Happy New Year, my friends, and Hello, 2018! The end of a year is always a great time to reflect on how you grew personally, what changes occurred, and what, perhaps, didn’t change that might need to. In looking back on my own 2017, it was such an interesting year and one where I learned that the best laid plans sometimes just don’t happen, and truthfully, they can be completely out of our control. Much of my year was spent trying unsuccessfully for a third child, feeling lost when it came to my professional life, and stuck creatively when it came to house projects. Basically, 3/4 of my year was a bit of a doozy, but the silver lining was the closeness that resulted in my family. While it wasn’t my goal, my relationships with my children and husband improved immensely and deeply as they helped me work through my own grief and pain in recurrent pregnancy losses. After the third loss last year, tired of feeling stuck, I decided that enough was enough and it was time to move on. I took matters into my own hands and just started moving forward, one foot in front of the other, … I joined Sweet Clover, the barn sale I started and once owned as a vendor to get my creative juices flowing again. That opened the door to many more furniture makeovers that I shared here on the blog. In October, I applied for a part time seasonal job at the local J. Crew Factory store and that has also grown into so much more than I expected. Of course, the best part of that last quarter of the year, was finding out that I was unexpectedly pregnant (when I had decided to finally move on!) and have been able to carry this healthy baby (with some medical assistance) and am already at 21 weeks. (I am planning to share all about that one day!) 2017 certainly turned around for me in the latter part of the year, and has me full of excitement for all that 2018 holds. With that in mind, I wanted to share my house, business, & personal goals for the year aead with you. I’m already busy starting some new projects this week, and am looking forward to having some fresh content for you in the coming months. (This post contains some affiliate links).
Our New Year’s mantle, with letter board quote by Emmy.
Let’s start with the fun stuff… house goals!
- Kitchen Mini-Makeover: Four years ago, we completed our kitchen makeover and I haven’t regretted any of the choices I made. However, changing my decor is part of who I am, and I am ready to refresh this space. I will be joining Stephanie’s New Year New Room Refresh Challenge this month to update our cabinets. Anyone can join this challenge, so hop over if you’d like details. It could be just the kick in the pants you need! Anyhow, for over four years, our kitchen has had deep navy cabinets, and I’ve loved them, but I want to brighten this space. To refresh your memory, here’s the most recent look at our kitchen from my Christmas tour.I plan to stay in the blue family and paint the cabinets in General Finishes Persian Blue, a gorgeous soft blue-gray-green color. I’ll also be updating the hardware with modern chrome pulls, chrome hinges, and the same glass globe knobs I used on this dresser. The color I am using is also the same on the the dresser, so you can see how they will pair together here:I am excited to see how these small changes will dramatically impact our space!
- The Nursery!!!! Oh, how excited I am to share with you the plans for our baby boy’s nursery. I made the mood board back in early December, and can’t wait to give you all the details. I am not ready to share them yet as I want them to have their own dedicated post, but I can tell you the colors I am using will be navy, gray, and white with natural wood, leather and metallic accents. I was also fortunate and the lovely shop owner of Declaration Home, Courtney, gifted me the banner I had planned to order to put over the crib. I am a big fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and this one spoke to me with its color, quote, simplicity, and sentiment. It will certainly make a statement in the room! (Photo from Courtney’s website).
- Sawyer’s Room Finished: I am so embarrassed to say that this space has been on the docket for a while and I am pretty sure that it was on my lost to finish last year, but I don’t like to revisit those lists because they remind me of what I didn’t do. 😉 A couple of years ago we moved our tall bookcases to his room and planned to create a built in around his bed with them. I told Chris that we should make this space completion our priority over the nursery to ensure that it finally gets finished and we don’t brush it off. To refresh your memory, here’s what it looked like after we moved the bookcases. And here’s a look at it from Christmas of 2016. We actually kept the tree tapestry up all year because he adored it, but we finally removed it last week. He received this soccer tapestry in his stocking, as well as these storm trooper string lights to help kick off these changes. The tapestry is already hanging and he LOVES it, and the lights will go around the bed.I am not above sharing embarrassing photos here as well, so I thought I’d let you see the tapestry in place in his currently messy bedroom, snapped with my iPhone with the overhead light on… winning at photography and styling!These changes will make a huge difference in his room as far as style and safety. If it were up to him though, we’d keep it just as is. Unlike Emmy and I, Sawyer is not a fan of constant change. However, once he sees how much better this space is after, I know he’ll be thrilled.
That’s really it as far as house goals go. I am sure more projects will come up over time, but with the baby being due in early May, I think that’s enough to get me through the next few months, especially with my crazy current schedule.
Speaking of my schedule, let’s talk about business goals next…
- Continue at Sweet Clover as a vendor: I have loved being back at Sweet Clover, and my creative spark has returned thanks to this endeavor. I know that moving furniture will become more challenging in the months ahead, and finding the time to do it will also be harder as I juggle another job’s schedule, kids schedules, doctor appointments and more, but it’s so worth it to me because it’s creatively fulfilling and personally rewarding. The team of vendors is exactly that… a team… and I am happy to be a part of it. I don’t plan on growing my own vintage business any this year, but maintaining it and perhaps it will just naturally grow on its own, but I am quite content. I’ve also signed up to style the cottage at Sweet Clover next Christmas and am looking forward to that. I’ve recruited my girl Jen of Green Spruce Designs to collaborate.
- Continue my Part-Time Management Job at J. Crew through April: Yes, I said management. When I applied back in October, it was for a seasonal sales associate job, something just to bring in some extra income over the holidays. At the time, the store manager was out on maternity leave. Just a day or so after I was officially offered the job, the Associate Store Manager asked me if I would actually be interested in being a temporary key holder as they had just lost an assistant manager and I had past retail management with J.Crew… even if it was back in 2002! Basically, my current job is that of an assistant manager, but part time. I work 3-4 full days a week, although coming up next week I have a five day work week because of other manager’s being on vacation. I took the job and have really enjoyed it and now plan to stay through the end of April. Over the last two months I’ve worked with the Associate Store Manager and an Assistant Manager and have loved working with them and now consider them my friends… we share the same sarcastic humor; when I discovered that, I knew I had landed in the right place. Last week the store manager was back from maternity leave, and I spent Saturday evening closing with her and getting to know her, and can honestly say I adore her, too! She just had a baby boy, so hopefully our little dudes can be buds. Additionally, the sales associates that work there are all wonderful… I am the “old lady” at the Crew, but that is totally fine by me. They all keep me young! While my schedule will probably be hectic the next few months as I juggle Sweet Clover projects and set up, house projects, blogging, kids, and my job there, it’s worth it to me both financially and personally. Bear with me if I disappear now and again over this period of time. PS- we’re just getting in our new Spring stuff, and with my own current clothing limitations I’ve been focusing on more accessories or open cardigans. These avocado earrings are a must for me since Chris works at Chipotle!I’ve also been contemplating this soft cozy sweater! It’s only $35.50 right now and soooo me. And I can let my belly hang out since it has nowhere else to go!
- Continue Blogging and Perhaps Grow: I’ll be honest with you… this blog of mine has been on a bit of a decline over the last year or two. I enjoy it and make enough money to at least keep it self-sustaining, but being profitable would be lovely! To be honest, I don’t have the drive or time to force that into happening, so I am hoping for some organic growth this year. Who knows? At least know I will still be here, plugging along in my little corner of the internet.
Now for my personal goals…
- Keep an open mind with any opportunity that floats my way…. I don’t honestly have any goals for personal growth or career, but I want to keep a completely open mind when it comes to what may happen because the truth is you never know. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, sometimes plans don’t go the way you want or expect. I don’t truly know what the year ahead will hold for me, but I want to stay receptive to all possibilities, and be willing to edge outside of my comfort zone if needed. This goal can apply to all aspects of my life… friendship, career, blogging, life… Whatever you have for me, universe, I am all ears!
- Pick back up with reading soon: The holidays took the little free time I had, and I’ve had to give up reading temporarily. I’ve got a new book, Present Over Perfect, I am looking forward to diving into and I think is going to truly help me in life; and I plan to read and share more reviews again. Speaking of which, I still have some reviews that I need to share. 😉
- Work on detoxing my life a bit: I’ve been using non-toxic cleaners for some time now, but have recently started really focusing on my own and my family’s non-toxic self-care. These changes are better for our environment and our bodies so it’s a total win in my book! I need to be more diligent about reading labels. And lastly, I truly need to focus more on what I put into my body in the form of food… let’s just say the last mont has been a bit of a free-for-all. No more! I want to feel good, look my best, and perform my best, and these things or only possible when I am taking the best care of myself.
- Return to running post-baby: My specialist recommended I stop running during this pregnancy, so I’ve been walking regularly, but I do miss running. I miss the intensity, the challenge, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a run. Sadly, I also miss the toning my legs and butt once had… This little boy is totally worth it, but as soon as I have the clearance, I plan to pound the pavement once more! I am not making any running goals or signing up for any races as I know I have to just see how it goes, but getting running back into my daily life will be enough for me!
- Finally go camping: I’ve always wanted to, but never have been camping. We are now equipped with two brand new tents and we intend to break them in this year once the weather allows. Truly, I am hoping to get our family up to Acadia this summer for my birthday and camp there, even with a new baby.
- Gracefully turn 40: The camping trip mentioned above is how I am hoping to spend my 40th birthday in August… with my family in the woods! 2018 is the year that I turn 40, and I am looking forward to attempting graceful aging. I really can’t say what that means, but I know it doesn’t mean dressing like a 20 year old, getting a boob job, or buying a motorcycle… I am just hoping to be 100% accepting of myself at this point in life, and to make the best of what I have.
Well, as I said, I am open to whatever comes my way, so BRING IT ON, 2018- I am ready for you!