Thursday, April 14, 2011


For a few months now, Brian and I have been throwing around the idea of purchasing a cabin.  After we took our house off the market, we realized just how much money we would be losing to actually sell in this ridiculous market.  But the idea of lakeshore living still nagged at us.  It was something we didn't want to give up.  So the thought of a cabin began to surface on our radar.  It was an idea that was incredibly intriguing at the very least.

If you would have asked me 6 months ago if I wanted to own a cabin I would have laughed at you and come up with 100 different reasons as to why that was a really stupid idea.  For starters, first off all, we are really busy.  I mean, really busy, all of the time.  2nd of all, cabins are really far away!  I hate driving so far for just a weekend.  3rd, my business requires my time on the weekends.  4th cabins are a lot of work and money.  Those are just a few reasons.

With some time, the idea of a cabin really started to grow on me.  I have very fond memories from my time at our cabin as a child.  And by cabin, I mean a tiny trailer at a campground.  We didn't care it was tiny.  We spent all of our time by the lake, on the boat and having fires at night.  If it was rainy, we played cards as a family for hours.  It was awesome and I truly enjoyed it.  I really want those memories for our little family.  I want my kids to grow up going to the cabin, bringing friends up there, playing cards on rainy days and just being together as a family. 

At ECFE last week we discussed the best way we can foster great relationships among our children in adulthood.  It's a really deep question that has many facets and no number one right answer.  But research shows that creating fun times and great memories as a family is the number one factor in creating great adult relationship amongst siblings.  I really believe it's true.  I think the more fun and family oriented activities we can create for our kids today, will not only instill friendships and lifelong relationships with these munchkins, but will also help impart our morals and values in their core beings. 

I know this got very deep, especially for a Thursday evening but I'm so consumed with this process I needed to share with the world (or the 20 some readers I have here).  I am really excited about this and hope that our 2nd showing tomorrow goes well.  I am hoping we can put an offer in on this and be in before summertime.  I want these good times to start rolling as soon as possible.  If we make a purchase, look out for an Evite to an awesome housewarming party come this summer!  Everyone's invited to christen our lake home!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A big girl room

I have 2 redecorating projects on my mind right now, of course you already know about my living room redo, but I've been pondering Annika's room for quite some time now.  I think I've finally decided what I want to do.  I found my inspiration in this room:

You see, Annika loves gardening, flowers and bugs.  She is so curious about all living things and this room screamed Annika when I saw it.  For the most part, the bed is what I'm hoping to replicate.  I don't care much for the bird feeders but I love the picket fence headboard and footboard, and how easy would that be?  So, I'll be making that for her.  

Next up was the task of finding the perfect bedding set.  I searched and searched and nothing really did it for me, until I saw this:
I know some people may think I'm crazy, but I think this is just so darling.  Do you remember Sunbonnet Sue?  I do, I remember her from my childhood.  This is just so innocent and sweet and so totally Annika.  We both agreed on this set too so that was a bonus!  I bought a cute white ruffled eyelet bedskirt as well that will complete the set.  

Next up I have a really cute vintage bench that my grandma gave me.  I am going to recover the cushion on it in some sort of coordinating fabric and use that same fabric to make (or have my mother in law make) some girly roman shades with ties. 

She has a flower table in there already, but I think I am going to paint it to match.  Either red, or white, not sure yet.  Right now it's just kinda cheesy and ugly but will look cute when painted.  I also am going to paint a dresser that we already have and put up a mirror above it so that she can have a big girl type vanity to look into.

Currently she has a white toy chest to store all her toys and while it really doesn't fit with the theme in there, I think I need to find a way to keep it since she has so many polly pockets, barbies and littlest petshops that need to be stored there!  

Lastly I am going to paint the walls.  I would love your opinions on color, etc.  I would love to put up some wainscoting and then paint the upper portion a red, but not sure I want to tackle that at this time.  I like what a fellow blogger (Nicole) recently did in her son's room with a stripe up top of a different color so maybe I can do that.  Just not sure what colors to do!  Help me!  

So, what do you think?  Do you think my little girly girl Annika who loves bugs, dirt and flowers will love her new place?


Thanks for all your tips and ideas.  Here is what I have in mind for that space.  

First of all, the couch will be staying.  Everything else (and there's not much there) will most likely be going, besides the tv of course!  

Here is my inspiration.  

This is the layout I'm aiming for.  Of course I don't have the windows on the side of the fireplace but you get the picture.  I really LOVE the colors, of course my couch is a chocolate color, but I'm hoping to find some chairs in either an orange, or a light cream color (like the couch in the picture) to accent it.  I have a friend searching for chairs of this variety:

I want two of them.  I would like to find either a square coffee table in a chocolate colored wood, or a trunk that can double as a coffee table/storage space.  I will also need a small side table for in between the chairs.  

I am searching for some curtains but am waiting until I figure out what color chairs I will be getting.  What I'd really like is plantation shutters, but we'll see if that's an option right now.  The best part of this redo is that if I go with some deep oranges or a similar color, I won't have to repaint at all.  

I haven't decided yet if I should paint the mantel, we'll see.  If I do, I will be going with white built-ins of some variety.  I would really like a small storage bench on part of the built ins with a nice comfy pillow/pad in a coordinating color.  

I will add some fun pillows here and there in coordinating colors as well.  I am going to repaint an old frame I have and get a picture of the kids put in it for above the couch.  I love my Organic Bloom frame but sadly it's not quite large enough.  I'm sure I won't have any trouble finding another place for it! 

I know that most of this is in my head, but I hope it makes sense.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Good evening folks, my name is Michelle and I'm hopeless in the decorating department.  I have so many "wants" for my home and everywhere I look nothing fits the bill around here.  Of course I don't hate every aspect of the design and decorating here, but for the most part, it's pretty sad.  I am asking you my dear, dear readers for some help.  I am scouring the web for ideas and inspiration but I thought of asking you, my wonderful readers for some ideas as well! 

I'm starting with my living room.  Right now it consists of a wall of windows with some pretty drab Ikea drapes, a leather reclining chair that is on its last leg, a large couch I'm not willing to give up (so comfy and fairly new, plus I like it), a flat screen t.v. above the mantel and 2 ugly ass bookshelves that were cheap and a quick fill in for now type of thing.   

Here are some pictures (quality sucks, oh well): 

This is the view from my kitchen.  We used to have a nice chocolate color in there but repainted to sell.  Boo.  As you can see, on the left is a full wall (with a door in the corner to our laundry/mudroom).  On the left is a full wall of windows. 

 Couch area, the wall is gigantic and so is the couch.  I don't care for the couch there, but I don't know where else to put it!  The frame will be staying.

 One corner, ugh.
 Other corner.  Ideally I want built-ins, and someday we will get them, just not sure when.  In my mind I want a nice little bench with some storage underneath it then some shelves up top for pictures/books/etc.  Now it just houses some ugly ass black shelves. 
 Fireplace.  The cords need to be hidden, hate them!  I kind of want to paint the mantel white, or ditch it altogether.  Then put up some fun stone or tile on that wall.  We'll see what the hubs agrees to!
 Wall of windows.  I am soooo not attached to those curtains.  Ewww.  It's just really hard to find curtains to fit that window.  I would really like some plantation shutters to keep the super duper hot sun out in the afternoon!
 And the chair.  The chair I rocked the babies in, the chair that the said babies have busted.  It isn't the prettiest chair, but it's super comfy and holds some good memories.

So, ideas?  I'll share mine once you do!  I'm completely open to color, furniture and placement, etc.  I have ideas in my head and I hope to bring them to reality very soon!  YAY!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies {Yum}

Can I just say that these are some of the best cookies I've ever had? I should preface this by saying that I have a slight obsession with sea salt. I just find it to be the most divine thing ever created in the cooking universe (that may be exaggerating a bit but so true). Not only is it a healthier alternative to table salt, it has such a better flavor and adds so much more to food than iodized table salt. Just my opinion of course!

So this recipe had me at sea salt for sure. Of course the fact that it involved oatmeal and chocolate chips helped a bit too. I love that this recipe is a somewhat healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie.  Even my picky, picky 5 year old enjoyed these and she's not a fan of oatmeal cookies!  

I got this recipe from Weelicious and might I say I love her?!?!  Instead of using just plain old semi-sweet chocolate chips, I had to go for the Ghiradelli 60% Cocao, and I really think it makes all the difference.  The combination of bitter chocolate and sea salt is divine.  I just know you will love them! 

I will be bringing this to my food and booze club meeting tomorrow night with some frozen yogurt to accompany it.  It will be a hit!

I'm baaaack!

I know, I know, it's been a while.  Life has gotten in the way of blogging, what can I say?  I have so many things I want to blog about too, I just can't find the time to sit down and write a well thought out post. 

We recently returned from a family vacation in Arizona.  It was a wonderful time spent with my beautiful family and we made some great memories.  We also spent a lot of time eating terribly.  I know most people do that on vacation, but it really got me thinking about my families eating habits.  I don't know what crawled up my butt this week, but I have been really focused and very aware of every little thing that goes in our mouths.  For some time I have been eating healthy on my own, but my family can not say the same. 

Yesterday, I made a grocery list, cleaned out or fridge and cupboards and went on a mission to a healthier "us".  I really made a solid effort at the store to buy more natural items for us to eat.  The kids eat a lot of processed snacks on a daily basis and while it is the easy alternative, I am no longer ok with it.  So I ditched the snack aisle almost completely (save for a few healthier options) and went fresh.  My new rule is this: only 2 snacks a day, the morning snack can be from the cupboard (I only have it stocked with less processed and baked snacks now) and the afternoon snack must be something fresh (cheese, yogurt, fruit, veggies).  I tried to make wiser decisions in the bread department looking for breads with low sodium and no added high fructose corn syrup.  I bought a "healthier" juice, but am really looking into making my own juice since your average apple juice out there has so much sugar and literally no nutritional value.  On that note, they only get 1 water bottle of juice a day (and that is only 1/2 juice too).  The rest is either milk or water. 

Man, I sound like a mean mom.  It's not that I want bully my kids into eating healthier, I want them to start thinking about how the food they eat effects their bodies.  I want them to grow up knowing the right way to eat.  I read a statistic yesterday that was incredibly disturbing.  1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 will develop type II diabetes by the time they are 50.  Based on that statistic alone, at least one of my kids will develop the disease.  I don't know about you, but that is enough to scare me into ditching all refined sugars and processed snacks.  As the mother, I am responsible for changing that statistic.  My kids are not old enough nor do they know enough to take action, so it is my job to do it for them and raise them to be healthy people. 

Here are a few sites I have stumbled upon that have been incredibly inspiring and helpful:

Weelicious : Tons and tons of awesome recipes.  This lady is superwoman!

This Lunch Rox: Can I just say amazing?!?!  Wow, talk about talent and dedication.

Maria's Food and Nutrition Journal: Great recipes that are easy and very family friendly. 

I can't wait to get menu planning.  Last night I got the kids involved in making fresh guacamole.  The kids had a blast smashing the avocados, adding the fresh ingredients and 2/3 of the clan taste tested it too.  I'm hoping the other 1/3 will come around soon!  We enjoyed our guac with our awesome chicken and veggie fajitas (on low carb tortillas of course) with baked tortilla chips.  Eating healthy and natural really can be tasty, it just involves a little more planning but in the end it's totally worth it.

Would you consider your family healthy?  If so, do you have any ideas or tips for me and the other readers?  I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wine in a box, that's how I roll!

2 weeks ago I was forced to drink wine out of a box.  Sacrilege I know!  What would have been worse would have been to drink this out of a keg glass too!  No such offense was made, thank goodness but I have to say, I didn't hate the boxed wine.  I'm not sure what brand it was, nor what type but it wasn't bad.  So when I was hosting a rather large party last weekend I ran to the liquor store and not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on wine I asked the wine guy at our local store what his best boxed wine was and he pointed me in the direction of Big House Red.   At only $16.99 for the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine, I was hesitantly sold.  

I really wasn't expecting much more than alcoholic grape juice, but after the day I had I was ready and willing to drink whatever you were going to pour for me.  So, I gave it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised!  And by pleasantly surprised, I mean really, really surprised.  It wasn't bad, in fact dare I say it was pretty good?  It is very fruity and light so I think most people could drink it and appreciate wine.  No wine snobbiness here, so if that's your thing, back away from the box, NOW!  

I wouldn't pair this wine with your fabulous filet mignon but this would definitely be right for a nice burger on a warm evening, or a hearty spaghetti or even your darn Hamburger Helper.  Doesn't matter to me.  I actually think it's a great wine to just enjoy for a light happy hour in the evening.  And the best part?  This box of wine can last up to 6 weeks!  Amazing.  Especially at the rate SOME people enjoy their wine :)  

Needless to say, I broke out of my snobbiness for a moment and tasted something different and I actually didn't mind it :)  I dare ya, go buy a box of wine tonight!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Norwex-Improving the Quality of Life

You can talk to anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am no clean freak, I am far from it and nowhere near the status of "germophobe".  So when I was invited to a Norwex party I kind of laughed at the thought of going to a "cleaning party".  I decided I'd go because I really needed some adult conversation, I had no intention of buying anything, my intentions were to have a glass or 3 of wine and relax without kids screaming at me. 

The consultant basically had me at hello.  The products are amazing.  I will list just a few of the reasons why I feel these products are revolutionary to me:

1. While I've never had any real ambition to "go green" in my life, these products make the process so easy.  Since you only clean with water (there are some cleaning products, chemical free of course) and the cloths capture and kill bacteria, it completely eliminates the need of harsh chemicals.

2. No more harsh chemicals in my house that are known carcinogens and allergens.

3. Most of the products, including the Envirocloth, kitchen cloth, dusting mit and wet mop are all antibac, meaning they collect bacteria, yeasts and viruses (including e-coli, salmonella and MRSA!)  from your surfaces and kills it right in the cloth.  The best part is it doesn't cross contaminate surfaces so you aren't spreading these nasty things from one place to the next in your home.

4.  I am saving money by not buying cleaning supplies and I am saving time by using basically a couple of cloths to clean everything.  Time is money people, it's golden for me!

5. Lastly, I have the peace of mind that my house not only looks clean, but it's actually really clean.  For real!  That means a lot to me.

So what did I do the next day?  I called up the consultant and said "sign me up, I want to be a part of this".  Yep, I signed onto the company and am going to be an Independent Sales Consultant for Norwex.  I am so pumped about this and even more amped to be able to spread this awesome information and share this product with others who are looking for a time saving and environmentally friendly way of cleaning. 

If you are interested in learning more and purchasing this product, feel free to email at  I am more than happy to share any and all information.  If you are local and want to come to my kick off party this Friday, I would love to have you!  There are some awesome hostess benefits too for March if you want to have a party of your own. 

And lastly, check out my new FB page for Norwex and please become a fan!  There you will find out about product specials and all the news about Norwex.  I need some fans to get me going.  I don't want to beg, but I might do it if you make me!

Thanks for taking a chance on this new and amazing product!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spicy Turkey Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells=YUM

Last night I made some amazingly delicious stuffed shells for dinner and they were a major hit.  I was given a stuffed shells recipe on a weight watchers board I belong to, but I adapted it quite a bit and since it was so yummy I thought I would share it here.  

Michelle's Awesomely Delicious Stuffed Shells
25 Jumbo Shells
1 cup of fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup of Part-Skim Ricotta
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces of low fat mozzarella cheese
2 Jennie-O Spicy Turkey Sausage links
1 Jar of Prego Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce

Remove casing from turkey sausage and brown in a pan.  Set aside.  

{My sister took these pictures because she thought it was funny}  

Cook shells according to package.  In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, ricotta and sausage.  In a 9x13 pan, add 1/2 cup of sauce to bottom of the pan.  Stuff shells with the cheese, spinach and sausage mixture.  

Top with the remaining sauce and cover with tinfoil.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  

I served this with some baked ciabatta bread but this would also be great with a nice spinach salad as well.  I also think I will add another turkey sausage next time as it was a great addition.  

If you are following Weight Watchers then each shell is worth 3 points.  I ate 3 for a total of 9 points for dinner, which isn't too shabby.  Very filling and it feels like such an indulgence!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CSN Stores

A while back I gave away a gift certificate to CSN Stores, well I was asked to do a review of one of their products now!  I am super excited about it!  CSN Stores carries so many things from tv tables to luggage.  You can get virtually anything through the stores over at CSN.

When I was browsing the stores, I was feeling overwhelmed about what I should review.  At first I thought some fun wine paraphernalia would be great but then I got practical.  We are in desperate need of a new omelet pan, so I'm going to snag myself a new Calphalon 10in Omelet pan!  When I get it and get a chance to use it I will do my full review, but who doesn't love a good Calphalon pan?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bringing Sexy Back

3 weeks ago, I joined Weight Watchers Online.  3 weeks ago I weighed more than I was comfortable weighing (127) and I didn't feel good in my clothes.  3 weeks ago I totally slacked in the exercise department.  3 weeks ago, I took control.  In the past, I've done Atkins (very successfully) but I just can't sustain that lifestyle.  The thing about WW is that it teaches you how to eat.  It teaches portion control and helps you indulge smartly, rather than irrationally.  It's totally what I needed.  Now, instead of pigging out because it sounds good, I think twice about whether I really need that piece of chocolate cake or not?  I'm cooking healthier and using better products, yet still enjoying what I eat.  It is so easy and in 3 weeks I've lost 7 pounds.  7 whole pounds!  I'm working out, I started Pilates again and for the first time in a few months I feel great about myself.

Sometimes I hate that I have to try so hard to stay thin, I really have to watch what I eat and stay active.  But, when you think about it, what's wrong with that?  It makes me healthier than if I didn't have to do that, right?  Plus I am a good example to the kiddos.  They are more aware of what they put in their mouths too.  They often ask if something is healthy and I'll answer yes or no and offer an alternative.

Now, if only winter would end and I could really get outside and enjoy this new body!  That would make things complete!

Project Life

There's been a lot of hype going around about Becky Higgins Project Life.  In my opinion, it is a great way to easily document your family's life.  I take a million pictures and yet never really print them or scrapbook them anymore.  I'm so far behind on this that I am completely overwhelmed with the task.  So, I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased my very own kit!  It should be here tomorrow and I am sooooo excited to get started! 

You may know that I have started a project 365 over here,  and so far I am doing fabulously for 2011!  Well, now I have a place to put my pictures.  I am so excited to have this to remember the little things about our wonderful life. 

Becky Higgins makes this so simple.  She includes the album, the page protectors, the inserts for journaling, the monthly dividers, paper, etc.  It's fabulous.  All I have to do is fill in the blanks!  No cutting, no gluing, no embelleshing!  It's wonderful. 

Becky Higgins is helping me with one of my resolutions and for that, I thank her!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mother's Little Helper

Mother's Little Helper

What a drag it is getting old

"Kids are different today"
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

"Things are different today"

I hear ev'ry mother say
Cooking fresh food for a husband's just a drag
So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day

Doctor please, some more of these

Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

"Men just aren't the same today"

I hear ev'ry mother say
They just don't appreciate that you get tired
They're so hard to satisfy, You can tranquilize your mind
So go running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight

Doctor please, some more of these

Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

"Life's just much too hard today,"

I hear ev'ry mother say
The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day

Recently I took the gigantic step of asking for help in the sanity department.  I've been putting it off for months and even attempted to do some Yoga and take some B Stress Complex to help combat my anxiety and it just wasn't cutting it.   On New Year's Eve, we were all sitting down for dinner and I had a panic attack.  You see, this panic attack was completely unwarranted and I knew of no trigger at that moment of time.  It scared me and I took it as a sign that I needed some professional help. 

I've had anxiety my entire life, I am a worrier and I've come to accept that.  However, my worries have escalated to ridiculous heights and I just can't live like that.  My fears over silly things haunt me each night and while I'm embarrassed to admit it, it's true and I need to accept it. 

The first thing I tackled this new year was calling the doctor.  The nice man on the phone administered the anxiety quiz, with a 4 or 5 being normal and anything above that (up to 21) was considered to be an anxiety disorder.  I scored a 19.  Yep, I almost had a perfect score!  Nothing to be proud of I know, but at that moment I knew I took the right step.  I kept my appointment and the Dr. was certain I needed some chemical help so he prescribed Zoloft.  I was told to give it 2 weeks but boy, do I feel better already.  My patience level is normalized, I no longer have horrible thoughts late at night about bad things happening, I smile more, I'm calmer and overall I'm a happier person. 

My aunt told me about the Rolling Stones Song, Mother's Little Helper and I immediately knew that song was meant for me.  No more hiding behind a fake smile and no more pretending that I'm ok.  This is something that I can't help, it's a chemical imbalance in my brain and I need the medication to stabilize those chemicals and that is ok.  I'm not ashamed and I'm here today to share my story with you so that you know that it's ok to ask for help. 

Being a woman is tough work.  We already have to deal with hormones, but the pressures that exist in society of how to act, how to look, how to raise our children make it that much more difficult.  Add on top of that the stress that comes along with having a job, children, family commitments can just become too much.  If this isn't you, don't judge, just offer a kind word.  If this is you, know you aren't alone. 

Offer a hug to someone today!

Monday, January 10, 2011


One of my resolutions for the year is to rekindle connections in my 'real' life.  The internet has afforded us so many options to make connections; blogs, Facebook, message boards and so many more but how often do we actually connect with the actual person on the other end of that social network?  My bet is that it's not all that frequent.  This day and age, life is so rushed and hectic.  We've got a million places to be and only 24 hours/day to get there.  Sometimes the people we truly care about get left behind, even if only for the moment.  And then there is the coordinating of schedules.  It's a task in and of itself to actually pick a date to meet up.  It's next to impossible when there are more than 2 people involved.

This year I resolve to make an effort with my family and friends.  I want to spend more time alone with Brian.  We have a wonderful relationship, we get along so well and laugh a lot but we rarely get time alone, away from the house.  I want date nights, dinners, time to be together without kids screaming in the background.

I also want to see my girlfriends more.  We need to re-establish our book club, aka food and booze club.  We have so much fun together and all we really need is great food, some beer and wine and each other.  I'm very lucky to have a close knit group of ladies that really understand me and accept me for who I am.

Lastly, I want to make new connections.  I want to put myself out there and make new friends.  It seems to be a foreign concept to us grown ups.  Why not actually "be friends" with some of my Facebook friends?  Why not make a playdate with some moms from preschool or ECFE?  Why not get to know my neighbors better?  There is no reason not to and I resolve to change that.

What are your resolutions this year?  Do you feel a lack of connections in your real life?  How can you make time for the loved ones in your life? 

And on a totally unrelated note (although another resolution), go check out my Project 365: Oh Snap.  I'd love to hear your comments and feedback.  And link up if you are doing one too!  I love checking out all the wonderful pictures!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My word(s) of the year

If you haven't read Nicole's post about her word of the year, go check it out.  It's totally worth reading.  And if you haven't coined your word for the year, what are you waiting for? 

This task really takes some deep thought and I have a lot on my mind about what I would like to accomplish this year, so it was close to impossible for me to narrow it down to just one word, and I think I'm ok with that.  I have 5 specific words I want to focus on this year:

1. Sanity
2. Connections
3. Patience
4. Creativity
5. Health

I know, that's a lot to take on but I've taken stock of my life and while I am pretty blessed and a very lucky lady with all that I have, I know that I have a lot I need to work on.

Number one being my sanity.  By nature, I carry a high amount of anxiety in my life.  I worry about everything despite how irrational it may be. I am in a constant state of worry and almost always have that knot in the pit of my stomach.  As of late, I've been working hard on de-stressing through natural means, however after a recent and extremely random panic attack, I will be seeking professional help.  I know when it's time to ask for help and now is the time.

Number 2 is connections.  Connections meaning the people in my life.  I want to make it a point to see the people I care about more often, rather than just through electronic means.  I also want to make it a point to go out with Brian more.  We have a wonderful relationship and enjoy each other, it's just that we don't really make enough time for just the 2 of us.  Not anymore, this changes this month.

Number 3 is patience.  I'm hoping that by working on number 1, this will come a little easier for me.  Besides being anxious and a worry wart, I am also very impatient.  I have to try very hard to remain patient with my kids and I really need to make patience a priority in my life.

Number 4 is creativity.  This is simple, I want to take some time this year to expand my photography vision.  I want to dig deeper, challenge myself and take my photos to a whole new level.  I would like to take some workshops or find a mentor that can help me achieve this.  I am also attempting a 365 on a separate blog.  I want to try and document our lives, the little things and not just the pretty pictures I am known for.  While I cherish those portraits, I think I love even more the shots of our everyday lives. 

Number 5 is health.  I want to get back on the workout train and eat healthier.  I want to learn to relax and de-stress.  I want to start taking pilates classes again and start yoga to regain some flexibilty.  I would love to remember to take my vitamins daily.  Lastly, I would really love to train for another race. 

I have lofty goals for the year and I think I can really make these happen with just a little determination.  I know I can accomplish a lot with a positive attitude and a supportive community.  What are your goals?  What is your word or words of the year?