I’m Daniella, and I have a story to tell

Who am I?

I am an addict of many things, a mom to a three year old, a wife to my childhood crush, an employee for Welfare and a writer for myself. I write because I love to. Because the feelings and words have to go someplace other than stuck in my head.

The frustrations of trying to be a better wife, a better mother, a better me have to get out, and on paper is one of the best ways. I write to free myself and you, in part by reading, even anonymously, are part of my change. My life change. And if I inspire just one person, than it’s all worth it.

And if I don’t, at least I inspired me.

1. I’m an addict

literally I smoke about a pack a day and have been for the last 2.5 years. But that has to change. Every time I quit for a few days and then go right back to it. But I don’t want that. I smell it on my clothes or someone else after I have been done for a few and I’m like eww that’s gross. And I think of my son who has to also smell it through no request of his own. And I feel bad. I’ve had family die from smoking. So it needs to be done. That journey starts today.

I also drink, and not just one drink a night, I binge. While I do have days where there is nothing when I drink, I drink.  It’s not good for my health or my family because I can be an angry drink, and it’s not pretty.  I want to remember life for being happy, not miserable with a hangover or just in a daze. It’s time to be clear headed again.

2. I physically want to change

I am 5’2″ and weigh 170lbs. It’s not cute. I’m too far past to say this is still baby weight ght. I love working out but fitting it into my schedule is hard. No excuse. My birthday is just under two months away and I will be leaner then. This isn’t a journey of hating my body, this is a journey of making it better so I live longer (also see number 1). I want to see my grandkids and play with them. That’s the goal.

3. Mentally I’m tired

I’m tired of being tired, of being depressed and anxious. Of always thinking the worst and getting into funks that lead to very dark places, some where there is no existence on the other side. I’ve been there. I don’t want to be there again. Which means changing my choices to not be full of regret and guilt (see 1 & 2 because I feel guilty for smoking and regret for not being the best version of myself for my family).

4. I work hard and I want my finances to reflect that

I suck at budgeting and saving. I want that to change. I work more than I ever had and have more things than I ever thought I would but I also have more debt. I want to walk into the bike dealership next year and purchase a cruiser outright or get a fabulous rate. Sounds crazy but that means my other debt is paid off. That’s what I want.

With all that I have the ability to be a better me, a more stable half to my partnership, and create the vision for my family that I see in my mind when I dream. And I want to share that journey, not to sell you a product or a program but just to show you that anyone can make a change, can better themselves and that 30 isn’t so bad. It’s the beginning of a new chapter in life. Everyday brings the opportunity to change.

This is my story.

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I was a Hoarder

Let me clarify…not to the serious extent of the TV series and not to the extent of many people.  But I save things for no reason.  

Examples: 

  • I had in my outside closet the broken base to my mamaroo, even though I had a new one that works.  Why did I keep it? 
  • We threw out over 20 bags of garbage and donated a shit ton of stuff.  And I think I still have more to go as I neaten up the new place. 
  • I didn’t remember half of the stuff that I bought. Some of it I didn’t even know where it came from. 

It was insanity.  So when I moved from a two bedroom to a one bedroom it was time to pare down.  I read a book called The Joy of Less which is about minimalism.  I brought 6 pillows with me for one bed.  Today I threw out two.  Why did I keep them as they were replaced anyway? 

I had plastic dishes that were never used, for cakes that I don’t bring anywhere etc.  I threw them out. 

I put up a new shower curtain in my bathroom that is black and white.  I had another black and white one in another bathroom.  I tossed that one.  Who needs more than one shower curtain of the same color scheme.  

I donated clothes and shoes that haven’t seen a day off a hanger since I moved into the two bedroom 3.5 years ago. 

Etc.

Etc.

Etc. 

I realized that for everything that comes in this house, something has to go. It’s not about having the most stuff or the best stuff, it’s about being happy with what you do have.  And you know what?

I’m happy. 

As I continue to declutter all my crap I say this to you…save some things that are emotional but not everything.  Save the things you use.  Toss or donate what you haven’t used in a year.  If you have gone all 4 seasons and are back at another and haven’t used it, lose it.  

My house is cleaner, my mind is cleaner, and I hope that this trend continues. 

So it Begins

Here I am…sitting on the deck of a place that I got myself, something I have never done before.

I realized in that moment, when I wrote out a rent check for deposit at 31 years old, I realized that this family now rests solely on my shoulders.  

It’s a heavy weight.  Knowing that for my family to have a roof over their heads I have to learn how to budget. That if they want to eat, I will provide for them. That I MUST provide for them.  

Responsibility is a large pill to swallow but let me tell you, it’s a life changing one as well.  

Two weeks in and I realized that I have been spending too much money on things.  Before now I would spend roughly $200 on food for two weeks.  

And a lot was wasted.

I just spent under $100 to feed my family for two weeks.  That includes three meals a day. This amazed me truly because what was I doing before? Granted some weeks it will be a bit higher because you know Target and things needed from there (some which I will not compromise on) but everything else I’ve found that it doesn’t need to be pricey.  I look at the cost and the cost per serving or per ounce and find the cheapest one.  It’s amazing. 

Like I said there are some things I won’t compromise, here is the short list of this things:

  1. Body wash-I can’t use anything but Dove due to my skin.
  2. All free and clear laundry soap (see above reasoning.
  3. The brand of Tampons I use lol
  4. Toilet paper brand-Scott all the way

That’s it. Everything else is pretty much negotiable for the best price. What is cheaper.  When it comes to food it’s all about the basics.  

Here is a basic list of what I have in my home

  • A shit ton of spices because with the right touch anything can taste good 
  • Whole wheat/veggie pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Chicken (when it’s on sale)
  • Meatballs 
  • Grits
  • Eggs
  • Bagels
  • Cream cheese
  • Green juice 
  • Frozen veggies 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Beans and rice 

And those are the basics.  I can make a lot with that and it will last for sure.  

It’s not about impressing the world

Really, that’s what I’ve been doing. Living beyond my means because I thought I needed to have this variety to be “cool” but I don’t.  My son doesn’t care if he eats the same thing every night.  In fact he generally asks for the same thing every night. And as long and I keep something in the fridge it’s cool.  We’re good.  His belly is full and he’s happy. 

I plan on keeping this up, getting my life back on track and becoming the best version of myself for my family.  There are lots of changes happening, so let’s make it happen. 

Stay tuned for more to come. ❤️

Financially Reckless vs. Financial Responsibility 

They say that money is the root of all evil and money can’t buy happiness.  

But I don’t necessarily believe both 100%.

Hear me out though…


Money isn’t the root of all evil. It’s what we make of it and our relationship with it. Greed is evil. But if you have money, even your last dollar and someone needs it and you give it, that’s good. That’s having a good heart. 
I like to think I’m the later on that one. 

Money can buy happiness in the sense of happiness to you is a massage (yes please) or a vacation with the family or solo. The caveat being that you have to already be happy and bolstering your life with experiences to remember or getting something you want without going into debt getting it. That situation can make you happy.

Where do I stand? 

I stand on the line between knowing that I have to be financially responsible yesterday but yet am still financially reckless today.  

I hate sitting and having to really really save for the move in a month because I haven’t don’t any saving before. So I have some goals and a plan. 

The Plan

Budget

What is a plan without a budget. I know what my income is and I have to know where all my money goes. I have a list for that already written out allowing me to see what I can actually spend on an apartment. It’s sobering to know that I am going to be responsible for myself and my son. I can’t fail and I will do what I have to to get it done. 

No More Frivolous Spending


I know how much I could save. But yet I also balance my checkbook (yes I still have a handwritten check register) and see that I have spent $100 on Wawa and Sunoco for lunch, or smokes, or a drink, when I go to work with a bagged lunch. Or I smoke a pack a day at $8 per day (add this up it about $250 per month and $3000 per year). It’s amazing how quickly the little things add up. It’s about being present when I make a purchase. Really think about it before easily swiping my card. 

It’s as easy as making conscious decisions when it come to spending money. I’m nervous, I’m scared, and with my budget and a $100 place I’m looking at having about $300 left (I’ll be saving significantly with food and energy as well. I’m not looking forward to it but I know I can do it.  

It’s time to prove myself wrong and to show myself how capable I am of supporting me and my son.  

I got this!  

But if you have any tips for me they are more than welcome. 

Silence

Did you ever realize that silence is really loud?I understand it’s an oxymoron but it’s true. 

The quieter it is outside or in my home after my toddler is asleep is blissful. But my mind comes alive. 

In between chapters in the steamy summer romance novel I’m thinking. My mind wandering to all the times when I say tomorrow. I promise you tomorrow we will do this…

I promise you that tomorrow we’ll eat healthy…

I promise that tomorrow I will quit smoking…

But tomorrow never comes does it? Because there is always tomorrow. If you wake up in the morning we all somewhat assume that we will be here the next day and we can start the next day, or next Monday, or the first of the month.  


But why wait? 

Why am I waiting for the right time to get healthy, to save my money, to realize that my life is drastically changing. When I need to save money now to move in 2 months.  


So why wait? 

Maybe this isn’t my own personal motivational speech but it can be. I feel it has to be. My son is soon going to be relying on just me for the most part, to provide him everything he needs. So I need to be healthy for that.  

The right foods, the right exercise, will give me the mental clarity I need. The clarity I need to see that my money is going up and not down. The clarity to know that I’m on the right path. 

The confidence to know that I’m an independent woman who takes care of her family. 

It may not be the life I planned but plans change. This is my life now. I think I’m ready to embrace it.  

I hope you are too. 

I Remember 

I held you last night in a hug, your 3 year old body weighing more than I remember. Your legs hanging lower and longer than I thought. Your arms wrapping further around my neck. You’re so independent now and coping that little attitude that I know by heart. 


But I remember so much more. 

I remember when I first peed on a stick, at work, and found out I was pregnant. 

I remember the excitement and nervousness that came alone with it. I heard your first heartbeat and my heart grew a little bit larger. 

I remember when I was sick and they were worried that you were going to have to come out sooner rather than later. But I persevered, drank my water, and you were resting comfortably in your sac. 

I remember when you weren’t active enough and I had to spend a day in the hospital because we had to make sure you were okay. You were fine. 

I remember dad telling me not to tell him I was in labor before we went to bed before your due date.  You decided midnight was your time to let me know you were ready. Right on schedule. 

I remember that final push and I held you in my arms. It was magical. 

I remember all the nursing and tears and nerves and frustration.  And happiness.  And being scared when I left you on the bed and you fell off because I didn’t realize you were mobile. I remember being happy that you were okay, and relieved. 


What I think of now is that I remember the early morning yoga we used to do, and workouts that you were so excited to join me in. 


But it’s changed. Not because you changed but I did. I took up more time away from just you, I sit on deck and inhale deadly toxins. I drink.

But I’m not a bad mother.  Im just a human who is making a mistake. 

I realize you are now old enough to start understanding what I am doing. When you ask me for more time I am being selfish with my own unhealthy habits. 

You ever haves moment to reflect on the things you are doing. The life you are creating and wondering what you can change to make it better? 

I’m realizing now (and for a while) that I have a lot to work on. Many changes are in the future and I promise to be a better mother to my beautiful son. Because he is my life, and he relies on me. So I need to show him how to be healthy and proud of himself. 

I need to me the real me for him. 

Life gives us the opportunity to start fresh every 24 hours.  A new time to shine or change the plan. Take the opportunity and live as if that was the last one you were going to get. Because o know for me I want to be around for a long time, and I want my son to remember me and say he knew how much I loved him and I taught him how to be the best version of himself. 

Change is Upon Us

So I read an article by another blogger today which you can find here: The Edges Collective: Fighting for my Wife

It touched my soul because I’m dealing with a seperation of two people who love each other dearly but have lost the other things that a marriage needs. 

To be in love. To want to make love. To want to spend forever with each other. 

While this may not be permanent and just another stone in the river to cross for our relationship it is something that must happen.  

During this time I will be branching out. Making friends and making plans that I keep with someone other than my husband. 

Making plans with myself too, to take care of my health, my fitness, my life, and most of all my son. 


I’m scared. 

I’m scared I won’t have enough money.

I’m scared of being alone. 

I’m scared of failing. 


But from it all I have hope. Hope that my dreams are a reality and this change will bring us closer than ever. 

Hope that I will be able to overcome this oppressive self doubt and low self esteem. 

Hope that I will succeed.

And if we don’t I know I will be a better woman for it. A better mother. 

A better me.  


Because I’m always growing and this will be the largest one.  Now the future is a bit grim. My heart is a bit broken, and my mind a bit frazzled.  

But only hope will keep me going (with a healthy dose of reality too) 


My Newest Reads

I am a fan of my kindle. Literally I don’t leave home without it, and with a charger ready to go.

But I was in Target the other day and decided that while I was picking up the Beats for my husband I could easily check out a magazine to read at work. Well that led me down the book aisle. I thought to myself, how about a book that will help me through this crazy time that I am experiencing.

Well I came out with two books.

I have barely started reading them but I know I will enjoy them and I will come back for a thorough review of the books.

First up:

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart


Now mind you, I wasn’t even going to get this one. I even put it to the side at the register. But as I thought about it and read the “editors reviews” on the back, which were quotes by Kevin himself, I thought you know what, this might be funny. So I added it back to the pile along with my second book and a Transformation magazine (you know, you get in the mindset of losing weight and stuff).

So I bought the book and the intro was pretty funny and I kept it moving onto the other one first.

Secondly:

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify (Updated and Revised), by Francine Jay


Now you already know that I am moving, so since I am getting a smaller place I decided that I wanted a place of peace. A sanctuary if you may. And that is what I am going to create.

Hi. My name is Daniella, and I am a hoarder.

Really thought, I fought my husband to keep a vacuum cleaner because my grandmother gave it to me. It wasn’t even working right and then I bought the same exact model the next time. Then I finally ventured over into the bagless realm and I couldn’t be happier.

But, I digress.

Really I do keep the most insane things around. If my husband only know that I have stuff in a family storage unit in NY, he would lose his shit.

Anyway. I started the book and so far I can see that it will help tap into that emotional attachment that I have with every object that I own. The goal is to have a place that is clean, colorful, and peaceful. I want my son to grow up in a positive environment, and as my husband would say, he loves the white girl tendencies that I have (and just as an FYI I am half black and half white, my husband is black, I do the crazy cute things that he calls my white side, please take no offense to it-PSA over).

But I have a whole new Pinterest board that is preparing for my life and I want color to be the one dominating factor and then everything else, I want neat and organized (it quells my anxiety).

Once I finish a book I will do a thorough review and let you know what I think of the whole thing.  First up, The Joy of Less.