The biggest and best of 2017!

January 02, 2018

HELLO my friends!! I'm back! I hope your holidays were wonderful and you've had a great start to the new year. 

I did not plan to take this much time away, but the day after my last post, I was hit with SO much pain. Most of my life, like nothing I've ever experienced. I've been dealing with some lower/side back pain that has come and gone for the past few months. For the past five to six weeks it was back but was going down the front of one of my legs as well. 

I didn't realize (not having this pain before), that it was nerve pain, and pushed it way too far. So for nearly two weeks now I've been (very, very slowly) healing from what the doctor thinks was a bulging disk that resulted in nerve pain. I had an MRI last week and haven't heard back just yet, but overall I'm feeling MUCH better. I still have a week or two before I think I'll feel 100 percent again though. 

I am no wuss. ;) I can handle a good amount of pain -- and this brought my to my knees. I've never felt anything like it and hope to never again. When you're in that much pain, focusing on anything but what's in front of you is all you can do. And with Christmas so close, I was just focused on getting things finished up for our family. 

My husband has been an absolute saint!! We hosted a party a few days after Christmas and he did everything while I nursed my back and leg. I HATE not being able to do what I want to do -- it's not easy for me to slow down. This has been a lesson to listen to my body, that's for sure. And I have a whole new respect and empathy for those that deal with chronic pain. 

I was able to take down most of the Christmas decor yesterday, and the other day hung a few pictures. A couple days ago I was able to walk through Target for about 15 minutes without pain -- those are huge milestones for me but I'm dying to get back to my normal self! I didn't mean to take this much time away but I was thankful it happened at such a slow time for life and the blog. 

One of my favorite things to do about this time is look back on the year and share the rooms and projects I completed. It makes me feel super accomplished, especially lately! ;) This is a fun one because it includes some spaces from our old house and a recap of the spaces I've shared in the new one. 

We'll start with the old house! I made a few updates to our front living room early in the year, and for the first time in 13 years I was really loving how the room looked. It was a tricky one that was open to our foyer and had only one usable wall: 
living room with dark blue dresser

I loved that sofa so much, we now have a set of them in the new family room! 

Our laundry room turned mud room was a process over the years, and I initially went with darker colors in here that didn't feel like the rest of the house. So one week I decided to change it up and painted for hours and hours to transform it into a space that was much more us:
classic beadboard mud room

I also made some small tweaks to our family room. Years back we knocked down a wall to make this room bigger. After living with it for awhile I knew how I wanted to add some more seating and finishing touches:
dark gray fireplace with built ins

And my biggest renovation in years was the makeover of our son's bathroom -- this one was SO much work and we were all obsessed with it!: 
wood bathroom vanity with patterned backsplash wall

Then the big news -- we decided to move (very unexpectedly) and built our dream house. It was a WILD ride but we are so incredibly thankful! 

Of course the first photos of each room in our new home are the simplest you'll ever see them. It takes me awhile to decide how I want a room to look, and then add in time and resources. :) This house is just what we want, but I have tons of plans for it, because duh... it's me and tweaking with custom touches is what I love. 

Overall, our new home is more open, brighter and I have this desire to keep it much simpler than our last house. At least for now. 

The first room I put together was our powder room. It's not saying much because it's the smallest in the house, but it was a triumph at the time!: 
light gray vanity powder room

I'm starting to play around with some ideas in this room -- I want to do something dramatic in here! 

Our foyer was another space I finished up early, just because it just came together so easily:
foyer decorating ideas

I've got a few treatment ideas in mind for that wall! 

One of the rooms that sold us on this house (it didn't take much) was the mud room/laundry combo. We used to have this same combo in our old house and I hated it -- but as you can see above, that room was considerably smaller. After living here for a couple months now, I think this is one of my favorite rooms: 
mud room and laundry combo

Right now it's full of Christmas bins that need to go back out to the garage, and I love that the mess it tucked away, out of our living space. LOVE. 

Our dining area is a bright, beautiful spot and I've got some big plans percolating:
dining area with long chandelier

We have a long wall in there that is calling out for something! I think I have the start of an idea in my head. 

And finally, I recently shared my office and the plans for this space:
long wood desk in middle of room

Funny, but this room was "done" in my head from the start. I knew exactly what I wanted to do! That may happen sooner than later because I really need some storage in here. 

I couldn't let a recap of 2017 go by without sharing my Design Dash experience again! I can't thank those of you who voted for me enough -- this was certainly one of the highlights of my blogging career!: 
Design Dash winning room

This is an exciting year because come this May I'll hit TEN years of writing Thrifty Decor Chick -- whoot!! Pretty cool. 

If you have questions about anything in the rooms there should be links to items in the posts. (Let me know if not!) Did you miss any of these reveals -- from either the old house or the new one? I'll be back later this week, thanks for your patience as I heal! 

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  1. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with pain. I’m glad you’re able to enjoy your new home for Christmas. I can’t wait to see all the things you do.

  2. I sympathize with you over that kind of pain. Lost a whole summer and it was dry needling, a form of acupuncture, that finally resolved the issue (piriformis muscle that wouldn't release).

    I loved the end results in your old house and am looking forward to all the tweaks in this new one!

    Happy New Year, Sarah!

  3. I can't wait for all the changes in your new house! You're always working your magic and amazing us ❤️🍃 Happy New Year! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  4. Sorry about the pain and glad you are on the mend!

  5. Glad you are feeling better. I was sick the entire month of December and I am just like you, I am used to going and doing. I am just now getting back to myself. Wishing you health and happiness in 2018.

  6. Happy New Year Sarah! Sorry about your pain...sounds like can be so debilitating. Ten years! Wow! I think I have been reading your blog almost that long. The first blog post of yours that I read was the one when you were working on a project with your back door and it fell out into the back yard and you had a gaping hole in the house! I laughed so hard. I knew I had to keep reading this crazy thrifty decor chick who was tearing her house up! Also loved how sweet your husband was when that happened! When was that? Keep going Sarah!!

  7. So sorry to hear about the bulging disc and nerve pain, Sarah. I have had it and the pain is unbelievable. I have never hurt so bad in my life. I hope you feel better soon.

  8. Hey Sarah! Couldn't help but comment on this because I know exactly what you are talking about! I have similar back problems and my doctor sent me to physical therapy which has CHANGED MY LIFE. That sounds crazy but I thought I would always deal with back pain of some type. The PT that my Dr. sent me to practices the McKenzie Method, which is highly focused on patient education and exercises done at home to improve the overall health of your back. Okay, that was too much of an explanation but I just can't say enough about it! Now if I feel pain coming on I know it's because I haven't done my exercise or my back isn't as strong as it should be (I've been laying around/not exercising) and I'm able to to quickly correct. Glad you are feeling better and hope you continue to improve! -Becky

  9. Sarah, nerve pain can be horrible, hopefully a simple steriod injection will make that feel better. If they (Dr.) doesn't call you, you call them! No one cares about your health more than you!
    Nesting tables??? can you send me purchase info. Just the color I have been looking for! Happy New Year! Thanks

  10. Sarah, love your blog and your ability to find really good deals on what you are wanting for a particular space. I will be looking into the long curtain rods at IKEA. Our condo apartment, that we own and rent out, has a 12' window wall, about 7' tall from the floor, the center section is a patio door. I used 2 expandable rods for the 4 panels of grommet drapes I hung. But alas they are stretched to their max, the IKEA rods should work great! Thanks so much for sharing!


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THANKS so much for reading!