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Blogging, Beautifying and Giving: New Year's Resolutions Realized

As the year comes to a close, I'm checking in with the New Year's resolutions I set for myself. I've already made my Get Fit! goal, and I'm sadly behind on my 20-book goal; however, since my last update, I finished two more books: All the Light We Cannot See and The Color Purple, bringing this year's tally to a paltry 13 books. At this point, I'm aiming for 15 finished books, but hoping for more.

Those were Resolutions 1 and 2; here's 3, 4 and 5.

3. Blog more: My blog has been a little quiet lately, but I did succeed in blogging more, just not as often as I should. Still, thanks to my most popular posts, I get a steady stream of visitors and the money continues to trickle in. My crafty Halloween posts really drive traffic, so that only motivates me more to create more for next year. Plus, I just love having such a festive, popular house for trick-or-treaters.

4. Beautify more: My skin is happy to report I've put a little more effort into beautifying this year. I tried these cruelty-free products to mixed results.
  •  The Yes to Cucumbers line left me with one of the worst reactions I've ever had to a beauty product: burning, swollen, red skin.
  • On the flip side, I've come to love Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin line of products. I use the face wash and moisturizing night cream and found the products at 30% off through Target's Cartwheel app. Sweet!
  • I also rediscovered Sally Hansen's facial hair remover cream, which is the absolute best. It doesn't burn, it doesn't stink, and it works in one quick application. It's pretty much the opposite of Nair, at least for my skin and hair. 
5. Give more: My soul is joyful to share that I got a little more involved in my community this year and gave of my time, in addition to the money and goods I always give. Again, my husband I prefer to do charity privately, but I can share a few of the ways I gave back. 
  • I helped collect donations for the Butte Fire victims. After socializing the event and improving the donation database, I was able to stuff my Mustang full of requested items and had so much to donate that the volunteers at the donation site thought my husband and I were with a specific organization rather than just two individuals. That felt great.
  • I also got down in the mud (yes there was mud in the middle of the hot, Sacramento drought, go figure) and helped clean up Rusch Park with other volunteers from my mom's church. 
  • Finally, thanks to our friends Elena and Sam, we were able to help out more needy pets through their dog food donation. Passing out dog food to homeless pet owners is something Aaron and I have done for years, but we don't always have the extra dog food on hand to help. I believe we passed out more baggies of dog food in 2015 than ever before.


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