Almost There: January 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tyler Anne's 2014: Week 4

Week 4
Inspiring pin: Untitled by Jesús Garrido

Book I finished: Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris

Book I'm currently reading: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton - I need to finish this book!

Blog I'm loving: A Subtle Revelry

Blog post I can't get enough of: A Donut Cake by A Subtle Revelry

Word of the week: Fandom

So, what went down? Well, awesome ole me had to go to the doctor and be told I tore some soft tissue in my back and to not use my right arm as much until it heals. The first half of the week was spent blog prepping, designing, and being a big baby about doing it all left-handed!

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Holli Anne's 2014: Week 4

Birthday celebrating, Adobe and hard-core nesting essentially sum up my week 4. Here's the run-down.

Highlight of the week: My sweet husband's birthday, of course! Here's the recipe of the cake I made him (only I covered the middle and top with Oreos). 

Things inspiring me: My free trial of Adobe's Creative Cloud programs. Holy moly! They run so smooth on my little laptop. I had to make an annual report for work this week, and the laptop with InDesign had a run-in with coffee, so I had to improvise. It might be a bad thing for my bank account because I'm pretty sure I can't let these programs go easily!

Pins I'm pinning: Food with quinoa, like this Superfood Salad from Dreams in HD and this coconut quinoa breakfast from A Beautiful Mess

Books I'm reading: Finished Eye Spy by Kevin Hallock (ehh, it was alright) and currently reading (FOR THE FIRST TIME) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I can't believe I haven't read this series yet, and neither can anyone else so I'm getting on board!

Things I'm blogging: Inspiration: Baby Boy Nursery 

Don't forget to check out other Almost There posts from Week 4: Inspiration: Slice of Bright, Inspiration: Morning Coffee & What does your patio say about you?

Hope you had a wonderful week! 

-Holli Anne

Inspiration: Baby Boy Nursery

This coming week, I'll be just five weeks from my due date! Say what?! Time is really flying! 

We have officially disassembled our baby boy's room to cover the walls and a couple pieces of thrift store furniture finds with fresh coats of paint. (The walls are going to be a warm gray with white furniture). Currently, the walls are a dark blue.

Anyway, the next couple of weeks will be super busy for us as we put this little guy's room together, and I won't have very great pictures to show until we're all done. BUT, I thought it'd be fun to show you some of the inspiration behind our project. 

First, we don't really have a concrete theme. We are doing a Montessori-style nursery (you can read more about that here). Essentially, we are using a simple mattress on the floor, which I get may sound a tad crazy, but the idea is that the little guy can begin exploring his space whenever he's ready. Also, we'll make sure there are comfy things around his bed so if we does roll off or crawl off, it won't hurt. Toys are low and accessible and it's not dangerous because we are working hard to make sure his space is really safe for him. The beds below are a bit busy for a baby, but they are a good example!

We also have a big wooden shelf and plan on using a lot of wooden and natural elements for his toys. When he's old enough to really play with toys, we'll rotate them out so he can have a little to play, keep things interesting and not overwhelm him. 

And lastly, we don't really have a color scheme or particular theme in mind. BUT, we want to use a versions of primary colors, mixed in with some green. 

We want to give the whole thing a vintage feel, with soft, bright colors and awesome thrift store decorations. 

We'll post the final (hopefully) in the next couple weeks! 

Here's all the links to the pins above. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

-Holli Anne

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Inspiration: Slice of Bright

My go-to morning inspiration usually revolves around coffee (see: Morning Coffee) but today I wanted to go a different route.

After browsing my Color make me go OH! board on Pinterest, I decided I wanted to start the morning off with an overall feeling of brightness with pops of refreshing color. That's when I rediscovered this Design Seeds palette I had pinned a while back. It's the perfect visual representation of how I'm feeling!

So, I wanted to find a picture that would pair with each color block. Still utterly obsessed with Pinterest, I switched to my (favorite) #hgtv board and found five pictures that, in my opinion, pair well with my goal.

It isn't a coffee post but maybe it will still inspire!

Those. Chairs. #want [pin]

That island is fantastic. [pin]
That room is ALSO fantastic. [pin]

I'm digging that mirror. [pin]
And that light. [pin]

What pins are inspiring you?

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Monday, January 20, 2014

What does your patio say about you?

We love to decorate our homes. There’s no two ways about it. Indoor decor is a must while outdoor decor is just plain fun. Some could argue that while a person actually lives inside of a house that the furniture and style that fills it is more important. However, don’t you also spend time outside?

Even though you may spend the majority of your time inside, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress the outside as well! With a plethora of styles created to accommodate any patio space it’s important to find a style that is uniquely you.

Here are four patio designs and what they say about their owners. 

The Elegant Host
When there’s a dinner party to be had, you’re the person everyone turns to. With this stainless steel patio furniture elegance from Cabana Coast, you have turned your outdoor eatery into a modern, contemporary, design made to show everyone you’re a classy host. With its stainless steel and matching wicker, this set can look sleek on its own or be dressed up even more with tabletop accents. If your patio design holds this set, you can rest easy knowing that your smart, elegant tastes have finally been realized. 

The Modern Grey Entertainer
This patio scene from West Elm just screams, “We like to entertain!” Showcasing Tillary outdoor modular seating, this set can be separated then rearranged to meet your liking while maintaining a smooth, modern look. Are you having a pool party and want to be able to lounge alongside the swimmers? Move one of the sofas closer. Do you want an intimate seating area to spend time with loved ones and friends after a long day of work? Move it back with the rest of the arrangement. The pops of color keep the eyes appreciating this set while the designer pillows only attribute to the overall cool feeling. This design shows visitors that you aren’t afraid to entertain and look good while doing it.

The Designers
Not only do you like to entertain, you like to “Wow!” This patio scene has a Wayfair 11-piece round sectional that is stylish and sleek with a glass-topped coffee table able to withstand the elements. When your visitors step out and see this combo they’ll know you appreciate good design and know the right ways to inspire awe. You won’t mind their assumptions because you like the praise after spending a good amount of time searching for the right “wow” factor to complete your patio design.

The Eclectic Outdoorsman
You love color. You love contrast. You love being outside. This Banyan Bay patio set from Pier 1 Imports with its colorful accents and additions creates a patio design that shows you’re a lover of the outdoors who isn’t afraid of unique decorations. Your taste is eclectic and fun. This set has synthetic, hand-woven wicker that makes you feel closer to nature while allowing you comfort. You will be able to lounge day or night, cold weather or warm weather with this patio thanks to your love of eclectic design and flair for fun.

So, what does your patio say about you?

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tyler Anne's 2014: Week 3

Week 3

Inspiring pin: Floral Inspiration photography by Ali Harper, flowers by Amy Osaba

Book I finished: Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris

Book I'm currently reading: Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris - And, again, I'm reading THIS book for the third time!

Blog I'm loving: A Beautiful Mess

Blog post I can't get enough of: DIY Framing Wood Corner Desk by Young House Love

Word of the week: Revamp

So, what went down? Business was awesome this past week! Three extra mini blog projects makes this blogger oh so happy! Also, I took this precious picture of the same-name beau!

What went down during your week?

Don't forget to see Week 3's posts: Inspiration: Custom Kitchens / Inspiration: / Holli Anne's 2014: Week 3

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Holli Anne's 2014: Week 3

The beginning of this week was rough! Not in a bad way...just in a pregnant kind of way. Fatigue hit me in a whole new way and no matter what I did, I could NOT get enough energy.

As a result, I kind of did a minimal amount of inspirational things (or things in general). Finally by the middle of the week, I managed to get a second wind and accomplish some stuff, like taking down our Christmas decorations. (A snapshot of our first married Christmas is below!)

Here's the low-down on what's going on in Week 3, 2014:

Pins I'm pinning: Lots of furniture, nursery and home decor inspiration, especially since I wanted (and need) to be nesting these last few weeks before baby arrives. This baby nursery and this Ikea bed frame are really striking my fancy.

Books I'm reading: Eye Spy by Kevin J. Hallock...I'm trucking through but honestly, it's not really my cup of tea so far. I also started reading through the first draft of the book I wrote last year so I can begin making edits. Finally feeling inspired for that! Here's the "back of the book" synopsis.

Things I'm doing: Besides heavy napping and putting away Christmas, we've completely emptied our baby nursery for a fresh coat of paint and also bought a couple pieces of new furniture for our house (dining room table + dresser for baby clothes). I'm also enjoying the long weekend with my husband!

Stuff I'm drooling over: This line-up to the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta. Like, how good is this?!

Anyone have any highlights to share from their Week 3? Comment below!

Also, check out the Almost There blogs from this week: Inspiration: & Inspiration: Custom Kitchens

Thursday, January 16, 2014


One of my favorite reasons to post on here (and largely why I started Almost There) was to help inspire. Whether you had your dream house/job/life or not I wanted to show people that you could still be happy with DIYs, inspiration boards, and spotlights on creative, awe-inspiring sites, products, and people. Going into our third year, I hope Almost There is still fitting that bill!

Today, I want to keep the streak alive and INSPIRE you with a wonderful site named Minted!

Minted is the world's premier marketplace for independent design. Our mission is to find exceptional artists and designers all over the world and bring their work to consumers who appreciate great design.

What does that mean?
It means you have a site filled with a plethora of eclectic and unique designs for all occasions (special or just because) that will delight the eyes and warm the hearts of designers and design lovers alike.

Now, let me show you three reasons I'm currently in love with Minted.

Birth Announcements
Maybe it's because Holli Anne is expecting that has me super excited about Minted's Birth Announcements but I think they are just adorable! With customization options galore, you can make your announcements as personal as if you had designed them from your laptop at home and, as Minted does best, the design selection is ample (and precious)!

Je T'aime bebe | Hatched Egg Shell | From the Nursery | Welcome with Love | Browse more...

I'm a writer so, of course, I'm going check out the journal section of Minted! Oh boy are they adorable! Each design has a customization option (again, a wonderful Minted feature) so making your journal uniquely you while keeping the design integrity intact opens up so many cute possibilities. No matter your tastes, the journal section has pages and pages of different styles whether you're more drawn to photography, illustration, or a combination of the two!

Hello Love | Chalkboard Dreams | To the Happy Family | Browse more in Journals for Women...

Art Prints
Dear goodness.
Be still my heart.
I can't help but love 85 percent of what's in the art prints section of Minted. Again, a lot of eclectic, bright fun pieces! AND you have the option of various sizes and framing! Always a bonus if you ask me!

Rainbow | Peony Bottle | St. Paul's Cathedral, London | Art wall board | Browse more...

There's plenty more to love about Minted so I'll make more posts about it, I'm sure. For now, these three sections of the site are my favorites, though, I spent a good amount of time browsing the others!

If you love design, pretty things, and affordable, customizable decor then I suggest you check out now!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inspiration: Custom Kitchens

What makes a kitchen beautiful?

Is it the granite counter tops? The butcher block island? Custom cabinets finished just right?

Whatever "it" may be, loving your kitchen is a big must for most home owners. However, it's hard to just move into a house that already has everything you wanted inside. You can always upgrade, sure, but that can become costly quick and not everyone has the freedom to customize the "heart of the home" so easily.

So, what can you do to personalize your cooking space while also adding value to your house and home?



Whether you tile up the entire wall or just the places over the sink or oven, a new backsplash can glam up the room, instantly personalizing your kitchen. Depending on the space you want to upgrade, the cost can be under $100, easy.

Why am I talking backplashes? Well, we may have just installed our own! (We did and it's beautiful! Post coming this week!)

Now, until I get down and dirty with the specifics enjoy some pretty pictures and do yourself a favor and Pinterest "kitchen backsplashes!"

One | Two | Three | Four

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tyler Anne's 2014: Week 2

Week 2

Inspiring pin: It was often seen wandering the forest just outside of the village...

Book I finished: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

Book I'm currently reading: Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris - And, again, I'm reading THIS book for the third time!

Blog I'm loving: The Writer Diaries

Blog post I can't get enough of: How You Like Me Now, Grout? by Young House Love

Word of the week: Value

So, what went down? New marketing plans were created, LOTS of things were researched (for the blog and work!), and Twitter became my bestie for a few days!

What went down during your week?

Don't forget to see Week 2's posts: Monday's Suggestions 1/06 / Recipe: Chocolate Banana Coffee Cupcakes...oh my! / Holli Anne's 2014: Week 2

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holli Anne's 2014: Week 2

This week was all about family and babies (well, singular baby...the one growing inside me!) My parents came to visit, we made some major progress on getting our house in order  and we got to see the baby again in ultrasound form!

I'm 32 weeks pregnant, and I'm not super into pregnant pictures of myself, but I thought this one would be a good round up of the week. (You can see that big belly down there!)

Here's the low-down on 2014, Week 2:

Pins I'm pinning: Looking back, most of them are food related (go figure). These banana rolls and overnight oatmeal in particular have my interest peaked.

Book I'm reading: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman...just finished last night. It's beautiful. And a lot of things. SO MANY FEELS.

Things I'm doing: Majorly working on our house. We organized ALL our art and office supplies, which was a major feat. We also got new table legs from Ikea in the mail this week, so our office project is almost complete. Post coming soon!

Noteworthy things: An 11-degree low in south Georgia and a new neighborhood coffee shop that sells Fairtrade Coffee (that happens to be delicious!)

My blogs from this week: Chocolate Banana Coffee Cupcakes. Yep, make these!

Best moment of the week: Seeing our baby on ultrasound form. The best part was that we didn't really get a good look at his face because he's all turned in the right position for birth. BUT, we did find out he has hair! Yay!

How was your second week of this year?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Banana Coffee Cupcakes...oh my! I know it's the new year and all that and many people are probably doing that diet thing. But hey, we can all use a little chocolate in moderation, right?

These particular cupcakes happen to combine a few of my favorite things: chocolate + bananas + coffee +powdered sugar + honey almond cream cheese + more chocolate. Holy mess. These are beautiful.

I got most of this recipe from The Joy of Baking, but I did make some additions (coconut oil, instant coffee, and the frosting). Here's the version I did.

Chocolate Banana Coffee Cupcakes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 3/4 tbsp. instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350. 

2. Mix all dry ingredients in bowl, followed by wet ingredients. 

3. Pour batter into a muffin pan lined with 12 cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full. 

4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. honey almond cream cheese
1. Mix all these ingredients together (preferably with a mixer but mine broke tonight so it worked without!)

2. Once cupcakes are cooled, ice with yummy frosting mix and eat! 

Hope you enjoy! And if you are dieting, it's fine if you just pin them for a reward when you aren't! 

—Holli Anne

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Suggestions 1/06

This is me about this week's Monday Suggestions!

Confession: I read a lot and I'm kind of a snob about it.

But, man, I just love books. I used to throw down with two books a week but lately I've been writing so I've reduced that to finishing one book a week. (I'm actually working on a post about how to find your future favorite books!)

Why am I telling you this?

Because only my favorites make the Monday Suggestion posts! I pick books that (in my opinon) are baller and that stand a good chance of you thinking so too!

So, without anymore babbling, here's this week's Monday Suggestions!

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (who just happen to be an awesome writing duo/married couple) has me all pumped! After falling through Amazon trying to find the next book to hook me, I saw Clean Sweep and said "meh." I'm not the biggest fan of book covers with women obviously being supernatural in some way on them. I don't know why. However, I try to embrace the old adage of not judging a book by its cover so I read the sample.

Now, what makes Clean Sweep so darn amazing? Let me briefly break it down for you.

1. The world, the supernatural "rules," the explanation of things in this book are so different from anything I've ever read (a HUGE feat, I'll tell you) and it's all in a good way. I will NOT ruin anything for you, but just take it from me that this will take your vision of modern day werewolves, vampires, and OTHER THINGS to a whole different, wonderful direction.
2. Dina. This book is first person so you get to listen to her thoughts and they are just entertaining. She's also strong but, really, what does that mean? It means she's not a damsel in distress. Sure, she ends up teaming up with a few other people, but she's by no means weak. What I paralytically love is that, unlike a lot of books I read, Dina knows it too.

3. The book is written beautifully. The plot, the meat (what I mentioned in #1), and everything in between is explained in such a fantastic way that I didn't for once reject any of it. The pacing of explanations just work.

4. THE IMAGERY IS AMAZING! There are two scenes in particular that were painted so damn brilliantly that I felt like I was watching a movie! My goodness, I can't even.

There are actually a few more reasons that I love Clean Sweep and you should too, but then I'd border on spoilers so I'll save it for a book review post! Just trust me and get this book!

Synopsis from Amazon:
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything. 
Links you need to check out: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Goodreads // Ilona Andrews website

Occasionally, I like to browse Charlaine Harris' website. Why? Well because I'm a huge Harris fan, and not just a True Blood groupie. I'm talking every book she's written groupie. After watching season one of True Blood, I read the first book and realized it was so different and SO MUCH BETTER than the show (book snob, remember?). Then, within the span of 11 days I read the 11 Sookie Stackhouse books that were out. I loved them (and her writing style) so much that I went to the bookstore and bought Shakespeare's Landlord, A Lily Bard book. Loved it. Read the entire series. THEN I picked up Real Murders and, well, you get the picture. That book and its series became an all time favorite and Aurora Teagarden (the main character) even made my Top 5 favorite protagonists' list! I also picked up the Harper Connelly books because, man, I was on a roll!

SO, when I saw that Ms. Harris was coming out with a NEW SERIES, I about died in excitement. 

Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas) will be released on May 6, 2014 and it set to be the first in a trilogy. I mean, I can't even control myself with this one! Just the synopsis has me beyond pumped! YOU BET I PRE-ORDERED IT!

Here it is: 
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...
Links you should check out: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Goodreads // Charlaine Harris Website

What are YOU reading?

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tyler Anne's 2014: Week 1

I love Holli. She has the best ideas.
The one I'm currently digging?
Weekly Recaps! You can check out her Week One here.

Now, I'd like to throw down my own little recap!

Week 1

Inspiring pin: Don't Stop 

Book I finished: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Book I'm currently reading: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris - And, technically, I'm reading it for the third time!

Blog I'm loving: Allie NYC

Blog post I can't get enough of: 2013 End of Year Book Survey by Miss Riki

Word of the week: Reinvigorated

So, what went down? Brought in the New Year with loved ones, drank lots of sweet tea, and finished the first chapter of Novel #2!

What went down during your week?

Don't forget to see Week 1's posts: 2013 Report Card / Goals for 2014 / Holli Anne's 2014: Week 1

- Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Holli Anne's 2014: Week 1

If I have one regret about 2013, it's that I didn't document enough of it. I've always wanted to be a Project Lifer or a scrapbooker, but when I'm honest with myself, I know I'd never carve out the time to do it.

For some of last year I simply wrote down a Highlight of the Day in my journal, and those were pretty cool to go back and read. So I'm trying to do those again. But, I want something visual, so with the inspiration of some other bloggers, I decided I'm going to do a brief recap of the week on here. It'll have at least one image from the week and maybe even some of the blog's I'm digging, pins I'm pinning or books I'm reading.

This week (the 2014 portion anyway) was a short one. I've seen many people, along with their New Year's resolutions (or in place of), give themselves a word of the year. If you saw our New Year's Goals post, then you may know one of my major goals is to NOT freak out over things. So, I decided to give myself the word "Courage."

I doodled it on this piece of paper and stuck it in an old frame on my desk today. It's by no means fancy, but luckily hand-lettering isn't one of my goals for the year. (One of our friend's Allison is doing a 365 hand-lettering project that's pretty gorgeous, so you should check that out).

The courage to...
give birth to a healthy, happy little boy.
be a first-time mom.
adjust my schedule a million times as my little guy grows and his needs change.
guard my priorities and let the other little details go.
reject negative thoughts.
turn to others when I feel like I can't handle things on my own.
trust that things will always fall into place when they are supposed to.
trust myself.

Here's to a courageous 2014! Do you have a word of the year? Let us know in the comments below.

-Holli Anne

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for 2014

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope you had a fun time surrounded by loved ones and all of that heartwarming jazz! If only the holiday could last a little longer!

Now, it's time for New Year Goals that we oh so want to complete before 2014!
Curious about our 2013 goals and report card? Go here!

Tyler Anne's Goals:

I'm not going to lie, my goals are going to be heavily writing-oriented so hang in there with me!

1. Finish writing my newest work in progress! (It's a paranormal romance, cozy mystery, women sleuths type deal!)

2. Get the book from #1 self-published OR very near it!

3. Start working on book number 3, whether it's a sequel or another series!

4. Post to the blog every week! Why? BECAUSE I LOVE IT!

5. The old desire to get more in shape and exercise regularly! We. Shall. See.

Holli Anne's Goals:

This year I'm having a baby! So, I'm going to be a little easy on myself in terms of specifics in goal-setting. Since I've never done this whole parenting thing, I figure I might need to make up some of this as I go.

1. Don't freak out! That's my number 1 goal for this year and if I accomplish nothing else but this one, I'll be pleased as punch. Sure, it might be hard to control, but I plan to do this just by doing my best not to entertain negative thoughts/emotions as much as possible.

2. Invest in the community more. This includes getting actually involved in a church and maybe some other things around town as we get to know this place better.

3. Continue working toward healthy living. Yes, this is super vague. But last year I started running and eating a lot healthier, and mainly, I just want to keep those things up. I also want to work on getting chemicals out of my house with natural cleaning products...and who knows what else. I'll take it as it comes!

4. Establish a new writing routine. I'm thinking with a child on the way, this is something that will have to change and grow as he does. Mainly, the goal is to keep writing!

5. Speaking of writing, I'm also with Tyler Anne on this on here at least once a week because I love it.

6. Read double what I read last year.

Do you guys have any New Year's goals? We'd love to hear what you will be doing in 2014!

2013 Report Card

2013 was without a doubt one of the more eventful years in both of our lives. SO. MANY. CHANGES.

It was wonderful and busy, and now that it's 2014, it seems like a good time to take a second and reflect. At the beginning of last year, we listed out some goals we each had for 2013, so it sharing the results of those seems like a good place to start.

Holli Anne's Goals:

FIRST of all, can I just say that 2013 was the best and craziest year of my whole life! I got married, moved to two different houses, started two different jobs (and my husband got a new one, too), wrote the first draft of my first book ever...oh, and got pregnant! Phew! It was a tad overwhelming attempting to keep up with...well, any of that. But, I did manage to accomplish some of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year, and that was pretty exciting.

1. Start running regularly again.
  • A - I did the Couch to 5K program to get started and was back up to running three miles on a regular basis. Unfortunately, due to some intense pregnant leg pain, I had to ditch the running toward the end of the year. I'll be back, though!

2. Take care of my health better in general: Taking all the medicines doctors tell me to take (I rebel against them), eating something green everyday and to drink more water.
  • A - I've definitely been sick a lot less this year and overall feel in good health, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

3. Get on a "normal" sleep schedule (the 8-5 work schedule my soon-to-be husband is on would be good).
  • A - I'm not going to lie. I didn't think I'd do this ever, but thanks to some day jobs of my own, I'm on an awesome schedule. I even find myself waking up without alarm clocks on the weekends ready to go.

4. Quit doing things I just like so I have time to do the hobbies I LOVE.
  • B - I did this one for a while, but with lots of working, I've slacked on hobbies sometimes and find myself vegging out on things I don't really love doing (i.e. too much TV!)

5. Keep writing the book I started late last year.
  • B - I DID finish the first draft of this book. But then I haven't really been brave enough or dedicated enough to give it the work it needs to be readable, so that's why I don't get all the credit on this goal.

6. Be a good wife come March 9, and to make our new home look awesome!
  • B - Well...I'm a pretty good wife, probably! And our 2nd new married home is starting to come together, so that's good.

7. Start the vegetable garden I've been scheming.
  • D - I sort of started a vegetable garden, but it did not produce so well.  

Tyler Anne's Goals:

1. Visit the gym more than 0 times a week and also start up running again too. I used to be an avid runner but man have I been slacking!
  • C - OOPS! The most I do is walk with my boo or pull ups with my nifty pull up bar! Beyond that it's all still BABY STEPS!

2. Cook more and healthier. If you know me then you know I tend to shy away from cooking anything that takes more than 30 minutes.
  • B - I definitely eat healthier and have lost the weight I set out to lose! Occasionally, I even cook! (Though, let's be real...Boy Tyler is the star of the kitchen!)

3. Also get on a more "normal" sleep schedule. I'm trying to make my schedule less night-heavy so I can, you know, see the sun occasionally.
  • A - Considering I used to go to sleep just before the sun rose, my sleep schedule now has definitely improved! Other than a few upsets from reading a really great book that keeps me up, my sleep schedule is as normal as I'm going to get it! So, YAY, my first A!

4. Up my photography. I want to learn more and let my camera get a good workout.
  • C - For the first half of this year I rocked this goal's FACE. Then...not so much. I intend to fix this in 2014.

5. ALSO finish my book! (Holli and I are such twins!)
  • A!!!! This is perhaps why I did so poorly on all other goals. Not only did I finish an entire book (in one week, no less), I was asked to pump up the word count and then resubmit it to an interested editor! I can't give out details on who, but when I hear back I'LL LET YOU KNOW! Oh and this is the only book I've ever 100% finished. So, you know, that's a big thing!

6. Snail mail it up! I want to write some personal letters to family and friends! So personal, so awesome!
  • -F - I was reaching with this one, BUT, I'm sending out New Year cards because I TOTALLY spaced on Christmas cards...whoops!

7. Keep working hard on Almost There! (Not hard because I love it!)
  • B - I didn't do EVERYTHING I wanted (because of the whole writing thing) but I'm happy with the behind the scenes planning I've done as well as ALL of the 2013 posts! I hope you like them too!

- The Annes


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