Room By Room Renewal

I am doing a room by room renewal.  This means I will be going through the house, room by room and space by space and remaking this house into a perfectly comfortable and peaceful sanctuary.  How shall I accomplish this prodigious exploit? I’ll tell you how:
Each room will get the same treatment

  • Less is more! – If there is an item that I haven’t used in over a year and it is something I don’t absolutely love, then it will be sold or donated to charity.
  • Deep Cleaning – Clean carpets, rugs, drapes, upholstery, base bored, walls, etc.
  • Redecoration – I will either DIY, thrift, or find deals on everything I can in the redecorating process.
  • Reorganize – A place for everything and everything in its place!
  • Before and After pictures will be posted!

This is a big project.  I plan to re-do EVERY nook and cranny.  Underneath the skins, closets, yards, everything. All advise and suggestions are welcome.  I am excited to prove to myself that I can make my home awesome by myself.  Of course I will accept help and advise, but I am going to be the girl measuring and sawing.  Some of these projects are going to require help, so if you are interested in getting your hands dirty and making some stuff, let me know!

Inspiration for this project has been flowing in from everywhere but as always, Pinterest is a big contributor. Here are a few of my boards…

Home Decor & Design Board
Organization
Dream House

My first project will be the garage! Before pictures are coming soon.

The Importance of Stretching

shutterstock_65560579Project 30
Category: Health & Wellness

After carrying more than 400lbs on this body, it’s starting to break down despite having lost more than half of that 400.  My hips and lower back are in pain more often than not and I have found only a few things besides hard core medication that help.

Stretching and going to the chiropractor.

Now, I know not everyone can afford $10 a minute to have their back cracked but for me, going to a good chiropractor on a regular basis to have my hips aligned and stretching on a regular basis has done wonders!

Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week.

If you don’t stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that stretching offers. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.

Eventually incorporating gentle movement into your stretching will help you increase range of motion and flexibility.  I like to pretend I am a ballerina and practice toe points…which is hilarious if I have music going at the same time…

I try to do the below stretches before bed each night.  I find myself waking up less sore when I do them regularly.  Another important factor that most people don’t even realize is BREATHE while you stretch! Keep your breathing regular and deep.  Forgetting to breath disrupts all the good vibes you’re making while you stretch.  Well, maybe not but you’ll get light headed.  Plus your muscles need air!

Click on the image to enlarge.

 

 

 

Project 30

Because...PUPPY!

Because…PUPPY!

This is a very rough draft of things but I want to post it anyway, if for no other reason than to hold myself accountable.  I will blog as much as possible along the way because I want to better my writing skills, communication skills, and to keep a healthy record of my goals.

I turned 29 years old on August 29th which means I have one more year of my 20’s and then the big 3-0 hits.  There are so many people who are terrified of turning 30 but I don’t want to be one of them.

This year of my life is going to prep me so that my 30’s are the best decade of my life! Setting goals and mapping out plans on how to accomplish said goals is my intention.

My life is fantastic.  There is nothing to complain about.  Now I want to make sure that it stays that way and I also want to bring other people I love into my  happiness.  Lately I have been very thoughtful about my future.  There is no way to know where this life will lead but at least I can promise myself that I will live it with the best of intentions and enjoy the journey.

In order to keep my thoughts and plans organized I have broken Project 30 into sections.  Each section will end up having a billion sub-sections I’m sure so things may change…

Health

  • Reaching a healthy weight.  After losing more than 200lbs I am still considered obese.
  • Eating Healthier
  • Incorporate protein shakes back into a balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Start Hiking
  • I wanna do yoga!
  • Ride my bike more
  • Walk Leo

Personal Development

  • Blog/Write/Journal – I feel less cluttered and more focused in my mind when I regularly write my thoughts out.
  • Be open to new things
  • Meditate
  • Stop complaining so much!

Finance

  • Keep myself out of debt
  • Save money
  • Eat out less
  • Lower my expenses
    • Finder a better cell phone provider (Currently with AT&T)
    • Find a way to get out of my DirectTV contract since I should have never signed up for it again.  I rarely ever use it still!
    • Reduce my energy use

Home

  • De-clutter – Donate or sell anything that I don’t absolutely need or love.
  • Organize each room
  • Redecorate
  • Keep maintenance log

Career

  • Be at work every day
  • Keep a positive attitude even on rough day

Relationships

  • Family
    • Make more time to do things with my immediate family.
    • Plan to visit extended family more often
  • Friends
    • Listen more, complain less.
    • Be honest.
  • Romantic Relationship
    • Continue open and honest conversation
    • Motivate each other

Of course this isn’t a comprehensive list.  There are so many ideas and lists floating around in my head.  Project 30 is about focus.  This year is all about becoming my ideal self and bringing those I love along for the journey.  Any and all feedback is appreciated as long as it is constructive.  There is no more room in my life for negativity. :)

Positive Vibes

ImageI am on a major self reflection and self growth kick right now.  I am at a point in my life where everything is great and there isn’t much I can do outside myself to make it better.

Something recently occurred to me. I want to live the best life I possibly can.  I’ve noticed a lot of people are content with the day-to-day grind of living a life they don’t love.  That was me for a very long time.  I don’t want that anymore.  I want to love my life but always strive to make it better.

I honestly have no complaints about my life.

  •       I get along with everyone in my family better than ever and everyone in my family is amazing.
  •       I can honestly say that everyone currently in my life brings something positive to it.
  •       I have an excellent job that allows me to provide a comfortable life for myself.
  •       I have been able to make my home some place I am proud of
  •       I have reliable transportation.
  •       My roommate situation has turned out better than imagined.  My best friend is my roommate and we have no desire to kill each other.
  •       I feel more loved and appreciated by people than ever
  •       I am in a relationship more honest than I thought existed

My life is great and I think the least I can do to show my appreciation for such an amazing life is to better myself so that I can contribute to other peoples lives in a positive way.  If I am as happy as I can be, then maybe that attitude can be contagious to the people around me.

Everyone has bad days, and I know that I will still have bad days and grumpy moods.  The key is to realize that and accept it for what it is,  the bad with the good.

I feel like in the last few months my entire attitude towards life has changed.  I have realized that I kind of actually like myself for the first time I can remember.

I stopped caring if people thought I was silly.  I like all kinds of weird stuff.  Doctor Who, Accessories, Shopping, Nail Polish, Bright Colors, Shoes, and a zillion other things that people giggle at me for.  I think the reason I like myself more now is because I don’t let other peoples opinions of me change who I am.  Sure, it bothers me when someone teases me for wearing neon rainbow sneakers, but I know that the people who care about me, even the ones who tease me, wouldn’t be around if my neon rainbow sneakers bothered them.

I want to start trying all the awesome things I find on the internet.  Self help.  Wellness. Meditation. Healthy foods. Fitness. Creative Stuff.  Everything.  I feel like doing things you’ve never done is always a good thing.  What is the worst that can happen if I decide to try a fancy new recipe?  I’ll have to order pizza.  And having to order pizza is hardly a bad thing.

 

 

Spending Freeze

ImageAs of 7:35pm on January 18th, 2014 I am on a spending freeze for at least one month! I am not allowed to spend money on anything except regular bills (water, power, internet, phone, etc…), gas, and groceries.  No Starbucks visits, no buying lunch, no shopping, no movies, no nothing. 

Why am I going on a spending freeze? 

  • I have entirely too much stuff 
  • I need to learn to find more happiness in what I already have 
  • I could always stand to save some money 
  • I want to see if I can actually do it 

During the freeze I hope to accomplish the following… 

  • Put %35 of each paycheck for the next month into my savings account 
  • Continue to make large payment on credit card from each paycheck 
  • Take this month to purge and get rid of a lot of the things I already have. 

Ideally I will get on a roll and extend the freeze beyond one month but at this time the freeze will end at 7:35pm on February 18th, 2014. Wish me luck!

 

Meatless Monday

Today I practiced my first Meatless Monday.  While I do care about the many health and environmental benefits of Meatless Monday, I decided to start it for kind of a weird reason.

As much as I want to better myself I still have a problem with follow through.  I tend to get discouraged and quit before I even really begin.  I have gotten so used to failing myself that I am sabotaging my own success.  Meatless Monday is something I feel is super simple yet still a goal I can say I accomplished.  Baby steps. 

Today was the first day that I intentionally avoided meat.  I am sure there have been days where I didn’t eat meat in the past.  I just wasn’t aware.  My only concern with Meatless Monday was protein.  I need a lot of protein in my diet so I brought the dreaded protein shakes back into my life.  This mornings shake was made with coffee, chocolate protein power, skim milk, and ice and it was surprisingly satisfying.  Throughout the day I snacked on fruit and possibly chocolate. When I got home from work and had dinner I was content and not even hungry but all of a sudden the idea popped into my head that I could steal a bite of that delicious leftover marinated steak from last night out of the fridge and no one would know.  What kind of logic is that?  It amazes me the strange place my mind goes sometimes.  Thankfully I talked myself off the ledge.  

Meatless Monday #1 a success. 

Why Meatless Monday?  It may not solve these problems but it certainly won’t hurt.

Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. 

 

Health Benefits 

  • LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer. 

  • REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19% 

  • FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

  • CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain. 

  • LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality. 

  • IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat. 

Environmental Benefits 

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend. 

  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound. 

  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand. 

 

Letter To A Year

happy-new-year-smallDear 2013,

You were supposed to be the best year of my life but turned out to be the year that almost killed me.  I was supposed to get married and have the wedding of my dreams.  Instead, my future plans were ripped away from me six weeks before I was supposed to say I Do.  The loss of my best friend and fiancé broke me.  Never in my life have I been in such a dark place, and you 2013, got to witness it.

If it wasn’t for amazing people in my life I am sure that 2013 would have been my end.  Thanks to awesome friends and fantastic family I was able to rebuild my life and myself.  You may have tried to break me 2013, but I can promise you that it will never come that close again.

You taught me so many things.  I learned that I am the only person who should be in control of my happiness.  I learned that I cannot allow outside forces be what decides my fate.  I am in control of my future and I am the only person who controls how I feel about life.

Instead of dwelling on the bad you caused, I am going to choose to remember you for the good. You brought me closer to people I didn’t know I needed in my life.  Angie and Sarah have officially been dubbed my best friends, which was a title I was afraid to give anyone ever again.  They earned it and I love them for sticking by me when I was the worst version of myself.  I terrified my parents and sister with my depression and I am glad that even when I hated them for it, they wouldn’t leave me to wallow in my darkness.

New adventures came into my life this year.  Visiting family I hadn’t seen in 10 years, a full time job for the first time in years, new friends I never thought I’d make, and a new love.    The last part of this year has brought me closer to the person I want to be than I have ever been.

Goodbye to you 2013.  Dark clouds and all! You are gone and 2014 is here.  I don’t  regret anything that happened because like EVERYONE kept telling me, you got better in time.  2014 will be the beginning of the rest of my life.  I am not making any resolutions, I am starting fresh and just living my life the way I should, with positivity, abundance of love and friendship, and with openness to everything that comes my way.

Thank you, 2013.