2014: A Year in Review

Can you believe it’s 2015?! Last year just FLEW by, but when I go back and review all the posts from 2014, it really is amazing how much happened. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around and continue to offer your advice and words of encouragement – I love you all!

I’ll create a to-do list for 2015 tomorrow, but first let’s take a look back of some of the best posts of 2014:

DSC00473Most popular post: A step-by-step look at how to turn an IKEA Ribba frame into a bar tray garnered the most clicks this year – and it was even picked up by IKEA Hackers!

Most commented on post: Remember when y’all helped me pick out a new living room rug? Great job, by the way.

DSC01014Best before/after: I’m so happy I finally bit the bullet and gave my living room a navy accent wall like the ones I’d been admiring on Pinterest forever. Will I regret it when I move out and have to paint it back white? Only time will tell…

Still on my wish list: This may just be the year that I tackle my first upholstery project, so I better pick up “Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design” to prepare.

11Best trip: Sometimes the best trips are the ones that are last minute and random and cheap – that happened to be Kansas City for me this year.

Best purchase: I know this is a home design blog, but this Kipling tote has been a godsend this past year. The blogging fashionistas of the world certainly don’t have anything to worry about, but I know a good bag when I see one.

friendsgivingBest party: I finally pulled off a Friendsgiving this year! The place looked great, and I hope it’ll mark the begin of many dinner parties to come. I love hosting.

Greatest accomplishment: I trained and ran a friggin’ marathon. 26.2 miles. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever say that. Hell, I could barely run the 5 miles during soccer two-a-days in high school! It felt amazing.

DSC00683Best recipe: I just made this Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix for a New Year’s Eve party… so, so good – and ridiculously easy!

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Liebster Award: Bending the Rules

I don’t usually partake in chains (emails, themed blog posts, restaurants… just kidding on that last one!), but I’ve been so stressed with grad homework, board commitments, travel plans and the like that I’ve warmed to the idea of having prompts for a post—because god knows, I’ve been slacking on the home front. My apartment is a complete and utter disaster at the moment…

So thank you, Ali from My Closet is Full, for nominating me for a Liebster Award! (Check out her blog: She’s vowed not to buy a new item of clothing for a full year! I don’t think I could do it.) I figure this is a quick and easy way for people to get to know more about me outside of just adventures in DIY, design, cooking, etc. Below are Ali’s questions.

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Spain, 1933, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

What’s something that you are proud of accomplishing? I’m proud that I was able to power through the recession. I graduated college in May 2008, which was right when the economy started to go to shit. A lot of people I know ended up living with their parents, working in bars or going back to school simply because they didn’t know what else to do. Sure, I may have been a “professional intern” for awhile, but I had some amazing experiences. (Hello, Wrigley Field!) I wouldn’t trade those opportunities for the world.

If you travel to one place, where would it be? India would be pretty amazing. I want to go before I’m old and cranky and can’t deal with the down-and-dirty-ness of a trip like that. It just seems like a place that can change your life. The colors, the food, the rituals—I want to experience it all.

Who is a hero in your life? As silly as it sounds, my high school yearbook teacher is one of my heroes. She introduced me to journalism and photography, both of which I continue to love today. She also taught me the importance of good work ethic and pushed me to try new things. I had her for a handful of tech classes as well, and she was teaching us Dreamweaver in 2002! Pretty impressive for a group of 16 year olds.

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging, in part, for my grandfather. Pop couldn’t make the trip up to my apartment because of health reasons, but he did have internet access so I set out to show him what kind of projects I was working on and how the place was coming together. Plus, a bunch of items in my apartment are originally his and my grandmother’s, and I thought they’d like the reminder of home.

liebster-awardNail polish or lipstick? Neither really. I like nail polish, but I’m too lazy to keep up with it. I’m pretty rough on my hands so manis don’t last very long. Lipstick I like, too, but I feel like I can’t pull it off. I’ve always been a lip gloss gal. In high school, I worked at the Western Open, and one of the sponsors was Chapstick… I used to hoard that stuff like a drug addict!

What is the best food you’ve ever eaten? Oh man, this is a tough one. Probably the tuna spring rolls at Café Des Artistes in Ubud, Bali. So. Amazing. It’s been almost six years, but my mouth still waters just thinking about them. I’ll return one day…

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? I’d like to meet Henri Cartier-Bresson. He was one of the early photojournalists, and he traveled the world shooting all kinds of people and events. I’d love to know how we was able to capture the “decisive moment” with the limitations of technology in the first half of the 20th century. Plus, I’d ask to buy one of his prints for my apartment!

What is your favorite store and what do you buy when you go there? Macy’s. I am such a lazy shopper, so I love that Macy’s has just about everything and all in one place. The days of me going store-to-store for hours on end are over. I’m lucky enough to work just down the street from Macy’s on State (RIP Marshall Field’s), so I have access to an amazing collection of clothing, shoes, outerwear, jewelry, home goods—they even have a wine cellar!

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I’d learn carpentry so I could start flipping houses!

How do you spend your free time? I’m training for the marathon and working toward my masters, but in my true free time, I like to make Old Fashioneds, explore the great outdoors and watch college basketball. Go Hoosiers!

So here’s where I deviate from the rules… the next requirement is that you nominate other bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award and give them questions to answer. But so many blogs don’t have the number of followers visible! So instead, I’m just going to give you a list of blog that I like (in no particular order, and of all sizes), and you can feel free to explore them on your own:

Found this Painted That
Copy Cat Chic
Life with a Dash of Whimsy
Home for Now
Live Creating Yourself
Style by Emily Henderson
Better After
Vintage Revivals
Young House Love
Bright Bazaar

Hope this gave you some insight, and if you like Urban Nesting, I’d definitely suggest checking out the other blogs listed!

(Image: Magnum Photos)