The holidays seem like the busiest time of year. But there is something really wonderful about the time between Christmas and New Year’s. We dedicate the entire week to family and we enjoy the twinkling lights and down time. It’s also one of my very favorite times to look back and reflect on this little blog of mine. I feel very fortunate to have a creative outlet and even luckier to know that there are so many loyal and supportive readers who I cherish. I am extremely thankful for all of you and quite sentimental looking back at what this year meant for our family. Here is 2016 in review.
DIY BUTLER’S PANTRY
We are no strangers to DIY and one of my very favorite projects was installing our own butler’s pantry complete with a wine fridge and cabinets. We also learned how to tile a backsplash and are very much looking forward to trying it again in an upcoming bathroom project.
FIXER UPPER | THE TAKEAWAYS
I enjoyed writing more “Fixer Upper | The Takeaways” and I know these posts really resonated with so many of my readers. With a new season underway, look for new takeaways coming soon.
DIY NAPKIN RINGS
This was one of my very favorite tables to create. It was inspired by my mom and just makes me happy to look back upon. These DIY napkin rings were super simple and a fun way to add color to a table. I am also such a huge fan of using wrapping paper as a runner and that is what I did here. Always keep an eye out if you have a HomeGoods. Their papers have a really nice weight to them and make for the perfect toss away table runner.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER
I love sharing recipes that are tried and true. This was one of the most popular and most pinned of 2016. My latest tip is to use the leftovers in burritos the following day. With avocado, chopped lettuce, cheese and light sour cream they are absolutely delicious and a huge hit with my family. All of my recipes can be viewed under “yummy.”
I snuck in a few trips this year including a few days in Dallas. Other travels included Las Vegas, Temecula, Napa, Carmel, Big Bear and San Diego. Safe to say we made the most out of California this year. Can’t wait to see where 2017 takes us.
FOURTH OF JULY
Each year, the 4th of July marks a special day for our family and preparing simple and quick ideas for hosting is one of my passions. This was one of my favorite shoots of the year.
Along the lines of Fourth of July, I styled a barcart two different ways. Using really simple everyday items I shared how to create a festive party setup in minutes. The other pink, feminine look can be seen here.
A highlight for our family this year was venturing to Universal Studios for our son’s birthday celebration. Both of our children are huge Harry Potter fans and the experience could not have been better. We still talk about it. I compiled my best tips for making it a great day for the entire family.
Another great experience of 2016 was seeing our client’s home in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. While I have hung up my designer hat, it was truly a thrill to see this home in print. A truly wonderful family and phenomenal experience.
I like to hang out to pieces that are near and dear to our hearts. This was one of the first pieces of furniture we purchased as a couple and I recently gave it new life and shared my tips for achieving a really nice, smooth finish.
MONDAY MORNING WRAP-UP
This year also marked a new series called, “Monday Morning Wrap-Up” on my blog. I love sharing our everyday moments with all of you and it allows me to keep a journal of sorts. I also think sharing our rather mundane and normal happenings lets us all relate. Whether it’s the time spent on a field or the piles of laundry I folded, it’s easy to see that we are all in this together and it’s the little things that are worth celebrating.
LAST HOME TOUR
This was the last home tour I shot in our former house. It was always such a bright and happy place and it was nice to capture it one last time.
The most poignant moment of 2016 was saying goodbye to this house. It was our safe haven for nearly ten years and chock full of memories. We will forever be grateful for all that this house taught us. We welcomed our second child into this home, experienced great tragedy, relished in life’s milestones, and created life long friendships that are more like family at this point. Not to mention the sweat equity that we poured into this home. I love that we were able to carry each and every memory with us to our new home.
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS
Making the year more sweet was seeing our home in print. What a keepsake knowing we would move on to a new home. So thankful to Lisa Mowry, Kit Selzer, Edmund Barr and Scott Horne for this entire experience. It was such fun to have the BH and G team in our home for a couple of days and something I will never forget.
A NEW CHAPTER
In July we found our forever home. It’s been nothing short of a dream come true and we are still pinching ourselves. I have so many fun projects planned for 2017. More than anything, we have so appreciated hosting family and friends over the course of the last 5 months. It feels like we have been here much longer and we love filling this home with laughter and memories. Thank you for following along on this journey with us.
MAKING IT OUR OWN
With the new home came a few changes to make it our own. One of the things that drew us to this home was the open floor plan and beautiful kitchen. We lightened things up and have put those double ovens to good use with the constant flow of people during the holidays.
Favorite Home Decor Pieces This Year
One of the first (and only bedrooms) we completed was our guest room. The rest of the rooms pretty much look like we just moved in! The good thing is that we have a spot for people to stay and hopefully feel welcome. I may or may not sneak in a nap every once in a while in this space. It’s bright and airy and a nice place to sneak away from laundry!
Professionally, one of my favorite experiences of this year was attending the Bloom Bash San Clemente. I was completely blown away with the workshop and felt really fortunate to be surrounded by intelligent, passionate and creative women for two days. It was so empowering to be with women who are going after their dreams. I have always loved the supportive atmosphere in the blogging world and to extend that to so many different fields was not only energizing but truly inspiring. I love following along as so many of these women create the life they really want to lead.
An unexpected trip to Temecula Valley was just what our family needed. It was spontaneous and fun and we loved every second of it. We hope to do more last-minute short trips throughout this next year. I am always a fan of a change of scenery and learning something along the way.
DIY DRAPERY PANELS
Finally broke out the sewing machine to make drapes in our greatroom. I discovered an easy way to make your own tab top drapes as well as how to achieve the perfect hem every time! Hoping to use the sewing machine more in the next year and look forward to sharing those projects.
You know I like simple and easy projects. This year’s Halloween decor was made simple with a painted pumpkin and a fun Etsy find.
Cheers to family. This was a photo I posted on Instagram as we all toasted to my dad on his birthday. We are fortunate beyond measure to have this man lead us through this thing called life. We have been presented with many trying times and yet this man stays steadfast in his unconditional love for all of us.
Fashion has played a really fun role in this year’s blogging and I love being able to share my style with you all. It’s always pretty simple, comfortable and easy to pull together. I credit Instagram for helping this part of my blog to grow and thrive. And thank you to those of you who take a moment to email me about finds that have worked for you. It makes creating these posts that much more fun.
Favorite Pieces of 2016
HEALTHY TO-GO BOXES
A spur of the moment outing to a hockey game was the reason behind these fun dinner boxes. Such a simple idea but it had a huge impact on the family and was worth sharing. Goes to show that most of the great ideas in life are born from necessity.
DECKED & STYLED LIVING ROOM
Christmas in our new home was another special highlight of our year. I was honored to be part of a few home tours over the holiday and sharing our living room was such fun. This room is one of our favorites and has already yielded such wonderful memories for us.
OUR CHRISTMAS KITCHEN
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. I do know that we spend a crazy amount of time in here. I don’t know about you all, but my family could eat 24/7 if I let them. But besides the constant meal prep, it’s a spot for completing homework, building gingerbread houses, painting masterpieces, squashing arguments, and hours of family dinners. Cheers to more time being clocked in her in the coming years.
One of my very favorite posts of 2016 was this barcart post. It was fun to create a version for the adults as well as . . .
. . . one for the kiddos. This was another one of my top pins of the year on Pinterest.
Both the blog and our year wrapped with hosting right here at this table. So thankful for the time spent with family. As we venture into a new year I am not making any long lists of things I want to accomplish. It’s quite simple for me. Treasure the family time. We are all busy managing careers, children, sports, etc. At the end of the day it’s the quiet (or really quite load) moments that fuel us to keep going.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It’s with immense gratitude that I say thank you for being a part of this journey with us. Thank you for letting me share a bit of my heart and home with you every day. May this new year bless you with health and much laughter. I think the two are priceless and go hand in hand. Happy New Year. xo