Monday, January 13, 2014

14 Goals for 2014

Each December I sit down & write out a list of things I want to accomplish for the following year.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't, but I do think making a list helps keep those goals in my mind...crucial for achieving those goals.  In an effort to boost my motivation & accomplish even more, I'm making this year's top 14 resolutions public!  What's on your list for 2014?


Photo taken by Krystal H. Mullins


1.  Add a veggie or fruit to every meal.


Getting enough fruits & veggies into my diet is something that I have a constant struggle with.  While I like most fruits & veggies, they are often an after-thought when I'm meal planning.  So, I plan on adding an extra piece of fruit or serving of veggies to every meal.  I also want to add produce to my snacks.  Normally, I grab a handful of nuts, or maybe a granola bar when that 3PM  hunger sets in, but with a little prep & thought, I can easily add an orange or apple or have veggies & hummus on hand for mid-day nibbles.

2.  Read more real books.


Since getting my iPad as a 30th birthday present from my husband Andrew, it has been my go-to.  On a daily basis, it's used to browse Pinterest, scan emails, read my favorite blogs & spend way too much time checking & re-checking facebook, twitter & instagram.  I've forgone reading real books & magazines for the ease of scrolling social media.  I love my iPad, but we need to slow down our relationship & start seeing other people.  I mean, I have an english degree!  If Texas Tech knew that I didn't finish even 1 book in 2013, they'd probably take away my diploma.  There's no better way to get a good night's sleep than by ending your night with a book & magazines are one of my favorite sources of inspiration.  I'm vowing to read 14 Books in 2014.  I'll be writing up a post of the 14 books I've picked a little bit later in January.

3.  Write blog posts more consistently.


I love writing about my food & recipe discoveries, craft & home projects & updates on what's going on in my life.  It's very easy though, to let writing fall by the way-side.  Writing about food, crafts & home as an actual job is a huge goal of mine, & it's time to start making that a priority.  In 2014, I'm planning to write at least 2 posts per month.  It's attainable, even in busy months.  

4.  Send birthday cards to close friends & family.


This one might seem weird, but it's one that I'm most excited about putting into practice.  Last year, we attended birthday parties for a lot of Andrew's family, as they live here in Austin & I think I sent birthday cards to my sister, grandmother & one aunt.  Not bad, but I felt guilty for not sending more cards out to those that we couldn't celebrate with in person.  I have a caldendar, it has most of my close relatives & friends birthdays on it & there's no reason I can't make the leap from facebook or text 'Happy Birthday' to a real card in the mail.  Receiving personal mail is always fun & I want to send some mail love to my favorite people on their special day.

5.  Take a photo of Andrew & I each week.


I'm great at taking photos of food we make, projects I'm working on & even deals that I find out in the retail world, but not so good at taking photos of my husband & I together.  One of the reasons we didn't send out Christmas cards this year was because we only had a few photos to choose from, most of those being selfies, a lot of them with us wearing sunglasses.  The best photo we had was taken in a Boston cemetary.  Doesn't really say Merry Christmas!  We both have iPhones that take excellent pics & we have an awesome DSLR camera with an easy-to-use self timer.  So, we're going to pretend we're 15 year olds & take a least one photo of us a week.

6.  Try a new recipe a week.


During the hustle & bustle of the holiday season, we fell into a terrible habit of eating take out several nights a week.  It's so easy to pick up food on the way home or head out for dinner after a long workday.  For us, it's not healthy & not cheap.  We end up spending way too much money & I don't make good choices when eating out.  I want the taco AND the queso....not the grilled chicken salad.  We've been slowly getting back to cooking at home & it feels good.  I love eating out, but it's so rewarding to make dinner yourself.  To keep out of the rut of making the same 10 meals all the time & help me come up with new ideas of my own, it's important to try new recipes.  When you're making new recipes often, your creativity flows & you start coming up with your own flavor combinations.  Good for a food blogger. :)

7.  Take our dog, Millie, for a walk every day.


Good for me, good for the dog.  A few minutes of exercise is something we can both always, always use more of.  Our house is part of a large neighborhood with lots of sidewalks & a greenbelt that our backyard opens up to; so this should be an easy, no-brainer.

8.  Clean it up.  


For just two people, we create a lot of clutter.  Add in a dog & cat & our house can get dirty quickly.  Right now, we let our house get kind of crazy before we clean.  I would like to get into the habit of doing a little bit every day, so the mess never gets out of control.  If we can do that, I shouldn't have to spend an entire day cleaning.  When I have to spend a whole day scrubbing, vaccuuming & dusting it just pisses me off.  Look for a cleaning schedule post coming soon. :)  

9.  Get my learn on.


Austin has a serious wealth of hobby classes.  Most of those only require one night of committment, making them easy to do & easy on the pocketbook.  I've taken painting (most encourage wine drinking!), cooking, baked good decorating & even craft classes in the past.  This year, I plan on taking even more classes that will improve my skills & encourage my creativity.  Fun & useful!

10. Appreciate nature.


With the exception of the scorching, humid days of summer, Texas, specifically, Austin has great weather.  It's good for the soul to be out in nature, so I'm making the effort to get out more.  And Andrew gets kinda cranky if he doesn't get a little outside time on the regular; making it an even better goal.

11.  Get something up on those walls!

We moved into our first home in May of 2013.  Within the first couple of days, we were able to accomplish a big feat: we painted the living room with the extra high walls, gave the kitchen a bright blue & painted the master & guest bedrooms.  Since then, we've made some more minor upgrades & have supplies to complete a few more, but we haven't made much progress on getting rooms decorated.  I think I have too many ideas in my head & don't want to do anything until I have everything bought and/or made...so that's resulted in our walls remaining mostly bare.  In an effort to let go of having to have perfection, I'm going to go ahead & hang what we have!  What's on the walls may change as I tweak exactly how I want each room to be, but it's time to get past the 'just moved in' feel that's been lingering for way too many months. 


12.  Find a cause.

I am a very fortunate person.  I have an awesome family & good friends, plenty of grub & a great roof over my head...just for starters.  I should be doing more to help those who aren't as fortunate.  In 2014, I want to find a group, or groups, that I can devote my time & talents to.  One that are really helping Austin & it's dwellers.  I have a few non-profits in mind, but if you know of an awesome organization, I'd love to hear about them.  

13.  Mix it up.

My husband & I have a lot of fun together, but on 'date night' we often fall into the dinner & a movie standard.  We love movies & of course, love trying new restaurants, but Austin offers so much more in the way of entertainment.  I'd like to spend the next year finding some fun, different ways to enjoy my free time with Andrew.

14.  Celebrate the little holidays.

I love Christmastime & everything that goes with it: decorating the tree, hanging lights on the house, gift-giving, baking, etc. etc. etc. but when it comes to the other holidays, laziness often wins out & I don't really do much to acknowledge them.  Well, as a lover of ALL holidays, I'm making an effort to celebrate as much as I can.  What's life without celebrations?  That means more than just a wreath on the door for the 4th of July & more than just a cookie on Valentine's Day.  It's going to be fun! 

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