Friday, January 8, 2016

Tripping the Friday Fantastic: Fresh Start

I generally don't give a new year much thought. I've never changed jobs or relationships or houses or anything big at the start of a year. Same ish different date. And, as I
previously discussed, I don't really make resolutions. This time around, I'm treating 2016 as a fresh start. I am actively working to make changes in my life and plan to re-evaluate at the end of the year to see if the hullabaloo is worth it. The following fantastic sources might just help:

  1. I've been considering a capsule wardrobe for a looonnnggg time. My closet is out of hand (and in the floor and on my bed and on top of the dryer). I hate most of my clothes and getting dressed is a chore. Something has to give. Check out Un-Fancy for tips if you are interested in the concept.
  2. 26 Tiny Things You Need to Start Doing For Yourself This Year. I recently started number 3, thanks to my mom. I've always been pretty good at 8, 10, 12 and 26. I refuse to do number 16 because I can't stand the smell. 
  3. Let's get real for a moment. How do you choose to suffer? Happiness requires it. You have to want the benefits and the costs.
  4. I love the Lively Show Podcast. I need positivity in my ears and Jess Lively has it in spades. The episode on diversifying self-worth with Tal Ben-Shahar is great.
  5. 52 Ways to Awaken Your Spirit in 2016. Number two!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 To Do List

Resolutions. Just typing the word makes me itchy. I'm far more comfortable with a To Do list. In 2016, I want to: 
  1. read (at least) one career related book per month (in addition to usual entertainment reading)
  2. get back into regualr yoga routine
  3. eat more "real" food (i.e. stop eating out of boxes so much)
  4. make a more structured quiet time/Bible study (choose a specific place, dedicate a notebook, set an amount of time)
  5. revive my blog
  6. revive my etsy store
  7. spend at least a little time learning Spanish EVERY DAY
  8. illustrate every day items EVERY DAY
  9. get rid of lots of stuff - think curated instead of cluttered
  10. send mail
  11. paint master bedroom and office/craft room
  12. host a dinner party
  13. go on a weekend roadtrip
  14. write, illustrate and self-publish a children's book
  15. plant a vegetable garden
  16. clean out the fridge and pantry every month
  17. be thankful EVERY DAY
  18. get my email inbox cleaned out
  19. sew a legit quilt
  20. stop apologizing for my opinions / be more outspoken
That wasn't so hard. No itching. No pressure. No formality. Just a list. A list of things that I have an entire year to work on. A list of things that I actually want to do instead of a handful of resolutions that look just like everyone else's and include only big, daunting ideas (looking at you, weight loss).

What's on your list?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Had Happened Was / 2016

So you know how sometimes you start a blog and write in it a lot and then suddenly just stop doing that for two and a half years? Yeah, me too. 

A lot happened during that time. I started a new position at work, became a beekeeper, learned to crochet and barely knit, helped build a house in a foreign country, got a pixie cut and grew out a pixie cut, added four new tattoos to my skin, let a piercing grow over and finally had one of those pears wrapped in gold foil from Harry and David. My name is the same and I still have a body that is 60% Mexican food instead of water. So there's that. 
I'll always come back to you, blog.
Partly because I hate talking.
I miss this blog. I miss writing. Since I claimed this space of the internet, I have revamped it many times - into a place for DIYs, a place for recipes, a place for humorous stories. I just couldn't settle on one thing. Blame it on my ADD, baby (the other 40% of me is made up of song lyrics that people stopped using conversationally a long time ago). Instead of settling on one thing, I'm going to settle on all of the things in 2016. Just what big time bloggers tell little time bloggers not to do. Does that put this space of the internet into "lifestyle blog" territory? Meh. Maybe. I kind of don't like the way that sounds. This will just be a blog about stuff and things. That's a category, right? Squirrel (see note above about ADD). 

Ready or not, here I come.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Touché Tuesday Advice Column

It's been a minute since the last Touché Tuesday Advice Column! Need some Whitfield Awesome advice (about anything)? Fill out this form 

Dear Jen,
I just moved far away from home for college. I'm also a little shy. Do you have any suggestions for meeting new friends?
Sincerely, Party of One

Dear Party of One,
Not so very long ago I was a new-to-college girl with tons of friends (if you count inanimate objects). You came to the right advice column!

I made all of my friends by going directly to class, doing homework at lunchtime and not joining clubs. If you would like to take a more direct indirect (that's not a typo) approach, try AIRing. Walk up to a small group of people and throw out a subject followed by "am I right?" They'll go one way or the other before you make a commitment.  For example:
  • Spot a few nerds? Say "Ben Affleck as Batman, am I right?"
  • Catch up to a few jocks during your run? Say "sports words, am I right?"
  • See a pack of hott girls chewing gum and not saying much? Say "Miley Cyrus, am I right?"
  • Spy a gaggle of music lovers? Say "vinyl, am I right?"
  • Eyeball an environmentalist? Say "reusable bags, am I right?"
  • Professors the only people that will talk to you now? Say "vodka in a water bottle, am I right?"
AIRing isn't about compromising your beliefs. If the new people you happen upon turn out terrible, peace out. You have a 50/50 chance of the next group turning out great. 

Or just buy a few pizzas and open your door. 

♥ Jen

Thirsty? Head over to my food blog, Turning Mediterranean for a fresh raspberry soda

Friday, August 23, 2013

Safety first, y'all.

Let's recap. I'm the chick who falls down stairs, gets second degree burns from a curling iron, breaks her tailbone during the first week of roller derby practice, checks boiling pasta with her fingers and almost burnt down that one apartment. My middle name used to be "Safety" but a judge made me change it. 

Because I have only been at my current job for one year and they don't know any better am a pillar of excellence, my boss appointed me safety coach for our department. Safety. Coach. After a few training sessions, I will be responsible for things like locating fire extinguishers, ridding the community fridge of toxic mold, making sure our environment is hazard-less and reminding smokers that we are smoke-free (because that won't get me punched in the throat).

AND drills. Surprise fire drills. 

I am nothing if not thorough. I have decided to implement my own additional surprise drills: 

  • Tornado Drill: Run screaming into a coworker's office tossing two-by-fours wildly about. Make sure you mess up some stuff. Leave.
  • Hurricane drill: Choose a coworker target, stand far away and stare at them. Move slowly in their direction. Suddenly turn and run into another coworker and blow all over them. Leave slowly. 
  • Crazy MoFo Drill: Hide in a coworkers office. Wait until they are in the zone, slowly rise up behind them holding dandelions. Include pee if you want.
  • Hipster Drill: Speak incessantly of fake bands. Hit any coworkers who pretend to know the bands with your smelly, floppy hat. Don't leave. Just stay and stay and stay in your stupid pants.
  • Anthony Weiner Drill: Oh who am I kidding? We perform this drill so often already that it's a wonder we get any work done. Hiyo.

No one cares for you as much as you care for you. Except your safety coach. If your office does not have a safety coach, appoint yourself. Because safety first, y'all. Feel free to use my ideas.

Don't be surprised if my next post is about being appointed Vice President.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rhymes So Fresh...

I'm still 107 rap fortune cookie prints away from a trip to Japan. That sentence definitely makes sense. 

If you just asked yourself, whhhaattt?, click here. Then get yourself some super grown-up rap cookie art for your office. Your boss will be impressed and you will have much financial gain. Also your lucky numbers are 1, 7, 32, and 578390. 

 Rap lyric fortune cookie prints available in my Etsy shop.

Hungry? Head over to my food blog, Turning Mediterranean, for snack week! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Slow your roll.


I used to think of time as a lumbering concept. Almost drowsy. I remember aching to be done with high school  and being afraid I would never watch my graduation cap drift back to earth with the 326 caps of my classmates. 

I enjoyed the next chapter of my life far more but it continued to move with the slowness of cold honey. I was mostly okay with this tenor but the familiar whens and how longs and will I evers crept in.

When I give thought to years now, I realize they have become more akin to class five rapids. And I think, ever so eloquently, "s^%t".* 

Six months or eight months or eleven years -eleven years- and I'm no closer to seeing my name on a book cover. Or being a mom. Or wearing a size 10. Or becoming the type of person who never leaves dishes in the sink. Hey time, plod for me, baby.

At the beginning of 2013, I resolved to live with intention. To be aware of the minutes of my life. To experience and remember. I'm not doing that. I didn't write about my intentions to be intentional because I knew that I wouldn't follow through, albeit unintentionally. 

I don't think I know how to be intentional. I do know how to very crudely and inaccurately illustrate the inside of a chicken. So I still win adulthood. Clearly.

Tell me, how do you slow your roll?

*Great Grandmother said a lady never uses the s-word unless she is referring to literal s-word. I'm nothing if not a lady.