Goals for 2016

The first day of a new year is such a refreshing time. I love the feeling of starting fresh, and it’s exciting to think about the year ahead! 2015 was a great year for me (it’s hard to not have a good year when it’s the year you got married), and I’m really thinking that 2016 will be even better! I’ve been thinking about some goals I want to set for the new year, and to keep myself accountable, I’ve been thinking of lettering my goals into some sort of poster that I can hang above my desk. Here’s what I want to accomplish in 2016:

Take More (Nice) Pictures

I feel like since the dawn of smartphone, people have been focusing on taking more pictures, and not on taking more good pictures. This year, I want to start taking more pictures with my nice DSLR, and I want to be taking pictures that document my life in the way I want to remember it. This means less pictures of meals and details and more pictures of experiences and memories.

Post Consistently

Since I’m still brand-new to the blogging game, I am going to set a goal for posting. I’m hoping to do 3 posts a week minimum, which means I’ll be devoting more of my free time to creating content and less time to netflix (which is probably good). I feel like it’s important for me to be involved in some sort of creative endeavor, especially once I finish school, since I think it may feel like I have little to accomplish after school is over.

Finish School + Start a Job

This will hopefully be a pretty easy goal to fulfill – I’m definitely planning on graduating in the spring – I should be good as long as I can get some sort of a job. It’s exciting to feel like I’m really moving onto the next stage in my life (since I got married before finishing college, it can feel a little weird to still be in school), and I’m looking forward to starting a career!

Travel Somewhere New

In 2016, I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before. Scott and I have been saving to take a vacation, and I’m hoping we can go someplace new. We’re both interested in visiting the Pacific Northwest, so if we can afford it, I think we will likely travel there!

Keep Learning

I think it can be all too easy to stop learning new things after school is done – especially things that aren’t directly useful to your job. I’m hoping to learn more about blogging and photography next year, especially the business side of things. I am also hoping to really dig in with the She Reads Truth Bible studies this year, which I think is a great thing to devote my learning time to!

Read One Book per Month

College has killed my love of reading – when you have to read over a hundred pages per week of scientific articles and textbooks, it can be difficult to want to read anything else. I have at least 12 books in our apartment that I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t yet, so I’m hoping to get to those this year!

What are your goals for 2016, and how are you going to make sure you meet those goals? Are you using a goal tracking worksheet or having an accountability partner? Let me know in the comments!

Recipe / Lemon Basil Chicken One Pot Pasta

Scott and I have a few meals that we seem to eat almost every week, and this is one of them (Scott requests it all the time)! The lemon, garlic, basil, and parmesan cheese make this dish flavorful and refreshing, and one of the best things about this recipe is that it is a one pot pasta dish (that’s right – you can make your whole dinner and only get one pot dirty)! Scott and I especially appreciate the one-pot thing because we don’t have a dishwasher in our apartment. This meal is one of our favorites – read on for the recipe!

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

Lemon Basil Chicken One Pot Pasta – Serves 3

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 pound uncooked pasta
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

Cut chicken breast into cubes and season with salt and pepper. Brown this chicken in heated olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or medium pot, then lower the heat and add the 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the chicken and garlic together for 1 minute.

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

Add the chicken broth, water, and uncooked pasta to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, basil, and parmesan cheese. If desired, garnish with a few lemon slices.

lemon basil chicken one pot pasta

It’s also pretty easy to add some veggies to this dish – I like to add broccoli and Scott likes to add mushrooms. Just cook them and add to the pot while the dish is simmering. You can see that when I made it this time, I threw in some broccoli and it was a great addition!

view print recipe lemon garlic chicken one pot pasta


I’ve linked this post up here and here:

Weekly Meal Plan / 12-28-15

Our meal plan this week was so easy to make – Scott and I had way too many things we wanted to eat last week, so we already had most of our list done when it came time to plan for this week! Since I have off school this week and Scott is only working part-time, we are really looking forward to being able to eat at a relatively normal time this week (when we’re both busy, we often don’t eat until 8pm or later)! We kept meals pretty low-key and easy this week since we’re both off school and work. I have a recipe for the lemon garlic chicken coming this Wednesday, so be sure to come back and check it out – it’s one of our favorites!

meal plan – week of 12/28/15

monday – lemon basil chicken pasta (one dish)
tuesday – italian stuffed chicken (one dish)
wednesday – chicken divan casserole
thursday – new year’s eve dinner
friday – cheesy chicken and carrot soup
saturday – stir fry
sunday – pizza