Top 12 Posts and Projects of 2012

Well hello, 2013! How’s a bout a recap of the last year here at white house black shutters? I think we grew a lot and had some awesome stuff happening around here last year. Here are the best of the best, decided by your clicks and views and me being a bossy pants and picking some for you.


The first project combined painters tape with finger painting to make this artwork that doesn’t scream “my kids made this!” We had fun making the Colorful Painters Tape Kids Art paintings, they still hang in our home, and I can’t wait to try this with other similar designs.


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One of our house goals this past year was to install hardwood flooring in our family room and kitchen. Along with the project, we designed and built a foyer, painted, added new trim, and redecorated the space using DIY and second hand items. And the grand total? $221.50 for ALL furniture, décor, and supplies, and $2700 for the renovation. Check out our Family Room Makeover, with amazing before and afters.


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2012 was the year I admitted my addiction to Starbucks Salted Caramel Mochas. It was also the year I realized that you can buy their syrup and I went through four bottles of the Toffee Nut. *sigh*

I’m still addicted, and I still make this Quick Salted Caramel Mocha almost daily (but omit the mocha part). It’s quick and takes just as long as it takes to make a regular cup of coffee!

make a salted caramel mocha at home in 2 minutes! So simple and close to the real thing.

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Okay, hear me out. Regular deodorant has crap in it, right? So what if I told you that you could learn How to Make Homemade Deodorant with simple all-natural ingredients and you wouldn’t smell like a dirty hippie? Many readers and friends have told me they’ve tried it and loved it, and we’ve been using it for over a year.

how to make homemade deodorant

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I brought my Instagram pictures off of the phone and into real life and made these Instagram Photo Coasters that double as art tiles. They would work great as a gift, too!


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Looking to jazz up your coffee? Add maple syrup and make Maple Iced Coffee! This post tells you how to cold brew coffee, and update it in a simple, but delicious way. When I’m not making the earlier mentioned coffee creation, this is what I do with hot or day old coffee. It’ll change your coffee drinking life!


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It seems so simple, but sometimes the simplest tasks can give you the most problems. This handy (and pinnable) all picture tutorial on How to Spray Paint a Lamp lays it all out there, and even throws in an Anchorman quote. ;)


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We’ve been living cable free since I started this blog, and I’ve been wanting to talk to it all this time. I finally wrote a post on How to Live Without Cable, with lots of tips, experiences, other ways to watch. This post could be the start of a great 2013 resolution: ditching your cable bill!

how to live without paying for cable or dish, many great tips in this post! via @whbsblog

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After Christmas 2011, my husband Doug couldn’t take all of the new toys in the house (I hadn’t yet organized them), and was convinced we needed toy storage. He designed and built this Basement Storage Shelf in one day for only $60, and he wrote the post. :) The shelf fits huge storage bins perfectly, and created the perfect basement toy space.

Also, you might want to check out our Kids Playroom in an Unfinished Basement.


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You know when you want to say something, but almost don’t want to say it? I was afraid to hit publish when I wrote this post on 7 Reasons Why We Aren’t Doing Elf on a Shelf, but ummm, yeah. :) It feels so good to know that I am not the only mom not doing it, and not the only one who thinks he is CREEPY.

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This recipe started out with a mistake: I wanted potato salad but only had sweet potatoes. The result is this Sweet Potato Potato Salad. It’s sweet, savory, and not your traditional potato salad.


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This one wasn’t written this year, it wasn’t even written last year, but our Homemade Baby Wipes post went viral this year! The baby wipes are also great face cleansing wipes, save money and time, and are good for your skin. Three kids and almost four years later we still make and love them!

Homemade Organic Baby (and Face!) Wipes via @whbsblog

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Oh, but I can’t just stop at 12. :)

Here are some other posts I loved and think you need to read.

This year I updated Our House Tour, added a floor plan, and links to posts about each room. Lots of before and afters in this one! Below is our kitchen which got new wood floors and a new gray paint. (It used to have dark wood cabinets, gold countertops, and green appliances…)


We had a SWEET garden last year. I busted my buns and was out there every day, it felt good and it was worth it. Check out these posts on Our Garden :)


I went to my first blogging conference and wrote a HUGE post on it on Why You Should Attend a Blogging Conference. Also in that post is why you shouldn’t attend a blogging conference.image




This year, I opened up and told you exactly what was on my mind. Sometimes, those posts are the hardest to write. Here are some of the posts:

As a mom of three kids three and under, I do have my hands full. But after a particularly bad shopping trip with a very rude lady, I vented. (I hate venting on here.) But you listened, and responded. :) Here’s the post: “You Have Your Hands Full

I showed you our Life Behind the Photos you see on this blog: meltdowns, cheering section, and all.



Here are 31 Ways to Stop Having a Bad Day, and not to toot my own horn, but this post is awesome. I should read it every day. I have plans to make it into a pretty printable. :) Stay tuned…


Are you Addicted to Exclamation Points? Denying you have a problem with them? Read this post (and the comments).



And more important than any projects or fancy room reveals, I really opened up to you this year. I didn’t realize until how much I did that and wow. I am more proud of this past year of blogging than I thought I would be.

I’m Not Who You Think I Am. This post (and video, narrated by my 3 year old) started it off.

I talked about leaving 26 behind, and beginning Twenty-Seven. This post just made me cry re-reading it. And inspired me.

More posts where I just talk to you are here (appropriately labeled “talking to you”). You responded to them, you related (which felt SO GOOD!), and I need to do more of them in 2013.



HUH! So I guess this blog didn’t suck in 2012?! :) Happy 2013 to you and yours!


  1. says

    I took a bit of a bloggy break the past month but first I must say I LOVE the new blog design!!!

    I love looking through everyones top posts. You have so many good ones! I have been trying to think of ways to use my Insta pics so I am off to check out your Insta coaster post!

  2. says

    Ok, I’m excited to click over and read several of these, but I have to add that we’ve never had cable and are just fine! We have only recently added hulu, and I wonder if I should cancel it. Love the lamp, I love exclamation points!, and I was just telling my husband this morning that he should make his own deodorant and he gave me a funny look.

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