Monday, January 31, 2011

Progress on 2011 Goals for January :)


  Technically this post should have gone up yesterday, but I wanted to wait until the last day of January to post it, and also because I have a rare and blessed day off and I can enjoy my computer time rather than having to rush through it :) Here is my progress on my goals for 2011 for the month of January. I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised and actually kinda sorta proud of myself :)

Goal #1: Building up my Savings Account: This is progressing well. At a friend's recommendation, I have been putting approximately 10% of every paycheck into my saving's account, and when I receive any extra money, I am putting half of that away also. For full disclosure's sake, I took $50 out yesterday towards a nice dinner out with my boyfriend for our 6-month anniversary. But, I didn't use all of it, so the remaining money, along with the 10% from my next paycheck will go back into my saving's account at the end of this week. I will post an actual amount the next time I hit an even number :) So, in a nutshell, I have been making regular contributions to my savings account, which was the whole point, so I am pleased with my progress in this category over the past month.

Goal #2: Posting in each of my blogs at least once a week: YES!!! This goal I have kept very well. So far it has been once a week in both blogs, as I promised. As I said above, technically I should have posted this yesterday to meet my goal for last week, but I delayed it on purpose so I could write this on the last day of January. So, other than that, I'm spot-on, and will continue to be so. I'm working on posting even more frequently, but as long as I can continue with the once-a-week minimum, I am satisfied :)

Goal #3: Lose 30lbs: I have definitely lost weight, though an exact amount has been difficult to gauge. At the beginning of January, I weighed 162.4lbs. About ten days ago, I was down to 158.6lbs, which is a loss of almost 4lbs, but then things went a little haywire when I went on the antibiotics for my sinus infection. These interacted with my birth control pills and threw my whole cycle off. So, although my eating habits continue to improve, I've put a little weight back on, but I'm pretty sure it's hormonal *flux* weight. This morning I weighed 160.0 lbs, so, depending on how you look at it, I've lost between two and four pounds this month. Since my goal for this month was 2.5lbs, I've technically met it. I am satisfied, but not overjoyed. Hopefully next month will be a little more productive. I have certainly lost weight, and I am moving in a good direction :)

Goal #4: Using my time more effectively: This I have also showed some improvement on. I have been getting up about 45 minutes or one-hour earlier than I used to during the week, which has made my mornings much more relaxed, with a lot less running around :)

All in all, this month has been very productive, and I am pleased Hopefully I'll have even more good news at the end of February :)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

30 by 30: A Work In Progress

   I have always, to greater and lesser degrees, been a maker of lists. Grocery lists, packing lists, lists of classes I wanted to take, restaurants I wanted to visit,and on and on from there. Several of the bloggers that I follow have been posting lists of things that they want to accomplish. My dear friend Nubby over at The Adventures of Nubby Tongue and a relatively new source of awesome and inspiration for me, Sarah at Yes and Yes, just to name a few. My own dreams and wishes and the inspiration of these and other friends have moved me to to do the same. So, I give you the (currently unfinished) list of  thirty things I want to have accomplished or experienced by my thirtieth birthday, which will be November 20th, 2012. So, that gives me one year and 301 days (or, more simply, roughly one year and ten months) to accomplish what I have set down here :) Can I do it? I hope so. I think so. We'll see :)

  Let me be clear. I do not at all view turning thirty as a bad thing. In most ways I am very excited about it. I do not see it as the end of fun, or joy, or my youth, as so many societal messages seem to preach. I see it as a milestone, no more, no less. The end of one decade of my life and the beginning of another. As I advance through my life, I want to always have an eye toward new life experiences. This is a list of things that I would like to do before the next chapter of my life, which I'm sure will have no shortage of new adventures :)

30 Things to Accomplish by my 30th Birthday

1. Travel to California to visit Nubby and Pookie in San Francisco and Emily in Los Angeles.
2. Lose 30lbs.Or, lose at least two solid pant sizes and at least 8% of my total body fat. Yes, this is on my list of 2011 goals, but fitness and health will go beyond just the current year, so this goal is making an appearance here too.
3. Move to the greater NYC area (anywhere that is a train ride of 60 minutes or less into Manhattan)
4. Return to and stick with my Yoga Practice incorporating class sessions and at home sessions.
5. Attend services at a Unitarian Universalist Church. (This has been on my mind for awhile, but I was reminded of it when I saw it as one of Sarah's goals at Yes and Yes)
6. Take a Belly Dancing Class.
7. Go back to Europe.
8. Go back to Cape Cod.
9. Finish a queen size bed quilt.
10. Finish a Painting.
11. Lay naked in the rain. (stole this one from Nubby, but it's such a good idea I couldn't help it)
12. Achieve at least a conversational level of proficiency in American Sign Language.
13. Go on a weekend Meditation Retreat.
14. Try at least 5 new ethnic cuisines (Ethiopian, Vietnamese, etc)
15. Go Camping (as in, no running water, sleeping in a tent, cooking over a fire) for at least two nights.
16. Bathe in a Natural Hot Spring.
17. Make homemade cheese.
18. Attend a Music Festival.
19. Buy something totally frivolous, ridiculously expensive, and utterly fabulous.
20. Volunteer in a humanitarian program.
21. Organize, print and/or publish my photos in a forum other than Facebook.
22. Submit an entry to PostSecret.
23. Participate in a Flash Mob.
24. Sit for a nude photography session and/ or pose as a nude model for an art class.
25. Go on a Spa weekend, where I do nothing but rest and receive pampering body treatments.
26. Become a better photographer. Are there classes one can take? Books to read? I shall find out.
27. Go to an Oceanside Boardwalk.
28. Go to Colonial Williamsburg.

More to come!!!

As I said, this list is not yet finished, and I won't necessarily stop at 30 *things*, either. I will add to this list as I am inspired to do so :) Any input? Feedback? Advice? Tips? Please don't hesitate to let me know, I welcome any and all insight :)

Also, as soon as I figure out how, I will create a permanent tab in my blog for this list and for my 2011 goals. If anyone can help me do that, I would be extremely grateful :)

Aaaaaaaaaand GO!!!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Mystery of the Blizzard Photographs :)

I LOVE stories like this:

This is all summed up in the attached article, but in brief, an amateur film-maker found an apparently lost canister of film in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Hoping to locate the owners, he took the film home, developed it, and the photos on the roll turned out to be some lovely and very artistic black and white photographs of the recent NYC blizzard, apparently taken by some tourists. The filmmaker has made a Youtube video of the photos and is searching for the owners of the photos. Go take a peek! Maybe you can help find the mystery photographers!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Be My Own Paper Doll

Hello Hello!

   Last night, my dear friend and fellow Blogger Nubby posted what I hope is the first of many Paper Dolls for Grownups entries in her blog, and I was honored to be her first subject. In short, she offered her insights into the types of clothing she would choose for me, sort of like a long distance game of dress-up. Nubby has a fantastic eye for style, a wonderful mix of accessible, eclectic, artistic, classy, and FUN.

  I was thrilled and very touched to see Nubby's thoughts about my personality and how she thought my Lynn-ish-ness would be reflected through clothing, and she was SPOT ON. However, it got me to thinking: How long has it been since I went out shopping for clothes just for fun, thrifted or new? When was the last time I went through my closet and put together a great outfit? With the exception of Sterling, where dressing is always a conscious process and a pleasure, when was the last time I played dress-up for no other reason than expressing my creativity and putting together outfits that I love and show my personality? I mean, I had a lovely time trying on and selecting a bridesmaid's dress for Steph's wedding, but when was the last time I had fun with everyday clothes? I honestly can't remember.

 The usually suspects are at least partly to blame here. Being, of course, lack of time and money.  Part of it also has to do with being in a style rut, which, though I certainly didn't do it on purpose, I must admit, I have allowed myself to fall into. My day job is in a daycare center. I wear a YMCA staff shirt with lounge pants or jeans. Minimal jewelry so the kidlings don't pull it off/out, hair in a ponytail or loose bun so the babies don't get fistfuls of it, and no makeup. Actually,to be fair, the no makeup isn't a YMCA policy, I could wear it if I wanted to, I just can't be bothered with it in the morning. I'm not much of makeup girl. I mean, I have nothing against it, it's just sort of off my radar. I wear makeup onstage and for special occasions, but it's not really an everyday thing for me. I am, however, extremely diligent in taking care of my skin.
  Even when I'm not at work though, I feel like my style has drifted into a kind of ho-hum comfort zone. Don't mistake me, I like to look good. My clothes are clean, in good repair, and they fit well. One thing I'll say for myself, I don't try to hide my body in oversized baggy clothes. For the most part, I dress to my shape, accentuating what I like and minimizing the bits that I'm less enamoured with. But upon inspection/introspection of my wardrobe, I realize that I tend to wear the same sorts of things over and over. Lots of solid colors, lots of neutrals, very few patterns, similar cuts, similar outfit themes, etc. Not a lot of risks, very few statements pieces, not many things that show off my personality. Somewhere along the line, I fell into a *good enough* routine with my clothes. As in, I look *fine* and don't care to expend the energy necessary to go beyond that. And I want that to change. Starting today.

 Getting dressed can be fun, if you let it. It's an opportunity to express yourself. I don't care what size you are, there are always going to be ways to make clothing and accessories fun. I want to let that fun back in. There's really not much that can be done for my *work* wardrobe. However, that being said, I want to put a lot more effort into my personal style. I want to experiment, take risks, express myself, etc. I will be my own Paper Doll :) I will try and update on it periodically here, maybe put up some outfit photos, if anyone cares to see them. Thank you, Nubby for inspiring me :)

In other news: As of this past Monday, I weighed 159.4lbs. Which means I've lost three poounds, and I've already past the minimum goal for this month, wheee!!! And, both as a weight-loss motivator and a tie-in to the above, I've decided that, for every 5lbs I lose, I get a non-food reward. A new article of clothing, a spa treatment, you know, things like that.

Random Home Remedy: Last week, while still in the throes of that devilish sinus infection, I drew myself a hot bath and put in about ten or fifteen drops of peppermint oil, in the hopes that it would clear out my sinuses. It did that and more. The peppermint oil in the water was so incredibly cooling and refreshing, it actually made my skin tingle in the bathtub.  When I climbed out, I could still feel the coolness on my skin, so I waved the towel around myself to create a little bit of a breeze, sooooooooo refreshing!!! Like ice water on a hot day. This would feel great in the dog days of summer, after a workout, if you were feeling overheated/feverish, for headaches, etc. I was first introduced to peppermint oil as a cooling agent this past summer at Sterling. A few drops on your temples/pulse points will cool you wonderfully. So yeah, just thought I'd pass that along. Peppermint Oil is your friend, and they carry it at Wegmans :)

Love Ya'll :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nudges from the Universe, Addendums, and Goal #4

Happy New Year, My Darlings!!!

    I had wanted to post before this, but I was struck down with The Plague (aka, the worst sinus infection I've had in ages), which rendered me basically useless for the first part of this week. My doctor put me on antibiotics, and just now today I am starting to feel significantly better. There's been a little 2011 Goals progress,  Here's an update:

Goal #1: (Savings) The count stands at $107.04, but I get paid tomorrow, so there'll be a little more in there soon. Also, in other financial news, I have made a decision to stop carrying my Visa card in my wallet until I get it paid off. I should really be saving it for emergencies, plane tickets, big purchases, etc. So, out of the wallet it goes until further notice. Will this suck? Probably, but it's for my own good.

Goal #3: (Weight Loss) I weighed myself Monday morning. And, I don't mind telling you, it wasn't pleasant. I could piss and moan, but I'm not going to. Cards on the table, here we go. I am 5'2 (really 5'1 and 3/4, but let's not split hairs), and Monday morning I weighed 162.4lbs and according to my scale I was 36% Body Fat. By the end of this year, this will have changed. As I've said, I haven't been feeling well this week, so I haven't had much of an appetite (though I'm certainly not starving myself). I haven't really been snacking, and the holiday goodies have finally been consumed, so the sugary treats are out of my immediate path. So, yesterday, just for the heck of it, I weighed myself again, and I was down to 161.2lbs, which gave me a nice little boost of confidence. I'm going to a Zumba class tomorrow with a friend. The updates will continue :)

And here's another goal for 2011:)

2011 Goal #4: Use/Manage My Time More Effectively

This goal is pretty self-explanatory. I know there are plenty of things that I put off way too long, which just leaves me feeling rushed and stressed when it comes down to the wire. Example: If I either A) made my lunch the night before and/or B) got up a little earlier in the morning, I wouldn't be so pressed for time before I left for work. Actually, that's a good place to start, I don't want to put too fine of a point on this, because it's more of a general goal, but everything starts somewhere. I'll try to start making my lunch the night before, and going to bed/waking up earlier.

 And now, the fun stuff :)

  I am a great believer in Signs ( omens, nudges from the Universe, whatever you wish to call them) I am also a great believer in the ideal that everything happens for a reason. Two things have happened to me since Christmas that have really stuck with me, and I would like to share them here, any/all feedback would be welcome:)

 - I am great believer in all things Spiritual, Magical, Mystical and *unseen*. Such as Angels, Faeries, Elves, Sprites, Ghosts, Miracles, Visions, Fate, and on and from there. I call them *unseen*, because all of these things/ideals and a host of others are absolutely real to me, but I realize that my experiences may be wholly unlike the experiences of others. The blog of a kindred spirit who has recently started to reconnect with the *unseen* and The Faery Folk has made me lament how little room I've had for all these things in my own life of late. Not that I ever stopped believing, but the frantic pace of a busy life crowded it all out, somewhat. And then, for Christmas, out of the blue and with absolutely no hints from me, my boyfriend bought me a small porcelain Faery as a Christmas gift. She is a sweet wee thing, with brown pigtails and blue eyes, holding a baby bottle that is almost as big as she is ( he got it for me because I care for infants every day at the daycare center:). There is apparently an entire collection of these Kitchen Faeries, as they are called :) I was very struck by the timing of this gift. A reminder from the little people to let the Magic back in, and I shall :)

- I love to sing. I sing every day. All through middle school and high school I was always in Choir, Show Choir, All-County Chorus, All-State and so on. Since college, however, though absolutely not on purpose, I have been concentrating more on straight plays than musicals. My love for singing never diminished, but it just became more of something I did for fun, not necessarily a career focus. However, the last few performances I have been involved in have asked me to sing, which I did, and the amount of compliments I received was shocking, and extremely flattering. But, anyway, to the point: Monday morning I pulled a book down from a high shelf in my bedroom ( for whatever it's worth, the book I was retrieving was my Complete Collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales that I intended to bring to my Faery Tale Book Club Meeting that night,which I, sadly, became too sick to attend). As I was pulling the book down, a small metal object fell off the top of the book and down onto the shelf. I picked it up and it was a small silver pin in the shape of the Treble Clef Symbol (the one that looks like a cursive "S" with a swirl in the middle).
    Now, I am the one who placed those books on the shelf when I came home in 2009. The pin belongs to me, but I haven't seen it in years and certainly didn't put it there myself. My only explanation is that it was put there so I would find it to remind me to let music and singing back into my life in a bigger way, not just as a hobby. Point taken, Universe, point taken indeed :)

Watch for the Everyday Miracles, My Friends :)