Sunday, November 25, 2018

9 End of Year To Dos

It is amazing that there is only one month left in 2018. It seems that it was September only recently. But as my family sets up our Christmas decorations and we buy new calendars, I have to accept that this year is coming to an end. 2018 was a good year. I celebrated 13 years together and 5 years of marriage with Brad. We had several family trips. I tried several delicious recipes. And I lost 37lbs.

I have such plans for 2019. My eldest son will have his first day of school. We will make more improvements to our home. And I will continue to develop my blog and Instagram. I enjoy finishing tasks and planning long term goals so l tend to start New Year's Resolutions early.

The end or beginning of a year starts people in a frenzy to better themselves. Buying gym memberships, starting diets, and creating to do lists. Below are my top end of the year To Dos.

1. Declutter
 • It can be hard to concentrate and start over new when weighed down by the clutter of old. Decluttering allows for you to start over fresh.

2. Prepare goals for next year
 • Planning long term goals allows me to work toward my future. I know what I want to accomplish next year and by when. Preparing goals ahead also saves me time trying to remember what I need to work on after completing previous goals.

3. Select holiday card/gifts
 • I love selecting our holiday card and gifts. I love showing friends and family how much I appreciate them. And I also enjoy preparing something for our neighbors, postal worker, and sanitation workers.

4. Set-up for any important appointments
 • Schedule any important meetings and doctor's appointments before you get too busy and forget. December and January are always a whirlwind for me. Between family events, holiday parties, and preparing for the holidays. Your schedule and other people's schedules are too busy to plan something last minute.

5. Complete any past year's goals
 • While preparing for next year, do not forget there is still time left in this year. Complete whatever tasks you were already working on. See if there are any last goals that could be complete before Auld Lang Syne starts playing.

6. Volunteer/do something good
 • It is always best to be charitable and kind to others. It is especially good to be charitable around this time of year. It can be difficult for some during the holidays.

7. Do something you love
 • The end and beginning of a year can be busy and chaotic. Remember to make time to do something you love. Holiday burnout is a waste of a wonderful time of year. Make time in your busy schedule to relax and pamper yourself.

8. Get rid of bad habit
 • The end of the year is an excellent time to rid yourself of old habits. it is difficult to improve oneself if one holds onto old horrible habits.

9. Re-evaluate old projects
 • And finally the end if the year is also an excellent time to re-evaluated projects that are incomplete. If you find the task not important or meaningless, it might be best to drop the project and work on something else.

image from: pexels

Sunday, November 18, 2018

10 must for a princessly lifestyle

I love the princessy lifestyle. The femininity, the etiquette, and the pampering. It has been an infatuation of mine ever since 2003 when I first discovered lolita fashion. I appreciate and love myself more when following this aesthetic. I am happier and take better care of myself as well.

As a child I believed only pretty, petite girls could follow this lifestyle and I was neither. Until my freshman year in high school I was the tallest person in my grade. At graduation I was still among one of the tallest girls. I had always been a heavy set child as well. I was a tomboy because that was the style I thought I could follow.

However as I grew in confidence thanks to old and new friends, I decided to follow my dream. I was not going to let my height or weight dictate my interests. I was going to dress the way I wanted. And I was going to follow my interests. I am so much happier that I did.

Over the years I found 10 must haves to follow a princessy lifestyle.

1. Take care of skin and nails

 • Having nice skin and nails is a must. Find a moisturizer that works for your skin type and the season. Take vitamins contain vitamin A and biotin to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Always keep your nails clean and make sure there are no chips in your nail polish. Try not to pick at your skin.

2. Prefect their smile.

 • Having a nice smile is important not only for appearance, but also for health. Visit the dentist as directed. Brush your teeth twice daily. Cut down on teeth staining beverages. Work on perfecting a smile that works well with the shape of your face.

3. Find a signature hairstyle

 • Having a signature hairstyle is stylish and a time saver. I know how I plan to wear my hair 90% of the time. And I always receive amazing compliments when I style my hair another way.

4. Learn how to speak publicly

 • One should always be confident and prepared for public speaking. Be it a meeting or an important phone call, one should always be able to speak calmly and clearly.

5. Eat healthy and exercise

 • Nothing is more important than your health. Healthy people tend to be happy and look their best. They glow and have more energy. Plus losing weight allows for greater clothing choices.

6. Read daily

 • Successful and intelligent people read daily. Not just the news or fiction. They are on a mission to learn something new daily. I love to start my mornings by studying different languages.

7. Mind your manners

 • Nothing ruins to princessly aesthetic faster than horrible manners. A meaningful please and thank you can go a long way. One should be patient and a good listener. Always be punctual and RSVP promptly. And do not make a promise you cannot keep. When someone speaks give them your full attention.

8. Be charitable

 • Almost everyone has a cause they are passionate about. Donate, provide your time, or help someone else in need. If one is able to give one should.

9. Diversify interests and hobby

 • Successful and wealthy people tend to have a wide variety of interests and hobbies. They have an expansive list of topics to discuss when meeting new people. It also allows for greater networking possibilities.

10. Take pride in appearance

 • Dress for your body shape. Get rid of old, torn, and worn out clothes. One should always dress nicely for any occasion.

image from: pexels

Monday, November 12, 2018

Part two: Healthy eating

In addition to losing weight, eating for your body is crucial. Nothing matters if one does not have good health. Eating unhealthy can cause weight gain and malnourishment. The human body cannot functional properly if it is not taken care of properly. In addition to the main food groups and portion control, you have to eat what works for your body. One size fits all diet regimens do not work for everyone. The diet may not produce results or if there are results the participate feels horrible. One needs to know what foods or restrictions work for their body.
I have Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes me several issues if I eat anything that contains wheat, rye, or barley. I even have to be careful of food with certain seasonings or have modified food starch. This can sometimes make eating a game of Russian Roulette.
While gluten free has become a new weightloss fad, it is frustrating to not be taken seriously when asking if something is gluten free. This is not a choice or luxury diet for me. Symptoms of migraines, joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, acne, and dermatitis herpetiformis cannot be ignored. I would jump for joy if I could eat normal bread, desserts, or pasta. Although I am thankful that since gluten free diets have become popular most foods are clearly marked if they contain wheat. And there are more gluten free options than when I was younger.
One should never judge or disregard others if they say they have a dietary restriction.  Nothing is more vital than your health. My littles experience Celiac symptoms as well. I know that others will think of me as the annoying food police mother. But this is important. I want myself and my family to be the heathiest we can be. 

image from pixabay

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Keil Tree Experts

Unpaid review

It has been over a year since Brad and I bought our first house. While not ideal, I do not completely hate the purchase. I wanted a single family home in the suburbs. But due to limited house choices during the winter, we bought a townhouse at the edge of the city.

This is definitely not my dream house, but there are a few positives. The house is in a nice neighborhood. There are plenty of storage areas, bedrooms, and restrooms for my family. The house is the corner property with a sufficient amount of land. Because if it I was going to live in a townhouse I was only going to accept a corner property. We are a 20 minute drive away from work and any stores I might need. Plus we were able to purchase the house for cheap and the value has almost increased by half. The neighborhood school is not the highest ranking, but there are alternative options such private and charter schools.

All in all I do not love my house, but I like it well enough. So after unpacking and surviving our youngest's first year, we are finally ready for customizations. I have several projects planned that should hopefully increase my enthusiasm toward my home. We started with a mix of small and large projects. Corner shelves in the dining room, above door shelves in the restrooms, and tree removal.

There were two very large Ash trees in the front yard that were blighted by Emerald Ash Borer beetles. They were not pleasing to look at. No foliage on the top half of the trees, bark peeling, and falling limbs. Plus any damages caused by these dying trees would not be covered by me home owner's insurance!  They had to go. This was also the first major project that needed to be completed before the other exterior projects could be started.

I contacted several arbor companies for quotes, but decided to go with a family recommendation, Keil Tree Experts.  The company was booked out two weeks, which was understandable due to the recent rain and wind storms. I had seen several felled trees this summer. Keil Tree Experts were nice enough to schedule me for 2 days so that the crew would not have to be rushed. It turned out that my scheduled date was unfortunately right before the remanence of Hurricane Florence was due to hit Maryland. I called the morning of my appointment to see if I needed to be rescheduled. But they were already on the way. The crew worked a full 9 hours, no loitering breaks, and were able to cut down both trees in only one day. They left the wood as requested for firewood.

It feels like I bought a new house. My yard feels and looks more open. And my property looks better without the huge looming death traps. When the storm hit that weekend I did not have any worries. Now my next planned projects include repainting the exterior doors and porch, updating the carport and pathway, adding a HVAC system, and add a new fence. Eventually I would love to add a deck and a library addition. All in due time.

Before image from: Google