The other day as I was scrolling through Twitter I saw Amanda (The Lady Okie) comment about a link up involving closets and I was totally intrigued. With a bit of sleuthing I found that it was part of a monthly link up series at In Its Time.
A few years ago Mr. H and I bought a wine carafe from IKEA so when we had box wine we could feel fancy, that was short lived however as it was just one too many steps to getting the wine into our glasses.
Instead we started filling it with bottle caps, the plan was to put one cap in for each unique beer as a little memory chest sort of thing.
This last weekend it reached its limit and I thought that perhaps it was filled with more than one for each beer so we dumped it out and sorted through the caps.
guess which side I was organizing
It was really fun sorting through them and remembering when we had some of the more special ones and trying to guess what some of the more cryptic ones were. It was also fun to see how some breweries put so much thought into the cap, I really liked the Orval one and the Lagunitas ones.
This was the pile we were left with after taking out duplicates and blank caps. It does not look like much but it amounts to 79 unique beers! We also now have tons of room for new beers!
How long do you think it will take us to fill it back up?
Any person that is trying to workout more, get healthy, eat better, etc will vacillate between being so excited they want to tell everyone they see and just wanting to sit on the couch and eat ice cream. I sometimes do this cycle twice in 24 hours but over the course of the past few months I have found some sources of motivation that will maybe help you too!
1. Goals not Clothes – I have found if I say to myself I cannot wait to fit into clothing item x I always feel let down. See to find out if that clothing item x finally fits you have to try it on and if it does not fit the way you imagined it would you it is such a let down and a great way to spiral into doubts and why do I even bother thoughts. Goals of working out x times a week or being able to do 5 push ups in a row will make you feel good with no let down and keep you working out.
2. Rewards – I have talked about this before but honestly giving yourself a goal with a reward at the end is a great way to keep going and feeling positive about yourself.
3. Start small – My first few goals I set with short sights so have a more immediate gratification and have slowly extended them over time. If you are just starting out you will most likely lose motivation if your first goal is a big physical feat or months in the future. Instead set weekly and then monthly and then long term goals that will keep you going and once again feeling positive about yourself.
4. Have a cheerleader – Eating healthy and working out is a hard journey to start and having a person to encourage you makes all the difference. No matter if it is your partner, coworker, or Twitter friend you find someone that after each workout will say way to go and encourage you to eat the apple instead of the chocolate bar in a nice way will keep you motivated. Some people like me need a more long suffering cheerleader as I have been known to say to Mr. H ” I know I already asked 5 times today but I do look better right”! If you need someone though just let me know and I will cheerlead you!
5. Visual reminders – I have also talked about this before but seeing those little star stickers on the calendar is a visual reminder of the work I have put in and makes me want to add more. Mr. H also has his own stickers for the calendar and just last night he ended up working out at 10:30 PM because he went to see what was in the fridge and realized over the last weeks he has dropped from 5x to 3x a week, without that visual reminder though he would have just got something to eat and sat on the couch.
6. Remember you are beautiful and unique – Sometimes when you are looking at workouts online, or I imagine at the gym I do not go to one, it is so easy to start comparing and thinking I will never look like that so why try. The thing to remember though is you are working out and eating healthy for you to be the best you not to be the best them. Whatever you do you are helping yourself in the long and short run and we are all different. I know no matter what I do I am going to have some booty and hips action going on, that is my body shape and makes me beautiful and whatever yours is makes you beautiful.
So yeah I am talking underwear today but sorry no picture of mine, I am sure you are totally sad!
#1 – How does it make sense that a thong takes longer to dry than Mr. H’s boxers? I mean the fabric is nowhere near the same size, thank goodness otherwise I would be a very sad lady, but no each week I am always surprised when his are done and mine still need to go round and round.
#2 – What is with the lack of good thongs Sweden? The first time I was old enough to wear a thong I sang songs of happiness. My whole life I have had really full thighs and those little kids panties were just the worst for me, my poor mom always had to search like crazy for age appropriate underwear that would not also cut off my circulation. The only good place I have found for thongs in Sweden though is miles and miles away from our current place and even then they just had one small section and then like 10 sections of granny panties galore.
#3 – So point 2 brings me to this obvious fact but one I totally overlooked somehow, now that I have been working out and trying to eat healthier for like 10 weeks in addition to my regular clothes fitting better or looser so are my underwear. When I mentioned this to Mr. H is was like uhhh yeah what did you think was going to happen and I was like I DO NOT KNOW because at that moment a pair of underwear that used to by my favorite were riding up like they wanted to be in an 80’s music video.
So that is my current underwear situation which will hopefully be easily remedied when we visit England next month!
Have any underwear woes of your own you would like to share?
I wrote before about how we keep our Scrabble scores in their own separate book and this March we started our third one!
We have always just gone with whatever blank journal we have on hand and this time it was the black Moleskin in the back. I honestly think it came from a pack of three I bought back in college and never got around to using, the middle one was one I got as a college graduation present and the red one my grandma sent me just for this use in 2012!
Since the Moleskin was blank on the front unlike our previous ones I wrote out a list of two letter words and taped it to the front with packing tape. Now I am sure some people would object to having a little cheat sheet but it really helps us at the end of the game when we have three random tiles left and we figure if it is just and we both agree it is ok why not!
We often make our games into little mid afternoon parties. On this day we had cheese, peanuts, and Sherry which is definitely how we do it on weekends if I get my way but usually it is just a cup of tea and a bun!
We also play tons of card games but those scores go in their own book! The other thing we love are trivia games but we have played the one Trivial Pursuit game we have too many times so are on the lookout for a new pack of cards but those are hard to find!
When I first moved in with Mr. H back in 2008, the day I moved in was the first time I had seen the place as I flew into Sweden from England, he had cleaned and made everything all nice but the cupboards were almost bare. He had bread, milk, cereal, liverwurst, and sugar cubes and a few tea bags.
When I saw the sugar cubes I thought to my 23 yr old self “wow sugar cubes how European and fancy is my boyfriend”.
See I had watched the movie Le Divorce many times and always laughed at the part where the French mother in law smirks at her American daughter in law for having sugar grains and not cubes.
I did not mention this to Mr. H until years later and he told me he just had them because he liked to snack on them not for actually using in tea or coffee and it would make no difference to him to use grains or cubes for such a thing.
I was slightly disappointed but by that time cubes had become de rigeur in our house and for me there was no going back.
The other week though we ran out and I slightly panicked as I had not idea how much sugar to put into my tea if it was not all packed into a neat little cube for me!
So what do you use cubes or grains and have you always used that?
I wrote back in March about my workout incentive of spending 100 kr at H&M for working out 5 x per week and I am happy to say I succeeded! To make it work I had to wake up extra early on the Friday we took the train to Stockholm and do a workout which really surprised Mr. H and I but I was determined to meet my goal.
Today I finally made it to town to pick out my winnings. I felt like a little kid waiting for the ice cream man and had to look at just about everything in the store even though I knew I was leaning towards some new makeup. I did find a cute shirt and dress but they were both over my budget so I then tried on sunglasses and looked at the shoes before making my way back to the cosmetics section. All the time I was looking Mr. H was at Clas Ohlson, a store kinda like Ace Hardware mixed with Radio Shack mixed with Frys maybe ahh it is a store that boys like ok, but he was done so got to help me narrow down my choices.
After we both decided I had tons of lipstick and nail polish I decided on these two items:
I am already a big fan of their eyeshadow palettes and this one has all the colors that are wore out on my current ones.
I have never used blush before much because back in California there was always sun to make me not so pale but with these Northern winters I really could use some color. I tried it on once we got home and Mr. H said it cheered my face up, and then quickly added that I looked pretty before which made me laugh and I said I was glad because that is exactly what blush should do!
Now just to have a fresh face tomorrow to try out the new eyeshadows!
For April my goal is again 5 x a week and my prize is hair dye.
These are things I could technically just go get anyways but I really felt so proud of myself and happy today to pick out things that I felt I had earned. Also with the obvious benefit of weight loss with working out I am more eager to do up my makeup and hair.
I also wrote about my post workout selfies and I am so glad I started them now as it is such a great way for me to see the changes and keep motivated.
In addition to my monthly goals I thought I needed something bigger and I decided that my goal is to celebrate my 30th birthday, in July of 2015, in shape physically, mentally, and health wise.
Mr. H has been encouraged too and we are trying to slowly change some other habits like snacking mindlessly while watching TV during the week.
We figure that if we can make this good things habits by my 30th we will be helping to ensure ourselves a future free of bigger medical and emotional worries. Really Mr. H working in the hospital was a good wake up call on how taking care of yourself can never go wrong!
Have you ever mailed something through the USPS? They have very strict restrictions to what you can mail items in, how it looks, and even what kind of tape you use.
That is fine with me as I always figured there was a reason and if you take the time to think about how large an operation the USPS is and you can get a small postcard to your mailbox from thousands of miles away it is pretty cool.
Now recently Mr. H sold some used textbooks to a student at a different campus. Since we were mailing them we put the books in a box, wrapped the box in brown paper we had, wrote the address on a white piece of paper that we then taped on using packing tape we also had already.
Now I know that not everyone happens to be weird like me and has on hand packing paper and tape but you still probably have something plain in your house you could wrap a book in to ship right?
Well Mr. H also bought some books and they came so crazily packed I was amazed the post office took them.
The first which Mr. H opened before I got a picture was in black and white damask wrapping paper.
Yeah like why did she not at least turn it over and wrap it with the white side out, it was a used nursing textbook not a birthday present.
The other though I did manage a picture of because even Mr. H thought it was crazy.
Yep this lady decided to wrap the book in a plastic bag from Ahléns (a Swedish store similar to a fancy old school Target let say).
Like it says the store name right under the address and of course the stamps barely worked because it is a PLASTIC BAG!
I guess it would have been safe if it rained though….
As I have mentioned I started a post winter get in shape campaign at the end of February. Around the same time Mr. H decided he needed to start getting serious about his physical therapy, he has a problem with his right shoulder that has been going on since like 2012 but he kept slacking on doing the exercises so it was not getting better.
Since follow through can be hard, especially when it comes to physical activity, I suggested that we do a competition. We would each set a per week goal and whoever achieved their goal at the end of the month would be the winner and get a prize. It is something I had done with my mom in the past, it was wonderful the prize was a new outfit and I won, and knew that beating him would motivate me to work out everyday if that is what it took.
Mr. H however said he did not want to compete against me but himself and I was like uhhhhh what?
So he explained that he thought we should each set a goal for ourselves and pick a prize for when we reach that goal and we could both be winners and feel good about ourselves and not be angry at the other person.
I thought it over and could see his point and also see where our cultural difference came into play here but was excited to win something so I agreed (and thought secretly I would also declare myself the big winner at the end of the month).
(ummm yeah it should be exercising but living in Sweden has not been kind to my grammar skills)
With Mr. H’s plan decided on we each choose our goals and prize and wrote it on the calendar that is kept on the fridge so there was no escaping it.
My goal – workout 5 x per week
My prize – 100 kr to spend at H&M – I chose H&M since they have everything from makeup to jewelry to clothes to choose from and always have clearance stuff so I could end up with like 10 lip glosses if I want
Mr. H’s goal – physical therapy routine 6 x per week
Mr. H’s prize – a steak dinner – steak is mega expensive where we live so we usually only have it for special occasions like our anniversary so Mr. H is very excited about his upcoming steak
To keep track we have been using stickers for each successful day. I am the happy dancing stars and Mr. H is the gold stars, I just happened to have sheets of these in my craft cupboard and they have worked great. Even as an adult we feel so excited and proud to put up that sticker after a workout completed.
I am proud to say we are each on track for getting our prizes and I cannot wait to share with you my H&M winnings!
What would you prefer a competition against someone or yourself and what would you pick as a prize?