December 31, 2015

Best of 17 Apart 2015

Over the past (5!) years, we've celebrated the year-end close with a look back and assembly of our most popular posts from the blog over the past year. This year was refreshing taking a look back — realizing when in a time where we felt less productive, we actually accomplished a heck of a lot. We are inherent "doers," and revisiting our 2015 projects, travel, gatherings & everyday adventures maintains that spark of motivation to continue to archive.

Breaking slightly from traditional recap format, we've decided to change things up a bit by calling out a few of our own favorite posts along with the top analytical ranking snaps, projects and shares from our collective Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook accounts. So, let's get to it...

If we had to name our personal favorites from the year, they'd include photo recaps from Italy (the house & the sights), our summer trip to the UK, Basil's 5th birthday memories, our successful try at planting asparagus crowns in containers & this DIY take on an industrial jewelry stand, which turned out so well we've started producing them for the Etsy shop.

< + < + < POPULAR ON INSTAGRAM > + > + >

There seemed to be a common thread among our top liked photos on Instagram this year — can you guess it?

Stumped (ha)? You love seeing pictures of Basil on Instagram, especially when he's accessorized, and small hints of baked goods. Noted.

< + < + < POPULAR ON PINTEREST > + > + >

It came as a surprise to us, but love the fact that our DIY take on exposing the brick chimney in Brandon's room was our most shared on Pinterest. The pin shows this project in the middle of the process — get a full look at the before and after photos of this undertaking in this post.

< + < + < POPULAR ON FACEBOOK > + > + >

Best liked on Facebook? Tim & the Costco Bear:

And now, the top 10 visited posts from right here on the blog in 2015 — once again, we were so excited to see that you're most enjoying our adventures in DIY projects, following the progress on our home updates and birthday ideas for both kiddos & pets.

1. Chelsea's 1st Birthday Cake: Chelsea's very first birthday back in March was a great excuse and creative challenge for making a cake fit for a very special princess. With the help of a few strategically placed cookie cutters, we made both Chelsea & the other kiddos happy that day:

2. Basil's Birthday Cake: While technically a post from 2014, this dog-friendly cake recipe topped the charts this year with dog lovers everywhere — it uses a meatloaf base and is decorated with mashed potato icing & pea piping. What can we say, we're suckers for this big guy:

3. DIY Vertical Succulent Garden: The results of taking part in a DIY blogger challenge with eHow back in May — we had to come up with a project that used sonotubes, an Ikea Lack table, paint & chain. We love a good challenge and were quite pleased with the final result:

4. How to Make Wooden Candle Wicks: When looking into best practices for making wooden candle wicks, we were surprised to find very limited information for doing so. We love the look of wooden wicks so much we decided to try and crack the code — and the secret ingredient turned out to be surprisingly simple. We loved sharing the results of our findings in this project post and it sounds like many other DIY enthusiasts were as well:

5. Outdated Light Fixtures to Modern Lanterns: I'll never forget photographing these glowing votives outdoors on a chilly freezing day — we'd taken them down the street in order to get a better shot. All in all, this was one of those really fun upcycling projects where a little "re-imagination" at our local Restore came in handy:

6. DIY Industrial Bookends: Perhaps topping our own favorites list from the past year — these industrial modern bookcases have been the statement pieces to complete our full office transformation. They've continued to evolve as Mary rearranges pieces on the shelves and have been an endless source of inspiration since we installed them:

7. Sew a Simple Drawstring Bag: It turns out this simple project was a popular one — it's the ticking and nautical rope that bring this bag to life for us and it's such a versatile storage solution:

8. DIY Giant Jenga Style Stacking Game: Not long after whipping together the drawstring bag above, we tried our hands at making an oversized version of the wooden stacking game, Jenga (we store all the pieces in the aforementioned bag). Once complete, we invited the kids over to learn how to play, which turned out to be a big hit all around:

9. DIY Upcycled Medicine Cabinet: Another favorite upcycling project from the year, we found the inspiration for this medicine cabinet, an old radiator door cover, at a local salvage warehouse, Caravati's:

10. Basil in a Bow Tie: Finally, it wouldn't be a proper send-off or popularity contest without another mention of our favorite four-legged family member. Back in April Basil donned a new collar from B.W. Barkery, which in turn sparked one our most popular giveaways of the year:

Whew, what a 2015! It's been a fun stroll down memory lane, remembering favorites and rediscovering just how much we did over the past 12 months — certainly inspiration for the adventures and projects to come in the year ahead. Many thanks for taking the time to check in on us today and over the years — we wish you the best this New Year's Eve!

Looking for even more? 
In case you missed them or just want to look back through with us, here's a look at the top posts from years' past: Best of ----> 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

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