Monday, December 29, 2014

Motovated Monday - Starting Over
If you didn't already see it, check out my post about setting goals in 2015. It's the first in a series that you won't want to miss. I felt this picture was appropriate because as I reflected on my goals for 2014 I saw there were quite a few that I didn't achieve and that's ok. Some are no longer important to me and others are just welcoming me to start over this year or table them as a future goal.

Don't give up! Just start over. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

4 Tips for Setting Your 2015 Goals

With Christmas over and the New Year on the horizon you're likely to either be excited to plan for 2015 or disappointed in how 2014 turned out for you. Either reaction is totally fine because I have found through life that some years you do amazing things and accomplish many goals and in other years you maybe hit one or two and that's it. I believe that whether you have achieved a little or a lot your success comes down to having a system that works for YOU.

If you're not new to goal setting, vision boards, or other methods of "making your dream a reality" you've likely experienced those ups and downs. I feel that for many people a lack of success may be due to the fact you don't have a system that works for you. Yes, there are some people who can set all their goals in their mind and achieve them every year without any reminders, posters, or strategy but those people are few and far between. I feel that to be successful in setting and achieving goals you need to know (1) what it is you are trying to achieve, (2) why you want to achieve it, and (3) how you're going to achieve it. 

When I say how I don't mean the logistics of it either. It's likely if you're setting goals they may be things you want to accomplish that will take you the better part of the year or multiple years to complete. In that case I feel you need a strategy and a plan that works for you to ensure you stay on track and eventually achieve your goal. 

For me and my husband we have been setting goals and making goal posters together for years. It's something we enjoy doing as a way of checking in on what's important to us individually and then knowing where we want to go together as a couple and a family. It helps us to know where we want to spend our time and money which keeps those conversations open throughout the year. All this being said, here are seven tips to help you set your goals for 2015.
  • Look at your past: I firmly believe in learning from your past in order to shape your future. If you have tried to set goals and haven’t achieved them I recommend sitting down and getting honest with yourself about why it hasn’t worked out. Maybe you didn’t really want to achieve that goal (it was something important to someone else or it no longer interested you) and that’s ok. Or maybe your goal was a 5 year goal that needed you to accomplish other goals before that goal was possible (see next point). It’s totally ok to toss goals that no longer interest you or to try different processes to achieve your goals. No one method works for everyone so know you’re not a failure if setting goals hasn’t worked in the past.
  • Be reasonable: It’s so easy to decide you’re going to set 20 goals this year or that all your goals will require a significant financial commitment but think through what you’re looking to do and make sure it is reasonable given your current situation. Setting a goal to buy a house AND travel the world in one year when your current job barely covers your expenses is something I wouldn’t consider reasonable. You might have to look at what you need to achieve first as a goal (perhaps applying for better paying jobs, taking a second job, or creating a budget) and then work to set goals in each following year in order to achieve your big goal of buying a house and traveling the world. Be reasonable with your goals knowing that time and/or money will shape what you can feasibly achieve in one year.
  • Get specific: In addition to having reasonable goals you need to know the specifics on what it takes to achieve your goal. In the example of buying a house or traveling the world you need to know what that trip would cost or how much you'd need to have a for a down payment before you could look at how much more money you'd need to earn or what you'd need to cut out of your spending. I also encourage you to look at all the details so you can really make your goal a reality. Knowing how much you need for a down payment on a house is ok but if you didn't plan to pay for appliances, property taxes, homeowners insurance, closing costs, landscaping, or furnishing a house you might get to your dream only to realize you're not really prepared to make that goal a reality. Worse might be if you planned and saved for that world trip to find you never stopped to get a passport.
  • Know your why: If you've been down the goal setting path before you've probably heard this in one form or another but I feel it's true. Setting a goal because your mom or dad wants you to do it or your spouse thinks it's a good idea for you isn't going to motivate you to achieve that goal. I think it's important to look inside yourself and know why YOU want to achieve your goal. It could be the personal satisfaction of accomplishing something, learning something new, or trying something different that may be able to shape your future. It could even just be continuing to do something that makes you happy and brings you satisfaction in life. Whatever the reason, you have to know what it is to be successful.
This post is the first in a new yearlong series that will let you follow my families goal setting process, share important lessons learned, and hopefully help you to start setting and achieving goals. I've put together a 2015 Goal Setting Kit that you can download and use if you aren't sure where to get started. The kit is free for you and your friends or family to use but please do not share it as your own or charge a fee for others if you are hosting a class. I would welcome you linking back to my blog or this post if you'd like to share this information. 

If you put together a goal poster and share it please use #motovated so I can see what your goals are for the new year. I'd love to get connected and stay in touch as we work through our goals! Feel free to share a link to your blog or pictures of your goal poster in the comments below. I feel it's always helpful for others to have examples of what other people are trying to achieve and how they've set up their goals.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!! That is if you celebrate. If you celebrate something else I still wish you good food, good times, and hopefully all with the good people in your life. Today, for me, it's all about family so check out these fun throwback pics from our past Christmas celebrations.

Little Russell was nothing more than a little bump in my belly. Oreo is photo-bombing the whole thing.
Russell's first Christmas! He was such a happy little guy.
First Christmas family photo. The Santa suit was HUGE on him.
Russell's first snow in Utah. Clearly he is not amused.
We even built him a snow man...
Russell loves messing with ornaments on the tree. He's much better about not trying to eat them now.
Look at this funny little guy wearing the too tiny Santa hat!
I hope your day is wonderful! Feel free to share in the comments what Santa brought you for Christmas. Do you have a favorite gift you gave or received this year? Also, what are your favorite family traditions around the holidays? Share all your fun holiday cheer and let's celebrate all the goodness that surrounds us on this day and every day. Cheers!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Motovated Monday - Your Beliefs

Hey everyone! Sorry for the mini hiatus. It's been a crazy couple of weeks getting stuff done at work before my nice long holiday break. Needless to say part of my things to do over my break is to think more about what I'll be blogging in the new year so fear not, for those who have stuck with me there are good things to come in the new year. For now, here's your Monday Motovation. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Family Friday - Winter Weather

Ah winter weather. Part of me is ready for some serious snow so we can take Russell outside to build snowmen, make snow angels, and just run around in the snow. Then there's the part of me that realizes snow = crazy terrible commutes. BOO! For now I am embracing things knowing that the seasons must change at some point so winter here we go!

We finally bought our tickets to The Nutcracker. We haven't ever gone to the ballet before so this will be fun.
Yep, there is no escape. The stores are full of Christmas stuff. This was just one endcap...
Russell is sporting his winter coat and carrying his lemon. He loves to hold on to lemons for some reason.
I get it's not even Thanksgiving yet but Russell loves trains so we put some up on the windows and he loves it!
Surprisingly the trains have still lasted so far. We have low expectations for them surviving through December.
Last Saturday we woke up to our first snow that stuck but by mid day a lot of it had melted already.
A snowy train seemed perfect with the snow outside.
Are you ready for winter weather? Have you already had snow where you live or are you lucky enough to live somewhere that doesn't see snow? I saw plenty of pictures of friends in the Salt Lake valley who got way more snow than we did. It will be interesting to see how much snow we get this winter.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Wedding Fun

I decided this week I wanted to share some pictures from our wedding. I was talking to a friend at work who had a terrible experience with a wedding photographer who proved to be very unprofessional. It made me really grateful that I had a wonderful wedding photographer who did a great job and left us with these beautiful photos to remember our special day. I am also so blessed that I still call her my friend and we can enjoy so much more than just this one day. So, below are some fun shots from our wedding. I loved how our photographer could capture the details as well as the shots you know you'll want to see later.

I love seeing the beautiful details of my dress and having both of my friends helping me get ready makes it really special.
I love these ladies. It was such a fun day and I was glad they could be there.
Sometimes it's the little details that really capture the day.
I loved having the little Hawaiian touches that made our day special.
MMM... Cake!!! I loved our cake and was happy a family friend was able to make it for us.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day? Is there anything you would change if you had to do it all over again? Share your favorite wedding memories even if they were from a wedding you attended instead of your own.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Finally Answers

WOW. If you read my post two weeks ago about some trouble I was having with my skin you would have found out two things. One, that I was doing some mad cleaning around the house and two, that my dermatologist thought I had a fungal infection (ringworm). Well, I am excited to say that after the couple of weeks of still not clearing things up and feeling rather crappy about the whole situation I went back in and showed her what my hands were doing. To me it was completely different from how things were but still concerning enough to need to be seen. With the additional information I shared and finding out that our cats did not have ringworm we concluded that it was likely I actually have a form of eczema called Nummular Eczema.

I have found through my whole life I don't often get sick with small things but I end up getting things that aren't as common so it's not surprising that I'd end up with a disease that tends to be more common in men than women and also is more typical to older men 55 plus. HA! On the bright side it's not contagious and will just take some care on my part to keep it from flaring up. Anyone with eczema will understand that sometimes it can come and go and sometimes it can be really bad. I would classify the past few weeks as a really bad phase. Luckily now I have what I need to treat it and can better take care of my skin.

You know it's scary when the person at the pharmacy asks you if you were aware what your meds would cost...
I was prescribed a couple of medications to help treat the eczema and just as my dermatologist said I could begin seeing results as quickly as a day or two. She was not lying. My hands look and feel significantly better. I can tell the spots on my arms and legs are also getting better which is great. I think I would have freaked out if things didn't get better though because this medicine is no joke.

Check out the "your insurance saved you" numbers. Crazy! Who can afford this stuff without insurance?
Yeah, I am super grateful that I have insurance that helps me cover this stuff because I paid $132.03 which was rather pricy but as you can see with my insurance and a coupon from the doctor that saved me $805.95. I'm pretty sure if I didn't have insurance I wouldn't have gone to the doctor so many times to figure this out and then I couldn't have afforded this medication. Sheesh. This makes me grateful that I don't often get sick because I have friends with chronic health conditions and I know medications can get really expensive.

I now have some giant tubes of meds. HA HA HA!
Anyway, I just wanted to say we finally have answers and I am grateful it's something I can manage. I'm also happy we didn't do anything hasty and get rid of the cats really fast. We did get a new couch but we really needed it anyway. I'm also still going to get the allergy test done to see what I'm allergic to because I still wake up sneezing quite often and I go back and forth between stuffy and runny nose symptoms. Allergies can trigger eczema so it will be good for me to be aware if there are any other things that may bother me.

Do you or someone you know have eczema? Do you have any nice heavy creams you've found that work well for you? I have a few that my doctor recommended but I'm always interested in hearing what else is working for others. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motovated Monday - Digital Detox

Normally I like to share something positive and uplifting but I think this is still worth sharing. Earlier in September I wrote about my accidental cell free detox and now that I have a phone back I am trying to figure out how I can get back to that place again.

For now, I think let's just remember to put our phones down when we're with other people. They deserve our full attention and in return hopefully they will give you the same courtesy. If they don't maybe you need to send them this picture... ;-P

Friday, November 14, 2014

Family Friday - Fall Time Fun

So the past few weeks we've been doing a lot of work in my parents backyard to help keep things ready for winter. We've done a lot of raking leaves and pulling out dead plants. I've decided in the coming year I need to stand in the same spot and take a panoramic pic through the different seasons because it is so different looking at different times in the year. Right now things are looking pretty bare. This panoramic picture was from the other weekend so some of the green you see has now fallen off the trees.

I took this funny panoramic over my head which is why you can't really tell where the ground is in this picture. If you can't figure out how this picture works I was facing the fence at the bottom of the picture and instead of panning from left to right I went from in front of me and up over my head. 

I have truly decided that if you want a good workout find a 3 year old and have them "help" you rake leaves. Russell LOVES to run through the leaves and spread them all over the place. You can end up raking each leaf multiple times with a 3 year old's help. On the bright side, at least for us, Russell really does love to help and he will help gather the leaves and throw them in the garbage can. It's super cute. 

Close up of Russell. I can't believe he's getting to be so big! I'm interested to see what he thinks of snow when winter comes. In the past he's seemed like he was just too young to really have an opinion of it. Now we'll see if he likes playing in the snow or if he decides it's better to stay inside. I honestly can't imagine he won't love the snow and love playing outside even when it's cold. This boy LOVES being outside.

So, happy fall everyone. I know we can't be far from winter weather so I am enjoying the crisp cool evenings and somewhat warm days.

What are your favorite fall activities? Are you looking forward to winter or do you dread the cold and snow? If you have any family traditions during this time of year I'd love for you to share them.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Hawaii 2013

Oh my goodness! I have this picture printed and on my fridge and I decided I just had to share this as my TBT photo. I seriously can't believe we were in Hawaii last year. Russell looks so small but he had such a good time. I think he would love it even more now but this photo is my favorite. Seriously look how happy Russell is and you can just see how much he looks like his dad. Oh buddy! It's time to start saving so we can go back and visit your Kira and Jade again. (You can actually see Kira's knees sticking out on the bottom left side of the picture. She was hanging out watching Russell swing.)

Do you have a favorite photo or favorite vacation you've been on? I have the best memories from the different times I've spent in Hawaii. I love to visit our family there and enjoy the wonderful things the islands have to offer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Shop Local

A couple weeks ago I did a feature on shopping small for the holidays. Today I wanted to share a cute place I've followed on social media for a while and finally visited in person. TEAramisu, also known as The Emperor's Tea, is a cute little shop at 929 E. 4500 S. in the Millcreek area. They have a robust online presence but recently opened the shop where you can purchase a variety of loose leaf teas, tea accessories, and you can stay and enjoy a cup (or pot) of tea or a boba drink. MMMM!!! I snapped a few pics on my phone to share some of the fun goodness you can expect to see when you visit.

The wall of tea! Oh so many amazing varieties to try. Their green tea creme brulee was what got me to finally visit the shop.
The boba was delightful! I had the yummy spiced chai which was great and the boba was nice and soft.
They also sell a variety of Italian treats and drinks.
I am a sucker for cute little goodies. MMMM!
This is some of the seating that's available if you want to pull up a chair and stay a while.
My purchase was this lovely Green Tea Creme Brulee and a new tea strainer thing.
I highly recommend you get in there and check out the amazing options available for the tea lover in your life. I am pretty sure the guy who helped me when I was there was one of the owners. Regardless, he was super nice and very helpful when I had some questions about what to buy. The tea is lovely and I completely expect to go back and enjoy this beautiful space.

Even if you can't shop now follow them on social media and support a local business. Also, if you've never really liked tea in the past I would recommend you get into a legit tea shop and try some loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea is SO different from the bagged stuff you buy in the store. There are some reasonable options in the store however if that's your only experience you might find you enjoy tea if you try something really fresh. There are so many varieties and when prepared the right way they can be really enjoyable.


Do you have a favorite place you love to shop at in SLC? Let me know your favorite places so I can check them out and try something new.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Motovated Monday - Love Who You Are

For this Motovated Monday I am excited because I had the opportunity to review the book Love Who You Are and now I get to share this lovely goodness with you too! Before we get started check out this video:

Love Who You Are from Compendium on Vimeo.

LOVE! If for some reason you're still not sure if you need to get online and order yourself a copy right now here's what I thought of the book...

The first thing I noticed when I received my book was the branded packaging. Now, there's nothing wrong with a plain brown box but I love details like this because I know if I sent a book direct to someone as a gift it would look nice when they received it.

I actually ordered some other products from Compendium prior to agreeing to do this book review and check out the fun polka dot packaging I received from that order! Isn't it fabulous? I'll reveal what else I got later on as some of it will be used as gifts so I don't want to give that away.

The funny thing about this whole situation is I found Compendium when I received one of their Pop-open Cards from a friend. I loved the concept of a beautifully written quote or some words of inspiration in a cute pop-open card so I had to check them out and see what else I could get. 

When I received the book I was excited to see what was inside. From everything I could see in their videos and online I felt the book would contain simple yet uplifting phrases along with whimsical and fun illustrations. I have always felt I need to work on improving my internal image of myself so I felt this book would be the perfect one for me to start with.

When I opened the book I was delighted to see how nicely the book was put together. It felt solid with it's thick cardboard covers and heavy weight pages in between. It struck me as having that homemade look and feel which is something I appreciate and enjoy. It's not too big, which for me works to be able to leave it out and remind myself to love who I am every day.

I think this was one of my personal favorite pages. Love yourself when things are hard. Love yourself even when it hurts. I think it's always easier to love yourself when you're in the best shape of your life, when you are wearing that power outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks, or when you're just having a great day. I think it's much harder to love yourself when you're having a bad day, when you just got laid off, or when something terrible has happened. In reflecting on this statement I felt that it is a good reminder that we should love ourselves even when things are hard.

This is one of the illustrations in the book. I loved this cute little jar of hearts. Simple but fun.

This one was another favorite of mine. You are just the person you need to be. I personally doubt myself sometimes and often it's too easy to compare ourselves to others. Lately I've worked to really appreciate who I am and my own unique talents. Of course there are people, probably dozens or hundreds, that are far better than I am at even the things I do excel at but I am learning that is ok. I've realized that for any of us to become great we need to connect with the people who have gone before us that we admire and then along the way we need to reach back and help those who are coming up behind us.

Love the parts of you that need more loving. This can be hard but when things aren't ideal or don't seem to feel right sometimes all you can do is love yourself and keep on trying. Sometimes a simple reminder is all we need to get back on track.

I want a popper filled with hearts and confetti! This book is a delight from cover to cover and would make an excellent gift for the people who have a special place in your heart. I know it will become my go to book when I'm feeling down or just want a little pick me up. It's one of those books you can breeze through cover to cover or just open it to a specific page for a little inspiration.

You can order your own copy online here. I recommend getting online now and placing your order because November is Compendium's annual Friends & Family sale. If you use the coupon code ThankYou30 you'll receive 30% off your entire order. Believe me when I say there are SO many other really cute things you'll want to get one for you and one for a friend. If you order something let me know what you got. I know you're going to love it!

P.S. be sure to check out the clearance section too. Nothing like SUPER cute stuff at a deep discount. :) I may have done some mad clearance shopping on my recent order. There are some great stocking stuffers you won't want to miss.

Even if you can't order now you can always get connected online and share some love.


I did receive a free copy of this book to do this review but otherwise I was not compensated and do not receive any compensation from future book or product sales. My opinions here are my own and have not been edited by Compendium Inc.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Family Friday - Halloween Recap

Another Halloween has come and gone but I wanted to share some pictures of our Halloween adventures.

Mom grew some pumpkins from the seeds from last years pumpkins.
Russell didn't want to put down his truck to play with the pumpkins.
Ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for trick-or-treating!
We were a happy family ready to go fishing!
Russell's fishing vest even had parts of some real flies from Joe's dad.
Russell got a bucket full of treats and had fun knocking on doors.
Happy Halloween!
How was your Halloween? Do you have any family traditions you participate in every year? I know as Russell gets older we'll do more like carving pumpkins but for now he seems happy to just knock on doors and get candy.