*On my wish list!
After posting my 2019 resolutions, I’ve been thinking about breaking things off into more manageable milestones and setting monthly goals. This month I’m going to exercise twice a week, continue to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, finish replacing the sconces in the living room with these (in brass with this shade), and strip the paint from the hardware for at least one more door.
Saving … or rather not shopping. Just like last year at this time, I’ve found myself tired of spending money and in desperate need of a month-long spending freeze to get my finances back in order after the holidays. I already have so many things and there isn’t a lot that I truly need right now. Sure, I have some wish list items like a few boho blouses, this backpack, and a new black a-line skirt, but I’m taking the 31 days of January to research purchases rather than pull the trigger. It’s part of a larger goal I have for ’19 to be more intentional about how I spend my money. I’ll always love clothes and accessories, but I want to make sure that what I buy is something I’ll love for more than one season — and that wasn’t always the case last year. (The exceptions to this will be if we find a great deal on a spring trip to Europe, if I come across any fun vintage pieces while we’re in Florida next week, or if I find something to spend a holiday gift card on. Also, I’ll probably buy some storage containers for the next agenda item below.)
I mentioned recently that I was eager to watch You on Netflix, starring Penn Badgley. I watched the first season over the course of two days and loved it, even if I had a hard time seeing him as anyone other than Dan Humphrey.
How in the world do cabinets and closets get so messy?! And that’s not even taking into consideration the state of our basement and the fact that we have unopened boxes from when we moved in a year and a half ago. (Some of those are sentimental items or books that I want but don’t need out, but other boxes include things that don’t fit our aesthetic or lifestyle and should be donated.) I’m planning to do a deep clean and organization of these messier areas, and donate the things that aren’t useful or loved. My closet is the only space where I’ll hesitate to donate things immediately. I typically put unworn items in a box and let them sit for a year to see if I miss them, but it’s nice to get them out of the closet and make it easier to find the things that I do wear.
Did you see that Clinque is offering more choices for its Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion? The cult classic has remained virtually unchanged since its debut in 1968. Now, you can purchase cartridges for your lotion that target different skincare needs: uneven skintone; lines and wrinkles; irritation; pores and uneven texture; and fatigue. The add-on cartridge only increases the price of the lotion by $11, making it an affordable option when it comes to targeted skincare.
You may recall that I mentioned a new company, Basepaws, in this post. It’s basically a DNA test for cats that allows you insight into the breeds your cat is most closely related to. It also offers insight into genetic abnormalities that may lead to disease. The company sent me a kit to test Bacon’s DNA, which I’m pretty excited about. He’s a Bengal (or at least should be!), so that aspect of the test is probably more interesting to cats that aren’t purebreds, but I’m very much interested in what diseases he may have a predisposition for so we can be proactive in his care. Unlike animals such as mice and dogs, cat DNA isn’t heavily studied. As more people submit DNA for testing, Basepaws will be able to compile more comprehensive results about your cat and will continue to send updates as more research is done.
I love the start of a new year, especially the fresh slate and sense of optimism that comes with it! But as I was reflecting on the past year and thinking about some of my goals for 2019, I realized that I seem to forget what were my priorities midway through the year! This year, I’m looking at things in six-month increments. It’s enough time to actually work toward some of my goals, but having a midyear check in will help keep me accountable and allow me to reflect back on what’s not working and why.
TRAVEL SOMEWHERE NEW
If you’ve been a longtime reader, you’ll know that this is a perennial goal of mine. I think it’s important to continuously expand your horizons and see new parts of the country and world. For me, travel is inspiring, fuels my creativity, and honestly travel makes me feel like a better and more interesting person. We traveled a lot last year, visiting London, Austin, Portland, Seattle, New York City, and Chicago. The latter was the only city I had already been to (and numerous times at that; it’s only a couple of hours from Madison, so we get there at least once a year). This month, we’ll be traveling to Florida’s Gulf coast to visit Dave’s parents who rented a condo for the month. We have Sweden on the radar for this spring (assuming work schedules and travel costs allow), and we’ll add on a to-be-determined destination abroad during that trip. It’s tempting to go back to our beloved Brussels or visit Copenhagen again because one week in that gorgeous city wasn’t nearly enough time.
GO WITH THE FLOW
I’m not the most chill person and I may have a tendency to overreact and be a bit dramatic. This year, I’m going to do my best to be more understanding and relaxed whenever an unexpected curveball is thrown my way. Along with this, I need to stop taking as many things personally.
TAKE SELF CARE SERIOUSLY
No, I’m not talking about doing face masks and soaking in the tub. I’m talking about being more active, drinking more water, reading more often, and eating better. My 46-year-old uncle died rather unexpectedly on Thanksgiving and it was an eyeopener to me that at age 35, I really need to start taking steps to take care of myself so that I don’t find myself with a slew of health problems ten years from now. I do need to lose weight. I lost 15 pounds in 2018 … and then gained it all back during our hectic travel months and the holidays. While discouraging, if I could do it last year, I can easily make it happen again with a little willpower! I’ve also been making sure I drink at least 64 ounces of water daily (but aiming for 100 ounces each day). This is such a small thing, but it’s made me feel more energetic and keeps me from mindlessly snacking when I’m really just thirsty.
AROUND THE HOUSE
I had a lofty list of goals for the house last year and didn’t accomplish as many as I naively thought possible. That said, we did find the perfect dining room table and chairs, painted our upstairs hallway, made significant progress on painting the doors and removing old paint from the hardware, purchased light fixtures for five rooms, and had four dying trees removed. We probably should have done more, but it’s such a balancing act with time and money. Here’s my must-do list for the first six months of 2019:
It’s hard to believe that we’re about to flip the calendar over to 2019! Before we ring in the new year, I thought I’d take a look back at my favorite purchases from 2018 (travel excluded). These are the things that have brought me the greatest amount of joy in the last year and the things I’d happily fork over my hard-earned money for if I had to do it again.
Linen Sheets – If I had to pick just one purchase of ’18 to call my favorite, this would be it. I know there’s this great millennial debate between Parachute and Brooklinen for linen bedding, but I actually purchased our set from Lands’ End. The retailer is headquartered in Wisconsin and they have an annual warehouse sale to offload miscellaneous returns and overstock. We happened upon a king-size set of white linen sheets for just over $100 and promptly purchased them. I had heard such good things about linen sheets and they didn’t disappoint. They’re incredibly soft and get softer with each wash, and they’re breathable. I love them so much that my parents gave us a second set for Christmas.
Gucci Bag – Obviously my most expensive sartorial purchase in, uh, ever would make the cut for my favorite products of 2018. The leather is beautiful and the design is timeless, making it a smart investment piece for my wardrobe. (I was lucky enough to fund two-thirds of it with blog money, so the price tag was easier to stomach. I wouldn’t recommend such an indulgent item if you’re even slightly hesitant about it. There are so many amazing bags for far less money.)
Noise-Cancelling Headphones – How did I make it to age 35 without owning a pair of noise-cancelling headphones?! Dave actually purchased these for me because he loves his so much and thought it was ridiculous that I was still using earbuds on plane rides. These headphones are a game changer. I couldn’t believe how much more peaceful a flight would be without hearing the constant hum of the plane, coughing fits, and fussy babies.
Clear Accessories – The Rachel Comey earrings I purchased earlier in the year (worn here) quickly became one of my most often worn accessories. (It’s probably not surprising given that a pair of clear earrings match everything!) The fixation with clear accessories extended through the end of the year when I finally bought the Staud bag I had been crushing on over the 12 months. I rarely purchase such trendy pieces, but the transparent trend looks to continue into 2019 and the ’60s-inspired mod designs will always come back in style at some point.
Hand Vacuum – This is undoubtedly the least sexy item on the list, but it’s by far the most useful. I seem to reach for it daily to clean up spills or capture dust bunnies on the hardwood floors. It has a powerful suction and the filter can be easily removed and washed.
Dining Room Table – I’ve wanted a proper dining table for years, but didn’t want to purchase anything until we had bought a house and knew exactly what kind of dimensions we’d be working with. Even then, it took us awhile to pull the trigger on something until we saw this table on the Article website. It’s kind of nerve wracking to purchase such a significant piece of furniture sight unseen, but this table far surpassed our expectations. The wood is gorgeous and the quality is exceptional. Having the centerpiece of the dining room selected allowed us to start purchasing other items for the room, including chairs and a light fixture.
It’s the last weekend of 2018, which means it’s time to break out the champagne coupes and bubbly! We have a low key weekend in store, allowing us time to recoup (and clean up) after the holidays, which is exactly what I need after being on the go for weeks now. I’m also planning to find a couple of appetizer recipes to make on New Year’s Eve and I’m open to any suggestions you have! (We have plans with our neighborhood friends for a festive house crawl with snacks and cocktails at each stop.) I hope you have a relaxing final weekend of 2018!
Finds Under $50:
Earlier This Week:
image via Unsplash