February Goals

It’s February, friends! And it’s going to be a good month. We don’t have plans to go anywhere, and that makes me pretty happy. The busier I am and the more I’m gone (ahem, January), the more I appreciate being home. I’m currently craving a snow day, so northern Michigan–what have you? Where’s our blizzard? I want a snowed in, lazy day. ABM_1422977820A few goals for the month:

  • Make a new-to-us dinner/entree.
  • Start a knitting project on circular needles.
  • Attempt printing tea towels.
  • Join the Y. Swim and take one class per week.
  • De-clutter! I’m on a roll these days, and have a couple of closets that could use some attention.
  • Deep clean the kitchen.
  • Finish our 2014 photobook
  • Start the photography class I purchased (online!)
  • Snowshoe AT LEAST once per week. If this is all the snow we’re getting, I want to live it up.

I wanna know: What are you up to this month? Any big plans?

2015 Dreaming

I know this is so behind the times (considering we’re halfway through January), but I took some time this past weekend to dream and plan for 2015. Following in the footsteps of  the lovely blogger behind The Orange Slate, I picked a word for this year-one single word to guide my year.


Revel. verb. To enjoy oneself in a lively and noisy way.

At several points in 2014, I discovered I had packed my life so full I didn’t have time to enjoy myself. I didn’t have time to spend with my family. I didn’t have time to be active. I didn’t have time to cook. After I wrapped up one big project, it seemed another was right on its heels. I came to this conclusion:

When I’m working so hard I don’t have time for the things I enjoy–things that matter to me–I am too busy.

Thanks to Donald Miller’s Creating Your Life Plan (goes away forever tonight at midnight! If you want in on the action, make it happen.), I realized I had too many roles–too many different areas of responsibility. I was so widely spread, I couldn’t do anything with excellence. This made me feel frantic and constantly behind.

Over the course of a few months, I dropped a couple of freelance gigs–the things that were adding the most stress and cutting into what would have been free time. As I did, the fog lifted, my life gained clarity, and I realized 2014 was also a year of great contentment. I love my life–what I’m doing, where I am, the people I’m near. I’m incredibly and immensely grateful. I declare 2015 a year of reveling in that gratitude!

Down to the details! What do I want to DO this year?

1. Travel. We have a couple of trips planned for the coming year, and I’m excited to see new parts of the world.

2. Photography and writing. Take a photography class to improve my picture taking skills. Along with it, write more-in my journal as well as on the blog. This goal is all about documenting the memories we’re making in ways that are meaningful to us.

3. Dutch! One of the new languages on duolingo.com is Dutch. I’d like to spend less time aimlessly scrolling on my phone, and re-deploy those minutes into practicing a new language.

4. Financial goals-save, save, save! Finish our house down payment account, save for a new-to-us vehicle, and keep adding to our Roth IRA.

5. Take vitamins. Boring, but I want to get in the habit.

I wanna know: Did you pick a word for this year? What goals do you have for 2015?

December Goals

I feel like November was over in a blink of an eye. The month started off with a super busy week, and was followed up by two different weekend trips. Both so good. And before I knew it, here we are in December. A week into December, and still no snow. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


Goals from November:

  • Survive the first week. Done and done! I successfully pulled off 3 work events and 2 huge piano gigs in 6 days.
  • Look at my phone less. This one is still a work in progress. Tips: 1. install a different lock system (use a pin, change your pin, use a pattern, just change it up!). 2. Get rid of apps you mindlessly check. For me, this was Facebook. It’s gone. 3. Keep your phone in another room when you’re at home.
  • Start another knitting project. Did not.
  • Enjoy a couple of weekend trips–one to Indiana and one to the Detroit area. Did! They were both so great.
  • Keep running! Sort of done. Mom and I are running a 10K this month, so I’ve half-heartedly kept up the running thing!
  • Blog a new-to-me recipe. Orange Chicken. Try it!


  • Sit indoors and hope for snow. I’m ready for some snowshoeing adventures!
  • Finish Christmas shopping by next Saturday (the 13th).
  • Run the aforementioned 10K with my mom. I don’t have any time goals–it’ll just be fun!
  • Maybe a new knitting project? We have a car trip coming up at the end of the month, so a fun project might be welcome by then.
  • Look at my phone even less.
  • Make egg nog from scratch! I’m pretty excited about this one.
  • Make one new-to-me dinner recipe.

What are you up to this month?

October Recap and November Goals

November! Bring on Thanksgiving. We’re headed south to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with extended family. We’ve been planning our eats via Facebook, and wow. It’s going to be a feast.

October was a good month. I’ve eaten so many apples and enjoyed many a mug of apple cider. We’ve had a couple of bonfires in the backyard, went on a couple of hikes, and generally enjoyed the slower pace of this season. Here’s what I set out to do last month in the way of goals:

  • More baking. Didn’t really happen. I made a batch of cookies. Does that count?
  • Rock a 10k. I wouldn’t say I rocked it. My body just wasn’t feeling the speed I thought it was capable of. I did, however, PR by 10 seconds.
  • Finish my current knitting project. It’s done! I finished a scarf for Bob that I started last winter. Then, when we found out we were going to become Aunt and Uncle, more adorable knitting projects took priority.
  • Pull off the anniversary party we are planning for my in-laws. Done. They had a great time!
  • Try 1 new recipe. Did you see Sausage, Spinach, and Quinoa Skillet? Divine.


Now that it’s November, fall is definitely making it’s exit as the temperatures gets chillier, the daylight gets shorter, and snow is making its appearance. On the list for this month:

  • Survive this first week. It’s a busy one. I have several extra things for work, as well as two music gigs on the weekend.
  • Look at my phone less. Much less. The amount of time I spend mindlessly scrolling is getting out of control.
  • Start another knitting project.
  • Enjoy a couple of weekend trips–one to Indiana and one to the Detroit area.
  • Keep moving! I’m without a race goal currently, and I’m floundering in the exercise department.
  • Blog a new-to-me recipe.

I wanna know: What are you up to this month?

Saturday Small Talk (October goals)

Howdy all! It’s Saturday.

I’m ukulele-ing it up at Interlochen, and I’m hoping to learn a lot. Youtube is a lovely thing when trying to learn a new skill, but eventually you reach the point of needing to learn from real people who do what you want to do. So wish me luck. I’m terrified I’ll be the only inexperienced one there!


September was a beautiful month here in Northern Michigan. Truly lovely!

  • Day hike! We hit up the North Country Trail, and did almost 8 miles. I saw the most gigantic snake (Blue Racer, if you’re curious). I didn’t know they made such creatures in the northland.


  • Finish canning tomatoes. We’re pretty much done. We have 16 quarts, and Bob picked the remaining ones yesterday. They’re hanging out in the garage, turning red.
  • Can applesauce and apple pie in a jar. Nope. Waiting for the rest of our apples to get here.
  • Run 3 times per week, including one long run. Done!
  • Make a pumpkin treat of some kind. Done. Pumpkin bread, if you’re curious.
  • Paint the two end tables in our living room, as well as complete a couple of other “decorate with very little budget” projects. Did not paint. But what did happen was even better. Post forthcoming.

With the arrival of October, fall is in full swing. Bring on the cider, slippers, and coziness. Here’s what’s up in my world:

  • More baking. I can’t help myself.
  • Rock a 10k–shooting for a PR.
  • Finish my current knitting project. I’m so close.
  • Pull off the anniversary party the sister-in-law and I are planning for my in-laws.
  • Try 1 new dinner/entree recipe.

What’s happening for you this month?