Happy Hour: New Year, New Goals

 

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Welcome to a new blog series…Happy Hour.  Pull up a comfy seat, grab a beverage of choice (coffee, wine, high qualityH2O 🙂 ), and let’s chit chat.  Wanted to do a series around conversations I typically have during “Happy Hour”.  I think of Happy Hour as anything from a night out with my best gal pals, daily chats with the big man upstairs, coffee couch dates with my hubby, etc.

Today I wanted to chat about the cliché topic of New Years Resolutions.  My family and I don’t typically make resolutions because the word itself gives me anxiety.  I have always been a very goal-oriented person, so I do tend to write out goals each year for my family and myself.  We all have dreams for ourselves and our families, so the first step (for myself anyway) to achieving those dreams are actually writing them down.  When you write down a dream I truly believe it becomes a goal.  From there, you all know what to do…Break those goals down into small achievable steps.  Do I always reach my goals every year? Of course not.  Life happens, BUT  I always keep trying and adjust as needed.  You never fail at anything as long as you keep trying.  I know, I know. That sounds like a cheesy bumper sticker, but it’s TRUE! 🙂

My list of goals are always pretty long, but realistic and achievable. That keeps me motivated all year long. With resolutions I think we tend to set these HUGE unrealistic goals for ourselves, so we completely give up after messing up only once.  We miss one workout, one class, eat a cookie, one deadline, one sales quota, etc. and we throw all of our hard work out the window. No thank you. Breaking down my dreams into small measurable goals really helps to give me the right mindset for hitting those goals.

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This year my goals center around certain areas of my life: Faith, Family, Self-care, and Finances.  The goals also help my family and I reach our “bucket list” items for the year as well.  My family and our bucket list are a huge part of  “THE WHY” behind each of my goals.  Your why is your daily motivation. It helps you on days you want to give up or when you are just feeling a little blah.

Here are just a few of my goals for 2019:

  • Faith – Daily devotional (me time with the Big Man) and being more consistent with taking entire family to Church.  When I put God first, everything else falls into place.  When I find myself focused on this world, my world tends to fall apart.  I’m able to handle and somewhat understand my extremely hard days when I put my Faith first in my life.
  • Family – Being more present with my entire family, parents only vacation, and family vacation.  I could write about my family and goals in this area of my life for days, but I’ll save that for another Happy Hour :-).
  • Self-Care – Taking better care of myself inside and out.  This obviously is dependent in the area of my Faith as well as  my diet regimen, and working out consistently.
  • Finances – Hitting our goals with Dave Ramsey Plan.  Meeting our financial goals has a trickle effect with other goals…especially family.  Money disagreements are real ;-), and family vacations don’t happen unless we financially plan for them.

Those are just the tip of the iceberg with my 2019 goals, but hopefully it helps you when you begin setting or tweak the  goals for yourself and family. I will link some of the resources  below that I use to help myself and family reach  our goals. Cheers to 2019!!!!!

Sources:

DIY Crate Stand

 

crate tree
The clean lines and subtle rustic touch of this easy DIY project make me eyeballs (and wallet) very happy. When I noticed a version of this hairpin crate stand on Instagram from welivedhappilyeverafter.com , I just knew I had to make a version for my home. The clean lines and subtle rustic touch stopped me mid-scroll. The best part about this DIY project is the options are endless. Hairpin legs come in multiple sizes/finishes, and you can use anything for the “table top”. Think vintage crates, wood slices, mini card catalogs…let your DIY imagination run wild.

This is one of the easiest DIY projects you will ever make. If you want to add a version of this fun and funky stand to your home, here are the super simple and affordable steps:

Materials:

  • Hairpin legs
  • Crate
  • 3/8″ wood screws
  • Stain

How-to:

  1. Stain crate if needed. I used my favorite stain (Weathered) from Old Barn Milk Paint. This stain goes on super easy with a brush and I wipe most off with a cloth.
  2. Attach hairpin legs to bottom of crate using 3/8″ wood screws.
  3. Admire your handy work. 🙂

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Sources:

  • Crates
  • Hairpin legs
  • Stain

    I told you it was an oh so simple DIY project, which are always my favorite kind. 😉 These little cuties will be making more appearances all throughout my home as planters, seasonal décor stands, book stands, etc. Now go grab some hairpin legs and have some fun.

 

DIY Chalkboard House

 

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This Chalkboard House my husband and I made is probably my favorite DIY project to date. The build was quick and easy and the kiddos (and big kids 😉 ) absolutely LOVE it.  Chalkboards have always been one of my favorite details to add in a space.  Kitchens, bedrooms, playrooms, porches, you name it…chalkboard paint can immediately warm up an area with that perfect playful touch.  The best part is the options are endless with chalkboard styles and paint.

This Chalkboard House design is so simple, you could easily customize it a million different ways to make it work in any space.  This would also make for an adorable gift.
easter house

Below is a brief tutorial if you are interested in making a similar version for your home:

 

DIY Chalkboard House Material List:

  • 1 Sheet Plywood or MDF (4ftx8ft) *We used plywood, but I prefer MDF when using chalkboard paint.  Chalkboard paint takes to the MDF much easier and you will end up with a smoother finish overall.
  •  Furring Strips
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Circular saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Straight edge
  • Nail Gun / Hammer
  • Finishing Nails

How-To:

  • Using the single sheet of Plywood or MDF (4ft x 8ft), make three measurements for cutting the house.  The first measurement will be the top of the roof (center point of the 4ft end of the plywood sheet), and the other two marks will be the height of the roofline (8ft sides of the sheet). Our measurements were for a 4×4 house.
  • After making your 3 measurements, using a straight edge, score a line from both roof line marks, to the top of the roof mark.  These two lines will serve as your roof line cuts.  You should now have the entire cutout of the chalkboard house. During this step you could also measure out a decorative chimney before cutting the outline.
  • Measure and cut furring strips for border and roofline.  You could also skip the furring strips roofline all together and instead extend your chalkboard area all the way to the roof.
  • Paint Chalkboard area. I always use multiple coats for a smooth Chalkboard finish.
  • Attach furring strips to border and roofline with finishing nails.
  • Measure, cut, and attach decorative window and ledge.  We made a simple 12×12 window with ledge for storing chalk and an eraser.
  • Season Chalkboard before first use.
  • Properly secure top of chalkboard to wall for safety.
  • Playtime!!!

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Remember to have fun with this simple design and customize it for your space. The options are endless, especially with the chalkboard paint colors.  If you missed the link under the materials list, click HERE for a great tintable chalkboard paint. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Advent Tree Calendar

 

mudroom

This year I wanted to create a simple Advent Calendar that really focused on the true meaning of Advent and this beautiful Christmas season.  My boys are ages four and two, so I knew I wanted to keep it very simple and fun for them. They are obsessed with decorating little Christmas trees, so I knew a kid-size Christmas tree would make the perfect little Calendar for our family.  Little canvas bags with numbered clothespins are filled with two little trinkets (ornaments, mini-toys, or small candy) and a card containing a short and simple Bible verse from the Christmas story about Jesus’ birth.

bag1

The Bible verse cards were found at Happy Home Fairy blog. Click HERE to find the free printable Bible Verse Advent Countdown for Kids.  We read the verse in the morning when we first open a bag and again in the evening during story time with a Christmas Story book. On the back of each card is a simple handwritten task focused on love, kindness, and serving.

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We try to keep the tasks for each day of the calendar very simple.  Here is a short list of the tasks we are using this year with our calendar:

  • Handmade gifts/cards for grandparents
  • Leave treats for the mail carrier
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Donate unwanted toys
  • Make kindness rocks for the playground
  • Take treats/donation to animal shelter
  • Do someone else’s chore
  • Make a bird/squirrel feeder
  • Help send out Holiday Cards
  • Make treats for the garbage pick-up crew
  • Help make dinner/set the table
  • Donate food to a local food bank
  • Pick up litter
  • Pass out candy canes during errands

Spread out some of the tasks over a few days to keep it super simple.  For example, for baking or handmade gifts, we use two or three days of the Calendar.  One day we will bake, the next day we will decorate, and maybe even wait to package and deliver on the third day. Our goal is to keep it simple and fun to help our kiddos get in the spirit of giving and serving others. No matter your traditions or faith, it’s a sweet tradition you can make your own. Some people make a gratitude calendar and write something they are grateful for on a card each day. A Christmas activity bucket list is another great idea as well as an Acts of Kindness Calendar.

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Sources:

  • The adorable flocked Christmas tree is from Walmart
  • The little canvas bags and numbered clothespins were found at Michaels .
  • We found the cute ornaments at Target and Dollar Tree .

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Hope you all enjoy this time of the year with your loved ones, and I hope this has inspired you in some small way to spread a little more kindness and cheer during this beautiful season.