Archives For December 2012

The Yearend Review

December 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

Another year has flown the coop.  As I sit here reading my posts from 2012 (and how few there are!) I am amazed at how far I’ve actually come in a year.

This year, instead of the resolutions I despise so much, I decided on a year-end review.  I get performance reviews at work, so, why shouldn’t someone give me one in life as well?  (Even if it is my own — you are your own worst critique after all?)  To give myself a proper review, I need a scale of sorts; to which I’ve settled on reviewing myself on my 2012 resolutions.  I’ll use a 1-5 scale, with 1 being a complete success and 5 being an epic failure.

The Year-end Review:

2012 Resolution 1: Healthier Habits Rating: 1.5 Healthier habits is a complete lifestyle overhaul, that will most certainly take longer than a year to fully achieve successful status.  However, in the last year, I began eating more natural and whole food, including more fresh vegetables and kale smoothies; I also cut out much of the processed foods by shopping only the perimeter at the grocery store, making my own salad dressing, coffee creamer, and even bread.  I believe this is going to be a continued resolution into 2013.

2012 Resolution 2: Half Marathon Rating: 1 I might have set myself up for success here long before I actually set my 2012 resolutions as I knew 2012 would be the year of the half marathon — I signed up to both train and run the thing before 2012.  That said, I logged over 200 miles training, met some really awesome running buddies, and had the time of my life running the race.  Sure, it was a very warm April day, I ended up with a migraine from dehydration, and every muscle in my body ached the next day, but it was worth every minute of the 2 hours and 43 minutes it took me to cross that finish line.  I still have a sense of accomplishment, and we’re 8 months out!

2012 Resolution 3: Stress Rating: 3 I suppose this rating shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.  Stress is a very difficult thing to actually control, especially in the profession I chose.  Training for the half marathon really helped me control the stress during spring.  However, as the fall approached and work got crazy again, I stopped working out.  It may have actually been a good lesson to learn, in hindsight.  I realized only then how much of an impact working out had on helping me to control the stress.  I certainly took that lesson to heart and will be applying it to the 2013 year as well.

Overall Average Score: 1.83

It could always be worse! Turns out, I actually made resolutions I could mostly keep for 2012.  Here’s to everything that 2013 has in store.   That said, maybe we should all focus more on lifestyle changes rather than resolutions for 2013.  How will you make a difference in 2013?

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The Nightly Routine

December 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

I was inspired recently while talking to very dear friend.  Her question: Is a nightly face routine worth the trouble?  The quick and dirty answer: YES.  The why?  Let’s just name one shall we? You exist.

On any given day, I’m guessing you wake up, get ready to face the day (which likely includes a routine, right?), you walk outside and get to work, you battle the day, and after you work you do any number of things, which ultimately land you back at home to end the day.  You are exposed to any given number of elements during the day.  Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to rid themselves of all those elements and wash ever moment of the day away?

Your nightly routine doesn’t have to be cumbersome.  Start with a decent face wash, follow with a toner, and finish with a moisturizer. You are done in ten minutes, tops.  I am dedicated to my nightly routine.  I would need to be on my deathbed before I didn’t rid my skin of the day.  Here’s the quick and dirty of my nightly routine that keeps my face feeling fresh, youthful, and alive day after day:

Routine: Step 1: Wash face with Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser (because I’m still a young ‘en that is prone to oil) used in conjunction with my favorite product ever, my Clarisonic Mia.

Step 2: Make sure all the day’s residue is removed using a mild exfoliator (dedicated to my skin type): Clinique Clarifying Toner

Step 3: Sometimes I use a serum first, but I always finish with a moisturizer.  For the past month or so, I’ve been using Olay Regenerist (because it’s never too soon to battle aging!)

November came, and quickly went.  The month was filled with nonstop go, go go — and yet, only a minute portion of that go, go, go materialized into my first 30-day challenge.  Month 1: EPIC FAIL.  I made an attempt at the half way mark to write about it, but I thought I could redeem myself and not have to discuss my failures.  Turns out, I was far from right.  As the second half of the month passed me by, I actually managed less heart-pumping activities than the first half of the month.  I’ve been sitting here thinking about this post for days. I could list all the reasons why I failed, but, at the end of the day, I still failed.

With that said, I’d rather talk about December’s 30-Day Challenge.  Why harp on the past when I have a whole new 30 days ahead of me?   I spent the better half of November thinking about this challenge.  I realized I may have presented myself with too big of a challenge for November and I’d rather not end the 2012 year on a bad note! Therefore, I’ve embarked on a smaller, albeit still challenging, saga for December.

For those of you who have worked with me, or have been around me for any extended period of time, know that I thoroughly enjoy my coffee.  Well, to be fair, I enjoy a good mix of coffee and creamer.  I wouldn’t have even considered this a challenge, but I don’t enjoy plain creamer, nor do I enjoy milk, in my coffee.  I generally buy the flavored kind to avoid having to add sugar or a sugar substitute (big time no no in my book!).

Have you looked at your creamer label recently. GROSS. This could just be me becoming more and more conscious of what I’m consuming and becoming an avid label reader, but, I can’t pronounce (at least not properly) at least 3 of the 7+ ingredients in the creamer I typically buy.  I’m not going to go so far as to tell you what I buy, because I’m not going to harp on the product — I’m brand loyal/partial.  Let’s just say it’s safe to say the SECOND ingredient is sugar, that little thing I was trying to not add to my coffee.  Contradiction?  Oh yeah.

Now, I’m not just going to quit my creamer cold turkey.  Why?  What’s that cheesy little saying? Oh yes — It takes only 3 days to form a habit, but it takes 21 days to break a habit.  Yikes.  My challenge is going to be to completely quit my coffee creamer by the end of this 30 day challenge.  Coincidentally, this challenge is two fold: 1) A healthier December with less calories for breakfast; 2)January begins yet another tax season, in which my coffee consumption generally quadruples for a 3.5 month period of time.  (Hmmm, I feel as if this could be a potential February or March challenge?)

Everyone wish me luck and let’s all hope for a better December!