Nico's Room

After my brother painted and replaced the doors, this T.V. Cabinet from #Goodwill was the perfect cupcake display piece for my mom’s 91st birthday party.  #thrift #party #celebrate #repurpose #rustic #entertain #food #dessert #250cupcakes #homemade #baking


After my brother painted and replaced the doors, this T.V. Cabinet from #Goodwill was the perfect cupcake display piece for my mom’s 91st birthday party. #thrift #party #celebrate #repurpose #rustic #entertain #food #dessert #250cupcakes #homemade #baking

Brainstorming new challenges:

Now that I’ve taken on the 1-year challenge not to buy new clothes, the mini challenge fasting from Netflix, and my laptop free vacation, I’m in search of a new challenge for a week or two, a month, six months, or a year. Suggestions welcome!

  1. Eating-in 6 days a week… (theoretically to save money, but I’m already really good at this when my beau’s not in town, my friends aren’t earning their M.A.’s left & right, and when I’m not traveling)
  2. single/two serving cooking… (because I loathe eating the same thing more than two days in a row)
  3. the 52-week money saving challenge looks awesome, but my hesitation is that I don’t get paid weekly, but monthly, and during the summer months when I don’t teach I don’t have a paycheck come in. I’d have to revise/devise the 52 week schedule. 
  4. The decluttering thing. I don’t quite know what parameters to put on that so that I would do it daily or weekly…
  5. reviewing my financial visions post and vision board, I am wondering if that’s the challenge for the year ahead…
  6. Stop buying things in bulk— like when I buy 10 boxes of Mac & cheese at once.
Tags: challenges

Thinking “what if I do this?”


Thinking “what if I do this?”



Laptop free vacation

A week ago, I returned home from 18 days of travel sans laptop! In a few words, it was awesome! I felt so free of burdens and pressure. First, I cut out all the anxiety that air travel causes when I think of my laptop - stolen, damaged, there’s no way that x-ray machine is good for it, will the bathroom hood buckle under the weight of my laptop-heavy carry-on? (you get the idea). I didn’t feel compelled to check my email or social media all the time (some days, I wasn’t compelled to do it at all). I wasn’t constantly connected to everything and nothing, everyone, and no one. It was frustrating to miss so many World Cup matches––even if the whole tournament was super disappointing for all the brown teams––and there was some down time in which I wanted to watch my summer TV shows (BB16, Masterchef, Rookie Blue) and I wasn’t able. And, there was that problem of my Kindle (1) not connecting to le beau’s wifi network and (2) being a completely inferior device in the apps/browser/everything department. BUT, I survived!

I read two books and started a third. I burned through my podcasts. But, ultimately, I felt more connected to the whole experience of traveling and the people around me, particularly Tony. And, I noticed that he was using his laptop significantly less because I was without one, too. I remembered very much what it’s like to live in the moment and make things happen with my time instead of letting time get away from me. 

Since coming home, I’ve been on my laptop much less––really only getting on the computer to respond to emails and when I am working (on my course planning and reading group discussion). Although, I cheat a little now, I guess: I not only have an iPhone and a Kindle Fire, but before I left my mom’s, her beau Jeff gifted me the Android Tablet she had bought him during the holidays. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the thing and it costs $10 a month through Verizon. So, lately I’ve been taking full advantage of this 4G enabled device and I’ve been using it for my social media, kitchen recipe reference, and watching Netflix and BB 16 on the CBS app. Although, it’s not so bad because my lessons and mood have carried on since the Netflix fast. Most days I only watch one episode, if I watch any at all! 

Over the past week, I’ve swung back into work mode and have made swift progress planning my course and in the summer reading program text. It took a few days, but I think my gym routine is back on track. 

Another yummly success! Corn cakes w/avocado & goat cheese salsa

Another yummly success! Corn cakes w/avocado & goat cheese salsa

July 19-23
  • 2 hour morning call with Brittney!
  • Art of Video Games at the Toledo Museum of Art
  • Second hand store shopping 
  • Birthday party prep
  • Dragon boat races with Bri
  • Mom’s 50th birthday party! 
  • Return to Oxford & post vacation hermitting
  • Gym 2x
  • Interviewed for the grad school brochures by Kristin M
  • Brittney admitted to graduate program at Northeastern U (Chicago)!
  • Dinner with Brenna & grandparents 
  • Course planning & Freedom Summer reading

Weekend Wishlist

  • Brenna’s master celebration
  • Corn cakes with avocado & goat cheese salsa
  • Wedding cake cupcakes
  • Pancakes
  • Reading, reading, reading

How delightful to spend a few minutes at home!

Some views from my trip to BRLA this month!

I came under budget after my 18 days of travel & I celebrated by buying this shoe rack & dumping my shoe bin. 

I came under budget after my 18 days of travel & I celebrated by buying this shoe rack & dumping my shoe bin. 

Not shopping for a whole year made me picky! I only spent $10.70 buying these two items on my second hand shopping trip today! #fashion #thrift (at Clothes Mentor)

Not shopping for a whole year made me picky! I only spent $10.70 buying these two items on my second hand shopping trip today! #fashion #thrift (at Clothes Mentor)

July 11-17
  • Mike the Tiger habitat visit, taco dinner, Louisiana poetry reading
  • Saturday afternoon walk to the record sale + double date with Jim & Claudia at Le Bon Temps for Fried Green Tomato BLT + microwave popcorn, fruit popsicles, & The King’s Speech
  • Sunday daytrip to Akers, LA for fried catfish at Middendorf’s
  • Monday impromptu coffee with Muriel & Iku + Tony’s pinto & andouille stew + walk around the city park lake
  • last day in BR restaurant week dinner at Leroy’s (pot roast poutine, shrimp & grits, beignets) & sunset by the LSU lakes
  • flight back to DET
  • oil change, where my car received a clean bill of health!
  • CCHS alumni happy hour at Bar 145 with Amanda + tea date with Jamalle!

Weekend Wishlist:

  • Art
  • Polka dots!
  • Birthday party/Filipino foods
  • Finishing touches on 18 days of travel
  • Returning to my own bed!
June 27-July 10
  • Weekend spent trifling around my house for three straight days unshowered in workout clothes while I wrote my final paper for the summer seminar. 
  • Dismantling & vacuuming every inch of my bedroom. 
  • Made pizza dinner with Sandra
  • Full on spa day Monday
  • Long, walk around Ox to scope out some living spaces
  • USA/BEL match on the big screen at ASC
  • Packing for my 18 day trip! 
  • Commence 18 day vacation by picking up le Tony at CVG
  • Dinners with Ramstetters at the Montgomery Inn & Primavista, Cincy Zoo date
  • to Cleveland: burger bar, hotel pool, +fireworks from the balcony; Brunch at First Watch x2; JASON & KELLIE’S WEDDING!
  • To Toledo: dinner at the docks with Amanda, tour of Michael’s garden, dinner with Bri & Steve
  • To Baton Rouge: rows 6 & 2 success on our flights; dinner (duck & sausage gumbo!) at the Chimes with Muriel; rogue organizing le Tony’s house; grocery store investigating (Winn Dixie is VERY impressive!); downtown riverfront exploring + 20-monthiversary dessert & games at the Breakroom at IPO; spontaneous trip to Mr. Ronnie’s donuts after reading a rave review in 225 Magazine

Weekend Wishlist:

  • Mike the Tiger
  • Putt putt golf
  • Poetry
  • Double date(s)
  • pancakes, tacos

*I didn’t bring my laptop on this trip. Although this is a decision I am happy with overall, some things, like using tumblr, on my phone/kindle have proved tiresome. I will adamantly say that kindle might be the worst device! Its apps are a mess & ability to connect to wifi has been unbelievably spotty! I have also missed my laptop when it comes to keeping up with my fave tv shows, as the kindle proves utterly useless for running a whole episode (though the netflix app works well).

Zoo date! #cincinnati  (at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

Zoo date! #cincinnati (at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

Tags: cincinnati

My 2-week Netflix Fast

Two weeks ago I decided to stop watching Netflix for a week. The plan was to listen to a Podcast every time I would normally gravitate toward killing 45 min-an hour/3 hours watching something, or three things, on Netflix. I had several things in mind when I made this decision:

  1. I had a project deadline coming up at the end of that week and I wanted to shut down one of my avenues for procrastinating. 
  2. Watching more than one episode of a TV show in a single day made me feel so lazy and guilty!
  3. I had been having some trouble sleeping all that week before, and I had this idea that the light from the screen had been messing with my melatonin production. 
  4. I was slightly annoyed by the 700+ unplayed podcasts in my iTunes library. 

Turns out I’m really fidgety when I only have audio. Prior to this, I had primarily listened to podcasts only when I was walking to/from the gym. I found myself doing a bunch of stuff while I was listening to these podcasts––sometimes just doing yoga stretches, wanting to write in my journal, cleaning and organizing my bedroom, cleaning and organizing my computer files, among other things.

One day, I sat down and also organized my podcasts. I unsubscribed on all but three of probably 15! I kept Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility Du Jour and two yoga podcasts. Then, I searched for something new, with particular functions: The Jillian Michaels Show to listen to en route to/from the gym, KCRW’s Good Food to listen to while cooking/eating, The Wardrobe Code because I wanted a fashion advice one. 

I extended the Netflix Fast into a second week because I felt really good at the end of that first week. I was sleeping better, yes. I was using my time better, sometimes. I was learning so much from listening, getting inspiration, and accomplishing so many things - like organizing and decluttering (inspired by tranquility du jour episode on tiny living & the Wardrobe Code). I also thought it’d encourage me to use my time well as I was writing my final paper for my summer course this past week/end.

Tonight, as I think about returning to my Netflix Queue, I am feeling kind of hesitant. Do I really need to find out what happened next on Twin Peaks? 

Now that I am running out of writing steam, I realize this post isn’t very exciting… I’ll think about some way to jazz it up in the next couple days. LOL

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