Monday, January 26, 2015

Solo Traveling

We are in the last week of January already. Insanity. And the even crazier part is that we had temps above 40 degrees this weekend!! Um What?? The snow was melting, the sun was shining, and I wasn't freezing my butt off. I quite liked it. We spent about an hour at the dog park Saturday morning which was great! It had been so long Colby Jack got tired out and slept most of the day afterwards. Yay. 

I am having major wanderlust lately. We haven't been on vacation in way too long and I really want to go somewhere new. As I have mentioned Jamal's schedule isn't exactly travel friendly so I am in a bit of a dilemma. We have a few long weekends that I ma hoping we are able to do something with but no real extended period of time to go on a week long trip. 

I have also been thinking about how I want to go somewhere new with and without Jamal. I love traveling with him but I also love going on my own and the challenge and adventure of it. I have not yet traveled completely alone-maybe one day. But I was thinking back on how in high school I went to Spain with a school group and didn't know anyone going and then how one of the weeks that we were there I stayed with a family that I knew nothing about until I got there. And then how almost a year ago now I went to New York with another school group and again did not know one person going-not even an acquaintance. 

I like the newness and adventure of going somewhere new with absolutely no one that you know. I guess it;s my own little adrenaline rush. I typically stick to things I know with people I know and if I am going to try anything new it is with a friend but for some reason traveling alone calls to me in a weird way and I love it. I was trying to think of ways in how I can do this now that I clearly will not be going on any trips with school and I got this grand idea to volunteer abroad. I found some programs that offer various trips in different countries doing a variety of things and was intrigued. I just think this is the perfect thing for me it mixes my two loves of volunteering and travel. 

I just started looking into this tonight so clearly nothing is set in stone and at this point it is a just an idea but one I am very interested in. I will be doing a lot more research on it to see if this is something I would enjoy but I'm hopeful :) So who knows maybe I found an awesome way to spend my vacation time! I will be sure to update you if anything comes from this. In the mean time have you ever traveled alone? With a tour group? Or maybe you have volunteered abroad. Tell me!! I want details. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

That 9-5

And just because I love this picture and my posts lately have been lacking in photographs

This whole working full time thing is hard. All my life I was so excited to work full time Monday through Friday and enjoy my weekends off. I dreamed of working 9-5. This was all I ever wanted. And now that I have it I love it just as much as I imagined but it sure has its downsides. For starters I really really miss random week days off. It was so nice having a Tuesday off and being able to relax or get some things done during the week and not have to use precious weekend time to do boring things like get tabs for my car. I am in dire need of them but have yet to make it to the dreaded DMV. They are open during normal business working hours. It presents a small problem. 

Or how about the whole vacation time thing. I love paid vacation, who doesn't? But my coworkers are far too good of planners for my liking. People are requesting days off for the entire year already. I have no idea what I am doing this weekend. It presents a dilemma. Aside from that Jamal is in school year round and thus a vacation is pretty much out of the question. He does have some long weekends and a total of 4 weeks off during the year but our options for going somewhere are slim so that's a downer. I like to actually go on vacation when I take time off of work. So that being said do you want a visitor?? I'll come see you! Please :) 

Also exciting news I just got hired on as a regular employee for my current position so it is really weird that this is the start of my career. I will hopefully be here for a while with the same coworkers and it is just a little crazy to me that I am an adult with a full time job. It doesn't feel real. When did this happen? 

But to bring me back down to reality and prove that I am indeed an actual adult now my mom texted me this week informing me that I have to officially start paying back my student loans this month. So that sucks. Thankfully I have a job to pay all of those bills. 

While the no more random week days off is a pretty big bummer I do enjoy no more nights or weekends. Like seriously so amazing!! Now if only we could get those weekends extended an extra day ;) 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Nourish Plan for 2015

I am really loving this word of the year thing. We have not being following each of January's goals 100% but I think we are doing really well. Also it is a little difficult for Jamal to follow some of the things since he needs to taste a lot of things in school. But so far I have been doing my best to eat gluten free and I have done really well. It is more expensive and sometimes takes some extra planning which is why I haven't done the best at eating gluten free in the past couple years but this month has been going great. 

Well I finally have list for the rest of the year on what we are going to focus on each month. Here is the grand plan for nourishing ourselves this year :)

January: Limit dairy, gluten, and desserts. No eating out. 

February: Practice Spanish/French 3 times per week

March: No extra spending- only bills 

April: 5 Random Acts of Kindness each

May: Spa month-massages, pedicures, facials, and more

June: Go for a walk twice per week together

July: Every night share 3 good things about the day

August: Once per week do a new or different workout/physical activity together 

September: Volunteer at two different places

October: Host a game night, spend time with one other couple, spend time with one other friend

November: Read a book together and discuss it-I will welcome any suggestions you have for this one! 

December: Pray together every night including praises and requests

So there it is! After seeing it all typed up here I am slightly intimidated by the list now. But I am also really excited about and hope we are able to accomplish everything each month :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Unexpected Best Friends

And we're back at Monday. Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing nothing too crazy. Hung out with Cody, Chelsey, & Celik, binged on Gilmore Girl's, babysat a few hours and ran some errands and cleaned our place. Pretty productive I guess :) This weekend I also did some thinking about the friends in our life and I would have never expected our friendships to turn out the way that they have. Some people who we used to be really close to we don't even talk to anymore while others have unexpectedly become some of our best friends. 

I started working with Chelsey at a massage clinic a few years ago. She was always really friendly and we hing out a couple of times plus I threw her an another coworker a baby shower. But thinking back on how it was then I would have never guessed that we would get so close to them and consider them some of our best friends. 

They are truly the friends we never knew we needed. They are foodies just like us which is huge! They are up for any restaurant and love trying new things. They are also fans of drinking, grilling, and dogs which makes us the perfect foursome. Plus I love babies and they made a super cute one. 

Cody and Jamal spend hours talking about football, beer and cars while Chelsey and I discuss all things kids, babysitters, and beauty. I don't know how we got so lucky with these guys. Jamal has dog sat for them many times and they even let us crash at their place for a whole month! We are now trying to plan a weekend getaway together. 

It is just so awesome to look at how we were meant to be friends. They used to live about 15 minutes from us and then we moved away and not too long after they moved even farther away. They currently live about 40 minutes from us with no traffic so it's a trek but the crazy thing is, Jamal goes to school by their new house!! Like he is at most 15 minutes away from them. Unbelievable right? We are clearly meant to be friends and stay that way. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I want to blog but sometimes I just can't think of anything worth putting into words on here for all of you to see. I had a pretty good weekend hanging out with friends that hosted a bacon themed dinner  and having a Gilmore girls marathon while Colby Jack slept soundly next to me  but with no pictures to show and honestly nothing that blog worthy happening I didn't feel like doing another pointless weekend review. I want to blog but I want it to at least be a little thought provoking or funny not lame and boring and mostly redundant as most of my weekends are so I sat last night pondering possible topics when some inspiration struck. Now I don't know how well this is going to turn out and I am blogging on my phone for the first time ever so it isn't going to be the prettiest but it's what I've got today. 

I struggle with being materialistic all the time. It seems the older I get and the more I delve into social media the more I want things I don't need and really can't even afford. As a general rule I am pretty frugal and eliminate most things once I see the price but that doesn't mean I don't want those things.  I ask myself whether I really need that thing or if my money is better off saved or put towards debt. Usually the answer is clear, don't spend it. But actually accepting that and doing it are another story. 

I go through multiple phases when trying to rationalize a purchase. It starts with the thought that I need this item. Now. Then I think how I could better spend this money by paying down some debt. Or how about saving it. But then I go back to the thought that I already have some debt. Most people do. What's the big deal? Just buy the stupid item. Sometimes that thought wins out. Sometimes it doesn't. 

I aspire to be a fantastic saver and not care a thing about materialistic things but I don't always succeed. One of my best friends Colleen is terrific at it though. She truly is someone I wish I could be more like in many ways and this is one of them. One of our last conversations centered around this topic. She is happy. And she doesn't need the latest things to keep her happy. She enjoys living a more minimal life. While I desire to one day own a huge house she would be just fine with something small and simple. I love having her in my life and sharing these conversations with her. I love having someone who doesn't always need or even want the latest and greatest. It's good to just talk. And be. And not worry about not having the coolest new thing

Life is all about balance. So it's okay that I want things That she doesn't. We are different people after all. But I love how she brings me down to earth and reminds me that simplicity is okay. Sometimes even best. 

This post was quite the ramble and I think mostly made sense. My point in one sentence is that I sometimes wish I were less materialistic but am happy with my life and choices nonetheless.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Life Word: Happiness

Nourish: to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is   necessary for life, health, and growth.-

Happy Happy New Year!! Wow I cannot believe how quickly the year flew by. Life is so different without school. I don't know where the time goes when I am not being consumed by studying and tests. 2014 was a really good year and I am ready to make 2015 even better. I was thinking about how people choose a word to focus on for the year and I decided to pick one for myself this year. After talking with Jamal we decided that together our word would be Nourish

We want to focus on being healthier people all around. This year year is all about feeding and improving and nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls. I am working on creating a specific focus for each month this year. I only need two more and then our goals will be complete and I will share them on here. This month we are focusing on our bodies. We are going to cut out dairy, gluten, and sugary treats. 

We are choosing to take a break from dairy because Jamal has learned he doesn't feel his best after eating too much of it. So we are going to take this month to see what difference no dairy will make for us. Dairy is a common allergen and a lot of people seem to benefit from avoiding it and we already know that Jamal will for sure so we are going to skip for the whole month. 

The reason we are cutting out gluten is because I don't feel good after eating it. In high school I ate exclusively gluten free and then once I got to college and ate in the cafeteria every day with sometimes questionable options I was back to eat bread all the time. A few years into school I started feeling sick all the time. My stomach just felt really horrible all time and after some time I realized that gluten was most likely the cause. Since then I have not completely eliminated it from my diet because I was focusing on things other than my health and didn't care enough but now I am ready to start making better choices for myself even if they are a bit more expensive. 

And everyone knows that sugar doesn't do anything good for our bodies so we are going to stop eating desserts and other sugary treats. I almost did it before this past May -I had a few cheats- and I am ready to do it again. I think I will be better off in the long run if I do this every few months because I love sugar and taking a break from it reminds me how much I am consuming and makes me pay attention to what I put in my mouth. 

As I was thinking of our word of the year and what it meant for us it got me thinking about what each of our words really mean. In the end aren't our words, no matter what they are, really just a way for us to find happiness? We are focusing on nourishing ourselves this year so that in the end we can be happier. Will we be healthier? Yes. And with that we become happier right? No matter what your word is this year I think the point of it is to bring your happiness. So I decided that I may have a word every year to focus on but every single day of my life my word is happiness. Tomorrow, next year, five years from now my word will still be happiness. Because I want everything that I do to bring happiness to me and those around me. This year I am focusing on nourishing my body, mind, and spirit and in turn it will be a step towards my life word of happiness. 

Let's make 2015 a great year! 

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