January 28, 2016

I always found the idea of having a roommate scary. Roommates bring all kinds of horror stories. From birth through college, I never had to share a room with anyone. My sister and I shared a bathroom, but that wasn't really an issue too often. In college, I was always hearing stories of roommates from hell. College students can be dirty, messy, loud, and just all-around terrible sometimes. Me? I never had that problem. I had the best roommate of all time. Me! I was clean, quiet, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. I was always thinking to myself how good of a roommate I was. Kidding. Kind of.

Now that I am 29, and have a roommate there are some serious perks.

1. I always have someone to talk to rather than myself.
2. I have a constant dinner date.
3. I have someone who can help me put together outfits.
4. I have someone to go on McDonald's runs with.
5. I have someone to binge watch shows with. Holla!

Also, it helps me tremendously financially! I cannot tell you the load that having a roommate has taken off.

Being friends with your roommate is rare, I have heard. Most of the time, roommates are just that. My roommate, however, is my friend, co-worker, confidant, and sister. We do almost everything together, and honestly, she has helped me to learn to trust again (shout out Caley!). So, if you want to better your relationship with your roommate, sister, husband, wife, etc., here are some pointers.

1. Be courteous and remember it's their space too.
It was an adjustment for me in the beginning to share space with someone. I am particular about how things are organized, but I don't have it all together. Sometimes, I need to collaborate with my roommate to find what works best for both of us. I am clean, or at least clean up after myself, I don't blare music loudly, and I certainly don't impose myself in her space. If she wants to invite others over, or vice versa, we talk about it first so each of us is aware. That is very important!
2. Find common ground.
I am very lucky to have a roommate who appreciates my taste and has a similar taste to mine. We are able to decorate, or find things for the apartment that we both like and enjoy. We also have similar hobbies, interests, and backgrounds. We each have a different story, but there are a lot of things that are similar. We each really like watching the Bachelor, so there's that. Finding common ground can enable you to appreciate your roommate for who they are, and it can make living together a lot easier.
3. Accept that things will change. 
When I went from living alone to living with someone, it was almost a culture shock. I wanted to be sure that I was courteous and respectful of her space, but I also wanted to be sure that I made the space my own as well. Now, it was odd to come home with someone (we work at the same place) and then find a balance between hanging out and having alone time, but we both take cues pretty well. If I need some time to myself, I went to my room immediately after getting home and closed the door. My roommate understood that I just needed some time, and she was okay with it. There are times where she would be having a conversation on the phone, so I knew to be respectful and allow her to connect with others. Things were different, but in a good way. 
4. Be helpful. 
Cleaning and handling household chores is a compromise at times. Each person has to carry their own weight, and it's so much easier when you're willing to help! I think being helpful or intentional goes a long way in a roommate living situation. It can be anything from taking out the garbage, to unloading the dishwasher, to making dinner for the other person. 
5. Be willing to go 50/50. 
I have heard of some nit-picky roommates, but I am not one of them. My roommate and I go 50/50 on rent and utilities and then pay for our own food. It's been the best situation. Since I live in the "master bedroom", I technically have a bathroom in my bedroom, but as far as square footage, there isn't a significant difference. We still pay the same amount in rent and utilities because its makes things fair and easier! I cannot tell you how crazy it would make me to pay a little more for this or that just because I use something a little more, or blah blah. Just pay your half, I'll pay mine, and we'll call it even. On occasion we will buy each other's dinner or coffee. It's just about doing your part. 

What about you? What are some of your pointers? Have you ever had a difficult roommate?

Happy Friday, xx.  


January 27, 2016

I am a planner, and I also have an addiction to planners. I buy the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley every year, and let me tell you, the $55-$60 are worth every year! I love the ability to write out my tasks for the day, cross them out, write appointment times, and meeting times. I love the ability to write what I am cooking for dinner, even though it never really works out that way. Thanks, Panera.

I would love to be able to plan out the next 5 years of my life, 10 years, 20 years. I would love to be able to wake up, map out my day, and it go exactly according to plan. How much easier would life be? How much more convenient would my days be? Um. VERY! I would be able to schedule my day, "unschedule" the stuff I don't want to happen, and move on with life smoothly and comfortably.

Unfortunately, this is the real world and that isn't possible. I would never have planned my life to go the way it has. It's amazing to me what can happen in the blink of an eye, a minute, an hour, a day, or month. Years have brought forth significant change. One minute my world makes total sense, and the next day, my life is completely shaken to its core.

I have always loved being able to see into the future with my very tunnel vision eyes. I wanted to be married by 24, have a child at 27, and my second at 30. I wanted to have a house with an open floor plan, large yard, and a dog or two. I wanted to have a job I loved, but a family I could love even more. I wanted my parents to be married, living in a house big enough for 12, where my sister and I could bring our families for holidays. I wanted my life to be what I saw others' lives being. There are so many people who have lived their life according to my plan, and at one point in the last year this enraged me. I kept seeing Facebook announcements of weddings, babies, and more babies.

We aren't able to choose how our life goes. There is nothing wrong with having goals, or a direction in life, but when the destination outshines the journey, that's when we can have a problem. I don't want to be so worried about being "there", "there" being married, a mother, etc. I want to be focused on the journey and what it took to get me where I am, or will be.

Planners can't be choosers. Everyday I must remember to surrender my plans to the plans of God. He knows better. He knows what I need and when I need it. I am so thankful that I didn't have everything I wanted. I am so thankful that my worse will bring something better.

Happy Wednesday, xx.


January 26, 2016

I find dating to be exhausting. I am always trying to find the next dating app or site out there. Not necessarily because I am obsessed with online dating. If I was, I wouldn't be blogging. I would be curled up somewhere talking about good of a cook I am, or how crazy talented I am at clogging. By the way, does anyone really clog, or hike, or climb rocks as much as they say they do? I swear, if I see one more guy jumping out of an airplane...

Anyway, I do honestly participate in these apps and sites to stay relevant and abreast of the current dating scene. I am fascinated by how quickly things change. Growing up, talking on the phone or writing notes were the only ways I could communicate with the opposite sex. Now, that seems antiquated. Men would much rather text, message, tweet, or the like. Seeing, talking, and then deciding whether or not you like someone is now replaced with swiping left or right. Whatever happened to organic meeting and communicating? Whatever happened to the spontaneous conversation and slipping your number to the guy who just told you he too shared your affinity with dogs?

Times have definitely changed. I find it more common to encounter guys who are looking for "fun, a friend, or just someone to travel with". Who travels with a guy who isn't their boyfriend? I wouldn't. So, I find it somewhat discouraging that the apps like Bumble and Tinder are harboring men who are looking to connect, but on an artificial level. I cannot tell you how many times I tell the guy my sole purpose in dating is to start a relationship, and they disappear never to be heard from again.

It reminds me of what my parents used to say growing, "Remember who you are and remember who you represent". During that time, my parents were referring to Christ-like behavior, but I think the same can be said for dating. I know who I am, what I want, and what I am looking for. I am looking for a man who can say the same. I want a man who can represent Christ and represent him well. I am not looking for perfection, but it would be nice to meet someone who isn't so casual about dating. Dating to me represents who you will be in your future marriage. Who will I be? I will be honest, loyal, kind, forgiving, patient, loving, and servant-minded. I want who I am, what I want, and who I date to all align. I don't think compromise can be present when it comes to those things.

While the dating apps are fun, and they are a way to put myself out there, I am still willing to wait for the right one. I am willing to wait for God's best.

Happy Tuesday, xx.


January 22, 2016

I love blogging and reading blogs. I also love shopping. I mean, like, I really love shopping. I love online shopping, window shopping, and shopping at the mall or outlets. I frequent the local Target a little too frequently, if you know what I mean...I have been praying and asking God for self-control when it comes to shopping and buying things. Recently, I needed to buy new towels, so I did. While that wasn't a splurge necessarily, it was an impulse buy. I decided I needed towels, so I got them. There wasn't too much thought considering, and I think I should have shopped around for better prices.

The truth is, I shop when I'm sad, lonely, or just need a pick-me-up. They don't call it retail "therapy" for nothing. While I enjoy reading blogs, especially those that have impeccable design skills, or blogs written by women who somehow make enough money to buy things all the time. But, I do find myself more tempted to click the affiliate link and buy something. Hello! I am not stupid. I know that goes into affiliate links, hence why affiliate links are included in posts. The blogger makes a little chunk of cash and so does the vendor or company. It makes total sense, and it obviously works.

My concern is that at times, I feel as though some blogs make me feel like I don't have enough. Now, I know in my brain that is not true. I have PLENTY, believe me. Every so often though, I come across a blogger that has the exact wardrobe I have always dreamed of, or the exact pillow cover I have been looking for. Then, I get to rationalizing why I need that item.
"Won't I be happier knowing I look as good as they do?"
"Won't I feel fulfilled when I receive a compliment on my dress, or that awesome pillow cover?"
"Won't other people want to purchase that thing, hence, totes making me a trend-setter?"

No. None of those things are true. I won't be happier (maybe for like 5 min.). People don't care that much about what I wear, and if everyone copies me? Um. #Poser.

The truth is, things won't make me happy. Things didn't take away the pain of my divorce, or my parent's divorce. Things won't make me richer, or look richer. Things won't get me friends or relationships. Things won't satisfy me.
I want to read those blogs less, and maybe even hang off of Insta for while. I just can't get caught up in "things" and make myself feel worse for caving in.

What do you do? Do you have blogs or sites you stay away from? Do you shop with only cash?

Happy Friday, xx.


January 21, 2016

Binge watching has become a staple in our society. If you don't have a Netflix account, first of all, why don't you have a Netflix account? Secondly, do you have a Hulu account? Hulu rocks my face off. Thirdly, you don't want to spend money on cable? Me either compadre. I'm all about the budget life.  The truth is, I have been binge watching since about 2013 when I got really into "House of Cards" on Netflix. That was the first show I completely stopped living life (other than eating and going to the bathroom) for. That show sucked me in and 15 hours later, I am still watching it...

How does this happen?

Well, if you are anything like me, I hate a surprise ending. Also, I hate commercials. I don't want to see Oprah talk, for about the millionth time, that she is doing Weight Watchers. I hate McDonald's commercials because they just make me hungry. I would just rather watch my show and see what happens next with the characters.

The problem with this is I end using up a lot of my time binge watching shows. Remember when you first heard the word, "binge"? I do. It was in reference to bulimia, an eating disorder, and eating disorders are bad. Binge eating isn't healthy. Binge drinking isn't healthy. So, binge watching can't be healthy either. I have caught myself watching the same show for hours. True, it's not during the work day, and it's not like I don't get out of my apartment. I still do other things, but I find myself somewhat entering into a rut. I really should be working out or reading or catching up with friends, or what not, but I can't seem to get off of the couch.

I am somewhat worried about what all of this binge watching is doing. Is anyone else concerned? Am I totally being a weirdo right now? I mean, I am a weirdo, but I also want to be productive with my time. I want to read for hours, or pray for hours, or maybe clean for hours. But again, everything in moderation. Except prayer. Pray without ceasing. #Word

Anyway, how do you break yourself away from your shows? Do I need to shoot out my TV? Maybe cancel my Netflix account. Please say no.

Happy Thursday, xx.


January 20, 2016

Hey! How are everyone's resolutions/goals/whatever going?

Mine is going good, great, wonderful, terrible, slowly, but surely happening. I feel like about this time people throw in the towel and crap out on all of the good intentions they had for 2016. I am the type that is all or nothing, so once I screw up, I find it hard to pull myself back up and start again. For some reason, I am just super hard on myself when it comes to doing better and being better. That is why my word for the year is GRACE. I tend to give myself very little grace and not enough credit for the small changes I am making. Small changes add up to big changes, amen?

So this is a little update for how things are going, and some encouragement for those that are trekking up the resolution/goal/whatever hill.

Monthly Goals: 
1. Eating only Jenny Craig food - Not as good as I want to, but with the lack of food due to shipping issues, it made it hard to stick to.
2. Work out for at least 30 min. a day (4-5 days a week) - YEAH RIGHT. This has not happened at all. Whoops!
3. Volunteer in my city - I have reached out to a couple of organizations, but no opportunities have been presented to me thus far.
4. Host at least one get together/dinner at my home - Not yet. Maybe by the end of the month.
5. Save $100 this month - More like throw $100 toward my debts :).
6. Drink less coffee - I have been doing MUCH better. I drink one cup (no more than 2 a day, and most days 1 of the cups is decaf).
7. Completely abstain from drinking diet soda - I have had 4 or 5 this month, but that is WAY better than what it was (1-2 per day). Yikes!
8. De-clutter and finalize dining room - We have de-cluttered and now I need to decorate.
9. No social media on weekends or on weeknights after 8 p.m. - This weekend or week hasn't been that great, but I am reaching for my phone less, which is great. I also try to do it less when I am hanging out with other people!
10. Spend time with the Lord daily - I have been doing this off and on. I have a hard time getting up in the morning, although ideally, I would love to start the day with prayer and my devotional. I need to be more flexible and make the time no matter what time of day it is.

All in all - grace people. I have to remember, "Progress not perfection" in these early days of the new year. I do want to get better, but it takes hard work and being mindful of my actions.

How are your goals coming along?!

Happy Wednesday, xx. 


January 2, 2016

I bit the bullet this year and ordered the Powersheets by Lara Casey. I have heard so many great things about them, and I figured I might as well try something new to get my goals accomplished this year! I ordered the 12 month set of sheets and the Make It Happen binder (which I heart eyes), and thus far I am really enjoying the process. Lara said that the prep work could take up to two weeks, but I didn't have that much time, and I am off from work so I got the prep done in 2 days. Even though I did the prep fast, I still put a lot of thought into what I wanted to accomplish this year.

The Powersheets are designed to break your goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. This is great for me (Type A), because then I am able to check things off of my list (which I heart eyes). So, the prep work helped me to determine a vision for this year, and it allowed me to really express my fears, desires, and excuses I have used in the past. That part was both painful and wonderful. It helped me to see where I fall short, but also how I can cultivate small changes that will help me to reach my overall vision. Very smart lady that Lara!

Here are my monthly goals:

1. Eat only Jenny Craig food (it's been 2 days, but I have done it)
2. Work out (cardio/strength train) for at least 30 min. 4-5 days per week.
3. Volunteer in my city
4. Host at least one get together, or dinner for another person or group.
5. Save $100 this month.
6. Wean myself off of coffee (drink no more than 1 cup of caffeinated coffee per day; then 1 cup decaf; then no cups).
7. Completely abstain from drinking diet soda.
8. Declutter and finalize dining room.
9. No social media on weekends and no social media after 8 p.m. on weeknights

Here are my weekly goals:

1. Set up a weekly budget (include the $50 per check to go to savings).
2. Eat only Jenny Craig food (no cheating).
3. Work out at least 4-5 days per week.
4. No social media on weekends.
5. Drink less coffee; no diet soda.

Here are my daily goals:

1. Morning devotional time and prayer.
2. Be sure to journal at least one prayer, positive thought, or what I am grateful entry per day.
3. Drink less coffee.
4. Eat Jenny Craig food (no cheating).
5. No social media after 8 p.m.

I have also created a Pinterest board for my yearly goals. See my vision for this year.

My vision this year is to give myself away more, to not be so consumed with material things, get myself out of debt, and really focus on myself (loving myself better), and cultivating more community with Jesus and others. It's simple really, but there's a lot that goes into it. Overall, I think the Powersheets are really helping me to stay focused and pay attention to the things that really matter in life.