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resolution /rɛzəˈluːʃ(ə)n/

1. A firm decision to do or not to do something
2. A formal expression of opinion or intention

Why do we make New Years Resolutions? We are governed by daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly calendars that literally are just a vehicle, allowing us to ‘put things off’.  Why, on January 1 of every year, are we all madly scrawling out intentions of giving up drinking, smoking, losing weight? The worst, and perhaps most unrealistic of these pointless resolutions – learning a new language. Why? 
Things are exactly the same with our homes. We start with the very best of intentions. Then we get slack. I have a list as long as my arm of things I’ve started but yet had time to finish. What I believe happens is, we attack with the exact level of enthusiasm as when we join the gym, until it starts to fade, about a week later. As the days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, things that initially seemed utterly ugly and unbearable suddenly look ok, well, just fine in fact. Just like the extra ten pounds. And the gym membership sits on the shelf gathering dust next to the antique jar with no lid, that we were sure was supposed to be used for something useful?
But these things aren’t just fine. It means we have become completely immune to our own bad taste and let’s face it, laziness. When I am working on a styling project, or a design in someone else’s home, everything gets done, on time. I have a deadline.
When it comes to my home however, I let the shabbiest of things sometimes sit hidden for days…weeks even, until they just become part of the furniture, to coin a pun. After only inhabiting this Brownstone for a mere four months, I have achieved a large amount in the decorating department, more than most. If I hadn’t, I’d really have no right walking into other people’s homes and advising them on such things. 
This is where I think we go wrong with resolutions. Making an endless list of totally unbelievable and unattainable missions without deadlines is a waste of time. A few years ago, I was taught something for a new year, and I passed this little pearl of wisdom on to one of my brothers, and it worked. For us both.  
Instead of making a list of resolutions, write down a list of goals, dreams and wishes. Give yourself deadlines for them all and you will be utterly surprised at how much of your list you can actually achieve.
Instead of writing it in the future, write it in the present tense and stagger it. Make your list fun and exciting, and make it things you really want out of life.
I’ll give you an example of some of mine…… and now I am publishing them, I will have to be held accountable…….

Three months

1. I write to my friends now, and send the letter by mail every few months. It’s fabulously rewarding when I receive a letter in return.
2. All the chairs that needed a little love and care are now duly returned to their spots in the house, and they look amazing.

Six months
1. I am writing my blog every day now, not a measly every other week, and my following is fantastic. Far more than 18…… I can’t believe I’ve even got a free trip to Mexico reviewing a new hotel.  
2. My dog doesn’t chase squirrels any more. Brilliant.







Twelve months

1. My work is being published in two glossies regularly and I’m so proud of this achievement! I think I’ll hop into my mini and take it for a spin to The Hamptons for the weekend.
2. You’ll have to keep reading to find out………..

So, goodbye 2011. You have been the best and the worst in more ways than I can ever describe.
For 2012, just remember, stay focused, do one thing a day, the rest will simply be.
Watch out for a new look Appleketchup, on a much more regular basis for 2012. It’s going to be super!


 

vin·tage/ˈvintij/

1. The year or place, in which wine, esp. wine of high quality, was produced.
2. Of relating to, or denoting wine of high quality.

Vintage, antique, retro, repro… these words are everywhere, especially if you are perusing a furniture shop or on the lookout for a new pair of boots.  Despite its definition, we seldom use the word ‘vintage’ and ‘wine’ in the same sentence these days. 

In fashion and design, something produced between the 1920’s and the 1960’s, is vintage, according to Wikipedia.  I think the word ‘vintage’ has become somewhat in a class of it’s own.
A bit like the way we call vacuum cleaners ‘Hoovers’ and one day, probably, ‘Dysons’, the original meaning of the word is really lost now, anything not brand new… we call it ‘vintage’. … and wine? So long as it’s under $25 we don’t mind what we call it.
According to most of the second hand stores in Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and much of Manhattan, ‘vintage’ is anything that looks a bit old, or is old but looks a bit new, or was old, but has now been made to look new, or… it’s just new… and far too expensive.
How has this obsession with vintage become so big now? I thought since we saw less of Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie in the headlines this year, it may have slightly subsided. But somehow it hasn’t, and now, we have Lana Del Ray taking the world by storm, I think it’s all going to go a bit ‘vintage – a – rama’ again next summer, with hundreds of ‘Lolita – esque’ young ladies everywhere, draped over chairs in cafes and bars.
In my world, the world of interiors, and, for the more 21st century vintage shopper, it seems Etsy is the place to go. Crammed with sellers of vintage and vintage ‘style’ items, some of which may be harshly overpriced and over – exaggerated for what they really are, but with such an enormous database of sellers, if you have the time to trawl through it all, you can still grab yourself a cute little bargain.
Also taking the US by storm, with its super fast rise to stardom in the world of decorating is One Kings Lane. Not always vintage or antique, but with fantastic price points, true to description products and new sales coming up every day – there is always a vintage bargain on offer.
If you want to really trawl through vintage in a more traditional way, Brooklyn Flea for Brooklynites and GreenFlea if you want to stay on the island, are a couple of gems. 
I must confess, I am definitely one of the culprits who has used the word ‘vintage’ loosely as a description of my wedding day. I hold up my hands…there was nothing vintage at all about my dress, shoes, headpiece, or bridesmaids dresses, but they all looked a little vintage, and I was wearing an extremely sentimental and very vintage, in fact probably antique, if we are going to split hairs, brooch, so, vintage it was.
With the classic Italian medieval town, where everyone still sits in the street and drinks coffee in the same outfits they have had for the last 40 years as a backdrop….well, you can’t get more vintage than that… can you?