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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.

Make yourself at home.

Looking Back: 13 Things in 2013

I have a confession: I didn't return to my "13 things in 2013" list until...October. And I realized I had a few things to do.

Here's the original list, now annotated.

1. Organize our finances. Budget. Give more generously — and save intentionally.

Check. We gave. Lots. I got rid of my student debt. And we put a nice chunk in savings. I like to call it house/baby/car money. 'Cause we'll likely want all three in the next few years.

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.

(Sort of) check. I was the worst gym-goer in the history of the world this year. Then why the "(sort of) check"? Because I had a bone density scan that came out saying MY BONES ARE NORMAL.

High-dose birth control and Bone Builder supplements for the win.

This is your lecture of the day: If you have weird menstrual/health issues that you're not currently seeing a doctor about, get thee an appointment. A few years ago, because of low estrogen, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I DON'T HAVE IT ANYMORE.

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.)

I ditched the DC during "Healthy November." I started drinking tea. (A step closer to water, right?) We eat almost exclusively hormone-free meat.

Important note: "Healthier food choices" does not apply from December 15th to January 1st.

4. Wear a bikini.

Um. I went swimming a total of ONE time in 2013. At a hotel pool in New Jersey. I wore a one-piece. Apparently I'm not really a "go swimming" person. Or a tanning person. Or a summer person. (Or a winter person. Man, I'm in trouble.)

5. Create meal plans. I want to be frugal and still make healthy, interesting meals.

Mostly check. I made plans, but we didn't necessarily reduce our grocery bills much. Maybe 2014 will be different.

6. Master liquid eye liner. (Because I want to be a Bond girl. It’s now or never.)

I'm a work in progress. I've successfully worn liquid eyeliner seven or eight times this year, and only had to redo my face three of those times. (Shaky hands, uneven lines.) I'll get better. I'll be a Bond girl, even if it kills me my eyelids.

7. Get my license. It’s about bloody time. (Also, become British.)

Still not British…BUT I got my license. I guess I should learn to drive now, huh?

8. Paint the bathroom.

Check. I did this while Matthew and the boys were off recording an album.

9. Sew something.

Check. But not enough check. I made a sample pillow (while testing out my new sewing machine) and then turned some fabric my sister-in-law brought back from Africa into a table runner. The rest will be a pillow. Also, I have a skirt and dress pattern waiting for me.

10. Bake bread. Related: Bake a pie.

I made bread! I was going to bake a pie this fall, then Healthy November happened. Stay tuned for pie in the coming months.

11. Purge — then strategically build — my wardrobe. Wear skirts, dresses and heels more often.

There was (some) purging. I now have a spreadsheet of every item of clothing I own. I'm trying to track how often I wear each piece, so that I can better ditch the unworn ones. I'm a nerd.

Also, I bought a couple sweaters and did a recent fall/winter-wardrobe upgrade. (Kudos to my patient, generous husband who hung out at the mall with me — and who encouraged me to shop at J.Crew. I feel like I graduated from shopping school.)

Also: refer to "I have a skirt and dress pattern waiting for me." There will be more clothing.

12. Tackle the home decor list: throw pillows, office shelving, dining room art.

Ish. I have fabric for one pillow, four pillow forms, two unframed prints…. It's a work in progress, okay?

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.)

CHECK. With the exception of one credit card — a change that's in progress — I am Nadine Kalinauskas, 100%.

How did you do with your goals in 2013, friends? Any resolutions or plans for the new year? (I'll post my "14 Things in 2014" tomorrow. Probably.)


14 Things in 2014

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