Three Resolutions EVERYONE Should Attempt In 2015 (And Every Year Hereafter)

~Maddy~

I find New Year’s resolutions completely absurd, and probably always will.

I mean think about it.

The “New year, new me” mentality is not only a ghastly cliche, but also irrelevant, since you’re a “new you” with literally every passing second of every passing day of EVERY YEAR SINCE YOUR EXISTENCE.

2015 is no exception. It is not a magic year, it is not a year of promise, it is just. a. different. number.

On a lighter note, I am a big believer in making positive, day-to-day changes to oneself and ones routine. Yeah, long term goals are important, but they’re so damn easy to put off because they’re often far away from where you are in the moment.

So do something now, today, something short term for the greater good. Something liiiiiiike…

1. Tip Your Barista/Bartender/Waitperson $1 More Than You Usually Do

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Those of you who have worked in the food service industry know the horrors that waitstaff, bartenders and baristas face every day at work. I waitressed at a little diner all through high school and still bear the psychological scars years later.

The constant hustle and bustle of needy/noisy/nasty customers is enough to drive anyone out of their freaking minds, and then there’s the matter of the pathetic paychecks. I don’t know if people are jerks or if they just don’t get it, but tips are part of bartenders’/baristas’/waitpersons’ wages.

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average hourly pay for baristas is between $7.50-12.50, and between $7.84-14.83 for waitpersons, which doesn’t sound too bad if you’re at the higher end of the spectrum.

However, speaking as someone who is very familiar with the industry, I can tell you that much of the time your bartender/barista/waitperson doesn’t receive enough in tips to actually break their supposed hourly wages. As a waitress in a rural area, my coworkers and I made a measly $4.95/hour.

This is Patch. Patch would appreciate more tips and less flash photography, please.
This is Patch. Patch would appreciate more tips and less picture taking.

These people work very hard and deal with all of us at our worst, when we’re hungry, thirsty and/or tired. The LEAST you can do is send an extra buck their way. A dollar won’t break your bank, and believe me, it means more to that sad empty tip jar than it does to you.

2. Try New Foods

Even if you don’t want to.

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Even if you have a “sensitive palate”.

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Even if you’re that wacko who eats nothing but McDonald’s chicken nuggs for every meal.

Why, Anderson, why???
Why, Anderson, why???

Try. New. Foods.

Because picky eaters are hands down in the list of Top Ten Annoying/Awful Human Beings. I do not care if you don’t like green things, vegetables, or other non-bacon items.

Yeah, I'm looking at YOU Ron Swanson.
Yeah, I’m looking at YOU Ron Swanson.

You are a grown ass adult, suck it up and eat the brussel sprout.

Oh, you hated shrimp when you tried it one time in the third grade? So I’m guessing you also still think kissing can get you pregnant and that one week anniversaries are a thing?

What’s that? Can’t eat Thai food because there’s no steak and potatoes? Open wide, uncultured Puritan, here comes the tom yum choo-choo.

Hmm? Not giving tofu a shot because you’re a red-blooded American? Newsflash, dimwit: our blood is blue over 95% of the time, and I’ll spill some of yours if you call vegan dishes fake food one more time.

I’m not saying you have to love everything you try.

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In fact, you probably won’t like some things.

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But for the love of pizza will you at least TASTE it?! How do you know you’re not missing out on the best thing since Nutella?!

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You’ll never know if you don’t dig in.

3. Go Through Your Stuff

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Taking personal inventory of what you own from time to time is so, sooooo helpful in the long run, especially if you’re an avid shopper like myself. It’s scary how easy it is to become a dedicated pack rat, and when you need to find something or move to a new location, having an idea of how much stuff you have (and where it all is stashed) will prove invaluable.

Start with one specific area, like your dresser drawers, supply closet, or kitchen cupboards, and go through absolutely everything. If it hasn’t been touched, worn or moved in over a year, you may want to consider tossing or donating it.

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If your tendencies lean more towards hoarder than minimalist, it’s helpful to have a buddy system going. Friends don’t let friends save their tube tops from 1997.

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It may be painful at first, particularly if you are super sentimental, but it’s important to know when to let go of the old (an broken, and grody) and make room for the new. You’ll thank yourself later.

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Even if it hurts a little now.

New Things I’ve Done So Far In 2015

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~Maddy~

So we’re not even a week into 2015, and everyone is working on their New Year’s resolutions.

Meaning the gym is going to be packed for the remaining three weeks of January.

There will be kale shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Your Facebook feed will be covered with motivational memes of the 60% drippy abs 40% Nike variety.

And while it will be a very, very jolly time watching Netflix on my sofa while all this business goes down, I feel bound to admit that I’ve got a wee case of the New Year’s spirit myself. In the past six days, for instance, I’ve done the following spanky new and oh so exciting things:

1. Learned to Snowshoe

It wasn’t as hard as one would expect, although it’s probably more difficult if you don’t have the promise of coffee afterwards awaiting on the horizon like I did.

Check out our legitimate snowshoeing gear #commit
Look at our legitimate snowshoeing gear! #commit

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Dad and I enjoyed ourselves, clearly.
Dad and I enjoyed ourselves, clearly.

2. Made (and ate) Plantain Pancakes

My mother has an autoimmune disease and  lot of food sensitivities, so funky, grain-free foods are pretty common in our household. However, I’d never tried plantains before this morning, and they made for surprisingly tasty pancakes.

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Just be aware that green plantains are NOT yummy raw, and smell like a cross between an unripe banana and a thousand stalks of celery before they’re cooked. Recipe here.

3. Dyed My Hair ***DISCLAIMER: There are selfies in this post***

Dyed it pink, to be exact. Also sorry for the selfies, but I couldn’t think of another way to get an accurate pic of the color change.

Before
Before

annnnnddddduhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……..

After!
After!

I love it so far, but it’s a bloody mess. I mean literally, it bleeds on everything when it’s wet. My fingernails are permanently fuchsia.

4. Saw “Into the Woods”

Apparently, despite several people’s insistence that they’d informed me, I managed to make it into my seat in the movie theater completely unaware that I was about to watch a musical. Unexpected bonuses are the best bonuses, no?

(Excuse the quality of this, it’s the only video version available on the Internet as of late, and the song is two billion times better if you can see it)

5. Learned How To Arm Knit

Tough initially, but after a couple of tries I picked it up fairly quickly and managed to crank out a couple of scarves in less than an hour. I love knitting, but instant gratification is just so….well, gratifying.

I used a 5.29 oz yarn in the most fantastic bubblegummy pink, but you can obviously do whatever the heck you want with your yarn choice, color and size wise. The tutorial I used is available here.

It's kind of a giant scarf.
It’s kind of a giant scarf.
But very cozy :3
But very cozy :3

So the idea I’m repping here is that you don’t need to stress the new year and all those grand personal improvements you’ve resolved to make. Change will happen on its own and you’ll find yourself trying new things before you even realize it, so there’s no reason to stress. Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.

Oh, and happy 2015 everyone!

Ring in the New Years with these festive tutorials!

Theres still a couple hours left to get ready for tonight and luckily your favorite youtube beauty bloggers have put together some gorgeous and easy looks just for you!

@BeautyCrush: Gold and vampy

@MissGlamorazzi: Four different looks thanks to COVERGIRL’s new Colorlicious Lipstick line!

@AndreasChoice: Sparkly eyes and red lips

@DulceCandy: Dark and Smoky

@FreePeople: Gorgeous up do for long hair

@MichellePhan: Golden Hour