Friday, July 21, 2017

Top Ten Reasons to Run in the Morning

1. Coffee. This could be the whole list, honestly.

2. No makeup, which is awesome just because, but also translates into your skin being able to breathe better during and after your run, as well as no extra awful sweat-stinging of your eyes mid run.

3. Great reason (excuse, if you need one!) to go to bed early or at least, at a reasonable hour. #sleephygiene

4. Nothing will wake you up like a morning run.

5. Taking your morning shower post run is a super efficient use of time! There is no need to shower multiple times in one day.

6. Getting your run done in the morning beats the heat of the day during the summer time! The sunrise during any season is beautiful and invigorating.

7. Nothing that happens during the day can ruin your motivation and/or time for your run...because it's done!

8. Energy,  mood, and focus is all impacted for the (way) better for the remainder of the day.

9. You will be hungry for breakfast after your run, setting yourself up for better health by actually eating breakfast. (I'm talking to you, meal skippers!)

10. Happy and healthy groovin'. Enough said.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Daydream is Over

Good morning!
Totally have a fake smile on this morning because today I go back to work after ten days off!

Wow, did I enjoy that break! I found myself in a different kind of groove, a song and dance instead of a ball and chain! Some ideas about the way I want to live in the future were born; it was an exciting and creative few days.

Over the years my job has changed a lot. The pace has quickened, minor issues immediately escalated, work off shored. Our job title has changed to "Coordinator". I no longer DO the work I once enjoyed. Balance went out the window with the ability to work from home. It's sad to see the days of a "normal workday" no longer around. It's even more upsetting to feel what that feels like.

So, like my writing project that I haven't yet pinned down, I'm not sure where I'd want my career path to take me next. What am I looking for? What do I have to offer? How can I contribute something meaningful to the world, while being able to support my little family financially? Could it be done within the company I'm working for now?  I need to ask a lot of questions at this point in my life, and remember to keep a positive perspective. This is a beginning (it can easily feel like a dead end).

And now, of course, with my findings and all of my thoughts...another great question to ask is how I'll show up to work today and do my best?

What do you do for work? How did you choose what you do? Has your job changed during your time there?  What do you like to do when you take time off?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Never Give Up, Even When It's Terrible

I can say with certainty that over the years I've engaged in a slow, rolling start to my dream of being "a writer". I absolutely want to write. I've always wanted to write, and here and there I have written a few different things. Nothing very noteworthy, though some pieces more significant (to me) than others. It's really that I need to write. A living, breathing story is ready to burst, but my odd dilemma is that the face of it remains a mystery to me. Oh how I want that certainty!
I'm hoping that with practice and invitation, the creation will come forward. It may not, but if I don't try, we will never have the chance to meet.

So I'm starting again, now. In a year, if I haven't written anything, it will just be a year later, a year of inaction, a year of the same dreams burning a hole in my heart. What good is that? I know my writing will be terrible (and look, it is), but I'm going in anyway. Up until this point, my life has had a low grade fear fever fueling most every move - including trying to write - and I'm ready to apply the ice. I'll save fear for it's correct application, battling a fiery dragon, say, or running from a hungry tiger. I would have something to write about, then...

Image result for never give up on your stupid dreams

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On the Eve of Pie

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

The holidays are officially upon us! The traditional work stress-storm was right on schedule, alerting me that something big is happening tomorrow. Must. Get. Everything. Done! And then eat pie and leftovers and slog around in pajamas for a couple of days. Yeah!

Here's an embarrassing BEFORE shot of my nails. All these years I've called them my nails but let's be honest...there's not much nail there to really consider. They ARE growing, however! I have been obsessed with making sure I'm moisturizing, going as far as wearing cotton gloves to bed to encourage these nubbies to do something interesting and inspiring while I sleep. I also bought a giant pair of kitchen gloves to use while I do the mountain of dishes that appears in the sink every day. I know, sexy.

I'm super excited.

Then...remember my incredibly eager plan to exercise 6 days a week?
1. I DID IT! For two weeks in a row. It was great...and hard to motivate, even though I could feel the beginning of an addiction being born.
2. Week three, THIS week, is, well, not nearly as successful. Work got crazy busy, which totally killed my time and energy. I'm also just not sure I could maintain a six day a week exercise program. It was a lot to juggle, though like I said, I enjoyed the actual exercising part.

I need to go GRAB MY PUMPKIN PIE OUT OF THE OVEN but I just wanted to pop in, say hi, display my extremely short nails so I have amazing documentation of the first day of the rest of my (nails) life...

Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy every last moment and morsel.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It may be just a little something...but it adds up to a lot

Hello! I'm out from under my rock!

It's a lovely early morning, celebrated with a big cup of coffee, Christmas jazz playing on Spotify, and my BLOG in front of me. My blog! It's been a long time.

I'm resurrecting this site because I've always loved to write and need a place to really focus on it again, get my thoughts on "paper" and practice! I actually keep a handwritten journal as well, where I keep more personal thoughts, perhaps. There is just something about using a pen and paper to communicate my thoughts that I will never be able to leave behind. I've kept a journal since I was maybe 8 or 9! Doing so is part of who I am.

The second reason I'm back (hello! hi!) is because I am embarking on a few new things and am dying to record my progress and use my blog as a tool to keep me motivated!
What are these new things, you ask?

1. I'm currently on a Spending Diet and plan on going on a full blown Spending Fast for one year, come January 1, 2017. This means I will only be spending money on Needs. Not Wants. Oh how hard this will be. I'm practicing now and it is hard. Doable, but difficult. Especially with the holidays around the corner! The reason I'm going on such a journey is because the cloud of student loan debt has gotten big and black enough that I'm ready to work harder to eliminate it sooner. Bob and I have big plans and it feels like we can't move forward with this hanging over our heads. I thank Anna Newell Jones of for introducing me to the terms and ideas.

2. I'm growing my nails! Me! The person who has LITERALLY bitten my nails for as long as I can remember. I've grown them a few times (sadly, not even a handful, I don't think...pun intended, kind of) in my life and I always go back to ruining them. This time it's going to be different (ha! We've heard that phrase before, haven't we? I'm using it anyway, because I believe it). This time I'm simply just full-force-full-speed-ahead growing my nails and not looking back. Lotion. Hands OUT of my mouth (I'm 37, for Pete's sake. Embarrassing). The dangling carrot is a nice holiday manicure and some sort of sparkly thing for my finger...see 2a.

2a. Okay so the manicure and sparkly thing go against point #1, I see how you may note that. However, I am determining nail care as a Need. I've had maybe one manicure in my entire life and it was before my sister's wedding over ten years ago (cripes). If I am going to have nice, normal person nails, I need to maintain them. I need help doing that considering my idea of maintenance thus far has been to chew them off. Enough said.
As for the sparkly thing...that's a long term plan. I'm not spending money on that until I'm out of debt. I can't. It's not a Need and I know it. I have a while to go before I'm out of debt, but it's an exciting reward to think about and a great motivator.

3. Exercising on the regular. Like six days a week. I can't think about it too much or I will talk myself out of it, even though I like exercising and feel so much better even after only one full week of six days of 45 minutes (per day) of aerobic exercise. This week I'm on day 4. I am going to the gym tonight. It's happening. I got the idea of six days from a book I'm reading about aging healthfully, called Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley. It's geared more for people of a slightly older age than I but I know I can also reap great benefits from taking care of myself NOW, not waiting until I'm older and it's even harder to create a new routine. Aside from the physical benefits, exercising does MAJOR things for my mental state. I can easily fall towards the depressed side of things, and exercising really keeps that at bay. It's huge. The pain of going to the gym when I don't feel like it is nothing compared to the pain of living under a heavy blanket of negativity and fear. 

That's my list! It's a big one, and I'm ready to tackle  it. I hope you'll join me along my journey; I'll need all the encouragement I can get. In return, I'll be sure to entertain you with stories, setbacks, learnings, and my AMAZING PROGRESS that I'm going to make.

Good to see you again! 

Friday, October 10, 2014


So. I have to give kudos and thanks to a blog I stumbled upon the other day, called And Then We Saved (blogger Anna Newell Jones).  She totally motivated me to want to make a significant change in my relationship with money (and the black cloud of student loans that hangs over my head). She paid off a ton of debt in one year by going on a Spending Fast; she also talks of a Spending Diet, which I'm thinking about starting once I have a chance to wrap my head around it.

Anyway, this week's money saving efforts:

Worked from home a few days this week, saved on mileage/gas

Brown bag lunched other days!

Recycled brown paper grocery bags for an art project I'm currently involved in

Borrowed ebook 'Your Money or Your Life' from the library, to get a little motivation/learnings under way

Saved/washed/dried Ziploc bag I brought one of my brown bag lunch sandwiches in to be used at another time

Had oatmeal for breakfast this morning in order to use browning bananas and not let them go to waste (though I do try to always freeze any bananas that are on the edge if I'm able to catch them at a reasonable time)

At the last minute, saved a plastic yogurt container from going in the garbage! Washed/put away

Turned unecessary lights off as I noticed them on/trying to make a more conscious effort to do this!

Ate leftovers instead of just pushing the Tupperware to the back of the fridge as I might do otherwise (therefore letting it go to waste).

Made/making food for a friends visit (that will last beyond her visit) instead of going out to eat at a pricey restaurant!

Kept to my list at the grocery store and shopped the lowest prices/sought out the store flyer.
My store-card missed getting swiped through at the right time, so it didn't get counted. I then waited at customer service to get $1.46 back. Ha! Normally I would have just said 'oh well, next time...and eaten the loss (literally). Hey, it's $1.46!

Confession: At the grocery store, I bought ice cream, which was not on my list, so here's me trying to rationalize:
A) I bought a quart instead of those little individual portions that I usually buy
B) I bought a flavor my boyfriend also likes so at least we'll both benefit from the purchase!
C) I bought store brand which was a lower price than the other name brands.

I'll learn.

Speaking of learning, the other night I did an exercise where I added up the money I spent on groceries in each of my last two billing periods. It was absolutely astounding. I don't have the details of each item I bought at this point, (but I have created a space for my receipts and will be reviewing these at the end of the month for better understanding of exactly where my money is going in the future). Anyway, while groceries are fine and necessary, obviously, I have a bad habit of going to the store multiple times in one week, perhaps for an item or two (and of course leaving with 7 or 8, see my ice-cream rationale above). I have another bad habit of going to a particularly expensive grocery store chain for a lunch-salad once in a while and then browsing around the store afterwards, always finding just a few more items for the week... This habit is a) unnecessary and financially wasteful and b) just an ineffective way to 'relax' - the browsing, looking at new items maybe, or just attractive packaging, etc. I AM that consumer who is suckered into something that 'looks good'. I do pay attention to prices (though at this store, this is a pointless endeavor, no matter what you do, as everything is overpriced anyway, even the 'cheaper' items) but have  definitely gotten a bit too casual when it comes to what I really can afford.
The point of my story is that I will seriously be able to cut my grocery bill in half by not engaging in the multiple trips/mindless browsing and spending/buying lunch at work 2-3 times per week. I'm sure I'll find even more ways to save if I just put a little effort in and try to stay aware. Sounds easy, though I'm sure I'll report back and let you know just how easy it really isn't.

I'm excited about trying to make a change, so I thought I'd just stick a little post up here. Not to mention, I will probably need a place to organize my thoughts as I learn, adapt, struggle, and succeed...

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Happy First Day of Autumn!

This is it for me. I absolutely adore this time of the year. October is right around the corner, and I am so ready. Bring on the pumpkins, apples, flannel shirts, harvest scented candles, and crisp, cool air! I'm trying to hold off on my first pumpkin flavored something for another couple of weeks. Typically I get started on the pumpkin craze early and have overdone it way before the season ends!

We treated ourselves to two nights in the Green Mountain State this past week, after a summer saturated with love and loss. We needed to get away and hold each other close, and no better place to do it in our eyes, than Vermont!

We spent our getaway in the southern part of the state, an area new to me. Though I spent my college years in northern Vermont and still make the trek once a year (at least) to our beloved cabin and university town, somehow in my travels I've simply whizzed past this part! Boy, was I missing a lot. It is so beautiful in the surrounding areas of Dover, Newfane, Wilmington, and Brattleboro.

Note: The Brattleboro Food Co-Op is to die for. The endless bulk aisles...

I'm so glad that Vermont has stayed a part of my life, so many years after I finished my undergraduate schooling.  The cabin is the main reason this has been possible, and we look forward to going there every holiday season (just a couple of months away! Cabin countdown begins). It was fun to explore a new area and balance our sense of familiarity and home that we have at the cabin with some adventure, tourism, and total relaxation (no cooking or cleaning!)

Living is simple (I didn't say easy!) up there in the country, and so much of the day to day involves love and respect for the outdoors. It's clear how this lifestyle shapes the value system and allows for a more natural existence in the world, and this is what really draws us in. There is a connection, a sense of belonging and meaning that we struggle to find where we live now.

Just a couple of months and we'll be back up that way, enjoying the holidays in a snow covered cabin! We can't wait!