Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
That being said, it is only a month into the challenge year. I also found once I got started again, it was oddly easy to get rid of a lot. So I decided to group things and count them as one so as to not make the challenge too easy for myself.
2. The Twilight Saga. I got sucked in and bought the books and then shared with a group of friends. I have no intention of reading these books again. So adios!
3. Earrings. Someone gave me these. They are cute, but, I can't wear fake earrings without developing a rash. My dad's girlfriend liked them. Done and done!
4. Towels. We have an excessive amount and these are falling apart. Animal shelters are always looking for towels so that gave me the motivation to get rid of these I might otherwise have held on to for junk towels for drying off wet dogs or for cleaning.
5. All of my old CDs! (If I counted these all individually this could have easily been my 100 things right there.) Based on the "Have you used this in the last year" rule, these should have been disposed of years ago! I already have all of the music backed up on my computer and eternal hard drive so really it is rather unlikely I will need the physical CDs. But, similar to the food processor, I was not sure the best way to dispose of them. Plus knowing how many hundreds of dollars were spent on those over the years made me feel guilty about just tossing them. My dad's girlfriend has a jukebox and is always trading in old records so I figured I would give her the CDs to see if she can get something useful that she would use. My phone was dead when I was giving these a way so I unfortunately could not snap a picture- but I assure you, it was an impressive pile from Back Street Boys and Brittany Spears, Korn and Static X, to Ziggy Marley and The Celtic Classics. I had the gamut!
6. A few cookbooks. I love food and cooking, and so people frequently give me cookbooks for gifts which is very thoughtful and I do appreciate it, however, I rarely ever use cook books. I hate flipping through them to find recipes and then try to keep the open and get food all over them when I cook. I generally either make up recipes or look online. I do have a few physical cookbooks I really like and use a lot or other ones that I keep for references, but overall I do not need nearly as many as I have filling up the book shelf.
8. Automatic Jar Opener. I will admit this is a pretty sweet device. It had been my 85 year old grandmother's for when her arthritic hands could no longer open jars. When she passed away and no one wanted it, it seemed to have wound up in my old bedroom. It is very useful, especially for anyone who is older or had any hand issues. However, I do not really need it, nor do I have room in my tiny kitchen to store it. It obviously was not doing anyone good sitting in the closet of my childhood bedroom. I tried giving it away to several people I thought could benefit from it but in the end it would up in the garage sale pile.
10. Clothes. Again, I am sure if i added up all of the clothes I donate throughout the year that would likely be close to the 100 items, so I am compiling this one donation bag as one item. I would like to mention, that I rarely buy clothes. I like to buy work out clothes and sneakers and that is about it. I seem to inherit most of my clothes from my mother and sister. We are all roughly the same size and they enjoy shopping. My sister is the type that buys nice things, but does not like being seen wearing the same thing too many times, so once that occurs she passes it off to someone else. My mother, is a bit of a recovering shop-a-holic. She tends to give me things she bought years ago that still have tags on them.
Miss Minimalist outlines that one of the important steps to being a good minimalist is to be a good gatekeeper, which I will admit I am terrible about. I am generally not motivated to try things on when I am offered them so I just take them home, and then deal with them from there. Or, it it fits I will take it, even if I am unlikely to wear it.
Like most people I am always worried about the "What ifs." For example, I probably own about 10 pairs of high heeled shoes. I have probably worn high heels maybe 5 times in the past year. But I keep them because I might need them. Right now I wear scrubs and sneakers to work, so I do not need many fancy outfits or dress shoes. I have bad feet (status post bunionectomy) so I have trouble wearing cute shoes in general.
So I am now 1/10th of the way done with my reversed 100 challenge! I look forward to continue minimalizing but I know one of the big things will be to stop letting more things come into the house!
Monday, July 1, 2013
- Volunteer – I completed volunteer orientation at the Cape Ann Animal Shelter.
- I have now held not one but TWO babies so far this year. I am pretty sure that is an annual record for myself.
- I slept in a tent this past weekend and I am going real camping this coming weekend!
- I have read 2 books so far: “Silent Spring” and “The Devil Catches You and You Fall Down.” Currently accepting new book recommendations. I am still partially reading “The Dioxin Wars” (I have been on chapter 1 for the past year) and “World War Z.”
- I have tried several new recipes- more on that to come.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I love the Erin Motz who is teaching the classes. She is very easy going and encourages people to only go as far as they can, and gives tons of options for people of all levels. Her biography on “Do You Yoga” starts with “I'm a carnivorous, red wine and French cheese-loving,” so basically I decided I liked her after that.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
- Do yoga at least 30 minutes/ 5 times a week
- Do at least one other type of workout a week
- Continue to walk at least 5 miles a day (per Fitbit!)
- Be less reactive
- I am a known nagger and I know I tend to fly off the handle over little things at times. I am working on being less reactive to external cues and maintaining a calm demeanor.
This was my first Hatha yoga class. I was always under the perception the Hatha yoga was "easy." Since I was sore and exhausted from a long week. I wanted something gentle and relaxing. Albeit, it was relaxing, this class was not easy and hardly gentle! It was definitely different from the vinyasa yoga I usually do, as it was much slower paced. However, it was much deeper. All of the poses were held for several breathes. This particular class also included quite a few challenging poses. Again, there were many modifications available so they were all attainable in some fashion but I think it was just such as awakening to what I always pictured Hatha yoga to be!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Day 8, was unfortunately not too exciting to talk about. We packed up and took one last stroll around the hotel. We went back to Del Lago again for breakfast (once we found them they couldn't get rid of us!)
We took the hotels shuttle to the airport, and headed home, to the cold, cruel Massachusetts. We were a bit worried since MA was expecting a snow storm on our way home.
The flight was ok, albeit the second half of the journey I got stuck next to some very loud ditzy girls who were chewing gum loudly (my major pet peeve!) and talking all sorts of ditzy nonsense non-stop. Since this was a short flight (lay over in philly) I could barely have my ipad on for distracting noise.
We took a cab to Bruce's house after our flight since it was starting to snow and we did not have a way of getting back to Gloucester.
It was very nice to see Leo, who was well taken care of by Bruce and got to hang out with his buddy James the whole time, but nonetheless, it was a cold awakening being back home.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Let me start off a bit with Michael and Amanda...
Michael is Jordan's cousin (or 2nd cousin.) Their Abuelita's (grandmothers) are sisters.
Amanda's mother, who passed away 2 years ago, was Mexican, so they decided to have their wedding in Mexico in Playa del Carmen.
The wedding was beautiful, and the location was amazing, but I will say the planning and communication left a bit to be desired. Especially since I was like the crazy wedding scheduler with everything for about 3 days surrounding the wedding broken down into roughly 15 minute intervals, so being there and having NO IDEA what was going on was a bit nerve racking. For instance, the meeting place described on Day 5 had not been decided until day 4 of our Mexico trip so I could not really plan or prepare.
|Parents of the groom and my in-laws pre-wedding|
Jordan was a groomsman in the wedding, and even he had no idea what time the actual wedding was at. We were told that a shuttle bus was leaving their hotel at 4:30 and another at 5:00 pm. We both managed to get on the 4:30 shuttle, which was good, because the 5:00 one never came and people had to find taxis and did not entirely know where they were going.
The wedding took place at Xcaret, the ceremony was at St Francis of Assisi chapel, which was an open chapel without walls on top of a hill at Xcaret, which had a gorgeous view of the park. Getting there was a bit of a challenge, especially for older relatives and girls in high heals as it was a rocky, steep journey up to the chapel.
The ceremony was beautiful, they did the traditional Mexican lasso ceremony where both Amanda and Michael's grandmothers roped a lasso around them to signify thier coming together as one. The lasso had been threaded with flowers from Amanda's mothers wedding dress which was a very special touch. Michael and Amanda had written their own vows, which was terrible in the sense that I cried the whole time. I always find the personal vows to be so beautiful and heart wrenching. They were a combination of sentimental, loving and funny.
For the wedding reception, we walked across the park to "La Isla" Restaurant. Along the route were men dressed in traditional Mayan attire with face paint and blowing through conch shells as may have occured during Mayan celebrations.
La Isla restaurant is set in a natural cave that involves walking down a spiral path down into the cave, which is surrounded by waterfalls and has an impressive fire in the middle. We were greeted by ornately garbed waiters who provided guests with cucumber or mango margaritas with a chili pepper rim (which was unexpected but delicious!).
The whole restaurant set up was surreal. They had a harp player suspended over the cave, the roof was an intricate thatched spiral roof, lights were reflected off of the water and the caves crevices.
Speeches were given by the father of the bride, best man (Michael's older brother Alex), maid of honor (Amanda's little sister Melissa) and a few other friends. Most of the speeches were in Spanish so I understood about a quarter of them. Amanda's sisters was given in English, in which she described how she and Bianca had wanted to be sisters, and about how their mother couldn't be there, it was a very touching speech which clearly lead to water works.
|Alex, the best man, toasting his brother|
|Melissa, the Maid of Honor, promising that she would not make today all about her, as she likes to do|
|Amanda laughing at a speech|
|First Dance as newly weds! |
Saturday, April 27, 2013
We had a very strenuous day of getting a tan, swimming, ordering drinks by the pool and eating by the water.
We started the morning by the beach, but as aforementioned the water was not really safe to go into there since there were reefs along the beach, so we moved up to the pool area. We did some reading (I was reading the Rules of the Bone fyi.)
The service there was amazing. They came by to inform us when happy hour was and take our orders. We tried an array of fruity drinks and coronas. We were about to leave to go get lunch when they informed us they could serve us right there! So we stayed. Life was so tough.
After a day of lounging we set off to meet up with Jordan's family who was also in Playa del Carmen for his cousins wedding. Everyone else was staying at the Riu Grand Mayan Riviera Maya, which despite almost having an identical name to the resort we were staying at, was actually about a 30 minute taxi drive across town.
Further confusion ensued when we were dropped off at the Riu Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Mexico, which apparently is a DIFFERENT hotel a couple miles away from our intended location. All of the Riu's were all inclusive resorts so we couldn't even get to front desk to figure out were we were. We had heated conversations with security guards at the entrance of of about 4 other Riu Grand Mayan resorts before finally finding the right one! It also did not help that the restaurant within the resort we were looking for was called the "La taquilla restaurante" so when we were trying to ask for directions (in our not-so-good Spanish) we kept being pointed in the direction of liquor stores instead.
We finally found Jordan's family, but we still had to eat separately because they would not let us into the resort since we were not staying there, even though Michael, Jordan's cousin (the groom-to-be) had us on all of the lists, had paid for us and they took copies of our passports.
We did get to spend some time with the family for a few hours at a bar afterwards but it was a frustrating chain of events to say the least!
|Random dancing at the bar on stage with the niños|
|Here is my Sister-in-Law Alya and her BF Ian|
|This was Michael, the Groom's, dapper rehearsal dinner attire.|
|Groom's Abuelo and Abuela (now somehow my great Tio and Tia In laws I guess!)|
|One of the groomsmen chilling on the beach|
|Grooms Brother, Alex, Sister Bianca and Michael|