Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October Small Goals

Happy October friends! We have not done a small goals post in a hot minute. I know I miss setting goals each month and having this accountability to cross things off my list. I especially love October & I feel like I have a lot of goals I'd like to accomplish before the end of the year. So here we are! Let's kick off this small goals post and see what we plan to accomplish this month.

Jen October Small Goals 

1. Read 4 library books.  I've been hitting the library hard lately and I'm hoping to read at least four books from my library stack.
2. Closet clean out.  A start of a new season feels like the perfect time to clean out a few things from my closet I'm no longer loving. It's getting packed again which makes outfit planning tricky.
3. Fall craft.  This feels kind of ambiguous. I don't have anything in mind, but I have a ridiculous amount of hand-crafted Halloween decor but way less standard hand-crafted fall decor. Hopefully I can find something up my alley.
4.  Finish Halloween cross-stitch. I usually always do a new cross-stitch project for Halloween. This year I bought 3. I started the first one and would like to get it finished by Halloween.  
5. Tear out living room carpet.  I did this in my craft room and painted the hardwood floors a dark chocolate brown. My living room is right next to it and I would like the do the same so they flow and then my house will be carpet free.

Heather October Small Goals 

1. Create a budget spreadsheet I have a pretty loose budget, but I'm very bad at guesstimating how much I'm spending regularly. I am hoping by tracking my spending through the end of the year I'll have a better handle on where my extra money goes each month. 
2. Bring my lunch 3 times a week I've been eating out a lot for lunches (or skipping it altogether) so I want to plan ahead and take my lunch 3 times a week at least. 
3. Finish Sevi's novel My friend Sevi wrote a novel! And I get to beta read it! However, I've been behind on this so I'm committing to finishing it and taking good notes for her revising process. 
4. Sell books at Half Price Books I have so many books and I need to sell a ton of them. Most of them I know I would not keep after reading anyway and can get from the library. I plan to keep a list of the titles I sell that I have not read yet so I can still get them from the library if I want. 
5. Go to a pumpkin patch I want to do all the fall things in my favorite month! I am actually planning a work trip to a pumpkin patch but I would love to go with Emily and Morgan (and Jen!) as well! 

Monday, October 7, 2019

September & October Book Club

Hello book lovers & blog friends! Our poor blog has been a little neglected this year, especially over the summer. It's one of my favorite things, but honestly it's been a wild summer for me personally. Since I am the primary blog planner, things get put on hold when I don't prioritize them. However, I think Jen and I both still love this blog so let's get back into it! Here are our September and October book club choices. 

September Book Club 

What's it about? 

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

October Book Club 

What's it about? 

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different―Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if―instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut―they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Monday, August 12, 2019

July & August Book Club

Hey book friends! This summer has been weird. It's also been a lot of fun. I went through a rough patch with my mental health at the beginning of summer, but I feel like I'm ending in a good place. It did mean that I took a break from a lot of things I enjoy (like this blog) to focus my energy on feeling better. It's helped to have good books to lose myself in when needed. Magic unintentionally ended up being a theme for our book club this summer. Both books are completely different, but I am so glad we found them! 

July Book Club 

What's it about? 

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it.

Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life – or at least, she’s perfectly fine.

She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

Ivy Gamble is a liar.
When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

August Book Club 

What's it about? 

Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.

Isabel Sterling's delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven--and any chance she has with the new girl--is destroyed.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

June Small Goals

Happy June friends! I feel like I come alive in the summer. The sun doesn't set until almost 9pm and it just feels like there's so much more time to do things. I already feel like all my weekends (especially the ones with the girls) have filled up for the summer and I'm honestly really excited about it. I'm feeling this renewed sense of purpose lately and I'm just really looking forward to all the fun summer things I've got planned. Let's tackle some small goals to make those bigger goals a little more possible! 

Jen's May Small Goals
1.  Finish painting downstairs bathroom.  Finished!!! I haven't had the time or energy to think about decorating it but it's doneeeeee.
2.  No Outfit Repeats.   Yes! This was actually way easier than expected. I know I have a lot of clothes but it is so easy to get stuck in outfit ruts.
3. Selfish Sewing.  I didn't make myself anything, but I did start working on making new covering for the kitty's window shelves.  Their current covers are so faded you can't even tell what the print was. 
4.  Buy a Fern.  Nope, even though this was such an easy goal to accomplish.
5.  Buy a new shower curtain. Thank you, Amazon prime.

4/5 is pretty ok with me.

June Small Goals 
1.  Finish painting the kitchen.  I recently started working in my kitchen. I've removed some paneling and part of the wallpaper border.  Since it is such a high traffic room, I've been trying to do it in stages so that everyone isn't inconvenienced too much.  One side of the room is complete!
2.  Keep a Fashion Diary.  This is something I've done on and off but I really want to stick with it. I'm going to post my outfit every day on Instagram.  I think that will help keep me accountable.
3.  Spend time outdoors.  I can be so project focused sometimes that I'm not taking enough time to relax and enjoy the warm weather.  I will spend more time outside this month, even if I'm just sitting on my porch reading.
4.  Buy new living room curtains.  Since I updated my living room last summer, I've been wanting to upgrade my curtains.  This is the month, folks.
5. Buy a new swimsuit. This goal will hopefully help push goal #3 even further, plus I haven't had a new suit in like 5 years so it's time.

Heather's May Small Goals 
1. Bring my lunch 3 times a week I don't think this was accomplished but I also didn't really keep track. 
2. Read 5 books I read exactly 5 books in May. I still feel like I'm in a slump, but honestly two of the books were 500+ pages so maybe it's not that bad. 
3. Book AirBnB for Colorado trip Done! I was getting a little nervous we wouldn't find somewhere affordable and nice for 8 people, but I did it. It's got mountain views and a hot tub on the porch. I'm so ready for this trip! 
4. Start a new crafty project Complete fail. I didn't start anything creative in May. I need to make time for this in June. I'm feeling really uninspired lately. 
5. Buy some patio furniture Done! I got some cute furniture from Aldi's of all places and spent $40. I'll have to share photos soon! 

3/5 goals complete in May 

June Small Goals 
1.  Read 10 books I have so many library books on my cart right now (like 18 of them!) so I'm doubling my May goal to make some serious reading progress. 
2. Take myself on a date I want to go do something alone (honestly probably dinner and a movie). I don't do enough things like this so I want to give it a shot. 
3. Donate stuff from extra room I've been adding things to donate in a pile in my extra room. It's finally big enough that I think it's time to drop it off at Goodwill. 
4. Buy a diffuser for essential oils I've been wanting to try diffusing essential oils, specifically lavender oil at night when I'm falling asleep. Now just to get a diffuser. 
5. Find all my debt Something I talked about in therapy recently is not being clear on exactly how much debt I might have. I used to deal with money stuff by just ignoring it all and hoping it would go away. This has not worked out for me as a long term strategy I don't want to feel anxious about it any longer, so I'm hoping to just find out what debt I might have. No plans for it yet, just getting the information together. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Summer of Trying New Things

I think by now it's very clear that I love a good to do list. I make work to do lists each week, weekend to do lists, I've got my 101 in 1,001 list, plus every month we do small goals. So yeah, I love a good list. Recently I've been working with a life coach (Hi Molly!!! Check her out here!) and we have been diving into a lot of stuff that kind of overlaps with the work I do in therapy, but a little more focused on actions. I started thinking of ways I could take some meaningful action to bring new things into my life. I feel like there is a lot of stuff I want to try, especially related to self care, but I feel overwhelmed on where to start and how to keep going.

I've felt like the past year has been incredible for my mental health & growth. Therapy is the hands down best thing I've ever done for my self care. I've been able to work through a lot of childhood traumas & also understand how those experiences shaped the way I show up in my life. My anxiety and depression are much better (not gone, but definitely more manageable) & I feel like I show up in my relationships, work, & friendships in ways I never would have done in the past. The only thing I feel like was missing was actionable items from these internal changes. This is where Molly comes in! She's been the second best thing I've done for my self care. I cried so much on our first call together, but she creates such a safe space of caring and acceptance. She genuinely cares about me & helping me turn my goals into small, actionable steps.

The Summer of Trying New Things was born out of this need to try forming new habits based on the growth I've experienced from therapy. It goes from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend (and possibly longer if I end up liking it). I made a list of about 30 things that I have always wanted to try and the plan is to pick one thing (via random number generator) each week on Sunday to try for one week. Usually the thing that trips me up when trying to form new habits is feeling like if I slip up, I've failed completely so I quit. To me, one week feels like a long enough time to see if I actually like something, but also short enough that I don't think I'll have a problem sticking with it through the entire week. At the end of each week, I'll decide if this is something I want to keep doing. I'm hoping to keep track of my progress on Instagram stories and here on the blog!

So what's on my list? 

  1. Meditation 
  2. Yoga
  3. Take Jake on a walk every morning before work 
  4. Wake up at 6am 
  5. Bedtime at 10pm
  6. Listen to DRE twice a day 
  7. Gratitude journal 
  8. Lemon water before coffee
  9. Essential Oils 
  10. Walk/run every day for 30 minutes 
  11. Brain dump journaling 
  12. Self reflection journaling 
  13. Make plans with friends (once a week for a month?) 
  14. Spend zero dollars for one week 
  15. Read for one hour 
  16. No screen time 
  17. No social media apps 
  18. Work on something creative every night
  19. Create a morning routine 
  20. Create a bedtime routine 
  21. Plan meals for the week 
  22. Do whatever the girls want to do together each night 
  23. Tarot card pulls every morning (to learn more about the cards & reflect) 
  24. Eat breakfast 
  25. Drink 90oz water every day 
  26. No dairy for one week 
  27. No alcohol (this one might not be good for only a week challenge?) 
  28. Development podcasts only on my commute 
  29. Audiobooks instead of podcasts for one week 
Molly was incredibly helpful in listening to my list & helping me figure out if there was anything I wanted to prioritize. We decided a good way to kick this off would be to start with gratitude journaling. I downloaded the 5 Minute Journal app at Molly's suggestion and I really love it so far! Obviously, you can also do this with good old pen & paper, but I'm enjoying my experience with the app. We also decided to try the morning routine at the end of July/beginning of August, since a lot of the things on my list could fit well into a morning routine once I know if I like them or not. I seriously love my experience with Molly and coaching so far. It's been the perfect tie in with my therapy practice and a good way to show up for myself. I'm also really excited to get started on my Summer of Trying New Things! I feel really excited and motivated in a way I haven't in a long time.

I'll be posting updates here monthly and on Instagram weekly. I'd love for anyone to join in with their own lists (or even borrow mine!). I'm excited to see what habits I've formed by the end of summer. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

June Book Club

Happy June book babies! I cannot believe summer is already here, but honestly I'm so ready for it. I come alive in the summer; Everything feels slow and possible. I feel like I'm shedding my winter skin and ready to have fun, tackle my goals, & read all day long. This month Jen picked our book club selection With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. I had never heard of this book, but I'm excited to dive in! 

What's it about?

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quality Over Quantity

Hey friends! We are back with another outfit posts as promised! Today, I want to discuss quality over quantity. I've always fallen more in the quantity category. Always adhering to the mindset of loving something and thinking I need it in every single color.  The notion of needing more, more, more; no amount is ever enough.  This is something I want to change.

Before, acquiring more clothes felt like a compulsion.  Like, I couldn't live my life unless I had all these things.  In a strange turn of events, this put a huge damper on outfit planning and getting ready each day. It was sensory overload. I'm also a little on the indecisive side and there were just too many options for me to be able to make snap outfit decisions each morning.  I also thought more options were better, but friends that is just not true.  For me, at least. 

I recently donated approximately 15 bags of clothing, shoes and accessories to goodwill. I got rid of so many things but I still own so much. I'm still overwhelmed, but not as intensely. I honestly should purge a few more things, especially some dresses, but I'm on the right track. I'm already feeling less stressed each morning and I'm starting to enjoy shopping in my own closet again. 

Another thing I have noticed is as much as I love following trends, I really hate trends. They are so fleeting, here for a season or two and then gone. It hit me the other day that I was feeling pressure as a "fashion blogger" to keep up with different trends and to buy outfits just to display on our blog even if they weren't conducive to my every day life.  It hit me how wasteful I was being.  There are so many times I will grab a vintage piece over a new trendy piece. Sometimes I'm in the mood to be a chameleon but usually I'm more into mixing trendy pieces with vintage flair. I'm trying to figure out a way to balance vintage pieces and trendy pieces. 

For now, I'm limiting my shopping. I'm avoiding most stores with the exception of thrift stores which I'm still heavily limiting. I'm even avoiding online window shopping.  I'm mixing and matching again. I'm rewearing outfits again. I'm enjoying fashion again.  

Outfit details:
Top {Goodwill Outlet} / Mom Jeans {American Eagle} / Kicks {Converse}

Jen and I are on a similar wavelength when it comes to quality over quantity. It's definitely something I've been thinking about a lot in 2019. My experience is a little different, more focused on wearing things that I feel good in because they actually fit me. 

I've went through my clothes so many times and felt like everything I owned, I loved. The only issue was most of it didn't fit me any more. I've gained weight over the past year & was stuck wearing the same few things over and over because it was so stressful to go in my closet and try on multiple outfits that didn't fit me anymore. I finally got fed up and a few weeks ago tried on literally every single item of clothing I owned. Anything that didn't fit got packed away. I set a calendar reminder for September and anything that still doesn't fit gets donated, no matter how much I love it.

 I'm really trying to lean in to loving my body how it is, removing the focus from losing weight to taking care of myself with no pressure. It's been a game changer mentally & I didn't realize how much those too small clothes were affecting my headspace. I've brought in a such a small amount of things to my closet since then, I've started measuring myself to make sure I buy the right size & am not feeling that urge to buy everything I see. 

Outfit Details 

Shirt {Etsy} / Jacket {Target} / Jumpsuit {I don't remember, I bought it because I saw someone wearing it in their Insta stories. Sorry!}