Summer Reading

I can’t believe August is already half-way through! It seems that I just started my year goals, and I have to admit, I didn’t keep up with them as tightly as I wanted to, but that’s ok!

One of my goals was to read, a lot, and I did have some time for a bit of it. I also discovered some great new books. The most recents I have read include The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak and How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer.

The Book Thief by Zusak

A young girl is given up for adoption by her mother during WWII and planted in the home of a family outside of Munich. They are right in the middle of Nazi Germany, but her adoptive father doesn’t agree with Nazi policies and commits one of the most dangerous acts he can – harboring a Jewish man in his basement. The girl also learns to read and begins stealing book after book. They are her seemingly only salvation from the terrible acts surrounding her. This book rips at your heartstrings as nothing seems like it will end right for the characters. The story is also narrated by Death, which adds an interesting and creative twist to how her story is told. It took me a little to get through this book, but I loved how it so accurately tells the horrors of the time. This is also a movie, which I haven’t yet seen, but I’m sure I’d start bawling at the beginning of it now knowing the characters and their story and struggles. This book gets a 4/5 from me!

How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer

I had a little different set of expectations for this book than what it provided. I was hoping for a book that really helped you dig into your personal style and develop your own character. However, this book was much more about how to care for your clothes and discussed fit, which I know feel like I have a better understanding of. Although super important, I was craving more after I finished this. It is a great manual for care and basic fit, but don’t look to this for a how-to on closet curating. For that, it gets a 3/5 on my ratings.

What books have you read recently or are looking to read? I just had someone recommend The River Why and Let the Great World Spin if you’ve been searching for the next order off Amazon.

Bachelor(ette) in Paradise (Hills)

I’ve been traveling a lot so far this year (Boston, Cape Cod, Nashville, Charleston, North Georgia, North Myrtle Beach…) and also have quite a few plans coming up for a little bit farther away trips. This year has been great! I love being able to have the opportunity to travel more, and I’m definitely making the time for it. My new passport has finally arrived, and in an ambitious play, I went with the 50-page book with the goal of filling that sucker up!

One extremely fun trip this past month was also the most near in North Georgia at Paradise Hills Resort & Spa. It is owned by a couple from Florida who purchased many homes and land in Blairsville, GA and began growing a plot of wine vines. They have already won several awards for their wine, and their property is such a great escape from the city! Funny enough, the couple had not made wine prior to this venture.

For this particular trip, we were actually celebrating one of my friends, the bride-to-be, who will be getting married next week, eek!! Not quite Bachelor in Paradise, but the name was close enough to be comical, and right in line with the season premier!

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We hung out in a big cabin for the weekend, meeting everyone from all parts of the country, and got the chance to take a tour of the vineyard and learn more about the wine-making process. Don’t worry, we taste tested plenty of it as well. If you’re looking for a great all in one for a quick North Georgia getaway, I would highly recommend the easy trip to Paradise Hills.

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How To – 2016 Goals Part 2 (Intellectual)

I’m really looking forward to this goal, as I have had so many books on my “to read” list for so long. I used to be an avid reader, getting through a book or so each week. Slowly, that cadence got away from me, and I gradually drifted towards more Netflix ‘N Chill.

Getting back to reading takes a little practice, especially when you feel like you are so constricted on time. The truth: I was watching WAY too much TV, and it made me feel like I didn’t have enough time for reading.

I’ve slowed down on my shows, and record them so they are available when I do want to watch, but after about a month of practicing this habit, I’d much rather pick up a good read.

My reading goals do have book that are fiction, but I really want to focus on expanding my knowledge and learning by focusing on nonfiction books.

Just like my last post, let’s break my goal down to successfully achieve it:

  1. Specific: I want to read 1 nonfiction book every 3 weeks
  2. Measurable: One book every 3 weeks
  3. Ownership: I want to expand my life and career knowledge with books that truly inspire and help lead me on my life path, especially with my career and financial paths.
  4. Time Limit: Every 3 weeks, check up!
  5. Written Down: Done!

Since it is now well into (and almost past) January, I’ll do my first check-in.

In January, I read “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.

I also finally finished “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.

I would highly recommend both. I could not put them down!

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My next completion date is February 12th, and I’m already well into “The FairTax Book” by Neal Boortz and John Linder. It’s election season, and I’d like to know more about various policies that everyone always seems to be buzzing about. Additional titles I’m looking forward to diving into include:

I think I may already be on the fast track to get several of these finished before my 3-week timelines.

One of the secrets to getting through these quickly is by multi-tasking. I’ve been reading these while on the treadmill walking, which was part of my fitness goals, so not only am I getting my workout in for my body, but my mind also gets some time to take in all of this info!

What books have you read and recommend recently? Any ones that you are looking forward to starting?

Christine

 

How To – 2016 Goals Part 1

With 2016, we all set goals. But do we all know how to make effective goals? Those without a plan of action are really just wishes, because how do you achieve something without a plan of action?

I absolutely love Dave Ramsey, and for one of his talk shows of the new year, he discussed several pieces of life you should be setting goals for, and the 5 components of each goal that make them successful.

The 7 areas of life he recommended setting goals for are:

  1. Physical
  2. Intellectual
  3. Career
  4. Social
  5. Financial
  6. Family
  7. Spiritual

Now here is the special sauce, the 5 things each goal must have to be successful:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Ownership
  4. Time Limit
  5. Written Down

It is pretty simple, but most of us sometimes skip and just say “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to read more”, but those do not meet any of the above 5 factors of success.

So, let’s break it down. Here is my first goal, Physical, for 2016!

  1. Specific: I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 4 months, and then reassess if I want to lose more or maintain after month 4.
  2. Measurable: I want to lose 2.5 pounds per month
  3. Ownership: I want to meet this goal for me because I want to feel better, be lighter (for all those yoga inversions) and feel more confident in myself and my body.
  4. Time Limit: 4 months (April 30th) and then reassess what is next!
  5. Written Down: See above!

With goals, it is also helpful to “Write it Down, and Break it Down” as Dave Ramsey says. This is basically what steps you are going to take to get there. Here are mine:

  1. I signed up for the Hot and Healthy Habits program by Amanda Adams and Ander Wilson – I saw great success on their AA Bikini Body program, and this 12-week course starting January 12th is promising some big, informative health information on how to not diet and make better food choices, but still feel and look great! It is a habit change course.
  2. I will walk for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
  3. I will go to a yoga class 3 times a week, with 2 of those classes being a little more intense.

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This goal hits all the points of a successful goal, and I hope to achieve it within the next 4 months! I hope this helps with your goal setting. Let me know what you are working on for 2016!

Christine

Sugar For A Week

The past few months, I have been so much more aware of what has been going into my body. I’ve been drinking more fruits and veggies, less processed and pretty much no fast food, and making sure I stay away from coffee and soda, especially soda as it is such a harsh stimulant, and that Diet Coke I love is packed of an exorbitant amount of chemicals that probably should be going no where near my insides.

Well, I have officially been off Diet Coke for over a month, and have only had several half-cups of coffee! That is a big step. I’ve also completed 2 cleanses from Kris Carr, author of the book Crazy Sexy Juice. But this past week has seen me stuffing my face with total junk, packed full of refined sugar. I do not feel good right now, and here are a few of the symptoms I’m experiencing with only a FEW days back on sugar:

  • Tiredness, which has me wanting to reach for that cup of coffee
  • Cravings for sugar, which is also probably a result of my lack of sleep
  • Poor sleep, caused by me drinking caffeine, and also by lack of nutrition. I find myself waking up several times during the night.
  • Bloat – we all know this one
  • Acne – a few little bumps are starting to appear on my chin. I was super clear the past few weeks, which is great as I’ve been acne-prone for over 15 years.
  • Poor balance – I had one cup of coffee later in the day, prior to my Tuesday power yoga class, and I could not even hold Crescent pose – my head was not there and my whole body just felt so shaking and off-balance. I hated that feeling.

It just shows what eating poorly can do. It amazes me to think that people pump their bodies for longer periods of time than me with these harmful ingredients, and they don’t see what it is doing to them until they step away from it.

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The main source of my bad habits have come at the office, where I am 80% of the day. We had a company outing yesterday where I had beer and cupcakes. There has been a non-stop influx of holiday candy, cookies and even lots of cake sitting in the break room. I will be away from all of that this weekend, so I’m going to work on getting myself a bit back in check and feeling better!

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What are your triggers? How do you handle the holiday food binge?

Christine

 

Big News – Poshmark Wholesale Portal

Poshmark has just announced a big change and I think I’m looking to really ramp up my involvement on this app!

If you haven’t yet heard of Poshmark, it is an app that is a marketplace for selling used women’s clothing. People have been using this platform as a way to get rid of clothing they no longer use for a bit of cash, sell those new with tag items that missed the return date, and even start an online boutique! Well, that third piece, an online boutique, has just gotten easier.

Poshmark announced last month that they are going to offer a portal, all within the app, that allows you to buy wholesale goods, get them shipped to you, and post to your closet for whatever price you deem fitting. This is very exciting news, especially for someone like me who has thought about opening an online store, but hasn’t had time to fully commit to it!

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The wholesale portal will offer a limited number of retailers at first, but I’m sure they will grow quickly! I have to say, I’m not overly excited about the first 4 retailers they presented to top sellers who already have their wholesale / retail certification. The broad categories these retailers offered were graphic tees, purses/accessories, and socks… I’m looking for a little more, but hopeful this portal will amp up quickly!

I’m most excited that Poshmark has taken down some of the barriers to entry that are involved with buying wholesale. I don’t have to go to tradeshows, I don’t have to pay a business license, and Poshmark handles all of the shipping, financial aspect, etc… I just need some overhead cash to purchase, a place to photograph my items, and storage. It is a great way to try it out!

Have you heard of the new wholesale portal? Have you shopped on Poshmark before, or sold? I am also starting to offer spaces in my closet for your clothes if you are wanting to sell, but don’t really want to put the time/effort into it!

Christine

A Month of Mindful Spending

With the holidays coming up, and one already passed, my bank accounts are taking quite a hit! I’ve been out of debt for a few months (yay!!) and saving, but the past month I’ve seen myself using my credit card a little frivolously. It has to stop!

For December, I’ll be sticking to my budget heavily, and determining how to save here and there as things come up. Here are the tips I’ll be using:

  1. Use cash wallets  – make sure to take out the amount you have for each budget in your life. For example, take out a wallet for groceries for the week, or your weekend money, etc…
  2. Put away the credit card. I feel uncomfortable not having a credit card on me, but I’ll at least make sure I am consciously reaching for my debit card or cash instead! Keep the credit card zipped up in your change wallet or in a less visible area on you if you are like me and don’t like not having it for emergencies.
  3. Check in daily. I have an expenses spreadsheet which I shared in a previous post. I still use this! I update my spreadsheet almost daily, to make sure I am on track.
  4. Do zero-based budgeting. If you have a little extra outside of your budget in your checking account, outside of your budgets, transfer it to your credit card debt or savings account. Even if it is just a couple bucks, it HELPS!
  5. Return what you can, sell what you can’t. Now is the perfect time to clean out your closet, post some things on Craigslist, or sell on Poshmark (my favorite)! Get some cash in versus sending it all out.

These are just a few tips to get your through the tight holidays and cleanse your spending habit. Any other suggestions you all have? How do you control your spending during the holidays?

Christine

That Green Juice

I absolutely have loved starting my past few weeks with a green juice. Normally, I grab a tall glass from my half gallon jug of Arden’s Garden Yoga 1, but last week my boyfriend, Dave, excitedly let me know he had made a big purchase – a juicer.

We watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead once or twice, and it really did open our eyes to what we sometimes fill our bodies with. Even though it tastes SO good, it can be damaging, and everything in moderation, right? With a recent additional view of the documentary, Dave was ready to dive in just a bit more. And so, this new kitchen appliance came to live on our countertop.

Last night was the first attempt at juicing. We headed to Kroger and bought all the green stuff after picking out a recipe. Kale, celery, spinach, cucumbers… you name it, we probably had it in our carts. Surprisingly, even with everything got, it was about $15 for a weeks worth of breakfast juices. However, we’re looking forward to heading to an actual farmers market next time!

So, we set up the machine, got our veggies out and got to work. It took a little trial and error at first, but after some whole leaves flying into the pulp catcher and a spray of semi-ground greens all over, our juice started flowing. For two servings, we used the following ingredients:

  • 3 apples (red and green variety)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 4 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • about a thumb size of ginger

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I waited until the next day to try and boy was it potent! I think we added a bit too much ginger. This will definitely be a learning process, but I’m excited to share some of my favorites, and to continue to feel the health benefits of this green goodness!!

If you would like, I also have a special instagram feed for my health adventures, @4healthychanges where you can follow along with recipes I try, reviews, and tips!

Christine

I’m Back with a New Hobby!

Oh hey there, it has been a bit! A lot has happened since my last posting in, ummm… April…but that is in the past so let’s keep it there, k? I have been extremely busy with work and fun and summer. It’s what happens, we all go through it. But the good news is that I started a new job a few months ago, which I love, and it really is part of the direction I want to go. I BACK baby, in agency world, and could not be happier. I get to be around creative people so often, use my management talents, and have some awesome coworkers.

Speaking of creative, I wanted to open back up my blogging with a new hobby I have started along with my mom who owns a local faux finishing and decorative painting business. With her help, we’ve started flipping and upcycling and getting our paint on some old wood.

I’m very excited about this first creation we have done together.

Here is what I purchased from someone in the area. Dated, lacking personality, and definitely needing an update!

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We worked pretty hard on these pieces. It was my first time using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, and boy was it cool! My mom really had some great teacher tips, too! I cannot wait to own my own place and paint EVERYTHING!

Here is the lovely final product!

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Thanks mom for all of the continued teachings! I can’t wait to see what we create next. We have a whole basement full of finds to create! And if you just so happen to be in Atlanta, these are for sale! Just comment below if you are interested, or email wherethepeachesgrowblog@gmail.com

The Handbag I Chose Instead

It was on sale, and it NEVER goes on sale, so I quickly logged into my Nordstrom account and purchased my new bag for pickup. I was pretty sure it was what I wanted, but as soon as I clicked “confirm’, I thought otherwise.

Michael Kors has always been a brand I looked to for style inspiration and really coveted their bags, but to me, their brand has been in a recent spiral down. During college, EVERYONE had to have the big watch, and in recent years, it was all about their bags. Scrolling through Poshmark, it was hard to not submit an offer on the bags listed all over the place. But, I’m starting to realize why I regretted my decision to click “confirm” and purchase a black leather Selma satchel from Michael Kors – their brand was losing.

Over the past couple years, MK has been expanding its brand line to have many price ranges and so many different styles for every budget. It is getting overplayed and overly purchased, and I am over it. When I first saw someone sporting the Selma bag I had purchased, I adored it! But now, their brand is so highly available that this exclusivity is corroding.

I can talk on and on about the brand, and why I loved it, and now why I’m avoiding it, but I wanted to go into what I think is next, and what I’ll be buying and saving up for.

Rebecca Minkoff – I swear that her Mini MACs are the greatest cross-bodies – I own two and want more. Her designs are stylish and practical. The brand is its own, complete with the long tassels. I actually purchased the MAB satchel shown (in smoke) and cannot wait to make it my everyday bag!

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Love Quilted Crossbody / MAB Tote / MAC Crossbody

Tory Burch – Classic American with a touch of bohemian, you can never go wrong. The bags can be a bit heavy from reviews I have seen, but with leather that is what you get. They are a bit on the pricier side from this list, but I believe it is worth the investment. It’s going to be my next big bag purchase.

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Frances SatchelDouble Zip Tote / Marion Tote

Kate Spade – I’m actually happy that they removed Kate Spade Saturday (and Jack Spade) from their brand lines. It degraded the brand a bit by offering that lower price tier. Funny enough, KSS evolved from a Target collaboration that never panned out (Lilly, I’m looking at you, tisk tisk). Sidenote: Target collabs are a quick way to kill your brand from my own personal opinion. Kate Spade is for the pretty, but their clean lines have drawn me in and I would love a few of their totes for work and wallets to keep everything organized.

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Shoulder Bag / Wallet / Satchel

Marc Jacobs – His hip couture as I somewhat see it is one of my favorite to combine classy (they used to work for LV, funny enough) and laid back into one. I love his bags for everyday and weekends, as well as his accessories.The watch I wear daily is by Marc and linked below.

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Hobo / Watch / Drawstring Bag

These are all very mainstream brands – which ones do you find yourself gravitating towards? Any brands you love that aren’t listed?

Christine