Snow Days

For a person who is consistently cold all the time it might sound crazy that I love snow.

Seriously, I’m the girl you see in the summer wearing a light sweater, because the gentle breeze gave me goose bumps.

Before you ask, no I’m not anemic. . . I’m just a cold person. Not in a lack of emotion kind of way! My boyfriend likes to joke that I’m cold-blooded because my hands are always icy. But you know what the say ” Cold hands. Warm heart!”

Anyway, I went on a small tangent. Yesterday we in the Carolinas (not in the mountains) experienced the first snow fall of 2018!

Not just some flurries or a dusting either. We got a whopping 6 inches yesterday.

Here’s the thing you might not know. Here in Charlotte, North Carolina it snows maybe once or twice a season. We normally see more ice than we do actual snow. For some reason the city is ill-equipped with supplies for our roads when it does randomly decide to snow. We have salt trucks and plows, but we prepare for one or two really bad snow storms. Which means our streets are like skating rinks.

Days before a coming a storm Southerners begin to freak out. People begin to stock pile for the incoming snow. (I guess it’s good to be prepared for anything?) With the first sight of a flurry coming down from the sky a panic ensues. My fellow neighbors rush to grocery stores to buy all the milk, eggs, and bread they can. Why? I have no idea. Maybe to make some really epic snow day french toast. Me, personally when it snows, I go to grocery store for frozen pizzas and lots of booze. ( ya know the necessities)

The best thing about living in the south when it snows are the closings. Schools and businesses will close or delay opening with the thought of an imminent storm coming. We could get a slight dusting and everything  be close. I find this quite humorous when our friends to the North of us experience 6 feet of snow to our 6 inches and still have to go on about their normal days.

When it snows I get this sense of nostalgia! It makes me feel like a kid a again. Which with the hectic responsibilities of adult life it’s sometimes nice to have a pause button. Snow days are the perfect pause button!  It’s like with the frozen precipitation coming down also freezes time for a day or two.

I love snowball fights and sledding. The sound of snow and ice crunching under my feet. The way it covers everything and anything. Leaving no surface untouched. The way it sparkles in the sunlight. It’s like someone poured glitter all over the earth.

I went on walk yesterday with camera in hand. It’s been a little bit since I actively went out and shot anything. I looked out my window yesterday with the snow coming down and was instantly inspired.

Walking through the forest that I months previously would run in was relaxing to me. The stillness and silence engulfed me. My mind was focused on the frozen wonderland in front of me. The pureness of the white was untouched. As I took a deep breath in the cold air-filled my lungs with a slight sting. Just a small reminder that I am alive. Being in the snow this way was like cleansing my soul. Another form of meditation. My thoughts and worries drifted away with each snowflake that fell from the sky.

As I walked home from my snowy adventure, my fingers numb from the chilled air, I noticed one street light on. It was funny to me that at 4:00pm in the afternoon with daylight still out that this light was on. None of the other street lights were on.

The last week or so I’ve struggled with being motivated. This light was my light turning on again. Today I feel motivated again and not like I’m just going through the motions of everyday. It’s been a weird few weeks for me. I’m in a limbo with life at the moment. Time seems to be moving fast and slow at the same time. It speeds up at the moments I want to slow down. It’s like watching snowflakes falling and the wind changing their direction and pace at which they fall to the earth.

It’s oddly peaceful. After my snow adventure I felt ready to make some big girl decisions and get back at it. Like I was recharged. When I think back to snow days over the years it’s exactly what happens. I always feel recharged and ready to take on anything. It’s like the earth reminding us the importance of taking a break.

Happy Snow Day from the Carolinas! Stay warm where ever you are.

Passion Planner – Planning With A Passion

Anyone who knows me knows I like being organized and I love planning! It only makes sense that I’m a Stage Manager or that I organize large events frequently. . .

Last year I stumbled on the planner crazy. . .I didn’t know that there was an entire community out there dedicated to their planners! Planner addicts as you will call them. People literally have entire blogs and Instagrams devoted to all things planner. Which feeds my love even more.

For me I used a planner all through out middle school and high school as a way to keep track of my assignments and extracurricular activities. (Seriously, I spent like 16 hours a day at school during High School) For some reason when I went to college I stopped using one. I used to just write everything down in whatever show notebook I was using. I’m a list person. Most times whenever working on a show I carry around a legal pad or a small notebook to keep all my notes on the show together. I found at this time my show To Do lists would end up merging into my personal To do’s.

A friend of mine had been talking to me about her Passion Planner randomly one day and how I’d really like it. I got curious looked up the website and was hooked. I ordered my first one. It arrived December 2016 just in time for me to set it up for 2017.

I fell in love with it instantly! Love at first planning.

The first thing this planner does is what the creator calls mind mapping. It’s a tool to get you thinking about what you really want. A wish list. You set the timer for 5 minutes with the prompt “If you could be anything, Do anything, or Have anything, What would it be?” You write your responses around boxes with the words Lifetime, 3 years, one year, and 3 months. It’s like the adult version of a brainstorming activity we use to do in primary school.

I love this tool! For me I have a lot of thoughts buzzing around my head most of time. There’s a lot in life I want to accomplish. This brainstorming activity is amazing, because it’s a chance for me to write down what’s coming to my mind in that moment and how that’s the most important thing. It’s a way for me to then prioritize what I want to focus on so I can accomplish that goal.

After you create your road map you break down a goal into what they call “passion plan”. I’ve used this tool extensively this past year. It’s a way to break down your goal into smaller more obtainable goals. Then you add dates to help keep you on track. Currently I’m using mine to keep me focused on moving.

Each month has a full monthly calendar layout. Then it breaks down into a weekly spread with each day its own column. My favorite part is that time is broken up in 30 minute increments within each time. Time for me when working on a show is super important. I also like being able to see how I’m blocking out and spending my time.

SONY DSC

The last thing I love about this planner is the monthly reflection. At the end of each month there’s 6 questions with room to respond. It’s a space to reflect about how your month went, what worked, what didn’t, and how you can improve. This planner also has 20 blank and 20 gridded pages at the back to do whatever you please.

It comes in two different sizes. compact which 5×8″ and then classic which is 8×11″. Currently I’m using a compact eco with a lavender dream sleeve. This particular one is eco-friendly. They also come undated and in academic.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 2.41.57 PM

My guilty pleasure has been following people on instagram and checking out all the different layouts. I thought about bullet journaling at one point, but I really enjoy structure. So the idea of having to draw out my monthly or a weekly layout every time I need one didn’t sound appealing to me.

People get really into decorating their planners. I love seeing how creative people get with their layouts. Like I said I was interested in bullet journaling. Last year I put pictures and ticket stubs through out my planner. This year I’m looking to being a little more creative with my layouts and such.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m looking forward to using the tools at my finger tips to reach all my goals! Here’s a link to get yours if you’re interested!

http://www.passionplanner.com/

You can also get them on amazon.

Happy Planning! Reach your goals this year.

SONY DSC

Personal Budgeting As a 20 Something

Currently my boyfriend and I are looking into moving to Nasheville. I decided today that I wanted to keep better track of my finances this year. Especially since at the moment I’m trying to figure what my budget to move is. I figured eventually we’d end usung this as a way to keep track of our bills and such.

The next few months I really want to pay attention to where I’m spending the most and how I can save more. What can I cut out? What don’t I need?

I have an idea as to where I can save, but I’ve always been a visual person. I like physically being able to see it.

Saving and budgeting is something I want to get really good. Considering life as a freelancer is a little hectic. At least at the moment it is. I’m trying to figure out how much it is I need to live on each month to still be able to tuck a few dollars away for a rainy day. You know just in case.

Here’s an example both in excel and in an image. As you can see I broke up my page for the whole year. The columns are the months and then for my rows I wrote down all my different expenses. I personally like to color code things to help make things easier to read.

2018 Expense Tracking_Blank

Green is money coming in. I have two different saving accounts. One I use as an “oh shit!” account and the second is 30% usually of whatever my paycheck is. The other 50% I use for the month. This might not make sense, but it works for me.

The Blue section is all things I pay monthly. Every month I know my rent and utilities are all due. I also know that services like my Netflix and Amazon prime automatically get taken out. So I’ve added them as well.

Red is things that happen weekly. My groceries I try to make cost the same week to week, however sometimes it’s a birthday or special occasion that will require me to add on to my grocery bill that week. I like to keep that flexiable. Booze it’s own category for weekly not because I’m an alcholic (I swear I’m not!) It’s there because I frequent breweries as well as will use “Hey, let’s get a drink!” as a way to network a bit.

The White section is all what I consider extras. Things I don’t do often. I like to buy gifts for people frequently. I have a space for that to see how much I spend in that category.

In my Yellow Total columns I use a function to add up all the expenses. I then have another function in the leftover space. This function subtracts the totals of my expenses from my income.

I’m hoping this helps me stay more organized and on top of my money this year. I wasn’t originally planning on sharing this as a post. But my friend saw my spreadsheet and asked if I’d send him a blank one. I figured if one person thought it was useful maybe I should share it with you all.

I’m not an expert and I have no idea if this spreadsheet will work. I have a feeling I’ll end up adjusting it and changing it as I go. I did a little budgeting research to start and then customized it to my needs. I’ve realized there’s no real right or wrong answer.

Here’s to adulting and making big moves! Peace and love all.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth

My favorite past time and something I haven’t done since July is hiking. I love hiking. There’s something about hiking up a mountain that always clears my head. Over the years whenever I’d get overwhelmed or just need day I’d run away to a mountain. By the end of these trips I’d feel calmed and whatever was troubling me before I left up there.

Every time i go for a hike I’m always amazed by the growth of the trees. How strong they look. Life is all around us and it’s beautiful to stop and notice it a little longer. None of these photos are retouched. Just simply me, the camera, and nature.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/growth-2/”>Growth</a&gt;

Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

We’ve had quite the rocky relationship this year. . .

What started with hope and excitement changed rapidly throughout the year. I remember last New Year’s Eve celebrating the end of a rotten year (your ugly twin sister 2016) with some of my closest friend. We drank and smoked just a little too much to ensure that all our pains from 2016 were numb and just enough to bring us excitement of a new year!

2017 you started with a phone call from my Dad at 12:06am. The first time I’d heard my father’s voice after his lung transplant. I remember sitting there in the backyard, the cold winter air nipping my cheeks, as warm salty tears poured down my face. Little did I know that more of those salty tears would be poured across my face. . .This conversation last 10 minutes. My Dad’s voice comforting as I lied about crying. I hung up the phone that night with hope in my heart.

I started our relationship off broken and bruised from the year before. It’s not your fault those feelings were left over. After all they do say that time heals all wounds.

15871862_10206198032908372_8486431945882964500_nI took this picture exactly a year ago today. The caption when I posted it said “2017, I’m taking you by storm!” And I did! You put up a good a fight, but little did you know who you were dealing with.

I spent the beginning part of this past year focusing on myself. I was surrounded by some of my favorite people, I was back at school, I worked on amazing shows, and I was at peace with the ongoing war inside me.

A sweet boy and his dog wiggled their way into my heart. The relationship I had with him was exactly what I needed at the time. Looking back now I realize we were together because he needed me. The universe brought us together to show each other love is possible and to inspire each other. We may not have been a perfect match romantically, but through the relationship I gained a special and hopefully forever friend.

By May I was feeling on top of this world. I graduated with a BFA. That’s still weird and crazy to me. A piece a paper to unlock all my dreams and something I’ve worked endlessly for the last 4 years of my life. It doesn’t seem like I worked that long, because 4 years felt like 4 minutes.

In June I spent the entire month with my Dad. He was in the hospital. This is when I realized I’m stronger than I ever thought I had to be. I’m grateful you gave me this opportunity to make peace with my Dad and for me to just be with him. I spent most of this month trying to contain my emotions. Processing what was happening around me and realizing that ultimately the situation was bleak. That my Dad was most likely going to die sooner rather than later. Watching someone be consumed by a disease with no escape is no easy feat. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. I didn’t have to witness this. I didn’t have to spend an hour and a half each way to sit in a hospital for 6 hours. But when you love some one who’s dying you put aside your own needs to be there for them.

With the end of June coming I said my last goodbye to my Dad with my brothers in the room with me. “Goodbye Dad, I love you. Get some rest and get better soon! I’ll come back to visit when you’re home.” His eye stared into mine watery as mine were. We both knew he wasn’t going home and that this was it. I kissed his forehead and walked away. A single tear rolling down my face. I headed back home in a stick shift car I had no idea how to drive. . .

I eventually learned how drive the stick shift, but soon realized shifting from gear to gear in traffic sucks. And where I live right now it wasn’t the most ideal situation for me.

July came an exciting time! We celebrated my parents finally getting married. Not with one wedding, but with two! Because in this family we can’t make things simple. Wedding number two, the cruise wedding, was an adventure. With all the fun and excitement came some family drama, because we can’t have nice things. I guess just another moment of you (2017) fighting back and reminding us “Hey, you all look a little too happy!”

The dog days of summer left me with way too much time on my hands and lots of rejection letters. I still manage to keep my head up. I was still on a high from adventuring with my best friend and getting him ready for his tour. The end of August came and my entire world was flipped upside down.

I took a chance a decided to meet this guy I had been talking to on and of for a month. We met and some how we clicked instantly. We continued seeing each other as the summer weather cooled into what we call fall here in the South. I fought my feelings for him every moment with him. I lost.

A dark cloud loomed in September. This is hard for me to forgive you for, but I’m working on it. You took my father in September and shattered my heart. I spent the end of this year slowly picking up the pieces. I was in a dark place and that guy I mentioned earlier helped pull me out of it. Little does he know this. I fought my through the darkness in September and most of October.

Another one of life’s twist happened in the end of October. I ended up going to a wedding with the guy I had been dating that solidifed my fate. Neither one of realized that we were falling for the other. As my next job loomed above us and the uncertanity that we could make it through 8 weeks a apart.

I moved to Tampa for a small contract. Not knowing what I was gettign myself into. This time taught me so much professionally. Even though the entire experience was a headache I wouldn’t change a minute of it. This job taught me that I’m good at what I do. It also taught me how to stand up for myself without being direspectful.

I returned to North Carolina to spend the holidays with my family. I somehow fell more in love with the guy I’m dating. (Seriously, I’m in trouble..) I’m ending the year with my parents as we are all sick and the boy is working. It’s only fitting that I end 2017 this way.

Overall 2017 you put me through some shit and our relationship was toxic. But I am grateful for you. Without you I wouldn’t have experienced so many new things, met so many new people who have changed my life, and I wouldn’t have learned forgiveness.

2018, I’m coming for you! 2017 set off a spark in me that’s has turned into a roaring fire. This is the year I obtain dreams instead of chasing them.

With Love,

Bre-nana

e5f870792b3e2ea9f7743104b5a43a3f.jpg