I’ve always been someone who gets hyped over the new year. I love a fresh start, I love clean to do lists, I love resetting goals and the whole clean-slate thing. It usually gives me so much energy and momentum, but man this year has not been that way! I have been sick, Jane has been sick, we’ve been operating in a cloud of sinus infections, ear infections, and general exhaustion. I even had to cancel plans on my birthday so I was in a reallll cranky spot! Over the weekend I rallied for a girls night out with my best friends’ and today is the first day since the start of 2020 that I’ve felt like I can breathe (literally and figuratively, ha). So I’m trying to get back in the game — a little bit slower in my start than I anticipated — but with lots to share.New Year, New Goals. I had planned to do a whole dedicated blog post about my goals for the year, but since I’m playing catch up the abbreiviated version is going to have to work for me! I spent some time at the end of the year reviewing the goals I laid out in 2019 and I was proud to have met a lot of them. I wanted to bake more (see this baking series!), start a veggie garden (success!), finish 30 books (read 29 books, so close!) and tackle updates to my branding (check!), media kit (check!), and focus on my Pinterest strategy (I am so proud of growing my page this year!). The one thing I didn’t get to on my goals list was some traveling I had wanted to do; but in reflecting on that goal I realized that a lot of my travel-desires were coming from the wrong place anyway (damn that instagram comparison trap — something I need to stop doing in 2020!).

As we enter the new year I wrote a short list of goals for both my business and my personal life. For the blog, I want to start a monthly newsletter, introduce more family-friendly content, and bring in new content about sustainability and making greener choices (starting with this post!). And on the personal side, I want to keep up with a few of my successes from last year, like beating that 29 books reading challenge and expanding the veggie garden we started last year. I’d also love to prioritize my health more in 2020 (which after the last few weeks of being sick feels like it’s a good time to start!), and try to bring more plant-based meals into our diet (and on the blog!). My biggest personal goal of this year to focus on a “less is more” approach — I’m doing a no-shop-january challenge (inspired by my friend Claire) right now and it’s been pretty eye opening in just 2 weeks. I happen to work in an industry that focuses a lot on consumption, so it’s a challenge, but one that I think is certainly worth taking on!

No Shop January. I feel like I need to dig more into this no-shop-january challenge. My friend Claire posted on instagram she was tackling a no-shop month on her blog, and at the same time I had just spent a full week cleaning up my house after the holidays. There were bags upon bags of donations in my car ready to bring to Goodwill, cardboard boxes and recycling piled high from Jane’s Christmas gifts, and I felt very overwhelmed by this “state of stuff.” Mind you, this feeling of overwhelm came after my clean-out!! So I was very inspired to join the challenge and see if I could do it. It’s been 2 weeks and here is my biggest learning so far: I am addicted to Amazon, I have no self-control at Target, and sale emails are a trap. I’ve avoided all of those shopping triggers for 14 days but it’s been hard (I had to delete my credit cards from Amazon to really hold myself accountable). I’ll do a full recap at the end of the month to share how I made out!

Healthy (Cauliflower) Recipes. I had big plans to write a round up of my best posts of the year, but time got away from me at the holidays. When I pulled the top recipes in preparation though, I was amazed to see how many of them were healthy recipes (which let’s be honest, is not usually my specialty, ha!). Even funnier, 3 of my  top 4 recipe posts of 2019 had cauliflower as the main-ingredient. My Trader Joe’s sheet pan cauliflower gnocchi took the top spot, followed by the garlic and herb mashed cauliflower I make for dinner on repeat, and the creamy cauliflower soup (that you would never guess is dairy-free!). I’m taking note and plan to serve up more healthy (and cauliflower-based!) recipes in 2020! PS: try my cauliflower stuffed shells or sausage and cauliflower stuffed peppers if you’re a cauliflower fan!

Reading List. I recapped my year of reading on the blog earlier this week —  all 29 books I read in 2019 with mini reviews! I was SO close to hitting the 30 book mark, so this year I’m determined to pass it. I just read We Met in December by Rosie Curtis, and it was such a cozy, feel-good book. It was about a girl who starts to fall in love with her roommate over the course of a year of living together — a perfect romantic comedy set in London. My husband and I were roommates before we started dating, so I particularly love stories where roommates fall in love. I have a big “to-read” next book stack on my end table that includes Meg & Jo, a modern adaption of Little Women,  Royal Holiday, which looks like a fun rom-com read, and Such a Fun Age, which seems like the hottest book of the winter!

Jane’s Birthday. We are celebrating Jane’s 3rd birthday this weekend (cue the mom tears, time flies) and I’m really excited about it. She’s really excited about it too — she woke up this morning and asked “Ok NOW is it my birthday?!” I debated a party theme for weeks and finally let her make the call; her request was a “rainbow-sprinkle-cake-and-snacks” themed party which is just about the most “Jane” request ever. She loves color and she loves carbs! I’ll be sure to share pictures of the party next week (check out a preview of the party supplies on my instagram page today!).