By Kate Riley January 2, 2012

I think it’s important to take stock of what you’ve accomplished in life, which is why I love all the roundup posts we see at year’s end. That’s the great thing about online journaling, we’re documenting our successes, failures, and contributions through the years. I love taking the time to reflect and look back on what I’ve learned and accomplished, large and small. Sure I completed a lot of projects and checked them off my To Do list.  But 2011 taught me a few more important things.

2011 taught me that I have a voice, how to pace myself, how to better juggle home and work, how to take things one day at a time.  It taught me that I need to ignore the naysayers and keep negative people out of my life. How to shed the crippling fear of failure, how to just keep going even when there’s no motivation, and how to let the little things go.

At the same time, it’s also important to look ahead, to make plans, to seize the opportunity to fine tune ourselves and set realistic, achievable goals. You may be a New Year’s Resolutions person and you may not.  Personally, I embrace the idea of self reflection and the desire to improve yourself.  What better time than the start of a new calendar year to declare your goals and pursuits for the future.

new year rilke quote



My resolutions for 2012 . . .


teavana tea kettleBetter Health.  I tend to reach for a glass of wine at the end of the night for relaxation, and I think that habit, and less outdoor activity than usual, is the culprit for those extra pounds that have crept up on the mid section.  Me no likey. 

So now I’m drinking tea at night instead.  As a newbie, I’m looking for recommendations for decaffeinated teas, so I welcome yours. My stepdaughter is so thoughtful she heard me planning to make the switch and bought me this tea kettle for Christmas. She knows me well, I like things clean, bright, and simple.

Also, I’m back in my running routine and I just might run another half marathon this year… this one motivates me greatly.  

More of the Mister.   Did you know I’m married to a real estate appraiser and broker with over 25 years experience in real estate who knows everything there is to know about buying a home or getting it ready to sell?  Wow, that sounded like an infomercial. Well it’s true. The mister is a wealth of information, and you’ll see his expertise appear here more this year.  Oooooh, a real estate column!   

Skill.  My sister got me Photoshop Elements for Christmas (again with the thoughtful gifts) and since I’ve been working on a dinosaur version of Photoshop 7 for a few years, I’ve been frustrated with my lack of talent with that software. I’ll be installing and practicing on the latest version soon, and maybe have a few tricks to share with you as I navigate the software, stick with me.  Also, I really need to learn how to sew a proper button hole, and call me crazy, but I’ve always wanted to learn how to juggle, is that wrong? 

Risk.  Ah, here’s an important one.  I have something in the works now which I truly believe in, but it is a risk for me to take.  But I believe in taking risks. Taking risks can lead to great success or utter failure but I’m prepared for whatever comes. More on that next month, but it’s something I know you’ll all enjoy and I hope support. It’s something I’ve envisioned for awhile and I’m devoting a lot of time, energy, and passion to behind the scenes ~ I’ll have more to share in February.

dreams dont work unless you do

Lucias Art on Etsy


Email and Accounting.  I’ll be frank, I’m just awful at both.  I try, I truly I do, but my business paperwork could be more organized and my inbox is a mess.  There are remedies for this, they come in the form of an assistant and bookkeeper (and Quickbooks which I recently discovered). I’d like to be better, but this may be one of those situations where I just need to delegate. 

Home Improvement & DIY.  Oh yeah, that!  Well I do have plans to remodel that hall bath, to finally build a potting bench, to finish the courtyard paving, and to adopt another house, like the Alma Project.  I have other crafts and gardening ideas and cooking experiments too, all doing a happy interpretive dance in my head, as soon as I get them choreographed and executed, you’ll see more. 

Grow.  Looking back on 2011, I realized that I accomplished most things because of a ‘can do’ attitude and that continues into 2012.  Whatever the subject, wherever I go, I just want to keep experiencing and discovering and learning more and more.  It will all make a series of great stories to tell my grandchildren.    

Chill.   The pace of a DIY blog can be exhausting and this girl does get weary.  It doesn’t mean I’ll stop, I’ll just be better about taking a break when necessary. Some days I’ll have a new project, craft, or recipe to share, but be forewarned, other days will be simpler reflections on things I notice, things I love.  I hope you’ll continue to read along, whatever that is!

Simplify.  The greatest goal of all, and I know one shared by many.  Simplification and organization are the major themes for all of us in January, mine too. I’m paring down everything from my magazine subscriptions to my wardrobe.  You might see some posts on how I sort my junk drawer or what’s in my makeup bag.  Riveting!

And that’s the great thing about blogging – the fact that it holds me more accountable.  Professing these goals to the world might just mean they’re more likely to happen, right? 

william ward quote



Don’t forget, the five part ‘Growing Your Blog’ series starts today at Nesting Place ~ hop on over for reflections on the importance of authenticity in blogging.

What are your resolutions to improve your life this year?





  1. these are great and very doable goals!
    i am with you on the wine and have to cut it out of my nightly routine and just on weekends i think…. my mid section has grown a little, um, softer, too.

  2. I am right there with you on the risk taking. I am too fearful of others opinions on what I do. This is on my resolution list as well.

  3. Great list, Kate! I think it will be very cool to hear more from Mr. CG…I remember at least one guest post he’s done here for you. Good stuff! Maybe I could also make a goal of you running the 1/2 marathon for me? ;) In all seriousness, I’m planning on starting a walking routine soon (I have never been a runner)- we gave up our unused gym membership in December, and I need to do something.

    I shared some of my goals for 2012 today…I think I need to add “taking risks” in general, but I decided to save it for my Home Goals post later on.

    Happy New Year!

  4. I have a terrible fear of failure. I am doing so much right now, that I’m afraid I’m not really doing anything well. My resolutions this year include trying to shed this fear that I’ve lived with my whole life and to learn more about photography. I really need to work on my photos…bad. Also, I just went to a store called Teavana and found a tea that I’m obsessed with….Youthberry. You can find the store online. It is Devine, and supposedly good for your skin and immune system – bonus!

  5. Some of my fave herbal teas –
    Stash’s licorice spice – sweet with a thick mouthfeel, comforting, great for when I am trying to resist nibbling on cookies etc
    Tazo’s Calm – does seem to work to calm my nerves – always have a few bags at work!
    and if you like licorice flavour, you can try growing anise hyssop and making a tea from the fresh leaves. It’s easy to grow, self-seeds (might be a perennial in your climate?), & the flowers & seed heads attract bees & birds.

    I salute your resolution to chill – I’ll be here regardless. I’m trying to get some exercise every day, even if it’s only a 10 min walk. Makes me much less cranky & snappish :)

  6. I’m very excited to see what project you are taking a risk on! I myself am horrible at taking risks. I’m a perfectionist, so I tend to stick to things I know I will excel at. I’ve noticed this, however, and lately have been forcing myself to take risks and to let go a little bit. I started a photography business late last year, chopped my hair off, got married (although I don’t really see it as a risk but some people think getting married at 22 is risky although we’ve been together for 6 years), and started grad school. 2011 was probably my riskiest year. I’m hoping to take even more this year.

    If your readers can do anything to support your risk, I’m sure we would be happy to help you be successful!

  7. I might need to try that tea thing your speaking of – thanks for the nudge. Maybe I’ll get motivated if I buy myself a nice teapot! ;) I agree with the risk taking. It makes life a lot more fun and interesting! Can’t wait to find out what you have up your sleeve!

  8. Loved today’s post! I am a huge tea drinker, something my mom started me on at a young age. I recommend Green Tea for helping lose those extra holiday pounds. As for a decaf tea, Rooibos is a tea that is naturally decaf. Oolong tea is one of my favorites. Teavana is a great place to go if your wanting to get into tea, they are pretty informative and have a good selection. My favorite place to go buy tea is San Fransisco in the China Town district. Loose tea is what you want, a second process, it will be expensive, but will last forever since you don’t have to use a lot of it.

  9. With a clipboard in hand I have walked around my garden and house today and I have a long list of things that I want to do to the house this year, from repainting the bathroom to installing a new kitchen. 2012 is going to be busy. Personal goals include blogging more, eating more healthily and celebrating and enjoying life more. A strange goal to have, but I think I need to remind myself to enjoy my life everyday.

    I love your list for 2012, I can’t wait to read your posts this year.


  10. My favorite de-caf tea is Stash’s Licorice Spice. It’s sweet on its own, no need to add sweetener. I drink it all the time in winter. In summer, I drink sweet iced tea- usually a de-caf black tea flavored with raspberry or mint and sweetened with Splenda.

    And I look forward to your husband’s real estate column. We’re planning on selling our house in two years so I’m particularly interested in prepping my house for sale and staging.

  11. I excel at breaking my resolutions before the week is out, so I stopped with making resolutions. Instead I focus on one word for the entire year. This year, my word is faith.

    My favorite tea is Good Hope Vanilla. It’s a naturally decaffeinated red tea from the rooibos bush in Africa. And the flavor is divine. It’s put out by The Republic of Tea.

    I have PSE 8 and found it to be so much simpler to use than the big brother PS.

  12. How fun, evening tea is on my to do list as well. I’ll be curious as to suggestions you get. Your list is lovely to read, gentle and ambitious at the same time.

  13. We drink a lot of herbal tea in our house; some of my favorites are the Celestial Seasonings holiday line (Gingerbread Spice, Sugar Plum Spice, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride); they’re only available around the holidays, so I stock up now. I also like Republic of Tea’s Chocolate Coconut Tea and Chocolate Peppermint. These teas give me the decadence of the chocolates and desserts I crave without all the calories.

    Red (rooibos) teas are really good too; I have Red Vanilla and Red Pomegranate. I like how they’re refreshing, even in the hottest months.

  14. Oh that glass of wine!!! I drink mine while I cook supper, I really need it so I am pledged to drink a glass of red instead of my usual white. I have already started on my pledge for 2012 to become vegan or veganish! I am already amazed at the delicious and fabulous looking dishes that are meat and dairy free.

    Looking forward to your blog Kate this year and also to get some pointers from your hubby on real estate. Sounds great!

    Thks so much.

  15. Hello! I love your blog and all that you offer. You are very talented. I love decaffeinated tea. My favorite tea and what is known for it’s relaxing properties, is Chamomile. You should try it! I prefer my tea with a little sweetener, so I use honey trying to keep it healthy. Here’s wishing you and yours a joyous, safe, and healthy New Year!

  16. Try boiling fresh mint. You can also buy mint tea bags, but fresh is better and it’s good for tummy aches for kids and adults. Also trader joes has (I think it’s called) pomegranate or white pomegranate tea. Unfortunately I think it’s caffeinated but soooooooo yummy! Have fun and happy new year!

  17. I, too am resolved to replace that wine with tea in the evenings. My absolute favorite tea is Lemon Ginger, and the brand Yogi makes the best! It’s naturally sweet and spicy. Give it a try. I’m looking forward to learning more about your Risk. It’s something I would love to work more on myself.

  18. Great goals, Kate {especially the wine one!}. A girlfriend and I have planned a day this week to sit down and do our resolutions together. That way, we can help each other stick to them. One of the things I was thinking of is trying a new restaurant every week. I live in a fabulous city (Toronto!) with incredible restaurants everywhere, yet I always end up at the same ones. Time to expand my palette! {hopefully not my waistline in the process}

  19. i love lipton white tea with blueberries and pomegranite. Very healthy and tastes good. I had to laugh at your wish to learn to juggle….when i was 35 (17 years ago) i wanted to learn too! for christmas my husband put in my stocking the book…how to learn to juggle for dummies… that night i was a juggling feind! TRY IT!

  20. I like your goals, they echo mine, although I won’t be running a marathon! I’ve just ordered PSE 10 so will be interested to compare notes as I’ve been on 7 for sometime now.

  21. Kate- I can actually recommend this to you because you have a shot in the dark of finding it! My favorite tea of all time is a Decaf Spice tea from a little independent down in Danville CA called Father Natures. The title on the bag is actually “Danville Spice Tea.” I love it so much I buy it in bulk every time I go back and store it in my freezer. In the winter I drink it Hot, and in the summer I Ice it, and it makes a very yummy Iced tea. It would be a bit of a drive from Napa, but in my humble opinion, it is totally worth it:) Good luck with your resolutions!!!

  22. Hey Kate-

    Instead of regular tea at night…try Kombucha. It will help with digestion and fight cravings. That drink has literally changed my health over this past year.

    Also, in terms of health and nutrition: here are a few good reads to bolster your goals for health improvement: Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

    Ever since I started eating more fat {shocking, right?} I’ve actually lost more weight. {Back down to college weight!} Food for thought…

    Happy 2012 to you.

  23. Wow, Your so inspiring! I could only wish that I lived closer to you…I would suggest that you adopt my house! haha. I can’t wait to see what you have for this year!

  24. Oh and I am a huge tea drinker! I grew up in England, and have never moved away from tea. I have learned that if you “wash” your tea bag (steep it for 30 seconds then discard that) it will take away 80% of the caffeine out of the bag. Then you are able to have a relaxing cup of tea. Finding a good tasting cup of decaffeinated tea is hard, I have a really good friend in England ill ask her what she thinks.

  25. I love your blog and look forward to reading it everyday. I look forward to reading your hubby ‘s real estate advice. We are planning to buy our first home this year. You are such an inspiration Kate, you have your family, this blog, all of your projects and you also give back to the community. I look forward to all of your creativity in 2012.

    Happy New Year!

  26. Kate, I already think you are pretty great, but growth is good for all of us. Good luck with your goals and here’s to a terrific 2012!

  27. I wish I could say I can take more risks. My husband is totally an entrepreneur and quit his day work to become a freelance software developer…while I have many dreams, I feel like I have to put my feet really strong on the ground with a paying job. Always a tough one to know when to take a leap.
    I need to get that wallart from Etsy about the dreams.

    Hope your risks turn to many great adventures in 2012.

  28. What a great list!

    There’s only one tea I like without milk and sugar – Tazo Vanilla Rooibos. I have to buy it online or in Starbucks stores. (No groceries around here carry it!) Other brands aren’t the same, but this one is worth going out of my way to get!

  29. What an excellent list! I can’t wait to see how you do with Elements. I got it for Christmas last year and have never found the time to really learn to use it well. In fact I got so frustrated that I began using Picnik. I wish I’d known about that site before putting Elements on my wishlist – I would have just paid for the upgraded version. I love your tutorials, so I’m sure that you’ll come up with something super useful!

  30. I’m pretty sure the evening glass of wine is contributing to the frightening inability to fit into my pants properly. Great list! Looking forward to the new real estate posts.

  31. Kate, I would love for you to check my blog for my list as I am a few years older than you but a similar personality. Trader Joe’s makes a “well rested tea” that I drink each night. I also like their Jasmine Green Tea during the day and it’s a mild fat burner. :)

  32. Great list Kate! Congrats on a wonderful year last year and thanks for all the inspiration you provide here on your blog!

    Happy New Year!

  33. I absolutely love this post, Kate. So personal and open–you know me, I’m a big sap. :-) Wishing all the best the world has to offer!

  34. Kate ~ Our end-of-day tea is Celestial Seasoning’s Honey Vanilla Chamomile. It’s a lovely, not-to-sweet mix. Happy New Year!

  35. KATE! I just knew we had a lot in common! I too am married to a real estate appraiser and broker! In fact…my ENTIRE family is/was in real estate…my father owned a company in our area for 35 years. I revolted…I became a teacher. But now…I’m more of a SAHM with a touch of substitute for good measure! Unfortunately, here in the Midwest we’ve had a HARD TIME with this economy and the real estate market went south so my sweet, wonderful husband is gong back to what he did when we first met and married…selling insurance! (actually doing it all right now…clever man!) Good luck with all your resolutions!

  36. I didnt know you were a runner! I have a goal to run two half marathons again this year, but do them with a little better times! Your blog has been one of my favorite finds in 2011, so Im looking forward to what you have to write about in 2012. I am also a TEA lover and lost 53 lbs last year. I nightly pot of tea helped with that! I have tons of teas to recommend here:

  37. Excellent goals! I enjoy a cup of chamomile tea at night and I loved the quotes you chose for this post. I wish you all the best in 2011.

  38. I have the same issue with that glass of wine each night. Need to lose a few pounds so the clothes fit like they should. The decaf tea I LOVE right now is Aveda’s Comforting Tea. It is naturally sweet and just amazing- so much flavor. I think I’ll go make myself a cuppa right now.

    I’ve got those projects of my own here too I’ve got to get going on. After designing everyone else’s home, I don’t want to work on my own.

    • Oh gosh thanks everyone for the fabulous tea suggestions….so appreciative… I’m making a list… gotta convert!

  39. I totally agree with some of your resolutions (not the tea though, I do like a glass or two of wine while I’m cooking dinner!). It was interesting reading about your desire to simplify because I noticed this happening as I got older (I’m now 54) . . . and my friends feel the same way. It is very liberating to say, “I know what I like, I don’t need things to make me a better or more interesting person, and I’m tired of cleaning and stuff”. As soon as my youngest goes back to college (2 days and counting) I will be going room by room to go through everything and get rid of items we don’t use or need. Then I move onto a full analysis of our finances (as a former investment advisor, this is actually fun to me – go figure!). That’s the way I start off the year.

  40. What better time than the beginning of a new year to fine tune, simplify and set some goal for ourselves. Enjoy achieving all of your goals!

  41. Kate, great goals! Our family drinks Celestial Seasonings sleepy time in the evenings. I LOVE the tea kettle.

    As for your blog, I read & enjoy it daily! I have to say I was really excited to hear about your husband’s future guest posts. We recently had a window company come out and give us a quote for windows that was 1/5 the price we paid for our home. I would really like to know what the return on investment is on projects around the home.

    Happy New Year – can’t wait for new projects and inspiration from you.

  42. Since I was the last person on earth who hadn’t yet subscribed to your blog, I knew it was time. Speaking of “risk”, there’s a big difference between taking a risk and gambling. I love the quote, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. It’s so true. It’s gambling if you haven’t done your homework, it’s gambling if you’ll be out of the streets if the idea doesn’t work. Listen to your heart, your passion; know your competition, go in with open eyes and all the research done. You’ll do great. Look at your blog! Best to you!
    The Treasured Home

  43. O.K. Well. That’s a lot of resolutions. I managed to make one. I never make resolutions, but have decided … like you … a DIY blog is exhausting. People don’t realize that! So I am also allowing myself time to relax. People don’t realize how important that is! In fact, I was one of them until this year. So you go right ahead and relax. You’ll be a better blogger for it.

  44. I can help you with sewing a proper buttonhole, especially if you have a machine with a one-step buttonhole! However, I’m a terrible juggler. Happy 2012.

  45. Tea? I live on (naturally decaf.) “Rooibos” tea, which is also known as “African Red Bush” tea. It’s naturally sweet, so needs nothing with it. Sounds really exotic, but you can find it everywhere. And if you’re out and about at Starbucks, I recommend ordering a Rooibos Latte :)

  46. Hi Kate,
    I am also married to a Real Estate Appraiser/Broker. We own a real estate business in Alberta Canada. I love your blog, it always has such great information. I took the Blogging your Way course in the fall by Holly Becker from Decor8. I had planned to start a blog by the New Year, but it did not happen. My goals for this year are to start my blog, clear out clutter, get some projects finished around the house. I am hoping that a blog will also hold me accountable to get these things done. I am struggling with if I should use Blogger or WordPress. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    • Hi Lana, Blogger is a great place to start and it’s very user friendly, plus you can always roll over to WP later, but I do like all the extra bells & whistles that WordPress has to offer in the form of plugins!


  47. Was just about to recommend Rooibos tea but saw someone else just did! Anyway, the brand I buy is Eco Teas which is fair trade and organic certified. I get it from my local food co-op. It’s so good and is caffeine free. I started to buy it when I was making Kombucha tea which is a hobby in itself but is oh so yummy! One of my resolutions in 2012 is to start making it again. If you haven’t already, try GT’s Kombucha which you can find at Whole Foods and other organic groceries. It’s nice because it’s low sugar and they have flavored varieties. It’s tart and fizzy you if you like that kind of thing it may work as an alternative drink. There are those who make health claims about it but I drink it because I like it. I’ve never had any problems with drinking it daily. It’s expensive to buy the pre-made stuff which is the point of home brewing my own. Here’s a video:

  48. We drink a lot of green tea and it comes in a lot of flavors too. I drink green tulsi tea and love it. My husband is a health nut and swears you should drink 4 cups a day for your health. Hibiscus tea is also very good for you. He drinks his with no sweetener, but I love all natural honey in mine. Hope this is helpful. :)

  49. I’m English and a big tea drinker.

    Good Earth’s Sweet and Spicy is a delicious tea. They make both caf and decaf versions. Sometimes herbal tea can taste like drinking plants (which is, after all, what tea is, but you probably know that unsatisfying taste I mean) — however, this one isn’t like that at all.

    I don’t like the Christmas-themed teas from Celestial Seasonings, recommended by another reader, at all. Just goes to show it’s a matter of taste. Happy experimenting as you learn what it is you like!

  50. HEY! I am a huge tea drinker and have several opinions for your nightly cuppa tea. I would suggest you find a good brand of decaf green tea (if you don’t want to drink caffeine at night which I can’t). Adagio is a wonderful website that sticks to loose leaf teas, which have better taste and keeps the nutritional benefits that can come with tea. Also, green tea has many health benefits! Check into it!

    Hope this helps!


  51. Hi Kate, I drink rooibos tea, it has a nice clean taste and is a nice departure from regular herbal teas. I love orgainizing/simplifying and I would love any tips/photos that you may share. I love your blog and Iam sure that whatever you choose to share with your audidnce will be wonderful .

  52. I’m adding to the rooibos recommendations: a spiced rooibos with a bit of warm milk is really more like a guilt-free dessert

    I love the now-hard-to-find Earl Grey rooibos by Kalahari and Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings – it’s one of the seasonal teas that people seem to love or detest. It’s a decaf green tea with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and peppermint. And the combination tastes better than it sounds.

    Wishing you a year of possibilities!

  53. I LOVE Stash tea. Any of them are great, but I tend to go for the green decaf tea at night and the pomegranate raspberry in the morning-so good. I recently switched from coffee to more tea as well. It takes a bit of time to make the change, but once you do you’ll feel great.

    Love your blog…full of great ideas and thanks for all you do!

  54. Kate..If people don’t understand that you need time for you and your family..well..they just need to understand expect some new & brilliant DIY project everyday is unrealistic..I couldn’t do it and you should not burn yourself out trying to..I am fairly new to reading blogs and you and Karen B. were my first..I appreciate all that the two of you share with us..I would read you both if you only wrote once a take that time to relax..I am sure that your faithful readers will still be there for you and we will reap the benefits of all the new things that you take the time to learn so you can share them with us..Good luck and Hugs!!

  55. Happy New Year Kate! Tea is a great addition for less stress and “me” time. There are a lot of great ones out there from loose to bag. Of my favorites are Mighty Leaf and Two Leaves and a Bud. Enjoy!

  56. My daughter in law introduced me to a great tea from Capital Teas ( called Annapolis Treasures. They are a 5th generation tea company. I love tea and find that this is my favorite. Then on the other hand, when I have had a stressful busy day, a cup of tea cannot beat a great glass of wine with a bit of cheese!..

    As they say, when you come to the twilight years of your life, you look back most upon the memories you have made with your loved ones and all the accolades and “stuff” does not matter. So we all should remember to stop and smell the beautiful roses!

    I read your comment on the blog hosts…I use WordPress and I am still learning..thought to switch to blogspot, but thought that WordPress has more to offer and their security behind the scenes are very good.

    Have a great New Year…

  57. Yes, switching to tea in the evenings is something we’ve done over here too. I have a whole tea drawer of tea – much to the delight of our guests. I can’t handle caffeine at night so many of them are decaf: president’s choice chocolate chai, stash vanilla chai decaf, peppermint, chamomile, tetley blueberry pomegranate (with a little honey – yum!)…So many!
    As for resolutions, I haven’t made them exactly. I’m working on the goals this week though. Our holidays were spent hanging with fam, so there wasn’t much time to goal set. But I suppose that is good in itself – more family time. :)
    Looking forward to all your posts in 2012.

  58. Ah! My husband quit coffee and all caffeine (even chocolate!) two years ago. I figured I could wean myself off coffee, cokes and black tea by slowly adding to my repertoire of naturally non-caffeinated herbal teas.
    We have found our favorite tea store ( and are complete converts to herbal teas because they really do taste great (well, I really don’t like hibiscus tea) and some of the health ones work amazingly for colds! Anyways, the ginger snap tea and pumpkin pie tea are delicious sweetened with honey and a drop of milk or cream. I highly recommend that site, it is unique and the stuff ships quickly (ok, I’m sounding like an infomercial now! Don’t worry, I have no connections). I love the tea pot you got – great gift idea!
    My only new year’s resolution: Be Prepared for birthdays and holidays in 2012. No more frantic sewing, decorating and cleaning till 4am the night before!
    Love your site – thanks for all your ideas and inspiration!

  59. Hi Kate. I’m such a big fan. =) I thought I’d chime in about a tea suggestion. I fell in love with a few by Republic of Tea. They have a super cute line of teas such as “Be Happy” or “Get Some Zzz’s”. My mind is always working way too fast at night and I’ve also tried to switch to a healthier option rather than wine, the “Get Some Zzz’s” REALLY works.—No-5/p/V00729/

    Happy New Year!

  60. Oh, how I loved reading about your resolutions! I don’t usually make New Years resolutions, but I have decided that 2012 needs to see some improvement! So, today I went out and purchased a brand spanking new journal where I will write down all of the things I hope to improve and accomplish. I’m going to concentrate on health…mind, body, spirit. I’m also going to start a project notebook, and I AM going to see things crossed off the list! And, finally, I will devote more time to my Etsy shop!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your resolutions, and your terrific blog….they have inspired me!

    Happy New Year!

  61. I am a big tea drinker! My favorite is Chamomile Citrus by Mighty Leaf. They’ve got a great selection. Another yummy one is their Ginger Twist. Mighty Leaf is a local company in San Rafael. My whole family is hooked on their tea. Just thought I’d pass this along to you.

  62. My favourite tea is Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings. It’s great with a dash of sugar to bring out the flavours, and a splash of milk to tame it back a bit. Enjoy!

  63. Oh! You can do it! Buttonholes are vastly overrated! If you have trouble with your fabric getting “stuck” for some reason, just put a sheet of notebook paper under it…I mean you can get all fancy and use stabilizer, too, but notebook paper works great and you probably already have it. I have a tutorial on my blog, but I think you just need to sit down and read your manual to figure it out (I.E. 1 step or 4)! :) Let me know if you have questions!

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