Back to Bloglovin’

Bloglovin is one of the Anne’s favorite places on the Internet! It’s such a simple way to keep up with ALL the blogs we love out there, and boy, oh boy, there is no shortage of them.

We had an account but it seems it didn’t transfer our new content when we switched our site, so here’s us just starting fresh. Fresh starts are great, right?!

Do you Bloglovin? Do you have a blog on there? Link it in the comments so we can discover even more new things to love (read: procrastinate with)!

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Time to CONQUER

Conquer!

Two things about me: I absolutely love Elise Blaha’s blog enJOY it, and I might even harder love the One Little Word she does every year. Last year was the first year I adopted this with the word COURAGE, and boy, it was so helpful for me all year.

I made a sign that said COURAGE on my desk and looked at it constantly as a reminder. It was just what I needed for 2014, and so I’m doing it again in 2015. My word this year is CONQUER. (Props to my husband Joseph Melancon for taking 10 minutes of his time to hand draw my 2015 sign!) I’ll tell you why in a second, but first, let me just briefly reflect on my courageous 2014.

At the beginning of last year, I wrote that I wanted courage to:

give birth to a healthy, happy little boy. CHECK.
be a first-time mom. CHECK.
adjust my schedule a million times as my little guy grows and his needs change. CHECK.
guard my priorities and let the other little details go. CHECK.
reject negative thoughts. MOSTLY CHECK.
turn to others when I feel like I can’t handle things on my own. EH…MORE OR LESS CHECK.
trust that things will always fall into place when they are supposed to. CHECK.
trust myself. CHECK.

2014 was one of the most challenging but happy years of my life. I feel so courageous after surviving it! (Maybe that’s silly, but I stand by it).

Now, moving onward. 2015 is my year to CONQUER!

I have entered the year with some pretty lofty goals (Wanna see them here?!) I am obviously going to be ever-adjusting to parenthood, balancing life and all that jazz, but that isn’t going to keep me from making some serious headway on my dreams, to-do lists, etc.

This year I will conquer…

that book I’ve been writing.
those last few pounds I’ve been putting off losing.
that anxiety that tries to keep me down.
that nagging feeling that everything needs to be in perfect order all the time.
health for me and my family.
a major home revamping (which I’ve already started and will be blogging about soon!)

So hey, 2015. Let’s do this!

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Cheers to 2015 & Goal-Making

hi2015

Hi there and a big Cheers to 2015! We hope your New Years and other seasonal celebrations have been fabulous!

As you know, we love making goals and lists! (Oh, you didn’t know that? Well let me tell you!) So naturally, we jump on a New Year and its resolution-making ways as a chance to set some new goals of our own. Only, we like to call them goals, not resolutions.

So here, ladies and gentleman, are our 2015 goals.

Holli Anne’s Goals:

OK. Not only do I love goal-setting, but I like to have different categories for them. I may have spent a big chunk of New Year’s Eve list-making with my husband (who also loves categorizing….nerdy match made in heaven!) I also made his whole family come up with a “word of the year” challenge to guide their year. More on that later!

For now, here’s my 2015 goals in their handy little categories:

1. Physical: Que the age-old cliche weight loss New Year’s resolution. Yes, I want to lose some weight, but I also just want to continue my path to a healthier, more natural and balanced life that I always strive for anyway. That would include some more routine exercising, continuing implementing more natural remedies and medicines and taking some time to just stop and breathe every now and then.

2. Emotional: Again, a continuation of 2014…don’t freak out! Anxiety might be my middle name, but when I do things in my Goal Number 1, I can tame it a lot better. Here’s to that!

3. Intellectual: I’m not the book-writing machine Tyler Anne is, but I am about a quarter of a way through a first draft of one. So obviously, finishing that book would be my goal.

4. Creative: Don’t neglect this blog again! My life has gone in a million directions since I started writing for Almost There, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it, YOU and writing on here with Tyler! So here’s me, recommitting again!

5. Life: Get a new house! I have been on the major hunt, and I’m not sure if we’re renting again or going to try to make the leap and buy, but I want a house with more room for our family to come visit and my VERY busy 10-month old to run and play. Also under life, finally make our bedroom look like a grown-up bedroom. It’s so neglected.

Tyler Anne’s Goals:

Last year I had a lot of writing goals and this year isn’t going to change! However, things like weddings and anxiety have made the list so here we go!

1. Write and finish my Harlequin novels! This year I need to have four Intrigues written and turned in on schedule. It sounds stressful but writing books is my dream job so I will NOT complain…just get nervous and probably a bit anxious as each deadline draws near.

2. Speaking of anxiety…I desperately need to conquer my very heavy blanket of constant anxiety. When I’m less embarrassed about how easily it’s controlling my life, I might just write a post about trying to deal with it. However, this year I really want to be able to conquer it and get back to my life before I worried and panicked so much!

3. Have an insanely fun and merry wedding! It won’t be traditional and it definitely WILL be weird. But, I dig both of those things! I just need to remember that this wedding is for us (the Tylers) and no one else. It’s okay if I have dinosaurs and video game references everywhere. It’s also okay if I wear a pair of Converse shoes with my dress. I’m excited to marry Boy Tyler and to celebrate it with all of our loved ones!

4. Come up with a new series for Harlequin! I would love, love, love to write tons of books every year for the rest of my life (I mean, that’s been a life goal since I was little) so I want to create a new proposal that Harlequin will hopefully buy!

5. This blog is one of my little loves and I want to grow it and make it epic! That starts with me getting back to writing consistently and in 2015 I hope to do just that!

What do you guys have planned for this year?!

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2014 Report Card

2014

We might have a lot of things going on in our lives but we haven’t forgotten our tradition of Goals and Report Cards! (We like calling them goals rather than resolutions.) So now let’s see how we fared with our Goals for 2014.

Tyler Anne’s Goals:
Let me tell you, 2014 ended up being a huge, surprising year for me. Two of the most notable? Getting engaged to Boy Tyler and selling a several books to Harlequin! Keep that in mind when I don’t hit every 2014 goal!

1. Finish writing my newest work in progress!

  • A – This was made before Harlequin was even on my radar so I don’t really know how to accurately score this one…so I went with an A (because who doesn’t want one of those?)! Sure, this specific goal was meant for an indie (which I still plan to finish) but after selling MANHUNT and then a separate four-book series to Harlequin, I had to change up my writing order. Instead of the indie I started AND finished Manhunt! That counts right?!

2. Get the book from #1 self-published OR very near it!

  • A – Again, I didn’t finish or self-publish my indie but I finished MANHUNT! It won’t come out until May 17 (starts hitting the shelves then) and April 2015 (eBooks), but I’m giving myself another A! #ItsFine

3. Start working on book number 3, whether it’s a sequel or another series!

  • A – Not only did I start another book (my Book One of the new series for Intrigue) but it’s nearly ready to be sent off! I’ve also have my indie from the first two goals on the back burner simmering!

4. Post to the blog every week!

  • D – This should actually be an F but WHO WANTS ONE OF THOSE?! Between my freelance job and book-writing, I’ve really fallen off the blogging wagon. But I’m getting better at time management with writing so, one day, I’ll look back and think, “Man, I’ve come so far!”

5. The old desire to get more in shape and exercise regularly!

  • C – I finally fulfilled my insane desire to purchase a treadmill (WHICH I WILL BLOG ABOUT) to help with my back issues and the whole mostly-sedentary work situation. It helps keep me active but I’m not sure I can claim I’m “in shape.” However, I am happy to say that I’m no longer over weight for my very, very short height and that was a secret goal I really wanted to meet! Now I’m less tired and uncomfortable and can fit back into most of my clothes! That deserves a C at least, right?!

Holli Anne’s Goals:

1. Don’t freak out!

  • C – OK, so I’m still a control freak and MAY have (definitely have) had my share of panic moments, but I will say this: I started the year worse at this than I ended it. I have been through A LOT of changes this year, greatest among those becoming a mom. After a million changes to my work schedule (thanks to an incredible workplace, boss and coworkers) and just getting comfy in my own new mom skin (literally and figuratively!), I’ve calmed down quite a bit. I wanted to give myself a B for this category, but my husband quickly shot that down. Oh well, I’m rolling this over to 2015!

2. Invest in the community more.

  • A – Spoiler alert: This is my only A for 2014 goals. I feel like I’ve really found a good niche in my community with a solid group of friends. We got a CSA farm share this year and really enjoyed that. And my husband and I joined an awesome organization called Circles in Columbus as Allies to help a wonderful woman work her way out of poverty. Such a great year and a great place we live!

3. Continue working toward healthy living.

  • B – I want it to be an A (hello, most obvious statement ever). In many ways I feel like our family has become more healthy, particularly in how we eat and even think about food and chemicals. Also how we spend our time is a lot more “healthy” and by that I just mean productive. I’m actually surprised at how much we get done considering our little bundle of joy, but really, it’s not actually more. We just spend LESS time (not to be confused with NO time) on Netflix and more time creating when we have the time to spare. But, in many ways, I feel like we’ve backslid in our lack of exercising regularly, and our eating habits during the last few months are nothing to write home about. Ew.

4. Establish a new writing routine.

  • D – I have managed to write a whopping (sarcasm alert) quarter of a first draft of a book, but the schedule part of it has been nonexistent. My husband has made some plans to help me carve out some more time out of working and mama-ing for it though! Yay him!

5. Blog at least once a week.

  • D – I’m just going to echo Tyler here. It should be an F, but no one wants one of those!

6. Read double what I read last year.

  • C – I actually have no idea if I did this. I forgot to keep a list, so I don’t know how many books I read this year! Oh well!

Here’s to the clean slate of a new year!

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To Shop: Things to Consider

Christmas Card

Merry Belated Christmas!! I hope it was awesome and filled with loved ones and cheer! Mine was a fun kind of madness spent with Boy Tyler, family, and an almost unhealthy amount of video games (ALMOST). Now the world is getting back to normal and I need to return to finishing off PIB (book one in my new series) before the New Year starts! Like always I have a lot I’m going to blog about but until then here’s a mini post to direct you to a few things you can/should/might want to spend your Christmas monies on!

Oh and that Christmas Card at the top there? Yeah, that’s Tyler and me (and Milo and Harbor)! The creator of that awesomeness? That would be Joseph Melancon, Holli Anne’s hubby!
Check him out at these places:
His Facebook Page: facebook.com/josephmelanconart
His Tumblr: josephmelancon.tumblr.com
His Instagram: instagram.com/joseph_melancon

Two Awesome Things to Own

- Anything Modcloth: Let’s be real, I can’t really pick just one thing on Modcloth to love or recommend. Browse the site (their Home & Gifts section is BEAST) and check out their deals for some coolness you didn’t know you needed.

- Happy Mail: I’m a huge fan of A Beautiful Mess so when their shop added Happy Mail, I jumped on it if only to see what it was like…and I love it. I’m going to make a post about my favorite pieces after a few more months of them but, let me tell you, they are epic! If you love to send mail try a month of Happy Mail!

Shameless Self Promotion

- Manhunt: My first book is now available for pre-order! Paperback or eBook! It’s a Harlequin Intrigue and, despite popular belief, is NOT filled with copious amounts of sex! It’s a thriller WITH some romance thrown in! (Plus lots of sexual tension!) So if you like that sort of thing, MANHUNT may be for you! Now let me end this post with its cover…and before you ask, NO! I do not know the cover model for this!

Manhunt

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