A Look at My 2015 Home Goals

The new year always brings a fresh start.  I love the feeling of a blank calendar and a renewed since of will power.  I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like the newness of January 1st to lay out some goals that I want to accomplish this year.

Personally, I want to be better, faster and physically stronger.  That means working out more and being more conscious about what I am eating.  It means making a plan for the next day and getting a good night’s sleep.  It also means pushing myself outside of my comfort zone even more than I did in 2014.

But my home has its own unique set of goals, too.  I like to think of them as Home Goals.  In the first part of 2015, I’m going to refocus my efforts on updating my son’s bedroom.  In its current state, it feels dark and uncomfortable.  His bed is getting to be too small and the walls scream a little too Nick Jr. for a third grader.  Last year, I put together a mood board for his room that both he and I love, but the longest project ever got in the way of me working on it.

Mood Board for Mid-Century Styled Boy's Bedroom

Instead of just saying that my goal is to finish his room in the first six months of the year, I have made a list of some of the projects I want to tackle:

My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014

During the last few days of the year, bloggers from hither and yon post round-ups of their favorite projects of the year.  Sadly, for this blogger, I basically spent an entire year on one. single. project. Needless to say, I don’t really have 10 amazing projects that I think are worth sharing again. But, did you see those walls?!?

So, instead of trying to resurrect some of my admittedly ‘meh’ projects from this year to round out a top 10 list, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite projects from other bloggers.  And since I am a HomeRight ambassador and LOVE all of their products, I’m doing a round up of my top 10 favorite projects from other bloggers who used HomeRight tools.  That’s not a super catchy title, so I’m just calling it My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014.

 

My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014

1. DIY Embossed State Art via Bliss at Home – I have never heat embossed (or regular embossed) anything in my life, but this tutorial makes me want to emboss everything in sight! Kristin used the HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe II Heat Gun for this project, and you can find various embossing powders on Amazon or in craft stores.

Top 10 HomeRight Projects of 2014

2. Gold Snake Bowl via Rain on a Tin Roof – Finally, something chic to do with those fake toy snakes that scare the crap out of me.  This really looks like something Nate Berkus would design, doesn’t it? Jenna used the HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe II Heat Gun for this project.

Top 10 HomeRight Projects of 2014

‘Tis the Season That You Might Not Suspect

In Austin, we’ve entered the season where everyone around town exclaims, “It’s that time of the year!” Nope, I’m not talking about the kids being crazy excited for their winter break or the Christmas music that’s been playing (and is still playing) in every store for the last two months. Folks, I’m talking about this:

Easy Ways to Cope with the Cedar Pollen in Austin and Central Texas

(image via Andy Heatwole)

“The trees spontaneously combust in Austin this time of year?” Well, kind of. I’d like to introduce you to cedar season in Austin. Beginning in December and lasting through January, the Mountain Cedar trees that plague our fine city release their pollen into the air with such fervor that it looks like the trees are on fire. When Tom and I were first married, we lived at an apartment complex on top of a hill of cedar trees. One day, I looked out and I thought our entire hill was engulfed in flames. He may have received a frantic call at work that day.

The longer you live in Austin, the worse your cedar allergy gets. I silently chuckle at the unaffected newcomers. It’ll get you my pretty. And your little dog, too! Eventually, they will get to play fun games, like this one of my friends recently posted on Facebook:

Easy Ways to Cope with the Cedar Pollen in Austin and Central Texas

So, why do people continue to still live in a place where everyone is sniffling, sneezing and itching for about two months a year. Well, because it’s AUSTIN, and if you’ve ever been here, you understand.

According to the CDC, allergies cannot be prevented, but allergic reactions can be. Here in Austin, my family and I have just learned some ways to help cope with the inevitable cedar pollen. Here are my three go-tos:

Using Essential Oils – I’ve only recently gotten started using essential oils to minimize my symptoms to seasonal allergens, and my favorite mixture is a blend of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint oils that I put together. I mix them in equal parts into a little roller bottle, and I roll it across my forehead, under my eyes, down my nose and below my nose every morning.

Merry Christmas from Makely

Merry Christmas from Makely

Tom, Zack, Emma and I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday.  May your jingle be bright and your choices be bold.  :)

It’s a Small World (and a Giant Project) After All

Friends, the longest single project I have ever attempted has reached completion. My hand-painted and incredibly detailed Mary Blair inspired walls are finished.  It may be a Small World, but it turned into a huge project.

Hand painted Mary Blair inspired feature wall via MakelyHome.com

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it turned out. However, I will admit that this single project almost broke me and my blog. I spent months (8 months, off and on) on these sections of wall. When I wasn’t feeling inspired, I simply ignored the project. The last few years, I’ve lived by a one-project-at-a-time policy, so I wouldn’t let myself start something new even when my brain needed a break. I’ve admittedly been down in the decorating dumps for a while, and I’m sorry that I haven’t had more to share with you. I really thought I was going through blogger fatigue, but now that this project is finished, I know that it was really just project fatigue.

But on the occasion when I was feeling inspired, I’d draw out the designs and paint them with my tiny, ¼” paint brushes. The section on the left – around the desk that my husband built (more on that later!) – wasn’t too bad to complete. I put a drop cloth down on the floor and just started painting.

Hand painted Mary Blair inspired feature wall via MakelyHome.com

But once I got to the other sections, I had a lot more prep-work to do. I was terrified that I’d drip or sling paint on my plain white walls or on my kitchen counters/cabinets. I’m a fairly messy painter, so that fear was real, y’all. I was starting to think I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Tame Gifts that You Can Buy On Your Way to a White Elephant Party

I absolutely love being invited to holiday parties that involve a White Elephant gift exchange.  I’m one of those people who will totally jack your gift in the game, and if you aren’t paying close enough attention, I’ll incorporate some strategy to make sure that it’s mine in the end.  As with anything else, I’m super competitive.

This year, we’ve been invited to 3 parties that have a White Elephant gift exchange, so I’ve been trying to think of some excellent gifts to bring.  When I saw this video from Pop Sugar with a list of affordable and stylish White Elephant gifts, I was really excited to check it out.

I loved all of their ideas – really fun and unique.  But here’s the deal – I don’t plan with enough advanced notice to be able to swing by Anthropologie or order something from Amazon.  In true Lindsay fashion, I’m running out to the store the day of the party to grab my gift.

So, I thought I would put together some gift guides for gifts that you could pick up at your local grocery store or drug store.  These gifts are certainly not as stylish as those from Pop Sugar, but they are definitely better than some of the things I’ve come home with in the past.  Today, we’ll be looking at tame White Elephant gifts for things like work parties.

 

Tame Gifts that You Can Buy On Your Way to a White Elephant Party

 

1.  Wine/Liquor – Let’s be honest.  Most of the time, you just can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine or liquor.  Maybe it speaks volumes about me and my friends, but the alcohol is always one of the first things to be stolen.  Get creative and pick a wine with a really fun label or pick up some liquor that will really get the party started (Fireball, anyone?).  I’ve even been to a White Elephant party that was a liquor/wine only exchange, and the end of that night was pretty memorable.

Mommy's Time Out

Wine via Mommy’s Time Out (also the makers of Dad’s Day Off)