Whoa. What a year. I can scarcely believe all the stuff that’s happened in the last 12 months. I signed a book deal with Running Press, wrote a book, and went to Philadelphia for a professional photoshoot for said book. I finished the book, sent it off to my publisher, and am now anxiously awaiting its release. I finally fired up a YouTube channel for Humblebee & Me, where I’m having fun showing and talking instead of writing. I cut off about a foot of my hair.

Humblebee & Me is 5!

I completely redesigned the entire site, making it prettier, easier to use (for both you and me!), and mobile responsive. I started sending out better, smarter emails so I can share related posts and other fun info with you guys. I launched The Humble Hive, the weekly Humblebee & Me newsletter, where I share news, good reads, and more. I developed and launched a 100% free DIY Skin Care for Beginners E-Course to help you get started in this world of making things and rubbing cocoa butter on yourself.

I published 110 new posts (for a total of 855!) and 36 videos (and that’s in just 3 months!). I replied to well over 2700 comments (!). My photography has improved (I now have a sort-of studio so I can shoot at any time of day or night). I spent an utterly amazing month in Europe that I can’t stop daydreaming about. I launched my first-ever partnered contest (go enter, please!).

I also launched an Encyclopedia, which I’m slowly-but-surely adding to on a daily(ish) basis. It’s designed to answer all the most common ingredient questions I hear, from “what is it” to “where to buy it” to “what can I use instead”, and I’m pretty proud of it. The FAQ has continued to grow, and is full of essential reading.

And now for some lists!

5 Most Popular

  1. How to Make Liquid Soap The Easy Way
  2. A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
  3. Essential Oil Headache Eraser
  4. A Guide to Essential Oil Substitutions
  5. Deliciously Simple 7-Minute Rosé Sauce

My 5 Favourites from 2016

  1. Magical Primrose Argan Serum (linoleic acid = LOVE)
  2. Cold Snap Cleansing Balm
  3. Scottish Rose Salve
  4. Chocolate Orange Christmas Soap
  5. Chocolate Lip Butter
  6. A sort of bonus… loads of the recipes in my book. Seriously! I’m so proud of them 😀

My 5 Favourite Innovations/New Things I Tried

  1. Natural Dry Shampoo Spray
  2. Gentle Foaming Clay Scrub
  3. Two-in-One Creamy Hair Conditioner
  4. Lots & Lots of Clay Soap (total room temperature soaping)
  5. Meadowfoam Mango Creamy Facial Cleanser

My 5 Favourite Gifts

  1. Citrus Lip Butter
  2. Indian Summer Soap
  3. Fir, Cypress, and Silk Body Lotion
  4. Pomegranate Primrose Summer Facial Serum
  5. 1915 Redwood Beard Balm

My 5 Favourite DIY Purchases

  1. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs
    This essential oil bible is famous, but very spendy (In Canada the current, second edition is $120). Thanks to an awesome tip from Perstephanie, I picked up a first edition for about $50—score!
  2. Silica microspheres
  3. Lip gloss squeezy tubes
  4. Syringes (for filling fiddly containers like lip gloss squeezy tubes)
  5. KRUPS Coffee Grinder
    I developed most of the book with this coffee grinder. I bought my first one used off of Kijiji—the guy who sold it to me said it was at least 15 years old. I positively ran it through the ringer and the thing that gave wasn’t the motor, it was the lid. So I replaced it, because this is one amazing coffee grinder.

My 5 Favourite Non-DIY Purchases

  1. e.l.f. brand makeup brushes
    They’re cheap and awesome! I bought a fistful of these great brushes for ~$20USD at the e.l.f. store in NYC and I love ’em. If you’re new to makeup they are a fantastic place to start—you can get kitted out, brush-wise, without feeling like you have to spend $200.
  2. MetaGrip bobby pins
    These things actually work like bobby pins in hair tutorials do! Seriously, after I purchased them I was going around insisting every long-haired person I met try them. They WORK. I sometimes find them in my hair the following day because I missed a few and they stay in while I’m sleeping.
  3. Fjallraven Kanken pack
    I take this pack almost everywhere, it’s nearly replaced my purse. It’s perfect for days where I don’t trust the weather so I can cram an extra layer in it, and I like how it’s fairly casual looking—I don’t look like I’m going to go run up a mountain or something.
  4. BlowPro curling wand
    It works so well that I use it less—even my hard-to-curl hair will still have some waves in it on day 4!
  5. Vangaurd Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Boom Arm Tripod
    This is the bad boy I use to film all my videos with. It’s getting a lot of use!

Phew. It’s been a doozy of a year, with more to come. Here’s some things to watch for!

  • I’ve been interviewed for some magazines, so stay tuned for info on when those come out
  • I’m a panelist at the upcoming Next Big Thing conference here in Calgary
  • More recipes
  • More videos
  • MY BOOK. (Obviously)

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