Category Archives: Refresh

Setting Mini Goals For The Week

Thought I’d try something a little different this week by setting 5 mini goals for myself.  I can’t call them weekly goals or I’ll rebel against the whole idea.    mini goals Plus, I need some things to keep me busy while I attempt this sugar detox thing.  Thank goodness it seems to be a reasonable one where I don’t have to immediately stop eating all sugar.   Overall, I did okay with it yesterday.  Fruit is okay.  I just wish the leftover Easter candy would quit screaming at me from the cabinet.Here are my five mini goals for the week:

  1. Keep the kitchen table cleared off and have dinner at it each night.  We’ve strayed away from eating dinner at the table, probably because it’s been covered with so much stuff.

  2. Blog every day this week.  I need to break out of my Monday and Friday (sometimes) only rut.

  3. Complete all the items on yesterday’s to-do list.  It’s embarrassing how often I don’t do all the things on the list.  There’s usually not a good reason either.  I just don’t do them even after putting them on the list.

  4. Make the bed every day.  I usually do this especially if I’m doing laundry.  Putting clean laundry on an unmade bed (my husband will do this) is a pet peeve of mine.  I just plan to be intentional about making sure I make the bed this week.

  5. Finish my library books and take them back to the library!  I’m giving myself until Sunday on this one.

Have you set any goals this week?  How do you keep yourself motivated.

Also, have you ever competed a sugar detox challenge?  Any tips or advice for me?

And finally, anyone else out there with a rebellious personality where it takes all your self-control to not rebel against completing goals even when you are the one who set them in the first place?


Wednesday Morning Walk In The Park

I went for a Wednesday morning walk in the park.  I wanted to practice with the camera a bit.  Getting away from the computer was also a goal.  Finally, I wanted to try to embrace winter a bit.

Want to come on my walk?  It will be ’90s style since I accidentally left my cell phone at home.  I hope you won’t mind when I stop to take a photo of whatever catches my eye.

Wednesday Morning Walk At Waterfall Park

Although it wasn’t exactly sunrise, I did enjoy trying out the scene setting on my camera.  I loved the reflection of the sun into the lake.

This little fellow was swimming around near me down by the fishing dock.  It is close to the play area and I think families sometimes (though they aren’t supposed to do it) feed the birds down there.

Lots of Canada Snow Geese hang out in these waters as well, not as many by the fishing dock but lots of “evidence” of their presence left behind.  Also, a special note to the random person who left behind their dog’s poo on the sidewalk.  Shame on you!  Please, be more respectful next time.

These red berries caught my eye.

As did these flowers?  Here’s the waterfall that gives the park its name.   It’s man-made and shut off for the winter so it doesn’t freeze, I guess.  I must have looked a bit touristy with my camera.  A fellow walker (lots of people use this park to walk, jog, etc) told me the park was much prettier when the leaves were green and the waterfall was on.

I like this sign! I saw a few of them as I toured the path around the lake.

Why did the geese cross the road?  To play video games and go bowling, of course! 

A few more ducks hanging out in the water.  The reflections in the water continued to fascinate me.  I tried to get closer to the little dot of a white bird (perhaps the uncooperative gull I saw later) who I watched fishing for a few minutes before taking this photo. I took a lot more photos but this lamp-post is the last one I’m going to share today. Despite the lack of snowy surroundings, this lamp-post made me think of Narnia.   What do you think of when you see it?

A few final thoughts about my morning walk:

First, I’m still cold from it!  Thirty seven degrees is warm for January but still pretty chilly to be casually walking around and taking photos for an hour.  Second, I really enjoyed it and “rediscovered” how much I enjoy simply being outside.  I found a lot of peace in it.

And finally, I have decided I need to make an effort to do it a lot more often and stop waiting for my family to come along with me.  I can manage on my own (and without a cell phone though I’ll probably take one next time since it isn’t 1995 anymore).  I think I will shoot for visiting a new park or trail twice a week.

Do you like to go on walks?  How often a week do you get outside?


Healthy Habits: Time To Rediscover My Health

To be fair to you and honest with myself, I have to start this post by confessing how much I despise that I am writing a post about healthy habits and writing it in January.  The rebel side of my personality is screaming at me right about now.

Thankfully, I’ve somewhat mastered the art of occasionally acknowledging and then ignoring my inner rebel.  This is one of those occasions.

Last week I shared my phrase of the year for 2017.  This week I’m going to focus on how to apply my new phrase.  This week specifically, I’m focusing on rediscovering my health.


After all, I did consider healthy for one of my word of the year finalist before rebelling and going with an entirely different phrase.

My blogging friends, Carrie from Northwoods Scrapbook and Rachel from Living Better One Day At A Time, have also inspired me as they have been talking about being healthier over on their blogs.  I want to be healthy, too.

We all know the basics to feeling better and losing weight:  eat less bad stuff (i.e., most the stuff in my favorite food groups, sugar and bread), more good stuff (protein, fruits, veggies), drink more water, and move more.  Why is it so easy to know something like that and so very hard to apply the knowledge?

Instead of starting with a list of large, lofty goals causing my inner rebel to laugh heartily, I’m going to start small.  Teeny, tiny.  Take “baby steps” to quote the Fly lady.  Of course, my family gets to come along in all of this because it wouldn’t hurt them to be healthier either.

The road to rediscovering my health starts like this:

  • Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.  Basic thing but I struggle the most with lunch unless I’m working (it’s provided and pretty healthy).  I have a lunch calendar for work so I will go by that and try to eat a similar lunch on days I do not work.
  • Stealing and slightly adjusting an idea from the book I’m currently reading, no sugar for the week.  I’m not going to be maniacal about this but no more constantly having junk stuff around.  I’ll still send a small sweet of some sort in the boys’ lunch and I do think we’ll do a dessert after dinner each Friday.
  • Also, for a bit of added fun (don’t ask my kids if they think this will be fun), I’ve decided we need to branch out on our vegetables a bit.  We’re going to try one new vegetable a week.  This week is leeks.  So if you know of a good way to prepare leeks (other than soup, my teenager will not eat soup), please let me know.
  • Make sure I’m drinking enough water.  Again, not an issue on days that I work but at home I struggle.  I’m not even sure I’ve had more than a few sips of water today and it’s after noon.  I have had 2 cups of coffee and am now having a cup of chocolate mint tea (not too fond of my sugar-free idea already).
  • Spending at least 15 minutes a day outside.  I’ll get to exercise eventually but this is where I’m starting.

I’m hoping these small steps will lead to bigger, bolder ones and eventually a healthier me.  What steps are you taking to work on your health in 2017?

Nature Nurtures

Sometimes when a child at the preschool has a meltdown, we take them outside.  Why?  We do this because nature nurtures.  The outside is calming.

It works not only on upset preschoolers but an upset tween as well (I tested that theory on my own child more than once).  It also works great on adults (I’ve tested the theory on myself many times).

It’s probably why, I saw a friend share this, the weather channel was offering up “election escape” nature last night.  Nature nurtures and calms us down.

One thing I have been doing with J this fall is collecting acorns.  They rain down on our deck during the early fall months and while I briefly entertained making acorn flour and cookies with them, this idea was more my speed.

Our fall ornament in progress

Our fall ornament in progress

I had picked up these clear ornaments at the Dollar Tree thinking ahead to Christmas (I know!) and with the idea we would make miniature terrariums in them.  However, the top opening was much too small for that idea and so we decided to fill one with acorns instead.  J had the idea to only choose acorns with the top still attached which made it a bit more challenging and fun.

It gave us an excuse to spend more time outdoors.  I am always in favor of spending more time outdoors!

I don’t live near the mountains but I do love this John Muir quote (by the way, in doing research, I discovered the Pinterest version is slightly wrong…this is what’s listed on both the Sierra Club and National Parks Websites):

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into the trees.

It works without climbing mountains though. Spending time outside is so refreshing and really can change my entire mood even if I only step out on my deck or front porch for a few brief seconds.

My challenge for you today if you are feeling down about the election results or anything else is to go outside!  Step away from the television screen, the Facebook and Twitter feeds, and just relax.  Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge nature and let it nurture you.

If you can hang out with some awesome 3 to 5-year-old children, that helps also.  I feel doubly blessed today to get to both be outside and see some of the most amazing kids around (aside form my own).

Now I’m simply going to steal a page from CBS Sunday Morning and end my post by sharing my more of my own “moment of nature” backyard photos with you.  I hope you’ll enjoy them!



I may have wandered into the neighbor’s backyard for this one of their amazing rose-bush!


Don't forget to enjoy these beautiful fall days!


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