January 5th: Go Home Directly After Clocking Out for a Month

Yesterday was a big day! I checked off a major thing- I got a dog! A puppy to be completely accurate. She’s doing great. The next few months will be challenging as she accumulates to the house, understands my other dog Mia and learns all her training.

I’m excited for the adventure and decided this is a perfect item to kick off today.

I am a bartender so there are many days when I get off and sit down to have a drink with friends after shift. With a new pup in the house I know how important it is to be home with her as much as possible.

So, even though I am off work today, I will kick this off starting today and leave work directly after clocking out until February 5th… and of course I will try and continue that into the year… but baby steps!

Plus, it will give me extra time to start on that reading list I created on the 1st.

P.S. I used the cute picture of my sweet new pup, Bella, just to draw you in.

January 2nd: Get a New Plant

Three years ago I started this idea that I could try new things all year. One for everyday. It is harder than you might think. Some things simple, some things hard.

It’s hard to believe that in 2017 I was 32 years old and had never had a live plant in my apartment or house. So on my list was “Buy a Houseplant”. Three years later this little guy lives in my office:

Since then I have added SIX more lovely plants to my household. Today I added this lovely little lady to the mix:

It says she loves sunlight and water so she will sit in my office basking in the sun!

It’s amazing how much a little plant can brighten your day. Sometimes it can be hard… this plant saw better days:

But I recently pruned it and moved it to a different location in the house. I was excited on New Year’s Day to see the new leaf, caught in the sun in this photo, sprout!

Since I got a new plant today I also thought I should give my other ones some room to grow so I put these smaller plants in bigger pots with fresh soil!

Hope they will continue to thrive like these two which I can barely keep from getting bigger and bigger.

The only one I am having problems with is this guy. It has new growth but all the existing, longer stems keep dying. Just can’t figure out what she wants? If anyone knows how to care for this plant suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated:

Overall, just having one plant in the house brightens my day. If I keep going at this pace my house will soon be a greenhouse and I’ll have to buy a place for me and my dogs to live to give the plants some room… 😂❤️🌱

January 22nd: Make Homemade Cleaners

Back to some essential oil fun! And back to saving the earth. As the year goes on you will begin to see my efforts to cut out toxic chemicals, unneeded products and items that clutter my life. January has kicked off pretty nicely.

1. I have been spending the month purging items from my house, one day at a time. My January 1st item was purge one item from my house a day. I have fallen a little behind on this but plan on spending all morning tomorrow doing a large purge… even the small purges I have made have already made a difference.

2. January 15th challenged me to not use any plastic waste for a week. It has been challenging, mainly because when you get togo food or buy things at the store most things automatically come with unneeded plastic products. I am working on continuing this and think I can make it through the whole year concentrating on it. Even if I just minimize what I am using, that has to have an effect.

3. So back to the essential oils. January 8th was all about making my own essential oil blend. This was so I could produce something that I would use as a pain reliever without using toxic or unknown ingredient pills.

Today, I make my own house cleaner, and man, there are a TON of recipes out there and every variety of cleaner you can think of.

There is a great website One Essential Community that has a great list of different cleaners with a minimal, clean ingredients. Eventually, I would like to make them all – 8 DIY Cleaning Recipes with Lemon – but today I am just starting with the:

Mold & Mildew Cleaner

To make: to a spray bottle add 1 cup white vinegar, 15 drops lemon essential oil, and 15 drops melaleuca essential oil.

To use: shake to combine, spray on surface to be cleaned, wipe with microfiber cloth, spray again with cleaner and allow to air dry.

AND

All-Purpose Cleaner (great for counters)

To make: to a spray bottle add ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 ½ cups distilled water, and 25 drops lemon essential oil.

To use: shake to combine, spray on surface, and wipe clean

So here are the ingredients:

Here’s the All Purpose Cleaner:

And the Mold & Mildew:

I also found this other great site, Back Door Survival, that had a list of the 8 Best Essential Oils for Disinfecting. I will have to use some of these the next time I make some.

Happy clean, cleaning!

January 14th: Train for Sprint Triathlon

Let’s do this!

I did a Sprint Tri a couple years ago during a time I was really into races. I completed a a bunch of 5ks, a half marathon and a sprint triathlon. Since that Sprint I have not completed a single race and have gained quite a bit of weight.

I just agreed with my friend, Beth, who I did the first Sprint with that we are going to do another one this coming September!

So here we go. I am going to start this 8 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan today! Best part is… Monday, the 1st Day is Rest Day, so I already did it… 😂 But tomorrow we go full force!

I plan on doing the 8 week training plan three times before race day. First time: easy and just biking endurance. Second time: increase speed. Third time: get ready for race!

Any suggestions, tips or motivations will be greatly appreciated!

January 3rd: Apply for a Game Show

What is the nerdiest thing I could do this year, Alex?

So it is the nerdiest thing but what can I say?, I am a nerd.

I record Jeopardy! daily and watch it whenever I have a chance. I have always wanted to be on the show. So today I looked up what is required.

They only do the test to qualify every so often so basically I just registered to be informed when the test is happening.

So now I am registered and will take the test the next time it comes up.

For now, I took the practice test and got 20 of 30 right… I don’t know what the pass/fail percentage required to qualify is, but for now, I will just keep practicing… maybe I will get on one day.

Here is the site to register and find the practice test- Jeopardy!

January 1st: Purge One Item Everyday for a Month

Here we go again. Last year was not as good as I would hope but I’m going for… I only marked 60 things off my life… but I’m going for it again. This year I am kicking it off with purging items to declutter my life.

On the 1st I threw away some old boots that I have been holding onto for far too long.

Throughout the month I will continue to throw things out in hopes to clean up my house. They say decluttering brings a sense of peace.

February 6th: Wake Up and Get Going at 8am Everyday for Week

Working in a bar can sometimes create a very late schedule. I often wake up early but lay around trying to soak in some extra lazy hours in the morning. Starting today I vow to wake up at 8am and get out the door doing something.

It is a great week to start this since I just adopted AJ, my sister’s dog. So this morning I was up and on my way to the dog park by 8! We ran around, which I’m sure my dog, Mia, appreciated too.

I look forward to the next 6 days and hope I can keep a trend going from there!

As for the rest of my list I have a lot of catching up to do. Stay tuned and follow me for updates on the last few weeks, I’ll be adding in things that I got done or will be getting done retroactively.

February 5th: Spend Only Cash for a Month

One of my main goals for the year is to save money and pay off a significant amount of my debt.

I have great credit and by default, not learning from mistakes, I have a lot of credit cards with significant amounts available to me. Often this makes me say “oh I can spend that money, I’ll just put it on my card”.

The next month will focus on only using cash (actually physical cash and my debit card) instead of putting anything on credit. Hopefully this will help me lower my debt and make me more conscientious of spending habits.

February 4th: Get a New Pet

Well, this was actually quite a surprise!

Unfortunately, my little sister’s dog, AJ, but my two year old nephew. AJ is twelve and they have had him for over seven years. Sadly, he had an ear infection that they didn’t know about and when they were playing AJ, being in pain, retaliated adversely.

He is such a sweet dog and was just in a lot of pain when it happens. Regardless, my sister felt she could not keep him around the kids anymore.

So now he is going to live with me!!

My sister lives in Tampa and my dad just spent three days on the road driving him out here!

Getting a new pet was on my list for the year and I cannot think of a better way to get one that to help one in need.

So I welcome AJ to my humble abode and hope Mia gets along with him.

January 17th: Watch a Documentary

Some of you might not believe this but I had, until today, not seen the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

I do not know how I went this long. It was a great watch but now I guess I have to watch the sequel to see how far we have come or what we have further caused or hindered.

I am still sick today so this was a perfect way to check something off without having to leave my house or really get off the couch. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better and can do something more interesting!

My inspiration on social media today was:

“And still, after all this time,

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with

A love like that,

It lights the Whole Sky.”

Hafez

January 16th: Have Dinner with a Group of Friends

I wish I could say this was a great experience. It definitely started out as a fun night. And was not even the thing I planned on marking off my list today but a group of friends I used to work with got together for dinner tonight. Only I got sick… I do not know if it is the flu or what but not enjoyable and I probably was not the best company. It was good to see the friends though. Might have to do this one again when I feel better!