Best of Lattes, Lilacs, And Lullabies in 2016

Posted in Life Lately, Pinterest Projects
on January 9, 2017

I am so excited to share with you today the Best of Lattes, Lilacs, and Lullabies in 2016!  I’m so very thankful for the response that my little blog has gotten over this past year.  I’m humbled really.

This past year has been something else, and this blog has given me a creative outlet in which to express myself and share the good, the bad, and the ugly of my crazy life.  And, thankfully, you’ve embraced it!  Thank you!

In June 2016, during my “blog-cation” (as I’ve termed it), I finally “bought” my own domain name, hap-hazardly put this site together (thank you, Pinterest), and pushed “publish” on my very first post.  There’s been a lot of learning that has happened between then and now.  And a lot of posts!  62 of them to be exact.

I’d love to share with you what was most popular this year, and walk you through my first few months of blogging.  It’s been a wild wild, but a fun one!  Let’s walk down memory lane, shall we?!

June 2016

I’d been thinking about starting a blog for well over a year, before I finally bit the bullet back in June.  I had done a lot of research on Pinterest regarding the correct steps to take to set up a website, and with the encouragement of my husband, I started this little space on the internet.

I signed up for hosting through Bluehost, and officially owned my website name.  Lattes, Lilacs, & Lullabies was chosen because of the three things that I most wanted in my life.

First I wanted to be a nurse, and it was in nursing school that I became addicted to coffee.  Because friends and family associate me with coffee, I wanted to include the beverage in my title, hence Latte.

The second thing I always wanted, was to get married and be a wife.  I had the privilege to marry my best friend in a small destination wedding on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.  If you know anything about Mackinac Island, then you know that bicycles and horse drawn carriage are everywhere because no cars are allowed.  And, you also know that the island is known for their 100 year old lilacs.  I had to include a piece of the Island and our wedding in my title, and that’s where Lilacs came in to play.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve always wanted to be a mom.  If you’ve been around the website you may have noticed some posts regarding infertility and miscarriage.  Our journey to parenthood, has been a long one.  I wanted to share our story, and break the silence around infertility and miscarriage.  Therefore, Lullabies, signifies this last leg of my journey.

I decided to introduce myself to the world, in my very first post, “Meet the Girl Behind the Blog”.  It’s probably been the most popular post, but I don’t have analytics to prove it.  I hadn’t learned about plugins at the time I posted it.  But, the response to the blog and the first post on social media was ah-mazing!  Thank you!

Other posts topping the list in June were…

{“10 Facts About Me”}

Like how I have a crush on this big fluffy guy, and how he gave me a facial! ? Apparently the weird nuances of my life are entertaining.

Juno the Beluga Whale

{“Color Run Tips & Tricks”}

I already can’t wait to see what’s in store for us Color runners in 2017.  This post got recognition from The Color Run!  It was so exciting!  Who wants to do it with me this year?!

The Color Run

& {“101 Bucket List Activities To Do This Summer”}

This monster post of activities is filled to the brim with everything amazing that I love about summertime…including these glowing hot air balloons!

Frankenmuth Hot Air Balloons

July 2016

July rolled around, and I was feeling like I was getting the hang of this blogging thing.  I wrote about How to Have an Epic Fourth of July, basically journaling all of our favorite activities to do for an ultimate all American holiday celebration!

Fireworks

There was a lot of loss and tragedy in 2016 in several friends and families lives, including our own.  I wrote a piece called, “When God Seems Far Away” after attending the funeral of a young husband, brother, son, and friend, who had passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident.  It was my first serious post, and I think it resonated with a lot of readers who were going through similar dark times.

Encouragement When God Seems Far Away

I lightened it up a little bit, by sharing “A Few Of My Favorite Things” summer edition, that featured rose gold, a special secret Starbucks drink, my fancy planner, & more!

New Rose Gold polishes & jewelry!

 I completed my first “Pin Post” filled with a ton of Glowing Kids Activities called “The Ultimate Guide to Glow In the Dark Activities”.  I had a lot of fun researching for my first pin post.  Pinterest is like my second home, so it was only natural that I share the best ideas I could find!

One of my most popular posts, was “My Weekly Home Cleaning Routine” where I shared some of my favorite DIY home cleaners as well.  I need to reread this post myself.  My house looks like a disaster currently! ?

I did my first recipe post in July, {Toasted Coconut S’mores Dip}, and journaled about our trip to the Lavender Festival.  I even added a {DIY Lavender Linen Spray Recipe} to that post.  These posts got me thinking about doing more recipes and DIY projects!  I really loved it!  And, thankfully, you did too!

I felt that my post, “5 Steps to a Joy-Filled Home”, was something I was being led to write about.  This particular verse had been on my mind…

Joyful Home

And I knew I needed to refocus and begin to add joy back into my own home.  This was one of the Top 10 Posts of 2016.  I’m glad it  encouraged and empowered you too.  I need to read this post continually! ?

My last post of July, gives many clues as to where my brain was already heading…fall!  As August approaches, and Back to School planning begins and Halloween Costumes are already on the shelves at stores, my mind automatically jumps to my favorite season…Fall!

 By August, I’m ready for summer to be over with, and I’m ready for the crisp cool air of fall.  I’m ready for the pumpkin spice, and the changing leaves.  And, included in that, is baking….lots and lots of baking.  Thus, “The Ultimate Cookie Jar Recipe Collection” was written!

August 2016

By August, I was totally in Fall mode.  I shared the story of “Our Mackinac Island Wedding”.  An outdoor destination wedding in October was quite a challenge to plan, but the fact that we pulled it off in 6 week was an absolute miracle.  The post about our wedding also landed in your Top 10 Posts of 2016…and for that, I’m very flattered!  Thank you!


 I lost my mind in Pottery Barn at the sight of succulents and mercury glass pumpkins, and shared it with you all in this post & in my first Facebook Live video!  Pushing the “Go Live” button was so scary, but you seemed to love all my craziness…including my “alpaca hair”! ?

I shared a post that many of you had been anticipating.  From our foodie hearts to yours, we shared “10 Restaurants Perfect for Date Night” that had everything from dining in an old garage, to enjoying Cajun food from the Bayou, to nitrogen infused ice cream!  If you haven’t seen this post yet, you’re welcome in advance!

In August, I shared my first of many posts about “My Erin Condren Life Planner” and included a $10 off coupon code.  This post is also one of my Top 10 Posts of 2016…so, apparently I’m not the only one obsessed with these organizational goodies! ?

“My Pre-Baby Bucket List Busting Year” post made it into the top 10 as well.  As I shared bits and pieces of our life after a miscarriage, and how we managed to have one of the best years of our lives, you embraced it and that encouraged me so much.  I started this blog to break the silence around infertility and miscarriage, but it’s not always easy to write about.  Your response to this post, gave me the courage to write more of our story!

I finished August, with another Pin Post called, “Ultimate Back To School Bucket List for Mommies”.  This was a fun one to write, and also a popular one with you readers. 

 September 2016

In September I introduced you to this Life Changing Dessert, recapped our Late Nights at the Detroit Zoo, and reviewed this new BBQ Shack!

Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée

Detroit Zoo

I wrote my first of several posts in a series titled 10 Things You Need to Know About Your Brand New Baby and this first post was all about breastfeeding.  This post ended up being very popular and made #7 on my top 10 List!  Thank you!

I also shared The Monthful Challenge with you, my 1st Likes And Links post, my Starbucks Coffee Favorites (including the recipe for The Olaf ?), & a Michigan Fall Bucket List.

October 2016

I was on vacation during the beginning of October, and decided to use that time to learn more about blogging.  I bought Abbey Lawson’s ebook, which taught me all the ins and outs of setting up a blog.  It was an invaluable tool in this process.

So, I spent a few weeks setting up my menu bar, and writing an About Me page, Copyright, & Disclosure…all things I’d never even thought about.

While on vacation, one day I was up really early in the morning, from worry and anxiety.  I wrote from the heart that morning.  I wrote a post that ended up being the most popular post on the blog of all time. I remember wondering if anybody would even appreciate it.   I felt embarrassed and fearful that I’d be misunderstood.

But instead, you my fabulous readers, embraced it lovingly. You encouraged me in ways that I can never thank you enough for, and it reminded me that I’m not alone in my journey through infertility.

The post is called, When Infertility Steals Your Joy.  It’s my #1 post of 2016, and it just so happened to be the scariest one to write.

In October, I shared with you my trips to Luke’s Diner, the Detroit Institute of Arts, & the Apple Orchard/Adventure Farm.

Westview OrchardsFall OutfitWestview Orchards

I also wrote several posts sharing fun Fall recipes, like Halloween Bubbly Brew, Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, & a Caramel Apple Fondue Bar.

Caramel Apple Fondue Bar

To finish the month, I wrote the second post in the series 10 Things You Need To Know About Your Brand New Baby, and titled it Bumps, Bruises, & Rashes…Oh My!! 

November 2016

November was a busy month as we geared up for the holiday season.  I wrote a Step By Step Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving, which I should’ve followed myself.  Instead, I was a last minute wonder, which is precisely what I advise against in the post! ?

Hosting Thanksgiving is a breeze with this step by step "how to" guide. Prep is key! And this guide will walk you through the days leading up to Thanksgiving, so that you can enjoy your family and friends and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Another post that was popular in November was my post reliving our glowing night in Detroit at the Color Run Night!  It was an amazing race!  Can’t wait to do it again this year!

Color Run Night

As we prepared for Christmas time, I wrote my very first Christmas post titled, “How to Create a Cozy Home This Christmas” inspired by Pottery Barn.  Isn’t Christmas time so cozy?  I’m still dreading taking the decorations down.  I guess that’ll be a post for another day. ?

How to add extra coziness, warmth, and Christmas cheer to your home.

December 2016

December ended up being my biggest month ever for the blog!  I attribute it to all the blogging tips I learned from Abbey’s ebook, a more consistent posting schedule, and the Very Rosy Christmas Giveaway!

Christmas Giveaway

The giveaway post was my second place post for 2016, and the increased traffic to my site was thanks to all of you sharing your favorite posts with your family and friends!  I was so humbled by all the excitement and participation in the giveaway.  I think it will be a yearly tradition! ?

I shared several posts about our Christmas Dates…Downtown Detroit & Whalburgers; Kris Kringle Market & Gingerbread Train; & the ZooLights!

Christmas Date NightZoo Lights

I shared with y’all my favorite items to have a very merry Magnolia Christmas; several cookie recipes perfect for Santa; a catalog of Elf on the Shelf ideas from Pinterest; & a Starbucks Gift Guide!  December posts have been my favorite so far, I think! ?

StarbucksElf on the ShelfChristmas CookiesMagnolia Market Christmas

I tried several crafts and projects that I wrote about…Christmas Tree Decorating; Melted Crayon Ornaments; & Polar Express Hot Cocoa.

Melted Crayon OrnamentsPolar Express Hot Chocolate

I wrote a more serious piece about  Christmas In Heaven, and talked honestly about that first Christmas after my miscarriage.

And, as we were nearing the new year, I wrote a guide to Setting Succesful Goals; shared How I Organized My Entire Life; & made a New Years Eve Time Capsule.

Organized My Entire LifeFamily Memory Time Capsule

I honestly cannot even begin to thank you for reading my blog, and encouraging me along the way!  Now I need some help from you!

What would you like to see on the blog this year?  Are there products you’d like reviewed, or tutorials you’d like me to do?  What information are you looking for?  Would you like to see more DIY projects, recipes, and Date Nights?

Please leave a comment below with what you’d like to see in the blog in 2017, and I’ll try my best to include it in my writing schedule!

I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store for us.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for visiting.  I hope you come back soon, and finding something to encourage and inspire you.

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