Latest Posts


You know, I think I struggle every year in March. I should go back and look at my old posts, but I'm almost positive that's the pattern. When you look back at the actual checkmarks I gave myself, it seems like I did well, but the majority of the days of March were a struggle. So, on to April goals but as always, let's start with the look back at March and a chat about those struggles.

March Recap

1. Get Married - Date settled, officiant booked, and estate planning almost done! We also picked up my rings from the jeweler mid month, booked the dinner, and I ordered a dress. John knows what he's wearing. I also started making the handfasting cord (it's a pagan thing) and it's turning out so pretty. This goal was the only one that was smooth sailing.

2. Happy House, Happy Spouse - The only thing I had this month in this category was to meal plan and prep. It was actually tougher than usual because John was on furlough (it's a good thing in the fire department - they get 21 days off in a row, three times a year), which meant way more meals. Not to mention he's Catholic, so no meat on Fridays during Lent. So the entire month of March. And he's a total meat and potatoes Midwesterner, the only meal he doesn't regularly have meat is breakfast. The planning part wasn't hard, since I made the pantry challenge a goal (see below), but there was much more prep than usual! I spent a lot of brain power just thinking about food and time in the kitchen (and dishes), and John ended up ordering out a few times anyway.

3. Get My Concealed Carry License - All I wanted to get done this month was find different course options, which John did. He got his FOID card in the mail, which is awesome and came much quicker than expected. We're putting the goal itself on pause though because with construction (supposedly) starting and getting married, we have enough going on. Just makes sense for this to be a second half of 2022 goal. 

4. No Spend Year - Got my money earned for my April events - I cashed in on Swagbucks, and I hit my weight loss goals to win both HealthyWage and DietBet. DietBet will pay out (over $350) before I have any plans. HealthyWage won't pay out until May ($500), but that will fund some summer plans. Success in the dailies, I had zero no spend violations this month. And the pantry challenge helped keep costs down so much, I'm glad I cleared out the stockpile. As for what I actually did buy, here's my March breakdown:
  • $509.60 on bills.
    • $41.47 security system
    • $114 electric
    • $124 gas 
    • $130.13 TV/wifi 
    • $100 house cleaning
  • $26.42 on household. Needed hand soap and cleaning products.
  • $61.67 on gas for my car.
  • $167.69 on vehicle/plate registration.
  • $145.25 on dog grooming.
  • $41.87 on gifts. Cherry beer for John and a Dunkin gift card to Steph for her birthday, which I acquired by redeeming my credit card points. And as she knows, I used a card from my mom's stash to mail it.
  • $32.41 on entertainment. We ate out at Olive Garden after we picked up my rings. I paid.
  • Things I almost bought but didn't: Go Gently by Bonnie Wright, which comes out next month but was available for pre-order (hoping my library gets it quick). If you don't follow her on YouTube, you should; dividers for the deep freezer - it's so hard to organize but what I found still isn't the perfect solution so I'm looking around more; and dermaplaning little razors (does it work? I'm on the fence.)
  • Things that got taken care of but I didn't pay for: 6 months of car insurance for both my car and my mom's, my mom's dog going to the vet, a dress for the wedding, getting my hair done, and treats for the dogs. Technically I paid for these things but then my mom put money in my account to cover it all so I didn't really pay for them. I also got gua sha tools on Amazon using a gift card, worth it.
5. No Sugar Year - Going strong but a struggle, I thought about sugar a lot. As you can see in the dailies, I managed another almost full month of no sugar. Admittedly, made easier by my pantry challenge, but still. The only trip up was Olive Garden. The marinara sauce most likely had sugar, but I knew that when ordering and just went with it anyway. A tiny detail! But overall I feel really good about avoiding traditional sugary items, like dessert, but man the hidden sugar is just in everything. I really want pizza (vegan of course), and despite the number of vegan frozen pizza options, it's still a bust. They all have hidden sugar. I finally found a crust option (by Banza) and a vegan cheese option (by Violife), and I can make my own sauce. So it's already on the menu for next month, but it was eye opening to see just how difficult it is to find processed foods without sugar, even among so-called healthy options like cauliflower crust. Oh and I did finish reading Sweet Poison, which was another great resource to learn from.

6. How Not to Die Year (Vegan Year) - Lost my 5 lbs! It was slow going, honestly, and I wanted nothing to do with exercise this month, but the pounds came off through diet alone, thank goodness. Which got me to my wins on my bets, so that was exciting, and now I have just 6 more pounds to the healthy weight for my height. And I used up a tea each week, amazing how many flavors I had with just a few servings left. So much room in the cabinet now to stock with the types I love best (hibiscus and a blueberry green from Harney & Sons, FYI.) Dailies went really well too. Vitamins on point, since I want to use up what I have so I can try a different kind, plus stuck with the vegan diet all month and did not cave on pizza. And 75 Hard complete! I only managed easy walks and stretching but it counts.

7. Kate Middleton Energy - I got so many great self improvement books from the library this month, so I had no trouble keeping up with the weekly reading goal. I had to read daily in fact just to get them done before the return dates. I also stuck with my self care. Nothing too difficult, just weekly hair and face masks. Invisalign was absolutely the hardest task on this whole list and as you can see, I managed almost no days. This moves to next month but I'm still anticipating difficulty. 

8. Build a Successful Business - Monthly boxes shipped, plus successfully worked on future tasks every week and even gained (more than) one patron a week. I posted more to instagram but not daily. And it was more to stories than an actual post, but that counts. Another month that felt like staying stable, which is good, but not growing.

April Tending List

1. Get Married - Checking some little things off this month - ordering the rings John wants, deciding my clothing (I did order the dress but I need it to arrive and make sure it's good, and then find shoes), and possibly go get our marriage license. It's good for 60 days so pretty much any time mid April and later, so we may not go until May. We'll see.

2. House Sanity - Changed the wording of this one, but the goal is essentially similar. Construction is starting (where have I heard that before), so my goal is simply to not let it kill me while retaining some semblance of our meal plan and cleaning routine. Wish me luck? I also plan on working on our wardrobes this month. John declared none of his long sleeve shirts fit any more so he needs to try those on, and since I lost weight, I need to try on all my own clothes too and see what needs to go and what needs to be replaced.

3. Get My Concealed Carry License - Nothing on this goal for this month. Since others are more pressing, this can just be on hold until after June.

4. No Spend Year - No spending on the dailies as usual, plus I need to shop the grocery sales each week since we completed the pantry project and need new items. I also want to stick to my budgets for events. Finally adding some fun things to the calendar (girl's night, GYST weekend and lunch with Betsy, draft day, our anniversary, and Hawkeye's birthday, at least!) and I earned the 'fun money' to enjoy them, but I still need to stick to the planned budget for each thing.

5. No Sugar Year - No sugar on the dailies, as usual. Just need to keep those cravings under control.

6. How Not to Die Year (Vegan Year) - A few things in this category this month, in addition to the vegan diet that's usually on the dailies. I added exercise to the dailies this month, since I don't have the 75 Hard to keep me in line. Even just a quick walk with the dogs will count. I want to read the second book, which is How Not to Diet and it's huge. I would also like to hit my goal weight this month. It might be a stretch considering how long it took for the last few pounds to come off, but it's within the realm of possibility so I'm adding it to the list to keep motivated. Which is why 'trying a new workout' is on the weekly agenda. Nothing crazy or long, just different toning moves or something. I also need to do the in person weigh in for weight watchers! I've only done the digital program but in order to make 'lifetime' and thus get all the tools for free like the app, you have to weigh in in person, have at least 5 lbs to lose, hit your goal and then weigh in at the studio each month to keep your lifetime status. I want it, you get a special charm and everything and I'm a child. I want my charm. And the studio is like 2 minutes from my mom's house, it's not a problem.

7. Prioritize Self Care - This is a new one! Instead of the Kate Middleton energy I was going for before. It's a similar goal though, some overlapping items. First, fun. This month is for fun, there's been little planned fun these last three months and now that 75 Hard is over, I want a cocktail. I want to enjoy all the events I have planned, and I want to schedule a bar crawl date day with John. He's off work for a few weeks in April and that means we could bar crawl on a Wednesday if we wanted. I also want to remember my weekly self care routine - hair mask, face mask, fixing up my nails and feet. And can I remember to wear the damn retainer this month?? Every day? My guess is no but I'm only aiming for more days than last month. Can I make it to 10?? Oh and last daily - avoid toxic people. I have two in mind for this (Michael, you know all about this!) and I think I can go all way to September without having to see them. I also blocked them already on my phone and instagram so nothing but queen energy and happy vibes over here.

8. Build a Successful Business - Dailies, post to Instagram - pretty standard. Weekly, post to YouTube every Friday and actually remember to promote it on other platforms. And for the monthly goal, GYST weekends, which I love. It stands for get your shit together and I do them at least twice a year with Betsy and more often on my own, and it's where I get focused and check everything off my to do list without distraction. For me that's mostly creating content, for Betsy it's often blog related or home organization related. We also sometimes check things off our 101 list. But this time, I'm prioritizing content and working ahead. So her and I will be doing that the 22nd and 23rd, and I'll be continuing the weekend after that as well.

What's on your agenda for April? Are you prioritizing fun this month too?

April Goals (Powersheets Tending List)

Friday, April 1, 2022