Friday 31 January 2020

January- New Year's Resolutions Update

My New Year's resolutions have been going very well!  I have managed to meet them every single week this January.  I like the way my resolutions are set up this year.  They are relatively easy to achieve and easy to track.

1. Movement  I have exceeded my goal of moving for 20 minutes, 3 times a week this month.  I have walked, done a few HIIT workouts (woo!) and done some yoga.  I feel so much better when I move my body and I have enjoyed my workouts this month.

2. Writing  I have achieved my goal of writing for 20 minutes, 3 times a week.  This goal has encouraged me to make time for something I really enjoy.  I have worked on some goal setting, written in my journal and done a much better job posting here on the blog.

3.  Home Projects  I have exceeded this goal this month and it has been so beneficial for my home.  I have been working through my 2020 Home Reset and my house is in a much more organized state.  I have also started tackling my photos.  I haven't made a photo book since April 2015!  I have attempted this goal a few times over the years, to no avail.  This month I managed to organize every single photo on my computer.  I took a long time but everything is easy to find.  I completed a photo book for 2016.  Next month I plan to tackle the remainder of 2015.

My word of the year is BOLD and I have had some successful moments being bold and I have also had moments where I regretted not being totally myself.  My most positive outcome from trying to be bold this month was that  I was able to have a tough conversation. That conversation improved the relationship immensely.  I am thankful for that.

How are your goals going? 

Friday 24 January 2020

Tracking Time

I came across the book Off The Clock by Laura Vanderkam a few months ago and became intrigued with the idea of tracking time.  The author tracks her time regularly and has reaped many benefits from doing so.

I followed a prompt off her podcast Before Breakfast and tracked my time for a week.  I kept track of my time in 30 minute increments and I learned a lot. 

I spend most of my time doing direct childcare and housework.  This didn't shock me.  I am a stay-at-home mom and it goes with the territory.

Here is what did surprise me: I have a lot of 'free' time that I don't use well.  When I have a few minutes to myself, I often whip out my phone and scroll Instagram or watch Instastories.  While these habits aren't detrimental to my life, I really could be using my time better.  I enjoy Instagram, but it doesn't make me feel relaxed or rejuvenated.  I have been actively trying to pick up a book during my free time and it has been beneficial for me. 

I also learned that I am much more productive when I get out of bed early.  I get a lot more done in a day when I can roll out of bed by 6:00 a.m.  I don't particularly like getting up early, but my day feels much more organized and is more productive.  I have been trying to harness this time by getting up early and working on school work.  This doesn't happen every day.  When I am up with my children a lot during the night, I let myself sleep so that I can be rested.

I encourage you to check out Laura's work.  It has been interesting to me and has shone a light on how I spend my time.  You may be surprised at what you discover.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Winter Capsule Wardrobe- 22.01.2020

Jeans with stretch are the unsung heroes of my wardrobe.  While I do love leggings, I find my jeans with stretch to be just as comfortable while looking put together.  If you do purchase jeans with stretch, it can be wise to size down so that they don't become baggy and fall down later in the day.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday 20 January 2020

2020 Home Reset- Bathroom

Our family of four shares a bathroom.  It gets out of hand now and then.  Between hair product, hair accessories and all of the other products in the cabinet, the bathroom was definitely in need of a reset.  This is what I did:

  • emptied the drawers and cupboards
  • vacuumed out the drawers and wiped shelves down
  • pitched any products that were out of date
  • removed any items not being used
  • put everything back neatly
  • wiped baseboards
  • washed walls



It felt so good to clean out the cupboards and drawers.  Everything is much easier to find now that we only have the items that we use in the bathroom.  

Friday 17 January 2020

How I Track My Goal Progress

I have found that having a tangible way to track my goals is extremely motivating for me.  I like to check off boxes and see visual evidence of my progress.  When I made my 2020 resolutions, I knew that I needed a tracking sheet to help me reach my goals.  I hit up Pinterest and found some great tracking sheets.  I decided to use the Habit Tracker sheet from Clementine Creative . 

The tracker is meant to be used as a monthly sheet with space for each habit you are tracking.  I wanted to have my whole year on the same sheet so I opted to put the months down the 'Habit' column and I devoted one sheet to each of my resolutions.  Each day that I complete my 20 minutes (or more) of movement, writing or a home project, I colour in a box. 

I sincerely hope that using these tracking sheets help me to stay on track this year.  How do you keep track of your goals?

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Winter 2019/2020 Capsule Wardrobe- Additions

I have made two additions to my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.  I purchased a pair of skinny jeans that fit me (Woo-hoo!) and I bought a dusty rose coloured sweater dress.  I purchased each item from a consignment shop and I have worn them multiple times already.

I am very excited to start sharing some of my outfits with you next week.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday 13 January 2020

2020 Home Reset- Utility Closet

We live in a smaller home that does not have great storage.  This has definitely encouraged us to embrace minimalism as much as we can.  It also means that we have to be creative with the storage that we do have.  My kitchen cupboard space is cramped and poorly planned.  This means that our kitchen appliances (like my beloved Instant Pot) have to find homes elsewhere.  Enter the utility closet.  This closet is near our front door entrance (which is rarely used) and just off of the living room.  It stores cleaning supplies, cookbooks, craft supplies, and kitchen appliances.  We put a wire shelf in the closet and my handy husband built a wood shelf for the closet.  This helps us maximize the space that we can use.

This space has to be flexible because our family's needs change all the time.  The closet wasn't super crazy but it was not living up to its potential.  I made a few changes and cleaned it out to help us get the most use out of this closet.



I moved the basket of extension cords (which are only used twice a year) to the top shelf, along with cleaning supplies and recipe books.  The newfound space on the second shelf allowed me to stash the girls' board games, activities, craft sets and instruments.  

The bottom shelves of the closet remained mostly the same.  I vacuumed the closet and wiped the shelves.

This closet is being utilized better now and I am so happy with how it turned out!

Friday 10 January 2020

Looking Back on 2019

My word of the year for 2019 was 'embrace'.  I really enjoyed this word.  It was helpful in reminding me to be accepting of others as they are and it reminded me to accept myself as I am.  I worked hard to do this and I think that it really improved my relationships with family and friends.

I made four resolutions last year.  Some went well, others did not.  Several things happened throughout the year that made keeping my resolutions difficult.  I became pregnant this year and then suffered a miscarriage.  I required surgery because of this.  My husband had surgery and was unable to work or lift anything for 6 weeks.  I had trouble with my ear that is still ongoing.  These interruptions made some of my resolutions difficult for me.

1.  Establish a Morning Routine   I did this at various intervals throughout the year.  When I was sick and going through my miscarriage, I did not even attempt to stick to this routine.  I have been working on re-establishing my calm mornings and it is going well so far.

2.  Treat the Earth Better.  I greatly decreased the number of baths I took this year.  I did not stick to my two per month limit, however.  I averaged about four baths per month.  I am still working towards reducing this.  My husband and I reduced the amount that we traveled this year which of course decreased our fuel consumption.  I walked as much as possible and continue to do so.  We definitely reduced our food waste this year, which was great.

3.  Save.  Hubby and I saved for and purchased a new furnace and hot water heater for our house.  We were happy to be able to cash flow this major purchase.

4.  Walk 5 or more times per week.  Nope.  This did not happen.  I walked as much as possible, but when I was sick I wasn't leaving my house much.  Some of my walking also did not translate into walks for my dog (which was the basis of this resolution).  Now that we are both feeling healthy, Hubby and I have been good about taking turns taking the dog out.  She loves to get out of the yard and smell new scents!

Overall, I am happy with how I did with my goals.  This year seemed to have its fair share of obstacles and I stuck with my goals to the best of my ability.

I do want to say that although this year included some difficult moments, it also included some fun ones.  Our oldest daughter started Kindergarten (which she loves!), I went back to school, I rediscovered my love of performing arts, I found people to form a Harry Potter reading group with, our youngest daughter learned so much, Hubby recovered well from his surgery, and my parents each celebrated their 60th birthdays.  The year had some really beautiful, wonderful moments.

How did your 2019 go?  Did you make and keep any resolutions?  I just want to add that sometimes it's okay if you just simply made it through the year.  That is enough.  It truly is.

Monday 6 January 2020

2020 Home Reset- Living Room

In the new year I always crave calm and order.  After the fun, indulgence and general chaos of the holidays I am ready to embrace order.  Last year I started to work through my home in an effort to clean up and create order.  I got sick and my ambition fell to the wayside.  I hope to tackle my home this year.

My first stop was my living room.  My living room is where we watch television, read, where the kids play and where my home office is.  This room has many functions and is our most used room.

Step 1: Clear all unnecessary items.  We took the Christmas tree down and put away our Christmas decor.  We moved big toys downstairs to the playroom and removed anything else that did not belong.

Step 2:  Give the room a good cleaning.  We moved furniture and vacuumed the floors.  Baseboards and surfaces were wiped down.

Step 3:  Sort through the items that are left.  We went through the toys, books, magazines and papers in the room.  I took a small bin of recycling and a small bag of garbage out of the room.  I made sure to put items back in an organized manner.  

Result:  The room feels calmer, cleaner and it looks a lot bigger.  The whole project only took a couple hours and was broken up over the course of a few days.  Sometimes it is easier to do projects a little bit at a time so you don't get frustrated or bored with it.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

2020- Word of the Year and Intentions

2020 is here.  I love the new year.  I like being able to shift my focus and create goals.  I have made the decision to write this post solely about the upcoming year and what I have decided to focus on, rather than look back on 2019.  I will do a recap of last year's word and how my goals turned out, but today I want to focus on the present and the future.

My word of the year for 2020 is BOLD. (Ha!  See what I did there?)  I wouldn't say that I struggle with a lot of insecurities, but I do struggle to put myself out there at times.  I have always been the 'nerdy' kid and while I love who I am, I do worry about how other people will react to me.  I was picked on as a kid (like a lot of people, I am sure) and I really internalized that.  I like being me at home.  When I am out and about, however, I try to shut my nerdy side down.

This year I am going to be me.  I will be bold in honouring who I am and what I am passionate about.  I will not worry as much about what other people think of me.  I have already started to grow in this direction, but this year I will fully embrace who I am.


Earlier this year I did a 20 minute challenge in an effort to tackle the downstairs clutter that had accumulated.  I found that committing to 20 minutes of an activity felt easy to achieve and quick.  I didn't have to drum up much effort to do 20 minutes of work and the results were impressive.

I am using what I learned from my 20 minute challenge in my resolutions this year.  Three times a week, for 20 minutes I will focus on a certain activity.  This means that I will spend one hour a week focused on a certain goal, which isn't asking a lot.  I have chosen 3 activities. 

1.)  Movement  I will focus on moving my body.  Walking, strength training, yoga and whatever else I can come up with.  I need to increase my strength and this will be a good way to do that.

2.)  Writing  I love to write and I have let that fall by the wayside.  I will spend time writing this year and getting back to what I love.

3.)  Home Projects  I will spend time clearing clutter, uploading photos to photo books and taking care of all those small projects that I have ignored for far too long.

Happy New Year, friends!  May 2020 bring you joy, peace and strength.