The Busy Giffs: 2020

May 13, 2020

40 in 4 : A New Update

With the big changes in my life, I've been able to knock off a few more things!

4. Buy a bicycle.
I'm so excited about this one.  Not only did I buy a spin bike for my room (I miss the gym so much),  but I also going to pick up a simple cruiser bike from Walmart so I can ride down the driveway and up the street with the kids on theirs. 
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
This is so huge and so amazing! Thanks to selling the house, I was able to pay off all of our debts, minus my student loans and the car, but even those payments are more managable now that everythingelse has been paid!
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.
Again, thanks to the equity from selling the house, I've been able to tuck away an emergency fund greater than I've had in years.  It's amazing what financial stability can do for your mental health.
20a. Get family photos done with the kids.
With the quarantine, the #FrontPorchProject picked up traction and the kids and I got pictures done on our steps (6 feet apart of course).  I love how they came out!
33-34a. clean up the back yard of our new place.
We've been so so busy this last month, planting flowers and cleaning up the yard.  David has been so helpful coming over and cutting the grass and while we still need someone to come over and remove trees and grade the yard, it's a functioning outdoor space now, complete with a patio set and vegetable garden!
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.
Setting up a garden in the new place was a top priority for Emmalee, so of course it went in quickly! We have strawberries, tomoatoes, snap peas, dill, cilantro, celery, and butter lettuce currently but she wants to add potatoes and carrots soon!

1. Run a 5k
2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
4. Buy a bicycle.
5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
9. Get a job in Higher Ed
10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.
13. Get another tattoo (or two).
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.

16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
17. a. Got a nose piercing! I've been talking about it for years and finally did it as a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday!
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
20. * Get professional head shots for the blog.
20a. Get family photos done with the kids.
21. * Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
21. b. Buy a NEW new car! I've never owned a brand new vehicle but after having so many issues with our last car, we decided the extra money on a brand new car (under warranty) was smarter than any other option. 
22. * Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
22.
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.

29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. Fence in our yard.
34. Landscape.

33-34a. clean up the back yard of our new place.
35. Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.

38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.

38. Take a day after the quarantine and do my hair, brows, nails, and get a tan!39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.
39a. Take the kids on a great vacation.
40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.


If the world would just be safe enough fr adventures, I could get more done but until then, I'll keep dreaming about the next fun things!

xo, Heather

May 4, 2020

Staying In Shape During Quarantine

Surprisingly, one of the most difficult parts of the stay at home orders in Massachusetts (for me)  is that the gyms are closed. I'm used to cooking a meal every day, even though I love take out, and I don't get my nails done or have my brows waxed nearly enough so other than the gym, this quarantine has been an amazing time to spend with my kids helping them with their schoolwork, but...

I. Miss. The. Gym.

I said it. I year-ish ago I started a fitness journey that I figured would be a dead end like all the others but after learning to weight train, I really fell in love with being at the gym.  Going every night became a ritual and my pre-created workout plan (created and implemented on my ass by Jarred) kicked my butt and helped me feel strong so imagine how disappointed I was when all of a sudden, I couldn't go anymore.

I have enjoyed hiking with my kids and exploring the neighborhood, but not much feels as good as lifting over 200 pounds and having the people near you nod at your accomplishment. Additionally, the mental toll of not being able to work out was affecting me.  I needed that gym time to feel good about myself. I knew I needed to get some stuff into my new space if I wasn't going to take a dramatic nosedive with my weight and mental health.

Everyone else had the same idea because finding exercise equipment was almost impossible at first but thanks to Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and Walmart (and a generous donation from an amazing friend), I was able to procure enough to feel the weights again.

The first thing I grabbed was a spin bike from Amazon. I knew I only had space for one big item and between a treadmill, elliptical, and spin bike, I knew I wanted the bike.  Of the three I feel like I get the best caloric output per mile on the bike. Amazon has some amazing rated bikes, and coupled with the Peloton App (which is currently free thanks to the pandemic!), you can have that spin experienece without the heavy cost of a Peloton.



I also knew I needed a weight bench and some weights. Knowing my favorite bench exercises are dumbell and bar presses, I knew I needed to find something with an incline, but again, Amazon offered all sorts of benches with varying capabilities and price tags.


The hardest part was finding weights! Walmart sells their weights for under a dollar a pound if you can find them in stock in store, but the online mark up has been crazy. The average on Facebook Marketplace is $2.50-$3 a pound as well and when I'm trying to get multiple pairs of dumbbells, it's just not cost effective. Add in a weight bar and weight plates and it would cost me a small fortune to finance. Thaaaaaaaankfully, I have an amazing friend who happened to have "too many weights" and dropped them off for me to use.

Having all the weights is great and I've been able to tweak Jarred's plans to still work for me but without knowing what to do, many people would stall.

I've been loving:
1. the Peloton App
2. The Fitbit App
3. Stephanie Sanzo
4. BeFit Performance

I ended up with a really great home gym set up to get me through the rest of this quarantine, but honestly, I can't wait to get back in the gym!

xo, Heather







March 23, 2020

2020: Where I stand on my 40 in 4.

We're about a week into the quarantine and since we can't actually go do anything, I figured it was time to update my 40 in 4...

1. Run a 5k
2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
4. Buy a bicycle.
5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
9. Get a job in Higher Ed
10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.
13. Get another tattoo (or two).
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.
16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
17. a. Got a nose piercing! I've been talking about it for years and finally did it as a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday!
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
20. * Get professional head shots for the blog.
20a. Get family photos done with the kids.
21. * Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
21. b. Buy a NEW new car! I've never owned a brand new vehicle but after having so many issues with our last car, we decided the extra money on a brand new car (under warranty) was smarter than any other option. 
22. * Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
22.
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.

29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. Fence in our yard.
34. Landscape.

33-34a. clean up the back yard of our new place.
35. Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.

38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.
39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.
39a. Take the kids on a great vacation.
40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.

With so many big life changes, and only a year left, I KNOW I won't finish the list but it is fun to think about what's possible with one year left!

March 18, 2020

Hello Again


It has been a while!

I have been quiet for so long because I had so much going on in my life that I was afraid I would overshare if I wrote but now that I'm here, today, I guess it's time to share...

In the past few months we have ended a marriage that wasn't fulfilling either of us, listed our house for sale, switched the kids' school, walked away from a job that was causing me more stress than good, and dealt with the pandemic that is happening in our country.  To say I've been stressed is an understatement but with our move almost done and the closing coming soon, it will be nice to finally relax with my children.

That being said, once this quarantine is over we will NOT be relaxing-- we'll be exploring our new neighborhood and documenting all the amazing places we find so stay close, follow our instagram and facebook page and get ready for a ton of new posts!

xo




40 in 4 : A New Update

With the big changes in my life, I've been able to knock off a few more things! 4. Buy a bicycle. I'm so excited about this one. ...

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