February Resolution Update

I cannot believe that February has come to a close. I ended up getting extremely sick the first week of the month (and even needed to go to the ER). It was rough and I never quite got caught up until these past few days. Ugh. Here are the embarrassing results:

1.Contact a different friend or family member each day. I did not complete this goal. I spent the first week of the month sick and then spent the next week recovering. I just wanted to hide away and not talk to anyone!

2. Increase my daily steps using my FitBit- February: reach 5,000 steps five days a week. Not even close! I only reached 5,000+ steps 13 days the whole month! My goal for March will be to attack this goal again!

3. Host one get-together a month at our home. Check!

4. Get my teaching certification in Maryland. I have all the paperwork sitting on my desk ready to be brought to the post-office!

5. Start ABC Jesus Loves Me Homeschool Preschool with Cupcake. We started this month and it has been a blast! Cupcake is learning so much. She can count to 10, name so many of her shapes, and is picking up new skills each and every day! I LOVE this curriculum!

6. Return to the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule. No. Just no. I just. No. I only was successful this week. Blah.

7. Meal Plan each week. So, if the month of January was the month of Whole30, February was the month of eat-all-the-food. Seriously.

8. Breastfeed Cupcake to 2 years old. Check! I cannot believe she is going to be two next month! I haven’t even thought of what comes next in our nursing relationship. Ah!

9. Increase membership in my local women’s auxiliary by 25%. Still maintaining the 6% growth. We should get a large influx of potential new members at the end of March, so I am feeling optimistic!

10. Short-term goal of the month- Create a gallery wall in my living room! The materials are bought, but nothing is hung. I did manage to get all of my new pictures ordered and I have a layout I think I want, just no time or energy to put it together. My goal for March is to create an inventory of the items in our pantry and try to use them up! I figure it will not only save money, but also help me with my meal planning.

11. Post progress each month. Check!

-Lindsay

January Resolution Progress

I have long believed that reflection is a great way to keep yourself on track. Each month I post progress on my New Years Resolutions. Overall, this month was not too bad!

1.Contact a different friend or family member each day. Almost perfect! I missed one day, but doubled up the next day to make up for lost time. I love this goal because it really helps me stay accountable for contacting the people I love rather than waiting for them to contact me.

2. Increase my daily steps using my FitBit- January: collect data. Over the month of January, my average monthly steps was around 4,500 . My goal for February is reach 5,000 steps five days a week.

3. Host one get-together a month at our home. Check!

4. Get my teaching certification in Maryland. Not yet! This is a must for February!

5. Start ABC Jesus Loves Me Homeschool Preschool with Cupcake. January has been spent planning furiously. We start the first week in February!

6. Return to the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule. I started using the baby steps again this month (which she recommends to do before getting into the cleaning schedule). Since I had done it in the past, I was able to get through the baby steps quickly as I had retained some of them from last time. Halfway through the month, I returned to her schedule and it has helped so much. It keeps me on track so I do not waste time trying to think of where to start!

7. Meal Plan each week. Check! We even started a Whole30 near the end of the month (currently on day 14!) and the meal planning has helped so much! Our food budget has been kept in check and we’ve been eating so much healthier.

8. Nurse Cupcake to 2 years old. Check!

9. Increase membership in my local women’s auxiliary by 25%. Since the year has started, we have grown by 6%! Wahoo!

10. Short-term goal of the month- Make a major career decision between two fields. This goal was perfect for this month. A few days into the year, my boss approached me about an opportunity that really helped clarify what I want to do. I want to stay in my current field of education and continue to grow and develop in that way. I will continue to do work in the secondary field as it comes up, but I am excited for the growth path I am currently on. My short-term goal for February is to create a gallery wall in my living room!

11. Post progress each month. Check!

-Lindsay

Resolutions for 2016

Last year I tracked my resolutions each month to see the progress I was making. I found this to be extremely helpful as it kept me on track. In the past, I quickly forgot my resolutions and by the time February rolled out I had abandoned them. Since it was so helpful last year, I will continue to track my resolutions here and share my successes and failures along the way!

 

In this age of technology, I am quite adept at texting. It is fast and I can do it anytime. My friends without kids often operate on slightly different schedules than I do and so texting has become my fall-back. A phone call seems inconvenient, but it can be more meaningful than a text. So, my goal is to contact a different friend or family member each day. Phone calls will be preferred, but texting will be ok if that is all time permits. I hope this will help maintain and strengthen the relationships around me!

I received a FitBit for Christmas and I am loving it! The watch is set to a goal of 10,000 steps a day. While walking 10,000 steps a day does not feel realistic at this point in time, it is certainly something to work toward. My goal is that I will increase my daily steps. This will require me to collect some more data through January, but I think this is a good goal since I can constantly monitor it through my watch and adjust my day’s activities as needed.

We have now lived in our new home for just over seven months. We left a wonderful support network of family and childhood friends. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed to meet many wonderful people here! In 2016, I want to work toward strengthening those ties. I would like to host one get-together a month at our home. We meet up with others frequently out and about or at other people’s homes, but rarely here. I would like to change that!

I love being a work-at-home mom. I get to hang out with Cupcake and also still remain in the working world. Prior to Cupcake being born, I was a teacher. Since we moved states, I need to transfer my teaching certification to our new state. It is important that I get my teaching certification in Maryland for several reasons. One, it gives me the option if I ever need/want to go back to teaching. It also makes sure that I do not lose any of the paperwork I collected before we left Connecticut. Finally, it makes sure that I get my certification before requirements change and somehow prevent me from getting it!

As I mentioned, working from home is great. It has taken me several months to find the right groove and rhythm to give Cupcake what she needs and also get my work done. I initially found myself relying way too much on electronics to keep her occupied when I was up against a real deadline. A friend of mine also works from home. She mentioned a homeschool preschool curriculum she was doing with her son. As I researched it more, I realized it was exactly what I needed. It helped to give me more focus in my time with Cupcake and it also provided activities to help build up her stamina for “work time.” My goal is to start the homeschool preschool curriculum with Cupcake this year and continue throughout the year!

In 2015, I used a cleaning schedule to keep myself organized through the first part of the year. Once the craziness of us moving hit, it was hard for me to stick to it identically, because there were so many other things to do! I am hoping to return to the FlyLady cleaning schedule this year so that I can have a more organized home. With so many responsibilities, it is often hard for me to keep track of everything. Since she puts together the schedule for cleaning, it is one less thing I have to think about.

Eating healthy and sticking to our food budget are two challenges I have worked on in the past. My goal for this year is to Meal Plan each week. This will help me in several ways. I will be able to plan ahead so there is less temptation to reach for the Mac and Cheese box. It will also require me to look at what we already have in the house so that I can avoid waste.

My goal in 2015 was to breastfeed Cupcake all year long. With her second birthday approaching, I am starting to feel ready to wean for several reasons. We’d like to expand our family at some point in the future and Cupcake’s frequent weaning schedule will make that difficult for us all to manage. So, my goal is to nurse Cupcake to 2 years old unless she chooses to wean earlier. I will take it month by month at that point!

I recently has the opportunity to start volunteering with a local group. This group has been instrumental in helping to get me established in our new state and has introduced me to some women that will become life-long friends. I want others to benefit from this group as much as I did, so my goal is to help increase membership by 25%. This is a highly ambitious goal based on based trends, but I am going for it anyway!

My last major resolution will change from month to month. I realized that although the long-term goals were awesome, there were different things that popped up throughout the year that I wanted to include and short-term goals are important. So this will be a changing goal! In January my goal will revolve around a career decision. I have two opportunities that sort of put me at a crossroad between continuing my education in one area or starting my own business in another. My goal for January is to research both options and come to a decision by the end of the month what I am going to do!

My last goal is to blog about my progress each month. This kept me accountable last year and I am hoping for the same this year!

Happy New Year’s everyone!

 

-Lindsay

 

PS What are you resolutions? Post them below! Also, if you have a FitBit or recently received one, let’s be friends! It is great motivation when I know someone else is looking in on me!

October Reflections

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

I am continuing to try and find time over here, since I have recently started two new part-time positions. Along with my new title as a work-at-home-mom, I am finding not enough time to get on here! Balance is hard to come by and I am hoping once I get in the swing of my second job, that I will be able to find my new normal.

Now, on to my goals.

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal for October was to plan out our holiday budget for family members. We came up with a budget and I am hopeful that we will be able to stick to it.  I have a few DIY gifts that I am planning, so I am hoping they do not become extremely time consuming, since I already feel short on time.

My goal for November focuses around the fact that my sweetie gets a two-week vacation this month! In residency, he is assigned vacation time, rather than being able to take it as he wants. We have waited a long time for this vacation to come around and I am over the moon thinking about it. We will be traveling some and eating out and probably spending more money than we typically do. My goal for this month is to set a budget for his vacation time so that way we can still allow ourselves the ability to go out and enjoy, without totally blowing our plans!

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

I really got back in to running this month. There were several days where I ran four miles WITHOUT stopping! When I set my resolutions in December, I never thought I’d be able to do that. However, I did! I also tried out Bikram yoga for the first time. Such a cool experience that is very unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I even managed to snag a babysitter one week when I hadn’t had enough time to work out. Major win!

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

I am struggling with this resolution. I definitely am trying new recipes every week, but I just have not had the time to blog about it. Realistically, I do not know if this will happen in November, either. I am hoping to find more time to put toward this blog soon, as it is really important to me!

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

CHECK! I am getting frustrated about the nighttime feeding. She had given it up for a glorious week and then got sick. Even after she got better, there were still at least two wake-ups a night. We seem to be moving toward just one wake up most evenings with a very early start to the day. I have told myself that I will not push her nursing habits through the remainder of this year, but 2016 does not have any plans for Cupcake nursing through the night regularly!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

I pitifully failed this month. October was a hard month all around, and I know I put this too low on the list of priorities.

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

I had no soda in October.

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My goal for October was to go back to the FlyLady methods for laundry so that I can hopefully get on top of the mess that was September. I definitely am moving in the right direction there! I also have been doing a good job keeping a pretty regular cleaning schedule.

My goal for November is to continue to work on my cleaning schedule as we have several visitors coming for a weekend this month and I want to be on top of the situation so there isn’t a mad dash to clean the house.

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

Cupcake is a very early riser (5 am AT THE LATEST). I often will put on the TV first thing so that way I can wake up more slowly, make breakfast, and have my coffee. I experimented with moving in to play time together first thing, which just resulted in me and Cupcake both being extremely cranky. I do not think I am well-rested enough at this point to mentally manage a change like this right now. It is more important to me that I continue to nurse her than moving her away from Sesame Street. I will say that once breakfast starts, I switch the TV to a music station, and she does not ask for it again until the late afternoon. TV is my best ally in cooking dinner, and I think I am okay with that.

My goal for October was to spend the month researching fun and easy alternatives for me to help increase Cupcake’s stamina for independent play so that I did not feel so tempted to put on the TV. I certainly have worked with her on this and I have found that she will play by herself very well, after her AM TV time. The only TV I watched for myself was two episodes of Big Bang Theory the whole month!

My goal for November revolves around trying to find ways to get Cupcake involved in the cooking process on some evenings so that way I can eliminate that TV block!

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.

A few days late, but check!

June Reflections 

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!
1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal for June was to get to know my new town and figure out the grocery stores. I really prefer being able to feed our family organic foods whenever possible, but that ain’t always easy on a budget. Thankfully, I’ve tried all of the local places and have a pretty good handle on how to handle our shopping. 

My goal for July is to reset our budget given the fact that my sweet hubby is now officially a resident! There is something to be said for earning a paycheck ;). I want to change our budget limitations and figures to reflect this change! 
2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

I am finding this a big challenge. I chase after Cupcake all day and find it hard to find time to workout. In July, I am going to take a step back and make it a goal to workout at least two days a week. Hopefully from there I can build back up. 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!
4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

Well, I did a ton of cooking this month and also launched a new blog aimed at children’s activities in the area. This ate (pun intended) into my time. I just need to find the time to post all the things I’ve been cooking up! 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

Our phone calls haven’t been the same as seeing her in person, but they will do! I am excited to go home in a few weeks so I can see her! 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

I have put a lot of time into making new connections in our new home. I will need to find a better way to balance out building new friendships with maintaining those from home. 

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

My goal for June was to have no more than ten 8-ounce servings of soda in June. I had exactly ten. 

My goal for July will be to have no more than nine 8-ounce servings. 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My June goal was to resubscribe and start tackling tasks in this new home. I am loving the layout of our new place. I find it much easier to maintain! 

My goal for July is to reorganize our storage in the basement. When we moved we put all of Cupcake’s old clothes in bins. I also received a ton of hand me downs from my niece. When we moved, it got all out in a closet. My goal is to reorganize the whole storage  system we have. 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for June was to limit my TV to the following items:

  • News (no more than 30 minutes a day)
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Wire
  • Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (an episode if its a rainy day for Cupcake)

I was able to do this. My goal for July is to limit TV to news, an episode of a show for Cupcake of it’s raining or she’s sick, an no more than 2 movies. 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 

Check! 
Right about now I am wishing that I had not made it a goal to post my status, because May was terrible. April was bad enough, but May just was terrible. Now that we are FINALLY moved into our new home several states away, I feel like I can get back to blogging and the goals I set out for myself. I cannot change the past; I can only change the future. Here is recommitting myself to these goals for the remainder of the year!

April Reflections 

Ugh. People. It’s been bad. Real bad. With all that we have to do to prep for our move, I’ve barely had time to think. Much less focus on blogging or these resolutions. This wil be brutal, but here it goes…

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

We found our dream place! It is in our budget, although near the top. We will definitely have some new budget changes  as we start to figure out what our new life will cost! 

Our May goal is to try and make our move as cost effective as possible! 

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

Check! 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

My April goal was to get an 8:05 minute mile.

I ran a 7:57 mid-month! This goal is done!!!!!! In high school I could barely run a 10 minute mile so this is  huge for me! 

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

With our oven broken still, this goal is not shaping up how I want. Until we move, this resolution is effectively on hold. 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

Complete failure. So disappointed in myself. 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

In April, my goal was to drink no more than 3 servings of soda a week.

One week I went over, but it’s still an overall better scenario than it was before! I notice that when I’m stressed I turn to soda the way some turn to wine. 

My goal for May is no more than 3 soda servings a week again. Hopefully I can achieve this goal despite the stress of moving! 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

With packing being a primary goal, FlyLady will need to wait until we are officially settled. 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for April was focused on reducing my overall TV watching a day. It was a really odd month because we were frequently traveling to find a. Ew place and attended a few weddings. This naturally gave me significantly less time to watch tv. Most weeks I only watched whatever I had on the DVR. 

The only exception to this was we watched quite a bit of TV relate to the riots in Baltimore. As this was a major news story in our soon to be new home- I feel like it was acceptable! 

My May goal will be to only watch something I have on the DVR (unless another major news situation pops up). This will reduce TV time by eliminating the time I spend watching commercials. 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 
Check! 

March Resolution Update 

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

Cupcake’s first birthday was this month. Our goal was to set a budget and stick to it. 

In order to make the party more cost-effective, we limited the guest list to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Having our friends there to celebrate would have been awesome, but also a bigger expense. 

We managed to spend almost exactly the budget we set and that includes all the food, decorations, gifts and everything else we did. I was so excited! 

Our April goal is to determine exactly what we want to spend for a new apartment when we move and to find our dream place! We debated buying, but residency only lasts three years. Although there’s a good chance we could stay in the area, with no guarantee it didn’t seem worth it. 

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

Having the warmer weather back made such a huge difference. Counting long walks of 3+ miles, I worked out 4-5 times a week without fail! Yay! 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

My March goal was to get below an 8:25. I am absolutely astounded at my progress in this area! I added in quite a bit of interval runs and that has made a huge difference! My fastest mile time this month was an 8:07! I also had many runs under 8:25 so this is a definite success. 

My April goal is to get an 8:05 minute mile. 

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

This goal I did much less awesome on. I only blogged about one recipe the whole month! Will definitely need to start researching some new ones for April! 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

I officially made it to one year of nursing and am so excited that our nursing relationship is still going strong. 

I did have some strong second thoughts when Cupcake was having nursing sessions for over an hour at a time several times a day and night. However, she seems to have just been going through a huge developmental leap. She now walks almost exclusively and her language skills are huge. She’s even used two-word phrases (“all done” and “no touch”) a few times recently! 

Cupcake still loves her night nursing sessions, but they have gone down from 3 to 2 on most nights, so it’s getting better! Here’s to nursing through April! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

This one makes me sad because I failed miserably. We only have two months living in the same state so it is vital that I make this happen for April and May! 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

In March, my goal was to drink no more than 3.5 servings of soda a week.

I only had one can of root beer (my fav!) at Cupcake’s birthday party and no other soda for the rest of the month! The cravings are still there, but they’re getting lesser by the day! Yay! 

My goal for April is only 3 servings a week. One of my best friends is getting married and this girl wants to have the option to enjoy a rum and coke (or two). 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

I didn’t follow the tasks outlined because we started prepping for our move. While not officially making my goal, I’m amazed at the progress we made of totally cleaning out and packing up the basement! 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for March was focused on my afternoon television. I love watching Ellen, but now that the weather is nicer, we are outside during this time. This is definitely a check as I only watched a few episodes the whole month! 

My goal for April will be focused on reducing my overall TV watching a day. To accomplish this goal, I will spend the first two weeks tracking exactly how many hours I watch. I will spend the second half of the month working to eliminate a few hours a week (exact number to be determined by results of data collection!). 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 
Check! 

February Resolution Update

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

This month we did pretty well! We were each given a weekly allowance that we could spend freely. This money was used for eating out, grabbing a treat or other incidentals. We were able to stick within our limits and we both found it easy to stick to.

One unexpected bonus was that it brought a certain sweetness to our dates now. Instead of it just being “our” money, we were able to treat one another. It felt more like we were dating, and I loved that. When my husband surprised me with a treat, I knew that he was using his own money for that and it somehow made it better. We will definitely continue to do this the rest of the year.

In March, we will be celebrating Cupcake’s first birthday! We will be sitting down and setting a budget to stick to. In the past, we’ve always used birthdays as an almost free-for-all. We celebrated without thinking about the budget or our constraints. It was never really much of a problem since it was usually just a nice dinner out. Now that we have a little one, we need to plan birthday parties, and that can get a little expensive.

For March, we will create a budget-friendly party for Cupcake’s first birthday!

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

I was doing SO well, until I wasn’t. This month was horrible for me health-wise. I started the month with a concussion. I then developed a horrible cold at the same time as Cupcake. We both recovered for approximately A DAY before I came down with a horrible stomach bug, which Cupcake subsequently got. This month was rough.

The weather also did not help because on days where we weren’t all sick, it seemed to always be snowing or be sub-zero temperatures. I am very optimistic that once the more spring-like weather comes, this will be an achievable goal.

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

My February goal is to get below an 8:25. I was only able to “test” myself on this twice, due to all the reasons listed above. My fastest time mid-month was exactly an 8:25. Therefore, my goal is to again get below an 8:25.

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

Mexican Meatloaf
Baby Cookies
Easy and Clean Peanut Butter Chocolate

Cashew Curry 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! It was definitely a struggle through the stomach bug, but we did it!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

We did very well in the beginning of the month, but then we had to stay away due to illnesses. I hope we recover soon so that we can get back to our visits!

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

My February SMART goal will be to maintain my current goal of no more than four servings a week. My second goal will be that if I find myself wanting a soda, I will first make sure I drink 2 cups of water to ensure that I am not just thirsty.

For the whole month, I had a total of five servings of soda. I typically was good at remembering that I needed to drink my water first, but not always. As per the rules I set for myself, I am not counting the ginger ale I drank while I had the stomach bug. I was happy, however, to see that I drank much less of it than I typically would, and found myself preferring diluted fruit juices instead.

In March, my goal will be to drink no more than 3.5 servings of soda a week.

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

Every week, except last. The stomach bug was the end of me!

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My SMART goal for February was to go through all the shows I had set for the DVR and delete the ones that weren’t truly favorites. I reduced the total shows we program from 14 to 4.

My goal for March will be focused on my afternoon television. I love watching Ellen! I often see that 4 o’clock hour as my reward for the day. I put it on, I make dinner, and all is right. I would like to reduce the number of days I watch TV in the afternoon from five to three.

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.
A few days late, but check!

January Resolution Update

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

Eh, not so great. Our budget is up to date on the computer, and we are overall doing well. Our “allowance” idea would have worked better this month if we had planned better. My husband spent January finishing up residency interviews and therefore was on the road quite often. We had not decided ahead of time how these road trips would factor into our allowance. Therefore, we spent a bit more on dining out than I would have preferred.

Moving into February, we will be reattacking this goal. I have prepped our envelopes with our allowance and we’re going to give it our all! We do have a weekend away at the end of this next rotation, so we decided our allowance would not factor into the eating out those days. Instead, we will plan ahead to bring what we can and budget appropriately.

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

Ugh. Well, not so good on this one! Two of the weeks, I achieved my goal. Which means that the other two weeks, I did not. One week I only went three times. I made several excuses and did not push myself. This last week of January was made difficult due to Blizzard Juno. I find it much harder to motivate myself to do workouts at home.

Sadly this means my success was only 50%. I will certainly be looking for improvement in February! My husband’s work schedule is changing, so I will be utilizing the babysitting services at my gym. I am hoping this will allow me more flexibility to reach my goals since before I was limited to the time before my husband left for work.

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

Every week, I would push myself to run as fast as I could on the treadmill. Yesterday I decided to really haul it and see what this body could do. I ran a mile in 8:28! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it myself. I had no idea my body could do this. My February goal is to get below an 8:25. The goal seems small, but currently I’ve only run an 8:28 once in my whole existence. I want to work on that becoming a more comfortable run, rather than getting stares from the neighboring treadmill occupants as I gasp along.

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

Pork “Fried” Rice

Orange Chicken

Clean and Easy Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

Breaded Pork Chops

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! I experienced a major dip in supply following some weight loss combined with Cupcake getting sick and not taking all of her feeds. Thankfully, through a lot of work, my supply is back up and I have a very content little girl!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

Check! I went to visit my Gramma three times this month. In addition, there were two weeks where we had to stick with a call. The first week Cupcake was sick. The next week, my grandmother and her roommate both were too sick for Cupcake to visit. It’s getting harder and harder to keep my wiggly worm occupied at the nursing home, but thankfully she’s such a good girl!

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

So, this was one of the best resolutions I made! It really forced me to reach out to so many people in my little world. It made me realize that sometimes I rely on others to do that part of the friendship too much. It was great connecting with so many and I look forward to seeing how this resolution will help keep my relationships strong once we move!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

My goal for January was to reduce my consumption of soda to four 8-oz cups a week.

This goal was really achievable! In fact, I am super impressed with myself because just a few years ago I lived off of soda. I easily would drink 2-3 cans (which translates to at least four 8-oz servings) a day!!!

My highest week I had 3 servings. I had a total of only 8 servings over the whole month.

My February SMART goal will be to maintain my current goal of no more than four servings a week. I want to turn my focus to the situations in which I drink soda and try and address the behaviors associated with that. I have noticed that I tend to want a soda for my afternoon pick-me-up. I do not want to drink coffee in the afternoon since that level of caffeine is likely to affect my sleep. My second goal will be that if I find myself wanting a soda, I will first make sure I drink 2 cups of water to ensure that I am not just thirsty. If I still want my soda after that, I can have it. I’m hoping the extra water will keep me hydrated, perk me up, and make me too full to drink the whole soda!

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

I subscribed again to the emails and started on New Years Day. I created an organizational binder, which I love! I have found when Cupcake has an off-day, I cannot always get to the daily task. To combat this, I doubled up on days when I had more time. Over the course of the week, all chores would get done! I love how much cleaner my house is getting.

It also makes me happy because now Cupcake is becoming more aware of what Mama does during the day. I have to take her whole mattress out of her crib to change her sheets. This month, I noticed that Cupcake was intently watching me each time I changed them. I would show her two different options for her new sheet set and let her “pick” one (wherever her hand landed first haha). It makes me feel good that my habits will rub off on her and hopefully encourage her in the right direction!

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

This month I focused on the time I spent watching the news. This was a very hard habit to break, but there are a few ways I was successful.

-I stopped watching nightly news and only watched in the morning. Sometimes the stories on the nightly news were upsetting or bothersome and likely was affecting my sleep. Plus, most of the PM stories were covered during the AM newscast. I also realized that with the virtual world in my cell phone, I didn’t miss out on as much as I somehow thought I would.
-I never spend an hour on the treadmill. I counted whatever news I watched at the gym as my time for the day.
-In the mornings where I didn’t go to the gym, I turned the TV to a music station as soon as my time was up. We have a portable music player that I may eventually switch to so that the physical TV is off, but this was a good transition.

I encountered some difficulties as my husband was used to watching the news with me. However, he was supportive as always. He was also raised on a steady diet of TV, so this is a big change for us. I also found that I didn’t feel quite as “in the know” as I like. I digest news better in the TV format as compared to reading it online or in the paper. Moving into February, I hope this part will get better.

My SMART goal for February is to go through all the shows I have set for the DVR and figure out if they really add any true value or enjoyment to our lives and delete all that don’t. Big Bang Theory stays! If I truly love it, fine. However, if it isn’t truly meaningful in my world, it is a waste of time! I will not add any new shows to our lineup.

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.
Check!

The Liebster Award

A big shout out of gratitude to Cassie at Real Life Moments for nominating me for this award. She is a mommy blogger who shares her adventures with her husband and her adorable baby girl. I really appreciate it!

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Here are my questions to answer:

1. How did you get started blogging?
When I was first pregnant with Cupcake, I kept a private blog that I would turn into a book for her. As I started reading other people’s blogs, I was inspired to start a public one of my own to share. I love writing and connecting with new people.

2. What do you like most about blogging?
I love the connections I can make. It is so cool to “meet” others with similar experiences. I love learning ways I can improve what I’m doing and sharing what works in our world!

3. What do you like least about blogging?
Sometimes I feel like I have nothing meaningful to say. It also requires me to be more open than I would naturally. One of my New Years Resolutions includes sharing recipes, even when they’re flops. I feel like some people try and paint the image of the perfect life they have. Mine is far from perfect, and sometimes it makes me nervous putting that all on display.

4. What would be your dream job?
Writing for a living. I have always wanted to write a children’s book and have completed a few. Now it’s just getting brave enough to try and get them published! I would love the opportunity to be able to write while staying home with Cupcake and any future children I may be blessed with!

5. What is your favorite thing about you?
This is a tough question! I guess my favorite thing about myself is how emotional I am. I know some would see that as a drawback, but it is actually my greatest strength.

I connect easily and quickly with people. I am quite empathic and find it easy to relate to others. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to have more control over my emotions so that others’ negative feelings do not rub off on me nearly as much. I’ve learned how to use my emotional side to my advantage.

6. If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to be able to give Cupcake and our future children the opportunity to reach for the stars. I’d like to have enough that they are not held back, but not be spoiled. Being financially able to provide would be wonderful.

7. What would your personal paradise be?
I absolutely love walking in the reservoir during the middle of the week when it is relatively empty. Being in the woods is so peaceful for me. I always feel recharged after connecting with nature.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
I love chips with guacamole and a nice cold Coke! Yummmm

9. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Flying! It would be so convenient and I imagine quite peaceful up there!

10. Do you have any pets? If so what?
I have two cats named Oreo and Styx. Oreo absolutely adores Cupcake and cuddles with her while we put her to sleep each night. Styx got her name after the River Styx from Greek mythology. She wasn’t so nice and kind of standoffish. However, she loved me! Styx used to be my little baby pre-Cupcake. She is slowly warming up to the baby.

11. Are you glad you are done with these questions?

Yep!

11 random facts about me:

1. I have an unhealthy love for peanut butter. I consume an embarrassing amount! I am extremely picky, though, and actually prefer store brands over brand names because nearly all of the brand names add sugar to their “natural” peanut butter.

2. I got married on my little sister’s birthday! I loved the date (12/21/12) and thankfully she said it was ok!

3. I have my Masters in Elementary Teaching and taught for four years before Cupcake was born. I’ve taught first, third and fifth grade.

4. Although I loved teaching, all I really wanted to be when I grew up was a mom!

5. Most teachers have a hard time coming up with baby names due to former students. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we went to the hospital with several names for both. Every name we had was also the name of a former student!

6. I love going to the movies.I watch movies at home all the time, too. It’s one of my favorite pastimes.

7. I was attacked by a dog when I was little. I still am a little skittish if a yellow lab gets too close.

8. We currently live in the same house my dad was raised in. I absolutely love that Cupcake’s nursery is the same as his. She took her first steps here, just like he did. I wash dishes in the same sink my grandmother did. I will be so sad when we move.

9. I have given up ALL dairy for Cupcake. She had horrible reflux that was greatly impacting her. Even with her medication, it was too much. I cut out dairy and within three weeks she went from getting sick several times an hour to only a few times a week. This girl reallllly loves her cheese and chocolate!

10. My favorite food is tacos. I can eat a ridiculous amount. When DH and I first started dating, he did not believe me when I said I could easily eat 6 tacos in one sitting. We ordered 12. I ate my six and felt great. A few hours later, I was hungry again. He got through five alright, forced the sixth, and had a tummy ache for hours. I win!

11. I love to bake! I wish I could just bake and eat all the yumminess all day. Alas, my waist line would not appreciate this.

Here are the blogs I am nominating!

Playing House

Brienne Jamieson

Madre Americana

more than just dumplings

A Pendulum World

Domesticated Momster

The Mommy Date

Another Day in Mommadise

Growing Up Mom

And here are my 11 questions for you to answer:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What was your first job?

4. What are you having for dinner tonight?

5. Pick one word to describe your blog.

6. If you could go to any place in the world on a free vacation for a week, where would you go?

7. Who was your favorite teacher?

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

9. Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?

10. If you had to be any animal for the rest of your life , what would you pick?

11. What is your favorite color?