highlights of 2013.

2013 2014


happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.




february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!



march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.




april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!




may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.




front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!


seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.



august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.





september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.



october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.



november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.



december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.


reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?


see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

Liebster Award Nomination.

{warning: this post is super text-heavy!}

i got a blog comment last week about being nominated for a Liebster Award. i had never heard of it before, but was envisioning some type of german lobster. turns out i was way off {though not about the german part}. “liebster” is german for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. {phew!} the Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers from another blogger. blogging is about building community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer blogs/bloggers.

here are the rules for receiving the Liebster Award:

1. Link back to the person that nominated you.

2. List 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer 11 questions posted by the person who nominated you.

4. Nominate up to 11 other blogs with 200 followers or less.

5. Ask 11 new questions for the nominee-blogs to respond to.


i have to give a big shout-out to Kimberly over at Painted Love Blog for the nomination – thank you Kimberly for thinking of me & emerald city diaries!


11 facts about myself:

1. i love highlighters & keep multiple colors on my desk. color-coordinated organization? yes please! i think my obsession intensified during law school. 

2. i carry a bottle of hand sanitizer whether in my handbag, work bag, or clutch. santa {okay, my mom} fills my Christmas stocking each year with the mini bottles from bath & body works & that gets me thru the year.

3. i was adopted at the age of three. best day ever. there has been a lot of negative press recently about adoption & adoptees which makes me really sad. i realize that not everyone was blessed with the same circumstances as me, but adoption is a beautiful thing.

4. i have been driving for nearly half of my life. the rules have changed now, but when i was a kid, you could take driver’s ed at 14 & get your license at 15. {thanks idaho!} so you can picture me as a tiny 15 year old driving around in a jeep. i was so young. it is scary to think about all of that responsibility at 15! i am praying my kids won’t want to drive until they are out of the house! {wishful thinking, i know.}

5. i have loved hand lettering since i was small. my mom is a calligrapher so i come by it honestly. i remember in third grade when i learned cursive & was so excited to be learning to write like a grown-up. & then in fourth grade i decided to write really teeny tiny {& to this day i don’t know why}; my teacher had to use a magnifying glass to read my writing. to this day i prefer to take notes by hand & am obsessed with any & all hand lettering, especially faux calligraphy {it is just fancy cursive}!

6. i have a knack for learning song lyrics. even if i hear the song just a few times, i can pick up the lyrics. there are songs that i haven’t heard for a decade & i still know the lyrics. i have to write down my shopping list every week & set reminders on my phone for everything, but song lyrics apparently have a special compartment in my brain. the hilarious part though is that on occasion i think i know the lyrics, but the find out they are completely off! {c’mon, you know what i am talking about!}

7. for years i disliked bacon & popcorn. yep years. i am still not a huge fan of popcorn {unless it is coated in sugar & goodness like kettle corn} but bacon? yes please! even when aaron & i took up vegetarianism full-time last fall, i still make room for bacon on occasion. brunch just doesn’t feel the same without it!

8. speaking of brunch. brunch is my very favorite meal. it means you get to sleep in & still eat breakfast food. or a sandwich if that is what you prefer. plus it is the only meal where mimosas or bellinis are really acceptable. when my husband & i got married we had a morning ceremony followed by a brunch. seriously, any day that starts with brunch is going to be a great day!

9. i still keep in touch with many of my friends from high school. yep high school. & many of them are some of my very dearest friends. a lot of people don’t even think about the people they went to high school with; even when i started college people were surprised that i was close to my friends from high school! in hindsight i think we had a really amazing & unique opportunity to bond over those four years that not many others have. sometimes i describe my high school experience as one out of a john hughes movie. yep, we had that much fun! if you are reading this & i went to high school with you {you know who you are!}, thanks for being an awesome friend for all of these years!

10. i almost went to fashion school after college instead of law school. it sounds so cliché but i have always adored fashion. even as a child i was interested in fashion & my dad tells this story about how in a single day i would be wearing a different ensemble each time i saw him. it has always been a huge part of my life & always will be. i dreamed about being able to design & sew my own clothes, handbags, & shoes. but then the practical part of me realized that i didn’t have thick enough skin to make it in the fashion industry as a designer. i appreciate fashion as a consumer & wearer now & may dabble in some DIY sewing, but i think my gut was right on this one.

11. my favorite movie growing up was The Lion King. i had toys, bedsheets, the works. if i would have had a cell phone that young, the ringtone would surely have been “hakuna matata.” the broadway play ranks one of my favorites as well {which i get to see in the fall – eek!}. so, my very wildest dreams came true when i went on an African safari with my parents in 2007 – it was real life lion king! did you know that they used Swahili words for the names of characters? simba is lion, rafiki is friend, & hakuna matata really means “no worries.” if you haven’t been on an African safari {& by safari i mean photo safari} you should put it on your bucket list!


11 questions from Kimberly who nominated me:

1. Baking or cooking? I would have to say baking. After I baked my first cake for the 4th of July {see here} I am pretty stoked about baking.

2. Your favorite place in the world? There are way too many amazing places I have been, so I am going to dodge the question & say it is any place where I get to spend time with family & friends.

3. Your favorite activity? Right now {when I have time} I love tackling some DIY projects. There is nothing like finishing up a project & being able to admire your handiwork, whether it is a gift for someone or something for around the house. I am thankful for so much inspiration – Pinterest, bloggers, HGTV.

4. Who was your teenage heart throb? JTT. Hilarious!

5. Oprah or Ellen? Ellen, hands down. She is hilarious, she dances, & she is philanthropic without making it a big deal.

6. Your guilty pleasure? Anything goes. Celebrity gossip magazines, but only at the nail salon.

7. Your favorite store? Tough question. For clothing, J.Crew or Nordstrom. For house décor, West Elm.

8. What blog must you check every morning before you get started on your day? I use Feedly so I normally catch up on blogs posts in the order they are posted. But, I love catching up on my cousin Kendra’s blog and my friend Amanda’s blog – it is fun to see what they are up to!

9. If you had to paint your walls and ceiling the same color and never paint It again what color would you choose? I am going to be lame & say white, but only because of the ceiling. I think white can be timeless & can be livened up with fun accessories & furniture.

10. Favorite magazine? Also tough – I live for glossy magazines {no e-mags for me}. I really am liking Self magazine – it is a great mix of fitness, fashion, & sometimes home décor. Though if you ask me at the end of the summer I would probably tell you the September Issue of Vogue; I know about 2/3 of it is ads, but I am always so inspired by all the fall fashion.

11. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Antarctica. Beautiful and pristine. Penguins. Plus, it is the only continent I haven’t stepped foot on.


the bloggers i nominate are: {i apologize in advance if you in fact have more than 200 followers – just think of this as a shout-out from a new fan!}

Lizzie from Living Pretty

Svetlana from Chic Type Blog

Coco from A Dash of Coco

Sarah from This Sarah Loves

Erin from Home Everyday


11 questions for the nominee-blogs:

1. if you could live in another decade, which one would you choose?

2. which sex & the city character are you & why? {if you didn’t watch SATC you can skip this question}

3. cupcake or French macarons?

4. if there was only one food you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

5. what is one thing you cannot live without?

6. what is at the top of your bucket list?

7. if you could re-live one day of your life, which would it be?

8. what is your favorite social media?

9. what is your favorite quote?

10. what was/is your dream job?

11. why did you start blogging?

please link back to me when you post about your nomination!


fun, right? how do you find new blogs to follow?