Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goals Revisited

Going back and looking at my goals for 2009 (in light green) and refining for 2010...

Get Organized - which really means that we have to purge all corners of this house. Why two people can't live comfortably in 1700 sq ft is beyond me. But it is hard when both of us work from home and we use every room in the house. I did some major purging in 2008 so I am pretty happy with what I accomplished! But there is always more to do - this is always going to be on the list, constantly purging!

Simplify - I haven't really determined the details of this yet, but I think with purging above and having the right 'tools' around it will simplify my life. I think this was the overall theme for 2008. Invest in good technology that would simplify my life and not complicate it. That would have been the iPhone. I don't travel with my laptop on vacations - I just take my iPhone. Santa brought me a new camera which will definitely make photography a lot easier. Having a camera that shoots full frame and high ISO is going to simplify the process. Now what I would like to do for 2010 is figure out the details of SIMPLIFY...for example we no longer have a house cleaner since I am home most of the time - but is this really simplifying our life? or adding to it?

Organize the Closet - Yes, this should go under the 'get organized' goal, but you haven't seen our closets. Both hubby and I LOVE clothes, shoes, jackets, etc. This warrants to be singled out as a goal. I was lucky enough to have a stylist come in last year, so my closet isn't so bad. Oh and we can't forget about the downstairs closet - you know the one that is under the stairs, the endless pit... Kirk's closet is completed and we just need to do one more part. My closet is now organized so I only have the current season displayed. Downstairs closet - you can now walk through to the back! Kirk is definitely still working on this but made a huge purge before his parents visit over Christmas. I really want to tackle my craft/catch all closet in 2010

Go (half) Organic - I need to take baby steps here. But I am going to start buying more organic food products this year. Dairy and meat to start with. We are totally organic on all the dairy and the meat that we buy. Still not totally there with the vegetables and such. Still organic with dairy and meat...

Recycle more - trying to get on the GO GREEN bandwagon. I am sure any thing that you can do helps. We already do our basic recycling of newspaper, glass, cans, office paper and cardboard. Sent all the accumulating not using anymore electronics around this house to various non profit organizations that recycle them. We have a new system in Vancouver now and it makes it even easier to recycle. But I really want to be conscious in 2010 about all the plastic we throw out

Learn something NEW - I am going to recycle my old goal from A Year to Remember class and learn Spanish. I also want to take a class in letterpress. Didn't do either of these. Spanish is still on my list but letterpress class is not. I want to add a new one: Kite surfing. LOL! I really did laugh out loud at this one. Spanish is still on the list, but no kite surfing as of yet. So Spanish remains for 2010

Get Fit - does this ever come off the list? This year it means yoga 4 to 5 times a week, running, walking and eating better. I am going to have a nutritionist come in and analyze everything. She is going to do a body assessment, kitchen inventory, etc. Hubby is not to stoked about this one... I would say I maintained - I now have a personal trainer two days a week and I am in the process of finding a used exercise bike so I can at least get some exercise in this inclement weather! Loved 2009 for getting fit! 2010 is hopefully going to be better - my BIL are planning on running in the Portland Marathon so I need to start my training next week! Also who is ready for a Commit 2 Fit Challenge?? My weight has gone up over the last two months so I need to get back on track - all this holiday food, I just went crazy!

Cook more - with the above help I am hoping that I will be motivated to cook more. I am aiming for at least 4 times a week. Totally missed the boat on this one - i think this year I am going to have a more realistic goal of cook every Sunday and one week day. Definitely sticking to the Sunday and one day week - right now it

Travel locally more - this is going to be hard as I look at my travel schedule for the first 5 months. But I miss seeing the amazing Pacific NW area that I live in. Spent more time at the Oregon Coast, Eugene, but didn't do as much as I would have liked. We really need to work on this, but I want to go to the coast more this year.

A picture a Day - Take a picture a day, I might even set up another blog like Lisa. I don't even want to comment on this one. I have the pictures I just need to upload them to the site. Still want to continue this! Still haven't uploaded all the photos from 2008 or 2009... the plan for 2010 is 365 days of Jesse. The will be posted on
Adding for 2010...
  • Making sure to take care of myself
  • Finish uncompleted projects
  • Read more - especially some classics that I haven't read yet
Have a wonderful New Year celebration - c ya in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It was a very Merry Christmas...

I can't believe it was just Christmas - whirlwind of family and friends! Now the house is quiet and a mess, but I have no energy to start the clean up. The decor will stay up until the first weekend in January, we are enjoying the festive look (at least that is what I am telling myself!). Here are a few photos of Christmas 2009....

Christmas snowglobes safe and sound

Jesse opening presents on Christmas day - a blur

Experiencing her first Christmas cracker

My MIL from the South. Can't you tell? She has a stick of butter in her hand!

Hope you all had wonderful holiday celebrations!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Decor part deux

Here are some photographs of some of my favorite pieces in my Christmas collection...

Snow globes - I can play with these ALL day, especially listening to the Christmas music from the wind up.

Love my dirty snowman with my regal santa...

Silver Balls - a  tradition started a long time ago that my mom carries on. You receive a silver engraved ball from your first year marriage and there after. I had this re-bar tree made for display purposes and now I use it to display these balls at Christmas time. As you can see some of my balls need polishing but it may have to wait until next year!

I have several of these reindeer in different positions...

They were all a gift from my mother in law and she bought them from a store in Chattanooga that is no longer in business. But I love how the antlers are little branches!

This metal wire tree is up all year around. I take down the 'Jolly', but leave pretty much everything else. This is a little vintage collection that sits on top of the amoire in the dining room.

I jumped for joy when I saw these crocheted snowflakes last year at Target!

Frosty sits on the amoire too...

Cherished piece of Christmas artwork from Dottie - boy, I miss her!

Red cinnamon wreath - these were made as a fundraiser to raise funds to buy feed for horses in need. I have had it for two years and it still smells wonderful! I hang it on the inside of the front door.

Enjoy life!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Decor

This is how one of my Christmas trees starts out - yes, I have artificial. I am sure there are plenty of arguments out there but this is what we have chosen. We have three, white, champagne and traditional green. This year the white one was the only one that made it out...

I am VERY picky about my branches - they have to be unscrunched and laid out so they are flat. Most of my ornaments are vignettes and the items need to sit into the tree not hang...this takes me several hours to do.

Definitely needs more lights! I string on several more strands...

Need to look at it from outside to see if there are enough lights...we are there!

Let the trimming begin! As you can see I have some hanging ornaments, but I also put together vignettes of a extra large Christmas ball, glitter fern, birds, glitter icicle branches, silk flowers...

The white doves I found at an estate sale - 24 for $1! Of course the dogs have been eying them.

The ornament above is from one of my favorite illustrators Patience Brewster. I adore her Krinkles line.

Here is our finished room. This is the first year that I haven't gone mono-chromatic with the white tree - I usually do silver and white. While it makes for a very elegant tree - I thought I would try some color since I wasn't setting up the others. As you can see on my coffee table I also have a collection of snow globes - I receive one for Christmas almost every year. I need to find the rest of them - I think a box is still in storage...check back tomorrow for more photos!

Enjoy life!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tapestry Beige - finished!

After spending the time to prep/prime the rooms the Tapestry Beige color turned out even better than I expected.

We have very dark floors and furniture so this neutral color let those features SHINE! Above is a picture of our 'travel' wall. As we travel around the world I bring back small pieces to feature in this area.

Above is a photo of our kitchen back splash. This tile is also the same color we have on the floor. So excited that my Christmas cactus if blooming!

Here is the back wall of the kitchen (galley style) and the door is to the pantry/laundry. The crow painting is by Eli Halpin and it is done on an old window. She is one of my favorite artists - she used to live in Portland, but has since moved to the East coast. My dream would be to commission her to do the furbabies!

The two crow painting is another Eli Halpin piece - and also a sneak peek into some holiday decor... check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tapestry Beige - new paint color

Yes, on my to do list before Christmas was to paint the kitchen/dining/tv room. A friend of mine turned me on to this neutral color - when I first saw it I just loved the simplicity. Tapestry Beige is by Benjamin Moore, color number OC-32. But let's start from the beginning!

These rooms were painted a very deep orange for about six years. When I first picked this color everyone was appalled, Kirk was apprehensive - I LOVED it. But over time everyone warmed up to the color - of course this happened as the orange color came into style for home decor. But after six years I was ready for a change.

But that meant I was going to have to prep/prime the walls with Kilz - a whole extra day of painting. I only had to do one coat of Kilz, this just took the edge off of having to cover the orange paint with the new color.

Of course by the time I got around to the project it was already December! If this was going to get done it needed to be done before I decorated for Christmas.

Check back tomorrow for the end results...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Moring Swedish Pancakes

This is a great icy morning breakfast!

Recipe is from here. Kirk thought these were pretty tasty even though he doesn't like pancakes. These are more like very thin pancakes - almost crepe like.We were out of syrup so I just had mine with powdered sugar.VERY easy to make!

The pancakes looked great on my inherited dishes from Kirk's grandmother - Friendly Village. Looking forward to using them more during the holiday season.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Jesus Set-up

As a child Kirk called Nativity Mangers 'Jesus Set Ups' - not sure if this is a Southern thing or not?! Our scene below is from an artist in the south called BurkArt Clayworks. My MIL first had this collection and I fell in love with it. So she has been sending us pieces each year for Christmas.

Each piece is hand formed and the texture on the clay is made from one of the artists' family heirlooms. What I really love are the personal touches and the imperfections of each piece. I get excited each year to see what is new and what piece is going to join our family.

Happy Friday - enjoy life!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Friday Finds | Gift ideas for yourself!

I am almost done with my Christmas gifts - most of them are handmade this year. My goal is to try to avoid going to the mall and if I am buying a gift it will be online!

This time of the year my friend Jeanette has some great gift ideas on her blog, she has some unique finds. I thought I would put together a list of ideas for yourself - don't forget about you! This is definitely targeted towards "HER" so next week will be for my "HIM" readers.

Of course I am going to start with my vintage aprons! I have a few left on Etsy!

This morning I was having a discussion with my aunt about easy gifts to ship and I thought of pjs! For me buying pjs has been something you do in the winter time, Dottie and I bought each other pjs for Christmas each year - matching ones of course! I found these by PJ Salvage....

And Nick & Nora at Target was always a favorite of ours... this Reindogs sleep shirt would have been a must buy!

Handmade for you...I first heard about this company here - and for someone who knits and crochets I was salivating! Granted is one of those hand knit sweater companies that I can appreciate the time that goes into making some thing like these sweaters...

But I really LOVE these, you can give your UGGs a new look...Next time I am in Vancouver, BC this is going to be a boutique to stop at!

Next on my list would be Fragrance - Jeanette really was the first person to get me excited about Jo Malone. Before that my go to fragrance was Eau de Lune by Laura Mercier, this was my signature 'smell'. I was always intrigued by Jo Malone but was somewhat intimidated by the 'fragrance combining' . But with a little help I am now a Jo Malone fan! I combine Orange Blossom and Lotus Blossum/Water Lily.

I am also love the Vitamin E hand cream and lip conditioner during the winter months when my hands a lips are super dry.

SweetPaperie has been my go to designer for personalized stamps - she has some new designs, like this one... I think that while we are always a family unit, there are times that we need to be our own individual persons. Something as simple as your 'own' personalized stamp can give you that! :)

Enjoy life!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Journal Day Three | Scrapbooking

Journal your Christmas day three prompt - Christmas cards...

Every year I try to hand make our cards - this year I am getting a late start but I am hopeful that they will go out by next week! This year I am trying to use up a lot of the product that I haven't used in ages - you know all that patterned paper and card stock...

This years design is going to vary as far as the patterned paper and the cardstock. The photo and ribbon will be the same for each card.

First I determine what stamping elements I am going use. Yes, I know I could have done this with the computer and saved some time but I really like the 'shabbiness' of the opaque ink on the photo. Both stamps are from Stampin Up!

Then I went through all my Christmas patterned paper and found that I have a lot of the Basic Grey Figgy Puddy. I cut strips 2.5" x 4.5" (because my finished card is 4.5" x 6.25")

I attached these strips to the card I am showing brown cardstock that was used. I am also going to use red, blue and gray.

Adhered the photo and wrapped the ribbon around the card front (make a slit on the fold side so you can 'thread' your ribbon through) and tie a knot.

I have printed some photos in B&W and some with a funky 60s action. These were taken by my photography friend Larry Chen here in Vancouver, WA. I used a corner rounder, then I stamped 'Season's Greetings' with opaque white Staz On. Then I took my white gel pen and drew a border around the edges of the photo - all free hand to give it that shabby look. Now 249 more to make!

Enjoy life!