Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Wrap-Up and Photo Dump

I would characterize this past month as "meh."  I managed to keep up with most of my February goals in some form or another and had a pretty busy social calendar, but I came down with a cough that has lasted going on 4 weeks now - and even though I'm not actually sick, it's kinda getting in the way of me accomplishing some things.

As always, there are things that happened in February that I haven't yet blogged about (after all, that's kinda what the photo dumps are for), but I want to write full posts on.  I know a good blog post needs time to be written, edited, photographed, and published, but how much lag time is too much?  I haven't written about what we did on Valentine's Day, and it seems like that ship has sailed - how long is too long to write about an event?  I guess that's a question I'll just have to figure out the answer to.

So, how did I stack up against my February goals?  Not too shabby, but not where I'd like to find myself at the end of the month.  I felt my ADD flair up (not that ADD flairs, exactly, but I felt overwhelmed with stimulus more than usual) and that usually leads to me just shutting down instead of processing everything.  I recognized my ADD backslide earlier than usual and I think I'm getting back on track, but only time will tell if I've got my shit back together or not.  At least the downswing didn't seem to last as long as it usually does.  I really need to get some medication to keep my head straight......ADD sucks.

Personal Goals:

  • Date Night was accomplished!!!  A client/friend of mine, Christa, is a bad-ass triathlete who was having a fundraising benefit as part of her work with Team in Training.  Since I'm trying to figure out the best way to start my massage business, I thought offering outcalls (in-home massage therapy) in my off time would make for a good transition.  I decided to donate a 1-hour in home massage to be raffled off at her fundraiser.  The fundraiser was at a bar, so we dropped Jack at Grandma's and enjoyed the fundraiser and some adult beverages.  Good times were had by all.
  • Keep up with my Erin Condren Life Planner.  I have no shortage of stickers, washi tape, and bright colored markers right now and have been putting them to good use decorating my planner. The past week, I haven't really touched the thing because of the whole ADD overwhelm thing and I just really don't have any plans right now.  But I have a little free time and am getting back to decorating - planning, I meant to say planning.

Fitness Goals:

  • Well, everything in this category was a big fat FAIL.  I mostly blame the nagging cough I have going on, which has totally sucked all the motivation for exercise out of me.  I suppose I could've done something other than run, but once I started skipping runs, I felt crappy about skipping runs and it put me in a bad mood.  I wanted to run 3 days a week every week in February (and really every month this year), but I missed runs 3.5 weeks out of this month.  Maybe I'll make them up, maybe I won't, but even though my cough still somewhat persists, I'm lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement in March.  For real.
  • I didn't register for the Bayou City Classic before Dennis and I started our no-spend month (and because I thought I wouldn't have anyone to watch Jack while I ran).  I completely forgot that jogging strollers are allowed on the course, and as soon as our no-spend is over, I'm registering.  I was hoping to be able to run without the stroller, but at least I'm going to get to participate.  
  • Adding core moves to my workout.  I looked up some stuff on Pinterst, but because of my lack of motivation didn't do a single crunch, plank, sit-up, or any other type of core exercise.  Unless you count coughing.  I think I'll give myself partial credit for coughing all month.

Financial Goals:

  • Still no overdraft fees!!!  Am I starting to win at being an adult???
  • No-Spend February - or rather, No Spend February 16-March 15.  So far, so good.  And so far, I'm surprised at just how much I'm actually saving.  Now to figure out how to do a budget.
  • Create a rough draft budget:  Total Fail.  I downloaded the You Need a Budget software and have hardly used it.  I think when I set it up and it asked for my current bank balance and it was pathetically in the single digits, and then asked me for my monthly expenses and informed me that based on my bank balance I was $1200 or more over budget it kinda got to me psychologically.  I realize that as I make deposits to my account, my "over budget" number would shrink, but looking at that number was a downer.  I haven't gone back to the website to go over their lessons on how to use the software, so maybe I'm doing something wrong,  Either way, I need to revisit this in March

Home Goals:

  • Again, a big meh in this category.  I didn't really use the Fly Lady system at all (although I did stick with my Power Hour), and I completely fell off the Morning and Evening Routine wagon.  Like I said, the ADD was flaring and I was just overwhelmed by things and shut down a little at the end of the month.  Also, no art was hung in Jack's room.  We did start cleaning out the extra room to catalog the boxes of unpacked stuff, but that made the rest of the house totally crazy.  At least we were working on the house.

Business Goals:

  • February has been gang-busters for my Jamberry business.  I had an in-home party at the beginning of the month and started a fundraiser for a friend in the middle of the month (of course, almost all of my commission is being donated as part of the fundraiser, but sales have been amaze-balls).  I hit 2 of the 3 sales goals that Jamberry set up for incentive prizes (and have enough hours left in the month that I might just make the third goal), and hit both sales goals my Team Leader set up with incentive prizes.  I just need to work on getting bookings for March to keep up my momentum.  Wanna host a party???  Drop me a line!!!
  • I've had some behind the scenes things happening with the massage business.  I'm keeping tight-lipped on things so I don't jinx them, but should have some big updates in the next few months.

Blog Goals:

  • I've done a few more Pinterest Academy lessons this month and realized I need to focus on something else before Pinterest.  I love using Pinterest and the lessons are fantastic, but Facebook is a better driver of traffic to my site, so I think I should look to expand there before I try to start getting traffic from Pinterst.
  • I was lucky enough to have the topic of this month's Houston Blogger's meeting be blog photography.  Rachel Matthews of A Southern Fairytale spoke about photography, and I learned some really great tips for my blog photography (even using an iPhone).  This chick is legit and has some amazing pics on her blog.  Go show her some love if you get a chance.
  • Both the blog notebook and editorial calendars didn't happen.  Maybe in March, lol.

Now for the photo-dump or Things I Could've (and Maybe Should've and Might Possibly Still) Write About:

Jack has been helping a lot more in the kitchen.  He's always been interested when we're cooking (and Dennis has been cooking one handed since Jack could hold his head up on his own and insisted on being able to see the action), but lately, he's really shown the ability to truly help in meal prep.  Is there anything cuter than a toddler helping in the kitchen?

Dennis and Jack had a rousing round of Hide and Go Seek in Home Depot.  I look at these pictures and freak out over how big Jack is getting.

Jack has been extra lovable to the cats lately.  Some of them even tolerate the bear hugs.

I've been working on my photo staging - at least for inanimate objects.  I think I still have a long way to go, but considering I threw this together in, like, 5 minutes it's not too shabby.  Have I mentioned how obsessed I am with this damn Erin Condren Life Planner (want to see what all the hub-bub is about?  Click here for $10 off your first order)?

We have a snake named Brutus.  The snake eats rats - most of the time.  Sometimes, he lets the rat live in his cage.  We had a rat in the snake cage for a few weeks this month and Jack really took note of this and would want to feed the rat crackers in the mornings sometimes.  You don't want to know what ended up happening to the rat (thankfully after Jack's interest waned).

Jack has a stuffed snake named Caesar.  I was doing chores around the house (shocker) when I walked into the kitchen to see Caesar making his way back to the bedroom.

Dennis and Jack work on character building in Dungeons and Dragons.

I also caught Dennis serenading Jack while playing a wooden spoon.  Be still my heart.


We went to Galveston for Valentine's Day to ride bikes along the Seawall and to see a Mardi Gras Parade.  I will write more about this

Jack is really starting to enjoy books.  Even in the car.  I should add the picture on the right was taken while we were parked.....just sayin'.

Jack has been practicing his photography skills.  And by practicing, I mean stealing my phone and taking crazy pics.  I think he's a natural.

Dennis had to do some repair work to the entryway to our tenant's apartment.  Naturally Jack was there to help, hardhat and all.

We went to Austin to participate in the Ingress Shonin Anomaly.  I'll write more about this because if you don't know what Ingress is, I'll tell you all about it.  Hint:  It's awesome.


And that pretty much sums up my month.  What did you do this month?  Achieve any goals?  Or were you more like me and just spun your wheels this month?  I'd love to know!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Houston Children's Festival Giveaway!!!

The largest children's festival in the country, the McDonald's Houston Children's Festival benefiting Child Advocates, Inc. is coming back to Houston on March 30-31, and I'm giving away a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to one lucky winner.

This year's festival will have five stages of music and entertainment, Disney & Nickelodeon stars, and nine family adventure zones (including McDonald's Dream Discovery Zone, Baker Hughes Circus Town, and the Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care Tot Spot & Diaper Derby).  Last year's festival had record breaking attendance and this year's festival promises to be even more spectacular!

Olivia Holt, star of Disney Channel's I Didn't Do It will be there along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ronald McDonald and Friends, The Minions, and Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba.

Pre-sale tickets are available here.  A portion of all tickets sold goes towards benefiting Child Advocates, Inc., a non-profit organization helping abused and neglected children in Harris County, Texas.  McDonald's Houston Children's Festival has now raised over $5 million for Child Advocates!!!

Make sure you enter to win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets right here!!!  I'll see you in March!!!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Bohemian Decor

I've been super obsessed with bohemian decor lately.  Bohemian decor is the perfect combination of color, texture, and design for me.  Elements of classic Victorian furniture come together with deep, rich colors, and funky patterns for an overall eclectic and unique feel.  The bohemian aesthetic is full of life, warmth, culture, and interesting curiosities.   It makes me think of Paris in the 1850's - artists, writers, actors, and musicians.

I still haven't decorated my living room (other than one coat of paint of a multi-paint plan), so I could very well scrap my plans for a simple and elegant mid-century modern formal living room (I've been watching a lot of Mad Men lately) and go for a La Boheme/Moulin Rouge gypsy bohemian eclectic living room.  Somehow I think the bohemian look is more representative of my personal style. {this paragraph contains affiliate links}

Either way, I've been collecting bohemian inspiration over on Pinterest and I really need a space to decorate like this.  If not my own living room, then someone else's.  Any takers?  Not that I want to start a new career, I just need an unlimited number of rooms to decorate in whatever style I'm currently obsessing over.  Check out my board and let me know what you think.  Any design styles you're obsessing over lately?

Follow The Reinvention of Jessica - Jessica Brogan's board Bohemian Decor on Pinterest.

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