December 2021 Newsletter

Thoughts and encouragement from Brian and Victoria Mininger, from what they have learned both personally and professionally through their Mastermind Communities.

For the past couple of years, Brian and I (Victoria) have intentionally taken a few days to get away for a vision and goal setting retreat. It may seem counterproductive to step away in the midst of work schedules or busy seasons of life, but we have found that if we don’t, it is easy to let the busy and the new year run us right over.

During our retreats, we enjoy focused times of planning, both for our personal lives and for our businesses. We plan individually and together. We take breaks along the way to soak up nature, admire sunsets and have meals with one another and friends. As we return to our normal routine, we feel refreshed and focused.

What Victoria and I (Brian) have learned is to build goal setting around a vision for our lives. We write out our vision though an exercise called: “come as you will be.” We look ahead a few years, currently we use three years, and write out a vision for what we want our lives to be.

We look at various areas of life that are important to us, from our spiritual life, family, work, relationships, finances, personal health, etc. You would use what is important to you, it might be different for everyone. Then we look at where am I now and what do I need to do next to move closer to that vision for my life.

Goal setting thus becomes small pieces of that puzzle. When we set goals without having a “why” behind it, it’s easy to get off track from them. Let the things most important to you and your vision for the future become the foundation of your goal setting.

We encourage you to carve out some time in the next few weeks to slow down first. Find time to nurture your soul, to seek solitude, to plan and reflect.  Take the time to discover the vision of what you want your life to be based on the things you value most, evaluate where you are and determine the next steps to get there.

Come as you will be.

As you think about goals for 2022, make getting outside more often one of them! We love the idea from 1000 Hours Outside. Their purpose of the 1000 Hours Outside challenge is to attempt to match nature time with screen time. It is influenced by the teachings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator, who recommended that children should spend 4-6hours outside every “tolerably find day, from April to October.”

But why stop at childhood, the average American spends over 7 hours per day looking at screens. There are astronomical health, social, and developmental benefits that accompany time in nature. It has been proven to reduce stress, increase memory capacity, and boost your immune system. Truly, any age can benefit from extended time outdoors.

1000 hours is roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes outside for 365 days. That can seem daunting as we look toward the winter months, but remember it is an average. There will be plenty of longer time spent on spring days in the garden, in the summer at the beach or lake, or soaking in the fall foliage. It’s not a sprint and even if it encourages you to get a bit more time outside, it’s worth it. Let’s take back our minds and health and get outdoors with intention.

Check out 1000 Hours Outside, founded by Ginny Yurich to read more and find beautiful outside time trackers for you and your family.

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Snow always makes for bundled up backyard fun! But even if we don’t see much snow this year, you can enjoy time hosting holiday guests with this White Christmas Sangria.


1 Braeburn apple, chopped in cubes

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped in cubes

1 heaping cup Fresh Cranberries

1 large sprig Rosemary, more for garnish

¼ cup Sugar, more for garnish

1 can Club Soda

½ cup White Grape juice

1 Bottle Pinot Grigio


In a large pitcher combine all the ingredients to dissolve sugar. Place in refrigerator to chill, allow sugar to dissolve fully and let the rosemary infuse.

For a garnish and festive looking “snow covered” tree boughs, pour extra granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Lightly wet the rosemary, giving it a good shake to remove any excess water then roll the sprigs in the sugar until they are coated.

& Garden Beds’ tag=’h2′ link=” link_target=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=” margin=” padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” icon_size=” custom_class=” id=” admin_preview_bg=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” av_uid=’av-pisije’]

Our Crozet homeowner wanted to expand their outdoor living space by utilizing the hill in their backyard. The wooden pergola covering a new paver patio allows for a space to sit around the fire. The gorgeous rock steps leading up are surrounded by raised beds to expand upon their current garden space. We hope they enjoy spending time tending the soil of the gardens and enjoy the additional space to gather with family and friends while experiencing the view of the mountains.

Winter Custom Design 

Start the process to build the Custom Design backyard project you have been dreaming about. Design a space to gather, relax and enjoy the outdoors.