floweruary, BLIP, and trying new hair styles!

Much like No-Shave-November, the month of February is host to a charitable awareness movement known as Floweruary, where guys and gals spend some time raising awareness and money to benefit a charity — with feminine flair.This year’s beneficiary is BLIP: Bringing Swing to Panama City and the Disabled. There are 11 more days to help this kickstarter, and if you have any interest in helping the disabled dance — well, you get the idea. Donate!

Sadly, while I love flowers, I have trouble convincing myself to wear one every single day. In exchange, I will be working to push myself to use hair styles I normally find too difficult or too outside my personal comfort zone of style. I have pinned a whole bunch of inspiring, beautiful, and difficult hair styles to pinterest. A bunch of the styles I have found inspiring are from The Beauty Department, which every girl should check out. It has absolutely the best hair tutorials I have come across. It’s also full of great beauty advice and adorable ideas.

The first two hair styles I did have gone great. The first hair style I tried was the twist-and-flip bun. I had tried this once with shorter hair, and it didn’t work very well; I am so happy it worked this time! I wore it to an art showing, and then out to a swing dance. It weathered the dancing particularly well! Sadly, I do not have any particularly great photos of that night.

The second I tried was a twisted chingon. The difficult part of this hair style was — gasp — no tutorial! However, it turned out so much better than I expected!

Tips for this look:

  • Tease. A lot. At least twice as much as you think you’ll need.
  • If you have layers, short hairs underneath, or bangs, a curling iron is your friend. I curled my bangs so that they would stay all night, without pinning or my constant frustration.
  • I did this on dirty hair (I didn’t wash it this morning), so dry shampoo was my friend for both volume and de-shiny-fying my roots.

And now the best part. Pictures!

  frontsidebackOver the past two years, I have learned an incredible amount about styling my hair, and it’s been an eye-opening experience. This month, I hope to push that further!

 

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the hundred push-up challenge: team awesome

I am re-starting the Hundred Push-Up Challenge. Last time, I did it for a little over two months and went from 6 push-ups (barely) to 28 (solid). Now that the stress of applying to Grad School is gone and I have refocused on my goals this year, I am excited to re-start this challenge.

The last time I attempted the Push-Up Challenge, I had two friends who were trying with me. This time, though, we have expressed interest in attempting the challenge! In fact, the number of people who are participating has grown far larger than it is possible to tag in a single status, so we’ve created a little facebook group for general encouragement and

Some have already taken their exhaustion test, and others have started the first day of the first week. It’s interesting to see people I don’t even know gather together and help push each other to the next level of personal fitness.

My exhaustion test was 21 push-ups. Today, I completed the first day of week one of column three, which – and I’m really excited to have an awesome group of people to do this with!

Anyone who would like to join us in this challenge should let me know! I plan on buying a drink for anyone who reaches 100 consecutive push-ups with me!

in with the new

I am excited about this year. I’m looking forward to some big changes: I will (hopefully) move out of the South. I will (hopefully) attend Grad School, but even if I don’t, I will (definitely) leave my position at the Library. I am looking forward to these major life changes.

There are some smaller and theoretically more manageable changes coming this year, too. I plan on learning more about what I like to eat and becoming capable of cooking said dishes (more on this in another post). I also plan on getting back into running, which had been put on hold due to a foot injury. I will re-start the hundred pushup challenge, and I will not stop until I can complete 50 consecutive push-ups.

I am also making some changes in how I approach dancing, learning to dance, and blogging about dancing. The most notable change for anyone who reads this blog is that I will have a blog dedicated to dance, rather than splitting the focus of this blog between myself (let’s be honest — I like talking about myself) and various dancing thoughts (which is what most people who look at this blog are hoping I’ll write about in the first place).

I have decided to share my goals for the New Year on this blog. You might roll your eyes (“Sure. Another list of New Year’s resolutions. Great.”), but you should know that I actually completed the majority of my goals from last year. I believe some of the personal success I experienced last year was due to this blog, and a whole lot more of that success was due to the support and encouragement of my friends and family.

So thank you for your continued support. Because this year is going to be awesome.

***

So Important they Deserve their Own Category

1. Move out of Georgia.
2. Be awesome at Graduate school (assuming I am accepted). If I am not accepted, be more awesome and re-apply.

Personal

1. Read more books than I read in 2012 (at least 23). Try to maintain consistency in a reading schedule (meaning, try to fall asleep less often on the bus).
2. Complete at least 5 craft projects this year, and share these accomplishments. I want at least one craft project to involve sewing!
3. Learn to appreciate the good in others, rather than focusing on their flaws. In particular, I would like to learn to not compare myself to others in a way which is detrimental to either myself, the other person, or both.
4. Create two blogs with specific purposes: one for myself, my goals, my accomplishments, my successes, and my failures. The other for dancing, so that dancers do not have to wade through miscellaneous posts about lipstick and grad school.*
5. Maintain a Daily Memories Journal, as I did in 2012.

Health

1. Learn to Cook. Specifically, I have two cookbooks to buy: “I’m Just Here for the Food” b Alton Brown, and a basic “Four Ingredient” cookbook, which is fairly popular. I’ll have to look through them and see what I like. As I find recipes I enjoy, start a personal recipe collection.
2. Begin running again (slowly). Work up to a 5k, keeping in mind my injured foot and a tendency to get shin splints.
3. Use the “sworkit” app on my iPhone to exercise.
4. Begin the hundred pushup challenge again, and go as far as I can. Preferably to 100 pushups, of course, but I am aiming for a minimum of 50.
5. Stop drinking coke entirely.
6. Improve my posture.**

Financial

1. Continue to use Toshl to track all my finances.
2. Teach dance (beginner’s lessons, Tranky Doo lessons, private lessons, whatever) to raise money; use this money specifically for dance purposes.
3. Resist the trap of over-consumption. Don’t buy anything, and sell unnecessary things, especially as I prepare to move.

Dance

1. Become more involved in the organizational side of exchanges and workshops.
2. Learn the Hat Trick Shim Sham and Tranky Doo. Learn the Jive.
3. Choreograph one solo-jazz piece, focusing on musicality and clean transitions.
4. Focus on some core basics in swing dancing: posture, pulse, and a clean and consistent connection. When I say connection, I don’t just mean that I cleanly follow the move a lead is leading, but that I’m also interacting with him as a dancer, rather than being in my own world.
5. Make more eye contact when I dance. Practice keeping my head up, especially in solo and when doing variations.
6. Continue to improve as a lead. Dance at least a few dances every night as a lead. Look for feedback on how to clearly lead moves.

goals update – better late than never!

I know I was supposed to update this last night, but I completely spaced. Seeing as I spaced last week, as well, I figured I’d better make up for lost time.

Weekly / Daily Goals

1. Cooking – I have been pretty good at this, excluding the Jubilee Jazz Revival, which is totally understandable. I’m still trying to get away from pasta…but it’s so easy!

2. Running – I went on a fantastic, long, hilly run the other day…but I almost got lost, and I definitely would have appreciated a few more sidewalks. I need to find a better place to run, but at least I’m doing it when I can! Who wants to run with me at KLX?

3. Hundred Pushup Challenge – I am finally making some progress on this! I have completed two weeks of the challenge, and I maxed out last night at 18 pushups, which is three times the number I started the program with. It really helps to have friends doing this with me to motivate me.

4. Blog on Schedule – I’ve been doing okay at this – certainly better than I ever have in the past! Some days, though, it’s just hard to remember.

5. Practice Like a Rock Star – Jubilee Jazz Revival has passed, and the practicing has come to an end, but I’m pretty proud of all the work I put into the pieces for the show. I definitely could have used more time to practice one section in the fan dance piece, but it just didn’t happen. I am trying to be more professional about performances every time I participate, and I think this was a mostly good year, despite the near panic-attack I had the day of when I couldn’t figure out how to do the fan circle…

Overall Goals

1. Grad School – I am making some good progress here, but I am running into a new challenge: no one is emailing me back! Pretty soon, I am going to resort to researching a professor’s office hours and surprising them with a phone call. Right now, I need to work on my statement of purpose; I’m hoping to have at least the first draft by the middle of October.

2. Job Hunt – This is still on hold for Grad School. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep my temp job through the end of winter; after that, Grad School apps will be in, and I can focus on being gainfully employed in a steady, non-temporary job.

3. Jubilee Jazz Performance – Like I said, it went really well this year! I worked more on the Chorus Line piece, and I learned the Fan Dance routine; I learned a lot more about professionalism (a bit of it through making mistakes), and I learned a lot about working on choreography. It was a good experience.

Miscellaneous

My room is still (mostly) clean! I need to pick it up a little after the Jubilee Jazz Revival, but otherwise, it’s looking good! My morning routine, though, has slipped just a little bit; I’m still getting to work on time more often than not, but I’m trying to squeeze out every ounce of sleep that I can.

That’s about it for now. All suggestions for new goals for October are welcome!

august recap / september goals

AUGUST RECAP

You can go back and look up what the goals were for last week.

Weekly / Daily Goals:

I only ran four times for a total of 6.87 miles. Between a short stint of shin splints (try saying that five times fast), ILHC, and moving, I can see why I didn’t get a lot of running done. I’m disappointed in myself, so I plan on making up for it this month.

Aside from that, I did relatively well in my other weekly challenges: I read a healthy amount on a regular basis, I really worked on avoiding restaurants, and I blogged mostly on schedule (aside from the weekend of ILHC, of course).

One Time Goals:

I am working on Grad School like you would not believe. The last week was a little rough with moving, but other than that, I have a clear plan and a better idea of what I want to study. I’m feeling much better about the next step, especially compared to a month ago.

SEPTEMBER GOALS

Weekly / Daily Goals:

 1. Cooking – cook at least two “real” meals per week. This means nothing premade or out of a box. These meals will probably be Tuesday and Sunday.
2. Running – as much as I can. If I’m happy with myself, then I’ve done it right.
3. Hundred Pushup Challenge – Rock it out.
4. Blog on Schedule – Do it.
5. Practice like a Rock Star – Put in serious practice for Jubilee Jazz Dance Performance twice a week outside of rehearsals. I want to give it my all.

Overall Goals:

1. Grad School –This is the month to talk, explore, and figure out where I want to go.
2. Job Hunt – The temp job at the Emory Library might be winding down, so I have to buckle down and look elsewhere. I mean, I’ve been looking. But now there’s a bit more pressure.
3. Jubilee Jazz Dance Performance – I will be performing in the Chorus Line and the Fan Dance. I am so excited!

august goals

Weekly / Daily Goals

  1. Run 2x/week – I probably should have been successful at running two times in a week before I tried upping the number of times I ran each week. Thus, we are back down to two times per week. Eventually, I’ll permanently run more often – we just have to work up to it first.
  2. 100 push-up challenge– this is to build upper body strength. I don’t necessarily have the goal of being able to do 100 push-ups…but I want to be able to do more than the average person, at the very least. So four should be a good goal, right? (Just kidding – I want to do as many as I can.)
  3. Read 20mins/day – I am working on Catch-22 right now; my list also includes The Happiness Project, The Power and the Glory, and various books which are on my night stand.
  4. Minimize $$ spent at Restaurants – I almost succeeded this month at going under budget – meaning, I haven’t changed my budget since I started this whole ‘budgeting’ challenge, but I’ve consistently had trouble being under budget when it comes to restaurants. I’m working on it, and I think I’ve come close to figuring it out…
  5. Blog. On schedule, even. There’s a schedule. It’s Sunday-Wednesday-Friday. I even have all my posts for this month planned out. It’s going to be awesome.

One-time Goals

  1. Email Professors – I’m shooting for emailing two professors by the end of this week, just to get the ball rolling. Once that’s done, I’ll be emailing a bunch more.
  2. Pack and clean apartment – This should be self-explanatory. I’m moving. I need to pack. I’d rather not go crazy at the last minute. Thus, I will be packing the less-than-necessary items in the weekends before.
  3. Downsize my life – This means getting rid of a lot of stuff. I’m focusing on getting rid of clothes, knickknacks, and items I don’t use any longer (does anyone need a printer/scanner? It’s slow, but it works well and it comes with ink!). My logic is going to be that if I can pack it in a less-than-necessary box (see above), do I really need it?

I think August will be more successful than July – but that won’t be hard, since I barely did anything for this entire past month. I feel so embarrassed about how little I tried, actually. Admittedly, I ran more than I thought – about 10.72 miles – but I know I could do better. Now if only my shins would stop hurting (again)…

june recap — i sound like a broken record.

The second half of this month has been a little tougher than most, for various reasons. Though I have enjoyed the life of the reasonably employed (I’ve only had one job for the last month and a half), it is high time for me to either become 1) better employed (making enough money to only work one job) or 2) once again, over-employed (working two jobs to make sure ends meet). So if you know of any job openings for a young woman with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science and Creative Writing, as well as experience working in Libraries, in major retail stores (high and low end), or as an editor for any form or purpose…well, you’re always welcome to give me a lead! I also babysit, teach dance, and can flip a dime on my wrist…

That being said, I had a really good month with my Challenges.

Running – I ran a total of 11.34 miles this month, despite shin splints for the middle two weeks. I ran a total of seven times, though that was not spread evenly through the month. Regardless, I’m proud of myself, and I’m planning on a run today!

Clean Apartment – I was able to keep to my cleaning schedule, and though my apartment is a mess right now, it will not be by the end of the day. Scout’s honor.

Minimize time on Computer – up until this past week, I’ve done quite well on this challenge. In a combination of spending time with friends and reading, I really reduced the amount of time I spent in front of the screen. I am considering a facebook sabbatical soon – I find myself enjoying time away from the social mega-site, and I think a bit of time away will do well for my happiness. Even if it means finding out about the multitude of pregnancies and engagements occurring a bit later than the rest of the world.

Dance Focus: Triple Steps – I can’t say for sure that I’ve made any progress, but I’ve been working on it. I need to find a better way to practice.

Read 20 mins/day – Successes all around the board. Though this one is pretty easy to rock out on, what with my daily bus commute to work. Love that.

Concerning the major challenges I finally finished last month, I have a few updates: I have not started buying every article of clothing that I see, despite the extreme urge to finally update my wardrobe, which has been stagnant for six months now. I do own a new pair of flares and a new dress, but that’s about it. And I’m quite proud of that fact.

On the other hand, I have had a few cokes, mostly in the morning when I’m trying to wake up for work. Never more than one a day, though, which I’m proud of. I’m still keeping track of when I drink so as to dissuade myself from drinking coke as frequently as I once did.

***

My month’s goals will be updated sometime this week. Expect a lot of the similar, but look for something new and, hopefully, significantly more exciting. After all, it is my birthday this month, and I hope to celebrate by doing something worthwhile with my time!

In other news, it is my family reunion this week — and unlike most people, I wholeheartedly look forward to hanging out with all the friends, family, and unknown persons who will be showing up! If you’re lucky, I’ll even share some photos!