New Year and New Goals

I’m a huge advocate for  setting a new year resolution. If you asked me last year what my goals were I would pull out my planner, flip to page four, move three sticky notes, and show you the nine goals I set out to achieve.

Below these goals were step by step process’ to move the goals from a vision to an achievement. Using my Passion Planner as a guide, I created a SMART plan, something teachers often only imagine their students to do in the future. Do I get a gold star in life??

S- specific
M- measurable
A- attainable
R-relevant
T-timebound

Looking at the definition of “SMART”, my goals were within the guidelines, but I had TOO MANY aspirations in one go! PROBLEM!

Read 12 books
Workout 5 times a week
Take 2 classes…etc

Yes, all of these are achievable, but it takes time to form a habit or to replace an old with a new.

In light of the new year and creating new goals/habits I am only looking to tweak to things.

  1. Keep my desk clean.
    1. Thou shall not leave clothing on desk.
    2. Thou shall leave only work or personal “work” (bills/books/notebooks) on desk
    3. Thou shall tidy desk 1-2 times per week (Sundays)
  2. Clean out my car trunk/backseat
    1. Thou shall leave only 1 jacket, 1 water bottle, and one tin of almonds in the car at all times.
    2. Thou shall inspect car once during the last week of every month.
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6:29AM at Gasworks Park. One of my other “secret” goals.

Studies show that a clean desk improves productivity, but studies show that a messy desk allows the “creative juices to flow.” Nobel prize winners “cultivate” that messy desks aid to their work. I’m looking for the happy balance.

In addition, to those to lifestyle changes I have a few other items on my list I’d like to pursue, but it has often been said to keep your true goals to yourself.

Watch this TED Talk about keeping personal goals to yourself.

Cheers!

Happy New Year!

~Michelle

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Life lately 

  • Brunching 
  •   
  • Tennis
  •   
  •   training (talk)
  • Fancy cocktails
  •   
  • Attempts to read a book (my goal is to read 12 this year) 
  • Popcorn
  • Morning runs and barre  

Things I’m loving and wish I had more time for:

  • Skyping with friends
  • Yoga
  • Slow mornings with half-caff cawfee
  • Warm Sunday morning walks (which will happen when it’s once again sunny!)
  • The ability to sleep-in

Currently

Just popping in with a few current happenings in my life!

Reading:

Gone Girl:

Book Club is the 7th! Our first (and hopefully not the only meeting)

My project management textbook. I may or may not have 3 chapters to read and play catch-up with the study group.

Listening:

Gone Girl Audiobook (I also have this on audio) because I can’t always read on the bus.

T-Swift’s new CD.
I’m specifically listening to “All you to do do was Stay” “Blank Spaces” “You are in Love”

Crafting:

An “Advent Activity Calendar” This is just a wall decoration with a fancy title and intentions to do holiday activities.

A work in progress
A work in progress

Drinking:

Stash’s Christmas Eve tea
Maple Brown Sugar Dunkin’ Coffee (mixed with my Dunkin’ Decaf)

Baking:

PB chip oatmeal cookies and spiced crinkle cookies. I need to practice one more recipe before my holiday cookie exchange!

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Eating:

Stovetop Popcorn in coconut oil with stevia and sea salt. YUM!

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Working and Working Out

I am sore. Phew.

This week I’ve made it to two spin classes…the last time that happened must have been in early Fall. It’s a feel good burn.

I love the feeling of getting stronger.

My spin days are complimented with usually two, but aiming for three days of lifting. I spend all day in a comfortable seated squat- AKA my office chair.

BOY, is it different when you put a weighted bar across your shoulders. I can feel my booty thanking me, as well as my knees. The knee joints are asking for another few weeks of lower impact exercise and I am more than willing to just run 2 maaaaybe 3 times a week. Last week was 3 runs and the week before just a single 3 miler.

I want to spend the next few weeks building up my strength again and creating a regular lifting routine. It may not be a set in stone plan, but at least hitting all the major muscles twice a week. This girl wants to feel and be strong!

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Shorts weather?!!

Work has been trucking along, thank goodness! We all agreed that the holidays wereI much too stressful, but the timing of our event couldn’t have been helped. The past two weeks I have grown tremendously in my role.  I’ve had a couple great one on one meetings, better at follow-up, and have used my past mistakes to guide me. This sounds textbook perfect, but it also helps my e-mail is not swamped with everything imaginable. No matter how many things I flag or auto-reminders I create something seems to be left when I receive 50 (plus!) e-mails a day.

These next few days I’m aiming to catch up with friends. Besides planning the “Best Friend-iversary to Europe” I have dropped the ball on a couple friends even with lovely nudges from them via Snapchat. I MISS YOU, I DO! I will call you back and not flake this time, I pinky swear. 20140129-223507.jpg

Casual Friday wear….the only pair of jeans I own that fit. womp womp. The back of that shirt is very lacy…the front does no justice for its overall effect.

Fun Fact of the day. I write most of my personal thoughts on yellow sticky notes…I also store them in my wallet to bring home so these thoughts are not floating around at work. Currently- these lovely thought filled sticky notes are lost and riding around on the Metro Transit of Seattle. Random person who finds these notes, I hope you aren’t having the same problems as me and you have a better method of collecting your thoughts; apparently my personal diary method needs a rework.

Best moment of the week as of now: Deciding BFF and I should each make our own PPT Deck and present our ideal vacay trip. We will share screens and take notes and type questions in the Lync window during said presentations. Ohhhh, work humor.

Does anyone else use lync??
Ping me?

P.S. OBSESSED

CHEERS!

Marvelous in My Monday #1

Marvelous was…

Hosting brunch for 15 of our lovely new and old friends.

The layout included 18 eggs- scrambled
15 bagels
12 homemade Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Strawberries on Strawberries
Apples and Oranges
and english style of pigs in a blanket.
They wrapped pork in puff pastry and it. was. heavenly.
Fresh salad dressed with pecans and a vinaigrette

4 bottles of champagne
3 gallons of orange juice

the game Anomia and a bouqet of fresh flowers.

This is how we do brunch
This is how we do brunch

Unfortunatley, we started in waves and never got to take a full picture of the spread. The crew showed up between the hours of 11-12:30 and the last few people left around 3:00.

A fun, full, and exhausting morning.

Marvelous is...laying on the futon for 8 hours on Sunday early church service and a quick 3 mile run.

Marvelous is...the homemade chewy bars I’ve made for the week.

Marvelous is…longer days. Can I hear a “woot” “woot” for the blip of light still left at 5:15pm?!!

Marvelous is…seeing a great hometown friend this weekend. As brief as it was, it’s always great to see hometown peeps.

[I stole this image from a friend’s instagram…she’s better at brunch pictures than me, whoops!]

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Marvelous is…preparing for this week ahead, it looks to be another low key week (fingers crossed)

Marvelous is…making the Blue Apron dish with my lovely housemate and looking forward to two more meals from this great service!

The Nepalese dish...don't ask me how to say it unless you like gibberish!
The Nepalese dish…don’t ask me how to say it unless you like gibberish!

Here’s to a good week!

Cheers

The Soup

More specifically, the soup I ate all week. It was inspired by Mama Pea’s “Peas and Thank You” Spicy African peanut slow cooker soup.

It was inspired, but when it came down to the ingredients I had, and what I would and wouldn’t purchase the outcome is very different.

INSERT- Sweet Potato and White Bean SOUP!

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I used:
For about 3-5 servings depending on size.
About four 1.5 cup servings.

3 organic sweet potatoes
1 can white beans
2 Stalks celery
1/3 onion
1 large carrot
Cayenne
Cumin
Garlic Salt
Cinnamon

It probably is more suited to be classified as a chili, it thickens as it sits, but I add more water after to have something my bread can absorb as I inhale.

Steps:
Chop onion and sauté.
Add sweet potatoes that have been chopped to quarters.
Add white beans- reserve part of the liquid to add.
Add approximately 2.5 cups water.
Add diced carrots and celery.
Add all spices to taste.

You can see how precise I was as I prepared this.

It tastes great on its own, BUT– it also tastes really good with mozzarella and avocado added on top.

Happy Sunday!
I’m off to dance class!

Cheers!

It’s Laundry Day

Sum it up Sunday!

Today has been incredibly productive. The 9ish hours of sleep must have something to do with that…and skipping the gym and church service.

It’s Laundry Day!

Early Christmas present to myself, drum roll please–Dirt Devil Versa!
We made a house trip to Target to restock on most supplies, but my main reason to go was for this baby. (Isn’t the lighting in our apartment FAB?! yah..not at all)

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Today I have re-arranged my room and Vacuumed and swiffered it.
I have also cleaned the kitchen floor in this order; Vaccum, hands and knees scrub, and then swiffer for good measure.

I had the breakfast of champions…a cookie and a chocolate cupcake –made with SO much love from the housemate. Followed with a great milky coffee.

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Lunch included one more of the cupcakes…but I also had green things, fruit, and protein..so it’s okay, right?

(Note: we ate 15 cupcakes in 2 days..between three of us. WIN)

Currently, sitting in the good ol laundry mat to get a bulk of blankets washed. It’s past due that they get washed and the laundry mat has huge washers which are efficient. The efficiency makes up for the cost and inconvenience of driving the 6 blocks when we have a moderately working set in our apartment.

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I went on a date last night….

With my housemate!
Yah, it was lovely bonding time, but I’d prefer the other form of a date as well. (If you know any mid 20-something bachelors in the PNW, let me know…end pleading)

We dressed up and went to the Cinnebar to enjoy a boozy milkshake and the new Jennifer Lawrence flick.

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Currently…
Reading– Night Circus
Sore from: This Holiday workout! It’s a doozy.
Listening to-Glee Holiday Station
Eating– The end of my refrigerator before I’m home for 5 days
Wishing– I could have a real Winter Break
Planning– on Starting the 3 day lifting program
Enjoying– Modern dance classes!
Looking Forward to- Seeing all of my high school friends when I’m home this week!

1 more sleep until Oregon!

Thursday Thoughts

Current favorite breakfast this week:
Packet of oatmeal
.5cup egg whites
Nut butter
A bit of yogurt
Fruit that is on hand. Craisins/dates/strawberries/banana

Filling, but not too heavy.

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This is usually followed up with a cappuccino or coffee with room.
Winter Week
Next week I get 3 days off!!! Praise The Lord. We are in the middle of. Major prep for a Jan 3rd event, but emails won’t be as overwhelming during those days.

*Today I woke up to 23 inbox notifications on my main account and 7 in my secondary box…

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I have literally only been home to sleep the past 6 days…little downtime. I like it, but then I still need 40 min to unwind once in bed…that is where I am losing sleep.
Need more hours in the day!

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On the brightside…my mornings have looked like this most days during my walk to the bus.

Cheers!

Half Marathon Recap

#RunSeattle
#SeattleMarathon
#isitoveryet?

In a nut shell the mile by mile recap.

Miles 1-2

“Oh man, I should have given two hours for the bagel to digest”not 90 minutes:

 

7am before the start
7am before the start

Mile 2.5

Ok–feeling good.

Mile 3

Too warm. Off comes the vest and the jacket. Walk and de-robe. Debate the headband, but it stays on. Good decision as we cross the raised freeway.

Sip water.

Mile 4.5

“Did I lose my glove?”

Yes- lost my glove.

Miles5-6

Cruising. Think about eating banana. Snap photos.

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Mile 6

Eat half banana.

Song highlight of the mile

Mile 7

Change music. Shoot a few texts. Take a selfie.

Why are there hills??
Why are there hills??

 

Mile 8

Shoooooot. This hill is massive. Commence power walk up the hill. Eat banana half.

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Mile 9-10.5

Am I done?

Is it over?

OOOH! KRISPY KREME!
Eat doughnut hole.

Walk for about 10-15min

Miles 11-13

Woo. Refreshed. Feeling hungry. Out of the windy woods and can see the Space Needle. Take a couple walk breaks. The first pace group for the marathon catches up to me.

13.1

Complete

13.1
13.1

Drink chocolate milk and eat z-bar.

 

I probably won't be running this ever again.
I probably won’t be running this ever again.

Then nom on this Post-Race Meal with 7 great friends to commemorate the occasion.

Country Breakfast. Eggs demolished in 40 sec flat.
Country Breakfast. Eggs demolished in 40 sec flat.

 

Future Plans:
Shake out my legs on the elliptical for 15-20 tomorrow.
Ice my hip and soak my feet 🙂

Not run again for a while…stick to 10ks as my longest races.

Fitness this week:
Yoga and Stretching

BOOtiful Fall Weather

This post brought to you by none other than the superb S Club 7 (throwback Thursday, anyone? anyone?)

Don’t Stop- played on my shuffle from itunes. The benefit of having an archaic program not allowing itunes to update…ever, is I now listen to ALL of my music. Silver lining? I think, yes.

As this blog is used as a pseudo “memory book”, this is my life lately.

Faith
I’ve started going to church. It’s 10 blocks up from my home and is full of wonderful people. Although, I am not the biggest fan of the Pastor because he tends to ramble and lose his thought before getting back on track (but never goes overtime), I LOVE the people I am meeting. The young professionals group that meets Monday night has been a relaxed non threatening atmosphere to meet others my age and to reflect briefly on the Sunday sermon.

This past week was on Not Giving Up…on yourself, on others, on God and verses were pulled to emphasize what to do when you feel like giving up. One of my favorite verses from this week for “telling God how you feel” is:

Pour out your feelings to the Lord as you would pour water out of a jug Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.” (Lamentations 2:19)

It provides a great visual and is a great reminder to share your feelings with others/God as a release that will hopefully lead to greater insight in the situation.

[Edit: The pastor should have used the S Club clip in his sermon…I’m pretty sure it summed up his message…anyway, moving on]

Work
I am a full time employee at my job. I’m enjoying the freedom that I KNOW I will not have at any other job. My current role is particularly flexible and I’ve found a great medium of home and office time for working. A change of scenery significantly increases my productivity.

Next week I start a Project Manager course and will be attending a weekly study group to prepare for the PMP Exam. I need to start building my skills!

Illness

After a less active week due to the plague. I blame every commuter on the bus for passing on that fast and furious cold. I was in bed at 8:45 last Monday, begrudgingly skipped “youth” group and ballet. The next night wasn’t much better, in bed at 9:30pm. 10 days later, I’m down to 1 sneeze a day and only a couple of tissues. I’ll take that plague any day versus any alternative illness.

Workouts

Sunday: 40 min cycle and weights

Monday: 30 min. walk/run with my housemate= total of 1.3 miles

Tuesday: Off? I can’t remember…I walked to coffee 🙂

Wednesday: 60 min spin class

Thursday: 4 mi run

Friday: Plan of weights and 20 min of some cardio form

Saturday: Yoga? Running? Weights? I haven’t decided…I’ll see how I feel

Health
Last week was incredibly hard for me. I was reflecting on where I was a year ago and how far I’ve come, but also, how much further I have to go. In the last 5 months I’ve moved mountains, but I still have a few foothills to climb to find a balance. One of those baby steps is attempting a consistent bedtime to make mornings easier. It’s 50/50 that I get 8 hours sleep, I’m averaging 7, but on the bright side the last 4 have been deep sleeps.

I made a particularly tasty rice dish this week. If you don’t have to cook the rice it takes less than 5 minutes.

Peanut Butter Rice

Rice, Spoonful of peanut butter, Siracha or cayenne powder, and teriyaki sauce (soy would have been better, but it was all we had). Cook together

I added stir  fry veggies for my vegetable quota both nights.

Night one: a fried egg with dripping yolk= protein

Night two: salmon patty on the side.

Looking Forward

Tomorrow: Halloween Work Party

This weekend: Housewarming party/ costume party

Next weekend: Visiting the bestie in LA..Sherman Oaks, here I come!

JUST FOR KICKS…one more.

Cheers!