Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 vs 2017

If 2016 was the year of...me, then 2017 is the year of...better me?

I did what I wanted this year. I didn't want to blog (much), so I didn't. I stopped reading in favor of binge watching shows like Criminal Minds and SVU. I tried out meal things like Blue Apron and I paid over $100 for a ticket to see the Jaguars lose; I won't be doing that again even if Blake Bortles was a good quarterback for UCF.

In 2017 I want to focus on my health and that includes moving more (words from my doctor) meal planning/prepping and not spending frivolously. Let's look a little closer at some categories.

Frivolous Spending - Mindfulness and Intent

Makeup: I don't wear makeup everyday to work right now, so I definitely don't need to be buying it on a regular basis. I want to get rid of things I don't use and I don't want to buy ANY unless I run out. The only thing I foresee running out of would be foundation, but hopefully not anytime soon.

Books: Since I've stopped reading as much, I don't see this being a problem, but I'd really like to not buy any books this year. *gasp* I know, but I really want to use the library and borrow from friends, etc.

Clothes: After donating bags of clothes, I put away some clothes that if I lost about 10 pounds I would fit into. I told myself if I don't lose the weight in January I probably won't be losing the weight anytime soon and I will get rid of them. Currently, I just bought clothes I feel comfortable in right now, so for the next 25 pounds I have clothes. If I lose even more than that I'll be closer to a size I can find at second hand stores easier and that's where I'll look first.

Amazon: It's so hard when it's at the touch of the fingers and here in two days, lol. At least until March 1st I can't buy anything off Amazon. Anything.

Gifts: I want to minimize the "stuff" in my life and I want to do the same for others. I'm still trying to decide how this will go and I'm leaning toward experiences instead of things.

Things I AM Spending Money on:
Pedicure - In FL this is something I just don't want to give up and it's something I look forward to.
Time with Friends - I have a couple weekends already scheduled and I'm debating putting a spending limit on those outings.
My Little - BBBS encourages no spend events, but I also budget $$ each month to use for my times with her.

Food and Exercise

Better Eating:
I really need to set a schedule where I plan, shop and then prep so that's my first goal.
Friday - Meal Plan, I can do this on my breaks at work before the weekend.
Shopping in between. I'm not sure yet when I'll want to shop. Either on my way home Friday after work or ...
Sunday - Meal Prep, this is going to be harder. A lot of times I end up spending Sunday at my Parents and I need to be intentional about leaving with enough time to do some serious meal prep.
Any pointers for food prepping or shopping you've found that work?

I have the 21 day fix Country Heat and I like it. We have crazy people below us and I feel like I can't give it my stomping all and I'm sure other reasons behind why I stopped I just need to get back into it dang it!
I have been trying to get in 15-30 minutes of walking at work while enjoying this nice weather we've been having. Especially since it won't last long. :(

One last thing:
You guys, I only posted on Instagram 42 times this year! You could almost fit all of those posts in one screen, if you had a really large screen but my point is my reference for looking back on the year is minimal compared to years before it and I need want to get back to sharing. We went to the Manatee Festival in Crystal River and I took pictures but I didn't share it, didn't even blog about it but it's on my list because if you're ever down this way in January you should totally go and see the manatees!

Here's one of the pics I got on my phone, it was super cloudy when we headed out but we still had a great time.

Whew! That was A LOT but now I'm ready for the new year, just a couple weeks late.

How about you?! What are you looking forward to this year?

<3 Heather

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

All About the Books October 2016

Since I haven't posted a book post like this since last year, I thought I'd go through the Netgalley books I needed to review and mention a few others that really just bowled me over. I'm planning to finish up the next few months strong so I can remember what I read this year!

First of all, linking up with Steph and Jana so you should check out all of the other readers, too!

Five Stars

Sugar Bowl Series by Sawyer Bennett

I continue to enjoy whatever Sawyer Bennett comes out with, but ALMOST stopped reading this book because of the fact that the main female character was gang raped and I'm pretty sure it starts off with that. I'm so glad I continued to read because it's all about redemption and finding love and trust with her person! #swoon

The third book in the series actually comes out today, not a stand-alone so you definitely need to read them all if you're interested in the series.

This is the epic conclusion to Sela and Beck's story. They've been through a lot both together and separately, coming out stronger when they work together and even though Beck stands to lose everything BUT Sela he knows she is worth it. How far will he go for the one he loves?

These were FIVE star books for me, and I was so thankful I got to read them all close together, talk about cliffhangers!!

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is one of those books that you know is going to hurt and be real. I like my fiction on the light side, so I tend to pad my list with books that are going to feed my happily ever after, love sick fantasies. You have to read this book.

It's personal to the author, she does an amazing job bringing a sensitive subject to life and I found myself rooting for the one she's not supposed to love. I shouldn't say more, spoilers and all but if you read it I hope it sticks with you like it did for me. Make sure you read the author's note at the end, after you read the book.

This is Falling by Ginger Scott was a rec from a friend. She was talking about this author and giving an extra book she won away. Even though I didn't win, I requested the book through the library, and I'm so glad I did. It's that New Adult genre, the characters are in college and they each have struggles of their own.

The hero is a baseball player with great potential and after spending the Summer partying with his brother decides that life isn't for him and focuses on baseball and the new girl that is just his type. The only problem is she is still hanging onto a past that stopped. I love it when an author brings in siblings and other characters that are just as strong as the main characters and Scott has done just that.

Four Stars

Seduction by Violetta Rand is book two of three and I reviewed book 1 and book 3 but missed this one? What?! Haha!

I really liked this one. Rand did a good job setting up the characters from the previous book and it even looks like there's a bit of that love/hate relationship that they need to overcome before they can get together. Craig had been crushing on Marisela's older sister that ended up with his friend in book 1, so you know that relationship isn't ever going to happen. He's a major player and she's been hurt in the past, but I mean she's only nineteen so there age difference also plays a factor. She's also been the "good girl" her entire life and now is trying on the dangerous side. She needs that knight in shining armor to rescue her, my favorite kind of book!

Bare Bones by Bobby Bones was an audio book listen for me. I just love when the author is someone "famous" and they read their words, it makes it so much more personal. Just me? Well, I definitely learned some new things about this radio personality I've been listening to since about 2005. Like there was a million dollar fine because of him?!

We also get to hear about how he brought each of the hosts onto the show. I remember hearing bits and pieces like this in the mornings, but getting to hear the details really made this book for me.

Three Stars and Below

Searching for Harmony by Kelly Elliott was only a three star read for me. While the premise sound good and right up my alley, the actual story was a bit too over the drama for me and I really felt like things were done for the sake of that drama. I also didn't feel like the characters grew that much, so while I enjoyed and was able to finish I wouldn't recommend it as a must read.

A Mess of Reason by A Wilding Wells is another one that sounded good so I requested it from Netgalley. Unfortunately it just didn't work for me. I only made it about 20% and I just couldn't continue - I mean the dialogue was childish, I felt like I was back in high school BUT the characters were older than that and both wanted to be together but couldn't make the first move, yes circumstances being engaged to another guy while you think your best guy friend is perfect for you, I don't know I just hated it and that rarely happens with a book for me.

This is a hot mess of recs and do not reads, lol. I'm currently reading book two in the Falling series. What are you reading?

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here.

Some of these books were provided by the publisher for my honest review through Netgalley. Any book links to Amazon are affiliate links and I make a small portion from the purchase.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What's NEW with ME?!

What's New With You

It always amazes me when months go by on this blog and I haven't posted. I mean when you go from posting almost daily to not posting the time just flies!

I dyed a "panel" of my hair pink again. My hair was longer this time, which made the experience a little different. My sister does it for me to save all the money and she does a pretty good job, good enough I trust her, lol. I'll share a pic soon on Instagram, I promise.

Speaking of Instagram I slacked all over the place this year.

I'm listening to The Best Yes! by Lysa TerKeurst. A friend of mine has had some BIG decisions to make and recommended it to me as I'm struggling with some decisions of my own.

Said friend is now permanently living in Florida (back from Hawaii after 5 years) and I am soooo excited! All of the fun times we've been having have been so fabulous!

I finally got around to reading It Ends With Us and it was SOOO good! Hoover is one of the authors that CONTINUES to surprise me and I just love reading her words. She's also not big on describing the intimate scenes and as a reader of romance I appreciate that.

Living with my sister is going great! Our neighbors downstairs fight so much more than we do (we've only had two major incidents) and we feel pretty good about ourselves, lol. They DID leave is a passive aggressive note on our door about how we sound like elephants stopping around, their spelling not mine and flush too loud - that wasn't on the note but the community forum. I let the complex know I've recorded a few of their fights and you can clearly hear expletives between 11 pm and 3 am. Unless you're perfect don't complain about your neighbors. I mean the guy next to us constantly drops things and falls? but this is apartment living until I have enough saved for a house.

Hurricane Hermine came through and we got some days off work! Now it's Hurricane Matthew and coming in off the other coast so it shouldn't affect us too much on this side. I did have to reschedule Halloween Horror Nights for tonight to the end of the month. The crowds will be worse, but better to be safe than sorry when your friend lives on the other coast and would be out driving in the hurricane!

I did 14/21 of the 21 day fix with the new Country Heat and I loved it! Sometimes life just gets to be too much and I can't do it all.

I FINALLY found a young adults group at a church so I can make more friends since almost all of mine have moved away. Being old and making friends is hard work. I remember moving when my dad was in the Army and it wasn't nearly as hard to make friends in school.

I shared this awesome chocolate chip cookie in a mug on Facebook and we tried it out so it's legit tasty.

I was on schedule to pay off my credit cards this month, but it's looking like next month and I'm okay with that, still on schedule for the end of the year so that's awesome! I think my last "lately" post I talked about NOT being able to pay it off BUT then I found out I wasn't 0% anymore and got my booty in gear.

What have you been up to?!