New Year, New Goals {2014}

2014

In the past we’ve always posted our goals separately.  Men and women are truly different beasts and as such, our goals typically differ.  This year we’ve made a joint decision to build new habits in order to make our home a more successful place to love and live.

2013 was tough.  We were away from home far too much {for this introvert’s taste}, we ate out far too much, and our home was far too messy.  We both coach during the fall {Varsity Football Cheerleading for me & middle school wrestling for Josh}, and our home just sort of spiraled out of control when the two seasons overlapped.  Laundry was done on an as-needed basis, deep-cleaning never happened, and clutter piled up at an astonishing rate.  Coaching isn’t going away and neither is our busy schedule {or the traveling}, so last night the Captain and I sat down and listed our daily, weekly, and monthly goals to keep our home running in ship-shape {his words, not mine}.

Building good habits takes time and we’ve reached the point where we’re ready to make a commitment to change.  We’re implementing a 52-week organizational challenge, keeping each other accountable to our daily, weekly, and monthly goals, and making a commitment to making us better.

Here are a few of our weekly goals:

  • Wipe down the counters each evening.
  • Put away random clutter each day.
  • Cook dinner each evening.
  • Prepare lunches the night before each workday.
  • Stick to a consistent laundry schedule {wash, dry, fold, and put away clothes each Wednesday & Saturday}.
  • Follow the chore chart.

Here are a few tools I’m using to keep me organized:

The Simplified Recipe binder {on sale for $18, buy here}.  My MIL gifted me this binder along with the organizer sheets for Christmas.  I’ve already started filling it with menu ideas, shopping lists, and old family recipes.  Everything that has to do with food is in one place and as an added bonus, everything is pretty.

The Simplified Life Binder {starter kit, $54binder, $24}.  I love this product because it’s easily personalized to tailor-fit your needs.  I’d recommend buying the binder separately and purchasing the refill packs that suit your needs.  I love these dividers, the t0-do sheet lists, these goal-planning sheets, and these monthly/weekly calendar sheets.  You can also access tons of free printables for Emily Ley here.

The best part about blogging is the accountability we’re burdened with.  When we talk about a goal or plan, we feel extra pressure to succeed.  In addition, when we fail, we strive for transparency by being honest about it.  In an effort to stick to our 52-week organizational challenge, we’ll be updating you each week via our Instagram accounts.  Just check for the hashtag #52Callicutt to see our progress.  In addition, we’ll continue talking more about our daily, weekly, and monthly goals and how we’re planning to build better habits.  In the end, our ultimate goal is grace, not perfection.

What about you?  What are your goals for 2014?  Are you losing weight?  Hitting the gym?  Let us know in the comments section!

Happy New Year!

XOXO,

Court

 

Style, 2014

I should preface this entire post by saying that I’m not particularly stylish.  Any color, style, or pizazz is injected by my incredibly put-together mother.  Left to my own devices, I’m an all black everything kind of girl.  2014 is going to be the year of staple pieces for me…a good black pump, a great trench coat, perhaps some diamond studs {hint, hint Captain!}.  Building a wardrobe that will past the test of time means making investments that continue paying out over the years.  Here are a few of my picks…

1.  A great pair of black cigarette pants {to make you feel like this}.

2.  A classic trench coat {to make you feel like this}.

3.  A well-tailored black dress for work or play {to obviously make you feel like this}.

4.  A great red lipstick {for the ups and downs of life}.

5.  Simple diamond studs {and hopefully George Peppard will buy them for you!}

XOXO,

Court

P.S.  Some runners up…

Great multipurpose bag…

The perfect bra…

Great slouchy t-shirts…

10 Books That Changed My Life

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1.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

When I First Read It:  Fourth Grade {no kidding}

Why I Love It:  I can be just as cold and calculating and manipulative as Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Thankfully, I have a one thousand page manifesto on how to get stuff done without throwing away happiness with both hands.  Plus, Rhett Butler is my spirit animal.

How It Changed My Life:  Scarlett had everything and she gave it up for a washed-up, weak excuse for a man.  From the tender age of nine, I vowed that the same would never happen to me.

Hashtag:  #TomorrowIsAnotherDay #FiddleDeeDee #GreatBallsOfFire

First Line:

Gone With the Wind

2.  Animal Farm by George Orwell.

When I First Read It:  8th Grade

Why I Love It:  It proves my favorite talking point—Communism is a gorgeous concept on paper but the human {or animal, rather} element will always guarantee its ultimate failure.

How It Changed My Life:  At the age of thirteen, it provided a vivid depiction of the destructive nature of Communism.

Hashtag:  #FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBetter #SomeAreMoreEqualThanOthers #IWillWorkHarder

First Line:

Animal Farm

3.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  My middle name is Anne.

How It Changed My Life:  More than anything else, Anne Shirley taught me that have an overactive imagination is a blessing, not an affliction.  Plus, Gilbert Blythe.

Hashtag:  #KindredSpirits #RaspberryCordial #BosomFriends #DressesWithPuffySleeves

First Line:

Anne

4.  Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  The idea that Wendy Darling got to lord over a dozen or so little boys was terribly captivating {and still kinda is}.

How It Changed My Life:  Wendy taught me that change is necessary, so it may as well be embraced.  Peter taught me that dating a man-child is a waste of time.

Hashtag:  #HookOrMeThisTime #Wendybird #ToDieWillBeAnAwfullyBigAdventure

First Line:

Peter Pan

5.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

When I First Read It:  Last year {and it took an abysmally long time}

Why I Love It:  Finishing and comprehending this book made me feel like I finally deserved to vote.

How It Changed My Life:  I finally realized without a shadow of a doubt that {like it or not} I am a cold-hearted Libertarian.

Hashtag:  #WhoIsJohnGalt #ReardenSteel #GaltsGulch

First Line:

Atlas Shrugged

6.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy gave me the chance to know what it would be like to have sisters.

How It Changed My Life:  At the ripe old age of nine, Louisa May Alcott taught me that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.  People may die, the jelly won’t always jell, and your sister might marry the love of your life.  Regardless, you have to put on your big girl panties {pantaloons?} and deal with it.

Hashtag:  #ThereWereNeverSuchDevotedSisters #PickledLimes

First Line:

Little Women

7.  Mugged:  Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter 

When I First Read It:  Last summer

Why I Loved It:  It’s well-researched and quite tart in tone.

How It Changed My Life:  I never realized how far politicians will go insure votes.  I also didn’t know where the phrase “drank the Kool-Aid,” came from until reading this book.

Hashtag:  #OJVerdict #DrankTheKoolAid #AlGoresDadWasSuperRacist

First Line:

Mugged

8.  Emma by Jane Austen

When I First Read It:  10th Grade

Why I Love It:  I identify with Emma Woodhouse in a way that is both terribly frightening and enlightening.

How It Changed My Life:  Giving others very good advice while seldom following it oneself is a horrific habit.

Hashtag:  #AllTheSingleLadies #DearEmma

First Line:

Emma

9.  Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

When I First Read It:  Sixth Grade

Why I Loved It:  After years of being teased, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named finally made an actual appearance.  I also love the idea of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons spending the year at Hogwarts.

How It Changed My Life:  A year or so after reading about Harry’s fourth year at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I lost several people in quick succession.  It may sound lame to adult me, but thirteen year old me realized that if Harry could watch Cedric Diggory die at the hands of Voldemort, I could process scary real-life things like cancer.

Hashtag:  #SPEW #TriWizardTournament #QuidditchWorldCup

First Line:

Harry

10.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

When I First Read It:  Freshman year of college

Why I Loved It:  I have a {slightly unhealthy} thing for self-loathing jerks and Mr. Rochester takes the cake.  {I could fix that man, really I could}.

How It Changed My Life:  Jane taught me to not be a doormat.

Hashtag:  #AlwaysMakeSureTheDeadWifeIsReallyDead

First Line:

Jane

Advent

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This year we are terribly behind with all things Christmas.  I’ve completed my shopping, but the gifts are all piled on my dining room table, unwrapped.  I haven’t even pulled the Christmas mugs out of the cupboard!  I’d like to blame my tardiness on having such a late Thanksgiving, but I’m also a little nervous to pull out Christmas decor with my ever destructive cats.

Though our home is unadorned, we’ve been preparing our hearts for the Christmas season.  Growing up my favorite part of Christmas was lighting the Advent candle each week at church.  I’ll never forget how special I felt when I was asked to light the pink candle, the joy candle at the age of eleven.  We don’t have an Advent wreath for our home yet, but I’m always shopping around online to find the one that will fit our family best.  I love the idea of gathering around the Sunday dinner table to light the candles, read scripture, and pray.

This December, we’ve been reading together using Laken’s Advent printable.  It’s a nice add-on to our nightly devotion time.  In addition, my Mama and I have been following along with She Reads Truth, an excellent source for women in any age bracket.  I have it sent directly to my inbox each day and I love the dainty look and words of truth.

What about you?  How are you preparing your heart for Christ’s birth?  Do you celebrate Advent in your home?

XOXO,

Court

PS:

–I love this Advent garland.  It’s free!

–More information on Advent and how to celebrate.

–Last year’s very popular Advent post.

Good Tidings of Great Joy

The Top 5 Christmas Books {that aren’t about Santa}

 

 

 

Love Actually Is…

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“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

It’s December 1st and the Captain just turned on Love Actually.  Christmas is my favorite and I’m so glad to be home.  If you need a lovely Christmas flick, Love Actually is now available to stream on Netflix.  I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

XOXO,

Court

PS:

The Bros Who Love Love Actually.

The Definitive Ranking of All of Love Actually’s Turtlenecks.

My second favorite scene.

And my first…