My Goals for 2018: January Progress

Here’s how I did with my goals for 2018 in January: (You can read how I came up with my goals here.)

My low-tech way of tracking my goals

My Goals for 2018

  1. Write in a gratitude journal five nights per week. Check! I met this goal without any difficulty in January.
  2. Meditate for at least three minutes, three days per week. I got a slow start with this one, and only met my weekly goal once in January. I’ve realized that I fall asleep when I try to meditate at night, but early in the morning works out well.
  3. Cook a ham. I’m not working on any of my cooking/baking goals until next March, when I’ll be down to working only three days a week.
  4. Make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Same as above.
  5. Make a cheesecake from scratch. And again.
  6. Get comfortable making pie crust from scratch. And, yet again.
  7. Clean or declutter for 15 minutes per day, five days per week. I did moderately well with this one in January. Most weeks I did it four times, not five.
  8. Exercise for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This is the one I put the most focus on, largely because it’s the one that feels most like a chore to me. I achieved it three weeks, and the fourth week I exercised four days.
  9. Create a weekly meal plan. My distaste for cooking and meal-planning is well-established, making this goal all the more important for me. I created and published meal plans four of the five Mondays in January, which – given how I feel about it – seems like a success.
  10. Try one new recipe per week. My distaste for new things is also well-established, and several weeks, I forgot all about this goal. I only tried two new recipes in January: Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles and Slow Cooker Enchilada Orzo. Both were good, and I’ll definitely make them again.
  11. Dispose of one box of stuff per month, especially children’s clothing and toys. I took two big bags to the children’s consignment store, and gave one bag of things to a coworker who has a daughter a couple of years younger than mine.
  12. Have a (brief) look-ahead session prior to start of each month. I did this just before the start of January, and again before February.

What are your goals for 2018??

Weekly Meal Plan: 2/12/18

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a terrific weekend!

Weekend Recap

We finally got some warm-ish – we’re talking temps in the 30’s here – weather over the weekend, which melted some of the foot of snow we received last week. Let’s hope this trend continues!

On Saturday, we met with our accountant to go over all of our 2017 documentation, and to talk a little bit about planning for 2018. Afterwards, we got breakfast at a nearby restaurant that we hadn’t tried before, then picked up a few cheap reads at a library book sale. (Seven books for $2.50!)

Yesterday I ran some errands, including a stop to our library to pick up a book I requested after hearing the author interviewed on Katie Couric’s podcast, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. I found their discussion about “chronotypes” fascinating, and I’m very excited to read this book. While I ran errands, my husband took our daughter and one of her friends to Skyzone and out for lunch.

The Week Ahead

It’s a full work and school week for my family. I’ll be working five days – two at Skidmore and three at Union. My daughter has gymnastics Wednesday evening, so no romantic Valentine’s Day plans for us! (Although we do typically exchange gifts of candy.) My daughter has an activity with her Brownie troop on Saturday, and on Sunday, my husband’s parents are coming up from New Jersey for a visit. They usually spend the afternoon with us, and take us out for lunch and/or dinner.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Monday: Tacos/taco salads
  • Tuesday: Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms (from Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done) w/ pasta
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Spinach pie from Trader Joe’s w/ Israeli cous cous
  • Friday: Pizza w/ frozen veggies
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Dinner w/ my in-laws

What are you having for dinner this week?

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Product Empties: January, 2018

Ever wonder what products someone else uses and what they think of them?? These are my product empties for the month of January:

Personal Care

  • Bottle of CVS brand saline solution: I use this to rinse my contacts before I put them in every morning, as well as any time they get cruddy. I pick up a bottle or two a few times a year.
  • Bottle of Clear Care disinfecting solution: My contacts soak in this every night, and get squeaky clean. I’ve been using this for as long as I can remember, and will continue to do so, unless something better comes out. (Or until they develop a corrective surgery for people with horrendous astigmatism.)
  • Tube of Bath & Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in Frosted Snow Blossom: I loved this scent, and the packaging is so pretty. I’ll definitely pick this one up again!
  • Tube of Pantene Curl Sculpting Gel: I discovered this gel fairly recently, and have been pretty pleased with it. It’s a keeper, for now.
  • Bottle of Thera Tears Lubricant Eye Drops: I use a ton of these drops, especially after my eye doctor told me to put a few drops in my eyes every morning and night, to help with my dry-eye discomfort. It made a huge difference!
  • Bottle of Herbal Essences Anti-Frizz Conditioner: Not much to say about this stuff… It was fine, but I don’t really notice much of a difference between shampoo/conditioner brands/formulas, so I buy whatever I can get on sale.
  • Tube of Colgate Total Daily Repair toothpaste: As with shampoo/conditioner, I just buy whatever toothpaste I get a good deal on, since I don’t notice much of a difference.
  • Small tube of Briogeo Curl Charisma Frizz Control Gel: I got this in a Sephora Favorites set at the end of last year, and I liked it. I put it on my hair before gel, and it did seem to add some softness. I haven’t priced the full size, but I might after I finish the rest of that set it came with.
  • Bath & Body Works Cinnamon Caramel Swirl foaming hand soap: I didn’t like this scent when I first started using it, but it really grew on me, and I was sad to finish it.


  • 50-ounce bottle of Era laundry detergent: I’m not at all brand-loyal when it comes to laundry detergent,mainly because I’ve never really noticed much of a difference between brands. This one worked just fine.
  • Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple 3-wick candle: You can read about my candle obsession here. This scent was nice, but a little too artificial smelling for me. Definitely not a favorite.
  • Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint 3-wick candle: I got this as a freebie with a pre-Christmas order, and while I liked the smell on “cold sniff” (as the candle people say), both my husband and I thought it smelled like kerosene while it was burning.
  • Bath & Body Works Cinnamon Honey Apple 1-wick candle: I didn’t particularly like this one, either, although the packaging is really cute.
  • White Barn Evergreen 3-wick candle: The scent of this candle was fantastic!! It was a powerful and very realistic evergreen scent, and our house smelled like we had just brought home a Christmas tree every time I burned it!
  • Container of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes: I mainly use these for cleaning in the bathrooms. In my experience, the Lysol and Clorox ones are interchangeable, so I stock up whenever either one of them is on sale.
  • Bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Bleach bathroom cleanerOne of my very least favorite household chores is cleaning showers. Anything I can do to make it easier, I’ll do! Even though I hate the smell of bleach, I’ve found that bleach-based cleaners are most effective when combating soap scum and mildew. This one gets the (unpleasant) job done.

Makeup & Skincare

Product Hit of the Month: The Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lip gloss

Product Miss of the Month: The peppermint Bath & Body Works candle


If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my Sample Sunday posts. I love sample sizes and trying new products of all kinds, but my stash has gotten a little out of control. As a result, I’ve started pulling out a few samples on Sundays, to try out over the next couple of weeks. Here are the samples I finished in January:

Do you use any of these products, too? Are you a big fan of samples, or do you stick with the tried-and-true?

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