Friday, July 31, 2015

July Book Review: The Last Letter From Your Lover

JoJo Moyes is the author of my favorite book, Me Before You, so I expected a lot from this book. All I can really say is I was blown away by The Last Letter From Your Lover.

Honestly, and I don’t know whether it’s because this month has been really busy or because I wasn’t enjoying the book, it took me a couple of weeks to get into the book. I read the first two chapters over a two week span.

I am so thrilled I kept reading because I was hooked. This is the first book I’ve read in a long, long time that made me stay up way past my bedtime. That may me read until my eyes felt dry and sore.
I could not put this thing down.

Here is the summary from JoJo Moye’s website:

In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything.

In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon an old letter containing a man’s ardent plea to his married lover. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the couple. Perhaps if they lived happily ever after, her own complicated affair could have a happy ending, too. A Brief Encounter for our time, this is a novel for romantics of every age.

This book is about heartbreak and love and faith and fate. It’s about the little things in life that turn into bigger things. It’s about falling in love with someone, a deep, passionate type of love, and wanting to do anything possible to make it work.

Jennifer didn’t remember anything after her accident. She finds a random love letter and realizes it’s addressed to her – but, she’s a married woman. She realizes she was having an affair. Her husband, however, isn’t the nicest guy in the world. .. and you just have to read to find out what happens!

I don’t know how to write this review without spilling the details, so I urge you to just read it. It’s a romance novel, but it has suspense and drama. And it’ll definitely keep you wanting more.

I give this book a 9 out of 5 stars.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Enjoying the Moment

My friend got tickets to the Astros' game from his work, and he invited me and Kevin to Tuesday night's game. I spent all day Tuesday watching the clock, waiting to get off work. What is better than a free baseball game? He said the tickets were right behind home plate!

I imagined we were sitting in a regular section with regular baseball stadium seats and regular baseball stadium food. & I was thrilled!

When we arrived at the ballpark, we discovered the seats were in the club level. The club had 4 buffet areas, its own bar, its own bathroom, unlimited baked pretzels, unlimited bags of nuts & cracker jacks, comfortable seats, and... an ice cream sundae bar.

I thought I went to baseball heaven or that I won a million dollars or that I was finally hanging out with the rich kids from high school.

After loading my plates with as much food as possible, I took a seat and you know what I did?

I pulled out my phone, took a picture of my plate, and then sent the picture to my parents. Then I took a picture of my view & posted it on Instagram after trying to come up with a great caption & pick the most perfect filter.

I know a lot of people who post on Instagram, but most of those people snap a quick picture of what they're doing and wait until they're home to post the photo. They don't want to waste time on their phone and miss out on whatever they're doing.

But me? I take a picture and have to post it immediately.

I made a promise to myself a few months ago that I would not longer use my phone as an excuse to make time fly. That I wouldn't pull my phone out automatically in moments of silence or when I became bored.

I promised myself that I would enjoy the moments more, and I'm glad to say that it's going really well except for having to post things on Instagram all.the.damn.time.

Don't get me wrong, I love love Instagram, and I'll continue to love it until the next new thing comes along. But I'm going to make another promise to myself:

I can take pictures of whatever I'm doing, but I will wait until I'm home to post them. I vow not to be on my phone trying to figure out what to say and what filter makes my skin look the best... because even though it only takes a couple of minutes, those are a couple of minutes that I lose enjoying the moment. Plus, no one likes being with someone who is always on their phone.

What about you? Do you have any issues with how much you use social media?

Linking up with Knit by God's Hand

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Am I a Houstonian?

I recently came across this article called 24 Things YouNeed to Do Before You’re Officially a Houstonian. I am born & raised in Houston and haven’t lived anywhere else besides when I went off to college. I usually don’t read articles like this, but I was curious to see if I’m an official Houstonian or if I’m just a fake Houstonian, since I guess being born & raised in Houston is just not enough anymore.

Let’s see.

1. Have a favorite tequila. Nope

2. Figure out how to pronounce Kuykendahl. This I learned years & years ago. It’s pronounced kirk-in-doll.

3. Start to actually kind hate Dallas. I’m not sure where this rivalry comes from. Dallas is actually pretty fun from what I know, and I actually want to go back again.

4. Eat two or more unnecessary deep-fried foodstuffs at the Rodeo. Yes. This one is easy. Although I don’t do it anymore because I’m not willing to spend $10 on a fried oreo.

5. Correct someone that puts the period in Dr Pepper (so it reads as Dr. Pepper). I actually have no idea this was an issue? Why wouldn’t someone put the period after Dr?

6. Get a sunburn just from walking your dog. Hah! Yes, I tend to get sunburns at the dog park if we are there too long.

7. Wait 3 weeks to get a reservation at Uchi. Shit, do I look like I can afford a restaurant that has to take reservations that much in advance? I don’t think so.

8. Get yourself into a tent at the world’s championship bbq cook off. Yes. Multiple times. And it is always fun!

9. Develop an intense addiction to Buc-ee’s. The only reason I go to Buc-ee’s is if I need to make a pitstop on the way to Austin.

10. Know when it's crawfish season, oyster season, and lovebug season. Yuck. I don’t eat any of those things, but I do know when crawfish season is because everyone starts having parties.

11. Have a fiercely strong opinion about the city’s best breakfast taco. No on this one either.. I don’t eat breakfast tacos.

12. Submit to the fact that rush-hour traffic is happening. I got over traffic when I started to drive at 16 years old. Fortunately I live close to work and don’t have to even take a freeway to get home.

13. Know what’s coming up during the seventh-inning stretch (besides a BBQ-stuffed potato). Yep! I’m actually going to a baseball game tomorrow!

14. Truly experience Screwston. I can’t believe people still refer to Houston as Screwston. I haven’t really heard this term since I hung out with rap-lovers in high school. I was one of those lovers of rap, by the way! From Wikipedia: "Screwston" is a popular modern nickname for the city of Houston.[29] Although it is not an official nickname, it is widely known by fans of localhip-hop artist DJ Screw and his style of music, known as "chopped and screwed".[30]

15. Include H Mart and Fiesta on your list of preferred grocery stores. I used to go shopping at Fiesta all the time, but not anymore. I went to H Mart once (it’s an Asian grocery store). I would probably go more often but there’s only like one in the entire city and it’s not near me.

16. Barely survive the night in Midtown. Do not even get me started. I haven’t been to Midtown since December 2014 because it is just too much for me to handle anymore. But, my friend is having her birthday party there on Saturday. Wish me luck! Midtown is an extremely popular, crowded, frat and sorority filled area of bars in downtown. A lot of the crowd is really conceited and it feels like your back in high school with so many cliques. Other than that, the bars are overpriced or the bouncers are rude. One time they wouldn’t let my friend in a bar because he had on white shoes (like converse). Really?!

17. Dine at (at least) three different locations of Pappadeaux. Pappadeaux is a big-time seafood chain here.  I’ve only been to two locations because, again, I don’t eat seafood. Now if this was about the Mexican food (Pappasitos (same owner)) I would gladly say I’ve been to pretty much every location!

18. Succumb to the fact that you’re not going to walk “there”. I don’t walk anywhere but to my mailbox and back.

19. Complain about gentrification. Nah.. I don’t really care that much.

20. Have a good hurricane/tropical storm/flood story. Oh yes. You mean like my story from a few weeks ago where I almost died trying to leave my parents’ house during the storm?

21. Get accustomed to showing up to work with crack sweat. Umm.. no. I have AC in my car, thank god.

22. Instagram a photo of the skyline from Eleanor Tinsley Park. This hasn’t happened yet, but I have taken a few skyline photos from the tops of parking garages.

23. Fail to understand how people don’t like crawfish. I’m one of those people, so I definitely understand why people don’t like them.

24. Defend the city’s honor to outsiders at all costs. I wouldn’t say I defend it at all costs, but I do defend this place I call home.

So how did I do? I only said yes to 10 out of the 24. So I guess I’m not even close to being an official Houstonian.  

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The New Cool Thing That I Just Can’t Get Into

Every so often some new fad swarms social media and gains a lot of followers. This fad has been popular for a while, but I recently came across it this morning.

Dyed armpit hair.

free your pits founder

I'm not juding these girls or saying they're gross. In fact, I think the opposite.  I think these women are brave and confident, being able to take this stand and be seen as different. In a NY Times recent article, some of these girls shared their reasons:

“I do it because it looks cool,” she said in an interview. “And because I think that people should be able to do what they please, and feel beautiful regardless of what they do.”

NY Times

“What a woman decides to do with her own body and her own hair is her own business,” she said. “We love defiance, and we love flying in the face of beauty standards.”

& I agree. We should have the power to choose what we do with our own bodies, and that of course, we all are beautiful  -- even if we have some unique characteristics.

The reason I can't dye my armpit hair? It is simple: I refuse to grow out my armpit hair. I live in freakin' Houston, Texas. It is hot. It is sticky. Plus, I assume that armpit hair itches and tickles, and I really don't want to be itching my armpits in the dead of summer.

What about you? Would you grow your armpit hair and dye it a fun color?

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Monday, July 20, 2015

"Life is Short. Have an Affair."

There are about 37 million users on Ashley Madison, a dating website for married people. Yes, you read that correctly.  People join Ashley Madison to find someone they can cheat on their husband or wife with. Isn't that romantic?

Cheating is getting easier and easier. All it takes is one "connection" on a social media account. What may start off as innocent talking turns into maybe innocent flirting... eventually leads to an emotional connection with that person.

What may be silly snapchats turns into long conversations.. turns into inappropriate snapchats.

I'm not saying this always happens, but it can happen.

My grandparent's friends in Missouri were married for over 25 years. They always seemed incredibly happy together until a few years ago when my grandmother told me they divorced. The husband was talking to this lady over Facebook. Flirting online, making that emotional connection, spending hours messaging her. He left his family, even moved states, to be with that other woman.

When people ask me about online dating, I always mention that a lot of people who do online dating don't care too much if it doesn't work out with one particular person because they know there are other options just a click away. If you had one bad date, you get over it and chat with the next person on your matches. It's easy.

And I guess that's what this Ashley Madison website does too. It lets you say, "Ok. I'm unhappy with my wife. I want to cheat." and instead of having to go to a bar and putting much effort into it, you just go to the website and there are 37 million users for you to pick from.

It's like people are becoming easier and easier to replace. 

I wish the creators of Ashley Madison spent their energy on helping relationships stay alive or providing therapy through divorces or whatever. I wish they didn't think it was cool to help people cheat on their spouses. I wish they weren't making a shit ton of money by encouraging people to cheat instead of talk or just simply end the relationship.

Their slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." Really?! 

I've been cheated on in my past and it's not fun. You think about your boyfriend with someone else but then, and probably what hurts the most, you think about the betrayal and how long he was lying to you. How many times did you kiss me and pretend to love me, when really you were kissing her and loving her too? How many times did you lie to my face about us? How many dates did we go on where I thought everything was wonderful, but you were probably thinking about her?

I just can't stand cheaters. I would rather be completely blindsided and dumped than hear someone say, "I've been cheating on you for 3 months."

** End Monday Rant **

I still believe in love. Two people can be happily married for life. Relationships are sometimes work, but that work is worth it when you really love the person you are with.

(& to be clear, Kevin and I are fine. I was talking about an ex from high school).

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Thursday, July 16, 2015


Sleep comes easy to me only when a room is dark and quiet. We have our internet router in our room, sitting on our dresser. It used to blink it's red and green lights all night -- right in my eyes, or at least that's what it seemed like. It lasted one night before I used thick tape to block the lights from waking me up.

No lights. No blinking. Not even a MAC laptop that has a slowly fading and then slowly brightening light is allowed. I won't even let Kevin have an alarm clock.

Why? Because sleeping in total darkness is a must:

The part of your brain that controls your biological clock is the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the hypothalamus. These cells respond to light and dark signals. The optic nerves in our eyes senses light and transmits a signal to the SCN telling the brain that it's time to wake up. It also kickstarts other processes, like raising body temperature and producing hormones like cortisol. Our cortisol levels are relatively low at night, allowing us to sleep, and higher during the day, allowing for the stabilization of energy levels and the modulation of immune function. (via)

I usually sleep through the night. No, that's a lie. I used to sleep through the night. I used to be a morning person. Now, I find myself dragging slowly out of bed. Why? Becuase Kevin and I made the huge mistake of letting the dogs sleep on the bed. We have two humans, one 70 pound dog, and one 40 pound dog in a queen sized bed.

I fall asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the bed, but if I wake up in the middle of the night -- good luck to me going to sleep anytime soon again. You know how people say they have a hard time going to sleep because their brain doesn't shut off? That happens to me when I wake up in the middle of the night. Then I find myself in a battle.

Like last night I woke up to go to the bathroom. I knew that I would have a hard time going back to sleep, so I tried to tell myself, "sleep. sleep. sleep" when I laid down.

But then, in an instant, my brain suddenly thinks about something and I find myself awake for the next hour, just begging my brain to shut up.

& I just realized I probably wrote the most boring, useless blog post ever. But I'm still thinking about sleep. Becuase I'm tired.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Five Years Down the Road

Five years down the road I want to be writing more and maybe have a career in marketing and/or communications.

Not a career in sales, which is what I’m currently doing and have been doing for five years.

My primary responsibility is coordinating proposals – editing proposals and making sure they look awesome for the client. I don’t get to write – or do much creative writing – at all. I have a few side projects I’m working on, but they’re not enough to satisfy me.

At my previous job, I was responsible for the marketing and proposals. I did a lot of fun, creative brainstorming and wrote articles for our website and newsletters. I created ads and brochures. I wrote press releases. But, I also did 7-10 proposals a week. There was a great balance between the heavy technical proposal writing and the fun marketing writing.

It’s not like that at my current job.

I don’t hate my job. I love my team.  & my company has given me so many opportunities & the opportunities keep coming.

But, I’m missing something. If I know I don’t want to be in sales five years down the road, then why am I bothering being in sales now?  Shit, I don’t even want to be in sales a year from now.

It was hard to walk into my boss’ office (who I haven’t seen in 3 weeks because he was traveling to other offices) this morning. I was nervous, and I just wanted to get it out there. So I told him as blunt as possible, “I don’t want to be in sales anymore.”

Guys, that’s MY JOB. That’s why I was hired.

And here I am telling him I don’t want this job anymore.

He asked me what I want to do. I was so nervous that I avoided all eye contact and just started mumbling like “I want to do fun stuff.” And “I don’t want to do proposals anymore.” And “Well, I don’t really know….” And finally I gave him a reasonable response: “I want to do more marketing and communications kind of projects and fewer proposals.”

Luckily my boss is really relaxed and adaptable.  He just looked at me and said, “Hmm. Okay.”

He knows I’m a writer. He knows I want to do more writing projects, and he’s been giving them to me as they come along.

He told me he has to take time to come up with a response because he was not expecting to hear that.

Although I’m a little nervous about the door I just opened, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be OK, & I’m really looking forward to my boss’ response.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Creating My Home: A Wishlist

If someone asked me if I was happy with my home, I’d say no. Not because it’s cramped, but because I’m starting to hate some of our furniture.

When we moved in together about a year & four months ago, we luckily had a lot of furniture already, but we still had to buy a dining room table, a coffee table, bookshelves, a TV shelf, and a few other small items. Of course we ran to Ikea for these items. Although they work, they’re not really my style and they’re unfortunately falling apart or are uncomfortable.

I feel stupid spending a ton of money on furniture for our apartment. We move once a year; I can save up money for a nice couch from Pottery Barn, but how will I know if that couch will fit in our next place? Sure I can narrow down our next place by making sure our fancy couch will fit in the living room, but that seems ridiculous.

“This place would be perfect for us, but we can’t sign the lease because our couch doesn’t fit in this space and we just spent half our savings on it. Sorry!”

So, I’m trying not invest in any nice furniture until we own a home – which could be years from now. Because I want to know that we’ll be living there for years and that the furniture will work in that space for years.

But, like I always do, I’m going to daydream about my future house. Here is some furniture on my wishlist:

Heath 2 - Piece Sectional from West Elm. I adore this sofa. I could definitely see myself, Kevin, and the dogs lounging on this couch watching Netflix. This item will probably always be on my wishlist because it’s over $3,000, and I cannot imagine spending that much on a couch, no matter how much I love it. Why? Because we have dogs and dogs are dirty. And when we have kids, they’ll be even dirtier.

Grid-Tufted Upholstered Tapered Leg Bed – Heathered Crosshatch from West Elm. I just love, love, love this bed! It's another item that's far out of budget, but maybe one day I'll be able to call this mine.

Box Frame Coffee Table - Marble from West Elm.  This would look awesome with my wishlist couch. I especially love marble. My only comment is I wish it was a little wider. It’s pretty thing for a coffee table.

A breakfast table nook. These are awesome. When I was looking to buy a house a year ago, I always imagined building one of these in the kitchens I saw. Unfortunately, most of the houses I saw didn’t have room for something like this.

A dining room like Kimberly's.  Actually, I'm obsessed with her entire house. 

Linking up with Oh Hey, Friday!
Linking up with 5 on Friday!

Linking up with Friday Favorites!
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Five Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

One. When I was little – and sometimes they still do - my grandparents called me Cookie Monster. Not because I was obsessed with the Cookie Monster, although I probably was, but because I quickly learned a little trick. Every time I cried, my grandparents gave me a cookie to get me to stop. Eventually I started crying just to get cookies.  I still love cookies, and if I had to cry to get one, I probably would.

Two. Imagine a little blonde girl with red-rimmed circle glasses, an eye patch on one eye, and stitches on her mouth. That was me when I was in first grade. The patch was from laser surgery; the stitches on the side of my lip that went up towards my cheek were from me busting my mouth on a clay pot. I looked lovely.

Three. Do you know those weirdos who make up entire situations in their heads and then decide how they’d react to them in real life? I’m one of those weirdos. I spent the entire car ride home imagining what this interviewer will ask me, and then verbally saying my answers out loud. To no one but my car. Luckily so many people have Bluetooth that the people next to me at the stop lights probably thought I was really talking to someone.

Four. I recently became obsessed with binge watching Netflix. I never understood how people could sit there all day and watch the same TV show. But, a few months ago I watched Gilmore Girls for the first time, and I was hooked. I took a break from Netflix binge-worthy shows for a few weeks, but now I’m obsessed with The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The acting can be pretty damn bad and I don’t understand these teenagers’ choices, but I’m hooked.

Five. I recently heard about this #dontjudgechallenge. I’m not offended, but I do see how it is backfiring. People are posting videos of themselves in glasses and covered in fake acne marks that they drew on their faces and also with fake body hair that is also drawn on. Then, they wipe off the “mess” they created and reveal their true selves – someone without acne, glasses, or facial hair.  They caption the video with #dontjudgechallenge, which is meant to say “I’m beautiful no matter what.” Unfortunately, what they’re really saying is – people with acne, glasses, and facial hair are not as beautiful as I am (so you're judging them and then labeling it as "don't judge me"). I’m someone who has acne/acne scars, and to be honest, I probably have facial hair every once and a while. You know why? Because I am human and those things happen to everyone.  But glasses? I love my glasses. #glassesarecool

Bonus. I was having a hard time coming up with weird things about myself, so I asked Kevin. He said: “That you love to drop your clothes all over the bedroom.” Yeah, yeah…

What are some facts about you?

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Happy Wednesday!

I officially joined Twitter. Again. I really want to put in the effort to get this blog to grow, and I know social media is a big, big thing for bloggers. You can tweet me @blake1398. One day I may even start a Facebook page.

Today I’m linking with Lauren for #hashtaghumpday.  This week’s theme is a combination of currently & #hashtags.

Wishing... that this upcoming weekend was another long one. Fourth of July weekend was a blast, and I can definitely get used to having four day weekends. Who couldn’t? I spent about 3 days at the pool, went to a soccer game, watched awesome fireworks, and hung out with awesome people.  #summerdays

Stressing...  about life & dreams & goals. Do you ever feel like you’re not living the life you want to live? I’m a writer at heart. It’s my passion (& I have a degree in it). I don’t write as much as I want to at my job, and I think it’s starting to take a toll on me. But, I was recently chosen to become part of a Communications Team for a club at work, so that’ll give me more opportunities to write. Also, I want to become a skimm’bassador. Do you read Daily Skimm? It’s a daily email that sums up local and global news – so you can read it pretty quickly. You can sign up here. (No, I don’t get any money if you sign up through my link. BUT… I need 10 people to sign up through that link before I can become a skimm’bassador) #helpagirlout

Eating...  oatmeal. I wish I could say something awesome, like pesto pasta, but not right now. I tend to eat oatmeal every morning when I’m at work. It’s the only thing that keeps me satisfied until lunch – and that’s super important because I hate, hate, hate when my stomach growls during meetings. #awkward

St. Arnold's Bottle Caps - July 4th

Preparing... for Big Brother tonight. Do you watch it? I’ve watched since season 1. I remember seasons when they didn’t have any twists. How cool would it be if next season they didn’t have a twist? I bet all the house guests would go crazy trying to figure out what the twist is... only to find out there wasn’t one and they were just paranoid. #ishouldwriteforthatshow

Hoping...  that the dogs would have slept last night. They usually sleep throughout the night and sometimes sleep as late as 9 AM without bugging us. But last night Bear would not go to sleep, and then he woke up about 2 hours early this morning (so 2 hours before my alarm goes off). I kept hear him walking around the house. & yes, we let the dogs sleep in the bed. It’s a decision we regret every night.  #igetnosleep

Disappearing... from nowhere I hope. #heretostay

What are you up to today?

Also, I’m looking for blog recommendations. Who are your favorite bloggers to read?

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Success Plan

The weekend and all its glory have a way of ruining my goals. I let the weekend ruin my goals. It’s so easy to maintain my goals (eating healthy, spending less) during the work week because I rarely go out to lunch/dinner or happy hours. I actually rarely go anywhere other than work & home.

But then the weekend comes around and my routine is busted. I am free to do anything I want without having to worry about waking up early or spending 9 hours at work pretending to be a professional.

The weekend is for relaxing & having fun, and I let myself create excuses.

For example: I have said this a million times & I probably will a million more: I want to start exercising more. But, and Kevin disagrees with this theory, I don’t get why I should start working out unless I am going to fully commit to it. Why half-ass doing something? Why wake up at 5 AM to go to the gym before work, but then get so caught up in weekend fun that you miss the gym on those days? I understand working out, even if it’s just a day or two a week, is healthy for you. But I don’t like half-assing things. I don’t want to put only 80% effort into something.  I want to put 100% effort.

Another example: I get so excited when people invite us places and I get to socialize. I love talking to Kevin, but after not hanging out with anyone else for 4+ days straight, I like to be around other people or even just go somewhere to people watch.  We’re at the age where a lot of our friends go to bars or out to happy hours for fun (and so do we. Sometimes we are the ones who invite people out). The bad thing is bars = booze and money and probably a late start the next morning. I always say it can’t hurt to just go to the bar for an hour or two… but once we get there, we get caught up in the fun and we find ourselves going home at 2 am.

Some of my favorite weekends are ones where we find ourselves waking up at 8 am. We have the entire day to do whatever we want, and we don’t have to worry about feeling sick from the night before. Those mornings tend to only happen when we spend the previous night at home watching movies.

I want to need to start focusing on my goals if I’m ever going to succeed.

My plan? Treat the weekend like it’s a workday and set an early morning alarm.  I wake up around 6:30 for the work day, so my plan is to wake up between 7- 7:30 for the weekend. The challenge is: I have to convince myself that I can, under no circumstances, turn that alarm off, even if I come home at 2 AM.

I am hoping that this will force me to prioritize my goals. Why stay out at a bar when you have to wake up at 7 am the next day? And if I’m not at the bar that long, then I’m not spending money and drinking for that long. Win!

But, like I said, it’ll be a challenge. It’ll be easy to realize that I have no real reason to wake up at 7. I don’t have work or a dentist appointment or anything. In fact, I’d probably just catch up on laundry or binge on Netflix. I have to find something to do that early in the morning (maybe the dog park? Or actually having time in the morning to read or make breakfast?)

Another plan is to spend time with people during the day.  Why not get a group together for volleyball in the park? Why not go on a brewery tour (if you feel like drinking, it’s a lot cheaper at the brewery than it is at a bar)?  Why not hang out at the pool? Why not walk around downtown or act like a tourist in our own city? Why not go have a picnic? Making day plans will not only help me wake up earlier, but it’ll probably also be easier on the wallet.

What are some things you do to keep yourself goal-oriented on the weekend?

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Goal Recap

In June, I did a mostly no-dairy challenge. Not a break from all dairy – I didn’t want to put so much effort in reading labels.  But I avoided the obvious things like cream, ice cream, cheese- anything that obviously has some sort of dairy in it.

I did it because I wanted to see how much better I’d feel. I’m lactose intolerant, but when I ate dairy before, I always took a natural pill (Lactaid). Sometimes I did get bloated or sick, but it wasn’t too bad. Although if you ask Kevin, he’d tell you I always complained about my stomach hurting.
I figured that my body would feel better if I stopped eating something that it doesn’t like, even if I rarely had symptoms because I took Lactaid.

It’s only been a month, and I’ve cheated a few times (I dipped a pretzel in cheese one day and last week I had 2 slices of pizza).  The thing is – I don’t feel any different than I did when I ate dairy every day.  I know it’s only been a month and I should probably give it longer before I judge my progress, so I’m going to continue avoiding dairy to see what happens. But, I won’t be so hard on myself that I won’t let myself eat a cupcake because the icing has dairy in it. Do you know how many times I craved cupcakes in June? I have a bakery next to my apartment.

I also chose to follow a mostly no dairy diet because I thought it would help my acne. I thought my acne was getting better (which could be from lack of dairy, but it could also be from washing my face with coconut oil), but now my acne seems to be getting worse.

Part of me wants to give up and start putting chemicals on my face again – to find something that will make the acne go away.  But I chose to wash my face with organic coconut oil because I want to avoid using chemicals on my skin. To be fair, I’m going to give it one more month before I decide if I need to break up with it.

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