While we are still in the recovering part of everyone being sick with the flu or a nasty head cold, it feels WONDERFUL to back here, with you, blogging my heart out about the last year.
What a wonderful year of blessings this has been for our family here at the Real Welcoming House, and I am seriously amazed at how far this blog has come in just a single year.
We will be celebrating our very first birthday on January 1st, right along with the New year, and I have so many wonderful things in store for you
as we head into our second year!
I thought it would be a sweet reminder to take the next couple of days and focus on some of the many fun posts we have had here over the last year. Today’s theme is the top 5 DIY posts from 2012, and boy, was it fun choosing! There is such a sense of accomplishment when you get to scroll through your posts from a full year and look for the very best ones you offered to everyone! Sometimes I feel like ones I really liked did not get the response I hoped, and then other times I feel like it got a response beyond my wildest dreams!
Doing things yourself is really at the heart of The Welcoming House. While others may opt for the convenience of running to the store and purchasing something made by a factory, or even another person, I love the satisfaction I receive when using or enjoying something that was made by the hands of someone I love. Perhaps you feel the same. It might even be the reason that you were drawn to The Welcoming House in the first place. Whether from Pinterest or Facebook, we have a collection of readers that are all over the world, and from different background and persuasions.  
What has been one of my favorite parts about writing for
The Welcoming House,
and seeing it grow and flourish?
YOU.
So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and take a short walk down memory lane with me into the past year here at The Welcoming House.
DIY Post #5 from 2012:
This was a fun post on learning how simple it is to make those expensive little bottles of extracts you purchase at the store. Having finished these now, and bottled them up, I am thrilled to report that everything turned out super amazing, and both the vanilla and mint extract received heavy use for my Christmas baking. I used the cinnamon extract (which is so strong it makes your eyes water when you open the jar) for baking my Christmas bread, and the family could not believe the difference in the taste and how rich it was in comparison to last year. So do yourself a favor and break out some vodka and some vanilla beans, mint leaves, or cinnamon stick. You will be glad you did! Read on! october2012 355
DIY Post #4 from 2012:
now who could forget one of the most popular posts of the summer? Well, honestly, me. 🙂
This amazing post covered how to use things that would otherwise be discarded and turn them around into useful items for your garden or around the house. In this post, my Handy Hubby and I took a useless, twisted frame for a swingset, and changed it into an amazing, thriving living wall of heirloom beans for the garden. Using the frame as a vertical growing frame with a little work, made for an amazing harvest, and a lot of fun! Check it out! 
DIY Post #3 from 2012:
As many of you know, frugality and The Welcoming House go hand in hand. But just being frugal does not mean things are not beautiful, or something that you want to keep for the rest of your life. I love sewing for my three precious girls, and finding a project that combines frugality, beauty, and making something for those I love is a winner in my book any day. In this fun picture tutorial, I showed you just how easy it is to take a pillowcase or tube of fabric, and turn it into a beautiful nightgown for a precious girl in your life. I actually used this same style for making Christmas nightgowns for my girls this year, and will be doing an update on it later this winter for those of you who are interested in making these with long sleeves! Just seeing the picture of one of my Littles with her big smile at the end will make it worth your time in heading over there!
 
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DIY Post #2 from 2012:
And what would a DIY post list of the top five be like if I didnt show all of you the TOP favorite homemade cleaner that we use around here, along with variations that you can make at home? Move over all you bloggers who blog about homemade Laundy Detergent! We blog about how to take things you would otherwise discard, and make it into a cleaner that you will love for both its simplicity and its powerhouse abilities to kill germs and bacteria on contact! Check it out!
and the top DIY Post from 2012 here at The Welcoming House was:
 
Make it Yourself Emergency CandlesThis single post received over 2,000 hits since its writing in September, which just about blew this simple author away.
I am happy to say we have used one of ours, and have a couple tucked away in the car for use in an emergency on the road. It burns clean, and lasts a very long time, and I am glad the simple idea helped so many of you along the way!

Tomorrow I am going to be featuring the Top 5 series that we have covered this year here at The Welcoming House, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow as we count down the days for our birthday celebration on the 1st of January!

Many Blessings to you and yours
Heather