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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! (plus some goals)

Happy New Year!!!

A new year! I always love looking forward to a new year. It always feels like a fresh start.

Every month I write a recap of the month and list out goals for the next month. Last December I had some good goals, but things got tough and I decided to take a break from blogging.

I did write one post and completed one goal, which is pretty good considering. I wrote out a quick gift guide (more like my shopping list this year) and I made my mother-in-law a bracelet to match her earrings I made her last year.

I really liked diving back into jewelry making. The act of making something is quite rewarding. It also made me realize how out of practice I am.

Don’t get me wrong, it's like riding a bike. BUT, I noticed I had trouble picking my gauge of wire. I got confused and some of my labels were wrong which confused me more.

Any who. I thought this time around I would recap the year, then write out some goals for both the year and the coming month. So here we go!

Last Years Goals and Recap

  • More Exercising - Total Success! This has been on my new years list year after year. This year I finally did it, thanks to inspiration from Evelyn @ My Turn For Us and her series How I Lost 20 lbs in 3 Months. I started using MyFitnessPal (click for review) on May 15th and I have lost almost 30 lbs since. {I actually did hit the 30 lb mark, but our Christmas break brought me up a few pounds.} I also bought a FitBit Flex (click for review) to help keep track of Calories burned.
  • More Jewelry - I started the year off strong and started a weekly jewelry making series… but it fell off the map after a few months. I got busy at work and needed a break. After taking a break, I never started back up.
  • Start an Etsy or Storenvy Shop - Since the jewelry making dropped off, this one had to drop off too.
  • Keep the house clean and organized - Sometimes I’m good, sometimes I’m not.
  • Keep making yummy dinners - Again, sometimes I’m good, sometimes not.
2013 was my first full year of blogging. The first three months were really strong, but like typical, when things at work get busy the blogging drops off.

This year I bought a DSLR camera for my birthday in February. This meant that I often opted for posting a photography post versus crafting/diy/recipe post. I even started a monthly photography link party: Photog Show and Tell Link Party with Bethany @ Whistle and Ivy.

I blogged more about blogging. This started with some blogging tips but ended with specific posts. I moved the blog from Wordpress to Blogger in the middle of 2013 for my 1 year blogiversary.

For exciting news this year, we set a date for getting married! Of course, I still have a ton more planning and blogging to do. We also started looking for a house, which is another blogging topic.

I made a custom Save the Date graphic in picmonkey. Click the image above for a link to the tutorial.
The year ended a little hard for me, which is why I took December off from blogging. Within one week, we made an offer on a house, work was super stressful, I ended up having large amounts of blood in my urine {I'm sure you wanted to know}, we found out we didn't get the house and well, I fell into a funk.

It didn't help that my fiancé was also having a rough patch, although I am sure that it was mostly caused by me. We still haven't figured out why I have blood in my urine, although the doctors are pretty sure it is kidney stones. I have a urology appointment on the 6th. It has been going on since the day before Thanksgiving and I just can't wait for this to pass {pun intended}.

So, one of the biggest things I do when I am in a funk is write a to do list for myself. This is how I got into blogging. I wrote out a list of hobbies I wanted to take up and blogging appeared on the list as well as jewelry making. Let's see what I have planned for this year.

New Year Goals

Here are my goals for the new year:
  • Plan a non-stressful, small, fun wedding - You know I'll be blogging on my progress!
  • Buy a House - We want to be moved in before the wedding so that we have plenty of room to house our out of town, immediate family. We’ll see how it goes. Having 9 other offers on the house we made an offer on was disappointing. It is definitely a sellers market right now.
  • Continue Exercising - This past month I pretty much stopped exercising. When I talked to my doctor about anxiety and stress, she mentioned exercise being the best remedy for stress, anxiety and depression. Of course, I already knew this. I grew up with a sedate mother and I don't know, it just wasn't something that was heavily encouraged. I want to be a positive role model for my children, as well as reap the positive rewards of routine exercise. I'm actually feeling better from the kidney stones (or whatever it is), but I am now sick with a cold. I’ll get back on this though. I have really enjoyed regular exercise. Losing weight has been an extremely rewarding experience.
  • Refocus on Hobbies - I want to refocus on jewelry making. I have been meaning to do a blog makeover, so this is another goal for the year. I am not quite ready yet. Perhaps for my blogiversary? I also want to keep practicing photography and keep participating in Wordless Wednesday. Once we buy a house, I want to set up a woodworking shop and FINALLY make my DIY Kitchen Table
  • Keep the House Clean and Organized - I want to really work on this one. My fiancé got really frustrated at me this month. Being depressed means that cleaning is my last priority. Then when things get really bad, it just makes me that much more depressed. I want to try a technique I have read about on the blogosphere where you spend 15 minutes cleaning every day. You can even set a timer and clean as quickly and as much you can in 15 minutes. So my goal is to do this after coming home from work, before sitting down on the couch. On the weekend I might do a longer session for one day.

January Goals

OK, those are the long term goals. Here are my goals for January:
  • Print out my Save the Date post card and mail/hand them out - I was supposed to do this before Thanksgiving... then before Christmas… I guess now we will be mailing some of these out. I really want to get this done for January because I want people to put it on their calendar. We also need to refine the guest list. My 30ish guest list has ballooned out to 50. I made reservations for 50 people, so if we go over, we will have to pay for another 50 people. This is also increasing the catering costs. My mother did say that she plans on giving us some cash for it, though. I just want my wedding to be small and intimate with my closest family and friends.
  • One blog post on wedding stuff - I have two posts half written. {Surprise! I am the queen of half written posts!} I think blogging about wedding plans will help keep me in check for getting the planning done.
  • Get some reading in for me - My fiancé bought me a Kindle Paperwhite (affiliate link) e-reader for Christmas. I have been too distracted to really sit down and read on a consistent basis. I think I am going to try setting some time aside for reading every day. I want to get myself some good books that will get me turning pages (or tapping on the screen). Over Christmas break I did get some reading in. It helped that we were staying in a hotel with limited distractions.
  • Make one piece of jewelry for me - I've got lots of ideas in my head, so let's start getting them out of there!
  • Get back into routine exercise
  • 15 minutes of cleaning every day

My mother-in-law bought me a crockpot for Christmas. I want to try out some crockpot recipes. Maybe I will do a roundup of some yummy recipes we have tried out? Here is my Pinterest Board for inspiration:

What are your New Years goals or goals for January?

Don't forget to check out my Best of 2013 for a recap of my top posts.



  1. Hi Bethany, I noticed this post while randomly looking for new blogs to read (this is awesome btw) - and saw that you migrated blogs last year - the same route as me; from Wordpress to Blogger. I decided to put Disqus in for the comments too :) Anyway - great blog - following you straight away!

    1. Thanks, Jonathan, for the follow! And good luck on the new blog! I am very happy with Blogspot. There is a huge community out there for free themes and blog hacks. I see you are a software/web developer, so I'm sure you appreciate my relief to be able to get under the hood with versus Here's to a new year of blogging! Cheers!

  2. :-) I really enjoyed reading your post this evening Bethany :-)
    Well, I always enjoy reading about what have you done/your goals, love the honesty :-)
    I hope that it's nothing serious and that on the 6th you will have good news and that January will bring you beautiful surprises Bethany :-)
    Best wishes!
    wish you an amazing, beautiful and happy new year !!! :-) enjoy your kindle!

    1. Thank you so much, Ingrid! I'm hoping January goes smoothly. This is our busy time of the year at work, so besides all the health and personal stress, I've been working long hours and weekends. Boo! Can't wait to have everything calm down and get back to "normal" (does such a thing exist?). Wishing you a wonderful new year too! Hugs!!!

    2. P.S. Looks like you have been busy too. I'm glad I'm not the only one that takes time off from the blog. Hope everything is going well for you and you are getting well rested with a break from blogging. :)

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about these health issues you've been having! I hope it's nothing more serious than kidney stones and that they pass without much harm. I know this is going to be a BIG year for you with the move and wedding...and I cannot wait to come along for the ride and hear how it all goes. (Also, I'm with you girl on those goals - - especially exercise and house cleaning. If only I enjoyed those as much as I do watching Downton Abbey. Dope!) Also, I'm excited about this potential blog makeover. Although I love the current look, change is always fun. I'm considering a slight makeover for TTC myself!

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