2016 + 1 Year Anniversary Recap

January 10, 2017


I’m a mite late to the recap game, but I couldn’t help but take my time. It’s been 1 year + 3 months since I got started here and I have to say, I can’t believe it!

I started this blog while job hunting in a new city to keep myself from going crazy with resume edits and job applications. A lot of the posts from this year came out of looking for ways to solve our ‘just starting out’ problems on a minimal savings account. 2016 was also the first year Michael + I were in the same city again after 4 years of long distance college dating! With getting engaged, finding jobs (jobs plural, if anyone is interested in that story), and trying to find a voice for this blog, it was immensely stressful but led to a lot of personal growth.

Minimalist Nail Art: The Wave

And so a huge thank you to all of you for reading + following! This year I’ll be pushing ctrl + curate with more content, better branding, and more engagement with you. Keep me honest everyone 😉 To celebrate the end of 2016, here’s a quick recap of my favorite recipes + diy’s.

wood butter

When I thought about what kinds of posts I wanted ctrl + curate to be known for, I wanted to share diy’s that could be used & adapted for the everyday. These diy’s have had a year of being put to the test, and I can happily say these guys are still going strong!

Oils and waxes in all forms were especially great this year. I’m still using the Winter Hair Care Hot Oil Treatment now during Chicago’s drying cold, wood butter monthly to keep my wood tools supple, and found a new use for December’s beard oil as an Eczema soother.

In the kitchen, our Herb Drying Shelf has helped us build a small collection of dried herbs until the next market season. Cord organizers are tucked all around the house in different sizes to wrangle everything from lighting cords to phone chargers.

My most ambitious project would have to be my sister’s Mini Fridge Makeover! Good lord that was an undertaking. But she’s happy with it and I’m thrilled we could hack the Smeg look for cheap.

And an update about that Chalkboard Candle post from last Valentine’s Day? It worked perfectly with the chalkboard paint all the way to the end. It also makes a great present for this year’s V-day 😉

brussel sprouts

I like to think this blog is mostly useful diy’s, though with the number of recipes I posted this year it’s starting to look a lot like a food blog. Most 2016 dishes were centered around being quick, easy, and healthy with one or two indulgent Dark Chocolate, Red Wine Valentine’s Desserts or Spiced Stout Pancakes.

Doubled amounts of Savory CrepesPasta Al Pomodoro10 Minute Healthy Stirfry, & the balsamic glaze with Roasted Brussels Sprouts make frequent rotations during the workweek for lunch & dinner here.


This category gets the most everyday love from me. I sometimes buy groceries just if they come in glass jars to horde them all. And with the Non-Toxic way to Remove Labels I can have clean, free storage for quiptips, paint, and all the bits and ends!

On workdays I’m up in time and my coffee is strong,  I throw my hair up into a Curly French Twist and take care of my small apartment garden. Those little babies have really grown!

I can’t wait to share more diy’s, recipes, and small space living posts in the new year! A big virtual hug from Chicago to all of you and let’s make 2017 a fantastic year




4 thoughts on “2016 + 1 Year Anniversary Recap

  1. Samm

    I believe we connected through a post I did about Allbirds sneakers (which are awesome) and I’m so glad we did. You’ve been a source of inspiration for me in such a turbulent blogging/job-hunting year.

    Can’t wait to see what you have in store Cat!

    1. Catherine Post author

      I’m so glad we connected too Samm! Hopefully 2017 will be stable enough so we can collaborate 😀
      Cheering for you at your new job 🙂

  2. Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake

    Congrats on your blogaversary! (A little late, I know, but I’m just pouring through your posts). I can’t believe your blog is so young, it is so sophisticated and consistent. Most of us took a LOT longer to find I stride but you are starting out so strong. Clearly you’re a rockstar! Can’t wait to see what more gorgeousness you have in store for us. And I hope you are enjoying this crazy thing called blogging. :*

    1. Catherine Post author

      Thank you so much Marlene! It’s honestly because of all the great bloggers already out there who are so generous sharing what they’ve learned and posting such great content (yourself included of course ;D)


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