Obligatory Thankful Post

Yeah, yeah. I’m totally original.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. Tomorrow, my family will gather at my aunt and uncle’s house and enjoy a meal with all the traditional fixings – turkey and stuffing being my favorite, of course. It will be our first Thanksgiving without Grandma and just typing that sentence makes my stomach flip-flop. Her loss is still so raw, but what I do know is that being around family – laughing and crying and reminiscing – is exactly what we all need.


I didn’t intend for this post to begin on such a somber note, but it’s funny what comes out when you sit down to write.

Thanksgiving is a time when we take a step back from our busy lives and spend time with family, reflecting on the past year and everything we’re thankful for.

So, without further ado, here is what I am thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my mom. She supports every decision I make, calms me when I’m upset, and showers abundant love on me every day. She is my best friend and my safe place.

I am thankful for Dutch. He is the light of my life and my favorite friend. He is fiercely devoted to me and only me, and that kind of devotion makes a girl feel good.

I am thankful for my brother. He’s the person I grew up with. We went through every up and down together, including ending the relationship with our father. He lets me be myself without question, and I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without him.

I am thankful for this blog. Through blogging, I have met people that I would have never known but who mean the world to me. The friends I have made, and still make, through blogging makes this all worth it. I love identifying as a blogger and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I am thankful for reading. It’s my favorite pastime and I love nerding out about books and reading and literature with other people. I don’t know where I would be without books.

I am thankful for my friends. Building your tribe takes patience, vulnerability, and effort. But when you find those people you just click with, the people you can be your total weird self with, it’s so worth it.

I am thankful for writing. It feeds my creative side and allows me to make sense of the jumble that happens inside my head. Without writing, I’m not sure I would be as self-aware as I am.

I am thankful for a beautiful apartment in a city that is slowly starting to feel more like home. I love where I live and I feel so grateful to be able to afford such a nice apartment in a more expensive part of the Tampa Bay Area. I’ve come a long way since childhood.

I am thankful for the experiences I have had while traveling. Traveling is such a gift, and I think many people forget that. Not everyone has the means to travel. I didn’t until I graduated college. I’m glad I make it a priority, but I’ll never forget that it is a blessing to even be able to travel.

I am thankful for my job. It is a wonderful job. I love what I do and I love the people I work with. You cannot get luckier than that.

I am thankful for football. Football has always been an escape to me, and it has been my escape over these past few months with all the changes my life has gone through. Football is a game I love, a game that connects me to my brother, and it brings me so much joy.

I am thankful for podcasts. I have no idea what songs are popular on the radio nowadays because I’m always listening to podcasts. They educate me, make me laugh, and help me feel less alone.

I am thankful for my grandma. She taught me so much and meant so much to me. She shaped my worldview and helped me see that I am a worthy, loved person. I miss her so much, but I can only hope to be the kind of person she was.

Top Moments of My Weekend

1.  A fun night out with my book club ladies. We went to a new-to-us restaurant (Cappy’s Pizza) where we shared a big Greek salad, cheesy bread, and pizza. The food was delicious and the conversation even better. I wasn’t able to make it to book club in October, and had to decline a lot of events last month too, so it felt like I missed so much. After our dinner date, we drove over to a little ice cream place for dessert where I gave up on a peanut butter ice cream parfait a quarter of the way in. (My eyes were seriously bigger than my stomach!) All in all, a super fun night with my favorite ladies.


2. My first trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! My roommate organized this day for me to celebrate my birthday (she’ll be at home with her family in South Florida on my actual birthday). I am now the proud owner of an annual pass to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, which means I get to go back and visit Harry Potter as many times as I want over the next year! YAY!

WWoHP was incredible. I will say I am not a rabid HP fan. I’ve only read the books once and have only seen the first movie. But I loved the books and I really wanted to visit this park. And I’m so glad I did! I felt overwhelmed with happiness just walking through this little world that was created for HP fans. I went into Ollivanders and Gringott’s Bank. I went through Platform 9 and 3/4ths and rode the Hogwarts Express. I drank Butterbeer in Hog’s Head. I explored Diagon Alley and rode all of the fun rides. It was the perfect day.

Roomie and I are planning to return sometime in late January and I’m already counting down the days.






3. Birthday love. Okay, so my birthday isn’t until next Saturday, but my Roomie got me a “It’s my birthday!” pin to wear around the park and it was ridiculously fun to get all the happy birthday wishes! I always thought those pins were cheesy – and they are – but I’m totally pro wearing them now. Not only did I get a ton of well wishes throughout the day, but a worker on one of the roller coasters we rode told me to take the Express Lane because it’s my birthday and, during the Men in Black ride, someone over the loudspeaker told everyone to “wish Stephany a happy birthday!” and I got an entire room full of cheers. Totes awesome and I might just wear it every time I’m at Universal. (Kidding.) (I think.)


4. A quiet Saturday evening. After our busy day at the theme park (we started our day at 8am, though I was up at 5am so I could get in my NaNoWriMo word count for the day!), Roomie and I decided to keep it low-key for the night. We heated up leftovers for dinner and both retired to our rooms around 8:30 to read. I like having a Roomie who enjoys early bedtimes like me!


(I’m laughing at the passage I chose to take a picture of… I didn’t realize it until just now when I added it to the post! Oh well. Nothing too provocative, I suppose!)

5. All of the Starbucks! This weekend included four visits to Starbucks, which has to be the most I’ve had Starbucks in one weekend. I went on Friday afternoon between getting off work and meeting my mom for lunch so I could a) get some caffeine in my system and b) work on my novel. I also went on Friday evening, after my hair appointment and before book club. I had about an hour and a half to kill, and since Roomie was taking care of Dutch, I decided to spend it at Starbucks to finish up my writing for the day. Then, Saturday morning, Roomie picked me up Starbucks (as a birthday treat – I am so spoiled by her, it’s insane) before our day at the park. And finally, Sunday morning was spent at Starbucks writing with my friend. Whew! And three cheers for the return of peppermint mochas. Yum, yum!


6. An afternoon with family. Sunday afternoon was spent in the best possible way: relaxing at my mom’s apartment to watch football with her, my brother, and oldest nephew. We ordered pizza, enjoyed the games, caught up on each other’s lives, and at the end, my nephew and I played the longest game of Uno ever (it took us over an hour to finish just ONE game!). My nephew loves playing games, but he still has a very short attention span and gets frustrated if he’s losing, so it takes a lot of patience. It’s worth it, though. :)


What was the best part of your weekend?

Five for Friday (v. 47)

1) I am having such a book hangover after finishing The Martian. I think that book will go down as one of the best books I’ve ever read – and I don’t ever typically read the science fiction genre. But I will read any book Andy Weir writes now and forever, amen. I already want to reread the novel! I just found the characters so engaging and the plot so interesting. I want to see the movie (hello, my favorite actor as Mark Watney? Be still my heart!), but I don’t think I’m emotionally ready. I may have to wait until it’s out on DVD.

2) I offered to bring dessert to my family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year, and I’ve decided to make these double chocolate peppermint cookies and then this chocolate chip cookie pie. It shall be a delicious feast indeed!

3) I went to a hockey game last night! A coworker organized this night for a bunch of us to get together for the game. It was a ton of fun, even if I did hem and haw over buying a ticket. Now that I have so much more on my plate budget-wise, I’m finding myself less and less inclined to spend money on frivolous things. Good in some cases, not so good in others. Like this game. I didn’t need to go to a hockey game, but it’s a night out with some of my favorite people. I guess this is a blog post for another time – weighing the pros and cons of spending money. Cost versus opportunity, or something like that?

In any event, the hockey game was fun, I had a giant pretzel, the Lightning won, and I’m happy I went.

4) So, I’m always way behind in my podcast feed. (It doesn’t bother me; I subscribe to so many shows that I’m usually a few weeks behind.) But I wanted to highlight a super interesting episode from Stuff You Should Know, all about fairy tales and their dark beginnings. I always knew fairy tales had a sinister side to them – at least before they were transformed into the Disney tales we know today – but this episode really brought to light how sinister they were. Highly recommend a listen!

5) I have such a fun weekend planned! (I should have used this week for my Week in the Life series because this week has been/will be much more exciting than last week!) Today, I am having lunch with my mom, then I’ll go straight to my hair salon to get my color freshened up, and after that, I have book club! Whew. On Saturday, Roomie and I are headed to Orlando for a fun day at Universal Studios where I’ll get to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time. (!) Lastly, on Sunday, I have a writing date at Starbucks planned and then I am spending the rest of the day at my mom’s, watching football with her and my brother. Woohoo!

Do you have a problem spending money on social events? What are your weekend plans?

Currently in November

Loving… NaNoWriMo. I am having such a fun time writing my story. It’s a contemporary romance and my main character has a lot of my characteristics, so that’s fun to write about. I love NaNoWriMo for forcing me to do the work. And I’m over halfway to my goal, so there’s no stopping me now.

Reading… A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James. It’s a re-telling of Cinderella, and I’m reading it to fulfill the “retelling of a classic story” category for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I don’t think I’ll finish all the categories in this challenge (I won’t complete the microhistory and “novel published before 1850” categories), but I am going to deem this challenge a success anyway. Now I need to figure out a new reading challenge for 2016!

Anticipating… my trip to Universal Studios on Saturday, where I will visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the very first time! I’m going with Roomie and I know we are going to have the best time! I’ve never been to WWoHP (the last time I was at Universal, I hadn’t even read the books yet!), so I can’t wait to experience the magic. I want to reread the series next year, and I think this will give me the inspiration to do so.

Planning… to participate in The Holiday Council 2015. This will be my fourth or fifth year doing this program, and it’s one of my favorite end-of-year traditions. Reflecting on the past year and setting intentions for the upcoming year is my jam, and I can’t wait for another three weeks of magic with Molly. :)

Wanting… an essential oils diffuser because I think it might help the congestion I’m still dealing with at night. I put it on my Christmas list and hinted to my mom and brother that I would really, really like that. We’ll see what’s under the tree on Christmas morning!

Thinking about… taking a break from social media for a little while. I understand why, but my feeds have gotten a wee bit too political lately. I’ve been getting lost in Facebook debates (not participating, just reading them) and there is just so much shaming that is happening, which makes me sad. A little time away never hurt anyone!

Wondering… how different Thanksgiving will feel this year without Grandma. I love Thanksgiving, so there’s a part of me that’s really looking forward to the holiday, but I’m also dreading how emotional the day will be.

Excited about… my next cruise – March 2016! My mom, stepdad, Roomie, and I are all going. It’ll be Roomie’s first cruise and I am so excited for her to experience it. It’ll be a quick cruise – just a 4-day one out of Tampa – but I am already counting down the days.

Celebrating… turning 28 in a matter of days! Ten days to be exact. I am feeling very good about 28. I feel weird to turn that age because I still feel like a kid, and I haven’t hit the milestones I thought I would have hit by now, but I feel like I am coming into my own. I’ve grown so much in this past year and have gone through certain deep valleys that I’ve emerged from knowing myself and what I want and need so much better. Here’s to a new age!

Grateful… for the love and support I’ve received from the blog community in recent weeks. I always knew this community was an amazingly loving place – it’s been the one place where I feel like I can fully be myself and feel accepted – but I’ve been blown away. The cards, the emails, the care packages. It means so much to me, and I don’t know how to adequately convey my appreciation. Just… thank you. And I will pay it forward.

What are you currently reading, excited about, and grateful for?

Week in the Life: Sunday, November 15

I’m documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about MondayTuesdayWednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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Sunday’s story begins at 2:00 a.m., which is when Dutch finally got off the couch and came into my room. “Stephany,” you may be asking, “Why didn’t you just bring him into your room when you went to bed?” Very good question, my friends. Because Dutch was feeling mean when I went to bed and when I tried to pick him up so I could carry him from the couch and to my bed, he tried to bite me. This is his nighttime M.O. He’s gotten me real good before, so I’ve learned my lesson and let him be when he’s feeling mean.

Anyway, he was back to being Sweet Dutch at this time, so I picked him up and put him on my bed and we slept until about 7 a.m.

Once up, we took a long walk and then snuggled on the couch while I read my book. Around 8:30, I got ready and left to meet my friend at Starbucks for our weekly writing date.

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I was super stoked to see that peppermint mochas are back at Starbucks! YAY! They were also playing Christmas music and you know, I didn’t hate it. I’m ready for some Christmas cheer! I bought a blueberry muffin and a peppermint mocha Frappuccino, chatted with my friend for a little bit, and then got to work.

I escaped from my story nearly two hours later, having written over 2,300 words. It was a successful morning of writing and I have to say how much I am enjoying the writing process for my novel. I have lots of thoughts and feelings I’ll save for a separate blog post (you know, after I win NaNoWriMo this year!), but suffice it to say, it’s been such a fun time and I can’t wait for the day I can do this for a living.

We finished up our writing date around 11:15 and I took care of two errands (dropping a whole backseat full of donations at Goodwill and dropping my Postal Book Club book in the mail) before picking up a sub for lunch and making my way back home.

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I got home around 12:45 and took Dutch on his second long walk for the day. I’m experimenting with taking the little dude on longer walks, 10-15 minutes in length, thinking maybe he’s not getting “everything out” with his shorter walks. It seems to be helping. And this concludes Ponderings About My Dog’s Pee Problems.


The rest of the day was spent relaxing and not doing much! I love, love, love lazy Sundays. I really try hard to keep my Sundays free of plans as much as I can because I feel like it helps me to better ease back into the work week.

I turned football on, ate lunch, and then just puttered around the apartment, getting things done. I finished my book (easily the best book I’ve read this year and probably even in my top three of all-time), took a short nap, started a new book, read some blogs and caught up on the online forums I follow.

After watching the disappointing ending to the Giants/Patriots game, I took Dutch on a long walk, and then caught up on How to Get Away with Murder while eating dinner (pizza leftovers!).


I decided I needed to take care of some adulting tasks (mainly bill paying and budgeting), which I did while watching Sunday Night Football. Around 10:30, I took a bath and then wrote this post while watching the end of the football game.

I didn’t get to bed until about midnight, which is super late for a “school night” but oh well. It happens!

Some thoughts: This concludes my “Week in the Life” series! I really enjoyed doing it this year, even though my week was not all that exciting. But I think that’s the beauty of this project. It gives people a peek into everyday living. It allows people to learn about someone’s routines and habits and needs. We get to see the mundane, little moments of someone’s life – these are the moments that so easily escape our memory, but when we’re living in them, they mean so much. I’m happy I did this project again, and I am definitely planning on doing it again next year.

Do you prefer busy Sundays or lazy ones?

Week in the Life: Saturday, November 14

This week, I am documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about MondayTuesdayWednesday, Thursday, and Friday.


I woke up on Saturday to the news about the Paris attacks. Honestly, I have no words and I don’t know how to adequately express my grief and pain. This world can be such a scary place. Innocent lives were lost for what reason? It makes no sense to me. It’s heartbreaking.

No matter how I transition from talking about the Paris attacks to writing a silly day in the life post, it’s going to look awkward and strange and dumb, so I’m just going to acknowledge that. Here I go anyway.

Dutch woke me up at 6:50 a.m. by snuggling up super close and licking my face. He’s the best alarm clock anyone could ask for! We got up and took a long walk. It was 59 degrees at that time and I wore a jacket. Yay for fall-like temperatures! (If only they would stick around…)


After our walk, I lounged in bed reading my book and then eventually got up around 8:30 to go to the gym.

At the gym, I did a simple 30-minute walking treadmill workout, came home, fed Dutch, and then got right to work on my NaNoWriMo writing for the day (1,700 words – works for me!).

After that, I took a shower and got ready for the day. It was going to be a busy one! First, I had plans for lunch with my mom, and then we (+ Dutch, of course) were going to Dogtoberfest in Dunedin!

I left Tampa at noon, with Dutch in tow, and we picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch, bringing it to my mom’s new apartment to eat.

Around 2 p.m., we made our way to Dunedin to attend Dogtoberfest! My mom, Dutch, and I have attended this festival/adopt-a-thon for four years now, mainly because it holds a Running of the Wieners race every year. I love this race and look forward to it every year. It’s just so fun to be around so many dogs and I love watching the little doxies run their tiny legs off in their races. It puts me in such a good mood. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a cheap festival and it goes to a good cause (just $5 for parking and $7 to enter the race, all proceeds going to to the Suncoast Animal League, a nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue agency). Also? Nearly 200 dogs were adopted today! Isn’t that AMAZING? Go, Dogtoberfest!


They run the dogs in different ages groups (Dutch is a “Senior Sausage,” in the 10 and up age group). Usually, they run the heats from youngest to oldest, which has never made sense to me. This year, though, they started running the senior dogs first! Yay! We wouldn’t have to wait around for an hour or more for him to run. Instead, we only had to wait about ten minutes for his heat to be called.

In the end, Dutch finished second in his heat, but he crossed the finish line, which is all we wanted for him! He did so well. There’s a fun video on Instagram that includes me screaming his name, for your viewing pleasure.

We left the festival around 4:15 p.m. and headed back to St. Pete to visit my grandfather (whom I will now just call Pops because that’s what I call him. So weird to call him anything else!). I hadn’t seen him since the funeral, nor had I been to his home since the night my grandma died. I’ve been really putting off going to the house, if I’m being honest. It just doesn’t feel right being there without Grandma. I kept expecting her to walk down the hallway and see me and give me her bright smile. She always had the biggest smile for me, as if just my very presence brightened her entire day. It’s so unfair that I’m never going to see that smile again.

While visiting Pops, he played two videos he found of Grandma. One was during a interview he and my grandma taped in the early 1990s with the Christian Television Network, where Pops described the time he was electrocuted. (His heart stopped for 20 minutes, but he survived with no issues!)

Oh, Grandma. She looked so beautiful and so warm and so loving and so comforting. And then she started talking and that’s when I lost it. Tears. It just reminded me of how long it’s been since I’ve heard her voice, how long it’s been since she’d been healthy and vibrant. It was so special to see her like that and to hear her voice. I miss her so much, and it just struck me how unfair it is that she’s gone. Life can be such a cruel master.


My mom, Dutch, and I ended up leaving Pop’s house around 6:30 (though it felt more like 9:30 – darn you, time change!), and I dropped her off at her apartment before heading back to Tampa.

Dutch and I got home around 7:15 and I promptly took a bubble bath before lounging on the couch for the rest of the night. I made a frozen pizza for dinner, caught up on Scandal, wrote this post, and set my fantasy football lineup for the week.


Afterwards, I cleaned the kitchen, did my nightly routine, and then read in bed until about midnight.

How was your Saturday?

Week in the Life: Friday, November 13

This week, I am documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about MondayTuesdayWednesday, and Thursday.

I had a really crummy night of sleep. I woke up at 1:30 a.m. with a stuffy nose, so I took some Nasonex, which cleared me up within minutes. (Ahh.) And then the rest of the night, I had terrible dreams that Roomie and my mom both had terminal brain cancer. I woke up from the dream multiple times, and would recognize I was only dreaming, only to fall back asleep and re-enter the dream. (<– Upon further research, I think I was lucid dreaming, which is when during dreaming, the person becomes aware they are dreaming. They aren’t actually awake, but are conscious of what is happening, if that makes sense. I totally geek out about the brain and dream states, so this was incredibly interesting to me!)

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After a rough night of sleep, I was finally awoken for good at 5:15 a.m. to the sound of Dutch dry heaving. Lovely.

Thinking he was going to puke and knowing I had just cleaned my sheets and didn’t want him horking on them, I hurriedly picked him up and placed him on the floor. Oddly enough, he stopped dry heaving after that. Okay then!

Then, we went on our first morning walk before I got dressed and walked down to the gym.

At the gym, I rode 3 miles on the spin bike and then did a 20-minute strength-training workout. Felt so good, and I was so deliriously happy to have my workout done for the day!

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Back at home, I fed Dutch, took a shower, took Dutch on his second morning walk, did my hair and makeup, got dressed, made my breakfast shake, and then was out the door by 7:30.

My morning at work was fairly uneventful – all of the editing! First, I edited the pages a coworker sent to me and then I edited the blog-style pages I had written earlier in the week, and received back from my proofing partner on Wednesday. By the time I finished up, it was 11:30 a.m. and I was done with work for the week. Wahoo!

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I came straight home from work, took Dutch on a short walk, and then ate lunch while reading all about lucid dreaming (see above, ha!).

And then I proceeded to have the most boring Friday afternoon/evening. I wish it was more exciting, but it was productive and I’m really happy I knocked off a lot of tasks on my to-do list. Here’s a run-down of what I did:

  • Cleaned my bathroom, including washing my rugs and mopping my floor
  • Cleaned and vacuumed my room
  • Read a lot of The Martian (I am enjoying this novel so much that I’m taking my time with it and savor every word)
  • Wrote 3k words for NaNoWriMo (woo!)
  • Grocery shopped for the week
  • Baked homemade chocolate chip cookies to bring to my grandfather tomorrow
  • Baked chicken to take for lunch next week
  • Took Dutch on multiple walks, of course

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My last task of the evening was to bake my cookies, so I did that while finishing up this week’s episodes of The Voice and watching a few episodes of Blackish. Then, I did my nighttime routine, read for a bit, and went to bed around midnight.

Thoughts on today: So not the most exciting of Fridays, eh? Such is life. When I began thinking about doing another “Week in the Life” series this year, I felt a lot of internal resistance at first because my life from an outsider’s perspective is rather boring. It’s not boring to me; I actually quite enjoy the “boring,” though that is all relative, you know? But it’s not filled with grandiose plans. I’m a homebody to my core, and I think this past week of posts has shown that. I like being home. I like cozy nights in, snuggled on the couch with my pup, writing or watching TV or reading. I enjoy this little life of mine. I know these posts probably are not as interesting to others as they are to me (I’m actually having a blast writing them!), but I think it’s interesting to take an average week in someone’s life and document it. It’s fun to see how people’s day-to-day lives differ from others.

Would you ever do a “Week in the Life” series on your blog? Tell me one good thing about your Friday!

Week in the Life: Thursday, November 12

This week, I am documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about MondayTuesday, and Wednesday.

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Since today was a work-from-home day, I didn’t plan on waking up until 7 a.m. (divine!), but Dutch had other plans and woke me up at 6:30, needing to go out.

So we got up and took a short walk outside. I fed him when we got back inside, and then sat on the couch and read a chapter in my book before turning on my computer and getting to work.

The morning was fairly uneventful. I wrote for a medical client, which is something different from all the home improvement clients I have, so it’s a nice break from the usual. I wrote four pages of content this morning, along with doing some other tasks, like making breakfast, taking Dutch on two walks outside, and making an appointment. Productivity FTW!

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Around 11:30, I went down to the gym to get in a 30-minute workout. The gym was empty, so I hopped on an elliptical and got to work. It went well, but my right knee started to hurt me near the end of it and it was nearly impossible to climb the stairs afterwards. Weird!

Once I got back, I put my lunch in the oven and then while it was cooking, I wrote a quick 175-word marketing page that my writing manager needed for me, and then ate lunch while watching a The Tonight Show from early November. (Um, I’m a wee bit behind. Poor Jimmy.)

The rest of my afternoon was fairly productive. I finished the monthly content for my medical client and sent out a request to have those pages proofed. I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, took a shower, and took Dutch on two more walks.

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At 5 p.m., I shut down my computer and then decided to finally take down my Halloween gel clings and replace them with Thanksgiving ones! I also hung up my “Give Thanks” banner (is anything more Target that that?!), so now it feels a bit cheery in here! I honestly cannot wait to buy a Christmas tree and decorate our apartment for Christmas.

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After that, I folded laundry while listening to a podcast and then decided to tackle my NaNoWriMo writing for the day. After just 500 words, I realized I really wasn’t feeling the writing today so I decided to give myself the night off. I’d have to make up for it over the weekend, but that’s what weekends are for, right?

I took Dutch on another walk (this is #6 for those keeping track…) and then heated up Santa Fe chicken leftovers for dinner. At this point, Roomie decided to eat, too, so we watched a few episodes of The Tonight Show while eating our respective leftovers. (I love how boring this tidbit is, but how comforting this memory makes me feel!) Then, I made us undercooked chocolate chip cookies for dessert. (And, lest you think I whipped up a batch of cookies, I almost always have Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough in my fridge for emergency cookie situations.)

By this time, it was around 8 p.m. so I decided to put my freshly laundered sheets on my bed and while doing so, Dutch proceeded to have an accident in the house. *&#*@)*(#!!! I don’t know if he’s having typical old dog incontinence or what, but he just cannot seem to hold his pee anymore. He seems to do fine staying by himself for 4-5 hours without an accident, but when I’m in the house, he suddenly can’t hold it. I am honestly at my wit’s end. I’m very tempted to pick up some doggie diapers the next time I’m at PetSmart.

After cleaning up his mess and taking him out (#7!), I finished putting my sheets on my bed, took my comforter out of the dryer (so warm and cozy!), and then did my nightly routine.

I read in bed for a little bit before shutting off the lights at 10 p.m.

Thoughts on today: Dutch definitely gets the most walks of any dog in the history of pets. Life would be a billion times easier if I could just let him out in a yard! But, as you can see above, those walks are necessary and usually only last a few minutes. We’ll go on 1-2 long walks, and the rest are short ones where we walk downstairs, he does his business in the grassy area right outside our building, and we walk back upstairs. It’s annoying to have to give him so many walks, but I guess it’s just par for the course when you have an elderly tiny dog.

Does your office allow for working from home? Tell me one good thing about your Thursday!

Week in the Life: Wednesday, November 11

This week, I am documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about Monday and Tuesday.

This morning, I woke up a little before my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. I was having an anxiety dream, and it involved Dutch, my mom, and my brother (read: the three most important people in my life) so I was more than happy to wake up from that!

I took Dutch on his first morning walk, fed him and emptied the dishwasher while he ate (he won’t eat unless I’m physically in the kitchen with him, so because he’s spoiled, I stay in the kitchen and if I can make my time productive, even better!), took a shower, did my hair and makeup, got dressed, packed my lunch, and then took Dutch on his second morning walk.

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I left for work around 7:10 and managed to score a prime parking spot in our parking garage. Woohoo!

Once at work, I made my breakfast shake, chatted with my coworkers for a bit, and then got started on my day. I edited the rest of the articles I had written yesterday and sent the off to my proofing partner, and then wrote four more articles.

A little after 11:15, I left work to drive home and take Dutch on his afternoon walk. Fairly uneventful – we walked, we snuggled, I left. I did manage to snag my same awesome parking spot when I got back to work, which never, ever happens.

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I had the most unproductive afternoon at work – it was seriously impressive how little I got done! I managed to finish one last blog article, and after editing the articles I had written earlier, I sent them to my proofing partner. (Another client finished for this month – yay!) From then on, though, it was a struggle. I refreshed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram approximately four billion times. Played at least a dozen games of Candy Crush. Read blogs. Sigh. At the end of the day, I managed to edit and send off monthly content to one of my clients, and write a half-page of content for another client. Not ideal.

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Since I’m technically still on schedule this month, I didn’t beat myself up for this unproductive afternoon because they definitely happen here. There are only so many days where I can sit and write, write, write. It just means I have to maintain my focus for the rest of the month. I can do this!

I left work at 5 and got home a little after 5:30. While the commute to work is easier than it was when I lived in St. Pete, the commute home is definitely worse. I guess it all balances out, though?

Once home, I took Dutch on his walk and then chatted with Roomie for a little bit. Right before I decided to sit down and do my NaNoWriMo writing for the day, Dutch threw up! He hasn’t thrown up since the night he was super sick, so it was a bit troubling. But he seemed okay, so we snuggled on the couch and I started writing.

After I wrote 1,000 words, I decided to take a break for dinner. I took Dutch out for another nighttime walk, fed him (I gave him some bland GI-safe food that he scarfed down), and then put a frozen pizza in the oven for me.

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As my pizza cooked and then while I ate it, I finished Monday’s episode of The Voice, and then finished up my NaNoWriMo writing for the day (1,668 words total).

It was around 9 p.m. at this point, so I cleaned up the tiny mess I made in the kitchen, took a bubble bath, did my nighttime routine, and then snuggled in bed with Dutch and my book.

Lights out tonight at 10:30 p.m.!

Thoughts on today: As you can probably see, my nights aren’t exactly the most thrilling. Sometimes, I feel bad about that but most times, I don’t. I really, really like having low-key weeknights. My job can sometimes take a lot out of me, and I like the days where I can just go home and relax on the couch. Plus, with Dutch, I hate leaving him at night when I’ve left him all day. (I try to avoid this whenever possible.) I’m not someone who thrives on being busy (in fact, it’s an anxiety trigger for me!) and as an introvert, I need these low-key nights to recharge. The last thing I will ever do is apologize for doing something that feels good to me, so you can have your busy schedules. I’ll take slowness any day.

Do you find that you follow up super productive days with an unproductive one like me? Are you someone who thrives on busyness or slowness, or do you fall somewhere in the middle?

Week in the Life: Tuesday, November 10

This week, I am documenting my life in a series of “Week in the Life” posts. I hope everyone enjoys this little peek into my day-to-day! Read all about Monday here.

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My alarm woke me up at 4:45 a.m. today, and it was the most unwelcome. I snoozed for 5 minutes, then got up, got dressed, and took Dutch on his first morning walk. After giving him a treat, I headed down to the gym for a workout. I did a fun 2.3-mile loop on the spin bike and then 15ish minutes of strength training.

Once back in my apartment, I fed Dutch, took a shower, did my hair and makeup, got dressed, packed my lunch, and took Dutch on his second morning walk.

By 7:05, I was commuting to work and got there right around 7:30. (My work hours recently changed, so now I work 7:30-5:00 Mondays-Thursdays and 8:00-11:30 on Fridays. I love it!)

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My morning at the office was fairly straightforward. I planned a full day of writing (9 articles in total was my goal). I wrote 2.5 articles before I had to stop to attend a company-wide meeting about our health insurance renewal. Luckily, that meeting only lasted five minutes since nothing had changed. Hooray! I am on a tight schedule this month, and don’t really have time for interruptions to my day.

After the meeting, I got right back to writing and finished 2.5 more articles before lunchtime. (I didn’t edit any of the articles, just wrote them and moved on to the next! I’ll go back and edit them later. But that’s why I can write them so quickly!)

At 11:15, I left work to go home and take Dutch on his afternoon walk. I get an hour lunch break, and only live 15-20 minutes from work. So, I’m able to spend 20-30 minutes with him in the afternoons, which is great. I love this time of day! It was also supremely nice out (82 degrees – laugh all you want), so we enjoyed the sunshine longer than usual.

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When I got back to work, I heated up my lunch (Santa Fe Chicken leftovers with brown rice), which I scarfed down while editing a coworker’s pages. Then, it was back to writing for me! I was incredibly focused this afternoon, so I got all my writing done by 3:15. At that point, I took a break to go downstairs and bask in the sunshine.

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The rest of my day was spent editing. I edited a coworker’s pages and then started reading through the articles I had written earlier and editing them. Since I wrote the articles so quickly, I was worried that they were terrible, but they weren’t too awful! They could use some work, but I’m not concerned with perfection here. And sometimes, I get really great feedback and editing suggestions from my coworkers, which is helpful for allowing me to see a sentence I have been struggling with in a new light.

I left work at 5 and thanks to much better traffic patterns, I got home right around 5:30. Roomie was already outside with Dutch, so I took him off her hands (while giving her my bags to take up to the apartment) and the Dutchers and I went on a nice long walk around the complex. I got the mail and found two bills for me (boo) and the sweetest card from San (YAY!). Her card completely brightened my day!

Back at home, I fed Dutch and then took a relaxing bubble bath. I read a chapter of The Martian while doing so. All the science-y stuff in this book is going over my head, but I love the voice of the novel so much. I’ll be able to devote more time to reading this weekend and I can’t wait!


After my bubble bath, Roomie had dinner prepared (lightened-up beef stroganoff), which we ate while watching part of last night’s episode of The Voice. Then, she cleaned up the kitchen (I offered to clean since she cooked, but she insisted) while I started on my NaNoWriMo writing for the day.

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It took me less than an hour to get my writing done, which I consider a huge, huge win. I wrote 1,680 words, so I’m slowly closing in on the 20k mark of total words written! Whee!

It was a little after 8 p.m. when I finished, so I took Dutch on his second nighttime walk and then ate a bowl of ice cream while finishing up this post. Afterwards, I went through my nighttime routine and read in bed for a little while before turning in for the night at 9:30.

Do you snooze your alarm or get up right when it goes off? What’s one good thing that happened to you yesterday?