Books I Read This Week 2018 – 2






So I ended 2017 with 305 books, not bad.

I had Improvement on my library list and wasn’t sure I was going to like it but once I started reading it, I didn’t want to stop. So net-net good read, though not fantastic.

I’d checked out Britt-Marie Was Here at least six times from the library but was never in the mood. I finally read it and I love love loved it of course.

I ended the year with Food Freedom Forever because I’ve been following Hartwig on Instagram and her strength is inspiring to me. I’d never done a Whole30 before the book but I’ve done other similar things. I like the idea of eliminating mostly to pay closer attention to how food affects my body+mood+skin etc. So I am doing a Whole30 this January to test it out. We’ll see how it works.

I started 2018 with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before because I’d never heard of it and apparently it’s being made into a movie in 2018 so I thought it would be fun to read it and it was so much fun that I read the rest of the series: P.S. I still love you  and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I can’t say they were amazing, but they were like candy. Sweet. And since I am not having actual candy this month, I figured it was okay to substitute 🙂

An Appeal to the World was a super-quick read that I am glad I took a side tour for.

And finally The Music Shop was the first book of 2018 that I love love loved. I really like Rachel Joyce so I wasn’t surprised that her book would be amazing but since it was about a record shop, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. In the end, I loved it. So much heart.

Here’s to another week of wonderful reading.

Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 1






Since I’ve been home and sick most of this week, I read another big batch of course. All of these were read when it was still 2017 so they go in that category. It’s Friday here so I have two more days until this year’s over. It looks like I will finish this year having read 304 books or so. Definitely the most I’ve read in recent history.

I started this week with The Last Black Unicorn which I knew nothing about except that it showed up as recommended or best of the week in every site I visited. As it turned out, it wasn’t a good fit for me at all. I won’t go into the details because I think all the reasons I didn’t like this book were personal to me. Your mileage might vary.

Nourishing Intimacy was another one in my Audible pile and I can always use Tara Brach to take me to a better place. And this was wonderful, of course.

I then tackled Pema’s Coming Closer to Ourselves because it was also on my Audible pile. I love Pema Chodron. I love the way she speaks, I love her wisdom, her honestly, and how readily she shares how flawed she is. I am so glad to have discovered her.

I then read Stick with It because it looked like a good book to start new year’s plans with. It was okay but nothing magical for me. I feel like I stick with things in general so I wasn’t expecting a miracle here but it was still good.

I haven’t read enough Tony Robbins so I was excited to see Unlimited Power at the library but once I started it, I realized it was a super-abridged version at less than one hour. What I listened to was good but of course it was ridiculously short.

It Ends with Us was a recommendation by the most popular reviewer on Goodreads. I don’t usually read Colleen Hoover and I knew nothing about this book because the recommender said not to read what it’s about. I will say I read it super fast, however, I am not sure it was the right book for me. Had I read what it was about, I might have chosen not to read it. 

I picked up Inventing Joy from the library and had no idea what it was about. I thought it was about joy but it’s not, it’s actually about a woman named Joy. The one who invented the miracle mop and her life was made into a movie a few years ago, which I’d watched and liked, so there really was no reason for me to read the book, but the reading was so compelling that I couldn’t stop. I really enjoyed it.

Motherest is the only other fiction I read this week, besides Colleen Hoover, and it was a story about families and mother-daughter relationship and I enjoyed it.

I am almost done with my next book and then have a few more on my pile, so we’ll see how many more I can get through. 

Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2017 – 52


How I shone this week: Well, I did my best to make sure my kids and my wonderful husband had wonderful Christmas. I rested a lot. I spent a lot of time sitting with my kids and doing work. I also took care of Nathaniel who has been sick and I was also sick myself. I don’t think any of these count as fully shining but that’s all I got this week I’m afraid. 

Things I wanted to get Done: I had no plans for this week. I just wanted to rest. Mostly, however, I got sick. I woke up Christmas morning, feeling not my best self. Nathaniel was also sick and later made David sick as well, so by midweek, all three of us were needing tissues by us pretty much the whole time. Jake thankfully managed to escape it by mostly being at work. We were thinking we might go away for a few days but Nathaniel’s cold left him with a painful present where his calves are in severe pain so he can’t really walk. Which means we can’t really go anywhere. 

I celebrate: feeling a tiny bit better. 

I am grateful for: these empty days, even though they do fill me with ennui, I am also grateful to slow down 

I nourished myself by: not much more than last week. i’ve not been eating well. while it’s not super poor, it’s not nourishing. i have been reading a lot and really loving the rest puzzles seem to bring me.

Reflecting on my worries:  i got a lot done so i don’t think it’s fair to torture myself. however i wasn’t worried about any of us getting sick and three of us did. i need to remember that few of the things i worry about happens and many of the things i don’t worry about do happen. life is unpredictable and worrying doesn’t help deter anything. i have to focus on living my life the best way i know how and have faith that i can handle whatever comes my way. and that i have the love and support of people when i need it. 

I let go of:  exercise. i didn’t exercise all week. i’ve been feeling unwell and i’ve been too tried. both of those are excuses and i know but I just let it go for this week.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love): this week, too, has been about resting and being with my peeps.

What made me laugh this week: my wonderful family of course.

What I tolerated this week: myself. i’ve been so whiny. work starts in a few days and i think i am both antsy to go back and feel i need oodles more time. I keep wavering between the two.

My mood this week was: sick.
I forgive myself for:  being me. i have so many expectations out of myself. i judge myself off of a standard I am unlikely to ever meet. I’m just going to have to let it all go. 
What I love right now: I’m loving getting to do so much work with both my kids. I am super proud of all the math they both know. Nathaniel who is eight can factor quadratic equations and David’s doing some hard-core Calculus at twelve. They are showing up, they are doing the hard work, and I am super-proud of them. Both my kids worked hard during this vacation. (They also played a lot so don’t worry.)

So here we are. We get to say goodbye to this year in just a few days. (I’m typing this on Friday.) This has been a tough year in the world. There have been so many natural disasters, so much terrorism, and a lot of worrying trends and changes. From that perspective, I am grateful to get to say good-bye to 2017 and really hope that 2018 will be better. On a personal note, 2017 was kind to me. All four of us were mostly healthy and have had a lot of wonderful surprises and successes this year. We’ve had setbacks, too, of course, but net-net I’d say it was a positive year. I am hoping that we all push a little harder, stretch a little bit more, and find new boundaries for ourselves in 2018. I hope we go on adventures. I hope we laugh a lot. I hope we hug a lot. I hope we treat each other kinder than necessary. I hope I get to have many experiences that feel fresh, magical, lighter, and true. And most of all, I hope 2018 leaves all of us stronger than before not because we have to but because we choose to. 

Thank you 2017. I know it’s a privilege to be alive. I am grateful for all your gifts and challenges. If you read here, even occasionally, thank you for your support and I hope you leave a comment and say hi. Here’s to a wonderful 2018 for all of us! 

2018 – Plans and Projects

My goals for the blog in 2017 were specific and routine and that worked relatively well for me. Here’s some of what worked well:

  • Monthly art projects: I did indeed make 20 pieces of art each month. I loved all of them. Some months were really small and none of the months were really big but I loved them all. 
  • Living Intentionally and Weekly Reflection posts were my favorite and helped me stay connected to my goals, keep track of my intentions and remember to shine.
  • Stories from 2017 was a great way to ensure I celebrated at least 52 moments from this year. I love going back to these and re-visiting my year, especially now that I don’t do much scrapbooking.
  • Nourish Me was fantastic, especially after my focus shifted right into nourishing myself heavily in June-ish. 
  • Reading – I read like mad this year. Mostly audiobooks. 
So all in all, 2017 was solid. I painted, I sketched, I took photos, I played with fabric, I painted rocks, I watercolored, I kept a travel journal, I lettered, I did some digital collages, I exercised a lot, ate better than before, I told stories of our life, I reflected and set intentions. I didn’t journal daily but I journaled a bunch. I read a lot. I took photos of us very often. I put this year in the win column. Deeply grateful.
For 2018, I decided to keep the same structure, mostly:
  • Monday: Stronger than Before: This is the same as Living Intentionally posts last year. I want to think purposefully each week and set goals, choices, projects for just that week. I try to write these on Sunday nights. These help me be more mindful. They will also help me identify ways in which I can be stronger. I will fold several of the Nourish items into here.
  • Tuesday: Stories from 2018: I did better with these in 2017 so I am optimistic I can continue into 2018. Even if it’s photos and a few words.
  • Wednesday: On My Mind: I miss writing down my thoughts and general reflection so I think I will attempt to do this but I reserve the right to change things up if this becomes too burdensome.
  • Thursday: Books This Week – I will talk about the books I read this week.
  • Friday: Moments from this Week –  This will be a spread in my Happy Planner where I put photos and words from the week.
  • Sunday: Weekly Reflection: This, too, is the same as 2017. These posts help me to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work so I can set proper intentions for the following week.

These are the only weekly projects I will commit to. And even these I might do more irregularly, we’ll see. These all mean something to me and I’d like to do them and I believe almost all are pretty doable. We’ll see what surprises 2018 has in store for me.

For art I’d like to do what I did last year but maybe a bit less: 15 items a month. I don’t have something in my pocket for January so we’ll see where we are. Here are some of the ideas I had last year:

  • Lettering
  • Collage
  • Sketching
  • Doodling/Zentangling
  • Mantras/My Word
  • Art Journaling
  • Quotes
  • Photo a Day
  • Month in the Life?
  • Watercolor Blossoms
  • Faces
  • December Daily
  • Fashion Ladies
  • Line Drawing
  • Chalk Art

All of these might happen, none of them might happen. I might repeat projects. I might do wildly different things. I will see if I can do something. 

Here’s to a wonderful 2018.  Here’s to doing more art. Here’s to making time to enjoy art. Here’s to learning new things. Here’s to practicing more. Here’s to reflecting. Being intentional. Creating a positive cycle. Here’s to getting stronger each day.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 52





This was another big week for reading, mostly because I didn’t have to work this week so I got to have a lot of extra time to read. My goal this week was to go through my list of Audible purchases I’d made over the last two years. Since I spend most of my time on listening from the library, these monthly purchases were piling up so I wanted to get through them for once and all. And I’m now down to five or so. Major progress.

I thought The Solitude of Prime Numbers would be sweet and fun but it ended up not being so at all. I didn’t like it.

A Hundred Thousand Worlds was better and I enjoyed bits and pieces of it a lot. But overall, it still wasn’t one of my favorites, either.

I loved Krisopher Jansma’s previous short story collection so I was really looking forward to reading Why We Came to the City But either it was the wrong time or it just didn’t have the same magic as his previous book.

I was scared to read Artemis because I’d already heard it wasn’t nearly as good as The Martian. And unfortunately, the rumors were true. The book was okay but it was nothing, nothing as magical as The Martian. I hope that his next one is better!

I’ve read a few Anna Quindlen books over the years and I knew I was likely to enjoy Miller’s Valley and I was totally right. I really enjoyed it. Her storytelling is lovely.

The Flood Girls might be one of my favorites from this week. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but then I really found myself getting into the story and loving all the characters. Liked this one.

I has started The Wangs vs. The World a while ago but never got back to it. I was delighted to finally finish it because it was really good. Funny, sweet, just a solid novel.

The Fishbowl was another one I’d started before but didn’t finish. I almost stopped reading this one twice but in the end I am glad I stuck with it. It was good.

I am now listening to The Hike which isn’t my usual style since it’s borderline horror but I am enjoying it so far. Maybe it’s because it’s also mystical a bit and well-told so far. 

I am typing this on a Saturday so I have about 8 more days before 2017 is over. We’ll see how many more books I can tackle before then. The Hike is #294 so I am optimistic I might reach 300.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2018 – Core Desired Feelings


As with all the previous years, I knew I wanted to pick my core desired feelings this year, too. If you want to know more about core desired feelings, please go to my post from 2016 and you can see the links there.

I was struggling at the end of this year and didn’t feel ready for new core desires. But I also didn’t really feel the need to keep my existing ones. So I woke up early one morning and even though I was feeling apathetic and no desire to do the exercises, I decided to give it a go anyway. And as they always do, they worked.

I mentioned last year that there’s a pattern to my words: I always pick something around peacefulness, something around being brave, something around being open, and then maybe a few new ones. So this year I was curious if I would break the trend.

Here’s what I came up with this year and what they each mean to me:

  • Fresh: Maybe this is my brave word for this year. Fresh to me means something that’s new to me, something that stretches me, helps me grow and learn. Something that keeps me engaged and makes me feel alive. Something different. An adventure. A permission to explore. I was going to call this alive and then engaged but I found myself coming back to fresh again and again so fresh it is.
  • Magical: I love this word. This one, too, took a while. I wanted to have it be wonder, or joy but I really feel the word magical in my bones. It’s feeling inspiring, joyful, awed, grateful, adventurous and love all rolled up in one. That incredible, magical feeling. 
  • Lighter: This is my peacefulness word this year. I want things to feel easy, unburdened, calm, free and kind. I want to put down the load I carry around. Less rush. Slower. Lighter. Easier. Maybe this is also my word around being open. Feeling light and not heavy, open and not constricted.
  • True: I want everything I do to feel true to me. True to who I know myself to be in my heart. True to the best version of me. This feeling is like solid, belonging, knowing, peace, deliberate. This is how I feel when I know something is right. 

So there we are.

I love all of these. Most importantly, I can immediately connect with the feeling I get when I say these words. I feel them in my bones. Which is the sign that they are the right words for me right now. I want to feel all of them and I want to make a point to look at my life and my choices through these lenses next year. Here’s to a fresh, magical, lighter and true 2018!

Nourish Me – 52



  • I read: A lot of books this week. Almost at the bottom of my audible pile.
  • I learned: Calculus and Python still here. No new classes so far. Haven’t done any of the Machine Learning one.
  • I watched:  Two movies this week: Star Wars and Burn After Reading. We also watched a small amount of TV finally.


  • Exercise: Well I was home all week so there’s been almost zero exercise. One day I did body pump at home but that’s it. I’ve been feeling guilty but also not motivated at the same time. So I am deciding to give myself a break and start again in the new year. If I get any in before the end of the year, it’s bonus.
  • Food: Food was relatively bad I’ll admit. Mostly because I’ve been drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. And chocolate. I have made sure at least one of my meals is super healthy but in general I’d say it hasn’t been the healthiest week.
  • Body Care: I’ve done nothing here. I have been resting a lot so we’re going to say that counts.


  • I rested: I’ve not been sleeping a lot but i’ve also been at home for the most part so that’s a lot of rest.
  • I connected: A lot of time with family this week, of course. Also spent time with my friend Manu and my friend Leslie. 
  • I journaled: I journaled some more, too. Still making plans for 2018.
  • I made art: December Daily has been slow and simple this year but I’ve been at it.
  • Flowers: still filling my life and home with these and still loving it. 

Didn’t quit coffee, still struggling with all of it but will figure it out soon!

Nourish Me Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2018 – Stronger than Before

As with every year, I kept an ongoing list for my possible words in 2018. I tend to start this list around February because sometimes ideas come to me early in the year and I want to track them for different reasons. Throughout the year, different words feel like winners. They feel like they have potential. Here’s a peek at this year’s list:

  • strong
  • open
  • light (not heavy) – lighten
  • fresh
  • balance
  • tend
  • calm
  • alive
  • whole
  • belonging


Here is a reminder for my rules for picking a word:

  1. I don’t want to pick a word for something I wish I were. Like “easy” or “calm.” I feel that when I pick a word that’s likely to make me feel intimidated, I spend most of the year feeling bad about letting myself down. The word should push/encourage me but it shouldn’t be aspirational. It should be inspirational.
  2. I loved my 2015 word (brave) so much that I feel I am always trying to find a word that will be as magical as brave was for me. I am learning that I will just have to carry brave around with me forever and not worry about having such a powerful word each time. One of the gifts of brave was that I realized how brave I already was. It was a perspective-shifting word.
  3. Some words are more action oriented (like brave, adventure, nourish) and some are more introspective (like easy, equable, magic) and what I want is a combination of both.

As it seems to be my trend lately, I picked my word around July. Even though I went back and forth many times and I am still finding myself wavering at times, I’ve settled on STRONG for 2018.

This word came to me from several different angles: physical, mental, and emotional. I feel like I am in a good place at the moment and I want to build on this momentum to really take the time and strengthen areas of my life that I care about and want to focus on. Strong also has the potential to propel me like brave did so I am hoping it’s as impactful a word. 


I made a list of some of the mottos I want to carry with me as I move my way through this year and towards a version of me that’s stronger than before. Many of these are inspired by the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do article.

Here they are, ways to be mentally, emotionally, and physically strong:

  1. Let Go of the Past: There is no need to hold on to the parts of me that don’t serve me or make me stronger. The past is in the past and I’ve already learned all the lessons it was here to offer me. It’s time to let it go and face forward. Each day is a new one and I get to decide who I choose to be on that day. The deal is: I do, I reflect, I learn, I do better.
  2. Take More Risks: This is not stupid risks like jumping off a cliff and hoping nothing happens. This is calculated risks. Pushing outside of my comfort zone. Finding the boundaries and then stretching them a bit. This is how I get stronger.
  3. Embrace Change: I don’t like change but so what? I can’t stop it from happening. Life is constant change and 90% of it is outside my control. So my plan this year is to do a 180 here. I embrace change. Bring it on!
  4. Create Boundaries: This is a really important one.  If I don’t create my boundaries, people will create them for me. If I don’t decide my hours of work, people will call me at all hours. If I don’t decide who gets to hurt me, everyone will. Boundaries means I am self aware and I am intentional about my life. 
  5. Choose Whom to Please: Similar to my boundaries, if I try to please everyone, i please no one. I need to prioritize and I need to consciously choose who matters. Everyone doesn’t matter equally.
  6. Learn More and Deeper: I love learning. Love love love. But I feel I am often too busy to build this into my life properly. Too lazy to really stick with things and too interested in too many things. One of my goals this year is to decide where I want to go deep. I don’t want to stay on the surface.
  7. Believe in Abundance: It’s very easy for me to fall into the scarcity mindset. It’s easy for me to feel small, scared, and worried. I don’t want to do this. Being stronger here means believing in abundance. Giving freely. Knowing there are many pies to go around. And knowing that was you give out comes back to you many-fold.
  8. Show Up:  I should have put this one first. Because it’s the first rule of life, in my opinion. You must show up. Show up for your people. Show up at the gym. Show up for yourself. Show up at work. Show up at the school. Show up at a social event. Show up.
  9. Try Harder: My hope is that strong will show me what trying harder looks like. Can I give a little more? Am I really trying my hardest? Does my hardest change with time? Effort?
  10. Keep Going: The other big rule about getting stronger (and about life) is that we don’t give up. We show up. We try. We try harder. We rest. We keep going. We always keep going. Never, ever give up.
  11. Choose Joy: Because really, that’s the point of life. Joy. Abundant joy. I want to choose gratitude because it’s my path to joy.
  12. Sit with It: Being Emotionally strong means living the length and the width of your life. Feeling all the feelings. Not hiding, not burying, not ignoring. Sitting with it, letting it pass through me. The only way out is always through. 
  13. Make Mistakes (and Learn from Them): If I am not making mistakes, I am not trying new things. If I am not trying new things, I am not growing. There are very (very) few mistakes that are unrecoverable in life. Being stronger means taking more chances. Taking more chances means making more mistakes. So I make mistakes and then take the time to learn from them. Like I mentioned above:  I do, I reflect, I learn, I do better.
  14. Live your Values: Being strong means being who I am. Knowing who I am and honoring that. Each time I see one of my coaching clients struggle, it’s because their life is not aligned with their values. So here’s to living with my values of unconditional love, learning, peace, service, and gratitude.

So there we go. Here’s to a year of strength. Here’s to a stronger me in 2018!

December Daily – 24 and 25

Here we are. Day 24 is me waking up to the sweetest note from my son and then the boys opening Christmas Eve presents.

The next day has Christmas morning breakfast and the post opening presents shot of our floor. 

Then it’s my card and the big tag card.

The back of that card contains all my journaling and the next page is our Christmas table which I always love photographing.

And the last page is always flowers and my word of the year for 2018.

love this project. <3

2017 Stories – 52 – Star Wars

I will admit that even though I’ve watched the Star Wars movies a whole bunch of times, I’ve never really understood them all that well (and didn’t watch them with as much focus as they require.) so when the new movie was out, I had no desire to see it. I was going to let Jake and the kids see it but David really wanted me to go with them. He said it’s better when we do it as a family.

So I went.

Before I went, he gave me a run down of all the previous movies and we even watched a YouTube movie recap of them all. Which was wonderful because I did understand so much more and I am glad I was there to experience it with the kids and Jake. The movie was good and it was also funny. I am glad to have one more wonderful memory with my boys.

Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Unraveling the Year Ahead – 2018

I want to start by saying that this, too, is going to be a VERY long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2016 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2017 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2018 into two posts. This is part II, the 2017 reflections are here. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

  • First, choose a word to guide you through the next 12 months. Pick a word that makes you feel expanded. Encouraged. Inspired. There’s no right or wrong answer so go with your gut. What’s your Word for 2018? My word for 2018 is strong.
  • If you lived and breathed your Word every day in 2018, what would be different for you? I would feel so much stronger both emotionally and mentally and I would look, feel and be stronger physically. I would feel proud of myself. I would stand in my power.
  • List some ways you are already experiencing or embodying this Word: I am showing up to exercise daily. I am doing strength training 3 times a week. I am strong when it comes to showing up for my people, my work. I am strong in my convictions. I am strong in my morals.
  • What could you do this year to bring more of your Word into your world? I bought a bracelet and a ring. I will buy something red to remind myself. I will also change my passwords.
  • Choose four extra words to support your Word this year. They could be anything from inspiring words to names of people to things you want to invest in...My extra words are my core desired feelings. They are: fresh, lighter, wonder, true
  • What are you looking forward to in 2018? Getting physically stronger. Changing my relationship with food. Also working on my emotional strength.
  • What are you feeling apprehensive about? Not being able to change things enough. Not giving up my bad habits around food. Not spending enough time with self-care.
  • What life lessons are you taking with you into 2018? That my life is magical and full of wonder. That I am incredibly lucky and surrounded by incredibly supportive people who want the best for me.
  • What area of your life do you most want to develop in 2018? Physical self. I want to be comfortable in my body and I love the idea of doing it through getting fitter. I want to be strong. I also want to fundamentally change how and what I eat. I made a lot of progress in 2017, I want to lock that in and make it permanent.
  • What part of yourself do you yearn to nurture in 2018? My idea of myself. I want to see myself differently. I want to own who I am and become the best version of myself. Stronger version of myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.
  • Fast-forward to December 2018. You’re sitting in a cafe?, musing over the last 12 months. Where do you want to be…
  • in your head? (work, dreams, goals) I want to be scaling up the quality of my work and create processes that can scale. I want to develop relationships with leadership and add value to all of my teams. I want to think of myself in a way that allows me to show up without hesitation. I also want to listen better and talk less.
  • in your heart? (relationships, family, friends) I want to make sure to prioritize people who matter the most to me. I want to develop deeper friendships with the Tamara, Kelly and Leslie. I want to make good friends in Nathaniel’s class. I want to continue to foster my friendships with Evelyn and work friends. I want to put my family first. Support my nephews. Talk to my sister more. Go on regular date nights with Jake. Continue teaching the kids. Continue taking photos.
  • in your soul? (beliefs, practices, self-love) I want to get stronger in my sense of self. In my ability to be okay with who I already am, in drawing boundaries. In choosing to spend my time in ways that are most meaningful to me.
  • in your physical world? (home, health, hobbies) I want to continue to buy flowers. Continue to exercise daily, and start doing it at home, too. Add massage at work. Do more consistent self-care. Eat way way better and drink a ton of water. I want to do more art but only when it gives me joy. Continue the new way of scrapping that I am loving.
  • Okay, let’s take it up a notch. Use this page to describe what 2018 looks like in your ideal world. Be specific! What are your dreams for love this year? Work? Play? Where are you hungry for change? How do you want 2018 to FEEL? Use your answers from the previous pages to craft your ideal vision for the next 12 months. What would saying YES to your life look and feel like? Write out everything your heart desires for this new year. Be bold. I am exercising every single morning. I am drinking a lot of water and taking care of my skin, my hair, my teeth. I am feeling strong and healthy and alive. I am trying new things that feel fresh to me, I am appreciating the wonder in my life. I am choosing what to spend time on and loving the time I spend on it. I am feeling positively about my choices. I am spending a lot of time with Jake. And with my kids. I am talking to my nephews regularly. I am working hard. I am teaching my kids. I am reading. I am resting. I am showing up for life.



  • List 3 unhelpful beliefs about yourself you’re ready to release


      1. I am not strong physically. I hate exercise.
      2. I can’t quit XX where XX is any particular food. I can quit and add anything I want!
      3. I am not enough.


  • List 3 duties or commitments you feel ready to let go of in 2018


      1. No more lit club after this school year is over.
      2. No more Math Circle.
      3. Maybe no TV?
  • List 3 skills you’d like to learn or improve in 2018
    1. Math, I want to do even more math with my kids.
    2. Drawing, sketching, art in general.
    3. Science. Both my kids are into science and I know practically nothing.
  • List 3 books you intend to read this year: Lol. I read 280+ this year so I am not going to worry about reading at least three this year.
  • How could you bring more calm into your life (and head) this year? More journaling. Quiet moments in the morning and evening. Taking much more time out. Muting when on VC.
  • List 3 things about yourself you positively love
    1. My willingness to show up.
    2. My desire to learn more and more and more.
    3. How much I love the people I love.
  • List 3 ways you could be kinder to your body this year
    1. Take care of my skin + teeth.
    2. Massage my body and release my muscles + stretch more.
    3. Take Yoga and Pilates to increase flexibility.
  • List 3 ways you could connect with loved ones in 2018
    1. Regular date nights with Jake.
    2. Biweekly check-ins with my nephews.
    3. Weekly meeting with a friend.
  • List 3 people you could extend compassion to
    1. Myself.
    2. My kids. Much more compassion and kindness.
    3. People who annoy me. I want to be much more compassionate towards people I usually am short with. I want to assume the best of everyone.
  • How could you bring more love into your life this year? By choosing joy. Assuming the best. Realizing that things always work out because I try harder and harder until they do. Realizing the magic that is my life. Being grateful. Paying attention to the support I have. Being thankful.
  • List 3 interests/hobbies you would like to explore more in 2018
    1. Rock climbing
    2. Does journaling count? I want to do it much more regularly.
    3. Taking online classes. Or maybe even in person ones!
  • List 3 ways you could feed your imagination this year
    1. Try new things. Fresh things.
    2. Go on adventures. Travel. Especially to places I’ve never been to.
    3. Read different books (things I wouldn’t typically pick up.)
  • List 3 ways you could bring more passion into your world this year
    1. Show up and be fully present
    2. Care deeply about one thing. Do something about it
    3. Speak up more. Bring awareness.
  • List 3 dreams you would like to manifest this year (personal or professional)
    1. I’d like to be really much stronger. Be able to do pushups with ease.
    2. I’d love to have handful of really close friendships
    3. I’d love to deepen my relationship with Jake even further.
  • How could you bring more creative energy into your life this year? I would like to journal more. I’d love to bring back my sketching habit, not sure if I can but I would love to. I still love looking at those sketches. I’d love to do another 100-day project.
  • List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your mornings
    1. Take 15 minutes to journal each morning.
    2. Take 5 minutes to meditate.
    3. Exercise first thing in the morning. (continue to wake up at 6am!)



  • List 3 ways you could cherish your home this year
    1. Buy flowers!
    2. Fill my house with twinkly lights.
    3. Buy sheets that we love for each of us. Decorate our rooms to feel more our own. Put our family photos into frames.
  • List 3 ways you could connect more deeply with nature in 2018
    1. Take weekly walks and monthly trips to water.
    2. I still would love to take hikes.
    3. I think I’d like to swim more this year, too. Need to think about this one more.
  • List 3 places in your city, town or neighbourhood you want to explore
    1. The city. We definitely don’t go there enough.
    2. Marin. Especially the headlands.
    3. Go to the woods more. Learn new hikes.
  • How could you bring a sense of groundedness into your life this year?  The easiest way to ground, for me, is through journaling. Sitting in the back yard with some tea. Watching the water.  Taking a moment to be grateful.
  • Using your favourite tarot or oracle deck, draw one card for the overall theme of the upcoming year and then a card for each month of 2018. Tip: I like to shufle 3 or 4 packs together to give the reading even greater scope. If you don’t have any decks go to cards to see my favourite decks and app recommendations.

I am not into Tarot Decks and I did this last year and found it not to be that inspiring or interesting. However, back in 2013, our January OLW assignment involved setting intentions and I really enjoyed that, so I thought maybe I can do that instead.

  • January: Strong Silent Type: Your challenge this month is to speak less, listen more. How can you influence with fewer words. At work, at home, even in your own head. Pause one more beat before replying. Mute the VC. Wait six seconds. Do what it takes to give this a try.
  • February: Physically Strong: This is your month. Get out there and get strong. Increase the weights. Add more cardio. Make a plan. You can do this. You have it in you.
  • March: Party Strong: This month is for celebrating. You’ve worked hard, they’ve worked hard. Everyone’s working hard. Make sure to pause and celebrate. Have a party. Take a moment daily and pat yourself in the back. Pat your loved ones in the back, too.
  • April: Emotionally Strong: This is the time to work on being a better version of you. And loving you. Loving what is.  Respond and don’t react. Journal more.
  • May: Quietly Strong: How can you bring more calm into this month? May is chaotic with lots of endings and transitions. Celebrate but also stay calm. Stay grounded. What will help here?
  • June: A Stronger You: This month involves travel. Kids at home. Lots of chaos and also wonderful. It will challenge you and you will use the time to get stronger. You will also focus on yourself as needed. Take walks. Self care.
  • July: Mentally Strong: Time to learn some new things. How can you grow intellectually? What classes do you want to take? What do you want to teach the kids?
  • August: Shine Strong: This month is for showing up. Show up at work. Show up with the kids. Show up as we close out the summer and start a new school year. Let your light shine on everyone you meet this month.
  • September: Love Strong: This month is hard. There are transitions, new schedules and more. Use this month to think about what it would look like to love more. Love yourself more: more self-care and kindness. What boundaries can help you? Love Jake more: what’s something you can do for the two of you? Love your kids more: How can you help them with the transition?
  • October: Stronger than Before: Here’s your chance to give it one last push before the year’s over. Where are you still wanting to be stronger? How can you help yourself get stronger than before? How can you take things one notch higher? One notch deeper?
  • November: Stronger Together: Time to enjoy the company of others. Go out and socialize. Appreciate the community you have. Spend time with your family. Bask in the joy of friendships+community+family. What’s one thing you can do to appreciate your people?
  • December:  Rest Stronger: And finally here we are. You’ve worked hard all year and gave it your all. Time to rest. You pushed yourself to get stronger and now you need to rest so you can be ready for 2019.
  • 2018 will be the year I finally get strong in my body.
  • I will nourish myself with a lot of water and vegetables.
  • I will make more time for eating healthy and exercise.
  • I will recharge my batteries by resting, massage, and exercise.
  • This year I will open my heart to peace with my body.
  • I will pay more attention to my boundaries.
  • I will learn more about:
    1. Science: as much as I can.
    2. My body: how to make it stronger, how to take care of it.
    3. Who I am. I will pay attention to what I do and what I say and what my values are and own who I am.
  • I will release my attachment to chocolate. The past. Coffee. Things + people who don’t nourish me.
  • I wish for 2018 to feel strong, baby! Ligther, full of wonder, fresh and new, and true. And brave, always brace.
  • This year I will say NO to things that don’t nourish my body, soul, mind, heart.
  • This year I will say YES to living life fully.

I wholeheartedly believe that everything is possible in 2018!


Like last year, as I finish these words I went back to some of my previous blog posts and I am not surprised that I mention many of these same thoughts here, here, and here. I am pretty sure these themes have been in my life in some way or another for many years. I know that they will likely still be around in 2018 and 2019 and onward. What I’d like to do this year is to make a dent. To move things forward a little bit. Every forward step I take moves me in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine stepping into the shoes of you from December 2018, one year from now. You are one year older and one year wiser and you’ve lived every day of 2018 fully and completely. You have a message of encouragement about 2018. There’s stuff you want to share… stuff you’re eager to tell yourself. When you’re ready, open your eyes, pick up your pen, and write a letter from your future self, starting with Dear Karen: Congratulations. Here’s to one more year in your magical life. I am so proud of how hard you try, how much you show up. Keep going, you got this!

Living Intentionally 2017 – 52


Weekly Intention: This week’s intention is to be jolly and spend time with family. i want to read more. do puzzles. hug my kids. snuggle up with my husband. 

Things I want to get Done: no list this week. it’s all bonus.

This month’s intention is:  Shine Slowly: And here it is. The end of one more year. You made it through. Tough times, joyful times. Celebrations and trials. Changes and all. You did it. Time to slow down. Time to make space for the next year. Growth comes after downtime for you. Take this time to store some energy so you can hit the ground running in 2018.

Ways to Shine this week: Just by being with my people. Loving them a lot.

I am looking forward to: Christmas day of course!! Happy merry everything if you celebrate any part of this season.

This week’s challenges: balancing alone time and together time and remembering to not have to focus on getting things done.

Top Goals: honestly, i just want to rest and quiet the voices in my head.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: really focusing on my family wholly.

This week, I will say yes to: being ok with doing nothing.

This week, I will say no to:  making myself feel guilty or bad.

I am worried that:  i will torture myself with not getting enough done.

This week, I want to remember:  that it’s ok to fully, completely rest. and that if i have no art for january, that’s totally okay, too.