2014 New Year’s Resolutions Revisited

At the beginning of 2014, I made a list on the note app of my iPhone of New Year’s resolutions. I glanced at them every once in a while throughout the year to stay on track. Some things weren’t completed because my January knee surgery recovery didn’t quite go as planned, but I crossed off a few.

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

Cut toxic people out of my life✔️- This one is difficult for most, but completely necessary. I realized coming into 2014 that I was somewhat surrounded by toxic people and it was overrunning me with guilt and unhappiness. I’m trying to get my life together and become a more happy and focused person, and surrounding myself with toxic friendships wasn’t helping. You have control over who you’re friends with, after all. In 2014 I made a lot of progress with this and am now in a much more positive and happy place. I feel like the friends I have in my life now are the ones that support me and respect my opinions and life. There’s no need for drama, negativity, narcissism and manipulation!
Get to know my city better✔️- I definitely accomplished this one. I made an effort to go downtown, especially when the weather was nice. My husband and I explored new local restaurants, coffee shops and bars. I went into Savannah to practice photography when I got my new camera and brought the dogs downtown for lots of walks.
Run my first race- I made this goal before I had my first knee surgery in January 2014 and before my doctor told me I should avoid running for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I never fully recovered from my knee surgery and ended up having another surgery a few weeks ago. Therefore, there will be no races in my future and I’ve come to terms with this.
Keep my 4.0 GPA✔️- This goal required lots of hard work and dedication, but it paid off! I’ve kept my 4.0 thus far and am proud to put that on my resume.
Lose 30 pounds- Yes, the typical lose x pounds this year resolution. Well, 2014 was a little unexpected. By March/April, my knee was feeling a bit better and recovery seemed to be going well. I threw myself back into working out and eating healthy. After a couple of months I realized that my body was no longer capable of the level of physical activity it once was. My knee was hurting again and I avoided walking, stairs, etc. I was back in physical therapy and it wasn’t improving. Then I had my second surgery. Sitting in bed isn’t the best thing for weight loss and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I got annoyed with myself because the scale wasn’t moving and I realized that the real thing I should be focused on is healing and rehabbing my knee. I’ve been trying to focus less on weight and more on happiness and body acceptance. Following the second surgery I’m feeling positive! If my knee heals and I am able to walk and be active without pain, then I will focus on a healthy weight loss and continue with being body positive in 2015.
Have more sex✔️- This should be on everyone’s list. Sex is good for us (safe sex obviously) and keeps us healthy and close to our partners. It’s easy to get caught up in our busy schedules and put sex on the back burner.
Learn to love myself– I can’t check this one off quite yet because it’s still a work in progress. I’ve improved my relationship with my husband and friends and myself. Love is a strong word and I’m not quite there yet.
Read more books✔️- I did accomplish this, but it doesn’t really mean too much. In 2013 I probably only read one book. In 2014 I’m assuming I read maybe 4 books. Which is a step in the right direction.
Travel to another country✔️- I definitely checked this one off. In 2014 I traveled to Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England. It was the trip of a lifetime!
Stick to a budget– This year my husband and I got serious about money and downloaded the YNAB app. We set up a budget and tried to stick to it for about 4 months. We slowly slipped away from it, but still managed our money much better.  We reached our first MAJOR savings goal and are in a stable place financially. So, though not  checkmark worthy, we definitely improved and got rid of a lot of debt.
Reunite with Valerie✔️- I love that this one was on the list and that it’s checked off. Me and Val have been through a lot over the years and it’s been hard to physically see each other because of the distance. She visited in April and it was fantastic seeing her. We still stay in constant touch and I know we will see each other this year. I’m so proud of that girl for her amazing year! (love ya!)
Wear a bikini– Ya, again with the not losing 30 pounds and not quite loving myself yet, no bikini. I don’t know that I would put this on the list again, I just have my focus elsewhere.
Go hiking✔️- Obviously I couldn’t hike in 2014 like I did pre-knee injury, but on a trip to the mountains 2 months ago we went out on a “hike” to see how my knee would handle it. It didn’t cooperate at all, but I did get out there and try!
Stay close to my besties✔️- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, girlfriends are one of the most important people in a girl’s life! I’m close to my besties and saw them multiple times this year & went without big gaps of no communication.
Watch more documentaries– Nope. Just didn’t do this. Maybe next year!
Go to an art museum✔️- I didn’t just go to an art museum, I went to THE art museum: Le Louvre in Paris! What an experience. I think I could go there everyday for a month a see something new every day. It’s huge!
Try out a yoga class– I didn’t do this because I was worried about my knee causing me problems.
Develop a better bed time routine– Unfortunately, I’m still guilty of playing around on my phone and going to bed too late. I’m going to try getting to bed early and limiting screen time before bed next year.
Try brussel sprouts✔️- This goal seems kind of basic, but I’d never had brussel sprouts before and thought of them as disgusting. I tried them this year and love those little vegetable balls!
Don’t check social media when with friends✔️- Obviously everyone glances at social media throughout the day, but I caught myself doing this too much when I was out with friends. In 2014 I wasn’t perfect, but made a conscious effort to be more in the moment with friends and be 100% focused on them rather than get caught up in the lives of people on social media that aren’t as important.
Eat more consciously– I have a bad relationship with food and I know it. I eat out of boredom, celebration, sadness, and mindlessly. I am going to work on this in 2015.
Record what I eat– This one goes along with eating consciously. I definitely didn’t do this last year and I probably should have.
Smile more✔️– We’ve all heard of resting bitch face, and unfortunately I suffer from this. I decided that I would have to try to smile more to show that I’m not actually a stone cold bitch and I think I did this enough to deserve a checkmark for 2014.
Gossip less✔️– The good thing about detoxifying your relationships is that the toxic behaviors go with them. Yes, I still gossip sometimes. We all do, but when I’m talking about someone else, I try to only talk to good friends or sisters and only asking for advise and talking about things that happened in my life. I no longer just single someone out and talk about them behind their back for the sole purpose of hurting them.
Best. A.

A Day in Paris

If I wrote about all of our adventures in Paris, it would be overly wordy; so here is what I did Paris in a nice clean list:

  • Ate lots of bread: baguettes, croissants, etc.
  • Art gawked at Le Louvre
  • Saw the Notre Dame
  • Sipped cafe au laits in little cafes
  • Devoured famous Laduree macarons
  • Strolled along the River Seine
  • Took lots and lots of photographs
  • Got lost
  • Relaxed in the Jardin des Tuileries
  • Spoke a little french
  • Took selfies at the Eiffel Tower
  • Smelled some amazing cheeses
  • Rode the Metro
  • Drank French wine
  • Touched the love locks (didn’t participate)
  • Walked until my legs and feet hurt
  • Soaked in the history
  • Admired architecture
  • Dreamt about moving to Paris

Honestly, I wish we had longer in Paris. There are so many things that we didn’t get to do and Paris, I know we shall meet again.

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Paris: My First Day in the City of Lights & Love

Paris. What is there to say about Paris except that it’s amazing.  Paris was one of the stops on our trek across Europe and the city I was most excited about; I’ve dreamt about visiting Paris for years. I feel so fortunate that I visited the most romantic city in the world with the man I love (I really owe him so much for taking me to Paris!)

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We drove from Amsterdam to Paris, through the countryside, and my excitement built as roadsigns for Paris began to appear as we got closer and closer. It was early August and the weather was cloudy but lovely for the 2 days we were in the city. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Paris Boulogne in the wealthy suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt about 7 km from central Paris. We stayed outside of the city because Paris is very expensive, but I ended up being very happy with the location; it was very quiet because Europeans are often on vacation in August.

Paris 3When we finally arrived at the hotel after navigating the very narrow roads in Paris, we dumped our bags, changed and headed down to the metro station. It was only a 5 minute walk to the subway which ran directly into Paris. After a confusing 10 minutes, we finally figured out how to buy the right tickets and we were on the train. I must say, my rusty high school French helped us more than I imagined it would. After a  15 minutes ride, we located the metro stop closest to all the action and headed into Paris!

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After emerging from the subway, I was immediately mesmerized by the Parisian architecture. The buildings are beautiful; TV or photographs really don’t do them justice. We rounded a corner and I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I couldn’t help but smile. I was so happy. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, but to me it really made it sink in that we were in Paris.

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We joined the hoards of tourists in taking terribly stereotypical selfies in front to Eiffel Tower. How could we resist??

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We walked the streets of the 7th arrondissement until our feet hurt while I created a fantasy life in a lush Parisian apartment in my head. Then we finished off the evening with a glass of wine and a small dinner at a cafe while we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It was only a short metro ride and stroll back to the hotel in the City of Lights! Perfection.

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Happy travels x.