Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Look Who’s Certified!

I haven’t taken a test since I graduated college ten years yes, I was a little nervous for my belay test on Friday.

But in less than ten minutes, I proved my prowess in climbing knots and belay technique and was given my very own laminated, hot pink belay certificate!

After all that talking, I finally did it – yes!!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

Today’s pet post is inspired by my Saturday night spent with friends and a certain bulldog puppy named Watson!

Watson is a French-English bulldog mix and is already a hefty boy at nine months. And not only does he have one of the sweetest (and squishiest) faces ever, but he’s also one of the most laidback dogs I’ve ever met…when he’s not attacking ice cubes and doorstoppers of course.

The following pictures are courtesy of my sister, who took them whilst dog sitting over Christmas.

Watson vs. the orange cone

Face off


Clearly pooped from the bout

Watson’s favorite pose - passed out on the carpet!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Volunteering My Artistic Ability

This past Saturday, I registered with Greater DC Cares to participate in their annual Servathon.

My project was held at the local T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus where we were assigned to beautify the landscape around the school and within their courtyard.

Groups of volunteers worked through bouts of heavy rain to plant flowers and clean up the grounds while the rest of us were fortunate enough to stay inside on painting duty – yay!

While our painting canvases were simple brick pavers that would be used to edge flowerbeds, we were told to get creative and paint whatever designs we wanted on their fronts.

Initially our painting crew felt a little overwhelmed with the artistic license but then we got into it wholeheartedly and spent much time encouraging each other's ideas.

All in all, it was a super lovely way to spend a Saturday morning!

Another t-shirt for the gym!

This was too cute not to include! Did you notice they put lizards on the doors too?

Our painting assembly line

I was always the last to finish painting – darn OCD!

My nod to Jackson Pollock

This brick was inspired by Holton Rower

My boyfriend documented our day by painting rain clouds and the DC Greater Cares logo on his brick

A fellow volunteer painted her brick in tribute to the school

My final brick…I'm clearly out of ideas by this point – ha!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Postcards From Around the World!

I got more postcards last week through PostCrossing!! I was only due one but somehow two showed up in my mailbox. I’m not quite sure why but I’m going to chalk it up to good karma, ha!

My second postcard came all the way from Shizuoka, Japan!

My surprise postcard showed up from Brazil!

And my return postcard is headed once again to Russia!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

In the sixth episode of “The Sami & Wylie Show”, Wylie shows off his natural inclination to fetch while Sami watches from the sidelines.

The Sami & Wylie Show: episode 6 from Jenn on Vimeo.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MY Happiness Project: Month 1 Wrap-up Report

Yesterday marked the end of month one of MY Happiness Project…and the day that I finally made my trip to the DMV. What can I say; procrastination still rears its ugly head now and again – ha!

And while I only had to wait five minutes to have my number called, my seemingly simple request to have my registration refunded eventually had to be escalated to the managerial level! It turns out that my call to the DMV months earlier had done more harm than good because the customer representative had been sadly misinformed and subsequently messed up my account…awesome.

But all was not lost and within forty minutes I walked out with a receipt in hand and a relieved smile on my face. I could finally say that I had tackled my nagging task and it felt wonderful!!

How did I do with the rest of my month one goals? See for yourself below!

  1. Get more (consistent) sleep – This was the one and only goal that I was not very successful with…and am currently paying for with drooping eyelids!

  2. Get more exercise – I did incredible with this one, if I may say so myself! I was at the gym 2-3 times each week and finished off the month with sessions of climbing, cardio and yoga. And the consistent workouts have really paid off...just check out the guns!

  3. Clear the visual clutter – This is where my aptitude towards OCD came in handy because once I started organizing, I couldn’t stop! In fact, tonight I finished all of my outstanding filing and filled one large bag with lots of old bills to shred come Monday morning…yes!

  4. Clear the mental clutter – I am happy to report that my inbox has dwindled down to a manageable four pages of emails! But in addition to getting rid of TWELVE pages of emails, my biggest accomplishment is that I’ve stayed on top of regularly checking my email in order to keep the clutter at bay!

  5. Tackle one nagging task – DONE after a 'quick' trip to the DMV yesterday to finalize the sale of my car from the end of November!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Belay On!

After rock climbing sporadically over the past year, my boyfriend and I finally signed up for the introductory class in order to get certified to belay. The first class was Monday night and it felt so gratifying to get one step closer to accomplishing a goal I had set for myself so many months ago!

While we picked up the knots and harness ties pretty quickly, we struggled with the commands for communicating between climber and belayer (duhr – me hold, you climb).

Fortunately, we were given a cheat sheet to take home in order to practice for our upcoming belay test and I couldn’t resist sharing them with you because the gym added a cheeky translation to each that made me giggle!

Climber says: “On belay” – I’m ready, are you?
Belayer says: “Belay on” – Yeah I’m ready, what’s up?
Climber: “Climbing” – So here I go (yikes…)
Belayer: “Climb on” – I’ll catch ya…
Climber: “Falling!” – Catch me!
Climber: “Take!” – Please hold me before I fall!
Climber: “On you?” – Can you hold me?
Belayer: “On me” – I gotcha!
Climber: “Lowering!” – Get me off this rock!
Belayer: “Lowering” – Ground floor here we come!

Detail of the “Figure 8 Follow-Through” knot

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Parking Fail

You know you’ve been working too hard when you park on the wrong floor of the parking garage at the end of a long day at the office!

The 1st red flag was finding a prime parking spot open.

The 2nd red flag was seeing my neighbor’s car continue past me after I parked.

The 3rd red flag was seeing a third floor sign where a fourth floor sign should have been.

Hmm...I think a little extra sleep tonight may be in order!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

Nothing beats coming home to these fuzzy faces…especially after an extra long day like today!

What do you look forward to most about coming home at night?

Adorable Wylie

Lovable Sami

Thursday, April 7, 2011

MY Happiness Project: Month 1 - Status Report

Three weeks into the first month of MY Happiness Project and I’m around the 75% mark!
  1. Get more (consistent) sleep – Um, I’m still struggling with this one even though I desperately want more sleep…sigh

  2. Get more exercise – Still on a roll! I have done cardio and my weekly yoga classes routinely the past two weeks and I’m feeling good!

  3. Clear the visual clutter – Doing great! I still have a few miscellaneous items that need to find a home and I’d love to get things back in order in the office…it’s gotten a touch out of control AGAIN!

  4. Clear the mental clutter – A big YES! I’ve gotten through another two pages of email in my inbox and have been checking new messages regularly, which is a huge improvement!

  5. Tackle one nagging task – I made huge headway with this project last week and the only thing left is a trip to the DMV…wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can You Imagine a Day Without Shoes?

Everyone loves those summer days when you can run around barefoot in the grass and sand…but what if you had to be barefoot every day because you couldn’t afford the luxury of having shoes to wear?

Can you even imagine having to go ONE day without the comfort of shoes?

I can’t.

But if Blake Mycoskie (founder and CEO of TOMS Shoes) has his way everyone will be aware of what that feels like. In fact, today was his annual “One Day Without Shoes” event, which encourages people around the world to go the whole day without shoes in order to provoke conversation and support for a movement to provide this basic human right to those currently without.

And I actually participated in the campaign for most of the day…without even knowing it. You see I decided to work from home (to help recover my voice after losing it due to a recent cold), which meant I was in pajamas and bare feet most of the day.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t go the entire 24 hours because I had a dinner to go to tonight but I find Blake and his company so inspiring that I felt inspired to write about the event.

He truly is a rock star in the business and charity world and I have always been in awe of the generosity he has managed to deliver through his company in only five short years. In fact, a lot of people credit him with the concept of the “one to one” business model where a pair of shoes is donated for every single pair sold.

Which is all the more reason why I was so excited to finally get my first pair of TOMS shoes recently!

And I plan to keep buying!

I mean, you get inexpensive, comfortable and great looking shoes while at the same time helping out another in need…what’s not to love and support?

What color are your TOMS?

Wylie digs the gray/white color scheme

Side angle…I look like I’m ready to dig for clams!

They’re even cute from the back!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

So my plea must have worked because after a chilly weekend, Monday dawned beautiful and warm. It actually hit 80 degrees today - it was glorious!

With the weather warming up, it’s truly starting to feel like spring and soon my balcony garden will be planted and Wylie and Sami will get to lay amongst the flowers and soak up the sun.

Until then, they remain inside with me …always ready to lend a hand when I work on a project.

Here they show their support when I began the assembly of Rhino Robbie. They are such good helpers!

Wylie helps hold down the pieces

Sami supervises to make sure nothing goes wrong

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Fool’s Day!

Today was overcast and rainy with a high of 45 degrees. It felt more like March 1st rather than April 1st.

Good one Mother Nature…you sure fooled me!

Now can we please have some spring weather??