How many times have you decided to get healthy starting Monday? Are you going to write the next great novel “someday”? Perhaps you are a student and “hoping” to pass all of your classes?

All of these dreams are the beginning of a goal, but without more detail they are harder to accomplish. As people, we tend to have a lot of really great ideas. Someday kills them. Hoping to get lucky with no responsibility eradicates our own ability to celebrate without a gnawing suspicion that we may not be so lucky next time.

When you want to set a goal, make sure it is “SMART”!

S= Specific


A= Achievable



Let’s stick with getting healthy and do some practice.

“I want to get healthy, but I will start on Monday.”

Does this statement answer all of the SMART statements above? Is it specific? No. What is healthy. There is no way to assume that you are over/underweight. It could be that you want to change your diet to feel better/alleviate some ailment. Healthy is too broad of a term to ensure that this goal is Specific.

“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

Better. This one is specific as it provides a precise measurement. Just saying “I want to lose weight” leaves us nothing to measure. This statement has knocked off the first two criteria for setting a SMART goal (Specific/Measurable)

“I (still) want to lose 20 pounds”

Great! Is this achievable for you specifically? This may be an easy answer for you or you may need to seek the advice of a medical professional (which is most definitely not me). Make sure you are setting a goal that is relevant to you. Make sure you and your body will be happier once you start to see these results. You could always alter the amount. “I want to lose/gain 5 pounds”, “I want to have more energy and not feel so bogged down because of my diet”. You can also measure subjectively. If you feel lethargic a lot, you could maintain a journal on your journey to track any changes/improvements. You are not tied to the statements I make. Make them your own. If your goal is attainable, move along. Is this goal relevant to you? Keep tweaking until you come up with something that fits your needs/desires. (Achievable/Relevant)

Now, let us give it some Time.

“I want to lose 20 pounds in six months”

Look at that! You have created a deadline. Now your goal is Time-Bound. You have taken away the dreaded ambiguity of someday and given yourself a block of time to achieve a goal. (Time-Bound)

Time to review the entire thing and make sure we have checked off each of the criteria.

S= 20 pounds

M= You have your starting weight and a measurable goal (20 pounds)

A= You have made sure that this is something that you can do and that it is an achievable goal with your overall health in mind.

R= Looking at whether the goal fits you personally. Relevance has passed.

T= You have given yourself 6 months to reach your goal.

Now that you have created an overall goal, you can start creating mini-goals.

“I want to lose about one pound a week. I will lose 4 pounds in one month.”

Your smart goal has led you to a place where you can seek out the information that you need to make it happen. These are your actionable steps. Each of these should also be SMART.

  • I will exercise for one hour 3 times a week.
  • I will increase my daily water intake to 64 ounces per day.
  • I will decrease my saturated fat/carbohydrate intake by 20%.
  • I will increase the amount of fresh foods in my diet by including two vegetables/ fruits to each of my meals.

Again, you are in no way bound to my example including weight loss. Write a book! Achieve a Grade Point Averge (GPA) you can be proud of on purpose! Clean your house! Take up running! Do whatever you want! Just make sure you are SMART!

I tried to find an origin for the SMART acronym. Here’s a little tidbit I found…

Origin of SMART Goals Acronym (click the link)

Want to read more? Start here:

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!




The April 2019 Ipsy Glam Bag has arrived! I have been receiving Ipsy bags for just over a year now and have been generally happy with the product selection and value. For $10 a month, this has been a great way to try new products that I might not otherwise seek out.

Not sure how Ipsy works? Here goes….. The Ipsy Glam bag is mailed to you once a month filled with 5 trial size products. Your account is personal. The Ipsy questionnaire is simple and the goal is to cultivate an experience that meets the needs of the consumer. Score! What is your skin tone? How comforatble are you with make up? And hair products! Did I mention hair products and fragrances?

At $10 monthly it’s a fairly inexpensive way to try new things. Or, if you love getting presents all year in a cute lil bag (like me), Ipsy may be right for you.

To check out all Ipsy has to offer CLICK HERE!

Number 1- The Bag

This is a cute lemon make up bag. I’m not a bright yellow kind of gal, but I would use this. Also, I know people that are bright yellow loving folks that would benefit from owning this cutie. Each month a new bag comes, so I can spare one or two at this point. The colors are bright and perfect for summer. On second thought, should I change my make up bag for the season? Is throwing lip goss in my purse not enough. I have options and when it comes to being feminine….I am still learning. Maybe it’s time to retire my 1990s CaBoodle?

Number 2- PURRRRPLICIOUS Law Beauty Essentials Nail Polish

This is pretty, and soft in color. The only issue I had was opening the bottle. The lid separated from the actual bottle cap. Quick fix, just a little hassle. What I do dig about this product is that it comes from a women owned company that claims their products are “luxe, innovative, and eco-friendly”. If vegan/toxin free nail polish makes you happy, this is pretty good stuff. One coat did the trick on my false nail in the pic. (I just painted my dark gray and I’m not ready to remove it!)

Number 3- Buxom Cosmetics Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black

The first thing I do when I look at mascara to buy is pull the wand straight out of the tube and see what kind of clump filled horror show emerges. This one was clean! Step one, I’m a happy girl. The brush is pretty straightforward and it does not appear to require any contortion or act of magic to apply. This one wears well and does not run like some. Do you love to rub your eyes throughout the day because you forgot that you were wearning mascara? It honestly does not leave a tar (or bat poo) streak down your face. Buxom, you’ve won me over.

Number 4- THEBALM Cosmetics theBalmjour Creamy Lip Stain in Namaste

Cute packaging, pretty color, definitely something I would choose on my own. The stain just did not last long for me. This could be because of the formula and it could be because I run my mouth all day long. I cannot confirm, but this one was “eh” for me. I will continue to use this since I have it, but I do not think I would purchase more once it is gone. Again, may work great for you, just not for me.

Number 5- MOROCCAN MAGIC Argan & Essential Oil Lip Balm in Peppermint Eucalyptus

Ohh la la- Lip Balm is more my speed and I have several types located just about anywhere I could possibly be an need lip balm. Purse? yes. Car? yes. Next to my bed? yes. In my Caboodles make up suitcase? yes. All over! This one is smooth and smells like a candycane. The peppermint scent is much stronger than the eucalyptus, but I am not complaining. Also, I am sure I read somewhere that peppermint helps to plump your lips….well hello sexy smooth fatlip. Thank you for noticing.

Number 6- SUGAR COSMETICS Kohl of Honour Intense Kajal in Black Out

Eyeliner and I have a long, tumultuous history. Allergies and watery eyes makes it hard for me to work real hard on making my eye makeup “flawless”. I have this tendency to appear to be crying when the flowers bloom or the air blows. Next, being a teen of the 90s I can fully appreciate the urge to draw an inch thick like along my lashes. (Warning! Do not do that!)

Drawn on hand
Top smudge with water
Botttom- dry smudge
The verdict is in- cry BEFORE you wipe your eyes 🙂

Another great option that Ipsy recently launched is a monthly subscription service with 5 FULL-SIZE products. The only issue I have here is that it’s $25 a month and that seems a little $$$ to me for a monthly subscrption. BUT- if you are more obsessed with beauty products and want to invest that money every month for great new full size products, I support that. (But make sure your bills are paid first, ya know. Money don’t grow on trees! lol)


When you buy through Ipsy (subscription or product purchase) you can earn points and rewards. Like real cash! There are tons of items to peruse on the site including; fragrance, hair, men, skincare, etc.

Ready to try Ipsy? Use my link!

Do you currently subscribe to Ipsy or any other beauty box services? What are some of your favorite products? Tell me about it below!

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


As my father’s 60th birthday approaches, I can’t help but think about celebration and grief.

I would love to call my Dad on the phone and remind him that he’s another year older and that his hairline has disappeared. I would probably call him the ol’ Onceler and we’d talk about our days and the grandkids and all things good and bad. He would reminisce on a full life and we would laugh. He’d probably answer “Yello…..” and he’d inevitably throw in a “quitcherbitchin” when I started to rant about any nonsensical thing.


Maybe a surprise party; balloons, cake, and presents. We would discuss my dissertation and all of the studying he did in college when I was a kid. He would share all of the wit and the troubles. He would also remind me that he made more money than I probably ever will,

-because he did not finish college,

-life was not fair,

-and I should not stand for that type of treatment.

This was his gentle, and obvious way, of ribbing me into a competition to push beyond the limits he envisioned that I had set for myself. I also would never do the types of manual, dangerous work he did, so there is that too.

He would tell the very best “dad jokes” and about how my driving always scared him. “She always said the lines on the road were a suggestion…..” Or, he’d do that weird egg crack trick on top of my head, because no matter how successful or old, making your child’s stomach turn is somehow hilarious. And when he did, I would gently remind him of how when I was little I removed the fish from their meticoulsly pristine home, dried them off, and put them back! *That’s one of those stories you tell your parents later in life because you’d get in major trouble when you were six*

No matter how exciting or mundane, I would love to see these pop up again.

Time to go fishing
Always fall back on what you know of sports ❤ (I totally passed stats and I’ve taken more)
My graduation moved to Spring
December 2020 ❤ I’m going to walk the stage this time


This isn’t the first time, and I hope it is not the last time I have written about grief. You are welcome to see Like A Stone for more about losing my father. There is no going back to whatever I pictured an ideal existence to be before. This is my new normal.

There is nothing exceptional to any part of the story other than it is my own. Maybe there is someone that needs to know that a new normal is possible. Maybe someone needs to know that coupling grief and depression is not crippling, but it is ok if sometimes it needs to be. For 24 years, he knew what life was like without me, but I did not learn how to exist without him for 31. This is year 4, and I am ok.

I was so damn angry when it happened. Then I was relieved. Today it is fine. I cannot tell you what comes next. Through death I learned that nothing I care about and intend to protect can be bought. Time is a far more valuable currency.

I learned that letting go is an option. There is nothing I need to inject where the universe is perfectly qualified. The integrity that I so fearfully wanted to protect was not going to be sustained through any venegful or foolish acts. I learned that people can be gentle and loving and people can be selfish and hurtful, and when the strings are pulled tight the spirit that they feed will not hide for long. I learned that no one gets to define my intentions but me and I learned to live with the words that convey misunderstanding. I learned to accept the apology that I was never given. And I learned to forgive myself for being human; weaknesses and all.

I learned that the example that I set will only be positive if I let go of fear. I appreciate all of the times when my heart was hurting and I was simply told, “you don’t have to put up with that”. So, I changed my response instead of controlling the situation. I learned that I am too small to carry the weight of everything. I learned to appreciate travelling places where I am reminded that I am small.

Have you ever watched animations of the universe? They tend to start at Earth and pull back through systems and galaxies until we are all but unrecognizable, but an integral piece. Makes me cry, every-dang-time.


I have spent time educating children and adults about safety. Here may be just the spot to interject some of that transferrable advice. If you, or someone that you care about, is struggling with addiction, depression, or other mental/physical health concerns, take time to identify the people in your life that you can go to for help. Whether directly affected or an observer, it is ok to reach out for help. You are not a burden.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


As you continue to read, imagine we are talking. I will be me and you be you. It is perfectly fine as you digest what you have taken in and begin to give it meaning that you change roles. Maybe you are me, maybe you are still you thinking about a time that you have talked to a me in your life. Maybe this makes no sense to you and you are still reading because dammit, you are intrigued.

“How about that weather?” 

-“Weather” never ceases to exist, and at some point in the past, whether it be recent or not, you and I both have experienced it before. What about the jet stream? Or climate change? What about clear skies and starry nights?

“Whew, long day huh?”

-Each and every day is a measurement of time, which is finite. This day is the same in length as other days. Are you tired? Overworked? Underwhelmed? It’s not a long day. Maybe you need a hug, or a nap.

Well, it IS Monday!”

– Yes, every week. Monday continuously happens. I believe Garfield also hated Mondays. Whatever stuggle is being tied to “Monday” is likely unconnected. Commiting a robery? Well, it’s Monday! Thursday and you would’ve been in a real pickle. Stub your toe? Wreck your car? No, you did not succumb to an interruption of situational awareness. It’s Monday!

“The rain! The heat! The wind! The ultraviolet rays! It’s cold! I’m melting! Are my elbows sweating?”

I simply cannot. No, I can. Because like some social psychopath I have studied the ways of the people in an attempt to appear normal when I’m approached with small talk. If you’re at all familiar with my background and think I should have a better, more professional, and possibly concise way of describing that feeling, I do not.

I crave connection. Meaningful connection. A long conversation about the weather, or current projects, or about what joys and troubles the time reminds us of, I can do that. Too often, “How are you?” is uttered in such a rush that it becomes something to say instead of an invitation to empathy. I feel the same way about “I’m sorry.” You can read about that too: I Stopped Saying I’m Sorry

I like “Hello’s”. If the purpose of sharing a phrase is to acknowledge another person, that does just the trick. If you ask me (or someone like me) a follow up question, then a stream of thoughts, feelings, memories, and connections start that I am unable to stop. A little obsessive? Maybe. I would love to share with you a funny anecdote or a great article I read. I could be tired, and maybe in that moment what I need is for someone to simply let me know that whatever struggle is present will pass. There could be no negative, it could be a really great day and what I would love to share is hope. I can have a really great conversation about any number of things.

The interaction is so mechanical. Let’s talk about research and your interests. Ten or one thousand small, meaningless interactions make me tired. Repeated stimulation with no resolve, makes me tired. So that I can avoid being a bother, I shut off.

In my limited time, I have learned a few ways to combat the way small talk makes me feel.

  • Make eye contact. Acknowledge that someone exists. If you’re shy (and I mean that in a way that someone is shy and experiences a real fear when interacting with people) maybe try it once. Let it happen and see how it works. 
  •  If you’re going to engage in small talk, see it through. Don’t say something for the sake of making noise.
  •  (THIS ONE IS ME!) If silence makes you uncomfortable, practice. I’ve worried myself countless times wondering if the silence wasn’t filled would somebody spot that I am a person that lives with depression or anxiety or due dates or I haven’t folded the laundry that I washed 3 whole days ago. I engage in public speaking more than I would have told you I was willing to 10 years ago. It has taken a long time to learn how to just hush instead of using fillers like “like” and “ummmmmm”. Pause is ok.
  • You love small talk. Don’t get irritated when you say something and the recipient wants to engage. Otherwise, pause.
  • I am inspired by people that make other people feel important. The key ingredient is time. Giving someone your time is a gift that cannot be replaced.

How do you feel about small talk? Any additional tips or thoughts?

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


Friday night, a closet full of paint and canvas, and a desire to create. The house is quiet and the weekend requires very little of me. Diving into self care includes dirty fingernails, hair in a knot, and glasses on.

I love intricate works of art. Creations from an astute perspective. I appreciate those things from other people. My patience runs thin and if I am unable to finish a (craft) project in a fairly short amount of time, I am unlikely to stay focused. Abstracts are fun. I think it gives the viewer the ability to creatively finish a piece of work on their own, so each interpretation is unique.

The inspiration is personal. The drive is a desire to see myself reflected in work. While most, if not all, are a great deal dissimilar from myself, I am inspired and pleased by art that reflects what I experience every day.

As a supporter of body positivity and a widespread acceptance of comfort in what the body is capable of, I enjoy sketching, painting, crafting, writing, and the like. I am not an artist by trade, but we are all capable of something beautiful. The first piece featured below is a 10 minute sketch followed by acrylic on canvas at about a two hour completion time. Enjoy!

Pencil Sketch
Phase one: Just put color to canvas….
Can you see the Minecraft Game Board down there? 🙂
I love her in color……
But She’s a Stunning monochrome…


16×20 Acrylic on Canvas

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!