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

 

Things I Don’t Buy or Spend Money On – Part I

Good morning everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well and ready for Easter, if you celebrate it. If not, I hope you’re ready for the weekend, after all, it’s Friday eve.

I’ve been seeing this topic a lot, both on blogs and YouTube channels and I thought I’d write about myself. I thought long and hard about the things I don’t spend money on (for different reasons) and I think I came up with a decent list.

Paper Towels

They’re too convenient, meaning I’d use them too much. They’re extremely wasteful and so I stopped buying them years ago because I’d never use something like a kitchen towel or cloth because the paper towels were right there and I could just toss them after using them.

Bottled Water

We drink tap water. I only buy bottled water if I’m out and about and forgot to bring water with me, which is stupid and wasteful. We do buy bottled water when we have guests because my mom and sister don’t like tap water. We also buy sparkling water because I drink it every day and you can’t get that from the tap, unfortunately.

Books

I own a few books, I’d say about 50, which isn’t much at all. I used to buy books all the time when I was younger but I don’t anymore. I’d love to have a huge library and I might someday but for now, I try not to spend money on something I can borrow from the library. Also, books take space and need to be dusted and I’m trying to keep less stuff. I used to be one of those “e-books are a crime” people but not anymore. I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription for which I pay about 10 dollars a month and I do use it a lot. I’ve read 42 books in less than 5 months, meaning about 9 books a month which makes those 10 bucks worth it for me.

TV Subscriptions/Movies/TV Shows

We don’t pay for Netflix or Hulu or HBO or whatever is out there these days. We download stuff illegally, like we’ve been doing for the past 10/12 years. We know it’s not the most ethical thing to do but we would end up doing it anyway. Those subscriptions are extremely limited and you may not find anything you like or the one show you want to watch and which you proceed to download anyway. Don’t call the cops on us, please. We do have cable, which is quite cheap in our country and we only have it because your internet is cheaper if you have cable and because Rui does watch TV.

 Music*

We don’t buy CD’s or anything on iTunes or any music at all. *Instead, we have a Spotify family subscription.

Pre cut fruit or veggies

No way. Not even a bag of chopped lettuce or salad mix.

Gym Clothes

Rui does because he runs and so he needs a few specific things. As for me, on the rare occasions I move my ass, I wear old leggings and an old T-shirt. I only buy gym bras and swimming gear.

Magazines

I used to by a Cosmopolitan every month but I haven’t for years. We don’t buy newspapers either. I get a few free magazines with my Kindle Unlimited subscription and we can always read news online. I do feel guilty because I don’t support paper publications but it’s either that or the environment. And my wallet, let’s not be hypocrites.

What about you? Would you care to share your list?

Even better if you write your own post and link it back here.

I’m sure we can learn a lot from each other so…

What don’t you buy or spend money on?

 Love, Chey

If We Were Having Coffee – Part I

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If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I wear glasses now. Not always, but I need them to watch TV, go to the movies, drive (I don’t drive but if I did), etc. I’m short sighted and it’s not that bad but the glasses make a huge difference. First couple of times I wore them I keep taking them off and putting them on to see the difference. Literally. I think I began to see there was an issue, again literally, about 6 months ago. I could have been before that. I was at the movies and kept asking Rui if the screen was blurry or unfocused. It looked fine to him. Then it started to get worse while watching a movie or a TV show at home. Everything was blurry, even faces. And God help me if any letters or signs came on the screen. Then I was at work and it was hard to focus someone’s face at a distance. I could see them but their face was a blur. Same for street signs. I could go on. A couple of weeks ago I finally got tested and they confirmed I needed glasses. What a HUGE difference it makes. Do I think I look good wearing glasses? I mean, I don’t know yet. It’s weird. They keep getting dirty and I’m kind of obsessed with them being spotless. Rui thinks I’m crazy and that I’m going to end up scratching them from cleaning them too much.

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Yes, I’m wearing pajamas. Don’t judge

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I quit sugar. I won’t eat anything with added sugar or add sugar to my coffee or tea. I do eat sweeteners because I’m not that good. I have a major sweet tooth. I’ve had a slip up or two but one of them was accidental. I had no idea my stevia had added sugar. WTF? It’s very hard to be sugar free, honestly. Not in the sense that I’m constantly craving it because it has been easier than I thought but it’s definitely harder to find food you can eat. Your options get pretty limited. EVERYTHING has sugar. Why does BREAD need sugar? We are lucky that our bread, Portuguese bread, is not that sweet so we can find a few varieties with no sugar added but in general, most bread contains sugar. I’ve been getting creative and trying to come up with sweets and desserts with no sugar, using vanilla extract, applesauce, ripe bananas, coconut milk and cinnamon to add flavor. Sometimes I do use some sweetener as a substitute for sugar because again, most recipes ask for sugar. I’ve actually been trying to cook a lot more lately. Would you like a list of recipes? Some of them I find online and adapt, others I kind of make up myself. I’ve discovered this very easy 2 ingredient pizza dough: Flour and plain Greek yogurt. The pizza (I made the sauce too) turned out pretty yummy.

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If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I began having my eyebrows threaded and I’m never going back! It’s the perfect method for me. It’s relatively painless (definitely less painful than wax or tweezers), natural and they look so perfect and well defined. The lady I go to is awesome! She has being doing this for 10 years and she only charges 8€. I had never tried it before because I thought it would be too expensive but I’m so glad I did.

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Awkward photo so I can show you my eyebrows…

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you I’ve been getting gel nails and it’s great. I bite my nails to the bone and they look so miserable all the time. Even when I paint them they still end up in my mouth. It’s a horrible habit and this seems to be the perfect solution for me. They last 3-4 weeks, they’re not terribly expensive and my hands look so much better. I instantly feel like a lady and more put together. I feel way more confident if my nails are done. It’s the third time I’ve got them done and they look more natural each time because my nails can grow freely since I’m not munching on them.

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First time – I may or may not be sitting on the toilet here.
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Second time – Looks kind of black but it is dark blue
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Now – That’s my driver’s hand. I’m marrying him.
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Now – The red is slightly sparkly but my shitty iPhone SE didn’t pick that up

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that we got our wedding bands last week. I absolutely love them!! I can’t wait to marry the love of my life so we can wear them together, even tough Rui has this phobia of getting a ring stuck on his finger and having to get his whole arm amputated. Or both arms. I’m serious, the guy can’t even try on a ring without asking “what if it doesn’t come off????” Now he’s gonna kill me because I’m sharing too much. Or maybe he won’t because if he tries I’ll put a very tight ring on each one of his fingers and watch him cry and call emergency services. Phobias are weird, aren’t they? I’m always afraid I’m gonna fall in the shower and die. I’m not 80 years old, but still. Don’t like to shower when I’m home alone.

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I won’t show you our wedding rings yet so here, take a photo of our pupper begging for the hamburgers I was making for dinner.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that between November 27th and today, I’ve read 41 books. I’m currently reading book 42 and 43 (yes, at the same time). I’m so in love with reading right now. My goal for 2019 is 100 books and I’ve only read 24 so far. Better hurry. Do you follow me on Goodreads? https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25856029-cheila-cruz 

A few favorites from the past couple of weeks:

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My Sister's Intended SMALL

MagnoliaInn

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If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you about the movies I’ve watched lately and ask if  you’d seen any of them. If you’d like to check how I rated them you can follow me on Letterboxd: Chey23

Finally,

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask you to tell me all about you. What’s happening, what you’ve been doing, how’s life, what’s making you happy or sad. I’d ask all the things. I’d love it if you’d share what you’ve been up to in the comments.

This post is now longer than I intended. Anyways, if you do get to finish it, thank you for coming by and putting up with my randomness.

Love,

Chey

***All book and movie covers were stolen from google images***

***Spelling mistakes may be present because I don’t have glasses for my brain***

 

The longest Time

It has been 84 years…

Joking, but almost.

My last blog post was almost 4 months ago, which is insane.

I’ve even made my blog private for a while for reasons I won’t go over now but it’s back to being public.

I miss blogging and I miss you all.

This is just a general checking in post to let you know that I’m alive and well and that I miss you all.

I’ve changed jobs again, but it’s all good. I work for a startup now.

Our wedding is in 7 months away (October 5) and pretty much planned. I even have a dress.

I deleted all my social media 4 months ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

On Deleting Social Media

I’ve read about 30 books in the meantime, which is more than I read in the past 2 years combined. Some of my favorites include:

Paper Wife

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The Little Orphan Girl

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The Lost Letter

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All She Left Behind

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My Heart Remembers

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Yellow Crocus

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Mustard Seed

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Say Goodbye for Now

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Waiting for Summer’s Return

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The Widow of Larkspur Inn

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The Wedding Dress

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Some of them have been really cheesy regency novels. Would you like a full list and reviews? That could be fun.

And that is it for my little update.

Hope to talk to you all soon.

Love, Chey.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s World Book Day! So, tell me about your favorite books and a story about you and a book.

Book suggestions wanted!!

Bonus points if you tell me how this book makes you feel and a story about you and a book.

Mine:

– I remember I was reading Emma by Jane Austen when I met Rui. We’d text back and forth so those pages were filled with excitement and texting breaks.

– When we started dating, I was reading The Catcher in The Rye and I remember sitting at the cafe, half paying attention to it, because I was so nervous, waiting for him to meet me.

Your turn!

xx

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: On a Tuesday – 13.01.2018 “I thought it was Wednesday edition”

It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these posts, gosh! And I really like them as updates. I love writing them and reading them. You know one of my THINGS is to know what EVERYONE is up to. I’m going to be one of those old ladies who spends her days at the window checking on her neighbors. Or better yet, the 21st century version, the Facebook grandma who stalks her grand kids on social media.

job-interview

I bet they didn’t even consider this might happen when they created Facebook but this is the absolutely 100% most perfect way to use the network.


Please remember that this post was created by Shay Shull and that I first saw it on Hannah’s blog. A few other friends do it too: AngelaLee and Cherylene. If you do it too or if you want to do it, let us know, so we can check your post. Also, don’t forget to mention the creator, I have done that mistake.

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What we’re eating this week:

We went grocery shopping yesterday, as we needed a few things. We decided to go to Aldi because we hadn’t been there in a long time.

I needed (still need) my milk (rice and coconut) which I cannot find there and anywhere else but only one specific supermarket, which has just started selling it in their own store brand.

The other stores do have coconut milk but it is not store brand so it’s way more expensive.

We are actually very lucky to have many different stores about 10/15 minutes away or even less, which is great for variety and convenience.

We just love Aldi because it’s cheap and it carries so many “different” things you cannot find anywhere else. Their vegetable and fruit section is not even half decent or cheap but we buy our produce elsewhere. I digress.

I’ve just had a snack which consisted of some tangerines (my mother in law sent us so many tangerines and oranges, among other things, such as organic extra virgin olive oil, made by them, meat, onions, potatoes… I just love them. Not because they send us things, obviously. Because they are so kind and generous, hardworking people. And because they’re my family. I don’t feel like they’re Rui’s family), one of my favorite breakfast cookies “Belvita Soft Bake Golden Grain”, some coffee with regular skimmed milk (we ended up not going to the other store) and my sparkling water with lemon and currant syrup.

Yes, I did match my coffee cup with my tangerines. The coffee capsule was a coincidence.

 

 

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The “Red Berries” are my absolute favorite. We only buy these cookies when they’re on sale because they can be quite expensive foe breakfast cookies, especially when we can find perfectly good options for half the price. I’ve never tried or seen the “Chocolate Chip” variety but I’m curiosity to try them. I hope they’re not too sweet.

We NEVER buy or have EVER bought pre-made spaghetti, chicken or meat sauces. We buy condiments, sure, but no sauces. We make them from scratch. Rui actually makes them with the huge amount of tomatoes he gets from our vegetable garden and we store them using glass jars we save during the rest of the year from beans, olives, peas, etc.

Yesterday, we spotted these sauces at Aldi and we decided we might give them a try. Not them we are going to start eating spaghetti sauce from a jar because it makes no sense for us, but it’s something we could keep around for those moments when you have no time to cook. So we bought these:

The first one is really going to be an experience on my part. I don’t really like very exotic food and I never eat Indian or Vietnamese or Thai. It has too much flavor for me. I know it sounds weird but I like my food to be a bit plain. Rui is making some chicken and rice right now and is going to use the sauce for the chicken. The label mentions some coconut, which I quite like. It also says it might be a bit spicy which I don’t enjoy or tolerate lol I’ll definitely keep you posted on Instagram and here tomorrow. I’ll film my reaction, it’ll be fun.

The second one is just a simple spaghetti sauce. There was a spicy option (no thank you) and a third one with herbs. I have herbs, come on. How lazy can you be. So we went for the simpler one. We’ll probably have it tomorrow or one of these days.

So, yeah. I guess this is what we’re eating. I’ve just written 783 words about food.


What I’m reminiscing about:

When I was a super blogger and everyone would come to my blog, read, comment and hang out with me. I have let myself go and now I don’t feel like I’m in the loop at all. I used to have 600 views a day, people. I got lazy. People forgot about me.

I had almost 14.000 views last May. I’ll be lucky if I get to 2.000 this month lol


What I’m loving:

  • Going to the pool for my water fitness classes and swimming.
  • Freelance work for extra income.
  • A pregnant friend
  • Blogging again.
  • Podcasts.
  • The fact that I feel better. I feel more confident, fearless and strong.
  • Purging and de-cluttering our home.
  • Planning for fun and exciting things ahead.
  • Rosa learning to give you her paw.
  • Possibly, God allowing and helping, finally making peace with a friend I’ve been estranged for about 6 months. We’ve been really hurt, mad and stupid and I hope we can make amends.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Definitely de-cluttering and downsizing and organizing a bit. I’m no minimalist and I’ll never be but I’m thankfully no hoarder either so I’m getting rid of lots of stuff. “Oh, but I’ll wear this when I lose the weight” – “No, bitch, you won’t. Get rid of it. If and when you lose the weight you’ll figure something out. Somebody else might need it”
  • Getting extra work.
  • Trying to get healthy. I have some major relapses. Pizza crises.
  • Getting shit together in general.

What I’m dreading:

My students. Teenager hormones in Spring.


What I’m working on:

The usual.

  • Work.
  • A big freelance project.
  • The house.
  • Myself.
  • Life.

What I’m excited about:

  • Spring, I guess.
  • Friend’s pregnancy.
  • Blogging.
  • Working on the gardens for Spring.

What I’m watching/reading:

Watching: – Shows

This is Us – Season 2

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The Good Doctor – Season 1

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Divorce – Season 2

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Call The Midwife – Season 7

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Reign (Need to get back to season 1)

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The Alienist (we just started and love it – It’s a new show)

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The Walking Dead (Need to get back to season 7. Or give it up for good)

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The Crown (Need to get at season 2)

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Big Little Lies (I’ve only watched the pilot and I really want to watch it)

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Watching: – Films

Trying to watch all of the Oscar nominees. So far I’ve managed to watch:

Dunkirk (Not as good as I was expecting)

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Get Out (Great one, one of the best movies of the year)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (Oscar is theirs, for sure)

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I must say something about this film. I’ve mention many times before that I listen and read about true crime and missing persons a lot. In most cases, law enforcement is less than useful, to say the least. This movie shows how desperate families are when they have no idea what happened to their missing or murdered loved ones. Sometimes you need to do crazy things and go all out to make people listen and act on it. Such a perfect example of getting no answers when you need them so you can move on with your life.

We’ve watched this weird-ass film last night and I thought it was pretty stupid. Rui kind of like it but I wasn’t convinced at all. Do you know it? Have you watched it? Any thoughts about it? It’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

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Some people seem to have enjoyed it a lot, but I was left with the “What the fuck did I just watch” feeling? It’s confusing and uncomfortable and I don’t know guys.


Reading: 

I have a bunch of things I either want to read or have yet to finish so my reading is all over the place. I’m currently reading:

Before I Knew by Jamie Beck (20%)

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All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale (16%)

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #3)

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What I’m listening to:

Podcasts

The Vanished Podcast

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Stuff to Blow your Mind

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Stuff You Should Know

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Casefile True Crime

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Thinking Sideways

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Music:

I was 14 in 2005 so give me a break, please.


What I’m wearing:

It’s cold so very warm clothes. Booties (rotate between 2 pairs, 2 black, 1 beige, heeled), pants, black and black and beige patterns, black jeans, dark blue jeans, black leggings, warm turtleneck sweaters, cotton sweaters, blouses or shirts with cardigans, long sweaters or tunics, winter coats, scarfs and beanies.


What else is new:

Nothing that I can remember right now.


 

If you were able to get to this point, congratulations and thank you!!

*The pictures that were not taken by myself belong to google images*

Desenho sem título (4)

A bunch of Random: Plans for the weekend, Guest Room, Ikea, Oscars, Amazon, Reading, working out

Happy Friday Everyone!!

I just love Fridays. Same reasons as everyone else, obviously.

For many years, I worked weekends, for Fridays were just regular days for me. It’s different now. I can go to bed late on Friday night because I know I can sleep in on Saturday and on Sunday. We get two whole days just for ourselves, family and friends. I also love to think of the weekend as a “reset button”. You forget about the weekend, get your things together, organized, take care of the house and prepare for the week ahead. It’s kind of exciting, isn’t it? LOL Can you tell I love weekends?

Anyway, I have a few things I want to talk about today, I guess I should follow the order of the tittle? Maybe it’s less confusing for you guys.

  1. Plans for the weekend:

Things I must not forget:

  • To drink my 1.5 to 2 l of water;
  • To eat my fruits and veggies;
  • To take my pills on time;
  • To make sure I take at least 10.000 steps. (I only aim for 5.000 on the days when I work out)
  • Remember to insert all of this information in my health app (including meals), which is the best thing I’ve been using ever. Lifesum
  • Go and get my eyebrows done (for crying out loud)
  • Cut my hair, my ends are very dry and thin.
  • Shaving. I’m in a public pool several times a week, they don’t need to endure hairy legs, armpits and lady bits. (I rhymed)

Self-care things I would like to do:

  • A green clay mask, as I haven’t done one in God knows how long.
  • Take 2 big nature walks with the mister and the little four-legged lady. (Probably not gonna happen, being honest here)
  • Do my favorite yoga routine before bed, I’ve been waking up about 3 times each night.
  • Do some kind of foot scrub.
  • Apply some clear nail polish on my nails so I won’t bite them.

Things we actually need to do:

  • Finish tidying up the house. We have moved the furniture we intended to, which means Rui’s desk is in the living room and I have an office space in our bedroom. Our former office is now a “closet” (Our wardrobe, shoes, bags, coats are in there) and a guest bedroom. When you make such drastic changes, objects need to be moved as well, so there are lots of clothes and random objects that need to be put away.
  • Laundry. Besides our regular laundry, we have a few blankets, pillows and clothes for my pregnant friend that need to be washed, as well as a few sheets. We also have a ton to put away.
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Do some general cleaning around the house. (I’ll tell you what we got done when I do my update on Sunday)
  • I need to move some of my plants inside because they don’t seem to like the cold and rain.
  • Rosa NEEDS to go to the vet.
  • We need to cook and prep for the week ahead.
  • I want to read some blogs.
  • I want to get my planner ready for the week (would you like to take a peek at my planner?)

  • 2. Guest Room/IKEA

  • So I’ve told you we decided we definitely needed to turn our office into a guest room, with an actual bed. Every time we had guests they had to sleep on the sofa or air mattress on the living room floor. I have nothing again the sofa or air mattress, except that the living room is the center of the house. If we need to go to the bathroom or kitchen we need to go through the living room. Our bedroom door leads directly to the living room, which means there’s no privacy.

We have this guest bed which is not so good but it’ll have to do for now:

It’s as shitty as it looks and too small for any sheets to properly fit. We’ll obviously keep it as an extra, as well as the air mattress, but I’m thinking we should get this one, which turns into a double bed if needed:

It’s pretty cheap too, only 169€. What do you think?


3. Oscars

So I had this crazy idea that we could all watch the Oscars together. What? I know. But hear me out: I would write a post named: Oscars 2018 and we’d all be watching the Oscars at the same time and commenting on said post, like we’re actually talking while watching it. So who’s with me? We can have a long distance, blogging, Oscar-viewing party!!


4. Amazon/Reading

This morning I heard on the radio that Amazon might finally come to Portugal. I was immediately excited and praying for it to happen. Every time I want to order something from Amazon, well, I can’t. For every 100 products, only about 1 ships to Portugal and the shipping cost is never lower than 20€. It’s really bad. Imagine having the option of Amazon Prime… Gosh, I need it.

I’ve been looking into getting a used kindle reader. You cannot really find kindles to buy here and when you do, they’re really expensive, so I’m looking for a used one. I might save about 100€ if I buy a used one.

I have been reading lots using kindle on my iPhone and Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. My free-trial ended and I was pretty sad but then Rui surprised me by saying he wouldn’t mind if we paid the monthly subscription, so I’ll have it forever, woo-ooh.


Finally, I want to tell you I hadn’t worked out as much as I did this week in years!! I took two 2.3 km walks and I went to water aerobics twice and swimming class once! Just need to brag about it.

That’s it everyone!!

What are you plans for the weekend??

Love you all.

xx

Happy Birthday to me – 26 goals for year 26 + One year challenge

Good day to you people!!

I hope everyone is having a good, stress-free, easy Monday.

As you might have noticed from the tittle, it’s my birthday.

26 years ago today (close to 5 p.m), mom was probably in a lot of pain, poor thing. Thanks mama, for pushing me out, I know it must have been hard for you, despite the fact that it was probably the only time I was ever thin.

I used to love my birthday, but I’m NOT feeling it at all this year. For several reasons:

  • I’m no longer in my early twenties;
  • I’m close to 30, my scary age;
  • I’m NOWHERE NEAR where I thought I would be by now, if you had asked me 10 years ago.
  • I had the shittiest year, 25 being extremely hard. Is it going to be over now?
  • I’m still going through some of the consequences of my mental health issues, meaning I’m still a fat ass and I hate my body and can’t stand looking at myself;
  • I have some small family issues, nothing to big, thankfully;
  • I have lost one of my best, childhood friends, probably forever.

I told Rui that the only thing I wanted to do today was try a pumpkin spice latte and go thrift shopping. I need some cardigans. I have decided to just go to Primark to get them because it’s closer and near Starbucks.

I’m going to my mom’s house for dinner. Not feeling it at all, but I need to do it for them.

Rui always takes my birthday off and so we have enjoyed a lazy morning, talking about my birthday blues and eating my favorite cereal (me).

I still have to work from 5 p.m to 7 p.m, which I don’t mind at all. I like being with the kids, even if they drive me crazy most days.

Because 25 was so bad, I’m kind of determined to TRY and make 26 way better. I came up with a few goals and also a few challenges.

26 goals for year 26:

  1. Finally get my f*cking driver’s license;
  2. Finally get braces and endure all of the suffering. At least high school has been over for many years so there’s no one to make fun of me;
  3. Lose the damn weight;
  4. Travel somewhere; Anywhere. Just see some new place, outside the country;
  5. Get into that second degree I want to take so bad; (shhh, you all know what I’m talking about but I won’t say anything so I don’t jinx it. I’ll be doing my best to accomplish this goal which is more than just a goal, but one of the things I NEED to do with my life.
  6. Write an e-book. (I have, but as a ghostwriter); 
  7. Double my number of followers on this blog;
  8. Go back to being a red; I just love it so much.
  9. Share some exciting news in May; Can’t talk about it yet, sorry.
  10. Learn Spanish so I can help the kids; 
  11. Join the church choir. So, this might be happening already, I just haven’t said anything. I’m not particularly religious, as you already know. I have faith and I pray and I love to read your posts about faith and God’s word. But I don’t consider myself fully catholic and I don’t go to church. But I feel the need to sing. I haven’t in a long time and my spirit longs for it. So I looked into different options and the easiest and friendliest was the church choir. I have talked to one of the ladies and she lives near me so she even offered a ride. I’m going next Monday and try it out.
  12. I had this idea or this calling after all of the things that happened in Portugal for the past few months. I would like… and bear with me… to train to be a volunteer  firefighter. Putting out fires is not all they do. They are the first at car accidents, 911 calls, they ride ambulances, help in all kinds of situations and are the first ones to be there for people when they need it the most. I thought it sounded stupid and impossible because I’m so far from being fit and I have no physical strength or resistance. I have talked to a girl I know who is a firefighter and she told me that’s not an issue at all. She said the physical test are minimal and that I could always get better and lose the weight before or while I’m taking the preparation course (250 hours, I think) because it would be long before I had to actually do something. I talked to my local fire department and they said I should go there and speak to them in person. I don’t know. Rui and I are talking and trying to figure out  what this would mean to us and how and if we could make it work. I don’t know if I dream too much of if I’m just someone who really wants to make a difference.
  13. Learning how to sew;
  14. Keep collecting plants and turn our patio into a beautiful garden;
  15. Double my income;
  16. Do my best to get organized; For the past few year, maybe more, I’ve had this problem where I can’t seem to get my shit together. If I’m working and being successful there, my house is a mess and the dog needs a bath. If I’m off, I should be cleaning the house but I seem to always feel tired and lazy so nothing gets done anyway. Laundry is an issue too. I’m always behind on errands. People keep telling me I don’t call or answer their calls. I just need to find a way to balance things better.
  17. Really help someone;
  18. Learn how to dance;
  19. Volunteer at some charity or event;
  20. Finally decorate this house;
  21. Go off my medication completely. 
  22. Meet some new people and make new friends. Be open to people and to the world in general;
  23. Be in more pictures;
  24. Just go to places and get out more;
  25. Try new things;
  26. Challenge myself;

Year 26 Challenge:

  • 1.5 L of water every single day for a year;
  • Exercise every single day for a year; (even just 15 minutes of yoga)
  • No McDonald’s or soda for a year; (here’s looking at you, coke)
  • 1 book a week for a year;
  • 1 post a day for a year;
  • 1 selfie a day for a year;
  • Mandatory full skin care for a year; (Never go to bed without washing my face, never leave the house without sunscreen, never forget to moisturize after showering, remember to clean and moisturize my face on the weekends)
  • Write 1 nice thought about myself every day for a year;

I guess I’m ready to take on this year. I just need to accept being 26 and try to make the best of it. I don’t to let another year go by and feel like I haven’t tried hard enough or that I haven’t accomplished anything. It’s the worst feeling.

Does anyone want to join me in one of the above challenges? We can be sodaholics anonymous together!!

Thank you for being here, friends.

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