{create} a happy new year!

Friends, where did this year go??
Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy New YEAR! :) See back here in 2012. 

What are you plans for New Years Eve? Any fun traditions? Do you stay up till midnight? Am I old for even asking that? Okay don't answer that! We are having QUIET new years eve this year .... I'm so excited! :)


{create} new years resolutions

Does anyone else find it a little hard to pick up where you left off after the holidays? How was your NYE? Our weekend was so amazing! It was incredibly hard to come back to work - and real life - yesterday :).
Let's talk about new year resolutions. Do you make them? I used to make a long list of everything I wanted to do/change in a year, and then I'd promptly forget about it around February. Not the point, right? But I'm a believer not only setting goals, but publicly declaring them. It keeps me more accountable. So last year I set only two resolutions: to be more spontaneous and to take risks. It was the perfect number. I remembered them. I thought of them when situations arose. And, I feel like I achieved them. I took a couple big risks that were WAY out of my comfort zone. And, I was a little more spontaneous. In all honesty, I am still working on this, but I made good headway last year. Baby steps, right? :)

So this year I have two new resolutions.

1. Take better photos

I'm excited about this resolution. I absolutely love and am so inspired by the images people create. I want to learn to not only capture a scene, but to capture a feeling.  

2. Get healthy

This one I'm not as excited about, but I am determined. I have trouble talking about this, so I usually don't. I have this crazy type A personality that hates to admit that I might not be able to handle somethings. I've been diagnosed (a couple times) with pretty severe Adrenal Fatigue, aka burnout. Basically I'm exhausted all the time, and my body just needs time to heal. I've been working through it for about three years and was doing really well earlier this year. Since I was feeling so awesome, I climbed a mountain and walked a marathon within a month of each other. Friends, that was a bad idea. The last couple months have seen me almost back to square one. Really disappointing. 

What I've failed to realize is I am a huge part of the solution - sounds like an after school special, right? I have to take things easy for awhile. I have to say no sometimes. I can't take it all on. This is where my type A crazy personality kicks in. It occurred to me, though, that if I'd taken the diagnosis seriously three years ago, I would be fine now. Instead I'm still frustrated and .... exhausted! So this is the year that I'm taking back my health. I can't live the life I imagine if I'm being pulled down by my health. It might be a slower year, but my hopes are that it will be a year filled with things that nourish me and make me happy. And, who knows. Maybe I'll love a little slower pace of life?

What are your resolutions for the year? Do you like to set lots of goals, or keep it simple? Do you follow through on your resolutions?

{2011} A Home in the Making

Did you all have a great Christmas? We had such a lovely holiday. It was filled with family and so much love and fun. Over the next couple weeks I'll share some of the gifts we received + one of the gifts we gave. You'll love it :).

But today we're going to take a look back at the year we've had at A Home in the Making. We've had this little blog going for over THREE years. Can you believe that? And, it just keeps getting better each year. I like looking back on the year because it's fun to remind myself all we've accomplished on our little home. 

So here are my favorites, by month.


In the midst of a couple major projects, we found a compass. On our floor.



We finished up our hardwoods by installing quarter-round. And, we talked about why we are NOT moving. Right now.

Was a month of risks, and of starting the {yet to be finished} craft room.
Launched the summer of fun series that took me on a crazy whirl-wind tour of the NW and lasted through September. 

Included creating a capiz pendant and learning many lessons from painting a high-gloss black navy blue door.

Was all about our new gallery wall and a variety of living room updates.



Was all about the holidays. Of course.

I think what I love most about the last year is how many big house projects we tackled. Especially compared to last year. I feel like we really made a dent in our house project list.

I'm linking up to Southern Hospitality's link party. I can't wait to read everyone's lists! :)


{inspired} holiday traditions

When I hosted a the little Anthro gift card giveaway a couple weeks ago I threw out a pretty arbitrary question: tell me your favorite holiday tradition. Friends, you blew me away. You have so many unique and amazing traditions! You also blew away each other ... so many comments included excitement about the various ideas and about sharing traditions with others. Thank you all for sharing :). 

It got me thinking about my favorite holiday tradition. I think I have two: one quirky and one more traditional. Quirky: as an entire family (even though my brother and I are both adults) we pick out a Christmas tree, at a Christmas tree farm. In October. It has a lot to do with my mom not liking to pick out Christmas trees in the cold, wet December weather. I love it :). And, it spreads the Christmas cheer out a little. Traditional: the weekend before Christmas we go to a Christmas piano concert at a beautiful old church in Portland. We have a nice family dinner out beforehand, and then we listen to beautiful music in a completely inspiring venue. It's a tradition I treasure and hope we do for a very long time.

Below are a few of my favorites from that post. If you haven't had a chance to read them all, there are 40+ amazing and inspiring traditions here.

My favorite holiday tradition is taking a family photo in front of our tree each year. Since it is just my husband, me and our dog (and our fake tree) the photos don't change a whole lot and yet looking back at them I remember all the different places we've lived and what was going on in our lives. - Tovah Fair Winds, Following Seas

My favourite holiday tradition is to have an airing of grievances with my siblings! We get together, celebrate Christmas, tell each other 'grievances' we have with each other over the last year, get it out and adore each other for the rest of the holidays!- Meagan from Row House Nest
My favorite christmas tradition is a new one (this is our second year). Matt and I have a cocktail party 'open house' on Christmas Eve and both sides of our family come. It's nice to have one part of the holiday season where we don't feel torn between two families. We break out the catch phrase or cards and try to do something inclusive for everyone. - Erin from House of Earnest

My favorite tradition is the Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord we do in our family. We have tweaked and Americanized the offerings a bit and even my kids list this as their most memorable tradition! - Cathy from Room Rx

My favorite tradition just started last year..my 4 + 5 years olds each get a little christmas tree in their rooms. On the weekends when we visit stores to do our holiday shopping they each pick out ornaments for their tree's.. they are sure filling up this year! And they remember where they came from, who we may have been visiting ( grams )so it's alot of fun for them! - Sarah from Flourish Design and Style

And, on that note, I hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS filled with love and family and friends! I'll be back next week with some year end wrap up posts :).


{holiday} decorations!

Are you all ready for Christmas? I had a weekend FULL of decorating and shopping, and I finally feel ready to relax a little and enjoy the holiday. Since I did {finally} finish decorating, I snapped a few peeks into our holiday festive-ness.

I did actually change up the mantle a little. It's how we roll around here :). You can see the first round of the mantle here.

I'm excited that I managed to decorate within the color scheme I originally laid out. I like the addition of a little blue, so the Christmas decor doesn't look quite so out of place in my very blue living room. 

The next couple days will be filled with listening to Christmas music and wrapping presents by the tree. I can't wait. :) Are you guys finished decorating? How's your shopping going? Anyone out there see themselves in stores on Christmas eve? :)

** I am linking up with Cottage and Vines house tour party :)


{inspired} new artists + a winner (!)

As I mentioned in my Monday's Portland Bazaar post, I actually got to attend TWO awesome craft/artisan fairs last weekend. The other was Crafty Wonderland. I posted about it last year, so this year I decided to share with you some of the awesome artists I *discovered*.  These were my favorite from the event, and I hope you find someone you love out of the group too!

Girls Can Tell
Actually dissect things via art. I was super impressed with this clever concept and love seeing everything from unicorns to the brain to vintage noise makers dissected and labeled.

Slide Sideways
Slide Sideways creates quirky awesome posters. You all know how much I love those :).

Dan Stiles
A local artist/graphic designer that does amazing show posters. The poster above is one of the only things we bought at the show this year. Oh, and in case you're wondering why this looks nothing like my usual style? Sometimes marriage is a compromise :).

This shop stole my heart. The fabrics she uses are amazing and I immediately added her bags and pillows to my with list.

And now, for the giveaway winner!

THANK YOU to all who entered! I had such a fun time reading about your holiday traditions, and I loved to see other people both enjoying reading them and getting ideas for their families :).

We had 41 people enter, and random.org chose #7.

#7 is Sarah, from Flourish, Design and Style.

 Sarah's favorite tradition is :
How sweet of you! My favorite tradition just started last year..my 4 + 5 years olds each get a little christmas tree in their rooms. On the weekends when we visit stores to do our holiday shopping they each pick out ornaments for their tree's.. they are sure filling up this year! And they remember where they came from, who we may have been visiting ( grams )so it's alot of fun for them! x Sarah

Congratulations Sarah! And, thank you again to all who not only entered, but read this blog. You guys are the best :). 

Have a great weekend!


{holiday} tree!

A little blog business before we begin! Don't forget to enter the Anthro gift card giveaway. I'll be announcing the recipient first thing Friday morning :).

Now, want to see our tree? 
I'm here to show you, but first, a couple disclaimers.
  1. I have no idea how to take pictures of trees. For some reason, every year I'm at a loss.
  2. After I took this photos and brought them to work to upload, I realized that I don't actually have our tree topper in place. This, sadly, is indicative of how this season is going.
So, with that intro, do you still want to see our tree? :) 

Ta-da! We kept the tree SUPER simple this year. We usually fill it with ornaments from each of our pasts, but this year, to keep with the rustic glam theme, we simply adorned it with a couple of garlands, red and white balls and gold balls. 

To compliment the book snowflakes, I made a paper chain garland out of books. It ties the mantle in nicely with the tree.

Making an appearance again this year is the red felt circle garland I made for last year's tree.

Overall, I can't decide. Chris LOVES the simple, more rustic tree. The sentimental side of me really misses the rest of our ornaments. A few might just make their way onto the tree before all is said and done :).

What do you guys think about tree decor? Do you keep it simple? Do you fill the tree with years and years of memories? Do you theme your tree each year?
I am linking up with the Tree Party at Thrifty Decor Chick. You better believe I'll be pinning lots of these beautiful trees simply for inspiration and instruction on how to take tree photos!


{inspired} Portland Bazaar

Almost weekly, I'm reminded why living in Portland is so amazing. But I felt down right lucky this weekend when got to visit not one, but TWO amazing artisan fair/markets. Both Crafty Wonderland and Design Sponge's Portland Bazaar were held this weekend. I know that Portland is a city full of amazing artists and artisans, but to see them all in one place really is a special, friends. There was so much creativity at each event, and Chris and I were just buzzing with excitement and inspiration when we left.

Since most of you have read about the Portland Bazaar over the last couple weeks, I thought I'd start with a recap, and my favorite finds.

I think what I liked best about the bazaar is it felt incredibly well curated. It wasn't huge, but the vendors were AMAZING. Truly. I found a few new favorite artists/stores.

First up, the handbags at xobruno are absolutely to die for. I'm still trying to justify the dauphine:

They had it in grey wool and brown leather at the show this weekend and it was gorgeous. I'm crossing my fingers for Christmas someone (ahem, Chris) will take the million hints I was dropping :).

I've seen photos of Caravan Pacific's lights online (and they AMAZING), but they don't even come close to comparing with how gorgeous they are in person.

There's also a photo below of them all lit up. 

I also discovered hjolisland's lovely illustrations.

You all know how much I love Portland represented in art, and this poster just stole my heart.

I also had my iphone on hand to capture a few photos of the event itself, just in case you all were curious. There were so many people, which I hope means the vendors had amazing sales, and there will be many more of these in the future :)


{inspired} gift guide and a giveaway!

What are you guys wishing for for Christmas? I feel like the older I get, and the more I appreciate what this time of year is TRULY about, the harder it is to make a *Christmas list*. And when it comes right down to it, I would way rather give gifts than receive. Do you guys know what I mean?

Of course, that doesn't actually stop my family from demanding to know what I want for Christmas. It's sweet because they want me to be happy with my gifts. So I did put a little thought into what I'd like. Want to see what I asked for? And, make sure you scroll down to win a little holiday treat for yourselves :).

Top row: Purse, Storage Bins; Middle row: Portland Print (to add to the gallery wall), Schoolroom clock, Graphic Clutch; Bottom row: Black rimmed dishes, Camera bag (I know, so many bags! But, I'm sure you all know, they're a necessity :)

And, that brings me to you guys! One of the things I'm most thankful for this season is YOU. My awesome readers. Thank you for hanging in there with me each week as Chris and I navigate the fun, but sometimes scary and slow, process of turning our house into a home.

I don't really do give-aways here. But I did a give away last December and loved it. So, in the spirit of the season, and to THANK YOU (!) all for the amazing year, I have a little gift to give away: a $50 gift card to Anthropologie*. That way, you can buy yourself a little something sweet this season :).

So, the rules:
What: A $50 Giftcard to Anthropologie

How to enter: Please leave a comment on this post and your email info, and let me know: What is your favorite holiday tradition? OR what is the #1 item on your wishlist.  To double your chances, blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave a second comment.

When: I will announce a winner next Friday, the 16th. 

Have a great weekend friends!

*Anthropologie has NO idea who I am and is not sponsoring this post. I'm just doing this because I like you all!

{holiday} mantle

Whereas my everyday decor is more on the restrained side, I tend to go a little crazy at Christmas. I can't help it. There are GREENS! And SPARKLES! And, how am I suppose to restrain myself. While I'm no where near done, I did pull together my mantle. 

As I said last week, I wanted to keep my decor more on the neutral side. So, I kept the mantle to doses of green neutrals, with pops of gold and red. The only color not in my original color scheme is blue, but I have an idea on how to incorporate that, and I'll update you all when I do :).

A sneak peek of our tree in the mirror!

Here are a few of the  book snowflakes I posted about on Monday.

And a few close-ups.

The garland on the fireplace is a mixture of the felt garland I made last year, and a simple twine rope.

And, just for fun, the whole thing lit up in the evening.

I'm linking up to the holiday home link party and Ten June's mantle party. Make sure and pop over to see everyone's gorgeous mantles! :)