A yearly tradition that B and I do is writing little notes down and placing them into our Memory Jar — but as I like to call it our “Every Day Moments Jar” because it’s more than just memories… we actually write down every day moments. Those moments that are easily forgotten or overlooked and don’t stack up to all of the other big memories throughout the year.
I first made the jar in 2012 as a Christmas gift for B — it was a year we were trying to be frugal with gifts and saving our pennies, so I created a decoupage jar with words, letters and phrases that make up B and I. This made our jar special and unique to us — a lot of memory jars on Pinterest are plain mason jars with a simple label stating ‘Memory Jar’ or ‘2020 Memories.’ Your memory jar is really whatever you want to make it, it could even be a wooden box, but I love making it a bit more special!
To create your own memory jar you could decoupage a mason jar or a jar similar to the one we have like this Libbey® cylinder jar from Michael’s – snag some old magazines, photos or notes and glue to cover the jar using modge podge.
So you have your memory jar, now what? It can be hard to keep up with this throughout the year — so B and I keep this on our dining room table where we eat each night and make it a habit of adding in a note or two every night or every other night. Next to the jar I keep a couple pens and a notepad that we tear pieces of paper from. Adding memories regularly, help capture those funny, thankful, or sweet moments. We even add in tickets, wrist bands or other fun keepsakes throughout the year in the jar as we go.
On New Year’s Day, B and I make time to dump out all our little notes and take turns reading them back and forth to each other. We laugh, try and guess who wrote the other’s note and reminisce on those ones that we forgot about. To keep these notes accessible, I tape them into a journal – filling the pages, so it’s easier to look back and we’ve added to the same journal year after year, with more memories captured in more years than others.
This would also be a great Valentine’s Day gift and won’t be too late to start writing down those memories with your family and loved ones.
OMG! It’s the last Fitness Friday of 2019! And as I’m not completely ready to throw in the towel on my 2019 Fitness Goals — I’d say I can only keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last few months to maintain my routine! So I’m going to do a little early reflecting on my goals… as I already know I did not do so HOT on them… I even graded myself on how I did, take a look!
Goal #1 = Run More | My Score = FAIL
Yeah, this was a complete fail. It started out strong getting our yearly 10-miler run in and then slowly trailed as the next day I literally threw my back off which ended up being a 5-month shut down. Not to mention, all the races we wanted to sign up for we were out of town or had prior commitments, so this just didn’t happen. I did get a few runs in but not nearly to the definition of ‘Run more.’
Goal #2 = Build My Core Strength | My Score = C+
As I just mentioned above and in my July Fitness Friday my back threw me for a loop this year and led me to PT. I honestly felt like it was the universes sick way of getting me to accomplish this goal for 2019 — going to PT and purposefully working on my core strength. Well, I held strong for about a month, and then completely fell off the PT train. However, I know have the tools to build my core strength – so this goal will be coming back for 2020, since my chronic back pain is not going away.
Goal #3 = Carbs | My Score = B
I didn’t do so bad with this one! Of course I had a few times when this was a bit heavier than others, but as I got back into my fitness routine this late summer, my eating fell more in line, even though I was lying to myself about being stricter on food in the months when I was out of commission.
Goal #4 = Remain Consistent with Boot Camp | My Score = A-
I was pretty good for the first 3-4 months of the year took a 5-month break because of my back and then have been in the game since September going strong and feeling great. I’ve continued to take it easy, make modifications and get my ass out of bed each morning during the work week to maintain on track with getting my three days in. Because I’ve felt better and have been working hard, I’ve been more conscious about what food I decide to eat (and ruin my workout with) and also feel better in my own skin and my clothes. I feel more toned even if the pounds are staying the same!
I’m a firm believer of not only writing down your goals, but also reflecting on your goals and being honest with yourself on successes, opportunities and struggles. This year was definitely not what I was hoping it would be — which often happens in life, so I’m happy that I was forced to be patient, try new things and also continue to rebound and accomplish my goals!
What fitness goals did you conquer this year?
Happy Thanksgiving to all my amazing bee readers! What’re you thankful for this year? Every year, I’m always amazed and reminder at how lucky B and I are for our life and all of the amazing people we have surrounding us.
I’m also thankful for winning a fun little portrait mini-session earlier this month (see below) by the talented MML Photography, Michelle Loufman. B and I did a quick little session and the photos just captured so much of our love and personalities while being timeless photos for us to have for years to come.
Photo by Michelle Loufman at MML Photography
I’ll have to admit that I’ve been a little jaded over this Thanksgiving holiday, especially this year — all the demands of family wanted me to shut it all off and just hide. But all of my amazing friends listened to my stresses, frustrations and as much as they supported me, they also worked to share a different perspective for me to maybe change my mind… which ultimately ended up happening (yes, I know I’m being cryptic – what else is new?!)
So, I’m heading into this holiday with patiences and gratitude — Happy Thanksgiving!
November has finally been a month that B and I have been able to breathe. Looking back at the last three months, we were literally booked everything single weekend from August through October — yikes! So needless to say, November has been a breath of fresh air with a little extra time to do more things we love, sleeping in and distressing from October.
By finally being able to take a minute, I’ve been able to check off a few things on my to-do list (finally), make special memories and prepping for the fast approaching holiday season! These have been my latest obsessions this month.
Bathroom Organization. I’ve been trying to get my bathroom drawer stocked and organized since the beginning of October — and that’s just about how things have been going over here lately. BUT! It’s finally finished, and it’s perfect and beautiful and has a high-end feel for a small price of only $12. I wanted to make sure this bathroom was stocked for us and guests since our other main bathroom is two floors up!
Celebrating Two Years. Our anniversary was this past Monday, so B and I did a bit of celebrating and created new memories this year since we were actually home and not in sunny, Palm Springs. We went out Saturday to one of our favorite spots for dinner and drinks, then popped a bottle of bubbly when we got home. Monday we exchanged gifts – B really knocked it out of the park by creating roses out of cotton rounds (picture above), something he thought of all on his own. He also had the vows he wrote me, but never shared since we had a Catholic ceremony, on cotton paper! These were the first time I read them and they were funny, sweet and brought me back to two years ago. We also went out to brunch and had a nice dinner at home that night!
Holiday Ready. …Well almost! I am trying to get there. I’ve gotten a little jump start on some shopping and just started buying stuff, as I’m normally a December shopper. These next few weeks will be busy with Thanksgiving and then immediately jumping into December and hosting our annual holiday party. So I’m getting my lists ready with ALL the things — from making a dairy free pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving to picking a day to get our Christmas tree! I’m excited for the holidays, but want them to go slow.
What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Are you stressing over the holidays or easing into them like me?
It’s our two year anniversary! Part of me can’t believe it and part of me can — and part of me would love to relive that night all over again, in it’s pure magic, fun and perfectness. I loved our wedding, and I would plan another one (minus spending all that money again) in a heart beat.
TBH. As much as the night was perfect there were a few moments that weren’t completely perfect, even though all the perfect moments out weighted those. Like the fact that it was basically a tsunami from just before I left the house to head to the church to the end of the night when the party was shutting down. Which meant, our guests and ourselves were transporting two and from the church to the venue in a rush with strategic planning. But they say rain on your wedding day is good luck, right?
Another favorite memory of our wedding is the last two songs of the night. It was big planning the last two songs with the DJ and he made an awesome choice of combining a song that B had recommended as a must play, Five More Hours by Chris Brown with Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling just afterwards (which you can see a snip of it below.) But I’ll never forget when Five More Hours came out and I rushed to find B so we could dance to this amazing song — that now brings tears to my eyes with happiness whenever it comes on.
These last two years with B have been about living our life and doing more of the things we love together, house projects, traveling, spending time with friends and family, working on our physical fitness and creating new memories together. They’ve been about making plans, growing together, learning from one another, laughing and strengthening our team. Now it’s time for some brunch, to celebrate!
Wedding photo: Timothy-Logan Photography
If you just saw my October Weekend Roundup — you know that this month has been nonstop for us. That post didn’t include the late nights working, family drama, bouts of stress/anxiety and early morning workouts — but don’t worry I’ll be opening up on some of the not so fabulous things soon, because I’m all about sharing the trials and tribulations of this bee life. So all in all, October has been a mixed bag when it comes to obsessions, but a lot of them have been a bit more on the personal side this month.
So with all the things happening, some amazing and some stressful, I’ve tried to focus on the positive, with a side of pumpkins and a bit of love.
My Fitness Routine. I have been feeling it, I’ve jumped in hot this October and am feeling great. In turn, I’ve also started to focus and streamline my food more. I’ve been packing lunches consistently, having a light breakfast and not over indulging too much. It has felt good to be back into a routine, and getting my butt out of bed, getting up on the weekends and even putting in extra work to make sure I’m getting those workouts in each week.
Basic Bee in the Fall. Yup, guilty! I’ve been loving up on all things fall, from all of our October fun, to rocking the booties, ponchos, and buying all the pumpkins and mums for our front porch. The leaves have also changed instantly overnight, so the runs and drives have been serving. Even loving on the fall eats and drinks with pumpkin latte’s from our favorite local spot.
Two Years. With October coming to an end, I can’t help but look forward to November and all the love that this month brings. B and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary and I can’t help but feel all the feels — while also trying to plan a few surprises for B in the meantime to celebrate!
What things have you been focusing on this month?
How has your fitness routine been? Are you on track or need to get back in the saddle? We’re quickly starting to get into holiday season, the season of colder weather, big sweaters and leggings — which gives us a little more stretch (no pun intended) to not feel so conscious about the way our jeans or tight summer clothes may be fitting. BUT! That shouldn’t give us fuel to slack off in our health and fitness goals.
After getting back into my workout routine this past September, I’ve been holding myself accountable and just waking up with a better mindset and getting up in the morning and getting my workout finished before my day really starts. This has helped me get the workouts in — since the nights have been getting darker sooner and the work days are getting a bit longer. Not to mention, I’ve gotten back into a routine just in time for the holidays to hit!
How do you help hold yourself accountable in your fitness routine?
I’ve been a bit stressed out lately, and but came up pretty suddenly this past week. As we were driving away from the city late Friday night, I could start to feel some relief. But it wasn’t until about midway through Saturday when I could feel my tense body finally start to relax and the neck pain that had been lingering for the last 2-days was finally gone – that’s when I realized, I really needed this weekend away from reality with my little family.
Initially the weekend was supposed to be a girls trip with an afternoon at the spa, but some things came up so B was stuck with me heading to one of our favorite spots, the cabin. The cabin is literally in the middle of no where, there is no wifi, although there is TV, but it’s largely you, nature and just a break from the real world. Even on weekends when you’re home with no plans, you always find something to do – clean the house, laundry, yard work – or you think you should be doing something besides nothing. But that’s not how it is at the cabin, sleeping in is ok, watching Shark Tank marathons and day drinking is also totally acceptable.
We also ventured to our favorite spot near the cabin, Southern Tier Brewery Co. – and yes they had our favorite seasonal beverages on tap, Pumking and Warlock. The weather was perfect and we even brought Moz along this time! Usually we leave her behind at the cabin, but after a walk around the property at the cabin, she had plenty of exercise and just hung with us at the brewery. We also grabbed some yummy eats at STBC – our go-to the pretzels and then split the BLT this time, which was so good! They never disappoint from a brews, food or atmosphere perspective. It was the perfect breakup in the day.
The leisurely mornings might be my favorite – taking Moz out around the property for her morning routine, and then drinking coffee before B whips up a tasty breakfast is always so relaxing because we’re never usually in any rush for anything. And by the time breakfast is done and cleaned up, it’s about time to take Moz for a longer walk so she can take in all the fresh smells of nature, chase chipmunks and watch frogs jump into the pound. Friday night after we got there a huge storm rolled in and we fell asleep to the rain pounding on the roof of the cabin, it was so relaxing and so perfect.
As we were driving back to reality, I was reflective on the fact that we all need to take a little extra time for ourselves, an intentional break from the day to day, from the stresses of the work week and everything else. It was also a good reminder of making the most out of changed plans and still taking time away. Even if it’s a simple getaway for a night or two, it’s refreshing for the soul and it helps us stay sane.
So the reason we visit Myrtle Beach is a little different that I am sure 80% of the people heading down there. The beach and other extra curricular activities are always secondary to the reason we “vacation” there. I’ve mentioned in previous MB recaps, that we go to visit my grandma who lives down there in a nursing home and that is 100% why we go down to Myrtle Beach, to see her.
The goal generally when we go down and visit with my parents is to get my grandma out of that nursing home for a few days whether it’s a trip to the beach, shopping, dinner, or hanging out at the pool/condo. But this trip wasn’t so much the case. Earlier in August she had an unexpected trip to the hospital that ended with her needing surgery which then led to longer hospital visit. Luckily things went better than anticipated given she is 86 years old, but she was still recovering and more fragile from the surgery and her stay in the hospital when we went down there. SO, we couldn’t take her out, meaning it was a lot of visits at the nursing home this time.
Our days at the nursing home consisted of making sure Grandma ate her lunch and dinner, occasional visits out to the patio area, cards (which she did not play), coloring (which she did not want to do either) and a few chats about the past. She even had some photos from her wedding in 1956 – her wedding dress was amazing so I asked her what she ended up doing with her. Her response; “I burned it.” … Yup! She burned her wedding dress when she was 24.
The reality of our trip down to the beach destination with 80-degree weather all week was that we only made it to the beach once and only went swimming once at the condo (and at 9 o’clock at night). Friday we went to lunch and did the Conway Riverwalk in between visits at the nursing home. Saturday was all day at the nursing home with a quick shopping trip to the Tanger Outlets before dinner with the extended family.
We also got to visit with my cousin and her three boys, who are an absolute treat and love B – they were super fun to see how much they’ve grown up, their personalities and sheer sweetness they give us for only seeing them every so often! We soaked up as much time with them from jokes, to hugs, hide and seek, giggles and cuddles on top of being able to see my cousin and aunt and uncle who live down there too.
So although Myrtle Beach is often a beach retreat for many others, we go to see family who can’t travel to see us and hope to offer a little ray of sunlight to her probably lonely and long days at the nursing home.
Do you have a ‘vacation’ destination like this? Comment below!