Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year! Did you party hard last night ringing in the new year? I have to admit we stayed at home, watched about one third of the way through what we thought was a less than great movie (Moonlight Serenade) before turning it off and watching Family Guy — then I fell asleep at 9:40 on the couch, missing the ball drop. I'm supposed to be the young one in this relationship — what has happened to me?? Tell me you have a more exciting story than we did!

Today we thought it would be fun to look back at last year's goals and resolutions, see how we managed with them and set a few new ones for the year ahead.

For the sake of holding ourselves accountable and to see how much has changed since last year, let's check in on what we said were our top goals and resolutions for 2012 at the start of last year (full post here):

2012 Goal #1: Urban Gardening. One of our biggest goals this year will be in learning best practices for urban gardening, making use of vertical and small spaces, edible landscaping, and putting those learnings into practice!

End of year update: We made solid progress! From getting a giant compost bin to installing vertical planters along our back landing, we're proud of the accomplishments we made with gardening in our new space. We've got a long way to go and much to improve upon, but both of us are happy with the progress we made over the past year.

2012 Goal #2: Working with Basil. Continue to be patient with Basil's separation anxiety and actively work towards finding solutions for the long term instead of always resorting to falling back on doggie day care or bringing him along in the car. We have high hopes for this new home and have been taking small steps in order to be able to leave Basil alone for short periods of time without causing him anxiety.

End of year update: Goal Accomplished! This is probably the one accomplishment we made over the last year that we are most proud and relieved over. With consistent efforts, we're happy to report we have gotten over the hump with the worst of Basil's separation anxiety. On the rare occasions we need to leave for extended periods of time or we can't bring Basil along with us, we are now able to leave him alone in the house for up to 3-4 hours at a time without him having any signs of anxiety. Check out our favorite video of what happened when we first began being able to leave Basil alone in the house:

2012 Goal #3: Blogging. While it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all of our regular responsibilities, we find it important to ourselves to continue to take the time to put down the things we know we'll enjoy reminiscing about down the pike.

End of year update: Goal Accomplished! From new recipes to home updates and spending time with our family, we documented a lot. While of course we didn't get every last thing, we're proud of what we were able to document and share here on the blog — and we're even more grateful you were willing to read it!

2012 Goal #4: Staying Grounded. With a new house to work on, another house to get in shape, a wedding to plan, and everything else going on, we'd like to remind ourselves to take it one day at a time and appreciate the small things each day has to offer. 

End of year update: We made solid progress! While a little slower going on some things than we'd hoped for (getting our other house in shape and staying on top of our wedding timeline) we've definitely continued to take things one step at a time and didn't kill ourselves if something didn't get done when other regular responsibilities took priority.

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Let's talk 2013, shall we? In keeping with our tradition to set a few goals for ourselves at the beginning of each new year, here's are the things we'd like to work on in 2013:

1. Urban Gardening & Food Awareness. As we've tried to do in years past, it's important to us to learn about the food we consume, and how to grow it ourselves. We'd like to take our own little urban gardening projects a step further this year (a bee house and rain barrel would be awesome) and are happy to take it one step at a time. While never perfect when it comes to eating sustainably, we'd like to keep making educated and healthy choices more often than not.

2. Sweet Potatoes. Speaking of gardening, we had less than desirable luck growing sweet potatoes for the first time. You might remember our not so generous crop of sweet potato fingers we harvested back in October. We'd love to get some normal sized sweet potatoes this year just to prove to ourselves it can be done!

3. House Progress. We've got the house we currently live in and have been taking updating it slowly — painting the upstairs would be a great accomplishment for us along with acquiring a few key furniture and accessory pieces we need for the downstairs. We'd also like to transform our front parlor into a functioning office for the both of us. We are also lucky enough to still have the house we used to live in, though it's taken us much longer than we originally thought to completely clear it out and get it into shape for renting — this is something we'd consider a major accomplishment if we are able to make it happen in 2013.

4. Staying Sane (and a little silly). We've got a lot of big events coming up this year — our wedding, Brandon's high school graduation, Tim's parents' 50th wedding anniversary and more. While it's a lot to celebrate, we want to do just that — celebrate, and not sweat the small stuff along the way.

5A. Blogging. As we mentioned last year, we've loved being able to look back over time and see all the things we've done together and documented — when looking back even just over the past year, there were so many things we smiled at and realized we'd both forgotten. 

While it's increasingly easy to get overwhelmed with all of our regular responsibilities, we again find it important to ourselves to continue to take the time to write about those things we know we'll want to look back on moving forward.

5B. Blog Ads & Sponsors. You may have noticed we just launched a few ad positions here on the blog (if you didn't, you can see them in our right sidebar and in-between the start and end of each post. This is something we've been excited to try out and thought the start of the new year would be a good time to test them out. That being said, we are going to keep a close eye on them and their content to see if they a good fit for us. In addition to automated ads, we've created a page with details on how to sponsor an ad space for your own small business, blog or creative venture if it's something you or someone you know might be interested in — find the details here.

Here's wishing each of you a happy healthy 2013! Thanks for following along as we try to hold ourselves accountable year after year by posting our goals and resolutions out there for everyone to see! We'd love to know what goals you're planning to tackle in 2013!


  1. Guys i like you reading, you are so inspiring. when i read you on this blog and see the posts you have created regularly and clearly and joyful then i want to blog more. i guess this year i'll write more posts on my blog too.
    Bests for 2013...

    btw what is your instagram names?!? :)

    1. Sabahnur thanks so much for the kind words! We look forward to checking in to your blog and see what is going on in your life! Tim uses instagram publicly and you can find him at instagram.com/timvidraeats

  2. You two are so inspirational. I love your blog. This post gives me good reason to reevaluate my own resolutions and goals for the year. Many blessing to you both.

  3. Happy new year to you and to your family! I have to comment the drawing at the end.
    I really like it! Mary you look beautiful and Tim - you look kinda like Conan O'Brien here (and I love Conan :)

    1. Ines, that is too funny. I have been told I look like Conan from tim to time. I will take that!

  4. I love the blog, I just discovered it via Pinterest earlier this week. I too watched Moonlight Serenade because I love Amy Adams. I thought it would be more like Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. THAT is a great Amy Adams movie, if you haven't seen it, please do.

    I've started my garden because of you guys! I have little dunecraft mint plants (well i planted the seeds a few days ago, anyway) and this week I'll be starting things from scraps. Thanks for all the tips and tutorials! My new years resolution of keeping a garden will be a snap thanks to you guys!

    Happy New Year!

    1. So great Brianna we are suo happy you found us! We have lots up our sleeves come spring so we hope to see you around! Happy New Year to you!

      Tim, Mary, and Basil

  5. Love your blog guys! Happy new year and looking forward to seeing more awesomeness in the year to come. I've been following 17 Apart for the past several months and the funniest thing was when my boyfriend showed me one of your tutorials just last week saying he wanted to do it during these holidays... I had no idea he even knew of you guys! How funny! We've got a little garden now too thanks to the general inspiration I've taken out of all the gardening you guys do, and although we live in a small apartment, our back balcony is filled with plants, pots and seedlings yay! x

    1. Thanks so much Helen! So glad to hear some of the gardening inspiration is working out. Also glad to have stumbled across helarious and look forward to keeping in touch!

      Mary & Tim