Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Things I did right in 2019 & my 2020 Goals

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Things I did right in 2019:

Lots and lots of family time ♥
Stronger relationship with God
Worked out at least 4 times per week
Continued with weekly meal prepping
Reduced our meat consumption by at least 50%
No drink months
Grocery shopped with reusable bags and reduced the amount of plastic I use
Invested in new real estate
Traveled
Reached our savings goal
Less spontaneous shopping

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Now for things I want to do in 2020:

- Start baking (and from scratch!). Anyone who knows me knows that I love cooking. I love finding and trying new recipes regularly. One thing I don't do is bake. The last thing I baked (minus our weekly vegetables) was an amazing zucchini bread that I made once in 2018. This year, I want to try my hand at baking cakes, cookies, breads, etc. We shall see!

- Read more! I had a goal last year and well I failed poorly. I started strong (frigid weather helped!) and then came April and I just didn't do it. I'm going to try really hard this year to get books that I actually want to read and force myself to get back into it. I was the girl who absolutely loved reading and would read 2-3 books per week. I want to get back to being that person.

- Less Netflix. While we're on the topic of more reading I think it is only fair that less Netflix is also added to this list. I'm embarrassed (OK not really) to admit that I watch far too much Netflix. I could be doing so much more productive things so I'm really going to push to scale back on my Netflix watching.

- Less mindless scrolling on social media. I think I don't have to say more than that.

- No spend months. I don't believe I had a no spend month in 2019 which I really wanted to push for. I spent less because I am pushing for more intentional spending vs. spontaneous spending but I want to do no spend months so I'm trying again this year and happy to report that January went really, really well. I intend to have another no spend month in April.

- The travel gallery wall. We were convinced that we were going to complete our travel gallery wall and well, we didn't. Pushing for that in 2020.

- Complete that darn office. We did get a bookshelf and picked up some frames from Michaels last weekend, so we're a few steps closer; but I also wanted to have it looking like an office by now.

- Be more friendly to the environment. I have some good habits in place already like bringing reusable totes to the grocery store each time, air-drying our clothes, very limited food waste and reduced online shopping. But I obviously need to do more so pushing for no plastic straw use in 2020. This may not seem like a big deal but considering how often we are on the road this is something that I can do that can help in someway. I also find that when I make small steps in the right direction it helps me to be better overall.

- Commit to more sustainability in my wardrobe. I’m working on editing my closet in a major way and want to pare way back on purchases this year. I did not shop at all in the month of January and intend to extend this into February as well. I intend to have more no spend months which will in turn result in less shopping. This year I’d like to be much more intentional with my spending overall and want to work to prioritize buying less fast fashion and shop at retailers that are more sustainable.

What are some goals that you are working towards this year?
Any tip(s) you can give me (especially the environmental one) would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Puerto Rico: Old San Juan Walk Tour

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On our anniversary day we decided to do a private walk tour of Old San Juan. Old San Juan is simply stunning. Full of lush greens, colorful houses, cobbled streets and innate architecture dating back to the 16th century. At every turn I wanted to take a picture to freeze the moment in time so this post is going to be very, very picture heavy. We visited San Felipe del Morro and San Cristóbal fortresses. We learned a lot about Puerto Rico but I won’t inundate you with all the details since I'm already doing that with all the pictures. But I’ll share one something that I thought was pretty neat. No house or building on the same street is allowed to have the same colored house or building. It’s no wonder that Old San Juan is so colorful!

We started the day at Puerto Rico Café Cola’o for coffee and a light breakfast.
Our coffee was strong and our food delicious.

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We had some time to spare before meeting our tour guide so we explored a bit and marveled at how big the cruise ships are. We have not done a cruise but after this experience we are a little more keen on the idea.

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Our tour guide was knowledgeable and easy-going. Our first stop was to the catacombs in Parroquia San Francisco de Asís which is currently a Catholic church, built in 1876. It is considered one of the most important religious structures in Old San Juan.

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We went to Bastión de las Palmas de San José which is a historical landmark in Puerto Rico and Parque Las Palomas which is a small outdoor area that many pigeons hang out. It’s a great bird watching area but if you do not like birds (thinking of my mother in law) avoid this area. Sean had me send her one of the pictures with the birds and she freaked, haha.

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We went to Spicy Caribbee which was great and picked up some sauces and seasonings to take home with us.
The owner informed us that they could ship items to us once we ran out.

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We went to Felisa Rincón de Gautier’s home. She was the first woman to be elected as the Mayor in San Juan. She was very popular and well loved. She helped in the 1932 campaign in which women succeeded in gaining the right to vote. She is also the one who created the head start program which is very popular here in the states.

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We went to Cathedral of San Juan Bautista where it is stated that Ponce de León is buried.

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Some images taken during our walk tour.

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La Bombonera, the third oldest restaurant in Puerto Rico, founded in 1902.

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We of course visited the fortress (but didn't go inside because by this time we were hot, hungry and tired from all the walking) and it was great to see all the people flying kites on the green open space.

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Ices were highly necessary considering all the walking we did and the heat that day.

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When our tour was over our guide recommended that we walk over to La Verguenza Puertorican Chinchorro.
During our walk we had to stop several times. You'll see why below :).

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Not gonna lie, I shrieked when I saw this door!

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When we finally reached our destination (La Verguenza Puertorican Chinchorro) we were glad that our guide recommended it as our food was delicious, the drinks great and our service wonderful.

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Whew, that was a lot of work!
Happy Thursday ♥