The Best of 2016

Every year (2015, 2014, 2013) I take some time to “take stock.” To look back on the year that has passed us by. This year has been monumental for Oak + Oats. It marks the year that I went full time as a blogger and it shook a lot of things up. We traveled more than ever, I got a full frame camera switching to Nikon, and I chopped all my hair off and watched it grow back πŸ˜‰

How easy it is to rush into the new year. We hate change yet love it all at the same time. A new year brings new hope and we love that. We set goals, we make plans, and we move forward. But so much of goal setting and plan making revolves around the past. It is so important to look back and see how far you have come. Scan the year for highlights and lowlights. Share wins, memories, and stories with loved ones. 2016 will never be again – a lot of good and a lot of bad happened in that time (just like it does every year) what will you do with that? How will you take the things you had to walk through and the gifts you were given in 2016 into 2017?

Here are some of my favorite and most loved posts from the past year. A lot of them are our travels or my messy heart to hearts. The good and the hard. Enjoy!

Best of 2016 - hello 2016

Fresh Starts

Got to love a good New Year. I’m looking forward to sharing myΒ thoughts for 2017 with you. It is always an exciting season and it was fun to share my heart with you going into 2016 and having so many of you share along in the comments!

The best of 2016: Travel - the art hotel

TRAVEL: The Art Hotel

We started the year off traveling and that must have set the stage for all the other trips (some planned and some spontaneous) we ended up going on in 2016. The Art Hotel in Denver was one of our favorite hotels ever and it was so fun to get a little date weekend in after all the holiday festivities!

Best of 2016: Not All advice is the best advice!

Not All Advice is the Best Advice

The year started and I dreamed – like normal around New Years. I wondered what 2016 should look and feel like. I asked myself easy questions and hard questions. I found myself pouring through articles, books, and advice. Trying to figure out the perfect combination to be able to make it in blogging. But it was all so overwhelming and I realized one very important thing – not all advice is the best advice. Blogging especially, your voice and your personality bring SO much to the table. Figuring out what works for you, what inspires you and sets your heart on fire, and what patterns you work best in – those will help your blog thrive! Read and learn and continue growing but don’t be afraid to try new things or skip some advice you read.

TRAVEL: Snow Mountain Ranch

We took our annual family trip to the mountains and it was magical as always. This time maybe even more so as we went fat biking & dog sledding!!

Following your Dreams is not a Race

2016 was about a lot of wishful hoping and practical action. Going full time as a blogger felt like it was on the horizon but there were still a couple peices that needed to fall into place.

Best of 2016: A room full of blooms

A Room Full of Blooms

Love this spring outfit (so fun to get into shorts and a t-shirt again!) and all the flowers.Β I also love this post because Bruce and I were growing in our photography & editing style. It is something we are ever refining but this felt good – and felt like we were getting somewhere.

The best of 2016 - I quit my Job

I Quit My Job

Ah! Well of course this one makes the list. I quit my full time job and threw myself into this place. Excited, thrilled, and completely terrified. I had no idea what the next months would look like (and maybe if I knew I wouldn’t do it πŸ˜‰ ) but this moment was HUGE. I am not one to jump into things but the Lord just opened all the doors and kept whispering “jump” into my ears. It was so worth it.

Best of 2016 - Basin & Range

Basin & Range

The Paint Mines are too darn lovely as is this rain jacket. Let adventure season begin!

Fresh Flowers

This year was about all the processing and learning. I shared bits and pieces here and there. This post was one written just days before leaving my job to blog full time. I was a great ball of stress πŸ˜‰ But I love to share things things because not only can I look back and see how the Lord provides, I can also encourage you where you are at!

Best of 2016 - Cleveland Ohio

TRAVEL: Cleveland, OH

We made our way to the Midwest for a wedding of a college friend. Andy was in our wedding four years ago and it was fun to be able to see him marry his bride. We got to explore a lot of the city and went to Lake Erie to yell hello to Canada! Plus we found some great breweries (one of our favorite things to do while traveling!!)

Best of 2016: What I learned the first month of self employment

What I Learned the First Month

Being self employed brought a wave of new things to learn. I thought I had clear expectations of what it would look and feel like – but I was wrong πŸ˜‰

Best of 2016 - Summer Berry Ice Cream

Summer Berry Ice Cream

This year was the summer of all the ice creams. Seriously, I made so many kinds and it was magical. This one seemed to be a crowd favorite – I think it is because the color is pure magic!

Best of 2016 - Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories

YAY! Instagram made some changes and it was scary/ exciting all at the same time!

Best of 2016 - a new look

A New Look

As I tend to do with extra time, I redesigned my site and allowed room for growth!

Best of 2016 - Cocoa Beach

TRAVEL: Cocoa Beach

We went out to Cocoa Beach, FL to help with wedding planning for my little sister’s wedding coming up in January! It’s a destination wedding so we had to scout out the destination and make sure it was restful and beachy enough πŸ˜‰

the best of 2016 - keep celebrating

Keep Celebrating

Bruce and I celebrated our 4th anniversary and we commemorated the day with photos by Ashlee Kay Photography! Oh, and I also wrote this sappy post.

Best of 2016 - las vegas

TRAVEL: Las Vegas

Β We fly out for the weekend to spendΒ some time with friends. It wasΒ an interesting trip as Vegas is interesting πŸ˜‰ We did come out on top after winning $50 bucks at the Bellago and we ate our fill of In-N-Out burgers!

Best of 2016 - bunea vista

TRAVEL: Buena Vista

Friendcation for the win! Our Labor day was spent in the mountains with these kids. We rented an airbnb and all gathered together to drink beer, hike, and just be together! It was a blast!

Best of 2016 - its fall

It’s Fall Y’all

Love how the fall air starts trickling in. This sweater has been one of my favorites this season! It is just so perfect.

best of 2016 - crisp in the fall

Crisp In the Fall

These photos from our girls trip were so wonderful. Really, all the fun photos we took when Amy & Sam came out to visit Megs and I were magical! It was so fun to meet those creatives in real life and spend so much time together! We need to make this some kind of annual thing!

best of 2016 - Disneyland

TRAVEL: Los AngelesΒ 

We made our way out to SoCal for a wedding of a dear friend! While there we made sure to thoroughly enjoy all things LA. We packed out days full and had a blast.

Best of 2016 - Omaha


For Bruce’s birthday we adventured out for one last trip – just the two of us. We spend the weekend in Omaha and filled our days with great food, delicious beer, and all the history. Plus the ZOO!

Best of 2016 - happy hour at home

Happy Hour at Home

Love this post sharing some tips for hosting Happy Hour at your home!

Best of 2016 - A Season for Everything

A Season for Everything

My signing off until the New Year! Let the dreaming begin – 2017 here we come!

Top Photo Credit: Kaylee Sorrells Photography

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Ahhhh so many wonderful posts!! Way to go in chasing your dreams and encouraging us all to do the same, Beth!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Julie! You are the best!

  • What a gorgeous and exciting year!! Love the Minnie Mouse ears and am bookmarking the Vegas post — headed there for a friend’s wedding in February!


    Ashley || Sed Bona

    • Oak & Oats

      YAY! have so much fun when you go for the wedding!! You have to go to the seven magic mountains! Also, thanks! I love Minnie Ears!