Friday, May 27, 2016

Five Things I Want To Learn About

(via Pinterest)

Today is the day to learn something new. 
I would consider myself a curious person. I enjoy learning things. Honestly, I kind of enjoy being a know-it-all. The word most frequently used by my husband to describe me is pedantic. He mainly likes to use it because it also double as a Midnight in Paris reference, a movie which we both have watched easily 60+ times. One thing I have started to miss as I have aged is going to school. I have pretty much always enjoyed school. I especially loved college. There is something really enjoyable about listening to an lecture. At least for me there is. Now that I am older, I have to be more intentional about learning new things. I don't have the obligation of going to class everyday so I have to bring the classroom to myself.  So in the spirit of positive peer pressure, here are five things I want to learn about. Please feel free to ask me about them in the future. Hopefully, I will have actually done some reading and will have to new information to share. 

1. Gardening: We have a little garden right now but I really feel like I don't know enough about agriculture in general. I want to get a better grasp of the subject so that we can up our gardening game. 

2. Productivity: I have really gotten into the Work By Design Summit primarily because of the focus on productivity. I have really enjoyed listening to the different speakers talk about all the research behind productivity. I want to dive into it a little deeper, especially the idea of biological prime time. I think it could potentially have huge repercussions on how I work and schedule my day. 

3. German: Really, this is more a relearn situation. I had a couple of opportunities to use my German when we were in Florida and it solidified how much I have forgotten. I need to get it back. 

4. Culinary skills: I would love to improve upon my culinary knowledge. I think improving my very humble cooking skills could improve the quality of my cooking as well as lead to more inspiration and variation in the dishes I make. 

5. Nutrition: To kind of go along with the cooking/food theme, I wish I was more knowledgeable about nutrition. I feel like I know bits and pieces about thing but definitely not enough to make me any type of real reference. It would be very helpful to have deeper, more solid foundation in this subject, especially since there are so many conflicting headlines that fight for attention. 

 I guess I better start reading. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Few Things 5.21.16

(i wish our garden looked this cute! inspo via Pinterest)
I am beyond thankful for this weekend. For some reason, this week just drained me. Baby was a little sick through the week but not enough to cause this level of fatigue. To treat myself, I made a big pan of brownies and I am enjoying some with a large mug of Earl Grey tea. I have been on a tea kick lately. I made some fresh mint tea with some mint sprigs from our herb garden. It may be my new favorite thing. 
Here are a few things that are on my mind/in my world right. 

1. Watching the Work by Design Summit
I heard about Claire Diaz-Ortiz through the EntreLeadership podcast. She seems pretty interesting. So far the content has been pretty interesting but not completely in line with my worldview. It has sparked some interesting internal reflection and debate. There are still a bunch of sessions to go so maybe I'll do a summary post at the end. 

2. I'm on Twitter
Yep, I did it. I feel weird. I haven't tweeted anything yet. I don't know to stay. My handle is @wearstripes. Follow if you don't mind radio silence. 

3. Dreaming of home projects
I hope to see lots of paint in my future. I am ready to be past the planning phase and into the doing phase. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thoughts On Being Overwhelmed

(I may have to purchase this shirt for myself, via Pinterest)

I am here with an extra post. Yeah! Actually the reason I have time to write this is because I am home with a sickly baby. He started running a fever yesterday at work so we stayed home today to make sure that he was on the mend. Thankfully, he is napping and eating and seems to be getting better.
A week ago I posted a photo on Instagram confessing my very cliche struggle with work/life balance. It is a pretty typical problem. We all have a lot of things our plates. A lot of it is good stuff or just plain important stuff, like work and spending time with our families. Some of the stuff is just boring, like scheduling doctor visits or paying bills. No matter what the mix is, we would all agree that it is a lot. It usually is not that big of a deal. We are used to dividing our time and attention. Sometimes though, the amount responsibilities and to-dos can overwhelm me. You know that quote in The Lord of the Rings? Bilbo is talking to Gandalf about feeling old. He says he feels "thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” That is how I feel when I get overwhelmed by all of the things I have to do. I don't like this feeling at all. It isn't pleasant. I am not enjoyable to be around when I am stressed out and I am not very productive. 
So what is a girl supposed to do? The short answer. I don't know. I was staring at my calendar and to-do list last week thinking of what I could better, how I maximize my time, wondering what got me in this spot in the first place. One thing I realized in the moment was that the answers to those questions really didn't matter right then. When you're stressed out and facing a deadline, it is not the time to be focussed on secondary issues. That is when you take a few breaths, promise yourself you will learn from your mistakes, and attack the problem or task right in front you. 
Thankfully, I am past that point and I am experiencing a little relief in the stress department. Now I have the time to ponder how I went wrong and what caused me to overextend myself. A couple of things have stood out to me.
One, I am need to not make pleasing people my main goal. I tend to overextend myself when I want to impress people. That usually happens in the area of work. I want to be a good employee and I desperately want to add value to the organization, so I take on extra tasks. I want to be the person others can trust to get work done and someone who goes above and beyond. While these are noble things, I need to be more realistic with how much time I can actually spend working. If I am constantly stretching myself too thin, my productivity is going to go down overall and I will not only fail to accomplish the extra tasks but I will not be able to do my core job. I need to be ok delegating and be honest about my limitations. 
Two, I need to be more disciplined with my time management. I need to guard my time carefully and not let it slip away. This is especially important in the mornings. I am not a morning person. I have a hard time waking up. I love to enjoy my morning cup of coffee and wake up slowly. This is not the most conducive thing for getting out the door on time. This last week I decided to bump up my wake up time from 7:00 am to 6:30 am. I wanted to have my coffee finished before I had to get the little guy up that way he would be content to play in his pen while I got ready. This has made a huge difference in how I feel. I am arriving to work less frazzled because I am getting there earlier with less hassle. There are still some areas I need to work on, like not being less distracted and procrastinating but I already feel like I have made progress just by making this little adjustment. 
I know there will still be times when I feel overwhelmed. That is life. It doesn't mean that I don't have control over how I act and what I do when those situations arise. I don't have to live in a pattern of stress and relief. I can make small, real changes that make a difference in my day to day life. There is always opportunity for improvement and there is always room for change. I don't like being overwhelmed, so why would I settle for a life that is characterized by that feeling?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ghosts of College Past

As you are reading this, I am most likely in a car traveling to my brother's college graduation. He is graduating from Liberty University, where my college journey began. I attend LU for two years before getting married and transferring to the University of Georgia. Though my time there was brief, I still had some great experiences and made friends that I treasure to this day. In anticipation of this visit, I decided to flip through some old photos from ye' olde days. That's what Facebook is for, right? These are photos from my freshmen and sophomore years. It was a pretty hilarious time and we had blast, while still managing to get some stuff done. It will be a little weird going back. I have only visited once since leaving. A little walk down memory lane is always fun. It keeps the memories fresh. I don't want forget any of the good times or the bad. Maybe just the some of the hairstyles and outfit choices.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cool Kid

(the perpetual photobomber)
Do you ever feel like you're not cool enough for a fashion trend or style? I was feeling that way about the newest incarnation of the distressed jean. It just looked so cool for some reason and I really didn't think I could pull it off. However, I kept coming back to it and part of me really wanted to give it a try. 
In the process of cleaning out my closet, I was getting ready to throw away this pair of old jeans. I bought them right before my freshmen year of college in the junior section at Kohls. For only $17.99, they have served me well for a long time. By now though, they had shrunk in length and starting to lose their shape. I decided to give them one last chance at life by DIYing my own pair of "cool" jeans. You know what? They did make me feel cool. It was so funny. I don't know if it's because they are on trend, I made them myself or just some mental concept that I have created. The jeans made me feel cool and I don't mind that. I probably won't get many wears out of my new cool jeans. That's ok. I am just happy that I went for it. Getting a few more wears out of something that was on it's way to the trash is fine with me. 

Do you have an article of clothing that makes you feel cool? Are you nervous to try out a trend because you don't feel cool enough?