December 31, 2010

Oh what a year!

by Shelly

Watch out readers…. for the first time ever I think I’m going to get personal on you! Not usually my style, but I guess today I’m in a bit of a “sharing what I’ve learned” mood. Take it as you will.

The hubby and I had it pretty darn easy going the first few years we were married. We traveled, ate out at nice restaurants (a lot!), threw lots of parties…life was good! We even had our first child within those wonderful years. Life was simple and fabulous.

2009 was a turning point. And life hasn’t been so easy, breezy the last two years. But you know what? I’m ok with that. I learned A LOT in these two short years. I realize I took things for granted and I will say…bad times have a way of slapping you in the face and making you see the world a little differently.

Here in a nutshell is what we went through here in the Van R household in 2010:

Our little girl had a lot of firsts… gymnastics, ballet, swim lessons, FAST roller coasters, preschool.

The economy affected our personal economy. Not awesome after buying a MUCH bigger home in 2009!

We were shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of an amazing human being and friend.

Family members, as well as friends, went another year of being unemployed.

My business took off and I worked on my first design projects!

The hubs and I went on a fab vacation and met up with lots of old friends while there.

I grew closer to a bunch of old friends, including this creative lady.  And also gained a new neighbor who has become not only a friend, but a constant source of inspiration!

And finally, just a few short weeks ago my mom found out that she may be seriously ill. It’s been rough.

{the hubs and I channeling our best Don and Betty Draper at our Mad Men NYE party last year!}

It’s been a mixed bag indeed, but I always feel I personally grow so much stronger when times are tough.  But we aren’t going to be bitter tonight at all.  In fact, we have a fabulouso night planned celebrating a 40th birthday with many of our bestest buddies.  In fact many of the same people were at our Mad Men NYE party last year!   It is sure to be a good time.

And to get myself out of this funk I’ve been in the last month or so I am going ALL out!  Vintage fur coat, sequin top, leather pants, and some HIGH black heels should make me feel like a total rock and roll chick tonight!  And we’ll be eating at one of my fav places for seafood and King Crab legs…yum.

{this is what I’m going for!}

Hope you all have a safe and fun New Years Eve, whether you’re staying in or going out!  And thank you so much for reading my blog and hope to see you around here in 2011! No more whammies 2011…please.  Let’s play nice in the new year!


December 29, 2010

a few goals for 2011

by Shelly

{via Mary Ruffle}

The past few months I started tweeting…a lot.  I use to be TOTALLY against the whole Twitter thing.  Didn’t want anything to do with it. I thought it was all pretty silly actually.  Until….I got sucked in.  Now, I love it!  I’ve met new peeps, stumbled onto new blogs, and learned about (and signed up for) exciting events.
Earlier today I was totally inspired by Erin Loechner over at Design for Mankind. She’s a funny, talented writer and after reading her list of 2011 goals I decided, “Hey that is an incredibly cool idea!”. So here is my list. What do you think?

My 2011 Goals!!!

1. Get out of that bathrobe! No excuse is acceptable anymore. If it’s past 10am I MUST change into clothes. It doesn’t matter that I work from home. Gross.

2.  Drink more water. And no wine does not count because it has some amount of water in it.

3. If I put on my gym clothes work out! Or take the dog for a walk. This whole not working out thing is becoming a habit now. And I use to really, really like to exercise. What happened?

4. Have more dinner parties. Just one or two couples. Not every entertaining venture we do has to include 20+ people.

5. Learn to sew. The machine is just sitting there waiting to be used.

6. Surf more. Again, enough with the excuses.

7. Get that portfolio together!  Take more pictures of the work I do and start showing it off!

8. Have lunch or grab coffee with a friend once a month. Catch up in person more.

9. Paint those fingernails… They look prettier and who cares if they chip quick.

10. Turn off the tv and do something else. Read, sew, craft, play a game with the fam.

11. Finish all those little projects I’ve been putting off. Remember the french chair, the window seat cushions, the black gallery frames that need to be hung, refinishing the secretary desk…oh and the tile that needs to be finished in the bathroom that I remodeled a year and a half ago?

12. Keep up with the meal plans and grocery lists.  Last minute meals always stress me out. Remember that.

13.  Hang out with mom more. I like her, remember? And she thinks I only like her because she watches our three year old for us.

14. I don’t REALLY need to drink red wine every night. Have a dry night once in a while!

15. Get off the computer and go do something…anything.

16. Wear jeans less often. A skirt with boots maybe, a pair of cute trousers…. You can do it So Cal girl!

17. Plan more weekend adventures with the family.  Go explore.

18. Creative dates with the hubby. Less dinners and more fun stuff.

I think I have more goals floating around in my head. So there may be a part two.


December 27, 2010

Let me check my calendar…

by Shelly

I’m pretty obsessed with keeping my schedule organized and if it’s not on the calendar…well frankly it doesn’t exist in my book.  It HAS to be written down so that I remember it and don’t over book.  For the last few years I have used the wonderfully, colorful and easy to use wall calendar by Erin Condren.

You can personalize it with your familys’ information, add pictures, there are nice large boxes to write details down in and fun stickers to use on dates with special events or appointments.

But this year my head is reeling with all the cute calendars and date books I am seeing all over the internet. I have a few criteria however: 1. They must have a space for me to write info on at each date (kids, work, hubby’s schedule, social plans…it all has to be in writing for me!)  2.  It has to artistically pleasing since it will hang right smack dab in the middle of our kitchen all year long.

Here are some that have caught my eye.

{From The Art of Joy on Etsy a printable calendar and stickers.  I’m such a sucker for cute illustrations}

{I’m a TOTAL freak about birds. I’m a bird watcher dork…seriously. So this calendar grabbed me the moment I saw it. Graphic-check, fun font-check, nice big boxes for writing in details-check.  From Valentina Design.}

{From Letter C Design who can resist a nice simple, graphic calendar like this one? Umm, especially if you’re an interior designer! Oh boy, and there are some other FABULOUS office/desk items in this shop that are begging to come to my house. Cuteness!!!}

{ This becomes a piece of artwork for your walls. What a fab idea for a teens’ room! Bubba and Doodle}

{Such a smart idea! Just stick this calendar into a 11″ x 14″ frame you have lying around the house, grab a dry erase marker, and go nuts! And talk about being ec0-friendly…this can be used over and over again. By Fashionably Late}

Now to decide on one for our home…. That’s the difficult part!


January 5, 2009

New Year’s Resolutions

by Shelly

Here I am many, many months after my last posting in AUGUST! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue writing my blog, so I took a bit of a hiatus. Well, I’m back and I’ve decided to not pressure myself on trying to write something every single day, but instead write when I really have something fun to talk about.

The holidays were wonderful and I probably overdid it a bit with the festivities Christmas Eve, day and that night. I’ll have to share my recipes from the whole event. But that’s later.

So now that we are officially in the swing of 2009 I have decided to tackle a few resolutions. Here they are:

1. Plan out a weekly dinner plan—thus saving myself from last minute stress trying to figure out what to make and also saving us money by not having to order take-out from my lack of preparation.

2. No drinking alcohol Monday-Thursday. —Ok, so originally Reed and I had said no WEEKDAY drinking, which should probably include Friday. However, we are pretty much both wine addicts and even going 4 days without our fix is going to be hard. We are doing this to not only save money, but to also cut out those calories and hopefully shedding some lbs!

3. Get out of the house at least once a day!—This might sound strange, but since I became a mommy, I find myself getting stuck in a rut and finding excuses to stay inside all day and never leave. Yes, this even includes just going in the backyard and letting Ellie play outside. I know, BAD! I don’t know where this came from, but I need to knock it off. It’s not good for me or Ellie.

4. Pick up a lost hobby.—Again, I’ve become a bit boring. I need to start drawing again, reading books, gardening, etc. I use to do a lot of things, but my hobbies now seem to always be keeping the house clean, doing laundry and cooking. That’s not always fun…yes I find those things sort of fun..I’m odd that way. It’s time to pick up some other things that make help me relax.

So there they are. My 2009 resolutions. We shall see if I can really execute them throughout the year!

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