lifestyle


2018 goal results

photo courtesy of “Her Creative Studio” via Style Collective

Can you believe 2018 is almost over? I’m looking at the calendar in disbelief! It still fells like it should be early fall; despite the wintery weather we have been enjoying!

At the beginning of the year, I shared with you my goals for 2018. Instead of making traditional resolutions, I set personal and professional goals for myself. I worked hard at these goals; but alas, there were some goals which were not achieved. Three cheers for the goals I did achieve! Hip-hip-hooray!

So, I thought I would share with you what worked, and what didn’t, in my list of 2018 goals.

2018 goals and results

Get outside more: I was really good at this until the fall 2018 semester hit. With my unexpected surgery over Labor Day weekend, I got way off track. My activity was restricted, and I stopped scheduling outdoor activities. For 2019, I need to ensure I don’t get off track, and continue to get outside more!

Give my husband more attention: I am sad to say, I may have failed at this one. We scheduled a date night in January, and then only had two more during the course of the year. In 2019, I need to really step up to the plate, and schedule a date night; one night every month!

Make more educational family time: We tried to tie education into our vacations, and our family outings. We took a hike in the Marin Headlands where we taught our kids about our local military history. We also took our kids on a hike in Saratoga where they learned about our local historical quarry. Our vacations included historical attractions too! This has been quite enjoyable for both us, and our children. I definitely want to continue this goal in 2019!

Get my fitness on track: What is with me getting sick and getting off track? It happened in 2017, and again in 2018. For 2019, I need to stay healthy and not let occasional bumps get in my way.

Diversify my blog income: This has been incredible! In the past, I have relied on brands coming to me for sponsored content and collaborations. I have also relied on passive income from affiliate links and Google ads. In 2018, I actively pitched brands I already shop at, and work well with my blog. This worked like a charm, and I was able to partner with brands such as adidas, Chico’s, SOMA, and more! All of which I was already a customer, and felt like they enhanced my blog. I hope to continue pitching and working with brands I love, and hope you love, again in 2019!

Stay away from “fast fashion:” So, I think I did well with this! I stopped shopping from brands which appeared to be fast fashion and focused on affordable brands with more ethical manufacturing standards. If I failed, please let me know! I worked hard on this one, and hope to continue it for life.

That’s it! These are the goals I worked hard at in 2018, and some worked, while others need more work. Stay tuned for my 2019 goals in early January!

What were some of your goals this past year, and how did you fare working towards them?

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your goals!

XOXO

Cathy


5 Easy non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays

pictured: low calorie soda with raspberry Torani syrup, vanilla Torani syrup, and Perrier sparkling water in a Waterford wine glass /

The holidays are here! Chances are, you are hosting at least one party or event this season at your home. When hosting an event or party, it’s always a good idea to have non-alcoholic drinks for guests who are underage, designated drivers, or who don’t drink. Of course, it’s easy to provide water, soda, coffee, and tea; but what hostess wants to be that boring?! N’est pas de moi!

Since I am all about “easy” recipes when I entertain, I wanted to share my five favorite, easy non-alcoholic drink recipes for the holidays with you. I hope you love them; and I hope your guests do too! Of course, you don’t have to be a hostess to make these drinks. They can be made on any evening and served with dinner; or randomly throughout the day as a snack! They are that yummy! So, without further ado, here are five easy non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays:

Easy non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays

  1. Egg Nog Hot Chocolate: One of my favorite holiday drinks is hot chocolate with egg nog! I like to mix hot cocoa with one ounce of Budd’s Egg Nog. Budd’s is really the best egg nog, but if you can’t find it in your area, Southern Comfort also makes a good one!
  2. Butterbeer: If you are a Harry Potter fan, or you like sweet drinks such as cream soda, then you will love Butterbeer! Click here to read my no-fail recipe so you can make it at home for yourself, or any event you are hosting.
  3. Low Calorie Italian Soda: My favorite way to enjoy soda, without actually drinking soda, is with this trick! One tablespoon Torani Syrup, flavor of choice, and then fill the glass with mineral water. I prefer San Pellegrino or Perrier. To sweeten a fruit Torani Syrup, add half a tablespoon of vanilla Torani syrup. Works like a charm! Makes a 20-40 calorie soda, unless you use sugarless Torani syrup, then it’s a zero calorie soda! Love!
  4. Shirley Temple: This is an old fashioned favorite! Chances are, you grew up drinking Shirley Temples when your family went out to dinner. It was definitely my go-to drink as a child! It’s really easy to make at home too; so you don’t have to wait to go to a restaurant to order one. You can make them for the kids at your holiday parties; and any adult who wants a fun drink that is alcohol free. Love! To make a Shirley Temple, you use a high ball glass (or red wine glass if you’re feeling fancy), fill it with 3-4 ice cubes, one shot of Grenadine, and then fill the rest of the glass with Sprite. It’s that easy! Pop in a cocktail straw and/or maraschino cherry, and you have a fun mocktail for your guests!
  5. Hot Apple Cider: Most hot apple cider recipes are crazy! They have ten steps, and want you to do fancy things with cloves. Ain’t no-one got time for that! I don’t have an original recipe for hot apple cider, what I do have, is a link to an easy version. Click here to check it out. I love any recipe which is easy, and includes whip cream! Love! This is an apple cider recipe both kids and adults will love. It’s perfect for the holidays; and any cold evening when you want to warm up! It’s the coziest, low calorie drink I can think of! Enjoy!

A few things you might need to make these holiday drinks:

There they are! Five easy non-alcoholic holiday drink recipes for kids or anyone who doesn’t want alcohol. What are some of your favorite non-alcoholic drink recipes you like to make for yourself, your family, or your guests? Please share in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy


The season of giving is here

wearing: blue hoodie sweatshirtblack long sleeve tee with “21” on the back c/o adidas / black and pink long sleeve tee c/o adidas / blue teepants c/o adidas / Superstar Shoes /

My children are growing up in bubble. I will admit it. They live in a comfortable home, with plenty of food on the table. If they want a new dress, or a new pair of shoes, I can buy it for them. My older girls have their own phones, and all three of my kids have their own iPad’s. They are privileged, and it is hard to tell them that they are privileged, because they don’t understand what that really means.

When my kids turn on the television, they see sitcom’s with families living in nice homes, with plenty of food and fashionable clothing. They don’t see kids who live in homes where the power has been turned off because the parents don’t have enough money to pay the bill, or worse, they don’t see kids living in tents because their family doesn’t have enough money to put a roof over their head.

In order to help my kids understand that what they have, and that they should not take it all for granted, I ensure they are exposed to the community at large. I need to make sure they understand the importance of giving back to the community.

Once my daughters entered middle school, I started doing volunteer work with them around Silicon Valley. I thought it was important for them to understand how many people are in need, and that if we work together, we can help them. You don’t always have to donate money, donating time is just as important.

My daughters have learned a lot through volunteering for the community. We have put together care packages for deployed troops, made corsages for Mom’s with children who have cancer, assisted with an event at a local museum, worked in a food pantry, harvested food for a food bank (yes, we picked fruit from trees!), worked on school fundraisers, and much more! They have learned that not everyone has their health, people put their lives on the line for the freedom of others, and there are people who don’t have money for food.

Volunteering has opened their eyes to the world outside their bubble in our affluent, suburban town where many people are concerned with buying new cars, remodeling their homes, and investing in the hottest new start-up. Through volunteer work, my daughters are seeing the big picture; not everyone has access to things we take for granted which are basic needs; food, clothing, and shelter.

When we are working hard harvesting food, making things for people in need, and more, we need to be comfortable! Thankfully adidas supports people giving back to the community, and they create the perfect, comfortable clothing to help use be as efficient as possible. I love their comfortable pants which help me bend down and move around when I am volunteering. It would be hard to work in anything else!

The holiday season is during the coldest part of the year. Many people are freezing and in need of more help than ever. Please take some time to find a place in your community this holiday season that could use your time. There is no greater gift, than the gift of time.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

 

*thank you to adidas for sponsoring this post