February Challenge-NANOWRIMO

typewriter with blank paper

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

NANOWRIMO-What the heck is this?

National Novel Writing Month, better known as NANOWRIMO to those of us crazy enough to attempt it, is held every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. I’ve attempted this at least 4, maybe 5 times, and was only successful at completing it once-in 2019.

A few of the more popular books that have been published that were written during NANOWRIMO are The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell. Completing NANOWRIMO doesn’t mean you have a manuscript ready to hand over to a publisher. Those 50,000 words are a messy first draft but it’s still a huge accomplishment. Editing comes later. Continue reading

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Holly’s Favorites-January 2024

vacation items

Photo by Element5 Digital

Super busy week prepping for vacation. I didn’t want to miss a blogging week though so it’s time for another edition of my favorite things. A couple of these are items I received from my generous boys for Christmas this year. The fact that I’ve already deemed them “favorites” should tell you something.

I consider myself a simple person. For the most part, I could care less about what brand I’m wearing or carrying. I like technology but I don’t have to race out to get the newest phone if mine is still working okay. I drove around in my last car for well over a year when it alternated between the AC and heater not working.

The reason for some of this is that I am extremely frugal. Life as a single mom dictated that lifestyle for many years. Thankfully, I’m in a position where I can loosen the purse strings a bit now. Let’s be realistic, I could hit the Powerball tonight and you’ll still find me checking the Target end-caps for the clearance items and shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshalls for the best deals though. I love a bargain. That being said, the first two items on my Favorites list this time are definitely splurges from my awesome boys. Continue reading

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Progress and Vacation!

lady with donation boxes

Photo by RDNE Stock project

We’re well into week 2 of January and I’m feeling a bit frazzled. Leaving for vacation next week and I’m trying to get super caught up at work, which is difficult this time of year. Not sure what I was thinking scheduling a vacation in January. Oh yeah…I was thinking sandy beaches and sun when it’s currently dark and dreary and a forecast next week with high temps in the teens.

I feel like I work really hard most of the time at my job but when you’re racing to accomplish 137 items before you leave for vacation, it’s easy to realize that I am not always as focused at work as I could be. Kind of like pulling all-nighters in high school and college for those big tests or term papers, I guess. Continue reading

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January 2024 -A Fresh Start

person straightening up a messy room

Photo by cottonbro studio

2024 is here! The crazy thing is that it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were preparing for 2000. Remember that? Everyone was worried that all the computers and clocks and such were going to crash as soon as the clocks hit midnight?

2024 is significant for me because it’s the year I turn 50. Sigh…that really doesn’t seem possible at all. Of course, some days, more often than I care to admit, my body says, Yeah, you’re definitely turning 50…lol.

Getting Back to Monthly Intentions

So, I decided this year I needed to go back to my monthly intentions. I do better with my goals and resolutions when I can chunk them down a bit and get hyper-focused. January’s goal is to work on decluttering and organizing my spaces. Continue reading

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2024 Resolutions/Intentions

New Year's resolutions

Photo by Polina Kovaleva

2024 is almost here. You know what that means! Time to plot out the new year and what better way to do that then setting my resolutions (or intentions or goals for those of you that don’t like the word resolutions) for the year. I told Michael I was struggling with my list this year and he suggested I go resolution-free for 2024. I told him that thought literally made me anxious! 

Being intentional about what you want to achieve for the year is so important to me. My resolutions the last few years have been fairly similar. I think that means I’ve settled into my life priorities.

Not sure there’s been a year yet that I’ve achieved every resolution/goal but that’s okay. I think progress should be the bigger goal versus perfection. Priorities sometimes shift during the year and that’s okay as well.

Making it to the gym only twice a week versus the goal of 3 times a week is technically a fail but is it really? It’s still better than not going to the gym at all. Decreasing my debt by 5% rather than 20% is still decreasing my debt… Continue reading

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2023 Wrap-up

December 2023 calendar

Photo by Olivia Gaines

There’s only ten days left in 2023. The older I get, the faster the days seem to fly by. So many great things happened in 2023. Let’s do a little recap and of course I have to update you with the progress I made (or didn’t make) on the 2023 goals and resolutions.

The Good

The youngest man-child bought his first home, a condo just a short distance from me. Pretty sure it’s twice the size of my place.

Nick is still working for UPS and seems to really like it. I’d tell you exactly what he does but I’m not 100% sure how to explain it. He’s an industrial engineer and he basically works with data to improve things and he talks way over his mother’s head when he talks about the reports, processes, etc., he creates, lol.

The oldest man-child moved back to Louisville and is currently staying with me while he settles into a new job and is also saving up for his own place.

Michael accepted one job and then about a month later was offered another job that was more in line with his career goals. He’s now a marketing coordinator for Rev-A-Shelf. I think it’s definitely been a learning curve but he seems to like it. Of course, now he thinks my place needs all new shelving, lol.

The good for me is that I was finally released from all restrictions with my foot surgery. That was a much longer process than I thought it was going to be. I am not a good patient. Foot still hurts more often than not but not enough for me to do follow-up surgery and go through another period of restrictions. Continue reading

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The Craziness of Life

messy office

Photo by Mizuno K

One week from today is Christmas. I am not done with my shopping. I have a good percentage done but really it’s the odds and ends and little stuff that seems to tie me up every year.

Two weeks from today is New Year’s Day. I do not have any idea what my resolutions/goals for 2024 are going to be yet. Usually I’ve spent a bunch of time at least pondering these.

It all comes back to what seems like is a common theme in my life: too much going on. And I’m sure I’m not alone.  I’ve noticed lately when I try to get info from people, whether it’s work or personal, that it takes awhile for people to get back to me. It’s a vicious cycle at times. So basically we’re all running around like crazy people…that’s my theory at least. Continue reading

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Stocking Stuffers for Everyone

Christmas stockings

Photo by Any Lane

It’s nearly Christmas time again. Who is ready? Presents bought yet? And if so, are they wrapped and under the Christmas tree? We just got the Christmas tree up and some minimal Christmas decorations out last week. I live in a tiny condo anyway and merging some of Michael’s things in with mine while he’s living at home again has left very little room for lots of decorations. 

Christmas shopping is going okay. I’ve got several gifts already purchased but with just two and a half weeks left, it’s definitely crunch time to wrap it up. 

Here’s my list of favorite stocking stuffers if you’re like me and always looking for last minute gift ideas each year for the stocking. Continue reading

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A Frugal Christmas

Christmas tree and lights

Photo by Jonathan Borba

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is 5 weeks from today. Everyone have their Christmas shopping done? Yeah, me neither. I have one gift purchased…well, actually two gifts, I guess, since I added my parents on to my Netflix account and they said that could be one of their presents, lol.

Do you at least have your Christmas money set aside and a plan for getting your gifts purchased? Haven’t gotten a list together of what people want yet but normally get that done on Thanksgiving day when our family is all together. I was much more deliberate about setting money aside this year into a sinking fund to help pay for Christmas gifts. I don’t have as much saved as I would have liked since my car and my home’s air conditioner had to be replaced this year but I am a little further ahead with funds than I normally am. Continue reading

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Holly’s Favorites-Winter 2023 edition

lighted candles by window

Photo by Alena Zadorozhnaya

It’s time for another edition of Holly’s Favorites! I’ve noticed that there’s a common theme going this time around with my favorites and that’s comfort. I guess that’s appropriate if you read my last post because this is the time of year that I really focus on Hygge. 

Roku Stick

We gave up cable television several years ago. Don’t think I’m totally crazy. I love my television so I didn’t give up my favorite shows, I just changed how I watch them. We stream nearly everything now, although I do have an old-school antenna in my living room and bedroom so I can catch live tv on occasion. 

Between me and the boys, we pay for Netflix, Paramount Plus, Hulu, Apple+, and Disney Plus and Philo. Now, full disclosure, if I paid for all of these services then I would probably be paying more than I was when I had regular old cable. I pay for a couple of the subscriptions, and each of the boys pay for a couple so it’s fairly reasonable this way. Continue reading

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