As I was browsing some of my favorite blogs the other day, I noticed there were several posts I was really drawn to and one of those was their monthly updates. They would share what their family has been up to, what they’re currently reading, courses they were taking to up their blogging game and other miscellaneous things. Since I loved them so much, I decided to start doing them here! So, here is my first Monthly Check-In.
I haven’t set a particular number of books I’d like to read this year, but I know I want to read a lot. I’ve already finished one book and am half-way done with my second one. Not a bad start to the year! I finished reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for the second time. It has revolutionized the way I look at the material things I surround myself with, as well as how I spend my time.
My word for 2016 is VALUE. If it doesn’t add value to my life, I don’t bring it into my home. If something I decide to do or an event I decide to attend is going to take me away from my family, I ask myself ‘Does it bring value to me or my business?‘ Meaning, is attending this event or taking on this project worth it?
The author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up just released a new book yesterday called Spark Joy. I purchased it and can’t wait to dig in.
I haven’t purchased any clothing items in quite a while because, well, I didn’t feel like I needed anything. It’s always hard for me to balance living simply and only bringing in items that ‘spark joy’, with the fact that part of my job is putting together outfit ideas. It’s a first world problem for sure, but one that haunts me a little.
I was sent a Vegan Leather Tote bag in Navy that I love so much it’s a little ridiculous. I love a big tote bag and this one is perfect. I was also sent a beautiful and delicate Floating Diamonds necklace from the same company. It adds such a nice touch to my outfits and it’s so lightweight I can’t even tell I’m wearing it. You’ll see both of these in a style post tomorrow.
I’m on week 2 of using Cindy Crawford’s skincare line Meaningful Beauty. You can read about my first impressions here. I’ll have an update on how I like it, any changes I’ve noticed in my skin, etc within the month.
This post by Leo Babauta is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever read on healthy eating. When it comes to eating healthy he has a very, very simple plan: Eat a crapton of vegetables and do something active everyday. If it’s the newest diet or exercise craze, he skips it. Instead he lives a simple, healthy lifestyle by following just the basics. I love his answers to the most frequently asked questions like Can I eat meat? What about grains? What about sweets? His answer? Yes, yes and yes…..just also eat a crapton of vegetables. Done. Now this is a plan I can follow. I’d like to add to that, drink a crapton of water, which I’m working on.
Whether you work outside the home as a nurse or teacher, are a work at home mom who blogs or a stay at home mom who cares for her children and home full time – I believe that striving to learn something new is essential. When I was a stay at home mom and my kids were young, my learning was from a book I read or a conversation I had with a friend. Now that I work from home full time as a blogger, my learning comes in the form of books, courses and other blogs.
Right now I’m working through two blogging courses: Food Blogger Pro and Elite Blog Academy. Food Blogger Pro isn’t really a course, but instead a hub of blogging resources. Although I don’t run a food blog, I have found the videos and lessons invaluable. They aren’t opening it again until the spring, but you can get on the waiting list. Same with Elite Blog Academy. She’s opening it up again in February, but you can also get on her waiting list. You can read about other blogging resources I recommend here.
I’m also going through two of Money Saving Mom’s courses: Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Year. I’m really enjoying both of them. Unfortunately, yesterday was the last day for the Make Over Your Year course, but you can sign up for Make Over Your Mornings for a limited time at only $9.
We had an amazing winter break and I was mourning the fact it was coming to an end. In all honesty, I remember dreading these long breaks when my kids were younger. They still woke up at the crack of dawn and it took all my time and energy to come up with things to keep them busy. Part of that dread was my fault because when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to appreciate the season of life you’re in. I definitely find myself thinking back on those times and wishing I would have slowed down to enjoy it more.
For the break, we set aside some fun money – something we’ve never done before and I am so glad my husband brought up the idea. There have been too many breaks when eating out or taking the family to the movies was stressful because we hadn’t budgeted for it or couldn’t budget for it, because the money simply wasn’t there. This time we had a set amount and asked the kids to each choose something they wanted to do over the break. We saw Star Wars, went ice skating, ate out and it was such a fun-filled two weeks.
This Christmas I asked for “experiences” from my husband instead of material things. So my gift was a family trip to Fredericksburg, TX, a town about an hour and a half from us. We walked around their downtown area for a few hours, ate at a brewery on Main Street and then came out to enjoy the Christmas lights. It was such a fun trip and made me even more thankful for my family. We’ve reached that season of life where our relationships with our kids are less instruction and more friendship building. It’s my favorite season so far.
As some of you may know, my husband was able to quit his job about five months ago and we now work side by side. We spent a good chunk of our break talking about and planning what we see for Mom Fabulous in 2016. I’m very excited about one new piece we have in the works! It’s video related and I’ll leave it at that. 😉
Well, that ended up being longer than I expected, but a lot happened last month! Now it’s your turn. What have you been up to? What are you reading? Let me know!