2017 Year in Review

December 29, 2017

It wouldn’t be the end of the year in blog land without a year in review. Of course, when I sat down to think about my year, nothing too exciting came to mind. I guess that’s a good thing!  I started off this year, like most years, embracing the clean slate.  I chose the word “balance” as my word of the year, hoping to finally find some work/life balance as a full-time blogger.  It took me 12 months to find it, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it!  So let’s break down 2017.  Shall we?


We welcomed Cooper into the family!  My sister brought a pudgy, little Golden Retriever home from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania.  It’s hard to believe that almost a year later, this gigantic, lovable dog was once so small.  He’s a lot of puppy in a big package, but he’s a good dog who loves everyone he meets!


In other dog news, Hunter had been battling a pretty gross bacterial infection.  He apparently picked it up in the park through his itchy, dry skin.  It was horrible!  Since then – knock on wood – Hunter’s skin has been pretty clear.  We’ve added supplements to his diet that have definitely improved his skin.  I also make sure that all of his homemade treats have beneficial ingredients, like these Mermaid Tail Dog Treats I made for him.


At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself to get healthier.  Let’s just say that I’ll be making that same promise again in January.  Oops!  But I did share some healthy recipes on the blog like these breakfast bars and lemon-rosemary lamb chops.


I was hanging with my Peeps in April and shared some sweet Peeps recipes for Easter.  We also had a joint birthday party for my older brother and my parents who all celebrate birthdays pretty much back-to-back.  That celebration was half-work/half-party, which ended up being really fun because my dad and my sister helped me with my spring birthday bash post!  It was great getting them involved!


May was all about creating new partnerships!  I started working with Demeter Fragrance Library, which is one of my all time favorite fragrance brands.  I also started working with FruitBouquets.com around Mother’s Day and shared a Mother’s Day fruit and cheese board made with edible flowers to pair with one of their gorgeous fruit bouquets!


I worked on my first SoFab Food contributor post and shared a recipe for Very Berry Wine Slushies.  They were inspired by walks to the convenient store as a kid to get a slushie.  Of course, I put a tasty adult spin on them!  We celebrated dad with a Father’s Day DIY Fishing Kit.  Then, my husband turned a year older and I made him golf cupcakes to celebrate.


July’s a big month!  It’s my birthday, Hunter’s birthday, and my wedding anniversary.  I also decided to remake some of my former Darby Smart projects, starting with these DIY Gilded Seashell Candles.  My husband and I celebrated five years of marriage, so we made a DIY Wood Anniversary Stenciled Planter together. I always love when I can work with my hubby on a project!


My birthday celebration continued in August.  My siblings treated me to a fun day out at a peach festival.  We picked peaches, got up close with some farm animals, and enjoyed a wine tasting.  I definitely had a great birthday this year!  Later in the month, we were all hyped up for the solar eclipse!  I took a quick glance through my phone in selfie mode.  Did you safely get to see it?

Summer was also a great time for features!  My Frozen Coconut Oil & Blueberry Dog Treats were featured in Naturally magazine.  Then, I had my second feature on Buzzfeed!  They featured my DIY No Sew Hamper in a post to help you keep your laundry room organized!


I love September because we transition from summer to fall and I start preparing for the Halloween season!  September also means the start of one of my other favorite seasons – pumpkin season!  So I celebrated with recipes like Spooky Good Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip and a Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Braid.  I even took some summer trends and turned them into pumpkins like a DIY cactus pumpkin and a DIY pineapple pumpkin.


My little sister got engaged!  That was some great family news to celebrate.  With October in full swing, I definitely embraced the Halloween season.  I got witchy with Witch Hat Pretzel Treats and Crispy Chicken Halloween Witch Fingers.  I took some other ghoulishly good trends and made Halloween Mozzarella Zombie Eyeballs and Vampire Steak Burritos.  Then, I washed them down with a Dragon Berry Dragon’s Blood Cocktail.


I had so much fun with Halloween this year that I was honestly a little sad to see it come to a close.  But the start of November means the start of the holiday season.  So it was time to move forward with our Thanksgiving plans.  We had a really nice, easygoing holiday this year.  If only it could be that easy every year!  I’ve definitely kept busy with holiday projects and recipes like this DIY Boxwood and Succulent Holiday Wreath and these Puff Pastry Cranberry Walnut Pinwheels.


Here we are in December wrapping up another year.  The holiday season will be coming to an official close as we ring in 2018.  It’s time to start thinking about our resolutions and the great things we’re going to do and achieve during this brand new year.  

2017 has had its share of love, sadness, frustrations, and happy moments.  It wouldn’t be a normal year without a mix of emotions.  I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings our family and, of course, the blog!

Have a happy and safe New Year!  I’ll be back in 2018 to share my new word of the year!

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