2013 – books, writing, health and crochet. Or, goals for this year.

My sister set 13 goals for 2013, which made me want to do the same.  Therefore, world, I present you with my goals!

1. Read 52 books. I’m an avid reader, and have already read a few – the only difficulty will be remembering to keep track of the books I am reading!!

2. Lose those last 15 lbs. Since I got married 3.5 years ago, I have lost approximately 60 lbs. Last year (post-baby) I lost 35lbs, and I have stayed roughly stable since then. I just have 15 (20 at the most) left to lose.

3. Start writing again. I haven’t written in a while – at least, nothing of substance. I have a bit of a started piece, and I think I  may continue that. However, I have something else that has been marinating for a while, so I may flesh that one out.

4. Blog regularly. I’m working toward that one! I want to start to really get this blog going – I really enjoy it, but most of my thoughts come through when I’m chasing after munchkin. I think it’s time to keep notebooks around so that I can keep my ideas and musings fresh.

5. Get more blog followers. I’m working hard on this one – getting my name out there by following more awesome, well-known blogs, and commenting on them when I feel the need. They’re great bloggers that definitely love questions, and write their posts to draw discussion. It’s amazingly wonderful – definitely awesome people to learn from.

6. Enter at least one writing contest. I have been watching for writing contests for the past year or so, but have never really done anything with it. It’s time to start entering the contests, and not just look.

7. Start working out regularly – once I’m not injured. I currently have an ankle injury that I’m working through – MRI was just over a week ago, and I see the doctor for the results this Tuesday afternoon. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to figure out how best to treat it, because the issues I’m having with it have been going on for too long. And working out regularly will (hopefully) get me to feeling better, and start to reduce my chronic pain.

8. Start preparing meals in advance – healthy meals. I need to start planning meals better, and make sure I shop around them. I need to make sure that we’re prepared so we can regularly eat well, and not fall back on the easy, quick things that are not healthy.

9. Snack regularly with HEALTHY foods. Make good choices! I find I need to snack relatively regularly to keep me feeling good, and the foods I eat need to be better than cookies and such. I’m finding lately that I LOVE cottage cheese with peaches, and it’s great. It fills me up, and I really enjoy it.

10. Care as much about my own health as I do munchkin’s – I matter as much as he does! If I don’t keep myself healthy, I can’t keep munchkin healthy as well. Time to start worrying about ME.

11. Make a few afghans and finish my sweater. I love to crochet, but haven’t really done much lately. I have at least 3 afghans I would like to make, and would love to get them all completed. I started a sweater a while ago, and I hope to finish it – provided I didn’t mess anything up in the process!

12. Pull out my sewing machine and make some stuff. I have a whole board on Pinterest of ideas for things I want to make. It’s time to pull it out and make some of these things!

13. Be better about keeping the house clean – I’ll keep everyone sane that way! Munchkin keeps us busy, and can definitely be messy. The less clutter, the better – keep us all from going crazy.

Hopefully I can get everything accomplished this year. I would love to just be able to snap my fingers and have everything be the way I want, but I need to invest in myself. I hate that phrase, but it really seems to be the one that sums everything up. Life is a precious commodity, and one not to be wasted. I need to remember not to take it for granted.

Have you set goals for this year? What’s your biggest goal? The one you think will be easiest to attain, and the most difficult?

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I love you, let’s color.

It’s the dreaded February 14, the day of love and hearts and all things red. In all of our 7+ years together, Hubby and I have never celebrated the holiday created by card and candy companies – we have always treated it (mostly) as any other day. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” smooch, “happy Valentine’s Day.” That’s it.

But with munchkin around now, and with him being in daycare (which I LOVE, by the way, and never thought I would – another story in itself), they exchange cards and make Valentine bags and make a big deal out of it. At almost 17 months old, he’s starting to be more aware of things being different on special days, and it works for me. Every day is different, every day is special in its own way. Might as well make as big of a deal out of it as we can!

So when I went grocery shopping last week I found that their selection of kids’ Valentines was rather decent and selected a box of Elmo cards – rather well-known, easy to spot, and decent messages as well. I don’t want to go into the provocative poses Elmo makes, or where my mind went with those. Seriously.

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Now you had just better hope that the recipient feels the same as the giver, and that you really are friends. Awkward!

I had the amazing idea to pull my “creativity” out (aka, I saw a friend do the same thing and decided it was a good idea), and make crayons. Peeling the wrapping off of crayons is the absolute worst. Two 24-count boxes later, I filled the cookie trays (that will never be used for cookies) with broken crayon pieces.

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Baked at 275* for about 8 minutes, and carefully removed the tray from the oven. Liquid crayon.

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We let them set overnight, and then this morning I bagged everything up and added the card, et voilà! C’est magnifique!

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I am hoping that they are enjoyed by the other kiddos. I made sure to make the full tray’s worth, and that way munchkin has a couple as well. Besides – what kid doesn’t like to color???

Have you ever gone all out for a holiday you previously neglected because of someone else?