Wait, it's 2017? Already? HOW?! This past year has flown by. Do you remember being little when the length of a year felt like an eternity? I remember the feeling of Christmastime lasting for a couple of months, now I'm lucky if I'm in that spirit for a week. It's definitely something I miss the most about being a child, that warm Christmas feeling that swallowed you up. I remember making a Christmas countdown with my childhood best friend and I swear that countdown never went fast enough. Every year I try to commit to enjoying the season rather than speeding through it, but it never happens. Maybe next year. ;)
Saying "2016" out loud sends a lot of people into a rage or it sends them running in fear. It was a scary year, there were a lot of deaths, a lot of destruction, elections all over the world were big 'ol shit show, but I was one of the lucky ones who had a good year.
My 2016 highlights:
1. I got married! Luke and I had a super small backyard wedding at my Aunt Michelle's house on June 11th. We invited the people closest to us and kept it as small as possible. I don't even think we spent more than a couple of hundred dollars on the wedding (dress and cake included). I don't like being the center of attention (hello, anxiety) and having a big fancy wedding was never something I dreamed about. None of that cliche "my childhood dream wedding" business over here. If it weren't for the guilt of not giving my mom the chance to have a wedding for her ONLY child, we wouldn't have done anything at all.
2. I traveled to the UK twice and discovered my new favorite city, Edinburgh. The first time we went we traveled up and down England and Scotland. We visited London, Nottingham, Bath, the Cotswolds, Lacock, Sheffield, Edinburgh, parts of the Highlands, Luss, and Glasgow. It was a Christmas gift to my mom (and to us) and it was one of the most amazing and exhausting trips of my life. That trip cost probably around $10k but it was worth every penny. Luke and I planned a second trip to Scotland for our honeymoon, we went in September. We booked a lovely Airbnb in the Old Town of Edinburgh right on The Royal Mile and spent a little over a week there. We took a couple of day trips to the Highlands again and we even visited Loch Ness! One of our day trips took us across the border of Scotland/England, and we visited Alnwick Castle that was used for a lot of the Harry Potter films. Edinburgh will always be my favorite though, I'm constantly trying to talk Luke into booking another trip there (ps: I think we'll end up going again this year). We've even talked about moving there one day - if MM (Luke's company) ever opens a UK office, we're already signed up to go.
3. We met up with a lot of friends! We always see Luke's best friend Atwood, but we got to meet his girlfriend Ruby last year. She's super sweet and she's from Canada, so we got the opportunity to take a road trip to Montreal for a weekend. Not only did I meet Luke on Tumblr back in 2009, but I also met a lot of other great people who I still consider friends today. In England we met up with our friend George (Twikki) for the second time, and we got to see one of my best friends, Naomi, and her boyfriend Ollie and their little son Eric. Naomi and I have been close friends since we were 14/15 and I've visited her three times now. When we were in Scotland we met up with our friend Pete and his girlfriend Ayden of Little Blog of Horrors. On our second Scotland trip we met up with Lauren in Stirling, another old Tumblr friend. I see the faces of these people on social media nearly every day so it didn't feel like our first time meeting a lot of them, it was lovely! I'm hoping to see some of them again this year.
4. I discovered my love for genealogy while researching my family history through Ancestry.com. I've helped solve a couple of family mysteries for people and even been in contact with previously unknown family members! These people have helped me through some ancestry road blocks and I'm so grateful for them. Through Ancestry I discovered the Find-A-Grave and World Archives Project volunteering programs which I am now a proud member of.
5. Luke got promoted this year! He has so much passion for what he does, I really admire it. He started working for a company called MM.Lafleur in 2015, it's a professional women's clothing company in NYC. Luke is an engineer for their website, and he LOVES his job. I never pass up the opportunity to brag about him, I'm just so proud I can't help it! There wasn't really schooling for what he does, and since we've been together he has taught himself almost everything with the help of some of his friends and coworkers and has been working his way up professionally. I won't let anyone take credit for his achievements, they are ALL his own.
6. I hit 10,000 Etsy sales this year and my little business turned five! 10,000 sales in five years sounds like it's not much, but the first three or so years of having my business I had only made it to 1,000 sales. Two years on and I've passed 10,000, not counting duplicate items that Etsy doesn't count towards the total or items sold at craft fairs. I think the total might be up to at least 40,000 items I've made. That's INSANE for one person! My little hands are weary but busy, and that's all I could ever ask for.
I get a bit bored while I'm working, making things you already know how to make or have made hundreds of times before can get a bit dull. To keep me busy I spend a lot of quality time with Netflix, and binge watching TV shows is my favorite thing to do during my work day.
Some shows I've completed this year:
- Making A Murderer
- Gilmore Girls - LOVE, Luke is also obsessed.
- Penny Dreadful
- Scream (MTV's version)
- Shameless - This show is insane but I love it.
- The Carrie Diaries - Not normally my thing, but I oddly enjoyed this.
- Black Mirror
- The Crown
- Medici: Masters of Florence - A good chunk of the Game of Thrones cast is in this, amazing show if you love historical stuff.
- The OA - AMAZING, go watch it. 20x better than Stranger Things.
- The Last Kingdom - Luke and I just finished this together, we're going to finish watching Vikings next.
- Versailles - Another historical drama favorite, I'm bringing this one to Luke next. I'm his show tester and only bring him the best ones.
We've also seen a good amount of movies this year. Some of my favorites were The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, The Girl On The Train, and Fantastic Beasts. I love Eddie Redmayne so damn much. What were some TV shows or movies you enjoyed last year?
1. Glencoe, Scotland // 2. My new rings from Luke // 3. Alnwick Castle, England // 4. Apples we picked // 5. Last selfie of 2016!
Overall, I had a pretty wonderful 2016. I don't expect anything from 2017, I don't have any set goals but I do have some things I'd like to do/get done this year. I hope everyone reading has a lovely year. <3
Etsy Favorites: February
I missed December and January! I'm still getting used to the whole blogging thing, and I've been finding it hard to feel motivated lately (with every aspect of life, not just blogging). What motivates you to keep at it? When you're in a blogging mood, do you write a few posts at once and draft them for later, or do you write each post the day you post it?
Anyway, here are a few of my Etsy favorites this month!
Posy Paper Co. Planner / $20
One New Year's goal I've stuck with is keeping organized, and I think the main reason I've been able to keep up with that resolution is because of the planner Luke got me for Christmas. I had seen a Facebook friend post a picture of a planner from Posy Paper Co. and I fell in love instantly. Carolyn is based in Vancouver and her products are made from 100% post-consumer waste, and she uses soy-based ink. This is a 12 month planner that you get to personalize AND you get to choose the start month! So if you're wanting a planner, it's not too late to get one without wasting a couple of months! Oh, and did I mention that they're super affordable? This planner was only $20 + shipping. I haven't been able to find a cute, personalized planner for less than $50 anywhere else. You won't regret purchasing this beauty.
Paper Loving Mommy / $4 - $32
I haven't had this much fun with stickers since elementary school. Planner stickers are my new obsession, and Paper Loving Mommy carries a lot of my favorite designs! Michelle has stickers for every event you can imagine. I've purchased travel, reading, full moon, grocery, and hair appointment stickers from this shop. The stickers pictured above were a lovely freebie given on my last order! Her designs are definitely the best I've come across. My other favorite planner sticker shops on Etsy are Faye Creates, Birds Fly Studio (this shop sells stickers for keeping track of your business and I LOVE them), and Plannertopia.
The Fox in the Attic Cactus Cushions / $24.50 each
I can't remember where I came across these cactus pillows, but are they not the cutest things EVER?! I want them all. The Fox in the Attic is owned by Michelle, and she hand makes these lovely pillows in St Leonards, England. If you're a momma and want a small rattle version of these pillows for your baby, she sells them as well!
Sparkle Collective Pins / $1.75 each
Another Christmas gift from Luke! These lovely little pins were created by Britt from Sparkle Collective in Toronto. They've all made the perfect addition to my pin collection banner. The "lol whatever" sloth is me.
Any Parks and Rec fans out there? I watched every single episode in just a few weeks time and then watched it again with Luke, one of the best shows ever and I miss it so much! The Esquire channel replays old episodes every week and Luke watches each one like he hasn't seen it 5 times already. I came across this Paper Love Song print and immediately fell in love! It's on my "to-buy" list and I'll be purchasing this for the Always Anchors office very soon!
Have any Etsy favorites that you'd like to share? I love discovering new shops and would love to hear from you! I'm planning on creating another blog feature where I'll post my favorite (non-Etsy) products of the month, so stay tuned for that!
Etsy Favorites: November
I spend a ton of time on Etsy. Not only am I full time seller, but I also love shopping on Etsy and supporting other small businesses. Whenever I have some downtime I spend a few minutes browsing through shops, and sometimes I come across products that I absolutely love. Once or twice a month I want to feature a little "Etsy Favorites" blog post to show you some items I'm lusting over this month!
"The Amazing Tattooed Girl" fully assembled, framed paper doll by Mabgraves. I love Mab's work, she's so unique, talented, and inspiring. I fell in love with this beautifully framed paper doll, there's no glass to the frame so you can move her around!
"CORAL!" Walking Dead brooch by Eleven Dot Dot Eleven. I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead and I couldn't get over how cute this was!
Braid Bracelet by Leini Jewelry. I came across Lea on Instagram a while back and fell in love with her designs. I have two of her bracelets, and I've even gifted one to a friend who loved it! Lea's bracelets are well made and super affordable. You can get these in many colors and designs.
Hand embroidered Rick Ross "Every Day I'm Hustlin'" hoop by Thimble and Bobbin. I have nothing else to say besides I love this thing.
"The Candy Hair Club" pin back button set by Mabgraves. Mab strikes again! Colors get me. There's no hope for me after I've seen something colorful, it needs to be mine.
Hope you liked my November picks! I'm always open to Etsy shop suggestions, so feel free to suggest away!