The Master Plan for 2016

live seasoned winter15 new years resolutionsThat’s my plan for 2016.  Last week, I talked about my goals from 2015 and which of those I managed to tackle.  This year the list is a little bit shorter, but it was given just as much thought. I haven’t added any stragglers from last year because I’m starting to realize which resolutions are more like a pipe dreams and I’ve decided to leave them off the list this year.  Form a solid daily routine? Pshhh, never gonna happen. Call people more often? I’m finally ready to admit that I’m just not a phone person. I never have been. I love when people call me, but I never ever think to call people in my spare time. So this year, I’m going to try to do more of everything I like to do and less of everything else.  That’s the master plan.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Here are the specifics:

  1. Start teaching yoga regularly
  2. Write an e-book on the Annapurna circuit & get published as a travel writer
  3. Be a nomad in the car for a while / travel as much as possible
  4. Visit the Daenzers in Colorado at least four times
  5. Continue to advance the blog & prepare posts further in advance

All those are pretty straightforward, but they do take some prepping and planning.  I’m excited to share my progress with you as the year moves along, which had me thinking I should give you some proof of success with some of my 2015 resolutions.  One of my favorite resolutions was reading two books per month, which felt more like a treat than a resolution, but it certainly took some dedication. Ohhh those hours on the couch or in the hammock, such hard work!  I actually read my fair share of not-so-spectacular books, but  here are three favorites off the top of my head in 2015:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America by Mike McIntyre

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth: An Autobiography by John Muir

I now realize all three novels are about pretty amazing journeys so I suppose it makes sense that my life is starting to follow suit.  Hope you have a journey or two planned for 2016. Tonight I’m headed south to Florida to visit my childhood best friend and a family of amazing Brazilians that I haven’t seen in over three years.  I’m excited to escape to warmer weather for a week.  I’m also thinking about visiting the Everglades and potentially the Florida Keys, can’t wait to see where this week takes me.

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Peace Out 2015!

liveseasoned_winter14_newyearsresolutionsHappy New Year! Here’s my resolution list from last January.  I totally kicked ass in some areas and in others I completely slept.  On that note, I still sleep a whole ton – probably an average of ten hours a night.  It’s just something I can’t kick. Anyway, I decided to cross off the goals that I didn’t meet and instead focus on the ones that I did. Like any year, there were ups and downs, but I’m so thankful to have this blog and my images to look back on.  Here are some sweet moments from 2015.

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This snowy afternoon brought about some of my favorite weather images from 2015 and the background my my resolutions list. I’m currently in Colorado freezing my butt off and coming down with a cold, but if it snowed like this tomorrow and the light was just right, I would shoot for hours.

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Three Champagne and Shrub Cocktails for New Year’s Eve

_DSC1436Happy New Year’s friends!  This morning we took a few minutes from our hectic, kid-wrangling schedule to create some quick and delicious shrub and champagne cocktails.  Shrub is pretty much our favorite mixer and champagne is hands down the alcoholic bevy of New Year’s so boom – this post was born.  If you’re having a dry New Year’s, no worries, just swap out the champagne for seltzer and ignore the liquor suggestions or stir up some of these delicious mocktails instead!  If you’re down to drink, read on!

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2015 : Finding Peace in the Impending Chaos

I love Sarah’s 2015 resolutions, don’t you? Such a perfect blend of goals to improve her body, mind, and spirit, while thinking about others too. I’ve set a few resolutions for the coming year, but mine are a bit more modest, because if there’s anything I’ve learned since Little A came along, it’s that I’m not always the one steering this ship, and that’s ok.

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Over the past couple of years I would come up with a long list of specific goals and resolutions, and then be woefully disappointed when I realized how few I accomplished. So this year, I tried to keep it simple, most of these are goals that easily integrate into my daily life ~ I’m already mothering, so why not try to do it with more grace? I’m taking photos every day; let’s make them better. As I was writing this post, I couldn’t help but also share a few of my pipe dreams ~ I didn’t declare these as resolutions when Calder and I were sharing our goals for the year, but secretly, it would be awesome if I woke up tomorrow with some kicka$$ leg muscles.

Personal

  • Find peace when surrounded by chaos. Anyone who spends time with a little kid, or at least our little nugget, knows that it can be chaotic. There’s the awesome, mess-making, creative chaos, and then there’s the screaming/moaning, what-the-heck-does-he-want chaos. Over the past two years there were moments when I would get frustrated because I wanted a bit of peace and quiet, but there’s nothing like a baby to remind you that you can’t always get what you want, and that even if the world around me feels chaotic, I can take a deep breath and use it to center myself and approach the situation with a calmness and peaceful demeanor (i.e. get what I need). I realize that with two little guys, the chaos will only grow, and so I’m entering this year with the intention of maintaining a calm presence. I’m well aware that this chaotic baby phase will pass quickly, but also that my attitude while mothering the little guys is so important; I want to be able to look back and be proud of how I interacted with them and Calder even during those weeks of no sleep, piles of diapers, and delivery pizza for dinner.
  • Change up my wardrobe and jewelry. I love my closet of clothes and am so happy when I put together a good outfit, but I often find myself reaching for the same outfits fresh from the dryer. This week I straightened up my closet and my jewelry is visibly hanging on my bedroom wall, so there’s nothing stopping me from putting together a good combo when we’re leaving the house.

Craft

  • We are a bread-loving house, living off of the sourdough loafs from Whole Foods. While they are delicious and we won’t stop buying them anytime soon, I would love to perfect my bread baking. This comes with the added challenges of wanting to bake with whole grains, living in a dryer climate, and at a high altitude. I’m looking at it as a fun science experiment for the year, and I’m going to start with this recipe.
  • Improve the lighting in my photographs. Up until this point, I relied on whatever natural light I could find, but wasn’t always happy with the results. Our sister Kris gave me this reflector set for Christmas, so I’m starting there and with these tips.

Work

  • With the second little guy arriving this spring, I’m taking a big step back from my previous job, and while I love the full-time baby care, I know that I’m happiest when I’m still pursuing some work projects. So, I’m hoping that this will be the year that I finally turn some of my knitting and other creative pursuits into paid projects. This may be as simple as publishing a few patterns. You know that I love to give them away, but I wouldn’t mind being compensated for some of the more challenging patterns that I’ve created.
  • The second goal in this category relates directly to a few projects that Calder has up his sleeve. He’s developing a few apps for the iPhone, and we’ve begun to work together on their design and features; it’s something we’re both excited to see continue and grow this year.

Pipe Dreams

… because if I’m magically able to make these things happen amid the chaos and the bread baking and the new work pursuits, then I’m a magician.

  • More camping. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than a weekend in the woods. Luckily everyone in the family loves it too. Our only challenge is planning the trips and getting out of the house.
  • Firmer thighs. I’m moving all day, and I feel like I’m getting exercise, but what I’m missing are intense sessions that target my legs. I would love a combination of running and yoga, but I’d like to do both without the little guys in tow. Scheduling that time is the challenge.
  • Stay organized. I’m happy with the organization of my craft supplies, the kitchen, and the house in general, but it’s easy to fall into periods of laziness where things don’t get put back in their place (sometimes for months). I know that I’m more efficient and the whole house runs better when I put things away, so that’s the goal.
  • Send more surprise packages. Now that we live so far away from many of our friends and family members, I would love to use the mail to stay in touch. It can be hard to find the time for phone calls (baby chaos is the theme of this post), but it makes me so happy to put together a package and send it off. I would be happy if I could send holiday cards and birthday packages this year.

Boy oh boy, the whole process of setting resolutions makes me excited for the year ahead. What about you? Do you have any resolutions? We would love to hear them, and I’m sure we’ll continue to share our progress throughout the year. Happy 2015!!!

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New Year, New Goals.

Happy New Year!  I finally got around to thinking about goals for this trip around the sun.  Each year I make a whole host of goals and if I feel like I’m slacking, I make mini new moon resolutions too! Fingers crossed that I abide by this list in 2015.

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  • Establishing a daily routine is of PRIME importance this year.  I work as a freelance photographer so most days I’m at home editing photos or simply taking a day off.  I find I get a bit anxious and unhappy if I’m just ‘sitting around’ all day even if I’m doing something I enjoy like reading or cooking.  I’ve read that ‘happy’ people often have morning and/or daily routines. What about you? What do you do when you roll out of bed?
  • Ugh. The subject of sleep. I love sleep SO much. I could sleep at least 16 hours a day and often times I do sleep eleven or twelve hours a night.  Why am I complaining, right? Well, most times I wake up feeling lousy instead of well rested. I feel like I’m wasting the day and the last few hours of slumber are usually punctuated by alarms and crazy dreams anyway.  On that same note, I think creating a regular sleep pattern will help with my overall health. Hopefully I’ll feel more energetic and ‘ready’ to go in the morning even though I only need to cross the hallway to get to work.
  • I finally made a budget.  I’m sure some of you have had budgets for years and others want to go run and hide at the mention of it, but I’m pretty excited about it.  I’m extremely thrifty and therefore I always have enough money for the essentials, but I realized it is important to know how much you’re spending and saving each month.  When I travel I write down EVERYTHING, like every single thing, that I purchase and it is so helpful.  I can see how much I spend in each sphere of life, which is really helpful for future planning and squashing buyer’s remorse. Budgets are also super, duper helpful if you are a freelancer like me.  It is easy to sit back and relax and kind of slack off for a couple weeks, but if you have an earnings goal you’ll actually know if taking a few days off is a good idea.

 

  • Make soup once a week! Possibly my most favorite goal of all time.  I’ve been wayyyyy into soups lately. They’re so easy to make, usually only take one pot and they reheat so well.  Some of the tastier soups will be featured on the blog so sit tight 🙂
  • I need to camp more often.  This year I went for a bajillion day hikes. I probably averaged four or five a week, but I only camped out a couple times.  In 2013 I slept in a tent for over three months! The disparity is insane, so I plan on fixing that. Oh and I got an AMAZING new tent for Christmas.
  • I think I’ve had more yoga and meditation on my goal list every year since 2011.  Last year, I started strong in January by practicing 27 days in a row, but on the 28th day I came down with mono. That was a big bummer and definitely signaled that I need to practice more, but also pay attention to what my body needs. This year I plan on doing all that and traveling to Nepal to become a yoga teacher! I’m over the moon about my yoga-centric trip.
  • I spend a lot of time on Instagram.  I used to feel guilty about it, but then I remembered my professors were always saying something like, ‘look at photos, decide why you love them and go out and shoot.’ Now I think of my IG habit as an investment in my work!  I see so many beautifully styled photos on my feed and I realized I want to create some of my own.  I’m a trained photojournalist so I was taught not to manipulate the scene at hand, but now that I have a blog those rules are out the window.
  • I have at least four books started at all times.  My goal for the year is to read at least two a month, which shouldn’t be too hard, but we shall see.  What are your favorite books?! What do I absolutely need to read?
  • I feel like I’m pretty good at taking time to get inspired.  I have at least a dozen ideas floating around in my brain at all times, but I completely fail to write them down.  If I don’t write them down, I usually forget them and a majority of the time I never act on them.. I have a ton of cute notebooks and this year I’m puttin’ em to work!

 

  • Guys! Podcasts! I’ve been listening to them for years, but these past few months I’ve really started to nail down some favorites, which makes driving an absolute breeze! No idea what the hell a podcast is or how to listen to them?  It is SO simple, which is why I want to tell everyone!  Podcasts are basically episodes of radio shows.  You simply subscribe to each one by going to their websites or subscribing in iTune or the Google Play Store. Once you subscribe they will show up on your device without you doing a damn thing! (Go on and google it, you know you wanna) Over the past few weeks I have driven approximately 2,705 miles. Actually, more than that, but whatever, that’s a lot of miles.  During those drives I listened to just about every Freakonomics podcast and lots of Stuff You Should Know, That’s Deep Bro, This American Life, Your Mom’s House, and a bunch of others. Find your favorites and enjoy your time in the car. Stop scanning the awful pop radio, please!
  • These next two goals seem relatively simple. Gather my friends at my house and listen to what they are saying.  Doesn’t it feel good to get something off your chest? Don’t be that friend that only calls for that reason, be the one that calls for no reason at all 🙂  If you’re any friend of mine, you know that I hate the phone. I hate dialing, hate answering, just hate it, so this goal will be a test for me, but I’m hoping I’m successful. I realize, gathering friends at my house is kind of a test for others, but if you fail you’ll still get a phone call and a sticker 😉

 

  • Say #NOPE to self-inflicted guilt, external expectations and silly societal norms. I don’t think this needs too much explaining, it is basically an excuse goal of mine to be easier on myself. Please, please, please adopt this goal too.  I need to constantly remind myself that others’ paths are not my own and that is fine. I’m vowing to focus on mine this year, but LOTS and lots of luck on your journey too!
  • Be mindful. Think big. Act with intention.  This will be my daily mantra and again, it’s just another step to self love so if you’re ready, get on the love train with me 😉
  • Am I living a balanced life? Am I taking care of myself? Am I following my inner voice?  Personally, these are all important questions concerning my individual happiness.  You may have another set of questions.  I’m urging you to figure out what YOU need to ask yourself in order to start living a happier and healthier life.  Although we post lots of recipes, crafting and adventures on Live Seasoned, you may have guessed that our daily lives are not always pumpkin pies and snowshoeing. We sift through the muck of daily living too and for me sometimes it’s a struggle. These few questions bring me right back to square one and basically force myself to identify why I’m feeling just so so.  Find your own set of questions. Be honest with you and remember, “Our first and last love is self love.” so be a better lover!

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We are interested to hear if you made any resolutions this year or if you’re anti-resolutions, tell us more! Xo

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