Change for the better

change I found myself half way through last week thinking about the things that I wanted to accomplish and ways that I wanted to feel. I sometimes allow my brain to want too many things at once, which ends up leaving me frazzled and scattered instead of focused and determined. Then when I inevitably sit down on Friday night, too exhausted to actually do anything fun with the Mr, I am disappointed that I didn’t accomplish more. We all need to recognize that we place somewhat ridiculous goals on our to do list. Society tells us that we need to be stronger, prettier, more accomplished. If we aren’t keeping a perfect house while maintaining a size 0 and being relaxed enough to go out and have a good time at a mere mention of fun then we are failures. It’s kind of ridiculous. I’ve decided that I am going to simply do better for myself. I started instituting some changes this weekend and plan to bring more into my life as 2015 continues. It’s not solving the big problems of our day, but it is getting me closer to solving the problems in my days. Here is my sanity plan:

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Weekend

weekend

It has been a busy few days at work, hence the lack of posting on here. The way my mornings usually work now are that when I would have been sitting around watching the Today show and drinking coffee, I instead sit on my couch, drink coffee, and draft a blog post. It’s very complicated and important.

The last few days I’ve had to either go in to the office early to get work done or jump on the road to a meeting out of town. It’s been slightly exhausting but I think a short busy period is just beginning. With that in mind, I plan to savor the hell out of this weekend starting as soon as I am done with work today. Let’s do big things people (even if that just means a big nap).

Happy Weekend!

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#30DayDetox Homestretch

aristotle

 

Today is Day 22 of the 30 day TV detox around my house, so I thought I would fill you in on how it is going. In a word: semi-successful (ok maybe that should count as 2). The Mr is surprisingly having a much worse time with this than I am, even though I consider myself to be the main tv watcher in our house. After the first few days he admitted that he came home and put the tv on out of habit but then turned it off. He has also been watching documentaries on his computer while I read at night. In fairness, I sort of forced this on him so I’m not angry at him for not sticking totally to plan.

I on the other hand have been doing pretty well. A few weekends ago when the Mr was out of town I allowed myself to watch a show since it was 10pm on a Saturday and I had been good all weekend beyond that. With the exception of some netflixing as a chosen date night activity, I haven’t put regular TV on while I’m home.  I feel like I have gotten more done in these 21 days than I usually do, and my weekends haven’t felt like a total waste. I may not stick with no TV forever, or even past the 30 days, but I am more productive and happier getting things done. Sorry Today Show, your suggestion may have led to our permanent breakup.

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Gratitude

grateful

So I am in the middle of an organizational project that I want to share with you all (either tomorrow or Monday) so I don’t have much to share right now. That said, I do want to say thank you for reading and especially thank you to my new blog subscribers. There are a few folks who have recently subscribed and I’m so happy to have you.

One of the things we did some work on at the Bossed Up Bootcamp that I attended was gratitude. We often don’t tell people what we are really thinking or feeling and often fail to let them know how grateful we are to have those people in our lives. I have made the decision to be more grateful in my life and to actually take the time to show that. So even though I don’t actually know any of you, I want to take a moment to say thanks. Knowing someone out there is listening provides some good motivation to keep on moving. I hope you all have a lovely Thursday and remember: the weekend is coming!

chopra

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My Weekend at Bossed Up Bootcamp

This weekend I took a chance and took some time for myself by stepping a little out of my comfort zone. I went to a personal and professional development workshop for women called “Bossed Up Bootcamp.” The bootcamp was put on by the amazing ladies at Bossedup.org. To say that I had an extraordinary time would be an understatement.

bossed up

Signing up was a little intimidating. I wondered if I would be totally out of place at this event. Would everyone be younger than me and looking for advice trying to find their first job? Would everyone be older than me and have career issues and family concerns to work on that went beyond my current position in life? Working at a nonprofit and having a rather overwhelming level of debt, I was a little apprehensive since it is an expensive program, but I thought even if you just added up some of the experiences I would probably come close to breaking even. So, I signed up and showed up Friday night ready to take on whatever challenge was thrown my way.

Immediately upon entering the first night of Bootcamp I was thrilled with my decision. I walked into a room of inviting, enthusiastic and lively women. Everyone was eager to meet new people and hear how we heard about the program. As soon as my new Bootcamp buddy and I went from talking about the gender and racial dynamics in America to talking about Kanye’s love for Kanye, I knew I was going to be right in my element.

While Friday night was fun and filled with laughs, Saturday was enlightening. Without giving too much of their program away, we were asked to really take an introspective look at ourselves and focus in on what matters to us and what our ultimate goals are in different areas of our lives. The first time I stated my main goal out loud it felt a little shocking. The second time it felt a little more comfortable. By the third time I stated my goal, I OWNED it. It was a quick and shocking transformation for me yet it felt so natural because I was in an open and welcome environment. I not only felt comfortable reaching high for my dreams, I felt like I would be letting myself and my classmates down if I didn’t reach as high as I could go.

Often times people think that young women who want to work on their personal lives can’t be focused on their work. They think that women who focus on work can’t possibly have diverse interests outside of the office. A strong feminist can’t possibly enjoy gardening, baking, or knitting like those 1950s women did. Working out to feel good about yourself must mean that you put an emphasis on looks over success and intellect. But talking with everyone at Bootcamp showed me that it’s not weird to be a complex and sometimes contradicting person (if you were simply to list out my qualities and interests on paper that is).

You may be wondering if a Bossed Up Bootcamp is for you, and here is what I will say: bootcamp is for anyone who wants to give themselves the opportunity to thrive. I got quite a few “things” out of this weekend including

  • a professional headshot (I really needed one and to be honest this was one of the most appealing parts of the weekend to me before I signed up)
  • a clear vision of what direction I want to take my life in the next few years
  • a plan to work towards both my short and long terms goals
  • a workbook full of information and insight
  • an amazing group of women who I know will motivate me as I watch them conquer the world
  • plus a workout class and lots of yummy* healthy food all weekend!

We were a room full of women, some younger some older, from all over the country originally who were all complex vibrant and beautiful in so many different ways. Every single woman in my class inspired me in one way or another and it’s not often that we have a chance to surround ourselves with inspiring people for a whole weekend. If you have the opportunity to attend a Bossed Up Bootcamp, I really cannot recommend it enough. I know that it changed me for the better and can do the same for you.

*most of the food was healthy. at brunch on the final day I ordered crab cake benedict… not so healthy but oh so good:

I mean... come on...
I mean… come on…

 

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The dress that I shouldn’t have tried to make (yet)

Many moons ago I set out to sew a dress. I saw a pattern that I loved, bought some fabric and set out to make a classic dress that I could wear again and again. I believe it was 2012 at the time. Maybe 2013 if I’m being generous. The dress: Cynthia Rowley Simplicity Design pattern 2443.

Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 10.12.32 PM
Adorable, timeless and casual

I cut out the pieces and would occasionally do a little bit of work on the pieces here or there. Then I would set it aside for months at a time, only to return and do one more thing thinking that I would eventually finish this thing.

The problem with that theory is that I needed to actually do things correctly. I am a beginner when it comes to sewing, and this was my first dress I was attempting to make at home that was more than just stretch cotton to sleep in. This dress has pockets (YESSSSSS), a zipper, and a fitted waist band. It also includes horrendously awful instructions. Every step I took was wrong. I would read the instructions, call my mom, read them to her, then pull her up on skype or facetime so we could look at the fabric together and then eventually I would know what to do for the next step. All in all, I probably made this dress 3 times if I did everything right the first time.

This weekend I finally decided that enough was enough and I was going to finish this damn thing. So off I went to make mistakes and redo every step. Finally, late on Sunday night I finished.

The front.
The front.
The back
The back

Since I started making this thing in 2013, its a little tight on me now. With that in mind I won’t be modeling it for you on here in great lighting, but I did take a picture with my phone:

pardon the mess
pardon the mess

There are certainly mistakes, and my version doesn’t look as good as some of the versions online, but I finished and I think I could actually wear this dress in public without people assuming I made it myself. For someone who only makes pajamas normally, this was a big accomplishment for me!

I think with a little more practice (and cardio) this is a pattern that I could return to and do again. That said, this was a difficult project and I’m super proud of myself for finishing! Now on to a few easier projects to boost my confidence and use up some of my fabric stash!

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How to get things done after work

I need more organization in my life. While the flower project has resulted in me keeping my room clutter-less, the rest of the house is still a mess. I’m happy for the small victories, but I need a better strategy.

There’s just something about the work week that makes it hard to accomplish things. I find myself coming home from work, watching a little tv (ok maybe a little too much), making and eating dinner, cleaning up, showering, getting ready for bed and then my day is over and I’ve accomplished nothing.

Morning Rosetta Stone helps, as it gets something off my to do list right away. Lunch time work outs help too, so I’m making a fresh commitment to that. But how can I find time to be better at home? I started a sewing project this weekend (I’ll share updates later) and all I want to do is finish it after work one night. Yet day after day goes by and I accomplish nada. Here’s a little preview:

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I’m going to comb the library (paying for books is for rich folks who have no student loan debt) and find some stuff on how to organize my life and accomplish more. If anyone has any tips and tricks or suggestions for good books or articles on organization please share in the comments. Maybe we can all help each other!

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