Friday, December 2, 2016

December Intentions & Goals Link Up

It's a new month and that means it's the perfect time for reflection and setting new goals! I'm not going to lie - November was a bit of a rough month when it came to goals and I'm sure the holidays are going to mess with December's goals quite a bit. I'm being proactive and cutting back to simpler goals for December though. We'll see how it goes!

P.S. If you're here for the bump update - it's at the bottom of the post!

As you know, I find reflection and accountability to be important aspects of goal setting. That being said, let's take a look at my November goals before we dive into the new ones! I've included the headers below and my reflection but to see these goals in more detail, please visit the November post!

One: Write a book.
This one did not happen - not even a little bit. I started lining people up for a feedback team and then it all fell apart. The idea is still there and notes have been made all over, but an actual book has not been started yet. (Keyword there is YET...I'm not done with this idea at all!)

Two: Update the layout of Hodge Podge Moments.
Take a look around - does it look updated? I hope you said "no" because that's the truth. I did start on some changes here and there, but it's no where near where I'd like it to be.

Three: Business Plan I ordered the book. I made a plan for the book. And then it all fell apart. Going to try to work on this one during our trip this month.

Four: Continue organizing the house.
This one is actually a WIN! We got new carpet which means I'm finally able to start organizing things without worrying about them being moved again. That being said, it has been a slow process because I'm going through everything before I put it into it's new home. Our donation pile continues to grow.

Five: Establish a bi-weekly plan for blogging and life.
I didn't establish a plan but I have been keeping up with blogging despite some life obstacles that I struggled with a bit. I am not including this goal in December because I know routine will not happen this month.

So, now that I've reflected on November and my lack of sticking to goals, let's move on to the ones I'm setting for December. As I mentioned before, I'm going to keep these super simple due to travel and the holidays.

December Intentions

Hodge Podge Moments
- January-March editorial calendars
- Layout outline
- Work on growing the community

The Coastie Couple
- Post every Tuesday/Thursday for the Holiday Blogging Challenge
- January-March editorial calendars

Pam Hodges Creative (business)
- Gift 5 brainstorm sessions
- Decide on services and prices
- Figure out the legal & financial side
- Work through The Conquer Kit

Abs & Anchors (Health)
- Meet water goal daily
- Move every day
- Stick to eating plan I was given
- Practice more self care
- Host the 12 Days of Fitmas

- All rooms (except nursery) set up by the end of December

- Read 3 new books
- Decide on a routine to implement in January

What's on your goals list for December? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below or if you've written your own post, link it up and I'll check it out!

Bump Update

Week? 29 weeks (11 to go!)

Gender? boy

Size? pineapple or jack rabbit

Movement? He's moving around in there whenever he feels like it. My entire stomach moves sometimes when he does and it's an interesting thing to watch.

Bump? Hasn't gone anywhere!

Maternity Clothes? Pretty much all I wear unless I'm around the house - some of my sleep shirts and pajama pants still fit.

Stretch Marks? Not entirely sure.

Belly button in or out? Still in!

Cravings? Haven't craved much lately. Eating has turned into a calculated chore since I'm trying to keep my sugar levels in check.

Symptoms? Aches & pains continue along with quite a bit of itchiness. Otherwise, feeling pretty good. I do tire easier than normal - especially my lungs and legs.

Mood? Pretty good but I still have a hard time handling bad news.

What are you missing? Sleep! My body has decided that sleep doesn't need to happen.

Highlight of the week? We started our Christmas shopping.

Looking forward to? Getting the house all set up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blog Post Ideas for December

Tomorrow is a new month, which means it's time to share another list of blog post ideas! I have one more post left in this series (January) before it will be complete. After it's complete, I'll be creating a directory so that you can find the ideas all year long!

Let's dive right into some ideas for your blog in December!

The Holidays
I could separate out each of the major holidays but that seems a bit redundant and unnecessary. No need to waste your time or my time after all. December is a month filled with holidays and these can certainly influence your blog posts in many ways. I recommend using your holiday of choice (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc) as inspiration for your blog this month.

It's getting colder and colder (well, most days) and that means winter is on it's way. The first official day of winter is December 21. The weather in your area might suggest otherwise though. Use it as inspiration for posts on winter activities, warm drinks, and cute outfits. (Anyone else love scarves and hats?)

With so many holidays and parties happening this month (you knew they'd come up again!), it's the perfect time to write and share posts about entertaining guests, decorating, and recipes for big crowds.

Gift Lists
Shopping is a big part of December as people venture out to buy gifts for one another. Take some time to share creative ideas for gifts on your blog. You could do a gift list for a certain group of people (the mom-to-be, for example) or you could share your own personal wishlist. I love seeing what others have on their lists this time of year.

Local Events & Things To Do
This time of year is filled with opportunities to go to festivals and events. Step outside of your comfort zone and discover some new things in your town. Then, come back to your blog and share the experience with your readers.

I know I mentioned this briefly under "entertaining" but this time of year is the perfect time to share recipes of all sorts. People are looking for new things to try while their guests are around. There's also the cookie parties and people looking to prepare for the new year. Don't forget to include those healthy recipes as well - people will be looking for them as January 1 approaches!

This one was mentioned above as well but it deserves it's own section. December is the one time of the year when people drag out holiday decorations and deck the halls of their house. Some, including me, like to decorate for every season but not everyone does. Use this month to showcase your decorating skills and offer up some advice from your own life experience.

Goals, Reflection, & Change
At the end of the month, resolutions and reflections are going to take a center stage for most people. The start of a new year is a popular time for people to set new goals and attempt to make major life changes. Take a moment to think about all of the resolutions you tend to see and use it as inspiration for your end of the year and beginning of the year posts.

Looking for even more ideas? Check out Holiday Insights for some random holidays that also happen this month!

Will you be sticking to your normal writing schedule or will you be taking a blogging break for the holidays? I'd love to hear how the holidays affect your blog!

Monday, November 28, 2016

I'm Not Perfect and That's Okay

I share a lot of my life openly online through pictures and random status updates. And when I say openly, I mean I don't always sugar coat life or make sure my personal Instagram is only filled with the perfectly concocted highlight reel. I share the awesome photos, the ones that are so-so but hold a lot of meaning, and every now and then the ones that really shouldn't be shared. They're not perfect, but they are an extension of me and my life and that's why I share them. Unfortunately, this sometimes opens me up to unwanted advice and criticism from others. In fact, that's exactly what has inspired today's post.

I'm not going to share the exact incident or comment that brought me to write this post today for two reasons. The first is that it's not the first time I've gotten a comment with unwarranted advice and the second reason is that it has less to do with the actual comment and more to do with life.

If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I've been working on changing things in various aspects of my life. There are certain products I avoid and certain foods that I've tried in an attempt to live a simpler, healthier lifestyle. I have never once said that I'm only using natural products or only eating whole foods. What I have said is that I'm working towards better choices. I'm not perfect and my choices sometimes fall into the "bad" category. I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm trying and that's what matters.

Let's put things into perspective. Many of us grew up in a time when nutrition and environmental awareness wasn't a focus. In fact, I can remember "environmental awareness" consisting of a lesson on cutting soda rings before throwing them away because they might end up in our ocean. We also learned the catchy song about "reduce, reuse, recycle." There was no talk about chemicals or the products we were using. It was all about what to do after you used something.

Nutrition is another one that was taught in a different way growing up. You were taught about the food pyramid and how to balance the different parts. I don't really recall anyone explaining that whole wheat bread had more benefits to our body that white bread. It was all simply bread and it was the largest piece of the pyramid.

Today, there's a lot more research on the environment, our bodies, and how our choices affect everything. You can even find a variety of movements centered around no GMOs, reducing waste, returning to natural products, and the list goes on and on. I can't even tell you the number of groups I've joined on Facebook to simply learn more about these movements and how I can do my small part to help. I can't say that I've embraced any of them to their fullest extent but I can say that I've used them to make small (okay sometimes big) changes in my daily life.
There's also a lot more research out there on which foods are better for you than others. In fact, there's so much research out there that you can end up swimming in research before you make any changes to your life. When you're swimming in this research and the opinions of others, I want you to remember something - none of us are perfect and that's okay. Sometimes you have to embrace your imperfection and keep moving forward. You're not going to make the "perfect" choice every time and that's okay. It's incredibly hard to untrain habits.
There's a lot more that I have to say on this topic but I'm going to save it for another post. We all make choices in our life based on our values, budget, stress, and a wide variety of factors. I'll be discussing all of those in the new year. Let's face it - they each could be a post on their own.
Have you ever been given advice that you didn't ask for? How did you handle it?
P.S. I'm going to be featuring some pretty amazing women this month in my new series called "Moments that Matter." I'm looking for a few more to feature - I'm a strong believer that we all have a story to share that will inspire others. So, if you think you have a story to share and would like to be featured on the blog, send me an email at and I'll get you signed up!