Looking Ahead

2017: Realistic Goals (I hope!)

Having experienced my first year of motherhood and understanding exactly what that means, I’m hoping that the goals for reading, crafts, etc. I set for 2017 are more realistic than last year’s. I’m using the same break down as I did in last year’s goals post.

I’m keeping the same goal as last year at 24 books. I hit 23 of 24 this year. Partly due to times where I just didn’t feel like reading, or wasn’t interested in reading what I do have (I have plenty of unread books on my shelf, so it’s not due to book availability, that’s for sure!) I’m also planning to give the Q&A a Day book another go.

I still need to re-organize my sewing space (could be part of the reason I never got around to sewing really anything this year, but only a minor hurdle). I told my husband I want to set aside 1-2 hours per week to dedicate to sewing. I’ll attempt to track it and see how well I can stick to it.
I want to finish those diaper pouch/changing pad combos, and need to add another one to the list! I want to sew a top, a dress, and bottoms (can be pants or a skirt). As for The Monthly Stitch Challenges, I hope to participate in one challenge and post it to their blog.

I want to complete the My Cup of Tea socks I started this summer. I also want to complete 1-2 projects (a hat and maybe a scarf or another pair of socks).

30×30 List Items to Carry Over
There are still some items I’d like to carry over that we didn’t do (but I can cross ZooLights and Pay off 2 student loans off the list, so that’s good!)

  • NYC weekend – still want to do this, and still want to go see the Cirque du Soleil show (Paramour)
  • Make a pie & pasta from scratch – still have to make the pasta from scratch, but I did do a cheesecake from scratch! (I’ll post about that soon) — Since that’s not really a pie, I still want to make a pie, too!

New Blog Categories
I think my “Mom Musings” posts can be considered regular categories and no longer “new” ones, but I plan to continue with them. I aim to introduce Baking & Cooking posts, as I planned last year.

Other Plans/Activities
A few other things that don’t fall into the above categories. Some are repeats of this year and others are new.

  • Facebook hiatus – will do this again in January. It was a nice break and I’m noticing I’m scrolling/posting on it too much again. Need to get away from the screen and be more in the present. I may consider doing it another month in the year as well.
  • Limit TV time – along the same lines as above, just want to get away from the screen & be more present. Will try to limit TV time to after Dom has gone to bed, before I go to bed. (Or if I’m sick and want to binge)
  • Annual camping trip, of course — did I ever post about this year’s trip? I’ll have to go back and look.
  • Savings challenge – hubs and I are going to set a challenge for ourselves to see how much we can save for the whole year.
  • Library visits with Dom – our local library is about a 10 minute walk from our house, so I’d like to take Dom there on Saturday mornings sometimes in the year. I was looking at their website yesterday and they have a bunch of activities throughout the year.
  • Get moving again!
    • More walks! – I want us to get out and do more walks when the weather is nice (local trails, etc.)
    • Gym time – go to the gym 2-3 times per week. I’ve signed up at the gym at work and aim to go during lunch time (even if it’s just 30 minutes)

What are your plans for 2017?

Looking Ahead

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:

image from thegrindstone.com article Budgeting 101
  • 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?


Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead to 2015

I know I’ve said this in my last few posts, but I really am going to make an effort to post more often/regularly in 2015 (forget saying the rest of this year, it’s over). I’m hoping to have a number of posts throughout the year documenting my 30 by 30 list, but in addition to that, I’d get to get back to why I started this blog in the first place: books and reading!

I’m going to set a few goals for myself in 2015. I’m not planning to join any reading challenges as I’ve proven that I can’t keep up with them (other than back in 2012 when I started this blog). But I do want to make a conscious effort to read a larger variety of books. I tend to read a lot of historical fiction. I’d also like to tackle more of the books sitting on my shelf as opposed to constantly borrowing ebooks from a couple of local libraries.

So my goals for blogging and activities in 2015 are:

1. Complete all activities on my 30 by 30 list! (and post about them)
2. Post more regularly – at least 1-2 days/week (maybe Mondays and Thursdays?) — utilize scheduling posts to help with this!
3. Bring back “With My Reading Buddy” & “Monthly Wrap-Up” posts
4. Read 5 non-fiction books
5. Read at least 5 books from my physical book shelf
6. Post about knitting and sewing projects
7. Continue to read & comment on blogs I follow — but try to do it more often 🙂

That’s all I can think of for now, but I’m sure I’ll think of other things as time goes by.

Looking Ahead · Year in Review

Year in Review: 2013



Number of Books read: 82

Number of 5 star ratings: 6

Reading challenge progress (% complete)
What’s In a Name 6: 100%
Historical Fiction: 100%
2013 Reading Goal: 109% (goal=75, 82 read)


Completed Knitting Projects: 4 (visit my Knitting Projects page to see)

Completed Sewing Projects: 13 (visit my Sewing Projects page to see)

What’s Ahead in 2014…

(stay tuned for a Goals & Resolutions post coming up a bit later today with more details)


Originally, I wanted to keep my reading goal at 75. I was pumped I surpassed that goal in 2013. But then I was thinking that I’ve read so many books and so quickly, that I realized I wasn’t really remembering the books from earlier this year all that well. So I’ve decided to just read at my own pace, however frequent it may be. (I’ll still set a goal on Goodreads, though!) While this is a different approach from the last couple of years, I also have other commitments to address throughout the year (mainly planning and preparing for my wedding later in the year.) However, as I mentioned in this post, I kind of like the idea of doing a post of mini reviews and then selecting one book per month to do an expanded review.


Knitting: I’d like to get a few projects done in 2014. At least one item for myself. The crafters group at my work has decided to collect hats and blanket squares (to be donated to local charities) on an on-going basis, so I’d like to make a couple of hats for that next year.

Sewing: I’d like to complete a few articles of clothing, including 2 dresses and at least 1 top. Also, I’d like to make random, fun things, too. (whether they’re gifts or for myself doesn’t matter— though I do love being able to give homemade gifts!)

Get Fit!

Even though I decided to get rid of this segment, I’m sure I’ll write about things related to this throughout the year. I really do want to get in shape, feel better, have more energy, and just lead a healthier life overall. I know I can get the support I need from family and friends, it’s just a matter of self-discipline that I really need to focus on (especially when it comes to sticking to an exercise routine and eating better).