Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Best of 2012...

Yikes, it's a new year! No more 2012. That's okay, it was a pretty rough year toward the end there. I actually can think of a lot of bad things that happened last year, and it feels like more than in previous years. But "worst of" posts don't sound nearly as fun as "best of"!!

It's felt pretty hard to summarize the year on this blog, since it's been a long one and I've been busy!, but I'm forcing myself to. ;) I looked back to my 2011 wrap-up post and I did a pretty good job of recapping favorite projects--and we got married in 2011, so there were a bunch of great wedding DIYs! But in 2012 even more big things happened.
  • After 8 months of waiting for construction, we bought a house. OMG.
  • The same week, I got my book deal finalized with Potter Craft of Random House. Also OMG. In November I submitted my preliminary materials for the book and can really see it taking shape.
Okay, a lot of other things happened, too, but that's the reeeeally big stuff. In reverse chronological order...
  • I reconnected with some high school acquaintances and friends when I begrudgingly attended a preliminary meeting for alums who still live in the area. The group then turned into the school's alumni association board and we planned an incredible event that happened just before New Year's--we honored one of the school's incredible staff people and brought together the community. And I did some healing from my high school wounds. (I went to a tiny arts high school in downtown Portland, and there were only 12 of us in our graduating class.)
  • I made a Halloween costume for the first time, like, ever, and it rocked!
  • I started Instagramming more. Love it.
  • My husband and talented friend threw me an incredible 25th birthday party in September. I felt so lucky and special!
  • We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary! And did a beautiful photo shoot to celebrate.
  • It was short, but we took our first vacation since our honeymoon and got a real lesson in relaxing and taking time off.
  • I started attending, then planning, Portland Bloggers events. Not only have I been inspired and excited and educated at our meet-ups, social events, and workshops, I've met great people who have become some of my best friends!
  • I reconnected with my childhood/adolescence best friend, who I lost regular contact with somewhere between college and our wedding. I'm so grateful for all the great people in my life right now!
I'm sure there are lots more I can't think of right now. Oops.

Source: adventuresindressmaking.com via Suzannah on Pinterest

When going back, I also found my post that included some vague blog goals for 2012. I don't normally make real resolutions... they can be so scary! The pressure of not living up to them, not carrying them through to the end of the year! But, blog resolutions may be a little easier to keep, and I guess with technology tools like phone reminders and Google calendars we can be reminded of our goals regularly without effort.

I didn't set any clear goals last year, although some of you left comments with some great resolutions!! How'd you do, whether you shared your resolutions last year or not? Any tips for keeping resolutions, in life and in your online presence?

For 2013, I think I'll also make some broad goals... and maybe in a few weeks, I'll have some clearer resolutions. I really need to work on that work/life balance they always talk about... my stress level has been entirely too high, and it's really affecting other parts of my life. Not OK. Yes, writing a book, decorating a house, working the usual 40 hours/week, being part of committees, adding some new foods into our diet and recipes, trying to fit in a couple of family trips, and goodness-knows-what-else do sound pretty busy. But I hope I can learn to prioritize and be more efficient, AND take a chill pill and lower my standards for myself. Those darn high standards get me all the time.

As for the blog, my goals are to get a redesign done (soon!), keep improving photography and post-processing (hm, that's not a very good, measurable goal...hard to achieve! Oops!), and get some easy-to-navigate pages up. I hope I can do really well on those soon!

What are your goals and resolutions this year? What have you found has worked well for you in the past to keep your goals in mind?


  1. I like the outfit with peplum skirt and so nice shoes! :) Hope this year will be better than 2012 :)


  2. Hooray for buying a house - that is on my husband and my goal list for this year!

  3. You had a really busy and successful 2012!! I look forward to reading all about your 2013 adventures!

  4. Sounds like a great year to me! I still can't believe that it was your blog I stumbled across and your encouragement that caused me to attend the Portland Bloggers event in August just after I moved--and now my closest friends are through this fabulous group! Thank you so much for your hard work and contribution the different events and I hope to continue my involvement this year and help make this a hugely successful group! :D Happy new year!

    1. Aaw, thanks, Bee! I know, I looked back at your email recently and thought, how cool that we're friends now! =)

  5. A book deal?? That's exciting! I had a rough year too and like you chose to not dwell on the hard parts and move on. I love the new year for that reason... you can create a fresh start, just like that!



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