January 2015 vs. January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Today’s post is one of my favorite yearly posts! I love looking back at all the changes in my house over the past year. If you are new here, you can see the 2014/2015 comparison here and the 2013/2014 comparison here. The 2013/2014 post definitely is the most shocking, but there were some pretty big changes this year too. As you can see the biggest changes this year were my new living room chair and the dining room makeover.

January 2015

January 2016

January 2015

January 2016

January 2015

January 2016

January 2015

January 2016

January 2015

January 2016

And just for fun, here’s how some of the rooms have evolved over the past 4 years:


2016 Home/Life Goals

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Last week we reviewed my 2015 goals (see post here) so today I’m back to share my goals for 2016. My main goal this year is just to focus on my happiness. Last July my boyfriend of 5+ years and I split up. It was mutual and the best thing for the both of us. Of course it was a hard decision, but I’ve been so much happier ever since. Not to sound cheesy, but it’s been a great opportunity to discover myself and what I want in life. So for me, 2016 is about doing what makes me happy and bettering myself (for myself, not for anyone else). Of course I did make a few tangible goals this year too. They are mostly just a carryover from last year, but they are still applicable, so I’m keeping them.

#1 Finish 2015 Projects
Last year two of my goals were to landscape the backyard and finish at least one of the rooms I’d already started (living room, laundry room, office, craft room, and master bathroom). I didn’t complete either of those goals, so I’m carrying them over to 2016.

#2 Crafts/Small Projects
Another goal from last year was to do more crafts and small projects. I didn’t do very well on that goal last year, but I’m bringing it back this year because I really want to spend more time crafting and creating this year. I really do enjoy project time and want to focus more on it this year.

# 3 Be Healthy
Like most people, my goal this year (and every year) is to be more active/eat healthier. Last summer I got a gym membership and started taking Zumba classes a couple times a week. I slacked off during the holidays, but I want to get back into that. This isn’t just about traditional exercise and gym time though. It could be anything from hiking to walking the dogs around the neighborhood. For example, on Saturday I went to the zoo with my friend and we walked at least a couple miles. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon and get some extra steps in. I also started walking on the treadmill while I talk on the phone with my mom. It’s been a great way to get an extra mile worth of steps in my day.

And of course eating healthier has to be on the list…I say this as I’m eating a cookie…Anyway, I really want to find the balance between eating healthy, but still making it enjoyable. I love food and I really enjoy going out to restaurants and trying new dishes. It’s one of my favorite things, but I also enjoy fitting in my jeans. So I’m really going to work this year on finding healthier alternatives and eating smaller portions of those unhealthy dishes that I love, but probably shouldn’t eat. This will also be a great chance to try out some new healthy recipes. I have a few that I really love, but I need more of a variety.

2015 Home/Life Goals Finale

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I can’t believe it’s already 2016! Didn’t 2015 just fly by?!?! Anyway, today we’re going to review the goals I made last January to see what I accomplished/what I slacked on. You can see the original post here and the mid-year review here. Original comments are in italics.

#1 Landscape the Backyard

This goal is a carryover from last year and it’s my number one house goal for the year! Our backyard is huge with great potential, but it’s a serious mess right now. Honestly, it’s embarrassing how bad it looks and that has definitely kept us from enjoying our outdoor space. Because of the size, I think this a project we’ll have to hire out. I just don’t have the time/energy/heavy machinery to DIY this project. Ugh, this is going to be expensive…but worth it in the end.

Whelp, it looks like this one is going to be on my list again this year. I didn’t get any work done on the backyard last year other than some occasional weed whacking. I know I said this last year, but this is my number one house goal this year! And I’m serious this time! For now I think I just want them to level out the yard, take care of the weeds/lay plastic barrier, and add rocks. I really just want a clean, blank slate back there.

#2 Finish a Room (or Five)

This one is a carryover from last year too, but I wanted to keep it on my goals list because I’m just SOOOO damn close to finishing a few of the rooms in the house. The laundry room, living room, office, craft room and master bathroom are only a few projects/purchases from being complete. I would love to call at least one of them (hopefully all of them) done by the end of the year.

I didn’t finish any of the rooms listed, but I did finish the dining room (although I already want to change a few things) and the guest bedroom thanks to the One Room Challenge. So technically I did meet my goal of finishing a room, but I still have those 5 rooms that are just shy of being complete, so I’m not sure if I want to call this one a success or not. I think I’ll add finishing those rooms to my 2016 goals. 

#3 All the Small Things

I feel like I didn’t work on very many small projects or crafts last year and that totally bums me out. I’ve done a couple craft projects over the past few weeks and it reminded me how much I love doing them. I think I was so focused on big projects last year that I forgot about the small ones. I have some great ideas in my mind and pinned on Pinterest and I’d love to do them this year. So expect to see more small projects/crafts this year, which I think will make everyone happy because those seem to be my most popular posts.

I totally failed on this goal. I hardly did any small projects over the past year and that really is such a shame because I really do love crafting and working on small projects. I think this will be another goal that gets carried over another year.


#4 Master Bedroom Makeover

The master bedroom has become the most neglected room in the house…wait, that sounds bad…I mean design-wise it’s the most neglected. This year I really want to get the room pulled together, so we have a pretty, but comfortable space to relax in at the end of the day. This one is going to require some new furniture and a lot of work, but it’ll definitely be worth the effort.

Whew! Finally a goal that I was somewhat successful on. I didn’t finish the master bedroom makeover last year, but I did make a lot of progress. The room looks completely different than it did six month ago and I absolutely love it. I’m still completely obsessed with the navy walls. I still need to add a few more pieces of furniture and some accessories, but the room is looking really good. I’m definitely not embarrassed to show it off anymore (not that I show off my bedroom a lot).

OK, now let’s review the personal goals:

#1 Live Healthy

This one is a carryover from last year. I feel like I did pretty well in the second half of the year, so this is mostly just a reminder to keep it up. This goal is all about eating healthy and exercising, obviously. I’ve been trying to limit sugar and flour by sticking to a mostly paleo diet. Although I’m not super strict and I do have a couple cheat meals a week. Seriously, life is short and I’ll never give up chocolate cake, but I can limit it a bit. I also need to start exercising more. I’m definitely a slacker when it comes to exercise…I always have an excuse - and I’m not even talking about going to the gym, just walking around the block, doing Zumba on the Wii, or a few minutes on the treadmill. So this year I really want to make exercise more of a priority.

UGH! Overall I did exercise a little bit more and eat a little healthier, but nothing to be too proud of.  I joined a gym around the middle of the year, but by November I was down to Zumba class once a week and I don’t think I went at all in December. I really need to get back into my routine. I actually enjoy that class and feel amazing afterwards. I also need to start eating healthier again, so a similar goal will probably be on my list this year again.


 #2 Go Green

I want to make more of an effort to “go green” this year. Now I’m not talking about anything dramatic, just a few small things that can have a big impact (this site lists 50 simple things you can do to go green and help the planet). So I’ve decided to focus on the following three changes for the year: recycle more, stop paper bank statements and bills, and use reusable bags.

We have a large recycling bin that the city collects on Fridays and we use it, but I could definitely make more of an effort to separate recyclables and actual trash. As far as working towards going paperless, I already do most of my banking and bill paying online, but there are still a few accounts that I never updated. I also want to see if I can eliminate the amount of junk mail we receive. And the biggest (and hardest) change will be using reusable bags instead of plastic. I already have a few totes and I did use them grocery shopping for a couple months, but I kept forgetting them at home and eventually I just gave up on them. I’m sure I’ll still end up using plastic bags once in awhile, but if I could cut it down by even half, it would make a big difference.

This goal was a complete success! I added a recycling bin under the sink next to my trashcan and that made it so much easier to remember to recycle instead of trash. I also stopped all of my paper bank statements and bills (except a couple that aren’t available online, like my pool service).

My biggest success during the year was reducing my plastic bag usage. I started at the beginning of the year by just using random canvas bags that I’d collected over the years, but in February I ordered a set of matching reusable bags and a bunch of mesh produce bags. I’ve been using them ever since and love them! Grabbing the bags is now part of my routine and I rarely forget them now. Actually last week I forgot my bags and the cashier was (jokingly) giving me a hard time about it. I like having that kind of accountability. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this in the new year and beyond!


So overall I was somewhat successful at my goals last year. I definitely could have been better about a couple of them, but I’m happy with my progress over the last year. I’m working on my 2016 goals right now and I’ll share them in the next week or two.

Did you make any goals/resolutions for 2015? Were you better about sticking to them than I was?

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