Attention fellow bloggers, readers and fans — this Just a Little Bit of Clairity post is a significantly special one to me this week. Last year, I made a promise to myself to start a blog focusing on all things food, fiction and furnishings. I set out to share a plethora of recipes, DIY home projects and captivating books. And on March 4, I conquered my resolution of blogging for one year. No worries to my followers out there; I’m not about to lay the computer down and walk away. It’s been an incredible boost to my creative juices, allowing me to try things I would never imagine before. So in honor of this accomplishment, here’s a look back at some of my favorite and popular blog posts of the year.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say winter is my least favorite time of year. Once the Christmas and New Year holidays come and go, it seems like a lifetime before the air begins to warm, the lawnmowers are out and people can stand being outside for longer than five minutes. Despite my birthday coming up next month, I sometimes wish I could just fast forward to May (or move someplace where temperature never goes below 70 degrees). To give myself a reminder of what I have to look forward to this spring, this post honors one of my favorite things about warm weather — new hydrangeas in bloom. Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite flower, and most recently have gained a lot of meaning for me. A couple months ago, the love of my life Jacob proposed to me and I said yes! It was one of the happiest moments in my life and while we have a ways to go as far as planning, I know without a doubt that the hydrangea will be the feature floral at our wedding. And who says I can’t go ahead and bring a little summer into this bleak and dreary winter now? With that said, here’s a little idea I had to make a DIY flower wreath, reminding myself of all the things we have to look forward to this summer.
Jacob, Winston and I have lived in our new house for a little less than a year now, and I have to admit I’ve learned a lot about myself in this short amount of time. I never imagined in a million years that I’d love to paint walls or envision the décor of a newly renovated room. One thing I’ve discovered is how adamantly I love DIY projects. Who needs fancy or expensive things when you can simply create original pieces on your own. I guess I’m not entirely surprised considering I used to love scrapbooking (and still do if I ever put aside the time). Whenever I want a little DIY project to work on, I browse Pinterest in the hopes of finding a new idea. And that’s where I got the vision to make leaf bowls. I pinned this long before I moved out of my parent’s house, when the thought of living in my own place with Jacob was merely a possibility. Since I still have some time before the winter season is upon us, I thought this would be a fun, fall DIY project to accomplish. There was definitely some trial and error since the directions aren’t that in-depth but in the end I can share the dos and don’ts I learned for all you little do-it-yourselfers out there.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love summertime. If I had to choose between freezing in cold weather or sweltering in the hot sun, I’ll take a sunburn any day over shivering in my boots. So normally around this time of year, I feel a little melancholy for the end of my favorite season and absolute dread at what’s to come within a few months. But this year, I experienced a big change in attitude — I fell in love with fall. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I definitely found myself looking more forward to autumn than I had in the past. Pumpkin carving, scarves and boots, and hot apple cider. And with no neighbors in our backyard, we have a gorgeous view of the changing leaves. As it so happened, the season also arrived at about the same time as my latest home makeover: the entryway. Not only was I able to find some essential pieces to make an inviting entrance, I could also decorate with a fun fall foyer theme (see what I did there?).
With fall officially upon us and summer complete, I thought I’d take one last time to reflect on some of the outside projects I worked on to not only improve the look of our home, but also give us delicious rewards. I’m speaking of course of my front garden’s total transformation. If you read my post April Showers Bring May Flowers, you’ll know how much I wanted to re-landscape the front yard with some much needed flowers, freshening up the entire feel of our home. I’ll also pick up where I left off with Humble Vegetable Beginnings. To read some insight into what I learned from my first vegetable garden and what I’ll be prepared for next summer, see the second part of this post in Days of Summer Gone By Part II. So here’s to having a wonderful season this past year as I stroll down summer’s memory lane.
Welcome to the second part of this post, where I focus on the results of my first tomato/herb garden (to read the first part of this post on renovating our front garden, click here). With fall upon us and winter fast approaching, I’m taking the time to reflect on some of my favorite summer projects this year, including my vegetable garden. In Humble Veggie Beginnings, I built my vegetable box, bought the dirt and had about eight tomato plants, along with two basil plants and a rosemary. While this was my first year growing my own produce, I had a very successful harvest. Almost too successful. Before I knew it, I was swimming in tomatoes and basil, without really knowing what to do with my bounty. So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned from farming my first little plot of land and raising a plethora of tomatoes, basil and rosemary.
We’ve all heard that first impressions can sometimes be lasting impressions. Whether interviewing for a job or going out on a first date, we are all influenced by either positive impressions or damaging ones. And the same is also true for many homes. I think for a lot of people whenever they enter a new house for the first time — whether it be family or friends — the look definitely plays a part in the “wow factor.” For some, it’s the entryway that decides it, while others find it in the living room or kitchen. But for me, it’s hands down the guest bathroom. You may of just had to take a double read on that, but let me explain. When it comes to bathrooms, I’m kind of a neat freak. I can’t stand smelly toilets, hair on the floor or gunky bath tubs — and I think a lot of people feel the same way. So when I see a guest bathroom that’s both clean and has an appealing design, I feel pretty ecstatic about my first impression. And that’s the idea I had in mind when I decided to do a complete renovation of our own guest bathroom.