Happy New Year! 2018

^The picture above was at my personal trainer’s studio many years ago.

It’s a new year!  I am extremely happy to see the back end of 2017.  It wasn’t a horrible year, but it wasn’t a great one either.  I honestly can’t say that I achieve a single goal that I wanted in 2017.  As a matter of fact, I was very lax in everything last year.  I did nothing.  Well, I’m determined to make this year different.  I honestly want to take charge of my health and finances this year.  I’ve decided to tackle it month by month instead of making a goal for the year.  Well, I guess taking charge of my health and finances would be my goal for 2018, but I’m going to break it down in monthly goals.

My health is something that I need to get in control of.  Here is the honest truth..I’m diabetic and I have high blood pressure.  It’s not a good thing.  At all.  About 10 years ago, this started to rear its ugly head and I did my best to get out in front of it by hiring a personal trainer to help me with my fitness.  I was very involved in my nutrition by reading and researching everything I could online.  I counted calories, I stopped eating processed food.  I stopped drinking soda. I had pizza every once in a while (maybe once every other month).  I was ON IT!  And I was successful.  I dropped 50 lbs.  I lost many many inches and I felt good.  But, it was hard!  Anyone who tells you healthy living is easy is lying to you.  It was hard.  It was so hard only drinking water and taking more than 10 minutes looking over a menu when going out with friends to see what I could eat.  It came easier with time, but..still…it was hard.  At some point, I hit a plateau and that is honestly the most frustrating part of losing weight.  Plus I started to have financial problems because the recession was starting to hit….so I ended up losing momentum.

Well, here we are many years later and I’ve completely gotten off the wagon. I stopped working out.  I stopped paying attention to what I’m eating and here I am..taking pills for blood pressure and diabetes.  I don’t like it at all, so it has to change.  My goal for the month of January is to exercise five days a week.  I have a treadmill in my bedroom right next to the bed.  There is no excuse to not hop on it almost every single day for an evening walk.  So…there it is.  In writing.  Five days a week in the month of January.  I will add on to this goal in February.  Small steps is all I need.

Next is finances.  My finances spiraled out of control last year.  I did start to change things in the fall of last year, so I just want to continue that path.  I hate being in debt.  I hate credit cards.  I would love to pay cash for everything and have extra cash on hand for emergencies. I hope to never have to pick up a credit card again!  Again, when I bought my house over 10 years ago, I was completely debt free.  I had paid off every single credit card I had.  It was great.  I felt so accomplished.  I had set a goal and followed through.  I was proud of myself for doing it.  Today, I have about five credit cards, all with balances.  I’m ready to get rid of them all and that’s going to be my goal for 2018.  The month of January, I’m tackling the first card.  Lowe’s.  My goal is to pay this card completely off in January.  It’s about $160, but that’s money that I can free up to tackle the next card.  I also plan on putting about $200 in savings during January.  I plan on doing this by not dining out AT ALL during the month of January.  I will only eat what I have in the house.  I will be doing a strict monthly budget so that I can work to get both of these goals done and maybe even get a running jump on the February goal.

Well…here we go.  It’s all in writing. These are my goals for January.  2018 is a year for advancement.  Same old me…just a better version.

What will you be doing in 2018?

Talk to you all soon……..

 

Advertisements

This Christmas

This Christmas is a first for me. I decided, along with my best friend, that we would not be putting up decorations or exchanging gifts. The only thing we are doing is hosting dinner at the house. I admit that it feels odd. There are many reasons that this decision was made on my part. To be honest, we didn’t celebrate any holidays in my house this year. I did cook for Thanksgiving, but I spent that holiday alone. I spent the day eating and hanging out in my pajamas.  It was good, but Christmas is different.

I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of the year. I think that the majority of people are really happy around this time. At least that has been my experience. There is always a little extra joy in the air. The Christmas carols, movies and just overall cheer puts almost everyone in a good mood.

I also admit that this time of the year can be very overwhelming for people who just feel that there is to much to do. The shopping, food preparing, decorating, and schedule juggling can be daunting. I get it. I’m fortunate..or unfortunate to some…to not have much immediate family (husband, children, parents). Because of this, I don’t have much juggling but I do have all of the other things to contend with.  My overall thoughts are Christmas is what you make it.

Christmas is, after all, the celebration of the birth of Christ. All of the other stuff is just extra. No one needs to go out and buy a ton of gifts or have an extravagant dinner. So whenever people say..the holiday has become so commercial, I think ‘It doesn’t have to be.’ Everyone needs to create their own thing and give their own spin to celebrating.  They should make it what they want or feel that is should be.

This year, I’ve decided to just do dinner. No need to buy me any gifts. I’m giving love on Christmas day…as the song says. That being said, I kind of missed the hustle and bustle. I probably will be putting a little gift giving back into the plans next year and I definitely will be decorating.  I miss my tree. I can’t wait for it to appear next year. You can check out my tree in previous years blog posts though if you want.  I normally put up two trees a year..my office tree and my tree at home.  It used to be three when my mom was alive.  This year, I only put up the office tree but I miss my home tree filled with my ornaments that have been accumulated over the years. So, yes it has been an unconventional Christmas for me but I think I needed the little reset.

Til next time……

 

Ms. Independent?

I’m a forever single girl.  It’s my lot in life.  Because of this, I’m pretty independent.  I have to be. I don’t have anyone to fall back on if stuff happens.  The only person that I had to fall back on was my mom and she’s been gone for many years.  So now…it’s just me, and that’s ok.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a strange one because I spend the majority of my time alone and I like it. I’m used to it.  I grew up being used to it.  See, not only am I a single girl…I’m an only child.  I have always had to entertain myself when there was no one around.  I grew up spending a lot of time with friends and cousins, but mostly I was by myself.

When I was a teenager, I once saw this lady who I believe may have been in her 40’s walking across a street mumbling to herself about no needing anyone.  I always think this is a strange thing to remember because it was so random.  I sometimes wonder if that was younger me seeing a vision of older me? It’s odd to remember it so vividly, when I may not even remember what I had for dinner yesterday.

Sometimes I think that it would have been nice to have someone to lean on. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with things and it would be good to have someone say “I got you.” Then I come back to reality and just try my best to pull out my inner girl boss and handle stuff.

Anyways…these are just my early morning jumbled thoughts.

Til next time….

 

My Grandmother

It’s my late grandmother’s birthday.  I was reminded of this by my aunts on Facebook, and I’m glad I was.  I called my grandmother, Mun.  I’m pretty sure it is because my mother and her siblings called her Ma, but I mistook it for Mun.  Now I just consider it my special name for her.  My grandmother passed away when I was seven years old.  I had such love for her.

I still remember things that we did.  I remember her making me cornbread and buttermilk, and even pig ears in vinegar.  This is stuff I would NEVER eat now.  My mom and aunts said that I was a picky eater and would never eat a lot of things, so my mun would just make me biscuits and I would always eat that.

I was with my grandmother a lot when I was a baby.  I loved spending the night at her house.  Her and my mom were the most influential people in my life.  I just remember how strong she was as a single woman (widowed) with eleven children. You didn’t mess with her either.  I never heard her complain about a thing.  She was an avid church goer and dragged all of her kids and grand kids along with her.  It was a huge family and she managed to keep us all together.  There are so many stories that I could probably share, but ultimately I just want to say Happy Birthday, Mun.  I love you.  I think of you a lot.  I hope that you and my mom are having the best time on your day.

Til next time….

What I got for my birthday

I love my birthday.  It’s just a day that I treat as just for myself.  Most of the time, I spend it alone.  I spend it going to get a free meal and going to pick up my free gifts from Sephora and Ulta.  I also go shopping to use my birthday  discounts from stores like Torrid and Lane Bryant.  It’s always a great day.  So I decided to share my spoils.

Now, I have to say that I’m not HUGE on getting gifts from family and friends anymore.  I am always very appreciative if I do get gifts, but it’s nothing that I expect anymore.  But being the shopaholic that I am, I do enjoy the occasional gift card that I get to help me get something that I have been eyeing for a while.  So…below is the list of what I got.

Glamour x Lane Bryant Bomber jacket – I have wanted this jacket the moment I saw it.  It is now on clearance and luckily my size was still available.  I purchased this with a birthday gift card. I absolutely love the embroidered image on the back.  I have to admit that it is a very short jacket.  I usually like them a little longer to cover my butt.

Denim jacket by Lane Bryant.  This isn’t anything that I was clamoring over, but Lane Bryant was have a buy one, get one free sale on their clearance items, so why not get a new denim jacket for fall!  I got this as the 2nd item when I purchased the pink jacket.

My free gift from Ulta this year was a NYX eyeshadow pallet.  Very pretty colors in it.

My free gift from Sephora is Caudalie skin care set.  It has VinoSouce Moisturizing sorbet and Vinoperfect Radiance serum.

While I was in Sephora, I saw the Sephora Favorites Skin Super Foods.  I’m so excited about this one.  Look at the fantastic stuff that is in this box set.  I cannot wait to try the Tata Harper, Farmacy, and Boscia products.

I have been looking for some nice pins/brooches to go on my shirts.  My best friend got me some Chanel inspired pins from a local boutique called Little Red Bird Gifts.  I can’t wait to wear them.  She also got me some lotion that is made locally as well.  The brand is called 1818 Farms and it was started in Mooresville, AL.

Finally, I received a cute striped tee with Viva La Brunch on it. It is super cute and I love the cuffed sleeves.

I had a great day and was fortunate enough to receive some great gifts. How do you usually celebrate your birthday?

Talk to you all soon!

 

 

 

 

 

44

Today is my birthday.  As with any birthday, I have a ton of thoughts going through my head.  Am I where I want to be in this life?  What are my goals for this birthday year?  Is age nothing but a number?

Ironically, I don’t think I have ever been afraid of getting older.  I don’t even think I really thought about it.  I always thought that as long as I was healthy and had a great quality of life…I’d be happy.  I can honestly say that is the case.  I don’t feel 44.  I don’t even think I act 44.  I’m still very young at heart and refuse to let society tell me what I should or shouldn’t do or be at any age.  My motto is and will always be, do what makes you happy. I still sing at the top of my lungs in my car.  I still dance around my bedroom like I’m 16.  Life is good!

So if I had anything so say about this birthday.  It is that 44 looks and feels great!  I’m living my best life right now.  I know that regrets are somewhat unavoidable, but I try to keep them to a minimum by just doing what I enjoy.

Birthday outfit:  Lane Bryant’s gingham collection – Off the shoulder shirdress – Sold out; Nordstrom Rack Ash Mumbaia sandals – Sold out

Talk to you all soon!

 

Fifty Shades Darker (Movie Review)

I’m a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey. If you read my top romance movies, you will know that the first installment almost made the list. I went to see the newest installment, 50 Shades Darker, this past Friday and just wanted to write down my thoughts.

I liked it. A lot. I may even be able to say I loved it, but I’m trying to give it a little time to sink in. If you enjoyed the first one, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this one.

Now, I believe that there were some parts of it (not sexual) that could have been slowed down or elaborated on, but it wasn’t a deal breaker on my enjoyment of the movie. I really LOVE Christian and Ana’s relationship. I love seeing it evolve on the screen. I really enjoyed seeing more of Christian’s turmoil and willingness to try to work on his “mommy” issues. I will say that the lipstick scene made me laugh out loud though. Ha!

The movie wasn’t exactly like the book, but touched on almost everything. Reading a book is very different from a movie, because the book is through your imagination. If I had to give one suggestion, I would have just said to add more in depth, longer scenes to the more important scenes.  The scene where Christian “submits” to Ana was so emotional in the book.  I would have loved to see MORE during that scene.  It just didn’t last long enough to give it the impact that it deserved. Never the less, though, the scene still made me gasp when it happened.  I knew it was coming and it was still good, but could have been great.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.  All in all, it was a very good movie that I’m sure will be in heavy rotation in my DVD player when it comes out.

Talk to you soon!