Friday, March 31, 2017

2017 Second Quarter Goals

I decided to skip the whole year resolution type goals for 2017. I just change my mind too much, not to mention life changes and I'd rather accept and adapt vs feeling like I've failed if I need to change something. So I decided to do quarterly goals, and the first quarter of 2017 has come and gone. 

Let's just say it was a shit show goal wise and move on, shall we? Seriously, I accomplished nothing. Okay, that's a lie - out of all my goals, I accomplished 2 - paid off my debt and turned 30. I'm pretty proud of both of those, so I don't care about the others.

But let's move on to the second quarter. I am kind of regretting doing quarterly goals because life has been so weird and up in the air, and right when we are about to settle down it will go all topsy turvy here soon.

Second quarter - April, May & June.
We are leaving on June 9th, so I'm gonna go ahead and call my second quarter of 2017 April, May and the first 8 days in June.

I decided to split my goals up for this quarter:

  1. Close on our (hopefully) new house. I keep saying hopefully because until we have signed the documents and have the keys in our hands, I don't consider it officially ours. Pessimist at work right here.
  2. Do all the house things. There a lot of things. Walls to take down, wallpaper to take down (thankfully only one room and some of it on the walls that are coming down), paint all the rooms, new carpet, electrical, plumbing & radon work, move all the things in, buy some other new things like a new washing machine.

  1. Stay under our grocery budget. 
  2. Finish booking NZ. We don't really have anything to book for Australia as it's still so up in the air with what we will be doing, but we have a few tours still to book for NZ.
  3. Save spending money for trip. We were doing great with saving money and then had to spend a million dollars on the house process (give or take lots of dollars) and we need to replenish, as well as pay for all the above things LOL where is this money coming from?! I had a specific amount I wanted for a super comfortable trip, but that's not realistic anymore. The bad thing is, both countries are expensive compared to KY. The good thing is, our dollar (as in USD) is a bit stronger now and it should go a wee bit further.
hobbiton tours
  1. Exercise 5 times a week. Run, yoga, weights. Shouldn't be that hard.
  2. No. Eating. Out. FOR LUNCH. AT ALL KRISTEN.
  3. Meal plan. Once we are in our own home, this will be a necessity if we want to pay for all the other things and stay under our grocery budget. I want to plan at least all weekday meals.
  4. Make at least 1 appointment. In a dream world I'd do all of them but lets start small and try for 1: dentist, eye doctor, skin doctor or lady doctor.
  5. Lose weight. I am so sick of feeling like crap. I'm not putting a number on it because that's not important, but I want to feel better and have my clothes actually fit comfortably.
  6. Run my half marathon. I don't think this will be my sub 2. But hopefully I can beat my last time at least

  1. Go on at least one date/event/adventure type thing with KC.
  2. Call mum once a week and nana once a month. 
  3. Photos & photo books. I am almost done organising my photos again, I want to make sure they are backed up multiple places and then I want to start the process of organising photo year books. 
  4. Take all 3 cats to the vet (separately). 

  1. Read all books older than 3 months on Netgalley. Currently 7, though I have 15 total.
  2. Read at least 20 books that I already own. At last count, I own 86 books that I haven't read. I have 21 from 2015 and prior, 61 from 2016 and 9 from 2017. 17 ebooks, 5 ebooks and the rest are real books.
  3. Keep library books under 20 at a time - including ebooks. No-one can read 50 books in 3 weeks Kristen, stop borrowing so many.
  4. Don't buy any books. I don't like to put book buying restrictions on myself, but you can see how many I own and how many I borrow from the library. I don't need any more books. Exceptions: I have already paid for 3 months of BOTM and only used 1, so that's 2 that I will 'purchase' but not exchange money for. Also, free ebooks are okay but only if they are already on my TBR or have tons of good reviews on goodreads.
  5. Finish Erin's challenge. I have 3 books left and 30 days to read them.

We are starting the process of packing up again - most things are still in boxes but a few things we took out, like all these books I haven't read. They are now boxed up again with a huge TBR on them so maybe I will only unpack those when we move in. Ha.

I know this seems like a lot of goals, and it is. But most of them are things that are going to be done anyway, the rest are to provide goals/structure which I need.

So I started one goal already - made an appointment for Millie to go to the vet. Hopefully they will get rid of her mats (I'm not going near them again) but they said they might have to shave her whole body and sedate her even though she only has them on her chest (it's because of how she drinks water, silly girl) and I am totally freaking out, I thought I could hang out with her but I have to leave her for the whole day? And shave her whole body? The other cats will freak out and I'm not just saying that, they freaked out when we gave Chelsea a bath because she looked and smelled different. Is this normal guys? Should I make another appointment elsewhere? Or am I being crazy?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Loving lately; add it to my list link up

Linking up with  Lauren & Bre to share things I've been loving lately.

Balanced Breaks
I am obsessed with these. SO good. They are like $3.50 for 3 which isn't bad but isn't great either, and eventually I'd like to try and 'make my own'/buy these things and mix them my damn self for cheaper. But until then, yum.

Ripper Street
KC mentioned watching this and we rarely watch things together so I thought sure, it has Darcy from the 2005 movie version, why not. Surprisingly really like it. We aren't really binge watchers, so 2 episodes a night every other night or so. It's all on Netflix and we are halfway through the 4th season I think. It's a wee bit gory in parts, sad in others, with a few funny parts sprinkled in rarely. Apparently has 75 billion Game of Thrones actors in it because KC will say 'he was in GoT' every bloody time someone appears.

FAB Cleanser
I've been using this cleanser for about 4 months - I originally bought a different one to use as my everyday and this one as my gym bag only (because it didn't have a pump) and I ended up scrapping the other one and buying several of these for home/gym/whatever. I just love the feel of it, the smell and how my face feels afterwards. My skin hasn't been super amazing since I started using it but only because of other factors (like testing other products that make me break out or eating lots of crap food) but I can just tell that my skin feels lovely and clean. It's more expensive than I'd like, but I wait for a sale/coupon code and buy a bunch. I linked to dermstore because that's where I got it, but you can get it at ulta and sephora too.

That's about it from me. Anything I need to add to my list?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Life lately

I feel like showing up here and talking to people is helping me feel better or more like myself, so that's what I am doing today. Hello.

I haven't been exercising consistently, when I do it's nothing to write home about. I've been eating like crap. I've been breaking out like I'm 15 again. Those things might be connected. I'm living in a basement with 3 cats, a million boxes and no sunlight. I miss having my own space to watch Miss Fisher's, or my own kitchen to dirty and clean how I please. I miss the bathroom being right there. I miss taking a bath every night. I miss knowing where anything is. I miss not smelling or hearing my cats use the litter.

We got that house I mentioned earlier in the month. Well, our offer was accepted and we are doing the whole back and forth with the repair requests (nothing big or anything to make us run screaming) and appraisal and all that fun jazz. Trying not to get my hopes up too much because you know, shit happens, but hopefully we will be in a house again soon, and it will be this house.

Louisville does a parade for St Patrick's day - as I imagine most cities do - but ours has a special place in my heart because 5 years ago, I said to KC 'hey, you remember how you broke up with me? That was stupid, we should get married and get 3 cats' and he said okay*.

So we try and attend the parade each year so we can say yay, go us for getting back together. And drink. Of course.

*story embellished a little/changed completely.

Lastly and clearly most importantly, I bought a $3 toy off amazon and Millie has been seen playing with it, multiple times. Millie does not play with toys. So if you have cats, you should get this toy.

I do not like when people say offline instead of online. As in, I bought this offline. I also hate when people call any pasta spaghetti. KC will be like 'spaghetti tonight' and I get home and he's cooking penne. Not spaghetti, bro. He only made that mistake once (or really, 10 times, he thinks I'm being ridiculous).

Spaghetti is my favourite kind of pasta. His is rotini. Yours?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Books Lately

Yay, book day. Unfortunately I don't have a lot to share this time. I'm not gonna lie, I feel like life is kicking my butt lately. Some days I feel totally normal and great, but others I feel like 'it' just happened and I'm an emotional basket case. I have no reason to be as upset as I am, or to be so off, but I can't seem to shake it. I feel as if I am failing in every area of life, and the second I start to feel like I'm not, I feel guilty that I am not focusing on the person back home. Things are going really well for that person and are continually getting better, so I don't know why I am stuck but I can't seem to 'get back to normal'.

The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate - 5 Stars
kids book about a gorilla

Holy emotions, batman. This is a kids book, which I read sometimes, but rarely talk about. It was really, really, really sweet and adorable and heartbreaking and I think everyone should read it regardless of age. Many emotions. 

And then I found out he was a real gorilla and my heart actually broke.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt - 4 Stars
girl dealing with death of uncle she loved(aids) , coming of age, family

This is a hard book to talk about, it was beautiful and heartbreaking and made my heart feel so heavy. I didn't love all the characters but I did like the story and how they all fit together.
The Last Letter from Your Lover - Jojo Moyes - 4 Stars
bittersweet love story

Really hard to explain what this book is about. Not my favourite of hers, took a bit for me to get into, but overall it was really sweet and lovely. I find that with Moyes' books, she spends more time with one character so I never really identify with the other in the other time period. Just as I start to like them a bit more, it switches back. I am a sappy love story loving girl and this took me 3 weeks to read - not normal for me. Overall it was a lovely book.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I definitely recommend all 3 of these books. I enjoyed them very much.

How do you get back to normal when you're feeling off?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February 2017 - Birthday Month! - What's New With You Link Up

Time for another What's New With You link up with Gretch & I! Lets get to it shall we? No real rules, all we ask is that you link back to us somewhere in your post - easy peasy. I'll be doing another monthly recap, February was birthday month, the big 30.

What's New With You

So. Birthday month! I turned 30. Big deal. High five. It was a good month. I didn't 'treat myself' like last year, though I still did some fun things.

I went to dinner & drinks with my girlfriends. I was home before midnight, totally fine with 30 year old me.

Went running the next day and then out to brunch with KC. Followed up by a nap. I rarely take naps anymore, they screw with my sleep that night and also I feel like I'm wasting time I could be doing stuff, like reading or netflix watching. But it was a good birthday nap.

Got my hair done.

I might be biased because she's my best friend, but I think she's amazing. Always makes me feel pretty.

We saw several houses. We even put in an offer on one - we didn't get it, thankfully, because afterwards we were like.... eh. The market is so crazy right now that houses are just flying and it's easy to get swept up and say yes to the first thing in the area and budget we want.

There was this little carpeted shelf in one of the houses that I'm sure other people would put other stuff on, but we were like the cats would love that. KC broke the blinds in that house. Fun times.

I know this is 'February's recap' but an update on the house hunt is that we saw a house yesterday that is in a location we didn't even bother looking in because we knew we couldn't afford it, it needs a bit of updating but mostly cosmetic, is bigger than we could have hoped for and has everything we want, great bones, great neighbourhood, everything. We put in an offer last night, we wouldn't be closing for 45 days or so, and who knows if the offer will be accepted, we can only wait and see. We just loved it, truly. Fingers crossed! I'm ready to get out of the basement and have some natural light in my life again.

We saw that sun room and were both like the cats would love this.

Speaking of the cats, we cut a mat out of Millie's hair and we cut her. I cried. She gave zero shits. She didn't bleed or anything. This is just her normal resting bitch face.

If you'd like to link up with us, please do so below:

So, what's new with you? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

9 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

Another 3 months down and only 3 months to go for my 1 year shopping challenge! If you don't know what I am talking about, check it out here. Basically my goals were to stop mindless impulse purchases. This isn't a strict spending ban because I only wanted to focus on the issues I wanted to overcome - meaning I still allowed some spending - books, gifts, husband approved purchases, etc.

But here's how I've done the last 3 months:

Month 7 - December

Books - $8 - Audible.
Shopping - $7 - I ran out of concealer, and considering it's the only thing I use every day, had to replace. I will absolutely have to buy more before this challenge is over.
Gifts - $$ - bought Christmas gifts in November & December for lots of people, putting it here without the amount because I didn't keep track this year.

Month 8 - January

Books - $8 - Audible.
Shopping - $83 - The daytime moisturiser I've been using is normally $20, I found it on walgreens online for $10.50 and then I got $10 off $50 so I got 5 for $9 each. BARGAIN. The rest was from Ulta - new skincare/hair products. I'm still working out the kinks in both routines until I find products I really love.

Month 9 - February

Books - $8 - Audible 
Shopping - $100 - This is the first clothing purchase I have made since my trip with my mum. I bought 2 pairs of work pants. I have needed pants since I started this and really should have bought them months ago. I have 1 pair of pants that fit right now, I have 2 others that do not fit well and are super uncomfortable so I end up washing the 1 pair that do fit and wearing them everyday. If I wore the others, I felt like a slob and was constantly afraid I'd hear a loud rip when I bent down to file or something. I really wanted to get through this challenge without buying any clothes like this, but I needed more pants. The pants that fit and I like are the editor slim pants from Express - they don't have them in black or my size anymore, so I tried the editor barely boot and editor ankle, both in long sizes (they *just* touch my feet, if anyone tall is curious, I am only 5'9). So there you go, I pretty much 'failed' with this purchase but I thought about it for 6 months and finally caved. 

Yep, both black. I've tried for years to get fancy colours or prints, but I'm done. I like black. I feel comfortable in black. It goes with everything. I don't need to use my brain. I dig it.

Moving on.

I thought February would be really hard because it was birthday month and I love to buy stuff for myself. I mean, last year I treated myself to 29 things and a lot of them were food or shopping related. With everything going on back home, I really didn't feel like going out of my way to treat myself, which is a bit sad. I still went to dinner with my friends, got my hair done and had brunch with KC. So I guess I still treated myself, it just wasn't like a conscious effort like it was last year.

I can't believe I only have 3 months left. I thought I'd be champing at the bit* by now, but I still feel pretty content. I don't have a list a mile long of things I want to buy when I am done.. in fact, I have no list. The only thing I really needed were pants, and I bought them.

*One of those things I thought I should google this and I always thought it was chomping at the bit, but it's champing.. but it feels weird.

Like I've mentioned, this is 100% not a strict no-spending ban. That wasn't my problem. My problem was mindless spending, buying something pretty much every day just because it was on sale or looked good on someone else. If you'd seen my expenditure before, this is a huge improvement.This whole challenge was about controlling my crazy unnecessary impulse shopping addiction and, most importantly, paying off the debt that I had accrued because of said addiction.

Which by the way I DID. DEBT BE GONE.

Can I get the highest of virtual fives? Thanks!

KC and I have been living with his mom for the past few months while we are saving/looking for a house, but we haven't saved as much as we should have. We paid off a car, paid for NZ & Australia and paid a super fun ER bill. I also paid off my credit card debt. But it wasn't just that, we ate out too much, I got a new computer, we went crazy over Christmas and spent an obscene amount at the grocery store. 

We realised we wanted to buckle down and save as much as possible, so over the next month or so (because please zeus and all that is good in this world let us find a house in March) we are trying not to spend money unless absolutely necessary. No eating out, no shopping, no nothing. Wish us luck! I'll be checking in at the 1 year mark in June.