New Year, Same Me, But Better

January was an interesting month–in a good way. I transferred to a new work location, started my last semester at Valencia College, and got started on a lot of habits that I want to continue.  For a lot of people, January is their “free trial” month of the year; they make their new year’s resolutions and try them out. I think I fell into that category of people, but for the better.

Like I said, I began to work on habits and lifestyle choices that will set me up for success in the future. Waking up early to go to the gym, meal prepping, and (trying to) get homework done before the due date are just a few things I added into my priorities for January and beyond. It’s now the middle of February and I can proudly say that I’ve kept up with these new habits and I get strong every day in my new routine.

Since the start of all this, I’ve lost 6 pounds, I almost have an A in my math class, and I feel so energized and much happier than I was last year.  A lot of amazing things happened last year, but the changes I have implemented so far in 2018 can only make things better. As always, I have my ups and downs with procrastination and binge eating, but I don’t let it win anymore.  Once the “episode” ends, I jump right back up to where I left off and try again. I’m full of motivation and drive.

That’s kind of the point of this post. I’m working on forming “game plans” for my goals to help give myself some kind of direction and plan for all the things I would like to achieve. This blog is one of the items on my list. As I’ve said in past posts, I want to make this something I add to consistently. I want a real website with a domain and traffic. All of this takes time and effort on my part, and a lot of patience. Back in December I wanted to dive into January head-first with all of the things I wanted to accomplish. I created a strict timeline and knew what I was going to do.  As my lift shifted around, I realized I was going to bite off more than I could chew, so I reevaluated my priorities and what I wanted to do first. Writing is still a major passion of mine. I love this blog and the ability to express myself and my feelings and experiences, but it was worth it to me to set it aside to work on other aspects of my life first.

I have career goals, health goals, organization goals, financial goals, etc. and I want to share all of that here. If nothing else, I want it for my own accountability and memories as I get older. But more than anything I would love to be an inspiration or an encouraging person to someone who isn’t sure where to begin on their own goals.

My coworker and I were talking about role models recently.  I told him I don’t consider celebrities and other famous people as role models because they don’t seem “real” to me. My role models are my friends, or “real” people I follow online.  For example, one of my good friends and former managers is a huge inspiration to me because I see how kind she is and how determined she is to meet her goals. I have several friends that I know through social media that I have either never met or only see very infrequently, but the way they live their lives is encouraging and motivating to me. It just goes to show that people are watching you and what you’re doing. I want to be that spark of determination to someone. I want someone to see my plans for my life and say, “I love what Hannah’s doing. She’s real and holds herself accountable and admits when things don’t go right.”

Many of my future blog posts, Instagram photos, and Facebook posts are going to be along these lines. I keep finding motivational quotes and articles that are inspiring, and Ted Talks that make me feel good. I’m still Hannah, but I’m trying to become the best version of her. Through my social media accounts and this blog, I really want to share my life to give and receive advice and encouragement to whoever needs it.

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Blogmas Day 5: Winter Summerland Mini Golf

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: FIVE HOLE IN ONE’S

Wednesdays are tough days for Christian and I. It’s the first day of our weekend but the day before payday so money is usually non-existent. However, we were lucky last week to have some free tickets to mini-golf at Disney. I love the Disney courses (even though they’re extremely dated) and was excited to get to take Christian.

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In the spirit of the season, we chose the Snow Course and went on our way. I was surprised how well we each did.  Mini golf has never been my strongest suit, but I managed to get a hole in one mid-course!

We mostly kept score, but we each had one round where it just wasn’t happening. I’m pretty sure I won in the end, but Christian started writing silly numbers in so who’s to say really.

Winter Summerland is by far my favorite course on Disney property. If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend it. Again, it’s dated and could use a little love, but there’s a lot of cute stuff at each hole and overall it’s a fun experience. If you’re looking for a little fun with a holiday feel, Winter Summerland is the place to go.

 

Blogmas day 4: Gingerbread Houses

Oops! You’ll get two posts today because I forgot to publish this yesterday.

On the fourth day of Blogmas my true love gave to me: Fo-ur candy walls!

Decorating gingerbread houses has never been a big tradition for me. I remember doing it once with my family and we ended up getting so frustrated with it that we hot-glued it together instead.

As I’m growing into adulthood I’m deciding what traditions I want to have for my own and this year gingerbread decorating was important to me. I bought a mini village kit at Target with the intentions of having Ryan, Cody, Christian, and I each make one. IMG_4787.jpg

Unfortunately, the icing package that was included would not have survived all four houses the way Christian and I “decorated.” He’s better at following directions than I am. I just kind of jump into things and figure it out later.

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“Help” is right. My roof started caving in (it didn’t help that I put my walls up sideways) and the icing wouldn’t set quickly enough. We kept holding our houses in the freezer to speed up the process.

In the end, this was our final product. Messy, sticky, and very delicious. His side of the neighborhood is a little darker than mine is.

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Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Playlist

On the third day of blogmas my true love gave to me: three bopping tracks!

No doubt the easiest way to get into the Christmas spirit is by listening to holiday music.  This year, instead of browsing other people’s Christmas playlists, I decided to make my own.  This is something I’ll be able to grow and add to as I find other songs I love, but this is a great start.

My playlist consists of my favorite Christmas songs, albums, and my favorite versions of the songs.

Here’s the link to my Apple playlist.

And here is the complete playlist:

  • Yule Shoot Your Eye Out by Fall Out Boy
  • Nuttin’ for Christmas  by Smash Mouth
  • I’m Gonna E-Mail Santa by Billy Gilman
  • Santa’s Coming for Us by Sia
  • Last Christmas by Wham!
  • Don’t Shoot Me Santa (feat. Ryan Pardey) by The Killers
  • Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney
  • White Christmas by Billy Gilman
  • Sleigh Ride (with Charlotte Church) by Billy Gilman
  • Winter Wonderland by Billy Gilman
  • Warm & Fuzzy by Billy Gilman
  • The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) by Nat “King” Cole
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside by She & Him
  • Mele Kalikimaka by She & Him
  • A Marshmallow World by She & Him
  • Let it Snow by She & Him
  • All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé
  • Holly Jolly Christmas by Michael Bublé
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Michael Bublé
  • Jingle Bells (feat. The Puppini Sisters) by Michael Bublé
  • Santa Clause is Coming to Town by Michael Bublé
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
  • Jingle Jingle Jingle by Burl Ives
  • Winter Wonderland/Sleigh Ride by Dolly Parton
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Dolly Parton) by Rod Stewart
  • 12 Days of Christmas by Relient K
  • I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas by Relient K

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What are some of your favorite Christmas Songs? I’d love to hear from you about your own perfect holiday playlists!

Blogmas Day 2: BarkBox Day

On the second day of Blogmas my true love gave to me: two doggo plushies!

Yesterday I went to check the mail and saw that Twix’s BarkBox had been delivered! We’ve loved getting her monthly subscription all year and Twix definitely knows she’s spoiled.

DSC_3446.jpgBarkBox always has the best themes and the December box was no different. While I was trying to take photos of everything, Twix got so impatient that she snatched one of her new toys off of the coffee table before I could get the tags off!

This month’s theme was Dogmas in the City, which came with the “It’s a Wonderful Lamp” plush that sits on the corner of 5th and Bark Ave, and a pair of Central Park Ice Skaters. Twix loves the lamppost the best so far. I personally think the skaters are the cutest.

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One of the three treats she got were the Eight Morsels Oinking (I didn’t document the other two because they weren’t themed) which she seemed to enjoy. But let’s face it, she enjoys anything that’s food.

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It’s really sad that there is only one month left of our year-long subscription,  but it’s time to take a break from it. She has so many toys to choose from now and more treats than I could ever give her in a year, so it’s time to let the subscription end. Hopefully someday I’ll get another month or two just to freshen up the stash.

If you have a dog or know someone who loves to spoil theirs, BarkBox is a great gift idea! I totally recommend it and Twix gives it two paws up!

Blogmas Day 1: Decorations!

On the first day of Blogmas my true love gave to me: a blog post all about our Christmas tree!

Talking about how we’ve decorated the apartment for Christmas seems like the best way to start off Blogmas this year. First, let me tell you the story of when we put out decorations.

As you probably know, I work at Disney, and in the parks  the transition from Halloween to Christmas begins overnight after the last Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ends on November 1st. Christmas starts on November 1st for me since moving to Florida.

Back home, with my dad being an interior decorator, we always waited until after Thanksgiving dinner to put up Christmas decorations.  However, it made sense because we had our house heavily decorated for fall and Thanksgiving before that. There never was a “lull” between seasons at our house.

But here in my apartment, we put out a few moldy pumpkins we carved in October and have a few pumpkin scented candles and that’s about the extent of our decorating for fall. We have no decorations for Thanksgiving, so my roommate Cody and I decided Christmas started with Disney.

We’ve actually gone through two Christmas trees this year. The first was the same tree we had last year and the one we put up on November 1st. However, the lights on that tree weren’t reliable and Ryan spent hours trying to fix the spots that kept going out.

A few weeks ago, Cody texted me that he was on his way home with a new tree. We put that one up in record time to surprise Ryan when he got home.

For Halloween, Christian and I decorated our bedroom door to make it festive. Christmas is no different. We have our own stockings, plus one for Twix and our hamster, Buddha.

We also just recently got a new festive doormat for the apartment that is perfectly Florida.

There are a lot of decorations I would like to have someday. More garlands and small items that really make the entire apartment feel in the spirit. But this year I’m very proud of what we have.

What day do you put up your Christmas decorations?

Twelve Days of Blogmas!

Every year I see my favorite YouTube channels and friends online taking part in Vlogmas, where they post videos of themselves doing festive things all through December up until Christmas.  This year I wanted to finally take part.  I’ve tried the YouTube thing in the past but it most definitely isn’t my forte like writing is, hence, BLOGMAS!

Instead of starting on December 1st like most, I’ve decided to shorted in to just 12 days, beginning on December 14th. I’ve got my posts outlined and I’m excited to share a little of the Christmas season on my blog. Tune in every day (or, better yet, sign up to receive an e-mail every time I make a new post!) starting on the 14th to see what I’ve gotten myself into this holiday season.

I’m really excited about the upcoming posts I have planned for this blog, as well as the future for this blog in general.  I hope you join me through the holidays and into the new year.

Question of the day: What is your favorite Christmas tradition or activity?

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Halloween at the Disneyland Resort

At the beginning of the month I flew to Anaheim by myself for a two-day trip to the Disneyland Resort.  The trip was planned last minute because I had a three day weekend and flights were cheap. Taking this trip was really important to me and I loved the freedom of going alone.

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The entire reason I wanted to make this trip is because both parks were decked out in Halloween decor and it’s the only season I haven’t seen at the DLR. I’ve been in late November when Christmas was already up as well as January and May when the parks are normal.  With Halloween being my favorite holiday, I had to take the opportunity to go.

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Every time I go to Disneyland, I come back to Florida with a little extra Pixie Dust. There’s just something really special about the Anaheim parks that Orlando doesn’t have for me anymore. I wouldn’t trade my life here to become a West Coaster, but going to Walt’s Original is definitely a spiritual experience for a Disney fan like me. Being able to visit the parks and feel the more relaxed vibe is incredibly refreshing, especially since working in the busiest attraction in Walt Disney World. It was nice to walk around and take it all in, even if it wasn’t my first time.

Okay. Let’s talk about Halloween now. Or, more importantly, Haul-O-Ween at Radiator Springs. To be honest, this was the entire reason I planned this trip. I’m not a huge fan of the Cars franchise (the first one is the only one I acknowledge anyway), but Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is my favorite area after Paradise Pier. When I saw pictures of it decked out in Halloween decorations and was being marketed as Haul-O-Ween, I had to go.  The entire area is re-themed and it’s the most perfect overlay I’ve ever experienced. Even the rides have been re-themed to Mater’s Junkyard JamBOOree and Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, complete with songs like “Monster Truck Smash.”

Haunted Mansion Holiday was perfect, as usual. It was the first Fastpass I got (God bless the Maxpass system!) and I had forgotten how wonderful it is. It’s been almost two years since I last experienced the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, and it didn’t disappoint.

The only holiday overlay I was disappointed with was Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Personally, I think Hyperspace Mountain (The Star Wars overlay) is way better and expected more from this one.

Last, but most certainly not least, but the characters themselves were dressed up in their best costumes. Namely Mater, but everyone else was cute, too.

In addition to seeing the resort decked out in Halloween goodness, I also finally got to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! and Monsters After Dark (the nighttime Halloween overlay). I was a little skeptical of the Tower of Terror re-theme, but was so impressed by how it turned out. Sorry to say it, but it’s way better than the old Tower. 22221693_10212539302030573_9140802413234848474_n

Disneyland is always going to be my favorite, because their food is just plain better than ours. Not only is it better, but we get our discount on almost all of it. In my day and a half there, I got the most out of my eating experience.

I’m planning a real Disneyland trip in May with Skylar, and I’m excited to be able to have a few extra days to not rush around the parks as much as I did this trip.  It was lovely being there alone and being able to stop when I wanted and enjoy the parks in a different way for a short time, but I am ready to go back for longer and with friends to enjoy it together.  I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend to go with us this next time. But I’m so happy I was able to spend a day and a half in the happiest place on earth and enjoy the holiday a few weeks early.

Purpose

I wrote this for one of my classes, but I think it’s important and I would like to share it here. Maybe it will motivate someone into creating their own goals.

What is my purpose?  Why am I here?  What good can I do? These are very common questions people ask themselves, especially in early adulthood.  For their entire lives everything has been done for them, or maybe there have been expectations places upon them from parents or other adults.  As they themselves become adults, everything feels messy and scary; at least that’s how it has felt for me at times.  Some people are lucky and have known what their purpose is since they were very young; others may not know well into their forties and fifties.  Feeling like there’s no reason for you to be here can put someone in a dark place.  Finding your purpose can be enlightening and inspiring.  My purpose is to help others find themselves through communication to encourage them to make a better life for themselves.  I’ve only just begun my journey and have set clear goals to make the most of my life.  Personally, I want to change my lifestyle to a healthier one.  Academically, I want to complete my degree in communications, as well as become certified in life coaching, herbalism, and holistic healing.  Professionally, my goal is to work for myself, be able to travel the world and coach from wherever I please, and be financially comfortable enough to not stress about my bills.  Starting off small, my personal goal is simple, but will take a lot of will power to achieve.

I’m on the path to health.  My goal is maintain a healthy weight around 180 pounds, continue to train for faster half marathon times, and eventually embrace a vegan diet.  These things all take time mental and physical strength, but in the long run will make my life so much more pleasant and safe.  This goal is important to me, because I’ve always struggled with my weight and my relationship with food.  As a child, my parents had the same struggle and I watched them try every fad diet and program they could to lose the weight.  My grandparents have diabetes and other medical conditions that I refuse to get.  The only way to prevent these diseases is by changing my lifestyle now while I’m young.  This is also why I want to study holistic healing and herbalism.  I fully believe that everything we need to heal ourselves can be found in nature and I want the knowledge for myself.  I’ve been a vegetarian for almost a year now and it’s been easy for me.  I never thought about cutting out meat until this year, and it seemed like the natural answer for me and I’ve never looked back.  Someday, I would like to become a vegan and cut out animal products entirely.  This is a little more difficult, as most food products have milk or eggs or butter in them. However, cutting these things out and replacing them with plant-based items will be better for my health overall.  Still, the challenge will be putting more effort into my grocery shopping and ordering at restaurants, not to mention the willpower to give up “real” macaroni and cheese.  Two solutions to this and to my overall health goal obstacles will be meal prepping to prepare for an entire week’s worth of meals, and focusing on the bigger picture of keeping myself healthy in my mind and body.

My college education has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.  After graduating high school in 2012, I attended university for two full semesters before moving back home and transferring to a different institution closer to home.  There, I worked two jobs and only took one class to be eligible for an internship.  After accepting my out-of-state internship with the Disney College Program, I put my education to the side until I discovered what I wanted to study and began working full time.  Now, almost four years later, I’m ready to complete my degree. My goal is to graduate from UCF in 2020 with a degree in Technical Communication and a minor in Mass Communication.  I also plan to take many certification courses through online institutions for Life Coaching, Herbalism, and other forms of holistic healing. I am very passionate about natural healing through essential oils, herbal remedies, and crystal healing.  Learning about energies is something that has become fascinating to me over the past few years, and I believe in its power wholeheartedly. While my ideal career is in coaching and writing, I want the knowledge that comes with healing to be able to offer extra help to my friends, family, and clients as necessary. A possible obstacle will be money.  Money is always an obstacle for most things to help you grow academically or professionally.  However, through scholarships and loans, I will be able to remedy this.  Finding the time to fill out scholarship applications and saving money by cutting out frivolous spending will also help me achieve this goal.

My ideas for what career I want to pursue have changed a lot through the years.  As a child, the first thing I wanted to be was a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld.  From there I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a Broadway actress.  As I grew up and began my college education, I went from an education major to public relations.  Now, I’m not too far off with communications.  My career goal is to become a certified life coach, helping people make and achieve their own goals, while making enough money to support myself and my family, and travel the world as I work.  I’ve always loved talking to people and to help them sort out decisions they need to make.  Life coaching take that idea, but instead of telling your friend what she should do, you give her the tools to discover for herself what she truly wants.  I think this is a powerful career that is very important to those on a journey. I want to be able to have enough clients that I can support myself financially, while still giving each client the individual attention he or she needs.  I want to live a debt-free life in a small home where I have the freedom to travel with my husband and dog, seeing the world and writing about my adventures.  An obstacle to overcome is my own personal self-doubt.  I’m afraid of how people will perceive me as I embark on this journey.  Two solutions are to meditate and get rid of those negative thoughts, and to possibly hire a life coach myself.  Both of these things will help guide me and get into the proper headspace as I grow and go along this path.

Goals are very important to make sure you’re making the most out of your life.  Having a purpose gives meaning to those goals and why you’ve set them in the first place.  For me, having goals like living my healthiest life, completing my degree and certifications, and having my dream job as a self-employed life coach all help each other.  My three goals all support my purpose statement, which is to help others find themselves through communication to encourage them to make a better life for themselves.  If I can’t meet my own goals, I have no right to help others make theirs and hold them accountable.  Achieving my goals means everything to me to make my life better, as well as the lives of those around me.  Attending Valencia College is a small part of what will get me to achieve my goals.  Without Valencia, I wouldn’t be able to complete my college credits and go on to UCF and graduate.

Snapchat Spectacles

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A few weeks ago, my roommate, Cody, came home from the mall with a pair of Spectacles from Snapchat. After five minutes of me judging him for buying them, I found myself on their website placing an order for my very own pair.

Let me tell you, these glasses are so fucking cool. They connect via bluetooth to your phone and Snapchat account. To take a video, you push a button on the top of the frame and the glasses will record ten seconds of whatever you’re looking at.

Once your video is imported to your Snapchat, you can access it in your Memories and edit it, add text or emojis, and save it to your Camera Roll all before sharing it on your Snapchat Story. What I think makes these really cool is that it gives you that first-person POV feeling with the immediate sharing abilities that you get with Snapchat.  Go-Pros give you a similar perspective, but that requires uploading to a computer before you can share it with anyone online.

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The Spectacles come in three colors: black, pink, and teal. They are $129.99 with free shipping and they come with a protective charging case (!!!!!), a charging cable, and a Snapchat ghost-shaped cleaning cloth. In case you missed it, the way the Spectacles charge is with the case itself. To do this, you charge the case and when you place the glasses inside, the case charges them. So cool.

Along with being such a fun product, the sunglasses are actually really high-quality, which surprised me. Not only do the lenses and frame feel sturdy, but the UV protection in the lenses themselves are better than any pair of sunglasses I’ve bought from Forever21 (shocker). You also have the ability to change out the lenses for prescription if you chose to.

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Yes, these were expensive glasses for only serving one purpose. When I first heard about these I immediately thought about Google Glass and how that never really took off. I assumed this would be a similar product. However, as someone who is very invested in social media both for fun and as a future career, having another resource for accessing followers and produce content makes this product worth it to me. Plus, I love teal.