By: Revanche

10-year Celebration & Giveaway

August 8, 2016

AA Gai Shan Life turns 10 this year! Gai Shan Life turns ten!

Born in 2006, this site has changed names once, changed URLs twice, and changed designs at least seven time. AGSL is a senior in dog years, starts fifth grade in kid years, or could retire as a centenarian in blog years.

I’ve published more than 2000 posts, some of which don’t bear re-reading and some of which I’m still proud of, made literally awesome friends, and found community in the unlikeliest of places.

It almost feels pretentious to celebrate a decade of blogging. I’ve been tapping my keys, chatting with y’all. But I can’t pretend that running this blog this long, despite theΒ slings and arrows of fortune or wondering why I’m doing this, isn’t a big deal.

We’ve come a long way since starting a free blog on Blogger, posting random musings on the complications of fresh out of college income, family, and navigating relationships when you’re bogged down with a freighter’s worth of family baggage.

So much has changed…

PiC and I were a newish item when I started blogging, I most definitely didn’t want kids in the foreseeable future, and planned to slay the family debt in time to buy a couple houses (one for me, one for my parents).

Grad school was Mom’s dream for me, as was a husband, and kids, and happiness. All nice things, but things that weren’t for me, I thought. Maybe happiness was but I could take or leave the others. It’s no surprise that a graduate degree never happened but a lot of the other things did, rather unexpectedly, alongside the sobering development of chronic pain and loss of many loved ones. My career flourished. I built a home, a family, a sense of belonging, and shared it all with you.

The posts that got you talking

There has been a time, or ten, when I wondered why I still blogged. It often came down to this: You, the readers. You make it fun. Your comments, even after ten years, still make me happy!

My best money moment

Wrapping up 2014 well out of debt, except for the mortgage and at a level of financial stability that I had previously only dreamed of.

My best money blogging moments

Getting to know you in 2015.

Discovering The Goat Lady started saving because my #1GoodMoneyThing hashtag made saving seem less daunting. That made my heart sing.

Other friends (unnamed here since they didn’t give me permission to name them) telling me that reading this here blog helped them pay down debt, save up money, and live their best lives.

Please share!

What were your best money or other moments this past decade?

Thanks for reading!

Some fantastic bloggers have teamed up with me to provide a slew of lovely prizes. Please thank them by checking out their blogs and giving them some return reader love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

113 Responses to “10-year Celebration & Giveaway”

  1. OFG says:

    Congratulations on the big 1-0! I started my blog in 2006 too! I knew we were kindred spirits πŸ˜‰ I’m looking forward to a year of getting stronger as I continue to workout, eat healthier and hopefully have more energy for my two boys.
    OFG recently posted…The More I Purge The Less I BuyMy Profile

  2. OFG says:

    I like the link love posts. I find so many interesting articles through those links.

  3. Katie C says:

    Happy 10 year anniversary, friend! You bring such a unique background and perspective to the personal finance blogging community. We’re all lucky to have you! (And I’m personally grateful you started this here blog because it allowed me to get to know you in a way that wouldn’t have been possible in meat space. I’m so glad we’re friends!) if it continues to make you happy, here’s to the next 10 years of blogging! ?

  4. 10 years is absolutely amazing! Congratulations, thanks, and best wishes for the future!
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Olympic Dreams: Pursuing the Gold Medal in the Good LifeMy Profile

  5. Abigail says:

    Congrats! It’s always nice to remember that some folks have been doin this even longer than I have.
    Abigail recently posted…The Dog Formerly Known As TrufflesMy Profile

  6. Congratulations! What an amazing journey you’ve chronicled. You are such a terrific storyteller. Your blog is such a gift to us!
    Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies recently posted…That Time I Made $4 an HourMy Profile

  7. […] Revanche over at A Gai Shan Life is celebrating her blog’s 10th anniversary! There are lots of prizes, including several gift cards, so go check it out and enter. (But be sure […]

  8. Ten years?!? That’s some fortitude right there, lady. Congratulations, and thanks for writing stuff that makes us think — and learn.
    Donna Freedman recently posted…I really *am* writing a book.My Profile

  9. marie galtier says:

    I’m really looking forward to going to Hawaii with DH later this year.
    Donna Freedman sent me here.

  10. Oh, and as for answering one of the required questions: I’m looking forward to experiencing LB’s continued growth and development and also seeing how you and PiC save for LB’s future education.
    Donna Freedman recently posted…I really *am* writing a book.My Profile

  11. Crystal says:

    Congratulations on 10 years!!! WOOT!!!
    Crystal recently posted…How Can I Save a Million Dollars for Retirement?My Profile

  12. NZ Muse says:

    Happy, happy anniversary! Never stop writing.

    PS LOVING the new theme/design.

  13. Karen says:

    Congratulations on 10 years! I can’t recall when I started reading; maybe 08?

    A best moment might be my trip to Japan? And it wasn’t too expensive πŸ™‚

    • Revanche says:

      You’ve been here for the long haul πŸ™‚ I’m so glad to hear from you, and you made Japan happen? I’d love to hear about it!

  14. Laura says:

    Looking forward to exploring your site and kicking my debt!

  15. Sense says:

    Oh! I started blogging in 2006 too! About a month after you, I think (I was in Vegas for work in Sept 2006 and needed something to fill my downtime). Thanks–I wouldn’t have even thought about it if you hadn’t posted this!

    Happy 10th Anniversary! It’s been great reading you for all of these years. πŸ™‚ Here is to 10 more!

    • Revanche says:

      Happy anniversary, blogging buddy! I thought you started about the same time as I did. πŸ™‚ Cheers, ten more!

  16. Cindy B says:

    Hi! I’m new and I came from Surviving and Thriving. Looking forward to browsing your blog!

  17. Christine says:

    Wow! You are an inspiration!

  18. I found this blog when Donna Freedman blogged about your blog. So, after reading for several hours, I still don’t know what your diagnosis was? Can you share that with me or point me to a post? I, too, have debilitating pain–fibromyalgia.

    • Revanche says:

      Hi PP! I know you from both Donna and Nicole & Maggie’s blogs. I don’t know if I ever wrote a specific definitive post about the diagnosis, it was so anticlimactic at that point, but I also have fibro! Welcome!

  19. Congratulations! 10 years is huge.
    Pia @ Mama Hustle recently posted…End of July Recap: Time Flies ByMy Profile

  20. Mary Jane says:

    Found you through Surviving and Thriving. Looking forward to reading!

  21. Elena says:

    Happy Blogaversary! I just found your blog today

  22. Ma Bell says:

    Congratulations! 10 years is a huge accomplishment and shows some staying power. Keep it up!

  23. Marlene says:

    happy anniversary.

  24. Amanda L. Paige says:

    Congrats! I started my own earlier this year and it is hard to post once a week. I can’t imagine 10 years! I discovered you from Surving and thriving blog! Good luck for another 10 years!

  25. 1) What are you most looking forward to in the next year?

    My new home of course and settling in.

    2) If you’re new, where are you from and how did you find me?

    You’re stuck with me forever, girl. πŸ™‚ Way back from my Fabulously Broke days.

    If you’re an oldie & goodie: What do you want to see more of on AGSL?

    More of you. I really love LB Updates.

  26. Melissa Allison says:

    I’m looking forward to a better year ~ less health problems, more happiness, a better relationship with my spouse, and more financial stability. I’m a new reader, as well! Donna Freedman sent me over to check you out!!

  27. Jill S says:

    I found you through Donna Freedman’s facebook page. I am excited to start following you! Happy 10 years – that is really something to be proud of!!

  28. Nancy says:

    Congrats on 10 years! I found your site three different ways: Surviving and Thriving post by you and then I followed it, and also a post on I Pick Up Pennies, and then by aimlessly drifting through the finance pages of the web, for stuff I could relate to.

    I’m looking forward to a period of time to taking care of my health needs, and discovering what it is that retired people do (with a house and attic full of “stuff” and a husband who does not realize that “Sanford and Son” was a TV show and not a lifestyle we are going to live.

    • Revanche says:

      Hi Nancy, thanks for visiting, I hope you did find what you were looking for when searching finance blogs! I’m not an advice site but we do talk about money a whole lot here.

      Crossing my fingers that you get your husband on board so that Sanford & Son isn’t your future!

  29. Kelly D says:

    I look forward to visiting new places with my kids.
    I found you through the Surviving and Thriving site.

  30. Congratulations on the big ten!! I’ve done blogging in fits and spurts, mostly to document my life so I can remember. I love reading your posts about JuggerBaby and your money stuff! I look up to you a lot, so I’m glad you’re open about all that stuff. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know what I’m looking forward to this year… I’m kind of excited for the holidays because Blue might actually get into them a little bit! I bought her a cute Pikachu costume so definitely excited for Halloween.

    I’m a little new, but found you from Twitter! I think I found your from cthulhuchick’s feed first though. Glad I did!

    I definitely want to see more JuggerBaby updates!! I love your kid.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks for the kind words. As a younger sibling it’s always a little funny to have someone look up to me πŸ™‚ I hope Blue loves being Pikachu this year, that would be super cute!

  31. Cakester says:

    I will admit, I only read your blog occasionally, but I read a lot of blogs you comment on. I love your voice in the blog community, and congratulations on 10 years! I hope your life continues to get more fun and the blog continues for another 10 years.

  32. SP says:

    Congrats on 10 years! Mine must be some time next year, although I don’t really keep it up the way you do.

    I really truly can’t come up with a best money moment this past decade. So much has happened, and so much of it is building one good money moment upon the previous (and probably some bad moments too!). I’m astounded everytime I reflect on how far we have come!

    In the next year, I’m most looking forward to enjoying the everyday: hikes with the husband and the dog, cooking dinner together, and continuing to build a life together. Not thrilling, but I really don’t have a specific event.

    I love hearing about LB, and also like when you share career stories/insights.
    SP recently posted…Updates and LinksMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks! I know you were active right around the same time. Love that you’re still around even if it’s more sporadic. It has been an amazing 10 years, hasn’t it?

  33. petra says:

    Congratulations on 10 years! What an accomplishment! I’m a newbie. Found your blog via Donna Freedman. In the next year I’m looking most forward to getting out of my rut and trying new things.

  34. Steve Weber says:


    I’m looking forward to my trip to Los Angeles on Saturday!

  35. Will G says:

    1. Having our first child.
    2. A friend.

  36. Linda says:

    1) What are you most looking forward to in the next year? I am going on Medicare in October, so I am hoping my medical bills will decrease.

    2) If you’re new, where are you from and how did you find me? Found this site from Donna Freedman’s Surviving and Thriving blog.

  37. Lake Livin' says:

    I’ve see you mentioned many times at Surviving & Thriving and I Pick Up Pennies. This is my first time visiting your site, though . I look forward to checking you out!

  38. Rachel says:

    1. I’m looking forward to having my first child.
    2. I found you through a friend πŸ™‚

  39. natasha lamoreux says:

    I am looking forward to a great year for our family. New school year and a new job for my hubby.

  40. Kris says:

    Yay! So glad you are still here. πŸ™‚

  41. Melissa Teears says:

    Congrats! I’m new and from NJ. I found you on Twitter

  42. Suzanne says:


    Love your site. I’m here by way of Donna Freedman. I’m based in NC having moved here from the Bay Area (So. San Francisco)! Love it here but miss the great CA weather. πŸ™‚


  43. Thomas Murphy says:

    I am looking forward to building up my business. I am FL, I found you on twitter.

  44. Sara says:

    1) What are you most looking forward to in the next year? – Getting my financial house from “everything’s in order” to “full steam ahead!”

    2) If you’re new, where are you from and how did you find me? – from Donna Freedman at Surving and Thriving.

  45. Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti says:

    1) I’m looking forward to going to Hawaii for the first time in my life, in January.

    2) I want to see more articles about ways to make money.

  46. A centenarian in blog years? Yow! That makes Funny comin’ up right behind you! We’re both ready for the old-folkerie!

    LOL! Just wait until your kid gets promoted to that $100,000 job and produces your second grandchild and you wonder how that’s possible when you’re still only 24! πŸ™‚

    Y’know, A Gai Shan Life is special. I’ve loved your voice and your story and your tough, witty spin on life ever since I found your site. When AGSL is 20, FaM will be 19. When that anniversary rolls around, let’s plan to meet in the City and drink to tomorrow. Come to Phoenix before then (if you dare), and I’ll take you to the coolest Mexican restaurant in the country.

    Long may you thrive!
    Funny about Money recently posted…Spring II y’cumin’ in!My Profile

  47. Lynda says:

    1) What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
    – new adventures with my now-toddler!
    2) If you’re new, where are you from and how did you find me?
    – donna freedman

  48. Shannon says:

    I am looking forward to my first child starting school. I found out about you from a friend

  49. Sue klapmeier says:

    Donna Freeman made mention of your site.

  50. Liz says:

    Congrats! I’ve been a (very quiet) reader for about a year, and your blog has become one of my favorites!
    1) In the next year, I’m looking forward to being done with grad school (finally!) and diving into some home projects.
    2)To echo what a lot of others have said, I love the JuggerBaby posts, as well as the posts about money and relationships.

  51. TB says:

    I came by way of the fabulous Donna Freedman. I am looking forward to spending some time perusing the archives!

  52. Stephanie Phelps says:

    Happy 10 year anniversary! I am looking forward to watching my family grow and my granddaughter get so big! I am new here and I found you through

  53. Donna Freedman sent me to your site. Happy anniversary!

  54. Sandy says:

    I just found your blog, thanks to Donna Freeman. I am looking forward to browsing through it.thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway.

  55. Liz says:

    I’m looking forward to settling into our new house over the next year. I recently relocated to Arizona and I found you via Twitter

  56. Kristen says:

    I found you via Donna Freedman and her daughter, Abigail. Love them, and love your blog too!

  57. Happy 10 years! I had NO idea you had been blogging for so long – I think because I consider you to be so young (which of course, you are). But if you started writing right out of college . . . Congratulations on all the stunning accomplishments you’ve made over the past decade. Here’s to your joy and prosperity over this next ten years : )

  58. CvD says:

    Congrats! I think I’ve been reading along from the very start, and I still enjoy reading to this day. I hope you keep it up for at least another 10 years πŸ™‚

  59. Cynthia Richardson says:

    I’m new, from Arizona and found you via a giveaway blog.

  60. Sandy says:

    I have had a chance to browse a little. Great stuff!! I will be back.

  61. Dawn Monroe says:

    I found your site from reading a Surviving and Thriving article. I’m excited about my son going to college.

  62. Sandy says:

    I have been looking around your blog and am enjoying it. I love your writing!

  63. Cathy in NJ says:

    Congratulations on 10 years and may you be granted many more. I have seen your responses on Donna Freedman and her site sent me to yours. I read your article about Losing Mom to Dementia and thought it was compelling and excellent.

  64. Natalie says:

    I am looking forward to owning a new condo next year!

  65. Linda says:

    Glad you tweeted a reminder about this post!

    1) What are you most looking forward to in the next year? It’s a tie between settling into my new house and recovering from bad health.
    2) If you’re new, where are you from and how did you find me?
    If you’re an oldie & goodie: What do you want to see more of on AGSL? Not new, but I can’t really recall how long I’ve been reading. I like your writing, perspective, and attitude, so I think I’d read anything you’ve written.
    Linda recently posted…Yet another weekMy Profile

  66. MARTHAIA says:

    1. Looking forward to a new start in a new place maybe a town home or condo still looking.2.New here from SC not to far from Myrtle Beach SC, also found you from Surviving and Thriving ,com by Donna Freedman aka… Write a blog people will Read .com…3New here but looking forward to learning more & reading your blog..Thanks

  67. Lisa Brown says:

    I am new, from CA and happy 10th! I found you through my RSS feed.

  68. Brenda says:

    I found you website through Donna Freedman’s Surviving And Thriving. I’m a newbie and have started reading your blog. Very good info.
    I think I need to work on saving more for retirement and trying to have more fun in my life.
    Congrats on your anniversary and many more to come.

  69. Starla says:

    Huge congrats to you on this milestone! SO, so amazing! I am looking forward to starting some renovations on my Nana’s house- she passed in May so this year has been horrid. Also, continuing with my nursing degree as well. I have been reading for a few years now and I think I found you off of Twitter. I love the current content- I can’t think of anything new at this time. Always been an avid reader! Congrats again! xox

  70. Sarah Mayer says:

    I look forward to opening and operating another store for work.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This website and its content are copyright of A Gai Shan Life  | Β© A Gai Shan Life 2018. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red