Blog Posts, Summer

Time to Take My Own Advice

Learn to lower expectations.

That’s not to say we should lower them to a sedentary life of minimal progress, but more or less manage what you expect from others. You won’t be able to please everyone. You can’t be everyone’s best friend. People will come and go, but you will always be there for yourself. And as much as you would like to, you can’t always change or influence the attitudes of others. Not everyone is you, and oftentimes that’s a good thing. It makes for new and diverse experiences. Allows each of us to change and grow by learning from the actions of others. Although sometimes it can be frustrating.

-When someone else doesn’t complete a task in the way we expect.

-When you finish something, thinking you did a good job, only to find out it was mediocre in comparison to someone else’s standards.

-When life turns out differently than we anticipated.

-When we can’t see the changes that are happening within ourselves, and someone else points out our failures.

Embrace change. Fill yourself with happiness for all that you have accomplished. Teach your mind not to fall victim to your own shortcomings. Readjust, take note of the bar you have set, and aim higher next time. If you didn’t live up to the standards of others in this situation, how did it compare to your personal best? How can you improve? What changes can you make to create a better environment for the next adventure?

Think about these things when you fall short, and don’t just give up. Learn to take constructive criticism in stride, focus on all that you have done thus far, and keep going. You’ve got a long way to go.

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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Apartment Living, Blog Posts, February

Hoard Experiences, Not Things

Apartments are small. They don’t have a lot of space. And when you fill up that space, what do you do?

This seems to be my current dilemma.

I have a lot of things. Not that I’m by any means a hoarder, but I do have a penchant for shopping. Or I did, but it’s been one of my New Me things to reign it in and focus more on things that don’t take up so much space like my fitness and health, good for you whole foods, and life experiences. It’s a struggle, but I’ve been trying to find ways clear my space and become more minimally focused in general.

I’m in the process of creating a list of my essential items in each category (that I’ll post here soon) in order to check myself. This and some healthier mindsets are helping me clear the clutter, starting with my apartment.

Stay Organized.

I cannot stress this enough, especially to myself. If I stayed more organized in my own space, then I probably would not be having this problem. I’m organized in the public spaces of my apartment, I’m clutter-free at work, I’m tidy everywhere else. But I seem to reserve the clutter for the most important space, my sanctuary, my bedroom. The one space that shouldn’t be messy at all.

If I had stayed more organized in my bedroom, then I would be able to see what I have, consume and use those items properly, and not add to the confusion with more things that I already have or really don’t need. (An impulse problem really – and work in progress.)

I was clearing out the storage space above my closet and found a sleeping bag, paints, and basically broken frappachino bottles that I had tried to make into cute little shot glasses with a  technique found on Pinterest. Needless to say, I’ve been cleaning out all the little spaces slowly but surely and trying to purge the crap. This leads me right into my next point.

Know What You Have and Remember It.

I don’t know what I have unless I see it most days. I know I have a lot of face masks, and lot of beauty products including makeup and hair items, I know I have a purse problem and way too many bags, I know I have too many clothes, and boots are really a space saving problem when I want them accessible.

If I actually think about those things if I stop into TJMaxx on my way home, or remind myself that I don’t need another face mask because I have thirty more in a basket under my desk then it helps from bringing more items into your space.

Tell Other People No.

Another thing that has helped, although it takes some time to sink in, is telling people, especially my Mom and Grandma, no, I don’t want that or I won’t use that. It’s a hard thing to learn to tell people no because you think it will hurt their feelings. Some, like my Mom, will be hurt a little, but slowly begin to understand the bigger picture. Others, like Gram, won’t be fazed by it and find someone else to give it to.

If they are trying to get you a birthday or holiday present, find an alternative option and let them know far in advance. If you have a Kindle, ask for an Amazon gift card to purchase some new reads, or suggest a Grocery shopping gift card to some of the places you shop the most. I know when I buy gifts for other people, I tend to buy them something that they’ll really use, and think of me when they use it, so this could be the perfect thing. And it’s a great way to splurge on yourself with a chocolate bar at the grocery store or a fun, new book that’s been on your mental list! (It doesn’t have to be books and groceries though, it can be anything that you like the most – like a designer jewelry subscription service that provides new pieces every month that you send back when you’re done, or a local class or experience you’ve been wanting to try.) Be creative in the things you mention to friends and family, just make it clear that you’d prefer not to have more things.

Purge and Overhaul the Excessive Items.

Get rid of the things you have that you don’t use. Yes, it’s great to organize all of your things, but it doesn’t make sense to keep things like three staplers tidy if you only use one. I understand if you’re going to have a section for things that you might not use everyday, like yarn for crocheting, nail polish, or seasonal jackets, but don’t be excessive.

I just cleared out my desk drawer, and there was two broken lightning cables, four single hole punches, three staplers, five magnet notepads and so many other unnecessary or unused items. I threw out the junk, made a stack of items that can go to someone else and be made to good use, and reorganized the rest. It’s things like these that show you what you actually have, what you’re using and lead you on your way to clearheadedness.

Now that you have a basis of where to start, just find something small to do and tackle that first (mine was doing a mountain of laundry to clear my floor). You don’t have to do everything at once, and you didn’t bring all of these items into your room in one trip so give yourself some credit and just dive in. I’m doing the same, and about to tackle some of the dead plants I killed in my windowsill this winter, ugh.

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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Blog Posts, February

New Me Start

New mindset, new me.

It may seem like a clichĂ©d version of the tired saying, but I can attest that after a few days of changing what I’ve been doing, a few weeks of changing the way I’ve been thinking, and a month of changing the way I’ve been eating, I feel better.

It’s not that I felt bad, I just didn’t feel my best, by any means. I hadn’t worked out since November, wasn’t eating the healthiest (or knowing exactly what I was eating for that matter), and didn’t feel very good. I was just struggling to get through the day, and onto the next. And it was affecting my job. I wasn’t working up to my potential, and wasn’t getting everything done, just the bare minimum.

I hit a reality check when my bosses sat me down and verbally whacked me in the head. They believe in me, so why didn’t I believe in myself?

The problem was, and hindsight is always 20/20, that I wasn’t taking care of myself, or the things I needed to get done. I was focusing way too much of everything that needed to get done as a whole. What can I say, I’m a big picture kind of girl! But in doing so I was losing sight of what I needed to do and glazing over it in the process.

Sometimes you need to sit down, reevaluate, refocus, and start again. And that’s what I’m doing now.

People always say New Year, New You, but February 2nd was the official New Me Start. And that’s okay, because everyone evolves in their own time.

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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Blog Posts, Fitness, July

Feeling Like Jello, BBG Week 1

So I stuck to all the workouts. For an entire week. Even the Challenge. I’m proud of myself but it takes me back to basketball camp when I was a kid, or Lacrosse tryouts when I was in high school. I distinctly remember saying to my friends and fellow LAX girls, “This is going to kill me, and then they’re going to cut me.” It wasn’t for lack of trying. Just because I wasn’t in shape.

I feel about the same now. I skipped the pre-workouts because I have been going to the gym, albeit sporadically. And I’ve been doing mostly cardio. I know I need the resistance training to build back up muscle mass, but that’s what kills me. The 40-minute LISS and HIIT workouts weren’t too bad this week because I’ve been doing the cardio.

The resistance -> dead. Arms have always been a weak point. I used to be a cheerleader when I was younger and threw girls up into the air. Didn’t have much upper body strength then either. It’s a goal of mine to build that up and tone down my arms. It will certainly be taking some time and dedication.

Legs weren’t too bad, but they weren’t too good either. Those 28-minute sessions are some hard work and will hopefully get easier. But then again, I’ll just sweat more and get stronger.

Abs. I used to be able to do 60 crunches in as many seconds. Now I’m lucky if I can get through half as many. Not that I was at peak performance in high school, but I’ve always been the kid who’s done a sport, ever since I was five. Even younger if you count my short-lived ballet days. Since high school ended, those seasonal sport days are over and boy am I feelin’ it.

With some hard work and dedication, this will turn me into a healthier and fitter version of myself. Just like I did after my week at basketball camp every summer. I would do the same intensive workouts after camp ended, at home. I just wasn’t so good at sticking to them. Hopefully BBG helps me change that. Here’s to you Kayla, and thanks for helping me jumpstart this healthy thing again! #SweatWithKayla

Love ya, sweaty hugs // ❀

P.S. If you were wondering, they didn’t cut me from the team, I made Varsity (but that’s not saying much because we were not epic winners).

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Blog Posts, July

Accountability to Myself

Have you ever lost sight of your own goals? Lost your way down the path you’ve set yourself on? Were unsure of your next step?

Well it’s time to reevaluate my choices because I had a mini epiphany this week. I was sitting down to BuJo (more on this in another post) and write out my calendar for August – and was thinking about what’s on my plate right now. How has most of the summer gone by and I feel as though I haven’t accomplished much of anything. All I really have is work, the gym and my personal goals. Work is occupying my brain power during the day since it’s our busy season, and fitness goals could take up a little more of my time, but other than that I’m netflixing and not being so productive for myself.

So I’m changing my perspective. I originally started this blog to share my thoughts with others and write for other people. Now I’m realizing I was wrong or at least doing this for the wrong reasons. I should’ve been writing for myself and about what I love. Yes, I’ve enjoyed branding, design, interior decor and a number of personal hobbies, but now I’m writing from a different perspective. And honestly, it’s always helped me to understand things better by talking (or writing) things out.

I follow a number of fitness bloggers and a few of them have started their own personal blogs lately. It’s inspired me to jumpstart this one again. And use it to hold myself accountable for my own goals through the end of the year. At which point I’ll look at everything again and setup the ever-clichĂ©d new year resolutions. I’m hoping by putting them out here in writing for the time being, it’ll help me be more self-disciplined. So here they are:

  • Take my fitness goals seriously and stick to a schedule. Yes, life happens, and things get thrown out of whack, but that doesn’t mean you need to get thrown out of sorts too. One bad day does not make for a bad week. And this could turn into new opportunities if I put my mind to it. Bottom line, get real with BBG and maybe even start creating your own workouts. Three months of dedication and then reevaluate this one.
  • Decide on my next educational steps. I’ve always struggled through college courses and finding my niche. It’s not that the work is too hard or that I’m not interested in the topics. I just get bored with them too easily and find other things to occupy my time. Am I going to finish and get it over with, taking more time away from work? Slow and steady to finish this degree, or only a class or two at a time? You’ve got less than one month to figure this one out.
  • Stick to this blogging thing and see where it takes me. I dabble in many things because I have many strong suits (humility is apparently not one of them), which leads me struggling to keep doing one thing for too long. I simply get bored and can’t always delegate it to someone else so it falls to the wayside. These are my own thoughts though and I plan on writing for myself, so I need to keep with it even if that means a few posts a week in between (or during) my next Netflix binge.
  • Take control of my savings, spending, and money habits. I need to reign in the reckless impulse buys (i.e. bags and shoes I don’t really need), Starbucks snobbery, school debt, credit card undertaking and take a serious look at my finances. Bottom line is I know what I should be doing, I just haven’t been doing it and get distracted easily by shiny objects!
  • Allocate time for healthier cooking and meal-prepping. I eat fairly healthy a lot of the time, but I could be better. There’s always room for improvement! I was doing much better with this when I had less time with school and work. And I was spending a lot less on excess items then as well. I already knew this, but apparently I need to remind myself that I do better when I’m busier.
  • Focus on what I need, rather than what other people need. This may seem like a kick in the ass, or a little harsh to friends and family, but it’s just what I need. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get you going again – some TLC for yourself. And who else is going to do that other than me.

I think that’s enough goals for now. Time to get to it and update as necessary. If you plan on following along, please leave me your comments and thoughts on the journey ahead!

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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Blog Posts, July

JULY

It’s summer, again. The sun is beating down, we’ve just had another week of a heat wave and it’s just starting to cool off a bit. Clearly summertime is not my favorite season, but I power through and try to make the most of it. Although I love this warmer (emphasis on warm not steamy and sweltering) weather, I haven’t spent nearly as much time outside as I usually do and am feeling pretty pale and pasty.

I’ve always asserted that there’s two types of ideal jobs to have in the summer. You either spend your days in the wonderfully cool and breezy air conditioning indoors, or outside all day getting your tan on and soaking up the sunshine. For the last four years (wow, has it really been that long) I’ve spent seven weeks as a camp counselor getting paid just above minimum wage and having a love-hate relationship with the job. I’d be outside for eight hours a day, working on a lovely, golden glow, surrounded my munchkins asking many questions. Now I’m in an office where I love my job, but I miss the camp environment every once in awhile.

PROS:

1.Kids keep you young, you stay updated on all the latest trends and they are never afraid to tell you like it is to your face. It’s refreshing because no one else is ever as real as they are.

2. The sunshine keeps you tan and blonde until the weather turns cool and crisp again when the leaves start to change.

3. You get to spend some unforgettable summers with a crew that has your back and can become some of your closest friends. Especially during those long days on trips to waterparks and on buses where there’s not even a pitstop to pee.

CONS:

1. For me, too much time with other people gets on my nerves. And kids, at many ages, can be super annoying. It’s even worse when they knowingly aggravate you, but most of the time it’s out of love for their counselor (or at least that’s what I told myself).

2. Sometimes that farmers and sock tan from the constant sneaker wearing needs some tempering with flip-flops and a swimsuit, but I suppose that works out while you’re supervising poolside. However, the shorts tan will always remain.

3. Those same people who have your back tell it like it is with reckless abandon. They don’t owe you anything and can disappear to get a “real-job” from summer to summer. Don’t get attached or have high expectations unless they become your kleek.

Everything has its pros and cons and camp is no exception, but I’ll always be grateful for the experience. It’s something that has taught me a lot and shaped who I am as a person, and for that I can’t thank the kids and co-counselors, parents and mentors enough.

Here’s to the summers filled with memories that last a lifetime. Miss ya Chadwick – I’ll have to come and visit soon!

Love ya, hugs // ❀

 

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Blog Posts, Recipes

Uncle Something’s Stuffing

When I was a kid I was very shy, painfully shy. It was so bad that I wouldn’t be able to talk to extended family members whom I didn’t see that often. My one uncle, who I can now have full length conversations with, was dubbed Uncle Something because of my shyness.

It’s crazy to think that because of that I might’ve missed out on hearing his cautionary tales, learning from his super car-packing skills or experiencing his fabulous cooking abilities. The last one is the focus of this post because one of his best side dishes is his delicious stuffing and its also National Stuffing Day! Yum.

If you’d like to pair it with your Thanksgiving meal this Thursday the recipe is below – I highly recommend it!

Uncle Something’s Stuffing Recipe:

 

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Blog Posts, Family

NOVEMBER

Autumn is wonderfully crisp and breezy, not too cold, but not nearly as mushy as spring either. There’s so much hope and energy for the holidays to come, the seasonal energy buzzes through the air and everything is pumpkin spice perfection. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pumpkin spice junkie but ’tis the season.

Falling during my favorite season is my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. There is no stress, no last minute shopping extravaganza for forgotten presents, no guilt over overextending your wallets to accommodate the holiday. In my childlike viewpoint, there is only delicious food and family sitting around the table together enjoying each other’s company.

In reality, Gram is in the kitchen cooking, kicking trespassers and taste-testers out and shouting over the football game in the living room at Pop to carve the turkey. Aunts are corralling cousins with demands to wash their hands and set the table, uncles are setting up extra card tables and folding chairs to accommodate the crowd. Food is being spread along the counter in buffet fashion and everyone is scrambling to get a good spot at the table. It’s pure chaos, but it’s family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love ya, hugs // ♄

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Blog Posts

Make lemonade with those lemons.

I ramble. I write. I edit. I wonder. I ponder. I type. I post. I spew words.

It’s not something I was necessarily born with, but rather something that I learned to do. I’ve always been a good, well-practiced writer. Or at least so I’ve been told. It comes fairly easily to me. It’s something that doesn’t take a lot of effort. But I tend to step back from it whenever possible. I see writing, and putting words to paper, as work. It keeps me busy. Occupies my precious time. I’ve always liked being a multitasker and this takes away so much brain power that it needs my undivided attention. Which I don’t like.

It’s always been on my mind though. I’ve considered writing a book. A novel. Trying to get published. Becoming a young author. Maybe even a distinguished one. But that’s a lot of work. And dedication. I’m not sure I have it in me. Hell, I don’t even know if I have it in me to stick with this blogging thing. But I’ve put in the work toward setting up the backend. So I power through. If I don’t like it I can just stop. It can be a piece of me that I can always look back on. The organized chaos of my mind spilled onto the page in the form of ramblings. I’m a legend in my own mind. Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself. Either way, I’ve started this writing thing and am trying to make something of it. Even if it’s just a look into my younger self when I’m middle-aged and trying to figure out where I went wrong (or right) in life.

Read along with me and stick around to see if I can turn those sour lemons into some sweet, refreshing musings.

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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About Me, Blog Posts

A little food for thought…

Welcome. And beware. This is all about my ramblings and I have no idea where my thoughts will take me…to infinity and beyond? Who knows but you’re welcome to join me on this journey through my ponderings.

Maybe you’ll discover something new about yourself, maybe you’ll hate it and leave after half a post. Either way, I’m not here to judge you, but to work through my own path and share with you where life is taking me. I hope you join me and leave your thoughts as you pass through.

Love ya, hugs // ❀

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