Mom Musings: One Year

Let me repeat that: One. Year.

I’m still struggling to believe how one year has passed by so quickly. This has been the happiest, most challenging, and most fulfilling year of my life. I can’t imagine our lives without him. He brings us so much joy and he’s just the best. Allowing myself a moment to brag: he’s the cutest, smartest, and funniest baby. His little personality is really starting to shine through and he makes me laugh more than anything (he must get it from his dad). He’s also a pretty friendly baby and loves to wave at everyone (though sometimes it’s a delayed reaction and he waves after the person walks away, but that’s OK).

Someone once said to me “the days are long but the weeks are short”, and I truly understand the meaning behind that now!

Part of me would love to start all over again (with Baby D, not a new one any time soon!), to be able to snuggle my teeny newborn again, watch all of these amazing milestones happen again, and if I’m being honest, make some changes (breastfeed longer and set a better sleep schedule/routine earlier than we did are two that specifically come to mind). Another part of me is happy to have some of these things behind us (you know, like the colic) and doesn’t want him to grow too quickly. And yet another part of me wants him to grow up just a little faster so we can start doing things together. It’s very conflicting, being a mum.

I don’t pretend that this has been all rainbows and butterflies, it really has been the toughest “job” I’ve ever had. The colic in the beginning was really rough. Going back to work full-time added its own challenges, and it’s certainly harder to make last-minute plans with friends. I don’t think I could be a stay at home mom because I definitely need the socialization, adult interactions, and the chance to apply my brain to things other than baby 24/7 that a full-time job outside of the house offers. But it can definitely be hard to spend so much time away from him. And when I have a day off part of me wishes I had more time off. And let’s not forget to mention the sleep! Or lack thereof. There have been some really tough nights… even recently, just a few weeks ago, we had a really crappy night with minimal sleep for us and we had a cranky Monday (or at least I did!); but I think we chalked it up to teething as his first tooth finally started showing up within a day or 2 of that night.

Today I’ve been periodically looking at the clock, thinking back to what I was doing a year ago. (at the time of typing this sentence, 9:41pm, a year ago we were in the hospital getting ready to meet our little man). In honor of that, I’ve set this post to publish at 11:42pm today, the time he was born.

I’m so excited to watch what the next days, weeks, months, and years will bring and all the other firsts and new things he’ll learn, and what we’ll learn by extension. Even though we may no longer be considered new parents, we still have a lot to learn and we’re always surprised by the new things he can do. I truly feel so blessed to have this little boy in our lives and I feel that I can’t always adequately express that.

So here’s to all the parents out there. I have a better understanding and appreciation of what it’s like to be a mom (though I still sometimes wonder when I even became an adult and can still be surprised that I’m a parent). And a special shout out to my parents: thank you so much for all you’ve done and continue to do for me & now for my little family; being a parent isn’t easy and I so appreciate all you had to do or may have had to give up for Kristen and me. And to the newer parents or parents-to-be out there reading this: it’s a wonderful experience and I wish you all the love, luck, health, and joy (and sleep) in your life with your new or soon-to-be babies.

(Side note: today is my WP anniversary! I started this blog back in 2011)


It’s been ages since I’ve posted or read blogs (shame on me!) but things have been so busy.

Baby D is 10 months now; insane. 

I’m planning to do a catch up post soon, but just wanted to say hello in the meantime.🙂

Freddy the Cat’s Travel Adventures

This is just a quick post to introduce you to Freddy and a new blog🙂

My former boss, Linda, announced earlier this year that she was going to leave the company to pursue a dream of an extended sailing adventure (you can follow her on her blog: Argon Voyages). I’m not kidding! Her last day was this past Friday. I was emotional about it as she and I have worked very closely for the last 3 years and I consider her not only a great manager and mentor, but a friend, too. Anyway, one of our colleagues gave her Freddy the Shipwrecked Cat (who has his own story). Instead of taking him aboard her boat, she decided to leave him here so he can make the rounds among the team, both in our Massachusetts office as well as our office over in the UK. So, we decided to take it one step further and set up a blog to record Freddy’s adventures (whether they’re in the office or on vacation/at home with colleagues). This way, we – including Linda – can all follow Freddy’s adventures. So all that to say, follow Freddy! Freddy the Cat’s Travel Adventures

(I’m just getting the blog set up this week while I’m on vacation so it’s bare bones at the moment, but check back to see what he’s up to, and be sure to follow Linda, too! — This past weekend they sailed from Boston to Nova Scotia (about 52 hours sailing straight through.)

Mom Musings: 6 Months In

Well, this is a couple of days late, but Baby D is officially 6 months old! I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. So much has happened and it’s crazy to think we’re already in April.

I’ve been back to work since early January and I’ve settled into my old, pre-baby routine, which is nice, if I’m being honest. D is either at the daycare on the first floor of my building or he’s with my parents, so I don’t have to worry and can put my energy and focus into my work. (it also helps that on the couple days he’s at the daycare I can go and visit him on my lunch break! — it’s nice to see his face during the day).

Overall, it’s been a whole new routine and lifestyle to get used to, and while it’s a lot of work and very tiring, I wouldn’t change it for anything. He’s brought so much joy into our lives, it’s incredible. But I definitely won’t say it’s been easy. Being a mom is one of the hardest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

It’s so much fun to watch him grow and discover new things every day. The simplest things we take for granted are so mesmerizing and enchanting to him. It’s really quite remarkable. At the time I’m typing this, he is making noises and playing with his fingers and toes. He’ll hold his hands in front of his face for minutes at a time (which is a long time to a baby!) and watch them move.

He discovered his toes a few months ago, and he has been rolling from his belly to his back since he was 4.5 months old. He has yet to master the back to belly, and I know once he does we’ll be in trouble because it will only be a matter of time before he starts rolling every where and then crawling! We’ve also been practicing sitting up. He’s been “talking” for some time now, too, and it’s so funny to watch & listen to him testing out new sounds.

We read together most days/nights and he seems to really enjoy Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I can’t wait to have reading time with him as he grows up. He also enjoys doing Itsy Bitsy Spider, Patty Cake, and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. (Mommy sings lots of silly songs, or regular songs in silly ways, and he loves to laugh at with her..)

He’s still sleeping in a bassinet in our room, but we recently started putting him in his crib for naps. It’s going OK – today was the first day that he stayed asleep for at least an hour for both naps (the last few times he only slept for about 30-40 minutes while in the crib). I figure this is a good way to ease him into sleeping in his crib all night. He’s growing so fast that he’ll likely only be able to sleep in the bassinet for another couple of weeks. It’ll be weird to not have him right next to me.

The newest thing for him that he really enjoys is trying new baby foods! We started with rice cereal to get him used to new textures and then gradually introduced him to a few different veggies and fruits. The pediatrician recommended that we try veggies first as some babies tend to get a “sweet tooth” with fruits and then reject veggies because they’re not as sweet. We have given him a different veggie or fruit every few days to give him a chance to get used to it and to also give us a chance to see if he has any reactions. So far, he’s tried sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, and we started bananas today. I’m happy to say that he enjoys them all!

He smiles and laughs so much and is generally a pretty happy baby. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. Everyday I think I can’t possibly love him more than I do and then he does something and I think “nope, guess I was wrong – I love him even more.” I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring!

Facebook Hiatus

One of my other plans for 2016 was to take a break from Facebook for the month of January. I logged out on my computer and uninstalled the app from my phone.

I’m really glad I took the time off. I felt like I was on it too much. I’ve never been one of those crazy status updaters but I did post every once in a while and shared lots of things (such as memes, other posts, article links, etc.). But I would mainly scroll through the news feed to see other people’s posts and whatnot. I realized that I was constantly clicking on the app and scrolling through (especially during the night after feeding Baby D) and I needed a break. Not to mention I’ve had an account since my college got it back in 2005, so I was long overdue for a break! (Side note: I sometimes miss the older versions of it before it got all crazy with games and all that junk)

Anyway, one of the upsides to not being on Facebook was that I spent a bit more time here! I actually kept up with reading posts from the blogs I follow and felt that I commented more, therefore participating in the blogging community. And I posted a bit more — and even pre-wrote some posts that I set to schedule! (usually I just write and post at the same time). So does that really mean I just traded one version of social media for another? I don’t really think so, as I feel there’s definitely more “substance” in the discussions here (and no passive-aggressive complaining!). I’ve learned things about people, sewing, crafting, books, etc. And seeing the sewing & knitting posts definitely inspired me to get back with it and attempt more projects! (I picked up my sweater knitting again!)

I also got into Instagram a bit more, and have started following more sewing and knitting accounts.

Though I logged back in on February 1, I am really going to try to limit my usage from now on and so far that hasn’t been difficult. I initially installed it back on my phone but it slowed it down tremendously, so I uninstalled it (again). So I periodically sign on from the web browser on the phone or computer. And I’ve found that I’m not logging in every day and, more importantly, don’t feel that compulsion to click on the app (though that automatic scrolling to the app on my phone stopped after a couple of days, anyway). I do still have my Instagram account linked to my Facebook account, so that’s probably going to be the majority of my connection to Facebook for now.

I may also take a month off each year, as I felt it went really well and was a nice and welcome break, especially if I catch myself logging back into it way too much.

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel, Nina George

The Little Paris BookshopThe Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel
Nina George
Kindle eBook
(image links to Goodreads)

From Goodreads: Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.
After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

I enjoyed this book. It was a pretty fast-paced story but the characters were well-developed, and we continued to learn more about them as they continued their journey along the Seine. Perdu’s ability to really listen to people and “prescribe” the right book is fascinating, as is the encyclopedia he decides to create. Some of the sailing terminology was over my head (when they were talking about docking and pulling up at various ports), so that was a bit confusing. There was a bit of back and forth between past and present, but it was clear when that was happening. Perdu is a character that really blossoms throughout the story and I enjoyed seeing it. I liked seeing how the relationships between the characters developed; being in close quarters for an extended period of time really allowed them to become intimate (in the sense of learning about each other and each other’s histories).

Essentially, this is a story of how grief can transform a person, but also shows how new beginnings can do the same. I highly recommend it.

Monthly Stitch Challenge: January – Cheers for New Year!


As mentioned in my Looking Ahead post, I wanted to participate in The Monthly Stitch‘s Monthly Challenge. January’s theme is Cheers for New Year and we’re supposed to sew something inspired by a favorite drink. I’ve been on a tea thing since my birthday back in November (I recently bought a tea for two set for myself as a birthday present along with loose leaf tea samples of a bunch of different teas) so I decided to use that as my inspiration.

I decided I wanted to make a cardigan as it made me think of curling up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a good book. I found the Ladies Library Cardigan by Little Lizard King Sewing Patterns on Etsy and thought it was the perfect make. (I didn’t need to tackle button holes just yet!) It was an automatic download so I had to print out all the pages and tape them together. (I’ve done pdf patterns before and I much prefer paper patterns; taping the pages together takes up so much time! — However, I try to keep them in good condition, or trace them onto Swedish tracing paper so I can re-use them.) One of the great things with this pdf is the ability to remove the lines for the sizes you don’t need. They use the overlap feature in Adobe so you can uncheck the sizes you don’t need. Brilliant! (and they provided full instructions on how to do this and how to do it if you needed to grade from one size to another)

Originally, I wanted to make the sweater in grey with purple elbow patches, but then I thought about a navy cardigan with grey or cream elbow patches, which might get more use. BUT I just couldn’t find any fabric that called out to me in the store. I started considering other color combos but just wasn’t feeling anything I saw.

Then, I never got ’round to actually properly setting up my sewing space this month. And going back to work and taking care of a 3 month old just took over and before I knew it, the month was over.

So all that to say I didn’t make anything this month, despite all my ideas/plans. However, I really do like the pattern and hope to find the fabric I want and make it within the next month or so. I need to find other fabric stores nearby other than Joann’s (buying online is fine, but I like to walk up and down the aisles and feel the fabrics).

Ah well, there are still 11 other monthly stitch challenges and I’ll be pleased if I complete a third of them this year!

Mini Mystery Create-A-Long ~Almost~ Complete


(image courtesy of Melody’s Makes. Links to her blog post announcing the MCAL)

As I mentioned in this brief post, I decided to participate in the mini mystery create-a-long (MCAL). I chose the knitting option. Though I’m not publishing this post until the project is complete, I’ll be updating it after I complete each segment.

January 15
I didn’t get started right on the first day (January 11), mainly because I went back to work this week it and was exhausted every night I came home. But since I have Fridays off, I decided to get it going during Baby D’s nap times today.

Melody stressed the importance of gauge, so I went ahead and actually did a swatch. Want to know a secret? I basically never check for gauge, but I figured since I didn’t know what I was making, I should probably do that.

I no longer had the label for the yarn I chose (shame on me!), but I could tell it wasn’t Super Bulky, as the pattern called for. Melody did say we could double up the yarn if we had Bulky yarn, so I tried doubling it and got gauge on the first try! Not bad for a non-gauge-checker.


Once that was out of the way, I cast on the actual project. The needles I have are juuust long enough for the size option I chose (3-6 months… Obviously I’m making whatever this is for Baby D.)

It’s a simple beginning, but does have cable work, which I’ve never done. But Melody was prepared for that and provided video tutorials, and cabling is easier than I thought. (It’s smushed on one needle. Next segment, I’ll take a picture in the middle of the last row so you can see it flat.)


January 16/17
Segment 2 was released on January 14. This segment was even easier because it was just alternating knit and purl rows to a certain length, based on which size we decided to make.


I’m a little concerned I won’t have enough yarn, depending on what’s left to do. I did some browsing on to see if I could find the yarn I’ve been using. I thought it was Lion Brand. I found Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky yarn in color Nantucket that looks like what I’m using. I’ll have to pop by the store with my swatch and see if they have it and if it’s a match. I think we might be making a hat and based on the size I’m making, there’s a possibility we’ll start decreasing in the next segment, so maybe I won’t run out of yarn?? Fingers crossed!

I’m all caught up with the clues (segment 3 is going to be released on the 18th). I’m enjoying this create a long so far and think I’ll participate in another one sometime this year.

January 18
And so begins segment 3. Well, we’re not decreasing, doing just the opposite, actually! I’ll have to see if I can get more yarn. Hopefully I will be able to. However, if I can’t find it, I suppose I’m at a good place where I could start a second color. (I’ve just completed the first step of this segment). It still seems it could be a hat, but maybe more like a bonnet type thing. Since I’m using 2 strands of the yarn and knitting g pretty tightly, the piece is a bit stiff. Not sure if Baby D will be comfortable with it. But we’ll have to wait and see until the end! Also, using the 2 strands made the first step a little harder than I imagine it would be with a single strand (or maybe it was just because my knitting was sort of tight?)


So it turns out I definitely didn’t have enough yarn and Joann’s did not have the color in the store. Boo. So I wasn’t able to finish it. It was a really cute hooded cowl for kids. With the yarn so stiff, I don’t think it would be something Baby D would be comfortable in (since he sometimes objects to wearing hats). Melody had recommended maybe adding just ties to the hat if I had enough yarn to have some kind of finish to it, so I think I will eventually add them to finish it off.

Because over 3500 people joined in on the mini MCAL, Melody gifted everyone 2 free patterns from her Ravelry store, so cool. I picked an earflap hat and a Yoda hat. Also, if you completed the project and had a Ravelry project page for it, you were entered to win one of five $25 Etsy gift cards or one of two mini skeins from XoXo Yarn. Pretty sweet. (Unfortunately, I’m not eligible since the project needed to completed and posted by yesterday.)

I did sign up for her regular Mystery Create a Long for February, called Wisteria and I’m looking forward to that (there will be a post about that once it’s complete.)

Q&A-a-Day — January 24

I am going to periodically post the daily question from the Q&A-a-Day book I mentioned in this post because I thought it might be fun for us to share our answers. Today’s question is:

If you were to start your own company, what would it be?

I would have a craft studio/store. Knitting, sewing, etc. There would be classes, all types of fabrics, yarns, patterns, and whatnot. And I’d love for it to be a place where crafters can gather together. I’d want an area with nice, big comfy couches and chairs, maybe a little bookshelf with crafting books, etc. Also I’d want to have authors of those books do signings at my shop.

What would your business be? Share in the comments!!

Mom Musings: 5 Things New Moms Can’t Do Without

I’ve been following mom blogs since having Baby D. One of them, freddieandi, owned by Eve, had a good post about her top 5 things that she, as a new mom, found to be the most helpful and/or invaluable. I’ve decided to follow her lead and make my own version of that post.

As a note: I do believe having a partner and family members around makes things infinitely better and more manageable, but this post is about actual items. Please know that I definitely couldn’t do this on my own. Having my husband by my side and our families nearby for support has been invaluable.

Another note: I started this post at the beginning of December, and while some things have changed since then, I still think the below 5 items were the best things for me at the time!

So, in no particular order:
1. Nursing bra/pads – these are life savers. It makes everything so much easier. The bras are comfortable to wear to bed and while you’re on the go during the day. Easy access to quickly feed your baby is always appreciated! The pads of course are the life – and clothes – saver, by preventing leaks onto your shirt!

2. Breast pump – such a great invention! In the beginning when breastfeeding was painful, the pumping wasn’t, so I was able to pump between feedings and feed Baby D with a bottle to give my boobs a rest.

3. Baby Bjorn/baby carrier – boy, I wish I had started using this sooner! I got it as a gift from my coworkers, which was such a surprise and appreciated — and even more appreciated after I started using it! I’m able to get more things done with him strapped on me instead of having to hold him. (Mainly baking â˜ș)

4. Boppy pillow – he loves this thing! We have 2 kinds, the open c-shape and a “closed” one. The c-shape was great in the beginning to help prop him for breastfeeding. It was also a nice support for when younger family members (read: kids) or people slightly uncomfortable with holding babies wanted to hold him. The closed Boppy has been great to use for him to chill or nap in. Also it’s perfect to put on the floor in the bathroom when I have to pee so I can keep an eye on him!! (He loves being in the bathroom; I think it’s the brightness — he loves lights!)

5. Netflix/Amazon Instant Video – I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t include this! I’ve been able to binge on TV shows (watched all 6 seasons of The Good Wife!). And recently, a total guilty pleasure that makes me feel about 14 again, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch (so cheesy!). When I was too tired/sore in the beginning it was a good way to pass time if I was unable to sleep.

You might be surprised that books didn’t make the list. But there were days where I just had no energy or even, gasp!, the desire to read. I like to be able to fully focus on what I’m reading and I just didn’t have that ability early on.

Mums & Dads: What items were must haves for you as a new parent?

Free Mini Mystery Create-a-Long

Over on Ravelry I stumbled upon a free mini mystery create-a-long. Melody, the creator, develops the pattern for both knitting and crocheting. I’ve always liked the idea of a knit-a-long but never participated in one before. So I finally decide to try this one out.

If you’re interested, you have until the 18th to sign up for it. The first clue was being sent out today, so I need to go officially sign up now.

I can’t wait to see what it is!

Mom Musings: On Going Back to Work

After being off work for my 12-week maternity leave + 1 extra week, I return to work tomorrow. I can’t believe how fast the time went by! I would be lying if I said I haven’t been looking forward to going back. I’m ready to get back into a different kind of schedule that doesn’t solely focus on the last time Baby D ate, if I’m being completely honest. (I’m also craving more adult interaction!)

Baby D started daycare at my work last week, and he’ll be there 2 days per week. I can go visit him at any time. I think (hope) this will help ease the transition of not spending all day with him anymore! (I wonder how I’ll actually feel tomorrow morning. Part of me thinks it will be no big deal, and another part of me thinks I’ll just breakdown on the way in!)

I’m taking Fridays off for the first quarter of the year as I figure out my work-life balance. I plan to use Fridays as our designated doctor appointment day (and maybe try to get naps in as well!). I won’t have to worry about getting home from work in time, or going in late, or taking a half or whole day off to go to appointments. When I pick the Friday back up, it will be a work from home day, so I could still use it for appointments.

To pamper myself prepare for my return to work, I wanted to use a couple of gift certificates I received for Christmas for a mani/pedi and a massage today. I ended up doing the mani/pedi and some shopping (with some birthday and Christmas gift cards!). I really wanted to get that massage in too but the nearby locations were completely booked the whole weekend! So bummed.


OPI Taupe-less🙂

I also stopped at Target on my way home from the salon and got some snacks and soups to bring to work. (Some healthier options, too. the KIND brand snacks)

I almost feel like it’s the first day of school again; I have my clothes all laid out and ready to go, my alarm is already set…🙂

Wish me luck!

Mums and Dads out there: how did you feel returning to work for the first time after having a baby?

Mom Musings: On Being a First Time Mom

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be posting periodically about the new mom life. This is the first in that series, “Mom Musings”. (original name, right? ah well)

Baby D is already 3 months old and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by (I return to work tomorrow)! While I absolutely love how alert, smiley, and happy he is, a part of me already misses when he was just a few weeks old.

Aside from the million pictures we take each day, I specifically take pictures on his monthly birthday (the 6th of each month) with those cute little stickers. I was comparing the last 3 months the other day and I cannot believe the changes. I don’t really notice it day-to-day but when I look back, it’s amazing. Sometimes I can see the little boy he’ll be and it’s truly unbelievable.

I expected becoming a parent would be hard, but there were definitely times where I wasn’t expecting just how hard it could be (3 weeks of colic anyone?). But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love watching him sleep and discover his voice, his hands, his reflection, Sonny, etc. It’s wonderful. It’s so amazing when his face breaks out into a huge smile just for me.

I’m so excited to take this journey with my husband by my side. I wouldn’t want anyone else to do this with me. Everyday I’m hit again with the realization that this baby is ours to raise and nurture and love unconditionally. I only hope we’re able to be the best mom and dad he needs us to be.

How did you feel the first time you became a mom/dad? Do you have any advice for newbie parents?

The Moonlit Garden, Corina Bomann

The Moonlit GardenThe Moonlit Garden
Corina Bomann
Translated by Alison Layland
Kindle edition, 430 pages
Kindle First (expected publication date is February 1, 2016)

Book image linked to Goodreads page.

An old man brings a beautiful violin to Lilly Kaiser at her antiques shop in Germany. He says it belongs to her and dashes out the door. Lilly calls on her best friend Ellen Morris, an instrument restorer in England, to help her discover the mystery behind this instrument. Along the way she meets Gabriel Thornton, a musicologist in England, who also helps in the search for the history of the violin. In a quest that takes Lilly to England, Cremona, and Sumatra, she discovers stories of 2 famous female violinists, Rose Gallway and Helen Carter, who played this special violin over 100 years ago and with the help of Ellen, Gabriel, and a few others, Lilly tries to find out the stories of Rose & Helen, if/how they were connected to each other, and how they could possibly be connected to her.

This was a good book. Some parts were pretty predictable and I think the ending was a little too perfect of a happy ending (the chances would be slim to nothing in real life, at least for some of it), but overall it was a good read.

The story goes back and forth between past and present, so we not only get Lilly’s point of view, but also that of Rose and Helen. So we as the readers get a fuller story and in the beginning know more than Lilly, but as she delves deeper into the mystery, she catches up to what the readers know and then we’re following the rest of her search and learning the rest of the story through her eyes. War and tragedy made some things impossible for Rose and Helen, including the happiness of Rose Gallway. There were definitely some tragic parts to the story and when I found out about one of the loose ends of Rose’s story, I was surprised at what had happened (I had been wondering if we were going to find out anything more about that particular character. Sorry for being vague but I don’t want to give anything away in case you choose to read it.

I got this book through the Kindle First program, available to Amazon Prime members. Each month, you can pick one free book from a short list (usually 4-6 titles) scheduled to be published the following month. If you’ve not heard of it, check it out!

Looking Ahead to 2016

Here’s a look at what I’m thinking about and planning for 2016. There’s a lot here, so I’m interested to see how well I can stick to this. I also plan to do periodic check-ins (maybe quarterly) on my status of the various goals/activities, in addition to my regular posts.

Goal for next year: Read 24 books (2 books per month). This is a low goal for me considering previous years, but I feel that it will be difficult to read as many books as I used to with a baby! I think having a smaller goal will help me savor the books I do read and also help me remember them better. (One thing I’ve noticed about reading so many books is I often forget I’ve read something or only have a vague memory of the book because I jump right into the next one).

I also plan to complete the books sitting on my currently reading list on Goodreads. There are some that have been on there for a long time! (see list to the right)

QandA JournalThere is one book I’d like to focus on that has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while. I purchased Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal back in 2012, but always forgot about it. Each page represents a day and has a question on it. You answer the question on the day noted (you provide the year). There are 5 spots on each page so you answer the question for 5 years. For example, one of the days the question is as simple as “What song is stuck in your head?” Other days the questions are more introspective, such as “What do you think is your biggest shortcoming?” I really liked the concept when I saw this, and kept meaning to start it each new year but kept forgetting. While reorganizing my bookshelf in the new house, I rediscovered it and will use it, starting January 1.

And thanks to hubby, I now have the perfect spot for reading: my reading nook! It was one of my Christmas presents this year (He made the little table that the lantern is sitting on and the chair was my grandfather’s.) It’s on the little landing at the top of our stairs. I absolutely love it!


As mentioned in one of my recent posts, I have a few diaper pouch & changing pad combos to make. I’d like to bang these out early in the year, but first I must set up my sewing station!

The Monthly Stitch

Other sewing projects I’d like to accomplish: make a dress, pair of pants, and top (at least!). I’d like to participate in the Monthly Stitch Challenge hosted by The Monthly Stitch (which I discovered through Andi’s blog, sew pretty in pink). Each month there will be a different theme to follow for your make. (January’s is already posted and it is “Cheers to the New Year” — create a garment inspired by a favorite beverage). So be on the look out for those posts!

I’d also like to participate in #stitchingsanta (which is a Secret Santa for crafters), created and hosted by Sheila at sewchet next year. After seeing a number of people I follow participating in it, I’d really like to participate, too. You have the option of knitting, sewing, or both. I think both is too much to handle, and will probably participate in the sewing.

The main knitting project I’d like to complete in 2016 (preferably earlier in the year so I can wear it when the weather gets cooler) is the CustomFit sweater I “started” earlier in 2015. (I only have the waistband and a couple of rows of the body completed.)

I’d also like to do a few other small projects as well, so I’ve  been refreshing my queue on Ravelry.🙂

30×30 list items to carry over
There were some things on my 30×30 list that I really want to do sooner rather than later. Hubby and I have also talked about doing a lot of outdoorsy things with Baby D, so maybe we’ll be able to combine the two!

  • NYC weekend (which we’re talking about doing to go see a new Cirque du Soleil show that’s opening on Broadway in the spring)
  • Pay off 2 student loans
  • ZooLights (would be fun to do with D as he’ll be 1 when they start up!) — we actually almost went a couple of days before Christmas (had made a plan to meet with my sister and scheduled a time and everything), but it got really cold and windy and we didn’t want to take Baby D out in the cold.
  • Make a pie & pasta from scratch
  • Take a boxing class (there’s a place right down the street from my house!)

New Blog Categories:
Baking & Cooking
I’d like to tackle my Pinterest baking & cooking pins. I went through them the other day to see which ones I would realistically attempt. There will probably be more baking than cooking, but I’d like to get out of comfort zone a bit and have some focus on cooking. (I recently made peanut butter banana bars from a recipe I pinned, and because it was so successful it’s made me want to try more, so I figured why not document it here?)

Mom/Family Posts
From time to time, I’ll post about life as a working mom and my thoughts, concerns, joys, and fears.

Other Plans/Activities
A few other thoughts/plans for the year:

  • I’d like to build & maintain a budget. For real. I always say I’m going to do this, or start some half-assed version, but this year, I really want to better focus on it. I’d also like to focus on paying off my debt. I really like the idea of ordering debt from smallest dollar amount to largest and as the smaller ones get paid off taking that amount and applying it to the next loan to pay off faster (I think it’s called snowball something? A few weeks ago I read a post about how a couple paid off thousands of dollars in one year based on something like that as well as following a strict budget. I forget where I read it though. If I remember/find it, i’ll update with the link here!)
  • I want to take a break from Facebook. I think I’m on it too much, especially when I’m trying to stay awake in the middle of the night during feedings. I’m going to deactivate my account for the month of January and see how that works out. I’ll still be on here, though!
  • Of course, our annual camping trip will happen again. Likely in mid-August instead of early July like this year, based on schedules.
  • If we can work our budget right, I’d like to have a few weekend getaways throughout the year. And a big trip we’d like to do is going back to Aruba in December with hub’s side of the family like we’ve done in the past (we did 2010, 2011, & 2012; but have not gone since).

So as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are quite a few goals and ideas for 2016. But I’m excited to tackle them and hope to be fairly successful. Of course, plans can change at anytime, but as of right now, this is where I am. (and thanks for reading all the way to the end!)🙂

What are your plans/goals/activities for 2016?