Wednesday, August 31, 2011

90 day challenge prep: part 3

Today, we're planning what we're gonna eat!

Everybody's favorite part of dieting, right? Not. Certainly not mine! I have to be especially careful with this, as I have a tendency to stop eating when I get overly stressed or controlling about my weight. So for me, it is important to walk the line between planning and regimenting, which is not what I'm about this time!

So here's how I'm going to do this. I'm going to give myself options, keeping in mind that at least one meal a day has to be mobile-that is, I'll be out of the house, which makes it doubly difficult. So I'm gonna list off  a couple of meal and snack options, and try to work within that parameter. However, I'm not gonna be upset if I can't stick to this exactly. My life is so busy, there are gonna be days where I don't eat what I've planned and written down. But all we can do is try!

So, without further ado... meal ideas:

fruit smoothies
whole wheat toast with peanut butter
yogurt with fruit
weight loss shake

fruit smoothie
weight loss shake
healthy options frozen meal
veggies and fruits

fruit or veggies
rice cakes
crackers and cheese

grilled chicken and veggies
pasta and veggies
skewers (veggies, fruit and chicken grilled together)
frozen dinners (healthy options, of course!)

Here's the catch:
all of these are things that I enjoy eating, and look forward to! Don't plan things you won't actually eat! That being said, if you think you don't like fruits and veggies, find some sneaky way to get them in your diet! They are UNBELIEVABLY good for you, and so filling! for instance, if you don't like veggies, try some carrot apple juice! There are lots of varieties, and it is so sweet and tasty- I hate vegetable juice and I was amazed.

So what are you eating this 90 days?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

90 day challenge prep: part 2

Today's post is on: Staying Motivated. We all know how it goes. You start out great on a new fitness plan, you go to the gym for three or four days, and then, you're just so tired... you go home, eat an entire box of Oreos, and feel like a failure.

So, as I get ready to start my 90 Day Challenge, here are some ideas I have on how to keep myself motivated:

Countdown Paper Chains- this weekend, I'm going to make one of those paper garlands with 90 loops. If you've never made one before, you cut strips of paper about 6-8 inches long by about an inch, and you tape loops by connecting them through each other to make a chain. I'm gonna make one loop for each day so I can tear one off before bed. So as the chain gets shorter, I'll be feeling great!

Countdown Calendar- a similar idea, but you simply write 1-90 on spereate pages, and rip off one number day every evening.

Wallet sign- I'm gonna make a business card-sized sign that says 90 day challenge on it, and put it in my wallet, then, when I get a craving for fast food, or ice cream, or something else, I'll see that before i pay for it and go, nope. I'm challenging myself to be better.

Fridge Sign- same idea, but for the refrigerator!

Diary-this one I'm not good at, but I know it helps a lot of people. Writing down evrything you eat and keeping track that way can be a good thing!

This challenge is not about being perfect. We're human, we will fail, we will eat Oreos and skip days at the gym. But we can accept those little failings, and continue to make small changes- and THEN the weight will come off!

Monday, August 29, 2011

90 day challenge prep: part 1

Hey all!

I'm really looking forward to starting my 90 day fitness challenge this weekend, so to get ready, I'm posting a few things throughout the week! The focus of today's post is

(drumroll please)

Setting Goals!

I've found that this is a really important step for me, so that's what I'm starting with. So! I want to actually start with a disclaimer. This is not a weight loss program designed for me or anyone else. I am doing this on my own, without any help.

This is also not about losing weight for me, not really. It is about getting healthy and improving my exercise and general level of fitness. Should that result in weight loss, I certainly won't complain, but it is more important to me to be healthy (at this point) than it is to be super slim.

So, with that in mind, here are some of my goals, and the questions I'm asking myself.

Where am I in my weight loss right now?
I would say I'm about halfway to my ideal goal. Since I started down this road, I've lost about 30 pounds, and come down about 5 pants sizes. My goal is to start to tone up and lose another 1-2 pants sizes.

Where do I see myself in three years? 18 months? 6 months? At the end of this 90 days?
In three years, I'd like to be maintaining myself at my ideal pants size, which is a 6 or 8. I'd also like to be pleased with my eating habits, and maintaining a very active, healthy lifestyle. In 18 months, I'd like to buy a size 6 dress- and fit into it. In 6 months, I'd like to be looking at size 8 pants. And at the end of 90 days,  my biggest goal is that my "skinny jeans", which are currently about a half a size small on me, will be baggy by the time we are done.  (By half a size small, I mean that I still wear them, but with things that cover the muffin top.)

So, my goals:

1. Baggy "skinny jeans" in 90 days.

2. Institute healthier eating and exercise habits

3. Start toning my body, not just losing inches, but showing some definition.

4. 3 year goal: maintaining a 6/8 and healthy lifestyle
    18 month goal: buy a size 6
      6 month goal: buy size 8 pants

*** here's why you'll never hear me talk number of pounds***
       1.  I can't bring myself to be that transparent on the internet.
       2. I don't own a scale, making it difficult to get weight measurements
       3. I'm very muscular for my size, and I look about 40 or more pounds lighter than I actually am.    There fore, I don't use pounds as a way of measuring progress

Joining in? Write down your goals, or share them in the comments!

Friday, August 26, 2011

simple senses

Our five senses are our most powerful aids as we go through life. The ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch, are nothing short of superpowers, and they continually amaze me with their abilities to improve our lives.

The sense I am most amazed with, however, is the sense of touch. How a simple touch changes your day or your mood is amazing. The ability to touch something or someone else and bring comfort, pleasure, or pain is a heavy burden, and one that we often take with a measure of apathy.

It is the simplest of remedies. At the end of a long day, is there anything more comforting than curling up somewhere safe and warm? Or in taking a long shower? Not for me. Whether it's a warm, fuzzy blanket and a good book, or the feeling of water dripping on my face, there's something about the feeling of being touched that is soothing for me.

That extends to people contact too. The next time you're stressed out, find someone who will hug you. I bet you'll be surprised at how much better and calmer you feel afterwards.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

good friends, good summer, goodbyes...

Today was the last day at my Summer job. I've fussed about it, here and there, and it isn't a perfect job. But I've enjoyed it, nonetheless. Had you asked me in May what I thought the Summer would be like, I'd have groaned and shot off some miserable, negative response. I was terrified to start this summer. But I needed the job, and so, off to work I went.

And slowly, slowly, I grew to really like the people I was working with, and I grew to really appreciate the job for what it was.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I realized today, that I wouldn't be coming back to work tomorrow. It was a strange feeling, saying goodbyes to people I'd been determined not to like. But I do like them, and I will miss them.

Here's the lesson: leave the doors open on life, and you never know who will walk in. Shut them, and no one can get it in to you. The more doors you have open, the more you can connect to people, and the more experiences you will have, both good and bad. but that is what life is about: experiences. And you get only one with your door closed. The experience of loneliness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

all those toxins...

I work at a Summer Day Camp for one more day. Today, I was walking past a group of six year-olds who were passing around an ice pack like it was some sort of minor deity. Then one of them said, "hey, I wonder if we could drink this blue water in there, and it would cool us down?" Actually, it sounded more like:

"hey I wundah if we coul dwink dis blue waduh in dere and it would cool us down?"

Of course, at this point, I had to stop, explain that no, they couldn't drink the blue water in the ice pack, and that they should probably put it away and go play.

And then I got "the question".


I refrained from saying "because I said so", and instead settled for "because the blue water has nasty chemicals in it, and drinking it would give you a really awful belly ache."

"oh" they said, thought about it for a minute, and then scampered off to play whatever game they were playing.

But that stated me thinking. We are surrounded by toxic chemicals, even when we don't know it. For instance, you know the reason you can't swallow toothpaste? It's toxic. Will kill you in large amounts. Mmmhmm, please, put that in your mouth and swill it around!

But we do! We all do it, without even thinking twice! I continue to do it, knowing the sneaky truth about this guy!

What if our lives were the way we were intended to live them: naturally? What if we didn't have to keep the cleaning supplies out of the reach of children, because nothing we owned was toxic? What if everything in our lives was HEALTHY?

I realize that this is a wistful statement, and that it isn't easy, and probably not possible on a college student's budget and schedule. But over the coming months, I'm gonna test some more natural cleaners, shampoos, soaps, etc and see what I think of them.  If they're comparable in both price and quality, then I will probably switch over. When and if I do, I'll post the recipes here so that you can try them out too!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Do you ever wonder what your dreams mean? I do. It is a rare thing for me to dream, and remember them in the morning. Part of this is the afore-mentioned lack of sleep. I honestly think I don't sleep enough to be able to remember any dreams I might have found time for.

However, when I DO dream, they are often vivid. I remember what's happening in them for a long time usually, although sometimes when I wake up, I talk about the dream aloud so I remember better. But I wonder what they mean.

I know that they mean something. It's part of being an empath. Not a huge part of my specific set of abilities, but it is there. I also wonder, especially when I have dreams about the people I'm tied to. For instance, in the last three weeks, I've had multiple dreams about a friend of mine. They're always different dreams, but often with the same tone, or theme. Said friend is a close tie of mine, and I have to believe that there is something to the dreams. If only I could figure out what!

For now, I guess, I'll have to live one just trying to remember the details of my dreams, and piecing them together in my head. Maybe they make a giant, connected story, if only i could remember all the chapters...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

90 day challenge has been pushed back!

Hi all! I've decided to push back my 90 day challenge event. I've been talking to a few friends about it, and I wanted to do a little more planning and prep before I really started it. So I've decided that the 90 day challenge will officially kick off on... (drumroll please...)

September 4, 2011!!

If you are looking to join me this fall on my 90 day challenge, I'm so glad! Here's the disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor am I attempting to run an exercise or diet regimen or program. I am doing this for MYSELF, and am not responsible for anyone else's actions due to their decision to follow along.

That being said, if you're interested, start tuning in on August 29, as I will be posting a week of prep on the 90 day challenge then. If this isn't something that necessarily interests you, don't be alarmed! Once we kick off on the fourth, I'll be doing weekly updates, and more normal blogs the rest of the week. But here's a thought: try your own version of the 90 day challenge. Need to see your family more? Try it for 90 days. Need to save money? Do it for 90 days! Try to make a new habit in these 90 days, and we'll see where we are on December 2!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

coke bottles on my eyes...

I wear contacts. No big deal, a lot of people do, and I'm not bothered by it. I try not to think about the fact that there is a small, foreign object floating on the surface of one of the body's most delicate and complex organs, but other than that, I really love my contacts. I've been wearing them for approximately four and a half years. I've had glasses for about 8 years.

When I first got "fitted" for my contacts, it took me an hour to get them into my eyes. I was AWFUL at it. I cried, and fussed, and it hurt, and was hard, and I . just. couldn't. do. it. BUT, I was tired of glasses. I'm an actor, and one of my pet acting peeves is when actors can't see onstage and they squint (in most productions, you can't wear your glasses-it's not the character!). So I knew I had to get contacts and be comfortable in them.

So my solution was to never take them out. Oh, don't get me wrong. For about two weeks, I was a good girl. I took them out at night, rinsed them, and got up forty minutes early to get them in my eyes. And then, one night, I forgot to take them out. And, miracle of miracles, I lived through the experience. So I stopped taking them out unless I HAD to.

Fast-forward 8 months. I go in for an eye exam, and my doctor asks me how the contacts are doing. I tell her I take them out 4 times a week. (This was a prevarication. I was hardly ever taking them out. Maybe four times a month.) She prescribes me a year's worth of the overnight kind. I rejoice.

Skip to present. Nearly three years after I receive this prescription, I have nearly run out of contacts. This morning, I woke up at five with my left contact stuck to my cheek. Well, shoot, I'll put another one in. Hm, back up pair... well, I knew we were getting close! Wake up at 11:30. Ow, my eye feels funny *rubrubrub*, rats, my new contact came out. *rinsrinserinse* hm, weird, it folded in half. Well, I'll just open it bac- dang it. It ripped. Well, I HOPE I have a last pair here in my stage makeup kit... WHEW. Thank God for believing in preparedness. Pop that bad boy in, but by now, the damage is done. Eye red and irritated, noticeably so, and contact ever feels quite right, all day long, causing head ache, general feeling of crankiness and of being off-kilter. Get through the day. I'm now on my very last left contact, and I have one spare right contact. So, I come upstairs for bed, and decide... you know... I'm gonna take them out so nothing can happen, and my eye can recover a little bit. Pop those bad boys out... wow. Weird. I can't see. Everything is blurry, and funny looking, almost like after you get your face wet in the pool and then open your eyes right away. Weird. And then I put on my glasses. I'm impressed I even knew where they were, really. I haven't had them on in YEARS. And now that they are on, HOW DID I DO THIS?! They're driving me batty!

And then I stopped for a second and thought about it.

When we put on our glasses, we see the world differently, in very physical terms. Things look different to me. Not quite as real, almost. Just like when I put my sunglasses on, and I can see in the bright sunlight. When I wear my contacts, I see things a lot more naturally, which, given their own lack of natural ingredients, is ironic.  Without either, I am hardly blind, but I don't see the world as well. Everything looks like it is in a soft camera focus, instead.

So tonight, my probing question is this: How do we choose to see the world? Naturally, the way it was intended? Or in Soft focus? Or with our sunglasses on, so we cannot see in darkness? Or in the cold, hard, brusque truth of our glasses?

I would hope, not in soft focus. We must look realistically at the world and our place in it, not with the blurriness of the naked, less than perfect human eye. Likewise, I would hope not in the harsh light of the glasses. There is much hope and beauty left here, but we won't see it if we look too closely, or focus on the smallest piece of negativity. No, I think the best way is to look naturally, in a way that is not always easy, but very comfortable once we adapt to it. In a way that allows us to see clearly, without obstruction. We must be able to see ourselves in a clear light, as well as our lives, our homes, our families and our friends. Look, but not judge. Help, not harm.

But until then, there will be plenty of us who slide into bed at night, slip on our coke bottle lenses, and blur the world out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the merits of sleep

The ironic thing about this post is that I think I'm probably about half asleep as I write it.  I have horrible sleeping habits. Confess now, College Students, yours are bad too. We live in a sleep vacuum. Welcome to college, you can choose sleep OR good Grades OR a social life. You cannot have all three, and having two of the three is difficult. However, sleep, is so good for our bodies.

The problem is, I always have something better to do. Somehow, sleep always ends up on the bottom of my priority list. I like sleep. I really do. But it just isn't that important to me.


 Because if I slept more, I'd be slimmer, have more energy, be more focused, need to eat less, be prettier, have better skin and hair, and my muscles would hurt less.

Or would they?

Could it be that I simply haven't found the right balance of sleep yet? Could it be that I just need to balance my diet and sleep habits, making smart choices and listening to my body? I really do believe that everyone's needs are significantly different. Our bodies need different things, and the amount of sleep we need is just one of them.

On that note, though, it is about time for bed for me. I'm working on hour number 18, and I'm sleepy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

our very own treasure trove

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm moving. Welcome to the party. As anyone who has ever moved before knows, this is a royal pain in the tookus. Luckily, I don't have to vacate my current residence. But my main residence will become my apartment in about 2 weeks. And so, I am sorting and packing and TRYING to get rid of some (read most) of my possessions. It's hard. But we've discussed that.

Anyway, I was reading a post on Miss Minimalist (link to your right. over...over...down... there!) that talked about her ebay adventures. When she started selling her stuff, she had an ebay mountain. It was her second job. But as she whittled away at her stuff, she realized that not only did she not need THIS stuff, she didn't need new stuff! And now, as she thinks about buying things, she thinks about selling them later and what a hassle it will be, so she doesn't do it as often.

Well, I read that. I thought about what hard work it would be to sell even an eighth of what I own. I looked around at the piles of stuff that were suffocating me as I looked at them. And I logged onto I listed 11 books, most of them textbooks. I'm hoping they will sell... can't hurt, right? I've got some other "junk" that needs to go on there as well- a pair of dance shoes that are too big, an old computer charger cord, et cetera. The thing is, we all have hundreds of unused dollars sitting in our homes. Our very own little treasure trove. And here's the thing: they're all things we SIMPLY DON'T NEED! Once upon a time, I needed almost all of those books for class. I used them, and then some of them sat on a shelf for four years! I could have turned around and made $20 FOUR YEARS ago. Hopefully they sell now. Some of them will, I bet. But perhaps not all.

So as i move, I'm trying to make four piles out of all of my stuff. The first, and largest, sadly, is The Stuff I am Going to Keep. For at least another year. The second is The Stuff That Gets Pitched. In the garbage. Buh-bye. The thirs is The Stuff That Gets Donated. Any clothes and shoes especially, go in here. Along with some books and toys. The final pile is The Stuff I'm Trying To Sell. This is the newest pile, but I am going to attempt to get a LITTLE money out of ridding myself of my possessions. So far... nada. But I've only had the books listed for three hours.

Patience, padawan.

Monday, August 15, 2011

purging and packing

I spent an hour today going through my toiletries and trying (and failing) to get them all into one container for their move to the apartment in 3 weeks. We're close. It depends a lot on your definition of "Toiletries". If you count two curling irons, the curlers, the flat iron and the hair dryer... No, we're not close. It's frustrating.

However, I did manage to throw some things away, and every piece thrown out is one I don't have to move. The more the merrier. The packing will have to begin in earnest soon. I'm running out of "easy" trips to make.

I hate to admit it, but I think the craft drawers are going on Wednesday. The sewing machine and box are already there... and I already miss them. But the reality is, I'm not going to really make good use of them until school starts, and the thing about moving is... all of your stuff ends up in the new place eventually. Better the crafts than your clothes!

Luckily, once it is there, I may get to purge my craft drawers. I'm working on a project which requires a BIG pillow. it's the cushion for my papasan chair frame, and the pillow is massive. I bought 2 and a half yards of fabric, and used almost every inch. The Chair. is. big. But anyway, I'm planning on stuffing the pillow at least part of the way with fabric scraps. I think it'll give the pillow some nice weight, in addition to keeping me from buying nasty plastic, petroleum based pillow stuffing, or the bamboo, stuff, which I really can't afford.  And so, that being true, I will get to go through my fabric scrap stash, and use whatever is small enough or goofed up enough and stuff it into the pillow.

Along with a couple of dead bodies. Great.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

90 day challenge: week 1

I've decided to do a series! As I work towards getting in shape this year, I've decided to do a 90 day challenge, and then see where we are.  Here's what my 90 days will look like:

-on Sundays, I will post some pictures of me every week, detailing my progress, along with a couple of measurements.

-I will also detail how I feel like the week has gone for me on my fitness quest: eating habits, whether or not I worked out to fulfill my goals, how I'm feeling, etc.

Ok, that being said, welcome to Charis's 90 day fitness challenge! This is week one!

This was an impromptu thing I started, and my tape measure is not at this house (moving...such fun!) so I have no measurements this week. Next week, I promise. Or later this one if I get to the new apartment and think about it.

Ok, so first up, a face on shot. Clearly I have some work to do. Also, please excuse, a) the poor picture quality and b) any mess you might see. I blame moving.

                                         The side view is NOT my best angle.  Oh, hey, belly.

                                           Back view that i thought would be more useful...

And lastly, the almighty arm...  (and the aforementioned mess!) Clearly, we have work to do!

Well, that seems like it is about enough for tonight- I'm going to do some ab work, and then hit my bed. I have to be at work in *gulp* 8 hours.

 Want to join the 90 day challenge? Feel free! Let me know in the Comments, and away we'll go!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

all stuffed up

We all have so. Much. Stuff. Far more than we need. Far more than we could ever use up! Far more than our planet or our budgets can support. And yet, even in this "down economy" all we do is buy, buy, buy! Consumerism is the slave driver, and who are we to disagree? This is how things are. Buy things to feel better, buy things when you feel bad. Buy things when you have enough money, buy things to help you save money. But things when you need to organize, buy things when you need to de-clutter!

None of this makes any sense. It is an unnatural habit. Animals do not keep building bigger and better nests or homes; they build one that is strong, safe and durable, and they repair it when and if it is necessary, but they don't add on to it incessantly.

As I think about preparing my budget and my body for a possible cross-country move, I am also thinking about preparing my stuff. I'd love to be able to make it out there with everything I need in the back of my car. I'm not sure that that's exactly feasible for me, but think about freeing it would be! So, here are a few things that I am committing to this year at school that will help me de-stress and de-clutter before I leave college forever.

  • As I move to my apartment, I'm not unpacking. I unpacked my books, but I have no plans to unpack my clothing. As I get it out to wear it, I'll put it away. By Thanksgiving, if I haven't worn it,  it will get donated. If I don't wear it in ten weeks, it won't get worn. 
  • The Year of No Buying. I will no longer be purchasing anything I can possibly do without. I have plenty of shoes- I don't need more. More jewelry than I can use up ever. Even items like shampoo and soap, I have extras of. I'm going to use all of those things up before I purchase more.
  • Make What You Don't Have. I'm an avid DIYer.  Once I'm out of shampoo, I'm planning on making my own. The same goes for the schoolbag I want to own, Birthday and Christmas presents, and a hundred other items.
  • Wait a week before you buy. When you think to yourself, 'oh, I need such-and-such', write it down, and then wait one week. If at the end of the week, you've caught yourself thinking,  'I REALLY need such and such' or 'SHOOT! I still need this or that!', then I will buy it. In the meantime, I'll think about making it or doing without.

Hopefully, this will enable me to get rid of things I never use, and to live more frugally, another big goal of mine. I'm thinking of taking my bike to class and the grocery, so that will help me save on gasoline, and I'm going to make as much as I can out of local fruits and veggies, keeping my grocery bill low. I will get myself out to California, and I will do it next Summer.

Without an entire TRAIN of stuff behind me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

simply fit

HA! I know that's what you're thinking. It's ok, let it out. Simple? Being Fit? HA!

Heck, even I'm thinking it. I'm still quivering from my first toning workout in 6 months, and I lasted maybe 40 minutes. Ha, simplicity.

But the truth of the matter is, it is simple. A small commitment, that's all it takes. Like getting a Twitter account. (Which I do not have, nor do I want) But getting fit is really no more of a commitment than that. I'm making a commitment, right now, to myself and to you, assuming you're out there, reading along. Thirty minutes a day. Thirty minutes a day of focused toning exercise. That's thirty minutes on top of any cardio I decide to do, which I will hopefully have time for again in September. It is time for me to renew that commitment, and really focus on getting myself in the best shape of my life. For although "round" is a shape, and not one to be ashamed of, it isn't the healthiest shape for our bodies. I would say right now, that my body is average, leaning toward chunky. I have a relatively high amount of muscle on my 5'3" frame, and so I actually weigh about 35 or 40 more pounds than I look like I weigh. (And no, I am not brave enough to disclose that number online. Sorry!) And although the number of pounds I weigh has never been the most important number for me, (I'm far more concerned by the number of the jeans I'm pulling on) I know that I need to continue to slim down. But I am getting to the point now where I am not changing shape as much now as I am kind of bleeding off a pound here or there.

Well, the time has come to get serious about changing my body again. This time next year, with any luck, I won't be living in Ohio anymore, and in all likelihood, I'll be somewhere much more image conscious than the Midwest. I do feel like that is the right direction for me, but I also know that in order to slip into that kind of culture well, I need to feel good about my body. Therefore, dear Reader, whomever you are, I'm committing to this:

  • 30 minutes a day of muscle toning exercise
  • 90 or more minutes a week of focused cardio exercise 
  • even more fresh foods: low carb, high fruit and vegetable diets
  • choosing to look to the future and what I want to have happen instead of what I want right now
I've been down this road before. And it has never ended the way I want it to. Often, as with most people, it ends in failure. A few times, it ends with me in a very unhealthy weight loss situation, which makes me nervous.  I don't have a good understanding of food and my body, and thus, we don't have a healthy relationship.

But it all starts with two pieces of simplicity: A simple desire, and a simple commitment.

Here's to being simply fit (and fabulous!) by next Spring!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

a balancing act

All things in moderation, except love.

This is the way I try to live my life. If I had a "life motto", that would be it. Because I truly believe that life is a balancing act, and that you need a little bit of everything to make it work right. A little bit of everything and a LOT of love.

There are things, of course, that aren't in your balancing act, or that get so unbalanced, you have to stop and adjust the fulcrum and get it right. But that's the adventure! If you think of life as a loooooong tightrope walk, you'll start to see where I'm heading.

You keep on the straight and narrow, but to do that, you have to take a walk on the wild side. Like the ancient yin-yang symbol, to every light is some shadow, to every water, there's a spark, to every good decision, there's a bad one lurking around the corner.  But balance. Take a little of each, and you'll move forward. When you get scared, or fall off, look down. Love, the one thing you don't use in moderation, is your safety net. When things get rough, you lean on your loved ones, and try not to fret. 
I honestly am trying to live this way. It isn't easy for me- I have kind of an obsessive personality- when I get into something,  I 'm IN it, and I have trouble backing down, and balancing my life. But I know that that is not healthy, and I'm not really at my best when I'm that way. Besides that, I know it makes me deadly dull to talk to, because I can only talk about one thing over, and over, and over again.

Balance. It's terribly important. No human being can live a life consumed by one passion: look at Mozart, Van Gogh, and Heath Ledger. After a time, that passion consumes you, leaving no room in your life for relationships or anything else.


And when you fall, do it spectacularly. Don't be afraid to land on your loved ones. They LOVE you. That's the point. Love them back, and you'll find your heart fuller. Love freely and fully, without reservations. Even if it hurts when you land, you'll be back on your feet in no time, and you'll have learned something for next time. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

when life gets in the way

I'm super busy. I don't know if I can explain how busy. At least during the school year. In addition to being a Full-Time Student, I work nearly full time, and I run my small crafting business. (Click Here to see my site!) In the midst of all that, is this little baby blog. I know, I know, it is Summer time, and yes, it is true that I am often attached at the hip with my computer. (my friends all live in it!) But, at the same time, Life happens. And honestly, that's the simplest thing of all Honestly, I often wonder if that isn't the truest form of living simply. Just let life HAPPEN. Planning doesn't- can't- always work. It only gets you so far. And I have found, although I am young, that the best moments of my life are the un-planned ones. The trips I didn't mean to take, the things I didn't mean to buy, the people I never intended to meet. Those are the things in my life that I treasure the most. So when life happens to you, let it. Don't freak out, go with the flow. Enjoy the ride. Sit back, and watch your life unfold. i'm not saying it will just magically happen. But when you tug on the right door, and it opens, and the fireworks start to go off because you're right where you are supposed to be, then WATCH them. Don't go running by because you are too busy to see them, or because a certain project is taking over your life, or you feel tied to a routine. Sometimes it is good to break your routines. This is a hard lesson for me. I looove my routines. I like having a schedule, and I have difficulty with upset and surprises. (Surprise Parties= bad idea for me...) But it is a good thing to shake it up now and then, and what happens while you're shaking is really what life is about. That's how it happens. Not in the routines that we create for ourselves. Not in the rules and strictures we place around our lives. Live. Let yourself go, metaphorically, and see what happens.

I guarantee you'll be happier for it. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

moving: simple?

The short answer? No.
Especially when your lease gets screwed up, and your security deposit goes through the roof, and your roommate's grandma died the night before.
Not. Simple.
So how do we make it a wee bit simpler? Excellent question!

First of all, make good plans. On moving day, be prepared for as many eventualities as you can. Bad leases, needing a co-signer, forgetting things, maintenance problems, etc.

Once you get into your new space, take some time to figure it out. Learn the new paths, figure out where the plugs are, where the furniture should go.

Make sure you KNOW YOUR EXPENSES. A small moving truck from U-Haul? Up over $100. If you can afford that, stop reading my blog. (Just kidding, don't, but you know what I mean) Oh, hey, friend with pick-up truck. Internet, electricity, gas, those all have activation fees. Plan for them.  You'll owe rent right away. Save your pennies! (literally, that's what I did... I had $10 worth. Impressive.)

The point, as always, is to think and be smart about things. Think hard. Talk to people you trust. And double check all of the paper work and all of the expenses before you commit to anything.

Good luck!