Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Queen City Gems, Vol. 3: Hotel Vandivort Expansion

If you've been keeping track of my "Queen City Gems" posts or follow me on Instagram, you probably know by now that I'm a big fan of Hotel Vandivort in Springfield. And Hotel V is sending out good news today — something I'm thrilled about! They're expanding to create "The Vantage". It's another hotel with 48 additional rooms, 4,000 square feet of rooftop space (!!!), loads of outdoor seating and a four season conservatory style bar just adjacent to the original hotel.

They're anticipating to open in Spring of 2019, and I'm already planning my staycation. Eeee!

Monday, January 8, 2018

My 2018 Goals

Well, friends. The time has come to set our intentions, hopes, goals and dreams for 2018. Technically, I suppose the time has already come and gone, but the word I chose for 2018 was “grace”, so I’ll give ya some grace if you haven’t set any goals yet.

And if you’re sick of hearing about goals, don’t worry. January will be over soon, and then we can all resume watching Netflix for hours without feeling guilty about that gym membership we never used.

Alrighty, here are a few of my goals — some are my own, and some are ones Austin and I are working on together:

Establish a morning routine
When I first joined the full-time freelancer club, I envisioned a glorious morning routine. I’d wake up at the crack of dawn, of course, complete an hour of yoga, and then sing to myself as I made some very Instagram-worthy avocado toast. Every day. Before 7 a.m.

While the goal may have been a little unrealistic, it was certainly not my reality. So, this year, I’m interested in doing some work to uncover the best morning routine for my needs. I have a hunch avocado toast may still be part of the equation.

Host at least 4 get-togethers in my home
I fully believe an open door and a welcoming environment set the tone for some of our deepest connections. So, hosting more parties may seem like a trivial goal, but I really don’t think it is. When I look back on 2017 and some of my favorite moments, most of them were shared in community either in my own home or in a good friend’s home. I’m excited for even more of that in 2018.

Cook more healthy meals at home
This is one that Austin and I want to work on together. Cooking together is always more fun than cooking alone! For starters, we’re doing the A Beautiful Mess “Weekday Weekend” challenge, and I’m excited to keep working on these habits as the year continues.

Purge unwanted items
This one was on last year’s goal list, and yep, it’s back.

What do you think? What’s on your goal list for 2018?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Update: My 2017 Goals

Before moving on and sharing my 2018 goals with you, I decided I should take a look back at 2017 and see how I did with my aspirations. If you read this post last January, you saw that most of the goals I shared on my blog were a kind of everyday, lifestyle adjustment. Those are, in my opinion, simultaneously easier and harder than the biggie "quit my job" type of goals since our daily habits are so ingrained into who we are.

OK, so let's recap. Last year's goals:
- Host more people in my home
- Take a trip overseas (and travel more in general)
- Cut the clutter
- Write more (and read more), which had 3 subgoals: blog more than I did in 2016, continue writing for organizations I admire, send more handwritten letters.

Host more people in my home. Technically, this wasn't a very well-written goal because it wasn't measurable. However, I would say that I hosted more people in 2017 than I did in 2016, although I'm not positive because I didn't keep a captain's log of how many parties I had. 🙃

Take a trip overseas (and travel more in general). Yes, and times three! Austin and I were able to go to Iceland, Paris and Croatia for our honeymoon, and I'm so thankful for that experience. We both love to travel, so I have a feeling travel plans will make it into many of our goal lists for years to come. (P.S. The photo above is from the black sand beaches in Iceland!)

Cut the clutter. I'm giving myself a C- on this one because I did cut some clutter, but I still have my high school prom dress laying around somewhere. I'm still hoping to work on this area.

Write more (and
- Blog more than I did in 2016. Yes, BARELY. In 2016 I shared 26 blog posts, and I published 27 in 2017. Ha! But, to be fair to myself, I started blogging for some other companies this year, so I definitely did blog more... just not necessarily here.
- Continue writing for organizations I admire. Yep, and still wanting to do more of this. In 2017, I wrote a ton for Feast, a regional magazine that focuses on Midwest food culture. If you're a Springfield foodie friend (or just curious), you can check out my archives here.
- Send more handwritten letters. Do wedding invitations count? 🤗 Still want to work on this one!

I think it's important to evaluate the progress you've made and consider what goals you should keep trying to achieve before you wipe the slate clean and start over. And be fair to yourself when you don't achieve everything on your list! I didn't accomplish every single thing I intended to for 2017, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up on 2018.