Nadine Courtney Jolie in NYC

Jolie in NYC: Ten Years Later

Ten years ago today, I was outed by the New York Post as the anonymous beauty blogger behind the popular site Jolie in NYC.

It feels like a lifetime ago–for a variety of reasons.

In the ten years since I started beauty blogging, it went from being a part-time joke to a full-time job, the magazine industry all but collapsed (RIP Lucky, and too many others to count), and pretty people posting pretty photos on Instagram started making money. A lot of money.

Many of you who read the blog now have been following me since then. When you reach out, you often tell me that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog because it’s mirrored changes in your own life: fun in your 20s, career shifts, love struggles, family sorrows, (reluctantly) maturing in your 30s. I LOVE hearing these stories. It reminds me that we’re all connected.

It’s not just the industry that’s changed, obviously. Time was, I’d have an hour or three to sit here at the computer, ruminating over the last decade, choosing my words carefully, writing yet another post on What It’s All About. Last year, when I realized the Ten Year milestone was looming, I wondered what I’d write–how I’d commemorate it. Before I downshifted the blog, I even considered having a 10th Anniversary Party, because why not? Me! Let’s celebrate meeeee!

But now I have a baby, and Me often takes backseat to She. She’s waking up in fewer than 45 minutes if I’m lucky (and in the next 45 seconds if I’m not), and my hair is still wet from the shower I squeezed in while Erik put her down for her morning nap. I still need to eat breakfast even though I’ve been awake for hours and it’s lunchtime in a hot minute. And I’m freelance writing now, because I’ve pulled in fewer than three thousand dollars this year (oh, the glamorous life of a writer!), and I’m finally done with the book (submitted last week!), and as a result I actually have a little bit of extra time to pitch and write and invoice and contribute to the household coffers–so mama needs to get to work.

Those long, luxurious afternoons meticulously crafting witty, thoughtful posts? Gone. SO gone. Maybe temporarily, and maybe forever.

But it’s all good: that’s the nature of life. It changes and it evolves, and you change and evolve with it. Sometimes happily, and sometimes kicking and screaming.

Sometimes you evolve completely by accident, like when you’re a beauty editor at a magazine, and you start a blog for fun, and several months later, you’re at the center of a national firestorm for 1) pulling back the curtain on your industry and 2) being an overly ambitious 24-year-old jackass who really didn’t know any better. You’re forced to start beauty blogging full-time, even though it isn’t a career yet, because what the hell ELSE are you going to do?

And then you blink, and ten years have gone by. Your mother died. You met the love of your life. You got over your fears of pregnancy and you survived childbirth and you had the world’s chubbiest, most gorgeous baby. You sort of failed at this whole blogging thing, but you managed to get three book deals, and you traveled the world while you were doing it.

Almost nothing happened the way you thought it would, and chances are–if you make it that far, because you’re a fatalist and you’re always just one headache away from a brain tumor–you’ll look back in another ten years and be horrified and delighted and gutted and amazed. There will be sorrows too painful to contemplate. But, if you’re lucky, there will be joys, too.

So much joy.

Thanks for sticking with me for ten years. Here’s to ten more. I love you!



(Special thanks to Amy Gibson-Grant for that original cartoon drawing, and all the Jolie cartoon versions that followed over the years!)




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  1. Christina Farrell-Lerchen

    Here is to all your amazing new adventures. All the joy. You are still one of the tops! I love your honesty, your writing and your authenticity. It has inspired me more than once. xo

  2. claire

    Yay! Congrats! You’re making me feel super old for having been reading since the beginning. :-)

  3. Kathy GibsonLafferty

    Love seeing your words!
    I have now moved from Alpharetta to Ky! My old stomping frowns. I have remarried and very happy!
    Gerald (Jerry) is working at usc. I loved having lunch with you and the old gang!
    Keep it up!