Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 House Goals

I really enjoy setting house goals for the year.  It's kind of sick how much I enjoy it and think about what I want to do to our little nest.  In fact, I've gotten so into it, I have already thought some about a few goals for 2014.  Crazy, I know.

So, without further ado, this year's goals:

1.  Give some love to the master bedroom (!)

Not everything in the master bedroom needs attention.  Our furniture is really quite lovely.  And the curtains are pretty new.  But we have totally neglected this space while focusing on other parts of the house.  Now it is time to create an oasis.  We need...
  • new bedding
  • artwork on walls
  • a monogram over the bed
  • a bookshelf
  • a reading corner (upholstered chair and ottoman or chaise)

I'd also really love to paint the room a darker color, but I don't know if it will happen.  Jim said he would love to add crown moulding, but that isn't officially on the list.

2.  Change and improve the master bath

Our master bath is such a pain.  We knew it would be when we chose the floor plan for this house.  We tried to figure out ways to remove square footage from our huge bedroom and add them to the bathroom, but there was just no good way to do it.  So, we are always banging into each other and locking each other out when using the facilities.

We would like to...
  • add a pocket door to the toilet area
  • change the light fixtures and fans accordingly
  • paint
  • add artwork

3.  Get new lamps / lampshades for the family room

These lamps and shades are super dated and the brass ones are a bit stuffy.  It's time for a change!

4.  Finally redo Brennan's curtains

So, Brennan's curtains have been too short since we moved into this house.  I bought another pair from someone who was selling some last year, but they are too short also.  I plan to piece them together somehow to get the right look and length but just haven't done it yet.

5.  Hang a new family photo in the family room

I've never been really happy with this sign under the shelf.  I want to replace it with one of my favorite photos from our recent photo shoot.

6.  Make barn wood artwork to go over the living room sofa

I loved the artwork I made for my in-laws so much I am planning to make one for our house, as well. I'm still trying to figure out what it will say.

7.  Fix up Cora's curtains and window seat

Last year we were able to score a new bookshelf from Ikea to put under the window in Cora's room.  Now I want to:
  • upholster a cushion
  • make/buy throw pillows
  • either shorten the existing curtains or get new ones & move the rod to better frame the space

8.  Make the craft room a functional, organized space 

I am so grateful to have a craft room.  With a door.  However, the space doesn't really work for me.  I end up with piles of paper all over the floor, I have to do all of my painting, assembling, and glueing at the kitchen counter because there is no workable table space, and I am using valuable space to store items I will realistically never use.  I need to:
  • purge old inventory and scrapbooking supplies
  • get more closed door storage
  • get more workable table space
  • purchase some paper sorters so I can quickly grab all of the papers I use for my orders
  • contain my fabric stash in a more compact, useable manner
  • add/improve lighting

These goals are probably lofty (as usual,) but I'll do my best.  Now that I have three kiddos and a small business that's taking off, I don't have as much time as I used to.  I hope to at least make a good dent.  Here's to a beautiful 2013!  :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 House Goals in Review... How Did I Do?

It's that time of year again!  It's time to review my house goals from last year and see how much I actually accomplished.  I both love and hate this.  It's great fun to see the spaces that have improved, but it is also a little discouraging to see the things that didn't get done.  One thing I'm sure of:  If I hadn't set specific goals, I wouldn't have achieved half as much in our home.

So, here we go...

1.  Make the baby a beautiful nursery of all his own.



  • Paint the walls
  • Make and buy artwork
  • Buy / make crib bedding

Our littlest guy has a beautiful, soothing place to sleep and call his own.  I couldn't be happier with it.

2.  Beautify this bathroom!



  • Put up bead board paneling
  • Add color with paint
  • Frame out or change the mirror
  • Add artwork 
I have a photo arriving in the mail next week that will go on the bare wall above the hand towels, and I have the frames purchased for three prints that will go on the wall opposite the sink.  Hopefully I will get all of the artwork done before the end of January.

3.  Finally do something with this empty wall in the dining room.



4.  Get Brennan new curtains.

Well, I got him new ones, but they are still too short and even less attractive, so this one is still unfinished.

5.  Frame a map on this wall in the play room.

Haven't done it.  :-/

6.  Paint unfinished furniture.



  • Cora's nightstand
  • Toy bench
  • Storage for half bath

7.  Fill in the living room.



  • Secretary desk brought down from the bedroom
  • A lamp on top of the desk
A few additional things that weren't even on the list got accomplished as well!  We got a new seagrass rug in both the living and dining rooms, and this week we have some Christmas-gift drapes arriving for the living room, as well.

8.  Get a bookshelf for the master bedroom.

Nope.  Now that the desk has been moved to the living room, this bedroom wall is bare and simply collects boxes and junk from around the house.  :-(

9.  Make artwork for Cora's room.



10.  Paint the guest bathroom.



It's hard to tell, but I painted the bathroom a beautiful gray that I love.  But that's as far as I got.

11.  Hang something above the bed.

Fail again.  I have to admit, our bedroom is the most neglected room in our house, and it will be at the top of the priority list for 2013.  (Those goals will come in the next week or so, hopefully.)

So, I accomplished the majority of my goals including the two biggest projects: Seth's room and the kids' bathroom.  I am really proud of the things we got done and happy to see our house look more and more complete and loved. Overall, I'd say it was a very successful year for our house.  :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Little Monkey Business


Five years ago when we moved to Nashville, I started selling handmade items on Etsy.  I found some things I liked to make - picture frames, journals, ribbon wreaths and topiaries... and I set up a store.

I had a few orders here and there, and they kept me busy enough to feel a sense of purpose while I transitioned to life in a new city, but I really didn't make much money.  (Honestly, with the time and money I poured in, I probably broke even.)

When I got pregnant with Cora, I abandoned the business and poured my love of crafts into my house and my family.  It just wasn't worth my time to keep making things that didn't provide any extra income. 

Fast forward to last January.  

My dear friend Janna told me she was pregnant again.  After the tragic loss of one of her twin babies, the pregnancy was a shock and blessing and came with many complicated emotions.  Janna and John wanted to do everything they could to celebrate this new life, so they decided to have a gender reveal party.  Janna gave me the great honor of being the only one to read the doctor note: BOY!

I secretly made a cake with blue filling that everyone would cut into and find out the sex of the baby.  It was a big responsibility, and I was so touched that Janna said she trusted I would "take it to the grave" before I would tell anyone.

Well, you know how I love a party.  I couldn't stop at just making a cake!  I asked Janna if I could make a few themed decorations to go with it, and she told me I could, if I kept it simple.

I searched the internet for gender reveal banners, and when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, I decided to make my own.  

I decided to go with the "What's It Going to Bee?" theme.  After designing the bee myself, I decided to add matching cake toppers, a voting sheet, and some little pink and blue bees for decoration.

When I showed up at the party and began putting out the decorations, Janna's friends kept saying, "You really made this?"  and "How did you do this?!"  I looked at my stuff and realized... People like these things, and maybe some would even like it enough to pay for it.

I went home and listed photos of the completed items in my Etsy shop (which I had never closed down), and I had my first order immediately.  

During that same month last year, some ladies from my church threw a baby shower for another friend, and I offered to help cut a few things on my Silhouette.  Before I knew it, one of the ladies offered to pay me to make banners and a few other items.

The theme was birds to match the baby's bedding, and I decided to design some banners and shower items to coordinate with the Pottery Barn Penelope bedding.  I added those items to my shop as well, and suddenly I had a few more sales.  

And with those sales, I had an epiphany.

I had finally found my niche!  I love party planning, decorating, and making things beautiful, and people were willing to pay me to help them.  This could be something for me!

Last year I had about a hundred sales, and without looking at the numbers, I would say that more than half of them were for gender reveal banners and coordinating items.  This year, I would like to double my sales and market some of my home decor assistance and party planning a little more.  I need to be willing to take risks, put myself out there, and pursue my passions.  

With three little kids, our expenses are growing every day.  Being a full-time stay-at-home mom (especially in a wealthy county in middle America) is becoming harder and harder, and I had already decided last fall that I would probably need to take a part-time job later this year.  Although that still may need to happen, I am beginning to embrace the idea that maybe this part-time hobby could be something more.

I am very crafty and love beautiful things, but I am also a realist and love the comfort of a job with set hours (and set pay!).  The idea of an unpredictable job is a little lot intimidating.

This is where you come in.  There are lots of people out there who do what I do - and many of them do it SO well!  The only thing that will help me to compete with the market is word-of-mouth support from you!  Besides ordering my products or hiring me to plan a party, you can help me by liking my facebook page, commenting on Lissalaneous facebook posts (which shows up in your news feed), and sharing my photos and posts on your wall.

You can also share my items on Pinterest!  (I have such a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.)  :-)

It's a little awkward to self-promote, but I've promised myself that I would put myself out there this year.  If you like my items or just want to support another stay-at-home mom trying to make a few dollars, I'd love your support!  Thanks, friends!

So, what risks are you taking in 2013?

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