Turning over a new leaf


Or cactus? ๐Ÿ˜‰

As we’ve already established, I’m all aboard the cliche blogger fall train. We tend to get a little excited about these things, especially when it comes to the pumpkin love fest. No shame. In addition to wearing boots and sweaters even though the current coolest temp is 70, and that’s for about 5 minutes, there are a lot of things I look forward to.

Halloween bell

(like putting Bell in a Halloween dress)

I especially love having all of the family together, especially since -who knows?- it could be our last holiday season here for a while. I love the comfort foods, the holiday excitement, and the fact that Liv will understand what’s going on. It’s going to be magical. You think you really love the holidays, and then you have a little one. It gets even more exciting, which I didn’t think was possible.

I’m already clearing out clutter, bringing in the fall and Halloween decorations, and thinking about some personal changes I want to make. With the transition from summer to fall equinox, it’s a perfect time to assess goals that you want to accomplish, changes and habits you want to create, and start “fresh” with the changing season.

Park thumb

Here are some of the things on my list:

-Keep the phone in my purse. Since we’ve returned from Italy, I’ve made a conscious effort to remove myself from technology, especially while Liv’s awake. I’ve always been pretty good about doing my blogging/emailing while she’s sleeping, but I was guilty of checking my phone often throughout the day. I don’t anymore, and guess what? I don’t miss anything. All of the things I want to reply to are still there waiting for me when I get a chance.

-Read more often. I feel like I seriously birthed my brain almost two years ago. (In all fairness, I’m very glad, because she’s a smart little thing.) I’m clumsy, my vocabulary has dwindled by at least 30%, and I have a hard time remembering things. Something I’ve found to help? Reading. Even when I feel like I don’t have “time,” reading every night for even 10 minutes keeps my brain from feeling like mush. I only read high-qualtiy literature, too. (<– sarcasm. Currently LOVING “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan)

-On the same note: taking down time every day. I’m one of those people who always feels like I have something I need to do, and I know that a lot of it is self-imposed business. I’ll be sitting on the couch and realize that I need to dust or throw in a load of laundry, so I’ll do it. I’ll realize some days that from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep, I haven’t taken a moment of down time. I’m endeavoring to give myself a 20-minute siesta each day, and it’s a life-changer. Just laying down with my eyes closed for 20 minutes works wonders, and I don’t feel quite so exhausted when I go to sleep at night.

-Getting more zzz’s. We’ve been going to bed earlier and earlier, and it’s amazing to wake up and not feel tired. We were getting sucked into the technology vortex and before we knew it, it was midnight. Now, we go up to bed much earlier– I’m a fan. This is a habit I want to keep ๐Ÿ™‚

-Crank through some house to-dos. We have some improvements we want to make, and if we’re moving, it’s gotta happen before we go. Spring will be here before we know it!

-Focus more on fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water. 

-The always-elusive goal of balanceโ€ฆ and feeling balanced while trying to achieve this. Every day I do the best I can to be an amazing wife, mama, daughter and friend. As Liv gets older, it continues to be a significant plight to set a loving, patient and polite example for her. She learns from watching others and replicating actions, and she’s mostly with me, watching every move I make. (I really need to stop saying the F-bomb every time I drop something.) I know many of you can relate -especially those with more on their plate than I have- but sometimes it can be hard to juggle so many different roles. I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing over the last year, and learning which proverbial balls can be dropped from time to time, but it’s always a work in progress. I guess my main goal with this is to try to find the best balance for myself while juggling prioritizing, enjoying, and also taking the time for things that I love (like yoga!). 

My friend posted this on her Facebook wall, and I found it to be perfect for this post:

1016408 495690977175300 209062291 n

What leaf are you turning over?

Any habits you want to break or create this fall season? 



 **New Fashion post with my latest Stitch Fix ๐Ÿ™‚


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  1. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on September 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Love your list — I was nodding as I was reading each one: Great reminders of things I think we should all be mindful of!

    Also, I love Bella’s Halloween dress — too cute!

  2. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on September 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    A lot of great goals Gina! I really need to get more sleep. I get sucked into the tech vortex waaaay too easily. I also need to give myself some more relaxation time. I’m getting way to stressed trying to get everything done. Unfortunately almost everything needs to be done so I’m trying to come up with a plan to do everything and still have time to relax. We’ll see how it goes! Great post!

  3. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on September 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

    My goal for the fall is to focus on the little things. When were stressed or busy Sometimes we forget to enjoy the small things.

  4. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on September 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I really needed that last picture-list of life rules. You can never have too many reminders to stop comparing your life to others and that you are in charge of your own happiness. I have been trying to put down the technology before bed because I, too, notice when I can get to bed (with the lights off) and a decent hour the next day is always soo much more productive. It makes me really excited to know that the holidays are even more special with a little one. That definitely gives me hope and excitement for that next stage in my life (whenever that day is)

  5. Megan (The Lyons' Share) on September 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I love this! I also love that the beginning of Fall is such a great time to reflect and reset. A few things I’m focusing on … substituting fruit for some of my desserts and not feeling like I need to have something sweet after every meal, letting downtime really be downtime (like you, I always feel the need to be doing something productive), and appreciating my current life rather than having the “it’ll be better when…” attitude!

  6. Lisa on September 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Oh goodness, Bell in that Halloween dress may be the cutest thing I’ve seen all day.
    I love all the things you listed – they are all such important things and sometimes we are so busy with other things we forget to take care of the things that are important and healthy for us.
    I’m really working on getting more sleep, looking further into different schools and employment options, and making more recipes.

  7. Ali on September 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Such a good post Gina. Thank you for sharing all of your new life habits ๐Ÿ™‚

    We recently got rid of 90% of our things and moved half way around the world. We will continue to live lightly here, stress and work less to live more.


  8. Karen on September 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Love your first one: Keep the phone in your purse.

    Awesome, we were also on vacation hiking Zion National Park, and one individual we were often waiting for because he needed to stop and “take care of things” on his phone, ON VACATION!!!!
    I swear, some people just cannot focus on lives real treasures instead of things on their phones.
    He was single,childless and in the company of his mother, what could he possibly need to check on while climbing to the top of a mountain???
    I am proud to here you are doing well with this goal.

  9. Ari@The Diva Dish on September 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I laughed out loud when you mentioned bloggers obsession with fall things…(Guilty!)

    And I’ve got two little girls, (1 & 3), and I feel like everyday I’ve been setting goals to improve on being a better person, mother, wife, etc. Those girls watch everything! My 3 year old said SH*T the other day…hahaha! My fault again!

    Anyways, I love the idea of focusing on new goals, improving the ones we have, and especially finding balance! Thanks for the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Jackie on September 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I want to live in the moment more and appreciate what I have.

  11. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on September 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Love this. ๐Ÿ™‚ That image of “The 7 Cardinal Rules of Life”…also love. It’s important to regularly evaluate our lives and how we’re going about it. I would hate to look back one day and regret this or that.

    A couple things I’m currently working on: making time each morning for my devotions; eating more vegetables; praying with my husband each night; reading before I go to bed rather than scrolling through Instagram; limiting my computer time.

    • Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on September 25, 2013 at 11:18 am

      P.S. Not sure if you even cared or maybe you don’t want it to be this way… But I noticed I never get email responses from you when you reply to my comments. I know I was clueless about this when I replied to comments on my blog for the longest time. Just FYI for ya. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Nikki@NikkiRaeInk on September 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I’m new to your blog, and I have to say, I love it! This post is right up my alley. Fall is the start to a wonderful time of year. My goal is to simply stay focused on my current goals and not let the weather deter my motivation to run. I may be slow but at least I’ll be out there doing it!

  13. Captain Competition on September 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Looked at your “7 Rules” and thought I could pick one good one to say was my favorite. It changed every time I read the next one. They are all such good rules to live by. Number 2 stuck out to me. What other people think truly is none of my business. It is a good way to approach things.

    I too need to put down my phone more often.

  14. Crystal on September 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

    LOVED this post. Fall always seems like a better time of year for new goals and resolutions than the new year to me. Change is in the air <3

  15. Kristi @ lifesprinkles on September 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I love this post! I am definitely on the bandwagon for cutting down technology (I don’t need to check my email and Twitter like a fiend), taking down time and an early to bed ritual.

  16. Whitney @ Pancakes and Tulips on September 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I love your list. I’ve recently made a bunch of little changes too. I stopped looking a my phone a million times during the day (similar to what’s on your list), I don’t play on the iPad while trying to watch tv, and I stop all phone and internet use after 10pm. I’m much less stressed when I focus on one thing at a time and avoid the mindless internet surfing.

  17. Souda on September 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I really love those 7 Rules. Sometimes we can complicate life so much that we begin to forget our values and morals. This simple list of life rules keeps us on track and helps us remember to be happy and decent human beings.
    Love your blog keep up the amazing work!

  18. Ali on September 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’ve had a very rough past 15 months with a new, very demanding job, a move and buying a house (that turned out to be a money pit) on my own, moving away from my family and friends, being very sick nearly constantly, and dealing with a reoccurrence of disordered eating. I ran a 5K on Sunday and it was extremely hard for me even though I did a half marathon a year ago. This week, I’ve been making a conscious effort to leave work on time (and work at night at home) so I can take a quick nap, workout, make healthy food at home, and visit my therapist. I’m also trying to set my phone down at home. I got a smart phone for work last fall and ever since then, it’s been downhill battle. I miss my fitness level and mental health so I’m working to try to get that all back. It’s hard, but I definitely think it’s worth the hard work.

  19. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on September 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Bell looks so adorable in that Halloween costume! I definitely want to disconnect more! I feel like I’m on my computer way too often and I’ve neglected my reading, which I also want to start doing more of.

  20. Heidi on September 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Ahhh! I love when Bella makes occasional appeareances! She looks **uber** happy to be in her costume. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on September 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I love this! I am guilty of being on my phone way too much checking emails, instagram, facebook etc when I should be enjoying some down time! I think I will make this a focus as well! Fall is the perfect time to reset!

  22. Emily on September 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I love the “What other people think of you is none of your business” rule. In that view, I spend way to much time in other people’s business!

    I feel like this fall I am FINALLY finding my health/fitness groove. It’s not easy, but I am enjoying working out and losing weight so much! I want to keep focusing on getting healthier and stronger, and totally tearing up my half marathon this December.

  23. Katie on September 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    My goal for the fall is to find balance. I start yoga teacher training this weekend and know the next 9 months will be super busy trying to juggle a full time job and all of the requirements for training, but I also know this is nothing compared to what others are trying to juggle. I want to make sure I’m always present, even when trying to do everything on my to-do list before the day ends. I want to make time for my boyfriend, friends, and myself. Being present and feeling grounded is really going to help this transition. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats on September 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    LOVE love love. I have been focusing on relaxing a bit and getting organized. I am starting a new job soon and it has been teh perfect push to take care of all the things I’ve put off doing. Last week I did a big closet purge and have been slowly going through the house and organizing/getting rid of things. It makes a world of difference! I also want to get in the habit of doing a little housework everyday so that I don’t have to do all of the house once a week.

  25. Lauren C on September 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Love that list of 7 cardinal rules! I printed it out to put on my fridge!

  26. Tess on September 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Would you consider doing Namaste November again? That was pretty much the best thing. I loved it!

  27. Beth on September 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    LOVE your list! I have been in the same boat with the “birthing my mind”, I had my son two years ago and realized just how hard it was to think clearly recently. I started reading and doing some puzzles in my down time and it helped SO much!

    I think my biggest thing to work on right now is being present in the moment.

  28. Julie on September 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I saw those same rules posted on FB & really like them!

  29. Anna @ Fitness ร  la Anna on September 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    What a great infographic, it was exactly what I needed to hear today! Time definitely does heal all, although I wish that I could just skip over the ‘give it time’ phase haha

  30. erica on September 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I really need to work on keeping my phone in my purse…and reading more!

  31. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate on September 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    These are such good things to be thinking about as we head into a new season. I definitely need to work on leaving my phone out of reach in many situations, and enjoying the company of friends and family instead.

  32. Naomi on September 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    One thing I am working on is becoming better at time management. Ever since I started reading blogs, I find myself spending more and more time on the computer. Shocker, I know ๐Ÿ™‚ However, I am in grad school and am also newly married, so there are a lot of new adjustments and always something I could be doing for school. It’s so easy to spend hours scrolling through blogs, and then all of a sudden half the day is gone, and so is my time to study. I am trying to set aside just certain times in the day for blog reading, with time limits, but it is so easy to read “just one more post.” Definitely a work in progress.

  33. Floey on September 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I want to make more close girlfriends and make a 3 year plan for myself.

  34. Floey on September 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I want to make more close girlfriends and make a 3 year plan for myself.

  35. Julie on September 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I wasn’t on my phone all last night and was able to sleep better than normal. Coincidence? I want more sleep too!

  36. Alex @ Kenzie Life on September 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Great post!! I love the idea of “turning over a new leaf” in fall ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m definitely working on balance between school, work, my social life, and time for myself. Oh and sleep. Sleep would be pretty great! I’m trying to find ways to be more efficient with my studying so I have more time for other things.

  37. Dominique @ That's What Domi Said on September 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    One habit I need to make is going to bed earlier and being more disciplined with my time. I’ve started biking to work and the gym (same place haha), which is great because it saves me quite a bit of gas money over time, but it means I have a bit less time to get things done at home…and let’s just say I’ve been slacking in that department!

  38. Jess on September 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Wowโ€”thank you for posting that list. I needed to read that today! I’ve been trying to spend less time on Facebook and focus on enjoying the path I’m on moment and not comparing myself to others.

  39. Caitlin @PieceOfCait on September 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I love all your goals! All of which I need to do more of, especially the technology. I love to have my handy iphone out for pics.. since I really use it for that for the blog.. but I also don’t want it to get in the way of precious time.

  40. Sasha on September 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    You are a true inspiration my friend! Thank you for this post:)

  41. Elyse @ Lizzie Fit on September 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Such a great post. I want to focus more on all of the above, especially keeping my phone in my purse when our with family or friends.

    I can’t imagine the holidays being any more exciting than they already are but just the idea of that makes me more excited ๐Ÿ˜€

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