What I’m Saying Yes to in 2016

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This is the second post in my goal setting series.  First post is here

I’m continuing with my 2016 goal setting with the prompts from Lara Casey’s blog series and after taking a look at what did and didn’t work last year the next step is to determine what I’m going to say yes to in 2016 and what I’m going to say no to.

What I’m saying NO to in 2016:

  • burn out
  • mindless scroll on social media
  • comparison
  • distractions

What I’m saying YES to in 2016:

  • progress over perfection
  • building and strengthening relationships
  • unplug, rest, and recharge (physically, mentally, and emotionally)
  • weekly/monthly goals to help keep me focused on my larger goals

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I feel really good about setting some boundaries or direction for myself by determining where I’m going to put my energy this year.  And when I look back at 2015, so much of it was full of running around with no focus and allowing myself to get completely burnt out in every sense of the word.  And with that craziness, yet another year went by where I felt like I never reached my goals.  I love the idea of choosing a word for the year, so my word for 2015 was Intention (actually, now that I think about it that may have been my 2014 word too.  :/ ugh)  And what I’ve learned about myself is that I can get so caught up in the “thinking about” and the “planning” that I never actually get around to the doing.  So, for 2016 I chose a more appropriate word, one that also embodies my intention for the year.

My 2016 Word is Action Image

 

So, now that I’ve decided what I’m saying yes to this year and what my word is for 2016, Lara then has you put together a vision board.  I’m a very visual person so this step was really important to me.  I wanted to be able to look and my vision board and have it trigger me to evaluate if what I am doing right now aligns with my goals and ensure I’m taking action to make them happen.  I’d started a vision board over on Pinterest, but I wanted to have something that I could print out and keep somewhere I will see it every day to remind me of where my focus should be.  So, I put this together this afternoon and I kind of love it!

2016 Vision Board Image

I wanted to be sure to have something that represented my marriage and its importance above anything else.  Then of course I have a few things that are great ways for me to recharge – meditation, journaling/my daily Bible study, yoga, reading.  I wanted to also show my focus on health and fitness through working out, eating whole foods, and of course my essential oils.  Throw in some travel, making a home, and creating abundance through my business and you have my vision board for 2016.

So, that’s it for this installment in my goal setting series.  Next week I’ll be back to share my goals and how I’m going to work to achieve them.

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Making Things Happen

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On January 1st I started reading Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose.  I had been introduced to Lara’s blog last year and had wanted to read this book for awhile.  I’ll spend more time reviewing the book itself in another post soon, but today I want to share with you some of the work that came out of reading that book and also Lara’s blog series on 2016 goal setting.  As with most years, the beginning of 2015 started off very promising and I even blogged about living a year of intention back in January of last year.  Somehow, as often happens, things went off course.  So, I found myself in December wondering where the hell 2015 had gone and feeling defeated that I hadn’t accomplished all those things I’d wanted to do.  So, this year, and we’re only a couple of months in, I’m already finding that the key to making things happen is 1) to take action – actually go and do stuff, and 2) tending – if you don’t monitor those goals and keep focused attention on them, you can’t actually accomplish them.

So, for 2016 I am going to work through the goal setting process and share my progress here not only as a way to be accountable, but also because hopefully someone else will benefit from it.

The first thing Lara has you do is to first check in with yourself – how are you?  I won’t share the epic novel I wrote, but the main theme is that I’m feeling very disappointed in myself for getting so off course last year and feeling like I was basically in the same place that I’d started the year at.  Also, I had a life-changing lightning bolt moment recently of discovering what my purpose is.  And although I feel this huge sense of relief from having identified where I’m going, I’m feeling a bit lost though not knowing how to get there or what it’s going to look like.  But, I’m willing to have faith that as long as I move in that direction, I’ll have the guidance that I need.

Next, it’s time to take a look back at 2015…

What worked:

  • I detailed my crafty accomplishments and new endeavors over on my Cozyegg blog here
  • I was re-introduced to essential oils through my friend Sylvia and became an independent distributor of Young Living essential oils
  • Read the Red Tent (my New Year’s planned start for 2015) and 9 other books
  • I got to reconnect with my friend Marty and visit with other high school friends, plus help raise money for Adele’s retirement
  • Eric and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary
  • I completed my first Whole 30
  • I made some new friends
  • I was able to take all of my vacation time and holiday time without having to check in to work at all
  • Eric and I went to visit my Dad’s grave at Christmas, which I’ve been meaning to do for three years
  • I reached out to my mom to try to begin healing that relationship
  • I had a huge attitude shift with work and on letting go of the stress thanks to my essential oils (Stress Away!)

Three Lessons I Learned from What Worked:

  1. I don’t have to kill myself with working so much, I am better if I completely unplug and rest
  2. Essential oils have changed my life and using them daily makes a difference
  3. I do better focusing on one thing until it’s done rather than jumping around. Also, I do better doing my own thing rather than being dependent upon someone else’s participation.

What hasn’t been working?

  • Allowing myself to get burnt out
  • Running around with no purpose/no focus to my actions
  • I feel like I can’t do it perfect so I don’t do it at all
  • Allowing myself to be totally thrown off course by someone else’s stuff
  • Comforting myself with things that are bad for me (eating junk, overspending, mindless internet time-wasting i.e. the mindless scroll)
  • Health challenges
  • Dealing with feeling unbalanced/unsatisfied in some areas and then getting bogged down in the sadness of everything
  • Missing my family so bad it hurts
  • Feeling burdened with the weight of financial stress
  • Procrastinating and not moving forward, staying stuck
  • Completely wrecked over some work situations and office politics
  • Feeling like I never have enough time

Three Lessons I Learned from What Didn’t Work:

  1. Don’t get sidetracked by distractions – distractions can be other people’s stuff, shiny & new, want to vs. have to, mindless scrolling
  2. Take time for me – rest – mentally, physically, emotionally. I need time to recharge.
  3. Concentrated focus is what allows me to be most productive and stay on target with my goals/purpose/projects

What Season Are You In?

I feel like I’ve been in winter – it’s been a really hard season that has stretched over the past several years. I think the beginning of last year was like a false spring, and then winter returned. At the end of the year I was able to do some reflecting and be still and really look at what’s important to me. I feel like now I am in spring, and reaching toward summer when I dig in and get my hands dirty to do the work.

So that’s my look back at 2015.  And I feel like really taking a hard look at what I’ve learned from what worked and what didn’t work will be very helpful in starting to define my goals for 2016 and what I can build on.  Check back soon for the next installment of this series and how I’m working towards defining my goals and working daily to achieve them.

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Playlist: Calendars, Planners, and To Do Lists

Rifle Paper Co

I am obsessed with calendars.  In fact, I’m kind of in love with all kinds of pretty paper.  Maybe it’s the artist in me, maybe it’s the writer, but electronic versions just don’t have the same appeal.  There is something that I just adore about flipping to a new page of a calendar each month (I bought a calendar at Versailles if that tells you anything).  I spent a few years with completely uninspiring calendars, and then I began a torrid love affair with Rifle Paper Co.

Two years ago I bought the Secret Garden calendar and enjoyed it thoroughly.  I loved seeing her signature flowers at my desk each day.  And it’s a good thing that I was in love with this calendar, because due to an inadvertent oversight on my part I ended up with no calendar for 2015 (I was trying to wait for the calendars to go on sale and they sold out of the one I wanted, so no calendar for me.)  This year, I wasn’t taking any chances and I ordered my calendar early.

Cities CalendarI absolutely love this calendar.  I love travel, so this calendar just makes me so happy.  Plus, the cover shows the Paris map that I have as my phone case.  Love love love!  And, my thought is that once the year is over (assuming I won’t have to use my calendar for a second year!), I want to save the artwork to do something like this.

Gallery Wall Rifle Paper

Don’t you love it?!  Anyway, I am excited about giving my calendar new life as prints.  These will be perfect in our office too, which I fondly refer to as the “map room”.

So, that’s my calendar at home but of course I need a calendar at the office too, right?  I usually buy one of those small desk calendars, but after using my Versailles calendar I suppose I was spoiled for anything else.  I saw a photo on Instagram similar to this one, using a clipboard and printed Instagram photos.

IG Calendar

Love the idea, so I decided to make my own.  I often need to see two months at a time at work, so I printed two to a page.  And I went through my Instagram likes and chose some of my favorite photos that were representative of the months.

I am thinking I may do this again for this year, but haven’t actually sat down to do it.  It worked really well for me though, and was something fun to look at in the office.  So, that’s what I’ve been using for calendars.  Kind of along those lines, I am trying out a planner for 2016 too.  I’ve spent the last few years working exclusively with an electronic calendar for keeping track of my appointments, events, etc.  I don’t actually use my wall calendar for that, it’s just to look at.  LOL  So, I love the convenience of having my calendar in my phone because then I always have it with me.  I also use an online/app called Remember the Milk for my to do list.  It’s great because again, it’s always with me and it is so easy to postpone tasks, mark them complete, add notes, give tasks a priority rating and due date, etc.  But, I watched a Periscope recently on the benefits of using a paper planner over an electronic calendar or to do list on your phone/tablet/computer.  One of the pitfalls of using an electronic version is that there are too many distractions on your device – social media, messages, emails, etc.  By using a paper planner, you can focus on your scheduled tasks and priorities without the infinite number of distractions on your device.

I took advantage of the Black Friday sale and ordered myself an Erin Condren Life Planner for 2016.  I spent a good amount of time comparing the EC planner with the other planners out there, like the Passion Planner, the Simplified Planner, the Plum Paper Planner, and so on.  Having never used a planner before I wasn’t entirely sure what would work best for me, but several people recommended the EC to me so I decided to give it a try.

I really liked the presentation when my box arrived.  It was like getting a present in the mail.  From myself!  The Black Friday discount was only good on the Good to Go (not personalized) planners, so that’s what I ordered.  I did get a coupon for a personalized cover that I can redeem.  I’m having a hard time choosing which cover I want though!

I do love the cover it came with, but it would be fun to have a personalized cover.  I won’t go too far into detail about the planner itself because there are a million posts and YouTube videos about that, but I’m very happy with it.  I love how creative some people are with their weekly layouts, but other than the stickers that came with my planner I haven’t gone out and spent the money to buy more.  I am mostly just using colored markers and that has been fun.  I opted for the vertical daily layout and it’s been working great for me.  My planner is looking very similar to the one below – markers, minimal stickers, and a little bit of washi tape for good measure.  Down at the bottom of each day I have been tracking my water, vitamins, and steps and I’m loving that – keeping me accountable!

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I’ve been using the monthly view to list my goals for the month broken up into the seven key areas of Oola (Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, and Fun).  Then, I have weekly goals that I can check off in the weekly views.  That has been helping a lot to keep me on track.  And at the back of the planner in the Notes sections, I’ve listed out my reading goals and project goals for 2016 along with pages to record my accomplishments.

So, that’s what I’m doing for my calendars, planner, and to do lists for 2016.  How about you?

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January 2015 in Photos

 

★ On January 1, I started The Red Tent.  I’ve had it on my bookshelf forever and it finally seems like the right time to read it.

★ Laced up my shoes and headed back to the gym

★ Started a year-long Bible study using the She Reads Truth app

★ Totally fell down the Serial rabbit hole – cannot stop listening!

★ I started a podcast!

★ I cannot get behind the new color of the year – Radiant Orchid forever!

★ Still loving the new-to-me apples

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December in Photos

★ Treated myself to the Shoshanna Amulet from BaubleBar to wear for our annual Eggnog & Dessert party after seeing it here.  I adore this statement necklace.

★ Put the finishing touches on our living room tree and on the blue tree in the hallway.  The lights make me so happy.

★ I’ve been saving this book for December – the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly winter night (it’s My True Love Gave to Me).

★ Lots of baking –  chewy chocolate ginger cookies and orange cranberry mini loaves for our party; cannoli cheesecake for Christmas dinner (my first cheesecake!).

★ Eric took me to an amazingly beautiful display at the Dallas Arboretum of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

★ Participating in a fun book photo challenge and remembering some books from earlier in the year.

★ A holiday isn’t a holiday without a holiday mani!

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Playlist: Winter White

Winter White

Some things I’m loving…

Winter, and January especially, is all about white or hushed tones and a bit of sparkle.  I have to share something I’d been coveting forever, and finally treated myself to, in December.

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This is the Shoshanna Amulet from BaubleBar.  I love love love this necklace so much.  I bought it specifically for our holiday party, but I have worn it all throughout December and January and I’m sure it’s going to be on repeat throughout the rest of this season.

I’ve also been in a huge organizing mode, and one of the things that’s really drawing my focus is my makeup storage.  What I have now isn’t working for me, and I’ve basically used the same storage/organization for years.  I’ve spent some time on Pinterest looking at some different options and I think I have some good ideas to get started with it.

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My jewelry organization is definitely in need of a good overhaul too, and I’ve been eyeing this Pottery Barn large jewelry box as a great option.

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Of course, the other thing that’s been getting my attention is our home.  The Christmas decorations are packed away and the house is back to normal.  I love love love all the seasonal decorating that fills our home, but come January I am ready for it to be tranquil, peaceful, quiet.  And all that energy of the new year is swirling around, so I’ve been adjusting some things, moving a few things around, organizing our books…those sorts of things.  It feels good.  And while the rest of the year, I am all about color – in January, I long for whites and neutrals.  The trend of turning books with their pages facing out absolutely fills that need right now – plus, I love this photo.

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And I’m very excited for the release of the next Cupcakes and Cashmere book, aren’t you?

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And of course, I can’t overlook my absolute adoration of the white winter coat.  I want to trade in my black wool coat for something brighter.

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My style idol agrees…

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Or maybe the palest of pinks?  Loving the pairing with white skinnies too.

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And lastly, I had to share…I did something sweet for myself and bought some white peonies for an arrangement next to the bed.  They’ve already made me very happy.  They make me feel very decadent.

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What’s on your playlist this week?

 

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November in Photos

Nov 2014 in Photos

★ November 1st I was still in Houston for the Houston Quilt Show.  I bought some fabric, and saw some amazing quilts in the show.

★ I made some zipper bags out of some linen panels I bought at the needlework show in Paris.  I was deathly afraid of putting in a zipper, but it wasn’t that hard.  The bag with the armadillo panel was a gift for a friend’s birthday and the bat bag is for me.

★ Continuing my Kresley Cole reading.  The covers for these are ridiculous, but I enjoyed the books.

★ Sweater weather is here!

★ Thut keeps me company when I’m working late nights.

★ Attended a beautiful wedding that was entirely book themed.  Each of the tables at the reception was identified with famous literary couples, we were at the Marius & Cosette (from Les Miserables) table.  And I loved the centerpieces – books and lanterns.  So perfect!

★ The apple obsession continues – for Thanksgiving Eric made our traditional breakfast of apple pancakes but we used Honeycrisp apples for the first time and then we also made apple crisp for dessert with Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala apples.  Both were super yummy!

★ On Thanksgiving Day I stitched on my ornament for my guild’s ornament exchange.  I loved the snowy scene.

★ I bought this book and am so looking forward to reading it.  Perfect for the season.  I also bought fabric and thread in the color “snowflake” for a Christmas piece I want to start.

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October in Photos

Oct 2014 in Photos

★ Picked up The Fiery Cross again to read.  I just can’t seem to get through this book.  I was inspired to pick it back up after watching the first episode of the Outlander series.

★ So, yeah, the Fiery Cross got put down again and I picked up a new book/series – Kresley Cole comes highly recommended and a friend loaned me two of these books to read forever ago.

★ My new custom polish from Literary Lacquer called The Blind King (Black Dagger Brotherhood) – it has a crazy amount of holo in it! So pretty in the sunshine!

★ After 8 years we finally framed our map of Rome that we used on our honeymoon.  I’ve been wanting to frame it since then but it was lost for a long time, found, and now finally framed.  I love how it shows a lot of use and our circled locations.

★ October means State Fair time!  We always stop to hear the Killdares play and they never disappoint!

★ New phone (gold!) and I finally found the perfect phone case – Rifle Paper Co.’s Paris map.  Had to try two different places because the first shop had sold out.

★ The end of the month I headed out of town for the Houston Quilt Show (which is huge compared to the Dallas Quilt Show) with a friend.  We had a fabulous time, and I was completely inspired by everything I saw.  Lots of great vendors and the quilt show itself was amazing.  Since we were there on Halloween, I indulged in the signature drink at the hotel bar – Dracula’s Kiss.  Mmmmm!

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September in Photos

Sept 2014 in Photos

★ The month started a bit rough.  I always seem to gravitate to Beyoncé’s music when I’m feeling sad and hurt.

★ Still loving my Rifle Paper Co. Secret Garden calendar

★ Found the perfect dupe of NARS Stormbird, Sinful Colors Smokin’ Hot

★ I found my creativity!  Spent an afternoon with a friend cutting fabric for my Lady Mary quilt out of the Downton Abbey fabrics.  Worked on three quilt tops and immersing myself in color.  Pulled out the perfect Fall piece to stitch on too.

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August in Photos

August 2014 in Photos

★ Spent the first part of the month in Mesa, AZ for a stitching workshop with four girlfriends.  Visited a fun quilt shop while we were there and of course had margaritas!

★ Wore my CrowsToes Huginn & Munin polish – in. love.

★ Dress shopping to find something to wear to a wedding.  Came home with these two lovelies. Wore one to the wedding and one to my birthday dinner.

★ The wedding was held in an art gallery, which was so fun.  After the wedding, a dinner was held at a fantastic Turkish restaurant.  I always enjoy the belly dancers as well.

★ Participating in the YogaGirl challenge – I did yoga!

★ Pulled out my Angel cards in order to focus my thoughts.  Interesting that I pulled Creativity when my life felt anything but creative right now.  It was good to meditate on what creativity means to me.

★ Coincidentally I share a birthday with Tori Amos.  Love her so much, her music gets inside me and wraps itself around my emotions

★ Birthday dinner at Ziziki’s Greek restaurant wearing the beautiful ring Eric gave me and beautiful birthday roses

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