Where in the world?

I have realized I’ve slowly been fading into obscurity with my blog posts. No, my closet hasn’t eaten me out of anger for the lack of clothes in it, although that could soon happen. I will readily admit that just about everything has been a struggle for most of January. I’ve also been hyper focused on many of my goals for the year, changing my habits, my job has changed (yet again – Grrrr) and of course my upcoming vacation that I am very much looking forward to.

The Workout Demon – I’ve been possessed by exercise

As I’ve previously blogged, I started a new workout plan from Tone It Up that has been going quite well. In between all the chaos with my job, I have been trying to fit in a daily workout routine, this is easier said than done. Many of my days at work have been 10-12 hours and at a constant frenetic pace. All in all, the exercise has been my saving grace, I’ve been feeling much better and its allowed me to keep up with the craziness of my job (great stress reliever too), otherwise my head might go Boing!

I’ve been able to ramp up my healthy eating plan that I started last year and so far so good, eating healthier has allowed me to control portions and ultimately plan my meals much better. I’ve been eating smarter, smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. My job, however, has a big impact on this some days. Aside from packing the entire refrigerator in my car, I do my best to bring healthy snacks and a big bottle of water – when in a hurry; I grab an apple, some pumpkin seeds and a bottle of water.

Did you know there is 19 grams of protein in 100 grams of pumpkin seeds?

How am I surviving the first stages of a fashion cleanse?

Ah, fashion….what can I say? Being addicted to fashion and trying to quit it cold turkey is no easy task. It’s pretty frickin’ hard dang it! For once in my life, however, I am not being hard on myself about a few slip-ups, and so far this month, there have been two small ones – $49 pair of sweatpants and $130 at J.Crew for some much-needed staple items. I may have stripped my wardrobe too bare but I’ll have to deal for now.  Hey, it means less laundry and a reduction in outfit dilemmas in the morning. There will be no more hiding behind my monochromatic wardrobe, time to jazz things up!

There have been moments of fashion desperation, where I’ve seen something I absolutely adored and  wanted it the second I saw it, but I made sure I stopped, thought about it, and then gave it 24 hours. With most of these “fashion episodes”, I’ve managed to talk myself out of them and my wallet is thankful. Let’s say I have many and I mean many wish lists at several online retailers. It’s interesting to see them morph from one list to another from day to day, it’s almost as if I am refining my choices, ultimately it shows how fickle and undecided I can be. So much for the internet ban!

I am at a point where I am seriously rethinking my wardrobe along with my career direction. I want to ensure that the next pieces I buy are of quality and represent my style and all my uniqueness. My motto is Quality over Quantity and dress for the job you want not the one you have!

Strange but true, January has had me deep into an interesting thought process, more so a letting go of sorts…I know where I want to be, and need to be….and I’m going to get there. I know I need to be more assertive, speak more to my successes and dress the part (and my age).

Money Matters – Switching credit cards, Job Hunting and the Sacrificial Budget lamb

Credit card companies make me crazy with their points programs, choosing a card is about as complicated as picking out a new TV – there are a gazillion to choose from and they all look almost the same. I wasn’t enjoying the points program on my current card from TD so I decided to switch it to an Aeroplan version but still from TD. In the end, it was a fantastic idea! I received 15,000 bonus Aeroplan miles and no fee for the first year – how’s that for an awesome money move! I was leery about making the switch back to Aeroplan as I was disgruntled with the old program they had, however, they’ve made some great changes and I’m hoping it will be better. It will be nice to go to Fincon for almost free.

Job-hunting has proved especially time consuming, well, at least the thought process behind it. Even though I work for a great company, I’ve realized that the business model and culture are no longer aligned to me as an individual. Part of my challenge in the search has been to decide if I should stay in Sales or make a complete career change, which my career coach has proved very helpful. The rest of the challenge has been in getting out there and finding opportunities. Wish me luck!

The January budget has been doing quite well, I’ve kept most of my spending to a minimum, which is good as my commission from December was a lot smaller than usual. You can call me the sacrificial lamb as it’s taken some getting used to the reduced budget. The lack of sales commission on my pay has also taught me to be better prepared for paycheck fluctuations.

I’m a Reading and Baking Machine

Most of my spare time has either been consumed with career related activities or reading and baking. I’ve baked several batches of Madeleine’s and determined I prefer orange zest to lemon zest. It’s also helped me perfect the batter, I never realized how much you’re supposed to beat the eggs and sugar, then gently add the butter and zest. Along with my passion for French patisserie, I’ve been a shortbread and banana bread queen. Quite often, I buy one too many bananas for smoothies and they end up being baked before they spoil. I despise wasting groceries lately (this is a good thing) and prefer to find creative ways to use the leftovers that don’t involve powering a Delorean.

You can find the Madeleine recipe I use here.

Reading too many finance books should come with a warning – that it may be dangerous to your health. I’m all for learning and information but when it becomes excessively repetitive, I get bored. Financial reading can also lead to financial depression from all those wonderful variations of “you’re a financial underachiever”. After reading The Millionaire Next Door, I decided to put down the financial reading for a bit and move back to self-improvement and fashion. I’m working through 7 Habits one habit at a time and I’m currently enjoying Stacy London’s The Truth About Style. After that, I’ll be reading In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon, co-founder of Jimmy Choo.

Keep up with what I’m reading at GoodReadsbooks

The Truth About Style is not what I expected, it is much better than I thought it would be. I figured it would be just another how to style guide, those books that have become just as overdone as finance books telling you all those tried and true little secrets. I was pleasantly surprised to find it contained not only Stacy’s struggles with life and fashion but also that of many women in unique life situations. Each chapter highlights a new woman with their unique style story, and how women need to accept our flaws and learn to style our fashion around it, removing our thoughts of negative self-image.

Tip from the book I’ve used: Reorganizing my closet by outfit and for occasion: work, weekend basics, evening and exercise. I have always organized by shirts, blazers, pants, skirts, dresses and then by color. This new approach takes the guesswork out of what goes with what. Of course, I have multiple options that will go with a skirt or a shirt so I tried to group them all together. I even took my belts and hung them with the outfit they look best with.

Memorable quote: “Take what life has given you, accept it wholly, and then build on that.”

Busy as a little bee I’ve been with no end in sight! It’s always good to be busy, it takes my mind off shopping.

What have you been up to? Any major changes for the New Year yet?

Comments

  1. Wow you’ve been a busy little bee! Congrats on your fashion challenge so far! Funny how one person’s difficult challenge is another person’s easy challenge. It’s one I could handle no problem, but I have no fashion sense. :) Nice job on the workouts too. My next big change is to “live like a college student” in Feb….ok to some degree. I’ve spent a lot in Jan and need to reel things in. Also my 1/2 marathon will be over feb 2nd so I can mix up my workout routing a bit more. Honestly can’t wait for that!

    • Thanks! Living like a college student sounds like an interesting challenge, just don’t eat too much Kraft Dinner, LOL! I get the reeling things in. You must be excited for your 1/2 marathon, best of luck :)

  2. Hey Michelle! I really enjoyed your post. You’re right reading too many financial books or articles can start to feel depressing, especially as I’m nowhere near debt freedom. Also a fab quote at the end there. I guess I’ve started to build on what life has given me by slowly clearing this debt.

  3. I want to be addicted to exercise! I’m almost there…but not quite. I am in the last 2 months of the No Shopping Challenge. I feel like how I did after being a vegan for a month-self-righteous LOL! I’ve also learned a lot of things about my fashion, lack thereof prior to the challenge, and how I feel about how I’m presenting myself. You are going to rock this thing! Good luck!

    • You’ll get there! You just have to keep pushing your limits, get out of your comfort zone when exercising and it’ll happen!

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