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. Janet says

    As for # 4, I love your blog just the way it is! You’re always cheerful, optimistic, creative, and kind, and you’ve given me all sorts of inspiration over the last few years. My husband and I are in almost the same stage you are–newish house, decorating and home improvement projects on the cheap, baby on the way at the end of March…It’s great to know we’re not alone! So, thanks and happy New Year!

  2. Hannah says

    My uncle wrote that Bill Cosby quote in one of my and my husband’s guest books at our wedding. (We did little notebooks at each table.) It’s a great quote and a great motto to live by. It’s a refreshing feeling when you stop catering to others all the time. It’s something I’ve been trying recently too.

  3. says

    @ Dana: My parents (in Texas) put in the tiles that look like hardwood about a year and a half ago and they love them. They’re in the main living area so they get a lot of traffic. Plus my parents have 2 dogs so durability was a big factor in their choice.

    One key thing you have to do, though, is to buy coordinating grout from a tile store (which has many more shades available than your average big-box store). Find as close a color match as possible to the tile and the whole installation will fool everyone into thinking it’s real wood.

    Another thing (if you’re going to DIY) is to plan out where the grout lines will fall. You need be careful to stagger the tiles (since all of them are the same size) to mimic the look of wood floors. And definitely shop around. My mom and I went to about half a dozen stores and she was able to find a good deal on tile and installation (for the same price as just the tile at some places).

  4. Rebecca says

    Best wishes to you and your family this New Year! I’ve want to let you know that all your work doesn’t go unnoticed and I think y’all are great. I’m an Interior Designer- turned stay-at-home-mom, here in Denver and check up on ya daily. I think you’re doing an AMAZING job and wish you the best w/ your New Year’s resolutions! Balance w/ a family and home renovations certainly is key and in my resolutions too. Thanks for your daily dose of inspiration- Much love!

  5. cheep3r5 says

    Happy New Year!!!

    OT a tiny bit. Not trying to be a saleperson, but everyone thinks finances in the new year…like me. =)
    For those who are not yet frugal or those wanting to be more frugalicious, I found an app for my Droid that simulates the envelope budget method. I can do it without needing to connect to my bank. Bonus! It can synchronize on two or more phones, so two or more spenders are always on the same page. I am not a sales person just someone who has resolved to get our household budget under control.

    Easy Envelope Budget Aid, an online envelope budgeting system for Android, mobile Web & the Web.

    PS second the Mood Board revival. Loved seeing those – like surprise presents every now and then. =)

  6. Emily S says

    Someone probably already said this, but on Jay Leno last night (a rerun), he went to some houses visiting random people for the holidays and one of the families had a little girl, 2 or 3, I guess, who was soooo cute! Clearly her dad was a mechanic of some sort, because she just kept naming all these tools and car parts… “that’s a Phillips”… “that’s a piston”…. She was adorable!

  7. says

    Happy New Year Petersik Family! It has been a true delight following your blog over the last year. I hope 2011 brings you even more new projects, crazy-fun family adventures (with Clara and Burger) and many joyful moments you’ll remember in years to come.

    Love the photo of Clara – so cute. Just curious but what do you do with all the fabric once you’ve taken her photo? Future project, maybe?

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    • says

      Hey Brandi,

      We’re saving all the fabric for a big project when Clara’s a year old. Not sure if it’ll be a quilt or a fabric bunting or one of each or something else entirely. Time will tell!


  8. Nancy says

    I agree with your #2 for everyone! Since we bought our new (old) house, everything has been saving money for something for the house. I realized that we haven’t taken a real vacation in over a year. I remember reading a study that came out this year that having more stuff and more money doesn’t make anyone happier. For example, taking a trip vs. buying a new TV. I always remember our vacations with family and friends with the fondest of memories no matter how fun or horrible they were! My resolution is to save money for a vacation with the hubby too.

  9. Kristen says

    Best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, home-improving new year! I love your blog, and I couldn’t care less how you blog, as long as you do! I hope you guys get to take some vacations – I think we can all live without you for a few days in order for you guys to get some down time – and experience new things!

  10. cheep3r5 says

    PS Looking at the new house pics, I know absolutely that particular house was supposed to be yours. The floors, the layout, the space. Perfect. =D I am so excited to see what happens in 2011. Please have a safe, happy healthy new year. Your huge fan in a tiny town.

  11. Kathy says

    I was not only entertained by your resolutions post (the “I’m dehydrated” dramatic child story is so funny), but I can relate to your goals–except in a different context. Most of us should follow suit re: not trying to please everybody. It’s stressful and doesn’t make a difference to try. As a teacher, I can teach two classes exactly the same way, but inevitably there’s one class that thinks I’m a rock star and another that despise me! Haha…. I just can’t believe that YHL would ever get criticism; iat’s a great blog—so well written and entertaining! Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *