the view from Sunday: lazy, productive day

Trying to get back to a regular routine after a few weeks of unscheduled life. I’ve noticed  that I get particularly depressed during the summer, especially when it comes to staying productive and taking care of myself. It’s too hot and it makes me miserable. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve stayed home for most of the day and just lived.

Tidied, vacuumed, meal-planned, and worked on the current draft.

I even burned a candle.

Feels pretty good.

video: 6-month budget-tracking update

6 months ago, I buckled down and got serious about examining my spending, tracking my money, and saving for REASONS.

Here’s what worked, what didn’t, and what I learned.

Also: how I budget | cash envelope, EveryDollar, Happy Planner budget tracker

Are you on a no-spend or #debtfreejourney? Share your thoughts!

 

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video: makeup declutter & project pan

Products I don’t like, products that make my eyes hurt, regrets, lessons learned, and an update on my #ProjectPan!

My first makeup #declutter of 2019 (likely, not the last).

Progress.

Are you doing a project pan? How’s it going?

life: April – month in review

Month in review april

Met my Camp NaNo goal! 30k words = a solid start.

Tried my hand at 1st person POV and did not hate it.

Took a writing retreat (technically, still on a writing retreat).

Found myself an amazing vintage bag c. 1994 and am loving it. It’s classic, mahogany leather, and holds all the essentials.

Finally created my author website. It’s just a placeholder, but it’s a start – gdcowan.com

Set up a coffee budget and it’s been pretty life changing (video to come).

 

The Bag

video – sh*t people say when you have hypo

In which I share actual things people have said to me after learning I have hypo, assumptions they’ve made, and absurd conclusions they’ve reached.

Somewhat silly, mostly ranty.

What weird things have you heard about your health or chronic illness? Let’s commiserate!

video: the latest – a quarterly(ish) update

Querying! Rejections! New Writing Projects! Health drama! Just another life update.

Are you taking on a new project this quarter? Writing or otherwise?

Share in the comments 🙂  

life: Feb-Mar month in review

Month in review - Feb - Mar.png

 

I plotted my next writing project, and adopted a new method to take control of the middle before it becomes messy (one of my greatest issues as a writer).

Sent out my first batch of queries. And received my first batch of rejections. It’s a learning experience and I received valuable feedback. (ta!)

I’m still working the #ootd tag and maintained a steady stream of posts @lifeingminor despite less than ideal lighting conditions. Such is the curse of the early morning riser.

Received some disappointing news – I have a confirmed cyst (actually, I have more than one, but only one is concerning). Had an MRI and await results.

My #projectpan is going strong – I measured my Kosas and Besame lipsticks and have seen some real progress. Meanwhile, my eye shadows are starting to show a dip and I’ve been playing with various eye looks for daytime.

Went to Knoxville for a conference. The city was lovely and the food was great. Fun times (and too many impulse buys).

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.

 

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.


 

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

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