8 weeks to a better me: Week One


Hello and happy May! I am so, so excited to kick off a brand new project here on Sometimes Sweet today, called "8 weeks to a better me." The idea of this project started off when I realized how much I loved making smaller, more attainable goals every Sunday night that I would work on for the next seven days. I loved having a fresh start and going into my week with a sense of purpose, and ending it with a sense of accomplishment. I made a post on this a month or so ago, and found that you guys loved it too! I think many of us found that it was easier to set goals that were immediately relevant to day-to-day life, and when I started seeing results from this simple goal setting I was hooked. Since I first made that post, I've continued to make small goals every Sunday night that I keep in my mind throughout the week. I usually will write them down in the notebook I always keep with me, or on a small chalkboard in our kitchen. They can be as simple as "eat more green veggies," "workout five times," or even "blog more about my daily life." Anything. And when I starting grouping my goals into categories, I realized that choosing a category and focusing on it was really beneficial for me, kind of like a "theme for the week."  And even though I was only working on each goal for a week at a time, I found that after that week was up, my good habits carried over.

I thought and thought about how I could translate this idea into a longer-running blog feature, while at the same time keeping it interesting and fresh. I sat down and brainstormed one afternoon about different categories I'd like to include in this project, and "8 weeks to a better me" was born. I contacted 8 inspiring bloggers that really represent each of the 8 topics I chose to include in this project, and now, for the next 8 weeks, we will be hearing from each of them.

So here's how this is going to work, and I encourage you to join in over these next two months:

Each Sunday evening during the months of May and June one of my eight participants will present us with a guest post on their topic. They'll be discussing how and why their topic is relevant to them, and will also be giving us inspiration and motivation to move towards setting goals relevant to the subject matter. For instance, this week's topic is "Blogging Inspiration," so our participants (this week we have a husband and wife duo!) will be sharing what inspires them to blog.

At the end of this and every post, I will be setting three goals for the week that have to do with the subject at hand. So this week I'll be setting three simple goals in relation to blogging.

If you're inspired and interested, I encourage you to join along for this week, or all eight weeks!

Essentially at the end of the 8 weeks, we will have all done a little more, tried some new things, set and achieved goals, and truly become a little better than we were. I'm definitely excited, and I think you guys are really going to enjoy the amazing bloggers I have lined up!

Feel free to use the image above (photo courtesy of my sweet and talented friend Kelly Ann- be sure to check out her blog), and come along on this self-improvement journey over the next 8 weeks!

Our very first contributors for this project are Don and Rachel, who have quickly become not only two of my most favorite blogs, but two of my favorite people and friends. Don is a rarity in this big blogging world, because he is a "daddy-blogger," and a dedicated one at that. His daily posts about his wife Rachel and daughter Adeline melt my heart every single day, and the weekly vlogs he and his family share are absolutely worth watching. Rachel is in most of these videos and I have such adoration for this lovely lady. You can just tell what a beautiful person she is, in and out, and not a day goes by where I don't read something of hers and wish we lived in the same place so we could be mama best friends and spend our days hanging out with our babies!

So, with that said, here's the first week of "8 weeks to a better me"! Be sure to stop by both Don and Rachel's blog and say hello, too. I promise you will fall in love with both of their spaces and maybe even find a new favorite blog (or two!), and while you're at it, be sure to enter Don's handmade giveaway as well! So awesome. Thanks again both of you for being a part of this project! So, here's their "one week to a better us," the first part of 8! Enjoy.


Rachel & Don- that's Us! We are a married duo and we both blog! Yup. We have a wee little one, a precious little honey-honey named Adeline. We live in Upstate, NY in the beautiful Victorian city of Troy surrounded by art, music, adventure and Love. We are so thrilled and humbled that Dani asked us to participate in this feature. We so look forward to seeing what the other participants have to say and share! Thanks Dani!! xo

One week to a Better Collective "Us":

Why do we all blog? Someone who doesn't blog may guess a collective narcissism. But they'd be very wrong, wouldn't they? The truth is I'm interested in the everyday...Your everyday. The everyday of Kate, Becky, Jen, Dani, Joe, Don, Jane Doe, etc... these are people you can relate to or who show you things you've never seen or INSPIRE you. This is the same reason I devoured zines as a younger kid. I loved to read the experience of someone else who is not a celebrity, who's reputation may not precede them, who is finding inspiration in their everyday. Blogging is a way to connect with others in this big world. To offer an "ear" and a "shoulder" and in turn confide our own adventures, fears, hopes and loves. We look for a response and a connection. It's the pen pal letter of the 21st century. And I'm a big fan.

How do you list your inspiration, or, worse yet, narrow it down to 3 items?! We all glean inspiration from infinite passing moments, events, people and tangible items in our lives. Well the two of us thought about this and decided that, for us, there are 3 standout ways we make our lives feel rich and full and these things inspire the feel of our blogs and what we share with others. We'd like to tell you a little more about them:

AD: Adeline's Daddy
LH Local Honey

"The Small Things"

AD: I never had a time in my life that I kept a journal, my blog has become what I would imagine a journal is like. When you are writing a post daily, you realize that there isn't a life changing earth shaking event each and every day. But, when I make it a point to have a post up most days, I actually end up not searching for things to write about, but enjoying what life is and taking time to notice THE SMALL THINGS. If I didn't have my blog there may be a possibility that these things would go by quickly without a second thought, but taking things as inspiration, I write them down. Reflecting on that sliver in time can make you realize how important the small things can be. And of course, this is amplified when you bring in the fact that Rachel and I have had our first child, Adeline, for six months now. She is a part of my every day, and every second. Once I found out that I was going to be a Dad, I made it my goal to not miss a thing in her life, not even the small things... I write them down, and someday she will be able to read about the first time she held a flower (see video).

LH: The small things. Not the post that makes everyone jealous or makes you look cool. It's the moment you stopped thinking ahead and just enjoyed what was at hand. The moment you allowed to just happen. The birds you watched pass overhead, the song you closed your eyes to, the people you see walking by saying "I love you" to each other. Walking the city and just letting the day happen.

"Support Local"

AD: It has been a big thing for us to be mindful of where our money goes. So, on our blogs we like to talk about businesses in our city. One local organization here called Local First has a slogan "Buy local when you can, support your neighbor, not the man"... whoa, Being part of an underground community since I was younger (a music scene, not a cult or a creepy thing), there's nothing better than sticking it to "the man"... man. I don't think people think about these things, but there is a reason that everyone is raging about jobs, "the man" has found someone to do it cheaper than you would, and in the process has put Carl's General Store out of business.

LH: Wouldn't it be cool if that awesome clothing boutique was down the street instead of in the next town in the strip mall?!? Supporting your local small businesses helps to build a stronger local economy leading to MORE local businesses, shops and FUN. We know all of our local shop owners by name and they have all: stayed open late for us, opened especially for us on a holiday, given us a discount, hand delivered merchandise to our house that we mistakenly left at the shop. When is the last time Walmart did any of that for you?!? We LOVE reading about your local businesses. It gives a feel for what your corner of the world is like.

"Love Your Community"

LH: Get involved! This doesn't have to be boring. I love fashion and I love art and creativity. So...Four years ago I started an Indie Craft Market in my city. Our summer season starts again in the beginning of June and I can't wait to see all of the friends I've made. Our little family visits our Farmers Market every weekend and we see all of our neighbors and farmers and enjoy delicious fresh foods. Visit your community art center, galleries, bike rescues, music venues, workshops, farms, parks etc. Just make a small effort and the rewards are huge and inspiring!

AD: I absolutely love our little city. It may be a Victorian city, turned industrial mecca, turned wasteland, only in the last 10 years again becoming a beauty. We've only lived here for around 5 years, and this place inspires me.

In the spirit of sharing, this video is a small look at a day in our little life. We can't wait to take a peek into your life as well. :)

Rachel  &  Don

So now, here are my three blogging goals for the week:

1) Blog about one local restaurant that I love.
2) Take my camera out more than I already do to capture more day to day moments.
3) Finish the guest posts that are on my plate.

How about you? Like I said above, I'd love it if you'd participate in this project over the next 8 weeks. Feel free to grab the feature image at the top of this post and the "blogging" and/or "3 goals" images for your own blog, and share your goals every week too- and be sure to link your posts in the comments so we can all check them out. I'm really looking forward to reading all of your goals! New posts will go up at 4pm Arizona time each Sunday for the next 2 months. Thanks again for reading- I so appreciate each and every one of you!

p.s. how ADORABLE was Don and Rachel's video?! Love them.