Monday, January 8, 2018

New Year, Same Me. #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to January's Blog with Friends post! I once again decided to join in, and give it my best shot. How does it work? A group of bloggers select a topic, and create a blog post based on that topic, and then join their posts together in a round-up. This month, we are all creating posts based on the topic of resolutions. The posts can include any number of things, from crafts and recipes, to informative writing, to fictional writing, and anything in between.

How do you feel about resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them? Do you skip them? I tend to make some, and I tend to do a decent job at keeping some of them. I tend to take a more relaxed view on them, and shoot more for goals than resolutions. I also do not let myself stress over them. I feel if it becomes stressful, that defeats the purpose.

Well, for 2018, I have decided to take them a bit more seriously. I have put some thought into it, and come up with some things I really want to accomplish, improve, or change in this upcoming year. I have a decent sized list, and I decided if I could be at least fifty percent successful, I would be proud.

So, for my contribution to this Resolutions Round-up, I decided I would tell you guys my 2018 resolutions, with some information on how I am hoping to be successful with each one. If you have any ideas of how to be successful at any of these things, I would love your feedback!

1. More Public Writing.

I am a writer. It is what I do. Admittedly, the majority of my writing is private. I don't mean like a diary/journal. I mean I write short stories, books, poems, and hoard them away privately. They never see the light of day, or maybe get shared with one other set of eyes. I want to complete more public writing this year. More blog posts that I actually share with others. I would love to do at least one blog post a week, with at least one week that contains two. So, I have decided to create a more complete list of my blog post ideas, and I want to start crossing them off. I do have a haphazardly formed list of potential blog post ideas. I want to form a more complete list, and then actually write the posts. I think my list contains about seven or eight ideas. I want to expand that to at least twenty ideas, and I want to have half the list completed by the end of the year. I honestly think it is achievable. I also want to create a writer's notebook. One I carry with me at all times, so when and if ideas hit me, I can instantly write it down. We all know I am forgetful. For every great idea I have, I have probably forgotten twenty other great ideas.

2. More Active on my Blog's Facebook Page.

I do try to make at least one post a day, and I am decent about sharing random things that catch my attention. Well, I really want to create some kind of schedule, and actually stick to it. Working with Facebook's algorithm is difficult, especially since it is always changing. However, the general consensus is, if you post multiple times a day, the chances of people seeing at least one of your posts it greater, and so my one post a day just won't cut it. I love writing these blogs, and I love reading the comments, and knowing you guys read them. I also REALLY love interacting with you guys on Facebook. It is fun getting to know you guys more, and hearing your thoughts on things. Which reminds me, if you do not already know where to find me on Facebook, you can find me HERE. Hopefully, I will get to talk to you soon! :)

3. Save Money.

Hahaha! What money? Oy. So, yes, I want to save money. I don't know that I want to save a massive amount, as I do not have much to save, and don't really know what I can change, to create more money to save. However, I am certain I can find a few dollars here and there. That is my goal. Gigi is obsessed with Disney, and wants desperately to go. She is almost five. I have never been, and I don't want the same to be true for her. So, my goal is to save up enough to take her, before she turns eight. She is already on the ball. She has two piggy banks (they are actually a rainbow poop and a shark bank), that she has been putting all the money she gets her hands on into. She is so serious about saving up. So, I am hoping I can add at least five dollars to her fun every month, and some months, maybe a little more than five. I do not know how much we will need to complete a trip to Disney, but I figure I will work hard to reach $1500.00, and once we get there, I will create an actual budget, and then work to finish saving up. I also really want to look into things like couponing and Ebates. I am honestly so lost. I know I could never be an extreme couponer. I just don't understand it enough, and believe me, I have tried to understand. I just want to try to get better at saving money wherever I can. I also want to create grocery lists, that coordinate with menu lists, and actually stick to the lists. We do okay, but do buy a lot of off list items, and I know they add up.

4. Better Prepared for Holidays.

So often this past year, I felt like a chicken with my head cut off, as holidays happened. I used to be really great at preparing for Christmas. I would start shopping in like January. This helped by alleviating the need for a lot of last minute shopping. I have quit doing that the past few years, because I do not get to go out often (boo for being so sick so often), and when I am out, Gigi is usually with me. Well, I do not know how, but I will start back with my early bird shopping. I have figured out where to store everything I buy. Now, I just need to buy it. I also want to start wrapping early. Last minute wrapping is the worst thing ever. More than just Christmas though, I want to celebrate every holiday, in some way. So, I have begun researching ways to celebrate holidays (Yay Pinterest!) I have also been looking into local activities, and trying to participate in more of them. It has been a struggle, because some days I am just too sick, but I try to push forward. Gigi deserves it. She deserves memories. She deserves fun. She deserves to celebrate! As you may know, every days has some random National Day associated with it. Some are more odd, like National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day (January 11th), and others are more epic, like National Coffee Day (September 29th). I have even been brainstorming ways to celebrate some of these, just to make random days more fun. Basically, I want to put as much fun and celebrating into the year, as I am able.

Side note: You can find me on Pinterest here!

5. Monthly Traditions.

One thing that definitely does not apply to my childhood, is traditions. I just really don't have any. I love them though. I love finding out about the traditions of other people. I want Gigi to have traditions, ones she can carry on with her family, as well as creating some of her very own. So, I want to create at least one tradition that corresponds with each month. Some months, which contain important days/holidays, will obviously have more traditions. I just want it to be something fun. Examples I have thought of.... Every August, we should definitely do a beach trip. I love Old Sacramento, especially in the Fall, so that should be one. I am thinking October. I like the idea of a yearly zoo trip or a yearly trip to a farm. I would also like that to be a Fall or possibly Spring thing. I want to do a pumpkin patch trip every September. I want us to have time to not only buy and carve pumpkins, but to actually enjoy them. I found that buying it in October, left us with very little time to enjoy it. I also like the idea of movie dates. Maybe one weekend a month we do movie dates. So, obviously, I need to sit down with my calendar, and figure this out. I would LOVE input on this!! Hint. Hint.

6. New Recipes.

I have a goal of trying at least one new recipe a month. I also want to start allowing Gigi to help more with these recipes, so they will possibly be more on the fun side. I have a huge list of recipes I want to try, many are dinner ideas, and some are more geared toward Gigi. I want to start crossing them off. I figure if I do at least one a month, it will become easier, and I can slowly start trying recipes more often. This one is a big deal for me. Gigi is showing more interest in cooking, and I want to encourage her, not hinder her. I was never really allowed to help, and never really taught, so this is going to be quite the undertaking for me. I am determined though.

7. Better Mom.

Y'all, Gigi is just the most amazing kid. She is so darn smart, funny, independent, curious, strong-willed, loving, courteous... I could go on and on. I am not even exaggerating. She is special. I know I am biased, but that does not mean that I am not wrong. She deserves to have an AMAZING mom. I am not an amazing mom. I do love her an amazing amount, and I do want to be an amazing mom. My goal is to create this picture (theoretical picture, more like a list on paper) of the mom I want to be, the one I feel Gigi deserves, and then figure out what I need to do, to become that mom. I have a feeling I will be working on this one well past 2018, but I am in it to win it. I will not stop, until I am a mom, that I can honestly say is worthy of being Gigi's mom.

8. Weight.

Would a list of resolutions be complete without this entry? Probably not. As some of you may know, I gained a TON of weight, after being on bilateral steroid injections into my spine. A lot. Plus, every time I am on steroids (like right now, as I type this) I feel like I gain another pound or two. I am not want to make weight loss goals. I hate setting myself up for failure. So, I am going to work on this, but in a relaxed manner. I am not going to watch the scale, or become overly critical of myself. I realized that if I could lose five pounds a month (decently reasonable), I would have lost sixty pounds in a year. That is basically all I gained from the steroids. At least close enough, that the rest of the weight should be much easier to lose, if I focus in on it. So, I plan on making smart decisions this year. I want to choose healthier foods, smaller portions, and get more active. The active part is tough, because I have a lot of physical struggles. However, tough is not impossible. Back to being a better mom, one thing that Gigi LOVES is the park. I want to try to bring her much more often. At least two weekends a month. I think that is reasonable. Plus, these trips to the park will give me opportunities to be more active. Two resolutions, one stone.

9. Bye, Soda.

I have started drinking way more soda, than I want to be drinking. I have this weird thing, where when eating I need to burp, but absolutely cannot burp, and it is excruciating. One thing that works, is to drink soda. So, I have started drinking a soda with meals quite often. I do not want to cut out soda entirely, but I definitely want to cut back. I am hypoglycemic, so I stay away from Diet sodas, even thought I LOVE Coke Zero Sugar. Well, I have decided to buy the Coke Zero Sugar. The foods I eat can keep my sugar up, and I can get less calories from my soda intake. I also want to cut out most of my non-burp inducing soda consumption. Also, if I could some how solve this burping issue, that would be amazing. I had completely quit drinking soda, and only started back to be able to burp. So, basically, I just want to greatly decrease the amount of soda I drink, and lessen the calories in the sodas I drink. In truth, as long as I have coffee, I have all I need.

10. Organized -more, better, consistent.

I do not even know where to begin with this one. This one is going to be my struggle. I thrive with organization and order. I hate chaos and mess. Yet, I feel like I live in chaos. I think mostly because I don't have control over much. Chad has to pick up my slack, caused by my physical limitations, which means things are rarely done "my way". This causes me to struggle. You factor in these cysts in my brain, and the mental struggles they cause, with my memory turning to a horrible jumble. Well, chaos. So, I have been working hard on coming up with ways to overcome my recent lack of memory. It involves two planners, two calendars, my phone calendar, and lists. I need to streamline my system, and make it better. I am currently working on this. I am also adding in things, like menu plans and chore lists for Gigi. So far, so good. I think this will be something that takes longer than 2018 to truly perfect, especially as our life changes (Gigi starting school, Gigi participating in more activities, etc). I also plan on purging. I want 2018 to be the year of the big purge. We live in a tiny house, with very little storage, and I am not a pack rat, but we tend to have a lot. So, I am going to actively purge anything I can. Before I keep anything new, I am going to make sure it something we absolutely need. I also want to get better with laundry. We are great about getting it washed, but horrible about getting it folded and put away. So, my goal is to get that solved. We may be getting a new bedroom set soon. If that happens, I should finally have a dresser of my own. No more my close in a storage bin. So, that should help. Also, you are always welcome to sharing organizing tips and cleaning tips with me. I live for these things!

11. 5ks/park/workouts.

As I mentioned above, I want to increase the number of times we go to the park. So, I guess you could say, three resolutions one stone. LOL We are blessed to have parks with workout equipment, so I can get in a workout, any time we go to the park. If you checked out last month's Funny Friday post here, you saw me working out, as Gigi "cheered" me on. So, as part of wanting to increase my physical strength, losing weight, being more active with Gigi, and Gigi getting more park time... I want to take advantage of our local parks and their workout equipment. I also want to do more 5ks. I love doing them. They kill me, but I love it. So, I plan on trying to finish three in 2018. I just need to find two to participate in. The problem I run into, is that they are so expensive to enter. There are three of us, and raising the entrance fees, is a struggle. The funds tend to go to great causes, and so that makes it even better and worth it. We always do the one that benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. I will always, always do that one. I don't care if I am in a wheelchair, I will complete that 5k. So, now I just need to find two others we can afford. Also, if you want to participate in the SHFB 5k, and live near me, I will post info on my Facebook, closer to the time of the event, and you can join me! Gigi and Chad will be there also. Another good thing about this goal, is my awesome friend Gina hosts an exercise group at our local park every weekend. We get together, walk, exercise, talk, and get active. It is really good for Gigi and Chad, and just do all I can. So, I want to start participating again, and that will definitely help make this resolution easier. Speaking of my friend Gina, she is amazing. She has a heart of gold, and is a huge supporter of people trying to be healthy. She has an awesome Facebook page, that you can find here, and if you check it out, and join in, you will get the support you need! I will be there too! Plus, if you are local enough, you can join us all at the park! Exercising is better, and more fun, when done with friends!

12. Volunteering.

We have been volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank and with Agape Villages (A Foster Care Program), and it has been wonderful. However, I feel we could do more. So, I have a goal of trying to volunteer at least once a month. I am not sure how to achieve this, but I am determined. I think we may need to find another organization to volunteer with. Though, I just love the two we work with so much, that if it is possible to give them all our time, that would be amazing as well. I just love to help people. It makes me so happy. I say this honestly, I feel guilty sometimes, because I feel like volunteering does more for me, than what we do to help out. It just makes me that happy. Plus, to see Gigi getting involved.... Well, that ups the happy factor by tenfold. I have also thought about completing at least one "Pay It Forward" or "Random Act of Kindness" a month. I would like to get Gigi involved with them. I think it will be good for us both. I just need to figure out things we can do, create a list, and start checking them off. I really want to raise Gigi to be a good person, and if I can turn her into a person who loves to be kind, and loves to volunteer, I think that will be a huge part of the battle. If you are local, and know of volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to let me know. I don't have much money to give, but I do have time and love and energy.

I don't want to change myself, and become a new person. I want to be the same old me, just an improved version of me. I want to strengthen my weaknesses, and further strengthen my strengths. I want to be better at the things I am bad at, and continue to do those things I am good at. Just some tweaks here and there. I think at my core, I am an okay person. I am far from perfect, we all are, but hopefully by the end of 2018, I can be more improved, and better at being my best self. Maybe one day, in the distant future, after years of hard work, I can reach a place, where I can feel comfortable saying that I am a solidly great person, that lives up to most of my potential. I know that currently, I fall short of a lot of my potential. I don't want to waste it. So, 2018, will be the year I start using more of my potential.

What about you? What does your 2018 resolutions look like? Have any ideas about mine? Suggestions? I am open to ideas.

Now, this is horrible, but I cannot help myself. I have two plugs I want to make quickly. As you probably know, my birthday just passed. I turned 29. Again. This year, what I wanted was for people to donate to Second Harvest. So, I have a fundraiser going on Facebook. It ends on January 10th. If you would like to, absolutely no pressure, you can donate here. I would greatly appreciate it!

Also, as part of my birthday celebration, I am hosting a giveaway on my Facebook page. You can learn all about it, and find out how to enter, by going to my page here, and viewing the pinned post! I will be randomly choosing a winner on January 10th!

Now, enough about me. Head on over to the other blogs participating in this month's Blog with Friends round-up, and see what they have in store for you! I will see you there, right after I get some more coffee.

View the other Blog with Friends posts here:

Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom shares Tips to Stick to your New Year's Resolutions

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Revamped Pizza Poppers

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Invest in Yourself and Others in 2018

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Creative Therapy, Embracing my Inner Crafter

Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares Five Ways to Keep Your Resolutions

Karen of Baking in a Tornado shares White Chocolate Raspberry Refrigerator Cheesecake


  1. Whoa, J, you've put a lot on your plate for 2018! Good goals, though. I don't understand in what aspect you want to become a better Mom because I think you're fabulous?
    If you're looking for ways to save money check out Jordan Page:
    Following you on Pinterest now - although I'm trying not to spend too much time over there, it's such a time thief!!!

  2. Some of these are unnecessary. I think you're a great mom, I know you already do the park workouts and I know you already volunteer. I do love that you intend to write publicly more, and I think the focus on organization will help with that. My favorite though is your goal of creating traditions, these will be great memories for your daughter.

    1. Me and munchkin have your back you need a team for 2018 we will be the best 3 man squad.

  3. Looks like a lot of great goals. You asked for advice, so I'll say this. Pick two or three things and write them out concretely. For example: Deposit $5 on the 5th of every month into Gigi's piggy bank. Put that in your calendar with a reminder. That makes it harder to forget and easier to check off. I hope you have a great 2018!

  4. Traditions are so very important. I love your goals for the year!

  5. Cheering you on as you work to achieve these goals this year!



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