Saturday, April 15, 2017

goals: march wrap-up

A quarter of the year is complete and I continue my weekly goals. The important thing is that I have stayed true to my goals and maintained the ones from the week before. For instance, reapplying lipstick has been a challenge but I'm trying my hardest here!! (And it makes me feel more put together which in turn makes me more confident.)

March Week 2: Start a Garden (again)

There were attempts in 2010 and again in 2012, and every year since, I make little attempts to grow basil or calla lilies. Every year, not so successful. But this year and with this California rain, I feel less guilty about growing my own crops. So one Saturday, we pulled out all of the dirt in this garden box (that was the problem) and started over with fresh soil and new vegetables.

squash | red onion | lacinato kale | romaine lettuce | parsley | red peppers | tomatoes | raspberries

I do have a small herb garden that has done decently well but only because I totally neglected it and it rained a lot this year. The truth. And for the first time, I tried those weird things you read on Pinterest where you take food scraps and create new food from them. I have romaine lettuce from scraps - isn't that mind blowing?

March Week 3: Visit a New Place

This may be a silly goal since this trip was already booked and I just have to make my flights. But I've never been to Scottsdale and I'm going to do nothing but check out a new town (and catch a spring training game). So my goal was to unplug (a little), hike, eat, meet people and enjoy our friends. Sometimes, it's a little easier said than done.

Although I'm not a fan of the desert (firmly decided), I am a big fan of having a trip planned. Anything to look forward to that involves little to no pubic transportation and access to fancy coffee! Extra points if I can't get phone service.

March Week 4: Update Skin Regimen

After a long conference week with too much coffee and not enough sleep, I booked an appointment with an esthetician to give me some serious skincare feedback. We chatted about my skincare goals and options for improvement and prevention. 

I needed help, direction and someone to just tell me what to do. The one thing that I did add to my regimen is Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C stimulates new collagen, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, protects the skin from environmental pollutants, reduces visible discolorations on the skin and provides enhanced protection against UV exposure. (source) So instead of using 8 different lotions, I'm hoping this serum is a start (from fixing everything above!).

Monday, March 6, 2017

goals: clear inbox, can't lose

I recently read the most real post on Instagram: being an adult is basically just emailing someone back and forth saying "sorry for the delayed response!" until one of you dies. Wait, it's not just me? There are other people that are too busy/lazy/chicken shit/bored to not respond right away?

So this week, I committed to following-up. All of it.

In a given week, I get a nice assortment of LinkedIn and Facebook messages, blog requests, inquiries about event/creative/wedding support, and the pile of messages in the inbox that I will eventually get around to taking action. Sound familiar? So I started out slow:
  • First, the simple "to do" items that just need a few minutes (save this password, unsubscribe to account, review content as FYI). Little brain power here.
  • Then email responses: LinkedIn and Facebook. Sending thoughtful messages so folks still consider me a reference and friend.
  • Finally, take action tasks. These are the things that are the most time consuming - review bank account, look up documentation, research rental properties - so I really just sat down and worked through these tasks in an afternoon.
Done. My inboxes are shorter, my text messages are cleared out, and my conscience is starting the week a little lighter. And with this renewed feeling, I'm determined to make this habit stick!

Do you also feel overwhelmed with the amount of follow-up you need to do? After a little research, it sounds like this is common and there is help!

Monday, February 27, 2017

clean: squeaky clean

Let me hear it for the hardworking girls out there trying to keep the dust off furniture and floors clean.  Now let's cheer for the hardworking moms out there still able to find clean dishes and clothes every day. God bless you.

So with two heavy work weeks and two free weekends, I made two simple goals: clean the house and get the yard back in order after these California rains. This glamorous lifestyle isn't for everyone, but I like doing it myself because only I can do it really well. Sound familiar? 

This blog post should really finish right here because writing about cleaning toilets and raking the backyard doesn't make for creative writing. But since I promised to share my progress report while writing here on the blog, this is a great opportunity to pull together my favorite quick (surface) cleaning solutions.
  • Washing bath towels: I have to do this technique at least once a month and it miraculously takes away that wet smell deep in the towel. Here's how to do it.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads: From my glass shower door to the kitchen sink to the scuffs on the floor, this cleaning tool is truly magic. I buy this stuff in bulk. (Coupon Closet has more ideas)
  • Wool Duster : Surface cleaning is all I need to feel like a new person. Every household must have one to dust of the wine bottles, er, picture frames.
  • Scotch-Brite FurFighter Hair Remover Kit: We have our precious Lola and she is really good at shedding. Instead of vacuuming the couches, this tool quickly picks up the cat hair from couches, beds and pillows.
The rest is just dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and throwing stuff in a drawer. And it feels good starting the day with shining floors and a clean front porch. How do you keep your house under control when busy? 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

craft: free "admit one" printable

One of my most requested Etsy orders isn't actually an item that I have listed on the site. It's from a previous post and very popular Pinterest pin with this image:

The requests are always for the small 4 inch by 4 inch painted burlap sign that can be placed inside the shadowbox. It's super easy to make and not a problem to quickly get an order out in a few days. But wouldn't it be so much cooler if you could just do it right now ...
As a special treat for my readers, I created these simple downloads to print and place inside your own shadowbox so that you can organize your movie/concert/festival tickets. Go ahead and copy to a Word document and adjust based on your needed size!


Need a shadowbox to finish this DIY project? Here are some options that you can quickly order today on Amazon.


Monday, February 13, 2017

goals: book nerd

Now it just sounds like I'm repeating myself. My February week 2 goal isn't much different than my January week 3 goal but goodness, I had to finish this book as it was taking me too long to read from cover to cover! And as a little treat, I've listed my favorite titles below ... in case you're looking for something good to read!

Clearly, I have book types and maybe this encourages you to try something new! Let me know if you love or hate or feel lukewarm about any of the above suggestions, and please share your favorite titles with me below in the comments!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

craft: sweet valentines treats for coworkers

As a crafter, people are always surprised when you don't get all crazy craft lady when a holiday rolls around. I forget to decorate for St. Patrick's day and it's the third of July before I remember to change out my front door wreath. It might have something to do with the other non-holiday crafts that we prioritize that by the time Valentine's day candy shows up at the grocery store, the energy is gone.

Not this year.

Let's start with Valentine's day and focus on my coworkers. I created something cheesy and super easy (read: inexpensive), and did it all in less than 2 hours. I found the below statement (enter cheesy)  and created a Word document template to cut and glue on cardstock (enter easy). With leftover cardstock scraps (enter inexpensive) and one bag of REESE'S Valentine's Exchange Peanut Butter Conversation Cups, 14.8 Ounce (in single medium packaging), I developed the below template at 9 1/2" tall and 2 1/2" wide.

My template creates 10 tags that can be glued on the cardstock. Simply fold the cardstock in the two locations that you see above, and place the Reese's peanut butter cup in the center.

Simply line up the top of the two sides of the cardstock and place the peanut butter cup in the center, and staple to connect your cute little package together.

The staple is kind of ugly; cover it up with washi tape (I know you have like 5 rolls hanging around) or some other sticker.

Sweet little Valentine's Day treats for my coworkers!

Making these Valentine's treats and small cards to send my besties around the country was my goal this week. Downtime while watching the Super Bowl was key to getting this done, but I searched Pinterest during the week looking for cute sayings (Reese-ently is adorable, admit it!). I'll finish off the game writing sweet love notes to my friends and have these in the mail this week.

Need other Valentine's day inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to Valentine's day decoration, gifts and free templates! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

goals: january wrap-up

A little silly? Perhaps. But this has been an ongoing issue for years. I start the day with the best intentions - a great lip color that makes me look put together, confident, trendy. But then a cup of coffee, a few phone calls and meetings, lunch, more phone calls and meetings. The day is over and not one effort to reapply my lipstick. The result is a bag full of lip color that vary in shade and texture. So this week, I made an effort to reapply before meetings, after lunch and afternoon coffee. I can't say that I'm a changed woman, but I'm trying to make the effort now and therefore, improving the habit. And I'm kinda cute with a little color on my lip.

My new favorite easy lip color? Answer: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Poppy (with SPF 15). And a lot of Chapstick Lip Balm Spf 4, Cherry - 0.15 Oz (Cherry of course) to keep these babies smooth in the cold conditions.