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??

Playing House Series: Your Place? His Place? Our Place?

        Welcome back for the second installment in my “Playing House Series”.  This series is all about moving in with a significant other.  My first post was all about making the big decision to move in with a significant other in the first place!  You can find that here.

    I am currently in the process of moving in with my fiancee Nick, so this series is really all about my take and my personal experience with these matters.  Actually, the day this post is published is the day of the BIG MOVE!

  Ok, enough with the introduction!  Let’s get on to to the topic of this post!  Ok, you guys made the massive, super adult decision to move in together and now it’s time to decide where!!

   This can be a very tricky decision to make if you don’t live super close or if one of you is particularly attached to your apartment/house.  It’s a discussion that has to be made calmly and with an open mind.  You can go into the conversation with a desired outcome, but if you are not willing to listen or to compromise, this can be quite difficult.  It’s very important to go into this discussion with an open mind.

   Now I cannot sit here and give you the pros and cons of your place versus his place because obviously I don’t know your situation!  This is a list for you to come up and be realistic about it! Sit down and look at your place from both your perspective and your significant other’s perspective and try to do the same for his place as well!  It’s always important to try to look at it from their perspective, which can be difficult!

    When Nick and I had the initial discussion about where we were going to live I made a list about all of the financial reasons why my apartment made the most sense, not even considering there is a lot more to this situation than finances.  Sometimes the living arrangement that makes the most financial sense, isn’t the correct answer.  His place was not an option, because he lives in New York City and parking is NOT fun over there and I need a car to get to work.  We ended up with option C: a spanking new place for the both of us!

Here are some things to consider when deciding where you should live together as a couple:

*Finances- Is one apartment, or a new apartment more fiscally responsible? That’s something to consider
*Distance- A central location for both of your jobs is definitely preferable.
*Size- Be realistic.  Minimalism may be trendy right now, but if you aren’t a minimalist don’t try to squeeze all of your stuff AND their stuff into a studio.
*Comfort- This is a BIG one! Are you truly comfortable at his place? Is he truly comfortable at your place?  We aren’t talking about spending a weekend here- we are talking about spending YEARS!  If one of you isn’t truly comfortable or feel as if you can’t truly be yourself, it’s time to look for an alternative solution.
*Future Goals- will getting a new apartment hinder a common future goal of yours?  Definitely something to keep in mind
*Time frame- how long do you plan on staying?  If the realistic plan is a short period of time it may not make sense to relocate both of you

Again, this is just my take on this and my personal experience. 
 Different strokes for different folks!! 

Match.com- Does It Work?

       I’ve heard ( and even met a few people) who were embarrassed  to admit that they had met their significant others on Match.com.  Well, I am here to say proudly that I met my fiancee on Match and I’m grateful for it, because otherwise I most likely would’ve never crossed paths with him!

     The way I met my fiancee on Match is not the norm.  I signed up after the urging of a co-worker to get off all of the free sites.  Nick was the first and only guy I met and it was an instant spark.  It sounds like a fairytale and don’t get me wrong, it totally was (and still is) but it wasn’t THAT easy.

     I had been on Match previously a few years before with zero luck.  The most successful date I had via Match that round (I was on it once previously as well) was with a guy who proceeded to tell me on our first date that he wanted to be dominated.  Not like whips and chains, but like treated like a “house boy” (his words, not mine) and given chores and demoralized.  UMMM BYE!

       In my mind using a dating website like Match (like real dating) is all about timing.  If you aren’t on the site or a member of the site at right moment you are going to meet the same weirdos that you would on a free dating site or in a bar.  However, there is a way to help navigate through some of it and this applies to all dating websites (not apps) not just Match.

Picture from Reddit.com
  • Be honest with your pictures!                                                                                                            The point of a dating website is to actually meet someone in person right? Eventually they are going to find out that you are 5 years older or 15 pounds heavier, so be honest with your pictures.  You would be disappointed if you were talking to someone who you thought looked like a clean cut gentleman and showed up with a full beard and a ripped freebie t-shirt.
  •  Be honest with your description                                                                                                        If you’re not into sports, don’t say you are or you may be going to a sports bar for a first date.  Don’t say you spend your weekends doing charity work if you don’t.  Be honest here.  We all want to show our best selves, but theres a fine line between showcasing our best features and selves and being bullshitters.
  • Look outside your normal geographic area                                                                                     My fiancee lives in New York City and I live in the suburbs.  If I limited my search to my immediate area, I would have completely missed out!!!  Set your search limits a bit outside of your normal comfort zone.  However, don’t set your search too far if you aren’t willing to regularly travel some distance if you meet someone great.
  • It’s ok for a female to initiate conversation                                                                                      The notion that a female should wait for a male to initiate is kind of outdated in my mind.  I “winked” at my fiancee first on Match and that opened up the way for conversation.  If you aren’t confident enough to fire off a message right off the bat, try the wink option at first.
  • Start a conversation based on their profile/picture                                                                          If you are going to initiate a conversation, try to do so based on a question to do with their profile or a picture.  Ask about a trip they posted about or a quote.  It shows that you actually read their profile instead of just generically messaging them.
  • Set a time limit for chatting/texting                                                                                                     My friend Bernie had a great rule- if after a week of talking they haven’t set a date it’s time to go.  For some reason there seems to be this new breed of people who are content with just having someone to text.  If that’s not what you’re looking for, set a time limit for communicating with someone.  If there’s no solid plans to meet them within that time limit, it’s time for them to go.
  • Take it all with a grain of salt                                                                                                              Dating, whether online or “regular”, is just not normal nowadays.  There’s a lot of dishonest people out there and a lot of game players as well.  Chances are you will get “ghosted” on, chances are, you will see a profile of someone who you think is perfect and they won’t respond to your message and you may have to kiss a lot of frogs.  But try to remember, don’t settle for anything less than butterflies and what you deserve.