I’m a sucker for end-of-year posts, and despite my silence on this space, I’ll speak out before 2016 gives way to a new year. (And you are almost certainly correct in thinking that blogging more is on my 2017 resolutions.)
Ready? Let’s do this.
Three Best Sewing Projects
:: the Sewaholic Granville shirt. Finally. This pattern came out two years ago, and I sewed it up just this fall.
:: a baby quilt for Evelyn (never mind that she’s fourteen months and not as much a baby as she was when I conceived this project)
:: a winter cowl (tutorial via Colette Patterns). I made one of these for my new sister-in-law for Christmas, and to practice before making hers, made one for me. I wear it almost daily.
Three Best Books
:: The One-in-a-Million Boy, by Monica Wood. I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if I’d just read the back, but it came highly recommended on a favorite blog of mine, and I found it wholly wonderful.
:: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. The story of a count sentenced by the Bolsheviks to house arrest inside the Metropol Hotel. This book is equal parts thoughtful and delightful.
:: the Inspector Gamache series, by Louise Penny. Okay, maybe I’m cheating a little bit on this one, because the Inspector Gamache series comprises twelve books, but they really are wonderful. I listened to these and enjoyed every moment. (I think it’s best to read them in order!)
Honorable mention to the Book of the Month Club. I tried it out over the summer and then asked Josh for a year-long subscription for my birthday. I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’re interested, check it out here.
Three Best Podcasts
:: Sorta Awesome. I’ve probably mentioned this one before, and I’ll mention it again. This podcast is a weekly dose of all things, well, awesome. This podcast also has a complementary Facebook group, and it’s my go-to for all advice and/or encouragement.
:: What Should I Read Next? Guests give the host three books they love, one book they hate, and what they’re reading right now, and in turn receive three personalized book recommendations. Another weekly highlight. (And in November, the podcast did a week-long series on kid literature–it was heaven!)
:: The Lazy Genius Podcast/The Lazy Sisters Podcast. Okay, maybe another cheat kind of, since these are technically two different podcasts. But I love them both equally and they both have the same host. The Lazy Genius Podcast is both entertaining and soul-filling, and The Lazy Sisters Podcast is what I’d produce if my sister and I had a podcast together. Alas, both shows are on hiatus right now, so go back and listen to archives. It’s worth it.
Three Best Things I Did For Me
:: Birthday sewing day. For my birthday this year, I left my little family and rented out sewing space at Modern Domestic for the day. I spent the entire day sewing and even took a break for ice cream. It was heavenly, and I’ll certainly do it again, even if it’s not my birthday.
:: Summer beach trips. Many times this summer I loaded the kids into the car along with towels, sand toys, and snacks, and drove to the coast. I’m a huge homebody, and this level of initiative or spontaneity was good for me and good for my kids.
:: The jeans class. In October I took a four-week class at Modern Domestic to learn to sew jeans (my first sewing class ever). And guys, it was awesome. Not only is sewing jeans incredibly gratifying and fun, I loved spending time with other women who love what I love. I’m already scouting out another sewing class to register for.
Three Best Things I Did for My Body
:: Green smoothies. I can’t remember how I found out about Simple Green Smoothies, but these have truly affected my year. Simple Green Smoothies does a quarterly 30-day challenge and send out new recipes to try each week. (And it’s all free.) I did my first challenge in April and after a week or so noticed a real difference in how my body felt and worked. I’ve fallen off the wagon a little this fall, but want to get back into smoothie making in the new year.
:: Essential oils. I started dabbling around in essential oils earlier this year and have enjoyed incorporating them into my life. I love using them to help treat minor scrapes and ills (especially when we have to battle winter viruses).
:: Buying good water bottles. I bought a set of these Contigo bottles from Costco in the spring and love them. (Though the ones I have don’t have a straw, which I love.) When I have water bottles that work and don’t leak, I drink more water and my body is grateful for it. For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me an insulated aluminum water bottle, and so far I’ve loved that one as well.
Three Best Things I Did for My Mental Health
:: Put the kids in separate rooms. For seven or eight months I kept trying to force my two kids to sleep peacefully in the same room together. But it was not working, and none of us was getting the sleep we needed. I ended up moving the baby’s crib into my sewing room, and I’ve never regretted it. Yes, my sewing space is compromised, but it’s a worthy sacrifice if it means that I can rely on quality sleep most nights. Seasons of life, friends.
:: Bullet journaling. In 2015 I had an expensive planner that I loved and used diligently. I bought another one for 2016, but mid-year something about the system stopped clicking for me. After a few months of no planning system, I decided to try out bullet jounraling, and I’m hooked. It’s entirely customizable to my needs, and if I spend a few days not making lists (like the past week for example), no harm, no foul, no wasted pages.
:: Preschool. We put our four-year-old in preschool three days a week, and it’s a win-win. For 99-percent of the past four years, we’ve been physically together, and both of us needed to shake things up a bit. Asher is thriving, and so am I.
Now I’m knee-deep in looking forward to 2017. What do you want the upcoming year to hold for you? Any favorites from 2016 I should know about? Happy New Year, everyone!