Thursday, January 28, 2016

A New Year at Sea Glass Cottage

Hello, friends!

I hope this post finds you recovered from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and that you are ready to begin a fresh new year!

While I generally find January to be one of my least favorite months of the year (I always seem to get the "blahs" if the days are too grey and rainy or cold), what I do like about it is the chance for a fresh start.

A new year with twelve months of possibilities. Places to go. New experiences and new acquaintances. New doors opening, and maybe some closing. I think it always feels right to start anew in January by planning some goals for the new year ahead.

Here's what I've been focusing on in January:

 I. What I'm Reading

Besides the fiction that I read for pleasure and the scriptures that I read for the soul, I've made a plan to include a few non-fiction popular titles that spark my interest. I love organizing and I'm a regular at purging closets and clothes on a regular basis, so naturally this book seemed right up my alley.  I'm sure you've heard about this book as it is all "the buzz" lately, and I've taken away some very good tips and ideas about simplfiying the process of creating uncluttered living spaces. (I'm not on board with everything she advises, but there are some good, solid ideas about categorizing and organizing.)

Here's the biggest tip I learned from this book (so I'll save you some money and you won't have to buy the book!) -- if you tidy up your house room by room, you will forever be tidying up your house. Tidying up room by room is like doing the dishes or the laundry -- it's never "done." It's a continuous, never-ending task.

The key to decluttering and tidying up your house is to go by categories, and NOT by room.

This really is a key principle, so I sat down and made a master plan of big categories that I will tackle this year. I can be pretty ruthless at purging things, and this is also key. Keep only the things that you really need and use and enjoy-- everything else that is saved for "one day" or "I may need it in the future" should be packed off to charity or given to someone else to enjoy. Categories are the things that take up the bulk of our living spaces such as furniture, clothes (and that means everything from socks, purses, hats, coats, men's ties, scarves, etc....), books/magazines/cookbooks/children's books, kitchen items/dishes/bowls/appliances, etc. etc.

I've tackled a few big categories already and I love the liberating feeling of out with the old -- another key is to not run out and buy new stuff to fill up all that nice space you've created by purging!

There's also decluttering and organizing tips on Pinterest that are extremely helpful. I'll leave you with this final advice from Marie Kondo:

2. What's Cooking?

    Well, not much cooking going on except for the same fairly simple things I usually cook. But in an effort to maintain healthy snack habits, I ran off this list and I am keeping it in my daily planner so that I can refer to it every day. Fairly obvious choices, but I need to stay away from the temptations that I usually turn to which contain too much salt, sugar, and artificial ingredients.

3. What I'm listening to....

I recently went with some friends to see a production of Motown the Musical at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans -- if it's coming to a place near you, go see it! You won't be able to stay still in your seat!( Click here to see preview.) Naturally, I had to have the Motown cd for the car and my home office.

4. What I'm watching....

I've been a fan of Downton Abbey since the beginning and I'm glad to see that it is going to end with grace and dignity this season. Much as I enjoy the characters, the lifestyle and fashions, the storylines, it is time to wrap up all the loose ends before things got stale.  I watched the entire final season through to the end, and all I'm saying is that it left me in a flood of tears!

5. What's new for Sea Glass Cottage?

This year, I'm going to turn my attention to the exterior of Sea Glass Cottage.  The landscaping and outdoor spaces need some sprucing up, and if I can get my ideas approved by the Home Owner's Association, Sea Glass may get a fresh new coat of paint. It is currently a soft yellow, but I am envisioning a beautiful sea glass color. I've known since day one that the yellow was not going to stay.

 Here are some colors I've been considering....

Which color do you prefer? #1, #2, or #3???

I'll keep you posted on the updates I do to the exterior of the cottage.

In the meantime, thanks for visiting Sea Glass Cottage and all best to you in 2016!!

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