Thursday, April 6, 2017

Simplify: April Goals

Goals in the first week of the month?! It must be a miracle! ;) Last night I mentioned to one of the girls at lifegroup that I feel like I'm finally coming out of survival mode, and boy does that feel great. April is the slow down after competition season, and it's the start of the LAST six weeks of the school year! I'm almost no longer a first year teacher (praise the Lord!). Now how about those monthly goals?

Monthly Goals:
1. See Carissa's show in Dallas. I can actually already cross this off the list, and I'm SO glad I made it a priority! Last weekend I drove up to see Carissa in Bruises: Animal vs Machine and it was incredible! She's a BEAST in the best way possible, an absolutely incredible actress (and friend)! The show was so well done and I left feeling inspired to go and create more art. Also, I saw it on April 1st and somehow managed to escape without a prank from my Big, so that's a miracle, too ; 

2. Budget/finish school orders. With the spring semester winding down, we are getting in all our final orders for classroom supplies, program needs, and things of that nature. I want to plan well for next year (how cool/relieving is it to know where I'll be in the fall?!) so this is a MUST.

3. Make progress on financial goals. I read Love Your Life Not Theirs last month and it brought some much needed perspective. This month my plans are to get at least halfway to my first savings goal by filing away my tax return immediately, pay the deposit on our house (more details below), and purchase a final plane ticket for my summer travels. If I stick to the budget I can manage all three by the start of May. Fingers crossed.

4. Find a house to rent for next year. I am SO excited about this one (and it's almost complete)! A friend and I are going to rent a house next year instead of living in our separate apartments, and we've been on the hunt for a few weeks. We've finally found one we love and are in the application process right now. I can't wait to show you what we plan to do with it and progress along the way!

5. Map out a Ketogenic plan. How many times have I made this a goal and abandoned it? This time the goal is to make a PLAN, specific and simple, and to begin it. I want to be more realistic when it comes to setting goals for my physical health, because my temptation is to think too big then I fall too hard. Saturday is my planning day and I'll keep you posted.

6. Read 5+ books. This month I'm hoping to tackle a few new books (from my library stack) and finish a few I didn't quite tackle in January. At the moment the new list includes: Perfect, Flawed, Nothing to Prove, Throne of Glass, and Sarah's Key.

7. The Contentment Challenge. If I've tried it once, I've failed it six times. But now that I have financial goals and a new house on the horizon, my motivation to bring in less stuff and to spend less money is FAR greater than ever before. I want to save, save, save instead of spend, spend, spend, and I want to clear some of the clutter. Here we go!

Weekly Goals:
1. Active 3x's per week.
2. Only eat out max 2x's weekly.
3. Lesson plans in on time.
4. Sabbath Sundays.
5. Essential oils progress.

Daily Goals:
In the Word + Active + No $ spent + YoungLiving 
 + Water + Ketogenic + Read for fun

What have you made happen so far in April?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Simplify: March 2017 Goals

The last week of March seems like a fine time to share the month's goals, right? ;) At the start of the year I had great intentions of sharing goals on the 1st of each month then a re-cap with cute graphics at the end. It was a good idea, but not exactly practical for my season. So here's a bit of both all in one!

Monthly Goals:
1. Direct One Act Play to the best of my abilities. I have been preparing my students to compete with their UIL One Act Play Proof since the start of the spring semester. We've rehearsed for weeks, I spent spring break painting and finding costumes, then finally it was time four or contest last Tuesday. We didn't advance to the next level BUT my students did a great job and have a show to be proud of! 

2. Visit family for a weekend. I hadn't been home since Christmas due to weekend events and my rehearsal schedule, so it was important for me to put a trip home on my calendar. I got to stay with my parents, get dinner with a friend from college, see Newsies in theatre, and do a bit of shopping. All in all a great trip home.

3. Finish Celebrate Your Season. Illustrated Faith released an online workshop taught by yours truly last month, and it ran for four weeks, ending mid-March! Celebrate Your Season was all about digging into what the Lord is doing in your life right now without wishing it away while we wait for this, that, or the other. I SO loved creating the videos and sharing my pages and heart with everyone online. The class is still available, so if you haven't taken it already you can find it HERE.

4. Rest well during spring break. This was definitely a priority for March. I've been in survival mode for a while, trying to flip the switch to thrive in my new city and job, but it wasn't quite working. Spring break ended up being the perfect blend of rest and productivity. I took a few days to relax and read, while still finding time to finish our set and run school errands. My sister even came to town for a few days. We had a full day of rehearsal before our contest, and I finished the week by bowling and seeing The Shack that Sunday. I couldn't have asked for a better break!

5. Read 5+ books. This month I've done pretty well working in reading time throughout the weeks. So far I've read No More Faking Fine, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, Lost in a Book, The Shadow Queen, and What Falls From the Sky. I've also listened to What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and Anne of Green Gables on audiobook.

6. Order a Letterfolk Board. In an effort to be more financially responsible, I've scheduled out a few purchases throughout the year. March was the month to finally snag my Letterfolk board and I LOVE IT! I picked up The Writer in gray and have really enjoyed putting funny things and book quotes up in my living room.

I knew it was competition month so I kept the goals pretty simple and specific, which seemed to help!

Weekly Goals:
1. Ketogenic 80% of the time. Hahaha. Nope, this didn't happen.
2. Simplify (one goal per week). Ehhhhh. Kinda.
3. Blog 2x's per week. More like one post for the whole month...
4. Lesson plans in on time. YES. I actually managed this one!

Daily Goals:
Lent study + Psalm daily + No $ spent eating out 
Bed at 10:00pm + Up at 5:30am + Pilates + Read for fun

What have you made happen so far in March?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Celebrating Valentine's Day with DaySpring

Y'all know I love me some DaySpring, and when it came time to hunt for Valentine's Day gifts they did not disappoint! DaySpring has long been a resource for me when it comes to all things Illustrated Faith, but they have so much more to offer! Books, jewelry, home goods, and more, y'all! Goodness galore!

I was so excited to put together a gift guide for the upcoming holiday (it'll be here oh so soon!), and today I'm sharing a few of my favorite finds.

First up, the You & Me Jumbo Mug! I'm a bit of a mug collector myself, and this pretty red beauty stands out in the pile of wide ceramic coffee cups I've accumulated over the years. I loved it so much that I actually have it out on my counter holding my favorite teas! This is a great gift from him to her or back again, and I think it could be made into a fun coffee-date-in-a-cup surprise with a few of your favorite treats and a Starbucks gift card or two.

Second, we have the LOVE Letterpress Block Set. You can buy individual blocks to build your own name or phrase, or pick up a pre-made set that reminds you of the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, or even HOPE and JOY. I have a few phrases up my sleeve and hope to build my collection so I can change the words at will! This would be a great gift for anyone on your list, and something to be kept for years to come!

Number 3 is the first two items in the 5 Love Languages collection, a Journal for 2 and a matching Ready-to-Go Gift Bag! If you haven't read The 5 Love Languages to figure out your own (and those of your family/friends/significant other) you should! You don't have to be dating or married to do so, either. I love the idea of this journal as a way for couples to keep up with one another's thoughts and needs, making it easier to serve in specific ways when one's tank is running low. Plus, isn't it gorgeous?!

The gift set continues with a few more options for that special someone:  Love Notes, Sticky Prayers, and a Coupon Book. The designs match the journal and gift bag, and they are perfect to gift as a set or individually. A great reminder that the little things matter and can make a big difference!

Last but certainly not least is my favorite item on the gift guide, this gorgeous His Word in My Heart Pendant Necklace. A simple heart with a cross along one side says it all: Christ at the center for all to see. It's sleek but meaningful, beautiful but lightweight. I cannot wait to gift a few of these to friends and family oh so soon!

Just for you today, use the code 25FORYOU for 25% off your order AND free shipping! You may want to bump up the shipping to get it in time for Valentine's Day, but with the discount it's totally doable!

What was your favorite item?
Who are you gifting to this year?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Simplify: February 2017 Goals

I'm actually getting these goals out before the end of the month! Be proud y'all ;) February is off to a running start, and I'm excited to see what the rest of this month holds. The weekend disappeared far too quickly, and while most of you were watching some big football game, I curled up with my computer and a couple of favorites: Finding Dory and Shakespeare in Love. Neither disappointed.

It's back to my PowerSheets to map out the month ahead, and this time the goals found themselves color coded and piling up quick. Let's take a peek, shall we?

Monthly Goals:
1. Launch the #psalmsdaybyday challenge. Recently I have been struggling to be in the Word consistently, and I have not made time in my schedule to do as much Bible journaling as I'd like to. At the end of January I got the idea to read a Psalm per day, and it was delightful to find that by starting on the first day of February it would wrap up on the last day of June! I shared the first month's list HERE and have been participating with a daily page in the hashtag HERE.

2. Attend the LIT event by Beth Moore with Annie. This is coming up next weekend, and I'm so excited! Beth Moore announced this one day event back in November, created specifically for women in their 20s and 30s who feel called to write and speak, and it was my Black Friday purchase of choice! Annie flies in Friday, and I can't wait to spend the weekend with her!

3. Direct One Act Play well. It's getting into crunch time for our competition show! With only 3 days of rehearsal per week, I need to be diligent and dedicated to our time and my responsibilities during the week. I want to set my kids up for success and model both fun and professionalism along the way.

4. Create a budget/savings plan. This was put on my list of goals at the top of the month, then yesterday my pastor started a series on money and possessions. Talk about great timing! I want to map out some upcoming expenses for the next few months then really take a hard look at where my money is going this month. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, right?

5. Complete the Entrusted study & dig into Seamless. My other plans for getting into the Word are to follow a couple of Bible studies with friends. Annie and I have been going through Entrusted, and I want to tackle the last of it before the conference this weekend. Jenna and I have recently begun Seamless and I'm loving it, too!

6. Read 5+ books. This one made it back onto the list! Honestly, it will probably make it here every month. For February I plan to read the following books: Glass Sword, Cruel Crown, King's Cage, You Are Free, No More Faking Fine, and Nothing to Prove. Stay tuned for the reviews.

7. Simplify health: Ketogenic research/eating. This month's simplification topic is health, and part of that is simplifying my meal prep to eat ketogenic during the week (and to spend less money on food while doing it). I feel so much better when following this map, and it takes less time once it's all prepared. Hopefully it will go better this month than in January!

8. Make a Goodwill pile/run. Health may be the month's theme, but I still want to make an effort to simplify my things as I go. I have started a pile for Goodwill and want to keep building it and make a big donation at the end of the month.

Weekly Goals:
1. Lesson plans turned in on time.
2. Sabbath/unplugged on Sunday.
3. Church/Lifegroup/Discipleship/Bible study.
4. Active 2/3 times weekly.
5. Blog 2/3 times.
6. Complete weekly One Act Play task.

Daily Goals:
Quiet time in the AM + Psalm daily + No $ spent eating out 
Bed at 10:00pm + Up at 5:30am + Prayer/gratitude + Read for fun

Here we go! Let's take week 2 by storm and hit the ground running!

What have you made happen so far in February?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Monday, January 30, 2017

January in Review

I'm trying something new this year, making a monthly review to log what all happened in each of these twelve months! I used to be a diligent journaler, but the days of jotting it all down are few and far between lately. 

January was FULL and fun, packed with friends and getting my fill of good books and television.  I traveled a bit, managed some down time, started our competition show, and started to find a routine or semester #2. Find the highlights below.

I've started a playlist for 2017 HERE if you want to check it out!

Now to take a look at January's monthly goals:

1. Co-host the Deep in the Heart RetreatDone, done, and done! To be honest, I'm SO sad it's over. I wrote all about it HERE, and I'd be lying if I said we aren't already dreaming up next year's getaway.

2. Prepare well for the start of schoolJust how well I prepared, I'm not too sure, but I got things ready and jumped into this second semester right off the bat. I still have a lot to learn (and procrastination has gotta go), but I'm working on it.

3. Register for my teaching certification test. This did not quite happen... and by not quite I mean it didn't. I'm going to have to wait until my next paycheck to get this one checked off the list.

4. Begin directing Proof for UIL One Act PlayYes! The show is blocked, their lines are learned, and the set is coming together. I've also signed us up for a couple of clinics and workshops, and I've started putting together my show binder. It's the real deal (and we have 9 weeks of rehearsal instead of 3.5 this time! Hallelujah)!

5. Go to Theatrefest in Galveston, TexasI spent last Wednesday through Saturday at this event, and it was really so helpful! I was thrilled for a getaway, but not super eager to attend the classes initially, and I'm happy to say some of them surprised me! It left me feeling a bit worn out and over-stimulated --who knew theatre teachers could be so crazy and enthusiastic ;)-- but it was certainly worth the trip. Being by the beach was pretty nice, too!

6. Read 5+ booksBoom! This month I managed to tackle Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner,  Winter and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer, Simplify by Bill Hybels and 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam for the first time, and I re-read Red Queen (that's fun to say!) a second time through. The third book in the series releases in February, so I wanted to make sure that was on this month's list!

7. Complete my Illustrated Faith projects. This one remains to be halfway done. I blogged for Illustrated Faith HERE and HERE, and the next exciting project that launches in February is halfway finished!

8. Meet my January savings goal. Nope. This didn't happen. But I'm learning from my habits this month (thanks to the Mint app) and planning ahead for next month (with Qapital). I also made some bigger purchases, one earlier than expected, namely round trip flights to Seattle and a one-way to Michigan for the summer, plus paying for a hotel for a conference in February, which are one-time expenditures. I'm going to bump up February's savings goal since this month was a bit of a fail.

I finally got back into the blogging swing of things, and it has felt oh so good. Check them out below!

Last but not least this month brought some memorable moments in a number of ways, so I narrowed it down to the top four:

The Goals with Grace devotional kit I wrote for Illustrated Faith launched!

The women's march was incredibly inspiring, and I just loved this girl's gumption.

I stopped in Independence, Texas to visit Old Baylor for the first time in 8 years.

I also discovered Snapchat filters and had a hilarious time trying them all!

January was certainly one for the books, but February, I've got some high hopes for you, too. Off we go!

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)
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