2021: Third Quarter Goals

I’m a little late with my third quarter goals but I still wanted to get them posted. I tried to be really intentional with these ones because life has been a bit of a struggle lately and sometimes the smallest things feel unbelievably hard.

I think blogging has been so hard lately because this has always been a space where I feel comfortable to share and be vulnerable but right now I don’t feel ready to share everything going on in my life so writing posts feels a bit fake. Blogging has never been about the views for me and I’ve been brutally honest about where I’m at in life. I want to get back to being comfortable sharing but that might take me a bit of time. Thanks for sticking with me!

Here are a few goals for Q3:

  1. Be kind to myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m at war with myself to do better and be better when I really just need to take a break. I want to practice self-care and be kind to myself as I walk through this stage of my life.
  2. Setup health appointments. I go to the Neurologist this week for a checkup but I need to find a new primary care doctor since mine moved away. My SIL recommended one so I want to make an appointment. This doctor was the one who helped advocate for her during her infertility journey so I think it would be a good place to start.
  3. Spend time with friends and family. Now that we’ve pretty much gone back to almost normal after the pandemic I want to make sure I’m catching up with friends and family. I haven’t spent enough time with my grandparents lately and I know I’ve been slacking in the friendship department. I want to prioritize my relationships this quarter.
  4. Celebrate 10 years with Brett. The past few months have been hard because Brett and I haven’t been able to spend much time together. I want to make sure we set aside time to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!
  5. Read 3 books. I used to also say that I wanted to read 3 books and write reviews but that probably won’t happen. I’ve really been enjoying reading lately though and finally read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’ve already passed the book onto a friend because it was so good and I wanted to make sure she read it too.

I hope you are all doing really well! I’m going to try to catch up on some of the blog posts I’ve missed.

Do you have any goals this quarter?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

2021: Second Quarter Goals

We are already halfway through Q2 but I still wanted to take a moment to share my goals for this quarter. By setting quarterly goals for myself I’m able to actually stick to the goals I set for myself better than if I set goals at the beginning of the year. So much can change in a year so this gives me the chance to re-evaluate every 3 months and set new goals or continue with previous goals if needed.

My goals for Q2 are:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes everyday doing something that I enjoy. I was originally just going to make a goal of spending 30 minutes outside everyday but I want to push myself more than just that. I want to dedicate time everyday to some sort of self-care. That could be taking a walk, reading a book, or working on my garden. Whatever it is I want to be in the mindset of setting this time aside for just me.
  • Work on my nighttime routine. I’ve really been focusing on doing things every night that relax me and set me up for success for the next day. Right now my routine is to log off of work, walk Oscar, make dinner, do the dishes, read Harry Potter while drinking tea, and then shower and go to bed. I try not to watch any tv Monday-Friday and to limit my screen time.
  • Be a positive change at work. I’ve complained about my job for long enough but haven’t done anything really to change the situation. I’m determined to be part of the positive changes that are going to happen on my team. I will be supportive of my teammates and will work hard to be an asset to my team. I also want to make sure that I’m not burning myself out anymore with super long workweeks. I deserve the vacation time that I’m always pushing my teammates to take too.
  • Be patient with myself. This year has been really hard mentally and I’ve brought a lot of it upon myself. I’ve been so hard on myself because I had a goal and I didn’t reach that goal. I feel like I’m drowning in my own expectations sometimes and I need to take a step back and be patient with myself. Good things take time.
  • Continue taking a break from social media. My life is so much better without the constant comparison game that is social media. I’ve eased back into it a bit but I really don’t miss it so I don’t see myself getting sucked completely back in.

You might notice that my goals aren’t that hard this quarter and that’s because I really am trying to cut myself some slack. I’m doing the very best that I can and that’s okay.

How are you doing? Do you have any goals this quarter/month/year?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Five on Friday #21

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It’s finally Friday, friends!

It’s been a sad week but I’m going to continue to work on educating myself to be a better ally. I’ve ordered books, listened to podcasts, and have tried to be as educated as possible. History is happening right before our eyes and it’s easy to stay quiet and let it happen but it’s important to stay involved. Right now I am trying to listen and learn as much as possible.

Here are five random things for this Friday:

  1. Our stay at home order was lifted early this week. It was supposed to last until mid June so I was really surprised when it was lifted. We did have a 7 pm curfew for a few days because of the riots and looting. The protests in my city were mostly peaceful though. Were you able to attend any protests this week?
  2. I have a certification class and exam in July that I’ve been studying for. I’m really excited for the class even though it’s been moved to a virtual class format. Like I’ve said before, my background is not in finance so I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of my knowledge of the financial industry. This is a huge step for me but I really need to focus!
  3. We actually have plans this weekend! We are going to hang out with some of Brett’s friends (while social distancing) in our backyard. The weather is supposed to be really nice and it’ll be good for my extrovert husband to spend some time with his friends. I think it’s been hard for him to not see his friends as much as he was used to.
  4. When I was planning our wedding I got really into hand-lettering as a hobby and stress relief. I still have so many pens and brush markers but haven’t really touched them in a couple of years. I started hand-lettering again last week and have been loving it! I keep extra paper in my desk drawer and whenever work is feeling too stressful I sketch something and it makes me feel much better. I used Creative Lettering and Beyond with these Sakura brush pens when I was learning.
  5. The mosquitoes are so bad this year! We are thinking about getting our backyard sprayed just so we are able to sit out. Have you ever had your yard sprayed for mosquitoes? Did you think it was worth it?

How was your week? What are your plans for this weekend?

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Book Review: The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance

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One of my goals for Q1 of 2020 was to focus on learning more about the financial industry. I do work in finance but my degree is in marketing so sometimes I feel a bit behind in learning everything there is to know about finance. I saw The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance by Michele Cagan, CPA and Elisabeth Lariviere on Instagram and thought it would be a fun read to help explain some of the basics.

Even if you aren’t interested in learning about finance I would recommend this book. It has so many helpful tips on debt, budgeting, investing, buying a home, etc. These topics relate to pretty much anyone and it’s not a boring read. In fact, I read the whole thing in under an hour and it really did help me understand some of the basics better.

Summary:

Balance your budget, plan for your future, and breeze through confusing details with this easy-to-follow illustrated personal finance guide.

Get your finances in shape! In The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance, you will learn all the skills you need to make good financial decisions and grow your personal wealth. Full of colorful descriptions organized in an easy-to-read format, this book contains infographics such as:

-Choosing your bank
-Building an emergency fund
-Choosing a financial planner
-Where your money is going
-What not to buy
-Health insurance
-Property insurance
-What federal taxes pay for

With the help of this guide, you’ll learn how to make good investments, save for big things like a house or college tuition, budget, and more!

Review:

Personal finance can be such a confusing topic and isn’t always taught to you while in school. It’s easy to get a credit card when you’re young and later find yourself digging your way out of a pile of debt. This is such a great resource if you have questions about how the financial industry works and how to get involved in your finances.

I’ve always been interested in money but even if you aren’t this is a great read! I promise it’s not a boring finance book! I found helpful information for my everyday life as well as tips for saving for retirement, paying off debt, and finding the best insurance.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

For a quick read, this book had so much great information for people of all ages! I think this would be a fantastic graduation or wedding gift to help those just starting out on their financial journeys. I’ll be hanging onto my copy to use as a reference.

This isn’t your average book because it contains hundreds of graphics that explain the ins and outs of personal finance in a way that will really help you to understand the topic. There are colorful charts, graphs, and images on every single page!

Have you read any good books lately?

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Good Reading Habits Tag

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I was tagged by Becky at Strikeouts & Sprinkles in the Good Reading Habits Tag! Thanks, Becky!

The rules for this tag are pretty simple: discuss your good reading habits, tag back to the original creator, and tag a few friends!

Read book reviews

One of my favorite ways to keep me interested in reading is to read book reviews. I especially love reading the book reviews by my favorite bloggers. By reading these reviews I often am introduced to books that I’ve never heard of but am interested in reading. Which leads me to my next habit.

Keep a TBR list

Once I find a book I’m interested in reading I immediately add it to my TBR list. I personally keep my list on my phone for easy access. I will also add books to my Amazon Wishlist if it’s near a holiday or my birthday so Brett has some idea of what to get me if he needs to buy a gift.

Read a little each day

Sometimes I really don’t feel like reading even though I know I will enjoy it once I start. I set a goal to read a little bit everyday and sometimes that little bit turns into half a book in one night.

If you don’t like it, don’t read it

If I’m not enjoying a book I won’t force myself to keep reading it. I give all books a fair chance but life is too short to read a book that you don’t enjoy, in my opinion.

Kindle Unlimited

I originally started with a free 2 month trial of Kindle Unlimited with the intention of cancelling after the 2 months. I actually loved it though and found myself reading so much more. I decided it was worth the price for now and have enjoyed my membership!

My Tags:

Lauren

Tiffany

Maysa Rose

Chanelle Hayley

Thanks for reading!

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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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Book reviews are some of my favorite posts to read and write. I love finding new books to add to my reading list based on the suggestions of other people. This is actually my first book review of 2020 even though I have read a few other books. The whole time I was reading How to Stop Time by Matt Haig I was thinking that I would without a doubt give this book 5 stars if I did a review.

Summary:

Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

Review:

I originally bought the Kindle version of How to Stop Time in December but didn’t start reading it until March. I bought it during a Kindle sale and then forgot about it and I’m sad it took me this long to read it! Once I started I could not put it down. I needed to figure out how it was going to end.

I loved the different periods of time that were featured in this book. I feel like the author did a lot of research but I’m not an expert so some things may have been historically inaccurate. However, Tom meets so many figures from history that we all know about and it’s really interesting to see how his character develops over the centuries with the different roles he has to play in order to fit in.

One moment in this book really stood out to me though. In Tom’s first life he falls in love with a woman named Rose. I don’t want to spoil it but this is the time of the plague in Europe. This setting feels very similar to what we are currently going through with this pandemic. The thought of these similar situations has weighed heavily on my heart and my mind.

Favorite Quotes:

“Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don’t expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.”

“People you love never die. That is what Omai had said, all those years ago. And he was right. They don’t die. Not completely. They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.”

“This is so often the way with life. You spend so much time waiting for something – a person, a feeling, a piece of information – that you can’t quite absorb it when it is in front of you. The hole is so used to being a hole it doesn’t know how to close itself.”

“And yet we had done what so often happened in the proud history of geographic discovery. We had found paradise. And then we had set it on fire.”

“Everything in life is uncertain. That is how you know you are existing in the world, the uncertainty. Of course, this is why we sometimes want to return to the past, because we know it, or think we do. It’s a song we’ve heard.”

My Rating: 5 Stars

I loved this book! Every page, every life, every story had so much meaning. I feel like I learned a lot about life and how to make the most out of bad situations which is incredibly important right now. How to Stop Time has been added to my top 10 books of all time that I’ve read. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to re-reading it again this week.

Have you read any good books lately? I think I’ll be reading a lot more now that I can’t leave my house.

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Five on Friday #13

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Welcome to Friday, friends! 🙂

This week was okay. I had Monday off to go to South Haven with Brett so I only had to work four days. A four day work week seems so much more enjoyable than five days. How was your week?

  1. Our local balloon festival is this weekend so Brett will be busy with that. I will be joining him for most of it but I’m also hoping to squeeze in some time to get chores done and spend time with family.
  2. Brett and I went to dinner on Tuesday night with my grandparents and parents. My parents are celebrating 27 years of marriage this month! I cherish all the time I can get with my grandma and grandpa.
  3. I’ve been in a reading rut lately. I’ve started a couple of books but nothing has stuck which is super disappointing. Have you read any good books lately?
  4. I’m starting to get sad that summer is almost over. I’m happiest when the sun is shining and I can spend all the time I want outside. I love fall but it’s too close to winter. I am pretty excited to switch up my home decor and drink some hot apple cider though! Are you ready for fall?
  5. I was doing really good with my health and wellness journey but I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit these last couple of weeks. I’m determined to re-group this upcoming week and get back on track! I’m planning on doing some serious meal prep on Sunday to get me ready for the week.

What are your plans for this weekend?

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Five on Friday #12

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Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe it’s already August! I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks and I’m ready for some R&R. Hopefully this weekend will provide lots of time to relax and unwind.

  1. We have picture day at work next week and I am in desperate need of a new outfit. The problem with weight loss is that I have no idea what size I am now so I don’t feel comfortable ordering clothes online. Our mall is pretty much empty so I think I’ll need to drive to our closest outlet mall this weekend for a little retail therapy.
  2. Brett and I have had a crazy couple of weeks! We went down to Florida for a week for Brett’s grandpa’s funeral and then last week Brett’s aunt stayed with us which meant lots of entertaining and family dinners. I’m exhausted!
  3. When I was in 8th grade I wanted to be a film director. I begged my parent’s to buy me a video camera for my 14th birthday and they did! I spent most of 2007-2008 filming every holiday, sleepover, and family event. I recently found the video camera and started watching my old “vlogs”. They are so sweet and I’m glad that I have them! I’m no longer friends with the people but I still loved seeing our happy times together! I feel like I need to do something with all of these videos now though. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  4. 2 years ago I was preparing for my wedding day! It feels like just yesterday and I can’t believe that I’ve been with Brett for almost 8 years now! We are planning a day date for our anniversary (August 19th) and I can’t wait to spend some time together.
  5. I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I go through these slumps every once in awhile but this one feels especially bad. I hope to be back with regularly scheduled content soon!

How was your week? Do you have any plans with weekend?

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2019: Third Quarter Goals

 

2019: Third Quarter Goals

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Can you believe that we are already halfway through 2019? I feel like it was just 2018. So far this year has been really good and I’m looking forward to the second half.

This is the first quarter that I have struggled writing goals for since I started them in 2017. I create quarterly goals instead of the traditional “New Years Resolutions” as a way to keep myself motivated. I’ve found that I stick to my goals so much better if I set new ones every three months.

  1. Enjoy summer! My favorite season is summer in Michigan. I love being at my grandparent’s house on the lake, going for boat rides, and relaxing in my backyard. Summer goes by quickly so I want to make sure I take time to enjoy it because winter is right around the corner!
  2. Continue my health and fitness journey. Q2 was really good for me in terms of meeting my health and fitness goals. I’m trying not to focus too much on the number on the scale while still celebrating the fact that I was able to lose 10 pounds. I’m starting to feel better, my clothes are fitting, and I’m encouraged to keep going. I want to make this experience as positive as possible!
  3. Create a blogging schedule/calendar. I’ve fallen back in love with blogging again for the first time in years! I’m trying to be more consistent in posting so creating a schedule or calendar would be really helpful. I map posts out in my planner but I don’t always stick to the schedule. I want to be more mindful of my schedule in Q3.
  4. Spend as much time with my sister as possible. My sister moved to Hawaii a couple of months ago but she’s back in Michigan for the summer! This might be our last Michigan summer together so I want to make sure that I enjoy every second of it.
  5. Create a work space at home. I want to focus on creating a better work-life balance. My work is super flexible so I want to start to take advantage of working from home a couple days a month. It would be nice to create a space at home where I can focus and get work done.
  6. Read 3 books and write book reviews. This was one of my goals for Q1 and it really kept me on track with my reading and writing goals. I have a whole list of books that I want to read this summer so hopefully I’ll be able to get through at least a few of them!

Like I said before, I’m really excited for the second half of 2019. I’m feeling motivated and ready to smash my goals! It’s been a fun and productive year so far.

Do you have any goals for this summer?

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Summer 2019 Bucketlist

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June is here which means it’s practically summertime in Michigan! Summer is always so busy for us so I like to make a list of things that I want to get done. Pretty much every weekend in the summer we are at an airshow so my free time is super limited. Creating a bucketlist helps me to actually enjoy my summer!

  • Watch fireworks
  • Have a bonfire and roast s’mores
  • Go hiking
  • Host a cookout
  • Learn how to mow the lawn
  • Plant flowers
  • Paint our dressers
  • Go kayaking
  • Spend as much time at the lake as possible
  • Try to teach Oscar to swim
  • Go for boat rides
  • Spend a day doing nothing but reading
  • Go to the beach
  • Eat dinner outside every night for a week
  • Plan a small wedding anniversary trip
  • Airshows, airshows, airshows

What are your plans for this summer?

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