Quarterly Review

Seeing that the first quarter of the year is almost over (already – I swear every single year gets faster and faster), I want to do a bit of a review.

As 2013 came to a close, I started thinking about the New Year. In the past, I made New Year’s Resolutions, but like 99.9 percent 0f all humans, I never followed through.

However, inspiration struck. I decided on 14 things for 2014.


I took a cardboard box top and proceeded to write my 14 goals in multi-colored Sharpies.

1. Balance checkbook every month

2. Complete the 52-week savings challenge

3. Donate to Goodwill once a month

4. Find & make 14 new recipes

5. Finish 2012 novel

6. Finish 2013 novel

7. Invest in pastel painting / artwork

8. Map routes in neighborhood to walk / run / rollerblade

9. Read at least 5 new books

10. Reduce screen time

11. Take a Medical Terminology class

12. Take iron pill every day

13. Walk 20 minutes during lunch

14. Yoga


1. Quarterly Review (QR): Work in progress. This has never been my favorite thing to do, but I know how important it is.

2. QR: So far, so good. I’ll admit, I have to write it down in my little black book (a.k.a. planner) every week; otherwise I have to go into my online banking and combine several forgotten weeks together on one Friday. However, I have been faithful since week 1. By year’s end, I will have added approximately $1,378 to my savings account! Want to know more? Check out the form that I’m using this year.

3. QR: So far, so good. This is one of the goals where I’ve actually managed to go above and beyond in these three months – I have also donated to several people in need, to a charity yard sale benefiting Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, and I’m constantly on the lookout for local charities / thrift stores in my area.

4. QR: So far, so good. I have really enjoyed this goal, especially since Al and I have a standing Tuesday night date night at my apartment. I have around an 80/20 split so far in terms of successes. Most of the screw-ups have been desserts that really needed a mixer, but Al ended up being my strong man with long-lasting arm power. Fortunately, Al’s mom was sweet enough to buy me a Hamilton Beach mixer, so problem solved! Favorites so far: Chicken Alfredo lasagna roll-ups; Oreo cheesecake cookies; and my first crack at homemade pizza last week!

5. QR: Haven’t started.

6. QR: Haven’t started.

7. QR: Work in progress. Al took me to one of the best art supply stores in the 757 – Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach. I’m talking an art student’s mecca. By “investing,” I mean to invest in creating again. I loved my Visual Arts class in high school – I focused on pastel painting then and I want to get back into it. The next big project to tackle for the pastel work is finding / making a table that is large enough that I can create. In addition, I am starting a side business of crafting custom wreaths as wedding gifts – Stay tuned on that one.

8. QR: Work in progress. The weather’s been so unbelievably snotty, it’s been mostly a lost cause. Plus, I need to invest in a new helmet and wrist guards before I strap on the rollerblades. Side note – I did sign up for the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church’s newly-forming co-ed softball team; games start April 7th. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I played softball for the Western Branch Little League for one season – 8th grade in the spring of 2003 – and I never forgot it.

9. QR: Work in progress. I have several of the intended books on my headboard shelf, but I’m still working my way through book #1. I intend to post book reviews to the blog once I finish reading each selection.

10. QR: Work in progress. I was diagnosed with computer eye strain several years ago, so much so that I can’t wear my contact lenses at work. I definitely want to complete a social-media-free weekend soon and blog about that. Want to know what a social-media-free weekend is all about? Check out Nikki’s reflection.

11. QR: Work in progress. I full intend to complete this goal during the summer session of classes at TCC.

12. QR: Work in progress. I was diagnosed with anemia in college. I try to give blood at my home church – Aldersgate UMC – every eight weeks, and I have to take iron supplements to meet the hemoglobin requirement. Interested in learning more about blood donation? Check out the American Red Cross. Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood. Every blood donation can save as many as 3 lives. 

13. QR: Work in progress. See #8 – The weather has been ridiculous thus far. I will say, however, that my music on my iPhone has been great motivation. Frozen soundtrack and Taylor Swift for the win.

14. QR: Haven’t started. And I have no excuse, now that my DVD player has been successfully tested. I need to buck up, block off some time in my planner, and connect with the yogi I found at OneLife Fitness last year.


Look for three more reviews in June, September, and December.

Do you have any goals for 2014?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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