January 17, 2017

Currently // January

EATING · The New Primal grass-fed spicy beef sticks, Kerrygold dubliner cheese (it's addicting), and Halo Top mint chip ice cream. I just discovered Halo Top and it's a real game changer! Also, lots and lots of salad.

DRINKING · Coffee, as per usual. I've actually been drinking it with Califia Farms toasted coconut almond milk + natural bliss vanilla coffee creamer. I wanted to find a new way to drink it without all the extra sugar (I used to only drink it with flavored creamers). This way seems to be the best! It's delicious. Besides that, just water and teas Tazo's Joy tea (leftover from Christmas) + Yogi's green tea blueberry slim life for the most part.

READING · I'm working on finishing up Unglued: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions. So far it has been a very insightful book. It's taught me how to keep my cool when people or situations push my buttons instead of blowing up and looking like a crazy fool, lol. Pretty sure everyone would benefit from reading it! 

WATCHING · G and I have been binging on Community lately. It's a comedy about community college and boy, does it make us laugh our butts off! Surprised that it took us so long to discover it. We also started A Series of Unfortunate Events the other day. It's interesting to say the least. Neal Patrick Harris = the perfect Count Olaf.
LISTENING TO ·  Some of my old favorites from middle school and high school. I put together a playlist the other day for our drive to Mount Dora and I found a bunch of songs I used to keep on repeat (like below).

DISCOVERING · That some situations I would normally be upset about aren't bothering me so much. I've come to realize most things just aren't worth losing my cool over. It may be an inconvenience, but those are tolerable.  

PLANNING · Our next Disney day. Epcot just introduced their International Festival of the Arts, but it's only running on weekends (Friday-Monday) until February 20th, so I'd really like to get there before the end of this month, if possible. I'm also planning on getting some more ink in early February! Already have the appointment set up! Which is super exciting since I haven't gotten a tattoo in so long. I won't share what I'm getting until it's finished, but I will say that it's going to be pretty sick (and a bit nerdy).

WISH-LISTING · I'd really love a pair of these Blowfish fisherman sandals (in whiskey), this scalloped bandeau bikini top + this floral scalloped bikini bottom from Target (go figure).

FEELING · The need to cull through all my belongings. I'm totally embracing this idea of a more minimalistic / less consumeristic lifestyle. I've felt this way for years, but now more than ever it seems. Experiences > things.

PRAYING FOR · Revelation when I'm reading God's Word. There are times when it feels like I'm just reading to seek knowledge, but I want to gain wisdom from what I'm reading too.

January 16, 2017

Exploring Mount Dora

Most of my Sunday was spent marveling at the small town charm + character that the city of Mount Dora has to offer. My good friend, Lauren, and her children joined me as well. Coming in at just under two hours away from home, this quaint little lakeside region presented the perfect atmosphere for an afternoon of leisure. Nestled in the Central heart of Florida, the downtown district overlooks Lake Dora which provides some picturesque scenery. Antique shops, sidewalk caf├ęs, coffee shops and bakeries adorn each street. Honestly, I could have stayed there for hours if we had the extra time.
We started our little adventure at Renninger's Antique Center and Flea Market. It seemed like a pretty cool place to check out (according to reviews). Since the crowds were thick and the Florida heat was unapologetic, we didn't stay long. I didn't mind though. There wasn't really anything that sparked my interest aside from a few crazy paintings. By the time we made it to the downtown area our stomachs were touching our backbones. Deciding on which restaurant to eat at proved to be difficult since there were so many options to pick from. We chose a place called Las Palmas. It was a Cuban restaurant and it didn't disappoint. As I stated on my Instagram post, I felt like I ate my weight in Cuban food ― a blackberry blood orange marg, ropa vieja, arroz amarillo, frijoles negros + yuca fritas. It was totally worth it though because everything was delicious!

I was hoping to pop into Le Petit Sweet for a cold brew or cappuccino, but they were just about to close (it seemed like the majority of shops started to close up between 4-5pm) so their selection was somewhat limited. Instead, I opted to indulge in a strawberry ice cream cone from Scoops on 5th with Lauren and the kids. I can't even remember the last time I had an ice cream cone, but it was very tasty. We finished up and walked down to the lake for a bit before starting the drive back home.

This historic village was a special place, one that I intend on visiting again in the future. If you've ever been, then you'll know just what I'm talking about. And, well, if you haven't, you should probably start planning a trip!

January 13, 2017

My 2017 Reading List

You know what? I can't even recall the last time I actually planned out what I wanted to read over the course of a year. In the past, I kinda just went about my reading in a nonchalant way. For the longest time I made myself believe that I wasn't a good reader. I wasn't like the rest of the bookworms out there ― plowing through page after page, finishing books right and left. I'll admit that I'm a slow reader (I downloaded an app to help my reading speed), but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a bad reader.

Way back in August, while visiting Haslam's Book Store, I purchased a copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as recommended by my friend, Charlene (from Charlene Zale). I read the first chapter or two after bringing it home, but then I placed it aside in hopes of finishing a different book I was reading at the time. Well, let's fast forward to December. As I mentioned before, I was stuck working 12 hour shifts almost that entire month. Some days were very slow, but I was thankful because it gave me time to catch up on my GED work and read a bit. I decided to dive back into Fahrenheit 451, and to my surprise, I finished it in a matter of days! I'm not exaggerating when I say that every single person should read this book at some point in their life. It was such an eye-opener and definitely reignited a passion for reading inside of me. Reading (knowledge) is such a powerful tool. Without it, we are basically doomed as a society. I'd share more, but I'd like to do an in depth review of this book in the weeks to come.

With all that being said, reading that book made me want to read more often. It helped me to realize that it doesn't matter if I'm a slow reader. What matters is that I actually put time aside to read. Slow progress is still progress. For the first time in a long time, I actually made a reading game plan for the year. I'm not trying to strive for 100, 50, or even 25 books. I've picked 12 books (one for each month) that I'd like to read. I knew that I needed to be realistic with my goal and I think this amount will be best for me.

M Y  2 0 1 7  R E A D I N G  L I S T

January 12, 2017

January Goals

Yes, I'm aware that we're nearly halfway through January. And, yes, I'm also aware that goal posts are typically shared at the beginning of a fresh month. However, I'm trying really hard to get back into the swing of things around here after almost a whole month of working 12 hour shifts (27 days to be exact). As you can imagine, after long stretches like that, it's difficult for me to resume a strategic routine here at home. Normally I only allow myself a day or two just to straight up hibernate + catch up on rest before jumping into the household responsibilities. I'll have about a month off before the next round hits (very happy about that).


(✔) Plan out my goals for the new year.
(✘) Start getting up the first time the alarm goes off.
(✔) Have a very simple birthday celebration.
(✔) Purge my belongings before Christmas.
(✔) Send out Christmas cards.
(✔) Visit Disney before the holiday blackout dates.

➜ ➜ ➜

J A N U A R Y  G O A L S
two . thousand . seventeen

Journal at least twice a week.
Journaling used to be something that I was extremely passionate about, but I started writing less frequently as I've gotten older. It used to be such a good coping technique when the stresses of life would start to get me down. I've picked out two journals that I'd like to pour myself into this year. I want to make time to journal, even if it's just a couple days a week to start out.

Rejoin the gym + work out 3x a week.
My husband and I have decided to rejoin the gym (Youfit Health Clubs). We used to be members a couple years back, but we just got burned out on it. Now we're both starting to miss it. Working out will be a good way to get in some "us" time as well.

Deep clean my closet + give away items I don't love.
I've been slowly transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle over the last few years. More and more I find myself desiring less and less (material items). My closet is one area I haven't put as much focus into decluttering. I'm afraid I'll give certain items away, only to regret it later. I need to get real with myself and figure out what I actually love / feel comfortable in and be done with all the rest.

Have one Disney day.
Our passes expire in early May (booooo). That might seem like a long time from now, but it'll be here before we know it. I've been trying to get the most out of these passes by going as much as possible. Surprisingly, we've been able to go 1-2x a month.

Do one GED math lesson per day.
Guys, I'm so freaking close to being finished with this mathematical reasoning study book. I need to have it completed no later than the end of February so that I can take my final exam in early March! Kinda freaking out a little, but this has been the only thing holding me back from moving forward + going back to school (kinda freaking out about that too).

Start + finish reading two books.
I already finished reading one book earlier this month (one I had started reading way back in August), but there are two other books that I'm currently interested in finishing Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst + The Princess Diarist by the late Carrie Fisher (still so upset about her passing). I'm halfway through the first one at the moment, and I'd highly recommend it to everyone!

What are some of your goals for January?