Fresh Slate

I'm not one for formal resolutions, but I love the 'fresh slate' of a new year.  Not only has the calendar changed, but you're coming down from the busy holidays, and usually have time to sit down and really reflect about the previous year and what you want out of the year ahead.  It's the perfect time to think about what has worked, or not worked for you in the recent months and figure out how you can live happier and healthier in future months.  I'm not calling these resolutions, but I guess they can be taken that way.  Here are my plans for creating a better 2016: Schedule my life. 

This has been on my to do list for 6 months or more.  Literally.  I can show you the list on my iphone.  I am a person who thrives on routine, and that (aside from the people) is the only thing I miss from working a traditional 9to5.  When I'm in the midst of a flip, I can generally create some sense of routine, but now that I'm working with more design clients and my 'office' is about 10 paces from my bed, finding routine isn't as simple.  Therefore I need to make one, make it official in my Google calendar, and follow it.  Back with the 9to5, I would get up at 6:30 to eat breakfast before I needed to hop in the shower at 6:55.  If that timeline shifted, even by a minute, I would be in danger of missing my train to work (which I never did btw, but came dangerously close).  With no train to be missed and no boss who will give me the side eye if I walk in late... unless you count Daisy.... I need to put that pressure on myself.  I need to schedule time to work, time to blog, time to work out, time for social media, and give myself a beginning and end to my day.  It'll lead to less failed attempts at multitasking and more overall productivity.


Blog better.

This goes along with scheduling time to blog.  Up until now, I've always been an off-the-cuff blogger, sitting down to write a post a few hours before I plan to post it.  This needs to change a bit.  Now, don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean that I won't be sharing my projects in pretty real time, but it does me that I plan to not rush them.  If I can get myself plan ahead, I won't need to rush to photograph a project because I need something to post that day..... not that I would ever do that..............  By planning ahead, I'll have better content, better photography, and maybe even some back-up posts for when I just haven't finished that project in time.  Because photographing a project at 8am to post at 9am, maybe isn't ideal.  ALSO, and this is the most exciting part for me: sometime early spring, the blog will be getting a facelift in the form of a name change and rebranding.  It'll be a huge change for the better, but still change, and change is scary, so I wanted to give a heads up.  Knowing this change is coming is also a great motivator for me to make sure that my content will live up to a fancy new design.  I'm setting the bar higher for myself!

Be mindful.

This is super broad and a little bit woo woo, but I can't think of a better way to put it.  I need to turn off autopilot and just be in my life and aware.  I need to be mindful of what I eat.  Not diet- I don't believe in diets- but maybe sugar doesn't need to be one of my essential food groups.  Chocolate does.  But maybe there's some balance to be found.  I need to be mindful to not get so hyper-focused on the task at hand that I go extended periods of time without seeing friends.  I need to be mindful to finish one project before moving on to 3 more.  Be plugged in.  Whatever you want to call it, I plan on striving toward it.


So there you have it.  My personal plans for how I plan to rock out 2016.  How do you plan on making your new year shine?

Free Ways to Find Inspiration

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I am solar powered.  So when the days get shorter and colder, my natural inclination is to hibernate.  Hibernation is rarely a socially acceptable practice, so I generally force myself into finding inspiration and getting re-motivated in whatever ways I can. Here are some of my tried and true free ways to find inspiration:

  • Go window shopping.  No need to buy things- stores can often be chock full of creative inspiration.  Color combinations you may not have thought of, beautiful patterns to ogle at, and awesome pieces that you don't need but just appreciate their existence!  Pop into a big chain store or even your local antique shop.  If you're looking for inspiration, there's always something interesting to see.


  • Set a very specific goal and stick to it.  This works amazingly especially with larger projects and is a sure fire way to keep moving.  i.e. I need to have this room painted before family comes over for the holidays (even if no one will notice but you).  But Karen, how is that inspiration??  I don't know about you, but when I'm powering through a tedious task like painting a room or cleaning out the basement, that's when I get some of my best ideas.


  •  Change your scenery.  If you stare at the same computer, on the same desk, in the same chair, looking at the same wall day in day out, a change of scenery will do your brain good.  Take your work to a coffee shop or even to another room.  Don't have the luxury to move your work?  Step away and take a walk.  Changing your literal views will immediately cause a shift in your mindset.

Finding Inspiration: Change your scenery

  • While you're sitting in that coffee shop mentioned above (coffee optional since we're talking 'free' ways), why not meet up with a like-minded friend?  They'll understand your creative frustrations and road blocks, and may be able to share their own ideas and solutions.


  • Borrow a book from the library.  Remember that place your mom took you to when you were little before you had the world of knowledge at your fingertips via smartphone 24/7?  It's still there and it's waiting for you!  Guess what- in addition to any physical book you could probably ever want, your local library most likely even has an e-catalog where you can borrow books for your e-reader and audiobooks that download right to your phone.  Get motivated, learn a new skill, or simply escape into a fantasy world.  My latest audiobook download?  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I'm ready for some inspiration!

Finding Inspiration: Read a book (Big Magic)

  • Listen to a podcast.  Need some recommendations?  Check out my podcast listing list from last week.  There's bound to be a podcast out there that will inspire you!


  • Turn up the radio and DANCE!  Act like a dork.  Who cares if the cat thinks you've lost it.  Kick up your heels, let loose, and have fun!  It may not immediately provide you with an influx of inspiration, but you'll be happier.  When you're happier, you're in a better mindset.  When you're in a better mindset, you're more open to inspiration.  BAM, problem solved!

Finding Inspiration: Put on your dancing shoes

via giphy


How do you find inspiration when you're in a rut?

Vintage Kitchen Planning

Ah, kitchens on the brain. When renovating an old house, there's a delicate balance of creating a nice new functional modern kitchen but still having it fit in with the rest of the historic house. Between Millie's kitchen and a friend's very old/new-to-her kitchen in need of renovations my head is deep in vintage kitchen land. How amazing would it be to live with one of these gorgeous vintage-inspired kitchens??




sources: Martha Stewart, Old House Online, Jeanne Rapone via Decorpad

I put together these quick sketches to show my friend my recommendations for her limited space.



Fingers crossed that Home Depot has pieces that fit in this puzzle.  That's always the challenge when doing a kitchen on a budget.  In a perfect world it would be all custom all the time!

Flip, wise, my thoughts have finally graduated from obsessing about Millie's bathrooms to the kitchen. As soon as I ripped out the remaining lowers last week I got to obsessing thinking.


For one, the plumbing is surprisingly centered under the window unlike the sink that I removed.  They had squished the sink to the side to allow for the dishwasher to sit adjacent, but I'm going to be a rebel and NOT have the dishwasher in the most physically convenient location.  I'd rather the kitchen look intentional than like the pieces didn't fit so you had to squeeze things in.  An extra step to the dishwasher is worth a kitchen that doesn't look accidental in my humble opinion.


Unlike my previous 3 houses, the probable buyers of Millie aren't going to be first time home buyers.  This means they'll be looking for something a bit higher end, and while I'll still most likely use IKEA cabinets, this is the time to step up from the base IKEA products.  If the budget allows, I'll be going for an integrated dishwasher and farmhouse sink.

millie kitchen ikea

With gray cabinets for the new, I plan to paint the original tall and upper cabinets a soft white for contrast.  Mix that in with the counter-to-ceiling backsplash of this gorg beaut


Throw in a bit more contrast with a black granite counter and some natural wood open shelves and doesn't that sound like a dreamy vintage-inspired kitchen??

I'm causing a little bit of controversy here in the Goodman household with wanting to put a farmhouse sink here.  Someone, not to name names *coughHubbycough* is not a fan of any farmhouse sink.  Personally I think the farmhouse sink fits in swimmingly in this bungalow kitchen and I honestly can't picture it without it!

What's your favorite vintage kitchen feature?