June 2020 According to my iPhone

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these monthly picture posts. I usually write a little description of what picture is but I think this time I’ll just leave you with the pictures.

June was another month of working from home but we finally got to spend some time with family! I started a little container garden on our back deck, studied hard for my exam in July, and spent so much time outside. It was a good month!

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How was your month?

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Does Hard Work Really Payoff?

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I have almost a decade of work experience under my belt which feels impressive since I’m only 26. I feel like I’ve been working hard for so long, always trying to be the best at what I do and trying to lead others to success too.

I started working my junior year of high school and it seemed like most of my classmates didn’t have jobs yet. I got my job because I had been invited to go to Europe that summer with other high school musicians and I needed to be able to help pay for the trip. It was hard working nights and weekends when my friends were hanging out but it was all worth it because I was saving for something I really wanted.

I ended up loving that job and working there for nearly 6 years. I was hired as a high school junior and left as a college graduate ready to move onto my first post-grad job. My first job taught me time management and leadership skills that are incredibly valuable. I also already had 6 years of work experience which set me apart from my peers.

My current job has been a roller-coaster since day one (in the best way possible). At first, I was so miserable and I was just trying to make it a year. I loved my co-workers but I hated the job. Then my boss moved me to a different role and I loved it! I was making a difference and was passionate about it. My team is amazing and even if the work is tedious I still get so much joy out of being part of this team.

All of that to say that I feel like I have been working so hard and sometimes I wonder why. When I first got a job I was working to save for a big trip. Now I feel like I go the extra mile everyday and I am working hard to keep moving up just for personal satisfaction. Yes, I have to have a job to pay my bills but work doesn’t have to be my whole life.

Some part of me always has to be the best at whatever I’m doing. I had to take flute lessons so I could have first part. I had to be a manager at my last job because I wanted to master all of the jobs. In my current role I keep cross-training so I can be as helpful as possible and keep moving up. My current role never seems to be good enough because I know that I can always improve.

Does hard work really payoff? I’d say it does.

These days I’m grateful that I’m able to have an emergency fund for the things in life that I just can’t plan for. I’m grateful that I can afford the beautiful house that we fell in love with. I’m grateful that I can save for trips I want to take in the future. Most of all, I have a sense of pride in my work and I’m grateful for that.

In a world that makes it seem like we need to work 24/7 to be successful, I’m here to remind you that success comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t compare where you are at to where somewhere else is.

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Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #21

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It’s finally Friday, friends!

It’s been a sad week but I’m going to continue to work on educating myself to be a better ally. I’ve ordered books, listened to podcasts, and have tried to be as educated as possible. History is happening right before our eyes and it’s easy to stay quiet and let it happen but it’s important to stay involved. Right now I am trying to listen and learn as much as possible.

Here are five random things for this Friday:

  1. Our stay at home order was lifted early this week. It was supposed to last until mid June so I was really surprised when it was lifted. We did have a 7 pm curfew for a few days because of the riots and looting. The protests in my city were mostly peaceful though. Were you able to attend any protests this week?
  2. I have a certification class and exam in July that I’ve been studying for. I’m really excited for the class even though it’s been moved to a virtual class format. Like I’ve said before, my background is not in finance so I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of my knowledge of the financial industry. This is a huge step for me but I really need to focus!
  3. We actually have plans this weekend! We are going to hang out with some of Brett’s friends (while social distancing) in our backyard. The weather is supposed to be really nice and it’ll be good for my extrovert husband to spend some time with his friends. I think it’s been hard for him to not see his friends as much as he was used to.
  4. When I was planning our wedding I got really into hand-lettering as a hobby and stress relief. I still have so many pens and brush markers but haven’t really touched them in a couple of years. I started hand-lettering again last week and have been loving it! I keep extra paper in my desk drawer and whenever work is feeling too stressful I sketch something and it makes me feel much better. I used Creative Lettering and Beyond with these Sakura brush pens when I was learning.
  5. The mosquitoes are so bad this year! We are thinking about getting our backyard sprayed just so we are able to sit out. Have you ever had your yard sprayed for mosquitoes? Did you think it was worth it?

How was your week? What are your plans for this weekend?

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Photo by Niklas Veenhuis on Unsplash

Migraine Update: Rebound Headaches & Caffeine

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It’s been a couple of months since my last migraine update where I decided not to try Amiovig and instead work on diet and lifestyle changes. The past couple of months have been weird for everyone but it’s given me plenty of time to work on my next plan of attack for my migraines.

In honor of National Migraine and Headache Awareness month, I thought I’d share another update.

Since I’m at home with nothing better to do, I decided it’s the perfect time to wean myself off of my abortive medicines. I’ve been in an endless cycle of rebound headaches for the last few years and this was the perfect time to break the cycle. This has meant days of extreme pain but I know it’ll be better for me in the long-run.

I have also been experimenting with my caffeine and magnesium intakes. I don’t drink coffee so my caffeine intake is typically zero but I’ve started drinking Sparkling Ice + Caffeine waters which have 70 mg of caffeine per can. I do think it helps, especially if I drink one during lunch which is typically when I start to get another headache. I also take at least 250 mg of magnesium a day. I take mine at night and I’m planning on gradually increasing my intake as needed.

I’ve also weaned myself off of the Keto diet. I really did like it and do think that it helps my migraines. I want to go back to a full Ketogenic lifestyle soon! I was just having a hard time staying on track during quarantine. We are only going grocery shopping every 2-3 weeks so it was hard to maintain eating only fresh veggies and meat. We also had a hard time finding eggs which was a staple for me!

The biggest change for me has been working from home everyday. Not going into work has helped my pain so much. I think the stress of driving and being “on” all the time didn’t help with my headaches and migraines. Being home is so much more relaxing and I’m able to rest when I need to without feeling like a failure.

Brett and I have talked about trying to start a family in the next couple of years and I know that I have to take better care of myself if I have any hopes of being able to have a baby. I can’t be in constant pain and be taking so much medicine. That’s been my main motivation because I know it will take time.

I have a couple of other migraine related posts for this month. There is so much going on in the world right now. So much that it almost feels wrong to continue sharing my journey. I know that this is also important though. I know there are millions of others struggling everyday with headaches and migraines.

Thanks for reading!

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

 

Black Lives Matter #blackouttuesday

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I’m sure you’ve seen it all over social media. I’m sure your feeds are full of little black squares and #blackouttuesday. I’m sure riots and protests are all over your news stations.

I grew up in a school with very little diversity. I didn’t experience racism first hand until college and I didn’t understand. I still don’t understand and I never truly will. But I can listen, I can pray, and I can educate myself.

I don’t have words to explain the heartbreak I am feeling right now. I can’t find the proper words but I at least wanted to say that I am listening. I see you, I hear you.

Please take this time to educate yourselves.

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Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #20

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Happy Friday, friends!

It’s been a pretty challenging week but I’m feeling energized and ready for the weekend! Our stay at home order in Michigan has been extended through June 12th so we are just hanging out at home but I am perfectly okay with that. I will never take time with my family for granted.

Here are five random things this Friday:

  1. I accidentally bought 5 tomato plants on Monday. I thought I was only buying 2 and it would be an easy way to start a container garden but there were actually 4 tomato plants in one of the containers. I have found gardening to be super relaxing so far. I have a little herb garden, my tomatoes, and some various flowers. I really think I needed a relaxing hobby to de-stress. Do you enjoy gardening?
  2. A couple of month’s ago Influenster sent me their Be Mine VoxBox which included the Live Clean Apple Cider Shampoo and Conditioner. I was skeptical but excited to find that they were 97% plant derived, cruelty free, and free from dye and parabens. They are also under $5 a piece on Amazon so they are super budget friendly! I’ve been using these products for about 2 months now and I really love them!
  3. For most of my life I have believed that credit cards were bad. I got my first one at 21 that had a $500 limit to take with me to study abroad. I just got my second credit card in 2017 which is the one that we mostly use for purchases. It has great cash back rewards and I’ve been trying to utilize those. I never buy anything that I couldn’t afford to buy with cash unless it’s a well-thought out and very necessary purchase. Because of that I am able to pay off my credit card each month. I have found that paying the balance every other Friday on my payday is super helpful instead of paying one lump sum at the end of the month. How do you feel about credit cards?
  4. I’ve started re-reading the Harry Potter series and I almost forgot just how much I love the books! Reading them reminds me of being a child and being so excited to go to bed every night just so my mom could read us another chapter of whatever Harry Potter book we were currently reading. I fell in love right away and they are still so comforting to me.
  5. On Wednesday night Brett and I went to my grandma’s house for dinner. That sounds anti-stay at home but we had a nice little social distancing dinner with her, my mom, and my dad. We sat in her garage 6 feet apart and caught up on life. My grandma lives alone so I think it was really good for her to be around people safely for a couple of hours.

How was your week? Do you have any plans this weekend?

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Photo by Max Eberlein on Unsplash

 

2020 Spring Cleaning List

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I shared my spring cleaning list for 2019 and really enjoyed having it to reference this year. 2020 is a bit different since I’ve been home basically 24/7 for the past 2 months so my house has been a bit more organized than it normally is. I still have some deep cleaning and organizing to do though!

It’s been raining pretty much non-stop in Michigan which means our water table is super high. We have a partially finished basement and have never really had any issues with flooding. This week, however, we started to get a puddle of water on the finished side of our basement. It’s leaking up through the cement and into the carpet. There’s not a ton we can do about the situation other than to try and keep it dry. We will most likely need new carpet though! I will just have to live with the fact that my basement won’t be clean and tidy this spring.

Here is my 2020 spring cleaning list. Let me know what’s on your list to tackle this year!

  1. Move furniture and clean the floors
  2. Clean and organize the fridge and freezer (house and garage)
  3. Dust the blinds and wash the curtains
  4. Organize the basement “pantry”
  5. Deep clean the laundry room
  6. Clean out and re-organize the storage room
  7. Dust the shelves in the dining room and re-decorate
  8. Mount the TV in the living room and clean out the TV stand
  9. Take out winter clothes from our closets and add in spring clothes
  10. Deep clean the mudroom and put away winter boots and shoes
  11. Finish painting the rest of the furniture
  12. Clean out dressers and donate/sell clothes
  13. Power-wash the outdoor furniture and patio areas
  14. Dust the walls and ceilings

It’s Memorial Day on Monday which means we have a 3 day weekend! I’m hoping to cross off a few of the items on my list this weekend since we can’t go to the lake like we usually do for Memorial Day.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

An Introvert In Quarantine

I’ve been working exclusively from home for the past two months but it feels like it’s been only a few days. I’m from Michigan and our state is supposed to be re-opening at the end of the month so my work has been coming up with a re-entry plan but I’m not ready to go back. I’ve enjoyed working from home so I plan on continuing for the foreseeable future. Overall I feel less stressed and have had more time to take care of myself.

I know that many people are struggling because they have to social distance at home. For introverts such as myself, I think this has been a good opportunity for us to re-charge our “introvert batteries“. One of the characteristics of introverts is the need to be alone to re-charge after social situations. The lack of social anything has given us ample opportunity to re-charge our batteries. I know that my battery will be drained again after my first social experience.

This period of social distancing has also shown the importance of the little moments such as visiting friends and family, hugs and handshakes, and quick trips to the grocery store. I hope this helps us to not take those things for granted when society re-opens.

Being an introvert in quarantine has it’s perks. My husband is an extrovert and has been so bored. I don’t typically get bored very easily so I’ve been able to keep myself busy. I’m stuck inside my own head most of the time and enjoy being around a very small group of people. I like going for a drive with Brett every once in awhile for a change of scenery but for the most part I’m a happy camper.

I do think that it will be hard for me to go back to “normal”. I feel safe and comfortable at home but I know that I can’t stay here forever. At some point I will need to re-enter society and that is pretty terrifying. Social distancing feels like the ideal situation for avoiding draining conversations and eye contact.

My whole life has prepared me for social distancing. The new problem I face is dealing with the anxiety of re-entering the world when things start to re-open. I will always crave the safety and security of my house. I will always crave alone time or time with just Brett. I hope some of the things we all learned during quarantine will stay even after everything re-opens.

Are things starting to re-open where you live? Are you ready to get back out into the world?

 

 

 

 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

 

Five on Friday #19

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Happy Friday!

I am so glad it’s almost the weekend! It’s been a tough week and I need to re-charge. I’m still working from home since the Michigan stay at home order was extended to the end of May. Are you still under a stay at home order?

Without further ado, here are five random things for your Friday morning.

  1. I’ve seen all over social media that people are struggling with anxiety right now which is helping me feel less alone during this time. I’ve had pretty good control on my anxiety for the last couple of years but now I feel like I’ve lost control. I know it’s just temporary and it helps to know that everyone is feeling anxious right now. I started taking a magnesium supplement for my migraines but my Neurologist said this also might help my anxiety so fingers crossed! Let me know if you have any other ideas for dealing with anxiety.
  2. The weather is finally starting to warm up in Michigan and since everything is cancelled this summer Brett and I are working on a little backyard refresh. My dad just built a new fire pit in our yard and I’m trying to decide on what patio furniture to buy. We have a double lot backyard so we have lots of room to work with. I’m thinking a badminton set is a must!
  3. I selected the items for my summer 2020 FabFitFun box a couple of weeks ago and I was so excited to see that they included the DryBar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler. I got this detangler in my winter box and loved it! I have really thick wavy hair and this makes it shiny and soft. Do you have FFF? What did you pick for your summer box? My sister and I got my mom a membership for Mother’s Day and it was so much fun choosing our boxes together!
  4. Brett has been doing all of the grocery shopping for us over the past couple of months which means that I haven’t really left the house at all. We are hoping to go to Costco this weekend to stock up on some essentials. We usually go to Costco once a quarter but haven’t been at all this year. I’m anxious to leave the house but I think it’ll be good for my mental health. Plus, my grandma made us super cute face masks to wear!
  5. Brett and I have been making it a habit to have Saturday night date night since this quarantine started. Brett’s schedule is usually crazy so we rarely have dates. Our date nights have consisted of grabbing takeout from a local restaurant and watching a movie but I still really enjoy the one on one time. I actually think staying home has been really good for our marriage. What have you been doing during quarantine?

Do you have any plans for this weekend? Other than date night I’ll just be at home getting stuff done around the house.

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Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

Five on Friday #18

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It’s finally Friday and I couldn’t be happier! This week was so busy for me, mostly because it was the end of the month and end of the first quarter so work was incredibly crazy. I’m happy to be busy though because I’m not feeling bored while quarantined.

Without further ado, here are five random things for your Friday morning.

  1. I received my spring FabFitFun box a couple of months ago but I just started using the Gravity weighted sleep mask that was in my box. I think many people were disappointed with this product because we have seen a few eye masks from FabFitFun already. However, I am a big fan of eye masks because they are really helpful when I have migraines and need to block out all the light. I’ve been sleeping with this one this week and the weight is so comforting! It sounds weird but wearing this eye mask is soothing and I fall asleep really quickly!
  2. This was my first full week of being quarantined and I think it went really well. I have my normal work setup at home so it’s not super difficult for me. We have a great phone system that allows us to work remotely and have video conferences easily so that hasn’t been an issue at all. How are things going for you?
  3. I’ve been loving cooking dinner lately! I’m trying to be more creative with meals now that we are exclusively eating at home. I got a few Keto cookbooks for Christmas from my mom this year so I’ve been using those in addition to just making recipes up as I go. My favorite Keto cookbook is this one by Amy Ramos which is usually under $10 on Amazon!
  4. If you knew me in real life you’d know that I pretty much always have a Sparkling Ice water in my hand. I’ve loved them for years and drink at least one a day. I don’t eat sugar so these are my sweet treat and a great substitute for soft drinks. When I was visiting my sister in New Hampshire I tried the Sparking Ice + Caffeine waters and they were a game changer! I don’t drink coffee but every once in awhile I need a little caffeine. I can’t buy them at any stores around me but I did find them on Amazon. The Blue Raspberry is my favorite!
  5. I have been loving watching YouTube lately. For three years Brett and I only owned one TV which was fine by me but I got used to not ever watching the TV so instead I’d watch YouTube. I like to play videos when I’m cooking, cleaning, writing, etc. I recently discovered Jen Chapin and I love her grocery hauls, meal prep, and day in the life videos. She really inspires me to create a healthy work-life balance.

I usually share my weekend plans in these posts but these days I have nothing going on. I have to admit, I am enjoying my one-on-one time with Brett. It feels like everyday is a date while we are eating our meals together and watching movies. I’m really glad to have some time to just spend with him.

Do you have any plans for this weekend? What are you loving lately?

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash