Emma’s 2013 Favorites!

Favorite decor project2013 has been an amazing year! Before we all launch ourselves into goals for the coming year I think it's a good exercise to look back and remember to feel thankful and proud of everything that happened in 2013. And man, oh man do I feel thankful! Here's some of my very favorite projects, posts, recipes and memories from this past year. Favorite home decor project completed: tree stump side tables.Favorite cocktailFavorite cocktail: mojito jello shotsHomemade pastaFavorite new skill learned this year: pasta making. I love making fresh pasta, including gnocchi and ravioli.Favorite small craftFavorite small craft: transferring a photo to woodFavorite salad dressingFavorite salad dressing: classic caesar. This was a tough one though because I also really liked this strawberry balsamic vinaigretteFavorite dessertFavorite dessert: cookie dough macarons. Finally got to connect with Holly again while visiting Colorado. She is a master at french macarons and she showed me the ropes. :) Favorite fashion diyFavorite fashion DIY: this bandana back shirt.Favorite donutFavorite donut: pink Homer Simpson donutsFavorite soupFavorite soup: Asian style dumpling soup. Yum! Favorite furniture projectFavorite piece of DIY furniture built: our honeycomb table with industrial pipe legs. Also in this photo you can see my most useful DIY project of 2013: our kitchen pegboardFavorite drink recipeFavorite drink: homemade pumpkin spice lattes.Favorite fried foodFavorite fried food: falafel. Although it was a tough call between this and fried pickles. Yum!!!!Emma's living roomFavorite big project(s): Loved sharing my living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen before and afters here on the blog. Next year I'm hoping to share our home office and guest bedroom with you as well.Favorite surprisingly easy recipeFavorite surprise/discovery: How easy it is to make homemade ricotta cheese. Who knew?!Favorite fast dinnerFavorite fast and delicious dinner: pineapple fried rice with baked tofu. Delicious and good for you. I got married!But 2013 wasn't all blog posts. A major (as in my absolute favorite) thing that happened this year was I got to marry my best friend. My sister and friends made my dress. I shared a short video about the experience of having a DIY wedding. And were lucky enough to get to travel to Switzerland for our honeymoon. It was a magical time.Business trips with my sister rockAnd speaking of traveling, I think 2013 is going to go down as the year Elsie and I traveled a TON for work stuff. We are big homebodies, as you can probably imagine. But I loved every minute of being in Austin, Nashville, NYC and Palm Springs with my sister. She's really fun to travel with. πŸ™‚Our first bookOur first book came out this year. OMG we are authors. Our app came out!And we had our first photo app launch this year as well. That was crazy, and such a learning experience. Ran a 5kRan a half marathonMost proud moment this year: Elsie and I ran our first half marathon. I am NOT a runner. So the training process and then race day were difficult but I'm so glad I did it. For this coming year I hope to run a lot more 5Ks with friends and family. Not sure I'll ever do a long race again, but I feel so happy that I acheived this little personal milestone this year.

What about you? What are you most proud/thankful for from 2013? xo. Emma

  • Emma, you had such an amazing year! Thank you for sharing this with us. I very much look forward to next year!

  • Wow, you’ve achieved such a great deal in 2013, well done! I was inspired by Elsie’s previous 365 photo challenge at the end of 2012 and so have been keeping a record of all we’ve done this year via photos. I can’t wait to make it into a book and look back through all the memories. It’s good to reflect πŸ™‚

  • the mojito jello shots were definitely a favorite of mine, too! oh, and a ton of house guests didn’t think they were so bad either.
    i did my first half marathon last year and although i’m not sure i’ll ever do one again, it felt great! cheers to 2014 being just as fantastic for you ladies.

  • Emma, you are a runner! I totally consider myself a runner, and I’ve never done a half marathon. So if I am, you definitely are! Would love to see a blog post about your experience and training method. Last year when you did the mile a day challenge I was so inspired. Almost done with this year’s holiday run streak! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing so much of your life this last year. Cheers to 2014!


  • Emma, I loved reading this list. What an exciting year you’ve had! I really enjoy coming to this space every day, despite not being a DIYer at all. But I love reading about your and Elsie’s lives, looking at your amazing photos, and get a little shot of happiness and optimism every day.
    Oh, and your stuffing recipe? It was THE.BEST, my family is crazy about it. Thanks for that!
    Happy 2014, can’t wait to see what else you two will come up with!
    xo Miriam

  • 2013 really treated you well huh?! You achieved so much – you should be one proud lady! I hope the new year brings even bigger and better things for you.

  • I just wanted to say thank you for all that you have done this year with your blog! As a fellow blogger, I know how exhausting it can be to post daily, but it is definitely worth it because I always look forward to seeing your newest ideas!

    What am I most grateful for? Having the opportunity to travel to South America this year. It was this experience that led me to start a travel blog and to open up a jewelry store on Etsy.

  • It looks like you had an incredible year!

    Some of my most proud achievements include:

    -Getting all A’s for both terms of last school year.

    -Running my first 10k (I hope to run a half marathon this year like you, and perhaps even a full one!)

    -Succesfully cooking a loaf of bread without burning it haha

    Im most thankful for my health, happiness and wonderful family!

    Thanks for this beautiful post Emma!

  • I really loved your before/after series this year, I can not wait to see what will you do with the studio.
    My biggest achievement in 2013. is moving from no results to a lot of them in my PhD project. I spent the year enjoying the life as it was (kept decorating our first flat,enjoying Bonn, PRing at 10K etc), knowing that 2014. will bring a lot of changes in our lives.

  • Wow – what an action packed year. Huge congrats on your nuptuals. I am having a largely DIY wedding next year, so will defo check back for posts.
    I was personally bowled over by your dining room – and you’ve created so many fabulous dishes to serve in there. Really looking forward to seeing what you guys are up to in 2014.
    I personally am thankful for my health – however tenuous it is at times, and having the strength to keep moving forward, one day at a time x
    Love Vicky

  • That’s a lot of happenings for one year! But so, so good. I’d say, for 2013, the thing that I am most happy to have accomplished is the writing and producing of my Christmas album, Here + There. It was made with lots and lots of love for my boys, Graeme and Job, to have someday.

  • It’s amazing to see all these things. adorable how you capture the beautiful angles of life.
    thank you so much for sharing!

    my favorite memory is our engagement in september this year. i have been waiting for 4 years and i still can’t believe, that my love really proposed to me. so being engaged is amazing, specially because my fiancΓ© is the best! i am so thankful !

  • Your dress is GORGEOUS! I love that you made it, too! Makes it even more special! :).

    Love this blog! It’s one of my favorites.

  • What a fantastic year! I just recently found this blog and already love it! πŸ™‚ I hope to do some more traveling as well in the future, even though I’m also a homebody!

  • What a beautiful year for you! I enjoyed reading a looking back on all your treasured moments;) Highlights of my year: Saying goodbye to our home in Korea. I miss Seoul dearly but what an ADVENTURE we had there! And now we’ve relocated to HAWAII more adventuring to come;) Also traveling with a backpack across Europe with my husband, and reuniting with our stateside family this autumn and Christmas, it has been a blessed year of flying, packing, hugging, snapping photos, and smiling!

  • wow! i love that app totally didnt make the connection…amazing year thank you for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing Emma…have loved reading your inspirational blog and a very happy New Year to you and your lovely family from Beverley in Brighton, England x

  • What a wonderful year you had. This year started off rough for me but it is ending on a sweet bang. I published my first e-book! It was a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl and it’s finally come true.

    BTW, I just this minute bought your app and LOOOOVVVVEEEE it. πŸ˜‰

  • What an incredible year. you gals should be really proud of yourselves for accomplishing so much. Launching a book AND and app ALL while having a majorly cute wedding. You’re a true inspiration.

  • So many things here I hadn’t seen before! And I didn’t even know about your book until now! How fun to get to work closely with your sister.

  • Thanks for sharing, as always. Your post reminds me to dwell on the best of times although this year was quite a hard one for me. The best & worst & hardest & most rewarding thing of 2013 was turning my passion & hobby into a business. Thanks for being ever-inspiring! πŸ™‚ Indigo

  • You guys had an amazing year for sure! I want to day thanks for sharing your talents and creating that app! There was nothing around that fit the styles of so many creatives who like pretty things! It’s so easy to share and edit photos with your app! Happy New Years!

  • Awe, so beautiful, I may have even teared up a little at the wedding pic. πŸ™‚ I just wrote a post about my highlights from 2013 if you guys are interested. http://bitsfashion.blogspot.ca/2013/12/monday-musings-looking-back-and-moving.html A Beautiful Mess has been one of my biggest inspirations this year (and in past years too)! You’ve accomplished so much, it’s incredibly motivating and inspiring for me. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the effort and hard work you put into this blog. Seriously, you guys rock!

  • love this post!! You guys have done and achieved SO MUCH this past year. Be proud!! So glad I was able to spend a weekend with you guys. Much love, and happy new year!!

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