Thursday, January 30, 2014

What scares you?

Today I put the eggs in the trunk...

Ok let me back up and say that first of all, today consisted mostly of me going through the wringer while taking a language proficiency test for my job (the outcome of which had the potential to make or break me)...This annual test along with my twice-a-year physical fitness test through the Navy Reserves has probably shaved at least a decade off my life span. Seriously, I had cold sweats the whole time and during one portion I swear I completely forgot both the language I was testing in and my own native English.

I was scared.

Thankfully, even after a year and a half of no formal training, I was able to pass the test. While I didn't get the scores I WANTED, the were still damn good scores.

So I decided to do something else that scares me today. Just a little thing, a break in the routine just to prove to my anxiety prone self that not everything will go up in flames at every turn.

I put the eggs in the trunk. Now, if any of you grew up with parents like mine, then you'll know that you NEVER put the eggs in the trunk. They always go on the belt last and either have their own separate bag, or go together with the bread. Because eggs are fragile, breakable, icky yolk filled orbs that might break if you look at them wrong. Or so I grew up thinking. Always check for cracks and always keep them in the front seat on the ride home.

Well, Fiance thinks this is a silly idea. He has never put the eggs up front and (so he claims) has never gotten home with a broken, yolk-y mess in his trunk either.

It was just a little thing, and might seem just as absurd to all of you as well. But it was just one of those things that I've always done, and even when Fiance and I go shopping together and he insists on putting the eggs in the trunk, a part of me gets nervous and spends the whole ride home with some portion of my mind focused on every bump and turn in the road wondering if I just heard an eggshell crack.

I spend a lot of my life like this. With these little anxieties that build, one on top of the other, and I think maybe that's where so much of my stress comes from. It's not one BIG thing, it's just a bunch of tiny absurd things that snowball into a writhing mass of stress and anxious starts at every bump in the proverbial road.

And you know what? All my eggshells are fine.
ignore the messy towel. k, thanks!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lessons from Living Alone

Lesson 1: Stress cleaning is an excellent and cheap source of therapy and an add fat-burning bonus workout!

I'd like some thoughts on this, if you have any to spare dear readers. For those of you living in apartments or rented homes, do you expect just a smidge of notice before the landlord comes bursting through your/their place that may or may not be a total disaster zone because cleaning is just so far down on your "things-you-really-should-get-around-to" list? Like...more than two hours notice in the form of a text that you don't see until 8 hours later anyway?

Yeah...I'd like that too. Even if it's midnight the night before. Then I can at least scramble to tidy up on my rushed way out the door in the morning. Is that too much to ask?

Lesson 2: Clean the kitchen everyday. Really, you never know who's going to stop by unexpectedly or when the Landlord will send his cabinet guy in at 10am on a Tuesday. You just never know. I'm trying to follow the "one soapy sponge" rule while jamming out to anything energetic on Pandora or 8tracks.

Lesson 3: If you're anything like me, make a dedicated day about once a month to really and truly and deeply organize your closet/office area. Though if you ARE anything like me, you won't ever follow through on this and you'll end up sifting through a mountain of clothes screaming "Why? Why are there so many pants?! Who needs this many pairs of pants? Dear god is that the garbage snake from Star Wars?" And then you'll eventually just say "F*ck it." throw on a pair of sweats and type out all of your blog posts at the kitchen table while Fur-beast sleeps on unaffected. (And really who needs pants anyway? oh wait...)

Lesson 4: Don't wait until the very end of your lease to bring up problems in the apartment. Seriously, if you're missing sections of ceiling due to a hurricane OVER A YEAR AGO...say something. Because when the Polar Vortex hits, you don't want your loved ones to find your frozen corpse wrapped up nicely in your own bed.

Lesson 5: The best part about living alone is that there's no one around to judge your t-shirt wearing, pants-mountain climbing, bad-ass self when you're drinking a honey whiskey and hot chocolate straight out of the pot...because you forgot to clean the kitchen.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekends are too short

Especially when following a short (yet ridiculous week! Snow days and Polar Vortex anyone?)

Friday night I went to the was weird. I hate the idea of throwing away money, even on the off chance I could win big. But I still had fun watching my friends gamble, and people watching at Casinos is pretty stupendous.

Before I left for the Casino I had to try out this recipe that had been kicking around in my head for ages. At one of the wine bars near my house they have this Ahhhh-mazing Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and chorizo dish. So mouth-wateringly delicious! The Brussels sprouts and squash take on the flavor of the chorizo in the most delightful way. I didn't have chorizo nor squash though, and had actually been wondering if I could switch it up with different meats and "starch" type things anyway. So I went with Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and BACON!

And let me tell came out just as divine! I also added some extra spices and seasonings to the sweet potatoes and sprouts because...that's just how I cook. I throw spices onto everything. Not a fan of spicY but definitely love spice.

Then yesterday I spent the weekend by the fire and reading the Art of Eating In. I've already been working on cooking and eating at home more but this book definitely inspired me to keep going at it in the kitchen! I loved the way Cathy Erway really brings you into her life during those two years of "Not Eating Out in New York" and her writing style just flowed really well. It did make me a tad jealous that I don't live in an amazing hotbed of restaurants and foodies alike, though.

I do live in between some pretty thriving cities, but I still feel somewhat disconnected from it all. I would also love to cook for people more. Cathy's stories about supper clubs and "friendsgivings" just made me want to invite everyone I know over for food all the time.

...of course then I'd have to clean all the time...yikes.

Anyway here's my recipe for Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Bacon: (serves 1-2 depending on your preference for sprouts)

6-8 Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise (you could quarter them too and you can always cut up more)
1 cup diced sweet potato
3-4 pieces of bacon (save the grease in the pan to cook up the sprouts and potato)
1/2 tsp ground Ancho Chile pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of ground ginger

[Note: I don't usually measure when adding spices for dishes like this so these are all just kind of guesstimates...start from here and just kind of work your way up till it's seasoned the way you like it!]

Cook bacon as normal in a large pan, set aside. Keep bacon grease in pan and ready too cook with!
Dice up sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts to whatever size you're comfy with. Throw them together in a bowl and toss in the spices, again add or subtract whatever you like for this and then mix it all together.
(also instead of garlic powder you could also try adding a 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic to the bacon fat to mix with the veggies)
Add the potatoes and sprouts to the pan and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until they potatoes start to get tender. About halfway through I also like to put a lid on the pan to sort of steam the mix, makes the sweet potatoes a bit softer.
Dice up the bacon, throw it back in the pan to mix with all the other yummy goodness.
And bam! Delicious side for any time of day!
Had this with breakfast yesterday actually, goes quite well with scrambled eggs and cheese.

Catch ya later!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stellar mornings

My non-negotiables to starting the day off right.

First and foremost: hitting snooze at least 80 times before finally deciding that I should probably go to work before the day ends...

Second: stumbling through a dark and booby-trapped house (Seriously who puts a chair in the MIDDLE of the living room, where there is clearly PLENTY OF SPACE around it?! This jackass apparently) to then trip over a bowl of water and curse loudly at no one in particularly while trying to feed the dog.

Third: Coffee. To be more specific: Fresh ground and brewed in a French press; coffee. There is just something about being terrified awake first thing in the morning as the coffee grinder blares to life and shreds those beans down to a course blend followed by the soft bubbling of hot water and the oh-so-thrilling game of "Can Jess keep from getting a scalding three degree burn as she tries to pour the water into the French Press without spilling any on her hand" (One of Hasbro's lesser known gems)

Fourth: (Though at this point, do we really need anything else after coffee?) The best way to shake those last little bits of sleep haze from your brain? Let an excitable and energetic fur-beast drag you down the stairs and out the door so he can do his "business." (This is even more fun when it's 2 degrees outside and he doesn't actually want to go to the bathroom but isn't ready to come back inside yet either.)

Some day I'll wake up on time and spend 20-30 minutes exercising, doing some Yoga stretches or deep meditation to start my day truly "zen"...yeah who am I kidding, that'll probably never happen.

(I think maybe I will challenge myself as part of one of February's mini monthlies to actually wake up and get up with my alarm though...)

How do ya'll make it through the morning?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lessons from being in [Long-Distance] Love

Hey Beautiful People!

In today's post I thought I'd talk a little bit about love, specifically LONG-distance Love. As in, you're here and the soul-mate, significant other, sorta whatever is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy over there.

Fiance and I have been in a long distance relationship for a little over a year and a half now. WOW how time flies! I won't lie, it has been incredibly difficult. I wouldn't give him up for anything and I totally mushy gushy cherish all of the little moments that we actually have gotten to spend together over the last 18 months, more than pretty much anything. (Seriously I love this guy) But lemme tell you, trying to date from different time zones is no walk in the park.

No really, you literally can't even walk in the park together. So unless you like lonely walks...or you have blue-tooth or something...

This symbolizes loneliness right?
 However, it IS doable, and there are fun things you and the love-muffin can do to make the distance seem less...daunting.

One thing that Fiance and I like to do are "Dinner and a Movie" dates. We both have iPads so we just hop on Face time at a predetermined time during the week whenever we're both free, and one of us has picked out a movie to watch for the night. We try to get them on DVDs but sometimes I have to download them onto the computer, which is fine just kind of a pain. (Also, you can do this with Skype or Oovoo or one of the many other video chat services, Face time is just most convenient for us). Then we cook, sometimes we'll try out the same recipe (it's like we're having dinner TOGETHER you guys!) and other times it's whatever is leftover in the fridge that just really needs to be cooked. (How long has this chicken been here?)

That's our big night to just kind of relax, unwind and pretend that the other one isn't just compressed to a small tablet screen while the reality is miles away. This scheduling is especially helpful since Fiance's schedule is pretty shall we say...crappy? Working 15-18 hour shifts molding the hearts and minds of America's next generation of Soldiers...good stuff. No.

Another thing we do is talk constantly. Either through texts, phone calls or chat. And the occasional weird psychic message (don't ask. It's freaky). I think this is crucial for every relationship though, whether they're near, far...oh I'm having Titanic flash backs.

Right, so communication = key.

Also, it's nice if you can try to have something interesting to talk about. Sure there's the daily recap and once you've exhausted all of the little "Had to Be There" stories from your day it's probably time for bed anyway. But every once in awhile, try to mix it know, discuss your ideas on how to solve that whole world hunger problem or play the "if I had a million dollars" game. Great fun. Usually Fiance gets to listen to me go on and on and on about my latest life plan. (It changes at least every other day. This week it's UX Design YAY!)

The last and most important lesson that I've learned from this wacky experiment in love though, is almost counter-intuitive, but oh-so-important! You gotta remember to take time for yourself and the things that you enjoy doing and the friends that are you know...around. Whether that's taking time off from the Internet to just unwind with a good book, or going out for drinks with the bestie. Definitely just make sure that you remember that special "you time."

One of the main things I love about Fiance is that he understands when I need to just do stuff, he's not pushy or needy and I try not to be that way with him either. Even though there are miles and miles and states between us. We still need "space" for ourselves.

I'd love to hear any of your unique takes on long-distance dating too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Guaranteed Way to an A" tips for Higher Learning as an "Adult"

Happy Tuesday! If you're on the East Coast like me, you're probably enjoying the snow right now, and maybe even another day off from work! (Four day weekend what!?) Either way, this post isn't about work. It's about school! Again, if you're like me then in addition to working full-time (With maybe a part time gig on the side...more on that later) then you're also trying to finish your degree. Online. And in face to face classes.

Because not having a social life is way more fun than having one right?? Right? Guys...?

Run Away!

However, my class tonight was cancelled thanks to Snowmageddenacolypse Revenge of the Snowman Part 3, so I thought I'd share my Guaranteed Way to An A tips for Higher Learning as an "Adult:"

 Guaranteed "A" School Tip #1: Whatever you do, absolutely do NOT download your syllabus until at least the second week of class. Seriously, you might be under the mistaken assumption that knowing your assignments ahead of time is the way to go...DON'T BE FOOLED! Waiting until classes have already started means you'll be hit with that adrenaline rush of being just slightly behind the curve which as any Straight A student can tell you, last minute deadlines are a delicious motivator for cramming on all assignments. #thewaytoanA

Guaranteed "A" School Tip #2: When taking online classes, avoid logging into class like it's your JOB. Listen, don't worry about it. They probably aren't discussing anything important anyway. You'll most likely only have like...2 (maybe 20) posts to read, tops. Your time is much better spent on Twitter and Buzzfeed. (@Jess_Emers, hit me up!)

Guaranteed "A" School Tip #3: Remember the best time to start your assignment (including research) is about an hour before it's due. Nothing like the prospect of a rushed 10-page paper at 11PM on a Sunday night before a full week of work to really get those creative juices flowing!

Guaranteed "A" School Tip #4: Burn your Calendar. That gut wrenching feeling of "I've forgotten something monumentally important" will wake up up just seconds before that big project is due, don't you worry.

Guaranteed "A" School Tip #5: Assigned reading and mountains of research? Get on the Google!!

And finally my Ultimate "Way to a Guaranteed A" School Tip #6: When all else fails: get drunk and mash your fingers against the keyboard until words come out! (20% of the time it works, every time.)

If you'd like to hear more of my awesome advice or have some stellar school tips of your own, hit me up in the comments section or on my Twitter. Happy Studying!

Oh! And here's a cocktail recipe, you know...just in case:
"Apple Jacks" (Cuz, you know...I'm creative)
1 cup Apple Cider (warm)
1 shot Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
1/2 shot o' Dark Rum (your choice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
and a dash of pumpkin pie spice (or whatever spices strike your fancy!)
Drink up me hearties yo ho!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Meditation #3: What's standing in your way?

What would you do if there was nothing standing in your way? Nothing holding you back?

Why is it that sometimes when we have dreams, big plans for life, we never actually take the proper steps to follow through on them? Why do these dreams stay dreams, hidden in the secret places of our hearts? Perhaps written hopefully in a journal, to serve as a constant reminder of what might be, the could be of that dream life.

There are a number of excuses that we tell ourselves day in and day out that make us believe that these dreams are unattainable; that they're too grand, to "out there" or just impractical. Unfortunately, that's sometimes true (like my childhood dream of being a wizard...though I guess if some girls can become mermaids...) But for the most part, many of these dreams ARE achievable, it's just a matter of shifting your thinking, of looking past the obstacles standing in your way.

But what if there were no obstacles? What if there was nothing blocking your path to that dream life?

Would you be doing things differently?

Would you wake up earlier? Start your mornings off with yoga, thoughtful meditation and a cup of tea instead of a hulk-sized mug of coffee and a frantic rush out the door? Would you make time for art and creativity and allow yourself to feel whole and fulfilled, knowing that you're spending each day doing a little something to reach that dream, to make it real?

Thanks to the Internet, there's almost no excuse to keep those dreams hidden. And if you fail? That's okay too. We need to start embracing failure just as much as success. Failure is just another chance to learn and grow, and still a step towards that dream. At least you're trying.

True failure is not even making that first move.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Feed the Fire

Happy Sunday everyone!

Yesterday was definitely an exercise of wills and patience and of allowing myself to just relax. This was actually a bit more challenging than I expected it to be. Actively forcing gently nudging myself to relax. I kept worrying and thinking about all of the things I could and should be doing with my weekend instead of taking this time to just be in the moment and relish the calm that comes from doing nothing because really, there's nothing that important to do.

I knew and continuously reminded myself that even if I did accomplish some things yesterday, it was just a bonus, and if I didn't get anything done? That's okay too because I had intentionally set aside this day to be lazy. Yesterday wasn't about getting things done, it was mindful laziness, being attentive to the moment and to myself. I think even my creativity needed a break. I wrote a little, mostly journaling, and I thought up a few new story ideas though I didn't try to force anything beyond making note of the plots and character names and vague story paths that came my way.

Though, I think the only time I truly felt the complete calm and stillness I was hoping for yesterday was while building up a fire in the afternoon. There was a moment of just getting lost in the crackling, popping warmth and light of the fire and watching as the flames danced and licked and ate away at the logs. That moment made me think of the character Calcifer from Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (If you haven't seen it, go forth and watch it, it's beautiful)

The fire really did look like the flames were wrapped around the log as it chewed its way through the wood. This also got me thinking about how fires need to be "fed" to keep them going. Which then got me thinking about how our creative fires also need to be fed. I had been burning through my creativity, all of my ideas, without taking the time to build back up my fire with inspiration. And then I was berating myself for not being as creative as the next person. For not having nor achieving the same goals.

Yet not taking the time to feed that creative fire was causing it to die down and leave me with a feeling of...lost. No spark, no idea.

Recently I noticed I wasn't reading or taking in other forms of art as much as when I was younger, there was no more looking outward, I was expecting everything to come from within.

Maybe that's how artists go mad, what leads them to burnout? They stopped feeding their creative fires, thinking the fires will burn on, never ceasing.

So yesterday's "laziness" was another way to build my fire back up. There is so much talent and beauty in the world and so many of us are fortunate to live in a time when that talent is so easily shared with everyone and anyone, anywhere.

Remember beautiful readers, whoever you may be. Remember to feed and fuel your creative fires once in awhile, they need tending too.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Meditation 2

Today's post was originally going to be about recovering from setbacks, facing life's challenges and realizing that you so too can get back up and keep moving forward when the universe seems to just push you back down.

I still want to talk about all of that. I just feel like my thoughts are all over the place right now.

I experienced a pretty decent setback last week that will potentially have a ripple effect on all of my plans over the next year. (I'm so glad it happened at the start of 2014...) Some of the changes will be good, some are as yet to be determined whether good or bad.

It was upsetting, devastating even. But now I've chosen to look at it not so much as a setback but rather a course correction. Rather than allowing this to bring me down like it might have in the past, I'm choosing to look for the positives and see where this new direction fits with the rest of my life.

We could all stand to benefit from such a simple shift in thinking every now and again. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My week #1

Hey all!

So I've actually been using a planner for awhile now. This style of planner in particular. It's spiral bound, not the typical "binder" type that most other #Plannerds use...but it is a set up that has been working quite well for me over the last few months.

Plus it's all contained within a folio type folder that enables me to carry around extra papers and stickers, etc. when I need to. Which keeps me organized, so I like that.

I actually did get a nice Saffiano Filofax for Christmas, but I haven't switched over yet because I'm kind of hesitant to leave my current system behind. However I really wanted to start taking part in Paperlovestory's most excellent weekly look at people's planner pagers.

So here's a peek at my week so far for 13-19 January 2014.

I'm trying out a new color coding system this week as well;

Yellow - Personal (including shopping trips)
Black - Meal planning (all the other colors had been used at this point, and it was easier for me to read/see)
Dark Purple - Writing class (that starts on Tuesday)
Light Purple - Blog posts (I might change this color...we'll see)
Red - Programming class
Light blue - Gym!
Pink - anything work related
and Green - payday reminder

Anyone else out there on the spiral-bound train?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What I'm drinking this morning...

Happy Saturday coffee drinkers!!

I wanted to tell you a little bit about the coffees I'm drinking this week/month/New Year.

I actually started drinking this coffee a few weeks into December after an absolutely fantastic trip to Philadelphia and the magical Reading Terminal Market. (If you haven't been, you should go! The Pennsylvania Dutch work absolute MAGIC with baked goods!)

There's also a delightful coffee stand in the market: Old City Coffee.

They have a pretty great supply of beans and seasonal coffees, I originally got 1/4lb bags of each of these types of brews:


 And let me tell you, that was NOT enough! We actually ended up going back a week later (yes, we took a 2 hour drive for worth it!) to get more. A straight pound of each this time...still not enough in my opinion, especially since Egg Nog is only around for the holidays.

You can actually order the coffees online as well, but I haven't checked to see if Egg Nog is available to order all year round...unfortunately, I don't think it is (Oh well, like the ever-delicious pumpkin spice and peppermint flavors, it just gives me something to look forward to for the next 10 months!)

So, a little bit about my coffee routine if you're curious. It's a bit...tedious but definitely yields great results! I actually grind my beans fresh every morning. Yes. Every. Morning.

And not only that but I usually combine one "specialty" flavor with a regular coffee flavor, something like Peet's Major Dickason Blend or the like. Though this month I've been combining the Egg Nog and the Viennese together. YUM!

I don't have exact measurements, maybe 1 and 1/2 scoops of each flavor (or 2 scoops on a hectic morning, maybe more if you're brewing for more than one person) of each flavor, so about 3-4 scoops total and grind them together. That's important.

Then boil water. Combine in French press. Stir, sit, press. Then drop some agave syrup right into the travel, or regular mug, and then Belgian chocolate toffee creamer (I know, so many flavors!! but so good!) pour the coffee over and enjoy!!

And yes, I'm still using a holiday mug. It just makes me smile.

So what are you drinking this Saturday morning? Comment below!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The simple things...

What I really want to share with you all tonight is that sometimes it's okay to just relax with a glass of good wine paired with a bowl of exceptionally fine (or even store brand) shells and cheese.

Seriously...that is one delightful Thursday night.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pants... Or Superpower?

So, in response to yesterday's post as seen here, this is why my fifth January Mini Monthly goal is to wear pants on the weekends:

The power of pants, such a simple thing, and yet it is awesome. I have discovered in pants the power to kick laziness' big slothful but and run full steam into productive overdrive.

Note: it doesn't actually have to be pants per se, skirts and dresses work just fine too. So long as it is real people clothes in order to go out and be a part of the real people world on the weekends. Otherwise the laze-monster wins! And no one wants that.

However, there will be times that I will make exception to the pants rule, on pre-determined "lazy days" and of course, on sick days.

But Jessica, why are you SCHEDULING time to be lazy? Shouldn't that just happen magically and organically? Sure. The same way being productive and actually completing that massive weekend to-do list just happens "magically."

I have a confession dear reader, something that I have long-harbored but know that I must impart it unto you if we are truly going to have the kind of long-lasting friendship I hope we'll see...much like Bruce Banner holding back the burden, my curse...I'm always lazy.

And so, in order to keep that monster in check, I've gotta feed it once in awhile. With frequent naps and books. It really likes books. However, I can't just let the monster have free reign all the time, otherwise I'd never be able to hold down a successful job...or two, and a full-time course load, take care of a dog, and cook and clean for myself...whew I'm winded just typing that. So I've discovered that the only way to keep this lazy beast relatively contained and satiated, is by scheduling regular breaks and down time throughout my month. Do you do this dear reader? I bet you do, if not. You should.

Now what does this all have to do with pants? Super-powered pants. Well, on those non-lazy days, the days when I hope to be productive and a functioning and contributing member of humanity, I need to do something that will cage the monster and bend it to my will.

I figured this out after talking with Fiance one day about the importance of habits and routine. You see, Fiance is very good at being productive on his off days, he cooks and cleans and is pretty much perfect. But HOW?! How does he achieve this feat?

He wears contacts. That's his "hero mask" if you will. (Go ahead, imagine Clark Kent taking off the glasses to become Superman. I'll wait.)
Ok so let me explain. During the course of his normal morning routine; you know the brushing, washing, what have you. He always finishes with the contacts last. And he says that once the contacts go in, it's like a switch flips in his brain and he knows that it's time to start the day. Otherwise, on his lazy days, when he leaves the glasses on he never fully wakes up or "charges" and so he just kind of bums around all day. (Note: this doesn't happen often as he doesn't get much down time with his current job.)

Weird. But true.

Well, here's my conundrum. I don't wear contacts, nor do I wear glasses. Yay vision! But I still needed something to serve as my own catalyst into productivity. I searched for that special thing, that perfect cap to the morning routine. But I don't really have a routine. Not like Fiance. When I wake up things just kind of happen in whatever order they end up happening in. Teeth, bathroom, face, feed/walk dog, coffee. And even coffee, my beloved sweet nectar from the heavens doesn't save me. Mainly because I can still be lazy and drink coffee...laze-monster also loves coffee.

Anywho, so what could it be? Well I just recently figured it out you guys. (Buried lead NOW!)


I know crazy right? Well I figured since I normally wear pants to work, it's one of the last things I do before leaving and is definitely a symbol to Get. SH*T. Done. So maybe pants? Because, I'll tell ya some weekends who cares right? But not anymore, pants are going on Saturday morning and not coming off until...well probably Saturday night but anyway...

I know this works too because I tested my theory last Sunday. The one right before going back to work after the holidays, when I didn't want to do ANYTHING but I still had stuff I could kinda get done...if I were so inclined. And here's what happened thanks to the power of pants:

- Cleaned the kitchen
- made coffee (a must)
- walked the dog
- rearranged the living room! (Yes, by myself too)
- swept and mopped the floors
- started THIS blog!
- took out the trash
- ordered prints
- went shopping and bought everything and only things on my list
- made dinner for myself and a friend
- cleaned the kitchen AGAIN (for those that know me, this is a feat)

 Quite the list right? Pants are magical. I think that's why men stopped wearing togas and kept women in dresses for so long...maybe...

So readers, do you have a catalyst that jumpstarts your morning? I'd love to hear what it is!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mini Monthly Milestones

I love the New Year, I realize that we're 7 days into the new year at this point... but still new years are like shiny new toys. They're great.

(And can we not just take a moment to enjoy the simple beauty that is "1/7/14")

Anyway, I love this time of year. Everyone is eager for fresh starts, new beginnings. New calendars and planners...yeah. (New notebooks? I'm totally there).

This is the time of year that everyone has such lofty goals and aspirations. Those...whatchamecallums: "RESOLUTIONS."

The problem is though, it's tough to plan something out to last you a WHOLE year. Especially if you're like me and you're not even sure how the next few hours of your life are gonna go. (Not that things are that exciting around here, but it can get dicey.) But seriously, even if you don't stick to a resolution for a full year, you're still not going to be the same person in December that you were the previous January. Heck you might not even be the same person from October!

Rather than lay out an entire grand master plan for the whole new year (other than "make small monthly goals") I've decided to lay out an entirely new grand master plan EVERY MONTH! Which means having 12 grand master plans, technically 13 in total if you count the one for the year instead of just one...wait, wasn't this supposed to be a good idea? I suppose it doesn't matter since, as with most resolutions, it will probably only last a month, week, day...ok I already want to scrap it...

Oh well, since you're here I might as well tell you what my goals for January are anyway:
Here I am, jumping on the smaller, shorter term goal train. (Is that a thing? It is now) I was thinking of calling it my "Mini Monthly Milestones." That would make a catchy hashtag right? #minimonthlies or something like that. Anyhoodle, Here are my goals for January:
Jan Mini Monthly 1. Write a little bit everyday. This isn't hard to do because I'm always writing in my notebook. But, I also want to write more here, on this blog. For you, dear reader, if you're out there. I'm thinking at least one post a day. I have some ideas, oh don't you fret. I've got ideas.

Jan Mini Monthly 2. Create, maintain and stick to a weekly meal plan and food budget each week. 
I eat out way too much; whether it's grabbing something at work or on the way home from work or wandering into my super cute town for's gotta stop. I need to save money.

Jan Mini Monthly 3. Experiment in the kitchen more, trying at least 2 new dishes a week.
I know that sounds ambitious, but really it stems from mini monthly number 2 and I think it's doable as long as I pick foods I like...and with the gajillions of food blogs out there, I'm bound to find something.

Jan Mini Monthly 4. Set aside at least $50 dollars each week for savings.
You know, from all the cash that will be rolling in from not eating out all the time. In fact, $50 might be aiming low...but what can I say, I know myself too well....

and finally...

Jan Mini Monthly 5. Wear Pants. (...on the weekends)

Tune in next time to learn why pants are like Superman's cape!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Meditation

I've been thinking a lot about anxieties and my own crippling self doubt. Particularly with starting this blog. It's difficult to put yourself out there and try to come up with new and interesting content that you hope people will see and read and want to engage with you about.

It's even more difficult to then tell people you know, friends and family that you've done this thing. That you hope they'll see and read these things you've written, that they'll support you in this endeavor.

The thing about anxiety is, it doesn't make sense. They're even more useless fears than regular fears (like being afraid of snakes, planes or snakes on planes.) With anxiety you're afraid of the "could-be's" and the "what-ifs." The likelihood of these fears coming to pass are slim to none. That doesn't make them any less terrifying, that doesn't make them go away.

And people who don't suffer from anxiety just don't get it. They say "just don't worry about it." or "Why are you freaking out about this thing that you have no control over anyway?"

                                           "Think about rainbows, rainbows are nice..."

Because freaking out gives me a measure of control, I feel like if for some reason, the worst scenario actually DOES come to pass, hell even if there is nothing I can do about it, well at least I knew it was coming.

I've been afraid of starting this blog for so long now. Because I was afraid that I would have nothing to say, or that what I did have to say no one would want to hear (or read). I've been most afraid of being judged (for what I have to say, and most importantly how I say it...I worry about my grammar a lot).

But I've just decided to remind myself everyday that in the end, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks. This is something that I want to do and have wanted to do for so long. I have thoughts and ideas that I want to share with the world, even if the world chooses to ignore me. At least I'm going to try and get my ideas and my stories and my words out there.

And if people choose to comment on my bad grammar, well that's just a chance for me to learn better grammar.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Follow me on Bloglovin' err-body!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

An introduction...

Well, I suppose January is as good a time as any to start a blog.

I've had some ideas for different blogs kicking around in my head for awhile now. But I've just never found the right time to sit down and write them out. Well that's not entirely true. As the name of this blog implies, I carry a notebook around with me EVERYWHERE. And I'm always scribbling notes into it, either about my daily to-do lists, ideas for stories and blogs, or just journaling about my thoughts at the moment.

I love my notebook. It's my life, my brain, my command center.

And while writing things down in a notebook has a kind of permanence in its own right, it's nothing compared to typing all of your innermost thoughts and ideas and sending them out into the interwebz for all the world to see...(did that sound a little egotistical?)

I think I have good ideas sometimes, whether they're story ideas or ideas for random bits and bobbles in general. Like cool photo shoots (hello Pinterest), or keeping organized (having ideas and implementing are two different skill sets...) or just ideas for having a great life; that's what I write about. And that's what I want to share with all of you. Whoever you might be.

I've noticed over the last few years of browsing different blogs and websites that there's a whole and much wider world out there than most any of us have ever imagined before, with new communities and friendships and groups forming all of the time. I just finally decided that I wanted to be a part of it too.

Just me and my little notebook, and maybe a cup of coffee. :)