"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 30-day Challenge: Downsize and Organize!

I have TOO. MUCH. JUNK. A ton of our stuff doesn't even have a real place to go. Things never really get put "away", they just get put "somewhere else". On top of that, my husband and I are both kind of hoarders so we have a ton of stuff we never use, yet still hang on to for no good reason. We're drowning in it. It's bad.

Even my 10-year-old brother stopped dead in his tracks and asked, "What happened in here?!" when he saw my bedroom. Yep, a 10-year-old boy. It's that bad. I feel like I'm always drowning in clutter and it stresses me out, which makes life less fun for our entire little family!

We can kind of get away with it right now since we have extra bedrooms to use as storage units (haha aren't we resourceful?), but that will soon change! We're moving in about 6 weeks, and (thanks to the expensive Penn State housing vs. cheap Alabama housing) the house we're moving to has no extra bedroom, no garage, and a much smaller outside storage shed, smaller laundry room, and smaller and fewer closets than our current house. Something's gotta change!

This month's challenge is two-fold.

First: get rid of stuff! Like, a LOT of stuff! There is no good reason for us to have so much stuff that we need an extra bedroom to pile it in while still having every room of the house feel like it's overflowing in clutter! I'm planning a group yard sale for July 26th, so hopefully I can make a few bucks off of it. Whatever doesn't sell is getting donated to people from church in need, or donated to the thrift store! It will finally be GONE!!

Second: find a place for everything! It's impossible to put things away when there isn't a place for it to go. This one will probably mean we need to buy a few binders, file folders, storage bins, and possibly shelving or some other sort of furniture to get an official home for everything. Ideally we'll make enough money selling our extra stuff to cover the cost of getting new stuff to organize what we actually want to have around.

I had a lot of success with my 30-day challenge last month, and I think a huge factor was the extra accountability I felt from having to take a picture every day. It also made it easy for me to know when I had achieved my goal for the day and could stop stressing about it. I hope that success and enthusiasm rolls over into this month, because I sure need it!!

Time to start Project Downsize and Organize!

June 30-day Challenge Check-in #4

Aaaand we're done! This is my 4th and final check-in. I made it through my a-salad-a-day challenge and got in 27 out of 30 salads!! Woohoo!! This is definitely the most successful I've been with any of my 30-day challenges so far! I think having to post pictures really made a difference in my motivation. It's a lot harder to cheat that way :)

I think I might have even dropped a pound or two this past month too! It's hard to tell on my analog scale, but I'll pretend :)

Here are the last of my ugly salads!

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 30-day Challenge Check-in #3

I finished week #3 of my salad-a-day challenge, and I'm still going strong! This week I actually got all 7 salads in! Yay!!!

I forgot to take a picture of one of them, so I only have 6 pictures of ugly salads. I really did eat 7 though, I promise :) And since several of my salads were veggie-laden pasta salads instead of straight up fruit or veggie salads, I actually ate quite a few more servings than are showed to make sure I got in enough veggies to feel like it counted.

I'm still 3 salads behind from the first two weeks, and the month ends next Monday! 10 more salads, here I come!

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 30-day Challenge Check-in #2!

It's time for some more ugly salad pictures on a tacky template! And I think the salads are getting even less photogenic :)

I'm proud to say I'm still doing pretty good at my 30 days, 30 salads challenge! Unfortunately I did miss 2 days this week, so now I'm 3 salads behind where I want to be. I'm going to try to eat 2 salads a couple of times this week to make up for them though! Haha we'll see how that goes...wish me luck!

Here is my photographic proof of my 5 oh-so-delicious and oh-so-healthy, but oh-so-ugly salads! (yes they are basically all the same. I lacked creativity in the food department this week)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Hope My Skin Doesn't Fall Off

Once upon a time (just now) I drove up to my house and discovered a dog there waiting for me. I don't have a dog, and to be honest, I really don't like dogs. He/she/it followed my car up the driveway and sat outside waiting for me. There was no owner in sight and I could see the dog was really dirty, so I figured it ran away and was lost. I decided to do a good deed and check for a name tag on the collar and hopefully call the owner.

I don't know what I was thinking.

The dog decided it loved me and jumped all over me repeatedly for a couple of minutes, scratched up my legs a little, and bit my hand a few times (playfully, but still broke skin)...which I wouldn't have minded *as* much if the dog hadn't just come from messing around with the dead armadillo that has been rotting in the street for days!! My inner (and outer) germaphobe self pretty much had a heart-attack and died.

this is what it looked like last week...it's a lot worse now

In addition to all the nastiness of a rotting carcass, armadillos carry leprosy. No joke. So now I might have rabies and leprosy, in addition to whatever other horrors run rampant in rotting, diseased roadkill. Ick! That's the last time I ever try to help someone find a lost dog again!

I washed my hands and arms about 7 times in a row and completely changed my clothes. Then, just to be safe, I ignored the warning label and gave all my contaminated skin (arms, legs, feet) a rubdown with Lysol wipes. That might not have been the smartest move. So now if my skin doesn't fall off from leprosy, it'll fall off from the chemicals. Seriously though, it's hard to feel clean enough to pick up your baby after an incredibly germy encounter like that! (I did rinse off the Lysol before touching her)

To top it all off, the dog didn't even have a nametag! It was all for nothing! So if this happens to be your dog, I'm sorry, I don't know where it is anymore.

This whole little adventure reminded me that I recently came across a 10-page college research paper I wrote about leprosy and the Bible while going through old boxes. If anyone needs me, I'll be studying it while locked up in my house, far away from all dogs and armadillos...and imagining living the rest of my life as a quarantined rabid leper.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 30-day Challenge Check-in

I finished the first week of my salad-a-day challenge, and, I'm proud to say, I'm doing awesome! I started a few days early, and I've only missed one day so far! (hence the 7 pictures when today is the 8th...)

Like I said back when I was introducing my challenge, these are definitely not picturesque salads! They are just proof to myself that I am actually succeeding this month :)

And in addition to being super proud of myself for actually making it for the first week, I am super proud that I figured out how to crank out this graphic - as simplistic and not-so-awesome as it may be - and it only took me like 10 minutes start-to-finish!

Time to start week #2!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Good Enough

I found this video today and it was a very timely reminder that it's ok to go back to ballet even if I'm not very good at it anymore.

Check it out here :)

"Finally you just ask yourself 'how complicated do you want to make this?', and, 'why don’t you just do it for the reasons that you enjoy it?'"

"I always think of just a feeling of almost like my heart bursting. If you could have joy in the shape of a person..."

Yep, some of the shots of the dancer with the blossoms are cheesy, but it's still a good reminder that it doesn't matter if I'm the worst dancer in the classroom. I can do something I love for the sheer fact that it brings me joy, and that's good enough :)