Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We're Back! January, 2018 Monthly Challenge


Happy New Year!

On a walk behind my mum's house.

Brrr! It's been super cold (0*f at dawn this morning) here and we managed the holidays tolerably well.

We're now excited to get back into the swing of things, jump back into doing Monthly Challenges, and share some exciting news:

I'm going back to school! 

I'll do one last semester at Greenfield Community College and then in the fall, I'm going to Smith College! I've been accepted as an Ada Comstock Scholar (their non-traditional student program) and will start their full time in September!

This gives us eight months to get a few things in order, line up a few more ducks, and get ready.

I first wrote "ease" into going back to school, but then laughed at myself. We're not "easing" into it.

 We're charging ahead full speed!

We've taken down the awful closet that was taking up a big section of our great room, patched the air-intake hole from the furnace we took out last year, and are building cubby shelves floor to ceiling along the bathroom wall. A smaller dryer (arrives at the end of this week) will fit into the bathroom where the furnace was (in the SAME room as the washer) and we will build a simple desk for Joe in the space left vacant in the photo above.

We're working along in the downstairs bedroom. The plan is to be finished and moved downstairs well in time for me to start school at Smith (eeee!) this fall.

AND we're doing Monthly Challenges! 

Last year we focused on well being - things like decluttering, challenging ourselves to eat through stores in our pantry and freezers (a No Spend Month), limiting screen time, and doing a painting a day.

This year we're going to refine our focus and challenge ourselves to one financial challenge and one fitness challenge each month.

Finances and Fitness Challenges for 2018 -January - Cooking at home and 1,000 burpees. 

January Fitness Challenge: 1,000 burpees.

Even though just about everyone who's ever had to "do burpees" dislikes them (to put it mildly), they are an effective full body exercise.

1,000 burpees in 31 days will be just over 33 a day. 

January Financial Challenge: Make all our food at home.

The No Spend Month worked really well for January last year. We're over full from the holidays, we have shiny new toys barely out of their wrappings, it's cold and dark more often than not.

This year, with Joe gone for a month and a half unexpectedly, we don't have overflowing freezers and pantry shelves. 

For January year we're challenging ourselves to make all of our food at home (or enjoy homemade meals while visiting others).

This means no eating out, no quick snacks on the go, no trips to the bakery for treats. What this means is that we'll be cooking marvelous food at home. Both Joe and I really love to cook but it's so easy to always have the idea of eating out as a quick fix. These quick fixes can quickly add up.

We've already started this challenge over the weekend and had a marvelous New Years Eve dinner of Joe's famous waffles (not actually famous, but they should be) with strawberries we picked and froze and maple syrup from family friends

Our first meal of the new year was soft boiled eggs from our own hens, ham from Edgefield Farm, bread from a local bakery out of our freezer, orange slices from the crate of citrus we got through a friend, and lots of tea. 

We will eat like kings. 

My goal is to eat so well at home that going to a restaurant would be disappointing. 

How about you? What are you challenging yourself to do this month? What are you excited to take on?



  1. On the other hand, I just LOVE squat thrusts. I excelled at them in jr. high and was the only time I ever got praised for anything in gym class all the way through grade school. I did more squat thrusts *properly* than anyone else in my grade that year. I was going to do sit ups this year, but you've now inspired me to do squat thrusts instead. We'll see if I make 33 a day....

    1. I had to look up the difference! Apparently burpees have a jump up to finish. And yay!

  2. Looking forward to the Burpee report and to hear more of your menus. We're rooting for you! Go! Brooks Family! Go!

    1. We both totally forgot the first day. :) I'm also kind of thinking of challenging myself to finish early because of starting school at the end of them month. :)