Well, I can’t believe it’s here but we are about to start a new year. 2017 was full of surprises – some good, some bad, but mostly a lot of unexpected stuff. You can plan all day long, but there will always be some unexpected things that will happen. Quickly, things started to take shape up and were out of my control. That’s why it’s so important to reflect on positive things no matter what.
I found that out quickly. No matter what, 2017 was all about staying positive. It’s okay to reflect on some of the rough parts. That’s the only way we can move forward. So as we start a new year, reflect on all the great things that happened in 2017. But don’t be afraid to consider the losses, the rough parts, and the really bad parts. That’s life and we’re all normal. We must understand what we’ve been through to understand where we are going. So here is my look back on 2017 – the good and the bad.
Wow! We started off 2017 with a BIG DIY BANG! Brandon was all on board with helping me accomplish DIY projects all year. We started the year by organizing the master bedroom closet. With that project came our very own barn door. Brandon made a barn door with wood, nails, and glue. It was a very fun project and we were so excited once it was up. Surprisingly, it was pretty simple to make. Installing the barn door hardware kit was likely more difficult than the construction of the barn door. Somehow, the year got super busy and I took it for granted but I love my barn door. I love my husband that made it even more too!
The barn door post was a small part of the blog post that got the most comments. It was because of the #10daysoforganizing blogger collaboration that I created the 5 Tips to Create a Closet You Love. This post got over 19 comments (thanks to the collab) and was much needed. I accomplished so much in my closet that I would have never completed without the collab. In addition to the barn door, I took a $20 light and re-did it to match the space, painted the ceiling (not white), and made a mood board for a closet makeover. This helped me start out the year motivated and productive.
This was a project I started in January to motivate us to complete projects around our home. The decision of the votes dictated what would get done in a space and that was the fun part of the challenge. YOU GOT TO CHOOSE. I’m so thankful for all your votes to help complete different projects around our home this year. If you didn’t come and vote, then I would have no basis for the challenge. One big project that was completed was the sitting area. The sitting area project also tested Brandon’t building skills again when he built an awesome foyer table. He did it though…he built a beautiful table with his own hands. He really surprised me but I knew he could do it all along. I love my sitting area and will be sharing new photos of the space in 2018. Thanks for voting on my projects and for all your support to this blog.
I’m not a big cryer. I actually don’t cry much but in 2017 I cried a lot. You didn’t see the tears, but I felt them. The tears rolled out my eyes as I loss very valuable members of my family. I’m thankful for my hope for the dead because it is what helped me the most.
In 2017, I loss one of the nicest men I ever knew, my uncle – Walter Fitzgerald Morehead. I had the honor of writing his obituary and it really pushed me to reflect on his life. Yes, I could read other obituaries to get ideas but it wouldn’t be his. So I dug deep into my own memory and reflected on all the good things he did and what he left behind, all those living. I realized that when our obituary is written for ourselves – all that matters is the good we did and the name we made for ourselves – with others, but most importantly God. I definitely knew this but writing my uncle’s obituary was a hard reminder of that. What will I be remembered for? It was so early in the year but such a valuable reminder. I was sad to see him leave this earth but so happy for all the reminders it gave me.
After summer passed, I got a chance to spend a long weekend with my husband. He was in Florida for work and so we made a trip out of it. We stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel, Bohemian Collection Hotel Celebration and it was one of the highlights of our trip. We both also rode bikes around one of the cutest cities in Florida and that experience was memorable for the both of us. We spent quality time together as a couple, no kids included. I learned how important that was this year. I’ll admit that as a mother, it’s been hard to juggle being a wife too. Like, it’s really hard! But in 2017, I realized that my marriage is of utmost importance and needs lots of attention as well. It’s not easy, but it’s a necessity. I’m grateful for the amazing man I married and the quality time we spent together this year.
I enjoy writing and styling content. It’s my jam! When you’re a content creator, you’re not always inspired by every single thing you write. Sometimes you write because you have to. It’s your job after all. But when you’re inspired to write something you created – those are the best posts, at least for you. There were some memorable times that this happened in 2017 but one of my favorite posts was creating and styling this post – Charcuterie and Cheese Board.
My family was here visiting, cooking, eating, laughing and I created it amongst all of that. I guess that’s what made it so special. The sounds I heard around me inspired me. It was what I felt inside, when I was making it and the enjoyment of everyone loving it that made this post so memorable for me. And this cheese board was my best one yet. Be sure to check it out!
Another Hard Loss
I told you I had some hard losses in 2017 and the loss of this beautiful woman was included in that. My aunt Ronica Mae Manuel fell asleep in death. She cooked the best chicken tetrazzini, the best homemade salsa, and whatever else you might be craving. She was an excellent cook! I’m just beating myself up for not getting more cooking lessons from her. She also loved her family…every last one of the them. Recently, she was so happy to be a grandmother too. That was a role she took pride in and I will remember her for that. Lastly, she always smiled and laughed. Look at that smile…
There was a lot of important content that was published this year, but The Only 3 Things Your Pet Really Needs came in first for the most shares. This post was shared over 1, 300 times! Wow! It was another sponsored post that was actually more difficult to direct. Photographing your dog is way more difficult than I thought, at least my dog. He just was not up to being in pictures. Finally, we decided that I’d actually have to hold him while Brandon took photographs. It was the only way to get the shots I needed. It was still fun to create and I’m so glad we got to show off our pet, Kipsy Behr. We love him so much.
Awesome professional news
Another exciting thing that happened for me, as a writer, is I became a Houzz contributing writer. Because of this paid writing opportunity I could continue to write about things I enjoy talking about and thousands of people could read about it. I wrote about fixing up your outdoor spaces for football season, successful second-hand shopping, and successful second-hand shopping. In 2018, I hope to get more efficient in creating content for Houzz, so be sure to follow me if you’re on Houzz too. It’s a great platform if you’re wanting to make updates around your home. See you over on Houzz!
The reason this blog post was so exciting for me was because it was my first official paid post. I had pitched an idea to collaborate with a brand and the idea was accepted. I remember exactly where I was when I received the news. You see, when you’re a content creator, there is a period where you work for free, in exchange for products, or for a small fee. But this post was one I could create/direct, photography, and write about. The best part…someone was paying me to do it! It was such a liberating experience. It validated my writing skills and voice. This one blog post also helped me get more work as a writer and content creator. This was an awesome opportunity to work with The Dreaming Tree at Collective Bias. I learned so much about monetizing my blog this year and this post taught me so much.
Snow Day in Louisiana
Somehow, it wasn’t even winter yet and it snowed here in southern Louisiana. I was watching the weather all night and had a feeling it would definitely snow here. So I kept the kids in from school and we waited. It happened too! It snowed all afternoon and it was so much fun to see. We all went out and let the snow fall on us, took pictures, and felt the snow in our hands. It was awesome. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to let the kids stay home from school and enjoy this special day. We will never forget the day it #sneauxed in Louisiana.
There were certainly other highlights of 2017 including making this video, getting new kitchen floors, making slime with the kids, visiting Destin in April, starting this YouTube channel, my mother in law getting cancer and a lot more that I may never write about. One thing about blogging and writing – it will never replace being present as things are happening. Some really awesome moments have happened that you’ll never read about. As we move into 2018, be sure to be present. This is something I’ll continue to do myself.
Just be. Be present, be content, be sad if that’s your current mood, but strive to be happy. Whatever you’re doing – be that and do it well.