In fact, I learned that the hard way. A little over a year ago, I was so close to throwing in the blogging towel. I struggled with finding the balance between projects, blogging, website updates, running and growing my Etsy shop, and pairing all of those work tasks with being a wife, mom, and friend. Rushing content to stay relevant caused a few negative downstream impacts as well. And although I didn't completely quit (because I just can't quite you), I did take a few steps back and slow down. I gave myself some grace and allowed myself to get a little more sleep, spend a little more time with the people I love, and be OK with not keeping up 100% with the wild world of blogging and social media. I let myself go to bed with project piles, unfinished rooms, dirty windows and a full heart. Is it scary to take a step back? Absolutely! Is it risky? You bet! Did I learn something last year? I did. I learned that I still have a passion for all things home and organizing and printable creating and photography and most importantly, connecting with all of you. And that I am happy I stuck with it, even if it meant I couldn't post every day. And that a little step back actually will help me leap forward with new vigor and excitement.
So first and foremost, THANK YOU! I appreciate you sticking with me even when I would go silent for a few days or when things slowed down around the house. I am an avid blog reader, so I know first hand how invested you can become in one's story. 2016 was a big year for me and re-finding myself and my style and learning from the past. In 2015 I made too many rush decisions that were costly and quite frankly, a bit embarrassing. And we also dealt with some unforeseen renovation setbacks that left us feeling frustrated, discouraged and defeated. I have always been one to keep it real and I shared those feelings with you all a couple of different times. Instead of giving up and moving to a new home completely (believe me, it crossed my mind a few times), we decided to live with things, learn, discover, and plan even more. It was really good for me. Like refreshingly good. And going into the end of the year, I felt like the old me again. But a better version of the old me.
But that approach did impact the blog. We didn't pump out as many projects, we only revealed one room and slowly began transitioning a few other spaces based on how our lives were changing. Speaking of, funny how one thing leads to another right? As we waited on some new cabinets for our kitchen, we decided to start on a few other spaces as well. I swapped my office with the boy's playroom, and the playroom update was going to happen in conjunction with a laundry room update. Just before school, we also decided to move our youngest into his own room so all boys would have their own personal spaces. Suddenly there were five different spaces demanding our attention! 2017 is looking like it will be a good and busy year!
So what did we do last year? Let's take a look at the top Organizing Projects, DIY Projects, Labeling Tips, General Organizing Tips and Room Updates from 2016!
Reflecting on our home updates, projects and ideas is a huge part of my goal setting progress. But our home wasn't the only thing that made 2016 great! I also had some really amazing iHeart opportunities and experiences!
- 2016 started with a bang when we were nominated and voted into the Top 10 for the Better Homes & Gardens top DIY/Decorating blog! THANK YOU SO MUCH! It was an incredible honor and I was in such good company. What an amazing way to begin the new year!
- We were also featured in the 2016 BHG Secrets of Getting Organized Magazine.
- Our teen boy's bedroom reveal received an amazing multi-page spread in Cottages and Bungalows magazine.
- I was invited to speak at another Bloom Bash workshop, which is always a highlight of my year. I have now walked away from two workshops feeling invigorated, equipped to grow and tackle new things, and have made valuable, long-lasting friendships and connections.
- I also attended the 2016 Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event in NYC. The one day workshop is a mix of business and pleasure, and I love meeting up with many of my favorite bloggers. We learn so much about what is happening in the land of print, while also finding new ways to tap into our own personal style. My dear friend Grace and I have made it an annual tradition to tack on a couple of extra days to catch a show, eat amazing food and stroll the streets of the city while chatting and window shopping. I look forward to this event (and seeing her) all year long.
- Speaking of print and magazines, I received the opportunity of a lifetime in 2016 when I joined Redbook Magazine's Team Red as their home contributor. I still pinch myself each month when I flip to the front of the magazine to see a full page sprinkled with my tips and ideas. They have been a dream team to collaborate and work with, and I hope you are enjoying the organizing filled page as much as I am.
- Jet setting off to Georgia for an action packed two days was a great way to cap off this amazing year. As a long time HGTV Dream Home viewer and fan, it was one of those bucket list trips that I will always cherish and appreciate. In the end, the home wasn't for me, but just having the experience to see the home first hand and learn all about the transformation process was incredibly fascinating.
And because it is fun to get a little personal from time to time, 2016 was such a fulfilling and fun year for our family. My husband coached his first year of High School baseball, which was a really rewarding experience for both him and our son. We celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary in July, I don't even know where the time has gone and I can't wait to see where we end up. That also means we celebrated our 15-year housiversary this year too! Our boys are now in three different schools which keeps us running wild with activities and sports, and our oldest is only days away from getting his driving permit (someone hold me and tell me everything will be OK). I became an auntie again and spent so many fun days and weekends with my darling little nieces. The boys think having baby "sisters" around is fun as long as they can be sent back home after a couple of days of playing. We did a little traveling in 2016; a family vacation to Florida to my in-law's place and to hang with our dear friends, and I also explored Chicago with my very best gal pal. Of course we had our share of struggles and heartache throughout the year as well. I said goodbye to my last two living grandparents, which was ridiculously challenging, although they both lived incredibly long and inspirational lives and they both will live on forever in my heart.
A supersized cheers to 2017 everyone! It has been so much fun looking back on 2016 today, but I am majorly ready for the new year and all that comes with it! I plan to spend some more time this week nailing down my personal, work and family specific goals, and then tracking down a few closets and drawers to declutter. And one more THANK YOU for good measure, as I really feel so lucky that you all stop by and stay in touch throughout the year. I can't wait to continue on this fun journey with all of you, I have a such a great feeling about this year!