Category Archives: goals

Plans for 2016

I hope you all had a great New Year’s!  We actually went out on NYE, which is really, really unusual for us. It was kind of last minute and we decided to walk downtown and hit up one of our favorite spots.


We only stayed until 11:30 or so because it was kind of loud and I am not a crowd lover at all. So, we walked home and got there just before midnight. It was fun to do something different for a change!

Now with a sparkly new year, it’s time to think about what will be going on in 2016. I love setting goals and projects to do. I know some people don’t like them, which is fine, but I don’t put pressure on myself with goals. I know that I tend to work hard just as part of my personality and that if I don’t finish a goal, there is a reason for it.  The only goal I don’t really set for myself is to lose a certain amount of weight in a specific time period. That always backfires, so there’s no point in that.


Here is a list of things I would like to accomplish over the course of 2016.

  1. Take better care of myself. I’m not just talking about eating right and exercising. This is getting all health appointments in and not putting anything off. Making sure my health is what it can be. Both John and I are doing this one.
  2. Better balance between work and play time. It’s no secret that I work really hard. I work very hard for my company and I also picked up another side job of transcription (general, not medical). I don’t really need to work quite so hard and there are days where I am typing for so many hours that I just have no energy at the end of the day. So, I need to set a limit on each day and stick to that. I have been trying unsuccessfully to do this for the last couple months. I just have to figure out a way to make it happen.
  3. Finish the wallpaper removal in the house. We have the hallway, stairwell and the third bedroom left and that’s it. Then no more wallpaper! At least the hallway/stairwell appears to be just one layer. This has to be done by spring since then it’s time for outdoor projects.
  4. Read 30 books.  I do love to read. I didn’t read as much last year and there are plenty of great books out there, classics and new stuff. I did a Good Reads challenge for 30 books.
  5. Build something. I love my trunk and repurposing projects. Love them! But, I also have wanted to build something from scratch for a while. I think it will be a storage cabinet. This will push my skills a little bit.
  6. Create and maintain a master cleaning list for the house. John and I are both working on this one. One day a week will be a super deep clean of a single room. With both of us doing that, it won’t take too long. We tend to do all the normal stuff, but things like cleaning baseboards and dusting ceiling fixtures doesn’t seem to happen since our house is kind of big. That means a room will get deep cleaned probably every 5-6 weeks.
  7. Keep building my soap business. I will be trying to secure more wholesale accounts this year so I don’t have to do a lot of shows. Also working on product development.

We already got a start on the wallpaper. My niece is going to Paris this spring with her French club and to help her earn money for her trip, we hired her to start stripping wallpaper:


Surprisingly, she didn’t think it was that bad and offered to come back and work on it for free LOL!  I should have had her doing this last year…


Onward into 2016!!!

2015 goal check

Wow. Waaaay back in January I set some goals for 2015. It’s always fun to see how far off you get from those after a longer period of time 😀  Sometimes it feels like nothing happened this year and then it seems like it was non-stop with stuff. 


1. Create.  I think I did this one to the max. Between creating new garden beds, restoring the trunks, doing a new bathroom, the headboard project and starting a soap business. Yes. I think that one is checked off. 




2.  Eat a lot more vegetables.  I don’t know about this. I think I ate more, but I can’t quantify it as being a lot more LOL! The spiralizer helped with that – at least with getting me to try different ones. I know I ate more zuchinni and summer squash because of this. 


3. New volunteering.  Did not do this. I could not find something that really called to me. Not to mention the time commitment was tough. We have been so busy with working on this house and my jobs that trying to squeeze in another time committment just didn’t happen. 

4. Hiking.  Finally!  We did it! We went on several hikes like the Sleeping  Beauty Hike, Pilot’s Knob and the Firetower hike. Interestingly enough, John and I never really hiked by ourselves. We always went with others. The great part about the hiking is that we got to see views that are not accessible on the bike. We will be doing more. 


5.  2000 miles on the bike.  Done and done. I hit this before what would be considered the end of the season and then managed to get in a couple hundred more miles with this crazy warm weather! I ended up a shade over 2400 miles.  The bike is officially retired inside as of yesterday, though. Boo. 

6. Sell the old house.  YES!!!  Okay, I didn’t make that happen, but it did. Finally the closing was done in June and we are now like normal people – kind of – with only one house and one mortgage 😀 That whole buying and selling was almost a 2-year process, although it felt like forever. 


Never leaving this house. Never ever never. 

7. Change up my wardrobe. Hmmm… I’m still no fashion plate. I bought some new clothes this year – and not all of them thrift, either. With my job working at home and doing so much work inside and outside – seems like I changed my clothes a lot to get into grubbies. Or I just wore them to begin with. 


So yeah, and interesting year. How about you? 

Welcome to December!

The last month of 2015. I can’t believe it. Of course, I say that all the time about how fast stuff goes by. It’s been right back to work and after doing that show over the whole weekend and picking up where I left off with transcription on Monday – I seriously need a vacation. Just a couple more weeks and at least things might slow down a little. Right?? 

Last night we got a new artificial tree. I have been saying for years that I wanted a new tree because I didn’t really like the cheap old one we have had for many, many years. I kept saying “Let’s get one after Christmas when they are on sale” and then after Christmas comes and I don’t feel like spending the money or there isn’t anything I like. Then Christmas rolls around again and we still have the same old tree. This has to have been going on for 10 years, seriously. Finally – this year we got one. I had a coupon from our local garden center for 10% off a tree. This was a coupon I had saved from the flower show I attended back in March! On a side note, I can’t believe I actually found that coupon 9 months later. We spent a long time looking last night as they have a large selection (and a sale!!) and finally came home with this one:


It’s not decorated or anything yet. Just the lights. It’s one of those that the branches fold down on hinges. I guess tree technology has really changed over the years LOL! It came prelit. This one we couldn’t get without the lights, which we didn’t necessarily want because we have plenty of LED lights for our tree. I decided on the white rather than multicolor for a change and we figure when these burn out, we will put our other lights on it.  Not sure when it will actually get decorated, but at least it’s up 😀  Anyway, I am super happy with it. It looks so much more real than our other tree and hopefully we will have this for 20 years.

On to some plans for this month. Those goals. 

  1. Keep on track with food. It’s so easy to really go off the rails at this time of year with the cookies and the egg nog and all that stuff. That’s fine for Christmas, but I don’t need to be going overboard before then.
  2. Exercise an hour a day. To help mitigate those times when I do go overboard, I am committing to more exercise. It’s different now because we are not putting in hours and hours of cycling on weekends, so I need to be consistent just every day. That can be walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes in the morning and then in the evening. Or biking if I can. Still haven’t brought the bike in, although that time is fast approaching. I may not always get an hour and it doesn’t have to be huff and puff exercise all the time. Just extra.
  3. Consistent practicing of my guitar. This is one thing that tends to get set aside when I am really busy, which is a shame because I enjoy itmus
  4. Finish the first floor powder room. With John doing the reno on the basement bathroom, I have to finish the first floor bath so he can take those fixtures for his room. The vanity cabinet is refinished (and I love it!!), the vessel sink and faucet have arrived, so hopefully I can get that put together and work on that room. It has to be done by Christmas eve anyway for our usual party, but hopefully sooner than that. 

That’s a good set for December to keep me focused. Now that we have that treadmill, I’ve been doing a lot of walking with the biking. It is dreadfully boring, though. When I ride the trainer, I can read, which makes the time go by. I can’t read on the treadmill – or at least not well enough to make it useful. John got a TV and a used playstation to put in our exercise room and that has been wonderful to pass the time! Here is my game that I love to play.


Civilization Revolution. An hour on the treadmill goes by so fast when playing and I can actually play while walking, which is good. I just have to be careful not to put any English on it at times 😀  We need a higher perch for the TV for me. John said I can feel free find something to repurpose into an entertainment stand. Gotta love that man. Yay, another project!  The other project will be that wallpaper. By spring – that ripped leopard wallpaper will be gone. Gone!  This is the very last room to be done. We have the stairwell, hallway and this room to do and the wallpaper nightmare will finally be over.

June Wrap Up!

The last day of June!  I can’t believe 2015 is halfway over already. I actually heard the first katydids buzzing the other day, which seems kind of early. Especially since the weather has felt more like late spring than mid summer.

My goals for June were pretty simple. The best goal, which wasn’t really a goal, but it happened, was finally closing on the old house.  It has felt so great to have everything all done! Now being in Radiance Manor feels permanent. In fact, I finally roasted coffee for the first time since we moved in last fall, too  Now it feels like home 😀

We got the new shed put up and that has been great.  Also not a goal, but it needed to be done.



I also plodded along with this year’s weight loss.

Anyway, here were the actual goals I set out to do:

1. Trying new recipes. I made 2 new recipes this month. That was less than I had hoped to do, but at least it was something different.  I did the lemon ricotta pancakes and a vegetarian casserole.  Sometimes I forget that one recipe will be several days’ worth of meals, too, since there are just usually just 2 of us eating.

2. Finish my trunk. Not quite finished. It’s almost done.  The outside just needs the handles reattached.


The inside still has a musty smell to it, even though the paper liner is gone and it is down to bare wood. The trunk is in the garage right now in the hopes to let it sit in the sun for a good UV ray bath, but with all the rainy weather lately I haven’t been able to do that. I can’t line the trunk until I get it smelling fresher.

3. Get away weekend. Finally! We went to Vermont for an overnight trip my birthday weekend and it was so good to get away. My first overnight trip in a year, can you believe it?  I need to take a staycation or something this summer as well. I have been working too hard.

4. Ride 47 miles for my 47th birthday. Yep, did that. It was a lot of riding. I am going to have to think about converting to kilometers instead of miles, though. 😀

Not perfectly completed goals, but progress. June just felt like a good month overall.  I think most of that is due to the closing on the house, but whatever – I’ll take it!

Thoughts for 2015

So, sneaking this post in on a Friday when very few people read LOL.  I don’t mind setting goals for a year. It’s no secret that I like to set monthly goals or other types of goals just go give me some kind of focus, otherwise I am like a bee flying around everywhere landing on every different flower.

This is just a list of ideas of things I would like to happen this year or to do.  Some things I can’t make happen, but I would like them to happen. Other things I can help along or just plain old do.

1. Create.  This is a big one for me this year.  I am a creative person. I spend most of my day being noncreative with my job and I don’t like that. Not that my job isn’t important, but it doesn’t do much for the soul. This year is going to be about creating things, whether that is the garden, furniture, new friendships, or hobbies.  Whatever.  I guess this would be my word for the year if I were to choose one.

2.  Eat a lot more vegetables.  I get so stuck on the same veggie all the time, which would be the broccoli, and after making a vegetable tian for Christmas, it made me want to get more veggies in forms I like.  I am not the biggest fan of veggies in general, which is why I made the Great Veggie Experiment. I need to get back to that.  I am thinking about getting a spiralizer with a gift certificate I got.

3. New volunteering.  For the last 2 plus years I did literacy tutoring.  Now that I am not doing that anymore, I want to find some other volunteer opportunity. I think I need one with less time committment. The tutoring was 2 hours a week every week!  That’s a lot of time. Anyway, I will be researching the opportunities and try a couple before settling in.

4. Hiking.  It’s back!  The goal I never did last year.  No excuses.  There are some really great trails around here and we are going (Linda – I will take you up on your hiking offer 😀 )

5.  2000 miles on the bike.  This actually shouldn’t be too hard since it is a pretty normal biking season, but last year with the house remodel in the fall we ended up losing some bike time.  What was that I just said about hiking???

6. Sell the old house.  Okay, I can’t make that happen, per se, but we really need that to happen.  I know it will, but please let it be sooner rather than later.

7. Change up my wardrobe.  I am a thrift shopper, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be stylish. With so much rehab, I pretty much wear jeans and t-shirt or thermal shirt with a fleece jacket all the time. I am not a fashion plate, but I have been feeling downright frumpy lately. So, I will be thrift/sale shopping to be a little more stylish.  The key is to actually *wear* that stuff on a day to day basis. Since I work from home, there is no reason even for me to change out of jammies – although I do 😀  – but I could stand to look a little more put together.

I think is a good place to start 2015 from.

Note: I am not even putting wallpaper removal on this list, even though there are still 3 rooms, a foyer, stairwell and hallway all to be depapered this year. 😀   That’s just going to happen. 

That 2014 To Do List.

It’s always interesting to me to look at what I had in mind for the next year and how close I actually came to doing those things.  You just never know what life has in store to change those plans or how maybe *you* change and those goals are not right any more for what you want to achieve.

Anyway, back at the beginning of January, back when we had the house closing scheduled for the 24th…. I wrote these goals:

1.  Build somethingI had plans to build a piece of furniture from scratch, but didn’t quite get to that.  I did reupholster a piece and basically built a kitchen from the walls out, so I think this was accomplished LOL!

2. Hiking.  Fail.  We love biking so much that we just never got around to this, which is a shame because there are so many trails in the Adirondacks.  This item will be moved to the next list 😀

3. Focus on healthy eating.  Hmmmm… I did a lot of stress eating between the job and house closing stress. I turned to my comfort, which is food.  

4. Heavy lifting.  Yep – I got back to the gym in February and back to lifting. A little sparse the last week with shorter gym hours and busy me, but good to be back. I have to reevaluate the budget for 2015 and the gym.

5. Be a better person.  I don’t really know how I would judge this.  It’s not really a goal per se, but just an idea to be more thoughtful or think in advance before doing/saying something and make sure I understand the implications. Of course, this would be a lifelong goal and not just for 1 year.

6. A possible house flip.  Well, with that whole delay in closing fiasco, this was not even on the table. It’s not even on the table now since we still have our old house and won’t be on the table until we get that sold. There was no control over that situation.

Definitely a very memorable year, that is for sure.  I hope all of you have a very happy and safe New Year and I will see you on the flip side with my ideas for 2015!

Bring on 2014!

Geez – we are in the middle of quite the snow storm. I think it is worse in some places, too – which is crazy!  Not to mention really cold.  It was 0 degrees in the mid afternoon at the warmest part of the day. Nothing like starting the year off with a weather bang.

So, I was reflecting on the year to come and there is a lot of uncertainty in it with the move and all that, but here are some things that I would like to accomplish or work towards this year.  Some things will be dependent on the new house. We are all ready to go; we are just waiting for the selling bank to pull title. So, who knows how long that will take. Hopefully before the scheduled close of the 24th.

1.  Build something. We had good success with the table, which I am loving, so I want to do something else. Of course, I want to make it my project that I do from start to finish, including all wood cuts and assembly. There are some great sites out there like Ana White and Design Confidential for plans. This I really look forward to doing.

2. Hiking.  We do so much biking because we love it, but our area also had a ton of hiking trails. I keep saying we should do some of them and we are going to do that this year. Since I didn’t set any bike goals for the year, this will be good.

3. Focus on healthy eating.  I pretty much have maintained the same weight for the last few years and I think that shows that my weight is dependent upon my activity level and currently how I eat.  I think if I focus a little more on healthy eating that maybe my weight will correlate with that. That’s the plan, anyway. So, making sure I have balanced meals and moderate my treats and keep a lid on the snack monster, I should be okay.

4. Heavy lifting.  I have missed my heavy lifting since I am not at the gym anymore.  I would like to get back to that. Conveniently enough, my old gym is only a couple miles from our new house and once things settle down after this spring, I will probably rejoin (it’s only $100 for a yearly membership).

5. Be a better person.  Don’t we all strive for this? I feel like lately I have been a bit of a snark master – a lot of which was due to stress and sometimes just the stupidity I see on the news! Anyway, I want to try to be a bit better about that, less judging of myself and others, etc.

6. A possible flipI almost didn’t put this down, but I was seriously thinking about it near the end of 2012 and if we hadn’t found Radiance Manor, I probably would have been in the midst of buying a flip candidate.  John said I should go for it and that is really all the encouragement I need. Of course, this won’t happen until late 2014 if at all because we have to get settled in the new house and sell our current one before any of that can happen.  Then there has to be the right deal. So, this is not a goal that I will force to happen.

That will give me some sort of focus. In the meantime, our life is going to be crazy, crazy for the next few months. John is going to Vegas next week. There is the house closing, remodeling the kitchen before we move in. Then we have a vacation planned in February. Then we will move into the new house after that.  See what I mean when I said this probably wasn’t the best time to buy a house? :mrgreen:  I can already feel some stress levels rising, not bad stress, but stress all the same.

Here’s to 2014!!


Hello 2013!!

Welcome to a fresh new year 😀

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve.  The family had gotten together on Sunday for a games and snacks and a New Year’s toast, so John and I spent a quiet night at home.

I did, however, get a chance to meet up with Dawn earlier in the day!  Yay!  She was staying not too far from Saratoga this weekend.  I had finally met Dawn a couple years ago in person when we were both part the Dr. Oz 100th episode show.  My mother and I went down to Saratoga to have coffee (what else?) with Dawn.


It was great seeing her again.

me and dawn

That was catching up with 3 bloggie friends in real life in 2012!

The only yearly goal I had set for myself for 2012 was weight loss and I stayed exactly the same for the year.  What are the chances of that??  Apparently not zero  :mrgreen: Sometimes I eschew the yearly goals, but then I figure I do them monthly for myself anyway, so why not some longer term things to do.  So, here are the things I would like to accomplish this year.

todolist   1.  Take a few guitar lessons.  I am at that point where I could use some guidance.  I just need to find a teacher that I can afford and who plays classical style.  Or I might get some online lessons.

2. Bathroom update.  I need to really figure out a budget for this project to see how much it will cost to do various things.  The only thing we will have done by someone else is the refinishing of the tub and the tile around it (not ripping that out).  The cost of that will determine when and what we do to the rest of the room.

3. Yep – lose weight again.  Maybe making a goal to lose weight is how I will maintain 😀  I would like to drop a pants size and get back into my old pants again that I haven’t worn in a couple years.  No weight goal, just size goal. Back to the grind again.

4. Either do another 100 mile bike ride or some organized bike events. I need something to work towards if I don’t do duathlons.

5.  Try to hit 2500 miles on the bike this year.  I am not considering this a possible goal until we get an idea of the spring time weather. Last year we were riding in early March and that allowed me to get over 2100 miles, so I won’t know how possible this is until the spring comes.

6.  Relax more.  I work really hard and forget to take time for me.  I don’t need to stress so much about working extra if I have the time.  I can take that time to do relaxing things.  Like maybe try my hand at drawing?

So that’s the plan!

November Goals

Welcome to November – and Happy Day of the Dead! Or Days of the Dead as John pointed out, since technically it is 2 days.  Of course, every day is day of the dead until coffee time!

Don’t you love this coffee break? I asked for permission to use this photo – if you want to see Collin’s other work, here is his website.

We are now a candy corn free household (until the sales, that is), but I did have breakfast in my candy corn bowl!

Cold and icky today.  I did a 3 mile walk today in rainy and blustery 45 degree conditions and I got a deep chill.  Pixie was wanting a lot of warmth, too.

I think she really knows how very lucky she is to have come up to our door.

Anyhoo, new month means new goals!  These are my plans for this month:

1. Do several days a week of lower-carb/grain-free. To help prevent holiday pants busting, I have found this really works well while still letting me enjoy the yummy foods this time of year, like pumpkin pie bagels and eggnog lattes!  Now for me, lower carb means 100 total grams of carbs a day.  I don’t bother with net carbs.  So if it is not net carbs, is it gross carbs? LOL.  Going grain free makes it easier to cut those down as well. So, 3 or 4 days a week will be my goal.

2. Organize the bedroom.  Having decluttered the downstairs, now the upstairs is a mess, particularly the bedroom.  I tend to dump my clothes (clean) on the floor by my bed.  I need to organize the closet and get more storage.  That means thrifting for a couple dressers.  Wooden only – no MDF!

3. Run a 5K on Thanksgiving.  Not an official 5K or anything, but just going out and doing one on my own, running the entire thing.  I am up to 2.3 miles now, so this should be doable.  Of course, if the weather is really nice – I may bike on turkey day (highly unlikely, but I have my hopes).

4. Get out and do more.  We have been homebodies too much lately. Goal this month is to do some things other than go out for coffee at night.

5.  Going with the no-grain days in goal 1, I will also make some new grain-free recipes and post them.  They won’t all be desserts, either  😀

Sound good?

We decided to work on the goal of getting out more and went out to dinner tonight.  Seeing as I won the football picks for the third week in a row – because I rock – I got the dinner choice!  We went back to Siam Thai Sushi, where we went on John’s birthday.  Being the nice wife that I am, I had a BOGO coupon to use for a free entree.  Wasn’t that nice of me to do since he had to pay?  Anyway, check out the world’s largest spoon.

Seriously, this thing is like a ladle.  I actually used the spoon served with my tea to eat with since I didn’t feel like using a shovel to eat.

My dinner – Massaman Curry with shrimp.

I guess the picture probably doesn’t look as good as this tasted! It was wonderful!  It has potatoes, peppers, carrots and peanuts in a coconut based spicy sauce.  I added the shrimp for protein.   This must be recreated at home and soon!

Bonus is that I brought home half to have for lunch tomorrow as well.

More guitar practicing for me today 😀


I don’t quite look like this, but close  :mrgreen:  Just add skin and remove the mustache.

The New Year and January mission

A bright and hopefully shiny 2012 is here.  The new year didn’t start off bright and shiny, though.

That was bizarre to see.  Fog in January and no snow.  You would think we were in the PNW.

I ended up pretty much not working on Monday. There was about 20 minutes of work and that was it.  Bonus day off!

I did that before breakfast, which was pumpkin oats:

Tasty and a good way to start out the day eating wise.  That’s creamed honey on top.

I was thinking about doing yearly goals and just couldn’t really come up with anything concrete other than things I want/need to get done (new flooring downstairs, resurfacing the driveway, health insurance, possibly a new car).  Instead, I will just focus on the monthly goals that I have been doing.

For January, I do need to concentrate on weight loss again.  That is my only goal. It is really hard to not say “getitoff-getitoff-getitoff” Now, now, now!!! I could do all kinds of crazy things to make it come off fast, but then I take a deep breath and think of the things I did to lose weight that weren’t crazy.

Simple stuff:

– Knock off the extra snacking and eat within my calorie range.

– Stick to a 90/10 eating style.  Taking into account 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, that makes 35 meals a week.  3.5 of them can be more indulgent in a week.  How does one make a half meal, anyway?

– Do my exercise routine as usual.  No need to go extreme crazy and burn out.

– Get enough protein and fat with my meals.  That keeps me fuller longer.

If I follow the steps that lead to a healthy weight, then the weight loss should follow, right?  We will see what happens before we leave for Disney at the end of the month.

Lunch time brought a new soup.  Yeah, I can make my own soup, but sometimes it is just easier to buy – you know?

This is really, really bland.  It needs a lot of dressing up, but it is filling.  Today, I mixed in a serving of ricotta cheese to bump up the protein.

John and I then went out shopping.  He had a gift card and I was just bargain hunting.  Score!  At Dress Barn, I found a pair of boot cut jeans and a pair of denim shorts (for Florida) in petite size on the sale rack. That almost never happens as clothes on sales racks are usually for taller people.  Yay for no rolling up pant legs!

$22 total for both pairs!  Funny thing.  I got 3 pairs of my regular size and 1 pair a size bigger to try on (thinking of weight gain).  Three different brands. The larger size did not fit – too tight.  My regular size fit on the other 3 pairs.  It’s like reverse-a-size or something.  How stupid!  I am so glad I did not try the larger size on first or I would have completely panicked.

We went for coffee afterwards to the new shop that opened up.  Coffee Planet.

Very, very good!  (Mom, we need to do mother/daughter night there).

I kept from extra snacking today.  Some days are just easier than others.  I was pretty hungry for dinner, though.

I decided on a stir fry.  I sauteed up some chicken and broccoli in a little macadamia nut oil, then added some House of Tsang teriyaki sauce and cooked brown rice.  Dinner in 10 minutes.

This was a nice big plate of food.  FYI, calories come in at 442 for this plate.

On a blog note – I found a website that is going to help me organize all my recipes in searchable format.  It’s called Recipage and the code will be embedded on my site in the header here.  Now it is just going to take time to get them all in there, so be patient with that, but it will be much easier to find a recipe I talk about, but might not link to.

I will be working on that tonight since there is no football on.  I don’t know what to do with myself LOL!  I won the picks this week *and* I ended up winning for the year.  I picked 64% of the games correctly this year.  Take that, sports pundits.  They need to hire me.  :mrgreen:

I have my snack ready to go for later.

Plus some cashews for crunch.  Not sure I can go a day without some sort of nut LOL!