New Year’s Resolutions & What I Choose

 Happy New Year!

{I know I am a little late with this post but better late than never}

When I think about the year ahead I can’t help but feel excited.

The New Year always brings a renewed sense of faith in who I am,

who I want to be and where I wish my dreams to take me.

But in order to look ahead one must look back.

And when I do,

I can’t help but smile and I feel incredibly grateful.

gratitude changes everything Chalkboard

I took a much needed break over the holidays and extended it a tad into the New Year.

I realized I was burnt out and needed to refuel & refocus.

So many wonderful & amazing things happened this past year.

In my dreams I couldn’t have ever imagined it would have been so fulfilling

both personally & professionally.

I know this to be true for a few reasons.

I took the time to know me better and with that came a sense of acceptance and happiness


I put myself out there, did things that scared the heck out of me.

Be fearless & authentic beach

This summer was the first time I accepted my body for what it was.

A body who carried 2 beautiful boys,
who just turned 40,
who’s hands have created a loving home for her family,
who’s mind continues to seek wisdom,
who’s legs have taken her across the finish line once or twice,
who sees life as wonderfully imperfect,
who’s heart is kind & true.

Be kind to yourself.

And guess what?!

I had the best summer of my LIFE!

It took me to the 40th year of my life to do this,

again better late than never:).

I have always worked out & tried to eat healthy

but in the back of my head I wanted to do better.

I thought if I pushed myself even harder I would be happier with the way I looked

{like when I was in my 20’s}.

I set unrealistic expectations  of myself,

does that sounds familiar???

In some crazy way

when I stopped to appreciate me & my body for ALL it’s parts,

I realized I look and feel better than I ever did at 20.

So I threw caution to the wind & decided to accept my BEST was enough.

Be your best you boys

This year I also did things that scared me, a lot!!!!

But I did them anyways.

I failed at times & that didn’t feel so good but it made me better.

Did you do things that scared you this year too?

By putting myself out there, I “meet ” so many amazing people

& learned so many things about myself.

I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

With that, dreams I have had since I was a child came TRUE

{I will share more soon}.

Today anything is possible

Which leads me to today.

This year I am about my choices.

So CHOOSE is my word for this year.

I choose….

to stay true to me

to remember who & what is important

to be present in my life

to let go of perfect

to be more balanced with home, family & business

to stop being afraid to fail

embrace my victories

to feel proud of my body & all it has achieved

to love myself more

to trust my self more

to continue to evolve

to pay it forward

 to be kind

to continue to smile

to have more FUN!

to realize I am human

to continue to feel & be vulnerable

to believe every journey has a lesson

to believe in my gifts

be grateful everyday for my life, my family & friends

to be better organized:)

to always see life as half FULL

to continue to learn & grow

to allow myself to make mistakes

to do things that scare me

be my best ME



Choose To Shine Beach

Do you have a word for this year?

Or any resolutions?

I also wanted to say


I have said this before but I am honored that you take time in your day

to read my blog & let me into your life and home.

I don’t always get to comment back but please know how much I appreciate

the kind words you leave for me,

it has meant so much!


I have lots of fun projects in store for this year!

I will be making over my master bedroom,

with a modern country flair,

ALL on a budget {of course}.

I will share all of my sources as well as tips for creating the bedroom of your dreams

without breaking the bank.

I will also be tackling my boys bedrooms as well,

thinking some painted bunk beds & planked walls.

ALSO, my ETSY shop will reopen in a week with ALL NEW rustic & MEANINGFUL chic wood signs,

every saying has a personal connection to me,

that I hope you will all LOVE as much as I do!

Follow me on Instagram , Bloglovin or Email that way you don’t miss a post:).

Have a beautiful week,

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  1. Beautiful, I am so glad that this past year was one that changed who you are for the better! I know when we work on US we become aware of things and it is great to learn and become stronger. Thanks again for sharing it with us, have a blessed week. 🙂

    1. Thank you Debra! Don’t get me wrong there where not so strong days in there to but overall I feel so blessed. Thank you for all of your support:). Happy New Year!!!

  2. What an inspirational post. Gratitude does change things– helping us look at who we are and where we’ve come from. Recognizing our gifts. So that we can move forward with acceptance and know that we are awesome just as we are. YOU are amazing. Thanks for sharing yourself and your gifts with others.

    1. Thank you for reading & taking the time to write such sweet words back Jessica! Every journey has a purpose, right:)? Happy New Year!!!

  3. You are amazing Jen. Truly one of the very best people I know. I can’t wait to see where this year takes you. You will do spectacular things!

    1. Oh my goodness, you are too sweet! That really made me smile, thank you {especially coming from you}. I adore you!!! Hopefully you are having a great time right about now & rested:). Happy weekend sweet Kristen!

  4. Jen, how sweet! Your words today is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much. Your love and appreciation for the little things in life are always projected in your posts. Isn’t it amazing what the magical age of 40 can do? I’m 41 but as I got closer to 38yrs, 39yrs I really started to reevaluate my life and came to a lot of the same conclusions as you. Blessing in 2014!

    1. Hi Allison! Oh my gosh thank you for your sweet words! It was 38 for me too:). I wish you all the best in 2014 too!! Jen

  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us into your life and your thoughts about the upcoming year. We make so many choices everyday and last year I seemed to make a lot that led me away from the path I should have been on. So many of the things that you are choosing to remember each day are things that I need to remind myself of as well. I can’t wait to see all the things that you have in store to share with us this year!

    1. Hi Jamie, I am so glad you can relate. It was a really long journey that got me here, I think timing was huge for me:). I wish you all the best!!! Stay in touch!!! YOur blog is lovely! Jen

  6. I must say you made me sit back and realize that my 67 years have been fun. I wouldn’t go back to a younger age unless I could take the wisdom of raising four children, two teachers with their Master’s degrees. Two sons, one who went into the army and now owns his own auto repair shop and is so busy I don’t take up his time with an oil change. I’m so proud of him and then the younger son who is married and the father of two sons. All athletic like their father and so cute and a mom tht is a great Mom for boys. Nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren and all busy with their lives.I think my word will be PROUD!

    1. Hi Peg, it sounds like you have been very blessed, what a wonderful family you have! Happy New Year, I hope it is filled with plenty more PROUD moments! Jen

  7. Beautifully written. I admire you for your acceptance of yourself, yet your choice to push yourself further. Both are important, but hand in hand…how could you not believe in yourself?! l wish all the best to you!

    1. Hi Jane, so good to hear from you! Thank you, I am still a constant work in progress but so grateful for the journey:). Happy New Year!!! Jen

  8. What a great post. Why does it take us so long to realize how wonderful we are and to give ourselves permission to fail and be okay with that. I’ll be 42 this year and each year keeps getting better! It took me so long to accept that I am good enough even though others may not think so. I’ve recently stumbled onto your blog and I am loving exploring it! Thank you for sharing I look forward to each new post!!

    1. Oh thank you Jenna! I know I wish I had figured all this out way sooner but just grateful I did now:). Still a work in progress but so much more aware at 40 than I ever was in my 20’s. It is good stuff! Have a beautiful weekend, Jen

  9. This was a really great post. It will definitely make me think about what I would like to accomplish this year and I think we can all grow by accepting ourselves and to be kind to ourselves like we are to others. I’m reading this first thing on a Friday morning. That is a nice start to my day.

    1. Thank you Jamie, I am so glad you can relate:). Have a wonderful weekend & best of luck this year!

  10. Your post was wonderful Jen, I’ve loved every one of your posts since I was lucky enuf to find your blog.
    I appreciate your humility,40 is a crossroads for many people, especially people that care about others. It seems that every decade after 30 means feeling about things in different ways that mean growth in your heart.
    My word for this year is peaceful. My husband seems to have some problems so living with him is not always easy, he’s very negative all the time, which I find very hard to accept. He’s not always very nice, almost abusive. I can see he’s not going to change so I have to learn how to deal with his behavior better. I don’t want to live rest of my life in fighting, being angry/upset all the time. We’ve been married 45 yrs
    You are a very wise young woman, wish I’d been as wise when I was 40.
    Hope you have a wonderful week.

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