All posts by Taneya

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Now that the new year is off to a start, I have 2 resolutions:

  1. Up my organization game
  2. Better connect with friends and family

Resolution #1: Up My Organization Game : Over the past few years I have been increasingly working to stay better organized. Between Google Calendar, Google Docs, Evernote, setting up multiple account profiles in Chrome so that I can sync my extensions and bookmarks across devices, setting up reminders for myself, and using Google Music, I am much better organized than I used to be. But, I can do so much better I know! So, this year, I am beginning a Bullet Journal to use as a counterpart to all that I do electronically and I will also plan organize all of my family photos.

Bullet Journal – after learning about bullet journaling through some of my genealogy buddies, it seems like a good fit for some aspects about my personal organization system that I have found lacking over the past year.  I do a lot so I can use all the help I can get! 🙂 There are 4 components in particular I want to address:  1) my perpetual to-do list! While I use Evernote well as a repository, I’ve never felt I was able to get a good grasp on my to-do list. I think it is because when my list is electronic, the adage “out of sight, out of mind” is all too true for me.  2) I think it will also help my long-term planning as unlike a digital calendar, I can get a more long-term view of what I have going on, and unlike a traditional physical planner, the use of space on the page is more flexible. 3) I also have a lot of ideas that come into my head, so being able to capture them in the bullet journal should help.  4) I like the monthly tracker pages I’ve seen and I think this will be fun for tracking things that I need to do on a regular basis. Again, out of sight, out of mind in my digital tracking has been an issue for some of my activities. I’ve chosen to use Staples Arc system (junior size) as pages are insertable and the size is one that I will be able to carry with me wherever I go.

my new bullet journal

Photo Organization – For the most part, the physical pictures that I have are in one of 3 locations in our house – a set of photo albums I have, a couple of picture boxes, and a cabinet in our living room.  And… up until about 2008, I was pretty good at printing out my digital pictures. Well, not so much anymore – I’m about 8 years behind! So, my 2017 goals are to: 1) reorganize my physical pictures into a set of binders with photo sleeves (like these – but they come in different configurations) , 2) print out pictures from 2008 – present, and 3) better capture photos taken by family members that are posted to social media so that I can include them among my photos moving forward.  Last year I made some headway with beginning to better organize my personal genealogy files by creating what I call “Treasure Boxes“, so this part of my resolution is a great compliment to that. And yesterday, I ordered print photos for all of 2016 so now I’m really only 7 years behind. Ultimately, my goal for my personal mementos is to have one bookshelf that I instruct my family to keep should something ever happen to me even if they got rid of absolutely everything else of mine! 🙂

some of my photoboxes

Resolution #2: Better Connect with Friends and Family: My family and friend real life and social media network is pretty big – probably because of all the genealogy and family history I do – so I am connected to a LOT of family and great friends.  I want to do more to better connect and stay in more frequent contact.  This year, I am making it a goal to send physical birthday & other life celebration/important event cards – I just think it is a nice, friendly touch (for all the reasons mentioned here).  I also want to come up with a way to add family history touches when I send out cards, but I have not yet figured out a plan for that – will take some more thought. Maybe the card sending can be a resolution for this year, with family history touches a resolution for 2018.

Here’s to 2017!!!

Meet Piper & Penny

It’s been several weeks in the making, but this weekend we finally did it! We have two new members of the family – Piper & Penny.  Piper & Penny are a bonded pair of guinea pigs we adopted from Clover Patch Sanctuary.  

photo from

Aren’t they adorable?  Penny is the one on the left in the pic below and is an Abyssinian Guinea Pig and Piper, on the right, is a short-haired guinea pig (read about guinea pig types).  We think they are about a year old.  Penny is the alpha pig 🙂

meeting the girls

Bringing them home and setting up their cage was quite fun! I have learned so much about guinea pigs these several weeks so it’s so cool that they are here.  Kaleya’s been a great caretaker and I am sure we will have fun getting to know Penny & Piper even more as they get settled in. 

the cage
sampling of their food
feeding them veggies. Kaleya made the enclosure herself!


Fanboy Expo!

What a great time we had this afternoon visiting the FanBoy Expo in Knoxville!

We met wrestler Randy Morton before we even made it inside

Kaleya wore a t-shirt w/ the Nightmare Before Christmas theme (Night before Comic Con), and it was perfect! We saw several Sally & Jack combos there.

Kalonji w/ artist Ren McKinzie

and of course there were lots of Dr. Who cosplayers

lady dressed as CatWoman

We got a signed autograph from John Ratzenburger! We also had a chance to take a picture with him and talk awhile – it was great!


Kalonji w/ The Dude

with Wonder Woman

group selfie while at the Nightmare Before Christmas Q&A panel with Ken Page and Chris Sarandon.