December was a mad house -- I worked 16 days straight, served 14 seatings of tea, and the tree didn't go up until December 9th, the latest ever. However, even with all the craziness at work, I still managed to send out Christmas cards this year, with family photos in them, get the house cleaned and decorated, and baked just as many cookies as any other year. I was just a little impressed with myself, not pridefully impressed, but impressed. We had both of our families over for lunch on Christmas Eve, 12 in all. That's a lot for our tiny apartment, but the meal was great and we all got to enjoy each others company. This year Howard really enjoyed opening his presents, and ours, and any other presents he could get his hands on. Even though December wasn't a huge month for goals, it feels good to finish off the year with so many things crossed out. The goals that I marked in blue, and will be carried over to next year in one form or another. Here's how the goal area played out in 2015...
De-clutter the whole house in January, February, and March-- Done! I am planning to keep this goal for 2016. It really helps to set a simplified, clutter-free tone for the year. Do a Deep-Spring, and Deep-Fall Clean in March and November As well as keep up with my weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning chores.-- Done!
- Paint the Windows/Sills/Trim in the Kitchen and Nursery -- This I plan to do in March of 2016.
Write a 'love letter' to Joe each month- Done! This was a goal that really stretched me, but I feel as though it really helped to better Joe and I's relationship, which was the point. Take a trip to Maine in June with the hubby, and Howard.-- Done! Take a Trip to Ocean City in August-- Done! We had an amazing time on both of these trips, and we are looking forward to getting to do 2 more in 2016! Get together with family at least once a month-- Done! We got together with my family and Joe's family on Christmas Eve, had a lovely meal, and opened lots of presents. Getting together every month is hard with everyone's work and school schedules, so I think in 2016 I am going to shoot for every other month. It's just more reasonable. Plan and Execute Howard's 1st Birthday Party-- Done! I really want to get going on Howard's 2nd birthday soon; it will be here before I know it. Have 2 Freezer/Pantry Challenges (January and July), post updates on the blog, and defrost the chest freezer-- Done! I love this goal! It really keeps me accountable in using up weird things that I shove in the freezer because I don't want to waste it and throw it out, like 2 spoons of green beans, or 1 cup of Chili. Postmy Menu Plan , and Weekly Spending Report every week,along with at least 1 other post per week. This may be an update, a reveal, a recipe, a shopping trip, some Aldi Deals, or a frugal find. -- I am setting my goals for blogging a little differently in 2016. I did successfully post my weekly spending report every week, my monthly goals and budget check-in every month, and in the fall I started doing a frugal finds post for the month as well. I feel good about these things, but I really want to get back to regular posting. I also need to set my goals in a more easily measured way. This year's goal left things fairly open ended, and gave me too much leeway. Plan and execute a 31 days post for October. -- Done! This was a LOT of work. It requires an immense amount of time and dedication to post everyday, even if it is for only 31 days. To get a head start, I have already started planning out next years 31 days series -- I'm just a little excited about it. Lose at least 20 lbs-- Done! I lost a total of 22 lbs in 2015. I am planning to keep this goal on again for 2016. I hope that I can lose at least another 20 pounds! Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and do exercise of some kind everyday. -- Done! This is something that I have been able to check off each month. I have also been doing more walking with Howard, so that is definitely exercise in my book! Do at least 5 Flea Markets throughout the year, andlist at least bi-monthly on Amazon/Facebook Yard Sale. -- We are done with flea markets for this year, but I still haven't managed to find the time to list anything online yet. This is probably something that will not happen until January when I have some time off from work. Unfortunately this is something that requires nap-time quiet and concentration, which is dwindling. Earn Swagbucks everyday by completing the daily poll, toolbar log-in, and NOSO offers daily.(Try to earn $10 a month) -- I 'm almost up to another $25 gift card, having the app makes a world of difference! I did complete the other earning points daily throughout 2015, it just takes a LOT longer to add up to $25 gift card to earn the discount than it did for the $5 gift cards. Set a monthly budget, and coupon and deal shop as needed tostay within our budget. -- I did set a monthly budget for the year, and I did coupon and deal shop, I just didn't stay within my budget. Actually I was pretty balanced out until December when everything went to hell in a hand basket. But, some times that happens, the hand basket and all. I'm not too worried about it; I've learned my lesson, raised the budget to help feed and diaper my every growing child, and am ready to move onto 2016. Put at least an extra $100 a month on Joe's Credit Card starting in May-- I am crossing this off, because I did do this every month but December, because Christmas. I am super happy with the progress we have been able to make with this goal, our monthly minimum has never been so low!
- Scan the huge-a** box of photos we have had since my mom died three years ago, and get them sorted to give to people, as well as put the ones I decide to keep in albums -- I am not putting this on my goal list for 2016. I have a LOT of other things that actually need to get done. It's going on the back burning for now; I'm sure when I get pregnant again and get the nesting bug up my butt, it will happen.
Continue to work on Howard's baby book-- Done! I have a few pictures I want to add, but I am calling it done. It's ready to be packed away in his memento suitcase.
- Try something new at least once a month and blog about it. I have a LOT of new recipes and crafts I want to try -- This is something that I really want to do in 2016. I miss getting to try new things and share them with all of you.