August 31, 2016

The Purge: A Recap

Way back at the end of June - I say this as if it were a lifetime ago - I decided to give a Pinterest idea a try. 60 Things to Toss Out in the Next 60 Days. Truth be told, I completely forgot about the list after that post went live because I never printed it out. 

As I looked over the list I was reminded that hell yes I needed to complete these tasks. For brevity, I'm only going to discuss the things that were big for me since some didn't apply. 

No. 3| out of date magazines 
This was a HUGE one for me. I had unread magazines dating back to March. Originally I organized them all into piles by month and planned to systematically read/skim through them. The thing is, I did that back in May and still hadn’t made any progress. Mid-July I said fuck it and tossed everything that was before June. That alone made a large dent in the pile. Although I swear, for every one I skim through and toss, a new one comes in the mail. 

I’m still working on the pile so I'll just say that this is in progress.

No. 10, 11, 12| out of date makeup, hair, skincare products
No. 52| product samples
It has come to my attention that I am a hoarder of products (and samples) as I always intend to use them and then never do. I still had unopened makeup from when I was an Ipsy subscriber. I cancelled that membership almost 2 years ago. I did keep the face mask and Biore samples but the rest went in the trash. Grade: Pass

No. 25| actual purses you never use 
I went through bags in the spring but it really just resulted in my organizing them.  I'm too simple for fancy bags. It needs to hold all the things and be functional and most don't cut it. Yet they continue to sit on their shelf...  Grade: Fail 

No. 29| boxes 
I actually took care of this at the beginning of August. I wish I had taken a picture of box mountain because it was ridiculous. I had been hoarding boxes from Stitch Fix, Amazon… pretty much any time I received a package with the idea that if use them for Christmas or moving. Nice try... They were taking up a lot of storage space and realistically I had no use for them. All but 2 boxes are gone and those are because I am condensing Christmas decor. Grade: Pass

No. 36| old school books 
I paid for them so I feel I need to keep them. Some of them are useful for work, but really, they’ve never come off the shelf since I put them there. I just don’t know if I can part with them. There are only 3 left now and they're still practical for my field so I'm keeping them. Grade: Pass

No. 38| candles that have burned out  
I keep candle jars with the year-to-year intent to make my own candles. Can we just come to terms with the fact that I will never do this? It’s a lofty goal but it won’t happen. Three or more jars went to the recycling bin. Grade: Pass

No. 45| promo t-shirts you never wear 
I tell myself I’ll wear them to bed, or to the gym, and then I decide that they’re lame and I want relatively “cute” clothes, so then they just sit at the bottom of the drawer taking up space. Needless to say, I didn't get to this. Grade: Fail

No. 46| jeans that don’t fit just right
I'm still working on this one. It's been so humid I just couldn't bring myself to put on jeans, even with the AC. Grade: Fail

No. 53|  old paperwork 
I’m not sure why I was hanging on to college papers from 2012+ but they serve no purpose now. And if a job wants a “writing sample” it’s clearly not the job for me. Grade: Pass

No. 57| delete bad pics, screenshots, and duplicates 
This one isn’t done because it’s too time consuming. Instead I’ve realized I take less pictures of things. Not because I’m trying to be more present – although I am – but because I know that after that picture finds its way into my phone, it will be lost there forever. Never to be printed, rarely to be looked at. Grade: continuously in progress

No. 58| delete apps you don’t use from your phone 
I like my phone to be simple. It has plenty of apps but they’re ones I actually use. I’m pretty good about this but made a point to do a scan anyway and ended up removing 6 apps. Grade: Pass

No. 59| delete old texts and contacts 
This is one I stay up to date with for the most part. Having lots of old texts slows down your phone so mine is set to delete anything older than 30 days. As far as contacts, it’s a never-ending work in progress. Grade: Pass

Overall, I think I did pretty good. Purging is a constant habit of mine so I know I don't accumulate too much, but it's nice to have a guided list every now and then. I never would have gone through all the makeup and samples otherwise because, you know, I'll use them....

August 22, 2016

Movie Madness

It’s about that time again. Fall is upon us which means it’s movie time. The Fall Film Challenge to be exact. Every year Jenn hosts this challenge. Last year was my first time participating and I’m happy to say that I was a winner. If you think watching 25 movies, that you’ve never seen before, in 3 months’ time is easy then you clearly need to join in. View the link. Read the rules. Make your list. 
Last year I made my list, and a few edits as we went along. This year, no edits are allowed. Fortunately, I took my sweet time making my list. Here’s what I’ll be watching this fall:
1| about adolescence Fast Times at Ridgemont High
2| about a character’s rebirth or rite of passage Burnt
3| about a comic book character Green Lantern
4| shot or set in Washington, DC Patriot Games

 5| set in an academic environment Election
6| about failure A Streetcar Named Desire
7| about a man vs. god/gods Dogma
8| about a man vs. himself Southpaw
9| about an invention or an ingenuous individual Tomorrowland
10| set in jail or prison The Shawshank Redemption
11| about a dog Frankenweenie
12| about loss The Lovely Bones
13| about man vs. man The Way Way Back

 14| about man vs. nature Cast Away
15| one that has a monster or monstrous individual Gangster Squad
16| shot or set in Pennsylvania Flashdance
17| about a character’ quest of some kind Raiders of the Lost Arc
18| about a character who goes from rags to riches Limitless
19| about a man vs. society The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
20| originally released in the thirties Frankenstein

21| about undesirable individuals or elements Sleepers
22| about a voyage and return Before Sunrise
23| about wizards or witchcraft Now You See Me
24| originally released in the sixties The Graduate
25| about a yearning or obsession Sleeping With the Enemy
And there you have it. If you have any questions about where I’ll be come September 1st, this is it. Aside from the obvious amount of movies in a 3-month time frame, this challenge is particularly challenging for me because I have already seen so many that would qualify. 1930s? Hello…. Gone With the Wind? It definitely makes me have to work harder. 
Have you seen any of these? Are you going to be participating?

August 17, 2016

You Should Know...

It's been a while since I participated in Confessions so here we are.

+ This month to date I have spent $116.59 on stickers. I green-lighted myself for the Jamison Reid Designs September subscription box and after that, it's no more until November (when I buy new inserts for 2017). You guys, they're just so pretty!

+ I've basically been phoning it in on this space for a while. I'm blaming on the "dog days of summer" even though I seriously don't have any idea what that phrase actually means. Really, it's just because I truly don't have anything blogworthy going on right now and I believe in quality over quantity. 

+ I've been slacking on my gym routines. It's not that I haven't been going, although the week after vacay was a rough one, and this one hasn't been going so well either, it's more I have limited time and don't get to do everything I want so I feel like I'm not working as hard. 

+ I went to the Seneca Lake Wine & Food Fest is March 2015. I bought almost an entire case of wine for myself. I went to CreamRidge Winery last October and bought 4 bottles... and here I'm still stocked to capacity. And I bought 2 more this past weekend at th NJ Wine Fest. #notsorry

+ I was thisclose to buying a ticket and booking a room for PlannerCon 2017 in San Fran for March. I was even watching flights on Kayak. Then I did the math, like, on paper, and realized it wasn't practical for right now. Not to mention, so expensive. It would have been a little under $900 for a 2-day event. I spent way less than that for my upcoming vacation.

+ Speaking of upcoming vacation. In T-26 days I will be hopping on a plane to go get a new passport stamp.

+ I went shopping with a friend this past weekend. I got some great pieces and thought I did pretty good. When I added up my receipts that night it was anything but. $600.35 I'm not happy about the number BUT I did get a good variety with replacement sneakers and sandals, clothes for work, a new Longchamp (There was no way I wasn't buying a new Longchamp from the outlet) and a long-sought after trench coat (sticker said $178, I paid $46, all the wins!) so I should be good for the rest of the year.

Perfect for fall! 

So flipping excited.

+ I'm starting a honest to God spending ban/freeze for September. I'm really taking the time to lay out my guidelines and rules and make sure I have all the month;s plans and activities factored in. No "stuff I forgot to budget for"!

That's it for today. Sorry there's nothing exceptionally juicy today!  What are you confessing to?

August 09, 2016

What I Read Vol. 1

I've decided to finally categorize this monthly thing we do about books. Took me long enough. And by categorize, I mean give it a proper title with some numbers. Whatever, I'm rambling.

June's Read Your Books challenge finally got me out of my reading slump. I'm telling you, it takes one good book and then you're off and running! Here's a look at what I read, or didn't read.

These first 2 books I actually read in June, but seeing as this was all I read, I wasn't about to participate in July's linkup. 

It Was Me All AlongIt Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I tried sooo hard to get into this book. I've struggled to maintain a consistent weight my entire adult life, and it's difficult. So I thought I'd be able to relate and dive into this book.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't. I couldn't relate as I have never been grossly overweight, and I couldn't relate to the manner in which she ate. That's not to say that what I did read was bad, it wasn't, it just wasn't for me.

365 Little Blasts of Love365 Little Blasts of Love by Amy L. Fiedler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the interest of shamelessness, I am finally letting the secret out. Some of you may or may not know that for the past 6 months I worked as an editor. This book is the culmination of many long nights. 

I have read these pages over and over, both as a reader and as an editor. If you're looking for daily, or whenever, inspirational mantras with applicable context, this is the book. 

JuneJune by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure where to even start reviewing this book. It's rare that I love a book so much that I'm at a loss as to what to say about it.

I was pulled in within the first five paragraphs. The author has a way of giving life to inanimate objects. Two Oaks wasn't "just" a house. It was a character. It felt, it hoped.

"Houses that dream are built for the ages (one or two perhaps, in every small American town). Once revered as grand homes, they are now merely called "buildings." They're the columned fortresses stranded on the back streets you pass on the way to visit elderly aunties; sights to whistle at while snapping a cell phone picture, before motoring on. Constructed by ambitious dreamers (in the case of Two Oaks, an oilman named Lemon Gray Neely, who broke ground on the lot in the heart of St. Jude, Ohio, in 1895), such grand estates spend their infancies priding under the touch of skilled craftsmen, certain they'll provide shelter to everyone who steps across their oak thresholds for centuries to come." - June

Told from both 1955 and 2015, June is a story that tells a story of love, loss, betrayal, and hope. June and Lindie are best friends from two very different worlds. When Hollywood comes to this small, rural Ohio town, everything changes. Who they thought they were, what they knew and wanted.

Cassie has just lost her grandmother. After leaving New York and heading back to Two Oaks, she wallows in her own self-pity until one day a man shows up at her door informing her of an incredibly large inheritance forcing family secrets to be uncovered and new bonds formed.

I absolutely LOVED this book. I couldn't put it down. Past/present narratives are a favorite of mine and this book did not disappoint. June is a book that will pull you in, a story you won't want to leave.

Things I Would Say: Essays, etceteraThings I Would Say: Essays, etcetera by Alyssa Ammirato
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Words can be painful, joyful, truthful, hopeful.... but sometimes they're just raw. And that's exactly what these were. How do you review someone's feelings? Their emotions? You can't. You just read them and feel them. And I felt this book.

One of my favorite passages:

"scraping my throat for the words I need to banish you, but you've tied too many knots in my tongue and I choke on my goodbye"

So raw, so true. Because we've all felt this.

Laguna Beach: Last Night in LagunaLaguna Beach: Last Night in Laguna by C.M. Albert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this story. For one, anything that takes place at the beach is a hit with me. I can easily skip into beach mindset and get lost in the story. And that's exactly what happened here.

Bex has a "gypsy soul". She's never lived anywhere long but has found her place in Laguna. Except she's going to be leaving it all behind as she moves to New York to help her sister. Bex goes on a quest to do all her favorite things on her last night in Laguna and finds it may not be as easy to leave as she thought.

Where the Heart Is (Ribbon Ridge, #0.5)Where the Heart Is by Darcy Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a short and sweet novella. Found myself easily getting sucked into the story and falling for all the characters. Perfect in-between read.

August 04, 2016

The 411 - July

As I mentioned last month, I'm going to try real hard to get, have, and keep my blogging shit together this fall. To start out on the right foot it's time to finally get in a linkup that for some reason I always seem to miss.

What's New With You

July was a crazy busy month. I feel like the days came and went faster than I could look at the calendar. Even with the whirlwind, it was a lot of fun.

The beginning of the month found me home with the fam for the holiday weekend. Between the food, the pool, and the Slip n Slide, I had one amazing weekend.

The very next week I started training at the yoga studio. I was a little weary about adding more t my plate, especially when there really was no benefit to me, but that's what karma is all about. I've been working there for 4 weeks (as of today!) and I do enjoy it. Plus, free yoga whenever I want is pretty awesome.

Mid month I went out with friends all week. I did an after work happy hour with a former coworker, Friday lunch with another former coworker, had one of the best blates in a while, celebrated a friend's 32nd birthday, hit the beach... Again, and had Stewart's for the first time.

Back in June I finally used the massage gift card that I got for Christmas. Of course they also roped me into becoming a member. It's not cheap but I'm looking on the bright side - every month I get an hour long massage, or for an extra $10, a facial.

I took Oreo to get updated rabies shots so that I could take him for his "spa" appointment. At the risk of being shamed as a horrible pet owner I'm going to admit that my cats have never once been professionally groomed. I brush them frequently and I clip their nails myself. This summer the shedding has been out of control. Needless to say, Oreo wasn't too thrilled with me.

Since summer isn't summer unless you're at the Jersey Shore, I met up with a friend for a beach day.

Why not finish the month the way it started, right? I spent the entire last week of July down the shore in Seaside with the fam. I've said it before and I'll say it until I'm blue, Little Miss is my most favorite person in the whole Universe.

The best thing about this is that when you give a 4 year old a drink umbrella, she does the only logical thing with it. That's also a picture of my "second kneecap" because the ocean made me its bitch from jump. Also, the Jersey Shore house. Yes, the one from TV. ::insert eye roll emoji here::

All in all, July was excellent! Here's to having an amazing August! What did you do this month?