Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

Girl in Rain By Big Oak Tree

Crazy how quickly 2014 has gone by! It’s been an amazing year both personally and professionally and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Having this blog is a really special way for me to look back at the year and see all that I have accomplished and what y’alls favorite posts were. Before I move forward I wanted to take a look back and bring you with me on the journey that was 2014.

 

Things I’m Proud of & Excited About

 

Your Favorite Posts from 2014

So you guys didn’t actually vote on the top posts of the year, but I did a little digging into my Google Analytics and discovered the most popular posts of 2014. Take a look back at your favorites below.

Best Design Related Posts

Best Business and Blogging Posts

Best Food & Drink Posts

Best DIYs and Printables

 

If you want a look back in even more detail, check out my That’s A Wrap posts that I wrote at the end of each month! For the next month posting will be a little on the lighter side – I really want to reflect on 2014 before I jump right into content for 2015. In the meantime, please let me know what you’d like to see more of in 2015 and THANKS A MILLION for reading and all of your support this year!

Photo of me by Hannah Hudson Photography

Blue and Silver Snowflake Christmas Decor

Hey friends, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! My mom makes an amazing brunch each year for Christmas day and she always outdoes herself with the food and the decor. This year she did a gorgeous blue and silver theme. She cooked quiche, ham & egg cups, Grand Marnier French toast, mushroom/potato/chorizo fry-up, French onion soup,  berries with creme anglaise, peach and blueberry clafouti and cracked pepper & brown sugar bacon (y’all, this bacon was legit)! My dad smoked a turkey on the BBQ pit and for drinks we had fresh squeezed orange juice from my dads orange tree and blackberry thyme sparklers. It was all unbelievable and such a great day spent with family, I don’t want Christmas to be over!

Blue Silver Christmas Presents Blue Silver Christmas Table Setting Blue Snowflake Christmas Tree PresentsBlue Glassware Bar CartBlue Silver Snowflake Christmas Tree Presents   Christmas Mantle Silver Deer Blue Silver Snowflake Christmas TreeChristmas Table Setting Fraiser Fur Blue Silver Christmas Ornaments Fraiser Fur Christmas Mantle LaMarca Prosecco Chrismas Snowflake Christmas Tree

La Marca sent me a bottle of their prosecco and I just had to bring it to my mom since it matched the decor perfectly! I’m going to take the next week off to enjoy time with family in town but you’ll be able to find me on Instagram in the meantime.

Fitness: Getting Back On Track with Healthy Choices

This story about making healthy choices has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. But as always, all opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

sports bra, apple, wedding magazine for fitness

A few months ago I was finally back into a good health and wellness routine, I was going to the gym at least twice a week (better than nothing) and doing pretty good at eating healthy. All of that went right out the window when I started traveling, oy! We did a ton of walking, but we also did a ton of eating! So now that I am home, settling back in, it’s time for me to get back on track. I’m in the process of planning my wedding and besides the venue, music, flowers, invitations, etc, I want my health to be a priority on that list as well. When I’m eating bad and not exercising I feel sluggish, I want planning my wedding to be an enjoyable experience and I want to be in great shape and healthy for the big day! It’s time for me to start making healthy choices again.

healthy food, new fitness gear and iphone app

I don’t know about you, but being able to track my health goals and getting a little reward every now and then really helps to keep me going. This is where the Walgreens app comes into play. I have always been a Walgreens customer for my toiletries and use their app to refill my prescriptions. I also have a Balance Rewards card. For every 5,000 points you earn $5 to spend at Walgreens. If I’m going to be buying stuff, I might as well get rewards for it right?!

sports bra, tennis shoes, capris, iphone, water bottle

But what I didn’t know until recently is that you can also earn rewards just by making healthy choices throughout the day with their Balance Rewards for healthy choices feature. You can track your steps, weight and blood pressure each day. Every time you track one of those items you earn Balance Rewards. You can even sync some devices (like a Fitbit) straight to your account so go register today and start tracking your progress!

wedding magazine apple and sports bra

Another way I like to reward myself is with some new workout gear every once in a while! I just got these Victoria’s Secret Sport items and adore them, I want to go get more in all of their fun patterns!

sports bra, tennis shoes, capris and walgreens app

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

Graffiti Graphics: My Parents’ Sign Shop

For some crazy reason in June we decided to host two Made In Mind events even though we usually only do it every other month. But the cool thing was that we held one of them at my parents’ sign shop, Graffiti Graphics! My parents started a sign shop together before I was born, in what turned out to be my first bedroom. They are both so talented and I know that’s the reason I started to take art classes in 2nd grade and eventually pursue a career in a creative field. I recapped the event over on the Made In Mind site, but I thought it would be fun to show some of the details that Laura Rockett captured of my parents’ space too!

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Photos by Laura Rockett Photography for The Made In Mind Social.

How Do You Celebrate The Bright Side of Life?

Eating Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

As you can probably tell by my travel adventures this summer, I’m attempting to be a little more spontaneous and embrace the bright side of life. Traveling to Europe for a few weeks, maybe a few months (still unsure, ah spontaneity) was not an easy decision for me since I’m a frugal spender and a planner. But I had an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up so I’m doing what makes me happy, spending time outside, traveling and treating myself, even if it’s something small like a frozen fruit bar on a hot day!

I’m not letting work dictate my life, although I am working part-time while I travel but I’m really trying to embrace the adventures by breaking routines and taking in my surroundings. Before leaving for Spain I tried these amazing mango fruit bars from Fruttare (so yummy and perfect on a hot New Orleans day) and during my travels I have been indulging in local sweets like chocolate and churros and gelato! How do you celebrate the bright side of life?

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars

Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Ciera With Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Fruttare Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Holding Mango Frozen Fruit Bar

Mango Frozen Fruit Bars on Board

Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars are made with real fruit and refreshing juice and are available at retailers nationwide.

Photos by Kaylynn Marie Photography.

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

On Speaking at Alt Summit

On Speaking at Alt Summit 3

When I was at Alt last January I remember saying that I would NEVER be able to speak in public, and definitely not at a conference like Alt, with so many other bloggers and creatives that I look up to. I’m much more comfortable talking to people one-on-one and I get incredibly anxious in large groups of people, especially when I’m front and center. I’m an introvert so attending events like Alt are already out of my comfort zone, let alone speaking at one.

On Speaking at Alt Summit 1

When Mariah suggested that we pitch a panel idea together with Melissa, PJ and Tan, for some reason I said yes, secretly hoping we didn’t get picked, but to my surprise, they loved our topic idea and here we are, a year and a half after saying “I would NEVER”, I did it, I spoke on a panel at Alt Summit!

On Speaking at Alt Summit 7

It was the scariest thing I have ever done, but because of that, one of the most rewarding. I believe that if you are not pushing yourself or doing scary things then you are not going to grow as a person or grow professionally. One of my favorite quotes from Alt this year was from Emily McDowell “fear is an asshole and a liar” and I’m so glad I didn’t give in to my fear! I mean, I got to speak at the same conference as Martha Stewart!

On Speaking at Alt Summit 2

Our room was packed and it was awesome to see everyone so engaged and to hear how much people appreciated the content and hard work we put into making our panel special.

On Speaking at Alt Summit 6

On Speaking at Alt Summit 5

On Speaking at Alt Summit 4

On Speaking at Alt Summit 8

On Speaking at Alt Summit 9

I am so thankful for the opportunity. If you missed it, you can see the recap of what I spoke about, Growing Your Blog by Positioning Yourself as an Expert.

Photos by Justin Hackworth or Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit.