2019 Highlights + Recap

On Christmas Day in 2010 I hit publish on my first blog post. Now here we are, at the end of that decade, and what a way to finish. 2019 was the year I finally realized the life I had imagined—a wonderful husband, our dream home, and a precious baby. It took a lot of hard work and many detours to get here, but it was my journey and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

via Shannon Renee Photography

At the end of each year I always look back and reflect on the past twelve months. It’s an important practice that helps us learn from our experiences, and set clear intentions and goals for the next year.

One thing I love about blogging is that it has become a personal online record book, one that I’ve been able to reference years later. It contains details and images that would never have been kept otherwise, even in our memories. And I love that so many of you have found value in these posts, and they continue to be discovered every day.

2019 was the most exhausting year to date, from growing a baby to finishing the Heights House to working on project after project at the Riverside Retreat. Here are the highlights…

In January there was major progress on the Heights House, we built a bench for our foyer, shared a DIY sliding door tutorial and installed windows in the Heights House. In February we made a very special announcement, along with plans for our master and guest bathroom.

In March we started on the front porch and the backyard, and built a fire pit. In April we revealed our guest bathroom, and a tutorial for the world’s longest stenciling project 😉 In May we revealed our front porch, master bathroom, backyard and patio (part 1 and part 2). Whew!

In June I shared a tour of our new home, plans for the next bathroom and a DIY closet reveal. In July we DIY’d a trellis wall, closet and changing station for the nursery. In August we shared a DIY board & batten tutorial, another bathroom was revealed along with plans for the next bathroom, and the big nursery reveal.

In September I shared Esmé’s birth story, along with our first family photos, and revealed our new kitchen. In October I shared our festive fall front porch, a personal update on postpartum life, and revealed our powder bath. In November I posted details on our living room design, and revealed our blue lagoon master bathroom. In December there was a big kitchen update, along with a Christmas living room & home tour.

Looking back, we’ve accomplished a lot more than it feels like we have, especially amidst all of the delays and setbacks we faced. There’s a saying about how people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can achieve in a year. This has certainly been the case, even though we are quite far from our goal of finishing the Riverside Retreat. Taking the time to reflect back on the year helps me to stay focused on the positive—on what we did accomplish instead of where we fell short.

via Shannon Renee Photography

As a blogger, it’s also important to find out the posts that performed the best each year (based on page views). It helps me to understand the content you want to see and plan accordingly for the next year. I have to say, I’m a little surprised about the #1 spot! Did your favorite post make it?

Here are the Top 10 posts from 2019:

1. DIY String light planters

2. Backyard Makeover Reveal

3. Heights House Guest Bathroom Reveal

4. Heights House Moving in tour

5. DIY Sliding X door tutorial

6. Heights House Master Bathroom Reveal

7. Heights House Kitchen Reveal

8. The Nursery Reveal

9. Faux wood beam install

10. Stenciled Patio Makeover

These were just the most popular posts from what was published in 2019, but my highest ranked posts overall for the year are actually old DIY tutorials—all thanks to Pinterest! Just for fun, here’s my Top 5 most viewed posts this year:

1. DIY Sofa Table (this is my most popular blog post of all time, who’da thunk?!)

2. DIY Barn Door Plans

3. DIY Paneled Wall

4. Easiest DIY flat panel door upgrade

5. Plain to paneled DIY door makeover

Turns out you guys love DIY tutorials even more than room reveals! So what’s in store for 2020 you ask? A lot more of what you saw in 2019—DIY projects, room reveals, design and decorating insights and a few baby/life updates for good measure. We’ll be wrapping up the Riverside Retreat and getting it vacation-rental ready (hopefully by the end of winter) while continuing projects at the Heights House. I’m sure there will be a few surprises along the way, and who knows where we’ll end up by this time next year.

Here’s my Top 9 Instagram posts of 2019… looks like you were loving the outdoor spaces and baby updates most!

I’d love to know in the comments what you want to see more of in 2020—before/afters, behind the scenes, tutorials, videos? Ask and ye shall receive!

A huge thank you, as always, for your readership and support over the years. I never could have imagined what this space would turn into over the past decade, and feel immensely grateful to be able to do what I love and share it with you.

Have a wonderful New Year, and I’ll see you on the other side!

34 thoughts on “2019 Highlights + Recap

  1. You have made my search for products and sources for my future new home so much easier (Heights oak flooring, faucets, kitchen range hood, lighting fixtures, just to name a few). I love that you explain how you narrowed down your choices and why. The Heights house is my favorite, but I love ALL your projects and posts! Thank you for sharing everything, including Esmé!

  2. I have followed you since before your trip to Asia and I thoroughly enjoy each and every post. The life you’re sharing now is my favorite…it’s the life that makes me happy to read about. You and your family doing your amazing work on each part of your home and future rental. You’re amazing and I’m so happy for you. May 2020 be a wonderful year.

  3. Congratulations on another banner year! I’ve really enjoyed watching your journey unfold, thanks for taking us along! Now that you’re settling in, I’d love to revisit some of the spaces you’ve designed to see what features you’re really happy with and what you’d change if you had to do it over. As a fellow Floridian, I’m especially curious about how the outdoor spaces at the Riverside Retreat are holding up. I wish you all the best and much happiness in 2020!

  4. What a year it was! I was directed to your blog in early 2015 during the re-construction of your laundry room and and have been a faithful follower ever since. Your vision is amazing and I look forward to and enjoy each of your posts whether they be about sourcing, DIY, decorating, room reveals or personal. Your content is top notch and your blog is one of the few that I still read. I am SO TIRED of white, white, white… did I mention white? While many of your designs are “neutral”, you add interest in material selections with an end result that is interesting, beautiful and liveable (and not white!!!).
    I look forward to 2020 and whatever content you choose – we all know it’s going to be good!
    Happy New Year to your Beautiful Little Family!

    1. Aw I really appreciate you sticking around for so long, Susan! Thanks for letting me know what you like to see. White on white is definitely not my jam so no worries there 😉 Looking forward to seeing what 2020 brings!

  5. Please continue doing the same. I love the mix that you post. So inspirational and informative with a little of the personal life thrown in. Hope you have a great 2020 and are able to accomplish all the projects planned for the upcoming year.

  6. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’ve been following you since before you met Lucas and through all the changes you’re still one of my most favorite bloggers. You’re doing a fabulous job! Here’s to a great 2020! 🍾🎉🍼

  7. I’ve been watching and applauding you for several years and have a wall full of city maps. My most wanted post in 2020 will be about how you finish the Heights House laundry room. I’ll watch/read all of them, however. No rush! Enjoy time with Esme and Lucas.

  8. You are one of my favorites. Love your style, DIY’s and room reveals with all of the sources. Of course, Lucas and Esmé are added bonuses. More of the same please.

  9. I’ve been following you since right before you moved back to Cali from Florida. I even went back (like a stalker 😂) and read all of your past posts when I first found you, I was in an apartment at the time and couldn’t do much DIY so I lived through your posts! Now that we have a house I’ve been doing little DIY things here and there, I think following you for so long has given me the courage to take on projects I never imagined I could do! I thank you for that! And I hope you have an amazing 2020! Can’t wait to see the content you bring us this year!

  10. Gosh, everybody is talking about how long they have followed you….I cannot recall when I first found you…but it’s been a long time. You’re my “go to”… 🙂
    I seriously cannot think of a design of yours that I have not loved! You and your sweet little family seem to be in such a good place …and I’m so happy for you.
    Happy New Year to you, Lucas and Esme’. Bring on 2020!!!!

  11. Jenna, I’ve been following you for years and you’ve always done amazing work. No surprise your archives are still garnering so much attention! I absolutely love your DIYs, room reveals and sourcing posts! I’m so happy for you and Lucas and your beautiful little (British ‘Helloooo’) Esme. Life is next level now and you’re crushin’ it! Happy New Year!

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