Overhaul: 12 Months, 12 Habits

Bad habits are tough to break. I try to check off seasonal goals and bucket list activities, but that doesn’t do much for my bad habits. I got the idea to challenge myself in September with waking up early on time every day, but then thought, ‘Why not keep this going for 12 months?’

So here we are. All twelve months highlight things I’d like to change. My hope is that by altering my behavior for a solid 28 to 31 days I will foster some new (good) habits. So here’s what the next year looks like:

September: Wake up at 6am on weekdays
October: Don’t yell at/lose temper with Lylee
November: Wash my face every single night
December: Go to church every Sunday
January: No trips north just to shop
February: No eating past 8pm
March: No fast food (unless necessarily while traveling)
April: Go for a walk 4 times per week
May: Read for 30 minutes every day
June: Water the plants EVERY DAY
July: Cook 4 good edible meals (not all Asian) per week*
August: Yoga, three times a week, in the studio or at home
*K helped with the July goal, lol. And he’ll BE helping that with goal in July #GrillKing

Some of these are self-explanatory: getting up on time, not losing my temper with Ly (who can be incredibly frustrating/headstrong/stubborn/defiant), reading every day. The no eating past 8pm hopefully helps me curb bored snacking at night- which I’m guilty of. January’s habit is a mini-shopping ban. Unless I drive 30 minutes north I don’t have access to Target, Old Navy, HomeGoods, etc.

When we travel I won’t be holding myself to these things. I take food & sleep whenever I can get it on business trips. Ha.

I’m kicking off the 6am wake up call on Monday. Wish me luck! I’ll probably mention this monthly just to keep myself accountable 🙂

Fall Film Challenge

I know it’s a little early, but Jenn release the requirements for the fall film challenge & we all know how much I love a challenge. I did this challenge last year and missed the mark, but this year I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with reading so I hope that’s a good omen.

Also… I’m just really happy to have the word “fall” somewhere in my blog post. This Ohio heat/humidity is killing me. Bring on October 😉

This challenge starts on September 1st and ends November 30th. The rules are pretty simple and can be found here.

Alright, on to my choices.

|one| about adolescence: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
|two| about a character’s rebirth or rite of passage: It’s a Wonderful Life
|three| about a comic book character: Iron Man
|four| shot or set in Washington DC: The American President
|five| set in an academic environment: Rushmore
|six| about failure: Begin Again
|seven| about a man vs. god or gods: X-Men: Apocalypse
|eight| about a man vs. himself: J. Edgar
|nine| about an invention or an ingenuous individual: Joy
|ten| set in a jail or prison: Toy Story 3
|eleven| about a dog: Best in Show
|twelve| about loss: Steel Magnolias
|thirteen| about man vs. man: Bad Moms
|fourteen| about man vs. nature: Cast Away
|fifteen| one that has a monster or monstrous individual: Hotel Transylvania 2
|sixteen| shot or set in Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Story
|seventeen| about a character’s quest of some kind: Alice Through the Looking Glass
|eighteen| about a character who goes from rags to riches: October Sky
|nineteen| about a man. vs. society: V for Vendetta
|twenty| originally released in the thirties: You Can’t Take It With You
|twenty-one| about undesirable individuals or elements: Ghostbusters (2016)
|twenty-two| about a voyage and return: Thor
|twenty-three| about wizards or witchcraft: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
|twenty-four| originally released in the sixties: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
|twenty-five| about a yearning or obsession: The Talented Mr. Ripley

I know there is a shockingly large amount of movies that I should have already seen…

So, have I convinced you to play along, too? It’s a pretty easy challenge with a very chill host. Even if you’re not planning on playing along this year let me know what you think of my choices! Do you love/hate any of these movies? I haven’t submitted my list so it’s not too late to suggest a substitute!


Ways to Challenge Yourself

As a blogger I am constantly looking for a good challenge. I’ve tried my hand at Ember Grey’s 12 months of bliss challenge and Erin’s reading challenge and Jenn’s movie challenge. I watched Laura and Chelsea torture themselves with the Whole 30 and my friend Kayla brave her way through the 21 Day Fix. It seems like we’re always on the lookout for some way to better ourselves or experience more- especially via challenge.

Right now I’m working on a few challenges- some that last several months, others that span the year, and a few that I attempted for a week. If you’re in the market to challenge yourself, start with one of these:

Water Challenge
I am terrible about drinking water. I go days without it. I love coffee and tea and some pop, but I rarely finish 1 glass of water, let alone 8. So this week I challenged myself to only drink water. No coffee. No wine. No nothing- except water. This is probably dumb, but it’s effective.

Skin Challenge
In the same breathe, this week I decided to skip the make-up. I have been wear foundation and powder forever… my acne and scars are a real b*tch. But this week I decided to skip it and let my face have a break & heal. I’ve felt very self-conscious all week, but my skin has seen some minor improvements. #WorthIt

Book Challenge
I’m always doing a book challenge because it motivates me to turn off the TV and read. Right now I’m doing this challenge until April and I’m tackling this one all through 2016. My goal is to read 42 books this year!

Movie Challenge
I don’t know of any going on right now, but in fall I did this film challenge and under my 30 x 30 tab I have a goal to watch all the Academy Award winning movies from the year I was born (1990).

Eating Challenge
I hate diets. I would rather hit the gym 7 days a week than restrict myself from eating certain foods. (And that’s saying something because I hate working out.) But challenging yourself to forgo pop or give up fast food for a month is definitely do-able and beneficial. Start small if you’re like me and you hate wheat bread.

The Whole 30
Then again, if you really want to throw yourself down the rabbit hole & experience crazyland wonderland, try The Whole 30. I believe the rules are no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no beans, no alcohol, and no cheating. All of that means no Audrey… but maybe it’s something you’d like to try!

Meatless Mondays
Another food challenge… This is something I’d like to try. Honestly, I think K and I wouldn’t even notice one meatless day a week… the only problem is I lose track of the days and forget when Monday comes around. #oops

Exercise Challenge
Let me reiterate: I hate working out. That said, K has been pretty vocal about joining a gym together and waking up early to work out in the mornings. I’m much more successful when I have some challenge or routine to follow, so I guess I’ll be pinning a few new exercise tips and tricks to this board.

Money Challenge
Have you seen those charts that build your savings account by telling you to put back a dollar, then two dollar, than five dollars, etc. every week? I’ve never tried one of these with success, but I’d like to!

Organization Challenge
I love organizing my space, but Stephanie is a BEAST at organization. She’s taking 2016 by storm. From decluttering to minimalism, she’s got you covered. I love the idea of tackling large parts of your house each month- I feel so much better when I wash the couch cushion slips or the window treatments.

What types of challenges are your drawn to? Have you ever participated in any of these? What new challenges would you recommend?

I love doing challenges through my blog- I think it keeps me honest and accountable. What about you?


Winter 2015 Book Challenge #scwbc15

I’m going to try this book challenge again with Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life… Last time I got a total of 0 points. (HA!) I’m much better at the movie thing… Anyway, I just found out I will be husband-less for a week and a half next month (#businesstrip) so maybe I can really crack down and read some books!

(For the sake of your health and mine, let’s not hold our breaths.)

Ok, the rules can be found here, but basically the books must be +200 pgs (unless noted), no double-dipping in categories, I can only choose three re-reads, and I can’t start them early.

So here are the requirements and my choices!:

5 points: Read a book that has between 100 and 200 pages | The Halloween Tree (Ray Bradbury)
10 points: Read a debut book by any author | Murder at the Brightwell (Ashley Weaver)
10 points: Read a book that takes place in another country | The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
10 points: Read a book that someone else has already used for the challenge | Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
(taken from Erin’s List)
15 points: Read a book published under a pseudonym | Assassin’s Apprentice (Robin Hobb)
15 points: Read a book with “boy,” “girl,” “man” or “woman” in the title | Girl Waits with Gun (Amy Stewart)
15 points: Read a book with a one-word title | Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
20 points: Read a book with a person’s first and last name in the title | Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (JK Rowling)*
20 points: Read a food-themed book | Julie & Julia (Julie Powell)
20 points: Read a book with a verb in the title | The Air He Breathes (Brittainy C. Cherry)
30 points: Read two books with the same title (by different authors) | Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell) & The Cloud Atlas (Liam Callanan)
30 points: Read a nonfiction book and a fiction book about the same subject | Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (Therese Anne Fowler) & Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

*I don’t usually re-read books, but HP is an exception!

Like I said, this starts November 1 and goes until January 31. (Wow… January? Are we even ready for 2016? Woof…) I have little faith that I will get more than 10 points, but seeing as I’m only competing against myself 10 points sounds great! #scwbc15

What do you think of my choices? What would you pick? Anyone have some words of encouragement?


End of September Movie Update

HEY! It’s almost October! (In other words, THE BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR!)

Remember back in August I decided to do this movie challenge? (Here’s the original post.) Well, to keep you up to date I will post about it at the end of each month. (It ends November 30th.) I’m fairly confident I can get through more than half of these movies. I love reading, but it takes energy that I just don’t have on weekday nights after spending the day typing/staring at a computer screen. Movies are actually an easy way to unwind and I can pause them to change the laundry/cook dinner/let the dogs out!


Alright, here’s what I’ve watched so far!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (September 1)
I picked this movie because it’s a movie about something miraculous (Ferris never gets caught). I think it’s weird that I’ve never seen this movie. I also think the name “Ferris” is weird. I also had no idea that he breaks the 4th wall or that it is a such a crude movie! My favorite characters were definitely Jeanie, Cameron, and Grace (the secretary). Honestly, I thought Ferris was a bit of a jerk. Then again, we were all jerks in high school. I loved that the high school students in this film look average- they had zits, they had on clothes that normal teenagers would wear, and they weren’t models. Overall, I give it 5/10 stars.

Roman Holiday (September 5)
Audrey Hepburn is so darn cute. Can you say #eyebrowgoals? Gregory Peck ain’t bad looking either 😉 I loved this movie and I didn’t think I would. I love how Peck has a change of heart and I love the confidence Hepburn has in him the entire time. I read this is the film that made Audrey a star. So glad to have finally watched it! I give it 8/10 stars!

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (September 4)
I managed to catch this one on the BBC so I didn’t have to dig at the library. K even joined me for the second half (whoa!). Honestly, I didn’t find this movie as entertaining as I thought I would, though I loved Morgan Freeman. I never thought I’d say this, but I absolutely prefer Prof. Snape- Alan Rickman was so easy to hate as the sheriff! The movie was entertaining, but it was long. Overall, I liked the twist on an well known story, but I prefer my Disney fox-Robin Hood, haha. I give it 4/10 stars.

Tangled (September 5)
I’m so ashamed that I hadn’t seen this movie. Even K has seen it before! (He still watched it with me, though! Yay!) I thought it to be a cute Disney movie and I love that Rapunzel fought to make her own decisions and ended up figuring everything out on her own. Maybe it’s because I watched them on the same day, but I saw so many similar trends in this movie and Roman Holiday: A girl just wanting a day of freedom, a boy with less-than-honorable intentions that has a change of heart, two people blindly trusting one another (and falling in love). I give this movie 7/10 stars.

Chocolat (September 10)
When people read my list they all said how much they love this movie. Well, make room, folks, because I’m joining the fan club, too. I loved the messages in this cute little 2-hour film. I loved how heavy and light this movie was, all at the same time. I love Judy and Johnny and the little girl. The idea of personal struggle and healing and forgiveness is such a timeless message. I really, really loved this film! I give it 10/10 stars for sure!

Aloha (September 26)
(I made a switch and this is my new twenty-four: any set in a country you would most like to visit…*state, in this case) I really wanted to love this movie. I love the actors (and their characters!), so I had very high hopes for this one. I watched it on vacation with friends and they just weren’t feeling it… and neither was I, sadly. The movie moved way too fast and the non-romantic story-line was really hard to understand and follow. I enjoyed the romantic plot and the lessons learned, and I think I would’ve enjoyed the military-esque plot had it been more clear, but I just didn’t think it was a good movie. Really disappointed, guys. Ugh. I give it 4/10 stars.

I am seriously having so much fun with this challenge!! I thought I’d have more crossed off my list by now, but hopefully October brings some downtime to watch more movies! Checkout what I still have yet to watch/review:

one: any set in new york city | One Fine Day
two: any incorporating hot air balloons in the story | Mysterious Island
three: any featuring a child as the main character | The Sandlot
four: any Disney film | Tangled
five: any set in Egypt OR that has an Egyptian character OR that stars an Egyptian actor/actress | Death on the Nile
six: a close friend or family member’s favorite film | Crazy Stupid Love
seven: any with the word great in the title | The Great Muppet Caper
eight: any starring Harrison Ford | Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
nine: any featuring an idiot as the main character | National Lampoon’s Vacation
ten: any mentioned in levis strauss’ list: Denim in the Oscars: A Look at Jeans in Cinema | Rear Window
eleven: a film about a knight | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
twelve: a love story | Chocolat
thirteen: a movie about something miraculous | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
fourteen: any starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours | Roman Holiday
fifteen: a film about the Olympics | The Cutting Edge
sixteen: a film on Time magazine’s list: The Top Ten Newspaper Movies | All the President’s Men
seventeen: any with a question in the title | How Do You Know?
eighteen: any with a score of ninety percent or greater on Rotten Tomatoes | The LEGO Movie
nineteen: a film about a superhero | Antman
twenty: any with subtitles | The Lunchbox
twenty-one: any incorporating unicorns in the story | Inkheart
twenty-two: a film about a personal victory | The Grand Budapest Hotel
twenty-three: a film with black or white in the title | Dear White People
twenty-four: any set in a country you would most like to visit | Aloha (formerly The Queen)
twenty-five: a film set in a zoo | Zookeeper

Points so far: 60/250 (each movie is 10 points)


Watch any good movies this month? Tell me about them!