onward

Happy to be in a new year!

From everything I’ve been seeing and reading lately, it feels as though we are all very okay with saying goodbye to 2016. Great, me too… however, last year brought me another niece, some great trips, and more time spent with friends than I anticipated so I am happy about all that.

There are things that are going to suck about 2017. I have friends who are moving, jobs that are changing, a dog that is aging and family in the States dealing with the election but I am trying to stay positive and think about the good things ahead.

So with that I say onward!

onward-square

Rather than resolutions, I recently read this article in Business Insider and decided a list of lists would be a more productive way to tackle twenty-seventeen. By simply writing out the 17 lists titles and adding items and checking off items throughout the year, I will hopefully figure out what I really need to make this year special. I hope you have a great year!

My list of 17 lists for 2017

  1. Recipes to try
  2. Restaurants to try
  3. Things I want
  4. Things I wanted but didn’t buy
  5. Places to see / visit / explore in Nova Scotia
  6. Daily to-do list (always changing)
  7. Monthly to-do list
  8. Bucket list (review, update, revise)
  9. Short-term goals
  10. Long-term goals
  11. DIY /home improvement projects (review, update, revise)
  12. Post ideas
  13. Books to read
  14. Movie and shows to watch
  15. People to contact (birthdays, follow-ups, reconnects)
  16. Things to do for others
  17. Things that make me happy

Poster by Carson Ellis

psst. Does anyone else add completed item to a to-do list, just so you can check-off a few things right away?
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do it in the morning

One of my Sweet Sixteen goals is to host 12 parties. Is that a lot? I think I need to stock up on candles.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve – and have heard some good ones from friends – making me excited to dive in to this adventure.

Right before we rang in the new year, we had a brunch at our house to celebrate a friend who was in town. Nothing big – just nine adults and four kids – and it was lovely. Everyone brought something and it was a carb-loading good time. After all was said and done, Mike commented that it’s fun to have a morning event, it means your whole day isn’t consumed with party planning and cleaning. I agree!DSC_0687 DSC_0690 DSC_0695

So a brunch in 2016 is on the list… perhaps another pizza night, maybe tacos? Here are some other ideas:

A wine and cheesergiphy (3)

On the seventh day god rested year we partied! (David’s birthday)giphy (1)

Pretty in Pink corsage (or some kind of flower) making partygiphy (2)

Girl You Know It’s True. Lip Sync battleMV

These are a few of our favourite things gift exchange partygiphy

A backyard-again (another backyard party)backyardigans-dance-o

Let me know if you have any other good ideas (but no tupperware please)! 

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All gifs from giphy (backyardigans gifsouf)

sweet sixteen

Did you make any resolutions? I’ve been hearing a lot of “I stopped making resolutions because it just leads to disappointment and failure” … isn’t that the point? To improve. Be mindful. I think resolutions are good for you. Yes I signed up for a gym membership and yes I will be very disappointed in myself if I don’t go but I’d rather set big expectations and goals than predict failure from day one. So call them resolutions or intentions … or better yet, things I plan to work on this year – from little to big goals – from daily tasks to year-long adventures … here are mine:

Another Year, Another List : two thousand and sixteen new year intentions

  1. Try something new and out of my comfort zone. Last year it was kickboxing. I really want to try rock climing or sailing.
  2. Start family chat (text) lines. With nieces and nephews in England and New York, it’s easy to loose track of what everyone is up to. What’s Joel’s favourite subject? What team does Evan play for? Does Celeste still like Chocolate? Is Margaret excited for big-kids school? What’s Sam’s favourite Paw Patrol dog? I want to become the aunt who knows where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. I may not be in my family’s faces physically but virtually I am right here.
  3. Write it down. I’m pretty good at this but not great. I need to rely on my day planner more and when I want to reach goals – make note of them so I don’t forget. Also, create a digital communication calendar for Mike and I… we tend to have no clue what we’re up to.
  4. Host a social gathering once a month. Last year we had a few great Friday Night Pizza Nights and a Taco Party and then we ended 2015 with a brunch. I love having people over. I am going to try and host 12 parties this year.
  5. Salad over fries and drink more water (this is Mike’s resolution which I am joining in on) but I’ll add to this with no potato chips and no pop which is not too hard for me. I only eat chips if they’re in front of me and I dislike pop.
  6. Learn and love to use my real camera more. Invest in equipment that will make me feel more like a pro.
  7. Buy an alarm clock and stop playing on my phone before I fall asleep or as soon as I wake up.
  8. Network. I am truly the worst self-employed person ever.
  9. The basement. Deal with it. Clean it out. Finish it. Spoiler: Mike is building a laundry room to hopefully help with this problem space.
  10. Visit a new place. TRAVEL!
  11. Ask David. Ask Mike. I am a good planner. So good that I tend to plan things because no one else does, then just tell them and get annoyed that I am always the one making plans. Mike says this is why he never makes plans. I am going to start making them make plans.
  12. Send more mail. Thank you notes, postcards, letters and a few packages tied up with string… filled with my favourite things.
  13. Donate 16 bags of stuff (i.e. purge). Organize spaces and places. I was staying at a friend’s and she has a container specifically for bandaids. It was so smart. We have one closet in our house and it’s a mess. I need to be better at this.
  14. Go to the movies. I love going to the movies but don’t go enough.
  15. Swim. Wallpaper. What’s a Meghan list without adding these two consistent fails?
  16. Pick-up from 2015: Have a plan… make plans. Stay on top of things, stay on top of seeing friends. Go places. Always have a training plan. If they don’t call you. Call them. If they don’t make plans, make them yourself!

Your turn, please let me know what your goals for the year are.

* * *

As for last year, how did I do? Well I know one thing I did not do was ‘eliminate and add something each month’, which is why #3 on this year’s list is write it down. 

Here is a look back at my 10-UP Resolution List for 2015 :

  1. Exercise: Train for another half or full marathon?? Try new classes?? It was a great year of trying to stay healthy and happy – some great team events (Cabot Trail, Rum Runners) another Bluenose half and the Chicago Marathon. I think I’ll aim for a few more races in 2016 but besides running, I am loving all of the nights at Cyclone with the girls!
  2. Join a group: Right now I am thinking of joining Centre for Women in BusinessAnyone want to join with me? I did not join a group but I joined a second committee (Bare All For The Barre). Maybe 2016 will be the year I join a group. 
  3. Cook more / experiment more. We are in a food rut so I got this book for Mike. I am also going to get back into writing out a meal planning calendar. It works for us when we actually stick to it. I’d say yesish to this one. I am trying new things in the kitchen (like cinnamon rolls) but we still don’t write things down or experiment enough. I can say however some of my new favourite recipes were discovered last year! 
  4. Pizza nights will start! Details to come. We did do this and had a great time. I totally recommend hosting parties with a loose-ended theme.
  5. Keep up with the blogging. Or quit blogging. Figure out if this is all worth it. I’m still here so obviously I did not quit. I have had a fun year of writing and am loving a lot of the positive feedback and comments lately. Always looking for ideas to write about.
  6. Travel. Family fun in the sun. Maybe a ski trip? Florida, Sunday River Maine, Chicago. We like the USA.
  7. Swim. Haha I say this but am already doubtful. Nope. Not in a pool.
  8. Cut back on online shopping / impulsive spending. Paypal is not always a pal. I can thank the sad state of the Canadian dollar for my success. This Christmas was the first time my sister has returned from the States without a collection of online purchases made by me. 
  9. Read more decent stuff, less facebooking and way less iPhoning. I have really enjoyed my Friday Meanwhile Elsewhere posts – it has forced me to read more articles and stories and I spend very little time on Facebook these days.
  10. Have a plan… make plans. Stay on top of things, stay on top of seeing friends. Go places. Always have a training plan. If they don’t call you. Call them. If they don’t make plans, make them yourself! I am proud of this one – I am by no means a social butterfly but I made a big effort in 2015 to do stuff with friends. When we renovated our house a few years ago I made a point to have a space that was good for entertaining so I’ve been trying to make good on my word.

* * *

Number six on my list for 2016 is learn and love to use my real camera more … I have already started working on this project with Shannon and am excited to share more pictures and plans with you in the year ahead. Speaking of the year, here is my 2016 Calendar. Hot off the press and cutting board. I still have a few to deliver.

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it’s that time of year

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It is my moment to shine. The season of LISTS.

I’m a list girl and I can not be more excited to write my 2016 must-do / must-try / must-not-do lists and as I’ve been thinking about what’s ahead for 2016, I found this: 26 Things Every Person Should Do For Themselves At Least Once A Year

Here are the ones I love and plan to incorporate into my 2016 resolution list – and too keep with the list theme, I am sharing my top 5!

  1. Listen to CDs you forgot about, songs from 2007 or your junior high dance. A few months ago I pulled out my Sloan and Inbred CDs. No lie, I belted out the lyrics and reminisced about all of the fun times at Cafe Ole for hours. If these bands were not a part of your life, I am sad for you.
  2. Send a long email or card or pay a phone call to someone you lost touch with but didn’t really want to. I love this idea and I truly cherish mail and special messages. Just the other day I received a lovely note in the Facebook from an old friend about hello sunshine – it totally made my day month.
  3. Buy yourself a good pair of shoes. A really good pair of shoes. I can not see why new shoes could ever be a bad idea. And for me, I am not talking about running shoes!
  4. Do something surprising and unbelievably kind for someone who will not expect it (send flowers to a random friend, Paypal someone $100 for a massage, buy someone you love a really nice, special dinner). I have to stop taking my friends and family for granted, which is why I am all about my 2016 motto: make plans, not excuses.
  5. Make a pilgrimage. Go on a trip where the travel portion is just as crucial as the event or destination. It can be a long drive, car ride, train, flight, cross country road trip – whatever. I love the idea of exploring and I love a good road trip. I think I will pack my Sloan and Inbred CDs for the ride.

I encourage you to read the full list – there are great explanations for each item that will truly make you want to plan the year ahead.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! What are your wishes for 2016. Two Thousand and Sixteen is an even number and a leap year! I sent out my holiday newsletter and hope to receive one in return. Remember, the first newsletter back* gets a 2016 desktop calendar made by me. They’re already printed!

My 2015 you say you want a resolution list
My current feeling it, falling for it (fall list) Ahhh, I only have 13 days left!
Other listy links: The 52 Lists Project and The List App

*Shannon, Heather, Anna, Kristin, Sabrina, Jill, Aimee, Jodie or Amanda, there is already a calendar with your name on it. #B4B
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5 things

  1. It’s a new month so I can eat french fries again and I completed 3 minutes of daily planking. For February, I am giving up sugar on week days and doing 5 minutes of arm work daily. Meaning you may want to avoid me on week days.
  2. Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow today. It’s official, I am going it to Florida in April.
  3. I am still recovering from the finale of Parenthood and speaking of parenthood…
  4. Free parenting advice: Pay someone else to teach your kid to ski. It is worth every penny.
  5. Not sure if it is because our lives are more stressful but lately all of my coffee dates with friends have turned into drinks at the bar instead. I’m not complaining.

ski