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Product Review Vs. Promotion

Are you properly reviewing a product or just promoting the product?

May 31, 2013

Adoption is Another Word for Love - My Siblings and I

Prompt courtesy of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop
Share a story about a sibling that still makes you smile.
 I was adopted when I was a month old and I grew up as an only child.  People ask me if I remember when my mom told me I was adopted -- I don't.  For some reason I can't pinpoint the exact age at which she told me, I just know that I've always known.  My mom was never secretive or closed about my adoption, she always passed along any information that she knew.  I was always allowed to ask questions and as soon as I became a teenager, my mom told me that if I ever wanted to find my biological family she would be in full support of me.

Right before my 18th birthday I became nosy and snuck into my mom's room when she was at work.  I was on a mission to find my adoption papers to see if there was anything she had not told me.  You know, as a teenager you think your parents are always being deceptive.  Well, I found the non identifying information that my mom had and I found out some information that my mom had not shared because I never asked.  Seeing the information right in front of me in black and white gave me this strong desire to find out who I was and where I came from.  

I don't remember how I brought up the topic of wanting to find my biological family, but my mom was in full support of me.  To make a very long and drawn out story short, in June of 2003 I met my biological mother, grandmother, sister, brother and two nieces; it definitely wasn't the fairy-tale reunion that I had always dreamed of, but it was part of who I was.  There was just one thing missing, my biological mother had another daughter two years before me who she also placed for adoption -- the social worker at the adoption agency was having a very hard time finding her.  I felt almost complete, but had to find her as well. 

I was in college when my oldest sister and I decided to hire a private detective who specialized in adoption reunions to find her.  Surprisingly, it took just a day or two for that woman to find her, and she called us with all of her information.  She asked if we wanted her (PI) to contact our sister first, or if we wanted to be the first call.  I'm not sure if my sister or I decided, but we said that we wanted to be the first call to her, I guess because we didn't want her to run away if the PI called her first.  

Sitting in my dorm room, I remember calling her and not knowing what to say.  The first thing I said when she answered the phone was, "I think I'm your sister."  The worst part?  She had no idea that she was adopted.  Her parents never told her, I don't know why they never told her, but I was the one who told her she was adopted.  I felt horrible.  After she talked to her mother about it she called me back and I remember talking to her for hours.  We really got to know each other and found out that we had something else in common -- both of our adopted names were KRISTIN -- spelled the same way. 

Now, 10 years later; Kristin, Shirley and I have a great relationship.  We are definitely making up for the missed time we didn't have each other to depend on.  Kristin and I get together for lunch, dinner, shopping or movies at least once a week (or so) and Shirley and I get together once every two weeks for lunch, since we work near each other.  I never want to take for granted having my siblings in my life because I didn't have them for the longest time.  We now have to catch up on 18 years, and that's hard to do.  My sisters are incredibly important to me and any time I spend with them makes me smile.

May 30, 2013

“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ― Jack London

I'm about to share one of my deepest, darkest secrets...Ok, not really but it's a trick I use to post my amazing posts. ;)

Every blogger knows that chronic bloggers block is a horrible illness to come down with.  I don't have it often but there are days where it feels like I stare at the blank computer screen for hours with no ideas.  Rather than me sitting there, frustrated, about to give up and waiting for an idea to smack me in the head, I take a look at some writing and blogging prompts sites that I have bookmarked throughout the past few years.  Something usually jumps out at me as an exciting and great blog post and I usually end up writing on that prompt.  Today was one of those days -- sitting here for 10 minutes, I just knew nothing was going to inspire me because I'm exhausted and have horrible allergies.  I clicked on one of my favorite blogging prompts sites and started reading through some prompts.  One struck me as very funny....

How do you develop your writing/blogging ideas?

Why did that strike me as so funny?  Mostly because I was reading this on a blogging prompts site. lol  Was this person hoping for a shameless plug from someone who chose that prompt?  I mean, if you're looking at a blogging prompts website, apparently you don't have any ideas. (Ok well most some of the time.)

But you know what...I'm going to take that prompt and write about it.  Why?  I'm a rebel!  I like to be different...and strange.  It's just who I am.  

*clears throat*

My writing and blogging ideas come from almost everywhere.  I am an artist and artists just see the world differently.  We think of everything in terms of stories, art, beauty and ideas.  We get inspiration from the most random of places, but at least we get inspiration!  I could see a park and an idea (that has nothing to do with a park, mind you.) will come popping into my head.  Why?  Creative thinking? Creative mind?  I'm not actually sure, but I don't mind it.

I also grab inspiration from things I hear from people, situations I get into with my kids, things my kids say, news stories that I hear, blogs that I read, tweets that pop up on my feed -- my inspiration comes from absolutely anywhere.

Sure, sometimes I have no ideas and get ideas from prompts, but I take those prompts and I really run with them.  Sometimes I may end up off topic or sometimes I may start writing and actually get a completely different idea from the prompt, it just depends.

Either way, I love blogging and love meeting new people.  I have made some wonderful friends while blogging and got to know some great bloggers, I wouldn't change that for anything else. :)

Where do YOU get your inspiration from? If you blog about it, link yourself in my comments or you can just leave a general comment about your inspiration.

May 25, 2013

I Love to Dream Big, Can I Make it Happen?

Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet). - Prompt by The Daily Post

All my life I have wanted to own a store.

Not just any store, but a store where I can incorporate little known artists and crafters.  A place where I can bring all of us unknowns together to help grow their success, their brand and their product.  My dream has always been to open a store that is similar to a real-life Etsy, more or less.  I've always had the perfect location picked out, ever since I was a child.  The location is a small triangular building that's on a small median in the middle of a major street in my town.  The building is a very small building and businesses seem to move in and out of there constantly.  I have always felt that would be a perfect location for my shop.  I never thought up a name for it, but I had always wanted to offer art classes, crafting classes, getting local artists together to host seminars and shows, just to let my creativity flow.  

Why have I not gone after my dream yet?

Financial reasons.  I don't have the money nor do I have the credit to lease a corporate building to house my business.  One day, though, I know I'm going to be able to open my shop and when I do, I will be the happiest person on the face of the planet.  I'm very determined and driven to make this dream come true someday, and I know I will.  Art and creativity is a passion of mine and I won't let that passion go.

15 Reasons I'm Awesome

  1. I'm a young and cool mom - Being 28, I am young, but I think I'm cool whether or not my kids think so! (But they do! My oldest always takes pride in the fact that I'm the youngest and coolest mom in the class. Woot!
  2. I've been through a lot and survived it all - I've had a great life so far, I'm not going to complain, but I've been through a hell of a lot.  I was bullied all of my life, I lost close friends over stupid childish bullshit, I've been through a relationship that was abusive and that mentally messed me up for quite a while, I've been through abandonment by that same person when I was 6 months pregnant and have, so far, raised two beautiful children on my own.  Maybe it's not as much as some other people have been through, but I was in a state of extreme depression for quite a while but I overcame it and am bettering myself for it all now.  I hope that I can actually grow to love myself and my life more than I do now, I'd love to be a success story for myself and an inspiration to my girls.
  3. I have two beautiful girls - That in itself is a reason that I am awesome.  My girls are my life and as much as I've been through, as much stress as I deal with and even though it's extremely difficult and exhausting to raise them on my own, I wouldn't change it for anything else.
  4. I've come to love Disney and Nick Jr shows - Disney and Nick Jr. is all that's on in my house, at any given time.  As frustrating as it is, I've learned to love them!  I now find myself walking around singing the Sofia the First theme song or the Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme song.  There are times when I'm home alone, I turn on Austin and Ally or Good Luck's the mom syndrome, but I think I'm awesome for it.
  5. It took a while, but I'm learning to choose my own battles.  I used to fly off the handle at the smallest thing my kids did.  Now I'm learning that some fights aren't worth fighting.  If my youngest wants to wear her Sofia the First dress to the mall, whatever, I'm cool with it!  If they decide to have a powder fight in the bathroom, it only takes a broom to sweep it up.  If my kids want to have a "camp out" in the living room instead of their rooms, go for it.  If they don't want to clean their room, there's a door that can be closed!  It feels so much better not to stress over every little thing that they do or don't do!
  6. I'm currently making up for lost time with my sisters. I met my two sisters in 2003, since I was adopted.  From 2005-2011 we really didn't talk too much and rarely saw each other.  It wasn't until after my birth mother's sudden death that we realized that life isn't promised to anyone -- we see each other at least once a week now.  I love the fact that my two sisters and I have been making up for lost time.  They are honestly the best big sisters anyone can ever ask for; I love them like we were never separated. :)
  7. I lie to my kids when needed.  I used to feel so bad about doing this but as I grew up, I realized it was an important skill to master.  "Mom, can we go to Toys R Us?" say my kids...  "Oh I'm sorry honey, Toys R Us is closed for renovations!"  I answer to them.  They ask me to drive past so they can see for themselves, because they've become wise to me.  So I drive past pretty fast so they don't notice the cars in the parking lot.   There's also this one -- "Can I have this (insert toy here)?"  They ask quite a bit at different stores.  "That's not for sale, see the sign? (Reads some bogus sign to say 'Not For Sale Yet')"  They then say they don't believe me and want me to ask the cashier.  So when I go to check out I say to the cashier, "Right? This isn't for sale for the next few weeks, correct?" (Followed by a wink to the cashier)  Usually this works out in my favor and the cashier understands what I'm trying to say. (If they're a mom! lol)  This has only backfired twice.
  8. I'm going back to school.  Despite my girls, taking care of my mom and working two jobs, I've also been back in school for almost a year to get my Bachelors of Science in Business Management. (Specialization in Internet Marketing)  It's taking me longer than normal because of everything else going on in my life, but at least I'm going to eventually get my degree.  It gives me a sense of pride to know that I'm showing my girls that anything is possible.
  9. I can entertain my kids on a budget of $20 or less.  Since we've been through the horrible slump of having no money, no TV, no internet, etc... I've learned to entertain my kids on a very limited budget.  If they ask for toys I tell them we can go to the dollar store and buy one or two toys each or tell them we'll go to Walmart and get something out of the change machines.  If they want ice cream, McDonalds has the $1.25 cones, we take walks to the park for fun or make our own crafts from things we have around the house.  Surprisingly, my mom still has a crap load of my toys from when I was a kid, we'll go up to the attic to bring a box down for them to find something new... I've gotten creative.
  10. I can sense when there's trouble in the house.  My kids swear that I do have eyes in the back of my head or that I can hear something a mile away.  Over these past 7 years of being a mom, I know when there's trouble.  If it's too quiet I know something is going on, if there's too much giggling or whispering, I know it's time to check on my kids, if they leave me alone for an extended period of time, I know they're up to no good.  The funny part is, they think I'm psychic.
  11. Showering can take less than 10 minutes.  Sometimes, in order to take an uninterrupted shower, it has to be less than 10 minutes.  I can set my kids up with coloring books, TV, toys, etc... but I know that in about 10 minutes they are going to be bored and want to bother me.   I've mastered the 10 minute mommy shower.
  12. I can decipher "Olivia Language"  Olivia is 5 years old (going on 6) but she has a speech delay.  She was in speech therapy for quite a while and made great progress, but she still has problems sometimes and gets frustrated when what she wants to say doesn't come out the way she wants it to.  I've learned to decipher her Olivia Language and can translate to anyone who doesn't understand. :)
  13. I can laugh at myself.  If  I fall in public or happen to leave my zipper open accidentally, or I do something embarrassing  I've learned to laugh at myself and crack my own joke.  I never used to be able to, but laughing is better than crying!
  14. I have my nose pierced. For some reason, I feel like that makes me a bad ass! I also have a cartilage piercing -- oooo feel the bad-ass-ness radiating from me. lol
  15. Despite my semi-low self confidence I can come up with 15 reasons why I'm awesome. Enough said!

May 24, 2013

The Daily Post: How My Blog Has Changed / Goals for 2013

When you started your blog, did you set any goals? Have you achieved them? Have they changed at all?  - Prompt from The Daily Post

This blog started off in 2007 to be an outlet for my creativity and to promote my Etsy store.  I was partially unemployed, trying to make it on my own and pretty depressed about not having many people to associate with offline.  I felt lonely and wanted to feel like I was contributing something to someone.  Well, as time went on I realized that I really missed blogging -- I love to write about random topics that are important to me or sharing stories about my life and family.  So I decided to move my blog in a different direction and go back to writing about family, mommy situations, topics that are near and dear to my heart, etc...  

I started my blog in this direction because I was trying to find a place where I would belong and for inspiration for my writing.  Being different and having a creative mind, I never really fit in amongst anyone around me.  I thought with the right side of my brain while everyone around me thought with the left side; I look at everything and find beauty and creativity in it...a lot of people don't understand that.  Therefore, I got bullied a lot and got made fun of a lot.  I wanted to be with people who are me, who are also creative and think creatively.  

My main goal, once I turned this into a personal (slash) mom blog,  was to connect with other moms and share information and experiences.  I wanted to try to contribute what I knew to others out there.  I've always said, If I can help just one person with my blog, I would feel like I accomplished a hell of a lot. That's actually become my personal motto, one that I keep dear to my heart.  Basically, I wanted to make a difference.  Now, I know I'm not the most popular mom blogger out there, but I feel like I've accomplished that goal.  I've had people comment saying that my post really helped them or that they could relate to me or that I gave someone the strength to go on as a single mom...  I love hearing all of the positive feedback because just as I may have helped them a little, they're helping me keep my motivation and confidence.  

Another goal that I have is to help brands.  I'm very PR Friendly and love to connect with brands to promote them, that's something I am passionate about.  Being a SEO and Social Media coordinator, helping brands and businesses is my passion.  I feel that since I have the skills to help companies get "out there", I should definitely incorporate it into my blog in a different way, and I do.  I've worked with some amazing companies and PR reps and continue to do more in the future.  These are my ultimate goals:

  • To completely monetize my blog well enough to have a good second income to put into savings for my girls.
  • To become an ambassador for a company.
  • To go on a blogger conference trip to network, learn more and promote my blog.
  • To continue to grow a readership that actively loves to give me positive feedback but also constructive criticism.
I would love for my blog to become another business for me along with being a hobby and I will actively work towards that goal until it actually happens.  Goals are a part of my life -- I feel like I have to set goals for myself or I could easily get sidetracked, derailed and discouraged.

What are your blogging goals?

May 23, 2013

A Good Deed Should Never Go Unrewarded -- My Story About Good Karma

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you've ever received. - Writing Prompt from The Daily Post

I am a big believer of karma -- do something nice for someone and someone will do something nice for you.  Maybe it was the way I was raised or just something that I acquired over time, but it's something I strongly believe in.  I try to do something nice for someone as often as I possibly can, not just to be rewarded in some way, but because I get a strong sense of pride when I help out.  I do many nice things for people but do not always get something in return, which is fine.  However I do have this story I always like to tell about someone who did something for me that restored my faith that there are nice and helpful people out there.

My friend Carole and I love to go on road trips.  We drive to North Carolina at least once a year, sometimes more often because we love that area and always enjoy our long, but fun, nine hour drives there.  Last year, on the way home, we were crossing into Delaware and were preparing to pay the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll.  As we got into the toll lane and handed the booth attendant our money, she advised us that the car in front of us had already paid for our toll.  My friend and I were in awe and very thankful since we are both on a limited budget and every penny counts.  As much as we tried, we couldn't catch up with the car to thank them, but I do remember tweeting a "Thank You" to the anonymous good Samaritan  even though I have no idea if they use Twitter or ever saw it.  I wish I could have thanked them for being so kind but I was never able to. A few days later when I was at Starbucks, this younger teenager was $1.25 short for her coffee, I gave it to her to help her out.  As they always say, A good deed should not go unrewarded, and because that anonymous person helped us out at the toll booth, I gave back to someone as well.

Smartphones are making us dumb

This was my first cell phone, sexy right?  

I remember going to the mall with my mom and seeing a Motorola kiosk hidden in a corner of the mall.  I don't remember if I asked my mom for a cell phone or if she thought that I was old enough to have one,  but I remember that I got one that day.  It was a dark blue color  and was on the Siemens network, which is now AT&T.  Man, I thought I was the SHIT with that phone!  I even remember finding (I think my mom did on Ebay?) an 'N Sync "faceplate" for this phone, I really thought I was the coolest thing since sliced bread.    My phone had the ability to call, text and maybe play one game -- it wasn't color and was three times the size of the iPhone.  It was nothing special in today's standards, but back them it was awesome. Now, I wish that I could say my obsession with cell phones and the latest technology never started, but that very old (and very ugly) cell phone was just the start of everything. 

My 7 year old frequently asks me what we did for fun before cell phones, iPads, computers, real video games and electronic toys.  
"We used our imagination and played outside getting exercise." I always tell her. 
Apparently, using your imagination and actually running around with your friends outside is unheard of for 50% of children in this day and age.  That's because we have technology that fries our brains and does all of the thinking for us -- smart phones have literally made this generation dumb.  

I remember when I was 7 (back in 1992) and I had to use my imagination to play outside with my friends with our Barbies.  When our parents wouldn't let us take our Barbies outside, we had to actually come up with games to play that did not include toys.  My kids would be lost if they had to do the same things I did as a kid, it's pretty sad.

Technology and cell phones has definitely changed family life in our home.  When I was a child, our nights used to be filled with doing homework, eating dinner, taking a bath, watching some television as a family with the one TV we had in the living room, my mom would play with me with my dollhouse, puzzle, coloring books, etc... and then we would go to bed, reading a book together.  Now, it seems like everyone is in their own world.  I have my 5 year old on the iPad, my 7 year old on her iPod, my mom watching TV and myself constantly on my cell phone.  Is that what family time has come to now?  No one talking to each other or paying any attention to each other?  Secondly, technology has definitely promoted procrastination especially with my 7 year old.   She brings her iPod to the dinner table, she uses her iPod as an excuse to put off doing homework, she uses her iPod as an excuse to go to bed and I even find her in bed with her iPod at times.  I do admit, I haven't been too tough on her about it; mostly because I feel that I can't tell her not to do it when I do it myself.  

I actually never realized just how much technology has consumed us until recently when I saw, waiting in line, how many people were texting, playing games, on the phone, etc...  Up until that point I never paid too much attention to it, knowing that cell phones were a large part of everyone's lives.  I admit to being on my phone way too much when with friends, I also admit to sitting at a table with one of my best friends -- each of us on our phones, not talking to each other.  Where has actual human face-to-face communication gone?  Out with the times?  (To my friends who know that I am on my phone constantly -- I know, this is hypocritical of me to say.)

My mom brought up a good point the other day...
"Kids don't have to know anything anymore.  Whatever they want to know, they just google."
That's the truth.  My daughter came home the other day saying that she had to Google something she asked in class.  I asked her why she had to Google it and she told me that her teacher told her to Google the answer when she asked the question.  This is a first grade classroom, can't the teacher answer a simple question?  Is Google going to turn into our teachers in the future?  It sure seems like it from what I'm hearing from my daughter and other kids in her class.

While I do need my phone on me most of the time for my business, clients, etc... I do wish that there were times I could get away from my phone.  I actually feel panic and anxiety when I can't find it for 5 minutes or when I accidentally leave it at home when I run out to do errands, it's a very unhealthy fear that I wish I didn't have.  I don't have to keep refreshing my mail, but I do anyway -- what if that client e-mails me back and I don't respond immediately?  I know they're not going to magically disappear, but that fear is in the back of my mind, and it is an irrational fear too!

I just think it's sad and scary how technology has changed our lives and caused so much interruption when we are with others.  The part that is scarier?  It's just going to get worse as technology grows and advances, there's probably no end in sight for our obsessiveness with technology.

Are you addicted to your phone?  Is your family?

May 22, 2013

6 Random Facts About Myself - Writing Prompt

I'm a completely random person, I will definitely pop up with the weirdest comments, questions or statements in the middle of any given conversation.  (Even if it's not on-topic!)  Needless to say, I also love to share some random facts -- God knows, I have sooooo many random facts about myself!  So let's share a few! 

 I am obsessed with cell phone cases. For my iPhone 4 I had about 15-20 cell phone cases to use with my phone.  Some people ask me if I coordinated my case for every single outfit; I didn't.  I just enjoyed having a new look for my phone every so often when I felt like changing it.  Why do I love cell phone cases? I have absolutely no idea, but I do feel like your cell phone is an expression of who you are.

 I recently bought a Michael Kors purse and I love it. This is more of a confession.  Since 2006 I have been a Coach addict.  Every single year (either around Christmas or tax refund time) I would buy myself a new Coach purse.  I have a fairly large collection of Coach purses, wristlets, sunglasses, etc...  However I saw my sister with a Michael Kors purse and I fell in love with it.  So this year, when I got my tax refund, I went to the Michael Kors store and got myself a MK purse -- I love it.  Surprisingly, I haven't changed my purse in 4 months. (Rare for me!)

 I can't live without coffee.  I have to have at least one cup of coffee a day or you don't want to be around me.  I can be a crabby bitch when I don't have coffee.  I've been asked (too often) whether I prefer Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts coffee and I'm torn.  I purchase Starbucks coffee to use in my own coffee machine at home, I prefer the taste of their coffee to brew on my own.  Though I do think Dunkin Donuts turbo coffee does have a unique flavor that I do like.  I am obsessed with Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos, that's a fact.

 I used to work in retail.  When I was younger, I worked in retail for years.  My first job was at Stop & Shop as a front end cashier, before HS graduation I started work at Sears in their Electronics department -- I hated that job, it was solely commission and I quit once I realized how tough that was.  Next, I worked at Bath and Body Works and H&R Block (at the same time) for four years, seasonal.  In between I was a photographer at the Picture People until I broke my wrist in a car accident and couldn't hold the bulky camera while in a cast.  I also worked at Aeropostale, Apple Computers (at home), Sephora and the Coach store. (Sephora and the Coach store were dream jobs for me!!)  After that, I moved into working in corporate jobs doing Social Media and SEO coordination.  As much as I do love retail, I hate being on my feet all day...I now love helping companies with promotion via Social Media and Optimization, I don't see myself switching industries for a very long time.

 I've been blogging since 1999.  I first got into blogging when I was in 8th grade.  It was an old old old website with the neon colors, iFrames, my favorite musicians as "layouts", way too much personal information and the old "webcam" on the side of the page.  It was a typical teenage blog website.  I haven't stopped since 1999, even though my websites/blogs have changed quite a bit over the years.  I don't think I will ever stop blogging because I love the relationships I have made with other moms, bloggers and businesses over the years. 

 I am obsessed with shopping at Dots.  I think they have great quality clothes for amazing prices, especially with their coupons!  I don't think Dots is in every single state, it may only be on the east coast, but if there is a Dots in your there! :)

May 21, 2013

Attention Manhattan & Brooklyn Renters: Do you need a cleaning service ASAP for a new guest? Proprly is here!

Do you host renters in Manhattan and Brooklyn and need your place cleaned ASAP?  Well, Proprly is currently working a beta in Manhattan and Brooklyn and they are your one stop cleaners when you need someone and cna't wait!  They are available to homeowners and renters and support Airbnb, Homeaway & VRBO rental markets.

  • Proprly only uses EcoSafe, "green" products for their clients.  They use premium and effective products that have protecting people and the environment as their first priority.
  • The cleaners at Proprly come from the high-end hotel housekeeping world.  They are all background checked and professionally trained before hired to ensure a quality job.  Two uniformed cleaners will arrive at your home to make it sparkle!

  • Proprly says:

Proprly was made for the home renter. Give us detailed information about anything you want to have done for your guests – we can do it. How do you like your pillows placed? Want to leave your guests a welcome package? Want to leave them a note? And once you give us this information, it is in your account, so you only have to tell us once. We can also do some extras that you might not expect – just try us! (Some requests require a nominal fee.) 
In addition, our key delivery service takes care of ensuring your guests get the keys and into your home. You can manage the whole home rental process even if you are out of the country.
Their prices? Extremely reasonable! Click to enlarge

They are also offering a special offer right this second for brand new customers! They are offering $40 off your first cleaning using code: SPRINGCLEANING13 at check out! Whaaat?!  Such a great deal!

So, what is their basic cleaning duties? Easy answer! Click to enlarge

 There's no excuse not to use Proprly for all of your cleaning needs! Give them a call today, (646) 543-8084 or visit their website at today to book your cleaning! Don't forget to use the SPRINGCLEANING13 code! It gets you $40 off your VERY FIRST cleaning!

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post by Proprly and I was compensated for this post.  However, all thoughts and opinions in this post are mine and mine alone. Thank you.

May 20, 2013

Summer 2013 Bucket List - What I want to accomplish this summer.

As Summer is fast approaching, I decided to make a bucket list of things I want to accomplish before September of 2013 hits.  I don't have too many days to accomplish all of these things, however I will try my absolute best!  It's a mix of things I need to get done and things I want to get done.  Let's revisit this on September 1, 2013 and see how I did with my list. (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER..  Just what comes to my mind first.)

1. Exercise more often, since I do have a gym membership I never use.

2. Lose 20 lbs.  With the rate I lose weight, it's entirely possible for me to lose 20 or more lbs, if I just try.

3. Get a decent tan -- real or fake. (I usually burn, let's see if I can make this happen.)

4. Book my trip/flight to Charlotte for October.  (I usually procrastinate and do this stuff last minute.)

5. Gain 2 new clients for my business.  

6. Save $50 more a month in savings. (June, July, August)  No matter how hard this is financially on me.

7. Find someone special who can make me happy.

8. Go on some sort of vacation.  It doesn't have to be far, just more than one day!

9. Redo room -- I want to venture away from the pink and into "big girl" territory! Uh oh!

10. Meet Hanson -- this may seem funny to you but I've been a fan since 1997. 

11. Finish my 1st semester of college and start my 2nd. (I've been procrastinating on this one Essay.)

12. Start my Etsy shop back up

13. Go down the shore with my sisters -- sister bonding time!

14. Post on my blog (at least) bi daily

15. Work in my office two days a week for 3 hours a day. (Not just sporadically throughout the day.)

16. Make at least 5-10 new recipes.

17. Pay off one debt by making payments. (I want to get out of debt -- badly.)

18. Get one credit card, secured or unsecured. (ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES)

19. Make (at least) one painting -- I miss painting.

20. Clean out my car once weekly for the duration of the summer.  This sounds easier than it is w/ two kids.

21. See my sisters once weekly.

22. Have one big BBQ at my house inviting sisters, friends and neighbors

23. Clean my house thoroughly enough where I feel I can have people over at any time.

24. Take one photo each day this summer.

25.  Write in an off-line journal at least 3 times a week.

26. Read 5 new books

27. Up my self esteem a bit, I'd like to at least like myself a little bit.

28. Get kick ass rims for my car. :)  I've always wanted to do this, why not this summer?

29. Buy a new pair of Coach/MK Sunglasses (Or another awesome name brand.)

30. Finish writing my book.  I have two in the works, one novel and one e-book.