5 things: habits

five things

We’re well into the new year by now and I’m making some serious progress on my 2019 goals or, rather, habits. That’s right. I’m making ch-ch-changes this year, especially when it comes to spending.

Here are 5 things [habits] I adopted in 2019:

budget tracking and cash flow

I’m not a huge spender, but I’ve become a bit lax when it comes to being accountable for my spending. I decided to change that and adopted a new cash flow app (EveryDollar), combined this with a paper tracker (the Happy Planner budget insert), and returned to a system that worked for me a few years ago: cash budgeting. I don’t use cash for every purchase, but by sticking to a budget, I have a better sense of where my money is going and the purchases that serve me well.

not buying coffee (unless I make it worth my while)

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m brewing my own coffee while at work. There’s a Starbucks in my building. The temptation is real and one that led me down the debt rabbit-hole when I was a low-paid college student with a caffeine habit and a credit card for “emergencies”. I’m not saying lattes will destroy your credit, but it’s such an easy habit to adjust. At home, I have a milk steamer/frother and all the coffee-making implements I need for a bougie blended drink. At work, I have a french press, a pack of instant (for when I’m lazy), and my favorite creamer. If I really want a latte, it has to be worth the $5 for the non-dairy milk.

meal prepping

Meal prepping comes with an added benefit: time-saving. I was a big meal-prepper when I was working on food intolerances a few years ago, but I fell of the wagon. Hard. Food is one of the areas where I spend the most money and it’s another one that’s easy to change. Part of my cash budget includes restaurant-spending, so I’m setting a limit that covers me for a few meals/dates each month. All other meals are prepped at home, usually with the help of my InstantPot (a life-changing bit of magic). Going mostly plant-based has also helped because cheaper, faster meals.
re-finding a fitness routine

Much like the meal-prepping, I fell off the regular fitness habit. I have reasons, mostly physical, some mental-health related, but overall, I just felt too tired and achy to workout much when my hormones were out of whack. Now that I’m feeling better (better, not perfect), I’ve started walking longer distances, running (occasionally), and reviving my relationship with yoga. I’ve also been doing the LoveSweatFitness Daily 10 routines on days when I only have enough energy for 10 minutes of physical activity.

outfit tracking

@lifeingminor is a project with a purpose – to document how I use the pieces in my wardrobe and develop a conscious relationship with the clothing that I own. I’ve been posting consistently for the last two months and recently started adding my project pan  updates. It’s another way to take control of my spending and better appreciate the pieces I bring into my home.

 

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video: hair + hypo

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed when I was around 17 years old, but I suspect it started around the time I was 15. I’ve had years to deal with the symptoms and side effects of my illness, and the medication I take to manage it, so I’ve started sharing my experience in an effort to raise awareness and help others.

Today, I’m talking hair. My hair was one of the first indicators when I was diagnosed: it was falling out in major clumps. The kind where my fist was full of strands whenever I ran my fingers through my hair. It’s also one of the first indicators when my hormones went out of balance and I needed to have my meds adjusted: it dried out and refused to grow.

It’s growing again, but I’m still dealing with dryness (especially after an ill-judged color experiment), so today I’m sharing what I’m doing to deal with the aftermath of hormone imbalance and bad decision-making.

Products below the break. 

Continue reading “video: hair + hypo”

loves & latest: February 18, 2019

monday musings

Goals edition

Loves

Reads

Personal finance books 

2019 is the year when I focus on building wealth. Yep. That’s the plan. I have a solid relationship with money and live relatively debt-free (which means, I pay off credit card debt within a reasonable amount of time, generally 1-3 cycles, depending on my budget). I have an emergency fund and committed to using a cash budget for regular expenses; now it’s time to focus on investing, so I’m reading all the things.

Video on my favorites coming in March.

Beauty

Project Pan 2019

More on this to come, but if you watched my makeup capsule, you’ll know that I want to use up what I own and pan at least 2-3 of my products. I have two lipsticks that I’m rotating at the moment (about 80% of the time), and a small eye shadow palette that I would like to hit pan on in the coming months. My goal is to use up what I have and repurchase what I love.

Habits

Using my French press at work

I’m a millennial. I’m destroying my future one latte at a time. (ha!) Jokes aside, $5 a day for my latte habit is not sustainable. To make up for it, I’ve been brewing my own coffee and adding an indulgent creamer (because this is also the year I stop caring about ingredients and start living my best life). Being on a cash budget certainly makes it harder to part with those $5.

Project management

In library land, I always say instruction doesn’t make sense until the point of need. That’s also how I feel about project management tools. I tried to use Trello a few years ago and found it incomprehensible. Now that I’m trying to balance blogging, youtube, podcasting, and writing, it suddenly makes sense. I am addicted and the customizable backgrounds make me happy.


 

Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleWe’ve been busy with a season of sci-fi favorites 🙂

Our most recent episodes include:

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts,Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

life: January – month in review

Month in review January.png

I started a cash budget and managed to stick to it. I also learned that I needed to be more realistic and budget for expenses beyond groceries and outings. The result is a much better sense of where my money is going.

I was insanely busy! Between work commitments, writing goals, working out, and making time for blogging, podcasting, and going out, it’s a miracle I had any time to myself.

I read. A lot. Mostly because all my library books came in at the same time and I had a review to write.

I started documenting my outfits in an effort to get a better sense of my closet and find new ways to pair my clothes. Follow me @lifeingminor (this is the most curated I will ever be)

I started wearing eye shadow again. There is something my skin does not like, but I think I’m closer to finding the culprit after nearly a year without eye product.

How was your January? 

If you want to learn more about any of these projects/goals/etc. and how I manage them, let me know.

life: 2019 goals and a recap

begin.png

 

Happy New Year! It’s time for the obligatory New Year’s goal post. But, first, let’s celebrate what went right in 2018.

Good things in 2018

  • I got my promotion!
  • Celebrated 1 year of podcasting (The Bluestocking Circle Podcast)
  • Wrapped up another round of edits with the intention to start querying
  • Restarted my fitness “journey”
  • Committed to eating less meat and adopted a more plant-based diet
  • Committed to letting things go, both emotionally and physically
  • Discovered The Four Tendencies and learned a lot about myself (video to come!)

All good things indeed.

Goals for 2019

  1. Continue to focus on health – dealing with PCOS and hypo symptoms, and using food to heal my body.
  2. Start querying!
  3. Work on a new (old) manuscript
  4. Focus on mental health. I’ve been dealing with more stress than usual and it’s starting to manifest in physical symptoms (see goal 1).

I keep my goals simple. #1 and 4 will definitely affect my ability to accomplish 2 and 3, but I’m optimistic.

What are your goals for 2019? Let me know in the comments 🙂

video: October 2018

October was a MONTH. I had a hard time focusing and felt like I was split in 20 different directions, but it’s done and I managed to make it through with minimal strain.

Some November updates:

  • I am not doing NaNoWriMo. Not even for inspiration. I have a goal for in 2018, and I’m going to focus on that without the distraction of a NaNo goal.
  • I have a few videos planned, but if November looks like October, my posts are going to be sporadic at best.
  • If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, we just recorded a whole episode on Mary at The Bluestocking Circle. Give us a listen 🙂

 

video: how I use bbt charting and DIM to address PCOS & thyroid health

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know my history. If you’re new, I have hypothyroidism and was semi-diagnosed with PCOS in 2017 (I say semi because the tests were not comprehensive, and I’m not convinced by the diagnosis… but that’s a long story). Last spring, I did a lot of research on supplements and decided to try DIM to aid with estrogen imbalance. In the video, I share my experience after 6-ish months of consistent use.

I also discuss bbt tracking and how this revealed issues related to my hormones, and empowered me to fight back when my thyroid levels were deemed “normal” despite the return of some of the worst symptoms I’ve experienced since starting treatment more than 15 years ago.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. I did all the research myself and can only share what I know through experience.

Mentioned in this video:

(not affiliate links)

Book

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler

Channel

Femmehead on YouTube – the queen of all things menstrual health

Supplements (I order from Vitacost)

Nature’s Way DIM-plus
Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle (AKA silymarin)

Fertility and period trackers

Kindara app
Flo app