Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Month To Go...

I can hardly believe that my 25th birthday is one month from today... crazy how fast time has gone by. With my challenge timeline coming to an end, I still have a few things I would like to work on and a few that probably won't happen before March 23rd. This journey has been an incredible growth opportunity for myself and I have enjoyed every step towards 25. As far as challenges, I am still working on dropping weight by eating right and exercising, putting away money in our baby savings fund, and I am looking forward to my birthday trip to Vegas with some of my closest girlfriends. One month from today will be a great day... and 25 is going to be a fantastic year!

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Book Club Selection

Last night was another great book club meeting and I loved the chance to talk about the book, 'The Happiness Project'. We had so much to talk about that we only made it to the month of August by the time we hit 9pm. Everyone at book club loved the book and want to read it again in the future! We also chose our next selection and picked a shorter book called "Resilience" by Elizabeth Edwards. I have always admired the strength of Elizabeth and now that she is gone, I am looking forward to reading the last book she wrote about her life experiences over the past few years of her life. We chose this book for two reasons, it is a shorter book (which means we will have time to finish it in 3 weeks) and we wanted to read a biography type book. I am excited to start reading our new selection and as always, I will post updates along the way!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finished the Book: The Happiness Project

After several weeks of reading, I finally finished my book club book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. This book was incredible and I can't wait to read it again! This is definitely a book that I want to read again and savor the chapters as I create my very own Happiness Project. The author broke her project down into monthly sections and each month focused on a different area of happiness. Here is a quick recap of my favorite parts of each chapter. 
  • January: Vitality - This month focused on getting more sleep, exercising more, dealing with the clutter, and acting more energetic. My favorite part of this chapter was focusing on tossing, reorganizing, and taking care of clutter that happens in our lives. I am already a very organized person and this chapter reaffirmed my passion for cleaning and organizing my life. 
  • February: Marriage - This month focused on quitting the nagging, fighting right, and giving proofs of love. I was really struck by the nagging part and had a huge aha moment that I am a bit of a nag most of the time. I loved how the author talked about nagging and how it can really affect a marriage in a negative way and it can be damaging to our emotional well-being. After reading this chapter, I made a resolution to focus on limiting my nagging when it comes to my marriage.
  • March: Work - This month focused on working smart, asking for help, and enjoying the now. My efforts were focused on the resolution to work smarter in my career. I have taken the time to become more organized and work in a more efficient manner when it comes to projects, emails, and meetings. I am also working on the resolution of enjoying the now instead of always planning days and weeks ahead.
  • April: Parenthood - This month focused on singing in the morning, taking time from projects, and acknowledging feelings. Since I am not yet a parent, I was not able to practice any of these resolutions but I was able to gain some knowledge for future parenting challenges. I love the idea of taking time for projects with my future children... can't wait to have some fun with that!
  • May: Leisure - This month focused on finding more fun, taking time to be silly, and going off the path. I learned so much from this chapter about how important making time for fun is for our level of happiness. I am working on the resolution of going off the path and finding time to be more spontaneous. I am such a planner (which can be a good thing) but I also need to focus on having fun on a whim and allowing myself to relax and embrace the time to be silly and finding more fun in my life.
  • June: Friendship - This month focused on being generous, showing up, and not gossiping. This chapter was one of my favorites, because I find that friendships are a huge part of my happiness level. I agree completely with the author that just by showing up, you can have a huge impact on your friends. I am also trying to work on the resolution of limiting the gossip, which is really easier said than done.
  • July: Money - This month focused on indulging in a modest splurge, buying needful things, and giving something up. I really enjoyed this chapter, because the author focused on how we spend our money is what can make us happier, not necessarily having more money. I have focused on the indulging in a modest splurge, since I am so frugal, I have realized that a modest splurge makes sense sometimes and can really have an impact on my happiness level.
  • August: Eternity - This month focused on keeping a gratitude notebook and imitating a spiritual master. I chose to focus on the gratitude notebook resolution and I have found that just by recognizing moments of gratitude or by keeping a gratitude journal, more joy and happiness does come into your life.
  • September: Books - This month focused on writing a novel, making time for reading, and mastering a new technology. I chose to focus on the making time for reading resolution, which is easier said than done. With so many things going on in our busy lives, it is often hard to find time for reading. I am striving to work on this resolution daily, even if it is just 5 minutes of quiet reading time.
  • October: Mindfulness - This month focused on meditation, keeping a food diary, and stimulating our mind in new ways. I can honestly say that the food diary resolution is not going to happen for me. The idea of writing down everything I eat, day after day, does not appeal to me in any way. I do want to work on the resolution of meditation, which for me is going to take some practice (as you can imagine, it is hard to quiet my mind).
  • November: Attitude - This month focused on laughing out loud, using good manners, and giving positive reviews. I have chosen to focus on the resolution of giving positive reviews. I would like to be the wife, friend, daughter, sister, and colleague that gives positive feedback far more times than negative. Let's just say I am working on giving more compliments.
  • December: Happiness - This month focused on doing all of the resolution perfectly... which let's be honest is crazy. With all of the resolutions that were discussed in this book, I find it impossible to do even half of them perfectly. I have decided for myself that striving for perfection is not a resolution of mine. Instead, I want to continuously work on myself and strive for more happiness in my daily life.
This book was such a joy to read and I am excited to discuss it with the girls at book club tonight! Can't wait!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Great Party

The Valentine Party was a blast yesterday and we decorated enough cupcakes to feed an army! We also ate a few too many cupcakes but they were just too darn tasty! The party ended up being small but it worked out perfect, because we had plenty of room to spread out and decorate to our heart's content. The girls loved the favors I made, which I used the idea for the marshmallows (without the sticks) and packaged them up with a packet of hot cocoa... just too cute! We also packaged up some of our cupcakes in adorable cupcake boxes that I found at Michael's. The boxes were perfect for handing out Valentine treats at work this morning. The cupcakes turned out beautiful and we had a great time... another successful and fun party!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adorable Idea for Valentine Favors

With my Valentine Cupcake Party this Sunday, I am planning on making some adorable favors for my guests. I found this idea on the amazing blog Glorious Treats and I can't wait to make these on Sunday and package them up in cute valentine cellophane bags with matching ribbon. Check out the picture of these super cute valentine favors. And to find the instructions, you can click here.
I can't wait to have an amazing time on Sunday with my friends and family as we make Valentine Cupcakes and enjoy each other's company for a fun afternoon and some delicious cupcake tasting!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Club Book: 100 Pages to Go

Well... I have done it again. Book Club is tomorrow and I still have 100 pages to go in the book 'The Happiness Project'. I am frustrated with myself for leaving the reading to the last minute and the crazy part is that I love this book but can't seem to find the time to read. I think what is holding me back from finishing the book is that I have enjoyed the book so much that I am almost sad to finish it. I have had so many aha moments in this book and absolutely love the writing style from the author. The way she writes about different happines projects during each month of the year is both inspiring and exciting to think about breaking down challenges/goals to small and manageable pieces. I am hoping to finish my reading tonight (or maybe even in the morning) and I can already tell that the discussion at book club tomorrow night will be amazing. I am hoping the other ladies have learned as much about themselves and their happiness as I have learned about my own life... I will be sure to post a full book club review tomorrow night!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine Party Supplies

I was out and about yesterday doing some shopping and found some great valentine supplies at Michael's. All of their valentine supplies were on sale which meant I was able to score some incredible deals on lots and lots of goodies for my cupcake party next weekend. I was able to find some themed products (which means they all match... my favorite!) and picked out some great cupcake boxes, a party platter, paper plates and napkins, and of course some adorable cupcake liners for both mini and regular size cupcakes. The cupcake boxes are adorable for taking home your cupcakes and making sure they arrive in pristine condition. Oh, and I found some matching cellophane bags and ribbons for the favors (which I will post about later). All of these supplies only cost me about $12, which was an incredible steal! I also stopped by Target and picked up some icing and sprinkles for the decorating party (cost just under $15)... I can't wait till next Sunday when we can bake and decorate to our Valentine's heart's content!

Super Bowl Party Success!

WOW! Another great Super Bowl game full of some great plays, funny commercials, and a party full of amazing food! Everything turned out great for our 1st Super Bowl Party and our friends had a great time. We enjoyed the chili bar with all of the fixings and some amazing loaded potato poppers. You have to make this recipe! I absolutely loved the Doritos commercials and we are still laughing about them and will be for weeks! The party was a huge success and loads of fun. Hope everyone enjoyed the game and had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ready for the Weekend!

It is not even Friday and I am wishing it was the weekend. With the weather being so awful and cold, all I have wanted to do this week is crawl into bed with a blanket and a good book. I have a pretty busy weekend planned with house stuff, hanging out with friends, and getting everything ready for our Super Bowl Party on Sunday. I am looking forward to a great workout tomorrow and Sunday, because both days I am taking an intense 60 minute Cardio Chisel class. Sunday will be a busy day with a morning workout, then to the grocery store, and then our party all afternoon. I hope to carve out sometime to read my book, considering book club is a week from today and I am not even half way through the book. Needless to say, it will be a busy day today and this weekend but all good things to look forward to!