Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Look Back at 2017 + Thoughts on the Upcoming Year

A Space Themed First Birthday Party (Bubby and Bean)

Happy 2018, friends! Welcome to our very first post of the year.

I've admittedly never been big on the whole new year thing. I don't make resolutions, I'm usually a little sad because January starts Robbie's busy season for being on the road, and since New Year's Day is also my birthday, I'm usually a little meh in general - because try as I might to be a super empowered bad ass lady who truly believes age is just a number, I'm also old enough where, ya know, turning a year older just doesn't feel all that great.

All of that said, something about this new year feels different - like a fresh start. Maybe it's because we move into our new house - and our first official owned home, ever - tomorrow (!!!). Maybe it's because this holiday season was my most successful as an entrepreneur in many years, and something inside of me is hopeful that this year is going to continue that way (so real life things like bills won't feel quite so stressful as in years past). Maybe it's because both 2016 and 2017 were pretty crappy - for much of the world, it seems. Or maybe I just have a different attitude in general. Whatever the reason, I have a lot of faith in 2018. I really do.

And now onto this post and Bubby and Bean! These annual roundups are some of my favorite posts to put together each year. Taking the time to go back and read through the blog for the entire previous year, then select my favorite posts to share, month by month, is almost therapeutic. Sometimes in the day to day I'm so busy with deadlines and projects, and, as work at home mom trying to squeeze it all in when the kids are napping or at school or asleep, that I forget how much I genuinely love what I do. (Side note: I never know how to answer people who ask me what I do for a living. I always feel weird using the word influencer, but blogger feels dated since so much of what I do goes beyond blogging; so I usually say content creator. And people look at me like, ummm? It's kind of funny.) Any way, even though the vast majority of this job is emails and forms and contracts and applications and negotiations and bookkeeping and a whole lot of social media work (in other worlds, things that aren't my forte), being able to be creative on some level everyday through writing and photography and other random creative projects is incredibly fulfilling. Being able to share small pieces of my world, and learning more about others' worlds while I'm at it, is also pretty cool.

Anyway, here we go!

Starting with the top image: In January, I shared Emmett's spaced themed first birthday party.

Guacamole and Black Bean Pizza (via Bubby and Bean)

This delicious (and super easy) guacamole and black bean pizza was another popular post last January.

One Week Without Sugar

I gave up sugar for a week in February and wrote a little blurb about it here, with the full piece on Prevention Magazine.

Vegan, Plant-Based Nachos, 3 Ways

I ate a lot of plant based foods in 2017. These vegan nachos, prepared in 3 different ways, were one of my favorite snacks.

Salsa Verde, Avocado, + Spinach Quesadillas

And speaking of Mexican inspired food, I shared these St. Patrick's Day quesadillas in March, which, while not plant based like the nachos, were also a favorite snack last year.

The 15 BEST Items to Get at Trader Joe's

This post from April, on the 15 items I buy most at Trader Joe's, was one of the most read and shared of 2017.

My little lady and I unintentionally dressed alike and frolicked in the desert during our trip to Arizona in April.

10 Anti-Aging Beauty Hacks

This post on anti-aging hacks I do everyday was also one of our most read posts of the year.

Mango Lemon Prosecco Cocktails with Blueberries

In May, I shared these mango lemon prosecco cocktails (which I drank all summer long),

Our Mama Daughter Bond (+ a $100 Minnetonka Gift Card Giveaway!)

Also in May, in honor of Mother's Day, I shared some thoughts on E's and my mama daughter bond (in our cute matching sandals).

8 Creative Uses for Baby Bubble Bath

I had fun putting together this post on 8 creative uses for bubble bath in June.

DIY Personalized Sofia the First Amulet Necklace

We had so much fun putting together these DIY Sofia the First amulet necklaces.

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

In July I shared the recipe for one of my favorite summer meals, jasmine rice, red lentil, and quinoa tacos.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Also in July we shared our tradition of making Mickey Mouse pancakes as a family. So fun.

We spent the day at the zoo in August, and I talked about finding new ways to encourage outdoor play.

How To Put Together A Self Care Package

In September I put together a self care package for my sister (and Essley and I baked some really yummy cookies to put inside).

Also in September, I talked about my attempts at dressing sustainably without sacrificing style.

My Toddler Breast Feeding Journey

I got personal and shared my toddler breastfeeding journey in October.

We had fun decorating our mantel and fireplace area for Halloween.

How To Make You Own Play Dough | Bubby and Bean

We made homemade play dough (and put together our first ever hands only video!).

Family Halloween Costume Ideas

I had to share our unintentionally matching Halloween costumes, of course.

Almond Butter Maple Oatmeal

In November, I made my own nut butter and shared this recipe for almond butter maple oatmeal.

Our Family Dance Parties (& Why Music Is Important To Us)

This post from November on our family dance parties and why music is important to us was our most read of the month.

A Beautiful (and Incredibly Easy) Holiday Snack Spread

In early December, I had way more fun than I probably should have putting together this beautiful but super easy holiday snack spread. (Hey, I love snacks, and if they're pretty snacks, I'm smitten.)

Being An Older Mom: Stereotypes, Compliments, and Why I Feel Empowered

And finally, this post from December on being an older mom was my favorite post to write in 2017.

This will be my eighth year (!) running Bubby and Bean, and boy has blogging changed a lot (like, a lot) along the way, but I'm at a good place with it. I like where things are now, and even though I worked an insane amount of hours the last couple of months of 2017, it's nice to feel in a groove. That said, I do think some things will be different around here in the upcoming year. For one, as Essley and Emmett get older, I will likely be sharing less and less of them online. I keep 99% of our lives private already, but that 1% might not be fun for them as they get into grade school and learn to use the internet themselves. And until they can express their own opinions about being a part of the blog and my Instagram, I feel more and more of a pull to be cautious. I may write an entire post devoted to this later this month. Stay tuned. I'd also like to take more social media breaks in general this year. This one is tough because social media is a huge part of my job; but it can also be a soul sucker. I took an unintentional week long break from Instagram due to sick kids and other unforeseen circumstances, and it really forced me to realize how much better I feel when I am living in the present, in reality. Overall, I'm excited to see what 2018 brings for Bubby and Bean! Thank you, as always, for supporting us. You are the best readers in the world.



  1. Happy New Year, Melissa! How exciting that you're moving into your new home this week - what a way to start the year. Hopefully it's the start of a series of good things to come for the year :)

  2. I look forward to these posts each year too. So excited for you about your new house!

  3. I missed a couple of these posts so it was nice reading the recap! I can't wait to see all your content in 2018. :)


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