Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 Travel Bucket List

Sometimes, you just need a separate bucket list. While I've got my winter goals, several of which I've already completed, but I felt like I needed a separate list for the places I want to go this year. There are definitely a few! Some of these have been on my list for a bit but this year, I've got a new ride and I want to pack on some miles. Who's with me?

Iceland - We leave in 10 days for the country of sheep and geysers! We have our snow boots and our plane tickets and we're ready to start out the year with our most epic trip yet.

Newport Aquarium - I've been to the aquarium in Gatlinburg twice but I've heard that the Cincy aquarium is amazing. It's been on my bucket list for a few years so hopefully this year I'll make it.

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry - While I've been to Chicago a few times to visit family, I've never actually played the tourist. And I'd like to! I would especially like to visit this museum because museums are awesome.

Visit Chicago Family - Some of the best trips are quick weekends away to visit family. I plan on road tripping up at least once to visit my nieces and nephews this year.

Lincoln State Park - It seems like I start looking forward to next year as soon as I leave LSP. It's the annual Watkins vacation destination and it's the most wonderful relaxing experience ever. No cell service, no TV, just family and books and all the entertainment the state park has to offer.

Where are you wanting to go this year?

(Image via @helloemilie)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Living Room Reveal

Before and afters are just the best, aren't they? Especially when it's your own house! Last year our big project was combining our parlor and living room and golly is it different! Here is a picture I took just a few days after we got the keys in the spring of 2014. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

What We're Eating

Good morning! Everyone have a good weekend? I surely did. Dearest Carl and I got through all of Netflix's Series of Unfortunate Events and even had time to squeeze in Sherlock's last episode (which was a doozy). I also went with Olivia to Barnes and Noble and I did not come out with a book. That is a serious feat for me because books are my weakness. In all, it was a restful and lovely weekend!

This week we're eating our stuffed shells leftovers along with these delicious recipes. The sausage gravy recipe is the same my dad and my grandpa have made so it comes with extra cozy memories.

Monday: Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Tuesday: Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Wednesday: Chips with Cheese Dip and Guacamole
Thursday: Fish and Green Beans
Friday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

What are you warming up with this week?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frivolous Friday

Oh what a week. So full of family and friends and warm food. Despite the nasty weather, it was a week to remember. This weekend Dearest Carl and I are snuggling up to watch Netflix's new Series of Unfortunate Events and wait out the ice storm they say is coming. Hopefully Sunday will hold a ladies lunch at church and then a trip to the bookstore with Olivia. Because some things are essential no matter what kind of precipitation there is.

What are you up to?

To be where you are

Hot and steamy and marshmallowy

Cozy, gray and perfect

2017 Books

Ballet in Kenya

Thank you Emily

Think Days

My soul in skirt form

Have a great weekend!

(Image via @andrewbchoi)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Printable Gallery Wall for Winter

After a good deal of dreaming and planning and shopping my house, I finally have a gallery wall above my sofa. You'll see it soon when I post my living room reveal! But now that I have one, I love gallery walls so much more. Especially when they're free prints. You just can't beat that. Here's a free printable gallery wall for winter and there are some gooooood ones in here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Resolutions

Time for another goals post. (Because you know I'd rather call them goals than resolutions.) I've discovered I do like blogging about my goals for the year for a few reasons. One, it feels like getting some accountability, whether you guys are asking me about my progress or not. Two, it's easy to find and see what my goals are in the middle of July when I've been slacking and can't remember. Three, it's fun to look back and see how I did when I'm making new goals! Here's a quick recap on last year. We went to at least two new places (camping in MO and at the Indiana Dunes). I read 7.5 books which was okay but still needs improvement. There were a lot of days I had to be cheerfully intentional with our living room torn up and Dearest Carl working away. And then I started in on the last one and ultimately failed. But you can't win them all, right?

Moving on to this year. Dearest Carl and I sat down January 1st and talked about all our goals for the year, including personal goals, travel goals, house projects and everything else you can think of. Then we laid them out by month and by the end, it felt so good! We are on the same page, working towards the same goals, each month. It's wonderful. But even before we did that, I sat down and thought up just a few personal goals for myself. I stuck with four because I feel like four is doable and not flipping my whole life upside down. So without further ado, here's what I'm working on this year:

1. Get up earlier. Dearest Carl is a night owl and over the past few months, I've gotten in the habit of staying up too late and sleeping in. Now that works fine for some people except that I'm most productive in the morning. So when I roll out of bed at 9, I don't get as much done as I hoped. This year, my goal is to be getting up at 6:30 (at least on week days). Carl jumped on this with me so together, we're starting to get up at 7:30 and taking slow steps toward our goal. I know it will get easier when the sun comes up earlier.

2. Keep reading. Two years ago my goal was a book a month. I still don't think that's unreasonable but I've discovered it really takes choosing to use my free time well (aka, more reading, less Minecraft). Currently I have a stack of books to be read so this year, my goal is to continue choosing pages over screens and see how far I get.

3. Exercise together! For a few weeks last Fall, Dearest Carl and I got outside and did something almost every day for a half an hour. And I loved it. Not only were we getting active together (a first in our relationship) but it gave us uninterrupted time to talk about the week or the month or what's for dinner or whatever! This year our goal is to exercise together at least two days a week.

4. Shake it up. I'm a planner, as many of you know. I like my calendars and to do lists and ducks in a neat and tidy row. Some of that will never go away, but I think I could definitely loosen up. So this year, I want to be more spontaneous and try some different things in our daily lives. My first step, switching grocery day to Wednesday after it's been Friday for four years. Wild, right? I also want to open up our home as much as possible in the coming year so don't be surprised if you get a last minute invitation to a movie night or game night. 

We've already started in on a few of these goals and I'm excited to see how it will go!

What goals are you making for 2017?

(Image via @therainingirl)