2019 Goals


Since I started my blog in 2013 (dang) I’ve shared my goals for the New Year. Normally, this would’ve been done with a reflection of last years goals, but honestly, I haven’t looked at those goals and I’m not ready for a reflection. It also would’ve been posted on either 12/31 or 1/1, but again, I wasn’t ready for that. So here we are, writing this on 1/2 because better late than never!

  1. Blog consistently and on a schedule. As you may know, I’m getting married this year. I’m also working a lot more and life is just a lot busier than it was in college. However, my blog is my passion, it’s one of the few things that I like to do so I want to devote time to it. I want to take time on Sunday afternoons to work on my blog. I’m really good at being lazy and my blog is the first to go when that’s what I want to do. I’m going to guarantee at least one post every Thursday.
  2. Make my bed every day. A lot of my goals this year are going to do with tidiness. I’ve been driving myself crazy. Don’t @ me mom, I know you’ve been telling me that for years. But really I’d like to wake up in the morning and make my bed.
  3. Tying into that, put my clothes away right after I wash them. Right now, they sit in my hamper, or on my chair until I either wear them or finally put them away. I’m lazy.
  4. Budget and save more. Right now, if I want something I just buy it. That’s so temporary and I really want to think about what I’m buying this year. Like I said, I’m getting married, so I need to start thinking more long-term about everything I do. We want a house, so I need to be more responsible.
  5. Prioritize my health. In 2018 I did the best with doing what I’m supposed to in terms of my health. I started going to doctor appointments regularly, stopped putting stuff off. There are a few more things I need to do (especially while I’m still on my parent’s insurance #honesty). Again, I need to start thinking long-term, I’ve been dealing with stomach issues for a long time, and still don’t know the cause. That kind of stuff, I’m taking care of this year.

Okay, so that’s that! What are your goals for the new year?

Our Engagement

On January 11, 2018, I went on a life-changing first date. I wrote a blog post the morning of, never published it because I didn’t know what to do with it. If you ask Joe, it wasn’t a great first date, but it was in fact, both of our last first date. 

By the fourth date, Joe asked me to be his girlfriend… I said no. I felt like it was too fast, little did I know! The second time he asked, on January 23, 2018, I said yes to being his girlfriend.

In February my apartment flooded, he met my parents for the first time in the worst circumstance, we were smelly, wet, and frustrated. He did amazing. It was during that time that I knew he was someone very special. For me- it was a very stressful experience and I don’t know how I would’ve handled it without him. 

From there, I’m not sure if there was ever a moment of doubt in my head that he was the person I was going to marry one day. We openly talked about getting married, having babies, and spending the rest of our lives together. He faked proposed a few times, usually just to get my eye roll reaction. When we talked about getting engaged I thought we really needed to wait at least a year- I’m not sure why, I think it has something to with the stigma of getting engaged early. 

It was around April/May that we decided we needed a vacation. We decided that in June we would visit his sister in Miami. It ended up working out very well, and we were able to meet up with my family for their vacation too. We drove to Miami, from Frederick, Maryland. If you ask me, that’s a true test of any relationship- romantic or otherwise, spend 16 continuous hours in a car with someone and you’ll learn a lot. We had a great time in Miami, I met his sister for the first time, and from there we started driving back. 

We then traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, where we met up with my family for a few days. Now, I didn’t want Joe to ask for permission to marry me, I just wanted my parents to know that it was a thing that was going to happen. Weird request, but I’m close with my parents, but I’m also not their property. I don’t need permission to do things, I’m 24. Anyway, while we were on vacation, Joe stayed up later than me one night with my parents and shared his thoughts and did end up kind of asking because apparently, it’s awkward just to tell someone you’re going to propose to their daughter. 

The next day, Joe, my parents, and I went to a plantation and learned some history of Charleston, I was wearing a cute outfit. We went back to the Airbnb, I changed out of my cute outfit to go on a walk around Charleston with Joe. Changing was a mistake because as we walked down a pier and it was just the two of us, Joe proposed. 

At first, I didn’t see the ring and I thought he was joking. He’s jokingly asked so many times, that it took a second for it to actually set in. He didn’t get down on one knee which I appreciate because that’s just not us.  The ring is absolutely stunning, I told him wanted something different and he did just that. 

I am usually very afraid of things moving quickly. I’ve always said I’m going to date someone for 5 years before getting engaged, as I’ve gotten older that number changed here and there to maybe three years. I guess, at the end of the day, when you know, you know. 

So now that I’m an engaged woman, there will be more wedding related content coming this way! Let me know if there’s anything I should specifically include! Additionally- all of our pictures were taken by my good friend Gabby! Follow her on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/gabbaline13/

Unselfishly Choosing Myself and My Health

I’ve made it a goal this year to get fit. Why? I think  I’m hilarious. My favorite thing about myself is that I can crack myself up in minutes and laugh about it for days. So what does that have to do with getting fit? Honestly, I’m not always a fan of my body. My body doesn’t make me feel the same way I do when I crack a really good joke.

The Why

The thing about my body though, is it’s what sustains my life. God’s given me one chance (well let’s be real He gave me a really good guardian angel so my clumsy self can get a few more than one) to live a really awesome life. I’ve spent ~23 years avoiding healthy foods, the gym, and really anything else that’s good for me because I didn’t like it. Yeah, that makes sense, I hate the gym and it makes me anxious, so why should I go? Well, I should probably go so I don’t get out of breath when I run up the stairs. I really don’t like salads and make I gross salad face when I eat them, so I haven’t eaten them. Well, they’re full of antioxidants that help me from getting sick, and they help make eating chips slightly more healthy.

Avoidance

The thing about being healthy for me has always been out of pure laziness and snacks taste better than veggies. It’s easier to grab takeout or fast food on my way home from work than it is to cook a healthy meal for one when I get home. It’s easier to heat up some chicken nuggets in the microwave then it is to bake some chicken. It’s easier to eat like crap. 

Acceptance & The Test Group

So to get myself to the gym I pay for I followed some fitness blogger, @DaniPowerYoga to be exact, and she kept posting about this test group. So in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to join. It’s day 12 and honestly, I’m already tired of it but I’m pushing through to day 80. This test

It’s not easy, there are a LOT of rules. I would be lying if I said I was going to follow all of them. I won’t. I’m trying to make myself live a healthier life and I’ve come to the realization that if I only eat what I’m told to for these 80+ days I’m going to go crazy binge eating when I’m done.

So I’m trying my best. I’m getting fit. I’m hopefully going to lose some weight and go on a vacation and feel great in a bikini after this.

2018 Goals

You had to know this was coming, so here are my 2018 goals! I decided to pick just 10 this year (again) so it is more achievable.

  1. Go to the gym a minimum of three times a week
  2. Work on transitioning my blog and online presence to more of what I want it to be and less of just quick fixes.
  3. Start working freelance
  4. Get organized
  5. Open an Etsy shop
  6. A solo-vacation (or maybe with friends who knows)
  7. Read 12 books
  8. Volunteer and be more charitable
  9. Write a book about blogging and publish it for the Amazon Kindle
  10. Eat better!

What are your goals for the new year?

2017 Goals in Review

Every year I review my goals. Normally, I do it twice and this year I didn’t want to do a mid-year review. Mostly because honestly, this is the first time I’ve looked at my goals since last January. L O L. 2017 has been a little rough- some really cool stuff happened and I might do a reflection piece all about that, but at the same time I’ve been creatively bogged down, exhausted, and often generally defeated. However, let’s dive into that as I reflect on my 2017 goals.

  1. Blog at LEAST three times a week. This did not happen. Obviously. I’ve found extremely difficult to manage my work writing and then staying motivated enough to come home and write more often. I did, however, write far more than I did last year, finally broke 500 followers (thank you everyone) and was proud of every piece I published. 
  2. Go self-hosted, break out of .wordpress (eek!!) Done! I thought it would be scarier because that yearly $100 price tag seemed high, but I renewed it this month with no hesitation. I’m content with my domain name and look of my blog (generally). 
  3. Get my first real adult job doing something I love. I’m working in my field- which I love that I’m using my degree. There are parts of my job that I really do love, however, this isn’t my dream job and my boss reassures me that it’s a stepping stone to doing what I really want to do- freelancing. 
  4. Move out of my parent’s house. I did! I *officially* moved to Frederick where I had semi-permanently lived over the four years of college. Now, it’s my home. 
  5. Travel somewhere cool. I didn’t go anywhere super cool and exciting- at least to most people. However, for me, I had a lot of fun going to BloggyCon and spending time with people who love the same things as me. Mostly, having people understand me when I talked was really cool too. After I went there, I took the long way home and visited a friend who is in Kentucky (hi Kellianne) which was just super nice. 
  6. Grow in my relationships with God and Jesus. That’s a personal question goal that I don’t need to delve into on the internet :) One day there will be a whole post on my religious views. 
  7. Learn something new I learned to embroider and knit this year! I’m not advanced at either but I’d say I’m a novice in both. 
  8. Eat better– i.e. eventually no more dairy or soy, the crux of all of my stomach issues I did- it didn’t work. 
  9. Find a therapist wherever I end up post-graduation to continue positively growing with my mental health. I didn’t do this. It turned out I dreading going to therapy. I’m still on medication and one day I hope to find a therapist that I connect with better but overall I’m okay(ish) where I am now anxiety wise. 
  10. Be creative all the time, in thinking, in daily life, constantly expanding my mind in creativity. Obviously, from the first paragraph of this post- this was trying for me. I’ve had creativity-block like others have writer’s block. It has impacted nearly every aspect of my life and has been incredibly annoying. However, this is something to work on again for 2018.

How did you do on your 2017 goals? As you can guess, my 2018 goals are around the corner!

25 Days of Christmas: Day 4- Mental Health During the Holidays

As you probably know, mental health is something I struggle with, anxiety specifically. That’s part of the reason I’m behind on my 25 days of Christmas.

In general, this week was very busy for me. Aka I started going to the gym and I’m tired. Other than that, I’ve just been very anxious and a little depressed so I don’t really want to fake a smile for my blog writing. That’s why I should’ve gotten ahead like I originally planned, but hey life got in the way.

I’m sure it’s not just me that struggles with mental health during the holiday season. It’s when a lot of people’s seasonal affective disorders strike. For me, I think it’s combined with my period like it is every month, and then just the general idea that I’m supposed to be happy and cheery for the holiday season. This time of year I think is stressful for a lot of people, but that’s not why I’m anxious. I think it’s important to note that anxiety isn’t always tied to stress, sometimes it’s not tied to anything. Right now I think it’s really hormonal mixed with some stuff I don’t really overshare.

Hopefully, this ends with my period, and I can pick up with 25 Days of Christmas. If it doesn’t I’ll try my best but right now, I’m just going with the flow (lol). If you’re dealing with mental illness struggles during this season, just know you aren’t alone.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 3

Last weekend when I was home wrapping Christmas presents I needed a Christmas movie to go along with it, I decided to go with the Netflix Original: “A Christmas Prince.”

This review may contain spoilers.

I am a firm believer that everyone loves a good Hallmark/Lifetime movie this year. It’s a great time of year to remember you’re alone and no prince is going to fall in love with you. Well, that’s exactly what happened in this movie. It was very much “The Prince and Me” but with the classic Christmas twist. They’re not in college, and of course, the lead is a struggling journalist. If you aren’t a struggling student, you have to be a struggling writer, that’s the classic plot of a cheesy romantic movie.

The new twist to this movie is that the prince’s sister is disabled. Unsurprisingly, the lead woman befriends the princess as she’s posing as her tutor. The princess is the first to figure it out, and the prince never really does.

As always, the relationship progresses relatively quickly and it ends happily. This is a perfect cheesy and romantic Christmas movie. On my scale, for good Christmas movie, I would give this a solid 7/10, if you’re a movie critic I’d give it a solid 4/10.

Let me know what you think!

25 Days of Christmas: Day 2

If you know me, you know I’m cheap. Spending money on things I (or someone I love) won’t use drives me crazy. Like yes, I make crazy impulse purchases, but I do use most of them. This is my first year that I’m really on my own, so I decided to make a Christmas card for Leslie and me. Rather than the traditional printed card you have to mail, that I’m assuming most people would just throw away after the holidays, why not save the money and put it on the internet? No one’s forgotten, everyone has it, it’s free and simple.

I decided to use Canva because it’s easy to use, especially since I already frequent the site. If you don’t use Canva (@Bloggers) use it. It’s how I make 99% of the covers for my blog posts. To edit the pictures I used Fotor, a Windows app that makes editing photos very quick and easy. The nice thing about Canva is that you have the option to scroll through their templates, some are free, some cost money. I decided to start with a blank slate.

I added grids which I could then just drag my pictures into.

We took about 30 pictures to come up with three.

This is what the final looks like in Cavna. To find the background and words, I simply typed “Christmas” into the search bar and both turned up, I thought they fit my brand.

So here’s my final card:

Enjoy :) Merry Christmas from Leslie and me.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 1

Merry 25 Days of Christmas! I know it’s a day late, but December snuck up on me. That just means that one day will have two posts! (Not today).

Today, let’s get into the holiday spirit with my holiday playlist. It’s based on nostalgia and iconic songs from my childhood.

https://music.amazon.com/embed/83d02467583342b4906b8a1dc2efd9b8sune/?id=hY34KVFLCV&marketplaceId=ATVPDKIKX0DER&musicTerritory=US

So these are the songs I would pick. Share yours with me- I’ll add them to the playlist! The ultimate collaborative holiday songs playlist!

Gift Guide: Gal Pals

I know, it seems early for Christmas/the holiday season but this is the first of the series I am doing leading up to Black Friday so you can make your gift lists before you go out shopping or spend a cozy cyber Monday in. I figure, why not start easy and simple: your gal pals.

I don’t know about you, but for my friends, I’ve always found it easiest to buy in sets and divide up the stuff and make a little gift set. In years past I’ve made mugs with their favorite quotes filled with winter goodies. Here’s what you’ll need:

All you need to do after that is write your bestie’s favorite quote on the mug, bake it (this site has a slightly different approach but also a great idea!), make sure to stick a little note in it that they can’t put it in the dishwasher, put on a ribbon and you’re done!

Now if you’re a planner, Etsy is a great resource. This year I’ve planned and been able to get a few things from there, however, a lot of the time if you want to get something personalized it’s going to take a few days for them to make, and shipping can be pricey. It’s not Amazon, no two-day free shipping. The quality is typically pretty good. Here are a few things I would recommend:

If you don’t have time to prep an Etsy order you can find so many great things on Amazon.

Let me know what you’re getting your bestie for Christmas! I left out my actual presents because I’d like it to be a surprise. There are a few hints though!

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