Here we are: new year, new decade. 2020 is already off to a pretty wild start. So grab a cup of coffee and let's share what's happening!
Currently, my beverage of choice is a chai latte, made simply at home with a little honey and non-dairy milk. Yum! Grab your own and let's start our chat.
We celebrated our 4th anniversary!
What a way to kick off the year, yeah? January 1 was our fourth anniversary, and we celebrated it in the way we usually do...
- We spent the whole day together. Our anniversary is essentially a personal holiday for us — we make a big deal out of it!
- We ate at Rhombus Guys, the restaurant we got married at.
- I put on my wedding dress for a little bit.
- We exchanged love letters, which tend to "review" the year and look ahead to our next year together.
Let's get it out of the way — 2019 thoughts and big things for 2020
I summed up my 2019 in review already, but it's impossible to chat in January without bringing it up again.
Thoughts on 2019:
I had big goals for 2019, but I really struggled to make some of them happen, especially with DoYouEvenPaleo. When wedding season heated up, everything with the blog fell to the wayside. I'm only now starting to get caught up and actually test recipes more than a day before they get published. Yikes!
Looking ahead to 2020:
Even though I'm resistant to launching a whole litany of goals because of the new year, but it is a convenient time to realign and focus on my overall, longterm dreams. So I've got a few goals/habits I'm pursuing this year:
- Time-blocking. If you haven't heard of it, here's a pretty good look at what it is and why you might want to do it. In 2019, I wrote to-do lists each day...but that led to me procrastinating ("I have all day! I can do that tonight.") and never accomplishing my list. This year, I'm making time-blocking a habit — I'll have set hours for working on specific tasks, and set time for when I'm NOT working, too.
- Meal prep! Let me tell you, when wedding season got busy, any hope of cooking regularly went out the window. Dinners just became a hassle. This year, I want to make meal prep a habit, and I'll try to line up recipe testing/recipe shoots on the same day. I've never been great about meal prep, but I definitely think it's necessary for my weird schedule now!
- Re-brand. 2020 is going to be FULL of changes, and that includes a re-brand. I'm meeting with a local designer soon to talk details, and I'm oh-so-excited for all the changes to come!
But, there's already a roadblock...
To make ends meet, I've maintained a part time job. Right at the start of the year, though, I found out that my part time job is being rolled into a new full time position.
Thing is, I don't think I want to go back to working full-time for anyone but myself.
So the pressure's on, especially now (see below) to support myself and my husband through this website and my photography business. On the one hand, I knew I wanted to work less in 2020, so this is a gift from the universe. On the other hand, I need to be able to pay all my bills!
The Midwestern in me feels strange asking you for a favor, then, but here goes: every comment, like, and share has an impact on my ability to continue doing what I love. If you're here with me, reading this post, you're probably one of my biggest fans already, and I'm incredibly grateful for your support! If you want to keep helping, though, share one of your favorite recipes with family and friends. Pin it to Pinterest. Follow along on Instagram. Every single thing helps!
We bought a house!
Seriously, I can't even believe it. Just last month, I talked about how we'd started looking for a home. But we were completely convinced we'd be in it for the long haul, hunting for at least a year before we found something that checked all the boxes.
Surprisingly, THE VERY FIRST HOUSE our realtor took us to ended up being the house we just couldn't stop thinking about. We went to another dozen house showings, but we couldn't stop comparing every home to the first one. It seemed meant to be.
I'm so excited to share more about this house down the road! We'll be painting, moving in, and making the house our own all of February. So stay tuned for before-and-afters in March — or follow along for Instagram Stories peeks!
Now I just have to get used to cooking on a gas cooktop. Any tips? Tell me in the comments below!
What I'm currently reading
New year, new reading goals! Last year I read a total of 31 books. My goal was 30. This year, I'm setting a goal of 35 books on Goodreads.
That comes out to roughly 3 books a month. Think I can pull it off? I hope so!
If you want to follow along in real time with what I'm reading and the books I want to read, follow me on Goodreads!
In the meantime, here's what's currently on my nightstand:
- The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal — I adored his previous title, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, so I knew this would be a great read. It might be because I recognize so many of referenced locations and local businesses and things like that in these books, but damn are these great novels!
- Shooting with Soul: 44 Photography Exercises Exploring Life, Beauty, and Self-Expression by Alessandra Cave — Just started this one, so not much to report yet. I'm taking advantage of the slower winter months to soak up any photography knowledge I can!
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo — This is one of my YA fantasy authors, so of course her debut adult fantasy title is high on my list to read! I haven't dove in yet, since I'm finishing up The Lager Queen, but I've heard great things about this one already.
Shareworthy internet reads
- Lizzo has been a beacon of self love and self compassion for many. Apparently Jillian Michaels ignorantly thinks that's a problem.
- Think donating your old, unused possessions is eco-friendly? Turns out the best thing you can do is NOT BUY MORE STUFF.
- Grit is one factor in success, but that's just scratching the surface. These qualities help, too.
- One of my friends interviewed my gym owner about her journey opening a gym, finding self confidence, and persevering. It's a powerful interview — give it a read!
New posts this month
Message from the Kitty Committee
The cats have no idea why we're packing up all our things, but they're taking it all in stride. Their message this month is to roll with the punches and keep rockin' that stellar attitude!