It's February, we're settled into a rhythm that feels pleasant most of the time (except from about 4–6 p.m. everyday when it's barely contained chaos), the weather is chilly (for Gilbert), and I'm feeling energetic and optimistic. In January I cleared many to-dos from the deck which opens up time and brain space for writing, podcasting, and looking ahead. We also had a great month of mostly sticking to our budgets and saving. Getting back involved with our everyday personal finances (one of my goals this year) has already really made a difference!
In February I'm hoping to keep all this good momentum going and am looking forward to a few fun things happening this month. Plus it'll be the last month of dependable cool weather (boo!) so I will be savoring that as well.
Ta-da list for January:
I accomplished everything on my goals list for January. A good start to the year! Here's a reminder of what I said I would do (and did!):
+ Set my 2023 goals and intentions.
+ Complete a podcast software update.
+ Complete prep work for the Girl Next Door Podcast website update.
+ Catch up on taking photos of kiddo art work.
+ Catch up on putting photos our 2022 Google Photos album.
+ Create a new family command center on the fridge. I commissioned a friend to make this for me. So although it isn't complete, it's out of my hands and in progress.
I'm also celebrating a few other ta-das from January including:
+ Power decluttering throughout the house with Chris. As part of our decluttering we donated, sold, and returned so many things we no longer needed. Our house feels cleaner and more calm, and it netted us quite a bit of money as well.
+ Sold a card catalog entry table that Chris made for a profit. Ah, this is so exciting. Chris made me a card catalog entry table that I love. Since then I've had the idea we could make another and sell it. So in December when a card catalog popped up on Craigslist for $200 I bought it in a snap (these can go for hundreds of dollars!). Last month, Chris attached steel hairpin legs to it, just like the entry table we already have. I listed the finished table on a few platforms and sold it on EBay for $750!! Ebay takes quite a cut (ouch) so in total we'll make $644 but that's still more than $400 profit!
+ Cookbook shelves built and installed in the kitchen. Thank you, Chris!
+ Made homemade weed killer to get away from using all the terrible chemicals in products like RoundUp. I'll tell you more about this in an upcoming post!
+ We had family adventures (also one of my goals for 2023) in the form of a hike and attending a local Lunar New Year festival.
+ I took updated photos of our house for our HomeExchange profile.
Big things happening in February:
+ Annual Girl Next Door Podcast retreat. For the second year in a row, Erica and I are heading to the coziest cabin in Pine, AZ to celebrate another year of making the podcast and of our friendship-partnership. Plus we'll plan the next year of content and how we want to grow. It's always so invigorating. It's the best combination of relaxing, laughing with a friend, and doing work that I love.
+ Valentine's Day. I love to celebrate this as a family with heart-shaped pizza and cheesecake for dessert. This year I also want to have a "family memories celebration" of sorts and look through photos and videos of our family.
Goals and to-dos for February:
+ Complete trust management tasks. Although we had our will and trust completed in 2019 we still have a couple of tasks to complete for our trust to be completely done. This includes getting our non-retirement bank accounts into the trust, getting our Eau Claire house into the trust (which is in process), and sharing PDF copies of the trust with two executors. Additionally, I want us to make a spreadsheet of all our accounts and passwords (which feels daunting!) and somehow securely share or store that. I would welcome ideas on how to best do that.
+ Start our 2022 family photo book.
+ Develop a timeline and task list for my writing project.
+ Plan our March trip to Salt Lake City. Plus acquire any needed cold-weather or ski clothes for the kids. I've already had luck finding this stuff used via Facebook Marketplace. And if you have any recommendations for skiing, family activities, or restaurants in the Salt Lake City area I would welcome them – thank you!
+ Complete house notes and recommendations document for hosting HomeExchange. So that the family staying in our house in March has a great stay.
+ Host a Galentines afternoon with neighbor mom friends. I'm co-hosting this at my house with another neighbor friend and am looking forward to it. We'll have a cheese board, bruschetta, and a couple of desserts to eat. And we'll have a favorite things gift exchange which is always fun.
I hope you had a good January and I'm wishing you good things in February, friends!