Friday, January 18, 2008

Self Improvement Pledge

So I know this might seem a little trite given the timing, and that everyone sets goals around this time of year and then they have forgotten about them by February, but I wanted to really think about all the things I have been trying to accomplish or improve and write them down. This will help me to remain dedicated as well as make them seem more real and attainable.

1. Lose 8-10 lbs.

This one is the most trite of all, but I defend it by pointing out that I have been working out 5 days a week (and sometimes more) for three weeks now, and have lost 4 lbs already. So I am actually doing (or trying to do) this one

2. Pay attention to what I put in my Body

My Husband and I are planning to start trying to get pregnant around August/September and in anticipation of this Giant step, I have decided to become more aware of my health, body and well being. So, I walk 3 miles a day and have stopped taking the pill, and I am reading the labels on everything I eat. i stopped eating Lean Cuisines for lunch ever day and have replaced them with organic frozen meals and I no longer microwave anything in plastic. I stopped drinking diet coke and have replaced it with still and sparkling water- we have a dispenser at work and I use my re-fillable water bottle.

3. Chill out

I have always been a bit of a stressball. I don't think I am ever truly relaxed. Even when i get a massage I have a million thoughts running through my head and end up tensing up even more because I am stressing about the fact that I am not supposed to be stressing. So I started doing Bikrim Yoga twice a week and while it isn't actually relaxing- it does clear my head completely for 90 mins. The work is so intense and challenging that I literally don't think about anything for the entire time. It is not fun, but it is really great and you sweat out all the bad stuff and feel pretty great later. So over the course of the year I hope to take baby steps in learning to relax and how to stay calm and not let things get to me. We'll see how we go on this one

4. Buy a HOUSE!!!!

We have been looking for 8 months now and can't find a thing. We want to move outside the city, but not too far, and we have been looking in Oak Park, Wilmette and Winnetka but there is NOTHING on the market that I like- well, nothing in my price range anyway. However, I am hoping things will pick up soon and then I will be able to find something suitable.

5. Take Sewing Lessons

Lessons came with the sewing machine that my husband gave me for Christmas and I can't wait to go! I went to a sewing 101 workshop class at the Needle Shop and it was really great. I made a throw pillow with a hidden zipper and it turned out really nice.

6. Travel

My Husband and I have one major trip left in us before we settle down to start parenthood. Ok two. We are going on a cruise in May for our 1 year anniversary, but the real trip will be somewhere in Europe or Asia. BG is petitioning for an Alaskan adventure but I really don't think I am interested. I need a little more excitement than that. I was thinking Nepal or Tibet, or Hungary, or Croatia or something different.

7. Be Nicer

I tend to get cranky and bent out of shape, and sometimes I am a little too honest, so this year I am going to concentrate of just being NICE. I am by no stretch a mean person, but sometimes my honesty can be a little harsh and I tend to get annoyed with government employees, customer service representatives, bus drivers and stupid people, so I am going to make a concerted effort to be nicer and have more patience when dealing with people who infuriate me.

8. Get Organized

I feel like this can't really happen until I get the house, but when moving in I want to take steps to carefully think about how we live and what we do and use that information to decide how to set up the house, and to create systems that will promote organized and tidy living because right now I am swimming in unfolded clothes and wedding presents still in their boxes because there is no room for anything.

9. Give

For Christmas this year, the number 1 thing I had on my list was a charitable donation to be made in my name. My mom gave money to a school she volunteers with that teaches the children of migrant workers. It felt really good to see a picture of these kids and know that I was helping. I would like to do more things to help others. This year we made lunch for families at the Ronald McDonald House in Lincoln Park and I had the best time. Seeing those families and imagining what they must be going through while their children are sick in the hospital, it makes you really want to help them. I plan to do that again, and also to identify more ways to give even if I may not have a lot of extra income.

10. Read More

There a million books that I want to read, and a million topics i would like to learn more about, so I figured that I should get started! Tout de Suite! (that was for H&H's Franco "file" Fridays)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Purchases at Philosophy!

As promised I wanted to let you know about the great stuff I bought this weekend. My skincare regime leaves much to be desired and as terrible as it is there are many nights where I go to bed with make-up on. (I KNOW I KNOW!...really bad...and gross...I am aware) So I came to the realization that my youth will not last forever and that although I look young now and have been repeatedly humiliated in liquor stores by many an overzealous store manager itching to catch some under-agers, I am on the cusp of the age where things start to happen fast and I am told and your skin and eyes are the first to go.

Interjection: One funny story about not looking my age to share just because it is funny. I was attending a basketball game a few years ago at the high school I attended back in my home town. After the game a man came up to me and said, wow, you have got to be *MP*'s little sister- you look just like her! To which I replied- " um...I AM *MP*!" The man looked dumbfounded and all he said was "what'd you do? go to college and get younger?"........yes awkward, but true story.

Anyway! Since I have noticed the rosiness in my cheeks beginning to fade and seen the sneaky hints of lines forming like parentheses around my mouth, I have become acutely aware that something must be done to stave of the inevitable. So I bought stuff!!!!

My first Purchase was Purity made simple, a face wash, moisturizer and makeup remover in one and it leaves my face feeling incredibly soft. i really like it.

I also got the best Lip gloss ever- called Kiss me- it really improves the condition of my lips and has a minty taste that I really like. I am a bit of a lip balm enthusiast so I was really excited to find one that is pretty and functional at the same time.

I also got this Cinnamon Buns shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath. I didn't think this stuff would be that great, but it feels incredibly silky and rice and smells FANTASTIC! I even put it in my hair which seemed strange, but it worked surprisingly well! I also purchased some "on the spot treatment for those lone pimples I seem to get once a month, and some eye cream that I can already tell is working. I love getting new products, especially when I feel like they contribute to a better me!

Scheduling my Saturdays!

This past weekend was really enjoyable in part thanks to my new Pink Leather Planner. I really coveted the ones at J.Crew, but couldn't stomach the $65.00 price tag, and Barnes & Noble had nothing at all, so I took a tip from a blog that I found here and checked out the Marshall's just off of Michigan Ave. JACKPOT! There was one planner just sitting there-like it was waiting for me. It may as well have had my name on it. It was the only one left and it was PERFECT! So now I write out my plans and keep them nice and tidy. It has even had the unexpected effect of prompting me to schedule events when I would have previously gone home to sit on my butt and watch CSI:Miami (sick indulgence -I know!).

So it was because of my planner that I scheduled my Saturday. I started of with Bikrim Yoga at 10:00am with Katie and then met Stacey at 5:00pm for Mini-facials at the Philosophy counter at Nordstrom- where I bought some great stuff that I will share with you in the next post-directly to follow. We left with skin glowing and make-up expertly applied for an evening out and met our husbands for dinner at De La Costa. It was fantastic and the whole day felt so pampered and very urban-chic.

Too bad all Saturdays can't be so posh. Maybe they can with the help of my new planner!