Friday, January 26, 2018

Top 10 Posts of the Decade

Last week, as the tenth anniversary of A Little Loveliness approached, I decided to look into statistics to determine some of my most popular posts. I knew without a doubt which one would take top honors because I still get occasional emails about this party detail, but other favorites were a surprise. Keep reading for a countdown of most-viewed features, and click the numbered heading to visit any you might have missed!

It truly touched my heart to see that this little moment I observed -- an exchange I might have forgotten had I not preserved it here -- has been one of my most shared devotionals. Often we think that grand gestures demonstrate a giving spirit, but this sweet lady proves that the smallest acts of thoughtfulness can add up to a lifetime of blessing others.

This recipe was developed with a favorite BBC costume drama in mind, but individual little fruit tarts could easily deliver sweet sentiments to loved ones at Valentine's Day.

Celebrating Emma's 7th birthday at a local pottery studio allowed us to paint the town pink. Actually, we used a rainbow of the birthday girl's favorite colors to create her perfect party palette. Click the heading above to catch some of my best resources, but don't miss the artist's palette invitation, necklace tutorial, party menu, and special memories.

From start to finish, this was such a dreamy celebration! The fun started with an invitation fashioned to look like a bed (with a fold-down, monogrammed pillow and custom paper doll), and the creative details continued with a bedroom tablescape, handmade pajamas and party hats, a festive menu, and an easy craft. Love!

When son Christian turned 10, we bowled him over with a surprise party at a local bowling alley. This was a fun activity for guests of all ages, with a theme that could work equally well for a boy or a girl. I still remember the look on Christian's face when he rounded the corner and saw friends and family gathered to celebrate!

I plan to share more of our most memorable holidays in an upcoming post, but this fall feast tops the charts as the most popular on the blog. Blue-and-white transferware is always a classic!

My grandmother devised her own method for making lined pillowcase dresses, and we enjoyed sewing several for Mary Ashley and Emma. This one, with its pastel polka dots, ruffled hem, long grosgrain ribbon ties, and coordinating monogram, was precious as could be. This simple style was definitely a reader favorite, as you will see as our countdown continues.

Oh, what sweet memories this post brings back! Mary Ashley, Emma and I hosted friends for a mother-daughter tea party, and after our meal we made doll dresses from pretty tea towels. This was a great first sewing project to work on together. I would love to step back in time and gather the girls into my lap to experience this fun afternoon of crafting again.

Simple yet tasty, this recipe offers a summer-perfect treat -- especially when finished with cute touches that hint at refreshing citrus flavor!

This little party post has by far exceeded any other post on the blog, with nearly 65,000 views, according to my statistics. I still get questions on making the little tulle skirt from time to time, and someday I WILL make a video tutorial to demonstrate! It makes me smile to know that so many other tiny dancers have let this invitation be the start of their own ballet-themed soirees. 

I hope that you have enjoyed this walk down memory lane! Here's hoping there is more loveliness to come over the next ten years.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Celebrating 10 Years of A Little Loveliness

"An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow." ~ Author Unknown

I can hardly believe that a decade has passed since I started A Little Loveliness. Through the years, it has become my sanctuary -- a treasury of many of my fondest memories, deepest thoughts, and favorite creative ideas. I linger here often, smiling as I revisit old posts. Oh, the memories we have made!

Life has changed so much since I published that first post on January 23, 2008. I see this most profoundly in looking at the children. Carson, now a freshman in college, was an 8-year-old in elementary school when this journey began. Ten years ago, I was adjusting to 6-year-old Christian's kindergarten year; today, I am making peace with the fact that he is a licensed driver. Mary Ashley was in preschool, and Emma was a toddler. Today, at 14 and 11, respectively, they are growing in grace and beauty every day. I must admit, I have shed quite a few tears looking back to the early days of my blog, when there was so much little in my babies. 

Along with the private joys of keeping an online journal, I have also been immensely blessed by the opportunities this forum has brought. I closed that first post, a decade ago today, with these words:

I hope this blog will be a cozy place to meet friends from far and near to share that cup of tea. Please visit often to share a Bible verse, see the children, exchange creative ideas or even find out what's for supper. I hope when you stop by you will find a little loveliness to remind you that your cup overflows with blessings. 
So come back soon! Because from my little spot in the world, I'm flinging the doors wide, brewing a pot of tea and saying "Welcome home!"

At the time, I had no idea that so many would come -- well over 4 million, in fact, to my surprise! It has been such a blessing to connect with so many people from around the world. Through the many transitions we have faced together, your friendship has been such an encouragement to me!

Quite fittingly, it seems, this milestone comes in the midst of a busy week. Our family's brimming schedule will leave little time for celebrating, but I think there is a beauty in marking the day by savoring its precious little moments. Sipping that steaming cup of tea first thing in the morning, catching a glimpse of the pretty bloom that has lasted nearly two weeks nestled in its blush pink vase, reading a word of Scripture that speaks perfectly to where I am now, being greeted with a hug from one of my nearly grown-up teenagers -- these are the precious gifts to be unwrapped during even the most hectic of seasons.

In the coming days, I plan to share some of the most popular posts from the past decade, and there will likely be a giveaway to commemorate this anniversary.

But for today, it's just me.

Extending a hand to you.

To say thank you for bringing a little loveliness into my life.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

Bigstock photo used with permission
Blog Widget by LinkWithin