Happiness Check-In

finding happiness at home

About a month ago I wrote a post about finding more happiness in life. I felt like I was stressed out about general day-to-day things and I needed to regroup…so I did! My short-term goals for the month were to:

  • Go to at least 1 yoga class
  • Spend at least 5 hours a week reading
  • Take Allegra on longer walks
  • Buy a bottle of wine

While I didn’t make it to the yoga class, I did read for at least 5 hours a week, take Allegra on some great walks, and a bought a bottle of wine… each week. It’s crazy how much little things can make a difference in your overall attitude. While I wouldn’t say I have things under control yet, I would say that I’ve been a lot happier. More than anything my little goals reminded me to take time for myself and do things that I enjoy. This month I decided to make a few new goals that help me to remember to take care of myself and my surroundings:

  • Spend 20 minutes a day cleaning
  • Find something fun and free to take part in each weekend
  • Go to bed earlier on week days (11pm LATEST!)
  • Start my commute by 7am

I’m hoping that this month I can continue to take some time for myself while still carving out time to keep the house clean and get to work on time. I’ve noticed that when things are in order and my home is tidy, my stress levels go way down. What things are you working on this month?

Finding Happiness

finding happy

Sometimes a little stress is healthy. A stressful situation can force you to run around, test your skills, and push yourself further than ever before. It can be a great motivator and a little stress is necessary sometimes.

But stress is also sneaky.

I’ve noticed some changes in myself lately. I’m slower and sleepier. I get less enjoyment out of the gym so I don’t really go. I’ve found myself giving negative responses faster and speaking up about things that are better left unsaid. Basically I haven’t been my best self. So I started thinking about why this could be happening and after a little reflection exercise I realized that I’ve slowly become stressed without even realizing it. I’m sure you can relate. One thing happens, than another, a few days later it’s something else.

You have a late night.
Then you hit snooze too many times and end up rushed in the morning.
Almost late to work, but you made it just in time!
…Just in time for a surprise meeting you’re unprepared for.
Pull out of the parking lot and straight into traffic.

I think you get the picture. Lately the timeline above seems normal not stressful- but the truth is that my normal has become stressful. I’ve never really thought about how quickly small stressors can add up over time. So to combat my hectic days I’ve decided to create a little goal list for this month to help me find a little more happiness.

  • Go to at least 1 yoga class
  • Spend at least 5 hours a week reading
  • Take Allegra on longer walks
  • Buy a bottle of wine

When I first started blogging I started to do monthly goals based off of the chapters in The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’m not good at goal lists so this fizzled out pretty quickly, but I purposefully made this one more fun and very simple to give myself the opportunity to complete it.

I’ll report back next month. In the meantime, stress-relieving tips are always welcomed!

Summer Bucket List

summer bucket list


We’re just a few days into summer and I’m already melting  here in south Florida. Why did nobody tell me how hot it would get? Just kidding- everyone told me how hot it would get. Turns out a Floridian summer looks a lot like a northerner’s winter- lots of indoor activities. Though I can definitely see myself enjoying a few Netflix days, I’m also still dedicated to enjoying the sunshine state. So here’s an idea of what I plan on doing. What do you hope your summer will look like?


PS- summer survival guide

How I built my savings account

how to start a savings account

I was one of those lucky SOBs who had a job right out of college. I say lucky because even though I worked my butt off for it, you need a little bit of luck in today’s market. I say SOB because whyyyy was I so excited to start working just two days after graduation? (I highly suggest giving yourself a week or so to move and adjust.) While I was super excited to jump  right into my new life, I was also a broke college grad who didn’t have two pennies to rub together. I mean if I had $50 in my bank account on my first day at work I would be surprised.

It’s funny because I used to be a saver. I worked all throughout high school to save for college and I had 2 jobs every year of undergrad. But college life was loud and fun and expensive. Senior year alone I went on spring break with friends, my computer died, and I paid my own utilities… so really my $50 bank account probably shouldn’t have seemed so surprising when I was only making minimum wage.

Luckily my family is extremely loving and supportive so they helped me with the deposit on my apartment and my dad lent me a car so that I could start an adult life, but I’m way too independent of a person to want to use their generosity for too long. So I put myself on a strict saving plan and here’s how it worked:

I opened two checking accounts and a savings account.

  • Checking Account One was for BILLS. This is where my direct deposit was sent. I had no debit card for this account, just checks for bills.
  • Checking Account Two was for GENERAL SPENDING. I was allowed to use it for fun, but it’s also where my grocery money came from so I had to prioritize a little. I got a debit card for this account for easy use.
  • As you can guess, the Savings Account was for SAVING. The rule was the money went in, not out–Emergency use only!

Everyone has a different bill budget and fun budget. For me at the time, I wanted to keep $1000 in my bill account at all times. It was important to me to know that as soon as a bill came in it could go straight out, no questions asked. Since my various utilities and student loans all came in at different times of the month, this was pretty reasonable. When a new check came in and I had extra money in my bill account, I would move some of it into my spending account and a little into my savings account. Once in a blue moon (or during a glorious three-paycheck month) I would be able to save a solid amount of money per month, but for the most part I was throwing in $50 here, $100 there, whatever I knew I wasn’t going to need.

I’m a very visual person, so keeping my spending money away from my bill money really helped me understand the reality of how much money I actually had available to spend each month. At a quick glance I knew if I had enough money to go to the movies and meet friends for dinner or if I had to go grocery shopping first.

So did it work? Well within that first year I was able to go from living paycheck-to paycheck (with no cable, internet, or couch) to an adult with real work clothes, a real couch, premium cable & high-speed internet, plus almost 10% of my annual salary in savings. #winning


Unfortunately as my savings grew I got more and more relaxed with my budget, so I wasn’t saving as much over the last 2 years. Then we had to spend a good chunk of that savings when moving down to Florida last fall, but the good news is that Dean and I now get to practice some saving together. Do you have any saving tips for us?


PS- Tips for your next job interview.

photo source unknown

A Day in the Life


I have no idea why I started documenting my day last Wednesday. Maybe I was bored, maybe I was proud of the fact that I made it to work on time, maybe I thought people were tired of seeing my life via photos on snapchat and instagram. But for whatever reason I got to work and wrote down my morning. In the end I decided to post it because I’m nosy and I love reading posts like this. So now the secrets out- daily life can even be boring here in beautiful south Florida.


5:30 am- My alarm went off and I obviously snoozed it.

5:50- Another alarm went off so I turned all future alarms off and decided to catch up on social media.

6 am- I have not yet realized the time so instead of getting in the shower I watched this video (an honest look at what it’s like to be a black male) and cried

6:20- Andddd I finally realized that I’m running late so I hopped in the shower and desperately tried to do my hair

a day in the life

7 am- Unhappy with my choices, I ran out of the house coffee-less and a little frantic with my hair looking like a hot mess.

7:10- S**t. I need gas.

7:50- Some how I arrived early to work so I stopped and got coffee…. it was around this time that I opened my car window and got hit with wind that smelled like bad breath. How does that even happen?

8 am- While walking into work I decided that I was going to write this post so I tried taking the above hair photo so I’d have something to show.

a day in the life

8:30- Sitting at my desk, I was pretty proud that I got so much done that morning after starting my day late I decided to post about it on Instagram.

11 am  – Work, work work. Is it lunch time yet?


2 pm- Back at my desk I realized that I just ate 3 tacos, a side of queso & chips, and 2 mini cupcakes. I decided to warn Dean about my decision and made plans to hit the gym for the first time in forever.

3:10 – I ate another cupcake.

5 pm- Work is officially over for the day! I walk to the wrong parking lot (rookie mistake) and eventually make it to my car. Now which podcast to listen to….I decide on Breakfast for Dinner.

a day in the life

6:15- Finally made it home. Even though I told Dean that I’d be getting changed and meeting him right away, I ended up taking pictures for Instagram. In my defense, the lighting was PERFECT and I purchased fresh flowers yesterday.

6:30- Changed for the gym and took more pictures for documentation purposes.

a day in the life

6:50- Also took pictures for snapchat purposes. I feel like my outfit and hair makes me look more prepared for the gym than I actually feel.

7:15- So I’m at the gym and I spotted Dean. He’s with a client but he kind of says hello.. and then puts his fist up for a pound. That was weird and I let him know.

7:17- The cardio machines have TV’s! I love this because I strangely like watching Jeopardy while I run so I decided to stay on for at least a half hour.

7: 37- I regret my decision but I stay on the treadmill because I’m stubborn and Dean keeps looking over.

7:47- And I’m done!.. that was enough time, right? Now what?

7:50- I don’t think I can keep walking around without attracting attention. I decide on an arm workout and make my way over to some machines.

7:55- Why is that guy sitting on a machine talking on the phone? Come on, man! Isn’t it obvious that I decided on an arm workout?!

7:57-… He definitely has no idea I’m waiting for this machine, but I’m just going to get water until he decides to leave.

8:11- My workout is complete and I’m back in my car. I second guess my decision to come to the gym because my arms hurt opening my car door.

a day in the life


8:12- I document my feelings via snapchat because I feel like this matters.

8:42- Get home, eat food, feed the dog, shower, pick out clothes for tomorrow.

9:15- How did I get all of that done in a half hour!? I decide to celebrate my successes by falling asleep on the couch while Dean went on a Freaks and Geeks marathon.


The rest of my night isn’t clear, but I’m sure I was sleeping in bed by 10:30. I remember when that would be something embarrassing to admit, but now it seems like a positive thing. #OldLady

So now it’s your turn! What does your day look like?