Wednesday, January 11, 2017

10 My Favorite Posts from 2016: Practical DIYS, Productivity Tips, Inspiring Interviews

Planning and creating content is one of my favorite things to do in the world. Combining words and images in a way that "clicks" and aligns with the spatial harmony I've envisioned is so nerdily fulfilling. It's like editing my own magazine. I always have hundreds of ideas floating in my brain to write and photograph, but if a post doesn't "feel" complete I won't post it. 2016 was definitely the year of getting the ball rolling for Body&Soul and getting out there in the world marketing it in-person; I didn't get to blog like I wanted to. Now that I've got more of a routine going I want to get back to my first love, content creation, in 2017!

Despite it being my slowest blogging year since starting this space on the web back in 2009 I have a few favorites:

1) Stephanie's Bus Home + Tips for Fulfilling, Creative Living in Nature, On Your Terms 

I would move into Stephanie's bus home in a heartbeat, it is perfection. Surrounded by nature, cozy, and artistic. Stephanie shared her home and her life as a farmer and artist.

I loved sharing this technique for other creative magpies that collect things like cocktail napkins and tags because they like the design. I have a napkin from a sushi place I visited in Japan I need to give this treatment to next. This posed is proudly displayed in the shop now, I love looking at it every day.

In Robin I have found my more-talented, more-experienced Etsy spirit animal! She scares her kid with creepy thrifted artwork, it's the same evil whimsical stuff I pull in my daily life. (I just torture/tease my neices/nephews instead.) Aside from our shared love of kitsch and craft she shares some damn good practical tips for anyone who wants to be an artist or Etsy seller full-time and interesting stories from her "conventional" office artist gig of the past.

I'm always hesitant to share all my woo-woo spiritual craziness on the blog, but these posts are well-received. (My ghost story is still popular, that still surprises me.) One thing my new business has taught me, there's A LOT of us new agers/hippies out there. And there's a Field of Dreams "If You Build it They Will Come" beauty to writing and working in this field. Perhaps this year I'll share more from here. Maybe, just maybe, I'll share the religious experience I had that moved me to tears while I was waiting in line to go down a water slide at Jekyll Island. (I'm serious.) We'll see! But back to Tarot. I've used tarot as a guide a lot this year for myself and interested friends, it's just a fascinating journey into the subconscious and a relaxing way to exercise your intuition. By the way, my friend Patricia, a registered mental health counselor, is giving tarot readings at the shop this month at a discount. Let me know if you're interested! I'm probably going to write-up classes on the subject as well, or consult a more experienced reader to come teach on the subject.

The moment I saw the Monsters in my Closet sign on busy Stockton Street near my home I knew I would ADORE every inch of the interior. One of my favorite sights in the world is Japanese Robot Toys of the extra primary color rich eye-searingly bright sentai variety. Just look at the beauty it wrenches my heart with rapturous glee! Oh robots, of pop-culture color blitz, I love you. You are my muse. I don't feel the need for my home to be filled with toys anymore, but it's nice to have a space to view it (and contribute to it) in the community.

My favorite recipes or DIYS to share are the simple few-step varieties. We're all busy, we want high quality goods with no fuss, dammit! Tasty stuff, fast! Cold brew is so easy and satisfying to make and I'm glad people who get acid reflux from their coffee found this method from the blog and reduced their pain.

To use the nerdiest analogy ever, if I was a Pokemon, I leveled up in 2016. I started the year as Bulbasaur and ended it an Ivysaur . And perhaps one day I will graduate to becoming the mighty Venosaur. But not yet. I've "leveled up" when it comes to business accomplishments and finding myself a bit more as a creative and with this post I dug deep to share tips on how others creative professionals could also feel more balanced, focused, and productive.

The most-viewed post of 2016! I was sharing my apartment with my boyfriend, roommate, and my business at the start of the year and now I'm so blessed and happy the business grew to it's own location. The business was like another person or conscious entity, swallowing up the space! And wow, I've already gotten rid of hundreds more items since posting this at the start of the year! I'll have to do more full tours of the rest the apartment soon. I liked sharing this transitional-home-on-a-budget because there needs to be more honest representations of homes on the web. Not just "finished" spaces, but those awkward in-betweens. I enjoy seeing a gorgeously curated space like most design geeks but I also love it when bloggers share the unpolished realities, too.

Ouch, this one hurt to look back on. Last year the fans mourned an icon. I took it as a lesson. Prince never took a break from "being Prince", he never gave himself the self-care needed after strenuous performances and that shortened his lifespan. Most artists can relate to that relentless drive, let's take breaks and try not to suffer the same fate. You are missed, Prince.

I finally articulated some principles I live my life by. With Science! Of all the posts I've written, I'd consider this the must-read for everyone.

This year I took some online business/productivity classes and turned them into blog posts on productivity. My favorites in the productivity series: 

Write it all down || 3 Goals Per Week, 3 Tasks Per Day || Hand Write Before You Type

Not bad 2016, not as bad as I thought until digging in and looking at it! I've already got the editorial calendar (flexibly) filled-out for 2017! If there's anything you want to see in particular please do share in the comments or via e-mail. I want to interview more creative business owners, bloggers, writers, and just awesome people like you so please e-mail if you'd like to be featured! I love writing here, but it's you reading the words, leaving the feedback, and using or learning from posts that makes writing here worthwhile and special. I (and other readers) and learned so much from your comments. It takes a post to another level. I love this connection, it's what makes the web so incredible, it's a medium for greater interaction, communication and discovery. 

Let's use that as consolation when we spend a pinch too much time browsing blogs and social media ;) Thank you for being here in 2016, let's live and learn hard in 2017!
For daily updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.


  1. I always enjoy your blog posts Vanessa! I must agree that we get so much out of blogging when interacting with others. We learn from and get inspired by others. The internet is a beautiful thing!

    1. Aw, thanks for the kind words. It really is, I'm grateful we can all find our tribes so easily on the web these days.

  2. You're much more consistent than I am, Vanessa! I enjoy reading your posts a lot and I'm looking forward to your content this year :)

    1. Aw, thanks Duni! It's kind of nice that blogs in general that posted daily went to once or a few times per week. There's so much content out there, better to do it slowly so readers can digest it all from all their favorite sources.

  3. Love this post, all these posts just show how diverse and interesting your blog is, keep it up :-)

    1. Aw, thank you :) Many more diverse weirdness to come, it's a blog that hop subjects like my crazy busy brain does.


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