Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Challenges: Clean Kitchen At Night and Blogging Daily

I am truly sorry that I haven't been posting lately. Last month threw me for a loop! I've been proclaiming, "I am leaving February behind." The day after I last published, I got sick with an upper respiratory infection with a side of laryngitis and conjunctivitis in both eyes. So, in February I had the flu and a bad cold. I figured that I was sick for 13 days, not including days where I only had one symptom, such a bad cough that people would stare! The cold was actually almost as bad as the flu because I could hardly keep food down and for me, that symptom simply crosses the line. Of course, I stayed in bed a lot and majorly slowed down both times, but I wasn't acting like myself at all with the second round of illness. I am always hard on myself. I did accept the fact that rest took precedence over productivity and I did somewhat "show myself grace," which was one of my New Year's Resolutions. I did everything I could to get better in order to attend my beloved grandmother's funeral at the end of the month.

This is a really quick snapshot of the gladiola in an arrangement at the funeral.
My grandmother used to grow gladiola in her garden.

Deaths tend to occur in threes and that actually came true in February. Plus, a couple of my friends continue to experience difficulties in life. And then having a difficult No Spend Month challenge was the cherry on top.

I'm so glad it's a new month. In March, I have been trying to get back into my usual routine. I realize that this is not my normal Sunday post, but I wanted to share about a couple of new lifestyle challenges before they start. Author of the book on habits entitled "Better than Before," Gretchen Rubin would call me an Upholder since I meet both inner and outer expectations. Even though I am committed on my own, I want to share these personal challenges with my readers so that I have an audience to be accountable to.

Since Daylight Savings Time begins and it is light out later today, I thought that I would start a new lifestyle challenge that enhances my evenings. From tonight, Sunday, March 12th through Saturday, March 18th, I will not go to bed without leaving my kitchen clean. My energy tends to crash at about 7:30 PM each day and even though I have some energy before bedtime, I don't have a serious come back. Since I am aware that I have more energy in the morning, I tend to procrastinate, leaving the kitchen at least a bit dirty at night, leaving it until the next morning. I want to drop this bad habit. This week, I want all the dishes cleaned, dried and put away, not even left clean in the dishwasher. I want my counters to be wiped down. I don't want coffee splatter left on my stovetop from making daily morning espresso in my moka pot. If there is anything messy on the refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, sink, cabinets, floors, or trash cans, I would like to clean that up as well. I plan to record this accomplishment by taking a picture of my clean kitchen and then posting the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #cleankitchenatnight. You can follow me @theitaliagal. Lauren @an_organized_life often uses this particular hashtag on her Instagram account. If you wish to join me, feel free to tag me. I would love to see your pictures! I will at least write about it here on the blog after the challenge is over, but I may post about it another time during the week.

Immediately following that, on Sunday, March 19th, I plan to keep up the momentum and start another daily challenge. I always meant to make working on my blog a daily habit, but never have. I want to commit to a formal challenge. I want to work on my blog seven days a week for three weeks through Saturday, April 8th. I plan to publish a post every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday during that time period. I will strive to publish good content. As a lifestyle blogger, I truly believe in quality over quantity. To achieve better posts, I am deciding against publishing everyday. Still, I may just post a picture and a sentence. Or write a paragraph on what I did that day. Just to post something. To establish the routine. To focus on my personal growth. What I truly need to focus on in this challenge is frequency. I need to develop this habit. They say that it takes 21 days! What is truly making me procrastinate on regularly working and posting is my perfectionism. Jennifer of The Daily Connoisseur talked about not looking perfect and mentioned having "one of those days" recently. Those conversations including the fact that a woman I admire tries no matter what comforted me. It's okay not to be perfect, but it's not so great not to show up. I no longer want everything having to be perfect to hold me back in life. My readers tell me that they appreciate that I am so real. I adore that comment as I truly value authenticity. I should be even more open and furthermore, engage in my beloved hobby that is a part of me that more on a daily basis rather than a weekly one.

I have a long list of subjects that I would love to write about! I do plan on writing about my No Spend February and my strict grocery budget for the month once more, including at least a couple of tips and what I learned. I haven't forgotten that I wanted to post an updated home tour in pictures. I would also love to share what I did on my upcoming daytrip to Philadelphia. I haven't visited in a year and I am so excited! I will kinda take you guys with me by posting pictures on Instagram, so, again, be sure to follow me @theitaliagal.

I hope that you will forgive me for not posting lately. As you can see, I am working on improving. And now, if you will excuse me... It is getting late and I have a kitchen to clean! See you later on Instagram!



10 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about your grandmother. That must be hard.

    Having a clean kitchen at night is a worthy goal!

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    1. Thank you.

      It is. It's been nice to wake up to clean kitchen in the morning and not have to deal with the previous day's mess either first or right after coffee.

      Thank you for reading and sticking around.

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  2. Hi Michelle. I was so happy to see your post! I was worried that you may have had an accident or were seriously ill. I have been following your blog for about 3 months now and really enjoy each entry. I too cannot face a messy kitchen in the morning so it has to be clean before I go to bed. I am sorry about your grandmother!

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    1. Ciao! I am sorry that I worried you. Thank you for your patience. I am so happy to read that you enjoy my blog!

      The challenge has been great so far. I hope the habit sticks!

      Thank you.

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  3. Hi Michelle, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother and on top of you being sick. Happy to hear you are recovering and blogging. Having a clean kitchen at night for me has been a plus as I bake a lot. I don't to deal with it in the morning. It puts the rest of the day off when I have to clean it up the day after. So that's a good start for you. Looking forward to more of your posts, no pressure:).
    Cheers and hugs,
    Ping

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    1. Hello, Ping! Thank you.

      I am glad to be back. Thank you so much for reading. I will try to post more after this Clean Kitchen at Night Challenge. April is my birthday month. I will probably be pretty happy and wanting to share!

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  4. So sorry to hear about your grandmother and your recent health issues. Happy to see you back.

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    1. Thank you. I am happy to be back. Thank you for reading!

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I, too, have been hit hard with the loss of a loved one, as well as a nasty cold. Be kind to yourself!

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    1. Thank you. I am sorry for your loss. Are you feeling better now? I have to say, your advice is good. Here's hoping I am kind to myself. Not feeling miserably behind on my blog as well as incorporating my beloved creative outlet into my day will help. Thank you for reading. I love this little community...

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