20 Realistic New Years Resolutions

Every year, I make a New Year’s Resolution, and every year, it gets tucked under the giant “mom” pile of things that need to get done, and somehow is never found again. Not this year! This year is going to be different. This year, I am going to post my resolutions up on a wall so I see it every day and make sure I accomplish more, do more, and make my blog HUGE!

I hope this New year is a successful year for all my fellow bloggers. #BlogOnLovelies!

  1. Write at least 1 blog post a week
  2. Add a recipe section on my Blog
  3. Add baby food recipes (since William starts solid foods this month)
  4. Get back down to pre-pregnancy weight (very doable if I focus)
  5. Figure out Pinterest (I don’t know why it seems gibberish to me)
  6. Become active on Pinterest, and Twitter
  7. Follow through with my daily planner
  8. Reach 5K followers on Instagram (currently at 2.3K)
  9. Start a YouTube Channel about motherhood and all the crazy stories that come with it (I’m really camera shy, so it will be challenging to me stepping out of my comfort zone)
  10. Go on more Date Nights (Once a week)
  11. Visit family members more
  12. Plan more playdates for the kids
  13. Make more homemade dinners
  14. Do a body cleanse 4 times this year
  15. Use at home gym weekly (mainly stair master)
  16. Finish 1 round of Insanity Workout program
  17. Take a photography class/lesson for blogging
  18. Explore 10 museums with the kids
  19. Create a sturdy mommy group that creates a positive environment for the kids
  20. Plan at least 10 weekends of a “staycatation”

I know there is a lot more I can do, and a lot more I can write down, but in reality, if I personally keep my plate portioned, I’ll get more done. If my plate is overfilled with too many ideas and too many activities, I will burn myself out, and not be able to give my 100% to my family.

I hope you can make a New Years resolution that is realistic, and will be able to follow through.

Happy New Year!!

Hermine-Jane

LIEBSTER AWARD 2017

LIEBSTER AWARD

This week has been such a beautiful week. Not only did we welcome our newest bundle of pure joy, William, but I have also been nominated for the Liebster Award 2017 by the lovely Alina Marcu from www.breakthefog.wordpress.com. A sweet, kind hearted Doctor, Nutrition and Lifestyle Consultant. She is very dedicated to her blog, and writes from her heart. As a nutrition and lifestyle consultant, she encourages a healthy lifestyle, and is always thriving to live each day to the fullest.

Why and How I started my blog Hooked On Stories

There comes a time in everyone’s lives where you stop, take a look around, and realize that you love doing something so much that you are willing to spend endless amount of time on it. Before I started my blog, I was a teacher teaching ninth-grade English, at our local high school. After I got married, I started working with my husband at our family business as the office manager. When I became pregnant and slowly transitioned into a stay at home mom I wanted to continue to write because, well, 1. I love to write and 2. I wanted to write my story; hopefully, one day, somebody would find my story interesting and it would effect their life in a positive way. Since transitioning into a stay at home mom, I began to write, and while writing, I have discovered myself all over again, and am continuing to learn new things about myself. One of the biggest things that I have learned about life and myself is that every day is a new story, every day we write one page of our life, every day little stories make up the chapters of our lives. We get hooked on our life, hooked on little moments, and hooked on making ourselves better; Day in and day out. Hence “Hooked on Stories”.

Two Top Tips for New Bloggers

  1. Find your niche
    The most important thing you can do for your blog is find what you are going to write about. It’s important to know what you’re going to write about and put all your effort into that one niche. The more you write about different categories, the more unorganized the blog will be. Pick your one passion, your one calling, and write about that.
  2. Be Yourself
    Write like you talk. Don’t use a thesaurus to sound “smart” and don’t try to be like someone else. There is only one you. Let that you shine. The right audience will find you, and have a stronger engagement with your blog.

LIEBSTER AWARD 2017:

There are a few steps you have to take as you accept this award:

1.Write a post about how and why you’ve started this blog.
2. Include the person who nominated you into your post, add a link to their blog and a short description.
3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
4. Give new bloggers two pieces of advice.
5. Notify the bloggers you have nominated for this award and provide the link to your post.
And now, the time has come. The bloggers I choose to nominate are:

  1. Vivienne Singer of The Wordy Mom
  2. Neuza Alexandra of Azuenture 
  3. Dorin Cristian Cizmas of The Sleepy Blogger 
  4. Julie Greer Chickery of Chickery’s Travels 
  5. Sarah Elsbury of Tangled Perfection
  6. Catherine Owen of The Musings of my Life
  7. Kerri Byam of Toronto’s Favorite Brooklyn Girl
  8. Urszula Elka Durzynska of Ooh La La in Paradise
  9. Jen True of The Brilliant Feminist 
  10. La Toya Hedgepeth of Thoughts of a Woman Revealed 
  11. Megan O’Keeffe of Debatably Dateable 
  12. Fusionista Ren of Fusionista 
  13. Aleigha C. Israel of The Pen of the Writer 
  14. Lia Sanchez of Ideas that Build Cities 
  15. Rubab Bangash of Recipes by Bangash

*Do not forget to follow the rules presented above.

Stay Hooked on the Stories that create life’s chapters.

XOXO
Hermine-Jane

http://www.hookedonstories.com

Hooked on Tree Lights

Story and inspiration behind Tree Lights:

My husband and I took a very relaxing day-cation last month to Ojai Valley Inn and Spa (http://www.ojairesort.com/) and were inspired by The Oak Grill balcony seating. We were having dinner during sunset, where behind us was a beautiful giant oak tree where the bark and branches were lit up with string lights, along with some  rustic lanterns hanging from it. After dinner, we couldn’t help but walk to the giant oak tree and sit on the bench and feel the romance in the atmosphere. We looked at one another, and said “We have to do this to our oak tree at home!!”

Our Inspiration at The Oak Grill:


Now that we knew we wanted to put lighting on our Oak Tree, we had to find a way since there is no electricity on the outer side of our house. My husband’s genius idea of Solar Panels was born. If we had solar panels outside, we could easily use the solar energy to power the lights. And so it begun:

The Tree:


Days 1-2: Connecting the Solar Panels
My husband had put it in his mind that he was going to get the solar panels working properly before we got the lights to put around the tree.  By the way, we decided to put the solar panels on top of the pool shed which is only about 30 feet from our Oak Tree.
Day 1-2: CHECK!
Days 3-6: Clearing the vines, and wrapping the lights.

 

There are a lot of vines that grow beneath the tree which have decided to start growing on the bark as well. In order to get our lights to show, Arthur started cutting the vines, and clearing the barks for the lighting. Don’t worry, he was extra cautious. He was wearing a harness which he tied to the thickest bark, and even wore a helmet just incase (either way, I was still very nervous for him).
Then came the lights. Still harnessed up, and tied to the tree, Arthur wrapped himself around the tree and very carefully put the lights around the bigger branches. Some of the smaller branches had too many vines on them, and were difficult to cut, so we decided to be safe than sorry and just avoid the smaller branches.

The final project:

 

While waiting for the sun to set so we could take a nice picture of the tree, our dog Charlie wanted to join in on the fun with wearing Arthur’s helmet. I think he’s better off staying off the trees, and enjoying all the doggie bones there is.