10/1/14

HAPPY OCTOBER

October is my favorite month. True, I love fall. November is special because of our anniversary. And, I really love Christmas.  But October? It's just such a fun month! Can you have a spirit month? If so, October is where it's at!!

image via the nester
And... I'm especially excited about this October because I am once again joining in The Nester's 31 Day Challenge. I'm attempting to blog everyday about one topic.

And my topic for this year? WEIGHT LOSS.


This was also last year's topic, but I managed to gain weight while blogging about losing weight (oops) so we are proclaiming this the do-over!

I struggled with whether or not I wanted to try and attempt this again. I mean, last year was kind of a mess! But, I feel like I'm in a much different place (literally and emotionally) and I'm actually really pumped to try this again.

I mean, what have I got to lose? Ya know, other than ALL THE WEIGHT that is WEIGHING ME DOWN.

I did start this post off lighthearted and fun. But, all kidding aside, my weight is a major frustration as well as an issue that causes me a lot of heartache. It's something I think about all the time, and would love nothing more than to be rid of it. If wanting was all it took, I would have lost all my weight a hundred times over. I'm an emotional eater...in the worst way. And, not only does my weight physically hold me back from some things (like running and skinny jeans) but I let it hold me back from pretty much everything. That is no way to live. THIS is no way to live.

So, I'm challenging myself to do something about it for the next 31 days. I know last year I didn't really put my heart into it. I just sort of went through the motions, often pulling a post together last minute. This year, I'm a bit more determined.  I'm setting goals and I will work like crazy to achieve them. Hopefully, that will be the spark that I have needed for so long. And, if it's the spark you need too? Well then all the more reason to do this.

I can't guarantee that I will lose weight over the next 31 days. I know it's possible and that I'm certainly capable of doing so. If I'm being completely honest, I would love to lose about 20 pounds this month. But, what I'm really going to do is focus on the steps. One foot in front of the other (literally and figuratively!). I'm confident that if I do the work, the weight will come off.

I admit, I'm a little scared to share all of this. There is definitely a comfort in hiding behind the computer screen. But, hiding has only ever caused me to gain weight. And unfortunately, I'm at he point where there is no hiding that.

Of course, I don't want this to be all serious and solemn. So I will be sure to throw in some fun stuff along the way!

Each week, I will share a list of things I want to accomplish for the week. And starting next week, I will be doing a weekly "Weigh In Wednesday" post. If you want to join in with that, I would love it!

Basically, I'll be sharing most aspects of my journey for the next 31 days, starting with an introduction to my "weight story" tomorrow. I'll talk more about my plan for weight loss as well as sharing my food journal and some healthy (and delicious!) recipes. I'll share my workout playlist (I have lots of these, which is weird, because I don't actually work out!... but that is about to change). And lots of other fun things like goals, rewards, and sources of inspiration.

I'm really so excited to be doing this. And, if you made it through this epic post and decide you want to come back and follow my journey? Well thank you!!!

MY GOALS FOR THE WEEK (10/1 ::  10/7)
Blog everyday
Work out 3x
Drink 88 ounces (min) of water everyday
2 Fruit (min) and 2 Veggie (min) everyday
Track all food/activity
Take before pictures and measurements
Go to my WW meeting (Tuesday nights)
Cook 4 meals at home (we are so bad about this)
Make rewards list (more on this soon!)
Daily to-do lists (I need a list to be productive!)

9/30/14

GOODBYE SEPTEMBER

I'm a little sad to see the blog-tember challenge come to an end, but I've had a lot of fun. And I have some fun stuff planned for October!

Today's prompt: A farewell coffee date. Take some time to breath, sip a warm drink, and share with your new blogging buddies.


via
I thought I would start by saying thank you to all the new readers (and my old friends too!). The last couple of years have been a roller-coaster and blogging definitely took a backseat. It's been so fun getting back into it though! 

Secondly, I thought I would go over my September goals. I am writing this post a 6 in the morning, so I may have to come back later today and update anything I complete (look at me being optimistic!). Of course, it is 6 in the morning and I'M STILL AWAKE, so I may accomplish absolutely nothing the rest of the day. 

September Goals
1.  Hit the 15 pound lost mark (GOING TO WEIGH IN TONIGHT, WILL UPDATE LATER)
2.  Organize my  paperwork (I did manage to somewhat organize the student loan stuff)
3.  Excercise at least 5x  
4.  Read 5 books (3/5... ALMOST DONE WITH 4 AND 5... SO CLOSE!)
5.  Blog more 
6.  Redesign my design site (IN PROCESS! HOPE TO FINISH TODAY!)
7.  Get me a spirit shirt (buy or make) for Dalton's football season
8.  Go to church (we are trying new churches)
9.  Complete a vision board
10. Help C empty storage (WELL, I DIDN'T HELP SO MUCH AS STAY OUT OF HIS WAY)
11. Refinish media cabinet
12. Get curtains for living room
13. Finish paperwork for school
14. Make calendar of important dates and mail cards/get gifts
15. Do something about my hair (cut and color?) GOT IT CUT, NEED TO COLOR STILL!
16. Backup photos from phone (I've NEVER done this..eek)
17. Get/make a fall wreath
18. Picture a day 
19. Make 2 new recipes (1/2... AND I MADE THAT ONE RECIPE A COUPLE OF TIMES.)
20. Watch the Cowboys WIN (We are 3-1 people... 3-1! This past weeks game was AMAZING!)

I did okay. Clearly I could have done better. But, I also know that I could have done a lot worse (do I say this every month?) Oh well, it's the truth! Maybe October will bring even more productivity!
October Goals
1.  Hit the 20 pound lost mark (I may modify this after tonight's weigh-in)
2.  Organize my  paperwork
3.  Excercise at least 8x  
4.  Read 5 books
5.  Blog everyday for the 31 Day Challenge
6.  Get a spirit shirt (buy or make) for Dalton's football season 
7.  Go to church (we are trying new churches)
8.  Refinish media cabinet
9.  Get curtains for living room
10. Finish paperwork for school
11. Make calendar of important dates and mail cards/get gifts
12. Get hair colored
13. Get/make a fall wreath
14. Picture a day 
15. Make 2 new recipes
16. Get rings inspected and cleaned
17. Unpack 5 boxes from storage
18. Deep clean apartment
19. Continue working on budget
20. Watch the Cowboys WIN (I'll need help with this one!)
*Make daily to-do lists so that I can stay on top of things!

Whew. A lot of those are obviously things that have rolled over a month or two (or ten). Here's to getting them marked off (for good!) this month!

I'm so excited about my 31 Day Writing Challenge for October. I participated in this last year and I'm actually doing the same topic (31 days of weight loss). I'm feeling super motivated right now, and after a lot of thought, I decided that I would try it again. Hopefully, it will be beneficial for me (and others!) 

I'll be back tomorrow with an introduction to that as well as my plans for the month.

Have a great day!! 

9/28/14

HIGHS and LOWS

Happy Sunday y'all!

Plugging along with the blog-tember challenge another day. I have loved doing this so much, that I have decided to do another challenge in October, which I will talk about more on Tuesday!!

Today's prompt: What were your highs and lows for this month?

When I first started thinking about this, I (ever the optimist) figured I would have no problem coming up with the lows. But really, I only came up with a few! And, most of them directly correlate to a high. So... that is exciting. Maybe the tides really are turning in my life. Lord knows I'm ready for that!!

I'm going to start with the lows. We can get them out of the way first thing...and then focus on the good stuff.

:: My diet has been just awful. We have been eating out way too much. We try to do mostly salads and grilled chicken. But still. I need to up my domestic skills and start meal planning and making healthy dinners for us. We are seriously considering doing Whole 30. But, the few times we have tried to start it, poor planning has caused us to get off track (usually within a day or two). Ha.

:: I'm REALLY frustrated with just about every aspect of my life right now. This has led to a bunch of meltdowns, including one really big one the other day. But, I feel like I'm on the verge of making changes, so I think this is just sort of the emotional workings of all that.

:: My allergies. They have been super, super bad this past week. I may claw my eyes out today.

:: The heat. I realize I have no control over this. But, by mid-September every year...I'm just OVER it. I hate feeling sweaty and gross... just walking to my car.

Okay, so those are really the only down points I can think of this month. I mean, I'm sure there were lots of other little things, but the fact that I can't even recall them quickly gives proof they couldn't have been that bad, right?

The highs!

:: I mentioned being frustrated with my life as one of my lows. This is unfortunately something I've experienced for many, many months (years?!). The sad thing is as much as I wanted change, I never actually wanted to MAKE the changes. Hey, at least I was being honest! NOW? I'm ready!!! I feel like the last few months have really pushed me to my breaking point. I'm excited to start changing things up!!

:: I've only lost about 9 pounds since I went back to Weight Watchers earlier this year. I've maintained that loss for about 2 months. BUT, I'm okay with that. At least it's not going the wrong direction!!!

:: My baby niece turned 2!! Love her bunches.

:: I've started blogging regularly. And, I LOVE blogging again. I had just got so burnt out that it wasn't even fun anymore. Again, I'm thankful for Bailey and her prompts this month!

:: I made a to-do list (this isn't anything new) and I'm actually marking things off (this is a new thing! haha). I'll be sharing that on Tuesday also, but I'm pretty excited to have had a fairly productive (by my standards) month! Accomplishing these goals (even the small ones) empowers me to set even more goals. Here's to an even more exciting October!

:: FOOTBALL is back!!!! Amen.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!!!

9/27/14

WANT THIS PLEASE :: FASHION/ACCESSORIES

The last weekend in September! Can you believe it? Only a couple more days of the blog-tember challenge left! Thanks again Bailey for coming up with all these prompts! It has really helped me to blog more this month.

Today's promptWhat's on your wish list?

one/two/three/four/five/six/seven/eight/nine


I'm a shopper. Mostly, I limit it to window shopping (see: budgeting). Sometimes I take a picture of something at the store... and if I keep thinking about it, I may go back and get it. Or, if I'm "shopping" online, I might bookmark or pin whatever strikes my fancy. Ha. Anyways, these are some of my most recent "wants" I've kept track of.

one// Cheetah pashmina from Kohls. I LOVE this. It's really inexpensive too. The only problem is that I don't wear a lot of scarves (I feel silly in them). Well, that and when I went to go pick this one up this past weekend (I was feeling brave!... and I had gift card) they didn't have them in stock. UGH

two// Victoria's Secret PINK / Dallas Cowboys shirt. Sequins y'all. I see this one in my near future, actually.

three// Brighton ring. I love Brighton. At any given time, I want about 40 things from that store.

four// Riding boots from Nordstrom. I LOOOOVE these, and they are a really good price.

five// Quilted leather jacket from Nordstrom. To match my boots, obviously.

six// I need to go to the eye dr. I need new contacts and glasses in the worst way. I'm thinking about doing prescription sunglasses too. That sentence makes me feel old...but how convenient would that be on bad allergy days (like today, for example).

seven// Kate Spade pink earrings. Cause they are cute, yes?

eight// Juicy wristlet from Kohls. I saw this last weekend and almost got it. I don't really have a need for it...but it's SO cute. And looks really well made too.

nine// Acqua di Gioia. I got a sample of this the other day. It smells SO SO SO good. And the scent stayed with me. I could smell it on my pillow a day or two later. I'm putting this on my Christmas list for sure. I have pretty much worn the same perfumes for years and years. It will be nice to get something new!

What's on your "wants" list?

9/26/14

FRIDAY FIVES

I keep seeing girls link up their 5 on Friday.  I used to link up to another one a while back, but it has been on hiatus for a while (just saw it's coming back next Friday!) . SO... I knew I'd have to jump in and join this one!


1. I debated skipping the blog-tember challenge today as well. The topic is great (how have you changed in the last year), and it is something I want to address... eventually...when I have a bit more time to think about that. But, I thought I would share just a little. If you don't know my story: the last 2 years have been the most difficult of my life. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 6 months later. Our sweet cat (who was basically my child!) passed away at the first of June this year, and three weeks later, my mother in law died rather suddenly. We've moved twice...with the majority of our belongings packed away in storage for over a year.  I've attempted to eat away ALL that sadness (which has only really succeeded in making me struggle with my weight even more). SO... I feel like I don't have anything positive to share for how I've changed in the last year.

Obviously, I do realize that I have changed over the last few years. The main thing that has stuck with me the last two years is that LIFE IS SHORT. It's here and then it's gone. I remember when my mother in law was in the hospital, C and I kept saying how quick this was all happening. It's like she was okay one day and the next, she wasn't. I don't wan't my "one day" to come too quick, ya know? I want to make sure I'm living, truly living, all of my days...so I don't have any regrets.

Of course, the "wanting" and "doing" part of my brain don't communicate well. So we are sort of stuck in a rut right now. Maybe next year, I will have amazing, inspiring, encouraging story of personal growth to share?!

2. On a lighter note... we are actually getting all of our stuff out of storage this weekend!! Hallelujah!! We have two dressers that we had bought right before we moved. I have big plans to refinish them and use one as a buffet in the dining room and one as a media cabinet. Here are some of the ideas I am loving (do y'all follow Noteworthy Home on facebook? You should!)

one/two/three/four
3. We need a new couch. We've had ours for 6 years...which doesn't seem like that long for a couch. I guess we got a new couch every 10 years or so growing up? I don't even remember!! But, it's showing some definite wear and tear. I don't want to spend the money on a new one, so I'm thinking about buying some foam and adding it inside our cushions. Has anyone done this? They are so flat right now!! I do know that the next time we buy a couch, we are going to spend a little bit more and get a really good quality one. I want a big leather one! I can't quit looking at these tufted ones.

top/bottom
4. The State Fair of Texas starts today! I haven't been in YEARS. But, my best friend's husband is performing there this weekend (The Commandant's Own). C and are going to try and get out there for a bit on Sunday! Charlie told me the other day that he has NEVER been to the fair. WHAT?!! He's so weird! Ha. After 14 years together, he still surprises me.

5. We managed to go for a walk the other day. I know. I should have told y'all to sit down before I revealed that. Ha. I hated every single second of it, but was so proud when we were done. Also... a 20 minute walk made sweat like crazy and I was actually sore afterwards. Proof positive that I have GOT to start doing more. A girl that graduated with my sister lost a bunch of weight after high school. She has been SUCH a huge inspiration to to me. And... I just found out that she is moving into the building around the corner this weekend!!! I'm going to try and talk her into making me skinny too! Ha.

Y'all have a great weekend!!

9/25/14

LET'S TALK BUDGET

I'm skipping today's blog-tember challenge. Mostly because I didn't look forward and plan accordingly to do the guest post.

I didn't look forward and plan accordingly.

Ladies (and guys, if you are reading)... if ever there were a statement to fully encapsulate my lack of maturity, there it is.

And, as such, I thought it was fitting that I continue to confess my sins to y'all on this lovely Thursday.


Oh my goodness. I am the worst at this. It's weird, because my husband was really responsible with his money before we started dating. And, I'm really really good at numbers. I also have a type A personality (with exceptions). So, you'd think creating and sticking to a budget would be cake.

Not so much.

I'm type A personality in so much as I can assure it will be perfect and without conflict. This is obviously a rare occurrence. So mostly, I'm the exact opposite of type A. Ha.

I mean, somewhere in my mind (bless it's heart) if it can't be perfect, it should be a complete mess. Makes sense.

When we were first married, we did Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church. We loved it! We were inspired! We were motivated! We were going to be debt free! We were going to be rich! We were going to give give give!!

Until we got ready to do our budget. C was working weird hours (and got paid per hour- not salary), plus he had a side job with odd hours. I worked part-time, never making the same each month (and I only got paid once a month). I was also doing freelance design stuff (as I am now) and that is never consistent or reliable. So when I sat down to do our budget and try to organize everything... all I had to work with were estimates and guesses. WHAT?!!! What if I under budgeted? What if I over budgeted?

TOO MUCH!!!

So, I didn't do it. I mean, we went from using our credit cards and writing checks/using our debit card to paying cash for everything. And that was great. We tried to pay our bills PLUS some extra as to pay down our balances.  But we never got on the debt snowball train. We never got 'gazelle intensity'.

And, nearly 6 years into wedded bliss... we are pretty much exactly where we were. We aren't worse off (which is a blessing, of course). But we definitely aren't any better off (big picture, I mean). Sure, C only works one job and makes quite a bit more money (yay!) but our rent (yes, rent) is higher as well as most of our monthly expenses. Granted, we don't have to scrape together pocket change to buy dinner of the dollar menu at the end of the month (yay!) but I really thought that we would be in a much different place at this point in our marriage (and certainly at this point in our life).

I had an EPIC melt down yesterday. I don't know what happened, but I just got super frustrated.... WITH MYSELF. After bawling for about an hour about approximately 295 things, it boiled down to one question: "how did we get here?"

If it can't be perfect, it should be a complete mess. 

And it is. Everything in my life that brings me heartache fits into that statement. Relationships? check! My weight? check! Dreams and goals? check! Family? check! Budget? check! check! check!

But, one thing at a time. And as overwhelming as all those issues are, budget seems the easiest to tackle.

So, after reading Hannah's post, I read Victoria's post. And then I sat down and crunched the numbers. I got aggravated and threw crumpled up pieces of paper on the floor. But, I now have a framework budget in plan and I've even started labeling my envelopes.

I keep reminding myself that this is a learning process. It doesn't have to work perfectly the first month. Or the second or third. Or ever, I guess. But, as long as I'm not moving backwards or running myself ragged and basically staying in place... then I'm progressing, right?!

C and I do have big dreams and goals. It's high time we start looking forward and plan accordingly!!!

Do y'all budget? Do y'all do the envelope system? Do y'all pray? Ha!  Cause I may need it!!

9/24/14

FALL BUCKET LIST

I love to-do lists. LOVE them. Of course, we've already established that I'm far better at making lists than completing them. But, that is neither here nor there. In my defense, accomplishing more things on my to-to lists is actually something ON my to-do list.

Some of my favorite "lists" are things I want check off during a particular season. And, my favorite season is FALL, so naturally, creating a fall bucket list is something I thought I should do!

And, that just happens to be today's blog-tember challenge!

Today's prompt: Your fall bucket list. What do you want to do before winter rolls around?

There are lots of similar type lists on pinterest. I thought I would take some of my favorites from those lists and add a few of my personal to-do's and create a little Fall Bucket List for myself (and you, if you're interested!).


Our temps are still in the upper 80s/lower 90s. While that is better than the 100 degree days we had over the summer, I just can't wait for the temperature to dip a little bit more!!
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