New Years Resolution 2021 + 2020 Resolution Recap

2020 Resolutions, Ramble On

2020 was a wild ride. Between the pandemic, the social unrest, and the overall uncertainty of life, I can’t say I did much to focus on my resolutions. Rather, I just tried to live life to the best of my ability without going insane. I will say however, I think that overall I did end up sticking to my resolutions fairly well considering my lack of focus. I’ll recap that here briefly:

Resolution #1 was Dry January and Better Health – I did complete a Dry January, but my healthy eating habits were pretty sporadic. With the California lockdowns spanning most of the year, many of our meals were take out and not always the healthiest options. You can tell from my blog posts that my vegan meal prepping was going strong until about April – which is when the pandemic really started to ramp up. However, I did workout and practice yoga more frequently than ever in 2020 which somewhat counterbalanced my less than stellar food choices.

Resolutions #2 and #3 were to Go Outside and to Grow that Garden – both of these I accomplished without any problem. Having more time at home made it easy to maintain my garden and be outside as much as possible. My garden this year flourished with tomatoes, eggplants, squash, carrots, beets and so much more. It was really, really nice to be able to water every morning and actually watch things grow day by day. Plus, the lockdown made the urge to be outside greater than ever. I spent much of my year outside whether I was in my inflatable pool in my backyard, or walking the trails by the river.

Resolution #4 was to Shop Less, Fair and Small – this was another fairly easy one to accomplish. Not having anywhere to be made it easy to not shop, especially since many of the thrift stores were closed for most of the middle of the year. Shopping fair and small was also fairly easy since when it did come time to purchase things I really took the time to think about who or what I was supporting with my purchase. My main large purchases this year were jeans from Madewell’s fair trade line and a VR set for our Playstation.

Resolutions #5 and #6 were to Create Everyday and to Try New Things – creating every day was easy at first, but this seemed to get significantly more challenging the longer the lockdown went on. Bouts of depression, boredom and general unease made it difficult to find a creative mindset on certain days. Trying new things, at least the new things I outline in my resolution was nearly impossible since everything was closed. The first three months of the year I did go gung-ho and tried a few new classes including TRX, yoga, Pilates and tactical pistol shooting class, but once April hit it wasn’t as easy to find new things to go do. I thought about taking classes online, but again, some days it was just difficult to find the motivation.

2021 New Year Resolution

I only have one resolution this year – be more intentional. This encompasses so many things for me across my life including the food I eat, what I buy, the choices I make day-to-day and the people I surround myself with. Sure, 2020 was crazy, but it taught me alot – alot about myself, about my life and about the life I want to live. So for 2021 I want to put those lessons into action and make sure that everything I do is done with intention and is done in a way to make my life and myself better. Here’s to 2021!

Dry January Final Check-In

2020 Resolutions

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

2019 Resolutions

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

2019 Resolutions, Ramble On

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

Getting Better Sleep

Ramble On
bed with textures and orchid

One of my resolutions for this year is to take better care of my physical body. To me, this means a myriad of things – better diet, more exercise, less bad things like sweets, alcohol and cigarettes, but also, more sleep. Well, maybe more sleep isn’t the right way to say it, what I mean is better sleep. Falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, waking up earlier. There are many, many articles on the internet about how to get better sleep. Some say to turn off your television or to make sure your room is completely dark and quiet, other say to listen to sound machines or charge your phone in another room. But I don’t think it’s a cookie cutter solve for everyone. In this post, I’m going to tell you what I do to get better sleep. And again, this may not work for you, but it works for me and so I thought I would share it, even if it doesn’t align with what you normally read.

Background Noise

I love background noise when I sleep. Whether it’s a movie, some music playing or a weird playlist of rain and whale sounds, I enjoy having noise droning in the background as I fall asleep. For me, this makes sense. I have three dogs and two cats, all of whom sleep in my room (as well as my husband, obviously). I am very sensitive to sound when I’m trying to fall asleep. Listening to breathing patterns, snoring, mouth noises, all of it can keep me awake at night. To make matters worse, I think everyone except for my german shepherd (who is quite a bit younger than all the other animals) snores. To drown this out, I enjoy having a movie playing in the background, but if not a movie than music. For the movie, I turn the brightness on our bedroom television pretty much all the way down and try to pick movies I’ve seen several times so that I’m not kept up by the fear of missing something important. Some of my main go to movies are The Lord of the Rings series, Star Wars and numerous animated family films such as Megamind, Shrek, or anything Pixar to name a few. I’m able to fall asleep to these quickly as I already know what’s going to happen and the dialogue and music drown out the sleepy snoring sounds of my beloveds. Most articles will tell you to turn off the TV before bed, but I say let it play.

Relaxing Drinks

I absolutely love tea before bed. The warm feeling I get while sipping tea in bed is so relaxing and comforting to me. Not only that, but I drink teas with herbs and mixtures in them that promote healthy sleep. My current favorite is from Yogi Teas and is their Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea. The sweetness of the honey and lavender is delicious, but I also love the calming smell of the lavender before trying to fall asleep. They also have Bedtime Tea that I haven’t tried yet but need to. Another brand that I learned of from my mom years and years ago is Celestial Seasons Sleepytime Tea. It’s a delicious herbal blend that has been around for over 40 years, and I just love the cute little bear on the packaging. Lastly, a new drink I tried recently is the Mushroom Hot Cacao from Four Sigmatic. I received a sample from a recent Sephora order and was surprised to see mushroom and hot cocoa in the same label. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. The chocolate was rich with a hint of cinnamon and not a lick of mushroom could be detected. What intrigued me even more was upon reading their website I learned that the reishi mushroom used in the hot chocolate promotes restful sleep as well as stress release. I could feel my body relaxing almost instantly after trying this, and while I’m not big on hot chocolate or chocolate in general, I would consider subbing this into my routine once in a while for a sweet treat before bed.

Stretching

Sometimes when I lay in bed, I can feel my legs and arms becoming restless from the motion of the day. The blood pumping through my veins feels as if it’s trying to slow down and relax, but is having difficulty resting without some coercion. This is where stretching helps me tremendously. Sometimes I stretch outside of bed, doing a few light yoga moves such as downward dog or child’s pose. Other times, I forget and stretch in bed. This usually involves grabbing my feet and raising my legs over my body, or sitting up and doing a butterfly stretch under the covers. I’m no expert on this, so definitely do what’s right for your body. Youtube is a great reference for sleeping stretches that you can do before bed. I suggest you look into them and see what works best for you. (You can find some good out of bed stretches from Fitness Magazine here.) Ultimately, this helps relax my body a great deal before calling it for the night. I think it’s important to give your body a cool down period before just plopping into bed. I know for me it is helpful and can also help to calm my mind as well because of the overall relaxing nature of stretching out tired muscles.

Just Breathe

Similar to stretching, finding an even and calm breathing routine before trying to sleep helps me to regulate my body and prepare it for relaxation mode. One routine that works well for me is this: inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds. I will do this cycle of breathing several times, or until I feel like my heart has stopped pounding with the stress of the day. It’s incredibly relaxing and when done after stretching and a cup of tea makes my body feel like it’s almost instantly ready for sleep.

Turn Down the Heat

This is more of a wintertime tip, but I think is important to mention. During the colder months, turn down your thermostat instead of cranking it up to keep you warm. This is because your body actually sleeps better when it’s cooler. It’s true! Did you know your body temperature actually starts dropping when it’s time for you to sleep? This is why it feels so energizing to exercise, because you are feeling warm. And don’t worry about getting cold in the middle of the night (I mean, sleep with blankets obviously) because your body is actually expelling heat while you sleep. If you’ve ever woken up because you’re too hot, you’ll know what I mean. I turn my thermostat to 64° and sleep with a down alternative comforter. I stay warm throughout the night and even wake up too warm sometimes in the mornings. The worst part about this tip is getting up in the morning, but I usually just run to the thermostat to turn it up a few degrees before jumping in a hot shower. You can read more about sleep and body temperature here.

I think that’s all the tips I have for you today. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for getting better sleep. Until then, sweet dreams!

MelissaRose

January 14, NY19 Resolutions Check-In

2019 Resolutions

Today is technically the end of my first New Year’s resolution – a 2 week detox from alcohol, cigarettes and sweets. I’ll admit I didn’t do as great as I wanted, at least with the smoking, but everything else I’ve been fairly solid. I smoked on Wednesday of last week, and while it felt like a small failure, I’m not beating myself up too bad since my goal wasn’t to quit smoking completely. My goal was and is to cut back on smoking and treat it more like drinking I guess. I don’t drink every day, I don’t drink during the day (except on special occasions or mimosas at brunch) and I think I’d like to treat smoking that way as well. So, while I did have a cigarette Wednesday evening, I did not smoke during the day at work or at home at any point and have decided to only smoke socially or when I’m drinking, which I’m good with and completely capable of. Furthermore, I feel that not smoking cigarettes for over a week after smoking for 10+ years is pretty good, especially since I did it cold turkey and without the aid of any sort of supplement such as the patch or gum. I proved to myself that I can quit long enough to get the toxins out of my system, and that’s exactly what I did.

Drinking went almost the full two weeks. I put in a previous post that I had a fairly important birthday party to attend on Saturday and that I was contemplating taking a hiatus from my detox for the occasion. I decided to have that hiatus and so ended up drinking at said party. It was fun, however, I did not anticipate the change in tolerance from not having drank for almost two weeks straight. I may have gone a little overboard, and while I hope I didn’t make a complete fool of myself, I felt it the next day. But I think it was a good lesson learned. I hate the day after drinking. Saturday was such a productive weekend day and it felt so nice to wake up early, get things done and then have time to relax before having more things to attend to. This made Sunday feel so much worse, as I sat on my couch for hours on end, regretting the decisions I made the previous night. Overall, it made me realize that moderation is key, and that I don’t have to drink at every occasion just because other people are drinking. I’m capable of saying no, and capable of sticking to it.

The one thing I’ve stuck to my guns to the entire two weeks is no sweets. This isn’t too difficult for me as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth to begin with. Not that I don’t like the occasional cookie or bowl of ice cream now and then, but I didn’t feel any terrible cravings over the past two weeks. I think I’ll keep this one going too. I’m already seeing good changes in my body from the lack of drinking and lack of sweets. I’ve also started drinking an apple cider vinegar drink in the mornings which I hope will help to propel my progress. Overall, I still feel better during the day with more energy and am sleeping better at night. My biological clock has changed as well. I’m waking up each morning before my alarm at around 5:50am. The best part is actually getting up and ready for work in the morning with time to spare. This spare time is used to walk my dogs if weather permits, and I love having the extra time outside before being confined to an office all day.

I’m also still sticking to my meal prepping and planning. I did my shopping for the week on Saturday morning. I once again purchased the majority of my product from the Farmer’s Market which is great because part of my resolution is to stop with convenience and start supporting more local causes. I have some rather tasty meals planned for the week, a couple of which are new that I’m excited to try and hopefully blog about. I haven’t purchased anything new as part of my no buying anything new resolution for the entire year. And, like I said, I’ve continued to walk in the mornings as part of my resolution to take better care of my body (my gym is still not open… need to check on the progress of that).

I’m proud of my progress and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m excited to get to tackling my other resolutions as well, mostly the gardening. I believe I’ll need to purchase my seeds soon for starting indoors. I’ve been pinning upcycled ideas for planters like crazy and can’t wait to see what other ones I can come up with. All in all, I’m excited and looking forward to the next steps.

How are your resolutions or goals going for the year? Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself so far?

MelissaRose

January 8, NY19 Resolutions Check-In

2019 Resolutions

Today marks the eighth day of the New Year and so the eighth day of working on my 2019 resolutions. So far, so good. I have reached the half-way point in my two week detox. I have not had a cigarette, a drink or a sweet since December 31, 2018. I can’t say that it’s been incredibly easy, although it hasn’t been terribly challenging either. Like I said in my previous check-in on January 3rd, the most difficult time was Wednesday night during band practice. This will come around again tomorrow. I do not think it will be as tough as the first week. Having other people over drinking and smoking does present temptation, however. The other part that was difficult at first was coming back to work. Smoke breaks at work were a good little stop in the day to sit on my phone and not think about anything. Without smoking, I don’t find myself taking the same breaks. Also, as I said in my previous check-in, I think that smoking is more of a habit for me than a physical addiction, and so not being able to follow through on that habit was a bit difficult the first couple of days back at work even though I had already gone six days without a cigarette.

My other resolutions have been going well also. I’m continuing to follow my meal prep plan with prepared lunches and planned out dinners. I am not stick to my original meal schedule so to speak, but I’m not going out to eat or grabbing fast food for lunch. I’ve been cooking dinner every night and preparing lunches and breakfasts in the morning for my husband and I. It’s been nice actually. I always feel better when I eat food from home. Fast food just makes me feel so sluggish. I really don’t know why I ever go back when cooking can be so easy. Speaking of, I don’t want to do a full post highlighting this since it isn’t really a recipe, but the easiest and most delicious cheap lunch idea came to me last week – homemade frozen bean burritos. Seriously, it sounds crazy, but I made some frozen burritos at home this weekend. I used one can of vegetarian refried beans, a can of Rotel, some shredded Mexican cheese and tortillas. I wrapped it all up together into a burrito (all together it made four decent sized burritos) then wrapped the burrito in parchment paper and placed in a ziploc bag for freezing. The next day, I put the burritos in little containers for us to take to work. It only took about a minute and a half to heat them up and they were delicious! This was a great discovery for me because it’s so cheap and easy to prep. I will be saving this idea and using it in the future.

My last resolution is to take better care of my physical form. I’m happy to report that I’ve been successful with this also. I’ve been waking up at 6am every morning with enough time to have a cup of coffee, get ready for work and take our dogs on a walk. The pups really love the extra attention and I’m finding that I really enjoy the extra jump-start to my morning. I haven’t officially started working out yet since the gym I joined hasn’t opened yet, but I’m hoping they will soon so that I can get back into some light weightlifting as well. All in all, the lack of toxins, the light exercise and the healthy sleep pattern have made me feel amazing! I have more energy throughout the day, I fall asleep faster and sleep better and I find myself looking forward to getting home and making dinner.

This weekend may be more tough than the last, however, to stick to my resolution guns. My husband and I are supposed to attend a pirate themed 30th birthday party on Saturday. This is only three days away from the end of my two week detox. I’m struggling with the thought of cheating for the one day so I can enjoy myself versus sucking it up and finishing out the detox. A part of me thinks it would be fine to do it for one day, and then to maybe extend the detox afterwards to the following weekend, thus giving myself almost another entire week of detox. But another part of me says I need to stick it out. It’s a difficult decision too because it’s a family member’s birthday party, and I don’t want them to think I’m not having fun or being a party pooper. Decisions, decisions. I guess I will have to get through the week to see what I end up wanting to do. I’m still so torn at this point. Gah – what would you do?

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great start to their year. It feels like it’s flying by already doesn’t it? Until next time…

MelissaRose

NY19 Resolution #4: Sustainability Through Food

2019 Resolutions

When I was about 10 years old, my parents decided to escape suburban life and move to the country. We lived on several acres, had loads of animals (eventually) and my mom always had a huge garden. She would plant gobs of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, squash, berries, fruit trees and pretty much anything else you can think of. In the winter, she’d continue to garden by swapping out the beds with crops that could withstand the cold like lettuce, kale and garlic (to name a few). My siblings and I loved to sit in the garden and eat fruits and veggies right off the vine. The gardens were a great way for my parents to feed four kids and save a little bit of money, all while creating special memories.

Last year, armed with a shovel and a bit of nostalgia, I attempted a garden of my own. My backyard already had two decently sized raised planter beds that I filled with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, squash, zucchini and a couple different types of peppers. The tomatoes went crazy as did the zucchini and the squash, the peppers didn’t do as good, but I was able to get a couple of items from each plant. It was so nice to be able to reach for organic homegrown vegetables and not have to pay outrageous prices. All it took was the starting money to buy the fertilizer and the plants plus a little elbow grease. This year, I want to make the garden even better and make the process cheaper too. I’m going to use the same two beds as last year, but this year I’m also going to dig up a planter bed on my side yard that I grew dahlias and daisies in last year. To save money, I am going to start my plants from seeds earlier in the year instead of buying plants. This will take a bit more work, but I think in the long run will be much more satisfying. Who knows, maybe I can grow extra plants and give them away!

This resolution is about becoming more sustainable overall when it comes to food in general. Not only do I hope to grow more of my own food, I hope to make more of it as well. I’ve already been learning to make my own breads, the next thing I’d like to start learning is sauces, pasta, and other items I can make ahead of time instead of purchasing from the store. I’d also like to get back into meal prepping lunches and breakfasts and being better at making dinners at home rather than ordering in. Lastly, I need to get better about physically going to the store to get my groceries instead of ordering online for pickup and delivery. Every once in a great while would be fine to use it, but the amount of money I waste on having things delivered is really adding up. This resolution shouldn’t be too challenging overall, and I’m excited to see what I can learn and accomplish while working through it.

Do you follow any of these rules regularly? How do you live a more sustainable life through your food?

MelissaRose

NY19 Resolution #3: Sustainability // No New Things

2019 Resolutions

We live in a world that is driven by hardcore consumerism. Every holiday and event presents its own opportunity to purchase something new, whether it be a gift, a card, an outfit, a pair of shoes – pretty much anything as long as you’re able to find justification. It seems a little crazy to me that we are all so ready to spend crazy amounts of money at any time on things we don’t need or on things that we give to others that they don’t really need. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love gift-giving as much as the next person and I guess what this epiphany is for me isn’t necessarily about not spending money but about being more thoughtful about what I’m spending my money on.

Throughout 2018 I made a conscious effort to quit spending money on fast-fashion, and can actually proudly say that I did not spend a single dime on clothing from Forever 21, H&M or Target. I did buy some jeans from Levi’s and a couple things from Nordstrom but that’s another story about my fashion needs altogether. But this year I am upping the ante – no purchasing anything brand new, and this is everything – no clothing, home items, kitchen accessories, bathroom decor, etc. Pretty much anything that isn’t a COMPLETE necessity, I am not going to purchase brand new. This does leave open a loop-hole – notice I say “I’m not purchasing anything brand new” not “I’m not purchasing anything at all”. The second-hand market is absolutely incredible. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to check out my Videos tab and take a look at some of the things I’ve been able to score in 2018 alone.

So this year I’m going full thrift, and there’s a couple of reasons why. #1: Money – you can save a TON of money by buying things second hand. Sure, you may not find it exactly when you need it, but if you keep a running list of items you need and check the stores each time you go, you’re bound to find it eventually. This can range from clothing items, dish ware, kitchen appliances, blankets, decor and more. I have found some of my favorite clothing items, my most treasured home decor items and some of the COOLEST things at my local thrift store. And thrift stores aren’t the only place open for business – there are garage sales, online second hand (such as Poshmark, Faceboook Marketplace and Craigslist), flea markets, closet swaps, estate sales and so many other unique opportunities to purchase other peoples no longer loved items. Reason #2: The planet – tons of items we no longer love make their way to our landfills every day. The garbage piles up higher and higher while we continue to purchase new things, only to end up adding those to the mountain of possessions we used to treasure. This kind of consumerism needs to stop. There is absolutely no reason or excuse for it, and with all of the items already circulating from purchase to dumping, it seems a waste to not pass on our used items to other people who might find great joy in them. Let’s end this cycle of buying cheap and tossing quickly to help save our planet from being swallowed up by waves and waves of garbage.

This challenge for me is very exciting. I love thrifting and find great joy in the hunt for things that I need. I’ve even purchased gifts from the thrift store that would have been better than anything I could have afforded brand new, and felt great pride in being able to give something that was not only useable and of great value but was not something that was going to fall apart in a month or end up in the garbage. Being sustainable in this aspect is something that is very important to me, and I anticipate this will be a large part of my blog as well as my YouTube channel simply because it is something that I am passionate about and would love to educate and inspire others to do the same.

Today is the last day of 2018, and I am looking forward to starting all of my resolutions tomorrow. We are having some people over for a fancy New Years Eve party with drinks, games and food which should be an excellent time. I am excited to ring in the New Year with close friends and celebrate all of the strides I am going to take in 2019 to better my life and the lives of others. If you’re enjoying what you’re seeing or know of someone who might enjoy it, please share this page with them. I’m always looking for like-minded people to connect with and to help keep myself encouraged as well as to inspire change in others. I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year – Cheers to 2019!

MelissaRose

NY19 Resolution #2: Two Week Detox

2019 Resolutions

My first New Year’s resolution is fairly simple – post in my blog about my New Year’s resolution 2-3 times per week. My second resolution gets a little bit more challenging. This resolution is something that I think about and truly wonder “why I’m doing this to myself”. Let’s talk a little bit about detox. Official definition:

A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.

Fairly straight forward, right? You would think so, but there are so many variations of detox. Detox diets, detox from alcohol, detox from drugs, 24 hour full-body detox, detox teas, colon cleanses, natural detox – seriously, just do a web search for “detox”. Are you seeing the pattern? So when I tell you that my New Year’s resolution is a two week detox, here is what I mean:

For two weeks I am going to abstain from alcohol, cigarettes and sugary foods. This is going to be tough. It’s going to suck, but in the end I know I will feel better. I should also mention that two weeks is a starting point. I would like to be able to continue to use less of these items moving forward, and my plan is to create some good habits within that two week period. I feel like I’m writing out a contract to myself on the internet (hello, accountability). This is why I’m posting, this is why I’m here. It’s written down and now I must do it. And I will do it because it’s going to be worth it. Okay, now that’s out of the way.

A two week detox like this is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but with my birthday in Las Vegas, and the holidays (which let’s face it, start with Halloween), life has been one big party lately. I am happy that the New Year is giving me a jumping off point and that New Year’s Eve will be a big celebration to ring it all in. After all, good health is something to celebrate.

The benefits of two weeks without alcohol are pretty crazy. (I found these results on PrioryGroup.com. Priory Group is a mental healthcare and rehabilitation services provider.) Your body becomes more hydrated, your REM cycles become more frequent and you have more energy. Not only that, you’re likely to lose weight because of all the calories in alcohol that you’re no longer consuming. Did you know, one glass of wine is equal to an entire ice cream cone? (Drinkaware.) Yikes. It’s benefits like this that make me excited to kick this resolutions butt. The benefits of quitting smoking for two weeks are even better – increased circulation in your teeth and gums, sense of smell and taste are returning to normal, decreased cravings and increased lung and heart functions. That is a whole lot of good in a short period of time. It’s almost unbelievable to me that your body can change so much in such a short amount of time simply by removing something unhealthy out of your life.

I’m not pursuing this resolution to lose weight, I want that out there. I think it’s a great benefit don’t get me wrong, but my motivation is mostly to prove to myself that I can do it and to rid myself of the toxins I’ve been pumping for the last two months. I can’t wait to see my progress and to document it along the way.

Now, time to find all those holiday cookies and eat them before January 1st…

MelissaRose