Elsie’s 2015 Favorites

Elsie's Favorites of 20152015 was definitely one for the books! So many changes, challenges and exciting milestones. One of the biggest changes for me personally was the number of posts I wrote per week. Towards the beginning of the year, I was writing a lot less, focusing on other projects within our brand. And toward the end of the year, I began focusing a LOT more of my time on writing again…and really loving it! That, paired with moving to a new home, put a lot of my favorite posts in the last half of the year.

I’m REALLY excited to start 2016. But before we dive into that, here are some posts I’m really proud of from 2015!

G-bye Benton houseG-bye Benton houseSaying goodbye to our home of three years wasn’t easy. We REALLY loved this home and made a lot of special memories there.

Real quick, I’ll recap the tours of this house in case any of you are new readers and missed them! I truly considered this home my space to learn. I learned SO much about my own style, how to decorate and where to DIY vs hire out professionals. The end result was a home that meant so much to us, it was very hard to leave.

Room Tours: Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Laundry Room. You can see the rest in our book, A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home. And here’s a video tour of my whole house not long before we listed it for sale.

How to choose a color story for your homeI taught you how to choose a color story for your home! (Has anyone put this to use??? PLEASE say yes?)

Elsie's officeI also shared my office tour (just in time to start packing…)

Record frame photo wallLoved making this record frame photo wall.

My one hair productOf all the complicated projects we shared this year, one of the most popular posts was this random post about my favorite hair product. I was kind of shocked, and it inspired me to start thinking outside the box for our content choices in 2016.

NashvilleOur first Sister Style in Nashville (many more to come every time Em comes to visit!). I’ve already collected a HUGE list of cute walls and fun spots to take photos. Having so much fun with that process!

This year we started sharing city guides! I wrote three and had so much fun working on each of them:

Charleston SC City GuideCharleston, South Carolina 

Palm Springs City GuidePalm Springs, California 

Nashville City GuideNashville, Tennessee (part one…)

The Madonna InnWe traveled quite a bit this year. The Madonna Inn was a crazy experience.

IcelandIceland was unforgettable.

Cyberbullying is not okI wrote a post about cyberbullying that meant a lot to me. My only regret was that a lot of people thought it was responsive to my own experiences in being bullied. And while it was in some small ways, the problems I see in our community are SO much bigger and SO much more important. It meant a lot to me that many of you took our challenge to commit to creating a more positive voice. It makes a big difference!

Moscow Mules 3 waysLooking back on posts that were both most popular (with you) and our personal favorites to write, we realized that a LOT of sponsored posts made both lists. For me, that validates that they really are worthwhile content and a lot of times some of our best work. We are very proud of that and want to keep it going in the new year.

Anyway! Moscow Mules three ways, anyone?

Tea popAnother thing I love about our advertising program are those random times when I get to work with companies that I am the BIGGEST fangirl of. Like this post for David’s Tea.

Mermaid plushI made a mermaid plush! I think I’m definitely going to turn this into a series!!!

Painted dishesMy favorite DIY of mine this year was this hand painted dish set.

Cranberry MargaritaMy favorite homemade cocktail of the year was this Orange Cranberry Margarita. Can I have one right now?

Kitchen progressToward the end of the year, my favorite posts were the ones sharing our renovation process. I created a new tag for it, so you can see them all here. It’s only just the beginning, but it’s probably my favorite series I’ve ever shared here because it’s so personal to me. I can’t wait to keep it going in 2016!

Blueberry pizzaMy favorite post of Emma’s this year was this AMAZING blueberry pizza. It was so delicious. I miss taste tasting her recipes throughout the week!

Closet door DIYMy favorite post that Laura wrote was this crazy closet door DIY. It’s SO beautiful, even better in person, and adds so much personality to her space!

6a00d8358081ff69e201b7c7cb67f5970b-800wiAnd my favorite post written by Mandi was How to Draw a Floor Plan. I’m using it right now to plan out my living room!

Disco Ball Wreath (photo by Darling Juliet)

Thanks for letting me share! I had such a great year and feel like I’m in a really GREAT place in my work life. I’m so thankful for ABM and love working on it every day. xx- Elsie

Oh, and can I add one honorable mention? Our best April Fool’s joke ever. Had SO much fun filming it!

  • Love your posts Elsie! My boyfriend got me the Canon PIXMA iP8720 printer for Christmas (he said he was even keeping tabs on the blog to learn about the product!) and I am SO doing that record frame photo wall! I also think the April Fool’s video was one of the best things ever. Looking forward to more travel guides from you guys and renovation updates! Happy New Year!

  • There are so many great posts from this past year, I don’t even know how you managed to just pick a few! The color story post has been especially helpful and I cannot wait to raid Home Depot for some paint swatches. Y’all have made preparing for a new home so exciting!

  • Not gonna lie, I had a cherry moscow mule about once a week over the summer- I might be addicted! Can’t wait to see more of your home updates in 2016. Happy New Year!

  • This year was great!!! I can’t wait for the next !! I love your blog SO MUCH I don’t know what I would do without your creative ideas and awesome style!! You guys are so great, I wish we could meet up!!!

  • Best of luck with the new house! I remember the reluctance to leave our renovated home when we moved from Dallas to Des Moines. We had done so much work to make it our own. Lots of lessons learned on how to do things ourselves but the best thing we gained and translated from one home to the next was CONFIDENCE. We knew we would face new challenges (it was a completely different style of home with its own quirks/problems) but having that past experience made us look forward with excitement rather than dread.
    I almost envy you the task ahead. Have fun!

  • hahah it is so funny! I just discovered the film was joke! hahaha I’ve been fooled for over 6 months! hahahah

  • Congrats on all you’ve accomplished this year and looking forward to following you guys in 2016! I’m heading over to check out the How to Choose a Color Story for Your Home now!

  • I’m sorry! I cut my hair soon after that and have been going through an awkward hair phase ever since. It’s getting better now and I think I’ll be able to start making hair tutorials again sometime this year! :))

    xoxo- Els

  • Elsie, I discovered your blog and bought your book earlier this year because of the Habitat for Humanity article in Real Simple. I live in MO and am a non-profit manager (in the area of statewide child abuse prevention) so I was very touched that you chose to give back to your community. Plus, I love your style and approachability! I have since come to your blog every week and love reading about your home projects, food and style. I also am so grateful for your post and attention to cyber bullying. I want to say thank you for the pleasure and inspiration you have brought to my life and for being a lovely human being. Thanks for everything!

  • I follow you since you begin with your blog and some years later, is always a “source d’inspiration” !! I start my blog because yours it was so good that I wanted try it ! Thanks and have a wonderful happy new year!!

  • The April Fools video is still my favorite blog post ever. I laugh just thinking about it!

  • yes, have been using the color story! have a pinterest board by that name. The dishes are still on my must must diy list and it was fun to travel with you through the travel guides. Been to 2 of them, and definitely looking them back up next time I’m in the area. Made the blueberry spinach pizza for a girls night and it was the hands down fav! So sweet and savory!

  • loved the travel guides, dish diy,I’ve done the pizza and color story!
    definitely using the travel guides the next time I’m in those places, and the dish set diy is on my must do list! Made the pizza for some girl friends and it was hands down the favorite of the night. and I have a pinterest board named color story. I’m seeing it influence what I’m bringing home. Can’t wait to keep developing it.

  • Hello! I know this post is a couple weeks old, but I thought I’d share how your rainbow glass collection image inspired me. I am a papercrafter and loved the bright colors and arrangement. It became the perfect jumping point for my own interpretation to paper.

    It’s posted today on the CardMaker Magazine blog and credits back to you as my inspiration.


    Thanks for sharing such wonderful things with your readers.


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