february goals for business, creating, and reading

i actually started this post last tuesday night...
almost a week ago now.
i got about three paragraphs in and stopped dead in my tracks, unable to go any further.

i really, really wanted this month to look like last month.
i wanted a nice, neat list of goals--maybe ten, maybe more--that i could check off one at a time and update y'all on my progress.

and that's just not how it's going.

don't get me wrong...
it's going well...
heck, it's going awesome.
but it's just not fitting all snug and concise "in the box" like last month did.

i told myself {and you} at the beginning of the year that when it came to being intentional, i'd tackle one area each month for the duration of 2015.
however, some of the facets of my life walk so closely hand-in-hand with each other that it'd just be futile to try to separate them.

for february, march, and april, i will be focusing on intentional in business, creating, and reading.

business and creating...they're soul-sisters in my world.
i love to create, y'all.
love, love, love it.
i feel most alive when i'm doing one of two things--writing or creating.

i've made a decent little business for myself selling vintage on instagram, and i value the connections and friendships i've formed through that outlet.
but really, my heart is in creating.
and i'm most blessed that i get to use my creating to help support my family.
these months will be spent, in part, focusing on my creating...
expanding on ideas that i've used in the past, and developing new products for the future {i'm super-excited about that part!}

speaking of my little vintage business, it's overtaken the far end of my basement!!!
i want to sell off most of my vintage goodies during this month--i'm putting that under the business category.
this fabulous shelving unit {it came out of an old post office} was an incredible craigslist find a few years ago and has been priceless for keeping my vintage inventory both organized and visible.
i have no desire to completely abandon vintage-selling, but i do need to pare down the stock i have on hand.
last week and this week thus far have been spent in thinning out this vintage supply.  i estimate that i have another week or two of solid selling before i'm able to move on to the creating with a clear mind.

this huuuuuuuuuge armoire is in our bedroom, full of my crafting/creating supplies!!!
ohhhhhh the goodies that are in here!
i really believe i'm going to end up needing to do a sale of craft supplies, once it all comes down to it.
i've gathered sooooo much goodness over the years that it's just overwhelming.
when i want to make something, i open these doors and can't even figure out what i want to do.
i need to thin out my collections and focus on one or two main areas.
now let's just see if i can bring myself to actually do it!

this is my sad little sewing area.
it's tucked away into a dark corner of the basement...
but try as i might, i just canNOT come up with another option.
there is just NO room anywhere else in our house for me to set up "creative camp."
but!!!...in keeping with my goals, i have my builder-brother coming this friday to install to-the-ceiling shelves in this nook.
i've decided that if this is where i must sew, it can at least be cute and functional and inspiring.
be prepared for updates on this area!

i decided that it would just be too difficult--needlessly difficult--to try to separate and distinguish between business and creating.
i'm lumping them in together, so to speak, and giving them an extended time period...
because i truly believe they need those extra weeks.

i've also thrown reading in with business and creating.
i wanted to work on reading early enough in the year that i could carry it through the rest of the year with me.
also, it gave me an "easy" third area to group with business and creating, so that i could stretch their focus time out for a full {much-needed} three months.
yes, i'm focusing on three areas over the span of the next three months.

i have several ideas floating around in my brain that i'd like to incorporate to foster more reading in my life.
these days, it seems like my reading time is nearly nil...and when i do finally eke out a moment or two to turn a page, something louder/more important demands even that small bit of time.
i want to try to implement an "electronics curfew" for myself, if only for a few evenings a week...
but have yet to do so.

how do you carve out reading time for yourself?
i find that i often drift over to pinterest or instagram when i've promised myself some reading time...
do you have an "electronics curfew?"
and most importantly, what are you reading these days?
because the most compelling call to reading is an interesting book, of course!
i'd love your helpful hints and book suggestions!


corners of our home

hey, friends!!! i know it's saturday, but i just couldn't resist popping in here on this--the last day of this month!!!--to show you a few little corners of our home that i've spruced up this month!!!
grab your hot cuppa, c'mon in and join me for a little saturday morning visit!

this shelf is above the fireplace in our sunroom, the first area anyone sees when they walk in the door.
one thing i've especially loved during this redecorating process is making use of sentimental items.  i decided that i was tired of hanging on to certain things "to use someday," and that "someday" was finally here.
my dad built this shelf for my grandma, his mom, as a high-school shop-class project.  when mimi passed away, it was given to him and he passed it on to me.  the haviland bird cup & saucer sets were my mom's and i recently found the matching plates on ebay {for 99¢!!!}.  the small green saucer and pitcher on the lower right were my mimi's childhood dishes and were also passed on to me from my dad. {the yellow rose plates and yellow vase on the top shelf were also mimi's!}
it means so much to me that i was able to gather items i love from people i love and display them in a cohesive fashion.

this is an overhead loft area, walking into the dining area from the sunroom.  all of the globes were thrifted and all but one or two are vintage.
the double-barrel shotgun was passed down to my hubby from his dad.

this is another open cabinet in our kitchen...i did a little re-arranging in here this month.  i'm still hanging on to some bright pops of color here and there...especially in the kitchen!

this slatted shelf above the kitchen sink is perfect for small succulents and other plants that i'm rooting for propagation.  that sweet antique bird planter was a recent birthday gift from my thoughtful friend, denise.

i love this bright and cheery corner as you walk into our kitchen & dining area...if you peer closely, you can catch a glimpse of the coffee station in the reflection!
{hello sign from just add sunshine}

and because i promised i'd show you, here's my whiteware cabinet in the corner of the dining room {adjoining to the kitchen}.  i've already added a piece or two since this photo was taken, but i love the ever-evolving nature of this collection.

i've been very selective with what pieces have gone back up on our walls, but these were must-haves for our home.
the black phone hung in my hubby's papaw and granny's home all through his childhood--their phone number is still typewritten on the paper in the center of the rotary dial.
the praying man print hung in my hubby's childhood home...
the "christ is here" sign was thrifted ages ago...we often wonder if it used to hang in a church?
paul bought me that old-school pencil sharpener for christmas a few years ago--really, nothing sharpens pencils like these good, old sharpeners.
also, pencil sharpener for christmas? enter this exhibit as further proof that this man truly gets me.

another {closer-up} view of our mail center...more on that in this post.  the vintage ransburg bread box holds current bills, mail, and paperwork that we like to keep handy.

we've had that medicine-cabinet-turned-entry-mirror since we owned our very first home...it wasn't even a question as to whether or not it would make it back up on the walls.  besides, it's perfect in the new neutral-ish color palette.
sweet denise also made the chicken wire cloche for me.  crafty friends are the best type of friends, don't you think so?

if you were paying suuuuuuuuper-close attention when you read this post, you may remember that i mentioned needing to fix a broken vase that had sat on the laundry room counter for the better part of nine months.  bam!  done.  here's proof.
oh.  also proof that i did the tiniest bit of re-arranging in this cabinet...another goal checked off the january list.

you may recognize this table as the location of the unfortunate whitewash-the-lamp-spray-paint-the-shade-deck-the-shade-with-ruffles lamp.
yes.  it's gone.
and this $50 lamp from target took its place.
lesson learned? even the savviest thrifter occasionally needs to pay full price {well, i did have a $5-off-$50 purchase coupon, so technically not full price} to get exactly what's needed for a space.
i haven't regretted it for a second.
a big thank-you to my precious mom-in-law for that birthday gift card to tar-jay...and hence, this lamp.  

shelf is another built-long-ago treasure from my dad, many of the knick-knacks are family pieces.
{print from blossom and vine}

and just to keep it real, just so that you know this month will still end with a list of ongoing goals, here's what it looks like in front of my big picture window right now.
i may have spent a week's salary on house plants at home depot yesterday. 
money?  who needs money?  we have clean air, baby.

y'all have been so good about following along with me during this month of intentional in decorating and housekeeping.  i canNOT even begin to describe to you how very excited i am about what's to come for february.  join me here next week?
i just can't wait!

happy weekend, y'all!

what "intentional" looked like in january...

as each month of this year draws to a close, i'd like to make the time to think a bit on what intentional  looked like for me that month and how it actually fleshed itself out into action.
i want to be able to look back and chart tangible progress,  see concrete goals met.
i want to be able to recognize how it changed my life.

january was focused on being intentional in decorating and housekeeping.
this month, intentionality had one major influence on me.
just one.
but that one was big enough in itself.
in january, i was spurred to action.

i'm all for rest...relaxation...renewal...
i even had a weekend for that around the time of my birthday this month.
but i think, every so often, a good kick in the seat of the pants is in order.

we all work hard.  we do.
and sometimes we can get into such a habit of i deserve to rest...
i deserve to sit and take a break...
i'm just going to take it easy this evening...
and before you know it, those take-it-easy evenings have stretched into weeks, weeks into months,
and we wonder why the needle-less christmas wreath is still hanging on our front door in april.

so, for me, january looked like a lot of DOing and not much sitting around and resting.
a time for everything, right?
well, this wasn't the month for relaxation, let me tell ya.

january looked like an evening, after an exhaustingly long day of homeschooling, spent moving our mail center into my blogging/business desk in the living room.
it was after 7:00, i was waging the mental debate over curling up with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a good book--after all, i'd earned it right?....
OR moving my mail and bills and papers and other not-so-fun sounding stuff.
the thing is, i knew the pay-off would be worth it.  i knew the sense of accomplishment would be greater than the enjoyment of hot java and a few chapters.  i knew i'd be able to cross something off my january goals list.
but still, the inner struggle was very real.  
and that's what i want you to know.
it's not like oh, but this is easy for her...she likes to organize! 
yes.  true.  i do.  but i also enjoy sprawling out on the couch after a rough day just as much as the next person.
in the end, of course, i opted for relocating the communications center.  
and i'll be honest...i really didn't enjoy it at first.
but i kept going, knowing that getting it done would be its own sort of fabulous reward.
and it was.  i was pleased with the way everything fit together...so happy to still be able to use beautiful pieces that i love for practical purposes.

january looked like sewing a feedsack pillow one evening...

it looked like sewing sweater pillows on two other evenings...

january looked like handmade billy balls, and felted wool wreaths and arrows, and homemade vintage-style school posters, and felt-blossom branches, and extra-large-pom-pom garland.  
january looked like many photos added to the #dontjustPINitDOit hashtag.

and january looked like A LOT of fails, too...
it looked like a fabulous woven-wool rug that i hauled home from the bestie's house {after un-giving it to her...kind-of-sort-of-not-really}...only to find that i really liked my old rug better.
it looked like screwing cup hooks into approximately sixteen different places in my new coffee corner, only to figure out that hanging mugs just won't work for us in that space.
it looked like having a fabulous lamp...and then whitewashing that lamp because no matter how fabulous it is, it isn't fabulous if it doesn't go with your decor.  and then after whitewashing it, discovering that now the shade looks terrible on it.  so the shade gets spray-painted.  and covered with three tiers of ruffles.  handmade ruffles.  torn-from-vintage-sheets ruffles.  and then the newly-ruffle-bedecked shade gets put with the formerly-fabulous-freshly-whitewashed lamp, and all you hear inside is womp...womp...womp.  yah.  it looks like that, too. {and if your charitable self is tempted to say awwwwww! it looks good! please. don't.  please trust me that it looks way worse in real life than in that photo above.}
of course, then, it looked like driving to no fewer than seven different stores, searching for the right lampshade for said lamp, before finally conceding that perhaps our match was not made in heaven and maybe this lamp and i were just not meant to be.

it looked like trying approximately eight different newly-thrifted baskets for tea bags in my coffee corner before discovering the berry baskets i'd had in my basement all along.
it looked like more returned picture frames and lamp shades than i care to remember.

but all in all, january looked like a lot more DOing than thinking about doing...
or talking about doing...
or pinning about doing...
or sitting and relaxing and wishing someone else was doing.

january looked like a lot getting off my bootay and getting it done.

if i can carry even a fraction of this motivation into the upcoming months, i'll be elated.


so, many of us choose "a word for the year"...
but here's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
we are 28 days into 2015...
how has your word for 2015 changed your life?

did you choose a therapeutic-sounding/spiritual-sounding/wisdom-inducing word without giving it much thought?
are you wishing you would have chosen a word with more applicable meaning in your life?
it's not too late!  we are only 28 days into 365!!!  choose a new word!
for that matter, choose a new word each month if you feel led to do so.
the important thing is that is spurs you to change.

maybe you made the right choice on a word, but by 19 days in it had completely slipped your mind?
consider this your call to action, to renewal.
write it on your hand, tattoo it on your forehead {not really, please}, embroider it on a hoop {or order one from me}, put post-its around your house...
let your word seep through every fibre of your being until it's manifested through tangible results in your daily life.

this is my call for dialogue.
let's chat.
i want to know about your word...
tell me how it's changed you already...
or how you have changed it already...
or what your plans are to change beginning today.

talk to me, friends.


our little coffee corner

today, i finally get to show you the accomplishment of the first goal on my january goals list!!!

back in december, i got the hair-brained idea that i'd like to create a special corner in our kitchen exclusively for our hot drinks--coffee, tea {which i'm drinking a lot more of lately}, and cocoa.
when i'd visited my friend natalie in november, i'd quickly fallen in love with her coffee bar; but just hadn't considered it as a feasible option in our home...you know, the whole that would never work for me sort of thing.

when january rolled around with its theme of intentional in decorating and housekeeping,
that pesky idea of a coffee station just wouldn't let go.
and now, i'm glad it stuck around!!!

i'm so excited to show you our new little coffee corner!!!
when i finally conceded to the idea and began considering locations for the coffee corner, there were two cabinets that came up as possibilities.
this cabinet was already an open, display-style cabinet, which is what i was specifically wanting; while the other cabinet would have taken a considerable amount of work to get display-worthy.
i'm not saying it couldn't have been done, but when all the factors were considered, this was by far the more favorable option.

my hubby and i have been french press people for ages now, not owning a coffee machine of any sort.
while we didn't want to ditch the presses completely, we did want the convenience of an electric coffee maker.
my budget was limited for this project--limited meaning, as inexpensive as possible, while still maintaining quality workmanship and products--so i employed one of my favorite money-saving techniques--phone a friend.
we have a neighbor down the road that shows up here for coffee several times a week--i asked him if, by any chance, he had a spare coffee maker sitting around {lots of folks do, you know!}...and he commented that he had this espresso maker tucked under his counter that he had never even used!!!
he brought it down the next day and gave it to me!!!  free is my favorite price, y'all!
another friend saw on IG that i was considering buying a keurig and offered me her used model for $15.
it's just a one-cupper, and our coffee needs will quickly outgrow it, but it buys us time.  and that was well worth the $15 to me.
my husband works for nestle and can get a great corporate discount on their nespresso machines.  ultimately, that's what we'd like to get.  we're just doing our research and saving our pennies first.

the little yellow tea pot was a gift from natalie.  the sugar and creamer were gifts from my best friend, denise.  shine on art {by evie ivy} was in my swag back when i attended whatever craft weekend in 2013.

in one of the drawers beneath the counter, i store all my boxed teas--the kind with the bags not individually wrapped.

i've collected antique ransburg canisters in various colors throughout the years, and was thrilled to be able to use some in this little nook.
the large white canister holds my hubby's coffee--he can drink the jet-fuel, hi-test, real coffee...
and the smaller green canister holds my coffee--decaf--because i'm a total caffeine-wimp.

i had already purchased the have a cup of cheer print {from this shop} before i decided to create the coffee corner.
including shipping it was only $12, but i don't think that should really have to enter into the coffee-corner-cost, do you?
i mean, since it wasn't expressly purchased for this project?

i already owned the round red clock...
and as an avid thrifter, my mug collection is ever-evolving, but none of them count toward the cost of this project.
the wooden tray was a {gulp!} brand-new target purchase, and i almost choked at the $20 it cost me,
since i'm suuuuuuuuure i'll see one in goodwill next week.
but alas, i searched several thrift stores and just couldn't find a wooden tray, and this one did meet my needs perfectly.
so there.  a few more $$$ on the cost tally.

i bought this beat-up old bread box up in ontario, wisconsin, last fall when we were up there for our yearly pilgrimage to uncle tom's cabin {our uncle tom, not theeeee uncle tom}.
i think i paid $5 for it and even second-guessed myself paying that much.
the handle had fallen off and it was pretty scuzzy.
when my color scheme for this corner started including a bit of yellow and green, i remembered this relic tucked away in a dusty corner of my laundry room.  i dug it out, scrubbed it up, fixed its handle...
and now, needless to say, i'm thrilled that i plunked that lincoln down for it!

the bread box holds a bit of overflow from my tea collection.

cake stand, vintage yellow tea pot, and small green metal shelf are all thrift finds that i've had for ages, recruited for this new purpose {remember my mantra, friends--shop your house!!!}
small white berry baskets hold my individually-wrapped teas and were purchased on special last summer from one king's lane. {they have great specials...and if you sign up via my link above, you'll receive $15!!! off your first purchase!  and i'll get a $15 credit, too :)}
happy flags are from natalie's etsy.
and last but not least, that adorable little cross-hatch jar is theeeee smallest one i've ever found {and only one i've ever found that small}...i paid a whole dollar for that cutie up in amish country, too.

this isn't the prettiest picture of the bunch, but because i am always curious about this detail {and because a lot of posts leave it out}, i wanted to show you how this area fits in to the rest of our kitchen.
if you read yesterday's post, you'll notice that i still haven't hung that berggren bread board.  my bad.

so that's that!
according to my not-so-scientific calculations, i put the cost of this project under $40!!!

one little note that i think's worth mentioning...
i tend to put a lot of links in my posts.
some blog readers don't want to follow links...give me the post, the whole post, and nothing but the post, so help me God.
others like to jump around, following links here and there.
i'll give you one guess which category i fall into.

if you're of the former sort, feel free to just skip over all the links...
believe you me, i'll let you know if something is truly a matter of life or death.

so there.
i've felt like getting that off my chest for a while.
and now that i've said that, i want to say this...
this little project...this project that i was at first convinced wouldn't work at all in our space...
this little nook makes me smile sooooo big every time i see it.
please, do yourself a favor.  if you haven't already, take the time to read last friday's post.
and yes, that's a link you should click.
it may convince you to paint that cabinet white!
it may convince you to build a pallet headboard!
hey, it may even convince you to create a coffee corner in your kitchen!


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