This is my 400th post.  When I started in 2007 I barely knew how to post my words, let alone images.  I’ve met some wonderful blog friends and been inspired by more of you than I can even name, or place on my blog roll.  Thank you for stopping by and for any and all comments, it always tickles me to hear from you!

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions but I am obsessed with lists.  What is it for some of us?  There is something so satisfying about making a list, [and checking it twice?] maybe it’s a Santa thing.

So I’ve decided to start with a short list of things to do in the first quarter of the new year…wait, is this the same thing as a resolution?  No, I think not.  It’s more of a list of goals for life.  A list of things I’d like to do that I’ve talked about but not accomplished with regularity.  A simple list, really.  A list to enrich daily, weekly and monthly life.  Not a “cure world hunger” kind of list but one to enrich our (Mr. B. and me) lives.  I’ve always maintained that if you want me to do something, put it on the list, I’ll get it done.

1.           More local, weekend field trips with Mr. B or girlfriends.  This is one of those items that I’ve talked about, but so far, haven’t achieved.  I confess the inspiration came from our newest addition to the family, Sarah, my youngest son’s lovely wife (of 1 month).  She is forever planning little getaways for the two of them to California festivals and fairs.  They don’t even have to involve overnight stays, but when there’s a fair or festival that interests them, they often go.  I want to do more of that in this new year.

{I believe Kevin and Sarah went to this festival and it sounded like they had fun.  I know I got an olive tree sapling out of their visit}

1-pr-olive-festival-poster-700{My girlfriends and I wanted to attend Remnants of the Past last fall, but the wedding kept me from wanting to loose a weekend, so we promised ourselves we’d go in 2013}

Garden, Home and Party 1.1.13

2.           Plans for the garden.  I’m a garden enthusiast, but I find lately (the last 3 years) I’ve kept the garden maintained but not actively planned for new shrubs, trees, or perennials for any area in the garden.  I’ve been mostly keeping things trimmed, soil turned and all plants fertilized but have failed to plant the garden of lavender I’ve wanted to grow, or change out some rose bushes that simply don’t do as well as they should in a given spot.  I’ve only maintained. I want to change this status quo in the garden.  I may even try my hand at planting some annuals from seed this year.

GHP knot garden{I need to change a couple of the roses in the knot garden.  My hybrid tea, ‘Pearl’ isn’t doing that well and I could use a red rose.  I’m thinking of Mr. Lincoln or a Romantica Rose.  I need to check out my options soon so that when they come to the nursery I can buy what I want}

5-Mr-Lincoln-22{Mr. Lincoln}

6-pink jasmine birdhouse1{The pink jasmine is lovely in the spring but I’d like to plant an additional vine that would bloom when the pink jasmine has completed its cycle}

7-sphere ivy clad{This image from Ivy Clad is what I strive for where my boxwoods are planted…the inside planting space needs more plants, plan to be determined}

9-larkins-4-de ty larkins - usedI have wanted a fountain for the side yard for years.  I’ve had fountains in other spaces out doors, but they can’t really be heard from the rooms we spend the most time in, kitchen, library and family room.  I’ve also chosen fountains in the past that offer a sound similar to a little boy using the lavatory…not the gentle fall of water droplets that I long to hear.  I’ve been told a two-tiered fountain is what I need.

11-trouvais garden1Trish of trouvais fame posted this image of her lavender garden a year or so ago.  I decided to plant lavender where I felt it would get plenty of sun and hoped to reap the benefits of the beautiful scented plant and flowers.  Unfortunately, I got started late and 2 of the plants died.  I will re-attempt this planting again this spring.  Isn’t this image beautiful?!

3.           Entertaining more in 2013.  There was a time when we enjoyed having friends in for dinner at least twice a month.  I think my taking a full time job in corporate America in 2005 was when the pattern changed.  Now I find myself thinking, next month I’ll have __________ [fill in the blank] over for dinner. Unfortunately I’ve been dropping the ball and “next month” has become next year in many instances.  I am going to make an effort to have good friends over for dinner more often in 2013.  By the way, I read that some hate the term “entertain” due to the formality it conjures up in our minds.  I do enjoy the  creativity of setting the table, determining the menu and planning for all of that, but we rarely do what I would consider “formal” entertaining.  Most of our friends offer, and I accept their offer, to bring some small portion of the meal.  It works well and I find it shares some of the work.  That said, I am not above buying some great appetizer that is nearly made for me, or a bakery-purchased dessert.

12-fall, party resourcesI’ve come a long way baby, I no longer feel the need to keep everything perfect and formal.  I enjoy buying some of the meal, like a yummy appetizer from Bristol Farms or Trader Joe’s and then cooking the rest of the meal, or even letting some of the guests bring something.  Either way, Mr. B and I truly do enjoy the quality time spent with friends and family over a meal in the comfort of our home (or that of a friend).

13-aimee herring brabourne din. rmLove the white table setting and surroundings (above).

14-KB 5-12 nice table viewThis was a table set for a dinner for a friend with a May birthday.  It reflects the upcoming spring (when this picture was taken), but my point in including it was to show you the centerpiece.  It’s a planter I pulled from the atrium and added a few English daisy.  It’s fun to mix up the centerpieces with cut flowers, fruit or potted plants.  This doesn’t have to be difficult or costly.  Fixing food for friends and then sharing it is the goal.

(Below) I love the stone items that are part of this table.  So classic.

15-annelle-primos-tablesetting21_thumb{Annelle Primos}

16-din.rm-table setting spring1For the above dinner I used a silver tray as the centerpiece and added a vase of simple flowers from the market.  I used my chargers instead of a table cloth or place mats…easy and casual.

17-home_h478Some even mix the country feel of a picnic style table with beautiful candelabras and flowers for a dinner setting that is appealing and yet, not stuffy.

18-INTRO 3_photo by Charlotte Moss{Charlotte Moss}

So that’s it, these are my goals for 2013.  Not too ambitious, therefore conceivably attainable, right?  Did you set any goals or make any resolutions for this year?