Archive for ‘Excercise’

May 30, 2013

Ten things to be happy about 5/30/12

I haven’t written one of these posts in a while. I’m not really sure why. But I thoroughly enjoy them and it’s a good practice in gratitude, which everyone can use a healthy dose of every now and then.

 

1. My  brother is bringing me Starbucks! I can’t wait. I am seriously dragging today.

2. Tonight is yoga! When we started, I was nervous about the heat because the place we go to basically only does classes with some amount of heat. It’s been okay, though. I’ve actually been really enjoying it.

3. This weekend is my friend Stephanie’s bachelorette party! We rented a house and we’re spending the weekend relaxing, eating delicious food, and doing all sorts of girly fun stuff.

4. I am almost finished editing photos from Jim’s dad’s wedding! And they turned out pretty great. I’m happy with them. This is one of my favorites so far.

jim and nancy

5. My friend Reanna and I are Costco shopping for the weekend today. I know maybe that makes me kind of lame, but I love Costco!

6. Jim and I are going to Alaska this year! We’ll be spending the 4th of July there as well as attending a wedding of close family friends of mine. I’m beyond excited! Below is one of my favorite photos from our last trip in 2009…too long ago.

alaska1

7. I joined a new book club! Two might be a bit to keep up with, but that’s okay. Just another excuse to read more! And I’m really excited about meeting and getting to know a new group of girls. You can never have too many friends…or read too many books!

8. We got a new juicer! Not that there was anything wrong with our old juicer. We’re donating it to a friend, and we upgraded. Our new one can do more greens and also can make almond butter and ice cream, which is really exciting!

juicer

9. I made a really yummy quinoa salad two nights ago. We’ve been eating it for dinner the past two nights, and I have it for lunch today. Just another hour and a half! P.S. I’ll be posting the recipe soon!

10. I got my wedding ring cleaned yesterday! And its so shiny and pretty today.  It’s an amethyst, so it’s purple, and when it’s clean the stone turns to such a dark color. It’s almost like a different ring.

Your turn! What are some things you’re really happy about today?

April 12, 2013

Life Altering Change

Jim and I have been making some major changes over the past month. I told you a little bit about our juice reboot, but it’s gone beyond that. We’ve decided we need to overhaul our entire attitude toward food and change what we put into our bodies while we still have the chance to make a difference in our own lives.

It all started on St. Patrick’s Day as we sat down to feast on processed food and plenty of beer. I was scrolling through Pinterest during a commercial on tv and the following image popped into my screen.

fat sick and nearly dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. “Interesting,” I thought, and checked Netflix to see if they had it. They did. And we watched (you can watch on Netflix if you have it, or through Amazon, free with prime or a $2.99 rental).

It’s about Joe Cross, an Australian who suddenly realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. He goes on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the USA promoting healthy living. For whatever reason, this film struck a chord with us and we embarked on our own 4-day juice fast the very next day.

But somehow that wasn’t enough and through the “Reboot with Joe” website, I learned about a new documentary, Hungry for Change, that was showing for free for a limited time that week (also available for rental through Amazon).

hungry for change

This one was huge for us. Not only did it tell us a lot of stuff we already knew was bad for us, but it explained why, and that’s huge when you’re talking about stuff like diet soda, which I knew was bad for me (sadly, other people think it’s good for them), and I already stay away from, but did you know that it causes blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss and seizures and for those reasons pilots are not allowed to drink it while or prior to flying? Holy Cow! I won’t go into all of the details of the movie, but I highly recommend it. It features many prominent figures in the health/wellness world and Jim and I both found it to be insightful and eye-opening.

Along with these two videos, I read a book.

crazy sexy dietThe word “diet” turned my head the other way when I first saw this one. I didn’t want to read a diet book, but after reading the first few sections of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, a book devoted mostly to recipes whereas Crazy Sexy Diet is mostly information, I decided I needed to read Crazy Sexy Diet too. Carr never thought she was going to be a diet guru. She was an actress and photographer and when she learned she had cancer, her entire life changed. Doctors gave her a prognosis and she said screw that! From there, she transformed her life, started following a plant-based diet and claims she’s never felt better, cancer and all. But that’s her story, and you should get her books and let her tell it. Check out her website too. It is an amazing source for information, recipes and community support.

But back to Jim and I, because we don’t have a book and if you want our story, you’re going to find it here. Granted, our story isn’t that long yet, and you’ll have to keep coming back if you want to learn more, but here it is so far.

As I mentioned, we did a 4-day juice fast just after St. Patrick’s Day. I felt more energy after the second day of that fast than I have in so long. But then we had a crazy Napa 30th birthday party to go to, and we needed to quit the fast so we could have some fun (also, we weren’t so sure about fasting for longer than that at a time. We want to be healthy, not crazy and dangerous with our bodies). Having fun, by the way, is okay. We also went to the Food Trucks event in Roseville last night and had Po’Boy sandwiches from the Cajun truck. It’s okay.

We did another juice fast last week and we plan on doing one next week. The weeks between, we’ve been replacing one meal with juice and eating healthfully the other. We have smoothies for breakfast (usually filled with fruit, spinach or kale, protein powder, chia seeds and spirulina…it’s a seaweed) when we’re on the fast and when we’re not, and sometimes a little snack like a handful of walnuts and raspberries if we need it. We’ve also been kicking up our workouts, and by kicking up I mean doing them. We take Katie for long walks or go to the school down the street and play basketball. We both kind of hate working out, so we try to make it fun.

We’ve had very few desserts in the past month. We cut our added sugar down to almost nothing (okay, sometimes I have a few chocolate chips with my walnuts, but again, its okay!), and in the month we’ve been doing this, I think we’ve had caffeine twice. We’ve almost completely cut out dairy products and eggs and started eating more quinoa, wild rice and tons and tons of vegetables!

Mostly, I feel amazing. I have energy (except when I can’t sleep at night, like last night…argh!), I have a positive attitude toward the world. I want to get outside and do things. I want to cook. When I find myself craving something, it’s not tater tots or ice cream, it’s walnuts or carrots or oatmeal (oatmeal, people!). I was on such a tater tot kick before I started this and they don’t even sound good anymore!

As I mentioned before, though, this doesn’t mean we won’t partake in foods we’ve enjoyed in the past. Jim fully intends to continue eating meat when we’re out with family or friends or on special occasions. And I don’t see myself passing up roasted figs with goat cheese and honey come fig season. But we’re no longer okay with putting so much crap into our bodies. There’s increasing research that concludes that filling up on fats, simple white foods like pastas, breads and sugars and the plethora of lab created, chemical “food” products on grocery store shelves these days causes cancer and chronic diseases, and we just don’t want to risk it. It’s like stepping into a fire and just hoping you don’t get burned. We’ve seen too many people we care about…and so many people those people care about get diagnoses of cancer and heart problems that it seems stupid to us not to do something to stay off that increasingly long list.

So stay tuned for more tidbits and tales of our journey to health. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it won’t always be easy, but we’re going to make the trek and hopefully come out on top as a result.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy my “lunch.” I’ve got carrots, oranges, fennel, red cabbage, baby kale, spinach and sweet potatoes today all wrapped up in a pretty purple juice. As Tucker would say, “Aaaaahhhh.”

If you find yourself intrigued, please ask me about our experience. I have tons of information, recipes, opinions, and advise if you’re interested in making a change like this in your life.

April 11, 2013

On my second yoga experience

I like yoga. I haven’t done a ton of it because it’s kind of a “luxury” I can’t justify paying for on a regular basis, so when I found a groupon for ten classes at a local studio, I lassoed my sister-in-law and we went to our first class on Tuesday.

As I previously mentioned, this was my second yoga experience. Of course I’m not counting doing poses from magazines and the Jillian Michaels dvd I picked up as experiences. I’m just referring to classes. And this one sort of scared me.

The first time I took a yoga class was with my other sister-in-law, and it was lovely. The poses were challenging enough, and I left the class feeling calm, relaxed and refreshed.

This class had one fundamental difference: heat. And humidity. Which I wasn’t aware of when we showed up for the class. And I felt like I was going to die about 70% of the class. I got dizzy and slightly nauseous and definitely went through all of my water way too fast. But I’m kind of proud of myself because I stuck it out and finished, even though I (and sister-in-law!) sat out several of the poses.

I’m not sure what I think about going back. I mean sure, we’ll go because we have nine more classes, but I think next time we’ll try one of the two classes they offer without heat.

And may be we’ll go back to heat….eventually.

 

March 11, 2013

Officially Moved In

This weekend we finally had our yard sale, sold or donated the rest of the crap we didn’t need or want and left a big, deliciously empty space in the garage. I figure that, even more than having our housewarming party, means we’re moved in! Of course, now we have to finish organizing what’s left in the garage. But that part’s easy.

The yard sale took up most of our Saturday, and I even remembered to take some photos to post (which I still haven’t really gotten used to doing), but my camera was going whacky on me yesterday (the reason why the rest of the photos in this post are of the lovely cell phone variety). But it’s okay. So is life sometimes. But seriously. It feels SOOOOOO amazing to have all that junk gone. I hate clutter. I hate messes. I hate extra junk. I need to have clean and tidy and put away and that mound of junk was bringing me down.

Anyway, Saturday night we decided to go out to dinner instead of cooking. There was no way I was going to be able to come up with anything besides tater tots and frozen pizza, so we went to sushi instead.

Popcorn Shrimp Temaki

Popcorn Shrimp Temaki

We have a new…I hate to use the word “favorite” because while their Popcorn Shrimp Temaki is probably my favorite hand roll of all time, the rest of their rolls are…well…eh. In fact I almost yacked on the spider roll we ordered. I had to spit it in my napkin. Gross, right? Jim told me to. I wasn’t going to. It’s kind of rude (but then again so is yacking at the table in  a restaurant, right?). Then he held up his left hand, palm toward him, wedding ring toward me, and said “and that’s why it’s okay.” He’s so funny. And he’s right, of course.

Sunday we woke up a bit later than Saturday…and then an hour later than that because of the time change. Stupid time change. I made breakfast, which I usually do. But I have this problem. I can spend one day at home and then I nut up. So since we were home almost all day Saturday, Sunday morning came along and I had a serious itch to get the heck out of the house.

We have a favorite bike trail that we like to ride. It’s about eleven and a half miles around Lake Natoma. There are usually a lot of people…joggers, walkers, people on strange contraptions (like the elliptical machine thing we saw one guy on…wish I’d taken a cell phone photo, but I was about to die about that time), horses along with the bikers?…cyclists? The folk who ride the bikes. Us.

Lake Natoma

However, we decided we wanted to bring Katie. And since she’s not terribly fabulous on the leash yet, and she certainly has never done an 11 mile jaunt attached to a bike before, we chose to walk it instead. (This is the part of the weekend where my camera decided to stop reading the card that was in it and I almost threw it off the bridge into the lake).

Can't believe I had to facebook jack my own photos

Can’t believe I had to facebook jack my own photos

It was a beautiful day. About 70 degrees, warm, a little wind coming off the lake. The trees were green and those that bloom were doing their thing. It felt really good to be out there….until it didn’t. Until we got almost halfway around the lake and realized, hey, walking might be a bigger pain in the ass that bike-riding, not to mention we’re trying to train a dog to walk on the leash here. By the time we finished, four hours later, we were both so beat all we could do was fall into the car. Katie even slept the entire way home.

It was a good thing I already had dinner in the slow cooker (it’s a Cuisinart, not a Crock Pot), or else we would have been going for those tater tots and frozen pizza.

We had a nice evening, though. We watched an episode of Property Wars (anyone else love that show?!) and an episode of…uh…can’t remember the name….they fish for tuna? Jim? Are you reading this? What’s that show called? Anyway, we watched, we ate, we had some ice cream in bed and then we were out.

Unfortunately a bird outside our bedroom window wasn’t aware that the time change didn’t mean he was supposed to sit and squawk at 2 am. Between him and the nice little sunburn I procured on our little walk, I probably didn’t sleep more than three hours all night. And we went to bed early! Hopefully he gets with the program tonight!

June 28, 2012

Side effects

Yesterday I posted about the foods I miss since I can’t eat corn or wheat. Today, I figured I’d balance it out by sharing with you the positive “side effects” the change has had.

1. I get ideas

I used to get these fabulous ideas for things I could do: creative birthday gifts, DIY projects around the house, new recipes, get togethers with friends, weekend plans. I think eventually my brain got tired of these ideas being rejected that it just stopped having them. I used to feel so guilty when I would come up with such a cool idea and then not have the energy to go through with it. I am finally starting to get these ideas back…and I’m doing them!

2. My apartment gets clean

I won’t say that it IS clean because I’ve been in sort of a slump. The pain from my knee kept me awake at night for a whole week. Pair that with last weekend’s adventure and I’ve been feeling less than motivated. I know, however, that it is temporary and will pass (that in itself is an amazing feeling!). And probably, with any luck, by this afternoon, our apartment will at least feel clean again.

3. I want to wear high heels

I have so many pairs of heels that I love. And in the past few years, it’s just seemed like such a pain, so much more effort than I could afford to wear them….now I just need my dang knee to finish healing.

My fabulous wedding shoes may see the outside of their box again!

4. I’ve started writing again

I think I mentioned this one before. I stopped working on my large writing project just after we got engaged. I told myself I’d be too busy planning our wedding, but beyond that there was a little nagging feeling that I just didn’t have the energy to produce anything good. And that’s partly my own self-loathing speaking (fueled by a number of rejections of my first novel… “Can I really do this?!”), but somehow, I’ve found the courage and energy to pound out some words and have started a fresh draft of my current project. Wish me luck.

5. I want to redecorate

I won’t claim to be the world’s most amazing decorator. Hell, I won’t claim to be one ounce of good at it at all, but ever since I was a kid, I’ve had this amazingly keen desire to redecorate, rearrange rooms every few months or so. I was actually a little hesitant to move into my first apartment after college because my bedroom was too small to move the furniture around. Could I really live like that? Well, I managed. And again, our room is too small to do much moving around. But for a while there, I had no desire to make changes at all, and while I still can’t move the furniture, I have this desire to freshen up the decor and find myself often cruising House Beautiful and numerous home decor blogs in my free time.

6. I want to be my best self

And I feel motivated to make the changes necessary. Not major changes. Just little things like making time for exercise every day (and not just when I already have time for it). Taking time for MYSELF every day…to read, to write, to watch a television show. And sticking with my new diet…lifestyle really…because that’s what makes all of the items on this list happen.

Prior to finding out about these allergies, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to feel “normal” again. I was sure there was a good possibility I would just be tired forever, unable to muster the energy to get through every day. The “side effects” have been amazing. Now I believe there’s a good possibility I may actually find a bit of contentment in my life, a bit of happiness that lingers rather than falling away as soon as it arrives.

Have you ever been so discouraged by something you can’t control that it feels like it may never go away? How did you cope with that?

June 8, 2012

No more convenience eating for me + Tucker turns one

I remember the days, not so long ago, when I could arrive home exhausted, feeling lazy and simply order a pizza to be delivered to my door within an hour’s time. Or I could call an order of sushi in at the place down the street or a burrito bowl from our favorite Mexican place and have Jim pick it up on his way home.

But the burrito bowl has corn in it. And the pizza is obviously filled with wheat flour. And some of the sauces they use on sushi have soy sauce in them, which is fermented with wheat, so questioning must be done before I eat any of it. So any convenience eating I used to do has effectively been removed from my life.

Last night Jim really wanted pizza, so we decided to pick up a frozen one for me at Whole Foods, and get him a take-n-bake from Raleys. Well, after a small meltdown in Whole Foods as a result of their being out of my favorite rice crust pizza, we did some research and learned that our local favorite pizza place, zPizza, carries a gluten-free crust. I called them up and confirmed they used to corn products in it, and placed an order (Jim got his own pizza there…with regular crust).

Yummy frozen Whole Foods rice crust pizza

 

I was a little hesitant at first because there had been some not so lovely reviews about this gluten-free crust from this particular pizza restaurant. Much to my pleasure, the crust was quite similar to the one I had planned on getting from Whole Foods. Was it as good as the crust on Jim’s pizza? No. Was it as bad as the rice crust my mom bought last week? Far from it! I’m aiming more these days for “Satisfying” rather than “blow me over delicious.” I can’t have the things I love anymore, so I have to satisfy my cravings with alternatives that are, well, satisfying.

The gluten free zPizza pie

In other news, I don’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but my favorite Lil Man turned one year old on Tuesday. His party is tomorrow and I’m making a zillion cupcakes as well as his personal cake tonight when I get home. I’m a little nervous, I won’t lie. I’m so tired, I’m not sure how I’m going to get it all done tonight AND get my doctor recommended 30 minutes of elevated heart rate in. But I’ll do my best. Maybe a nice walk after dinner will cover it. He did say walking counted….

Eating (and thoroughly enjoying) his banana…the wrong way

Here are a few more photos for you from the first year of his life. I can’t believe it went by so quickly! It’s weird because the first few months went by slowly as I was waiting for my wedding day to arrive, but after that, time sure did pick up speed!

Me and Tuck at one week old. He was so tiny!

Probably still less than a month old

Love this one. Doesn’t it look like he’s trying hard to fart?!

He was four months old, helping me get ready to walk down the aisle

This little guy sure does bring a smile to my face. I’m so glad he came into my life a year ago. I can’t wait to see what the next year is like and the man he eventually grows into.

May 3, 2012

Yay for Exercise + Photo-a-day, day 2

I am amazingly proud of myself and Jim. The past two days we’ve gotten out of the house and gotten moving! I know that may seem like not a big accomplishment, two days, but for the two of us, that’s huge, especially considering how I’ve been feeling lately.

On Tuesday we took the tennis rackets out to the court at our apartments and “played” for about an hour…I think. I don’t really know. We were having fun and lost track of time. But I know I got a good workout in because my whole body is sore today, even places I wouldn’t have thought worked that hard in tennis…like my upper abs. Holy cow!

Last night, we walked a loop…about 20 minutes round trip, I would assume. Not as much of a workout as Tuesday Tennis, but its better than sitting on the couch right?!

I find it so much more fun and…non-exerciselike when someone else is with me, especially when it’s my husband because then its just hanging out with the love of my life, playing tennis…or going for a walk. I guess it’s the same reason why reading a book on the elliptical machine is easier than listening to music for me: I get distracted enough to forget what I’m doing.

And I’d bet, since you didn’t see a post yesterday, that I forgot about taking my photo for the day. Well, you’re wrong! I did it. I just didn’t get around to posting it last night.

Yesterday’s photo subject was: Skyline.

We don’t live anywhere where there’s a really cool skyline, like Manhattan’s. But there’s a distinct line between the sky and the trees here, so I figure it works.

I took this, actually, on our lovely little walk last night. The sunset was beautiful. My little phone camera didn’t quite do it justice, though.

Today’s subject is : something you wore today. With any luck, I’ll get that posted tonight. If not, you’ll see it tomorrow, I’m sure!

April 23, 2012

I have a confession to make….

…I hate exercise.

There. I said it. Phew, I feel such relief!

But now I suppose I must explain before someone starts ranting about the benefits of staying active.

My biggest Don’t-judge-me-I-have-good-excuses reasons are as follows: I have always had bad ankles and any amount of running, walking, skipping, etc will leave them the size of golf balls. And I’m convinced that my lung capacity is about that of a 4 year old. I start to feel out of breath so easily and then I get a headache, a stomach ache and feel like I’m going to pass out. And that’s just jogging, my friends.

I know that the most obvious answer is “Well, Steph. If you exercise more your body will get used to it and it’ll be more happy with you.” And I know, I know. I don’t not exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I get my butt moving as often as I can, especially knowing that I will probably justify my way out of going to the gym: Jim’s home so I want to spend time with him. I have to cook dinner. The apartment needs cleaning. I must catch up on my correspondence.

And I do go to the gym…sometimes. And we do ride our bikes….sometimes. And take walks after dinner….sometimes. And I have Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred…which I haven’t done in, well, months, to be honest.

But I try. I know I don’t try hard enough, but I do. I am loving cruising Pinterest for inspiration. This is one of my current faves:

To me, it’s far more “doable” than spending an hour at the gym doing cardio and weights and whatever else. And these are easy to spread out. Sometimes I’ll do them in my office at work (when no one else is around, of course!). Sometimes I’ll do them while I’m waiting for the washing machine to finish its cycle because if I leave and start something else, I know I’ll completely forget about the laundry.

This morning I woke up, did some stretching, some crunches, some pushups, a few yoga poses. Mornings are SO hard for me, I can barely get myself to the bathroom right when I wake up…and all I have to do to get there is swing my feet off the bed and take two steps!

But I still feel guilty for not putting in a good amount of time sweating my ass off. And I’m starting to think maybe that’s more me not giving myself a break than me not doing anything good for my body. I mean, at the end of the day, I can only do as much as I can do, right?

I’m still hoping that when I get this fatigue thing figured out, I’ll be able to do more. The #1 reason I hate exercise is because I always feel so exhausted…at the end of the day…at the beginning of the day…and pretty much every moment in between. And exercise doesn’t seem to give me energy like it should. I finish a workout and feel more sleepy than when I started!

Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get in to see my mom’s doctor and start to get some answers. Until then, I suppose I’ll continue doing pushups and lunges in my office when no one is looking.

 

April 11, 2012

House hunting and having a hard time

Let me preface with good news: we’re looking for a house to buy!

Now the not so great news: I haven’t posted in over a week.

Partly it’s because I have no photos. What’s a blog post without photos? And partly its because I have no energy. I’m knee deep in tests and theories, and at this point crossing my fingers for a vitamin D deficiency, but nothing is concrete yet. I still have no answers as to why I’m so tired all the time.

It’s really starting to get in the way of my life. I don’t feel like cooking. But I don’t want to eat unhealthy restaurant food, nor do I want to spend the extra cash to eat out every night. I get home every night and all I can do is crash. I haven’t even been to the gym in weeks.

In the meantime, we’re looking for a house…to buy. Which, of course, is scary as heck. Our lease at the apartment is up in July, and we need more space. For what we could rent a house for, we could buy a dern nice one, so we are readjusting our options.

But it’s a pretty dismal market out there, and of course, our realtor says we are looking in possibly one of the most competitive markets in all of California. Great, right?

Which, of course, means that the house we found, the one that’s perfect: exact location, great size, good lot size, etc, etc…is in the process of being sold. Pooey.

Isn’t that a beautimous kitchen? And it’s totally in our price range. Sad face.

So we move on. And there are some more houses we like. Even a few that are still technically on the market. Real estate is so crazy. Like, if this house has an offer accepted and it is pretty much sold, why do you need to leave it up and rub it in my face that I can’t have it? Rude.

I told Jim we should sign up to go on House Hunters, the television show on HGTV where we see the buyers’ top three choices and watch them choose one. It would be fun. I bet the waiting list is forever, though. At any rate, that’s not really our style. We just want a place to live…and soon.

My problem is that I have no patience. I want to find the perfect house right now for the perfect price and just buy it. Maybe this will be a good lesson for me.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on all fronts. I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday to read more blood test results. And we go for our preapproval for the home loan this evening. Also this week, I’m attending a wedding and a bridal shower (for two different people). Lets just hope I can stay standing!

Have a great week!

 

March 5, 2012

Back to the land of the living!

 

Since the weather has been so beautiful and spring-like here, I decided it best to start the day (and this post) off with something pretty. Plus, I’m feeling better so my outlook is a little more rosy.

This is actually the first day in almost two weeks I’ve actually felt like myself. I’m still coughing up crap, but I have a little bit of energy, I don’t feel like I want to just flop back into bed, and my extreme self reflection seems to have returned. I’m not sure I’ll be returning to the gym just yet…probably not the greatest plan to go back to a cardio workout when I’m not 100% sure my lungs can handle it yet, but Jim and I did a bit of walking this weekend and boy did it feel good!

Probably one of the best things about spending an extended period of time horizontal is that you have nothing but time to think. I’m a thinker anyway. My brain just doesn’t ever stop. So given the time to think without interruptions, my brain went a little haywire. Which is a good thing, I think, because I’ve made a few decisions about my day to day life.

1. I like the whole “mostly vegan” way of eating. I feel best when I don’t include dairy in my diet. But I don’t want to be so stressed about it that I can’t enjoy things like mac and cheese every once in a while when a craving hits.While I was spending so much time horizontal, I ordered a few new cookbooks, so I have some new material even!

So excited to start trying some of these recipes!

2. I need to spend more time with friends. I realized recently that I have a few friends who are parts of couples, and Jim and I don’t really hang out with other couples, but we want to. And it’s just a matter of making it happen, right? Spending time with friends is one of the single toughest things for me to do because it requires I actually MAKE THE TIME. If I don’t think about it, I keep on going with my day to day crazy life. I have to make a point of sitting down, carving out some time and making a plan!

3. I want to exercise in the morning. This one is, of course, easier said than done. I’m in no way a morning person. But when I DO workout in the morning, I feel better all day long. It’s just so hard for me to wake up and the last thing I want to do when I’m feeling sluggish and groggy is elevate my heart rate and work my muscles. This is my biggest challenge.

4. I need to get out of the house. Sounds easy, right? But I don’t like where I live. It’s not pretty. So I have to make an effort to spend time in beautiful places. I feel so inspired to take photos and yet nothing pretty to take them of. So I have to make that work.

5. I need to start doing what makes me happy. This one is a work in progress because what makes me happy isn’t going to pay the bills right now, and with my income being the only income, I can’t really mess with it at the moment. But I’m taking steps toward doing what I want to do. I got my business cards in, my website is up and running and I’m collecting ideas and inspiration and shooting locations so I’m prepared when the time is right!

6. I want to try new things. I feel like my world is small, and while I can’t change my physical location right now, I can change what I do within it. Jim and I have made a deal to try two new things every month. He will choose one, and I will choose one. It should get us out of the house and expose us to new and exciting experiences. I can’t wait!

That’s pretty much the gist of it. I find that if I don’t stop myself, my head gets too full and then I get stressed because I can’t possibly accomplish all the things swirling around in there at once. I’m learning to write them down and pace myself!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week and enjoying this weather as much as I am!