Getting Personal #99: January Goals

Aristotle

Image Credit: Pinterest

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the first day of 2018. I’m looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

To you, my readers, I wish that this year brings more peace, harmony, health, happiness, and joy to your lives! I’m so grateful that many of you, all around the world, continue to follow my blog and support my writing! Thank you!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. See The Post.
  2. Attend the Annual Riverside Service Awards Dinner.
  3. Dust the house more often.
  4. Get better at weekly meal prep.
  5. Commit to regular journaling.
  6. Continue to make progress with my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.
  7. Read at least three books.
  8. Put away the laundry as soon as it’s clean and dry.
  9. Celebrate Al’s birthday!
  10. Update my TBR.
  11. Announce my new blogging challenge for 2018.

Here’s the breakdown:

See The Post.

  • Al and I have been looking forward to this movie for a while now. Some of you may have guessed that I’m a sucker for movies involving journalism, so I’m excited to see Spielberg’s adaptation of the journalists publishing the Pentagon Papers. Plus, I can’t pass up a movie that stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

Attend the Annual Riverside Service Awards Dinner.

  • In honor of my five-year anniversary with Riverside Health System, I have been invited, along with a guest, to attend their Annual Service Awards Dinner this month. Al and I are excited to have dinner at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton!

Dust the house more often.

  • We’ve been plagued with sinus issues and allergy symptoms since the weather turned cold. I figure dusting and vacuuming the house a bit more regularly may help a bit.

Get better at weekly meal prep.

  • Al recently tagged me in this video from Tasty: Meal-Prep Chicken 5 Ways.
  • Our plan is to use Sundays to get everything ready for the following week.

Commit to regular journaling.

  • I’ve received several really nice hard-bound journals as gifts. It’s about time that I start using them!
  • My initial goal is to start with this 100 Writing Topics post – One topic at a time – and see where that takes me this month!

Continue to make progress with my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.

  • I’m not setting a specific word count goal this month, since I want to get back into the swing of things after being on hiatus for a while.

Read at least three books.

  • I just rearranged my stack on my nightstand to include the books that Al gave me for Christmas. Get ready for more Book Reviews, coming soon!

Put away the laundry as soon as it’s clean and dry.

  • After spending well over an hour tonight emptying three full laundry baskets between the two of us, it’s nice to reclaim some space in our bedroom. I want to be more efficient!

Celebrate Al’s birthday!

  • Al’s birthday is toward the end of the month. I’m excited to make him his favorites: Surf and turf, plus cookie cake! Yum!

Update my TBR.

  • The newest quarterly update is coming to the blog very soon!

Announce my new blogging challenge for 2018.

  • Look for this announcement before this week is over!

Do you have any goals for the month of January?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Getting Personal #98: December Goals Recap

Image result for new year's eve quotes

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I’ve been saying for days and weeks that it’s hard to believe it’s December, that it’s the last month of 2017. Now, today is New Year’s Eve. Wow!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Decorate for Christmas. — Accomplished!
  2. Enjoy Al’s company Christmas party. — Accomplished!
  3. See Star Wars: The Last Jedi. — Accomplished!
  4. Celebrate Lyndsey’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  5. Host Christmas Breakfast for the first time. — Accomplished!
  6. Make chocolate mousse for Christmas dinner. — Accomplished!
  7. Get back into reading. — Accomplished!
  8. Make at least one thrift store donation run. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Decorate for Christmas. — Accomplished!

  • We put up our Christmas tree in our living room on December 10th, and I set out the wooden Jingle Bells blocks. I also changed out the Halloween ribbon on our monogrammed “V” wreath. It’s not super fancy, but it’s pretty.

Image may contain: christmas tree and indoor

Image may contain: indoor

Enjoy Al’s company Christmas party. — Accomplished!

  • We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on December 8th. So many people got into the theme and really liked it. Plus, Al, Frances, and Kathryn actually got to relax a little and enjoy the cocktail hour and the party. We all had fun!
  • Al and I even won one of the door prizes – A weekend getaway to the Williamsburg Winery!

See Star Wars: The Last Jedi. — Accomplished!

  • We saw the movie on Thursday, December 14th. It was SO GOOD. Al’s seen it twice now. We received several generous gift cards to the movies for Christmas, so we’ll definitely be seeing it a few more times!

Celebrate Lyndsey’s birthday! — Accomplished!

  • We drove up to Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday, December 16th. We met Lyndsey and many friends at O’Charleys for dinner, games, photos, and gifts. We had a lot of fun.
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Lyndsey had awesome photo booth props!

Host Christmas Breakfast for the first time. — Accomplished!

  • On Christmas morning, we hosted Al’s parents, my parents, Nick, Savy, and Mia. Between Al’s mom, Savy, and me, we had waffles, egg casserole, goat cheese and tomato tarts, kielbasa, coffee, mimosas, and more! Everything was delicious!

Make chocolate mousse for Christmas dinner. — Accomplished!

  • It was the consistency of chocolate pudding when dessert time rolled around, but everyone really liked it. We even had leftovers!

Get back into reading. — Accomplished!

  • Finally! I’m almost finished with my current book. Look for a new Book Review soon, hopefully this week!

Make at least one thrift store donation run. — Accomplished!

  • Earlier in December, Al and I loaded up my car to the gills (full trunk, full backseat), and went out in the cold and drizzle to the local CHKD thrift store. More to come, but we got our dining room back!

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to ALL EIGHT THINGS!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #90: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 52)

Week #52: Did This Challenge Change You?

I firmly believe this challenge changed me. I enjoyed doing a post every Wednesday during 2017. It caused me to stretch my brain, use my imagination, and focus on little things. It was a great exercise throughout this year. Thanks to Kristian for inspiring me in the first place!

Someone asked me if I plan to do a similar challenge in 2018. The answer is yes! I’ve been actively researching them over the last week or so. I plan to reveal it sometime next week!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Awesome Authors #10: Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson - AZ Quotes

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

Laurie Halse Anderson has been one of my favorite authors since I was in high school. I’ve read and re-read many of her books!


Born October 23, 1961, in Potsdam, New York, Anderson enjoyed writing and reading. She has a younger sister. She never saw herself as a writer. When she was a senior in high school, Anderson became an exchange student. She lived on a pig farm in Denmark for 13 months.

After high school, she attended community college. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1984, earning a bachelor’s degree in languages and linguistics.

Her first marriage was to Greg Anderson, and they had two daughters. Years after her divorce, she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart, Scott Larrabee. They married, combining their families. Scott also had two children, so they have four children between them.

Originally a freelance journalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, she began writing children’s and young adult novels. Her first novel was published in 1996, titled Ndito Runs. She’s also written several works of non-fiction.

Several of her books have made The New York Times Bestseller List, and recognized by the American Library Association (ALA).


Speak (1999)

Speak - Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Speak was my first introduction to Anderson and her writing. It’s an impressive book that I’ve experienced multiple times, both in personal reading and in several classes between high school and college. Melinda learns to persevere through a traumatic event, horrible rumors, and people attempting to ruin her reputation.

Catalyst (2002)

Catalyst - Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Catalyst is set in the same high school as Speak. Once again, Anderson did not disappoint with her realism.

Prom (2005)

Prom - Goodreads

Image Credit: Goodreads

This wasn’t my favorite book, but it was a good read about the drama surrounding high school prom.

Twisted (2007)

Twisted

Image Credit: Goodreads

I remember reading this one only once. I’m adding this to my TBR!

Wintergirls (2009)

Wintergirls - Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

This was probably the most challenging book that I’ve read, aside from the first time I read Speak. She dives deep into mental illness, eating disorders, and friendship. I want to read it again.


What about you?

Have you read any of Laurie Halse Anderson’s work?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #89: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 51)

Week #51: 100 Things To Be Thankful For.

This was a tough one! I definitely have a lot to be thankful for in my wonderful, blessed life.


  1. My amazing parents.
  2. My wonderful husband.
  3. Having a loving family.
  4. Marrying into a huge family!
  5. Being a part of the PEO sisterhood.
  6. Being a sister of Alpha Sigma Tau.
  7. The ability to travel.
  8. A beautiful house.
  9. Air conditioning and heat.
  10. A great job.
  11. Access to quality education.
  12. Being able to get fresh food.
  13. Having spending money.
  14. Building savings.
  15. Being able to access the Internet at virtually any time.
  16. Being raised in a loving church.
  17. Access to public libraries.
  18. Having a reliable car.
  19. Having the skills / ability to fix my car, and other things.
  20. Being able to communicate effectively.
  21. Having a variety of skills.
  22. Access to books.
  23. Clean air.
  24. Clean water.
  25. Having a cup of coffee every morning.
  26. Being part of a team, many times over.
  27. Learning critical thinking.
  28. Being one small part of an amazing blogging community.
  29. Freedom of the press.
  30. Freedom of religion.
  31. Freedom of speech.
  32. The right to vote.
  33. Being an American citizen.
  34. Being able to get a passport.
  35. Being able to see movies in the theaters.
  36. The opportunity to have seen so many different cities and countries already.
  37. Access to a gym to work out and keep my body healthy.
  38. Having decent health insurance.
  39. The ability to problem-solve.
  40. Stress relievers.
  41. Having a bathtub for those days where a long bath with a fizzy bath bomb is warranted.
  42. Budgeting.
  43. Having a shredder.
  44. Clearing the clutter.
  45. Improving our home.
  46. Collecting things for my American Girl dolls.
  47. Having an amazing support system.
  48. The ability to celebrate big things, and small things.
  49. Those who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is.
  50. Nostalgia.
  51. Warm hugs.
  52. Comfort food.
  53. Fleece blankets.
  54. Spending time with family and friends.
  55. Trying new things.
  56. Feeling amazing after a haircut.
  57. Being able to get a massage at the chiropractor’s office.
  58. Disney movies.
  59. Star Wars.
  60. Having a camera to explore photography.
  61. Making people smile.
  62. Making people laugh.
  63. Helping others.
  64. Giving blood.
  65. Encouraging others to give blood.
  66. Feeling satisfaction when a plan comes together.
  67. Chocolate mousse.
  68. A warm bed for sleeping.
  69. Concerts.
  70. Art.
  71. Music.
  72. Flowers.
  73. Nature.
  74. Animals.
  75. Dogs.
  76. Sending care packages.
  77. The first responders that work incredibly hard every single day – The police, firefighters, EMTs.
  78. Doctors and nurses.
  79. Everyone in our military, past and present.
  80. The times when I don’t have to set an alarm.
  81. Being able to come home to my husband every weekday.
  82. Using my talents.
  83. Trivia nights.
  84. Podcasts.
  85. National Public Radio.
  86. Popcorn.
  87. Sushi.
  88. Colorful gel pens.
  89. Amusement parks.
  90. Roller coasters.
  91. The seasons.
  92. The Muppets.
  93. Sesame Street.
  94. All the teachers in my life.
  95. Holidays.
  96. Mental health days.
  97. Surprises.
  98. Brunch.
  99. The occasional mimosa.
  100. Learning something new every single day.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #88: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 50)

Week #50: Lessons Learned This Year.

I feel like I learn more things every year. This year, 2017, was no exception.

I’ve learned more about being a wife, and a homeowner.

I’ve learned more about my job, and my career aspirations. I learned how to deal with the devastation of a supervisor leaving for a better opportunity. It hurts, but I’m so happy for them.

I learned how to have fun while balancing work and school. I’m giving more time to myself to enjoy little things, like playing Roller Coaster Tycoon for a few hours on the weekend!

I’ve definitely grown this year, and looking to grow even more in 2018!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #87: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 49)

Week #49: Things You Like About Winter.

This post comes as we’re preparing for some of the coldest weather since the beginning of the year. It was 70 degrees yesterday, and today it’s falling into the 40s! It’s possible that we will see some snow flurries on Friday night, too. That’s exciting to think about!

I’m grateful for simple things, like working heat at our house. Being cold-natured, I also love different blankets. A few years ago, a friend gave me a fleece blanket that’s red and green and Christmas-themed. It’s time to pull it out of the closet!

As much as I gripe about being cold, I enjoy seeing the snow on the trees and the ground. The cold weather also seems to make the sunrises and sunsets prettier.

We’re planning to put up our Christmas tree this week. I love listening to Christmas music while we work – Al used Spotify last year, and it was awesome! With recent car issues (All good now) and some stress at work, I’m in need of some holiday spirit.

I drink more hot chocolate in the winter. I also love making peppermint bark! Delicious!

Winter is colder, and it gets darker sooner, but I love feeling the warmth, celebrating the Christmas season, and ringing in the New Year!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂