RETROspective—A Look Back at 2017

This Year’s Favorites

A few of my favorite things— everything from updating our house to Blogs, Social Media and Etsy Shops!

One of my very favorite things at home this year has been the addition of the *Tiki Bar* to our already awesome Florida room. It is still a work in progress so I haven’t done an actual blog post yet. I found the vintage rattan bar at a local used furniture shop and fell in love. The old Westinghouse refrigerator in the photo (from the 1940s— around 75 years old) spent many years as a spare fridge in the barn of my Dad’s home. When I moved last year, I brought it with me and plan on having it painted soon. It still works. We use it for Holidays and parties to store beverages. 

Retrospective- 2017

Probably my favorite thing this year has been my refurbished fireplace in the family room. With a bit of paint and a couple of weeks of work, Gaia and I made the dark cave that was our family room into a bright and cozy place to read, listen to music or just sit in front of the fireplace. Another favorite thing this year has been the steady growth of our O Deer Mercantile Etsy Shop. We had a great holiday season, and we want to extend our thanks and good wishes to all those who made this possible. Home is often where the heart is, and ours was a happy, busy place in 2017.

I could very likely keep on gushing, but instead I’m going to list some of the wonderful blogs, people and other things I came across in the course of my work and play this last year.


Here is a list of my very favorite Blogs, the ones I can’t (or wont) do without, in no particular order…

DIY candy igloo holiday decoration from Lovely Indeed (

Lovely Indeed~ Colorful, So Pretty, and Filled with amazing ideas, this lifestyle blog founded by Chelsea Foy is a new crush.  The bright crisp colors and clean, inventive style of #THELOVELYSQUAD drew me in right away. Family friendly, trendy yet classic crafts, recipes and design will keep me coming back for more… 

A Beautiful Mess ~ Elsie and Emma are a blogging success story and a staple in my online browsing. From home decor, to cool crafts, photography and more, there’s lots to love. And I am a die-hard fan of their photo filter app A Color Story— so much fun to use.

Adirondack Girl @ Heart~ Diana is my go-to for information, insightful analysis and assistance, and great photos of vintage and antique goods of all sorts. Not only does she give tips on price and shares her research, but she tells you the best ways to clean and present items, and shares lovely crafts. A wonderful blog for anyone interested in vintage stuff.

Half Baked Harvest~ Still my favorite food blogger hands down. Tieghan makes food fun, beautiful and oh so attractive. From cocktails to casseroles to cake, she has something for every food occasion. I pre-ordered her cookbook six months before its release, and I am currently working my way through the recipes. I also have numerous of her recipes saved to my Pinterest Boards

Half Baked Harvest Cookibook

La Abeja Herbs~ I can’t say enough about  the artistry, wisdom and love of the Earth conveyed by the photos and writings of herbalist Sophia Rose. I expect great things from this young woman, and avidly follow her journey through her beautifully written newsletters and on Instagram as well. She is part of a vanguard, leading the peoples of this planet on a spiritual odyssey that just might heal this world. 

My Thrift Store Addiction~ I love the fresh and fun approach Cecila Lynne gives her vintage journey. From decorating, to crafting, using and selling vintage goods, her blog is eye candy as well as being informative and fun. I find that she is drawn to many of the same type of items as I am, and can never wait to see what she has discovered on her Fabulous Finds. She has published a book as well, telling her story— When the Glass Slipper Shatters: Recreate Your Fairy Tale After Divorce — available on Amazon.

The Kitchen McCabe~ Another beautiful food blog. Kayley’s recipes and food photography make this a stunning feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. She develops her recipes with a healthy and wholesome eye, but without slavish adherence to any particular diet.  

Sally’s Baking Addiction~ If you love baking, or even seeing delicious cakes, pies, cookies and other desserts, Sally McKenney has a recipe for you. She is the author of two cookbooks and her blog is so much fun, as well as being instructive. I particularly love following her monthly Baking Challenges even if I don’t have time to participate. So many cookies, so little time. 

Yes! It’s true. There are three food blogs out of my eight favorite blogs. I like to cook and bake. Though I don’t have as much time to devote to culinary pursuits as I’d like, I still love collecting recipes and trying new things. 

Etsy Shops

There are so many wonderful and worthy shops on Etsy. I don’t have nearly enough time or space to list the great ones I know about, but here are a few of this year’s favorites…

Saracen Provisions..for the gypsy soul.~ There is magic in the beautiful smudges, sweet smelling oils, crystals and gift sets from this shop. Luna, a healer and tarot reader as well as an accomplished crafter, packs every order with care and oh so evident love. All of the ladies in my family received one of her smudges in their gift package this year, and I keep her loose incense in a bowl near my desk. I can’t say enough good things about this lovely shop.

Happy B Day To Me~ Artisan, crafter and vintage curator— you can find a little bit of it all on this Texas based shop. Her jewelry is lovely and affordable, the vintage covers the gamut, from angels and mermaids, to quirky kitschy art, and she upcycles items in fun and unexpected ways. It is a wonderful place to shop.

Cosmic Girl Goes Home~ A trendy vintage decor shop owned by Robin Sweeney. I love her carefully curated pieces.

Jezebels Fascination ~ Amazing hats, headpieces and headdresses for weddings, celebrations, costume parties or ????  🙂  Simply entrancing. 

Geo Specimens ~ I love gemstones and crystals, and I love wholesale. All sorts of geodes, clusters and rough stones. I buy in bulk to decorate my home. I have had nothing but great experiences with this shop after making purchases several times.

Social Media

In many cases, I have found the blogs and shops listed above on social media, or conversely found them on social media through their blogs and shops. I am a visual person, and a stalwart fan of Instagram and Pinterest. I use Pinterest to catalog and collect recipes, design ideas and crafts. Instagram, for me, is more just about places and people. I have other Social Media accounts, but these are the ones I use the most. There is a lot of crossover for me on these media. I often follow the same folks on all of them. Here are some quick mentions of favorites. 

thebakefeed ~ Bake from Scratch Magazine’s feed. Yummmm!

dailyscentuals ~ Pretty and Inspirational!

laabejaherbs ~  You’ve already met Sophia Rose in Blogs above. Breathtakingly gorgeous feed.


thejungalowJungalow, the Trademarked name for this amazingly cool company is officially my New Word and Inspiration for 2017-18. I am so taken with the style and talent of Justina Blakeney. Check out her Shop and Blog. Her book, “The New Bohemians”, is sitting on my desk.

That’s all for now. Blessings to you all, and…

Happy New Year!!!

***All of the recommendations and opinions in this post are mine. I am not being compensated by any of these people, companies or organizations.