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Cheers to the start of a New Year! I have one more day until I’m back to reality and I’m trying to be as productive as possible. I’m sure you have all seen the memes floating around about how tough 2016 was. It was definitely the years of highs, lows, and surprises for sure. For me, it felt like I just tried to cram so much into every day, that I constantly felt like I was always frantically running to the next thing. Time is moving way too fast and I think it’s because we overschedule the heck out of every day. I have had a few days of unplugging around these parts and it just gave me so much perspective. I’ve also had a few friends reach out telling me how much they love this space and each time I found myself starting to apologize to them. Crazy right? I feel like I’ve been short changing things around here and it’s because there is just so much going on! I love this space so much and I really want to get back to my roots. I want to share my favorite finds, catch up on life, share some daily humor and embrace the life + style component to my overall feel. The New Year is a time to declutter, set goals, and push forward with fresh ideas! I am making a pledge to that here as well. I wanted to take some time to catch up around these parts and let you know what’s going on! So let’s dive into it.
(I woke up with my friend Julie to get this shot at 445 am. Crazy right? I also shot about 300 pictures that 285 of them were blurry. Luckily the focus was good for a handful of them!)
The Homefront Goals
Many of you may know, I moved out of my perfect single gal condo when I got married to Mark. I was scrolling through my old Instagram pictures and smiled seeing that perfectly streaming in light and blogger approved wood floors (plus a large walk in closet for one). Marks place is……definitely a man cave with ZERO natural light. Space is limited and I share a closet with my husband now. I know woe is me but it has definitely forced me to make sure every single item earns its keep in its precious real estate space. We are extremely fortunate to not have a mortgage, just the HOA fees and other random monthly maintenance type of expenses. So yes, I still have wedding gifts in boxes and storage but we are saving like crazy. I’m hoping for 2017 to be in a home of our own that we can build/decorate together. It’s a scary and exciting thought! The real estate market where we live is crazy competitive and expensive. So for now, I am saving, pinning dream kitchens, and finding new ways to store boxes. I hope 2017 is the year of making a big move but I am still being patient and not forcing anything at this time.
2016 was definitely my most successful year when it came to blogging growth and opportunities. I was able to work with a ton of amazing brands, travel, and partake in really cool experiences. Going back and recapping my 2016 posts (here and here) I was really drawn to my blogging tutorials, fashion posts, travel guides, and running playlists. I got tons of feedback from all of you that you liked my photography tutorials and found them extremely helpful. I will plug away on writing more of those as well as continuing to expand my own photography. I want to continue to grow my Instagram in an authentic and engaged manner. I pledge to continue to help my fellow bloggers grow and give as much support in any way that I can. I really want to start working with video but trying to find the space and daylight are limiting me on this. It’s in the plans and I will find a way to make it happen. Last, this is my PSA for all bloggers. I plan on making brands and PR companies more accountable for the work that we do. Don’t be afraid to counter with a higher price for collaborations or demand monetary compensation. Remember, all of this takes a TON of work. They don’t have to pay for a stylist, photographer, model, take the time to edit, and promote. WE DO ALL OF THAT. Don’t sell yourself short and demand your worth. I have some great saved email templates for brand work that I would be happy to share with you for your negotiations.
There has been a lot of changes within the company that I work as far as management positions. I have also been put in charge of clinically managing staff in my office. I’ve been trying to push for them to get some new office furniture, like that seen on the office monster website, as the current furniture is a little outdated and the chairs we have aren’t all that comfortable. That past few months have been verrrrry trying at work. I have put forward in the New Year that I cannot take that aspect of my work life home with me. I am placing boundaries of not checking my work email after clinic hours and trying not to get engulfed in office politics. I still love what I do, being a Nurse Practitioner is very rewarding but the daily grind of needing to see X amount of patients, plus charting, managing and dealing with all the extras has wrecked some havoc on me personally. I was even thinking about implementing a paperless solution within the office, so it would allow me to be able to manage all the paperwork a lot easier, especially on those days where I am just busy! A friend of mine recommended I checked out sites like http://www.filecenterdms.com, so this may be a start. Plus, I was put in charge, so hopefully, this is appreciated by everyone! I am pledging to take the time to work out, relax, and not stress over the things I have no control over. On a positive side note, I am still enjoying teaching at my local college. I teach two classes with 40 students in them each. I am actually picking up a new class for the Spring and I look forward to the opportunity! Finally, Pure Barre has been my happy place. I am so fortunate to work with the most supportive group of girls. Whenever I need a class covered they are always there for me and vice versa. I feel energized and focused whenever I leave from taking or teaching a class. I have been teaching barre and taking barre for years and I still love it! I am so happy that I have found this fitness and mental health challenge.
I try not to focus on numbers on a scale but I think it was a really bad idea to go to my general provider the week after the holidays. Yikes guys. That was a wake-up call. I had already started to get back into a routine of a solid 3 days a week of taking classes but I need to add some at home workouts as well. I need to get back to clean eating and not running to the hospital cafeteria because I forgot to prepare a lunch the night before. I told Mark we are clearing out the living room and going to work out together. Just like I tell my patients, in order to succeed, the whole household has to be on board. I also have my accountability with you guys. I have been writing all my classes in my planner and making them a priority. I really want to get back to feeling strong and fit again.
Cold shoulder top BB Dakota c/o find here ||| Denim skirt sold out but similar here ||| Brown booties super affordable under $40 here and seriously the cutest ever ||| Hat Janessa Leone find here ||| Bucket bag Dagne Dover c/o find here
Here are a few things that I am going to work on that maybe have been on your mind as well.
–Stop wasting mindless time. Close down facebook, stop spending hours searching for houses, bags, reading random online forums. Such time zappers. The problem is that I try to be so informed on everything that I get side railed from the tasks at hand. Get my work done first and then if there is any time leftover, yes let the mindless searching continue. It is something I really need to work on.
–Write my posts ahead of time and really stick to my editorial calendar.
–Work out one time a week before work. I used to teach the 6 am classes and I know I can do this. It’s all about preparation the night before.
–Get to bed at 10 pm every night. I know I can do this if I stop doing the first and second things on my list.
–Meal plan on Sundays.
–Stop buying random filler or trendy clothing pieces. I have gotten better at this but I am really locking it down in the new year.
–Engage more with Mark at the end of the day. We are such unwind with screens in front of us at night. We are really good about when we go out, no screens or phones at dinner but this needs to carry over to the meals at home as well.
–Get back to church. I am very guilty of the Catholic church holidays only attendance and I need to carve out that time on Sundays to get back to having faith in my life.
–Work on my photography and styling.
The list is pretty much endless but those are the goals and reflections I have for right now. Thanks for hanging in there! What are you planning on working on for the New Year? I would love to hear all about it and any feedback you have of my space as well. Cheers to a fresh start to the New Year!