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I'm Nadine. Thanks for stopping by. The floors are creaky, the kids are loud, but the door's always open and the coffee's always on.

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13 Things in 2013

I'm turning 30 in 2013.

Remember this shirt? It no longer applies. But it DOES prove my birth year.

While my 20s have been pretty great, I'm really looking forward to my 30s. I'd go as far as borrowing a phrase from my buddy Chuck Dickens and admitting that I have "great expectations" for the approaching decade.

In my 20s, I graduated from school(s), moved to Toronto (without knowing ANYONE), got my first job, quit that job and the next one, went freelance, lived alone and with a roommate, made friends, found a church home, then met a cute redhead and married him.

In my 30s, I'll have a life with that redhead to look forward to. We'll likely start our own little family. Matthew's career is set to take off. My own will probably twist and turn a little and take new shape. We might buy a house, or we might just be the world's best tenants for a while. Maybe we'll move far away. Maybe Toronto will be our home forever. I'll probably even — gasp! — DRIVE A MOTORIZED VEHICLE.

I'll discover my first grey hair. I'll have to moisturize more often. I might acquire stretch marks.

In anticipation of that new decade, I want 2013 to be a year of intentional transition.

Note: The following is more of a year-long to-do list than anything else, hence the lack of major character-transformation goals on it. I fully expect to continue to grow, engage and volunteer more in 2013, too. Heck, I might even start journalling again. Who knows?

Here are 13 things I want to do in 2013:

  1. Organize our finances. Budget. Give more generously — and save intentionally.
  2. Get fit. It's only going to get harder as I get older. (Plus, I have low bone density and NEED to.) This includes cardio and weight-training.
  3. Make healthier food choices. Choose organic produce — especially when shopping for the "dirty dozen" — and consume hormone-free meat. And (maybe) ditch the Diet Coke. (Oh, and drink substantially more water.)
  4. Wear a bikini.*
  5. Create meal plans. I want to be frugal and still make healthy, interesting meals.
  6. Master liquid eye liner. (Because I want to be a Bond girl. It's now or never.)
  7. Get my license. It's about bloody time. (Also, become British.)
  8. Paint the bathroom.
  9. Sew something.
  10. Bake bread. Related: Bake a pie.
  11. Purge — then strategically build — my wardrobe. Wear skirts, dresses and heels more often.
  12. Tackle the home decor list: throw pillows, office shelving, dining room art.
  13. Finish all the name-change stuff. (My passport, one bank account, and three credit cards say Bells. My health card, government stuff, paycheques, other accounts and professional writing name are all now Kalinauskas. Oh, paperwork. Only get married once, folks.)

Whew. I think I'm going to need an extra-long 2013….

What are your goals, resolutions, and personal challenges for the new year?

*I wore bikinis on our honeymoon last April. (The Key West part, not the NYC part.) It was a first for me — and surprisingly liberating. But then I ate crappy food, gained 8 pounds, and started to feel less-than-confident about my midsection. My husband, what a guy, thinks I always look great, but I want to FEEL great. And since we're likely heading south for a wedding this coming June, my challenge to myself is to eat well, work out, and then get over myself and just wear the dang swimwear.

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