Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Goals: Health

July! Say what?!
I can't believe how quickly this summer is already going! If you read my Happiness Project post from yesterday, then you know I am embarking on a little self improvement quest for the rest of the year starting with my health. I decided to tackle this one first because let's face it - how we feel impacts everything we do. Working out will give me more energy to tackle the upcoming month's goals. Eating healthy will help me look better and feel better which is never bad. AND giving up a couple non-healthy indulgences and meal planning will save money! Wins across the board! 
Weight Loss Secret....
My resolutions this month were as follows: 
  • Create a work out schedule
  • Meal Plan
  • Quit Pop
  • Cut Back on Booze
  • Drink More Water
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Limit Meals Out
  • Get a Good Night's Sleep
I decided the best way to work towards these resolutions was to create a little game for myself because let's face it - like a small child or a dog I like to be rewarded for my efforts. I made a table of daily goals that will benefit my overall health and each goal is worth a point for a total of 7 points a day. At the end of July's 31 days, if I have earned myself 200 points, I am treating myself to a new swimsuit {no budget} for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas! It's a doable but lofty goal and I'm pretty excited. 

So here are my daily goals: 
  1. Take a minimum of 10,000 steps {tracked by my handy FitBit}
  2. Drink 85oz {or more} of water {also tracked by FitBit}
  3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  4. No booze {hold me}
  5. No pop
  6. No Starbucks {hold me tighter}
  7. Enter all food/drinks into MyFitnessPal and come in under the calorie goal
5 Ways to Make Running Feel Easier
And just to make things a little more interesting, alongside my girl Erin, I have entered my first ever DietBet...have you heard of this? You basically enter a challenge and bet money you'll achieve it. If you do - you win your money back. If you don't - your money gets split between everyone who did. If you achieve your goal and others don't - you WIN money! We entered a challenge to lose 4% of our weight in 4 weeks which times out perfectly for my month of health not to mention I want my $35 back and that is definitely motivating me to stay on track with those above goals! 

What are your goals this July?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Happiness Project

Last month my book club read The Happiness Project which has me feeling all kinds of inspired. 
The Happiness Project is about an author who realizes that despite having a wonderful life she could be happier in her day-to-day life which leads her to go on a quest that she calls her Happiness Project. She sets different goals and resolutions for each month of one year and has to maintain the previous months resolutions as she adds more each month. It was a super fun read and, as I said, was very inspiring. {read the full synopsis HERE}

Reading this book got me thinking what I could do to make myself happier. Don't get me wrong, I love my life! In fact, this is probably the happiest I've ever been! Well, except for maybe when I was a kid and my greatest stress was which house we should go to for night games. However, despite having a great life, I still find myself feeling stressed out, self conscious, impatient and really I guess...less than happy from time to time.  

So I decided to jot down some of the areas in my life I think I could work on that would help me convert those negative feelings that creep in into more happiness and joy. What I came up with was
time management, patience, stress, health, finances & quality time with my little family. 

It just so happened to work out that there were six things that came to mind and six months left in 2015. So, much like in the book, I've decided to try and focus on one of these each month and build on what I've accomplished month by month. Within each of these categories I jotted down some resolutions that would help me improve in each of these areas.  When I made these lists I found that there was a lot of overlap, which has me excited in knowing if I work on this little-by-little it could really yield big results! 

So here are the things I want to work on each month and how I'm breaking down my happiness project, then each month I will create and share specific goals that will work as baby steps to achieve my resolutions and hopefully improve me in these areas. 

JULY: Health
  • Create a workout routine and stick to it
  • Meal Plan
  • Quit Pop
  • Cut back on the booze
  • Drink more water
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Limit Meals Out
  • Eat at home

AUGUST: Time Management 
  • Wake up early
  • Stick to a schedule
  • Just say "No!"
  • Accomplish a little at a time
  • Get a good night sleep

  • Declutter / Clean
  • Time Management
  • Speak Up
  • Just say "No!"
  • Plan Ahead
  • Yoga
  • Get a good night sleep
  • Me Time

OCTOBER: Finances
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Daily Budget Update
  • No Spend Month
  • Limit Starbucks
  • Eat at home
  • Work more 

NOVEMBER: Patience
  • Time Management 
  • Prioritize
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
  • Learn
  • Be Creative 

DECEMBER: Quality Time with my Little Family
  • Time Management
  • Limit Social Media / Phone
  • Make Dates
  • Create a Routine
  • Family Dinner at the Table 
  • Create Traditions

I'm really excited! I think everyone is always on a quest for self improvement and that quest is neverending, but I am looking forward to making some small changes that will enhance my life and the life of my family in a big way. You know what they say "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." But truly, I am so so so happy - I just want to be a better Kristin! 

Check back tomorrow for my July goals!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Honeymoon Friends {part seis}

Over the weekend, Jason and I were reunited with our Honeymoon Friends at their house in Ankeny, Iowa. Per usual it was a fun-filled weekend complete with plenty of adult cocktails and nonstop laughs. Jason and I headed south early Friday afternoon and were anxious to get the 3.5 hour drive over with so we could see our pals. 

We rolled in to town and immediately picked up where we left off. It's so awesome to have such great friends that time isn't an issue - we hadn't seen Bill & Jackie for a year but it was just as if no time had passed. 

Bill grilled us some delicious kabobs, we settled in, had a drink or two and then hit the road for a bike ride! I haven't been on a bike since our trip to Chicago two years ago, so I must admit I was a tad nervous. But it's true, you hop on it just comes right back to you. Our ride started at the Flat Tire Lounge, a really cool old feed barn that was converted in to a bar.
 I loved the bar so much, I just had to have a tank top from there and Jackie followed my lead. #bikeflat
 After a couple of drinks at Flat Tire we made our way to the High Trestle Bridge where the view was incredible!
 After taking in the view on the bridge we were off to the Whistlin' Donkey for a couple more drinks and some snacks {aka the world's cheesiest Grilled Cheese} and then we headed back and ended our night back at Flat Tire. In all I think we biked around 12 miles. It was a great workout, so much fun and now Jason and I are bike shopping like crazy because we must have bikes. 

On Saturday we woke to perfectly sunny and blue skies - which officially broke the curse of me always bringing crappy weather to Iowa. It was the most perfect day to spend on the boat and so that is what we did! We ate, drank, swam, danced, laughed and had a blast! There isn't much I love more than a day on the boat and to spend it with good friends is icing on the cake. 

After a solid 6 hours on the boat and a sunburn to prove it...
 ...we got showered and ready and went to Wig and Pen for some DELICIOUS pizza. 
After dinner, we made our way to Firetrucker, a really cool old fire station converted to a brewery. I wish I would have taken more photos because the decor and atmosphere was so cool. 

After a couple of Firetrucker original beers, we were back at Bill & Jackie's where we stayed up until the wee hours chatting on the deck while using our newfound favorite app "Star Chart". It's seriously SO COOL! You hold it up to the sky and it tells you what stars and constellations you are looking at! Seriously - hours of entertainment! 

It was another successful reunion and we are already planning and counting down the days until our next! I love so much that we've managed to maintain this friendship because it certainly would have been easy to leave Mexico saying "let's get together" and then never following through. Just think of all the fun we would have missed out on if we didn't make the effort. 

Next up.... Part Siete! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

All New Everything

I don't know what it is but lately I have this super strong desire to start completely from scratch. I have the urge to not only empty the whole fridge and all the cabinets and buy all new food but I want to get rid of ALL my clothes and start a new wardrobe, I also want to get rid of all of my furniture and home decor and get all new errrrthing. Oh, I also want to move but only if it is in to a brand new house that we build from scratch. And, no, this isn't just a witty blog post intro - I very seriously have a strong desire to purge ALL of my possessions {except my Jimmy Choos}. Does this happen to anyone else? I'm so sick of my stuff and I just want a clean slate.  Unfortunately, no matter how strong the urge, I can't afford a brand new house or all new furniture or all new clothes and really I probably can't even afford to waste all the food in my kitchen. And so, for now, I'll stick to daydreaming my way through my pinterest boards where my life is has no budget....

...and my day-to-day outfits look like this:
 Simple but badass - Professionally styled outfits delivered straight to your door! #requestaboxtoday

{no, I don't wear color in my dream world either}

...which I keep in a closet that looks something this:
Best Walk-in Closets - 13 Enviable Closets From Pinterest - ElleI would love to have a #closet and shoe selection like this one!  Dream closets do come true! Head to enter for a chance to win* $1500 to make yours a reality.

...and wear in my office that looks like this:
HOME OFFICE...Updated!!!I chose this image because of how relaxing it is. If you dont want work to feel like a job this is how you go about decorating your office space. The key element here is the natural light coming through the window, it sets the mood by incorporating warm colours with the already warm space. It is so simple, yet so practical and welcoming.Like most of us, you undoubtedly have loads of framed pictures at home… :: Hometalk my house that looks exactly like this:

...and obviously has this:
The perfect pool

...and is decorated like this:
Gray with white bedroom color scheme #fiftyshadesofgrey #fiftyshadesofgreyfurniturebasement bar - Click image to find more Home Decor Pinterest pinsIdeas, Needham Black And White Kitchen Cabinets Design: White Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

all while eating this...
Crock pot brisket tacos | | #crockpot #tacos #recipeSpaghetti Carbonara - The easiest pasta dish you will ever make with just 5 ingredients in 15 minutes, loaded with Parmesan and bacon!

and still managing to look like this...
Carrie's leg workout

Sure would be nice, wouldn't it? I'm off to make some Ramen Noodles in my sweatpants.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Your Barista Hates You

Many of you already know this, but those who are newer readers may not know that in 2010 with the help of my parents, Jason and I opened our own coffee shop. This wasn't a chain or a franchise, this was our very own labor of love made from absolute scratch - Coffee Buzz. Between owning my own shop, working at a coffee chain for years before and the couple of years I've been moonlighting as a barista after the closing of Coffee Buzz...I have a lot of coffee shop experience. I'm here to tell you today what, as a barista, are some of the things customers do that drive us right up the wall and may even result in us slipping you decaf.

1. You don't tip. While tips are always optional and are an acknowledgement of a job well done, it seems as baristas are frequently getting the short end of the stick in the gratuity department. My favorite example is this - would you EVER not tip your bartender? He may just be pouring you a beer from the tap or maybe is mixing up a super involved martini...either way I'm willing to bet you are leaving a minimum of $1 as a thank you. Explain to me how this is different than what a barista does? I'm either pouring you a drip brew coffee or I'm mixing up an elaborate espresso drink. I try to be fast, accurate and friendly as any good bartender would why don't you leave a lil sumthin' to thank me for starting your day on the right foot? AND, if you don't leave a tip every single time - that's OK. Maybe once every couple of weeks throw a $5 in the jar. Believe me, we notice and like a bartender take extra special care of the customers who take care of us. 
2. You can't hang up the phone for 2 seconds. If your phone call is so dang important that you can't put it on hold for less than 30 seconds while you order your beverage than maybe you shouldn't be taking this call at a coffee shop. Your rudeness and lack of attention often leads to you forgetting a piece of your order which leads to us making the incorrect beverage and finally results in you sending it back to be re-made and now everyone {including you} is annoyed. Take a second to give your order your undivided attention. And also, just don't be rude. 
3. You don't pay attention. #1 greatest barista pet peeve is this...there's a line of people and 10 drinks on the screen waiting to be made. We make your nonfat half/caf latte with half a shot of sugar free vanilla and one pump of caramel with no froth and whip on the side and announce as loud as we are able to be sure you hear us "I have a medium nonfat half/caf latte with half a shot of sugar free vanilla and one pump of caramel with no froth and whip on the side for Ashley!" and you - Ashley - are not paying attention which then leads to another customer, let's say - Joe - to see a medium drink on the bar and because he is also not paying attention he grabs your latte. Well now Joe is mad because he has the wrong drink, and you are mad because you've been standing there for 5 minutes and haven't gotten your drink yet even though it was ready for you 4 minutes ago. Wanna avoid all that? We do too. Pay attention.
4. You have no earthly idea what you're ordering. I know not everyone knows what the difference is between a latte and a cappuccino or what the difference is between a real macchiato and a Starbucks "caramel macchiato" but when you just order something out of the blue and then complain that it's wrong because you don't know what you are ordering - sorry, not my bad. I am HAPPY as a clam to answer questions and educate customers on what the different drinks entail - so just ask. Also, be aware that not all coffee shops are the same they use different names, different sizes and different recipes. If you learn what you are ordering at one place you will be able to easily ask for any other place to replicate it.
5. You pour hot coffee in the trash. Hi. Let me tell you something. If you order a coffee with room for cream and we don't leave you as much room as you would like so you decide to pour your piping hot coffee into the trash to create more room it WILL 100% burn the trash bag in the trash can causing the trash to leak, spill and maybe even completely split open on whoever the poor bastard is {me} that has to take it out. If you need more room kindly ask us and we will dump some of your piping hot coffee down the sink and we may even hug you in gratitude for not pouring it in the trash. 

There you have it. A couple of super easy steps to follow to make sure your barista stays happy and your coffee stays caffeinated. :)