My Five Easy Resolutions for the New Year Series. First Up, Resolutions for the Home


Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis from

1) Burn more candles, all through the year. I love them, especially tea candles and tapers (I own some jar candles, which are nice to have outside on the patio in summer, since they don’t blow out as easily, but I really like the daintiness of tea candles and the elegance of tapers). They are one of the easiest ways to add chic and warmth to a home.


Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis from

2) Change up the tableau that I keep on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. I spend a lot of my time standing in front of that window (because I like to cook, and then of course, it’s necessary to clean up), and I tend to keep the same objects there: a petrified rock from Angkor Wat, given to me by a writing friend; a smooth stone painted such that it looks like a turtle; a conch shell found and passed down from a relative who died in World War II; and a little glass jar, ridged and in a gentle sea-green color, that I use as a bud vase (I love to put daisies in it in summer). All of these items are precious, but when I see this photo above, with the beautiful animal skeletons, it makes me want to refresh mine and always have some found treasure there that is a bit unusual.


Photo from by Elizabeth Lies

3) Find a pretty way to put a map on one of my walls. To be precise, it needs to be a world map, because I’ve been realizing lately how weak I am at geography, and though I could study maps on the Internet, I think I’d like to frame a really nice one and put it above my desk. And then, of course, I must resolve to study it, so when someone says they’re heading to Luxembourg, I’ll know exactly where that is. (And here is where I ought to insert a blushing emoji in this post.)


Photo from by Oliver Klein

4) Organize a closet, even if it’s a tiny one. I live in a small house that is generally lacking in storage, and last year I really dug in and got organized in most of the rooms of our house. My motivation stemmed from bringing my rabbit Boxer into our home. I cleared out a bedroom upstairs that had served as our home office but was also used as a catch-all space for anything we couldn’t fit into our closets. It became his room (where we keep his pen) and I found a poorly used space in our living room that I converted into a very streamlined home office and storage space that works so much better for us. This set off a chain reaction for me: I loved the results and made progress in a number of areas, but I still have closets that are utter chaos. I’m going to be busting a move on one of those babies, soon, and getting it cleared out!



Photo from by Yutacar

5) Throw a party for friends that isn’t just a dinner party. This will actually be one of the hardest resolutions for me to keep, simply because I get nervous over the thought of entertaining a large group of people. If it’s a small dinner party for family or for another couple, I’m golden: I’ve done that many times. But I’ve never thrown a carefree soiree for a bigger crowd, and it’s probably time I do that. Plus, I think I owe this to some friends who invite us to their parties all the time.

Over the course of January, I’ll be adding to this series, which I’m calling “Five Easy Resolutions for the New Year.” This one was focused on the home — five simple things to make my living space better and more enjoyable — but I’ll be back with resolutions in a couple other categories, too. In the meantime, what about you? Do you have a habit of making New Year’s resolutions, and do you usually achieve them?



Note: All of the photos in this post are from the website — a terrific site which aggregates photos from individuals across the globe and, under a creative commons license, allows others to use them for free, whether for artisitc, blogging, or even commercial purposes. Be sure to check them out. It’s fun perusing their photos whether you’re in need of images or not.




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