Why I’m back on Instagram

Good morning everyone!!

It’s very early here, just after 7 am, and I’m now on my second cup of coffee.

I’m not sure if you remember, but I deleted all of my social media accounts back in November 2018, which remains the best decision I’ve ever made.

However, just a week ago, I got curious about Instagram and what it looks like now, as in what it would represent for me to be back on it. I miss checking on some old friends and I have so many engagement and wedding photo that I’d like to share with work friends and blogger friends who obviously didn’t attend the wedding.

So I created an account, and I can honestly say that I’m quite enjoying it so far. The social pressure I felt a couple of years ago is simply not there anymore. I’ve been strict on what to publish and who to follow, which cuts back on the amount of scrolling. Aimless scrolling was something that bothered me very much and one of the reasons I got rid of it in the first place. The other reason, one of the stronger ones, was how many filtered selfies I was posting, as if I needed to hide my face, the one I was born with, the only face I have. I’m not much into filters nowadays, I make sure to keep things as real as possible and I like it that way. I think I might be better at accepting myself in general now.

I’m not 100% sure I will keep it permanently, because I’m still not the biggest fan of social media and I like to be away from all the internet stuff and whatever the kids are up to. I’m also quite fond of living a very quiet life and being that person only my closest friends know how to get ahold of.

In the meantime, I’d be very happy if you’d follow me and I’ll make sure to follow you back. It’s mostly wedding photos, pup pictures, random selfies and general pictures of whatever makes me happy.

Here’s the link:

https://www.instagram.com/chei_chei_m/

It’s Chei Chei because that’s what my coworkers like to call me and I absolutely love it.

Do you have any opinions or experiences with social media you would like to share?

You can also leave me your Instagram and I’ll find you.

Love, Chei

Photo by GM Rajib from Pexels

10 Reasons Why I Love Working From Home

Good morning, dear people!

    I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks as working from home has been a very positive experience that I’d like to share on the blog.

    My husband and I have been very fortunate in being able to work from home during quarantine, having jobs that can be done remotely, which we’re very grateful for.

    Eventually, I’d like to write a post on how we organize our space and schedules while both working from home, including pictures, since our house is not that.  My husband works a more regular 9 to 6 yet flexible schedule while I need to be available 24/7, often working weekends and nights.

    As for our work spaces, my husband’s desk is in our living room, while I work from our small office which doubles or triples as a closet/linen closet/storage room/ place where you store whatever doesn’t fit anywhere else. This arrangement has been working for us so far. I can sometimes hear him talking on the phone or having a meeting and I’m sure he does too but we have yet to ask each other to keep it down, so I guess it’s fine. He’s been WFH for about 2 months, I think and I’ve been doing it for close to a month and a half now and I absolutely think it’s the best possible way to work. I’ve come up list of ten reasons why I’m sold on working from home.

1. Comfort

    Experts recommend that you get dressed and put your shoes on as if you were going to the office because that will increase your productivity. Well, such advice is simply not true for me. If I’m at home, I’ll either be wearing a sports bra or no bra at all. I’ll either be wearing pj’s or leggings and an old shirt/sweater. And I’ll be very productive just the same. One of my favorite things about being home is not having to put on “outside” clothes. What about you? Do you ever get fully dressed if you’re staying home?

2. No commute

    We commute for about 2 hours every day by car, maybe longer if the traffic is really bad. That  one hour it takes to go from work to home at the end of the day can be the longest after an already stressful day. When working from home, you finish work and you’re home the very same minute. No commuting, no traffic, no waiting for the bus.

3. No carrying your stuff around

    My friends and coworkers bully me endlessly because my bag is always extremely heavy. But then I’m the one laughing when someone needs a tampon, tissue, pen, some gum, medicine, hand cream… I could go on. However, my very well stocked purse needs to be organized and cleaned almost daily, as well as carried around. By staying home, there’s no need for my evening bag cleanup as I don’t have to carry a bag every day.

4. No makeup, no dressing up

    I know makeup is optional and that I don’t necessarily have to wear it daily, but I like to. It makes me feel put together and I feel naked going to work without at least a bit of mascara, even if it does happen sometimes. I do skip makeup on my days off unless I’m going out to dinner or something. While I’ve been working from home, I don’t have to worry about it at all, unless I’m having a zoom meeting and don’t want to frighten my coworkers. My skin has been loving the freedom too. As for getting dressed, I’ve been enjoying not having to plan any outfits or think about ironing. Not that I’ve ever done much ironing in the first place but you get it. Even the laundry is easier to do and put away these days.

5. Eat at home

     So I’ve never had to stress about making our lunch boxes because that is my husband’s task, which he amazingly does for us every single workday, unless we plan on  eating out, which we do a few times a week. But I’m very much okay with not having to deal with the logistics of eating at work.

  1. Get to work, store food in the fridge everyone else uses, leave lunch box somewhere in the office kitchen.
  2. Lunch time: Get to the kitchen, get food from the fridge, retrieve lunch box with cutlery, place food in the microwave, hope it will be hot enough the first time, find a table, get food from the microwave, usually not hot enough but you can’t bother, eat food, decide if wash Tupperware container with the communal sponge, decide it’s gross, take it home for the dishwasher, decide against eating orange because hands will smell like oranges for the rest of the day,  feel defeated, go brush teeth,  go back to work.

    At home, I just go to the kitchen and eat like I do for every other meal and still have time to throw in a load of laundry, read a chapter or two of a book and chill with my coffee before I have to go back to work.

6. More free time

     This one is quite obvious. If you exclude a 2 hour commute from our work day, we get 2 free hours to enjoy. If I don’t have to spend 45 minutes getting things ready for the next day, wake up 1 hour before I have to leave the house, it all adds up.

Example: If I were to be at work at 8 am, I’d have to wake up at 6 am and leave the house by 7 am the latest. I’d then be at work until 5 p.m. There’s always rush hour traffic, so we’d get home at about 6.30, maybe 7 if my husband got caught up at work and I had to wait for him. I absolutely have to have my 8 hours of sleep or I’m useless, and some quiet time before, so I aim to be in bed by 8.30/9 p.m, if I’m to wake up at 6, which would leave me with 1 hour and a half to get things ready for the next day and go through my night routine.

    Currently, if I’m working, let’s say 6 am to 3 pm, I wake up at 5.30, wash my face and brush my teeth (I’ll shower at some point during the day/evening), get dressed get breakfast and my coffee while starting everything in the office. By 6 am I’m more than settled and ready to work. And then I’m free by 3 pm, and have 5 and a half hours of free time before bedtime which makes a huge difference in my routine.

8. More focused and productive

    I know some people complain that they’re unable to focus and get easily distracted at home, or that they’re prone to procrastination if they’re not at the office but that’s not my case at all. Home is quiet and I can focus on nothing else but what I’m working on. There’s not much happening around me and no one talking or coming to say hi. I’m also very chatty by nature so I feel like I’m not distracting myself and my coworkers either. Win-win.

9. Organized home

    Working full time we didn’t use to have the time to clean much or at all during the week. We tried our best on our days off but sometimes we were either exhausted or trying to have some social life, so maintaining a pristine house was never top of our list of priorities. Let me tell you, the house is much cleaner now, the laundry is very quickly done and put away and there’s way less clutter around obviously because we have time and are actually living here 24/7 and need to keep a more organized space. I can easily finish work and go and dust our bedroom or clean our bathroom while I’d never be able to do that after a long day at the office.

10. Less stress

    This has to be the most expected and wonderful perk of working from home. I feel less anxious and irritable in general as there seems to be less pressure because life happens at a much slower pace.

What about you? Have you had the chance to work from home?

How do you feel about it?

I’d love to read your comments.

Love, C.

Life Update – Quarantine and Working from Home 18.05.2020

Hello everyone!!

I hope to find you all healthy.

I haven’t written in about 3 months. Honestly, I felt like I had nothing to say, with what is going on all around us. There’s so much news and so many blog posts and updates and articles, I didn’t feel like putting anything out there.

So what about us?

My husband and I are very lucky to be able to work from home, earning our full salary. Some of our friends are not that fortunate and have to be home with a partial salary, while their workplaces are closed down. My sister is an essential worker, which has me very worried, but most of our friends and family members have been safe at home.

I haven’t left the house to go anywhere but food shopping in over 2 months. We haven’t seen our friends and family in a very long time. It’s worth it, though, if we can keep everyone safe.

Things are slowly opening up now and I have to admit it makes me a little nervous. But we do need to try to get back to normal or to what is going to be our new normal anyway. We obviously have to wear a mask everywhere as it is mandatory in most places. I actually hate wearing one as I feel that it makes me touch my face so much more, but I’ll obviously wear one.

I’ve been reading a lot and I’m reading the The Twilight Saga again, as Midnight Sun is finally being released after 12 years. I have a lot of thoughts on this and will probably write a post.

Other than that I don’t have any news, I guess.

This is a pretty random post but I really just wanted to say hi and catch up a bit.

I’d be very happy to hear from you as well.

Please stay safe.

Love, Chey.

Photo by Sameera Madusanka from Pexels

 

MY RESOLUTIONS FOR 2020 – LATE AS USUAL (PART 2)

Good morning everyone and welcome back to my channel! Sorry, I’ve been watching too much YouTube and think I’m funny.

I’m about ready to hit you back with part 2 of my resolutions for 2020. I’m also sitting here second guessing my choice mint and eucalyptus tea but that’s not your problem, is it? Moving on…

It’s funny how I have unintentionally divided my resolutions by “have done something about them” and “haven’t done anything to make them happen”. Now that I look at the remaining 3, however, is it possible that they’re further down the list because they’re not as “important” or not as “urgent”? I definitely want to make them a priority though, so the fact that I haven’t done anything towards accomplishing them is one more reason I should start as soon as possible.

 

4. Exercise twice a week

Resolution 4 was something very different at first, actually. There’s no point in getting into much detail now but let’s just say it was school/studies related, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. However, after discussing my goals with my therapist, she mentioned that I would be adding a third “intellectual” and “study oriented” goal which might be too much to add to Uni and getting my driver’s license. It did indeed require a lot of reading and exam taking and in a very short time frame, which would be too much along with what I already have going on. I had not thought it through at all. Thank God I have the most amazing therapist, Dra. Matilde. She then help me to come up with other possible resolutions, that would not involve putting my brain under too much pressure. I mentioned that exercise 3 times a week would be good for me, she told me to be reasonable and to settle for twice a week at first.

Deadline: I’d like for this to have become a habit by Summer. Any exercise at all.

Steps Taken: Nothing much. I know that I want to go back to swimming and to do yoga. But I’ll also take whatever exercise I can get.

 

5. Go to 5 new places in 2020

It doesn’t have to involve expensive travelling at all, but I want to get to know 5 different new places this year. Ideally, I know where I’d like to go, but we’re always so busy and need to take into account vacation days (which we can’t always get to match), flights, our budget, my school. I’d like to take a big holiday and then some little weekend getaways when possible, just the two of us. I’d love to go to the US at some point, as we have family there and it’s one my of my dream trips, but I don’t think it will happen this year. My other dream destination is Scotland and I’ve been meaning to go and visit my Maid of Honor in Vienna one day. There are a few places I’ve yet to visit in my own country which is a shame. My hope is that I’ll go somewhere new, with my husband, wherever that might be.

Deadline: December 2020, planning to do this throughout the year

Steps Taken: I’ve planned my full year of vacation days at work, I’m dying to plan our big Summer vacation.

 

6. Get braces

This is a big one for me, as my teeth have bothered me since I was a teenager. My single mother could not afford braces and so I’ve had to wait until I was able to pay for them myself, which means I’m getting them at 28. My insurance is good enough to cover this, which is great. I don’t think there’s much more to say about this? It’s teeth and braces.

Deadline: June 2020

Steps Taken: Trying to find the right clinic and doctor

I’m finally done with my resolution posts, by February.

I hope everyone is working hard on theirs 🙂

Love, Cheila

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

 

 

Diary of a Lazy Week – 4 Days Off: 11.02.200

Hello Everyone!

How is it almost the middle of the month?

It feels like February is in a hurry to get to March or something, which I’m definitely not because it seems like I’m always behind on something, even when I’m trying super hard to keep up with life.

I’m supposed to be having a lazy week, what basically means I have a few days off work and am focusing on school work, stuff around the house, errands, family and just having me time.

The highlight of my week (or month) and the reason I took some vacation days is because my Maid of Honor is visiting from Vienna. She’ll be staying for a couple of weeks but I wanted a day or two to be free for her. Bitch ended up deserting me because her boyfriend, who happens to be my best friend of 14 years (I introduced them because neither had a date to my wedding – I love to tell this story to every one I meet. Random strangers as well), managed to get a couple of days off. I’m now extremely pissed. Joking, I know she’ll be reading this. I’m happy he managed to get the days off, it’s not easy for him. They’re my favorite couple and I really want them to be happy. Mostly because they deserve it, also because it would be so freakin awkward if they broke up.

What have I been up to since Saturday? Super interesting stuff.

Saturday 08.02.2020

  • Sleeping tons. I was so sleep deprived and it was perfect not having to set an alarm.
  •  Began reading The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
  • Watching and finishing “Don’t Fuck With Cats” on Netflix.

Sunday 09.02.2020

  • Grocery shopping at Aldi.
  • Organizing and printing a bunch of uni work. I know it’s not very green of me, but I can’t study unless I have paper to read, highlight and takes notes on.
  • Having salmon for dinner
  • Watching an episode of “This is Us”. It’s one of the shows husband and I always watch together.
  • Watching “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” while waiting for the Oscars to start. Husband quit half way and went to bed. I stayed up to watch the Oscars, did not get to finish the movie.

Monday 10.02.2020

  • Sleep
  • Waking up very late
  • Forgetting my nail and eyebrow appointment, thinking it was on the 13th.
  • Reading a lot and being useless in general
  • Falling asleep at 5 and waking up very confused when husband got home at 8 something and woke me up. I guess I needed to sleep?
  • Randomly zapping (I never touch the TV) and finding “The Great Gatsby” on some random channel, watching it with husband. The movie means a lot to us for a number of reasons. It’s one of my favorite books, it was the first movie we saw together at the cinema and we chose one of the songs for our first dance. Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful

Tuesday 11.02.2020 (today)

  • Trying to write a blog post
  • Finished the The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
  • Attempting to declutter and organize our office/closet/storage room. I’ve honestly decluttered as much as possible and am now getting to the conclusion that we simply need more storage or maybe a bigger house.

 

What about you? What have you been up to?

Love, Chey

 

 

 

 

Planning my Week: Sunday 26.01.2020

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Are you happy that it’s Sunday and you (hopefully) had the day to yourself or are you already feeling blue over the fact that tomorrow is Monday?

I’m the latter. Not because I hate Mondays but because I never feel that I’m quite prepared for the week  ahead or organized enough. I feel like I’m always this half organized mess. Just last week, my husband was very proudly making a list of all the things we had accomplished over the weekend. As for myself, all I could think about was all of the things we didn’t get done. He says that the house will never be clean enough for me and that I tend to see the glass half empty but still… I definitely think I could do a lot better most times.

Anyway, apparently I don’t consider 3 planners to be enough (I shit you not I do have 3. Maybe I’ll blog about why I have 3 planners and what I use them for) so I’ve decided I might as well use my blog as a backup to do list.

 

Monday – 27.01.2020

Obviously I’ll have to work, because I need a roof over my head and to pay bills and eat. On the plus side, I do like my job and my coworkers are awesome.

I have a therapy appointment scheduled for 7 p.m.

We need to stop by the store and get some groceries as well, nothing special but I did have to make pancakes without eggs today. We didn’t go during the weekend because Rui was sick (serious case of man flu) and you all know by this point that I can’t drive and we live in the middle of nowhere.

Also, I’m in charge of buying the presents every time someone has a birthday at work and I’m very late this time so I should get that done ASAP.

 

Tuesday – 28.01.2020

Work again, unless I win the lottery over night.

Uni classes start on Tuesday. Which is very scary. I’m not used to being there. There’s kids there. By kids I mean 18-year-old students and they’re very scary and annoying. I don’t want to look like the geriatric student. Also, I’ll have to tell some professors that I’m a working student and that I won’t be able to attend class, only do the work via some sort of e-learning (reading all the materials, going to the tutoring sessions and handing in the essays), which some of them hate. Back me up, people.

 

Wednesday – 29.01.2020

Work, work, work, work, work, work. UK banking needs me. And one very angry customer needs help with “taking ya mum outta the tub”. That was one the best ever.

I’ll then have my appointment with a nutritionist at 5.30. I’m obviously nervous about this because I’ve actually met one who flat out discriminated me because I was fat. You’re a nutritionist, aren’t you supposed to make fat people feel like you have their back? I wish with all my heart that I was making this up. I left her office in tears. Well, this lady works at my psychiatrist’s office so I have a good feeling about the whole thing. We’ll see.

 

 Thursday – 30.01.2020

I’ll be working as usual. I could marry a rich guy but that would be illegal now.

I don’t think I have anything happening other than work so this would be a nice day to get home super early and like tidy something up like laundry and maybe the kitchen.

Oh, and we should go buy a present for our friend whose birthday is the next day.

 

Friday – 31.01.2020

You’ll be able to find me at work. For which you’d need to know where I work. Which I can’t tell you. All you need to know is that it is a banking related. UK. Angry customers mostly.

After work we have a birthday dinner for one of our dear friends, Sara. We actually got married in the same year, which is great because we got to share and experience so much together.

Saturday and Sunday –  Not planning yet.

Extras: We do cook at some point during the week, either of us. Usually for more than one meal and to take lunch to work. We also do laundry and put it away as we go, not as fast as we should/like to. Rui does usually clean the kitchen, though I’ve been trying it to do it more. The heavier cleaning happens during the weekend, but we do not clean the whole house top to bottom every weekend. I’d love to, but then I wouldn’t do anything else.

It’s 7.13 P.M and I want to start my bedtime routine soon so I will now publish this post, fix something very quick for dinner, make sure my purse is clean and tidy for the week, shower, mentally pick something to wear tomorrow and go to bed at about 9 p.m to read until I fall asleep.

What about you? What does you week look like?

What do you still have to get done tonight before you’re done preparing for your the new week ahead?

Have a lovely week!

Mrs. Martins (Chey)

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

My Resolutions for 2020 – Late as Usual (Part 1)

Hello fellow bloggers and lovely lurkers!

Today I come to you in the company of my chocolate milk and a very agitated dog, since the mailman has just paid us a visit and he’s a bad bad man, apparently.

I thought I might as well share my resolutions for 2020 because, in case they never happen, at least they’ve met the internet at some point, which makes them at least 10% real.

I should start by saying that I haven’t made any resolutions for the past couple of years for the obvious reason that there is no point in making them as I know myself too well by now. I’m not sure I should call these “resolutions” or simply a list of “shit I’ve been putting off for so long it’s becoming embarrassing”. Yup, that sounds more fitting. Honestly, I wish I could be the kind of person that could make it a goal to drink more water or eat better or whatever the cliche and keep it up forever but I’m just not. I have no discipline whatsoever when it comes to such goals. I think I’m getting better with age, but I’m not there yet. Also, I’m not that lousy when it comes to drinking water, actually. I manage to get 2-3 liters in the Summer (being a bit lazier on the weekends) and 1 to 1.5 liters in Winter. I could definitely eat better, though. (Anyone else thinking about spaghetti and meatballs right now?).

And that is why I do not make these “cliche goals” as long term. I prefer to focus on eating better tomorrow or eating more vegetables today. Then, if I fail, it doesn’t feel like I’m failing for the whole year. I hope this makes some sense. Anyway, I’m rambling.

There’s definitely 2 things that I hope will help with achieving my goals:

  1. A deadline.
  2. To start working on them ASAP.

And without further ado:

My 6 Resolutions for 2020: (Part 1)

 

1. Lose the weight

I’ve been carrying around this weight (literally) for too many years after being diagnosed and dealing with illness and SO much medication. Going from being more active and taking public transportation to sitting at a desk all day did not help either, if I’m being honest. But I’m tired of it, both physically and mentally. I’m tired of the fat jokes, and of loathing myself and what I see in the mirror. I don’t even like my wedding pictures that much, which is pretty sad. Also, I’d like to be pregnant some time in the next few years and I don’t want to add more weight to this body. I want to be the healthiest I can be for my future child. My actual goal is to lose 30 kg/60 pounds (you guys, I work with UK banking and almost wrote GBP and died laughing).

Deadline: December 2020, with a grace period of a couple of months because I want to do it in a healthy way.

Steps taken: Appointment with a nutritionist for January 29th.

 

2. Finish my Degree – History Minor. 

So I happen to have 3 credits/courses of my degree to finish, which happen to fall under my minor in History. I should have finished this in… what? 2015? Never mind. The thing is, I’ve never actually and practically needed it. I’ve worked for quite a few years in the field, I’ve taught, I’ve tutored HISTORY, I’ve prepared students for HISTORY exams and no one has ever questioned my abilities. Nevertheless, everyone who has ever known me, mostly my mother and husband, love to bust my balls about this. The funniest thing ever is that my baby sister has since started and finished uni. It’s not like I don’t care, it’s just.. I’m mostly over it. Would I have picked the same degree today at 28 years old, so many years later? No way. I know I want to go back to school at some point in my life and study something else. I’ve been back and forth with this for so long, having at some point having to quit because I was too sick. I’m ready for it to be over. And that is why I’m FINALLY going to finish it.

Deadline: June 2020 (End of school year)

Steps Taken: Applied back in November, got accepted, classes start on January 27th.

 

3. Get my Driver’s License

Oh my God, you guys! You have now idea the kind of bullying I’ve endured over the years because I do not have a license. My mother mentions it at every family dinner,  phone call, text message and my nightmares. My husband is always going on about how he’d love to be able to drink as much as he’d like to if I was able to drive him as I don’t drink at all (We DO NOT drink and drive and neither should you). My friends and my husband’s friends tease me equally. It comes up at every party, wedding and funeral. People assume they’d be able to take advantage of my driving just because I do not drink. The day I finally have my license will be a national holiday. In everyone’s defense and to my shame, most people in this country get their driver’s license by the time they’re 18 years old. Because I’m tired of being made fun of (for this anyway) this will finally be the year. I’ll help the drunks be drunks.

Deadline: June 2020 (6 months sounded like enough time)

Steps Taken: Enrolled in school and paid for the whole thing, lessons start in February.

Because I’m someone with soooo many goals *laughs maniacally*, stay tuned for part 2.

Love you to Spain and back.

Mrs. Martins.

** I don’t know why but this post took me 3 hours to write and edit. **

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

Our Wedding: How Far in Advance to Book your Church or Venue

Hello Everyone and I hope you’re well!

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time as this is a question I get asked quite often. How far in advance did we book our wedding?

The answer is 13 months and I’ll tell you how we got to that time frame.

I’ve always known I wanted to have at least a year to plan and organize our wedding. Some of our married friends had told us they’d managed to organize their whole wedding in 2-3 months but I knew that would not work for me and my anxiety. Also, I wanted to plan everything in detail and make it special day.

We got engaged on 23.03.2018 and decided we’d like to have the wedding a year from that date, as it is also our anniversary (23.03.2013). We had no doubts about the church we wanted as it holds special meaning for us (I’ll tell you all about it later) so we immediately looked into booking it. Being it a national monument, we realized it wasn’t going to be that easy. It happens that they have this rule where they only start booking weddings for the following year in September of the current year, meaning we’d have to wait until September to book our March wedding. That would give us a 6-month planning window but we really wanted the date and the church so we decided we would have to do it.

Fast forward to September, the day had finally arrived. They were taking bookings for 2019. We decided to go have breakfast and then go book our wedding. It was during said breakfast that we chickened out and decided 6 months might not be enough to plan a whole wedding for 100+ people. We ended up randomly deciding on a Fall wedding, in my favorite month, October. And that is how we ended up with 05.10.2019 and 13 months to comfortably plan our dream wedding.

Funny thing is, we pretty much ignored wedding planning until January which is when we decided that maybe we should start looking for a reception venue. Always the procrastinator. We did end up planning the whole thing in 8 months. We were actually very good in taking care of the bigger things as soon as possible and leaving only small details to be dealt with later. I distinctly remember answering many wedding planning related questions with “everything is mostly done, we only have a few small things left to do”. If I remember correctly, by the end of February we had church, reception venue, photographers, hairdresser, makeup artist and my dress picked out.

What no one told us and I want to make sure to share is how many little things are left to be done the week before. Granted, this could have been our fault. We left a few things to be done 3 days before the wedding because we both took those 3 days as vacation days and my maid of honor and his best man would be staying over to help us. We could have printed and cut out the menus a few weeks before, I’m sure.

Knowing myself, 6 months wouldn’t have been enough. My nerves would not handle it very well and it would be too rushed as the 6 months before the wedding absolutely flew by. Also, what if something went wrong? No, I definitely needed to have at least a year.

So yeah, if you’re planning a wedding, this is my advice. One whole year.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic.

Your opinion and experience are also welcome.

Much love,

Chey

 

My 8 Reading Resolutions for 2020

Dear friends,

First of all, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

I know I’m late but I hope 2020 is wonderful for you and that we’re all entering our best decade yet.

I feel that I’ve never blogged that much about books which is rather strange since I spend a good portion of my time reading.

My goal for 2019 was 100 books. That was probably too ambitious as I was planning a whole church wedding and reception for 100 guests. I managed to read 71 books and I’m very proud of my literary accomplishments, even though I would have liked to meet my goal.

My second goal was to get out of my comfort zone of classics and historical novels. I wanted to explore different genres, and so I did. I read contemporary novels, fantasy and fell in love with thrillers, something I didn’t care for at all. I learned that a book doesn’t have to be the greatest piece of literature ever made for me to enjoy it. A silly romance is okay, and I can allow my literature major Cheila to like it.

All in all, it’s been my best reading year in a very long time. I was a former avid reader who didn’t read that much anymore and now I’m back to my bookworm ways. It feels like home.

I definitely want to keep it up in 2020 so I’ve come up with a list of reading goals:

1. I want to read some non-fiction. I find it mostly boring, to be honest, even if I’m interested in the subject. I understand that there are some great non-fiction books out there and I’d like to read a couple.

2. I’d like to finally finish the Grapes of Wrath. It’s my third attempt and I’m not loving it this time either. I don’t usually finish a book I don’t like (I don’t mind reading a few chapters and deciding it is not for me) but I’d like to finish this one for some reason. I think this is an old quarrel with a university professor I hated.

3. I wish I could finally stop being too lazy to write book reviews. I love following my reading on Goodreads but I never write any reviews, even when the book is perfect. I’m not sure I’ll ever become the kind of reader who writes reviews but I might as well put it out there.

4. Write a monthly reading list on the blog. I mean, I used to envy those bloggers who actually do this, simply because I was not reading enough to post a list myself. But now I am, so there’s nothing stopping me from posting my own monthly list. Maybe I can share great books with you guys and get great recommendations as well.

5. Highlight my favorite passages or quotes. It often happens that I read something that leaves me thinking “wow, this is beautifully written” or “this is definitely true”. Do I think to highlight this? No. Because I’m LAZY. I mean, it’s a Kindle. All I have to do is press and drag.

6. Read 5 classics. I absolutely love classics. There was a time it was all I would read. Then I decided I needed to be more adventurous and now I read just about anything. However, I seem to have forgotten how much I love a good classic. Which is a shame as there is so many I want to read. Sure, I do look at my copy of War and Peace and feel like crying because it is thicker than the Bible but I would like to devour the story at some point. I’d also like to eventually finish Vanity Fair and The Portrait of a Lady. I’ve recently taken them off my bookshelf and placed them on a side table, hoping I’ll look at them more often and remember I want to read them.

7. Read 5 paper books. Okay, please don’t murder me. If you’re one of those people who think a kindle is something from the devil and that I should be punished for using one, I used to be just like you. For a very long time I was personally offended by people who used this horrible devices to substitute a book. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes all the way back every time I encountered one of these “readers”. Then, I personally met Kindle. And Kindle unlimited. And I read about 100 more books than I had in many years. Now I’m now longer a book snob and I’m fine with whatever, as long as people are reading. On the other hand, if you’re one of those “people” who don’t like to read, you should choke on your coffee. Joking. Maybe. Still, I still love real books above all and want to keep reading them. I’m aiming for 5 this year.

8. Read 100 books. This was my goal for 2019 but I ended up at 71. I do want to try for 100 again, now that I’m no longer planning a wedding. I want to be able to say “I read 100 books this year”. It sounds like the perfect number. Besides, reading makes me very happy. Is there a better reason?

Do you have any reading goals for 2020? How many books did you manage in 2019?

Do share!

Love,

Chey