Favorite Bloggers

I was recently inspired by Eventbrite, to go through my list of blogging gurus, (on the right side of my page), and decide if there were any I would love to meet and talk to, ask questions, and pick their brains. There are many that have inspired me over the years with my own blog, crafts, cooking, and DIY life hacks. Maybe I can send their names your way and they can inspire you too! You check out Eventbrite’s online registration page, a great resource for organizing and registering conferences locally.

Elsie and Emma from “A Beautiful Mess” are always beaming with colorful inspiration. From clothing re-do’s to fashion to crafts, I wish I had the time and creativity to do what they do. Elsie and Emma

Andi Mitchell and her blog “Can you Stay for Dinner” is inspirational on so many levels! Not only are her food photos mouth watering-ly delicious, but her journey on how she lost (and kept off!) over 135 lbs is motivational to read. I just got her cookbook, “Mostly Wholesome Cooking” and can’t wait to try the recipes. (Buffalo Eggrolls, I’m looking at you.)

Andie Mitchell

Another foodie fave is Manger, written by Mimi Thorisson, journalist and chef, and someone living one of my dream life scenarios… She cooks, she entertains, she lives in a beautiful southern French in Médoc and makes the most amazing looking food (thanks to her photographer husband). Please invite me to dinner.

mimitomatoes-710x536

The couple that bought and are fixing up an old French Chateau, Chateau De Gudanes, are a couple of people that I would like to meet. FIRST. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. You’re doing an amazing job and I love your journey, your photos, your perseverance! I want to do what they are doing and would love to talk about their ups and downs, regrets, choices, and how they made the choice to take on such a beast of a remodel.

Some great and frugal design inspiration for me is “You Paid More Than Me”,  blogger Steph finds home design inspiration, and then finds ways to make or places to buy said designs for cheaper, and it looks good!

I’d say inspiration is out there somewhere, you just need to know who to ask, and where to look!

Age Really is Just a Number

So now that I’m in my 30’s I get down now and again about feeling “old”. But something I have realized recently is that AGE IS JUST A NUMBER. It’s technically the number of years you’ve been on this planet, and that’s all! It’s how long you’ve been on Earth while it’s rotating around the sun.

33

If you treat your body poorly, you’ll die sooner, and your body is “older”, with a sooner expiration date than someone that’s healthy. If you treat your body right, and eat well, sleep enough, don’t smoke, get exercise, then your body is younger, extending the expiration date. You keep your body in better shape overall, and you’ll live longer, and your body is technically “younger” than someone actually younger than you in years that treats their body worse than you do.

What a brilliant concept to think that I’ve been on this earth 33 years and my body feels the same / better than it does when I was 25. That means I’m fixing to be around longer, and all of the work I do for my longevity, keeps me running smooth, like taking care of a classic car. A classic car from the 50’s can run longer than a car from the 80’s if it’s taken care of better. So I’m going to stop worrying about my “age” and how “old” I am compared to those around me, because you’re only as old as you feel. Ah, age is really just a number, after all!

New Years Resolutions Tips

So it’s that time again. The time when you start making promises to yourself and those around you, to make life changes for the better. I do it every year! What are you resolving to do, really? Be the best version of yourself that you can be. Does it sound cliché to say that you should do that all year long, anyways? But what better time than January 1st to jumpstart your goals, abilities, and mindfulness. Now I won’t tell you what to aspire to resolve, that’s up to you. But when you’re jotting down goals for 2016, why not keep some things in mind.

New Year

  • Try to think about health, career goals, family, money you want to save, talents you want to fine tune, taking a class to hone in on a skill or learn something new.
  • Travel. The world is so small! Why not resolve to visit a new place this year? Even if it’s in the state you live in.
  • How about spreading your goals out over 12 months, one new goal per month.
  • You can even make a jar to fill with notes, like jot down things that you want to do, things that make you proud or happy, or even memories. Then next new years you can read the notes and remember the previous year.
  • So… weight loss. We all resolve to lose weight and get in shape. But when we don’t “lose 20 lbs” like we want, we get discouraged and quit. Why don’t start small, and work up from there? Resolve to exercise 150 minutes a week. Resolve to eat organic, raw, or just healthier in general. Resolve to wake up an hour earlier a day and have a good breakfast, and take a walk. Baby steps! Here’s a great article on the subject.
  • How about a reading resolution? My night stand looks like the return pile at Barnes & Noble. I have so many books I want to read! How about instead of watching reruns of NCIS I can read a book to lull me to sleep, aiming for one book a month. Here’s a great list of books on self improvement.

Try this print off to get you started from Life with My Littles! And here’s another one that’s pretty good too from Hitha On The Go.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Should-a, Could-a, Would-a, 60 Day Experiment

We all have our should-a could-a would-a’s. I should drink more water. I should take more vitamins, get better sleep, wash my face more often, eat better, spend less money. I should keep in touch with my friends and family. If I only worked out more I could be in better shape. I could have saved more money if I didn’t buy this and that. Can it make you happier? Well friends, I’m going to embark upon a should-a could-a would-a 60 day experiment and document my progress, trials, and successes. I’m going to do all of the things that I tell myself ALL OF THE TIME that I should do more of.

barney meme

Now that I have some time in my schedule to do what I want, when I want (other than the craft fair schedule, that one isn’t adjustable), I’m going to do the things I always tell myself I “should” do and do them. A lot of these things just means incorporating healthy habits into my daily life. Things I’ve shoved to the wayside that I should get back. They say it only takes 21 days to form a habit. Let’s see about that.

My “should” list that I will do for the next 60 days:

  • Drink more water. (Some days I realize I didn’t drink ANY water. That’s bad!)
  • Drink more green tea / tea in general.
  • Take a vitamin / vitamins every day.
  • Work out 5 days a week / get healthier and feel better.
  • Use the Spin bike I got off of Craigslist.
  • Read the piles of books I have sitting around.
  • Meditate / Do some cognitive behavioral therapy to better my self esteem.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Wash my face at night with the expensive anti-aging face wash I bought and use the even more expensive night creams. I bought them and I barely use them. I lazily use those wet wipes for your face and then fall into bed.
  • Save money and not spend it on silly things.
  • Organize the bins and bins of things I’ve kept forever in the basement.
  • Eat less meat.
  • Eat more greens / fruits and veggies.
  • Eat out less, cook at home more.

And how will I accomplish such feats? How will I stay on track?!

Ok, here’s how.

  • I’ll start a blank book / journal to keep a checklist of the things I want to do, and make sure I check them off throughout the day. Smartphones have alarms for a reason. To remind you to do things. And they have apps you can download that help with almost all of the things I wanted to do.
  • Go to the vitamin store and get 60 days of some awesome all natural multi vitamin. And maybe some vegetarian protein powder for my post workout shakes.
  • I will pre-fill water bottles in the morning and make sure I drink them throughout the day with either timers or times of the day taped to the bottles. I will set out the Green Tea packet in a mug ready to be filled with water in the mornings.
  • I will set alarms to get up in the morning to work out, and sleep in my workout clothes if I have to. I will come up with a routine to stick to and post a dry erase board on the wall of the workout room with a calendar drawn on it to stay motivated. I have the P90X DVD set, weights, yoga mats, a spin bike, rubber band thing-ys… what am I waiting for?! Oh, I know, I need direction. I don’t just want to go at this whole workout willy-nilly and make up a routine. I’ll find one online or ask a personal trainer friend to help me out. It’s time to end the excuses! (Did anyone else just picture Susan Powers screaming “Stop the Insanity!)
  • Spending less: If something is not detrimental to my survival, it will not be purchased. Sorry friends that want to go out to eat! Sorry new nail polish! Sorry Target clearance sweater, I know you’re only $5.99 but no! Not for the next 60 days… Sounds boring, I know. But I also have a fiancée that may be kind enough to pay my admission into a $5 movie on a Tuesday so I won’t die of boredom. To help I’ll even make a sleeve for my Debit card that says something like “Will you literally DIE if you don’t buy this?” on it. The only thing I can answer yes to is food.
  • Make a “once a week” goal for something around the house I want to get done. Donate things to Goodwill, clean certain rooms, paint other rooms… And put those goals into my calendar app!
  • Watch less TV at night and pick up the books I have laying around and read them at night. Maybe during breakfast and lunch too instead of browsing Pinterest.
  • Do daily affirmations. No, not like Stuart Smalley. Like, look up ways to raise self esteem and follow the experiments. Make lists of things I love about myself, banish bad thoughts, and use the app I downloaded for that, Happify.
  • Eating out less and at home more will be easy when I go grocery shopping for some great food that will help me stay on my healthy eating schedule when I work out 5 x a week! Also, if I want to go out to eat because I’m too lazy to cook, that’s what the organic microwave burritos from Costco are for. Ten of them in a box for $11, it’s literally just over a dollar a burrito. I can manage that.

Ok so you probably wonder why I’m spilling my goals into my blog. It’s because once I post this, It’s PUBLIC. Others know about it! That keeps me motivated. Knowing I told someone I was going to do something makes me feel more obligated to do it. So here goes! Starting September 1st and for 60 days after. I’ll also log my progress with all of this and let you know how it’s changed my mentality / mood / body. Wish me luck!

 

10 Things that Made Me Happy This Week

Every now and then in the midst of the life of a person ridden with anxiety (everything can and will be dwelled upon and instantly thought about in the worst case scenario) I have to think of things that make me happy, so I can remember to breathe.

1. Having Brunch with my girlfriends. We checked out a new place in DePere called the Creamery, and it was amazing. Our talks always end up being over 3 hours, and include a lot of wine (or in this case, champagne) and are always very cathartic. I cherish the time we spend together. I also cherish the red velvet waffles with espresso whip cream we shared…

brunch

2. Knowing how much money Matt and I will save after we canceled the wedding and started to plan to elope instead. I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and it feels good.

3. Re-arranging the living room, and seeing the cats enjoy the room from another angle.

cat tower

4. Just splurging and buying dairy creamer instead of almond creamer. I am trying to make healthy choices and cut back on dairy, but the Almond creamer is nutty when it gets hot and I’m not a fan. So I just got what I know I love, and don’t regret it.

5. My girlfriend borrowed me the book “Gone Girl” and I can’t wait to get started! I saw the movie already, so I know what’s going to happen, but the book will be a totally different experience.

6. I went to a Kentucky Derby themed awards ceremony last night and had the opportunity to wear this hat in public. I also saw a midget pony, and had a great time with friends.

big hat

7. Cooking pasta to the perfect al dente. I mean, yum! And with a home made meat and tomato sauce, you can’t go wrong. And BONUS, the leftovers re-heated perfectly!

8. Completing the fabric walls at the nautical restaurant I blogged about last week. I’ll do a post on how we got there, but it was 14+ hours of hard labor, and totally worth it!

jimmy seas

9. Filling the fridge with fresh groceries. I splurged and got over $150 in fresh and awesome ingredients, (as well as tea and almond oil so I can make a face mask,) and it makes me happy knowing there will be healthy meal options in my kitchen.

10. Playing with my friend’s new Boston Terrier pup, Talula. What a pleasure playing with a little 5 pound ball of excitement like a puppy! I swear you can’t be in a bad mood when you have those big eyes looking at you.

talula

I encourage you to take a moment and make a list of 10 things that made you happy this week!