Twenty Eleven Resolutions

Every year we publicly proclaim a few of our resolutions in the hope that it’ll light a fire under our arse (arses?) and help us “get there.” So without further ado (except for this gratuitous Clara picture) here they are…

Resolution #1. To be more bold with our decorating & renovating choices. We want to embrace color and contrast and just have fun without worrying that we’ll mess up. Mistakes are always when we learn the most about a project or our style, so we’re going to welcome them with open arms. And we hope to do our best to resist always going with the “safest” decisions in favor of taking a few chances and diving in with both feet. Wait that doesn’t make sense. Jumping in with both feet? How about cannonballing? Sounds good to us. It probably means there will also be the occasional belly flop, but we’re ok with that too.

Resolution #2. To find balance. We’re going to try our darndest not to fall into the trap of putting all of our time, money, and energy into the house to the point that we have no life, no savings, and Clara is trapped in our casa for her entire childhood. We’d love to remember to plan family trips (we haven’t been on a big vacation since our honeymoon three and a half years ago other than some low key road trips and family beach weeks) and just take time to enjoy visits to the park and the zoo and the occasional meal out. Since the internet is 24/7, sometimes it’s hard to resist working nights, weekends, and even on vacation so we hope to get a handle on that. Now that we have a wee one, some healthy family-friendly balance seems like a good idea.

Resolution #3. To save more money. We’re already pretty frugal (ok, we’re total tightwads) as you can see here, but we’d like to learn more ways to squirrel away cash for a rainy day (or retirement, or the college fund…). For example, we have no idea how to coupon. In fact we only recently learned that it could be used as a verb after watching this crazy show on TLC. But now we’d like to learn the act of couponing (but by no means will we take it as far as the people on that TLC special). Yesterday we gave it a whirl and ended up saving $19 at the grocery store. Not bad for two people who had no idea what they were doing. So we’re ready to learn more. From virtually loading our Kroger card with online coupons to buying the Sunday paper for the insert and even printing out online coupons when they’re something we actually buy, we’ll give it a try. And we’ll share how it goes if we happen to get the hang of it.

Resolution #4. To take the people-pleasing thing down a notch. As we mentioned during our blogiversary, “after three years we’ve learned that it’s impossible to please 100% of the people 100% of the time.” Gone are the days when we could write about whatever was happening at our house without someone (usually in the nicest way possible) telling us what to change. Like that we should post less or more, do bigger or smaller projects, share more or less family stuff, do more or fewer mood boards, etc. Basically, if we listened to everyone who told us how to alter YHL for the better, we’d pretty much have to scrap everything. And we might be crazy, but we like how we blog! It has gotten us to where we are today. Over two million hits a month is crazy (ok, mind-blowingly insane) to us.

We actually really enjoy sharing real-time diary-style entries about what’s going on as it occurs (the good, the bad, the ugly, and the average day-in-the-life stuff) along with whatever inspires us – just like we did back in 2007 when this whole adventure started. One week we might be flying along and the next week we may be as slow as molasses – but hey, that’s real life (with real budget constraints, snafus, & timeline challenges). There’s always HGTV for those 30 minute makeovers, so we’re all about the stuff in the middle. In the end, we know that as our blog continues to grow and evolve, some people will like it less while others may enjoy it more. Which is completely ok. It has to be! So this Bill Compton Cosby gem is our new mantra: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Here’s hoping we can trust ourselves to share our lives in a way that feels the most authentic to us.

Resolution #5. To teach Clara a few key home improvement and decorating terms. Like “phillips head screwdriver.” And “cohesive.” Can you image how cute a toddler who says things like “keep it cohesive” would be?

Or is that just my sick fantasy? My dad taught me the word “dehydrated” when I was a tiny tot and I’d walk around saying “I’m dehydrated” instead of requesting water or juice like the other kids in daycare. So dramatic. And I can just picture Clara pointing around the room and saying “drywall,” “hardwoods,” and “baseboard” instead of “wall” and “floor.” Could be funny…

Pssst- Check out our weekly photo project featuring the beanette here.

Pssssst- Peep one more (kid related) resolution over on BabyCenter. Any good faux curse suggestions?


  1. Lauren McCormick says

    Just keep doing what you’re doing! We’re obviously all happy with it or you wouldn’t have all of us latched on to your every word. :) Keep it up, youngsters! We love you! Happy New Year!

  2. says

    Happy New Year!
    Excellent resolutions. We love your blog just the way it is, you write from the heart and that’s what makes it a fantastic read everyday. Thanks for always inspiring us both in our home and our blog.
    Cheers to 2011.

  3. says

    I am LOVING the Bill Cosby quote! Wanting to please everyone is something I’ve been struggling with lately. I sometimes feel like people who know me are annoyed that I’m blogging about my house and I’m sure there are some who find it self-centered (or maybe that’s my paranoia??) But I’ve also received some really nice emails from people I haven’t talked to in years that love it. So even though I had a family member say “Oh I’ve only clicked that thing once….” I know I am doing this for myself, to find some balance and a creative outlet and if you want to read, please do, if not, that’s okay too. Or I’m trying to teach myself that it’s okay :)

    So as a newbie, I’d say just remember why you started this wonderful site and you can’t go wrong :) Thanks (always) for sharing!

  4. Kristen says

    You guys are such an inspiration to us who are clueless, uninspired or need a quick kick in the butt to get going on the various house projects. One of my 2011 goals is to stop printing out and saying things I want to do or need to do around the house– and just do them!! I’m starting this weekend with a desk refinishing project and hope the momentum will carry me into some wallpaper stripping, painting, and much more.

    And as far as couponing goes, if there is a product I love and use a lot, I join the mailing list for the company or brand. Monthly coupons are emailed often and then when it is on sale at the store, it’s double savings. It is so cool when you see the amount of money you would have spent at the grocery store prior to the coupons and then how much you saved. Stop & Shop gives a year to date savings, and in 2010 between coupons, store sales, etc., I saved $863.47! Now if I had only been able to put that actual money into an account that would have been smarter, but another goal to work towards :)

  5. Sarah says

    Keep it up YHL! Don’t let the haters get to you! I’m sure if it bothers them that bad they can find another blog to read ;)…

    • says

      Hey Sarah,

      It’s really not haters at all! Just people honestly trying to help I think! We’re just leaning you can really start to second guess yourself if you follow everyone’s advice instead of your own heart- so that’s the 2011 plan! We’re gonna just write what goes on and hope that people enjoy the ride!


  6. susanne says

    Great resolutions…! I started “couponing” a year ago, though not like I hear others do it, and it is crazy how much money you can save. I subscribe to, no expensive, and have saved a lot of money with only moderate effort. I actually get a little bit of a high when I see how much i have saved….(you can probably relate)….
    Good luck!

  7. says

    I like your “save more money” resolution! I think a lot of people would benefit if they followed that one.

    I don’t like how people criticize bloggers sometimes. If you don’t like it, don’t read.

    Happy New Year!

  8. says

    Love the #4. I started reading your blog in January 2008, and it was love at first sight. The best thing is to stay true to yourselves. It obviously works because how else would you explain your success so far? The best of luck in the future :)

  9. Monika says

    Sounds like you have some good resolutions! I’m all for finding balance, that’s something I’m working on too.

    Here’s to balance, happiness, and success in the new year!


  10. Monica F says

    Couponing has become my new obsession. I bought 7 bottles of shampoo yesterday that were on clearance and I had coupons. So I got $45 in shampoo for $0.82, which was just the tax I had to pay. So I now won’t have to buy shampoo until at least the second half of the year. =D

  11. robin/burlington,nc says

    Honestly, I don’t know how anyone could be critical with your blog? I come here for inspiration. That’s it. I always enjoy seeing what the 4 of y’all are up to. Happy New Year’s and may you continue to be blessed with good health, prosperity and peace.

  12. Tanja says

    Happy New Year!

    I am relatively new to your blog (about a month) but look forward to starting my day with your latest post – that means I love the way you blog right now. So open, honest and realistic, it gives me hope that with time and patience my home can be beautiful too.

    Thanks so much to all 4 of you for making my days better.

    Cheers, Tanja

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