2014 Resolutions (aka getting my sh*t together)

After I made my list of things I wanted to do this year, I looked it over & was noted that all of the goals fell into 3 different categories: health, accountability & financial fitness.

My biggest area of focus was health.  Here are my goals & methods to get healthier in 2014:

  • Running Challenges
  • Drink at least 6  glasses of water a day
  • Go to Exercise classes 1-2 times a week
  • Track meals & exercise (I use the myfitnesspal app)
  • Cook meals for Mike & I at least twice a week
  • Bring & eat breakfast on the way to work at least 3 times a week
  • Drink at least 1 cup of green tea daily
  • Try to cut out carbonated beverages/drink sparingly

My next resolution is to be more accountable.  To do this, I pledge to:

  • reply to snail mail within 2  weeks
  • blog at least 2 times a week
  • finish 4 fmsphotoaday or other challenges
  • keep up better on the household chores
  • be more punctual

My other resolution, to be more financially fit, is one that I’ve been working toward for a few years now.  I might be a little bit too optimistic, but I think this could be the year that I become debt-free.  I also have virtually no savings.  To remedy this:

  • I plan on using the snowball approach, where I take out the bills one at a time.  With my new position, I get paid the same amount every week, so I can plan accordingly.
  • I also plan on following the 52 week money savings challenge, but in reverse.

52-week-money-challenge

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Hello 2014!

A big welcome & hello to 2014!  I, for one, am sure glad you’re here!  2013 was ok & certainly interesting for me.  It held a lot of sadness, but that sadness turned into a big change & set up for the future.  All in all, I am excited for a new fresh start with 2014, however, & I’m excited to see what’s next.

Hello August!

Wow, July went by fast.

Here are some things I’m looking forward to in August:

  • August 1-4: My uncle & his wife & their new baby are coming to visit! They live near Washington DC & we usually only see them once a year or so (usually around the holidays).  I haven’t met my new cousin yet, so its super exciting!
  • Their visit also coincides with one of the biggest festivals in our area, the Speidie Fest & Balloon Rally.  The Speidie Fest celebrates our local specialty, the speidie.  Speidies are cubed marinated meat eaten as subs or sandwiches.  We have concerts every day (B+ usually).  This year Night Ranger & LeAnn Rimes are coming.  Also, Tobey from Pretty Little Liars.  I’m excited to be running in the festival 5k this too.  It’s going to be a family affair, as my mom, brother, uncle, & aunt are all running it too.
  • August 11 will be a busy day.  I’m running another 5k.  That race will benefit my coach’s daughter who has cancer.  After the race, my brother & I will be going to see Blake Shelton.
  • The rest of the month will be crazy busy with work.  My entire company does the corporate catering at a big golf tournament.  Tim McGraw is playing a show on the first night.  Right after the golf tournament (I’m talking the day after!), my unit heads an hour north to do the backstage catering & riders for all of our state fair grandstand performers.  Its all very fun but also tiring.

I think its all going to pass in a whirlwind!  & then it will be September!

July Check In

So far July has been an interesting & positive month. Things are happening! I’ve been busy, which I prefer! Here are some of highlights (& maybe a couple low points):

  • July 1st marked what could have been one of the low points. My family went out to celebrate my brother’s birthday & had one of the most terrible meals ever. 8 of us had to cram around a tiny little table because the restaurant only had small tables & wouldn’t let us combine any. The music was super loud. & we found hairs in 2 meals (mine & my boyfriend’s). & to top it all off, the restaurant didn’t discount or take anything off the bill. It could have been a really terrible experience but I think it actually goes down as a funny anecdote. My grandma & I kept looking at each other across the table & laughing. Afterwards, we went to my grandparents’ house (as usual) for cake & presents & in keeping with the theme of the night, the power went out due to a bad storm. Memories were made & it is one of those dinners that will go down in history.
  • On July 3rd, I attended a picnic with my Toastmasters club. Normally Toastmasters is a pretty formal club & we don’t necessarily socialize very much, so I always enjoy when we do. Its not Toastmasters without speeches, though, & we heard a particularly great speech from member Kristy.
  • July 4th is not just America’s birthday, but also my brother’s! Most years we have his celebration on that day, but this year we had it later in the week. Instead, my boyfriend & I attended a picnic at his aunt’s house. We had a great time!
  • On July 6th, (I promise I’m not telling about every day this month!) I helped cater a retirement party clam bake. It was really hot & kindof uncomfortable, honestly. The clients had an ice cream truck come though, which was neat!
  • July 10th & 11th marked some great beginnings & getting back to some of my roots. I attended a volunteer orientation for the local hospital. I’m very excited to start there (tomorrow actually!), but more on that in a little bit. The 11th was a busy day for me. I went on my first shopping trip as part of the Red Cross shoppers program. As part of the shoppers program, I grocery shop for house bound clients. It felt good to help & my client was so appreciative! After shopping, I was off to help run the finish line for the runner’s club. I had missed the running community. It was a great way to spend the day.
  • The next day was just as busy! My brother was lucky enough to win season passes to a concert venue about 2 hours away from us. One of the shows that was included was Victoria Justice & Big Time Rush. He decided to take my 8 year old sister & I tagged along. We had a lot of fun. She slept over at my house after too, which she hadn’t done before. In the morning, we all went to a festival downtown for a little bit, until I had to go into work to cater a wedding. All in all I had a great time with my siblings.
  • On July 15th, I went to a local minor league baseball game with some fellow employees & my boyfriend. It was the first one we had been to of the summer & sweltering. We did get some nice breezes sometimes though, & it was good to spend some time outside doing something a little different.
  • I had an appointment with what I like to think of as the hospital volunteer guidance counselor on the 16th. I felt like I got a lot of out the appointment, besides just my placement. I am going to be volunteering in the retail pharmacy (using my pharmacy background) one day and on a patient care floor the other day. Part of me is excited to go back to my pharmacy roots. I’m most excited to get new experiences on the patient floor, however. Honestly, I would love to work at this hospital, if the whole food service & catering thing doesn’t work out. Well, actually the food service is what’s supposed to be the fall back.
  • The last few days have been busy with work. I worked for 3 different accounts, doing 3 different kinds of things with varying hours. I like the variety though.

    Oh& big news! My boyfriend’s baby nephew was born on Thursday July 18. Still waiting excitedly to meet him!
     

Blog Every Day in May: Day 1

I said in my very first post that I liked all of the 30 day challenges that are flying around the web these days. I already participate in 1 photo challenge & I think I’ve decided to add 2 more, just cause they’re too cool not to. Well, I was randomly surfing the web sometime last week & I found this Blog Every Day in May challenge. I really liked the author & decided to give it a try. Honestly, I’m not really sure about it. I think it might be a bit too ambitious, especially with such a new blog. & I know that in reality, I won’t physically be able to blog every day (due to work & other real life commitments) but I think that I can commit to writing 31 posts based on these prompts. So, without futher ado, here is

Day1: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph… no one will be counting your words… probably)

I live in the area where I was born & grew up. My brother is about 4 years younger than me. My birthday’s September 5 & I was really excited to go to school when I was little (I started kindergarten on my birthday!). Looking back now, I realize I was pretty geeky all growing up, but I didn’t think I was at the time. I had a group of friends & that was enough for me. High school was not like all those movies that were popular (10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, & so on). I know that we had our cliques, but we didn’t have any Mean Girls. All throughout high school & even middle school, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher & planned on it. I went to college 2 hours away from home (a state school but not that far away & in a different telephone area code, those were my main criteria). Anyway, I was at college & started taking some of the teaching classes & I decided it wasn’t actually the field for me. I knew I needed a major but I couldn’t decide. Eventually, I decided on Psychology, mostly because the classes were interesting & I did well in them (not really thinking about my career goal). After graduation, I went back to working as a Pharmacy Tech at my local Rite Aid, where I had been working since high school. This got old pretty quick. After a couple detours, I ended up working with AmeriCorps for 6 months. After that, I basically fell into my current job as a catering & concession manager. I had worked a hot dog stand for 2 years & got a promotion literally by being in the right place at the right time. & that’s where I am now. Working at an arena & living with my wonderful boyfriend (our story has some detours & wrong turns too, & like the quote says, I like our story best)th). Sometimes, I’ve had what seems like a million things going on & sometimes it seems like nothing is happening. Now I’m in a place where I’m trying to truly find my happy pace.

If you want to take a look at the rest of the prompts for this challenge & maybe take part go here:

 



 

Target Tuesday!

I really love Target (& really, who doesn’t?). Honestly, wandering around Target is one of my favorite things.  I like how everything is clean & bright & shiny.  & they have the best designs.  Just really the best stuff.  & don’t get me started on the 1 spot.  They always have such cute things there.  Anyway, my “objective” today was just a few household items (groceries & bath stuff).  But of course I had to look in some other aisles, too.  Stickers & stationery & other lettery fun things are always on my mind these days so I checked out the scrapbooking aisle.  $30 later, here’s what I ended up with:

 

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  • A mini Smashbook.  I’ve been thinking a lot about scrapbooking lately, but I’m not really sure where to start.  I’ve seen Smashbooks online & checked them out in stores & they seem like a  good place to start.  I got the mini book & we’ll see how it goes.
  • 6 sticker packs.  I love stickers & they are so hard to resist!  I’m really excited to decorate some happy mail with them!
  • 2 notecard packs (one from the 1 spot & one on clearance).  Can never have too many notecards, right?
  • the boring stuff I came for

So overall, it was $30 for 12 things, making them about $2.50 each.  (I always do this “math” to try & make myself feel better about purchases.  Not a bad trip at all!

 

*& no this wasn’t sponsored, but I wish it was*

Beginning (or Thoughtful/Thankful Thursday #1?)

I have been kicking around the idea of a blog for awhile now (at least a few months or so).  I follow a lot of great bloggers on twitter & I really enjoy reading their tweets and interacting with some of them.  I think joining the IGGPPC really is what gave me the push I needed.  So I decided to just go for it (blogging is just tweeting but longer, right?).

Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve been so excited & so inspired.  I have lots of ideas running around in my head.  I guess this post is me trying to work out my plans.

  • I know that sometimes I get really excited about things & over commit. I’m trying to remedy that here.  I thought that assigning topics for certain days might help with that.  So far I’ve come up with: Mail Call Monday, TV Tuesday, Thankful (or Thoughtful, I can’t quite decide yet) Thursday & maybe Favorite Friday (Friday is harder to commit to though, because of my work schedule).  I think I will start these next week.  sidenote: It strikes me as ironic that I started this blog on a Tuesday; usually I have to start all new things on a Monday
  • I also like the idea of all those 30 day challenges, so I might do some & write about them here.  One of my favorites is the fat mum slim photo .  I started doing them in February, but I haven’t been able to complete one yet.  Gonna keep trying though!
  • I have struggled with punctuality my entire life.  I’m not even exaggerating!  I got a few lunch detentions in middle school & probably high school because of tardies.  My late boss was fairly flexible about this & never seemed to mind if I was a few minutes late (I usually run about 10 to 20 minutes late).  But yet another consequence of his passing is stricter rule following all around.  I really need to remedy this problem.  I hope if I write about it here, I’ll be held even more accountable.  One of the blogs I follow, the Money Saving Mom    had a 3 week program about making mornings better.  I think that I will try to follow it now.
  • The IGGPPC will probably get their own post later down the road, but I’m feeling so excited about them right now that I’ve gotta say some things about them!  Honestly, when I heard about it, I kindof just signed up because it was about pen pals & mail.  I do love my mail.  Since becoming a part of the party, life has been way more fun!  This is a group of the most creative, kind & fun girls around the world, for sure.  & I really love that one of the founders is only an hour away from me.  Local girls making a worldwide impact.  So awesome!  Anyway, I’m really excited about all the side projects coming from this group, be it the group-wide geek girl notebook, the house GLaDOS traveling notebook, the goodreads groups (yep, there’s one for the group & one for the house, too!), or the group blog (hogwartsgirls), its all so exciting & fun!  I’m just so thankful to be a part of it!
  • I honestly don’t really like to say much about current events.  I have my opinions & you have yours.  I know that you’re not likely to change your mind based on what I say.  But I have to talk about Boston.  The event hit me really hard emotionally.  I’ve been fairly emotional since John’s passing in general.  & that will probably be its own post sometime, too.  So far I’ve just been in the “we miss him & we’re sad all the time but where do we go from here” stage.  I don’t even ask the questions like how & why.  I think those might hit me later but right now I still just miss someone who was my friend & extended family & mentor. Boston makes me ask those questions.  My Team in Training coach, Harland, was there.  He’s ok but I was upset for him.  I am a runner.  I know I’ve said on here that I’m not really a runner anymore because I don’t do it, but I will always be a runner & my heart is just so sad for the entire running community.  Of all the groups to target, you go after runners, really?  These are the most kind hearted, determined athletes, people around.  & speaking of kindhearted, my heart has been happy with all the support that’s been given to Boston. This response from Mr. Rogers’ mother about scary things in the news has been floating around a lot & its become one of my favorites : “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people helping. ”   I hope to always be one of those helpers.
  • Ok, one decision made!  Thankful Thursday HAS to happen!  I guess it can be Thoughtful sometimes too, but always Thankful!

So today’s Thankful Thursday is:

I am thankful for connections, new & old.  I started this post talking about my new IGGPPC connections.  I am so thankful for them.  I ended this post talking about my connections within my work family.  I am so so so completely thankful for them.  The last five years have changed my life & helped me grow so much.  & now their support (of me & each other) is helping get through a terrible & difficult time.

update: OMG!  I am extra thankful for wordpress’ saved revision area!  I almost lost this whole post!  I’m such a newbie!!