A Look Back at 2012

Warning: long recap post ahead.

I never thought this recap post would be so hard to write this year. I’m not entirely sure how to put 2012 into words. On one hand, it was great since I feel like I made a lot of progress. Progress in the house, with turning a hobby into a side business, writing a successful eBook, and I also did a lot of emotional work…soul searching, if you will. However, as I’ve mentioned in the past, my day job has been tough. Tough isn’t really the right word, but miserable just sounds so…well…miserable. I picked up a new project at the beginning of 2012 which quickly became my living nightmare. I’ve been trying to build on my hobbies and happier moments outside of work to find a balance, but it’s not working. I’ve had 2 full blown anxiety attacks in the past 3 days alone over work issues and from what I’m hearing as we enter the new year, it’s going to get worse because I’ve now been assigned another new project that doesn’t end until Dec 2013. I feel like I’ve sunk into the seventh circle of hell. I wish I could say that I made significant progress with getting out of the job last year, but it’s still a work in progress.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Now onto some happier memories from this past year…

Baxter 03

…not from this year…but pictures of puppies make everything better. (That’s my little pup sporting his fancy red cast when he was a few weeks old).



The first part of the year was busy! Looking back through the posts reminded me just how many fun craft/DIY projects I used to have on the blog. I need to get back to that in 2013.

The year started off with a homemade birthday cake for my dad, an avid golfer. This also turned out to be one of the most popular posts on the blog, especially around Fathers Day!

Golf Birthday Cake 

To focus on being more positive, I created a Gratitude jar which I opened on Thanksgiving day. I slacked on sharing that in November, but it was a fun tradition to start. I’ve already started adding new gratitude slips to the jar this year.

Gratitude Jar

I set up a cleaning plan for the house, started saving money by using my local library, started organizing the garage, and planted a lovely succulent terrarium. I created a photography light box, organized my recipe box, made a soup can herb garden, read 5 books, and was able to congratulate an old friend on her engagement.

DIY Succulent Terrarium 

January was also when I finished the BIGGEST house project I’ve ever attempted…the living room fireplace remodel. I have loved this new space so much, especially this past Christmas when I was able to hang stocking from the finished mantle.

Fireplace Remodel

In February I made progress on the garage by installing some storage units, started my first grocery challenge, created a valentine basket of necessities for my local dog shelter, installed privacy films in the master bedroom, replaced a broken washing machine, and read 2 books.


I created some pretty ‘heart’ inspired crafts in February too.

Cork Heart Sign

DIY Heart Art

Although my favorite project was the daily letterpress calendar journal.

Daily Calendar

March was my attempt at a monthly challenge, being ECO Conscious! I was trying to share a green change/project everyday but this was also the month when my job changed so things didn’t go as planned. Instead I’ve continued sharing the Eco Challenges throughout the year.

A few of the projects from March…

Started a garden, created newspaper pots, and I joined a CSA.

Newspaper Seedlings


We attended the Lt Dan Band Tribute Concert which was AMAZING! If you get a chance to see them live, go!!

Tribute Concert - Lt Dan Band

I started going back to school, which has also stalled due to work lately. I’m hoping to get back to classes this year…hopefully.

I made some more progress in the garage, built a potting bench, and painted a cute chalkboard mug.

Chalkboard Mug

Potting Bench


It’s probably weird that one of my favorite posts in April was about the showerhead that I installed. As part of the Eco Challenge, I swapped out my normal, cheap showerhead with a water saving, rainfall version. It’s seriously amazing and I still love it.

New Eco Showerhead 

I shared a few of my CSA boxes, some easy DIY chalkboard plant markers, my DIY vertical garden, and solar garden lighting.

DIY Chalkboard Plant Markers 

Solar Light Lanterns_5

In early April we made a day trip out to doggie beach where Baxter had the time of his life dancing in the waves. Doggie beach is the thing I miss most from my old place, it’s just too long a trip to visit these days.


In May I turned 30 and started my 30 in 30 list. I like doing the birthday based resolutions more than New Years because there is far less stress during the holidays. No sadness over failed resolutions as January 1st approaches, no rush to really jump into anything new. Instead I have a few more months to finish my list of goals for this year.

A few birthday treats…

I swapped out the front door sign and made a hand painted Welcome sign that I could leave up all year long.

DIY Welcome Sign_2

I also started using the Nike Fuelband which I still wear. The only downside for me is that it doesn’t track heart rate.


I shared how I extend the life of my CSA veggies, added a little storage to the yard and garage, and introduced both the foyer and the office which are in various stages of remodel right now. I also started Italian language classes online and spent some quality time with the beagles!

Brother and Sister Beagles

June was light and I can’t really remember why. I shared my CSA pickups along with the Spare Bedroom progress and the garden. I also celebrated my 2 year home anniversary with a look back at the house progress so far.


July brought Olympic inspiration a kick back into blogging.

Pinned Image


I built an easy spice rack, shared my Half Marathon training plan, started transforming the foyer into a library, and made a patriotic gradient cake!

Kitchen Spices_Final_4

Red White and Blue Cake_3

I also scored a great deal on Padres tickets.I’m not a huge sports fan when watching on TV, but I love going to baseball and hockey games.

Padres Game_Reds_2

…and i dropped a jean size!!!! While weight loss over the past few months has been a struggle, I’ve maintained that lower size and hope to trade down shortly.

Down a Size_2


In August, I made a laundry drying  rack, suspended my CSA, and made delicious dark chocolate coconut ice cream bites.

DIY Laundry Dryer Rack

Dark Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream Bites

The spare bedroom saw some progress when a headboard was installed out of some wall art. I also matted some art prints for an entry wall.

Spare Bedroom Headboard_1

Custom Art Wall

In September I continued working on the spare bedroom and created a DIY tiered light fixture, added some moulding to the foyer bookcases, and the beagles came back to visit for a few weeks.

Bedroom Light DIY_11

Baxter was a kind host for the extended visit…by constantly giving me the ‘when are they going home’ eyes. Just kidding, they all did great this time around.

October was a huge month for me since I opened my Etsy store.

EvoLovely Designs Etsy Shop

I shared the long awaited Crockpot Pumpkin Butter recipe. The rest of the month was spent finishing the CrockPot Fruit Butter eBook. I can’t thank you all enough for making that eBook so successful.

Fresh Crockpot Pumpkin Butter

In between making Pineapple butter and Mango Chile Butter, my mom and I finished the Nike Half Marathon and had a really amazing girls weekend in San Francisco.

San Francisco_NWM2012_17


The holiday flew by this past year. I had big plans for a bunch of holiday theme crafts and projects, but it just didn’t work out. Time ran out. I did have the opportunity to paint some pinecones though.

Paint Dipped Pinecone_5

…but more importantly I made fresh, homemade bread! It was delicious.I also started the grocery challenge again.

Easy Rustic Bread_2

I caught a mouse…

Humane Mouse Trap_1

…but I let him go too close to the house and he came back…so we’re playing a little game of tag right now. I think I’m winning…sorta. I’ve started using Peppermint oil around the house and it seems to be working, he hasn’t been around lately.

In December I travelled to DC to visit with family and had an AMAZING trip. I can’t wait to go back. I have more pictures to share that I’ll put in a future post.


Whew! I have to say that the blog has been an amazing yearly journal of things I typically forget. Before drafting this post I honestly thought back and was disappointed that I didn’t do more. After looked at each month on the blog, I really did make more progress than I had remembered.


If you stuck it out this far…THANK YOU…you’re a ROCKSTAR!


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