Uncategorized

2018, You Were A Rough One. . .

Yesterday, while scrolling on Twitter, I encountered a tweet that said to list five positive things that happened to you in 2018. Up to the challenge, I began to try to list all of the positive things that happened to me this year.

After wracking my brain for over an hour, I could only come up with three. Those were: getting to create wonderful memories with my boyfriend, surpassing my reading goal (no surprise there), and getting to experience the Big E for the first time. Of course, much after trying to write that tweet, I came up with a few more: learning how to knit, and seeing Billy Joel. But, still.

Now, I’m not pessimistic. It’s just 2018 was a rough year for me. The biggest reason is that I lost my beloved Maggie. For all of those who knew me well, you knew how much I loved Maggie. The joke used to be that I loved her more than my boyfriend (yes, you can say that he loved that one). Losing her flat out sucked, and the pain still lingers especially as the holiday season came and passed. Christmas morning wasn’t the same without giving her a bone filled with peanut butter to chew on. And, every time I open a book, there is no one around to sniff it.

Losing Maggie wasn’t the only thing lost. This year, I learned that sometimes, it’s okay to let go of people in your life who don’t make you happy. These people can be friends who you’ve outgrown, or even people who just bring you down. Of course, there’s no drama or anything like that. That’s just a cruel part of growing up.

However, on the last day of 2018, I try to remain hopeful that 2019 will be much better. While I don’t have a “squad,” I have a few people that I can count on, including my wonderful boyfriend. I hopefully will be getting a dog, who won’t be replacing my Maggie by any means, but will ease the loneliness. I also will make more time for fun, for beach days, and for trying to read more.

Not every year is meant to be your year. In life, we are going to experience some rough moments and patches. But, what gets you through them is the moments of self care and the people who love you.

And, of course, a ton of chocolate.

Happy New Year, to all.

Uncategorized

2019 Resolutions

Can you believe that 2019 is less than a week away? Nope, neither can I. With a new year looming, I’m doing what many of you are probably doing: making resolutions. So, as we ring in 2019, let me share what my goals for the new year are:

  1. Save money. I’ve had this happen to me so many times. I would have an emergency or need money right then and there. Only, the money that I had would not cover it. My goal this year is to put that money aside and have that money when I need it. Furthermore, I want to have more savings in my account as it is — especially as I get older. To do this, I’m going to start by saving 10 percent of my check per week. It may not be much, but it’s a start at least.
  2. Buy a new cell phone. I have an iPhone 6 currently. However, recently my battery is starting to go on it. And, let’s be honest here — I want a better camera as well. Therefore, my goal this year is to upgrade.
  3. Clean out my closets. It’s safe to say that I have a lot of clutter in my house. However, I want to eliminate the stuff I don’t use. Currently, I try to clean out closets and drawers whenever I can. It’s been a slow progressing project. With that being said, I want 2019 to be the year I fully tackle this project.
  4. Read 75 books. Every year, I resolve to read 52 books on my Goodreads. And, I usually meet this goal by September. However, this year, I want to up that challenge. And, with the addition of an e-reader in my life, I’m sure that I will be reaching it with ease as well.

So, those are my resolutions for this year. What are yours?

Uncategorized

Why Do We Feel Guilty Treating Yourself?

A few days ago, I had a few hours to kill before clerking a meeting. Rather than go home only to turn back, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner and walk around the shops before heading back. So, I got Chic-Fil-A and walked around the Barnes and Noble where I ate a blondie.

With still an hour to kill, I headed to Best Buy. It was on my way back to the highway, and I figured why not? I needed to get a Micro-SD card anyways, so it worked out.

After I found the card, I began to walk around to the FitBit section. Since getting my Versa back in June, it has become a habit of mine to check out the bands whenever I go somewhere that sells FitBits. I love changing them, so it couldn’t hurt to look. Right?

Anyhow, I found a package of three bands, one of them a silver mesh band for the smart watch. Keep in mind, I have been looking for one of those for a while. The price was right, and I figured why not?

When I went home, my mom said: well aren’t we self-indulgent? My response: I work pretty hard, so every once in a while, why can’t I reward myself for it?

According to an article on Forbes entitled Why You Feel Guilty When You Spend Money and How To Stop, spending our hard-earned money should be “exciting and not regretful.”

The article cites that a big reason why we feel guilty about doing so is the fear of it going towards something more practical. And, how many people can relate to this? Let’s say you have a rough day at work, and fall in love with a purse at TJ Maxx. So, you buy it. Of course, it is supposed to make you happy. Instead, you feel guilty.

Why is that?

This, the article says, is a result of “lack of planning.” That money you spent on a purse could have gone towards your savings. It could have gone towards rent, or paying a bit extra on your credit card.

Now, how can you get rid of that guilt? The article suggests having a plan for the money in your paycheck, and setting aside some “fun” money. By being able to enjoy your money is actually a sign of financial health.

With that being said, the only time you should really feel guilty is when you’re either dipping into your savings or getting into debt doing so.

Therefore, have a plan people.

With that being said, no one should make you feel guilty about doing that. I have so many friends who complain about money, and that also is a factor when I splurge.

But, here’s my train of thought: if my bills are paid for, and my car has gas in it, then if I want to spend money, I will. I try to be mindful, which sometimes works. And, I work pretty hard, so sometimes I will ask myself what am I working for? when I can’t enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Therefore, for all of you who are staring longingly at something that will make you happy, maybe this is the push you need to treat yourself. Just make sure that everything else is paid first.

Book of the Month · Book Reviews

Book of the Month: One Day in December by Josie Silver

I don’t know about you all, but I love a good romance. That could be why I’ve devoured nearly every novel that Nicholas Sparks has ever written. And, around this time of year, I could use a good Christmas read to get into the holiday spirit. So, when I looked at the choices for this month’s Book of the Month book, I knew that I had to check out Josie Silver’s One Day in December, a novel that was promised to be similar to the movie Love Actually. Which I haven’t seen, but that is besides the point.

48252732_10217932793139834_5230541877513551872_n

The book is about Laurie James, an aspiring magazine journalist who is currently working in a hotel. One night after a long and tedious day at work, she finds the man of her dreams while taking the bus home. Both of them stare at each other longly, however, before there is time to make a move, the bus pulls away.

For a year, Laurie searches for the man, known as bus boy. Close to a year after the two have met they found each other. Well, sort of. Laurie discovers that ‘bus boy’ is none other than her best friend’s boyfriend.

The novel then takes the reader on a journey of the character’s highs and lows — from career to love to personal — and then leads them right back to each other to create a tear-jerking ending.

Okay, so the book was beautifully written. I love how it appears to be a Christmas book, but it’s actually more a typical love story of boy meets girl and they go through some stuff to create a happy ending.

Even though it’s typical, I actually loved the novel. It was very easy to get lost in, which is something that I loved. And of course, there were moments where I wanted to scream at the characters ‘get your act together.’

What I really loved about this novel is that it wasn’t cliche. I mean, I’ve read several love stories, and many of them often tip-toed on the line of cheesy. Not this one. I felt like this one was real. Silver channeled the human emotions in an beautiful way, which is something that I really liked about the book.

Now, many people compared this book to Love Actually. I have never seen the movie, so I can not fully testify that it is true. However, I think the novel also has some bits of Sleepless in Seattle — especially the ending. Don’t worry — my spoilers will end there.

Overall, I loved this book. Therefore, if you’re looking for a great holiday read that will grab you and just make you happy, be sure to check out One Day in December.

Relationships

The Comparison Game

Have you ever had this happen? You’ll be scrolling on your newsfeed, and all of a sudden, you’re staring at a friend’s picture or post with envy. Now, it can be anything. They can be posting about getting engaged. Or, they can be posting about the awesome new opportunity they have. And, as you’re clicking the like button, you can not help but wonder: why not me?

If this hasn’t happened to you, then you are clearly lying. After all, social media does this to just about everyone.

With that being said, why do we do this? We could be happy in our life, until we see someone else. Or, we can be hanging out with a friend, and hear about their relationship, only to wonder if our own is in trouble because we are not doing that one thing like them.

However, this is something that we need to stop — or at least work on in 2019. According to an article on Psychology Today entitled 3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, comparing ourselves to others is dangerous for a number of reasons — the big one being that it’s all an illusion.

I mean let’s get real for a moment. Do we ever post the negative things on Facebook? Someone may post about getting a new job. But, do we post about the many rejections that we received? Or, do we post about the time that we lost our job? Maybe not.

Sometimes, I think social media is a blessing and a curse.

Everyone has their own journey and life, and their own path to follow. Sure, it’s human nature to be jealous of awesome things that others have. But, that doesn’t mean to forget the awesome things that are in our lives right now.

Furthermore, let me add this — everyone is different. For instance, what might feel right for one friend’s relationship isn’t right for you. One friend might get engaged after only knowing her partner for a few months. Another will be a few years. Timing is a weird thing, and truly, it’s different for everyone.

Therefore, I have a resolution for all of you readers if you are caught red handed doing this. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, whether that may be a relationship, an awesome job or even a vacation, take a moment to write a list of all that you are blessed with. Trust me, if you are anything like me, it will be a long one. 

DIY

Craft Tutorial: Stretch Charm Bracelet

One of my favorite things to make is a charm stretch bracelet. I love making them because they are simple and quick. They are perfect for those who looking to learn how to make jewelry themselves, and need an easy craft to get through the day. 

14902725_10211113017929716_6543739307440451719_o

What’s awesome about this project is that it’s something that can be versatile. You can personalize it to be just about any style for anyone on your list.

Interested? Here’s how you make it:

What You Need:

  • Stretchy Cord — I like this one, which you can get at any craft store.
  • Beads of your choice.
  • Charm of your choice.
  • Scissors

47032306_707402972977476_4953798490179239936_n

How to Make It:

  1. Cut a piece of stretchy cord that is about three inches longer than you need to make it.
  2. Take your charm, and put it in the middle of the bracelet.
  3. Put beads on both sides of the charm.
  4. Once the bracelet is the size that you want it, tie a double knot.
  5. Pull the strings tightly, and cut excess.
  6. Voila!

Tips and Tricks:

46979483_707402956310811_7343543548081340416_n

There are so many different ways to do this. For instance, one of my favorite things to do with this style is to add silver beads to really make it pop. Another design I often go to is one with alternating both pearls and crystals. The options are truly endless!

 

Uncategorized

An Avid Reader Uses An E-Reader — Here’s What Happened

Many of my readers will know that I am an avid reader. I am a frequent shopper at Barnes and Noble, and I have unread books scattered everywhere in my home. And, like many frequent readers, I swore that I never would become one of those readers. You know, the ones that would use a Nook or a Kindle.

Now, I was given a Nook as a gift when I was a senior in high school. It was 2011, so it was pretty much meant to be used for the sole purpose of just reading books. I liked it because this tiny thing could store so many books. I didn’t like it because I craved the physical sensation of holding a book in my hand — something that was done for hundreds upon hundreds of generations before my own. So, I let the Nook collect dust for the time being.

ipad

Earlier this year, I went away with my boyfriend and his family to a trip in Boston. Being the bibliofile that I am, I of course took a book. When it came time to bed, my boyfriend’s mother whipped out her Nook. I was first of all amazed that they had color ones, but I also was surprised that tiny little thing held over 300 books.

Needless to say, I wanted to get an e-reader after that. However, here’s the thing. I have over two dozen physical books lying around my house — all of which that were waiting to be read. So, one by one, I began to chip away at them.

Last month, however, I really wanted to read this book called the Hate U Give. The book was expensive everywhere I went — that is except for the Kindle edition (my mom let me use her never used Kindle).

So, I downloaded it.
And, I loved it.

I loved that it was so easy to read it — even easier than reading a physical book. The book  I also loved that I didn’t have to use a reading light if I wanted to read in the dark.

What I also loved was the portability that came with it. Books would often weigh down my purse, which is why I left what I was reading at home. However, an iPad or my Kindle would weigh about a quarter of the weight. Now, I can read as much as I want to — whether at lunch or waiting in an doctor’s office. And, I can see myself using it a ton when I travel — no more weighing my bag down with two or three books. I can just bring my iPad and call it a day.

Needless to say, I’m reading a ton more. Which, as an avid reader, is something that makes me happy.

Therefore, to all of you readers out there, I’m going to advise you one thing. Don’t knock the e-reader until you try it.