A Review of 2016 + What to Expect in 2017!

1/4/2017

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

Welcome back you guys! I’ve tried to start this post about 100 times and all I can think is “wowowowowow.” 2016. It was a true doozy wasn’t it? On a global level, can’t say I’m sad to see 2016 see itself out. And on a personal level, I can’t say I’m sad to kiss it goodbye either.

That was an uplifting beginning to a post, huh? In case you’re new here, every year, my first post back after the holidays is a little review of the past year (the ups and the downs) and then a bit about my goals for this next year. Oh, and some embarrassing outtakes. This year I have a LOT to share, so there’s actually a few posts coming at ya! But for now, let’s start with the top posts of the year before I dive into the deep stuff! 😉

Top Studio DIY Posts of 2016!

In no particular order…

Circus Animal Cookie Pillows | Floating Glitter Tumbler
My Colorful Fall Capsule Wardrobe | Cereal Bowl Cake
Ornament Pillows | Circus Animal Cookie Costume
Graphic Laundry Baskets | Lisa Frank Zebra Cakes

A good mix there, you guys!! I think the ornament pillows were my personal fave. =) Now, let’s chat.

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I’m finding the rest of this post hard to write, because honestly, a lot of what I have to say isn’t uplifting. But I think it’s important sometimes to share this stuff. In a weird, twisted way I think we all get dragged down by social media and how perfect it is. So this post every year is my opportunity to remind you all that while yes, I am very lucky, there’s a lot to it that is really really hard, too. We’re all in the same boat, gotta keep reminding ourselves that.

I called 2015 “The Year of Growing Pains” and when I thought about 2016, only one word came to mind…. failure.

Yep, failure. Seems ridiculous considering I achieved my dream of launching a product line, I started a YouTube channel, I stayed married to a great guy, I traveled, I worked with some amazing brands, I was able to pay my rent and I grew my team by two people. But as a deep down, true perfectionist, despite all of those amazing things, I felt like my time was strung so thin that I didn’t give anything my all and was just a bumbling, stressed out mess. And in a perfectionist mind, that means I failed.

I failed at getting (or, staying) pregnant. Again. I failed at taking care of myself. I failed at remembering things: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, events, dinners with friends. I failed at meeting deadlines. I failed at being a good wife, a good friend, a good business partner, a good boss. I failed at delivering the content I wanted to deliver here on the blog, I failed at making our YouTube channel what I wanted it to be and I failed at engaging with you all on Instagram the way I wanted to. I failed at figuring out how to do all those things and launch a product line.

Launching my dream of a product line was (is) the hardest thing I have EVER done. E-V-E-R. It is so so so beyond terrifying to put yourself out there in a whole new way and have no idea how people are going to react. It really messed a lot with my mind this year as we prepared to launch.

In my mind, you guys are my friends, my extended family! And I wanted to do everything I could to make them the BEST products for you. Items that you would love, that would push your creativity, that would make you smile on a bad day, that would bring a little bit of Studio DIY into your life even if you didn’t have the time to DIY things from scratch. I was a MESS before both launches. Heck, I’m still a mess. I’m crying right now actually, ha!

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I don’t think I ever told you guys this but… about three days before our big photo shoot for our Halloween costume shop, none of our dress samples showed up. We had a team of 10 people and 10 models booked for a shoot and all we had was a black dress test-sample and that wasn’t going to cut it. So in addition to preparing 50+ costumes, I pulled two all-nighters to find fabric, deconstruct the black dress, create a pattern and sew all the samples myself to photograph. It was crazy!!! But that’s just what I do. I always find a way to make it work.

But let me tell you, it was all worth it. 🙂

I’ve since cried many a happy tear seeing you guys out in the real world with OUR products!! Things I worked for over a year on, things that I loved while also questioning “Will everyone else love this like I do?” Things I cried over. It feels SO good to have your support and to hear your positive feedback. To know that you put your faith in little ol’ me!

It’s such a different feeling than putting out blog content and it just really blows my mind, still to this day! Especially in regards to the clutches, and how impressed you all are with the quality of them for the price. When you put it all on the line and make everyone crazy trying to find the best quality but keep the price affordable, it feels really good to hear it was all worth it.

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

So here’s the thing about failure. It’s so important. Perhaps the most important, actually. Failure teaches you a lot about yourself, about what you’ve done, how you’ve done it and how you want (or need) to move forward. This year, it taught me that I can’t run a blog, launch a Youtube Channel and open a shop and do it all gracefully and without failure. I’ve put so much pressure on myself to grow my business and my income so that when there are kids in the picture, I can actually see them without worrying about my business crumbling.

Usually as the new year hits, I’m feeling ready, with a focused vision for the year ahead. But I haven’t quite gotten there yet this year.

I’m still picking up the pieces of myself and my life and figuring out what matters and what I want. I know that I want this business, I still want to share with you and inspire you all every day. That I’m beyond excited about the new products we’re launching this year. But I also know that I want friends. I want a husband who I actually say hello to in the morning and not just “Did you edit those photos?” I want a family. So badly. I want a home that feels like home. I want my team to look forward to coming to work every day and to be proud of what they’re doing, and for them to see a boss who is proud of it too.

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I also want to figure out how to share my life, and everything else I want to share, with you on social media, without feeling like social media owns me. And how to manage producing content and products, so you can bring Studio DIY into your life in more ways than one.

And I’m hoping you’ll all stick around as I, probably un-gracefully, figure all this out. As I explore changing up our content a bit this year. To share a bit more of me here on the blog, too. How do you guys feel about that? Still plenty of pretty DIYs and recipes and new products to be excited about, but I also think I’m finally ready to get a little more personal on a regular basis here too.

This is getting long but I just had to get it all out. And it feels good! I had kind of the worst year ever, and I have my work cut out for me in 2017, but I really have YOU all to thank for getting me through it each day! Every photo you tag me in, every message and snap you send me, it builds me up so when I feel like a “failure” I know why it is so worth it to keep going. I don’t think you’ll ever know how much that means to me!

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

Now for a little review of where I am on last year’s goals (bolded in the paragraphs below), and a list of my 2017 goals too.

I’m still not pregnant. I imagine several of you are awaiting a fertility update since my last one and I actually have a separate post planned to discuss where we are with all of that since this post is already long and I have a LOT to update you on. Having my second miscarriage wins as the hardest “failure” of the year. This holiday season was especially tough as a result. We were really hoping to celebrate this Christmas with a baby in our arms, or at least in my belly, and it was not easy to watch all the Instagrams and stories of everyone else who got that chance. More soon.

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I feel like I did good job diversifying my content and making more useful DIYs, but am still having trouble standing out now that wacky and colorful style is the norm. I actually have a post coming tomorrow about just that, and I’m really hoping you’ll weigh in!

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I flossed almost every day this year!!! But that’s about where my “take better care of myself” goal ended. I didn’t pick up a book once. I’ve continued to learn a lot about patience but haven’t mastered it and sadly didn’t get to take a dance class.

I did (!!) succeed in making Studio DIY more than a blog with the launch of our YouTube channel (Have you subscribed yet!?) and shop! I think I’ve gotten a little better at making decisions but there’s still significant room for improvement.

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016

I was REALLY good at sharing your photos for a good part of 2016 and then fell off the wagon. We’ve also got a post coming about that though too! =) And last, I did a pretty awesome job of kicking my hoarding tendencies in the butt! I cleared out a ton of stuff in my closet, my house and the studio and I’m pretty proud of that.

So now how about 2017!? Here are my goals for the year.

1. Grow Our Family: Third year in a row that this is ranking at the top of my list. Hoping this is our year.

2. Buy A House (!!!): If we’re gonna grow that family, we’re gonna need some more space to do it in! We are REALLY excited to buy a house this year and document as we renovate and decorate it! I’ve never don’t a ton of home content here but I’m excited to give it a whirl!

3. Dance: I failed at joining a class and don’t know if it’ll happen this year, so my goal is to just DANCE more. I am never happier than when I’m dancing. I actually just finally joined Musical.ly for fun and am having a blast with it, if you want to follow along there! (I’m @studiodiyofficial NOT @studiodiy, someone is impersonating me on that one.)

4. Read Every Day: This is non-optional this year. I’m debating whether I’m going to read every night before bed or every morning. Do any of you have suggestions for a time or schedule that forces you to read every day? (I’m not good at audio books, I’ve tried. My mind wanders too much!)

5. Bring More Conversation (and Voices?) to the Blog: There will be more about this in tomorrow’s post, but I’m excited to try to bring more conversation back here.

6. Try Monotasking: I am a multi-tasker through and through, but this year I’ve felt like I get absolutely nothing done anymore because I’m always jumping from thing to thing. I want to try to start blocking my tasks so I’m focused solely on one thing, like writing a blog post (without checking email 10 times) or eating dinner with Jeff (without scrolling Instagram).

7. Document the Good Stuff: I downloaded an app called “1 Second Everyday” per my friend Caroline’s recommendation and you record just one second from every day in the year and then come NYE, you have a video of all the good moments from the whole year! Jeff is taking a different route, and filling a jar with notes of the good stuff that happens each day. I think it will be good for us, so we can remember the good amongst what is sure to be another crazy year.

8. Say No: Most people I talk to make a resolution to “say yes” but I’ve done that and I’m at a point where I need to get better at saying NO. I’m a people pleasing perfectionist and saying “no” to anything is hard for me but I’m trying to learn.

9. Do A Creative Project for Myself: Making my ornament wreath was probably the most fun I had all year because I didn’t have to take photos of it for the blog or figure out a tutorial from scratch. It was just really fun to make something for me. Hoping to do this again in 2017, not sure with what though. I have been wanting to make a arm-knit blanket but that seems ambitious. We’ll see!!!!

10. Feel More Money Confident: I’m not good with money. It scares me. I always feel like it’s running out, even when I know it’s not. My go-to whenever I talk to our account or financial advisor is “Umm… sorry I’m not good at this.” As we take these big steps in our life, I really want to get better at managing our finances so things don’t always feel so unstable. If anyone has any tips or favorite resources on this, I am ALL ears!

Studio DIY Outtakes 2016
The whole team at our team holiday dinner! I have yet to convince 90% of them to wear color. Hahahahah!

I’m not writing this on the list because it’s more of a lifestyle change and less quantifiable, but I’m really hoping to gain a little more balance and perspective in my life this year. I suggest you watch/listen to this video for many reasons. But to focus on one, Jeff and I are both full-fledged phone addicts and we need to change that. Immediately. I’m also hoping to really focus in on the things that I love and the things that you love and cut out all the “fat.” I think it’s going to be a scary but REALLY exciting year!?!?!?

Thank you always for taking the time to read these crazy long posts. And for letting me be vulnerable and chatty and an emotional basket case. I look forward to sharing more about me this year, and to learning more about YOU too.

So tell me… what are your goals for 2017? Tell me in the comments below! I love you guys so much!!!

99 comments

  • Kathleen

    Thanks so much for sharing all this Kelly!! Can’t wait to see what you have in store in 2017. (And my family did a similar thing one year where we wrote down all the funny things/one-liners that we laughed at during the year and put them in a jar. On New Year’s Eve we read them all and it was hilarious! Definitely recommend giving it a go. 🙂 )

    • Kelly

      Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words! Sounds like a pretty cool tradition, I’ll definitely have to give it a try!

  • Chelsey

    Thanks for sharing Kelly! As an avid reader of the blog and studio Diy enthusiast, I am loving the content and direction of all the things you produce! I’m excited to see what’s coming next and I am hoping for a better personal year for you! My New Years resolutions include wearing makeup every day (copied from you!), drinking more water (I always forget to) and working on my Etsy and YouTube more. Here’s to a happier (and less stressful) 2017!

    Xoxo Chelsey

  • Monique | WritingMonique

    Thank you so much for sharing this Kelly! Thank you for being so honest! I can’t wait what you’ll be doing in 2017! I know for sure you’ll be fantastic!

  • Jessica

    I’ve been following you for just a few months but I can’t wait to see your posts in 2017 x

    Jessica — NinetyCo 

  • Amanda

    As others said, THANK YOU! I started a new job one year ago. I think I’ve gone great in a lot of ways, but I also haven’t achieved all of the goals set for me/by me. So, the failure is something I’m trying to deal with/overcome by figuring out I CAN be successful with those goals.

    Anyway, I love your honesty in this post, and you truly seem like an amazing person. I know with your perseverance and hard work you will continue to do amazing things. I look forward to seeing them!

    • Kelly

      Amanda,

      Failure is kind of tricky, isn’t it? It’s like we always see what we AREN’T doing and we totally forget to see the things that we ARE doing! You can achieve literally anything you want to achieve, you just have to know that things take time. It’s something I’m still learning!

  • Carolina

    It’s so brave of you to get so personal about your struggles when most bloggers out there only share the beautiful and staged moments in their lives, especially in the day and age we live in now. It’s really admirable.

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for years and I never cease to be amazed by everything you accomplish despite everything going on in your life.

    In my life and career, I’ve been thinking of 2017 as the year of execution. I’ve planned and created so much for my life in the past and now, this year, I’m ready to put it all into action. It seems like you’re kind of in a similar spot, so let’s look forward to a year where big things will happen and get accomplished after all the struggling and planning!

    Rooting for you to continue your success in all aspects of your life!

    • Kelly

      Thank you Carolina for your support. I wish you the very best in 2017! Totally rooting for YOU too!

  • Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride

    OMG Kelly. I can relate to so much of what you’ve shared in this post. The feelings of failure, the perfectionism, the phone addictions, the work / life balance struggles, the worries of standing out in a sea of people who have a similar style. Ack — get out of my brain, woman!

    Seriously though, if it’s any comfort to you whatsoever, from my perspective you totally kicked 2016’s butt and accomplished some HUGE things this year!

    I am keeping you guys in my prayers as you continue to navigate the fertility issues. I can’t wait to see all the awesomeness that 2017 has in store for you! 💕

    • Kelly

      Thank you Jessica! It’s always nice to know you’re not alone… even if you wish nobody else felt this way!!! Sending you all the good vibes for 2017 too! =)

  • Eleanor

    Kelly, you’re absolutely awesome and it baffles me that you feel like you failed. All feelings are real, but to me (and I’m betting all the other avid readers) you seem to be a big success and you’re definitely an inspiration to me as a business owner, a creative, a style icon (not hyperbolizing), and you’re just awesome. I’m #snaptroop and usually yours is one of the ones I watch last before bed because I know it will make me smile 🙂 You’re super cool and I think of you as my friend too. Can’t wait to see what 2017 looks like for StudioDIY and for you and Jeff (and Bella).

    • Kelly

      Thank you Eleanor! It means so much to hear all that and I’m so happy my crazy snaps make you smile!

  • Jane

    I never comment on anything but I recently read a blog post about the effect of leaving a comment vs just pressing “like”. It’s heartbreaking to read how much pressure bloggers feel. This year more than ever I’ve seen some of the most successful bloggers share this sentiment. It must be very hard to put yourself out there every day. Just know that part of the success of your business is the strong voice your posts and projects echo. It’s not just the esthetics that bring people back. I love the narrative and watching women build and succeed in a field that less than ten years ago didn’t exist. Getting to see women coming together to represent ourselves and support each other is amazing. You are inspiring a lot of women out there! On another note, perfectionism doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But it’s also very difficult to live with and can feel like a roadblock. It took a lot of therapy to help me accept it and fit it into my life in a healthy way. It wasn’t something I wanted to fix, just a part of myself I wanted to understand more. That was only my experience and not necessarily right for every one. There isn’t only one path or only one answer. Every one struggles. It doesn’t mean we should minimize our struggle because others have it worse or deal with it better. It means we can share it and lean on each other as we all figure things out.

    • Kelly

      I too have seen and spoken with a lot of other bloggers who feel similarly. I think the industry has changed so much, from just writing a quick post and hitting publish to now styling a dozen photos, promoting across all social channels, updating Insta stories, live streaming, etc. that everyone is feeling a little overwhelmed figuring out how to juggle it all! And I really relate to your thoughts on perfectionism and on leaning on each other. We’re all in this together, right!? Grateful for your, and everyone’s support!

  • Kristina B

    GIRL!
    I know it’s pointless to say this but you are WAY to hard on yourself. Or maybe I just think “failure” is such a strong word! You had a truly fabulous year and we all love you and your amazing ideas. I will say, I look forward to more personal posts and to see you back on SnapChat and Instagram more! I doubt I’m alone to say WE MISS YOU! But understand if you feel it’s eating your face and you need to cut back.
    And I think, even though there is a lot of “bright and colorful” out there, you totally have your voice and brand DOWN. No one can outshine your ability to turn things into food, turn an awesome pun, and just overall make things larger than life.
    I can’t wait to see what you have for 2017, and I hope it includes cutting yourself a break! You’re such a hard worker and you do it all for us! I mean, the whole dress incident??? HOLY SHIT! You are COMMITTED girlfriend. Thanks for all your hard work.
    My goals include: keeping my store open (haha) and trying to do classes in this tiny space.
    xoxo

    • Kelly

      Thank you my dear!! You know I am so grateful for your support and excitement and enthusiasm every day! Glad to hear you are up for some more personal posts too. And I want to come take a class at your store!!!! *Books flights*

  • Chelsey G

    Oh Kelly, you are so amazing. Thank you for sharing all of this with your readers! I cannot wait to see what 2017 brings you!

  • Brittany D

    This post was so vulnerable and honest. You are the real deal! Thank you for sharing. It was definitely refreshing to hear how you’re honestly feeling. I’m so sorry for the terrible struggles you’re facing with infertility. I am going to be thinking of you and sending baby vibes all year long! My recommendation for handling your money is to read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and attend his Financial Peace University. I have always been terrible with money and it was a mega game-changer for me. I feel and am 150% more in control of my finances. You won’t regret it.
    I wish you well and I can’t wait to see what this new year brings!

    • Kelly

      Thank you so much Brittany! And thank you for the tips on the money resources. I will definitely look into them!!

  • Anna María

    Thank you for sharing! I love reading your yearly reviews. You are such an inspiration. In my eyes you done some great success in 2016. I’m looking forward to follow you 2017. All the best!

    • Kelly

      Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoy these posts each year. As hard as they are to write, they end up being some of my favorite.

  • Sarah

    I did 1SE for 2016 and it was amazing! It definitely taught me to be on the lookout for the best part of each day and also, on less eventful days, celebrate the little things! Good luck! 🙂

  • anna

    If you haven’t already read The Alchemist, you should. It’s a good and easy read to start the new year.

    https://www.amazon.com/Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0061122416

  • Mia

    Kelly! Love this post. Honestly, I love reading the personal stuff from you, so more of it on the blog is totally welcome! I know you said you felt like you weren’t connecting with us as much (on instagram), but I absolutely LOVE that 95% of the time when I message you or Jeff on Snapchat, I get a response! It seriously makes me so freaking happy. So thanks for that. I love you guys to pieces and I can’t wait to see what excitement happens for you and Jeff and Bella and the blog in 2017!

    • Kelly

      Really excited to share more personal posts here! And I love chatting with you on Snapchat, thanks for being part of the #snaptroop!!! =)

  • Allison

    Thank you so much for sharing this every year Kelly. You and Jeff are amazing and I’ve loved watching you and your businesses grow. There’s so much to look forward to, and I can’t wait to follow along!

    • Kelly

      Thank you for the support and encouragement, Allison! Wishing you all the best in 2017!

  • Zoe

    Love your blog!! Had to reply to say, you should read “A Man Called Ove.” I just read it and seriously could NOT put it down. I obviously don’t know you, but I feel like you will l-o-v-e it. (At least I hope you do!) And, it’s an easy read. Here’s to a great 2017!!

  • Kara

    There aren’t a ton of places I check daily on the Internet, but you are one – YOU ARE SO TALENTED! But, it’s more than that. You set yourself apart by being real and interesting, as well as totally inspirational. If there are places, we as your community can support you, please let us know, because you give so much! (I would have totally sent you late night dance videos had I known you were pulling a sewing all-nighter!). Personally, I love your DIYs, but come back because I am invested in you and Jeff. And your shoes. It’s actually totally about your shoes. 🙂

    Also, I used to feel the same way about money and then I started doing http://ynab.com and OMG, I NEVER worry about money any more, which I couldn’t imagine saying a year ago. I actually went shopping over the holidays and for the first time in my life wasn’t stressed because I’d planned (plus,you start where you are and if you fall off the wagon, you just start again, no biggie).

    You are seriously amazing, lady, and we are here wherever 2017 may take you!

    • Kelly

      Aw thank you Kara!! That means so much to me that you pop by here every day!!! Thank you for the money resource rec, and good to know about the shoes. We are hoping to start a “shoe of the week” series on Instagram. 😉

  • Lilach

    This post is beautiful and inspiring . Hope you will have a happy 2017! Hugs

  • Amy Watkins

    Your #4 is totally on my list too! I’ve already started by reading Erin Loechner’s “Chasing Slow”. I’m a scatterbrain, but this book was a total page turner. Highly recommend it!

    http://designformankind.com/chasingslow/

    • Kelly

      YES! I am SO excited for Erin’s book. I can’t wait to dive in. She is such an inspiration to me.

  • Lauren

    Wonderful read. Hate hearing you think you’ve failed at so much when you have succeeded so much more!

    All the love in the world (especially the UK)

    Lauren

  • Kendall G.

    Kelly,
    I’ve followed your blog for a year now and the bright colors and DIY inspiration are so fun! I LOVED your halloween line and even bought the green dress to make my own costume! I would love to see your DIY costume line extended to children as well! I think it’s such a killer idea!

    Also, I have been so proud of you sharing your fertility journey. I have been on a similar road this year and it’s amazing to read about someone going through something similar. You are much braver than I in sharing your journey. I have written about mine but been too scared to share.

    I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks in April and again at 6 weeks (technically a chemical pregnancy) in August. Both were devastating. I read what you wrote about after having one hearing how common it was and after experiencing two being so down and frustrated. That is exactly where I was.

    Luckily, in October we conceived again and I’m finally 12 weeks along with a healthy baby girl. 2016 was a trying time in my life, and I wouldn’t wish the pain of miscarriage on anyone. Lady Antebellum recently released a song “Thy will” that she wrote about her miscarriage and it brought me a lot of peace listening to her words.

    I am praying for you and your husband that God gives you the baby you want. It’s so hard sometimes to trust in His timing and his plan. I am a planner. Much like I think you are, so I think it’s more difficult for our type! My prayer is that your family grows in just the way He wants and that 2017 brings you joy and hope.

    Your fan,
    Kendall G.

    • Kelly

      Kendall, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve faced similar struggles but so excited that CONGRATS are in order!!! Thank you so much for the encouragement and prayers! We are feeling really hopeful about our journey to parenthood and can’t wait to share a big update on that soon.

  • Caitlin Lee

    Thanks for sharing! I just wanted to say I also had two miscarriages this year, and reading how badly you wanted a baby in your arms or belly for Christmas made me cry. I also wanted that so badly too. It still stings. Here’s to a fertile/adopting/good baby vibes 2017!

    • Kelly

      Oh Caitlin, I’m so sorry to hear that you have faced these struggles too. The holidays just amplify the pain so much. I am sending those good baby vibes right back to you in 2017. We’re all in this together!!

  • Nicole

    Ahh you are amazing! This was by far the most honest and relatable blog post I’ve come across. I have really enjoyed following you and your husband for the past year (or is it two by now!) I’m a 28 year old small business owner, a disabled chronic (but hopefully not terminal) sicky and I lost my ability to be a biological mama in December. I spent the majority of the year feeling like a failure. So much time spent in the hospital put my business on the back burner, my clients work was delayed, my friendships suffered, I was incapable of having an intimate relationship, I felt like a failure as a woman when I lost my ability to get pregnant after yeaaaarrrs of trying via iui/ivf , and I found it so hard to keep my head above water emotionally, financially, all the “*iallys” I suppose. Honestly your posts inspired me and I am so grateful that you choose to share not only your talents, but your personal struggles. I am more Oregon Gloom and less vibrant (color scares me… I know, sad) and your photos and writing were always so upbeat and honest that I find myself looking forward to them every day. I never make resolutions, but after a doozy like 2016 I figured I would start.

    1. I can’t control it, but I want to be cancer free. Surgery free even!
    2. Leave my house more. When I feel like a painful turd, which is every day, I choose sitting on my couch after work vs. going out into the world. I joined a trivia night so that’s a start!
    3. Work more. I love my job and let so many things hold me back last year. I want to make more time to create and actually build something on social media.
    4. Start an adoption savings. Right now I can’t fathom adopting, I nannied for a decade and am a child portrait photographer… so I selfishly want that biological connection. But someday I won’t care. I want to be ready.

    I hope 2017 brings so much happiness, brightness and eventually sleepless new baby nights into the Mindell household. Xoxo

    • Kelly

      My goodness, Nicole! You have been through so much and are so strong!! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so glad that we can be in this together and help bring each other comfort. I LOVE your resolutions and am going to be thinking of you and sending you so many good, healthy vibes.

  • Caitlin

    Thank you for continuing to publish amazing content! I can’t wait to read your take on how the aesthetics of craft blogs have changed in recent years.

    Two ideas I want to share:
    -Reading for 10 minutes before bed helps me stick to a reading-every-day practice. Just gotta stop before I get too sleepy. Or download books to your phone, so you can read when you’re waiting in line.
    -The app called Mint (or Minted? I’m not sure) is nice for personal finances. It’s pretty intuitive, and they’ll even calculate realistic budgets for different categories based on your buying habits.

    • Kelly

      I love the idea of reading for 10 minutes. It seems so manageable and something I could actually do. Also so smart to download books to your phone!! I never thought of that, but would be so much better than stumbling into the Facebook abyss every time I have a free moment.

  • Sandra Trinidad

    You definitely did NOT FAIL at makingme smile and brighten my day with your colorful posts that I know take a a lot of effort. THANK YOU!

  • Megan

    Failure is NOT the word I would have used for your year! Soooo many successes. I think with time and perspective you will look back on this year for what it was, a huge growth year that had some set backs. With that being said, I TOTALLY get what you are saying. *hand raised emoji*—-> I too am a perfectionist and know how the bad can make everything else seem like a big fat fail.

    I too had a lot of great stuff happen in 2016 (purchased our first house!) but the bad stuff that happened overshadowed the good, overwhelmingly (two miscarriages after 2 years of trying). I too feel like I am stumbling into 2017 in a haze. Which sucks because I am the one who looks on the positive side, sets new goals, has a clear vision. It feels like 2016 took all of that bounce out of my step, to say the least. I went limping into 2017.

    Please know, from the outside, you are KILLING IT. And while the online story isn’t the entire story it is still your story and I am over the top impressed with the growth your work life has produced. Look at all of those employees! The amazing product line! Your marriage! Nothing is ever perfect (Why?! WHY can’t it be?!) but you are a rock star in life and in business. I just wanted to tell you that.

    And from this long comment it is clear I think of you as a friend and family member too (embarrassed to admit). I will continue to follow along in 2017, cheering you on and trying to throw an encouraging word your way when needed. xo

    • Kelly

      Megan, it feels like we have walked such similar paths in 2016! I am so sorry to hear you have also faced two miscarriages. Oh, the pain. The haze! I relate so much. I am feeling really hopeful that after such a turbulent year we will both find 2017 to be a much more positive one, even if it takes us a little longer to get into the swing of things. I’ll be sending so many good vibes your way!

  • John

    Kelly,
    Thank you for this post, as a fan (my wife and I love all things studiodiy) you and Jeff bring such joy to so many. Thank you. The failure part really resonated with me. In our house we have a saying, “Grace upon grace”. This means dont be scared to mess up, to fail. So many times we live in a world that says it has to be perfect the first time or else but we dont wont a house like that. for now we dont have kids and its just us but we want to show grace to one another and harbor taking risks and we will want that for our family one day too. We try to even ask each other what we failed at that past week, because we believe failure can be a good thing if you let it. Keep pushing and keep going and just remember that there is always grace uopn grace.

    • Kelly

      I love that saying, John. We may need to adopt that here in our house too. I also love that you ask each other what you failed at. I read an article once about a father who, in addition to asking about the positives, asked his children every week what they failed at and I thought that was so powerful. You can learn SO much from failures, more than the successes! It’s just taking me awhile to understand and accept that I think. Thank you for your encouragement! Wishing you all the best in 2017.

  • Rachael @ Rachael's Foodie Life

    Wow Kelly last year sounds full on. You are amazing, I stumbled across your blog by accident one day and now I am here 3 or 4 times a week. I haven’t made any of you diys yet but I am planning to this year.
    Sometimes I open your blog and read a post, a colourful diy or recipe if I’ve had a bad day it really lightens my mood.
    My goal for this year is to focus and my blog and my business and build ☺️ I currently have a local cake business that I want to build and I also want start writing some courses for people looking to start blogging.
    Along with that my husband and I are building a house this year!! I am so stupidly excited about that, it seems crazy to me that it’s something we can accomplish this year and I am so looking forward to the journey.

    • Kelly

      Rachael! I’m so glad you’ve found my corner of the internet!! It sounds like you have so many exciting things ahead!! Building a house!!!! How awesome. Sending you all the best in 2017. I think it’s gonna be a good one!

  • Catherine

    Kelly, you are solid gold. And I’m going to be one of the millions to think HOW ON EARTH DID YOU FAIL?! You are the BOSS. You inspire me everyday, not just with your beautiful and fun content but with your hustle and ambition. You’re making people smile everyday, sounds like a win to me!

    Keep on doing your thing, we’ll all keep on coming back for more!

  • Anna

    Kelly you are fab. I just found your blog and stuff this year and am blown away by your genius. I love your brights and like others have said, for me your style really pops out. I only follow a few blogs and you, Beautiful mess and underthesycamore are my faves. You are top of the list right now as you are new to me and I’ve had times over Christmas when all the tabs open in my browser were to your posts and you tube channel. My girls (7 and 11 are pretty hooked too). Both of these treasures were born after hormone treatment with something called clomid I took the it for the maximum amount of time and they were both conceived after we had given up at the last possible opportunity. Like you I had miscarriages. I’m sad for your experiences but also with you on the hope it does happen. The other thing which I have since found out about which helped a friend keep pregnancies was as simple as a small out of asprin everyday, it helps by thinning blood if it is thick and keeping it flowing. I expect you are aware of all this stuff, but I wasn’t so wanted to share just incase. You are a fabulous, unique and brave person who has brought joy and sunshine into out lives. Praying that you will feel the same from us in your life.

    • Kelly

      Anna!!! I love that you had so many Studio DIY tabs open, and that your girls are involved too. That just really makes my heart happy!!! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. And for sharing your success story! Sending you all the best in 2017!

  • amy

    Kelly as a 42 yr old woman still struggling to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I look at all you have accomplished in a year and think, “dang girl, I wish I had an ounce of that passion and drive!” It’s actually incredibly disheartening to read your long list of failures, because do you realize you haven’t failed? Not in the slightest. What has happened is that you haven’t met your own expectations – some of which are unrealistic. You do realize you cannot give 1000% to everything in your life all at once, right? Do you really think you could buy, renovate and decorate a house and run a multi-faceted business AND read everyday? That’s hilarious actually if you’ve ever lived through a home reno. The point is at different phases of our life we pick and choose what gets our attention, and for how long. Priorities change, our wants and needs change. You have a lifetime to get through the list. We all would love to have it all and have it now, but that’s not how life works. I really hope for your health and sanity you take another look at your goal list and recognize what would be nice someday (a reading habit, a dance class) and what is really important in the moment (your health, your family). You have proven time and again your ability and your passion, the rest will come (and if you’re focusing less on failing you’ll actually get to enjoy all that success). Okay, old lady rant over. Happy 2017 you crazy kids. You’re doing amazing.

    • Kelly

      You are very right, I am the QUEEN of setting unrealistic expectations. I am slowly learning to lower those expectations and appreciate your honesty and encouragement!! Wishing you the best in 2017!

  • Hannah

    So many of your failures & new year goals really resonate with. 2016 was just *that* kind of year for everyone, I guess?

    Technology has totally taken over my life and I’m trying hard to lessen it’s grip on me and get back to doing things *I* love to do so I have a better version of myself to present to others. Bring it on, 2017!

    Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

    • Kelly

      2016 really was a weird year, wasn’t it? Almost everyone I’ve talked to has felt that way! I hope we can both figure out a better way to loosen technology’s grip on us this year.

  • Amrita

    Thank you so much for sharing this post! You are pretty incredible and your posts and videos bring s lot of color and happiness to my life. I pray that you will grow your family this year. Your snapchats are the best and thank you for all the smiles! Keep your head up ❤️

  • Annina

    You may think you have failed but to us you are an amazing person who creates amazing things. Keep doing what you are doing and everything will turn out the way it is meant to be! Can’t wait for more studio DIY this year!

    • Kelly

      Thank you Annina, you are so kind! So excited to see where 2017 takes us! =)

  • Valentina

    Kelly, THANK YOU for sharing this. You have accomplished so much this year (never forget that!) and I wish you and Jeff all the best in 2017. You are wonderful, kind and generous people, and I have truly enjoyed feeling like I got to know you a little better (thanks Internet!) in 2016. xo

  • Cayce

    Happy 2017!

    I love your website/Instagram/Snap and always get great crafty ideas for myself and 2 daughters. Can’t wait to see what you have in mind for this year. Best wishes!

  • Molly

    Thanks so much for opening up, Kelly! I hope you realize you DEFINITELY stand out in the best way possible! Praying for the best for you and your family and team in 2017!!

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

  • Camille

    As an avid reader (both of Studio DIY and of books) my reading tips would be to keep a book in your bag wherever you go! Any down time waiting anywhere, traveling, etc = reading time! Also can help with cutting out phone time! I’d also suggest joining a book club, kind of holds you accountable to actually read and finish books!

    Keep up the good work in 2017, Kelly!

    • Kelly

      I love that idea! There are so many moments where I pull out my phone and could just pull out a book instead. Thanks Camille!

  • Chloe

    You are one of my biggest inspirations. I am still in middle school and love all things creative. You are so amazing and inspiring in all you do. I too am a perfectionist and fear failing but, I want you to know your blog and YouTube are both amazing and I see no failure. I realate to you so much and I love everything you do. You have overcome and accomplished so much and achieved your dreams. One day I hope to be like you and achieve my own dreams. I am always praying for you and your goal of growing your family. One day your children will have an amazing mother to look up to. In the end I just want you to know I love what you do and you are very inspiring, keep up what you are doing and don’t let the bad drag you down. Focus on the good even if it is little things, you have already accomplished so much and and you will accomplish so much more.

  • Chrissy

    Kelly, every time you open up I honestly feel like we would be friends if we lived in the same city! Kudos to you for opening up, and keep taking a step back this year to assess JUST. HOW. MUCH. you have accomplished! To give a tip on the phone addiction issue, my husband and I decided not to let our phone into the bedroom 2 years ago now and we have stuck to it! We keep our phones in the hallway, so it helps in needing to get out of bed to turn our alarms off, and it has really helped keep it a calm and serene space! Hope this helps!!

    • Kelly

      Let’s be BFFs, Chrissy!! I love that you’ve instead that no phone rule. I think it would take us a long time to get to that point but I think it’s such an awesome goal. Bravo to you for sticking to it!!!!

  • Mariana

    I have been subscribed for a while now and I absolutely LOVE Studio DIY, like everything about it! I’m proud to see you haven’t given up on goal #1 an that you have so many other goals planned for 2017. All those late nights and long days were completely worth it and your fans and subscribers are super proud of you and your team! Your YouTube channel, website, email list and more are all successes in my eyes! You are very brave for sharing your experiences, both good and bad with the internet! Because of you I have been inspired to start a YouTube channel. I’m really excited for what adventures are to come in the New Year and I can’t wait o recieve more newsletters from Studio DIY and get even more inspired than I already am!

    You are an inspiration Kelly good luck this coming New Year!

    • Kelly

      Aw thank you Mariana!!! You are so sweet!! I’m so glad I helped inspire you to start a YouTube channel, how exciting!! Wishing you all the best in 2017!

  • Sara

    Thank you for sharing your life so openly. It’s got to be a challenge to do that, be so creative, take care of yourself and love your people well. Wishing you the very best in 2017! Also, I’ve been doing the 1 Sec Everyday app for 7 months and love it to pieces! I hope you will too!

  • Gaby

    Hi Kelly! First, you just inspired me to write down my goals, 5 days into the New year and I still have no idea what I want to achieve!

    Second, I was able to reach my reading goal of 2016, I used goodreads.com to update my progress and they have a reading challenge option for you to celebrate as you go. Last year I read 27 out of 26 books of my reading challenge. Also, I really like reading in the morning, I get to my office 30 min earlier and I read and have breakfast before I have to face all the crazyness (I work in a middle school), I suggest you try different times of the day and use books as a sustitute for Instagram and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

    Your goals are great and ambicious! I like to celebrate my little accomplishments as I go, you know if I finish a book I’ll buy myself a chocolate, something simple that I love and that it makes me feel good.

    From my point of view you and Jeff achieved so much last year! But I also identify with that feeling of failure, and that is something I’ve worked on for a while now, not being so hard on my self. I’ll get there!

    Have a wonderful 2017, I look foward to try new DIY’s and read, follow you around. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Jalee

    Kelly, you are such an inspiration to me, and one of my favorite bloggers to follow. You have accomplished SO much with your YouTube channel and your store, you should be super proud! I totally get the feeling of wanting to be the best version of ourselves, it often gets overwhelming. You have endless support from all of your fans! I look forward to seeing what kind of awesomeness you come up with next! Praying you get your family and home this year! Keep rockin’ it sista!! Much love!

  • Nicole

    Hi, Kelly! Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings! Piggybacking off someone way up in the comments, I would LOVE to see a a conversation/informal panel (like living room style, eating avocado toast and drinking wine) with some well-known brands and bloggers who have been vocal about the kind of struggles/life realness that has come with the changing landscape of social media and blogging.

    I think a “keep it real” convo would be so amazing and inspiring to us plebs with far less colorful lives, haha. I’m thinking Jen Gotch (who has also been so open and vulnerable this year), Allison of Party with Allison (Skype her in 😂), Joy Cho, YOU (obviously!!) etc. I think a video would be most engaging, but hey, I don’t run your life! Ha! But honestly, in a sea of hashtag ad, shiny happy bloggers, the realest most vulnerable, honest women inspire me way more.

  • Blythe

    Kelly – this post is AMAZING! It’s everything I wanted to read and more; honest, open and insightful. Thank you for keeping it real and welcoming us into your life on a personal level. I look forward to seeing more of these types of posts, and personal posts on the blog in the future – it mixes things up a bit and I like that. Sending you all the good vibes as you work to grow your family and I really hope this is your year for that too. Looking forward to what’s to come of Studio DIY in 2017!

    Cheers!!!
    -Blythe

  • Maria

    Hi Kelly! I just wanted to say I appreciate you being so vulnerable. As a business owner myself, I really look up to you and am just entertained by your life. I always try to wait until the end of the day to watch Jeff and your’s snapstories. I just like you guys. I know it’s been a tough year but I hope you keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

  • Jen Kessler

    Hey Kelly! Ok, reading, I hate to say it but….if you go to the bathroom every morning, you could read like a page or two a day 😂 Or you could cheat and listen to audio books in the car. Technically you’re still consuming the same information.

    I would love to read your more personal content. I’ve always been into blogging and reading blogs for the more “journal” aspect.

    Happy 2017!

  • Anne

    Hi! I just read your whole post. Most be hard to be so honest on the internet. But I really appreciate it. I know the feeling of wanting to do everything perfect but not having the time or energy for it… But that makes you even more an inspiration for me. And I hope you can be proud of everything you did this year. I’m looking forward to the blogposts about your new house!

  • carrie

    Love the honesty, and I can relate to much.

    Big hugs!

    Carrie
    http://www.wearwherewell.com

  • Julia

    Oh Kelly I hope you really don’t think of your year as a failure! You accomplished so so so much and I was seriously inspired by all of your projects! Everyone is human and needs to cut themselves a little slack. None of us saw any sort of failure from you, so at least know that 🙂 Good luck again this year on adding another member to the family – saying a prayer for you!

    Julia – http://bunnybaubles.com

  • Sally Greider

    Hi Kelly! I really loved this post. I’ve kind of been a lurker around StudioDIY since I discovered it a few months ago, but I’m hoping to start commenting more because you are so relatable and awesome and your content is SO lovely.

    I really identify with being a perfectionist too, and not taking time for myself or taking care of myself. 2016 was a really rough year in a lot of ways for everyone it seems like. But your post and personal writing and focus on the future resonates with me. You do so much and to me you’re not a failure at all, you’re an inspiration to be creative and do good work even with failure hovering around the way it always does. As a college student, failure and fear are always over my head, but you’ve really inspired me to try to stay creative and hopefully even launch my own blog to the big ole blogosphere this year!

    I also just wanted to say that to me your content really stands out! I looove #CantClutchThis and I feel like everything in Shop Studio DIY is always getting bigger and better and even more colorful than other blogs I follow just as often. Sorry this was such a long ramble, but thanks again for sharing. My goals for 2017: also try monotasking, launch my own blog, and hopefully graduate! 😀 Best of luck to you with everything, I’ll be following along.

  • Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

    Kelly!!! You have worked so so hard this year, and so many trials and tribulations – you are quite bloody amazing, I hope you know that. You are the firecracker that continues to sparkle and lead. Seriously, there are so many IG accounts that have picked up your signature colourful style – but I always see you as the originator. For books, I would start with reading right before bed – just set 10 measly minutes aside where you have NO technology around and you read 10 minutes before falling asleep. Those 10 minutes might turn into 20, or 30 … but it’s also just a nice relaxing thing to do in the evening. It’s the only time I find time to read unless I’m on vacation or on a plane!! There are so many great books out there right now – I’ve just finished Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, I think you’ll love it – and you can read it chapter by chapter as it’s a collection of writing. I’m currently halfway through Swing Time by Zadie Smith – brilliant book.

    I love how much more you’ve shared with your readers this year, your personal struggles and the tough stuff – it brings life and genuineness to your blog, and I think we all need to come back to that – there are some bloggers/social media personalities out there where you just can’t connect with them, they may be brilliant designers but there’s a coldness and therefore a disconnect, where it becomes just another product. I feel like in a way people are maybe subconsciously desperate to connect because we’re losing sense of what that feels like.

    One of my goals this year is to simply write whatever I wanted, accompanied by cakes that I’d been making, and just making my blog a place where I enjoy going to and working on. Whether that scares away brands and partnerships, I’m ok with, but still enjoying the creative aesthetic aspect of styling and photography and baking but also just sharing more in my writing. My last two posts have been fun for me in that way, even if it’s more scarily vulnerable.

    “I willl alwayyyyys looove youuuu” as Whitney sang … you always have my support. Take that time to breathe and stay mindful of this incredible world you’ve created around you – wishing you and Jeff THE BEST in 2017! xo your friend Lyndsay

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