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New Year A to Z: Part 1

Happy New Year! Welcome to a fresh start, when everything feels new, the slate is clean, and possibilities are endless!  In this special month of new beginnings, we are bringing you four installments of New Year A-Z where each week in January, our Saturday blog will feature new things to try in 2019.  Life continues to amaze us everyday and we only keep up with it if we continue to learn, grow, try new things, experiment, and go where our path leads us. We thought having a list of places to start might jumpstart 2019 as a year of growth and opportunity.  

We also want this to be interactive, so if you have suggestions for our community of new things we can feature in an upcoming list, send them to, and you might be featured in a blog post!  This week we will look at New Year A-F, new things to do in 2019.  Cheers!

Acquire a new skill

Is there something you have always wanted to learn how to do?  Knitting, playing guitar, cooking, sewing…pick a hobby! There are a TON of free how-to videos on YouTube plus you can find in-person tutors and teachers in your area on the Nextdoor app or through  

Bubble Bath

SO I know a few people who will not take a bubble bath because they feel that it is gross to sit in their own bath water (AKA: Me). However, I was introduced to the serenity and luxury of bath time via Lush’s bath bombs.  Not only do they fizz your cares away, but they make your skin feel amazing! Bath time can be a great time to meditate, release tension, and just spend a few minutes away from the world. See if you can work it into your week and toss a Lush bath bomb in there for an extra special sudsy time.


If it’s been a hot second since you’ve been camping or you’ve never ventured out, don’t worry!  It is not hard to get into the swing of the outdoorsy lifestyle. Texas State Parks have fantastic facilities, including showers, toilets, and electrical hook-ups so you don’t have to rough-it all the way.  If you are more of a purist, they also have primitive campsite that you can hike to. If communing with that much nature doesn’t sound like quite your style, try glamping first! Geronimo Creek Retreat offers nature with a great helping of convenience on the side.  Get out there and see what the outdoors have to offer!


The beginning of the year is a great time to purge the past and start new.  While the urge to just sweep everything in the trash can is super powerful, rethink things that can be used by someone else.  Shelters are always in need of coats and warm clothing, and household gear can be donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, who support the community by providing jobs to those in need of employment.  Definitely start cleaning out those drawers and bins, but start that second pile for the stuff that still has some life left in it!


Ya, ya.  I know. Exercise is on everyone’s to-do list for the New Year, but it always seems to fall to the side by the end of January.  This particular suggestion isn’t to exercise your booty off day-after-day, but instead, to try something you have never tried before!  There are a ton of options to get moving out there. You can always run, walk, do strength training or use gym machines, but why not try something innovative and unique?  Find a place in your area that offers PiYo, Zumba, Barre, Hot Yoga, or something else a tad outside your comfort zone but that you are willing to try at least once.  Shock your body out of its plateau by moving your body in different ways, and you might discover an actual fun way to exercise!


We all want to eat delicious, nutritious meals, and it may be on the top of your list of resolutions to try new food, but it’s hard sometimes when we get into a food rut to jump back out and get excited about food again.  One way to do this is to order one of the new meal boxes that are so popular. Hello Fresh and Plated are both offering sign-up discounts right now, and have lots of options.  Another way to spice it up in the kitchen is to check out This sister has it all figured out and is not afraid to share her amazing and healthy recipes.  If you like dining out, grab a friend or partner and look into a new restaurant per week (or month, whatever the budget will allow) and make a pact that you can’t repeat the same type of cuisine.  Bon appetit!

Stay tuned for next week’s list, and don’t forget to email if you have a suggestion or to share something you have tried!  If you venture out to experiment with something on the list, tag us #TheCastilloGroup on social media.  Go out there, and try something new!


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First of all, I was in my new condo in less than 30 days. I decided to move to San Antonio to attend St Marys Law and after seeing what the market has been doing here, figured it was a safe investment to own rather than rent. I set my must haves with a previous realtor and was lucky if we got 2 lead…
Ed Russel | Bought in St. Mary's Area