Happy New Year!

I realized this week while I was on vacation that I have not taken a full week off in ten years.  And while I missed you guys, and working, I really did enjoy my time off. I felt no guilt, little pressure and just enjoyed spending quality time with Henry and Andrew.  This is a HUGE step for me, as I typically have a lot of trouble not only being still, but letting myself enjoy it.  Perhaps I’m becoming a well- balanced adult? :)

However, I am SO glad to be back and feeling refreshed and inspired.  As I do every year, I like to take stock of what’s gone right and wrong in the past year and create some goals for myself for the year ahead (not so much “resolutions” as just ways in which I’d like to do better or change things).  I try not to set any crazy or unrealistic expectations for myself (i.e. setting myself up for failure) but also push myself to truly make positive change at the same time.  Here’s whats on my list this morning:

  1. Have Another Baby– Ok, so this might be creeping into the “crazy expectations” category as pregnancy, especially for me, is not a given at all and not something I have control over– but we feel very ready for second child.  This past year was a heartbreaking challenge as we lost two pregnancies, but I remain hopeful that it will happen one way or another.  We absolutely adore Henry and he’s changed our lives in the best of ways, so one more really would round out our family.  And then I can celebrate the freedom that will come with not wanting any more children or dealing with infertility. I cannot imagine the weight that will be lifted when I get to that step in my life.
  2. Get More Financially Savvy–  Even though I’ve been successful and made a good living the past five years, I still act like I need to be fiscally liquid at all times “just in case of disaster”.  I am the flesh and bone human equivalent of Chicken Little. Time to shelve that fear and really make smart investment decisions with my money that will (literally) pay off.  And I want to pay closer attention to the details involved in those decisions.  Money has always been such an uncomfortable topic for me for some reason, and I need to face that head on and deal with it this year! Big girl panties, on.
  3. Finish My House- Now that our final addition is done- it’s time to figure out all the last remaining details and be done with it for a while!  We will probably move in the next 3-4 years, but in the meantime I’d like to wrap things up.  Given what I do, I will always be tweaking things, but I can make it so it feels “finished”. And of course, share that process here!
  4. Make Time For Me– I work a lot, and when I’m not working I want to be with Henry as much as possible- so I let taking care of myself fall by the wayside.  I don’t go to the gym much, or take time to relax.  I know that taking care of myself makes me a better mother, so I need the shelve the guilt of taking the time to go to the gym and take a couple classes and get back into a yoga practice of some sort.  I’m going to commit to twice per week to start, and if I get three times in, great, if not- so be it.
  5. FINISH MY BOOK– I had to push the deadline for my book again, but I will complete it this year (by spring to be exact)- which means it’ll come out Spring 2019.  I know it’s been a long time since the first book came out, but it’s been MUCH harder to write a book with a child (and a busy design business, product lines, this blog, etc.)  So it’s been slow but steady going, but it’s coming.  I want it to be awesome, and something I am super proud of , like the first book- so it’ll be worth the wait.
  6. Be Thoughtful About Where My Business Is Going–  I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities come my way in the past year, but it’s been overwhelming and left me a bit confused about where I want my business to be and what I want it to be.  There is so much opportunity in the social media side of it alone, never mind the actual design work and products.  So I need to have a good, long pow wow with myself, advisors and my employees about where this is going and how to make it better.  There more I want to do, but in order to do more I need more people.  So in 2018 I expect to add at least one more person to my team.
  7. EDIT EDIT EDIT–  I felt a surge of disgust this weekend when looking around at all the clutter in our house. Every year I say I’m going to be more careful and thoughtful in my purchasing, but I somehow end up at the same place every year– with numerous trash bags filled with clothes and stuff to donate or throw out and mumbling things to myself like “if all my coffee mugs matched I’d be a better person”.  This year, less but better.  I feel less compelled to follow trends as I did when I was younger (OMG AM I THIS OLD?), so I think I’ll be better equipped to stick to buying less of the better quality things in life.
  8. Be Present– Less staring at my phone, more staring at my beautiful little boy (and getting him to want to stare at my phone less too for that matter!)

What about you? What’s on your list this year to work on?  I always love hearing what other people’s goals are because it can help define and enhance my own.

As always, thanks for being here. And here’s to a great year ahead!





  1. Erin, you have some wonderful goals and your train of thought is spot on. Our natural inclinations on how we approach life are sometimes hard to change, but age and wisdom help in that department. I am like many others and choose a word for the new year and my word this year is ANTICIPATION. I am older and at times I can say been there done that! However, I am truly excited for this year and I am gong to try and look at each new day as a gift full of possibilities. I am not an advocate for busyness at all in fact I feel REST is so underrated so I will not be busier this year, just more intentional and happy I am alive and well!!! Happy New year to you and your beautiful family. Look forward to following along with you on your journey with little Henry, design, fashion and just life!

  2. These are excellent goals. I have your first book (and love it), and while at the library the other day I saw it on the shelf with all the other design books. I can’t imagine how that must feel to know your book is everywhere from Boston to Seattle! I’m looking forward to the second one, whenever it’s finished.
    My goals are simple – just to get out of the house more and do things. My oldest is a junior in high school and my youngest a 6th grader, so they don’t need me so much except to play chauffeur. I’m taking a painting class at the local college this term, and we finally bought a travel trailer so we can do more hiking and camping. I definitely want to unplug more this year and concentrate on just being.

  3. I love that you shared your meaningful goals with us. I have a few ideas I’d like to turn into goals and actually accomplish. The main one is to organize and host a women’s empowerment retreat. It feels crazy but I have just felt a voice (for me God) telling me to just do it. Leo’s can be quite ambitious, am I right?

    On a personal note, we struggled to have our boys. I’ve had 4 miscarriages and both of my boys are “rainbow babies”. I will say that after having my youngest (just turned 1), I felt a sense of peace. It’s awesome to see my son Dax be a big brother. But I do believe he would have been fine as an only child. I would have dealt with it somehow. What I want to say to you is have hope. If another baby would complete your family (I think it did with us although a girl would be cool…), then persevere. I’ll be praying for you and your sweet family.

    Cheers to a great 2018!

  4. Great goals! I am with you in trying to focus on ‘me time’ in 2018…

    and sending good thoughts to you on your baby quest…after years of infertility, we finally completed our family with our second adoption in 2016. You are so right about the lifting of the burden of trying to hope and plan for the family you want! We are onto other challenges now, but it is so amazing to have that journey behind us. I truly believe that whenever and however you decide your family is complete – you will find peace and happiness with that choice. Hang in there! Excited to see what 2018 brings for EoS!

  5. Don’t you just love turning the page on a new year? I feel like the opportunity to start over each Jan 1 is the best.
    Yes to improving financial knowledge! So important for women to be able to do on their own. I’m happy to have a partner but if he were out of the picture tomorrow, I’ve worked hard this past year to put myself in a better position financially.
    One thing I do to avoid the clutter purchases (and the last minute lunch because my lazy self didn’t feel like taking 5 minutes to pack one) is to move the money from my checking account into a savings account. I put mine towards my travel fund. Those $10 here and there add up quicker than you’d think. For you, do it with the clothes and the clutter. If you deny yourself the object but put that money towards something else tangible (a warm weather getaway for next winter?), you’ll be extra rewarded

  6. I’d love to read a longer blog post on each one of these topics! But especially no. 7, edit, edit, edit.

  7. Love your list! For the financial goal, I seriously recommend Paula Pant’s podcast Afford Anything. She is amazing, and I’ve learned so much from her! Smart, values-based, non-hypey financial info. The Q&A episodes are the best.

  8. Thanks for the inspiration, Erin. I share many of the same goals. In particular making a conscious decision to buy quality items (Re: my wardrobe in particular). I am also making an effort to delegate more to my team which isn’t easy for me at all. And saying ‘no thank you’ instead of stressing myself out to do everything.
    Best wishes to you in 2018!

  9. Thoughtful post deserves a thoughtful answer. My goals for me in 2018.
    1. eat healthier, specifically eating fruit for dessert 2X a week. (I live in a place with an absolutely fabulous baker/dessert maker so this is a very real challenge).
    2. learn a new skill or improve another.
    3. Do a good deed: volunteer. I’m planning on leading a writer’s group on timed writings. And considering setting up a class in self defense for women in my building.
    4. Take a risk. Try something out of my comfort zone. In the past, this lead me into four years of Karate and a brown belt. Not aiming that high again … more along the lines of “zip-lining” with my grandkids.
    Last January we moved from our home of 32 years into a senior retirement residence. I edited the hell out of three stories worth of stuff and moved into a two bedroom condo. So I’m pretty much done downsizing … maybe a little shuffling around a bit…

  10. I also run my own business (wildly different from yours, but so many parallels!) and a few years ago I also went through that exercise of how did I want it to grow, what opportunities did I want to pursue, etc.

    I spent a lot of time thinking about what work I reached for first in the morning and really wanted to spend my time doing. THAT work is the work I will always accept from clients. My goal is for that work to be about 50% of my day on average.

    I also spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of work gave me that sinking feeling, that I would take on but never really liked it. That work I cut out altogether. It was really only about 5-10% of what I was doing, but I swear it took up most of my mental energy. I just started turning it down.

    That left the in-between stuff. The stuff I didn’t love, but liked just fine and there was enough volume to really round out my business. That work I just increased my rate for, so even though mentally/creatively it’s not my absolute favorite, it’s lucrative enough that I’m really motivated when it comes in (and I do like it).

    This was an incredibly helpful exercise for me, and I share it in case it would help you at all.

    One more thought – on the carving out “me” time – I really find that when I am walking or running it is my best time to do my Big Thinking about my business. Not the daily to-dos, but the overall strategy, goals, long-term vision, etc. If you can commit to some sort of joint exercise/strategy session (even jointly with your employees or friends you consider advisors!), that may be a good way to commit to it. Possibly the same strategy for money…if you and Andrew like to run or walk together, maybe once/week is when you go for a 45 minute run or walk, and talk about financial decisions during that time.

    All the best to you this year!!!

  11. I would love, love, love it if you shared some of your lessons learned re: your financial goal! One of my goals for the year is to become more aware and more savvy about my finances, so anything you have to share would be great to see on the blog.

  12. I love this post! In the last half of the year, I really felt myself wading into this abyss of negativity. From making fun of people on TV shows to being feisty at work to being internally critical of friends, I realized that I had justified this behavior by feeling like I was “right.” Over the last week or so, I have been working on a habit of literally turning my negative thoughts into something positive. I hope that eventually, my habit will be to see the positive FIRST, but until I get there, I am simply trying to replace the bad with the good. So far, it’s been more refreshing than I could have imagined.

    On another note, I’m also trying to become more financially savvy. My financial industry brother recommended the book The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Little Books. Big Profits). It’s for beginners.

    Good luck with your goals!

    1. Emily, I share your goal of working hard to replace negativity and criticizing with a positive attitude. Look up and memorize Philippians 4:8. I love that one!

      1. Hi Ann! Thanks for the encouragement and the verse. That is one of my favorites, and a perfect reminder! Happy New Year!

  13. Hi, Erin!
    Thanks so much for sharing! I am so happy for you that you were able to relax over your vacation without any guilt. Congrats!! You certainly deserved it! I have always struggled with really connecting with people because of fear that if I’m not always “perfect” I won’t be accepted/loved even though I don’t really have a basis for that. Of course, people don’t have anything in common with “perfect” people since nobody is perfect and everybody has issues, so this habit of mine has really been hurting my relationships. This year I am working towards being more open with others about my struggles and working towards authenticity. If I could pass on any one thing that I have learned through my struggles it would be to look up! God gives love no matter how often I mess up. Wishing you and your family the very happiest 2018!!

    All the BEST!
    Mania Dallas

    P.S. Anyone else have trouble feeling like you have to be perfect to succeed in relationships or is this just me. advice?

  14. I always love your personal narrative posts –

    I also hope that your baby dreams come true. You’re not alone – I experienced secondary IF (I recommended Dr. Ashby to you years ago !) and it was HELL but I did have a second daughter, and am forever grateful for the support I received during that time. And, as you wrote, I do look back and am amazed at how much lighter I am, but I’m also encouraged by the strength that I displayed during that time.

    As a fellow Boston ‘burb dweller, I can’t recommend enough the Mind-Body Groups at Boston IVF – you don’t have to a be patient there to participate, and it did so much for my well-being, including mental health. My group had an 80% birth rate and my sister did one last year, and the birth rate from hers was 100% (crazy). Most importantly, after that group, I was in the best state of mind I’d ever been, was meditating daily, and in general, was very accepting of whatever path my life took. Not surprisingly, I got pregnant two weeks later. ICheck it out! It was hard to make time for it, but SO WORTH IT. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions –

  15. Happy new year, Erin! I know you will rock 2018! Two blogs I’ve enjoyed for learning about finances are ESI and Financial Samurai. Very good reads!

  16. Hi Erin, a positive & inspiring post to start the new year! All the best in 2018 particularly with the baby making! If you have not already looked into Traditional Chinese Medicine for fertility I cannot recommend it highly enough. I decided to try it after many unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant and now in my 40’s with a long history of hormone imbalance issues, we are excited to soon be welcoming a baby girl. The TCM fertility program has truly worked wonders! Most doctors just don’t know to suggest it to their patients because they’re simply unaware of the benefits.

    Best wishes for a fantastic year :)

  17. Erin, I also struggle with infertility and am so blessed to have a son that was conceived through IVF. Your goal to have another baby in 2018 resonates with me , as we are about to start IVF again next week to try for a sibling and complete our family. I am excited for the opportunity to possibly conceive again, but i’d be lying if I said that the anxiety and sadness that comes with infertility hasn’t already started to creep back in. I too am looking forward to the day that I can whole heartedly put “trying to conceive” behind me, and focus solely on raising my kids.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your struggles. I hope this year brings Henry his little brother or sister!

  18. Thanks for your honesty and inspiration, Erin! I can relate to most of your “non-resolutions”. Wishing you and your family all the best!

  19. A bit late to the party but can relate entirely to (well most of it!) but especially the baby part. About to have our second – five year age gap – after primarily and secondary infertility and a whole lot of miscarriages. Whilst I ended up being ok with one knowing my journey will FINALLY be over – in about a week(!) is incredibly freeing. I am so done after this and after 10 years it feels amazing. All the best on all your resolutions – altho i do prefer matching coffee cups 😆

  20. Happy New Year!

    Erin, your blog drew me in via the stories about your house. After many months of fruitless searches, we came across a gorgeous colonial much like yours, and I’m extremely excited to work its interior to our taste. Will be checking EoS often for inspiration.

    Good luck to you and your husband on the baby front!

  21. I love these goals for the new year – they are more like ‘guiding principles’ than unrealistic resolutions. My hope for you is that you’re able to have another baby. I am pregnant with our first baby after 5 years of infertility. IVF finally worked for us (our first embryo transfer didn’t take, but our second did) and I relate so much to the struggles you went through to have Henry. I have always appreciated you being open about those struggles because even though we don’t know each other, I felt I could relate to you and your story gave me hope in our darkest moments on this journey.

  22. Good luck with #1! I am blessed to have one, though I did want more, and while I doubt I will ever cease to be wistful about not having another, I have come to terms with the fact that our daughter is an only child. Having finally decided not to be ruled by the desire, at some point, I do know what it feels like to be lifted from that weight (it’s definitely a process though!). I hope you are able to have another child, but even more, I hope you are soon lifted from the weight of wanting. (I don’t think the weight of wanting anything has ever been as heavy for me as the weight of wanting a child.)

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