Saturday, December 31, 2011

#Reverb11: Forsee

"Where do you hope to be on Jan 1, 2013?"

A prompt brought to you by Kaileen Elise.

On January 1st, 2013 - I plan on being in a cute little house, located somewhere just south of Seattle (but not too far south!). It will be a place that has a fenced yard for our puppy and enough room for josh to work on his project car and for us to have big gatherings with our friends.

On January 1st, 2013 - I hope that Josh will be about to start his 3rd quarter of school and will possibly have a part time job to support his career choice. I am extremely proud of him for finally making the choice to better himself!

On January 1st, 2013 - I hope to be engaged and planning my dream wedding to the man I love!! This isn't just wishful thinking either! Josh and I have talked about it, and its only a matter of time before he makes it official!! I love that man!!

On January 1st, 2013 - I hope to be at my goal weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle! NO more spending my time as the chubby one!! I'm done with that!! I've lost 36lbs in 2011, and hope to lose 100 more in 2012!! 

On January 1st, 2013 - I hope to be at financial peace! things always get out of control, and I've spent some time in 2011 preparing myself for financial peace. I'm hoping to be more aware of my budget and spending choices in 2012 and continue making better choices for years to come!

On January 1st, 2013 - I will be happy! Yup, I will!!! just you wait and see!!

Now that December is over, the #Reverb11 / #Weverb11 project is over. But that doesn't mean the fun stops there!! I hope to continue writing throughout the year. I hope to interact more with the new blogs I've discovered in the last month!! Thanx for joining me on this journey and can't wait to connect with more people in 2012!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Friday, December 30, 2011

#Reverb11: Insightful Peace

"Describe a moment in which you felt at peace, gained insight of your situation, and/ or realized everything would be okay."

Every day of my life, I stress over all the details. Its just who I am. Its what I've done since I lived at home with my parents and siblings. My home life wasn't always ideal, and I grew up far too fast, but I adapted. When I lived at home, I took care of my parents when they drank too much, I made sure my brother and I were fed and had our homework done, I made sure my baby sister had what she needed. Once my mom quit drinking, things started to get easier for me, until I packed up everything I owned and trekked off to college. And since then, I stress over everything. I often feel like things will never go the way I want. I never truly feel at peace. 

My last relationship lasted nearly 5 years. It was horrendous and destructive. There was not a peaceful moment in the entire relationship. When I finally left, it took so long to gain back my individuality. Shortly after I did, and I opened up to people, I met Josh. We have great times, but still i panic about every little thing. mainly financial. I want great things in life. Not necessarily expensive things, just great in MY eyes. 

This year was a tough one. The economy hit us and for most the year, Josh worked on ly part time, and just barely enough to make sure there was gas in the car to GET to work and help pay for groceries. After our roommate screwed us over and bailed on us, we've struggled every month. In October, Josh got a great job! Full Time! Days! Excellent pay! Benefits!!! but it was short lived and after 3 weeks they let him go. 

It was at that moment, that day, that I let everything go. On any normal day, I would have had a complete panic attack! I would have freaked out and gone into crazy mode. Worry about rent, bills, insurance, car stuff, food, student loan payments.... but it was that moment where everything just washed away and I thought "well, this is the universe saying something huge. This is God's plan, he obviously wants this, and I just can't fight it anymore". 

I'm blessed to have a wonderful job that pays enough that I can finally afford everything on my own. We don't get to do fun stuff too often, but its only a short time before I can tweak our budget to allow us a night out every once in a while. After being let go, Josh decided it was time for him to go back to school. For the first time in our time together, I felt like things were finally going in the right direction. We've been together almost 3 years, and battled our way through every obstacle life has thrown us! We've gotten through everything stronger than we were before, and this time, it just feels right!

I am finally fine knowing that things won't always be perfect, but we can get through anything! for the first time in years, my mind is finally at ease!!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#Reverb11: Gush

"Begin to create a plan for “My friends day out 2012″ – tell us what you envision."

This prompt comes from Julie @ fivepassions.com (via Weverb11.com)

Well, I don't get to spend a great deal of time with my BEST friends. They all live far from where I do! Some only a few hours, but some THOUSANDS of miles!! My bestie Mia and I have been trying to get better at scheduling time to see eachother and get together for little gatherings. I am happy to say that we are already planning our first adventure for 2012! A wonderful day of no boys, and wine tasting! Which for me will be interesting because I don't drink wine! haha! It will definitely be a day for new things.
Regardless of where we go, i just hope to be able to SEE my friends more this year. i miss them so much!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#Reverb11: Revive

"Share a favorite photo from the past year. What was happening behind the scenes? What were you thinking or feeling? What could you smell, taste, see, hear at that moment?"


The first Friday in September, my team at work was invited out on the owner's boat for a few hours of fun, drinks, and dinner. As we approached Seattle, I snapped this picture - the complete skyline of the city was absolutely beautiful! I love living in this state (sometimes) and that view is completely worth it! Behind me was the rest of my team, drinking, talking, laughing, not worrying about all the piles of work we had waiting for us when we got back after the weekend. It was a wonderful bonding experience and allowed us all to get to know each other outside of the company walls! It was fun and relaxing! I really hope we can do it again next summer too!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#Reverb11: Spend

"Where did your money go this year? Where do you want it to go in 2012?"

My money went all over the place!! I use Mint.com and my desktop Quicken to track my money and my spending. I try to start every year saying that I will make the financial improvements that I need to so that I can progress forward and live a fuller life. That doesn't mean more STUFF, but more along the lines of doing things that better me as a person, that enrich my life, and that heal my soul. And every year I wind up in a ClusterF*%$ of ugly and no way to get out.

I've change that though. In November, just before Thanksgiving, I started the process to file for Bankruptcy. I will be turning in the final paperwork this week, the last week of December. My bankruptcy will be complete in the first quarter of 2012, and will allow me to make sure all my financial ducks are in a row.

in 2012 - I want to go on vacation to New York in May, after my friend's wedding in Philly. I want to find a nice rental house and move in July when our lease is up. I want to start saving to buy a car of my own (which I haven't had in over 15 months!) I want to buy a whole new wardrobe when I finally lose all this weight (which is coming off nicely!) I want to enjoy the year without worrying if I am going to be late on rent, miss a student loan payment, delay my power bill, or have to eat rice for a week because I can't go grocery shopping. I've spent a good chunk of this last quarter in 2011 making sure that I am fully prepared to take on 2012 with both fists raised! I'm ready to take on the world!! I'm not going down without a serious fight!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Monday, December 26, 2011

#Reverb11: Gift

"This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?"

I saved this post for AFTER Christmas. I've received some great gifts this year - material and non-material. But the greatest gift I received this year was on Christmas Eve from my amazing boyfriend! In all my years, I've never received AMAZING Jewelry. when it comes to jewelry, I'm very simple, I don't like big and flashy, and I do not like yellow gold - I'm a white gold/silver kinda gal.  In previous years (from Family and Exes) I've gotten some cheap necklaces that fall apart in a month, all gold rings with big baubles, and copper and gold bracelets with charms I'm not interested in or don't relate to me. 

I've never ASKED for jewelry. I've admired it at the stores, but never asked for anything.This year, I opened the most beautiful present. A 1/4 carat black and white gold bracelet. I started crying almost immediately after opening. It was stunning and simple and fit perfectly!

Josh puts up with so much from me, and I knew things were super tight for Christmas this year. I wasn't expecting anything over the top (last year he bought me pots and pans and that was the best present EVER!). But to know that he has paid attention to the little things I've said, caught the little glances I've made at the pretty jewelry, that made all the world!! I love my boyfriend, and I love my pretty new bracelet!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Sunday, December 25, 2011

#Reverb11: Celebrate

"What did you celebrate in 2011? Are you looking forward to any celebrations in 2012?"

2011 had some great celebrations! I'll highlight my favorite 3!

First - My 27th Birthday! It was 70's Roller Disco themed, and we had it at the local Skating Rink/Bowling alley!! It was awesome! I made myself an all black jumpsuit and bought tons of gold jewelry. and I even did my hair in curlers so that there was some volume to my hair! and my loving boyfriend bought the John Travolta disco outfit and wore it the whole night, just for me!! Not only that, but he was sick with food poisoning and STILL came out for the night!  It was great!!

Second - My Best Friend Mia's 25th birthday!! Every year we try and plan a party for her, but since its right after thanksgiving and right before Christmas, and she's got 2 small ones, it can get a little hectic. So, for this year, I just made the plans myself, told her husband I was kidnapping her and he HAD to watch the kids, and followed through with such plans!! We went on a glorious French Adventure around Seattle! Me and Mia! It was amazing!! I know she had fun, and it was great to get her away and have some one on one time with my bestie!

And Finally - the Xmas Eve (eve) Party!! Every year that Josh and I have been together, We've thrown a party for Christmas Eve. Its a chance for us to get together with our friends and just have some cheesy fun! This year was the most low key, but it was a blast! We had good friends over, watched some tv and listened to music, ate some good food, and then had an Ornament Exchange! the best part was NO ONE threw up this year! haha! I say that because the last 2 years, someone has gotten too drunk and gotten sick! This year was fun though, and I can't wait to continue this tradition next year!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#Reverb11: Control

"What did you finally let go of in 2011? What will you let go of in 2012"

This prompt comes from Julie @ fivepassions.com (via Weverb11.com)

This year I let go of destructive people. I cut people out of my life who were doing nothing but bring me down. I really believe in the "A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime" thought about life. Some people are only met to be around for a certain amount of time. For so long, I've tried to keep people in the Lifetime category when I should have cut them out long ago. I finally have the courage to just let go and move forward.

Next year, I need to work on letting go of control. Not like go wild and out of control!! I'm very particular. I sometimes get super frustrated when things don't go my way are aren't done in a certain time period. Case in point - I got irritated yesterday because the spare room wasn't clean like I would have liked, and there was only a short time (in my head) to fix it. In reality, it wasn't much to clean up and we had 4 hours to do it in. Cleaning took 20 minutes! Most of the time, my frustration gets taken out on Josh. and I feel incredibly horrible afterward. I know I get like this, and yet I feel like I can't stop it. I need to work on this trait and become a better ME next year.

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Friday, December 23, 2011

#Reverb11: Quality

"If you could quit your day job and your quality of life wouldn't change, what would you do?"

Honestly and truly? If I could quit my day job and still enjoy the things in life I currently have? First, I would do some traveling. Nothing extreme, but just go to places I've always wanted to go:




I would then spend my time teaching. Teaching in any capacity. I love my job and I love what I do. I am really good at it too. But I love taking the things I'm good at, and TEACHING people how to do them. I have often been told at work by my bosses that they wish there were more ME's in the world (hardworking, driven, dedicated people with brains like sponges that learn and retain everything!). What better way to make more ME's than to TEACH more people? In all seriousness - It would be nice to just teach. To know I've helped someone learn something new, even as simple as reading, would be amazing!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#Reverb11: Giving

"Does giving feed your soul? Do you have certain ways of giving that you enjoy most?"

I try and give as much as I can every year. I know I always talk about how I'm struggling with my own stuff, but I know that no matter how much I'm struggling, there are people out there doing way worse than myself. That's why I try and find causes through out the year that fit my own personal beliefs and try to support them. I even help my friends when I can. This year was great for me, because I was able to help my best friend by getting presents for her kids! It was a blast for me to go buy kids presents!! I'm such a big kid myself sometimes!! and Watching them open up their presents was great! To see their happy faces was amazing!!! They got their presents from me a week before Christmas, but it was still awesome!! Not having kids of my own yet comes at a great advantage to me, because I can spoil my Nieces and Nephews so much!!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#Reverb11: More

"What things do you hope to include more of in your life in 2012? Why? How?"

FRIENDS! More specifically VISITS with Friends!!! I miss my closest friends SO much!!! I have friends near and far, but those that I've had for many many years live at least a 90 minute drive from where I currently live, if not longer depending on Seattle traffic. I'm missing out on seeing my Nieces and Nephews, spending time with the people that keep me sane and level, and general life business. I want to visit my friends a whole heck of a lot more in 2012!! If that means I have to take the bus to visit them, by golly I'll do my best and do it!! I'm hoping that by moving in July, I'll be able to live closer to my friends so that its easier for me to spend time with them. 

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#Reverb11: Cry

"When did you cry?"

This was a rough year - and I did my best not to cry over the little things and just push through them. The one time that I cried that hardest though, was back in April when my family dog passed away.

Not long after my childhood dog was put down (9th grade, so 1998?), my step-dad came home from work with the best surprise for my brother and I. An absolutely beautiful Australian Shepard. He was already a couple years old and his name was Buddy, but I called him my Pirate Dog (he had thick black circles around his eyes!)
When I lived at home, Buddy would lay at the end of my bed and snuggle with me at night, follow me around in the mornings getting ready for school, and get excited when I came home and went out on the porch to play with him! When he would go bursting out the front door (FREEDOM) and went running around the neighborhood, I would always have more luck getting him to come home than anyone. He was always so happy to see me, and I was always so happy to have him there!! he was my cuddle dog when things at home got really rough. I loved that dog so incredibly much.

After I went to college, and moved away from home, I would get sad not being around my Buddy, but when I got home to visit, it was as if I never left. He would get so excited to see me and have to sit with me for quite a while before wandering off to his regular routine. When my parents moved to Idaho, I was super bummed that I wouldn't get to see Buddy very often, but knew it would be fun to visit. When I would go stay at my parents for weekends or holidays, Buddy would still come in and lay down at the end of the bed with me when I would go to sleep, just like when I lived at home. 

The last day I saw Buddy was when I was home for my little brother's Graduation last year. He was getting old and nearing the end of his time, but he was still trucking around like he was full of life. When I talked to my mom around Christmas, she talked about how bad he was getting. His old age was definitely showing and she was afraid he wasn't going to last much longer. As much as I tried, I just couldn't get over to Idaho to visit. I knew if I didn't, I wouldn't get to see Buddy again. I finally made plans to go to Idaho at the beginning of summer this year, but it was too late. My mom called me one morning and let me know that Buddy laid down to take a nap and didn't wake up. He went quietly and peacefully. I was incredibly devastated. He was my Pirate Dog, I missed him so much, and I didn't get to be there with him. I still find pictures of me and Buddy from when I lived at home, even one of him hanging with me while I'm all dressed up for a school dance. He was a great part of my life and my family and I will miss him every day!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Monday, December 19, 2011

#Reverb11: Decisions

"Are there any difficult decisions coming up in 2012 or that will affect 2012? How will you make them?"

I am hoping that all the decisions I have to make in 2012 are fairly easy ones!!! I do know that Josh and I will be moving this summer, so we will need to make a decision on where to move to. We are tired of the apartment living, and really need a yard for our dog - if only for our own sanity!! I will need to finally decide if I want to get a car. I haven't had a car of my own since September of 2010 - sometimes I love it, other times it drives me nuts! If I do decide to get a car, I need to make sure its what I WANT, and is in great condition before I buy it!

The only other decision of 2012, at this moment, is vacation!!! I have a friend from my college days at Penn State getting married in May in Philly. While some unforeseen circumstances have changed my financial situation (for good and for bad), I'm still hoping to at least make it to the wedding. Beyond that, I would like to make plans to visit New York. So right now, its do we make the plans to go to New York for a few days while we are already over there, or do we wait! Hopefully we can make it, it would be so awesome!!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Sunday, December 18, 2011

#Reverb11: Teach

"What lesson or advice were you able to pass on to others this year? Why was it important to share this information? (Or… what lesson would you like to pass on to others that read this?)"

This prompt came from Christy @ macswain.tumblr.com (Via Weverb11.com)

You know, I think I took more advice this year than I passed on!! Generally, I have many friends come to me for advice, and I seldom go to others for advice on my own issues. But this was a particularly difficult year, and I really relied on the help of my friends.

I guess the best lesson I am able to pass on this year, is do NOT accept roommates without a concrete roommate contract set up IN ADDITION to the contract with the landlord. Had I learned that earlier on, I wouldn't have been screwed over multiple times in the last couple years. I was a stepping stone for people the last couple years, who used me and my kindness to walk all over me and advance their own lives and financial status, while throwing mine in the hole. NEVER again!!! I don't care how close of friends I am with someone, I just have to stick to my guns and worry about MY life, and can't let myself get walked on anymore. I'm still the extremely helpful and kind person I was before, but now I have boundaries, and I make sure they are known up front!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

#Reverb11: Thrive

What was your healthiest habit of 2011? What would you like to change or do differently in 2012?


My healthiest habit of 2011 was logging my calories (in and out) on MyFitnessPal.com. Because of that one small thing I did every day, I change my eating habits, my exercise habits, even my lazy habits!!! And all of that has contributed to nearly 30lbs of weight GONE from my body!!!

I started the year with a lot of strange and a lot of bad health habits - but slowly, and with some extreme will power at times, I managed to change some of those habits and make a better path for myself! I hope to just continue with these small yet powerful changes into 2012 and end next year with an even larger weight loss!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Friday, December 16, 2011

#Reverb11: Travel

"Where did you travel this year? What was your favorite part? If you didn’t get to travel, where do you want to go next year?"

This year, I didn't do much traveling. I did however make it to Idaho to visit my family. One of the best parts of making it over there, was meeting my cousin's new baby, Cooper - or as I call him, Cheese Puff! The first baby born out of us grandkids on that side of the family! My cousin Amber is absolutely amazing and such a wonderful mother! I miss my family in Idaho, but I like knowing that I can visit them!! and that I can talk to them on online! :)

Next year, 2012, hoping to hit Philly, New York, and another beach trip! Should be good times!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

3 more days!!

So, My 100 day challenge began in September - and on Monday, my 100 days will be over. So much has happened in 100 days! and While I think I may only be down about 10 lbs from when I started, I've learned so much about myself: What foods keep me going, what foods make me lethargic, what exercises keep me motivated, what exercises help me build strength or flexibility in trouble spots, what exercises I CAN NOT Stand. Its been an interesting experiment!

On Monday I will take a pic of me in the same sports bra and shorts I did on the 1st day. I will weigh myself, and I will see what I have accomplished. Right now, I know i'm down almost 25lbs since my dr's visit on August 1st. In addition, I believe that puts me around 30-ish lbs lost for the year! Which to me is a huge success with all I've battled this year.

On January 1st, I will begin another 100 day challenge. It will end on April 10th 2012! I'm hoping to push through and do some amazing things in 2012, in regards to my weight loss goals and knowledge I've gained in 2011!

Here's hoping for a far more successful 100 days in 2012!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

#Reverb11: Passion

"What did you become/continue to be sincerely passionate about in 2011? When you are in the moment doing something you love what does look + feel like?"

This prompt came from Megan @ EverlastingPresent.com

Baking! Cakes, Cookies, Cookie pops, Cupcakes, candy treats!! You name it, I love it!!! It started 2 summers ago when my best friend Mia told me about taking a cake class at Michael's. I love to make cakes, so I decided to try a class! I wound up taking 3!! It was so much fun! Mia and I talk about different cake ideas we have and different items we want to grow our kitchens. I've made cakes for birthdays, for work, for random events! And everything I try gets better and better. I'm no master Baker - The things I make aren't things you would find on shows like "The Next Great Baker" or "Cake Boss", but they are perfect for my friends, my family, and the people around me that just want fun, simple, inexpensive treats for their events!

When I'm in my kitchen, baking one of my crazy concoctions, I feel so at ease. Nothing bothers me, everything is mellow. No matter how stressful it can get in the kitchen (wrong ingredients, mixer not working, slightly burnt cake), I still enjoy every bit of it! a dilapidated cookie pop falling to pieces bums me out, but all the successful ones I make after that make me feel so much better! And when people eat one of my creations, the look on their faces is amazing! I love being able to bring joy and goodies to other peoples lives.

Baking has brought Mia and I even closer than we already were. I've mentioned it before, but we've started our own Bakery-ish type website/Company: H&M's Magical Creations! 
In 2012, I really want to expand with our little company. And by expand, I don't mean jump into a location and start baking away. I mean finding out which recipes we like and want to use consistently. Experimenting with frosting and what we want to have on our menu. Playing with new dessert ideas like Cake Pops, Cookie Pops, and Cupcake Truffles. And mostly, just expanding the items I have in my kitchen to allow me to make Delicious creations for people. It would be nice to one day have our own little bakery, but for now, I like keeping it the small intimate creation that it is!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#Reverb11: Breathe

"How did you make space + peace for yourself in 2011?"

This prompt came from Megan @ EverlastingPresent.com (Via Weverb11.com)

This year I tried something I have never tried before: Hot Yoga! First off, I've never really done yoga. Sure, I own a DVD, and yeah, I've played that DVD - but generally I would get a few minutes into it and give up!!! i'm still too overweight to really balance on one leg and tip myself over without falling face first because i'm too top heavy!! Second, Hot yoga? Its in a room that's 105 degrees! I enjoy heat, but that is just toooooo damn hot!

Nonetheless, the Yoga place across from my work had a special: 10 classes for $10 that had to be used in 30 days. Word got around to all of us ladies, who were all trying different ways to get/stay in shape. Before we knew it, there was a posse of 6 of us girls from work all signing up to do Hot Yoga!! We all went together the first day and boy was it an adventure! My boss and I both had an agreement that if we could last 15 minutes, we could make it the whole 60 minutes!  And we made it! Granted, I had to sit down after about 40 minutes, and wasn't very good with any of my poses, but I made it the whole hour.

Outside of the whole Yoga/Mediation poses bit, I really did just enjoy the heat. Laying on my mat, deep breaths, focusing on just me and my own energy - it was amazing, peaceful, and ALL MINE! I sweat like crazy, kept myself hydrated from my water bottles, and just let all the negative inside of me melt away in the heat.

In the end, I went to about 7 of the 10 classes in the 30 days. I got slightly better with the poses - once made it the whole hour doing all poses! But a few days, I just allowed myself to relax, do the poses I felt comfortable with, and just sit out the rest of the time, letting the heat eat away the toxins and the negative inside me!

I loved coming home happy, peaceful, with a clearer mind! Its extremely expensive to keep going, but I think I might start going once a week when the new year starts. If not that, then I need to start sitting in the sauna at my gym more often!! :)

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#Reverb11: Discovery

"What is one thing that you discovered in 2011 that you use to make you happy even when you are having a bad day? A "Cookie moment" if you will. It can be a person, a song, a video, a book or something else completely!"

This prompt is provided by Maggie @ Sometimesyouneedthat.wordpress.com (via Everlastingpresent.com).

This! This never ceases to make me laugh! Not only am I addicted to it, I also have others addicted to it!!! and it's all thanks to Lesley (or as I know her, MacSkillz!) Happy, Sad, or just need a giggle, all I have to do is play this video!


Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Monday, December 12, 2011

#Reverb11: Soundtrack

"If you were creating a soundtrack for the past year what songs would it include?"

So many songs! So much music! So much - good stuff! I guess I'll just list the songs that I played this year on repeat more than a handful of times. For whatever reason, these songs had an impact on me.

  1. LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
  2. Katy Perry - The One That Got Away
  3. Foster the People - Pumped UP Kicks
  4. Mt Eden - Omen
  5. Jack Johnson - Do You Remember
  6. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Home
  7. The Weeknd - Wicked Games
  8. Lissie - Pursuit of Happiness
  9. Portishead - Glory Box
Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#Reverb11: Try

"What 12 new things do you want to do/accomplish in 2012?"

This prompt is provided by Kimba @ UltraTrailGoddess.com (via Weverb11.com).

hmmm, 12 new things to accomplish? Everything in 2012 is going to be new! Its going to be a fresh start for me and my life! I keep saying I will give myself a fresh start every year, and I've finally taken the steps needed to give myself that fresh outlook! So, here are some NEW things I would like to do in 2012
  1. Complete "Couch to 5K" - I would love to be able to say I can run 5K. Last year I wanted to do a half marathon and the more I trained, the more pain I had from an existing foot injury. I've stuck with just walking, some dancing, and biking for the last half of this year, but i'm hoping this will only strengthen the muscles in my foot to allow me to do the 5K program!
  2. Travel somewhere I've never been - My friend is getting married in Philly at the end of May and Josh and I have always wanted to go to New York! Hopefully our finances let us at least go to the wedding, and possibly New York for a few days after.
  3. Move into a house - Not BUY a house, just RENT a house. our darling puppy needs a yard - and Josh wants to get her a boyfriend. Our tiny apartment just won't cut it for much longer! (final lease signed to get us until July, and then its House-Bound we go!)
  4. Learn HTML and Design my OWN theme for my blog - I want to be able to make something that I really enjoy. I see many designs out there, but what I really want to do is take the pieces I really like and design something to my own personality. 
  5. BLOG MORE!!! - this goes with #4, but I really want to blog more. I follow some great blogs and love learning about other peoples creativity and adventures! I really want to share more of me!
  6. Expand my Baking - I love baking, I have so much fun! but I don't have a ton of supplies, and usually I just wing it when I need to make something. In 2012, I really want to focus more on building my collection and making new creations! I want to really get H&M's Magical Creations set up with some new items, an actual Menu of items, and start putting ourselves out there to our friends and others!
  7. Go to a PROFESSIONAL to have my hair done - I've been dyeing my hair on my own for years. I only go to the Hair Masters across from work for my hair cut. I would really like to have an all new hair do (mainly just color) in 2012, so I think it's time to go to a professional and get it done! I wanted to do it this month, but chickened out! 
  8. Buy "Normal" sized clothes! - I've been in the "Plus size" category for far too many years. I've fought my weight for going on 7 years now. I'm going to win my battle in 2012! and I'm going to look amazing the last weekend in August when I show up to my 10 year high school reunion looking AMAZING! I've been putting the steps in motion for months now to stay on top of my weight loss!! just need to keep going and not give up!
  9. Save Money - I'm currently going through a bankruptcy. not my proudest moment - and something I've been trying to avoid for years. but was finally necessary. The debt was destroying me emotionally and thus affecting me physically. With it complete at the beginning of 2012, this gives me the opportunity to do what I have wanted to for years - SAVE! SAVE for a house of my own, SAVE for a true vacation, SAVE for a trip to another country, SAVE for a whole new wardrobe, SAVE for a car I truly want, SAVE for a rainy day, SAVE to make a large payment on a student loan! I just want to SAVE - to be proud of the fact that there is actually money in  my savings account!
  10. (RE)Learn the French Language - I loved so much the joy of learning french, and being able to share that love with a few close friends. I want to rediscover that magic and really delve into the language and be able to have a conversation without a dictionary in my hand.
  11. Organize and Label all my photos - oh sweet nibblets! this could take me the entire year!! but I know that if I sit down with my laptop on one of the various Lazy Sundays that will occur in 2012, I can carve out large chunks of photos!! This will include actually putting photos in the right folders, and deleting those crappy pics I took 5 times just to get 1 good photo!
  12. Focus on my emotions - This is a big one for me. I tend to get frustrated/angry/irritated far too easily and take it out on anyone within range. Sadly, poor Josh is usually the one around when "S#*% hits the fan". I don't know if I just need to read a book or two on managing my outbursts more, or if I need to see a professional, but either way, 2012 will be the year I make the changes I need to. Not just to save Josh (hehe!) but also for my own personal growth and well being. I keep things bottled up too much. Hmmmm.. Maybe blogging more will help with that too!
There we go! 12 things I'm going to try in 2012!!! What are your 12 things?

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Saturday, December 10, 2011

#Reverb11: Blog Love

"Share the love — which blog did you discover this year?"

The Bloggess - Jenny Lawson is my hero. Early in the year I was sent a video of Jenny from the Evo '11 conference. She inspired me like no other! Her "furiously happy" talk was amazing! I was immediately drawn to the woman and to her website! Everything that she writes is worth reading! She's funny, she's honest, she's sad, she's inspiring. I think she is wonderful and I think everyone should follow her!!


Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

#Reverb11: Time

"How did you fill your time in 2011? Are you happy with it? Would you change it?"

Today's prompt comes from Diana Prichard.

I did quite a lot with my time in 2011. I spent time with friends, I went on a Girls Only camping trip, I celebrated my 2nd anniversary with my boyfriend Josh, I had a Roller Disco themed birthday party, I spent time with my puppy, and I visited my family in Idaho.
I could have done a LOT more of all those things, but its those little bits of time that create the real memories, the ones you hold onto when you have a bad day!
I also spent my time baking, quite a bit of baking. My best friend Mia and I love to bake, just for fun right now. It would be nice to have our own small bakery, but right now its just for people we know. We even created our own page to share our creations! We are average bakers, we dont' have the skills or tools of the people on Cake Boss or any of those other cake baking shows, but we have fun and we make great stuff! Check out our Facebook Page: H&M's Magical Creations!!


Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Thursday, December 8, 2011

#Reverb11: Choose

"What was the biggest choice you made in 2011? What caused you to choose what you chose?"

This prompt is provided by Melissa at 53blonde.com (via Weverb11.com).

I made lots of choices in 2011. I think the biggest choice I made this year was filing for bankruptcy. Going to school put a huge strain on me financially. While I worked full time going to school, I paid for rent and bills and necessities. Sadly, I also got sucked into a horrible relationship for 5 years, that caused me to use credit cards to continue paying for the expenses of TWO people. When the relationship ended, i wound up with all the credit debt. It got to the point where I couldn't keep up with the debt payments, while still going to school. Once I finished school and had to start making loan payments, I just sank lower and lower. Not long after, I totaled my car. I just felt lost. I was doing everything in my power to pay my debts, but one thing after another kept tearing me down. The final breaking point was when Josh lost his job just before Thanksgiving. Having him help pay rent and household bills was finally allowing me to pay off my debts, but now that I'm paying for everything in the household along (and Josh is looking at going back to school), I just couldn't take it anymore.
I feel like I've failed. I feel like I could have made better and smarter choices when I was in my previous relationship (maybe leaving him way earlier would have been a smart choice!) and I could have been more aware of my financial situation while I was still in school. But there is nothing I can do about that now. I've learned my lesson. I've spent 3 years now living with no credit, and paying only for what I can afford and what I need. Bankruptcy will help me have a fresher slate and live my life the way I've always wanted to, the way I wish I would have years ago.

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!


Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#Reverb11: Food

"What did you eat this year that stayed with you? Did you experiment with a new meal? Try a new restaurant? Reflect on your good (or less desirable) eats with detail and explain why it stayed with you!"

This prompt is courtesy of Megan Collier at Everlasting Present

This year has definitely been a food year for me! When I began to focus on my health and my weight, the first thing that had to change was my eating habits! I cut out fast food and started cooking my own meals. It was definitely a fun time creating new adventurous meals! Pita Pizzas, Pesto Pasta with Onions, Mushrooms and Arugula  Ginger burgers with Goat Cheese - some successes, some fails! Its been an adventurous year creating new foods to add to my home menu!

I did hit a few great restaurants this year. I think the best restaurant I went to all year was one I went to last weekend! To celebrate my best friend Mia's 25th birthday, I treated her to a wonderful French adventure around Seattle. We went to a french souvenir-ish shop, a cute patisserie, and this most amazing place called Voila: A French Bistrot. They had this glorious Bistro burger that you can customize with various extras. The Wild Mushrooms were simply amazing! and the Frites, they were flavored with some sort of herb that made them delicious! It is definitely a restaurant I want to go to again and enjoy a nice evening dinner and a glass of wine! Fabulous atmosphere, wonderful food, definitely a place to visit again.

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#Reverb11: Important

"Who was important to you?"

A prompt brought to you by Kaileen Elise.

This was an easy answer. This guy is extremely important to me!
Josh is my rock. He is my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. This year we have battled through one problem after another! No matter what challenges come our way, we always figure it out. I love this man so much for what he does, and what he tries to do, to make our life together amazing. I know I often get on his case for not trying hard enough, but when I really sit back and look at the big picture, I realize that trying to force him to do things my way will only drive us apart. He's a very stubborn and independent minded guy, and as frustrating as it can be to deal with (for me anyways, i'm very stubborn as well!!) I always have faith that he will resolve whatever comes his way. I just need to remember to trust him and to love him. This is a man who went out of his way to dress up in John Travolta's outfit from Saturday Night Fever and supported my 70's roller disco birthday party, while sick with food poisoning! If that isn't love, I don't know what is! I love you Joshua, thank you for being in my life, for putting up with my eccentric ways, and for never giving up on me when I'm having a complete meltdown (which is frequently in recent months!).

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Monday, December 5, 2011

#Reverb11: Haiku

"Sum up your year in a Haiku"

Bettering myself
Battling my Sanity
Forging new habits
This year has been about becoming a better me, fighting with my internal voice, and forging new habits that will help me grow. I hope to delve into these three topics more throughout the month.


Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Sunday, December 4, 2011

#Reverb11: Book

"What was your favorite book this year? Why?"

This year I was introduced to a wonderful author, Patricia Briggs. My mother mentioned the Mercy Thompson book series to me one day and I decided to stop by the book store and pick up the first book. It cost me $7.95, and was the best money I spent!! The book series centers around Mercy Thompson, a VW mechanic with a small shop in Tri-Cities, Washington, who happens to a Walker raised by werewolves. Its a fantasy type book series with werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and just plain humans! 
When I picked up the first book, I figured it would take me a lil bit to get through it, but I finished it so quickly! I couldn't put it down, it was just so good! I immediately headed to the book store and bought the next book in the series... and then the next one... and then the next one! I bought all 6 books in the series (so far!) and can't wait for the 7th and final book to come out (not until 2013 though.)

I recommend this series to anyone who wants a good fun read! and if you happen to get through all 6 books like I did, start the Alpha and Omega series (also by Patricia Briggs) that centers on another part of the Mercy Thompson world!!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

#Reverb11: Community

"Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2011? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2012?"

Today's prompt is courtesy of Cali Harris.

This year, I finally took a stand against my weight. I've gotten too heavy over the years for my own comfort and finally had enough. I tried making small changes near the beginning of the year, and had very little progress. It wasn't until the summer that I remembered a Calorie Tracking website I had joined in 2010, Myfitnesspal.com. In July, I started tracking the calories I consumed and those that I burned. I made an introduction post on the website forums, and started meeting new people. over 4 months later, I'm the captain of a Weight loss/ Excercise challenge group called "The Truffle Shufflers".
I've met a wonderful group of people who help motivate me, keep me sane, help me with food/exercise choices, share their successes and failures of weight loss with me, and are just the greatest bunch of people ever! There are many times where I feel my efforts are not enough and that I'm just going to fail like I do every time I try to lose weight, but with this group of people, they help lift my spirits and remind me of all I've accomplished so far! To date, since August 1st, I've lost 24.5lbs. Its my most successful weight loss attempt in years, and I'm going to keep on going til I reach my main goal! 

As for a Community I'd like to join/create/connect with in 2012, I'm currently happy with my MFP crew, but I would like to connect more with the blogging community, particularly those who blog about cake baking/decorating, Crafty-ness, life reflection, and good ole fashioned humor! Are you a blogger like that? If so, let me know, I'd love to check out what you have to offer! :)

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Friday, December 2, 2011

#Reverb11: Who are you?

"Who are you? Describe yourself."

Today's prompt comes from Diana Prichard and I think it is a great question.

Do you know who I am? I'm sure you don't! And honestly, not a lot of people do! (Seriously, did you know that there are 300 Million people in the US? I'm sure most of them don't know me! hehe). This is something I've tried to think about in my head, and I always wind up with a jumbled mess of thoughts. So, let's try and find out WHO I AM!

I am... a daughter of the most insightful, inspiring, stubborn, caring mother! Her experiences, words of wisdom, and actions have helped to mold me into the person I am. Her successes and failures have helped shine light on new paths for myself.

I am... the older sister of 1 Duder (my brother 7 years younger than I). I try to share my wisdom and experiences with my Duder to help him grow and learn and not make the same mistakes I have in life.

I am.... the older sister of 1 Bubby (my sister 16 years younger than I). Her positive attitude and pure girly-ness remind me of all the hope and magic still left in this world!

I am... a partner! I share my life, my struggles, my happy moments, my adventures with the love of my life, Josh. Since he came into my life, I have felt this amazing feeling inside! A feeling I lost for quite a few years and am glad that it is back! Its that magic inside that keeps me going, that pushes me forward, that challenges me to be a BETTER me!

I am... a friend! I do my best to surround myself with people who are amazing in their own life! My blend of friends is similar to my blend of music - eclectic, crazy, and down right AWESOME! Near or far, I make sure that my friends know that I care for them, I am always here for them, and I will always bury the body for them should something bad happen! (j/k, hehe!)

I am... a lover! I love all people. I have found that I am an extremely forgiving person and that often turns out to bite me in the rear. It makes me bitter at times, but we live and learn, and then move one!

I am... a worker, who enjoys her career! I spend every day loving the job I have! It is just the challenge my life, and my brain, needed!

I am... a (Forever) student! I spent nearly 8 years in college, taking classes slowly but surely to get my degree. I spend every day learning and exploring more topics! My brain is a sponge, and I need to keep filling it so it doesn't dry up!

I am... a Rookie! A rookie blogger that is! I love to write, but never feel like I have the time to write or the topics that people will want to read. I'm such a random person, and often feel like my random thoughts wouldn't appeal to ANYONE but myself. I am going to change that though!

I am... a chef! Sort of!! I love to cook marvelous meals, and am honing my skills to be a Master (at-home) Chef! I am constantly searching for quick, fun, easy, good to eat recipes to try out at home and with my friends.

I am... a Baker! I LOVE to Bake! I am the average home baker, with no experience, but a desire to learn and improve!

I am... well, I am a lot of other things! I could probably sit here and list a lot more things, that wouldn't be as significant as what I've already stated. So I will end with this...

I AM ME! AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY!


Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my earlier post with links to other #Reverb / #WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#Reverb11: One Word

"Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?" 

In the spirit of the movement, I am using last years Day 1 prompt from Gwen Bell for this year as well! As stated in my post yesterday, I have signed up for a handful of email opt-ins and am following a few bloggers who are doing a #Reverb project of their own. I will be picking and choosing the prompts that I feel best capture me, the place I currently am in life, and where I would like to progress towards. I feel my selection for today's prompt is the most appropriate.

Last year, while working on #Reverb10, I chose Adventurous as the word I wanted to capture 2011. I told myself that I would go places I'd never been, see things I'd never seen before, and accomplish tasks I would not normally have ever aspired to. Boy did I fall short!!! I still enjoyed the days, cherished the nights, and constantly relived the adventure that was in every day, but it was lackluster, unpleasant, and down right difficult! This whole year, I felt like every time I got a step up, I would fall three steps back. It was a year filled with great triumph, but also great failure. It was a year of struggling through obstacles I thought I had already overcome. So if I really had to pick a word that encapsulated 2011, it would have to be Challenging.
chal·leng·ing
(adjective)
1. offering a challenge; testing one's ability, endurance, etc
2. stimulating, interesting, and thought-provoking
3. provocative; intriguing
2011 was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, years I've ever experienced. Throughout the year, Josh and I struggled with his job situation, due to the current economy. We struggled with multiple car issues (we are on Car #3 for the year!). At the end of October, Josh finally got the job that he needed all year. A Full-time, Monday-Friday, daytime, great paying job. However, that was short lived, and after 3 short weeks, they let him go. Financially, that was the last straw. The next day, I met with a lawyer and am currently in the process of completing a bankruptcy. It is not my finest moment, and it is something I am extremely embarrassed and ashamed to admit. But I know that I have tried everything in my power, for 8 plus years, to not fall into this situation, and that is what counts to me. All of this has brought about a lot of anger, frustration, and disappointment. But I'm still here! I'm still forging through with my life.

The good that happened this year came from my job. This year, I celebrated my first full year with my employer. It has been an amazing experience and as a bonus, I received an amazing raise from my employer this year (2 of them actually), that not only more than compensated for all the hard work I put in at my job, but also made me thankful for my job, and my bosses. My work is amazing and I love it every day!

As we finish up 2011, and as I start thinking ahead to 2012, its hard to narrow down the things I would like to achieve and where I would like to be at the end of next year. I find that when I try to make plans, I tend to either not follow through or just fail miserably. I'm trying to think of a word that could best capture how I would like to look back at 2012. The only word that keeps coming to me is Growth.
growth(noun)
1. a stage of development
2. an increase is size, number, significance, etc. 

I want to grow in 2012! Personally, emotionally, financially! I want my career to advance and to learn more skills to help grow within my company. I want to reflect on my own emotions and my feelings and work on the parts inside of me that are holding me back. I want to grow my relationship with my amazing boyfriend Josh and better prepare ourselves for an amazing future together. I hope at the end of next year, I can say that I have GROWN more than years prior!

Continue with me on this journey!! Check out my previous post with links to other #Reverb/#WEverb projects, and join the adventure!

Peace and Good JuJu to you,
Holly

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#Reverb11 is HERE!!

Tomorrow, December 1st, begins another year of #Reverb. Last year I participated in #Reverb10 and loved it. It gave me a chance to really focus on writing and reflecting on the previous year. I had every intention of continuing that momentum into 2011, however things the got away from me.

As we got closer to December, I waited anxiously for news about the new round for #Reverb. And then it came. Yesterday I received an email from creator of #Reverb, Gwen Bell, stating that she would not be hosting #Reverb this year. After providing a brief history about the beginnings of #Reverb, and an update on where she is at currently, she provided the base for people to create/host their own #Reverb.
How to Host Your Own Reverb
1. Write 31 prompts for the month of December
2. Post those prompts to your blog starting December 1
3. Invite other people to join you
4. Let other members of the project see/friend/read one another
5. Publish on the topic each day. Post the link and use a hash tag to group them all
6. Support one another through sharing, and commenting on, one another’s writing.
While it was awesome to receive the steps to create my own #Reverb, I'm just not that creative in making my own writing prompts, especially on super short notice. I do much better at responding to other peoples prompts!! I wasn't the only one upset about the change up for this year either. The internet today was buzzing about the change up!! After much searching and investigating, I'm happy to announce that I've already found numerous people holding their own #Reverbs this year! Below are just a small handful of the sites I found:
Kaileen Elise (Co-Creator of #Reverb10) - Let's Reverb 2011
Kimberly Michelle (with a new spin on #Reverb10) - #WEverb11
Megan (From Everlasting Present) - #Reverb11 | Making It Happen
Geekin' Hard (for a list of #Reverb sites and email Opt-ins) - A list of lists!
While at first I was bummed out, now I'm excited to #Reverb! I've gone ahead and subscribed to multiple mailing lists! I'm interested in seeing what various prompts people have come up with for this year and will be mixing up which prompts I will use from day to day! It is going to be an exciting adventure for the next month, and I hope to continue the amazing right into the New Year!

I can't wait to get started in the morning!

Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1 more month!

so, I started my 100 day Challenge in September and had HUGE goals in mind. I quickly learned I had definitely set some unrealistic goals for myself! while my overall goal is great, my individual goals were way off base. I wanted to be under 200 lbs by new years! NOT HAPPENING!! and not because I haven't tried. Mainly because for a healthy weight loss, and to keep it off, I had to set smaller goals for myself. I would still like to be under 200 lbs, but not until my 28th birthday in March. I've set myself with goals much smaller than 15-20 a month, and more on 10 a month.

Since August 1st, i'm down 21 lbs. there were a few weeks of no weight loss at all, and i'm hoping to ramp up some cardio workouts in the next month to make sure I am under 250 by thanksgiving and under 240 by christmas. those two goals will keep me right on track to be under 200 by my birthday, and still reach my ultimate goal of 150 by the end of August 2012 for my 10 year reunion.

It's been an amazing adventure. every week I learn more about myself and more about what does and does not work for me. It has definitely been tough. and many time I've wanted to just scream and sit down with a carton of chocolate ice cream and not move.... but I don't! I keep chugging along! This is my lifestyle change, and no matter the struggle, I will succeed! THIS IS MY LIFE!!!

Peace and Good JuJu to you,
Holly

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still chugging away!

So, my scale and I have not gotten along lately, at all. In fact, I'm losing so incredibly slowly. I know i set some agressive weight loss goals to reach before the end of the year, but holy moly, this is snail pace! I'm still working hard and not giving up! This week I saw the first loss on the scale in almost a month! I've been dealing with some "female" issues that have made things rather difficult and think I finally have control of everything. On the plus side, I finally reached a mini goal!! Finally lost 20 lbs! took 2 months! but it was so awesome!
my first major goal was 200 by New Years! That would have made a great achievement. I think that it was an aggressive goal, and something that could have been attainable, but not now. I'm aiming for 220 by new years. That would make me so happy! that still leaves time to be under 200 by my birthday, and at my ultimate goal of 150 by my 10 year reunion next August!
I will admit that last month was a CRAP month. I slacked on exercise, i didn't always eat healthy, and i had a gloomy mood most the month. but October has already improved and i'm already on track to have a successful month! i'm thinking positive, I have a great group of people supporting me, and i'm finally seeing the results i've wanted to see for a while.

The best part: Josh. for years, I haven't had the support at home that I needed to continue successfully. My home atmosphere always drove me to more unhealthy habits and sabotaged my efforts. but with Josh, he's the best! he's always willing to try new foods that I cook, doesn't complain when i'm home late from going to the gym, and compliments my new "look" all the time. apparently, I have a firmer butt!! haha.

I'm just gonna keep chugging away, and I know now that I have the strength and will power to keep going!!

Peave and Good JuJu...

Holly

Monday, September 12, 2011

100 days

So, there is this show that used to be on MTV called "I Used To Be Fat". It's about high school kids who are overweight and spend the 80-100 days during the summer to lose a ton of weight before going to college, or wherever they are going in the fall. Its a pretty awesome show, and these kids accomplish alot. in watching the reunion episode, many of them kept off the weight too. they look fantastic.

One of the aspects of the show is this GIANT paper pad that gets nailed to their wall. and on each piece of paper is a number, a countdown of how many days they have to lose their goal weight. i decided to incorporate this idea into my already existing weight loss goals.

With the help of MyFitnessPal.com, i've managed to lose 14lbs. I've had a couple stalled weeks, but chock that up to a change in Birth control and building muscle (my arms are getting strong!). I have not only joined a monthly weightloss challenge, but I am the captain of 9 other awesome ladies who are all doing this for the same reasons.

I've made some great strides lately in my life, to release stress and get things on the right track! I've tried new things and mixed things up to make life more interesting! I now do Zumba on saturday mornings with one of my best friends, Myranda, and starting today I am trying Hot Yoga! With these new activites, and my already existing exercise plan, I know i can accomplish all of my goals!!

I would like to be under 200, that is my first MAJOR goal. and i would love it if I could be there by new years, although i know it would be nearly impossible. needless to say, starting Saturday September 10th, i started my own 100 day challenge! I have a much smaller pad of paper, but have it nailed to my wall in my bedroom as a daily reminder! I took a pic of me in a pair of shorts and sports bra with my day 100 piece of paper and plan to do so every 10 days. I am going to be diligent about making it to my gym and get all my workouts in, regardless if I want to or not.

100 days from September 10th is the 19th of December! Just in time to buy a new outfit for mine and Josh's annual Xmas Eve party!! I can't wait to be able to buy a cute new dress, in a much smaller size!!! i'm going to work hard and make it to my goal!!! feel free to leave me some words of encouragement... i'm sure i'll need them!!! its gonna be a long tough journey to make it to the very end goal!! :)

Peace and Good JuJu,
Holly

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week Number..... wait... what the H$#@ happened??

hmmm... seems I started the year making a weekly post, only to disappear and not right much at all!
well, things got rough and crazy with my life. life went fast, work picked up, and any goals I had set for myself went RIGHT out the window!!

I finally decided to schedule a doctors appointment for myself. I went to my appointment on July 21st. I picked a brand new doctor, wanted a brand new start, and wanted to make all the right choices, starting now. I had wanted to have my appointment earlier in the year, so as not to derail myself early on, but boy do I NOT like doctors.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who is YOUR dad? (this is a LONG one!)

After the events of this weekend, I felt I needed to get some things off my chest and let out the emotions i've been bottling up for 10 years.

As many of you know, I didn't know my real dad until I was 7 years old, and haven't spoken to him since I was 17. My step-dad, although he's not perfect, has been far more of a dad to me than the man that created me.

My mother was a great mom. she made a lot of sacrifices to make sure I was raised right and taken care of. We didn't have nice cars, houses, or money, but I always had what I needed and the unconditional love of a mother who tried her hardest to raise me on her own for quite some time.

My real dad cheated on my mom and left her for a younger woman when I was still a baby, less than a year old. He moved out of the state with this woman and they were (and still are) married. My mom never mentioned him and let me call my brothers dad - my dad. I knew he wasnt, but I called him dad anyways. I know she never meant to deceive me, she was just trying to protect me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

so confused....

so, i've been writing a post about my relationship with my dad. it's still pending and I haven't posted it, but i've been writing it. I started writing it after a convo I had with my mom and my brother's girlfriend about mine and my brother's real dads (all 3 of us kids have different dads).

now, suddenly, my dad has sent me a friend request on Facebook. I haven't spoken to the man in nearly 10 years... I have no clue what to do... i'm so confused.... I hate this feeling!

Dear Weather

Dear Weather,

I would really appreciate it if you could stay nice and sunny for the next few days. I actually have a day off this week and my pasty skin could use some color and my brain could use some Vitamin D.

Gracias,
ME

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dear Me #1

Dear Me,

One day, when you have children, do not let them be screaming monsters in restaurants. Do not let them throw temper tantrums in grocery stores. and do not take them to an adult movie, just so that you can get out.

that is all.

thank you,
ME!

Monday, February 14, 2011

week 6 - wait, what happened to Week 5???

oh, don't get me started! it's been a crazy couple weeks and i'll admit it right here and now, i succumbed to bad food choices and no exercise and gained back the majority of that which I lost. Stress really is a trigger for me and its difficult to be successful in my eating habits when I turn to food for my outlet. it Sucks too, because I was doing so well.

Starting today, I have no excuses. I have to be focused to the best of my ability. I will say, i haven't had a drop of soda in 6 weeks!! so that makes me utterly thrilled!! Today is the first day of my 20 week training program for the half marathon, and also the day I actually pay for the entrance fee!! so nervous to actually make it official, but i'm doing it!!

i wanna spill a lot right now, but i don't want to ruin the mood of Valentine's day! I'm going to have a delicious meal with my love and relax! We just spent the last weekend at the beach and visiting Astoria, Or, and i'm just sooo exhausted from our amazing trip! I sure love my boyfriend and enjoy every day wtih him!!

so, onto good things, and next week, perhaps a video blog!!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

~Holly

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week 4.5 - give me junk food!!!

ugh, not so fab last week! I gained 3 lbs and keep eating all the delicious food I see around me. such yummy and super delicious food. and i've been too out of it to actually want to cook or makeanything too "healthy".
I don't feel like i've fallen off the wagon, i'm just in a funk. i think it's that "time" of the month for me, and i justneed topower through it. So far, this week isn't off to a fab start either, but I know that things will definitely kick in to gear next week.  just been some rought weeks altely and trying to take care of things one day at a time.

My roommate girlfriend will be moving in with us in a week or two and i've convinced her to start going to the apartment complex gym with me! Just in time to Officially start training for the half marathon race! Yikes, still gotta register.. keep forgetting! i'm scared slightly to make it offically! I'm afraid I wont succeed, something bad will happen, or i'll chicken out. I gues sI just need to DO it and get it over with... and get things in order!!!!

well, i've had a long week and want a nap.

Until Next Time...
Holly

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 3, still going strong!!

so, it's been three weeks since the new year, and i'm still going strong... YAY!!
they say it takes 21 days to create a habit, right?? well, i'm at 21 days today! And, i haven't had 1 soda during this whole 21 days! I've been walking A LOT lately, and my eating choices are getting better and better each week! I'm happy to say i lost another 4.2 lbs this last week.. which puts me at 12.6 lbs lost since the new year!! OH YEAH!!! every time i see a lower number, it really does motivate me to keep going!! I know i make some bad food coices each week, but they are getting better, and becoming easier to stick to something healthier.. my stomach feels better when I eat GOOD foods, and not crummy foods!! haha!

This week, I need to go grocery shopping for some more healthy dinner ideas!! I made a Honey Spiced chicken recipe last week that was absolutely delicious!! Must make it again this week!! Also, I completed my goal of 30 minutes of walking a day! I walked over 6 miles last week, and it was insane!! My legs STILL hurt!! I didn't do any daily 100's last week, but i beleive all the walking made up for it!

I also managed to go through ALL the clothes in my closet.. woah, it's pretty clean now!! up next is finishing laundry, putting the rest of my good clothes away, then going through the drawers! this will be accomplished this week! next weekend..... the REST of the closets!! time to get rid of junk!!

Also, finances! gotta get my student loans combined ASAP!! I think i'm gonna take next monday off to take care of business!! I have a free floating holiday I can use, I just gotta request it off.....


with that said, i'm done for today!

Until next time,
Holly

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What path are you taking?

A lot of thinking and reflecting has occurred in the last few weeks. I feel like I’m finally ready to take on the world with no fears. Not quite, but almost! Haha. Also, some people have brought things up that made me think about how I make choices in my life. I’ve reflected a lot of my life and my choices from the time I graduated until now. Sure, I could have done things hundreds of different was, but based on the choices I made and the path I forged through the unknown, I have wound up here.

So, where is here? Here is exactly where I want to be, where I should be, and were I feel comfortable. I had thought I wanted marriage, a family, a big house with a minivan in the driveway - the ‘American Dream’. I thought I wanted these things early, and years ago. But then again, I also thought I knew what love was back then. Learned the hard way that love isn’t always what you dream it to be!!

I am a firm believer that all people learn and do things differently at different times in there lives for a reason. I admire my friends who took the standard college route and found great jobs by 23. I am sometimes jealous of those that had found true love long before I did, and started beautiful families. But at the end of the day, I’m forging my OWN path and there is no reason for me to do things the same way they all did.

I said earlier that I thought I knew what love was. Well, I didn’t. I was trapped in a relationship out of convenience and convinced myself it was love because neither of us left the situation. One day I got the courage to leave and when I did, I gave up on love, on life, on having a family, on living in a big house with kids running around and playing in the yard.

Only after I left did I start to learn about ME. Who I truly am, what I really wanted in my life, what I wanted to accomplish while I was still here. As I started learning about myself, I met someone. A guy who was like no other. A guy who did what I had never done before - he lived his life how HE wanted to and not for someone else, doing what others told him he should be doing. The more time I spent with him, the more I opened myself up. The more I started doing what I wanted to, not what someone told me I should be doing, what was “expected” of me. And then, it hit me, I had found what love really was. Someone who helps me grow, teaches me how to live life, someone who cares for me, despite all my faults, and loves me for who I am and I am growing to be. I realized I could still have all the things I wanted in life, but I didn’t need to rush! I would all come in time and I just needed to keep following my path and creating my own future, my own life of adventure and surprises and choices.

I am almost 27 years old. I’m not married. I have no children. I don’t own a house. And as of recently, I don’t own a car. And none of this bothers me! If I wanted to jump on a plane and move to Nevada, I could! I take care of the responsibilities I have, but the only person I need to worry about is myself and I live freely and with excitement that way.

I know that when the time comes for the family part in my life, I will be prepared and do what is necessary to provide stability for my family. But until then - I’m still young! As much as I realize I’m getting “older” it doesn’t mean I’m old, or that I have to stop having fun. I’m having the time of my life! I have a career that I absolutely love! And I have a man in my life that I love fully and completely that I share my adventures with. That’s all I need right now and it fills my life with absolute joy!

I will not make excuses for who I am and how I live my life. I don’t need to justify the choices I make and the paths I choose. I happen to have chosen a different path then many people I know, but that’s what makes us each unique!

“If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams” ~Les Brown
“And in the end, its not the year in your life that count, it’s the life in your years” ~Abraham Lincoln
“A Man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams” ~John Barrymore
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” ~Les Brown


Peace and Good JuJu to You,
Holly

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 2 wrap up!

week 2!! woah... this week started off FROSTY!!!
I decided to go walking, and after 15 minutes, i had to go inside. I was so bundled up and multiple layers, even had ear muffs on, yet in just that 15 minutes, i froze! I thought the rest of the week would get warmer, and it did, but it then decided to POUR RAIN LIKE CRAZY!!  needless to say, my exercise was limited to inside my apartment, and it was very light. Starting this week, I start taking the bus full time, so it's a mile walk to and from the bus stop to my apartment... will definitely be getting the exercise in every day!! and i'll be doing my best to walk it faster than the first time I did it back in november!! haha
I found myself slacking off by not entering my food eaten on MyFitnessPal.com, and as a result, i let my self slip a little with my snacks. as a result, i didn't lose a pound this week.. but on the plus side, didn't gain one either!! I creidt most of that to my eating habits the FIRST part of the week.. like my new blender and smoothie action I got going on in the mornings?! OH YEAH! So yummie!

So, goal for the next week: minimum of 30 minutes of walking a day... regardless!! shouldn't be too hard! a Daily 100 a day! woot! and also, getting to bed at a good time!! So far, i've at least been doing 2 of those!! haha.

In other news, last week was a rough one personally, which i believe contributed to my extra snacking. Josh not able to find a better job isn't helping our situation to be able to live without roommates. Me not having a car hit the fan this morning, so no more carpooling for me, i'll be taking the bus permanently now. And a night out with friends turned into a big to do that really irritated me, and made me question my friendships and how i chose to live my day to day life. I'm planning on writing about that seperately, so let's just keep this post as Jolly as possible!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day!

Until Next time...

Holly

Monday, January 10, 2011

what a surprise!! Week 1 recap!

boy oh boy was i surprised this morning when i stepped on my scale and saw the big change in weight. i'm down 8.4 pounds since New Years Day! WOW!! and it's all been such little changes.. i haven't really done much exercise lately because i've been sick and its been freezing.

First of all, i'm glad to finally be rid of this crazy cold i've had!! it made me have the worse runny nose i've had in a long time!! and i was so tired every day, that i would pass out before 8!! so lazy!! i hardly wanted to move from bed, but every morning, i got up and went to work, and did my routine and i made it through! now, if only this freezing cold weather would go away, i could go walking outside!! looks like i'm gonna have to finally pay for the cabana key to use the gym at my apartment complex!! it's free, might as well!! haha!

Hmmm, so I've completely cut out soda, and boy does it feel good. I haven't had any headaches lately, so hopefully that continues. i know it's gonna be rough when i do get one, because i'm so used to using pepsi as a means to calm the headache, because my migraine medicine is so expensive!

I've way increased the amount of water i drink. I have dozens of water bottles, but i find i get bored of them quickly, and forget about them sitting on my desk all day! even though they could be full, i'll just ignore them. But, i have a reusable plastic starbucks cup with a STRAW, and i am sucking down water like crazy now!! it's mindless really!! i'll put my cup in front of me, grab the straw, and just start drinking away while i keep typing! TOTALLY HANDS FREE!! I LOVE IT!!

This week, i will start doing more exercises, implementing a Daily 100 every night before bed, and starting to walk/jog, so that by mid february, i'll be able to start run/walking without killing myself, haha!

I'm feeling confident, i'm feeling fantastic, i'm feeling rested... I can do this!!

In other news, i have been thinking about buying a new car when i get my tax returns, since my poor hyundai is no more. I've also been getting together my financial stuff so i can start resolving some matters I have. This weekend I am going to start cleaning out the outside closet and consolidating/recycling the items i have!!! i need to have clean closets!! maybe i'll do the outside closet on saturday, and my bedroom closet on sunday!! haha!! way too many clothes i have, haha.

well, that's all for today,

Until next time...
Holly

Friday, January 7, 2011

Only 169 Days left!!

That's right, only 169 days until the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon! I messed up my training days, so fortunately, i've been able to take this first week of the new year to get acclimated to the big changes heading my way!
I plan on buying a new book this weekend, called "Cinch!" by Cynthia Sass. It's had great reviews, and it's by the Weight Loss coach from Shape Magazine! I figure since i'm implementing some exercises from Shape, courtesy of the Quickie Chick, I might take a look at the food options available to me. I need to make CHANGES to my eating habits, and maybe this is the way to do it!

I am really hoping that by Monday, I can kick this cold I have. It is NOT fun, and I hate being stuffy! I find I have no motivation to work out if I am feeling under the weather, so I need to get rid of this and fast!!

Monday, I will start a basic running plan to get me in the habit of jogging/running, for about 5 weeks, and after that, it's go time!! 20 weeks of Half Marathon Training!! I have decided to take a picture every day and then when i'm all done, compile a slideshow type video showing my progression! i'm hoping to lose some weight, build some strength and get some killer looking legs!!

Well, that's all for today!

Until next time...
~Holly