8 Month Update

It's funny how priorities shift yearly, monthly, daily.  This blog was something I created first to chronicle random things in my life.  Then I used it to track and catalog the random outfit.  Then, I dreamed it would be my brand...full of vintage and DIYs.

My life, however, is constantly shifting.  I recently accepted a job in the small town of Edmore, ND where I will be THE English teacher.  Lately life has consisted of acquiring books for my classroom library, so there have been a lot of garage sales and friends clearing out their own stashes and donating to me and my future students.  My garage has gotten an overhaul as one half is dedicated to my vintage goods and the other half is dedicated to my future life.

My plan is to have at least two more vintage sales between now and August so that Mike has more access to the garage.  I'm also trying, not as hard as I should, not to buy any new-to-me vintage pieces.  It's hard because vintage has been a huge part of my life these past four years, but I realize that I will need to take a bit of  a hiatus this next year.

So for me, this is the plan for summer.
1. Downsize vintage so it takes up 1/4 of the garage (or less).
2. Downsize personal items.
3. Work at Buckle and The Bun until July.
4. Craft a little more (if only to downsize current crafting stash).
5. Finish spare room.
6. Throw and/or donate at least a box a week.
7. Label all of my books!
8. Read as many professional development books as possible.
9. Spend as much time with Mike as possible.
10. Have a garage sale!


Life Update

I've taken off nearly two months from blogging.  At first, it wasn't intentional, in fact...blogging had slipped my mind entirely.  For the last two weeks or so, I've heard the nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me of the blog I so horribly abandoned.

So what has happened in my life these past two months?  A lot.


  • I had a vintage/antique sale
  • Mike and I bought a house!
  • I started what could be my last semester at UND before student teaching
  • I started a new job
If I complained of stress and being busy earlier in the history of this blog.  Let me apologize now.  I did what know what stress was; I did not understand being busy.  Some days, I wake up at 6a and do not get home until 2:30/3a.  Oh yeah, that new job is just an additional one serving at a bar, not one that replaces my current job.  The hard part is my schedule can be work 8-12, class 12:30-1:45, work 2-5:30, 2nd job 6-2a.  There is no free time in that day.  There is no time for homework.  There is no time.

So I'm trying to get better at planning and doing a bunch of homework before due dates so that if I fall asleep in class, at least I have a completed assignment to save a little face!

Theoretically, I'll be posting pictures of my vintage/antique sale before the end of September as well as pictures of the new, empty house (we close on the 17th).  I need to finish planning the big-life things before turning my attention back to this poor, neglected blog.  Soon.  I hope.

Photography Attempt V.3

A few weeks ago, Mike and I ventured to Peoria, Illinois for an Avett Brothers concert.  While out an about, aka walking to and from the car, I snapped a few pictures.

 I think the thing that I'm learning from taking photos on a semi-regular basis is that taking pictures, at least for me, isn't really about the shot so much as the story behind it.  For example, what do you see when you see this picture of Mike?  Not the same thing as me.  I see the clothes he's wearing and remember telling him they were fine when he picked them out at the store.  I see him putting the shirt and shorts together and wondering if it went together.  I see a hot day and a short walk to a short drive that would end in maybe the best sushi I'd ever have and a stop at a clothing store, where Mike sits comfortably and uncomplaining while I spend too much time browsing racks.




This photo is obviously the most out of place, but it's my favorite of the bunch because it's my favorite story.  After the show, Mike and I decided to find a gas station to grab some late-night treats and we managed to get ourselves lost.  While being lost, I noticed a casino...on a boat!  I'm not a gambler, by any means, but it was on a boat!  Mike and I made a deal to spend no more than $20.  I was frugal and used my dollars in several penny slots where Mike blew all of his in the first ten minutes on one machine.  Since I still had parts of my pre-approved cash available, Mike decided to spend another $20.  And then he won $500 on a penny slot machine.  It was a pretty fun thing to experience, if only because we were in such disbelief.

Animal Instinct


This summer has been one of the most difficult and rewarding of my life.  Working fulltime, taking two online classes, and trying to grow my brand "The Tattooed Moon" has really taken a toll on me.  Next week Mike and I are going on vacation, camping for a few days, and I am more than ready to take a few unplugged days.

Luckily, I've been able to sneak in some fun things between all of the work.  I've been fortunate enough to spend the last three weekends at the lake with my family, reading for enjoyment, going on pontoon and ranger rides, as well as hitting up some amazing garage sales.


This week finds me: working my last full week before vacation, finishing Chapter 11 of Spanish and taking the test, taking a midterm for my walking class, cleaning out my parents garage and shed to bring the best of the best for the flea market on Saturday, pricing like crazy for the Saturday flea market, cheating on my diet by going out to eat with my man friend on Friday, and doing my second flea market.  So there is a lot of craziness going on, but a lot of fun towards the end of the week once work is over and homework is completed.

Rawr

Monday was a pretty monumental day in my life.  Many things happened, but the most notable would be completing the Whole30 challenge, taking my first outfit pictures in public, and having my man friend take the photos.  We'll tackle each of these things in a separate paragraph.
First and most exciting would be completing the Whole30.  The man friend and I decided it was time to tackle our horrible eating habits and after reading Elsie's blog post here, we (okay, not we so much as I) decided to give it a go.  Part of the reason I think that I had so much success is because it's a pretty rigid plan and I'm the kind of gal who will find every possible loophole when it comes to dieting.  I'm so happy to report that I lost 18.5 pounds during my month and now Mike and I are following the plan 5 days a week with 2 "cheat days" where we can have grains, or pasta, or dairy.

The other cool thing about Monday was the it was the first time I've taken photos at a location other than my apartment or parents' house.  Mike and I were driving around after dinner (first dinner in a month and sushi is just as amazing as I remembered) and I decided that I was overdue for an outfit post so when we drove past this spot, I knew that it's where I wanted to take my pictures.  After just one day, and several stares from cars, I do not know how bloggers are able to take photos in such public places, but maybe you eventually get used to it.  

The last monumental part about Monday was it was the first time Mike has taken photos of me for my blog.  Having Mike take pictures was a little weirder than the whole photos in public part.  I'm so used to my timer and taking a million photos, so when Mike got behind the camera, I got a little stiff and weird.  I loved the outfit so much that I decided to post three (of only four) photos.  Maybe I'll eventually get used to Mike taking photos, though chances are, he'd probably prefer I use the timer and leave him out of it.

26 before 27 (June Review)

1. Read 50+ books, 4 that are religious/spiritual in manner
Officially at 16 books.  According to Goodreads, I am 9 books behind schedule, but with a few lake weekends ahead of me, I think that I'm in a better place that Goodreads believe.

2. Visit someplace new
Done! (6/4/15)   There will be a blog with a few pictures from that trip.

3.  Make a quilt
I bought an old quilt that needs to be fixed, so this goal may be revised to pretend that fixing the quilt counts.
4.  Work out 26 times
I worked out once!  Only 25 more to go!

5.  Take more photos
I should have at least two photo posts this month if everything goes as planed.

6.  Settle into the apartment (and maybe do a photo tour when it's complete)
In my head, I would like to pretend this will happen by the end of August, just before school begins...if only because I hate the idea of possibly moving out of our apartment in the winter and not being settled in.

7.  Blog at least 4 times monthly
If you read my sad attempt at a fourth post (here) in June, you would know that so far (after beginning on a bad note), I've been succeeding at goal 7.

8.  Write two new short stories
Soonish.  

9.  Get my passport
Mike told me this past week that I need to get my passport because one of my favorite bands is going to be in Canada in the beginning of August, so this is officially top priority, especially since I'm not entirely sure how long it takes to get a passport....

10.  Create and follow a budget
I said June, but I must have meant July with all of the success I had.

11.  Send more mail than last year
Still haven't sent any mail!!

12.  Learn to crochet
Jenna came over to my apartment the other day and taught me, but that was honestly about two weeks ago and I do not remember what we did.  I'll have to have her over another time or two before I really feel like I know what to do.

13.  Go to a winery
Nothing set in the future.

14.  Date-night with Mike monthly, at-home dates count, too!
This one was harder in June because Mike and I participated in the Whole30 challenge and that meant more staying at home, however we did go out for a movie!  We couldn't have popcorn at the theater, which was the pits, but it was a date!

15.  Take a yoga class
Hot Yoga, if I used the term properly, is coming to Grand Forks and I think I would like to imagine that I'll try it once they officially open.
16.  Have my parents over for dinner
Future!
17.  Create a blog feature
Photography Attempt and Instagram Stories, are the two that are currently in the works.

18.  Finish my volunteering requirement for school
This needs to be done before December...maybe even a little sooner.  This month I should just look up the places that are approved as volunteer locations.

19.  Get a new bed
Done! (4/15)

20.  Go to a play at Red River's "new" theater
This one has slipped my mind more than any of the other goals...oops.

21.  Have a "no spend" week in April
Fail

22.  Have a "no spend" month in September
Thinking ahead, I don't know if this is going to happen.

23.  Study for and take my Praxis tests
Halfway done!  My next test is next Tuesday and then this one will be completed.

24.  Pay off one big credit card
I need to go through and write everything down so I can make sure that this goal happens.

25.  Create my "space"
I have my space.  I have stuff in my space.  Now I need to get the crap organized or out of my space.

26.  And one to grow.
Still a little unsure on this one.

Four

This post may be cheating, but as a part of my 26 before 27 one of my goals included blogging at least four times a month (after falling off the blogging train at the beginning of the year), so when I saw that today was the last day of June and I only had three posts, I decided to throw this cheater of a post in.

So what does one ramble about when she needs a post an hour before the month changes?  Life, I suppose.  This is going to be one of those "currently posts" that I occasionally see floating around the interweb.

Reading:  This weekend at the lake, I was lucky to have enough time to finish two and a half books, young adult books, but still.  Honestly, if I were to be 100% honest, I'm mostly reading my Spanish book (I'm in an online class this summer) and books for my Praxis and PLT tests.  For fun, I'm in the middle of about a million books, but the ones I plan to finish next (hopefully this weekend) are: Four; A Divergent Story, Shiver, Bossypants, and Bad Feminist.

Thinking About:  Stress.  Lately, most about everything in my life has been causing me a bit of anxiety.  Spanish is becoming a bit overwhelming.  I recently found out that we'll be having a store visit at work, so that means I've got to be firing on all cylinders.  My real life is lacking, as well as the cleanliness of my apartment, because work and school is where most of my energy and effort goes so it feels like there is not much left.  That makes me sound very sad, but honestly, everything is great other than my lack of energy for personal life...especially eating as Mike and I are about halfway through our last week of Whole30.

Listening:  I never know what to put for this.  I want to say Grey's Anatomy, but if you look down, I have to write what I'm watching, which probably means that I'm supposed to talk about music.  The only music that I've really been listening to since October has been Life 97.9, our local Christian radio station.

Watching:  Orange is the New Black, Season 3. Check.  Once that was done, I went back and finished Drop Dead Diva, a show that Mike and I were surprised to get sucked into despite poor acting and no lost legal cases.  So currently, I'm onto Grey's Anatomy, Season 11.  It was very lucky for me that once I finished the other two listed shows, that the eleventh season of Grey's came onto Netflix, especially because I stopped watching the show on cable about five or six seasons ago.

Loving: My dog, Crookston.  My apartment and the great guy I share it with...again, that'd be Crookston, ha ha.  Mike, too.  Also, loving the fact that I passed the English component of my Praxis, and that Whole30 is coming to an end, and that I have an amazing family, and my health, and all of that other amazing stuff that I take for granted all of the time.

So here's my cheater post.  Feel free to comment with your "currently" choices!  I'd love to hear them :)