Thursday, November 16, 2017

currently: november 2017

Reading |
Friends, I am still reading The I have been since the first week of September. I know, I know. I am so ashamed. I'm about halfway through the book, but I've been hovering at that point for weeks now. I've been slammed with schoolwork and a jam packed schedule this semester, but I think I'm also at a pretty slow point in the book and I just can't get past it. Truthful moment: I need to start getting better about picking up my Kindle vs. picking up my phone at the end of the night.

Watching | Mindhunters! Again, I haven't had much time to sit down and get lost in a new show or book, but we randomly turned on Mindhunters a couple of weeks ago and I am obsessed. We have just one episode left, and I'm really interested to see how they close it out. Next on my "to watch" list: Stranger Things season two, Atypical, and a crowd favorite...Game of Thrones! Any others I should start watching?

Listening | to Taylor Swift...duh. I was a little nervous about her new album reputation. Even though I did like her new songs, it took me a couple listens to get on board with them. But guys...this album just blew me away. A couple favorites: Don't Blame Me, King of My Heart, Delicate, and I Did Something Bad. It's definitely different, but if you've been a Taylor fan for as long as I have, you knew this transition was coming. And truthfully, I'd be a little concerned if nearly 28 year old Taylor was still writing songs like she did when she was 15. Can you imagine being almost 30 and having everyone say to you, "I liked you better when you were a teenager?" YIKES. 

Feeling | A tad bit overwhelmed. I knew that moving in the middle of the semester was going to be a tough transition, but our little space still isn't put together yet. We still have plenty of storage items to buy: an over-the-toilet bathroom organizer (we don't have an "under the sink" or a linen closet), a shoe rack that doesn't suck, external drawer space for the kitchen (note: we have one tiny kitchen drawer). We have curtains and wall decor to hang, boxes to unload, even more things to give away...ooooof. Looking forward to getting it all put together, finally!

Loving | Our new location! Despite the place being a hot mess, it's been so much fun walking around everywhere. Saturday night, Ryan and I walked to Publix to grab food for dinner. I've been taking the pooches on 1+ mile walks most days, and taking myself on runs down on Bayshore - pictured above - aka the world's "longest consecutive sidewalk" (because that's a thing, I guess) at 4.5 miles long. Long story short - it's been a good move for my overall health, because I've definitely been up and moving more often!

What's currently going on with you?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

we moved!

How are we already nine days into November? Time is absolutely flying, but for once, I'm not complaining. I don't like to wish time away and I'm all about "living in the now, whatever the season of life, etc." but I have never been so ready for a semester to be over. 


The fact that it's November also signifies that...we have officially moved into our new little apartment! For clarification, Ryan and I did not buy...we're still renting. I'm pretty set in not wanting to buy a house together until we're at least engaged, but that's just my personal preference. We also wanted to wait until I know where my Clinical Fellowship (aka my first job as an SLP!) will be before committing ourselves to a specific area. I've always wanted to live in the south Tampa/historic Hyde Park area, so renting for another year or two was the best decision for us to be able to live down here (because the market down here is pricy AF).

Just to be super transparent here: when we first got the keys and walked into the empty apartment together last weekend, I cried. And not in a happy way.

When I initially saw the apartment (without Ryan), someone was still living in it. It was cozy and lived-in looking, with beige walls and a floral shower curtain - the tenant's personality was displayed in every corner. I fell in love with the white french doors to the bedroom, crown and floor moulding, and just the overall historic charm. When we walked into the same apartment with nothing in it, it felt lifeless. The property managers repainted the walls gray (which I was pissed at first, but now I love it). It felt so tiny, I could hear everyone around us, and I already missed our old apartment. This was also Ryan's first time visiting the apartment (he took my word for it when I saw it a few months ago, and blindly signed the lease). He walked around slowly, examining every room, every crevice, every inch. It should also be noted that, as he did so, he had to tilt his head a bit to get into each doorway (he's 6'8, so he's used to that, but still...).

I asked if he liked it approximately 80 times and he kept saying "yes, yes, it's just different."

It was a Wednesday, and he was on his lunch break. Before heading back to work, I signaled for him to sit down on the bare wood floor with me. We sat there and looked around and I asked, "do you hate it?"


"Do you love it?" I asked.

"Not yet."

He assured me that everything was going to be fine, that it was going to be great, that it was just a big change for both of us. But I was on day two of my period, and feeling pretty run down from school, and feeling the anticipation of the upcoming moving weekend so you know...I cried by myself anyway. 

Thankfully that stage lasted only an hour or two, and by the weekend, my feelings changed entirely. As you might expect, once all of our stuff was unpacked and loaded into the new place, I felt astronomically better. It started to feel like home, even with 323487 boxes lying around.

Saturday night, after a long day of moving (and a beautiful soul picking up my shift at work), we walked to dinner. I've never been so excited to walk anywhere in my whole life. The next night, my parents brought our dogs back, and then we walked to dinner again. I've been taking the dogs on 1-2 mile walks every day because the neighborhood is so cute. I went on a three mile run yesterday down to Bayshore Boulevard, and made it back in time to go out to dinner with friends right down the road. The concept of living smack dab in the middle of a busy part of town is so foreign to me, but I'm already getting so excited for what's to come.

Needless to say, I feel a little silly about being relatively overdramatic on that first day. But it happens to all of us, right? The place is slowly but surely coming together...if anyone is interested in a little "reveal" when it's all put together, let me know!

Monday, October 30, 2017

october takeaways

- it's okay to have a not-so-sexy costume. "goofy" costumes are almost always a hit, and i loved being a hefty grandma at a halloween party surrounded by pretty unicorns.
- you can't please everyone, and that's okay. never let the fear of not being well-liked keep you from being your true, authentic self. 
- this, too, shall pass. not the first time i've learned this lesson, but i'm not above needing a reminder. this semester has been difficult in so many ways, but it's nearly over, and i'm pushing through.
- i used to think i hated running, but now i realized that i actually just hated running in nikes. we're training for the turkey trot on thanksgiving, and even though it's just a 5k, i'd be pretty pumped if i could get my time to around 30-32 minutes!
- seasonal weather makes my heart swoon. i love warmth with a side of watermelon margaritas in june, but i honestly think i become a better version of myself when the temperature drops into the 50s and 60s in october. 
- "treating myself" doesn't have to mean picking up a bottle of prosecco on the way home from a hellacious day (although it doesn't hurt...). "splurging" on gel manicures every few weeks can get the job done, instead.
- holiday seasons are the bomb dot com. oh wait, i've always known that. 

what's your "takeaway" from this month?

Friday, October 20, 2017

unhealthy habits i've given up this month

If I'm being honest, I've felt a bit sluggish lately. It's been a pretty tough semester, and as much as I try to get to the gym at least 4 days a week, it can be difficult to light that fire under my butt. Unfortunately, my overall health has taken kind of a backseat...which I didn't notice until I realized my jeans, scrubs, and t-shirts were fitting a little differently. WHOOPS. We don't have a scale, and I'm a firm believer in the whole "as long as my clothes still fit" thing. Wellll, they were fitting a little less comfortably, so this month I've been changing up some of my habits, and giving up/swapping the little things that weren't doing me any favors:

Coffee creamer

Remember how I was all about Nestle Coffee Mate's Natural Bliss creamer line? I loved it because there weren't any type of weird chemicals or artificial flavorings - just straight up whole milk, sugar, and natural flavor. At 30 calories and 5-6 grams of sugar per tablespoon, I initially thought, "that's not bad, I'm hardly using any creamer, anyway! TREAT YOSELF." But then I started going through about one small carton per week, and I figured out that I'm not actually using one tablespoon - I'm using roughly 3 per cup of coffee...YIKES. Even small stuff can add up quick, right?

Instead: I would love to get into almond milk or even almond milk creamer for coffee, but I just can't do it. Instead, I swapped for Silk's Original Soy Coffee Creamer (only 1 gram of added sugar per tablespoon!). I add lots of cinnamon, and if I really think I need more sugar, I do one teaspoon of sugar in the raw. Bonus if I use this coffee because it is heaven.

Daily fruit snacks (or any kind of daily "treat mah-self")

When we were preparing for Hurricane Irma, I picked up a giant box of Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. And by giant, I mean like 40 packs of these delicious little gummy fruit snacks in the form of tiny bunnies in tropical fruit, berry, strawberry, and citrus flavors. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. SO GOOD. But even with the "organic" label slapped on them, they're still not "healthy." Which is totally fine, of course...but having one to two packs per day? Probably not my best plan.

Instead: I throw a fruit snack in my lunch box maybe once a week, and every time I want to snag one out of the pantry because I'm bored, I try to think about my upcoming plans that weekend. I would rather keep my sugar intake on track during the week so that on a Saturday night, I can "treat myself" to a real treat - like a margarita the size of my face. You know, just trying out that whole "balance" thing.

Excessive portions...aka seconds & thirds of dinner 

Even if it's a healthy meal (looking at you, quinoa stirfry), too much of anything leaves me feeling sluggish later. I'm still not great at portioning my meals (I do care a bit, but probably still not enough...) but I try to be more conscious about grabbing a second heaping bowl of homemade lentil and sausage soup.

Instead: I think about how I really don't want to make lunch for tomorrow, so the less I eat now, the more I have for leftovers for the next couple of days! I can still have my seconds and thirds, but they'll actually be my firsts. Ya get it? Ya get it?

Ordering fancy sugary drinks every time I go out

Like I mentioned above, I have zero problem treating myself to a giant margarita at my favorite restaurants (Green Lemon? bartaco? HEYYO) but if I'm at a random restaurant that isn't necessarily known for their craft cocktails, I avoid syrupy drinks. 

Instead: I go for a glass of white wine (I know red is better for you, but I'm still working on that...) or prosecco. There are probably better options like a vodka soda or what have you, but unless I'm actually out at a bar, I'm certainly not enjoying that as my beverage of choice. Wine > everything.

When you're trying to be healthier overall, what habits do you try to kick? What do you start doing instead?

Monday, October 16, 2017

what i'm buying & what i'm not.

With our big (well, not that big) move approaching, I've been pinching pennies as best I can and saying no to a lot of things I would loooove to buy right now. I'm super nosy and love to know what my friends are scoping out and buying, so I thought a quick run down of all the things I'm not actually buying would be a fun twist of events to share:

Here's what I'm wishing for as of late:

The perfect pair of destroyed denim jeans. You know, the kind that "can be dressed up or down" with an oversized sweater or a date night top. Or just a pair that don't make my legs look like a couple of packaged sausages in photographs. Not too much to ask for, am I right?

A wine cooler. Do I need one? Probably not. But would I feel like a full fledged adult having copious amounts of chilled wine on hand? Yes. Reasoning? We just got a $20 off $100 worth of wine from Total Wine, and I immediately thought to myself, "but where would we keep $100 worth of wine?" A wine cooler, that's where!

Fall decor. Not just Target dollar section cheapies (though I do love those!) but autumn inspired throw pillows, wine glasses, welcome mats, serveware, vases, etc. The kinds of things that transform a home into a fall wonderland.

Fancy skincare. I'm all about splurging on the occasional facial product, but for the most part (on my grad school budget), I'm a drugstore skincare kinda girl. I bought this Skin Laundry wrinkle release repair treatment earlier in the year and I really like it, but I've heard great things about Tula and one of these days, I'd love to try out their Discovery Kit to see how I like the products.

While I haven't been splurging on the good bits listed above, I've found a few budget-friendly goodies I figured I'd share:

This round brush. My hairdresser/good friend uses it on my hair every time she gives me a blowout and it is just gloooorious. I just ordered it last night, so here's hoping I can work a similar sort of magic on my hair.

This phone case. Every other year, my Christmas gift from my parents is whatever new iPhone they rolled out back in September. My old Rifle Paper Co. 6s Plus case was finally falling apart at the seams after almost two years, but I thought I'd be getting a new phone in the next couple months so I didn't want to spend too much money on a new case. I scooped this one off Amazon and I love it. It has a good grip and comes in lots of pretty colors. I opted for the mint, but I was so close to getting the pink! (Side note: my dad decided to wait until next year to get new phones, so I could've splurged on another RPC case...ohhh weeellll).

What's your favorite purchase so far this month? What are you wishing for that you haven't quite pulled the trigger on yet?

Friday, October 6, 2017

what's new with you? - october linkup

Linking up with Gretchen and Kristen for their monthly linkup: What's New With You?

September was a whirlwind, and not the fast kind. In fact, it was a downright difficult month. Those 30 days dragged on for me, as it probably for much of Florida. Hurricane Irma put our lives on hold for two weeks while we all scrambled, preparing for the worst, and it took a little while to get back into the swing of things. Hurricanes aside, September marked the beginning of quite a few changes and realizations, and I'm so excited to be sharing them with you!

1-  As I mentioned last week, we're moving! Our new place is just about 20 minutes away from where we live now, right in the center of south Tampa. It's a smaller apartment in a historic 1920's era building - no pool, no gym, no amenities - so it'll definitely be a change, but I think it'll be so fun to be right in the middle of everything! Since the listing has been taken down, I don't have any photos of our exact unit, but our leasing agent sent over pictures of a very similar apartment, so I thought I'd share a teeeensy sneak preview:

Not the best quality picture, but you get the idea! Our walls are also beige/tan, not gray, so there's that. But this is the living room leading into the bedroom and can I just say how obsessed I am with the french doors? Okay, great.

2 - Before going to graduate school, I volunteered in the speech-language pathology department at one of the biggest hospitals in Tampa. Prior to volunteering in their outpatient rehab, I had no idea the kind of work that SLPs did with adults, from cognition and memory to voice and swallowing. Ever since, I knew I wanted to return to the hospital to complete one of my externships. Note: me and everybody else. It's a pretty competitive externship placement, so when I interviewed a couple of weeks ago (on 48 hour notice...), I mentally prepared myself for a "no." As it turns out...I got the position! I'll be completing my first externship at the hospital in the outpatient rehabilitation center beginning in January and I am absolutely thrilled. The SLP I'll be working with has a split schedule, so she sees adult and geriatric patients on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and pediatric patients on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm excited to get exposure to both populations! But with that, I should mention...

3 - The big question in SLP graduate school is: "do you want to work with kids or adults?" And for the longest time, my answer has been "I have no idea," because I truly haven't been sure! I love kids, but I'd never had that "calling" in the way so many of my friends and classmates do. Over the last year, I've discovered that I really do enjoy working with them. Having said all that, my aging & cognition class took a trip to a local assisted living facility for Alzheimer's Disease and dementia memory care...and I knew. Or at least I'm most certainly, about 98% positive, that I want my future career in speech-pathology to be mostly centered around the adult and geriatric population. And while that may not mean much to most of you, it's a big step for me to be able to say "hey, that's what I want to do." Does that make sense? It's kind of exciting, and I can't wait to see what's next after graduation.

What's new with you this month?

Monday, October 2, 2017

thoughts on las vegas

Image found here

I wanted to post about something else today - happy things that happened in September, my hopes for the coming months. I scheduled my alarm a little bit earlier so I could wake up and have some blog time, because that's how I like to spend my slow mornings.

But then I woke up and heard the news about Las Vegas, and everything else felt irrelevant.

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