Month: December 2016

There is Nothing Like a Fresh Start!

How to keep track of your New Year's Resolutions to ensure success this year!

Growing up as an Army Brat can definitely mould you in random ways. Getting stationed all over the country meant picking up and starting over every few years. Over time I came to really look forward to the fresh start in a new state; with new friends and a new me! I think the reason that I love Spring, mornings, and the new year is because they all represent that blank slate, a fresh beginning. Every year I make resolutions and I take them very seriously. 2016 in particular was a good year for me in terms of keeping my resolutions, and I credit this to two things.

-I made resolutions that were very feasible to my lifestyle and mentality.
-I wrote them down and kept track of my progress.

Tracking your New Year's Resolutions in 2017

By holding myself accountable and staying organized, I was able to keep my resolutions this year! I didn’t try to reinvent myself, but I am proud of what I accomplished in terms of personal growth and happiness. I’m definitely going to take things up a notch up in 2017 with my resolutions and I’ll be keeping track of my progress with my LYTE (Live Your Truth Everyday) Planner. I tracked all of my resolutions in my journal this year, which was a bit annoying since I also am devoted to my planner book. When I came across the LYTE Planner and saw the daily journal and list sections, it was love at first sight. And just look at the amazing design!

I’ve always used a work planner, personal planner, a journal, and several notebooks and list pads…that’s a TON of crap to lug around. This planner is perfect for me because I have places in it for each of my needs! I’m obsessed with motivational quotes too, which is the icing on the cake with this baby. I have given serious thought to my 2017 resolutions this year, because they aren’t empty promises in my eyes. These are things that take time and energy to stay consistent with, so I am taking my accountability to heart. What are your resolutions this year? Is anyone else wanting to step up their running game like I am? If you’re interested in purchasing the LYTE Planner, you can get it here. Use the code ELLEATHOME for $5 off!

IT’S FINALLY HERE!

It seems like December flew by, yet Christmas always seemed so far away. Now that the big guy is coming tonight to leave presents under the tree, I’m a bit sad to see it go. I go through this every single year! Maybe this year will be different since I’m hosting New Year’s Eve for my family and friends; I CANNOT wait! I’m hoping the anticipation of my favorite day of the year will help me be less sad when I’m taking down the tree. Do you leave your tree up until New Year’s Day? I’ve always taken mine down a day or two after Christmas. I love cleaning the house really thoroughly after pine needles have coated every surface for the past month.

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree!

Delightfully crooked, with just the right amount of quirky!

A beautiful Christmas jumble!

CONFESSIONS OF A BAD ELF

When I sit back and reflect on my Christmas activity through the month of December, I feel a little guilty. There are so many things that I didn’t do! Between work travel, weekend commitments, and holiday hustle, I barely had time to online shop. We didn’t even go see SANTA for crying out loud! I didn’t make cookies, put lights on the outside of my house, or even put up the kid’s advent calendar! Also, my Christmas cards that I spent two hours writing out are still sitting on my nightstand waiting to be stuffed with that special family portrait that I never got around to taking…such a bad elf.

Hanging stockings without a fireplace!

But you know what we did do? We spent lots of quality time with our friends and family. We went to look at Christmas lights several times, and soaked it all in with Laila and Carson. We snuggled up on the couch and watched Home Alone approximately 575 times and every other Christmas movie you could think of. And we took time to relax and unwind with each other after busy days running around doing last minute Christmas errands. Plus the kids got to decorate the odd gingerbread house here and there. All in all, I’m not going to lose sleep over what I didn’t accomplish this Christmas; I’m going to cozy up with my children and husband, and I’m going to be happy and thankful for the amazing month that we just whirlwind blew through.

Merry Christmas friends (and Happy Hanukkah at sundown tonight!) I hope your day is merry and bright!

 

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to read a new book every month. I joined Book of the Month Club to shake things up and No One Knows was the first book I chose! I’ve loved being part of this fun subscription so much this year. The best part of getting a monthly choice is being introduced to books you may have never chosen on your own! You can sign up here if you’re interested.

Have you ever stayed up all night reading because you felt like your life would be incomplete without knowing the ending to the book?

That was me while reading this little page turner.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison is one of those twisty, angst ridden novels that keeps you wanting to uncover the next secret. The story follows Aubrey who has mourned her missing husband for the past five years after he vanished on the night of a friend’s bachelor party. The police (and the public) targeted Aubrey as the prime suspect in his disappearance, and over time that slowly gives way to suspicion that he faked his own death. Now that five years have passed, his mother has made the decision to have him declared legally dead. The declaration causes old memories to surface and new facts to present themselves in the most intriguing way possible, sending Aubrey’s life in a tailspin all over again.

The clever twists and turns in this mystery will floor you. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, J.T. Ellison slaps you in the face with a new revelation. My focus is easily distracted typically, but No One Knows kept the wheels of my brain turning constantly. Like the rest of the story, the ending is so unexpected that I had to read it twice to make sure I comprehended correctly! I completely enjoyed reading this book; definitely a must for the mystery lover. Happy Reading!