My Week of Vegging: What I Watched, Read, and Made

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The week between Christmas and New Years is like…my favorite. I absolutely just let myself BE this week. I did not have anything planned, I didn’t force myself to do any work outside of “work” work, though I took off most of the week so that I could use up leave that I was about to lose. I just did whatever I felt like doing when I felt like doing it, and I REFUSED to let myself feel bad for sitting on my sofa vegging out when there are plenty of things I “should” have been doing. Here’s what I got up to during my winter break.

What I watched:

  • Loot with Mya Rudolph (Apple+); Season 1, Ep. 1 – Cute first eppy about an uber rich woman and the charity organization that she didn’t know she ran. Definitely made me chuckle
  • White Lotus (HBOMax); Season 2, Ep. 1-3 – Such a strange, odd, slow-moving show that I can’t stop watching, just like Season 1, which shows that misery comes in all tax brackets
  • True Believers (Hulu); Season 1, Ep. 5 and 6 – It is fascinating to me how people get sucked into cults
  • Love, Victor (Hulu); Season 3, Ep. 5 and 6 – Adorable LGBTQ show about high school love and relationships
  • The Thing About Harry (Hulu) – Perfect feel-good LGBTQ love story about high school enemies that meet in college, and then again as adults
  • The China Hu$tle (Hulu) – A Wall Street heist documentary about Chinese companies and the U.S. stock market. The rich get richer…what’s new…
  • Blood & Water (Netflix); Season 1, Ep. 1-3 – A mystery show set in a prep school in South Africa. So cool and refreshing seeing a show set in Africa, and the plot sucked me in
  • Sex Lives of College Girls (HBOMax), Season 1, Ep. 1-4 -Funny show about dorm mates that makes me kinda wish I was back in college
  • The Big Conn (Apple+) – Gotta stay on top of all the scams, and there are a-plenty
  • Radio Christmas with Keisha Knight Pulliam (Hulu) – So incredibly cheesy. I don’t know what else to say lol
  • Baking Spirits Bright (Hulu) – A movie about fruitcake and Christmas. It is so hard to believe people really eat fruitcake
  • A Majestic Christmas (Hulu) – An architect goes to her hometown to save the town theater that’s being torn down by new owner who hates Christmas
  • A Picture Perfect Holiday with Tatyana Ali (Hulu) – A cabin is double booked by two photographers for the town’s Christmas photography retreat so…you know…will they fall in love or won’t they? Hmmm…

Apparently, I love watching Christmas movies while commenting indignantly about how unrealistic and cheesy they are, and about logical solutions that made way more sense than what the characters decided to do. Oh, and about the flaws in the plot…because they are so realistic. But I also love them so much, so I just keep watching them. Even if they are cringeworthy.

What I Read

  • The Weight of Your Wishes by Bailey Nicole – an age gap, MM, happily ever after story.

My sweet bestie bought me a Kindle last year, but my whole reading game changed when I broke down and got Kindle Unlimited a few months ago. I am now reading one to two books per week. I have never been a big reader, but when I can easily access books that are of interest to me, I just roll right from one book to the next without blinking. And my interests don’t have to be everybody else’s interests for me to enjoy my reading time. So I read whatever makes me happy.

What I organized

  • Shoes at the entryway – It’s amazing what a stylish box stored in a bookcase can do. I had been searching for shoe storage cabinets that would fit into the small space that I had by my doorway and I just could not find something that fit my needs.
  • My payment and budget calendar for the year – It’s never too soon to plan out your pay days and holidays.
  • My finances spreadsheet for the year – Updated all of my balances, due dates, and amounts due. Gotta know your numbers.
  • My old email mailbox that is completely full – Started purging and deleting messages and I finally have one percent of free space.

What I crafted

  • Pom poms (I’m obsessed!) – It became my mindless, soothing thing to do while I watch tv. There’s something calming about snipping yarn. I plan to add these to some baskets and to make some garland.
  • My first latchhook – I thought I may like this as a craft but I don’t think it’s for me. I didn’t complete my project but I got far enough to realize I don’t think it’s my cup of tea. I may revisit it down the road.
  • Finished off wreath for a friend – I made a wreath for myself using pinterest tutorials, and a friend asked me to make one for them. It took me a while to figure out the right technique and to get things arranged just right. I am still learning and figuring things out, but I like the end result.

How did you spend your week between holidays? Hopefully you rested and relaxed and recharged. Let me know what you got up to during Veg Week. And definitely let me know if you’re watching or reading anything that I need to check out. Sometimes I feel like I have reached the end of everything on the streaming services.

Chat soon!

My Thoughts on The Great Resignation

The pandemic and working from home has led to quite a revolution in the workforce.  People are realizing that life as we had been living it before the pandemic is not where it’s at.  Priorities have changed and this has led to people being fed up. People are feeling empowered to make changes.  People are realizing their worth, realizing what they want, and realizing that employment as we’ve known it is for the birds. And though I didn’t get it at first, I NOW GET IT!

Personally, I have had some realizations about work and life during this pandemic, and I cannot see going back to life as I knew it before this all happened. I feel like my life’s priorities do not line up with working the way I did before the pandemic.  And I feel like I just cannot see going back to the way things were.

People are realizing their worth, realizing what they want, and realizing that employment as we’ve known it is for the birds. And though I didn’t get it at first, I NOW GET IT!

I’m sure that along with the rest of the world, after two years of remote working, I now realize that going to an office every single day is for the birds. Don’t get me wrong, I know for some occupations, it’s required. I wouldn’t expect my dentist to virtually clean my teeth, no more than I’d expect my mechanic to virtually change my oil. I know for a lot of people, there was no such thing as working from home.

But for the millions of office workers and paper pushers like myself, working from home is what we did during the pandemic. Once upon a time, working 100% remotely once seemed like an impossibility–like…we really felt like there’s no way in earth we could fully operate without stepping foot into an office space.

What about our files and our print-outs and faxes and mail???

But obviously, we did it. And we did it darn well. And while doing it, we discovered a lot of things about what’s important in life and what’s not. Spending more time at home helping kids with school work easily outweighs devoting that same time to being in a car commuting. We’ve discovered hobbies and recipes, we’ve enhanced relationships and we’ve explored and vacationed more than normal–things that were at the very least made more difficult when we had a requirement to be physically present in an office.

I realize that I have it good when it comes to work.  I get paid very well, I have a lot of flexibility, before the pandemic, I did work three days from home, and when it comes to work-related stress, that really is quite low.  So, I have no plans to resign.

HOWEVER…there are some things I also have no interest in doing again. Ever. And I hope I can align my life up to these preferences in the near future.

So now that the return-to-work announcement seems imminent, I’m realizing that there are some things I haven’t missed and that I have no interest in returning to.

  • Spending 20 hours of my work week in a car fussing about my commute and crazy @ss drivers
  • Fussing over work outfits
  • Carrying around flat shoe and a work shoe (and a gym shoe if I plan to work out during lunch)
  • Mentally allocating hours and hours preparing for work and the associated logistics of getting to the office
  • Living my life around when traffic starts and ends
  • Spending money on just getting to, and being in, the office. (Gas, car wear and tear, meals out, coffee on the go, etc.)
  • Missing out on things because I can’t get there in time if I’m coming from work
  • Feeling like a race starts the moment I hit the door in the evenings (because things I’ve done during the workday during the pandemic, I’m unable to do if I’m in the office…such as running an errand that takes 10 minutes from your home but that’s not possible to do in a reasonable timeframe from the office, marinating chicken, doing laundry, prepping meals, going to a fitness class by my home that I can’t make it to in time from the office)
  • Attending meetings in person that could be an email, a phone call, Teams/Skype message, or a virtual meeting
  • Constantly being in a state of meal planning because I have to take lunch and breakfast to the office and then have an easy-to-make meal at home for dinner because I have to go to bed in two hours.
  • Going to bed two hours after I get home
  • Living off of convenient meals because there’s no time to cook and prep
  • Waking up before 8am. I literally cannot believe that I woke up at 6am and often didn’t start working until 9.  THREE HOURS wasted every single day.
  • Dealing with work drama.  So much of that disappears when you don’t have to deal with in-person foolishness.  I don’t see you, you don’t see me, and at the end of the day, I sign off and live my life. 
  • Not focusing on my side hustle and other interests because all of my free time and mental space is devoted to work things.
  • Spending money on clothing just to go to the office
  • Shoveling snow or dealing with inclement weather just to get to or from the office.
  • Awkward pot lucks
  • Paying for dry cleaning
  • The ability to zone out in the middle of the day which is not possible in the office because you always have to be “on”

This is just my starter list. There are so many more things I have no interest in dealing with once we are required to return to work. What have you not missed since being on full-time remote work? Anything on my list? What are your thoughts on the Great Resignation?

How spending just ten minutes a day on one of these simple life hacks can improve your mood – and your health — The Scottish Sun

THE secret of living to a ripe old age might actually be as easy as a walk in the park. A study has found that just ten minutes of daily exercise could add years on. GettyWe reveal ten quick ways you can increase your lifespan. Check them out!

How spending just ten minutes a day on one of these simple life hacks can improve your mood – and your health — The Scottish Sun

My Reading List: Bloganuary Entry #12

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Writing Prompt: What book is next on your reading list?

I really have slacked off with my book reading, and I should be absolutely embarrassed by this. I will never be one of those one-book-per-week kinda people because my free time is so little and the list of things I need to accomplish in my free time is extremely long. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t read ever.

To make matters worse, I have an extremely short attention span, so I will pop onto a blog or read short articles or listen to a podcast when I do have some time to sit. But I have not been motivated to read a lengthy book in a while.

I have downloaded a few things that are ready to go on my kindle over the past few months, and I’ve also gotten some book recommendations that I’m dying to jump on. So in no particular order, I’ll go through what I like to read and what books are on my upcoming reading list.

What I like to read: In general, the types of books I love to read are going to either be smut, forbidden romance, LGBTQ smut and romance (which covers the previous two topics), and things that make me think or learn. There’s something about people powering through every reason they shouldn’t be together so that they can love and be loved. I also love a good sex scene. And I love trying to get my life together. So, the books that I read typically fit into those boxes.

When it comes to getting my life together, I absolutely love Brene Brown, Tony Robbins and authors similar to them. My boyfriend and I love to discuss these books because they help us keep a pulse on our thoughts, emotions and goals. I love to learn about business and social media, and I love lifestyle books that inspire me. I particularly love anything that covers intentional, simple, or minimalist living. I also love to learn different ways to organize and budget.

So without further ado, here are the six books that I’ve downloaded and/or plan to read in the near future:

Saint (Priest Book 3) by Sierra Simone: Smut smut smut. I already read books 1 and 2, so this one completes the trilogy.

Strictly Professional by Kathryn Nolan: more smut. I haven’t read this author yet, but I started following her on IG and FB, so her book is on my list.

A Way Home by Kiera Andrews: A gay Amish romance, and the third in a series. I loved the first two books so I’m excited to find out what’s next for the main characters.

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker: This author is a master of living a minimilist life, which is something I’ve been interested in for quite some time. So I’m super interested to read his thoughts on the topic.

Down to Earth (a guide to simple living) by Rhonda Hetzel: This book is on my blogger friend, Rebekah’s, Book of the Month list. It seems right on par with my simple living interests.

Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money by Fumiko Chiba: I am really intrigued by this concept of budgeting and intentional spending and saving. I feel like sometimes something that should be simple is made difficult, and I feel like the Japanese concept of budgeting, kakeibo, takes budgeting and pares it down into simple concepts. It’s essentially a minimalist and mindful approach to budgeting, and I’m intrigued.

So that’s my upcoming reading list. What types of things do you enjoy reading? Do you have any book recommendations? I’d love to hear about it!

Airbnb Journey: The Townhouse in Kissimmee

I’ve fallen behind in my airbnb home summaries. Life…amiright??

So just to recap, in December 2020 with full-time telework looking like our indefinite future due to COVID, I found a tenant for my condo, my boyfriend and I gave up our lease, and we put all of our stuff in storage and became digital nomads. We decided to basically take advantage of airbnb’s discounts on monthly rentals, and we figured if we kept our monthly lodging at around the same price as what we’d pay in rent/mortgage, it would all work out.

Our first airbnb home was in Raleigh, NC, then we needed to come back to the DMV area so we stayed in Alexandria, VA and then stayed in Frederick, MD for two months. By this point, it wasn’t quite yet Spring and we were tired of cold weather, so we decided to head to Florida for some sun.

We knew that with Covid, amenities were not guaranteed at a lot of places, and even if they stated that pools and gyms were up and running, there was no guarantee that it would stay that way once we got there. Outbreaks and surges just made things really unpredictable, so we thought it would be nice to have a house in a warm area that had a pool included. The 3 bed, 3 bath townhouse with a pool in Kissimmee was perfect! When we read the summary, we liked that there would be space to spread out. And somehow when we mentioned Florida, some friends and family said they may want to visit. And visit they did. lol.

The Rundown: So here’s the rundown on the home. Kissimmee is a neighboring town of Orlando. We had hoped that picking a time before Spring break, we’d for the most part have a peaceful space, before families started converging on the theme parks and warm climate. And that completely worked out. For the most part, this home and the neighborhood were quiet during our stay.

The home itself was decorated in white and orange throughout, and there were televisions in each room, which we loved. We had enough room for visitors, with a bedroom and bathroom downstairs for privacy. We had every kitchen convenience needed, except a few small things. We also loved having a trash valet, so all we had to do was put the trash in the bin right outside the front door and the community was responsible for placing it out for the trash men to collect, and then returning the bin to the home. But of course, the thing we loved the most was the pool right outside the back door. It may have been May but it was HOTTT in Florida. We’re talking upper 90’s on a lot of the days. So being able to take a quick dip during lunch or after running an errand in the hot sun was super nice. We even had a pool guy that came once a week to check water levels and chemicals. The community also had a pool, so we went there as well when we wanted more pool space or a change of scenery. And on most days, we were the only ones in the community pool. It truly was fabulous.

What we did: Because of the pandemic, of course we mostly stayed in the house. We did a lot of cooking and took walks. We found a few places that we could go to and still be socially distant. Because Orlando is inland, it wasn’t like we could really frequent the beach. But we found a nearby lake town where we could walk around, enjoy the scenery, grab food, and enjoy the day.

Before heading to Florida, we researched the safety protocols for the theme parks. They were limiting the number of people who could enter the park, and they also had strict mask mandates. We felt comfortable enough to buy tickets, so we also visited Universal Studios and Epcot. And we literally were not even 10 miles away, no traffic, easy parking…it was awesome!

What we loved and didn’t love: We loved that we had visitors and that we had space for them. We loved the warm weather. We did not love that there was no real space to work (I mean…who goes to Orlando to work??). We had to work either from the glass dining room table, which shifted if you leaned on it too hard…or from bed or the couch. So that was definitely not ideal. And we also had issues with the internet. There were four full work days that the internet was out due to them doing work in another unit and accidentally messing up our connection. Which means we had to take days off that we did not expect to take. So that would be the biggest complaint.

Overall, with a few exceptions, great space and great pick!

Here’s my IG vlog post about my stay:

Have you been to the Orlando/Kissimmee area? How was your trip?