2019 In Review & Looking Ahead to 2020

Blog Update: a look ahead to what’s in store for 2020, and 2019 in review. Features favorite recipes from 2019, turning 60, and plans for the new year.

2019 was a good year…and a lot happened. Both of our children moved, we welcomed a new grandson, and thanks to you, this blog kept me busier than ever. Today I’m taking a look back at the highlights from 2019, and a quick look ahead at what is planned for 2020. At the end of the post, some of my best blogging friends are sharing their highlights as well, so I hope you have time to check that out. 

First, let’s look back.

blue and cream pitcher with flowers


The year 2019 brought my 60th birthday, and for the first time in years, I felt there was something to celebrate. Most years, I would rather just skip right over my birthday. However, this year I was very grateful for the blessings in my life, and felt I should acknowledge the milestone. No life is perfect, and no life is problem-free…but even with the ups and downs we all experience, I know I am very lucky. I have put on a few pounds, but generally, I’m in good health. My kids and grandkids are thriving and happy. At almost 86, my dad is still going strong, and is such a bright spot in my life. My husband rebounded from a few serious health issues, and is doing great. I don’t have everything, but I want for nothing, and my faith is stronger than ever. 

I hope that all of you can look back on the year with the same positive feelings. Even if life has thrown a few curve balls, I hope you can look back and find something good to be thankful for. 

organization ideas glasses in kitchen cabinet


I began 2019 with a huge chip on my shoulder about my kitchen. “Hate” seems like a strong word, but the honest truth is that I hated it. It was not functioning at all, it was not organized, and it just felt old. I knew that a new kitchen was basically impossible, so my only options were to either live with it and be miserable, or fix it and get on with my life. I chose the second option, and I’m happy to say that my kitchen organization project was a great success. It has stayed organized, and withstood the test of time. 

pyrex in kitchen cabinet pull out shelf

There is only one shelf, in one cabinet, that has become a bit unruly. It’s a catch-all shelf, and I plan to regain control of it in the next few weeks. All the other cabinets look just like they did after they were first cleaned and organized. The kitchen functions very well, and I have spent the last year being glad I took the time to make the changes. It was a big project, but so worth the time, effort, and expense.


finished berry chantilly cake recipe


I really love all the aspects of writing this website, but of course, I do have my favorites. One of them is making and photographing the recipes. For 2019, my goal was to update as many of the older recipes as I could, by adding new pictures and more information. I worked all year, and have made tremendous progress. I will continue to share new recipes in 2020, and will also finish updating the old ones.

Here is the best of 2019:

berry chantilly cake recipe fi
Simplified Berry Chantilly Cake Recipe
A simplified Berry Chantilly Cake Recipe that uses short cuts for quick prep, but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen! Makes a nine inch, two layer cake.
See this recipe
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Corn Chowder Recipe
Make this corn chowder recipe for a hearty and delicious fall or winter dinner. It's super easy and the leftovers are amazing!
See this recipe
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Best Brownie Recipe for One (Microwave Edition)
Make this easy best brownie recipe for one as a snack or dessert. Satisfies your chocolate cravings, make it in the microwave, and perfect portion control!
See this recipe
blueberry coffee cake recipe mini bundt cakes fi
Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe
A delicious and easy blueberry coffee cake recipe that uses basic pantry ingredients and is so moist it will melt in your mouth!
See this recipe
waterford bowl with fruit
Sugared Cranberries
Learn how to make sugared cranberries to garnish your holiday desserts. They make a delicious snack, and are the perfect mix of tart and sweet!
See this recipe
sweet chex mix recipe fi
Sweet Chex Mix Recipe: Oven Baked
This sweet Chex mix recipe (oven baked) is the perfect snack for those chilly fall days. Pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar add the best flavor!
See this recipe


Our biggest project for 2019 was removing our rotted deck, and installing a poured concrete patio. I had specific goals for the space, and I’m happy to say that I met each one of them. It’s not grand or big, but it’s basically maintenance-free, which was my main goal.



I’ve decided to save the goal-setting for another year, and simply take one day at a time in 2020. Goals are wonderful, and they keep us accountable, but they can also be a weight on our shoulders. There are some things I’d like to do, but I’m not calling them goals. Here they are…

roses and boxwood in kitchen sink

Kitchen Renovation

One of my goals for 2019, which I did not meet, was to begin a kitchen renovation. As seems to happen to me a lot, other things got in the way. The patio project was necessary, but went on forever, and cost more than we had anticipated. By the time it was finished, there was no time, and no money, left for the kitchen. I don’t feel like I failed, but I am definitely disappointed. So, for about the third year in a row, updating our kitchen is something I want to do in 2020. It’s not exactly a goal, but something I want very badly. The ceramic tile counters are getting worse by the day, and everything needs painted again. I am praying that this is the year!


I began taking a once-a-week yoga class in early 2019. Much to my surprise, I really fell in love with the philosophy of yoga, and each class is a gift I give to myself. In 2020, I would like to add a class or two per week. I’m an early riser, and have a flexible schedule. There is no reason I can’t do this, so wish me luck!

hydrangeas and lavender in stone pitcher

More of the Same

One of the things I worry about is that you will all become tired of seeing the same old spaces, season after season. It’s needless worry though, because I cannot renovate and/or redecorate all the time. Not only is it unaffordable, it’s not practical. 

So…for 2020 and beyond, I will continue to bring you new ideas and inspiration for refreshing your homes with as little effort as possible, and for a reasonable cost. You may have noticed that I added a little tagline to my blog header, “where simple is best,” and it’s going to be our motto for 2020. There is much to look forward to, and so much to experience, but we’re going to keep it simple.  As always, I’d love for us to do it together. Happy New Year!

Now it’s time to take a look at what my friends are sharing!

End of Year Hop Tuesday 01

Designthusiasm | On Sutton Place | Maison de Cinq

End of Year Hop Tuesday 03

French Country Cottage | Thistlewood Farms | Town & Country Living

End of Year Hop Tuesday 02

Cherished Bliss | My 100 Year Old Home | Rooms for Rent

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