Personal

Goals for 2019

Bookish Goals:

I saw a lot of bookstagrammer and book bloggers posting about reading goals for the New Year. These are all either in my Netgalley queue or have been on my TBR forever and this year, I am committed to reading them. I would LOVE to do a buddy read on any or all of them if anyone is interested.

2018 was my first year on Bookstagram, and when I first discovered Netgalley, I went crazy (easy to do!) but this year I really want to keep it to books that I really want to read. I overextended myself with blog tours and reviews from publishers and I don’t want to do that again either, I will only say yes to reviewing a book IF I am interested in it AND I have time.

I am not going to worry about Twitter. It’s not my jam.

I want to focus on building relationships on Bookstagram.

I want to blog more about books + life. I miss blogging about life stuff and I want to do more of that in the new year. I have wanted to do a self-hosted blog since I was a homeschool mom blogger and learn about SEO and plug-ins and things like that, but I just never did it, I might take the plunge this year.

Marriage Goals

In 2017, I was inspired by an Instagram friend who went on 52 hikes. I knew 52 was not do-able for us, but my husband and I took on a challenge to go on 9 hikes and we had so much fun with it. All the hikes had to be in New Jersey. We had a lot of fun exploring our state and finding different hikes. A lot of times we would either grab a picnic lunch from a vegan restaurant or go out to brunch before the hike or dinner after the hike.

My husband is really into craft beer. We both used to be into craft beer, but about two years ago, I started getting nauseated after even a sip of alcohol. We had a lot of fun last year going to a couple of breweries one day when our hike was cancelled due to rain, so we have decided to take on a challenge of visiting 6 breweries this year. I will probably have a tiny sip of each beer in each flight and bring some pretzels or crackers to keep my stomach at bay. It’s just something fun to do together.

Other Goals

In my journal, I wrote down these three goals for the year:

  1. Don’t try to impress anyone.
  2. Don’t worry about what others think.
  3. Don’t compare myself to others.

I was going to wait until the new year to deactivate my Facebook account, but I couldn’t wait and deactivated in mid-December and you know what? I think these last few weeks have been wonderful without it!! I am not quite ready to completely delete my Facebook account, but I am considering it.

I want to become more of a minimalist. Years ago, encouraged by Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane, I took on a Lenten 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. I don’t know how many times I have done it now, but I love getting rid of stuff more than getting new stuff! It’s so liberating and freeing! And it’s SO MUCH EASIER to keep our house clean and find what we need and I honestly do feel like I have more time for the things that I want to do. I think it’s a mindset, a lifestyle. So, I have divided my house up and each day this month, I am filling a bag. I might do it again over Lent.

I am doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and then I am planning to do Brett Larkin’s Yoga Challenge. I really like having everything laid out for me every day and not having to think about it.

I want to cook more vegan food this year and try more vegan restaurants.

My younger daughter and I have plans to redecorate her room this year, which I am looking forward to and we have my parents’ 50th Anniversary this summer and a lot of fun family plans in the works for that!

4 star reviews, Book reviews, Home, Keeping House

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

4/5 stars

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This book caught my eye because about 8 years ago, I was a homeschool mom blogger and I came across a 40 Bags in 40 Days Lenten challenge.  Each day for the forty days of Lent, you fill one bag with stuff to donate.  It changed my life!  Having less stuff was very liberating!  It was easier to keep my house clean which meant I had more time for other interests.

A few years later, the Kon Marie Simple Art of Tidying Up came out and I spent hours picking up my things and deciding if I loved them or not.  The biggest change this brought is that my husband embraced the idea of rolling his t-shirts which allowed him to see ALL of them when he opened his drawer – he was so excited about this that he has actually brought other men (who wanted to see) his rolled t-shirt drawer and they all exclaimed about how it must make packing a breeze and eliminate wrinkles when traveling.

Joshua Becker has written the newest book that will encourage Americans to have less stuff.  Joshua encourages us to realize that having less stuff will allow us more time to pursue other interests.  What I liked most about this book was that he encourages you to get the whole family involved and talk about this.  His advice on talking about it as a family was very helpful and his method of looking at stuff as Benefit or Burden was insightful.

The Minimalist Home sets up a plan to tackle your home room by room or space by space.  There are checklists and action plans for each room that I found really helpful.

After having done the 40 Bags in 40 Days and reading about the Kon Marie method, I thought I had decluttered, but this book actually made me take a closer look, which I greatly appreciate and I feel much lighter as I scheduled a pickup of goods I will donate.

I received a digital advance copy of this book from Netgalley and WalterBrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

4 star reviews, activism, Book reviews, Keeping House, Minimalism, plant based, Sustainability

The Sustainable Home by Christine Liu

4/5 stars

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Several years ago, I was a homeschool mom blogger and I took on the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge for Lent.  Basically what you do is fill up 1 bag a day of stuff to donate (or discard) for each of the 40 days of Lent.  I felt so much lighter after I got rid of that stuff.  It was so much easier to keep my house clean.  So I just kept going with it.  It has made us be more intentional with what we bring in to our home and what we purchase.

Over the last couple of years, I have become more and more aware of how much is being wasted in our society.  The rate at which we are redecorating, stores that sell fashionable items for dirt cheap, all of this is contributing to waste.  What are we going to do with it all?  It won’t decompose.  Where on the planet will it all go?  We are depleting resources by continually creating these things.  The working conditions of the people making these products is often deplorable.  I want to be more intentional and so when I saw this book available on Netgalley, I knew I wanted to get my hands on a copy.

Christine Liu does a great job of explaining the global issues of consumerism and materialism.

Then she goes on to explain the benefits of a decluttered space with useful and meaningful items.

Which space would you rather work in?

I used to admire the one on the left, but think that was not where someone actually worked, it was just a design space.  I have found that when you get rid of what you don’t need, you can have a workspace like the one on the left.

Christine Liu gives a practical guide to how to decide what to keep and what to toss and gives suggestions on what to do with the things you decide not to keep.

She then goes into energy consumption in the home and making your home more energy efficient.  She discusses using plants in the home.  She goes into detail about being sustainable in the kitchen, from diets that sustain the planet to growing your own food to how to store your food to what to do with food waste.  There are recipes for several plant based meals.  She gives advice on clothing that is sustainable for the planet and what to look for.  Christine Liu advises getting higher quality pieces that last longer.  There is advice on caring for your clothing and laundering your clothing.  She also discusses bedding and has a recipe for making your own room spray.  From there she goes into being more sustainable in the bathroom from skin care and body care recipes and ideas to hair care and water usage.  Ms Liu also discusses greening the workspace, dining out, going places and taking action.  This is an extremely comprehensive guide to living a lifestyle that is better for the planet as well as our bank account.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.