How to Set New Year’s Resolutions You Will Keep


Everyone makes them, but most people don’t keep them. Am I right or am I right? ‘But this time will be different’, we often tell ourselves, but we rarely make any changes to our approach, that will ensure success. (I am speaking from experience here–I am with you, people).

I am here to offer some very simple (and executable) tools, to help you achieve whatever New Years goals you set for yourselves.


Let’s stop calling them resolutions, and start calling them goals. Isn’t that what they really are? To me, ‘resolution’ reminds me of another dirty, four-letter word–diet. It almost always promises a starting point and a failure point. Goals give us something to work toward. Resolutions feel like we are swearing off something, which feels a bit harsh, (to me), and leaves little wiggle-room for human error. So set your New Year’s Goals, this year.



Set a plan of attack. It is easy to write (or type) things like ‘lose weight’, ‘quit smoking’, ‘travel more’, ‘stop gossiping’, ‘less phone time’, etc. It actually feels pretty good to write these types of intentions down, because it restores a bit of hope that we can achieve our goals. The problem is, how. Let’s take our New Year’s goals to the next level this year, and devise plans of attack. So for example:

Lose weight: follow a meal plan, exercise at least 4 x a week, renew gym membership, eat 6 small meals a day.

Now you have created a bit of insurance for your goal. Be as elaborate as you need, or don’t need.

food phone travel


Keep your goals somewhere visible. There are so many ways to do this. You could get crafty and create a vision board, or do something as simple as putting your New Year’s goals in the notes section of your phone. There isn’t one right way to do this, but it helps to have some sort of visual reminder.

iphone notes


Find other people with common goals and be accountable to each other. Ok, so this is something I know for sure, and have experienced first-hand, having accountabilli-buddies is priceless. Seriously. There is something completely magical about relating to others. If you don’t have anyone who is on the same goal-path as you, I guarantee you can find support groups on Facebook, or other forms of social media. Personally, I don’t like competition groups, because I lose site of why I started, but for some competition is a great motivator. Really though, there is something for everyone; so whatever fills your twinkie!, (as I like to say).


Expect some bumps in the road. If your goals were easy, they wouldn’t be goals, right? They would be already-been-dones. There are so many ways you can prepare for the bumps in the road. You can create little motivational signs and place them around your home or work space. You can set little reminders in your phone, (I have a pray-alarm that goes off in my phone everyday at noon–my friends can attest to this. Not because I am super religious, but because it reminds me to pause.) And here is a phrase that really helps me; “you can start your day over at any time”. What this means to me is, if I screw up (which I inevitably will at some point), the entire day is not ruined. I can start my day over from that point.



Be kind to yourself–reward yourself! Let’s say your goal is to quit smoking. Set up a reward system for yourself. Maybe it looks something like this:

Smoke-free one week: coffee date with myself

Smoke-free one month: mani & pedi

Smoke-free two months: massage

Smoke-free three months: new shoes

It can be anything you want. It doesn’t even have to be things that cost money, just things or experiences that make you feel good.



Be (almost) realistic. What I mean by this is, everything and anything is possible, if you set yourself up for success. So be realistic about your goals, but don’t let self-doubt limit you. Does this make sense? Let’s take the ‘stop gossiping’ example:

Realistic: Don’t gossip about others’ business; if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.

Unrealistic: Never have another negative thought about anyone else, ever again.

See what I am getting at here? Although I have to say, (in regards to this example), the more you practice the former, the more the latter is possible.



Last, but not least, try to keep your goals in the positive tense instead of the negative. Example:

Stop gossiping (becomes), Speak well of others, and mind my business.

Less phone time (becomes), Be present, spend more actual time with loved ones.

And so on. Positive affirmations tend to be much more powerful than negative ones.

At the end of the day, you are a human being doing the best you can. Also, you can.

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, prosperous, successful, beautiful, memorable, joyous and F U N New Year!!!

xo, Em


*** Stock photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Day 8: Raw Wreath Dream Catcher

raw wreath dream catcher diy

This craft came to be as an inspiration from an Instagram post by JL Desgins. I actually found the post through Wolf Camp Studios, of Costa Mesa, Ca, when they were having their Handcrafted Holiday Pop-up shop. I saw the wreath below going for $65. I wanted that wreath, but I had 2 problems: a.) I couldn’t make it to Costa Mesa that weekend, and b.) I didn’t have an extra $65 to spend on Holiday deco, (we run our ship on a budget!)

JL Designs

I already had all the crafts I would need to recreate my version and vision of this, (minus the raw wreath). I made a little trippy-poo to Hobby Lobby, snagged one for around $5 and the rest is history.

I am in love with the finished project–like, really in love. Here is my step-by-step how-to in photos, (of course incorporating my crafting motto – ‘use what you have’.)

raw wreath dream catcher

Raw wreath

raw wreath dream catcher

Feather tags I had, purchased from the $1 spot at Target


Lace twine back and forth (creating a star-like pattern), on the back side of your wreath.

Lace twine back and forth (creating a star-like pattern), on the back side of your wreath.


Beads I had in my craft supplies.

Beads I had in my craft supplies.


Tie feathers and twine to the bottom and back side of your wreath, adding beads as desired.

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‘Borrow’ some greenery from a tree or garland, (real or fake).


Decorate the outer part of your wreath by tucking it under the little branches.

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Hang wreath dream catcher

Hang wreath dream catcher

What I love about this DIY, is that you can hang it all year around (just remove the greenery after the holidays.) I would love your feedback on this one! Please comment below, if you so desire. xo, Em

Day 7: Holiday Wall Art {Fail and Fixes}

DAY 7_(1)

Greetings, Blogosphere!

Today is DIY Day 7, which officially puts us over the halfway mark of this 12 day challenge. If I am being 100% honest, (which I am), then you should know I hesitated to post this craft. It did not turn out how I envisioned it, and after the fact I realized a better way to do the project. You know what they say about hindsight..

When I started this blog, I did so under the guise of being relate-able to the ‘everyday mom’. Everyday moms sometimes have fails. I wouldn’t call this project a total fail, but let’s be honest, it’s not my favorite. (That is what Ayden says when she doesn’t like something).

I am going to post my how-to for this project, and at the bottom I will post the fixes to my perceived glitches. Thanks for hanging in this thing with me, and loving me despite my imperfect DIYs. (:

(Sparkly) Holiday Wall Art DIY


  • Canvas
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Masking Tape
  • Glitter scrapbook paper
  • Glue
  • Black Paint
  • Gold or Silver Paint

Step 1:

Measure equal stripes on to your canvas using your ruler and pencil.

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Step 2:

Mask off your stripes, (masking inside the white stripe, so you can paint the black stripe.) And paint.

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Step 3:

While paint is drying draw & cut out your desired shape on the back of the craft paper, (I chose a snowflake because it is pretty neutral. I had to really fight the urge to make another ‘taxidermy’ head.)

6 and 7 005 6 and 7 007

Step 4:

Remove masking tape once paint has dried, apply glue to cut out, and adhere it to canvas. (Note: the picture does not have to be dead-center, try placing it off-center for a more original look.)

***This is where my problems began. I am pretty sure the paint wasn’t fully dry when I removed the tape. Either that, or the paint just bled. I did not get the clean, straight stripe I was hoping for.)

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Step 5:

Add ‘snow’ with gold or silver paint and allow to dry.

This is my finished project. It isn't quite as I imagined or planned it. See below for suggested 'fixes' to this DIY.

This is my finished project. It isn’t quite as I imagined or planned it. See below for suggested ‘fixes’ to this DIY.


  • Paint upward of the masking tape seam.
  • Allow paint to fully dry over several hours.
  • Instead of scrap book paper, use Elmer’s glue directly on the canvas to draw your desired shape, then cover with loose glitter and allow it to dry. (I believe this will give a cleaner look to the project).
  • Add a splash of color, (like mustard or red, or both) to add a little contrast.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself!

xo, Em

Day 6: Vision Board

Day 6_ Vision Board(1)

Todays DIY is all about manifestation of the things you want in your life, co-creating, inspiring yourself and cutting cool things out of magazines. With the new year upon us, most of us start to mull over potential New Year Resolutions. Creating a vision board is a great way to keep yourself motivated throughout the year, reminding you of your goals, ideals and aspirations. This is true especially if you keep your vision board somewhere you will see it everyday, (think bedroom, closet or bathroom).

If you know anything about or believe in the law of attraction, then you know visualizing is a powerful tool. If that’s a little too out there for you, (or as my friend calls it, too ‘woo woo’), then it can be just for fun. It should be a fun project either way. There are no rules or limits to what you can include on your vision board.

Here are some ideas of things to look for when you’re flipping through your magazines:

  • uplifting words
  • inspiring photos
  • objects you hope to attain; homes, cars, clothing, etc
  • people that inspire you
  • anything that catches your eye, or makes you smile
  • Memorable quotes


  • Canvas / cardboard / poster-board (I used a 8×11 canvas)
  • Magazines that you are ok with destroying
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Any other craft supplies you want to include (I used gold, sequin craft paper to fill in spaces).
  • Matthew McConaughey, (just kidding–sort of).



This is just one example of a vision board. I will probably make another bigger one for 2015, or a more picture-heavy board. Again, there are no rules. This is meant to be an uplifting experience. This also does not have to be a masterpiece work of art, (obviously). If you create a vision board, I would love to see it, so please tag me!

xo, Em

Mermade Market

mermadem We interrupt this DIY challenge to bring you an important word from our sponsors! OK, not really our–my sponsors, but I did want to write a post about an amazing event going on today and tomorrow. By now you should know that I love handmade, hand-crafted goods made by small business folk. I also love supporting other mamas. And perhaps even most, I love a good deal / sale / bargain / discount. (#frugalnotcheap) So what happens when you marry these three loves of mine? Mermade Market happens. And what’s even better is that it is in my own backyard, almost literally.

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Let’s start with the basics: Who: Fabulous Mompreneur Elise Capener, owns and operates this fantastic pop-up market, which hosts dozens of vendors at each of her events. Elise is a gorgeous mama to two adorable boys, devoted wife to her handsome hubby, film photographer, maker of beautiful things and all-around rad lady.


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What: What is the Mermade Market, you ask? It is a seasonal bazaar, filled with beautiful, handmade goods. Many (if not most) of these shops are owned by other mamas. You can find original gifts, beautiful home decor, on-trend baby and kids clothing and much, much more. It is also a bit of a social event, so come prepared to laugh and gab.

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Where: This is my favorite part–Mermade Market is located in beautiful Dana Point, Ca. It is a walk down the street for me, which is über convenient for me. If you do not live walking distance, it is worth the drive. Make a day of it, and spend the day or morning in Dana Point–there is tons to see and do.

Dana Point Community House

24642 San Juan Ave

Dana Point, Ca 92629



Now! Official Dates and times:

December 11 – December 13

Friday hours: 10am – 6pm

Saturday hours: 9am – 4pm


Because you love unique, beautiful things and good company! Plus, you know you are not quite done with your holiday shopping. Find the perfect gift, stocking-stuffer or treat for yourself. Support local makers and meet some fabulous new friends. Plus Elise is running some fun giveaways, so be sure to follow @mermademarket on Instagram and Facebook.

xo, Em

Day 5 – Faux Taxidermy Ornaments

faux taxidermy ornament

Today’s DIY, I am proud to say, was my own idea. Thanks to The Shabby Creek Cottage blog, I found these amazing deer head–or moose head (there is a current debate over this), ornaments at Big Lots. All on their own, they are pretty epic, but then I had the idea to mount them.

I found mini wood slices and mini eyelets (to make them in to ornaments), on Then I ordered red and white baker’s twine from Pick Your Plum, during their killer Black Friday sale. The end result was magic, and I gifted them to my girlfriends at a girls-night holiday gathering I threw last night. Here’s the how-to:


Sparkly deer/moose head ornaments

Mini eyelets

Mini 3″-4″ wood slices

Red and white baker’s twine

Hot glue

**Before you begin, you will need to wipe off the wood slices as they will have wood dust and possibly some dirt on them. You will also need to cut the ornament string from the deer/moose heads.

1. Twist eyelets in to wood slices

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The eyelets have a pointed end, and are relatively easy to screw in to the wood slices. Tip: Hold your slice from different edges, to find the best spot for the top.

2. Hot glue heads to wood

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Glue the heads to the center of the wood slice, with the eyelet centered at the top. Allow to completely dry. Tip: Apply glue to head, rather than the wood.

3. Personalize the wood slice

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I kept mine simple, and just put the year, but you could write or draw anything you like to personalize each ornament.

4. String ’em

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String the baker’s twine through the eyelet, and tie the ends in a double knot. (You can also tie ends in to a bow if you prefer.) Tip: cut twine at angle, and it will feed through the eyelet easier.

5. Use the extra


I have a confession. Originally I bought two boxes of these amazing deer/moose heads. When I purchased them, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them yet. When it occurred to me that I could make these fab faux taxidermy ornaments, I went back to Big Lots to buy up the rest. But to my dismay, they were all gone. Sadness. I had a bunch of extra wood slices, so I slapped some chalkboard paint on them, and made customized ornaments with chalkboard pen. I think these guys are pretty cute too.


Another confession: I kept one for myself. (:

My friend Jessie showing off her goodies.

My friend Jessie showing off her goodies.

xo, Em

Day 4 – Yarn Tapestry Installment (Land of Nod Hack)


I hope everyone had a fab weekend! I am kind of in love with this DIY, and I hope you will be too. 

I found my inspiration for this piece in my Instagram feed, (where else). The Land of Nod posted a photo of this yarn installation, created by their Interior Design Manager, Sara. It was based off of a tutorial by Jeran of @oleanderandpalm. I probably should have watched the tutorial, but I didn’t realize there was one. Ha (true story). I took a screen-shot of the post 2 weeks ago, and just knew I had to give it a go for my 12 Days of DIY challenge. And boy am I glad I did! 

The photo that started it all

The photo that started it all

Here is my step-by-step guide of how I recreated this yarn tapestry installment:


  • Yarn
  • wooden dowel
  • gold leaf paint
  • small, soft bristle paint brush

** I got my yarn, dowels and gold leaf paint from Hobby Lobby

1. Pick your colors

I drew inspiration from the Land of Nod post. I have been wanting to introduce brighter colors in to my living room. I knew I wanted my blue to be in the aqua/turquoise family. I love the brightness and richness of fuchsia/magenta, and I’ve also been looking for ways to add this color to this room. I chose the mustard color, because I love how it looks against both of these colors, and voila! I had my color pallet selected.

Nod 016 Nod 017

2. Measure your sections

Depending on the design you choose, measure out the sections in to equal parts (for each color). Factor in the ends.

3. Start tying and cutting

Starting with the aqua yarn, tie each strand to the dowel, directly from the spool of yarn. Cut each piece as you go, leaving extra room for shaping at the end. Make sure to tie the pieces as close together as possible, and in tight, double-knots.

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4. Cut the fray

Pull all of the loose tied ends to the back of the tapestry, so they are all lined up in a row. Then snip them down. Make sure to use good scissors, (I used or kitchen scissors that came with or Henckel knives).


5. Cut to shape

Originally I thought I would make my husband hold the tapestry whilst I cut the edges to shape, (he is 6’3″). Instead though, I used a small curtain rod holder that we have by our front door as my holder, (a much better idea). Then I started cutting.

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6. Paint dowel

I decided I wanted gold-dipped ends on my tapestry, because let’s be honest, gold-dipped anything is pretty fabulous. Enter gold leaf paint, my newest obsession in life.

$4.99 at Hobby Lobby

$4.99 at Hobby Lobby

I then painted each end with the gold leaf paint.


7. Tie and hang

I used twine to hang my tapestry, but you could use clear fishing line, or even a piece of yarn. Tie at each end, and hang from a nail or hook in the wall.

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8. Clean it up

Once the yarn installation is hung, you can clean up the edges with your scissors, and you’re done!


**If you like my DIY’s, please share them with a friend! (Sharing buttons are below)

xo, Emily