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.


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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