Category Archives: Resolutions

Personal / Resolutions

Goals for 2018

January 19, 2018

I realize that we’re rapidly approaching the end of January, so it’s way past the point of New Year’s Resolutions and all that, but oh well. I think you can make commitments to yourself any time of year, so I don’t get too hung up on starting in on a healthy new lifestyle on January 1. In fact, I generally like to give myself until the end of the holidays (whatever date I deem that to be, haha) to start in on whatever goals I’m setting for myself, which this year wasn’t until January 8 since we were traveling in Rome for a week over New Year’s. Who wants to start eating nothing but kale on January 1 anyway? Certainly not me.

Here are five things I’m working on continuing or bettering in the new year:

  1. Getting my body back. I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but basically after having two kids less than two years apart and never getting back into a regular workout routine after having Prim, my body was pretty wrecked and my strength was so far below what it had been pre-pregnancy. While I will admit that I am definitely motivated partly by vanity, keeping my back from hurting and keeping my body strong so I can lift the girls is my top priority. I hope that if we decide to have another baby that the strength I’m building now will help me through the pregnancy and postpartum process, and I hope that it might make it easier to stick to a regular workout routine through pregnancy as well. My Hyperemesis Gravidarum made working out feel impossible during the first half of my pregnancy with Lark, and after it finally subsided I mistakenly thought that because my weight gain with her was so low that I didn’t really need to exercise. The state of my core post-pregnancy definitely proved otherwise.
  2. Make time for and take care of myself. I know that I’m not in the minority here, being a woman and a mother, but I really struggle to carve out quality time for myself. I spend the girls’ nap time working out, which definitely falls into the “taking care of myself” category, but I have really been craving some alone time where I’m doing something indulgent for myself. I am trying to figure out exactly what that is and how to integrate it into the week right now, but it’s definitely on my mind and something I want to work on this year.
  3. Continue to live on a budget and focus on paring down our belongings. We live pretty tightly here in Amsterdam. We took a hit financially to move here (KC’s salary was adjusted to reflect the lower cost of living and we lost my salary entirely when I quit my job), and while it was definitely an adjustment at first, I’ve found that it’s actually become fairly easy to live more simply and find creative solutions to do the things we want to do, while still living within our means  (you guys already know the secret to how we afford to travel over here). One of my big concerns of moving back to America, and the Bay Area in particular, is the hyper-focus on money and belongings. It’s so easy to get sucked into that consumer culture that is so focused on “more is more.” This mentality is not only draining and stressful for me, but it’s not a value I want to instill in my kids; so I want to try to build focus on needs — not wants. This also means taking care of the things we already have. (For example, I’m in the process of re-oiling all of my cutting boards right now, something I am generally terrible at remembering to do; but after replacing a much-used one because it cracked, I am realizing that I need to be more mindful about doing this.)
  4. Focus on fewer, better things when making purchases. Piggy-backing on the above, I want to try and be mindful when we do spend money on “things.” It’s necessary to make purchases from time to time when the girls grow out of stuff, and I have pared down my wardrobe so much that it’s becoming evident that I really do need to do some shopping for myself; but this doesn’t mean that the girls need everything under the sun in their closets. And as for me, I want to work on filling my wardrobe with nicer staples rather than cheap basics. I tend to purchase five copies of the same cheap tee, which just end up looking cheap after only a few washes. Since I generally reach for the same items over and over, it makes sense to spend a little more on basic items that will hold up better, since I know I will wear them a lot.
  5. Get in the picture. Though you might not know this from reading the blog, I am not the best about remembering to take photographs. KC is actually much better at whipping his phone out on vacation and snapping away. But, honestly, I’m even worse about stepping into the picture and being photographed. I often remove myself from photo ops because I dislike having my picture taken and don’t feel that I’m particularly photogenic. But we are making memories every day here in Europe and these girls will never be these ages again, so I want to try and have photos of all of us to look back at — not just the kids. Not the easiest goal for this year (for me), but a good one, nonetheless.

What are you working on this year?

Resolutions / Stay Fit / Stay Healthy

Healthy New Year

January 4, 2016

img_6611Now that 2016 is officially underway, and the holiday break has ended (sob!) I thought I’d share with you all one of the things I’m doing to get healthy and feel like my best self this year.

Like many (most?) people, I indulge a bit over the holidays. And one of my biggest weaknesses? Sugar. Strangely, I’m not someone who lives and dies for dessert, but I have this huge soft spot for candy. So, since the holidays are laden with sweets and treats, especially candies, I tend to go a little nuts on the sugar.

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a fan of dieting. I don’t really see how eating nothing but cabbage can be a solution to any sort of problem. But, I do believe in eating mindfully and consuming foods in their purest and most natural form. And, having endured 38 weeks of pregnancy followed by the birth of that sweet face at the top of the post, my body could use a little more love and care to get back to feeling as strong as I did pre-pregnancy. So, in that vein, I’ve decided to limit the amount of added sugar I’m consuming on a daily basis.

In case you’re curious, added sugar is obviously found in things like cookies, cakes, candy, and other sweets, but it’s also found in processed foods; some crackers, breads, and even pastas; and also in those low-fat or no-fat “diet” foods. For example, one of the ways full fat dairy products become no-fat dairy products is by adding sugar. So, while I won’t be depriving myself of many things (including natural sugars like fruit and honey), I will be taking a more mindful approach to what I’m eating and consuming foods in or closer to their natural state, without the added sugar.

And given the sheer amount of sugar I’ve consumed over the past month or so, I think it’s going to be a bit of a transition!

I’m not looking to convert anyone to my approach, as everyone has their own way of “getting healthy” in the new year. I just thought I’d share my plan on here because I’m always curious about what people do to feel healthy, and also because I think it will help me stick to it during those first few weeks without all the Christmas treats. (insert crying emoji here)

I’ve decided to start with the month of January and see how things go. I’m hoping that it’s something I can be rigorous about for the first few months of the year and then use as a loose guideline going forward, as eliminating added sugar altogether makes life a little boring, but overall I think it’s a good goal for the type of lifestyle I strive to lead.

Washboard abs, here I come!

Holidays / Resolutions

Thoughts on a New Year

January 1, 2016

unnamedThere was so much about 2015 that was so amazing — the end of my pregnancy and meeting Prim definitely tops the list. But there was also a lot that was really hard last year. Unforeseen moves and transitions, and the settling into parenthood, which, as wonderful as it is, is still all-consuming and emotionally (and physically) challenging.

Now that KC and I have (mostly) found our groove together as parents, I’m looking forward to a little more calm in the new year. And (dare I say it) a little more sleep, maybe?

2015 felt like it was sort of a survival year. Powering through the second half of pregnancy, surviving birthing a child (literally), and then keeping up with the exhaustive, marathon pace of having a new baby, while weathering the bad luck of being kicked out of our house, then moving in with our in-laws the weekend before I went back to work.

It was kind of a lot.


So, while 2015 was a year I wouldn’t trade for anything, (I mean, look at this sweet life that started in 2015!) I’m really excited to see what 2016 has in store for us.

We have a lot on the horizon for this year, (including a tiny lady’s first birthday in May!) but for now I’m taking a moment to sit back and think about what things I’d like to commit to more in the new year.

  • Be good to myself and my body. 2015 brought about a lot of change to my life and my body. Pregnancy and childbirth change who you are down to the cellular level, so it can be easy to sort of lose your sense of self in the process of becoming a mother. In 2016 I’d like to focus on feeling like my best self, which means remembering to take some time just for me and getting my body back to a place where I feel strong and healthy.
  • Embrace the big changes to come. KC and I have some big decisions and changes coming in the coming months, so rather than fretting and over-analyzing everything (like I am known to do), I’m going to focus on embracing the changes as a whole and try not to bog myself down trying to control every tiny detail or worrying over every possible outcome.
  • Let go of the guilt. Growing up in a Catholic household, I’m very familiar with guilt. In fact, I’m pretty much fluent in it. Add being a mom into the mix, and sometimes it’s like, “Oh hey, is that Guilt River? Let me just go drown myself in it.” But, bathing in guilt is neither healthy nor productive, so in the new year I’m going to do my best to trust my own instincts and stick to my guns, while working to keep that creeping sense of mom-guilt at bay.
  • Give credit where credit is due. I’d like to focus a little more on being appreciative in the new year. This means not only appreciating the tangible things we have (like our health and a roof over our heads), but also appreciating the acts of those around me, and appreciating myself as well. I think so many of us work so hard, but continually focus on all the things we could be doing better, rather than taking a moment to be proud of all that we do and have accomplished. I think it’s about time I learned how to say, “I did this, and that’s awesome.”
  • Reconnect with KC whenever possible. Having a baby is a huge stress on your relationship (people who have kids to “save a marriage” — how?? I don’t understand it.) And while KC and I are as strong as ever, I’d like to make a concerted effort to really focus on finding time for just the two of us. Even if we can’t make it out for date night as often as we’d like, there’s plenty of other ways to make sure we carve out time for just us (hello, date night at home!)

What are your goals for the new year? Do you want to learn to pat yourself on the back? Get rid of the mom-guilt? (Easier said than done, right?) Or maybe just be better to yourself overall in 2016? I’d love to hear!

Happy new year, guys. It’s gonna be a great one.

Personal / Resolutions

New Year Non-Resolutions

January 13, 2015


I’m fully aware that it’s now mid-January, which is totally beyond the acceptable time to start talking about new year’s resolutions.  And, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have mixed feelings about resolutions, but do believe in periodically taking a step back and thinking about what small changes might make a big impact in your own life every once in awhile.

And what better time than in January, when you’ve got a fresh new calendar year ahead of you?

So here we go.

My resolutions are small this year.  I’ve got kind of a lot of change happening in 2015, with even more on the horizon for 2016, so I’ve decided that I need to be a little gentler with myself this year.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, here’s a little bit about me: I’m type-A.  I will be the first to admit that I’m kind of perpetually busy, highly organized, and routined to a fault.  This means that when things get in the way of my routine or organization, my brain goes a little haywire.  And given that this little lady is about to come along and upend everything I’ve known for the past 30 years, I think I need to embrace the idea of going with the flow.

So this year my goal is to take things as they come, be kind to myself, and relax.

I’m currently working on embracing all the changes that are happening to my body (yes, I realize it’s all for a good cause, but it’s still weird to have your body change so completely and rapidly right before your eyes).  Some days are full of energy while others are achy and tiresome, so it’s been helpful to just focus on putting one foot in front of the other and think of all the wonderful things that are on the horizon (and when my abs feel like someone has been bludgeoning them repeatedly with a sledgehammer, just hope that tomorrow will be better).

I’ve embraced the idea that I may not be the person who works out regularly and continuously throughout pregnancy, and I may not be the person who eats perfectly all the time (hi, this baby loves candy as much as her mama does), but that’s all ok.  So long as I’m healthy, baby is healthy, and everything is on the up-and-up, there’s nothing to get down on myself about.  This is a philosophy I hope to carry over into parenting — looking at the big picture and trying not to sweat the small stuff.  Some days will be better than others, but with each bad day, there’s a whole new chance to start fresh the next.

Did you set any goals for yourself this year, or make any resolutions?  I’d love to hear about them!

Fall / Favorite Things / Personal / Resolutions

My Fall Bucket List

October 13, 2014


It’s officially been fall for a few weeks now, so I’ve started thinking about what I’d like to knock off of my fall bucket list this year:

  1. Have the first fire of the season in the fireplace (y’know, once it’s not a million degrees outside)
  2. Spend a rainy day inside watching movies under a blanket (with lots of popcorn)
  3. Figure out how to make a scent on the stove that makes the whole house smell like the holidays
  4. Paint the ceiling downstairs and finally finish off that freaking laundry/family room (uggghhhh)
  5. Post about our little basement redo (complete with floor install!)
  6. Make applesauce from scratch
  7. Make some sort of fall muffin (plum streusel? apple bran? pumpkin cream cheese? So many options!)
  8. Indulge KC and try his special fall-cocktail (Fireball + hard apple cider.  But seriously, ew.)
  9. Take a walk outside with Penny once the air is nice and crisp (and step on every single crunchy leaf I see)
  10. Host Thanksgiving for the second year in a row (like a boss!)

What’s on your list this year?  Fall knits + sweater snuggles with a special someone?  Pumpkin-based everything all the time?  I’d love to hear all about it!