January Goals

This month's launch of goals is extra special because they kick off a brand new year as well! So many good things happened in 2017 such as our vacation in Arizona, our weekly date nights, starting a new job that I absolutely love, my best friend's wedding, and purchasing a new car! 

Let's recap my December goals before moving forward with my goals for January! 

1. Wear Gloves at all Times
I'd say I did this about 80% of the time, which is pretty good! Now that we're in a streak of negative temps for the daily high, I'll be wearing them whenever I'm outside -- no matter how quick the trip! 

2. Moisturize Daily
I did really well moisturizing my face and applying lip balm each evening, but didn't do so well with moisturizing after every shower.

3. Switch to a New Foundation
Done! I'll be sharing my makeup haul tomorrow!

4. Go on a Few Christmas Date Nights
Done! We attended a Christmas concert and saw The Nutcracker!

5. Have a Solo Date at Barnes & Noble
This was on my calendar and then I got the flu for the second time last week, so it's been rescheduled for this month!

So, here's the thing: one of my friends and I are doing a huge revamp of our goals / vision for the year -- we're recapping those later this week so I'll be sure to devote a whole post to that later in the month once I've organized everything by category. Below are the five goals that I'm planning on focusing on this month.

1. Make Time for a Solo Date Each Week
My friend, Gina, gave me the idea of having "Me Mondays" -- devoting one night per week to spending time by myself. I may be an extrovert, but I've found that I need one night per week alone to recharge. Being around people energizes me, but sometimes I go too far to the extreme -- booking social events almost every night and then I feel like I haven't had enough downtime.

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2. New Lunch Ideas
I'm in a food rut -- especially when it comes to lunches at work. I've been eating the same salads and veggie soups every week and girlfriend needs a change! I'm challenging myself to break out of my tried and true lunches and try a few new things this month.

3. Start a Pinboard with Interior Design Ideas
I feel like we haven't really decorated wherever we've lived and I really want to change that once we move into our new house. Paint, furniture, and decor -- bring it on! Andy and I tend to lean towards a contemporary style, so I'd love to do some more research on that so that we can create a vision and a plan for our new home. PS If we aren't already friends on Pinterest, let's connect! You may find my boards here.

4. Find a Signature Lipstick
As I approach 30 (!!) this year, this is something that I'd like to start wearing on a more regular basis. I'm planning on doing a consult with a beauty expert to see what my signature color is.

5. Make All of My Annual Appointments
Dental cleanings, gyno appt, yearly physical, and dermatologist appointments are all going to be booked and put in my new planner so that I don't have to worry about scheduling them throughout the year.

What's one thing you'd like to accomplish this month?
Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

December Books

This is my last book review of the year -- to check out all of the books I've read in 2018, click here.

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A Simplified Life // Emily Ley
I love Emily's brand, her planners, and everything she stands for -- her previous book was a winner and so was this one. I'd recommend it to any woman that is looking to slow down and simplify their life. It's an easy read but one that's worth revisiting every year or so as a reminder of what is truly important in life.


The Lying Game // Ruth Ware
I was so excited to read this book, and while it started off good -- it quickly lost my interest. I had a hard time relating to any of the characters, and found myself annoyed with some aspects of the plot -- I'd say this book of hers was much better.


Every Breath You Take // Mary Higgins Clark
I remember picking up my first MHC novel back in 2010 and ever since, I've been hooked on her style of writing. These fast-paced thrillers always keep me guessing and are such easy reads -- making them perfect for winter break or a day at the pool. I loved that this one took place at a ritzy art museum in a classic whodunit scenario.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up // Marie Kondo
I reread this book in preparation for moving this year -- I really want our home to be intentionally filled with things that bring us joy and have purpose. This book presents such a simple approach to filing your life with what matters and discarding the rest. 

What's the best book you've read this year?
Who is your favorite author?

Trio of Christmas Celebrations

Another Christmas is in the books! We had three Christmas celebrations this past weekend, so it was a busy one! 


On Saturday morning, I hit the gym bright and early! There weren't many people there when I first arrived, but it was packed by the time I left! I did a shoulder workout and then hit the stairstepper for a bit before heading home to shower and get ready for Christmas at my brother-in-law's house.


I read one of my library books on the drive to their house -- I love Mary Higgins Clark and this one sucked me in right away.


My sister-in-law asked us to bring a vegetable, so I whipped up this veggie medley on a whim. I mixed sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, fresh cranberries, and a granny smith apple with some coconut oil and roasted them in the oven until they were just about done. Then I took the baking dish out, poured a mixture of pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, pure maple syrup, and butter over them -- I stirred everything together and then popped it back in the oven for a bit. Once I took it out of the oven for the final time, I added dollops of fresh goat cheese and candied pecans to the top. It turned out so well and everyone seemed to really like it! 

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After lunch, we opened gifts -- we gave our nephews a hot wheels racetrack set and they loved it -- almost as much as Andy enjoyed putting it together for them. :)

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My mother-in-law's birthday is on the 25th so we celebrated with a cake for her once we brought out the desserts. 


The next morning was Christmas Eve and I headed to the salon for a pedicure -- it was such a relaxing way to start the holiday.


Since it was snowing outside, I relaxed in the locker room for a bit while I let my toes dry before heading outside to drive home. The rest of the day involved a relaxing evening at home with Andy. We made tacos, watched a couple of Christmas movies, and opened gifts -- I loved having our own celebration with just the two of us.


The next morning we hit the road for Robertson Ranch, which called for more reading (it's a long drive up there). I ended up finishing this book on the way home that evening! 


My mom made ribs, twice baked potatoes, and salmon while I prepared another dish of the veggie medley for this Christmas celebration as well. I've come to really enjoy salmon this past year and I'm thinking it's due to becoming a vegetarian last winter -- it's hard to believe I've been missing out on it for so long!

I also made Nanaimo bars (a popular Canadian dessert) with my mom (shown on the plate below) and it was so fun to share one of my favorite desserts with my family! A friend of mine that is Canadian introduced them to me a few years ago and they are a little labor intensive, but so delicious! 

Afterwards, we headed downstairs to watch a movie with my mom and grandpa before heading home -- it was a nice and relaxing day at the ranch! 


We swung home for a bit before grabbing a bag of ingredients and heading to my sister's house to drop off gifts for our nieces and enjoy some apps. I made my aunt's taco dip and our family's favorite fruit dip. The fruit dip is just a container of french vanilla yogurt, packet of vanilla pudding mix, splash of milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar -- it tastes like muffin mix! In case you haven't noticed, all of our family recipes consist of dumping and pouring ingredients rather than measuring -- it's just how we've always rolled! 

At my sister's we ate together, opened gifts, and then watched Elf together before calling it a night! I went back to work yesterday and it feels good to be back to my normal routine after so many festivities! 

Best thing you ate this past weekend?
How many Christmas / holiday celebrations did you attend?

The Days Before Christmas

Christmas definitely felt like it snuck right up this year and I was so grateful to have some time off before the holiday shenanigans! 


Just before Christmas, I got my hair cut and went about an inch shorter than usual -- I'm toying with the idea of doing a much shorter, asymmetrical cut sometime this year, but who knows! Here I'm wearing that holiday plaid button-down again -- it's been so fun to mix and match with other closet staples! Paired with a puffer vest and my favorite everyday jeans (which are currently on sale for under $95). Just an FYI, I'd recommend sizing down a full size on this particular wash of denim -- their other toothpick jeans don't stretch out but this wash definitely does! 

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Last Wednesday, I met up with my auntie for a dinner date -- this is always one of my favorite things and I always leave feeling so uplifted. My aunt and I are scary-similar personality-wise (ENTP and Enneagram 8w7), so it's always fun to chat about life with her. She's also really into psychology as well, so it's fun to have conversations centered around that.


Last Thursday, my boss surprised us with Christmas gifts before most of us headed out! We always say that she is the hostess with the mostest because she's always so thoughtful throughout the year! 

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The box was filled with so many fun things like hand cream, one of my favorite books, and a few other little goodies! 


I headed to my sister's house after work that evening to watch her girls while they finished up some last-minute Christmas shopping. We ate snacks and watched a Christmas movie -- that's a winning combination in my book! 

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I took Friday off to have some downtime before the Christmas events started and it felt so good to wake up and relax instead of rushing out the door like I do most mornings. After awhile, I headed out to a nail appointment, but otherwise spent the day watching a few Christmas movies and taking a 2-hour nap which felt amazing.


Getting a manicure is a rare occurrence for me since I prefer to do my own manicures, but my cuticles had been in rough shape lately. They recommended this product to me, so I'm excited to try it out! 


We're still loving our Sling membership -- it's been so great to be able to record the shows / movies I want to watch and then having a full DVR to choose from whenever I have a chance to sit down.

I'll recap our Christmas celebrations tomorrow, so be sure to check back! 

Did you have time off before / after Christmas?
Favorite TV channel
? I'm obsessed with those thrillers on Lifetime Channel! 

What's Up Wednesday #6

I'm linking up for another What's Up Wednesday! 


What we're eating this week:
Homemade chili has been on heavy rotation over here. Click here for my favorite recipe.


What I'm reminiscing about:
The Christmas concert that we attended a couple weeks ago was SO good -- we're still talking about it! 


What I'm loving:
My job! We had our holiday party last week at Cafe Lurcat and it was so fun to meet everyone's significant others and introduce them to Andy. I just love the team I work with so much! I found the perfect top for the party and am looking forward to incorporating it into a few outfits for Christmas gatherings as well! 

What we've been up to:
Lots of Christmas activities -- however, I'm super behind on Christmas movies and am looking forward to cozying up on my days off to enjoy a few! 

What I'm dreading:
Taking down the Christmas tree!


What I'm working on:
Some fun illustration projects at work -- it's been so great to have a passion and career come together! 

What I'm excited about:
Christmas this weekend! We've got three Christmas events to attend and I'm looking forward to lots of festivities. I'm also trying out a recipe for a dessert that my friend's mom used to always make -- I'll be sure to share it if it turns out well.

What I'm watching / reading:
I've been rereading this book and I also picked up a new thriller from the library! As for watching, we recently signed up for Sling TV and have enjoyed watching all of our favorite channels.

What I'm listening to:
Christmas music, day and night! 

What I'm wearing:
These cozy socks every day -- my feet are always freezing! I tossed another pair into my cart when I ordered this cute tote bag (that's only $8!) the other day.


What I'm doing this weekend:
Christmas-ing all weekend long! I'm also thinking of grabbing a Starbucks and getting a pedicure one of the days as a way to get some intentional downtime in before the craziness. 


What I'm looking forward to next month:
Starting our home search and the freshness of a new year! 

What else is new:
I think that just about covers it! 

Pick a few questions and answer them in the comments below!