Monthly Archives: December 2011

What Was Your Highlight Of 2011?


Lara & Robynn:  For both of us the highlight of 2011 was, by far, sTarTing tHis bLog.  We started this blog in effort to help people and the feedback we have received has been far more than we could have ever dreamed.  And although our intention was to help others, we have grown and learned so much just by sharing our journey with you.  Many thanks to our readers for assuring us that we aren’t totally cRazy :)

Robyn:  For me, the highlight of 2011 was opening up my Etsy shop, RoByN’s NeSt.  Through the Etsy community and  Robyn’s Nest facebook page, I have met so many amazing people and friends who I would never have had the opportunity to meet.  As many of you know…Etsy is what led me to Lara and in turn opened up the opportunity to write on this AmAziNg BloG with both her and Robynn!  What a year it has been!

What will you remember as the highlight of YoUr 2011?

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspire

A Peek At Our Live-It Lists

Lara’s Live-It List:

Click Lara's List for a Close-Up!

Robyn (Jersey Girl’s) Live-It List:

Robynn’s Live-It List:

Click Robynn's List for a Close-Up!


Filed under Live-It Ideas, Live-It List

Live-It: Simplify Meal Planning w/ an Easy and Affordable Recipe Book

One of my liVe-iT liSt items is making meal planning more of a priority (but in a way that doesn’t require much work)!  If you are anything like me, when you go to your recipes it may look something like this:

An Unorganized Mess!!

So how did I fix this problem?! I bought some protective sleeves (made for 5×7 sized pictures) and put them in a binder.  Then added adhesive tabs to keep them oRganiZed!

I also added some full length page protectors for some of my larger recipes and for my meal list!  Now when someone GiVes me a recipe, no matter the shape or size, I have a place to keep it protected!

My meal list includes the name of every meal we eat and the main ingredients needed.  Every time I go shopping I grab the list so I no longer have to take my entire recipe book or make a handwritten list.  It has really come in handy!

This live-it list item was something that I completed in an afternoon.  My next task is to get all of my recipes typed on the computer and saved.  Like any goal, it is a work in progress and I will reJoiCe and eNjoY every small step I make!




Filed under Live-It Ideas, Live-It List, RANDO•RAMA, Recipes

Rely on Friends to LIVE IT!

Last Friday I made my 9 day promise to be a more patient mommy and not “LoSe It” when things get out of control.  Within 3 hours of the post going up I was already struggling to keep my cool when my kids seemed to be on an all out crusade to do the opposite of anything I was asking them to do!  Thankfully my husband stepped in and told me to go out and run my errands by myself.  I got in my mommy mini-van and listened to my Christmas music and savored each uninterrupted moment I had as I drove.  While I was out I sent Lara a text saying that I seemed to be FaILiNg miserably at my 9 day promise.  She wrote back some great advice…”Actions are stronger than words.”  Now when my kids act up instead of yelling I am taking Lara’s advice and am just moving them to time-out without saying anything.  They are old enough to know why they are in trouble without me going on and on about it and saying nothing keeps me from “losing it”.  By the time their time-out is over I can talk to them about what they did in a calm manner.

When working on your Live-It List, think about the people you can ReLy on to help you be successful.  Whether it be skydiving or completing a quilt, think of the people in your life that you can reach out to who can help you AcHieVe your goals!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Friends, Getting Real, Inspiration, Life, Live-It Ideas, Live-It List, Relationships, Uncategorized


Over the weekend I spoke with a relative who gave me the iDeA to share the “less is more” concept when brainstorming your live-it list.  Her new year’s resolution for 2011 was to take at least one photo every, single day. Her Goal was not necessarily to be artsy and super creative, but to simply keep track of the year, one day at a time.  Some of her posts were short and others were long, as she never committed to writing a certain amount, which may have discouraged her to continue.  The most important thing was to come up with 1 picture to signify every day that year.

I especially like that she said being forced to take a daily picture helped her to “loOk uP” in life vs. always looking down.  Isn’t that cool?!   That is so true, and after talking to her, I could see how much this goal had really opened her eyes to things in the world that she normally may have ignored!

We may think we have to come up with such aMaziNg and out-of-this-world things to put on our live-it list, when in fact it is the basic, everyday things that often eNrich our lives the most.  In what ways can you simplify some of the items on your list?  Maybe you want to “enjoy life more” or “have more quality family time”.  In order to achieve those things you don’t need to take expensive trips, spend money, or do something extreme.  How can you sImpLify those items using the resources you have and make it a convenient way to incorporate it in your daily routine?  Remember, less is more…so go down every item on your list and ask yourself, ‘how can I simplify this to make it more attainable’?  You might be surprised at the new items you come up with!

If you have any ideas, please share by commenting below.  We have many people working on their lists this week.  Help encourage others by sharing your thoughts!



Filed under Live-It Ideas, Live-It List

Live It! {And Get A Chance To Win A Coach Purse!!}

Can you believe that 2011 is almost over!  On January 1st the SuEde SoFa will begin the “LiVe It LiSt” challenge!!  In case you haven’t read or heard about our “Live It List” challenge, here it is in a NuTsHeLL:

The “Live It List” is sort of like a “BuCkEt LiSt” only with the emphasis on living rather than on dying.  Not only does it focus on living life, but living it to the full TODAY, not sometime down the road when circumstances are more ideal.  The “Live It List” targets the little things in life that really make the biggest differences such as relationships, fulfilling your purpose, and enjoying life.  And if that isn’t exciting enough, the Suede Sofa will give one fortunate reader a brand new Coach purse!  You can find out more about the challenge by Clicking Here.  But wait!!  Before you click for more details what’s on your list?

Here are some ideas to get your imaginations soaring!!

“Live It List” Ideas

  1. Create a vision board.  (A bulletin board with pictures of things that motivate and inspire you)
  2. Work your way through a cookbook like in the movie “Julia and Julia”
  3. Take a course from “The Great Courses” (
  4. Learn to make jewelry, knit a scarf, make pasta, etc. via watching a YouTube tutorial
  5. Reconnect with an old pen pal
  6. Volunteer
  7. Do a triathlon
  8. Volunteer with your child
  9. Organize a community event
  10. Sew/quilt
  11. Photograph old barns or your favorite people/items/animal/scenery
  12. Start an Etsy business
  13. Grow herbs
  14. Start a blog
  15. Visit your physican and begin a healthy life style
  16. Journal
  17. Carve out 30 minutes a day reserved only for your child/children
  18. Spend 15 minutes a day praying, meditating, etc.
  19. Complete “The Love Dare”
  20. Complete “The Purpose Driven Life”
  21. Establish a date night once a week with your spouse, significant other, child, friend, or family member
  22. Change your look
  23. Do a personal make-over
  24. Do a home make-over
  25. Pamper yourself once a week
  26. Ask an estranged friend/family member if you can “Begin Again”
  27. Do a random act of kindness once a week
  28. Learn to decorate a cake
  29. Plan a weekend get away
  30. Search for your favorite childhood toys/books/ etc on Ebay
  31. Send a care package to someone in the military
  32. Visit the Drive-In, Diners, and Dives in your area (from Food Networks “Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives” television show)
  33. Take a dance class with your friend or spouse
  34. Do a room makeover for under $100
  35. Start a new family tradition
  36. Document your family traditions
  37. Take flight lessons
  38. Make a piece of furniture
  39. Hunt for a vintage piece of furniture from a flea market, antique shop, etc.
  40. Start working on the home-based business you’ve been dreaming of
  41. Turn a hobby into a business.  Need some ideas?  Check out this website of hobbies:
  42. Invite friends over for weekly cooking classes hosted by those people who make your favorite foods  i.e. have Mom teach how she makes her famous fried chicken, Grandma teach how to make her delicious apple pie, etc.
  43. Start a collection by going to antique shops, Ebay, garage sales, etc. – vintage cameras, geodes, vintage letters or numbers
  44. Finally begin pursuing your passion
  45. Determine what your passion is
  46. Write thank-you letters to people who have made a difference in your life
  47. Create a budget that you can live by
  48. Take Dave Ramsey’s Finanical Peace University course
  49. Get a puppy
  50. Do on-line dating
  51. Finish your bachelor’s/Master’s/Doctorate Degree
  52. Get a certification in your field
  53. Take a martial arts class
  54. Turn one room in your house into one that inspires you
  55. Create a top 10 list:  i.e. Places to visit, Home projects to complete, Friends to get reconnected with, Activities to do, Goals to pursue and complete by Dec 31, Foods to make, etc.
  56. Make your family’s own personal “Yearbook” by documenting pictures as well as the stories that go with them by going to websites such as: www.,, etc.
  57. Create a list of eight things you are going to do (one for each week) that is achievable, yet exciting and motivating
  58. Call your friends/family to say, “I love you”
  59. Talk to a financial planner and start planning for the future!
  60. Make your own art gallery
  61. Get on a travel website and dream
  62. Find the thing that encourages your imagination and begin dreaming
  63. Begin writing a book
  64. Adopt an elderly person or a child to be kind to
  65. Take your kid fishing
  66. Take your dad fishing
  67. Finally read a book that you have been wanting to read
  68. Visit your hometown
  69. Reminisce with a childhood friend
  70. Give blood
  71. Pay the toll for the car behind you at a toll gate
  72. Make snow angels after the next big snowfall
  73. Run for an elected office
  74. Get a Red-Cross certification in something
  75. Resurrect an old skill such as playing an instrument, writing poetry, singing, drawing, etc.
  76. Give away or sell everything you don’t need/use
  77. Make a difference in oNe LiFe

HaPpY LiVe-iNg!!


Filed under Inspiration, Inspire, Live-It Ideas, Live-It List

Merry Christmas from Suede Sofa!

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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA

{O Holy Night}


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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA, Videos

What’s Your 9-Day Promise?

With the “LiVe-It LiSt” challenge starting on January 1st, we have not only been encouraging our readers to work on their list, but have been tweeking ours, as well.  We’ll continue to share some of those items in hopes to give you ideas, as well as inpire and motivate.  One of our items on our list is SeLf-ImProVeMeNt.  Instead of waiting until the New Year we are making a nine-day ProMise to ourselves.  The promise is not perfection.  We may fall off the bandwagon, but we commit to get right back on.  To ReMiNd ourselves of the promise we’ve made to ourself, we are each doing something unique.  (See below).

Lara says – “Whenever I start to worry or become anxious I am going to say the prayer of Hail Mary.”

Lara's Reminder

Robyn (Jersy Girl) says – “I am going to try and be a patient Mommy and not “lose it” when things get out of control.”

Robyn's Reminder

Robynn says – “I’m showing kindness with words by not saying anything unkind to or about someone.”

Robynn's Reminder

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Filed under Live-It Ideas, Live-It List, SelfImprovement, You

{What Enriches Your Life?}

Our dog, Walter does a lot of things.  Here are just a few…

Dog poses.

Kitchen clean-up during and after meals.

Water sports.

Winter sports.

Tea parties.

Statue Of Liberty poses.

Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer impersonations and he wishes you a Merry Christmas!!

This has been a silly post, so what’s the point?  (Not that there always has to be a point to all our posts.  Sometimes we may share something “just because”.)  However, I’ve shared pictures of our dog Walter because he truly enriches our lives.  What things in your life EnRiCh and EnHaNcEe your life?  Even when times are tough what things are a bright spot?  What things bring happiness?  Regardless of how your 2011 went, chances are you can find SoMeThInG you are thankful for – faithful friends, family, co-workers you enjoy, good neighbors, freedom, health, a job, hope, faith, another day.

Lara, Jersey Girl – Robyn and I are endeavoring to “Live-It”.  Regardless of what life hands us, we want to squeeze out every bit of enjoyment by savoring all the good.  Sometimes that good is hard to find.  Some times it’s interdispersed within the bad or uncomfortable.  But it’s there and we are gonna find it.  We hope you find the good in your life as well, because if you look hard enough you’ll find it.




Filed under Holiday, Inspiration, Live-It List, Pets, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships