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Reflections, not Resolutions this New Year

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago.

As the year ends, I could look back at all my failures and resolve to do better this upcoming year. Or, I can look back and focus on all the things I did right.

This is as good a time as any to thank you. Whether this is your first time visiting my site or you come here often, you motivated me this year. Your positive comments kept me going. Chronicling parts of my life online made me accountable. And, brainstorming blog post ideas kept me inspired.

So, here’s looking back on my personal successes of 2017:

Health & Fitness

My blog’s focus shifted more towards health and fitness this year. This caused a cyclical effect on me. The more I wrote about health and fitness and followed others’ journeys, the more cognizant of my own health choices I became. And the more I made it a priority in my life, the more I wanted to write about it.

  • I exercised a record number of times in 2017. I tried to break a sweat every day for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes, that meant a walk, but more often than not, I hopped on my spin bike and pedaled it out.
  • I tried the Aaptiv app but in my opinion, nothing beats Peloton. I plan on trying out the Flywheel Fly Anywhere bike soon so we will see how that compares.
  • I’ve added weight training to my routine twice a week, using the Strong app and will begin a yoga practice once again.
  • Between my Apple Watch’s daily reminders to work out, tracking my food intake using the Lose It! App, and using a WiFi scale to measure muscle and body fat, I managed to take off and keep off 12 pesky pounds this year.
  • I’ve maintained a mainly vegetarian/pescatarian diet and incorporated more vegetables into my family’s diet.


I’ve spent a good deal of my life in school, whether as a student or teacher. I enjoy the process of learning and this past year taught me a great deal.

  • My book club did not lose steam and I read a book a month. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I love reading.
  • I listened to podcasts, enrolled in online courses, found support and friendships among local bloggers, and generally tried to absorb whatever I could to learn about the ever-changing blogging world.
  • I’m excited to attend my first blog conference (Blog Her Health & Fitness) in a couple of weeks.

When I first decided to start my blog, I thought I could sit down, write, and call it a day. I had no idea about coding, SEO, or even the ins and outs of social media. Ask my kids: there’s so much more time and effort that goes into my site than just the writing.

I created this blog as a portfolio of sorts, to get me back to writing. I love every minute of it. (I can’t say the same for my teaching and lawyer days, although they had their bright moments).

Shortcuts to My Savings and Sanity

You may have noticed that I changed the tagline to my blog: “Shortcuts to My Savings and My Sanity” transitioned into “Apps. Technology. Suburbia.”


I still do my best to save money, mainly through the use of apps and technology.

  • I made it through another year without cable, which accounts to a savings of approximately $1000 per year.
  • Working out at home saves me at least $1200 per year. (You pay a huge premium for gyms where I live).
  • I bought and sold on Poshmark and eBay. In fact, I got my son an XBox One S in brand-new condition, complete with four games, an extra controller, and charger, for the price of a new system.
  • I regularly used Ebates and will receive close to $200 back for this year’s purchases.
  • I donated and decluttered using the Give Back Box, Soles4Souls, and to other charities.


  • I managed to substantially limit my children’s technology time using a reward system that finally works.
  • I overscheduled my kids with activities and while it made me crazy at times, it also let me treasure our quiet time together at home.
  • We had more valuable family time. We took a week-long vacation, just us. We tend to spend our vacations visiting family. My husband works a lot and this trip reminded us how important it is to connect as a family.
  • After grieving the loss of our French bulldog in January, we added a new puppy to our family, and my heart is complete again.

Cheers to the Year Ahead

Thank you for giving this hot mess mom a voice. Thank you for sharing, commenting, following and engaging with me this past year. I hope you too, don’t look back and focus on everything you didn’t do or could have done better, but rather, celebrate your own personal successes.

If I could see you in person, I would give you a big hug

right about now.

Please comment below and share your successes. Also, if you have any topics you’d be interested in reading about in the year ahead, let me know.

Michelle Bio

Happy New Year to you and yours!



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Jo Fdz

Monday 10th of September 2018

Hi Michelle, I was reviewing the Peloton bike but then I say your blog so I decided I would read what you had to say, I am a senior and my doctor recommended, I ride a regular bike or get an exercise bike to lose weight, I can no longer run like when I was younger, my knees have given up on me I still walk but have to stay on even ground. Do you recommend the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike, just for everyday exercise to a senior. Appreciate any assistance advice you can provide, enjoyed reading your blog.

Sincerely Jo


Tuesday 11th of September 2018

I think it's a great bike and you can't go wrong. And the fact that it's a belt drive means that little to no maintenance is required. Many seniors do the Peloton classes and I'm sure you can find one you like, even the scenic ones (an added feature for app riders) that take you through various destinations around the world. You also get access to the Beyond the Ride classes, which I'm doing more and more of lately--stretching, yoga, etc. And, also an added feature is the Outdoor Walks and/or Runs. But even without the app, I'm sure you would be happy, but you'd probably be less motivated to use it in my opinion.

sharin newman

Thursday 1st of February 2018

I was having issues with the Wahoo Speed. Tried everything. I called Wahoo and they said its not for stationary bikes! SO back it goes. What else do you use for Speed?


Saturday 13th of January 2018

Great year, Michelle! I’m impressed! I’m going to follow your lead in some of these areas. Love your blog! You are wonderful. See you at the book club! Love ya, Lara


Thursday 18th of January 2018

Yes, see you at the book club!

William Kary

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

Love Your Blog!


Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

Thank you. You just made my day!

Ellen L. Platt

Monday 1st of January 2018

Happy New Year, Michelle. I love reading your blog. That’s how I keep track of what the family is doing. Love all of you. Aunt Ellen

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