February 2018 goals

1 February 2018

Happy February, friends! It’s going to be a great month :) I have actually been feeling that I would like a little more specificity in my focal areas for the year (which is pretty unlike me!), so I’ll be digging into that over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the chance to write these monthly posts and the push they give me to keep moving forward little by little, even if I don’t yet have a perfect picture in mind of the finish line. I know everything I’ve listed below matters to me, and that’s a great place to start!!

What I read in January:
All Joy and No Fun (Guys, I recommend this book for every single one of you!! It is SO fascinating! Read it, then come discuss it with me :))
The Opposite of Spoiled (This book was a gem, too! Lots of practical tips I’m squirreling away for later!)

Revisiting my goals for January:
Set a date for our spring camping trip (planning dinner date moved to February!)
File all paperwork in our blue room (halfway completed – made good progress!)
Make our “areas to be purged” list (not yet!)
Tackle two areas I already know need help: our closet shelf and pantry (YES!! So happy about this! The pantry organization in particular has been huge, and so easy to maintain.)
Walk our home with John and make a list of needs and wants, then rank them (purging needs to come first, I think)
Browse through The Lifegiving Home online resources
Write June a note on her second birthday
Set up my Life List (post here!)
Order our 2017 photos from Social Print Studio
Confirm my EFM posting plans for January
Order my Fruit of the Spirit canvas

February goals:
— Set a date for our spring camping trip
— Make our “areas to be purged” list
— A neighborhood walk. Every day. (Hoping it warms up soon so this is more pleasant!)
— Decorate our house and kitchen table for Valentine’s Day!
— Ruthlessly edit the loft ruthlessly (did I mention ruthlessly?)
— Make a list of monthly dates for the year, inspired by Lisa
— Find a new toy storage solution for our family room (leaning toward a trio of Brimnes cabinets, inspired by Rhi)
— Choose and commit to a photo back-up service
— Enjoy our trip to Florida!

If you use a photo back-up service (Dropbox, Amazon Prime, etc.) that you love, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! If you have a favorite date idea to share, I’ll take that, too :)

22 Responses to “February 2018 goals”

  1. We just pay extra ($3 a month) for all of our photos to be stored in “The Cloud”.. it works well because any photo on my phone is automatically backed up and since it’s all through iPhoto on my computer, whenever I load professional images or ones from our big camera it’s all just automatically backed up. I love that it’s so automatic!


    I must look into The Cloud. It sounds so mysterious :) I’m also a little wary of iPhoto, so that could be an issue… but I LOVE the idea of it being automatic!!

  2. Meg

    I would love to hear how you organized your pantry – on my to-do list for this month and I’m not sure where to start!

    We also use iCloud for our photo storage, since it automatically backs up all photos from our iPhones. We have a plan that’s $.99/mo for 50GB of storage.


    Hi Meg! I couldn’t figure out a better way to do this, but I uploaded a little story excerpt that I shared on Instagram that shows the process – I think this link will download the little video to your computer: http://www.emformarvelous.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/trim.30201DD6-9B57-4671-BB6D-975A5D5C3270.mov Basically, I took everything out, threw a lot of stuff away, and then visually separated things on the shelves. And I didn’t buy any new supplies to do it, which was the best part!!


    Thanks, this is great! I like the idea of visually separating items instead of needing to buy containers of some sort. Our shelves are deep and things tend to get cluttered in the back because of that.

  3. I keep a running list of date ideas on my phone, and here are a few of ours for the winter: Boxcar Bar + Arcade (I’m not a gamer whatsoever, but it’s really, really fun and so cheap, too!), mini golf, disc golf, the Morehead Planetarium, bowling, drinks at Hummingbird (new to Raleigh and apparently amazing!), C. Grace, Watts & Ward, Vita Vite and Bittersweet. We try to plan weekly weekend date days (I realize we don’t have children, so it’s much easier!!) and do a few back-to-back things all at once. Walking around Oakwood in downtown Raleigh and popping into Yellow Dog Bakery or Raleigh Times or Lucette Grace is also a fave! Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with new, exciting, and not-too-expensive date ideas during the winter because it’s just so chilly. Whenever there’s a warmer day, we head to Umstead Park or a lake and go for a long walk! And then we love little day trips to neighboring towns and do an all-things-Durham or all-things-Chapel-Hill day, which is really fun to explore a different town, even though they’re so close. And if all else fails in the winter, we still love playing board games together… and regularly host friends for game nights. It’s our favorite and a great way to hang out and have fun!

    Something we’ve also been doing a little of is planning dates for each other. My sister and her husband do this every Saturday that they’re not traveling (they live in NYC and the possibilities are endless!), so they’ve been our inspiration. He will plan a Saturday date day that’s a complete surprise to my sister, thinking about what she might love to do, what’s on their NYC to-do list, and what’s within budget (they generally don’t splurge at all on these surprise days as it’s really about quality time together and planning thoughtful activities for your spouse). And then she’ll do the same for her husband the next week! We love hearing what dates they plan for each other and have definitely been inspired over the years. I LOVE surprises (planning them and receiving them), so this is something I especially adore!!


    You are a wealth of ideas as always, my friend! Even with June we love to go out for the day and string together several activities – so fun!

  4. Kelly

    I love goals post! Would love to see your list of date ideas, since I’m sure theyre a little different from mine, this would challenge me to think outside of the box. One of my goals this month was to bake simple treats and step up my packaging to deliver to loved ones. Using Jenny Steffen’s blog for some inspiration! :)


    Assuming I come up with some good ideas, I will definitely share! :)

  5. Ah! I read All Joy and No Fun a couple years ago and I found it absolutely fascinating as well! The evolution of parenting and role of children is so eye-opening!!

  6. emma scott

    Can I just pause to say I feel like you are ROCKING your blog content recently?! Love the thoughtful references you share, your balance of transparency and privacy, and overall authenticity, and the community engagement^! Hope you’re enjoying creating because I’m loving being here and participating!


    Emma!! That is so, so nice of you to say! I feel like so often we don’t stop to say the nice thing about something we noticed or are appreciating (I am definitely guilty of this), so for you to not only think that but say something to me means so much! And yes, I am definitely enjoying myself, too :)

  7. Monica

    I’ve started using the app FLIC to sort through photos on my phone – you swipe them left or right like Tinder and it makes it so easy to clear out all the screen shots and duplicates I have to only save the photos I actually want to keep. It’s not a photo back up system but it’s the best thing I’ve discovered this year!


    Intrigued by this, Monica! I will definitely have to check this out, because duplicates are a big headache!

  8. emma

    I love using Google Photos since it updates automatically for both the phone and the computer (when I download my images from the DSLR). I know that you can pay to upgrade (I believe $10 monthly) so that it stores the larger file instead of compressing them.


    Okay here’s the actual pricing:
    100 GB is $1.99 / month
    1 TB is $9.99 / month


    ps. I don’t pay for the extra space in Google since I do use it as a true backup, and am not worried about it compressing my images.

  9. LOVE reading your monthly goals Em – and so excited for your Florida trip!
    I use iPhoto for my photos on my computer and then twice a year, I back them up on an external hard drive for safe keeping forever x

  10. Gin

    Google Photos!!! I pay an annual fee bc I have used it for so long and legitimately need the space, but I love that it backs up automatically. I recently started airdropping photos to my computer monthly and then sliding them over to our external drive. Google is only our cloud back up. I select high quality over original since the majority of my photos are all from my iPhone and aren’t likely to be enlarged to the point of needing to be an original file. As much as I hate not using my big camera, I remind myself that the best camera is the one you have with you. And for me right now with two, soon to be three children, my phone is my primary camera. Google photos also makes it super easy to search for almost anything. i.e. Search ‘cat’ and any photo with a cat will be listed. It also searches faces, dates, etc…

  11. Victoria Bouchard

    Where in Florida are you going? I live down here! I am also looking for a cloud based photo storage option. Looking into Dropbox, Google Photos, and Flickr.

  12. Molly

    My favorite date activity is a spring one. And my husband and I do it every single year! I can’t recommend the Full Frame Film Fest in downtown Durham for a date experience enough. It’s novel, fun, interesting and I always walk away from the weekend feeling more enlightened! We go to several films during the weekend but I love the anticipation, too…poring over the schedule and each choosing a couple. It’s so fun!

  13. Allison

    I use Prime Photo and like it! It’s very user-friendly, but the best part about it is that I’m already paying for it because of my Prime membership! :) I wish it was organized like DropBox though, but it’s fine for my needs.

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