my top five faves (and you are there as well). I am SO SO excited I think I’ll have to listen at work (discreetly of course). THANK YOU 🙂

  2. Megan Hendrix

    Petersiks + the Lively Show?! Where can you beat it?! Can’t wait to listen. What a great way to start the day!!

  3. Kay

    Ugh I miss them so much! This was so good for closure. Thanks for interviewing them, this really was so great.

  4. ShannDuff

    It’s nice to hear them talk so honestly about the pressure you feel documenting your entire life for businesses. Sometimes I feel that and want privacy but also want to share what’s happening in my life with my clients! Can’t wait for the intention workshop!

    1. I hear you! It can be a tricky blog/life balance that everyone needs to find for themselves – and may shift over time, as it did for John + Sherry. : )

      See you in the workshop!!

  5. Sara B

    Have loved their site since the early days, but this podcast seriously made me sad that they seemed so unhappy with blogging towards the end and left me feeling down about blogging in general! 🙁

    1. I’m sorry to hear their story left you feeling down about blogging in general, Sara. I can understand where you’re coming from. I also think John and Sherry were brave to be so open and honest about their experience at all stages of their blog – the parts when they loved it, and the parts where it wasn’t suiting their family any longer.

      That said, it’s great to hear that they may come back one day in a way that will truly suit their Values and in a way we can all enjoy as well. : )

  6. Wonderful conversation, Jess. I have so much respect for John and Sherry for their willingness to walk away in the name of love (love of family, livelihood, time, friendships, leisure). How many of us stick things out because of internal and external expectations? Adore how they close this one door and so many other doors opened. All the best to them!

    1. So well said, LoveDeedums!!!

      Sherry + John have, like you said, totally lived their Values and it’s inspiring to see them drop what others may have expected or wanted them to continue when it no longer fit their lives. : )


  7. Debbie Gregg

    So glad the Petersiks have found balance in their lives. It disturbed me to see that some over the years did not realize that John and Sherry were not decorating/posting/living for us in the blogosphere. They allowed us into their lives as they did what they did, and I always appreciated their stance on not taking swag or sponsored posts. Not only did that make their exploits attainable for me (I don’t get free stuff, natch), but they gave us all a chance to win the items that had been offered to them. How generous. How thoughtful. How authentic. Miss those guys.

  8. Hi – Is there a transcript or something for this podcast? I’d love to read about their story but I can’t listen in because I’m deaf 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi Elisa, we don’t have one for the show. But we are working on seeing if we can get one created for this episode specifically, I’ll be emailing those who have asked about this and will be posting a link here, too, once we have it created. It may take a week or two, so please stay tuned. : )


          1. Hi, Jess! I read the transcript during all of my minutes of free time all day yesterday and today. Thank you soooooo much for arranging this transcript! I enjoyed it so much and feel like I really understand them so much better and their side of things… I know that without this transcript, I would have never truly understood them, if that makes sense. Such a great interview and very insightful. Again, I really really appreciate that you took the time and effort to get this done. I’m going to share this with my friends; many of my deaf friends are fans of them as well. THANK YOU!

  9. Kara D

    Hi, I’m also deaf as well and absolut-tutely LOVE John and Sherry from YHL. Would love to know if you’ve got a transcript in the works? Thanks!

    1. Thank you for the transcript request, Kara! We don’t have them at this point in time. However, I will keep this in mind and be sure to share back here in the future if we add them going forward. : )

      1. Kara D

        This is amazing, thank you so much Jess, that was really kind of you! 🙂

  10. doxallo

    LOVED this!! Sherry and John – seriously… lovely to hear your voices. So glad you are finding yourselves in a good place. Just so tickled to see your post today. You continue to inspire!

  11. Khizran Ali

    Jess, this is my first time listening to your podcast and you have a lovely voice! 🙂 Great questions.

    So happy for the Petersiks! Good for them for stepping back to realize where their values lie. Extremely excited for their new book. I really hope they have a Book Tour stopover somewhere in Michigan!

    Lastly, Ann Arbor is beautiful. Welcome back to Michigan! Don’t you just love that we have a portable map attached to our arms?!

    1. Lol!! Yes, the hand/mitten is such a useful tool. My husband, Mr. Lively, is new to MI and still hasn’t decided to give in and start using it… I’m curious to see if that changes the longer he lives here. ; )

  12. AlyceB

    Oh I’ve missed them so much! Thank you for this interview!!

  13. Caitlin Veteto

    John and Sherry, thank you for sharing. I look forward to anything you decide to blog/share in the future. It is great to hear how you have learned and grown. Your blog inspired as I bought and worked on my own little home. Best of luck to you and your family!

  14. gretedawn

    I’m not a regular podcast-listener (in general), but I HAD to hear what the Petersiks are up to, so I’m so glad you were able to interview them! Thank you for asking such thorough, thoughtful questions to draw out so much insight and updates on this great family. My husband and I miss reading their blog!

    1. It’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed the episode!

      If you feel like checking out any other home bloggers you may follow, feel free to go here and select the “design” tag to see all the design bloggers + topics in the archives.

      There are some great ones with people like Kate Arends (Wit + Delight), Yellow Brick Home, Oh Joy, Design Mom, Elements of Style, and more. : )

  15. Erin

    I’m also deaf, and would love a transcript for this podcast as i’m a fan of YHL!

    1. Thank you for the transcript request! We don’t have them at this point in time. However, I will keep this in mind and be sure to share back here in the future if we add them going forward. : )

      1. Erin

        truthfully it’s disappointing that you won’t even consider having a transcript for this one episode as there is more than one person requesting a transcript. and john and sherry have a huge following. and this is the only reason why i even clicked over because i wanted to hear what they’ve been up to.

          1. Erin

            Jess — would you consider having the podcast transcribed per the link above provided by Amy? It’s free! and i can’t submit it as it is your intellectual property!

            it’d be appreciated!!

            Thanks! and thanks to amy!!!!


          2. Jess Lively

            Yes, I just saw this link as well and will have my assistant get this process started tomorrow if it’s possible to get done. Since it looks like it’ll take a week based on Amy’s message, I’ll post it here and email everyone who has asked for the transcript once we have it made. Stay tuned. : )


          3. Christina Bezouska

            Im deaf too. I would love transcribed of your interview with John and Sherry’s.Thank you.

          4. Christina Bezouska

            Thank you for transcript!

          5. Erin

            Hi Jess

            has the podcast been transcribed?



          6. Jess Lively

            Not yet. The free service didn’t work (he disappeared after saying possibly yes), so we are paying to have it done. I’m guessing it will be done in about two weeks.

          7. Erin

            That’s so bizarre because if you review the FAQ — it says it’s free.

            Regardless — i really appreciate you working on getting it transcribed!!! and as well as the other fans who want this too!

          8. Erin

            This was just awesome! hearing about them basically saying we needed to re calibrate and put their lives first! I’m glad they got to do that, and the line about authenticity is so true!

        1. Amy Maricle

          Hey Erin and Jess:

          I have looked into this in the past, and I found a service that will do at least one for free. I’m not sure if Erin can submit it, or if Jess must be the one to do it as its her intellectual property, but they will transcribe it for free within 1 week.

          I hope this is helpful!


          1. Kara D

            Amy, that was wonderfully kind of you to share this bit of information! Thank you!

          2. Amy Maricle

            Kara, I’m so very glad I knew about it to share. Cheers,

          3. Jess Lively

            Thanks so much, Amy! I have never had a transcript made for the show before, this is hugely appreciated. : )


          4. Amy Maricle

            Jess, You are most welcome! I’m psyched that you can get it transcribed for folks to enjoy. It was a wonderful interview.

  16. Candace Anderson

    There was another interview/podcast mentioned in this one, but I missed which one they/you were referring to? Could you point me in the right direction? THANKS!

      1. Liliana

        It appears (to me), that the Kate Arends definition of “Authenticity” is paraphrased from John Wooden’s quote, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

  17. LJ Grimm

    Such a great pod cast. John & Sherry made very wise and mature decisions for their family, good for them! It was a pleasure listening to this and hearing about what is to come for this great couple. As a designer I use their blog as a resource all the time, so glad I have it as a resource. Just ordered the book can’t wait to see it!

  18. thehappyhealthfreak

    So nice to hear an update on the Petersik’s! They were the very first blog I ever followed back in 2009 and have loved watching it/them grow. I have a blog as well (on a MUCH smaller scale!) and I find it hard to balance it with my daytime job, family, life etc. I totally respect them for taking time for themselves and their family – tough decision I’m sure but THEIR decisions – Kudos!
    Thanks for the update – you are missed 🙂 but super happy for you guys!

  19. Ashley Keylor

    What a happy day to see an email from you all in my inbox
    again. : ) So fun to hear from you guys! I appreciated your advice on
    identities and self-worth. It applies to so many areas other than
    blogging and it really encouraged me. Thanks for being open and for
    being an example of authenticity and fighting for balance in a crazy
    busy world. Proud of you guys. : )

    Ashley Keylor

  20. Alicia Byrd

    Great interview Jess, first time listener! Nice to hear Petersik family is doing well.

  21. Christina Bennett-Kirkwood

    Jess, thank you so much for this podcast. I have totally missed them. I’m also glad that I have found your blog and podcasts.

    1. It’s my pleasure, Christina! I’m glad I was able to share their story here for you as well. I hope you enjoy diving into the archives of TLS and the site. : )

  22. Amy Maricle

    I agree – I’ve missed John and Sherry’s presence, but as someone who blogs about art and mindfulness, I TOTALLY understand Sherry’s statements about not wanting to have a screen in your face every time you interact with your child. As an entrepreneur there’s always this temptation to be doing more, better, etc. I really like the choices that they’ve made – it is indeed very intentional and inspiring. I love their energy and look forward to whatever they produce upcoming. I’m glad too to have found your lovely blog and podcast, Jess. Cheers,

    1. It’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed the episode, Amy, along with J + S’s decisions and perspectives on their life and careers.

      Thank you again for the link (we’re looking into seeing if it can indeed be done freely). : )


  23. Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

    Oh man, thank you for this!!! It was SO good to hear how they are doing, what they are doing now, and that they have found balance. While I still miss their posts, I know it was the right decision and I’m grateful for they taught and shared with us over the years. I think you were right, is was best to catch up a year later vs. right after leaving the blog. I really enjoyed listening to this…and am inspired to find the right balance with my life & blog 😀 Thanks, Jess!

  24. Such a great point, Michelle. It’s great to hear they are happy doing the things they want to do most of all. : )

  25. It’s wonderful to hear this episode was so great for you, Tara. I agree, it was so nice to get to hear why they did things and what they’re up to now. : )

  26. It’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed the episode, Becca! I hope you enjoy the book as well. : )

  27. Heather

    So nice and fun to hear from John and Sherry again! Thank you!

  28. Larisa

    Thank you a million times for this interview, Jess! And John and Sherry – I really friggin love the two of you. I hope you do eventually write maybe one post a month just because I miss you both! But I’m so glad you’re doing you. I am secretly always hoping you guys get on HGTV or something! One day!!!

    xx Larisa

    1. I know, right!? I keep thinking they could end up having a HGTV show or something, too. : )

  29. Lol, I feel the same, Veronique.

    Bones, IG photos, random blog posts… whatever feels good for them. : )

  30. Leah Renter

    Sounds like you two have grown a lot. Don’t worry so much about what everyone else thinks – friends, family, bloggers, followers, whoever. It’s your lives!

  31. Brittany Lishia

    Sherry & John, you guys have just started my day off right! 🙂 I loved the interview and enjoyed hearing your voices again. As a reader/follower for the past 5 years, I never realized just how stressful the blog must have been at times… It’s easy to think that everyone loves you just as much as I do, which I’m sure 99% of your readers do… the other 1% wouldn’t be happy if you gave them a million dollars. (As my Uncle Frank would say… “they’d b**** about it being all in twenties”. LOL!) So I completely understand your decision to back off. Just know that you definitely made an impact on my life- giving me the confidence to take on my own DIY projects in my home. My husband knows exactly who “John & Sherry” are and I’ve referred to you many times, (as if we were college buddies or something), while making upgrades in our home! “Oh yeah, John & Sherry just did that in their house… Here honey watch this video of John, he tells you exactly how ‘not’ to kill/shock yourself while rewiring that light.” LOL! Your daily posts are definitely missed, that goes without saying but I’m so happy for you and your sweet little family finding your niche and being brave enough to make a change to ensure your happiness. Wishing you all the best of luck!

  32. Sharon Smiles

    I just found your site yesterday via young house love.. I have listened to 5 podcasts so far. ?

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