Artist of Life: Quarter 1 of 2018 in Review

Okay, now that we’re finally done with the first QUARTER of 2018 (ahh!) I probably share with y’all what I did, what I didn’t do (but should’ve), and how I want to take (or adjust) that into the second quarter. So if you’re ready, let’s go! And if not, oh 🐋.

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So January, oh January, this was over all my best month out of the three for habits. You would’ve thought with my detox from mid February to the end of March would have made March better, but hey, what can you say?!

The biggest thing I struggle with, is getting on that yoga train, hence why I have it on my tracker, to attempt to make me realize how infrequently I do yoga. I love doing yoga shortly before bed, and doing the easier rounds of it. Sometimes I’ll do a guided session from an app on my Amazon firestick, and other times, I’ll do those moves on my own, but allow my body dictate how long I should be in those positions.

Some successes I had during January, was the fact that I did my taxes right away, had one of my newer credit cards raise the limit, since I’ve been paying at least the minimum each month, and got some needed travel things for this summer and whenever else I travel, like a hard-cased suitcase (that isn’t black!), and luggage tags.

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So February was a little different. February was better for yoga, and I started a month and a half long social media (minus YouTube) detox.

From the social media detox, I noticed a lot. I have been gradually editing my social media accounts to be a lot more organized, adult-like, and more tailored to my interests now, instead of 5-8 years ago (like Facebook). I didn’t miss some parts of it, like the amount of notifications you’d get. I don’t have to deal with drama all too often, so that’s a blessing. The main thing I missed, and where I think some of what happened, did happen, was because I enjoy the connectiveness of what social media has created, and I love the accountability of friends and the groups I’m in, without getting too exhausted by others, as introverts like myself get exhausted easier.

I got this blog up and started, I did some bookings for a concert in August, as well as my hair appointment that just happened. I paid off some debt, and was approved for a credit card.

I treated myself to both of Jordan Peterson’s programs, which I really need to finish the one. I should work on it tonight.

February was a handful, as you can see, but wait till you see March!

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March was a weird one. I totally dropped the ball, hence me not even finishing my book for the month! I went and saw the dentist, and found out that I need my wisdom teeth pulled out (the only 2 I have).

I did Easter weekend, Palm Sunday, and St Patrick’s day with my dad. I know Easter was technically April Fool’s, but we did church on Holy Saturday, and it was very nice, even for someone who isn’t that into religion. It’s an experience to go and do, if you’re open minded like myself, and like to learn.

I got tickets for 2 solo dates while I’m out in California, one to Kevin Hart, and the other to Disneyland the next day. I also got tickets to go see Panic! in July, with friends.

Just because I booked and did a lot of fun stuff, doesn’t mean that I didn’t do just those and work my “day” job. I did babe’s taxes for him (pampered much?! haha), and like I said earlier, went to the dentist. I went 10 years or so without going to the dentist! That’s forever in teeth time lol. I also paid off a medical bill.

As you can see, I do better with accountability outside of myself, and the more people I have (sort of), the better I can do.

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To recap what all has gone on during the first quarter of 2018, I’ll be generalizing what I wrote in my review book, and the 2 pages for the quarterly review.

I’m proud of the fact that I did both babe and I’s taxes long before they were due (didn’t do them last minute, and not even in April!), as well as going to the dentist. I rewarded myself by getting my hair done, and treating myself to a second solo date in June.

I’m proud of keeping up at my job, and getting a raise. With that, I of course am treating myself with the 2 week vacation in June, and the concerts I’m attending.

I’m proud of myself for keeping the job I’ve had for the past almost 5 years, and budgeting well, as well as working on my credit, and because of that, I could also take time off to spend with my dad, for all of the Easter holidays, and St Patrick’s day.

Over the last 3 months, I’ve learned that if I truly want something, I have to truly go after it, and make sure it happens, because no one else will do the work for you. The whole experience needs to be mine, if I want it. Even down to the planning, and making things as easy as possible, if I want it, I have to take the chance.

During the next 3 months, I’m looking forward to so much, which will be my post tomorrow! Check back tomorrow, to see what I have planned through the end of June, and to join me on my journey, and keep me accountable to all my goals!

Foodie Fridays: Sauerkraut and Applesauce Pulled Pork

Welcome to Foodie Fridays, where I share a new recipe I’ve tried recently. Most of them are Pinterest finds, or inspired by one of those viral videos. Sometimes, it might be a collab with my dad (if we remember what we created/put in it).

To start off this series, I made a mild pulled pork recipe in the crock pot earlier this week. It’s super kid friendly, and is an easy way to introduce sauerkraut to them, as it’s not as bold of a taste.

Why did I make this, when St Patrick’s day was last weekend? Well because I had other plans, and my guy has been battling the stomach bug that’s been floating around. I even had to cancel his dentist appointment, because of it.

Okay, so I don’t land up like those food bloggers (no shame, but you know what I’m talking about), let’s get into the recipe, so you can get to cooking and eating yourself! This is too easy to prep, plus it’s crockpot, so you can leave it on low for the workday, or put it on high, to have something easy to meal prep, while you meal prep other things. Or you can just go to sleep at 3 am, and wake up to lunch.

All it needs, is a decent sized pork roast for your family’s size, a can of sauerkraut (even for the larger families…for 2 people plus leftovers, I used about half, and I have generous leftovers), and all the applesauce (okay, like 2 cans or small jars).

Throw it all in the crockpot, for 8 hours on low, shred, put the pork back in the juices, and let it soak up for about 10 more minutes, with a tablespoon or so of butter, and serve. Make it with mashed potatoes, a veggie mix, or whatever else. I’m sure putting it on a bun with swiss cheese would be great too, to use the leftovers.

Wine Down Wednesday: Make Your Time Work With Your Tasks

I know a lot of people struggle with time management, and let’s be real, I’m no different. I struggle with keeping my own schedule, and what I want to do that day, nearly every day. That’s part of my “I know this will help me, in what I want to do long term” and my “I don’t wanna, I’m spoiled” brains fighting. If I get a shower, it’s an accomplishment I can cross off my to do list, if we’re being realistic. I do shower regularly, but it’s the incentive to cross something off my ro-do list that makes me add it to my list.

So how do I get anything done? I have no idea, really. Other than writing down a to-do list, and aiming for 75%-80% of it completed, I don’t know what else to say.

Now, let’s grab some wine and settle into this post! I have my glass of Cabernet Savignon, what are you drinking as you read this? Comment and share your time schedule!

Through the past year, I’ve learned to be kinder to myself when I don’t meet 100% of what I want to do each day. That’s something I suggest to you to try: be easier on yourself.

Write down everything you need to do each month on a calendar of some sort, where it’s visible every day. It can be on your fridge, by your front door, on your closet door, whatever. If you have self projects (like me writing for this blog), write it down as well. Write in when you want to do what, even if it’s simple.

On that same note, make everything as simple as possible. Treat yourself like a 5 year old. Seriously. Simplicity is key. All of the time.

From there, take another calendar, and plan out meals. Put it somewhere in your kitchen. It doesn’t have to be for the entire month. It can just be for the pay period. That’s the easiest way to save time and money on what you’re going to cook and eat.

After you do that, make your list, and plan out your shopping trip(s) to the store(s) you’ll have to go to for food. Make it the same day of the week, so it becomes a mindless task. I also advise putting the list on your phone, and listening to music while you shop. Well, unless you are shopping with a spouse or kid(s). I highly advise against that, as they distract you.

Going back to some basic strategies, the night before, make a to do list of what you need to do, including shower (showering is a big thing, but things like brushing teeth don’t have to be written down). This can be on your phone or pen and paper. As long as you can remember to cross things off as you do them, and you like the method, go right on ahead! Don’t feel afraid to play around for a few months on what you like and don’t like.

Now, since you have some very basic layouts of what I do and use, I should show you what I really do and use.

For my to-do list, I write it down each day, on a little sticky note. I like the cute sticky note pads, and I leave it on the ream of sticky notes, until I’m done for that day, so I can cross things off easier and not necessarily need a hard surface.

I sometimes make deadlines for myself, especially for things I want to do around or right before bedtime, like yoga or showering. Everything else that doesn’t have a time on it, must come before bedtime, and if I don’t get to it, it gets moved to the next day.

On my regular calendar, I use a whiteboard, and look at my Artist of Life Workbook, and see what goals I have in place and mind, for that month. That’s where I draw part of my to-do list from. I also draw from the food calendar, to see how long cooking will take that day, and what I can do during cooking, off of my to-do list, so I can kill two birds with one stone, in means of time.

Another thing, as a good idea, is if you’ve upgraded a laptop, computer, or tablet, is to keep your old one if you can (if it still works, holds a charge, can still do some basics in terms of what you need to do). This will help you in times of “need”, when your “new” device needs a charge, but you need to do things.

For instance, as I’m crafting this blog post, I had intentions of using my new laptop that I was spoiledly gifted on black Friday, but it needed charged. It’s better to leave a device sit while it’s charging, especially if you drained all of its battery, and not use it. So I turned to the old chromebook that was giving me a headache, to kill it, so I could charge it!

With not having my laptop wired up with its charger, I can also move around better, so if I wanted to go make something, I could take the chromebook that I’m using, and place it out in the kitchen with me, instead of having to go back and forth, or leave what I was working on, for after I ate.

A good time management hack, is if you know you have some short errands to conquer, do it during your lunch break during work. I wish I could do this, as I work nights, but this is so helpful. If you need a manicure, it takes about an hour, and find a place close by that you like, and look fab when you come back. Even a hair appointment works!

Do you have to buy or mail a holiday card or birthday gift? Do it during your lunch hour! Is there a dreaded family member you should call, but takes 4 hours for you to hang up normally? Call them during your lunch, and when you have to go back to work, say so, and it’s easier to leave them.

Even going out and grabbing more foundation, or a new blouse when you got a coffee stain on one saves you time!

Another possible lunch hour hack, is see if you can catch up with a friend or two for lunch, if you can never find time to see them. Try a new restaurant even!

Currently, I work in retail, and the easiest thing for me is to shop for food after work. I know growing up, my mom would grab her check, pick me up from my grandparents’ house, or our house, and we’d go deposit her check into the bank, we’d grab food, then grocery shop. If she had errands close to any of those stops, we’d go there too. On the weeks she didn’t get paid, we’d go grocery shopping on Saturdays usually, and have an early lunch at somewhere cheap like Taco Bell.

When I moved to my dad’s when I was 16, it was so different, and there wasn’t a set day of the week when we’d shop. I quickly came to terms that I liked predictability, even if it’s something as silly as grocery shopping.

Since I’ve started working in retail (When I was 18), I’ve fluctuated on what works, because at the start, my schedule was always changing. Now that my schedule has been set (for now…), I have a schedule again, of grocery shopping. The “out to eat” days have changed from when I was younger, to days I do laundry, as I have to go out for that, and not so much for groceries.

When you have a dull day of to-do’s, I suggest adding something fun to it, or something you don’t get to do often, to make it less dull. Similar to the “eating out” of lunch with friends, or before shopping for food, or laundry, make sure it’s not so boring.

When it’s all said and done, make sure to treat yourself a little bit when you complete your to-do list! And appreciate yourself when you don’t make it to everything. We’re not meant to do everything.

Always keep in mind as well, from one of my favorite mentors, Aileen Xu- Done is better than perfect. So don’t strive for perfection, strive for done, and then go back and perfect it!

Do you have any tips on how you structure your day? Leave a comment, with what you’re drinking as well (even if it’s water or non-alcoholic).