A Year in Review: The Best and Worst of 2016

Heart-shaped strawberries. These are perfect to decorate cocktails, desserts or pancakes this valentine's day! |

2016 was not the best year for me, but it wasn’t a total disaster. It was the year I decided to slow down from projects and work, so I could be more present in my toddler’s life. That decision came after I realized that I was suffering postpartum depression (mi historia en español aquí: Así es como se siente la depresión postparto), and I accepted that I wasn’t taking care of me, and my family.

All the changes I made in my life during 2016 actually made it a very productive year. What changed? I said no to many opportunities, but that led me to work in just projects that really interested me, which was fulfilling and exciting. One of those projects was collaborating with a Digital Fabrics and creating my first home decor fabric collection. Since I wasn’t working on many projects, I enjoyed tons of fun moments with my toddler. I also discovered new passions, such a sewing and watercolors, that really have helped me unplug after a chaotic day and bring me back to peace and focus.

In the search for a new balance between work and life, I started to incorporate new good habits in my everyday routine, such as waking up at 5:30 am to enjoy a few minutes of quiet time, do some yoga and finish projects while my toddler and husband are still sleeping.

Lali & Elba Valverde | Live Colorful

Even when 2016 wasn’t that bad, it felt like ‘a punch in the stomach’ sometimes. My sister suffered a traumatic robbery a few months ago, I was heartbroken to see her go through a really bad PTSD and being so far away from her. I was also worried about my parent’s health since they had a few scary incidents.

Then, last December 28th, I had a really bad car accident, a trailer from a truck in front of me got completely disconnected. I do not remember much sincerely. Only that I saw how one of the pieces, a block of concrete or something like that, hit my car on the right side and pushed me two lanes over to the other side of the highway. The man who was driving the truck fled, leaving me alone. In a couple of minutes, which seemed endless, the police arrived. They stopped the traffic and helped me move the car to the other side of the highway where it was safer.

I feel really lucky and blessed to be safe and at home with my family today, but I’m not lying if I tell you that this was the scariest moment of my life, and it’s taking me some time to process it and leaving it behind.

Although I was fine, I couldn’t get rid of the idea that it could have been worse. The policeman told me that I made the right decision when I veered left. If the piece of concrete had come at me directly at the windshield of the car, maybe I would not be telling this story.

Thinking about all the decisions that we make everyday, that shape our life and destiny, has been flying in my head since last night. A few hours before the accident, we were thinking of canceling the meeting and moving it to another day. On my way to the mall, I missed the exit, so I had to drive a few more minutes, finding myself behind the truck.

Those things that you cannot control are what is scary. The idea that I was just living a normal day, and in the simplest moment, something terrible could have had happened.

From this experience, I got an immense feeling of gratitude for everything I have in my life, and the decision to start a new year doing everything with purpose and intent. I’m positive that 2017 will be nothing like 2016. It will be a happy, better, more kind and more colorful year.

I want to bring this enthusiastic energy into the year, so I can start creating a life full of creativity and joy.
Live Colorful will not be the same this year, but I still don’t know how it will change. In the meantime, we decided to continue making YouTube videos, so you’ll see more of those in the upcoming weeks. We are also growing our community in Instagram, I hope you can join us there!

Here some of Live Colorful favorite posts from 2016:

Live Colorful. A Year in Review 2016

  1. Rainbow shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day
  2. Make art with your coloring pages
  3. Transform your dining room with a happy bright color
  4. How to make colored bath salts
  5. How to make pretty acoustic panels
  6. A peaceful master bedroom
  7. Soft homemade play-dough for toddlers
  8. How to get your home ready for a spring party
  9. The easiest way to decorate chocolate skulls for Day of the Dead
  10. Modernize your bathroom with a bold color
  11. How to paint a fun chevron pattern in your walls
  12. How to make a coloring page
  13. Where Frida Kahlo Grew Up
  14. Home tour to our second apartment in California
  15. How to make a wall herb garden
  16. How to make a swinging bookshelf
  17. How to make an amazing easy bean bag chair
  18. California strawberries farm tour
  19. How to make a flower crown with ribbons and pompoms 
  20. Easy DIY curtains with VIDEO
  21. My craft room / closet transformation

I wanted to share this post last week, but between dealing with our car insurance, buying a new car and having plumbers for three days repiping our whole duplex, I honestly didn’t have the time until now. I guess new pipes is a good sign right? New year, new pipes: a fresh start.

Happy New Year. Let’s make 2017 worth it, shall we?

8 Responses

  1. Elba qué año movido fue el 2016. Para mí fue fuerte también. Gracias por compartir acerca de tu depresión post parto, siento que muchas mujeres no lo hacen porque sienten que son débiles y ese es un error. Pero todas estas cosas que nos movilizan nos sacan más creatividad! Y yo puedo esperar a ver las cosas que vas a hacer este año. Te sigo en Instagram y disfruto cada uno de tus post!

  2. Me encanta que le pones color a tu vida y eso ayuda a superar cualquier obstaculo! Feliz 2017!! Y espero ver mas 🙂

  3. Love all your colorful posts and one of my favorite blog posts was the rainbow pancakes and I’m making them pretty soon 🙂

  4. Wow what a year 2016 was for you. 2017 is going to be brilliant, filled with lots of colour and those new pipes!! We’re looking forward to seeing all your lovely posts and really enjoy your feed on Instagram xx

  5. Nina says:

    Elba, gracias por compartir tu historia y experiencia con post partum

  6. Nina says:

    Depresión. It is a topic that needs to be talked about more, a Spotlight, porque afecta a muchísimas mamas. Espero que el 2017 sea un año lleno de amor, paz y unión para ti y tu familia

  7. s.yissele says:

    Un año de lecciones, alegrías y mucho amor! Mis mejores deseos en este nuevo año! Felicidades!

  8. Que bueno que hay ya empezo el nuevo año y que seguramente toda va a ser mejor. Gracias por compartir tu historia.

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