Monday, December 31, 2012

An Inadvertent Blogging Break

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet here the last couple of weeks. It turns out that I took a little bit of a blogging break. The holidays came up and there was lots to do, and I just let time slip away. This happened to me last year, so I think I should better prepare next time. :)

I've also been using this break to think about the purpose of my blog and what I hope to accomplish with it. I began posting as a creative outlet from my 9-5 and as a place to express ideas I was wrestling with (anyone remember my turmoil over grad school?). I've been blogging for over a year now, but I feel like I need to have a clearer focus if I'm going to move forward. I don't want to post everyday out of obsessive-compulsive tendencies or guilt; I want it to be purposeful. Here is some of what I've been thinking about:
  • What do I want my blog to focus on (travel, life, design, food, anything and everything, etc.)? 
  • What do I want my blog to accomplish?
    • Do I want it to continue to be a creative outlet or do I want it to assist my career in some way?
    • What steps do I need to take to reach those goals? 
  • Is my blog continuing to be something that is fruitful and productive in my life or is it distracting me from other areas and relationships?   
Where will this introspection lead? I'm not sure, but I'll keep you posted. 
(Photo taken in Florence, Italy, 2012)

p.s. Have a happy and safe New Year! 
Friday, December 14, 2012

A Fancy, Sing-Songy Weekend

This weekend I will be attending a fancy holiday party and I'm very excited to wear a super cute, black lace dress I got a couple of months ago. I've been waiting for the chance to wear and this is it! Then on Sunday, we are going to a convalescent home to sing Christmas carols through the halls. We did this last year and it was a blast. Not only do you get sing songs of the season, but seeing smiles on their sweet faces is absolutely priceless. My other hopes for the weekend: watch a Christmas movie and try a new recipe.

What are you doing this weekend? If you're in my area and are interested in caroling on Sunday, let me know! We'd love to have you join us. :)
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Roller Derby Names

My friend Jenny has an innate ability to come up with kick ass roller derby names. A couple of weeks ago I asked her to come up with a few for me and this is what she sent over...

Stacy Creech Ernst:
- Stace Invader
- Creech the Creep
- Ernst and Young Financial Investments
- Beyon-slay (because of your love for Beyonce, obviously)

I think they are absolutely hysterical and number 1 and 4 are my favorites. Soon, the trend caught on and she has since created names for more of our friends...

Emily Atsatt:
- Emily Kickinson
- Em-Fatale
- Emilay-Her-Out
- The Eminator
- Eminent Threat
- Em-Bot 

Shannon Renfro: 
- Shan-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am
- Renfro Your Life
- Shenanigans (or Shenaniguns)
- Shank-You Ma'am
- Shanihilator
- Shan-Wow
- Shantastic

Alison LeClair:
- Alotta Trouble
- Alison Wonderslam
- LeClair Flare
- Ali-gator Smack-ya-later
- Al-Be-Back
- Ali-bama-Slamma
- The Aliminator
- Ali-vya Bleeding

I absolutely love seeing them come up in my Facebook feed, so I asked if she would send over her archive. It's a real beauty I tell you...

Leah Lemau:
- Leahnardo DiPunchy
- Leahthal Injection
- Lemouth Puncher
- Leah Left-hook Lemau

Brittany Brown:
- Encyclopedia Britt-slammica
- Britt-knee Fears
- Britta Filter Water Purification System
- Brie-elzebub

Julie Deaver:
- Unruly Julie
- Kick-in-The Jules
- Ju-leave Me in Stitches
- Deaver the Cleaver

Carla Mills:
- AK-Shorty-7
- Cartel Milenio
- Carla Bruise-knee (like Carla Bruni)

Mary Hart: 
- Mother Mary Mayhem
- Hart Attack
- Mary J. Bludgeon 

Do you have the ability to come up with clever nicknames? If you could create a roller derby name for yourself, what would it be? 
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Excitement + Anxiety

Guys, this week has been a crazy mix of excitement and anxiety. I'm excited because I've made some great progress on a personal project, but so anxiety ridden because I have looming deadlines that need attention. For example, I haven't purchased a single Christmas gift. Eekkk! I have less than 12 days to make that happen and I'm trying to be budget conscious this year. Any recommendations? I would LOVE to hear some. Mix that in with Content deadlines and holiday festivities, and we have ourselves a great (read: sweat inducing) time!

Back to the excitement. Although my poor time management has made me sweaty, it really is a great time of year. Pretty white lights everywhere, people put a priority on spending time with one another, and good food as the centerpiece at every function. I'm absolutely thrilled that my best friend will be home in just over a week, and I'm loving the fact that Christmas carols are being sung everywhere. These are the things I need to remember as I'm worrying about a long list of to-dos.

(Photo take at DisneyWorld last Christmas)
Monday, December 10, 2012

Packing for A Plane

Rob and I will not be travelling far this holiday season. We’re lucky enough to have family live nearby, so we only have to spend minimal time in the car. Saying that, I realize this time of year can be mayhem in airports, train stations, and highways across the world.

Do you have to board a plane to see family this year? If so, what will you be bringing with you for your trip? Here is my go-to list of must haves for a plane ride:
  • Magazines – Trashy (People or Us), home/ life (Real Simple), or cooking (Bon App├ętit) work wonders to distract me from recycled air, bumpy turbulence, and tight quarters. 
  • Music – An iPod, mp3 player, or mix tapes of some kind are an absolute must. 
  • Reading – For longer flights, I need more serious reading by the time I finish flipping through my mags. 
  • Warmth – I always, ALWAYS recommend packing a sweater (and socks if you’re serious) on a plane. It is absolutely impossible to find a common temperature for that many people, so it seems that they err on the side of frigid. 
  • Security – I don’t actually have a security type item. I wanted to include this on the list because I have a friend that has to bring her “feely” that she rubs between her fingers as the plane is taking off and landing. If you’re a nervous flyer, this would be absolutely necessary. 
Even if you are not flying this year, what are your plane ride must haves? Is there anything you can’t live without while flying?

(Photo taken by my friend Sarah, as we were leaving for our Euro Trip 2012)
Friday, December 7, 2012

Have a Jolly Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? We’re headed to Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose with friends. We’re not only going to be enjoying the holiday spirit, we’ll be celebrating our friend, Jesse’s, birthday (Happy Birthday Jesse!). Rob really likes Christmas in the Park, and while I think it’s fun, I don’t think I love it as much as him. If I’m honest with myself, I think I’m most looking forward to ordering a jumbo hot chocolate (it’s the sweet things in life) and hanging out with friends (we really do have awesome friends).

Do you have any holiday related activities this weekend? Have you started your shopping, or are you one of those impressive individuals that is already done? I haven’t even started yet, ha!

(Photo found here)
Thursday, December 6, 2012

Forget Me, Not!

No, I haven't forgotten about this wonderful place I like to call my blog. I had a couple of last minute deadlines come up and had to push those into priority. I appreciate your understanding and am excited for some posts I have lined up for next week. I hope you had a rad Thursday and I leave you with this...

Because who doesn't love a heartbroken, beach blonde George Michael? (his face at 1:57 is a real gem)

p.s. I love that his love interest is a brunette!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pinspiration / 02

This week's Pinspiration collection includes dramatic weather, a fun travel poster, awesome navy blue nails, and more! I hope you enjoy...

What is inspiring you this week?
Monday, December 3, 2012

A Relaxing Weekender

What kind of weekender are you? Do you like to relax the whole time, catch up on your to-do list, or pack your days full of activities? Rob and I usually pack our weekends full of activities, but I'm finding myself becoming more and more of a relaxer (or at least wanting to be one). It's like the weekend rolls around (especially Sundays) and I just want to chill, watch some Rick Steves, and hang with my loves (Rob + Zoey). As I prepare to start work on Monday, my mind starts racing with blog post ideas, a game plan to tackle my weekly to-do list, and so many other things that would make me a better/ more organized person. :)

I struggle with feeling like I should have done more, while enjoying my time of rest. Rationally, I know it makes sense to enjoy a time to relax, but the guilt still tries to creep in. Isn't it in our culture to always feel like we should do more? How do we kick that? I imagine it takes practice and confidence in our decision making, because if we are confident in our decisions, then we won't second guess ourselves.

How do you relax guilt-free? Or are you unable to as well? 
(Photo taken at Castle Rock State Park in 2009)
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