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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Weekend Rewind: Exploring Kansas City

I’ll (mostly) let the pictures do the talking here, but we had a blast in Kansas City! Like I mentioned, I’d never been before, and we snagged roundtrip flights for less than $70—and then a helluva deal on two nights at the Westin—so off we went exploring…

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It’s a great foodie town: We ate at two places with James Beard ties (and didn’t break the bank), drank at an underground speakeasy-of-sorts, ordered waaaay too much (in a good way) from a BBQ place in a gas station and still had time for a sampler at Boulevard Brewing. Needless to say, any weight I lost during marathon training has returned! But whatever, it was worth it.

Three of my must-sees, in no particular order:

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Stroud’s. This soul food mecca has A LOT of things going for it, including family-style pan fried chicken and sides, Coke with maraschino cherries, red-and-white checkered table cloths and—and—bottomless fresh cinnamon rolls for dessert! It was ridiculous. And amazing. Oh, and did I mention it’s housed in a renovated log cabin from the 19th century?

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This is a badass art museum—including impressive modern and Indian art collections—but the real kicker is that it’s free! Save time to explore the grounds, including KC’s iconic shuttlecock sculptures.

Oklahoma Joe’s. This is the aforementioned BBQ-joint-in-a-gas-station. But don’t let the ambiance fool you—this is some DAMN good BBQ.  For the record, all of that food pictured… it was mine alone. I ended up taking ribs home on the plane, and if I could’ve carried on more than 3 oz., I would have snatched up a bottle of OJ’s BBQ sauce for sure. It’s thick and tangy without overpowering the meat.

Honorable mentions: Extra Virgin (pricey, but stop in for Happy Hour deals 4-6 p.m.), Weird Stuff Antiques (strange location, strange items) and Boulevard Brewing (free 40-minute tours with tastings).

On the wish list for next time: Mexican food, Swope Park, Rye brunch and Town-Topic Hamburgers.

On My Mind: October Edition

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1. If you don’t mind an essay filled with expletives, you HAVE to read McSweeney’s “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers.” I. AM. DYING.  Though I’m totally guilty of loving an ugly gourd or two myself.

2. Sticking with the season, someone wrote into Dear Prudence complaining about having to buy candy for less fortunate children that don’t even live in her super wealthy neighborhood… REALLY?! Prudence totally verbally slapped this person: “Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.” Touché, Prudence. Touché.

3. Have you seen IKEA’s hilarious ad for it’s low-tech catalog? “Introducing the new 2015 IKEA catalog. It’s not a digital book. Or an e-book. It’s a book book.” lol. Check it out.

4. Tory Burch has a new line of watches, and I’m totally crushing on the small gold one. But $800 for a basic watch?! I guess that’s her thing though, which I fell for with the basic black flats… But three years later, they’re still going strong so I think it’s worth the $200 price tag. Quality over quantity!

5. And finally, I’m Kansas City-bound tonight and I’ve never been, so if you have suggestions on things to do, bartenders to visit or BBQ to eat, let me know! xoxo