let’s do this, 2017

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ― Albert Einstein

We all know what time of year it is…

I’m sharing my 2017 aspirations/goals/whatever you want to call them…in order to inspire you to create some for yourself.

I personally enjoy crossing things off my to-do list, feeling that I accomplished something…even if I’ve just written a thank you or organized my craft box…in my mind, that’s still something to be proud of. So by writing these down, I’m responsible for completing them…and I’m excited!

As I write this, I’m already training for a 5k thanks to Couch 2 5k, encouragement from friends, and the fact that I already signed up for the Nashville Rock n Roll Race!

2017 goals

for the year 

  • run a 5k
  • play bocce ball
  • play tennis
  • play volleyball
  • make a decoupage project



  • volunteer with an organization long-term, or find a volunteer activity to participate in quarterly
  • read 1 book/quarter
  • hike in the park or take a weekend drive to a small town (can do this every weekend in the summer and early fall!)
  • attend a local show (music, art, theater!)



  • exercise at least 5x/week
  • long weekend walk with my little dog Peanut



  • meditate using the Calm App (more on that here)
  • walk at least 10,000 steps (thanks, Fitbit)
  • read or write at least 1 poem
  • jam out & dance
  • curate for A Song A Day (more on that here)

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” ―Thomas A. Edison


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#inspirationwednesday / thought culture

One of my favorite quotes, perfect for #inspirationwednesday:

“flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful;

they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”

-Luther Burbank

Grab a bouquet big or small at your local florist to brighten up someone’s day.

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why you should try airbnb


After sharing with family and friends that my husband and I were going to utilize Airbnb on a road trip across the country, we received mixed responses. They were a little concerned, but also curious about how it worked, what it would be like, and most importantly, why we were choosing that option.

Simply, Airbnb allows people to rent out their homes to travelers. You can stay at homes throughout the world for as little or long as you’d like, instead of staying at a hotel or resort.

So, why Airbnb?* 


quality assurance 

Before you can start booking on Airbnb, you must briefly undergo a verification process to ensure you are who you say you are. This encompasses things like taking a photo of your drivers license, sharing links to personal social media pages, etc. Hosts also have to go through a process, and you also can read reviews from previous guests before choosing the best place for you.

Both parties also leave each other reviews after the stay. If you’re the guest, you write a review about your experience and rate the host. The host also rates you, so other hosts can see what type of guest you’ll be. You can’t read what the host says about you until you post your review, in order to prevent any bias or changing of opinion.

Getting verified and evaluating hosts and homes by reading reviews allowed me to trust in the process.

affordability & convenience 

I love traveling and meeting new people, but sometimes the price of traveling mixed with food and a place to stay can get a little pricey. With Airbnb, you can have it all. An affordable stay with all the comforts of home, in the neighborhood of your choice, is what it’s all about.

Ultimately you’ll either be staying at someone’s place that you have to yourself, in a shared room or space with someone else (like another Airbnb guest), or with someone at their place as their guest (it’s just like staying with a friend!).

New Orleans Airbnb

An array of neighborhoods & price points to choice from.

Depending on the city, there will be an array of options to choose from. Of course the larger and more popular the city, the more options you’ll have.

It’s also very easy to keep in touch with the host and coordinate when you’ll be arriving by using the Airbnb app, which is the normal Airbnb protocol since you’ll be staying as a guest at their home.

local vibe & cultural immersion

Lillie Guidebook

A guidebook & resources at Lillie’s home in Las Cruces.

You’ll get to know your host on a 1 on 1 basis. You choose how much or little interaction you’d like to have, so forming the relationship is up to you. And you’re bound to meet a diverse range of hosts, too!

If you’re traveling to a new city and looking for recommendations on where to eat, what to do, what’s better than staying with a local who is passionate about where they live?

The Airbnb experience allows you to fully immerse yourself into the city, based on all the personal recommendations you can receive. You can bypass the nonsense and tourist traps. There are no restaurants or attractions that are paying your hosts to promote their businesses (not that I know of anyway!).

You’re provided with a locals view of the city, and that’s rare to find with a hotel stay.

*I’m in no way affiliated with Airbnb. I’ve just become an unofficial advocate due to my recent positive experiences. 

personal recommendations 

Doug and Diana - Las Cruces Article

Photo from Las Cruces Sun-News article on Airbnb