up to date Sunday #5

Changed my header! This is a bigger, b/w version. Same location as my previous header picture, which you can see here

current song: Calvin Harris feat. Example - We'll Be Coming Back (What does this have to do with the season/new year? Nothing really.)

current thoughts: Aaaaaah have to get my schedule down before the new year! There are things that need to be done! Ever since I really figured out that I need to be doing something (hopefully productive) to feel like I've spent my time well it's been really helpful. I don't really want to do the dishes, but if at 4 PM I can give myself a list of what I've done so far that day I'll feel so much better. (Especially if dishes is one of those things!)

current plan: Figure out how to dispose of our Christmas tree. Jack has never had one in this apartment building, and we haven't seen any others in parking lot/dumpster area. Make our apartment neater and prettier. Later we are going out with some friends who have had a hard time this holiday season. This was originally supposed to happen last night, but then we got quite a bit of snow all at once!

current workout: Still on Tara Stiles Slim Calm Sexy Yoga. I've just been leaving my mat out, and will hang out for a while and watch TV and go through the book. Think I overstretched a few days ago though, so I've been taking it easy. I love working out with a book, which I really haven't done before (video all the way!) but I like that there is no one rushing me out of the one pose I really really like!

current quote:
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” ― Henry David Thoreau

the past few weeks favorite things! 11/25/12 - 12/29/12

I haven't done a collected links post in a while- I've been adjusting to my new work job, experiencing away-from-home-for-the-holidays-sadness, and got way too backed up. I was going through a lot of my liked posts and felt like sharing them, so here we are again! Some of these posts aren't recent at all, I just happened to find them the past few weeks.

diy x this faux polaroid frame is wonderful! Since getting my Instax I have fallen in LOVE with the look of instant photos- I think this will be an easy way to get it without spending $14 on 20 film pieces and allow me to easily decorate my fridge in the process!

e-course x fitocracy founders are hosting a free e-course on developing and keeping fitness habits! It goes from 1/15/13 to 1/24/13. I love using Fitocracy when I go to the gym to log my workouts, so I'm going to set a reminder for myself to check this out!

diy x this bokeh camera hood/filter is great! I love the look of adding hearts and other designs to my photos. I don't have any black card stock but will probably pick some up this weekend to do this. I've also been wanting some pretty paper punches so this works out well! (Have to remember to hold to my one day of superfluous shopping rule!)

recipe x in love with this cinnamon roll coffee cake with cream cheese glaze recipe from Averie Cooks! I used her Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon French Toast with Vanilla Maple Butter for Christmas morning and it came out great, so I am excited to try out some of her other recipes. May try this out tomorrow morning if I make it to the grocery store today. 

fashion x i am starting to change my closet direction a bit, and posts like this one on closet staples is always a good starting place!

funny x this post on being super blogger brings a smile to my face!

diy x since I got a new sewing machine for Christmas I have been looking for some sewing projects, and I really like this lace scarf tutorial. I need to make it over to a fabric store so I can pick up supplies!

art x love this feature from Pony Chops on Art and Ghosts. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

photos x in love with these pictures of frosty plants! Now that I live somewhere where it gets cold enough for frost to build up, and for there to be snow I find it all even more beautiful.

photos x this is a great feature on Cari Wayman, a photographer who takes the most gorgeous photos in lots of different abandoned places. A really great find.

diy x love this project from Free People, a Dream Jar! I think it will look great on my nightstand. I also posted about this in my New Years Resolution post from yesterday.

diy x how great is this paper umbrella painting tutorial? I don't think there is really room in my life for paper umbrellas, but I may adapt this to lanterns or doilies or something.

New Years Resolutions

I decided to give a lot more thought this year to my resolutions. I've been reading a lot of others resolutions in trying to figure out how to frame mine- I want them to be definite, not vague. There doesn't have to be a goal, but I want to know how I will complete it. I want my resolutions to build up around how I want my life to be, and how I want the best possible version of myself to live. In no particular order, my New Years Resolutions are:

  • Only buy non-necessities one day a week. I am a HUGE feelings-shopper. I very easily over reach with online shopping, and it has been a big problem in the past. It isn't now, but I feel it creeping back sometimes. My amazon wishlist is growing by the day! I would like to get to the point where other than non-necessities, I only do real or online shopping on one day each week. This way I'll be able to give a lot more thought to my purchases. Obviously, there will be times this is not feasible (as there is with everything) but I think this mindset will help me to be a more thoughtful shopper.
  • Be able to do the splits by my birthday. Or at least determine that it isn't physically possible. I told myself I was unflexible so much throughout my life, mainly from my inability to touch my toes. But that changed this year! I got really into yoga and now I am way more flexible than I used to be. I have always admired gymnasts and ballerinas, and while I don't think I will be doing this any time soon, I hope to get the front splits in my flexibility repertoire. More yoga is the answer here. :)
  • Write more. I saw this first over on Antiquarian Miss, and I am using it! Since moving, I have started writing a ton. I journal, I blog, I write little notes on pictures... Because this is something I have never done before, I need to make an effort to stick with it. To do this I will make sure I always have something accessible for me jot down what I want to remember. It's helped a lot to just keep my journal places I'm at normally, and I think using the journal jar I talked about in my last entry will also help me with this resolution. 
  • Photograph more. I want to determine my style, I want to take more pictures of people, tell more of a story. Learn actual direction. I have written down in my 101 things to do in 1001 days that I want to take a photography course... I really like e-courses, and I think I will look for one focusing on lifestyle photography. I have started carrying my big camera everywhere with me so that I can start thinking of what I look at differently, and remind myself that if I want to remember something, I can! I hope to archive my photos well so that years from now Jack and I will be able to look back with our kids or something and say 'this is when Mom first moved in!' 
  • Be healthier. Healthier in body, and spirit. Do, rather than say. Create more. During my relax period at the end of my practice a few weeks ago I got into my mind I want to fill my life with more inspirational energies- more clarity and brightness that is less from the consumer grind and more based on what I will truly value, and what helps me build myself into well, me. Simple things, like moving away from fast fashion, or leaving objects around that will guide and inspire my own personal course is how I hope to achieve this. 
  • Read 30 books. This is pretty simple.. I've also started listening to Audiobooks! I just finished Divergent by Veronica Roth, read by Emma Galvin and loved it. I am listening to the Maze Runner now, and not nearly as interested. But I will continue! Audible is also having a really great $7.95 sale right now I'm sure I will dive into. And wait until my purchasing day to get something!
A subset to all of these - Prepare yourself to succeed. Saying you want to do something does not mean it will be done. Put time in your day for it. If you want to learn a new language? Plan to spend 3 hours throughout the week, actually schedule them, and sit down. Be one step ahead of your own procrastination. For me this making sure I carry my camera with me, keeping a packed gym bag in the car, filling the fridge with healthier snacks.... Surround yourself with the tools you need to accomplish your goal. I was reading Tara Stile's Slim Sexy Yoga which I got as a Christmas gift, and she mentioned she leaves a yoga mat out at all times to inspire her, and be able to practice with minimal effort. 

Make what you want readily available, and achievable. 

We'll see how this year goes, and I might add more to this list. I plan on putting it up in a pretty font so I can print it and put it into a frame next to my bed- constant reminders of what I want to do help a lot as well! :)

Journal Jar #001

Remember my journal jar from yesterdays post? Well it's back already. I wasn't really starting to use it all that fast, and Jack told me that I could use it for post inspiration. So here we are! Also, have Petra inspecting the journal jar:

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Oh lord. I would..... pay off my debt. I don't have much, but it's always there. I would pay off Jack's motorcycle and car, and put a lot away for us to pay rent at a better place. I would help out my family and friends in areas where I know it's needed, and then find a trusted financial manager and attorney. Well, the financial manager/attorney part would probably come first. Too many details! (I do know I want a 27" iMac too!)

For a long time I just spent spent spent money. I would buy things at stores I went to because if I walked through the door, I needed to walk away with something. Now I struggle to get things, even if I like them. To be honest, this is a really great change for me! One of my new years resolutions talks about my struggle with shopping, and I believe those are going up tomorrow.

I've started to try to fill my life with things that make me happy that cost less. Photography is a big one- getting a good picture, processing, printing and archiving my own photos brings me a lot of pride, and costs very little past the initial investments. I have also started personal journaling, which keeps me busy and gives me a sense of fulfillment (a full page is better than a full shopping bag!) that I don't find very often. I hadn't really thought about that before I started writing this post!

If you want to share, what would you do if you won the lottery?

Journal Jar Series
In an earlier post, I talked about creating my own journal jar. As I add prompts, and complete others in my personal journal I will be sharing some responses here. Please feel free to add your own responses to the questions, or borrow for your own post!

Monday snapshots

So where have I gotten so far with my list?

  • Clean the ENTIRE apartment DONE! I am so proud. This was a huge project for me. :)
  • Empty the fridge
  • Spend time with both cats alone Seperating them makes this a lot easier. If we spend time with Petra, Scritchie isn't lurking far behind normally and still stresses her. :(
  • Take some pictures I took so many. The best are below. :)
  • Wrap some presents I had a few to wrap, and am waiting on one more to be delivered. For my first time wrapping, I do think I did okay. :) One of the items was a cylinder so I wrapped it like a holiday cracker! 
  • Sing some christmas carols
  • Edit lots of pictures Oh Lightroom, how I love thee. 
  • DO THE SNOW DANCE. I really want some snow. Driving in it is the worst thing, but if I do not have a white Christmas I WILL BE SO MAD NEW ENGLAND!!!!
  • Cook this really awesome looking pumpkin cinnamon overnight pull-apart french toast. 
  • Have a spa day. My Christmas present from Jack was my own mini Lush-haul, so between bath bombs, scrubs, steams and face masks I think I'll do my body lots and lots of good.  Got to use my steam tab and fresh face mask! Later I will probably take the most luxurious shower. :)
  • Finish season 2 of Teen Wolf.  Where is season 3?
  • Catch up on blogs! Got my bloglovin to 0 unread! Yessssss. :) Also went through a ton of blog posts on some that I had never really gotten the chance to before. (Namely, Scathingly Brilliant. So adorable!)
I did take a lot of pictures!

 This morning I got up, and started making dough. I had seen this recipe for Nutella Cinnamon Rolls on A Beautiful Mess and got into the cooking mood! They came out pretty okay... I think my lack of a decent pan and messing up the heights affected them a little. Next time I'll use more cinnamon as well. 

Scritchie hanging out, watching the TV. He loves his cat tower, and Petra won't go near it. 

They are so close to each other without any hissing going on! You can see Scritchie (on the desk) mooning after Petra. He does this a lot.

The steam tab I used. You pop it into bowl with hot water and let it fizz out while you hold your head with a towel over so no moisture escapes. It smelled wonderful and I did notice a difference in my skin. 

I've been wanting to try one of their face masks so when Jack took me to pick out my Christmas present I picked this up as well. I did not mind the smell at all, and my skin is so soft after! I hope to notice a difference within a few days in terms of clarity, and I hope it can battle some of the spots I feel under the skin. :(

This is a small project I've been working on after seeing it on Pinterest A TON. My very own Journal Jar! I started this as a possible present but am enjoying it almost too much. I am writing everything directly onto scrapbook paper, then cutting the strips. They're all in the same pad so I like that they'll match. I plan on putting a ribbon or something around the threading. 

Tonight is going to be filled with fudge making, bread marinating and possible movie watching. 

I miss home A LOT. I've been FaceTiming with my parents and grandparents a lot, but it is nowhere near the same as knowing I'll be going over to my aunt's house tonight and seeing everyone, or that I'll be waking up to my moms Christmas breakfast tomorrow. I will definitely be heading back home next year for Christmas. Jack has been wonderful though- making sure I get my tree, not complaining about my Christmas radio stations and whatnot... I may even put a Yule Log on the TV tomorrow! :)

Goals for my break from work:

  • Clean the ENTIRE apartment
  • Empty the fridge
  • Spend time with both cats alone
  • Take some pictures
  • Wrap some presents
  • Sing some christmas carols
  • Edit lots of pictures
  • DO THE SNOW DANCE. I really want some snow. Driving in it is the worst thing, but if I do not have a white Christmas I WILL BE SO MAD NEW ENGLAND!!!!
  • Cook this really awesome looking pumpkin cinnamon overnight pull-apart french toast. 
  • Have a spa day. My Christmas present from Jack was my own mini Lush-haul, so between bath bombs, scrubs, steams and face masks I think I'll do my body lots and lots of good. 
  • Finish season 2 of Teen Wolf. Sterek fandom is hilarious and got me watching the show. I love it :)
  • Catch up on blogs!

In terms of cleaning, the living room is mostly done. We had some maintenance guys in over the week to fix some spots on the ceiling, and the spray they used left little spackle dots on EVERYTHING. Well, in most places it's just a fine dust but there are dots on my laptop and it is terribly annoying. :(

Almost ready for the latest addition to our family!

I had a somewhat rough day at work today- but I think a lot of it is my own neurotic self getting out of control. I try to always remind myself that I have the chance to be the best version of myself possible. I've talked about this in a few posts, but it's something I try to keep with me. I really have noticed a difference in how productive, and calm I am.

This weekend Jack and I get to pick up the newest addition to our family! Petra is ready to bring home. We could have picked her up tonight, but we didn't want to bring her home and leave her alone all Friday. We'll be picking her up on Saturday after a Doctor's appointment. Because we live in such a small apartment (about 650 square feet) it will be difficult to keep the cats separated at first, but while we're gone we'll have them in separate rooms. I hope they get along well so we don't have to do that for too long.

I stopped by the company store at work today and got a pair of boots! Not the iconic Timberlands, but they are totally me! I will be back to pick up some other things for family & friends. :) The cafeteria spoils us- I have been enjoying the best coffee and food. (Seriously- Green Mountain Gingerbread Coffee is the beeeeest.)

I got an Instax earlier this week- all my pictures are either all black because I take them from too far, or totally off because I adjusted for the viewfinder in the wrong way. What an easy mistake! Once I start taking some better ones I'll share- I do love being able to take photos this way! I always wanted a Polaroid, but I'm pretty sure the Instax is easier to carry around.

I'll post some of the pictures I've been taking in general this weekend. I hope we get more snow soon so I can get gorgeous Christmas lights photos. :)

Sunday pictures!

Jack and I have been marathoning Supernatural! I never saw past season 4, but I did see the finale for 5 so I was pretty ready to jump in for season 6. We're on an episode with dragons, which is really cool!

I did pick up my new lens yesterday and I am still getting used to it, but here's some pictures from the past day or two:

No picture post is complete with out photographing available cats.

Our Christmas tree, with some meager ornaments! I need to get a tree topper still.

Cat picture #2.

More ornaments- just plastic ones we got at Wal-Mart.

Did the whole DIY faux snowglobe project! I really like how it came out- I forgot that I had glue so I just taped the trees to the lid. We'll see if it lasts!

The best cat picture of the bunch.

My new cupcake calendar from ModCloth, with my old calendar from MochiThings behind it.

I was only able to find two trees... So only 2 snow globes.

Our kitchen wall was super blank, so I threw this up and it actually added a lot of dimension to the room! The template is a free printable which you can find here

Tonight we're going on a double date with some friends, then I'll probably be taking a bath with one of the Lush bath bombs I picked up a few weeks ago to get all relaxed before I go back to work.

This week I intend to bring my gym bag with me every day, so I'm more motivated to go to the gym after work. For at least 30 minutes! Cardio + weights. :)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend.

Happy Friday!

Moving across the country always brings up so many issues! My previous pharmacy billed me the wrong way for a prescription, and now I'm unable to pick it up until a few hoops get jumped through. And finding a new doctor- I'd gone to the same place for years and now it's all new again!

I've gotten more into my groove at work. I am basically busy 8:30 - 5 and don't really get a break, but it's completely thrilling! :) I did a lot of things over the past few days that I haven't really done before!

Mine and Jack's adoption application for a cat went through! We're really excited. They're guessing her age at 7 rather than 3, but we're okay with it as it puts her at the same age as our current cat. We're able to pick her up next week, so this weekend I will probably be trying to clean up a lot so I'm able to find her easily when she starts hiding.

Tomorrow I get to go pick up a ton of things at the post office! I'm excited, I think there will be a new camera lens, some modcloth items, and a mystery item I can't even imagine. I'm also going to stop by Hobby Lobby to pick up materials for those mason jar christmas globes to see if I can put one together. And speaking of christmas trees I hope I haven't killed mine. I forgot to water it for ~3 days and it's still slowly taking water, but I'll figure out over the next few days if I need to drill holes in the base.

Hopefully I'll take my new lens out for lots of pictures this weekend and have something to show for it!

Hope everyone had a great week and a wonderful Friday. :)

Monday Musings

Starting today it's not just me out of the house all day; Jack is working in Boston so he has an even longer commute than I do. Scritchie is moping and being cute all over!

Today was the first day I felt overwhelmed at work- I'm still getting used to how schedules map up, and   how I should organize myself so I don't lose things. But! Today was the prototype review for Spring/Summer 14 with some international buyers and that is a huge huge project out of the way, so I can re-center myself. I really just need to plan out my day better instead of being an unscheduled chicken with my head cut off.

I've also been taking way way way more pictures lately, mostly of Scritchie, but here are a few I took this weekend!

It actually seems like I'll manage taking a photo a day in December! :)

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.” - Dr. Seuss

Happy Saturday!

No make-up!

Usually on Saturdays I post links I've found throughout the week, but today has been so busy! We had to stop by a service shop, picked up a christmas tree, and got me used to driving in snow! We only had about a quarter inch, but it was enough for me to get my car slipping around an empty parking lot. Jack wanted me to experience my car about to lose control so I could get used to not having a jerk reaction.

I'll try and get pictures of the tree tomorrow, as well as write a bit about the cat we've put in an application to adopt. Speaking of cats, here is another cat picture I'm really proud of:

I will have links and my typical sunday post tomorrow! I had a minor freakout earlier and it has left me with a renewed sense of getting in control of my life and time management.

~Till tomorrow~