Happy 2018! I like to start off every new year with a look back on the one we just left behind. I don't think I need to say it, but 2017 was a freakin crazy whirlwind amazing horror of a year in so many ways. To me, I'll remember it as probably one of the hardest years of my life, possibly only surpassed by my junior and/or senior year of high school. I was planning my wedding which was the best and worst thing I ever had to do. I was growing my blog and business, which is the easiest and hardest thing I ever had to do. And, I did a lot of self reflection and improvement, which was the most rewarding and most painful thing I ever had to do. Honestly, I am so glad 2017 is only but a memory to me. In the rearview mirror, it looks way better than it did as I was going through it. I know I'm being extremely dramatic, but the year was a shit show. They say how you spend NYE is how you spend your year. I spent mine confused, stressed, and feeling every emotion in the book. And that was just about how my year went.
My first post of the year was one of my FAVES- Rock Candy Christmas Trees! I also did my very first animal project, Circus Animal Drink Stirrers! I started the year off strong with some great projects, but it was personally really tough. I was planning my wedding, and nothing was going right. We were arguing about everything (like, do we actually need a photographer? UM, YES), and I was just plain tired of talking about the wedding! It got better after we took a trip to our wedding venue in January. John FINALLY started to get excited about the wedding, and he stopped being so combative about everything.
By February, things had settled down a bit. I was in a much better space personally, and I felt MUCH better! I whipped up my first Valentine's Day post, 90's Pun Valentines! Everything these days is a free printable, so I loved doing something hands on. I also made some awesome Cotton Candy Garland, and one of my fave blog posts, Mean Girls Conversation Hearts!! I finished it off with this Kate Spade Inspired Balloon Bracelet. I also launched my virtual party planning services!
In March, I did two of my FAVORITE blog posts! Ok, I know i say that a lot, but i really loved these two projects! First, I had my Wood Bead Tassel Necklace, which was as much fun to make as it was to wear! I literally wore it until the tassels fell off, so now I need to make some new ones so I can wear it again! Then, I made a Zebra Party Tray using just a couple of plastic toy animals and a dollar store baking tray.
I started looking into updating my home decor a bit, and rounded up some really fun Colorful Home Accessories. I collaborated with Holly from Club Crafted to do a 90's ice cream project, so I made this delicious and colorful Lisa Frank Tie-Dye Waffle Sundae! I also started my Wedding Planning Updates again, since I finally had something to say! Finding my wedding dress was honestly SUCH a relief! I had tried on probably over 70 dresses and I was starting to feel like I wasn't going to find a dress I loved. We secured most of our vendors too, which felt like a huge things to cross off the to-do list!
In April, I finally covered my Disney Themed Engagement Party across two posts! The first was How to Plan a Disney Themed Party, while the second had all the amazing pictures that our photographer took. I loved planning my party and I was so happy with the way it turned out, so I was very excited to debut all the details! I also did a post on How to Rock Your DIY Party Projects, as well as my 5 Month Wedding Planning Update. I also FINALLY asked my sister to be my maid of honor with this Flower Box filled with wedding day essentials. I did my very first Easter post, and came up with a must-see list of Engagement Gifts for the Bride-To-Be. I also decided to step up my wardrobe game and gave some Comfy Spring Outfit Tips. Because if it ain't comfy, chances are I'm not wearing it haha! You can see my tassel necklace in that post, which btw had already lost a tassel at that point!
In May, I released my 4 Month Wedding Planning update. I remember we were so excited to have planned our honeymoon. Little did we know, we wouldn't be able to go on it! We ended up rescheduling for Paris, but that's a story for another time ;) This month was full of child-like throwbacks. First, I made a Barbie Shoes Tote Bag that I literally use to carry flats around. Then, I did a post of the Things I'd Tell My 8 Year Old Self. Spoiler alert- it's not to let others define me as an adult. I also made a really fun Painted Corkboard with Barbie Shoe Pushpins!! I rounded out the month of Barbie posts with this Gift Guide for the Barbie Girl, filled with amazing pink items!
In June, I talked about the change in direction for the blog from what I initially intended it to be. Did you know this blog was supposed to be a home decor and organization blog?! It's almost laughable to me. Though if the blog went in that direction, I can only imagine how much nicer my house would be. I posted my 3 Month Wedding Planning Update, where I basically freaked out over ALL THE THINGS I need to do. I also did my very first sponsored post from Oriental Trading! I started with Adding a Pop of Color to Your Wedding, then followed up with a Bridesmaid Bruch Craft Party. Also, we had something SUPER exciting happen in June- we got legally married at City Hall! Our big wedding ceremony would only be symbolic, so we needed to get legally married at city hall first. We followed up the occasion by celebrating at Dave and Busters with our family and getting really excited for the big wedding we'd be having soon.
In July I was starting to get super overwhelmed with wedding planning! I did my 2 Month Wedding Planning Update, and I had my bridal shower! I wanted it to be a surprise and although I started to get an inkling on the day of the event, I was shocked! I was so bummed that I didn't bring my camera with me, and I didn't even get to take too many cell phone pics! The party was such a fast blur, and I was pouting by the end. I didn't want it to be over! The summer truly was amazing for me. I did my first ever guest post on someone's blog! I made these really fun Watermelon Napkins for Giggles Galore, the first in a months-long collaboration with them! I also did another fun fruit DIY- Pineapple Flats! I finished out the month with a sponsored post with Basic Invite. I wish I had discovered them before I ordered my invites, because I was so impressed with their selection! I loved my invites, but the colored envelopes on these were just amazing.
In August, I basically had a mini-panic attack on the daily. There was only 1 Month Left until my wedding!!! I only did 2 real blog posts this month, a Pom Pom Pet Collar and DIY Fruit Slice Containers. My sister took me on an amazing trip to Mexico, which was my favorite part of the bachelorette festivities. It was just the two of us in an all-inclusive resort for days, laying in the sun and hanging by the pool. It was so nice to get away from work and blogging and planning. I hope that when she's getting married, I can plan a trip for her with just the 2 of us! After that, I had my bachelorette weekend with my friends in Philly! I had never been there before, so it was really fun to explore a new city with my friends. I finished up August with a Final Wedding Planning Update 1 week before the wedding. When I was super duper sick, after battling a stomach bug I contracted in Mexico, followed by a cold.
On September 2, after a totally amazing summer, I got to marry my best friend by a beautiful lake in PA. Well.... near a window by a lake in PA, since it was raining and we couldn't do it outside. The wedding day was such a whirlwind, and it seriously took weeks before I could fully comprehend what had happened. Getting married was so amazing and surreal. I'm planning to do a wedding recap really soon, filled with pics! Stay tuned :). After our wedding, we went on our honeymoon- in Paris! We were originally supposed to go to Disney (see April's update) but had to reschedule in September at the very last minute. We were so bummed, but we ended up having fun in Paris, despite it being rainy, gloomy and cold. Really rainy and cold! I did two lonely blog posts in September, Easy Football Party Crafts and a Colorful Fall Pumpkin Wreath for Giggles Galore.
Welcome to Party HarDIY! In October, I relaunched the blog from WellKeptChaos to Party HarDIY to reflect the posts I do. I got to do some awesome Halloween posts this month, like this Easy Striped Halloween Art and this Striped Halloween Sign. I also did my very first set of Halloween costumes!! We had a DIY Cloud Costume, a 2th Fairy Costume, and a Pink Brightest Crayon! I also did a post about Appreciating Where You Are, since sometimes you're at that point in life where you think it'll never get better. I also revealed the Truth About Wedding Planning, because it ain't all sunshine and rainbows. Someone had to come out and say it!
By November, I was getting into the holiday spirit. I made some Christmas Drink Stirrers, Easy Colorful Thanksgiving Place Cards, and a No Sew Embellished T-Shirt. November was also amazing because I got to meet my hero, Studio DIY! Kelly and her husband Jeff came to NYC and it was amazing. Seeing the amazing projects that Kelly and other bloggers dreamed up were what made me want to create a blog and make my own DIY projects. Meeting her was AMAZING, since I am totally in awe of everything she does! I finished November with a roundup of The Best Colorful Thanksgiving Printables.
Ahh, December! One of the busiest months for me! I started the month off strong with launching my shop! I did a blog post outlining the changes, and I updated my About Me page (finally) so that it could better reflect what I am about. I also did some really fun holiday posts, like these Holographic Ornament Tags, Animal Sweater Ornaments, and Confetti Gift Tags. I also did 2 great party posts for Oriental Trading- DIY Paper Fan Christmas Trees and a Colorful Ornament Making Party. We also did a giveaway for the shop featuring these DIY Colorful Jewelry Ornaments, which are so easy and cute to make!! I had a few other projects in the works for December, but my dad fell on December 16 (my mom's bday) and ended up in the hospital ICU for almost a week. Suddenly, everything was put into perspective and I spent the rest of the year making sure he was happy and healthy. He's got a new pacemaker now, so we are hoping that he's able to make a full recovery and be back to his crazy self soon!
Goals for 2018
Now that we covered last year, I want to talk about this coming year. I am excited to say that I made the transition from working full-time to working part time at my day job! I am now in the office 3 days a week, and working on the blog 3 days a week. And, I'm going to try my best to take Sundays off because I really need to get some rest once in a while! It was super stressful blogging while working full time. I was working from 5am-7am on the blog, then getting dressed, commuting, and working before finally getting home at 7pm. These long days were exhausting, then I would work all day on the weekends, trying to capture every minute of good light for photo shoots!
I (finally) want to decorate my house! We basically moved in 2 years ago, slapped some paint on, and unpacked everything. Most of our rooms have no artwork, no real "style" and still have half-unpacked boxes in the closet. NO MORE I SAY! Be on the lookout for home DIY's and room tours in 2018.
Did someone say shopping? I've got so many ideas on what to add to the shop this year! I'm excited to finally have the time to dedicate to growing the inventory, including some handmade and original designs! I'll be posting the updates on Instagram, so be sure to follow me to stay up-to-date.
And finally, John and I are hoping to add some new members to our family this year. He almost got me a dog for Christmas, and there are some stray cats in my yard I have been eyeing. Oh, and maybe a baby could be a fun addition! We're taking it day by day, and we'll see what the year brings.