Dry January Final Check-In

The final day of January is here. Technically, it’s the first day of February, but I digress. I should say, the final day of Dry January is here and I’m happy to report that I made it. I started this trip on January 5th and tomorrow I will have my first drink since the 4th. It’s funny because it felt so long, but now that I’m at the end, I guess it didn’t feel as long as it did while I was in it. I was sick for about the first two weeks, which was miserable because I hadn’t been sick in a while. I think also that the “withdrawal” symptoms from not having cigarettes may have been affecting me at the same time making it that much worse. I made it through though, with only one fancy glass of wine along the way. If there’s one thing that this experience has taught me is that I really don’t like drinking as much as I thought I did.

I’ve gotten so much done these past few weeks. I’m sure most of it has to do with a lack of a social life. It’s funny how your interactions with people can change when you subtract the alcohol. Many of my friends were also doing a Dry January. Perhaps we were all just enjoying a little bit of solitary reset time for the month. January sometimes feels like that. It feels like a bit of a hibernation. Time to reset and refocus your attention on what is going to be important to you this year. The other thing I’ve noticed about the last few weeks is that I’m sleeping better which in turn is giving me more energy throughout the day. I love this part because it’s making me more excited to work out and be active. I’ve been going to yoga the last two Saturdays, working out at home after work and even stretching while I’m at work. It feels good. And my body feels better for it.

I wouldn’t say I’m not looking forward to drinking tomorrow, but I am excited to hang out with friends. It will be interesting to see how my tolerance to alcohol has changed. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to drink. I’ve pretty much ruled out beer just because I think it will make me feel bloaty and gross, but moscow mules sound like they could be dangerous too. The most appealing option to me, at least in my head, is white wine. Something I can chill and just sip throughout the day. I don’t want to drink too much, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to figure out what that new limit is. I also don’t want to drink to the point where I want to break down and smoke. I’ve been thinking about getting a vape pen for those moments. I want to feel like I’ve actually quit and not just switched out cigarettes for something else.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. It gave me clarity of mind and made me rethink something that I think had become a somewhat normal facet of my life. This isn’t to say that I want to quit drinking all together because, let’s face it, sometimes that fancy glass of wine is nice. I do think, however, that cutting back and enjoying it more intentionally will be good. I may pick up another month along the year, we’ll see, for now, I’m going to look forward to that fancy glass of wine tomorrow. I’m proud of myself for making it this far and sticking to it. Now to get onto the rest of my resolutions… wish me luck.

Final 2019 Resolutions Check-In

With 2019 coming to a rapid close, it’s time for one last review of how my resolutions went throughout the year. Overall, I think I did fairly well and I am happy at how this blog held me accountable and helped me stick to my goals. It has also helped me shape new goals for 2020, which I will post in another couple days or so. And so, for 2019, here’s how things went…

Resolution #1: Keep Blogging. I kicked butt at this one. I posted more things, and tried more new things, than I think I ever have. Or maybe it just felt that way because I was documenting most of it haha. I continued to blog so much so that I actually still enjoy it… whaaaa. This makes me very excited for 2020 as I have some cool ideas in the works that I will be posting here, such as new tutorials, new recipes and a few other random thoughts that I will be putting into new sections here on Thistle + Rose Studios.

Resolution #2: Two Week Detox. Obviously, this was over a long, long time ago (the first two weeks of 2019), but has inspired me to complete a total month of sobriety (and no smoking) to begin 2020. I will be doing a Dry January and from that incorporating some fun projects and classes to keep myself occupied and motivated. Stay tuned for more posts on this, and let me know if you want to join in on the challenge!

Resolution #3: 2019 The Year of No New Things. I’ll admit, I was better at this one for the first six months of 2019 rather than the last half. But hey, I think I’ve still done pretty good. I think I can actually remember each new thing I’ve bought which means, to me anyway, that I haven’t bought that much. I also still pretty much feel like everything I bought was necessary to buy new, but maybe you can tell me if you agree. I bought a vacuum cleaner, a new hat from Nashville (which was actually a reward for making it 6 months without buying anything new), 2 pairs of shoes (one for casual and work needs the other for the gym – it can be really tough to find good shoes at the thrift store for specific purposes), a dining room table (which is probably my second favorite purchase next to my hat), and a couple of souvenirs while in Hawaii (I’ve never actually looked for thrift in Hawaii… might have to do that next time). Overall, I’d say I did pretty well. For 2020, I’d like to keep this idea alive, while also spending LESS time and money thrifting and allowing myself to buy things I need in the higher price ranges to get them at a higher level of quality. For example, new jeans are tough for me to find at the thrift store and I may need new jeans this year, so I might allow myself to spend $100+ on a nice new pair. All in all, I think this resolution is a good one to follow all year and every year. It’s further shown me the value of purchasing secondhand as well as showing me that I don’t need as much as I think I do.

Resolution #4: Sustainability Through Food. This resolution was another that was better at the first 6 months than the last. This is partly due to weather. I had a spring/summer garden but failed to put together a winter garden. Also, my spring summer garden did okay, but not great, I think mostly due to weird weather and late rains here in California. Overall though, I am proud of myself and I learned alot. I am looking forward to using this knowledge to start some seeds here within the next couple months. I am also proud of the progress I made with making food at home. Up until the holidays I was kicking butt at doing meal prep, making dinners at home and eating all of our leftovers. It saved us a ton of money but it also cut down on a TON of our food waste. I am also proud to say that I have learned many, many new things about preparing vegan food, and have posted many of my newfound recipes here. I was even able to create an entire vegan Thanksgiving meal from scratch. I hope to do an entire post on this in Fall 2020. I did not do as well as I had hoped at not having our groceries delivered, but I think I am ready to succumb to the convenience. Having a full-time job plus numerous side hustles and trying to cook all food at home while going to the gym and maintaining a social life is busy. So I think it’s okay that I have groceries delivered more often than not. It gives me time to worry about more important things and it’s only $5 which to me is worth the time I’m saving by not having to make a trip to the grocery store.

Resolution #5: Take Better Care of Your Body. This resolution overall has been challenging at times, but overall so good! I think the most difficult part is finding a balance between living a more healthy lifestyle versus trying to implement a completely new habit like going to the gym every day. I’ve learned that it’s okay to substitute a trip to the gym with a long walk outside, or to do a class at home on Youtube. As long as I am doing something active every day it doesn’t have to be the gym. I think this will come in especially handy in the first few months of January since the gym will most likely be jam-packed with new people trying to kickstart their resolutions. I am looking forward to finding more ways to be active outside versus inside and to involve my dogs more too since they love to be active with me. I’ve also started taking and selling supplements through Arbonne which have been making me feel great. The probiotics and dietary supplements have shown me the most results and have me feeling better than I have in a long time. I also enjoy using their protein shakes as a breakfast (and have been using them since November now) and find it a great alternative to not eating breakfast like I was doing before. I find myself with more energy throughout the day and I tend to sleep better too. If you’re interested in finding out more about these products, let me know or you can browse on shop on your own using this link here.

Overall, 2019 has been a great year of lessons and finding what’s important to me. With only one day of the year left, I am excited to build new goals and formulate new resolutions to further enrich and improve my life. I also look forward to continuing to maintain this blog and share my experiences. 2020 is only a day away, and the best is yet to come.

Half Way Through 2019 – Resolutions Check-In

We are half way through 2019 already – can you believe it? It seems like the years go by faster and faster every year and this one is no exception. It’s been fun though having real attainable goals and trying to achieve them, and stick to them, throughout the last 6 months. I wanted to do a post today to tell you all about how my resolutions are going, what I’ve been able to do to stay on target and what my plans are for the remaining half of the year. Let’s get into it! If you want more details and specifics about my resolutions go check out my other posts here.

Resolution #1 – Keep Blogging – so far so good! I’ve had a couple lapses where I didn’t post for a while, but overall I think I’ve stayed fairly dedicated. I’ve had to switch my focus from time to time in order to keep myself excited and into blogging, but I think that’s also kept the site more interesting. I mean, does anyone really want to just read about the same thing all the time? I know I don’t want to write like that. I plan on continuing to use this blog as sort of a personal journal to include my resolution accountability, culinary experiments, pop-up camping adventures and overall life lessons. Stay tuned for travel posts about Nashville, some awesome vegan recipes I tried out this weekend for my Mom’s 60th birthday and many more pop-up camping posts!

Resolution #2 – Two Week Detox, January 2019 – okay, so this one has been completed, but I’ve been having some thoughts on it. I think I want to do another detox here fairly soon and this time for 3 weeks. I’m just trying to figure out the optimal date to do it which during the summer and wedding season can be tough, because hello, champagne toasts, camping trips, bbqs and every other excuse for a cold one. However, I really enjoyed the way my body felt after the detox and think it may be time for another. This is something I think I’d like to do more regularly just in general, this way it will get easier every time and hopefully have lasting effects on how often I drink and smoke regularly. So more on that to come…

Resolution #3 – 2019, The Year of No New Things – I have been killing it at this one! I have mentioned this in previous posts but now that we are at the 6 month mark I think it’s an incredibly important check-in. I have been able to go 6 whole months without really buying anything new. Okay so, some exception – first, I bought a vacuum cleaner. Our vacuum died and with having 5 animals in the house it’s not really something I can live without, nor is it something I want to buy used. Our vacuum has to be beastly when it comes to animal hair and I just don’t think a thrifted vacuum would cut it, so I bought it new. Second, I rewarded myself a little early. I had decided in January when I made this resolution that I would allow myself two slips – one at 6 months and one at the end of the year. Well, I went to Nashville in May, and really wanted to buy a new hat – like a nice hat, a really nice hat. I did just that. I bumped my reward up a couple months and bought myself a hat in Nashville. It’s super awesome and I’m in love with it and it’s really the only fun thing I’ve purchased new (unless you think lotions and toothpaste and stuff like that is fun, which hey, you do you.) Every other items I’ve purchased this year has been from the thrift store or somehow secondhand. I’ve also gotten lucky enough to receive some pretty sweet hand-me-down items (hello, new overalls) and I think have been distracted enough by my other resolutions that this goal has not been difficult to accomplish so far. I definitely think it’s something I will continue to do for years to come.

Resolution #4 – Sustainability Through Food – this resolution has been a little tougher, but hey I’m still here and doing it! Mostly this resolution started as a ploy to get myself to garden, but it’s also about cooking at home, meal-prepping and saving money along the way. The gardening has been going great. My garden is finally producing and the harvest is not only delicious but fun and rewarding. If you want to see my recent post on my Garden Check-In you can read it here. The other facets to this resolution have been tougher for sure and have started to slip even more now that we’re in the middle of the year. I’m cooking less and eating out more it feels like, but still not eating out as much as before. I’ve continued to actually pick my groceries up at the store versus having them delivered – Except the occasional Costco delivery, because let’s face it that place can be hell. I’ve been trying a couple different subscription boxes lately to see if that helps with the urge to be lazy. I’m not super duper disappointed in myself, but I know I need to get better. This week I have some meals from HelloFresh that I need to try out. I think it’s just been so busy these past few months that sometimes it’s just easier to grab a pizza or tacos from somewhere else. I’m determined to get back into the swing of meal prepping and making my own food though, so I’ll check back in a few weeks and let you know how that’s going.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Resolution #5 – Take Better Care of Your Body – this one has been great, but of course with up and downs. The downs are more due to just being busy and either not having time to hit the gym or not having the energy. I have gotten better about doing exercises at home even if I can’t get to the gym though, and that’s something I was never good with before. Today is a new day, and the beginning of a new month, so I plan on hitting the gym after work for some cycling. The big bummer about this resolution is that the gym was super clean and empty in the beginning since it was brand new. As it’s been open longer it’s gotten more and more crowded which in turn makes it more annoying for me to go. I’ve thought about maybe cancelling the membership and working out more at home instead, but I do enjoy the stationary bike and just can’t see myself purchasing one right now. Overall, I can see a difference in my body since working out more often which is what the goal was. I have definitely lost some weight as well and I am back on the intermittent fasting regiment. Basically what this means is I’m allowing myself to eat between the hours of noon and 8pm and fasting for a full 16 hours in between. Sometimes this time range fluctuates a bit but is always a 16 hour fasting period. I’ve seen big differences in my body and in my mental capacity by fasting this way. The hardest part is the weekends which I do sometimes cheat for. I love a good breakfast and sometimes it’s more fun to do breakfast earlier in the day on a Saturday then to wait for a brunch. I’m also looking forward to more walks in the fall as it’s too hot to take the doggies right now. I know they miss walking but don’t want to risk burning their paws on the asphalt. Luckily, I’m more active in the summertime in general so I think I’m doing fairly well on this resolution so far.

So there you have it – my half-way through the year check in. Overall, I’m pretty proud of myself and can’t wait to stick through it to the end of the year. I’ll continue to keep this blog updated. Let me know in the comments below how your resolutions are going. Are you still staying committed or have the months made you fall off the wagon?

Until next time,

MelissaRose

May 2, NY19 Resolutions Check-In

Hi all! I’m here today with another accountability check-in on my New Year’s resolutions. I’m happy to say that I’m still doing fairly well on all of my goals that I set forth. Let’s get into them in order…

My first New Year’s resolution was to keep up with my blog. I’ll have to admit, lately I haven’t been posting as much as when I first started, but I am still posting. So that’s good. I’m posting almost once a week which was my minimum goal when I started. Unfortunately, the toughest part now is thinking of content to write about. I’ve blogged most of my favorite go-to recipes already and a few posts about thrifting. I think I will have to step up my at home cooking a bit more in order to give myself things to write about. I also need to get better at photographing things I’m up to so that I can post about them. I have already moved my seedlings to the garden and laid down my soaker hose irrigation, but unfortunately did not take any photos so it makes it difficult to illustrate my process in my posts. In order to try and keep up with this resolution, I’m going to try and be better at documenting certain processes and recipes that I can post here.

My third resolution (skipping number two because it was only a two week goal at the beginning of the year) was to not buy anything new. I am doing great with this one despite the occasional urge to splurge. No, really, I went to Target yesterday to get an eyebrow pencil (can’t buy these used), and ended up with an entire basket full of goodies. I looked at the basket and realized that I was getting ready to buy a bunch of stuff I didn’t really need and that would really just end up being a waste of money. I’m proud to say that I put all the items back and left with the items I had intended to buy originally. We all know how difficult this can be at Target, so I’m pretty proud of myself to say the least. I have continued to purchase clothing and other items secondhand when I need to. The only new items I’ve purchased so far are a vacuum cleaner, mascara, an eyebrow pencil and of course other toiletries and cleaning supplies you really can’t buy secondhand. Overall, this is a huge win because I used to frivolously spend pretty often. I am excited to keep this going throughout the rest of the year. Oh! However, I should mention, I will be going to Nashville in May, and I am thinking about rewarding myself at the half way of the year mark (close enough) with a new hat. We will see how that goes…

New Year’s resolution number four is sustainability through food. This one is also going great. I have all of my vegetable seedlings now transferred to the garden and have been watering them regularly to keep them alive and well. Some seem like the recent heat wave may have hit them a bit hard, but I’m hoping they will bounce back. I’ve also been fairly good at not ordering out for food (although this has happened a few times – damn you DoorDash!!). I’ve curbed waste in our home by purchasing dinners in the evenings at the store instead of doing large grocery trips each week. I’m finding that this cuts down on the possibility of menu plans being forgotten or skipped and food being wasted. I’ve also found that it helps keep me more accountable to actually make dinner instead of ordering something that may be less healthy and typically more expensive.

My final resolution was to take better care of my physical form – working out mostly. I’m proud to say that my gym opened a few months ago, and I am now on my 7th (or maybe it’s my 8th? I can’t remember) week of going to the gym at least 3 days a week (I may have had one busy week where I only went once or twice, but did work out at home instead). I’m really enjoying going to the gym, and feel like I’m finally starting to see real results when I look in the mirror. It feels great to put in the work and I find that I’m sleeping better, wanting to eat better, and also waking up feeling more energized than I have in months. This also helps with my evening grocery store trips. My grocery store is right next door to my gym, so swinging by after a workout makes it super convenient and quick to grab stuff for dinner.

Overall, I am happy with my progress this year, and I really feel like this blog has been helping me to build good habits. Going to the gym and cooking every night may not seem like alot, but working a full time job plus managing several freelance opportunities and maintaining a home can be tough. Often it can be difficult to balance my time properly and encourage myself to do things other then sit and watch tv when the days feel so grueling. I’m happy to say that finding new things to keep me busy is not making me more tired but quite the opposite. I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor already and can’t wait to see what I can sow throughout the rest of the year. Thanks for reading!

MelissaRose

March 11, NY19 Resolutions Check-In

It’s been a while since I checked in with how my New Year’s resolutions are going, so I thought I’d write up a quick post to keep myself accountable. If you’re reading this, I hope it helps you to stick to your resolutions as well or maybe to pick back up on them if you’ve fallen off the wagon.

My first resolution is to keep up on my blog, which I am happy to say I think I’ve been doing a fairly good job doing. I’ve been posting almost once a week, and I feel like it’s really helped me to take more pride in the things I’m cooking, the plants I’m planting and the steps I’m taking towards living a more sustainable life. If you want to see what I’ve been up to, go to my home page to scroll through my most recent posts, or use the menu above to browse by category.

My second resolution was a two week detox, which ended a while ago, so I’ll be skipping to resolution #3: No New Things. Resolution #3 is basically a rule I set for myself to not buy anything new in 2019 unless absolutely necessary. So far, I am doing great, as the only things I’ve purchased new are a vacuum cleaner and some hair clips. Both of these items I feel are completely justified as I would never buy either of these things used, and the vacuum cleaner is a huge necessity in our house because of all of our fur babies. Also, I didn’t just go out and purchase a new vacuum for the heck of it, our old one took a crap and so it was necessary to find a replacement. I got an amazing pet-focused vacuum from Kohl’s which I’ve been thrilled with (major #adulting), and the Kohl’s cash program gave me $30 back which I was able to use to purchase new pads for my steam mop. To be honest, sometimes I miss buying new things, but it’s made me even more resourceful and more determined to find things used. I even found a Kitchenaid can opener at the thrift store!

Resolution #4 is sustainability through food. This is a multi-faceted goal including more cooking, less eating out, as well as starting a larger garden. So far, the cooking has been mostly on point with the exception of a few unplanned cheat days. It’s been fun to try new recipes like bagels and lobster tails in lieu of purchasing these items premade at the store or in a restaurant. I’m also finding that the more recipes I try, the more my confidence builds in the kitchen. The more confidence I have the more fun it is for me to try new things and see how many things I can make that I never thought I would before. The lobster tails and bagels (not at the same time LOL) are definitely the most daunting things I’ve tried, but both turned out wonderfully and make me excited to see what I can do next. The gardening has been going pretty great too. I will be getting ready to harden off my seedlings this week to get them ready for the great outdoors. I have one more bed to prep in the backyard before they can move in which I’m hoping to get done either this week or next weekend. The longer days should now help with having more time to get things done. Also, the weather is looking excellent (finally!) so I’m definitely looking forward to spending some time in the yard.

My fifth resolution is a pretty standard goal for most people around New Years, and that is to take better care of my physical form. It’s been a rough go the last couple of months since we’ve been getting a TON of rain. Each weekend that is hasn’t rained though, my husband and I have been taking river walks with our German shepherd Nixie. It’s about a 3.5 mile walk/hike round trip and it’s always a nice little escape and a joy to be out in nature. Also, my new gym finally opened up last week! I’ve been once so far, but I am so excited to continue to go. The place is so clean and new and I love how the machines are set up. It’s been a while since I visited a gym regularly, but I just know that if I can keep myself going for the first couple of weeks I won’t want to stop.

So that’s pretty much it on how I’m doing so far this year. Overall I’m pretty proud of my consistency and progress. I definitely think having this blog and having a place to document everything I’m working on is super helpful.

What about you? How are your resolutions going?

Until next time!

MelissaRose

January 3, NY19 Resolutions: Detox, Walking, Meal-Planning

Today is officially day 3 of working on my New Year’s resolutions. So far, the main challenges have been resolution #1 (keeping up with my blog) and resolution #2 (two week detox). I should also mention that I didn’t make a dedicated description blog for resolution #5 because I felt it was pretty self explanatory (working out, better physical care). I am proud to say that it is day 3, and I have not had any alcohol, cigarettes, or sweets, and I’ve walked every day except the first (because hello New Year’s Eve regrets). So far it hasn’t been too tough other than band practice on the second day. Band practice is the evening where the band gets together, plays and writes music, and drinks beer (and some of us smoke). I think this night was especially difficult because smoking for me is such a habit based addiction. I don’t feel that I crave it physically in my body so much as I just feel like I’m supposed to be doing it because I’ve done it in this time and place so many times before… a bad habit. Not drinking isn’t as difficult for me, plus I know if I were to slip up and have a drink I’d just want a cigarette even more – thank you alcohol for keeping me honest. Anywho, it’s going pretty good so far, and I think I am already seeing some of the benefits.


Taking walks has been so nice! I really love being outside with my dogs, even if it does feel freezing cold outside. Today we visited a local coffee shop that has amazing breakfast burritos. We got coffee and sat with our burritos in the park. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy the clean, fresh air without wanting a cigarette. I think another benefit I’m feeling already is my sleep. I feel as if I’ve slept far more soundly than usual and feel like it’s easier to initially fall asleep as well. I don’t know if this is an actual side effect of detoxing from nicotine, but I’ll take what I can get. Today was supposed to be the most difficult day for cravings. I read online in several places that once you’ve quit for 72 hours that the nicotine is 100% out of your system. I find it incredible that the changes can happen this fast. Again, I don’t feel like I’ve really had too many physical cravings, and being at home (I took the week off work) I think makes the habit part of it easier to ignore since I don’t typically smoke much when I’m at home anyhow.


Being on vacation at home has been nice. It’s given me time to really reflect as well as research and keep up on some of my resolutions. I still have 3 days left in which I plan to meal plan, prep and shop for the coming week. I think what I want to do is a rice, hummus, vegetable bowl that I used to meal prep for lunches, and maybe some egg muffins for breakfast. I’ll post the recipes for them later one once I’m able to get some decent photos. I’m also looking forward to trying out some new bread recipes. I either want to make my own bread bowls for soup or some sandwich bread to cut down on grocery costs (the bread we buy now is over $5 a loaf). So far in the New Year, it’s been a lot of take out and fast food – which is fine to me right now since I haven’t been grocery shopping and since I haven’t been getting any of it delivered (ha, go me!). My favorite eat-out meal so far has been the new Beyond Famous Star burger from Carl’s JR. Seriously, if you’re a vegetarian, go try this thing, it’s bomb.

Well, I think that’s all for now. This has been my first accountability check for 2019 and so far so good.

Do you have any favorite bread or meal prep recipes you’d like to share? How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

MelissaRose