New Year
Happy New Year! Here we are on the brink of another exciting adventure - one called 2016!

I'm not sure why, but the New Year always used to  make me sad when I was younger.... Maybe I was missing the past, rather than looking forward to the future?

Whatever the reason, in recent years, my outlook has changed dramatically, and I now find myself relishing the "blank slate" of a new year stretching out before me. This year, for some reason, I find myself extra excited! Maybe it's just the fact that the past couple of years have been so eventful, but I am greatly anticipating all that 2016 has in store for me, and I hope that you are as well!

With the start of the new year comes those inevitable New Year's Resolutions which so many of us make (and so often fail to keep). Last year, I shared a few of mine, as well as some tips for staying on track with yours. Recalling this, I thought it would be fun to revisit my resolutions for 2015, and see how well I fared!

Let's take a look...

2015 Resolution #1: To Grow a Successful Garden

In this first resolution, I have to say that I met and even surpassed my initial goal! As you have probably seen if you've checked out our homesteading updates over the past year, our new garden was wildly successful, despite the setbacks and challenges of a mostly water-logged growing season. That's not to say it wasn't a TON of work, but the results of all that work were richly rewarding, and I'm so excited to continue (and expand) our gardening adventure this year.

In 2016, we plan to expand our active gardening area to fill the whole portion that we fenced off last year. With the addition of a few extra hay bales, and the digging of a few more beds, we will approximately double our garden space. (How we will deal with the increased yield I am not yet sure, although we do plan to add a wider variety of crops, which should help....) Since the hard part (the digging of beds) is more than halfway done, I'm hoping it won't be quite as work-intensive this year.

2015 Resolution #2: To Make Our House Feel Like Home

This one is a bit more difficult to quantify, as while I definitely do feel more at home here now than I did a year ago, we did not accomplish even a fraction of what I had anticipated in regards to updating things around the house and adding our own touches. We did unpack most of the boxes, with the notable exception of all of our  books. For me, an avid reader from the age of 4, no house feels like a home without books! Mine still languish in boxes, and it's a frustrating task to dig through all of them every time I want to find a particular one. I can't wait to have book shelves erected! We also haven't painted a single room yet, although we do have plans to finally paint the guest bedroom this month.

However, it is gradually beginning to feel more like ours as we replace little things, like the old banged-up screen doors, which we did this fall. And we did complete our first big home project - installing the geothermal system we had planned when we purchased the house in 2014. Oddly enough, though the system is in the basement so we don't really see evidence of it all that often, it still made the house feel more like our home - and a very comfortable one at that! Heating our home this winter has cost a fraction of what it did last year (though, granted, it has been a very unusually warm winter thus far), and it is also a much more even, consistent temperature throughout the house. We definitely need to update the insulation and door and window seals, but it's a much more comfy home now, and it does feel more like ours.

So I guess while I did not accomplish this resolution quite as definitively as the first one, I still achieved the essence of my goal.

2015 Resolution #3:
To Make A Living Teaching Others the Essential Truths About Healthy, Holistic Living

When I set out to write this post, upon first reviewing this last goal from a year ago, my first thought was that this one was my abject failure for the year. However, upon further thought, that's not really true. While I am still far from making a living at this whole internet thing, I actually did make great strides in that direction in 2015. I was much more disciplined and focused on this goal then I ever had been previously, and I stayed focused on it throughout the entire year.

I learned and studied a great deal, and made quite a few big changes to my process, including greatly expanding and updating my blog network. I also began using social media to build a community of people who are interested in healthy and holistic living topics - something I have found to be extremely fun and rewarding!

If you haven't already, I would like to invite you to visit our new Facebook pages, and engage in the conversation. You can find and "Like" our pages by topic at:

And, of course, our main Facebook page is still here:

Then again, as I mentioned last year, this is an ongoing mission, so I'm not too upset about it taking a while to achieve. In this case, it's the journey that is the most rewarding anyway!

So I guess you could say my resolutions (or goals) worked out pretty well for 2015, which means it's time to set some new ones! Here are my top 3 goals for 2016 in brief:

Goal #1: To Make More Special Memories With My Husband

Last year I learned that, even within the first year of marriage, and even without kids, it's surprisingly easy to start getting into a routine and forget to spend quality time together.
Towards the end of the year, we got a lot better at setting aside special times and "date nights" to get out of the house and do something fun together - just the two of us. Whether it's a big event like a show or live performance, or just an impromptu happy hour after work, having a little fun together just makes married life better. This year, I plan to make sure we do things like this on a more regular basis - as well as take a fun vacation or two, like we did to Cape Cod last summer.

Goal #2:
To Accomplish At Least One Big Home Project

With the geothermal system in place, it's time to start thinking about what we need to accomplish next on the homestead. There are so many things that need to be done it is hard to pick just one, but I would be happy getting our drainage project done this summer, or starting on our fencing project - both of which need to be done before we can add any livestock to the property. There is also a lot to be done on the house, including probably the largest project - ripping out the old carpeting and installing wood floors. We certainly can't tackle all of these in one year, but I would like to do at least one of them in 2016.

Goal #3: To Continue My Mission of Creating A Full-Time Income Through Sharing Information On Healthy, Holistic Living

As I mentioned last year, this is an ongoing goal, and this year, I would like to expand upon what I started last year - building a community of like-minded individuals who are ready to take responsibility for their own health and impact on the health of the world.
I plan to continue expanding my skill set, and continuing to learn and grow in this area as well.

I invite you to take part in our mission - join our Facebook pages, share our posts with other individuals you know who would benefit, and check out our blogs for lots of helpful information on your favorite topics!

You can find our topical blogs at:

We wish you a wonderful, happy, healthy, and holistically balanced 2016!


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