August Goals


So…July came and went, I guess? Whoops! The “dog days of summer” are definitely in full swing here in Florida and I am feeling it. But alas, this month, as I transition back to work, start my “new” job, and return to working full-time for the first time in over a year, life is all about to change.

My goals this month are small and simple in theory, but will take a lot of discipline and adjustment:

Mornings @ the gym on MWF

July found me in a really nice gym routine, but 2pm workouts aren’t going to cut it anymore. Since I know myself well enough to not expect to get to the gym after a full day of teaching (and walking, walking, walking…), that leaves me with the early mornings. Emphasis on early. Like, alarm going off at 4:30am early. I’ve always wanted to be the person who could do this, and when I was running regularly, I got into a good 7am routine, but this feels like the major leagues of commitment.

However, what I have going for me is that I’ve never enjoyed the gym like I do now. It is a sanctuary of sorts. And there is a 5:30am spin class, MWF, that would totally kick my butt. So, here’s to new beginnings in August. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

Get Ready in the Evenings 

My plan to make our lives easier in the morning is to off-load as much as possible into the evenings. Which means: laundry, lunches, E’s bag, my gym bag (with work clothes picked out), teaching bag, purse, coffee maker set up, quick morning snack ready to go, and post-workout breakfast packed. Also, gas in the car, and gym shoes and socks laid out. I pretty much already wear gym clothes to bed (t-shirt, sleep bra and leggings) so with minor adjustments, I think I can just sleep in my gym clothes, hop out into my shoes, and load the car.

In the dark.

Half asleep.

While not waking anyone else up.


The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in my journey to lose the baby weight is that where there is a will, there is a way. And my will really likes the progress I’m making, so I think I’ll just keep finding a way. 🙂

Happy August!


June Goals

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There has always been something so special about June for me. Maybe because it’s my birthday month? 😉

I loathe the heat of summer in many respects, but I also love all the things that summer brings, and June is the most summer of months (and obviously, the actual beginning of summer). I plan on soaking it up!

This month my goals are to…

Keep going with CouchTo5K training

As you’re reading this I am on week four which means I’ve made it to the halfway point. The jogging stroller has added to my overall per mile time, but I’m pretty slow anyway, so it’s no big deal right now. The idea for me is to get out there and get those miles under my feet three times a week as a commitment to myself, and thus far, I’ve kept up despite that somedays have been a real challenge between lack of sleep, soreness, and general “ugh.” Keeping the promise to myself feels awesome. Planning on registering for the Firecracker 5K to celebrate my half-way victory!

Go a Month Without Target

Don’t get me wrong…we LOVE Target. But we’re on a tight budget this month, and we’re both interested to see what life (and our grocery bills) look like without my go-to store. Also, how sad is it that I go to Target when I need to get out of the house? Pretty sad. So, none of that in June. Will I survive?

Try Pilates/Barre/TRX

I found a local studio and normally it’s pretty pricey, but they’re running a teacher’s special over the summer. I’ve long loved yoga and have been intimidated by pilates, but watching E “swim” on his belly to work up his lower lumbar in order to get ready to crawl something clicked. Call it weird, but I feel like my body needs pilates. My goal this month is simple: get my butt in that studio and give it a shot! Hopefully I’ll like it and I can start saying hello core strength and hello improved posture.

Happy “Summer” 🙂

Summer Bucket List


I’m off until August (when I start my new full-time job!) and I plan to make the absolute most of this summer.

Here’s some of what I think might be fun to do/see/accomplish (mostly with my little sidekick)…

Places to visit/things to do

Summer Saturday Nights Live at Brevard Zoo 

Pick blueberries at Meadors Blueberry Farm

Have a date night at Lake Eola and rent a swan boat

Take a dip in the Cocoa Beach Community pool

Check out Shooz in Winter Park

Go to an Orlando City Soccer game

Try The Mansion (lunch or dinner)

Go to a Manatee’s Game

See the Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center

See the Rubens at the Orlando Art Museum (Before May 25th)

Take pictures at the Maitland Art and History Museum 

Visit the NEW TRADER JOE’S (in Winter Park) after Grand Opening (June 27th)

Do a Lakeridge Winery Tour and/or attend the Heritage Festival 

Have a birthday breakfast at D.I.G 

Visit the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse in Ponce Inlet and the Marine Science Center

Check out the Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter

Attend a Zumbini Trial Class 

Try Geocaching

Attend a Gymboree Trial Class 

Attend a Music Together Demo Class 

Do Glow-in-the-dark Mini Golf for a date night

At Home

Make lots of salads

Eat dinners on the patio w/John

Grow basil, tomatoes (and grass for the yard)

Get a kiddie pool to play in at my parents’ house with Evan

Layout in the sun

Setup a daily music routine with E

Play with spices when making baby food

Make a blueberry pie 


Finish the Blog Life eCourse

Work ahead to plan for the fall semester

Write my literacy narrative to submit for publication

Run the Firecracker 5K

Read at least five books for fun and two books for work

May Goals

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Start Training for a 5K

When I first started running consistently (May of 2011), I used this app and despite that a lot has changed and there are like, 1000 5K training apps out there, I still like this one the best. It’s an 8-week program, which means I’ll be running through the heart, I mean HEAT, of summer. Yay.

Along the way I hope to get new running shoes and a jogging stroller, but I can’t wait around for either of those things. If I’ve learned one thing about health and wellness, it’s that there is no such thing as a perfect time. I’m ready and going for it.

Drink Water Before Eating  

I heard something recently about how our bodies don’t know the difference between hunger and thirst. Total game changer! It probably sounds like a no-brainer to some of you but I honestly never knew why  “drink more water” was such a definitive weight-managaement strategy. I’ve been trying to make sure I always have plenty of water (bonus if it’s fizzy and I have fresh lemon!) on hand to drink when I feel those first pangs (of hunger? of thirst?). As someone who has always been a “gotta eat right now” kind of person, concentratedly drinking water is helping me see that a lot of the times I am actually NOT hungry.

Make-Ahead Meals and Pre-Portion Food  

Last week I cooked up a storm on Sunday and we had pre-made breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the whole week. Turns out this is not only a great way to not have to dirty the kitchen nightly, or wonder “what’s for dinner?” but as someone who struggles with portion control, it has made tracking what and how much I’m eating SO easy. I plan to keep this going for a month and see how, if at all, it improves our lives.

Cut Back on Simple Carbs, Dairy and Sugar 

John and I are considering a Whole 30, but since I haven’t had a chance to read It Starts with Food in time for this month, I’m working on making small changes that are a sort of primer for the program. Bye, bye: wheat toast with breakfast, Fiber One protein bars, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, beer, cheese at many meals and/or snacks. Hello lots of lean protein, veggies, some fruit, red wine, a bit of feta or greek yogurt, and when I really want dessert, these.

This month isn’t about being super-strict, but rather, just being even more mindful. Cutting back on the preservatives, keeping up with my salads for lunch, toning down the dairy consumption (from which I am already feeling less bloated), and working toward fruit, meat and veggies is a journey, and I’m on the way.

Happy beginning or end of spring, or beginning of summer (depending on where you are)!


April Goals

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Keep going with #mileaday walks. 

While I know I need more exercise than this to melt off the baby weight, it’s what I can squeeze in right now, and that’s better than nothing. Going to keep these walks going for the rest of April until I can start at a gym (with childcare!) in May. If you’d like to join me in this continued #mileaday challenge, visit me over on Instagram for #vdoesmileaday.
I’ve been feeling stiff and kind of achy the last few days and since this post has taken me a week into April to get to, I figure I can make a commitment to do a bit of mild yoga every day for the rest of the month. Nothing fancy, but my body is telling me I need to loosen up, and I’m listening.
That’s it for this month! Keeping it very simple as this is a super busy month at work, and parenting is sure picking up speed. Looking forward to this last concentrated push and then a nice “summer break.”
Happy spring!

March Goals


Based on what I learned from last month, I’m scaling back this month and really trying to focus on rewiring my brain with regard to food and exercise. As a result, I only have three goals this month (all wellness related): eat less, move more and weigh myself weekly.

Eat Less

Everything needs to be tracked. I know this, and yet, I don’t. Why? Because it’s easier to not track calories, until I step on the scale. I’m going to REALLY aim for 3 meals around 400 calories and 2 snacks at 200 and under. And I’m going to try to keep all my meals as simple as possible, even while traveling 3 out of 4 weekends this month.

Move More 

My mom and my mother-in-law both had multiple children and managed to get back into shape and stay that way. It is any coincidence that they both made a point to take stroller walks as often as possible postpartum? Probably not.

In trying to get back into exercising I’ve skipped over the simple stuff, like just getting outside on a daily basis, and that overzealousness has cost me. This month I’m focusing on scaling back and building a consistent habit.

I’ll be walking a mile a day, and taking pictures on Instagram (#vdoesamileaday) to document. John and I did this from Thanksgiving to NYE in 2012 and it was a really nice way to stay active. And it’s way harder than it sounds!

I’d also like to add some yoga in here and there. Not sure how much of this is going to be possible with E, but even if I can get 10 minutes of stretching in a few mornings a week, I think it’ll help me feel more in control of my own body.

Weekly Weigh-Ins

The last three months I’ve only weighed myself at the end of the month, which was a decision I made because I didn’t want to stress out too much about losing tons of weight while juggling sleep deprivation, going back to work and the chaos that is those early months of parenting. Now feels like the time is right to step it up. I know the scale doesn’t give the whole picture of health and wellness, but I do think weighing in more regularly may help keep me mindful and on track.

Ready for a great month of life and weather!

What are your goals for March?

Yearly Family Goals


I became interested in putting this post together after listening to the inaugural episode of the Girl Next Door podcast. John and I don’t sit down officially and talk about our year to come, but we do make goals for the year, and I love the idea of putting them in writing in our home.

Here’s what’s on our agenda for 2014!

Enjoy Evan

This probably goes without saying, but the biggest deal for us this year is to just enjoy the ride with our little guy. We know “babies don’t keep” and are both doing our best to juggle all the things, while making sure he comes first.

Full-time Employment (for me) by August

Most of our larger financial goals hinge on this so it’s a pretty essential I do everything I can to make it happen this year.

Rent House w/ Pool

Our lease is up in November and we’re SO READY for a bigger place, a yard with real grass, and a dishwasher. We’re also going to try to find a rental home with a pool because we’re not sure how long we’ll be in Florida and we’ve both always wanted a pool home. We’ll see what the rental market is like when we’re ready to make the move, but so far, this looks very possible! And yes, we plan on doing swimming lessons with Evan starting this summer. And yes, we know a pool adds a whole new level of parenting challenges, but we also think it could add a lot of family fun, too.

Cut Overall Spending 

We learned a lot from the lean months of 2013 and so far this year we’ve been working hard to save money wherever we can by taking our breakfasts and lunches, keeping our grocery bill under control by planning simple meals, and making sure our personal spending is used carefully. We’re not where we want to be with this yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress in trimming this part of our individual spending and I’m excited to see it keep going.

Build Our Savings 

We’ve averaged $500 in savings a month for the last two months, and have built up a small cushion for other spending. We plan to keep this up each month, and hopefully double it when I land a full-time gig.

All-in-all, I’d say 2014 has a lot going for it! 🙂

What are your goals for this year?