Monday Love Day!

1. A clean apartment. This semester I've been pretty bad about cleaning. I've just been so darn busy with school, clinic and life in general that I let it get away from me. I finally reached a point where I couldn't take it anymore. So on Saturday I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. My new goal is to keep the place clean daily. I've been making my bed and putting things away as soon as I'm done with them. Cleaning is such a rewarding process. It's one of the few things where you can have instant gratification without harmful side effects. With eating healthy it takes a while to really see results. That junk food tastes good now but regret comes later. Those new clothes are exciting but the decrease in funds in your bank account isn't. Not so with cleaning. You can see the difference you're making as you go. The result? A clean living space! Nothing bad there. I always forget how much I love my apartment until I clean it again. Then once I see it all neat and tidy I realize that over the past 2 1/2 years I really have made myself a nice home.

2. Surprises! Dad called me on Friday night with a lovely surprise: my family's coming to DC next weekend! I love when something unexpected rearranges your plans in a good way.

3. Deals with myself. It's entirely possible that I bribe myself. It's also entirely possible that it works. On Saturday I got my apartment cleaned by 3 pm after promising myself that I could go down to the Inner Harbor only if I got my cleaning done before the sun went down. It worked on Sunday too: I told myself that I could do some decorating (more on that later) if I got my homework done before dinner. Seriously if you're ever lacking in motivation bribe yourself!

4. Happy feathered ones. You know the saying "if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? In this apartment that saying goes "if the feathered ones ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." When the feathered ones are happy they sing the sweetest happiest songs. When they're not happy, they let me know. Loudly. Since the apartment isn't that big the only way to escape is to leave. They really like when the apartment's clean as well. Even if I don't touch their cage, as soon as I clean my apartment they cheer right up. It's quite strange honestly. Most of the time they're quite happy but last week I was not in the best of moods for the vast majority of the week. I swear they picked up on it and were consequently not in the best of moods themselves. Right now they're quite content, sleeping with their little beaks under their little wings. Frack also sings in his sleep. It's a quiet song but quite cute.

5. Pinterest. I know, I've blogged about this one before. But I really can't get over how wonderful Pinterest is. I've been putting things I see on Pinterest to good use lately. I've cooked recipes, grown scallions in my windowsill and found new ways to store sheets. I've even decided on my Christmas gifts and come up with new Christmas decorations using what I already own. Heck I even made my Christmas list for Santa using Pinterest!

6. Meal planning. About two weeks ago I blogged about a huge milestone in my weight loss. The next week I got super stressed. As a result I was lucky to get 2 meals a day in. When I started eating regularly the week after that I puffed up like a darn balloon. Since then I've been adhering to my points and eating regularly. It's working two: the pounds have started coming back off at a regular, safe pace again. I started using a weekly meal planning notepad that I found to plan each night's dinners. It's simplified my meal process and helped me eat properly. I'm also making use of my various cookbooks; each week I pick all my meals out of a different cookbook. Last week was Gourmet Cooking on a Budget by Knack. Next week is Slow Cookers 2 by Bay Books.

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