Thursday, October 29, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 8 (final!)

Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady
Phrase A Day mini-journal from Young Yankee Lady

Well there we have it: Phrase A Day is complete. I've done one-line journals before, and I was actually surprised that I didn't connect to my lines as much as I have before. Maybe the one-line format just isn't for me right now.

Whether or not I pick this up again, I'm glad I tried it. Often, we can find ourselves in ruts, just grinding through work and what we have to do. Even creative work can get habitual if we stick to what we know rather than taking the time to explore. I've been trying to be more intentional about trying new things, thinking outside the box, and evaluating everything that I do. So I'm glad I tried a new format, if only for the sake of doing something different.

How to make a Phrase A Day mini journal from Young Yankee Lady.

How to make your own Phrase A Day mini-journal.

Happy Thursday! xoxo

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

No-Bake Cookies

This is the first year I have ever liked Wednesdays. My entire life, Wednesdays have always been a meh day. The only reason I look forward to them now is that they happen to be a day off from work, and I skate in the afternoon, which means a whole morning off.

Growing up, we always went to Bible Study on Wednesday nights. For the most part, we still do. But it was never church itself that bugged me on Wednesdays (except for the part about having to get up and leave at 6...). Honestly, Wednesdays bugged me because they were boring. I was tired from the week, but with no real hope of the week being over. I usually had in-person classes the next day, which meant homework cramming. Wednesdays were never something to look forward to.

Until, that is, my mum and I fell into the habit of making No-Bake cookies every Wednesday night after church. We'd get home at the 'late' hour of 8:45, break out the saucepan, and start melting the ingredients together as the TV got turned on in the next room. We'd bend over the pan with our spoons, laughing and making stupid jokes while tasting the 'hot chocolate stage'.

Next, we would add the peanut butter and oatmeal. Tempers would momentarily flair as we argued over the correct amount of peanut butter (Mum adds too little, I add too much, apparently). After the No-Bakes were done, we'd spoon the hot chocolate-oatmeal thing into mugs and eat with a spoon. No need to be unoriginal and wait for them to cool.

To most people, food has a lot of meaning. We might love the taste or the texture, but often, our favorite foods also have stories tied to them. Stories of love, connection, and little moments amidst big things.

Making No-Bakes on Wednesdays was something Mum and I always looked forward to. It was our time to catch up. Re-hash whatever happened at church that night. Make plans for the next day. Poke good natured fun at other people and each other. Snorting and making stupid jokes over the hot sauce pan opened so many doors to us being so close now.

I never looked forward to Wednesdays. But somehow, Wednesdays nights always seemed just right.

No-Bake Cookies

1.) In a saucepan, heat one stick of butter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continuously stir until all the butter is melted. This is the hot chocolate stage. ;)

2.) Turn off heat. Spoon in approximately 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter, and 3 cups of oatmeal. Turn heat back on and stir until combined.

3.) Remove from heat, and serve hot in your favorite mug with a spoon. Extra is spooned onto tin foil to firm up into 'real' cookies.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Goals: Check Ins, Recaps, Updates!

On August 16, I wrote a post that detailed my goals for the 'new' year. Now, almost exactly two months later, I'm looking back, drawing some conclusions, and pulling myself together for another stretch.

There's a lot of things I didn't do. Some I half did. And others I completely checked off. As always, there are things I want to change, and things I'm super happy with. But progress is the point, and I'm really happy to say that there's been lots of that!

The last list was broken up into sections, so I did the same here. In each section, I have the status of the goals from my last list, followed by my new goals.


From last time:

1.) Testing Junior Moves in the Field. Done! And passed!

2.) Land a double salchow and a double loop. Not yet. It's kind of frustrating, actually. But they are getting closer.

3.) Take jump lessons. Yes! I'm really proud of this. In August, this seemed like such a big step. But I've since gotten it all set up and worked out, and I'm now taking jump lessons from another coach every Wednesday. She actually used to coach my main coach, so it's all connected! Definitely a good decision.

4.) TOI Boston tryouts. I went to both days of tryouts, and am skating with the senior team, Act 1! So happy to start learning choreography and really get the season underway. :)

5.) Daily yoga practice. Still struggling to get into the habit of this, but it's better than it was. I really do enjoy yoga, and notice a huge difference when I'm diligent with it, so I'm committing to doing more.

6.) Off-Ice training. Still haven't signed up for a gym. And I've literally not ran or biked or done anything but skating and yoga. It's shameful and needs to change.

Current Goals:

7.) Land a double salchow, double loop, and double toe loop. Think big!

8.) Perfect a flying camel and a flying sit spin. Flying camel needs better timing, flying sit actually needs to...spin.

9.) Get gym membership (and start going). 

10.) Re-commit to daily yoga. And work on arm balances: forearm headstand, fling pigeon, and eight angle pose.

11.) Send in an application video to Disney on Ice. I've avoided writing that as a goal here forever. It just seemed so scary to have it out like that. But I am so, so excited for this.


From last time:

12.) Finish registering as a Basic Skills instructor. I did! Need to finish the background check though.

13.) Sell stuff online. I've been posting stuff to Etsy, selling some books on Homeschool Classifieds, and I sent in a ThredUp bag. So yeah!

Current Goals:

14.) Further my writing. I want to keep blogging regularly, and even bump it up. I'd like to post here five times a week. And I'd like to start applying to write other places. Like guest posting, or being a contributor somewhere.

15.) Finish the background check. And get a regular job coaching. Right now I'm on sub lists, but I'd love a regular job.

16.) Keep trying to sell stuff online.

Okay, so I feel like I was kinda all over the place in this post. But honestly, I feel all over the place. My aim right now is just to keep experimenting and grinding to find a rhythm that works, but also not wait for that rhythm before getting down to work. There's a lot to try and see and do. And it's not waiting for anybody.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Shopping Roadtrip

This week and next there's a mini-break from the TOI practices that usually fill my Sunday afternoons, so I knew I wanted to go all Sunday-vibe on them and do something fun, relaxing, and out of the ordinary.

When we were visiting family in Missouri this summer, we went shopping at a Plato's Closet in Kansas City. I'd never heard of this store before, but fell in love the moment we walked in! It's a trendy consignment store geared specifically for teens/20-somethings, and honestly, the stuff is just fun. It's bright and weird and cool, and they curate from better brands, if you're into that sort of thing. It is so NOT thrifting. There's not much digging, it's not dirt cheap, and all their stuff is curated with their brand in mind. But! It's so fun to be able to hunt for more unique pieces that are still current.

Anyways, so we went to this shop in Missouri and had a blast, and spent most of the car ride home bemoaning that we don't have them in New Hampshire. But my cousin did some searching, and she found out we do have one in Maine, just about an hour from us! So yesterday afternoon, me and my cousins Lily and Ena piled into my car for a girl's shopping roadtrip.

I went in with some specifics to look for: jeans (because I literally have two pairs, one of which is out of commission right now), tops (NOT sweaters! Tops!), and cool, edgy combat boot things. I did end up with one pair of jeans, and a top after we hit up Old Navy, but alas my edgy combat boots evaded me. Everything that I liked style wise was a size 6, and it's been quite a while since my foot was a size 6. *sighs*

Here's what I made out with!

This sun dress was from our Old Navy stop. I found it on the clearance rack (because the clearance section is my favorite part of Old Navy), but it didn't have a tag on it. I asked someone but they couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be, so they just gave it to me for $5! I was wanting an easy-going sundress like this all summer, so I'm excited to have one for next year.

This green top was also from our Old Navy stop. It was only $9, is super soft, and a great shade of green. It's loose and flowy, and I was dancing in it for 30 minutes straight after I tried it on, so that's a good sign.

The jeans are from Plato's Closet. I've been looking for a good pair of ripped jeans, because I've finally started to drop my prissy ways in favor of more edgy looks. These fit well throughout (just need a belt, like usual), are pretty thick jeans to begin with, and the tears are there without being obnoxious, so I'm happy. They were $12.

And THIS outfit. This outfit is why I'll be refusing all social invitations that don't take place outside. I must wear this everywhere.

This is a Plato's leather jacket and it was only $10. I needed an in-between seasons jacket, anyways, and I'd been thinking about a leather one because of my edgy over prissy tendencies right now. I am SO happy with this. I almost didn't buy it! Thankfully my cousin talked me into it!

The whole outfit is a scarf from a fair, thrifted jacket, thrifted jeans, and hand me down boots. My eclectic heart is beating wildly at this. Curated (verses force fed) closets for the win!

We ended the day with dinner at Friendly's. They have good Mozzarella sticks, in case you need suggestions. It's been a while since I talked clothes on the blog, so thanks for indulging me! My new-found minimalist tendencies have actually gotten me interested in curating a perfect closet again, so you'll probably be hearing more about it from now on. I've always thought clothes were important. That they were representations of us and who we wanted to be, and therefore not vain to obsess over.

And with that thought in mind, it is so important that we curate and choose what we buy/wear/keep. Because blindly consuming what's put in front of us in displays is not choosing joy, or making us more confident.

I've been moving from my prissy/preppy ways into edgier, artsier styles. Because I want to live a life that's more open and adventurous. What did your outfit say about you today?

Happy Monday! xoxo

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Guys, Work, and Getting Derailed

I can live alone, if self respect and circumstances requires me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inborn treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.

-Jane Eyre

A main theme of 2015 has been questioning.

Questioning my dreams. My methods. Questioning my motivations, who I really am, what I really want, what I really need. And at times, questioning my faith.

I want to work my butt off and reach my goals. I'm in love with the idea of being absorbed in work, grinding through with purpose and being creative and innovative as a result. But this year, I've struggled a lot with keeping that focus. A Distraction will come along, and suddenly everything is derailed. I'm waking up late. I'm getting less done. I'm less focused at the rink. I'm less motivated to push myself.

There are days when I feel like such a badass for doing yoga early in the morning, and driving to the rink, and practicing, and writing, and then having a long day at work. I feel on top of it and like I'm really trying my best. But there are other days (to be honest, usually when a Distraction doesn't text me back) that it just feels lame. It feels horrible to never have a free night. Or the fact that weekends literally do not exist. Or to always be going to the rink. And I most definitely never tell anyone about my blog.

The fact that I derail so easily really annoys me. The fact that my mood is dictated by whether or not my phone is buzzing is ridiculous. When did I start to care so much about what people think?

I've never had to deal with this issue before this year. But it's been a repeated issue since January, and one I've been trying to learn how to handle. I'm so far from getting this. So, so far. But there are two things that have been working this fall:

(1) Just work anyways. I know! Rocket science! But this has literally been all I've done. Just go anyways, regardless of mood. Don't indulge yourself. I'm much better at this one when it involves leaving the house (going to work, going to the rink). It's harder when I'm at home (write that blog post, clean my room, do a yoga video), but generally it works. I've come to realize the power habit has in keeping you on track.

(2) Realize that burnout is real, and sometimes you are actually tired. I know lots of people who work seven days a week. I know people who have a night job and a day job. I know people who skate while doing all honors in school. I know lots of people who go, go, go all the time. And I really admire that. I want to be like that...because frankly, there is so much more room to push ourselves than we think. We indulge our lazy sides more than we have to.

But, I've also realized that sometimes, resting is completely necessary. There's been a lot of nights this year where I've ditched blogging and gone to bed at 10 (which is ridiculously early for me). I indulge in guilt-free Netflix binges after I close at work. And when I'm sick, overtired, and really sore, I take the day off from skating. Which is something I still feel guilty about, but I'm finally realizing is important.

So that is where I'm at right now. I'm learning to find balance. I'm learning to stay focused. I'm experimenting and searching for that sweet spot where I'm working at my best. And I'm learning to be more confident in what I do, even when other people don't understand it.

I have goals, desires, and beliefs. I have a heart I'd rather not let everybody see. And I'd rather go through life be alone and true to myself, then change for people not meant for me, anyways.

Happy Saturday! xoxo

Friday, October 16, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 7

Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day v. 6: Phrase A Day Mini-Journal from Young Yankee Lady.

First: sorry for the unintended, unanounced blogging break. Especially since it started immediately after my post about how much I loved blogging. Woops! Just been a rougher week with lots of unexpected things.

Second: Phrase A Day will be coming to a close soon! Almost finished filling in my flip journal. Not gonna lie, I didn't fall as in love with the daily-line method as I thought I would. Honestly, I forgot to write them out a lot and had to play catch up! So I'm thinking more of a weekly lesson/takeaway format. Thoughts?

Here's to a great weekend!

Happy Friday! xoxo

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Blogging As A Resume

You know, I'm really happy with my blog.

Since I started in 2012, my blog and I have had a lot of ups and downs. We've struggled with confusion and miscommunication. Over-planning and under-planning. There's been creative highs and horrible writer's block ruts that almost beat us. But, for better or for worse, we are still together today.

I've been thinking about what I want from this space. I want an online space (blog and social media) that is real. And genuine. And kind. And sums up what I'm going through and experiencing and learning. And records the projects I start and the goals I'm working towards. And shares it all in a way that is gritty, but beautiful, in it's way.

Elise summed it up perfectly when she called her blog her resume. That is what I want. I want my blog to be a representation of everything that I am and I want and I can accomplish.

There are so many ways we can use our blogs to show off our skill set.

We can showcase our writing talent.
Or our web design.
Our photography skills.
Our marketing skills.
Our editing skills.

And we can show off our talents in the things we're actually blogging skating videos, or recipes we made up, or clothes we sewed.

And in a more abstract sense, we can showcase what we stand for. Our beliefs and our ideals. Where we put our time. We can showcase that we know how to show up somewhere every day. We can showcase that we're open to growth, and are motivated enough to teach ourselves new skills. We can showcase just exactly what we can do when we build up from complete scratch.

I have so many ideas for what I want to do. And so many ideas for how to share those things on the blog. I'm excited to keep building a blog I'm proud of. One that not only deserves a place on my resume, but is a resume itself.

Happy Saturday! xoxo

Friday, October 9, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 6

Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.
Phrase A Day Mini Journal from Young Yankee Lady.

This week had so many highs and so, so many lows.

But one of the highs was finally figuring out how to get video from my camera to my laptop. I know, I know. So simple. But it wasn't working! And I didn't understand! And there are things like wifi and 'syncing' and it's just all very confusing.

But now I've figured it out. And it only took me 10 months of procrastinating, 3 days of trying, 2 meltdowns, and a 40 minute call to Cannon. Not too shabby.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One Step At A Time

One step at a time is probably one of my mom's favorite sayings. Mum finds herself talking me through 'off a ledge' a few times a week. Sometimes, I have genuine problems. Most of the time, I'm just overthinking the order in which to run errands or what to eat for breakfast.

Anyways! The number one thing Mum tells me is one step at a time. Anything can be accomplished if I just start and do the first step. I don't need to figure it out all at once: I just need to start. And tackle each thing as it comes my way.

Right now, there's a lot of things I've been putting off because they seem overwhelming.

+Making videos on my camera.

+Getting the oil changed in my car.

+Sending out applications for skating things and coaching jobs.

+Starting to work out a real gym.

Instead of letting myself get scared into procrastination, I need to just find the first step and make it.

What first step are you making this week?

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Plant Your Own Gardens: Revisited

I've fallen in love with being independent.

I love having my own car. I love paying all my own bills. I love figuring out my schedule for the week without having to clear it with anyone else. I love taking myself out for coffee when I want to and coming and going as I please. I love making last minute plans with friends. I love (finally!) being able to actually do life and really pursue my goals.

In August I wrote Plant Your Own Gardens. I'm really proud of that post, because it's one of the few times I nailed expressing where my heart was at the time.

This summer, I took a mental step back from guys. I finally learned that weird, undefined half-relationships weren't making me happy. So I didn't wish for anything. I didn't look for anything. I took the time to get better about being confident on my own. And not just as a 'single lady', but alone. Driving down to Mass by myself. Going out without friends. Making my own decisions without feeling like I had to run it by 3-million people.

I am the only person that is going to get me where I want to go. So I needed to intentionally get more comfortable with myself.

And I did. I am so much more confident--and happy--than I used to be. I know myself better. I demand more of myself when it comes to focus and working towards goals. But I also loosen up more. I recognize when I need alone time, and I recognize when I need to stop being alone and choose to be social.

Plant your own gardens has turned into one of my favorite mantras. And to me, it means initiating. Not waiting. It means asking friends to go out, and then going by yourself if they bail. It means doing what you like, not what you think you're 'supposed to'. And it means giving yourself tough love when you need a pep talk.

I love being my own person. And I've learned that no relationship status can (or should) change that. Next time I'm in an in-between stage with some guy, I'm going to keep it in perspective and not let something so undefined dictate my time and emotions. Instead of messing up my mood with overthinking, I'll just let it be what it is and listen to my gut.

And should I ever move from in-between to something more, I'll only do it with the gut feeling that it's right. And only with the knowledge that I'm better, and happier, and more content with that person than I would be without them.

In You've Got Mail, Kathleen Kelly is asked if there's someone else. And she replies, "No. But maybe, the thought of someone else."

I am already in love. I'm in love with my life right now. I'm in love with the vision for my life in the future. And I'm in love with the feeling I'll have towards whatever guy ends up in my future. And since all that is already written on my heart, I'm sure I'll know him when I find him.

Happy Sunday! xoxo

Friday, October 2, 2015

Phrase A Day v. 5

Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal
Young Yankee Lady Phrase A Day mini-journal

Playing a bit of catch-up with Phrase A Day this week, since I skipped last weekend.

I would like to say the cliche-cliches, that this week flew by. Is it seriously Friday? Is it seriously October? Whaaat?

I'm excited for fall though. I'm excited for all the little things, like sweaters and hot coffee and more baking. The leaves have already started changing on my road to the rink, which makes me happy. My Mom and I have been devouring The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and getting in a fall nesting mood. We're also already scheming for Christmas. Our goal is to host a huge party for the cousins this year, do more homemade presents, and enter a gingerbread house contest.

Happy October! xoxo