January 2017 Lifestyle Favorites

Lifestyle Favorites - January

2017 is already shaping up to be better than 2016. I’m already excited about what it has to hold. I know great things are in store for us. I have high hopes!

It’s so exciting when I find something or someway that makes my/our life a little easier, better, or more fun. I just thought I would share a few of my recent findings. So here are some awesome products/recipes/apps that I love.

        1. S’well Bottle
          My brother and sister-in-law got me this new water bottle for Christmas. I truly love it. I know S’well bottles are expensive but now that I have one, I totally understand why. I fill this puppy up every night (as well as multiple times during the day), put it on my bedside table, and when I wake up in the morning my water is still cold. It’s amazing and I love the color. It’s so fun and so pink which is amazing. But you can get almost any color or design if you prefer.
        2. Cuppow
          Another gift from my brother and sister-in-law. She gets me. 🙂 These are coffee style lids that go on top of mason jars and are then secured by the metal ring. They allow us to take drinks in the car or during family game night. (For some reason, cups and mugs seem to be ever more precarious during board games.)
        3. Minimalist Baker’s Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
          I am always looking for ways to streamline our routine. I love cooking, but I love even more when I find a way to make meals that are quick, easy, and kid-friendly. I love overnight oats because being able to toss a mason jar and spoon to my kids (and myself) makes mornings so much simpler. So when I found this recipe for overnight oats, I had to give it a try. We ALL loved it. My kids even said it tastes like peanut butter ice cream. I made it by the recipe (almost never do that!) and added bananas on top in the morning. It is absolutely superb!January Favorites - Overnight Oats
        4. Laser Tag
          I am always looking for ways to play together as a family – inexpensive and active ways especially. These galaxy blasters are especially great for that. My kids will happily grab one, toss one to someone else, and start firing without a thought for the TV at all. Of course, I enjoy being ridiculous because it makes it more fun for all of us. So run, hide, and roll around. They crack up and do it too. It makes us all laugh and hopefully creates some positive memories for them.
        5. App: Plant Nanny
          Plant Nanny is an app that my daughter found out about from one of her friends. Both of my kids have it downloaded on one of their devices. It’s an app that helps you to track your water consumption. When you drink water you record it on the app and the cute little plant grows. So they keep drinking water because they want to see their plant grow. After a while they will get sick of it, as they always do, but it’s nice that they become more conscious of their water consumption.


Have you found any new passions, strategies, or discoveries so far this year? How has January been for you?

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LIVE – The Word of the Year

Live - Word of the Year

I’d heard of the word-of-the-year before. I always thought they were cool, but I never came up with one before because it was just too hard for me to figure out a word that could encompass a whole year. But while I was reading a post, suddenly it hit me and the word “LIVE” popped into my head. And that was that.

2016 was a rough year for many people. My family had a rough one too.  My father had a stroke. My mother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and passed away a couple months later. My kids and I gave up a lot to be there and take care of him. I’m not complaining about it. I understand that it’s something that has to be done sometimes in families. But there was more screen time than I would normally condone. And a lot fewer outings, sporting events, birthday parties, etc. It was fine. We survived.

But I want to make sure 2017 is no longer about surviving. It needs to be about more than that. It’s about learning and laughing. Working hard and pursuing passions. I want my kids to enjoy life, to experience the world they live in, to question, to try, to feel joy. I want to work harder than I’ve ever worked and play more gleefully than I ever have. I want our family to grow closer, smarter, stronger, safer. We will be grateful with what we have. We will explore and seek to understand what we don’t. And we will make sure to give more than we take, to love, and mostly to LIVE.

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Resolutions that Stick – Part 3: Goal Setting

Resolutions Part 3

We’re back to the third, and final, part of Resolutions that Stick!

So you figured out your priorities in Part 1 and then figured out where you want to be with them in Part 2. If this is enough for you, then by all means stop there. Just doing those two steps changes how I approach days and situations. I remind myself of my priorities when I get sidetracked or am having trouble figuring out just what to do.

But to make real progress, weekly goals are where it’s at!

It’s also the fun part if you ask me!

Let’s start with a brainstorm, or brain dump if you will.

Get out the list you created in Part 2 and start breaking them down into weekly goals. Write down any and every task/tactic that can be done in a week to get you closer to where you want to you want to be in the next month/quarter.

The reason we do this is because it is too easy to start writing your goals for the week and suddenly realize you have now have 567 goals to accomplish in 5-7 days. I fell into that trap time and time again.

So to avoid overloading yourself immediately, just write down everything. Take a piece of paper and write down ALL the goals you can possibly come up with. Once you have them all out and on paper, it is easier to look at them and choose the ones you can focus on this week. Try to keep it to 10 or under if possible.

Your goals should be action oriented (use a verb!) and measurable.

(Example: Exercise 3 times this week. At the end of the week, you can definitively check off whether or not you accomplished this goal.)

When writing your to-do lists, consult your weekly goals. Make sure that you include activities that will help you achieve your goals. And then at the end of every week, review your goals. Did you accomplish them? Are they getting you closer to where you want to be? Then decide on the goals for the upcoming week using your brainstorm, making changes, or adding tasks/tactics you hadn’t thought about before.

If you continue to set quarterly (or monthly) and weekly goals, you will not only keep your resolutions but you will SMASH them!

Don’t forget to check out Parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t already!
Resolutions that Stick Part 1
Resolutions that Stick Part 2

Resolutions that Stick Part 3

For more information and inspiration on making goals check out:
The 12 Week Year – a great book and guide on breaking your year into 12 week “quarters” and setting weekly goals, it’s more from a business standpoint, but also includes examples with personal and familial goals
Money Saving Mom – weekly goal examples from Crystal Paine here
Making Sense of Sense – Michelle gives us all a monthly income report, looking back on her past month, and sets her plans (where she wants to be) for the upcoming month
I plan to share my goals in 2017 as well.

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Resolutions That Stick – Part 1: Priorities

Did you know that January 17th is annual Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day. Kind of a shame, right? Some people get so frustrated that they declare they will never make another New Year’s Resolution. “There is no point!” they exclaim, “no one ever carries through with them anyway.”

But I happen to think there’s no bad reason to sit down and set goals. If New Year’s Day is the reason, then so be it. It’s not the day that causes people to fail, it’s that they need to take time to develop systems to maintain and and track progress.

First we need to make the right resolution by figuring out what our priorities are. This is something I learned while doing Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Mornings course . One night we were challenged to figure out our priorities – our “big rocks”. That night as I was journaling, I began to list them. Just the simple process of writing down my priorities really put things in perspective for me.

When I am frustrated or at a loss, I think back on my priorities list. What is really important to me? How should I behave to show myself and others what is truly meaningful to me?

So this week, before we make our “resolutions” really think about what your priorities are for the upcoming year. These will serve as your jumping off point for your “resolutions” – your goals.

Ask yourself:

  • What is area of your life is most important to you?
  • What do you value the most?
  • What do you need to focus on to get your life to the next level (whatever that means to you)?
  • What area of your life have you been neglecting lately?
  • What will make you feel fulfilled every day and all year?

So get your priorities straight! But try to keep your list somewhere between 1 and 6 priorities. Six is still kind of a lot to keep track of, but if you must, you must. Some people may have laser focus for the year and truly only have one priority they want to focus on this year. Whatever works for you is what is best.

Your challenge for this week is to figure out your priorities for the upcoming year.

Click here to read:
Resolutions that Stick Part 2
Resolutions that Stick Part 3



1. My Children
My kids are truly my top priority in life. I love them so much and want to give them every opportunity to succeed, to grow, to learn, and to become great humans. This past year, they haven’t had the attention that they really deserve. And I began to realize that they need to know they are my top priority.

2. My Finances
I lost my job when I was caring for my father. So at this point getting my finances and income on track is a big priority. I haven’t had the chance to work on it as I would’ve hoped, but I’m working on fitting it all in.

3. My Health and Well-being.
In order to care for other people (my children, my father, even my clients) – to pour into them, I have to fill myself up first. I want to and deserve to take care of myself this year, as I have put myself below last in the past.

4. My Blog
My blog is my expression of the things that are important to me and that I see so many others struggle with. It is my way of sharing my knowledge – some professional, some not so much. It is the perfect mesh of things I love – wellness coaching (and TR) and writing. It is something that makes me happy and that I would love to begin to learn more about and work on with more consistency.

resolutions - pt1

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