Beautify 2018 – Time for those resolutions

Good morning,

another year is in front of us – so pure, so innocent, so promising. All the possibilities, all the wonders, all the adventures. A blank slate. What will it be? I have a few ideas…

new years resolutions 2018_

But as always I like to check in and see how my resolutions turned out from 2017. You might remember that I had a word “become” and oriented my goals on that and only took a different approach for personal and business.

The more personal focused one was to “become more lighthearted” and was a bit tougher to achieve for me. I only went to the spa twice, I didn’t meet my friends as often as I’d liked and didn’t manage to write cards as I used back in 2014. One goal I didn’t tackle is my craft lab aka home office. But overall most of the times I felt more lightsome and lighthearted than in the past years. So think I can say this part of the word served me well.

As for the career part it was “become venturous”. And boy did this one fly. I started freelancing in March and business picked up really fast. I didn’t get to have a slow month to set up slowly and get settled in. I took a project across country and travel back and forth. So I say I am way out of my comfort zone here. And it feels good. I could not have though for a better word. My Dawanda shop and this blog fell a bit short though. However I managed to finish my photo class and ended that one with my first exhibition.

This was my strongest word yet and it served me very well. I had a really hard time finding a word for 2018 even though I started really early on Susannah’s email course and pondered all contenders for a day. And then it just snug up on me when I had my coffee: BEAUTIFY. I want to spread beauty through acting kind and giving back to the people who have supported me in the last years. The years that were not easy for me and that were a struggle. I want to make life, my relationships and my new business beautiful.

I came up with some tackle-able goals to achieve that.

1. Beautify Relationships

  • listening first and more before trying to say something
  • meet some friends I haven’t seen for so long
  • write a birthday card to every person
  • take some time to comment on blogs every week

2. Beautify Life

  • have a real vacation with hubby
  • laugh more and continue to be lighthearted
  • look for daily beauty – I am going to continue the gratitude journal and I am thinking about another 100dayproject probably some image or sketch related one
  • continue to create and learn and be amazed

3. Beautify Home

  • transform the craft lab into a working space and not a weird undefined in-between dwelling
  • declutter more more more, maybe do one of those 30 day declutter challenges?! Any suggestions?
  • make some apartment updates (new bed, some changes in the living room), etc.

4. Beautify Me

  • include more nature and outdoor activities and move more e.g. increase steps
  • treat myself to a spa day quarterly
  • reminding myself that beauty comes from within and that anger and negativity shows
  • living healthier

I am sure I will find many more small tasks & goals to fit under the big topics. And I like that because it makes it so approachable. And easier to actually get one step closer to the main goal. Maybe I check in with a monthly update once in a while because that really helped back in 2015.

But now lets get 2018 started – to a year of to BEAUTIFY!

Cheers,

Tobia

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My 2017: Five years of blogging

You are probably all busy with New Years Eve preparations and no one has time reading along. That is ok. This post is probably more to my entertainment than yours. But I don’t like to break the chain and so here is my recap of blogging for year five! And if you find this interesting I am happy (and if being a numbers nerd read about 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

For me year five is a big achievement on this blog. It has never been a source of income or has never been stated to be that one day. I always set out to blog to be more creative and engage with people in the internet. Did I achieve those things in 2017… maybe parts.

creative blog growing

My biggest blogging achievement this year is no doubt my participation on NaBloPoMo and therefore my blogposts have almost doubled this year to a total of 48. Besides November (obviously) January was my strongest blogging month. My favorite article this year was my tribute to my grandparents while you loved this DIY one the most. The most comments got this post though. And your over all all-time favorite are moodboards, wreath ideas and cake pops.

Thank you for everyone stopping by and leaving a comment. I know we are all busy and coming to a blog and then writing something is taking a special effort. Special thanks to my most active commentators San and Rea. I made a conscious effort to leave three comments a day but after the first 5 months was a bit too busy to catch up on all my reading.

I have been hanging around a lot on Instagram (202) lately and also started a mere photography account (62), Pinterest (371) is always a nice way to spend some extra minutes hours so make sure to say hi. And is there anyone on Twitter (237) still? I used to love it so much but nothing happens there anymore… I switch my feedreader from bloglovin (43) to Feedly (10) and was wondering how do you read your blogs?

As a frequent reader you might know I am not to fond of this last day of the year and the ongoing celebrations that have more and more war zones resemblance than cozy fireworks. So I will hide in my nook and write up some resolutions for 2018. Stop by tomorrow to read my annual post.

Happy last day of 2017,

Tobia

Collection of Wall Calendar 2018 {Freebies}

In recent years I have come to appreciate having an analoge calendar hanging above my desk again. Sometimes it is just necessary to have a quick glance at what date the next Friday will have or how many weeks there are until June. Don’t you think?

A couple years ago I won a Annette’s calendar. Last year I found one on the inter webs. This year I was looking for another inspiring one and figured why not share a few of the calendar 2018 freebies I came across (just click the headline for the downloads).

Typography calendar by fialottajansson.com

I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with Sofia and it was so fun. This year she is giving away her typography calendar for free and only asks for a donation for the red cross. I really like that – the calendar and the concept. And when you print it you learn a tiny bit of Swedish throughout the year.

#Letteringkalender2018 Varsågod att ladda ner den gratis detta år! ❤️ Och istället för att betala mig hoppas jag att du kan tänka dig ge en peng till #RödaKorsets insamling för människor på flykt! Via länken i min profil @fialottajanssondesign eller på www.fialottajansson.com/shop-1 hittar du både nedladdningslänk och länk till min insamling på Röda Korset. Jag hoppas vi kunde få ihop 2000kr för att hjälpa andra som fått lämna allt och inget har! Kalendern är enkel med enbart datum och veckonummer. Rutorna är så stora att du kan få rum med både viktigheter, vardagsprogram och festligheter. Slit kalenderns med hälsan, endera själv eller ge bort den som julgåva. Ge en inbetalning + utprintad kalender åt den som redan har allt! 😊👍🏻❤️ Tips: skriv ut på ett lite finare papper. Paketera i ett snyggt eller enkelt kuvert i A4-storlek. Lägg med pappersklämmor så de kan hängas på väggen. Har du klämmor med magnet blir det perfekt att hänga på kylskåpet! #kalender #calendar #2018 #livet #life #almanacka #lettering #handlettering #freedownload #give #gratisnedladdning #gratis #praktiskjulklapp #donate #ge #julklapp #julgåva #hjälp #help #julfrid #free #åretsjulklapp #julklapptilldensomharallt #bokstavsillustratör #letteringdesigner #sofiebjörkgrennäse #fialottajanssondesign

A post shared by Fia Lotta Jansson Design (@fialottajanssondesign) on

Minimalistic calendar by filizity.com

Filiz shares a new calendar every year. This years version is a minimalistic one.

 

Botanical calendar by fabulesslife.com

Jenn actually shares three calendars: one blank one where you can draw something yourself or leave it very minimalistic, one is a botanical print calendar and one is watercolor flower calendar. I might use the blank one and draw something.

Blotchy calendar by paulsvera.com

Here is another cute calendar. I love the blotches all over. Looks cute and messy but oh so sophisticated… If it is too much there is a minimalistic version too.

Puh, es war nicht immer einfach aber es ist geschafft 😊 Mein Kalender 2016 Freebie ging heute online (und kurz wieder offline weil ich noch einen Fehler gefunden hab 🙈) Jetzt muss ich mich auf meinen morgigen Workshop vorbereiten – da kam heute ganz spontan was rein geflattert – ich werde euch morgen Abend mehr berichten 🙋💕 schreibt ihr auch noch in Kalender oder verlasst ihr euch lieber auf die Technik @julesmoody @vergissmein.nicht.de @mohntage_blog ? ____________________________________ #Kalender2017 #printables #grafikdesign #sprenkel #interior123 ##MadetoCreate #craftsposure #abmcrafty #creativelifehappylife #creativityfound #makersmovement #makersgonnamake #diyblogger #lifestyleblog #blogger_de #germanblogger #pursuepretty

A post shared by Vera | DIY & Living Blogger (@paulsvera) on

Watercolor calendar with quotes by colorfuldisaster.com

I came across this fun watercolor calendar and while I do not speak Spanish the blog seems fun. And the quotes are in English.

Monthly Printable Calendar 2018

Colorful calendar by notiezblock

This is a very colorful calendar and while it will not be hanging in my office I still think it is cute and wanted to share with you.

Free Calendar Printable for 2018 – Wonderful Illustrations by Notietzblock

Ohh so many out there. Do you have a favorite one? Lets see it. I haven’t printed one yet but I will before the year is over.

Happy calendar hunting,

Tobia

P.S. If you are looking for more calendars Claudia’s collection (in German) might be of interest to you!

Christmas tree decorating habits

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Lot’s of people have there Christmas tree already put up. In Germany maybe not als long as in the US. In my family the tree was brought to the house late on the 23rd or in the morning of Christmas Eve. For us it has always been a real tree. And those need to unfold a bit before being decorated.

When I grew up my mom used to decorate the tree. Usually after she was done with preparations in the kitchen and when my dad took over to prepare his part of the Christmas dinner. (but that is a story for another day.) We children didn’t get to see the tree until Christmas Eve after church. What was usually early evening.

Our tree was rather traditional with some silver balls, wooden toys, straw stars and some chocolate rings with sprinkles (who knows which ones I mean?!). Also there were some more wrapped chocolate figurines. And we had real candles. We had the tradition of undecorating the tree after New Years when we were allowed to pick one of the candies daily from the tree.

I do not know how long this practices lasted. There was a year when I had an idea for a different decorated tree and suggested it to my mom. That was the year when tradition changed and my mom and I started to decorate it together. The “new” tree was decorated mainly by natural things: dried fruits, pinecones, nuts, cinnamon sticks, star anise and such. What we kept was the real candles. Instead of the Christmas balls we used apples. My parents still do that and when I spent Christmas with them, that is the tree I am seeing. And often it is still my “chore” to decorate.

natural christmas treeTo be honest I can hardly remember the first version of the tree and I doubt my little sister knows we once had a different tree.

As you can see the concept of changing up the Christmas decoration yearly as some people do is rather foreign to me – not that I don’t admire that.

So it comes to no surprise that in my own home and with my own tree I also follow the same theme year in and year out. My tree now is always silver and white. Over all it is a rather simple version of a tree. It all starts with white and silver balls. (We received those as a wedding gift by my aunt to be always reminded of snow. I thought that was one great gift.) And then I add my real candles. I have never had a tree with electric lights and wouldn’t even know how to get them on there. In the first years I created one new ornament every year and added them to the tree. I am now at a point were I do have enough and can’t hang all. I do collect some cute little ornaments like my silver bells or my little pottery trees.

white silver christmas treeSince we are usually spending Christmas Eve and Christmas with family I decorated my tree on the 23rd. But I will not light candles before Christmas. It just doesn’t feel right.

I usually take down the tree around January 6th. Often I am a bit lazy though. Because one disadvantage of using real candles is that it will make a huge mess. I have to clean all my glass balls and the candle holders and often the floor. It’s not done in an hour. But it is worth all the trouble to me.

The whole tree decorating business is quite different with everyone. I know a lot of people who do it like I have done all my life and the tree is only being put up Christmas Eve. But I feel like in recent years the trees are being decorated earlier and earlier. Some beginning of Advent some when ever it suits.

I got a real cultural shock when I spent my year in the U.S. and was rather perplex when right after Thanksgiving Dinner a big box was open, a fake Christmas tree unfolded and ornaments put up. It was so weird seeing the tree 5 weeks leading to Christmas. What I really enjoyed though was all the presents being collected underneaths. I liked that tradition a lot and adopted that. What really blew my mind though was when Christmas Day right after everyone open the presents the big box was put out again and the tree put back in the attic. I was really dumbfounded with that. For me Christmas was just beginning and here my host family was done with it. If someone asks me I often say that I didn’t really had a Christmas in 1999.

It is so interesting how everyone is having so different traditions and rituals. So if you have a few minutes to spare please let me know how your tree looks like and when you are putting it up.

Wishing you a wonderful Merry Christmas and the best of times with all your loved ones,

Tobia

And this was November

Wow… November is gone. NaBloPoMo is over and I blogged everyday until last night. That’s when real life finally caught up with me. Long work hours, some personal stuff and after sitting 30 minutes in front of a blank screen I just decided why force it. I don’t have to prove anything. Just writing 29 days in a row is such an achievement that there is nothing to be ashamed of to finish off a day early.

morning thoughts bed

Look at all the posts I wrote:

#1: Trying something New – NaBloPoMo
#2: Snack Time – The Egg Sandwich or Eierbrötchen
#3: Park Life #11 – 2017 Photo Project
#4: Instagram Accounts I Like Scrolling
#5: Weekend in Lviv, Ukraine
#6: Kale Pie – Because Pie is always a good idea
#7: Blend in Wrapping Paper Storage – Tutorial
#8: My 10 Most Beloved Blog Posts
#9: Morning Thoughts
#10: 10 Things you don’t know about me – Part III
#11: My Favorite Books 2017 – Part I
#12: Creative Weekend :: 12 von 12
#13: Empty Mind going Crazy
#14: Homemade vegan bath bombs – Tutorial
#15: My Favorite Podcast to Listen To
#16: Apple Yogurt Cake with Maple Butter Glaze
#17: My Favorite Books 2017 – Part II
#18: Wochen(Glück)Rückblick :: My Happiness Review #25
#19: Pine Needle Advent Wreath 2017 – Tutorial
#20: One of those days…
#21: Little Beech Nut Bells in Red and White – Tutorial
#22: Sleep Envy – Sleep Habits and such
#23: Best Traditions I grew up with
#24: Every day Life on a random day in 2017
#25: Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts
#26: Things I learnt from Grandparents
#27: Winter Bucket List 2017
#28: Fruit Warm Breakfast Oats – 6 variations

There were days I found it difficult to write specially when it was late. But only because all the post I had planned or in my mind were requiring a bit more time or some photos I didn’t yet have and light was gone. So I have a long list of posts I wanted to share that didn’t see daylight yet. But I will share them eventually. The Egg Sandwich post was an idea from 2 or 3 years ago…

Would I do it again. I wouldn’t say no to it. It was fun. But it is time consuming and I also have to admit that my plate was/is a bit too full currently. So I am glad that I can take a breath and don’t need to show up here daily. But maybe I will. Definitely more often. *fingerscrossed*

For now I will enjoy my couch and relax a bit.

Happy evening,

Tobia