A new year…a fresh start…Let's DO this!
I decided to come up with 14 goals for 2014. Some are 'resolutions’…others are just things I want to achieve/work on in 2014. Lookin’ forward to crossing these off my list as the months go by.
1. Write 156 blog posts (that’s 3 a week…totally do-able)
2. Write in a gratitude journal every single day for the entire year
3. Pay off Matt’s undergrad student loan (by June hopefully!!)
4. Run 3 half marathons (& track how many miles I run throughout the whole year)
5. Read 12 new books (...read more – Facebook/Pinterest less...)
6. Deposit $1,200 into our big emergency savings account & complete the 52 week savings challenge (that I mentioned here)
7. Volunteer at least 3 times
8. Visit 3 new towns/cities (Even if it's just 30 minutes away -- it still counts in my book!!!)
9. Be a better friend/wife/etc
10. Learn to slow down & enjoy life a little bit more (& learn to focus on what I do have rather than on what I don't!)
11. Finish our deck, have a new driveway put in, & put in new trim in dining
12. Take a class or workshop (like cake decorating or sewing or something like that)
13. Go on a date with my husband at least once a month (as part of Matt's stocking this year I did this...12 pre-planned dates!!)
14. Perform a random act of kindness/pay it forward
What are your resolutions/goals for 2014?
A lil Monday inspiration from Love, The Campbell's
(thank goodness because the last few days were spent hauling stuff out/organizing/cleaning/etc, etc and that certainly wouldn't make for a very interesting blog post, huh?!)
-Making: room in our house with all of the cleaning and throwing out and organizing we did this weekend. THIS makes me a very happy gal!!!
-Cooking: with a frog spatula makes it just THAT much better!
-Drinking: lots of water - fell off the wagon these last few days and boy can I tell! My body is craving LARGE amounts of water!!!!!!
-Reading: 30 Days by K. Larsen
-Wanting: student loans to be paid off ASAP!
-Looking: for ways to better organize the house.
-Playing: Words with Friends.
-Wasting: time on Pinterest can either make me very happy/motivated or very depressed/overwhelmed
-Sewing: nothing...though learning to sew IS something I'd like to do!!
-Wishing: I lived closer to my girl Christina.
-Enjoying: making goals/resolutions for the New Year.
-Waiting: for the day everything in my house has it's own place.
-Liking: having long, productive weekends.
-Wondering: if blogging will ever be easy for me.
-Loving: snuggles on the couch with the hubs and hot chocolate.
-Hoping: 2014 is MY year! :)
-Marveling: at how much can get done when we actually have the time to be at home to do things.
-Needing: to buy some riding boots.
-Smelling: my new Victoria's Secret body spray and LOVING it!
-Wearing: work clothes that aren't nearly as comfy as lounge pants, hoodies, & slippers <3
-Following: Love, Fun and Football. All the time. Def one of my favorite blogs...like EVER!
-Noticing: that my throat is a little sore and my tummy feels kinda off :-/
-Knowing: that the next few months are going to be long and exhausting (oh the joys of being an Accountant...)
-Thinking: about a new hairstyle and color!!!
-Bookmarking: loads of webpages with things I need/want to buy!
-Opening: a new savings account for 2014 - 52 week challenge
-Giggling: not often enough...but working on changing that :)
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!! We had a fantastic few days - Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's with everyone...Christmas Day morning with my parents and sister and brother-in-law, followed by more gifts at G&G's, ending with a yummy dinner with EVERYONE before heading off to Matt's parents. We celebrated Christmas with Matt's family the day after - lots of squeals and smiles from the nieces and nephews as well as spending time with siblings and extended family. All in all - a fantastic couple days but dang am I exhausted!!! Here's a small recap in photos of our Christmas...Enjoy!!
Dear Friday - Hello!! It's so nice you're here again!! It was so nice to have you off from work again(especially after the whirlwind few days we've had!!) If only this could be a weekly thing *wishful thinking*
Dear Christmas - Once again you were the life of the party. However, I am glad you're over with!! You were a crazy, fun, awesome few days with family and lots and lots of love and laughs...BUT it feels good to get back to 'normal' a little bit. So until next year...
Dear family - Thank you for a wonderful Christmas - again!! Matt and I truly have some of the best family out there!!
Dear 2014 - You've been on my mind a lot lately. More details on my hopes and dreams for you in a later post. Until then - I've got my eye on you...but first I'll be enjoying my last few days of 2013!!!
First and foremost....
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a blessed day!!
Here's my Christmas Day inspired 'Hump Day Faves'....
These are heavenly...and highly addictive...and one of my favorite treats this time of year (well really any time of year but ESPECIALLY around Christmas!)
Ice wine - a Christmas Eve tradition with my family. Enough said :)
Our stockings...not exaggeration...BIGGER than this...stuffed FULL! My favorite thing!
I present to you, the ABCs of Renee.
Thanks to Erin at Love,Fun,&Football for the prompt today (I didn't have a very exciting weekend so really I don't have a recap for ya'll so this works out perfectly for me today!! YAY!!!)
A- Accent you wish you had
Hmm toughie…Australian I think
B- Baking or Cooking?
Baking but I cook more (ya know...tryin' to keep that waistline in check ha-ha)
C- Can't Get Enough.....
D- Drink you can't go without
WINE!! (note to self - must stock up this weekend!)
E-Emotion you get when those Hallmark commercials come on
Eh they don't do much for me
F-Fictional Character you relate to
Hmm no idea... :-/
Trashy celebrity magazines
I- Ice Cream Flavor
Anything with marshmallow is good in my books or homemade orange sherbert (topped with rainbow sprinkles of course!)
J- Jumpstart Go To (aka how you get your day started)
A hot shower and a good breakfast is a must!
K- Keepsake Item
L- Life Verse(s)
It is what it is.
M-Memory that makes you smile
There are sooo many…the night Matt proposed, our wedding day (note – I said wedding DAY not NIGHT!), Matt’s grad school graduation, and many, many more (that I won't bore ya'll with!)
N- Non-fiction writer you want to have dinner with
Matt Long (amazing!)
O- Opulent Item You Want (something that is way out of your price range)
A vacation home in Italy
P-Pattern You Love
I am legit Chevron OB-SESSED!
Q- Quirk You Have
Hm, I wish my hubby was here to ask him...He'd know right off the top of his head...Umm, I'm gonna say that I have to have bath towels folded a certain way
R- Relaxing Spot
By a pool if possible…if not possible then either the dry sauna at the gym or curled up on the couch with a blanket
S- Snow or Sun?
Sun, definitely! I don’t do snow (tell me again why I live in upstate NY then?!)
T- TV show you miss
Saved by the Bell and Full House
U- Unique Fact About You
I’m lactose intolerant.
V- Valentine's Day ...big deal or not?
We don't go all out with gifts or anything, but we always celebrate it - usually with dinner out or we'll cook a nice meal at home together.
W- What's Your Sign?
Taurus and it fits me to a “T”!!
X- X-Factor Song You Would Sing
Ha-ha I don’t sing LOL
Y- Yoga or Not?
huge YES please (preferably hot vinyassa yoga…THE best!)
Z- Zealous Dream You Have
Build our dream home
Learn anything new about me today?!
Dear Friday - I stole this idea from Stephanie over at Southern Mess (and have seen lotsa other blogger do it too!) because...well, that's just what I do (hey - I'm still a newbie at this whole blogging thing...gimme a break!!) But she's right - you're so wonderful you deserve a letter every week. Every week I look forward to you. This week I especially love you because you were an extra day off for me. And long weekends just make me oh so happy.
Dear running - I gotta say - you just make me down right happy (or is it downright? Hmmm I should probably get better at this whole English grammar thing...) But in any case, this morning wasn't our best - we sludged for 9 miles through the snow, slush, wind, and rain. But we did it! And it was the perfect way to start a day off! I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow but it'll have been worth it!
Dear Hubs - I know I've been a bit unbearable to deal with the last few weeks. I'm sorry. Thank you, though, for still loving me. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being an incredible husband when I'm being a less than stellar wife. However, I still wish you weren't lame and actually had an ugly sweater to wear to your ugly sweater CrossFit party tonight. But hopefully your jingle bell t-shirt was a hit (or just annoyed the F outta you while doing burpees!)
Dear engagement ring & wedding band - I can't wait to get you back tonight. It's only been a little over a day without you but if feels so much longer. I feel so naked without you. But this time away is good for you - you're going to be all clean and shiny and look brand stinkin' new - and that, my friend, is a win-win for both of us!
After reading Living in Yellow's post from yesterday (which you can read here) I knew I had to follow suit. It's one of the reasons I started this blog to begin with. To put myself out there. To keep it real. To be more open (gosh this is scary...) So here it is:
1. I'm one of the most jealous people you'll ever meet. I'm constantly comparing myself to others. What I do/have/get is never good enough. And because of all this I usually have at least 1 meltdown a week.
2. I've never felt proud of myself. I graduated Magma Cum Laude from college with a degree in one of the hardest programs they offer. I ran a marathon. I purchased a house with my husband. I've never had credit card debt. I paid off a 10 year student loan in under 8 . I've had other accomplishments. Not once could I say to myself that I felt proud of myself. Deep down I feel like there's always better - I could have done more, done better, someone DID do better or more. But I'm working on this.
3. Being an adult is WAY harder than I EVER imagined. Not only is it hard, but it's downright scary. And a lot of time it's really not that fun.
4. I feel like I'm constantly failing at life. Falling behind. Not where I want to be....not where I thought I'd be. But again, I'm working on this (clearly I'm a constant work in progress ha-ha!)
5. Having kids scares the CRAP outta me...and some days I think I really don't want kids. Things aren't like they were when I was a kid. It's tough out there. Do I really want to put kids through that? What if I fail? What if I'm not a good parent? What if nobody likes my kids? (But deep down I know I'd regret not having kids....so yes, we will have children.)
6. I'm not scared of actually being pregnant. I'm not scared of giving birth. I'm scared of what my body will be like afterwards. Shallow? - yes. But that's the truth.
7. Sometimes I use working out as an escape - from reality - from life - from dealing with anything. I extend my work out sessions just so I don't have to go deal with house issues, or think about how behind I am at work, or run errands, or whatever.
8. I don't know how to just live in the moment. I'm constantly going a mile a minute - all day - every day. I'm constantly stressing about things that may or may not happen in 1 week or even 1 year or 5 years. One of my goals for 2014 is to learn to slow down and just enjoy things - even the smallest of details in my everyday, ordinary life.
9. I don't have many friends.
10. I struggle with communicating. I struggle with being vulnerable (ya know - gotta keep that tough girl image!). I struggle with being open. I struggle with how people see me/judge me. I struggle with trusting. (see #9)
11. I dream of getting a boob job one day.
12. I have a dirty mind. And sometimes inappropriate things come out of my mouth because my mind constantly goes to that place (I swear I was a guy in a different life ha-ha)
13. I legit love to pop zits - my own, my husband's, whoever's (OK maybe not just anyone's but if a friend asked me to pop a zit I totally would!)
I'm sure there are more things but a girl has to have some secrets. But - this post was exhausting and difficult for me. Seriously. But I did it. This is me. Take it or leave it. But I hope you take away something from this post. Take away the fact that we're all humans and we all need to step out of our comfort zones sometimes. We're not perfect. We all have issues. But that doesn't make us bad people. That doesn't make us weak. It makes us HUMAN...it makes us REAL.
Now if only there was a very large glass of wine available to me right now......
Hump Day Faves - a new weekly post of a few of my current obsessions brought to you by yours truly (I know, I know...try to contain your excitement!! ha-ha)
First up - Mrs. Meyer's products in Honeysuckle. Seriously, this stuff smells A-MA-ZING!! My friend Christina introduced me to the world of Mrs. Meyer's and I am seriously beyond obsessed. If they made perfume that smelled like this I'd totally be the first in line to buy it. You gotta try it...the all-purpose cleaner, countertop spray, hand soap, and more - try it all (I promise - you won't regret it!!! )
Cinnamon sticks - LOVE 'em! I just can't get enough! The scent of them just screams Christmas to me - cinnamon is just one of those scents that makes me feel all warm and ooey and gooey inside!! I even stuck some in my Christmas tree - not only does it look pretty but it smells extra wonderful!!!
And finally, THESE Aeropostale skinny jeans (Yes, I know I'm super crazy late jumpin' on the skinny jeans bandwagon!) I haven't bought from Aeropostale since...ya know HS...I'm-not-even-going-to-tell-you-how-long-ago THAT was. I had been searching high and low for skinny jeans that I actually felt looked OK on me and that I felt comfortable in. And FINALLY a pair that I've lived in since I bought them!! I have a hard time finding jeans/pants to begin with - but these fit great!! And of course I love the dark color (because who doesn't love what a great pair of dark denim jeans can do for one's legs?!?!) Plus, I got them on sale - 50% off!! Booya!!!!!!! One happy camper right here :)
Yeah, I know, I know. I'm a day late and a dollar short for the obligatory weekend recap post that's supposed to happen in the blog world on Mondays. No excuse here - I got lazy last night and just didn't feel like it.
But today...today is a new day! So here it goes...
Friday we got together with our friends Dave and Nikki (and their adorable kids Daniel and Meredith) and Justin and Krista for our annual holiday get together. We eat, drink, hang out, and just spend time together. It's always super fun and something I look forward to.
Saturday I was a proud wifey let me tell ya! Matt did a CrossFit competition - it was a lot of fun to watch and he did AWESOME!! I'm super proud of him for doing this and for stepping out of his comfort zone. The other 2 guys on his team were bigger and stronger than him but he held his own and did awesome! He really pushed himself and I certainly was beaming ear to ear watching him!!
The rest of the weekend was spent in the kitchen (my FAVORITE place to be) baking up a storm, Matt workin' on his guitar skills and learning some new Christmas songs, and (of course!) working on some house stuff. Weekends are never long enough...but I sure do love 'em!
That's all from me...until next time...Enjoy!
Sunday mornings are my favorite. I get up early and enjoy a full hour to myself before I head to Pilates class. The house is quiet. I enjoy a cup of coffee. I catch up on blogs. I looove it.
Today was a little different though. I still got up early with the intentions of going to Pilates. But then I realized there was no way I was getting out of the driveway (HELLO snow!!!!) The hubs was still in bed and I didn't want to wake him so he could help get me out (wife of the year right here - BOOYA!) Normally, this would throw me all off for the entire day - my routine was messed up - I get annoyed - yada yada yada (insert OCD joke here....) But today, I decided I was not going to let this little hiccup in my day get to me. I was going to enjoy the extra little down time I had to myself. So instead, I grabbed my large cup of coffee, the softest blanket we have, turned the Christmas tree on, turned on my cinnamon Scentsy, and just enjoyed the morning. HEAVEN.
But this, my friends, was not the original purpose of today's post. In the blog world for the past few weeks everyone's posts have been about holiday gift guides - whether for your friends, kids, husband, etc. But the most popular has been 'What I want for Christmas.' So here it is...a few of my favorite things...ya know - just in case you wanna buy me something (unless of course you can fulfill my ultimate want...fat removal from butt to boobs...but that's an entirely different subject...)
That's all for now...Happy Holidays and Happy Sunday!!
A survey link up - hooooow fun!! Who doesn't love a good survey?!?! Head on over to Two Thirds Hazel....check out her blog and read everyone else's surveys! Happy Friday ya'll!!
I'm sort of a scrooge this time of year. I know - I know - it's terrible. But this year, I am at least TRYING not to be. I actually decorated the house (a little bit) which is huge for me so I thought I'd share. It's not how I'd like it to be but for this year it'll work. Even though we were in the house last year at Christmas we had JUST moved in so really this is the first year I've put anything up (last year we had a little bitty Charlie Brown tree on the mantle and that's all!!!) Being new homeowners, there are SO many things you need and nice Christmas decorations are one of those things for us. I plan on buying more decorations as the sales start to happen (Hobby Lobby already has 50% off all their Christmas stuff - that's on this weekend's agenda!) My goal is to accumulate some really cute, fun decorations that I absolutely LOVE so I actually enjoy decorating the house and having the things out. Enjoy and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
It's Monday. I should have had coffee this morning. I'm over tired. And thus my brain is not functioning yet...SO today's post is just a bunch of randomness going on inside of this head of mine...
- What's up with these blow up holiday deocorations? I mean really?!? I don't get 'em - in fact, I despise them (I apologize if this offends anyone who loves them!) And lots of people in my neighborhood seem to put them up. And EVERY store seems to have them...all blown up...taking up space. Yeah, I'm over them and think they shouldn't be made anymore. There.(Bahumbug!)
- This weekend made me feel old. We had a birthday party Saturday night and then Matt and I went to a concert last night. Let me tell ya - both nights 10pm hit - and BOOM!! we wanted nothing more than to be home and be in bed. Seriously. What's wrong with us?! Prime of our lives - no kids yet - and we were both draggin' this morning!! Tonight's goal - be in bed by 9:30 (wishful thinking but I'm certainly going to try!!)
- I wish money grew on trees. But I guess everyone wishes that. But seriously, how awesome would it be if there were money trees?!
- Marshmallows should be included in every meal...every day (candy corn too to be honest.) Seriously. They are A-MA-ZING!!
- The standard work week should be Tuesday through Friday. Just sayin'.
- I need to start planning/saving for a vacation next year. I am sooooo ready for a week on the beach somewhere! Who's with me!?
That's all for now - hope everyone has a great Monday!
Yeah that's right ladies - he's all mine!! Introducing (officially) the hubs, better known as Matt or Chi...but I lovingly call him My Lovebug (and yes he's OK with me posting this fact all over the world wide web ha-ha)
I've mentioned him quite a bit in my past posts so I figured I'd better do an official 'meet 'n' greet.' I'll have him do a guest post at some point (I didn't even have to beg!!) but for now I thought I'd post some 'If you REALLY knew him' facts.
If you REALLY knew Matt...
1.You'd know he is Elementary Ed/Special Ed NYS certified.
2.You'd know he currently teaches Special Ed.
3.You'd know his bachelors degree is in Business Admin.
4.You'd know he started out as a Math major.
5.You'd know he almost failed out of college.
6.You'd know both his parents were teachers.
7.You'd know he has 2 older sisters (and 2 nieces and 2 nephews.)
8.You'd know he is obsessed with CrossFit.
9.You'd know he is a human garbage disposal and eats 24/7.
10.You'd know he can eat as much as he wants but doesn't gain any weight (Yes, I'm jealous!)
11.You'd know he wasn't always fit and healthy.
12.You'd know he used to be a smoker.
13.You'd know he's the most patient, calm, level-headed person EVER.
14.You'd know he's pretty shy.
15.You'd know he has AWESOME dance moves.
16.You'd know he spent our wedding night puking his guts out in the jacuzzi tub of our hotel room(no joke unfortunately!)
17.You'd know he's only 5'8".
18.You'd know he isn't ticklish (like AT ALL and it drives me crazy!)
19.You'd know he's a TV addict.
20.You'd know he can do a headstand.
21.You'd know he's my BETTER half.
22.You'd know he has the most amazing blue eyes.
23.You'd know he doesn't like to play golf (just because he isn't as good at it as he is at other sports and that annoys him!!!!)
24.You'd know he's musically inclined - can play the piano, the saxophone, the clarinet, and even taught himself how to play the guitar (how sexy is that?!?! And yes, he sings plays and sings to me *swoon*)
25.You'd know he's my best friend.
And there ya'll have it - the hubs <3
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but my big purchase this evening was Proactiv. That's right - Proactiv. At the tender age of 31 I am dealing with acne.
Ever since I got off birth control awhile back my face has been a disaster and I'm at my wit's end. Seriously - my skin wasn't even this bad when I WAS 13. I've tried different face washes. I've tried masks. I've tried washing my face before working out. I've tried zit creams. Nothing seems to work so I've decided to try this. I know, I know - this isn't something people talk about but ya know - this happens - at any age. It's a little embarrassing - it's annoying to deal with but it happens to pretty much everyone at some point. So I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my package (thank you Amazon Prime 2 day shipping!) Fingers crossed this works. Any and all suggestions are welcome - if you know of any tricks or tips (I don't care how weird or odd they may be - I'll try ANYTHING at this point) please share!!!!
*Disclaimer - blame it on PMS. Blame it on stupid people at work. Blame it on the stresses of the holiday season. Whatever you want to blame it on - this will be nothing more than a vent. If you're easily offended I suggest you stop reading now. If you continue that's your choice...but there is no judging...and don't say I didn't warn ya :)
Dear half naked woman at the gym tonight,
I'm glad you're confident enough to wear your workout pants so low that I almost saw parts of you I shouldn't....like EVER!!!! I'm happy you feel comfortable enough to wear a cropped shirt and let it ALL hang out. But please - for the sake of others - please COVER UP. The gym is a public place. No one should be showing off that much at the gym or anywhere public...it's a matter of respect for others.
Call me rude. Call me opinionated. Call me closed minded. Whatever. I know, I know...you aren't the only offender - I see it more often than I'd like. But tonight - it was just a bit much for me to handle.Usually it doesn't bother me - I respect people and their choices. But you, you just...floored me...and I couldn't keep this to myself and just 'let it go' like I usually do with most everything.
So with all that being said, please stay confident. Enjoy your body and all it can do. Be strong. But please keep things appropriate.
A fellow gym member who prefers to keep it allllll under wraps
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!