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, Childrens' Books, Yoga

Let’s Play Yoga by Márcia De Luca + Lúcia Barros

4/5 stars


I began practicing yoga to get back in shape after my second daughter was born and it changed my life.  I have struggled with an eating disorder since I was 12 years old.  I had never found an exercise routine that I liked enough to really stick with for more than a few months.  But yoga was different.  I toned muscle, but it also felt good.  Really good.  So good that I found myself wanting to do it and missing it if I didn’t do it.  I found myself able to breathe deeper and aware of my breath all the time.  I found myself calmer and more at peace when I practiced and feeling a little harried and crazed and unfocused when I did not practice.  I have had a regular almost daily practice for over sixteen years and I sing the praises of yoga to all who will listen.  I have turned my husband – who had never exercised outside of the occasional bike ride and one of my good friends – who had felt they couldn’t do yoga because they weren’t flexible enough – into devotees too.

So, when I saw books aimed at turning kids on to this amazing form of exercise, I was like, “Yeah!  Right on!” and I wanted to know more.

Let’s Play Yoga is a very cute book.  It starts out by explaining that ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ and that we are all stronger together.  It then goes on to explain that yamas are things to avoid – a lot of candy, bad thoughts, etc. and niyamas are things to do more of – like exercise and thinking positive thoughts.  I loved this simple explanation and I admit that even after all of these years practicing yoga, I never understood yamas and niyamas so clearly.

Let’s Play Yoga makes yoga a game kids can play.  It starts with ten rules, such as not being violent, telling the truth, right use of energy and not being jealous.

Then the authors created stories to go with the poses.  So Tadasana or Mountain pose, becomes Tada and is the story of a girl who stands tall like a mountain.  Then there are examples of how kids can stand tall and how it helps them focus and balance better when they practice this pose.

I thought it was a cute book and a cute way to teach kids about yoga.  I loved The Ten Basic Principles or Rules of Yoga – -those are such important lessons for all of us to learn and I can always use a reminder.  I also loved that the book explained what Sanskrit was and used the Sanskrit terms for the poses in the stories.  This book not only teaches the basics of yoga, but also presents ways for kids to bring yoga into the rest of their lives or as yogis say “off the mat”.

Credit line: Let’s Play Yoga! How to Grow Calm Like a Mountain, Strong Like a Warrior, and Joyful Like the Sun © Lúcia Barros and Márcia De Luca, 2014. Illustrations © Bruna Assis Brasil, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

You can purchase this title on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever books are sold.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Experiment Publishing for my copy!

4 star reviews, Book reviews, Childrens' Books, Yoga

Yoga for Kids by Susannah Hoffman

4/5 stars


In the foreward for this book, actress Patricia Arquette writes how “we live in a world of chaos” and “it’s important to find ways to heal and combat the fast world”.  That is what yoga is.  Yoga forces us to slow down, to breathe deep, to focus on our movements,  to accept ourselves where we are – I have yet to take a yoga class where the teacher does not, at some point, remind us that we are all different and that maybe we could do a pose deeper the day before but, like Susannah Hoffman, the author of this book tells readers that they are doing yoga perfectly for them that day, even if one side is tighter than the other or it’s more difficult today than it was yesterday.

This book starts by explaining that in yoga, we often start with “Om”–seated on the mat, cross-legged, leaving everything else behind and focusing on our breath.  And we end with “Namaste” – hands at prayer position, the light in you recognizing the light in others.  It’s the message we end with and try to take off our mats back into the chaotic world.

The first poses are warm up poses, simple things like shoulder stretches and side stretches, which encourages a warm up before getting into more complicated poses.  There are two pages explaining how to do each pose. After every few poses, Susannah Hoffman shows the reader how to put it together in a sequence or, as we say in yoga, “how to flow”.

There are pop-ups on some of the pages for grown-ups to tell them what the pose is doing and how to make sure their child is doing it in such a way that they won’t get hurt.

The photographs in this book are beautiful and very engaging and inviting, they made me want to get up and do yoga!  I loved how they used different kids of different ages and abilities and several kids with Down syndrome.


I thought this was a great introduction to yoga for kids ages 7-12.  I would definitely consider buying this for the library.

I would like to thank Netgalley for my digital copy.