Friday, January 31, 2014

The First Step: Living Room

Leave it to me to wait until 10:35pm on the last day of the month to try and even work towards my blogging goal. Eesh.

At any rate, as of two days ago, we have finally accomplished the first step in furnishing/decorating our living room. Yes, it had furniture and decorations but it is a far cry from My Dream Living Room. If you looked at my Home Tour, you would have seen what our living room looked like three days ago. Well, I am tickled pink to say that after three different shopping days, many measurements and drawings, and eight stores on the final trip, we have purchased and received our new couch!!!

Other than bar stools, this is the first new piece of furniture we have bought.

I love it!

If you need a reminder, here's the before: 

And now:
(don't mind the drawers out of the dresser...hubby was in the middle of a project and I wanted to get the pictures before I left for work since when I came home it would be dark out)



I am SO happy we kept looking until we found this one! There was a couple before it we almost bought. I am also quite glad that we didn't go with a bigger sectional. Our small living room can only handle so much furniture and the big reclining super comfy couch will be for our basement someday.

I had originally wanted grey, but after realizing there are so many brown tones downstairs with the kitchen cabinets, wood floor and carpet, I should probably compliment those tones. I am really happy with the color we chose. Kinda an oatmealish. In some lights it looks light brown/tan but in others it looks kinda grey. So I got what I wanted while still complimenting the browns. Double win!

As if I'm not happy with this couch enough, we discovered it can fit not just the 2 ways we originally measured for, but also a third. Ooooo, the rearranging/decorating flexibility makes me giddy.

So Step 1 is accomplished! Now onto Step 2, which I'm not entirely sure which that should be: curtains or different coffee table. Hmm...advice?

P.S. I did purchase the curtains from My Dream Living Room and they just did not work. Too orange and too small. So I'm back to the drawing board and totally clueless. Any ideas? I'd love to hear/see them!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January Goals

A new year brings resolutions, promises to oneself, and goals for improvement. Some last longer than others. Some never even happen. But whether or not goals were met, I think it is always important to take time to reflect. To stop and think, "what went well?", "what didn't go so well?", "why did it go that way?", "what can I do differently next time?" Reflection is a big part of education not only for the teacher but also for students and I believe that in life we are always learning. Even when we graduate and don't have to turn in homework, we are still preparing, studying, learning, and hoping to pass some "test" (interview, new recipe, marriage, important thing at work, etc.). Life is about learning and I don't think you can move forward very well unless you know how to first look back. Think of it this way, "Life is a Highway" and reflection is your rear-view mirror--you gotta have it and use it before you can ever change lanes.

So let's reflect, shall we? :)
Last year I made some goals, which you can look back at here. Looking at them again, I would say I was fairly successful at accomplishing them. The word "more" is a bit vague and I didn't measure in any way to know if I truly performed more in 2013 than in 2012, but hey, life's still a work in progress right? :)

For 2013 I hoped to...
~exercise more: I did become a member at our gym, took some classes, and biked to work for a month.

~to read more: sadly "more" in this case didn't take much. From what I can remember, I read 2 books for pleasure ("The Great Gatsby" and "The Astronaut Wives Club") and while 2 books for a whole year is not much to speak of, it is more than when I was still in college and planning a wedding.

~to craft more: I did use my Silhouette quite a bit, I sewed some pillows, I started work on my first Project Life album, and hubby and I made a few little wood projects. I also made several handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas this year.

~to make a recipe binder: this did not even the slightest begin to happen. Oh well, I still found recipes and we still ate.

~to grow my blog: this DID happen! Compared to lots of blogs out there, this was on a small scale but it was very exciting for me. With the help of linky parties and Pinterest, my DIY Chevron Mug post has had over 2000 views, I hosted a giveaway which had almost 500 views and I now have 63 followers on Bloglovin.

Besides my goals, here were some things I was hoping would happen this past year:
~be re-hired at the school I currently teach at, but I would prefer 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd: if you read my post "Back to (a new) School" then you know I did not get re-hired at the same school but am now teaching a 3rd/4th combo class at a private Christian school, which is going very well.

~start a couple's Bible study with a few couples we know: we tried! We attempted to have a monthly game night over the summer with 3 other couples to get to know each other better and then hopefully it would transform into a Bible study during the school year. However, summer just offers too many fun things to do and we weren't able to all get together except for the first month.

~take a fun trip somewhere: we took a road trip last spring break which you can read all about here

Not too shabby huh?

For this year, I have decided to make monthly goals. The thought of making goals for the entire year this time was a bit daunting to me. I wanted to work on a smaller, more attainable scale and be able to alter my goals based on the busyness, trends, and desires of life throughout the year.

So here are my goals for January:
1. Go to the gym 4 times
2. Read 1 book
3. Blog 2 times (other than this post)
4. Cook 1 new recipe

That sounds manageable right? Oh, I have lots of other ideas in my head for things I would like to do. But these are the only ones I am writing down and calling my "goals". That way, if I accomplish more I feel like Super Woman and if not well then hey, I still met my goals!

Be sure to check back at the beginning of February to see how I did and find out my goals for the next month.

Have you reflected on last year? How did you do with your 2013 goals? What goals do you have for 2014 or January?