July Check-In & August Goals

by Stephany on August 1, 2014


Happy Friday! My mom and her fiance have spent the last week on a road trip to Georgia and Tennessee, and they come home tomorrow which I am so, so darn excited about! Other weekend plans: a writing date, a closet purge, and attending my first spin class in years (I have a friend who is getting certified to be a spin instructor and she’s hosting a free class. I don’t turn down free!).

Anyway, today I wanted to recap my July goals and set new intentions for August. The months are flying by, guys! But it’s good because we have one month to get through before foooootball. I can’t wait!

Recapping July goals…

Complete 31 workouts in 31 days. PASS. I successfully worked out 31 times in July, a goal I am very proud of achieving. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, though it did take a lot of willpower and motivation to keep up with the workouts so I didn’t fall too far behind. Typically, I took two rest days per week and then would “catch up” by working out twice a day two other days a week. (This usually consisted of doing cardio at the gym in the morning and a strength-training workout in the evening.)

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and write 31,000 words of my novel. FAIL. I didn’t even make it past day one. It’s just super hard for me to write 1,000 words a day with my full-time job. And I was also prioritizing exercise this month so when I had to choose between a workout or writing, I chose to work out. Figuring out how to work on my fiction novel while keeping up with my full-time writing job has been difficult.

Take an adventure somewhere. FAIL. Not one adventure, not even a little one? Not cool. I must do some adventuring in August!

Start the process of re-categorizing and tagging my posts. PASS. This was a lot of work! And slightly painful to read my blog posts from 2009/2010 (oh, how grateful I am to be finished with college!). 

Add $500 to my emergency fund. FAIL. In July, I only managed to add $280 to my emergency savings, but considering I haven’t added anything to it in a few months, I’m really happy about that.

In August, I want to…

Purge my closet and come up with my capsule wardrobe. I purge my closets frequently and my closet has gotten to a point where it just fills me with stress and anxiety when I try to find something to wear. I want to wear clothes that I feel good in, so I need to just remove the clothes I don’t love. Added to that, I want to create a capsule wardrobe. More to come on this!

Work out 31 times. Yep, it’s on the list again for August! I enjoyed completing this goal a lot in July, so I’m striving for it again in August. Plus, I know if I put it as a monthly goal, I’m even more motivated to achieve it since I have to report back at the end of the month.

Complete the 28-Day Food Change Challenge. I joined Nicole’s 28-Day Food Change Challenge last month, but haven’t begun the process yet. With the way the program is designed, I knew I would need to approach it a bit differently than others may have, giving myself time to plan things out and get in the right mindset. I hope this goes well! I’m nervous because I’m not that best at seeing food-related challenges through.

Leave my credit card at home. I have gotten into the habit of using my credit card throughout the month and, even though I pay off my balance in full monthly, this is a habit I want to nip in the bud. Easiest way? Just leave the darn thing at home! (Or should I freeze it in a block of ice, a la Shopaholic?!)

Stay away from fast food. I’m not a huge fast food junkie, but I do tend to eat Chick-Fil-A at least once a week. It’s just one of those easy meals, you know? And it’s so good. Man. This one is going to be hard, but I really want to get out of the habit of going for fast food when I don’t want to cook!

Do you have any goals for August?


On July

by Stephany on July 30, 2014


If July had a theme, I think it would have been simplicity. July was a simple, enjoyable month. I worried less about things that are out of my control and for the things I can control, everything felt a little less chaotic, a little less overwhelming. I’m not where I wish I was, but I am where I’m supposed to be. There are many things I want from my life, many things I want to chase after, but it’s okay if it takes me a while to feel ready to take the leap.


The Fourth of July was a fun, fun day. I haven’t done much for the holiday in years past, but my uncle opened up his home for a day of barbecuing, family catch-ups, and relaxing out on his dock. It was wonderful, most especially because my brother, his wife, and my adorable nephew came. And my favorite family from Georgia came down for the holiday week, which was so great. They are the best and our time with them was way too short. We ended the night with drinks on the dock and watching the fireworks, which took place just a few feet from where we sat. It was so amazing!


My mom’s birthday is in July, so we celebrated that, of course. I took her to see the movie Tammy, which was funny and we had a great time. Then, I was able to have her all to myself on her birthday because my brother couldn’t make it to her birthday dinner. (We had a second birthday dinner the following weekend, which coincided perfectly with her fiance’s arrival home after four months on the road!) Anyway, I enjoy celebrating her birthday and I think it was a good one for her!


As mentioned above, my mom’s fiance is back home. I used to get annoyed when he was in town (he stays with us now because there’s no sense in him keeping an apartment when he’s only home 10-14 days every 3-4 months), but I’ve gotten used to him. We have a much better rapport and we’ve even had times when it’s just me & him in the apartment, and it doesn’t feel awkward at all. I’m so happy about that! And Dutch is just thrilled when he’s home and has a buddy to hang out with all day. Things are so good on this front, though. Phew!


For the better part of a year, I’ve been slowly developing feelings for someone. He makes me laugh, makes me think, and makes me feel very good. And it’s lovely, but it’s just a crush and I’ve never had a crush evolve into something more. Who’s to say this one will? Then, this week, I received an email that said this: “Believe you’re worth going after what you want. Maybe you’re gonna get hurt. Maybe you’re gonna get bruised. Maybe you’re gonna stay waiting at the window for a long, long while. Maybe, just maybe, it’s worth doing it anyway.” I’ve known for a while that it’s time to take that next step, but it’s terrifying for me. Rejection is something I’m way too familiar with and it’s easier to stay in this comfortable space where “maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t.” Laying my heart on the line, being that vulnerable and honest, it makes me want to throw up. But getting bruised is all part of the journey, isn’t it? We only regret the chances we didn’t take, after all.


This month, I’ve been thinking a lot less about goals I want to accomplish and a lot more about how I want to feel. Don’t get me wrong – I still love goals and I will continue to set them, but I also want to tune more into myself and discover what emotions make me come alive. It’s a lot more difficult than setting goals because, with goal-setting, it’s more about extrinsic rewards. And those are easy to set. But what about intrinsic rewards? What about the emotions we want to embody in our lives? That takes a lot more soul-searching.


I’m looking forward to August, even if it won’t be a terribly exciting month. I’m planning on purging my closet and creating a capsule wardrobe, knocking off a few adventures on my Tampa Bay Project list, and maybe taking tiny, itty bitty steps toward opening my heart up to possibilities of more.

How was your July?


My Favorite Podcasts

July 28, 2014

I recently discovered podcasts. It was probably five or six months ago that a blogger I read started one, which introduced me to the world of podcasting. After listening to her podcast, I started searching for other shows to listen to because I enjoyed it so, so much. And now podcasts are taking over my […]

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Five For Friday: Childhood Confessions

July 25, 2014

Happy Friday! Oh, boy, am I excited for the upcoming weekend. I am taking myself on a date Saturday night to eat ice cream on the beach and watch the sun set, and I also want to take Dutch to a dog park to stretch his legs and run around in a new environment. I’m […]

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July 23, 2014

feeling very content, relaxed, and at peace about life right now anticipating tackling an adventure or two off my Tampa list this weekend, a girl’s trip in October, and the upcoming NFL season reading Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner thinking about how to maximize my time on the weekend. (I never seem to have […]

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Book Review: The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

July 21, 2014

From Goodreads: When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince […]

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Five For Friday (v. 34)

July 18, 2014

1) On a whim, I checked my credit score on Credit Karma the other day. I didn’t think it had changed much because I haven’t paid off any loans since the last time I checked, but surprisingly it did! It’s still a crappy number, but in the past seven months, it’s gone up 32 points […]

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July 16, 2014

I’ll admit that every now and then, I’ll succumb to the draw of The Bachelorette, and this season, I’ve been watching. It’s research! (Right?) So, a couple weeks ago, it was “hometown” week where the bachelorette meets with each remaining contestant in their hometown to get to know their family. And, during one visit, a contestant’s […]

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On Purpose & Passions

July 14, 2014

I went to a blogging event last week. One of my good friends that I met through book club is a local food blogger and she gets invited to fun events all the time because of her blog (and she’s got some sort of Yelp status? I dunno. I don’t “Yelp,” so I don’t know […]

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On Frugal Living

July 11, 2014

I started reading personal finance blogs this year. Because 2014 was The Year I Was Going To Be In Control Of My Finances. This was it! I would learn how to save money, spend less on frivolous purchases and meals out, and start paying off my consumer, school, and medical loans. I scoured the Internet […]

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