Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of the Year Update!

Holy guacamole! I feel like it was just the other day when I was typing up my January 2015 resolution post and here we are - December 30, 2015. The year has come to a close and so have some of these "resolutions." Sigh.

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Well. I don't think I have lost much weight. I know for a fact I am the same size as I was in January. Harumph. That being said, I have absolutely been more active - going to 9round fairly frequently since May and taking the dogs out more often has definitely got me moving more in 2015. And we all know how weight loss works: Calories burned > calories in. Which means that I did pretty terrible at eating healthier this year. I am making changes though. I have cut my starbucks intake down substantially. I am trying to eat out less. I'm sure this "resolution" will carry on.

2. Read more. When I made this resolution, I meant to "Read more books." That didn't happen. I read a lot more blogs. I read a lot more articles. I did not read more books. I would like to read 15 books in 2016. I got the Harry Potter series for Christmas so I may revisit them. I just know I want to read more.

3. Save more money. So I did save more money in 2015 than in years previous. That being said, I also spent more money. So my end goal = not met. My trips this year were a little more costly than I anticipated. I did learn some new tricks on saving money/spending less throughout this year, so I am going to use those for 2016.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Heck yes. HECK YES. I have pared my shower stuffs down by about 50%. I don't have jugs upon jugs of laundry detergent anymore. I do still have too much in my pantry, but not in my freezer! I didn't get tempted by Bath and Body Works e-mails all year. I didn't cave in to the Ulta coupons every month (not even once!) I stood my ground and didn't buy shampoo just because it smelled good. I kicked this resolution's ass!

5. Ahhh. My house. Nothing exciting happened with my house this year. I kept paying off my windows. I didn't need any major appliances. While nothing beneficial happened to my house (like new anythings), nothing detrimental happened either (like requiring new things). I did have a tomato plant this year that grew three tomatoes! I also killed quite a few succulents. I didn't paint anything. The house laid low in 2015.

6. Traveling. 2015 was a good year for traveling! I went to Las Vegas in April, Omaha in June, and Washington DC in October. I bought journal for all 50 states and will hopefully start filling it out before school starts back up.

All in all, I didn't accomplish as much as I intended for 2015. Ideally, I would have lost 15 lbs and a dress size or two. I would have some epic tale I read and can't shut up about. I would have a few more dollars saved up. I would still have way less in my shower/pantry/freezer/laundry room. I would have a cuter house or a productive vegetable garden or something. I would have traveled a bit more. But that being said, I am happy with how my year turned out. On to 2016!

Monday, November 30, 2015

December Update

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. I have actually done pretty darn good about this in November. Killing it at 9Round (signed up for a YEAR membership!), cut back my starbucks to only twice a week (once on my days off, once on my work days), eating more meals at home, drinking shakeology every day (I have SO much shakeology!) I did start sipping on soda more... Gotta cut it out!

2. Read more. Ehhhhhhhh. Not so much. I had a goal to read 12 books this year. May not happen. Mandy gave me a couple recommendations for short books I can crank out in a couple days - I plan on checking those out. I still need to read 4 more! I would like to read 15 in 2016.

3. Save more money. Better than I was in September and October. Eating more meals at home helps this a lot. And so does cutting back on starbucks. I thought Kellianne was going to move out in December, so that spooked me a little bit and I signed up for extra hours. I picked up quite a few extra hours for the holidays.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Yes! Finally a resolution that I have stuck with all year long! My shower space and laundry counter space is proof! Now I need to tackle the stuff in my pantry.

5. Ahhh. My house. Ugh. My house. I am trying to pay off my windows quicker. Throwing a couple extra bucks at the payments every month. I love love love my windows. I love seeing a reasonable electricity bill and having an actual, functioning latch lock on my sliding glass doors. But dang it I hate paying for them!

6. Traveling. No big travel plans in the works just yet. I think 2016 will be a trip in March and maybe a little trip in the fall. Nothing crazy though (See goal number 3).

I guess next month I will be creating a couple new goals for 2016! Or maybe I will actually hold myself accountable for these again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Update

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Man I need to eat better. I think if I really worked on changing my diet I would be in good shape. Need to work harder at that.

2. Read more. I read two books in October! I actually did finish one of the books I started in August. Maybe I will keep chipping away at the others I started a while ago. They just aren't holding my interest. I made a goodreads goal to read 10 books this year. I need to read four before 2016! Which makes me kind of lucky that I have three sitting here next to my chair. Maybe I will reach that goal this year, which is not too shabby seeing as I did poorly until like, May.

3. Save more money. Gross. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm hoping for a good tax refund early next year. Lol.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Still chugging along at this one. I did buy some candles though, but only when they were on sale and only after I used up my inventory.

5. Ahhh. My house. One day my windows will be paid off and I will spring for new siding and a new roof. In the mean time. Sigh.

6. Traveling. No big travel plans in the works just yet. I don't plan on doing another trip until March - I'm not 100% sure that one will fall into place either. I kind of need to sit tight and save save save before I skip town again.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Update

1. Keep kicking ass at 9Round
2 Finish reading two books that I started in August
3. Work overtime
4. Hit the trail a couple times a week

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Sticking to it! I've actually started to notice more progress as far as my physical stamina goes. We have been walking a TON in DC (more than 15,000 steps every day) and I have yet to have an achy day!

2. Read more. Ooof. Maybe once it gets cooler outside I will do this more. It will be that goal to cuddle up with the dogs on the couch and read. I have bought two more books in DC. And I bought three a couple weeks ago. Now I just need to get into them! (And I need to finish the books I started back in August...)

3. Save more money. Oh. Yikes. Notice monthly goal number 3 - Work overtime. No joke. This DC trip was a touch more expensive than I thought (totally my fault. I tried to limit the souvenirs, but honestly, I will probably only ever be here this one time.) So I am working some overtime shifts. I am also working the big holidays (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day) to get the holiday pay + overtime. Gotta pay the bills!

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. This may be the only "resolution" I have stuck to consistently throughout the year. I have yoyo-ed on trying to eat healthier, trying to read more, trying to save more money, trying to get things done to my house. But I am using all my dang laundry detergent and all of my dang shampoo. I need to tackle my pantry.

5. Ahhh. My house. Lol. What a joke.

6. Traveling. I'm actually making this blog update from Baltimore, Maryland! Sarah and I have been planning our DC trip since March-ish. We drove through the night and got here on Monday the 5th. Checked in and hit Capitol Hill as soon as we got here. I'll have to make a second post about it all once i get home. Yeehaw! Bummer it will be my last trip of the year, but it has been a doozy!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September Update

1. Keep kicking ass at 9Round
2 Finish reading two books that I started in August
3. Clean house super well
4. Pay off credit cards (I'm so close!)
5. Clean out flower beds
6. Feel better about myself.

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. I've still been going to 9round a couple times a week. I wouldn't say I'm really eating healthier, but I'm trying. I went on vacation last week and really set myself up to fail. When I go to DC next month I am going to bring some healthier foods so I don't totally destroy everything good I have done.

2. Read more. I had so many plans to read on the beach. And then I forgot my cool beach chair. And there were flies biting me. So I didn't read very much.

3. Save more money. Back in the swing of things! I picked up an extra shift here and there so hopefully this will be easier this month. I need to keep my souvenirs in check when I go to DC.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Still doing well at this! I haven't had to buy laundry detergent or conditioner in over a year! I'm starting to do this more with my pantry and freezer. I didn't think I would develop such a strange habit (buying things before I really need to and then having an abundant supply), but looking back at my mom's hoarding habits, I'm really not surprised.

5. Ahhh. My house. I'm hosting a baby shower in two weeks. I need to tidy some shit up. My flower beds look horrible and are covered in weeds. I need to do those things that polish my house up a little. I did finally (FINALLY) rearrange my "office" so it is more user friendly. I am going to check out a couple office chairs to get for my table. The wood chair I have is definitely not comfortable enough.

6. Traveling. Sarah and I booked our condo for DC. I finally used I have looked at them a few times for imaginary vacations (Remember my plan to go to Orlando for my 30th bday? Lol lol) but never actually pulled the trigger. Hotels in DC are bananas expensive. Like, more than $100 a night for a shitty motel that is far away from everywhere. We found a couple places using airbnb and other websites that are the same concept. What's shitty is when you find a place that is awesome and get a reasonable quote and then go to book it and there is an extra $250 in "charges and taxes". We finally found a condo with no hidden charges or fees for $400 for 5 days and nights. We will have to drive to a metro and then take that everywhere, but we kind of planned on that when we decided to drive. Like I said, DC is kind of expensive. LUCKILY, almost everything we want to see and do is free!

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Update

1. Keep kicking ass at 9Round
2. Spend a bunch of time at the beach
3. Read two books in August
4. Pay off credit cards

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. I slacked for a minute there in July. But then I went to the doctor and found out I have actually lost 6 lbs! My coworkers have mentioned I look like I have lost weight. I don't really super feel that way, but I do feel like I have more muscle tone, which is awesome. I started drinking a meal replacement in the mornings, which actually doesn't taste terrible. And when I was drinking it regularly I did notice that I felt better.

2. Read more. I started reading Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance, which is unfortunately about online dating, which I hate. I can usually read about 15 pages and then I get frustrated. I KNOW THIS LIFE, AZIZ. I also started reading Lena Dunham's book. I've just always been a little annoyed by her, but so many people sung this book's praises. I just don't know.

3. Save more money. Oh man did I fuck this one up.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Holy cow I am still doing this! This seems like such a minor thing, but I am making a lot of progress with it and feel pretty good when I get to throw things away.

5. Ahhh. My house. I painted Kellianne's room. I got rid of almost everything from the basement. I finished my office table. My tomato plant has three legit tomatoes on it. I keep thinking about how I need a new roof and new siding and new gutters and new new new. It's a little stressful when I start thinking about it, but really because I only go down the rabbit hole. I wish I was handier.

6. Traveling. I'm hitting the beach this month! I have been picking up extra hours at the hospital, which is great. Making that paper. BUT I haven't had a traditional 4-off/3-on week in a really long time. They posted the August schedule, which includes a 4-off week! Beach time beach time beach time. It will be a little stressful coming back - travel day, two alabama days, travel day, work three 12-hour shifts! But if my Alabama days include beach time, I'm all for it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July update

1. Paint Kellianne's room
2. Get my stuff out of the basement
3. Read two more books this month
4. Finish office table/desk

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. So I have had a few sodas. And a couple more white mochas than I should have had. BUT I JOINED A KICKBOXING GYM. And I've actually been going and putting forth legit effort. I also started doing an upper body workout at home on the days I don't go to the gym. I know if I go too frequently and get sore I'll not want to go as much. I've been going twice a week - this week I'm upping it to three times. I've also been trying to walk the dogs to get them some exercise. I want to not be embarrassed in photos. Workin on it.

2. Read more. Yes! I did it! I decided I was going to read/finish two books in June. I finished Amy Poehler's memoir, read the last Gillian Flynn novel a co-worker loaned me MONTHS ago, and I read a book about the Columbine school shooting. I decided I would make a goodreads goal of 10 books for 2015. (4 down, 6 to go!)

3. Save more money. Doing it still. I backslid a little bit, but I'm back on track!

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. I *might* have gone to Bath & Body Works last week and bought a couple candles. Maybe. In my defense, I have blazed through (no pun intended) the candles I bought last year. My house now smells like something beach related. So much better than smelling like dogs.

5. Ahhh. My house. I transplanted my tomatoes from a little pot to a couple of bigger pots. I hope they don't die. It's too soon to tell. I am going to paint Kellianne's room this month. I started to work on refinishing a dining room table to put in my office. I didn't get too far on it. At all. It's now sitting in my garage like a workstation that I'm working on. Maybe I'll make that a July goal!

6. Traveling. Might have another little road trip in the works for August. My dad suggested Minnesota/Wisconsin - only 9 hours away! And turns out the Mall of America has an aquarium. So that might happen. Still gotta work out more details for October trip. 2016 will probably be limited to the Mexico family vacation. Maybe a small one in the Fall. Okay okay, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June Update

June Goals:
1. Finish two books
2. Open two more savings accounts
3. Get my stuff out of basement

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. I haven't had a soda to drink in over 11 days! I thought about cutting back and limiting my intake and blah blah blah, but the thing is, I'll end up drinking one. And then I'll drink one/day. And then I'll drink one/day at home and order it at a restaurant. Me + soda intake = slippery slope. So I'm trying to cut it out all together. I have hit the trail a few times, taken the dogs on long walks around the neighborhood. I slipped up and ate fast food a couple times, but I'm back on track with that too.

2. Read more. I will finish at least two books in June. New goal! If I can read 52 books in a year (long, long time ago), surely I can read 2 books in the month of June.

3. Save more money. Doing it! These savings challenges that I am doing are paying off (har har, get it?) I have cut out using my credit card for everyday purchases and unnecessary shopping trips. I continue to put a certain amount in my savings accounts each month and continue to put 5% of my daily purchases into savings too. I'll have my emergency account stocked up by the end of the year and have my vacation fund replenished too. Another June goal is to open two more savings accounts (one for annual vet bills so those don't take a big hit from my checking account and another for a rainy day (see "Ahhh. My house.")

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. I'm still pretty impressed with myself with this resolution. I threw away another empty shampoo bottle just the other day. And then, instead of going and buying a new shampoo, I pulled out a stocked and hoarded bottle from under the bathroom sink. By the end of the year, my shower will be empty! (And then I can celebrate by going out and buying MORE SHOWER STUFF! YAYYYYY!)

5. Ahhh. My house. That's it. I have a black thumb. All of my succulents have died. I kid you not. I put them outside for direct sunlight and then I forget and overnight it rains. Or I forget to put them outside and they don't get enough sun. BUT my tomatoes are growing! I have little blossoms! I don't know if I should just leave them in the pot they are in or attempt to replant. I worry my replanting may be the death of it. In other house news, Kellianne starting moving some furniture in when she moved out of the dorms. I really need to get my ass in gear and clean out my things from the basement (another June goal!)

6. Traveling. I'm adding this to my list of resolutions/goals. If I were to die tomorrow, one of my biggest regrets on my death bed would be that I haven't seen enough of this world. Hell, I haven't even seen enough of this country. I have been to 17 states. I'm thirty years old. I'm ashamed of my lack of traveling. My parents didn't travel much when I was growing up. We would vacation to my grandparents' house. We went to Florida once with my dad. When he moved to Alabama, that was the trip we made every year. I was always kind of a scaredy cat to travel much in college. I didn't really start traveling to new places until about 5 years ago.

One of my savings accounts is dedicated to traveling/vacations. I may not have a fancy house or a fancy car. Almost my entire wardrobe is from Old Navy or Target. But dammit, I go on vacations. I go on at least two trips a year. And I don't want that to stop. Last year was New York and Orlando. This year has been Las Vegas in April, Omaha last week. Hopefully Washington, DC in October (Sarah and I have officially taken vacation time!) I would like one of my trips for 2016 to be an out-west roadtrip.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Update

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Uhhhhh. I got a new fitbit, the Fitbit Charge, since it's an actual watch (a hideous watch, but a watch nonetheless) I have been wearing it all the time. I'm trying to hit 10,000 steps 6 days a week, at least. I have been eating healthier - cut out fast food almost completely!

2. Read more. - Maybe I'm just afraid of finishing Amy Poehler's memoir. Surely that's why I haven't picked it up to finish the last 50 pages. I actually need to get on this though - one of my coworkers loaned me another Gillian Flynn novel and I need to get it back to her. Maybe over "spring break". (Did I mention how much I hate going back to school lately?)

3. Save more money. Bills, Bills, Bills. Destiny's Child got it back in like, 2001. Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Can you pay my automobile bills? SON OF A BITCH. I absolutely LOVE my new car, but DANG IT A CAR PAYMENT WAS NOT SOMETHING I WANTED TO DEAL WITH.

I have been sticking with some of those savings challenges. For the months of May and June I am going to do the 5% in savings for every purchase (a "self tax" is what I call it) and avoid using my credit cards. Bah! I need to remind myself that I got them for the purpose of emergencies and that really is when I should be using them. Sales at Old Navy and buying makeup are not "emergencies".

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Still SO MUCH BETTER AT THIS! No matter how many e-mails they send me, I haven't gone into Bath & Body Works to buy candles OR handsoaps. I won't do it! I'm staying strong! I'm also eliminating shower supplies. I have successfully been able to avoid the "health and beauty" section of Target and Walmart for pretty much a year now. Which is both awesome and a little sad at the same time. And I have more 1/2 full shampoo/conditioner bottles under my sink still. Such a hoarder.

5. Ahhh. My house. I somehow managed to murder a succulent. I should not be responsible for replanting shit. Although, I have successfully grown tomato seedlings (which also falls under Resolution 1 and 3). Hopefully when it's time to plant them in something bigger or better, I won't totally fuck it up. I'm working on buying a weedeater so my yard will look a little nicer. I bought some stuff to hopefully replant where some grass has died. I need to clean up the patio and basement before too long. Kellianne is going to start moving some stuff in soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Update

Holy cow, guys! I have been kicking my resolutions' asses this last month!

Lol - April Fools. I have been pretty much the same.

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Definitely have gotten better. Eating more at home and less out and about. Cutting drive-thru fast food completely out, cutting back to starbucks on Sundays only. Once the weather continues to be nice, being more active will be a breeze. I actually spent 30 minutes outside cutting my front lawn today, so that was a nice change of pace with activity.

2. Read more. - Nope. (COME ON, RACHEL)

3. Save more money. LOL LOL LOL. So a couple weeks ago I was driving to meet Kurt for lunch. Driving behind a big moving van/truck that decided to stop their truck and throw it in reverse. They didn't see the Tiny Car that had been following them for 2+ miles. WHAM! Crushed the whole front of my car. A week or so later, I find out my Tiny Car has officially been totaled. So the whole, "save more money" dream turned into "now you have a car payment and your car insurance will probably increase and you have to pay over a thousand dollars in taxes". The good news is that I was able to get a brand new car (2015 Subaru Forester) that I can afford (hello, overtime pay). I definitely would not have been able to sell or trade-in my Tiny Car for as much as it was totaled out for, so although I was incredibly unprepared for this to happen, it is kind of a blessing in disguise.

I have also totally been kicking butt on my savings challenges. I found one where you put 5% of everything you spend in your savings account. So I go through weekly, add up everything I have used my debit card on, come up with 5% of that total and transfer it into a savings account. It ends up being about an extra $15/week in savings (ends up being almost $800 in savings/year!) I found one on pinterest where you put a certain amount/month in savings and at the end of the year, you end up with $1,050 in savings.

Dave Ramsey says you should have one savings account with $1,000 in it. That account is for emergencies. I should probably have that.

I also found a money-tip blog that has a link of 8 savings accounts people should have. ... I'm lucky that I have two. (When I opened them, one was to save up for annual vet bills - two dogs + cat = not cheap. and the other was for vacation funds.) Now I need a couple more, apparently.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. SO MUCH BETTER AT THIS. I haven't bought anything new for my shower in almost a year. I haven't bought laundry detergent in forever (I think one of my roommates left a big ole thing of laundry detergent, so I'm just riding the wave). Using what I have in my cabinets/pantry and buying less groceries because of it. (At least I'm kicking butt on ONE of my resolutions).

5. Ahhh. My house. 2015 will be the year of succulents in pots at my house. I have recruited Emily to help me come up with some cute arrangements for my bigger pots. Right now, I have a couple in the kitchen and one in the living room. Kellianne will be moving into the basement in a few months, so I kind of need to light the fire to get that worked on and ready for her.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Oh brother, oh brother. This hasn't gotten much better. I was on a really good roll there for a while. I didn't drink but maybe 2 sodas for the whole month of January. And then I drank a little during February and now I'm drinking them again on the regular. Gotta quit that shit. I didn't go to the gym for the entire MONTH of February. I went last week and my legs were KILLING me. I'm going to go again tonight and again either tomorrow evening or Thursday evening.

2. Read more. - Nope.

3. Save more money. Aside from some annoying incidentals I had to pay for with my house and my car (flat tire, plumber, etc) I'm doing pretty good. I haven't gone and bought clothes or makeup or anything like that for a while. I have been buying more decorative stuff for my house though, which has started to cost a little bit here and there.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. Getting better, but still not where I need to be!

5. Ahhh. My house. My basement has been finished for over a month and my painting table is still sitting downstairs covered in paint supplies. I just keep walking past it and ignoring the mess. I should probably do something about it this spring. I also need to clean out my garage, spruce up the basement patio and knock down a whole bunch of spiderwebs that are all over my front porch. I planted some succulents (I know it takes absolutely no work at all, but it made me feel like I did something). I have plans to plant some tomatoes in a big pot this summer and maybe actually plant some pretty somethings in the pots that live next to the garage (which I might move).

So basically I have sucked on all of my resolutions for the last 6 weeks. Whomp whomp.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1 month down - progress!

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. Oof! I did really really good for 3 weeks. This last week has been really stressful (oh hello, excuse!), but I'm back on the healthy train. I read a blog once from a woman who lost a bunch of weight and started gravitating towards a healthier lifestyle. One of the things she wrote that really stuck with me is when you "break" your diet, you don't have to completely throw up your hands for the day/week/ever. You just need to recognize that you cheated (maybe badly), but dust yourself off and get back on the diet horse. I need to remember that. I also need to get to the gym more. It will be nice when the weather is better and I can walk with the dogs.

2. Read more. As fun as my 1400+ page pharmacology text book is, it is hardly motivating me to read more. I'll get there. I need to avoid pinterest before bed and instead pick up a good book. (I'm looking at you, Amy Poehler's memoir).

3. Save more money. I am doing pretty good at this! One of my goals to reach before my 30th birthday was to have my two credit cards paid off. I put the travel expenses for my birthday trip on my credit card and will have it paid in full before I fly to sunny Florida! I found a good money-saving/budgeting blog while perusing pinterst and one of the suggestions was a challenge - don't use credit cards for 90 days and put 5% of whatever you spend from your checking account either towards a credit card balance or into savings. I'm a bit of a cheater, so I am only doing this for the month of February. Her blog also points out SIX (SIX!) savings accounts everyone should have... I don't know about ya'll, but I definitely don't have six and I definitely don't have the right amount of money in the ones that I do have... Going to work on that too.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. I'm doing so good with this in my bathroom - not so good with it in the kitchen. I have used up a couple bottles in my bathroom and have NOT replaced them with more! I have gotte a little better with the kitchen, but I have been trying to eat more fresh fruits and veggies and avoiding preservative-filled pastas that are stacked tall in the pantry. I'm getting there though! Slowly, but surely.

5. Ahhh. My house. I finished painting the basement! I got my stairwell painted (it looks so much better!) I have a couple thrifted pieces of furniture and have actually looked into refinishing them (spring projects)!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 will be a year of change.

Every January I jot down a handful of things I want to accomplish during the year. It usually includes the same things - eat healthier, be more active, read more, save more money, use what I already have, make my house cuter/better/safer/etc. This year I looked a little closer on how I can actually do those things and decided to make some pretty big changes. I know, I know. Studies show that when people make really drastic changes in their lives, they are less likely to stick with it than if they make small changes gradually. Well. Unfortunately, I'm not that patient.

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. For a couple years in college, I didn't have a car. If I couldn't walk somewhere, I had to bum a ride from a friend. I lived on campus, so walking to class wasn't a big deal and walking to my job downtown wasn't that big of a deal either. Combine being 19 with walking everywhere and you get to stay pretty svelte, no matter how much unlimited fountain coke you drink (at least, that was the case for me.) Then I got a car. Then I moved further away from work. Then I got married. Then I... Then I... Then I... I could rattle off all of the other reasons I became less healthy, less active, and gained more weight. The fact of the matter is, I got lazy and stopped walking as much. I kept eating less healthy foods (in fact, I probably ate even more of those less healthy foods because I thought Taco Bell was more convenient than anything else). And now, many years later and many excuses later... I am finally deciding to be more proactive in making myself be more active! The hospital is sponsoring a New Year, New U Challenge that involves healthy weight loss and healthy dieting. I would like to be down a couple dress sizes in a couple months and am working on that. Trying to hit 10,000 steps every day (including my "cheat" day). Cutting back (significantly) on soda and starbucks. Completely cutting out drive-thru foods. Sticking with foods that are closer to nature. Eating breakfast. Going to the free 1-hour classes offered at the hospital about nutrition.

2. Read more. Does it count if I am going back to school? I would like to read more for fun, but honestly, Friends just came onto Netflix and dang-o is it funny! BUT, I am going back to school to get my BSN finally. Two pre-reqs this semester and classes start in June. Whew. I don't particularly want to do it, but it is a necessary evil for moving onward and upward in the nursing world.

3. Save more money. Cutting back on soda and starbucks helps a lot. When I started at the hospital, I would get starbucks on Sundays as a celebration that it was my Friday. I had one more 12-hour shift and then it was my weekend. Then I started getting it on Fridays because it was my Monday. And then fuck it, I might as well get it on Saturdays too. And I don't get a $1 coffee. I get a $5-6 "coffee" - filled with syrup and sugar and milk and mmmmmmm. So tasty! But, it is also so bad for me (see resolution #1). What started off as a $6/week treat turned into a $20/week bill. Killing two birds with one stone by cutting it out. I'm also cutting out drive-thru foods and making myself cook more meals at home. $12.99 for stir-fry buffet when I have most ingredients at home and need to buy $5 worth of chicken (and get 3 meals out of it instead of 1) is a WAY better deal. I just found a "save money plan" on Pinterest. I am using one savings account for pet expenses, one for vacation savings, and one as an emergency fund. I'm not buying things I don't need. I get e-mails all the time from Ulta, Bath & Body Works, Old Navy, etc with "deals". I don't need any more makeup, soap, or leggings.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. When I was growing up, my mom had the habit of buying a lot of unnecessary things. The grocery store would have pasta 10 for $10. So my mom would buy 10 boxes of pasta. Do you know how much pasta we had in our pantry at any given time? About 10 boxes, because my mom would never actually make said pasta. That terrible habit of buying tons of unnecessary shit has passed through her blood and into mine. I didn't realize it until the last few years. A couple people have pointed out how much I have in my shower. Doesn't everyone have 4 different bottles of shampoo? 6 conditioners? 7 body washes? A couple face washes? Doesn't everyone have boxes upon boxes of pasta and oatmeal and hot chocolate? Doesn't everyone buy new stuff when they still have more than 1/2 of the old stuff left? NO. So, one of my resolutions (I actually started doing this last summer) is to use the stuff I have before buying new stuff. No shower stuff for a while. No pasta. No oatmeal. And holy cow is this going to help me save money.

5. Ahhh. My house. Last July I completed refinancing my house. It is all mine. Sonofabitch that is a lot of responsibility. So far, I'm handling it well. In 2014, I got new windows and doors (making it more energy efficient and safer). They also installed new shutters (making it look a hell of a lot nicer). This year I plan on sprucing up the front of my house a little bit more. Flowers or bushes or something. I am working on painting the basement (ugh. it just takes forever and is so boring). My brother may install a bathroom downstairs (would be pretty handy to have a bathroom down there). I need to start saving for a new roof/gutters. I also need to start saving to get rid of the carpet in the living room and hallway.

So that's where I am at. Being healthier, reading more, going back to school, using what I already have, saving money, making my house where i want to hang my hat.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before? I refinanced my house, making me the sole owner of my home. I went on a road trip with friends, went to a music festival, ate fried alligator. I went to New York and saw the Statue of Liberty. I went to Epcot!

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Same as last year - one of my resolutions was to travel more, so I did that.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No one super close to me.

Did anyone close to you die? No.

What countries did you visit? None - still just traveling stateside

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Even more traveling! I would like to NOT have any credit card debt.

What date(s) from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I never remember dates. I will remember going to HangoutFest in May, New York in September, and Florida in December.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Successfully refinancing my house. I own this bitch.

What was your biggest failure? Not starting my BSN program like I intended.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a really bad bout of the flu in March.

What was the best thing you bought? Uhhh, my house! Plane ticket to NY, more paint, windows & sliding glass doors!

Whose behavior merited celebration? Kristan moved to Chicago, which was a dream of hers, so that's pretty cool.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My mom got even more strange.

Where did most of your money go? House. Student loans. Travel.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Epcot! Hangout! New York! New windows!

What songs will always remind you of 2014? Taylor Swift, probably. Ed Sheeran, maybe.

Compared to this time last year, are you...
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer? Happier, the same, and the same. I'm working on being happier, healthier, and richer.

What do you wish you'd done more of? Saved more money. Travelled more. Ate healthier and been more active.

What do you wish you'd done less of? I wish I had worked less.

How did you spend Christmas? I worked 12 hours.

Did you fall in love in 2014? Nope.

What was your favorite TV program? Walking Dead, probably.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Hate is such a strong word.

What was the best book you read? I didn't read anything that wow-ed my socks off.

What was your greatest musical discovery? Lana Del Ray.

What did you want and get? I wanted to go places I had never been - did that!

What did you want and not get? I wanted to travel even more than I did.

What was your favorite film of this year? What If.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old? My roommates took me out to dinner at Stadium Grill. I turned 29.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Traveling more.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? Cropped pants. Riding boots. Uggs. Moccasins

What kept you sane? Friends, working, pets

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Daniel Radcliff

What political issue stirred you the most? All these "anti-rape" products.

Who did you miss? My dad.

Who was the best new person you met? I don't really know - Tyler. I didn't meet him until October though.

Was 2014 a good year for you? It was okay.

What was your favorite moment of the year? Sitting on the beach with Gianna the evening I got to New York. Or watching the fireworks at Epcot on NYE.

What was your least favorite moment of the year? Breaking up with Tristan. Ugh. He did not make that easy.

Where were you when 2014 began? I was at Room 28 with Lauren and Ashley and Hannah. I was the sober driver and I was in a really bad mood.

Who were you with? A lot of people from the hospital - Lauren and Ashley and Hannah were really the only people I chatted with.

Where will you be when 2014 ends? I was asleep in my hotel room after a 15 hour day at Epcot with Sharida and Kellianne

Who will you be with when 2014 ends? Family.

Did you break up with anyone in 2014? Just Tristen (Tristan? I don't even remember how to spell that).

How many different states did you travel to in 2014? New York and Georgia

Did you lose anybody close to you in 2014? Not really.

How many concerts did you see in 2014? I saw so many bands at HangoutFest. And then I saw Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zereos a week or so later.

Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2014? Nope.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2014? No

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year? No.

What was the worst lie someone told you in 2014? My mom telling me so many lies about so many things.

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2014 and change something, what would it be? I would have added more time to my September vacation and went to a couple more states around NY while I was there.

What are your plans for 2015? Quitting the law firm, picking up some more hours at the hospital to make up for it. Starting my BSN (ugh). Going on a birthday vacation! Living with Kellianne. Maybe going on another trip in the fall, but probably not another trip in the winter. Paying off all of my credit card debt. Losing weight and being healthy!