January 2018 Update.

Hi friends!

How are those new year resolutions coming this January?

Surprisingly, I’m doing quite alright for this first month of the new year. Not perfect, but way better than I usually do. 

By now, I probably would have given up on things and accepted that they just wouldn’t happen. 

But this year, I don’t know- I just feel a little more motivated to schedule time for the things I feel are most important to me. 

I talk a lot more about my planning process for this year, in this blog post- you can read more HERE

This month I’ve been trying to implement a few new things into my weekly schedule to better my life and work toward achieving my main goals for 2018. 

For example…

I use my planner and then I have a yellow memo pad that I use for my daily/weekly to do lists.

So the first week of January was all about recovering from holiday stress and planning things out. I was researching a few things and getting ready to make some changes this month/this year. 

January 8th-12th 

Back to using apple cider vinegar.

-I’ve heard the many health benefits to having a glass of water infused with apple cider vinegar. I know you’ll read or hear mixed things. But my cousin’s a nurse and I spoke to her before starting this. She recommended Bragg’s Organic Unfiltered (with the mother)- it has a bright yellow label, that’s the purest one. I pour a glass of water, add two capfuls of the vinegar, add a splash of apple juice, mix and drink. The juice is just to soften the rough taste of the vinegar. 

Start waking up earlier- 9:30 AM. 

-My job has a later start so I was able to get up at like 10:30 every morning, but I wanted to start changing that and get up earlier so I can have more time to do things. I used to just wake up and get ready and have to rush out the house. I didn’t make use of my time wisely. 

Work out every week day morning- Monday-Friday.

-So I’ve been wanting to work out consistently for so long. I started in the Summer and tried sticking to a 3 day routine and it worked for like 2ish weeks and then something happened to distract my schedule and I just stopped and never went back. So this time I wanted to do something that targeted the areas I want to make a change in. So I found this blogilates video and built up from there. If a workout is too long or I have to stay focused on a video, I won’t do it. So this video hits specific areas and it’s short- can’t beat that!

Make my bed every morning [I let it slide on the weekends ;)]

-This just helps tidy things up. And makes my room neater. 

Remember to take my vitamins every morning, (Vitamin D3, and Iron)

-I know everyone takes different supplements, but these are the ones my doctor recommended me taking. 

*Tip: Iron pills used to really hurt my stomach, so now I take slow release tablets instead and it makes all the difference. 

Drink lots of water

-Try infused recipe- blogilates on YouTube has a good one that I tried recently…

I don’t mind drinking plain water, but sometimes I’ll buy some fruit to spruce it up every now and then.

January 15th-19th

I carried over all my habits from the previous week, but began adding a few new things. 

Wake up at 9AM

-I want to start making the most out of my hours, so I’m slowly increasing my wake up time. Because if I do it all at once, I’m sure to hit that snooze button, and roll over. 

Add to workout

– I added a bit of an extra crunch routine. Again slowly building up my work out routine, little by little. I’m not one to workout consistently so I know my body won’t be able to just jump in full throttle, and I won’t enjoy it.

Write more

-Mostly refers to my blog posts schedule- Mondays & Thursdays. But my writing time in general will grow too!

Research 

-This refers to a few things-Wedding related things for my best friend’s wedding, career planning, wellness, etc. 

January 22nd-26th

I carried over my habits from the prior weeks.

Go to bed earlier.

-I realized I wanted to start getting up at 8:30 AM now, so I realized I would have to go to bed by 12:30 AM in order to allow a good about of sleep. I push it til 1/1:30 here and there, because well I’m a night owl and sometimes I just can’t go to bed early. And it’s been okay for me.

Wake up at 8:30 AM

Read before bed

-I have been wanting to read more for as long as I can remember but I always find other ways to use my time. But I’m trying to incorporate it into my routine this year, even if it’s just like 10 or 15 minutes before bed. Currently I am reading, BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Add to workout

-I added some stretching and my simply fit board. 

^ Yes I have one of these! 😉 I will usually throw on a fun song and just swivel around for a while. And let me tell you, you will feel it! 

Eat healthier

-I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I don’t deprive myself either. If I want a donut, I’m going to eat it. But I definitely want to just keep striving to make healthier eating choices. 

**A few of the things I have on this week’s list, I had on last week’s list and I didn’t get to implement them, so I moved them to the next week. I didn’t just forget about them. That’s what I’m trying to work on- my mindset. If I don’t get to it one week, that doesn’t mean all is lost. As a list maker, I can really put pressure on myself to finish everything, and it becomes like a stressful race to get it all done. I end up sacrificing time with family or friends or quality of what I’m doing. I know I write this super crazy lists and then mentally scold myself for not doing the 20 things on the list in two days. We cannot do that to ourselves. Write the long list, but then make a smaller, more important list. Things you really know you want to get done and work on getting those done above all else.

Schedule of important things.

-I’ve been trying to pick a day to work on each of the important goals I want to accomplish this year. And I came up with this schedule this week and am hoping to carry it over.

Monday– Bulk Blog (Write blogs for the week, post Monday blog and post to social media accounts.) Get all my supplies ready for work week- make copies, do research, etc.

Tuesday– Work on writing projects!

Wednesday– Career Planning and Research.

Thursday– (Post Thursday blog and post to social media accounts) Wedding Shower/Bachelorette Party Research for my best friend.

Friday & Saturday– Time with Friends/Family.

Sunday– Church/Family time (Sundays are usually the day I spend time with my new little baby niece! She’s just like pure sunshine! I’m so obsessed!) Self-care (grooming, mani/pedi/facial mask, etc.) Food shopping.

**Granted this schedule is tentative, it worked for the most part, but it’s not always going to work as it is written. Sometimes my pamper time will end up on a Monday, or my blog will take longer to write and need an extra day. As long as I get to stick to my M-F schedule as best I can, I try to let myself breathe on the weekends. 

January 29- Feb. 2 -Current Week-Just Starting!

Continue those habits!

Write more.

-I want to write a little something everyday.

Make use of my morning free hour.

-After my workout, I usually have an hour before I have to start getting ready for work, so I usually will work on a writing project, or do some research, or in today’s case- write a blog!

Research weights/and workout videos using weights.

-I know I need to expand my workout routine and include some arm workouts.

Look into buying new workout clothes.

-Why are workout clothes so expensive???

Make plans with family and friends I haven’t seen in a while. (For the weekend)

Add to workout

-Added some more stretching time, and some push-ups on Monday.

-I want to add full crunches too. 

 

So that’s my January 2018 so far!

I’m super happy with my progression from week to week, and I am going to try to keep pushing myself. Forcing myself to update you at the end of each month. 

The only thing I wish I could do differently is not be so consumed by this schedule or these lists. I feel like I get tunnel vision and then I don’t get to be in the moment with my friends or family. I throw myself into a determined isolation. I’m hoping it’s only because it was the first month of trying to build a routine and that once I get it down I won’t feel so crazed. I don’t want to ignore the moments around me. It’s a balancing act, and that’s going to be something I know I need to work on. 

Cheers, to a happy, healthy week! 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Is…

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Family.

Coffee dates with friends that last far too long.

Planning events.

Writing.

Watching romantic movies.

Horror/Suspense films.

TV in general.

Hallmark movies.

Holidays.

Music.

Analyzing lyrics.

A cup of warm tea.

A cup of ice cold water.

A long heart felt conversation.

The sound of rain trickling down a window pane.

The sound of wine being poured into a glass. (glug glug glug)

Cilantro.

Freshly fallen, crisp, white snow- untouched, perfect, pure.

Colors.

Glitter.

Eclectic taste.

Mason jars.

Twine.

Post-it notes.

Your favorite pen.

Sunflowers.

Peach cobbler.

Pie- all pie, any pie.

Peanut butter.

Honey.

Chocolate.

Sangria.

Margaritas.

Mexican food.

Chicken- all chicken, any chicken- just chicken.

Justin Timberlake (and his Falsetto).

Church.

The smell of a pineapple candle.

The smell of pine trees.

A child’s laugh.

When a child understands something you are trying to teach them.

Self acceptance.

Self Awareness and reflection.

Self growth.

Indian prints.

Suns and Moons.

Moccasins.

Feathers.

The Roaring 20’s.

The 40’s.

Feminism.

Photo booths.

Photos.

Pajamas.

Fuzzy socks.

Scarves.

FRIENDS- the tv show.

Stepping on a crunchy leaf.

Car rides with an iPod.

Netflix.

90’s/80’s culture and fashion.

Fashion experimentation.

Planning/Being organized.

Being creative.

Writing a love story.

Magazines.

Live tweeting during my favorite shows.

Reruns of old teen dramas.

Joy Williams “Venus” album.

Bethany Joy Lenz.

Ed Sheeran.

YouTube.

Teaching.

Pools.

BBQ’s.

Sushi.

Dunkin’ Donuts.

Vanilla Chai Lattes.

Drugstores- I’m convinced you can buy anything you actually need in a Walgreens or Rite Aid. 😉

Trying out new food.

Twinkling Christmas Lights.

Traditions.

Breakfast foods- especially bacon and waffles.

Peach Bellini.

 

Find your happiness.

It’s in the little things.

Enjoy them.

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change.

Hi friends,

I know it’s been a minute. I am sorry. Every time I attempt to work on a post or even think about working on one, I would get discouraged or sidetracked. Holiday season, work, amongst personal changes have sort of taken over. It’s a mixture of an artistic slump and a life slump. But if you follow me, you do know that this blog means alot to me, and I always come back no matter how long I’ve been away. Because in my heart…I’m a writer and I am always writing a story in my head. So I’m going to hit you with a little emotional rant of sorts.

***************

Change.

Why is it that word scares us so?

What about it instills that fear in us?

Unfamiliarity.

Insecurity.

Loss of control.

Why is it that anytime you get comfortable in your day to day…life has a way of just throwing a pie right in your face?

I love pie, but not change. (lol)

The intelligent, rational side of me understands that change is part of the natural progression of life.

It’s not only predetermined to happen, it has to.

What’s that saying?

You can’t look backward, only forward.

It feels like you blink and you miss it.

I have no idea how time escaped me.

I feel like I’ve always said…when I grow up I want to do this and be that and live here…

And yet then I woke up and realized I’m 25 and still trying to get my life together.

But then there’s this…

I think what gets me most is when it all happens at once.

All the change hits you and your not as ready as you thought you were.

I’ve always been a- dance to the beat of my own drum kid.

I never liked to do things just to do them.

They needed to be backed by an emotion or a need.

My heart had to sit with it, for a while, before a decision was made.

And I am still that way.

Risk taker isn’t a word I’d use to describe myself.

However, as part of my discovery into myself and my self growth, I’ve learned that risk taking is how you get places.

And so I’ve been practicing just that.

That realization.

That’s when I want to run…far…away…away from everyone and everything and just be.

Be safe and in my comfort zone.

Last year I felt really inspired and worked on alot of self-growth.

This year- felt a little less inspiring.

Not in the sense that I wasn’t happy, or enjoying life.

Just in the sense that life just kind of flew by.

I guess it’s not so bad that I’m busy.

I struggled for so long to find work, that I am very happy and humbled to be employed and actually enjoying what I do, even if it’s not a lifelong career, I am learning about myself and what I am capable of.

But as the year ends and the New Year will soon be rolling in, we are conditioned to reflect on our lives over the past year.

And mine, I gotta say is kind of a blur.

Good, happy, exciting things happened, and are still happening, but I find myself a little stuck.

I feel like I’m just going through the motions each day.

There’s a routine and I’m ok with it, but now my thoughts of the future and where I’m going next are stirring up again.

Work, school, relationships with my loved ones.

Where do I want to be? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

I have so much I still want to work on.

How do I achieve my true happiness?

I don’t think that’s a definitive destination.

I think happiness is ever changing.

There’s that word again.

There are always going to be two sides to every coin.

Good days and bad days.

We aren’t always going to be smiling.

Sometimes we’ll cry and sometimes we’ll feel the weight of those tears in our souls.

And sometimes we take that as a sign that we are broken.

Who ever said that crying was a sign of weakness?

Shame of you.

I see your bottled up feelings, and I raise you a pack of Kleenex.

I’ve cried in front of rooms full of people, and still lived to tell the story.

Who’s tough?

There are things that I thought I would have accomplished by now in my life.

There are places I thought I’d be by now.

25 isn’t exactly the youngest number.

And it isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be.

I don’t know maybe it’s just the time of year that stirs up all of this.

Or maybe it’s something to think about and really figure out.

I know I will always keep striving and going, it’s just that change scares me so much.

Add anxiety, stress and certain insecurities to that and it can be crippling.

Sometimes I just wish I could go back and ask for a re-d0.

Maybe I would have done a few things differently.

But then again, I do think that this is my journey.

It’s unlike anyone else’s and it may not be perfect-

but it was meant to be mine, and no matter how scary and painful the struggles I’ve dealt with may have been, I found a way to overcome them.

And although a work in progress-

I am so much stronger because of them.

If I’ve learned anything from where I’ve been, it’s that I was born to be a success story.

And so are you.

xo

Michelle Leigh

Hang in there my fellow 20-somethings!

New Year, clean slate, make new memories.

 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t Stop The Feeling

Dance Dance Dance …

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Ok so it’s been 3 years since Justin Timberlake has released new music. And I honestly have been so busy with life that I didn’t realize it actually had been that long. Time flies. Also his last tour lasted like 2 years, 2 albums, and I went to three of his shows, so I needed a fangirl vacation. #25goingon80 #ImAnOldLady #IStillCreepedHisSocialMediasTho #CuzDuh

But when Justin Timberlake starts throwing out sneaky hints just a few days before dropping new music, the fangirl in me is all ears. Not to mention the cryptic pics of him in the studio with big names and good friends like Timbaland, Pharrell, and Little Big Town.

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So here it goes … (Oh hey look we got a video!)


The song is called “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and is an original single from DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls” movie soundtrack, which Timberlake has executive produced and will be voicing the character of “Branch.” (Soundtrack-September 23rd; Film November 2016.)

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Where can you get it?

http://justintimberlake.com/news/274733

How great is this song?

The song was released Friday, May 6th at midnight, or so I thought. I think it was leaked earlier, but I didn’t listen because I didn’t want to risk getting a bad version and spoiling it for myself. Other than Justin’s few teases, I waited it out.  But then I saw people reacting to it and Justin responding before midnight and I realized it was up on Justin’s website with all the ways to find it. So I previewed it on Spotify (Cuz I was dying to hear it!) and I immediately started grooving. It is a true dance theme, feel good, happy song. You can’t help but be happy and dance along. So my next step- iTunes, #downloaded.

 

I really didn’t have any doubt that I’d love it.

It’s uplifting, and soulful, and the lyrics are magical. Justin’s vocals are on point. #ThatFalsettoTho and that funky guitar riff…yesss!!! If you think this song isn’t your jam, give it a second. It’ll get to you. The chorus is so catchy and so good! It’s for sure going to be the Summer of 2016 anthem. I can just see little baby Silas dancing with his daddy to this song as he awaits the “Trolls” movie!

Once again, you did it.

Welcome Home, JT.

Doing what you do best, creating epic music.

Fangirl Status: On

And so it begins, my friends. Get Ready.

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*I do not take credit for any images, videos, or music used.*