Hi, my name is Melissa and I was a Starbucks addict.
Three years ago, I freelanced full time from home and would frequent Starbucks four to five times a week.
My addiction was twofold:
1. I needed my daily iced grande nonfat latte fix.
2. I needed to get out of the house and see people.
It was just nice to get out of the house and be around other people. I never really met anyone there, aside from a quick chat with my favorite barista, but it was nice to see familiar faces every week. I was spending somewhere between $4 to $6 every day on my latte and a breakfast cake, every much addicted to the caffeine and satisfaction of toting around that cup with green mermaid logo.
When I got pregnant two years ago, the iced grande nonfat lattes became iced grande nonfat decaf lattes. I still freelanced from home, so the regular trips to Starbucks were still a reality.
Then Mini-me was born and and all possibilities of getting away to my favorite coffee shop quickly flew out the window. Then came the discovery of both my and Mini-me’s dairy allergies. It took some trial and error, but we figured this all out when she would break out in a rash all over her squishy little face, cry uncontrollably because of gas pains and vomit on occasion. These things happened when I would have milk or cheese to eat (we were breastfeeding).
So, getting rid of dairy in my diet was a no brainer.
Then, something remarkable happened. The chronic rashes that I would get on my hands disappeared. I lost weight. A lot of weight. As in, one month after giving birth, I weighed 25 pounds less than before I got pregnant. After some internet research, my suspicions were confirmed: I was allergic to dairy too.
Starbucks was now completely out of the picture (I’m also allergic to soy milk, if you were wondering).
But, the thing is. I don’t miss it. All it took was having a baby.
I’m giving up Facebook for Lent.
The past few years, I’ve given up various things during Lent. Fast food was the usual selection for a few years, and last year Paul and I both chose to not drink anything but water for 40 days.
I had been pondering over what to give up this year, I considered becoming vegetarian, giving up snacking between meals and drinking only water (again). But none of these really seemed like much of a sacrifice. We don’t eat much meat at home, only chicken and seafood on occasion; and we only drink water at home already (thanks to habits that carried over from last year’s Lent).
This year, I finally settled on Facebook. I realize that this may sound ridiculous, especially since I’m not giving up Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, FourSquare or LinkedIn.
Here are my 5 reasons for saying goodbye to Facebook for the next 40 days:
1. Time sucker
Logging onto Facebook and checking up on the “news” is practically second nature to me now, first thing that my fingers do when I open up my laptop is click in the address bar and type “facebook.com.” When I grab my phone, the first app that I check is “Facebook.” I don’t know how many times I look through my news feed on Facebook and how much time I waste on that site. If yohttp://www.melissacrane.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2408&action=edit&message=10u think about it, this is really absurd.
What else could I be doing with all that precious time?
- I could spend it with Mini-me, playing with her, teaching her and reading to her.
- I could spend it playing with our two dogs.
- I could spend it working on client projects, so that I don’t have to stay awake at all hours of the night.
- I could spend it working on my new start-up venture, which has gotten neglected because of the above three.
2. Shallow connections
The people closest to me don’t contact me on Facebook. We call, email, text or see each other on a regular basis. Of the hundreds of “friends” that I have on Facebook, how many are really real life friends? Yes, I have met all of my Facebook “friends” in person (I don’t accept friend requests otherwise), but how many of them would bother saying “Hi” to me if we were to see each other face to face? My guess is not many.
Something that is difficult to admit is that jealousy abounds on Facebook. It’s when an exhausted work-from-home mom sees a post about a friend who is going on an exotic vacation. It’s when a woman battling infertility see a post about a new pregnancy. It’s when someone stuck in a dead end job sees a post about an amazing promotion. Facebook is a place of self-absorption and self-indulgence. It will be refreshing to step away from all of that for a while.
So, come tomorrow my account will be disabled and the apps on my phone and iPad will be removed. I’m looking forward to being away from Facebook for the next few weeks and seeing what changes this overhaul on my daily routine will bring to light.
A few nights ago, we were too exhausted to cook dinner and not in the mood to go someplace nice to eat. So, off to Zaxby’s we went.
A group of high school kids were sitting a few tables away from us, it wasn’t the loud Britney Spears song singing that got to me. It was the leaving a mess on their tables after they left, when there was a trash can literally right next to their seats.
Even if you are at a fast food restaurant, you should always clean up after yourself.
Common courtesy: Is this something that parents aren’t teaching their kids anymore?
Kids don’t seem to be as grateful for what they are given. As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children the value of hard work and the meaning of gratitude. Kids are handed so much these days. It’s not uncommon to see teens walking around with iPhones, wearing designer clothes and driving expensive cars around their suburban neighborhoods.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give our kids things and make life comfortable and fun for them. I’m saying that as parents, I feel that it is our duty to teach our children to be responsible, grateful and respectful members of our community.
Was the shopping cart rack really too far for you to walk to? Really?
Mini-me is just a toddler, so we have many lessons to teach her as she grows up. I hope we can instill some of the same values in her that my parents instilled in me.
Yesterday, I had one wisdom tooth taken out. That one itty bitty little bugger that had grown in years after I “had my wisdom teeth taken out.”
With Mommy drugged up and mind in Lala land, Mini-me was left in the care of Paul aka Daddy. I thought (or knew) that surely at least one, if not ten disasters were bound to occur over the course of the day. After all, I’m the stay at/work from home mom, I’m a control freak and she’s our first and only child.
There were some minor mishaps.
I vaguely remember waking up from a foggy minded nap to find Mini-me wearing PJ bottoms that completely clashed with the rest of her outfit. An outfit that I had carefully put together pre-surgery. The reason: she chewed through a jelly pack at breakfast and it went all over that perfectly selected outfit.
Of course I flipped out, “Why is she wearing that?! It doesn’t match!!!” Blame the meds, I tell you. Blame the meds.
But to my amazement (and his credit), Paul was able to sing Mini-me to sleep for her afternoon nap (mind you, she’s a terrible sleeper) and he kept her well-fed (and clean) for the rest of the day. I even caught Mini-me feeding herself baby food from one of those organic pre-made pouches, without getting her clothes dirty.
Maybe it’s time for me to let go a little bit. Clearly Mini-me is ready.
I just don’t think I am yet.
These past few days have made me proud to be a Southerner.
Like the vast majority of ATLiens, I am a Southern transplant who moved here for college a little over a decade ago. I liked the weather, food and people enough, so I stuck around after graduation. I always prided myself as a “Northerner,” even though I grew up in Virginia (still technically the South).
When the snowpocalypse hit metro Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, the Mini-me and I were lucky enough to already be in the comforts of our house. So we sat by our bay window and enjoyed watching the big flakes of snow fall from the sky, covering the grass and roads outside, turning our neighborhood into a winter wonderland. Paul came home shortly afterwards and we baked chocolate chip cookies as a little family and enjoyed our snow day.
Little did we know about the mess that was unfolding in Atlanta traffic. After our neighbors called to tell us that they were stuck at the bottom of the hill at the entrance to our community, did we turn on the news and see the gridlock that had paralyzed all of Atlanta’s interstates. As the night wore on, we started hearing stories of people still trapped in their cars. In fact, my sister-in-law and her daughter ended up having a 23 hour commute home from school.
But, instead of talking about the lack of preparation from the local government, joking about Southerners not knowing how to drive in snow and complaining about Atlanta’s lack of public transit… I want to celebrate the acts of Southern hospitality and heroism that popped up all over Atlanta and the South:
- People who walked down highways and streets to stranded cars, handing out food and water.
- Families who opened their homes to strangers who needed a place to rest.
- Stores (Home Depot, Chick-Fil-A, Publix, RaceTrac) who opened their doors to offer shelter, food and bathroom to those stranded.
- The brain surgeon who walked six miles in the snow to operate on a patient.
- And of course, the amazing Facebook group “SnowedOutAtlanta” created by Michelle Sollicito of Marietta, to connect and help people who were stuck outside away from home during the snow storm.
Only in the South would you see people come together in such an amazing way when others are in need. Like I was saying with my friend, Robyn, this morning:
“We may not have been prepared for the snow in Atlanta, but we were definitely prepared to help out.”
Atlanta, you have made me proud to be a part of your family, and proud to call myself a Southerner.
A new year means a new vision board!
I am a big believer in the power of making vision boards. Being a visual person, I feel inspired when I can (literally) see my goals in front of me. I have made vision boards for two years now, starting in 2012.
My first vision board was with magazine cutouts glued onto poster board. One item that was on my 2012 board was a photo of a speaker at a blogging conference, two weeks later, I was asked to speak at BlogHer Food in Seattle. From then on, I’ve been a believer.
Here’s a look back at 2013‘s vision board:
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Get my advanced open water SCUBA diving certification – done.
2. Launch a women’s active wear/clothing line – not done, changed ideas to something else
Lose weight, get in shape after having a baby – done.
4. Launch a product based business – not done, see #2 above
Throw a Alice in Wonderland themed party for Mini-me – done.
Run the Peachtree Road Race – done.
Grow an herb garden in our backyard – done.
Spend more time with my girlfriends – done.
Get healthy, drink more water – done.
This year, I have a virtual vision board on Pinterest (sorry, it’s a private board), but I thought I would share a few things that I have on it:
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
1. Begin working on getting my rescue diver SCUBA certification
2. Launch a children’s product business
3. Eat healthier, and more of a plant-based diet
4. Continue growing as a mom to a toddler
5. Inspiring quote, don’t ya think?
6. Learn to sew properly on a machine
7. Start playing tennis again
8. Run bitch.
9. Plan and grow a large backyard garden.
Do you make vision boards? What’s on yours this year?
When we were diving in Jamaica a few months ago, I couldn’t help but see the parallels between scuba diving and running a business. After all, when you’re under the water it’s silent and all you can hear are the thoughts in your head.
So, I get a lot of thinking done while diving.
After all, thinking about business is way more fun than thinking about whether I’ll absentmindedly swim headfirst into a jellyfish or brush up against a lionfish, right?
5. Stick with your dive buddy
Or know where he is at all times. The last thing you want when you’re under the water is for something to happen and have no help around. The same goes with running a business, a support group is so important, having someone to bounce ideas off of or just to have some adult interaction is priceless.
4. Be Observant
Look around, be aware of your surroundings, or you at just miss that sea turtle sighting. What a tragedy that would be!
There are opportunities abound when you run your own business. But be aware and ready to act when they come around, because you may not get a second chance.
3. Push yourself
But be smart about it. If you don’t take (smart) risks, you won’t get anywhere.
On my very first open water dive, I practically had a panic attack because the waves were so strong that it was difficult to go below the surface. Luckily, I eventually did and found a whole new world and passion because I was willing to push myself over that hurdle.
2. Continue your education
It’s always more fun when you know more stuff. After obtaining an Advanced Open Water certification, you are allowed to dive deeper (to 100ft), so you get to see more stuff, like wrecks. And who wouldn’t love to dive around and through a shipwreck?
1. Just keep breathing
No matter what.
Just keep breathing.
I’m making the jump back into blogging. Well, dipping my toes back in. Slowly.
Mini-me turned one a couple weeks ago, so now I have a toddler on my hands. A rambunctious, curious little human being who has no lack of energy. It’s been a year and I still don’t have it figured out.
But, I sure am trying.
Inspired by Esther’s monthly goals, I figured it was about time I made up a monthly goal list again. Maybe I’ll actually be able to accomplish more than keeping the house from becoming a disaster zone and frantically wrapping up client projects.
Here’s my list (not nearly pretty as Esther’s, but I promise I’ll try harder next month!):
1. Design, order and send out family Christmas cards
2. Finish designing and order Mini-me’s first year photo memory book
3. Clean and declutter the house
4. Train for and run in the Thanksgiving 5K
5. Host a Thanksgiving dinner without stressing out.
6. Put up Christmas decorations
7. Post a blog post once a week on each blog.
8. Try a new craft project for Christmas decor.
Get through flying to New York with a toddler without pulling my hair out.
10. Cook at least 4 times for dinner (when not traveling).