A year ago today, we were all just starting to process the initial impact of the coronavirus… we had hope that it would be a blimp in the year, and not actually consume an entire year or completely turn our world’s upside down. We had optimism and hope, even as schools, gyms, churches and restaurants closed down. One good thing that came of the coronavirus, literally hitting on my birthday, was that turning 30 didn’t hold the weight it did leading up to the day – the pressures changed (but I am sure they’ll be back soon enough!) And here we are, welcoming 31.
This past year my anxiety reached new levels, a new kinda of anxiety, which has made me finally make my mental health a priority, even if it took 8-months. I’ve learned to go with the ups and downs, and when I need to take a break and when I needed to push out of my comfort zones to better my mental health. I’ve learned when I need to communicate the pain, the struggle and where I am at in the moment, so that other’s know how I feel and why decisions are made. While, not a whole lot of this past year made sense, what was right, what was wrong — with so many different opinions and thoughts, it came down to doing what made sense for me, what made sense for B and I. And not all of those decisions probably made sense to others, and I know future decisions won’t make sense to everyone either — but we are still trying to navigate into some semblance of normal, and that is still going to be disjointed for awhile.
I hope 31 brings back more moments of normal. I hope that I can continue to grow personally, continue to grow more in love with B, create new memories, focus on friendships, look for the positive, share love, learn new things, start making new plans, celebrate the precious moments, while cutting out the negativity in any shape or form it may be. So here’s to 31, another year of possibilities and hope!
Happy New Year! It’s that time again — that time to reset and refocus our energy, our priorities and look back at successes and even failures from the previous year, things we’ve learned about ourselves. And with that, it’s important to review your previous goals – and if you didn’t have any, you can only go up from here – so here is a quick update on how I did with my 2020 goals.
My 2020 Goals Successes: I paid off my credit card debt, before my 30th birthday — and even better, I’ve kept the credit card paid off. It’s so refreshing and freeing to have that under control. I also successfully completed one of my fitness goal of running 6-races, which proved more challenging because they all got delayed into Q4. We were also able to squeeze in one trip, which I will take for how 2020 went. And, I think that I fulfilled my goal of saying “No” which was also a bit easier, because you know, covid — and maybe one of the few things I’ll thank covid for.
Here are my goals for 2021:
Pay Off My Student Loans by December 2021. With the pandemic, student loans got a break with 0% interest among other things for most of the year — so I made sure to take advantage of that, while also paying more on my loans due to the money I’ve saved without having other expenses (car, gym, spa). With the help of my rain-man hubby, we’ve calculated for me to be on track and student debt free while I’m still 31! Being able to pay these off all by myself, while I’m still relatively young and 9-years post graduation is something I am truly proud of and fortunate to be able to do.
Monthly Volunteering. I unfortunately got out of dog walking volunteering, which I was doing almost weekly pre-covid. I then was trying to get a goal of at least monthly, which I was doing pretty well with, but the end of the year not so much. So my goal is to get back to that monthly volunteering for at least 2-hours, and then if things get better, I’ll start going more frequently. This will also help push me to do more “social” things without actually being social.
Good for the Soul. Focusing on things that are good for the soul and things I enjoy doing is going to continue to be a priority. Things like: Friends, travel, good food, bubbles, saying no, house projects, decorating, speaking my truth, reading, creating, dogs, sleeping in, and watching Bravo. Traveling is always a priority and on our to-do list (& oh so good for the soul), and we already have two trips outlined. This past year has also proven to enjoy the simpler things in life, like hanging out just B and I, playing games, listening to music and laughing the night away — hopefully we can just add a few more friends and family to that scenario.
Continue to Invest in Myself. This is both mentally and physically. Due to affect effects of covid, I’ve found that working out and staying healthy is going to be more of an effort, also sadly, because my former gym ended up closing last year due to financially hardships. So I’ve already started to purchase more at-home fitness equipment to help workouts become more attainable, without an excuse of not having equipment. Mentally, I’ve been needing to find someone to talk too since the spring. Again, I’ve made excuses not being able to find anyone that feels right — but I need to get it started. I spoke to someone in college and it helped immensely.
As you may have noticed, a lot of these goals, seem to be getting back to a normal life and piecing together the after effects from the pandemic (which BTW is still happening). And one of those biggies will be my fitness goals. I’ll be sharing those more specific goals on my upcoming Fitness Friday post — I think it’s important if you want your health and fitness to be a priority and is a personal goal, to make specific goals attainable and specific to fitness without just saying; “stay in shape” or “work out.” And I’ll be sharing my fitness goal failures too.
I also recently did one of those word scrambles, where you look at a bunch of letters and pull out the first four words you see. My four words were: Health, Family, Love and Strength. I think these are good mantra words to hold onto and focus for my new year — even if it’s a silly little internet thing.
What’re your goals? Share one or one of your focus words in the comments below!
Hi my bees! It’s time for a ray of optimism in a year that is seemingly turning out to be one shit storm after the next. And I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been able to maintain the optimism as much as I was in the early months of quarantine.
Goal #1 is to meet my running goal of 2020 and run six races. Since last Fitness Friday, I’ve been able to sign-up and add another race to our fall list — making a total of four races (including my January run). Which makes me only two away from hitting my six! I was hoping to get a half in, but I’m not sure if that will happen — maybe it still will, we will see!
Goal #2 is to run at least 2x a week, starting tomorrow! I have been recently reminded that my workout routine has been less than consistent — and I need to lean in a bit more on fitness, exercise and getting outside more consistently than I have been, especially to help deal with my stress and anxiety in a healthier way (which FTR, has been through the roof 24/5 lately).
So I’m taking my race obstacles and anxiety obstacles and I’m going to step on them to more opportunities and reaching my goals and ultimately feeling better inside and out. What’re your current obstacles, and how can you jump on them to new opportunity?
Here’s to staying strong, staying active and reach our goals!
July was another rollercoaster month — but it had some lovely moments of normal. I think those are the moments I need to remind myself more of, those moments of normal.
The month started out with a travel first for B and I — although we were only heading to see my parents, we traveled in a different way than we ever have before. A 73-feet RV! Luckily we didn’t have to worry about driving, so we had a stress free and relaxing ride hanging out with the family. It was massive, and was even bigger once it was parked and stretched out. Once we arrived to our parents, this allowed the fam we traveled with to stay in the RV while we stayed in my parents house — it worked out perfectly!
Luckily we were with family that we’ve seen off and on throughout the last few months — keeping our bubble consistent, but we headed in for my aunt’s beautiful backyard wedding. I know this is the exact scenario everyone has been reading about to avoid for the last three months – I wouldn’t lie if I didn’t say I was anxious about it, but I was also excited to see everyone. We all shared concerns, but we all have been safe, have limited our foot print and continue to take proper safety precautions. The first night together we spent playing corn hole, listening to music, playing games and eating delicious summer cookout food. It was a lot of fun and great being together.
The next day was pretty low key before the wedding. Luckily, the wedding was hosted in my cousins very large backyard. My aunt looked absolutely stunning in her BHLDN wedding dress too and their ceremony was so perfect and shared a lot of special moments between L&A. The wedding guests were pretty much everyone we had been with the night before, so not a lot of new people interacting or mingling and those that were new kept their distance and masked up. We also kept up our intense corn hole tournaments going once the wedding festivities were complete — as it got pretty competitive before we all called it a night and just sat around the fire. Other wedding highlights included fun with the pop-up Polaroid photo booth, eating delicious Nancy cake, Chromatic, Midnight Train to George and getting a surprise firework display since the wedding was on the Fourth of July!
The rest of July was filled with knocking out a few backyard projects, that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming weeks. We’ve also had a hot July summer days, so it’s been some sweaty afternoons and evenings – while taking advantage of early morning tee times, I think we golfed almost every week in July! We’ve been soaking up patio dinners and front porch nights while enjoying refreshing beverages.
Another month, more obsessions, more quarantine and still social distancing over here. So my latest obsessions are exactly what summer’s are made of: Golf. Grilling. And Work Outs.
B and I have quickly turned golfing into a weekly routine. We’ve been going out early to get nine holes in before the work day. It’s also been necessary to go out early to beat the hot summer heat we’ve been blessed with. It’s become a fun hobby, that B is already so great at and loves that I’ve come to enjoy — I just haven’t always make it out in previous years! We’ve also made it another fun summer activity to do with my aunts, too! This has led me to wanting to upgrade my hand-me-down golf bag, however — golf bags aren’t cheap, especially the ones I want. *grins*
Grilling is our preferred dinner method of choice, especially in the summer! We’ve also been loving our MeatboxLocal ground beef delivery. We’ve been completely stocked for burgers all summer, and have also loved grilling up some bacon on the castiron skillet for bacon cheeseburgers — YUM! Grilling out over the summer, means spending more time and extending our nights into our outdoor living space on the patio. In addition to grilling a lot, we have also been trying to eat a lot better and low carb! B has been really good about it, so that has been keeping it in check — it’s definitely easier when you have a partner to keep you accountable.
The last latest obsession that has been also keeping us in check beyond eating better is getting up and working out! As I shared in my July Fitness Friday that we’ve had to pivot the workout routine because of the intense summer heat — although even the morning workouts with the humidity are still pretty sweaty which make the workouts feel a little more effective. I still want to get back into a bit of a running routine and take advantage of the cooler days so I can help accomplish my running goals for the year! It’s helped that B has been working out with me too, along with the aunts or getting a quick one in at our house.
Besides these latest summer obsessions — I’ve been trying to stay busy and distracted with some house projects, that I’ll be sharing soon, to avoid the reality that is still continuing of coronavirus. I thought maybe these summer months and nice weather would be a breeze to get through, but the mental health and anxiety has been a constant battle. I know I’m not the only one — but it’s important we continue to take care of ourselves and check in with each other, still. It’s easy to get wrapped up and just because things have continued to be the rollercoaster they have been since March doesn’t mean people are the same or it’s gotten easier.
Hey Bee Readers — Are you still with me? I know it’s been a minute, but I needed to take a minute. A long minute. I have also started and stopped writing this post, trying to figure out where I wanted to go. But, I think the best way to reflect and share life lately, especially from the beginning of the month, is by sharing a long winded Instagram post from June 8th.
OK. So now how about the rest of life and what’s been going on for the entire month of June?! The month of May seemed like a slow ease back into visiting with people, while the world slowly opened back up and breaking out of our strict quarantine. But June… there were weekends in June that were packed visiting with friends and family (socially distant, smart and safe, of course) and a bit more old normal, that seemed to come in swift and fast. And for me, a little too swift and fast. I’ve been dealing with some new social anxiety and mixed feelings about it all. But at the same time, these moments have been refreshing, they’ve been needed — but the breaks have been needed too.
So let’s talk about the much needed old normal and fun stuff. Here are a few June highlights: A nice weekend with my parents, lots of burgers and eggs (not together), an afternoon stroll with A + B, doggy play dates, a fun pool day to celebrate Father’s Day, Moz’s birthday, fun impromptu neighbor hangs and even a golf date with B!
And here we are, the end of three full months of corona, four if you want to count all of March. And we’re still living in and navigating this “new” normal. B and I are still working from home, with no major plan of returning from either of our companies — so we’ve mentally adjusted to that mindset. We’ve also been keeping busy with house projects and new plans, itching to go somewhere on an airplane and also praying for a bit of of the old normal before the end of the year (wishful thinking, I know).
I also needed to reset mentally, reset the creativity, reset the goals and priorities and focus on life. As I mentioned, I have some fun things and cool reveals I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks, while trying to still stay creative and inspired outside of the office. How have you continued to stay inspired? Is your work life back to normal or are you still rocking the WFH office?
May has been tough, but it’s also had some glimpses of normal — well, what used to be normal. And it’s also had glimpses of “the new normal” as everyone seems to be calling it. May has been a month of slowly starting to see family again, some in normal ways, some in different more protected and distant ways. May has seen some lows and it’s seen some highs. May has also been the last month of the temporary hope of this thing all being over, because this new normal definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. May has even had a few WTF moments.
We started the month off with a little road trip to finally see my parents. It was much needed on both sides. The best part was we were able to make it there in one trip, and hunkered in over the weekend with lots of eats, drinks, board games and laughs and still able to maintain social distance from the world. My mom even surprised me with a homemade birthday cake, so we finally got to celebrate a belated birthday since our big plans in March all got kiboshed. It was great to be together in person, instead of 4-hour virtual chats, and as I mentioned, a much needed visit.
Mother’s Day consisted of a masked and mostly socially distant family gathering with our in-laws and supporting local to shower our mom’s with some special gifts. We also attended not one but two of our first virtual college graduations for my younger cousins, and even a virtual wedding (technically the last day of April)! The virtual graduations definitely had their advantages, beyond just being a new concept — but it also gave us an opportunity to actually attend and participate in these moments when we might not have been able to travel to them before (pre or post corona).
More May highlights included lots of walks with Moz and even a few car rides to the Starbucks drive thru for puppachinos. We’ve also been perfecting our breakfast sandwich making skills, including grilling bacon on the grill in a cast iron skillet along with grilling out local meats from MeatboxLocalto help mix-up our dinner menu. We’ve also finally gotten around to planning a few fun house projects while also reaching out to contractors for a few not so fun projects. We’ve been admiring all of our flowers budding and blooming and all the beautiful green with all the rain we’ve been getting. B and I also celebrated 9 years together with burritos and a brisk walk. We’ve also had fun counting down the days until when we can get our haircuts… which is now only one more week away! The weather also started to feel a lot like summer, so the weekends have been spent outside, like all day, every day — which has been really nice.
The month of May was also a big month for the state of Ohio as they started the phased re-openings early on in the month of May. I was actually surprised at how much started to reopen so quickly. Dentists, veterinarians, retail, dine-in at restaurants, salons, hair dressers and gyms have all been able to reopen (among many other things) this month. And it’s been interesting to balance and start having conversations with family and friends to understand what everyone is comfortable with as things reopen.
As much as I’m craving for getting back to “normal” and back into a routine, there is still a major fear factor — although it’s not a fear of even getting it, it’s the fear of potentially spreading it and also other people’s perception along with trying to be responsible for our community and those who are close to us. It’s a very weird time, but luckily there were a few moments of normal — so I hope that continues to be the case as we jump into June. And hopefully, we can get a trip in still this year. What were your May highlights?
All of us around the world and U.S. altered our Easter traditions this year — stayed away from family, didn’t attend church and opted for workout clothes instead of our Sunday best. This year is already making to be one for the books and I know this Easter will also be one of those moments that is talked about years from now. We definitely missed spending time with our families this year but tried to make the most of our this untraditional holiday, which I hope is one of the few holidays affected by this pandemic.
I woke up pretty early, for no good reason — so I took the opportunity to take Moz for a car ride to the Starbucks drive thru for some hot coffee and a puppachino for Moz! She got her Easter treat and loved every minute of it. We had a pretty low-key morning, sipping coffee and catching up on Little Fires Everywhere before cooking our yummy brunch. We had plans to make my parent’s waffle recipe, had bacon queued up and even mimosas ready to go 🥂! Waffle’s is my families go-to holiday brunch breakfast and always paired with bacon and hash browns — we opted for some eggs instead of hash browns. While we ate our brunch, we watched Easter mass
Once brunch was done, I snuck a nap in with Moz. And woke up to the weather shaping up and the sun peaking out — making for a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I made myself get out for a 5-mile run, which felt pretty good and was much needed after over indulging in our delicious brunch. I even got to see my aunts by chance on my run and from a 6-foot distance for a quick hi! When I got back, B and I took Moz for a nice long walk — enjoying all the blooming trees, flowers, fresh air and sunshine while Moz was just loving life, smiling with her tongue out the whole time. Luckily we were able to maintain good social distance during our walk, and even while I was on my run — as I’ve opted to just run in the road to avoid the sidewalk traffic, especially on the weekends. As you can see, my Easter outfit consisted of PJ’s and activeware with zero make up and some pretty great hat hair.
We spent the rest of our day FaceTiming with our parents and a few other family members catching up, sipped on a Manhattan and had a super fancy Easter dinner with a DiGiorno pizza and salad and finished the night watching the latest episode of KUWTK. We made it a pretty great day (minus breaking a dining room chair and champagne flute 🙃), enjoying the incredible sunshine and weather, had the perfect mix of active and relaxing while eating some pretty great food — while documenting the day to family/friends via pictures and texts. How did you send your Easter?
Well, when I was planning out my March content this post was going to be a fun one to write and jammed packed! Here is everything that we had planned and promptly was cancelled week after week, after week, thanks to the pandemic. Obviously, I am not the only one that has had a lot of cancelled plans/trips/life moments — but I was trying to overcome my turning 30 anxietyby doing as much fun stuff as possible. But in all honesty the perspective of this pandemic as I mentioned in my birthday reflections (it’s a good read) quickly changed the 30 anxiety into a much different perspective and reality — I mean it doesn’t even feel like I actually turned 30 😝. Our Cancelled Plans:
Trip to Philadelphia for the actual birthday
Spa Day + Dinner with Friends
Jesus Christ Superstar Broadway Play
Parents Coming into Town for Birthday Celebrations
A hair cut
Cancelled Birthday Cake
So yes, there was a lot of fun and celebrating that was going to be had, between my birthday and then my Dad’s retirement we were going to have a lot of fun especially this last weekend! BUT, even though we had a few more quieter weekends than anticipated, we still had a lot of fun and made the most out of everything — especially my birthday weekend.
My Birthday Weekend. With our Philly trip cancelled, I decided to partake in all of my favorite things I love doing at home. This included getting a final workout in at the gym, sipping on some coffee and getting spoiled with fun surprise deliveries throughout the weekend which included champagne 🍾, flowers 💐, and a coffee ☕ gift card from one of our favorite spots Brewellas. Saturday night for dinner we headed to our favorite dinner spot – Georgetown, mainly because they have all night happy hour on Saturday and a tasty menu paired with delicious drinks. We overindulged and then headed home for more drinks, card games and music.
Sunday we woke up and headed to volunteer and walk dogs at the local dog shelter we volunteer at. We then made sure Moz got out for her walk too before relaxing and heading over to an incredible impromptu birthday dinner at my aunts. They prepared Lobster tail, scallops, filet and a sweet potato dish — oh my gosh. The food was incredible. We finished the evening with my very own ‘Corona Pie’ which was pretty tasty and garnished with my favorite cake candies.
My actual birthday was on a Monday, so I took that off work and just enjoyed my day. We started my first day in my 30’s with a grocery trip, because the apocalypse was coming and March 16th is basically the day the world stopped – at least in Ohio. The first day of no school, remote working, gyms closed, masses cancelled, restaurants and bars closed… it was like a screeching halt. Luckily, I was still able to grab my free Starbucks coffee, to-go of course, before heading home and hanging out. I got a workout in and even took Moz to the park to soak in some of my favorite city views. Other March Highlights. We’ve been cranking on house projects, one of which was our fireplace hearth makeover and another which I’ll be sharing here soon as we just wrapped it up this past weekend and did all the finishing touches. Moz has also gotten more walks this past month then she has in a long time, it’s been nice to get her fresh air and out catching all those smells. I did get to see my girlfriends at the beginning of the month — which was good to get that in, since they have littles and it might be awhile before we’re all together again.
I feel like I’m a broken record but it’s really important that we continue to focus on the positive — if you’re upset about the seven things that just got cancelled, find seven positives out of those negatives. Write them down, even. Remember to keep your routine, stay active, get outside, eat well and stay in touch with all your peoples. This will be temporary in the grand scheme of life and there is plenty to be thankful for 💛.