Posts in Goals

B+ Goals // October 2016

October 5th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “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

September 7th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “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

August 1st, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts 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:

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+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

June 1st, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “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

May 2nd, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “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.

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+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

April 4th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “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.

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+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.

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+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!

B+ Goals // March 2016

February 29th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “B+ Goals // March 2016”

B+ Goals

Good bye, February! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Goodness, this month has been a doozy. Dan’s been out of town and working crazy hours when he’s in town, meaning I’m solo parenting it a lot. A lot, a lot. And Thomas is still getting up at night. And I can’t make it through the day without a nap. Boo!

So, I’m feeling a little so-so on how I did this month. Good thing these are B+ goals.

Here’s how I did:

+Develop and stick to a skin care routine: COMPLETE

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Back in September I ordered an entire skin care regimen from Paula’s Choice. I stuck with it for maybe three weeks. Then fell off the wagon. So I recommitted this month to stick to it. And I’m happy to say I did. I even recorded a video explaining my routine.

What video, you ask? HA! Well. Something went haywire with the audio. And I have yet to see if Dan can fix it or re-record it. This frustrated me because I wanted to explain – in video form – my routine. So. I will get that worked out and up soon. But, here’s the Cliff Notes version: I can absolutely see a big difference in my skin between now and earlier this month. I’m eager to see how my skin continues to improve.

+Clean out my closet: COMPLETE

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I’m giving myself an A+++ here because I went nuts and cleaned out not only my closet but my dresser drawers, make up, beauty products, kitchen, kids toys/clothes, and other household stuff. I donated and tossed out tons of stuff. I still feel like there is more to do (isn’t there always!), but I made a huge dent.

We don’t have that much stuff anyway, but the idea of any useless thing (or thing we don’t use) hanging around irritates me. We need to either use it or loose it. Getting rid of the excess really helps me see what we have and use those things. Here’s a big post I wrote about how I go through the house and get rid of stuff.

+Create a podcast listener survey: IN PROGRESS

Okay, this is where I got frustrated this month. I got on Survey Monkey, created an account, and worked hard on my questions. And then I realized this survey is going to cost me. Not a huge amount. But not insignificant either. So I got frustrated. I looked for other solutions and came up dry.

So now I’m a little stuck. Since I don’t make any money from blogging, YouTube, or podcasting, I’m always hesitant about spending in those areas. However, a listener survey is important to me because it would help answer questions about listeners for potential sponsors and give listeners an opportunity to tell me what they like, don’t like, and what guests they want to hear on the show (or have back on the show). So, TBD on this one.

+Planner and Note Taking System: IN PROGRESS

I haven’t touched my planner. In three weeks. However, I have worked out a much better note taking system. I used to have notes all over the place. In the Notes app on my iPhone, random pieces of paper, random notebooks, Google Docs, EverNote. So frustrating. I couldn’t remember where I put what note.

I was just about to go 100% Google Docs when Dan re-formatted my computer and installed a new version of Windows with…OneNote. I used OneNote in the past, back when I was in college and some version of Microsoft Windows came with OneNote, and I remember really loving it. But then the next version of Windows I had didn’t have OneNote, so I forgot all about it.

Well now I have it again, and I remember why I loved it so much. I think I’ll do an entire post about how I use it, but, for now, I will say I love it because I can keep everything in one place. I have a OneNote Notebook with tabs for Blog, YouTube, Podcast, Recipes, To-Do lists, etc… And within each of those tabs, I have various lists (and different types of list, e.g. bullets, check boxes, etc…) and types of documents. It’s super versatile, which I love. There’s an iPhone and iPad app that syncs with it, so it’s truly something I can use anywhere and everywhere.

Now, what hasn’t worked out very well is integrating my planner and a notebook with these digital tools. I thought, maybe I don’t need any paper planning tools (!)…if I’m not using them, then do I need them?

But I do feel like I need to sort out some things on paper. I’m noticing that I’m feeling the need to write things down. In part, I’m not doing it because I like my planner and notebooks to look pretty (hello, perfectionist!), and, well, my thoughts are messy.

Anyway. TBD!

+Reorganize our kitchen: COMPLETE

Turns out, if you get rid of a whole bunch of stuff, there’s nothing to organize! Ha! So I did get rid of a good amount of stuff. Then, I moved around the few remaining items, so now our kitchen cabinets have either 1) empty shelves (my personal favorite) or 2) enough space on the shelves that there’s lot of space between things (so nothing is all jammed together, a pet peeve of mine).

Phew! Okay, I feel kind of “meh” about February because I LIKE ALL As! But these are called, B+ goals. And, for me, B+ means, did I do my best? Yes. Yes, I did.

So, moving on to March. Here’s what I want to do:

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

I’ve stared and stared at this wall and thought of a couple things to do with it. Make it into some sort of gallery wall. Install floating shelves. Find a narrow desk to put there. I like blank spaces, but this wall felt too blank. After much gnashing of teeth, Dan and I decided on a shelf. So, we need to order it, anchor it to the wall, and decorate in a child-friendly way while still looking nice (forever a challenge around here).

+Figure out canvas art.

Our family room has a bunch of big, blank walls crying out for large canvas prints of my beautiful children. I’ve seen my friends blow up pictures of their beautiful children on canvas, and I love the look. I also like that this means I don’t have to source a frame as frames are the bane of my existence (frames, why you cost so much?!). I have some professional photos that we had taken when Michael was 8 weeks old, so there are probably two of those that I want blown up. But I really need to take photos of our life now as much has changed (we added a whole other person!). So I need to take those pictures and then see what older pictures I want to add and then get those on canvas. Can anyone recommend a company that prints large scale canvas art?

+Organize the linen closet and utility room.

These two spaces are the last remaining spaces in distress. It should be a quick win and make our life so much nicer when we can open the doors to the linen closet and not have a jumble of toilet paper and Band Aids falling out and be able to walk into the utility room and not trip over outgrown baby items.

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

I have a book idea that just won’t quit. I’ve tried to jettison this book for years. And it keeps on coming back and slapping in the face like an out of control boomerang. I don’t hold expectations of what will come of it. But I’d like to give it a chance to grow into something. A book feels like a lot. But 1,000 words feels manageable. I think I wrote well over that for a post I’m prepping about my laundry routine. If I can go on for over 1,000 words about our dirty clothes, I want to see what I can do about a slightly more…interesting topic.

+Decide on what to do with the backyard.

We need a deck, patio, and general grounds keeping in the backyard. We had someone come out to give us a design and estimate, so we’re taking that in and deciding what we want to do. Hopefully winter weather is almost out of here, so we’d love to have our backyard spruced up in time to enjoy it.

How did you do last month? What are you working on in March? I’d love to hear what you’re working on and what strategies you use to hold yourself accountable. Check out Elizabeth’s blog to see how she did and what she’s working on in March. Join in the link up below and/or leave a comment!

B+ Goals: February 2016

February 1st, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “B+ Goals: February 2016”

B+ Goals

I’m having a lot of fun with this B+ goals project! When I made my goals, I wasn’t sure how I’d do. Would I find them onerous? Would I want to give up? Would I get frustrated because my small people only allow me to accomplish things one teeny, tiny step at a time?

Yes.

BUT! Creating these goals and keeping the B+ in mind helped me accomplish the things I set out to do, and I learned an important lesson about achieving goals.

First, these things have been on my to-do list for a long time. So finally getting them done feels amazing.

Secondly, whether you have small people or not, everyone deals with set backs. So while some people can move faster than others, really, we’re all dealing with stuff that comes up that gets in the way of accomplishing our goals. We’re all just moving little by little. This month, rather than discount any spare moments I had, I actually used them. In the past, if I had five minutes, I’d say, whatever, it’s just five minutes. I’ll just scroll Facebook.

Now, I’m all: okay, five minute! What can I do?! I can respond to one quick email. I can brainstorm blog posts. I can make a grocery list. I can put another coat of pain on one of my projects. I can clean out one drawer in the kitchen.

And little by little, stuff got done.

So, here’s how my B+ goals went for January:

+Paint an old microwave cart and Kate’s rocking chair: COMPLETE

Kate rocking chair

cart

This project was so fun. I LOVE using the Annie Sloan chalk paint. This stuff can cover anything and requires no skill. I used Paris Gray on the cart and Antoinette Pink on Kate’s art center and rocking chair.

+Set up Kate’s art center: COMPLETE

Kate art center

Woohoo! This has been on my to-do list for FOREVER. Kate is so creative, but she didn’t have a place to sit and make art. So we bought her a little table and chairs for her to sit at and work (In hindsight, these are a titch small. But! B+ here. She can use them for now, and we can buy her an actual desk in the near future and pass this set on to her brothers). Dan cut the wood, and I had Kate paint the wood pieces with the chalk paint, and then Dan hung the pieces of wood and strung a coated cord for Kate to hang her masterpieces.

+Start my YouTube Channel: COMPLETE

Hooray! I’m so glad to get YouTube back up and running. I had a YouTube Channel, but it was connected to an old email account. So that was problem #1. And then we moved and then I was pregnant and the wheels fell off. But I longed to get back to YouTube because I love video as a medium. Dan helped me get my channel squared away from the email account issue, and I put up my first video last week. You can look for new videos every Thursday. What would you like to see?

+Develop plans for a special project with Kim: COMPLETE

Well. Kim and I know it’s complete. And you’ll see what we’re up to this Thursday when we launch it! I’ve so loved collaborating with Kim. Working on fun things with friends is my favorite.

+Use the spiralizer: COMPLETE

sweet-potato-fries-1

I bought the spiralizer at the beginning of the month, and I planned to do sweet potatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, and apples. I only got to the sweet potatoes (and regular potatoes). But! B+, right?! We love using this thing. We probably used it about three times week, so it’s definitely worth it for us. Here’s a post I wrote all about our spiralized sweet potato fries.

Okay, now for February:

+Develop and stick to a skin care routine. Right before I turned 31 this past September, I went on the Paula’s Choice website, asked for their advice, and ordered a bunch of skin care stuff. I stuck to it for a few weeks. And then fell off the wagon. I wash my face every single night. But I skipped all the other steps. I’m starting to get back into it, and every time I stick to it, I’m all, wow, my skin looks so nice! HA! So this month, I’m doubling down and sticking to my routine.

+Clean out my closet. I clean out my closet several times a year. And I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but that won’t work for me right now because I’m still breastfeeding Thomas. True, I could develop one that works around that. But I don’t want to right now. Instead, what I want to do is find out what colors I like, what fabrics I like, what sorts of looks I like. So, really, more about developing a style.

+Create a podcast listener survey. I’m in the process of finding sponsors for my podcast. And often those sponsors want to know things about my audience that I don’t know. So this month I need to develop the survey for my listeners. I’m hoping to work with brands that my listeners love, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Set up my planner/figure out a note taking and to-do list system that works for me. I’m a hybrid planner. I use Google Calendar and my paper planner. And I use notes on my iPhone. And notes on paper. It’s frustrating because everything is in a different place. The issue is: sometimes I’m on the go and don’t have paper. So I need something on my phone. And sometimes I’m at my desk and I’m using a notepad. All my ideas are all over the place. I have all the tools, so I just need to find a system that works.

+Reorganize our kitchen. On a wild hare, I went crazy and cleaned out our pantry last week. And, much to Dan’s great unhappiness, our spice cabinet. I found spices from 2014. So I tossed those out. So now we have no spices. Dan claims spices are good for forever. We can agree to disagree on that. And, in my cleaning out frenzy, I got rid of a bunch of other stuff, too. But there’s more to do! Our kitchen is a great size, but it’s not functioning well because we aren’t keeping some items in the right places. I plan to rectify this in February.

Okay, so that’s where I’m headed this month! Go check out Elizabeth’s B+ Goals, and let her know you stopped by. And join our link up! Goals are more fun when we work together. How did you goals go in January? What are you working on next month?

B+ Goals

B+ Goals: January 2016

January 4th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “B+ Goals: January 2016”

B+ Goals
Hooray! It’s a new year! And I’m excited to share a new project I’m working on in collaboration with Elizabeth Chapman from the blog Teaching Sam and Scout. Each month we’re going to share our B+ goals. Some big goals, some small goals. But we’re keeping them achievable. And there’s nothing perfect about them. In many cases, these just need to get done! Because, perfect? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, here are my B+ Goals for January:

+Paint an old cart and Kate’s rocking chair. I LOVE using Annie Sloane chalk paint, and I successfully painted Michael’s bed frame and a set of end tables last year. Kate’s rocking chair is in major need of a face lift, and this old cart we have is functional but not very pretty looking. I picked up the paint yesterday (baby steps!), and I’ve got the stuff set up on a plastic tarp and all ready to go. Now I just need to paint!

+Set up Kate’s art center. This is also related to the chalk paint. Dan sawed down some pieces of wood that we’re going to attach to her wall to create a DIY art hanging area. He just cut me the pieces of wood, so I need to paint those with the chalk paint, so he can hang them and finish the art center.

+Start my YouTube Channel. I’ve always wanted to start a YouTube Channel. In fact, I did, sort of. But then we moved and I got pregnant and everything in our life went upside down. But now we’re moved in and settled (and I’m no longer pregnant and nauseated every day), so I’m ready to give it a go. This month I’ll be happy if I can just set up the channel itself. (The area I plan to film in is housing the stuff I need to paint…so got to get that out of the way first!).

+Develop plans for a special project I’m doing with Kim. This one is a secret! But if I stick to my goal of creating a plan, then you will see what we’re working on by the end of the month.

+Use the spiralizer! Per Kim’s recommendation, I just purchased a spiralizer, and I can’t wait to use it! I bought a bag of sweet potatoes over the weekend, so now I just need to get out the spiralizer, read the directions, and go for it!

Phew! Okay, I’m excited to get going on these goals. And I’d LOVE it if you linked up and shared your goals. Elizabeth and I will report in on how we did plus our goals for next month at the beginning of February.

Yay! Let’s go, goals!

2015 Inkwell Planner

January 8th, 2015 Posted by Goals, Live, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “2015 Inkwell Planner”

I hemmed and hawed about planners this year. I wasn’t going to get one. Or maybe I was. No, I’d just use Google calendar. No, I needed a paper planner.

I’ve used Google calendar and a paper planner in tandem for years. To many, it probably seems terrible redundant. To me, it works. Having my schedule in two places ensures I don’t forget things or double book. Plus, sometimes I’m sitting in front of my computer when I need to schedule something, and I don’t have my planner in front of me. And visa versa. So I mark my stuff both places.

(Here’s a post I wrote detailing more on my system.)

The other reason I like a paper planner is for the notes. I love taking notes. Sometimes I take them on my phone. But I like to write things down. I like to keep running lists of post ideas, work ideas, etc… So I use my planner as part planner, part notebook, part goal-keeping space, part journal.

Anyway, after lots of back and forth and many YouTube and blog posts watched/read on various planner reviews, I selected the liveWELL planner from inkWELL Press. It came yesterday, and I love it already. I’d love to share more of my thoughts on the planner, the insides, how I plan my month/weeks/day. Are you interested in that?

I’m addicted to planners. I’ve tried to do away completely with pen and paper. But I just can’t. Planner addicts, unite!

Also, are you interested in one of these planners? Here’s a link for 20% off. It’s affiliate, so that means, you get a discount, and I get credits. #winwin

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