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Sharing the best reveals of 2017, along with the projects I’m most proud of!
I hope you all had an AMAZING holiday break! I have definitely used it to take some time off and simply relax. And holy cow, did the switch go off for me to take ALL of my Christmas decor down the second Christmas was over. My brain is already bubbling with tons of goals for 2018, and I need a clean slate!
Today, just as a way to give myself a little boost for the coming year, I thought it best to recap some of the changes that 2017 brought to the UDH. I often feel like the house makes such slow progress, and that can start to weigh on you after a while. So, recaps like these help to remind myself that even when I’m up to my ankles in sawdust, I DO have something to show for it!
I’m not going to base this list on anything other than my own opinion on what I liked best about 2017. I’m not looking at traffic stats or any of the usual bloggery yard sticks to say what was and was not “best” for the year. Instead, I am looking at what made the biggest impact to how I live everyday, what made me more confident with DIY, or things that taught me most. I think, realistically, that’s a much bigger deal than what was popular. So, here we go!
The Laundry Room Reveal and Plywood Countertop
I kicked off 2017 with a bang: my new, organized laundry room! I’ve done things like installing a new tile floor in previous years, but the laundry room got its finishing touches with lots of new plants, better storage, and even a new plywood countertop (as well as cleaning product storage that looks like decor).
Laying a Concrete Slab
Every year, I learn something new that makes me feel kinda badass. So even though it wasn’t really a huge transformation, my new concrete slab on the side of the house is worthy of recognition on this list. The fence that surrounds it was also finished in 2017 but not shared (in fact, there are a few things I always meant to post about but didn’t), so that will be something I will be revisiting soon.
Speaking of concrete and learning new things…
My Most Controversial Post – ??
Strangely, 2017 also included one of the most controversial posts I’ve ever written: trying out a product after one of my fence posts got knocked out of its footing (I know, *gasp* not a review!! the horror!). Not every new product to market performs to expectations, and DIY is all about experimenting and learning new things. I’ve shared posts like these several times over the years, but what surprised me about this one was the rampant, condescending (coughcoughsexistcough) comments from new visitors to the blog who didn’t appear to actually read the post. Definitely an unexpected result, to say the least, but it also taught me a lot on what I will (insightful questions) and won’t (posturing bullshit) make time for in the day.
5-Ingredient Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
For years, I’ve been averse to sharing recipes on the blog except for a few Christmas-related ones and family memories. But 2017 also spurred a new interested in nixing my pizza-ordering habit and eating a little better. That meant also cooking more at home. To kick off my new recipes section, I shared one of my easiest dinner/appetizer ideas with this 5-ingredient chicken quesadilla. I also introduced my contributor team around this time, which included more recipes!
Sooooo many backyard changes!
One of the most significant things that came from 2016 was a flatter backyard. So, after the sinkhole was filled in, it was like a lightbulb of inspiration: creating the new fire pit, adding a beautiful little corner garden of hydrangeas, ripping out the chain link fence, and the new addition for 2018: my pub shed! I have made a little more progress on it, so I’ll be sharing a new post on it and the goal is to finish in the first half of 2018. I am looking forward to year 2 and seeing how everything fills in this coming year… it will add SO much color!
DIY 2×4 Coffee Table (Cut in about 15 Minutes!)
I got rid of some old furniture this year, especially in the living room. So, along with my new sectional, I needed a new coffee table. Instead of buying, I chose to DIY as part of a fun 2×4 challenge. While this may not be my forever table (I’m holding out for a thick live-edge slab, but that is an investment), I loved how it turned out!
The Master Bathroom Shower Reveal and Crown Molding Hack
Guys, this was SO HUGE for me. The master bathroom has been a pain in the ass for years. I almost want to laugh at myself that a sponsor was responsible for kicking me into gear with more motivation to make some progress. Sometimes, you need an outside force to breathe new life into a project that frustrates you. As a result, I got a shimmery, beautiful new shower and learned a lot more about renovating a shower from start to finish. I’m also pretty proud with the outside-the-box (to me) shower curtain I DIY’d and the creative solution for the crown molding I figured out. Honestly, that’s another post I’m pretty proud of; but if it’s anything like several other tutorials I’ve created regarding home hacks, it will take a while before that one gets more eyeballs!
How I Create My Own Cross Stitch Patterns
Before this year, I didn’t really share that I love to cross stitch. But in this post, I covered a new fall pattern I created as well as my quick-and-dirty process for how I generate patterns. Note: I have a new Christmas one also starring my pup Charlie, but that will be shared soon! You can also subscribe to have access to my free patterns library where I add all the new patterns!
A Most Thankful Year
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to reflect on what you’re most thankful for. I did that in this post while celebrating the vow renewal of two of my closest friends in St. Lucia. Broken hearts, mental health, self-care, the value of true friendship, and more were touched on here. I think it’s one of my personal favorites of 2017 because it was so tough to find the right words. And I loved the way you guys responded to it and shared your own stories. Thank you for that. <3
DIY Plywood Wine Rack
It’s art. It’s woodworking. It’s functional. My wine rack is so many things that it was hard to figure out the title for the post! But my new wood-art-slash-wine-rack in the dining room was one of those projects where I worked hard on a single project for several weeks, learned new skills, and came out on the other side with something I’m really proud of. You can get the recap and download the free plans from my new woodworking plans library.
What was your favorite post that I shared in 2017? I can’t wait to share what’s in store for 2018. This time, I’m breaking out my colored pencils to draw up some of the makeover ideas. Art is going to be a considerable part of 2018!
Come back this weekend, too. I have a few posts to get under the wire before the new year. Happy holidays, friends!