2014 is already well on it's way. Another year is over inexplicably, another has arrived, and I'm trying to figure out just how I'd like to hitch on to this one. Not resolutions, but reminders, suggestions, and affirmations that I'd like to point out to myself.

1. Get outside. Such a common one I know, but us city dwellers often have a hard time making it happen. Living in LA, there's no excuse really with beaches and mountain trails only minutes away. I especially think of my children and how they may complain at the suggestion of a hike, but then lose themselves in discovery once were there, as they did (above) a few days ago. I'd like to commit to a new hike each month, and break away from the tried and true. 

2. Turn an idea into a reality. I will admit that I'm good at coming up with ideas of projects I'd like to take on. Different directions I'd like to take my filmmaking or ways I could incorporate my love of cooking into meaningful work. But often an idea will pop into my head like a little seed, and there it will languish never to be planted. I'm sure it's fear on my part. Fear and other things that self-help might cure. But this year I am committed to doing what it takes to make a project that I've been quietly excited about for a long time, finally come to fruition. Whether it works or not. 

3. Take it easy on myself in the kitchen. Cooking from scratch 5-6 days a week is something I committed to a long time ago. Besides wanting my family to eat well and be able to control what was in our food, I also greatly enjoy it. I do. But most weeknights I spend so much time creating and perfecting what's on the table that week, that by the weekend I'm a little spent. So I'm giving myself permission to go the Trader Joe's route once a week and serve a meal that I only have to heat up and spice up. It can still be healthy and I'll be able to use that time reading and re-reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear as many times as baby Jude would like. 

4. Be more mindful of what inspires me. There was a time when my workspaces whether at home or in an office were covered with images that stirred up creative juices and helped cultivate ideas. I need to return to that. It can do so much to focus attention and bring beauty into everday life.

Right now I'm still under the spell of Beyonc√© and her new record, which was a complete and utter surprise to me. Having never owned any of her music, I did not expect to like it. But I was curious about the videos so I watched, and like the rest of the world I was floored. Besides the music being as amazing as it is, and the videos being as well-done as they are, what affected me was seeing how an artist could step out of her comfort zone, take risks, then watch it pay off. Again, fuel for the fire.