I am going to be honest here. Which, in the blogging world might be as stupid as shooting myself in the foot. But I really dislike best projects of the year posts. I'm not sure why I don't like them so much. Generally I'd say I'm a pretty positive person, but sincerely, each time someone posts one, it just makes me cringe. Each and every one of them. I'm not really even sure why. I've been trying to figure this out, not that I want to spend a lot of time on it, but all I can think is that maybe it's the reasons why people seem to post them. Reasons like expectation- everyone thinks they need to have one of these posts to cap off the year? Or that it seems like it's so un-original and I'm not sure where it came from in the first place, but "everyone does it, so I'm doing it too", like a blogging trend? Maybe it's because I've never been one that likes to follow the crowd to do things unless I can see it as productive, useful, helpful, or beneficial to somebody else in some meaningful way? Or maybe it's because it often seems boastful or useless, especially when, many times, their top blog posts are already posted on their side bar. Whichever way I look at it, I have no understanding as to why this gets so under my skin. But it does. I realize I'm going out on a limb by sharing this dark side of my feelings with you while most likely offending most everyone out there in the blogasphere. For that I am truly sorry, but this is the reason why I'm going to share my favorite read posts in 2015 with you. These are posts I read that truly changed me in one way or another, most of which were stumbled upon by accident while exploring a "new to me" blog and actually written in 2014. They are the posts that touched my heart, taught me, or inspired me to improve myself and my family. In sharing them with you, it is my hope that they will do the same for you, that you might benefit from them in some way like I did. So...here goes!
This first one was like one of those posts where I thought, "how simple, why didn't I think of that before?!". I spent a lot of this year feeling overwhelmed and WAY in over my head. Starting in January, I started a new group, which if you follow me, are very familiar with called Project Challenge. I had already been contributing for a blog called "Ask Anna", was accepted for a position on the Country Chic Paint 2015 blogger squad, and started my own shop space at Sweet Salvage. Though All of these were things I really wanted to do, and in some way or another, connected with each other, it was a lot to take on all at once. Especially considering the fact that I was (and still am) a mother of 7, wife to a busy and amazing husband, still cutting hair for friends and family, and in the 11th year of home renovations. All of which could not, and would not, be cut out. So when I read this post, it was a saving grace, something I really needed to "hear". With constant deadlines and projects spread all over my kitchen and dinning room areas like a craft tornado had blown up in my house, to get ready to "go to the shop", nothing ever felt finished. Reading this post was truly a *PING* moment for me in answer to prayers. It is truly worth the 4-5 minutes to read this post from Katie at Double the Batch, and is my #1 of the year!
This next post was an answer to a 9 year long, painful dilemma. I spend a lot of time De-cluttering paper work. I just know deep in my veins that my teachers never sent home the amount of paperwork to my mom as I receive for my children each year. Every new school year is faced with that bit of dread of knowing that as soon as my children come home from their first day of school, the paper is going to start piling. Despite my throwing away what I can immediately, there is always something that cannot be tossed and is the catalyst of a never manageable paper thorn in my already aching side. Thanks to this post that I was actually reading for an entirely different reason, I had another *ping* moment, and now enjoy a much more manageable method. Not only did I get the paperwork dilemma under control, but I now have a project I am going to do, and share with you later as well! Go check out my #2 favorite post of the year by My Sweet Savannah. While reading it, you may wonder how it fixed my paperwork dilemma, so notice the metal file holders on the side of her kitchen desk. It was one of those things I noticed while enjoying her tutorial and thought, "Wait. What?! That's it! The solution to my ongoing paper problem!!!" I think I may have even said this aloud while laying in my room on my tablet reading this post. I love it when you have given up finding an answer to something and it comes to you at the most unexpected time and way. So cool!!
Ping post #3 is a two part post and was one I first found on Pinterest. Though I have read many posts that claim to help answer the same question, I saw the title and thought "what the heck, it can't hurt." I'm so glad I did! I have loved to decorate all my life. There comes a point for everyone though, where you have to figure what the heart of your style truly is. This post helped me figure out that my issues have always been color related. I've always felt that I need a paint color for a room. This post helped me to recognize that so long as I've painted a room a color, I've never been truly happy with it, which explained why I've been repainting the entire house this year in nothing but neutrals...even in the children's rooms. You don't have to have colored walls to decorate a room or to be happy with it. In fact, I now understand why I never was, which will save me a whole lot of time and energy in the future since I won't have to paint the room 3 or more times before I like it. This post was like giving me permission to go colorless on my walls and be happy while doing so. Don't ask me why I subconsciously needed this permission. I just did. After following the tips she gives, I realized there is a lot I allow to hold me back from decorating the way I want to as well. More and more I'm incorporating my true deep down style so that I can love my home. I always do that when I help other people decorate their homes, why would I do it differently in my own home? From The Wood Grain Cottage:
#4 was a post by BJ at Sweet Nothings that took me back to the heart of all the reasons I started blogging in the first place. To truly share my heart and share experiences with those that I love. Most of you don't know this, but I'm the author of 4 different blogs. They all developed for different reasons. The first one ever was my family blog, Mommy Bug, and was actually encouraged by a friend of mine that stopped blogging shortly after she got me hooked. It was a sad thing to be on my own when she quit, but I kept at it for quite a long while. It became my scrapbook and journal and was only shared with family and friends. Over the last couple of years I've sadly neglected it and am resolved to catch up on it as one of my New Year's traditions. Truly, it has more value and importance than this one, as much as I love it. Simply because it is a way to share with our loved ones while we don't live close to any of them. Like I said before, it is more meaningful because it is about family and what is real. Sharing those daily experiences and insights to home and family is so important, and my children delight in reading it like they do our scrapbooks. It's also a way that my husband can still be a part of what is going on at home when he is on travel. If we don't blog for these reasons, it seems so superficial and meaningless.
Lastly, post #5. I fell in love with our vintage home love, as I'm sure most people do, when I first ever visited it. I did the same thing with it I do whenever I find a new blog that inspires me post after post. I visited, revisited, poured over each and every post, and obsessed with it every chance I got to. I know, sounds creepy. It's really not as bad as it seems. ;) This post was particularly inspiring to me because I read a whole slew of tutorials on how to smock years ago before I finally pinned the perfect one, when I first saw some smocked burlap curtains I wanted. I still have never made them because I was so intimidated by the process. Don't ask me why. I've done harder things, I know. Going back to post favorite #3 and trying to incorporate style from the heart in my home, this post reminded me to just jump right in and DO IT!! Not to let myself be so intimidated by something, that I don't even try. I think it's so ironic that this is the case since my mom and friends always tell me that they love how I fearlessly just jump right with both feet whenever I want to do something. I tell them this isn't true, because I know better, but now I'm hoping it will be more and more true as time moves on.
And that wraps up my top favorite posts of the year. I'm so thankful for each and every one of them that have had a truly inspirational impact on my life. I'm grateful for all who inevitably stick through the difficult points of blogging to at least share something that could touch any one of us, at some point, enough to help us make the necessary changes we need to in our lives. What a blessing to have such an outreach throughout the world, to meet others we never would otherwise. I'm thankful for you who read my blog and make it all worthwhile. I hope that at some point, I've been able to touch you the way that these women have touched me.
I hope you have wonderful plans to bring in the new year of hope and endless possibilities!
Until next year-