Welcome to 2018! I hope your celebration into the new year was amazing! We didn’t do much but that was enjoyable for us. We had pizza and watched cartoons together since my husband has been working a lot lately. So I hope you’re ready to see some amazing content coming.
I took a long break in 2017 and I was really sad because I missed the writing and the community. So here I am back to my passion with writing and back with new things to talk about!
Things I did in 2017 before I dive into my word of the year.
•switched to a new domain (this one)
•celebrated my 29th birthday
•celebrated seans 29th birthday
•Anniversary Trip to Disneyland
•took a break from blogging when I needed to
•after 6 months- quit ITWORKS.
•worked on myself
•became more positive
•lost a few loved ones suddenly
•reorganized my home and online social spaces (posts coming soon!)
•new design-check it out!!!
•got rid of my old domain
So Word of the Year!
It was harder to pick a word this year because my year was harder than in the past. It had ups and downs but more downs. So what does Renewal mean and why did I choose it?
•Replacing, repair of something that is worn out or broken.
•an instance of resuming an activity or state after a state of interruption
I want to pour myself into this space and show you all the work I’ve done on myself over this past year. Most recently did some cleaning of my social media accounts which felt very healthy and I’ve been working on my positivity in daily life. It’s been harder and easier than I expected. Rejuvenation is another word that comes to mind or maybe I have a thing for R words lately. It’s all a process of emerging and beginning again. I always love the start point- not so much the continuing party the monotonous day to day is a lot harder to keep up. But alas I hope I can bring you something you value and relate to in some way.
What were some iconic or important things that happened to you this year? Did you choose a word of the year? Or for each month? I might do that as well. If so, what is it? Share it below and let me know what types of topics you’d like to see this year!
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This year was the first time in a long time I reconsidered actually using a planner for growth and productivity. I looked and looked around and asked so many people their opinions on what planner is best. Until I found it! Panda Planner has been my savior, literally. I am not going days without writing in it. It has everything I need in it- monthly, weekly and daily undated so that I can fill it out and use as needed. My days and weeks go smoother when I really know what I’m doing and what I’m expecting of myself. I can also track just about anything with goals and daily habit tracker. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to any other planners.
FELT TIP PENS
Sometimes I like these to write in my planner to color code, to doodle or when I need to tell apart something I’m jotting down like an appointment alongside a post I’m thinking about. Colored felt tip pens seem to always come in handy in some way or another. Using color always seems to make me more productive.
BIC BLACK OR BLUE WRITING PENS
These simple pens…
They are the bee’s knees. Only pens I’ve ever used that don’t skip or leak ink. I think they write well and I have a good handle on them as well. I can write as fast or slow as I want and my hand doesn’t cramp or change. I can get them in packs and be good to lose them or not lose them and I don’t mind because there are so many. I know they come in blue, black and red. Other Bic pens also in other colors.
PEN HOLDER- “PAPA’S MUG”
My pen holder is a mug of my papa’s that I always saw (or used) growing up. It has a lot of memories attached to him and breakfast time. It holds all my pens and markers and stamps. Every time I look at it it makes me smile and think of him.
I had wanted this Nate Burkus stapler
to snazz up my desk for awhile. I kept seeing it at Target and couldn’t get past it. So I bought it! And I love when I use it all the time I can feel like I work in a real office. It works well and isn’t cheaply made also it’s shiny and nice sitting on my desk!
I have a HUGE variety of notebooks! Spiral, bound, small, big, moleskin, graphic- so many to choose from. I’ve been going through them to distinguish what is what in them. But so far I have no luck, they are all a mush mosh of my thoughts, needs, wants and desires. I have a couple from high school that have collections of my writings and those are so special to me.
I have this one small screen technology cloth that’s I always use. It’s a microfiber cloth and it’s great for my phone but I always will pick it up if I smudge my completed screen. It’s soft and never scratches. I also love a good safe technology cleaning spray but I can’t find mine right now. You can also safely wash these if they get dirty or spill something on them.
And no I don’t mean a hair stylist. I mean a pointer pen. I’ve had a bunch of them- the funky little cheap ones that don’t work and frustrate you. If you invest in a good one it will make your technology life much much easier. Sometimes my fingers on my phone don’t work or I’m being lazy. I often use mine on social media to “write” messages or draw things. It makes my handwriting turn out a lot neater.
If you liked this post go check out the on I wrote on Things I Can’t Live Without: On My Nightstand
I just wanted to touch base with you and have some good inner dialogue and say that you’re doing just fine. I’m working towards my goals and making strides in my personal development and growth. I’m a happy, semi-healthy, friendly and loving person with a lot to offer the world. (I’m not writing this to gloat on myself but give myself some therapy and self-love). I am present and doing my best in the current moment.
I’ve been happily married to the love of my life for almost six years now and that is a long time for someone who’s the longest relationship prior to this was about 8-9 months max. All with just very selfish incompatible people who really weren’t the greatest people themselves either. I don’t know why I chose them I just did and that was pretty hasty. Now I think back to that time and realize that a year is a long time and that these six years have just flown by. We were engaged quickly because we had that deep gut feeling that we were meant to be and I still find it true.
Some things have changed like school and work, for instance, I used to be very motivated to “do better, be better” but it’s just not the case. After the economy took a large hit a few years ago I thought “what’s the point?” and just quit my now dead end degree in Psychology. Further schooling is needed to really do what I want to do and become successful. And to not really earn much money at all and be in a field where there are openings.
Blogging is a wonderful world to me. It’s been a constant in the past for almost 8 years, I have tried to document and re-document things that have happened and come up. To make it interesting I’m just trying to incorporate more “me” into the mix and connect more with other bloggers. As I begin to monetize and get sponsored posts, I just am proud of how far I’ve come and the work I have put in. I have toyed with photography to make my blog feel real and come alive. I have put some endless dollars into my design and always had a presentable nice clean blog site. Many things have changed and I have written hours upon hours of ups and downs and in-betweens. It is something I plan to continue and morph for a long time.
I’m also very proud just how far I’ve come as a person and a friend. I used to be a welcome mat, happy for people to come along step all over me and wipe off their shit. But no more! I have grown a real backbone now and that’s not to say I’m a bitch. I only tolerate quality people in my life now and realize I deserve better than that. I have learned not all friends stay with us through life and others come and go through stages. It’s most important to be there for each other always and be understanding.
This place I’m in feels oddly healthy and like I’m in a growth stage currently. Learning new things, trying new things and adapting to a new lifestyle. I have made goals come and go, “achieving is believing”. Now I wouldn’t call myself successful or driven, because well I’m not those things all the time. But again, there is progress happening and more to be made. I know what I have to work on and that is follow through. I need to search and contemplate what I really want in life and how to get there. My path has been challenging but not impossible and I have proven to myself with the help of my husband that I can get through anything. If I only try, listen and speak up when I need to.
So as you go through life, remember a few things, be patient, be kind, be sweet, be daring and most of all be yourself because that’s the only way to be.
Sincerely, the present me
I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time. These I find hard to write because there isn’t much to say but I’ll do my best to elaborate and make this more enjoyable for you. I hope to maybe mention some things that I use or do in the mornings that help me start my day on the right foot. I’m working on my healthy and relaxing steps of my morning so I can be productive and motivated for the whole day.
WAKE UP 9AM
The second I wake up, I take a few deep breaths and wipe my eyes. I am guilty of getting on my phone the moment I wake up so I’ve been trying to just relax in bed for a few minutes before grabbing it. I feel like I’d be one of the few (
or many) that could just stay on their phone 24/7, which I know isn’t really healthy. I need a day off from social media that’s for sure but man it’s hard and I constantly have FOMO. How does anyone else deal with this?! Like I said, I’m working on it. Usually within minutes of me actually waking up the dogs come out of the covers, because yes they sleep with us, and they start prancing around for food.
GET UP 9:30AM-10AM
Sean’s alarm goes off about now and as he crawls out of bed I stay for a few more minutes.I’m taking back my mornings….
I roll out of bed and try to pull the covers back together and fluff the pillows. I throw some bottoms on and fix my hair quickly for a minute so it isn’t in my face. I grab my glasses and put my socks/slippers on. The dogs run around my legs and hide under the bed waiting for me to say “okay, food, who’s hungry?” and they dart into the the other room.
FEED DOGS/GET READY
I walk to the kitchen, reach into the pantry closet and feed the dogs- one by the toy box and the other by the back door. As they eat for about 5 minutes (they eat super fast/LIKE THIS) I try to go hug and kiss Sean and say good morning to him while he gets ready for the day (work or not). I then put the dogs outside to potty (bark at the top of their lungs and pee on the back porch, so not okay Maggie…). While they do their thing, sometimes I’ll play a music playlist or get through a podcast or two while I gather clothes, get dressed, brush my teeth and redo my hair. Sometimes I do my makeup and sometimes not. When I do, I really love Younique and all their products, it is good coverage and doesn’t freak my skin out and feels light like it can still breathe. I’ve been starting their skincare products lately too, I’ll leave an update for that later. I do love this moisturizer though and didn’t know how thirsty my skin was. I’m almost always messaging with Pamela and Raewyn by now and seeing how their mornings are going. I bring the dogs back inside and if they pottied they will get a treat like these from BarkBox –referral code link- (I tried one last month and they LOVE IT ALL). I would highly suggest this as a sub box because even my small dogs loved their toys and goodies!
Then their energy kicks in while I start my day-they play and jump around, or they hop on the couch and go back to sleep.
COFFEE TIME/QUIET TIME
I do live on caffeine.
I don’t know how people survive (yes survive…
) without it in some form, in some way or straight into their veins…
just kidding, kind of. I am definetly also working on having less than normal for me, which is an obscene amount of soda really. So a cup of coffee each morning with a tan color of creamer and sugar is what I’m working towards. And by having much more water intake and about one soda a day. It’s hard so far but I’m doing okay besides the killer headaches I’ve had the last few days coming off the cliff of it. Some mornings by the time I get to this place in time, perhaps after Sean leaves, I am calm and waking up fully thanks to the cup of java. I like to write in my Instant Happy Journal
or I read some affirmations or my other informative favorite which is Skimm
an online teller of news in a unique original fun kind of way.. I don’t know how to explain it, subscribe and see what you think. I also tend to do my planner right away in the morning as early as I can so that I have a solid outline for my day’s goals. Here’s what I use; Panda Planner
and TBH, I LOVE IT! For me, even better than an Erin Condren and less money too! Use Code: PANDAFAM for 10% off!
I think this is basically the end of my morning by then its about 11AM or NOON and no longer really morning at all. I will be on social media or working hard on my blog for the next few hours and updating everyone as needed to be current. Most months I plan out my days and topics in an editorial calendar, one thing that I am getting better at and drafting posts ahead of time (as I write this at midnight before bed.. *ha*). I hope this maybe inspired you to create your own daily morning routine and begin one tomorrow! It did wonders for me when I started to care about my minutes in the morning and how I was wasting my time. There are still very lazy days when I don’t do anything until noon but those are more rare now than they once were. I’m very proud that I’ve become more of a morning person and that I am starting to wake up happy and positive.
Are you a morning or a night person? And WHY? Do you have a morning/night routine and what is your favorite part?
*I wrote this previously on my other blog and people seemed to really enjoy it.* I have seen this going around and wanted to actually try to complete these (as true to heart as I possible can) for some time now. These are deeply thought provoking questions and the answers may surprise you. I love that no matter who answers them, each person will have a different take and outcome on it. These questions have no right or wrong answers. The more descriptive and emotionally thought provoking the better.
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer:
- How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I have always felt older than I actually am, this is the price of having a crappy childhood and being mixed up in a lot of unavoidable situations. Age is a relative number, so I you’re only as old as you truly feel.
- Which is worse, failing or never trying? Without a doubt not trying is worse than failing. When we fail, we learn a lesson, a rule of thumb for life and it changes us and teaches us something about ourselves but when you never try- it’s as if, you miss out on yourself or getting to be a part of somthing you’d never know otherwise. It’s a loss for you and no one else.
- If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? It’s a great mystery but I figure we only try what we think is attainable. We do the things we have to to survive and be successful in life. We do the bare minimum (eat, drink, work, bathe, eanr money and procreate) and don’t think the rest is important enough to make time for it. But really it’s more important because without the enjoyable stuff, you’re just doing the motions through life. You have to be yourself in this life and learn who that is quickly enough that you can live your potential.
- When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Me, personally, yes. I always say I’m going to do this and that. I never actually do. Although when you think of the grand scheme of life-isn’t it the moments threaded toegther that matters and makes the memories that embed our lives. Yes, so take advantage now and dive into your life. I plan to make some changes in 2016 to attack my life more.
- What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Peace. It may sound cliche but oh boy we are living in a hostile, violent and tragic world these days. I can’t watch the news anymore living day to day like this. I want to be informed but not at the cost of my own sanity and sense of self freedom. We have to learn how to get along, drop the shit and love each other. I honestly have never understood why all the hate has caused so much violence. These days it’s every moment of the day another life is lost in a million ways. It’s just so sad.
- If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Counseling. Oh for sure. I dreamt of helping traumatized kids who went through tragic loss like I did as a kid and I felt like I’d be so rich if I were to do this. I wanted my experiences and input would change a life, a view or get someone help before it was too late. I would also love to work a crisis line and I just don’t know that I could emotionally handle it so I never did. These jobs or paths would feel so rewarding to me.
- Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I’m somewhere in the middle..I love writing but I need to change and adapt some things because I don’t feel like I’m writing anything that matters to anyone. I need to up my quality in my content and I am praying that this post also does well. I want to strive for more, it’s one of my new years resolutions next year.
- If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? Have no fear of ANYTHING. I would sky dive, bunjee jump, travel, be a nomad and just live life free….. But honestly that’s not really responsible or possible for most people, because you have to have money in the end to live a life like that and be able to survive it all, no matter what. It’s a dream though.
- To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? Somewhat I think, I learned to take control more but being an adult sucks. Well it’s just not easy unless you have the right timing and resources to create a life you love. I have had a lot of crappy things happen to me my whole life but to what extent does that control you years later? You have to move on at some point. So that’s what I’m trying to do now these days. Start being smart for the future. I can choose to make the days what they are now with the freedom to be who I want to be, so it’s a process that is ongoing daily moment to moment. Every thing in life is a choice.
- Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? I’m more worried about doing the right things. Because each course of life is a new path and changes your reality in as much as a split second.
- You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do? Speak up! For sure. I was a walk all over mat for too long so I believe if you are truly friends with someone that means you have their back and are honest with others. I would stick up for someone I cared about NO MATTER WHAT.
- If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Be diligent. Be yourself and be a good person through life. It matters, you matter, I matter-life is a string of moments and experiences.
- Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes, absolutely I would do anything for those I love. I would do whatever it takes to save them in any kind of circumstance. Even if jail was on the table- I would still take it for the people I care about.
- Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Yes I was at a breaking point where I lost my father and I was a flipping mess (in every sense of the word, didn’t know which way was up) but at a certain point I hit a way to deal with my trauma in a creative way and started writing poetry and lyrics, anything I could get my brain around.
- What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I live life differently. I mean obvious yes, but I have been through so much that I know I am more understanding and more empathetic than most people I know. I am trustworthy and love to give advice to people in thier low times.
- How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Because everyone is an indiviual and different, new person. No one likes all the same things unless you’re a twin.
- What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back? I want to be in terms, just more adventurous. I want to go sky diving, bunjee jumping, zip lining and all those crazy things. I want to become a much more outgoing person in general.
- Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Grief, anger and sadness over the loss of my loved ones especially my dad. I want to be a more positive upbeat person and let go of those negative emotions that bog us down day by day.
- If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I would move back to my motherland (Italy) where my grandfather and his family were raised in centrail Italy until they came here. I would love to see the country, roots and customs that my grandfathers family were raised with. Getting to know my ancestors and extended family is my biggest dream.
- Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? Sure I do, but I do not belive it makes it faster and I only repeatedly press it when I’m in a hurry. It does make me calmer and helps me to be more patient in the waiting stage. Plus I’m an antsy person anyway, so figiting it inevitable.
- Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? I would definitely enjoy being a happy simpleton! I am a worried simpleton and I hate constantly living around with stress. This is a daily occurence and enough to drive anyone mad.
- Why are you, you? I am a culmination of both of my parents and it’s very clear to me where I got my personality, habits, traits and mannerisms. My features physically both enbody my parents and there is no denying I’m their child. I am thankful that I had the parents I had and for the most part they were great and the other parts- well I learned how to not be.
- Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? Yes, I always try to be the very besy friend and confident I can be. I support those around me and am always available to help no matter what. I do not let myself get walked on though anymore. I like to keep a few close friends around me and into my inner circle.
- Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? When a friend moves away definetely. I was this such friend and to feel helpless about the situation is so hard! I think if you drifted from a friend who lived near you- maybe you just aren’t suited to be close anymore. People go through phases and people change and grow together or apart. That’s life!
- What are you most grateful for? My husband. Might seem very typical or cliche but really. I think he saved me truly. I was in a terrible situation and place when me and my husband met. I was in an abusive relationship and brainwashed to what was happening and how bad it was. I wasn’t happy and he just swooped in at just the right time. He talked to me kindly and listened intently when I had something to say, we finished each others sentences and it was a wonderful time. I’m so thankful to have him in my life.
- Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I would lose all my old memories, since most of them are negative ones anyway. I have lived a semi hard life already filled to the brim with loss and tough times. I can’t imagine not being able to create new ones.
- Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first? I don’t think it is. If you said the sky is purple and I can see the sky is blue, wouldn’t I question that?! You can’t take everything always at face value and plus some people are really good liars.
- Has your greatest fear ever come true? I would say yes and no. My greatest fear would be to lose those I love who are closest to me and yes, I have lost family members and friends too soon but it also changes when you get married and have kids etc. I cannot imagine losing a child and I think to date that is my greatest fear.
- Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now? Yes I do remember. No it doesn’t. It is all situational. We grow and adapt everyday to change our realities. Time heals all wounds and all that stuff-but hey, it’s true. Unless it’s a traumatic experience (it could be different for you) but it won’t alter your life much. (I see how and why others may answer this oppositely)
- What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special? My favorite childhood memory is when I played downstairs in our family room with my dad.. I had a kitchen playset and a shopping cart and we were on video playing together having a grand old time. I lost him when I was 13 so if I could have those tapes back I sure would. I miss him and how we were so alike in so many ways, we were inseperable. I was a daddys girl and I still say that I am.
- At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Probably when we got our second car. It was exciting and so adult-like thing to do, I don’t think anyone ever gets used to being an adult but I felt like I was being so responsible about it. It is my husbands car but our money, I felt like I was being so smart with it.
- If not now, then when? Now. Because you may never get your second chance or next day to try again.
- If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? I have nothing to lose. So I need to make more effort in my dreams and goals.
- Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Yes I sure have. It was a really good night of my life. I will actuallly always remember this night.
- Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because love is understood differently and looks different to everyone. Not everyone is going to agree on an emotion that is ever changing and has strict rules applied to it depending on where and who you are.
- Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? This is also a relative thing. I’d like to think there is a black line to good and evil but that is just not the case. For example: someone who kills an intruder- is it still murder? or self defense? Is it okay to love your neighbor and not your horse? Who’s to say what is right and what is not? We all have opinions.
- If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Yes. Yes I would. For some time at least. Or maybe I wouldn’t and I’d donate it and save for college funds and retirement.
- Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work I enjoy- for sure. I would take a full time, non stop job over one I hate and don’t want to ever go to or something I don’t agree with anyday. That would be too hard and promised myself I’d never be stuck in a job I hated- no matter what.
- Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Yes. I do. And really I have. What makes your day so varied? How do you know time isn’t standing still? I love having a clock and a calendar.
- When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? When I fell in love and the world was against me and judging me from the outside in, everyone thinking they know better than me in my own relationships in life. I have been there and done that- when it’s true love at first sight- you don’t let anyone or anything stop you.
- If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Everyone I possibly could. Those family members I miss, love and trust. The friends I call true and trust. The people in my life that have made an impact and mattered to me at the roughest parts of my life, because without them I would not be the same person I am today.
- Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No. No way, not ever. I think I’m doing fine in the life I’ve been given-plus I think I wouldn”t turn out so nice with attraction, glory and fame. It would change me too much into someone I wouldn’t wanna be.
- What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Anyone can be alive but truly living is putting your life in the drivers seat and taking advantage, learning, growing and striving for all you want in life. Being a good person and treating people like they matter. Changing the world to be better in your own way. Leaving your mark on it and showing the future you were there.
- When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? I think as long as your not risking your life it’s safe to take some wise chances. I’m a pretty safe and practical person so I’m not the greatest judge of being spontanious but I do an okay job. Risk=Rewards. Yes!
- If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Because we as humans are perfectionists and are afraid of failure. Hence we don’t wanna make a mistake I think it also plays into our ego.
- What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I would be much more free in my lifestyle, I would be more open and honest with everyone. I would try and fail more things without judgement. I would be happy and have no fears relating to what people think of me.
- When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? When I was snoring… As I fall asleep or when I’m laying with Sean adoring my husband. When I’m meditating and being quiet.
- What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love bloggging. I love my friends and family-I love most of all my husband and my dogs. I love our apartment and the memories we share and will share here to come.
- In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? Maybe. I will remember all the little times collectively. I’ll remember the great phases of life. The milestones. The simple parts of life. The wonderful seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years.
- Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I’m making them for myself. I need to cherish and treasure the people around me more and remember the small things. I need to choose the direction of my life and decide what I want most at this point in my life. I’m happy, healthy, loved and very blessed. I’m deciding to be happy with where I am right now.