This Year

I keep writing this post in my mind, over and over. And I wanted to address what I failed at this year, but acknowledge what I managed to succeed at, but largely it was going to involve pointless regrets and the lack of progression in my professional life. And then I was reading Felicia’s blog (which I recently discovered and devoured) and I saw this quote and felt lifted:

I’m constantly aware of lost opportunities. I used to think such lost opportunities were beautiful towns flashing by my train windows, but now I imagine they are lanterns from the past, casting light on what’s ahead. – Chris Huntington

Simply, this year:

– Get my jewelry business back on track and focused. Do more events and wholesale accounts. Advertise? Oof, I’ve never done all that and now I need to. You can’t ride good luck forever, apparently. :)
– Be a good wife, a part of a good marriage. Understand and know what that means, at least most of the time.
– Surround myself with people who are good to me. Professionally and personally. People who are good to me will get me farther than anyone with a lot of “connections”, anytime. Tell those people how good they are to me.
– Meet more creatives in LA, collaborate more. Interact in person more.
– Take classes.
– Use my library card more.
– Spend more wisely. Shopping is not therapy. Finances are so key this year.
– Be less forgetful. Write it down, stay on top of things. I started using the Any.DO app + chrome extension (that part was key, I’m not a huge app user) and so far I really like it.
– More small adventures. I mean that in so many different ways.
– Stay physically active in at least some small way every day.

My biggest themes:

1. Let it go. “Choose your battles” also applies to the battles inside your head and heart. This is so far-reaching across so many facets of my life. From friends and clients I hold grudges towards to road rage on the freeway. To projects going wrong and letting the regret consume me. Failure is a lesson learned, analyze it, grow.

2. Focus. Get it. Push. Ok, I sound like a Jillian Michaels work out, but I lost my edge last year and my ambition wavered. I’m an unhappy person when I’m not doing slightly too much and wanting more for myself productively. Figure out what I should be focusing on more and less, what I’m good at and what people like from me. I had to put a lot of my business aside while planning our wedding last year, but I learned what I’m capable of producing, which I’m honestly really impressed with myself for. Years ago I would never have considered myself organized or a good planner, and now I know I’m capable of that when I’m working on something I truly love and want to invest in. I need to run with that.

After weeks of banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what it is I want this year and feeling sorry for myself, I feel invigorated and READY. I’m going to see my family this week (a late Christmas for me) and hope some music making with my brother, photo taking with my dad (I gave him my old camera), and spa soaking with mom refreshes me and pumps me up for an awesome 2014. I spent most of my weekend updating my portfolio site and realized I did more than I thought this year and aim for even more this year.

All photos are snippets of our new place, which we are both really loving.

I always love hearing what you guys are focusing on this year, and what’s helping you do so!


  1. Annie says

    Best of luck in 2014, Kate! 2013 seems like it was an off year for a lot of people. I know it was for me! Your blog always inspires me to push myself creatively, and this post is no different. This might have to be the year I get out of teaching for good and finally pursue my creative goals!

    • says

      Thanks, Annie! I think you’re right, I feel like a lot of people were thrilled for 2014 to finally come around. Good luck with your goals, that is such a big one!!

  2. says

    Good luck in 2014! I feel like I am in line with you – learning to let certain things go, especially fear, and just go after what I want! I have also been meditating and am starting up yoga again. Healthy mind, healthy body.

    • says

      I started doing that every morning as well! I’m bad at sticking with things for very long so I’m under no illusion it’s here to stay, but for now it’s such a great routine I’m benefitting from.

  3. says

    Kate, I am such a huge fan of your blog. I’ve been reading for a long time, and I always appreciate your posts. You have such a beautiful aesthetic and I love how you seem so damn real. Like Annie above, 2013 was a crazy off year for me too, and I think a lot of us are happy about the arrival of 2014. I wish you the best on all of your goals!

    PS. I spent part of my Christmas vacation at the Ojai Rancho Inn. It was wonderful! So affordable, and I loved how low-key it was. Thanks for recommending it on your blog.

  4. says

    kate, I love this list, and can definitely relate to some of your goals. I, too, need to start spending more wisely! I’m trying to transition from full-time work to freelance at some point, and seriously need to stop shopping!! I hate that it’s so hard, but if I’m able to really see a goal in the distance, I know it will be worth it. I’m also hoping for more adventures! But they’ll have to be the inexpensive kind.. ha.

    good luck. you got this!

  5. says

    What a beautiful, inspiring post! I’ve been kind of pretending the New Year hasn’t started yet, but your reflections make me feel more ready to evaluate my goals! No goal too small. :)

  6. says

    I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s resolutions. It’s comforting to know that we’re all (mostly) dealing with the same stuff. Also, thanks for sharing Felicia’s blog. Wow, great find!

  7. says


    First off, your cat is GORGEOUS. Your kitty is the gift that keeps on giving — I say this as a fellow pet owner and pet lover.

    Anyway, thank you so kindly for linking to my blog. For so long I focused on what I could have done, as I’ve had so many life + career shifts, and I often have self-FOMO, however, I’ve learned that being present in my life and focusing on what I’m passionate about RIGHT THIS MINUTE will drive me where I need to go. If that makes any sense.

    Warmly, Felicia

  8. says

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve got a huge audience of people you inspire. Don’t be too hard on yourself!

    It’ll be a great year, I’m sure :)

  9. Ann says

    Literally printing out your list & popping it in lovely journal that I have, as you are able to put into words what’s going around my head! Have a lovely visit with your family, and thanks for the wonderful blog, Ann.

  10. says

    Happy new year Kate! Like a lot of other people, I see, I’m happy for a new year and a clean slate. No more looking back and regretting, that’s so last year! I feel we’re alike in many ways, even though I can’t be sure, and your insights always help me with my own, similar issues. So thank you for that!

  11. Ann says

    Dear Kate,
    have never commented on your posts before but have been reading for a long time, always a fan of your photographs and how you share your thoughts here. I really respect that you are so honest, always, and with that establish a contrast against many other blogs.
    I wish you all the best for the new year and that you reach some of those goals.
    My priority for 2014 is eating better, not the whole hardcore vegan smoothie route but more like “What am I putting in my stomach and what does it do to / for me”.
    All the best wishes all the way from Germany!

  12. says

    Reading your thoughts was really inspiring and motivating… Many of those to do things are things that I feel should go directly to my list. I hope you will enjoy your late christmas plans. They sound more than wonderful any way!

    Thank’s for sharing..

  13. says

    happy new year, kate! i have a feeling 2014 is going to be a good year (i might only think that because 2013 was horrible for me? haha.).

    it’s always so hard reading other peoples’ lists and thinking of what i’ve forgotten to add to my own, or how i should probably focus on improving myself, rather than thinking about goals to accomplish, but i liked your list + i might even have to steal a few items from it. (library = a biggie. oh man! who can say no to free books?!)

    these photos are absolutely perfect. i want to fall into your warm, cozy sunshine + snuggle wendy + read whatever book i just picked up at the library. you three are so lucky to have such a beautiful place! [wendy clearly counts as part of the fam.] :)

  14. says

    If 2013 was not progressive professionally, I certainly couldn’t tell. I absolutely loved your wedding, the photographs for the wedding you shot in the trees and your recent jewelry shop update. I also love the photos above, for some reason they remind me of the weekend bits you used to do.

    As for me, I’m hoping to really focus in on what I do best in 2014. That’s a tough goal to have when you’re the type to want to do it all…

  15. Laura says

    Hey Kate – I’ve been reading your blog for a lonnnnng time but have never commented. This post really struck a chord with me. Thanks for your thoughtful writing. I too am an independent designer trying to continuously learn more and grow, so thought I’d recommend Skillshare. So cheap and so convenient that I try to take one class every two weeks just to keep learning. Thanks again for the great post! May your new year be filled with happiness and adventure!

  16. says

    Alternatively, if lost opportunities are beautiful towns flashing by your train windows then they are just scenery on the route to wherever you’re meant to be going…

  17. Heidi says

    For me my biggest goal for 2014 is to get happy. This for me will entail three major areas in my life.
    1. Find a more fulfilling job. I have been stuck in a job that makes me miserable and is not even in the field that I really want to work in. I’ve been at my current job so long it’s scary to try something new but this needs to be the year to branch out. I can feel the negativity there crushing my creative soul. I have already applied to many places now it’s just a matter of one of them clicking.
    2. Loose weight. Many of us say this each year and then do nothing. But for me it is more about my health. I want to not have to worry about heart disease and diabetes which run in my family and getting my weight under control will help. So far I haven’t started on this because I honestly have no idea where to start and what to do. This will be my biggest challenge of the three.
    3. Get my home in order. Things got out of hand the past few years and I feel like if my home is in order and a happy place then the rest of me will follow. Baby steps so far but soon I will be able to see my closet again and not have clothes all over.

    Here to a new year with lots of possibilities!

  18. says

    I read the story by Chris Huntington in the NY Times and the same quote really stood out to me. This year I wanted to focus on taking care of myself. Simple. Still, sometimes I forget to do the basic things, like eat and exercise. Also, I’m so embarrassed to say it, but to finally get my big cartel site going.

  19. says

    I always look forward to your New Year’s posts. You are such a beautiful writer. Thanks for sharing your journey…It is an inspiration. Happy 2014.

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