April Goals and March Review

With the spring season fast approaching I thought I need some accountability for my goals and I should make them known. I need to start actually taking time to track my progress otherwise nothing is propelling me forward. Part of the problem is trying to do too many things, so I will slowly ease these each into my daily routine.


1. Post 1 time weekly to blog

This post is the first in a month and carpal tunnel and a busy puppy is to blame here. I still enjoy writing a lot and compiling a post together and sharing that with you- but it was hard this last month or so- thanks for excusing me! Thanks to my team who helped fill in the gaps. I’m trying to focus on more valueable content so please let me know what you want to see from these categories: HOME, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, PLANNING, MARRIAGE, PETS- or another thing you’d like me to write on, drop a comment below!


2. Read or listen nightly to one chapter (Atomic Habits)

Listening to this book has been so easy and simple to absorb because most of it is common knowledge and yet is surprising like a lightbulb switching on. I love his voice as well in the audible version- he speaks clearly, at a good speed and makes sense in the order of the book, including graphs and charts in the book. I know this is a great step towards making these goals happen is applying the principles in this book.


3. Drink more water ~40+oz a day


I’ve been drinking a bottle straight up from the morning- taking my Thrive supplements and my DFT patch to give me mood support and a boost of energy. I use my favorite water bottles from my friends small biz @mamasquatchdesigns and can be found on Instagram. I’m a horrible drinker of water and an okay drinker of anything else- so let’s change that starting now. I tend to suffer with issues that relate to dehydration and hello, no wonder because I’m not drinking much or any.


4. Strength Training, Yoga or Walk on treadmill 2-3x a week


I really love working out with the treadmill and it feels good to do in our own home. I have a walk plan to follow and it’s paced and easy/fun activity to keep me moving. I am going to be diligent about this! This week- we will do it! MAKE THIS A HABIT! Yoga is a nice alternative and I have a guide on the wall fro strength training and weight exercises.


5. Post to IG 4x a week and track engagement and growth

I posted for the 2nd time this week-I am drafting up a couple so it’s not as much of a hassle to remember. I’m using Planoly app to plan and get my captions in order so they’re ready to go. I love to share what I’m up to but IG takes more thought for me so it’s harder to get content planned or up on my feed in time for the peak time to see it.


WHAT’S UP LATELY? FILL YOU IN


I had carpal tunnel for the last few weeks. I was faced with pain and tenderness, shooting pains and I couldn’t do anything for myself nor anyone else It was very annoying and I was very bummed out since I wasn’t able to do my daily life normally. I just had to relinquish to others to pick up the slack and help me do the most simple tasks that I just couldn’t handle. I went to the doctor and I used a brace for many days during the “recovery time” and ate up a ton of Aleve, eventually with rest- the pain and stiffness went away.

Eevee has had some more trainings since my wrist and arm are feeling better. She’s doing GREAT but takes her time and does things in processes. Good and then bad and then is on top of it again- I was told training can be circular. It gets frustrating but I have to just remember that she’s still learning and picking up things so quickly- in all reality. She is very food motivated and will jump hoops (figuratively) for a high value treat. She is growing up so so fast and I can’t believe that she is triple the size she was originally! It’s shocking and she still isn’t full grown. We also got her a gentle leader (that she was fitted with today) for when we go on walks and so she can’t start pulling once she’s bigger or acting crazy outside.

I’ve been trying to get in some extra self care where I can- when I can, even with all the time in the world; I’m making it happen weekly. I always enjoy getting my hair and nails done, so I wandered back to that cycle. I am getting my hair lightened again….. I think it makes me look shinier….. Like a ray of light! I made my hair like a dark red burgundy color for the last almost year. It was nice but clearly a phase and it feels like a change kinda of time of the year for spring and summer. So I’ve recently decided to go BLONDE! I also went to a new nail salon, so I tried it and WOW I’m shocked at how professional and beautiful their work is. I got a custom painted spring set of acrylics and I have loved them every day since! And the pricing was better than most local salons near here and they are practicing very safe guidelines with COVID-19. I need to go get a fill- that goes on the to do list right now.

I’m really thankful for my friends. I’ve had some miscommunication lately and it’s been hard. I’m glad my friendships are growing and flourishing and we can work things out. On top of that, I’ve been having weekly planning dates with my blog friends through Voxer and on Zoom. It’s been a helpful resource that has kept me on top of my daily activities and focusing on the good. Planning in my days even with not much in them, but stress and boredom- it’s has been a nice practice to keep my mind right.

So through this month, I will check in and use accountability with my friends in Voxer. I will be intentional with my time and with my friends making plans still in COVID quarantine. I’ll set a better schedule by taking one thing at a time, planning weekly and giving myself grace. I’ll be able see how I’m progressing by tracking each habit and moving towards consistency. Talking through each day, good or bad, step by step and giving it my best 110%!

Tell me what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them this month!

3 Reasons You Should Practice Gratitude Every Day

3 Reasons You Should Practice Gratitude Every Day

When we get caught up in the business of life sometimes we forget to take time to appreciate all of the good things going on in life. Practicing gratitude is a great thing to do not only during the holiday season but all year round!

Being gracious has many benefits for your mental health, your outlook on life, and it doesn’t take long to do. All the more reason why practicing gratitude should be added to your every day routine.

There is something to be said about how our thoughts contribute to our mood for the day. More often than not when we focus on the negative thoughts going on around us, we are going to see the negative things around us. Creating a negative environment around us.

Daily Gratitude is Great for Your Mental Health

When we change what we focus on, such as things we are grateful for, we begin to make a shift in our minds. That shift is going to have us view the world in a different light, a more positive light full of gratitude. 

Now, that’s not to say that practicing gratitude every day will take the bad days away. But they will make the harder days a little bit easier knowing we have so much to be grateful for in our lives. According to a study done looking at how gratitude affects your brain, it can have long-term benefits!

Practicing Gratitude Daily Takes Only a Few Minutes

Practicing gratitude only takes a few minutes, or even seconds, every day! There are so many different ways to practice gratitude and you can do it throughout the day as well!

I write down something I am grateful for every day in a journal so I can look back and see all of the great things going on in my life if I am ever feeling down. Other times I message a friend something I am grateful for them for. Not only does that help your mindset, but it is also setting your friend up for a positive day as well!

Whether you are writing down something you are thankful for daily, telling someone you are thankful for them, or having those gracious thoughts in your brain they don’t take much time and do so much good in our lives! Our thoughts become our actions and how we view the world. Having positive thoughts = a more positive world.

Practicing Gratitude Daily Helps You Redefine Your Priorities

The more we practice gratitude daily in our lives, the more we will begin to see common threads popping up in our lives whether they are negative or positive. If you begin to notice those negative areas in your life, you can use your gratitude practice to change your views on them.

I’ve realized in my life areas that I continuously knockdown with negative thoughts. I have taken a more conscious effort to acknowledge those thoughts and find something in the situation I can be grateful for. Realizing I am having those negative thoughts has helped me realize I need to change that situation so it isn’t bringing me down.

The great thing about being human is we are able to make conscious decisions to change our life. Change our words. Change our thoughts. All of which affect how we come across the world. If you aren’t happy with your job, you can still be grateful that you have a steady income while you find something more fulfilling.

Changing the way we frame our thoughts is going to change the way we view and interact in our world. I challenge you today to find three things to be grateful for. They don’t have to be big. Today I am grateful for my dogs, heat during these cold days, and the benefits of working from home.

Let me know in the comments what you are grateful for today!

This post was written by Kayla Bowie. You can find her on Instagram: kaylacoffeechats or on her website: kaylacoffeechats.com

9 Winter Self-Care Ideas

I believe in the winter, even more than any other time of year, it’s important to care for ourselves a little extra. It’s cold, we’re stuck inside a lot more, and the shorter days can be draining. We need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others so we can be at our best too. And man, we are in the depths of winter here in the PNW! Our climate doesn’t change too much from a windy and wet winter to an icy and snowy winter wonderland. Guess which one we got this year?! NOT the latter. I don’t prefer the cold much this time of year, but in the summer I flip flop. I guess I’m glad we have even a few seasons here though.

The things I enjoy doing the most are the ones I try to incorporate into my week regularly, but especially in the winter. Here are some of the self-care I like to incorporate:

Drinking hot tea

Hot drinks are more popular in the winter, but I’m really loving hot tea. I love drinking it at night. Hot tea is also great when I have a headache or just want to relax. Try different kinds of tea and find one you like. Not all teas are the same.

Reading a good book

I go through phases of reading a lot, and then not really reading much. This month, I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. The wonderful thing about reading is that there are so many different types of books. If you’re reading a novel or other kind of story, be present with it and allow yourself to escape reality for a little while. Choose a book in a warm setting during the winter to take it one step further.

Napping with big blankets

Luxuriously big blankets are great for naps. When the weather isn’t great, taking a nap can make things better. Getting rest, especially when you need it, is a great way to feel refreshed again when it’s cold outside.

Treating yourself to spa like activities at home

This could be face masks, scrubs, moisturizers, hair masks, taking a bath with bath salts or bath bombs, taking a shower or doing your nails at home. Whatever it is you like to do for your body, skin or nails can be an awesome way to care for yourself in the winter.

Making homemade meals or comfort food

Taking the time to make a hot meal or my favorite comfort food is another great thing to do. Mac n cheese, tacos, chicken divan casserole, soups and meatloaf are a few things I love. If you love to bake, bake some goodies. It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe either! Try mug cakes that you can make in the microwave for something quick and easy.

Watching your favorite movies

We have so many streaming options these days, it’s crazy! There is always something that you can sit down and enjoy. Make an event of it by popping some popcorn or a healthy treat to eat while watching.

Connecting with friends (or disconnecting when needed)

Feeling alone is easy right now, so making the effort to connect with friends is one of the biggest forms of self-care you can do. Get on the phone with them or connect on Zoom. Sometimes you need to disconnect from friends too. Do whichever one you need at the moment.

Listening to music

With music apps at your fingertips, you can create playlists for every mood or just random ones too. Have a dance party, learn the lyrics and sing along (those can be found online too), or lay back and allow yourself to get lost in the music you love.

Time with pets

Playing with your pets is also a refreshing way to care for yourself in the winter. They will love it and so will you. Cuddling with them is extra cozy when it’s cold outside too.

What is your favorite way to practice self-care in the winter? I would love to hear what you do in the comments below.

January Review and February Goals

I love when a new month starts on a Monday, it just feels right doesn’t it? Like a new, fresh start all shiny and packaged up tight. Our new dog Eevee is almost 5 months old and she is still in the beginning stages of training and learning so much, doing so well already. I am so proud of myself for making so much positive progress towards the few goals I had in January.

January went by in a flash, it was here one minute and gone the next. However, I’ve been told a bunch of times during the last few weeks that having your goals and planner all thought out and done by the 1st of each month doesn’t really matter. So what, start your plan, write it down, get started… that’s all that matters. So here’s a view of things I wanted to get done in January-while focusing on my word of the year, Intention. Which mainly just meant that I was going to do these things with purpose and be well thought out while getting them accomplished.

Here’s a peek at things I checked off my goals list in January:
-Almost (!) finished SOAR program- listening to the rest of R module
-Stuck to Sunday Planning and weekly planning with Stephanie and power hours with Pamela
-Morning rhythms/evening routines- some semblance of one, even just ideas of steps to take
-Cleaned up closet and excess clothes
-Signed up for a few online courses/and memberships
-Post to blog once a week, 4x a month (I did this 3/4 times and my social media helper posted for me once to keep me on schedule)
-Regularly post to social media FB page, done by Bonnie, I feel like my engagement and comments went up some which was nice
-Post 4x a week to Instagram and try to engage and comment more for growth
-Clean out social media clutter, email junk, and cellphone declutter as well (get organized)

This month, in February I would like to:
-Read a book this month “Atomic Habits”
-One to two blog posts per week, published on time or scheduled early
-Finish R in SOAR program in A Purpose Driven Mom Club (APDM)
-Personal Project: Move photos from Photoshop to external, as well as FB photos cleanup and transfer
-Hire out services for Pinterest and Editing, email management and my VA Pam
-Get moving as much as possible (exercise/walking wise
-Build Eevee’s training portfolio (consistency is key!)
-Eat healthier by making complete meals (protein, veggie and a starch or fruit)

I think a list of this size is doable though as long as I’m checking in with my goals regularly and filling in my weeks as I go. I’m very proud of the steps I’ve taken already and the work I’ve been doing to get better with my skills.

What are your goals this month? Personal? Work related? Family? Hobby? Health and fitness? Etc.

I’d love to hear what they are, what you accomplished last month and what you’ve been up to lately.

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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