Grief ((personal post))

My word of 2018 is consistency.  But then life REALLY got in the way.  On December 31st, New Years Eve, my grandmother, my best friend, went into the hospital because she was short of breath.  For a couple of days things seemed to be going very poorly.  My father and I went up to see her on January 6th and things seemed to be turning around.  Her vitals were all coming back positive and she was getting ready to go to a rehabilitation center.

I brought her a picture of me in my wedding dress because I wanted to show her she had so much to live for.  She had prayed for so long that I would find someone who would love me the way she did and I did find that someone.  There was no one who deserved to be at my wedding more than my Grandma.

A couple of days after entering rehab, things started to go poorly.  I got to see her the day before she passed and tell her everything I wanted to tell her, but I know her mind was already with my Grandpa in heaven.

On January 15, 2018, my 33rd birthday, my Grandma left to be with my Grandpa in heaven.

My grandmother, Florence, was like the sun in the sky.  Her voice was so happy and positive and her spirit could lift anyone up.  After getting off of the phone with her or seeing her, I felt as if I could do anything.  She loved to love and didn’t realize how much love she had to give.

On the other hand, she had a side of her that she never even realized how hilarious she was.  We called her Joan Rivers.  Her sarcasm and wit lasted until the end.  When the paramedics came to get her from the rehab center the EMT asked her what the problem was, her response? “I’m pregnant”.

I still don’t know how to grieve for a woman who literally built me into the person that I am today.  I don’t know if I have grieved for her yet.  This week I have walked around feeling like a zombie.  I’m thankful to have a cold this week, because I can blame it on that, but I know it’s more than that.

Grief is different for everyone and everyone handles it differently.  Every experience of grief is also very different.  When my Grandfather passed I cried for what feels like weeks.  This week I am dying to  cry, dying to get a release.

But as an adult, maybe I have to create my release.  I have to talk about her, talk about my feelings, say everything I wanted to say and know that it’s ok not to be ok for a bit.

So if you’re grieving or have grieved, I’m sorry (even though I hate when people say that to me) and don’t feel pressured to explain your grief to anyone.

This is one of the shittest parts of growing up.

2 Easy Ways To Sell Clothes For Cash

When I was getting ready to move at the end of October, I really wanted to get rid of a lot of things and downsize quite a bit so I looked into  a few ways to sell some of my clothes and bags that I no longer used.

It is so easy to make some extra cash selling clothes, shoes and bags that you no longer wear, forgot to return or got as gifts and don’t use.  There are tons of ways to sell these items online, but I’m going to share the 2 ways that I have personally used and have experience with.

 

  1.  ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment store for women and children.  It is one of the first online consignment stores that I heard of.  I have used it quite a few times and I find it one of the easiest to use.

How It Works:

After you register with Thredup, you can request a Clean Out Bag to be sent to you.  A Clean Out Bag is a large bag with pre-paid postage that is used for you to send whatever it is you want to send to them.  They accept gently worn clothes, shoes and bags from a large variety of brands.  They even have an estimate calculator to help you determine if it’s worth it to send your item to them and how much you’ll earn from it.

Cost:

The Clean Out Bag is free if you don’t mind waiting a while, and I mean A WHILE, to have your bag processed and for you to get your earnings.  If you want things to move a bit quicker, you can pay $16 for an expedited bag and your bag will be processed within a week of Thredup receiving it.

Process:

Once you send your bag in, if you do not opt for the expedited bag, you have to wait a while.  I sent in my last bag in mid-October and it was processed on December 18th.  After it’s processed, you can use your funds at Thredup immediately, but if you want to cash out you have to wait another few weeks.

How Much Can You Expect To Earn?:

Well, that all depends.  There have been times where I have sent in a huge bag of stuff, but a lot of it was Old Navy and Gap Outlet stuff and I ended up making $15 from a whole damn bag of stuff.  It was $15 that I wouldn’t have made otherwise and any clothes that weren’t accepted were donated so I didn’t feel bad, but damn $15???? However, my last bag was a MONEY MAKER!  I really emptied out my closet and I know if I took the time to list some of these items individually on the next app I would’ve made more, but I just wanted these things OUT!  I sent in a lot of purses I wasn’t using and a lot of work clothes and made over $250!

Who It’s Good For:

I definitely recommend ThredUp for ladies or moms who want to get rid of clothes or accessories quickly and in bulk.  It’s also good for items that aren’t mid to high end- which is most of my wardrobe!

Where To Go:

Visit www.thredup.com

 

2. Poshmark

    While Poshmark has been around for a while, I’m new to the Poshmark game, but I have had some decent success with it!  Poshmark is an app where women can sell pretty much anything associated with fashion and beauty.  It’s up to the seller to list and ship individual items.

Cost:

The app is free and it is also free to list an item.  When you sell an item, a pre-paid shipping label is sent to you, but it is up to you to actually ship the item.  In terms of fees, they are pretty straight forward.  For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes $2.95.  For all sales over $15, Poshmark takes 20%.

Process:

This process is a bit more involved than Thredup.  Poshmark requires that you list each item individually, sort of like eBay.  So for each item listed, you have to take good pictures of the item and accurately describe it and price it.  I like to look for similar items in the app and price it $1-$5 less than most of the items.   Once an item sells (there’s no guarantee your item will sell, this app has A LOT of sellers), you have 7 days to ship it out.  Once the buyer receives the item and acknowledges receipt on the app, your payment is released to you.  From there you either have the option to spend it in the app or transfer it to your bank account.

How Much Can You Expect To Earn?:

That all depends on what you list!  How much you earn is really up to what you have in your closet and what you’re going to sell.  I have sold a couple Lily Pulitzer pieces and made a decent profit from them and then sold a workout hoodie and only made a couple of bucks.  It’s really up to you.

Who It’s Good For:

Poshmark is great to sell new items with tags still on them as I find they sell quicker.  It’s also great if you have mid to high end items or trendy items.  I’m also using this as a precursor to Thredup.  If I list items on Poshmark and they don’t sell, then I can always send them in to Thredup.

Where To Go:

Download the Poshmark app and use code “Melziebabee15”

 

 

 

 

 

How I Set Up My Planner

I love my Happy Planner! Since I purchased my first Happy Planner last year after using much more expensive planners previously, I have not turned back.

I think I purchased my planner for $8 from Michaels and it helps to keep me SO organized.  If you are in the market for a planner, I definitely recommend the Happy Planner.  I use the mini size, only because it can fit easily in my handbag.  However, if you have a lot going on, I recommend getting the standard size, it gives you a lot more writing room.

The Happy Planner is broken up by month and each month has a monthly overview calendar and a weekly breakdown.  I use both for different reasons.   I sit down the last day of the previous month or the first of the month to fill out my monthly overview.

My monthly overview is where I put my bill breakdown.  I pay 90% of my bills using automatic payment, but I still like to have written down when they will be taken out of my account and the amount so I kind of know what I’m working with.

I write the bill, the amount and the date on the side column and then plug it in to the day.  I like to do both, because the overall list allows me to see the amounts a little bit clearer, and popping them into the calendar helps me to see when they will be withdrawn from my account.

The monthly overview is also where I like to add birthdays.  This way I can flip to any given month and plan out who I have to purchase gifts or cards for ahead of time.

The stickers are also from The Happy Planner line and it just helps to make planning a bit more fun and definitely cuter!

My weekly views are where I like to put appointments, deliveries, friend dates, work outs and tasks.  The weekly view is usually for non reoccurring tasks and appointments.

The use of this guy has definitely helped to keep me more organized, and when I actually consult it prior to making plans it helps to keep me from double booking!

   Do you use any kind of planner?

I’m kind of planner obsessed and always like to hear about new ones!

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19232579/?claim=vhpzkjde3yx”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

8 for 2018- 4 to drop, 4 to pick up

        I hope you enjoyed my last post on my top 17 obsessions of 2017.  Now that 2017 is officially going to be in our rear view mirror, it’s time to put all of our focus in 2018.  I’m usually one of those people who rolls their eyes ((HARD)) at people who use the term “New Year, New Me”, but now I think every day, every moment is a chance to turn oneself into their newest and best version.  You don’t have to wait until January 1st and if you do make January 1st your redo day and you “mess up” on January 3rd, than you have another moment to try to make it right.
          2018 is a very important year for me and a year that I am really focused on making a great one.  I want to get my crap eating under control, get my migraines at bay, get rid of my rosacea, tame my anxiety, improve my relationship with money and get in amazing shape for my wedding.
   In order to help me with all of these lofty goals for the next year, there are 4 “habits” I plan on dropping, and 4 “habits” I plan on picking up.  Think of these as my New Year’s Resolutions.

4 to drop

* My reliance on packaged snacks*

I was raised on junk food and continue to be a huge junk food eater.  It’s not good!  I have never met a Twinkie, a Reeses or a Keebler Elf product I didn’t like.  Even to this day when I get hungry at school I’m knocking on the snack closet  looking for Twinkies.  Even when I choose what I deem a healthy snack, it’s packaged.  Now granted, a Larabar is WAY healthier than a Twinkie,  but there’s no reason I can’t pack a baggie of berries with some cream to dip it in or some veggies and hummus.  I always lean towards convenience and ease, even though I have the time to do more and treat myself better.  This year I will not be relying on packaged snacks and instead only use it as a treat.

* Starting something and not seeing it through*

I can’t tell you how many exercise programs I’ve began or how many times I’ve started a posting schedule for my Younique business page and I do good for about a week and then totally slack off.  Since consistency is my word of 2018, there’s no more of this!  If I don’t think I can fully see something through, I’m not going to dive into it.  And if I do begin something,  I will do everything in my power to complete it to the best of my ability. 

* My Diet Coke habit once and for all!*

This is a hard one, a super tough one!  I love Diet Coke.  It is a total vice of mine.  I’ve definitely cut back in recent years.  I only have it at home if someone purchases it for me (which is rarely) and I usually only have it at work for lunch.  Being at one can a day for 4-5 days out of the week is a HUGE decrease.  Since I have been on Christmas vacation I have only had it once while I was out to lunch with a friend.  People have told me to have seltzer water as a replacement, but I don’t like seltzer, it just has to be a willpower thing to finally kick this bad habit.  

* Getting anxious over what I think people mean*

I never really thought of myself as an anxious person until the last 10 years or so.  Unfortunately, my anxiety has only gotten worse.  Usually it is only limited to typical high stress situations, air travel or large crowds, but sometimes I give myself anxiety by overanalyzing and overthinking situations about what people say to me.  No more of that.  If someone is going to say something, they will say it to me and I can deal with it then.  If not, I will not work myself into thinking something terrible.  

4 to pick up

*Green smoothies with healthy add ins*

I think green smoothies are a great way for me to get in a serving or two of fruits and vegetables.  Considering I am not a huge fruit and veggie eater, but am a big snacker I think this will help kill 2 birds, with 1 stone.  Also, thanks to my girl The Skinny Confidential, I now have a list of healthy add-ins to try in my smoothies including collagen, pearl powder, matcha, etc.

* Fresh and clean snacking*

Image from dreamstime.com


As mentioned above, my reliance on packaged snacks is going to be SO 2017.  2018 will be all about clean, unprocessed snacks.  It might mean a Larabar or 2 every now and then, but I am going to try to keep my snacking very Whole 30-like.  

* Time blocking post work hours*

There have been so many evenings where Nick and I are like , “where did the time go?”,  on a work night.  I find myself being so mentally exhausted after work that I give myself permission to just crash on the couch and surf Youtube for hours.  I want to use my time when I get home a lot more efficiently.  This will include making a lot more dinners ahead of time, blocking out time for blogging, school work and things I enjoy. 

* Reading more for pleasure*

Some of the books on my reading list


I love reading.  There is nothing better than diving into a good book.  However, I find myself wasting so much time after work that I don’t give myself the proper reading time I should and truly want to.  Just today I cancelled a few magazines that I just let pile up and no longer enjoy reading so I could dedicate more time to checking books off of my very long reading list.
So these are pretty much my 2018 resolutions.  
Do you have any resolutions this year??

Top 17 of 2017

    It’s about that time!  The ending of 2017 calls for my 17 favorites of the year!  I was going to incorporate moments and items, but if I did moments I think it would turn into way too personal of a blog post since I had a lot of amazing moments this year, so I limited it to just products/items.  Here are the products or personalities that helped form my year!

17. Keurig

I have had a Keurig for quite a few years and I love it.  However, my single serve Keurig was starting to act up a bit and when Nick and I moved in together we began to think about purchasing a new one.  My dad ended up buying a new one, a Keurig 2.0, as a housewarming gift, and it’s been the best!  It has it’s own filter so the water is always crisp and clean and it heats up SO fast!  There are cup size options to fit a variety of different sized mugs so if you need a little caffeine or a lot, there’s a setting to meet it.  It has definitely become one of the most used items in my apartment!

My trusty Keurig 2.0 and reusable K-cups

16. Reusable K-Cups

Along with my new Keurig, I have been using refillable K-cups for almost 7 months now and I will not switch back to regular K-cups unless it’s for work.  I get a half pound bag of ground coffee from my favorite coffee shop, store it in an airtight container, and put a few scoops in one of these guys every morning.  A half pound bag will easily last me a month if it is just me having it.  I was buying (and throwing out) a new box of K-cups every other week when I was using traditional K-cups so I’m very happy I switched to these!

15. Epic Mascara

As you guys know I’m a Younique representative and while I do use it as my side hustle, it is something I have truly grown to enjoy and love.  It has helped me to learn a lot about business, organization and inspired me to engage in a lot of personal development.  Other than a lot of growth, I love the makeup!  There are a few products that I reach for every day and Epic Mascara is one of them!  It is now my holy grail eye product and since my customers and friends began using it- they feel the same way!

14. Podcasts

Podcasts have literally changed my mornings and my mindset!  I used to start every morning by watching the morning news and would find myself getting emotional or upset by a lot of the disturbing stories.  When my favorite morning newscaster was fired, I didn’t want to watch the news anymore and remembered a lot of my Younique groups mentioned podcasts.  I did some research and began starting my morning with a Podcast, instead of the morning news.  By starting the morning with an uplifting and/or informative Podcast I am starting my day with a more positive mindset and not being bogged down by the negativity of the world.

13. The Champagne Diet

The Champagne Diet quickly became one of my favorite Podcasts and and Cara, the mastermind behind it, quickly became one of my favorite people.  The Champagne Diet is a podcast and blog that really just wants to help women become their best selves.  She is very empowering and I just ordered one of her books that I can’t wait to get and dive into!  If you are looking to really empower yourself and make 2018 your best year yet, I think she could definitely help to get you in the mindset to do so!

12. The Skinny Confidential

Another Podcast and blog that I am equally obsessed with is The Skinny Confidential.  I have added so many wellness products to my Amazon wishlist thanks to Lauryn (the author) of The Skinny Confidential.  She is always writing about really cool health and beauty trends that I have never heard of and I ordered quite a few products to add to my routine because of her.  She writes like I imagine hanging out with her would be and I just love it.

11. Lululemon Leggings

I am someone who never thought I would be spending $100 on anything clothing related, let alone a pair of leggings.  After becoming an avid legging wearer I had a conversation with one of my best friends about finding winter weight leggings and she said she invested in a pair of Lulus and they even have a lifetime guarantee.  I braced myself to walk into the bright and overpriced store and told the salesperson what I wanted.  She put me in a dressing room with a super flattering black pair of leggings and told me the price included alterations and a lifetime guarantee (for $100 it better).  When I picked them up and put them on I completely understood the hype.  My butt had never looked better and I wear them at least twice a week.  Nick even got me a gift card for our anniversary to buy an olive pair for the fall.  If you are on the fence about the price, just do yourself a favor and give them a whirl!

10. I Love Kickboxing

If you have a local ilovekickboxing.com do yourself a favor and go check out their introductory package.  I totally have a love/hate relationship with them as I love the workouts, but when my intro deal is over  I won’t be able to afford to maintain my membership since we are saving for the wedding.  For now though, I am so obsessed with the workouts.  The hour literally flies by and the instructors are so adorable and so helpful.

9. Happy Planner

I have just become so obsessed with my Happy Planner.  It is the key to any sense of organization I may have.  My planner is cute and little and just screams me.  I’ve bought a couple of different covers for it from it Etsy- including a Minnie Mouse cover and a Harry Potter cover.  If you are in need of a simple and effective (and affordable) planner, check out your local Michaels and grab you a Happy Planner.

8. Scentsy Cubes

I have become a fan of these little wax cubes from Scentsy and Scentsy like brands.  I have a couple of different “burners” that I use all over my home and I love to use them to make my house and classroom smell yummy.  There is literally a scent for everyone!

7. Hard Boiled Eggs

This is a random one I know, but it’s a favorite!  Most mornings Monday-Friday you can find me having 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast.  For me, they are just the perfect breakfast.  They are quick, easy, keep me full and healthy!  To make it even easier, I have been using this hard boiled egg cooker that my mom got me! I was never able to really perfect hard boiled eggs stove top and this little guy makes it so easy.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Another random one, sweet potatoes have become a super easy and cheap food staple for me.  My friend at work got me hooked on a lunch of sweet potatoes, chick peas, feta and balsamic.  It’s healthy and inexpensive.  If you are looking for an easy lunch, I definitely recommend trying this recipe or looking into other ways to utilize sweet poatoes.

5. Sleepy Tea/Well Rested Tea

Oh My Gaaaa! This stuff is everything!  I drink a mug of this every school night.  I’m not sure if it really does help me to fall asleep or if it is just such a part of my routine that I can’t fall asleep with out it.  My favorite is the Well Rested Tea from Trader Joes, but I have also tried the Sleepy Time Tea.

4. Mantras

After I started listening to The Champagne Diet I really got into using mantras.  I have what I call a “positive living” notebook that I basically turn into a real life Pinterest Page with mantras, uplifting quotes, tips on turning a bad day around, just ways to live a super positive life.  I have been using mantras for a few months now and usually switch them up weekly.  I will post one in my planner for the week and try to recite it to myself a couple times daily, especially while getting ready in the morning.  It sounds a little hippie dippy, I totally get it.  However, if saying one little statement can help to put me in a better mood, why not be a little hippie dippy?

3. Facebook Groups

I have been loving Facebook groups for ideas, inspiration and for making new internet friends.  I’m in a variety of groups ranging from healthy eating, to Happy Planners, to Younique, to the Champagne Diet group!  If you have a hobby or an interest, I guarantee you there is one (or 100) Facebook groups dedicated to it!

2.  My new Apartment

I loved my old apartment, it reminded me of growing up in the Bronx.  My old apartment was for my single Melissa chapter, my new apartment is the beginning of the new book of my life.  This place is just gorgeous and it’s so fun to make a home with someone else.  The apartment is gorgeous, but the building is even better!  There’s a gym, an indoor pool, a lounge with a fireplace and INDOOR PARKING.  As I’m writing this and it’s only 14 degrees out, the indoor parking is a huge plus. A full photo tour coming soon!

1. My Engagement Ring

Is there any doubt that this number one?  Getting engaged was my number one moment of life so far! My ring is so perfect and every time I look at it I see a ring that symbolizes my future life with Nick and finding my perfect balance in someone else.  I never wanted a typical engagement ring and always wanted a sapphire ring.  I can’t believe Nick got the ring so perfect as it’s literally me in engagement ring form. Unique, classic and just a little bit too much.

Consistency and why I consistently suck at it

      Consistency.  It’s a word that as a network marketer and constant health seeker I hear and read about constantly.  As frequently as I read about it and as frequently as I tell myself I am going to stick with something, most of the time it falls to the way side.
      Take this blog for example.  I was so excited to be back in the world of blogging and was even getting good feedback from some friends.  Then I let the constant excuse of “life”, “anxiety”, “craziness” and I lost my consistency with posting and lost a lot of my readership (which I was so excited about!) as well.
    Everyone has their own shit going on and their own level of craziness in their lives.  It’s how someone chooses to spend their non-crazy moments that really shows who they are.
      For the new year I am choosing to have my word of the year be “consistency”.  2018 is a big year for me!  I’ll be starting my 5th year of teaching, I’ll be fully balancing work/life/relationship OH and I’ll be getting married!  So consistency will be of the utmost important for me to keep my life, my anxiety and my health in control.

What is going to be your word of 2018?

Quick Tip Tuesday: The Easiest Way To Save Money Christmas Shopping

    If you don’t feel like giving your credit card a workout and letting Earny price check for you (check here to see what I’m talking about) try purchasing a discount gift card for the store or stores you plan on doing a lot of shopping at.
       I regularly use the site Cardpool.com to purchase gift cards at a discount to stores that I regularly shop at anyway.  The savings isn’t usually more than $5-$12 stores, but overtime that can really add up! They come in the form of a digital gift card so they aren’t the best to gift, but for BUYING gifts they are perfect!!!

5 Things To Do Before 2018

   Late last week, I watched a video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Miss Trenchcoat.  She is a productivity and organizational expert and she really helped me get into the organizational planner realm.
    The video I watched last week was, 10 Productive Things To Do Before 2018.  You can watch it here!   It really got me thinking to some things I would like to do prior to the New Year.

Here are my top 5 tasks I plan on tackling or implementing before 2018!

1.  Organize my clothes and sell what I’m not wearing on Poshmark

I have so much clothes and I really only wear about 30% of my wardrobe.  I got rid of a lot of my clothes prior to my move, I still want to get rid of a lot of the trendier pieces I bought on a whim or because they were on sale.  I have had great luck selling a few things on Poshmark and will continue to use it to sell my unwanted goods.

2.  Begin and get into the habit of gratitude of journaling

I have done so much reading about manifestation lately and a lot of begins with being grateful for what one has at the moment.  Gratitude journaling is writing down things you are grateful for and reflecting on them.  I think it’s a great practice to start to lead a more positive life by showing we are thankful for what we already have.

3.  Incorporate daily smoothies into my diet

There are days where I know that I don’t even come close to meeting my fruit and vegetable intake goals.  A smoothie is a great way to do so!  I’m thinking of trying strawberries, mango, spinach and water to keep it lower calorie.

4.  Meal plan

Over the summer I bought a fitness planner and I never used it!  Over Thanksgiving break I purchased a wellness plan from one of my favorite Instagram fitness girls and it definitely inspired me to break out my fitness planner.  For the next week I planned out 3 days worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners and mid-week will plan out the rest of the week.  It’s super motivating to see it written down and planned out.

5.  Start my must read book list and finish 2 books a month

Lately I have been reading a lot of network marketing books and found myself craving just a good story.  Prior to reading those network marketing books I hadn’t finished a book in months.  Reading is something I genuinely enjoy and I need to carve out time for it.  I want to make a must read list and alternate between non-fiction and fiction books.

Those are a few of the important habits that I am going to begin implementing now so I won’t have to worry about them being fad resolutions come 2018.

What are some tasks that you would like to accomplish or make habit before the Ne Year?