Spring List

Each year, I write a 100+ item list of things I want to accomplish during the summer. It’s kinda become my thing now and it’s something I look forward to during every other season. But maybe once a year isn’t enough. Maybe it’s about time I stop favoring summer and give spring, fall, and winter a chance. Alright, let’s do it!

And since today is the first official day of spring, here its: my first ever spring list. It’s not as extensive as my summer list, but it does give me a few things to look forward to for the next couple of months. Happy Spring!

* For the purposes of this list, spring starts today (March 20 – the first official day of spring!) and ends on Memorial Day weekend (May 22 — because that’s when my summer list starts)

  1. Really (like really) spring clean — purge and organize and everything I love
  2. Make Easter desserts
  3. Plant a tree or plant or anything
  4. Throw a barbecue
  5. Go to the Morton Arboretum
  6. Take a quick weekend trip
  7. Volunteer
  8. Make DIY Mother’s Day gifts for all the mamas in my life
  9. Host a game night
  10. Eat outside

Becoming a morning person: Day 3

Hello new day. Time is now 7:53 am. I’m winding up my morning before the work day starts and this is my view right now: TED Talk (currently – The Power of Introverts | Susan Cain — really good and relevant to last night’s post), tea, and chia pudding with blueberries while natural sunlight is pouring in through my blinds. I wasn’t planning on posting about this challenge every day, but I’m really excited about everything I’ve accomplished this morning. Worked out, got ready, and even had time to make my March Madness bracket since i forgot to last night. It’s a beautiful way to start the day. Have a good one!!

For all my introverts

As a 100%, definite, not-even-a-little-on-the-fence introvert, I sometimes worry that my natural tendency to keep to myself will somehow get in the way of achieving my career goals. That’s why I loved reading this article on The EveryGirl. There are some great tips for all the other introverts out there!

Becoming a morning person: Day 2

Hello again! The time is now 6:45 am, and yes, I am up (obviously) and feeling…tired. This will get easier right? So, I forgot to mention that I’m also tracking my sleep through this process. I wear the Jawbone UP 24 every day and use it to keep track of my steps, water intake, and sleep patterns. I wish I could tell you why I chose this fitness tracker, but the truth is, this is what was offered by my company so I just went with it. I’ve had it for almost a year now and like it for the most part. There are a few things that bother me like how you need to use the app to see your results instead of it being right on the band and sometimes it doesn’t sync correctly, but it does the job.

Anyways, here are my sleep results for the past two days:

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Day 1 Sleep

 

Day 2 Sleep

Confession: I fell asleep on the couch last night and forgot to set my Jawbone on sleep mode so Day 2 isn’t exactly accurate (you’re able to plug in the times you think you fell asleep and woke up to account for any days missed).

I love a good graph and this one’s easy to read: orange is awake time, dark blue is sound sleep, and light blue is light sleep. Pretty straightforward. I’m not exactly sure what the “ideal” sleep is, but I can tell you that even though I technically got more sleep on Day 2, I’m feeling a lot more tired than I did yesterday. So I’m just going to assume that sound sleep > light sleep. Also, I remember waking up from my neighbors’ footsteps last night (the floors upstairs are soooo creaky!!), and it doesn’t look like it caught that on my band. I’m sure it definitely has something to do with this groggy morning though.

I’ll keep sharing these every once in awhile because I think it’s interesting to see. Plus, it’s a good way for me to be more aware of how my sleep affects my mood. Definitely anticipating a bit of a struggle today.

Becoming a morning person: Day 1

Good morning! Current time is 7:19 am and I’ve been up for over an hour now. Oddly, I’m feeling good, despite jumping right into this instead of easing into it 15 minutes each day or something, as suggested. I guess we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Anyways, here’s my morning so far:

5:52 am: My alarm goes off and I fight the urge to throw it across the room. Instead, I avoid the snooze button, turn it off, and lay on my back with my eyes closed while focusing on my breathing. I calm down and fight pass my sleepiness, manage to do a few full body stretches, and pull out my journal for my morning entry. Then I finally get out of bed and change into workout clothes. (5:52 might seem like a strange wake up time, but is was inspired by this article. He makes some good points about starting at on off time.)

6:06 am: I did it! I’m up! The hard part is over. I walk over to my living room and start my morning workout (currently the Blogilates beginner’s calendar). It’s a struggle, but I get through it.

6:35 am: Workout is done. I’m sweaty and tired so I take a few minutes to rest and mindlessly catch up on social media.

6:40 am: Into a nice hot shower I go. It feels amazing not having to rush. I finish up my getting ready routine, which is and always will be, very simple.

7:10 am: I start making breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries. I actually sit down and eat, pull out my laptop and start writing this blog post.

I will admit, I had more of an incentive to wake up early today due to an 8:00 am meeting, but hey, gotta start somewhere. Day 1 is in the books.

 

21 Day Challenge – Becoming a morning person: The Beginning

used to be a morning person. It seems like a dream now, but I swear it was not that long ago that I’d wake up at 5:30 am without ever touching the snooze button. I’ll admit, it was mostly out of necessity (my morning commute could vary from 30 min to 2 hours depending on the day), but those times are long gone. Now I’m lucky if I can get myself to sit up before 7:30.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m on a mission to make my mornings more productive. I’ve read plenty of articles about the benefits of being an early bird, but I think it’s time to see for myself. So tomorrow will mark the beginning of my first 21 Day Challenge: Becoming a Morning Person.

21 is not an arbitrary number. It’s the number of days it takes to form a habit (I’ve heard this from a few different sources, but I’ll credit Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project for making it stick.). There’s probably about a trillion things that I would like to make a habit that I just never had the willpower to do. I’m hoping to change this with these 21 Day Challenges until I finally find myself consistently practicing good habits.

So tomorrow marks Day 1 of my first ever 21 Day Challenge. My alarm is set for 5:52 am (insert uneasy face emoji here). Wish me luck!

TED Talks

TED

I’ve decided I need to start making my mornings more productive (inspired by basically every LinkedIn article I’ve ever read), and one of the ways I’m hoping to do this is by watching a TED Talk each morning. I have always been a big fan of TED because I learn something new and am inspired by every talk, but I’ve never really made the time to watch the videos and even if I have, I spend more time trying to choose a video than actually watching one. Luckily, I learned this cool trick: there’s a “Surprise Me” function on the site! Am I the only one who didn’t know about this? Basically, you can choose what type of talk you want (funny? inspiring? persuasive?) and the amount of time you have (5 min to an hour), and they’ll randomly select a video for you. I’m obsessed. It’s a great use of those spare few minutes you have in your day that would normally be spent perusing your Facebook newsfeed for the millionth time. I’m hoping to squeeze one in each morning with breakfast (now, how to get me to commit to sit-down breakfasts…).

In My Life

In My Life Banner

I am a self-proclaimed list addict and it all started with this baby right here. I can’t even tell you when this list began…I think I was around 8? Yeah, let’s go with that. Anyways, here it is — always growing, and (hopefully) always diminishing at the same time. Call it what you like — bucket list, life list, whatever. Here is everything I’d like to do in my life.

  • Visit all of the places on my travel list
  • Foster a koala
  • Have a star named after me
  • Learn how to knit
  • Go real camping (not in a backyard)
  • Ride in a helicopter
  • See the northern lights
  • Own a classic Chanel purse
  • Watch a meteor shower
  • Attend a movie premiere
  • Go backstage at a concert
  • Sit courtside at a Bulls game
  • Be part of a flash mob
  • Write a novel
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Go jet-skiing
  • Go snorkeling
  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Learn how to surf
  • Go sailing
  • Find the end of a rainbow
  • Go white water rafting
  • See a liger
  • Sing a solo
  • Go dog sledding
  • Carve an ice sculpture
  • Ride a segway
  • Hold a koala
  • Ride a hovercraft
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve
  • Be an extra in a movie or tv show
  • Have a real food fight
  • Climb a mountain
  • Go whale watching
  • Watch a space shuttle launch
  • See a lunar eclipse
  • Ride a horse along a beach
  • Attend the Olympics
  • Learn how to juggle
  • Fly first class
  • Get something published
  • Ride a unicycle
  • Watch a drive in movie
  • Be in a shampoo commercial
  • Ride in a gondola
  • Ride a mechanical bull
  • Fall in love
  • Coed stunt
  • Go parasailing
  • Live in a Spanish speaking country
  • Party on a yacht
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Ride an elephant
  • Get a massage
  • Go skydiving
  • Be serenaded
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Go on an African safari
  • Attend a Super Bowl
  • Send a message in a bottle
  • Shower in a waterfall
  • Go to a Bulls game at every NBA stadium
  • Watch all of the Academy Awards Best Picture winners
  • See Lauryn Hill perform live
  • Sit in the audience of a tv show
  • Be on a game show
  • See/write on a “Before I die…” wall
  • Own a house
  • Find a street sign with my name spelled correctly
  • Invent something useful
  • Go on a spontaneous trip by pointing randomly at a map
  • Eat at Alinea
  • Live in Chicago (the actual city)
  • Ride a tandem bicycle
  • Learn Italian
  • Own a french bulldog
  • Buy an island
  • Stay in an overwater bungalow
  • Live by myself
  • Create an app
  • Go to all the Disney theme parks
  • Meet a public figure that I admire
  • Start a non-profit organization
  • Flip a house
  • Own a beach house
  • Buy a boat
  • Live somewhere warm

First is not the worst

Hello, new site! I am super excited about the launch of this new blog. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile so one day a few weeks ago, I was like, “what the heck! let’s just do this thing!” And here we are.

First, introductions. I’m Allyson — a twenty-something (mid-20’s if you want to be more specific…when did that happen?!) living in (the suburbs) of Chicago.

I’ll be upfront — I’m not a writer, a designer, or really anything remotely creative. I am an over-thinker, an avid list writer, a DIY amateur, food lover, family obsessed, soon-to-be bride that likes to make pretty things, explore fun places, .try things I’ve never done before, and write it all down. Let’s see where this takes me.

Not enough? Learn more on my about page.