Saturday, June 2

Hello, World!

Hi hi hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog's infancy. I'm Monica, and I'm a 22 year old college student on the go. Consider this my "extensive get to know me" post... I'm a full time student working two part time jobs, living on my own, volunteering at my former high school, and devoting a great deal of time to my loving boyfriend, so time is scarce!

I mainly work for my family's business, a calibration laboratory, doing accounting and whatever else needs to be done. I also work retail {Old Navy love} on occasion... Gotta love the discount. ;)

I make a lot of things... I mean, like, a LOT. I love crafts ("doing it myself" is a way of life) and I love cooking and baking. I may not be the best at either, but expertise isn't always FUN, am I right? Of course, lately, doing-it-myself has become a money saving tactic, as living on one's own is EXPENSIVE!

The mitten state is home (Michigan) and always has been; I mostly love it here. Currently, I'm going to Eastern Michigan University pursuing a teaching certificate in English with a Health Education minor. I really want to teach at the middle school level (call me crazy). Health Education has become a major passion of mine; I wish there was a major available, actually. In the interest of full-disclosure, I've transferred schools multiple times and changed my major roughly... five times? Haha, call me indecisive...

I live for the people in my life. My wonderful boyfriend is the best friend I never knew I needed, my momma is a daily inspiration to me, and my brother is simply one of my favorite people. I've had a lot of "friends" over the years, and as I've grown up, life has whittled away the less meaningful relationships. As a result, I now have a solid group of close, loving friends that I know I can always count on. Life has a way of working out like that, am I right? People are so beautiful and layered; I love that about humanity. I try my hardest to see the good in absolutely everyone... I just love people!

I've been crafting all my life thanks to my wonderfully creative mom. Since my younger brother and I were little, we would gather around the dining room table, transforming the usual dining area into a space covered in glitter, ribbons, paint, and glue. We made our own wrapping paper, picture frames, magnets, and ornaments. To this day, I rarely give a gift I haven't handmade personally. There are just few things as satisfying as completing a project, even if that project doesn't turn out as perfectly as you had hoped.

Over the years, my tastes in crafty projects have shifted. I've gone through phases of hemp-bracelet making, origami folding, cross-stitching, crocheting, and so on. I've stayed interested in crochet pretty consistently; my mom and I even have an Etsy shop (Shanx Studios) selling our crocheted critters, ornaments, and patterns.

I've lived in dorms, single rooms, a house desperately needing some creative juices, and most recently, my first solo apartment! I've tackled a handful of home decorating and renovating projects as a result. I love refinishing furniture and other (free) objects, transforming them into beautiful things once again.

I am hoping that in this blog, I can document my various crafty projects, sharing my ideas and the inspiration of others with all of you. I hope you are inspired as well. I truly believe that all of us can make anything -- all it takes is a little research into technique and some elbow grease!

Now let's talk FOOD: Despite all my other commitments, I think that cooking for myself and doing what I can to eat well is of vital importance.

I'm no professional chef or dietitian -- I just know what I like and I have a decent idea about what is and isn't good for me. I've struggled with my weight all my life, and let's be honest, being fat or FEELING fat... SUCKS. No one wants to feel that way about themselves, really.

The summer of 2011, my mom and I joined Weight Watchers together, and I lost 30 pounds. My mom lost a whopping 60+, but more on that later! Losing weight feels amazing, not only because of the way you look in the mirror, but because there's a confidence and feeling of self-pride that comes from treating yourself well in a healthy way. Sadly, my grandfather passed away the fall following my 30 pound weight loss and I had a really difficult time staying on track. As of now, I've only gained about 5 pounds back, but in reality I have another 35 pounds to lose before I reach my healthy goal weight.

I'm back on plan (any of you with Weight Watchers experience know about that) and I'm fully committed again. The thing I love about Weight Watchers is that I really can eat whatever I want, I just have to count it. Too often dieters feel they have failed because they ate a cookie, but eating a cookie is okay! Cookies are a part of life, and a pretty delicious part at that. We just need to hold ourselves accountable for those things and realize that eating a cookie, or even eating a dozen cookies, does not have to derail all our progress. Sure, maybe eating those cookies means you'll need to spend some extra time at the gym that week to cancel out the points, or maybe you'll need to eat lower calorie meals for the next couple days. The program makes food and exercise mathematical (I used to be a math major) in a really simple way, and I love being able to balance what I eat in a way that makes weight disappear.

I readily admit to being a novice cook, but I really like cooking! I rarely make something for the first time without a good amount of research and of course, asking my mom for advice. I want to share my "recipes," or more likely "simple meals I threw together," with you. Hopefully I can show someone that cooking doesn't have to be difficult and that while losing weight can be a struggle, it doesn't have to be stressful. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, inside and out. I hope that my journey documented within this blog will help someone realize their own goals as well.

A few final facts about me: I'm obsessed with Netflix (I have a TV addiction), I am absolutely terrified of geese and raccoons, I'm a huge Red Wings fan (or hockey fan in general), and I live for warm sunny days with highs under 80. :)
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  1. Congrats on getting your blog started, girl :)
    So exciting!

    It's CRAZY how much we have in common as far as our work situation goes...!

    Hope you had a wonderful wedding!

    1. Thanks lady! :) And thanks for responding at all!

      I know right? I mean, I was a little worried my comment was creepily long, but oh well.

      But... I'm not getting married. Haha, you must have me confused with another commenter. I WISH I was planning a wedding! How fun would that be? But alas, this girl has no ring on her finger. At least... Not yet! :)

  2. Love the octopus, too cute. Great site!


Thank you so much for your interest in my post! I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

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