Monday, January 30, 2017

My first zero waste bulk purchase

Behold: my very first #zerowaste bulk purchase from the bulk section of Wegmans (God bless Damien of Frederick Wegmans for listening to me explain my life goals and aspirations and personally weighing my mason jar of oats, all for like, a $2 purchase... and for understanding when I refused a plastic bag to carry it in).

If you know me personally, you know that one of my goals for 2017 is to limit the trash I create to diminish my negative impact on the environment. Being mindful and making conscious decisions when it comes to using disposable materials is just the start! It's a process, it's really hard, and it's not a societal norm to bring your own utensils and to-go containers every time you go out to eat... but I believe making these small changes and educating others can make an impact. Working towards living a zero waste life will probably take a while... but I'm starting here and now!

For me, bringing my own coffee mug when I'm out and about and using my own reusable bags for groceries aren't difficult things to do. I had essentially been doing these two things often for the past few years, I've just become more religious about it now. However, it took me until mid-January to actually bring my own mason to the bulk section. I had been anxious about this for a while for a few reasons... 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Passion Planner

I would really like to identify myself as an ultra-organized person, and in many ways, I am... but I always seem to lose my organizational tendencies when it comes to personal goals and things that don't need an actual deadline. In order to stay on top of my personal goals during this year of transition, I decided to invest in a planner that had goal-setting and goal keeping as a priority, since my planner basically dictates my life anyway!

At first, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to set many goals for 2017, but after thinking about it, I decided that I needed some structure during this year of transition, and that goals could only help me. I started to search for the perfect planner to help keep me focused.

This was when I came across Passion Planner!

These planners will cost you $25-$30, which is certainly more expensive than your average academic planner, but it does so much more than just that! It also is an affordable alternative to some other, similar competitors such as PowerSheets (still gorgeous tho).

What drew me to Passion Planner was its simplicity, affordability and the fact that you're not completely tied to a preset layout. Some other, similar planners come with ALL the bells and whistles: stickers, extra sheets to buy, step by step programs, etc. and I didn't think I really needed all that. Maybe I'll re-evaluate if I ever own my own business or something, but it really just seemed like too much stuff! I wanted this planner to help organize my life, not clutter it even more.

Passion Planner also has a "get one, give one" program, which appealed to me. For every planner purchased, they give one away to an individual or organization in need. 

Anyways, here's a brief look at how it works:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The beginning of my Zero Waste 2017

One of my goals for 2017 is to limit the waste that I produce by using less plastic, being mindful about my choices and trying to avoid making trash that will end up in a landfill at every opportunity. This isn't as easy as it may sound...

If you know me personally, then you know that I have always been a passionate advocate for the environment. I've always been intentional about recycling and I used to think that doing this was enough.

Well here's the thing, it's NOT enough... Recycling is actually the least you can do to help the Earth. Don't get me wrong, I think recycling is great and it's important to continue doing so, but the process uses up a lot of energy, there are so many different materials that are simply not recyclable, and even some recyclable materials get turned into these kinds of materials in their second season of life.

Obviously, I do recycle, and I believe that recycling is a good way to keep materials out of landfills and give them another lease on life.

- SIDENOTE - the apartment that I live in at the moment does NOT have a recycling bin because apparently my landlord does not believe in recycling (???) even though we have tried to talk to him about it. So, my roommate and I cart our mounting pile of recyclables to a super secret bin (could be illegal) which happens to use single stream recycling. We've been doing this for almost two years now, and for a lady who hates clutter in her living space, it's easy for me to say that finding an apartment that has recycling facilities is a big priority for me in the next few months.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hello... It's me.

Were you wondering if after all this time, I was still alive? Well, I am, and I think I'm the best I've ever been.

I've spent the past few months focusing on other things besides this blog, but the approaching New Year seemed like a good time to get back into writing. Since the last time I wrote, I have completed a few more semesters of graduate school, most recently my MBA capstone class. I have two more classes and I graduate in May!

I've grown in confidence, independence and experience throughout these past few months. Some of my priorities have changed and some of my convictions have gotten stronger. I'm in the healthiest relationship I've ever been in, I'm working towards graduating with my MBA, I am about to start job searching for my next career move, and I'm excited to see what my next steps are.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Resolutions for self betterment

Hello! I'm alive!

After another brief period of being generally unwell, I am finally getting back to being my good old self. I have officially been graduated for over a year, and recently was able to watch the members of the Class of 2016 graduate from my alma mater, and place of employment. It was wonderful to watch them walk across the stage while simultaneously trying to get a decent photograph of them and uploading posts to social media (for my job, of course).  

In one year, I will be walking across that same stage once again with my Master's diploma waiting for me. It's wild that I'll be moving onward and upward from my cozy little life in small town America in just a year, but I know that these two years of post grad living will have taught me so much about the real world, that I'll be an even greater candidate for an upper level job in a big city, potentially abroad. 

It is such an exciting time in my life, and I am trying to take in every moment as best as I can, though I've realized that I haven't been doing my best at being my best. Does that make sense? I've been so comfortable and maybe even complacent, the past few weeks that I haven't really been moving forward, but rather staying in the same place. After being sick again and watching at least five hours of Netflix in a single day last week, I decided I needed to make some changes and quit wasting my time. 

Here are a handful of small improvements I want to make a point of implementing in my daily life to help me grow and be the best I can be:
  • Work out each day - even if it's just 15 minutes of yoga before bed 
  • Aim to do 1 hour of grad school work a day (at least)
  • Take my vitamins every day - I've been having some medical issues blah blah blah so a good, proactive thing to do would be to make a point of taking my daily vitamins daily, instead of maybe twice a week, when I remember 
  • Take some time each week to plan for the future - my real real life will be starting in about a year, so the discernment and job search process begins, yet again!

Friday, May 20, 2016

What I've Learned One Year Post-Grad

It has been a little bit over a year since I have graduated from undergrad... In that year, I have gone through a lot of change and a lot of growth. I have laughed, I have loved, I have been challenged, I started graduate school and working in an office and at a newspaper... I have learned more than I ever believed I would in a year and I'm certain that I am better because of it.

Though I could write an entire novel on the different life experiences I have gained from one year, I have cut it down to just 20 tidbits:
  1. Seeing friends and making plans require a lot of effort
  2. Paying rent hurts, but having a place of my own (that I pay for myself) is one of the best feelings in the world
  3. Having great coworkers makes going to work a lot easier
  4. I love baking
  5. Having good friends is the biggest blessing 
  6. Not dating anyone is far better than dating the wrong person
  7. Spotify premium (at the student rate) may be a necessity 
  8. Having a good landlord is truly a blessing 
  9. Having annoying neighbors is just something that happens and there's not much you can do 
  10. Going out every weekend is overrated and expensive 
  11. I like cats! (I've never had a pet before this year)
  12. Budgeting is hard
  13. Grad school is not any easier than undergrad for the most part
  14. Paying off your credit card every month is hard
  15. Having a washer and dryer in my apartment is the biggest luxury ever
  16. I do quite well on my own 
  17. Going to the grocery store can be turned into a weekend plan that you look forward to 
  18. "Making dinner" doesn't happen every night 
  19. You must make time for the things you actually enjoy doing
  20. Driving 40+ minutes to do something fun is normal 
I daresay I have learned more about the working world, humanity and myself in one year of post graduate living, than in four years of undergrad! This year has definitely been one to shape me and make me even better than I was 365 days ago. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My KeepCup

If you know me personally, or just follow me on Pinterest, then you know that I have an attraction to a gorgeous cup of fair trade coffee (ahem, just check out my coffee&tea board). I believe that enjoying a hot beverage (like coffee or tea) should be an experience, rather than just a habit. If you really take the time to enjoy the processes of grinding grounds or steeping tea, these seemingly normal actions can become lovely little rituals during your day. Having a classy travel mug to keep them in makes these moments even more glorious. 

Enter my trusty, right hand companion, KeepCup:

It may come as a surprise to you all, but I didn't really start drinking coffee regularly until last year... my senior year of college. Actually, I vividly remember making a mental note when I was younger that I never wanted to depend on something like coffee every single morning like so many adults did... well, here I am...

I began my quest for the ideal to-go mug after the plastic one I had became stained after so much use. Being a young professional, I decided that I wanted to upgrade to a travel mug that was edgy, aesthetically pleasing and functional. Since I am trying to live a life with as little unnecessary waste as possible, I also wanted something that I could take with me while I was out and about so I wouldn't have to use as many disposable containers.