Friday, January 15, 2021

Five on Friday - January Goals

Well, I had big plans for January, y’all.  I had planned an entire month of new blog content, I had planned to blog five days a week, and I had made a nice long list of things I wanted to accomplish around the house, and then on January 1 we found out unexpectedly that… the kids would be returning to virtual learning until at least January 19.  Womp womp. 

Nothing we can do except for roll with it, so I rearranged some things on my editorial calendar, and I trimmed back my list of goals.  It’s still probably on the heavy side considering I’ve been able to do next to nothing the first two weeks, but I’m feeling ambitious so I thought I’d at least try.  I also posted about my goals for 2021 earlier this week, so you can see them here if you missed it!

Also, before I get to the goals, I wanted to give y'all a head's up that you're going to start seeing some changes here and there on the blog.  I FINALLY started on a brand refresh (LONG overdue, y'all), but I'm doing the whole thing myself (so far), so I'm doing things little by little as time permits.  I originally wanted to have everything designed and ready to roll out all at once on January 1, but that didn't happen, so instead, I'm just going to roll out a little here and there as I have time to work on it.  Not ideal, but such is life this past year.  

So far, I've refreshed my signature and all of my graphics (the easy part), and now the hard stuff remains (blog header and updating fonts, colors, and layout).  I'll probably end up hiring someone to help me with some of the functionality, but I'm going to see how far I can get on my own first.  So anyway, just wanted to let y'all know that!  And now that all of that housekeeping is out of the way, let's get to the goals...

Today I’m recapping my December goals and listing my January goals.  As always, I’m using a Y for YES and N for NO to indicate whether or not I accomplished my goals.  And since I opted not to do seasonal bucket lists this year, all of our fun Christmas activities will be here instead.  ;o)




December Goals

Relationships/Connect

Y  Get together with family to celebrate Christmas somehow. – It was completely different, and it was certainly far from ideal, but at least we got to see some of our family.                                                                              

Personal/Health/Wellness/Fitness/Beauty

Y  Meditate every day.

Y  Quiet time every day.

N  Drink 64 oz. most days.

Y  Close all rings on my Apple Watch at least 16 days. – I closed all of them 17 times!

Y  Visit with therapist via Zoom.

Y  Go to semi-annual dental cleaning.

Y  Read Christmas Shopaholic.

Family/Fun

Y  Go to semi-annual dental cleaning for Jacob and Olivia.

Y  Mail holiday cards.

Y  Watch all of our favorite Christmas movies. – We watched so many greats… Christmas Vacation, Serendipity, Home Alone 1 and 2, The Holiday, etc.

Y  Watch some new Christmas movies – We watched Jingle Jangle, Christmas Chronicals 1 and 2, Let it Snow, etc.

Y  Send a couple of care packages to friends. – We got one sent to my brother and sister-in-law who weren’t able to come home for Christmas because, Covid, and we also sent a little something to our friends in Germany.

Y  Decorate gingerbread houses.

Y  Go to Fantasy in Lights (safely). – We rode in our own vehicle this year instead of the public jolly trolley, but we still had a great time!

Y  Take the kids to visit Santa (safely) (if we can even do this?). – We found a Santa who was behind a window in his very own little house, so the kids were able to visit with him without putting him or themselves in danger.

Y  Drive around and look at Christmas lights. – We did this twice!

Y  Have a Brian and Lindsay day date, or two. – We got two in… granted it was running errands at 7:30 in the morning to pick out Christmas gifts, but at least it was time alone together away from the house.

Y  Bake sugar cookies from scratch. – Finally did this for the first time ever and it was hard.  Lol.

Y  Make New Year’s Eve extra special. – We did!  We got all dressed up, got takeout for dinner from a nice restaurant, did fireworks in our back yard, grazed on a dessert board all evening, and rang in the New Year with champagne and sparkling grape juice in fancy glasses.  We let the kids stay up until midnight for the first time ever, and it was my most favorite NYE since they were born.

Home/Organization/Planning

Y  Finish Christmas shopping.

Y  Set up 2021 planner.

Y  Get all Christmas decorations put away by December 31.

Y  Clean entire house top-to-bottom by December 31.

Y  Tidy entire house top-to-bottom by December 31. 

Y  Get all laundry caught up by December 31.

N  Complete 2 things on Master To-Do list.

Blog/Social Media

Y  Post 3-4 times per week. 

Y  Share Christmas home tour on blog.

Y  Share Christmas home tour on Instagram stories.

Y  Start recapping 2020.

Y  Start thinking about goals for 2021.

Summary

30 items accomplished

2 items not accomplished

 

Monthly Stats


Books Read: 1

    Christmas Shopaholic     

Meditation Days: 31

Rings Closed on Apple Watch:

    Move Ring: 17

    Exercise Ring: 17

    Stand Ring: 31

Workouts Completed: 21

    Core Training: 1   

    Dance: 0

    Mixed Cardio: 9

    Outdoor Run: 2  (5.55 miles)

    Outdoor Walk: 6 (12.91 miles)

    Stair Stepper: 2

    Strength Training: 1

    Yoga: 0

Time Spent Working Out: 14:17:56 (hours:minutes:seconds)

Calories Burned During Workouts: 3,740

Pictures of My Successes

Meditation

Apple Watch rings

Reading Christmas Shopaholic

Dental appointments

Mailing some of our Christmas cards

Jacob's gingerbread house

Olivia's gingerbread house


Fantasy in Lights

Visiting with Santa

Heading out to look at Christmas lights

Our favorite house to see Christmas lights

Baking homemade sugar cookies


Day date with B

Finishing up Christmas shopping

Celebrating Christmas with my family on the back porch in the freezing cold

Christmas Day

Celebrating Christmas with extended family outside, more than 6 feet apart!



Elf shenanigans... forgot to add this to my goals, but wanted to share anyway.

Cleaning up Christmas

Making New Year's Eve extra special!


Now for the January goals…

January Goals

Relationships/Connect

Catch up with a friend or family member once a week via phone or text.

Send happy mail to Olivia’s friend who moved to Florida.

Spend time with each child one-on-one.                                                                             

Personal/Health/Wellness/Fitness/Beauty

Meditate, quiet time, and affirmations every day.

Drink 64 oz. most days.

Eat healthy salads for lunch most days.

Eat Larabars instead of M&Ms most afternoons to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Close all rings on my Apple Watch at least 16 days.

Do 50 crunches every day. 

Try a new workout (HIIT, maybe?).

Visit with therapist via Zoom.

Read It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way.

Clean makeup brushes.

Make a Fresh Start play list.

Family/Fun

Make virtual learning a happy place for the kids.

Take the kids to ride their scooters at the river walk.

Deposit kids’ money into their savings accounts.

Set up money plan for kids (save, give, spend).

Sign Jacob up for spring baseball.

Start looking at condos for beach trip in June.

Record a video every single day of the month and upload to my One Second a Day app.

Home/Organization/Planning

Clean out Jacob’s entire room.

Clean out Olivia’s entire room.

Clean out entire play room.

Clean out iPhone (apps and contacts, etc.).

Clean out List Master app.

Clean out refrigerator/freezer.

Clean out pantry.

Scrub out our master bathroom tub.

Clean microwave.

Strip all of our towels.

Start prepping for Valentine’s Day.

List the rest of my winter items on Poshmark.

Complete 1 thing on Master To-Do list.

Blog/Social Media

Post 4-5 times per week.

Publish a couple of simple, short posts. 

Discontinue hosting link-ups.

Share my home decluttering/organizing on Instagram stories.

Start rolling out brand refresh.

Friday Funnies

Let's hope this isn't true, but it made me LOL.

This feels like it happened 84 years ago.

Truth

I feel you, Joey.

Somebody please do this!



On the Blog This Week

 2021 New Year’s Goals + My Word for the Year

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 43 (Virtual Learning and a Dark Day for Our Nation)

New Year’s Eve Bar Cart Decorations



Previous Monthly Goals Posts

Happy Friday, y’all!

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.















Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Year’s Eve Bar Cart Decorations

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short on this post since New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but I loved our bar cart so much this year that I wanted it to live here on the blog forever. 

The disco ball has been an everyday décor staple on our bar cart for years, and it made the perfect focal point for New Year’s Eve.  Then I just added a few other fun items (NYE hats, noise makers, gold and silver stars, and straws) and I added a VERY fitting song lyric to the letter board (Long December by Counting Crows... where all my 90's kids at?!) and that was it.  Done! 

Ready to see?












 

They're not pictured above, but if you're looking for the most gorgeous champange flutes you ever did see, check out these from Crate and Barrel.  They are STUNNING in person.  Soooo tall (10 inches)  the taller, the better in my opinion  and so classy.  Just look at that beauty...


I’ll try to link as many items as I can below in case you're ready to start planning for December 2021... now is the time to check and get some stuff on clearance!

Sources

Rae Dunn Champagne Glasses (similar)

Disco ball

Faux tulips

Letter board

Black and white striped straws

Black and white polka dot straws

New Year's Eve cocktail napkins (similar)

Gold and silver stars

Happy New Year headbands

Noisemakers (similar)

Disco ball string lights

And in case you missed it, you can see how we celebrated here.  Happy New Year again, y’all!








Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 43 (Virtual Learning and a Dark Day for Our Nation)

Well, I think we can all agree that last week was… a week.  That’s for sure.  Our family had to go back to virtual learning for the first time since May 2020, and there was also a very scary event that happened here in the United States causing even more divide in our nation.  I honestly thought it couldn’t get much worse and then it did.  To say I’m grateful for this new week is an understatement, and I pray that it goes better for everyone.

Monday, January 4 (Day 297 of Quarantine)

Monday was the kids’ first day back at school, and unfortunately, on January 1, we had gotten word that they were going to be going back virtually.  I had three days to mentally prepare myself for it, but unfortunately, the whole first day ended up being a hot mess anyway. 

I was up bright and early to be at Publix at 7:30 right after they opened because we were in desperate need of groceries.  Covid cases are exploding here in town and all of our hospitals are at full capacity, so I wanted to get there as early as possible so I could come in contact with as few people as possible.  I only saw three other customers the whole time I was in there, and I was in and out in 25 minutes.  Success!

Unfortunately, since things are getting so bad here, it appears that people are doomsday shopping again, though, and therefore, so many items were sold out.  There were only two cartons of eggs left in the whole store, and I got them both (even though neither were the ones I usually buy), I had to buy substitutes for our usual bread, sausage, canned pineapple, and orange juice (among other things), and I wasn’t able to get any sweet potatoes or Sunchips (our fave to keep on hand) at all.  They were completely out.  What a weird weird time to be alive, y’all.

By the time I arrived back home, it was time to hit the ground running with virtual learning.  Jacob had a live Zoom meeting at 8:30 AM, and then the rest of the day was school work for both of them.  Both kids’ work loads were significantly larger this year as a fourth and first grader than they were as a third grader and a kindergartner, and the school day ended up lasting until just after 3 PM, which is even longer than it would have been had they been at school in person.  Sigh. 



Both kids are learning completely new material and concepts since it’s a new quarter, so it’s a lot for them when they can’t be in the classroom.  By the time they finished school, I was completely frazzled and my brain was fried from running back and forth between the two of them, but there was blog work to be done, so I spent the next two hours cramming in as much as I could before heading downstairs to cook dinner and clean the house.

The rest of the evening was spent laid out on the couch by the fire, watching the new season of The Bachelor.  That was about all I could muster.

Tuesday, January 5 (Day 298 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I was confident things would be smoother and faster since we knew what to expect, and while they did go a bit more smoothly, they most certainly did not go any faster.  Jacob had live Zoom meetings at 8:30 AM and 1 PM, and he had so much work that he didn’t finish until after 3 PM again.  My goodness, the workload for him this year seems like twice as much as it was last year when we had to do this.

Olivia completed her work just before lunch (which was a huge win), so she was free for the rest of the afternoon.  Brian made mini pizzas for lunch so I could take some time to put holds on library AR books for both kids, and then after lunch, Jacob had his second live Zoom of the day, while I went to my office to Zoom with my therapist for my monthly appointment.  She has been such a blessing this past year.

The rest of the day was spent squeezing in some work, cooking dinner, squeezing in a quick 30-minute workout, and collapsing on the couch right at 9 to flip back-and-forth between election coverage and This is Us.  In case you don’t live in Georgia, and somehow missed the news, we had a Senate runoff that day. 

This means that when all of you received your blessed reprieve from campaign ads back on November 3, we did not.  We had to endure them for two whole extra months.  We haven’t been able to turn on the TV, get on social media, look at our text messages, take phone calls, or answer our door at our own home without having campaign ads shoved in our faces.  Yes, we actually had people ring our doorbell in a pandemic, with no masks on, just to tell us who we should be voting for.  On multiple occasions. 

So, I guess you could say that Tuesday finally brought on a huge sigh of relief for us after the worst ever election year.

Wednesday, January 6 (Day 299 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, both kids rocked their virtual learning, and both were done with all of their assignments just before lunch, aside from Jacob’s afternoon Zoom lesson.  It was a much smoother day, which was good, since my nerves were frazzled from watching the news at the Capitol all day. 

2020 was a sad year to be an American – so much violence, so many riots, so much social injustice, so many horrible things said between friends and loved ones on social media, and so. much. divide. – and now it’s looking like 2021 isn’t going to be much better.  I wrote a little bit about my feelings in this post here, and you can read that here if you’re interested. 

Olivia had ballet Wednesday, and we opted to send her virtually instead of in-person as we wanted to wait until all of the Christmas and New Year's Eve get-together germs in our city die down before sending her somewhere with other kids.  I'm hopeful we'll be able to send her back in-person either this week or next, but only time will tell.  She's been working on her splits, and she's getting better and better!


The rest of the day was spent watching the news, making dinner, and having some hard conversations with the kids.  It makes me sad how many of those conversations we’ve had to have this past year – Covid, social injustice, the election ugliness, and now that horrible day at the Capitol – these poor kids have grown up this past year in utter chaos. 

At the end of the day, I curled up with Olivia in her bed to read with her, and it was a nice way to calm my nerves after a very sad day.

Thursday, January 7 (Day 300 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning was more virtual learning, and then I left just before lunchtime to grab some books for Jacob from our school’s curbside pickup as well as our public library’s curbside pickup.  I grabbed Chick-Fil-A for lunch on the way home, and then the four of us ate together.  The kids opted not to come with me on the drive, and I realized when I was halfway there, that was the first time I’d been out on my own in several weeks, aside from grocery shopping on Monday. 

Thursday afternoon, the kids finished up virtual learning, and then they were both THRILLED that their packages had arrived in the mail.  They had both received some money from Christmas, so we let them each pick out something from Amazon.  They both opted for Lego sets, Minecraft for Jacob, and a Frozen Lego jewelry box for Olivia.  They spent the afternoon putting those together, and I was finally able to squeeze in a couple of hours of work.  It was rainy and cold all day, so no time was spent outdoors.

Thursday evening, I finally got around to tackling the first decluttering project on my list – cleaning out the fridge!  I got all of the expired stuff thrown out, wiped everything down, got everything back in nice and neat, and I made a list of things that we need to replace the items I’d throw out.

B and I started that new show Away on Netflix (the Hilary Swank space show) Thursday evening, and we’re both enjoying it very much so far.

Friday, January 8 (Day 301 of Quarantine)

Friday, both kids had much lighter virtual learning loads and we were all so grateful!  Both of them ended up wrapping up their days before lunch, and the rest of the day was spent playing and relaxing.  It was another dreary day and it was SUPER cold, so none of us set foot outside for the second day in a row. 

After lunch, I cleaned out the pantry, got rid of many expired items, and got everything organized.  After lunch, I sat down in my office and got caught up on paying some bills, making some phone calls, and catching up on other “life stuff.”  Olivia complained about her vision being blurry a couple of times last week, so I called my eye doctor to see if we could get her in.  Unfortunately, because of Covid, they are still backed up for a couple of months, so they told me it would be April before they could see her.  Thankfully, one of my friend’s mom’s works for them, and she was able to find a spot for her the very next day as someone had canceled an appointment.  Score!  I was so grateful to her.

Being productive and getting all of those things done was just what the doctor ordered after a tough week.  It gave me a sense of accomplishment after a long week of spinning my wheels. 

Once all of that was squared away, I finally got around to scanning some old pictures of my grandparents that my Daddy had given to me.  I called him to identify several people in the pictures so I could get them labeled properly, and I ended up chatting with him on the phone for the rest of the afternoon.  We hadn’t had a good chat like that in quite some time and it was nice to hear his voice on the line since we can’t spend time together in person right now. 


Friday evening, Brian picked up dinner from our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we made margaritas to go along with our yummy tacos.  While he was gone, I attempted my first ever HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, and it was a success!  I did a 20 minute workout with a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down, and I burned nearly 200 calories in that short amount of time!  My legs felt like jello after I was done, so I knew it was a winner! 


After dinner, B put a fire in the fireplace, and we all sat down to watch Spies in Disguise.  We’d never seen it, and it was cute.  Not my favorite, but watchable.  The kids enjoyed it a lot!  After they went to bed, we watched another episode of Away and another episode of Bridgerton.

Saturday, January 9 (Day 302 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, Olivia had her eye appointment at 11:15, so I set an alarm to get up earlier than I normally do on the weekend.  I had lots I wanted to do, so I didn’t want the day to get away from me.  I ended up doing my daily meditation, quiet time, and affirmations and did an entire workout before anyone else in the house was up. 

Once they were up, I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and then I hit the ground running unloading the dishwasher, tidying the kitchen, and starting some laundry before it was time for me to get ready.  Meanwhile, the kids watched cartoons, and Olivia was thrilled because Maui snuggled with her.


Olivia and I arrived at the eye doctor right on time, and they are still doing a fantastic job of keeping everyone safe during these pandemic times – temps are still being taken upon entry, every single person in the building is required to wear a face mask (and everyone was actually wearing theirs properly), and they had plenty of signage to ensure everyone followed social distancing guidelines. 

We ended up having to wait a long time before we actually saw the doctor, but Olivia was so patient!  She had to have her eyes dilated, and she wasn’t a fan of the drops, but she was so brave, and I was so proud of her.  After all of her tests were run, the doctor told us that she is the tiniest bit farsighted, but that it’s so minute that there’s no reason to get glasses.  He said that the majority of kids around her age have some degree of farsightedness due to the way their eyes grow and develop, so it was totally normal and nothing to worry about. 

He did tell us that we can get reading glasses for her if we think she truly needs them, and he printed her prescription for us in case we decide to do so.  B and I decided not to for now, and Olivia was so disappointed!  Haha.  We had talked up glasses so much prior to her appointment that she ended up really wanting them!  I tried explaining to her that it’s a good thing she doesn’t need them, but she is still disappointed.  So funny.




When we finally made it back home two hours later, we had a quick lunch with the boys, and then the kids and I headed to the playroom to get it cleaned out and reorganized with all of their new Christmas toys.

We had just cleaned it out in the fall, so it actually wasn’t too bad, and we were surprisingly done in about an hour and a half. 

It was another dreary and suuuuper blustery day Saturday, so for the third day in a row, there was no outdoor time for anybody.  The afternoon was spent working, playing video games, and hanging out.  Then Saturday evening, B picked up dinner from our favorite local barbecue place and we watched Over the Moon on Netflix.  It was a good family movie!

After the kids went to bed, it was more Away and Bridgerton for B and me, complete with ice cream and a fire in the fireplace.  Another cozy little night in.

Sunday, January 10 (Day 303 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and watched virtual church.  I also use Sunday mornings to plan the week ahead, and goodness knows, I needed to do that since virtual learning is going down again this week. 

After all that was done, the rest of the morning was spent cleaning out Olivia’s room.  We had just cleaned the whole thing out in the fall, so this time was quick and smooth!

My mother-in-law stopped by just before lunch to drop something off, so we were able to see her for a couple of minutes, and then we had a light lunch at home.  After lunch, B and I got in a 3.5 mile walk while the kids played at our neighborhood playground, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent tidying, prepping for the week ahead, and squeezing in some more work time since the kids are home all this week again.

We had leftover homemade baked ziti for dinner, and the rest of the evening was spent hanging out, watching TV, and getting to bed at a good time to get the week started on the right foot!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!