Life will zoom right by you if you don’t stop and pay attention. That is why I’m doing this. 2013 was by far my best year ever. I finally have a job that I absolutely love. I met some incredibly amazing friends (my only regret is that I didn’t make more time for the old ones). In 2013, I finally learned what God’s grace truly means. Because of that I was able to extend that same grace and finally forgive. For the first time in over a decade I was finally free. I became a new woman after that. This new woman finally felt worthy enough of God’s grace and love. This allowed me to open up and finally allow myself to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. That love. Wow.

But it was an absolute blur! It started, I blinked and then it was gone! I have a number of journals strewn in different rooms of the house with half written accounts of that amazing year. If I want to see a picture, I have to go to Facebook or Instragram and look for a cell phone picture. No mas!

I want 2014 to be even better. I want to challenge myself to grow as a person, force the person living inside of me to come out more. I want to help others grow as well. So, I will make accounts of different thoughts and ramblings. I will share my love of food. I will share my love of clothes. And I will share my love of people! (What? Maria loves people now?)

Food – I eat well, and I do it on a budget. Everybody should eat well! If nobody will pay me to eat all day, I guess I’ll do it for fun! And I plan on sharing some of my favorite recipes from my time living on 4 different continents.

Clothes – I love clothes, and own tons of it. But I usually end up in jeans and a hoodie or jeans and a comfortable top. I’m challenging myself to put together a real, grown up outfit (not for only for work) at least once a week! Additionally, I love thrifting in a completely unnatural way. So I plan to share some of my favorite finds!

My challenge on the above two topics is to spend no more than $10.00 per week combined.

People – Recently I’ve been forcing myself to make conversation with complete strangers in completely random places. It has made moments of my day so much happier! So I plan on sharing the experiences with my favorite strangers once a week.

DIY – I love making things. I don’t really have a challenge here other than documenting them! When I make things, about 90% of the time it’s to give them away. I only have a handful of pictures of these and sometimes that makes me sad.

I’m challenging myself to try this for a year and in 2015 I’ll be able to look back at specific events instead of blurred happy memories.

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living”~Jonathan Safran Foer

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