Getting work done in the local coffeeshop!

Goals: June

Welcome to summer! Here in Oklahoma we’ve moved into the days of 90+ degree days already, so I don’t care what the official calendar says. We filled our long weekend with time with friends, lake time, and even got a surprise invitation to try out the C-17 flight simulator! That was incredibly cool. Now I can say I’ve flown a plane, right?

German Shepherd Cute sleeping puppy

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Goals for April!!

Goals: April

Y’all, it is APRIL!

April is my favorite month. Partly because it’s my birthday! But it’s also a beautiful time of year with everything coming up green and full of new life. In the south it usually starts in late February, but some unusually late snow meant the weather didn’t really kick off properly until recently.

Goals for April!!

This is the first March in my memory with snow in NC! The poor daffodils didn’t make it.

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Nothing beats a day trip to the beach on a warm February day!

Goals: March

Is it just me, or did February fly by? 2017, slow down!!

This month held some big happenings. We finished our beautiful kitchen table and it turned out even better than I’d hoped!! I came back to NC and then hit the road for fun all over the southeast! I chopped my hair off, donating it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and I’m loving the shortness. I think I’m short-hair girl at heart.

The other BIG GIANT THING I did this month was open up my Etsy shop! Also named Teaspoon of Nose, I make stationery, cards and custom paper goods. Please go check it out and see if you’re interested!

Before & After! Haircut Pantene Beautiful Length hair donation

Check out my Etsy page for beautiful hand crafted foil press stationery!

See my Etsy shop for a lot more stationery options!

Here’s how I did on my specific goals for the month:

  • Head to NC – here I am! Well, not at the moment. But I spent a couple weeks with my parents before heading west to Winston Salem, Asheville & Nashville. Coming up next:  Huntsville, Montgomery, DC and who knows where else.
  • Finish the kitchen table and build chairs – yes yes yes! We have a beautiful kitchen table and chairs, and I’m thrilled. Big project checked off!
  • Read 8 books – so many great books! I’ll share one in particular next week. I also read Me Before You, which was great and heartbreaking and I cried through the entire second half of the book. And I still loved it.
  • Write 7 blog posts – not so much. With all the other projects, didn’t do much writing. But as I grow in one area, I have less time to devote to others, and I still published as much as usual. That being said, I’m looking forward to getting back into it this month.
  • Exercise 5x/week – Did pretty well. Not perfect, and I seem to be developing some exercise-related asthma which has kept me from running. In all the travel I haven’t gotten myself to a doc yet. Any tips to mitigate it in the meantime?
Our beautiful new kitchen table we built!

Grainy iPhone shot the night before we left, to prove we finished it.

Looking ahead, here’s my goals for March:

  • Keep traveling!
  • Continue building up my stationery & card designs
  • Read 8 books
  • Write 7 blog posts
  • Exercise 5x/week

Nothing beats a day trip to the beach on a warm February day!

Since I’m vagabonding it this month, I’m trying to keep my goals simple for enjoying whatever comes up!

What are you looking forward to this month? Share your goals below and we can encourage each other!!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

If the sunrises are this gorgeous it's worth getting up for them!

Goals: February

Oh hey February!

January has been.. something. Current events in our country are heartbreaking and scary and deeply painful, and I’ve been angry and sad about much of what’s happening. I don’t talk much politics on here, mostly because fighting over email or in the comments section feels unproductive. Those conversations are best in person or on the phone. But if you want to talk or cry or rant, let me know, I’m here.

Personally, I started the new year bright eyed and ambitious. Best laid plans for productivity turned into snow days, hosting my brother, fun with new friends, and catching a cold. Meaning… this month felt like a bit of a false start. I had big dreams of putting some solid work into figuring out what this next phase of life would hold for me, and that didn’t really happen. But I’m starting to recognize that I may never have a “normal” week, so I should just roll with it. What is a normal week anyway?

Snow days are the best days!

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Great hiking is just a few miles away! Quartz Mountain, OK

Goals: January

Has everyone recovered from their festivities? Our holiday has been a good mix of seeing people and binge watching TV. Logan started building us a kitchen table, which I’m over the moon about. Mostly I’m just staying out of the way until it’s time to stain.

Great hiking is just a few miles away! Quartz Mountain, OK

Excited to do more hiking this January!

I’m pretty proud of what got done in December, mostly because I managed to ship gifts back to NC in time for Christmas. Gotta keep those priorities in order, folks. But as far as goals that were on my list, I did pretty well:

  • Write 10 blog posts: So much writing got done! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have a nine to five. I’m excited for lots of great stuff to share with you in the next few months, including more from our trip to Europe!
  • Read 7 books: Check! Pretty sure the number read in 2016 is an all-time high for me. Recommendations are always welcome!!
  • Exercise 4x/week: I’m counting it. I did it, with the exception of this past week, but that’s a major holiday week, so it doesn’t count. Having one car has helped: it forces me to walk to things, or walk to drop the car off at Logan’s office, or walk if I need to get out of the house. I’ve gotten a gym routine for the most part (aka not during Christmas) which makes a I will NEVER get tired of Christmas treesbig difference.
  • Have some people over for dinner at least once: I’m happy to share that we’re meeting some awesome people! We’ve hosted a couple times and been to others’ homes several times this month. Looking forward to more of this!
  • Celebrate Christmas: Yes! This was our first Christmas living far enough that we didn’t see parents and siblings during the holiday season, so of course we missed our people. But we had a great time here, complete with new friends and Christmas Eve chocolate fondue. A new tradition, perhaps?

I’m 100% one of those people who loves the fresh start that comes from the new year. January holds all the promise of a clean slate, of a turning towards new habits and refocusing on what matters. I shared my dreams for 2017 a few days ago, with the promise that monthly goals would be more specific. So here’s what I’m aiming for in January:

  • Host my brother in Oklahoma! Our first guest!
  • Write 7 blog posts
  • Read 8 books
  • Exercise 4x/week
  • Research kitchen chairs
  • Weekly date night with Logan
  • Figure out travel plans for the spring
  • Have more crafty fun

2017, here we go!

I’m excited to get going on 2017! What are you most excited about for the new year?

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Getting ready for 2017 with my Powersheets!

2017, it’s nice to meet you

In preparation for the clean slate of a new year, I asked for PowerSheets for Christmas. PowerSheets is a goal-setting system that’s more interested in setting good goals that get you somewhere, rather than lofty unattainable intention or goals for the sake of checking the boxes like a Type-A maniac (meaning me).

So I want to be a little more thoughtful about 2017. I’m in a completely different place in so many ways: geographically, life stage, professionally. For the first time since law school began, we have some flexibility with our time and energy. That means all the creative entrepreneur jobs I’d toyed with are now within reach, if I’m willing to take the leap and try.

Life on base in Oklahoma

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Logan graduated law school and commissioned into the Air Force!

2016 in review

Here we are, on the last day of 2016. It’s hard to not get reflective and a tiny bit sappy today, right?

Recently I pulled up the post I wrote on the first day of 2016. It reminded me what it felt like to be on the ‘before’ side of everything that this year held. We got to see several things we’d fought for come to fruition (lookin at you, law school) and made our biggest geographic move to date. My husband and I joke that this was “the year of the upgrade.” Case in point: I sit here writing this on a laptop I bought this year, in a house we moved into this year, in a new state.

Our new home!

Here’s the headlines of 2016:

  • LoganHow to spend one day in Pisa, Italy! graduated, commissioned into the Air Force, and passed the bar exam!
  • We moved to Oklahoma, getting our first taste of living in the plains, in a small town, and on a base.
  • We paraglided and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life!
  • I finished my personal assistant job and trained my replacement.
  • We soaked in as much local life as possible, including lots of deliciousness from the Triangle Bucket List and as much sweet time with friends as humanly possible.
  • I read a ridiculous number of books. 93 to be exact.
  • So many fabulous weddings! I lost count but the tally was at least ten.
  • Most recently, I saw a porcupine in the wild. Apparently we have those here in Oklahoma.

Our closest hiking spot is Quartz Mountain, which is rustic and beautiful!

This year’s travel was an all-time high: South Carolina, Atlanta, Alabama, and culminating in a European adventure that included England, Scotland, France, Italy, and Switzerland. I got to head to Florida for a family wedding and celebrate bachelorette weekends in Virginia and at the North Carolina beach.

Soaking up the unbelievable cherry blossoms in DC. It's really worth the hype!!

A spring weekend eating and exploring through DC!To say this was a big year feels like a massive understatement.

Instead of a concrete goal for the year, I proposed an approach for 2016: happy and unperfected. If I’m honest, I thought about that phrase for about a week and it didn’t cross my mind again for the next 11 months. 2016 felt more intense than that. It was a year of fighting the good fight, staying in the game until the [sometimes bitter] end. A lot of my year was built around managing a demanding job while supporting Logan’s never-ending slog through the last semester of school and bar prep. By the way, all lawyers who make it through that process deserve medals: grueling doesn’t begin to cover it.

But progress, not perfection.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

If I had to pick one word to sum up the year, it’s stretching. There have been so many things we’ve fought to finish this year, to complete things well even when they’re tough. Then there’s the whole other category of on-ramping with the military that requires you to completely give up control of location, timeline, and circumstances. Both are important and have ultimately taught me so much, but in the moment have felt, well, stretching.

There’s been good stretching too: I’ve felt my NC community stretching me in all the best ways, deepening and strengthening and continuing to blow me away with how wonderful they are. Family relationships have grown and become more dear than I thought possible. My faith has stretched and grown in ways I could’ve never expected. The stretched feeling that comes with traveling in foreign cultures, straining past your senses to try and understand a language you don’t speak.

2016 has been stretching.

Later this week I’ll share my thoughts about looking ahead to 2017. But I’m grateful for the ways that 2016 stretched me.

Logan graduated law school and commissioned into the Air Force!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

Our new home!

Goals: December

Raise your hand if you’re already listening to Christmas music!!

I’m one of those people who celebrates with abandon, and while I dearly love thanksgiving, the last weekend of November is for pulling out the Christmas decorations!

Honestly, I’m not even sure how to characterize November. It’s been amazing to finally begin to settle into our new town, new home, and new life. While it was sad to not spend Thanksgiving with family, Logan and I had a great time cooking more food than two people could possibly eat. I’ve spent nearly every day unpacking boxes, cleaning things, or updating our info. And I haven’t even gotten to my driver’s license yet!

Our new home!

Sunrise on our new place

In spite of no routine whatsoever – or largely because of it – lots of big things happened this month. Here’s how the goals for November went down:

  • Move – done! The process itself went pretty smoothly, and we’re really enjoying Oklahoma so far. Most people we’ve met have been through Logan’s office, and everyone has been so fantastic and welcoming!
  • Get unpacked (mostly), and maybe buy a couch – It seems like every day I unpack boxes. Not even kidding. But there’s something incredibly therapeutic to me about setting up a new space and making it my own. There’s a comic element to me though, of unpacking all our stuff with very little furniture. Our “couch” this month has been a twin bed. But never fear, we got wild and crazy on black Friday and got a BUNCH of furniture. Also purchased: a washer & dryer. It feels so adult!
  • Read 7 books  – This was an easy one. I listened to audiobooks throughout the 20 hours drive and for days while unpacking, so I soaked in a book almost every other day!
  • Write 10 blog posts – check! Just this week I’ve gotten a better writing routine, only because there’s not a gazillion boxes everywhere I turn.
  • Work on  setting up Lightroom photo cataloging – I’ve set up the basic structure I’ll use. Now to just import the past 10 years of photos in…
  • Finish editing Europe photos – Yes! Fist pump! Finally. That means you’ll see more Europe posts continuing very very soon!
  • Work on Rosetta Stone (spanish) once a week – Nope. Definitely didn’t. What with all the transition/chaos/life happening, I did it about twice. We’ll revisit this in December.
  • Exercise 4x/week – … hmm. So in the sense of going to the gym or actually running around, not really. But I have gotten a ton of steps in what with loading and unloading a  moving van and setting up our new place!
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving – Success! While we missed our families, we had a great time picking all our favorite foods and watching the parade. I may have gone a touch overboard and made two pies for two people, but who’s counting?

December will be our first full month here in Oklahoma, so I’m excited to start figuring out more than where the grocery store is. We’re starting to check out churches, plus I want to join in whatever seasonal things are happening around here! We’re staying here for Christmas, so I’m already working on gift boxes to ship back to family. Doing it this far in advance actually adds an extra element of fun for me: instead of a rushed post-exams or after-work Christmas shopping, I get to put a lot more thought and research into fun gift ideas!

My main “rhythm” for December is to start setting up a routine. After so much (good) chaos, I’m ready for a little predictability. This Monday was the first day that I didn’t wake up barraged by boxes clamoring to be unpacked, and this week all the furniture we bought on Black Friday will arrive! So things are starting to come together.

These are my attempts at concrete goals for December:

  • Write 10 blog posts
  • Read 7 books
  • Exercise 4x/week
  • Have some people over for dinner at least once
  • Celebrate Christmas!

I love these Oklahoma skies!

What are your goals for December? Does your routine change significantly during the holidays?

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Goals for November on the blog!

Goals: November

Goals for November on the blog!

Only photo with flippers!

Happy November, friends!

How was your Halloween? Some friends threw TV show-themed party last weekend: we went as Buster Bluth and a loose seal, which few people got if I wasn’t standing next to Buster or they hadn’t seen Arrested Development.

We do have some big military life updates: we’re moving a little sooner than expected! We leave NC in two weeks. The date has changed three times, but now it’s In The Official Paperwork. I’m a little worn out from the constantly changing plans, but I’m definitely ready to not live out of boxes anymore! So getting there earlier suits me fine.

Looking at October’s goals, here’s how we did:

  • Read 6 books – goodness gracious y’all, I am unemployed. Reading a lot. This month I hit my goal for 2016 on goodreads – 70 books! I’ve been stuck on a James Michener novel for a while – it’s good, but 800 pages and a little dense. However, October has also given me some on-point nonfiction, which I’ll share with you soon.
  • Write 8 blog posts – yes! See above re: unemployment.
  • Finish editing Europe photos – whelp, no. Made some great progress, but didn’t finish. We’ll continue this one for November.
  • Celebrate our wedding anniversary! – AH yes. We spent the whole day together (an anniversary first, except for our actual wedding day), went hiking, relaxed, and then had dinner at our first date restaurant. See me gush here.
  • Move, if at all possible – so. Turns out not really possible. We did move out of our place this past weekend. Work in progress on the exact move date to Oklahoma!
  • Find housing for our next location – see above. Work in progress.
  • Continue to get time with friends & family! – Knowing our location has made the move feel much more real, and I’m feeling some of the sadness I knew would come to leave some beloved people. I’ve lived in this area for nearly my whole life, so the roots are deep. Trying to cherish the community we’ve built here while we still can.

Goals for November on the blog!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many recipes. This has been partly because we’ve been living out of boxes for weeks getting ready to move and partly because we’ve been soaking up as much of Durham & Chapel Hill food as we possibly can! Once we’re settled in I’m planning to ramp that back up, but I’l try to squeeze in a few guest appearances in friends’ kitchens in the meantime.

In the midst of our vagabonding, here’s my November goals!

  • Move!!
  • Get unpacked (mostly), and maybe buy a couch
  • Read 7 books
  • Write 10 blog posts
  • Work on  setting up Lightroom photo cataloging
  • Finish editing Europe photosGoals for November on the blog
  • Work on Rosetta Stone (spanish) once a week
  • Exercise 4x/week
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving

They may be … shall we say, a bit bold. I may be overestimating my abilities here, but since we’re already entirely packed for our move, maybe there’s more time for creative endeavors? Or I’m being optimistic. Either way.

My refrain for the past couple months still applies: life is a little uncertain, but if nothing else I can still read and write and love people.

What are your goals for the month?

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.