Tuesday, March 26, 2013

One By One

There is one word that I love to see when I'm looking at my budget each month. PAID!

I have never liked the idea of owing anyone anything so it bothers me to have so many sticky notes in this section of my planner.

But I do love having this section in my planner because it is a visual reminder of what I am working to pay off. One by one, I will get them all knocked off.

How are you doing on your financial goals? The start of spring signifies so many things to so many people. Above all, let's also make it a time of getting our financial houses in order. That is the best spring cleaning of all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Missing Monday

I was really in love with my braid out this day.

I have the found the braid-out to be a style that I love, but it's not a style that works well for me at every length of hair. The day I took this picture, my braid-out was perfect and it landed just right to frame my face. 

I so wish I could get this look today, but my hair has gotten longer and it's at a length that is just not working for most styles that I try. I'll continue loving it and playing in it and hopefully I can get back to having to-die-for braid outs again.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bunnies and Lent

This post is a stop on the Hershey’s Bunny Trail. Thank you for hopping by.

We are getting to the end of Lent season and I wanted to do a little review of how things went for me.

Going into Lent, there were a few things I wanted to work/meditate on. There were also a few things I picked up along that way that needed to be tackled.

  • My marriage—I am a new wife, struggling at times to understand and please me husband. The husband doesn’t know that I’ve been working on this but I hope he has enjoyed our extra dates and outings.
  • My job—I am an engineer that is trying to find that happy medium that will keep me motivated and productive without getting burned out. This is an ongoing battle.  I’m in the process of determining what my next career step will be.  I’ve learned a lot through the years and I really want to take all those lessons and apply them to my next phase of career life.
  • My blog—This has become my outlet for all of the creative things in my life and I am hoping to put more time and effort into it and see what opportunities it can bring my way. I love to write. I love to craft and I love sharing it with you all, mostly because my immediate family and friends could care less. Sharing with you brings a little more fun back into it.
  • Prayer—I do pray quite often, but I need to focus my prayers more and really learn to ask for what is needed and stop doing drive by prayers that don’t hit the heart of the issue. I am also journaling my prayers to focus myself.  Writing them down forces me to take time and block out everything else.
  • Gratitude—There are some beautiful people in my life that have really been helpful in getting through the last year.  Some are still helping in various ways as the hubby and I continue our relocation. And I really do have to say thank you to all of you who post comments or sent messages through Facebook during my unemployment.  It was nice to hear from you.
  • Minimizing distractions—I am a procrastinator and I have too many things (thinking of all my electronics!) that are distracting me to the point of self-destruction. I’m getting better, but getting rid of the smart phone is up for consideration at this point.  This is serious, people!
  • Controlling my language—I stress out and I get potty mouth. This is so not lady-like and my husband is less than thrilled with it. My best solution in the past has been to shut up and keep away from people when I’m stressed, but my current work situation is making that tough. And when I do manage to keep it bottled in, I find it slipping out when I’m alone with the hubby.  Not good. No intervention needed. I’m on it.
  • Debt—I would love to snap my fingers and have all the debt from unemployment and wedding and moving just disappear, but it takes work and I need a solid plan. I am fortunate to have been working a lot of overtime in February and March, which has helped me get a very good start on debt reduction, but I have a long way to go. Wish me luck and discipline.
  • Food—Despite my efforts to increase my fruit and veggie intake and eat healthier overall, I still manage to shove some atrocious calories into my mouth. My recent hypertension wake up call has helped me to drastically cut the salt in my diet, but there are many cuts still to come.

I cannot lie like the 40 days of Lent are a cakewalk.  If you are serious about your goals, it should not be. I try to really challenge myself during Lent and this Lent was especially important to me. I am (I hope) on the tail end of what has been a very stressful year. Layoff, six months of unemployment, a new job in a new state, a marriage and so many other smaller things have put me through the ringer this past year and I needed a refresh and a reset.

Although I am off to a good start, this list has become not simply a Lent checklist, but a list of goals that I will be tackling throughout the year.

But, just so I don’t loose sight of the fun that hops along this time of year, Hershey’s was kind of enough to invite me to the bunny trail with a basket o’ goodies!

As much as I love chocolate bunnies, I still have to say jellybeans are the best part of Easter.

Leave a comment below and let me know how your Lent season went this year. Even if you are not a Lent participator, what goals will you be following up on throughout the year? And which candy, chocolate goodness is your Easter weakness?

And if you want to see the other bloggers participating in the trail this year, hop over to  the site and take a look around.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Organized Chaos-Week 12

This week, I have two planner views.

Moleskine Planner

Currently, I am using the week with notes format from Moleskine but I am moving over to my new Filofax Holborn.

Filofax Personal Holborn

Currently, I have the week on two pages layout but only as my blog organizer. I have ordered a Filofax week with notes to become my new daily calendar.

The challenge will be fitting both calendars in the binder. This thing is small compared to what I've used before so we'll see how this goes. Full review coming soon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Martha Home and Office

I was finally able to get my hand on a pack of the tear drop shaped color coding dots from the Avery Martha Stewart office supply line. They were on clearance for a dollar so I couldn't pass them up. I probably won't use them much in my planner itself but I am finding them useful in my project/to do tracking notebook.

I needed a quick reference page for charge codes when I'm doing my time sheets and that gives me an easy visual listing that is pleasing and truly a quick reference.

I just wish it could improve my ability to get my time sheets done on time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Missing Monday

This is a catalog of the things I miss having in my life so I can strive to add them back in.

My lovely, lovely sewing machine.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Filofax Madness

I have finally given in to the Filofax madness and placed an order.

This was a consolation gift to myself for not being able to attend Blissdom. There is nothing to soothe a little grief like some responsible retail therapy. And honestly there is nothing responsible about this since I didn't need it at all.  I'm quite happy with the Moleskine planner that I have been using. But there are some other planning needs that the Moleskine is just not suited for. So here we go.  I'll be figuring out a way to use the Moleskine planner from the Filofax binder.

I'm geeking out, I'm so happy about this purchase.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Week In Review

This was a tough week, but I so happy to finally start the count down on this temporary assignment that I am on.  I have 16 days left.  

I am ending this week with a financial review of things. I'm still recovering from being laid off for so long last year, but I'm trying to take things so slow and not get upset with the recovery efforts. 

My Lent focus for the week was rest, support for family and language! Gotta get my stressed out potty mouth under control.

How'd your week go?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Labor of Love

I started a new project and I’m so thrilled and nervous about it. After getting married in November, my husband and I took a trip over to his mother’s house in North Carolina.  She was not there.  Unfortunately, due to health issues, she may never return to her home. One of things she asked us to do was take whatever family photos from the home that we wanted.

At first, my husband only wanted a few of his mom and siblings, but after spending more than an hour going through the albums and framed photos, he decided to take a few more.

My task over the next few weeks/months/hopefully not a year will be to get them all into a new scrapbook type album. Because there are a lot of pictures of people and events that my husband may not remember, I am not going for a standard scrapbook with journaling. I more want to end up with a family album that leaves space for someone to add names and details to later. Hopefully his mother and siblings will get to see it and help us get it all labeled out.

This is just the beginning!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week In Review

I took me so long to figure out how to post this week in review. More planner shots to come for those of you that like looking into the lives of others. I am fully willing to admit that I have an addiction to Flickr planner pictures and YouTube Filofax videos.  I don't even use a Filofax but those are the people that post the most videos.

Be careful following those links! They are addictive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It Comes and Goes

Making the decision to go to Blissdom 2013 was an easy one although I was concerned with the cost of making such a last minute decision. Now, unfortunately, life has intervened and I have to cancel the trip just as quickly as I booked it.

Just a few months ago we were celebrating our wedding with our family and friends.  Now, we are planning for the death of our best man. It feels so disrespectful to say that, but the outlook is not positive.

Until the time comes, we will continue to remember him dancing.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Missing Monday

This is a catalog of the things I miss having in my life so I can strive to add them back in.

It’s cold in Kansas!  I would love to be in front of my fireplace right now.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Diet Update

I thought it was about time to follow up on my self imposed book diet.

A year ago, I surveyed my book collected and realized I had 199 books in my collection that I had been given or bought but had not yet read.

My solution was to go on a book diet and make a goal to read 100 books during the calendar year. Of course, that would make my diet two years in duration before I can really buy again.

Even with the diet,  I did manage to add some books to my collection. I'm a sucker for used books stores and I did a little clean out of my mother's shelves of books.

And I really couldn't pass up picking these books up from the box of free books in the laundry room of the apartment building.

If you follow me on Goodreads, then you know I actually managed to read and review 61 books during the during the 2012 calendar year. I wish I could say this year was off to a good start, but work has me doing nothing but work.

For now, I'm using the Kindle app on my phone to read during my lunch breaks so I'm only up to 5 book read for the year so far.

I don't have the heart to re-count my unread books just yet, but my book diet continues and my reading challenge has been renewed for 2013. Let's see how close to 100 books we get this year.

You with me?

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm All In!

I feel slightly irresponsible for going, but its just what I need right now.
I'm so excited for this creative outlet. 

Will you be there? Let me know and we can arrange a meetup.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Care Packages

My husband is the only person in the world I know that would call his family and ask for a care package of potato chips. Yep, they mailed him two huge boxes of Utz potato chips which we cannot find in Kansas.

He is enjoying 24 bags of plain and sour cream and onion chips. 12 bags each! I still can't believe they indulged him like this, but we need what we need and this man needed his Utz!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow and Snow and More Snow

This was the view from my work window last week during the big snow storm. I brought lunch in with me and didn't dare leave out until the end of the day. So much for having my first Kansas winter be a mild one.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chained To The Desk

I don't talk much on this blog about work place issues. My main reason for writing in this space is to get away from the stress of the job that I have. I am an engineer and I keep my sanity by crafting, creating and writing.

With that said, I feel compelled to weigh in on the hubbub around the decision that Marissa Mayer has made that all Yahoo employees are to work in the office.

Don't let the title of this post fool you, I am in complete agreement with the decision she has made. As someone that has worked both in the office,  from home and remotely from other locations, I can tell you I prefer to work in the office. There are high distraction days when I wish I was working from home but overall, working from home doesn't work for me.

As many distractions as there are at work, there are many more at home.  I don't have the ability to work away for 8 hours without wanting to do a load of laundry, do the dishes or check the mail.  For some, this is the main reason to work from home, but for me it doesn't work. I do tend to be more productive at home, but I am also a procrastinator and I know how I am.

But, this is a personal preference.  Not everyone is the same and I would never presume to think that all people can work the same. With that said, Yahoo is a company that needs to change. They have dealt with some serious professional ethics issues over the last few years and those stemmed from the top of the food chain. What inspiration or motivation do the worker bees have to draw from when CEOs have been shown the door for dishonesty? Who's to say the employees aren't following the examples that have been set before them. What Marissa needs to do is clean house and the most effective way to do that is to get everyone in the office. Let's get everyone together, work out the bits that don't work and then we can look at bringing the flexibility back. 

For now, I think the Yahoos need to get into the office and prove they can turn the company around. Prove that first and fight for additional benefits later.

This is my opinion.  What's yours?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Missing Mondays

This is a catalog of the things I miss having in my life so I can strive to add them back in.

Today, I am missing scrapbooking retreats.

This is me and my friend Mandy at a weekend retreat in TN. I miss her and I miss our craft times together.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Straight Natural Hair

Before I finally decided to go natural, I spent a lot of time looking at YouTube videos and there were so many horor stories of heat damage. I decided that I would embrace my natural hair and not do the heat thing trying to go back to what I had with the straight hair.  Honestly, I think I look better with natural hair.

But here I am two and a half years later and I've decided to give a little heat styling a try.  Because my hair is more straight in the front, I can't wear a wash and go so preserving a curl pattern really doesn't factor into the conversation anymore. I wear my hair in twist outs and braid outs most of the time and I would have to do significant damage for those styles to be affected.

So here I am, embracing all the styles possible with my natural hair.

I did a tension blow dry followed by flat ironing at 360 degrees. I used a shea butter/castor oil mix as my heat protectant. I pin-curl it nightly to get a really full curl.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm trying my best to stay motivated at work. Today, I needed to map out some steps that need to be taken in a project I'm working on. Rather than write a list, which I started to do, I pulled out the sticky notes,  post-it label roll, and washing tape for a bit of creative organizing. What better surface is there than the bland, grey, cold metal desk I'm strapped to?

It's sad when this is the only bit of fun I get to have in a day.