29 January, 2013

Goals for February

Well, I did really well this month in keeping with my two main goals - not perfect, admittedly, since I did buy three things (although in my defense it seemed like I had a good reason at the time). My food goal is the clear winner this month, as I managed to log my food all but three days (!!) and I kept intake under my calorie limit for all but one day. (I had a giant chocolate bar on my anniversary...not sorry.) I found that I'm actually a lot better at keeping my carb/protein/fat balance in check than I had ever imagined I could be, and also that I am the queen of hitting insanely high fiber intake goals. (47 grams yesterday, for example.)

As a result of that, my goal for February is to focus on working out consistently. I'm shooting for at least 30 minutes a day, 4 day a week. (5 would be nice, but I know how out of shape I currently am, and I'm thinking realistically here.) My kettle bell set will be here on Friday, so that's what I'll focus on for the month.

I'm also re-instating part of my no-buy goal: this will apply only to clothes. (I've lost 7 pounds so far, and obviously hope to lose more, so there's no sense in buying new clothes that will hopefully be too big soon.) I do, however, have a pair of shoes that I've had my eye on for a couple of months now, and I think I have Josh convinced, so maybe I can buy them sometime soon. (They're Prada's, hence the need for convincing.)

That reminds me, my anniversary present got here yesterday!

When we got married, I got a ring, but I didn't get to choose it. A few months later I got another ring, one I chose, but it still felt too conventional. I've always felt like having a diamond was so...boring. I know that I could have skipped the tradition altogether and not even worn a ring, but that's not exactly what I wanted to do. I still wanted a symbol of marriage, just something that was more a symbol of our marriage, and not just a 'back off, I'm married' ring. I considered a pearl, a black diamond, and moonstone, before deciding that a sapphire made sense because it was both Josh's birthstone, and the traditional stone for 5 years of marriage.

 I also got a free pearl necklace with purchase. Awesome. If you've ever seen my old ring, then it's pretty obvious that Josh did well in choosing my absolute favorite style. This was a long tangent.

Anyway, goals are set, and if I win then I've got a nice prize for myself picked out already. Unless those Prada's become my prize. I could live with that.

I don't really know what would constitute 'winning' though. Let's just say losing 10 pounds? That's a lofty goal, but I think I can do it. Especially with the help of those wonderful, awful kettle bells. I'm terrified and excited.

26 January, 2013

Random updates

Ok, ok, I know, I promised a gluten free product review and didn't deliver. It's coming, at some point in time, but I'm going to quit setting timelines and just do it when I do it.

In other news, we may not have to travel after all. I really don't know. Neither does Josh at this point. Either way, I'm going to stop talking about that too, until we know something concrete.

Today was our 5 year wedding anniversary. We spent 90% of it in our pajamas and watching old seasons of NCIS. (I've recently gotten Josh hooked, so we're catching up on whatever we can't catch on USA marathons.) We did go out for dinner, and afterward made a run to Kroger for chocolate. My present didn't get here yet, mostly because BoA is stupid. (Long story.)

We finally got our Wal-mart gift cards (from the Black Friday deal we used to buy our phones) and we both spent them immediately - Josh ordered a giant bean bag and I ordered a kettle bell set. I can't wait for it to get here! I've been pretty dedicated with my working out this past month, and I'm excited about trying something different.

I've also been doing really good with eating - today's anniversary dinner marked only the third time I've eaten out this month. Everything else I've been cooking or preparing at home. I do keep a few frozen things as well as some cereal for days when I'm feeling lazy, but otherwise I've been consistent with my meal cooking. I'm quite proud of myself, and, honestly, am actually kind of glad that we might not have to go anywhere next month - trips are always hard for me to recover from, and in the past any time I've lost my momentum in my pursuit of healthiness, it's always been because of travel.

I really want to dye my hair again. Blueish/teal and purple. I don't know when it'll happen, but hopefully soon. I also wish my hair would hurry up and grow out. I didn't mind it being short (like really short) but I have absolutely had it with this funky in-between stage.

In case anyone is wondering, I haven't worked on the table and chairs because we haven't had a day warm enough. Believe me, I really want to have a comfortable place to sit and eat meals, so as soon as we have two or three days of the temperature being consistently over 65°, I'll hop on that project. In the meantime, though, I'm doing my best to enjoy the last couple of weeks of winter. (This is the south - for all I know Spring could arrive tomorrow.)

Christmas lights are so weird. I have two sets still up, and I don't intend to take them down, but one set, of pink ones, that I have in the kitchen, I've had for years. Almost ten years, I think - they're the old kind, green wire, single bulbs, and there's not one dead bulb. The other set, blue icicle lights, are from last year, and already there are two decent sized sections that are dead! Wish I could find more of the old kind...

This week, on Wednesday Josh and I drove up West Mountain and watched the sunset, and I took a bunch of pictures. Then, on Thursday, we had a gorgeous, pink and purple sunset. Figures. I managed to get one good shot out the window while we were crossing the lake on our way to get groceries, but it made me so mad! One day! Ughhh. Oh well. I'll catch the next one, hopefully. Here's the window shot:

24 January, 2013

Blood and words

Growing up, I used to be exceptionally accident prone - if there was a way to injure oneself, I was the one that would find it. I once broke my ankle in the deep end of a swimming pool. (Yes, there was water in it at the time.) For a few years I thought that I might have outgrown it, but this past year my ability to obtain injuries where none should occur appears to have returned. Today I managed to both fall off my exercise ball and land on my elbow, and to slice my finger open on a small, hidden latch on the inside of the dishwasher. And even though I washed it really well, and put neosporin and a bandaid, it kept bleeding and now there is a pool of crusty blood all the way around my nail and under it. Gross.

Moving on, though, remember how I mentioned a long time ago that I was going to review some gluten free products, and never did? Well, never fear, I didn't forget, I've just been trying out a bunch of different stuff, and saving the boxes in a nice, messy stack on the counter that Josh finally asked about. Tomorrow I'm going to lay them out and take pictures, then write a short summary of how I feel about each one, in one long post instead of spreading them out.

I know I mentioned that my goal for January was mostly to focus on logging my food intake more than it was about changing it, but after just a couple of days of logging, I realized that I wasn't really eating too many calories, I was just eating...wrong. I've actually managed to (finally) find a way of eating that fills me up, gives my body everything it needs, and is consistent enough that I can keep my shopping list simple, and my calorie/nutritional values average about the same daily, but variable enough that I'm not getting bored, or eating the same exact thing for every meal every day. I haven't gotten tired of cooking, or running the dishwasher more often, or of my meals taking longer to prepare. And, bonus, I've only eaten out twice so far this whole month!

Obviously, I did break my 'no buy' goal, but I am not too worried about it, since it was for a special occasion. Plus, February and March are probably going to end up being 'no buy' or 'low buy' too, because there's a payroll switch happening, and Josh is going to have to travel in March. Ugh. Not looking forward to that. My parents might come up and keep me company, but if not then I'm in for a very sleepless week.

Haha, Orion has a pillow:

It's a phone picture, because if I get up to get my camera he'll move.

21 January, 2013

Weekend words

I don't know why I've been more philosophical than crafty lately, but oh well. It is what it is. Plus, my craft room is still sort of disaster-y because we haven't gotten around to donating the discarded clothes, and the cat has been sleeping on them. And also, you know, it's just generally messy and I hate going in there when it's messy. One of these days I'll be in a cleaning mood, and I'll go in there, but it's been sunny the past few days so we've been spending more time outside.

Both Friday and Saturday Josh and I did our workouts outside. Thursday we tried to go outside for a while, but Belle was out there with us and had a panic attack and got tangled around a post, then clawed her way up my leg. It was extremely painful for me, and obviously terrifying for her (it took at least five minutes of talking to her calmly, while bent over and holding her up with her claws sunk deep into the back of my thigh before I could even get her to let go), so we gave up and came back inside. I still have a bunch of bruises but she seems to have recovered nicely. No more going outside for her though.

Oh! The shopping trip on Friday went well. Josh got two pairs of dress pants and two shirts, and I got two shirts and a skirt. (The skirt is so great! Looks like this one.) One of the shirts I got is black/white/gold striped, to match my new gold glittery Chinese Laundry shoes that came in yesterday. The other is a grey, three-quarter sleeve, asymmetrical hem sweater. I'm feeling a lot calmer about traveling now.

...or at least I was until I thought about it.

Thursday I got a new book, The Naked Foods Cookbook. We were walking around downtown, and I wandered into one of the bath-houses while Josh was taking a restroom break and found it. The gluten-free, healthy fats part is what grabbed my attention - I've never been one to fall into any kind of 'fad diet' trap. I've done my homework, I know enough about nutrition to hold an educated conversation, and I hate when people think that eating low-fat processed food is a better choice than raw nuts/nut butter or an avocado, just because of the fat content. Anyway, I'm rambling - it's a great book, I'm going through it slowly and loving every page!

On the flip side, I also bought the Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You, and didn't like it at all! The format of it sucked; it basically just profiled all the people from that particular season in the first part, and then, when I got into the recipe part, nearly every single one of them uses a microwave! That's not a recipe to me. I guess they're geared more towards people with busy lives and all, but still. Don't waste your money on that. I didn't learn anything from it that I didn't already know, other than a bunch of random facts about a bunch of random people. (In the interest of total honesty, though, I haven't finished this book either, and I doubt that I ever will.)

As usual I have no solid plans this week, but Friday is our 5 year anniversary and Josh clearly has something up his sleeve. I know I'm getting a gift, and I know (vaguely) what it is, but I don't know when it will be here, and he seems to want to 'present' it at a dinner or something, so I don't know when we'll actually be celebrating. I'm not one that puts a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing, though, so it does not matter to me when (or even if) we go out and celebrate. I much prefer a night at home, wearing pajamas and watching tv together. I just cannot believe we're going to have been married for five years. It does not seem like it was that long ago that we were standing there in the courthouse, waiting in line, and then running across Burnet in the middle of rush hour on a rainy winter day because we were hungry and couldn't get a seat at Trudy's. And while our wedding day may not have been traditional, it was fun, quite fitting for us, and full of love and laughter.

18 January, 2013

Well, almost

Yesterday we found out that because of some changes that are taking place within Joshs company right now, they're going to be having this big 'meet and greet' sort of conference, at which they'll be getting necessary things done, but they want people to bring their spouses since they'll be going over benefits and what not. Which means that I have to meet other people. A lot of them. At once.

I already had two anxiety attacks over this yesterday, but I keep telling myself that if I get them over with now, then maybe I won't have any there. In front of people. I know that's not really how it works, but I'm doing what I can. And today, I'm choosing to focus my energy elsewhere. Like the mall!

I know, I KNOW. I'm not supposed to be shopping, but since this trip is taking place very soon, if I want anything new to take with me, I have to shop now. And I definitely want something (or a couple of somethings) new to take. And Josh actually needs new stuff, since he was...a little less chunky the last time he had to travel and look presentable. Working from home will do that to ya!

Anyway. I'm going to try and just choose one or two nice dresses or something, and focus more on getting Josh some nice stuff, since he really needs it more. I plan to just show up when I have to, and spend the rest of my time wandering the city alone taking pictures. (Anyone out there live in Charlotte, N.C., or have some suggestions of things I must see?)

15 January, 2013

Random thoughts pt 4

Almost halfway through my month of no shopping. My wishlist on shopbop is filling up fast. That's ok though. It can wait.

I decided to finally buckle down and learn a new language, and of course chose one that doesn't even use the same alphabet. But I'm really excited, and it's not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I'm using memrise for now, and once I've got the basics Josh is going to get me the Rosetta Stone program. And then, once I get through that, and can hold a conversation, we're going to go to Tel Aviv to celebrate. (That should clue you in to the language.)

This morning, I had set alarms for three different times, about a half hour apart, to try and start the process of resetting my sleep schedule, but then changed my mind and turned them off. Then, at the time I had set the first alarm, I got an email, at the time I had set the second alarm, I got a wrong-number call, and at the time I had set the third alarm, my mom called and I actually had to wake up. Weird, huh? (You'd think so too if you knew how rarely I got emails to that account, or phone calls.)

I really love the cold, and I also love rain, but I wish they would quit teaming up so often. I get sad when I can't go outside for too many days in a row, and I've about reached my limit.

I used to use calorie-count to log my food, then it merged with about.com and was ok for a while, but the latest overhaul they did was horrible. I couldn't figure out how to do anything anymore! So I tried sparkpeople and that was just as annoying - they didn't have some really common stuff. So I resigned myself to using my fitness pal, even though it's not as detailed as calorie-count used to be, and logging stuff is weird because you can't just enter a number of grams. I guess I could always just do it by hand in a note-book.

I eat a lot of fiber. All naturally, and most from vegetables, fruits, and beans - I don't take any kind of supplements, or add anything crazy to my food/water, and I certainly can't eat any high-fiber bread products. Josh was actually concerned that I might hit some sort of fiber ceiling, but luckily, there is no upper limit on fiber intake.

I've replaced coffee with mio energy (black cherry flavor - tastes just like black cherry koolaid, but for 0 calories). No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make myself like coffee without sugar + milk, so I switched.

Drinking a frozen smoothie when it's below freezing outside and your heater refuses to kick on unless you let a bunch of cold air in waiting for the dog to hurry up and poop can actually result in an inability to get warm.

There's this one thing...that I can't help. I can control it on good days, but sometimes life is just too much, and old habits die hard. It's the only thing I try to cover up, lie about when people ask questions, the one thing I have never admitted openly.

We bought harness and leash so that Belle could go outside safely (after she snuck out twice!) and after three outings she has decided that outside isn't so great after all.

Nearly 20 years after I was forced to quit (not like forced, just, we moved to a really, really small town) ballet I still miss it. I like doing pilates because it feels similar.

I think my mind works differently than most peoples, and I often have questions regarding what led someone to make a certain decision. Over time, though, I've come to realize that people don't like discussing their reasoning; they just get angry and defensive. I don't understand that either.

I really wish I could move my desk somewhere else in the office.

My computer keeps trying to restart so I'm going to go start getting ready to go to bed. Hopefully I can fall asleep, and get up even earlier...and maybe, by the end of the week I'll be waking up before noon!

12 January, 2013

High fiber meal replacement smoothie

We all like smoothies, right? They're simple, tasty, and even in the dead of winter, there's nothing quite like a frozen treat. But a lot of them are packed full of sugar, and have no nutritional value whatsoever. And even some of the so-called healthy recipes you find online are good - but not great. I've been making healthy smoothies for years now, and have finally perfected my own personal recipe. It might not be for everyone, but I think if you give it a shot, you'll be pleasantly surprised.


kitchen scale (don't worry if you don't have one though)
large glass (it makes between 16 and 20 oz.)
measuring cup


50 g kale (about three large leaves)
50 g spinach (about two large handfuls)
1 kiwi
1 cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
½ cup cherries
4 medium strawberries
1 tbsp almond butter*
¼ cup water or white grape juice*

(*optional - the almond butter can also be substituted with a different nut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, or left out altogether, which is a good option if you're using it as a snack rather than a meal. The water or white grape juice can be used if it's not liquified enough for you to drink.)


Measure out all your ingredients, and wash your greens. Because I use the smaller blender part, I have to blend twice, but if you use a larger blender you can probably get it all in one go. I pack in half my ingredients, blend, then use the spoon to push it down and make room for the other half. Blend one more time, give it a stir to make sure there aren't any chunks, then pour it in your glass and enjoy!

Nutritional Breakdown:

With almond butter:

With chia seeds:

and without either one:

Chia seeds are the best way to keep calorie and fat content low while getting nearly an entire days worth of fiber (depending on your personal goals). I use them on days when I plan on eating avocado later in the day to keep my fat intake in check.

The almond butter, though, has the unique ability to kind of take over, taste-wise, despite being the smallest ingredient. I suggest trying it this way if you've never added kale and spinach to a smoothie, and you're scared the taste will be overwhelming. (Although I must add - it's not!)

Plain is also good though - I never though that I could drink kale without gagging, but this is how I drank it the first time I ever added kale to a smoothie, and I loved it! I was surprised by how well the fruit cuts the bitterness and since that day I've never made another smoothie without adding kale and spinach.

This is a great smoothie to make to start your day, and you can even make enough for a whole week at once, then keep them in separate containers in the freezer; thaw it while you get ready in the morning, then stick a straw in and drink it on your way to work or school.

I love smoothies, for their versatility, and for the simple fun of drinking a meal. Let me know if you try this one, or what your favorite smoothie recipe is!

[Edit] One last note I didn't think to add...I used frozen berries since it's the middle of winter, but during summer I try to use fresh and just add a couple of ice cubes! 

P.S. Joining:


08 January, 2013

Lucky inspired

Yesterday I was sitting in my craft room, flipping through my newest issue of Lucky, when I saw a skirt that really got my attention - not necessarily because it is an awesome skirt (although it is) and not even because I have a Marc Jacobs weakness; what initially crossed my mind when I saw it was, "Hey, I have that in shirt form!"

Of course upon closer inspection it isn't an exact match, but it is close enough that it inspired me to dig the shirt out of the back of my closet and start thinking about doing something different with it for spring. I actually found it in a thrift store a few years ago, and due to a complete inability to pass up anything that looks like it came out of the 80s unscathed, I bought it. I wore it a few times, but it's too big and really unflattering. So it has been sitting in my closet just waiting for an opportunity like this to come along.

I might make it into a skirt, or I might do something else with it, and it will definitely be a few weeks before I actually do anything, but I'm really just glad to have something to focus on other than hats and sweaters! Hopefully I'll figure something out by the time it starts to warm up around here.

(The shirt actually comes across a bit more pink in real life than it does in the picture, but you should still be able to figure out why they reminded me of each other.)

07 January, 2013

Monday musings

I'm one week into my month of not buying anything and so far so good! It kind of helps that I have stuff I ordered last month that's being delivered sporadically throughout the month, so even if I'm not buying anything, I'm still getting stuff. Today this bracelet came:

So pretty! I love it.

Oh, I wanted to mention this too; I've never really watched The Biggest Loser, not from the start anyway. Occasionally I would catch an episode here or there, or tune in to the finale, but today I had just finished my workout when it came on, so I sat down to watch. It was week two, so this is the earliest I've ever gotten involved, so to speak, and they had a consultation with a doctor for the results of some tests, and something he said really hit home with me. He told one gentleman, "If you had leukemia, wouldn't it be worth it to take two hours out of your day for chemotherapy?"

It just clicked, you know? That all the times I've made excuses for not working out, or for eating a slice of pizza, what I've really been doing is keeping myself sick. If I had any other illness, I wouldn't refuse treatment or cheat on taking medicine - I would do what I needed to do to get better. I sat there, stunned for a minute, letting that philosophy penetrate my mind, and then I got up and started doing more mini-workouts during commercial breaks. Squats, weights, crunches and leg lifts; these are my treatment and healthy food is my medicine. This is no longer a ploy to lose weight that can get tossed on the back burner when something else comes up - this is my life, and I need to be healthy in order to enjoy it to the fullest.

Which brings up another point; my schedule, or lack thereof to be exact. All my life it's been the same - school or work on weekdays, and weekends to catch up on everything else. But yesterday, while I was trying to load the dishwasher in a commercial break during the NCIS marathon Josh and I were watching I realized: I've been doing it all wrong.

My only job now is to be a housewife, and all that stuff that I've been trying to squeeze into a weekend, should be stretched out over the week. My weekdays should focus on cooking three healthy meals for us, picking up after each one so the kitchen mess doesn't pile up, and doing one chore or cleaning one room per day (so as not to get overwhelmed), and my weekends should be mine; to do what I want to, whether it's go on a shopping spree or lay at home watching TV. I need to flip my entire way of thinking around!

Anyway, I've been doing good with my other goal of logging my food intake. I realized that (fortunately!) I haven't been eating as many calories as I thought I was, but I also know that I need to cut out or cut down on a couple of things cheese. I'm trying, and so far I have, and since my moment of clarity today, everything suddenly seems so much easier. I know it won't all be, and I know that I will have moments where I struggle, but...I don't know, I just feel different somehow.

I'm putting together a review post of all my favorite gluten free products, so hopefully I can get that done and posted soon!

05 January, 2013


Hmm. So designating clothing to donate has gotten easier each time I peruse my closet and we have now reached a point where I have SO MUCH to give away that I am having trouble figuring out how to get it all packed up. Bags? I'd be hauling like 20 walmart sacks worth of stuff! But I don't really have any extra boxes lying around either. Maybe I'll find one in the storage room, I plan on giving that a once over sometime this weekend, along with the kitchen.

And apparently Belle felt that I didn't have enough to do this weekend, because this morning she knocked down the curtains in our bedroom. I don't know how she did it, but she brought down the curtains, rod, the rod holder, and even managed to pull the screws out of the wall.

Also, remember how I talked about tossing out a bunch of make-up? I did, but I couldn't really follow through with the whole 'anything more than a year old' statement because it seems that I haven't really bought any makeup in the past year. Oops. I guess 2012 was the year of clothes. I only bought one purse, and...four pairs of shoes, I think. I'm probably forgetting a pair of shoes (or maybe even two) but still, that's pretty tame for me. I used to be far more concerned with purses and shoes than clothes, but now my focus has shifted, and once I get my Balenciaga, I can't see myself wanting any other purse ever again. (Ok, that's a lie, but it will definitely keep me happy for a while.)

Anyway, here's a (poorly lit) picture of my newly organized makeup shelf, followed by a shot of all the clothes I have ready to be packed up and donated. (Not shown are three pieces of fabric that I'm also getting rid of - they're currently in the washing machine so they'll be fresh and unwrinkled.)

Excuse the preening cat in the background. She is thoroughly convinced that since we moved that bed to the craft/guest room it is now hers.

Hopefully I can get all the donating/organizing out of the way this weekend, and then get back to posting some crafts, it's been a while and going through all this fabric has got me itching to make something!

04 January, 2013


One the major downsides to having a mental illness (besides, you know, having a mental illness) is the way it affects every other aspect of your life.

For example, one's physical health. I've struggled with my weight for the better part of 10 years now, and I know that there is a vicious cycle I tend to get trapped in. If I eat healthy, and work out regularly, it not only makes me feel better and gives me more energy, it also makes me feel better about myself, and in turn, I am happier in general. But when I get depressed one of the side effects is that I want to sleep all the time, and am completely unmotivated to do anything. That includes standing in front of the stove for 10 minutes to cook a healthy meal. And once I start eating crap, it makes me feel sick, bloated, and disgusted with myself for having done so...which sparks yet another bout of depression.

Like I said, a vicious, vicious cycle.

It also contributes to how clean or dirty the house is at any given time. Laundry is never a problem; I love doing laundry, and never let more than three loads pile up at once. Occasionally I'll even rewash stuff just so I can have a full load when I have a craving to do some laundry. (Yes I get cravings to do laundry. Yes I also realize this makes me one very strange individual.) Other things, though, tend to get left by the wayside when I'm depressed, mainly dishes that have to be washed by hand and cleaning random spills in the kitchen. It's gross, but when I can't really muster the strength to care about anything else, the kitchen really gets the brunt of it. And, again, the thought of how nasty it looks/is can be so overwhelming that it sends me over the edge again.

I'm pretty stable right now, as (hopefully) evidenced by my ability to articulate both a rational and coherent blog post. Unfortunately, it will not last forever. I wish it would, I really do, but I have no illusions about my disease; it is not one that can be cured, and it is certainly not to prone to just...disappearing.

For the time being I will do what I can; I will treat myself well, feed my body what it needs, and hope that it prolongs this time of mental peace. I'll avoid my triggers as much as I can, take things in stride, and not overwhelm myself whenever I can help it. I'll do what I love, what makes me truly happy, and not worry about what anyone else thinks or says. I feel so free right now, and I want to keep this.

01 January, 2013


I know I talked a bit about goals yesterday, but since today is officially a new start, a fresh canvas on which to paint my twenty-seventh year of life, I'm going to elaborate a bit more on what I want to do this year, how, and why.

I don't normally make resolutions; they seem so trivial, and are so often being broken before they've even begun to take hold that I see no real point. But I do know that there are aspects of my life that need change, and a new year is as good a time as any to start the effort towards accomplishing that. So instead of taking all of those goals from yesterday, and breaking my brain by trying to get them all done in the next week, I'm going to focus on one or two each month, cultivate them into habits, and making sure that the change is permanent before moving on to the next thing. Make sense?

This month I have two large goals: not buy anything new, and get back into the habit of logging my food daily.

And while it might not look like it at first glance, they do actually compliment each other. If I can hold back on my shopping, and focus more on eating at home, watching what I eat, then perhaps by the time I do go shopping, it will be for a different size.

The shopping problem is kind of a new thing. (And really, it's not a problem, but I'd like to make sure I have it in check before it becomes one.) For a long time (five years, to be exact) I shopped very minimally. Only when it was absolutely necessary, or when my parents were visiting and my mom took me shopping. It had to do a lot with how broke we were for the first few years we lived in Austin.

Then, slowly, I realized how awesome thrift shopping was; it became an adventure to go to a thrift store, and find the treasures hidden amongst the piles of crap. After we moved here last year, I realized while going through a lot of my clothes just how rarely I splurged on myself and bought clothes new. It was a treat to go to the mall and get new things, and it kind of bugged me. I decided that I deserved nice things, and started buying what I wanted.

Which is good, I think people should buy what they want, and treat themselves nice, but then it became a thing, in which I bought stuff because it was nice, in my size, and/or on sale, and not really because they were something I would wear. And instead of balancing my thrifting with my regular shopping, I've just being on a spree for the past few months, which, along with not getting rid of too much, has resulted in my having two whole packed-to-the-max closets. And that's just being greedy.

I started last night, and am continuing today, to go through my closets and find things to donate that don't fit, or I don't wear. It's a slow process because the first time I went through I only came up with two pairs of pants. Then I thought about it a bunch, and went over again, and got out two more pairs of pants and a shirt I think I wore once. It may take a few times of going over it again (I can already think of another shirt I've only worn once) but I will make a dent in my collection before I allow myself to shop again.

Tucked in along with that goal is my intention to only buy things I really love, and intend to wear over and over. I've always favored very classic pieces, clean lines, and the most basic colors: black, grey, and white. For the past few years, though, especially when I was buying something used, and it was cheap, I've been trying to expand my taste, challenge myself to wear different colors, and honestly? It's useless. I like what I like, and I'm done trying to keep up with fashion trends, or force myself to wear things I don't really like.

It's also, in a way, teaching me a lesson. I feel bad having wasted money on things that I didn't love. Money I could have saved and put towards something I really want (uggh Prada rain boots). Definitely not making that mistake again this year.

As far as food goes, I plan to start by logging everything daily to get an idea of where I'm at, then incorporating changes to meet my nutritional goals. Being gluten-free definitely makes it trickier than before, but I know it can be done. Once I get that in check, then I'll move on to adding in work-outs next month. (That's not to say I'm not doing anything in the way of exercise now, only that it is minimal and mostly consists of walking/jogging, because I want to make my body is getting everything it needs before I start anything intense.) By the end of the year, I want to run a 10K.

I'm posting this all on here as a way to keep myself honest, and hopefully, get some encouragement along the way. So if you're planning anything similar, let me know!