Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Resolutions - Complete...or not.

As 2014 comes to a close at midnight tonight, I'm looking back at my "resolutions and goals" from the beginning of last year and...well...cringing. How hard is it to read just one book a month?! Why can't I just push myself and finally get the bangin' bod I've always wanted? (Oh wait...margaritas). Here's a look at what I set out to accomplish, and how things actually ended up:

New Years Resolutions
  1. Bring lunch to work at least three times per week (event depending). This worked...for awhile. Until it didn't. Now it's turned into eating out three times per week. Whoops.
  2. Instead of impulsively buying lots of small things, spend your money on quality things that you’ve wanted for a long time, or on things that will last for a long time. I've been better about admitting to myself when I'm buying something out of impulse versus something I actually need.
  3. Go to zumba and yoga at least three weeks out of the month. This was a lot easier to do when I still lived at home, as I love my zumba instructor so much that I still travel across the bridge just to take her class. Yoga is definitely something I slacked off on.
  4. Take everyone’s opinions into account and consideration, but make your own decisions based on what you feel will be best for you. Done and done.
  5. Eat well 80% of the time and eat whatever the hell you want 20% of the time. Remember: one “bad” meal won’t make you fat, just like one “good” meal won’t make you skinny. Um, weeeellllll some times were better than others. But for the most part, I can definitely feel a difference when I'm eating more bad foods than good foods, so I tried to stay on top of that as much as I could.
  6. Read one book for pleasure per month. This, unfortunately, did not happen.
  7. Even when you don’t have plans, get dressed and ready for the day. Lazy bum days are totally allowed, but most days you should get up and make yourself pretty. Check!
  8. Don’t waste time, but enjoy the time you waste. I assume this is a check. We'll go with it.
  9. Learn to laugh at quirks and accept flaws. No one is perfect. I'm just one giant quirk, let's get real.
New Years Goals
  1. Go one entire month without consuming any chocolate or coffee and see what it does for your skin (I'm allergic to cocoa beans...lucky me!) This happened! And my skin looked great. Too bad I can't resist chocolate. Ugh.
  2. Sell three portals by the end of the year (it's a work thaaang). Erm, no, only sold one. My bad.
  3. Do 20 minutes of ab work four times per week and have a flatter stomach by cruise time in April! LOLZ.
  4. Complete at least 30 minutes of cardio three times per week or more. Most weeks I did actually do this.
  5. Make one Pinterest meal and one Pinterest dessert per month. This was more sporadic - not so much once a month. But it definitely happened!
  6. Travel to five places you’ve never been before. Savannah, Georgia/Long Island, New York....ummmm, maybe I'd never been to Naples or Siesta Key? But I've lived in Florida my whole life, I could be wrong.
As you can see, a lot of this did not go according to plan. So frustrating! Ugh. But I understand everyone's journey is different and life is just that: a journey, never a sole destination. Thus, I will create New Years goals once again, and maybe I'll forget about them come February. But maybe I'll stick with it...just maybe ;) 

Happy New Year! XOXO




Monday, December 29, 2014

5 Day Vacay Recap!

I'd say that I can't believe my five day vacation has already come and gone, but I say something along those lines roughly every day of my life. At this point, I can believe it - time flies when you're having fun! And I enjoyed literally every single second of my time off last week.

Christmas Eve morning was a whirlwind of bad drivers, a quick Christmas gift exchange with my parents, and unlucky scratch off tickets. My dad had already given me my Apple TV as a Chrismukkah present a week before, but my mom gifted me a DNA test for Einstein! So I can finally figure out what breed(s) that little bugger is. The results take about 2-3 weeks, but I'm so excited.

After convincing Ryan that Chic-Fil-A was a far better road trip lunch choice than McDonald's, we embarked on our two hour journey to his parents house down in Fort Myers. We listened to Christmas carols the entire ride down...100% his idea. Immediately upon arrival, we were thrown into the kitchen with his parents and sister, Jamie. We spent the day baking cookies, making chocolate covered graham crackers, and cooking Christmas Eve dinner. I even managed to sneak in a quick 30 minute run. The rest of the night was spent exchanging gifts and hanging out with family.

After opening our stockings on Christmas morning, we headed down to Naples to have Christmas lunch/dinner with Ryan's cousins' family. It was my second time spending Christmas with all of them, and I had a blast. We drank homemade sangria, ate tons of food and ended the night sitting around a fire pit playing Heads Up and catching up. Ryan's family truly feels like my second family. I love spending time with them, especially around the holidays.


The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating my good friend Whitney's birthday at a newly built Top Golf, seeing Into the Woods (SO GOOD!), and ya know, getting asked to be a bridesmaid in my roommate's wedding! No big deal.





The first few days after Christmas always bum me out, as the holiday season officially comes to a close. But I keep trying to remind myself that I have so much to look forward to in 2015 - there's no sense in holding on to the past. Let's get moving! XO



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas - It's Almost Time!

'Twas two nights before Christmas and all through the house, every creature stirred, especially Einstein.

...what do you mean that doesn't rhyme?

After a crazy couple of days, Ryan and I finally head down to Fort Myers and Naples tomorrow morning. This will be my second Christmas down in their neck of the woods, as my parents aren't super into the holidays. My grandparents won't even be making their way down this Christmas, so I don't feel too guilty about it. Plus, Ryan's parents are like a second set of parents to me anyway, so I'm really looking forward to having five (5!!!) consecutive days off of work to bake yummy things, drink sangria, and truly unwind. 

As the countdown comes to a close, I'm scratching things off my "10 Days Until" to-do list, and feeling pretty good about my progress:

  • Bake a couple variations of Christmas cookies. Bring a box down to Ryan's family for Christmas Eve, have a cookie or ten with a glass of champagne surrounded by friends at a holiday soiree. Whatever - I just want to bake cookies, dammit! And drink champagne. Obviously. Baked cookies for my work's Christmas cookie exchange! I tried to bake two different kinds, but one was an epic fail. Womp womp.
  • Take a walk around a festive neighborhood or park. There are some gorgeous neighborhoods around where I live, and some streets are known for having tons of beautifully holiday decorated houses. I'd love to take Einstein for a walk with Ryan one night to enjoy all the lights. Or take a drive. I'm easy to please. While we didn't waltz around a neighborhood, we took a stroll through downtown St. Pete's set up over in Vinoy Park and it was magical. Maybe not magical, but I enjoyed myself. Check and check.
  • Wrap my gifts early. I've been pretty good this year about buying my presents for everyone in advance, but I have a tendency to put off wrapping because I have "all this time" and then I end up with no time.  Pretty much done with this! Just a couple gifts left to wrap.
  • Make holiday-inspired sangria. Enough said. HA, I actually forgot this was on my list. I will definitely be doing this on Christmas day. Cannot wait.
  • Truly enjoy time with those around me. Put my iPhone/iPad/whatever down for once in my life and appreciate my friends and family that are choosing to spend their time with me.  <---Still in the process.

Happy holidays, friends! Hope it's merry and bright and filled with love. XO





Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday Re-Cap.


When is the last time you came home from work (or school, or a weekend off, or whatever) and allowed yourself to forget about unpacking, doing the dishes, picking up 48375 "necessities" from Target, and decide to just lay in bed and watch mindless television for six hours?

For me, it was Sunday. After a crazy wedding weekend and the hangover from hell, I came home wanting my bed and my dog. And for once, I allowed myself nothing but.

I whipped up some veggie rotini pasta with pizza sauce because after cooking the pasta for 15 minutes I came to find that neither I nor my roommate had actual pasta sauce. It was edible, but just barely. I plopped myself securely underneath my IKEA duvet with a tall glass of water and bottle of Gatorade, and I watched The Hills on Hulu for six hours. Yes, I'm moderately embarrassed. But do I regret it? Not one single second.

Around this time of year, I feel like there's a lot of pressure to be hustling around - wrapping gifts, decorating trees, baking cookies, going to holiday parties. And let's get real, I enjoy that pressure. In fact, I plan on wrapping presents and baking cookies and running errands tonight. But Sunday was the first time in a long, long, long time that I looked at my long list and said, "Ya know what? Not ta-day."

And the world did not end.

XO



Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Days Until Christmas!



Edit: This post is actually a survey of how many times I can use the term 'holiday' before things get awkward. You let me know.

I remember when I was young, it felt like Christmas (and Hanukkah...I'm half Jewish, dontcha know) took foooorrreeeevvveerrrr to arrive. Those 25 days before I could open up gifts from Santa [ahem, yes, they were hand delivered by Santa] were some of the longest days of my life. 

Now, we're already just 10 days away from Christmas. Brb, let me pick my jaw up from the floor. I feel like post-college, the time really just flies by. Aside from watching a few Christmas movies, setting up the tree(s), and a little gift shopping here and there, I feel like I really haven't gotten into the holiday spirit just yet. Now that it's right around the corner, I'm going to really focus on getting the most out of one of my favorite times of the year.

In the next 10 days, I vow to:
  • Bake a couple variations of Christmas cookies. Bring a box down to Ryan's family for Christmas Eve, have a cookie or ten with a glass of champagne surrounded by friends at a holiday soiree. Whatever - I just want to bake cookies, dammit! And drink champagne. Obviously.
  • Take a walk around a festive neighborhood or park. There are some gorgeous neighborhoods around where I live, and some streets are known for having tons of beautifully holiday decorated houses. I'd love to take Einstein for a walk with Ryan one night to enjoy all the lights. Or take a drive. I'm easy to please.
  • Wrap my gifts early. I've been pretty good this year about buying my presents for everyone in advance, but I have a tendency to put off wrapping because I have "all this time" and then I end up with no time. 
  • Make holiday-inspired sangria. Enough said.
  • Truly enjoy time with those around me. Put my iPhone/iPad/whatever down for once in my life and appreciate my friends and family that are choosing to spend their time with me.
XO

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A List of Happy, Pt. 7


When the white lights on my spindly Christmas tree twinkle every so often in the corner of the living room while I watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas...while drinking a milkshake because it was 80 degrees here Friday night. 
Snuggling my pup, only to hear him snoring in my face three minutes later. 
Teaching said pup how to lay down on command. 
Splitting a mini bottle of pink champagne with my roommate at 12 a.m. on a Monday night. 
Being able to watch the Victoria's Secret with an appreciation for the women who worked so hard to get where they are. 
Getting to see my boyfriend for the first time in a week tonight. And it just so happens to be his 28th birthday. 
Setting real, attainable goals for myself; not just for the new year, but for every day leading up to it. 

XO

Monday, December 8, 2014

Finding my passion


I see quotes plastered over Instagram and Pinterest to "Work Hard, Follow Your Dreams, Follow Your Passion, It Can Happen, It Will Happen," blah blah blah. I've always kind of disregarded those, mostly because I have no idea what my "dream" is. I don't know what I want to work hard for. Money? Maybe. Ultimately, I don't know what my passion is.

The last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of self-reflection and soul searching. And by reflection and soul searching, I mean I've been calling myself out on my own crap and trying to figure out what to do about it. I was talking over hot tea with my mom yesterday afternoon, and openly admitted in my out loud voice that my whole life, I've always kind of expected good things to fall into my lap. 

When I was young and desperately wanted to become an actress, I went to acting classes and tried out for a couple of plays and thought that would be enough. I didn't actively study the craft; I didn't watch old films, or spend hours researching method acting. I just wanted it, did the bare minimum, and expected it to be enough. In college, I knew I didn't want to go to graduate school, so I settled for B's instead of striving for A's. Working as a server, I knew I didn't want to become a manager for the restaurant, so I didn't pick up extra shifts or do extra work. 

I'm painting myself to be an overall lazy person, and to be honest, I'm really not. I do exactly what I'm asked, when I'm asked. When a task calls for hard work, I work hard. But I guess I'm not entirely sure what I'm striving for, what I'm working for. I've never set any real goals for myself, mostly because I don't believe I would actually obtain them. That's a pretty sad thing to admit, but I guess that's the first step to progress right? I'll keep ya posted on that. 

Happy Monday! XO






Friday, December 5, 2014

No boyfriend?! What am I to do?



HA, made you look.

I am still dating my boyfriend. Not a rough patch in sight!

However, this weekend, he is celebrating his best friend Corey's bachelor party in Key West (or he's trying to, anyway - he's actually quite sick in Fort Myers now, but that's another story). Thus, leaving me to my own defenses for the first weekend in probably months! 


Before you peg me as one of those girls who can't stand to be without her boyfriend, think again. While I miss him a bit already, I'm actually excited to get a few things done that have been on my to-do list for awhile, see a friend or two, and maybe even go to the beach. Because, you know, that's a thing in Florida. You go to the beach in December because it's still 80 degrees outside.


This weekend, I fully intend to:

  • Clean my room from top to bottom. Put away all of my clothes, dust all the shelves, do all the things. And my bathroom. It will be pristine come Sunday night.
  • Plant a new herb garden. I tried to be as Pinterest as possible when I first moved in, growing some basil and oregano in cute little mason jars. Alas, that project has proved to be a fail, and I already bought and painted new planters. 
  • Go to the beach and quench my craving for summer. 
  • Finally get into the holiday spirit, decorate a Christmas tree, and watch a holiday themed movie or two.
It sounds like a thrilling weekend, I know. I can hardly contain my excitement. But let's get real, I plan on throwing in a margarita or three. Maybe even a mimosa. Regardless, I fully intend to make this weekend without Ryan a productive and fun one, so I won't have as much time to miss him. Hope everyone has a great weekend! XO



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Enough.

My parents are famous for their "looks." I don't mean how attractive they are (but let's get real, aren't they?). I mean those looks. The "Don't make me turn this car around," or even "So help me God, if you don't stop doing XYZ, you will not live to see tomorrow." A bit overdramatic, but when I was losing my mind via temper tantrum, these key phrases usually got me to sit down and shut up. 

More than any other assembly of fighting words, there was one word - just one - that stopped me in my tracks. Maybe it was the sideways glance and the dagger eyes that accompanied the one devil word, but I knew that when I heard it, it was time to stop blubbering:

"Enough."

Growing up, getting into and out of relationships, jumping from job to job through college, there has been too many instances when I tolerated too much. When I would call my mom crying every day, when I would come home with a pit in my stomach - when I kept telling myself "it'll get better, it'll get better" - I should have just whipped around and said, "You know what? Enough." 

As I get older, I'm getting better at it. I'm learning to stand up for myself, and more importantly, when to stand up for myself. I'm figuring out when I need to bite the bullet and fake a smile, swallow my pride and move on. More often than not, I take the high road. But sometimes, I think taking the high road is letting the world, or even just one person, know that it's not okay. I think the higher road is letting someone know when you've just had enough. XO

Monday, December 1, 2014

Welcome, December!

It's December! Like many people, it's safe to say that the holidays are one of my favorite parts of the year. It's crazy to think that Halloween and Thanksgiving have already come and gone, and all that's left to celebrate is Chrismukkah (I grew up half-Jewish, dontcha know) and New Years....and then it'll be 2015. Unreal.

I have officially put away my pumpkin candles and Fall decorations in exchange for gold tinsel, sparkly lights, and a menorah. Later this week I'll be putting up my Christmas tree, and I've already started burning my holiday wreath candle. I've even subjected myself to a few Christmas movies. The holiday spirit is in full force, and with time flying by as quickly as it has been lately, I'm trying to soak in every moment before it flashes by in an instant.

Between a good friend's wedding, Ryan's birthday, and our official one year anniversary, December looks like a promising month. I can't wait for holiday parties (and cookies!), champagne toasts, and finding the perfect gifts for my favorite people.

Happy Monday, everybody. Try not to let it get the best of you. XO
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