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Is it bad that I entered the New Year NOT wanting to set specific goals for myself? ๐Ÿ˜‚ The thought alone was just too overwhelming and straight up exhausting to me. No wonder it took me almost all of January to finally pinpoint exactly what it is I want to accomplish this year. I mean, it's the start of a whole new decade... so I feel like it's bad juju if I didn't come up with something to work towards.

So after thinkin' about it long and hard (and by long and hard, I mean about 5 minutes ๐Ÿ˜‰), I have compiled a list of 5 things I want to work on this year. Some are goals that I've been working on for the last couple of years or so and I'm just expanding more on them...and some are ones that I have completely ignored altogether because I was either too busy, not disciplined enough, or just too lazy to work on. Yup, I said it. Because life, right?

Here's what I am gonna work on in 2020:

1. Carpe Diem - Motherhood Style

Seize the day. Seize the moments. Live each day with no regrets. Or try to, at least. I'm not talking' about jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping off a bridge or whatever it is people do to 'seize the day.' I'm talking about putting that phone down or letting the dishes pile up to sit and play on the floor with the little ones. We only get one chance at life. And I'm starting to fully realize that motherhood is only something you get to do once. I mean yeah, as mothers, we are told to "enjoy them, they're only little for so long" and we for sure have every intention of soaking it all in. But do we really?

I am a SAHM. And as a SAHM, there are days that are just SO long. Sometimes one or both kiddos are just super cranky for whatever reason. And I'm trying to get things done in between the crying, the "mommy I want this, mommy I want that", and the epic meltdowns. Days like these, I just can't wait for the day to end so I can get a break. It's completely normal to feel this way, I totally get it. And it can be difficult to want to "soak it all in" especially after a long and trying day. But now that Ella is almost 5 and Everly is not a baby anymore, and I see just how fast they're maturing, it really makes me sad that one day, they'll be all grown up and leaving the nest. They will never need/love/want us as much as they do during the baby/toddler years and I don't even want to think about that. My goal this year is to truly embrace the mom life chaos that I have been blessed with. Carpe diem'ing motherhood is all about not getting chores done if it means we get to cuddle a little longer. It's about putting the phone down (which is kinda hard to do when you're a blogger and content creator like me) and not worrying about capturing the memories on camera. Trust me, I am SO guilty of wanting to capture EVERY LITTLE THING they do. It's about letting them go to bed late because they wanted to read every single book they own for bedtime story (this is Everly all day long). At the end of the day, I will never regret doing the things that make them happy. Because their happiness makes ME happy.

2. Have More "ME" Time - more than just going to the gym

Life definitely changes once you have kiddos. Time is very limited to do anything that's out of the realm of mom-life. And it's not a bad thing! But I certainly want to have a good balance between tackling the responsibilities of motherhood while taking care of ME and MY needs. A healthy and happy mama and keeping our cup filled (whatever that may be, because it's different for every one) makes this 24/7 job better for all parties involved: mom, kids, spouse.... and then everyone else ๐Ÿ˜‚. So I feel it is SO important to find something that seriously just sparks JOY in your life and spend some time doing it.

I didn't allow myself to have a lot of "me" time in the early years of motherhood but last year, I finally made it a priority to do that. I started going to the gym again. And just that little bit of time to just have to myself did so much for my well-being. I worked on that all year long, and even if I may have hurled myself off the bandwagon a few times, I managed to bring myself back to it and have been able to be somewhat consistent with it.

This year, I want to expand on the whole self-care thing and make the time to hang with friends sans kiddos. Most of my friends are moms and have been moms longer than I have. And, not gonna lie, I sometimes feel a bit envious of their "freedom" now that their kids aren't babies anymore. I've had mommy & me dates with a few of them over the years but now that my girls are older and a bit more independent, I feel like I can go out and do things without having to worry about being gone for too long. If you read my most recent post, I mentioned I went walking with a mom-friend of mine without my girls and it was so refreshing to have even just that little break. Now, don't think for a second that I am implying that having kids ruins your life... because that's not even close. I love my rugrats more than anything in the world. But I love my husband too and sometimes I really need a break from him ๐Ÿ˜. Moms need breaks to recharge. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, I'm thinking' maybe a girls' night out. Nothing fancy or crazy. A simple dinner is always a winner, or going to one of those wine + painting things, or ooooooo we could KARAOKE! The sky's the limit, right? I'm totally fine with just coffee or lunch or even a froyo date. Just something where I get to connect with other moms who are in need of that girl-time. Because really... the ultimate goal with this one is to have a girls' trip to Las Vegas ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚ .

But yeah... if you got some fun ideas for this sort of thing, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!!!

3. Give My Blog More Love

For the past 2 years since I started That Plain Jane Life, I realize I have been putting all of my eggs into ONE basket. Instead of putting time and energy into publishing blog posts, I have been busy creating content for my Instagram account. The IG account that was meant to help me promote my blog. I got caught up in the whole insta-influencer life which, by the way, was not something I had anticipated.

I mean, I don't even like the title: influencer. It wasn't until I decided to take a little bit of a break from social media at the end of last year that I realized just how much I strayed from blogging about the things that I am most passionate about. And don't get me wrong, I love sharing my life on that specific platform. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and it has allowed me to meet & connect with other moms... I've actually made some great friendships! So yes, I have to admit, the insta-life has treated me very well. But at the end of the day, it's not my platform. Which means I don't have complete control and power over all the work that I put into growing my account on there. But my blog... this is mine. I get to do what I want on here and not have to worry about following rules that were set by someone else. So it only makes sense that this blog needs to be more of a priority than all the social media stuff. And I have SO many ideas! Can't wait to share them all with you! Don't worry, I still plan on doing thangs on IG, FB, Pinterest, etc.... so if you want to follow along, here are the links to all of my account...

My handles are:

Instagram: @thatplainjanelife

Facebook: That Plain Jane Life

Twitter: @MrsPeeden

Pinterest: That Plain Jane Life

4. Live A More Minimalist Lifestyle

I'm not tryin' to go HAM on this one, and I wanna say that we've been pretty minimalistic (is that the correct term for it? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ I feel like the grammar police might go crazy with this one), but I feel like I can totally do MORE. For the most part, we try to live that frugal life as much as possible. We haven't had cable in over 10 years (but we have the internet and smartphones so it's not like we really need cable anyway). We cut back A LOT on spending $$ on wardrobe especially fast-fashion (which isn't good for the environment) but I can't say that we don't ever buy any. Because, if I'm being completely honest, we live in California on one income and can't afford to buy only sustainable/eco-friendly stuff. But we try our best to limit what we buy. I haven't exactly adapted the whole "wardrobe capsule" idea, but I'm thinkin' I may need to give that a try one day. Call me a weirdo, but I love to declutter. Because I can't stand having crap all over the place. And I think I do a pretty good job at it, especially having lived a 1-bedroom lifestyle for the past almost-5 years. But like everything else, I feel like there's always room for improvement. Just overall, I'd like to be able to save more money by investing in quality, durable + multi-use items (big and small) so that we're not always having to buy things because they break or doesn't last long.

With that said... I'm totally NOT trying to be extreme with this goal. Because I don't know if I could really do it. So don't shame me when you see things like Valentine's Day decor vomit all over my IG feed (coming soon! ๐Ÿ˜†). I will say, that all the decor I buy for the holidays, are all decor I plan to use every holiday until I can't no more. But I'm definitely hoping to be more mindful before spending this year.

Which brings me to my FINAL goal for this year.


This is definitely a BIG goal of mine!!! We have been waiting years for the opportunity to buy a house of our own but the timing was never right financially - we've experienced layoffs and hardships, credit issues as a result of us getting laid off - just a lot of life-changing events that prevented us from achieving this goal for years. But this year, we are hoping to finally BUY one.

We are currently living with relatives and while it's not ideal, it's something we had to do when we decided to pick up our lives and relocate to Daniel's hometown. It's a decision we made based on his career and his career-goals. And when we chose not to renew our lease to the apartment we were renting and had zero luck finding anything within our price range, we were definitely fortunate enough to have family offer to let us stay with them till we found the right house.

So... I am hoping and praying that this year is THE year we finally become homeowners!

There ya have it. My goals for 2020... and possibly goals for the rest of my life ๐Ÿ˜†.

Have you set goals for 2020? Care to share any of them? How are you doing so far with your goals? Tell me all the things!!!

Tags: #newyearsresolutions #happynewyear #2020goals #goals #lifegoals #bloggoals #resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! My holiday vacation is officially OVER. Daniel went back to work today, Ella goes back to school on Monday, and Evie and I are gonna have to learn how to function without these 2 all over again ๐Ÿ˜‚. I decided to take a little bit of a break from social media for most of December to really soak in all the Christmas Magic with my littles. But once Daniel was able to take some time off work to relax and unwind from the busy-ness of work and normal life, I'd have to say the last 2 weeks have been ah-maze-ing.

We kicked off our vacation with our annual family Christmas party where we indulged in lots of food (homemade Mexican food), dessert and WINE. Don't even ask me what kinda wine because I couldn't tell ya. I just know it was GOOD. There was gingerbread house decorating, Secret Santa for the kiddos and the White Elephant gift exchange for the adults. I even volunteered to do a balloon garland since decorating and making things pretty is my thing to do. It was my first time and I have to say, it turned out pretty well!

Then after all that partying, we had to hurry home so we could get a few hours of sleep in before taking that long road trip up to my mother-in-law's house in Gardnerville, NV. There was a storm coming in that day so we had to be on the road no later than 4am to make sure we got there in time before the rain and snow hit. If you were wondering, yes we were dead tired and no I wasn't hungover ๐Ÿ˜ต thank goodness ๐Ÿ˜…. The babes were SO good the whole ride there, we only had to make 1 stop (Daniel took a lil 15-minute power nap), and there were a handful of "are we there yet's" from Miss Ella Bella. We arrived at my MIL's just before noon which is a record for us since having kids. And this is where we spent the first week of our vacation.

On Day 1, I woke up to this...

If you have been following along for awhile (on my blog or social media) you would know that we've been going to Gardnerville for Christmas for the last 3 years since my MIL moved up there 5 years ago. It has snowed on Christmas the 2 years I didn't go and I have wished hard for a white Christmas since we've been going. It has always snowed before or after our trip, never while we were there. So, waking up to this was magical. Even though the snow only lasted a few hours. By the time the sun set, most of it melted away. But we did get a couple hours of playtime in the snow before it was all gone. We even built a tiny little snowman ๐Ÿ˜‚... and a penguin.

Then that evening, gramma and grampa offered to watch and entertain the girls so we could have a date night (probably the 2nd one of all of 2019 ๐Ÿ˜‚). Of course we jumped at the chance to have some one-on-one time without the kiddos. So what did we do? We went to see Star Wars ๐Ÿ˜‚. Pretty exciting stuff, right?

On Christmas Eve, we baked sugar cookies and decorated them for Santa.

And boy were my girls excited to wake up to lots and lots of presents from Santa on Christmas morning.

The rest of the week was spent lounging around the house in our pjs and just being lazy. Something we're definitely not used to but it was just NICE to not do anything. We did take a bike ride around the neighborhood to enjoy the slow pace of country life.

We also took a drive up to Lake Tahoe to do some sight seeing. Our last day there, we spent the entire afternoon outside in the backyard playin' on the playground and zip-lining.

We were back home in SoCal just in time to watch the 49ers vs Seahawks game (go NINERS!) and spent the next couple of days decluttering the house and binge watching Game of Thrones (we're late to the whole GOT craze) while the babies entertained themselves with all the new toys they got for Christmas.

Taking a break the last 2 weeks of 2019 to unplug and disconnect from social media and "normal" life to spend time with my little family and make some memories was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate and start the New Year off right.

How was your Holiday Season? Tell me ALLLL about it in the comments below๐Ÿ‘‡!!!

Tags: #cheers #happynewyear #hello2020 #christmas2019 #LakeTahoe #Vacation #snowday #diy #balloongarland #momlife #happynewyear2020 #santasacks

Updated: Jan 27

The thing I look forward to the most when Fall rolls around each year is Halloween... and ALL the Fall things leading up to it.

Last year we started a tradition of going up to the apple orchards in Oak Glen to hand pick our own apples. I don't know why but I always envision my girls and I picking a crap load of apples to bake some homemade apple pies... even though I've never baked an apple pie in my entire life. Instead, we just picked enough to last us a couple of days. So I guess you could say, we really just go for the experience and the photos. What can I say? I'm just your typical #instamom through and through.

Then the next weekend after, we hit up our first and last pumpkin patch of the season. We've all been kinda busy this year so we waited till the last minute to go. And this is a tradition that we started waaaay back before Ella + Everly were even thought of. We made sure to get there at least an hour or 2 before the sun set to get a lot of pictures in (of course) and then we waited till the rest of Daniel's family joined us for more fun. If you haven't been to Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch in Yucaipa/Redlands, you have to go. They've got a corn maze, zip lining, games, rides, FOOD, live entertainment... it's just a whole lotta fun for the family. We stayed till they closed at 10pm on a Saturday night and it was SO much fun.

And then came my favorite -- Halloween! We do this thing where we go to my Brother-in-law's house to be a part of his "haunted house" crew. He's got his entire front lawn and porch all decked out with all kinds of scary-ish decor. His garage is where the candy's at. And the trick-or-treaters need to make their way up the driveway and past all the scary creatures (us) that are lurking around. But before we get all dressed up in our scary costumes, we take the little kids trick-or-treating around the block just before it gets dark. So for that, Ella chose our family themed costumes. Can you guess the theme?

So now that all of THAT is over (still kinda sad about it), we get to look forward to all the Thanksgiving grub and CHRISTMAS!!! I'm already planning all the Christmas things (actually started a couple of weeks ago).

How was your Halloween? What are your plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Tell me ALLLL the things!!!!

Tags: #pumpkinpatch #liveoakcanyonpumpkinpatch #applepicking #appleorchards #rileysapplefarm #losriosrancho #fallactivities #halloween #hauntedhouse #mylittleponycostumes #pinkiepiecostume #fluttershycostume #princesscelestiacostume #shiningarmorcostume

© 2018 by That Plain Jane Life. Created by the Husband.

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