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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pinteresting and COURAGE

If 2014 is the year of courage, consider I have the courage to move across the country with no more than I'd take if I were staying in a hotel for a few weeks?  How can I let go of all the old house stuff BEFORE MOVING so I have a nice empty house to fill with things I love when I move?

For particle board TV stand in the living room.  $20 old particle board bookshelves.  17 comforters.  (Apparently we are blanket people.)  

Really, it'd be easier to say what I would TAKE with me moving.  Living room couches are nice.  Nice bookcase in the living room.  Can lose the TV stand - I would rather mount a TV in the living room.  The other issue with our living room TV is Thomas' Xbox stuff - it's really cluttery.  I think Thomas will probably have his own room with the Xbox in a new it won't always be in the living room.  But if we needed the Xbox in the living room again depending on our space, I might have to get serious about cordless options.  All Thomas' gear is cordless, but it takes some maintenance to KEEP it cordless (recharging batteries, for example.)

There needs to be a space for Sammy's and Puddin's toys that isn't directly in the living room.  All the living room REALLY needs (assuming we will never have a separate LR and den), is a TV, a couple of couches/chairs, maybe a bookcase, some end tables, maybe a coffee table (we've lived this long without one...but I really like this ottoman/coffee table), and some lamps depending on the lighting situation.

If we moved with a bed (which we want to replace ASAP), living room furniture, and kitchen necessities (and by that, I mean AMBER necessities, which includes a little more kitchen stuff than most people), we could live comfortably while saving up for our dream furnishings.  Room by room, I want a comfortable, clutter free space.  I want to feel like I'm coming into a nice hotel room, with ONLY the things I need most.  

Anyway, this is a rambling mess for only me, but I've been pinteresting to help myself remember what I want out of a home, and hopefully that will help me leave junk behind in Texas.  Anyone else using Pinterest out there?

I'm sitting in a nice hotel right now.  Do I miss ANY of the stuff in my office?  Do I miss my dressers and closets full of crappy clothes?  Do I miss my collection of 500 plastic cups from various non-reputable establishments, like Rudy's and Texas Rangers?  NO.  I am happy to have clothes to wear tomorrow, a plastic cup to drink water from, and a laptop to ramble on.  THAT'S IT.

I guess stay tuned for news about what I manage to get rid of.  If I get rid of a bookcase, can I get rid of the bookcase's contents?   etc etc etc

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh hi!

Jeez I haven't even written here since I got a dog, moved to a new house (and by new, I mean a 1950's rental), and passed my comprehensive exams.

I guess I'm feeling the need to give a little thought to 2014.  2013 had a lot of good times and important milestones, but it was so much like, "head down and keep moving forward."  A year of transitions.  Thomas took a leap of faith and quit his band directing job.  I took my last classes ever and passed comps (and boy couldn't that have been a dozen blog posts...very stressful, but I made it through.)  That means it's dissertation time for me.  Thomas and I moved in, and it's going well.  The transition took a while though...I think we only recently got into the swing of things.

Right after we moved in and unpacked, we took turns having pneumonia for 8 weeks, then I dove head first into studying and freaking out over comps.  I was a total maniac. After the written exams, I waited for 3 weeks to get the results, but my classmates and I went straight into prepping for the oral exam, which happened right before Thanksgiving.  Passed that and am finally feeling normal again.  My classmates who had to do rewrites have all passed by this point, which is great.  Comps are a crapshoot, and we could never be sure what they wanted from us.

It feels like I didn't make any real progress in personal goals this year.  I HAVE gotten better at everyday vegan cooking, and hope to continue incorporating more and more of that in the coming year.  I have become a big fan of Lindsay Nixon at and learned a lot about cooking without oil.  I dig it.

This last month since comps ended, I have been exercising a lot, walking, cooking.  Will carry that into the new year for sure.  Thomas got me a kettlebell, tennis racket, and swim goggles for Christmas, so we have some fun fitness stuff to do.  We really just want to start getting off our butts more.  Less beer, less TV, more fresh air and movement.

While 2013 was a year of moving-right-along types of change, 2014 promises bigger, even more life changing transitions.  Graduation, for one!  Yep, at this very moment I should probably be working on my dissertation and getting the heck out of school.  August at the soonest, but December graduation is most likely.

And Thomas and I have a fun new CRAZY journey on the horizon sometime in 2014.  I will post about that when it's 100% final.  Right now, it's only 97% final.  Let's just say his leap of faith quitting teaching has paid off in a way that's I think will benefit both our careers big-time.  No babies or bells!  Get your minds out of the gutter, people!!  ;)

The word for 2014 is COURAGE.  I didn't pick a word for 2013, but if I had, it might've been PERSISTENCE.  And now's the time for courage.  Courage to take advantage of the opportunities that last year's persistence brought about.  Courage to take risks (YOLO!)  Courage to go after dreams.  Courage to love fearlessly amidst crazy life transitions and uncertain futures.   Courage to tackle faith and politics, where I've perched happily on the fence for several years.  Courage to change.

Happy new year, mostly to myself, since that's why I write in the first place.  I wish me and anyone who happens to read this peace with the events of 2013 and happiness and courage in 2014.  Much love!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Decluttering...part 1 of many

I'm preparing to move into a smaller space with my boyfriend.  I am serious about getting rid of crap.  I am very nearly a hoarder!  So yes, I'm airing out my dirty laundry here in public.  Come along!

A couple weeks ago, I consolidated my clothes from 2 closets into 1.  The closet I began tackling today, with a free hour between conference calls, is my "empty" closet.  I can't stop laughing that THIS is my empty closet.  Let's get real.

I focused my efforts today on bags.  I had 6 bags in this closet!  4 of them were full of stuff.  I'm hoarding bags that are in turn hoarding stuff.  UGH. 

I recently read that a good way of thinking about stuff is, imagine you have passed away...what would your stuff say about you to the people going through it?  I started with Bag #2, a canvas conference bag.  Here's what I found.

 The best thing in this bag is the oatmeal!  Apparently, I'm so afraid to waste anything that I held onto that little bit of oatmeal when I was done instead of throwing it out.  I don't want to be wasteful, but I need to get real about what I'm holding to!  The carpet cleaner attachment and winter hat can be relocated, the conference materials and mail recycled, and oatmeal trashed.  The canvas bag will be donated.

Moving on to bag #3, my trusty backpack that I took on last year's mega road trip.

What good is this stuff doing me stashed in a bag?  I'm sure I haven't even looked in here since last summer! This bag of stuff says I'm afraid to get carsick watching DVDs on the road, I'm afraid I won't be able to sleep at night (earplug and nighttime sleep aid), I'm afraid of falling asleep on the road (candy and energy pills), and I'm not very sure why I have my yearbook.  WHOA.  That's a lot of preparation for things that may never happen!  

Bag #4

This was a good bag!  But the stuff in it wasn't doing me any good in my closet.  I recycled the folders, trash, and spoon, and put the rest where it belongs.  Notice that tag...there are several in this bag, and there's another one in bag 3.  What this says about me is I buy new stuff a lot, and probably in preparation for or during travel.  Kinda dumb to keep buying up stuff.

Anyway, you get the idea!  The rest of the bags were pretty much the same...full of stuff I don't need, or stuff I can't use because it's hidden away.  I also need to downsize my bag collection.  This beach bag can't make the cut.  I love it because it's pretty and it was a gift from my boss, but it's not practical to keep it.  I also don't need so many backpacks - really, I just need one.  But my boyfriend doesn't have one, so I am keeping one for him in case we both travel somewhere we want one.  I will sell the other one, and I will keep the Ikea bags for now because they are great for moving stuff like clothes and blankets.

PS: Puddin' is really cute today.

Next task will be the rest of this closet!  Stay tuned for more life simplification. I want you to watch it happen HERE, not on Hoarders 10 years from now. ;-)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Worst blogger ever...

Can't win em all.  I'm ON FIRE in everything else in life right now.  Blogging...not so much.

I've been living mostly on green smoothies and salads for the last 10 days, and WOW, I feel amazing.  I have never had so much energy!!  I feel antsy like I absolutely MUST exercise.  I signed up for the 30-day green smoothie challenge from Young and Raw on Facebook.  To be clear, they do not advertise the smoothies as meal replacements - I am taking that upon myself.  What wonderful meal replacements they have been for me!  I make 2-3 in the morning before I leave for work/school so I have plenty for the whole day (plus a salad with fresh or cooked veggies and beans).  The key to success is chopping as many veggies in advance as possible.  I have chopped kale (I bought a big bag already chopped), cucumbers, celery, cilantro, parsley, and baby spinach, as well as chopped bananas that I froze, ready to go.  I have orange juice because some of the recipes call for juiced oranges and I am too lazy.  I have frozen blueberries and pineapple.  So the only things I have to prep when I make the smoothies are fresh fruit, like apples, pears, avocado, lemons, limes, etc. 

I lost 7 lbs in the "lose big" challenge at work.  I am still going strong.  I added exercise back this week after laying low for a week after a foot tattoo.  I'm basically unstoppable.  ;)

Even school and work are positive lately.  I have been freakishly on top of the world, and it feels way better than the drudgery I am used to, so I'm rolling around in it and being super obnoxious.  haha

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lose Big Challenge

After the holidays, I was at my typical heavier weight, the upward end of that range of 15 lbs or so I find naturally occurs in my current lifestyle.  Not 2 weeks later, I had already swung back down 10 lbs, just naturally, by not eating all that rich food.  So, when the College of Education at my university announced it was hosting a Biggest Loser style competition "Lose Big", and my friend and I started a team, I decided to let that holiday weight back in advance of the weigh in.  I continued to exercise, but I have been eating very poorly.  Unfortunately, I developed a new fast food love: Braums!  Whoa.  Talk about an underrated burger.

But I digress.

I weighed in yesterday and finally got started.  Green smoothie for breakfast, peanuts for a snack, veggie soup for lunch, kale salad for dinner.  It was a great day.  Today, I have that leftover kale salad for lunch, and I'm making a greek salad with shrimp for my valentine tonight.  You gotta try this Greek dressing recipe. The best part about it is it doesn't need to be refrigerated.  It tastes amazing.  I'm going to get some pita and hummus to go along with the salad of shrimp, feta, greens, tomato, olives, cucumbers, and whatever else would be good that I'm forgetting.  T isn't a big onion fan, so I'll pass even though this salad is begging for some thin slices of pretty red onion.  Not necessarily a low calorie meal coming tonight, but a reasonable holiday splurge. :)

Happy valentine's day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth

Sooooo...there's this 8-week Biggest Loser competition starting at work.  I am on a team of 3.  It doesn't begin for another 2 weeks, so I have been a BAD GIRL.  I will be posting more when the competition begins.