Catching Up: My Life in October 2012

I’m so happy to see November again… it’s the best month of the year!  I’m thankful that October 2012 was the least emotionally traumatic month for me, probably in over a year. There are still so many things I want to do, but something I am learning to do right now is allow God’s grace to flow in my life and just be patient with myself.

I Refuse To Give Up On Myself

Gotta Get Out More

On the first of the month, I broke up with the person I was dating for 7 months when dragged his heels one too many times on something really important to me. I am now having someone professional taking care of it. I can’t wait ’til it’s done!  The breakup made me realize that I was out of touch with my girlfriends. I didn’t drop them, but it naturally happened when the most active meetup I was a member of closed without warning (and it happened around the same time that I met my “boo”).  I attended a motivational event at the Fox Theatre with a few friends called The Dreams Protected Tour,  and it was hosted by AJ Calloway of Extra (and former co-host of BET’s 106 & Park). AJ interviewed Tanisha Sykes (an Essence magazine editor), Lisa Price (Founder of Carol’s Daughter), gospel artist VaShawn Mitchell and actor/comedian Cedric the Entertainer. I tweeted a few highlights about it (check out my tweets @DareeAllen using hashtags #amfam and #dreams). The main takeaways were to:

  • Believe in yourself (Lisa).
  • Do your homework (Cedric).
  • Don’t give up (VaShawn).

My sister also came back to visit again. We went to the zoo, she got my daughter’s Halloween costume and we had fun at a couple of festivals. The only down spot during her visit was…

IPod Touch and Go

My daughter misplaced her new IPod last week (she got it for her birthday 3 months ago) during an afternoon of shopping. We were sick about it. It reminded me of when I lost my life on my thumb drive in San Diego. None of the stores I went back to had recovered it, so I filed a police report and an insurance claim (so glad I have renter’s insurance!). I got half the value of the IPod back from insurance (the amount was minus my deductible). If and when she gets another one, it will remain in the car or at home at all times.

Halfway There

woman on scale
Source: Stylish Curves

I’m now halfway to my goal weight… I continue to see my muffin top and booty shrink before my very eyes.  In TurboKick this week, I went from never doing burpees (during the 2-minute anaerobic Turbo section), to doing them every time. As a matter of fact, the instructor decided to insert 5 of them in one workout on the day before Halloween, saying “Trick-or-Treat!” each time!

I’m almost done reading Jillian Michaels‘ book Master Your Metabolism, which has opened my eyes to hormonal factors in weight loss, thus helping me with the decisions I’m making for grocery shopping and meal planning. It also has a great section about plastics and other potential toxins found in every day household/health/beauty products and cosmetics.
Cleaner eating practices, modifying recipes and increased activity (I’m up from 2x/wk to 5x/wk) are making the difference. The meal planning works if you work it–I grabbed a printable menu planner from and made a shopping list from recipes I found on Pinterest, my Rachael Ray magazine subscription (which ends next month), and

Speaking of magazines, my decluttering efforts are going well. Since I resolved to see the full square footage of the area rug in my living room,  I’ve consistently pitched at least 8 issues each week in my recycling bin. I also tossed half of my VHS tapes (started out with almost 100 tapes). I made a pile of 30 of which I have no idea what’s on them. Each day I watch one, and oh, the memories! It’s like Christmas every day because I don’t know what I’m going to see when I rewind it to the beginning and press play. I’ve also been selling quite a few old CDs and books that I will never use again via Amazon.

Got My Hair “Did”

Yesterday I got my hair “did” for the first time this year. There’s not much you can do with a fresh low barber cut, so I’ve been letting my hair grow for 6 months, and I unexpectedly found someone who said she could braid it without charging me an arm and a leg. I’ve had a few massages and pedicures this year (thanks Groupon!) but haven’t done anything to my hair in ages. The funny thing is, even though I like this new style, I miss the sleek barber cuts. With winter here, I’m longing for the wash-and-go styling again, so don’t be surprised if I do another big chop soon 🙂  It’s been a while since I treated myself, and I’ve been dealing with a lot of change lately, so I’m going to think of some other nonfood treats I can reward myself with as I progress (like getting clothes in my new size!!).

Staying Home

Since moving to a new part of town, I’m content with my neighborhood but less than pleased with my daughter’s school. This is our third year in Georgia and also her third public school. It’s so different from schools up north (that’s putting it nicely), and I’m now seriously considering homeschooling her. My daughter was way ahead of her peers when we moved to GA (as are many children that move from the North to the South), and I can’t watch her potential be stifled or sacrificed by some of the systems and politics in place here.  I’m talking to parents and students of homeschooling, reading several HS blogs and books to understand pros and cons, and above all, praying for wisdom.

Book Stuff

I sold several books on consignment at a church not far from where I used to live in Virginia. I sent a few copies off to another book contest as well.

I did my last interview for single dad’s book with a gentleman who not only has an interesting story, but works with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and has met President Obama–two of my favorite folks in politics. Really inspiring stuff.

In addition to my writing, I read Judy Ford’s Single and part of Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. A girl’s gotta laugh sometime.

Coming Up

This month (November 2012) I’m looking forward to:

– Meeting the Happy Black Woman (who inspired these monthly recaps) when she comes to Atlanta
– Being with the whole family for Thanksgiving at my sister’s new home
– Celebrating my birthday, which falls on Black Friday this year, although I suspect a lot of people will be either busy shopping or stuck in a turkey-induced hangover
– Getting together with more friends I’ve lost touch with
– Completing a few loose ends mentioned above (decluttering, dropping more weight, book stuff, etc.)

I will do another yearly goal recap on my birthday (just 3 weeks away) and reflections for the new year. Leading up to that, I’m also going to blog at least twice a week about things I’m thankful for thru Thanksgiving.

What are your plans for the holidays?


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