Self Improvement

this year

I know that many of you have shared your goals for 2012. I cannot wait to look back in a year and hopefully see what has been accomplished in 2012.

Launch The Everygirl
We have so many dreams for The Everygirl. We have accomplished so much since the day we sat down in a coffee shop almost five months ago and I cannot believe we launch next month. The entire experience has been so fun, exciting and surreal. More than anything, I hope it inspires all of you! I was laying on my couch at 4:00 am yesterday composing a list of ideas for The Everygirl. I cannot get it off my mind!

Visit Paris & London by my 30th birthday
I have never been to Paris or London and turn 30 this September. 

I want to do some volunteering! You have to love the Midwest. The two organizations I have applied with do not need any volunteers for another month or two. Isn’t that amazing?

Branch out
In 2011 I found my love of glittery nails, leopard flats and my orange coat. I tend to stick to neutrals in fashion & decor and would love to have some more fun this year by adding some bright colors to my wardrobe and little pop of color to my very white apartment.

Work it
I am going to get back to my regular gym routine & stick to it. I was doing really well last year but had that mole removed last year and was not allowed to work out for 3 months. Then we started working on The Everygirl which has consumed any “spare” time I thought I had and now my back is a mess. The second my back & neck are better I am back. What keeps you motivated?

Learn everything about my 7D
I can take a decent photo but want to really learn the ins and outs of my camera this year.

FINALLY get on a normal schedule.
I would love to get on a somewhat normal sleep schedule. Normal for me would be going to bed between midnight and 1:00 am.

Get a friend for Buddy
There I go mentioning that Frenchie again. I really want my little guy to have a friend. I know that I just posted this photo yesterday. I can’t help myself.

Read a book
Yes. One book. The most pathetic goal ever. I start books but never finish them. Have any suggestions for me? 

Take a pastry decorating course
Back in 2012 I bought a kitchen torch and made s’mores cupcakes. This year, I’d like to try my hand at cake pops and want to finally take a pastry decorating class. I’d love to make something fancy. Any Chicago girls want to join me?

What are your goals for 2012?
Leave a comment
  • Cortney

    January 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    I just discovered your blog (not sure how I missed it before this), and love it! I live in Chicago and would LOVE to take a pastry or a cake decorating class! I've been dying to take one for ages! Let me know if you decide to go for it!<br /><br />
  • ally (the ruffled lace)

    January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm
    what is so funny is i have such similar goals. boyfriend and i are finally moving to the same country. i am hoping this is the year i get my english bulldog. heading to zumba now. would love to know more about my canon and i want to take indian cooking classes. also i am moving to london! love your blog and the blog headings you do! may be contacting you...:)<br />
  • Kristi

    January 19, 2012 at 6:13 am
    I will save you the pure agony of making cake pops and tell you the quick way to do it.<br /><br />Donut holes.<br /><br />Yep. Buy some chocolate cake donut holes, put sticks in them and dip.<br /><br />Easy. Cute. And hours of crumbling and rolling cake spared.
  • aae1e99e-3cd0-11e1-a782-000bcdcb2996

    January 12, 2012 at 3:51 am
    Hi! I am a fellow Lincoln Parker--I. too have always dreamed of baking up beautiful creations. I would be interested in taking a class with you. You can contact me at
  • Meredith

    January 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm
    Read The Hunger Games. It's YA so an easy read yet SO very good!!
  • Kelly (&Dan!)

    January 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    Just found your blog by clicking through on Live Creating Yourself... and I'm in love! Will have to bookmark for later to read through some archives when I'm not at work :).<br /><br />As far as books go - The Glass Castle has been my very very favorite ever since I read it. It's a fairly quick read, and manages to be witty, heartwarming, sad, thrilling and unbelievable all at the same time. I always tell friends that "it will make you appreciate your childhood 100 times more no matter WHAT it was like."<br /><br />Please do share if you find a pastry decorating class in Chicago - I'd love to try one out!
  • Jessica Wray

    January 10, 2012 at 8:31 am
    that Frenchie looks a lot like my DD!
  • Glitterista

    January 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm
    I hope to celebrate my 30th birthday somewhere fabulous when the time comes as well. I am also one of the bazillion people who could not put down The Hunger Games books. ;)
  • Lexi

    January 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    First off, I do love your blog and have been reading it for a few months. I love how you depict the city that I call home. In regards to volunteering - I work for the fundraising office of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - and our Chicago office is based in Ravenswood. We have a young professionals group that plans fundraising events such as wine tastings, sport tournaments, and things of that nature. I'm not sure if this is a charity you would be interested in or not, but I thought I'd let you know if you are still looking. :) We are having an informational meeting on the 24th if you would like to get involved. Just email me if you would be.
  • Libby

    January 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    books: anything by Jodi Picoult, and I just finished Mindy Kaling's book "Is everyone hanging out without me? (And other concerns.)" and it was very very funny and a quick read!
  • ashley nicole catherine

    January 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    these are such great goals! and so inspiring... i need to write mine down!
  • Jess

    January 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm
    Paris is one of my goals too!!!! I am so excited for 2012!
  • Emma Gwillim

    January 7, 2012 at 8:28 am
    Pastry class in Paris - errr, yep, count me in!! I love your goals and await eagerly your completion of the launch of The Everygirl!!<br /><br />My goals are a bit of everything - I started with some qualities I want to 'be' this year, and then added a few specifics of things I want to achieve for BasilBe. I committed by putting them out there in the posts below...<br /><br />Best of luck with yours - keep us posted x<br /><br /><br /><br />
  • Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine

    January 6, 2012 at 6:08 am
    You can do it girl, you absolutely one book. Just one. You have about 12 months to do so. ;) I used to be one of those that started one and then never finished the thing. I am much better lately but wish to read more. Fingers crossed for that goal. And Paris...yes girl...go!!!! I highly recommend it. I love that city!!<br /><br />xoxo
  • evelyn.

    January 6, 2012 at 5:45 am
    Hey, great list! I've did the long distance for over two years...definitely NOT easy, but it is so worth it with the right person. Personally, I firmly believe long distance works when your end goal is to end up in the same place (city/town/etc). Crossing my fingers this one works out for you!<br /><br />And as for book recs, I also didn't read ANY last year (so bad of me!) but I plan to pick Hunger Games! I think others have mentioned it as well. It's a 3 book series, and I hear they're addicting. The series is geared toward young adults, but everyone and their mom is reading them, so I'm gonna give it a go!<br /><br />And I like your goal about learning your 7D in and out, I'm adding to my list of learning my Nikon as well!<br /><br />Evelyn
  • L.A. in the bay

    January 6, 2012 at 5:33 am
    these are amazing goals!! Cannot wait for the Everygirl, and would love to go to Paris myself. Definitely share a lot of the same goals with you!

    January 6, 2012 at 5:04 am
    I would recommend The Hunger Games. I know they're all over the place, and that's for a reason! Easy, quick, super entertaining and you can reward yourself by seeing the movie in March! I read all three over a long weekend. <br /><br />My husband and I are going to be traveling home through Europe in July and August, and we'd like to make a stop in Paris and perhaps London. Maybe we can meet up. :) <br /><br />Good luck with your one of calorie counting and exercising for me is today!<br /><br />McKinze
  • Drew {Coral Cafe}

    January 6, 2012 at 3:07 am
    Loving all of these goals! I have a feeling The Everygirl will keep us all in check for the new year!! I sure hope you and your bf get to be back in the same town soon! I know how long distance goes and it can be quite difficult!!<br /><br />P.s..I would like to invite myself to go to Paris with you and take that cake decorating class too! ;)<br /><br />Frenchie, frenchie, frenchie!! ;) ;)
  • Molly Meisenzahl

    January 6, 2012 at 1:49 am
    Love the goals! I tend to not make too many goals, and all my normal ones i make in January i've already broken... totally lame since we're only 5 days in! In response to your goal to read ONE book, I just wrote a whole post about the books i read and loved in 2011. Check 'em out when you get a chance at<br /><br />Happy almost weekend!<br /><br />m
  • Alena: Oh, It's Just Perfect!

    January 6, 2012 at 12:36 am
    Great goals!! Oh, and happy 2012 :)<br /><br />My goals involve running (for more than 30 seconds) and cooking more and eating out less.
  • Grace - Stripes and Sequins

    January 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm
    I love your goals! I am in the same boat, trying to get back into shape. I have a bad back as well and it really throws a wrench into things! I hope yours is feeling better soon!!
  • JostWrite

    January 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    I love you goals. Most of your goals are on my list of things to do this year and in my life time. I want a dog bad and hope to visit both Paris and London before I turn 30.
  • birdie to be

    January 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm
    Fabulous goals! Looking forward to the Everygirl. And I second the Time Traveler's Wife. Amazing.
  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    January 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    Great great goals! Paris and London? YES!! My husband and I went to both cities a couple of years ago and I fell in major Love with London (was my second time to Paris). I said to him: "I should have been born here"<br />Decent pictures? Come on!! You take Amazing pictures! ;)<br />And books? One of my favorites from last year was The Time Traveler's Wife, but I know there are so many amazing books right know..
  • Gaby [The Vault Files]

    January 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    Great great goals! Paris and London? YES!! My husband and I went to both cities a couple of years ago and I fell in major Love with London (was my second time to Paris). I said to him: "I should have been born here"<br />Decent pictures? Come on!! You take Amazing pictures! ;)<br />And books? One of my favorites from last year was The Time Traveler's Wife, but I know there are so many amazing books right know..
  • designstiles

    January 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    I'm so with you on the book angle. Sad to say I can't finish them either. There's about five lying around my house with bookmarks in them. I stopped counting.
  • Laura

    January 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    Great list - I'm really hoping to get to Paris this year too and New York at Christmas would be a dream! :)
  • Stephanie {a dash of GLAM}

    January 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    Great goals! I'm also hoping to get some traveling in this year but its so hard with school and internships. I'll just have to make it a priority : )

    January 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm
    Great goals! Can't wait to see your photos from Paris and London — I know they'll be fabulous! I would love to go somewhere in Europe soon, but some other goals are taking priority this year, so maybe in 2013!
  • Lauren

    January 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm
    I am with you on the get in the same city as the BF goal. I am in California and my BF moved to Switzerland last year... I have a similar goal - get in the same country :)<br /><br />It can be so hard and such a test to be far apart, to not be able to come home to that person every day. <br /><br />Sending you good wishes on all goals, but especially that one!
  • Amanda

    January 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm
    Such a super list! Are we calling all the same spots for volunteer ops? I can't get anyone to say yes, please come! ;) And I'm totally in for cake decorating *and* excersing. That has been one of my big obstacles this year -- my exercise buddy moved away so apart from dog walks I've spiralled out to a life of sloth. Boo!<br />As for my resolutions, I'm going the "un" route. Check it out here: <br />
  • Zoe

    January 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    This is a great list, I'm sure you will get everything done! I would totally be in for a pastry or cake decorating class. I once took one before and it was alot of fun!<br />xx<br />Z
  • Lauren

    January 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm
    These are great goals! Can't wait to find out more about what you have in store with The EveryGirl
  • KellyGreen

    January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm
    Who makes the colorful pants! *LOVE THEM!!
  • A Southern Bee DIary

    January 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm
    I really like the Get a buddy & learn my camera! Great goals ! Love reading your blog! Just found it last night & so glad I did! <br /><br />xo. <a href="" rel="nofollow">A Southern Bee Diary</a> <br /><br />:)
  • Melissa

    January 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm
    Such fun goals! I think they might offer cake decorating classes at Michael's craft stores too. If I can swing it (time and $-wise), I would love to join! <br /><br />And I totally identify with the 4 am ideas... I was up writing things down at that time the other night!
  • natasha {schue love}

    January 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm
    So many great goals! I would love to go to Paris before I turn 30 too!!

    January 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Great list! I was an English major in college, so reading is extremely dear to my heart. I try to read a chapter a day, so it doesn't feel overwhelming, and I'm able to read at least a book every month or two. Right now it's Anna Karenina...a definite recommendation!<br /><br />
  • Sharstin

    January 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm
    love these goals! a pastry class would be so fun! and can't wait for everyday girl!! and ah how i would love to visit london and paris as well~ happy 2012 chick!!
  • Carolyn

    January 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm
    Having just returned from Paris, I have to say - you MUST go. But, as much as the Christmas lights and holiday feel are AMAZING there, the weather is not great (rainy every single day), so I would try to go in the early summer or fall!<br /><br />As for books - I am in the same boat (my goals: - I think I only read 3 last year and as an English major that is just tragic. I received a Kindle for Christmas, though, and it is honestly the best way to jump-start your reading again (so fun!). I bought Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safar Foer on Christmas day and I finished it in about 9 hours. Seriously, it's a must-read and completely addicting (and the movie that's coming out soon has been hailed as the best of the year!).<br /><br />Good luck! And I can't wait to hear about Eurotrip planning!
  • Jordan

    January 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    These are great goals! <br /><br />I've listed mine here:<br /><br />-Jordan
  • anne.

    January 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    Danielle, long distance is so hard. My husband and I were long distance for 4 whole years while I was going to school in Boston. It was really rough, but it made us stronger. In fact, living in the same place proved another difficult challenge - something I didn't quite expect! <br /><br />I realized I'm turning 25 this year, and decided to gather all my goal setting into one place - a 25 before 25 list. Blogging about your goals is a great way to get some accountability!<br /><br />Here's my post:<br /><br />-Anne
  • Taylor

    January 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    I want to take a cooking class...and you can test your camera skills on me, I need good pictures! ;) <br /><br />xo-T <br /><br />PS_ we will Barre Bee-ing LOTS this year, I am getting skinny & toned ASAP
  • Ashley {styleash}

    January 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    These are wonderful goals! Getting back to Paris and visiting London for the first time are definitely on my list this year too. And learning how to use my camera! <br /><br />I'd love to hear if you find a cake decorating class in the Chicago area!
  • Cathy

    January 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    I would totally go to a pastry decorating class with you! If I wasn't an accountant, I would love to be a wedding cake baker. In Chicago, there are classes open to the public at the French Pastry School and Kendall College. And there are probably lots of other options out there.
  • HRCK the Herald

    January 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    These are great goals. <br /> <br /> about a book that's got a lot of buzz so you knock out two birds with one stone-- a book read and cocktail conversation? I didn't LOVE any of these ones, but they certainly got their talking time: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Sarah's Key, etc. <br /><br />Or a classic?
  • sampenner

    January 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    What fun, inspiring goals! I love that you want to take a pastry decorating class and go visit London and Paris. I def think you would die over all the fun things to see and do there. YAY for the Everygirl!<br /><br />XO,<br /><br />Sam<br />
  • Charissa Steyn

    January 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    What is The Everygirl...I'm so it okay to ask what's it all about...would love to hear more :)<br /><br />Also, love the cake pictures! I definitely want to get myself into a baking/decorating course this year!
  • Alex {Things That Sparkle}

    January 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Such exciting goals, you know I am all for another pup!!!
  • Lindsay

    January 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    London is on my list too. Paris is my absolute favorite and I can't wait to go back. A pasty decorating course would be so fun (and useful!). I feel like 2012 will be a great year :)
  • Jackie {York Avenue}

    January 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    I love your goals! I've never been to Paris or London either, so that is definitely on my list. Taking a pastry decorating course is such a good idea-those pictures make me want to sign up right now! As for books, maybe try The Hunger Games, they're page turners and were really good. Room was another good page turner that you won't be able to put down. Good luck with your goals, I think it's clear the The Everygirl is going to be a giant success! Everyone is really excited to see it, especially me!