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2017: A Year In Review

I love that there’s a whole new year ahead of us — full of hope and possibility — and can’t wait to see how it unfolds. One of the things I like to do this time of year is to take time to reflect and honor the past 365 days.

After all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I like to take time and reflect on the past 365 days. Here are the highlights and favorite blog posts from the year.

For us, 2017 was a year filled with waiting and planning. We were also able to cross a few items off our perpetual to-do list. Please allow me to share the highlights and favorite posts from this past year.


The Chief embarked on a 7-month deployment aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

2017: A Year in Review // USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

We couldn’t be any prouder of his military service, however his absence left a big hole in our family unit. To help ease the separation on both ends, we stayed connected by sending care packages and keeping the kids involved throughout the deployment.

With the Chief gone for most of the year, we didn’t take on many home improvements. One of the things we did before he left, however, was to remove a clunky stock cabinet in the kitchen and replace it with industrial pipe open shelving.

I'm in love! Metal pipes and fittings are such a clever repurpose. Wood planks bring a rustic charm and the open shelving is beautiful and functional.

Even though we plan to completely remodel the kitchen one day, these shelves continue to be a source of satisfaction and a good reminder that even small, budget-friendly changes can deliver big impacts.


Over the course of the year, I partnered with Hometalk to record a few live video tutorials to inspire other DIYers. One such partnership was tackling ways to get ready for the Super Bowl. These five fabulous football DIYs are perfect for the upcoming big game and all season long. (Video HERE.)

Here are 5 fun and festive DIY projects to get your house ready for some football!


I shared the fancy floral details of our daughter’s third birthday party.

A fancy floral birthday celebration for a little girl who loves all things pretty, pink and princess.

I love planning and hosting any reason to gather with friends and family, especially when it includes good food like this creamy chicken and wild rice soup.

This Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup packs a hearty goodness that is sure to comfort your taste buds and satisfy a hungry family. Serve warm with buttered bread.

It’s timely to share again as this delicious soup is sure to warm your belly and ward off the cold winds rising this winter.


I received a plant cutting from a friend that inspired a watermelon and pineapple planter. These fruity terra cotta pots are one of the top projects of 2017 and were featured by the craft store, A.C. Moore in its email campaign.

Fruit-Inspired Terra Cotta Pots // inexpensive and readily available, terra cotta pots make excellent canvases for these fun and fruity diy planters

Also featured this year by Shutterfly were the wall-mounted bookshelves we built for our daughter’s new room.

Get a designer look at a fraction of the cost -- just $70 for materials! Visit the blog for a step-by-step tutorial.

We continue to be humbled and so very thankful for the support we’ve received for the blog!


Since I’ve been bit by the Gardening Bug, I showed you how I arrange outdoor planters — hanging and container. I planted over a dozen containers for our outdoor spaces this past spring and summer and can’t wait to share more gardening tips and tricks in the coming year!

Hanging plant baskets are perfect for porches and patios! Quick and easy way to boost curb appeal and bring color and life to your outdoor space!


I celebrated my 42nd birthday and shared 42 things about me. (Yes, I had to do the math again.)

Today is my birthday. I'm 42 years old. Check out these 42 things about me in celebration of my birthday.

With only a month left until the end of deployment, the kids and I stayed busy by checking off activities on our list of summer outdoor things to do. Kona came, too.

2017: A Year in Review // Kona // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year


Finally, after months of waiting, the Chief returned home from deployment and our family was whole again. (Read about it HERE.)

The last part of the Dealing with Deployment series is the day we've all been waiting for... the day our loved one comes home!

It should come as no surprise there were no posts in August. ;)

SEPTEMBER brought the start of a new school year for both kids.

2017: A Year in Review // First Day of School // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year


I caught up on posting the last two birthday parties for our son: A Nightmare Before Christmas-themed party that I saved to coincide with Halloween,

Check out this frightfully fun birthday party inspired by Tim Burton's movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

and his Super Sonic Sixth Birthday Party. The kids dressed as Sonic and Tails for Halloween this year.

2017: A Year in Review // Sonic & Tails // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

We also took a family vacation to Legoland Florida in October. I’ll write more about that adventure soon, but as the song says, “Everything [was] awesome!”

2017: A Year in Review // Legoland // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

I earned a few weekend getaways as post-deployment gifts as well and returned to my old stomping grounds in New York City (more on that later, too).

2017: A Year in Review // New York City // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

Then to Colorado to attend the Broncos vs. Patriots game. (Have I mentioned that I’m a diehard Broncos fan?) My dear friend, Lea, is a Patriots fan, but I think she caught low-grade Broncos Fever while visiting the Mile High City with me.

2017: A Year in Review // Broncos vs. Patriots // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

NOVEMBER found us working to grow our sense of gratitude with a Thankful Tree. It is definitely a tradition worth repeating each year.

2017: A Year in Review // Thankful Tree // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year


With the holiday season came the return of The 12 Baking Days of Christmas series. So much deliciousness in one month!

2017: A Year in Review // 12 Baking Days of Christmas // Highlights and favorite blog posts from the year

The year has gone by in a flash, and I am grateful for the things we accomplished, the blessings bestowed upon us, and the hardships that gave way to life lessons. I am also pretty pumped about implementing and blogging about some of our plans in the coming year — stay tuned!

Thank you for choosing to follow along and support this creative endeavor. May 2018 be the best year yet for you and your family! Happy New Year, everyone! — v.

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One Response to 2017: A Year In Review

  1. Kathleen Conery January 3, 2018 at 11:09 AM #

    Happy New Year to you and your family as well!

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