Home Goals for 2018

I hope you had a warm and cozy holiday with your loved ones.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves, eating too much, playing games and watching our favorite holiday movies.

Now that we are headed toward 2018, my thoughts quickly turn to my goals for the new year.  I always look forward to a fresh start and the opportunity to move forward on my goals in all areas of life.  In fact, I usually review past goals and I always see progress. Even small change is welcome. I have found that writing down my goals is the best way to stay on track.

  Mr. DB and I sit down for a planning session for our joint goals each year.  I have  to get vacations and trips on the calendar or we are frantically try to squeeze them in among other commitments.  We sit with our calendars and talk about potential trips and pencil in dates.  Also, it helps him with scheduling work commitments knowing this personal time is planned.

I also make plans for my home.  Writing your goals and plans down brings them from the vague “someday” ether and into reality.  And sometimes I realize that I don’t want to bring a vague goal into reality, it was a fantasy anyway.  But actually putting down window replacement for 2018 means I will make it happen.

So, to that end, I created this printable goal list to jump start your thinking on the changes and home improvements you would like to make in 2018.

Home Goals for 2018

I would love to hear about your planning process each year.  Let me know in the comments!

Gifts For Her

Just in case you need some ideas for that special female someone!

 

 

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The Noonday Collection has such lovely and unique items.  And you get the added gift of feeling good about your purchase since all items are fair trade, benefiting the artisans who make them. The jewelry here is a tiny fraction of the collection.  In addition, the site offers apparel and art, all handmade from the finest materials.

I love so many of the Molton Brown line of body washes and lotions.  Right now I am enjoying the Pink Pepperpod fragrance.  It is a subtle and elusive scent that will delight your senses.

I love the Kiehl’s lotions as well.  I have never actually used this whipped body cream, but there were 145 reviews that raved about this product.  It costs more than I would normally spend but I am intrigued by the devoted following.

The mohair throws from Pottery Barn would be perfect in any room, from bedrooms to living rooms.  I like the slim profile and the gorgeous colors.  Peacock would look perfect in our family room, in case you were wondering.

We need new stainless flatware.  Ours is 37 years old and it looks it!  Pottery Barn flatware has a nice heft and the price is reasonable, especially if it lasts another 37 years.

I finally admitted that my old booties were killing me and put them in the donation bag.  I really like the look of these shoes from Kork-Ease and the reviews confirm that they are very comfortable.

So, what’s on your list?  I’d love to hear!

Some items are affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you click on the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Links: From Roasting the Turkey to Decorating the Table

When you have hosted as many Thanksgiving dinners as I have, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and do the same things you always do.  However, I have found that  a little creative boost helps me get more enthused about the process, the work that is involved in making a memorable day for everyone.   That’s when I sit down at my computer to find inspiration and ideas that spice up my usual dinner.

These two links were so thorough that I didn’t need to go any further.  I hope they help you too!

The New York Times has an entire section of helpful tips for the novice and the experienced cook  here.  From How to Roast a Turkey to How to Plan the Menu, you will find a comprehensive guide for your Thanksgiving meal.  Even though I have hosted Thanksgiving more times than I can count, I  am always interested in new ideas for recipes and tips for making the preparations  go more smoothly.

This article had so many ideas for making your table festive.  From simple to elaborate you will find something you like.

Happy Planning!

The Lull before the Holidays

I am so proud of myself when I actually do what I know I should.  You know, like exercise, eat healthy, get a jump start on the holidays.  Today we are going to talk about things you can do to make your holiday season much less frantic and more fun.  Here are a few things I plan to do within the next week.  And one I have already done!

This weekend I will be making hot  pepper jelly.  It takes only an afternoon and yields about 5 jars of homemade goodness, ready to be shared.  It’s great for hostess gifts or anyone you like to give a little something.  You can always add crackers and cream cheese in a cute gift bag for a ready made hors d’oeuvre.    I use the recipe in the Sure-jell box.  Imagine giving your hostess something homemade, instead of the usual bottle of wine, or you could do both.

Did you know that quick breads (like banana and pumpkin) last 2-3 months in the freezer?  And cookies also take well to being frozen.  I make my cut-out Christmas cookies in advance and freeze them.  Then I decorate them another day.  Or you can bake your favorite cookies and freeze them for your family’s holiday or as gifts.  I did this one year and my family was so happy to have those cookies they grew up eating.

These ginger cookies are still nice and soft once they defrost from the freezer.

We often take a bottle of wine as a hostess gift also.  I have been wanting to come up with a custom label to put right on the wine bottle.   I had the inspiration to use leftover printable business cards.  I had two sheets left in a box of Avery printable business cards.  When you go to the Avery site they have so many templates, but if you are one of those super creative and original people you can upload your own design.  I had these printed up in 10 minutes.

There are hundreds of templates on the Avery site, including holiday designs.  I decided to go with a basic, but cute, design that can be used for any occasion.

Use your hole punch to put a hole in the corner.  Tie a ribbon or piece of cord and voila!

And yes, the font is customizable – next time I will make it bigger for sure.  It looks custom, but it’s custom for those of us who are design-challenged.

 

 

Wreaths

I have gone back and forth on wreaths.  In my younger days I loved them – they seemed so welcoming!  Then I saw them as too country and not my style at all.

But this week I took a photography class which took us to the most classic and beautiful historic area, Old Town Alexandria.  There were some doors that rekindled my appreciation of wreaths.

 

I just love the loose natural feeling of this wreath.

And this door is perfect with the juxtaposition of yellow door and orange wreath, and black and white bow.

Now wreaths are classic.

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Then I was looking through the Pottery Barn catalog and found these beautiful wreaths.

Live Orange Harvest Wreath

I also like this one.

Live Rustic Coxcomb Wreath

There were several other beautiful ones, but these are my favorites.

Isn’t it funny how you can go back and forth on some decor?

 

 

Our Trip to Italy

Mr. DB and I returned last week from a 10 day trip to Italy, which had been on our someday list for years.  We started serious planning for this trip back in the early summer.
We started in Rome and saw all the usual sites:  the Vatican, the Coliseum and Forum, Trevi Fountain, etc.
But, what charmed me the most were the quaint little towns and villages surrounding Florence.
Tuscany, made famous, of course, by books like Under the Tuscan Sun, does not disappoint.  Around every curve in the road was a breathtaking view of cypresses and wineries and olive orchards.  Each little town looked too perfect to be real.
The narrow, curvy streets were so interesting to wander around – you never knew what awaited you around the corner.  Cashmere shawls and wraps, along with leather goods were plentiful in every town.

Continue reading “Our Trip to Italy”

My Notables

Recently I was reading an article in which the author declared that someone had “great taste”.  I usually think that it is the wealthy who are said to have great taste because they can afford the best of everything.  That certainly helps, doesn’t it?  I then wondered,  is taste something one is born with or can you learn it?  I never got very far along on these musings (I never do) but that’s okay, because The New York Times tackled the subject this week in the article Is Good Taste Teachable?
The good news for most of us not born with impeccable taste is yes and the article covers ways of developing this talent.The same section of the Times had this highly entertaining article about having a good friend who is a professional interior decorator help with decorating your space.

 

Emily Henderson is a spokesperson for the new Frame TV by Samsung.  Watch her video of a greenhouse makeover using the Frame here.  When the Frame TV is off there are multiple choices of art for the screen so that it looks like a framed piece of art.  It solves the problem that every decorator has fretted over for years: how to hide the TV.  It turns out the answer is, in plain sight.

Frame Tv

I am definitely planning to try some of these easy recipes.

And a library that will make every reader jealous!

Have a great weekend!