April Intentions-Writing & Micro Habits

woman writing

Photo by Andrew Neel

How is it possible that the first quarter of 2024 is already over? I glanced over my 2024 Resolutions/Intentions list tonight and I’m doing okay but probably should pick up the pace a bit. 

  • I’ve paid down some debt
  • I’ve read 17 books so far (5 ahead of schedule for the 48 I’ve challenged myself with for the year)
  • I’ve attempted NANOWRIMO (wasn’t successful unfortunately 44,872/50,000 words)
  • I’ve submitted one piece of writing (2 more to go this year)

April’s monthly intention is going to be focusing on writing and micro-habits. Continue reading

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The Birthday Edition

Woman celebrating with picnic

Photo by Rachel Claire

It’s official…I’m 50 today. Or, as I will probably refer to myself for the next year: I’m 30 with 20 years experience.

And to be perfectly honest, I’m struggling a bit to not struggle with it. I feel kind of bad even admitting that, since I realize more than most, that’s it’s a blessing to make it to this age. Why do we get so stressed about age, especially those round numbers? And I feel comfortable about saying “we” because I don’t think I’m alone in this. People have always joked about mid-life crises. Unfortunately, I don’t have the bank account to support running out and buying a sports car but I did get a little crazy at the hairdresser last week and said we have to do something different…lol. Continue reading

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March and Self-Care

Woman in yoga pose by the ocean

Photo by mali maeder

I’m back!

February is the shortest month…although this year we did get an extra day thrown in for Leap Year, which is always cool. I didn’t manage to write even one blog post for February, which is a huge fail for me. My goal, despite my busy schedule for the short month, was to get at least two posts published.

NANOWRIMO Update

What kept me so busy and led me to neglect my beloved blog? National Novel Writing Month, also known as NANOWRIMO. This is officially held in November each month, but I’m a rebel, and decided to do my own version in February. The goal is  to write 50,000 words in a month’s time, which should produce a very rough draft of a novel.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t complete 50,000 words. I ended up with 44,873 words. Did I fail? Yes, technically. Am I upset? A little, because I’m competitive and I don’t like to fail a challenge I’ve set for myself but I also realize I have 44,873 words written that I didn’t in January. 

50 Before 50 Update

Guess what other challenge I’m not going to complete that I set for myself? Yup, my 50 Before 50 challenge that I set last year. You can see my list here. As of today, I’ve only completed 20 of the 50 items, but I’ll probably have at least 3 more done before Wednesday. Based on a friend’s suggestion, my list is going to be modified to “50 Things to Usher in 50” now since I still want to complete these things. 

March Intention

Moving on….My March Intention is all about Self-Care. That seemed appropriate since it’s my birthday month. Might as well try to spoil myself a bit…on a budget of course. What does self-care month mean for me? Not sure exactly. Maybe I’ll try to knock off a few more of those 50 Things to Usher in 50 list, like get a massage, or visit a museum, or finally get that tattoo. Knowing me, it will probably also involve some reading and writing time and lots of Starbucks lattes.

Self-care month definitely needs to include a few more gym visits. A recent doctor’s visit has me at the highest weight I’ve ever been at. A yoga class at my gym and a few Hydrobed sessions might ease my stress levels. Heck, I might even take a vacation day since I have a ton saved up.

What do you for frugal self-care days?

 

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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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