Plan With Me: December 2018

This is the last month of 2018, can you believe it? It feels so odd for me. It’s like the year went by fast, then slow, but now that I’m looking back at the “slow”, I’m kind of like “Really? Where did almost 5 months go?”

I’ll be doing a 12 days of Christmas challenge at the end of the month, which will be better paced (plus shorter!) than my attempt at 31 days of Halloween.

Let’s jump into planning this month, shall we?


A usual first step for me, after deciding what is happening that month, is laying it out on my whiteboard. Come next year (and really next month, if you think about it!), I’ll be doing things a little differently, so stay tuned! If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you should. You get sneak peaks into my planning life, and into some of my posts on here! Plus, I’ll take polls and questions, that may feed into my posts!

Next is my budget, but I won’t share that. From there, I’ll start my grocery outlook.

Screenshot (92)

I usually start with what I have on hand, and what coupons I have in my arsenal. Sometimes (more often than I’d like to admit), I’ll land up having stuff that I don’t make in the list/outlook of dinners, due to leftovers, deals, or sometimes even just a tighter budget than I thought. I’m still working on this whole adulting thing here, so be easy on me haha!

This is my planning for this month. Very basic, but with the new year around the corner, I wanted to keep it simple, so that I could focus on the habits I want to build and create in the new year, plus have time to spend on how I want to create 2019 to be!

I’ve already started some habits, and some basic things like a vision board for 2019, but that’ll be shared later this month!

Are you changing up how you plan, in 2019? Share with me down below!


Thanksgiving: A Time For Gratitude

This year, instead of traditional Thanksgiving, celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November here in the States, I’m hosting and preparing Friendsgiving, held on the final Thursday of November.

It’s just how it fell, okay? Don’t judge me! haha. A couple years ago, we got a turkey from our neighbor, who got an extra, and as he’s only one man, asked us if we wanted it. Of course we took free food, especially a whole dang turkey! So I took to asking a coworker to see if he wanted to help my boyfriend and I tackle eating the thing.

This year, I bought the turkey, and invited a few more people over, plus the one that came over that year. I’ll make all the fixings, and hopefully we’ll have enough food, plus some leftovers (but not too much, like last year).

Since I’m in the limbo between actual Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving, I figured I would share some of the things that I’m grateful for, with ya’ll!

I’m grateful for the summer vacation I got to take this year. Sure it didn’t go fully as planned, but it worked out how it was going to work out.


I’m also grateful for the time I got to spend with my father during Lent/Easter. That was an interesting exploration, going to 4 different churches, in 3 different cities.

I’m grateful to have read 17 books so far this year, either through audio books or through my kindle app on my phone.

I am grateful for the basics, like a roof over my head, heat in the winter and coolant in the summer, food to make, and a job (as much as I may not like the job itself). I’m grateful for where I live even, and for the people that do actually care about me, even when I can be frustrating.

I’m also SUPER grateful for those of you who read my blog, no matter how I try and fail, and keep interested in what I have to share! I’m slowly finding what works and what doesn’t, and even with the small following I do have, I’m glad that I have you, and it does help me see why I wanted to pick this up in the first place. So thank you!

What are you thankful for this season?

Self Care Sundays: Quarter 3 of 2018 Review

We’re entering the last quarter of 2018, so to keep up with routine, I want to keep at least this: the quarter review and keeping up here, and keeping transparency.

I’ll be the first to say and admit, that I fail on goals. I slack on them as well. Lately, I’ve been working on forgiving myself on this manner. I just hope that you all give me some slack on my goals, since I’m just as human as you are.

With that, let’s dive into how I did in Quarter 3. It’s not the best, where I wanted to be, but it’s where I needed to be.

So let’s dog on me for not reading and reviewing my books on here right away.

Playlist for this review:
Uptown Funk
Old Fashioned

If you don’t know, or didn’t remember, I’m doing Lavendaire’s brand of the annual workbook. It helps structure goals, helps you think and create goals in areas where you might forget to, and in my mind, allows you to work a little each year, quarter, and month on goals you want to accomplish.

In the workbook, there’s a monthly, quarterly, half year, and annual review. It’s a great look book, personally, to help you stay on track, and see what you did throughout the month, quarter, and year.

The next one like this that I’ll be doing, will be a 2018 review!

So what am I proud of that I did this past quarter? Well, I started my $100 a pay savings, went to 2 concerts, did some self love retail purchasing, and got my wisdom teeth out.

How have I done on my goals, and what have I learned? Well I planned like I wanted to, I did a social media detox and worked on bettering a plan for when I do take social media breaks. I did something simple for my birthday (2 dates, one with my lovely boyfriend and one with my dad and stepmom.). The main thing I didn’t get to do/put much effort to, was the monthly reading.

For lessons I’ve learned, is that my gut knows a lot, and time will tell with what your gut knows. I should also pace myself on goals, and allow myself to re-evaluate them as needed.

What am I most excited for, moving forward for the last quarter of the year? Doing more reviews, getting into themed blogging (Blogtober, Blogsgiving, and 12 days of Blogmas). Also, working on some home goals that I wanted to do this year, especially for the colder times (making it more cozy and personally festive). I am also wanting to take some time to work on some basics for here, for ya’ll like a little list you can keep on your fridge for budget/time friendly meals that’ll make you feel better, even long term, mentally.

What do you guys have planned for the last quarter of 2018? How have you done so far this year on goals and projects? Let me know!

Retail Talk: Survive Inventory

Inventory depends on the store, and the company you’re working for. I can only speak from my experiences, at the store (let alone company) I work for. I hope my sharing will help those of you who are new to the retail world, regardless of how you get introduced into the retail world (after HS, during HS, as a higher up in the industry somehow…).

I work for the (or one of the…depending on how you calculate things, but it’s one of the top Fortune 10 companies, if I’m being polite) top retailers in the USA, let alone the world.

I’ve also made it 5 years there. I know that was half of a plug…but retail…I guess I’m alive and not on welfare, while doing alright overall, means something. Retail may make you feel dead or apathetic inside, over the years. I’ve been trying over the last two years to not let retail get to me like that.

For my company at least, with talking with others from various stores, Inventory is not all at the same time, company wide. It makes sense, in a way. If you have a regional, or even state/area specific company you’re dealing with on inventory, it makes sense to break things up, for transparency on their end.

Personally, inventory is more annoying and tedious than the regular holiday season. It’s a lot of “prim and proper” where as holiday season is more of “get it on the shelf so it can be sold”.

I have a lot of my own ideas of when inventory should happen, and how everyone should handle it, from management staff, to stocking staff, to maintenance staff.

My store has always done inventory during fall, which IMO, is the worst time to do it. It’s varied on date, but it’s during this whole “BTS to Halloween” time of year. Read my last Retail Talk to get some deets on that (It’ll open in a new tab so you can easily come back here).

It generally doesn’t matter when your store does inventory, it’s usually a headache. Yet the holiday stress doesn’t help any, is what makes it worse. Bless your heart if you’re in a store like mine, where it’s anywhere from right after Back to School, to Halloween or into even Thanksgiving themed stuff.

My store also does Lay-a-way pretty early on, somewhere starting late August to early September, through early to mid December. I believe we count the lay-a-ways as inventory, as they’re not exactly paid for. Don’t quote me on that for the company, let alone your store/company.

I’m not sure about other companies, but my store (and assuming for other stores corporate wide), makes us make it easier for the outside company that comes in, to count. That’s where it’s a patience-testing thing. Trust me, even with a butt load of patience, you may get irritated or bored from the night or two prior, let alone the week or month prior to inventory.

This is my first “I’m off for night shift’s prep” of inventory in all the years I’ve been there. This is/what would be my 6th inventory.

I hope your store allows you to team up with one other person, and allow you to execute the area you’re designated to, so you’re not bored out of your mind. Working with at least one other person makes it more manageable let alone less agonizing.

If you can’t do that, I advise a music playlist, YouTube playlist, audio book, or something to educate yourself, that you can sidetrack yourself in the dull hours of prepping for inventory. I know it’ll be difficult on your shift, management team, and where you work. Attempt to reason with them if you can.

Try to make a fun little game out of the zoning/facing when you’re stuck doing that for your shift. If it’s called something else, let me know, but zoning or facing is what I’ve heard it called. It’s where you make the merchandise look decent, straighten it up, and it may be different for your store’s every day look, compared to inventory.

My store used to do it two ways, but sometime last year (2017), my store went to always zoning how we zone for inventory (or a little not so nice, because ya know, time…). I recall last year I was teamed up with 2 other girls for about half the night.

Once the department was about half way done, I was pulled away for another smaller department that was lighter to deal with, but needed to be done. I think…haha. Night brain and working brain is going good right now…it’s all blurring together.

Learn what you can and can’t get away with it, and work with it as much as you can. It’ll make it more bearable and fun, if you can.

Have you worked retail? Do you work retail now? What’s your experience with inventory where you were/are at? I’d love to know some other experiences, from other stores and chains, big or small stores and chains (ma and pa to national/regional/global).

Mental Health Mondays Finale: Questions with a Questioner

Key note: I backdated the post to match with the September Mental Health Monday
series, so it’s easy for those who are viewing at a later date.
This is a late post, and I’m sorry that it’s up late. PLS love me still!

This is the last post of 4, for our month of mental health. I figured that there’d be no better time than now to ask some questions with someone who professionally asks questions: my dad. My dad is a licensed psychologist, with a lot of experience under his belt. Instead of me introducing him, I’ll let him do the honors:

I’m Dr. Bixler, but you can call me whatever you want. Dr. Bixler, doc, Santa Claus… I’ve been called a lot of things I don’t particularly like.

Last Friday, I sent him a list of questions that I thought would be thought provoking, while simple enough, to where I could share with you all. Part of it, is destigmatizing the professionals, so that we can see how they see things, especially when it comes to their end of mental health.

You wouldn’t believe how many therapists and doctors go into their field, because of what they’ve been through. My dad is obviously no different. They look for answers, just as we do, when we go to them.

Sometimes, seeking the answers to these questions make more questions. It truly can turn into a rabbit hole of sorts. This is a little bit of me asking questions, to go down a little bit down the rabbit hole.

Knowing my dad, he likes to meditate on answers, and since I did give him a handful, and he did spit out some suggestions after asking me if it was okay to do so (which is cool), I checked back with him a couple days later, and that’s why this is actually going up late.

We started talking about sea life and life in general, when it comes to the mind, intuition, and diet – something we just talked about here in this series!

When I finally got some answers, this is what I got:

Note: Names have been substituted with an initial, for privacy reasons.

Question: What’s your mental health journey?

The earliest difficulties I recall started when mom had a mental breakdown and we left Japan. I was just turning 9. Dad stayed in Japan, mom was seeing a psychologist in California and staying with her parents, and I was sent to live with Aunt J and Uncle J in Dallas. Aunt J would constantly tell me how weak mom was and that I shouldn’t be such a cry baby. Mom and I’s relationship never recovered from that.

My boughts with major depression started a couple of years after that. I struggled with ADHD, but there was no such diagnosis at the time… I learned to go into trances and hyper-focus, I had to to be able to quietly sit through prayer meetings for and hour or two of people praying in a language I barely understood.

Bipolar 2 didn’t exist either. So I was told I had an aggitated depression. I learned to really harness the hypomania stuff in my doctoral program. It helped fuel my 100 hour weeks. It was the only way I got to work and do that level of schooling at the same time.

I realize now that what many folks think of me being “full of myself ” or “narcissistic” is more a combination of my bipolar 2 during hypomania phases and cycling between I can’t do anything right (depression) so why bother. .. to I’ve got the energy and racing genius IQ to get anything done…

The most obvious question ever: Why did you choose psychology as your profession?

In some ways the first question loads heavily into the second.

I was raised to “minister” to people. I joking (half) say “my mom raised me to be her therapist”. I started college as an archtectual engineering major, and took a 100 level class to fulfill my social science requirements in “the Psychology of Individual Differences” I was taking and struggling through calculus the same semester, I loved it psych course and felt defeated by the math for the first time in my life the safe logic of numbers failed me.

My early psych class opened a door for me… I quit college soon after that first class, went into working full time. After 4 years in retail, starting in Thousand Oaks and ending in Beverly Hills, I found I couldn’t advance without a college degree.

I stumbled back into church to make sense of my nightmares. .. decided I was running from God who wanted me to be a preacher… so I decided to head back to college. Quit Beverly Hills. .. and was preaching and planning on returning to Japan when I met your mom… I felt that I was on God’s path for me… and double majored in psych and theology.

I wanted to help people. I still find deep levels of worth and reward in doing so. I like working with folks no one else wants to. I guess for two reasons: one is the challenge of difficulty. Anyone can do therapy with bored LA house wives, but it takes someone special to work with “x” population. The flip side is I don’t feel worth working with the lucrative and more stable patients.

I wished I’d know more to help my own mental health issues earlier on, as well.

Next set of questions was what is the best & worst part of your job?

The best thing about the job? How much just “being there” for someone helps. It is so humbling to know that my presence and listening mean so much to someone else. That just listening can help them through a hard time. Decades of study mean less than just being there.

It helps my depressed side realize that I am good enough to make a difference. The schooling is just the icing on the cake. Small doses of “me” make a big difference. Larger chunks drive folks insane though lol.

The worst part is always seeing people in dark times. When they get better and live life more fully, they leave therapy.

The worst thing about the job is when someone I don’t expect to die does; one I’ve let myself really deeply care about.

That’s all the questions I got to, and any more sharing seems like a burden to this post. So I’ll share this offering from a professional.

Did you like this series? Did you like this post? Let me know by liking or commenting!

Mental Health Mondays: Conversations Gone Awry

We’ve heard it time and time again: “Talk to me when you need to talk” “I’m here for you”. The worst one? “We need to work on the conversation of mental health and people should reach out when they need it”.

Yes, we do need a reformation of how our mental states effect us. Yes, we need to know who we can go to, when our brains won’t let us just do things. The problem? When our brains are in that state of haywire and out of wack.

As someone who has struggled with metal health issues, for awhile now, it isn’t so easy to allow yourself to reach out to a family member, a friend, mentor, or even a therapist. Our mind tells us “It’s not a good time, it’s 1:39 and I can’t sleep. I know my closest friend said to message her, but she has work in the morning. I’ll just go make a strong drink and hope it allows me to sleep for a bit.”

Sound at least somewhat familiar? You’re not alone.

An issue that I personally have with the conversation (or lack there of, in a way), is that in the western world, we idolize celeberties so much, and the only time the conversation comes up, is when someone dies of mental health problems. Regardless of how they kill themselves, it’s not just a fame and fortune issue.

In China, they have large nets connected to the buildings, for people working at certain companies. The most notable ones are the Apple plant, and the worry about those working for the same mother company, but work on Sony and Microsoft products.

Speaking of which, the Apple Keynote event is tomorrow (updated to watch the event, from I’ll be watching, for curiosity really.

Another issue I see, when it comes to the conversation over mental health, is why we not only talk about when a celebrity dies, but when there’s a mass casualty. Not just when you think about China’s issue, but also in the west. Mass shootings, such as Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, to van/car run-overs such as in London and Toronto, is what I’m talking about.

I’m not going into the gun debate here, since that’s not what I’m focused on here. But the talk about mental health behind the perpetrator is what I want to focus on. We talk about how it relates to gun ownership, which is important, but what about operating a car? Even what the person’s mental health is like in terms of how they were interacted with people prior, to intelligence and learning capability, among other things.

So how do we fix it? Well, just saying “come talk to me, when you need it” doesn’t always work. Sure some people can bring themselves to open up, and that’s phenomenal, truly. But for us that like to bottle it up, because we don’t want to feel like a burden, feel guilty for feeling and thinking such a way, or don’t feel comfortable to talk to people about our head space? What do we do for them?

Sure, there’s online and text counseling, but that adds issue with how health insurance covers counseling and medication, and cost to the person, let alone some people just can’t get comfortable with counseling/talk therapy at all.

How do we help cope with our brains? One thing’s for sure: we could study and learn more about the brain itself, and what each mental health issue does, to a span of people. That sounds great, and in theory, would be great. But that takes people away from their jobs and personal life, and only a fraction of people would probably be willing to subject themselves to these studies.

In an odd way of looking at it, the things we do with technology (remember me mentioning Apple), we need to do with, or in regards to, the mental health issue and conversation. We love innovating and seeing new things, and creating, even learning.

Why did we leave behind the mental health field behind? We’ve made innovative measures in medicine, technology, food, and transportation, to name a few.

My question to all of you is: What can we do to be more innovative on mental health? How do we make a strong conversation to push the mental health issues we have today?

How can I help? Share with me your answers in the comments, I’d love to know.

Birthday 2018: Life Update

There’s so many things I want to share in this post, so be prepared. Also, this is a start to finish in a day post, quite literally on my birthday, so also be prepared!

This post contains affilliate links. You get some, I get some! Treat Yo’ Self!

As you read this, or think of me today (when you’re reading this, even if it’s not when this goes live), listen to: this, this, and this. Yes, I will always reference my band, and yes, this blog will take me so much longer to write, because I had to stop and appreciate the videos. Watch the behind the scene’s of High Hopes here, because it’ll show you how obnoxious Brendon really is!



Yes, I’m being so “basic” and making a mood board for 24. I’m all about setting goals and making sure I’m happy and setting myself up to be happy in the future, by pushing myself now. Of course in a healthy manner!

I have lyrics from one of the songs I suggested to listen to (Hey Look Ma, I Made It!), a planner, to keep planning for the future, and make amazing memories, as well as build myself in all aspects I can, and the film picture for Farmlands, which is from Lauren Southern. This film really inspired me back into my journey of investigative journalism.

A little known fact about me, is that I wanted to go to college for journalism, and investigative journalism was (and is) something I wanted to more focus on. I never went because I know my talents are decent, but the field is so overpopulated, and I didn’t want to waste my time, money (or really credit to pull out student loans) for a degree that would hinder me more than help me.

With things like Skillshare (2 free months if you sign up!), and freelance work, I want to make it happen. I have some ideas in the works, that I am going to start on this year, since the fire has been kindled underneath me. I’ll see where it takes me!

To continue onto some of my vision board for 24, I have cooking, savings, and photography goals and aspirations. All are overlapping as well as different.

Now let’s get into a tarot reading, because why not?! Here’s the spread I chose for today:

Now, here’s my drawing, which by the way, was spot on, and I am glad I drew it!

Yes, this is a hot mess, but it spoke to me! I won’t go into great detail here, but this spread called out that I should forgive and allow my past to be my past, be and create my confidence and leader self, and go after the goals that I wish to set up for myself, in aspects of betterment and what my soul longs for. This is going to be a good year for me (until I turn 25, and I can assess how 25 will treat me!).

For reference, my cards were:
1- Ace of Swords
2- Ten of Swords
3- Five of Swords
4- Seven of Cups (Reversed)
5- The Emperor IV
6- Judgement XX (Reversed)
7- Queen of Coins

So, with all of that in mind, that is the general gist of me turning another year older. I have some basic things planned in honor of my birthday, with those that are close and love.

What do you like to do for your birthday? Do you have any specific rituals you do each year, or do you try to do something different? Do you do anything at all? I’d love to know! Share in the comments what you do, or have done!