I hope everyone had a truly lovely holiday season. My family was in from out of town and we spent a lot of time hanging out in our house and visiting my sister’s place (she also lives in town). In the month of December, I have attended 3 family parties, a friend party and a work party (3 of which have taken place in the past 9 days), and we’re having friends over for New Years Eve tonight. The holiday season is so busy and lovely! I’d have some pretty pictures to show you (I made an awesome dessert I was pretty nervous about for Christmas Eve, I have pictures of our decorations and the table from Christmas Eve dinner, plus some wrap-up on the presents I made for a big number of friends and family), but I managed to misplace my camera at my sister’s house and it hasn’t surfaced yet. High five, right?
In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to look back at a few things we did in 2012, what was weirdly popular on the blog, and what we’re looking forward to next year.
You would be forgiven for thinking this turned into a food blog this year, since I ended up posting so many recipes, but I really think of food as an extension of making a house into a home. Some favorites were: spicy soda crackers, arugula walnut pesto (we made this for Christmas Eve dinner), our crowd-pleasing empanadas and of course my family Christmas cookies. My grandma sampled one of my gumdrop cookies and told me that I am now the keeper of the gumdrop cookies, as she is done making them. (But she still busted out her sugar cookies. Grandma’s sugar cookies are magic.)
We slowed down a lot on building and redecorating because we had our minds on some other things, but looking back, I’m surprised at what we did actually accomplish this year. We put in a laundry room, added a TV to the kitchen, hired someone to re-lay our brick walk for us, and did some landscaping.
We also enjoyed some lovely trips and celebrations in 2012. We partied with our nephew who got the all-clear from some pretty serious health stuff thanks to St Judes as well as my dad who celebrated his 65th birthday with a surprise party at our house! We explored Kelley’s Island with my sister during a family vacation to Lakeside. Tim and I also had an awesome hike on Mt Rainier after a long drive across the country.
On the blog
The most popular post on Little Bronze Lion in 2012 has been the inspiration round-up of Prairie-style stained glass. I can understand that, I would have loved to run across a single source when I was looking for all of those pictures! The second most popular post is for spicy soda crackers, which doesn’t surprise me, as everyone who tries them wants that recipe! (A picture from that post even ended up on Pinterest, which amuses me endlessly.) The third most popular post was my review of my experience with Nicole’s Classes. That post got linked from their Twitter and Facebook pages, so that accounted for a lot of hits. When I was trying to decide whether to spend the money, I did a few searches, looking for people’s reviews of their experiences, so I was pretty pumped to share my thoughts.
Of course, we don’t know for sure what we’ll tackle next year, but we have some thoughts. Our first project is almost definitely going to be the stairway and front bedroom, since the plaster is falling off the walls in some spots. We’ll be pulling up carpet, drywalling, building in closets, and adding (and replacing) windows. We know it’s going to make a big visual impact and it’s going to be very exciting.
When we redo the windows, we’re likely going to replace the siding on those faces of the house. The stuff we have now is vinyl and in terrible shape and we’re looking to upgrade to something that’s both sturdier and more attractive. It’s probably going to mean time on the porch roof, which I get nervous about at first, but hopefully by the end of the summer, I’ll be scampering around like a monkey.
I’d also like to get a garden started in the back yard this year. We grew a lot of lettuce and tomatoes and herbs at our apartment and I miss having fresh things outside our door. We might also re-seed the back yard (some of the grass seed Tim put down in the bare spots took before winter hit, but it’s still pretty sparse back there).
Our next major building/renovating/decorating project inside the house will probably be the dining room or living room. Neither of them need major work to the walls, but the floors will probably require some attention. It’ll be nice to take on what would basically be a decorating project. I do not look forward to the search for a new couch, but I’m pretty eager to have a new couch. (I like ours well enough and love how long it is, but something more grown-up would be excellent.) At that time, we can probably also address our media storage needs. I love the idea of a wall of books and we need smart solutions for CDs and DVDs, but we haven’t thought about any of it too seriously yet.
Anyway, 2012 has been a fine year for us and we look forward to even more progress in 2013. From our family to yours, have a happy new year!