The end of the year always flies by so fast that it often skews my perception on time and just how long a year actually is. I was reading my 2022 Year in Review and I almost couldn’t recognize the person who wrote that – which in this case is a very good thing. When I kicked off the 2023 I was focused on one thing above all others – letting go of years of excess emotional baggage and unrealistic self-expectations I had been letting pile up. What I didn’t recognize at the time was just how much space in my life would open up when I started to make that happen! I truthfully found myself sitting at my desk one morning thinking “why do I feel like my days feel so much calmer this year?” and I bet you could see an actual light bulb pop up over my head when I realized why.
Was I less busier this year – not exactly – I think a better word would be un-tethered. It took a concentrated effort but I started to fill those open spaces up with dinners with friends, with hobbies outside of DIY, with catching up on TV shows, with getting back to the theater, with books, and with commitments that gave me a sense of purpose instead of just a sense of obligation. If you’re like me these last few years have been a very solemn reminder of just how much is outside of our control, so the small places that I can take it back and see the joy it’s brought back into my life in just one year has felt really nice. It also felt really nice to get back to sharing on my blog (and subsequently less on Instagram) this year so in case you missed any of my 2023 round ups I’ve put them in one easy to find place below. Thank you to all of those who have followed along this year — it means the world to me!
Although I didn’t finish everything on my DIY wish list for 2023 (gotta remind myself that after Halloween projects are just a no-go these days) I did add on an unexpected ORC project and finished the loft so that’s not too shabby.
Blog Post: The Pros and Cons of DIYing Wallpaper
Blog Post: To Hack or Not to Hack….That is the Question
Blog Post: Mini Loft Makeover Reveal
Blog Post: Takeaways from a Massive Garage Clean Out
Blog Post: One Room Challenge – Backyard Patio REVEAL
….oh and I also managed to squeeze in two customer projects that I’m really proud of. During the pandemic I basically put an end to taking on client builds for a variety of reasons BUT getting some experience with hacking IKEA cabinetry has turned out to be a really surprising way to get my hands back into it.
Update your Doorknobs
It may seem small but you’d be amazed how much of a difference changing your interior doorknobs can make. When we first moved in we had Satin Nickel carriage handles that always caught on my clothes and drove me bananas. By switching them to a simpler round style in a darker color they blend into my design style instead of competing with it. This is also one of those projects you don’t have to do all at one — change out one a month or as you makeover a room.
Not a groundbreaking suggestion by a long shot – but investing in a few simple trays to corral the clutter in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom will make a space feel a lot more put together. Not to mention they make cleaning and dusting so much easier! Homegoods is a great place to keep an eye out for simple white ceramic trays, but I’m also a sucker for higher end versions made out of acrylic or leather to add to the mix.
“Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though…Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat….A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.” A perfect book to end the year on with a protagonist that I just wanted to give a giant hug to at the end of every chapter.
This year I really wanted to reach my goal of reading one book each month and I’m proud that I did and started to mix in a lot more fiction books across different genres. Click the covers below to find out more about each title……
One last note……
As much as I know that taking time for self-introspection at the end of each year is especially cathartic for me, it’s hard to get past the self-indulgent nature of it given just how much hurt and destruction we are seeing in the outside world at what felt like an astronomical rate month after month….both close to home and oceans away. And the honest truth is that there’s no trick I can give, no hack for “how to remain present and keep living in a world that’s constantly falling apart for the sake of your kids if not your own.” What I do know is that for me talking always feels better than not talking, sharing always feels better than keeping things bottled up, and finding connections with people you can do both with is something that we all need probably more than ever right now.