I struggle to write these Personal Highlight posts, because they always feel so 'Hey! Hey! Look at Me!! Aren't I Fab?!' But I often have to remind myself that this blog is my happy place...my own personal scrapbook and life's chronicle...of not only what we do to our home, but what happens to the people in our home.
That said, the majority of the amazing opportunities that come my way, are because of you guys...and your support of this little blog. I can't thank you enough for popping in every day, week, month, or leap year...whenever it is, I'm thrilled you stopped by! Even the lurkers...I know you're there!
So this post is a combination of my own personal highlights from 2014, as well as the projects you made popular...along with some geeky by-the-numbers stuff. Basically all the good stuff that made 2014 grand for our family, all in one spot! If we don't share DNA, you might want to skip it!
I started this blog as a creative outlet, never guessing the opportunities and friendships that would come from it. Now, some of my closest friends are people I've met online...some of whom, I've still yet to actually meet in person. That concept really baffles my mom, but I'm so grateful for the relationships born from this special place. Last year I was able to attend two amazing blogger conferences...which for me, are just opportunities to grow those friendships.
It was a total 'Pinch-Me-Moment' when we partnered with the Puerto Rico Department of Tourism, for a full week exploring their beautiful island. Rest assured any time my family moans about helping me with a blogging project now, I quickly remind them that this blog sent us to Puerto Rico! Of course, Mr. SP wants to know how long I'm going to use that over him. #aslongasitworks
We loved the island so much, we went back in August for two weeks. Unfortunately, sadder circumstances sent us to Southern California for a long weekend, but I learned so much about forgiveness on that trip.
House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping both loved my How to Hide Pesky Lamp Cords.
American Profile featured my DIY Pinecone Wreaths on our front doors.
Family Circle included several of my organizing projects in their January issue.
I hosted a Home Depot Garden Party, and even got my face on a poster!
I filmed a video about my blogging experiences for one of my favorite blog networks. Funny enough, most of your comments were about my lack of accent! I was on my best behavior that day...the true Texas twang comes out after a glass (or two) of wine.
I don't know what was more fun...hosting a curator sale for Joss & Main, or the response from all my friends and family who saw my face in their inbox!
I'm hooked on Polyvore, so it was a thrill to be part of their Project Decorate.
Our little nook got a big dose of personality thanks to a Home Depot collaboration.
As did our backyard, with the latest Home Depot Patio Style Challenge.
Nate Berkus called (or his people did, if we're splitting hairs), and I couldn't say yes fast enough.
Some of my favorites were the style collaborations. I partnered with Martha Stewart to help bring Boden's style to the US, in a series of three posts.
And in addition to several with Nordstrom, I partnered with Sole Society for a fun Travel Style post.
Travel Style with Sole Society
The last big one of the year was the Big Box Bathroom remodel challenge with Lowes. I'm so excited to be sharing the final reveal soon!
I'm fortunate to have a full-time job, so this blog can remain my pure joy and hobby. I write for myself, but I love the interaction with you, and comments are the best way (make sure you're not a no-reply blogger!) Every time I hit 'publish' on a post I wonder what you'll think, and am always surprised by your response. I can't believe how much you had to say about these posts...
Some posts take on a life of their own, and I really have no idea why one project resonates more than another...but these posts received more views than any others in 2014.
It's fun for me to see who you are, and where you're coming from. According to Google Analytics, most Hi Sugarplum readers:
Are American (but shout-out to the Canadians who are next!)
Read an average of 4 pages per visit
Stay here for around 3 minutes per visit (why are you running off so fast?!)
Are split pretty evenly between using a desktop PC and an Apple tablet/phone to read.
More than half of you are referred here from other sites...so thank you to these amazing bloggers who so generously share my projects and include me in their blogrolls. Without them and Pinterest, I'd likely be writing to just my mom each day.
Last year also brought a breath of fresh air around here, with a new blog design.
I try to stay transparent on this blog, so I opened up with a few personal posts like where the name of the blog came from, my first born turning 13, and my new mantra on life.
Also, how I met my Mister, a picture of my giant pregnant belly, and 25 things I learned about myself on a rustic island for 10 days.
I know this post was a lot of toot-tooting my own horn, but I'm just so grateful for all the friends, opportunities, and most of all, you!!! God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined, and I'm beyond humbled by your friendship, support and kind words.
Your encouragement makes me excited to share each project, and continue doing what I love so much. Starting this blog was the best whim I've ever acted on, and I can't wait to see what's next. This year has already started with a bang, and I'm excited to share all the ideas and projects with you. I pray 2015 is your best yet, lovebugs!