2014 Reflections and Looking Ahead to 2015

Recently on Instagram I was tagged to share my highlights from 2014. I considered doing this but soon realized that I have far too many good things to highlight in one square picture. Despite sickness, a death in the family or any other bad things that may have happened, I was truly blessed this year and continue to be blessed. 

I was able to finish my Forty Before Forty list (I'll recap in a minute), had a milestone birthday,  we were able to do home improvement projects like new carpeting and a new front porch deck and we adopted a puppy. Let's not even mention that my husband and I both have work, my son is doing phenomenal in school and we finally got that puppy potty-trained. Now if we could only get her to stop being nosy and getting everything out and eating it! We have a roof over our heads and a car to drive. While life is most certainly not perfect, we continue to live and be blessed. 

I tried to blog about most of my Forty Before Forty list, but I'll recap all of the activities I completed in case if any of you would like some ideas! I completed most this year, but I did do a few last year like running a 5 K, starting a book club and starting my blog. They were completed only one year ago! 

Forty Before Forty

1. Start a book club- hard to believe this next year, it will actually be two years! 
2. Start a blog- one year blogiversary was in October!
3. Run a 5K- and by run, I mean run not walk! 
4. Try a new exercise class- kickboxing! 
5. Make strawberry jam- yum! 
6. Sing karaoke- boy, that was a fun night! 
7. Drink a shot of tequila- and that was the same fun night as above...
8. Fly a kite- I cannot remember the last time if ever I did this and it was fun! 
9. Pick fruit- I picked the strawberries that I used to make the jam
10. Have crepes- I've had them once before but it was a while ago and this time it was with my family
11. Do the color run- what a blast! 
12. Archery- this was such a great time and I would like to do this again! 
13. Shooting range- I would try this again- I was a little scared when shooting but it wasn't awful
14. Horseback riding- I did not like this at all...
15. Ziplining- super scary but I did it! 
16. Have macarons- I love Macarons and it was great when I ate the ones I made! 
17. Cooking class- made macarons above in this class! 
18. Visit my moms grave in Ohio- first time I was there since she passed- it was last year around this time and I wrote all about it 
19. Jewelry organization- might seem like a small thing, but bars are hung and all of the necklaces are put away! I've got a tray for jewelry that doesn't hang, a hand to store rings and a bracelet holder. I'm proud of this accomplishment! 
20. Finish coin collection of state quarters- I've been collecting these for a while and finally got around to finishing my collection
21. Make a snowman
22. Made snow angels 
23. Make a turkey - nope I've never done this before! 
24. High Tea- this was a fun time with friends in a tearoom in Plymouth 
25. Volunteer with Dress for Success- I've been wanting to do this for a few years and finally got the opportunity to start doing this- it's such a great way to give back and I love it! 
26. New haircut/hairstyle- I'm loving the shorter "do"! 
27. Mow the grass- nope never did this either! My dad always said if we went out mowed it, we would have to continue to do it so I never tried. 
28. Paint a new painting- I actually did a couple! 
29. Fishing-I did this last summer when we went camping- it wasn't my favorite but I didn't hate it
30. Outdoor movie- this was fun! 
31. New glasses- I'm loving my more "nerdy" look! 
32. Visit a Presidential museum- I went to the one here in Ann Arbor for Gerald Ford- very interesting! 
33. Throw a party- I did this for my birthday- I love planning parties and wish I could do it more often! 
34. Shaved ice- my favorite! Nothing is as good as the place in Hawaii, but I was able to enjoy one around here
35. Rock climbing- this was a fun thing that I tried at the last minute- I wish I would have worn different pants with more stretch which would have made it easier to climb! 
36. Go to the beach. One of my favorite things to do! 
37. Tour a lighthouse- we were able to visit one in West Michigan and go all the way to the top! 
38. Drive a boat- umm okay- I was scared to death but I did it! Fun with friends at the lake! 
39. Reach a certain number of followers on Instagram and my blog- while this might not mean anything to other people, I have personal goals and I am happy to report that they were met! 
40. Collaborate with companies for my blog- another personal goal and I was able to do several already this year! I'm looking forward to 2015 and working together with more vendors and bloggers! 

There were many more items on my list that I wanted to do but I'll save those for the bucket list or for more activities in 2015! 2014 was a busy year considering almost all of these were done this year! I was definitely out of my comfort zone for several of these, but it taught me to loosen up a little and take a risk every once in a while! 

Looking ahead to 2015 my word for the year will be "networking" or "collaboration". I need to do more of this in my professional life as well as my personal life. I've got a couple of goals to accomplish at work and I need to get better about networking and working together with other members of our team since we work remotely. 

As far as for personal, networking and collaboration will be for the blog and for my IG account. I love networking with people and sharing my goals and visions, but I will be getting better about initiating things and being proactive rather than reactive. I want to work together with more vendors as well as bloggers and do more collaborations in the upcoming year. I'm starting January out with a trip to Raleigh to meet some fellow IGers and bloggers and I am so excited! 

I also have other goals in networking like being more active in church and meeting some new people. It's hard to really get to know people if they aren't in your small group so I'll try to either volunteer more or maybe do a Bible study or something to get more involved. 

I'm not one to make resolutions because I'll be the first to tell you that I will fail at them. However, I do believe in constant self-improvement. This year I did the 2014 Closet Remix Challenge. While it fell off towards the end off the year, I learned a lot about what I like and what I need. I've also been cleaning out the closet while I've been off work this week and listing tons of stuff on Poshmark. I learned what styles look good on me and purchased more of those items. I'll be starting back up again tomorrow making sure I am writing in my journal again how much I am spending. 

Of course, diet and exercise is always on my list of things to improve. I think it's really on most everyone's list and this is definitely an area I could do much better in if I tried. I need to go back to weekly trips to get plenty of produce, drink my water and do my exercises. I feel so much better when I do these things too! 

Another thing that I have been wanting to try for quite some time is doing an International dinner once a month. We will pick a different country each month and make recipes and learn more about the country. My family's on board so I can't wait to start that this year! If anyone has great recipes to share, please pass them along! 

I also want to get better about posting our book club selections each month so you all can join us! I'll be honest that a lot of times I just forget to post the book! I've read them all and I enjoy them so I'll try to remember to share them with you all as well! 

So there you have it! 2014 was a great year and I am looking forward to a fabulous 2015! Thank you to all of you who have been reading and following along with me! I truly appreciate all of the comments, the love and support that I get from you all! 

Cheers to a great year! 



  1. Sandae-This was a wonderful reflection post. There is so much I can relate to. Starting my blog in October was a huge step for me in 2014 & I look forward to seeing what 2015 holds. One of my goals for my blog is to do collaborations too. I enjoy your posts so much and wanted to let you know that. The big 40 is coming up for me and it is kind of exciting. It is a milestone for sure. I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to reading more!


  2. Sounds like you had amazing year. Congrats on finishing you 40 before 40.


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