Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventures Around Town

This weekend was a much needed break after finally finishing a big project at work. I didn't realize how stressed I had been until the sense of relief that it was over came over me this weekend. I can feel my stomach unclenching, my body is less achey, and a sense of lightness that I haven't felt in weeks is back. I'm starting to feel like myself again. It. Feels. So. Good. I really believe you need to celebrate things like this and give yourself time to recoupe. That is exactly what I did this weekend!

The weekend started friday with an excellent dinner with some friends we haven't seen in a while. Of course there were some celebratory drinks to it being friday and the big project being over! Saturday was a Tom and I day. With all that's been going on we haven't had much time to ourselves and I personally felt like my mind had been so fixated on work lately that I hadn't been fully present when we were together. Now that I was coming back to myself, I wanted to have some quality time with Tom. (Not to mention letting him know how much I appreciate him and how he helped me keep it together during the stress!)  

So we finally went to a place in Philadelphia that we've been wanting to check out for a while, The Franklin Fountain. It's an old fashioned ice cream parlour that hand makes the ice cream on site and takes serious pride in the presentation of their concoctions! I had the Mt. Vesuvius and Tom had the Franklin Mint. Both were about the size of our heads and beyond delicious. Check out this Man vs Food episode to see more! It was soooo worth it! Then we went next door and checked out Shane Confectionary. It's an old fashioned candy shoppe! So much sweet goodness topped off by a delightfully cool fall day.  I'm so great-full for such a wonderful, relaxing, revitalizing weekend and time to catch up with my guy!

Don't forget to celebrate your accomplishments (big and small) and take time to take care of yourself! What did you celebrate this weekend? Did you take time to catch up with yourself or someone you care about?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Angry Eyes

 I'm packing your extra pair of shoes, and your angry eyes just in case.
-Mrs. Potatohead, Toy Story 2

In committing to being authentic on this blog, I feel I need to come clean on how I've been feeling lately. I'm hoping in sharing it helps someone who might be feeling the same way and is looking for a way to change it.

So lately I've had my "angry eyes" on. Not at anyone in particular but at the loss of life balance and stress. This is busy season at my work and in the last few weeks it's gotten pretty crazy. It's long days, late nights, and a total sense of being overwhelmed. It's the nature of the job. It happens every year at this time. You would think that after 7 years of working in the toy industry I would be use to this. I'm not. This year in particular I'm feeling it more because there is also a lot going on in my personal life.  Being at work so much and coming home exhausted doesn't leave much time to stay on top of the life things I need to accomplish. (I can't imagine how folks with kids feel!) With everyone at my job super stressed it makes tensions a little high. No matter how much you like your co-workers (and I genuinely do!), when you all have on your angry/stress eyes, it can lead to some serious misunderstandings and rough patches.

Last night was a particularly rough night and to top it off Tom was away for buisness. (He's my calmer-downer, recenter-er) As I was laying in bed trying not to be pissed at the world I realized how exhausted I was. Not only from the day but from holding on to this anger. Being angry was affecting how I looked at every situation at work and every person.  At that moment I knew I needed to make a change. I can't change the nature of the business and I can't change other people but I can change my outlook. I can change my reaction. So I started trying to look at the situation differently. Yes, I even recited "It's not forever, It's just for now" and I made a promise to myself that tomorrow I would try to be positive. I made a promise to try to look at things through my "happy eyes" and not let my anger cloud me. 

I still slept like crap (dang you stress!) But when I got to work in the morning, I didn't feel angry. I chose to go into it with renewed energy knowing that no matter what happened that day, I was going to get through it. I was going to be caring with co-workers (because hey, I understand why they are stressed, we're in this boat together!) And no matter what this day brought, I was going to come home to a house I love and people who loved me. This time of year is always going to be stressful at this job. I just need to keep in mind all the other good days, all the things I'm grateful for, and all the things I have to look forward too. 

You can't always change the situation but you can change the way you look at it and the way you react to it. Heck, that might even be the lesson the universe wants you to learn. 

So if you can, try to put your angry eyes away.. your happy eyes are more fun anyway!

PS all of the stress is going to pay off when our company showrooms look awesome this year!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Motivation

By now you probably know I’m all about living in the moment and being positive.... but what if the moment your living in is...well...a crappy one. I had a great talk this weekend with a friend of mine and the question came up “how do you stay positive in a moment that’s just really crappy?”

You know, I’m studying to become a life coach and I write a blog focused on positivity BUT I still don’t have that question totally figured out. Some days are a struggle to stay positive. Some days I think “Man, I just need to go back to bed and start this one over tomorrow”  So while I cant tell you exactly how to do it here are a few tips that I try on rough days....

1) First and foremost, put on some tunes that make you feel better. Whatever you want as long as it give you a good feeling. I admit that on really rough days, I put on my favorite Christmas albums. (Seriously!)

2) Try thinking about 5 things you are grateful for in your life. Write them out if you can or simply list them in your head. I like to try to do this before bed so even if my day sucked the whole way through, I go to sleep thinking something positive.

3) If you can, try to step back and observe the situation as if you were an outsider. Is there anything that you can learn from and use to grow? Is there a simple solution that you couldn’t see because you were so deep in it?

4) Take a walk. If you can get outside, great. If not just walk around your desk or house. Give yourself a moment to get away from whatever is bothering you.

5) The best advice I’ve ever gotten on how to stay positive in a tough situation is this... Breathe. Take some deep breaths and know that this moment is not forever. It is just for now. 

Whatever is stressing you in this moment, It’s not forever. Tomorrow is another day and you can do this. You can make it! You can take steps to change it.  It isn’t always easy to stay positive in a tough moment. When all else fails remember this, Heck, make it your mantra.. This moment is not forever, its just for now, and I am moving towards something so much better! Even if you don’t know what that is, believe it, and it will bring you closer to that better thing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Surprise Smile

You know how I know the universe is friendly? Because it smiles at me!  I forget sometimes to appreciate the little things in life. I forget to look at my surroundings and see the beauty around me. Life gets tough, things get busy, yada yada! But then all the sudden I look down and BAM a surprise smile! A smile on the sidewalk, in my food, or a random piece of a kids potato wedge on the ground! It can be anywhere! When it happens, I smile back and know that things are gonna start looking up! 

Take a minute today to look around see if there isn't a surprise smile looking back at you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Celebrate, You!

 So did you do your One Thing yet? What was it? Now, Did you celebrate afterwards? Get on it! Celebrate that step no matter how small!

It's so easy to appreciate and acknowledge the things we see other people doing that are good. It can be hard to recognize and appreciate ourselves! You worry that you're being cocky or full of yourself.  Don't! When you are making steps for yourself and working on a goal, celebrate it! It's part of what keeps you going on that path. Not to mention, you deserve it!  Doesn't it feel awesome when you accomplish even a small part of your goal?  Give yourself credit! Get excited! Let it drive you to take the next step!

 So from me to you for whatever journey your on...WHOOP WHOOP! WAY TO BE YOU!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Even a 5th grader can "Do one thing"

 It's a super exciting Monday Motivation post today! A few weeks back I did this post  about doing one thing to get you closer to your dream or goal. Well, if you didn't do it then, you're gonna want to after reading this!

 My very good friend Christina Mann is an excellent 5th grade teacher at Pocono Mountain School District. She took the "Do One Thing" post and challenged not only herself but her students! She made a bulletin board and asked the students to post one thing they could do to help themselves set the tone for their whole school year. She even put her own up there!

   Here is a bit from Christina herself about her one thing.... "My ONE THING to help set the tone for the whole year was to email all the parents I had contact info for.. For one reason or another, parent communication is always what I see as my weakest teaching skill... I finally made that email a reality this morning and got tons of positive messages back from parents who were glad to be kept "in the loop" :)....from the kids' side, I had many "I will do my homework" cards but lots of others that went outside of the box and made it personal."

This week they start a new board of "Do One Things". I can't wait to see what else they say!

So what is your One Thing going to be today? Because if a 5th grader can do it so can you! What is going to help you set the tone for this week? This month? This year!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's a "Keys on the Light Switch" Kind of Day

This week can best be described by this picture... (I started laughing so hard I was crying when Tom pointed this out! I really had no idea I did this.)

So today's post will be some visual inspiration for your Thursday! I found this image on Pinterest, the quote and the typography are just beautiful. It's so true too. It's easy to get lost in trying to fit someone else's mold, when the best fit is the mold you make. ( or break!)

And this is some visual sunshine straight from the Canadian Rockies thanks to Aimee Good for this awesome picture! Talk about appreciating the beauty in the world!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Motivation

I may have mentioned a few times how much I love the fall. Love. It. I love the smell of fireplaces and crisp morning air. The changing colors of the leaves. the delicious spices in pumpkin latte’s and the building excitement for all the holidays!  Even as a kid, I loved the fall.  I loved new pencils and paper, back to school shopping, and seriously I loved going to school. (Even now I get excited about school supplies in Target!) The fall and “back to school” felt like a fresh start. A new year and a new beginning. To this day, even though the new year starts in January, I still feel like it starts in September.

  Yesterday we woke up to a delightfully crisp morning and it just fueled my Fall season fire. It feels like time for a new start or more a restart. In a little under a year Tom and I will be getting married. (“Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry....” sing it!) I want to get in shape and accomplish some other goals before then. Its not that I haven’t been trying to accomplish these goals before now I just feel like I may have started slacking a bit over the summer. It’s fall now though, and today is a new day!

Whatever you’ve been trying to accomplish, or wherever you want to go, let the fall give you a boost! No matter what happened yesterday, last week, or 20 minutes ago, it’s a new day, folks! You can’t go back and change the past but you can make a new start today. What I loved about back to school growing up was that it was a blank slate where anything could happen that was full of new opportunities. Consider this Monday your first day back at school... It’s a new day! clean your slate, restart or simply start.

It’s a bright shiny fresh new day! What are you going to do with it?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shame, Shame, Know Your Name

I made a discovery yesterday that has me really doing some “soul work”. I discovered a TED talk by Brene Brown about listening to shame. If you haven’t heard of TED talks I highly suggest checking them out. They are 20 minute talks with a variety of inspiring folks on a wide array of topics that are just...awesome. (not to mention free and addicting) 

In her talk Brene distinguished shame from guilt in this way: Guilt comes from “I made a mistake”, Shame comes from “I am a mistake.”   

This particular topic hit home with me in the part where she talks about shame as the feeling of not being good enough. The feeling of not deserving. The feeling of “who do you think you are to go for your dreams?” The feeling of not fitting the societal standards . (I know thats getting lofty...don’t worry I’m going somewhere good!) I see extremely excellent folks let themselves believe they aren’t good enough simply based on someone else’s opinion. I understand it because I have done and still do it sometimes.  You let yourself get talked out of good ideas and dreams. You feel bad about your body because it’s not the way the movies and magazines say it should be. I think the worst though is not letting yourself be who you are because you want to please someone else or someone has said that the true version of you isn’t good enough. 

Don’t be ashamed to be who you are. Don’t let shame hold you back from going for it. 
In the talk Brene says “Vulnerability is the birth place for creativity”.  It’s the antidote to shame. When you are feeling that you aren’t good enough, look that shame in the face and push through it. Be vulnerable because you do have what it takes. You are good enough and you do deserve to go for it. 

Be vulnerable. Let it move you forward.

PS check out Brene's Blog and website for more info and insight from her here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visual Sunshine from Target

 So I haven't done much posting on the design side of my life but over the weekend I discovered Orla Kiely at Target again!  I love her simple fun patterns! She teamed up with Method this time for some fantastic bottle patterns!

Seriously, How great are these patterns! Pick some up while you can!

I was also delighted to see Campbell's soup coming out with a Tribute to Andy Warhol! (only at Target) Is it any wonder that I love Target so much? So much great design every where!
 I now get soem visual sunshine and inspiration every time I wash my hands or my dishes! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend Fun

 I hope everyone had a great weekend full of living in the moment!I know I did. It was a weekend full of family, fun, adventure. Tom and I lived in the moment and took a detour that lead us to a fantastic hot dog place on the way to the beach. If you happen to be in Middletown, DE check out DogTown. We had a Coney dog, a Philly dog, and a Memphis dog. All three were delicious! Plus we got some fun pics with the hot dog man. After some fun time with the family on the beach and eating crabs (I could sit and pick crabs for hours), We took a detour to the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD. I haven't been there in years and it was so much fun! We ate Thrashers Fries and Atlantic Stand burgers then rocked some skee ball! We even made a spur of the moment stop to see Tom's family and had some serious laughs about butter noodles and sweater vests. It was such a fun weekend and I really tried to appreciate each moment. I can honestly say I felt lighter by the end of the weekend. I wasn't worrying about all the usual stuff, just enjoying. So how about you? Did you have some adventurous fun?