It’s A Shiny New Year!

I’m not sure when or how, but the holidays came and went in the blink of an eye and here we are, through the first week of a shiny new year!  I love a new year, don’t you?  It’s such a beautiful time when we have the hope of leaving a conflicted time behind us and begin anew with a beautiful, clean slate.

Resolutions have never been something I’ve made in the past (who really keeps them?), but for some reason I felt a little more compelled to do so this year.

You see, I seem to have found myself at a little crossroads of sorts filled with inner turmoil and conflict as 2015 rolled into 2016.  It’s time to make some changes and focus on improving myself.  For some unknown reason I am my own greatest enemy and I keep sabotaging myself because of self-esteem issues and trying to please everyone else.  These emotions I am experiencing are affecting my little family as well, and I do not want that at all!

With a season of change looming on the horizon, we kicked our New Year off in the best way possible with a little family get-away to the Florida Keys.  This was the first time in twenty-one years we turned off football and parties; leaving our traditions behind to start our year off on the right track!  It’s inspired me to definitely focus less on the world and more on my family, our spiritual lives and our well-being.

New Years Eve Sunset cruise on the Jolly II Rover sailing from the port at Key West.

New Years Eve Sunset cruise on the Jolly II Rover sailing from the port at Key West.

This isn’t going to be a “new year, new me” post, but more of a “new year let’s get our act together” post!

“The wife and mother in a family often ‘sets the tone’ in the home. The ‘tone’ God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family.”

~ Martha Peace

So here are a few of my resolutions to fill this clean slate that is 2016:

*Let go and let God.  I spend so much time trying to control every aspect of my life that I am losing my relationship with God.  It’s time to give Him all of my life, let Him take control and become number one in my life again.  As a wife and momma I have the ability to make our home in a way that either brings my family closer to God or tears them away.  I for sure don’t want to do the later by neglecting God in my own life.

“Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain…”

~Psalm 127:1

*Create balance and harmony between work and home.  I let my job stress me out so much that it is truly affecting the atmosphere of our home.  It’s not good for my husband, my children, nor myself.

I'm in the process of creating my own space for keeping our family organized as well as a place that I can slip away to regroup and refocus.

I’m in the process of creating my own space for keeping our family organized as well as a place that I can slip away to regroup and refocus.

When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home’s potential for positive influence.
~Stephen Covey

*Start saying “no”.   There are many sides to this “NO”…. “No” to working when I’m not scheduled (after Elizabeth Arden gift with purchase ends… I do have a customer base to be available for and goals to meet as a part of my job).  “No” to over-extending myself trying to play perfect mom.  “No” to people pleasing, and “NO” to feeling serious mom-guilt when circumstances beyond my control affect little things in my life.

It's time to stop and smell the flowers instead of trying to "Keep up with the Jones'" No pun indended.

It’s time to stop and smell the flowers instead of trying to “Keep up with the Jones'”
No pun intended.

*Get back on track with my health and fitness goals.  I have maintained my weight for over a year now, but it is not the goal I set for myself a couple of years ago.  It’s time to quit being lazy while maintaining, and hit those goals!  Besides, if I am not happy with myself nor am I as healthy as I should be how can I take care of my family?  They look to me as an example and I need to be that example 24-7 in all aspects of life!

This is how I've changed in the last couple of years; it is time to continue my journey. When I have my physical in June I want the nurse to tell me I am no longer in the obese catagory when she calculates my BMI.

This is how I’ve changed in the last couple of years; it is time to continue my journey. When I have my physical in June I want the nurse to tell me I am no longer in the obese category when she calculates my BMI.

*Tackle my to-do list and make progress!  I have dabbled in so many projects that are only half complete over the last several months that it’s really embarrassing to have nothing to show for it.  It is time to clean, sand, paint, decorate, and organize our house and truly make it a home!

desk project

*Incorporate more simple goodness into my home and in my own life in an effort to create a blessed and cherished atmosphere for us all.  Detoxing from technology (phones, kindles, etc…) is at the top of this list, closely followed by decluttering, less television and more games, books and outdoor activities.

I also plan to sit down and take in every page of this beautiful and inspiring book (Modern Mix) by my friend Eddie Ross!

I also plan to sit down and take in every page of this beautiful and inspiring book (Modern Mix) by my friend Eddie Ross!

Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.
~Henry Drummond

*Open up our home more to friends and loved-ones, making everyone welcome, wanted and cherished.  I miss having friends over to play cards, watch the “big game” or dine with us.  There is no reason that we stopped, except excuses.  Our doors are open, our table is set and it’s time to focus on building personal relationships with others, not a text or Facebook relationship. When people leave our home, I want them to feel appreciated and wanted in our life.

table setting

There are also some smaller tasks to focus on this year, but these are the ones that have sat on my heart most heavily and the resolutions I fully intend to keep. When 2016 ends, I want to look back and truthfully say this was the year I kept all my resolutions and made a positive change in my life!  I also want my children to know setting goals to improve themselves in all aspects of life is most important and not something they should take lightly.  At the end of the day I want to be an example they can be proud to emulate in their own adult lives.  Setting and keeping positive goals that benefit us all is a great way to help with that!

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.


Did you make resolutions this year?  I would love to hear about them!


happy new year 2015 wishes in oriya

Here it is, already January 5 and I am finally sitting down to post on my blog for the first time this year.  Several times I have opened my laptop with the intentions of posting, but all that came to mind was a blank page.  I wanted to share something useful; something that my dear readers may not find elsewhere and might actually use.

Looking back at 2014 was not an option (even though it was a slow year on the blog, it was still a VERY good year), as I find looking back takes the focus off the looking forward.  I didn’t want to bombard you with resolutions for the New Year as everyone has their own and quite frankly mine are very weak.

Thoughout the last several days as I have pondered on what to write, I decided that I needed a focus; a theme to carry me though this year.  One not only for the blog, but also for my life.  Believe it or not, my children and husband helped me (although they don’t know it) with this theme.

I want to focus on a total healthy lifestyle…. A healthy lifestyle that encompasses the mind, body and spirit.


In our house we didn’t have a break the entire Christmas holiday.  We worked, we stressed over cleaning, we traveled, we stressed over shopping, cried over school, and only had company over one time because we had no time for anyone.  To be honest with you the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were not fun and the so-called break from work and school turned out to be anything but a break for Audley, the kids and myself.

And it was NOT healthy.

It’s also not the life I want for myself or my family.

Health goes beyond having a good check-up at the doctor’s office.  Healthy is a way of living.  It’s a lifestyle that we must choose that incorporates all aspects of living from how we take care of ourselves to how we relate to others to how we live in general.  It is elevating the everyday and making it just a bit brighter for ourselves and those around us.  It is totally all about the mind, body and spirit.

Let’s face it, we all put too much on ourselves without looking at the consequences of what it is doing to our health.  Thoughout the next few weeks and of course the year I plan to share ways to help us all work towards the healthy mind, body and spirit, as well as carry this theme or focus throughout the entire year.

A healthy life is stepping away from the weeknight crime dramas and picking up a book instead; maybe a little less going out to eat and more staying in, eating at the table with the family.  Healthy living involves organizing our homes instead of living in chaos, taking time to finish the multitude of projects we’ve planned or started yet set aside.  A healthy life is getting out an exploring the beautiful area in which we live instead of staying inside surfing the net or watching TV and it’s dressing up to go to the grocery store instead of wearing yoga pants.  Healthy living is finding a proper balance between spare time and work without stress and exhaustion eating at our very souls.


There is so much that makes up a healthy life that will keep our mind, body and spirit in balance and I hope that I will encourage you to find this life as well!

Happy New Year my friends!!

I know it’s going to be a good one!



Do you have resolutions for 2013?  
Some people make them and break them instantly, some look at the new year as just another month on the calendar, and then there are those who take careful consideration and make plans of goals to accomplish in the upcoming year.
“Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.”
  ~Henry Ward Beecher
I am a planner & a list maker, so naturally I have a few things that  want to accomplish this year.  I also have a theme for my year.
It is DRIVE.
 Maybe it’s this newfound self-confidence & empowerment that I gained in 2012.
Maybe it’s because I’m tired of my kids driving me crazy and I want to drive them crazy for a while….
Just Kidding!!
But I do know that I feel very driven these days to accomplish things that I have thought too difficult to do.
I am going to be driven!
As for goals for 2013, here are a few of mine:
First task?  To finish what I started.  Yes, my lifestyle change will continue and I will be healthy.  Losing 65 pounds in the last six months has increased my self-confidence and reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to.  You know, I haven’t felt that way in years!
Secondly, I plan to make this house we bought and moved into nearly ten months ago our home.  We’ve already started a little painting, but there are so many things to do for our personalities to shine through.  I want our friends and family to walk through our door and feel at home in our home.
So many of the people we have met here knew the previous owners of this house (they had built it), and are all the time saying “well Donna….”
So selfishly, I suppose, I want people to say “well Jennifer…”
I know, I’m crazy, but think of all the things you have done that have made your house your home.
{I’m keeping the aqua carpet, though.}
Third, I want to get out and about more, mixing and mingling with people instead of being insecure and unsure.  This includes attending another Blogger’s conference in the coming year, as well as other blogger arranged events, and checking out this great area where we live!
The South Carolina Upstate has some really great places to shop, dine and experience a little nightlife!
Finally, I want to get a little better organized.  You know, throw out the stacks of magazines you are hanging on to because an idea you liked lies between the pages.
You know, the idea you can’t for the life of yourself remember.
{I do that.  a lot.}
I want to find all of my holiday linens before the holidays, not three weeks later.
Moving really messes with that stuff, especially when someone else does all the packing and loading for you.
And I want to finally make my kitchen a bit more functional.  It’s become quite the mess since I have teen girls that “help” out.  Together the three of us are going to get it all straight and make it easy for me to cook and plan meals as well as them handle those tasks the few times I may may not be available.
And when we are all organized, even they can put everything right back where it belongs.
It’s a win-win situation.
My resolutions or goals for this New year are not that many, but they are some that will require time and effort.  I’m ready to accept that challenge without a doubt!
So, do you have goals/plans/resolutions/a bucket list for 2013?  
I would love to hear them!
“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce