5 Things to Make Mornings Better

I used to be more of a morning person. Working early morning, drive time radio shifts will do that to a person. Then came graduate school where I earned my night owl status. I have never been the same. Having a part-time job that eats up evenings and weekends has soured me on mornings even further, so I have been reading articles and blogs posts that address productivity and how to build a morning routine that will produce better results than my current “stay in bed until the last minute and rush out the door always forgetting something” one.

Maybe these ideas would work for you too?

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Three Things I Am Adding To My Life

After having been on this planet for four-and-a-half decades, it now seems that my body is teaching me lessons I was loathed to learn in my 20’s or even 30’s. Being a hard-charger who rarely says “No” to a task and saw resting as weakness, it has been difficult to realize that my body is no longer willing to stay quiet when I abuse its many delicate systems. I’ve decided to make some changes, and keep other recent changes going, so that I can make sure my body doesn’t call it quits before I am ready to go.

Maybe you can benefit from adding some things too?

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My Word for 2017

Everyone seems to have a word for 2017. I’m sort of still trying to dig myself out from the mess that was 2016. I feel like that year steamrolled me worse than any other in a very long time. And, if you knew me at all, that is certainly saying something.

I think, though, that I have landed on a word that would make life in 2017 more enjoyable and productive. That word is STREAMLINE.

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Meet My New Planner

PPDesignsDeliveryBoxI admit it. I am a planner addict. Since I was in elementary school, I have used some form of paper planner to try and keep track of everything I have happening at any given time.

I back-up my engagements on my Google calendar, but there is nothing like having a physical representation of my plans, my to-do lists, birthdays, tasks, etc. This is my second time using a particular brand of planner and I could not be more pleased with mine for 2017. It arrived this weekend and I would love to introduce you to my planner after the jump!

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Eloise Had It Right

When I am staying at a hotel, it’s because I have traveled somewhere to do something. I have a speaking engagement, a conference, a wedding or sports event to attend, or something that likely prevents me from having a good night’s sleep while I am not in my own bed–no matter how comfortable the bed at my temporary spot is.

When I used to read the Eloise stories to my girls when they were small, I always thought “living in a hotel would be pretty sweet.” I have only slightly modified my thoughts on hotels, but now I think to myself, “If I could spend a weekend every month or two at a hotel, I would have a chance to do some work, take a nap, and RELAX.”

I have a chance to test my theory this weekend as my husband had to travel not too far from home for an all-day meeting. I tagged along because our anniversary is approaching and this is one way to be sure we have a chance to go out to a nice dinner. It also seemed a lucky coincidence that this meeting fell on a weekend that was 1) close to our anniversary; 2) after the two prom weekends of my oldest, and 3) on a weekend when no soccer was scheduled.

It’s a little after noon and so far, I’ve showered, had breakfast (and a great cup of coffee is still beside me), tidied up the room, started the process to have an email for this domain name created, began on a customer newsletter for my Scentsy clients, and found an Empire marathon on the television. I have not had a chance to catch much of Season 2, so I’m binging today and will be all set for the upcoming season finale.

I still have some reading to do [book club book & Scentsy leadership group chapter] and I want to work ahead on a few projects. But, I definitely think I’m on to something–this is way better than going into the office for a day or sitting in Starbucks!

 

Seeing the Changes

Have you ever been gone for a few days only to come home and find your puppy has grown by leaps and bounds or that your toddler seems inches taller? Or, you run into a friend and mention how great they look only to have them tell you they had not noticed  it themselves?

That happened to me earlier this week and I’m still kind of freaked out by it.

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Finish 2014 In Style

Aaaaand POOF! Just like that, summer is over and we’ve moved into the final quarter of the year. If you are like me, you started 2014 with awesome intentions. THIS would be the year where I took control of my health, started reading for pleasure again, spent more time with family, organized my entire house, etc. and so on, forever amen.

Sigh.

Now that we have arrived on the backside of 2014’s hill, is anyone else feeling a little under the gun? Let’s commit to a five-step plan to end 2014 with some checkmarks on our list.

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Did You Know This?

I didn’t know this. I had read about the “j” feature, but figured out the “K” and “L” feature while typing around trying to remember the “J” feature. What other Facebook helpers do you know? Share them b/c this absolutely blew my mind.

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Knowing & Doing Are Two Different Things

Cognitive dissonance (noun): The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, esp. as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

In other words, that ongoing grating in your mind that won’t stop until you make a decision or act. It’s like the chord at the end of the song that sets you a little on edge until it resolves. In my case, it’s knowing what you need to do, why you need to do it, how you need to do it, and still not starting to do it.

For me, I’ve been struggling with the knowledge that I am running my body into the ground with stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and any number of other sins I know better than to commit. I have felt so much better when I’m involved in something like the Whole 30 Challenge or running regularly. Other than the losing of weight and the increased wardrobe choices, when I doing something like the Whole 30, I sleep better, I look better and I feel better–all the time. So what is my hang-up? Why can I not just let go of the fully leaded Coca-Cola? The chocolate? The occasional trip through the drive-thru? The myriad of easy and bad choices that leave me feeling sick, give me a headache and keep me from looking the way I would rather look.

The other annoying thing is that I know most anything I like could be modified into something that is more Paleo friendly. Paleo has provided me with the most immediate and dramatic changes in my day-to-day feeling [not bloated, no GI distress, no symptoms of IBS, no headaches, better skin and nails, etc.] and that’s why I refer to it here as the way I know I need to be heading.

My schedule in the summer is insane. Ten hour workdays are not uncommon. Falling into bed completely exhausted and forcing myself from it in the morning is the routine. I can barely plan to keep my clothes clean let alone to map out meals, trips to the store, and prep/cooking time. And yet, people do it every day, I’m sure. My kids are home in the summer and both love to do things in the kitchen–I could enlist their assistance. And, my husband has eaten and enjoyed nearly every Paleo entree I’ve made, as long as I haven’t told him it’s Paleo. He thinks Paleo is “too hard”, time intensive and it robs him of things like cheese. Mmmkay. Again, usually if I cook it, he eats it and away we go.

I’m thinking if I make myself accountable here, even if no one is reading, I might accomplish two goals: 1) to keep my blog updated regularly and 2) to finally put myself on a path to not be wishing I would just do something already.

I have tried the Whole 30 twice and ended up planting my face in a plate of spaghetti and meatballs long about Day 16. Perhaps if I can better plan, log my progress and keep myself on track somewhere other than in my own mind, I will stick it out and reap the benefits of the entire plan.

julia-child-chickenI know I have a chicken in the freezer and so, my friends, I will put this roasted chicken recipe on my list of meals I will be making once we launch the Whole 30 festivus on this blog. I mean, if you can convert a Julia Childs’ perfectly roasted chicken recipe to be Paleo, you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to do. I wonder if Ghee will work in place of straight up butter?

Nom Nom Paleo has fantastic recipes and is so visually engaging that your mouth will water when you browse through the blog. The iPad app is legendary–I only know from reading others’ comments as I am the luddite without an iPad.

Stick around…this could be miraculous or high comedy…or both.

Holiday Hangover

2012-12-26_14-50-11_800As the first month of the new year draws to a close, I realize that my enthusiasm for 2013 has not translated into much progress. Oh, sure, I revamped my bedroom by closing my fashion museum [my clothing no longer lies about as if on display], purging my closets & finding a bunch of clothes I’d completely forgotten. I’ve also been busy assisting recent graduates in preparing for February’s bar exam. Somehow, though, I’ve continued to wrap myself in the haze of the holidays and I’ve neglected to truly turn my desire for progress into actual progress.

I have not gone running yet this year.

I have not begun my new notebook for the year that is set to help me reach my business goals.

I have not begun reading or finishing any books for my annual reading goal.

I have not put together all my business receipts and records so my accountant can work her magic.

In my analysis (rationalization?) of this phenomenon, I concluded that since 2009, my little family ricocheted off the walls of life. We experienced more in that three year span of time than some families experience in a lifetime. At the close of 2012, most every loose end tied itself. After you live like that for so long, however, you remain under the impression that even tightly tied shoes drop.

We have so much to look forward to this year. My husband started a new job after nearly 20 years with the same employer. My oldest is finishing her junior high career, looking forward to high school, and following in Mom’s footsteps by launching her own business. My youngest is committed to academic success in her final quarters of 4th grade and I am committed to helping her reach it. My plan remains taking my business by storm, helping my daughter in her new endeavor, making memories with my kids and upping the passage rate of the first time bar takers with whom I work.

I guess three weeks is long enough to hibernate. It’s time for the opening bell to ring and for me to charge from my corner and take on 2013.

I refuse to have resolutions. I commit to objectives, plans and goals. First up? Kicking my own butt & starting this party!