Getting Personal #160: March Goals

march goals

Image Credit: East Willow Grove

Hello, March! It’s so nice to see you!


 Here are my goals for the month of March:

  1. Volunteer with District Orchestra Festival.
  2. Complete the Romantic Movies daily blog challenge.
  3. See Captain Marvel
  4. See Alita: Battle Angel
  5. Write at least 500 words toward the ending of my 2012 WIP.
  6. Change the POV of my 2013 WIP.
  7. Finalize my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for March.
  9. Order my new glasses.
  10. Read at least two books.

Do you have any goals for the month of March? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #159: February Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 35

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

February just zoomed by!

Here’s the link to my February Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  3. Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP! — Did not accomplish.
  4. Make journaling a daily habit / practice. — Accomplished!
  5. Create my own media kit. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al. — Accomplished!
  7. Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Write more Commentary posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  9. Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday! — Accomplished!
  10. Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child. — Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.

  • As much as I wanted to do this, I didn’t have the funds to make it happen this month.

Donate blood. — Accomplished!

  • Yay! I got by with the skin of my teeth with my iron, but I did it. It was also my 50th donation! I started donating blood in 2005 after I turned 17. The minimum age now is 16, with parent permission.

Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP! — Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t touch it at all!

Make journaling a daily habit / practice. — Accomplished!

  • I don’t have a photo on hand, but I bought a super pretty journal at Target and worked hard to write in it every day. I’ve already noticed a huge difference in my anxiety levels!

Create my own media kit. — Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t make time for this at all.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al. — Accomplished!

  • Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday this year, we kept it simple. I ordered steaks and all the fixings from Texas Roadhouse online, and I picked it up on the way home. We enjoyed it immensely.

Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor. — Did not accomplish.

  • My goal is to do this in March. My pile is overflowing!

Write more Commentary posts. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I wrote one: Commentary #83

Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday! — Accomplished!

  • We drove up to Richmond on Saturday, February 16th, to celebrate at Carini’s Italian restaurant. More than 20 people were there! Most importantly, Drew had a wonderful time, and made a heartfelt speech to everyone. We enjoyed the pizza, cake, and catching up with everyone. It felt like a mini-college reunion!

Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child. — Did not accomplish.

  • I want to divide my stash between my local Once Upon A Child and Girl AGain in White Plains, New York.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to four out of 10 goals!
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: I was a busy blogger this month! Just not with that type of post, haha.
  • The five goals I did not accomplish: Most of this was related to time, and partially money.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my March Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #158: February Goals

BeautyBeyondBones

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Welcome to February! It’s Valentine’s month!


Here are my goals for the month of February:

  1. Order my new glasses.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP!
  4. Make journaling a daily habit / practice.
  5. Create my own media kit.
  6. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al.
  7. Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor.
  8. Write more Commentary posts.
  9. Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday!
  10. Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child.

Here’s the breakdown:

Order my new glasses.

  • I’m excited to get my first pair from Warby Parker!

Donate blood.

  • The next blood drive is Saturday, February 2nd.
  • If you are able, please donate when you can. The horrible winter weather in the U.S. has cancelled so many blood drives!

Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP!

  • I’ve been jotting down a few ideas since the beginning of the year, and I feel confident that I will finish the story this month!

Make journaling a daily habit / practice.

  • I’ve journaled on and off for years, and I really want to get back into it. I just bought a beautiful notebook at Target, and I can’t wait to fill it up!
  • This goal was partially inspired by author Kristen Martin talking about her journaling practice on her podcast, “That Smart Hustle.”

Create my own media kit.

  • Inspired by Brianna Marie Lifestyle’s recent post, I want to make this happen!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al.

  • We haven’t even talked about Valentine’s Day yet!

Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor.

  • I have a huge pile of clothes that don’t meet Darby’s current consignment guidelines. There’s a Clothes Mentor location near my house, so I want to see if they will take them.

Write more Commentary posts.

  • I have several ideas for Commentary posts. I just need to write and schedule them.

Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday!

  • Drew is one of my good friends from college. We’ve been invited to his 30th birthday bash this month. We can’t wait to celebrate! It’s been more than two years since we’ve seen him.

Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child.

  • In the same vein as Clothes Mentor, I want to take the big box of American Girl items to the new Once Upon A Child location and see if they will take them. Consignment is fun!

Do you have any goals for the month of February?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #157: January Goals Recap

beautybeyondbones 29

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

January was a very busy month! I can’t believe we’re a full month into 2019!

Here’s the link to my January Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!
  2. Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.
  4. Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!

  • Al created a Google Doc, and we take turns editing it!

Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!

  • I downloaded ibotta!
  • I’m still researching Robin Hood, but I like what I see.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I’m getting there, piece by piece. I’ve worked on it as much as I could this month, and I’ve been better about separating things to recycle, trash, and shred.

Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!

  • I made a couple of trips! I think I cleared out six boxes full of stuff!
  • I also sent a box of clothes to Darby for consignment.
  • Up next: Taking clothes to Clothes Mentor!

Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I only wrote about 200 new words, but I also decided to change the overall POV.

Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!

  • The calendar is back on track now. And I’m less stressed!

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

  • I posted every Monday in January!
  • Look for another post on Monday!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of seven goals!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: These were directly related to time and effort.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my February Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #68: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”

evicted

Image Credit: Amazon

I think I first heard about this book from friends on Facebook, who all said what a powerful book it was.

Then, author Matthew Desmond was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air in April 2018. My local area, Hampton Roads in Virginia, was specifically mentioned in the interview regarding high numbers of evictions in three separate cities. It stung, and propelled me to want to learn more. As soon as possible.


I bought the book in August, and finally started it in late December. But once I started, I could not put it down. By the time we came home from the farm on December 26th, I’d flown through Part One. I was itching to go to bed that night, eager to dive in to Part Two. It only took me a few more nights of intense reading to finish it. I came away from it with a greater understanding, and appreciation, for being able to own my own home with my husband. It’s one of those books that makes me realize how good I have it, especially as a white woman with no children.

I’m drawn to books like this because of the human interest. I was reminded of the term “ethnography,” which is the systematic study of people and cultures. Author Matthew Desmond settled in Milwaukee, in the trailer park and other low-income neighborhoods, to not only interview people for the book, but to learn about their lives, and specifically what they go through day by day. The housing crisis and recession of the late-2000s began while he was conducting interviews, and it’s referenced in the book as well.

However, the housing crisis and recession are not all to blame here. It’s just one factor. There are many other factors involved with eviction and those who struggle with it. Landlords have profited by buying cheap, often dilapidated houses or buildings, charging rent, and then sometimes refusing to fix inherent problems in these properties. The tenants complain, nothing gets fixed, and rent can go unpaid or withheld. There are certain processes for evictions, but they vary greatly. There are voluntary and involuntary procedures. It’s definitely not black-and-white.

When someone is evicted, that goes on their record. It’s exponentially harder for parents with children to find an affordable place to live, and eviction(s) exacerbate that problem. Multiple evictions are even more problematic. It’s a vicious cycle, where parents want to protect their kids from negative influences and crime, but can’t break out of those areas because of their eviction record. Welfare benefits can also be affected. If you’re lucky to have a job, getting evicted can cause immense stress, affecting job performance and more. Choices have to be made, painfully – Pay rent, or the utilities, or the car repair, or a need for your kids. Kids are uprooted, shuffled, changing schools, and also stressed. It’s a horrible experience all around.

Desmond’s dedication to these interviews, living in their space, researching the processes and procedures, and soaking up everything he could about eviction shines through this book. It’s depressing, in more ways than one, but incredibly informative, educational, and eye-opening.

This is one of those books, in my opinion, should be studied and taught in schools, especially upper levels of high schools and colleges/universities. It’s an important issue that needs more focus, discussion, and change.

My eyes were opened widely to the multiple problems regarding eviction. I thought I knew a few things, but this book turned my thinking completely on its head. The book focused specifically on Milwaukee during a set number of years, but there are eviction problems and issues throughout the entire U.S.

That was one of the focuses of Desmond’s interview with Terry Gross – Thanks to receiving a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in 2015, Desmond has started The Eviction Lab, where a dedicated team of researchers and students from Princeton University are creating the first-ever eviction database in the U.S. At the time of the interview, in April 2018, the Lab had already collected 83 million records from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The book was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. That says something, too.

“Stabilizing a home has all sorts of positive benefits for a family,” Desmond said in the interview.

Desmond has written two other books, and co-authored one on race. I look forward to reading and seeing more from him.

5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #154: January Goals

Happy New Year!!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.
  2. Check out savings and investing apps.
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.
  4. Donate, donate, donate.
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule.
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.

  • We decided to start a Google Doc that has all of our budget items for 2019. Hopefully, this will be much more manageable and less frustrating!

Check out savings and investing apps.

  • Since I listen to a lot of podcasts, there are always advertisements. I’ve heard about Robin Hood, an investing app. I don’t know if I’ll commit to it, but I want to check it out.
  • One app that our sister-in-law loves and swears by is ibotta.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.

  • I started recently – I spent nearly two hours in there last Saturday afternoon. I filled four donation boxes, finally organized my bookshelf, replaced the light bulbs in the ceiling fan fixture, filled a trash bag completely, and cut up at least 10 various-sized boxes for recycling.
  • Next weekend – I want to concentrate on the filing system.

Donate, donate, donate.

  • I’m long overdue to make a few trips to the thrift store and the library.

Continue work on my 2013 WIP.

  • Current word count: 14,247 words.
  • My rough goal is to reach at least 17,000 words before the end of January.

Reset our cleaning schedule.

  • I started using our wall calendar to mark what area of the house needed cleaning every weekend. This was a good system for us, since we typically divide and conquer the cleaning together. Just need to get back to it.

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

  • My original plan was to post these every Monday, but it’s fallen by the wayside recently. However, I’m committed to posting one every Monday in January!

Do you have any goals for the month of January?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #153: December Goals Recap

New Year Ahead

Image Credit: First Baptist Church

It’s the end of 2018! Wow!!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  2. Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!
  5. Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!
  8. Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!
  10. Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.
  11. Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!
  12. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished! 

  • December 8th: 606 new words
  • December 9th: 217 new words
  • December 30th: 620 new words
  • December 31st: 2,372 new words
  • Current word count: 50,461 words
  • I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!
  • I DID IT!!!!!

Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.

  • I haven’t finished the story yet.

Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.

  • This was put on the back burner.

Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!

  • I have a timeline established for these two. I want to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April to work on the 2014 WIP, and then the July session to focus on the 2018 WIP.

Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.

  • Since we didn’t celebrate at home this year, we decided that the tree wasn’t necessary.
  • I wanted to put up the wreath on our front door with battery-operated Christmas lights and Christmas ribbon, but that didn’t happen.

Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.

Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!

  • We had ourselves a good time!

Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • No effort at all.

Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!

  • See the photos below!

Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.

  • The boxes are stacked and ready, but they didn’t make it to their destinations this month.

Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!

  • Here’s my list: A new pair of glasses, a new pair of prescription sunglasses, my first pair of Rothy’s shoes, continuing Rodan and Fields skincare, and a new business suit.
  • A good chunk of the rest of my money will be squirreled away!

Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

  • We had a wonderful time at Al’s parents for Christmas. We took almost a week off of work, and it was great. Al had nearly two weeks off altogether.
  • No New Year’s parties for us – Just a quiet night at home with our dogs, a delicious dinner, and watching movies until midnight, with Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 12 goals. I’ll take 50 percent. Not bad for the end of the year!
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: A lot of these were due to time constraints, and lack of motivation and effort.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!

Happy New Year!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂