how to style a desk

Goal Setting for 2015

how to set up a desk

We are halfway through the last chapter of 2014, how crazy is that?! Time is moving increasingly faster by the day and my head is bursting with ideas, plans and hopes for the future. So much so that it keeps me up at night and has resulted in a compilation of lists scattered across my desk and notebooks filled to the brim with my ideas sprawled out in chicken scratch (I have nice handwriting and then I have “oh my word, I have to write this down before it slips away handwriting” – the latter isn’t very pretty).

I had the opportunity to talk to Ben Arment last week and the conversation between he, Sarah and I only fueled my fire. What am I waiting for? If you aren’t familiar with Ben or the book Dream Year, I’ll be sharing more later this week or next!

I’m no stranger to goal setting, in fact, it’s how this blog was born back in July of 2013. I’m currently working toward a list of goals and aspirations, but generally speaking, these aren’t as bold as I would like for them to be. I want to dig a little deeper and go where the stakes are a little higher.

Let’s get down to business.

Nicole inspired me to scale back and simplify things as we move into the new year when it comes to my larger, long-term goals. I want to focus on clear, attainable goals with the emphasis on setting myself up for success.

Life in general is strange. On one hand I feel more content and accomplished than ever, while on the other, I’m longing to do more and be more in certain areas of my life. I’m constantly thinking of what’s next and how I can make it happen, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to put myself out there. Writing these goals down here has proven a rather effective method of keeping myself accountable so I’m sticking to what I know!

Stop spending money mindlessly. Just because we have it, doesn’t mean that we should be spending it. I’ve come to realize that there is a direct correlation between money and going after my dreams. I’m comfortable right now and that’s not necessarily a good thing. For me, comfort = mediocre.

While I don’t get fancy manicures or pick up a daily coffee from Starbucks down the street, I do love to eat out and it’s one of my biggest weaknesses. I recently added up what Pete and I spent on dining out during the month of October and November and let’s just say there is a whole lot of room for improvement. For the month of January, we’re going to stick to eating out only on the weekends and cooking meals at home during the week. I’m ready to kick the bad habit and enjoy dining out in moderation, like a normal person would.

I’ve also been brainstorming other ways we can cut back and after assessing our bank statement I realized I need to chill out on the late cancels for Bar Method – hello, senseless fees. I either need to learn to cancel on time or just get to class, which will help my mind and body, too!

By implementing these things, we will be able to save more than we are now, and hopefully this will allow me to eliminate the fixation I have on money and whether or not we would be “okay” if I were to put myself out there. Keep reading to see what I mean.

…my dreams are big

Up my blog game and continue to grow my following. I’m beyond excited to be launching a new blog design with White Oak Creative in early January. I can’t think of a better time to start fresh than in a brand new year! There is so much I want to do and share with you all here and having a site that inspires me to write is super important to me.

I also need to come up with a system for recording money coming in and money going out when it comes to the blog. I’m a little nervous for tax season, just because I want to make sure I do everything right. This article on paying blog taxes over at The Well helped tremendously and hopefully you’ll find it to be a valuable resource, too.

Speaking of growing my following – I’m always updating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Bloglovin’ and I would love for you to join me there!

Develop a plan to offer my services to the public. I want to be my own boss in some way, shape or form. I have an idea of what this might look like for me, but when you’re talking about something this big, the word might is a red flag. I have a strong interest in social media and the important role it plays for businesses both large and small, but I need to hone my skills and really focus in on what it is I can offer these businesses.

So there you have it. A rather lengthy commitment to myself as we move into a new year, an adventure and a reminder that, there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one I am capable of living.

I’m taking Nicole up on her Goal Buddy System in hopes that having a network of like-minded people will continue to push me toward these goals. I’m bound and determined to set myself up for success in 2015 and there is no better time to start than now.

What goals are you setting for yourself as we move into 2015?

Image via The Everygirl

Little bits of luxe

Little bits of Luxe

Little bits of luxe

Some of these are obvious luxury pieces, while others might need an explanation as to why they are so great. Allow me to break it down for you.

Erin touched on photography during her presentation at Go Blog Social back in April and until the other day, I had spaced off just how badly I wanted/needed the marble slab she suggested for entertaining and styling purposes. To most of you, it might just look like a ginormous piece of marble, but to me it screams, “better photos!”….”fancy cheese plates!”

Every night when I stroll into Bar Method I’m greeted with the sensational aroma of an Archipelago candle. After nearly six months, I picked one up after class last weekend for our apartment and it is to die for. I went with Currant because they didn’t have any of the Arugula in stock, but both of them are equally intoxicating. Stop by and shop if you’re in Kansas City or order online down below! Speaking of Bar…I totally drank the koolaid and bought a pair of the rubbery soled socks and I swear my heel lifts were a little better the first time I wore them.

It’s easy to get sucked into the madness and constant presence of social media and this reminder from Jess Lively to “Be Present” is an absolute necessity. Cell phone free socializing is extremely rare these days – a true luxury in itself.

I’m Oribe-obsessed and I love everything miniature so this travel kit is a given. Who’s up for a trip?!

The thought of having stationary made just for me seems so fancy and I never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Whether you’re sending a quick note to a friend or thanking someone for an intro that landed you a new job, these two pieces from The Atelier Shop fit the bill.

Ah, the highly coveted iPhone 6 (at least for me anyways). I played around with a friend’s a few weekends ago and the photos it produces blow my measly old 5C out of the water. Why must I not be eligible to upgrade until December 2015?! The promise of better photos is enticing, the price, not so much.

Shop the items below:

{Crate & Barrel marble slab //  Archipelago Arugula Candle // Be Present Print // Hand Lettered Stationary // Monogramed Cards // Oribe Travel Pack // Bar Method Socks // Apple iPhone 6}

What little luxuries are you loving right now?

Holiday Sweepstakes

Holiday Tradition

christmas tree

When I think of the holidays and what they mean to me, it’s all about the tradition. I think there is a certain part in each of our beings that longs for the familiarity that tradition brings and I’m no stranger to that. With each special occasion comes a slew of memories centered around celebrating the highlight reels of life with family and friends.

For as long as I can remember, we stayed the night at my Grandparents house on Christmas Eve noshing on Mr. Goodcents subs (Cheese Mix on wheat bread for this picky eater, please!), playing games and as the years passed by, playing the role of Santa for my younger siblings. We would wake up to the smell of Grandma’s world-famous Bubble Bread, stockings filled with our favorite sweets and a pile of presents surrounding the Christmas tree that even the most well behaved kid would long to jump head first into. These memories are what I like to call: the good stuff.

Pete and I decided that there is no better time than the present to start making traditions of our own. We picked up our first real Christmas tree this year and since moving to Kansas City a few summers ago, we’ve made it a point to visit the Plaza lights and whirl around the ice skating rink at Crown Center each winter.

What special traditions do you share with your friends and family? Share with me down in the comments or send me a tweet!

Coupons.com is hosting The Good Stuff Holiday Sweepstakes which runs from now until December 25th. There will be one $100 Amazon gift card winner per week and one $500 grand prize winner. I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a little bit of extra cash around the holidays and this is the perfect opportunity to enter to win!

After you’ve entered the giveaway, be sure to check out their gift guides which include gift ideas to help you save (who doesn’t need this?!), gifts for enthusiasts and hostess gifts!

Holiday Sweepstakes

This post was sponsored by Coupons.com, but opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make 26 and Not Counting a happenin’ place to be.