Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Looks Aren’t Everything…Are They?

Since starting the "Blogging Your Way" e-class, I have come to realize that my blog needs a lot of work.

Basically, it’s got a good personality but when you get right down to it people are attracted to pretty things first and my blog is more on the fugly side.

And since we all know that people DO judge a book by its cover, I’ve decided to give mine a makeover!

So prepare to be wowed!

Actually, maybe I shouldn’t build it up so much…you know I hate to disappoint.

But in actuality, I’m hoping to impress with my mad design skills that haven’t seen too much action since college (no pun intended).

So unless I have some major technical difficulties, I am preparing to launch the new header tomorrow!

It’ll be the first step to truly committing to my blog and my intentions for its growth…and I’m really excited about it! And hopefully it will snowball into giving me lots of motivation to keep the makeover going because I have loads more ideas!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gratitude and Validation

It’s Sunday night and I am faced with another week of playing catch up. I had a great weekend celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday and cleaning my apartment till it shone, but this post may be the only truly productive thing I can cross of my to do list.

But while I was feeling a bit down on myself tonight, I just received the biggest pick-me-up I could have asked for…right here on this blog.

Tonight, I discovered that I have TWO (new) followers!

For me, this is a monumental and momentous thing and I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU to both of them for taking the time to check out my blog and consider it worthwhile enough to follow.

And I would especially like to thank Linda from Heartfire At Home for her comments – another first!

Your words were so kind and encouraging and I thank you for them and for your suggestions. It’s nice to know that you’ve been where I am and are now enjoying a successful blog!

My family has been so supportive of me, but sometimes the validation of a stranger (though of course I now consider you a close, personal friend) is really what means the most.

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to you both. You have made my night...and my weekend.

*The graphic shown above is a letterpress card printed by Swayspace, a design company based out of Brooklyn, NY. I love everything to do with letterpress printing and their work is exquisite. Check out more of their pieces at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Treading Water

This has been one of the busiest weeks of my life and I feel that I’m barely staying afloat with everything I need to do. With plans every night this week, it’s been madness to get everything done during the day so that I can leave on time from the office.

And after such a productive weekend, I’m feeling a bit bummed not to have accomplished much personally this week.

I haven’t progressed any further with my blog header and have fallen behind on reading for my e-class…AGAIN.

Fortunately, the weekend is almost here and there’s always hope in a few days out of the office!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

My weekend was a perfect balance of work and play.

I know it’s surprising, but that’s what happens when I put my TO DO list on blast. It sort of sits in the back of my mind and gives me the mother of all guilt trips.

So, even though it was absolutely perfect weather to go tubing, I made myself stay indoors and catch up on my work instead.

Then, after getting inspired by some of the BYW posts, I took to the streets with my cameras to work on an idea I had for my blog re-design.

It didn’t quite solidify till Sunday afternoon, but when it did I was super psyched at how it came out! And in an ironic twist, I ended up using the pictures taken with my iPhone instead of SLR. I won’t bore you with my plug for the iPhone 4, but it takes incredible pictures and you should go get one now!

After playing for a bit in Photoshop, I think I’m getting close to the final design and I’m excited to show it off! I just hope everybody likes it as much as I do.

So now’s the part where I fess up and admit that I didn’t accomplish everything on my TO DO list. I never got around to signing up for an Etsy store account and deep down I know that procrastination is trying to take hold to keep me from the next ‘big’ step. And it appears to be working, which is really annoying.

You’d think I’d just suck it up and do it right after I post this, but I’m feeling a bit tired so I think I’m going to turn the computer off instead and leave it for another day.

Sigggh, I seriously have some issues!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Does This Make Me Old?

It’s 9:45pm on a Friday night and I just got ready for bed.

Does that make me old?

At this moment, I don’t care what it makes me. I’m just happy that I got through this past week and have two days off of work!

And I plan to use those two days wisely. I’m even going to go out on a limb and post my goals for this weekend…with hopes that it’ll motivate me to actually stick to my TO DO list:

1. Sleep in

2. Sign up for an Etsy store account

3. Catch up on BYW class homework

4. Practice photography tricks from BYW

5. Work on re-designing my blog

6. Do something fun

7. Spend time outside

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nerd Alert

I’m days behind on reading for my e-class and it’s not okay.

I’ve always been a star pupil, doing my homework on time and staying up on my reading. So to get behind on my assignments is really grating on my nerves.

And even though I have reasons why I’m behind, I’m not going to bore you with the same song and dance about late work nights and extracurricular activities; because at the end of the day I need to pull my own weight.

But instead of going online to read the latest assignment from my class, I’m instead writing a blog post bemoaning the fact that I’m so behind!

I’m too tired to decide if that’s irony, hypocrisy or just plain procrastination.

What I do know is that I’m glad that it’s already Friday and I have a weekend ahead of me to catch up. Of course I’ve been trying to make plans to fill all of my free time during the upcoming weekend but the universe has been blocking most of them…making me think that I’m being told by a higher power to slow down, get some sleep and get back on track.

Oh and do some homework.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

“We must always have old memories and young hopes.” - Houssaye

One of my best friends recently moved into her first home and has been slowly settling in. And from the looks of her Facebook account, the last box she unpacked was full of photo albums. Having known her for over twenty years now, I had the “good fortune” (read with much sarcasm) to be featured in quite a few of them.

But while I at first was horrified that cyberspace would be graced with these incredibly unattractive pictures of myself, I have come to relish in reliving those moments. I sometimes yearn for the innocence and ease of childhood, having of course forgotten all the drama of adolescence. And if I didn’t have to revisit the horrifying trifecta of sporting a boy cut, glasses and braces all at the same time, I’d go back in a heartbeat.

But there were plenty of tough lessons learned over the last twenty years to make me appreciate where I am at this moment. I feel more confident and self-assured in my 30’s than I have at any other age.

This quote reminds me to hold my memories close to my heart while relishing in the fact that my past has pushed me to this point – where I am full of hope and energy to take that next big step.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turn 31 years old.

I am officially a year older…and hopefully a year wiser.

I have accomplished a lot over these past twelve months and am excited to see what this next year brings. My wish list includes a successful launch to my business, financial freedom and more time with family and friends.

While I will always have a wish list and a set of goals for the upcoming year, I do recognize that I live a very blessed life.

I am blessed to share my birthday with my twin sister (who also happens to be my best friend), my amazing and supportive boyfriend (who manages to put up with the crazy year after year) and my mother (who is cool enough to coordinate a jet ski outing for our birthday).

I am blessed to have a wonderful father (who continues to encourage and motivate me everyday), a good job (with a boss who got everybody together to sing me happy birthday and eat ice cream), two awesome and crazy cats (who I adore on an obsessive level) and incredible friends (who don’t think they are too cool for game night).

I am a lucky, lucky girl and I am thankful everyday for all the love and support in my life. Everything I do and accomplish from here on out is in honor of those who are there for me in support always. Without them, I would be nothing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can I Will It To Be Windy?

Over the holiday weekend, I tried my hand at windsurfing for the second time.

I was excited to get back out on the water and even woke up bright and early in order to take advantage of a promising wind forecast. Unfortunately, the morning wind gave way to sporadic breezes by the time we were ready to go.

Is it possible I’m a weather jinx?

Who knows, but it may have been a good thing because I wasn’t actually ready to start surfing away. I was pretty rusty since our first class so I used the time to practice the basics - over and over and over again.

But whereas, I was proud of myself the first time around for getting the hang of it fairly quickly…I started to get frustrated with myself over not seeing more improvement this time around.

Being a perfectionist by trade, I expect a lot out of myself. But sometimes practice makes perfect and I have to give myself some slack if I am still learning how to do something.

So the message learned this past Sunday was about patience, self-determination and never giving up on myself. And I am happy to report that I didn’t - though I did take a few necessary breaks to regroup mentally.

Seems like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just What I Wanted – Homework!

The countdown to my 31st birthday is on and I’ve already received my first birthday gift!

My sister gave me my big present a few weeks ago…paid admission into an e-class called “Blogging Your Way”. It’s an online workshop taught by blogger-extraordinaire Holly Becker of decor8 fame.

At first, the idea of going back to ‘school’ wasn’t terribly appealing. But as I thought more about it, I realized that it was just what I needed. I’ve been working on this blog since January but still have only one solitary follower (no offense babe!).

For months I’ve had the intention to expand on the blog and get it more public but hadn’t been sure how to accomplish that. And then voila! – my sister comes across this class and in a matter of hours, I was signed up and ready to go.

Today was the first official class post; complete with homework assignment. As an admitted nerd (and proud of it!), I had been eagerly awaiting this day to see what the task would be. Turns out, the project involves answering some questions that will require a little bit of research and some soul searching…all which I’m strangely very excited about!

I don’t think that I would have sought out this class on my own, but I’m very grateful to my sister for her thoughtfulness and supportiveness for gifting this experience to me.

It will also go down forever as one of the most unique presents ever received from her. I mean, how many people can say they got homework for their birthday?!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” - G.K. Chesterton

One thing I have learned from 7 ½ years at my day job is how not to run a business.

You see one can’t be so consumed with the bottom line that, at the end of the day, they forget who helps get them there.

Acknowledgement is the easiest - and cheapest - way to retain employees. Appreciation keeps the best and brightest workers engaged, motivated and loyal. Without it, offices turn into high speed revolving doors with a sky rocketing rate of turnover.

I’ve seen a lot over the course of my time at work and most of the problems I have witnessed could have easily been solved with a little bit of acknowledgement, a modicum amount of common sense and lots of communication.

Of course running a business involves a juggling act of epic proportions, but I truly believe that some people are meant to make deals and some people are meant to be leaders. And in order to run a successful business, you have to be able to recognize which one you are and make sure you hire someone to take care of the other.

That hasn’t happened at my company, but I know that’s not an anomaly.

While it has proven frustrating (to the point of consuming most of my focus and energy over the last week and a half) I’ve learned to see the silver lining in it – which is that I now know how not to run a business.

I know that when I finally reach the point of hiring employees, I will invite open communication, criticism, new approaches and fresh ideas. I will also do my best to weed out the incompetent and retain the best and brightest with heaps of acknowledgement, gratitude and the like.

After all these years in my sometimes unsatisfying work environment, I’m chomping at the bit to prove myself as a worthy leader and that all it takes is a bit of common sense to keep those invested in making your business a success…happy and loyal to the task.