Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Things I'm Looking Forward to This Year

In keeping with our motivational / staying positive / being grateful theme this year, Divulge with Dani and I are trying to remain positive and upbeat in this week's post......

Friday's Top Five - Things I'm Looking Forward to This Year:

5. Improved health

For the first time in a long time, I'm actually feeling really good and am looking forward to improving my health and just being in a better place overall.

I've set some goals for myself this year, and I'll try not to freak out if I don't reach them as scheduled. But at least I have hope, and that's what keeps me going.

By this time tomorrow, I'll be in an even better place in my life. The same can be said for the day after that, and the day after that......

Here's hoping that, by this time next year, I'll be able to look back on this as an enjoyable and memorable journey.

4. Potential baseball season

Speaking of having hope.... here's hoping we actually have a baseball season this year in E-town!

I won't bore you with the details, but last year we had a greedy billionaire cancel our local team's season in an effort to save some money. Which of course made for a very long and deprived summer for those of us who enjoy nothing more than a night out at the ballpark.

I haven't heard any news about the baseball season yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to being able to root, root, root for the home team this year.

And here's to also hoping that they bring back Wiener Wednesdays.....!

Just sayin.

3. Vacations

Yeah, I'm one of those people who immediately begins searching for the next bargain vacation the minute I return from a current vacation.

And, yeah, I went ahead and booked another cruise for next month even though it feels like we just barely returned from our last one.

And, yeah, I'm totally looking forward to it.

In addition to our annual jaunts to the Caribbean, we're also planning a trip to Ottawa and my husband's hometown in Upstate New York for my sister-in-law's wedding.

I don't know that I'd classify that trip as a vacation so much, simply because it's going to be a crazy and rushed time out east, but I can't complain.

It's still time off from work and from my real life, so bring it on, I say!

2. Garage sales

Isn't it funny that I would rank garage sales ahead of going on vacation?? (I know, I should probably be committed....)

The beauty of garage sales for me is two-fold:

First, despite the fact that my house is plenty cluttered and I should probably have a sale of my own, I love the idea that I can casually find a new-to-me item for relatively cheap and use it to reinvent our house.

Oh, you're selling that vintage seaside painting for 98% less than what you originally paid for it? 

The other thing I love about garage sales is that they're synonymous with the start of spring and summer. And let's face it, when you live in the frozen tundra, you'll go out of your way looking for signs of a reprieve.

In our house, we don't ask a Groundhog about how much longer winter will last. Instead, we turn to the first garage sale advertisement as an error-proof indicator that winter is officially over and garage-sale season has begun.

Now who WOULDN'T look forward to that?

1. The melting of the snow

Yes, the thing I'm looking forward to most this year is the melting of all this snow we've accumulated.

Sure, it certainly looks beautiful outside right now -- even my cold and hardened heart can concede to that -- but I do long to see the grass again.

When all the snow is gone, so many more opportunities are opened up for us; in addition to baseball season and garage sales, we can also do other even simpler things.

Things like going to the park. Or to the beach for a day. Or walking though the neighbourhood without having to be bundled up like Nanook of the North.

There's also the ability to sit outside around the fire late at night.

And the endless hours of daylight that allow us to pack as much (or as little) into the day as we wish.

So, yeah, even though we're deep in the heart of winter right now, at least I know there's still something more wonderful to look forward to this year.

Aww, poor snowmen. 
Don't worry, winter will be back before you know it!

All right, peeps. My list is really simple, as per usual, but that's how I roll.

Mosey over to Divulge with Dani to see what she's got cooking for this year!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Motivational Songs

Here we are, 18 days into 2013, and I'm already slacking in terms of the goals I set for myself. Yes, I am eating healthier (thank you, daily power-smoothie!), but I'm still not active enough.

One thing is for certain, I'm one of those people who simply cannot get a decent treadmill workout in unless I'm tuned in to my iPod or some other source of music. We all have our favourites, but here's what keeps me going and lifts my spirits when I need a not-so-subtle pick-me-up....

Friday's Top Five - Motivational Songs

5. Wasted - Carrie Underwood

The term "wasted" has a couple different meanings here, but for me it just has to do with wasting my life in general. The following lyrics say it all:

Cause I don't wanna spend my life jaded
Waiting to wake up one day and find
That I've let all these years go by

4. Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band

This song is just fun, fun, FUN. Plus, it helps me be grateful for the little things in life (ie, the things that really matter.)

Whether you're a country fan or not, I dare you not to tap your toes to this song. It's guaranteed to get you up and moving.

3. Something More - Sugarland

There's gotta be something more, right? This is the quintessential song for those of us who feel as though we're stuck in a rut and need a boost to move forward and seek out something better. To summarize: story of my life.

Check it out. And then go and make something more of yourself.

2. I'm Alright - Jo Dee Messina

I truly love this song and have often wanted it to be my theme song of sorts. The gist of it goes like this: I may not be rich, and I may not have made it to the big time, but I've got people here who love me, and I'm doing okay. I'm still smiling, so you've got nuthin' on me.

What more could any of us ask for?

1. Everyday - Dave Matthews Band

When Divulge with Dani and I embarked on our first major vacation together back in the summer of 2002 and traveled up I-95 from Florida to New York, this was our song. It greeted us every morning, and it often made an appearance later in the day as well.

There was no better way to start the day than with this song, and it still to this day makes me want to get up and go achieve greatness.

Okay, so that's my list. Whether you need some good workout songs or just some music to lift your spirits and get you moving everyday, these are the ones that work for me.

Now it's time to head over to Divulge with Dani to read about what keeps her motivated each day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My 2013 Bucket List

Divulge with Dani and I are taking a break from our Friday's Top Five so that we can present to you our respective Bucket Lists for 2013.

I really struggled to come up with something interesting to say in this post because, frankly, I could only think of one thing I want to accomplish in 2013. *COUGH*lose weight*COUGH*

I'd be lying if I ever gave anyone the impression that I have other more fascinating ventures I'd like to tackle (like going bungee jumping or something). Truth be known, all my wishes are really simple.... and yet I somehow never manage to achieve them. Why is that? Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of willpower I spoke of in my previous post.....?

Regardless of anything that has or hasn't happened in the past, I present to you my 2013 Bucket List:

1)  Eat clean and lose weight.

(Haha... you were surprised, I can tell.) I'm sure that 99% of women in the free world have this on their list of resolutions for 2013, but for me I truly feel like it's now or never in terms of getting down to a healthier weight.

Like I've said before, this is about my health now, not vanity. And if I want to be around to see my daughter grow up, I need to stay motivated and committed to achieving a healthier body size.

Of the pointers described by Bob Harper below, I think I would struggle most with # 7. Pasta, rice, and bread just get me every time, and I secretly wish I had someone following me around who could slap the food off my fork each time I go to take a bite.

(If only Fettucine Alfredo was GOOD for me.....!!)

2) Be active.

As I age and as my metabolism slows, it's become increasingly important that I include some form of physical activity in my daily life. Sadly, this is where I fail the most these days, simply because I'm always exhausted by the time I get home from work and get my daughter into bed.

Then again, I'm sure my poor diet and lack of regular physical activity are also contributing factors in my exhaustion, but I digress. The bottom line is that I need to get up and move more!

The painful truth.

3) Spend quality time with the family.

Like I said, gone are the days when I aspired to go bungee jumping or sky diving. These days I would be thrilled to just go outside and build a snowman with my daughter before coming in to warm up by the fire.

It's just that type of outing that creates beautiful memories -- and it's also the type of thing that will help nurture my daughter's confidence and self esteem...... not whether or not she's got a mom who has sky dived before.

Luckily, there's no shortage of the simple yet wonderful things I can do with my family this year.....

4) Be grateful and lead by example.

This was briefly touched upon in a recent post, but I really do need to stop taking for granted all the wonderful blessings in my life. Sure, each day can be a struggle sometimes, but when it comes down to it, I'm living the dream. (I'm not sure WHOSE dream, per se, haha.... but still. I have a good life.)

And besides, how can I expect my daughter to grow up to be a positive, contributing member of society when I myself am constantly stuck in a self-inflicted rut? It's time to sink or swim, and I need to show her how it's done.

5) Put myself first.

It's taken me nearly 35 years to figure this out, but I need to stop taking care of everyone else ahead of myself. What good am I to anyone if I'm run down, exhausted, weak, and in a bad mood all the time?

If I can't start taking care of myself FIRST, then I'm not only doing a major disservice to myself, but also to the family I'm attempting to care for.

They need a happy, healthy me..... and I need a happy, healthy me..... otherwise everything just falls apart.

Time to start taking care of myself again -- so not only does that mean pursuing the four points above, but also doing things simply because they make me happy. (ie, read more, write more, go for walks, see a movie, get my hair and eyebrows done more than just twice a year, etc...... You know the drill.)

Since becoming a mom, I've placed myself at the bottom of our household totem pole, and that needs to change.

I need to be ME again.

So here's hoping I can walk the talk.....!

Okay, it was simple, it was raw... but that's my 2013 Bucket List. Head over to see what Divulge with Dani's got cooking on this subject as well.