2014 goal setting V IV

Friday, January 31, 2014

Eeeeeeeek!  How is it the last day of January?  Crazy!  This year I have taken the entire month of January to plan and prepare for 2014 - setting goals, and creating action plans to accomplish these goals - all with the help of Lara Casey's Powersheets.  And to be honest, I kinda love it.  I love feeling prepared and having accountability.  I love taking time and prayer to decide on goals for the new year.  I'm thinking this may be a thing for me from now on...


But ok!  My 5th a final goal for 2014 - and probably the most important one!

Goal 5  //  To make my relationship with Jesus a priority and commit to prayer.
This year I want to seek Him even more.  With more of my heart, more of my mind and more of my time.  You see, I'm pretty selfish with my time - especially since having a baby.  It's like I get a few free seconds and tend to waste them "relaxing" or laying on the couch watching empty TV.  Not anymore.  This year I am committing to taking my extra seconds, minutes and hours - and even that time that is not "extra" - and spending with Him.  Mostly in prayer.  Honestly, I struggle with prayer.  The dicipline of it.  Sure I pray when I wake up, before meals and when I go to bed, but rarely do I carve out time during my day to truly commit to prayer - other than the two second "Lord, Help me!" prayer.  I spend time reading devotionals and listening to praise music, but again, it's the "still" time that I am missing.  So this year, I'm hoping to commit to time and prayer - even when I don't feel like I have anything to say.  


So there they are!  My five goals!  If you missed the other parts of this series you can find them here:


Georgia lately... Happy 6 months!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's official!  My tiny baby lady is 6 months old today!  We will be taking her 6 months photos later and I hope to have her 6 month post up early next week, but until then here is her life lately.. via my IPhone!

sitting up on her own like a big girl!

those rolls.  i die.

the aquarium wore her cute self out.  ps - could you die at her outfit?  my sis in law got it from Zara baby!  

laughing as her fur sissy ran around her!

meal planning at the lopatka house

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So I've shared 4 of my 2014 goals with y'all already and one of those goals is to make healthy eating a priority and a reality for my family on regular basis.  Part of that goal requires meal planning.  Since writing that post, I have gotten a few emails asking what my meal planning looks like and how we do it at my house.  So, I decided to do a post!  It's really quite simple actually.  On the back of my pantry door I painted some panels with chalk board pant a few months back.  I use the top panel for to-do's, grocery lists, encouraging words and currently for the list of foods that Georgia has tried.  The bottom panel we reserve for our weekly menu.  

Every Sunday (or Saturday - depending on the weekend), Matt and I take 10 minutes to plan out our meals for the week.  We try to go through our pantry and try to incorporate any ingredients we already have first.  Then, I write the meals on our pantry door so there is never a question and I won't forget.  Once we make our meal plans, we go through a make a grocery list.  Now, we typically only plan our dinner meals.  Matt usually grabs a smoothie on the way out the door and then eats lunch out or with the pharmacy.  So when we are making our grocery list I tend to consider my breakfast and lunch meals for the week too since I am at home.  Then, viola!  We grocery shop once a week and it's done.  It also makes is easy for me every morning to know what's for dinner that night so I can plan my day accordingly!  

What works at your house?  


my baby eats real food

Monday, January 27, 2014

last week, one week and one day before her six month birthday, we gave georgia her first taste of solid food!  it was so fun.  i had planned on waiting until her 6 month birthday to make the leap, since she is solely breastfed right now, but her sleeping situation has been less than adequate so i went ahead and started some solids in hopes it would help in the sleeping department (which i think it has!).  g's first meal consisted of sweet potatoes.  yummy.  she looooved em.  i decided to skip rice cereal and oatmeal all together for now and am planning to introduce that when she's a little older - maybe 7-8 months.  a lot of my friends and family have had issues with their babies getting a bit "stopped up" once they started on the grains so i'm hoping to wait until her digestive system is a bit more "ready."  so sweet potatoes it was.  and i'm making all of my baby food right now (but will have to research some different brands for when we are out and about - mamas, any suggestions?), and let me tell you it's kind of addicting.  i have to be careful or we will have enough baby food to feed a small army.  it's so so fun!  

we are starting on 2 meals a day - 1 an hour after her first bottle (around 8 am) and 1 an hour before (around 6 pm) bedtime.  i'm hoping to move her to three solids a day by the time she is 7ish months old (with bottles all in between).  

since we've taken the plunge, G has tried sweet potatoes, avocados (took her awhile to warm up to these) and squash.  i'm thinking of trying a ripe banana later this week!  if any of you mamas have any other suggestions for first foods to try let me know!  for now here are some pictures of her first encounter with food.  they make me laugh because she looks so tired in some.  being a baby is hard work, ya know?!

2014 goal setting V III

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can't believe we are on the tail-end of January!  I'm getting pumped as I finish up my Power Sheets and get ready for February.  I shared the first part of my goals here and today, here are a few more to add to the list!


Goal 3  //  To constantly make my marriage a priority and focus on more "Matt and Denise" quality time
So it's no secret here that babies make life a bit more chaotic.  I constantly ask myself what I used to do with all of my free time before Georgia.  I still don't have an answer to that, but I'm thankful for the chaos.  I love every minute of being a mom.  And the fact that I get to be her mom?  Words can't describe the gratitude I feel.  But with being a mom (and a dad for Matt) comes the simple fact that we have less time for just each other.  We are always together and doing things with and for Georgia, and I can't fully express how close that has made us.  Watching my husband grow and learn as a father is truly amazing.  I am in awe of him every single day.  I always knew he'd be a good dad, but I never knew he'd be this good.  I mean really.  G hit that jackpot :)  But ok I digress... all of this mommy/daddy time leaves less time for Matt and Denise time.  Less time for long sit-down dinners and late night chats.  I'm not saying these don't ever happen anymore, because they do.  They just aren't as frequent.  And I don't think either of us would have it any of way honestly, but this year, with G turning 6 months next week (AH!), I want to be intentional about time alone with my husband.  Time away.  Last weekend we had a date night.  We got dressed up, went to a yummy, quiet restaurant, drank wine and had a 4 course meal.  I had to consistently remind myself not to turn the conversation to Georgia the whollllllle time (it's hard y'all, she's just so cute!), but it was nice.  So nice.  And I want more date nights.  Even if they are at home.  On NYE this year we put G down together and ate a later dinner which was wonderful.  Usually we are eating with her beside us, which is also nice, but I am vowing to eat later a few nights a week.  That takes a little more prep for me when sweet hubby comes home ready to eat our pantry so I have an appetizer out for him to munch on while we play with G, bathe her and then do her bedtime routine.  When she's asleep, we are able to sit down together and not rush.  And I love that feeling.  We are also taking a trip sans little G for our 4 year wedding anniversary in the fall!  So yea.  That's one of my goals this year.  More date nights / date days / date hours.  I just want to always date my husband and want him to always know he is the best.  The best.



Goal 4  //  To do more nourishing and recharging and less surviving.
I need to take better care of myself.  Plain and simple.  I did a great job of that while I was pregnant.  I ate well, I exercised when needed and I rested.  I spent Sunday nights in a bubble bath and went to bed early.  Since my blue-eyed babe has arrived I have done a horrible job of all of that.  Some of that is to be expected, I mean come on.  As a new mom, especially one that has struggled with breast feeding, my body has been put through the ringer ya know?  And sleep?  Well, that is somewhat of a foreign concept for us (we are hoping it makes it way back into our house in the next few weeks though).  But I am also left in awe by my body.  I mean, I grew a life.  A life y'all.  The most precious life I have ever met.  It makes me sad when I hear women stressing about getting their "post-baby body back" (and I have totally been guilty of this), but really my post-baby body does not exist anymore.  My body is different.  I'm not talking about my wider hips, I'm talking about the soul that I nourished and grew inside of me.  How can I compare my body now to what it was then?  I think that is why I haven't started exercising again yet.  I think I had put a weird kind of pressure on myself to look the same as I did before Georgia.  And it's like I was afraid that it would never be possible so, why strive for it?  And then I realized I had it all wrong.  My body isn't supposed to be the same.  Sure, I would still like some abs in my near future, and I think I'm finally ready to start working for those.  But it's more about nourishing and taking care of myself than anything else - and that involves eating good foods, exercising and resting.  So I will be taking some more "me" time in 2014.  Not neccessarily meaning alone time.  Just making myself a priority as well.  Eating better.  Finding time to do my yoga DVD.  And resting when I need to rest.

So those are two more of my goals for 2014.  Any of yall share either of these?  Tips?  Suggestions?  

Happy Thursday!

PS - my baby had FOOD yesterday!  for the first time ever!  real food.  it felt like christmas, i was so excited.  now here's to hoping her belly is more full and she decides sleep is a good thing :)  

PPS - next week = a lot of georgia posts!  hope that's ok :)


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Today I'm excited to tell ya about a giveaway in honor of sweet Leanne's blog!  It's her one year blog anniversary so hop on over to enter or enter below, but either way check out her adorable blog!  

Hey guys!  I'm Leanne, from Being Jane.  This has been an amazing, fun year! I started blogging because I was lonely, honestly. I was in the middle of starting an Etsy business and I got involved with some social media outlets and noticed a lot of people also blogged. The idea of building a community of friends like me got me so excited I couldn't wait to get going! I was very impatient and wanted everything to flourish right away. 
 My first blogging name was the name of my business, "Top This by Leanne". That name gained a lot of followers and I had a wonderful time interacting with all of you! I got so sick with my pregnancy in 2013 that I took a break until I could focus on my blog more. When I came back after a couple of months I had decided not to continue my crocheting business because I just didn't have the time. Between school, work, motherhood, wifeyhood, and being a human being, there wasn't time to work on lengthy projects. I could barely write a blog post! I then decided that since my business was no longer, I should change my blog name so that it had a meaning. I went with "Sock Monkey Momma". Initially I adored it and thought it encompassed everything I was and wrote about. 
As time went on I realized it didn't have the class that I wanted to emanate from my blog. It didn't sound versatile enough to last me years and years, and to reach a variety of people like I intended to. Yes, I am a mother, but I hope to be even more than that in my daily life and blog voice. 
Hence, "Being Jane" was born. I think I am happy now! I have a huge passion for Jane Austen novels/films and thoroughly enjoy any book or movie from that time period. I mean, my girls are named Emma Jane and Audrey Elizabeth. Just last week I noticed that their middle names are the two eldest daughters in Pride and Prejudice, and they have their coloring! This was done partially on purpose, but I didn't have any control over their coloring ;)

I hope you'll take a moment to look back on some of my favorite posts from this year!

Now please celebrate with me and enter my "One Year Blogoversary" giveaway below!
     I am SO excited to be able to team up with some great bloggy friends and bring the opportunity to win a $50 Starbucks gift card!! I mean, you can NEVER have too much Starbucks. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

must ask mama - a new series!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Today I am thrilled to announce a new series -  MUST ASK MAMA!  My sweet Lynzy had the idea and has graciously decided to host.  Details are below!


Kilee from One Little Momma
Hi Everyone! My name is Kilee from ONE little MOMMA. I am a wife, momma, and handmade business owner living outside of Kansas City.  I love to thrift shop, and I am a die hard DIY'er and can spot an upcoming trend years in advance.  I blog about fashion, easy DIY projects and real life as a SAHM. I've been married for 7 years and I have my hands full with three little boys Easton (3), Kesler (2) and Knox (8 months). My husband and I own a business called ONE little BELT where we hand make and sell belts for babies and toddlers and leather jewelry for women.

Denise from Gratefully Inspired
Hey there!  I'm Denise from Gratefully Inspired where I blog about life's little blessings - mixed in with some fashion, food and of course mommy-hood!  I'm mom to a giggling and cuddly 6 month old, Georgia - and I didn't know just how sweet life could be (or how little sleep you actually need) until my baby girl was born.  I love dance parties, red wine, chocolate chip cookies and salty air.  I live on the coast with my little family where we believe in sunsets, sweet tea and family dinners. Xx

Veronika from Veronika's Blushing
Hi, I'm Veronika!  Veronika's Blushing is a personal style, lifestyle, beauty and home decor blog I started in 2009. I'm 30 years old and I live in Houston, Texas.  I have a beautiful newborn daughter, Harper Reese, and I've been married to my husband, Kevin, for 4 years. Our first "baby" is our shi tzu-poodle mix, Lulu (he’s a boy). In addition to being a wife and mom, I work full time as a public relations specialist for a not-for-profit organization and I feel blessed to have a job that I love and find very fulfilling.  

Lynzy from Sparkling Footsteps
Hi Everyone! :)  My name is Lynzy and I am the face behind the lifestyle blog, Sparkling Footsteps. It focuses on personal style, motherhood, exercise and just life in general. I am married to a handsome fellow who happens to be a doctor in the ER (I work in the ER as well as a Physician Assistant). We welcomed our first little nugget named Olivia this past September and we just cannot get enough of her. She has changed our world for the better and we continue to be inspired by her every day. We enjoy traveling, healing others through the world of medicine and being the best parents we can be!

Brittany from Brittany Louise
Hi! I am Britt, and I am a new mama to Scarlett Isabel who is 9 months old, wife to a medical student, and aspiring photographer. I am a southern soul, romantic, and love to celebrate. On my blog I write about my perspective on life, babies, marriage, style, and all things I am passionate about. 

Erica from To The Sea
Hello! My name is Erica. I'm an attorney, Marine Wife, and former personal trainer. I'm originally from South Padre Island, Texas, but military life has taken me to Hawaii, California, Tanzania, and (soon) Virginia. I love surfing, hiking, music, and art. I have an almost-two-year-old daughter and a baby boy due in April. I blog about parenting, fitness, travel, and life on the move.

A mama's post series that will feature your questions that you would like all of us to answer. Each month we will feature three questions from our readers (linking back to your blogs as well - or you can choose to be anonymous!) and we will all have an answer (from our point of view) for each question. This way you can get a perspective from six different mamas, because we all know every baby is different!

Here on the internets!  Lynzy will be posting all of our responses in once place on her blog.  But I will have a link to that every month here!

Once per month

You are able to submit your question once the post goes live for that particular month. Send your questions to sparklingfootsteps (at) gmail (dot) com. The first three questions will be answered the following month!

Have any questions?  Email Lynzy now!
sparklingfootsteps (at) gmail (dot) com

2014 goal setting V II

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


How is it already mid-January??  I hope you have had a wonderful start to 2014!  I know I have.  It has been spent with lots of cuddles, family time and goal-setting.  Like I said before, I've been making my way through Lara Casey's Goal Setting Series with hopes to really put time and prayer into setting these goals.  I hope to be finished and ready to "start" by February 1!  I'm almost done, so looks like that won't be a problem.  Today I'm going to share my first two goals!

via lara casey

Goal 1  //  Clear the physical and mental clutter in my home and in my car.
This is tricky for me.  I am a bit of a hoarder if you will.  I hold on to everything.  Anything with sentimental value, I keep, anything that I might need if I ever go to a 90's rave skating party - I keep.  I mean seriously.  I go to throw something out and my head comes up with (the most unrealistic) excuse to keep it!  It's a problem.  And I fully believe that physical clutter is mental clutter, so for my first goal I am focusing the next 6 months on clearing the clutter.  My One Word this year is Simplify and that is what I want for my home.  I don't want a home filled with "stuff."  I want a home filled with laughter, love and memories and all this "stuff" gets in my way at times.  So I am making my way through closets, cabinets, garages and more and purging.  If I don't have a use for it right now (a GOOD use), then someone else deserves it.  Sheila wrote a post a while back about giving and stated that it's easy to forget, but giving is supposed to hurt.  It's not supposed to be easy.  That is why God calls us to do it.  To use this sometimes hard process to make room for Him to change our heart.  So through the purging, my prayer is that God will change my heart.  Allow me to continue to let go of the "stuff" that doesn't matter at all, and make room for what does.  

via pinterest

Goal 2  //  Make healthy eating a priority for my family.
This is something that we started this year but something I can always work on.  The main part of this "goal" that I am hoping to make a habit, is the planning process.  Matt and I have decided to plan our meals weekly to ensure that we will always know what we are having for dinner.  Since Georgia has come into our life, if we don't plan our meals weekly then every day around 4 pm I have a panic attack and we end up ordering take-out.  AKA not healthy, and not cheap.  It is also important for me to teach my baby girl that eating healthy is not a chore.  It's not hard and it's not overwhelming.  I want it to be a way of life for her.  I want her to learn to nourish her body every time she eats.  I want her to take pride in food and enjoy it for what it is meant for.  This goal is also an excuse to break out my Pinterest board and get to cracking on some of those yummy recipes.  

So that's a start.  My start.  Those are two of my five goals for 2014.  Any of y'all have similar ones?  Anyone have suggestions for success in mine?

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs