What I Will Not Do in 2014

Hey, all! It’s been a slow start to 2014 thanks to a round of colds in the family (well, mostly me), holiday madness, snowstorms, and a lot of work projects all hitting me at the same time. There have been fun things, too. My son was super into Christmas this year, which was a riot. I could write a whole post about our Elf on the Shelf experience but I’ll have to save that until next year. Also, during last week’s snowstorm my darling little girl took her first steps, and Mr. JC and I are so grateful for the snow day – otherwise she would have walked at daycare and we would have missed it. She also turned 15 months this past weekend and her vocabulary exploded over the holiday break. I’m keeping track of her new words and she’s up to more than 30 already! She’s an early talker just like her big brother.

I’ve missed this little blog and also all the blog-reading that I like to do when I have time, so I’m jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon with some goals for this year, but with a twist. Miss Sunshine, I am not, so just for kicks I’m taking a more “negative” approach to my 2014 resolutions:

What I Won’t Do in 2014

  1. I won’t let toys conquer my living room. A few months ago I shared our toy conundrum, and over the holiday break we finally made a little progress: I organized the media cabinet to make more storage for kids’ games, packed up all the baby toys (sniffle), and weeded out our boy’s toys (they are stashed in the garage for now until he forgets about them entirely).
  2. I won’t leave projects unfinished. I have this terrible habit of starting and stopping projects when something easier or more interesting comes my way. So, this year I will try to avoid this nasty habit and finally finish projects like a frame for my bathroom mirror that’s painted but needs to be attached, two of our four kitchen chairs that need refinishing, and numerous un-hung framed photos.
  3. I won’t allow my Silhouette Cameo to continue to gather dust. I mean really – I’ve had that darn machine for like two years and only made one feeble attempt to use it. It will be used in the first half of 2014 or sold.
  4. I won’t hang on to stuff (ahem, baby items) that we don’t need. Instead, I will keep one box per child of sentimental clothes and toys, donate a lot, share with friends who are expecting, and sell bigger-ticket items to fund big-kid clothes, toys, and room re-dos.

what I won't do in 2014

Four is enough items on  my list. At least #1 is already in progress! A new console is on the way from Overstock and once it arrives the toy nook in our living room will really take shape. I’ll share more on that later.

Are you resolving to do – or not do – anything in 2014? Anyone else finally parting with baby clothes? It’s emotional to think about it and when I actually start sorting through things I’m sure there will be tears.

Vintage Postcard Garland

Many years ago my parents stumbled upon a dusty box in my grandparents’ attic that was filled with vintage Christmas postcards sent to my grandparents over the course of several years. It’s so sweet to think that Grandma, who developed early onset Alzheimers when I was a toddler, loved to collect all that correspondence. Discovering her stash gave me a little more insight into her thoughtful character and leads me to think that my inclination to save every birthday and Christmas card ever sent to me  may be genetic. :)

My mom has always wanted to do something with those cards but never quite landed on the right idea.  The cards continued to live in the dusty old box until I had a light bulb moment back in October when I spotted a product on Decor Steals and immediately suggested that we DIY something similar. Nearly two months later there is wonderfully sentimental vintage postcard garland hanging on my parents’ Christmas mantel.

DIY Vintage Christmas Postcard Garland

This is such an easy project!

Supplies:

  • Small chain from the hardware store cut to the length of your mantel with extra to allow for draping
  • Small drapery clip rings (we used these from JoAnn, currently 40% off)
  • Small cup hook, nail, or Command hook to mount it to your mantel (my parents mounted it to the wood beams on either side of the brick fireplace)

postcard garland
Instructions:

Simply attach either end of the chain to your mantel, hook the ring clips through the chain, and clip your postcards or anything else you’d like.

vintage postcard garland No vintage postcards? No problem!

Since vintage Christmas postcards like these aren’t exactly common, you could also clip family photos, mini Christmas stockings (like these), card stock letters to spell out something seasonally appropriate, or even just card stock triangles to make a banner.

If you love the vintage postcard look, eBay sellers sell them in lots.

I’m so happy that my mom can finally enjoy these postcards, and when we spend Christmas day at their house you can be sure that I’ll read the messages on each of them and think fondly of my Grandma (and the yummy Christmas cookies she used to keep in red and gold tins in her pantry).

How to do you incorporate meaningful Christmas decor in your home?

If you missed our Christmas mantel and easy mantel crafts you can whip up in an evening after the kids are in bed, check it out here!

Comfy + Casual Christmas Outfit

I’ve never been one to really dress up, but ever since having children even the holidays warrant casual dressing. It’s just so much easier to sit down on the floor to play or bend over to pick up crumbs/toys/who-knows-what-else when you are wearing pants, isn’t it? So for all you moms out there, or other gals who can’t bear to wear a skirt or dress in frigid temps, here’s a sweet and comfortable outfit perfect for casual holiday get-togethers.

 

  • Sweater: I haven’t been very excited about the whole animal sweater trend this year, but this sweet Bambi-esque fawn is just too cute to resist! Currently on sale at Mod Cloth for $58.
  • Cords:  I’d like to see this bright red pair of cords under the Christmas tree.  I have this style in amethyst and they are super comfortable. Buy them at J. Crew for $98 (and get $$ off with code MERRYMERRY).
  • Earrings: I mean, come on. These antler studs were begging to be part of this outfit. From Zappos for $56.
  • Shoes: Clarks shoes are so comfortable, and this pair is a fun suede and metallic snakeskin flat that would also looked fabulous with cropped black pants and blouse for a dressier affair.
  • Bag:  This bag has great space, color, and texture. Perfect for shopping but dressy enough to for work or going out.

Does your family dress up for Christmas dinner, or keep it casual?