Our November shop update is small but mighty in Oscoey Shop. We are introducing two different cotton canvas tote bags! I am super excited about them and hoping you like them too. Both bags feature our Midnight Rainbow Flowers design and can be used for […]
Tag: 2023 goals
At the end of September, faced with a mountain of books I had not read in almost a decade, I decided to start sorting through my books and reread any of those that I was unsure of keeping. I originally created this list of ten […]
When I created my post about rereading books kept in storage for too many years I wasn’t sure whether I would actually have time to read the books on my list. My post “Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1” was an attempt to get started with a small pile of books from the many boxes in storage since our move eight years ago. I reluctantly started “Pearl Cove” by Elizabeth Lowell and it was hard for me to get back into reading it but once I got going I remembered how much I love this book.
“Pearl Cove” is a typical action adventure romance novel set in the Pacific surrounding a murder at a pearl farm. This is the third book in the series and I have no idea where I bought it or why I haven’t read the first two books but I will definitely look at my library to see if they have the first two. I may even purchase them from a second hand store if I like them, but I am not sure yet. I am supposed to be narrowing down my collection right?
The book is set in both Australia and Seattle focusing on the pearl trade and the murder of the creator of a rumored rare black rainbow pearl that is highly coveted. I will whole heartedly admit that I knew nothing of pearls before reading these books, or that Seattle had a pearl district. I have not yet done any research into the pearl trade in Seattle but I will tell you that this book gave me more respect for the humble pearl as a piece of jewelry. There are enough facts about pearl growing in this book to keep it interesting and the plot behind the pearls fits really well with the story. It does make me wonder more about the pearl trade in general and if more modern technologies have made pearl seeding easier. A quick google search did reveal that black rainbow pearls are a real thing and that they are beautiful. The would fit in very well with our Midnight Rainbow aesthetic over at Oscoey Shop.
As far as the plot of the book goes, it fits in with a fairly standard romance novel, but I feel like I am missing quite a bit of back story by not reading the first two books. I am going to read the first two books before I comment on any of the continuity between them but from what I understand, the main characters Archer Donovan and Hannah McGarry in this book have previously met in another book. Hannah was married to Archer’s deceased half-brother which provides some conflict in their relationship. Their relationship in this book is strained and then magically better after a misunderstanding is cleared up which I feel is pretty typical of romance novels.
Overall I liked both Archer and Hannah but I felt like their characters could have had more depth. I am not sure though if that was because I didn’t read the first two books or if it was to keep the book at a shorter length. There was some macho man behavior going on with Archer but honestly this time around it didn’t bother me nearly as much as when I was reading Ecotopia. With romance novels I come to expect that sort of writing much more than with a more serious piece like Ecotopia.
I am not sure if I would recommend these books or not. I know that is kind of a cop out but I really feel like I should read the first two before passing any judgement so this review will be pretty short. I did not realize this was a romance novel when I added it to my list. My memories were more of the action/adventure parts of the book, of which there is plenty, but be fair warned this is technically a romance novel. I would definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, “Amber Beach“, if you want a more complete read but as it is, “Pearl Cove” does stand alone as a great read!
Stay tuned for our next book review from our list, An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne.
We are excited to announce a small shop update for September of 2023 with three new stickers and a mini cross stitch pattern in the works. All of these items can be found in Oscoey Shop found here. My favorite item for the new shop […]
As I sit here mid-way through 2023 with my first official Covid infection I thought I would take some time to look at my progress with my 2023 goals. For 2023 I wanted to focus on self-care and take time to relax every day. I did great the first couple of months of the year but then I was swamped with school work for myself and with kids activities in March and April so things kind of took a downwards turn for a couple of weeks but I am pretty proud of myself for getting right back on track once deadlines has passed.
I needed to remind myself of exactly what I had written for my goals and here they are below:
- Practice Self-Care every day. – My main goal is to practice self-care every day. I have found that I am not good at resting and my focus this year will be in practicing this.
- Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! – As part of my self-care I set myself a goal of doing puzzles every week. I outlined it here in a recent blog post. I do want to try and sign up for a puzzle competition next fall but I am not sure if the timing will work out with my school and my kids’ school.
- Cross-stitch to finish projects. – I really want to finish my Zoo Alphabet project and start the Autumn Love project I bought last fall. I also want to make headway on both of the HAEDs that I have started and work through some of my smaller projects. I will be talking more about this on my YouTube channel but for now I want to finish some WIPS.
- Maintain my Commit30 planner. – My fourth goal is to keep up with my planner every month this year. I have found that writing things down really helps me remember what I need to do. I love my Commit30 planners and how every month you set a goal for yourself. You can find them here.
- Read some books. – I don’t have a concrete number of books to read this year but I do have a few that I want to get through. Some are favorites like this series by Dorothy Dunnett and others are new to me. I may post something later this year for one of my monthly goals but for now I just want to read a few books and rediscover my love of reading.
- Maintain the status quo with finances. – I am not working but I am taking classes all year for 2023 and this has made our budget very tight so my goal is for us to stick to it and maintain the status quo. I don’t want to take on any new debt and I also am hoping we can see an increase in our emergency fund this year. I don’t have any investment goals besides continuing to contribute to our account every month. The stock market has been down and I am just going to keep trucking along with our set amounts and not worry about it.
- Continue to grow my YouTube channel. – I have really enjoyed filming for my YouTube channel Oscoey which can be found here. This year I am expanding beyond groceries into cross-stich and my puzzle content.
- Keep working on my health. – I am still recovering from the major burnout I experienced last year and I am going to continue with recovering for 2023. I have been doing more gentle exercise, focusing on my eating and practicing self-care and it is slowly turning things around. I have signed up for one 5k so far (walking) and I am thinking of doing a 10k next fall.
Ignoring the messiness of my deck you can clearly see that Luna is great at practicing self-care by laying out in the sun on a hot day to soak up some rays. Overall I would say I have done great at my first goal. There are some days when I only get a little bit of time for self-care but I definitely have it on my mind every day and am getting good at recognizing when I need a break.
Puzzles. Well, I started out strong with my puzzle game but then I became more focused on stitching which is ok. I only have limited time available to me for self-care tasks and although I do want to work on more puzzles I have been on a a stitching kick as of late and that is ok too. I do want to finish at least one puzzle a month for the rest of the year and I think I can do it. We tend to do more puzzles over school breaks and this summer will hopefully be no exception. This flower puzzle I started at the end of April and I am still working on it. I have the border and some of the pieces put together. It doesn’t seem like a difficult puzzle so I should finish it quickly when I get back to it. Maybe for July I can work on finishing two puzzles.
My third goal was to finish up some cross stitch projects and I have definitely achieved this. I finished this Thank You one and I am about half way through a bookshelf bookmark for my son. I also finished several pieces for my store and made good progress on my Alphabet Zoo piece. I got sidetracked from some of my initial projects by stitching pieces for my store which was equally as fun but some of my other stitching goals got shuffled to the back burner while I have been stitching up samples. I am now focusing on stitching some fun pieces during the week as well as getting through the samples I need to stitch.
My fourth goal was to keep up with my Commit30 planner and I have done a much better job this year than in years past. There were a few weeks I skipped but overall I have been keeping up with my planner weekly and it has really helped keep my organized. School has been busier than I anticipated the last two quarters so I haven’t had time to add as many pictures to my calendar as I had hoped but I am still tracking my daily self-care habits most weeks and it has been great to look back and see what I have achieved.
My fifth goal was the very vague “Read some books.” which was purposefully not to specific. I wanted to focus on reading more for fun and not make it a chore. I used to be a very avid reader but as I got older and had more kids time to read became much smaller. I am someone that likes to read a book nonstop until I finish it. I can’t put it down and pick it up and read small chunks at a time, I need to keep going or I will forget everything I have read after a couple of days. So far this year I have read at least four books which is four more than last year so I will take that as a definite win! I read the Silo series by Hugh Howey coincidentally just in time to watch the TV show and I just finished a book my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day called “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” which was excellent. I traditionally read the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon every summer but this summer I may tackle the much more weighty “Lymond Chronicles” by Dorothy Dunnett which is another favorite of mine.
My sixth goal of maintaining the status quo with our finances has been the most difficult goal for me this year. I wrote these goals in January before we found out that our biggest expense every month was going up by a large amount. All of our expenses went up this year but this one was a doozy and I knew immediately that I would have to work a little bit to make up for it. I have been focusing on my business and working hard at Oscoey Shop but businesses take time to build and I recently took on a part-time job to help out. I found one that is very low stress and will work around my kids’ school schedules. The job is also temporary and finishes up right around when my school is done which is super convenient. We are continuing to keep a close eye on our budget and have cut back some of our other expenses to help out.
Growing my YouTube channel has also proven to be more difficult than I thought but only because there is only so much time during the day and I can’t do everything. I would have loved to have filmed all of my grocery hauls this year and done Fridge and Freezer Recaps every week but I have not had time. My husband has been doing more of the grocery shopping and it is hit or miss whether I can film what he buys before it is put away or used. I would also have loved to have filmed my puzzles and more of my cross stitch but finding quiet time to film in my house is challenging. I am going to continue to work towards this over the next six months and see how I do.
My last goal for 2023 was to continue to work on my health and I have done a great job at this so far. I have been exercising more and I am eating much better. I graduated from meeting with a nutritionist every couple of months and just need to keep up with what I am doing. We recently took our first vacation in a long time and I was able to complete two 3 mile hikes within a couple of days of each other without having some of my health issues flare up so I was pretty proud of that. I am continuing to walk a few days a week and once I am over Covid I plan on starting back up again with my swimming. We are continuing to help my dad chop wood on a regular basis which is great for upper body strength and I am still doing a lot of gardening. I am hoping that by the end of the year my strength and endurance will be back up to where it was previously. My best takeaway from the last year of working on my health is that even small steps will help you reach your goal!
Overall I feel like my goal getting for 2023 is going well. There have been a few hiccups but that is to be expected. How are your goals going this year? Leave a comment below to let me know!
In honor of my 6 year Blogiversary coming up at the end of March I thought I would share a little bit about what is going on in the Oscoey world. First, the most exciting thing, is we are opening up a retail store called […]
My goals for 2023 revolve quite a bit around self-care and doing things that make me happy such as cross-stitching, gardening, puzzles, hanging out with my family and reading. I am also trying to make them pretty open ended so I don’t feel to rigid […]
2022 was a year with mixed results for me. As I reflect on my 2022 goals post from March of this year I am struck by how different my year turned out from where it started. I started the year gung ho about my career and moving up the corporate ladder then a family member got very sick and my priorities completely shifted. It is crazy how one event can change the direction of your life. I took some time off shortly after I wrote this post because I was experiencing major burnout and at the moment I do not see myself going back to a corporate type environment any time soon. To be clear, my coworkers were fabulous and I loved my team but I realized in taking some time off that I love working for myself and being able to set my own pace.
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Our goals from last year were:
- Max out IRAs
- Increase our 401k contributions
- Save, save save.
- Decrease our grocery spending
- Be more mindful of our spending
After looking them over again I would say we met most of our goals for 2022 which is surprising. The only one I am not sure of is our 401k contributions. We did initially increase them but then decreased them for a few months and then increased them again towards the end of the year so I don’t know where our ending percentage was for the whole year but we are increasing my husband’s for 2023 by 1%.
As far as grocery spending goes we definitely made huge progress on that. We started out the year spending $1000 plus a month on food even though we were also getting free lunches from the universal free lunch program. For the last few months we have kept our spending to between $400 and $700 which is amazing progress. You can check out my grocery content on my Oscoey YouTube channel linked here. Below is our last grocery haul of 2022.
I am really proud of our grocery progress and filming as much of our groceries as well as a weekly fridge and freezer recap has been helpful to keep track of where we are at. I am going to keep up with it for 2023 as well as work on some self-care goals such as doing more puzzles!
I am using my planner more diligently this year to help me keep track of everything. I use the Commit30 planners and love them. I love that they have goal setting built in every month but there isn’t a lot of pressure to keep up with it. The website can be found here. They are currently on sale so check them out!
That’s it for my recap of our 2022 goals. Short and sweet this time. Look for more posts surrounding our puzzles, cross-stitch and of course, finances!
New Year’s Puzzle Start: If Fish Could Walk