New Year New You 

Lifestyle December 30, 2016

Most of us are beyond over 2016, from stressful elections to a number of celebrity deaths, we are all ready to move on to greener pastures.  With the pending new year it’s time to think about 2017 and set goals that actually get accomplished.  Goal setting is not really about goals, it’s about how you process the world.  It’s all neuroscience and your brain is a natural little problem solver.  But we too often present our brain with problems that it can’t fully understand or process.  It will do it’s best but we end up not quite reaching our goal and feeling deflated.  So when constructing goals presenting information in a way our brain can understand is super important.  Let’s start by understanding how our brains work on a fundamental level.  Please think about the color red.  What comes up in your mind next?  Probably something you have historically associated with red.  Fire trucks, lipstick, anger, roses.  This is because your brain organizes information through an associative process which uses hierarchies and heuristics where one thing will remind you of another related thing which reminds you of yet other related things.  The whole process works a lot like when you fall down a youtube hole and find yourself watching videos of cats wearing sweaters when all you wanted to do was learn about foundation.  So, if you’re not specific when addressing your brain your goal will end up being confusing and un-reachable.

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Before you read on ask your self “do I really want to change or am I just writing resolutions because I always have?”  If you actually want to make a change in your life continue reading, if not, assess why you aren’t really ready.  There are a number of reasons a person might not really want to reach their goals.  It’s hard to change, there is a possibility that you may fail, other people may be impacted by your success, that changing the way you view yourself is difficult, or you misinterpreted your goal altogether.   This last one is interesting.  Let’s take for example the number one New Years Resolution, weight loss.  For some, weight loss isn’t truly the goal but a symptom of the goal, you may want love and feel that losing weight will get you there.  Therefore the real goal here is to begin to develop self-love. Ask yourself, “Am I running away from something or running toward it?’  If you find that you are running away from something it may be more difficult to reach that goal as opposed to a goal you are running toward.  Alright, let’s get to some goal setting tips so you can develop the skills to get what you want.

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Declutter: Decluttering is the best way to increase focus.  So what are some ways you can declutter your life?  Give away clothes you haven’t worn, unsubscribe from emails that you no longer need, free yourself from toxic people, or maybe clean up your social media.  I don’t know about you but I can’t work in a cluttered room or on a cluttered computer.  So, organize your space, organize your mind.

Write it out: Writing down your goals is one of the best was to make sure you will reach them.  It helps organize our thoughts and makes them solid enough to actually reach.  Head out to Target and grab a poster board or get on photoshop and create something big and beautiful.  Yes, don’t just put it in your phone or in a notebook.  Make your goals large and stunning.  I tend to frame mine and hang them either in my office or near my bed.  It depends on how personal the goals are.

Specific: Specificity is one of the most important aspects of goal formation.  The more specific a goal the easier it is for your brain to problem solve methods for attaining your objective.  So ask yourself the who, what, where or your dream and it will begin to look more specific.  Beyond that make sure you are in control of your goal.  If other people are responsible for your goal then it is more difficult to complete.  For example, if your goal is to make more money in 2017 but you want to do that by getting a raise at work it may be difficult to control how the HR department and your supervisor feel about raises.  There may be things that happen behind the scenes that impact your ability to get the raise.  So setting a goal like “I will improve my productivity at work”, or “I will ask for a raise after improving productivity for 3 months.”  Allows you to reach your goal without being beholden to the capricious nature of others.  Goals are to be personal.

 Positive Wording: When I say positive I don’t mean positive and negative judgment wise, I mean positive and negative grammatically.  For example, if your goal is to ultimately loose weight and you know you love cake.  So you establish a goal to stop eating cake in the new year because you know that will get your iteratively closer to your final goal of weight loss.  This is a very good way to think but you should focus on adding something rather than just taking something away.  Your brain doesn’t necessarily understand the concept of “no cake” it just hears cake which can increase your desire to delicious cake.  However, if you tell yourself “I will eat more vegetables including asparagus, kale, and brussel sprouts in the new year” now your brain has something to focus on.  Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.

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Measurable: Making a goal measurable allows you to keep track of your progress.  So ask yourself questions like “how will I know when I’ve reached my goal?”  “How much of what I want will result in me reaching my goal?” “How many of what I want will result in me reaching my goal?” If your goal is difficult to quantify add a scale to it.  Rate on a 1-100 scale or 1-10.  weight is an easy one, the scale is in pounds, stones, or kilos.  But measures of well-being are more difficult and subjective.  It may be more based on your own creative measure.  Like “I’ll know I’m feeling more comfortable around people when I’ve attended 2 social gatherings in one month.”

Attainable: Sometimes we set goals that we aren’t quite qualified for or aren’t quite realistic for us at this time.  It’s important to ask this question and set goals that we can actually reach.  For example, I’m finished growing so I, unfortunately, will never be 6 feet tall.  If that was a goal of mine I would be very frustrated.  So, understand what is changeable and what isn’t.

Relevant: Is your new goal appropriate at this time and is it aligned with your values and life?  Sometimes we create goals that don’t totally fit our personality and then get disappointed when we can’t get it off the ground.  for example, I am petrified when I think about singing in public so I might not want to become Beyonce’s biggest competition.

Time Limited: Set a time limit so you know when it’s time to throw confetti and celebrate your achievements.  Your timelines are personal and can range from 2 minutes to 20 years.

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Happy goal getting my little achievers!

 

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Bento Box DIY

DIY, Lifestyle December 12, 2016

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Compartmentalization is an important task for any business owner.  I fight daily to keep the events in my life in cute tiny little boxes.  This may sound a little neurotic but  managing multiple brand identities, challenges of a 9-5, family, and the HOLIDAYS, things can get hectic.  So, I’m seeking some order by making some pretty bento inspired boxes for my lunch.  Gotta start somewhere.

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I found these uber cute boxes at the Container Store.  That place is my idea of heaven…so organized, so beautiful.

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Then on to my second favorite place in the world, Michaels, to get some waistband elastic.  I just happened to find this stunning silver elastic.

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I did some rudimentary measurements.

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Then hand stiched.

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Yay!

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Easiest DIY of the year.  2016 was exciting can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring!

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DIY Glitter Christmas Ornament 

DIY, Home, Lifestyle December 5, 2016

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Christmas isn’t Christmas if it isn’t covered in glitter.  Like, copious amounts of glitter! So, I’m starting my Christmas off with a newly pinkafied tree including two special pink glitter ornaments. It definitely wasn’t rocket science.  Just grab some glue, any glue will do, and sprinkle glitter.

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I added fishing string…trying to keep the focus on the glitter!

file_000-1Then sit back and admire!

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End Table DIY

DIY, Home November 28, 2016

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Love these little end tables.  I’ve had them for about 7 years and they’ve seen a recent transformation from cherry wood to white and gold.  Of course, that’s never enough in my constantly shifting world of home decor.  Sooo, I added a little embellishment.

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Cue every crafter’s bet friend, washi tape.

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After a little measuring and artful tape handling, this beautiful square emerged…oh la la!

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Then things got a little more complicated as I added shape number two.  If you’re doing this at home, make sure you give yourself enough room to add the second shape because the boundaries of the second shape will need to go beyond  the initial square.

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Then you’re done!  Simple!!!

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Friendsgiving

DIY, Lifestyle November 23, 2016

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Tomorrow, it’s game time.  We’ll be wrangling kids, grandparents, parents, and maybe even step parents.  And with this having been a particularly stressful year there will be some interesting table conversation.  Ooooh all that things we are thankful for.  I may even write a blog about the fabulous things my family members say.  I’ve decided that Thanksgiving bingo might be in order.

Well, this was my friendsgiving table and I want to give you resources for yours.

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Ok first things first, find a color scheme.  My mother always told me that any good event has at least three colors.  My basic three were eggplant, pink, and creme.  Then I added accents of sage and gold.

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I found these disposable plates at Smarty Had A Party .  They were affordable and looked so amazing!  Then I designed a little plate filler.  Here are some downloadable pdfs…yay… friendsgiving and thanksgiving.   The tablecloth came from Tablecloths Factory.

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Simple and DONE!!! I love decorating and my bestie’s backyard.  Gold pineapple says gorgeous!!!!

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Figueroa the Fiddle Fig

DIY, Lifestyle November 14, 2016

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For those of you that don’t follow me on IG, this is Figueroa.  She’s a fiddle leaf fig tree and I’m kind of obsessing over her.

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Just so cute!

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It took me forever but I triumphantly found the right 10in pot.  Anything for Figueroa.

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Here is a little close-up of the terracotta planter Home Depot so lovingly provided.

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They also provided me with this chalked…matte white spray paint.  I wanted to keep it looking rustic.  A glossy paint would have made everything look too polished.

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I lined the inside with tape and sprayed away. I let it try for about 2 hours.

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Here we go.  Moving day!

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This was a super simple DIY!

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Twinkle Toes 

Lifestyle November 7, 2016

IMG_8696.JPGI simply love all things glitter.  So, of course, my heart skipped a beat when I saw Kate Spade’s Keds.  Hmmm, do I just go out and buy a pair or do I try to do it myself?  Obviously, I make them myself.  It’s much easier than you think and far far more satisfying.

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Start by heading to your local drug store and buying a pair of $11 sneakers.

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If you are anything like me you have tons of glitter on hand.  I chose three different colors.  My mixture was two parts silver one part gold and one-half part light pink.

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Get your tools ready.

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Start adding glue to the shoe, but only in patches.  It drys pretty fast on fabric.

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Then glitter away until done!

Colorful Nursery DIY

DIY, Home, Lifestyle October 3, 2016

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I swear there is something in the water.  My life has become an endless parade of baby showers, blessings, sprinkles, and nursery decor.  So, when a dear friend of mine asked that I make a little something for her nursery I jumped on it…gotta practice for the future, right?  Well, she bought the Oh Joy! nursery line from Target so I had some parameters to work within.  If you read my blog you have probably already heard of Oh Joy, basically she’s a crafting and design Goddess that now is uber paid by Target!  Basically, a genius!!!

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Image from target.com

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I decided to make a mobile.  Newborns can only see about 12 inches from the tip of their cute little noses, so the little one might not see the colorful soft mobile until she about 6 months old.  But the colors may actually be neurologically stimulating and help her cute little brain develop.  Ok, let’s get to the actual project.  There are a lot of steps to this so if you are already exhausted but still want one contact me and I’ll make you one, for a nominal fee of course.  Send me your colors and it’s done!  For those of you that are a little craftier keep reading.

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First, you must make a ton of poms.  You can make them on your fingers or make this little cardboard template.

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Cut one long piece of yarn and place it toward the end of the notch in the cardboard.

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Then wrap the yarn.  I wrap it around at 60 times.

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Tie it off with the long piece of string, then push it to the other side and tie it off again.  Gotta keep it strong and tied.

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Then you cut the sides of the yarn.

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After both sides are cut pull it free from the carboard template.

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You are left with this awkward little thing.

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Trim.

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Yay!  Now repeat this step about 30 more times.

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Now let’s move on to the mobile frame. I used a needlepoint ring.  I actually didn’t use the piece with the screw on it but I used the inner piece.  You can get these for like $2 at Michaels.  Tie 5 long strings at equal intervals around the circle.  Keep more string at the top so you can hang the mobile however you want.

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After tying on all the strings start wrapping yarn around the ring until it is completely covered.  Have fun!!!

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Once that’s done you need to start adding the poms.  I make a little needle from some extra wire I had lying around.

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Skewer your pom.

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Then trim again!

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Add poms in any way you wish I just tried to make sure colors were equally dispersed and you’re done.

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xoxo

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The Best Staycation Yet!

Lifestyle, travel September 20, 2016

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My Hubby and I are working on perfecting the staycation.  I mean, why live in sunny California if you don’t take full advantage of obscure hotels, unique restaurants, and Cali’s great ecological diversity.  Where else can you surf and ski in the same day?  Well, yesterday was a double whammy it was my husband’s birthday and our 6 month wedding anniversary.  So, we took a little weekend trip to Palm Springs and stayed at the Saguaro Hotel.  Just enjoy the colorful pictures!

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Hope you enjoyed our colorful weekend at the Saguaro!

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Advice, consulting, Lifestyle September 14, 2016


5. Create a writing schedule: dedicate the same span of time per day to writing and creativity. This gets you brain all primed a ready to perform. Give it at least a week to kick in. 

4.  Just 10: set a timer for 10 minutes where you write, edit, or brainstorm with little distraction. 

3. Change your environment: head to a park, coffe shop, maybe even a museum to trigger some motivation.  

2.  Research:  when you take time to read related articles and books it can help you understand your own point of view. Sometimes you can find glaringly missing  perspectives in the literature and you can find your angle in the white spaces. 

1.  Stick with it: when stuck in writer’s block people tend to want to quit, but the more you work the article the more ideas you can get. So, take a breath, get some coffee and get back in there.