2017 Plans and Goals Plus My Word of the Year

Welcome to 2017.  Did you think that I had fallen off the face of the earth?  I didn’t, but it definitely felt like it.  I’ve have really enjoyed taking about the last month off.  It almost felt so good that I thought I might not blog again.  Just kidding, I have too many ideas and things to share to quit.

I’ve been moving very slow into 2017, probably because I didn’t get my planner until the January 9th.  Don’t you feel like finding a new planner is harder than finding a husband?  This year I bit the bullet and bought a more pricey planner.  I went with the Passion Planner.  People that use it love it.  I’m still undecided.  I need to give it a little more time before I can fully review it.

One of the main reasons this year started so slow was because our family started 2017 sick.  My husband and my daughter were both sick.  One with a stomach bug, another with an ear infection that has morphed into a cold and cough.  I’m ready for everyone to be better.

Now let’s get into all of those New Year goals, resolutions, to-do’s, or whatever you like to call them.  I love the idea of goals and resolutions, I even wrote a post on them and how to make them more achievable.  See it here.

Recently I shifted gears from making resolutions, mostly because a whole year is just too long to work towards something.  I shifted to doing a word of the year instead.  I try and make my short term, monthly goals, tie into my word of the year.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.This year, I’ve chosen the word produce.  I need to move from making goals and having ideas to putting them into action and producing the results I want.  I’m basically telling myself to get off my butt and get in gear.  Action is going to speak louder than words this year.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.I know that in order to produce more things for the blog and my Rodan and Fields business, I’m going to have to sacrifice a lot of things.  I need to give up or reduce the amount of time I spend wasting time.  Wasting it on mindlessly scrolling social media, watching TV, and overall just not using my time wisely.  I know that I’m going to have to set some dedicated work hours and stick to them.

A few things to help me stay on track and reach my goals this year are my planner.  An overall mindset that done is better than perfect will be key.  Also being specific in my word of the year.

“Done is better than perfect.”

-who knows who originally said this, but they are a genius

Last year, I posted my word of the year all by itself.  This year, as you can see below, I’ve fleshed the idea out a little more.  I’ve included exactly what I’m going to produce.  Displaying my word of the year sign on my bulletin board where I can see it everyday will help to remind me what I’m working towards.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.Producing more this year is going to benefit all of you too.  Hopefully you’ll get more things to help you celebrate every day more easily.  I’m going to try to streamline things on the blog so it will be easier for you to find things and start celebrating.  More ideas, more inspiration, and more resources.

So, shout them out below in the comments, what are your goals, resolutions, or accomplishments you’re reaching for this year?  How have you been at accomplishing them so far?  I hope your year is off to a great start!

2

Christmas Home Tour 2016 and a Surprise!

Good morning, I hope you had an excellent weekend.  As we’re only 13 days away from Christmas I thought it was a great time to show you my house all decked out for the holiday.  It’s so interesting decorating this new house for holidays and figuring out where to put things.  I’m hoping next year goes a little faster since it won’t be the first time.

There are a ton of pictures in this post, so I’ll let them do most of the talking and keep the reading to a minimum.  I hope you enjoy our home, and I wish you could see it in person!  If you were here in person you could help eat the million and one Christmas cookies that are at my house right now!

Let’s get started in the office, entry way, and half bathroom.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!I love adding some fresh greenery throughout the house this time of year.  I got this swag at Home Depot and with periodic spritz of water it still smells and looks amazing.

Now onto the living room, with a very big surprise reveal.  Can you spot it?

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Yep, that gorgeous, rustic mantle is new.  Merry Christmas to me!  I love it!  It’s super chunky and totally finishes off the fireplace area.  Mostly though, I’m just so excited to have a place to hang our stockings.  I didn’t realize how much that meant to me until I finally hung ours up.  I can’t wait to do that every year.

The mantle came from an old barn in Ohio and it took three big guys to get it in place.  Needless to say, it’s not going anywhere.  I do think I’ll use some greenery next year in addition to the stockings.  I’m also looking forward to decorating the mantle throughout the entire year.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Please don’t judge the placement of our ornaments, a certain two and a half year old had so much fun helping me decorate the tree that I just left them where she put them.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!The reason for the season folks!  I love that I can teach my daughter about as she says, “baby Jesus'” birthday using this nativity.  That girl loves wishing people a Happy Birthday and it’s no different for Jesus.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Now, onto the dining room and kitchen.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!I found these buffalo check handkerchiefs at Hobby Lobby for basically no money.  I’m excited to turn them into a really cool banner soon.  There were a ton of colors and patterns that would be so easy to use for other crafts, and very cheaply.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Last years Christmas chalkboard came out of storage with little damage.  I didn’t even take the time to touch up the chalk lettering as it still looks pretty good.

Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!Click here to see my 2016 Christmas Home Tour and get lots of Christmas decorating ideas!I added a few Christmas touches in the kitchen using cookie tins and a lighted garland above our cabinets.  The glow of the lights up there at night is one of my favorite things.

That’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed the little tour around our house at Christmas.  We actually won’t be celebrating Christmas here this year, as we’ll be with family.  That’s part of the reason I started decorating before Thanksgiving (gasp!).  I have gotten to enjoy it all just as long as if I waited until after Thanksgiving.

What’s your favorite part of decorating?  I think my new favorite part is definitely hanging the stockings!  Merry Christmas!

Signature-2

 

2

5 Things to Do to be the Perfect Party Guest

As promised earlier this week, I’m back today with five tips to help you be the perfect party guest.  So after this week, you’ll be the best hostess and guest with all of these tips.  These aren’t ground breaking at all, but definitely things that bear repeating.

Learn some simple tips to be the best party guest. Click here in time for your holiday parties!1. Always RSVP

This is literally my biggest party pet peeve, maybe my biggest pet peeve of all.  As a host, there is a lot of planning that takes place for any party, no matter the size.  One of the biggest pieces of information you need to make all of your plans come together is to know the number of people attending your party.

If you as a guest don’t RSVP, your host may not make enough food, have enough drinks, or make a place for you at the table.  Making your host jump through hoops to accommodate you is not very gracious.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to RSVP.  If you’re not sure you can attend, say so.  Don’t make your host wonder whether you’re showing up.  A simple, “I’ll try to attend, but may not be able to.” is completely sufficient.

2. Show up on Time

Learn some simple tips to be the best party guest. Click here in time for your holiday parties!Another general pet peeve is being late.  However, with parties, I would say that there is a bit of a grace period of about 10-15 minutes.  If you as a guest plan to be much later than that send a quick message to the host to let them know you won’t be there on time.  The host may be waiting for everyone to arrive before serving food or doing an activity, and keeping them waiting will totally throw off their plans.

3. Interact with the other party Guests

Parties are supposed to be a fun time surrounded by fun people.  If you’re not interacting with other party guests, the party just won’t be any fun for you.  Plus if you spend all of your time only interacting with the host you’ll be tying them up when they (according to Tuesday’s post) should be following up with all of their guests.  Who knows maybe you’ll find something really interesting about one of the other guests and make a new friend, or a new work connection, or someone that enjoys your same hobby.

4. Don’t Overidulge

Learn some simple tips to be the best party guest. Click here in time for your holiday parties!This may go without saying, but being the sloppy drunk at a party is not a good look.  Be sure not to overindulge on either the drinks or on the food.  Hosts usually make enough for everyone, but try to make sure everyone gets enough.  Do that by not hoarding all of the snacks, appetizers, or other food for yourself.

If you do plan to drink, make sure to keep it classy and limit yourself to about two drinks.  Especially if the party is associated with work or with an unfamiliar host or other guests.  I do understand that there are some parties that are more acceptable to drink more.  Try and keep those to Vegas and 30th birthdays!  And always have a ride in place for after the party if you’ve been drinking.  Ok, mom rant over, haha!

5. Offer to help with set-up or Clean-up

Learn some simple tips to be the best party guest. Click here in time for your holiday parties!One of the most helpful things you can do as a party guest is to help the host with set-up or clean-up.  I have a great friend who would always text on his way to our parties and ask if we needed anything.  It was so nice to know I could have him get any last minute things (usually ice!) on his way so I wouldn’t have to leave the party.  This is such an easy way to help set-up the party without actually being at the party venue before it starts.

Another great way to show your appreciation as a guest is to help the guest clean-up.  Whether it be washing dishes, putting food away, or picking up the million and one toys that your child has strewn about the room it’s a big help.  Hosting is a lot of cleaning and preparing, so not having as much to clean up afterwards is such a nice relief.

With all of the hostess tips from earlier this week and the tips today, you now know how to make your guests feel welcome and how to be the perfect party guest.  Ready to host now?  Or attend some holiday parties?  I hope so, because you’re fully equipped.

I hope you have a great weekend and put these tips to use at your next holiday party.  I’ll be attending a cookie exchange this weekend and am really looking forward to all of those yummy cookies!

Signature-2

 

 

 

2

How to Make your Party Guests Feel Welcome

Welcome back from the weekend friends.  I hope everyone had a great time kicking off the holiday season.  If you need a little help, don’t forget to download my printable Christmas Bucket List to help you celebrate all season long.  Today, I’m going to be helping you welcome your party guests so they feel comfortable to have a good time in your home.

Hosting can be very stressful for some people, even going to parties as a guest can be stressful for some.  With these five tips you’ll be fully equipped to welcome guests and make them feel right at home so you can have a smooth and fun party.  Plus, you’ll ease your guests tensions so they can loosen up and have a great time.

5 Tips to Welcome Party Guests into your home, have a great party when party guests are comfortable.1. Greet them Warmly

Be sure to welcome your party guests with a warm hug, a smile, and a nice greeting. It’s always a good feeling to be welcomed into someone’s home and not have to awkwardly walk through the door feeling like you’re breaking into someone’s home. Or I’ve also had other guests’ greet me at a party and not the host. That’s kind of weird too.

If you’re having a normal size party, typically under 15 people, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make sure you greet every guest at the door. Just be sure to keep your ears open for the doorbell or knocks. It may help to station yourself somewhere near the door for about 15 minutes around the start of your party to catch all the guests arriving.

2. Give them the lay of the Land

Once guests arrive, be sure you show them where everything is, especially if they’ve never been in your home. Be sure to show them the coat closet, or better yet hang their coat for them. They definitely need to know where the bathroom is. Once the basics are done, point them in the direction of the food and drinks.

If your party is a potluck, be sure to accept the dish that your guest brought with them and show them where to put it.  Ask if it needs to stay warm or if they need to add anything to the dish.  Place an appropriate serving utensil with the dish, so it’s ready to be eaten.

5 Tips to Welcome Party Guests into your home, have a great party when party guests are comfortable.3. Get them eating and Drinking

Speaking of food and drinks, you want to get your guests eating and drinking once they arrive. Whether you have an assortment of appetizers or the full spread, people will want to eat right away. If you don’t plan to eat right away, be sure to let your party guests know when the meal will be served.  Having that information ahead of time reduces any confusion for your guests.  Plus, the sooner you get them a cocktail the sooner they will start loosening up and having a good time.

5 Tips to Welcome Party Guests into your home, have a great party when party guests are comfortable.4. Make some Introductions

It’s helpful to your party guests to introduce them to other guests in your home. Try and find something in common between party guests and get them chatting about their connection.  It may help to think about these things before your party.  While you’re making your guest list think of people that would love to chat with each other.

If your guests do know each other already, be sure they know who and where their friends are. Something as easy as, “hey thanks for coming, Susie’s here too, she’s over by the appetizers.” Then you’ve met almost all five things I recommend to make guests feel welcome in one little sentence!

5. The fortune is in the follow Up

Check back in with your guests frequently throughout the party.  If having a larger party, 15 or more people, try not to get caught up in once conversation. Be sure to mingle and check back in with guests that you’ve only briefly talked to. Ensuring that they have a fresh drink or a bite to eat is an easy way to kind of move from guest to guest.

With these five guidelines, you’ll definitely be the hostess with the mostess and make your party guests feel right at home.  A smooth and fun party is always the goal and taking the time to make your guests feel at ease is the fastest way to reach your goal.

Be sure to come back later this week to see some similar tips from the perspective of a party guest.  It will help you be the best guest you can be!  See ya then!

Signature-2

 

2

How to Create the Perfect Bar Set Up

Recently, we had a get together with most of the people my husband works with.  The party started with a navy, white, and burlap theme, but because my husband is in the military, the theme really started to reflect that.  The biggest reflection was in our bar set up.

I was so excited as it started coming together because we were using things we hadn’t used before to entertain with.  I love using things around the house to entertain that normally aren’t for entertaining.  Options are great!  I want to show you in just a few steps how you can set up your own bar.

Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Step 1-A Great Location

Here is where we went a little wrong with our set up.  You want your bar to be in a central location so your guests can have quick access to refill their drink.  Typically, the best central location is going to be where your guests are hanging out.

During our party we had our garage set up with heaters and an outdoor couch so everyone congregated there, but our bar was inside.  Needless to say, not many people made a drink at the bar.  Don’t worry though, they had beer within an arms reach!

Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Step 2- Provide the Liquor

I recommend having a good variety of liquor becuase everyone’s tastes are so different.  Some people like gin, others hate it.  A good mix is to include two clear liquors (vodka, gin, or tequila), a rum, and a whiskey.  If you have four different kinds you’ll cover all of your bases.

Step 3- Provide the Mixers

There are a few things that are required when it comes to mixers in my opinion.  You need something fruity/sweet, something bubbly, and something interesting.  So for our bar set up I provided a variety of sodas (sweet and bubbly), club soda and tonic (bubbly), juice (fruity/sweet), and ginger beer (interesting).

Here’s where thinking outside of the entertaining box comes into play.  I used this completely versatile cart from Ikea as a drink station to hold all of our mixers.  It helped to ensure there was plenty of room on the bar to mix up a drink.  You just have to look around your house to find things that will work.  This cart is normally in my office holding my sewing machine, but transformed into the perfect bar accessory for our party.

Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Step 4-Provide all the Tools

Be sure to include all the tools necessary to mix up a great cocktail.  Things like a shot measuring cup, something to stir with, shakers, strainers, and bottle openers.  Plus you’ll want to be sure your bar is fully stocked with plenty of cups.

It may say something about my husband, but most of our bar gear was received as a gift for my husband’s 30th birthday a few years ago.  Either way, they’ve been great gifts that we use regularly.

Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Step 5- Provide Ice

One thing that is critical to making a cocktail is having plenty of ice to chill it.  We were able to fit a small ice bucket on our bar so ice was always accessible for our party.  Putting the ice in a convenient spot to cocktail making eases the cocktail making process.  You know so when you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to walk across the room to get ice it’s right where you need it!  Just be sure as the hostess to check it regularly in case it needs a refill.

Step 6-Provide the Garnish

Adding a garnish to your homemade cocktail really elevates it.  I recommend a couple simple garnishes that will work for almost any cocktail and make a great addition to your bar.  Cut up a lime and lemon, place in a little bowl or dish and you’ve instantly rounded out your bar set up.  Other options are oranges, maraschino cherries, or mint (hello mojitos!).  Adding a few garnishes adds some life and color to your bar too.

Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Create the perfect bar set up. Click here for step by step instructions.Six easy steps to setting up a great bar ready for any party and any cocktail.  What are your must have bar staples?  Who’s ready to mix up a cocktail and celebrate the weekend?  I hope you enjoy yourself this weekend!

Signature-2

 

 

2

Celebrating everyday!