it's a new year

Happy New Year! It's nice to be back here after a little winter break. I'm looking forward to 2011 and all it has to offer. I've spent the last few days going through my house cleaning out clothes closets, kitchen cupboards, toy boxes, and the fridge to make room for a new year. I've come to really appreciate this transitional time to think about the year that has past and the year that lies ahead. I like to think that we start with a clean slate on January 1st and that anything is possible.

Did you make a list of any resolutions or goals for 2011? I'll admit in recent years that I have taken my goal writing a little more seriously. I write out a long list on December 30th and then check it every three months. (I schedule it on my calendar). I find I get more things accomplished this way although there are inevitably some that never get done (hello, flossing daily and drinking more green tea, why are you so hard to do!). Below is a sampling of some of the goals I have set for myself in 2011.

1. Continue taking my adult ballet classes. I started doing these a few years ago with a couple friends of mine and it has been amazing to start dancing again. While I'll never be quite as flexible as the lovely dancer above it's nice to return to a love I had as a little girl plus it's an amazing workout.

2.Go to some blogging or design conferences. I'd love to attend the Alt. Design Summit happening in a few weeks in Salt Lake City. Have you seen their line up of amazing speakers? Unfortunately, I think this year might be a bit too hard to schedule but I'm definitely pencilling it in for next year. I AM thinking about going to ICFF in NYC in May though...

3. Appreciate what I already have. It's so easy in this world to want more, more, more but I'm hoping this year to take a closer look at all of the things I already have and love. I'm going to start a little project on it later this week that is going to last all year . Stay tuned for more details.

4. Decorate the front hallway. Alright, I know I just said I was going to appreciate what I already have but I really want to get some furniture in the front hallway this year. A nice console table or a bench, maybe a lamp or two and some art would really finish it off.

5. Take the time to do a family activity each weekend. Whether it's super simple like going to the park or the museum or more involved like packing everything up and going on a road trip I want to get away from my computer and out into the world.

6. Start eating some protein like eggs for breakfast. Too often, I just grab a piece of toast and a cup of coffee and then wonder why I'm starving at 10 am. I think eating a little better in the morning would help.

7. And yes, I'll try once again to drink more green tea instead of coffee.

8. Get to work on our front garden. It's a total mess and in need of some serious mucking about. If only I could settle on a design we could get started.

9. Get to know and use twitter more. I admit I'm still a total dunce when it comes to twitter but I'm trying. If you'd like to check out some of my tweets you can follow me here.

10. Break out of my basic black and take some fashion risks. Life's too short to always be predictable.

Image Credits:
1- my own. Tea towel by Avril Loreti
2 - a,b) Arthur Elgort
3 - my own
4 - a) via chutzpahrummage.tumblr.com b) remodelista
5 - Richard Foulser
6 - a) Sarah Maingot b) Douglas Friedman
7 - a,b) Maria Robledo
8 - a) Michael Baumgarten b) Francois Halard
9 - Birds by Rob Bailey
10 - Stockholm Street Style

a room of one's own

Last week, I wrote about a small room on the second floor of our Victorian house. At the moment, we are in the middle of renovating this space into a more functional office for both my husband and I. (Progress so far…. we have purged, purged, purged and put up the wallpaper. We’re waiting for some cooler, less humid weather to start the painting.) Anyways, I’ve always wondered how this small room was originally used. I thought maybe it was a child’s bedroom or nursery. Well, yesterday Natalie from the wonderful blog Altruism in the Morning informed me that this tiny space was originally used as a fainting room.

Horst

During the Victorian era, women’s fashion relied heavily on the corset which constricted a woman’s internal organs and compressed her rib cage and lungs. This resulted in women fainting on a regular basis. A small room furnished with a daybed or chaise was where these women would go to rest during the day whenever they were feeling short of breath or light headed.

When I found this out I was actually a little disturbed. I hate to think that women suffered so much in the name of fashion. I mean, I have done my fair share of suffering for fashion (high heels come to mind) but I’ve never had to devote an entire room in our house to dealing with that suffering. It boggles my mind to think that actual square footage of our house was turned over to alleviate the effects of constricting fashion.

seenandsaid.tumblr

Having said that, I’m now thinking that I should take back this room as my very own! I could outfit it with a very nice daybed, a stack of books, some art....maybe a few plants and whenever I need a few minutes to compose myself or take a breath I could escape up to my very own fainting room. I’d have to rename it though…hmm what could I call it?

head over heels