31 January 2012

End of January Randoms

* Well, at the end of the month, I'm looking around at recent purchases and things I've accomplished, and I have to admit, I think I've done a great job of adding some much needed color to my life. And for incredibly reasonable prices too! I still have more I'd like to do for the living room....but that can wait a bit. 

* I've also pushed myself out of my cozy little comfort zone a bit this month, and I'm proud of myself for that as well. From little things like trying new cocktails and teaching myself some decorative sewing techniques, to bigger things like inventing my own pattern for a sewing project (blog post on that at a later date) to today, when I finally conquered my fear of the weight machines at the gym and did an entire 30 minute routine without any assistance. I tell ya, if you're not pushing your boundaries in big ways and small, that cozy little comfort zone rapidly becomes suffocating....and you don't want that.

* The weather this winter has been appreciated, but it sure has left me confused. It was 57* today! In Chicago, on 31 January! And I was comfortable going for a walk in a sweatshirt and capris....in Chicago, in January! So strange. Part of me hopes this is as bad as winter gets, but part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall, and hard. In the meantime though, I'm taking advantage of the weather and going for a nice, long walk this evening.

* All of these stunning, colorful photographs are from the same artist responsible for last week's Color Love Explosion post. Since I've stumbled across Eric Cahan's work, I haven't been able to stop going back to his website every. single. day. They really combine my love for color and photography and the sky and water.

* Tomorrow starts my first self-imposed "no buy" month of the year. I feel like I've come a long way in my shopping habits. Partly because I rarely ever set foot in actual stores anymore. But. I still feel like I don't always mindfully shop, so I'm trying to slow down the online purchases. Taking a month off doesn't mean I'm not looking....just not buying. And that gives me time to decide whether it's a purchase I really need to make and whether I've found the best price for that item. It also gives me a chance to reassess my personal budgets and make sure I reach all the personal financial goals.

* I have been feeling sort of restless lately, and that's translated itself into more activity. I've been a quietly busy bee this month. No more socialization than normal, but more activity. I've done quite a few crafty projects and redeveloped a gym routine after a holiday hiatus. I've also started finding some quickie little workouts to toss into my work day when I need a break or start getting sleepy (important since I no longer drink any caffeine). I'm feeling the difference, but I'd like it even more if I could see the difference.

* All in all, even just one month in, I'd say I'm doing a good job of living up to 2012's word for the year: Live. Here's to another great 11 months!

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