Monthly Challenges
February Intentions 2017

I really enjoyed the “intentions” from Angela (Clutter Box Blog) so I decided to keep it going.  Currently, the intentions link up is postponed, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t come back.  I really like definition of intention: Noun

  1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.

“she was full of good intentions”

To be honest – intentions just sounds better.  But I’m a bit odd so who knows.  Well, with all that talking let’s start with what I had planned for January.

Hello, February! How are you doing this year? Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Click To Tweet

For the blog January:

  • Organize and sort photo prop items – make a list of what to buy – I really worked hard at this. Found out what props that I want as well as going about buying them from different places.  Perhaps a post will follow soon?
  • Take at least 2 pictures for posts with own cameraSo far every single picture from this year has been shot by me. I’m still working out the kinks of my camera and actually planning on buying a newer DSLR soon.  Wish me luck.
  • Work on Instagram feedI can say that I have put forth some effort into my Instagram account. I’m working on placing bright colours in my feed with white space.  Something not original but it is a start towards aesthetically pleasing in my eyes.
  • Continue to use Buffer for social mediaOkay so I did a decent amount on buffer – but I deleted my paid account and currently searching for somewhere else. I find that it’s too much for me and I’m only working on Twitter so paying $10 for only Twitter is kind of crazy.

For personal January:

  • Clean and organize the spare bedroom (again)Okay, so I sorta did this. I mean – I cleaned then a lot of crap got placed back in there.  Oops?  I figure it would be better placed on the to do list further in the year (like summer) when I’m off and have the time.
  • Keep kitchen clutter free and dishes cleanedTotally did this for the most part. I think I had a few days in between that I didn’t really keep up with, but nothing too much.  Travis had to help me a few times only because we had a mouse problem and I was overwhelmed with all the dishes that needed to be rewashed because of it.
  • Continue to keep on top of household choresKind of failed and kind of worked on it. Most of the laundry got done, but they lay in the hampers for over two days.  Floors were Swiftered sometimes, but not every week like they should be.  Perhaps more since we have a dog… who knows?
  • 2 dates this month with Travis Totally nailed this! We had a few dates out with friends throughout the month.  I even had a surprise dinner guest which was pretty cool since he was attempting to figure out who was joining us.  I love surprising him every so often.
  • Doing yoga at least 5 times this month Failed.  FAILED.  I didn’t even do it once this month.  Sigh.  I really shouldn’t place these on my list, but I have hoped.  No reason why – I just felt lazy and didn’t want to work out this month.  No other excuse.

Highs

I am really proud about the push forward I have towards my blog.  I’ve been posting more, scheduling more tweets ahead and even gaining a bit in my Instagram account.  I used to teeter on just 330 now I’ve jumped up to around 400.  I love Instagram, and I’m slowly trying to work my creativity into it.  I’m pushing myself to be there more.  So I’m seeing progress.

I’m also enjoying the freedom I have with using my own pictures.  It’s pushing me to expand my knowledge of this field and test different tricks.  I cannot wait to see how much I’ve progressed in a year’s time.

I have also progressed in my health by rejoining Weight Watchers.  I have some bad days – but I’m logging everything I’m eating and trying to even it out in the end.  So far I’ve lost around 12 pounds ( which is a start from the 40 that I want to lose from now until the end of this year).

Lows

I’ve been off and on sick for a better part of two months.  Near the middle of the month, I even had 2 days (again) off work because of my migraines.  I’m really starting to get annoyed with my body.  Trav and I have a new doctor so I will be asking about what else I can do for them – besides simple vitamins.

I really liked that I added one more inspiration to my month goal – having 4 to work with seems a lot better than 3.  It gives me something to strive to as well as something to challenge myself without too much anxiety.  Let’s see what I have planned for February…

February Intentions 2017

February Intentions 2017

For the blog:

  • Continue taking photos with camera – explore a new lens
  • Buy a tripod for camera and research what new camera to buy
  • Post at least 3 times per week on Instagram
  • Share posts with other places besides Facebook and Twitter
  • Extra: Get to 5k followers on Twitter – Currently at 3,331  which means I only need 1,669 more to go.  It is a stretch, but I want to see how close I can get to it.

For Personal:

  • No pop at all this month
  • Organize bedroom and create a wish list for room
  • Have 4 dates with Travis. Plan one in secret (mix it up with alone and with friends)
  • Meal prep for a whole week
  • Extra: Do not order out once this month

 

I have set one extra goal because I really want to challenge myself.  I know that it is something extra in the shortest month of the year, but I have faith that I can do it.

Month two - Go! Let's get those #monthlyintentions started. How are you doing? Click To Tweet

What are your intentions for February?

Turning bad days into a success
Mental Health
Turning bad days into a success

Today, I would like to introduce you to Miranda.  She has taken over the blog and shared something on my blog that is rather personal.  Her words show us what it feels like when you have a bad day – the pain & struggle it is simply to allow yourself to do self-care.
Miranda, like myself, is an advocate for mental health awareness.  You can find more about her on her FaceBook page – here.

She talks about…

Turning bad days into a success

I’m struggling today. Really struggling. My body aches and I’m beyond exhausted. Standing up and moving seems overwhelming. I haven’t gotten up in a few hours, telling myself this is self-care. And on some level it is.

However, more so than self-care, this is more self-protection. I’m allowing my negative thoughts to protect me from failure, from life, from putting myself in a position to hurt, to become overwhelmed, to perhaps even feel worse.

I’ve cocooned myself in the safest, coziest place

– my bed. I’m protected all right. Protected from taking responsibility for my chronic condition. Protected from getting up and doing those things that will make me feel marginally better, and more connected to others.

I could be calling or texting friends. Could be going for a walk, doing yoga or stretching my poor tight limbs. I could be eating healthier foods, drinking lots of water, or comforting myself with unsweetened herbal tea. All of these things would ease the pain and isolation of having a chronic illness. All of these would help. And all of these require acceptance of my symptoms.

On my good days, these are all easy to do. I tell myself this in a very critical way. They’re no-brainers on the good days. But this is not a good day. This is a hard day. This is a day where my mind likes to tell me my body has betrayed me, that I will never feel good again, and that I’m doomed to a debilitating future. With thoughts like this, no wonder I’m staying in bed, doing little to improve my condition.

No wonder it’s so hard for me to get up and help myself.

With this mindset, staying in bed makes the most sense. However, this “self-protective” mindset is not realistic. I know I will be feeling better, and that it will happen faster if I get myself out of bed.

I know with some self-compassion I can let myself off the hook emotionally, making it easier to be willing to take risks. And I know one other thing, something that makes the biggest difference in getting me up and trying. On good days self-care is good. It helps practice for on harder days and it boosts my already good energy and health.

On bad days, self-care is important & powerful. These are the times it's most valuable... Click To Tweet

On the bad days, however, self-care is important and POWERFUL. These are the times it is most valuable, the times it means the most. The smallest act on the hardest day means more than anything I can do on my good days.

My mind might disagree right now, and my outlook may be pessimistic. But it doesn’t make the statement any less true. Acts of self-care today make more of a difference for my wellbeing.

Turning bad days into a success

As long as I’m trying, as long as I make some small effort, I can still be a success.

So with that in mind, I move my aching limbs, stand on shaky legs and start to slowly stretch. If I can keep going and do some yoga – BONUS!

If not, I’ve gotten out of bed, I’ve stretched a bit. No matter what I manage to accomplish, this is a bad day. And on bad days, even the smallest effort is a success.

Namaste.

 

Be well – and remember even the littlest of things in self-care well help.  What do you do for self-care?

Favourite gifts I got for Christmas
All Things Geek, Art n' Stuff
Favourite gifts I got from Christmas

Okay, so Christmas was a full month away – but it seems like I just can’t let go of this Christmas vibe.  I think this was the first year that I really attempted to make it as magical as it was when I was a child.  Even did a lot more decorating… (it’s all down now).

For real guys!  Last year it took me almost until April to get all my Christmas decorations down.  Seriously this is a major adulating win for me.

Where was I?

Oh right!

Travis’ brother (M) bought me –

A new book on my bookshelf as well as a super comfy (really warm and red) hat for my always cold head.  I’m very excited to be starting this book “John dies at the end,” and he even told me that there is a second book that he tried to get but it was sold out of the bookstore.

Favourite gifts I got for Christmas

I had requested that he get me one of his favourite books.  When I ask that of people I notice that I get books that I personally wouldn’t pick up myself.  I’m always an avid horror, sci-fi, or young adult reader.

It’s how I started a new series a few years back when my sister’s husband gave me “Dies the fire.”  I find it’s my own way to expand my collection of books and open up my mind more.  I really like attempting to figure out why a book means so much to the person.

Travis’ mom (J) bought me –

Favourite gifts I got for Christmas

A lovely set of brand new art supplies to paint and draw with.  This was something that was unexpected because I never mentioned once that I wanted to get back into art.  I just ended up unwrapping a lovely set of pencils, brushes, watercolours, and a painting pallet.  It was super cool.  I even have taken some time to doodle a little in it.

Travis bought me –

Favourite gifts I got for Christmas

A brand new graphing tablet to start my journey of creating art in the digital world.  I am amazed that he spent money on this – simply because we both agreed to a limit (which clearly neither of us followed).  He even went out and got the bigger graphic tablet so that I have more space to work with.  Currently, it is still in the original box simply because I don’t want to ruin it with dust.

I have, to be honest

I’m so thankful that I was spoiled by my family.  I know so many others who don’t have the luxury of getting nice or expensive items and I know that I will enjoy these for many years to come.

Favourite gifts I got for Christmas

What was your favourite gift from Christmas?  If you don’t have a favourite gift – what experience did you enjoy?