Category

Goals

Category

B+ Goals // October 2016

Oh man! Where did September go?! I never say that. Usually I find that time passes soooooo slooooooowly. But not this month!

It’s time to link up with Elizabeth and review how I did with my B+ goals for September! Here’s the Cliff Notes version: WHOMP WHOMP

+Finish updating my blog: IN PROGRESS

Nope! Well. I did do LOTS of things for my blog. But not the thing I set out to do. I planned to update my headshot, the about me page, the sidebar, and a couple other pages. I did not do those things. BUT! On my retreat to Sedona, I wrote 20+ blog posts and came up with an editorial calendar. So, I’d say that’s pretty good!

+Order photos for picture frames: HIT AND MISS

I ordered the engineer prints for my hallway picture frames. And it was like a Goldilocks moment. I have three frames. One print fit perfectly! One was way too small! And one was even smaller! I have NO idea how that happened, since they are all the same size photo. I put them in the frames anyway. Maybe next month I’ll reorder the other two in the correct size.

+Try out vlogging one more time: IN PROGRESS

I ordered a camera, and I shot a bunch of footage. And then did nothing with it! Classic! There’s always next month!

+Take more photos: IN PROGRESS

I did take more photos, but I always need to take more! I finished my photography class (WAH! I loved that class, and I’m twisting on the instructor’s arm to do another one). I find I take the most pictures when I participate in something like Week in the Life, so I’m trying to think of something I can do like that on my own.

I feel like I accomplished a lot in September…just not the things I thought I would accomplish. I’m taking on more hours at work, so I used most of this month to hire some help (!!!) and think through what I need to (and want to) accomplish for work and my personal work. Plus, transitioning back to school has felt like a slap in the face!

So, here are some hopefully do-able goals for October:

+Send out my new e-newsletter

I enjoy writing my e-newsletter, but I haven’t been able to get it going recently. I have some fun ideas, so I hope to have it up and running again this month.

+Investigate essential oils

I know I’m late to the game on this. A friend of mine was diffusing oil when I was at her house, and it smelled so good and created this calm atmosphere. I love good smells, but I’m sensitive to scents (I get headaches walking into Bath and Body Works). But this oil she was diffusing smelled and felt different. But I know less than zero about it.

+Create a new work at home mom schedule

As I said, I’m increasing my hours at work, and I found the most delightful young lady to nanny for me, so I’m working on creating a good work-at-home mom schedule. I feel like I can take a deep breath for the first time in…six years? It’s taken me a long time to accept help, but now it’s no longer optional. I’m excited to get our new routine going!

+Take a small step with a new idea

As a work-at-home mom, I’m probably the loneliest I’ve ever been. I’ve started reaching out to other work-at-home moms and finding that they feel the same way! Then why on Earth do we continue to suffer?! I spoke with a fellow local entrepreneur and work-at-home mom the other day, and we chatted about how we could better support each other. I need another thing to do like I need a hole in the head. BUT! I feel so passionate about this that I can’t not do something. I’m thinking about how I can take a small step with this idea.

Okay, that’s it for me! So, how did your September go? And what do you have planned for October?

B+ Goals // September 2016

IMG_1864Oh, August. You’ve been fun. And like a kick in the teeth. I think anytime we’re transitioning between two phases  is tough. We’re getting ready to say goodbye to summer and no schedule and hello to fall and the school year requirements. On the one hand, I’m ready for a routine. And on the other hand, I love the long, hot, sunny days of summer where I’m NOT driving kids to and fro.

But, no sense in fighting it! September’s here, ready or not!

So let’s review the August B+ goals. True story: I wrote that August B+ goals post…and then I didn’t look at it again until this very morning.

Here’s how I did:

+Use the Stylebook app: I TRIED

I downloaded it. I watched the tutorials. I tried to take photos of my clothes. Ugh. I must have the wrong colored sheet to use as a backdrop. This was a total pain in the butt. I’d love to have this tool. But I’m not sure I’m willing to put in the work. Thoughts?

+Practice manual mode on my DSLR: COMPLETE

Really, this is a life-long goal, this one of taking good pictures. I brought my camera on our beach vacation, and I made a valiant effort to take pictures of my family. And I’m pleased with how the pictures turned out! Especially since I was sitting in the water to take those pictures! Shooting at the beach is HARD. The light has to be just right (Or you need to be more talented than me. Or both!).

+Try out vlogging: NOPE.

Nope!

+Make progress on a blog redesign: IN PROGRESS

And really good progress. It’s up. It functions. I need to work on the sidebar. And update the About Me and a couple other pages.

+Make the most of the rest of the summer: COMPLETE

Yep. I feel I did this. As I said in my introduction, I’m feeling both happy and sad to see the summer go. It went by quickly, and I feel I did the best I could with very limited childcare, working, and three kids of very different ages.

Okay, moving on to September’s goals:

+Finish updating my blog

I need a new head shot, I need to update the About Me, I need to update the sidebar, and I need to decide if I need any other pages.

+Order photos for picture frames

I have three huge IKEA picture frames hanging in my hallway. Empty.

+Try out vlogging one more time

Part of the issue is, I have trouble filming on the go with my DSLR because it’s heavy, and I can’t tell if I’m in focus. So I tried using my iPhone. But it was using up all my storage, and the audio was always out of sync with my mouth. After much angst, I purchased a small point and shoot with a flip screen that takes video. I hemmed and hawed about if I should get a higher end one…but I decided to go this route, see if I liked shooting this type of video, and reassess.

+Take more photos

My photography class finishes up this month (WAH!), so I want to end strong and take as many photos as possible. I’ve had a lot of fun taking this class, and I’m hoping my instructor wants to teach a follow up class! My goal is to take more everyday, home photojournalism pictures.

Okay, I think that’s good for this month! What are you working on? Be sure to link up with Elizabeth and me and let us know what you’re working on!

B+ Goals // August 2016

B+ Goals

Well this summer has just about flown by! Everyone I talk to remarks on how quickly the summer is moving. This is good because…school gives me a break from at least a few of my children. And not good because I love the sunny days and the warm weather.

Anyway! Time to talk goals. Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog to read her recap and see what she plans to do in August.

I feel like I didn’t get to as much personal goals this month. I’ve been busy wrapping up some work projects, which is great because they are things that have been hanging out there a while, and it feels so good to get them wrapped up. But that means I didn’t get to as many personal things. But, that’s how it goes sometimes, right? Anyway, here’s how I did in July:

b+-goals-august-2016-1

b+-goals-august-2016-2

b+-goals-august-2016-3

b+-goals-august-2016-4

+Re-organize and re-decorate the playroom: COMPLETE

I’m going to write up a whole post about this, but I’m super pleased with how this turned out.

+Get those last book interviews scheduled: IN PROGRESS

I did get my last interview transcribed! I’m trying to schedule my last two interviews. I’ve been playing e-mail tag with one source. I hope to get these nailed down soon!

+Plan a vacation with Dan: COMPLETE

Complete except that…we’re not taking a trip just the two of us…we’re taking Kate to Disney instead. So, as we were planning our trip for just the two of us in October, Dan had a work trip come up at Disney World. Kate has been begging to go. Since the trade show Dan has for work is AT a Disney hotel, we could not pass up taking Kate. So instead of a romantic trip, we will be spending two days at Disney with our six-year-old. But we’re looking forward to this because she’s at a fun age, and we don’t need to help her do things (like go to the bathroom), and she can easily go to sleep and doesn’t need to nap.

+Re-work my blog categories: IN PROGRESS

Since I like to write on so many different topics, I have a lot of micro-categories. I’m working on my site redesign and thinking about how I want my work to display. Once I have a better idea about that, I will be able to finish this up.

+Start planning Season 4 of the podcast: COMPLETE

I created a new show intro, and I think I have the new format nailed down.

+Experiment with more video: IN PROGRESS

I purchased a ring light and that has improved my lighting situation 100%. When Liz was over for Thomas’s birthday, she helped me come up with a good place to shoot, so I’m working on scheduling my recordings.

Given that it’s summer, and I have limited child care, I think these goals went about as good as possible. Here’s what I want to do in August:

+Use the Stylebook app.

Several months ago, I researched several different types of closet apps, and I was impressed with Stylebook. But I didn’t want to pay $3.99. But then I looked around again and Stylebook really seemed like the most robust. So I paid $3.99 for it. I just bought it, so this month, I want to start importing pictures of all my clothes. I love clothes (I always wanted that closet matching system, a la Cher in Clueless), and I love organization, so this is the best of both worlds.

+Practice manual mode on my DSLR.

I’m taking a photography class, and I’m just loving it. I feel like I’ve already learned so much, and we just got started. My instructor provides us with shooting prompts, so I want to be sure to complete those. But I also want to do more! The more I shoot, the better my pictures.

+Try out vlogging.

Several years ago, I participated in VEDA, which was/is Vlog Every Day in August. It was a lot of fun! I’m going to try my hand at it again this August. In the past I’ve gotten hung up about vlogging because I either have to shoot with my DSLR to achieve high quality video (which is tricky on the go because it’s heavy, and I can’t see if I’m in frame). Or go with my iPhone which is super easy to use but definitely not as great quality. I’m going to try out both, my DSLR when I can and my iPhone when it makes sense.

+Make progress on a blog redesign.

I LOVE redesigning my website, and I like to do it about once a year. Well, I’m coming up on a year this month! I might not be able to finish it, but I want to make a good start.

+Make the most of the rest of the summer.

I wasn’t sure how the summer would go. And I’ve been having so much fun. And I’ve been getting plenty frustrated. The most fun thing has definitely been the pool. Kate loved swim team, and I’ve loved getting to know all the families at the pool. We’re so lucky to have such great families at our pool. I want to make the most of the rest of the summer before school starts. Maybe we can even get in the trip to the zoo!

Okay, how did your July goals go? What about August?

B+ Goals // June 2016

B+ Goals

Wow! We’re half way through the year, and I truly cannot believe it. I feel like everyone says that. But for me, it’s significant because I usually find that time moves so very slow. Now, though, for whatever reason, life feels like it’s a going warp speed.

All the rain we’ve had in the Northern Virginia area (we’re talking 20+ days of rain…in a row) almost derailed one of my goals. But, fortunately, the sun came out, and I pulled it together (with help, of course).

Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog and her B+ Goals. And if you participated, leave me a comment and let me know!

Let’s review:

garden-beds

+Plant garden: COMPLETE

Dan built me one bed last year, and our tomatoes went so crazy, we decided I needed another bed. This year, Dan built me second bed, so I can have separate beds for my tomatoes and herbs. My mother-in-law helped me plant the tomatoes, and over the weekend, Dan finished the herb bed, and I got the herbs planted (With help from Michael, who kept burying the plants…). I planted Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Oregano.

canvas-prints

+Hang canvas prints: COMPLETE

We ordered six canvas from Easy Canvas Prints, and I’m super happy with how they turned out. I provided creative direction, and Dan hung them. #teamwork

+Keep my van clean: COMPLETE

Yes. I managed to keep the inside of the van clean. I keep all my things in various bags, so that made it easier to haul my stuff in and out (rather than leave them in the van). I also enforced the rule of making my kids remove their junk. They hate that. But if I don’t make them remove their stuff, it piles up. Also, we keep plastic grocery bags in the garage, so every couple of days, after I pull into the garage, I get a garbage bag and make the kids help me clean out the van. Now, I really need to get the outside cleaned!

+Try, try again for the podcast listener survey: IN PROGRESS

You all. I was trying to avoid this. Again. But! I did it! Turns out, all you wise people who suggested Google Forms were so totally right. It’s super easy. I made it, and I asked my creative colleagues to take a look at it before I send it out. I’ll have it out the door by the end of the week!

+Schedule another interview for my book: IN PROGRESS

I sent out three requests, and I’m waiting to hear back to schedule. I consider this a win because I did my part.

Here’s what I want to do in June:

+Get rid of outgrown baby stuff.

I do a pretty good job at this, but Thomas grows out of clothes and toys so fast, that I feel like I’m always keeping up with this. I weaned him, so I’m so happy to jettison bottles!

+Go through my closet. Again.

Another thing I’m always doing. Since I no longer need to wear only nursing-friendly clothes, a WHOLE NEW WORLD is open to me. Hooray!

+Get in door plants.

I’ve always wanted to have in door plants, but I wasn’t sure which ones or where to put them. Can’t you just see Thomas crawling over to a plant and dumping it all over the floor? I have one hanging plant on a hanging macrame cord that I like, so I’m looking to maybe do a few more like that.

+Get those interviews scheduled for my book.

I reached out to three people last month, and I haven’t heard back. I need to circle back and see if I can schedule those this month.

+Transcribe my last interview.

The most tedious yet useful tasks.

Okay! What are you working on in June?

B+ Goals // May 2016

B+ Goals

I can’t believe we’re almost half way through the year! Usually I think time passes so slow. But lately it feels like it’s zooming by.

I feel good about April. It was a full month. I tend to like my life pretty full, and this month was just about perfect as far as “fullness” goes. I like a lot of stuff going on.

Be sure to check out Elizabeth and her goals for the month, too. And there’s a link up! Link up, so I can go check out your blog, and we can cheer each other on.

To recap, here’s how I did with my April B+ goals:

+Complete at least one interview for my book: COMPLETE

And it was such an eye-opening interview! One of my favorite so far. I still need to transcribe it, but the hard part of scheduling it and doing it is complete. I think I need 2-3 more interviews. Then I think I’ll be done with that portion.

+Get dressed: COMPLETE

It feels so funny to say I “completed” getting dressed. But can I get an “amen” about how hard it can be to get dressed?! I feel like I’ve perfected my “young mom, semi-SAHM, semi-part-time-working-mom” uniform. I was hesitant to share my outfits because 1) I’m not a model (and there’s ALWAYS at least one kid in the background of all my photos) and 2) I don’t think my outfits are all that exciting. But! The response has been so fun! I’d love to write more posts about clothes. Clothes are my favorite. You can see all the pictures on my Instagram account.

april-15-2016-3

april-15-2016-1

april-22-2016-1

april-22-2016-2

+Find a new go-to healthy side dish: COMPLETE

Thank you all so much for your suggestions! We’ve done roasted carrots and roasted broccoli. The roasted broccoli is our favorite! I chop up the broccoli into florets and toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Everyone loves this!

+Find the perfect coffee/tea travel mug: COMPLETE (at least for now!)

Does anyone else find that metal mugs make the coffee taste bad?! I just cannot drink out of metal. Cannot. But metal does keep beverages warm. So, I found a travel mug that’s metal on the outside and ceramic on the inside, the Bubba Brands Hero Elite Stainless Steal Tumbler. Ta da! No more bad tasting coffee. So far, so good. I’ll let you know if it starts to taste bad.

+Finish podcast listener survey: INCOMPLETE

Whoops! I forgot about this one. I’ll try again next month! The downloads for both shows continue to rise, so I’m eager to see what people like and what they want more of.

Here’s what I’ve got on tap for May:

+Plant garden

We have one raised bed ready to go, so I need my dear husband to build the other bed, you know, on top of all the other 1,684 projects he’s working on. Each year we learn more about gardening, and we’ve learned we need a dedicated bed for the tomatoes because they go CRAZY.

+Hang canvas prints

We ordered them. They came. And they’re sitting on the floor in Dan’s office. They turned out beautiful, so I can’t wait to get them on the wall. Hey, look, another Dan project. I should title this post: Sarah’s Goals for Dan. HA! Well, I’m the project manager. That definitely counts for something.

+Keep my van clean.

You all. Trash in my van is the WORST. I have these nice back of the seat organizers, which do help keep snacks, wipes, etc… in their place. But I’m finding my van has become a storage unit. Not cool.

+Try, try again for the podcast listener survey.

Third times a charm?

+Schedule another interview for my book.

I had a great one in April, so I’m hoping I can schedule another good one in May.

So how did April go? What do you have on tap for May?

B+ Goals // April 2016

B+ Goals

Hello, spring! Usually I’m one to feel like time is moving slowly. But so far I feel 2016 is moving at a quick pace. I’m not too sad to see winter go. It’s most definitely not my favorite season. Spring is tricky in the Northern Virginia area. It can get down right hot. And then cold, and I’m scrambling to remember where I put the gloves (or, more accurately, what weird place my children stashed their gloves).

Since March is gone, and April is here, it’s time for B+ goals recap and planning for April. This month was definitely B+ in that I could not 100% control the outcomes of some of these goals. You’ll see what I mean.

March B+ Goals recap:

+Purchase, set up, and decorate a large book shelf on a big-ish empty wall in our kitchen/family room: COMPLETE

Dan and I found the shelf we wanted and ordered it. And then it came broken. Dan called and the company said it would send replacement parts. The replacement parts came. But they were the wrong parts. So Dan called again. After some round and round with the company, the shelf is complete! I don’t know how exactly I want to style it, so what you see in the picture is what I’ve put there for the time being. Finding all those initial letters for five people was no joke. Kate and I spent a fun hour at Michael’s Craft Store going through all the alphabet choices before finding everyone’s initials in this distressed style.

march-2016-1

+Figure out canvas art: COMPLETE

I initially thought I just wanted two large canvas prints on either side of the TV. But after looking around online and considering the pictures we had, we went with six pictures, three on one side and three on the other of varying sizes. We placed the order, but they haven’t arrived yet. I’ll take a picture and post it here and to Instagram when they come.

+Organize the linen closet and utility room: COMPLETE

These two areas weren’t in terrible shape, but they were becoming less and less functional. Dan and I went through both of them in short order and found lots of stuff to donate, stuff to put on Craig’s list, and stuff that was just broken and needed to be trashed. I love how everything has it’s place, and I can easily see what we have and don’t have.

march-2016-2

+Write 1,000 words a day (not for the blog): COMPLETE

Well, I did this. But it needs to be on-going, so I can finish this book. I’m happy to report, though, that I pounded out lots of words a day, transcribed the interviews I’d done, and completed a new interview. Right now I’m at the part where I need to schedule a few more interviews, and I need to start piecing these pieces together. I want to rip up this book and light it on fire several times a day, so I think that means I’m on the right track.

+Decide what to do in the backyard: COMPLETE AND IN PROGRESS

We decided to have the deck AND a fence installed! We thought a fence would be another year out, but the quote we got for the deck and fence was more reasonable than we thought. We signed the contract, and we hope work will start in another couple weeks. Next on our list is a playset. We priced out several different options this weekend and narrowed it down to two options, one more expensive than the other. We’re going to think about it this week and make a decision.

Moving on to April, here’s what I’d like to do:

+Complete at least one interview for my book.

I’ve got a bunch of these already done, but I need a few more. I’d love to complete at least one this month.

+Get dressed.

HA! Okay, so I don’t run around town in my underwear. But I wear my Athleta Chaturunga tights, t-shirt, and zip up hoodie pretty much every day. There’s nothing wrong with this look. The main reason I wear this “look” is because Thomas spits up all day long, every day. Not a little bit. A lot. A lot, a lot. Without getting graphic, let’s just say that it’s gross, so I can’t just wipe off my clothes and keep going. Well, I can. But it’s yucky. This has discouraged me from getting dressed “properly.” Ideally, I’d like to wear not yoga pants (I’d like to wear my Bettonas or one of my other Athleta pants that aren’t jeans but not yoga pants), a casual shirt, cardigan (if need be), scarf (if need be), necklace, and earrings. Maybe I’ll even my wedding rings! HA! I never wear those.;)

I feel like I’m been slumming it for so long, I yearn to feel more put together. But it’s tough because of the aforementioned baby spit up, plus, I need clothes that MOVE. I’m constantly bending down, leaning over, sitting on the floor, chasing someone, etc… I want to look cute AND functional. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?

+Find a new go-to healthy side dish.

We eat two side dishes: Brussels sprouts or a simple salad of mixed greens, feta, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. These are fine sides, and they go with lots of things. But I’d like another healthy side that’s quick and easy. Any suggestions?

+Find the perfect coffee/tea travel mug.

We have stainless steel mugs from Contigo, and they keep the drinks hot. But I think they make the coffee taste bad! I can taste old coffee taste even after a good run through the dishwasher. HELP!

+Finish podcast listener survey.

Thanks to you all for recommending I use Google Forms! Armed with this new approach, I want to finish this up this month.

Okay, how about you? How did March go? What’s on tap for you in April? What goals are easy to achieve? What ones are more challenging?

Check out Elizabeth’s goals and link up with us!