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Happy 150 Years Theta!

150 years ago, four women decided they were tired of simply being tolerated at their college and that they were going to do something for them to provide a support system for women in school. Little did Bettie, Hannah, Alice, and Bettie know, they were starting the first Greek letter fraternity for women, that’s right a sorority before they existed, that would thrive and grow for 150 years and counting.

I joined this organization about 8 years ago when I was in college. I had wavered on the idea of joining a sorority for a while, and finally decided I would rush and see what happened. I had no idea where I’d end up, if even in a sorority at all, and I was definitely hesitant about it because I’d heard the rumors and stereotypes and didn’t want to be a part of something potentially catty. But I still decided to give it a shot. Fast forward to getting into Kappa Alpha Theta.

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I’ll be the first to admit it’s not all sunshine and butterflies when you join a sorority. There are catty girls who spread rumors and who you just don’t get along with. There are people who expect you to act a certain way because you’re a sorority girl. There are lots of events, which don’t get me wrong are fun, but it is a huge commitment on time and dedication to it.

It’s also an amazing decision to make to join one, especially Kappa Alpha Theta. Theta focuses on academics, service, philanthropy, and supporting sisters. I met some of my best friends because of the sorority and some very important people in my life. Since graduating, I’ve also met flight attendants, women in Disney, and other alumni of Kappa Alpha Theta from all over the world who share a special bond with me. A bond that has lasted 150 years and will continue to grow for many more generations. A bond that has allowed us to experience having a group of women support you and look out for you during some of the most formative years of your life and then some. I’ve met women who I can call crying when my life is crumbling to dust around me. I’ve also met women who are more excited than I am when things go right. I’ve met women who plan surprises like a trail of puzzle pieces to lead you to your paddle or women who will spend hours watching kickball tournaments for a good cause. Without Kappa Alpha Theta, I wouldn’t have met these women.

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I am so grateful that not only did I meet these women in college and beyond, but that I’m still meeting them. I met new Thetas yesterday at an Alumni event celebrating the 150 years of sisterhood. It was a lovely experience getting to see women as young as still in college to those who have been a Theta for 50 years all come together to celebrate an organization that binds us together.

If you’re reading this and wondering, “should I join a sorority?” All I can say is yes. Give it a try. Go through the rush process and don’t give up part-way when you’re in tears on your apartment or dorm room floor because the sorority you thought you wanted dropped you. Don’t decide it’s not worth it because you don’t want to be a “sorority girl.” There’s more to us than meets the eye and I know several from other sororities who are wonderful women who just want to help make the world a better place. Listen to your heart and give it a try. You’ll gain a wonderful support system and a sisterhood that shows you traditions and rituals that bind you together, and if you matched well, that support who you are as a person.

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Pay All Your Bills At Once

This may seem tough, but with how easy it is to schedule payments, it’s really much simpler to pay all your bills at once. Even if your bills are set out, you can schedule them to be paid when necessary, and sitting down once is much more time efficient than sitting down multiple times and hoping you don’t forget a bill payment.

Go Through Your Jackets

Now is the perfect time to go through your jackets and see if any are too small or too large, and donate them. Especially now when temperatures are dropping, jackets are in need, so if you have any you don’t wear or need anymore, donate them to your local shelter or a store that is doing a jacket drive.

Meatless Mondays

Hey y’all! How are your resolutions going so far? We’re only about two weeks in, so hopefully everyone is still going strong. One of my resolutions was to try to eat more veggies and less meat this year. Now, I know the importance of eating meat and I will never fully cut it out of my lifestyle because A) I love a good steak and B) eating meat has many health benefits that I want for my body. However, I can also definitely try to eat a little bit less because that’s also good for my body and good for the environment. So I’m going to try to work harder on incorporating meatless Mondays, as well as only have meat in one meal a day.

Meatless Mondays

So meatless Mondays is essentially no meat on Monday, which for someone who is very used to recipes that use meat, can be a bit difficult. I’m still trying to find healthy lunch and dinner options that are vegetarian, as well as don’t only consist of pasta. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love pasta, but I also am trying to limit that to once a week, so I can’t have it for lunch and dinner. Luckily, Pinterest is a great resource for me, and I also found these frozen black bean burgers that are delicious, and not super high in sodium, which means I can enjoy them without worrying too much about the preservatives factor.

Meatless Lunches

Here is another place where I struggle. So I can enjoy a salad just as much as the next person, but the problem is that I’ll be starving in an hour or two, and that was when the salad had chicken on it! When it’s just a plain salad, that simply doesn’t cut it for me, and I know several others who would agree with me. Once again, I’m having to get a bit more creative with things, but luckily that can also be easily done. Make yourself a peanut butter sandwich to go along with the salad or make up a quinoa and vegetable power bowl. Those are both good sources of protein and don’t contain any meat. Hummus and vegetables and pita bread is another great choice. Again, if this is something you’re considering doing, use your resources, Pinterest never fails with a recipe for something.

At the very least, if you find that you can’t go without any kind of meat on Mondays, go with a lean white meat and try to lower your intake of red meat. I get it, steak is delicious, again I love it, but I also rarely have one because it really isn’t the healthiest option out there. But turkey, chicken, those lean white meats, those are great options to help your heart stay healthy while still getting your meat fix.

If anyone has some vegetarian recipes they’d like to share, please post them in the comments! I’m always looking for new recipes to try 🙂

Have an Evening Routine

Hey y’all, so there are some nights when it seems like there is just too much to be done and too little time to do it…at least, that’s how I feel sometimes. You know what really helps me to get things done and stay focused? Having an evening routine. I know, I know, but trust me on this, it really does help. The past few weeks I’ve been coming home from work and first thing I do is change and get my workout in, and I haven’t missed a day, and that was during the crazy holiday times too! I then have a bit of energy so I can get some chores done, make dinner, etc. It’s all because I have an evening routine and that really helps me to streamline my night.

Go Out of Your Way to Watch Out for Others

How many times have we heard to watch out for our fellow humans, but how many times do we actually do it? And no, while watching out to not walk into someone is important, that’s not quite what I mean for this post. Go out of your way to watch out for others in other impactful ways. If you see your neighbor struggling with a bunch of heavy boxes or bags, run up and offer to help or even grab their door for them. If you see something that doesn’t seem right at your neighbor’s house, send them a text and double check it. You won’t bother someone by helping them when they need it nor will it ever be a bad thing to go out of your way to watch out for others. We’re all in this together.

2020 Resolutions

Happy New Year y’all! We are now in a brand new decade, and with that comes brand new resolutions. I know so many people don’t believe in making resolutions because they won’t follow through with them, but I personally am not one of those people. I love resolutions, partly because I love lists to check things off of, and this is just a big list for the year, and I’m pretty good at keeping up with them. So here goes, my 2020 resolutions.

  1. Continue to achieve my fitness goals. I have been exceedingly focused and committed to working out on a daily basis and I plan on continuing that as well as my healthy eating lifestyle changes. I’m a big believer in moderation, so I have my healthy foods as well as my occasional junk food. It keeps my body healthy and balanced, and I don’t have to worry about bingeing on junk food.
  2. Save money. Ohh finances, we love them and we hate them. One of my goals is to save more money this year. I did ok last year, but I want to do even better this year. Building up a savings account is so important, especially for unexpected expenses. So this year, starting even earlier than today, I’m focused on cutting my spending and saving more. Spending will be focused only on things I need. No clothes shopping unless I truly truly need, less eating out (which I rarely do anyway), I let my Disney annual pass go, and I’m selling different designer clothing I don’t wear or use anymore.
  3. Help more. Every year I organize a toy donation at my work for the holidays, and I also feed a stray cat at our office, but this year I want to do more. I want to help others more than just that, and one way I can do that is by locating more volunteer opportunities in my area. I’m already planning a beach clean-up, as well as working with my sorority alumnae chapter during their service days, not to mention random acts of kindness if the opportunities present themselves. There are so many ways to get out there and help others, and I can’t wait to do so.
  4. See friends more. I have several long distance friends in other states, and while we try hard to see each other, I plan on making more of an effort to not only stay in touch, but to get together with them at least once a year.
  5. Read more books. This year, I want to read one book every two weeks. I love reading and have several authors I like with new releases coming out this year, so I want to make more time for reading. I probably came close to reading a book a month last year, and that simply isn’t enough for me. And in the spirit of saving money, I’ll be using my local library to help me achieve this goal, that way I can read new things, without having to spend money purchasing all the books, though some will be downloaded to my Kindle so I can enjoy them over and over again.
  6. Treat myself to a monthly spa day. If you read my blog regularly, then you know how important it is to take care of your stressors, and for me one great way to help with that is a monthly massage. I want to continue this tradition I have into the new year, and I also want to add to it. Now, I don’t mean necessarily paying for a facial, mani/pedi, etc., but I certainly do mean coming home after the massage, pouring a glass of wine, putting on a face mask, and painting my nails myself. This is a great way to unwind and relax, and I can even add reading a good book to it to make it a perfect day.
  7. Get my yearly check-ups. That’s right guys, everyone should have this on their list of resolutions. Go see your GP, ladies see your gynecologist, everyone go see a dermatologist for a skin exam, and anything else you need to do based on your age or health status. Take control of your health this year and make sure if there’s anything going on with your body that you’re aware of it.
  8. Take a new class. I haven’t decided what kind of class I’ll be taking, but with so many options out there, I know I’ll find one that’s perfect for me whether it’s a fitness class or maybe photography. I’m going to find something that interests me and explore something new. A wine tasting class could always be fun.. 😉
  9. Let things go. I’m one of those people who always wants the best out of myself and others, and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. This year I’m going to truly focus on letting those things go when expectations aren’t met. It’s not worth the stress I put on myself, especially since I cannot control how others act in a situation. I can only trust that God is in control, and everything will work out how it’s supposed to, even if I don’t have a say in it.
  10. Spend less time on my phone. I am generally pretty good about not looking at my phone when I’m with friends and family or am out at an event, but I’m only human and do find myself playing on my phone when I shouldn’t be. This year I’m going to make an effort to spend less time on my phone and more time present with what’s going on around me, whether that’s watching tv or at a concert. I mean, let’s face it, most people don’t look at your slightly blurry concert pictures anyway lol.

These are just a few of my resolutions for this year, and I look forward to everything 2020 can bring me. What are some of your resolutions? I’d love to hear them, and I hope you’ll enjoy following through on them for the entire year!

Don’t Join a Gym if You Won’t Go

New Years is a time of the year when gym memberships go up. Everyone is posting about “New Year, new me” and they’re determined to get themselves in shape. They go out, they sign up for a gym nearby that has some New Year membership deal, and then they feel they are good to go. Here’s the problem with that. In a few months, many of those who signed up will be avoiding the gym because it’s just not the right fitness option for them. So here’s my advice: don’t join a gym if you won’t go.

It sounds harsher than I mean for it to sound. Gyms are fantastic, they have cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, and some even have massage chairs and other amenities that can be taken advantage of. However, for many, that’s just not the right option for them to complete their fitness goals. If you dread getting up and going to the gym and constantly have an excuse not to, then quite simply don’t go. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your health goals completely, quite the opposite. It just means your money may be better spent elsewhere.

While most people only think about joining a gym when they are looking at ways to improve their fitness goals, there are actually a bunch of different ways you can meet your health and fitness needs, without ever stepping foot into a gym.

  • Join a sports group. There are many groups you can find on Meetup or even on local bulletin boards where people meet up to play sports. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play tennis or are really interested in getting back on the basketball court after your glory days in high school. Joining a gym won’t help you with that, but joining a group or a league will help you meet new people, and perfect your playing skills.
  • Find a fitness class. There are a few gyms that offer fitness classes with their other equipment, but for the most part fitness classes are separate, so if you’re really looking more for the fitness class rather than the gym equipment, find a fitness class that interests you. My best friend is obsessed with kickboxing, and she goes daily. I personally love to dance, so dance cardio classes are super fun for me to get a workout in without even recognizing that I’m working out. There are so many different classes out there, it’s just a matter of finding one that interests you so you’ll actually want to go.
  • Find a walking group. You don’t need to pay for equipment that you won’t use when you have the great outdoors at your fingertips. The past few months, we’ve had several neighbors and their dogs start joining us on our walks around the neighborhood, so we’re getting some cardio and exercise in while also having some time to socialize with those that live near us.
  • Ride your bicycle. If you have a bike sitting in your garage that you keep meaning to take out, use it as your cardio! You’ll get some fresh air, and if you really enjoying riding your bike, this adventure won’t feel like exercise, unlike going to a gym.

There are other options out there as well, it’s just a matter of finding what interests you. The main point here is that you shouldn’t sign up for a gym because everyone else is, especially if it isn’t something that interests you. Exercise can be fun, if you find the right option for your personality. If you really love the community and workout you get from a gym, then keep going! Everyone is different and there is no one size fits all workout option.

A Reflection on 2019

2019 was a year that went by too fast and also too slow. Nothing too monumental happened, yet I feel it was a year of growth for myself. I learned a lot about myself and I got pushed to certain limits that helped me to look at myself and what I want out of life and out of people in my life.

My Friends

2019 was a year where I lost some friends and gained some new ones. Some old friends disappeared from my life, partly because I stopped reaching out, and rather than mourn that loss, I’ve accepted that they don’t want to be in my life anymore and that’s ok. It’s important to learn that you can’t constantly reach out to people to nurture a friendship. There has to be some effort back from that other person, and if there’s not, it may be best to just let it go.

I also was able to reconnect with some friends who moved back to Florida, as well as make new ones by going outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. Trust me when I say making the time to meet new people is worth it, and that even if you and someone have grown apart, that doesn’t mean you won’t grow back together in the future.

Health and Wellness

This year saw improvements in health and wellness for myself and for others I care about. It didn’t come without work, but I’m extremely proud of the work put in by myself and by others, and I look forward to continuing to see improvements in 2020. I’ve got my health goals laid out, and have several others who have their own health goals they are working towards. Having this group makes it much easier to accomplish said goals rather than trying to go in alone. Find your group, and join a fitness class, gym, or social group that will get you up and active. Take care of your body and mind, nourishing both, and know when to sit back and get some rest.

Relationships

I can’t say that I fell in love in 2019, but maybe that’s something that will happen in 2020. I learned a bit more what I want from a relationship, while also getting ghosted, and while that may not have been fun, it was a good learning experience. It showed me who that person really was and helped remove someone who wouldn’t have been good for me out of my life.

Personal Goals

I continued working on a novel I’m writing and took the next step towards getting it published by sending it to some beta readers. My editing is by no means completed, but I look forward to continuing work on it and hopefully sending it out for querying in the near future. I also look forward to growing this blog. I love writing these posts and interacting with some of my readers, and I hope you enjoy the content as much as I enjoy writing it.

I always look forward to a new year as a fresh start, and this year is no different. I am so excited to see what 2020 has in store for me, and to thank 2019 for the lessons I was given. Happy New Year everyone!

Start Your New Year Fresh

We are about to step into a brand new decade, and I’m sure many of you are excited to start with your resolutions and ensuring that you start your New Year fresh. I am too, which is why I’ve put together some suggestions that I’m following and that you can follow too!

  • Deep clean your house before NYE. You still have plenty of time to deep clean your home before the New Year, and that’s one task I’ve taken on this past weekend. To me, there’s no better way to start your New Year fresh than with a clean home from top to bottom. I may even rearrange some of my bedroom furniture to give my room a new look!
  • Go through your possessions. For many of us, we accumulate things over the years, things that we really don’t need. The process of packing up my possessions has helped me to go through my stuff, and whether you are moving or not, you should definitely take some time to go through your things and see what you can get rid of. Now is a great time to donate or even have a yard sale this next weekend.
  • Get rid of toxic habits. Breaking a habit can be just as difficult as making one, but that’s a great way to start your New Year by focusing on improving yourself and working on becoming a better person.
  • Start a savings plan. I know many of us want to save more money in the New Year so we can travel more or upgrade your car, home, etc., whatever it may be. The best way to do this is to start a savings plan and work towards it starting now.
  • Clean your car. Don’t forget about your vehicle while you’re cleaning to start fresh! With how much time some of us spend in our vehicles, it could definitely use a cleaning inside and out to help freshen up and give you that new car smell, even if it’s several years old.

How do you start fresh each year? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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