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. says

    LOVE #5! My first toddler learned “atmospheric disturbance” instead of storm. Hilarious! Actually, both of my boys have advanced vocabularies for their ages (due a lot to all the reading that’s done by/with them), and it’s so great to hear actual words for things instead of “stuff.”

    As for #4 – good for you. I have always felt that my blogs are almost like online scrapbooks for me – i.e. very personal. If people like them, great. If not, they can stop reading. :-)

    And I like #1 – that explains the question I asked you on your last post this morning. :-) Maybe it will inspire me to do the same.

    As for #2, I’ve often wondered about you guys answering all the questions you get. You seem to do it non-stop. I was just yesterday thinking, “I wonder what time they shut the computer down in the evening?” Kudos to you for wanting to have a life outside of work, even though for you the line is blurred more than most.

    So those are collective resolutions. Any personal ones? :-)

    • says

      Hey Beth,

      Yup, we have a few personal resolutions too. Just basic ones like to eat healthier, spend more time with family, get in shape, all that good stuff.


  2. Lori says

    Um, that TLC couponing show was CRAAAZY! Please just don’t start stockpiling 150 years worth of deodorant and subsiding only on Yakisoba noodles you get for free :) haha.

  3. says

    Don’t freak out too much about the coupon thing. You guys seem to eat pretty healthy and not a lot of packaged/processed stuff. It is HARD to be a coupon maven if you eat how I think you do. I know from first hand experience :) Where I use coupons most are for things like dairy items and health/beauty products–which I match up w/ sales at CVS and get extra bucks, and then I have ALL of this free money, lol. Sadly, no one ever offers coupons for fresh fruit and veggies. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  4. Orla says

    Those are such interesting resolutions, I love it! You guys are great, keep it up.

    My little girl (2 years) is going around at the moment telling people that she needs to ‘use the facilities’ instead of saying ‘I need to pee-pee!’, which leaves us in hysterics every time! Gotta get Clara going with some DIY phrases, for definite! :)

  5. Rosemary says

    I love your first resolution. I am ready to see some bold colors in the new house :) Actually they’re all ready great resolutions. Best of luck in the New Year! Definitely find time to sit back and relax a bit :)

  6. Ali says

    2010 was the year I got hooked on YHL, and I’m really looking forward to what 2011 brings. Love reading whatever you post! A very happy new year to you, and thank you for the inspiration :)

  7. Sarah Mc says

    I’m a newbie couponer and I must say you can take it as far as you want. There are TONS of blogs out there that teach you the basics and then you can start with as few or as many stores as you’d like. I think the key to the couponing is to only buy the things you need/will use. If you start buying things just because they’re a good deal and not really using them, you’re wasting money. I’m sure you guys will be amazing couponers once you get the hang out it. It really does save a TON!

    Happy New Year!

  8. says

    I focus on my “couponing” and grocery day savings every Sunday (though I’ve been a bit slack in December….)

    Here’s a post I did on my methods:

    I’m planning a follow-up for this Sunday. :)

    I think that you guys will get totally get into coupon saving! Here’s the way I think of the idea and how I ended the above post:

    My number one piece of grocery savings advice is that you have to want to put in the necessary work. I’m always up to the task because the end results make me feel good. Ultimately, the best reward is that I feel like Joey and I have a great balance [Editor’s note: There’s that word again!] in our life because we’ve been smart with money.


  9. says

    great resolutions :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color resolution! I love your style and I can’t wait to see what you do with bold colors. I think I will be able to relate to your blog even more :) that, plus you have a little one running… errr… crawling? scooting? around the house. ;)

    and good for you for just plain being you. I think that’s what most people are interested in anyway…. not the “you” that wants more readers and more fame, the you who you are. :)

  10. says

    Couponing! At the bottom of your receipts check for percentage saved. This is the prize. At the grocery store I seem to hover around 30-50% but the drug stores if planned properly I’ve saved 80-90%. It’s a total high for sure.

  11. says

    Thank you for being my favorite blog out there. I not only love your home improvements, but who you are as people. I love knowing there are other people in the world who are fun loving, creative, and kind!

  12. says

    I love your blog! I’m sure you get that a lot but thought it needed to be said :) Our house needs some DIY updates but we’re completely inept at decorating (seriously, it’s painful) so I’m checking out your archives and trying to figure out where to start!
    Our new year’s resolutions/goals are mainly house specific this year along with some family financial planning.
    I saw your hardwood floor post from a while back when you redid the last house and saw that you did your 3 rooms and hallway in hardwood. We’ve thought about that but with a dog and two kiddos we were concerned about wear and tear. We’ve also recently come across the new tiles that look like hardwood floors – you can see some here: Have you guys heard anything about these as far as durability and warmth? We were thinking about putting them in our dining room, office and main family room. I thought they’d be great for kids, dogs, and basic durability.
    I consider you guys my resident go-to experts so I thought I’d ask :)
    Can’t wait to see what you guys do with this new house!
    ~ Dana from just north of Dallas, TX

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