My goal for 2023 was to figure out a way to not just keep my head above water, but to actually start enjoying the water again. One of the big changes that I made to do that was to slow down the non-stop DIY train I had been on for years which inherently also meant slowing down the non-stop social media train as well…and guess what? I really liked it! So much in fact that this year you can expect more of the same so I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did LOL.
So let’s do this in true 2024 fashion and give you my “What’s In and What’s Out” list for the upcoming year:
WHAT’S IN: Sticking to writing on my blog more. One thing that surprised me was how much I liked getting back to writing on my blog more. Maybe I’m getting super nostaligic for the early 2000s but something about putting aside time each month to get some thoughts down on “paper” was so much more cathartic that I expected.
WHAT’S OUT: Creating for creations sake. There’s a few rooms that I want to give a little glow up and I was starting to realize that while I was trying to come up with design plans I was self-vetoing ideas because “I had already done that,” not because it’s not what I wanted. So no more creating for the “gram” over creating for myself.
WHAT’S IN: Sharing more than just DIY. For so I took the advice to not share too much outside of my chosen lane on social media to heart and rarely strayed out of that box…and you know what? I started to feel BOXED IN – imagine that! Last year I broke those rules and shared a much fuller picture of who I am and it felt wonderful. My IG feed may be a lot messier but my life is so much happier because of it.
WHAT’S OUT: Focusing more on online interactions than offline ones. Outside of Hilltown House, I opened up a lot of personal doors this year that forced me into some spaces I’m not entirely comfortable in…but it also opened me to a lot of experiences I wouldn’t have had without that push.
WHAT’S IN: My 2024 DIY wish list for my home. Here’s what I have on the agenda to tackle this year…some you may notice are leftovers from last year so they’re up first (once I can set foot in my garage without getting frostbite).
Use a Rolling Cart for your Clutter
I was a longtime holdout in the rolling cart trend, but after I added one to my loft last year I have to admit that I was wrong and they are game changers. Mine holds all of my planner and office supplies (I also turned the top level upside down to hold my laptop) but they would be useful anyplace that you need an extra spot to corral your useful clutter (i.e. the things that you need easy access to on a regular basis). Check out IKEA, Michaels, or Amazon for similar versions.
This section is going to be dedicated to the design features I recommend to almost all of my styling clients – starting with bedside sconces. Not only do they save valuable real estate on your nightstands but they add height, dimension, and a great sculptural element to your space. I would avoid fixtures that have a clear glass shade, however, in favor of those with a solid shade to provide softer light for bedside reading. Some of my go to lighting sources are Shades of Light, West Elm, and Old Brick Lighting.
I loved sharing round ups of my cooking adventures over the summer so this year I’m going to keep the trend going all year round. This winter I’m working my way through the veggies that I froze from our CSA and cooking lots of comforting meals. Here’s what was on the menu this month:
“Lucky St. James, a Métis millennial living with her cantankerous but loving grandmother Stella….one night, something strange and irresistible calls out to Lucky. Burrowing through a wall, she finds a silver spoon etched with a crooked-nosed witch and the word SALEM, humming with otherworldly energy……Lucky and Stella embark on a rollicking and dangerous road trip to the darkly magical city of New Orleans, where the final showdown will determine whether VenCo will usher in a new beginning…or remain underground forever.”
I was wavering on whether to include this book in my round-up because it took me a while to get into it and I do think it has some flaws, one being that there are too many characters with not enough distinguishing characteristics to differentiate them….BUT I really enjoyed the two main characters and the last 1/4 of the book is worth the read. Just don’t expect much “magic”….these witches rely much more on meditation and reflection than wands and spells.
2023 Hilltown House Challenge Recap
At the start of each year I put together a list of 52 small things to get done around the house – one thing for each week of the year – and I slowly and systematically make my way through them one at a time. While it may not seem like a lot, you would be amazed just how much these small things add up AND the continuous sense of accomplishment you’ll feel each time you check one off. If you’re curious how I got about this and interested in joining the challenge yourself, check out the blog post I wrote a few years ago with some of my Do’s and Don’ts to set yourself up for success.