Category Archives: Blogroll

Start Where You Are – Setting Goals You Can Achieve

Start Where you Aree

Perfect for the start of a new year – start where you are.

Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not do something.

Some people set goals, some people set resolutions for the new year, and some people do both. For me, the connotation of “resolution” is different from goal – or at least it can be.  For me a resolution is a “New Year’s Resolution,” something set for what you want to do in the new year (or even stop doing in the new year).  A goal, on the other hand, can be a longer-range activity.  Perhaps there is no real difference or my interpretation is wrong.  At any rate, I have personally found it more helpful to set goals rather than resolutions.

To set my goals (long term and short term), I consider different areas of my life:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Soul or Spirituality
  • Financial
  • Family
  • Social
  • Community
  • Work
  • Self-Development
  • Miscellaneous

I also consider both long-term and short-term goals.  I don’t like to look too far ahead so I might set five-year goals, three-year goals, and one-year goals.  Those can all typically be broken down into smaller goals, which will be easier to work into monthly goal lists, as well as weekly goal lists.

Once goals are broken down like that, it is easy (or easier) to see what steps can be taken daily to move closer to achieving goals.

Things to remember when setting goals:

  • Make sure you have goals that will make you stretch.  If they are all immediately do-able, you won’t feel you’ve really achieved anything once you’re done.
  • Make sure that you are fairly reasonable.  For example, if you are 40 and out of shape, the goal “Become an NFL running back” isn’t really something you can expect to accomplish.
  • Keep your goals where you can see them regularly.  It can help keep you motivated.
  • Review weekly or at least monthly to see any progress you’ve made, and also to determine where you need to refocus.
  • Reward yourself for achievements, even if it is a small reward.
  • Set goals that motivate you – if you aren’t motivated by them, you won’t work hard to achieve them or even follow through on them.
  • Have someone hold you accountable – basically, TELL someone what your goals are and have them check with you periodically.
  • Keep your goals written down.  Just the act of writing them down reinforces your goals.



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26 Types of Journals to Keep

Just for kicks and giggles, I decided to see how many different types of journals I could come up with that a person could keep.  There is a lot of benefit to be had from keeping a journal – the regular type.  I’d imagine that you could get a lot of benefit from many of these.  This is my complete list.  Do you have any additions?  If so, feel free to add them in the comments.

  1. Time capsule
  2. Dream journal
  3. Exercise journal
  4. Food
  5. Memory
  6. Travel
  7. Response to specific event (i.e., birth, marriage, disaster)
  8. Gratitude
  9. Project
  10. Work
  11. Meditation or spiritual
  12. Planning
  13. Reading
  14. Dialogue
  15. Family
  16. Couples
  17. Prayer
  18. Health
  19. Art
  20. Ideas
  21. Diary
  22. Writer’s
  23. Thematic (i.e., on a theme such as values, topics you’re studying, et cetera)
  24. Parent-child
  25. Guided
  26. Recipe

journal 1

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2015 Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

  1. Toddler
    • Make play dough and play together.
    • Play dress up.
    • Play in a toddler pool or water table.
    • Run around at a park.
    • Play in a sprinkler or with a hose.
    • Wash the car!
    • Eat popsicles or ice cream from the Ice Cream Man that drives around selling ice cream.
    • Make giant bubbles (there are recipes online).
    • Visit a petting zoo.
    • Have story time every day.
    • Watch all your Disney movies.
  2. Child
    • Make a giant chocolate chip cookie (or their favorite treat).
    • Catch fireflies.
    • Have a sleep over.
    • Let the child “camp out” in the living room – sleeping bag, flash light, tell stories, have a special treat.
    • Play catch.
    • Go to a pool.
    • Fly a kite.
    • Play hopscotch.
    • Go to a children’s museum.
    • Decorate cookies.
    • Have a treasure hunt.
  3. Teen
    • Interview an older relative.
    • Have a scavenger hunt.
    • Collect family history.
    • Write a short story.
    • Publish your own stories in a book – there is a site called that can be used for self-publishing.
    • Eat five things you’ve never eaten before.
    • Keep a journal.
    • Go to the beach.
    • Go to a water park or an amusement park.
    • Make friendship bracelets.
    • Go to a fair.
    • Get a summer job.
    • Set some goals, then achieve them!
  4. Adult
    • Take a craft class.
    • Go to summer school for something that fascinates you.
    • Make beer or wine.
    • Bake a pie from scratch.
    • Learn to bake bread.
    • Go to a concert.
    • Go to the symphony.
    • Be a tourist for a day.
    • Plant a garden.
    • Raise herbs in planters.
    • Have a yard sale.
  5. Outdoors
    • Build sandcastles.
    • Go to the zoo.
    • Go to a baseball game – or a game of your favorite summer sport.
    • Play basket ball or another team sport with friends.
    • Go stargazing.
    • Watch a sunrise.
    • Watch a sunset.
    • Play Frisbee.
    • Play golf.
    • Play tennis.
  6. Indoors – Hot/Rainy Day
    • Have a movie marathon.
    • Make treats for neighbors.
    • Go indoor rock climbing.
    • Learn a foreign language.
    • Watch some documentaries.
    • Read a biography or an autobiography.
    • Write and publish your own book.
    • Make a video tutorial and post to YouTube.
  7. On a Budget
    • Go bike riding.
    • Blow bubbles outside.
    • Drink your morning coffee on the patio or porch.
    • Read a book a week.
    • Tie-dye tee shirts.
    • Make jam.
    • Go play mini-golf.
    • Take a picnic to the park.
    • Collect seashells on a nearby beach.
    • Make a root beer or Coke float.
  8. Family
    • Have a weekly family game night.
    • Make pizza.
    • Cook a meal together.
    • Have movie night.
    • Go to a concert – some locals have free concerts or concert series over the summer.
    • Have a movie marathon.
    • Go tubing.
    • Take a day trip.
    • Put on a magic show.
    • Have story time.
    • Have water gun fights.
  9. Couples
    • Get a couple’s massage.
    • Learn a romance language together.
    • Build a blanket fort.
    • Take a dance class together.
    • Go stargazing together.
    • Kiss at the top of a Ferris wheel.
    • Share a soda or milkshake.
    • Work at a soup kitchen together.
    • Take a spontaneous weekend trip.
    • Take up a hobby together.
  10. Miscellaneous
    • TaMake homemade ice cream.
    • Take a picture every day.
    • Go a week without electronics.
    • Make s’mores or some other summertime treat.
    • Do random acts of kindness.
    • Cook out.
    • Write down something that makes you happy every day.
    • Learn to play an instrument.
    • Learn to scuba dive.

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Resources for Special Needs Families – March 2015 Edition

This is a brief list of resources that I have found through my journey as a special needs parent.  I’ve tried to include mostly general sites, rather than those focused specifically on my daughter’s own health issues (epilepsy and autism), but there are a number relating to autism specifically.  Also, I should note that I am located in the United States and my sources tend to be as well.  However, I hope that the information contained in these resources can help ANYONE or provide ideas of sources for help in other areas. *In addition, I should note that I am not affiliated in any way with any of these sites.  These are just sites that I’ve found as I explored.*

  • Books
    • “Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey”  by Rob Rummel-Hudson
    • The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch
    • Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid by Gina Gallagher
    • The Special Needs Parent Handbook by Jonathan Singer
  • Magazines
    • Autism Parenting Magazine
    • Parenting Special Needs
    • Exceptional Parent
    • Thrive Magazine

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December 2014 – Helpful Websites

This isn’t a long post as it is Christmas Eve, but I did want to share some helpful websites that I’ve found over the past month or so.  Now, many people are familiar with these already, but hopefully you’ll find something on this list that is helpful and new to you :-).  If you have suggestions for a list like this in January, please feel free to comment!  I’ll check out your recommendations over the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and happy holidays to those who do not.  I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

(I would also like to add that I am not getting paid or reimbursed in any way for any of these recommendations.  They are my own honest thoughts on these websites.  Your mileage may vary.)

  1. DIY Planner – this site is  an awesome source for planners.  They have different categories (such as Psychology, Reference and Time Management).  And SO many choices…if you can’t find something here, well, there’s no hope for it – you will truly have to do it yourself!
  2. Stone Soup For Five – I can’t remember how I found this one, but I think I was searching for information on bullet journals.  I love all things journals and journaling.  At any rate, that’s a good reason to check this blog out.  It is religious, is the “home of the Personal Legacy Bible Study Series”, and has a store.
  3. – this is an interesting romance-advice-blog site.  It has sections on men, dating, couplehood, sex, and breakups, among others.  I recommend taking a little while to take a look at it.  I found some helpful information here on renewing my relationship with my husband.
  4. BlogLovin’ – This is an interesting way to keep up with multiple blogs.  Apparently, you can add ANY blog that you want to follow and keep up with all of the blogs in one place.  The appearance reminds me of Pinterest, with different posts appearing on one page.  I just thing this is a great idea.  You can also click to Find Blogs, Explore,  and just keep up with what’s hot at the moment.  You can sign up with email or with Facebook.
  5. On a completely different note, the American Psychological Association website has a lot of information on it that I think is valuable.  There are topics such as depression, ethics, learning and memory, race and stress, as well as links for Continuing Education, Divisions, Finding a Psychologist, and PsyCareers.
  6. Good Housekeeping Product Reviews – excellent source of information on many products that they test every year.  There are categories such as Beauty & Makeup, Appliances, Cars & Travel Products, and Health & Fitness.  They also feature “Recently Tested”, and seasonal items like “The Best Wines to Go With the Bird” and “Toy Awards: The Best Picks for 2014”.

Well, I think that is about it for today.  It is probably about it for the year as well.  Life will be pretty busy between now and the end of the year.  I wish anyone reading this all the best in 2015.

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10 Good Sites for Thanksgiving Information, Ideas, and General Sanity-Saving Tips


A Great Thanksgiving Planner

This planner starts with a two weeks before and breaks down various tasks that should be completed within each time frame: one week before, the Monday before, and so on.  It is enormously helpful even if you aren’t quite that…organized.  I know my own weaknesses and I know that I won’t do all of these things, but I still admire the detail.  I highly recommend taking a look – I think it could inspire you to make your own planner.

Mary Organizes Thanksgiving Planner

This is a very nice blank printable that you can fill out yourself.  The blog entry describes the intention of each section and is very helpful. It has sections for each course of a meal, area for shopping list of things you can buy a head, one for perishables to get the day before, and so on.

Cat Christmas

Holiday 7-Week Planner

This lovely list will help you spread the tasks surrounding both/all of the holidays out a bit so that you can actually catch your breath and spend some time with family!  What a concept!

Need to know how much to make for Thanksgiving?

That is a great printable for you, if you are in doubt as to how much food you need for your crowd.

A Girl and A Glue Gun has some terrific ideas listed – with credit given to other locations that she found some of the crafts.  One of the cutest is “Roll a Turkey” – you roll dice and for each number, draw a specific part of the turkey.  Kids should LOVE this one!

Buzzfeed is quite a source of fun, merriment, and…who knew, Thanksgiving tips.  Here is a fantastic list of 17 Life-Saving Thanksgiving Tips.    I had never seen a number of these and think they sound like they would make a big difference.

Car Hacks, Tricks, and Tips provides all of the above for those families traveling by car over the holidays.  Some of these ideas (like silicone cupcake molds in drink holders to make cleaning easier) are all-season and things that I had never thought of; I highly recommend taking a look at the list.

Erin, from My Frugal Home, has a very handy list of how long specific Thanksgiving leftovers stay good.  That is enormously helpful.  I’m going to go print my copy now and put it on the refrigerator!

Country Living Magazine is a source for a lot of helpful ideas, recipes and the like.  Thanksgiving is no different from the rest of the year.  Go take a look at these!  Tips from Country Living!

Smart Savvy Living has 10 tips to keep your Thanksgiving organized and help you stress less.  Some are obvious – make lists – but if you follow these, it WILL decrease the stress and help you have a more enjoyable holiday with the people you care most about.  Isn’t that the true point?

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Fall Leaves

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30 Reasons I Love Fall

Fall Color 1

Falling temperatures and falling leaves

Crisp evenings and wrapping up in soft blankets

Hot coffee on cool mornings

Sweet children cute winter clothes

Pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice donuts

Toasty blankets on the bed and no heat to dry out my skin

Walking through crunchy leaves

Gathering with family and friends to be grateful for all that we have and those around us

Pumpkin spice MnMs

Football and walks

Apples and pears (oh you have to try Honeycrisp apples!)

Fall carnivals and hot apple cider

Halloween kiddies and lots of candy

School and school activities

Soups and stews and hot, fresh bread

Pumpkin patches and hayrides

Scarves and jackets, drives to look at leaves

Burning candles and holding hands

Chili and cornbread

Crackling fires and toasted marshmallows

Fall Leaves

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