a blog about cents, in every form & measure

Monday, December 20, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 11

The Threadless Book

Prompt: Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

This is a scary one for me, and a deeply personal prompt. I will write this post for my eyes only, and just publish the acknowledgement that I hope for the strength to confront the things I haven't in the past. No excuses - drama be gone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 10


Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

Next year I want to make my house a home! I absolutely hate home improvement, I don't like cleaning very much, and I definitely don't like being cooped up inside. However, I want to try to let go of some of my negativity regarding housekeeping and work with my husband (who, despite his schedule, does the best he can around the house..and I appreciate it...now babe, get your crap off the floor!) to make our apartment a home! I tried to do that this year, but we had to do some big projects around the house & in our lives, which prevented me/us from achieving this goal! I also am very much a 'this is mine' and 'that is yours' type person, and pretty much refuse to touch his papers, garbage & such. I'd like to come up with a system to effectively fuse our separate belongings and then create & maintain a system for keeping our place organized. I grew up in an amazingly well-decorated, maintained home & I'd like to live in one now (haha). It just feels more civilized! So here's to that!

What about you? Do you dislike home-related organization/cleaning as much as I do? What do you do to make it more "fun" or enjoyable?

Friday, December 17, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 9

The Butcher and the Vegetarian

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

This year, I learned that I am resilient. When given a challenge, I confront it head on, with little or no hesitation. I jump right in with my to-do lists, and achieve my goals. Over the course of this eighteen months, I began & and graduated from graduate school, became engaged, got married, got the internship I had so badly wanted, and had a job offer from the same company. I have been blessed beyond measure during a time that was otherwise extermely challenging. I had many opportunities to wallow in depression and feel generally as though I wasn't going anywhere, but I was able to literally pull myself up and move forward with my life despite the swirl of darkness that could have engulfed me.

That being said, I was extremely hard on myself while achieving my goals, always questioning whether I had truly done my best. I've always been my own worst enemy, and almost purposely stress myself out so that I can perform at the levels which allow my to succed. I've realized that life is too short to stress out so much though, and I definitely hope within the new year to eliminate unnecessary stress in my life. I hope I can continue letting go of the small things to achieve the big things..but I also hope to "celebrate" the smaller succeses in life - a baked pie, a date with my husband, a well-hung picture, an organized room. When I'm so focused on the big things, I tend to push the smaller things out of the picture. I don't want to do that anymore. 2011 is all about being the best I can be - just like every year. I'd like to think that we're all a work in progress!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 8

27 Things to Know About Yoga

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I have grown to greatly appreciate serene moments. My job primarily centers around engaging with people, text, and images and so when I enjoy my free time away from that.

 I've always enjoyed alone, quiet time (or rather, have grown to appreciate it - one of the lessons I learned while studying abroad), and have grown to really adore the stillness and joy that stems from 'disengaging' within serene moments. Sipping my favorite tea while in bed, taking a long hot shower, applying a new lipstick, surveying an organized closet - it doesn't quite matter what the moment is as much as the power of serenity that can be derived from it. I define serenity and peace as the same, and heaven knows I'm all about finding peace these days. Part of what makes these moments so special is that I actively participate in the moment by appreciating it so fully - thanking my Father above for peace and serenity when many people aren't as fortunate.

What about you? What do you appreciate most? How do you express your gratitude?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 7

Making Ideas Happen

Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

I'm all about plans. Lists. Journals. Notes. Post-it's (all over my apartment, literally - I maried my post-it twin). I'm all about planning, and keeping tabs on what I need to do to achieve my goals and check off items on my lists. Whether it's grocery lists or grad school application spreadsheest, I am obsessed with planning and making things happen. For me, planning is a huge part of my identity, and I am thankful that it allows me to take things from just "ideas" to reality. My next goal is to become a full-fledged writer/reporter/journalist and so my steps towards that are to regularly write & pitch articles for our digital operation/side, as well as to hone my skills in other areas which would make me a more valuable asset to our organization. When I first said I wanted to be a "writer," I realized that I could be a writer without necessarily having that occupation as my day job - thus this blog! It's all about the small steps towards bigger goals, and I hope by checking of the small tasks on my "to-do" list, I am able to achieve my dreams..

.What about you? What steps do you take to achieve your dreams and goals?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 6

50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need

Prompt: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

I officially loved this prompt - just in time for my **26th** birthday! There's really nothing better than dejunking - it makes for a clearer head & a more sincere heart, in my opinion!

11) I don't need paper. Bills, papers, flyers, junk mail, catalogues! While I've come a looong way (thanks for the internets), I still recieve lots of paper. I'd love to officially become more efficient at coordinating my email and paper mail so as to further reduce waste & energy opening/looking at all that darn paper!

10) Toxic relationships. Even though you amy not directly talk to or communicate with someone, toxicity in relationships can exist and affect you. I become really upset when I think about some of the toxic relationship in my life, and in 2011 I wouldlike to figure out how to best manage and resolve these relationships so that I can feel free to move on. My spirit has been really down with some of the toxic relationships that I have with people out there, and it would be wonderful to let go and live freely.

9) 5 pounds! I know it's not much, but I'd love to "let go" of 5 pounds to make for a svelte me. I'm shapely and "thin," but I'd like to be able to excersize and lose just a few to be all around sexy. No newlywed gut for me!!!

8) "Gimme pig" syndrome. I want to take the focus away from "me" and focus it on "us"! I'd like to think that I place alot of focus on my husband and my marriage, but I'd like to look past "me" and think more about our little family & our house (particularly our house..it needs some TLC with regards to paint, furniture, and cleaning!) I think a good way of doing this is just refocusing what I'm reading and what I'm focusing on to make sure that my mind is on "us" rather than just "me."

7) Anxiety! NO MAS! I need to control it, harness it, and perhaps even - this is ambitious - release it! I stress out waaayy too much about dumb stuff, and while I usually channel my stress so as to eventually succeed, it's far too damaging to my being. By exersizing more, achieving my goals, and indulging in more "extracurricular" activities, I'll be able to have an outlet for all that negative energy.

6) Unhealthy habits. Picking my cuticles, being lazy, all that jazz. I'd love to be the woman I've always wanted to be. I know I am being a bit hard on myself here, but I always think of myself as a work in progress - working towards more, always hungry and wanting to achieve. My friends and family deserve the best me possible! Again, resolving this would come from just focusing on things other than the negative habit itself - for example, actually using the stress ball at work rather than picking at my nails!

5) Clutter. Eliminate, disgard. I'm good about throwing away items I don't need, but you can always live with less! On that note...have to call Goodwill....

4) Debt. Need to knock that out! I need to explore options for paying off the maximum amount of interest possible & retooling my non-existant budget! Ideally, I'd come up with a five year plan and work from there...I also need to let go of feeling bad about it, because I used it for my education - and what better investment is there than moi?

3) General sloth-ness and excessive TV watching. I adore reading and have been reading more since the wedding, but I'd like to up the amount and variety that I read. I used to always borrow books from the library since I don't like to buy them on my own dime, but since the bedbug scare I haven't. That's not an excuse though - there are lots of books laying around my house I haven't read yet, and I can always read material online! I end up watching alot of television at night on the weekdays because I read all day for work & TV is an easy, mindless activity.

2) Monotony in cooking. I usually try to make one new recipe a week, but I'd like to consistently try more new recipes more often!

1) I don't need to aspire to more than I have - I want to actively thank God for my life. I want to be happy with what I have (I am), but I want to be more active in being thankful and mindful of my blessings.

What about you? What could you live without?

Friday, December 10, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 5

Author: Susannah Conway

Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Upon reading this prompt, I immediate teared up.  I'd like to pat myself on the back for a couple of wise decisions this year, the most amazing of which was the decision to say "yes." YES! YES! YES! To be Mrs. Hubbs...definitely the wisest decision I've made all year! It's been an amazing journey thus far, and in two weeks it will be out three month anniversary! Times flies, but I'm thankful for every minute I spend with my boo...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 4

The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

oh wow! um. my wedding. and I'll keep all the juicy details about that to myself..thanks :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 3

Author: Karen Walrond
The Beauty of Different

Prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

Beautiful. Different. I know I for one am so thankful for a society where we are able to link those two words together. My word though...what makes me beautifully different? That's an interesting one. I think of myself as quite the odd duck at times...

-I have curly hair. I'm able to tame it most of the time, but my husband loves it best when it's frizzy & crazy; long and wild. It's my trademark - I wear it down most days, and my long, dark, curly hair is definitely something I think that sets me apart.

-I have a secretly sick sense of humor. I know I come off as utterly serious, uptight and stern, but I do have a sense of humor that comes out with those I'm most comfortable with. When I don't watch myself, it can also come out unexpectedly at strange times, such as at work (yes, I totally cracked a marijuana joke at work with the SVP of communications..umm).

-I am slightly OCD and yet, not so much. I MUST have all the food price stickers off my food before I store it, and I HAVE to have the toilet paper roll/sheet facing a certain way...and I CANNOT have any of my foods touching on a plate...and yet I can go days & weeks without seeing hairballs all over the apartment, much to the chargrin of the afore-mentioned hubbs. For this, I blame my poor eyesight, of course. I also adore cleaning an already clean/tidy apartment, but I HATE cleaning a messy/disorganized one. It's like making a dent in a mountain, and that stresses me out. Much easier just to keep on keepin' on, you know?

-I freakin LOVE a hunk of red meat..but I refuse to cook any red meat, such as a steak, on the stove top. Mostly because I know what well-cooked beef tastes like, and I haven't had a) enough experience to produce that kind of cooking and b) I refuse to make expensive mistake$.

-I have long, lean legs & I don't have to work out for them. Weee! Yay genetics!

-I'm one of those hard-butts who refuses to give money to a hobo, but just about every time I pass a Salvation Army bucket I dump out the contents of my wallet...

-I'm a picker. hey, 'beautifully different', right? No judging! I pick zits, hair, scabs, anything. Omgee, indeed! My mom used to pick on me, and now I pick on hubbs. The cycle of love, no?

-I have a graduate school degree and I still, obviously, use words like 'thinger' and gesticulate wildly to express myself. Oh yeah...

-I twirl my long hair obsessively. I say it keeps it less frizzy, some say it's a sign of girliness on crack...

-I love shoes. I can't say much more, or else I'll start browsing for shoes online & then that's just dangerous. I used to adore high heels, but I'm surely getting old because those suckers hurt my feet more than they used too! I'm not so much about 'whimsical' shoes, but sexy ones!

...and those are the things that make me 'beautifully different!'  What about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 2


Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

haha. omgee. I just started cracking up, thinking about my corny sense or definition of what "community" is. Early on with the onslaught of wedding planning, I became a full-fledge wedding blog junkie. Like..embarassingly so. Except that I was so embarassed to be "one of those" that I never really came out with it to blog or comment on any of the communities that I was quickly finding myself totally enthralled with. My hubbs was/is the only person who knew about it! Hilarious, right? Or stalker-ish. Oh, the joys of the internets!

I also joined a significant professional community this year. I won't name names, but I'm employed by a highly regarded news/entertainment group, and I feel like I definitely broke the barrier to some respects by being employed, and secondly, by being in such a highly-regarded group within the company. We'll see what happens, but it's definitely a community that I've joined within the past year.

In the next year, I'd like to form closer bonds with my family. I'm trying, but it's hard. Alot of it has to do with my own stubborness and schedule, but we'll see. Half the battle is trying!

What about you? What communities are you part of, or would like to be?

Monday, December 6, 2010

#reverb 10 - Day 1

(this is the first in a blog series I'm doing using Reverb 10 prompts! For more about the project, click here)

Author: Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project

Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

This prompt just brought a huge smile to my face! I am not "crafty" by any means (in fact, my husband LOVES to tease me about the sweater I'm knitting him...to be finished never, as my innermost perfectionist finds crafting extremely stress-inducing...my motto is "why make it if I can buy it?"), but I did manage to crank out some projects for my wedding which took place just a few months ago!

The last project or craft which I had made for the wedding were adorable cake flag toppers for the individual slices of cake which we served our guests at the reception! No matter that I had never seen a cake flag before; the moment I saw them on weddingbee, I had to have them! Absolutely no matter that I do not craft as a general rule, do not even own a pair of useable scissors, and did not have the time to create cake flags in the triple digits. Did I let that deter me? NO.WAY. So I looked up a variety of instructions for them, schlepped to the craft store, freakin' agonized about the shade of paper(s) to be used, agonized some more about fonts to be used, and did my thang! I made my hubbs cut out every.single.flag. since he had the (office) equipment to do so, and then I used pinking shears (had to buy these!) to create fun edges and then glued the flags to toothpics. It took a good amount of time, but I was prouder than proud that they didn't suck & actually looked really nice! It was a moment (when during which my then-fiance just shook his head and forbade me to do anymore tasks wedding-related since we were just a week away from the date) and I was super happy. It was like reliving my four year old self's proclamation of "look mom, I colored in the lines!"

Let's just bypass the fact that the oldies at the wedding could not read the flags to save their lives given our sexy mood lighting...I loved them, they didn't suck (how many times can I reiterate this one?!), and they were definitely a big hit! Needless to say, the wedding just drew nearly every inclination I could ever have to craft, but I would definitely like to continue making Christmas cookies (I cranked out 4 dozen over the weekend - that's creative, right?!) and would eventually like to do some fun wedding photo/album projects!

What about you? What was the last thing YOU made???

eatin' candy canes...

So you know what feels GOOD? Giving to others! Now, this doesn't even have to cost you one.cent. No indeed...and in fact, volunteering not only makes you feel good, but can even "substitute" for spending money on entertainment! So round up some friends & co-workers, and make some moves! I just wrapped gifts for kiddies with my co-workers..so much fun, and I even scored a candy cane - weee!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

dude, that's old

ew...I'm going to be 26 in a few days. I'd like to think that as I grow older, I grow [slightly] smarter...so to kick off my [late] 20's, I'm going to start a little series where I'll share one smart $ tip a day!

Here we go!

Confession: I am a coffee addict. Like "OMG NO YOU DIDNT JUST HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE ON THE HOUR EVERY HOUR!" It was bad - as in, it got to the point where my best friend in high school actually passed the eff out in the mall because she was so beyond over-caffinated! That should tell you something. Together, we put the "loko" in the now-banned Four-Loko. True story people. In any case, I blame my Puerto Rican genes for my tendency to want to self-medicate, er, caffeinate. I used to spend at least $10 a day in college on coffee, and my first year of working spent at least half that every day on my afternoon fix. My husband despises my habit, and so with his disgust/encouragement, was able to get into the habit of drinking ONE.CUP. A DAY. For realz! And I make it at HOME before I leave for work! Wowza. I figure, this way I'm saving (with some suffering, I might add...d*mn the mid-afternoon slump)...


Yes, you read that. Now blink and read it again. So saving that means lots of nice shoes for mama, which I'm all about. However, this is kind of the reverse of "saving," so obviously this is a topic I'll have to revisit :)

Happy weekend, everybody! What are some of your "duh" ways to save?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

giving thanks-

"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!"  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Although we're a bit past the official day of "Thanksgiving," I do believe that giving thanks - in prayer, to those I love; be thankful for all I have - is something that should be done daily. It's good for the soul, and good for me as I go throughout the crazed rush of the hours.

Today is December 2nd, so I'll post about two things I'm thankful for:

-my darling husband. I love you. He began our relationship by calling me his angel, but now I find that he has become an angel of mine in every sense. He is so sweet & works so hard for our little family. We are two very different people, but we have something special - all the love in the world between us, and I am so grateful for him! He is my hubbs and because of him I am the luckiest girl in the world!

-opportunities. Although I gripe & complain, and complain & gripe (and then feel tremendously bad about myself in-between), I am so fortunate & blessed to have the whole world ahead of me in terms of opportunities. All I have to do is work hard, and I know great things will come. I'v been so blessed, and the best is yet to come!

..what about you? What are you thankful for today?

xoxo, the chick with cents