New Year

Happy New Year 2015!

Snow-covered road

(photo by Ali Inay via Unsplash)

Happy New Year everyone! I’m so excited for 2015. I always love the feel of a new year, full of promise and opportunity.

This quote popped up on my Instagram this morning and I thought it was so appropriate: “Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!” And I intend to!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Ooh, goal-setting time! I’m going to be honest: New Year’s is probably my favorite holiday of the whole year. I love that ritual of starting fresh, the feeling that you have a clean slate and can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Of course I have a whole separate list of goals and resolutions for the new year, but for this post I’ll focus specifically on my book-related goals.

1. Finish some of the series I’ve started. I think at last count I had about a dozen in progress (cringe). I really, really need to finish some of these before starting any new ones.

2. Read daily. I do try. But sometimes I watch TV instead, or I waste time on the internet, and other days I’m just busy with life. It’s not that those are bad things, per se, but I’d like to get in a habit of reading a book every single day, even if it’s just a few pages–it makes me happy when life is chaotic and stressful, and it’s much better than scrolling through Pinterest for an hour.

3. Read a few classics. I’ve ignored this genre lately, but I have a few on my shelf I’d like to tackle.

4. Read more nonfiction. I rarely read nonfiction. But I’d like to try reading at least one nonfiction title each month.

5. Start reviewing books on my YouTube channel. This is something I’ve thought about for a while, and I’m going to start doing it in 2015! I want to do short reviews, maybe two or three minutes tops, on some of the books I read each week. I might not film a video for every book I read, but I’d like to do several each month.

6. Work through my owned TBR shelf. I have a huge TBR shelf on Goodreads, obviously. But I’ve been accumulating books on the physical bookshelf in my living room all year, and I haven’t read any of them because I keep loading up on titles from the library. Which is fine…but a) I have some really good titles on there waiting to be read, and b) we’re running out of shelf space, which means it’s time for a cull. So once I’m done with my current library batch, I’m going to start digging through my owned pile.

7. Blog about books on a regular basis. I’ve even been neglecting my monthly roundups–for shame. It’s time to get back in the habit.

8. Be more active in the book blogging world. I have a few things I’m working on now, including my YouTube project. Connecting with other book bloggers gives me new titles for my TBR list and exposes me to books I might not otherwise hear about or be inclined to pick up.

9. Get my bookshelf organized. It’s a mess.

10. Read more, period. Books, magazines, blogs about books and magazines–I just need to read more, period!

 

What are your bookish goals (or goals in general) for the new year? Share them with me in the comments!

January 2014 Recipe Writers: Healthy Eating!

It’s time for another round of Recipe Writers, and in celebration of the New Year, this month will focus on healthy eating! We want your favorite healthy recipes, and the easier they are to prepare, the better. This is the time of year when many of us recommit to a healthy lifestyle (especially after the Christmas cookie binges of last month) so now is the perfect time to start swapping healthy recipes for entrees, snacks, smoothies and more. Personally I’m excited to get back on track with healthy smoothies, salads and vegan burgers, so it’s going to be hard picking just one recipe for the link-up!
Here is how Recipe Writers works:
At the beginning of every month we will introduce a new theme and all share our recipes here. The link party will close on the last day of the month. This way you will have time to share a recipe before and after the holiday (if there is one) so others can try it, check out other recipes to try yourself  and impress your family and friends with the delicious flavors of the season. For example, November was Thanksgiving Favorites and December was Christmas Cookies!
Co-hosts:
Amanda Rose from Sew Much 2 Say

Remember, this link up is open until the end of the month and we will have a new one next month starting on the 1st.  Don’t forget to check in next month to see if your recipe was featured. 
So, what are you waiting for? 
Make your favorite healthy recipes, blog about it and share them with us!

SewMuch2Say.com

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This year…

I was browsing Twitter yesterday when I saw this Pin tweeted out by Elle from the blog ElleSees (go check it out, it’s one of my faves).

What an easy way to make a list of resolutions, right? I have lots of changes to make this year, and sometimes it can be overwhelming to think of a list of resolutions in one giant chunk. I think that’s part of the reason so many resolutions fail–it’s just too much all at once. I like how this list gives you just nine very specific things to focus on.

A bad habit I’m going to break…Spending money for the hell of it because I’m bored or sad. I’ve never been one to spend money I can’t afford to spend, and I don’t carry a credit card, so it’s not that I get myself into financial hard spots with frivolous spending. It’s just that I have a really bad tendency to say, “I’m bored and I had a crappy night at work. I think a trip to (Target, the bookstore, ULTA) is just the thing I need.” And while $20 doesn’t seem like a lot, it really adds up at the end of the year to a houseful of stuff I don’t really need and a chunk of cash I would have preferred to spend on a big-ticket item, like a vacation or a piece of furniture. I’m going to do a longer post on this later, but 2014 is going to be a year of minimal buying, partly to save money, partly to save myself from an avalanche of unneeded stuff, and partly so I can learn better ways to cope with dissatisfaction (a bike ride, reading a book, etc.).

A new skill I’d like to learn…I want to improve my yoga. I have a lot of problems with back pain and I think this will do wonders for my physical health, as well as my mental well-being.

A person I hope to be more like…I don’t like to pick out one person as a role model. I think there are a lot of reasons not to model yourself after a single person, but rather to look at the traits of a group of people you admire and emulate the things they do that you admire.

A good deed I’m going to do…I don’t talk much about stuff like this because I feel like good deeds, charity or what-have-you should be a bit more private. But I do have a couple of things in mind for 2014.

A place I’d like to visit…I don’t have a particular place in mind, but I do have a general goal of getting out of the house more. I’m hugely introverted and my idea of a good day off is snuggling under a blanket with tea, a book and my cats. I want to get out to go new places, do new things, and see new people. I don’t think being introverted is a bad thing, by the way, and I wear my badge proudly; I just know that for myself personally, my love of hiding in the house can sometimes cut me off from new and fun experiences, and I don’t want that.

A book I’d like to read…Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy. I’ve always been scared away by the idea that it must be really long and hard to read, I suppose simply because it’s a classic, and we all know that classics are scary with a capital S. But I finally bought it and stuck it on the shelf, so no more excuses.

A letter I’m going to write…I’m going to write a letter to my future self and tuck it away to be opened on January 1st, 2015. I think it will be really interesting to read it and see what goals and plans I had and how I achieved them.

A new food I’d like to try…I want to be more experimental with my cooking in general. I tend to get in a rut and not try out new recipes, even when I’m bored to death with the food available in the house.

I’m going to do better at…Exercising daily. I tend to get into these modes of either exercising daily and feeling very proud of myself, or not doing it at all and loathing myself. With all of the other things in my life that eat up time and energy, it can be really hard to stick to an exercise routine, so this year I’m going to try for a simple fifteen minutes each day throughout the month of January. Obviously I can do more, but this is just a basic benchmark to hit on even the really busy, exhausting, I-can’t’possibly-do-one-more-thing kind of days. I think doing something daily will make me feel better physically and will make the routine easier in the long run.

If you decide to fill this in, be sure to leave me a comment with your blog post link so I can check it out!