What A Year...

Hello sweet friends!

Today we have reason to CELEBRATE over here at Sundresses and Smiles!  It's my blog's first birthday!  Sit down with a pretty piece of pink cake and stay awhile!  This LONG, special post is dedicated to YOU...my wonderful, dedicated readers!

On March 15, 2011 I published my very first post ever.  I was anxious, giddy, nervous, and excited!  Little did I know on that day, what the year ahead and blogging had in store for me.

Over the course of the year A LOT has happened in my life and the blog has served as a journal and way to share myself with the world.

Since March 15, 2011...

  • I started a blog and named it Sundresses and Smiles
  • I finished my four years as an undergraduate at THE University,
  • I moved home for a fun-filled summer with The Cuties
  • I met a boy...
  • ...and FELL IN LOVE!
  • I had my first (of hopefully many) bloggy meet-ups with Claire of Life in the Sweet Virginia Breeze
  • I made a blog Facebook page...please click here and "LIKE" it!!
  • I began student teaching and survived an earthquake during the second week
  • I realized blogging 5x a week might not be realistic in my post-college life,
  • I've made wonderful new friends and figured out ways to stay in touch with the old ones that now may be far away.
  • I was accepted into Teach for America, but realized, that my heart and home are in Richmond, VA
  • I joined and became obsessed with Pinterest.  (Check out my pins here!)
  • I've graduated with my Masters of Teaching.
  • I've made a blog best friend (stop by and say hi to Maddie at spark.)
  • I've witnessed my aunt's struggle and triumph over colon cancer (she still has a road ahead, but surgery was successful and the doctors said chemo is not necessary!!!)
  • I've begun substitute teaching and figured out what schools and grades might be the best fit for me,
  • I've begun the grueling and scary application process for a job in the fall
  • AND...I've written 213 posts about books, crafts, my shopping addiction, favorite recipes, Africa, children, my life and more!
But, what has been so special about this last year, is that I've had a whole new support network throughout all of these life events.  I've known that each of you is behind me and there for me.

You are what keeps me coming back for more, even these days when I rarely find time to blog.  You have made me smile, made me laugh, made me cry, and taught me A LOT.

In honor of this blogoversary I thought I would share an assortment of my favorite posts.  Y'all know I h ave trouble picking favorites, so it's quite the long list.  Some of you may be new to the blog, so check out some of the old posts you've missed.  Others have been here from the start and may remember these.  Scroll down my list of favorites--I hope that each of you will be able to find one (or FIVE) new posts you hadn't yet read and ENJOY!

Check out my very first introductory post, "Welcome" by clicking here!

Cycle is one of my all time favorite workouts but it can be intimidating at first...for an introductory guide, check out "Cycle 101" by clicking here.

Of all my book reviews, Firefly Lane still takes the cake--this book will change your life.  Read my review by clicking here!

I fully believe in making the best of what life throws your way, and throughout the last year I have looked back on this post many times to remind myself of my optimism during some of the tough times.  Checkout "Divine Intervention," by clicking here!

All you Southerners out there LOVED this post "Fabulous Front Porches."  Click here for some front porch eye candy!

Those of you that are new since the summer, probably have NO IDEA who the Cuties are--to learn about my two favorite kids, "Meet Cuties A and B" by clicking here.

I'm a huge fan of Self magazine and I shared an article that particularly stuck with me in this post "On Friendship."  Read it by clicking here.

If you're in need of a good laugh, check out "A 'Wow' for your Wednesday" by clicking here.

Read about the "Balancing Act" I, as well as many other women, face when trying to juggle our many roles and achieve perfection.  This is one of my proudest posts and I think it's a "must read!" Click here.

I still salivate over the thought of this "Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto", check out one of the favorite recipes I've shared by clicking here.

New to blogging?  Check out my "Tips for New Bloggers" by clicking here.

To see the true blonde in me and get a good laugh read about "The Time I (Almost) Burnt the House Down" by clicking here.

Sunshine, cute Kids, beautiful flowers and wildlife...What more could you want!? To see a look at one of my favorite summer outings at one of my favorite Richmond spots "Maymont" click here.

In a crafty mood? Check out the perfect summery DIY wreath, here!

To relive one of my FAVORITE first dates with Bryce, check out my "Checklists" post by clicking here.  (FYI--We're still working on the list!)

To see what makes the Cuties so special and GOOFY, meet "The Diaper Heroes" by clicking here. (Interestingly enough, this innocent post is the one that has gotten the most negative/deletable comments!)

To see a really special day I had with my dad, uncle, and cousin on the water, check out "Here Fishy, Fishy..." by clicking here.

Bryce and I can manage to turn anything into an adventure.  To see how we survived Hurricane Irene, click here.

For one of my more frivolous, fun posts, check out my "Birthday List", here.

To take a picture walk through one of my favorite fall Saturdays, check out "Pumpkin Patching" here.

Interested in reading one of my proudest posts?  Check out this book review of A Long Way Gone from the "African Aspirations" series by clicking here

Any cookie monsters out there?  Check out this "WORLD'S BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES"  recipes by reading here!

In "Thankful" I took some time to be gracious and acknowledge all I have to be thankful for--click here.

Bryce and I held our first annual Christmas Party in December--read about our "Fabulous Christmassy Weekend" here!

If you lived in Richmond and were able to shop at "Shops at 5807" you would understand my shopping addiction, look here!

When I started blogging a year ago, I wasn't much of a wine girl.  Over the course of the year I've learned to enjoy wine and have acquired a taste for white and (some) red wines.  To see a weekend visit to "Rosemont Vineyards and Winery" read here.

If you've read for a while, you know that my design style (and fashion style) is traditional with pops of modernity, bright colors, and bold prints.  To see the epitome of this style check out the "Lucite Bamboo Chair" I'm still drooling over here!

For a peek into my Valentine's Day with Bryce, read my "Heart Day Recap" here!

WOW! That was A LOT of posts--y'all know I'm horrible at picking favorites!  Are you still with me?  Do you have any favorite posts of mine?  How has blogging enriched your life?  

Thanks again for a wonderful first year of blogging---HERE'S TO MANY MORE!