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Personal Goals January 18, 2011

Filed under: business — ravennagirls @ 8:20 am
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Now that you’ve let us share our 2011 goals for our home, and for our blog/business, we’ll finish up sharing some goals for ourselves, personally in the year to come.

{you can find this print and other inspirational ones HERE}


My somewhat funny goal is to retry my 2010 goal of two-treats-a-day.  Don’t laugh, last year I made it til April.  Not a shocker, but I have a serious sweet tooth.  If you asked me to give up sweets entirely, I would fail, most definitely.  This just makes me decide whats worth it during the day.  Like a store-bought cookie brought into work is not worth it if I know I have a few Molly Cookies ready to be made for a friend at home.  Or, a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting….eh, I’ll pass, it’s just not as good without chocolate.

{some may call this resolution “snobby” … It is, I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m snobby about what is worth it —  and after you have a Theo Chocolate bar you will never eat a Hershey one again. Dare ya to try.}

But, since that is a resolution re-do, I have another.  …

To say No.

I am hoping that by saying No, I will be able to say Yes more.  Does that make sense?  I feel like in the past I say “oh yes certainly” a whole lot.  Instead of looking at my calendar, I add to it.  And add and add and add.  Until I have plans every night and every weekend of the month.   Some might call this blessed.  It totally is.  I am surrounded by people that want to see me.  But what about those weeks that blur by?  Where someone asks me to do something the day before that REALLY sounds fun and I have to say no because I already have something then? What about those weeks where I skip the gym to save time and eat out? What about when B or I read that something really fun is going on around town that weekend, but we just cram it in anyway and then Monday comes and I’m still exhausted?

It’s a bad habit really.  One I have had for a long time, because somewhere along the way, a day without a to do list became a problem.  I tend to get overwhelmed pretty easilly and maybe this is part of the reason…

I think I have decided that even if I improve 5% in this area I am giving myself a pat on the back.   I am hoping this will give me more time to eat at home, go workout when I want to, craft more, plan less, do things on a whim more, spend less money, work on the house more, spend more time with my small group girls, play more games with friends… generally worry less so that creativity and relaxation can happen more in the everyday around me.


My main goal for this year is to simplify. For me, this means, de-clutter, streamline, and try to be more organized in general. Life always feels so hectic, and at the same time very heavy. Hopefully by taking some time to really make sure I have things around me that are important, everything will be more purposeful. Some of our big house goals relate to reorganization, and I’m going to really try to donate some items that don’t turn out to be truly important.

Along with this comes the need to slow down. Take extra time in the evenings to be quiet, read, and decompress. GO through things slower, and if that means not crossing a couple things off the to-do list, then so be it. We accomplished A LOT in 2010, but for me, 2011 is going to be about quality over sheer quantity.

Another goal is to be more committed to the triathlon circuit. In 2010, we kept up the tradition of doing the Seattle Rain Man indoor tri, but we pretty much took off the rest of the summer since weelends were full of celebrations. This summer I’d like to squeeze in a couple more, although we’ll start with that same race in just a couple months!

Oh, and I want to go camping. A lot. I am aiming for 4-6 camping weekends this year.

In 2011 I want to take some time to get away from it all. Photo via Adventure Learning Eco Tours

So, there it is. We have a lot on our plates this year, but hopefully we can tie everything together into one cohesive wonderful year. Its going to be a great one. We are so thankful for everything we have been blessed with in our lives to make all of this possible. There may be some bumps in the road here and there, but we are two very VERY lucky girls.

What are you excited for this year??


The blog in 2011…. January 16, 2011

Filed under: business — ravennagirls @ 7:49 pm
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After THIS recap of our house in 2010 and what we hope to accomplish in 2011…..

we bring you the next installment… what are our goals for the blog and the business in 2011?

#1 Set ourselves up as an official business, not just a hobby endeavor. This means filing a Master Business Application with the state and all the associated paperwork. The best part about this goal? Its already crossed off the list! We accomplished this last week and are waiting for our business license to come in the mail. We registered both The Ravenna Girls and Ravenna Girls Vintage so we  can move forward with both ventures. Woot, hooray for getting something crossed off the list!

#2 Get our wares out there. We did our first craft show in the beginning of December, and although it was a lot of work, I think we would like to try some more this year in order to get an idea of different atmospheres. I think it would be reasonable to say we would like to do three shows this year, one in the spring and potentially two during the fall and/or holidays. We did a lot of the legwork for the Ravenna Neighborhood Show in 2010 so they should get easier over time.  It was also a great way to get our name out there and meet members of our community right here in Seattle.

#3 Plow through the stack of vintage and handmade inventory to list on etsy. We have quite a number of items that need to be photo’d and listed. They aren’t going to sell themselves. Also, keep a better tab on the items we collect so we don’t keep getting a back log.

#4  It is no secret that we love making things.   We have a few “staple” items that we constantly produce and find supplies for.  This is mostly to sell at fairs or on etsy at this point.  But, when it comes to making gifts or something, the sky is the limit.  In 2011, not only would we like to tackle more new craft projects, but we would like to create a few new lines to sell on etsy.  No idea what this will be yet, but we have all of 2011 to find the inspiration, make some prototypes and try it out.

#5 For the blog, we have some changes in store. Our friend Dave has been helping us out with some redesign, but it now is at the point were WE need to work on many more elements to get this up and running. Hopefully soon you’ll see a new look around here.  {thanks dave, for putting up with our  slow creative spunk!}

#6 In 2010, we posted 152 times. This averages to 3 posts per week. Our goal for 2011 is to bump this number up to 4-5 posts per week. We have so many exciting projects up our sleeve, we need to make sure to share the results!

#7 Get more involved in the blog community, at least locally. There are some local bloggers who are incredibly inspiring. Orangepoppy, Maggie Rose, and A Chow Life to name a few. It would be great to be more connected online with this amazing group of local ladies. We’d love the chance to feature some of their work here.

#8 Show the love throughout the blogosphere. What does this mean? For me it means making a better effort to leave comments on those posts that inspire me most. There is a lot of inspiration and energy and beautiful work going on out there, and sometimes I take that for granted. I am going to try and leave 5 comments a day. Reaching out also means reading some new blogs, keeping my google reader fresh and interesting. Follow those ideas that really align with our inspirations and dreams.

We have enjoyed having this space so much to share all of our projects, travels, and excitements with you all. Our overall goal for 2011 is to keep this space active and lively.

Before move on to the last of our goals for this year, the personal ones, we thought we’d take a moment to share our top referrers of 2010. These sites sent the most traffic our way and we wanted to show our love back.

Tastespotting. Our most viewed post of 2010 was our recipe for Chocolate Mascarpone Peanut Toffee bars that we submitted to their site and was chosen to be featured.

The Tomlin Family Blog


Ravenna Blog



Anything else that you would like to see here this year?


A Look Ahead January 12, 2011

Filed under: house before and afters — ravennagirls @ 3:59 pm
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It’s the new year. And boy, oh, boy, what a whirlwind 2010 was. I know they say time speeds up as you get older, but I feel like 2010 was even faster than that. Insane. Nuts. Awesome. Amazing. It was a good year, wasn’t it? There was much joy. Travel. Weddings. Babies. Home Reno!

There were also some disappointments: Crummy summer weather (we didn’t really have one), and thus sad tomato plants. Also, my sailor man was stationed 3,000 miles away from home, and we both had some tribulations with our work lives.

But. Here we are. 2011. A prime number, a unique year, and with it: Resolutions! Except that I hate the word resolutions.

I prefer goals. Goals means that you are working TOWARD something. Resolution implies that you set a standard and you either keep it up, or you fail. Goals keep you moving, and give you milestones for success along the way. We both have many personal goals we’ve set for this year, and we have blog, business, and house goals together too. Over the next couple of days we’ll be sharing details on what 2011 will (hopefully!) bring for us, our business, and our house. Its gonna be a good one!

For Today, let’s begin with the Lemon house!

You might remember what we accomplished in 2010:

A complete backyard transformation INCLUDING…

first, a tree removal

the raised beds

the digging and then the patio

the vegetable garden


JUNE 2010

SEPT 2010

And what do we have in store for 2011?

Well, we have a ton of projects we WANT to do with the house.  Like most people, two things stand in our way:  Budget and expertise.  So with that in mind, we plan to tackle some of the projects we already have the supplies for.   Like:

– Finish painting the front porch soffit and front window trim.

– Solve the bathroom ceiling dilemma of 2010 {what dilemma, you might say?  Hopefully no one has noticed, but if you do come over, look up once and your questions will be answered}

– Finish painting the “leftover”  hallways that haven’t received any attention.

– Trim Trim Trim.  Quarter-round is needed in bedrooms, but base molding is completely needed in the kitchen, dining room, and aforementioned hallways.  I am not going to lie, we have not installed trim before.  It looks pretty easy, and Plow-king once got us a nail gun… so maybe it won’t be so bad.

no trim, and that hallway into the craft room needs paint, too!

-Backyard… maintence.  ha.  To start, springtime pruning of bushes and trimming of trees.  We have a few low hanging and dead branches that need to go.  We also have a few areas that need a bit of grass seed.

-Garden.  Our first veggie efforts went fairly well in 2010.  Some veggies worked well, while others were tempermental.  We plan to start this year by composting our current raised beds.  We have enough wood left over to build two new beds so we will be doing that as well.    For 2011, we will not be growing tomatoes in our beds.  Instead, we are going to grow them in pots {which we need to buy/find, any ideas on cheap places?}  Pots will give us two major benefits.  First off, our tomatoes will no longer deplete the nutrients in their bed.  Secondly, they can be mobile-maters!  We can move them around to maximize sun exposure and move them to our back covered porch if it is supposed to rain for days.  Hopefully this will yield better results in 2011.

-Fireplace redesign.  We have some ideas, and some supplies… but we would like to draw and design and get your input before we tackle it!


Fireplace, Before Move In

– Second floor. The ultimate goal is to half our “half floor” upstairs be a guest room and game room, as well as organized storage. This will involve fixing the staircase treads, maybe a quick little coat of paint, and some reoganization.


A Peek Upstairs

-D wants to make and put up the curtains for her bedroom.  (I have the fabric and rods… just need to do it!)

-Front porch.  This is lofty.  We know it.  This is the project we have very few supplies for and just a lot of potential ideas.  In 2011 we would at least like to work on the design and budget  for it.  Who knows, maybe it will happen?

-General clean up and reorganize the usual spaces… basement, attic, craft room.  Who knows, we might even get brave this year and take a BEFORE photo of the chaos.  : )

Stay tuned for our blog & business goals for 2011, as well as our personal thoughts!