Rants + Raves, The 52 Project: November

Hope you're ready for a big post! My posting schedule got out of whack last week, so I was unable to post this then. Enjoy.

Every week in 2013, I'm attempting a new resolution. I call it The 52 Project.

November's 52:
  • no caffeine--I didn't drink any, but did have chocolate without thinking about it.
  • saying NO--I have a hard time with this, as I such a people-pleaser. I managed to really do this--one of my big accomplishments this year.
  • more confidence, less insecurity---I worked on this and felt I made some big strides.
  • thankful--This was too easy, as I am a thankful person daily. I used to do the 30 Days of Thankful, but felt silly doing it since it's how I start my day.
This month's resolutions will be those that I failed to do during the year. I can't believe I'm almost done with this project!


  • So I have recently lost 40 lbs, and only my mom noticed! Maybe everyone else noticed and chose not to say anything? We'll see at Christmas. Did you see my Slimfession about losing weight?
  • Driving. I'm over it. Yes, it was so, so worth it, and I'd do it all over again, but I'm tired of the commute and gas money! I hope that doesn't come across as I'm a bad person.
  • Drowning in email and my ever-growing list of things to do. I took my computer this weekend to get work done, but it just didn't happen. I was too busy holding a baby! :)

  • Thanksgiving with family--always worth raving about!
  • Thank YOU for reading and commenting!
  • I got everything decorated for Christmas! I especially love my ornaments from my travels around the world. 
  • I finally saw Catching Fire! Loved it.
  • I got to meet my 15 month-old niece, Maddy! I don't get to see my other brother that often, so it was a treat. She was a cutie.
  • My new baby niece Stella is here! Totally worth the 5 am, 5-hour drive to get all the kisses I wanted. Her middle name is after my beloved, late great-granny and she was born on the 6th, just like our Sugar. Stella has a temporary Angel's Kiss mark on her eyelid, which I'm convinced is a kiss from our granny. She was famous for leaving her lipstick on your face when she kissed you.
  • I got stuck in a Christmas parade route--this is the 2nd time this has happened in my life (the first being in Willacoochee, Georgia years ago)! I cranked up the Christmas tunes, threw pennies out the window since I didn't have candy, and I waved. I'm so weird.
  • Since I spent most of my time at the hospital, I really got to see snippets of life. A talented baseball player leave before his child was born (I'm not sharing his name here). A young new mother leave to smoke just hours after having her baby and then leaving every 2 hours to continue her habit. It just made me even more thankful that my baby niece won't have to start off life with so many obstacles but yet feel hopeless that I can't help those others babies. Such is life.
  • I think I may have lost my small-town country girl card. I had an awful time driving on wet dirt roads and in the dark. I guess that officially makes me a city girl?


  1. Saying "No" is such a tremendously huge accomplishment! I remember the first time I did it--seemed so foreign. Now, it's commonplace. :) Hugs, T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  2. Saying NO it's so hard but we def need to do it, because it's impossibile pleased everyone and maybe not pleased us <3
    Xxx my beauty



  3. i love the idea that your grandma left your niece a kiss. and how great that you finally got to meet your other niece!

  4. Congrats on the weight loss, Elle! That's major!
    And really must watch Catching Fire soon....aaaaaaaah!

  5. wow.. amazing post dear, love it! x

  6. i think a lot of people don't want to say anything because they think "if i say something, she'll think that i thought she was big". when i lost weight, people didn't really say anything either but if the conversation somehow went towards weight loss or my training, they'll pipe up with "yeah, i noticed that you lost weight but i didn't want to say anything". but who cares; you look great (from all the pics you've posted).

    Vodka and Soda

  7. When I lost weight, I really uncomfortable when people complimented me by saying how thin I was. It made me think that they all secretly thought I was overweight before. Even today, when people only know me at my current size, I hate it when they go on and on about how skinny I am. I know it's different for me than for most people, because with Crohn's disease I can only partly control my weight, but in the grand scheme of things, I wish that women's bodies weren't open to public commentary.

    All that said... you clearly worked towards this with some healthy habits, and you should be proud!!!! I read a quotation once a million years ago that I can't remember exactly, but it's an inspiration for people trying to improve their overall health and lose weight. Something like your body notices after this many weeks, you see a difference after this many weeks, your closest friends and family see a difference, everyone sees a difference. But obviously more eloquently stated than that.

    Also I got to hold a baby the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it was probably the highlight of November. I'm jealous you got to see TWO babies!!!!

  8. Wow that's awesome that you lost 40 pounds! You should be proud regardless of what anyone says. Maybe they think they're being rude by pointing it out? Either way, yay for you!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  9. You lost 40 lbs?! That's amazing!!! I'm sure everyone will notice really soon!

  10. Good luck with the no caffein. I know people who have struggled to break the habit. When the finally did, they all said they feel happier and healthier. I admire your strength.

  11. That is so funny you were in a parade route!! That is something that would happen to me. Good thing you had pennies, although people were probably hoping for quarters ;-)

    I've tried no caffeine and failed miserably every time... Go You!!

  12. Congrats on losing 40 lbs! That is a HUGE accomplishment and you should be proud of it, even if other people haven't said anything about it.

    The Tiny Heart

  13. Good grats on the 40lbs and to saying NO!

  14. I love the name Stella! So cute/pretty! :) Congrats on the weight loss, too!

  15. i saw catching fire this weekend too :) i loved it!!
    and dang girl, 40 lbs?! thats amazing! congratulations. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  16. Good job on these Elle, I think your project is so awesome and I think its great because you can really look back at all the things you've accomplished especially since it's almost the end of 2013! I think I really need to work on saying No myself. Oh on a side note, being in a parade and throwing pennies is pretty cool! :)


  17. Way to go on your weight loss! Please consider doing a diet/exercise post/video on your healthy habits:)

  18. no caffeine would be a hard one for me. granted, i don't drink a lot, but i need my morning cup of coffee...

    $50 Libi & Lola Giveaway!

  19. I just laughed when I read that you got stuck in a parade route - way to be a trooper!


  20. I loved seeing all the pictures of baby Stella on your Instagram last weekend. She is SO sweet! And I had noticed that you'd lost weight, but I had no idea you'd lost 40 pounds. Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment. I'm sure you'll get the compliments at Christmas.

    Also, I am over driving, too, and I don't even have to drive that much. Once the snow and cold comes, I just want to stay in my house and not come out until spring.

  21. Congrats on the weight loss! And congrats on learning to say "no"--it's so hard, but so worth it!


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